Elizabeth: May 1583, 6-10

Pages 326-332

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, 6–10

May 6–16. 297. Marchaumont to Walsingham.
I wish to let you know hereby of my journey to their Majesties, and for that purpose am writing to Captain Rigault to come and see me [sic]. If there is any service I can render there to the Queen or to you personally, it will be done most heartily, as by one having great obligation thereto. You may give Rigault any letters you please; they will be faithfully carried and delivered Pray make use of me as the gentleman of France who most desires to serve you. You are so well informed of all news from these parts that I will not trouble you with a tiresome repetition; but I can assure you that I leave Monsieur resolved to do all in his power to make war against the King of Spain. He ought not to be deserted in so good and useful an undertaking. Courage and will will not fail him, but our finances are short. I am going there to try to do the best I can, and to send them some from their Majesties, and from the little funds that remain to us. We have here an excellent man from the States, the President of Flanders, who assures us that the deputies of all the States-General will be with his Highness at the end of the month.—Dunkirk, 16 May, 1583. (Signed) P. Clausse.
P.S. (by du Bex).—If anything could be added to this, I should not complain of my trouble therein (?); I will only be so bold as humbly to kiss your hands, and ask you to command me.
Add. Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [Ibid. XIX. 39.]
May 7. 298. Prim to Walsingham.
The only cause of these few lines' writing was to let you understand that Senhor Dioge Botelho has returned from Holland, where he has spoken with all the States together in a town called 'Hay' where they kept their Court. At whose hands he received great and large promises, whereupon they presently wrote to the principal States at Antwerp how they were ready to accomplish their promise touching the aid of my master and king, and whatever more they could do, they would not 'mease' (?) the least for his Majesty's service; so that we do not lose hope but that we shall have the king's demand here, which is, 12 ships with the necessary provision of munition, and victualled for six months for 3,000 men.
This present day we depart for Dunkirk, where my lord means to speak with the duke. We return at once to Antwerp, whence I will not forget my duty in writing to you as occasion serves. Command me whatever I can do, which I protest not to 'mease' as my power shall enlarge and as my duty binds me.
I was certified that in the States of Holland and Zealand the Prince was admitted and accepted Count of the two States This I learnt of the burgomasters of Hangust and Amsterdam, and in 'Hay' where the Court is now kept. Likewise I understood of the 'hamon' [qy. Amptman] of Antwerp that the Commissioners were appointed by the States to go 'for' Dunkirk to the Duke, and that they would depart this day from Antwerp. I pray God that things may be agreed to the 'desvatenes' [qy. disadvantage] of the King of Spain.
If it were possible to have 400 or 500 Englishmen for the Island of Tercera, the king would very gladly have had them, because he had planned (?) as many English as French there; but lack of money has been the only cause that means were not made. But if you could, by the means of some gentlemen and captains whom you would appoint, do the king that pleasure, you might be assured that 'look' what order there were taken by you, it should be accomplished to your great fame. The desire the king has to have Englishmen in the island, is because the people of the country agree best [sic] with them than with the Frenchmen. Furthermore, he could not leave all French in that island, by reason of many prejudicial causes, that may grow thereof. I protest before God, that if the king had wherewithal 'in present', with your favour, he would not 'amested' [qy. have missed] to have sent 500 Englishmen, your Honour considering well the prejudicial points, and the great friendship the king may receive in this 'feyninge' [qy. finding] reasonably how you may do the king this pleasure, the order you will take therein, by your leave I will 'break' with Diego Botelho, and from you I will have that sufficient order that you will think well to employ me [sic].
I have not moved anything, neither did I let Diego Botelho 'understand of' this my letter; only the good zeal I have to the king's service and to you that I which [qy. wish] by your means the king might be restored to his real seat to the honour and peace of England. This I being bold desire you to forgive me as my meaning is to you.—Flushing, 7 May 1583.
Add. Endd. with date 27 April (which must be a mistake, since Botelho's intended departure for Holland was mentioned under that date. 2½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIX. 26.]
May 8–18. 299. The States-General to the Queen.
