Elizabeth: August 1584, 11-20

Pages 19-28

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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August 1584, 11–20

Aug. 11. Stafford to Burghley.
“Having received from my mother to my extreme grief, how much her Majesty is still offended with me (the cause God knoweth, for I do not), and withal her advice to write to her Majesty about it, I have done so and sent my mother the letter, to present it to her when she shall see the best opportunity.” But I have told her to show it to you first, and unless you like it, not to present it at all.
From Mr. Secretary, by Burnam, I have received the like, “but assurance that I have not deserved it, which they will all bear witness with me.” The message is somewhat suspicious to me because he sent it me only by word of mouth, and also because Sir Philip Sidney, whose letter I send you, wrote somewhat of it, but not in the same terms, and “gave me a counsel which maketh it more suspicious to me, because I know the Queen's disposition, [viz.] that when she is best pleased, asking somewhat is enough to make her fall out with any man, which must needs be most dangerous when she is offended afore. The gentleman I love very well, and if he had not been at a bad school, which may corrupt any good nature, I could trust him well, but all these things hanging together, I am more than half afraid that he is made but a stale [snare] to take a bird withal, and that his counsel would make her rather worse than better.
“And, therefore, though I know never any afore me were poorer than I, nor any else had a better heart to spend with a good will anything they had to honour her service withal than I, and that those two put together might make it a necessity for a man of my estate to ask of her, yet without your lordship's advice I will never take any counsel that shall come from thence, which I doubt will never do me but harm.”
I therefore beseech you for your advice and in the meantime that in what you find her Majesty to mislike I may have your favourable good word, but only so far as you think I deserve it.
Your son is going with me to-morrow to Marchaumont's house, that he may see Fontainebleau. There is little a-doing here, everybody being gone, and till we follow the Queen Mother, about ten days hence, “I am going to take the air there, a little from business.”—Paris, 11 August, 1584.
Holograph. Add. Endd. by Burghley. 1¾ pp. [France XII. 39.]
Aug. 11. Copy of Stafford's letter to Walsingham of August 10 (but dated Aug. 11), sent to Burghley and endorsed by him.
Holograph. 3 pp. [Ibid. XII. 40.]
Aug. 11. Also, on the same sheet, copy of his “private letter” to the same [see below].
1 p. [Ibid. XII. 40a.]
Aug. 11. Stafford to Walsingham.
I am to-day informed that besides the “open show” of des Pruneaux's journey, he has a private commission, which they keep very secret, “to sound them (that whereas they offered themselves absolutely to the King, with the same and larger conditions than they had done to his brother) whether they would be contented the King should put garrison in what towns he listed, and to make citadels at his liking [margin, 'so far as the line doth go is uncertain'] and among the rest at Flushing . . . and specially in the haven towns along the sea coast.” If this be so, you will find true what I have always thought, that they will enter into the matter rather for profit than for honour or necessity, and will do nothing for God's sake. But if the Queen can have a good concurrency with the French King, she might easily hinder him from having so much and the King of Spain from having all.
The King is at Lyons and has been these nine days. The Duke of Savoy is at Chambery, and it is thought will come to the King. Some say he is discontented with the King of Spain, “who hath long kept him in hand with the marriage of his daughter, and findeth himself mocked, and that he will treat with the King for the marriage either of Lorraine or Navarre,” while others give out that the King seeks to borrow a million of gold from him, and will give him the Marquisate of Saluces in gage. This is so unfit for a King that men of judgment cannot think it, but all here are at gaze to see what will “become” of this journey to Lyons.
The Duke of Epernon by this time is with him. The Queen Mother stayed here three days longer than she would have done, hoping he would have come to her, but he went straight to the King.
I think within ten days we shall go to Tours, after the Queen, where we remain until the King goes to Blois, and then come all together.
I send you an extract of a letter from Genoa.—Paris, 11 August, 1584.
Holograph, Add. Endd.pp. [France XII. 41.]
