Elizabeth: June 1582, 6-10

Pages 67-76

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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June 1582, 6–10

June 6. 74. Cobham to Walsingham.
Since I last wrote, the king has ended his diet. He left Fon-tainebleau on the 1st inst., dining at Villeroy, and repaired that night to Dollenville; whence he goes to St. Germans. He has left the young queen still in her diet at Fontainebleau, and licensed his Privy Council to depart to their houses for eights, or a longer time.
The Queen Mother and the Queen of Navarre remain still in this town for three or four days.
Count Brissac came hither in post on the last day of last month, and after conference with the Queen Mother departed the same day for Fontainebleau, to the king, who dispatched him the same evening, being nothing pleased with the count's repair thither.
Mr Strozzi arrived about the latter end of last month with his ships at Belle Isle; and there is a gentleman [in margin: M. Vyraque] dispatched from this Court with secret instruction and commission for the direction of this 'army' by sea. He was addressed to Don Antonio, to tell him what was appointed.
Don Antonio intends to go to see the departure of this 'army.' Some suppose he will go with them in person. A galley of the Duke of Betz is prepared and waits to transport him to Belle Isle. A gentleman of his is come to this town to buy chains to be given to the captains who command in the 'army.'
Young Lansac is not permitted in any way to go in this 'army' by sea.
Duarte de Castro, of whom I wrote in my last letter, is not imprisoned, because he excused him 'how' he intended only to go to this 'army' for Don Antonio's service.
Don Antonio has sent to me again by Antonio d'Escovedo that I might write and find out what it is her Majesty's pleasure to have done with Captains 'Vaine' and 'Hilon,' who are detained by Don Antonio for taking a flyboat and a French ship. I write the captains' names as they send me them, because otherwise I know them not.
The king has granted Don Antonio commission under his letters patent to have all strangers or others attempting anything against his person apprehended, imprisoned, examined, and convicted according to the laws of the realm.
I am informed that a good portion, to the value of above 100,000 crowns, of the money which the king last received from the increase of the imposition on salt, will be sent to Flanders for the use of the Duke of Brabant.
I am given to understand that the Marquis of Havrech was last week secretly in this town. Howbeit I cannot perceive that he had access to their Majesties.
The young Earl 'Bodwell' is in this town, professing to be an earnest Protestant and a great friend to Lord Hamilton. I would know, if you please, whether I shall make show of goodwill to him.
I received today a note from M. Combelles, which I enclose herewith.
I am waiting to hear from you some news of her Majesty's benevolence towards me.—Paris, 5 June 1582.
P.S.—They inform me that one Sandy Bogge, who is brother to the Scottish king's chief porter, is at present departing towards Scotland, by way of 'Newhaven,' desiring to land at Newcastle, together with his wife; taking with him divers dispatches from the Duke of Guise, the Bishop of Glasgow, and d'Entragues.
Divers bruits are given out of some heartburning between the Duke of Maine and d'Epernon; but there is as yet no appearance of it.
Count Vimioso at his last conference with the Queen Mother informed her that the isles of Madeira had revolted to Don Antonio.
It is written from Italy that Alfonso Piccolomini had 'entered into the fields' with 200 horsemen, and had slain Signor Jacomo Vitelli, sent against him by the Pope.
I hear that in this Court letters have come with advertisement of some chance happened in Lisbon, but I have not heard the particulars.
The ambassador of Spain has not obtained audience, having demanded it this fortnight.
The king has licensed M. Laval, Count la Rochefoucauld, and Bellegarde to levy companies for the service of the Duke of Brabant.
Add. Endd. 3 pp. [France VII. 94.]
June 6. 75. John Dowes to Walsingham.
Having received your letter for my direction into parts of Normandy, I took present occasion, as wind favoured. Being arrived at Dieppe, I went presently to M. de 'Lykes,' being then at Pallshell [qy. Paluel] with M. de 'Curttontte,' his fellow minister, together with the elders of the Church at Dieppe, in counsel about affairs of the Church. I had conference with them of my journey, and they certified me of a truth that they understood order was given to certain captains by M. de Guise to levy companies of soldiers to lie in readiness in divers parts of Normandy, and ships appointed in divers ports there to attend on them; but as yet there is no mention thereof.
