Elizabeth: March 1583, 1-10

Pages 168-183

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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March 1583, 1–10

March 1/11 153. [Marchaumont] to Walsingham.
I thought I would put off writing to you until I was with Monsieur, in order that I might impart to you the state of affairs. I have not been able to get through, as Mr. Darcy may have told you, and have hitherto awaited his Highness's commands. By what he writes me, he has not found it too safe for me. However, not to fail in the obligations of friendship towards you, I did not like to let so much time pass without letting you know our news; begging you to believe that I shall be very glad by some service to take my revenge for the honour you have done me. I assure you that here my counsel will never be for doing things maliciously and indiscreetly; for I esteem nothing so sacred before God or so laudable among men as keeping faith. Believe, too, that if they are not living here exactly as I should desire, things are not so bad as they were. At Bergen they are conducting themselves very quietly and properly.
I have received while I have been here three or four pairs [sic] of letters from the direction of Switzerland. Those of Berne and Zurich have entered the general league. The king has sent powers to M. de Fleury to receive them, as he has done the others, with chains and other presents, which was never done in other treaties. I send you a copy of the last letter. The uncertainty of the time in which I am is the cause of their old date. They still keep the old style.
Of French news I am assured that you are as well informed as we. As soon as I can after saluting his Highness I shall go there, I will send you word of it, that if you want anything done there you may not do me the wrong to employ another.—Dunkirk, 11 March 1583. (Signed) Celui qui vous ayme.
Add. Endd. Fr.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 81.]
Mar. 2/12. 154. Edward Prin to Walsingham.
I wrote to you by Captain Recardes. This is to let you understand some part of the last news that my king received from Portugal, from some gentlemen there.
The king is informed that this present month of March King Philip pretends to depart for Spain, and with him he carries the most part of the best gentlemen of Portugal, and leaves the cardinal his brother-in-law to govern the country with the Grand Prior, son to the Duke of Alva.
The king is 'leacke weys' (likewise) informed that in St. Michael's in November last the people of the island rose in arms against the Spaniards that were there in garrison, and killed many of them, putting the rest to flight; who took the castle for their 'reffewse' [qy. refuge], where they now remain.
News is come to the king of a nobleman who 'should be' arrived in Britanny, come from Portugal. It is supposed to be the 'bychipe of the gard' [qy. Bishop of la Guarda], uncle to the Count Don Francisco, last Constable of Portugal; or else Don Affonso Anriques, a gentleman very nigh to the blood of the kings of Portugal.
I desire you to hold me in your favour, and likewise to employ me as one desirous to do you service to the utmost of my power; trusting that you will not deny me leave to write to you some part of our king's state and his proceedings.
The Governor of Dieppe will depart within these 15 days, with eight ships. In them he carries 1,200 very good soldiers. Two of his ships are of 300, one of 250, and another of 200; the others are from 80 to 120 tons apiece, well armed. The ships go upon a 'pretended' exploit, 'which' I pray God to give them the upper hand.
The king has received letters from the Algarves, from two captains who wish to employ themselves in his service and do their charge, which is of importance in Portugal. The king has great good will, and all things there as he could desire. There are three messengers gone 'dether' [qy. thither] each one their several way. The king lacks but that which your honour [? knows] which 'is to him' out of England. I beseech you have me in remembrance if anything arise from thence to employ me in your service with your credit; for in anything you shall find me true and faithful.—Rouen, 12 March 1582 [sic].
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [France. IX. 55.]
Mar. 2/12 155. Fremyn to Walsingham.
I wrote to you on the 5th inst. To-day M. des Pruneaux and three deputies from the States left this town for Termonde, to offer, as it is said, to his Highness the choice of going to Brussels Mechlin, or Dunkirk [Walsingham notes this in margin] on delivery of the towns; he to send his troops to succour Eyndhoven, and they to send back the prisoners in this town. The chief difficulty in doing this will be to find money for the Swiss and other troops, who will not march without being paid; and if the Swiss are not paid they will go back to their own country. That is the chief difficulty, to find money promptly. If steps are not taken promptly thereto, Eyndhoven will be lost. If it is said the place might be succoured by the local forces, there are difficulties; besides that the troops in the land of Waes will not march without being paid. The soldiers at Mechlin mutinied yesterday, and seized two gates and the Court, desiring to be paid at Herentals. The soldiers have done the same [sic] after the example of those at Bergues and at Brussels; so that in order to be paid, you must mutiny. That is how the soldiery [? la melise] conducts itself here.
