Addenda: Miscellaneous 1571-1572

Pages 438-498

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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Miscellaneous 1571–1572

[A.D. 1571, June ?] 409. Relation of Baptista de Bois.
On the 6th of May, Doctor Bandeville and I embarked in an English ship belonging to a merchant of Bristol named Thomas de Merico, who in Spain gave proofs of being a good Christian, not omitting to hear mass each day, which is the chief reason of our coming in his ship, in which we deceived ourselves, as it was feigned in order to get more particular information as to Spanish affairs. On the 12th we landed at Falmouth, where we found some ships such as there are in the ports of that island for the fleet which the Queen is making ready, and which, as is said, is to oppose that which is expected from Spain. And going to a village a mile from the port, called Perin [? Penryn] the master of the ship above-mentioned gave information of our arrival to the captains of the two castles of Falmouth, who at once took from us our baggage, and there being in them the cedula of the entertainment which his Majesty was pleased that your Excellency's person should hold, and showing that I was of the Chamber, the said captains read it, holding great discussions upon my arrival, of which they immediately gave notice to those of the Council of Cornwall, who were four miles away at a place called Truro (Trieuru); and taking us before the said Council, they examined us, demanding of us an account of the cause of our coming, which we told them, giving us very little belief therein; and a gentleman, a member of the said Council, named Masterman, said to us that our coming was not without occasion, since they knew that the King of Spain was arming a great fleet by the counsel of Stukeley (Estuquele) against England or Ireland (fn. 1), and that in order to carry this into effect, they sent caradia from Spain, to examine the ports; and that only a fortnight before, they had taken two Spaniards who came on the same errand. I answered that I knew of no such thing; although certainly his Majesty was arming, and they might very well know the cause why he was doing so, since it was against the Prince of Orange, and that that was as sure as possible, since it was done by order of Pero Menendez.
Then they took the said [de Bois ?] to Thomas de Merico, who amongst other things, declared positively that the fleet of Spain was intended to go against Ireland, that this he knew certainly by sure information from a monk, Francisco, an Irishman at the Spanish Court; and they ordered all that he had ***tten to them, and the signature of his name, and all our papers, to be sent immediately to London to the Queen. They sent our trunks to Perin, until they should order otherwise, and two days afterwards they ordered us to start for London, with another gentleman of Mr. Masterman's, who was responsible for our not speaking with any on the way. And by what we could learn on the said way, all, both nobles and common people, said with one voice that they have to fight his Majesty's fleet, and that they know well that this fleet would not in the first instance come against the Queen, but having gained the victory over the Prince of Orange, would then turn upon them, by which they would have more to gain, and that God would thus give them a good occasion of enriching themselves with the money of the King of Spain. For this reason they are hastening to put their fleet in order, gathering great provision of all sorts of munition, and this with so great demonstrations of satisfaction that it was against Spain, that it is not possible to exaggerate them; and they have such a hatred for the King our master and his affairs, as they showed us by the ill-treatment which they gave us.
Being arrived in London, we managed with great trouble, that our servant should give intelligence to our King's ambassador in England, who took us into his house, against the will of the English; he taking much to heart the ill-treatment we had received, for which cause, and upon the information given by the Englishman who had come in our company, to my lord Robert [Dudley, i.e. Leicester], we were despatched more speedily than we expected, seeing that on the third day they delivered to us all our papers, with no other order but that we should go on our way freely. Therefore we embarked at Dover (Dobla), and on our passage, we saw 60 sail great and small, which they told us were taking the voyage to Spain, and, as they said, was to go to do injury to 50 which were not upon their guard. (fn. 2)
The Ambassador Zueveghen charged me to say to your Excellency that he had already given warning of the difficulties resulting from the keeping of Stuckley at his Court, desiring me anew to refresh your Excellency's memory in this matter, which I do, as a witness that the principal reason which moves them to make the preparations which they have done is that it appears to them that it [the Spanish Court] is governed by the said Stuckley.
Endorsed, in Spanish and in the same hand;—Relation of Baptista de Bois, valet de chambre of his Majesty, to be sent to the Signor Adelantado, Pero Venendez. And in another hand Guaras, commissioner (?) for the commandator-major [i.e. Requescens] here, other advertisements. Spanish, 2¼ pp. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 10.] (The passages in italics are in cipher, undeciphered, but see below.)
A paper with sentences or parts of sentences, which prove to be deciphers of the cipher passages in the above letter.
Spanish. ½ p. [Ibid. CXLVI. 10 a.]
[A.D. 1571 ?]
June 19.
410. Intelligence given by an English Gentleman.
By letters from London of this date. Certain letters written to the French ambassador here have been intercepted, and from what was found in them, the Judicial Council, which ought to have gone on eleven days longer, was dissolved immediately to the great vexation of many, who had never known such a thing to happen upon like occasion. The progress of the Queen was also stopped, and all the lords and gentlemen sent immediately to their governments, with orders to keep good guard. Mr. Killigrew, brother-in-law of Cecil is sent in hot haste to Scotland.
There has been a great quarrel in this Court as to what was to be done to stop the fleet of Spain.
The Earl of Sussex brought forward many reasons why it would not be well to go to war with the King of Spain, but Cecil, finding himself much vexed by what the Earl had said, insisted hotly on the contrary, saying in the end that he could not be a friend or good servant of the Queen who wished to give or consent to such counsel, so that it was concluded that they should give all possible hindrance to the Spanish fleet, and besides this, should arm 25 of the Queen's ships and 25 merchant ships, but they will be 20 days before they are all ready.
The Governor of Flushing and his wife are in England.
Endd. (in Spanish). Advices from England. To be sent to the Adelentado, Pero Venendez. Spanish. 1 p. [Ibid. CXLVI. 10b.]
(In the same hand and cipher as the “Relation” above. The cipher is undeciphered, but has been read by a key framed from the passages in the “Relation.”)
[A.D. 1571.] (fn. 3) 411. T. G. to Sir William Gerard, knight and alderman.
“The 24th day of May, being Ascension day, the King of the Crimmes [i.e. Crim Tartars] came to the Musko [Moscow] with above 120,000 of horsemen, men of war; and the Emperor's captains and men of war being in garrisons and holds abroad and the Musko being unprovided, the said Tartars set fire upon the suburbs and city, all at one instant time, so that in less than three hours, that great and mighty city, with suburbs and both castles . . . was consumed to ashes. Assuredly I think Sodom and Gomorrha was not in so short time consumed. I believe it was a plague sent by God, for the wickedness of that people. The morning was exceeding clear, calm and fair, without any wind, but being a fire, there was nothing but 'whorle-winds' and such a noise as though the heavens should fall; in such terrible wise that where men were, either in streets or houses, they were destroyed. For the country all within twenty miles compass came into the castle and city, so did all the suburbs; so that all houses and streets were full of people, so full that 'scant' men could go in the streets for them, and all consumed with fire except certain men of war who were skirmishing with the Tartars, and few other which fled over the walls into the river, where some was drowned and some saved. And in a few cellars and some stone churches saved a few, out of which cellars and churches a great number were roasted to death, as out of one of the Company's cellars in the English house died 30 persons, whereof three of their servants, viz., Thomas Southam, Thomas Field, and John Waverley; and artificers, Tho. Chafyn, Tho. Carver pothecary, with divers others. And in the next cellar God preserved Mr. Rowley, John Sparke with whom I was. This cruel and sudden destruction came upon the Musko in great and wonderful whorle-winds, and at the three hours' end very calm and fair weather again, that men might walk and see the dead bodies of men and horses to no small number, besides those that were burned to powder. I pray God I never see the like. And the same day the Tartar dog had done this mischief, the night following, he with all his power fled over the river Ocka, which is ninety verse distant from the Musko. Other presently I have not to write your worship of; but the living God send you good success in all your affairs.”
Add. “To the right worshipful Sir William Garrard knight and alderman of London.” 1 p. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 11.]
412. Another Account of the Same.
There is certain news come from the Narve that the King of Tartary hath burnt the great city of Muscovia. He came before it with 120,000 horsemen and 40,000 spare horses, and set the suburbs on fire, and so the sparks flew over the walls, and in five hours' space all the city was burnt, and very few people escaped the fire, either burnt or smothered. There are two English men escaped, but hardly, for there were 60 persons burnt and smothered in the cellar where they were saved. . . . The houses are covered with wooden slat, which was the destruction of the town. They say there is left no house in the city; churches and steeples are burnt. It was accounted four times as great as London, and some will say six times. There are above 200,000 people burnt. They had hope to have saved themselves in certain places, but the force of the fire would not permit it. There was a market place by estimation as great as one six part of the city of London, where was daily market kept, and thither thousands of people did resort for succour, but when the fire had entered the houses about, the people were smothered and burnt ten thick, one lying upon another, a lamentable case to hear. The camp retired forthwith, and never entered the town . . . and did neither spoil nor kill in passing the countries, and left behind them, in passing out of the country, 40,000 tired horses. Again some say that the Emperor of Muscovia did follow and kill many in flying.”
Add. Endd. 1 p. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 12.]
[A.D. 1571–2.]
Jan. 8.
413.Sir Thomas Smith to the Queen.
An account of an interview held with the Queen Mother on “Twelfth day,” and with de Foix and de Limoges upon Jan. 7. The letter actually sent is amongst the State Papers Foreign under the above date.
pp., much mutilated. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. (fn. 4) p. 1.]
Jan. 9. 414.Sir Thomas Smith to Mr. Comptroller [Crofts].
“You would think me unkind if amongst other of my friends (although I were never so busy) I should forget you, and you had reason; especially seeing I have here one Monsieur Naw, who is called Monsieur le Comptrolleur, a jolly old man, who hath charge of me and mine entertainment, which indeed is passing much; who by good reason should put me in mind of your friendship and the good cheer which you do so often make me . . . I am allowed here every day two mess of meat, so well furnished that it passeth reason, and all the exquisite dishes that can be gotten.” But you know that I love other things than what men most esteem, and because of my little eating they entreated that my own cook might be with them, and shew them at least one or two dishes that I could eat of. I assure you I should else have died I think of hunger amongst all the delicate dishes, for I abhor much meat, and if I had not had plenty of fruit, should not have eaten enough to keep up my body. All is at the King's cost, besides “vessel” and all other things necessary, the best that can be gotten.
“Then are you well welcome (you will say). Yea truly, there can appear no other. Yet that I came for will come to no effect, so far as I can see. . . . I need write no more particularity to you, who, being of the Council, may learn either by the letters written to the Queen's Majesty or to my lord Burghley, all the whole negotiation as it hath proceeded hitherto, word by word, so far as our memory could serve.
“Yet surely I think I shall do some and great good before I go, although the principal do miss, the which, whether it be pleasant to her Majesty or displeasant, seeing so much as I have seen, I am yet half in a doubt. But if this match go out, so long as ye be near the fire, ye may light a new match, and likelier to take fire than the other, if you there will do it. I can say no more to you, but for all my good cheer here, I would I were at home with you to eat a good piece of court beef and mustard, a cowsheel, and a piece of ling and sodden oysters, instead of all these pheasants and partridges, red and white legged, [torn] of Indies and young peacocks, and all other such fine meats covered or 'sethened' with lard. Amboise, 9th of January, 1571, as we [Engli]sh men do foolishly account.”
1 p. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 8.]
Jan. 9. 415.Sir Thomas Smith to his Wife.
“From Calais I wrote unto you of my dangerous passage thither from Dover, and how narrowly we escaped, all that were in the ship. Now, sith I come to the Court, which is at Amboise, about 350 miles from Calais, or 400 from London, I have had such entertainment from the first day, that was New Year's day, till now, that it doth pass. Nine or ten cooks in my kitchen, butlers, victuallers and officers of the King's house, appointed to serve me. Of meat, wine, bread, candles, plate and all such things as if I were a young prince, and all of the King's charges. Minstrels and music more than I would have, and a comptroller of the King's house to see me served from time to time, so attending upon me as if I were a duke; two messes each day served with all delicacies. You marvel what this should mean. As times be, and all the message as princes do, even as men do in stage plays or comedies serve the turn and the part which is in playing. I trust I shall do some good to both the realms before I come again. Although the first attempt doth not so well come to pass as was looked and I desired, yet neither part will leave off, nor cease to do good, the one to the other; about which work I am not sorry to be a minister, although I had as lief be at home at mine own charges and fare. I hope about Candlemas to be in return; much sooner I do not look for to be. In the mean while, I bid you fare well and God send you your health. I pray you call upon Mr. Parson to look to my stills and especially my two waters, without the which, as I think, I should not have been so well as I am, and I pray you let him lack nothing that longeth to them.” Amboise, 9th of January, 1571, Eng. acct.
“You may tell my sister that now I send her my nephew Wood, wh[en I] cannot come home myself.”
½ p. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 9.]
Jan. 9. 416.Sir Thomas Smith to Sir Humfrey Gilbert.
Your friend, a very courteous gentleman, the baron of Bordestes of Bologne took very kindly your present of the greyhounds and mastiffs and asked me whether I thought he might trust him that brought them, for that he would send you a fine rapier or some other thing. I said that I rather mistrusted him, because “I heard my men say that he had cast out such words, that he would tarry peradventure a year or two here in France, and, being an Irishman, I thought it likely enough,” but that I must soon send my man again to England, and he would see it conveyed. I have had very good entertainment here, rather too much than otherwise. I trust the amity betwixt the two realms shall rather increase by my coming than decrease. “I long to hear what you have done at Poole. . . . My lord of Burghley hath written to me that the patent is sealed, but Medeley is not yet bounden. You may tell him that as for this winter, and until I come home, ye think no [go]od order will be taken, nor nothing to the purpose done.” Amboise, 9th of January, Eng. acct.
½ p. S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 10.]
Jan. 9. 417.Sir Thomas Smith to Lord Burghley.
Calendared (from the original letter) in State Papers, Foreign, Elizabeth, under this date.
7 pp. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 13.]
Jan. 10. 418.Sir Thomas Smith to Lord Burghley.
Calendared (from the original letter) in State Papers, Foreign, Elizabeth, under this date.
pp. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 10.]
Jan. 10. 419.Sir Thomas Smith to his Wife.
In my last letter, sent by John Wood, I forgot to mention my roan gelding, which, as I wrote to you from Calais, I left at Canterbury lame, with one Mr. Gurley of the Three Kings there, who promised to have him well looked to, and which I desired you to send one to see, and if he could go, to bring him home. I trust by this time he is at home, or else I pray you, let one go for him as soon as you can, and let me know in what case he is.
From St. Stephen's day, the 26th of December, to the Friday after Twelfth day, that is the 11th of January, we have had frost and sunshine every day; then it thawed, but without rain. If you have had such weather, you will have had good time to carry much dung into your garden. If it come again I would there were some dung or fat earth put all along the side of the long alley by the wall which divides the parson's close and Rich's field from my garden, which is set with red roses and pear and apple trees, and that a little bank might run to the cross wall which divides Nanes park, set with apple and pear trees, and roses or gooseberries betwixt them. If the weather break, the mustard seed garden should be digged over again and sown, for the sooner it is done, the higher and stronger the mustard will be, and ripen the more kindly. For the hops, “your hopmen can best skill,” but I would have more waste ground employed for them, if you think good. For roses, as soon as the frost is gone and the weather suffer it, it might not be amiss if on the bank going down from the apple house, now set with white damasines, there were set cuts or plants of damask roses. I care not how many roses you have.
“When I come home, I will so make that one bush-coal fire shall serve both your stills, and only need looking to once in twelve hours.”—Amboise, 10th of January, 1571, Eng. acct.
1 p. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 11.]
[Jan. 10 ?] 420. For Merchants and Commerce. Articles of friendship.
That in the town N. they may have and enjoy the same privileges which they have and have had in Antwerp or Bergen in Brabant.
That they may have a temple of their own, where they may exercise those ecclesiastical rites which are used in England.
That the King will exercise no inquisition against matters of faith or ceremony which are approved by the parliament of England, or in any way molest them in body or goods, but if such should be attempted, shall by his royal authority prohibit it, and cause restitution to be made.
That a place or house be given them where they may set up a magistracy, as at Antwerp, and have a senate and laws, by which they may live better and more honestly amongst themselves.
That on all days except Sundays and other days observed as festivals in England, they may freely carry on their trade.
That all tolls, customs, port dues and other charges may be fixed and known for each sort of goods and written down in indented parchments of which one part, with the King's seal, shall remain with the governor of the merchants, and the other part, with the merchants' seal, shall remain in any place which the King shall chose.
That it shall not be allowed either to increase these charges or to impose any new ones.
If dissension or war break out between the Kings of France and England, that two months or sixty days be given to the merchants, after the publication of war, in which it shall be lawful for them to sell or carry away all their merchandise and other goods, and that whatever during this time be taken by the King of France or his subjects shall be restored.
Latin, ¾ p. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 12.]
Jan. 17. 421.Sir Thomas Smith to Lord Burghley.
Calendared (from the original letter) in State Papers, Foreign, Elizabeth, under date.
5 pp. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 20.]
[Jan.] 422. Sir Thomas Smith to [Lord Burghley ?].
[Sets out part of a memorial or statement in Latin.]
“Thus far I had written, my lord, as to show them how and what we conceived to have passed betwixt us that day, and as I had written thus far, I was sent for to come to meet again with them, after which meeting, because we had gone further and were like every day after to meet, I left off writing in Latin. The rest of the dispute was of the Scottish Queen, whom they would have to join as part in the league and we not. Which dispute you have in my letter also at large.”
3 pp. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 25.]
Jan. 18. 423.Sir Thomas Smith to Lord Burghley.
Calendared (from the original letter) in S.P. Foreign, Elizabeth, under date.
3 pp. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 28.]
Jan. 20. 424.Sir Thomas Smith to Sir Humfrey Gilbert.