Aug. 12. Stafford to Burghley.
Although I wrote but yesternight, yet my very good friend Mr. Palavicino going into England, I could not but recommend him to your lordship and advertise you of his dutiful behaviour here and his careful endeavour to do her Majesty service no less than if he were her born subject, praying you to favour him with your good countenance.
Your lordship's son and myself are even now going to horseback, to take the air till Saturday at Mr. Marchaumont's, where he shall see Fontainebleau and whatever is worth it in those parts.—Paris, 12 August, 1584.
Signed. Add. Endd. by Burghley. ½ p. [Ibid. XII. 42.]
Aug. 12. The Pastors, Professors and Deacons of the Church of Geneva to Walsingham.
Thanking him for his letters and the letter of exchange received from Mr. Bodley, for which and for all his honour's favours towards them they can never be sufficiently grateful, but God will remember it at the last day, and they will not fail to pray for him and for all their good patrons in England, whose abundant charity has often been sent across the sea, and above all for the prosperity of her Majesty and her realm, who has treated so mercifully the poor afflicted strangers of the Lord.—Geneva, 12th of our month of August, 1584. And below, in Bern's hand, “Theodore de Besze, au nom de touts.”
Add. Endd. “16 (sic) August, 1584. From The. Beza.”
Seal. Fr. 1 p. [Switzerland I. 12.]
[Aug. 12 ?] Sir Jerome Bowes to—.
“I say that when I departed from Moscow, that Mykita Romanoviche and Andreas Shalkau were emperors in their own reckoning and therefore so termed of many men, yea of the wisest and greatest counsellors. And that neither Feuther [Feodor], the son of the late Emperor, nor such counsellors as were meet to govern and rule for their troth to their prince and love to their country, bear any rule nor durst then offer to rule. So I had my despatch, such as it was, at the hands of those usurping emperors, and by them, and by their commandment and direction, were all the dishonours and injuries done that were done unto me; and those very many.
“By their direction I had returned unto me for a disgrace the gifts which before then I had given to the late Emperor, saving that there was wanting the crossbow. These things were sent unto me by a poor podiache and others (I think scomoroghes) for none of them had clothes on his back worth a robell. And instead of the crossbow, which the podiache saith the emperors had taken, there was sent unto me three “timber” of skins; they were named to be sables, but bad things they were, God wot.
“I think scorn of return of my gifts. I think ten times more scorn to have such a gift presented to the Queen of England's ambassador, yea, were it but to myself, and therefore I return them to those two bad emperors that sent them.
“And as touching the letter which was delivered unto me, as I did then presently refuse it, so now, for that I am well assured that 'Fewther' the son of the late Emperor was not made privy to the contents therein, nor any other of the true and wise counsellors of the State, I return it back again to those two untrue subjects to their prince, and enemies to the State, whose heads I doubt not but (ere long) Feoder, the son of the late Emperor, whom I now hear to be crowned emperor, and am glad of it, and do wish him happiness, will find it reasonable to cause to be cut from their shoulders.—Jerome Bowes.” (Copy.)
“It may please your worships that my lord ambassador, being abroad, sent a letter open to the gentleman that came down with him, in most dispiteful wise, which I have in all post haste copied out. Your worships must make shift to read it. I would he had never come here. From the Moscow it shall be sent you in better order, for none of us have more time at this present. The Lord send us all his grace.”—12 August, 8 o'clock at night. Signed, J.C.
Endd.pp. [Russia I. 9.]
Aug. 15. Gilpin to Walsingham.
We hear seldom from Antwerp, for the passage grows so dangerous “that men dare not, nor shippers will, travel without great gains.”
Dermonde is lost, and the enemy has taken two or three forts on the way to Brussels, which, with Mechlin, Vilvorde and like places, it is feared will yield to the enemy, Brabant being unable either to assist or rescue them. Montdragon continues on the Brabant side, by the Boor scance, and devises means daily to stop the passage.
