Elizabeth: March 1583, 21-31

Pages 199-237

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, 21–31

Mar. 21. 182. Cobham to Walsingham.
Smallet repaired to me on the 16th inst., when he entered into the 'purpose' of his accustomed persuasions, tending to 'frame me to conceive' that d'Aubigny would be contented to leave the intelligence and support he has from the French king and the Duke of Guise, so that he might be received and made assured of good liking and acceptance; offering that his fidelity be reserved to Scotland, he is contented to run such course as the Queen shall direct him, for the uniting of England and Scotland, wherein he will leave nothing undone, nor spare his travail and life, and will discover and utter what other pretences or actions have in former times come to his knowledge, or that he may in any sort understand or been made privy to; 'pretending' to take the ways to find out the dispositions of other princes, who shall take in hand any actions against the Queen.
For the more certainty of this, d'Aubigny determines, after he shall receive the assurance of the Queen's good will, to 'direct' Smallet into England, to deliver from him assurances and pledges for those further 'accomplements' and performance of his promises as he made to the Queen, offering to have his eldest son marry in England or elsewhere, as it pleases her. Moreover, being made certain of her favour, he will cause Glencarne to follow her, with others of his faction and dependency.
After Smallet had delivered me these abovesaid speeches in the name of d'Aubigny, he requested that I would deliver in writing a note which might specify how I was willing to deal towards the Queen in his behalf. After he had seen this, he would incontinently send me another writing, signed with his name, wherein he meant to signify his disposition to see the Queen. But I informed Smallet that I could not pass anything under my handwriting until I had command to do it. Notwithstanding, I thought it requisite for d'Aubigny to assure the Queen with his writing and all other ways he might, and considering that it belongs to sovereign princes to be sought unto; especially as d'Aubigny was the better to enjoy his 'gotten' estates in Scotland country [sic] and to receive more assured benefits in England than were given in France. Thereon Smallet uttered how he would be loath that d'Aubigny should be 'trained' and deceived. I willed him and d'Aubigny to examine the manner of the Queen, if 'they' [sic] ever left any destitute of favour and help whom 'they' took into 'their' protection; which proof might serve him for an assurance. Then he promised to deal with d'Aubigny to trust to the Queen's goodness; as for himself, he seemed to 'ascertain' me, for the better demonstration of his 'particular clear meaning,' that he intended to make me see those instructions, commissions, and letters, whatsoever he shall be dispatched with, and to seek by all his possible means to discover the intentions of the French king, the Queen Mother, and the Duke of Guise. He declared further that the French king was inclined to send a principal person to the Queen with earnest request that she would desist from dealing or intermeddling in the causes and estates of the King of Scots, being his kinsman and ally. The like office is to be performed by the King of Spain's servant in England. In the mean time the Duke of Guise would 'practise' the Scottish Queen's deliverance. Lastly I understood from him that d'Aubigny had received 2,000 crowns from the French king during his being at Dumbarton. Thus our conference for this time ended.
Next day Smallet came again, not in any secret manner, bringing me commendations from d'Aubigny, protesting that he was more inclined to put himself in the Queen's hands, than to remain in France, finding their proceedings to be full of inconstancy, without any faithfulness. And as for the Scottish king, he 'assured' that he was naturally a deep dissembler, for which fault he had often blamed him. He 'enlarged' to me that the Scottish king had at sundry times earnestly urged him to transport him into France, finding that his heart is 'alhouly' [qy. all wholly] affectioned to his kindred and friends there. Now this other day the king had written to him to return to him quietly as he might, and all things should come to pass to his desire. Lastly he delivered me the enclosed writing from d'Aubigny, which Smallet has signed. I found by his discourse that within a very few days he thinks to be dispatched to the lords, and so by their means, either secretly or openly, to be brought in to Scotland.
'Betaking' these particulars to her Majesty's judgement, to be employed to the purpose [sic]; But because I hear that d'Aubigny is so much visited by the Duke of Guise and his adherents, and that his wife has often access to the Queen Mother, I suppose he has been by oath and other their sacraments fastened to them heretofore; otherwise methinks they would not trust him in so weighty causes. So that I stand in doubt, in my own weak opinion, how I may think that d'Aubigny could properly be assured to the Queen, or that 'they' might receive and trust him. But if she commands, I will do my best to induce Smallett to go into England, to the intent that he may be heard, and dealt with by you, through which the sounder 'concept' may be had of his meaning. I beseech you that this may be known to me the speedilier, because of his 'short parting.'
D'Aubigny requested me by this his friend that I would bestow a Bible on him. I delivered him a Testament, with another good book, and the Bible is 'in binding.' I pray God he will as faithfully use it to His glory as I was contented to that end to bestow it.
I have enquired of him to whom the French king would marry the King of Scots. He said to the Princess of Lorraine; but I am persuaded not to believe it, being advertised that it is meant that the Scottish king shall marry the Duke of Guise's daughter.—Paris, 21 March 1582.
Add. Endd. 3 pp. [France IX. 64.]
(? Enclosed in the last.)
Mar. 17. 183. Smallet to Cobham.
My Lord of Lenox' desire is to know whether this 'tracte' be as 'meikil likit of and weilwilit' by the ambassador's mistress as by himself; and therefore having clear and sure knowledge thereof, he shall 'enter in free terms concerning his particular.' And for other things depending on his master's will, advice, or consent, he thinks to remit them to his next conference which 'the Majesty of England' will procure, or otherwise permit, that it may be had with the king his master, to the effect that the weal and advancement which he may hope for in consenting to her reasonable desires, be 'proponit' and more at length declared to her Highness.
Since the said ambassador 'creavis to witt' [qy. craves to know] (as it is reported) whether my Lord of Lenox be willing to enter in free terms of promise with the Queen of England, according to his offer lately made to herself, this far he may be assured, that the said lord's mind never has been, nor yet is, otherways inclined than to perform and put in execution his promises. Therefore if it be anyway meant to try the truth and experience thereof, it shall be found that wherever he dedicates his service, he neither spares all things depending on his power, not yet his life, less than the weight and necessity of affairs requires. So if he enterprises anything for her Majesty's service, he hopes to perform the 'saming' truly, as pertains to a man of honour to do, moved specially by an earnest desire to let her Majesty know in effect that all the 'aurang' [qy. a-wrong] reports made of him, to put him out of her conceit, are indeed false, as he confirmed the 'saming' at his last conference with her, when the honour was granted to him to kiss her hands.
And for conclusion, his religion being 'conforme' to his master's, the king of Scotland, which her Majesty's self professes also, the zeal which he has to it may constrain him further than any 'wardlie' [worldly] creature may do or might 'had' done in times by-passed. So if he may receive sufficient occasion to believe that all the ambassador's sayings are to be allowed by his mistress, he will therefore interpret further of his mind. (Signed) Jhone Smalet of Kirktowne.
Endd. by L. Tomson and dated. Scottish. 1 p. [France IX. 64a.]
? March. 184. Scottish Affairs.
I have been advertised, by another means that d'Aubigny's friend, how the Earl Gorre [qy. Gowry] is returned to be entirely inclined to the French king's and d'Aubigny's devotion. He has given by his letters written here to them assurance hereof. And because d'Aubigny understands Gowry is discovered, he doubts that Mar and 'Glambes' will bereave him of his life. They are informed that certain of the lords have held a little convention at the Lord Crayford's house. I perceive they 'faint' of the hope they had, but will force the matter otherwise, if they may.
It will be good for Coningham to stay in England, and to send his letters; because they ask much after his return, and if he send his letters, I doubt not but to convey his friend in safety.
Fragment in Cobham's hand. On back: for Mr. Secretary. 1 p. [Ibid IX. 65.]
Mar. 21/31. 185. The Prince of Orange to Walsingham.
The bearer of this, named Arnoult de Haersolt. Doctor of Laws, has represented to me that he has written a certain book intituled Adversaria de actionibus tam civilibus quam criminalibus, which he has dedicated, he says, to the Queen of England, with the intention of going himself to present it to her. He begs me to give (impartir) him a favourable word to you to this effect; and although it is a matter outside my business (profession), I could not decline to write you this letter at his request and beg you to have him in good commendation, in order that by your assistance he may the more easily achieve his laudable intent.—Antwerp, the last of March, 1593.
Add. Endd. Fr. ½ p. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 96.]
Mar. 22. 186. Cobham to Walsingham.
The king has so entirely embraced this his new confraternity of penitents that he will not have them named Battus, nor has left the preacher in Notre-Dame Church unrebuked, and forbidden the pulpit, sent from hence in disgrace [sic], and all others punished, the pages of the Court as well as others, having in merriment counterfeited with their cloaks the muffling of the penitents. So he shows himself very zealous and vehement in this professed Order, having 'this other days' clad himself thoroughly in a kind of friar's grey cloth. Meanwhile by reason of the late published impositions, and the mislike had of this new religious Order, the people have shown themselves scandalized, and a doubt of tumult was risen, in such sort that they gave out how the king intended to have their weapons in Paris taken from them. But this was but a bruit, which often is blustered without consequence; neither is there any other matter to be looked for, as I conceive, for the nature of the French is always inclined to be much obedient to their prince, and to support all things with free speeches which pass away.
The danger will grow to those of the Religion, when the towns which they hold in sundry parts are to be restored to the king, according to the Edict of Pacification. This cause is to be thoroughly considered by those of the Religion, and of all others their well-wishers; for it seems that in Germany there are raised causes of dissension, and among the Swiss evil beginnings of division appear. What is in working in other countries may the better be foreseen, seeing the malice is spread and scattered in all places, as the Pope and his adherents may get means.
The Duke of Savoy has again this week sent hither an extraordinary messenger, 'and' given out to be for matter of marriage.
The French king's ambassador for Venice is gone to Ferrara and Mantua, where he is negotiating with the Duke of Mantua a match to be had in France with one of the daughters of Lorraine, and with the Duke of Ferrara for another marriage with the son of Don Alfonso d'Este.
The rumour continues how after Easter the Queen Mother is to repair to Calais, or to some town near the frontier, to confer with her son, who is said to be come to Dunkirk. But the king, I hear, is discontented that the English have opposed themselves so stoutly against Monsieur; wherein I have been forewarned by some to wish those English and Scottish to take heed they be not 'trayned,' to be delivered in prey to the Spaniards.
The Duke of Guise came hither on the 17th inst. and is now entered into the fraternity of the Penitents.
The king is taking away the daughter of Villequier, meant to have been married to M. d'O, to match her now with the Duke of Aumale's brother.
I have visited Madam 'Tylline,' who departed two days ago from this town towards Dieppe, to embark in the company of Mme la Noue, and so to pass into Flanders, to become the Prince of Orange's wife; being a right virtuous comely lady, of singular behaviour and rare fame.
The presumptions increase and daily become more evident that the French king intends to publish the Council of Trent, and to have a tribunal and certain judges; which is now in framing.
