Elizabeth: May 1583, 1-5

Pages 315-326

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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May 1583, 1–5

May 1–11. 285. Mauvissière to Davison.
M. Rocco Bonnetti tells me that he has received much favour and courtesy from you, both in Scotland, and during his return in your company. It is a kindness in keeping with your good qualities (vertu); and since Rocco is an old acquaintance of mine, and I put him into the service of Monsieur, and desire to gratify him in all things, and seeing that he tells me he knew you for one of my good friends, a thing I desire to merit in your case, I would in the meanwhile, if I have any credit with you, beseech you to show him favour in his just requests, and recommend him to Sir F. Walsingham and other Lords of the Council with whom he might have business.—London, 11 May 1583.
Add. Endd. by Davison. Fr. ½ p. [France IX. 97.]
May 1. 286. Cobham to Walsingham.
'Il Sr. Chevalier de Severs,' Grand Prior of Champagne, President Faulcon, and Mr. Pinart came to me on the 18th of this present [sic], being Sunday [the 17th was Sunday], by the king's appointment. The two first were sent as Commissioners, assigned for the hearing of the Englishmen's causes, and M. Pinart came as the king's secretary, to whose 'partition' the affairs are in charge. At first M. Pinart signified how the king, for the desire he had to 'accomplish' in all things with the strait amity he held with her Majesty, has required his counsel to have in recommendation the complaints of her subjects, having especially charged them to repair to me to give me to understand what the king and his Council had resolved in these causes I last propounded, demanding of me which of those affairs I desired to be first spoken of.
After I had thankfully acknowledged this gracious demonstration the king was pleased to show in regard of her Majesty's amity, and to do this honour to her mean minister by sending personages of this quality, I besought them that we may first enter into consideration of the order for the avoiding of piracies. On this M. Pinart delivered how the king thought it convenient to shorten the course of procedure in the matter of depredations by appointing that M. de Joyeuse should be answerable for all depredations that might hereafter be committed by the French on the English, so that within ten or fifteen days after the Englishmen had delivered to him and his officers notice of the depredation and the names of the malefactors, without further suit in law or charges, their losses should be made good by M. de Joyeuse. For the manner of proceeding the king intended to 'advise himself' with him. This was to be performed, if the Queen on her part would command that her Admiral, or some other person of dignity might be answerable to the French in like sort.
To this I answered that almost two years ago the most part of those orders which I last delivered to the king had been 'devised' by his Council and 'betaken' to me. I sent them to England, and they were agreed on by the Queen to shew herself agreeable to his Majesty; wherefore if now there is any other means of proceeding against the rovers better liked by the king, when he lets me receive the same in writing, I promise to convey it to her Majesty.
M. Pinart gives me to understand that the king's intention will be shortly signified to me in writing, which he will send 'by the next.'
Secondly the complaint of the attachment made on Alderman Starkey's goods was treated, and it was accorded that 'main levie' should be made, and the goods returned to his servant.
The complaints of the merchants of Rouen were had in deliberation, whereon I produced the king's edicts published since the treaty made at Blois, wherein by express words the cloths of England, of all sorts and of all colours, are exempted from the impositions; which edicts I send herewith. So they have agreed that all the broad-cloths shall be 'quited' and order will be sent, as they promise, to the farmers of the impost, to make 'main levie' on the broad-cloths, and also to repay the money received for the impositions on them. The kerseys are said to be no 'drapes' but to be accounted as serges. On this I shall bring forth such reasons as I can learn, being not assisted by any merchant. I have caused them to be written to, three weeks ago, for their proofs, but they make no answer. They are divided for lack of a Corporation and good order, so that her Majesty loses in her custom, the English goods are sold here under their value, the French merchandises have their prices enhanced, with many other incommodities.
Lastly, the complaints of the merchants 'trading Bordeaux' were considered. Many of the town of Bordeaux have written against the English merchants' desire, which is that they might be lodged and helped by the brokers, as they have been accustomed, according to their demand; which in my late dispatch I enclosed to you, as I have performed the like for the complaints of the merchants of Rouen.