If you do not tell me how you have sped and what you have seen at Poole, and send me some account of Mr. Medeley's doings there, “I say, verily you have not fulfilled my expectation . . . I pray you take some pains to answer me in this, but let your man then write it out again fair, for else I fear me I shall not read it.”—Amboise, 20th of January, Eng. account.
½ p. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 30.]
Jan. 20. 425.Sir Thomas Smith to Mr. Heneage.
“If I did well, I should tarry until you wrote again, to know how you liked my dreams; not you, I say, but your wife . . . Sith that time ye see from hence the effect not unlike, but yet let your wife guess what the fair way, clean closed up onward to me with two mountains and on the top two castles, and that they should have in part English names, &c., should mean.”
Since that I have had no dream which I have marked as significative, because I have not dreamed that I did dream, and so guessed the significance before I waked, as I told you of the first (still I tell not you but your wife). But this I have often dreamed since I came to the Court—“That I have gone a journey here in France and my guide hath brought me . . . through merchants' shops and houses adjoining where no common passage was but by sufferance; then through churches, monasteries and friars' places, where sometime I saw superstition, sometimes nothing. Then to market places and fairs and then through streets, I wot not how nor what, but all strange to me, and I rather in marvel at the novelty of them than in any fear or danger, saving that for the most part I missed my servants, and they were not ready at my call; other more ready to me whom I liked not nor trusted . . . and I was so that I could not know nor learn of other my right way home to my house or lodging, which was my most care.” This coming three or four times makes me somewhat to muse. I know it is true, though not so clear as the other. At least it may keep you occupied and make you laugh, and show you that I have not forgotten you.“—Amboise, 20th of January, 1571, “by the foolish account of England.”
1 p. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 31.]
Jan. 20. 426.Sir Thomas Smith to Mr. D[octor] Wilson.
“The marriage I came for, neither will it be nor I think it fit, either for the Queen's Majesty or for us. The second offer, a thousand times better for all purposes if it may be so taken of the Queen's Majesty, wherein will be no default but on our side . . . The rest which they and we do scrape upon will come, I think, but except they relent more in matter for religion than yet I can see, do what you will there my conscience will not be satisfied, nor in heart I cannot agree unto it. Marry I must do as I am commanded from you.“—Amboise, 20th of January, “by our wise account in England, that Christ should be born half a year before he were conceived. God send you such children, if you like it.”
½ p. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 32.]
Jan. 20. 427.Sir Thomas Smith to Sir James Crofts.
Though I should forget our old familiarity, the comptroller of the King's house, who has the charge of me, would make me remember, for the name of his office's sake.
“But as he that, except he see a piece of timber made like as a piece of paper or cloth, painted like a man hanging on the cross, cannot remember Christ and his benefits, is a very forgetful and unkind man,” so, if the comptroller's name should make me remember more than all your benefits to me, I should be very unkind and unmindful; “yet to a horse that runneth, one may put a spur. . . . What I have done in the first negotiation I am sure you know. What will be done in the next on the same sort, I must know from you, for here I take all ready and willing. I would all were or might be as ready there. It were the best bargain; ten thousand times better than the other in my mind . . .
“Our third point of straight amity and defence remaineth ready to be accepted there, yea and for traffic also; but until I see more . . . I am greatly in suspense and doubt, and rather against it. I pray you let me have your opinion and advice privately.”—Amboise, 20th of January, 1571, Eng. acct.
¾ p. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 32.]
Feb. 8. 428.Sir Thomas Smith to Sir Humfrey Gilbert.
Your letter of Jan. 25, brought by John Wood, was welcome; I did so much long to hear what was done at Poole, “which I perceive now is nothing. I pray God it be not less than nothing,” for I see that to save our honesties, we must lay out 100l. more to my Lady Mountjoy on the 1st of March.
“You, I perceive, are so still abused with Mr. Medeley's words and great promises that he can lead you by the nose whither he will, like a bufle. To me he hath not written, but if he had written such dreams and fanfares still of new promises, and still deny to come to any order of account to me, I would [have] answered him accordingly.
“I do much marvel that you do not yet see that, and his manners of doings. Now the charter of privilege is gotten, now he will do nothing till we have new privileges. I would they were all I wot where, on condition that we had never meddled with any. What getteth my Lord Montjoy by his privileges? What getteth Mr. Wade by his? . . . It is labour and order that bringeth gain, not those foolish privileges. May he not make saltpetre without a privilege? . . . If we have those parts that my lords of Leicester and Burghley hath, is it not enough for alum and copperas? Let others make so much as they can, so many as will, we shall be able to outbeat them all, or they shall not hinder us. Now we shall come then from copperas and quicksilver to saltpetre and alum without ashes and copperas. Do you not still see that he doth as Geber, Ripley and the other alchemists do, that leadeth a man from this to that and so through so many gates that at the last they come through never a one right, and in fine, find nothing. And you that do follow him, do like young children who seek a lapwing's nest, and when they are almost at it, seeing the old lapwing fluttering hard by them, and crying pitifully, here it is (as they think) they follow her from place all round about till at the last, before they be aware, they be over the shoes in the fen or in a slough, and find as many lapwings' nests as horse nests.
“And now here is a pretty device. We must agree with my Lord Montjoy for his privilege. It is an old saying Some man will not give his bawble for the Tower of London. And is there any man thinketh more of his privileges than my lord of Montjoy? I warrant you he will ask above 20,000l. for it. He thinks it worth 2,000l. a year, yea and a great deal more . . . He will keep us still aloof from coming to account and order, and carry us from one thing to another still, and to things most unlikely and unreasonable. I contrary, would be at no more cost nor rove no further, while we can attain to that mark and prick which we shot at, which if it be well done will suffice; if it be not, it is double folly to attempt any more new things. Ye seem to say that my Lord Burghley and my lord of Leicester do like of his devices. So do I too, to hear him talk, but I do not think that they will yet so set him a work. . . . These new devices be far from those instructions which I left with you.” While he is in the north, if you should see what our men are doing, the matter is not so hard but you could learn it, “and I believe you shall see great crakes [brags] and promises and little deeds.” If you show this letter to my lord of Burghley, you will hear his judgment on it. I fear it will be a good way in March before I come home.—8th of February.
2 pp. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 33.]
Feb. 8. 429.Sir Thomas Smith to the Queen.
“The 6th of this month we had audience in the King's chamber, whereas (sic) the Duke of Alencon, the Cardinal of Bourbon and other nobles. First I delivered your highness' letter to the King, who when he had read it very diligently, and looked that I should say something, I said the letter was written before that my man was come into England with my first despatch touching the negotiation for the marriage with Monsieur, and that your Majesty did take in so good part that it pleased him to signify unto you by his ambassador the danger that was prepared against your highness and your realm, that you thought yourself bound unto him during life. And that ye had understood by other means that such indeed was meant against you; howbeit, God hath all ways hitherto governed and preserved you . . . and will (as your Majesty trusted) still preserve you against all such unchristian and devilish attempts of your enemies. To this he said, that your highness shall be sure there shall nothing come to his ears and knowledge . . . but that he would with all speed advertise you, yea and if occasion and need so serve, stand by and defend you, though it were with the danger of his own body, as well as he would his own brother or sister, or his own mother . . .
“Then I came to the second point, and declared that your Majesty was astonied and took it strange that the marriage with Monsieur, being put in so long and so sure hope, and even at my coming out of England and sithence, should so suddenly break off.” That if you had not known his great goodwill, and that of the Queen Mother, you would have taken it more strangely, but that you believed some other was to blame, and if this other had as plainly shown Monsieur's stiffness in his religion as now it is known, it would not so much have troubled you, but now you could do no more than wish to Monsieur as good and honourable a marriage as that might have been, and that such as did hinder this great benefit to both realms might procure as much good to both as they had now done hurt.
To this the King said that he was sorry it did not take place as he had hoped, seeing his brother so willing, which was a marvellous comfort to him, and when he stood so obstinately in it, “it grieved me as much as if he had drawn a knife against my own body (saith the King) but marriage, they say, be made in heaven. There lacked no good will neither in me nor in my mother; but if that cannot be as we would, yet so long as we two, the Queen your mistress and I, which be two heads, have so good a love together . . . and have good ministers so willing as you two be on her side, and some of mine of our side, something may be done that shall ally and unite us as well as that marriage. Well Sir (quoth I) her Majesty doth so well know your good zeal and mind towards her that she will not break with you. Break (saith the King) God forbid; I had rather die. No (quoth I) it is far from breaking, for your Majesty sees that the deputies and we are about rough hewing of a straiter amity and alliance. My deputies (saith the King), nay, it is I that will have it so, and I will it so strait an amity that an Englishman and a Frenchman shall be all one, and no difference betwixt them. I trust to see it so, and for my part, I will make no difference, and, marriage or no marriage, I will take her for my true and natural sister whiles I live, and honour her and love her no less than mine own sister.
“Here cometh Sir (saith Mr. Killegrew) now the Cardinal legate, who will do what he can to break all good offices and amities. Tush (saith the King) those men think to turn all upside down, but we know them well enough; I have tasted enough of their doings. But I am a King absolute and now out of others' rule. I were a fool if for their pleasures I should let to do myself and my realm so great a good; I will make him good cheer and so send him away. Fear ye not that matter, we two will be as we have been, and our love shall rather increase, do and say they what they will.
“This is the sum of the negotiation at that time with the King. From thence we were brought to the Queen's lodging, where was also the Queen now, and Madame Margaret, and many other ladies whom I know not.” I told her we had given the King your Majesty's letter thanking him for his great care of you and warning of attempts which by divers ways you knew to be true, whereby your love had great cause of increase. “Well (saith she) ye see now that we mean good faith, and do not disguise nor make out of our fingers' ends. No Madame (quoth I) we did never suspect no such thing, the Queen's Majesty of so long time hath known and tried your love and good affection. But be they taken (quoth she) that would have poisoned her? I hear say they be. Madame (quoth I), I do not mean that, for those advertisements be not yet come into England, for Sabran, who did carry them, your courier (whom on Friday last my man who came last over met at Calais) I doubt is not yet in England, he maketh so small haste; but that letter of thanks was written of that advertisement which came out of the Low Country to the King, of the coming of the Duke de Medina Celi upon hope to have found some trouble in England, which, by the discovery of the Duke of Norfolk's treason was stayed till a better advantage, as they thought, of new rebellion or poisoning. Ye say truth (saith she), and my son is advertised now that the same duke is stayed and cometh not over.
“Then moved I also (quoth I) to the King, of the other matter, that is of the matter of marriage, where, as I told the King, I find the matter taken of the Queen my mistress very strange, and her Majesty no less astonished at this last answer in writing of Monsieur than I was. Her Majesty writeth to me that I know how untoward of her own nature she is to marriage, and what marriage she hath forsaken, both in her brother's time and in her sister's, having her desire nothing inclined that way; and even at her first coming to the Crown there was offered unto her a marriage for greatness of possessions and number of kingdoms as great as any in Europe, which yet she could not incline unto, partly of her own will not inclined to marry, and partly for that cause that she would keep firm and stablish that godly religion to the which she hath taken herself. It was even King Philip (saith Mr. Killigrew) and sith that time divers, whom for that cause chiefly she hath refused, and therefore her constancy in
religion could not be unknown, and that this should be a great stop against the conclusion of any marriage to the contrary, but that now of late being so called and cried upon so much of all her estates from the highest to the lowest to marry, being so often and so lamentably laid before her the danger she doth put herself in, and the whole realm, if she should not, and, as it were, charged in God's behalf and conscience, whom she should offend if her Majesty should not incline to the desire of her nobility and commons, to provide for her own safety and theirs by this godly yoke of matrimony.
“Thou knowest (her Majesty writeth to me) that I was at this time content to marry and that in deed and not feigningly or dissemblingly, as some would wrongfully spread abroad; and thought verily to have been lodged there where I had such loving and plain offers made. For both when Monsieur du Foix departed he left hope that all should be made more easy there, and yet then there was no such hard articles put as be now; for if I would have granted that he might privately have had his mass here, I took it, and so did all my Council, that it should have been concluded by Monsieur du Foix. And as Monsieur du Foix left it in a great hope that Monsieur would have relented to the articles given here, so did the ambassador de la Motte from time to time confirm the same, even to the very time of thy departing. And because (saith the Queen my mistress) thou wast one of them that amongst other did still call upon me to conclude that matter, and seemest to have great desire that it should go forward, therefore I made choice to send thee thither. And now thou to write me home this; and conditions made harder and harder, and so as it appeareth it either was never or is not now meant, I cannot take it well, but it must needs appear to me very strange.
“Madame (saith Mr. Killigrew) Monsieur l'ambassadeur prophecied to you before that her Majesty would be much troubled with the answer; and poor my lord of Burghley was so sore grieved with it that he is fallen into an ague; I pray God quickly deliver him from it. And nobody more grieved with it than I and my son (quoth the Queen) because none were more desirous to have it go forward, but yet indeed always he said so, and neither du Foix nor de la Motte had any other commission to require nor agree, neither at the beginning nor at the later end, but with liberty of his religion, as I am sure du Foix confessed before you, and de la Motte can say none other. Yet there (quoth I) they should not have 'fooded us on' with such hope, and made us still believe, even to the very pinch, which was very evil done. That is their fault (said the Queen). This is the error of the ministers, and therefore I would have had du Foix, if he had seen that the Queen my sister would in no wise agree to that, to have made offer of my other son, the Duke of Alençon, who is a great deal more tractable in those matters, and whom I think verily she will not mislike for any such things. Yea, marry (quoth I) that had been well done, and then might I have come instructed in both the matters. I had done it (saith the Queen) but du Foix in no wise thought it best, and said it would mar all, and would be taken but for a mockery. Marry (quoth I) Madame, but your opinion was the better. But (saith the Queen) have you no word how she doth like of my son d'Alençon? No, Madame (quoth I) nor I have not written to her Majesty of him, for the cause which I showed you then, for I thought her highness would be so much troubled at this unlooked for answer that I thought she would be astonied, as I was, and give little heed to any new motion made then; but as I promised you, Madame, I wrote to my Lord Burghley, and by him I understand again that I judged right. Howbeit, I perceive he will take his time to move her Majesty, but he mistrusteth his age to be much younger than Monsieur. No surely (saith she) there is but two years betwixt them; d'Alençon shall be eighteen year at March next, and d'Anjou was twenty years old at Michaelmas. It is about two years and half then (quoth I), but that is soon gone. I would to God (saith she) he had ten years of her age. I could well bestow them on him, that she might live the longer. And we also (quoth I) Madame, if it pleased so God. But when shall ye have any word (saith she) of that matter? God knoweth (quoth I), I suppose by the next, but your courier Sabran, who had the despatch that should somewhat have salved the matter, I am afraid be yet at Calais, for my man met him there on Friday last. What meaneth that beast to tarry so long (saith she)? Belike he is sick. Marry (quoth I) I am very sorry for it.
“Monsieur Tambassadeur (saith Mr. Killigrew) would fain have had the salve gone with the wound, or as near after it as could be; and now this long tarrying grieveth him. Yea and for other matters also which I would be certified of, that we might go through with the league and amity (said I) for I think long till something be concluded and some good done. And so do we too (saith she) and have great hope that some great good shall be done before you depart hence.
“Then she fell to other matters, as to know of your Majesty's health; the which, we said, thanks be to God, was marvellous well and never better, whereof she was glad (she said). And hath she yet taken the two persons [over Italians erased] that I told you, Monsieur Killigrew, were sent to poison her? No (saith Mr. Killigrew), I think not, nor I could not understand the port where they should be, whether it was Gravelines or Dunkirk. It was Dunkirk (saith she), and other talk there was of the Duke of Norfolk, whether he were executed or no; and of Mather and his fellow, for him she knew, and thought he was not a man to do such an enterprise. Mr. Killigrew answered he was but the deviser, and the other should have executed it. This is the sum of all that passed at that time betwixt the King and the Queen and us.
“Surely the Queen Mother is very desirous to have your Majesty have some liking of the Duke of Alençon, who in the midst of this talk came in, and after a few words had to the young Queen, he entertained Madame Margaret his sister. They two were in talk all the while that the Queen, mother and we had this communication. He is of height much about mine, and as I guess, about that height as the King was at that age as the Duke is now, which was when I gave him your highness' answer of refuse at Nerac; surely a goodly gentleman, somewhat better timbered and spread than the King was at his age. His hands very fair, as they have all three, long fingered; goeth and standeth very upright. His face is somewhat disfigured with the erres [pock-marks] of the small-pox, which he hath had, as the Queen mother told me, twice; which is no matter in a man, and every day will less appear as his beard shall grow by age bigger, which beginneth now to put out. Before he was accounted the fairest of them all, save when his quartain ague somewhat altered his colour, whch he had when I came first into France. He is much praised for his courteous entertainment of all men. Active he is very much, and disposed to hunt and to be abroad, wherein he resembleth the King. I am borne in hand that he is the wittiest and best spoken of them all, and yet the King surely in my mind is the wisest prince of his age in Europe. Your Majesty may perceive somewhat in those his answers to me, which must needs be extempore, but he speaketh somewhat thick and fast. If the Duke d'Alençon go not on hunting with the King or by himself, he sitteth all day in the Council, and doth opince (as they call it) when he will himself, which is affirmed to me to be commonly very wittily and wisely, above the capacity of his age. It is told me he is very desirous to see your Majesty, and hath a good affection to our nation. Sure I am that the King and he doth favour the protestants either as well or better than the papists. The Duke of Anjou, contrary, will receive none of his old servants again, nor take no new, except they be precise papists. So that, all things considered, in mine opinion (if with your highness' pardon I may speak it) the marriage with this duke, for the quietness betwixt ye both, the comfort of your people, the surety of your person, and to increase the great[nes]s of you both, is ten thousand times better than the other. And [on] my conscience, I think that God hath thus disposed it that the offer should be first made to them which less deserved it, and yet he would turn it thither, half against your Majesty's will, where his honour shall be more amplified, your highness in more surety and quiet than other ways you looked for. And if it please your highness to condescend unto it, I suppose that God's mercy doth now show a way whereby his afflicted church may have one [sic. qy. won], if no victory, as I hope it will turn to, yet at the least such a wall of defence that the Pope and his shall not dare meddle nor adventure to interrupt the quietness of them who doth acknowledge his gospel . . . .”