M. Pinart has sent me answer, how the king has resolved that the English merchants trading Rochelle shall pay the new impositions, as his own subjects, which is his determination. Because he has answered the Rochellais that they shall pay the new impositions, I hear they pretend to protest against his order for the maintenance of their privileges.
From Spain they advertise that the Empress was come to Madrid, and the king was looked for to be there before to-day. It is signified that there is much intelligence between King Philip and the King of Fez, and an assured hope that the Spanish king has concluded a peace for three years with the Turk. They write that in Lisbon there was published another pardon by King Philip, excepting no person.
From Rome it is certified that M. de Foix has 'recovered' the extremity of his sickness, having been like to die; and desires his revocation, which the king has granted. The Cardinal of Perugia is dead, and the Cardinals of Savelli, Montalto, 'Sancta Severina,' and Rambouillet were very sick and in danger of death. The Pope is sending one of their religious persons into Ireland, to have information what state the country is in for the Romish sect, with other like instructions.
The noblemen in the kingdom of Naples and the other principal personages, are much moved with the manner of the visitors' proceedings sent from Spain, finding their privileges broken, and the chief benefices and offices bestowed on Spaniards.
I send you herewith a small treatise, confuting the allegations of the pretended claim of the Duke of Guise to the Crown of France.—Paris, 22 March 1582.
Add. Endd. by Walsingham; and in an early 18th cent. hand: A grievance that offices are bestowed on strangers. 2½ pp. [France IX. 66.]
Mar. 23. 187. Audley Janett to Walsingham.
Since the signing of the treaty by the duke and the sending of it from Dermonde, he has written divers letters to the States, showing his thankful accepting of their travail in that business, and his inclination to do the country good, with promise to make it appear to them ere long by good effects. Since then M. des Pruneaux is arrived here with a confirmation of the duke's good meaning in that behalf; and for the better performance of it 'has' thought good that the said M. des Pruneaux shall remain still about the States, for the speedy dispatch of such things as are to be performed by them; namely, the sending of their money, the preparing of bridges to pass the rivers, and all things else which may hasten his journey to Dunkirk. On Wednesday the 20th, 6,000 guilders were sent to Vilvorde to discharge the garrison there, and from hour to hour 'is looked' to have news of the departure of the French from thence, and so afterwards in accomplishment of the rest, according to the treaty. The first place for service is for Eyndhoven, which they 'pretend' to succour; but it seems to me the preparations go forward much like the aid for Oudenarde last summer. Somewhat must seem to be done, to content a clamorous people, but many fear that place is already accounted desperate. Notwithstanding, it is of great importance, and will be a great bridle to the enemy, if it be relieved in time. If it come to be lost, it is said by some the States can be content the blame should be laid on the forces in the land of Waes, who refuse to depart thence, or to march to any service without first receiving some reasonable contentment. Since their last demands, they have come somewhat lower, as you may see by the enclosed, exhibited to-day to the States, who stand still upon their first offer, and by no treaty can be brought to enlarge any further. If the matter be not handled with the better discretion, I fear this will prove not the least inconvenience, and perhaps more trouble than is presumed or looked for.
Mme de Téligny is looked for the next fair wind to come to Zealand, and from thence to this town, where the marriage will be solemnised; and 'some speech' that at the same time the Prince's eldest daughter will likewise be married to Count 'Hollock,' who being lately arrived here is said to have come hither for that purpose only.
M. des Pruneaux meeting the other day with Mr. Norris at the castle, delivered very good speeches to him from the duke, signifying that his Highness was so far from condemning his being in the land of Waes by the command of the States that he accounted it as service done to himself. These, with many more speeches of his Highness's good favour towards him and the English captains, he said he was charged to deliver to Mr. Norris and the captains together; as also, that all things might be forgotten, and that from henceforth they might all proceed friendly together in the service of the country. This finished, there followed some other compliments; how glad Marshal Biron was to understand he should be accompanied by so valiant and so 'advised' a captain as was Mr. Norris. Which being very good speeches, and delivered by one that can speak well, I dare not but hope the best; the rather because in some discourse afterwards with me, it pleased him to enter into this argument, with protestations that he did not speak en courtisan mais en amy en toute rondeur et franchement. And this being all I have to trouble you with at present touching these proceedings here, I am humbly to crave pardon for what follows.
It has pleased you heretofore to give me leave to trouble you touching 'my own particular,' and many times without any suit of mine to have me in remembrance, so that I have no cause to doubt of your accustomed good will towards me, or to fear I should be forgotten if any occasion should fall out for my benefit. Nevertheless, having now these ten months remained in these parts about Mr. Norris, whose service, in respect of the gentleman, and of the many good parts are in him, I could be content to follow, yet fearing lest the 'place of attendance' may be judged more beneficial to me than in truth it is, or in any appearance is like to be, considering the small means Mr. Norris has, and the slender entertainment he receives in these parts. I have presumed to become a suitor to you, that if I may be thought fit for any 'room' at home, or otherwise to follow her Majesty's service under some ambassador abroad, you will be a mean for my preferment as occasion shall be offered. The greatest part of my maintenance fails by my mother's death, who is a woman of good years; and when it shall please God to take her hence, her little portion being divided among many of us, that part which she leaves me must needs be small. My only desire is to be able to live in some honest course by my travail and service. Wherein I beg you to continue your good favour and furtherance toward me as any good opportunity shall be offered; and that you will pardon this my continual boldness, wherein I may seem not much unlike to the common sort of beggars, who usually repair to those doors where they are wont to be best relieved.—Antwerp, 23 March, 1582.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holl., Fl. XVIII. 97.]
March 23. 188. John Somers to Walsingham.
You remember that I came from the Court on Saturday the 16th. Sunday betimes I was at Sandwich, where I understood at Canterbury passage was readier for these parts than at Dover, and that the hard weather had put all the passengers from that road. At Sandwich I remained to my grief Monday and Tuesday, and on Wednesday morning at three I took 'shipping for Sluys. But the uncertain wind having kept me on the sea till Thursday night, with much ado I got then to Nieuport. Friday I came by waggon, for lack of other means, to the gates of this town. You know, or 'heard,' what the 'seallings' [qy. sealings (sc. of the roads)] are in winter, specially for waggons, and 'out of which we come not clean.' This Saturday morning I came into this town at eight the gates opening no sooner. The way was safe enough, for neither enemies nor friends willingly travel that way now. At Nieuport I learned that there was a way made between that town and Dixmude, by boats over rivers, for Monsieur to pass to Dunkirk; and that there came lately thither from France two vessels laden with pickaxes and shovels and baskets. You know for what purpose such tools serve. Likewise I learn that Monsieur is to come from Dermonde about Monday or Tuesday next. His way is by Eccloo to Dam and so to Blankenberghe upon the sea-coast, two leagues east of Ostend. When passing through, I heard somewhat of it. I depart this 'noon time' on my way. This is only to certify you of my evil and unready passing hitherto; my good will and hope was for better. I have found great courtesy here in Mr. Stokes; pray let him know of my acknowledgement of it in your next.—Bruges, Saturday, 23 March 'after our calcule,' 1582.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 98.]
March 23. 189. Audley Danett to Walsingham.
Since my letter of this morning, sent away by the ordinary post, certain news came to this town that yesterday, the 22nd, the French garrison at Vilvorde departed thence, and the place rendered [sic] up into the States' hands to be kept with a garrison of the natural subjects of these countries. Upon this M. des Pruneaux took occasion to move the States to accomplish some part of their promise; and for a beginning to cause the 'appointment' to be proclaimed, which this evening about 6 o'clock was solemnly performed before all the people, in the presence of the States-General, the States of Brabant and M. des Pruneaux. Copies of it, as also of the 'appointment,' I cannot yet recover, but it is thought it will shortly be put in print. Meantime I thought it my duty to advertise thus much.—Antwerp, 23 March, 1582.
Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid XVIII. 99.]
Mar. 24. 190. Cobham to Walsingham.
I have received this enclosed memorial, which is sent to me from M. Pinart requesting me to beseech you on behalf of this party, resolved to pass into England, to 'follow' the recovery of 'Le Bergy's' loss and piracy. I have dissuaded him from taking the voyage in hand, considering it would never be justly 'veried,' who had any of 'Le Bergy's' goods. However, he seems to be somewhat determined, as he will in any wise proceed in his journey. 'Betaking' him to your favour, nothing doubting but that he shall receive that just assistance his cause may require referring it to your judgement and disposition.—Paris, 24 March, 1582.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [France IX. 67.]
191. Enclosure:
May it please M. Pinart, on behalf of de Liberge, to write to 'M. de Valsingnan' in England, recommending to him Bastian du Gué, merchant, residing at Nantes, and begging him, according to his promise made when he was in France, to have justice done to the said Bastian, who is going over on this business, and the heirs of the late Jean Liberge, for the capture of his goods by some Englishmen in Ireland; as appears by the proceedings taken in respect of the said capture by Jean Liberge both before the king's Privy Council, and that of the Queen of England; all which were handed to Sir F. Walsingham, who has them still, and promised, when he took them, to have justice done to Liberge, who afterwards died at London when prosecuting the case.
Kindly ask Sir F. Walsingham to have justice done according to his promise, to Bastian du Gué and the heirs of Liberge; or at least have the documents concerning the case restored to them which were handed to him by Liberge.
Fr. ½ p. [France IX. 67a.]
Mar. 24. 192. Gilpin to Walsingham.
The agreement between Monsieur and the States is passed, and on the 25th inst. (after the new computation) signed by them in Antwerp and sent to the duke, who returned it the next day, as appears by the enclosed copies of his letters to the Prince and States.
Last Thursday was the day Vilvorde should have been delivered into the States' hands; but as yet I do not hear it to be accomplished; so that some doubt of further delays or other difficulties, for the soldiers that were and still lie in the land of Waes will not stir without two or three months' pay, and the States offer not one. So a further trouble will arise, and thereby the rescuing of Eyndhoven, a place and service of importance, be hindered; for the Malcontents hasten all they can to send forces thither.
The Princess of Orange 'shall be' is not yet arrived, but is expected every tide at Flushing, where sundry of the Prince's gentlemen attend. The Countesses of Schwarzburg and Buren are looked for there, to receive, entertain and accompany the lady to Antwerp.
I do not hear from any place but all still and quiet; every one looking on and expecting what will fall out of this agreement with Monsieur.
This morning I understand for certain that the States having sent the first pay promised to Monsieur, the town of Vilvorde is surrendered according to promise, and so the better hope 'contained' the residue of the articles of agreeement will be accomplished.—Middelburg, 24 March 1582.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 100.]
Mar. 24./April 3. 193. Fremyn to Walsingham.
