Elizabeth: December 1582, 1-10

Pages 477-494

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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December 1582, 1–10

Dec. 1 487. Fremyn to Walsingham
I wrote to you twice through Secretary Gilpin since the return of Etienne Lesieur, of what has happened in these quarters. Since the surrender of Ninove the enemy has taken three castles in the neighbourhood of Alost, which he seems to look as if he would besiege. None the less he had his eye on the town of Termonde, and if the frost had continued that town would be in danger, and the Waest country; inasmuch as it is not properly fortified except by the water. This thaw has spoilt some fine designs for the enemy. Also (que aussi) the lack of order given to affairs here, which grows daily worse and worse as regards the soldiers, upon the more part of whom all misery is fallen. Since the arrival of his Highness in these countries, our regiment has not received one month's pay. That regiment, since its return from Guelders, was for some days on the water before Antwerp, and afterwards put on land at Borgerhout a suburb of Antwerp, with one house for a company, and half rations of victuals supplied. Of all this regiment, which was 800 to 1,000 strong, there are not more than 200 fighting men to be found, and the same with the other regiments; in suchwise that his Highness is much impeded, seeing these disorders, and the little effect of what has been promised him. His army passed last Monday near Gravelines, an hour after noon. There were with it the Duke of Montpensier, M. de Biron, marshal of the camp, Fervacques, the Counts of Laval, Rochefoucault, la Ferte, and Bellegarde, and much nobility. It is thought the force is 600 horse and 7,000 to 8,000 foot, who can be put in the fortresses and remain on the defensive through the winter, securing the places from the enemy. Meanwhile his Highness will take steps to have an army in the spring to produce some notable result. Perhaps he will be able to go in person into France to raise it, leaving the Duke of Montpensier and Marshal Biron to carry on the war, and his Excellency as Lieutenant-General to govern the state during his absence. If he is not in France in person, he will have great difficulty in putting the required army in the field. And to say the truth, the Prince of Parma is painstaking and diligent, and loses no opportunity. Last week he had Alonso hanged at Lierre, a Spaniard who had commanded a company of horse. He was taken at Lierre when the town was surprised, and was accused by a prisoner who had escaped from the castle of Hoogstraten, which the soldiers of his company held, of practising to put the town of Lierre into his Highness's hands, and do a treachery to the Prince of Parma. This Alonso had the extraordinary torture, and carried by four to the gibbet, not being able to walk. A Scottish soldier from Lierre was beheaded today. There is nothing more at present.
Five or six days ago his Highness sent M. d'Ohain and M. de Ryhove to Bruges to receive the Duke of Montpensier. It remains to see the fruit that the arrival of his army may bring. The enemy's army was mustered a week ago, for two months. M. de Rambouillet started yesterday for France.—Antwerp, 1 December 1582.
Add. Endd. Fr.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVII. 68.]
Dec. 1 488. Cobham to Walsingham
Lord Hamilton has sent me a letter directed to her Majesty and another to yourself, both which are enclosed. Withal the gentlemen who brought them delivered to me from Lord Hamilton that his desire was her Majesty might be informed he continued his zealous duty towards her, wherein he would not alter. He further desires her to know that the lords who are about the Scottish king had sent a messenger assuring him that he may return, putting him in hope of being restored to the king's good favour and his former estates. This offer he has not hastily embraced, intending to receive all his good by her Majesty's means. He beseeches her to have him in remembrance so that he may return with honour through her mediation into his country with the enjoying of his former dignities, whereby he and his will be bound to acknowledge her high benefit. He offers that when that is obtained, he will repair into England, to assure her by oath or otherwise of his faithful service. This is as much as I remember was delivered to me by Lord Hamilton's gentleman, who left him at Moret somewhat sickly.—Paris, 1 December 1582.
Add. Endd. ½ p. [France VIII. 112.]
Dec. 1 489. Gilpin to Walsingham
By the last I sent a few lines, and am at present so slenderly stored of anything worth troubling you with that I meant to have been silent, if by our post who arrived 'this' night I had not received your letters, of which I know it to be my part to certify. The enclosed, to Mr Yorke and M. Fremyn, I send tomorrow morning 'for' Antwerp, with order for speedy and safe delivery. I mean to be there one day next week myself, and will not omit at convenient places and time to use speeches in order and agreeable to your writing.