This is as much as passed at this meeting, so that I have but thrust at a stone and removed a straw; for this I take to be but a show of easing, by reason the oppression of our English merchants remains and is not cured.
Because the bruit continues that the king and the young Queens repair towards the parts of Lorraine to take the water of Spa, I asked M. Pinart for the time of their departure; and asked the like question of the Queen Mother's journey; but he seemed to be ignorant of it.
It is said here that above 1,000 of the Prince of Parma's horse have approached towards Cambray.
It is understood that Marshal de Retz offers a great sum to make a better 'embarkment' to pass to the Terceras, and to send his eldest son, who is yet but young. In the meantime those preparations are 'held in dispense,' awaiting more certain news of the Spanish armies.
The Queen Mother of late 'harkens after' the return of Brulart's nephew dispatched to Monsieur with 150,000 franks.
The Duke of Lorraine's departure hence is as yet deferred.
They of Geneva began their Diet at Baden in Switzerland on April 13, but what event those causes will have, is not yet advertised hither.—Paris, 1 May 1583.
Add. Endd.pp. [France IX. 98.]
April 28./May 8. 287. Enclosed in above:
Reports of the points discussed in the conference above-mentioned and the decisions arrived at. Also references to a suit between the farmer Hondry and Sherington, an English merchant; and to depredations committed upon 'le Viconte Deau' of Rouen.
Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [Ib. IX. 98a.]
May 1. 288. Cobham to Walsingham.
Whereas in my other dispatch I certified you of Smallet's stay upon the departure of Montbrunneau, who being returned, d'Aubigny has caused him to repair to me, which he accomplished 'the last day'; when he 'showed' me how upon the confidence d'Aubigny has of the Queen's sincere proceeding, which hitherto appears to be shown to such personages of quality as have reposed their hope in her, he resolves to send Smallet with his letters, whereby he means to put himself in the Queen's hands, as the messenger is more amply to signify; promising that if he shall find himself received and clearly dealt with, he will plainly cast his chief trust on the Queen, so that she continue the same course for the Scottish king his master's benefit as she professed to him at his being in England.
Moreover Montbruneau signified to me that whereas the Queen had heretofore by many ways prejudiced the estate of d'Aubigny, the remembrance of that raised in his mind sundry doubts. Howbeit, because he understands the same disposition rose and was stirred up through sinister reports, as also in respect of the place of his birth and the favours he received from the French king and the Duke of Guise, he nevertheless now hopes that she will accept of his speeches and promises according to his faithful meaning, which he will testify by approved actions, and give good assurances. He excused himself for not writing at this instant so frankly as might be looked for, staying until he had understood by Smallet her acceptance and inclination. This was the effect of the message that Montbruneau delivered to me from d'Aubigny. At his departure he required my advice in what sort d'Aubigny should write to the Queen. I referred the matter to d'Aubigny's intention, and the meaning of his heart, assuring myself he was best acquainted with his own mind.
D'Aubigny has since sent to me his Secretary 'Cavallier,' a Provencal brought up in Scotland. He came accompanied by Smallet. They showed me d'Aubigny's letter, which is written to the Queen only in general terms. But Smallet's speeches are never large; which I think verily he will deliver in frank manner enough [note in margin: further (?) speak to her Ma.] to her, having promised on the faith he bears to God that he will discover all things past in the last action [note in margin: the surprise of the king] when the Scottish king 'should have' been surprised, and will not hide from you the names of all those who were and are confederates with d'Aubigny; being inclined to give the Queen assurance of his service, 'protesting to' forsake d'Aubigny and the Scottish king in case they swerve or dissemble in matter of religion, or in the course the Queen takes for the benefit of England and the Scottish king. It seems to me she may assure him by any means she thinks good. You may find him prompt to enlarge enough, and to suppose he understands sufficiently the affairs of his own country; thinking to have much credit among the chiefest sort, especially with Glencarne, and offering to bring him to be altogether at the Queen's devotion. And now at his departure he informed me that d'Aubigny doubts that his ship was not to go towards Spain, but to 'Kerkcombry' in Galloway, of which Lord Maxfield is commander, where Gowry and Argyle