Elizabeth: February 1583, 21-25

Pages 139-158

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

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February 1583, 21–25

Feb. 21. 122. Walsingham to Cobham.
That you may see what opinion Mr. Bowes has of the said Smallet and to what end the bruits are given out that the well-affected lords seek to be reconciled to d'Aubigny. I send you a clause of a late letter I received from him. Notwithstanding, her Majesty being made acquainted with the conference that passed between you and Smallet would have you continue your intelligence with him, and in no case make shew of any distrust you have of him. She conceives that upon some mislike grown between d'Aubigny and him, or in hope of some benefit he may receive from her he may be made an apt instrument to discover their intents there. And to the end he may be the better encouraged to proceed therein, I have written the other letter [qy. No. 124] to be shewn to him. Her Majesty is disposed in case he has discovered to you according to his promise the names of such of this realm as have intelligence with d'Aubigny, to deal liberally with him.
Touching the letter subscribed by divers of the principal noblemen of Scotland and others, among which number Col. Stewart is noted to be one, of which the said party gave you notice, I am of opinion that he uses a piece of cunning therein, to breed a distrust here of the colonel, who hitherto shews himself to be greatly affected to this Crown, and is to repair hither shortly in the company of Colvile, to treat of some more inward amity between her Majesty and the king their master. To hinder the good effects of that treaty nothing can serve to better purpose than to render the ministers that are to deal therein suspected.
I doubt not but that upon these advertisements you will sooner discover the said party's secret intent, without seeming at all to distrust him.—Richmond, 21 Feb. 1582.
Draft. Endd.pp. [France. IX. 36.]
Feb. 21. 123. Walsingham to Cobham.
The chief cause of this dispatch is upon an information brought by Paynter at his last coming from thence, that one Nicholson, who went over with license, is imprisoned at Rouen by the procurement of the English Jesuits there. Her Majesty taking this offensively, and also that Gower is continued still in restraint at Paris, has written to the French king in some earnest sort to give order for the release of them both, and means likewise for the same purpose to speak to the French ambassador here to signify so much to his master. She would have you concur therein with him at the delivery of her letters to the king, letting him understand that she finds it strange that such causes of offence should be offered at this time when there are so great shews on either side of more inward amity and friendship than has been between these two Crowns in many years before; and therefore cannot but find herself grieved with such hard usage of her subjects [originally: which she thinks it very unreasonable to scandalise now with such misusages o.h.s.], being contrary to the treaties of amity that are between them, and to his own proceedings with his subjects at home. This makes it the more offensive, that seeing he is content to tolerate in his realm the exercise of both religions, the subjects of this Crown, who may 'challenge' liberty of conscience by its treaties, should be molested for matters concerning their conscience only, being not otherwise charged with any breach of the laws of that realm, or any crime committed against his person or his estate. Therefore she prays the king, by speedy redress in these two poor men's causes, whereby she may have just cause by effects to conceive that he desires the continuance of the good intelligence that is now between them, by removing all such impediments as may give her just cause to conceive otherwise thereof [sic].
How things have proceeded of late in Scotland you will see by the copy of the letters that I send 'hereinclosed' from Mr. Bowes and Mr. Davison; and likewise in what state they are in the Low Countries by the extract from advertisements, and the French letter, which is from one of that country from whom I have very particular informations. You will also perceive by the copy of Mr. Darcy's letter in how thankful part Monsieur accepted her Majesty's sending to him.
Draft, with alterations and additions in Walsingham's hand. Endd. with date.pp. [Ibid. IX. 37.]
Feb. 21. 124. Walsingham to Cobham.
I acquainted her Majesty with the late conference you had with S[mallet] and with the offer of his services to her. She very well accepts it, willing you to assure him that if he shall by effect perform his promise, he shall find her a very thankful princess. Besides, he will thereby discharge his duty both to the king his master and his country; for nothing can work the general good of both one and the other than [sic] the continuance of her Majesty's good will and love towards them.
Touching the offer made by him to have A.B. [i.e. d'Aubigny] at her devotion, she would have you let him know that she sees no reason at all how that should take place, considering whose subject he is by birth, the 'stay of living' he has in France, his match in marriage with those that are devoted to the House of Guise, his proceeding in Scotland at the time of his being there, tending altogether to the alienation of the king's good will from her. Therefore she would have you let him understand that the opinion she conceives of his professed devotion towards her grows chiefly upon the report you have made of his good affection in religion, which she knows cannot but lead all such of that nation as are well inclined that way to prefer the amity of this Crown before all others; and therefore upon this grounded opinion she would have you assure the gentleman that she looks for due performance of that which he promises, whereof she will have that princely consideration that he shall think his travail well bestowed.
Draft. Endd. with date. 1 p. [France. IX. 38.]
Feb. 21./Mar. 3. 125. Commission from the French king to the Grand Prior of Champagne and President Faucon, a Councillor of the State Council, to hear and consider requests and representations made by English subjects and report on them to the Council, that steps may be taken immediately when possible, that is, in cases where the Council can decide in the ordinary way of justice. In those cases where it is needful to ascertain the king's intentions, the commissioners are to report to him daily, and he will declare his wishes.—Paris, 3 March, 1583. (Signed) Henry (and below) Pinart.
Copy. Endd. Fr. ½ p. [Ibid. IX. 39.]
Feb. 21./Mar. 3. 126. La Mothe Fènelon to Walsingham.