This is to tell you that the articles of the agreement passed between the duke and the States were published at 5.30 this evening at the Town House to the sound of the cornet; which was not agreeable to everyone, owing to the factions there are here. It remains to see the result. Last Friday 'that was,' the French garrison came out of Villevorde, and three companies of Flemings with 60 burghers from Brussels entered the Castle. They sent 6,000 florins to pay the French garrison to go out. There remain the 30,000 crowns granted to his Highness to pay his troops, and hand over Termonde, and send the forces in those parts to succour Eyndhoven, where the enemy are fortifying themselves; which is being too long delayed. Three days ago the treasurer Vandebec took 3,000 florins to his Highness for the Swiss, who were threatening to withdraw.
Hostages are being got ready to send to his Highness on his leaving Dermonde, and preparations made to send the French prisoners, who have all paid their ransoms, to Nieuport; also his Highness's furniture and papers. Dixmude being surrendered, all will be set free. When he is at Dunkirk, the deputies of the States will take their way there, to treat on the main question.
They are about making terms with the soldiers in the land of Waes, to get them out of it; in which Mr Norris is employing himself all he can, the soldiers showing themselves very restive, until they are contented, owing to their bad treatment in the past; Besides, they are in the way where his Highness must pass to get to Dunkirk. Payment has been made to the soldiers who had mutinied in the towns, and all is appeased for the present.
As for the result to come of the treaty with his Highness, there is divers talk; so one must leave the issue to God.
It seems that war means to kindle itself everywhere this year The King of Poland is assembling forces to go into Livonia, to besiege the town of 'Bresol' [qy Breslau] and make war on the Germans; saying also that the kingdom of Bohemia belongs to him. He has made peace with the Muscovite and the Tartars, and it seems that the Turk is assisting him in this enterprise, as is the King of Spain, under the head (au chapitre) of religion.
The Pope has sent 200,000 crowns to the Bishop of Liege for this war; who has declared himself protector of the Catholics of Germany. It is a fire which it will not be easy to extinguish, if prudent remedies be not used betimes.
M. de Biron was to come to this town, if thought good, on Monday, to consult with his Excellency upon the means for the succour of Eyndhoven, inasmuch as he is chief of the army; M. de Laval of the infantry, and Mr Norris leader of the advance-guard. Fitting preparations are being made, with forces from Holland and Guelders, as many as can be spared from the garrisons. The enemy are strong, having the open country and 22 cornets of cavalry, and leisure to prepare themselves.
Five days ago M. de Villiers the minister, and a maitre-d'-hotel of his Excellency went to Zealand to receive Mme de Téligny. As soon as she arrives there, boats are prepared here to go and fetch her, in which will be the Countess of Schwarzburg, Mademoiselle d'Orange, and a lot of ladies. To-morrow the banns will be published for the second time. In short, his Excellency is eager for her arrival. All is prepared to give her a good reception. It seems that this being done the Count of Hohenlohe, with M. [sic: qy. Mademoiselle] d'Orange will follow [sic].
I send you some Swiss news, from Lobetius.—Antwerp, 3 April, according to the new reckoning, 1583.
P.S.—His Excellency is in good health, thank God, and works as hard as he ever did to set right the affairs of this state, which is as corrupt as a state could be. And assuredly God is assisting him extraordinarily, in our sight.
Add. Endd. Fr.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 102.]
Mar. 24, 25. 194. Stokes to Walsingham.
My last was the 17th. Few speeches have passed here this week.
The magistrates of this town have received letters that to-morrow Monsieur departs out of Dermonde on his journey towards Dunkirk, and will pass within a quarter of a mlle of Ghent, and so to Eccloo, and thence pass over the rivers between Sluys and Damme, and thence along the sea — coast to Blankenberghe, Ostend, Nieuport, and so to Dunkirk. These ways are given him for the surest from the enemy, the Malcontents. It seems that he will come into no walled town till Dunkirk.
Those of Ghent have made strict proclamation there that when Monsieur passes by their town, no person, upon pain of great punishment, shall use any evil speeches towards him or his train.
The Prince of Parma has borrowed 50,000l. of the town of Lille, and as much more of the rest of the best towns of Artois and Hainault, and has since caused a muster to be made of all his soldiers in Artois and Hainault, and has paid them two months' pay, and has sent the rest of his money into Brabant and Friesland, to pay the soldiers there as far as it will go. So these dealings have got him great good speeches among his own soldiers, as also of the soldiers on this side.
Also the Prince of Parma makes great haste in 'ghethering' his forces in Artois and Hainault 'toghether' between Lille and Tournay; and besides makes great provision of waggons and victuals. This week he has sent to Cassel, which is within four miles of Dunkirk, ten cornets of horse and 15 ensigns of foot; so that it is thought he has some enterprise that way.
This week those of Ypres have of themselves burnt and broken down for a mile and more round about their town all manner of houses, small and great; which dealing is strange to all men. The commons there are greatly offended at the doing of it, for it was suddenly done, and by those in that town who lean to the Prince; who it seems has some fear of the Malcontents, for the commons in that town are always 'in hand' with their magistrates to make agreements with them.
All the States' garrisons here in Flanders have been long without their pay, for it seems there are many months owing to them; so that from every place the soldier calls for his pay, and not without cause; for they are very poor. Therefore it is greatly feared, if they be not speedily paid, that some towns will revolt to the enemy; and those that are the governors and chief rulers here, that ought principally to have in mind to see the soldiers well paid, they make light of the matter, for they 'sorrow' more for their own particular gains than they do for the payment of their soldiers. So the government here is so evil and the country so much spoiled, that this 'side' cannot continue long; for they consume their money in new needless offices which they daily make in every town. By good report their new offices consume as much money in a year, only in this province of Flanders, as would pay the wages of 10,000 soldiers and more for a year; so that by this means the greatest part of their 'refewnes' [qy. revenues] here in Flanders are spent 'of' themselves, and their soldiers unpaid.
The speech also goes that the General States shall come and lie here in this town, or at Nieuport, because when Monsieur is at Dunkirk they will be as near him as they can; and even so the Four Members of Flanders, which lie now at Ghent, will come from thence, and lie in this town.
Enclosed I send you a letter from Mr. Somers, who came yesterday morning at 8 to this town, and within two hours after departed on his journey forwards; so that he will meet Monsieur on the way.—Bruges, 24 March, 1582.
Mar. 25. P.S.—The peasants that dwell in the country between Sluys and Ostend, after they heard that Monsieur would pass that way, have put themselves all in arms and broken down all their bridges, and made plain answer to the magistrates of the 'Free' that he shall not pass that way. For which cause his way is now altered, for he will pass from Eccloo the right way to this town, and pass hard by this town on the south side, and so the right way to Oudenborg and from thence to Nieuport, and so to Dunkirk. Between this town and Oudenborg ten ensigns of French will meet him, who lie beside Dixmude, that were put out of this town, and shall march with him to Dunkirk. This advice came to the magistrates of this town this present morning, being the 25th March, 1583. God send him well to Dunkirk, for he will have a troublesome passing.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 101.]
Mar. 27./April 6. 195. M. de Laval to Walsingham.
I thank you for the trouble you have taken in forwarding to me a packet coming from Buzenval, and also for the assurance you give of your good affection toward me, which I shall take pains to preserve by all the services I can do you.—Dermonde, 6 April 1583.
Add. Endd. Fr. ½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 103.]
Mar. 27./April 6. 196. The Estates to the Queen.
Those of the Admiralty of Flanders have informed us that a certain burgher and inhabitant of Nieuport, named Gilles Lunx, has been condemned by the Council of Admiralty in England in a large sum, because in December, 1579, he then serving as master mariner on board the vessel of war le Double Vlieboot, then in the service of these countries, Jehan Floy captain, there was captured by that vessel, outside of the river of Gravelines, then occupied by our enemies, a ship belonging to Steven de Hert, laden with fresh onions and apples, and by those of the Admiralty aforesaid judged to be good prize, pursuant to the placards of this country, in which pursuant to the law of war, no exception is made of any foreign or neutral country, but all who help our enemies are indifferently comprised. Nor did Steven de Hert, as an interested party, even appeal from the sentence of the Admiralty of Flanders, but proceeds by way of stay, directly contrary to the 'intercourse' between your kingdom and these countries, which only permits the like stays in the case of justice denied.
For this cause we pray your Majesty, to have this sentence, given to the prejudice of the said Gilles Lunx, annulled and quashed, and not to permit anything like it in future. And you will bind us more and more to serve and honour you in all circumstances.—Antwerp, 6 April, 1583. (Signed) M. Hennin.
Add. Endd.: On the behalf of Gyles Lyaxe. Fr. 2 pp. [Ibid. XVIII. 104].
Mar. 28. 197. Cobham to Walsingham.
I dispatched Mr. Stanton hence on the 22nd, with his French surgeon sent for by my Lord Chamberlain, having had the advices of some of the Parisian doctors touching my lord of Sussex' sickness.
Since receiving by 'Gramsunime' (?) the ordinances for the avoiding of piracies, I demanded to have access to his Majesty; but he desired to be spared till Monday after Easter, when I shall accomplish as much as I was directed.' I will further request to have his letters for helping Mr Unton to liberty, as Mr. Henry Unton has demanded of me; which letters I doubt will not so much 'prevail' Mr. Unton as I could wish. I suppose there will be no remedy in those causes, unless her Majesty might think it convenient to measure the like measure to 'those such strangers' in England as were 'esteemed as belonging to' the Pope, or to those of his sect and faction; and withal to procure the Princes of Germany, for the unlawful detentions of the English, to do the like in their own territories to the Pope's subjects and accomplices, on the consideration that the cause and quarrel is common to them, they having likewise cast off the Pope's yoke. It is further now to be doubted, if her Highness endure the evil treatment of her subjects in Italy, she may have in short time the like used in France, for the entrance seems to be made by the late apprehensions of Gower and Nicols, and they, both or one of them, driven before they could be set at liberty, to deal contrary to their duty, as I have been given to understand. Besides, the English papists are allowed to make sermons in Paris; I think heretofore this was not permitted.
As concerning their trading here in the matters of Scotland, it is to be doubted they have a fancy to trouble the quiet of that realm through practice and dissension, as their treating with d'Aubigny and secret shows declare. But yet d'Aubigny is rather decayed in health again of late than amended; in such sort that I know one of his physicians doubts of his recovery or long life. But now this last day Dr. Pena has taken his case in hand.
The followers of d'Aubigny have by sundry means sought to favour a reconciliation between him and the Lord of Arbrothe; but there is no appearance that the Lord of Arbrothe will find d'Aubigny's friendship in any sort 'for his purpose,' considering they both concur in the 'pretence of' the Crown, if the young Scottish king should fail. My Scottish friend will yet stay till he may hear whether the Queen will accept of d'Aubigny's offer, which being refused, he says that d'Aubigny will in religion and always run the course of France, and adventure his life in Scotland well and strongly accompanied; which forces he is promised shall be in readiness as soon as the lords shall 'pass assurance' on their parts.
