Elizabeth: January 1583, 21-25

Pages 63-73

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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January 1583, 21–25

Jan. 21. 55. Cobham to Walsihgnam.
They give me to understand the king has resolved to cause the Duke of Joyeuse to be Governor of Normandy, giving satisfaction to those others who now have the government divided among them, 'pretending' likewise to accommodate the Duke of Épernon in the government of Lyons and Lyonnais, and in exchange for it to bestow on M. Mandelot the office of Master of the Artillery of France, contenting M. de la Guiche with money. He gratifies M. de Nemours with the government of the Marquisate of Saluces, entertaining M. Lavalette Vaisné in this Court, with his contentment. These matters are thus framed as I hear in their Cabinet consultations.
This morning the king has been very early in consultation with the chiefest of the Court. Certain bishops are framing the order for the publication of the Council of Trent; it is already set forth in some such manner, they say, in Rouen and Normandy. They inform me his Majesty is sending to Rome Cassette, the chief commis to Villeroy, with an especial expedition. The young Cardinal of Vaudemont, brother to the young queen, will be sent this Lent to Rome.
The obsequy of the Duke of Guise's grandmother was held at the Cordeliers 'the last day,' where the queen regnant and the Duke of Lorraine were present.
I hear that Queen Mother sends money by way of Cambray to Monsieur, for his present necessity.
The Pope's grant, sent of late, as I understand, to the French king, which concerned the granting of the fourth part of the spiritual 'living,' as in my former dispatch is specified, is only written in a private letter from the Pope, and not authorised by an 'attentical' [qy. authentical] Bull; with condition that the spiritual promotions hereafter may be bestowed on 'clergy personages' according to their quality. The king has accepted these conditions.
This nuncio has had letters certifying him there is a ship sent from Biscay to Ireland with gunpowder, munitions, and armour, wherewith have passed certain Irish noblemen with friars of Ireland. This passage the Spanish king has granted at the sole intercession of the Pope's nuncio resident in Spain.
By letters from Rome it is known the Pope has condemned many Englishmen, and sends them to the Duke of Florence's galleys.
The Duke Monte Alto is imprisoned at Naples, with others his adherents, for matters belonging to justice. The Archbishop of Liége is named at Rome to be Bishop and Elector of Cologne in the place of the present Elector, because of his marriage and profession in religion.
I hear the French king had at the Bishop of Ross's suit given him a priory worth 1500 francs yearly; but the Queen Mother has now placed in it a friar, her confessor, because she understood the bishop had sufficient maintenance by means of King Philip's and the Scottish queen's pensions.
There is dispatched here this last week John Chamber, servant to the lord of 'Fanhurst,' with many letters to sundry of d'Aubigny's faction. D'Aubigny is looked for in these parts daily.
I thank you for your solicitation in my tedious and importune causes, beseeching you to procure what her Majesty shall be disposed, since God has framed her mind in no other sort towards me, and that I may return; to which I dispose myself as much as I may be permitted with her good license and grace. The Almighty prosper you, and help me from all these services, wherein I do but 'trouble a room,' being unprofitable to her Highness and to myself.—Paris, 21 January, 1582.
P.S.—By the next I think to send you notes of the Spanish king's trading in Swedeland, and 'these princes' tasting thereof.' And so, not being very well, I take my leave, 'betaking' Mr. Kerton this bearer to your grace, whom I beseech you to favour. I were beholden to you if Grandsum might be dispatched later.
Add. Endd. 3 pp. [France IX. 16.]
Jan. 21. 56. Marchaumont to Walsingham.
I am writing to her Majesty to beg her to remember the matter of Mr. Howard; so I beg you to aid him, as I wrote you a word about it. His father has done the queen service, and he can certainly do her good service; he is a man of resources and courage. The acquaintance I have with him comes from her Majesty. I shall feel myself indebted for any pleasure he may receive. Do anything for him and you oblige me, as you are doing me the kindness to bear a hand that he may receive contentment. Reckon in any case that I shall love and serve you in gratitude for your favours.—London, Monday [Jan. 21 O.S.] 1583.