I have received with much affection the honourable salutation which you sent me by the ambassador, for which I thank you, as also for the trouble you have taken to ask an audience for me of her Majesty. I could have wished that she had permitted me to kiss her hands before Sunday; nevertheless I am heartily willing to await her convenience and the hour which she has given me, without pressing her further. I only desire humbly to do her pleasure. It is true that it would be of great benefit to me, if while awaiting the honour of coming to her presence, you would suggest to her to prepare a word of answer to the three letters which I brought her on my outward journey, written by the hands of the king and the queens, his mother and his wife, that I may the sooner seek their Majesties, and give them the satisfaction of receiving anything so agreeable as letters and news from her.—London, 3 March, 'according to the reduction of the calendar,' 1583.
Add. Endd.: '120 Feb.' Fr. 1 p. [France IX. 40.]
Feb. 22. 127. Cobham to Walsingham.
Being requested by the Lord of Arbroath to send away the enclosed packet with some expedition, because he doubted Mr. John Colvine and Coninghame his servant were returned to England before these could be sent, which occasioned me to dispatch this bearer somewhat sooner than I intended [sic]. These have given me to understand that there are some intentions in this Court to stay the Lord of Arbroath's departure hence, which I suppose is not yet known to him.
D'Aubigny is mended of his sickness, having changed his lodging, and has this week received letters from the Earls of Huntley and Argyle and others with comfort, showing that the Earl of Huntley was to repair to the Court. It was also written therein that there had happened some 'gearre' between the Earl of Angus and Col. Stewart, who is said be sent into England in the company of Mr. Colvine. I hear that Montbrunneau has commission to levy two or three companies of soldiers, under colour to succour the Duke of Anjou, but the meaning was to transport them into Scotland. Withal I hear that Charles Dixon, a Scot, captain of Étaples beside 'Bullen,' has had privy conference with d'Aubigny and others belonging to the Scottish Queen, about some secret attempt to be had in Scotland. With him there 'should' be confederated an English captain, a man of years, who had been of late a long time in Calais and in places thereabouts. There was likewise some intelligence and correspondence in the counties of Westmorland and Cumberland; which seems to me hard to be believed. Notwithstanding, a party with whom those matters had been moved into [sic] informed me hereof.
I sent Mr. Tho. Walsingham, with the letters directed to d'Aubigny, to the Bishop of Glasgow; whereon d'Aubigny sent his secretary to me, with much demonstration of acknowledgement of the favour her Majesty showed him.
I beseech you to employ your goodness to Mr. Thomas Walsingham, this bearer, for which I shall account myself exceedingly bounden to you; being most sorry my estate is so wretched I cannot show that 'gratuity' to him that I would.
I enclose the verses which were delivered in this Court.—Paris, 22 Feb., 1582.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. IX. 41.]
Feb. 22. 128 Cobham to Walsingham.
There is come to me Signor Gabriel Strozzi, by whom I have been requested to offer to her Majesty a device he has to bring great sums of money into her purse, and that with the contentment and profit of her people; whereby also the excess of usury shall be abolished. Because this first demonstration is so plausible and shows to be for her Majesty's service, I have promised to signify this much to her, beseeching you that it may accordingly be declared to her. I have also received from him this enclosed copy of a privilege, which he desires may be granted under the Great Seal according to the same form. Upon notice given to him of her Majesty's pleasure, he will repair to England at his own costs and charges, or will send his kinsman Piero Strozzi to treat on these affairs. Though I know all strange and extra-ordinary devices are not greatly welcome to her Majesty, as to the lords, yet because the promise of his device is so reasonable in appearance, and she will be put to no charge, I have the willinglier assented to 'inform' it. I await her answer, for the satisfaction of the gentleman, who is of a noble house, and of a zealous manner in his conversation and proceeding.—Paris, 22 Febr., 1582.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [France. IX. 42.]
Feb. 22. 129. Cobham to Walsingham.
Perceiving by your last letter that you have earnestly moved her Majesty touching my revocation, which it seems she does not like to assent to for the respects written in your letter, I am thereon constrained to beseech you to inform her that as I have always since I first entered her service, now almost 24 years past, had my eyes evermore fixed on her person and will, and my heart and mind inclined to serve her with all 'trawth' and sincerity, so now in like sort I submit myself to her pleasure. But it is not 'in my possibility' to serve her any longer in this 'room,' except she will be pleased to give me present means, because my living is nothing at all sufficient to accomplish the defraying of the necessary expenses above the ordinary allowance of her Majesty. Besides it is most true I am become indebted to Auditor Genyson in 500l. with the interest, and to Mr. Hugh Offley in 120l. with interest. And in Paris I owe above 700 crowns, having lately sent two bills to my servant of 400 crowns, not knowing what means he has to pay them. This is true in all points, as the writings and bills may testify. The apprehension of the grief of it has so 'pyned' my body and pinched my heart that God knows whether any recompense and reward may restore me to my former state of health and contentment. I beseech you that on the remembrance of the benefits of God bestowed on you, and the dignities, you will weigh justly my estate, and signify thus much to her Majesty, upon whose gracious words and promises I submitted to undertake this charge above my power; being likewise commanded by you and Mr. Secretary Wilson jointly to lay aside all my just excuses then alleged for my insufficiency, and to address myself according to my duty to undertake this legation, assuring me that her Majesty would deal with me kindly, which I have performed as much as lies in me. The rest I refer to her Majesty's and your consideration.
