Elizabeth: February 1583, 26-28

Pages 158-168

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, 26–28

Feb. 26. 144. Stokes to Walsingham.
My last to you was the 24th and 25th of this month. Enclosed I send you the copy of the French king's letter to the General States; also a copy of M. Bellièvre's letter to them. He is lately come to Antwerp, sent by the French king, and his coming to this country is wholly misliked by the commons in these parts. God send all for the best, for here is a dangerous and troublesome state.—Bruges, 26 February, 1582.
Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Ibid. XVIII. 80.]
Feb. 26. 145. Nicolaus Kaas to [? Walsingham].
I was glad to learn from your letters brought by my servant whom I had sent to you, that you approved my earnest intention of maintaining the amity between their Majesties of Denmark and England, a purpose which is common to yourself and me, for you have left it in evidence by many arguments on your side. I feel sure you will persevere in it, even as I personally will make sure that the opinion you have conceived of me shall not be falsified. And since for this reason I judge that no other occasion at present exists, or is likely in future to come into existence, whereby that union of purpose between their Majesties can be hindered, save only what may arise out of the Northern trade with the 'Ruthenians,' it behoves us both at once venienti morbo mature occurrere, and consider between us what may be to the advantage of either side. As you have understood from my former letter, I have formed the hope that although that Northern trade of the English merchants is of all the most burdensome to my sovereign and his realms for very evident reasons, he will perhaps on his side be induced to wink at it, if some recognition be made by the English merchants engaged in the trade of the King of Denmark's rights in the seas they have to cross. For you will easily understand that it is a hard thing, to endure habitually not only this injurious trade, but also the throwing over of his right.
Wherefore, seeing of how great moment the matter is, I should quite have believed that you would have come nearer to the fitting means, than I have perceived either from your own letters, or those of the Queen to the King of Denmark. On your side there is only a repetition of certain allegations, on which there has already been controversy enough, with the addition of a request for the free use of the trade in question to be permitted. This was the reason why in my last letter to you, I made no motion on those points, but only that the aforesaid recognition should be made towards the king. But although it were no part of my purpose, nor belonging to this post, to start any private discussion of that subject, nevertheless that I may not seem to reject the friendly communication which being in your name gives me great pleasure, I will reply to your points in these brief words, as the custom is among friends.
First, as to your assertion that all seas are passable by all nations. Here I think a distinction must be made; but we have first to notice whether anything has been otherwise laid down by the agreement between the parties. For you know that the king has before protested that the English are prohibited by ancient treaties from sailing that way. The English, therefore, having renounced the right you speak of, cannot enjoy it in the future, even though otherwise by the law of nations (it is your opinion) it would have remained to them entire. Then again, as to the English being able to get no concession from the prescription of thirty years, as you mention; it is clear from the fact that the aforesaid treaties by which the renunciation was made, are in force to this day, nor have they ever been expressly renounced, as the letter of them requires and the king has already clearly shown. Besides, that prescription was stopped by the king before any action was taken by the commissioners of both sovereigns, on the ground that he objected to that trade, and demanded its abolition. But I will not here at greater length demonstrate how the Queen herself, in her letter to the king of 11 April 1582 assigns to him not obscurely the right of permitting and granting the navigation in question. The example which you cite of the Queen's use and custom in those straits of yours, is not parallel; because she holds only one shore, the dominion over the other being in other hands. But both shores of the sea by which the trade with the 'Ruthenians' is carried on belong to the King of Denmark. The facts, too, speak for themselves, that since the time when the trade with the 'Ruthenians' was started in those parts, and for their greater convenience of it, the Muscovite set up building in a bay (? fundo) of the kingdom of Norway. For the bay in which Malö is does not belong to the Ruthenian but to the Norwegian kingdom, and thither flock the English merchants, whether they are, or are not, partners in the society you mention, with 'Ruthenian' privileges. Thus that trade has given occasion not only for doing this injury to the kingdom of Norway, but also for the assumption by the Muscovite of some right over the sea. It is thus the cause of all these nuisances, and others to come. If too, the French, the Dutch, or others who are not comprehended in that 'Ruthenian' privilege can be kept out of that northern trade either by the Queen of England, or by the Muscovite, it is rightly granted that we may try the same.
