Elizabeth: May 1583, 21-25

Pages 356-366

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, 21–25

May 21. 324. George Lecester to Walsingham.
According to the contents of my last letter to you, I have 'used such means' to the gardener that he is resolved to come to you. I was in hopes that he would have been ready to depart with Charles, but now he tells me his business will require three or four days longer respite; against which time your ship lying in Zealand, will I understand, be ready to depart for London; so I mean to send him in her, with letters addressed to you. He means to come and present his service to you, and to inform you particularly what he is able to do, upon sight of those gardens and places wherein you mean to employ him. In consideration of this I have promised his charges shall be borne, which is all he requires, if upon further conference you do not find cause to entertain him. But I trust you will find the man sufficient and able to serve your turn, being accounted one of the best gardeners in these countries, and of a mild and gentle behaviour.
According to your direction I have paid Mr. Gilpin the sum of 20l. Please give order that it may be repaid when I send his acquittance or 'Receuyt' of the same.—Antwerp, 21 May 1583.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XIX. 50.]
May 22. 325. Cobham to Walsingham.
I have thought it convenient to write in such sort that her Majesty may be informed what order the French king has taken with Henry Nesbett, merchant of Edinburgh, sent hither a month ago with letters from the Scottish king to treat on behalf of all the Scottish merchants venturers trading into these parts, requesting that they might be exempted from all new impositions for those merchandises they bring from Scotland or transport hence. He has further requested the confirmation of the grant which King Francis and lastly King Henry, father to this king passed to them in the year 1554, the copy of which I enclose. At first this Nesbett was put in hope to receive some singular favour, but since 'Maningvile's' return he was answered by Chiverny that the Scotchmen should be dealt with in as good sort at his Majesty's own subjects. Then he requested such exemption from the impost might be delivered to him for the Scottish nation as the king has granted to the Rochelois or Provençals. Chiverny answered, they of Scotland should pay as the Normans did; which caused Nesbett to say that they were no Normans. Wherefore he demanded to receive a 'resolute' answer, because the Scottish king and the chief burgesses of Edinburgh were promised by la Mothe-Fènelon and 'Maningvil,' that they should not only enjoy such privileges as King Francis and King Henry had granted them, but receive some more special favour. Whereon Chiverny offered to give him a 'resolute' answer, which he received the other day signed by the king, a copy of which I send herewith. I have been informed by Nesbett that finding his answer no better, he said to Chiverny that if he had brought the Scottish king's and the Queen's letters to her ambassador on behalf of the Scottish merchants, he doubted not but to have received more satisfaction.
I have been informed that the king has granted a respite or surcease to those of Provence, whereby they are at present exempted from the payment of the new imposition during the king's pleasure. The like has been granted to those of Marseilles; but those of Rochelle have a clear exemption according to the privileges of their town, without which they would not hold themselves contented. I send a copy of these herewith.
The other towns of France, which are furthest off, have had some little satisfaction or abatement of the taxation; but the towns here 'nigh hand' have been compelled to pay or agree with the farmers, but with murmuring and deep discontent.
Thus much has come to my knowledge of the king's dealing for his new impositions. I wish that by the signifying of this her Majesty may be pleased to remember to think of the easing and acquitting of her merchants from those insupportable French taxations, which being suffered, may, it is thought, be yearly increased.
The king departed hence, accompanied only by M. du Bouchage, his master of the wardrobe, on Friday the 17th, to the 'Bons hommes,' where he received 'their' Sacrament, 'using' to sing with them in their quire, and to kiss the ground, with all such ceremonies as those friars performed. He departed that night together with his young queen towards. Saint-Germain, where he remains till to-day; purposing to go this week by little journeys to Follambrey, and so to la Fère, where I hear he will take the waters of the Spaw; though some hold opinion that he will medicine himself at Mézières, having taken order to have from the Spaw every day, carried on men's backs in baskets called hottes, wine bottles, which will be sent by the appointment of his physician 'lying' there. The bottles are to be locked and sealed by the physician, to be so carried, from three leagues to three leagues, by hired country-men, who will be always accompanied by certain of the king's footmen, who are sworn to look to the faithful transporting of the baskets with the bottles. So the king makes account to have fresh water every eighteen hours.
The Queen Mother has removed to Saint-Maur-des-Fossés, intending to repair to Monceaux, and afterwards to the king.
It has been certified to me that the king at his departure and taking leave of the Queen of Navarre, wished and commanded her to repair as soon as she could to her husband, because he esteemed it honourable both to her and to him, she being his sister, touching which purpose he had requested the Queen their mother to persuade and command her earnestly.