Add. Endd. with date 22 Jan. Fr. ½ p. [Ibid. IX. 17.]
Jan. 23. 57. Cobham to Walsingham.
The late troubles in Flanders were so heavily taken by their Majesties at first that their sadness appeared in the countenance and demeanour of all the courtiers, and withal the principal personages 'showed' to be provoked to indignation or rather revenge, because it was given out that the Prince of Orange had 'condescended' with the Estates to avoid the French government, since he had promised to be reconciled to King Philip, upon that Duke Ernest, marrying the Spanish king's daughter, he being a German, might come to enter into the government of Flanders, with the better satisfaction of the Prince, and the Low Countries. Withal they added how the Englishmen used much outrage against the French in cutting off their noses, ears, and other members in cruel sort; which moved many at the report thereof to utter their indisposition towards our nation. The rumour was so spread in this city that the English gentlemen and others found it strange. Howbeit this bruit has passed. The first reports grew, it is said, upon the speech of one belonging to Don Antonio, who came lately from Flanders.
Though in the beginning the Dukes of Guise and Épernon made offer to gather the king's guards and the regiments in Champagne to join with the men of arms in Picardy to pass into Flanders to the aid of Monsieur, it seems the king has not hearkened thereto, having rather chosen some two or three days ago to send M. de Mirambeau into Flanders to the Prince of 'Orange and the States, for the appeasing in gracious manner of that which has happened. In the mean time he sits 'more than accustomed' in deliberation with his Council.
None of the House of Guise, nor any other principal personage, is making preparations for the undertaking of any warlike action. I hear they will let slip by sea, in little companies, some number of soldiers for the better keeping of Dunkirk, Dixmude, and other towns which they have got, especially by the seaside.
The Albanian colonels and captains who have been here almost this half year having not yet received their pay to their contentment, are promised remedy, so that they will levy men for the king's service, which they undertake: but there is no further matter proceeded in with them.
M. d'Aubigny is looked for here to-night.
Fentre, the Bishop of Glasgow's nephew, of whom I wrote in my former dispatch, is returned, and had, incontinently after his coming, long conference with the Duke of Guise. The dukes of the House of Guise blame d'Aubigny very much for departing out of Scotland, 'seeming' to them that he ought rather to have ventured his life than to come from thence.
The ambassador of Venice has to-day in his audience informed the king that the King of Persia's horsemen had overthrown 40,000 Turks at 'Tiphlys' on the frontiers of Persia.
A courier has arrived from the camp of the Prince of Parma, bringing letters wherein it was certified that 400,000 crowns had come to Namur for the payment of the prince's army, and showing that his soldiers suffered much for want of victuals; through the extremity whereof many Spaniards and Italians were departing, and the rest who remained were sickly and in poor estate.
It is certified by letters from Lisbon that another of the Governors of Portugal left by the late cardinal-king was deceased; so there remains of them but the Archbishop of Lisbon. They certify that there are preparing in the harbour of Lisbon three galleys, eight great ships and twenty-five caravels.
By letters from Madrid of the beginning of this month, it is understood that they are making provision for the departure of the Spanish king's two daughters, who were to be embarked at Barcelona to be transported to Genoa. After the marriage, Duke Ernest with his wife, the younger of the two, was to repair to Flanders to take that government, being wished for by the Flemings.
The sister of the Duke of Épernon, who is to be married to the young Count of Brienne is to have from the king for her dowry 150,000 crowns. The Count of Brienne's 'living' is accounted to be worth 20,000 crowns a year, descended [sic] from the House of Luxembourg and la Marche, being of the age of 16 years.
The living of Mlle de Mony who is to be married to Duke Joyeuse's fourth brother is accounted to be worth 30,000 crowns a year, after the decease of her parents.
I send herewith a brief note of the occurrents from sundry places.—Paris, 23 January, 1582.
Add. Endd. 3 pp. [France IX. 18.]
Jan. 24. 58. Audley Danett to Walsingham.