I am further informed that the Bishop of Ross was with d'Aubigny on Monday the 25th inst. returned from Calais, having 'traded' some matter thereabouts and in Gravelines. The bishop brought 'Fanhurst' from the sea-coast, leaving him at Rouen; of whom he received letters from the Scottish king for d'Aubigny and the Duke of Guise, who visited d'Aubigny on Tuesday the 26th, accompanied only by Entragues and another old captain, when he and d'Aubigny had long and secret conference. After my Scottish friend is in Scotland, it is understood that 'Momberhaume' will be dispatched with letters and instructions from these princes, with many offers and promises to the Scottish king and lords.
D'Aubigny has presented a hackney to the Duke of Épernon, hoping he will bring him some comfortable message from his Majesty.
Dixon, the Captain of Etaples, has been, I hear, again this week with d'Aubigny, and secretly in Court. He has some intelligence with an Englishman serving in Gravelines, who dwelt sometime in Dover; a man in years.
They have 'made me understand' how our English soldiers in Flanders are to be 'trained' to the retaining or taking of a town, where the French would leave them in the enemy's danger. But I trust in God there is no such dishonourable meaning.
The party I certified 'of' in my last should be sent from hence, will be here after the 'hallodaies,' being commanded to use diligence in his journey to Ireland.
It is signified to me that the governor of the Jesuits has delivered to Lady Morley 2,000 crowns, to be paid in England to sundry Catholics by order from Rome. So I hear there went hence this last week two priests into England, come from Rome, dispatched with letters from that lady and Morgan.
Il Signor Gabriel Strozzo has had his patent granted and passed by this king, and desires to receive from you her Majesty's answer, whereon he waits.
Il Signor Doctor Jordano Bruno, Nolano, a professor in philosophy, intends to pass into England; whose religion I cannot commend.
There are sundry other Italians desirous to go to England after Easter; one of the house of Cornari, nephew to this Venice ambassador, and the ambassador's secretary, with others. I hear it has been propounded in the Senate at Venice to have an ambassador sent to England and another to Florence.
M. Pibrac, chancellor to Monsieur, departed yesterday towards Calais with their Majesties' letters and instructions, and permission to induce Monsieur to stay in Flanders; which if he shall resolve the king promises to give him assistance and support. Howbeit they have, it is said, prepared for his coming at Alençon. But to-day letters are come which notify he is sick.
'Pyngallyard' causes the commissaries for the victuals to furnish the towns and strong places in Picardy with all necessaries.
The Spanish agent has heard tell there are come to this city two or three certain personages from Germany 'directed' to the King of Navarre and the Churches of France, having recovered 'the like copy of a letter as' goes here enclosed.
I send you herewith the copy of Don Bernardino de Mendoza's letter sent hither to a confident friend of his.—Paris, 28 March, 1582 [sic].
Add. Endd. 4 pp. [France IX. 68.]
Mar. 28. 198. Cobham to Walsingham.
Since the writing of these other letters, because this messenger could not conveniently get horses, I would not 'leave' to advertise these other trifling things: as how his Majesty has caused a command to be published that no person should stir in the streets in this town this evening after 7 o'clock, upon great 'pain.' The occasion is, because he goes in procession with all his confraternity of 'Penitensyers' to sundry churches; as particularly at this present he has been at St. Paul's church, where his minions were buried, and there used ceremonies and sung some hymns; and 'so pass' to other appointed churches on their devotions.
The king has given an assignation of 38,000 crowns to be paid at Lyons within the space of eight months for the wages of the soldiers in Provence.
I hear the king is sending M. 'de' San Martin' to the King of Navarre, upon the sundry bruits which are spread that those of the Religion were preparing for their defence, being threatened with the publishing of the Council of Trent, and the Inquisition.
The Duke of Épernors intends after Easter to repair to his governments of Metz and Verdun. He has given the charge of the citadel of Metz to the elder 'Monchasin' [Montcassin], his kinsman. The [king] has given to 'Sta Columba' (?), in recompence of parting from that charge, an abbey and 20,000 francs in money, and has given a regiment in Champagne to another brother of Moncassin, and to the third brother a regiment in Picardy. The fortress of Carmagnola is bestowed on a Gascon, one of Épernon's soldiers. M. de Termes, uncle to Épernon, is his lieutenant of Metz and Verdun.
In this Court the ministers of the Duke of Savoy give out that they of Berne will have the duke to pay the money expended by them of Geneva in the last two troubles, with the interest; otherwise the 'Bernesys' threaten to take again the baliages which were lately restored to the duke.
If there is any conclusion of marriages the Duke of Lorraine will stay; otherwise he intends to depart after Easter.
I hear that those of the Augustan Confession in Germany have appointed a meeting together.—Paris, this 28th at night, 1583.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [France, IX. 69.]
Mar. 28. 199. Walsingham to Cobham.
This present, your nephew, being very desirous to make his present return over to you, I could not but accompany him with these few lines; wherewith I also send you the copy of such advertisements as we have lately received from Scotland and Flanders, and of the last articles of agreement that have passed between Monsieur and the States, to whom Mr. Sommers was dispatched, about ten or twelve days since, from her Majesty, to do good offices between them in furtherance of that accord. Of the success of this we have yet heard nothing from him; but whenever we do, I will not fail to make you acquainted.
Touching the device offered by Strozzi, for the execution of which he desires a privilege, though generally as it is propounded it carries a very plausible show of great profit to redound from it to her Majesty, yet since she has heretofore found by experience that many other like devices which have been moved to her have in the end come to nothing, either that they were not well grounded in themselves, or not well 'sorted' to the nature and disposition of this government, she cannot resolve to yield her good liking and consent to this, unless by someone, to be sent over on purpose by the gentleman, the substance and particulars of the device might be made better known to her than yet they are.—Richmond, 28 March, 1583.
Draft. Endd. ½ p. [France IX. 70.]
Mar. 29. 200. Cobham to Walsingham.
Since these days have been employed in 'shriving under Benedicite,' and continued yet in exercising of their ceremonies. I have little to advertise, other than that the king seems as yet not to consent to the publishing of the Council of Trent. Howbeit, in all the outward shows there is found some stricter fashion of proceeding than heretofore, for the favouring of the Pope's supremacy; as the printers, the bookbinders, and the sellers of books are after the manner of the Inquisition looked to, searched, punished and imprisoned. Moreover in every particular parish they 'use an observing' of those who do not repair to their sacrifices. The Jesuits cause to be printed certain 'fancies' with imagery and many other charms, and new-devised 'guises' are seen in their churches after a more solemn kind than they have 'accustomed.' Notwithstanding, the nuncio cunningly gives it out that he will get licence to depart, because he cannot obtain the publication of the Council of Trent, since his coming was chiefly about that purpose; and therewith it is advertised from Rome, the Pope intends to send a cardinal legate for this king's better satisfaction to reside in this Court, because there is a legate in Portugal. This I think will be done for the advancing and countenance of many of the Pope's enterprises.
They inform me that his Majesty after these feasts intends to drink the water of 'the Spawe.' Some say he will repair to Mézières to take the water there. Howbeit I hear he will have it brought hither, or to St. Germain's.
The Queen Mother has again kept her bed these few days past, constrained thereto by the swelling gout in her legs and hands, which she could not any longer dissemble; but they comfort her with persuasions that the gout lengthens the life.
It is understood in this Court that the treaty of marriage with Savoy is broken off, because the king will not consent to the duke's request against Geneva.
The secretary of the Cardinal of 'Arminiac' is sent hither from Avignon, with complaints to the king against those of the Religion, and with advertisements in prejudice of Marshal de Montmorency, from whom there is come hither 'Gionni Pinano' an Italian, sent with letters and protestations to the king that the marshal desires to continue his good service to his Majesty; but if he is to be touched in honour and not have redress, he will not so much esteem his wife, children or lands as to leave those extreme injuries unrevenged. He assures the king he is well provided, as it should appear if occasion be offered. The king, as I hear, answered that if the marshal did any evil deed, he would chastise him. This anger happens because of late the marshal offering to repair to Saint-Esprit, a town within his government, he 'could not' be suffered to enter, wherewith he is exceedingly displeased, being before made discontented by other injuries.
The king sends often now of late, since the death of Anselme, to the Grand Prior of Provence, writing to him by the name of brother, where ever before he 'intituled' him only cousin.
The Parliaments of Rouen have declared that their privileges 'import' that the French king's eldest son, or the next in succession to the Crown, should be their Governor; so that they have made some difficulty to accept 'M. Joyeux' for the king's lieutenant. Wherefore other words are added to his patent, as non obstante etc. their former privileges.
They of the Religion have surrendered, according to the contents of the Edict of Pacification, the town of Bazas in Gascony to the king.
The king has sent money to fortify the citadel of Mirandula, intending to join it to the government of Saluces.
I enclose herewith the advertisements from Spain; also a little book of certain wonders seen in sundry places of late; with the king's ordinance concerning the reformation of superfluity in 'reparell' [qy. apparel]—Paris, 29, March 1583.
Add. Endd.pp. [France IX. 71.]
Mar. 29./April 8. 201. Geoffroy le Brumen to Walsingham.
There is nothing of importance since my last. Marshal de Montmorency has sent to complain of being refused entrance into Narbonne and Port-Saint-Esprit. He asks redress from the king; otherwise he will look to his own affairs, seeing well that there is a desire to take away his government without his having deserved it. The king is much offended with this, and fears lest those of the Religion give him Aignesmortes for some other places, and he call in the aid of the Spaniard.
It is not known what M. d'O will do; if he holds out for some time, it looks as if there might be some disturbance, since there are a great many malcontents.
The levies of soldiers continue in Burgundy and Lorraine for 'messieurs' of Bern and Geneva, and they have some scheme which will profit one of your best friends if it turns out well.
They are 'pushing hard at the wheel' for the establishment of the Council of Trent, but it is odious to the majority.
The duke is sick at Dermonde. He has sent secretly for two doctors whom I know, and some surgeons, to go and treat him at Dunkirk, where he thinks to go through a diet. This is still kept secret, but the thing is certain, and he is ill.
I believe that Mmes de Téligny and de la Noue are at present in Flanders. M. du Plessis has given me leave to write to you. I am getting his affairs ready to go with all his family into Gascony.
The Court is at present more given to devotion than the religious; it seems by a strange metamorphosis. The preachers cry out against it, fearing that they will usurp their functions; but the astrologers predict that after Easter everyone will come back to his former way of life (mestier) and that the devotion will be shortlived. Meanwhile it amuses the people to talk about these things.
The king and his councillors do not stop pursuing their schemes, and though the king makes great gifts, it is not with money from his own coffers, but that of the people, so that he has plenty of money, and more than is thought.