Count Hohenlohe should be here within six days. They say he is collecting forces, horse and foot, for the succour of Eyndhoven. They also say that his marriage with 'Mademoiselle d'Orange' will take place shortly; as also that of his Excellency with the widow [sic., altered from daughter] of the late Admiral de Châtillon, who comes from Savoy [alt. from widow of M. de Téligny], although there was talk of the late Duke of Montmorency's widow, bastard of France. These are some marriages that are discoursed of here, during the negotiations on one side and the other. We hope to get an answer to them by a courier who was sent with the deputies. If his Highness is content, he will at once have Vilvorde handed over, and the Estates will send hostages to him when he goes out of Termonde, as security for their prisoners when he gives up Dixmude; and does his best in regard to the garrison of Bergues-Wynox, to make them go out. But inasmuch as that garrison are Villeneuve's regiment, who have long served here, he does not want to take strong measures; and to say the truth, his Highness and his people have to suffer where they are, for want of conveniences, and the commons do not want victuals to be sent to him until they know what is to come to pass. Delays in the negotiations are not often in good faith, as happened with Don John. While they were negotiating with him at Namur, he was preparing for war, whence came about the rout at Gemblours. So also with the last negotiation at Cologne; God grant that it may go (voise) quite otherwise in this action, everything to His honour, and the salvation of the country. If good conditions are made, on a good foundation on either side, without fraud or ill device (mal engin) in case they come to terms this time, everything may be the better for it; if otherwise it will be always to begin again, through the distrust there is; which is such that by reason of what has happened his Highness has lost the heart of 100,000 people, besides his own loss. To wipe it out, he will have to do many good things in recompense, and change his advisers, for they might turn stones to bread in future, and it would not be thought any way good. Besides, the principal cause of what has happened was that at the arrival of his Highness in this country, after oath, receptions, entries, the thing was to set up his household establishment, and introduce about his person honest and honourable people of the country, as also for his guard, according to the customs and fashions in use here. But the avarice of the States here was the principal cause, for not giving this prince the means to set up his household, though he often spoke to them and had them spoken to about it; for when it was a question of maintaining his household and train at his own expense, he wanted also to have people of his own sort, who did not know the ways and customs of the country—were, indeed, wholly different in their way of acting; which often caused the Frenchmen entirely to lose what discipline they had had outside the country, as they will do again here, if his Highness does not take order. For this country manages itself in another fashion (such is our pleasure); and if he had often taken counsel and advice from his Excellency, matters would have taken another course in regard to him. If he will at all recover the good will of the people, he must come to that, and change his way of acting. He had very much their good will for his good-fellowship (humanité), kindness, and ease of access.
Those of Flanders have made all sorts of difficulties in the Council about letting his Highness have Dunkirk to go to, when giving up the other places, saying they want complete possession of their towns, without well considering the importance of the matter; for he who wants to have everything, often loses all. For this reason the States have sent deputies to them to-day, as also to Holland and elsewhere, for when a prince submits to reason after having received the injury, in treating with him one often injures oneself; as will happen if the agreement is not made; whether by the help of the King of France, or by coming to terms with the Spaniard, who would be as joyful as could be. And no doubt the Prince of Parma would feel honoured to grant him passage, being requested; which the wise and clear sighted will know how to judge and comprehend dispassionately. But what? There are few such at present; which causes and has up to now caused all the disorder and confusion in divers ways; in such wise that in a day or two the decision and the hope will be known. Meanwhile no victuals are being sent to Termonde. Whether this be left undone or not, those of Brussels desired his Highness with all his Swiss, and no other garrison in the town than their own people. He makes difficulties, saying that if he went there, he could not send his forces to the relief of Eyndhoven, with other considerations. If he accepts Mechlin, it is a convenient place to treat of the affairs of the country. He will be in absolute command there, having 'a' 600 Swiss for the guard of the town, and in the suburb of Negresepoulin (?) 400 harquebusiers and two companies of cavalry and all the rest of his people in the free country. As for going to Dunkirk, it is rather far off for negotiating on affairs with him and the way insecure by reason of the enemy. Mechlin is a convenient place—if he will go there while new forces are being raised in France for this spring, and order being taken for their payment.
M. de Bellièvre is still at Termonde. In sum, if no terms are come to, this country will have to suffer for the factions and the factious men that there are amid its storms. Many merchants also will leave this town; they are only waiting to hear what is resolved.—Antwerp, 12 March, 1583.
Add. to Walsingham as 'Chancellor of the Order.' Endd. Fr.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 82.]