The Queen of Navarre answered that having been so long out of those parts of France her desire was to come to him, to receive his favour towards her; humbly thanking him for his advice. She would obey his will. Howbeit, because the journey towards Gascony would be very unreasonable, in respect of the greater heats in those parts at this time of year, as also because it is thought the King of Navarre intends to come into Poitou before the end of this summer, it is supposed upon those considerations she may be persuaded to stay some months, until her husband draws near Poitiers.
Their Majesties take with them in these journeys an exceedingly small train of men and women of all sorts. The courtiers think that the Queen Mother means to meet Monsieur at some place about the frontier, as near Calais, or at Cambray, to which city it is thought his Highness will repair if he do not get presently a better town in Flanders than Dunkirk. This interview proceeding between the Queen Mother and him, it is judged he will resort to the king, and finally be induced to marry the Princess of Lorraine, for the better obtaining of the king's further relief, with the increase of the Guises' alliance and friendship.
I hear his Highness has written to the king that the Government of Normandy belonged to him as his only brother and heir, complaining that it has been given to M. de Joyeuse to his prejudice.
The Duke of Guise does not remain in town. He intends to repair to his seigneury of Eu in Normandy, to take the air of the sea. The Duke of Maine is still in Paris, having hired Ventadour House, his wife being great with child.
The Cardinal of Guise has sung his first mass at Rheims, being assisted by five or six bishops; to wit, the Bishops of Chalons, Noyon, Langres, Soissons and Auxerre. The cardinals made a collection among the bishops, abbots and clergymen in a purse, for the Englishmen at Rheims.
The Abbé de Cheminon, who was a canon of the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, and likewise at Rheims, has given the lease of his house at Rheims for certain years to the English scholars, for them to lodge there.
The Duke of Nevers, since his departing discontented, never repaired to the Court, but keeps himself at Nevers, in his country. It is thought that in this journey, his reconciliation with the king will be made.
M. de 'Roclor' [qy. Roquelaure], a Gascon gentleman belonging to the King of Navarre, by whom, at his charges, M. d'Épernon, and his man, and his lackey, with two horses was sometime entertained, which M. d'Épernon does now acknowledge to him [sic], so that there was like to grow some great quarrel between the Duke of Épernon and the Duke of Guise 'through this occasion following,' which was that 'Roclor' having last year perforce taken a gentlewoman to be his wife, she having been 'meant' before to 'Haultfort,' nephew to M. de 'Haultford' one of the masters of the Duke of Guise's household, 'Roclor,' accompanied by many gentlemen belonging to d'Épernon, went to the Rue du Temple to assault 'Haultford' in his lodgings hard beside the Duke of Guise's house. The Dukes of Guise and Maine being advertised of this, repaired to the place to defend 'Haultford' or to appease the broil, which was done for the present. The next day d'Épernon went into Paris, having 'Roclor' on his horse beside him, with a great troop of gentlemen in a bravery. This moved the Duke of Guise to send d'Épernon word that if he would bring 'Roclor' on his horse into the 'Prezenclerc,' [Prés aux Cleres] he would likewise bring 'Haultford,' where they should be satisfied. Épernon answered he would perform as much as was requested, finding himself therein much honoured by the Duke of Guise. But the king hearing tell of this appointment, sent for the Dukes of Guise, Maine, and Épernon into his chamber, and dealt so earnestly with them that their angers were suppressed. Next day Épernon, departing out of the Queen Mother's cabinet, addressed himself to the Duke of Guise, being in the next chamber, with some reverence, and desiring him to accommodate the quarrel between 'Roclor' and 'Haultford,' which the Duke of Guise promised to accomplish, showing in his speeches to Épernon a 'coy' and haughty manner. Whereon the quarrel is appeased and wrapped up. Howbeit it is perceived that there is very deep heartburning between the Guises and Épernon.
The Duke of Joyeuse, before the king's going from hence, delivered certain letters to him from Marshal Joyeuse, complaining that Marshal Montmorency showed himself chief favourer of the commonalty discontented with these new impositions, making a party against the king. His Majesty answered that neither for his nor his father's ambition would he consent that any of his provinces might be brought into war; wishing the duke to write to his father to support himself modestly without giving offence any way.
The king commanded sundry of his Council to enter into consultation how to advise him for the abridgement of his charges in Court, which he found himself overburdened with, through the excessive number of the gentlemen of his chamber and officers. Likewise they should think upon the diminishing of the number of his officers throughout this realm, so that they might reduce it to the order which was held in the time of King Lewis XII, surnamed Pater Patriae; whereby he might not be compelled to oppress his people with impositions. Concerning this purpose he has received sundry memorials, whereof he means to think and resolve on whilst he is on this journey, that he may conclude what order to take before St. Michael's Day.