The ambassador has told me that the doctors and surgeons who consulted on behalf of the earl [Sussex] would not admit me, because I was with M. Pena, whom they do not like. Meanwhile they could not understand the malady, so as to be able to prescribe properly. That is how doctors through envy abuse the privileges which kings, princes, and magistrates give them, and how often those who give them their power are themselves punished, for those who cannot cure them hinder others from doing them any good. The earl has only too much experience of it, and I fear the duke is going to have the same; for I have seen great oppositions (contrarietés) and enmities among those who are being sent for, insomuch that there will be some who will not go if others do. In short, there are abuses everywhere, and we have need to return to God and be true penitents.—Paris, 8 April, 1583.
P.S.—John de Vignes, the present bearer, commends himself to your good graces. I fancy he would like to have a packet sometimes. He is a good fellow.
The new devotion, whether religious or pecuniary, has caused still more new edicts to be made for the reformation of dress and the use of silks, jewellery, and other such things.
Add. Endd.: Mr. Geoffrey the pothecary. Fr.pp. [France, IX. 72.]
Mar. 31. 202. Walsingham to Cobham.
The advertisement you lately sent hither of some likelihood conceived that Queen Mother would shortly repair to Calais, with intent to meet and have conference with Monsieur—the like news are confirmed here by letters from the Low Countries; and that she comes so full 'fraight' with large promises from the King of Spain and the Pope that it is thought the effect of this conference will tend to the putting in execution of some dangerous practice as well against Scotland as the state of the realm. Wherefore, for the better deciphering of their intents, and avoiding the inconvenience that may ensue if remedy by timely prevention be not foreseen and provided, you will do well to use some extraordinary and diligent circumspection in the observation and advertisement of all their proceedings in that behalf.
And as her Highness can but receive great offence to hear that any matter so dangerous should be intended against her and her state, either by the king, Queen Mother, or Monsieur, towards whom she has made such apparent demonstration of her sincere meaning by her honourable dealing and assistance of him in his proceedings in the Low Countries, that she persuades herself they all, and especially Monsieur, do or ought to remain likewise as well devoted towards her; so, in case you shall by any means perceive that any of them may justly be touched with any sinister proceeding in this action against her Majesty, you will do well to give me notice thereof by a 'bye' letter, to the end that upon perusing and considering the same I may either show or not show it to her Majesty as I shall see cause, as in like cases you have been accustomed to do.
Touching the suspicion which may be gathered of some further likelihood of these matters, by means of the throwing abroad of a certain number of soldiers into the provinces of that realm, it is thought that forasmuch as the king fears that either some alteration may fall out among his subjects about the putting in execution and levying the new taxes and impositions which he has caused to be laid upon them, or that some suchlike stir may be moved upon the yielding up and surrendering into his hands of the towns which are held by them of the Religion, or upon some colour that he is to further the proceedings of the king of Portugal, he keeps these forces in readiness to serve his turn as he shall find occasion to use them.
In that you wish that all the princes of the Religion should consider whether it were a thing necessary for the Protestants of France to render up to the king the towns which they hold, and according to their resolution, to assist them with counsel and other means, I concur with you in opinion that it were very expedient to take this course, seeing the state of our own welfare and prosperity depends upon the strength and peace of our neighbours, who are all of the same profession; but when I see how hardly we are drawn into any matter of 'charge' I can rather wish it were otherwise than hope for any good at present to be done as policy and religion command.
Draft. Endd.: March 31, 1583. M. to Sir H. Cobham from Richmond. 2½ pp. [France IX. 73.]
203. Another draft of the same, with words intended to be in cipher underlined, and the corresponding ciphers written in the margin.
pp. [Ibid. IX. 73a.]
Mar. 30. 204. John Somers to Walsingham.
Please let the Queen understand that on Sunday the 24th inst. I came to Dendermonde, not without some difficulty on the way; and on Monday I had audience of Monsieur. After I had imparted to him the cause of my coming to him, and her Majesty's grief for the misery and extremity in which Mr. Darcy found and left him, as he had reported to her, and my offer, by her command, to do all good offices between him and the States, if there remained yet any difficulties between them—for I understood that the accord was made and passed, of which at my departure her Majesty had no knowledge, he thanked her most humbly for these great favours shown him by her in all his afflictions, like a mother that had put new life into a dead body, and for the great support he had received from her, which he could not have spared, and also by sending Mr. Darcy to visit him, who came to him before any other, either from the king his brother, or his mother; with many other like good words for her Majesty, sending now again to do the good offices of a friend best known in adversity.
Then he told me that indeed they were grown to an accord in some things; which were, that he remove his force of French out of Vilvorde (which he had already done), Dendermonde, Dixmuyde, and Berghen St. Wynock. And that of Brussels, Mechlin and Dunkirk, of which he was to choose one to repair to, he had made choice of Dunkirk, being near to his friends in France and England, and 'have' ready and easy means to send to them; the other two being now more 'frontier' than then [sic]. That his army shall join with that of the States, to go forthwith to the succour of Eyndhoven. That his stuff, and the French prisoners yet in Antwerp shall be sent after him to Nieuport, and for assurance 'to have' hostages. That the States shall deliver out of hand 30,000 crowns to be paid to his army, and sufficient victuals for them. That the way for his passing from Dendermonde to Dunkirk shall be made clear. And that all other things are referred to be treated on and agreed at Dunkirk “Whence her Majesty,” he said, “shall understand from time to time how all things shall pass”—not meaning to do anything without her knowledge and advice.
Here I put him in remembrance of her advice past, and what she thinks meet to advise him to do now and hereafter, for the avoiding of other danger by the dear experience of things lately passed, according to my instructions. And as she had dealt frankly and friendly with him at all times, that he would also do the like towards her, which would be profitable and honourable for him.
He assured her that he would not fail therein, as thereunto bound by so many benefits. And whereas I had offered to use her credit to do all good offices for his service, he prayed me to 'deal' that according to this agreement his passage might be made free through the land of Waes, where the English . . . . yesterday, and that the bridge might be made at Haerbrugge for his passage, which was not yet done, though he had delivered Vilvorde, and passed his army over the river; for he desired much to be out of Dendermonde.
Now to ease somewhat his hard conceit of the English companies, of which I have heard much from some of his ministers, I told him—as I said I had partly learned in their camp, coming that way—that immediately after the late evil accident at Antwerp, the States appointed Mr Norris, as having the greatest companies at that time, to keep that passage against all persons; so that upon the sudden there was no time for counsel. 'The matter was made to him very heinous,' and all means of access to his Highness at that time taken away. And having hitherto received no command to the contrary from his Highness, or from the States, or their general, they remained there at Waesmunster until by pay or other contentment from the States for 11 or 12 months past, they might depart. But I assured him that upon knowledge from the States or their general or otherwise by his Highness's command, they would remove from thence, or the rather upon knowledge of her Majesty's pleasure in that behalf, which I had partly delivered to the lieutenant, and would further signify to the general, then at Antwerp; with other good speeches to move him to think better of the general and his companies, wherewith he seemed satisfied.
So soon as I was come from him, I dealt with MM. de Meetkerke and Bloyère, the States' deputies appointed to attend upon him; who wrote forthwith to the States, as I also did to Mr Norris, and to Col. Morgan at the camp. The second day after, Mr Norris sent Capt. Williams to the duke, with letters and messages of humble services. And so the bridge was made, and all the English removed by appointment, to Rupelmonde and Temsche, three leagues from the duke's passage, and yet in the same land, and his Highness well satisfied, as he testified to me.
On Wednesday the 27th I resorted again to the duke, to understand his pleasure to her Majesty in particular upon my speeches to him, and what he would 'command me to the States' from him. He told me, that touching her desire to know what forces were necessary, and what the States were able to contribute, they had assured him of sufficient sums of money, to be yearly levied, to maintain 14,000 or 15,000 men, besides the garrisons in their towns; and to deliver to him yearly (the same to be paid monthly after the rate) 4,000,000 florins and upwards for his 'house,' his own army, and extraordinary charges, as voyages, rewards, etc. This, with his own means, he thought would be sufficient to make a good war upon the enemy. And if they would ratify and perform that in this next treaty, with other reasonable demands, he did not doubt but things would go well. For further resolutions he must abide that treaty. But he complained very much that he has not received of them hitherto that contentment and means which were promised, and that he has been forced for lack thereof to spend his own money and what he could get of his friends, and still there is a very great debt to his people, and that for lack of relief, many hundreds of his army are dead of very hunger; but he hoped for better hereafter. As for the king his brother, he had not forgotten him before nor since, now in this his extremity; but he did not tell what nor how, nor what help he may have hereafter; for I perceive that he stays all resolution upon the treaty now towards.
I thought good to give him some taste of her Majesty's motion to relinquish the enterprise, if he were in doubt of sufficient means, or of this people, upon the late accident; that he might think upon it in the mean time. He answered, that seeing they here had chosen him to be their master, he means to be fully resolved at this next treaty whether they will so use and accept of him or no. And then he will do as shall be thought the best for his honour and safety, and will acquaint her Majesty with it and enquire her advice.
And seeing I meant to go to Antwerp, which he liked well, he prayed me to move the Prince of Orange and the States that they would make the articles of this treaty as easy as is meet, having respect to his quality, and remembering that he has been received and sworn as their master, and for such by their oaths they acknowledged him. Also that they would not send memorials only, as they had done aforetime to the wearing of much time in vain, but ample and sufficient authority to their deputies to treat and conclude; for otherwise all this summer may be passed unprofitably.
To this effect have I dealt hitherto with his Highness, without touching her Majesty's advice to him, for the removing of suspected persons, choice of counsellors, etc., because things are not yet come so far; but serve for another time, upon the 'matter and success' of this intended treaty, beseeching her Majesty to 'allow' that I have done so. Yet I mean at my coming to him at Dunkirk to deliver him some taste thereof, and the rather if I see the treaty towards, and none there for her Majesty.
So the next day being Thursday the 28th, his Highness took his journey towards Eccloo, about 30 English miles from Dendermonde. And for the more speed he sent overnight six ensigns of foot to Steken, halfway, and himself followed with about 200 horse, the English having removed to Rupelmonde and Temsche, expecting daily 'for' payment. His way is made from Eccloo by Damme between Bruges and the sea, to Blankenberghe, and thence between Newport and Dixmude, by bridges made over waters, to Dunkirk, where he made account to be to-day, there to keep his Easter, if the foul ways will suffer him to make such long journeys with his footmen, from whom he means not to be far.