March 3. 156. The King of Denmark to the Queen.
We have received simultaneously two letters from you, dated at Windsor, in which you deal very friendly with me in regard to certain matters concerning both private and public trade. We have no doubt of your having so entirely discovered our sincere affection towards you, from the very beginning of our reign, that in all matters affecting your dignity nothing can or should be expected of us but desire and a most ready will to further it.
But of some of the present matters contained in these letters the purport is such that we regret very much that with the best wishes we cannot assent to your requests, saving our own dignity and rights. Since, however, we hold nothing more important than your firm friendship and goodwill, we will do whatever can be done without prejudice or enormous injury to the rights handed down by our forefathers, to let you know by experience our desire to gratify you.
First, as to the ship which certain subjects of yours complain was stopped by our officer at Wardehus, nothing of the sort has so far been brought before us by them or anyone else. We will, however, make enquiries, and as soon as ever we learn the reason of that arrest, we will without delay take such steps as may be just in the circumstances to give the satisfaction sought.
Touching the 'Ruthenian' navigation, which you now again ask should be granted to your subjects without let or hindrance, we are mindful of the frequent discussions which have taken place between us, both by direct letters and through Commissioners, with full earnestness, but in a friendly way. Now unless that sea, the free navigation of which is claimed, were subject to us by reason of the two shores which bound it; if our royal right were not greatly injured, or wholly overthrown, by the free use of navigation which you are seeking; if our revenues were not being more and more reduced by it, which, as may be most plainly seen, we know not by reasoning, but by experience, whatever your subjects and traders may persuade you to the contrary; if express warning had not been given in the treaties made by our sainted predecessors that English traders—(these are the formal terms of the treaty of 1449)—"were not to sail towards Iceland, Helgaland, and Finmark, or to slant in that direction under any colourable pretext whatsoever, without the express license of the King of Norway or his officers thereto deputed"; if, lastly, our rights in that sea having been overthrown, and our dominion there unlawfully claimed by other contentious neighbours, there was not reason to fear that we might have the adjacent shores also called in question by the same; in that case we should not have allowed you to ask so often and in so friendly wise with no result.
Now, however, albeit we have many weighty and just grounds of refusal to move us to stand by our former declarations, in order that we may give real proof of our fraternal love and perpetual goodwill towards you, withdrawing from our excellent and undoubted right, we will consider of a way whereby our dominion over that sea may be preserved intact, and that navigation be permitted by special privilege to your subjects on fair and tolerable conditions of some small recognition, if fit men come to us as soon as possible with full instructions from you, or some of the traders themselves, with whom negotiations may be conveniently conducted.
You understand, at the same time, that the rights alleged by the traders and your commissioners from a prescription of 30 years or possession acquired, are of no weight at all. It would indeed be bad for the interests of princes, if their prerogatives and sovereign rights could be overthrown so easily by the business of traders and the usurpations of that sort of men, and come into the power of private persons. But we trust that this dominion of the sea handed down by our illustrious ancestors, our due by the admission of all other foreign nations, will not be controverted by you, our sister and friend, so closely bound to us.
As regards the restoration of our customs in the Sound to their former position with certain modifications, although we are aware of the request, the answer, and the action, which have already taken place between us in that matter, and desire nothing more than that in all realms a sure arrangement on equal terms may some day be established to meet the difficulties of trade, if this comes to pass, we shall not fail to do our good offices. And indeed from the first nothing was less our intention than to persist for ever in the established exaction of tolls, still less do we now think of doing so. But whereas we are alone in contemplating a reduction, while other princes are every day either instituting new and heavier duties, or acquiescing in the increase of the old ones, we are not clear that this can be either greatly demanded of us, or prudently granted by us. You have no doubt heard how in the recent Imperial Diet at Augsburg grave complaints were made by cities of the Empire against not us only, but yourself and the King of Sweden, in the matter of customs, and that on that subject legations from the States to each of us individually have been asked for, and as they say, granted. Seeing, however, that in the Roman Empire almost every year the old imposts are increased and new ones obtained, we cannot but deem that what the States of the Empire think to be lawful for themselves, they may fairly and freely allow to every king in his own realm.
Since, therefore, it does not for very weighty reasons seem good policy just at this time for us alone to make any, even a general reduction of the long-standing duties in the Sound, nor can special treatment conveniently be given to your subjects without grave offence to other nations, we beg that you will not mind reserving and postponing this business to a more convenient time and opportunity when there may be faculties for communicating with other princes and taking steps for the public utility. Meanwhile, if your subjects, contrary to any wish of ours, are burdened beyond the rate established for all nations alike, we will see that nothing of the kind happens in future.