These are the objections I would offer to your arguments, in this friendly communication of opinions, and only by the way, in order that I might contend with you in friendly wise in these public affairs; you will construe it in the best part, for the sake of your candid mind and your friendship towards me. I conferred before to much the same effect on the importance of this business with the Lord Peregrine [Willoughby], as you will have heard from him. It now only remains to urge you again kindly to further matters to such a point that the English merchants may of themselves put forth some admission that they recognise the King of Denmark's rights aforesaid in the sea they have to cross. For it appears clearly from the arguments that have gone before, that the king must in the first place ask this, not for his own profit, but for the sake of maintaining his rights. And I doubt not that, if the English traders set their mind to this, his Majesty will show himself all the easier and more benign in treating, for the sake of the singular amity which he cherishes towards the Queen of England, although this northern trade, as has been said, is very burdensome to him. Also if I have to work at that negotiation I will make everyone preceive that I have been most eager to preserve the alliance of the two sovereigns, or rather, the public weal; as I am persuaded will be the case with you also. On this, then, I await your declaration, or rather your proposals (tractationem) as to the means desired on your side for (per) the English traders, to be laid before the king as soon as possible, and before the English ships set out on that voyage.
Another letter from you has already reached me, in which you make mention of the attention which I showed to the Lord Peregrine aforesaid. I think, however, that it was nothing at all, or at least not adequate to the virtues with which he and the others attached to him were endowed.
There was enclosed in the same a statement by William Gibs, in regard to the Vice-Admiral's expedition of last summer. I should have no objection, in reply to your request, to tell you what those of the king's fleet have reported on that matter, if I were still in the place where their report could be definitely obtained. I will, therefore, ask you on that ground kindly to have me excused.—'Neogardiæ' [qy. Nyborg], 26 February 1583.
Add. and Endt. gone. Latin. 4 pp. [Denmark I. 26.]
Feb. 26. 146. Cobham to Walsingham.
I received your letters by Mr. Henry Unton, who departed hence in post yesterday towards Lyons, having got him the king's passport 'largely' granted. I offered further to procure him their Majesties' letters and all other helps which might be thought good to stand his brother in stead. But he is 'of opinion' first to be thoroughly informed of his brother's state, and the cause and manner of his retention, before he would have me use any means. So I wait to be advertised from him how he will wish me to proceed in any sort. It seems he is put in hope to procure his brother's liberty by way of money. I shall not fail to stand him in stead thoroughly by all the means he may request, or I can devise in this respect. He is recommended to me by you.—Paris, 26 February, 1582.
P.S.—I received a letter from you on behalf of Thomas Beckner, on which I have 'pleasured' him as much as I could. I find they are resolved in this Court to draw from her Majesty's merchants more than the king's edicts will suffer, or the conventions of the amity between the two Crowns.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [France IX. 48.]
Feb. 26./Mar. 8. 147. Pinart to Walsingham.
I received with the letter which you were good enough to write me, two from the Queen your sovereign to the king and his mother, to whom I took them four or five days ago, with two dispatches from M. de Mauvissière. To these they are replying, directing him to speak to the Queen about the overture that she made to him when he returned from the Downs, where Monsieur embarked. I will refer to him on this point, and only say to you that you may believe I shall always do all I can for peace, amity and understanding between the king my master and the Queen of England; as I am sure you also will do. I hope that all will go to the satisfaction of both their Majesties, whom I pray God long to preserve in health and in this good amity, to the good of both realms. Meanwhile, if I have the means of serving you here, I pray you to employ me.—Paris, 8 March, 1583.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Fr.pp. [Ibid. IX. 49.]
Feb. 27. 148. Cobham to Walsingham.
I have thought it good, having the commodity of this messenger, to advertise you that the king on Monday the 25th inst. went to the Palais, where he has confirmed and established eleven edicts, contrary to the opinion of the presidents and to the great discontentment of the people, so that that day and the following the citizens of Paris murmured very much. It is understood likewise that in the provinces of the realm they are exceedingly scandalized with the former impositions. The king made a solemn 'horation' in the Parlement, tending to the demonstration of the grief he suffered through the enacting of these new edicts; which he said he had been constrained now to do in respect of the great debts the Crown of France was charged with, and the other present occasions offered. These inconveniences being overcome, by means of those edicts, and process of time, he protested 'for to' disannul those edicts and many others, for the contentment of his subjects.
The publishing of the Council of Trent has been consulted on by the Court of Parlement. It is found so difficult that it will not yet 'pass' to be executed in this realm. Howbeit, in the mean time the king increases his manner of devotions, 'pretending' presently to cause a procession to be made of his new Order of 'Blancs Battus.'
