Elizabeth: October 1584, 21-25

Pages 114-119

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 19, August 1584-August 1585. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1916.

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October 1584, 21–25

Oct. 21/31. William Bodenham to Walsingham.
Yours of the 10th of July I received on the 20th of October and heartily thank you for it. I see that Andro Foins has done what he promised. Not having heard from him, I was somewhat doubtful of it. I am most desirous to repair into England and hope God will provide me some good friends there if need require.
My writing so “plain” and to so many was not without good cause. If it be not considered as it ought to be, I have discharged my duty, and “pray God there be not too much credit given to the flattery of the Spaniard, who I am most certain is our enemy.” It is a saying here, and most true: quen a su enemigo a popa, a sus manos muere.
The death of the Prince of Orange, and the course taken by the young King, our neighbour, may trouble England not a little, if matters go forward as is hoped for here. If I come to England, I will “deliver such matter” as shall disappoint all the practices this country can devise against her, and may be at any time put “in ure and use.” I do not know to whom to write, but shall be bold to trouble you as long as I remain here. I am well entered into years, and it were good reason for me to procure some quiet manner of living; yet if it pleased God, I could be content to spend the rest of my time “in some honourable voyage, as there is many offered to England, but none followed.”—Seville, the last of October, 1584.
Add. Endd.pp. [Spain II. 20.]
Oct. 22. Gilpin to Walsingham.
I cannot yet stir abroad, but send you what I can learn at home. The river of Antwerp, which for a few days was closed, is opened again by the weather, and the enemy has removed the plates “back within the breach.” It is said they have been forced to forsake the Boors' scance, taking with them their artillery and baggage.
At “Lyefkenshoeke” (and other places) the great rain and high waters caused the ordnance beneath the ditches to sink so much' that they were compelled to put it higher, where it overshoots the ships, and there lately passed 150 sail, great and small, without hurt. The soldiers in the scances suffer great misery and perish daily, so there is good hope they may not be there long, seeing the small likelihood of prevailing.
They at Antwerp still prepare for defence, “wherein M. Aldegonde doth so travail that he begins to be very well thought of, of all the people.” Those imprisoned are released on payment of large fines and taking oath not to practice any such matter again, so their example will be a warning to others.
Here is still great preparation of ships to join with those of Holland in some exploit upon the enemy's scances, and Count Hollock is drawing 4,000 men together by Barrow. God send them good success !
Commissioners are going from Holland to the French King with ample authority to satisfy him in all things reasonable. M. des Pruneaux arrived here yesterday.
“All this while, the commons in all places cannot (nor will, as I hear) once hearken to accept the French, but that which is passed is the only deed of the States and some chiefs of the towns.” In Bruxelles there has been bickering between the townsmen and the soldiers, either about agreeing with the Malcontents or accepting the French, but the soldiers became and remained masters, so all is appeased.
Duke Maurice and all the States are expected here next week, “to see the success of the intended enterprise” (for which the enemy seems to be provided, having filled the scances with fresh soldiers, removing the sick and impotent) and to await the coming of him whom the King of France is to send as his Lieutenant-General, who, by report, will be at Boulogne on Nov. 15. M. des Pruneaux departs this day. The commissioners stay to make themselves ready, “being meant to send a stately and solemn legation.” Their number will be about twenty. It is also said that they may wait to hear M. Pruneaux' report of the King's answer, that the States may know absolutely his resolution. 202 [the Admiral of Zeeland] gave him great entertainment, and this morning, with the States and magistrates, took leave of him at his lodging.
William Chapman writes that his business is so intricate and he has such debts abroad that he dare not stir thence till some good order is set for the same; also he wishes to make further trial of his invention, and spares no cost to effect it.—Middelburg, 22 October, 1584.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XXIII. 39.]
(1) The names of the chief of those imprisoned at Antwerp and released on payment of fines.
Jacques de la Faille; Joachim Sutelinge; (fn. 1) Robert van Asten; Jan Steenwincle; Erasmus and Peter Moelin; Joris Dondery; Mr. Adrian Dyke; [Adrian van] Helweghen.
