Elizabeth: February 1583, 11-15

Pages 120-125

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 17, January-June 1583 and Addenda. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1913.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.

Please subscribe to access the page scans

This volume has gold page scans.
Access these scans with a gold subscription.Key icon

February 1583, 11–15

Feb. 11. 105. Cobham to Walsingham.
They inform me that M. de Bellièvre, before departing hence, on the 7th inst. had commission from his Majesty to declare to the Prince of Orange and the States of the Low Countries, that the disorder which happened in Antwerp 'has not been' with his knowledge, and that he was very sorry for what then passed; and further to lay before them the regard they ought to have in respect they voluntarily chose Monsieur to be their duke, as likewise to induce the States to respect the French gentlemen, his subjects, now prisoners in Antwerp. He wished them to call to mind how his Highness and the French had received some evil satisfaction, which had occasioned the late alterations at Antwerp and in other places. Then, after M. Bellièvre had performed these offices towards the Prince of Orange and the States, and finds no ready means to 'return' Monsieur to the state he was in, he has further order to advise his Highness to pass towards the frontier for his better safety. And, as I am informed, Bellièvre carries with him letters of assurance and credence from the Prince of Parma, that he will not impeach his Highness retiring.
Meantime, as I have certified before, the companies of Champagne and Picardy are assigned, with some of the king's guards, to go towards the frontiers. And now, two days past, the bruit in Court has run that the Duke of Nevers will retire discontented, because upon the report of the Duke of Mercœur's death, he demanded of the king the government of Britanny, which was refused, and given to the Duke of Épernon. This grieved the Duke of Nevers so much the more by reason he has had no government in France since he left his charge in Piedmont; notwithstanding that the king then promised him the next government that should fall. It has been further said that the Duke of Nevers will betake himself to the service of Monsieur.
The king has caused M. d'O to be earnestly dealt with, to part from his portion of the government, in Normandy, which he, unwillingly as it seems, must leave to be wholly and entirely bestowed on M. de Joyeuse.
It has been understood in Court these three or four days that the Duke of Mercœur was dead of the plague in Britanny. Howbeit, the king will not, as they suppose, have it thought to be true until Ash Wednesday, for the impeaching of the 'cheiring' and masking which 'is now to pass' for the honouring of the marriage of Duke Joyeuse's fourth brother with 'la' Mouy's daughter, and of the Duke of Épernon's sister with the young Count of Brienne.
Don Antonio departed hence on the 7th inst. to repair to Dieppe, where he intends to give order for his little fleet which is to depart for the Terceras. There are who have opinion that he will pass the seas for some respect of his affairs; of which I suppose the certainty will be better known in England, considering he will be so near the coast.
Alvaro Mendez, having heard of the petition Don Antonio presented to the king for the having of certain jewels from him, alleging that they appertained to himself as King of Portugal, has now answered Don Antonio's request in this sort, that he acknowledges none to have just claim to the Crown of Portugal but the Queen Mother, and therefore, except he might have his bills and money, which he delivered on receiving those jewels, he was not bound by law or reason to restore them to anyone.
The Duke of Savoy's marriage with the Duke of Florence's daughter is much 'handled' in Rome, and it is thought at last will be brought to pass.
When it was lately propounded in the Consistory of the Cardinals at Rome to have the Cardinal Albertus, brother to the Emperor, constituted 'Legate of Latare' to reside in Portugal, the cardinals at Rome who are of the French faction, opposed that election. Howbeit, the Pope's will took place in such sort that the Archduke is appointed legate in Portugal to give satisfaction to King Philip.
It is written from Spain, that the Reine Blanche, Dowager of France, has declared resolutely that she intends not to marry; whereon they certify King Philip intends to match with the Duke of Braganza's daughter, disposing himself to repair to 'Madril in Castillia.'
D'Aubigny continues sick in bed. His wife has repaired to him in an ordinary coach, attended only by two on horseback, without any further show of state.
Whereas I wrote in my last letters to you concerning the coming hither of John Nicols, who showed me a letter from Duke Casimir directed to the Earl of Leicester, thereon I appointed him, he not being otherwise known to me or any of mine, to go in the company of John de Vigues, one of the ordinary posts. John Nicols, arriving at Rouen, was there apprehended and imprisoned, as by these two enclosed letters I am informed. On the notice of this I sent, on the 8th inst. to have access to his Majesty, and was promised it on the day following, but am now put off till the 13th. I intended to move him for the delivery of Nicols, after I had spoken for the causes of the English merchants at Rouen concerning the staying of their cloths on shipboard, as I signified in my last. Seeing I was deferred of my audience, and Nicol's cause required expedition, I wrote M. Pinart a letter, with a request enclosed to the king for his release; but hitherto I can receive no satisfaction from M. Pinart.
I sent likewise to Thomas Covert, the apprehender of Nicols, returned to Paris, to come to me: who has excused himself that he was sick, using other speeches, the note of which I send, herewith enclosed.
I have been informed that the Pope has resolved, and offers to the Bishop of Glasgow to make him Cardinal; which the bishop defers to receive, because he would be more marked in the affairs he deals in for the Pope in England and Scotland. Moreover, there is [no] nuncio that come to this Court of France, but brings a portion, of money for him from the Pope.