But when they ask that none of their goods shall be taken for our use against their will, they seem to claim too much freedom and right of decision on that point. For although we think it rarely happens in practice; yet we cannot possibly renounce expressly, or for the sake of example only, a right which has for many centuries been accepted everywhere in the case of all princes, and doubtless in your own case, especially since nothing is ever asked from any man without a proper, due, and fair price being refunded (refuso). In which case we judge it in our opinion neither dishonourable nor unjust that some distinction should be made between the private cupidities of traders of that sort, and the dignity of kings and princes.
As to the paying of the dues in the customary coin of our realm, and the taking of a proper caution in lieu of payment, until the ships come home, and finally to prevent their detention longer than is fair before the payment of the dues, orders shall be given to the customs officers, that as careful and fair consideration shall be had on all these points as the circumstances of the case allow.
As requested in your letter, we gave your envoy free opportunity to speak, in order that if he had any other requests he might explain them as he would. But since on repeated occasions he put forward nothing but what was in the letter, we beg you to interpret in friendly wise and accept this as our reply to the letter, and lay open your mind to us in the first place in respect to our proposal about the 'Ruthenian' navigation, through this our servant whom we have sent for that express purpose.—'In arce nostra Novogardia,' 3 March, 1583.
Add. Latin. 5 pp. [Denmark I. 27.]
March 3. 157. Audley Danett to Walsingham.
My last was of 24 Feb. sent by a man of Sir Thomas Parratt's. Since that time, on Tuesday last, the 26th, arrived here from the duke, M. des Pruneaux with three of the deputies sent four days before from the States; who signify that 'at no hand' the duke will enter into Brussels, but desires rather to keep his Court at Mechlin, or to go to Dunkirk, and there 'grow to some further appointment.' In the mean time he offers to send his forces to the succour of Eyndhoven, so as 'the States will at once furnish him with 30,000 crowns' 'sol.' He insists on having the prisoners in this town set at liberty, and hostages of this town and the States, to the number of six of the best, to be chosen by the duke, for his safe passage to Dunkirk and Dixmude, with some other clauses in his articles, which cause many to fear this treaty will be drawn out to some length.
On Saturday March 2 the States sent back des Pruneaux with some others, their deputies, to signify that it shall be in the duke's choice to accept of Brussels, as it was resolved last week, or otherwise, to come into Mechlin with a competent garrison, or repair to Dunkirk at his pleasure. For the hostages they make some difficulty, and hardly will some that are demanded be persuaded to go; but if the rest be concluded, upon the sending of some French hostages, which has been proposed, I think there will be no stay touching that point, nor likewise for the money; for the States have already 'accorded for' 50,000 or 60,000 guilders. M. des Pruneaux seems to give some hope that the great difficulties are almost dispatched; but yet many here suspect the event, and fear it will prove little to the benefit of the country.
Eyndhoven is said to parley with the enemy, of which there is great presumption, both because the place is unfurnished with any store of victuals, and because they have often sent messengers hither to advertise their state, but can receive no comfortable answer.
It is also bruited, but how truly I know not, that the Prince of Orange some time this week goes into Zealand to marry Admiral Châtillon's daughter, M. Téligny's widow; although some say the admiral's widow. Many talk diversely of this, and suppose it to be a 'practice' to retire from hence; but God knows the truth. I only write to you what is talked by the people. As anything is done herein, I will advertise you further.—Antwerp, 3 March, 1582.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 83.]
Mar. 3/13 158. Thomas Doyley to Walsingham.
You may perceive the substance of our occurrents by the papers here enclosed; with the writing of which since I am tired through the indisposition of my body, I will add little or nothing of my own.
Our deputies returning on Monday last, accompanied only by des Pruneaux, brought these articles. Other deputies are sent with them to request the duke to sign them, being allowed both by the States-General and also by the Breedenraed of Antwerp. They have in charge to return with answer to-morrow. Our cavalry of Antwerp were lately well beaten by those of Lierre.
M. de Meurs (?) a French colonel died lately; also Neufville, who succeeded la Noue in his regiment.
It is said the Prince goes shortly to Zealand. 'Other' report of his marriage with the Duchess of Entremont, last wife to Coligny, Admiral of France; or rather to his daughter, the widow of Téligny, who sojourns in Savoy with her 'mother-in-law.'