This is all that I or Mr. Killigrew have to say unto you, which we humbly pray you to take in good part and pardon if we have not done well.—Blois, 8th of February, 1571, English account.
pp. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 35.]
Feb. 8. 430. Sir Thomas Smith to Mr. Heneage.
If your letter was delivered to me just before I left Mont hall, it must be left in my study there; but if when I was on horseback, I cannot tell where it can be. I put all the letters I then received with my money, and much marvel how yours escaped me.
As to my dreams, in both be castles, with English names which I cannot remember. Whether they be the two marriages to be offered, or whether marriage and league of amity, wherein I shall be arrested here longer than I would, and send my servants from me, as I did last time I was resident in France; and whether my wife or I shall die, so that I cannot go to my house again, it is hard to judge. All prophecies be uncertain until the events do follow, and so be dreams.
“I am sorry I do not see that which Morton penned of the Duke's arraignment, and am glad that now he is so well mortified. The one I do desire for curiosity; the other I am glad of for Christianity, which desireth all men's good, even to the enemy; in which number, the public enemy is the greatest enemy.” For our doings, the amity seems rather more desired here than with us, but upon the conditions, there may be some dispute.—Blois, 8th of February, 1571, Eng. acct.
1 p. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 40.]
Feb. 8. 431. Sir Thomas Smith to Lord Burghley.
On the reception of Cardinal Alexandrino (a “werish” man who looks like a fool) and on Sir Humfrey [Gilbert's] proceedings, who though in hand work he is one of the best, yet otherwise is plœnissimus inconstantiœ, jactantiœ, profusionis vanitatis. He should be sent down [to Poole] to see things with his own eyes, but had better take some “handsome man” with him, as he is “assotted upon Mr. Medeley.“—8th of February, 1571. Eng. acct. Sent by de Crocqui.
¾ p. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 41.]
(The original letter is in State Papers, Foreign, Elizabeth, and calendared under date, but “Sir Humfrey” not identified.)
Underwritten. Pass for M. de Crocqui, with writ of assistance.
½ p. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 42.]
Feb. 8. 432. Sir Thomas Smith to Humfrey Michel.
I thank you heartily for your letter. There can be no greater pleasure to him that is absent from his friends and country than to hear news from thence. Also I am much bound to you for your care of Ockam and my matters at Ankerwick. I am slow, but he is ten times slower, and if it be brought to an end, it will rather be from your diligence for me than from his efforts. Here I trust all will at the last go well, although there must be some retardance, rather, I think from distance of place and irresolution at home, than from any untowardness here.—Blois, 8th of February 1571, Eng. acct.
½ p. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 41.]
Feb. 12. 433. Sir Thomas Smith to Lord Burghley.
Concerning the anxiety of the Queen Mother (who is “a very perfect mother”) that the proposal for the Duke of Alençon should be carried without delay to England. Gives an account of a running at the ring at the French court.—Blois, 12th of February, 1571, Eng. acct.
pp. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 42.]
[Calendared, from the original, in State Papers, Foreign, Elizabeth, under date.]
Feb. 20. 434. Sir Thomas Smith to the Parson of Mont.
I desire you to continue all my works and by no means let them rest, until I come home, except it be acetum acerrimum, which might be firmly stopped, and kept in some warm place. The quintessence and magisterium of eyebright may likewise be kept in phials well stopped. I do not care so much for them, but there are other herbs which have marvellous effects, especially celandine, angelica, bawme and germander, which, God willing, I intend to try next year, for I left enough of them in the garden, and of roses also, with which I will try somewhat. The aqua vitæ, if you keep it in continual warm heat, as I left it, and fast stopped, will be of marvellous operation. What I have here, “infused with liquorice and anise seed I have been fain to renew often with such aqua vitæ as I can find here, which is far under ours, and therefore I put in also nutmegs and cinnamon, sugar and sugar candy. In this I find such ease for my stomach and digestion as is incredible.” I suppose you have now stilled all your aqua vitæ three times, each time leaving the “fleam,” so that it is now all of the best.—Blois, 20th of February, 1571, Eng. acct.
Sent by Mr. Beale.
½ p. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 44.]
Feb. 20. 435. Sir Thomas Smith to his Wife.
Ever since Candlemas we have had such cold, frost and snow, as you cannot have had worse weather in England, and from the middle of January foul weather, tempests, rain and high waters. “Except I had had my two waters, and especially the infused, I think I should have been as evil as at Toulouse, and then I should have made an end.” But they give such heat that I do not feel the cold, though I seldom come at the fire. Therefore let Mr. Parson lack no coals or other things, that the works in my still house may go on. “The labour and time cannot be accounted lost . . . The medicines which I make for myself and take doth me always good. At Toulouse, I used the advice of all cunning physicians there but I found no remedy, but it had almost cost me my life. If I had had and used these waters I am out of doubt I should have been well, . . . and if you would take some of the infused water now and then you should find much ease in it, when your stomach or head is evil . . when ye have caught cold or have the cough.“—Blois, 20th of February, 1571, Eng. acct.
½ p. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 44.]
Feb. 20. 436. Sir Thomas Smith to Mr. Heneage.
“Your letters of the 14th of February were very welcome unto me. . . That you writ of Monsieur, it hath appeared to me, searching all the ways I could to understand the truth, that if I had had more power, as he was well advertised that I had enough, would not have served, his religion being as I was clearly advertised and still do more and more perceive, otherwise lodged. What ambition and other expectation and hope can and hath done beside I [cannot] judge. All these at this time was stronger than my pow[er and] my will.” I am right glad that my pains be not taken in evil part. I do not learn what the devises of Mather and Berdeney were, but whoever attempts anything against her Majesty's surety is worthy of their punishment.
Although my first attempt here has not had the success I could have wished, I trust my labour will not be lost and that the amity of the two realms shall be increased. “And yet is there one left of that stock, fitter in my mind, all things considered, for the quietness of her Majesty and benefit of the realm than the other was like to have been . . but all those things be in the hands of God.“—Blois, 20th of February.
½ p. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 45.]
Feb. 22. 437. Sir Thomas Smith to the Queen.
Concerning the audience of the ambassadors with the Queen Mother and King on the previous day.
2 pp. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 45.]
(Printed, very correctly, in Digge's Compleat Ambassador, p. 166.)
Feb. 22. 438. Sir Thomas Smith to the Earl of Leicester.
Our letters be so long in going, and our answers so long in coming that I almost know not what I should do. For matters of state, I am sure you see my letters to the Queen and to Lord Burghley. For matters of advice or consultation there is no time, “our negotiation being so pressed.”
It is enough known to your lordship that, failing of the first point, the second (of amity) they seem more well willing to than we ourselves, as you would see by the conference with M. de la Motte, whereat you were present.
“As touching the second offer of marriage, as yet I hear no manner of answer, word nor discourse from you, and therefore, not knowing how it is taken there, I neither can nor have will to enter any farther.”
For my private affairs, I hear that your lordship has remembered me marvellous friendly to her Majesty for a certain office, though never spoken to, whereby I more and more understand your good will to me, the which I pray God I may in part requite. Yet I would I might have heard it in one or two words from yourself; it would have comforted me much. And I could have wished it had been put in my commission, that my style might have been the longer, “which is a matter they much note and esteem here,” but if the commission be new written, it may yet be put in.
“As touching the offer for a marriage of the Duke d'Alençon, in mine opinion, whether it be meant to be accepted or no, it will not be amiss to entertain it in some hope the other match may go the more easily and friendly away.” In this or any other matter, if you will tell me your opinion, I shall not only follow it, but think myself more and more bound to your lordship, whom God long preserve in health and honour.—Blois, 22nd of February.
Of all the doings here, Mr. Killigrew, who now cometh home, may satisfy you at large.
Postscript.—“Sith the writing of this letter, having access to the Queen Mother here, I perceive the King and she both is desirous to have your honour come hither to take the oath of this league,” as we have written to the Queen, and Mr. Killigrew can tell you more at large.
1 p. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 47.]
Feb. 29. 439. Sir Thomas Smith to Lord Burghley.
Chiefly on private affairs. The King's hunting, and absence of some of the deputies, delay the league. Thanks him for his good offices in the matter of the Chancellorship [of the Garter].—Blois, 29th of February 1571, Eng. account.
¾ p. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 48.]
(Calendared, from the original, in State Papers, Foreign, Elizabeth, under date.)
March 1. 440. Sir Thomas Smith and Francis Walsingham to the Queen.
Concerning their interviews with the King and Queen Mother on the last of February. Printed by Digges, p. 169, with a good many variations, of which the principal are as follows:
p. 170, l. 4, after “successors,” add, “and your letters missive cannot bind your successors.”
l. 31, after “Scots,” insert “Your Majesty saith.”
l. 39, for “I do not require, &c.” read “I do but require to have it put in the league that I did require it, make what answer to it again ye will in the same league.”
4 pp. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 49.]
March 3. 441. Sir Thomas Smith to Lord Burghley.
Concerning the points still at issue, viz. religion and the Queen of Scots. Printed by Digges, p. 191, with a good many variations, of which the following are the most important:
p. 191, l. 3, for “commanded to sign” read “commanded not to sign.”
l. 10, for “1515 and 1546,” read “1515, 1525 and 1546.”
l. 31, after “noted” insert “P.”
p. 192, l. 6, for “you” read “we.”
l. 13 et seq., the phrase should read, “We perused it with our pamphlets as Mr. Hall termeth them, schediœ or adversaria as other will have them named, pieces as some Frenchmen will call them, I mean those which one way and other by yea and nay had gone betwixt us.“
p. 192, l. 38, for “ornaments” read “arguments.”
bottom line, after “you shall” insert “have all our hands to that which we have given you. So we have sent you that answer noted N, which was not delayed because the Queen's Majesty there is so weak and so slow to provide for her own safety, and the safety of all them who do truly serve her.”
p. 193, l. 3, after “testimonium” insert” whatsoever we said in words, for verba evolant, litera scripta manet.”
l. 11, after “office” insert “for the which my lord of Leicester and you spake to her Majesty.”
l. 12, for “look very undoubtedly” read “very devoutly look.”
l. 18, for “matters” read “waters.”
l. 28, after “Tridentine” insert “Council.”
l. 20, for “600” read “6,000.”
3 pp. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 53.]
March 4. 442. Sir Thomas Smith to Mr. Heneage.
“The thing being now done, I can before I see home, expound my dream at Abbeville; such is the fashion of all prophecies.” The fair way was my good acceptation; the two hills stopping the way, the transaction of the league; the two castles, the two marriages; “they were so on the top of the hill and very near together that yet I could not come at them, and they had such French names as had the signification in English “let,” but what they were I could not remember. Now I know; unwillingness and papistry in the one; beauty less and age less in the other. These castles were near together, two brothers within two years of equal age and brethren to a king, which is the hill and top of this country.”
The other dream, where I was carried through fairs, markets, &c., where were churches, some superstitious, others not, is the other league of traffic for the merchants, “wherein for religion and superstition was our most debate. I could not find the way home. This betokeneth neither the death of me nor my wife, as I suspected,” but that I am still forbidden to come home, and as to the lack of my servants, I am fain to send other men's, not my own, into England about this business, at the request of others, to the hindrance of my private affairs.
Now let Mrs. Heneage tell me whether my dreams be true or no; but as I said at the first, all forewarnings are obscure until the event be come to pass.
God send me shortly home, or this extreme cold weather will kill me. The snow and frost have continually laid here since the morrow of Candlemas; the oldest men in this country say they never saw the like.—Blois, 4th of March, 1571, Eng. acct.
¾ p. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 56.]
March 8. 443. Sir Thomas Smith to Lord Burghley.
Postscript.—“Because you shall not think that your lordship only have Mathers, the 22nd of February there came a Scottish man to me, meaning by all guesses that I could understand to have dispatched me in mine own house and my bed-chamber where I do write; the which at the first I did not suspect, but when I perceived he trembled in all his body and voice, and told his tale almost without head or tail, as such men do that be agitati fūriis, when they see one look steadfastly, sternly and boldly upon them; and because he put his right hand in his pocket and drew it out neither with handkercher nor letter, nor other thing, I first suspected, and prepared, if it had been a dagger to have done well enough with him; this doing twice or thrice after that and ever casting his eye upon one of my chamber, who stood looking upon us, I took him by the left shoulder, which I might perceive tremble, and said, master Andrew, you know you and I be of old acquaintance. Look what I may do for you either in England or Scotland ye shall be sure of it, and when you do any service for the Queen's Majesty . . . ye shall not be unrecompensed, but I must first see it done, and so dispatched me of him.
“He had been two days before in my outer chamber, with my men, and brought me a little dagger and a penknife for a token, and delivered it to one of my men, and although I was in the next chamber, he would not speak with me. . . The [same] night that this was done, he came even as we were at supper, which was in the twilight as they call it, for I sup betimes, because of the cold and my rheum. I would needs have him sup and tarry I would speak with him after supper, and as soon as I had supped, I called for him, where this was done. Now I thought myself good enough for him, whether it had been little dagger or little murdering dag, after once I [torn] him, for I have not altogether forgotten the fence which I learned when I was a young man. He again might see that in no wise he could escape. First my man of my chamber looking on. Then the chamber where I lay being all of stone, with no other going out than where they that supped with me remained. All this, if he had any reason, might put him in more fear, but most of all that trembling doth betoken a young thief or murderer. But when all is said, it is God that doth preserve, to whom every hair of our head is numbered, and none falleth without his knowledge.
“The 4th of March we met again, where the matters passed more easily, so that for the most part we thought we had been at a point. Then came we yet again that they would put in the manner how Scotland should be brought to an agreement, and that they would have put into the treaty, we always refusing it, and still they pressing it. I began to be somewhat in a chafe, because having answered so many times that we neither would nor could put the same in the treaty, and at the last, causing the words in the Instructions to be interpreted by Mr. Walsingham in Italian, I found all the rest more reasonable than de Foix, but in the end they yielded and referred it to the Queen's Majesty.
“Then came we to the reservation of the other treaties with other princes, wherein they began to reserve the treaties with Scotland, Monsieur de Foix sending me the same. To the which I subscribed the reservation of all our treaties generally with other princes, and especially with the King of Spain, and gave it to them to read and answer. With that they were in such a chafe looking one on another that it passed. Mr. Killigrew, who was at it, can tell it you better than I can write, for the countenance and manner of speech is much more than the pen can write or set forth. In the end, with some cooling after our heat, we came to agree that neither of both, neither Scots nor Spain should be spoke on, but the general reservation of treaties. Of the which in our fume we offered them the choice.
“Thus that time we parted in fume, they to refer it to the King and the Council, we to attend what they would say, protesting this, if they took as I had written, we had warrant for it; if they chose the other, which was general, we thought in reason the Queen's Majesty would be content. But as for the other matters, we must have her Majesty's advice before we could sign the league.
“So at that time we counted unto them which causes they were. First we could not sign the league except the matter of religion were expressly put in; but that being so precisely denied, that we were content to do it if the King under the seal of France for the reciprocal mutatis mutandis out of England would sign and seal to our writing.
“But because they saying we said (as he himself had told us), 'and you still persist in it, other may not or will not do it,' for respects which doth move him we yet know no cause not in that form to do it but in a letter, yet in that letter we find much insufficiency. But if it please the King to amend those faults which we find in it, we are content to send it to the Queen's Majesty, and so as it shall please her Majesty, we are her servants to be commanded, and that is our cause why we dare not sign it until further instructions do come to us.
“Another is the article of aid, which is general, you will needs have it specified both by sea and by land, we have no instructions of the specific case and therefore in that we must expect her Majesty's judgment.
“Next is, you will needs have those matters of Scotland put in, wherein you were content at the last, and put your hope that the Queen's Majesty would agree unto it. We cannot say so, and have express commandment not to meddle with it.
“Now comes a fourth. You will not have the King of Spain named in no reservation, and yet you will have the Scots and Scotland. And if they be so dear to you for 'anciencie' of leagues, we may not forget the house of Burgundy for the like reasons. And yet if in generality you will do it, it will somewhat qualify the matter and have the same effect, and we will somewhat accord to move the Queen's Majesty therein. So we parted then half in a chafe, and the more because M. de Foix would needs have of me the pamphlets of the treaty, to draw it to this form as we now send it, and keeping it four and more days, sent us it [4th March cancelled], but that day at dinner with warning that we should meet at two of the clock the same day, and as it was told us, it was thought that we should sign it (as here in this court all is kept as close as though it were cried in the market place, but the best is there is more lies told than true tales, and so the mixture makes small certainty). But I first plained of that, that before we could have read the articles, we were sent for to speak or give judgment of it. I said we could say nothing of it because we had not read it; and therefore required at the least one day to look over the draft which M. de Foix had made, and compare it with such articles and bills as had passed already betwixt us, and our instructions. And required of them again at the next meeting an answer to O. and also to P., I mean to our notes thereto made.
“Birague did not mislike O. but the other said the king would not use that manner. Then they said and specially Marshal Montmorency and Birague, that our notes to P. were reasonable, and so they would speak with the King. And to leave out the articles of Scotland, they were content that it should be referred to the Queen's Majesty's pleasure.
