Elizabeth: October 1582, 16-20

Pages 391-403

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, 16–20

Oct 16 395. Mauvissière to Walsingham
I will write this by the opportunity of M. du Ruisseau, who is going to see you to give you an account of his journey, and of his doings with the Queen his mistress, and how he was made prisoner by the will of the Earl of Shrewsbury, knowing no reason except 'policy' and will, which is 'Sic rolo sic jubco.' I will leave this among the deliberations of the Queen's Council, to say that if M. du Ruisseau by your means had the honour of speaking to her and of kissing her hands, he would lay before her some letters which the Queen of Scots has written to her, and inform her of the sincere will she has to render all her actions acceptable to her, as she says she is always ready to give account of them in the past in everything touching the matters which can concern them. Herein I beg you kindly to assist M. du Ruisseau, with the same favour which you have shown him hitherto on his journey and to let him, return here' which is not easy (?) without your help to assist him, in giving him a passport with some little horses [sic] of no importance which were given him on that side, and to M. Nau's brother and their people to bring them back, rather than they should put up with hired horses. Whereof Courcelles, whom I am sending with this, will tell you the rest, if you will kindly hear him, for which, referring to him, I will further importune you only, if occasion serves, to kiss her Majesty's hands for me and assure her that I shall ever have a good will to serve her, and yourself.
As for the Queen of Scots, she always says one and the same thing: that the more sincere and loyal you are in the service of your mistress, the more cause she will have to trust in you, as she sends me word by M. du Ruisseau that she wishes to do. But she also begs you to be favourable to her in things just and reasonable; and I, to send me a word to say how Scotch affairs are going. I do not want to write or send thither for fear of causing suspicion to her Majesty, such as she ought not to conceive of me, unless for loving and honouring her among all the princes of the World.—London, 16 October 1582.
Add. Endd. Fr. 3 pp. [France, VIII. 70.]
Oct 17 396. Cobham to Walsingham
The king with his young queen came hither on the 9th inst.,and lodged at the Louvre. Since then he has shown himself abroad, playing at the 'Payle Mayle' in the Tuileries in exercise, with his accustomed countenance and show of health, and dining cheerfully, and in better state than was reported before his coming. His queen likewise is returned with her accustomed favour, and disposition of health.
His Majesty appointed me to have access to him on the 14th, but upon some other occassion happened, unknown as yet to me, went again to Dollenville on the 13th. He is now returned, and 'am' promised by Secretary Brulart to have audience tomorrow; whereof I am yet in doubt, considering the other ambassadors are referred till the 21st, which will be Sunday next.
I have solicited M. Brulart for their Majesties' letters to their ambassador on behalf of the English agent to be sent to Constantinople; but he defers me until I speak with the king myself. I find in him, as it seems to me, some misliking of the matter, to have an English agent sent to Constantinople.
The Queen Mother, in the absence of the King, was very much pressed by the Bishop of Glasgow and the fautors of the Scottish faction to send a gentleman into Scotland, to deal with the young king and the lords in favour of d'Aubigny and his enterprises. Howbeit I hear now the king has considered better thereof, not consenting to intermeddle so openly in the affairs of Scotland, to the discontentment of her Majesty, as by sending an express gentleman: which it is conceived might kindle further troubles in Scotland, and become nothing profitable to the affairs of France at this instant. They had chosen one 'Manningvil' to be sent into Scotland, a Norman, an earnest Papist as I have been informed. Though these apparent demonstrations be stayed and qualified, it is yet to be doubted lest underhand there will be some French working.
M. de Senegas is returned very well satisfied with the speeches her Majesty has used to him in the behalf of his king; but seems that he has not found the Duke of Brabant so well inclined to his king's desires as he hoped.