This gentleman Mr. Vere repairing into England, I would not fail to let you understand what we do in these countries. The deputies lately sent to the duke returned hither on Tuesday the 22nd after our English companies, about eight o'clock in the morning. As I have learned the substance of their negotiation was, that the duke 'contented himself' to have Brussels for his place of residence, and to hold his Court there, having 2,000 Swiss in garrison within the town, who should take oath to be true to the States of the country. Dermond he would hold three months, with 800 soldiers 'by the pole,' and Dunkirk for one year, with a competent garrison 'le mieulx reiglée et policée que faire le peult,' and in six weeks' space cause Chamoy, now Governor of Dunkirk, to depart the place, and in his room to place another Frenchman, such as he shall think convenient. This treaty being once concluded, he will surrender into their hands the towns of Vilvorde and Dixmude, which he now holds.
The deputies were very welcome, and great speeches given out of an 'appointment,' whereof the French partisans were not a little joyful. But that day the Prince, repairing from the 'State house' toward the castle about dinner-time, received hard speeches of the common burghers; and the matter so wrought by the next morning that he was constrained, as I think, to refer the conclusion of this business to the States-General and the rest of the Council of the town; for he has hitherto proceeded so earnestly for the French that he has very dangerously incurred the ill-will of the whole town, so far that if he persists, they threaten secretly to send him to the duke, and fear not to say openly, he was of the practice to have seized the town. But it is thought little by little he falls to some better conformity, framing his dealings to the people's humour, leaving the French, and referring the conclusion to the Council of the town, who are resolved to treat no more with the duke, unless he renders them their towns; especially those of Ghent and Flanders, whom the matter touches most near, because the towns are either in their country, or bordering on them. The preachers in their sermons continue to teach that no treaty may be made with the professed enemies of God's Church; the colonels, captains, and common people of the town say they will never agree to serve a secret murderer; the 'books and portraits' of the attempt made upon the town are permitted to be sold openly, with open cries in the streets against the honour and reputation of the French. The duke's stuff and his moveables in his lodging are removed thence and brought to the Town-house; an inhibition that no Frenchman shall be found to walk abroad in the streets; and some outrage offered this day by the people to a gentleman of that nation, being abroad with his keeper, who knew nothing of the inhibition, to the hazard of his life; with sundry other accidents happening daily, too long to write, make me conjecture, or rather persuade myself, that the French will never be received. Yet when I consider how earnestly the Prince is bent to the contrary, and how much it imports him to have them return, I know not what will be the issue; saving that I have learnt that populus est bellua multorum capitum, and thereupon presume that in the end, against his will, he will range with the multitude.
Count Mansfelt, who with his reiters did not follow the duke in his attempt upon the town, but retired again to Borgerhout, has lately written to the duke to understand his pleasure what should become of him. He has received his answer with some hard and bitter speeches, refusing to give him any contentment for his service in these countries, because he has refused to follow him. For Mr. Norris and our English forces, the duke's people that lie on the other side of the river in the land of Waes call them traitors, and say they have broken their oath to the duke which is easily answered. The duke himself says 'qu'il n'a plus grand ennemy au pays-bas que Norreys.' Marshal Biron says, 'qu il rompra la tette au Norreys'; but Mr. Norris is resolute to attend his coming, and I think plutoet luy rompra l'autre jambe, if he dare attempt to make an entry into the land of Waes. The chief care he has in this service is to do nothing which may displease her Majesty; wherein if his zeal to the service of this country, whereto he is partly sworn, and wherein he has spent some time, not altogether to her disliking, has advanced him further against the French than shall be found convenient, please stand firm to him, to mollify anything which may be hardly interpreted, considering the present necessity of this service could not wait for any home direction. For myself, being here unable to do any great service, such as was fit for this season, being every way unfurnished, I beseech you to take in good part my well-meaning, and to think that whatever I write, I do it sincerely like a true Englishman, not addicted to the French nor to any other, further than my duty to my country and my allegiance to her Majesty shall command me.—Antwerp, 24 January, 1582.
P.S.—The deputies who have treated hitherto with the duke, finding their instructions nothing agreeable to his demands, have prayed they may be stayed at home, fearing lest the duke might stay their persons for Fervacques, 'Fargie,' and others, prisoners here; whereupon the States have dispatched M. de Fontpertuis, sent from the duke to accompany the deputies, with their bare letters containing their full resolution on his demands, and have stayed their deputies at home.
Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 34.]
Jan. 24/Feb. 3. 59. Fremyn to Walsingham.
I last wrote to you a week ago of what is happening in these quarters. Things are in a good mess, and his Excellency and the States more occupied than they have before been. His Highness is still at Termonde with his troops, who are suffering want. They would much like to be allowed to enter the land of Waes, but the water and the soldiers who are there hinder their passage. Mr. Norris is in command there—nevertheless they have up to now made no attempt to pass. A report has been spread here that his Highness had written and threatened Mr. Norris for the steps he was taking against him; which he has not done. He has no doubt said that the Queen of England would by no means approve what he was doing. That is what has taken place here on his part. The soldiers who are on the edge of the water have no doubt used abusive language to one another, as usually happens; but nothing else so far. His Highness sent some horse with a trumpet to those of Ghent, to let him pass near their town to go to Dunkirk, which they would not do; breaking down all the bridges over the rivers in their district. They also raised a great alarm throughout their town to issue forth upon the cavalry, which they did to some distance. The cavalry made sure of cutting them up and wanted to charge them, which their commander would not permit; only 10 troopers let fly to make assurance sure (décochaient pour souder leur assurance). They went off on their own account, and a captain of Ghent and some others were drowned. The cavalry did not wound a single man; they captured, however, six or seven of the most conspicuous, and took them along with them.
Meantime deputies have been sent from either side, without much result, to fathom each other's intentions (pour sonder le gay des volontés les uns des autres). On the side of his Highness were sent M. de Fontpertuis and M. de Villars, formerly marœchal-de-camp. He wishes to have his gentlemen and officials who are prisoners in this town, to which not much regard is paid. Many of them are at St. Michael's, where iron bars have been put to all the windows, which does not please the prisoners much. His Highness's furniture, which was at St. Michael's, has been taken to the Town Hall, as well as that of the courtiers.
Yesterday it was given out that no Frenchmen were to go about the town, and that the prisoners were to be kept on bread and water, under penalty of one livre de gros to be paid by the warders.
Yesterday arrived a trumpet from Louvain bringing to the magistrates a letter from the Marquis of Risbourg, Montigny, and Rassingham; saying that now was the opportunity for coming to a good understanding, that it was easy to arrive at one to their satisfaction, and that they had a king, their sovereign, who was stretching out his arms to them, and would grant them the exercise of the Religion; and that if they would send their deputies to Notre Dame de Hault near Brussels they hoped that a good agreement would ensue, and that one month after the agreement they would send away their foreigners. They had experienced the insupportable yoke of the French, of which they ought to rid themselves, and they (the writers) would help them it need were. You see how the Malcontents are working on this occasion, with the factious that exist in great numbers in this town, and spread through all the good towns. Some only desire reconciliation with the Spaniard, others aim at establishing a popular republic; fewest to a reconciliation with his Highness. Among these tempests, God knows if his Excellency is calumniated by the schemers (? artificiels) who say that whereas Christ died for the salvation of men, he makes everybody die to save his life. It is the reward which men of honour get for serving the people, calumnies—qui peuple sert, nul ne l'en paye, et qui l'offense, chacun l'abaye [sic]. In short, the evil has gone so far forward that the meanest lout calumniates the most honourable men with impunity. They are all masters, like rats in the straw, and do what they please, since they have tasted the spoil of the French, which amounts to more than 100,000 crowns. They are saying now that the ransoms they have had from several who have found friends, are nothing, and that that has been given them for saving their lives, but now they want to have another good ransom. That is how the burghers here behave, who cannot see gentlemen [sic]; and if God does not take pity on them, they will ruin themselves through their present pride. Thinking to escape from a tyranny they will return to one twice as great through their insolence, wishing to control their chiefs and magistrates without respect: and the magistrates must of necessity pass over in silence many things since they cannot remedy them, which portends great disorder to come.