“In this while had de Foix drawn a stroke over the [xxxiij erased,] xl article, as you see, and took the treaty home with him. The 5th he sendeth it to us again, and the 7th of this month [we] met again, where we did agree upon all the other points as they had passed us, and did but amend here and there a word or a prick to make it more perfect. We stood most upon the 34th article, which is a reserv[ation] of all treaties made with other princes, we requiring to have it in, and showing that our instructions was to reserve the treaties with other princes by a special article; they, that we had no treaty but with the King of Spain, when (saith they) this league is specially made against him. Why (quoth I), this is but defensive, and being but defensive, whether the article be in or out, what maketh it matter? For there is not one article in all this league yet that doth derogate to any other treaty, nor cannot, except the treaty were offensive. Upon that, Limoges and Foix began to say that all this league then was to no purpose, for if we should have war with the King of Spain, and you be bound to defend him (as you be by your league in the Low Countries), that is as evil as [if] ye were our enemies. No (quoth I), for if he invade you, we are bound by the league not to help him, and yet to aid you, which is as much as hitherto hath been mentioned; for at the first it was agreed amongst us, as ye know, that we should not meddle with any league offensive, but only defensive. But then (saith they) if you defend him, you do weaken us and make our force the less. That is (quoth I) if he do desire us, and yet then (as I take it) it must be within three months. And for ought that I can see, he hath little deserved it, but as yet there is no war betwixt us. And I cannot learn that the Queen's Majesty desireth any war with any person. Howsoever it be, hitherto thus we have gone in the defensive only, and if that will do no pleasure, it would have been said so at the first, and it were best to talk no more of it, for we have lost too much labour already. Yes, saith de Montmorency to them, I pray you speak no more of that matter. We must begin an amity by little and little, and now we shall be sure to have her our friend, and friendship may increase more and more by occasion. It is true (quoth I), men must go to it by degrees, for love doth always either increase or decrease, it doth seldom stand still, and this is our stop; upon occasion given and good ministers, it may go a step or two higher. Why, saith de Foix, defensive is nothing to so strong a realm as this is; it hath no need, being so well manned and armed, so well defended with garrisons, and which may put such a number of men armed into the field in so short a space. Why (saith Mr. Walsingham) is not your realm known well enough to be so [di]vided, and that the King of Spain hath such a part here amongst you that ye had more need of foreign aid than we. Saith Birague, this league must needs be good and necessary, for if we should meddle either with Spain or the Low Country or any other place, it is our good assurance that we shall not fear your coming upon us on the back side; and so shall not you fear that we shall trouble you. It must needs be good and very good, though we have nothing else; let us not leave the good work which we have begun. Then de Foix was in hand again that howsoever it were, that 34th article would be left out, for you shall find it in no treaty defensive; ye have four with us, and ye shall find it in none of them. Why (quoth I), you confess that it maketh no matter, it doth neither good nor harm. Saith de Limoges, all the harm that it can do is that it shall seeme of new to confirm the old treaties, or at the least to give some strength. That is but a small confirmation (quoth I). Well, saith Birague, if it may be, seeing it hath not been used, it were best to leave it out. My masters (quoth I), you be here at the well head; ye have the King and his Council hard by, you may know their pleasure when you will; and you be of his Council your self. Our Queen is far hence and her Council; we are her servants, and must be directed by such instructions as is given us; we cannot alter them. But seeing we do send for other things, we will refer this also to her Majesty and show your reasons. Then saith de Foix, Ye take then all the rest for concluded? In our opinions (quoth I), we think them reasonable, but as you do go from time to time and take nothing concluded till the King hath said yea to it, I pray you, let us do once for all, and refer all to her Majesty, to like and mislike of our doings as shall please her highness. Why, saith de Foix, and you will do so, we will put in a good sort of articles more. As you will (quoth I), we cannot let you, but put not in so much that ye mar all. No, saith then Montmorency and Birague, We will have no more at this time, it is very well; we are now at a good point, we shall need to meet no more. No, quoth I, for aught that I know. We shall have your man here again within fifteen days or such a thing? I trust so (quoth I), he will make no tarrying I hope. Then upon an article of the d'Albene goods, which is all strangers' goods that die in France and be not denizens, which by the law of France be confiscate and comes to the crown, which article de Foix had left out, it was agreed there that it should be put in, which to put it in de Foix took the book, and in the putting in marred it, and so sent us the book. How he marred it, it shall appear by my notes in the margent. But we must needs say, and I think they will not deny, that it was agreed amongst us that it should be general; and so I do not doubt to obtain it.
“Now this 8th day of March, at the latter end of a market, bringeth us in thick work. Ye have S., the copy of the letter which the King should write according to our desire. T., that which, for the Queen of Scots, M. de Foix would have put in, whereto I think, in all, the Queen's Majesty will never agree. V. for the d'Albene goods, with our censure to it; and X., which at supper time de Florent brought us wherewith the commissioners were now content. Thus hath your lordship now both the whole body and the pamphlets of it, so that her Majesty may judge of the conclusion, and your lordship of the travail to bring it to this effect. There resteth but that the Queen's Majesty do send with as convenient speed as may be her highness' resolution that we may conclude; wherein I pray your lordship to help as much as may be.“—Blois, 8th of March, almost at midnight, 1571, English account.
5 pp. Mutilated. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 56.]
(The answers to this and the next letter are in Digges, p. 185.)
March 9. 444. Sir Thomas Smith to Lord Burghley.
“My very good lord, I see I must keep my old wont. This morning de Florent, the packet being made up, brought me Y., which is the last opinion of theirs for the d'Albenes. I pray you let the 34th article be written according to this in the league, and then they have their minds and we ours. Yet is there two things to remember thence that they moved at our last meeting, that such a commission might be directed to Mr. Walsingham to treat with them together, and to hear the merchants of Rouen or other merchants' opinions here, as theirs doth in England. Ye see these men will have all reciprocity that can be.
“The other is that if ye like all the treaty, ye do put in one article: That the treaty on their party shall be homologed and interined in the parliaments of Paris and Rouen (for I assure you else, for all the King's grants, there will be made some doubt); and for the reciproke, the same shall be registered in the Common Place and the Chancery in England.” I pray you to remember this bearer, Mr. Beale, who is a rare man and of excellent gifts.—Blois, Sunday the 9th in the morning, 1571, Eng. account.
½ p. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 61.]
March 9. 445. Sir Thomas Smith to his Wife.
Desiring that now the cold weather is gone, she will have her vines cut as near the black stock as conveniently may be, leaving but one “wynt” from it; and also will cause as many good plums, pears and apples to be grafted as she can. Fears it will be yet a month before he can come home.—Blois, 9th of March, 1571, Eng. account.
¼ p. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 61.]
446S. Sir Thomas Smith to Mr. Eden.
“Gentle Mr. Eden, as I have always understood in you a great desire to the knowledge of nature and natural things, so have I perceived a kind, loving and friendly mind to those that be your friends. . . . Although it is my duty and desire to see my lord Vidame, yet if I had none, you could not have given me a greater spur and provocation to come thither than that which you write, for who can be more desirous to see the unlooked for and incredible privities of nature than I am and have ever been. Yet that there can by that art be made and brought to pass most strange, wondrous and incredible things, both have I had experience myself and I have read much more.
“Thanks be to God, that I came for is now brought to a very good point, I hope to the great benefit and perpetual amity of both the realms; now therefore I have some time to play, and do long greatly till I may see my lord, and have some good and long communication with you, for neither absent nor present I have not ceased from those works sith I spake with you last in England, so desirous I am to see the bottom of it. For my health, I have found more help in it than in all the physic hitherto in my life essayed.“—Blois, 9th of March, 1572.
¾ p. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 62.]
March 16. 447. Sir Thomas Smith to Lord Burghley.
Although I hope almost to come home before I have answer of this letter, yet I must write to thank you for yours of Feb. 29, to pray you to hasten my coming home, and “to call upon Sir Humphrey to see some of mine instructions for Poole matters followed, now, if it be there as it is here, thanks be to God, the weather is warmer and time more propice to do those things which Mr. Medeley doth profess. . . . And I must also commend to your lordship my son and his Irish matters, the which I am afraid this extreme cold winter hath very much cooled; but yet in this general peace, which, as I trust, will follow in Europe, there must needs be a time most propice and an occasion offered of God to the Queen's Majesty to have an eye to reduce that Isle into more civility and obeisance. . . .
“As touching the affairs betwixt the Queen's Majesty and this realm and her highness' surety, I know there is enough said, and your lordship of yourself is vigilant enough.“—Blois, 16th of March, 1571, Eng. acct.
½ p. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 62.]
March 16. 448. Sir Thomas Smith to [Henry] Killigrew.
“Some say that Christ was made man because he would show that he felt our passions and weakness so well as we. . . . You now have been amongst us, ye have felt our agonies, ye know our desires. I pray you let us know that ye have not forgot them, and that ye remember us. I will particularise no more to you, for I know your memory serves you well enough.“—Blois, 16th of March, 1571, Eng. acct.
¼ p. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 63.]
449. Sir Thomas Smith to his son [Thomas Smith].
“I do not understand how the matters do go for Ireland, but I think you have lost no [sic] time, and now the spring coming forward, it is time that ye go in hand with deeds and not with words. First, in my mind, you must point a day by which each man should be ready to meet at a place. Then had you need not to trust words, but to take so much in hand as should make preparation, especially of victuals and transportation before that, and you to have charge with good men and order for it to be there at that time. This is no small matter, for to be a good soldier is but one small point. The charge of a captain or lieutenant hath above an hundred, and his care ought to be an hundred fold to any wise or valiant soldier; for he must provide all that is necessary for 500 or 1,000 or more, and against all events, as well of the enemy as of weather. . . . Beware that foolish and rash youth do not make you believe that it is in bravery of apparel and armour and behaviour which is the least thing that good captains have desired, and the first and most that they have despised and avoided. You have examples enough, or else I could tell you them. Fare you well, and God bless your enterprise to his glory and the service of the Queen's Majesty. I write by this bearer, Mr. Rendal, who is an handsome man and desireth to be partaker of your adventure, to whom I would you should show favour.“—Blois, 16th of March, 1571, Eng. account.
½ p. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 63.]
March 21. 450. Sir Thomas Smith to Mr. Comptroller [Crofts].
Your letter of Feb. 13, though it was more than a month on the way, was welcome, “because it shall break a quarrel betwixt you and me. For I have learnt these manners in France (be they good or bad) that if I write to any man, if he will not write to me again, that shall be the end; I will write no more. For in all troubles here, if I wrote to the King he wrote again, if to the Queen Mother she wrote again, if to d'Aulbespyne or Bourdyn they wrote. As the old proverb is, Quo cœsu quœris, &c. So that I tell you truth, had you been duke, earl, baron or lord, comptroller to Cæsar or what you would, a king or queen, if you had not answered me, I would have written no more. . . . So look I pour la pareille as we speak here, for now ye must take me as proud as a Frenchman; at home I may be as it shall please you and me.”
I fear Lent and somewhat more must pass before I come home, though I most gladly would be there. I have done my work here, at least as much as I can do without further commission, but if I should write the occurrences, I should have nothing to tell when I come home, so, that I may not be idle then, I will write no more now, though if you had asked me any questions I would have answered them.—Blois, 21st of March, 1571, Eng. account.
¾ p. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 64.]
March 21. 451. Sir Thomas Smith to Dr. Wilson.
I must needs thank you for your long letter of Feb. 25th and your readiness to do me pleasure. “The irresolutions of the Queen's Majesty in those matters whereof you write and other, I pray God they work not against her Highness' safety. Mather and his fellow are well paid for their deserts. God send grace that there be no more Mathers, and if there be, that they may soon be known. It maketh my heart to tremble when I consider how many be supposed to be of the papists and atheists, which gladly would have her Majesty made away, either of malice or of desire of change, which be not all in England; but I would there were none other, for they abroad, especially in Flanders and Spain, do not dissemble their malice, and therefore can do less hurt.
“I thank you for your news of the chancellorship of the order [of the Garter], yet I know not what it is, and I am afraid my lord of Oxford spake rather as he would have it to be than that he knew it to be so given. Now all is done here wherefore I came, I look but for answer from home, and then I trust to come home.“—Blois, 21st of March, 1571, Eng. account.
½ p. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 64.]
March 22. 452. Sir Thomas Smith to Lord Burghley.
Giving an account of two interviews with the Queen Mother.
Printed by Digges (p. 193), with many small variations, of which the following are the most important:
p. 194, l. 18, for “she” read “he.”
l. 24, for “he said” read “we said.”
l. 33, for “were willing” read “were willed.”
l. 44, after “Scotland” insert “was.”
l. 49, for “grieveth him” read “grieveth them.”
p. 196, l. 9, for “did me” read “did him.”
l. 30, after “betwixt us” insert “this day the 16th of March.”
p. 197, l. 5, after “Realms” insert “of England and Scotland at his own will in all points.”
l. 20, for “He might well enough send some other person” read “He may well enough send some other, Madame (quoth I); I cannot believe he would hazard his own person.”
l. 37, after “God” insert “yet (quoth I).”
l. 44, for “why not this of” read “why, this is of.”
l. 48, for “to his years” read “to 21 years.”
l. 51, for “Bertha” read “Hildegartha.”
last line, for “standing” read “portraited.”
p. 198, l. 1, for “Moguerre . . . in Almani” read “Mogunce [i.e Mainz] . . . in Almain.”
l. 10, for “hear you word” read “hear you no word.”
l. 12, for “11” read “10.”
6 pp. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 65.]
March 30. 453. Sir Thomas Smith to Lord Burghley.
On the prospects of his negotiation. Printed by Digges (p. 198), with no variations of any moment except the following:
p. 198, four lines from bottom, dele “what shall be written fully.”
last word, for “for” read “from.”
Dated “Palm Sunday.”
1 p. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 71.]
April 3. 454. Sir Thomas Smith to the Queen.
Concerning an interview with the Queen Mother on March 30, and with Limoges and de Foix on April 2. Printed by Digges (p. 176), with variations, of which only the following are of any importance:
p. 176, l. 15 (of the letter), after “the other” insert “(quoth I).”
p. 177, l. 6, for “there” read “here.”
l. 7, after “haven” insert “in England called Harwich, the same haven.”
l. 11, for “her Majesty” read “his mistress” [i.e. the Queen of Scots].
l. 24, after “attempted” insert “as you.”
l. 39, for “received” read “conceived.”
last line but one, for “men” read “them.”
p. 178, l. 2, for “dissension” read “war.”
l. 21, for “while two” read “while we two.”
l. 25, for “pickthank” read “puthawk.”
l. 29, for “coast” read “cost.”
l. 34, for “I know not” read “I know.”
last line, for “would” read “could.”
p. 179, l. 7, for “seat” read “estate.”
l. 23, for “we” read “you.”
p. 180, l. 2, for “be shown” read “show.”
last line of letter, for “1573” read “1572.”
pp.[Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 71.]
April 4. 455. Sir Thomas Smith to Lord Burghley.
Concerning her Majesty's health, and her irresolution. Printed by Digges (p. 199), with some variations, of which only the following are of any moment:
p. 199, l. 16, for “farding” read “fending.”
l. 26, for “videbimus” read “videmus.”
l. 28, after “Good Friday” insert “April 4.”
l. 32, for “he” read “ye.”
Good Friday, April 4, 1572.
1 p.[Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 77.]
April 10. 456. Sir Thomas Smith to his son [Thomas Smith].
“I like well your letters of the 9th of March from Chester, and of the first of April from London, for I perceive ye have not been idle, but still followed your design and that which God and the Queen's Majesty hath offered you, (fn. 1) to do her Majesty, the realm of Ireland and yourself good, which you must still do, for a wavering 'rede' and an irresolute mind bringeth no stable thing to pass. That there should be opposants to it is no marvel. What great or good thing was ever intended but it had many enemies and slanderers and hinderers of it. Yet I am of the advice that ye shall not leave off, but so soon as you shall feel yourself a good member and able for defence, to go your ways and seize upon that which is the Queen's Majesty's and clearly given to you, as abbeys, old castles, &c. Though MacPhelim [Sir Brian McFelim O'Neill] and other fear where they have no cause, they shall see it was a vain fear, if they will be good servants to her Majesty; if no, that they have a bridle near to them, such as shall be able to chastise them and bring them to obedience, if they would swerve from it.”
I am as sorry as you that I am not at home now. I have written to Lord Burghley, to whom you are as much bounden as to me for his care of your well-doing, and whose counsel I would have you follow in all points; and whatever he shall promise for me to your followers, I will perform. Touching those who require unreasonable things, you have made a good determination, methinks, and I would not have you swerve from it, lest others, who are contented with reason, should be offended, while he who demands more than reason will not be contented, and will ever ask more and more, “therefore let them go, as men unreasonable and unruly.
“For the first year there, and peradventure the second, ye shall do well to take one sure and convenient place to make a fort, as Byrsa was to Dido, and Mons Aventinus to Romulus, and there to fortify yourself; and that being strong and provided to live and defend, may master the country about, and so the country divided into villages and parishes may make your first cottage or fort as big as any of the other was by long time and good governance. But ye shall better, being present, judge of the place and of the men, whom ye must not leave idle, but yet still that they may feel gain, and have their distribution in land, according to promise, so soon as may be. Then in any wise defend the country men and labourers from all injuries, as well of men as of wolves, whether they be English or Irish, that they may perceive ye come to defend and to teach, and not to spoil and rob anything from any man. And God bless you and your enterprise.”—Blois, 10th of April, 1572.
Margin. “Sent by Smith.”
1 p. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 78.]
April 10. 457. Sir Thomas Smith to Lord Burghley.