Des Pruneaux arrived at Flushing on Sunday last and presently departed for Holland; the States, who had for awhile broken up, being summoned in haste that he might have audience. Zutphen is victualled, and the States' men lie over the river, entrenched and “scanced” to hinder the enemy's coming further into the Velewe.
Ortell is returning with the first wind, and Paul Buys and one Vaulke of Zeeland are to go with him from the States General; by whom you will so largely understand of all things that I shall be the less troublesome.
The speech goes that her Majesty may have all she pleases to demand. At Sluys, Ostend and Terneuse, the garrisons are “hardly enough served” of provisions, and the plague grows rife, being, as is reported, infected “by practice of an old fellow that had the cunning to do it” and who has been taken upon suspicion.—Middelburg, 15 August, 1584.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XXII. 67.]
Aug. 16/26. Mauvissière to Walsingham.
I wrote to you the other day by an English tutor of my daughter of what had passed in regard to Mr. Grise's choler (collaire), assuring you that only extreme necessity led me to complain of it. I bear him no grudge, but on the contrary, besides the letter I am writing to the Lords of the Council, I send this to you to beg you to have these people set at liberty, according to the request made to me by Mr. Douglas (du Glas). I should be very sorry that any Englishman should have cause for sorrow by my means.
I will always make you the judge of my actions, and will show you, as my old friend, everything as clearly as you please.
And seeing that her Majesty some time since conceived the idea that I was partial to the Queen of Scots, I could wish that she was well-informed of the honesty of the King and Queen Mother's intentions towards her, and of my carriage to convey their sincere good will, which have not been either well taken or well interpreted, my commission for Scotland being to try to remove, both now and in the future, all causes of distrust which might arise. I have talked of this with the Sieur “du Glas,” whom I have asked to see you, and learn if possible what I may settle about my Scottish journey, for I know that their Majesties in France are awaiting its result for a union and good understanding between the three realms, and that they have no desire to treat with Scotland save jointly with your Queen, and even as regards the liberty of the Queen of Scots to do only what is agreeable to her, although the King my master holds that his request is very reasonable, to intercede with one sister on behalf of the other, who moreover has been his queen, and married to his eldest brother. But I can assure you that in this his only desire has been to see these two princesses, who are so near to him, on good terms, and to join as a third party in their friendship, and to preserve by an honourable and necessary policy the ancient alliance of France with Scotland; and there is not a person in the world who could invent an argument that the three, joined and made fast together, would not be stronger than they.
Whatever may be determined by her Majesty, I no longer intend to oppose her, unless by express commandment, for fear of annoying her. I have not dared to demand audience to know whether she is willing that Pinart's son should come hither for the Scottish journey. How willing their Majesties are that M. de “Chedenay,” and whoever it pleases her Majesty to send, should go to the King on his return to Blois, when he will be able to receive her envoys honourably, no doubt Mr. Stafford will have told her.—London, 26 August, 1584.
Hol. Add. Endd. Fr.pp. [France XII. 43.]
Aug. 16/26. Mauvissière to the Privy Council.
This letter is to thank you for the good order you have taken on what I wrote, with much regret, complaining of Mr. William Grise, and of the strange ways in which he, his people, neighbours and the workmen who are employed upon some buildings he is erecting have behaved towards me and my people, of which I desire no other witness than Mr. William Houl, whom you sent hither and who has very well performed his duty in putting all to rights, for the common welfare of all those who have more interest in it than I, who am only a tenant, and of whom no one can reasonably make complaint, nor of my whole behaviour in this realm, where my only aim has been to act rightly, whatever may be imagined to the contrary.
As regards my lady Marquess, Dr. Bailly, and the said Grise they are all equally without cause of complaint, but my only desire is to satisfy them in all reasonable things, and not to remember any such small matters as their designs to disquiet me in my lodgings; for I could easily bear much graver things. I pray you therefore not to receive any impression from me which is not entirely true, nor to be angry with Mr. Grise for what has happened, but, at my request, to set these people and servants at liberty. For disorders often happen for which one is very sorry afterwards, although for my part I have never thought of anything in this kingdom save to do well and maintain an assured friendship between my master and the Queen, your good mistress. London, 26 August, 1584.