The king went in the afternoon of Friday the 12th to the Bois de 'Vincent,' where he saw and spoke apart with Salcedo in a chamber 'dressed up' in the keep where Salcedo was then prisoner. And afterwards at the same time the king caused his Chief President de Thou and President Perrot to question 'with' Salcedo in his hearing: when he denied that which he affirmed before the Duke of Brabant, concerning the Guises and others. Cardinal Birague and Chiverny were likewise present. On the 14th Salcedo was brought to the Bastille, here beside my lodging, where he is straitly kept, and it is supposed will be racked.
The Duke of Lorraine has sent hither to the king the Baron of Assenville, to entreat, as I am informed, that he will cause Salcedo's examinations to be understood by the Court of Parlement in Paris, and that his 'process' may be made publicly, for the discharge of all the infamy which has been 'delivered' of the said duke.
The king has said openly that he has long lived in private sort, but he was resolved now to pass his time in 'more greater conversation.' He has given a note to the masters of his household, wherein are written the princes' and dukes' names. Two of them are daily, or for the most part, to dine publicly with the king at his own table; so that already the Cardinal of Guise, the Duke of Guise, the Prince of Genoa [qy. Genevois], the Duke of Epernon, and other princes, have dined at his table. He has further ordered that every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday after dinner there should be dancing openly in the Queen's chamber, and after supper in the great hall; commanding that his gentlemen, being 'in quarter,' should 'apparel' themselves those days to be present, and such as list, to dance.
His Majesty has sent for M.d'O to the Court, who was one of his minions, to be 'fianced' to Villequier's only daughter and heir ; whereon it is reported he will return to some good place and grace with the king, and the marriage be presently accomplished.
The Duke of Elbœuf departs to be married to the daughter and heir of the Count of Charni, Grand Escuyer of France, who is lieutenant-general for the king in Burgundy, in the absence of the Duke of Maine. By this marriage the Duke of Elbœuf will have great possessions, whereby the House of Guise will become the better strengthened. This marriage was once 'assigned' for Duke Joyeuse.
This Count Charni was son to Guy Chabot, Seigneur de Brion, Admiral of France in the time of King Francis Le Grand. It is understood the king has granted to the duke of Elbœuf the office of Grand Escuyer ; so that the House of Guise proceed by all means to draw to them all the principal governments and offices in France.
The king caused M. de 'Rosselieu,' his provost, with his archers to enter Eliano Calvi's house on the 11th inst., and to seize on all his books and writing, 'resting' him prisoner the 12th. And on the 13th there came to his house with the provost one of Secretary Villeroy's clerks, who understands both the Italian and Spanish tongue, by whom all the books and writing were 'overviewed,' retaining two or three packets directed out of Spain to Flanders ; but nothing was found in Signor Calvi's dealing which might give cause of offence. Notwithstanding, the provost delivered to him a command signed with the king's hand, to the effect that he should depart from Paris within three days, and from the realm within 15 days. To which Calvi answered that he was willing to obey the king ; and thereon went to surrender himself on the third day prisoner, seeing he could not in so short a time recover the money due to him nor pay this debts. Before so much were done, he could not depart in honourable sort. Since that time he has spoken with the Queen Mother, so the rigour of the king's command is deferred. But if it might please the Queen to write in favour of Eliano Calvi to the Duke of Brabant, she would bind him and his house to her service. Of his disposition in all manner of ways Horatio Pallavicini can give certain information. Moreover I would beseech you to do some good offices towards her Majesty on behalf of Signor Calvi, for which I shall rest bound to you. He has helped me with money sundry times.
The king has likewise caused the books and writings of 'Guissard' Cappello, the banker, and Ottaviano de la Torre, with other Genoese merchants trading with the Spaniards, to be dealt with as with Calvi.