At my being at Augsburg, amongst others I fell acquainted with a Doctor of the Civil Law, one who for religion long since removed out of these parts and kept in Germany; a man well learned, wholly given to the Gospel, and no less accounted of there for divers other good parts than like men deserve. This made me the more willing and glad of his company, and divers times to entertain him at my lodging. So by often meeting and conferences he grew more familiar, whereby I not only understood how matters passed abroad, but he at last opened to me how he had practised and devised a means to expel usury out of a realm or country, and yet that needy men's turns for money might be served, a number of inconveniences thereby removed, and great benefit to the prince and place that should put this device in practice. This stirred me with great desire to hear further, and pressing him earnestly to impart the rest, upon my promise not to move nor deal with any therein but with his will and liking, and for his benefit, if any came of it, he at last yielded to my desire, and at my persuasion thought good to offer his labour to the Queen and yourself to be the furtherer of that good work he trusts would ensue to her and her realm; and so emboldened himself to write to her and to you. He gave me besides not only his book, being one full quire of paper in written hand, containing at large, as he told me—for time suffered not to 'overread' it—the invention, but also an abstract in form of certain tables. I have presumed so far as to promise him that you will procure her Majesty's patent, that if his device be put in practice, he or his heirs 'to' have, according to his request, the tenth part of the profit that should redound thereby to her Majesty or country, as per copy of his enclosed 'remembrance' to me delivered will further appear. I thought likewise that he should write to my Lord Treasurer, as one whose counsel, in respect of his place, would be taken; which he has done, also another letter to my lord of Sussex, 'of his own voluntary moved,' for the favour received of him being in Germany as her Majesty's ambassador to the Emperor Maximilian: at which time he dedicated a book to his lordship. But the usage of those two letters he referred to my discretion, with charge to deal therein as by you should be commanded, and I am in such sort wholly to be directed, for as you are the only person 'of' whose favour I have depended, and felt the fruit with effects thereof, besides the disposition I know to be naturally engrafted to advance all good causes leading to the general welfare of our commonwealth, so am I and all I have to be disposed at your command.
The Doctor's letter to you I send herewith, reserving that to her Majesty, with the other two, until I understand your further pleasure; meaning, if I cannot get license to come over myself, to send my servant about or shortly after Christmas for the safer conveyence of the letters and book, trusting you will consider of it. If you like the Doctor's letter and good will (of which I doubt not) then would I desire to have a few lines to him, with promise to write further.
Here, I assure you, is no news but stale and uncertain speeches of the French troops' arrival in Flanders (but no money), and 'thence march' for Brabant, where the enemy 'beats' Likerke, and that gotten, it is thought will to Alst or Brussels.
The Prince is reported to be ill at ease, so that he does not stir forth. Monsieur on Thursday dined at the Town House in Antwerp, where he altered the 'magistrate,' according to their old and wonted yearly custom.
Certain horsemen of Ghent were abroad lately on the way to Tournay, and took M. de Croisilles and an abbot, with divers other Malcontents in his company, prisoners. It is said by him for certain that the better half of the late come Spaniards and Italians are dead for lack of maintenance.
The States-General are still met at Antwerp, but nothing heard of their resolutions. There was today a French noble or gentleman in this town, with a red cross of some Order on the breast, followed by 10 or 12 men; who departed towards Antwerp suddenly, so that none of the lords here could tell me his name or whence he came. They had prepared to entertain him at supper, but he tarried not the time.
By the enclosed you may understand what news I had this week from Cologne. Melissus, the poet at Nuremberg, whose book to her Majesty I sent you, will long to hear of the delivery, and whether it will please her to command him any service. Others I have not for the present, and therefore take my leave.—Middelburg, 1 December 1582.
Dec. 2 P.S.—Since I know not the certainty, how soon I shall be able to come over or send, and in order that you may the sooner certify your opinion and her Majesty's pleasure touching the conditional privilege demanded, I have thought good to send herewith the Doctor's letter directed to her. Please further the grant, which cannot be any way prejudicial to her. As soon as I receive your answer, I will with all endeavour hasten the sending over of the book. I beseech you that by the next I may have your letters to the Doctor, who I am sure longs for them.—2 December 1582.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVII. 72.]
Enclosed in the above:
Oct. 1 490. Dr Petrus de Rotis (or Des Roues) to Walsingham
Has invented the census Roticus, whereby the usury incidental to loans may be banished from a country. Hopes the Queen will consider the invention, and treat him as well as other Christian princes have promised to do. For the rest, refers him to Mr Gilpin.—Augsburg, 1 October 1582.
Add. Endd. Lat.pp. [Ibid. XVII. 72a.]
(2) The Same to the Queen
Recommending his invention to her consideration.—Augsburg, 1 October 1582.
Add. Endd. Lat.pp. [Ibid. XVII. 72b.]
Dec. 2 491. Audley Danett to Walsingham
Though I doubt not you receive from divers the certainty of the proceedings here, yet to continue my custom in writing weekly to you, I would not suffer this post to go without my letter touching the great persons. His Highness, God be thanked, is in good health and well disposed. The Prince has of late been troubled with a rheum and a great cold which has caused him to keep his chamber, nor does he yet look abroad, but is visited by the duke at the castle.
Our English horse, which were sent to have remained in Alost, as I wrote to you, in my last of the 25th, could not be received into the town, but have ever since remained in the Land of Waest, whence they are caused to depart, but no certain place is yet known where they will abide.
The old regiment of English, sent to Brussels, remains there still, but unsatisfied of the 'lone' that was accorded them, notwithstanding the 500 French that went with them have long since received their full contentment. The general has often solicited his Highness touching this matter, and receives from him all good speeches, but no money can be got from the Treasurer.
Captain Alonso, taken in the surprise of Lierre, was of late in the marketplace of that town hanged up by one foot, and so shot to death.
The enemy is still before Likerke, which place he batters daily; but good hope is conceived that those within will not easily give it over. Yet this morning some speech is given out that it is taken; but not believed.