The fear of my fit or the haste of the post makes me short.—Antwerp, the 13th of 'our March.' 1583 [sic].
Add. Endd. March 3. ½ p. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 84.]
Mar. 3/13. 159. Dr. Peter de Rotis to Walsingham.
I received on the 5th inst. the letter you wrote me, from which it was very pleasant to me to hear that the Queen and yourself approved the plan of my business, and that she was willing to grant to me and my heirs for ever all that is sought in remuneration of my work. In the first place I must thank her Majesty for her kind declaration, and then yourself for having by your diligent recommendation of my scheme obtained so liberal a reply from her; and I see nothing else to be done on my part than to show a convenient way, whereby usury, so long condemned, may by the adoption of a 'good usury' in its place be exterminated throughout the realm of England. That way you will, as I hope, have been able to see from my work handed to Mr. Gilpin. Since I returned home from the Diet of Augsburg I have put together an epitome of my work, which will I hope throw a little light on it. This epitome I hope to get out about Easter, when an occasion will offer of sending one and another copy to your country. I will send them to Mr. Gilpin in order that he may forward one to you. If any difficulties are found there likely to hinder or delay the introduction of my rating and assessment [qy. foenoris vel census], I am ready to repair thither to show ways and means by which such difficulties may be averted; for having dealt with this matter for many years, I have formed the opinion that no difficulties can anywhere be found hard enough to hinder the introduction of the 'Rotic' rating and assessment. This is the answer which I think should be written to your letter.—Vienna, 13 March, 1583.
Add. Endd. Latin.pp. [Ibid. XVIII. 84 bis.]
Mar. 5. 160. Benjamin Anes to Walsingham.
I am so much beholden to you for your goodness shown always to me that wherever I am I will profess to be your servant, Having special charge from Dr. Lopez, my brother-in-law, to write to you such news as there is in these parts, I embolden myself to trouble you with this letter; which though it be not worthy to be read by you, yet trusting you will 'except' of it as one who in greater matters of my ability or power was equal to me in good will would employ himself in your service at any time when I am commanded by you, and as long as I remain in this country, I will advertise you of such news as there is [sic].
At my coming hither, which was about 12 days ago, I brought letters from the king Don Antonio, written at Paris, which were the first that came hither since his arrival there. They were joyfully received both by the Condé of Torres Vedras, who is governor here, and by the common people; and that day there was a general procession made for the good news. I brought likewise a letter from my Lord of Leicester and another from my Lord of Warwick, and Mr. Philip Sidney, to the earl, which letters he read openly to the people, since they 'came very honourable,' especially that of my Lord of Leicester. And the people with one voice cried 'God save the Queen and the noblemen that favour our cause.' And within two days after, there came in a small bark from France, bringing letters from the Queen Mother to the earl, which he translated out of French into Portuguese 'because' the commons should see what she wrote. She advertised the earl that she was sending out of hand 1,200 men, who should come hither with all speed for the defence of this island and the rest, and that she would be 'amenes' [a means] to the king her son that Don Antonio should have help, 'as' should bring them out of bondage. This letter came in on Sunday afternoon. This being translated was delivered to the preacher, and after ending his sermon, he 'showed' the people the earl had received letters from the king, and likewise from England from the Earls of Leicester and Warwick, and Mr. Philip Sidney, wherein they promised they would be a means to her Majesty she should assist the king; wherefore he desired the people to pray for the welfare of her Majesty, the Earls of Leicester and Warwick, and yourself, by name, at which the people cried, 'God save them all.' Likewise he showed the letter of the Queen Mother, and for her and the King of France they did the like; and surely all the people in this country are in great hope of her Majesty's assistance.
Touching the strength of this island: it is very strong, for it has 32 'bulwarks' and forts about it, and every one furnished with ordnance, as well brass as iron, powder and shot, and men for their defence. The people of this city every day work to strengthen a place called Brasill, where they are making a new fort, and intrenching it round about. They have made it now marvellous strong, and the governor takes such pains, every day overseeing the workmen, and giving order for the defence of everything, and sometimes taking the shovel and working among them, that I promise you he deserves great commendations. There are in this island 1,000 French and English, 800 here in the city and 200 'at praye' (? on the coast). The rest of the forts are kept by 'Portingaells,' where they think there is no landing, being places where there are forts 'builded superfluous.' The people of the country agree now 'wery' well with the French; as for our Englishmen, so well beloved [sic] that they call them brothers, and so a great many of them are married since their coming hither. In the making of these forts the captains, soldiers, gentlemen, friars and priests work daily; every company as its day is appointed, and so willingly as it is not to be believed but those [sic] that see them.