Count Ottavio Landi of whom I wrote in my former letters 'to be' come here in secret sort from the Prince of Parma's camp, has now made himself known to their Majesties by means of the ambassador of Ferrara, professing himself to be the 'household servant in wages' with the Duke of Ferrara and saying that he has retired from the Prince of Parma's camp, 'in respect' the Duke of Parma sent some secretly to murder him for the suspicion the Duke had that he was of the confederacy with his uncle and brother whom the Duke executed with divers others of the house of Landi. Howbeit the Court is known to have been for a long time and entire favourite of the Prince of Parma's having been employed by him in Spain and Italy in divers messages of greatest importance. So he purposes to stay here, as he professes, for awhile, and has a will, as I am informed, to visit me, with desire to see England. In this I shall 'pass' nothing till I hear further from you what you think good for me to do therein. There came in his company Signor Giulio Ascanio 'delli Onoti [qy. Onesti] Bolonnesi,' who is lodged at the nuncio's house, and is to pass into Italy.
The Duke Joyeuse is not yet returned from Marseilles and Languedoc, where he has been some days, to see his father and deal in certain officers of the king's in those parts, of the particulars of which I have not been informed.
The six Englishmen brought hither prisoners for piracy are now sent from hence to the galleys, which are at Marseilles.
My Lord Vaux's son is come hither. accompanied by 'Apolidor' Morgan. The English papists say that one of Lord Vaux's sons will become a religious man, and receive the orders of their priests. It is thought the coming over of Englishmen should be now as good a trade as in other times the passing over of geldings; or else it is not to be imagined they would resort hither so easily and in such great number.
They have written to me from Germany that George Zolcher has long since departed out of Germany by way of Flanders.
I enclose herewith a letter of M. Lansac's. I send you 'Carolo Emanuel' the Duke of Savoy's letters, ratifying and licensing the Pope's new calender, with the bull of the Pope's nuncio ligier in that Duke's Court for the publishing of the same. The French king has likewise granted to this nuncio that the Pope's calendar shall be under his privilege printed and published.—Paris, 17 October 1582.
Add. and endt. gone. 5¼ pp. [France VIII. 71.]
Oct 17 397. Cobham to Walsingham
I am informed by very good means that the French king's ambassador ligier in Venice has declared to the Signori that his Majesty has renewed the league with the Switzers; which power, together with the forces of France, he offered in the king's name to that state, to be employed by them in any of their enterprises, and to serve in their defence against any who shall in any sort assail them. This king's ambassador has further informed the Signori and lamented to them that Salcedo and others had confessed that the Spanish king had stirred up divers indisposed persons to slay his brother, who has not deserved any such malicious act, considering he was called and entreated by the States to come into Flanders by long and earnest solicitations. proceeding therein like a prince.
Moreover the ambassador declared to them that this king had many occasions given him to 'break wars' with King Philip, and notwithstanding is willing to entertain the amity. This much I have received concerning these affairs.
I understand that the Venice ambassador ligier in this Court is in the next audience to congratulate the king from the Signori for the establishment of the confederacy he has made with the Switzers, and withal to offer their purse and means in his service, and to demand assurance of assignation for the former sums they have lent him, leaving the manner and the days of payment to his pleasure, so that the assignations be kept.
I hear the king's ambassador has done the like offices as he did to the Signori, to the Dukes of Ferrara and Mantua.
The Bishop of Glasgow delivers to his secret friends, that the Scottish king after the late receiving of her Majesty's letter, presently tore it in pieces, and remained passionately affected to d'Aubigny; the Nuncio declared to a party of quality that d'Aubigny was in a strong castle with intention not to depart out of Scotland as long as any hope of relief remained, having beside a good party in the realm.
I have spoken with Mar Goghagan, who has told me that he is presently to depart in the company of Nugent, but he would not tell me whether they went to the Pope or to the King of Spain; but to one of those places. He promised to write to me, and wherever he'becomes,' to remain true to her Majesty, and whenever he may have pardon, he will return to England, though he was in the company of forty thousands; having given me thereon his hand.
Mr Paget today requested my servant to inform me how he purposes to repair presently to Rome, where his abode, as he supposes, may least displease her Majesty; adding many protestations how, as he showed you at your being here, as long as he might enjoy his 'living' he would not seek any other prince, but that taken from him, he would be constrained to help his estate otherwise.