Touching the arrival of the French army, and the certain numbers of their forces, give me leave to refer you to the letter sent you in that behalf from the general; who, notwithstanding he continues still in as good terms of liking and as great favour with his Highness as heretofore I have signified to you, yet considering the hard dealings which are daily offered to our English nation, and the arrival here of the French, who in all respects are sure still to be preferred, if upon any good occasion of service in Ireland you should please to call him home and embark him in some action in those parts, would, I trust, be able to do her Majesty so good service there that you would thereby receive no discredit at all. And truly, if you will give me leave to write my judgement, by some late discourses which I have heard him make touching those Irish services, it would seem he has some good experience of them, and might be able with no great number of men, nor any great charge to her Majesty's coffers, to do some piece of acceptable service; wherein it were much better to employ a gentleman of his value, if it might stand with her pleasure, rather than to hazard him continually here in the service of an unthankful people and amongst those who are the ancient enemies to the honour and reputation of our English nation.—Antwerp, 2 December 1582.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVII. 69.]
Dec. 2 492. John Norris to Walsingham
On Monday the 26th ult. the French army so long looked for in these countries passed by Gravelines between 5 and 11 in the morning, and at present is about Bruges, marching forwards into these parts. There are come with this army, besides the Duke of Montpensier and the Count de la Marche, the Duke of Bouillon's brother, Marshal Biron and two of his sons, Monsieur Laval, the Count of Rochefoucault, the Count Saint-Aignan, Fervacques, Bellegarde, and some others, whose names I have not yet learned. The whole number of those forces are thought to be scarce 7,000 [sic] horse, 4,000 French shot, and 3,000 Swiss. His Highness is very desirous his whole forces may be forthwith assembled, and to encounter the enemy presently upon the arrival of this army; which I think will be put in execution ere long. By reason hereof I must be constrained to defer my journey to England for some longer time than I had purposed, because I may not with any credit be absent from this service, if his Highness continues his resolution. Of this I will advertise you by the first convenient messenger.—Antwerp, 2 December 1582.
Written by Danett. Add. Endd. by Walsingham. 1 p. [Ibid. XVII. 71.]
Dec. 2 & 3 493. Stokes to Walsingham
My last was the 25th ult. Since that time these are our speeches here.
On Nov. 27 the enemy planted 5 cannons against the castle of Likerke, and the 28th and 29th the cannon played continually at it. As yet it holds out and there is in it one of the Prince of Orange's captains that served him in Holland with a hundred good soldiers, 'which weyres all presst capes.' So it is hoped they will keep it, for it is environed with a great water and the place is strong.
Monsieur's French army is come over at Gravelines river; being 500 lances, 500 harquebusiers, a cheval, 3,500 Swiss with pikes, and 4,000 harquebusiers, footmen, being in all 8,500 men, all good soldiers and well in order. At their passing over the river at Gravelines, almost 100 of them were drowned. There are come over with them the 'Prince Dolfin,' Marshal Biron, M. de Laval, M. de Fervacques, and M. 'Daventiny' [qy. d'Avantigny]. These are the principal that have charge of this army; and this day the whole army comes to 'Odenbourghe,' and from thence they will march by this town to Ghent, for there they will meet other forces.
At Dunkirk these French noblemen were received by certain gentlemen that Monsieur sent from Antwerp, accompanied by some others sent from Ghent and this town. So they were very friendly received, and their army provided with victuals and all other needful things, at the charge of the Four Members of Flanders.
This town and the 'Free' have brought each of them 6 very fair horses to give to the 'Prince Dolfin' and the rest aforesaid. The worst horse cost 50l. and the rest 60, 70 and 80l. apiece. These noblemen will be here this afternoon or tomorrow.
This morning a gentleman passed in post through this town with Monsieur's packet to the 'Prince Dolphin' and the rest, to hasten the army forward with as great haste as they can, for the speech is here that they will give the enemy battle. But for all that it is feared they will not be strong enough, only for want of horsemen.
The coming of these noble persons better contents the magistrates and commons here in these parts than the number of soldiers that are come with them, because they hope some better order of government will be set up in their martial affairs, which is their only want.
The King of Spain has made M. la Motte one of the Order of the Red Cross, and has given him 500 ducats a year as long as he lives, which he will receive from Spain.
M. de Rochefoucault is come in company with this army. But he is come to wait his ordinary 3 months on Monsieur, to whom he goes.—Bruges, 2 December 1582.
P.S.—Monsieur has given Col. Preston the 6 companies of Scots that were under Col. Traill, and besides has made him governor of Meenen, so that he is now colonel of 12 companies of Scots, and every company 150 men.
Dec. 3 Kept until 3 December.—Yesterday at 4 o'clock in the afternoon, the 'Prince Dolfin,' with all the rest of the aforesaid nobles of France, came to this town. They have left their army within half-a-mile of this place, where they rest themselves till tomorrow, and then will march towards Ghent. There they will pass muster, and receive their pay, which they have brought with them from France. Good speeches go here of the good order and sharp justice in this army by Marshal Biron, who rules all.
News is also come this evening that the castle of Likerke is delivered up to the Prince of Parma, by 'order of agreement.' It will be an evil neighbour to Alost.
Add. Endd.pp. [Ibid. XVII. 70.]
Dec. 4 494. Cobham to Walsingham
The Swiss were received into Paris on the 28th ult. accompanied by Marshal d'Aumont, the Provost of the merchants, M. de la Guiche, Mandelot, governor of Lyons, and M. de Hautefort, with Tanchon and divers other French gentlemen, riding two French gentlemen with a Swiss between them.