or Arran intend to embark the king to transport him into France perforce; which earls have sent assurances to the Duke of Guise they will execute that exploit. He hears besides there is a device to deliver the Queen of Scots; so that d'Aubigny thinks it convenient the Queen should send into the west seas and these seas to take his ship, which is manned by a hundred fighting-men. He knows that Geddes and Keyr have letters aboard from these parts. D'Aubigny knows not whether the Scottish king is consenting to this device; howbeit, he thinks it necessary to have expedition used for the preventing of it. He professes to show at his repair to the Queen a letter written to him from the Queen of Scots, directed to Dumbarton, wishing him then to stay in those parts, and offering that her friends in Scotland should join their forces with his. And since his being in this place, she has written again, declaring they understand, by her friends about the Queen the conference he has passed, when he 'quited' himself honourably, assuring him the Queen intended nothing against him, but she would be advertised thereof. He keeps these letters to deliver to the Queen; intending to write to the Queen of Scots to discover the names of his assured accomplices in England [note in margin: to write to the Scot. Q. to deliver the names; and [symbol] mark] if the Queen finds it good. These offers cf d'Aubigny Smallet is to be charged with, as written from me, if her Majesty pleases; except of his own free will he shall declare this much. I was informed by then that the Duke of Nevers advertised d'Aubigny that Henry Keyr had betrayed him to the Duke of Guise and to Glasgow, having been the 'trainer' of the conveying of the ship on this journey.
Smallet gives me to understand that the Queen of Scots intends to place Ross in Glasgow's place in this Court, being offended with Glasgow for favouring Hamilton and dealing slackly for her liberty.
As touching Hamilton, he assures me that the King of Scots gives him yearly a pension, and that he seeks to join in friendship with d'Aubigny, offering to renounce his claim to the king's succession.
On the other side Lord Hamilton lets me know that d'Aubigny has caused his friends to confer with him, and to treat for an accord to be made, offering to obtain for him the king's favour and restitution of his estates; in which purpose the French king has made him to be moved with promises of a pension, wherefore he pretends to me that he will depart out of these parts to avoid those enticements.
Thus I have signified a great part of 'such their stuff' as I have received, wishing any part of it may be turned into true English, or that the Queen may serve herself 'in' any of these to some good purpose. I confess it seems dangerous to receive such 'gesse' (?) too nigh, or to trust them. But they may be well employed for the Queen's service, and I shall rest ready to obey.
I have sent my nephew with Smallet, to bring him to you, and to have an eye to his dealings. D'Aubigny has written by him to Mauvissière, showing he mistrusts him; so that after the Queen's turn is served, he may deliver the letter according as may be thought good. It seems that d'Aubigny desires he should return hither, and not pass into his country; but I think he will go forward as the Queen shall direct him, and proceed thereafter. The other particulars belonging to these causes the said party will, I suppose, utter in conference. In the absence of my friend, d'Aubigny thinks to send me his above-named Secretary, whom he trusts.—Paris, 1 May 1583.
P.S.—After I had written this, d'Aubigny sends me word that he is advertised from this Court that some alteration has happened in those parts, and that the person of the King of Scots has been put in danger or hurt. These news are sent from Mauvissière.
I hear that 'Mannyugvyl' is returned from Scotland; and that Mr John Gordon, married in France, will be employed as the French king's agent about the Scottish king. He is kinsman to the Earl Huntley.
M. de Clervant is come hither, dispatched from the King of Navarre towards Monsieur. The King of Navarre goes shortly into Béarn, so into Foix; and thence comes into Saintonge with the Princess his sister.
Mr Wade is come safely hither, and is to depart hence with the next 'commodity.' I have procured him a passport. I beseech you that I may receive some good news for my relief and 'short' return. I desire, if you please, that my nephew may be 'returned' with the next
I have delivered Sassetti the copy of Giraldi's bond he desires to be sent with the next dispatch. I shall accomplish his desire therein, for the service he 'pretends' to her Majesty.
There is a Spaniard passed privily over with Peton the 'post.' His name is 'Salvarye' [qy. Alvarez]. He married a gentle-woman in Flanders: one evil-disposed to her Majesty and to the Prince of Orange.