I hear there are sundry Irish friars gone into Ireland.
Enclosed I send a letter sent me by Cavaliero Giraldi, whereby you may partly perceive how I have importuned him for the money due upon his bills, and you may see his promises, which I hope to 'do so much' that he shall perform.
I assure you the Spanish ambassador receives and bestows here great sums of money; which I know by very good ways.
'In the end' with your pardon, I must of necessity now write herewith a 'litkell Kereyleyson, concerning my particular cause, first thanking you for the remembrance you 'show' in your late letters to have of that my heavy 'unwilldly' affair. Therewith I refer it to your ordering, beseeching you to put me out of pain, and out of this beggar's press. I assure you my mind is almost smothered with the inward press. I 'return' to beseech you to 'do for' me, and the Almighty give you contentation.—Paris, 17 October 1582.
P.s.— They write that the Duke of Savoy has concluded a marriage with the Duke of Florence's daughter, with whom he will have 2,000,000 crowns; which being employed 'in bank. will yield the Duke of Savoy 100,000 crowns a year. The Dukes of Ferrara and Mantua mislike this match.
Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Ibid. VIII. 72.]
?ca. Oct 17 398. Cobham to Walsingham
They gave me to understand that the king's servant in England [said] that he had received a dispatch wherein the king had agreed to all that Monsieur had demanded touching the marriage and for the charges of the wars; which dispatch Maurissière would not show her Majesty, because there were words with which she would not have been pleased; meaning upon some equivocation of words.
It is understood that her Majesty requires that England should not enter in no manner of sort into war with the Low Countries, but that Monsieur and the French king shall dispense those matters. The king they say agrees thereto, 'so the marriage proceed.'
Fragment. Endd.: Sir H. Cobham cypher. [France VIII. 72a.]
Oct 17 399. Francisco Giraldes to Cobham
I would not for all the world have you hold me for a person of so little honour as to leave this realm without first discharging my debt to Sir F. Walsingham, even though I knew I should remain cloakless, in order not to injure in any way the reputation I always preserved in England, as you know. It is true that with some money which has come to me I have in part stopped' the expense of my household, and paid some debts; with which I am going ahead as best I can, though there are not wanting calumniators and enemies to whom I should like to tell the position of my mind, which every day is more firm than ever not to fail of my word and promise towards you and Sir F. Walsingham. nor in the reverence I have all my life paid to her Majesty the Queen of England. Wherefore be assured that I shall honourably satisfy you, because I expect with the next ordinary post from Spain the further remittance of the monies that were ready for my provision. And I shall not be so ill-bred as to depart without first kissing your hands; it is now some time since I have been able to do it. And please God it may be soon, that I may escape once for all from the troubles I have suffered so long.
My son has departed for Italy to visit the Duke of Savoy on behalf of Dona Caterina and the Duke of Braganza; and so to Mantua and Parma. See if you can command any service of him, since he and I will ever obey you in a greater matter.—Paris, 17 October 1582.
Enclosed in No. 397. Add. Endd. in England. Ital. 1 p. [France VIII. 73.]
? Oct 17 400. Decipherment in Beale's hand of a passage in Cobham's of Oct. 17, No. 397; and of the fragment following it, No.398. Endd. ¾ p. [Ibid. VIII. 74.]
Before Oct. 17 401. [Cobham to Walsingham]
There is now come hither the Count Octavio Landi from the camp of the Prince of Parma, most favoured of the prince and one of his minions. I know where he is lodged in this town. There is come in his company a count from Bologna, lodged at the Pope's chief minister's house. The said minion of the Prince of Parma was on the second of this month secretly two hours in the King of Spain's agent's house. He gives out that he will pass into Italy, but it is supposed he will take the way into Spain, whereof I will advertise Monsieur's man; though I find he and Marchaumont are too much affected to the Duke of Guise, as I have seen partly with my eyes. Juan de Monti, Vitelli's kinsman, is looked for to come hither secretly, to pass into Spain.