It was found somewhat strange that the king departed before these holidays, leaving his orders of Saint-Esprit and Repentis 'uncelebrated and unperformed.'
The king has licensed his 'Counsels' to repair to their houses at their pleasure until June 20, and his return is not looked for till September.
The king has appointed M. de Saint-Goard to be his ambassador at Rome. He is to depart next August, with the allowance for his diet of 7,000 crowns a year, 2,000 crowns for sending his letters, his banquets discharged, besides the defraying of his other extraordinary affairs for his Majesty.
The Chevalier de Chastre has left the French coast 14 days ago with his ships and 700 soldiers, good and bad. He has had so prosperous a wind that it is judged he would have arrived some days ago at Terceras.
M. de Châteauneuf of Britanny, of whom I told you in my late dispatches, has left this Court without further order given him for any embarkment.
Don Antonio, after he had been some days in Paris in the house of the Abbé de Guadagna, is gone by appointment of the Queen Mother to Rueil, M. de Simier's house, where he is at present with his two sons, of whom one is to pass to the Terceras.
On Whitsunday, d'Aubigny's wife caused a consultation to be had by six principal physicians, when they resolved that his sickness was deadly, so that he could not 'endure alive' above six weeks or two months at the most. They found his stomach unable to digest his meat naturally, and that his liver consumed with his dysentery; but assured her that her husband had received no manner of poison, as some had reported, and given d'Aubigny and her cause to mistrust. They have appointed him no physic, but to take twice a day warm milk of a young cow. His wife conceals his danger of death from him and his friends, but I have understood thus much from two of the physicians who were present at the consultation.
They write to me from Venice that the ship called the Susan with William Harbrowne was safely arrived at Constantinople, where before he entered into the haven, by order from the Grand Signior, he was met and conducted by eight of their principal galleys, with greater show of reception than any prince's ambassador or factor has been received with for a long time.
The letters which have been sent from her Majesty to the Signiors of Venice are delivered; but it seems by the deferring of their answer that those letters are not so well respected as were convenient and to be wished. But it might be that if the Signiors' ambassador resident here were dealt with, an answer to her Majesty's liking and that of her merchants would be the sooner procured by that means. This I suppose would so come to pass because Il Signor Clarissimo Priuli, the last resident ambassador, dealt with me, wishing the trade in the small raisins might be 'reduced' to their accustomed manner, without any imposition set on them in England; assuring me that if her Majesty performed thus much on her part, the Signiors would likewise withdraw their impositions set on the 'corrents.' This being brought to pass, he hoped there might follow the renewing of further intelligence between her Majesty and the Signiory. This much is certified in my letters to you about two years ago.
I heard say that Signor Cornari, this ambassador's nephew, was in mind, at his departure for England, that if her Majesty should enter into any 'purpose or speech of the ancient intelligence, which had been between the Crown of England and the Signiors of Venice, he would take occasion at his return to Venice to have it propounded for the Signiors to renew their unity with her Majesty, either by way of ambassador, or agent underhand, or some such sort.—Paris, 22 May 1583.
P.S.—I send you a particular letter, with others enclosed, out of this packet for more assurance, by this bearer.
Add. Endd. 5 pp. [France IX. 108.]
May 18/28. 326. Enclosed in above;
Extract from the resolution (résultat) of the Council of State held at Paris, 27 May 1583.
Statement and confirmation of the privilege of Rochelle to admit goods, whether of inhabitants or foreigners (last words underlined) duty-free; with exemption from the edicts of 3 October 1581, and 18 July 1582. Approved by the king, 28 May 1583.
Copy. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. IX. 108a.]
May 24. 327. Cobham to Walsingham.
I have been requested by Henry Keir to request you to have good 'concept' of his intention touching his service employed about d'Aubigny. He has, for the further advancement of his credit with you, directed the enclosed letter to you. I perceive by his speeches that he has got knowledge of d'Aubigny seeking the Queen's favour, which Keir would have me believe he desired should take place, 'showing' he has therefore persuaded d'Aubigny to take that course.
Moreover, Keir has with many words excused himself to me, because, as he says, he has been informed that some one of his countrymen has persuaded me to think he was badly affected to her Majesty's service, and a papist in religion; protesting that the one and the other were most untrue.