I account my hap very hard above all the others, that after many years' service I am driven to beg and importune her Majesty, the lords, and you, in this wretched manner. God knows how it comes to pass. Calling [sic] the just God to witness how with humility, zeal, sincerity and care I have embraced her service. And to my knowledge I have given no just occasion of offence to anyone who has part of her authority, but have rather sought to win grace of them, by yielding such services and contentment as I could perform, honouring them with affection, desiring the continuance of their prosperous state, and this without dissimulation. I have 'betaken' all my thoughts to the function of this office, without having had suspicion or jealousy of my particular proceedings, as some have imputed to me, if what has been reported be true. Wherefore in my 'earnest and humblest' manner I request you will take consideration and feeling of my heaviness and 'graves.'
Moreover I think it convenient to let you know that I have taken this house of Marshal de Cossé's but until Easter, and my coach and other necessaries are consumed with time; so that I must take new order, according as her Majesty may be pleased to deal with me.
Thus I 'betake' myself, my fortune, and my urgent necessities into your hands, beseeching you to favour me, and procure her Highness's good resolution in my behalf.—Paris, 22 February, 1582.
Add. Endd. 3 pp. [France. IX. 43.]
Feb. 22. 130. John Norris to Walsingham.
It will be needless at present for me to trouble you, who will receive more particular advertisements from my cousin Darcy both about the duke's estate at Dermonde, and the rest of the proceedings here, than I can write. Nevertheless, having accompanied him from Waesmunster to this town, I would not fail to let you understand that notwithstanding the duke continues to treat with the States, the delays are such, and so often causes of disliking, that I cannot think these treaties will bring any good to these countries. The duke seems not to like greatly anything that the States have offered him, but seeks by all the means he can to retire to some sure place where his person may be safe, and would afterwards grow to some treaty with the States, which by this means might 'frame' the better to his advantage. It would seem he has no great liking to use her Majesty's furtherance in this 'appointment'; who notwithstanding, for the great credit she has with these people, is in my judgement the best able to do him all good in this behalf. M. Bellièvre is lately arrived here from the French king; and in his audience with the States has persuaded an agreement, not forgetting among his other speeches to urge the authority and greatness of the king his master. What will be the end of these long treaties I cannot precisely affirm, 'once' [qy. only] I see the delays are great and no likelihood of any speedy resolution; because I am continued in my charge to stop the passage into the land of Waes. In these uncertain resolutions 'may be to seek' how to carry myself and my service here, especially that I fall not into her Majesty's displeasure. Please advise me how to direct my course, and what will be looked for at my hands in this service, if the duke attempt to pass.—Antwerp. 22 February, 1582.
Written by A. Danett. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 72.]
Feb. 22.–Mar. 4. 131. Henry Unton to Walsingham.
I have delivered your most favourable letter to my lord ambassador, and he is very willing to employ his best, for my brother's good, according to the purport of it. But we deem it best to follow your direction given by word of mouth; which was to learn the certain cause of his imprisonment, and myself then to advertise you of the best means for his enlargement. My haste to Lyons, therefore, shall be the more speedy, my brother's necessity also requiring that; which done, I 'presume of' the continuance of your favour, which only must and can work my brother's happiness and my never-ending comfort. The undeserved good which I have heretofore tasted by your favour breeds this my presumption, and nourishes an assured hope of my brother's liberty, which I prefer before all worldly happiness. I would your need to employ me and my desert to serve you were such as might 'steede' you. I would then bear fruit, where now I carry but a shadow. That which is not may be; and though I be now naked, yet I trust hereafter to be clothed with better desert. In the mean season, I will not offer myself, the present being so bad; but hope for a time, and wish for desert. The power also of myself I have already wholly dedicated to you, and therefore the less needful to renew the offer.
My haste will not permit me to learn any occurrences worthy 'your honour's' advertisement, but my better leisure shall supply my now want.—Paris, 4 March, 1592. (Signed) Henry Unton.
Add. Endd.: (Mr. H. Umpton). 1 p. [France. IX. 44.]
Feb. 22./Mar. 4. 132. Pietro Bizarri to Walsingham.
Within an hour, D.V., I am to embark on my trip to Germany, in hope to return within three or four months at furthest. Meanwhile, keep me in your good grace.
From the return of Count Laval, together with the deputies, and the coming of M. des Pruneaux, nothing can be understood that should be to the satisfaction and contentment of these poor countries, so that the hope they had in his Highness is every day dwindling more and more, not so much owing to the incidents that have occurred, as, even more, in the negotiation there is with him for reconciliation. He refuses to remove to Brussels as was hoped, and wants to establish himself at Dermonde, which gives matter for new suspicions and distrust. God show His favour herein. What good M. Bellièvre, the new ambassador from France, lately come to Antwerp, may bring, the results will show more clearly.
Yesterday between 9 and 10 A.M. public execution was done, in front of the Town House, upon the Spaniard who was taken the other day here, with a fixed intention of killing the Prince, for whom God shows to have a singular providence.—Antwerp, 4 March, 1583.
Add. Endd. Ital.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 73.]
Feb. 23./Mar. 5. 133. Thomas Beckner to Walsingham.