M. de Fontpertuis and M. Villars returned yesterday to his Highness. Next Monday the States are to send their answer to the duke by their deputies. It will perhaps be longer, because there are negotiations with the provinces, one with another, and it seems that before everything else they want his Highness to give up without delay the towns which he holds at present, which was not his intention, unless he now acquiesces in it, and return to Brussels to hold his Court, with a garrison of Swiss, who will take the oath to the States as well as to him, if they get so far as an agreement and reconciliation. To tell the truth, that prince has greatly forgotten himself by the advice of a damnable council, and if he were to return to France with nothing done, his enemies would mock him; yes, the king's minions would point their fingers at him; which makes me think that he will do everything possible to be reconciled rather than withdraw so shamefully and justify himself . . . on the 17th of last month; which is impossible to do, and he had better confess his fault and pray God to pardon him and give him grace to do well in future, that it may be remembered(?), calling back to him all honest men, and banishing all the bad men from about his person. If Brabant and Flanders do not act with the duke, they are at liberty to put themselves on the defensive with their allies, and to levy fresh men from the country up to those regiments. These are beginnings of the conjunction which is to take place on April 29.
A letter was written by M. d'Antragues to M. de Saint-Aignan, speaking of England and Scotland; which I did not mention to you last week, inasmuch as they said it had been sent to you.
His Highness does not know where he is. He would like to be dead, for what has taken place, but what? It is too late. From having such devils about him nothing but harm could come. But what? it is the malady of princes to take no account of honest men till they have spoilt everything.
Meanwhile Eyndhoven remains besieged by the enemy, without any method being devised to succour the place, which will be lost if this be not remedied. Mr. Norris has been in this town since yesterday, with the bailiff of Waes. They have received 6,000 florins for the soldiers in that country to get boots.
Count la Marche is about departing for France. He is at the castle with his Excellency. It is rumoured that all the Flemish merchants in France have been made prisoners and their vessels stayed, which causes the like to be done here. Happy he who . . . . . in a place of repose, serving God and his friends, out of these confusions.—Antwerp, 3 February, 1583, according to the new calendar.
P.S.—The commons will by no means come to terms with the duke, but call them traitors and French schelms. The Great Council of the people is still assembled to-day. We shall see what it will do. All goes ill for his Highness.
Add. Fr. 3 pp. Somewhat damaged. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 35.]
Jan. 25. 60. Cobham to Walsingham.
The manner of Monsieur's proceeding of late at Antwerp has greatly amazed many in France, considering much was before hoped for upon the confidence which was conceived of his princely mind, having been never detected in any such unworthy action as to make an enterprise on those afflicted souls who had fled to him for refuse, to be defended from the Spanish tyranny. Notwithstanding, they in these parts who have most cause to mislike of it desire that the Prince of Orange's and the States' demeanour may be such towards him that they may rather entertain his good will than otherwise give him cause to despair of their amity and service. It is, moreover, thought convenient that the Queen should continue her gracious manner towards him; which is here already understood, to his high commendation.
I have at this instant received notice that the king and his mother have wished Monsieur to retire with a small troop to Mézières by the ways and means they have signified to him; which methinks is very far distant from 'D'armount,' where as they report he lately was. As I hear, they are of opinion that Monsieur, by policy and sleights, should as he may 'impatronise' himself in the Low Countries, or at least get their towns; but otherwise they here do not like that by any open force he should attempt anything.
A principal person of this Court sent this week to an ambassador a discourse written in French, wherein was specified how dangerous it would be to the Pope, to the State of Venice, and to the other princes of Italy and the kings of Christendom, to suffer the marriages spoken of proceed between the King of Spain's daughters and the Emperor and the Archduke Ernest; for thereby the greatness of the House of Austria should be maintained and the Empire through this was now like to continue in the same house. In these writings were these words following, which concerned her Majesty: That many princes, chiefly the Queen of England and the Electors of Germany, were aiding the Duke of Anjou to maintain and establish himself in the Low Countries, whither he was called and chosen by the Estates, to the intent they might be delivered and exempted from the Spanish oppression. I have not as yet seen this discourse.
I have been informed by one of Don Antonio's gentlemen that his agent had written to him that I had certified her Majesty that he demanded no help or succour of her; which he finds stranger and thinks if it were so, I injured him very much. I remit the consideration of this to you, by whom my letters are sent. Howbeit, Don Antonio has not as yet sent me word of it.