About four days ago there was brought into this harbour an English ship of Hampton by a carvell of this island, wherein were 80 'Portingaells.' This ship came from St. Michael's and was going homeward, laden with woad and sugar. 'Presently' at her coming in the master was brought ashore, and the Portugal captain came with him before the Condé, and they brought all his letters. The earl asked him whether he had any strangers' goods in his ship; he answered, not to his knowledge. And whether the Portugals had misused him or his company; he said they had taken from him some of his men's apparel. Whereupon he caused a captain to go aboard with Captain Sackfilde, and that they should restore to him all such things as they had taken from him, and if he lacked any things, he would pay; “for” says he, “I am subject to the Queen, and during my life all Englishmen shall be well used where I am.” This the master can testify, and for other trifles they had taken for the carvell's provision, he would see it paid. The earl made him take an oath whether he had any more letters on board, and so he did, saying he had one which was of no effect. This he brought, and by 'them' he found that there were 220 'kantals' [qy. quintals] of woad that belonged to a Portugal in St. Michael's whose name is Gaspar Dias, which letter he showed the master of the ship; and being found, he caused it to be brought aland, 'contenting' the master for his freight. And all the rest, which appertained to Englishmen, he did not meddle with. Among these letters was one written by the Governor of St. Michael's, a Spaniard, to Don Bernardino de Mendoza. What the contents of it are, I know not; but presently he caused with as much speed as may be two ships to be made ready, and four carvells to go out, which will be gone within this three days. Whither they go, no man 'knows certain,' but they were made ready upon some advice he found in that letter.
Yesterday there was seen about this island a ship with her masts broken. As soon as she was descried, three carvells went out of this harbour to know what she was. One of them returned, and brought news she came from the Islands of Cabo Verde, and was one of the fleet that went thither before the king's departure. The news which she brings is, that being in all 9 sail they came to the Isle of Santiago, which is the chief of them; where they landed 50 men, sending the king's letters to the bishop, who is governor of that country, and to the captain. The bishop accepted the king's letters, and would willingly have yielded the country to him; the captain would not, nor would he let the messenger go back with answer, but gathered together about 4,000 negroes and Portugals and made himself as strong as he could. The others, seeing the messenger stayed so long, caused 100 men to be landed, who, with the 50, 'entered the land,' willing the ships meanwhile to go and take the castles if they could; and they, coming towards the city, found the captain in the order 'as before.' They set upon him, and killed many of them; the rest fled to the mountains, and so did they of the city, whereupon the Portugals, French and some Englishmen sacked the city, where they found great riches. They spared none, but such as were the king's friends, that they found 'thereamongs.' There is one that was the keeper of the orphans' goods, and such as die there that come out of the Indies, who has embarked himself, wife, and children to come hither, and brings a great mass of money. The ships took the forts, and from them such ordnance as they had, in number 40 pieces, all brass, of which 20 pieces are come in this ship. The other island, called Isle of Fogo, one of those of Cabo Verde, has proclaimed Don Antonio and sent the captain to the general, willing him to come thither. They would lade his ships with cotton-wool and hides, and send a present to the king besides in money. The said ships went all thither, carrying with them eight men they took there; and this ship having her mast broken left them all going to the Isle of Fogo, and she came home. The others cannot be long, by reason the islands are not far asunder. What they took at Santiago, in amber, money, and merchandise is 'extimed' at 200,000 crowns, besides that which they will bring from the other island, which is of great importance, for it lies in the highway to St. Lucar and the Indies. The earl is making ready meal and other victuals to be sent thither; of which they have great lack, for it has not rained there this two years.
The castle of 'Myne' is also for the king, for they sent letters hither for him.
This is all the news there is here at present.—Angra, 5 March, 1582.
Add. Endd.pp. [Portugal II. 4.]
Mar. 6. 161. Antonio Capponi to Walsingham.
I have been very sorry to hear the death of Signor Piero Capponi, which has displeased me on account both of the relationship between us, and of his service with you, in which I seemed to myself to be a sharer, agreeing with him in the same desire, being bound by the great benefits done to him. And since fortune was not willing to grant him the effect of the desire which he had to discharge in part his obligations, I now beg you to hold me in the same degree of goodwill; assuring you that while I have life I shall always be desirous to do you such service as becomes me.