“Amongst your other business, which keeps you altogether from rest, I perceive you are troubled also with my son's matters, to whom I must entreat your honour to be a father, as you have been, and especially in this enterprise, so honourable to the Queen's Majesty, so profitable to the crown of England and to the realm of Ireland, as in the memory of man there hath not been attempted the like. What can her Majesty desire more than to have 800 or 1,000 men of war and good soldiers always ready to daunt the enemy and cost her nothing. If there be that do caluminate and find fault with it, what marvel is that? . . , So is all men's actions subject to consultations, doubts, reprehensions and gainsayings . . . but yet good attempts must not therefore be left off, or else nothing should be done. Was not all this seen before, that so it should be? Or else why prepared they armour, weapons, victual, if they thought with whistling they might have gotten what they would? 'But the little book which my son sent out was evil done.' I did not like it at the first myself, but when I considered that without some such admonition and proffer he had no authority to call other, and neither he nor I had tenants or great countries of our own, to gather such a number together as was necessary, I perceived his device was not amiss, with persuasions and offer of participation of profit and honour to allure to him whom he could, and whose hearts had some fire of life to be kindled there with them, to set to this enterprise and desire of glory. And he writeth to me he hath gotten a good number, almost so many as I would desire at the first to gather; and yet the mo the better, save the worse to rule.
“ 'But now the wild Irish do combine together, they are ready to fly out.' When did they not so, not even the last year, and the other year before and so forth, when no man spake or thought of such matters? Wild and rebellious men will never lack occasion to fly from obedience. 'But MacPhelim, who is a good subject, he is now afraid.' Who demandeth anything of him; shall not the Queen's Majesty dispose of her own? If it be not her Majesty's, my son nor none with him can demand anything of MacPhelim. Let him keep it. If it be not his, why should he wrongfully possess that is the Queen's? But are the wild now afraid, doth their heart fail them, it is the best token that can be that God will prosper this doing when he casteth his fear in them before, whom he would have reduced into good order. He that is contented with his own and will live quiet, and much more he that will labour for his living, shall be defended, cherished, yea, and enriched if he will. What hurt is offered them if the desolate and desert grounds be made inhabited and plentiful.
“Most I marvel that my Lord Deputy should seem to doubt and be afraid, except it be for the wild Irish sake. They combine together to invade the English Pale. If they did, they must needs be weak, having 800 or 1,000 English soldiers in their tail, which cost the Queen's Majesty nothing. And what would or could my Lord Deputy desire more of God or the Queen's Majesty in that case? If it be to invade my son and his suit, he looketh for it. Let him defend himself with God's aid and good governance. If he be overthrown, it is my loss and my son's and theirs that go with him. My Lord Deputy hath lost none of his train nor crew, nor none that takes her Majesty's wages. But if his enterprise take place (as I trust it shall, if it be not by such by means let), the Queen's Majesty shall have a greater strength in Ireland than ever her predecessors had without charge. My Lord Deputy shall be eased of the northern Irish and Scottish, which was most wont to trouble the deputies heretofore. The country, from being waste, shall be peopled with right English and obedient Irish subjects, and I trust at this, other noble men (who better may) will take some example, so to people some other parts of Ireland, and bring them from a rude, uncivil and barbarous to a civil people, that shall acknowledge the benefits of God and the commodity that it is to five in order and under so christian a queen as her Majesty.”
As your lordship has always been my good lord, I pray you to continue it to my son. “Take him for your own, he shall be yours, and if any honour be of this journey, you may most justly claim a great part of it. I for my part, although I have but him in all this world, yet I could be content to lose him in this service, so that he die therein manfully, and leave some good assurance behind him of courage and virtue.”
For any assurances made by him to those that follow him, so that your lordship be made privy to it, I will be bound to perform the same, and I pray you to affirm this if any doubt be made thereof, as also to be his defender against any who shall hinder his enterprise, “as I understand by him you have only been his stay and helper.”—Blois, 10th of April, 1572.
2 pp. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 79.]
April 10. 458. Sir Thomas Smith to Sir Humfrey Gilbert.
I perceive by your letter that neither instructions nor letters will do anything till I come myself, “and that Mr. Medley will always be like himself, that is to mar the good gifts which God and his industry hath gotten to him by the evil ordering of himself, by negligence, riot and inconstancy. Ye write not to me what he hath found of the well in the works; peradventure he never came near it.
“Ye did well not to agree to a new bargain for 400l. for that which before we paid but 300l. and yet gained by it nothing. The sum is, I must come home, and so would I most gladly if the Queen's Majesty would let me, for it standeth me divers ways upon, but the Prince must be obeyed, and, when a man is abroad as I am, he must have the Prince's licence or commandment before he can come home, although he hath done all that for the which he was first sent out.” Meanwhile, fain would I you should “see the doing whiles I am away, . . . and when you see it, it shall not be thought to you of such great difficulty as now you dream it is. But you can not go from the court, nor he from London or Westminster (as far as I can see) when he is once in it. I would I might as freely as you go to Poole; I would not be long from them.”—Blois, 10th of April, 1572.
¾ p. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 81.]
April 11. 459. Sir Thomas Smith to Mr. Heneage.
Mr. Beale has brought me your letters, but I have not yet seen Mr. Morgan, to whom, for your sake, I will be glad to do all the pleasure I can.
“As for my Abbeville dream, it proveth yet too true, for even by Mr. Beale I have again half a repulse signified to me of coming hence, where I have done all. And, if my stomach do not shortly amend, I may peradventure leave my carcase here in France, which I would be loath to do. And yet a man's soul hath no longer way to heaven in France than in England, and the sooner death do come, so it be without extreme pain, to me the welcomer, but that, be it in God's will, as my coming hence is in the Queen's Majesty's not in mine as it appeareth, for if it had I would have been at home sooner than my letter.”
Your letter of the last of March shows the part of a very friend. I am glad short letters are now required of me, for the which more than once fault has been found. And yet the very speeches held betwixt me and those I had to deal with have been declared in them; “but where the by matter liked not, every speech, the better and more plausible it was to a right judge, the more prolix and tedious it doth appear to them who had their stomach full of contrary humours. . . . Yet at one thing you must give me leave to laugh; as that I wrote what the young Queen here did wear. Surely I could never do it since I was born; no, if ye should ask me as soon as I come from them, be she queen, duchess or empress, young or old, fair or foul, I cannot tell you, nor never could, so little I take heed of those matters and ever did. No not what the King or other noble men do wear, although I discourse with them two hours together, no more than I can tell what music they sing, having as little skill and taking as little heed to the one as to the other. I would be sorry if I could not couch the sum of a speech in as short a room as another, which were less pain and less expense of ink and paper to me, if I thought it as necessary and convenient for the matter. I would your irresolutions there were not more grief to us here, and your mistrustfulness there, when true faith is meant, did not make us here not to know how nor what to write. As for to write short or long, explicate or compendiose, it is but a small matter to us.”
On March 19 you wrote of the Queen's sickness, as did Lord Burghley, but in the same he told me of her recovery. “Else what a grief would it have been to us here, considering the ragged estate of our commonwealth and nothing done for her Majesty's safety nor quiet of the realm, neither by justice nor by consultation and common accord.”
The same day I fell sick of my strange disease; every morning I fall to vomiting, till all my body trembles and my head is so troubled that I can neither write nor read, and this continueth until I eat some meat, with great pain getting any meat or bread down and that not without help of wine, after which I am well all day, but by four of the clock I must have more meat or I fall to vomiting again. Never food of any kind cometh up again; whatever I can get down I am glad of and can digest it, and so long as it is in my stomach, it quieteth all and I am well and lusty. But so soon as it is fully digested and I am clean empty, then beginneth my pangs again, and thus hath it continued from the 19th to this day. On Good Friday I was let blood, 13 ounces or more. I was the merrier presently after it, but the disease followeth me still.
“Mr. Eleryngtons is marvellous notable and passing all the capacity of man must needs be a token sent of God, showing wherewith he is pleased; but after such extraordinary tokens commonly doth follow in kingdoms and commonwealths great mutations. I pray God it turn to good in ours.” Blois, 11th of April.
2 pp. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 81.]
April 11. 460. Sir Thomas Smith to Dr. Wilson.
Your letter by Mr. Beale was very welcome, as all yours are, because you so plainly write how things are there, which those who are absent naturally covet to know, for “their mind is still there where their treasure is, as Christ saith. . . . Your preachers preach well, I perceive by you, in Lent, but the auditors do hear but will not follow. It is no news that si tam ita vult, pamus et nos et moriamur cum ea, said the apostles. . . .
“You are afraid of false measures here (where upon my peril all is sincerely and truly meant) but where all treason, conspiracy, insurrection, assassination, empoisonment and utter destruction to the state is meant, practised, known and felt, there ye fear nothing, but that all is well, and therefore ye provide nothing. My lord of Leicester, I hope, shall come over, as shall be both pleasant and honourable to him. It is desired, he cannot lose by it, but win both honour and profit. And to this most necessary and strait amity it will be a great advancement, although the other desired knot take not place.
“For the progress to York, I would believe if I saw not things there so inconstant and irresolute. The parliament is more certain, whereof I hear say the writs be out. I pray God it may do good, and I doubt not it shall, if they do not let to whom it most toucheth to have good done.
“I thank you for the good hope you put me in of the chancellorship, the which I think will take place because there is no great doings nor profit in it.
“I am glad that your mirabolanes be come; I longed for them. Once at Toulouse in France they only restored in part my stomach, the which now is almost as evil as then, but after a strange sort, the which at full I have written to Mr. Heneage, your friend and mine. . . .
“For Scotland, I assure you upon my credit, the King here mindeth as fairly and as friendly and honourably toward the Queen's Majesty, our mistress, for her surety and what she can desire, as one the nearest friend may mean to another. And so it doth stand him upon, and he knoweth well enough.
“I am sorry for Mr. Comptroller's sickness, although it be but upon a scratch, and I long indeed once again to eat some ling there, but I cannot tell when it shall be. Here cometh now and then such 'refoles' and contrary blasts that bringeth me still from taking that shore.
“Here at Blois we have found also a bolus or terra sigillata as you have done in England, which I went to see, and they say there is also at Amboise [one] found. Of this at Blois, I will bring some home with me. The physicians say here this is as good as that out of Grecia. Remember your promise to see Monthall when I come home, but when shall that be? In the mean while I pray you commend me to Mr. Comptroller and to Mrs. Wilson your bedfellow. I would see them two fat folks together to make merry. As for you and me, we cannot tarry long in a place. Fare ye most heartily well.”—Blois, 11th of April, 1572.
1 p. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 83.]
April 14. 461. Sir Thomas Smith to John Wood.
“I would have you be in hand with Mr. Standley for 300l. more in prest upon my warrant, for my journey and post-money into France. So soon as I come home, I will make all clear, for coming out in December . . . he needeth not to fear that he shall give too much, though I come home in April.
“Then at Christmas was due to me 50l. of my pension of 200l. by year of Mr. Bowser bought, the which 50l. I would you should pay to Mr. Heneage, and take of him my obligation of 50l. and so I am quit with him. More, ye shall reoeive of Mr. Stonley one hundred pounds, whereof 50l. for mine old pension which I had before, granted by King Philip and Queen Mary, and 50l. of the said pension bought of Mr. Bowser. That 100l. I would you should pay to Mr. Bowser, and take of him an obligation of the three wherein I am so bound to him. . . .
““By my last instructions I am half in doubt whether I come now straight home, when I have done all that I came for, and specially if my lord of Leicester do come, and therefore if ye understand that, I pray you make shift that ye come in his train. . . .”—Blois, April 14th, 1572.
¾ p. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 84.]
April 14. 462. Sir Thomas Smith to his Wife.
I hope to come home shortly, but cannot certainly tell when. Since March 19 I have been sick of a new and strange disease, as Jo. Wood will tell you, and so could not write to you by him. On Good Friday, the day he left, I was let blood, but the trouble continues. This two or three days I have found some ease, and hope, if I took leave of this Court, “and came to open air I should be better with riding abroad.” [Gives details of his illness. See letter to Heneage, p. 471 above.]
“I am very sorry you did not send for my 'ronded' gelding sooner. If the weather were as cold and as full of snow with you, as it was here all February, I am afraid Walter shall find him there dead for hunger. I were better to have lost 10l.”—Blois, 14th of April, 1572.
½ p. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 86.]
April 15. 463. Sir Thomas Smith to the Earl of Leicester.
“I most humbly thank your lordship for the letter of the 5th of April. I do not doubt but all here shall be done as her Majesty wisheth, except that matter of Scotland do hinder, which hitherto we cannot conclude because we are bound to our instructions, which they will not yet agree unto and we will not go from them. At the end, I expect we shall come to it and they will yield to us, so much they desire this amity, and for anything that we can see or perceive, they go to it bona fide and sincerely, desiring rather a further and stronger amity with us than any fraud or deceit in this. Spain they mistrust, as they have good cause, and so have we, and all that doth favour or suffer true religion; to whom, if they should turn their face, they would be loth that we should trouble them on the back half.
“Your lordship is marvellously desired here to come over for divers causes, part of the courtesy and friendship that you have showed to this court, and part to amplify their love with presence and sight of the one and the other, where sincerity may appear more in countenance, speech and frank dealing than in letters and writing. My lord, to your honour it will now be but a pleasure, this time of the year, and the King being but about Paris, which is not from Boulogne or Calais past six days' journey and go a foot pace. Ye have not been, I think, in France before; ye have not seen this court. Never noble man shall come more welcome, as never noble man shall come more loving of Englishmen and England than the Duke of Montmorency for you into England. If you come not, so far as I can see, he shall not come.
If ye once be come, ye may hasten your return as ye will your self, for ye shall have audience immediately. It shall be pleasure to you to see the fashion of this court, and if your lordship come, I would be glad to tarry and wait upon your honour, or else I assure you I would be loth. This is the fifth month I have been in France, and fain would I be now awhile to look to my private matters, which catcheth no good by mine absence.”—Blois, 15th April, 1572.
¾ p. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 85.]
[April 15?] 464. Sir Thomas Smith to Sir Humfrey Gilbert.
“I perceive still Mr. Medeley will be like yourself. And is those great 'crakes' come now to that, in six or seven months to make two or three ton of copper? And yet would he have us pay 150l. by year more than we do already pay. I would to God you would take the pain to go down yourself and see what is done there, and how it is done.”
¼ p. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 86.]
April 15. 465. Sir Thomas Smith to Henry Killigrew.
“Your letter of the last of March pleased me marvellously because it seemed in few words to declare the state wherein you found the court; displeased me more, because I saw thereby O cœcas hominum mentes, o quantu in rebus inane. Well, our parts yet is to do our duty to God and the prince, the which I trust we have done, and at the last, not without some trouble ended this league; into which I trust all christian princes that feareth God and not the Pope will shortly be glad to come. Her Majesty and our ragged estate for lack of justice and provision may have some stay and boldening if any heart or courage may be put in it. The irresolution there with you, who shall come or not come, maketh that we can write no certainty from hence. I pray God we may see tempus visitationis nostrœ, and not cry afterward hard I wist.”—Blois, 15th April, 1572.
½ p. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 86.]
April 15. 466. Sir Thomas Smith to Sir Valentine Browne.
“I understand you have a good mind to set forth that noble and honourable enterprise of inhabiting the wastes of Ireland and reducing some part thereof to civility and good obedience; wherein my son with other has set in his foot, and is content to adventure his life for the honour of his country and the service of God and her Majesty. With some suit, her Majesty hath condescended to grant him and me a certain patent for that purpose, the which I think you have seen. I am afraid I shall not come home time enough to inform you fully in the matter, but he can do it well enough for one of his age, and your wisdom can conceive it better than he can tell it. There was never a better nor more profitable and honourable a voyage for young gentlemen and younger brethren to make. Find them self one year, and take land to them and their heirs ten times more than they can buy in England on the price, and as good. . . . Whatsoever he shall promise, according to our covenants with the Queen's Majesty and the Instructions, I shall agree unto it. . . . I have written the same to my Lord Burghley, and what his honour shall agree unto, I will perform.”—Blois, 15th of April, 1572.
½ p. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 87.]
April 15. 467. Sir Thomas Smith to the Parson of Mont.
Although you do not vouchsafe to answer my letters, a thing done even by the King and Queen of France when I write to them, yet the care I have for my affairs makes me still write to you. I would fain know if my works change or stand still, and if I were within ten miles of Monthall, instead of 400 miles off, I would yet be glad to know that.
“Ye are not worthy to have that which I have learned in France (for where will not I learn), which setteth so little by that which ye have in England, but because you see not the execution, ye think peradventure all is nothing; wherein ye are deceived.”—Blois, 15th of April, 1572.
½ p. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 91.]
April 16. 468. Sir Thomas Smith to the Lords of the Council.
I would be loth the good design which the Queen has had, “not without your consents, to bring some rude parts of Ireland to civility and obedience, should be let by some new objections, either not understanded by them who make them, or to some credited where no answer is. For the Irish, there is nothing desired nor granted but that which is the Queen's Majesty's, whereof I think you will not deny but she may dispose. Every freeholder's right is reserved, professing obedience. If they will combine and rebel upon that, when will they not? Or when did they not? Not only on occasion given but when it pleased them without occasion.”
If any be offended by my son's books, I pray you understand, neither he nor I had lands or tenants enough to compel to it, nor authority to muster any man; so nothing was left but persuasion, either by words or writing, and writing goeth further. There has been “peradventure, some youthful courage not unfit for that age; the which if it had not been showed, who will follow a discouraged and coward captain?” I beseech you to aid, by your letters, instructions, etc., those already encouraged by the Queen's grants, and the rather for my sake, absent in her Majesty's service when I have most need to be at home. “The Deputy shall have such a back as he never had; the Queen's Majesty such a crew to keep that realm in order as never her predecessors had, and that without charges. . . . If they miscarry, the Queen's Majesty loseth no money, the Deputy none of his company, and I think they will not sell their lives so good cheap but some enemies and rebels shall go with them.”