The king is very 'intentive' to advance his two brothers Joyeuse and Épernon (being so termed always by him). Wherefore he has not only assigned to Joyeuse the whole government of Normandy.—d'O being now parted from his portions of it upon recompence of 100,000 francs, with the continued government of the town of 'Cannes' [Caen] under Joyeuse—but has also given into his hands the government of all the towns in Normandy to be disposed 'on' his followers. Likewise the havens are directed to be at his disposition; in such sort that there is opinion that the king will 'erect' him in time to be Duke of Normandy. He goes thither shortly, to take possession of his government: whereon he applies his mind, and hearkens to those who offer him any invention for galleys or ships; for which purpose a shipwright brought into the Louvre, whole, a small boat made in the form of a ship, according to the fashion of which he offered to make six ships in a certain space, 'upon' a price.
The king, for the advancement of his brother d'Épernon, has given him the government of Metz; (in recompense for which Rambouillet has received 100,000 francs), and Verdun, with three other places on the frontiers of Lorraine.
His Majesty has presented to the Duke of Lorraine the fair diamond of Don Antonio, which he bought lately for 70,000l. He hopes thereby to win the duke's good will for the marriage of his daughter with the Duke of Épernon.
The 'consignation' which the king gave to the Provost 'Ruisselieu' for the said diamond of 70,000 crowns to be received in Britanny, 'Ruisselieu' has sold to the Duke of Retz for 45,000 crowns in ready money.
Some say the king intends to 'erect' d'Épernon to the title of a king, to hold certain provinces that the king will give him 'on' the Crown of France. He did propound to the presidents of the Parlement whether he might alienate the domains belonging to the Crown; which it has been found by them he cannot do more than for the space of nine years; and that in the case of his having succession of heirs male.
The king gives the Bishop of Beauvais recompense in benefices for his bishopric, esteemed worth 15,000 crowns a year, which he bestows on the Cardinal of Vaudemont, his queen's brother. He has given the Duke of Épernon's brother a very good abbey in the Marquisate of Saluces, with a bishopric in Gascony.
M. de Puygaillard is 'on his parting,' having sent 4,000 foot with 1,500 horse who are appointed to be at the frontier before 31 March according to this computation.
A number of pioneers are likewise levied, to be sent to Dunkirk or for the fortifying of some Flemish town, lately taken by the French, or, as some will, for the Terceras. I understand that certain pieces of artillery are mounted in the Arsenal here, to be sent down the river, either to be employed in the navy for the Terzeras, or to be sent to the towns in the Low Countries now held by the French. Of this I can learn no certainty, but I will cause some of my friends at Rouen and Dieppe to 'hearken after' the bestowing of that artillery.
M. de Mirambeau is returned very much discontented from Monsieur, 'in respect' his Highness sent him to Antwerp to the Estates with instructions very plausible for the bringing of them to some accord; but in his letter which was sealed his Highness had enclosed matter 'much offensive and misliking' to them. About the same time his Highness 'returned' the nephew of Secretary Brulart hither with a dispatch to their Majesties; but first caused him to protest and take his oath that he was not of the Religion, nor in any sort a favourer to them.
The Cantons of the Swiss are to keep another Diet in March, because in the last Diet the commissioners of those confederate with the Duke of Savoy were not sent. But it is understood that the Pope and the duke continue and reinforce their practices against those of Geneva and the cantons of the Religion.
The Duke of Savoy sent this week an extraordinary messenger to this Court, so it is supposed there is some earnest matter in hand. It is bruited to be marriage.
The Pope has given out a very ample Jubilee, in the same form as he granted it in el anno santo. The substance of this the Pope's nuncio sent to the king, but I have not as yet received it.
The Viceroy of Naples caused wait to be laid for the taking of M. Pinart's son and three or four more French gentlemen, but they have escaped. It is 'evil taken' in this Court.
The ministers of the Spanish king have bought in Milan and other towns of Italy 20,000 harquebuses and as many morions, and 6,000 corselets; which are appointed to be brought to Genoa to be transported to Lisbon. The money for the price of them is 'assigned' to be disbursed in Florence.
The Grand duke has lent the Spanish king 600,000 crowns, of which 400,000 are to be paid in Cologne next April.