At present I am here at Terceira with a company in the service of the King Don Antonio, sent by the Queen Mother my mistress: and because I know that by the Count of Torres Vedras, viceroy here, and others, you can be particularly informed of the proceedings here, I will not bore you any longer, but beg you to hold me among your most affectionate and faithful servants.—Angra, 6 March, 1583.
Add. in Fr. Endd. (Note on back: Edmond Capell of Southt. 100 quintals). Ital.pp. [Portugal II. 5.]
Mar. 8. 162. Gilpin to Walsingham.
I send by this bearer, my servant, the book with the abridgement, of Dr. Rhotis's device to cut off usury, which he delivered to me at Augsburg, upon conditions as per my letter of 2 December, long since received by you and answered. I particularly notified it, so that I shall not need at this time to make any 'repetall' of them; only to recommend the author's goodwill and work to you, so that he may understand I have discharged the duty of my promise. And if it be so liked by the Queen that the 'platt' be put in execution, my request is that the desire I have to do some good service may by you favourably to her goodness be remembered. There has also been told me another device that one here is about, touching money delivered at usury and per exchange, how benefit should thereby come to the Prince; which I will further enquire of and then write you if I find it worth advertisement.
Touching goods shipped from Antwerp, I have laid wait with all care possible, but the late question fallen out upon the French dealing makes the merchants there forbear trading almost to any place. When occasion shall fall out worth sending, I shall not fail to dispatch over to you.
This bearer, having served certain years, and 'is' still to continue with me, has taken pains, by writing and otherwise, in those businesses 'I have been employed' by you, and has received of me for his service the allowance promised. Yet if you be good to him towards the charge of his coming and bringing the packet of books over, he would be further bound, and I think myself likewise greatly beholden.—Middelburg, 8 March, 1582.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 86.]
March 10. 163. Gilpin to Walsingham.
My last [sic] was the 24 February, since which I wrote to Mr. Thompson such news as I could learn, and sent certain enclosed copies, not doubting but ere this they have been communicated to you. I have not understood since that time any great or weighty matter to trouble you with; and yet would not overpass two posts without sending copies of such news as I received this week from Cologne and Antwerp. Here all is quiet, and they look for the Prince within 10 or 12 days to receive his lady and 'wife shallbe.' To which end they begin to 'procure' his lodging in the Abbey, and await the 'harmingers' 'coming to lodge both trains.
The peasants in Flanders range themselves altogether under the Malcontents, abhorring the French severe rule in the late possessed towns. To forward this, they report for certain that the Prince of Parma has strictly commanded no 'bores' to be imprisoned, ransomed, or harmed as partakers with the States, but friendly used as the king's subjects; and hereby their hearts are so won that it is doubted the rest will follow a like course, and the towns be left destitute of good neighbours.
Out of Holland is not heard of late any great matter, only that they generally dislike the Prince's new intended match with another French lady, doubting that the affection that way begun by his first will be doubled by means of the second.—Middelburg, 10 March, 1582.—I have dispatched my servant to come over, who stays only for the first ship's departure.
P.S.—By a letter I received to-day from 'Rees,' one of the Duke of Cleve's towns, I was certified that Mr. Daniel Rogers and his brother 'were gotten' over the walls of the castle and almost escaped, but espied and taken again, and now very straitly kept and used.
Add. Endd. by Walsingham. 1 p. [Ibid. XVIII. 87.]
Mar. 10. 164. Audley Danett to Walsingham.
On the 3rd inst. after I had written my last letter, I understood that the States-General, finding some backwardness in the quatre membres and those of Flanders to treat with the duke, and that they shewed some unwillingness to let him pass to Dunkirk, chose among themselves three persons, whom they sent severally to Ghent, Bruges, and those of the 'Franck,' to let them understand how far they had proceeded in the treaty with the duke, and of their hope to see it take some good effect; and therefore prayed them not to sever themselves, nor to make any difficulty to permit him quietly to pass to Dunkirk, according to his demands sent to them from Dermond. To which those of Flanders yielded at length, and dispatched their resolution to the States' deputies sent to Dermonde; whereupon the treaty was concluded, and the deputies all sent hither with the news of it on Saturday morning the 9th. Some difficulty is yet to be ended touching the money demanded by the duke, which was raised from 30,000 to 50,000 crowns 'sol.' the States offering only 50,000 florins. It is thought if they are able to furnish something near to the duke's first demand, he will hold himself contented, knowing they have a great charge at present on their shoulders, to content the forces in the land of Waes and almost all the garrisons in these countries, many of whom having of late fallen to mutiny will not be content under three months' pay, especially Bergen-op-Zoom, Mechlin, and Brussels, with some others further off. This treaty is not yet put in any execution, because the force in the land of Waes must first retire thence over the water into Brabant, for which purpose the States are at present treating with Mr. Norris for the English, and so after with the rest, to give them some reasonable contentment. Among other good offices which M. Bellièvre has made show of in the furthering of this appointment, it is said he has laboured very earnestly with certain French merchants following their trade here, to borrow 15,000 crowns for the duke, to be paid again in France; and for some token of this dealing, the duke has sent an express messenger hither to demand his ordinary seal, which ever since his departure hence has remained here in custody, to the end he might seal the merchants such assurance for their money as they demand. I dare not take upon me to judge of the success of the treaty. Those of the better sort hope well; but others fear that in the execution of it some difficulties will fall out. As anything shall happen, I will be ready to advertise you, as also of the Prince's marriage, the bruit whereof continues still, but no certain speech of the time.—Antwerp, 10 March, 1582.