It is held for truth among the chief of the Religion that the 'army' is not yet gone from the coast of Britanny, and they hold for truth that some part of the ships are appointed for Scotland. News came to Dieppe on June 1 that a great quarrel had arisen among the chief captains of the army, that some of them are slain out of hand, and many hurt; and that many of the soldiers and mariners fall away daily. About a month ago a fly boat went from Dieppe which was laden with powder and six great pieces of brass, and at the same time a bark was laden at Treport with the like munition, which went directly to Scotland. M. de Guise was himself at the lading of both these, which was done in the night at both places.
From every province of France one of the chief ministers has been sent to the King of Navarre to confer upon matters for the state of the Churches of France. It is said here that the city of Geneva was like to have been betrayed by means of intelligence had with some of the citizens, who are executed. Some say that the Duke of 'Dumayne' was the enemy without. There is the like report of the town of Rochelle.
On June 4 three notable papists went from Dieppe in a little boat of Seaford in Sussex. The master's name is Joshua Bowsse. They were to be landed at Shoreham and thence to go to Mr Shelley's at Mychellgrove. They had much massing-'guyre' [qy. gear] with them. I could not learn their names, for they did not go aboard after they came to the town till they took ship.— Dieppe, 6 June 1532.
P.S.—Today I take my journey to 'Newhaven' and so to Rouen, where M. de 'Lykes' wished me to meet him, for he is gone thither to preach instead of M. de la Tour, who is gone to the King of Navarre.
Since my letter was written I heard from a friend that one came from the country who had met certain soldiers within three leagues of Dieppe, at a village called Torsy, waiting for the rest of their company, but they are bound into Picardy, to meet some more going to the Low Countries.
On June 2 a boat went from Dieppe to Rye, with certain passengers, both merchants and gentlemen, who the next day at 4 o'clock were robbed by an English pirate within gunshot of the town of Rye, and their boat taken by the pirates, who gave them their little boat to set them ashore at Rye. The master and company came to Dieppe again on the 5th, and made their report to the governor; and great exclamation was made in the common assembly against our state, with promise of recompense if they have not justice in England.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [France VII. 95.]
June 7. 76. Duke Casimir to Walsingham.
Yours of April 2, in which you sent me some of your news, was very acceptable to me. Pray continue to keep up a correspondence, in which I shall not fail.
We are in confusion in many ways, those who have abandoned Popery being disunited in the matter of the Religion by reason of a book which they have called Concord; which has cast such a barrier between us that our religion is more hated and persecuted by those people than by the papists themselves. Indeed the sparks of a greater fire are beginning to appear in the Imperial town of Aix, blockaded as it is by the Spanish faction, abandoned by our people, and persecuted by the papists. I have done what I could for their preservation. The division and disunion of humours has overthrown all good counsels, so that I have not been able to do for my good what I wished to do and could have done.
People's eyes are now fixed on the outcome of the Diet, at which it is feared that the authors of the Book of Concord will make every effort to suppress us altogether or at least to exclude us from the Religions-fried, the peace whereby we have rest up till now. Please represent this to the Queen, who assured me on my leaving England that she would employ herself for the Religion on all occasions, as I am assured she will do. If she sent some one to this Diet, it will bring reputation and strength to our side, and may break many schemes, while it could do no harm. For my part, though his Imperial Majesty has summoned me, I am resolved not to go there, and shall be content to send ambassadors with full powers.
As to Scotland, I hear that all is going better there than was thought. I wish it so with all my heart. I have indeed been advertised of certain practices, wherein I am sure that the Queen will take good order, in view of her interests there.
The city of Geneva is likewise in danger. Three very dangerous conspiracies have been discovered there. God has preserved them from these enterprises, but they are not out of danger. I have nothing from the Low Countries which you do not know as soon as I, or sooner.—Slestadt, June 1582.
Add. Endd. with date. Fr. 2 pp. [Germany II. 31.]
June 7. 77. Walsingham to Cobham.
I meant to have dispatched this bearer to you twelve days ago, had not her Majesty upon knowledge received of it caused me to stay' him, since she would have none to go until she had, as she said, heard from Flanders. Yet I did not 'let' to signify to her that it was necessary from time to time to send you answer to the things in which you require it; but indeed I am now commanded not to dispatch anyone without her privity, which is done only to save thereby some extraordinary charges.