M. Calvart returned hither on the 24th from the King of Navarre; whom I dispatched hence with a passport and all other means he could divine for his safe passing to the Prince of Orange his master.
D'Aubigny's ship is at Nantes, to sail by the west seas between England and Ireland. They stay for the obtaining of victuals and munition for the furnishing of the castle of Dumbarton, kept by William Stewart. It is hoped they will carry money. All this depends on the coming of the Duke of Guise.
Conyngham must take heed how he brings letters with him, because 'it is informed me' they lay wait for his return.
Antoine Ganne of Tours, sometime servant to the Abbate Fregoso, is sent, as I am informed, by the servant of the Pope into England.
I enclose the advertisements from sundry parts, together with certain bad French and Latin verses, where the 'indisposition' of some may appear.
I cannot 'leave to' importune you in my own private causes, for the lingering of them cannot but 'import' me extreme harm, and 'frame' me daily less able to do her Majesty agreeable service.—Paris, 27 February, 1582.
Add Endd. On a blank page decipher of certain paragraphs in hand of R. Beak.pp. [France IX. 50.]
Feb. 28./Mar. 10. 149. Mauvissière to Walsingham.
I write to ask you to be at the pains of presenting to her Majesty this gardener, who will be brought to you by this bearer. He is the one that M. de Bacqueville promised to bring her from Normandy, and is held in France to be one of the rarest and most excellent in his art that can be found. He has left all other work to come and serve her Majesty, if she finds him acceptable. He it is who undertook the late king's gardens (gerdrins) at Charleval. You will be able to see and speak to him, and form the rest of your judgement as to his competence. I should much wish that he may do something pleasing to her Majesty, and beg strongly that if he is employed he may be set to work promptly.
Leaving the gardener to you, I will tell you that M. de la Mothe thanks you much for the trouble you have taken in sending him her Majesty's letters, and his 'favourable' passport and that for M. de Maigneville; which I will send you back shortly, with a little letter to let him have, if you please. We hope that the Queen your mistress will have a care of the King and realm of Scotland as of that which is nearest to her, and by her prudence keep all things there in peace and to the contentment of every one. Please do M. de la Mothe and me the honour of kissing her hands for us.
I have received the big packet from the Queen of Scots, in which are several letters for her officers. She complains of having been so long without news from them and from me (?), and that M. de la Mothe has sent her no word of his journey to Scotland and has brought her no letters from their Majesties; which makes him think that she has not received the letters of the king and the queen which he asked you to send her, since she makes no mention of them nor any answer to them. She writes me a letter full of her woes, and that she is being abandoned on all sides; which does not afflict her so much as the fear she has that something unpleasant is happening to the king her son. She instructs me to beg her Majesty, according to her kind nature, to set her at liberty after the rigour of her prisons, under such condition and security as she may please to take of her, as it is impossible to her, either bodily or mentally, to support her prison any more. She writes you a letter, which I send, in hope that you will let her have a part in your good offices. I have also one for her Majesty, which I shall be ready to present to her when she pleases to command me, and allows me to speak to her for the Queen of Scots, who says that if I take her cause in hand, with the king's influence with his good sister, she esteems her so honourable in all her actions, and of so good a nature, that she would have provided her with some better remedy. But you know that it is not an easy thing to satisfy both of them. Notwithstanding, I protest to you that if there were anything possible to be done, no man proceeds with more sincerity than I would do, to preserve in the first place all that belongs to the honour, greatness, authority of the happy reign of the Queen your good mistress, who [sic] I shall ever remember the constant friendship which she has borne to the king and his brother, and which deserves a faithful requital, wherein I shall not fail of all the good offices possible to use. I assure you that during the little time which I yet hope to reside here, I should wish to be able to do some good thing, wherein I shall be always ready. And wherever I may at any time be, the then Queen of England will have a very affectionate servant, and you a perfect and assured friend.
To conclude, I beg you to dispose her Majesty to whatever she may please to do about answering the Queen of Scots, who says that Daniel and all who have done the greatest penance in this world have not come near hers; and that all slaves, at the end of seven years, were set at liberty, whereas she says she is at the end of three times seven of her prison, whereof she would hope for a good issue this very year through the bounty of her good sister to whom she promises to give every security she may please within justice and reason, and sooner die than fall short of it in anything.
I beg you at your convenience to let me have a word of answer, or send me word one of these days where you would like me to speak to you on this matter.—London, March 10, 1583.