We have understood both by your Majesty's letters of the 20th ult. as also by the report of Mr. Gilpin, the good affection which you continue to bear to the weal and advancement of this state, in imparting to us your advice and good counsel concerning the complete reconciliation with his Highness; and advertising that he might feel some displeasure that we had not yet dispatched commissioners to put forward what still remains for us to treat of with him at Dunkirk. For this we cannot sufficiently thank your Majesty or for the care you take for the good and prosperity of these countries; but it seems to us, under correction, that his Highness, according to his accustomed discretion, cannot take this our delay in ill part, since he knows it was said in the treaty of Dendermonde that the deputies who shall treat with him on our behalf are to come with full powers and authority. To this end is requisite, according to the privileges of the country and provinces, the consent of the nobles, towns, communities and members of the respective provinces. Some of these are very far off, and it is not possible so soon to get their resolutions and authorisation. Wherefore your Majesty will be pleased to believe that this delay proceeds from no fault of ours, but only on account of the reasons given. We have, for our own part, notwithstanding we have had much to occupy us both in accomplishing the treaty of Dendermonde and in organising a camp, used all possible diligence in hastening forward the negotiations, sundry deputies from our assembly having to that end set out for the provinces, to inform the nobles, towns and members more particularly of what concerns the honour and service of his Highness, and the advancement of this country; and we hope they will shortly return with a good and favourable resolution. Meanwhile we are sending deputies to him, to learn his commands and excuse this delay, which for the above reasons we find it, to our great regret, expedient to make.
We therefore beseech your Majesty to be assured that on our part we shall omit no endeavours nor diligence to give his Highness entire contentment, and redress the affairs of this country; and we feel greatly bound to you for having done us the favour of thus adverting to the matter, promising you that on our side we shall not fail to serve you in all things that you may command, as is our bounden duty. We are much annoyed that we have no means in hand for paying the arrears due to Pallavicino and Spinola, according to the representations made to us by Mr Gilpin. And whereas your Majesty seems to take it amiss that we have used no diligence in making this payment, we beseech you to excuse it on the score of the calamities and difficulties which the war brings upon us, which oppress us on all sides to such a degree that they often impede our own endeavours and good will. Notwithstanding this, we will use all diligence to have one half-year's term of the arrears paid. As for the other terms, we have charged our deputies to procure entire satisfaction for them from their principals.—Antwerp, 18 May, 1583. The States-General of the United Provinces of the Low Countries. By order of the States. (Signed) M. Heanin.
Add. Endd. Fr.pp. [Holl. and F. XIX. 41.]
May 9–19. 300. Mauvissière to Walsingham.
There is poor Rocco Bonnetti, who on his return from Scotland as poor as Job, has repaired to me in order the sooner to tell me of his miseries and the bad turn which his wife and her bullies (ruffiens) have played him. I have [no] means to aid him except with goodwill. You may do it since you have known him here. Next to God, he looks to you for support, and thinks perhaps that my recommendation to you may be of some service to him. He has prayed me, being sick in bed and without money, to write this letter to you in his favour, to beg you to help him from your resources against these parties, and those who are keeping his goods from him, and to have granted him a Commission of gentlemen of your Council, that he may have justice against them; wherein I think that your abundant courtesy towards all men will be of more service to him than this letter.—London, 19 May (?) 1583.
Add. Endd. with date. Fr. 1 p. [France IX. 102.]
May 10. 301. [W. Parry] to Walsingham.
I forgot in my other letter to advertise you of my being at the Diet at Baden, where the ambassadors of France, Savoy, the Cantons and Confederates were assembled. I spoke with those of Zurich, Bern and Geneva, who seemed to have very small hope of any accord. It is meant that the Duke of Savoy shall be urged to peace or war. The Cantons of the Religion proceed very confidently; but I cannot perceive that they greatly trust the French. Geneva is in very good hope to be well relieved from England. The Catholic Cantons undoubtedly deal coldly with their neighbours, and stand even now upon very 'tickle' terms.
We hear that the Pope and all his College have agreed and subscribed to the deprivation, degradation and excommunication of the Archbishop of Cologne, and that the Duke of Bavaria offers himself and all his forces against the Archbishop and his fautors.—Lyons, 10 May '83.
Unsigned. Add. Endd. with writer's name. 1 p. [Ibid. IX. 103.]
May 10–18. 302. The Prince of Orange to the Queen.
If the matters being treated of between his Highness and the States depended on myself alone, I should long ago have tried to bring them to a conclusion. But the nature of them, seeing the condition and ancient position of this country, is such that they must necessarily go through by the consent of many different provinces, towns, and communities, which is not so easy to guide; especially seeing the impediments which your Majesty understands only too well may arise through diversity of persons and reasons. As for the deputies of the States who met in this town, they seemed to me well enough disposed to finish up the business, if their power had extended so far; but not having authority for that, they have gone back to their provinces, with the intention of soon returning to complete what has been begun. Meanwhile they have sent the President of Flanders to his Highness, to offer him power to hold his Court in whichever pleases him of these towns; Brussels, Mechlin, Bruges, Veurne or Bergues in Flanders, inasmuch as there is some danger of contagion at Dunkirk. To this we have not yet had any reply.