On the 29th they were admitted to the king's presence and feasted the same day by Bellievre. On the 2nd inst., being Sunday, they went to Notre Dame's church, where after the mass an oath was administered to them for the confirmation of the new-made league. At the same time the king took an oath for the performance of so much as he has capitulated with them. From the church of Ste Genevieve were brought the bones of that saint in solemn procession, a matter which is used upon the making of any such accord or league. This being done, the king departed, followed by the Swiss, to the bishop's house, where they were 'cheered' at dinner by the king. With them there sat at table the Prince of Condé's brothers with eight or nine of the House of Guise only. The king with his minious dined in a place apart; from whence towards the end of his dinner he came forth and welcomed the Swiss with a carouse. There was 'fire of joy' made and artillery shot off in the 'Greave' the same day. They were yesterday banqueted by those of Paris in the Town House, where the Cantons' arms were fixed on the gates. They are 'from place to place served with coaches' by the king's order, and all their charges defrayed. The Duke of Guise has already feasted them, after which manner some of the nobility mean to do the like.
The king intends to present to 'sixteen or fifteen' of the principal Swiss, who are in Commission, a chain of gold to the value of about 4,000 francs.
The king intends this week to begin the pilgrimage to Notre Dame de l'Espine.
The king seeks that the Court of Parlement should accord him certain edicts, among which one imports that every person who shall commence any action in law must first pay to the king's use 5 francs. But the Presidents are very unwilling to frame that edict.
The king has caused Gondi to ask Giraldi under what form or condition he demands his audience, considering the King Catholic has an agent here, in lieu of an ambassador. Whereon Gondi went to Taxis the Spanish agent, wishing him to persuade Giraldi to cease demanding an audience, since he perceived it was a matter not very agreeable to their Majesties; whereon Taxis demanded time to give answer.
The Queen Mother has been at sundry rich men's houses in this town, to 'make means' to 'recover' money, dealing with Sardini and others. Wherein she prevailed with some, so that good sums have been received by her.
They have 'shown' in Court to have received great content at the safe passage of Marshal Biron, as they say with 8,000 foot and 500 horse, without impeachment from the enemy. Sundry particulars are written from Flanders in divers sorts of some words 'passed' by Saint-Luc towards the Prince of Orange.
I hear that the Queen Mother has surrendered divers towns and livings which the king had heretofore given her, in consideration of which he is causing great sums of money to be delivered 'presently' to her use.
The king has sent to Malta to have 15 or 16 of his French knights to serve him by sea. They are looked for here before next spring.
It is given me to understand there is come to this Court one Grey, son to Lord Grey in Scotland, who was brought by the Duke of Guise to the king's presence, when he declared to his Majesty at large the proceedings in Scotland to the prejudice of the lords who are now about the young king. Next day the Duke brought Grey to the Cardinal of Bourbon in the Louvre, where the Pope's nuncio was present; when Grey discoursed as much as he had before said to the king. I hear they daily expect another messenger from Scotland, to bring some other news.
They tell me that Mr 'Frogmorton,' who is here, delivered the other day to the nuncio a packet of letters from England, in which were three directed to the Cardinal of Como; but I cannot learn who was the writer of them. The nuncio spoke at large with Throgmorton, with very good countenance. Since that time Throgmorton has been with him by night. I have learned nothing further concerning the matter.
The Spanish king's ambassador resident in Genoa has presented his king's letters to the Signiors, with request he may levy 500 mariners in their state, to be sent to Lisbon, which they of Genoa have granted.
The Duke of Savoy and divers other principal personages are gone towards the sea coast, to see and speak with the Comendador Mayor, late Viceroy of Naples. In like manner the Duke of Florence, with the Cardinal of Medici, has repaired to Leghorn to visit and speak with the Comendador there. The Duke has published an order in that port forbidding all merchants from bringing any merchandise from London during this time of infection. These princes and principal personages have resorted to take their leaves of the Comendador, because it is understood he is a person held in very good opinion by King Philip; so much that it is thought Cardinal Granville will be sent into Italy and the Comendador is to succeed in Castile in the Cardinal's room, with like authority.
Ambassadors are gone from the town of Milan, sent to the seaside to await the coming of the Duke of Terranova, now appointed to be their governor.
The Prince of Parma has dispatched to the Court of Rome and the other princes' Courts in Italy, a gentleman in express message to clear him of the imputation that was delivered against him by Salcedo.
The Pope has of late framed a new Council, having appointed Cardinal Borromeo to be the chief. There are named of it in all six cardinals, four bishops, two Jesuits, two friars, canonists, a Dominican and a Franciscan, who are to meet once a week. Like Councils are said to be framed in Spain and throughout Italy.
The king here has likewise resolved to have the like for the introduction of the authority of the Council of Trent, and has named to be of it the Cardinals of Bourbon, Birague, and Guise, the Duke of Guise, Chiveruy, the Presidents Pibrae and Brisson, the king's 'Procuror,' and M. du Ferrier, lately ambassador in Venice, and not yet returned hither. Bellievre has likewise been nominated; but I hear the Pope's nuncio mislikes that either he or M. du Ferrier should be admitted to that Council. The framing of this Council has been once deliberated on, in St. Germain's Abbey, on the 1st of this month.