The same Thursday I came to Antwerp, and gave the Prince of Orange knowledge thereof, and of my desire to salute him from her Majesty. Next day, Friday the 29th, I had audience of him. After I had told him the cause of my coming first to the duke, and then hither, by her Majesty's command, I let him understand that forasmuch as by this late accord with Monsieur, all things for the new settling of their causes with him were referred to be treated and determined at Dunkirk, I would, as so commanded by her Majesty, lay before him her opinion in certain things meet to be considered against that time, as she has been ever ready to do all good offices for these countries, as none could testify better than he; and then I imparted them to him according to my instructions. He gave her Majesty thanks for her great care of them, and of himself in particular; and said that as touching the jealousy hard to be removed out of these men's minds against the French, there was just cause for such mistrust, as everybody may see, the wound being yet fresh. He himself had not the least cause. For the other points of her Majesty's advice, he 'assured' that 'the States nor he' would do anything in these matters to be treated of, without her advice. Therefore he besought her to send some personages of good credit and countenance to Dunkirk, when the time shall serve (which he did not know well yet) to assist at the treaty, and deliver his opinion and advice thereupon, assuring her that he will deal frankly with her, as he is in duty bound to do. And there he used a long discourse, how much it imported her and her realm, and all other Protestant princes, to keep the King of Spain from his will in these countries; for being now such a potent prince, and having very near done his affairs in Portugal, he would soon combine with others of like religion, and in a small time do great things upon those that are of the contrary; and that he and the rest here will soon feel it, whatsoever promise or treaty might be made, or whatsoever mediation and credit any princes of Christendom should use in the matter, all which would last but a while, and therefore he besought her Majesty to continue her favour towards them. Then he wished that I would deal with the Estates in general good words, and also do the duke's message to them, which I would have done to-day, but they sent me word that by reason of their business in dispatching their men towards Eyndhoven, they could not 'extend' (?) it. They prayed me therefore, to-morrow being Easter Day, to have patience until Monday.
I very earnestly recommended to the Prince Mr Norris's 'depeche' seeing they meant to use their services to Eyndhoven. But whether it were formerly agreed, as I think it was by the Prince's words to me, they receive this day, as I hear, one month's pay on eleven besides a very great sum of old debt, which I fear will die 'for' age. And surely I believe, yea, I find it by good show, that was it not for the regard of their duty towards her Majesty (whose name they so reverence, that upon my speech to them of it they showed a most dutiful obedience in all that she will) they would not have departed from their present camp without a larger contentment. They are extremely grieved that any should have done them such evil offices as to cause it to be carried to her Majesty's ears or otherwise, that they have of any evil mind hindered the duke's passage, whom for her sake they will honour and serve in all that they shall be able.
I have dealt with M. de B[ellièvre ?] and laid before him this hard dealing with his Highness; no payment, few things performed, the jealousy and mistrust never to be removed, danger to his person, this extreme and hard dealing towards him in this his late affliction, little means of maintenance, less to be hereafter, and the reasons. As for mediation 'to' the King of Spain, that asks further counsel. None in his opinion so meet, for our benefit, as his Highness, to command here. He is come to this town, and has dealt with the Prince, and departs shortly by sea towards Dunkirk; as I mean also to do so soon as I can, for the duke prayed me to come thither to him to receive his commands to her Majesty.
I will not forget the matter of other money and interest at my audience of the States, where the Prince is to be also, as he told me.—Antwerp, 30 March, 1583.
P.S.—I send herewith the copy of the last accord. I trust to go hence about Tuesday or Wednesday next, and to be at Dunkirk on Thursday or Friday, where I trust I shall have no cause to stay. The commissioners for this treaty will not be there so soon, for I cannot yet hear of them certainly.
Add. Endd. A good deal waterstained. 7 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 104 bis.]
Mar. 30. 205. John Norris to Walsingham.
I thank you for your letters sent me by Mr. Somers, by which I received no small comfort; understanding by them that upon the true and certain information of the proceedings here, her Majesty has conceived better of my late services in these parts. Wherein as my desire has always been to carry myself as near as I could to the good liking and contentation of the generality here, so in respect of my dutiful obedience I have always had an especial care to do nothing which might any way be offensive to her. And although not long since my actions have been otherwise interpreted, yet of late M. des Pruneaux has given me to understand that his Highness is now better persuaded of me, and so I think you will be advertised by Mr. Somers, to whom I am greatly beholden for the good offices he has performed in my behalf; which have taken so good effect that his Highness assures him he rests altogether satisfied, having given him his hand in signification thereof. So finding myself restored to her Majesty's favour, and to have again recovered the good graces of his Highness, who now will have the command and government of these parts as heretofore was granted to him, and being afraid after so great a hazard of her Majesty's heavy displeasure to incur the like, I beseech you I may be instructed how to carry myself in this place of service to her best liking; whether to be altogether obedient to what it shall please his Highness at any time to command me, or whether I shall stay till I can receive direction out of England upon every 'accident' which may seem to be of importance. I beseech you to afford me answer and advice in this behalf at your best leisure, for notwithstanding the late 'appointment' all things standing upon so 'tickell' terms as they do, and not unlikely but some accident may break out ere long either on the one side or the other, rather than I would again fall into the danger of her Majesty's displeasure at home, or run my fortune here in an uncertain cause upon every hazard, I would make means to leave this service, and to retire hence in time; whereof I might at this instant take very just occasion by the overhard dealing 'is' offered to our nation by the States, who neither respecting the necessities we stand on, nor the service we daily do and have done to them, having received since April last but one months' pay, are yet so far from satisfying our demand for the pay of two months, that they will scarcely give us one.
Touching any other matter concerning the present proceedings here, please give me leave to refer you to Mr. Somers's letters, who will write hereof at large.—Antwerp, 30 March, 1583.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 105.]
Mar. 31. 206. Pietro Bizarri to Walsingham.
On leaving Antwerp for Germany I had planned to put myself in the company of the merchants who were to go towards Cologne. But guided by the evil counsel of one who counselled me otherwise, I went on board a vessel laden with goods going to Cologne, and thus I have experienced the most uncomfortable and perilous voyage that I ever went through in my life. For besides being 25 days on the Rhine, in our voyage from the city of Düsseldorf belonging to the Duke of Cleves, having passed the town of Neuss, to go along on our journey, over against a village called 'Grimlinkhausen,' the people of the Count of Aremberg, colonel of the Duke of Saxony, canon of Cologne, and commander of the 'contrary' side, a young man of 24, issued forth from a little wood hard by there with a great charge of both horse and foot, and assailed three boats laden with various merchandise, in one of which I happened to be, namely that of Dominic Jacson, merchant, of Antwerp. After having got possession of it by a fierce harquebuss-fire, they made prisoners of all the crew, 26 in number, and the passengers who were there, of whom I was one; and although I got three sword-blows from a furious soldier on my left arm, and one on the head, nevertheless by the grace of God (la Dio grazia) I remained without injury, as he caught me with the flat, and not the edge or point. It is true that on my head there was a slight wound, but of little importance. Afterwards they stripped me almost naked, and took away all I had, I mean the money I was carrying, and some rings I had about me. They also robbed me of my sword and dagger, my cloak and shirts, my hat, and even to my boots, a most calamitous thing to hear, let alone to experience. Afterwards they brought us all prisoners to the aforesaid village, where we were kept three whole days, during which we drank nothing but water, nor was any food given to us but bread blacker than coal and a little cheese which the sailors had. After we had been taken before the Count of Aremberg, who was in a village named Butting—a league away from the other, having been besieging a Castle named Hulcherath, and battered it with heavy artillery, and finally taken it by capitulation having drawn out the Elector's garrison and put in his own—in the meantime came in certain merchants of Cologne to whom belonged the goods in the aforesaid boats, and begged the count that they might have them back, and thus the boats were set at liberty together with their sailors. But they too experienced the fury of Mars, being stripped of all kinds of arms that they found in them, also sugar, cheese, olive oil, lemons and other victuals, and other things that did not come to my notice. But with all this the merchants' stock was left by order of the general, albeit the soldiers and some of the captains wanted to make a complete spoil and booty of it, especially of the cloths, velvets, silk, and other similar things, if they had found them.
The same day four boats laden with merchandise, which were taking the same journey, passed without any hindrance, and two others, hearing what had happened to the three, turned back, not to fall into the same disaster. Thus the navigation of the Rhine from Antwerp to Cologne is in very great danger; and the other, going from Cologne to Frankfort, not very safe, by what I hear.
Now as regards myself, it is really a miracle that I am alive, or at least that I have not been condemned to perpetual imprisonment, with a ransom of 2,000 or 3,000 crowns, at which some Walloon captains had begun to set me to ransom. But the Italian nation has been very kind to me, especially Captain Ruggiero of Pavia, and Signor Carlo Lavoranti, a gentleman of Milan, and the chief commissary, Signor Carlo Hasti, a great favourite with his Catholic Majesty; all of whom have done the most amiable offices for me with the general; with whom I spoke on my knees, supplicating for my safety and liberation without ransom, which I finally obtained from his Lordship, of whom I am ever bound to speak with honour, for the boundless courtesy and friendliness which he showed me. And albeit he commanded that my property which I had lost should be restored to me, yet it was not possible for me to get back even one liard, since I could not say, and had not such boldness as to speak or open mouth about those who had robbed me, for fear of running into greater peril of my life. Being asked who I was and of what occupation and condition, I answered that I was neither trader nor soldier nor gentleman, but only a poor wayfarer; and that I devoted myself to studies, as one of the correctors of the press to Mr. Christopher Plantin. Then one of the Walloons suddenly broke in that Plantin had printed many books in favour of the Prince of Orange, and in dispraise of his Majesty. To which I quickly replied that I was not a regular corrector, but only for a Latin work of my own, intituled Historia Rerum Persicarum, which I was taking to sell at the Frankfort Fair. On hearing this the general and other bystanders showed a great desire to see it. But I answered that was in the hold of the boat, with other books of Plantin's. Being asked of what religion I was, I answered that I was neither theologian nor minister, and left such disputes to others. In sum, it pleased God most High to deliver me from the greatest danger I ever had in my life. Those at Paris are nothing compared to these great accidents which befell me; for which be the Divine Majesty ever praised.
The camp at Cologne, what with Burgundians, Walloons, Albanians, Italians, Spaniards, and French, amounts they say to 2,500, and goes on getting larger every day. Since the capture of the castle of Hulcherat, where the soldiers of the garrison were let go, and only five retained, one of whom is the brother of Captain 'Stupro' (?) and Captain Brant, all of whom are in danger of being beheaded, it is said they are gone in the direction of Lind and Hording, places belonging to the Count of Neuenahr and Meurs, who is making every effort to defend his lands, as also is the Elector. But meanwhile the enemy is in the country and the others are coming. But the result is in God's hands, and it really seems as if this war here must go on; which we shall understand better every day.
To-morrow or next day I hope to embark on the way to Frankfort. But the merchants have started already, and most of them without waiting for the goods from Antwerp, owing to the long delay in their arrival here, both through the amount of water in the Rhine which has been enormous, and very extraordinary, as also through the accidents which have occurred. Being come to Frankfort, I shall go on to Leipsic and thence to Dresden to lay my troubles before his Highness; reposing all the result of my affairs in the hands of her Majesty.—Cologne, 31 March, old style, 1583. In very great haste. Your old and perpetual servant.