They make me understand the French king is in no danger and that ere long Monsieur will return to France. I have been informed that the Bishop of Glasgow and the Duke of Guise have sent dispatches into Italy and Spain about the affair of Scotland. The Guises are waxen more humble than accustomed and fear Salcedo's sayings may turn them to wreck. They find their allies not so constant as they esteemed; but there wants not will, courage, nor bad disposition, if their aim served.
Copy in hand of R. Beale. Endd: 1582, decyphred. Scotland. 1 p. [France VIII. 75.]
Oct 18 402. Walsingham to Cobham
Her Majesty's pleasure is that for answer to the speeches let fall to you by Queen Mother touching the affairs of Don Antonio, you should put her in mind (if she happen to renew that 'motion,' and not otherwise) of what passed last year between their Majesties touching this matter, delivered by us both, and afterwards renewed here to the ambassador: that if her Majesty received sufficient assurance to be backed and assisted by the king, in case the King of Spain should attempt anything to the prejudice of her of her subjects in revenge for her assisting Don Antonio, and also grant her a counter-arrest against the King of Spain's subjects trading in France. in case her subjects or their goods should upon that occasion be arrested in the King of Spain's dominions, she would them very willingly join him in the action, requiring only some reasonable assurance in writing under the king's hand, without any further ceremony for her satisfaction in the matter. Otherwise she could not see it agreeable with her safety to throw herself into so apparent danger, and then be left alone to 'wrastle' with so puissant an enemy as the King of Spain, with whom the king might at all times make his peace at his own pleasure, having the Pope ever ready as a fit instrument to deal for him; both princes, besides, consenting in one religion and also being united in some strait bond of amity by reason of the affinity of marriage, which would make the way so much easier to such a reconciliation. These reasons moved her to carry herself the more circumspectly in refusing to 'wade' into the action unless she might further see how she should be provided for against any danger that she should cast herself or her subjects into by that means. Yet you may say that if now any such reasonable offer be made to her in this behalf, as she shall find to 'stand' with her surety, you have some reason to think that she will be most willing and ready to yield her any satisfaction she may desire in that matter.
And since it appears from your letters that the Queen Mother 'took knowledge' to you of the present state of things in Scotland, wishing that her Majesty would have good consideration thereof, her pleasure is that you shall make her acquainted with the whole course of her proceedings in their causes (wherein you may practically instruct yourself by the copies of such letters as I send herewith for that purpose), and let her understand that her Majesty had no other meaning or intent by sending her ministers into that realm, but as she has ever shewn herself careful of the young king's safety, and of the continuance of his state in peace and quietness, so now upon occasion of the late 'accident' happened there to interpose herself as a means to stay things from growing to any extremity, but that all should be settled again in the best sort that might be, without any violence or shedding of blood. Of this her plain and sincere manner of dealing the king himself may be best witness; who accepting it very friendly at her Majesty's hands, as a further confirmation of her well-wishing to him, and of the earnest care she has of his safety and well doing, has written her a very kind letter of thanks for it, a copy of which I send herewith, leaving it to your discretion to acquaint the queen only with the contents of it, or to cause it to be translated into French, and deliver it so to her as you shall find it most expedient.