Your friendly and comfortable letter I have received, with one to Sir Henry Cobham, which I have sent him to Paris. He 'has and does' take all the pains that may be in this my suit; which, as I understand, they have no cause to deny, but only that they say Frenchmen can get no justice in England, and there are sundry complaints made thereof. This as far as I can perceive, is the cause they will not do me justice in so rightful a cause, which I have 'prosuyved' and aided myself with the king's own edicts and 'letter patents,' whereby I proved that his meaning was not that his 'farmery' should levy any such thing upon English cloth. For the exempting thereof I had and have the king's 'letters patents,' under the broad seal; which nevertheless we cannot enjoy, but used [sic] with more extremity than before. The like justice I am sure is not used in England; for her Majesty's letters patent being once given out and passed by any of her Privy Council are not so soon called in again. I assure myself that if Frenchmen have injustice in England for a shilling, Englishmen have it here for a pound; for I never saw like injuries offered to any nation in my life, and daily more and more, by confiscation and staying of our goods, and rebatements made us after our goods are sold, with losses by 'banckrowts' daily. There are Englishmen here who have goods under arrest and in law—'for the unlawfulness,' say they—this two years, and are come to no end with it, to their undoing; and daily others fall into the like inconvenience. And all is by reason that the French see we agree not together, but 'put up' all injuries without resisting, makes [sic] them use me as they list, and there is here no means to reform it; for I cannot now have the aid of any one here to go forward with what I have begun. Yet I do not mind to give it over, till I see a 'defynatife': trusting in the Lord that you will be a means that they that 'trade this place' shall be contributories to it, whereby we may defend not only this, but also a number of other injuries. This might be easily accomplished if every man that trades this place did but allow towards their suits a halfpenny on the lowest sort of cloth that comes hither, and so to twopence for the best piece of cloth would suffice. I have of myself no means to support this suit any longer, except it be to my undoing; which causes me continually to implore your aid, which I cannot but confess to find as honourable as I cannot wish more. I beseech you to excuse my boldness and rude writing, which is of mere necessity, God knows, not only for me, but for my poor mother and father-in-law, who have been also greatly hindered by such suits and have been a great burden to me these 12 years, whom I can no more aid, to my great grief and sorrow.—Rouen, 5 March, 1583.
Add. Endd. (Feb. 25, probably date of receipt). 1 p. [France IX. 45.]
Feb. 23./Mar. 5. 134. —— to Walsingham.
I have received the letters which you wrote to me on 27 December and 26 January. I have not been able to read or hear of what has happened at Antwerp without great and vehement grief. If the Duke of Anjou undertook this act in favour of the Pope and the King of Spain, there will ensue from it the most cruel and inhuman persecution of the faithful that has come to pass since the death of our Saviour. Still the kings, princes, and provinces that profess the reformed religion will do wisely if they take steps betimes, and agree together upon the means to preserve themselves against the rage and fury of so powerful and manifest enemies. But if the duke made the attempt for some private passion or vengeance, or with a desire of making himself master of the principal towns of the Low Countries in order more securely and easily to preserve himself and resist their enemies, this may be excused and amended; for those towns want to have a lord to obey them, and not to obey him, which cannot take place without their total ruin, as several sage politicians have proved, and have long since warned the towns thereof. It is the case that no bloody or vehement counsels ought to be praised or approved.
I have not yet any certain advice of our friends in the Low Countries, which is the reason why I can tell you no more at present.—Cologne(?), 5 March, 1583. (Signature, if any, illegible; Huguenot hand, like, but not identical with, Mornay's.)
Add. Endd.: 5 de Mars 1582. A letter to Mr. Secretary. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fr. XVIII. 84.]
Feb. 23./Mar. 5. 135. Fremya to Walsingham.
I received on the 5th inst. yours of the 10th [20th] ult. M. de Bellièvre arrived last Monday with 30 to 40 persons in his train, had audience the next day, and on Wednesday departed for Termonde. He says that the king wishes his Highness to come to a reconciliation with the States, at whatever price, and that at this moment he will help him with all his means. He thought what happened on the 17th very bad, and that those who had given such counsel deserved a heavy punishment. The king further commanded a secretary named Neveu, who had been sent from this town into France some days after the disorder, that if he did not have Secretary Quinsay hung on account of what had happened, he would do great wrong to his own reputation.
M. de Laval and MM. des Pruneaux and Fontpertuis started at nine o'clock this morning to go to his Highness, accompanied by the deputies of the States who were sent the last time. The long and the short is that the Estates by no means approve of his going to Dixmude, 'but' to Brussels; and that as regards the difficulties he has made about entering there with so small a garrison, it seems that those of Brussels are willing to trust themselves to him, permitting him to enter with all his Swiss, and that besides the Court chapel, he will be granted the church of Cobergue(?) adjoining the Court, for the exercise of the Romish religion, and 30,000 florins to give his soldiers. He is to take the French garrisons out of Termonde, Dixmude, and Vilvorde, where the States will put such garrisons as they shall deem proper. His Highness will send his troops to succour Eyndhoven. So there is hope that he will accommodate himself, and that the agreement will be made; as to which a decision is expected in two days. In this negotiation it does not seem that the advantage is always to the States, inasmuch as if they do not come to terms with his Highness it is to be feared that the two kings will agree together to make war on them, which would bring them great inconvenience. Added to this, Brussels, which has drawn the war out of Holland and Zealand and kept Antwerp in liberty, for which they are not very grateful, and the poverty and misery that there is in that town on account of the oppressions and the burdens that it has endured up to now, with no business from the Court, nor industries (? labourages), which is [sic] the reason why they all the more desire the duke's coming into their town on the above terms. Besides also, that if they do not come to terms with the duke the town will be lost, which makes them risk it, provided that by that means they can get back the towns which he holds; a matter of no small importance, inasmuch as the Estates do their business securely by this means. If he accepts their conditions, it will be putting him in a town which they esteem as lost, and getting back the towns he holds, which is not cheating themselves. Afterwards they can treat of the principal affairs. Meanwhile they must devise means of succouring Eyndhoven, inasmuch as it is a means of bringing Bois-le-Duc to reason, which, but for the misfortune that has happened, would have taken this side perforce.