Add. Endd. Ital.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 106.]
Mar. 31. 207. Stokes to Walsingham.
My last was the 24th inst. Since that time these are the speeches here.
On Good Friday last, in the forenoon, Monsieur passed hard by this town, within a stone's cast of the walls, and lodged that night at Oudenborg. At his passage by he was but simply saluted by the magistrates of this town and the 'Free'; and so he passed along without any stay. By most men's judgements here, as he passed by this town his train was about 3,000 persons, most horsemen. Yesterday morning he was a-horseback before 4 o'clock, for he 'pretended' to lie that night at Dunkirk; but as yet there is no news here of his arrival, By report he passed something 'sorrowfyll' in mind, and also malcontent because he saw the commons showed him no better countenance on the way. And though it is thought it was against his command, yet his train, as they passed by this town, took all the horses and kine that they met, and carried them away; which dealing has more and more moved great evil speeches of the matter by the commons.
Also some part of Monsieur's train strayed out of the way between this town and Oudenborg to seek some spoil, and came to a place 'whereas' the peasants kept watch, and slew some of them, and the rest escaped. And for revenge, within three hours after, in the night, a great many peasants came to the same place, and there they found the Frenchmen that had slain their companions, and set upon them, and have slain about 25 or 30 of the Frenchmen; and the rest escaped. So in this great disorder the French soldiers passed, greatly to the discontent of the commons.
The speech is here that for certain the Queen Mother of France either is or will be at Calais very shortly, and it is thought will come to Dunkirk.
By merchants 'letters from Lille it is written that about Amiens are come 5,000 foot and 17 companies of the French king's 'bands of ordinances'; and they give it out they are for Don Antonio.
Dermonde and Vilvorde are both delivered to the States, whose soldiers have entered them in good order. But as yet Dixmude is not delivered, for it stays till the French prisoners are come from Antwerp. They come by sea to Ostend or Newport, so these are looked for every tide. God send them well thither, or else Dixmude is not like to be delivered; which will trouble this town, Ypres and Menin, for it commands them all.
The Prince of Parma has sent some part of the forces that he had between Tournay and Lille to his camp before Eyndhoven. The rest he keeps by him still, beside Tournay.
At Oudenarde lie no soldiers but six ensigns of Allmans, who last Thursday fell into a great mutiny for their pay; for at the last muster they had but half a month's pay. So they have taken the governor of the town, whose name is M. de 'Wanewell,' and keep him prisoner, and threaten him with speeches that if they be not 'suddenly' paid, they will deliver him and the town to the Gentners. But it is feared they will not do so well.—Bruges, 31 March, 1583, stilo anglic.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 107.]
Mar. 31. 208. Walsingham to Cobham.
Though her Majesty be persuaded that there is nothing meant by the offers that are made to you by Smallet, but to abuse her, yet she finds it expedient that the matter should still be entertained; to which purpose you will by my 'other' receive such directions as by her Majesty I have been willed to send you in that behalf, which her pleasure is you should decipher and show to Smallet, accompanying this with speeches that as he has dealt plainly and frankly with you, so you mean to do the like with him in acquainting him with the very direction you have received for your further dealing with him upon the overture he has made to you. But in this behalf her Majesty does not doubt that you will still have a care that she may not be 'trained' and abused by him as heretofore she has been in like cases by others. She likes well that you refused to deliver anything to him in writing, and her pleasure also is that if he shall require to receive in writing these speeches that you are now directed to deliver to him, you should 'excuse it upon me' that have forgotten to send you direction in that behalf, though you were not unmindful to require it in your last.
Draft. Endd.: March last, 1583. 2/3 p. [France IX. 74.]
Mar. 31. 209. Geoffroy le rumen to Walsingham.
Since I wrote to you I have met with a gentleman come from Nérac, where he left the King of Navarre, who had begun his diet. It is a week since he departed thence. He found four companies which the king was sending to Taillebourg, a town belonging to Mme de la Trémoille, whose daughter is marrying the Prince of Condé which is why the prince has sent to the king that he finds it strange he should want to put a garrison into places belonging to him. In short, if the king takes forcible steps, there will be war.
Marshal de Montmorency is reconciled with the Protestants, and they are now by their union capable of defending themselves against all men if they remain on the defensive; for the offensive they would want friends to help them. All is going well there. M. de Mouy is on the point of marrying a lady, rich and of great parentage. M. du Plessis is still at his own house.
The Diet in Switzerland continues, and the levies of soldiers on all sides.
The duke is going to begin his 'diet' at Dunkirk, if he does not change his mind.
Marshal de Montmorency's letter, and a little tract against the Council of Trent have put an end to the design of publishing it, and establishing the Inquisition. The Duke of Lorraine will not give his daughter to the Duke of Épernon, which has broken off the intended new kingdom of Austrasia. There are so many novelties (novallités) and changes from one day to the next that one would need to give oneself up to it at leisure (faudroit avoir exprès et de loisir) with credentials and association with sundry different persons, in order to inform you truly, and at the same time separate (séquestrer) the false from the true. I hear things from various quarters, and from notable people; but I am often amazed to learn the diversity, and to see all the corruption there is at present here. What I would say to you of it is that you must well ruminate what is written to you, and believe soberly.
Mmes de Téligny and de la Noue have embarked at Saint-Valéry. I think they are at their appointed place (leur rendezvous).—Paris, April 6, 1583.
P.S.—Thursday night there was a procession of the penitents, and they went masked to make the world laugh, or rather to amuse it while they are making their preparations.
Add. Endd. Fr.pp. [France IX. 75.]
? March. 210. Walsingham to Cobham.
Immediately upon the receipt of your letter [? No. 182] I acquainted her Majesty with the whole discourse of the conference that had passed between you and the party that you write of. At first she seemed to continue in her wonted jealousy and suspicion of d'Aubigny's meaning towards her; but afterwards considering better of the reasons by yourself alleged, which move you to think that he is in very truth desirous to possess her good opinion and favour, as, first, his zeal for Religion, and next, the greatness he has attained to in Scotland and the hope he is in of the increase of it, which he may well judge cannot easily be brought to pass unless she favour and countenance him being there—she is therefore well content to hearken to the offer he makes her to be at her devotion. To this purpose her pleasure is you should let the party understand that 'where' he seems to conceive some doubt lest d'Aubigny should be 'trained' into some danger, he will do well, for the removing of all such scruples, to resort to the examples of others that have heretofore given themselves in devotion to her, whether she have at any time 'trained' them into danger, nay rather, whether she have not requited their good deserts with her most gracious and princely favours; and that he is to think even in common reason that she (knowing well what interest d'Aubigny has in good opinion and favour, in respect whereof no man can be an apter instrument than he to knit the two Crowns in perfect union, amity, and friendship together, which she does so much desire) must needs very gladly accept of his offer of devotion towards her, if he plainly and sincerely means it. So he cannot pretend any just occasion of mistrust against her; but herself may rather in reason conceive some doubt of his sound meaning in this offer, when she considers the place both of his birth, and of his 'livings,' friendships, kindred, and alliances, which might draw him to run another course. Yet, if, moved with the zeal to Religion, and the great care he has of well-doing, he can be content to dispose himself to depend upon her good will, and favour towards him, and to employ his best means and credit to deserve it, whereby she shall perceive that he means plainly and sincerely towards her, he shall then find by experience that she neither wants judgement to discern nor good will to requite the service of one of his quality in that princely sort that may be to his contentment. To which purpose, if the said party will in his way make a step hither to treat more particularly hereof, with such as may be appointed to him, he shall receive such answers therein as will be to his satisfaction.
Draft: (blanks in original). Endd. ½ and 1¼ pp. [France IX. 76.]
? End of March.
[See No. 708 in last vol. but one.]
211. Henry Uwens to Walsingham.
Since I am come hither only to solicit payment of the obligations of Gerard Bierboom, citizen of Cologne (and in case it were not convenient to her Majesty to pay the capital, I would prolong them for two years, receiving in ready money the interest accrued), I beg that in view of justice and the reputation of her credit you will bear a hand to the prompt payment to me of capital and interest, or at any rate if it should suit her better to postpone than to make payment of the capital, that Bierboom may promptly be satisfied with the interest already accrued, amounting, for the term of two years elapsed on the last day of last December, to the sum of 789l. 14s. 2d. sterling, and that the postponement spoken of should take place on condition of the delivery to me of two letters from her Majesty and two from the City of London, of like tenour with the preceding, 'containing' respectively, one, the sum of 2,000l., the other, that of 1,948l., making up Bierboom's capital; and that they shall be accompanied by good and sufficient guarantee for the payment of similar interest, payable every six months during the prolongation, and that the interest already accrued may be paid in cash.
And as your petitioner understands that the difficulty of getting her Majesty's signature to the letters and to the guarantee for Bierboom is caused by the fact that they were made out in another name than all the other letters in the whole action of which Bierboom's debt formed part, he will be content that the new letters and the guarantee shall be made out to the name of Horatio Palavicino, being (as it is understood), that alone recognised on all the other obligations; provided that a note be made in the books of her Majesty's Treasury that this consent is given only to facilitate the signature of the obligations, and not to give any claim on what is contained in them to Horatio Palavicino, and that a written statement be delivered to the petitioner recognising that Bierboom is regarded as the 'master' of the aforesaid obligation and guarantee, notwithstanding that his name is not inserted; and no disposition, contract, or payment, to his prejudice, shall take place without his consent.
Hoping you will find this reasonable, the petitioner again prays in Bierboom's name that you will bear a favourable hand herein, to get it put forward shortly, to avoid the inconveniences which might arise if, in the event of its being protracted as in the past, I were forced to address myself to the City of London, and lodge a protest in default of payment, and my master were afterwards to avail himself of the means of arrest and execution on the persons and goods of citizens of London as permitted by the obligations. Wishing to avoid this as far as is possible, Bierboom has again sent me here at great expense and as his agent with two others, to try all courteous means rather than resort to rigour; hoping, in view of his long patience and the justice of his demands, to come to some end.
Broadsheet. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Germany II. 59.]
? End of
212. Petition of H. Uwens to the Privy Council on behalf of Bierboom.
Broadsheet. Endd. Latin. 1 p. [Ibid. II. 60.]
? End of
213. “Reasons whereby it is shown on behalf of Gerard Bierboom that it is no reason for refusing to pay his obligations, that the States of the Low Countries have not paid the Queen.”
Endd. Latin.pp. [Ibid. II. 61.]
214. Later (qy. 18th cent.) copy of the above. Latin. 6 pp. [Ibid. II. 61a.]
? March 215. [? Somers's] Messsage to the States.