Add. Endd. Signed. Fr. 2/3 p. [Ibid. XII. 44.]
Aug. 16. Le Brumen to Walsingham.
There are here letters from Lille in Flanders of the 15th of August (which would be the 5th here) stating that Dermonde was vigorously besieged. The enemy had managed to draw off the water on two sides, and intended to batter the town on the 4th. They have good soldiers and plenty of them, but the commander, M. de Riove, is not there. The town is strong. Those of Ghent, fearing they may lack victuals, long ago put police upon provisions, to ordain how much bread each person should have each day; nevertheless they are not yet reduced to this necessity.
A man has come from Tournay who went there on business, and being taken before the magistrates was asked what was said of the death of the Prince. Then they told him that it was said the Queen of England was also dead, as if they thought that some assassination had been planned for her. The Sieur Gediniere, the bearer of this, will inform you by word of mouth what I have told him. I have heard nothing from France. John de Vigues has been here, but was gone again as soon as ever he had delivered his letters. Madame de Montgomeri has gone, who is greatly obliged to you and has prayed me to send you the enclosed.—London, 16 August.
Add. Endd. “Monsieur Geoffrey.” Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XXII. 68.]
Aug. 17/27. The States General to the Queen.
Thanking her for the good affection which, as they are informed by M. Joachim Ortel, she bears towards their welfare and their success in the great war against Spain, and praying for her aid in this their time of need.
Also begging her to give credence to M. Jacques de Grise, grand bailiff of Bruges and the Francq, and to the said M. Ortel, whom they have charged to lay before her all things relating to the treaty begun, by her advice, with the King of France. Signed. C. Aerssens.—Delft, 27 August, 1584.
Add. Endd. Seal. Fr.pp. [Ibid. XXII. 69.]
Aug. 18/28. M. De Treslong to Walsingham.
Your letter with the copies of the petitions presented to her Majesty by some burgers of the town of Sandwich (Zandtwydts) concerning not me but the Council of the Admiralty of Zeeland (who condemned the ships and goods, as complained of by the said petitioners), I sent the bearer to them with the said papers, and, not to trouble you with a long answer, I have sent the Council's reply to M. Ortel, from whom you may learn the great injury of which the said petitioners complain so loudly, who have been only too courteously treated, their ships being restored to them and their expences paid, although both by her Majesty's prohibitative edict and the proclamations in this country, they were evidently liable to confiscation.
There are some among these petitioners whose ships have been taken to Rotterdam in Holland, so that their application should be made to those of Holland, not to us; and also we are informed that one Jehan Bartholomeusen and several others do still daily, in defiance of the said edict and proclamations, succour those of Dunkirk and Nieuport with all sorts of provisions and other prohibited goods, as is fully shown in the letter from the Council of the Admiralty.
I beseech your honour, in future, not so lightly to give credence to such complaints, but that, before reporting them to her Majesty, you will inform yourself more exactly of the facts; when you will find that such complainants deserve rather punishment than favour; for indeed I should be very sorry that with my knowledge, any wrong should be done to those of the English nation, or anything else which could give the least occasion for dissatisfaction to her Majesty or your honour, whose very humble and faithful servant I shall always be. Ostend, 28 August, 1584. Signed. Guillaume de Bloys, dict Treslong.
Add. Endd. Fr.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XXII. 70.]
Aug. 19/29. Ortell to Walsingham.