I have been advertised that M. de Foix, conversing with Cardinal Farnese, who is appointed by the Catholic King to be protector of the kingdom of Portugal, lamented very much the cruelty used by Santa Cruz towards the French, 'uttering' how King Francis I of France 'broke wars' upon the occasion of Cesare Fregoso, a private gentleman of Genoa. And though this king was not inclined to 'the wars,' yet this demonstration of Santa Cruz had misliked him, and provoked all the nobility of France to take occasion to do something for the revenge of it. He concluded, that the Spaniards were deceived in the hope they had of the division that was in France, for when it was understood the king would make war with Spain, they would all unite.
The Pope's intention to send legates into Spain and France, before written of, is now 'quailed.'
They write from Constantinople that the treaty of peace is still continued between the Turk and the Persian.
There are no further preparations seen in Italy for the service of King Philip.
I enclose the little note sent me from Italy of advertisements written thither from London touching the affairs of Scotland and such like.—Paris, 4 December 1582.
Add. and endt. gone. 4 pp. [France VIII. 113.]
Dec. 5 495. Duke Casimir to Walsingham
I have deferred writing to her Majesty till now, not thinking it seemly that I should importune her with my letters if the matter were not suitable to her greatness, as the present business is; tending wholly to the entire establishment of the Religion in the Empire, the subversion of Popery and the confusion of the common enemy. A subject truly worthy of such a princess, who up to now has so happily given her advice and so liberally employed her resources to that effect.
You will see by the letter I am writing her how it stands, and what furtherance she can bring to this affair. The obligation I am under to her has urged me to write my opinion freely. We are aiming at two things, one, to establish the Religion, the other, to maintain this province in quietness. We fear the disturbance of it through the artifices of the enemy, to which the Queen's authority alone can serve as a counterpoise. I beg you to make her digest (gonster) the matter, and bear a hand that some person of understanding (entendu) may be sent hither with credentials to the Electors, ecclesiastical and secular separately, and to the Chapter and college of Canons at Cologne. The state of affairs at his arrival, and the advice of the princes taking part in his negotiation, will serve him for fuller instructions.
For more than thirty years that has in vain been sought after in all the Diets of the Empire, which God in His grace is now offering as proceeding directly from His hand; having given this archbishop the will, the courage, the resolution, to carry out what many, even of the well-affected, held as not feasible. This gives us almost certain hope of a happy result, especially if the Queen will employ some of her authority there; whereto I once again beg you to bear a hand.—Lautern, 5 December 1582.
Add. Endd. Fr.pp. [Germany II. 52.]
Dec. 5 496. Duke Casimir to the Queen
The greatest, nay, the only hindrance which has hitherto delayed the reformation of Papistical abuses, and the establishment of true Religion throughout the Holy Empire, has by God's grace received such a shock that it seems to the best affected and most intelligent that it only remains to follow up so good a beginning to beat down wholly the reign of Antichrist and his satellites, and consequently interrupt the course of their pernicious designs. This causes me to dispatch this to you, that by the interposition of your authority this affair being further advanced, you may also share in the honour which those will receive who take part in the furtherance of the fruit which all states may hope for from it. Whereto, besides the pressure put on me from other quarters, I am further urged by the remark you made to me at the moment of my taking leave: that I should advise you on all occasions of the means that offered for advancing the Religion, or impeaching the designs of its sworn foes. You further assured me that you would employ your reputation, your credit, your resources, to one or the other end. Since therefore the present affair tends as much to the advancement of the Religion as to the overthrow of the designs against it, I shall expect from you only a favourable reply.
The matter then is this: The Archbishop of Cologne, the second ecclesiastical Prince Elector, is on the point, is indeed resolved, to reform his diocese, introducing the public exercise of the Reformed Religion, without meanwhile abolishing the Roman, except in so far as the brightness of the Gospel may confound its abuses as the light of the sun chases away the darkness. This change has in the Low Countries acquired the name of Religions friede. The consequence is wonderful, not so much as regards the archbishop or his desire in itself, as for the example which will in the event of its good success doubtless be followed hereafter by others not less powerful than he. The damage (interest) which the Pope, and owing to his neighbourhood, the King of Spain, receive from it is such that it should give those of the Religion as much resolution to prosecute this affair as the enemy will have of evil will to overthrow it, or at least so to embroil everything by their secret schemes and practices, that from the entry into confusion we may arrive at a dangerous disturbance, hindering the execution of this great work and the fruit that we expect from it.
Your authority can remedy all these inconveniences, alike for the furtherance of the principal matter, and the maintenance of things here in peace and quietness, to which the neighbouring princes who have embarked therein, like myself, both for the public expediency and for the facility of reaching it, chiefly have regard. For this reason I am bold to importune you with my letters and beg, both in my own name, and in that of the best-affected princes and Churches of the Rhine-province, that you will send one of your people here as soon as possible, with credentials to the Archbishop and Chapter of Cologne, and to the Electors. The ambassador when here will be fully informed of the state of affairs either, if he has no orders to go further, by my ambassadors already with the archbishop, or by myself, if you honour me by directing him to come as far as this; in order that after having fully heard the position of affairs you may then so much the more to the purpose employ your authority and reputation on what may be judged to be for the advancement of true religion and the maintenance of the public quietness. Your singular prudence recognises sufficiently of itself the importance of this business, which makes me abstain from further discourse on it.—Lautern, 5 December 1582.