The Queen my sovereign and your good friend has been greatly grieved to hear the sad news of the accident that has lately befallen in that good city of Antwerp between its inhabitants and the French, and the discussion which it has caused between them; whereby your cause cannot have failed to receive damage, and the enemy furtherance.
If this happened by the fault and ambition of the French, her Majesty in truth has no praise for it; and by such dear experience they have learnt to be better advised in future. But her Majesty has been advertised that there was discontent in their companies for lack of payment; however, she is ready to know the truth. Be this as it may, she is much distressed at the misery which his Highness endured after leaving the city, and still does at Dendermonde; hearing from Mr. Darcy, who visited him on her behalf, that there were still some difficulties to be cleared up in the negotiation then well advanced. She has in no way altered in regard to benefiting these countries, in which she has always taken a singular interest, as his Excellency and you can well testify, both by all good offices, and effectively. She dispatched me in the first place to see his Highness and you, to make use of her credit with both in order to appease matters then in question. But on reaching him, I found the agreement made and passed between him and you, and him ready to depart, nothing remaining but to make the English companies retire and free the road according to the agreement. Herein I laboured effectually, as you may hear from your deputies with him.
Now her Majesty, foreseeing by the past how the future will fall out, wished to represent to you the danger that may ensue from this discussion if steps be not promptly taken to content his Highness, and the nation so much offended, to avoid similar.
Rough Draft. Corrections in hand of (?) Walsingham. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. 108.]
? About end of March. 216. French News [qy. du Plessis to Walsingham].
The towns are to be delivered up by the latter end of August or the beginning of September next; which they will be forced to do unless they have the means to put an army in the field, which cannot be well levied without the help of such princes as profess the same religion, for heretofore, for want of an army to impeach their enemies they have lost divers places. Having one, they will be able to encounter with them, and 'let' them from besieging their towns. Also divers gentlemen and commoners, seeing forces in the field, will declare themselves, who now 'live closely.' The cause why these places were delivered them, was for their security at that time; and now, if they may be succoured, they mean to defer the delivery of them, alleging that they have greater cause to 'doubt of' now than ever they had, considering the superstitions that the king is entered into.
The King of Navarre is very well disposed to enter into the action, and so is the Prince of Condé, for the advancement of the cause. They have both by their good husbandry of late gathered some money together, which they will willingly disburse to do some good exploit, if they may have the help of such princes as are of their profession.
The Churches are well disposed to be at some charges for the levy of their army, and would be the willinger if they saw foreign princes whom the cause touches, relieve them.
If means are not found to levy this army, then must they try by bribing such as are near the king, to get a longer time, or else deliver up the places, which they would be 'lost' [qy. loath] to do, if by any means they can withstand him.
'Desireth you' to know in time how her Majesty is disposed, as also what succour they may look for at her hands. The sooner it shall please you to advertise them, the better, that the army may be in the field about the gathering of the fruits, or presently after.
'Willed' me to certify you that her Majesty has often been desirous to know their estate, and small relief or none they have had of her. And for the last levy that was made, what she did was for Monsieur, who does and will 'owyt' [qy. owe it] her Majesty, with that 'a' has received since that time.
They find themselves aggrieved very much, that having given her Majesty oftentimes to understand the secrets of their estate, she has revealed it in her familiar discourses to Monsieur; and not only to him, but also to such petty companions as Simier, Marchaumont, du Bex and others, redounding greatly to the hindrance of their cause. And they seeing by her speeches the small account she made of them of the Religion, have made their profit of it in divers places very much to their prejudice; thereby encouraging their enemies to contemn them the more, and to respect them the less, by which they might perceive that the princes in whom their greatest hope is should so little regard them.
'Desireth' to know what will pass touching the marriage of the S[cottish] k[ing] with the P[rincess of] N[avarre], and that you will consider how necessary it is for this 'estate' that he should match with one comformable in religion to him. She has been 'requested' by the Duke of Savoy, who is known to be a mighty prince, being nearer to the King of Navarre than the other, of whom he can look for no relief, but seeing the diversity of religion, nothing inclined that way [sic]; and for the other, 'knows' that the King of Navarre will do nothing but with her Majesty's consent and good liking.
The Spanish king has offered the King of Navarre 200,000 crowns to make some stir in France; and in the Spanish king's name are come to him the Viscount de 'Chaus Navarroyes' [? Chaux-Navarrois] and another named Don Indianno. Of this 100,000 crowns were ready at Pampeluna, and the other 'a' should have had within a month after. Hitherto 'a' hath prolonged it, neither accepting nor refusing it, but holds it in a kind of suspense. In the treaty he has used the king with great courtesy; moreover the king has made him an offer of a portion of money if he will promise not to molest him or his successor in the enjoyment of Navarre.
The chief cause of the Queen Mother's going to Calais is to make a marriage between Monsieur and the P[rincess] of L[orraine], offering all the patrimony she has in France, and a yearly pension in money. The Duke of Guise hearing of this, so it might take place, offered the king to go into Flanders with 1,200 gentlemen to deliver Monsieur; which the king took in very ill part, 'grieving' him to hear that he had so many gentlemen, his subjects, at his devotion.
Forasmuch as Monsieur's enterprises have not taken that effect he looked for in the Low Countries, he will be content to accept of any offers, seeing himself, as he is, loathed by all, so that of him there is no hope of any good but that in all points he will frame himself to the Pope and their adversaries' 'oppingnion.' Such honest men as had conceived any good of him, as well Papists as Protestants, seeing his proceedings 'have and do' leave him daily; 'grieving' many gentlemen that have followed him a great while, and with great cost, to see 'Averillie,' a sergeant's son of Orleans, perferred before them, 'a number which some' deserved well. To carry favour with the House of Guise, 'a' will be contented to accept of this marriage.
The king very much fears his brother's return into France, and doubts of some 'garboullie.' Wherefore he has sent 'pyed galliard' [qy. Puygaillard] into Normandy and Picardy to lie there with forces in readiness if anything should fall out.
The dislike of the small entertainment the King of Navarre's ministers have here, which he has always excused for the best.
The letters which the Scottish king has written to d'Aubigny, desirous of his return.
If you should think it good, after you have sent to him in Gascony, he will procure that the king shall send some gentleman to her Majesty, and means to send M. de Buzenval, if so you please.
The King of Navarre has made offer to M. de la Noue, if he may be set at 'rampson,' he will sell the fairest lordship he has to see him at liberty. But the Council of Spain have comdemned him to perpetual prison.
The marriage between the Prince of Condé and Mile de la Trémoills will take place, though by all means possible the king seeks to cross it.
The King of Navarre and Damville have had great conference together, and it is thought he will stick to them of the Religion, the rather because of late there is a great controversy fallen out between him and Méru his brother about their patrimony, in which the king seems to favour Méru against him; insomuch that the king has recommended Méru to the first President of Paris, to deal 'in that sort he may' overthrow his brother. Whereupon Méru is become one of the Battus, and seeks against nature to carry favour with the House of Guise.
There was some speech of marriage between the Duke of Savoy and the Princess of Lorraine. The duke instead of money demanded the Marquisate of Saluces; the king would not hear of it, so it lies.
Endd. by R. Beale: Memorial of M. du Plessis brought by Burnham. In hand of (?) Burnham, but apparently dictated by du Plassis. 3¾ pp. [France IX. 77.]
March ? 217. The Queen to [qy. Marchaumont].
Le fidèle, I send you the very words which I added to the letter to Monsieur. My hand being a little sprained I had great trouble to write so much:
“Permit me, my dearest, to say that I entreat you to consider that if the worst came to pass, and the marriage did not take place, if you think it better to arrange some other league, amity or security on very close terms, when you are present, than any other way; in that case I should not be so much vexed for the fear I have of any dishonour you might receive thereby. Enlighten me therefore, I beg of you as to your own notions in this matter of coming to some other agreement; although I am sure that none of us will be too much satisfied with it. In my heart I have already recte (?) the lot of being dedicated to you more than to any other soever.”
Keep this copy for me till I see you again. I beseech you to write frankly to Monsieur, and let him have a good regard for himself. You understand me; few words to the wise. God restore you to health. (Signed) $.
Holograph. Originally folded as a three-cornered note, fastened with yellow silk, and sealed. Fr. 19ll. [Ibid IX. 75 bis.]
March 30. 218. Gilpin to Walsingham.
My last was of the 24th inst. Since then I understand that Monsieur left Dermonde on Thursday last and surrendered the place to the States, who have restored M. Ryhove to the government and keeping of it.
His Highness took his way along on this side Ghent towards Eccloo; thence between Damme and Sluys over the river to 'Blackenborrowe' [qy Blankenberghe], to Ostend, and so through Nieuwport to Dunkirk, where he will rest, and enter into new treaties with such as the States shall depute to that end. In all places bridges are made over the rivers for his better passing. They will not be ready so soon to prepare for his return.
This last trouble and dealing has made the States wiser, and the common people so careful that the French will never have the credit to be taken or received into any town for garrison, if there be other soldiers to supply the want. Besides, no mass will be permitted or suffered hereafter where it is already removed.
It is thought this new treaty will be 'drawn at length,' so as to see what the king can do this summer; which some of judgement think will be very little. Thereafter the agreement with Monsieur will be handled; for notwithstanding the titles are permitted him, yet Flanders and other places have delivered their declaration in writing to the contrary—to wit, that breaking the promise he made, he has consequently forfeited the government.
One of good credit told me that the Prince's wisdom, in forwarding the first agreement before the second was made, would appear; and sure it was the King of France will do what he can to stay his Highness in these countries, not desiring his return for sundry causes.
At Antwerp and Ghent it has been proclaimed, none to write, speak, or attempt anything against the duke or his, upon pain of great penalties.
Two regiments of soldiers that are in Flanders with the Englishmen being by device of the States drawn away, we hear the English were fain to take the States' offer of one month's pay; and so, as is said, left the Land of Waes. Now all the forces march to the rescue of Eyndhoven, of which good news is shortly expected.
The Prince's spouse has arrived at Flushing, accompanied by Madame de la Noue, four maids of honour, and two gentlemen. She is young and fair, of mild speech and modest behaviour. Tomorrow she comes hither to the sermon, dines with the magistrates, and then returns to Flushing, and so the next day to Antwerp.
Enclosed I send copy of the sentence passed in Holland against the chief of the late intended factions, who was accordingly executed.
There is murmuring in some places in Holland by the common people against the employment of the money, because soldiers not being paid are driven to mutiny, and the service of the country is often neglected. The States of that province have certainly of late paid above 120,000 guilders to be employed both for Monsieur's men, and for those who are to go to the relief of Eyndhoven.
If occasion fall out, I beseech you let my former travail in Germany not be forgotten; for if I had made report of it by my presence and words, I doubt not but to have given to all persons reasonable contentment touching my proceedings.
I wait to know your pleasure about any service I may be able to do, and you will command me.—Middelburg, 30 March, 1583.