I have acquainted her Majesty with the contents of your last letter. She likes it very well, but she could have wished that upon the speech delivered by M. Pinart to your servant touching the marriage, in which he said Mauvissiere had written that her Majesty seemed to be very forward, you had taken occasion to let him understand that you had indeed received direction to make some answer therein to the king in case he sent to you or dealt with you himself about the matter, being neither honorable nor convenient for her Majesty, her sex considered, to become herself a 'motioner' in it.
The advertisements I have received from you, 'of some meaning' that the young King of Scots was to pass over into that realm, have been in many way confirmed to her as being true; therefore it would behove her to use some good mean for the well settling of her affairs. But all remedies are rejected and found unpleasant that bring any charge with them. Providence is esteemed but prodigality, and necessity is here president of the Council.
I have been commanded by her Majesty to write to you to let the king understand how she has been advertised that a certain quantity of powder has been carried secretly into Scotland, even out of the king's own store at Dieppe. She can hardly be persuaded to give credit to this, and yet it has been so many ways and so often 'informed' to her that it makes her remain somewhat doubtful in the matter. She would find it very strange, considering the earnest protestations the king has of late made of his good will and affection towards her, that he should suffer any munition to be carried in secret out of his realm into Scotland, where it is not unknown to all the world that she has some cause to be 'jealous' of the king's sound meaning towards her, having of late estranged himself from her as he has done, and requited with ingratitude many great benefits that he has received at her hands. She desires therefore to be 'resolved' from the king of the truth of these advertisements. Thus much I have already 'meself' by her Majesty's command delivered to the French ambassador here, and therefore you will do well at your next audience to concur with him in the like speeches to the king.
I have not been unmindful to deal with her Majesty for Lord Hamilton's pension, and Lord Claude his brother, who is come here to sue for his own, has been earnest with her for that also, but this matter of pensions is very unwillingly hearkened to; and yet as things now take their course, we had more need to offer pensions to others than to reject those that offer themselves to be entertained.
Monsieur has lately written to the Queen that he understands by letters from his sister the Queen of Navarre that at her earnest entreaty the king has yielded to bear the whole cost of the war, the marriage taking place. But as her Majesty hears nothing about it from either of the king's ambassador or yourself, she gives little credit to it.
It is advertised that Bellievre is sent into the Low Countries, and that they prepare to receive him very honourably. It is said he is sent to thank the States for the choice they have made of Monsieur to be their prince, and offer any assistance the king can give them; but you will do well to learn if you can with what charge he goes thither.
For the diamond, I have acquainted her Majesty, and the lords that are interested in it, with the offer that has been made of 36,000 crowns. They do not mislike that, but they could not agree upon the point who should bear the adventure of sending the piece over. They have spent so much time in debating this that they think it will now be too late to send it, unless you there see that it may yet come time enough; in which case it is desired to be known whether present payment will be made or no. If not, then what days will be required, what assurances given, and who the parties are that will be found for the payments.
I have acquainted her Majesty with the stay that Don Antonio has made of the two pirates. Her pleasure is you should in her name thank him for the regard he has had not to proceed by way of justice against her subjects without her knowledge, and let him understand withal that she is very sorry, both in respect of the hindrance of his service and also for the offence ministered to her neighbours that her subjects have so misbehaved themselves as to commit the spoils they are charged with. She refers the punishment to him, to be laid upon them in such sort as he shall find them to deserve and think fit in his own discretion to use.
I have dealt with the merchants of Chester and told them what you had done in their cause; advising them to send some direction to Mr Marbury for following it up and to procure the gentleman some reasonable allowance for his 'travell' therein. But they have found it so little profit to follow up the charges they have heretofore been at about the soliciting of the cause that it discourages them from being at any more. But I will deal with them again and try what I can bring them to.
For the Almayn gentleman who has made the new devices for the casting of ordnance and boiling of salt, you will do well to answer both him and all others who shall make the like offers, that they will but lose their labour to come hither unless you see for yourself some such probability in the things as may deserve to be hearkened to; for we have found by experience so little effect to follow of their new devices that we are now brought to give little credit to them. We hold it for a general rule that if the devices were good and profitable, the inventors would rather offer them to their own country than to strangers.