After waiting nine days at Gravesend for a wind, and being three days and nights at sea, on August 12 I reached the States General at Delft, to whom I declared her Majesty's care and desire for their preservation, and the aid which they may hope for from her; whereat rejoieing greatly, they resolved in future to put their whole trust in God and in her, and appointed certain to accompany me back to her. Our journey has been delayed by the arrival of M. des Pruneaux from the King of France on the 20th instant, but I am now hourly expecting my despatch. Good, ripe, fitting determination and assistance will be more than necessary, and it would be very well if her Majesty and you other lords would begin to make some preparation, both to save time and to encourage this poor, afflicted State, hoping that, on my return, her Majesty will perceive that my journey has not been in vain.
I find these provinces still resolved to defend their just quarrel rather than submit again to the Spanish tyrant, but very many people fall away from them, so that her Majesty would do well to assist them speedily, otherwise they will fall into greater danger than ever, and into irretrievable desolation.
The King of France and the Queen Mother have written letters full of assurances, but for the rest, referred them to M. des Pruneaux, who has made a very pitiful offer, so that they fear they will be entertained with vain hopes and I see plainly that the greater part incline much more towards her Majesty than towards any other potentate.
Zutphen has been revictualled by 340 carts, escorted by 2,000 foot and nineteen cornets of horse; who, thinking to surprise our trenches, were so met by our men, near the river called “Isle,” that six or eight hundred of theirs were drowned or slain. Antwerp remains as before. The enemy seek by all means to hinder the passage of the river, but the boats pass and repass, though not without danger from the artillery, which are planted in three several places along it.
Dermonde has surrendered, the enemy having made a breach with seventeen cannon; and it is said that their forces are now about Malines, Vilvorde and Brussels. Ghent also is in great straits. God incline her Majesty's heart to aid this afficted people, to which you lords professing the true religion ought to lend your hands that some good remedy may be found for their distress. I beg to be humbly recommended to the Earl of Leicester, the Lord Treasurer, Lord Howard (Howert) and your honour. I send herewith the full account of the pitiable accident to his Excellency.—Delft, 28 August, 1584.
Postscript in Ortell's own hand.—Yesterday morning M. des Pruneaux made a particular speech to the States of Holland and Zeeland, insomuch as the provinces of Brabant, Flanders and Malines strongly urge the rest to enter with them into a treaty with the French King, to which some seem to lend an ear. It is more than time that her Majesty should prepare some succours and make up her mind in an affair which touches her so nearly. As for me, I will lose no time in hastening my return, and matters will be greatly forwarded if I there find good resolution taken. For her Majesty may believe that those of France, and those inclined to them, who seem already to have gained ground amongst the generality, are not asleep, and should have her aid ready against the time when other deputies follow to finally conclude those articles and pledges, which will certainly be to her entire satisfaction. — 29 August.
Add. Endd. Fr.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XXII. 71.]
Aug. 20. Paper endorsed “The States' forces and the Prince of Parma's, 1584. The monthly contribution by the States.”
The Prince of Parma's forces in field, 20 Aug., 1584.
Gueldres, Zutphen 3,000 foot 1,200 horse
Brabant 5,000 ” 500 ”
Ghent 3,000 ”
Dermonde 6,000 ”
Total, 19,000
The States' forces in field and garrison, same date.
Zutphen 3,000 foot, 2,500 horse
Garrisons 7,000 ” 800 ”
A new levy 3,000 ” 300 ”
13,000 ” 3,600 ”
Total, 16,600
Money contributed monthly.
Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht 200,000 guilders.
Brabant 60,000 ”
Frise 36,000 ”
Gueldres, Overysel 30,000 ”
Total 326,000 ”
1 p. [Ibid. XXII.72.]
Aug. 20/30. Maurice of Nassau to Walsingham.
I have been told in so many quarters of the kind affection and friendship which you bore to my late father of most high and happy memory, that I hope you will be pleased to continue it to all his children, and especially that I may have the honour of enjoying it. I pray you also to aid me to continue in the good graces of her Majesty, of whom I am the very humble and obedient servitor.—Delft, 30 August, 1584. Signed “Vostre tres-affectione amy a vous faire service, Maurice de Nassau.”
Add. Endd. Fr. ¾ p. [Holl. and Fl. XXII.73.]