The Common Council of Antwerp does not at all like this reconciliation, on account of its distrust, as well as because it is 'imbued' by certain persons with the establishment of a republic, which the people readily relish. They explain to them that when Rome first shook off the yoke of the kings it had not a quarter of the forces or resources of Antwerp; not considering that they are divided, and that they are the neighbours of great princes, who take no pleasure in such things. Besides also, they are not Romans. And in case those of Antwerp will not accommodate themselves to the other provinces in the matter of reconciliation with the duke, the others will not leave off going forward on that account. Meanwhile they have provisionally sent victuals to-day for the duke's soldiers, who have not all their comforts; nor have the nobles either, who are about his Highness, having lost their outfits in this town. To-day they have let his Highness's bed go, with some valets-de-chambre, which he could not obtain till now. In short, it seems that little by little things may get into their old place again (se rapatrier). Nevertheless the distrust is great, and the affection all gone.
Among all these things his Excellency finds himself much hampered owing to the factions there are here, even [sic] though terms are come to. It will be long before people will from their hearts [à bon escient] trust the duke. If he goes to Brussels, M. de Temple will leave the town with his regiment, to be Governor of Alost, inasmuch as the country being his Excellency's, and he his servant, he will keep within the limit prescribed by justice (tiendra la bonne à la justice).
Yesterday morning the Spaniard who confessed that he had come here to kill his Excellency was executed; to wit, strangled and quartered.
It remains that those of Eyndhoven should be succoured, in which there are so far difficulties. Nevertheless some chief men went and saw his Excellency, in order to propose means of succouring the place with their own people. His Excellency answered that if their people made any mistake(?) and were defeated, Bergen, Diest, Herentals might be in danger as well as other places; and their soldiers lost, where did they think they would incontinently get others? He pointed out that they could do nothing in this matter of themselves, and if they would not come to terms with his Highness, he saw nothing anywhere but confusion in their affairs, and that so far as he was concerned, if they would not listen to it, he would retire. Such is the story; in such wise that affairs are still strangely embroiled here, owing to the factions, and the magistrates little recognised and revered, which is a sign that God is offended.
Mr Darcy will tell you fully what has passed here.—Antwerp, 5 March 1583, new reckoning. In haste this evening.
Add. Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 74.]
Feb. 24. 136. Gilpin to Walsingham.
Your letter sent by Capt. Huntley I received this week, and accordingly 'written' to Cologne. All endeavours and care shall he had, so far as my 'hablenes' or possibility can extend to learn and hearken what mind and inclination those of this province and Holland or others thereabouts have to the King of Spain. I perceive if there were any assured hope of such reconciliation as they desire for their assurance, it would soon be compassed; for the French never were greatly liked among them, and 'his' credit will be less hereafter, especially if they once perceive the Queen to like no better of their late proceedings than in truth they deserved, for the countenance his Highness had from England was the chief and only means to advance his cause, as men of credit have often affirmed. And which way soever she would please to bend, it would be easier to draw thereto now than heretofore, some having less credit here than in times past.
For our present news, they are few and not altogether certain, yet I thought good to set them down, and withal send the enclosed copies.
I am entered into acquaintance with one that I think will furnish me from time to time with such matters as may pass in writing; but it may 'chance be' chargeable to me. If you receive from the Prince, States, or other person the like, my sending would be the less needful; and so, although I account not of the charge, in respect of the desire I have to do you service, I must beseech I may herein know your pleasure. By the next ship I intend to send over my servant, and then will write you, if any worthy matter fall out, at large.
The agreement between Monsieur and the States cannot yet be made, so does he remove from one to another, that no certainty can be taken of his resolutions. Those of Brussels were content to have received him and to grant the chapel in the Court, or the church joining hard by it for the mass and popery, besides a reasonable guard of Switzers, as he himself thus required. Now he will not trust his person there unless he bring in as many as he lists, and that will not be consented by the town.
The States have victualled his camp hitherto, and now by report it is forbidden, on pain of confiscation, so they will be ere long in distress, divers perishing daily for very want and misery.
It is also credibly said that his Highness will now remove to Dixmude, for his more security; and if the States agree and receive him again as governor, and victual his men, will yield to them Dermonde and Dixmude. I hear this is accorded for the space of three days longer.
There is another ambassador, named M. de Bellièvre, come to Antwerp from the king to the Prince and States, with number of fair words and promises; but nothing follows, and it is thought to be but delays, some further practice lying hid, which at convenient time will be put in execution. He has at present gone to Dermonde, to Monsieur. By these 'ambassaiges' no good is hoped, but under that 'covert,' between the king and his brother to have intelligence and keep correspondence.
The commons in Antwerp will not by any means hearken to any agreement, though the Prince still insists very hard, having laid before them three points, with the difficulties, inconveniences, and commodities; viz. to accept Monsieur again; to agree with the king; or to draw themselves into a popular government. But his opinion and liking as the best course for them is the first.