For the Cypriot gentleman, there are at present three or four of his countrymen come over for the like purpose that he would do, so that he would but lose his labour to come and increase the number of beggars. You will therefore do well to persuade the ambassador to stay him there, alleging, as is most true, that there are divers captives of her Majesty's own subjects remaining both in Barbary and in Turkey, for whose redemption daily collections are made.
Draft, last few lines in Walsingham's hand. Endd. by L. Tomson, with date. 5 pp. [France VII. 96.]
June 9. 78. Mauvissière to Walsingham.
I must write again to thank you in the name of the king my master for the trouble you have taken with the Council touching the case of the Frenchmen and merchants of Toulouse which they referred to the Judge of the Admiralty, who considered it prudently and made his report; upon which I doubt not that you have recognised the fraud concealed by him who acted as solicitor for the English insurers, as well to their great injury and detriment as to that of the French merchants, in order to entangle and confuse the wits of the arbitrators that they might not recognise the substance of the case. This was amply verified, inasmuch as those who acted for the Englishman without any credentials would not wait to hear the judge's report, fearing that their fraud would be discovered, which is why they set on foot the process, and caused the sureties of Frenchmen of good credit, and Englishmen, to be detained, in order to injure their reputation. This makes me write to you again to comply with further commands received from the king, begging you to point out to the Council that after awaiting the tenor of the judge's report, those sureties may be released, and the case so decided that those Frenchmen may not be illtreated and entirely ruined contrary to the order of justice, but may know that their case having been fully heard they may hope for a good issue.—London, 9 June 1582.
P.S. (autograph).—I should not have importuned you so much over this case of the Frenchman if I had not had several letters of command from the king, who has been importuned by several friends of the merchants, who have followed the matter urgently there. For my own part, I am very sorry to give you so much trouble.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [France VII. 97.]
June 8. 79. Fremyn to Walsingham.
On Monday last, the 4th inst. the enemy began to batter Oudenarde with 23 pieces, both the outworks and one ravelin, continuing from 5 A.M. till evening. He had made bridges to cross the ditch to the ravelin. A stout resistance was offered by the inhabitants, who gave him a good dressing, and got the bridges into the town. The enemy however continues his battery steadily at three points, a tower, the ravelin, and a curtain. The besieged show great courage in their defence. They have been twice summoned to surrender to the Prince of Parma, lieutenant-general to his Majesty, who would treat them well in all ways, and grant them all that they would ask in reason. They answered that they would die sooner. On Wednesday evening some one got out, who brought a letter to the Lords of Ghent about the state of the town. It is in good case, and they are fortifying themselves strongly, having no fear of the enemy. M. de Mansfelt, the Marquis of Risbourg, and M. de Mauny brought the summons. They are making a great provision of fascines, pontoons, and ladders, which they have had made at Tournay, determined to make every effort to take the place before the arrival of his Highness's army; which it is said is in active preparation, and that the reiters are ready in the Cambrésis, where a lot of French nobility will join them. It is said that the king is sending Marshal Biron to these parts with 25 companies of his ordonnances, and that all the commissions which his Highness had given here, 200 in number, the king has quashed them all but 30, which he has left to persons of quality, and that every company of infantry will be 300 men. There are a lot of promises on the king's part, as the report goes, which are to be executed through the return of M. de Bellievre.
As for the state of our camp, to say the truth, it is in a rotten state (morfondu). There may be 2,500 foot, and some 1,000 or 1,200 horse, such as they are. Nevertheless it seems that when Mr Norris's troops have arrived, which it is hoped will be shortly, these forces will be employed to succour Oudenarde, inasmuch as if that place were lost, it might bring about disturbances in Flanders; for which reason perhaps they will hazard what there is. However, it must be well managed, for if there be a failure, they will know all about it (on lecoitnoistra ù ban escient). M. de Rochepot commands this camp, assisted by M. de Villiers as maréchal de camp, who will quit that post when M. de Laval arrives with his troops, to be his lieutenant of light cavalry. Our soldiers are badly paid and in want in this camp, small though it is, which is not the chance for establishing good discipline. When God pleases, He will amend the faults and disorders which still are in these parts.