Add. Endd. Fr. 4 pp. [Germany II. 53.]
Dec. 5 497. Cobham to Walsingham
Letters are come from Spain, written Nov. 24 (after the account of their new-corrected Calendar), certifying that the Prince of Spain deceased out of this mortal life on Nov. 20, through the disease called there the 'Petechye,' of which few of quality are known to perish, being an 'infective' disease like the plague. And because the Catholic King has but one son left, who is 'on' the age of 5 years, and has not the perfect use of his senses nor of his wit, he seeks by all means to match again in marriage with his late wife's sister, La Reine Blanche, but hitherto she has been in no sort inclined thereto.
They advertise likewise that King Philip was looked for to keep his Christmas at Madrid, though M. Pinart informed me otherwise; which proves as true as what he declared to me of Don Antonio passing to Madeira, which has fallen out to be otherwise. It is here understood that he has landed at Belleisle, and is looked for daily to come privily to this Court to see their Majesties, and so to resort to Flanders, to the Duke of Brabant. Thus it seems the French disguise their small purposes.
They have informed that the Spanish king 'pretends' to send to their Majesties here a personage of great quality to treat on the affairs of Flanders and Portugal.
The nuncio has received a pardon from the Pope, which is to be sent into England for the use of the Papists. It is to be conveyed in Don Bernardino's packet.
They write from Flanders that the Prince of Parma wins towns and prospers, though he finds want of money and victuals.—Paris, 5 December 1582.
Endd.pp. [France VIII. 114.]
Dec. 7 498. Cobham to Walsingham
Since writing my last letter, in which I certified you of Don Antonio, I have been thus much more particularly informed, by letters from Nantes of the 29th of last month: They are advertised from the Terceras that Don Antonio departed on Oct. 11 from that isle towards Madeira with 26 ships, in which were 3,000 Portuguese and 2,000 French. And so sailing, after much travail, perceiving that they could not, through the contrary winds and rage of the sea, proceed on their enterprise, so, after they had lost 14 ships through foul weather, with greater discomfiture than they suffered on the day of Strozzi's defeat, they returned back to the Terceras; where Don Antonio arriving with his forces again and thinking to have rested himself, he espied a conspiracy which King Philip had wrought by the practice of Duarte de Castro. It was discovered through a Portuguese, who was found to have brought to de Castro 14,000 pistoletts from the Spanish king. Whereon de Castro was apprehended, executed and quartered, confessing first what had passed. Don Antonio was moved by that conspiracy to resolve to take all the gold and silver which was in the island, putting it into chests; and embarked it 'into' his ship, wherein he sailed hither-wards, and is arrived at Belleisle. I was further informed today that he took post at Ancenis, seven leagues from Nantes, on the Loire.
They give me to understand that there is arrived at 'D'Olono' [Olonne] a nephew of Diego de 'Botiglia,' come from Lisbon, bringing with him to Don Antonio 60,000 crowns.
Captain Perdini the Lucchese was here the other day, from the Terceras, a 'confident' follower of Don Antonio's, recommended to him by the Queen Mother. He returned in post yesterday, together with Custodie, Leitam, who has remained agent in this Court for the affairs of Don Antonio. Through their departure it is considered that their journey is made on purpose to bring Don Antonio secretly to some place hereabouts, where he may confer with their Majesties.
The Duke of Bouillon is repaired to this Court. I have visited him, and find him to have good remembrance of the favour he received from her Majesty, professing great good will.
M. du Ferrier, late ambassador for this king in Venice, is returned to this Court, having made that journey in 22 days, being a man of fourscore years; such was his desire to resort into his country after many years' service abroad.
It is signified to me that within these two days letters have come to the Bishop of Glasgow from England, whereon he 'presently' demanded audience of their Majesties.
The Swiss have dealt with the king, demanding his favour in their behalf that they may obtain satisfaction for the injury done to their confederates of Geneva by the Duke of Savoy. In this the king is requested by that Duke, and the House of Guise, to use his authority towards the Swiss for the appeasing of this their 'indisposition'; which the king has attempted, persuading them to some accord. But they remain as yet unappeased. The Guises likewise by all their means deal with the Swiss for the Duke of Savoy: and today Mme de Nemours, their mother, bestows 1,000 crowns on a dinner to 'cheer' all the Swiss.
I hear that Balagny has caused M. de Montsoreau to be murdered, revenging thereby the death of M. de Bussy.
The treaty of marriage between the Duke of Savoy and the Princess of Navarre is broken off, and the King of Navarre's gentleman who has been at Turin to negotiate it is returned.
After I had dispatched my cousin Henry Barrington on the 5th, in the morning, Gransom returned here towards the evening of the same day; whereon I have already demanded access to their Majesties for the performance of the command I received by those letters.—Paris, 7 December 1582.
Add. Endd.pp. [France VIII. 115.]