Seals, but no add. Marginal notes and endd. in Walsingham's hand. 4¼ pp. [France IX. 99.]
289. Deciphers of various words in phrases in the last, by one of Walsingham's staff. Endd.: with Smallet to bring him to your honour. 1 p. [Ibid. IX. 99a.]
May 2. 290. Wade to Walsingham.
I understand that a Diet has already been held in Germany among the princes for the cause of the Bishop of Cologne; where the princes of the Religion have resolved to join in his defence against the Papists, Imperialists and Spain. The Elector Palatine is chosen chief of the defensive forces and Duke Casimir his lieutenant. It has been concluded in the same Diet, that if the Emperor will 'sturre' (? stir) to the displacing of the bishop, the confederate princes will stay in their hands the money granted by the last Diet to him; the delivery of which will be stayed till they see how things fall out. They are appointing an army of 40,000 reiters and 20,000 landsknechts. Out of the parts of France bordering on Germany 2,000 shot have passed, under the conduct of certain gentlemen of Burgundy to serve the bishop. Mentz so favours his acts, that it is thought he will imitate his example. Trier is content to remain neuter. The Bishop of Bremen has also betaken himself to marriage. The Duke of 'Saxon' has written to the State of Cologne in favour of the Bishop, in such sort that it is hoped he will be brought to further assistance; and has sent away Jacob Andreas, the author of the seditious Concord. The time is now thought very fit for her Majesty to make a league with the princes of Germany, being already by this means joined together in one body of concord. The King of Spain has forces out of Italy to assist the Bishop of Liége, under the command of Count Aremberg.
What I wrote to you of Poitiers has been practised in divers places. They of Rochelle threw the 'import-master' sent by the king, into the sea. At Marseilles fresh 'sturre' (?) again has been against the like merchants.
The Churchmen have so handled the king's conscience that he is determined to pardon them of the tenths. And advising themselves what a hatred that exemption would draw upon them, in that the burden of the people would be so much heavier, they have 'sought' the king to seek a reformation of the State to pay his debts, and release the people from some charges, which, in the mind he is now in, he only intends.
The greatest thing the Protestants have to fear, and to take order for betimes, is concerning the restitution of the towns given them for assurance, and to be surrendered in September, for though there is 'breach of the king's behalf,' yet the denial to yield them will be a new war, and the yielding of them a yielding of their throats to the knife. This dilemma, having danger both ways, they must resolve to 'answer' with least peril, 'where' in time they must fortify themselves both at home and abroad with forces and favour. In the end those must be accounted the surest friends whom necessity and causes and surety alike bind to our alliance.
There is likely to be some great jar between the king and the duke, as already there is little liking, about the abbey of Lisières, which the duke has bestowed on Fervaques, and the king has pressed Cardinal Birague to accept, who has long modestly refused it.
Excuse my hasty writing, being upon my departure.—Paris, 2 May 1583.
P.S.—The king has written to the King of Navarre, excusing himself with great protestations 'not to have been' party to the late practice at Antwerp, with bold terms utterly condemning the device and his brother.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [France IX. 100.]
May 2–12. 291. Du Bex to Walsingham.
On arriving at Dover I found the letters which you were good enough to send me, particularly those from the Lieutenant, who by means of them used such courtesy towards me as obliges me still more ever to serve you; which I shall not fail to do when occasion offers, or you command me. I have also given his to M. de Marchaumont, who I can assure you is wholly devoted to you. Since he has taken up his pen, I will not entertain you further on this subject, nor with the news of our master, which he will not have forgotten. I will only say that as for the master of your ship, I have seen M. de Bacqueville more than once, in order to see what means there is of getting his beer restored to him; which being no longer in existence (en nature) having been distributed by judicial order, it cannot be done; but he has promised me that on the first opportunity of a capture which arises, he will have him satisfied, for your sake. I assure you I will see to this, as to any other service in my power.—Dunkirk, 12 May 1583.
Add. Endd. with date 27 April (which must again be a mistake, for the date of the letter might conceivably be 3 or 6, but not 7). Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XIX. 27.]
May 2–12. 292. Marchaumont to Walsingham.