The enemy keeps close shut up in his camp, without attempting anything against ours. We have been within a league of his, with good troops of infantry, since the country is good for footmen, where we have prepared ambuscades, and sent cavalry right up to their trenches to draw them out; but they never would come, which was wisely done of them. Our soldiers going to the front in small bands often kill or capture a good number of theirs. There are more than 300 prisoners of theirs in our camp. They do not take any trouble to get them out. It is said that more of the enemy have died before Oudenarde than before Tournay, in the approaches they have made on two sides, where it is said the Governor of Tournay has been killed. That is all for today (hui). —The Camp at Ghent, 8 June 1582.
P.S.—The enemy continues his battery steadily with the 23 pieces, and 5 others which have remained on the other side where they set up their first battery, to batter in flank where the breach will be.
Add. Endd. Fr.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVI. 31.]
June 9. 80. T. Longston to L. Tomson.
The post for this week is not yet come, so I have nothing to advertise worth your reading. Mr Gilpin went on his journey on Monday last. The Emperor will be at Augsburg about the 16th inst. so I trust Mr Gilpin will be there in good time. He left with me certain copies touching the money demanded of this town for Pallavicino and Spinola, but till I have further order therein from Sir Francis, I stay from proceeding therein; the rather that since the town's last answer sent to him, I know not what may be otherwise resolved.—Antwerp, 9 June 1582.
Add. Endd.p. [Ibid. XVI. 32.]
June 10. 81. Stokes to Walsingham.
My last was the 3rd inst. since when etc.
This week letters came out of Oudenarde to the lords of Ghent, dated the 5th, wherein it seems they have written they are yet in good estate of all things, and fear not the enemy, do what they dare, for this month or six weeks, in which time they desire they may be aided.
Also this week the enemy made with his battery a small breach over a water against Oudenarde, and incontinently after the breach was made they came with their boats and bridges and gave an assault at the breach; which was done for a 'proof,' to see how they were minded within the town, for it was given the Prince of Parma to understand, if any such attempt were given, it would put such a fear amongst them in the town that it would make them fall to a parley. Which speeches they found contrary; for when they came, they found them so well minded, and so full of courage, and their great and small artillery which played so fiercely upon them in such sort that they were glad to retire, and few of their boats and bridges returned again, so that many of their good captains and best soldiers are slain and drowned, so it is thought they will make no more such proofs.
Incontinently after this assault the Prince of Parma sent M. de Montigny and M. de la Motte to offer parley, and offered them all that they would desire, to yield to him. But in no wise would they hearken to any such matter, so that they made them that answer, willing them to depart, for they would not yield so long as they were able to withstand them. And as soon as they were departed they issued out of the town, and made a stout skirmish against the enemy's camp, and brought half-a-dozen of them prisoners into the town.
Also at the discharging of their battery four of their great cannons broke, and slew their gunners, with many others that were about them; and the breaking of these pieces have by good repute greatly hindered their enterprise and made some trouble in their camp. The enemy has intrenched the camp before Oudenarde very strongly, so that the speech goes it is not possible to do them any harm, but only to keep their victuals from them, which are very scant and dear in their camp.
The soldiers of the Duke of Brabant's camp go daily to the enemy's camp and offer them skirmish; but none of them will come out.
There is still great desire here for the coming of the English soldiers out of Friesland, who are not yet come, for it seems some piece of service stays till their coming.
This week those of Dixmude, who are five ensigns of French, whereof two of them [sic] went out to seek adventures, and by chance within half-a-mile of 'Rousbrughe' they met two ensigns of la Motte's foot who serve there going abroad in like sort; and there they fell into skirmish together, which continued so long that the captain of Ronsbrughe had advice of it, who came out himself with one ensign more to their aid. But the Frenchmen did so well behave themselves that they overthrew them all, and took the captain prisoner and brought him to Dixmude.
Speeches have gone here these ten days and more that Count Lalaing was dead from a blow that a horse gave him on the breast with one of his hind feet; but few gave credit to it. But now letters are come from Lille that he is dead at Valenciennes of the blow, from a Spanish jennet that the Prince of Parma gave him.—Bruges, 10 June 1582.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVI. 33.]