Dec. 8 499. Fremyn to Walsingham
I received on the 4th inst. through Mr Gilpin, yours of the 18th ult. As for what is going on in these quarters, his Highness's army is at present at 'Vardembourg,' the other side of Bruges, on its way to Eccloo, for the new army to pass muster, and get money, likewise the troops who are in the suburbs of this town, and who have good need of it, for they lack everything. Never was seen such poverty among soldiers; God grant that better order may be established than has been in the past, that his Highness may have the honour of it, and the country the advantage. There is good hope that Marshal Biron will bear a good hand to the establishment of all order and discipline in the army, which has a great desire to come to blows with the enemy. It seems that preparations are being made to this effect, and that his Highness longs to give battle. It is thought that in the newly-arrived army there are 8,000 infantry, and some 600 to 700 good horse, and as much more which it is hoped will be found here to join with them, to give battle, provided that the enemy is willing to agree to it (y entendre). He is still in the neighbourhood of Brussels and Alost, attempting nothing since the capture of the castles of Gaesbeck, Likerke, and 'Ergimbergue,' wishing before any further enterprise, to see what our army will do or undertake.
His Highness is about making a reduction in the regiments, both foot and horse, with a view to retrenchment, inasmuch as there are companies of both containing not more than 15 men. It was a thing more than requisite to do, and it is said that the captain, lieutenants, and ensigns who will be broke will be received into service in his Highness's company of horse-guards with the same pay they had before in their companies. This guard is to be commanded by M. de Rinsart. The 1,500 reiters who are here, commanded by Count Mansfeld, are much weakened; so much so that his Highness told the Count if he could put 600 fighting men in the field, he would pay him for the 1,500 that he brought, and on this they agreed. Nevertheless these reiters longed to take service with the Bishop of Cologne who has married Count Mansfeld's sister. He would like to remain temporal and spiritual lord of Cologne, wife and all, and permit the establishment in that town of the Confession of Augsburg; in such wise that it looks as if the bishop and the town and canons would come to a war. It is said that the Bishop of Liege longs to be Bishop of Cologne. It looks very much as if there would be a good deal of movement in the coming year, and that every time the grand conjunctions occur, which is from 800 to 800 years, there have been great changes, and this conjunction will be next April.
The Duke of Montpensier and Marshal Biron are due to arrive in this town on Tuesday, after having mustered and paid the troops. The States have also promised his Highness to furnish him with a good sum of money at once for the maintenance of the army. (So may it actually be!) And Brabant for its quota has promised at once to furnish 55,000 florins, and those of Flanders 100,000, and so with the other provinces, and they will pay the soldiers resolutely every month.
There are some people who murmur, and dread the present government, and lest there be some great and secret enterprise among the Roman princes against the Religion, in order to drive it from the face of the earth. It is very difficult to 'dissuade' people to believe the contrary of this, when they see so little order established in matters of state here up to now; which makes them believe that the Spaniard has still many friends in these parts.
The Prince of Orange is still ill with a cold, and more than appeared, with coughing. The doctors say it is nothing. It is to be feared that the evils would increase if his presence failed (s'il advenoit faulte de sa personne). There would be a great change here; his Highness would lose a faithful servant and the country a faithful friend; for his malady is the other [sic] and full of melancholy. God of His grace preserve him, and bring him to a good and lasting recovery, and a good union and concord among all Christian princes of the Religion, to fortify themselves betimes against all the tricks and practices of the ecclesiastics, who are not at rest with their haderans [qy. adherents] till they have effected their designs, from which God keep them, and hinder them from doing anything against His Church. Things are not going here as would be desirable.—Antwerp, 8 December 1582.
P.S.—M. de Fervacques is at Court, and Saint-Luc has withdrawn to France.
Add. Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVII. 73.]
Dec. 9 500. John Norris to Walsingham
Since the receipt of your last letter of the [ ] Nov. there has fallen out no great matter worth advertising; only the French army since their arrival have passed muster, being lodged at present not far from Bruges, some at Eccloo, some at 'Maldegan' and the rest at 'Ardembourge,' where it is purposed they shall remain for a while, till the Duke of Montpensier and Marshal Biron come to this town to consult with the rest of the best means to bring the whole force on this side into the field. If the Prince of Parma, with his strength, comes into Flanders, our army will march straight into Brabant; but if he draws towards Diest, or, as it is thought, seeks to refresh his soldiers in the country of Liege, then will our forces be employed in taking 'Halowin,' Warneton, and Commines, small forts lying about Meenen, and so stop the daily incursions of the enemy into Flanders.
It is said here the Bishop of Liege labours by all means to have the Bishop of Cologne removed, and to invest himself in his place, being assisted therein by the other two bishops electors, and also by the King of Spain; who it is said will further him in that behalf by the best means he can. Whereof I doubt not but you are particularly advised from some other.—Antwerp, 9 December 1582.
Written by Danett. Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Holl. and Fl. XVII. 74.]
Dec. 9 501. Audley Danett to Walsingham
I received yours of Nov. 9 and 18 on Dec. 3, and delivered the enclosed according to their directions; only Ymans I cannot hear of in this town as yet. He is said to be at Bruges. As soon as I can conveniently, I will convey his letter to him. Last week I received letters from Mr Stokes, in whose business I will be ready to afford my travail, although I doubt my credit here will hardly procure the effect he expects.
For the French army, you may perceive by Mr Norris's letter that the great heat to encounter the enemy is suddenly cooled. I think it was rather a practice to win some present pay from the States, than a purpose to be put in execution; but here one cunning deceives another, for the States were ready enough to promise. But as yet not one penny is advanced, so loath are they to forge their money.
Likerke was taken by the enemy before the writing of my last letter of the 2nd inst. but the loss was dissembled here for a day or two with such cunning that when the matter was commonly bruited through the town, then seemed his Highness first to begin to stand in doubt the place would not hold out long. Every loss gives the commons matter to be discontented with the French, and therefore they may not be much talked of, though they be true; not often remembered when once past.