And touching those of the nobility that 'enterprised' this action, you should let the queen understand that it appears they were not carried away with any undutiful meaning therein, or purposed any dangerous alteration in the state, but rather to provide for the safety of the king's person and the continuance of the realm in peace and quietness against the dangerous practices of the contrary faction; wherein they desire nothing more than by good and sufficient proofs to justify their doings, labouring to have the whole matter examined and kept up at the general convention of the nobility, and to stand to their trial against their adversaries, on whom they desire deserved punishment to be inflicted if they be found faulty, as they themselves do not refuse the same, if the blame may in reason be laid upon them. And for proof that they mean nothing in their enterprise but the furtherance of the king's service, and that in the execution of it they have carried themselves with that due respect and loyalty that appertained, they have an instrument to show, signed with his own hand, the copy of which you shall also receive herewith, whereby he allows and approves of their doings there; and that all things now grow quieter and quieter there, and the king is repairing to Edinburgh, where the convention will be held, and this cause orderly tried and examined; whereby the queen may understand how much she has been abused if she has received any wrong information, either of her Majesty's sinister proceeding in this cause, or of the noblemen's undutiful carrying of themselves in it.
Touching the satisfaction which the queen says the king her son has now sent her Majesty touching the marriage, she says she has received nothing thereof, but only in general terms, as ever heretofore; and therefore her pleasure is, that if the Queen uses any more speech to you of it, you may answer accordingly, that there is no such satisfaction as yet received by her Majesty.
Draft, with corrections by Walsingham. Endd. with date by L. Tomson. 4 pp. [France VIII. 76.]
Oct 19 403. Auvissiere to Burghley
Some time ago I wrote to you on behalf of Signor Philip Corsini, that you might be so kind as to 'put him out of' an affair which he has 'before' you in respect of some bell-metal. He is worried every day by the promoters of this, and because he has taken up the affair of his courtesy, and at my instance, I thought I would return thus to the charge, and ask you in all affection to do me the favour of getting it finished in the present term, inasmuch as Corsini is on the point of going beyond sea, having nothing else to keep him but this case. He would not wish to leave it to his brother, who has not the English language nor great acquaintance with such affairs. I shall take this as a favour from you and remain your obliged.—London, 19 October 1582.
Add. Endd. Fr. ½ p. [France VIII. 77.]
Oct 20 404. Audley Danett to Walsingham
The defeat given to the French, of which I wrote in my last, of the 14th inst. proves not altogether true. The enemy's horsemen making a little show to give a charge, some of the French, more afraid than hurt, as should appear, took the next way homewards, and bruited forthwith that their companies were clean overthrown. It is thought there passed some blows, and that the worst fell to the French; who notwithstanding will not 'be acknowen' of anything, although M. Rochepot were hurt about that time, and some of his captains slain. What has been performed in that late service, as also what likelihood there is of the French forces to repair into these countries, I forbear to write to you, knowing Mr Norris to have advertised it fully. From Guelderland, a messenger arriving this evening says that Keppel, a castle of some moment, is won from the enemy; which will be some hope that Bronkhorst, another castle not far from Keppel, cannot long hold out.
It is also reported for a truth that Cambray is yielded to the enemy. Some say it was surrendered very cowardly, but the French affirm that the garrison within, being mostly Walloons, were 'practised' by treason to receive the enemy.
The States-General have all this week 'sitte' in Council, the Prince of Orange continually among them, as well for the establishing of a new Council of State as to take order for the orderly payment of such sums of money as are to be furnished rateably by every province. It is thought this assembly will reform many things to Monsieur's good contentment, and to the benefit of the country.
Upon the delivery of M. Marchaumont's letter, for the satisfying of Gilbert of Dover, we received fair words from M. de 'Quinze'; but in the end are referred to his Highness's treasurer, without any warrant or 'ordonance,' to make satisfaction. So after all is done, I fear the poor man will lose his labour.—Antwerp, 20 October 1582.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XVII. 40.]
Oct 20 405. Martin Couche to Walsingham
Last Sunday Colonel Norris, general of the English companies, invited the duke and Prince of Orange 'at' a supper, which was provided for them at the English house, having with them their mistresses to the number of 24 or thereabouts, noted to be the only courtesans of this most arrogant place.