Howbeit, on Whitsunday d'Aubigny sent Cavaillon to me to declare that he perceived Keir intended to resort to me, having lamented to d'Aubigny that Smallet had uttered to William Shawe how he had informed me of Keir's crafty and double dealing, with his disposition in papistry; whereupon Keir had requested d'Aubigny to 'like' that he might repair to me, to excuse himself of these slanders, to which desire d'Aubigny agreed. Not withstanding, d'Aubigny required I would beware of him, but was right sorry that Smallet should have uttered his mind in these causes to Shawe as he had done, likewise of all those particulars he had passed with me in the behalf of d'Aubigny towards the Queen. Cavaillon signified to me how Keir has a pension of the Queen of Scots and of the French king; giving me notice how the king and Queen Mother had sent a comfortable message to d'Aubigny, promising him they would shortly send an ambassador to the King of Scots, who should be agreeable, and deal earnestly for d'Aubigny.
Philip Bembrigs is come with 'Manningvil,' directed to me by Mr. Bowes, and has delivered me these letters from him which are herewith enclosed.
The Irish Bishop has been in this town these eight days. I was in his lodging, and heard him speak and saw him. He is of an indifferent stature, about the age of fifty or more. His hair has been between yellow and red, but now it is half mingled with white hair; his face much red with the sun; his eyes gray and fiery, somewhat hollow, and his nose 'hawked' and great. He has little hair on his face, and is lean. He goes apparelled in a long cassock of russet 'rash' and his 'nether stocks' of the same, with a long black cloak. He has two men waiting on him in his lodging. He has conferred by night with the Duke of Guise, and was carried in a coach to the Pope's nuncio, to 'St. Clowe.' He is visited by the Jesuit Italians and other nations; and speaks reasonably good Latin and Italian. I have not learned any certainty of his departure from hence, nor the way he is to take, but I hear he will pass into England with a passport of mine, in the company of an Italian. His victuals are for every meal brought from the Jesuits to his chamber. I see he is greatly honoured and respected and visited; I wish he were with you. I shall take care of his departure and passage.
M. Clervant is returned from Monsieur, finding there no good humour in the behalf of the King of Navarre, nor great expectation of favour towards those of the Religion; but Monsieur wished the King of Navarre to repair hither to the French king so that he be entertained 'wordily.' I hear that Monsieur has sent Bournamvil to Montmorency, requesting to have friendship and secret intelligence with him, as that he would take in hand the part of the public weal of those parts. But he 'pretends' to deal warily with Monsieur, and to negotiate nothing but in the presence of those personages of Languedoc.
It is understood that Monsieur has sent Julio Birago to the Pope with letter and message declaring his intention to have dealt in his favour against the States, and craving his assistance. They say he has 'by means' had intelligence of late with the King of Spain's servant in France.
I am advertised from Venice that the King of Spain hopes to have ships and mariners and men from the 'Sweden' to pass into Friesland, 'naming' that he has many places at his devotion, as Campen, Zwol, Deventer and Groningen; and that those ships may pass into the Zuyder Zee, or into the mouth of the river of 'Eeyns' [qy. Ems] and ride at anchor or land without leave of Emden or danger of the States. They 'discourse' that the Spanish 'army' will come by way of Ireland and Scotland, with pretence of some slight enterprise on their way.
I leave these things to your consideration, for the likelihood of these foresights and speculations 'are' best known to you; not having left notwithstanding to report what is sent or delivered, though I may think it serves to exceeding small purpose. I beseech you to remind her Majesty that I am in such pain and grief in this place that I am not able further to endure; so I hope I may resolve to return shortly, which I trust will be granted, now the time is quiet so that any may serve in this place with more satisfaction and great contentment all manner of ways.
This bearer, Captain Sassetti, 'shows' to be affectioned to her Majesty and her service, and to honour you very much.—Paris, 24 May 1583.
Add. Endd. 4 pp. [France IX. 109.]
328. Decipher of above. Endd.pp. [Ibid. IX. 109a.]
May 26. 329. Stokes to Walsingham.
Since my last to you little matter has chanced 'than' only a great fear and doubt that is come amongst the commons, now that they see that the Malcontents are like to get all in Brabant, that they will not come to so good agreement as heretofore they were willing; for already, as yesterday from Lille, they have had some such advice, so they are in great doubt here that their estate will not continue long. And all comes by the evil and covetous government of the States and magistrates, who always sought more to fill their own purses than they had care to the general cause; so that they are, here in this town, and in all the other towns hereabouts, in very great fear, with sharp speeches against the Prince and the French, 'whom' they say have brought them to this misery, to lose their lives and goods.