I thank you very much for the present you sent me. It is not from now that I am under obligation to you, and I wish that an occasion would offer to requite [? m'en couvrir]. There is no news, save that his Highness is awaiting deputies from the States, who are very long about coming. Meanwhile there is no money for the army, which causes much confusion. The Queen Mother is soon to come to these parts, where we are beleaguered by the plague. Two soldiers have been hung, who came from la Motte, to obtain intelligence with a view to surprising the place. I hope in a day or two to get away to France, where I will let you know my news.—Dunkirk, 12 May 1583. (Signed) P. Clausse.
Add. Endd. with date 28 April. Fr. 2/3 p. [Ibid. XIX. 35.]
May 3. 293. Cobham to Walsingham.
There is nothing to advertise, since the departure of my nephew, than that Don Antonio is come to this [sic] now two days past, and is in the abbot of Guadagni's house as before accustomed. Letters from Portugal of some importance have come to him by land.
The king is causing soldiers to be levied by the sound of the drum in Rouen and other places thereabouts. They are making preparations at Alençon for Monsieur's coming thither.
I had willingly meant to have sent Mr. Phillips with the next dispatch, but that Captain Sassetti has my promise. I shall send him with a dispatch sooner than there is cause, because he importunes me for his going hence, desirous to be in England.
I send you 'part' of such green fruits as are here at present gathered; though they are not so good and ripe as I could wish.—Paris, 3 May 1583.
P.S.—The king departed this morning, or rather night, without taking leave of anyone, towards (they say) Notre-Dame-d'Espine in pilgrimage. The Queen Mother and the Queen of Navarre 'pretend' to continue their journey to Monsieur.
I send you the Book of Edicts, wherein are noted those edicts which grant privilege to the merchants concerning the English cloths transported into France.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [France IX. 101.]
May 3. 294. Audley Danett to Walsingham.
On Sunday the 28th ult. Marshal Biron began to batter the castle of Woue, 'which for the time was hot'; so that next day the place was surrendered. The Italians were permitted to depart without any baggage, and the Flemings and Walloons, with two or three French, 'taken to mercy.' The castle was not very well furnished with powder, but otherwise well provided, and the breach, notwithstanding the hot battery, so small that 'men of service' think it a fault in the Italians to have left it so easily. Had they held good till to-day, it is said here the Prince of Parma had appointed to have been in person for the relief of it. Of this there is some appearance, the enemy's forces being at night on the last of the month wholly assembled at 'Turnehault,' where they yet remain, and as it is thought will first 'provoke' our forces to fight. There are now altogether, as it is written to the States, French, English and Walloons, strongly entrenched at Rosendael, with intention to hazard nothing by fight. Some think the enemy being 15,000 strong in foot, as is credibly reported, will attempt to besiege either Herentals or Diest in Brabant; but others knowing the scarcity of victuals in these parts to feed such an army, and how hardly these quarters may be furnished from any other place, think he will bend his course some other way not yet known.
The States are dispatching certain of their company to their several provinces. Some have already departed hence, and the rest within a day or two at the most [sic], to take their journey. Amongst the articles they have in charge to treat of, I hear the first is to levy money at once and pay their forces, and next to resolve in what sort to treat with the duke; who, as is thought here by most, is more willing to harken to any offer they may make than they are ready to enter into any new treaty. Herein although the magistrates, for the better serving of their turn, seem better affected, yet the common sort remain altogether out of taste to receive any French. Our English soldiers are of the same humour, and their commanders and leaders, as also those of the Scots and others; what for want of pay, and for the distrust they have of the French, so far out of love with the service here, that for the most part they sue to be discharged.—Antwerp, 3 May 1583.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XIX. 36.]
May 4. 295. Gilpin to Walsingham.