Chevalier de Ghartre continues his embarkment with eight companies at the Bay of Olonne, to pass, as they 'pretend,' to the Terceras.
Advertisement is come to this Court that the Scottish king lately had a dangerous fall from his horse, having bruised his body therewith very much.
I send enclosed a little discourse of the practice the Spanish king had in Swedeland, with a note showing the intentions of the French that way. I hear their Majesties have an inclination to send a servant of theirs to the Swedish king.
They bring me word that a courier is come to their Majesties, certifying how the Prince of Orange and the burgesses of Antwerp have now agreed to permit his Highness to return into the town without a great train.
The Queen Mother this past night has been evil at ease, and indisposed in health. She has, as I hear, been put in fear by some 'indevyners' that she will this year be in danger to die, but she is comforted by another, who has calculated her nativity. I hear it is Giuntin of Lyons.
The king caused his guards to slay all the lions and other wild beasts which were kept for his pleasure, the 'same self' Sunday before the troubles happened in Antwerp; moved thereto by a vision or dream he had the night before, wherein it seemed to him those lions offered to murder him.
I enclose a copy of a letter written from Antwerp, showing the manner of those actions; I know not with what verity, but it is delivered abroad in this city.
I have troubled Mr. Robert Cure with this packet, whom I have found to be a gentleman of good hope and towardliness, and of such a moderate and temperate disposition, that being trained up in any kind of profession in these his youngest years, it seems her Majesty may hereafter be well served by him, and his parents receive great comfort.—Paris, 25 January 1582.
P.S.—M. de 'Reux,' his Highness's agent, was with me, telling me how he and Monsieur's servants and agents found themselves exceedingly bounden for the good demonstration it pleased her Majesty to make towards him upon this trouble happened in Flanders. They had been advertised of it from M. Marchaumont, by whom great commendations and high honour of her Majesty were written hither in his late letters.
Add., and endt. gone. 4 pp. [France. IX. 19.]
Jan. 25./Feb. 4.
M. and D. iv. p. 376.
61. The States General to the Duke of Anjou.
We have been considering the articles which you sent us by our deputies and used all diligence to come to a speedy decision on them, and also as to the sending of provisions for your army, as MM., de Fontpertuis and de Villers can testify. But as the matter is one of very great importance, and some provinces are not authorised to enter into fuller communication with your Highness unless our towns, occupied by you, are replaced in our hands pursuant to the treaty of Bordeaux, we have not yet been able to decide nor to send our deputies, as we sent word in our last. We would declare to your Highness that if you are willing at least to restore the towns of Termonde and Vilvorde, we hope that you will not only be accommodated with provisions, but also in place of them shall be delivered to you the town of Brussels for your residence, with a garrison of Swiss, who shall swear to the Estates to attempt nothing against the state nor prejudicial to the articles of the aforesaid treaty, especially that which concerns the Reformed Religion; on the understanding that the exercise of the Catholic Religion shall be permitted to you in your Court, as it was at Antwerp, as you consent by the articles; after which we shall be able with the better contentment and confidence of the people to enter into fuller agreement and final resolution with you, and set right all the misunderstanding. Kindly send us word of your good pleasure and intention.—Antwerp, 4 February, 1583. (Signed) by order of the States General, M. Hennin.
[Note in same hand]:—Upon the contents of this letter, M. de Laval and M. de Villers were deputed from his Highness to the States to accept the town of Brussels on the conditions stated in the letter; with power to him to treat definitely on all the other points, which were, as it were, wholly accorded. In this negotiation, which ought to have lasted three or four days at the outside, M. de Laval was detained 17 entire days, nor was he given any information as to the resolution come to by the States; but their deputies came with him, bringing the articles of Feb. 21, quite contrary to what his Highness had requested of them, as will be seen by the duplicates compared with the originals appended.
Copy. Endd. in Fr.:—Duplicate of the letter written to his Highness by the States-General, touching the articles agreed upon by their deputies and him, the last day of January, on the offer made by them to him of the town of Brussels for his residence.
Fr.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 36.]