Flanders cannot be brought to resolve; but depends uncertain, devising of their reconciliation and assurances with the king. Holland troubles are somewhat appeased, and yet the people of the north inclined greatly to agree with the king. Those of them that were dealers in the late intended practise to 'move' those commons are escaped and fled to Embden, where it is doubted they will cause their seditious book to be printed, and so stir some division.
M. de la Motte of late used certain of this town very friendly in Gravelines, encouraging them against the French, and to come to some agreement with the king his master; but this tended only to continue their bringing victuals to those places. But upon knowledge thereof, there is a general proclamation made through all the united provinces, no victuals or like provision to be carried to Calais (whence they transport them to the enemy), pena confiscation and further punishment. To look the more straitly to it, there are made ready three ships of war, to lie about, and keep Flanders and Calais coast.
The said la Motte has written this week to those of this town, inveighing greatly against the French, and persuading to the agreement with the King of Spain. The lords sent the letter to the Prince, and upon his advice mean to make some answer.
There was executed this week at Antwerp a 'Biscayne' that came on purpose out of Spain to kill the Prince, and had served as a soldier heretofore in these countries, and been at the sack of the town. It is said the king had dealt with him, and he should have been greatly rewarded.
Eyndhoven is still environed by the enemy and in danger, if succour be not shortly sent. In other places he does nothing, but hearkens how matters pass between Monsieur and the States.—Middelburg, 24 February, 1583.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Idid. XVIII. 75.]
Feb. 24. 137. Stokes to Walsingham.
My last to you was of the 17th inst. since when these few speeches have passed.
This week the magistrates of this town received letters from the General States, wherein they give them advice that Monsieur's desire is to depart with his French army from Dermonde to Dixmude, and then to continue for a time. Upon the receipt of these, the magistrates called a general council of all their chief burghers and commons of this town, and showed them the letters, and 'to have' their advices and opinions of them. They told them withal that if Monsieur might not pass in quiet order with their good will, he would pass with fire and bloody murder perforce. To this the commons made answer with one general voice, that he should not pass by their good will and consent, so long as they were able to 'defend' him to the last man, until such time as he had delivered into the States' hands again all the towns that he has in his keeping. So all this matter has made the commons more 'vementer' against Monsieur than before they were; and therefore if he seek to pass by way of force, surely it will cost 'blosse' [qy. blows]; for those of Ghent in like order have agreed not to suffer him to pass to the last man.
At Dixmewe the French are in number above 1,000 foot and two cornets of horse, and there they make great preparation for the receiving of Monsieur; for they give it out he will be there very shortly. But by report he will pass very hardly, because there lie many lions in his way; for he must pass between Ghent, Oudenarde, and so along between Rousselare and Meenen, in extreme foul ways.
At Dunkirk the French there have set out three ships of war well-appointed, and they are making ready 'of' more, and all the ships of what country they be, that they meet going into these parts, they take and carry to Dunkirk, and there they make good prize of all the goods, but the ships they let go again.
'By good advice' the Malcontents are taking out of every garrison as many men as may be spared and gathering them together beside Tournay; and by some speeches it is thought they will be 'doing' with Monsieur's army, which lies 'scattering' in great disorder beside Dermonde, or else they will seek to stop his passage beside Oudenarde.
This week letters are come from Lille, in which they write that there is great hope of agreement between the Malcontents and the States; and that in Lille there is 'gaged' above 10,000 gilders the agreement will be made before midsummer. The like good hope is on this side; and yet I see small likelihood of the matter, but only speeches.
Here is a dangerous state; for the commons in this town and in all the towns murmur very sore against the French, and it is openly done, and yet the magistrates dare not use any punishment to them, fearing they should make some commotion; so the magistrates are in great fear of the commons.—Bruges, 24 February 1582.
Add. Endd.pp. [Ibid. XVIII. 76.]
Feb. 24. 138. Audley Danett to Walsingham.
By my last, of the 17th, I advertised you of the return of the deputies from Dermonde. Since then M. de Bellièvre has arrived here from the French king, with instructions to 'treat an appointment.' After he had spent two days in this town with the States and the Prince, he departed to Dermonde on Friday the 22nd. At his departure the States sent to the duke victuals for three days for his troops, also his bedding and some other furniture for his chamber, which was detained here ever since his departure. The day following, M. Laval with Pruneaux, Fontpertuis, and the States' deputies, were dispatched to the duke with their resolution touching an agreement: viz. that the duke should take with him what garrison he pleased of his Swiss into Brussels; that there should be permitted two churches for his religion; that his forces should presently march to the relief of Eyndhoven, and at their rendezvous upon the way receive the sum of 30,000 florins demanded by him to give them some contentment; and so to render up Vilvorde and Dermonde. The term assigned for the duke's answer is not above four days; when it is known, I will advertise you. Meantime it is hoped that he will accept the treaty; wherein the States say they have enlarged so far that if he refuse it they have just cause to imagine that he does not proceed en bonne joy, but must be forced to repute him as an enemy.
Eyndhoven holds good, but I fear will hardly be relieved, notwithstanding any appointment with the duke; for the French forces are too weak for the service, and the troops in the land of Waes, as I hear, have confederated together, English, Scotch, Walloons, and Flemings, not to depart thence without two months' pay, which the States, I think, will hardly be able to furnish suddenly, and, which is as bad a point, they mean no more to march into the field with the French, who they say will be ever practising to cut their throats, for stopping their passage into the land of Waes.