The fines vary from 6,000 to 300 guilders. The rest [names not given], “of meaner sort” were taxed according to their abilities.
(2) Bate set upon victuals.
Wheat, 18s. and 16s. the quarter; rye, 10s. 6d. and 9s. 2d.; butter, 9d. and 8d. per lb.; cheese, old 5d., new 7d.; bacon, 6d. and 9d.; soap, 3d.; salt, 8s. the half sack; turf, 40s. the last; wood, 43s. 4d. the thousand; faggots, 15s. the hundred; “rape smowte,” a kind of oil, 2s. 6d. the pottle; candles, 9d. per lb. No higher prized beer to be brewed than of 125. the barrel. 1 p. [Hol. and Fl. XXIII. 39a.]
Oct. 22. Nov. 1. Diego Botelho to the Lord Mayor.
The amity which the King, Don Antonio, my master, bears to the Queen and her subjects is such that he would be loth for any of them to be troubled through ignorance, and therefore thought good that I should give you this advertisement on his behalf.
All the world knows how King Philip of Castile usurps the kingdom of Portugal, belonging of right to my master, who is forced by all means, with the help of his friends, to molest both him and his. Amongst other ways to “hinder” him, it is thought that no corn or other victuals, no gunpowder, munition, cables or such like, should be allowed to pass into any of his countries, whereof they have continual need. The King, my master, at great charges has set forth a great navy with commission not to let pass any ship, of what nation soever, laden with these prohibited commodities, but to take them “as good prizes.” The States of the Low Countries have confirmed the same by proclamation, and appointed two ports, Sluys and Ostend, “where they may bring their prizes and lawfully sell them.” And as these men-of-war except no nation, and the King is very unwilling that any of her Majesty's subjects should be endangered, I desire you to make it known to the merchants of your city not to succour his enemy, “that being taken by his men of war they plead not ignorance.” Any other commodities they may freely carry to those places, and if they will have his passports, they shall be given them, that they may pass with better safety through the men-of-war. To show you the just cause my master has to do this, I send you a short declaration in Dutch, and also a copy of the confirmation of the States' agreement, with a form of advertisement to such as “pretend” to carry any of these prohibited goods; desiring you and the rest of the worshipful aldermen “to tender this cause with equity and justice.”—Middelburg, 1 November, 1584.
Signed. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Portugal II. 13.]
Oct. 24. Stafford to Walsingham.
This bearer, who belongs to Mr. Geoffrey [le Brumen], your good friend and mine, desires to return, wherefore I make bold to write and remind you that he went as far as Blois to seek me and that with diligence, and not finding me there came back with as much diligence and found me here.
According to M. du Plessis' request I send you his letters. Also letters from my lord of Weemys to Lord Hamilton and Mr. Colville, and a packet from a gentleman of Lord Hamilton's to my lord, who “told me a long discourse how my Lord Seton travelled with my Lord Hamilton to get him out of England hither,” and had written to the King of Scots urging him to draw Lord Hamilton home, and how important it would be to his service to get him out of England. Lord Hamilton, he says, knows nothing of all this, but by the packet enclosed, and he prays me to bear witness that if any such letters are taken in England, it is quite without his lordship's knowledge.
He also desired to send by this bearer a sword to Lord Hamilton. If it please you, it may be left at your house till he can conveniently receive it.—Paris, 24 October, 1584.
Postscript.—I pray you dispatch my servant “Stansfide” with the first opportunity, as he has a process here and I am bound for his appearance.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [France XII. 97.]
Oct. 24. George Frederick, Marquis Of Brandenburg and Duke Of Prussia, to the Queen.
As both from the relation of his falconers, sent a year past to her Majesty, and from letters lately received, he has learnt that she was pleased with the falcons he then sent her, he is now despatching six more, by his present falconer, heartily hoping that they may reach her safely and in good condition, and that she may have much pleasure and recreation by means of them, in hawking, to the lasting preservation of her health.—Königsberg, 24 October, 1584.
Signed. Add. Endd. Latin. ½ p. [Germany, States III. 47.]
Oct. 25. Stafford to Walsingham.
More to fulfil Mr. Cecil's request and to accompany him with my letters than anything else I now write to you, “for the King so secretly strayeth up and down, and stayeth not above a night in a place,” that I cannot “set any holdfast upon him “to have an audience.