Since the execution of Alonso at Lierre, his head with one of his quarters being set up in an usual place without the town, were by some of his servants stolen from thence, and were yesterday buried with some solemnity, due to one of his place, in Our Lady Church in this town.—Antwerp, 9 December 1582.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XVII. 75.]
Dec. 9 502. Thomas Doyley to Walsingham
The French army has now 'entered far footing' into Flanders. They are most credibly esteemed to be but 7,000 foot and 800 horse; although the French reckon above 1,100. Fervacques has been long at the Court, and other gentlemen from Duke Montpensier. The enemy is afoot, retiring towards Oudenarde. Their camp is in great misery with famine and sickness. Alonzo was hanged by the feet and shot to death at Lierre; from thence his head and arms being stolen were very solemnly buried here at Antwerp.
Mr Knollys continues very sick, extremely molested with melancholy, sleeping or waking 'sighthinge' very deeply. I have by purging well abated the 'store' thereof; so that, as I suppose him to be void of danger to life, so can I not assure him speedy recovery.—Antwerp, 9 December 1582.
Add. 2/3 p. [Ibid. XVII. 76.]
Dec. 9 503. Stokes to Walsingham
This week I received yours of the 19th ult. wherein you write me what order you have willed my brother to take for the procuring of my license for a large quantity of grain; and true it is that he has written me of it, and that I should frame my suit for wheat and malt together, and also seek by some means to get the Duke of Brabant's letters to her Majesty for leave to bring it in to these Low Countries; and that you have written to Mr Audley Danett to procure the duke's letters in my behalf. Your letter to Mr Danett my brother sent me long since, and on the 26th ult. I sent it to Mr Danett, and wrote him most friendly to show me the favour to procure the Duke's letter to her Majesty in such order as you had written him. But as yet he has written me nothing what he has done therein, so that I 'attend' daily his good answer. When it comes I will give you knowledge of it.—Bruges, 9 December 1582.
Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. 1 p. [Ibid. XVII. 77.]
Dec. 9—10 504. Stokes to Walsingham
In my last of the 2nd inst. I wrote you of all things passed here at that time; since then there have been very little speeches here, only the following.
The great haste that was made by the French army to march to Ghent is suddenly stayed, upon the loss of Likerke; so that it is now lodged in sundry villages between Sluys and Eccloo, where it is said they will be till after Christmas.
The speech also goes here that all the French garrisons that lie in this town and elsewhere in Flanders of M. de Rochepot's regiment will depart after Christmas out of every place and join the French army; for it is said that Monsieur will employ them about that time against the enemy.
Four days ago the whole regiment of the Swiss passed through this town in good order, by seven in a rank. About half of these were well armed with corselets and pikes, and all the rest 'unarmed,' with pikes and swords, so that they are not so well appointed as at first was reported.
The 'Prince Dolfin' and Marshal de Biron, with the rest of the principal captains, lay in this town four days, and were highly feasted by the magistrates. At their being here Marshal de Biron said to some of the magistrates that he could not tarry long in this country, but must return to France; for he said his coming was at the request of the Queen Mother, and now that he is here he desires that he may be set 'a-work.'
It seems by some speeches that go abroad here that some French gentlemen who are come with this army have little good opinion of any good service that they will do here. What their meaning is by it I cannot learn; but such speeches they have used here to divers.
Since the enemy took the castle of Likerke they have lodged themselves in sundry villages about Brussels in such sort that they have stopped all the passages so that those of Brussels can hardly pass in or out; and the speech is the enemy will remain there, and by good advice from their camp they are nothing afraid of the coming of the French army.—Bruges, 9 December 1582.
P.S.—Kept till this morning, the 10th.—Yesterday morning, M. de Pie, colonel of the 5 ensigns of French that lie in this town, went out with 120 of the best soldiers in his regiment with three French captains, and Captain Bruce, captain of a cornet of Scotch horsemen that lie in garrison in this town, went with them with 25 horsemen, to surprise the castle of 'Englemynster,' half way between Cortrick and this town. This enterprise being known to the enemy, those of Cortrick sent out one cornet of horse, of 80 lances, and an ensign of foot, and met them this morning and have overthrown them all; which was easily done, for when the Frenchmen saw them come, they all ran away, and many of them slain and taken, but the colonel and the captains are all escaped. The Frenchmen would have no other soldiers to go with them, because they would have all the honour of this enterprise to themselves; so this matter is greatly to their discredit. God send them to do better service.
Add. Endd. by L. Cave. 2 pp. [Ibid. XVII. 78.]
Dec. 10 505. The Prince Of Chimay to Walsingham
Having heard, by the letter which you wrote me on Aug. 24 in reply to my previous one, the good offices which you did on my behalf with her Majesty, and that all had been agreeable to her, I was very glad of it, and would not fail to thank you, as I do very affectionately. I pray you always to continue therein, assuring you that you will not find me an ungrateful lord as regards recognition of it on all occasions when you may reciprocally wish to employ me.—Antwerp, 10 December 1582. (Signed) Charles de Croy.
Add. Endd.: 'The Spa. Ambr.' Fr. ½ p. [Ibid. XVII. 79.]