I think you will rather send some of your sons or friends with them to be partakers of the honour and profit which shall come to the Queen, to the obedience of England and the civility of Ireland.—Blois, 16th of April.
1 p. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 87.]
April 16. 469. Sir Thomas Smith to his son [Thomas Smith].
I like well that you do not leave your enterprise because of opposition, but would like it better if you were already gone. “If ye had but 500 in a readiness, so that 200 were horsemen, I would you took your voyage. I durst warrant you 1,000 next year readier than 300 now. Of taking of counsellors to you, I cannot mislike it, and to communicate to them and take their advice, especially when you be settled and have begun your fort Elizabeth, where your chief town or city shall be set, for you must not be without a certain senate in peace time. In war not so. The captain's designs and stratagems must not be known to many, for the most part but to himself only.
“To them that require things unreasonable, and would take from us that which the Queen hath given, and set themself either above or equal with us, you may answer plainly you cannot do it, for it is mine interest as well as yours, and you cannot give mine interest away, nor give no other wise to no man than is comprised in the indentures betwixt the Queen's Majesty and us; for they must needs hold of us as we hold of her Majesty. If they will be colonels, let them sue out a new patent of some other place, as we have done this.”
I enclose letters to Sir Valentine Browne and the lords of the Council, the latter not to be delivered unless Lord Burghley think it meet. I cannot tell when I shall come home.—Blois, 16th of April.
¾ p. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 88.]
April 16. 470. Sir Thomas Smith to Mr. Treasurer [Montagu].
“I have not written to you sith I came hither because you have not written to me, and I was sure that such matters as appertained to the State (and other I wrote none), should be opened to you, being of the Council. Now this league being brought to such a point as her Majesty can desire, and such assurance from hence, not only of not hurting but also of defence if any other should assail, as is required; the matter of Scotland also brought to such terms as her highness wished, so that south and north seemeth to be provided for, that which on the west was attempted, I mean for Ireland, to have her Majesty backed on that side to keep them in order who would rebel, without her highness' charge, whereof I know for the love you bear to her Majesty you were glad and an helper in it; that methinks now standeth I cannot tell how nor where, in a bransle and shaking. Shall there never be a good attempt but it shall have adversaries?
“Good Mr. Treasurer, hold you hard; and, as you perceived at the first, that nothing was meant but her highness' surety, the wealth of the Crown of England, and obedience to the same established, upon their perils and charges that goes to set all in hazard, their goods yea and their lives, to people the wastes and establish obedience to her highness, let not now rebellious fears or doubts bring all backward, and unframe the good frame made for her highness' surety. You were once minded to send a son of yours with my son. If ye doubt of it at this time, help him now away with such writings and commissions as is necessary, when he hath adventured his life at this first time, and such as will go with him. If the next year you will, then your son, or any you will prefer or command, shall have yet in that so much as I can do or he, and as you will require. Mine absence maketh me the more earnest, and loth would I be that the time should be lost, or they, who have promised to adventure, should be deceived,”—Blois, 16th of April, 1572.
¾ p. [S.P For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 89.]
April 16. 471. Sir Thomas Smith to the Earl of Leicester.
“Things being brought here to a good point for her Majesty's surety from the south” in France and the north for Scotland, I am sorry to understand that any doubt or difficulty should be made for that which was devised for the same in the west, that is Ireland, where my son's, Malbie's and Chatterton's adventures did and do promise no small aid. Good my lord, in mine absence join you and my lord Burghley together, that time be not lost . . . and so send them away in hope and heart. They spend their own money, they adventure their fives, and all for the Queen's Majesty's profit and service.
“It is no marvel although they that have been always in rebellion be ill-willing to be brought in order; no thing is demanded nor given but that which is clearly the Queen's Majesty's. If they may keep that at their pleasure, or lay it waste without order or reason, wild men have some reason wildly so to desire it; but is it reason that your wisdoms and honours should agree to it? . . .
“My son, who is the all and the only hope that I have and can have of posterity of my body; him dare I adventure in it, and I love him the better because he hath chosen rather to take those pains, travails, hazards and dangers upon him for the Queen's Majesty and his country, than to give himself to ease and pleasure. Him, my good lord, I commend unto you, and with him all the rest who hath so good and lusty courage for the honour of their Prince and country, and if it please your honour to call him to you, his desire is most to take this journey as your lordship's son if it pleased you so to accept him, and he can more at large answer to all objections.”—Blois, 16th of April, 1572.
½ p. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 89.]
April 16. 472. Sir Thomas Smith to the Earl of Sussex.
As your honour was an helper to persuade the Queen to sign the grant to me and my son and others, because you understand it profitable to her highness and aid to the Deputy, so now I pray you help them away. Your wisdom can well enough guess that the objections which I hear of be partly false (for all freeholders' rights be saved, and the colonels can challenge only what is the Queen's) and partly invented, if they speak of conquest, unless they call inhabiting of waste and desolate grounds a conquest. The colonels will neither destroy or expell the Irish; nay, one of their articles is to cherish, maintain and defend such as will till the ground or do any other honest labour, “of whom they must neither take coin nor livery, nor suffer to be taken in all their colonies.” Vain fears must not rule where wisdom hath place. I pray you to do as much for my son and the rest in my absence, as you would have me to do at your request.—Blois, 16th of April, 1572.
½ p. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 90.]
April 16. 473. Sir Thomas Smith to Mr. Comptroller [Crofts].
On the same subject and to the same effect as the preceding.
“I send now home the conclusion of the league here made of mutual defence. Marshal Montmorency asked me for you, and said he knew you well, and that you were at Boulogne a good soldier and a valiant captain. And so did also M. de Lansac, to whom both I gave your commendations. No man can have more praise than to be stout to defend and execute, and wise to provide and govern.”—Blois, 16th of April, 1572.
½ p. [Ibid. CXLVI 13. p. 90.]
April 17. 474. Sir Thomas Smith to Lord Burghley.
“I most heartily thank you that you have not forgot me to the Queen's Majesty now in mine absence touching the office of the chancellorship of the order, which shall help my style to be longer in this treaty, after the manner of France. . . .
“As touching Ireland matters, I have already written unto your lordship my mind. . . . What the Queen Mother said to us touching the Marshal Montmorency's going and my lord of Leicester's coming, we wrote to her Majesty. What moved her to say so, I, for my part, cannot tell, but I think for the honour of [the] league, which is like to be bigger hereafter than a man would think, in my mind, it shall be both honourable and profitable to the Queen's Majesty and my lord of Leicester to come. Other reason I have none but that your honour and wisdom can judge as well as I. Sœpe splendor tantum admirationis facit, et timoris quam flamma.
“For de Crocque's going and Scottish matters, enough is already written, and I suppose before this de Crocque is gone, and I hope all at an end there; or else the articles which you sent hither must make a further end. I assure your lordship I can perceive nothing meant here but in sincerity and bona fide; and so much for her highness' surety as she can desire. I psam solum deest sibi. [The alchemist Paracelsus wrote well Alterius ne sit qui queat esse suus.] (fn. 2)
“My lord, Ireland matters and pole [Poole] matters wisheth and lacketh me to be at home, and some other private matters also. Shall I always be kept here? April is the fifth month sith I went from home. If my lord of Leicester do come yet I am content to wait on his honour, for love and duty's sake, but if any other come, cannot the ambassador resident, who is both wise and a good courtier, serve the turn as well as I did when my lord of Honsden came, then being ambassador resident? If the parliament be so shortly, I cannot be at it (I fear) and yet I would gladly be there to do her Majesty some service. If this had been thought upon, it had been better to have prorogued the parliament, and not to have dissolved it. If your lordship do think that I shall come home before it be ended, I pray you write to my lord Riche and to the sheriff of Essex that I be chosen one of the knights there, or else you may obtain the Queen's Majesty's or the Council's letters for the same matter. I think there will be small standing against it; but if it shall be too late, it shall not be well nor mete to do it. Your lordship can know it better than I.
“With much difficulty at the last we have concluded the league, and Mr. Walsingham and I were fain to stand even to the breaking off of all together, the last instructions seemed to us so precise for the Scottish matters, we taking them as concluded betwixt the Queen's Majesty and Monsieur de la Motte, their ambassador resident; they, that he did not so conclude, nor had no such authority, but that it was referred again to us.
“In fine, after five or six days debating, the 14th day of this month, we came to this. We yielded to put out and in those words as be in the instructions as de la Motte required, and to change one or two more, . . . and they remitting to us the last article of reservation for the Scots. We remitted also to them the 34th, because we would once be at a point, and where reservation indeed is needless, in a league defensive, where is no derogation to other leagues defensive, yet we would not that the Queen's Majesty should seem any more to relent to them than they to her highness. All the rest they accorded to us as we could desire, and in all points as is required in her highness' letter to us as ye may perceive in the treaty, and by our demands in Latin; and that which they followed or gave us good reason why not, the which we send unto you.
“Indeed that word presentis is not so necessary nor effectual, for when we speak statum Scotiœ, you must needs take it as it is at that time, according to the laws and orders of Scotland, for that is status Scotiœ. And if ye put prœsentem, and now it is in trouble, a doubt may be made whether ye would maintain the troubled state or no . . . and again, when you say contra publicas Scotiœ leges, consuetudines et parliamenta, it is understanded by common sense prœsentes, for laws and statutes abrogand and antiquated be not laws. So they confessed unto us they gat nothing by putting out prœsentem or prœsentis, but that it lay not so open to civil actions as though they should, by special words, maintain the troubled estate, or allow the parliament, whereby the Queen was deprived and the King allowed, although in deed and tacite they could not deny but it was allowed, and in the plain sense of the words, wherein they said they did much for the Queen's Majesty that they were content to make no mention of the [Queen] of Scotland, being so their friend and ally, but give her over to the Queen's Majesty, and in all things relent to her highness' desires, so that they might have any colour to save the King their master's honour.
“Likewise, where the maintaining of rebels done by the Scots and the compulsion to expel them was set in the writing as a thing confessed by both the King here and the Queen's Majesty, they would have the rehearsal made, as of her Majesty's relation, and yet the thing done as her highness requireth, as you see in the treaty. These things, when they come to a conclusion, your wisdom knoweth be not to be sticked upon; so that the Queen's Majesty, with her honour, hath all that which is desired of her highness. And as I hope and trust, the best league that ever was made with France or any other nation for her Majesty's surety. As yet we have not signed the treaty, but I trust to-morrow or the next day we shall; there hath been such variance between us for our words, and somewhat for slowness of writers. Thus in few words you have the reasons of our variances and agreements; so that with these and other, which your lordship can of your own adjoin, all doubts and objections, if any be made, may be answered.”—Blois, 17th of April, 1572.
2 pp. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 93.]
[The latter half of this letter is printed by Digges (p. 199) but with so many inaccuracies that the true text is here given.]
April 18. 475. Sir Thomas Smith to Mr. Heneage.
“Now all is concluded here, and I have some leisure, you will give me leave with you, as with my very friend, a little to be merry and recreate my weary spirits. Mine Abbeville dream continueth yet. I cannot use mine own men as I would; Mr. Cavalcanti will needs carry home the conclusion of the league, which, in my mind, is as much a strength to her Majesty as one arm may be to a man's body, marry the left I mean, for the right is the amity and good governance of her subjects. . . . If any offer to hurt a man in the head, the right arm is readiest, and sometime yet the right arm, being occupied or let, the left will not be unready to bear off the stroke. It is well done to have both. But how say you yet to mine Abbeville dream? . . . The 14th of April last, I dreamed in the morning or shortly after midnight that I had three great boils upon me; the one on the backside of my left hand, the which, when I looked on and marvelled that it pained me no more, I perceived a rising like a boil on the middle of my breast, and great; that, as I looked upon, musing what it should be, on my left pap was a bigger . . . and on the bottom of it was a circle looking like the reddest blood that ever I saw; and above that another circle yellow like gold. . . . I called methought for a candle, which a woman brought (whether it was my wife or no, awake, I could not remember) and came with one or two maids.” Then all the boils brake and ran out, and the woman held a phial to that on my pap “and it filled it almost with the fairest water that could be, like any stilled water, and so they all sank away, as I think, but before they were all gone I waked.”
I do not take this as certainly significative, “first because I had no great care, desire, nor had no wishing nor praying to God before to understand something in some special case; secondly because I awaked before I did perceive in my dream that it was a dream. But yet it may have a significance and be true, marry more obscurely and uncertainly. That on my left hand I take to be the gainsaying and trouble to my son in his enterprise. For the rest, I leave to you and your wife to dream on till I come home, where I would gladly be.”—Blois, 18th of April, 1572.
pp. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 95.]
April 21. 476. Sir Thomas Smith to John Wood.
Thanks him for his full and plain letters. Intends to stay at Paris awhile, until he hears what he is to do. Goes thither on the morrow, by Chartres, and on his arrival must needs take up money, and therefore prays that 300l. may be got ready for him to be paid at sight. Is sorry for his cousin Cawood's death. Believes he has died a poor man.—Blois, 21st of April, 1572.
½ p. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 96.]
April 22. 477. Sir Thomas Smith to the Queen.
Announcing the conclusion of the league. (Printed, with one or two slight variations, by Digges, p. 180.)
½ p. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 92.]
April 22. 478. Sir Thomas Smith to his Wife.
The weather being now warm, he is sending away all his furs in a “malle,” and prays her to see them laid up that they may take no hurt. Sends also the boxes of confectures which the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of France gave him, and which she may use as she will. Is coming nearer home, but fears he will not reach it this month.—Blois, 22nd of April, 1572.
¼ p. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 96.]
April 22. 479. Sir Thomas Smith to Lord Burghley.
Written on the evening of the above date. (Printed by Digges p. 200). There are several variants, of which the following are the most important:
l. 3, for “her Majesty had well considered” read “will well consider.”
l. 14, for “Monsieur—brother” read “Monsieur du Pynard's brother.”
l. 17, The passage beginning in this line should run: “This league in French serveth for two purposes. . . . The Latin at this day is forced to signify the manner of the order as it is now, differing although it be from the manner of the Romans.”
½ p. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 99.]
April 22. 480. Sir Thomas Smith to Lord Burghley.
Postscript.—“Because I would have your lordship to understand all the greatest controversy, and that which made us stand so long with them was: That they in no wise could agree, as they said, that the Queen might enter into Scotland, to chase out her rebels. They said that was clear contrary to the intent of the whole league, for first, they meant to quiet Scotland, for that might always be occasion of picque betwixt the two realms. If we sent under any pretence, they would have jealousy and would send; if they sent, we would have jealousy and would send again, and so the league might be broken as soon as it is made. Then again, it touched the King in honour not to abandon Scotland as a prey to the Queen, to which, if they should agree to these articles, it should appear plain that the King did agree. When we replied that if they received our rebels, what should the Queen's Majesty do; suffer them to come privily or send into England, and make their match with their allies and confederates, and so still trouble her estate and quietness in the realm, and put her Majesty in danger?
“(They) That to enter into an other realm was to declare war there; the which if it were done, then they were bound to succour and help it, by leagues defensives of long time betwixt the two realms; but we ought to complain to the Prince there, and so he to do it. For one prince to enter into an other prince's realm is plainly to make war and to make invasion there; and then if you sent a thousand, and we two thousand after them, what is [it] but war amongst us, and where is this league then?
“(We again) What if the Prince either cannot or will not? Shall the Queen's Majesty suffer her rebels and the troubles of her realm, yea and invaders by road to fortify themselves there, whiles they may bring a full army against her in her own realm, partly of Scots and partly of her rebels and corrupted subjects; and shall she suffer them to practice so near her and almost in her own sight?
“(They) That in these last troubles, they of Rochelle was declared rebels to the King. They took off the Spaniards, Venetians, yea and Frenchmen. The King of Spain complained and others also. What could the King say but 'I am about it; I would reform it if I could.' They must bear with him. But if the King of Spain should have armed, and said 'Seeing you either cannot or will not do it, I will do it myself'; and so taken upon him to have invaded Rochelle or any other part of the realm, should not the King justly and all the rest peradventure oppose themself against him? That is rather to be lamented and pitied when a realm is so in trouble, than so by invasion to be amended.
“(We said) The case was not like, for they in Rochelle were not rebels to the King of Spain, nor did not profess to take the Crown of Spain from upon his head, but these were and be rebels to the Queen's Majesty, her subjects; they deny their allegiance, seek her destruction and would make another Queen. Is it reason she should suffer that, or rather to pursue them whiles they were either taken or put further off. 'I will tell you (said I) for my part, if there were five hundred leagues I would do it. If the French King speak of his honour, the Queen's Majesty speaketh of her crown, her estate and her life, which be the dearest things in this world, now in gage and danger by this matter of rebellion.
“ 'And who be the rebellious? I need not name those underhand, but open professed heads. The Earl of Northumberland and the Earl of Westmorland, and Dakres of Cumberland, who hath their livings, their authorities, their friends, cousins and allies, so adjoining to Scotland that there is no more betwixt them than is betwixt one street of Blois and another, neither wall, dyke nor sea. And do you think it fit that the Queen's Majesty shall suffer them or their chief doers and counsellors to be so near unto her, who hath already once prepared as it were a battle against her. I am sure the King would not do it, nor no prince that hath any wit or intelligence, but he would delodge them from thence whatsoever it should cost him; yea and all their adherents if he could.' 'And (saith Mr. Walsyngham) this is as necessary for you as for us. The heads of those traitors to England, some be gone into Spain, the other be nourished in the Low Countries and be pensioners to the King of Spain, and what practice he goeth about by the Lord Flemmyng and those rebels to convey away the young King of Scots and get him into his hands, you have heard; which you would be as loath to suffer as we, and should be peradventure as troublesome almost to you as to us.'