Receiving last Wednesday morning your letter with the enclosed from her Majesty to the Prince of Orange and the States-General, I departed next day and arrived at this place the same night, to accomplish her Majesty's command. To that end I desired to understand his Excellency's pleasure for access; and audience was appointed and heard this afternoon. After delivering her Highness's letters, I laid open to the best of my ability the charge committed to me with the circumstances thereto appertaining; to which his Excellency 'said to be' sorry that occasions should be presented to her of dislike, especially the fault of the accidents fallen out not being his or the States, as time would try. And for his care and endeavour to bring all to good, as he had not hitherto, so would he not in any respect in future be found wanting. Of the other points touching the money promised and given his Highness according to the treaty of Bordeaux, and for army to be levied and 'brought in field,' as also for the cause of Pallavicino and Spinola, he said that after I had delivered her Majesty's letters and dealt with the States, he would enlarge to me further; acknowledging the while how greatly they were bound for sundry her Majesty's cares and good will shown them and extended; together [with] the wrong offered her in the 'longness for contentment' of that which she so justly required; which, as also what else might tend to her liking, he would employ all his means and diligence to procure. But as a matter that touched the General States (certain commissioners whereof were already dispatched), he could not do more than with all earnestness and best inducements to recommend what so nearly touches their credit, and so should the effect of his deeds testify.
His Excellency appointed me to come tomorrow in the forenoon to the States, and deliver her Majesty's letters. He would not only be present, and impart to them the content of the letter she wrote him, but also show his resolution to advance some expedite answer, whereof you shall understand more by my next. I have found it convenient the while to write this much, notwithstanding our post's sudden departure.
For news I forbear to trouble you, understanding that all particulars were by this bearer and sundry others advertised. Yet I thought it good to add that I heard to-day that those of Holland have lately sent a letter to the States-General, certifying their choice of the Prince as Earl of Holland, adding their reasons and proofs not 'to be contrarying' any other's right, the privileges agreements, pacifications or treaties made with king, duke, States or otherwise.
I hear also that certain are appointed to go to Monsieur to entertain him with offers or demands, till every province having heard the report of their Commissioners and considered thereupon, shall return their resolution.—Antwerp, 4 May 1583.
P.S. (autograph).—Those of Holland request the States that the Prince might go to them, to take the oath and be accepted as their Earl; and herein beseech his haste and speedy conformity.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIX. 37.]
May 5. 296. Stokes to Walsingham.
My last was of the 28th ult. Since then these speeches are current here.
The four regiments of foot and ten cornets of horse that I wrote of in my last, were Malcontents, who came into these parts to take Béthune or Armentières for their pay; and having missed at both places, they have most pitifully spoiled the country thereabouts, and are returned back between Lille and Tournay, where they lie. They are in numbers not 500 men, almost all Spaniards, and Albanese. By report there are a company of poor soldiers who have lain all this last winter beside Douay.
Three days ago the Prince of Épinoy came from Ghent to this town; and is gone to salute Monsieur at Dunkirk. This is done by the advice of the Prince of Orange. Some say he is going into France, to be married to a French lady there.
By letters from the French queen to Monsieur and the States-General, M. 'Amyrall' Egmont, that lay prisoner in Sluys castle, is released; and the speech is, he will be sent to France.
Two days ago President Meetkerke passed through this town in as secret wise as he could. He is sent by the Prince of Orange and some of the States to Monsieur, and tarried not three hours in this town; in which he had great secret speeches with those of th emagistrates of the town and the 'Free' that are good willers to Monsieur and his cause.
It is thought that he is sent to present some speech to Monsieur, to make some new contract with him again. So the commons here begin to spy out these secret dealings, which very much move them; wherefore it is thought before long some great matter will fall out here among them. God turn it to the best.
This week there was great speech here that Monsieur would come and lie in this town. But as soon as this came to the commoners' ears, it was quickly altered; for they will not have him come to this town 'to the last man.' Now it is said he desires to come to Veurne and there keep his Court. But the country will not grant it him, unless he delivers the town of Dunkirk.
It seems there is some great matter working at Ghent, and it is secretly said it is about some agreement to be made with the Malcontents. 'Surely here goes' great secret speeches of the matter, and no doubt something will come of it.
The commissioners who were sent from this town to Monsieur for the delivery of Berghes are returned as they went, for they can get no town; for the French soldiers that are in it ask 200,000 guilders that the States owe them for their service, and until that is paid, they will deliver no town.—Bruges, 5 May 1583.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIX. 38.]