I am informed, and I think truly, that part of Mendoza's commission “is to offer the King from his master a full release never to redemand Cambray, so that the King will meddle no more with any further matter of Flanders,” but some think that the King “standeth too much upon his 'pontillios' and Spanish honour to make such an offer.”
When some of the King's Council of my acquaintance come here, I will visit them, and feel what they think of the matter, and lay before them “the sour sauce that this sweet offer may bring after it.”
Bellièvre comes to-morrow, who will be one of the first I visit, of whom I and many others believe “that he is the honestest plain man that this State hath, and one of whom the King hath the best opinion of his very uncorrupt truth. He is marvellously affected to this State and to his country, and as evil disposed to Spain, and one that greatly persuadeth the necessity of the assisting the Low Countries. What effect his counsel will breed in a King that careth more for himself than for his estate, and loveth better his private favourites than the public wealth I know not.”
It is almost resolved to change Mauvissière and send in his place one L'Aubespine (Laubepisne), Madame Villeroy's brother. “The man is not thought of any great sufficiency; he hath been this great while a home keeper and not a courtier. . . . If there be any great thing in him he keepeth it hidden in himself.”—Paris, 25 October, 1584.
Holograph. Add. Endd.pp. [France XII. 98.]
Oct. 25. M. D'Angrogne to Walsingham.
I have just received a packet from Paris, enclosing what I send you. I should have brought it myself, but M. Segur seeing that I had been suffering from fever, offered to send it by one of his men. And as he has received no letters, nor I either, except three or four lines from the sender of the packet, he prays you to impart to him anything he ought to know, and also to tell him when he may take leave of her Majesty.—London, Sunday, 25 October [o.s.], 1584.
Add. Endd. Fr. ¾ p. [Ibid. XII. 99.]
Oct. 25./Nov. 4. M. de Jumelles to Walsingham.
Expressing a fear that his letters have not reached his honour's hands, and assuring him of his devotion to his service.—Jumelles, 4 November, 1584.
Add. Endd. Fr. ¾ p. [Ibid. XII. 100.]
Oct. 25. Gilpin to Walsingham.
Those at Antwerp desiring agreement with the Malcontents came to the Chancellor, “as presenting by his office the King's person,” and on his consenting to hear them, three or four only went in, but then all the rest rushed after them, to the number of forty or fifty. After their declaration of the necessity of agreeing and their desire thereunto, and protesting, one and all, that there were above 400 of their mind, they besought the Chancellor to consider and further their motion. He gave them good speeches, and, after their departure, went directly to the magistrates and colonels of the town, who caused the gates to be shut and all the parties to be apprehended. After their fines paid and oath taken, they were discharged.
It is certain that the States have sent by M. des Pruneaux their full intent to agree with the French King, and on his answer will send their commissioners. News comes here meanwhile that by his Majesty's orders all the passages are shut up, so that nothing can be sent that way to the enemy, who are so greatly distressed for want 'of victuals that the poorer sort perish in great numbers.
One M. Melroy, sent three or four weeks ago to the States from the Bishop of Liége and other nobles of the nether “Crytz” of the Rhine (as they term it) to persuade them to agree with the King, has been sent back “with a very slender answer.”
It is reported that the Emperor is very forward in that cause, and is looked for in person, with divers princes and nobles, at Cologne, to deal therein.
The States General had agreed to levy a new exaction of a fifth penny upon all goods outwards, but they here will not agree to it, though it is feared that, at Duke Maurice's coming it will be passed “and so by little and little overthrow the trade of their country.”
Two Frenchmen, entertained as colonels, have received money to levy soldiers, and are gone for France with M. des Pruneaux.
Paul Buys is in such disfavour with the States that he comes no more to their assembly, and has demanded discharge from their service. The cause is said to be a letter from Ortell, of which he gave copies to most of the States, “tending that the French had some practices and were not to be trusted”; which letter they took to be his own forging, he being somewhat suspected from his near alliance to Foncq.
I have a letter to-day from Stephen Le Sieur, telling me of Mr. Rogers' delivery, who is at Buckholt for awhile to recover his health and then comes for these parts, and so over.—Middelburg, 25 October, 1584.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XXIII. 40.]


  • 1. A more correct list in Corr. de Card. de Granvelle gives Steydeling, Haesten, Steenwyck, Molin, Dandari, Dyck, Heylweghen.