It is given me to understand that the Pope's nuncio's secretary said of late that d'Aubigny would ere long return to Scotland.
D'Aubigny's servants promise themselves and their friends that within a year there will be other Earls of Angus and Mar, other Lords Lindsay and Boyd, Lairds of Lochleven and 'Twillybearne,' and Master of 'Glancoe'; and that others of their station are to forfeit their lands, so that there will be more lands and goods to be distributed in Scotland than ever at one time heretofore. They have caused their English servants and boys to be put away, not suffering any to be about d'Aubigny's lodgings.—Paris, 11 February, 1582.
Add. Endd. 3 pp. [France. IX. 31.]
Feb. 11. 106. The Merchants at Rouen to Walsingham.
It may please you to weigh with what continual rigour we the English merchants trafficking in this country are pursued by those who under pretence of the king's edicts, interpreted at their pleasure, to their particular lucre and benefit, exact and levy upon us and our commodities whatever to them seems best. For the redress hereof we were forced, not long since, to address our humble requests to you, that we who of ourselves were not able to resist the force and authority of our adversaries might by the support of your aid frustrate their subtle practices. Wherein understanding (though of our parts undeserved) with what affectionate zeal you have proceeded for the redress of our griefs, we have the rather been encouraged to present these letters to you, to discover to you how cruelly we have of late been treated both in this town and at Dieppe, where ordinarily we have our traffic.
Seven days past arrived at this town better than 20 English ships, of which half are laden with woollen 'commodity.' Upon their arrival, M. Igoe(?) who demands the payment of the new pretended custom, made 'present defence' to each master of the ships not to unlade till declarations were given to the custom-house by each merchant of his merchandise, and the rights by him demanded paid. So since this arrest, we are compelled to leave our goods in the ships undischarged; wherein his rigour towards us so far exceeds reason, that notwithstanding we have proffered sufficient pledge to answer all rights and duties, we cannot by any reasonable composition be permitted to discharge our goods which have already been five days at the quay, and so are like to continue, to the great hindrance of us merchants, and of the mariners, the fair being so near, unless you regard our miseries and procure some speedy remedy, either by 'arrest' of the Council or other ways as you find it most expedient. For this we, the whole company, make our suits to you, hoping that as you have been pleased to 'concente' so laudable and profitable a thing for the commonwealth of the English nation, you will continue your furtherance.—Rouen, 11 February, 1583 (? N.S.). (Signed by) Alexander Pettus(?), Robert Perse, Thomas Wilson, John Davison, L. Ottywell, younger, Robert Smyth, T. Francquelin, Robert Smallpeice, Humfrey Besse, Nicholas Peat(?), William
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. IX. 32.]
Feb. 11/21. 107. Villiers to Walsingham.
The present bearer will be able to tell you of the advice which I gave him in the matter of the prisoners whom you recommended to me and of what the Prince has granted upon the representation I made to him of the contents of your letter. You must understand, however, that his Excellency at first made great difficulty to me about it, by reason of the excesses committed by the prisoners and the bad example which would ensue if such actions remained unpunished. But having said to him that in your letter you told me it had been decided over there to inflict some punishment on them, he granted it more willingly. This is why I have charged the bearer of this, on his Excellency's behalf, to make Mr Randolph promise to present himself to you on his arrival in England.
As to public affairs: yesterday the Count of Laval with the deputies of the States, left the town to go to his Highness. I fancy they bear a consent to his going to reside at Brussels with three ensigns of Swiss, who will take the oath to the States, and 700 or 800 harquebusiers, natives of this country; that oaths will be exchanged by his Highness, soldiers, and inhabitants; that he will restore most of the towns, especially Dermonde and Vilvorde, and that afterwards there will be negotiations about the rest. Meanwhile our joint forces will march to relieve Eyndhoven, which otherwise will be compelled shortly to surrender. This would be a great loss to us; for by its means at least a quarter of the open country of Brabant is secured.
His Excellency having some weeks ago propounded his advice, has not been to the States. The enemy would have been entirely ruined, had his Highness been better counselled.
The affairs of Cologne were going very well without that fault; however, in the last meeting of the Circle of the Rhine, they amused themselves by quarrelling, and parted without doing anything. Meanwhile the Elector has published the Religions-friede in his territories. On behalf of the Pope has arrived a nuncio (une Once), bringing the thunderbolt — excommunication. — Antwerp, 21 Feb. 1583.
Add. Endd. Fr.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 62.]
Feb. 15. 108. Lord John Hamilton to the Queen.
Being advertised that Col. Stewart and Mr. John Colvile are to be directed from the king my sovereign to you, I will humbly pray you now at this time to have remembrance of me, in travailing earnestly with his Highness that I and my brother by your mediation may be restored to our own; in doing which you shall be most assured to have us and all those whom we have power to command, to remain to our lives' end your most affectionate servants.—Moret, 15 February, 1583.
Add. Endd. Scottish. 1 p. [France IX. 33.]
Feb. 15. 109. Lord John Hamilton to Walsingham.
I have received your letter, whereby I understand that there is better appearance of my relief, 'nor viss' [qy. than I knew] of before; whereof I thank God heartily, and you for travailing for me at her Majesty's hands and the good remembrance you have at all times made of me.—Moret, 15 February, 1583.
Add. Endd. Scottish. ½ p. [France IX. 31.]