I will not fail in whatever I can to conform to your will, and to do humble service to his Highness.—Antwerp, 20 May 1583. (Signed) Guite de Nassau.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XIX. 40.]
May 10. 303. The King of Sweden to the Queen.
Albeit your letters, delivered by your ambassador Thomas Gorge, when he was here last year, as well as what he reported by word of mouth, fully declared what affection you bear to us; we have nevertheless confirmation of the same in the information given by letters from the same Gorge recently delivered by a messenger to our councillor and commissary Andrew Keith, knight, that you still preserve the same good will towards us firmly and constantly, and that it is specially shewn forth in that when envoys from the Duke of Muscovy lately approached you, doubtless with the view of asking aid, since by the goodness of God we have hitherto been the stronger—you have decided to give no answer, as we hear, until we knew of this embassy; and lastly, because we learn that you will make no delay to get this war which for thirteen years we have waged against the Muscovite, composed and peacefully settled. We feel sure that you will grant them nothing which could be to our prejudice.
And since we understand from Gorge's letters to Keith that you approve of the mutual ties which have begun between us being drawn yet closer, we have decided to send our envoy to you at an early date, with full powers to draw up and ratify whatever seems desirable for the purpose of confirming our league of friendship. Meanwhile we beg of you, if the agents of the Muscovite must in any case be dispatched before ours arrive (though indeed we should greatly wish it might be postponed), that they may get nothing from you inconsistent with our friendship, or whereby his power, which with God's help we have already worn down, may be restored or increased; lest by this means his most wicked mind, which thinks only of bloodshed, having new fuel from foreign power, may be kindled to the renewal of a war whereof the remains only seem left to be extinguished; for in him malice, like fire in a hearth, could never burn out till material failed. Wherefore all princes who abhor the shedding of Christian blood, have been glad to leave him destitute of all hope of aid, who feared not, himself being unmolested, to set on foot so deadly a war without any just cause, out of pure malignity. As for conditions of peace, you can guess that those would be such as victors are wont to prescribe to the vanquished.—Stockholm, 10 May 1583.
Add. Endd. Latin. 1 p. [Sweden I. 7.]
May 10–20. 304. Roger Bodenham to Walsingham.
I am informed by men of good reputation that there is report made to you and the rest of the Council that I am hinderer of the Company of Merchants trading into these parts, with other matters too long to rehearse. If these were true, as indeed they are not, no part of them, I were worthy of punishment. I hope you will not give credit to their malice. 'But and if' I were to declare unto you how the Company is deceived, and your honour in like manner, by those who make these complaints of me, I am most certain they would not escape punishment, as they will deserve. But seeing it is their lots [sic] to be maintained in their evil doings, and that I am certain my report cannot remedy the matter, I will let it go as it does, till time teach them how to do, which I am certain will not be long ere it come. I am by these matters constrained to say that which I have hitherto refrained 'to do,' because envy always hinders all g[? reat] things that are manifested 'Dare I' say thus much at the [? present], that I can open matters to the Queen and Council of more importance and benefit to the realm than the President and all the Company, which I will let pass till such time as I may be certain to have thanks, and rewards also. And although it may seem strange to you, and almost not to be believed, that such a man as I am should see this more than other men 'more liker' than I, yet is this most certain which I boast myself of, to be able to do and perform. Nevertheless in the mean time, if I may understand that my service in these parts may stand in my stead, there shall lack no good will to perform it.
I understand that I am greatly bound to you for the favour which my son William has received of you. I hope, if you please to 'serve yourself of' him that you will willingly do it; and here in these parts where I am, if you will command me, I shall gladly do it; and although I am certain that you lack not those that are better able than I, yet no man with a better will, so far as my power will stretch.
The state of this country at present is great lack of corn, and that which is on the ground, no great account to be made of it. The lack of rain has been and is a great hindrance. If there had not come great quantity of corn out of England, as it has done, above the number of 150 sail of ships, small and great, this country had been brought to great misery, as it is not withstanding. 'Here is' divers plagues happened upon this country; first, langosta, which destroys all the fields, wheresoever they be, of both corn and fruit, eating it up all. Besides this, in the vines there is a fly, which is called pulgon; and another disease there is also in the vines. Another plague there is that troubles the country much; which is that the king makes his provision here for the great fleet which he is making, to go to the Terceras to meet his fleet coming from the Indies. The saying is the fleets of the Indies are bringing a great treasure, such as the like has not been seen to come at one time.—Seville, 20 May, after the reckoning here, 1583.
P.S.—[The] restraint which is made in France [of b]ringing corn into Spain and [Por]tugal will trouble this country [m]uch; for Biscay and Portugal cannot live without the wheat of France.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Spain II. 1.]