M. Bodin departed hence with Count de la Marche. Being 'half seas' in the way to Calais, they put back to Flushing, where the governor stays Bodin for want of a passport, which his son-in-law 'travails' to procure him from hence. I have delivered to him the letter received by Captain Huntley, to be delivered to Bodin.
On Thursday the 21st the Spaniard sent hither to kill the Prince was put to death, being strangled, and his body put in four quarters, and his head on several gates of the town [sic].
Mr. Norris has a hard course to run, utterly to lose his credit and good name in these countries if he suffers the duke quietly to pass, and in danger of her Majesty's displeasure if he continue in that charge. For his own part, he has retired to this town, where he has continued these eight days and minds to make some stay for a time till these troubles may happily be appointed. Yet 'when' he and all the English forces by her Majesty's command 'shall' refuse that service, the French will hardly be able to pass; being a matter of so great consequence for these countries, especially for those of Flanders, that the whole forces they are able to make will be assembled there before they will suffer the duke to gain that advantage. And to withdraw the English without giving means of shipping to return home, which in this time of service the States will hardly yield unto, were to leave them to the slaughter. Thus much I have presumed to write touching the revocation of the English, which I beseech you to take in no ill part.—Antwerp, 24 February, 1582.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 77.]
Feb. 24./Mar. 6. 139. Fredericq van den Zandt to Walsingham.
You shall please to remember that a long time ago you were here at Antwerp in the company of certain two other gentlemen of quality, deputed by her Majesty, and to understand that here in the Court of the Prince of Orange, he who makes this representation (by remonstrant) was reputed for a man of ingenuity and named to be a good practical politician. It thus came to pass that you sent for him in consequence to the English House and proposed whether he would be able to do any services to the Queen of England for the welfare of her kingdom. He declared in the affirmative, and that he had good means thereto. You thereupon shewed him various letters of grant (?) as well for the States of the seventeen lands in these parts, as for other lands, whereby his ingenuity and artfulness was sufficiently known and found to be good and praiseworthy. And whereas he then promised and affirmed to you that he could show her Majesty good service and make it known thitherwards, if he had attained to any designs (? couste) from here, and this he would have been willing to do, had he not been hindered amid the 'diversity and strangeness' which ferments among the gentlemen here as elsewhere (?), through which all good causes are delayed and set back, till it is impossible here to effect any good. He is far too well affected to allow his means and inventions to be put in practice in other lands and kingdoms, in order that this country may to their profit become aware of their blindness. The writer is therefore willing and ready as before to discharge his promise to you, although he has been requested and sent for to the like end by other princes and potentates, but has deferred setting out until he has again written to you and received answer to this as well as to others written to you several months ago in consequence of those which he received from you over three years since, written in Italian, containing certain notes and articles, as a token and remembrance of which you esteemed the writer's matter very highly, and that her Majesty also had good affection thereto, to incur the great expense which you feared would arise thereon. But whereas I have written since then, and am writing at present that it may be done without cost, burden, or prejudice to her or her country and commons, be it noted (?) that the right season has now presented itself to our hand, while moreover this country is still in this discord and garboil. This serves for laying out and prosecuting the work on the first opportunity; so that the writer was unwilling to neglect once more letting you know, in so far as he might be assured that his journey would not be thrown away, and that he would have there immediately good audience and hearing when he came over there; which although you promised him at the aforesaid English House sufficiently to do, he has thought it good to advertise you thereon again, and that you may please to get him her Majesty's passport, that he may be secured because of the present trouble at home and abroad, and may go and return freely and unhindered as in her Majesty's service. You will then send the writer all instructions as to what is her good inclination and pleasure thereon; and in regard to the aforesaid matter, in order that in the meanwhile he may not be attracted by other princes, since he is daily desired and sought after, he wishes well to assure her through you that his coming there, and the effect of the matter aforesaid, will yearly be very useful and profitable to her realm, and bring such benefit, that never will anything like it be discovered by any other, if he can prevail with her.—Antwerp, in haste, 6 March, 1583. (Signed) Fredericq vanden Zande, Commissaris. “Kindly have the answer sent to Abraham Chevaliers.”
Add. (in a mixture of English, French, and Flemish). Endd. Flemish. 3 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 78.]
Feb. 24./Mar. 6. 140. Mauvissière to Walsingham.
I received letters this evening from MM, de Bacqueville and de Marchaumont, who are at Dunkirk. They send me word that they had heard that very day that the agreement was certainly made between his Highness and the States, and that the towns and the peoples who had found much difficulty had been brought to agree, and that they were waiting for the roads to be safe to go to his Highness. I have thought it well to impart these news to you, as coming from Dunkirk, that you may tell them to the Queen, whose hands M. de la Mothe and I will ask you to kiss. M. de la Mothe is sending you a memorial for his passport, hoping to depart as soon as he has it and her Majesty's letters. I did not speak to her about the passport which you tell me she granted some time ago to certain women and officers of the Queen of Scots, judging that there will be no difficulty at their coming to prevent their going to her, according to the assurance that you gave me. As for the passport for M. de Maigneville it will be time enough when it is convenient to you.