This feasting known generally to all the leaguer, the poor soldiers, feeling their miserable and vile estates, through the indirect dealing of those who are in highest authority, begin to mutiny, if it please you, the very burghers of this town saving that Mr Norris might have done better in bestowing the same upon his poor countrymen and soldiers, by whom he has attained his honour and credit, who now lie starving for want. Be it spoken under your good favour, he uses his nation's poor soldiers most hardly; having had so many brave gentlemen and others most willing as were 'under his regiments'; and some of them being poor in estate, kept without pay for five months together, thought good to stand upon some terms for it, and to draw themselves to the enemy's camp, where they continue.
Since that time some of them were taken prisoners in the c service last' by Dunkirk, and there executed; others who served there in like sort were taken at 'Iper,' a town in Flanders, their ransom tendered for their securities by 'the enemy their captains,' 'it would not prevail, but those poor captives sent hither, being seven brave soldiers, whereof three of them were executed here at the leagues upon Thursday last, the same never seen before, that prisoners so taken, their ransoms tendered, and they notwithstanding executed.' A case among us poor soldiers most lamentable, and never the like seen before.
It pleased Col. Morgan, and my captain, Thomas Wyllson, at the service at Ghent, to make me his ensign-bearer; since which time, 'for' the most part of our companies, some by casualty of hurt, others by sickness have died for want, if it may please you, not any way as yet to be remedied—there is neither pay nor yet victual. In respect whereof 'eftsoons' I am to crave your good and accustomed goodness, vouchsafe to command me for her Majesty's service of Ireland or elsewhere to your good liking.—Antwerp, 20 Octoher 1582.
P.S.—The enemy has got of late a town called the Castle of 'Cambeses,' by Cambray.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XVII. 41.]
Oct 20 406. Pietro Bizarri to Walsingham
A few days ago letters were intercepted from the Prince of Parma, addressed to the King of Spain, in which, besides other particulars, there were contained complaints about his not having money to pay his soldiers, and further that there was great dearth of victuals and other necessaries of life. He added that he did not see how in the long run he could withstand the enemy, owing to the great difficulties, which daily grew greater. From these words much may be inferred (si puòo far gran consequenza) as to the state of the enemy's camp at present; considering that no town will receive a garrison of any sort whatever, as it is affirmed for a certainty; and since he was valiantly beaten back from the walls of Ghent, he does not appear to have undertaken any enterprise, albeit his Highness's camp has left Flanders and come into these parts, where it has lately taken some fortresses not far from Mechlin, and another called Roest in a village named 'Hayth' [Haeght], standing on a river where there is a bridge by which you go from Lierre to Louvain. Since then they say that Aerschot has been taken, and that they were besieging the fortress of that place. But meanwhile the weather has come on very contrary to their plans, owing to the continual rains, and to this discomfort is added the lack of victuals and pay for the poor soldiers, so that it is doubted they will have to return without effecting what they have in hand.
Meanwhile Count 'Rospot,' general of the French, has been struck by a harquebuss shot in one arm, and they say that the bone is broken, so that in future he will have little or no use of it. These are the fruits of war, which nevertheless men valiant and desirous of glory endure with much fortitude, having before their eyes that fine saying of Petrarch: Un bel morir tutta la vita honora.
You will already have heard of the splendid banquet given last Sunday at the English house by the most honourable Col. Norris to his Highness and their Excellencies the Princes of Orange and Chimay, with many of the nobility, and many ladies married and unmarried, where they diverted themselves with music and dancing and other honest recreations, till 2 or 3 a.m.
From my friend in Italy I have had no letter for some weeks nor do I know what has happened to him, so that I cannot give you information as usual, and therefore beg you to excuse me.
It is said that many Italians from hence are already returning to Italy, already tired out and regretting their long and painful journey; which seems likely, winter coming on, and finding themselves in a climate very different to that of their birth, and less propitious to their nature and temperaments, besides other 'accidents.'—Antwerp, 20 October 1582.
Add. Endd. Ital. 3 pp. [Ibid. XVII. 42.]