“These and other reasons was divers times debated amongst us; and ever we ended that we, except that were granted, would never yield to them; they that the King could not yield to it. So some time it stood in breaking off, some time that we must be fain to send again into England. I then prayed them to send [to] me, whereby they understood I would come no more. We do understand that the Spanish faction hath not a little laboured under this pretence and occasion (seeing all other things was accorded) to break off all; but the King and Queen Mother in no wise will. And so, my lord, ye may not think that things went so smoothly away as some peradventure would suppose; but when we understood that they would yield to us in that which was the chief difficulty, we were the easier to agree to them in changing of a word or two that altered not the sentence nor the purpose which the Queen's Majesty desired.
“The 19th day of this month we subscribed the league, which we send you herewith. The 20th we took our leave of the King at Chamborne [Chambord], whither he was gone to hunt, three leagues off Blois, whither M. le Maréchal Montmorency and de Foix and de Mauvissiere did conduct us, where we also dined together at the King's charges. The 21st day we took our leave of the Queen and the rest who were at the court. The King and the Queen Mother showed that they were marvellous glad of this league and made great estimation of it, and wished if it were with her Majesty's contentation, the surer confirmation thereof by alliance of blood.
“Good, my lord, I pray you dispatch one out of hand, which of my men you will or some other, to come to me to Paris, and signify her Majesty's pleasure whether I shall tarry my lord of Leicester's coming, or if he is not, the other lord's coming; or I shall straight come home; for I intend not to remove from Paris till I hear some word. If I had any such commission or commandment, or if your lordship shall think it good, I do not think it amiss if I went to Roan [Rouen] and tarried there a day or two as I came homewards, to commune with some of the chief of Roan and understand their liking or misliking of our trafficking or stapling there, and to understand whether it were not better in some other place nearer, as Honfleur or Harfleur, especially if they of Roan do not show themself glad of it (for those two, I hear say, the Admiral doth like better than Roan for our purpose); or if you would have me to see also them, or if it need not, to come straight home.”—Blois, 22nd of April, 1572.
2 pp. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 97.]
May 8. 481. Sir Thomas Smith to John Wood.
I like well of your doings, “save that still, methinks, ye are a beggar for my son, as though all that I had done hitherto for his profit and others that do go had been nothing, nor had cost me no money nor travail. Your reasons would much have moved me if it had been the first time, but he that hath sucked so much already from me, in yielding to his advises and designs heretofore (the more fool I) thinketh still that I have a puis sans fyn and a mine for him to spend at his pleasure, wherein he is deceived. . . . Nevertheless, at this time I am content that at his departing (if he depart before I come into England) ye deliver unto him one hundred pounds for mine adventure, of the money in your hand, because it shall not be said but that I do adventure with him, although it be needless, for I have adventured enough already.” I have already borrowed much here, “and the longer I tarry here, the more I must be in debt, for the Queen's allowance doth neither serve me being still nor going by the way. I like well that parson Shaw and you do adventure. It may be that you both may go thither and s[ee] the success, but for my part, age will not suffer it. In [sincerity and reason I do see it without fail (if it be well followed) and if it be well begun, if God send me life and health, I doubt not of the following of it to a far greater success than any will think . . . if dispenseful youth do not spend in summer that which should serve in winter.” As for High Ester, I look for no profit till I may come home myself, and less for Medeley's matters. In the patent of the chancellorship of the order, I think you take it wrong and make pounds of marks.
I take your court news of Mr. Beale for true, but the rest I hold for doubtful. “If it be true, I am glad that Due de Montmorenci is made of the order; he is well worthy. . . . If on May day our men did well I am glad, but when they showed themselves before the French, they showed themselves before no bunglers, but some could judge well, and therefore I pray God they found no fault justly. I am most of all glad that de Crocque is departed into Scotland for satisfying the King here, who, as he meaneth by all appearance sincerely to the Queen's Majesty, so I would sincerity should be used towards him.
“I am glad Flanders matters do pass so well; first because I hope poor men shall be delivered and eased of the antichristian tyranny; secondly because I trust the Queen's Majesty and we shall live in more quiet and safety.”
I thank my countrymen of Essex for the good will and confidence they have shown in me in my absence, but I doubt much whether I shall come there this parliament.—Paris, 8th of May, 1572.
Sent by Gabriel Cawod.
pp. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 99.]
May 8. 482. Sir Thomas Smith to his Son [Thomas Smith].
“Ye have not written to me when I have written so many letters for you and in your favour. Belike either your conscience doth accuse you that ye have played the fool in taking that upon you which ye could not perform, or ye thought that now I should espy your folly and demands unreasonable of me.” So long have I followed your follies that I must be weary; yet my nephew Wood writes so wisely that for his sake I will do something, “but except you show hereafter more foresight, doubt and provision for the worst in all points, than hitherto I have seen, I will hereafter take you for a fantastical fool and give you a long Adieu. Now it standeth upon your making or marring, and therefore take heed and lose no time.”—Paris, 8th of May.
½ p. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 100.]
May 8. 483. Sir Thomas Smith to Lord Burghley.
Concerning the sending of De Crocque to Scotland. Printed by Digges (p. 201) with several mistakes, of which the following are the most important:
l. 6, for “suspicious” read “not suspicious.”
l. 12, for “yesterday the 8 of May” read “yesterday the 7 of May.”
l. 13, for “into Scotland in May” read “towards Scotland 2nd May.”
l. 16, the passage should read “how sincerely the Q. Maj. did go before de Crocque came, which they all liked very well.”
last line, date, for “May 7” read “May 8.”
The following (concluding) passage is omitted by Digges:
“I wish myself indeed at the parliament, but . . . fear it will be ended before I come home. The court is coming to Fontainebleau, not past one day's journey from Paris. There, I think, my lord Admiral shall find the King. And now shortly shall the marriage of the Prince of Navarre and Madame Margaret be solemnised at Notre Dame, on a scaffold without the church, it is said about the beginning of June.”—Paris, 8th of May, 1572.
pp. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 101.]
May 8. 484. Sir Thomas Smith to the Earl of Leicester.
“I am sorry I shall not see your lordship here in France, for I understand now my lord Admiral doth come. Nevertheless, so far as yet I can learn, the Duke de Montmorency, Marshal of France, continueth his purpose into England, and with him Monsieur du Foix and de Battaille, both of the Privy Council. De Battaille, one much favoured of the Marshal, and esteemed a wise and well-learned man. Du Foix is well enough known to your lordship. Surely none should have been so welcome as your honour, although my lord Admiral cannot but be welcome. How this league is esteemed there with you I know not. Sure I am the King here esteemeth it more than any other, yea, than we ourselves would think. He accounts the peace-making with his subjects, the marriage of his sister to the Prince of Navarre and this league . . . to be the three happinesses which have come to him for the establishment of his crown, all the which he hath done and brought to pass (he saith) against the will of many of his council, and more than once or twice hath said, 'Thanks be to God, these three God hath given me the grace to do, and to strike the stroke in all difficulties because I would have it so; and therefore now I know God loveth me, and if I might obtain the fourth, I would think me the happiest prince in this world.' This prince hath had trouble which hath made him wise in his young age yet. I pray God we may have the same or the like grace, to know his benefits and still to follow that which shall be to the assurance of her Majesty's reign over us in all peace and quietness, both within and without the realm.”—Paris, 8th of May, 1572.
½ p. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 102.]
May 8. 485. Sir Thomas Smith to [the Earl of Lincoln] Lord Admiral.
“I am glad your lordship doth come hither to accomplish this league, who knoweth, none better, the manners of France, so that I shall rather need to learn of your lordship than to tell you any thing. My lord ambassador resident and I, or I before him, will meet your lordship where ye shall appoint us, so that we may not be onerous unto you either for lodging or post horses.”—Paris, 8th of May, 1572.
¼ p. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 102.]
May 9. 486. Sir Thomas Smith to John Wood.
Directions in relation to money matters. A hundred pounds is to be given to his son for the Irish adventure, which is as much and almost more than he can spare at this time. Desires Wood to come himself to Paris with the money he needs there and to bring him word of the lord Admiral's doings, “for they here tarry only upon that, to know when my lord Admiral do set forth, and then will they from hence toward England.”
If he takes up money in Paris, he has to give 6s. 8d. English for every crown.—9th of May, 1572.
½ p. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 103.]
May 9. 487. Sir Thomas Smith to Henry Killigrew.
“If ye could have helped us with any little good news . . . it would have done us much pleasure. And yet if we could understand what good things were intended and put forward in this sudden parliament, it would be to us some pleasure. For my part, except my lord Admiral come the sooner away, I think I shall come to no part of it, although I understand I am chosen one of the knights for Essex. Cannot justice be done without a parliament? I understand not the matter, and therefore I cannot judge. Here all is well, thanks be to God, and I trust in Flanders will shortly be better. The King is looked for the 14th of this month at Fontainebleau; the Queen Mother to come hither sooner. Other news here is none, but of a treason by the Pope's means attempted amongst the Grisons against their liberty and the gospel, discovered now and punished by heading and quartering of the instrument thereof.”—Paris, 9th of May, 1572.
Sent by Gabriel Cawod.
½ p. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 103.]
May 17. 488. Sir Thomas Smith to the Parson of Mont.
“I am most sorry that I cannot come home so soon as I would to set my stills in order, and especially now in May to make the quintessence and the salts of celandine, of angelica, of rosemary and of some other herbs, the which I would prove and do know wherefor they will serve. But I think you have not been idle and also have kept all my other works in doing all this while. . . . This time of May and the beginning of June, when flowers be in their most virtue, it were pity it should be lost.” If you lack pots or other things, I would have you and Butler go together to London to look at all the places where such things are to sell and buy what you need. “I send you herewith a piece of a book of the experiments of Raymond Lully, the which I do esteem as worth their weight of pure gold. . . . It is the plainest that ever he wrote, and the key, to say the truth, to all his other works, and for anything that I can know, most likely to be true.
“I would you should essay both his experiments of tartar, which in English is called argol, and in Dutch wynestone. It is the lees of marvelous strong, hot country wines that doth cleave to tons' sides and so doth harden like a stone, and to be sold in London.
“You must choose rather the red than the white, yet neither of both be evil as he saith, and in greater pieces rather than less, but take that which in the breaking hath shining things in it like glass or salt; ye shall buy it better at the grocer's than the apothecary's. And if ye can find very good, buy a hundred pounds together of it, and so ye shall have it, I think, at 6d. a pound or under. If ye desire Mr. Cole to help you to buy it, ye were never the worse.”
I have written to my wife to give you 5l. towards the buying of what you need. How to order the tartar, the book I send you tells plainly. I would that Henry Butler and you should set the experiments of tartar in work without delay, and after that, prove what you can do in celandine. “It groweth by the wall's side as ye go to the longest pond. If ye pull a leaf or a branch of it or break it, it giveth out a yellow milk. Put a little of that milk in your eye, it will scour it, and ye shall know the herb ever after. It groweth also in some part of mine arbour. But if you do know it, I would ye should seek it in some other places; it commonly doth grow in dry hedges, and specially in rubbish and stony or chalky ground. At Walden I doubt not there is enough. But I would have mine in the garden kept to seed if it could be, and I would sow it in Names park to have store of it.”—Paris, 17th of May, 1572.
¾ p. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 104.]
May 17. 489. Sir Thomas Smith to the Parson of Mont.
Postscript.—Since writing the above, has received his letter of the 1st and is not a little pleased to see his care of the works. [Writes at much length on processes of fermentation and distillation of substances denoted by a crescent and a circle.] For his waters, he believes he owes his life and health to them. Does not at present use the infused water because he can get no good rose water, endive nor succory waters to temper with it, and the aqua vitæ hath more of the vinegar than of the sweetness of a gentle wine, so that this hot weather it rather frets than comforts his stomach. Marvels that his correspondent has so little “aqua vitæ of the fourth stilling” as he bought a hogshead of lees a little before his departure. Another hogshead is to be spoken for at once, nay if there were two, he warrants they should be occupied, for, God willing, he will not be without aqua vitæ enough and of the best whilst he lives. Desires him to keep all the “flegma” of the aqua vitæ for a use which shall be shown hereafter.—Paris, 17th of May, 1572.
2 pp. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 105.]
May 17. 490. Sir Thomas Smith to his Wife.
“Nothing grieveth me but still I must tarry here. Now this summer would I have trimmed so your stills that ye should with less charges, less pain and only with bush coal have stilled your rose water and any other herbs you would, and yet I may be home before all your roses be gone. But my lord Admiral is so long on coming, and methinks now every day a month.” I pray you give Mr. Parson 5l., and let them lack no coals or other things necessary. “I must needs make much of that to the which, next God, I perceive I owe my life and my health, as this last winter I have had good experience, and I trust they that shall come after me shall know more by me than they knew before in those matters.”—Paris, 17th of May, 1572.
¼ p. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 104.]
May 18. 491. Sir Thomas Smith to his Wife.
Postscript.—“Sith the writing thus far, I received your letter of the 6th of May, whereby I perceive indeed that mine absence hath left many things in disorder. . . . Truly, it is said, a man knoweth when he goeth, but God knoweth when he shall return. As for High Ester matters, it is no news nor the first time that they have showed themself undutiful to the Queen's Majesty, and to me, her friend; but I doubt not at my return to bring them to better order” As for Ankerwick, it seemeth strange to me that you found so little there as you write. All the barley was there left wholly unsold and unthreshed, and some other corn. John Clark is in my debt some pretty sum, four oxen were left there; if all these and the half year's rent of my tenants will not pay the Queen's rent of 20 nobles, there is indeed a worse account made in John Cook's absence than there was in his presence. As to John Cook's wife, I never made her bailiff, or to have anything to do at Ankerwick. On our Lady day, I owed to Mr. Bouser, an old priest, (an honest man and to whom I would ye made good cheer) 100l., but this John Wood writes he has paid, so it need not trouble you. I have 200l. a year during my life out of the Exchequer, paying him each year 100l. at Lady day. This is enough till I come home, which I hope will be shortly.—Paris, 18th of May, 1572.
1 p. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 106.]
May 18. 492. Sir Thomas Smith to Lord Deputy [Fytzwylliam].
This last summer many consultations were held by the Council how to relieve her Majesty's excessive charges in Ireland, and yet to reduce that country into better order. Amongst other proposals was one by Captains Maltby and Chaterton and my son, which it pleased the Queen to grant, wherein I was an earnest suitor, because thereby, no good subject would be deprived of his right, “yet the country should be peopled with a great number of new, good English soldiers to defend the English Pale if need were, and to repress all rebellions that should rise, and that without any charge to her highness. Amongst whom I and my son chose the Ardes and the country adjoining, laying upon the northern and Scottish Irish, the most rebellious people; to the intent that that part being once assured, it might be as a wall to the English Pale, where commonly the Lord Deputies do lie. We have given us but that which is the Queen's Majesty's . . . and but so if that we get it and possess it, by the help of God and upon our own charges and adventure of our lives; and yet after four years we must pay for it an acre into the Exchequer of Ireland as much as many free and copy holders pay for an acre at this day in England.
“Whether this be a good bargain for her highness, and a good aid to your lordship and all who shall be your successors, your wisdom can soon guess. The husbandman, whom I understand they call there the churl, shall have his land to occupy upon such easy conditions as shall be thought meet, and not to be eaten out with 'coyne' livery or any such exactions, but contrary wise defended to the uttermost, that he may be as rich as he will. For it is thought best the Englishmen to be chiefly sent armigers, or else at the least citizens; but if some labourers be amongst them, to teach them the English manner of ploughing, and saving of hay, it will not be the worse.
“Now there rests nothing but that your lordship (as I doubt not you will) do help this their so honourable and profitable an enterprise . . . with the best advice, authority and favour that you can, and a great piece of the honour shall then worthily be given to you, and a perpetual monument to all posterity that in the time of your deputyship such a notable enterprise was begun, and by your lordship's good help performed and achieved.”—Paris, 18th of May, 1572.
1 p. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 107.]
May 18. 493. Sir Thomas Smith to his Son [Thomas Smith].
I have written according to your letter to my lord Deputy, and do not see why you should mislike to have your warrants from him. “He will like it the better if it be his own doing, and I think you shall find him reasonable, although at the first the matter may seem strange unto him.”
If you can do no other, you must use your fortune, “but it is good to look well about a man before, how, and upon what price he do sell his liberty. That which you like so well of the 30 assistants I cannot so soon allow, nor I do not utterly disallow it, and therefore at this time I mind not to write to Mr. Hatton,” but it may be suspended until I come home.
I send you my notes upon your articles.—Paris, 18th of May, 1572.
½ p. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 108.]
The notes above mentioned, numbered, in answer to 17 articles (not given), chiefly in relation to the “assistants.”
“But in all this, I marvel that ye have no care of one and your principal city, which I would were called Elizabetha . . . where it is meet that each assistant have a place of ground, to make his palace or chief residence, of our giving; . . . and then he to hold likewise his land and tenure of assistance, aid or patriciate of us and our heirs, by such tenure as is afore, with condition to maintain in the chief castle or citadel of the city Elizabeth, one tower, against all the Queen's Majesty's enemies.” I reckon that you can do nothing till you have a strong town, as a magazine of victuals, a retreat in time of danger and a safe place for the merchants. “Mark Rome, Carthage, Venice and all other where any notable beginning hath been. . . . Let this enter into your head, and move it to your assistants and counsellors that they may understand it; or else you shall be like wild beasts that play at base with other, sometime getting forward and by and by, by force of enemies and fortune, driven backward as much.