Add. Endd.pp. [Ibid. XVIII. 88.]
Mar. 10. 165. Stokes to Walsingham.
My last was the 3rd inst., since which these speeches have passed here.
The Malcontents that were come between Cassel and Dunkirk have departed thence and are gone by command of the Prince of Parma between Lille and Douay, where all the forces of Hainault and Artois assemble, but for what cause is not yet known.
M. de Swevinghem is not prisoner, but commanded by the Prince of Parma not to depart from Tournay until his pleasure be further known. And 'where' it was said that M. de Warevelt, Governor of Oudenarde, was beheaded at Tournay, it is not so; for it is another captain, that had the keeping of another castle between Oudenarde and Ghent that was beheaded at Tournay; some say for spoiling the peasants, and some say for that he had some secret dealing with the Gentners.
The speech is here that agreement is made between Monsieur and the States, and that Monsieur must deliver all the towns save Dunkirk; and for Bergues, though they are French that keep it, he says that town is at the States' command, because those French were in the service of the States before he came into the country. So he says they are to be 'commanded from thence' at the States' pleasure; and so it is said that he shall pass through the country to Dunkirk with but 300 horse and as many foot, all Frenchmen, for his guard, and the rest of the French forces shall be sent into Brabant to the aid of Eyndhoven.
This agreement it seems is made by the Prince and States of Brabant. Those of Flanders were not made privy to it, for they had no deputies there among the States; so that Ghent, Bruges, and Ypres, 'who' are the chief Members of Flanders will not agree to this agreement, for they are greatly offended that any such thing should be done without their consent. For which cause it is much feared, if God do not prevent it, that there will be some disunion of the united states; for they of Flanders say that Brabant is the chief cause of this agreement, only to drive the wars into Flanders, that they might sit the quieter in Brabant. So there is great fear of some disorder to fall among them, if it be not with wisdom foreseen in time; and no doubt the Malcontents are advertised of this disorder, for they have their spies here in every town.
There also goes a secret speech here, though this agreement be made in order as aforesaid, yet it is much doubted that Monsieur, when it comes to the point, will not deliver Dixmude for that town lies very commodious for him; and though he makes Bergues not to be at his command, yet he has it as sure as any of the other towns, and therefore it is greatly feared that this speech of agreement is but for a delay to win time, for it will not hold.
By letters from Calais, the French king has sent a great sum of money thither, to be sent to Dunkirk against Monsieur's coming thither. They also write that great forces are coming out of France towards these parts, and that it is hoped that Monsieur will be master of all the towns on the sea-coast from Dunkirk to Sluys ere long. Such is their writing from Calais.
The commons here murmur very much against the Prince of Orange's marriage with a French lady, 'whom' they say here is a widow, and the daughter of M. de Châtillon. So the Prince grows every day more out of favour 'of' the commons, only because they see him lean so much to the French.—Bruges, 10 March, 1582.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 89.]
Mar. 10/20. 166. Count da Silva to Walsingham.
I wrote to you a few days ago, and nothing new has happened that I can write of now, only my great will to serve you and your desires in all that is in my power. Benjamin Anes would not go from hence without a letter from me to you. He will tell you of the position we are in in these islands, and the king's affairs, and how prosperously all has fallen out for him, and will signify the great wish I have to employ myself in matters of your service, and how much I should esteem it, if you wished to test it by commanding me in this island when anything offers.—In the town of Praia, en da ilha 3 (i.e. Terceira), 20 March, 1583.
Add. Endd.: 3 March. Port. ½ p. [Portugal II. 6.]