By merchants' letters from Lille, secretly written to friends in this town, notice is given that the Prince of Parma and his Council have agreed to send some part of their forces out of Brabant hither into Flanders to M. de la Motte, who will have the command of them; and a smaller number may trouble those here, for there is no force here on the States' side able to resist them, so that when they come before any town, I hear it is feared they will take the first offer of agreement. By this means the true preaching of the Gospel is in danger to be put to silence and the Romish religion set up again.
Monsieur lies still at Dunkirk, 'attending some hope' to be received again into the same estate that he was in before, and President Meetkerke is still with him and no man else for the States but he. But surely by the speeches that go here the commons will never agree nor consent to receive him again.
As yet there is no speech come from Ghent how matters have passed there 'of' their meeting. But this much is said, that the Gentners have been very rough in speeches against the Prince since the troubles that have chanced at Brussels; and, as yesterday, the burgomaster [sic] of this town and the 'Free' rode in great haste to the meeting at Ghent, where it seems Monsieur's matter will be handled—whether they will have him back again or not. These burgomasters are the best friends that Monsieur and the Prince have in this town; so the speech goes here there will be much ado about Monsieur's matter.
This week the garrisons of Hauterive, Oudenarde, Tournay and Corttrick joined all together and made a 'roode' within half a mile of this town, and have taken a great many prisoners, and a great booty of cattle and carried it away with them, to the great damage of this side, who sit still and do nothing, and suffer all to be lost.
All the villages beside Dunkirk and those parts that were always under the States' government, have this week 'yielded' under M. de la Motte's government; only for the evil usage of the French, who deal very 'extremely' with the poor peasants and others.—Bruges, 26 May 1583.
Add. Endd. 2 pp [Holl. and Fl. XIX. 51.]
May 24. 330. Cobham to Walsingham.
I perceive that d'Aubigny's 'entirest' servants were in pain, for they doubted that Smallet would be passed into Scotland; therefore I wish he had not returned into those parts so soon.
There came to this town last night a servant of Duke John of 'Bipons' in post; who has sought of the king's secretary to have a passport for the safe passing through his realm of certain ambassadors, who are to be sent from Duke Casimir and himself to the Queen. I thought it convenient to advertise you of this.
'M. the Du. Pernon' they certify is in so good credit that he receives all the Placets or requests which are exhibited to the king and answers them, which has not heretofore been used by any other. And they further 'deliver forth' in this Court that the Queen Mother has found it good to ask by Épernon's mediation to have leave to follow the king in his journey; which she obtained, but stays at her house at Monceaux ten days before she approaches him.
I send what Don Bernardino advertised of the reception of Alaschi.
I send herewith an Italian 'provocation' after their manner, with notes in the margin. I beseech you in respect of the hand, it may 'pass into little sight.'
I cannot hear that Duke Joyeuse has further provisions of money with him, more than 30,000 crowns.—Paris, 27 May 1583.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [France IX. 113.]
May 25. 331. Nicholas Wilson to Walsingham.
Notwithstanding I have presumed to make you privy to my want, as one who was driven by necessity, yet now I have thought it good to advertise you of those news which I have been let understand; 'graving' you as well to pardon my boldness and to take them in good part.
The king this Easter for devotion went from Paris to 'Chartiers' on his feet, which is 28 leagues. The Queen Mother and the young Queen went by coach. Ten days after to Blois, having no great company with him. In the meantime the Count of Montgomery, who was remaining at Lorges, understanding of his Highness coming thither with so small a company, gathered some of his friends, some say 500 horses, but as I understand, of a truth there were not so many, his enemies spreading a bruit abroad that he purposed to enterprise against his person; but others say it was only to discharge his obeisance, and to clear himself before his Majesty of such things as he is and has been suspected of. But there is no great bruit of it. It is reported that the king will come to Blois very shortly, if the plague does not hinder him, notwithstanding the castle, the gardens, and all places of recreation about the house are so straitly kept that no man may enter in.
I understand the Prince of Condé has been all this last winter in Languedoc and Gascony. to have matched himself with M. Damville's only heir and daughter. Now the rumour goes that he will match with M. de la Trémouille's sister; and for this occasion, as I am informed, will come to Saintonge the 4th of next month.
The plague daily increases in this country, dispersed greatly in the principal towns; as here in Orleans, 'Burgeis,' Blois, Tours, Angers, Nantes, la Rochelle and sundry others.
There is an English gentleman here, newly delivered out of the Inquisition at Rome, named Mr. Bourne. He means to repair to you very shortly. He has taken physic, which is the cause of his abode here. A very earnest Catholic, yet bearing a good mind to his country.—25 May.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [France IX. 111.]