Oct 20 407. Francisco Giraldes to Cobham
God knows with how much grief I have unexpectedly taken the decision to depart and sell all that my wife and I had, to set me free of debts, which have constrained (? forsati), me here, without being able first to satisfy Sir F. Walsingham as I desired, for lack of possibility, not of will. Wherefore I pray you to have me excused without attributing it to a slighting (? desmenuytione) of my word, which I value as much as my life itself, and if in my absence the remittances do not meanwhile come which I expect from Lisbon, in that case I will when there at once pay the money to Botolph Holder that he may forward it to Sir F. Walsingham. To whom please make my excuse, in order that he may understand the true and genuine cause of what I have done; also in consideration that ray debt was brought about by Ippolito Affaitadi (?), who has murdered [sic] many thousands of crowns for me. But since I executed the bond at your (or his) instance, I will not fail to fulfil it as I ought, since in that kingdom commodity will increase to me as discomforts and troubles in this.—From my house, 20 October 1582.
Add. Note by Cobham: received the 24th October 1582. Endd. Ital. 1 p. [France VIII. 78.]
Oct 20 408. Carlo Doni to Walsingham
With this I come to give you news of me, and of my free return here to Paris, thank God, in pretty good condition, where, or elsewhere, I desire some occasion of serving you may present itself. So deign on occasion to command me, and avail yourself of my services for what they are worth, and you will find me ready, much more in deeds than in ceremonies, not being, as you may know, much of a master of them.
I have not yet been to visit the ambassador Cobham, having been with ray brother since my return, at his Majesty's Court at Olinville. I will not fail to do so at the first moment, and tell him of the many favours received from you there, in order that you may return thanks for them on my account.
When kissing the hands of the Queen Mother at Saint-Maur, I did not fail to give her the compliments with which I was charged by her Majesty there; which seemed to be much valued and acceptable to that queen.
My brother Ottaviano and I come hereby with all respect to kiss her Majesty's hands, and remain perpetually obliged for all her favour and yours.—Paris, 20 Oct. 1582.
P.S.—I forgot to tell you that at Dover every sort of discourtesy was used to me and my company, not by one in particular, but by all the customs-people (passegieri), innkeepers, and sailors, without any regard to their licences or passports; giving us the greatest inconvenience and expense in their power, particularly the customer, who never said anything to us till when we were brought down to the port to embark he demanded of us one crown per man, without showing any authority, with a thousand outrages and insults. It has seemed good to me to write and advertise you of this in order that foreigners who pass over to that realm solely in the desire to see the dignity and beauty of its Court may not have to depart with such ill satisfaction on the demand of four poltroons. I promise you they would, I believe, have liked not only the money out of our purses, but the eyes out of our head.
Add. Endd. Ital. 1 p. [France VIII. 79.]
Oct 20 409. The French King to the Queen
Having heard that the affairs of Scotland had been in some degree troubled by some new accident, with the risk of bringing on a great disunion very injurious to the repose of the country, we have thought it well befitting the peace and amity which we have with that realm to dispatch some one to try to restore things to the good state which we desire to see there. We have been the more incited to do so, that we have heard you have dispatched your ambassadors for the same good cause. Wherein if we employ ourselves conjointly and in the common aim of maintaining our two realms and that of Scotland in good amity and understanding, we hope that some good fruit may come out of it. And whereas our councillor M. de la Mothe-Fénelon, having long been ambassador with you, knows as much about Scottish affairs as any other, and we hold him for a trusty and pacific minister, who will be more acceptable to you than any other whom we could have employed in such a charge, we have commanded him to pass by you in order to declare it to you, beyond what is in this letter, and assure you that he goes with no other charge or intention than to settle affairs in good and assured tranquillity for the common good of the three kingdoms. We pray you therefore after hearing what he has to say to permit him to pass freely into Scotland and give him as full a passport as is necessary for himself and his suite.—Paris, 25 October 1582. (Signed) Henry (below) Brulart.
Add. Endd. Fr. Broadsheet. [France VIII. 82.]