P.S.—I forgot to say that the Queen of Scots prays you to have sent to her the passport for the women and those whom she desires to have in her service, parting with some who are of no use about her, that they may go home, which the Earl of Shrewsbury was unwilling to do [sic] without orders.
Add. Endd. Fr. 3 pp. [France IX. 51.]
Feb. 150. Mauvissière to Walsingham.
This bearer, an Englishman, who has been attending to my horses for four or five years, has for some time been importuning me to obtain him a licence to hold certain games(?) permitted and in the fashion of this country. Wherein I thought I ought not to trouble you, but rather give him money to provide himself in some other way. Notwithstanding, he has importuned me so much that I have written this word to refer him wholly to what may seem to you just and reasonable according to the laws and customs of your country; which, with its perpetual felicity, I desire.—London, day of , 1583.
I understand that the Admiral and the Controller desire to do a pleasure to the bearer, if agreeable to you.
Add. Endd. with month. Fr. ½ p. [Ibid. IX. 52.]
? Feb. 151. The Petition of the English Merchants at Bordeaux to the French King.
From all time and antiquity traffic in all sorts of lawful goods has been free within your realm to all merchants natives of England, and especially in your city of Bordeaux; whither they annually import great quantity of cloth, tin, lead, and other goods from England. And since they have no acquaintance in that city save with certain burghers and master-brokers, they have been used to lodge, and to place and draw out their goods at the houses of these brokers, who as officers of the Guildhall (maison commune) of the city have the right by its ancient statute to lodge English merchants and other foreigners, and from whom they receive another convenience, because of the English language not being (à cause du l. a. n'étant) at all, or hardly at all understood by others than these brokers.
Nevertheless the mayor and jurats, asserting that some of the brokers are not doing their duty in their offices, are said to have made some special statute whereby, in contravention of the ancient one always before observed, they have issued two orders in the Court of Parlement at Bordeaux forbidding the brokers to lodge any English merchant; by which the English are greatly injured, considering that at Bordeaux there are no wharfs (? chais), markets, nor other places destined for the reception of foreigners' goods, and that to compel them, as the Court and the mayor and jurats would, to lodge themselves and their goods in the houses of the trading merchants of the town, can only be to their great prejudice; for one reason, because if their goods are in a merchant's house they cannot sell them to any but the owner of the house, so that they would be compelled to hand them over (bailher) to him, since he will keep any other merchant from entering his house to view them, and bring the foreigner to any terms he pleases. Some of the merchants have since failed, and stopped their business and shut their shops; which would not have happened if they had gone on selling their goods through the brokers according to the ancient statute.
Copy. Endd. Fr. Broadsheet. 2/3 p. [France. IX. 53.]
Feb. 152. 'The articles of Nicols' Examination at Rouen in Febr. 1583.'
Nine articles in way [of] objection were sent from Paris by commission to Mr. Tompson, priest; which by me were answered as follows:—
Touching the first, I was charged that I caused certain books to be written against the Pope, cardinals, bishops, etc. This I granted.
Concerning the second, that at Rome I abjured the Religion, which, now I embrace, and became the Pope's scholar, under pretence of their Rome(?) religion, this I granted also.
Thirdly, it was objected that I had defrauded the Pope, as they say, of 50 crowns to come to Rheims, there to be made a priest and to be sent to England. I confessed that I had in way of viaticum, not 50, but 25 crowns; and I came not, to Rheims, because their religion savoured of idolatry.
Touching the fourth, I answered that I was not as far as I knew the cause of the death of twelve religious men, as they objected against me in England.
Touching the fifth, concerning the accusation of both colleges at Rheims and at Rome, I told them I could prove it.
Concerning the sixth, I answered that to this objection touching the renewal of the bull of excommunication against our sovereign lady Elizabeth, the priests and students at Rouen of the English College reported that which I gave in my book of recantation.
Concerning the seventh, that I accused the Pope of injustice theft, etc. as follows in my book, this I confessed, and this would I prove by witnesses.
As touching the eighth, how that the students the death of the Queen and her subjects greatly wished [sic], this I told them I would prove.
Concerning the ninth, that I accused, in a late letter sent from 'Shalowne' [qy. Chalons], Dr. Allen, this I said, that for the man's life, I knew nothing but innocence, but his religion caused him to do that 'as' is written to him.
Thus briefly I gave the notice of that which is written in answer to their questions.
Endd, as at head. 2 pp. [France IX. 54.]