“This habitation together engendereth civility, policy, acquaintance, consultation, and a firm and sure seat. Your tenants, farmers, churls and labourers of the ground may still go abroad and live as they can most for their commodity, and dispersed, yet I would they should at the first be by parishes, or rather two parishes together, where they shall dwell at the first appointment for more civility; for the manner of man is, the more they resort together, and have common profit or peril, the more civil and obedient they be; else they will be and grow beastly and savage, which hath been hitherto one cause of the ruin of Ireland. . . . And therefore I like not the giving away of the meadows, bogs and woods, especially so hastily, for as it is now, so would I have it still, that for building or other necessary use in the house, for ten years each man might take what he would of any wood or timber . . . the which, I am sure you and I will not deny any man so long as it is in our hands. . . .
“And after the wild or Scottish Irish and you have skirmished once or twice, if they will offer any, then would I that you should with good advice and good fortune (I trust) choose the place where your castle and city . Elizabetha should be set, and exempt no man from the charge who proffers to be soldier or captain to make by his own labour and his tenants the ramparts, ditches and bulwarks necessary, so large that within it, in time, walls, towers, streets and market places may be made, and in the mean, the magazines of victuals and munitions, and all the merchants and traffickers may be in surety. . . . If such largeness be desperate, then choose a place strong by nature for defence as a citadel, to defend the city when it shall be made, and then it may be called Castra colonelli or Smith's tents, for so long till it may have a better name when it is better builded; and therein, in the mean time, to be the same magazines and storehouses and recourse of merchants and victuallers as I spake of before. . . . This must be done before next winter, I give you warning, or else before the next summer begin, look for repentance and loss.”
For the hundred pounds I have given for my adventure this year, I would you should take with you Thomas Smith, my godson, and one or two more of my brother George's sons, if they will go. If they will not, let them not look for the like offer again. Those that go shall be horsemen. “I will make it up the next year for one whole parish, that is 10 footmen and 5 horsemen, and would have it called Smith's Walden. . . . I rather would have it either in Kilwarney or Kilult where there is most store of great timber. And if you could have store of workmen, ye cannot be better occupied than to send to Bourdeaux or Nantes store of 'clasbord' to make pipes and hogsheads. Then must you also provide you of fisher boats, gallies and ships for the loughs, that ye may be master of them and their isles. But this you shall better understand when you shall be on the place.”—May 20, 1572.
3 pp. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 109.]
May 20. 494. Sir Thomas Smith to John Wood.
“I thank you for passing my patent in such haste, and I pray you also be as ready to receive the money. For High Ester matters, I know the peevishness of the tenants well enough. I trust when I shall come home, I shall take better order with them.”
I have written my mind to my son. As to what you write of Marian (?), it were well to know his mind. The matter has been moved to me, but I know his mind was otherwise lodged. You show your good will to him and so does Mr. Archer, who “may break the matter if he think so good, but as of himself, not as from me nor from my son, to see how the gentlewoman's friends can brook it.” And that will be enough for this half year, and shall make my lord Deputy peradventure the less hard to him.
As for Poole matters, I look for little good, whatsoever Medley may say, until I may come home, which I am sure will not be this month.—Paris, 20th of May, 1572.
Postscript.—“Now at Marshal Montmorenci's coming and receipt of the garter, I pray you, with the advice of my Lord Burghley, desire him that was deputy for Sir William Petre, or any other whom his lordship will, to be my deputy in doing such things as appertaineth to me . . . and I will see his pains recompensed.”
½ p. [Ibid. CXLVI. 13. p. 112.]
May 20. 495. Sir Thomas Smith to Sir Humfrey Gilbert.
I am sorry Mr. Medeley will come to no account, but to say the truth, you are most to blame, for if you had gone down and seen yourself how they work in making either alum or copperas, or spending the iron, you would soon have been as cunning as he, “especially insinuating yourself into the acquaintance and favour of Cornelis, and taking down with you my nephew William Smith of Walden,” who was ready to go with you. And this may yet be done, for as long as Medeley thinks you cannot do it, and have no knowledge of the earths, it makes him little to esteem your brawlings and chidings.
“Are you so tied to London that you cannot be twelve days from it? I wis it were twenty days well bestowed, if it were but for knowledge sake, which if you had, you might then yourself take a direct order, as I would not fail to do if I might be there, but God knows when that shall be. . . . The only way is that you go down and see with your own eyes and hands what is or can be done,” and then you may be bold to talk with him or my lords about it. My advice is that you shall be reconciled to him, and then intreat him to go down with you, and show you what is and may be done. If he will not be reconciled, then you must go down and demand to know all their doings, for you have an interest in it, as well as he or I.—Paris, 20th of May, 1572.
1 p. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 112.]
May 20. 496. Sir Thomas Smith to Mr. Medeley.
I am sorry to hear that you and Sir Humfrey are “now at a jar. You must bear with him. You know his nature well enough, and it is not the first time that you two have been at a brawl and yet afterwards good friends. Of all nations we Englishmen be the worst to be in a partnership and fellowship together. Some be so suspicious and some be disposed to hide and keep things in secrecy, which augmenteth suspicion and jealousy. . . . Sir Humfrey thinketh much (I perceive) that all [this] while this matter is not come into a certain for[m] and orderly account, as indeed I did always desire [it] should, and have oft called upon it, and it is in our articles of indenture. First I pray you be friends, and so have I written to him. . . . Let not that which should have made a most indissoluble knot of amity and privity amongst us three be occasion of dissension and of evil speaking one of another. His nature is as good as any gentleman's in England as soon as he is out of his storms, and you are wise, you can bear. And it behoves us three to bear one with another; we lack no enemies nor such as would set picque betwixt us.
“One fault there is, that hitherto he hath seen nothing done, but trusteth only upon your words and promises. Whether the fault thereof be in you or him I cannot tell; it would be amended. Ye shall do well to be friends and forgive one another that which is past for God's sake . . . and partly for mine, because I do require it. Both you be my friends, whom I [desire] also to be friends together. And then I would you should invite him to go down to Poole, to see your works with his own eyes; see the working, see the hope and the likelihoods; and so ye shall put that jealousy and suspicion out of his head and become the surer friends. Then you may consult together to set some order in these matters. You have not written to me sith I came into France and therefore I know not how things do go, and sorry I would be that they should end in a brawl. John Wood writeth that you complain that your name is not in the patent. Sure I am it was agreed that it should be in.” But let not that trouble you. When it pleases God I shall come home, all such things shall be done to your contentation; meanwhile let us have no contentions, but follow my advice and so employ yourself and your labour that we may have cause to commend you and your doings. And what friendship I can show you, or procure you from the highest, I will not fail thereof.—Paris, 20th of May, 1572.
Postscript.—“I may yet find fault myself, if Sir Humfrey have showed them to you, that neither my instructions, which was left with him, was followed, nor you nor he have written or showed any cause why they were not followed. The one or the other would have been done, and have pleased me marvellous well, for I could have been content to have been reformed as reason is, if time, place or occasion had showed that it were better otherwise to be done than as I gave instructions.”
pp. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 113.]
May 20. 497. Sir Thomas Smith to Mr. Heneage.
“Your short letter of the 11th of this month was much comfort to me, as it is always when I receive any thing from my friends; for we that are here now as banished from our own house and country, and having now nothing to do but attend and tarry whiles my lord Admiral, the Earl of Lincoln do come, do live as me thinks of the air of England. If any thing come from thence of good news, it is to us a good repast; if no, we die almost for hunger. . . . Here he that hath nothing to do, lives either in a dead sleep or else in a dream, fetching his breath still out of England, where his heart, life and spirit is. And therefore one letter from you there must needs be twenty times welcomer to us than forty from us here, which is to you but as news out of Italy or Turkey. . . .
“The Duke and Marshal Montmorenci esteemeth very highly the honour which the Queen's Majesty hath done him in making him knight of the order, and as I perceive, the last day of this month at Boulogne, the new Earl [of Lincoln] and the new knight of the order shall meet. There was never an ambassador and nobleman of France more loving the Queen's Majesty and Englishmen sent into England, nor more joy and estimation made of any league than this now with England.”
The Pope is esteemed to be dead and the Cardinals in France are expecting to be commanded to Rome to choose a new one. [The next part of the letter discusses the chances of one Cardinal who is said to be very worthy and another who is said to be a knave and of the vilest life, but the paper is much torn and the names are gone.]
The broil revived between the Admiral and the Duke of Guise for the death of his father (once before ended by decree of the Privy Council when I was ambassador here) is again quenched by the King, The marriage between the Prince of Navarre and Madame Margaret is retarded by the tertian ague of the Prince, but all the preparations go on apace.
Matters in Flanders begin to wax hot, and the beginning of next month “most part of the brood hereabouts will be fledged and go to pasture there, because it is a plain country and open, as they say. . . .
“I pray you let me know what you hatch or sit upon in your Parliament, for that toucheth me more than this h[ere], and yet it toucheth us both to set further off the Pope and [his] cruel and antichristian inquisition. . . .
“I am glad your daughter is recovered, whom ye would marvel hereafter to see an Irish lady.”—Paris, 20th of May, 1572.
pp. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 114.]
May 20. 498. Sir Thomas Smith to Lord Burghley.
“Your lordship's letters, as they be always, was comfortable to me and my lord ambassador, be they never so short. I am sorry indeed that there is so long tarrying of the meeting of my lord the Earl of Lincoln and the Duke of Montmorenci.” The latter told us yesterday that he will be at Boulogne on May 30, and du Foix also, and hath been ready almost this fortnight. I marvel that de la Motte made such delays. They come with ample commissions under the great seal of France, and with authority to conclude what they require, and if the league be concluded, “it will make them shake to Rome's gates, and in the Conclave itself, whither our Cardinals here are some gone, some going and some preparing to go, to make a new god and antichrist, for the old is holden for dead . . . who hath caused many a better and nobler man than he is to be burned in the fire and to row in the gallies for professing Christ.” For the aiding of the protestants in Flanders, some goeth from hence and more are shortly to go.
De Bateley, who was third in commission, lieth here dangerously ill of an ague and cannot go into England. The King has appointed to be not far from this town when the Admiral is here. The marriage of Madame with the Prince of Navarre goes forward, but the Prince has fallen into a tertian ague, which will retard it. “The Queen of Navarre, at the King's commandment, was solemnly received and visited with all courtesy of the citizens here, yea the most papists, and is very merry. My lord ambassador and I visited her within three days after her coming and was very well and familiarly received of her, acknowledging the great favour [and] courtesy she hath received of the Queen's Majesty in her troubles.”
The grudge betwixt the Duke of Guise and the Admiral is now concluded by the King's means, to his great contentment, as de Montmorenci told us. “So the King here, by all means he can, goeth about to fortify himself, both without and at home.
“For the first letter touching religion, your lordship knoweth we had to do with it, and caused it to be amended twice as we thought necessary and as was appointed. The next came to us unawares, after the signing, not being talked of before, and therefore left wholly to her Majesty's and the Council's discretion; we would not meddle with it. So when these ambassadors shall come, it may be communed of and agreed upon. There is no prejudice made of it on our parts, and we sent it to your honour rather that it should not come new to you than that we liked it, as I have written heretofore.”—Paris, 20th of May, 1572. Sent by Mr. Higgons.
pp. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 13. p. 115.]
[Beginning of August?] 499. The Privy Council to Sir Humfrey Gilbert and Others.
Since the return of William Pelham, Lieutenant of the Ordnance, we have, by conference with him and by other intelligence, found it very necessary to have regard to your estates there, and “Although your going thither out of the realm was not by commandment or order of her Majesty or us, as yourself knoweth, yet considering on the one side the number of you are so great, and amongst you a choice sort of gentlemen of good estimation and ability . . . and on the other side, hearing that your adventures of late have been such as therein many have lost their lives, and many hurt, although not without commendation of their valiantness, we have thought meet for the care we have of you all, and the fear we conceive of some such further mishaps that may grow to you by such like adventures whilst you are there, to send this bearer,” Captain Pickman, a man very meet for this purpose, to confer with you, Sir Humfrey and other principal officers, and to communicate to you “that although your going thither was without our direction, yet, seeing you are there, our desires and counsels are that some good order and government might be established amongst you . . . by the strait observing of such rules as hath been advisedly agreed upon at William Pelham's being there, or of any other since that time, whereby both you may the better preserve yourselves, and recover the liking of the people of that Low Country, to whose succour your first coming was by you, as we take it, meant; of which we are sorry to hear that, by the disorder of some of your companies, in spoiling and pillage of them, our whole nation serving there receiveth some condemnation.” And as it will be best for all of you to yield willingly to our orders, we let you know that if any shall refuse to observe the same, we cannot but allow that you, Sir Humfrey Gilbert, to whom we perceive the general charge of the companies is committed, may punish and correct the offenders and breakers of your orders in all convenient sort, according to the discipline of war. Requiring you, Sir Humfrey, to give credit to this bearer, and to return him again speedily with your answer.
Headed.—“A letter from the lords and others of the Council with a Memorial of Instructions, sent to Sir Humfrey Gilbert and the English in the Low Country by Pyckman, one of her Majesty's ordinary captains at Berwick.”
Copy.pp. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 14.]
(The Privy Council Records are wanting for the later months of 1572, but the approximate date is shown by a passage in a letter from Lord Burghley, dated Aug. 10, 1572. “Mr. Pyckman has been sent to confer with Sir H. Gilbert how the French may be prevented from taking Flushing.” See Domestic Calendar under date.)
On the same sheet:
A Memorial for Capt. Pickman.
You are to repair to Sir Humfrey Gilbert, being in Zeeland or some other part of the Low Countries, and deliver our letters, desiring him to impart them to such other gentlemen as he thinks meet, “using some such words to them, as though they may well see what care we have of them, yet that none of them make any report thereof to others,” nor that it be known abroad that you go but of your own private mind. And you shall also confer with him upon these points following.
First. To understand why he left Flushing, and made such journeys with his companies both into Flanders and South Beveland, where nothing was done “but their intentions wholly frustrated both at Bruges, Sluys and other places in Flanders, and since William Pelham's return the like evil success or worse at Tregos [Tergoes], where we hear a good number of valiant gentlemen were lost and hurt, and that only our nation, both there and elsewhere, hath received the loss; wherein, though we see cause to allow of their boldness and valiantness, yet we are sorry and do mislike that they are induced or trained, as it seemeth, by some fraud of the captains of the other nations joined with them, to bear the brunt of such adventures and losses.” You shall let him know that we think the drawing of him and his from Flushing was that it might be possessed by the French, and if this happened the fruits of his journey would be void, and we see no need for the abode of him or his company in those parts. He must use all the good policy he can to prevent that peril, and to recover the town into his power, endeavouring to gain the goodwill of the inhabitants by assuring them “that his intention is wholly to help them to their ancient liberties, and not to retain the same longer than may be for their preservation against their enemies,” and so governing his companies that they do not, by spoiling or other disorders, provoke the people to mislike of them. The means for recovering the town we must leave to himself, using the advice of those who are wise and secret, for, if the French should have any inkling of his intent, he will be prevented. “And therefore he shall do well to propound some other devices to the French captains, as it were to employ himself and his company to some other enterprises, thereby to divert their suspicion until he may have time to execute his purpose.”
You must desire to know the numbers of his men, who be their captains, how many have perished, and who there are of special note and name; how many are hurt; and in what sort they are recoverable; how many have departed from his charge to any other place, whether any have gone over to the Duke of Alva and who they be, and how many other Englishmen are serving under the said Duke. Also, what number of Englishmen are in Holland, at the Brill, or in any other place, serving against Alva.
You must also procure knowledge for us how our country men are armed, victualled, and paid, and what quantity of victual has come thither from England. And you shall desire Sir Humfrey to cause some trusty person to take care of such victual, and to certify us what is already come, and what is most necessary. For as we know that some is sent there “with pretence to relieve the town of Flushing, in respect of him and his bands, so would we be sorry that by colour thereof, any quantity should be carried thither, except it be for their private use, as is meant.”
You shall also inform Sir Humfrey that the Duke of Alva has lately written to the Queen, complaining of the arrival of those bands, declaring that her subjects there give it forth that they were sent thither by her Majesty and that she means to send more, and desiring her, in the King of Spain's name, to reform and call them home. And as it is not true that her Majesty sent them, no such speech should be made by any of her subjects, but it should be given out, and brought to the Duke's knowledge, that they went without either licence or knowledge of her Majesty, and mean to do nothing but relieve the native people from their oppression; and not to deprive the King of Spain of any part of his countries, but rather will employ their powers against any others seeking so to do.
And whereas William Pelham brought over a note of certain things to be had from hence, the greater part belonging to matter for maintaining batteries in the besieging of some towns, the sending of these things is stayed until your return, as we do not desire Sir Humfrey and his company to spend their time in such attempts, but principally in keeping Flushing and in recovering and keeping Sluys.
We also wish Sir Humfrey to understand that, hearing that one Thickens should be his marshal, we much doubt of his sufficiency, and rather think meet that this bearer Pickman should have the place, and that Thickens should be contented some other way, or if it be thought that he would not agree hereto, that he should be sent over into England with some errand before the change is notified to him.
It has been thought good to write another letter apart to Sir Humfrey Gilbert, commanding him to retire into England with his company, “which letter he may use as he shall think good, if he be in any place distant from Flushing, at the siege of any town, or otherwise in any camp; and thereby take occasion to withdraw himself and his numbers to the enterprise of Flushing,” upon pretence of his coming away by order of this letter, which is written but for that purpose.
Copy. 3 pp. [S.P. For. Eliz. CXLVI. 14a.]


  • 1. See letter from Guerau d'Espés, in March, 1571 (Spanish Calendar, 1568–79, p. 297).
  • 2. This sentence has two or three undeciphered symbols (not occurring elsewhere), and the sense is not clear.
  • 3. See Hakluyt, i. 549 (ed. 1809); also Venetian Calendar for 1571, Nos. 517, 520.
  • 4. This is a Letter Book of Sir Thos. Smith.