MM. de Marchaumont and de Bacqueville complained very much to me that the officials at Dover rather disrespectfully, took away my letters, and certain packets addressed to them [March, and Bacq.]—and there were even some for his Highness; and likewise took my passport, and threatened a French servant of M. de Bacqueville's, and a lackey of his, whom they retained at Dover, and made him eat [sic] right to his shirt. It is not my custom to make complaints; so I will refer this to your judgement, to reprimand them as may seem good to you.—London, 6 March, 1583.
P.S.—Please send the commission to Sir H. Cobham to come to terms with the Duke of Joyeuse about the depredations; that the same may be done here.
Add. Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [France IX. 46.]
Feb. 24./Mar. 6. 141. Count Emanuel da Silva to Walsingham.
I have written to you I do not know how many times, without ever being able to see a letter of yours, which I greatly longed for. I do not believe that the will was lacking to you, because I deserve it; but that there were reasons why it should be so. I am content, whatever it be, so long as you are learning from me how great a will I have to serve you, and that I earn thereby all the favours which you do and will do me; and I shall receive it as a great one if you command me when there is anything you want in this island.
It was the greatest thing in the world for me to know of the Queen's aid in favour of the just cause of the king my master, against whom they have tyrannically usurped the power over his kingdoms. With her aid I trust in God to see him in them, when he will show her how good use he has made of all that she is doing for him, and the obligation she has laid him under; and I must till death further all matters of her service, even though I have to risk my life in every one of them.
A few days ago a patache of those [i.e. your] kingdoms coming out of St. Michael's with sugar and woad, met a caravel of the king my master's, which was going to that island in order to speak the shore and learn the state of it, and the news and advices from thence, and in order that they might learn them from those in the patache, they brought her to that port, where they were well treated and entertained, as I shall do to all English at all times and in all places. From them I learnt how they had taken 200 and odd quintals from a Portuguese, and just now it is very contrary to my master's service. For this reason I ordered them to discharge here, where they remain till I may do with them what the Queen and you may please to order, if it does not seem to you right that they should be 'expended' in the fortifications of this island, since I am pleased to do everything in my power.
I do not write news to you, that I be not wearisome to you; I am writing them to the doctor [qy. Lopez] who will give them to you, since you are good enough to wish to know them. And it will be a very great thing for me if you will let me know how I may serve you.—Angra, 6 March, 1583.
P.S.—I send a copy of the papers, why I took the woad, that you may send your orders.
Add. Endd. Port. ¾ p. [Portugal II. 3.]
Feb. 25./Mar. 7. 142. Edward Prim to Walsingham.
To show my duty I thought good to write to you some part of the king my master's affairs; who 'at instant' is in good health, which I pray God to continue.
There departed for the island of Tercera 1,500 Frenchmen, and for their general M. de 'la Chatta,' Governor of Dieppe, in eight ships; 'them' soldiers to be landed in the island for its guard. The king wished 300 or 400 Englishmen there, for that the people of the island are better inclined to the English than to the French, and for some other secret occasion.
There departed for the castle of the 'meyne' [qy. Elmina] a small bark, which goes for the king's coffer, and in her go 40 Portugals, men of good 'valyo,' whose names are, of some part of them, these: Nuno Alures, the Farya captain(?), Manoel Alures da Costa, Belchior Payes, Manoel Castanyo, Antonio Botelyo, Antonio Beyram, John de Britto. The same captain has the king's order to receive his coffer into the ship from the castellan of the castle, whose name is Vasco Fernandes Pimentell. The value of the treasure is counted at 300,000 ducats, and the money of the fatherless children is counted at 115,000 ducats, all which money the king sends for by this bark.
The king goes to lie at Dieppe, and from thence I trust he with depart when that preparation is made that he looks for. I pray he may obtain that with you 'which is to his Majesty out of England.'
The king has very good news from Portugal. There is come to him a gentleman, brother to Count Don Manoel da Silva, by whom he has received letters from divers of the nobility of Portugal. If it were not letters, I would write their names to you(?).
A gentleman is come here whose name is John Rodrigues de Vega; his father a man of great power and calling in that Court of his 'doeling'(?). He, upon ten days' warning, will join to him 1,000 horse to come to the king, in the despite of the King of Spain. This gentleman keeps himself from King Philip, in hope of his Majesty coming to Portugal.
There is no 'lack,' but this money which the king has in 'the meyne,' if he had it here, I do not mistrust but he would not want sufficiency to come into Portugal to the despite of the King of Spain. There is great appearance that God will possess [sic] the right, and will not suffer long this manifest wrong that King Philip shows upon that country of Portugal.
The king is assured of your good will 'torse' him, and I have informed him 'therein' better than any man could do. I pray you continue in the same.
If there be anything on this side that I may do for you, I would that you had that good opinion 'in' me to employ me. I think no man more willing than I desire you to hold me; and to bear me 'ex qusd' for that my English is no better. Of a true servant the master can 'lack' no more than is [qy. his] good and true mind 'torse' him.—Rouen, 7 March 1583. (Signed) Edwarde prynn corea.
Add. Endd.pp. [France IX. 47.]
Feb. 25. 143. Stokes to Walsingham.
This morning the magistrates of this town received letters from those of Ghent, who sent them this enclosed confession of a French 'laque,' taken at Ghent last Friday afternoon passing through the town to go to Dixmewe and Dunkirk, sent from Dermonde with a message to say by word of mouth to those of those places, for he had no letters or papers about him. So this, with other matters, stirs the commons at this town and Ghent more and more against the French.—Bruges, 25 February, 1582.
Add. Endd. ½ p. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 79.]