Elizabeth: January 1585, 1-10

Pages 228-234

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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January 1585, 1–10

Jan. 2.
Stafford to Walsingham.
On Wednesday the news came that the deputies were arrived at Boulogne, whereupon the Spanish ambassador sent three times to demand audience and “desired in great choler that he might take his leave to be gone if he might not have it. Once it was resolved that he should be taken at his word, for indeed they would fain be rid of him here, especially the Queen Mother, who pressed at it as hard as she could, but I think Spanish pistolets flew to them that are accustomed here to take them, for the King's mind in that was moderated, full sore against the Queen Mother's will.”
Upon Thursday he had audience, and desired the King to remember that these deputies were “rebels to his master and heretics to the church,” and therefore, considering his strait league with that King, he ought “not only not to admit them to his presence nor to hear them, but also to deliver them and to send them to his master.
“The King answered him in a great choler, that he was nobody's subject nor at commandment; that his realm was free for all comers, and his ears open to hear everybody; that as it was a common thing both for him to hear any subject of his master's and to entertain diverse, and a more common thing for his master to entertain divers of his, so was it a liberty of all princes of Christendom to entertain and hear all comers as they thought good. That he had no cause to complain, for as he himself knew not, so he thought the ambassador less than he knew the propositions that they would make at their coming, which perchance might be for the good of the King his master and his estate. . . .
“The ambassador went away in a great choler, and the King in as great a chafe against him for keeping of him so long and repeating of one thing so oft, as he openly said as soon as his back was turned, giving out very hard words of him, which most of the Standers by were very glad of, for Mendoza hath that good luck that except it be of them that take restorative of Spanish gold, he is generally hated of everybody.
“From thence he went to the Queen Mother, where he reiterated the same speeches, whose answer he found hotter than the King's, with more vehement additions, that the King, if he did not hear them and do for them did much forget himself; that the King could not do him half that injury as he had offered to him, both inwardly in his realm and outwardly to her, for the wrong detention of the kingdom of Portugal; so that she and he both parted in great choler.”
Presently the King came to his mother's chamber, and they had private conference together for above two hours. Then des Pruneaux was called for and commanded to write to the deputies, orders being also despatched to the governor of Boulogne to see them safely conducted by sea to Crotoy and so up the river to Abbeville, where provision is made for them of horses, coaches, &c.
It stands yet “in a staggering” whether the King will first hear them openly, or whether the Queen Mother shall do so, and then they speak privately with the King at St. Germains. The Queen-Mother urges the former, “to give more reputation to the matter,” and some think she has more credit in matters of state than she has had. But there are such changes “that if she have it to-day, she may go without it to-morrow, and the King is so diverse as not his mignons themselves know whether it be ebb or flood two days together.” But though nobody can do what they will with him, yet the two mignons have such credit and cunning, that either can cross anything they list.
Generally, everybody here rejoices at the coming of the deputies, and hopes that the King will “enter,” for I never saw anything more desired than a quarrel with Spain.
Des Pruneaux was with me yesterday, who never saw me before since my coming into France. I think he was sent to feel her Majesty's humour in regard to this action, “for he laid before me the necessity of the abating of the King of Spain's greatness, which could not be done without both these realms; the forwardness that her Majesty with great wisdom had used in it, the wishing of continuance, and that I would, in her name, egg the King forward in it.”
I answered that none suspected the King of Spain's greatness more than she did, and that she had sought all means to “egg” the King; that I had myself dealt from her with him, but his answer was that till the deputies were come and heard he could answer nothing; that having heard them, he would take her advice, without which he would do nothing. Therefore my mouth was stopped till I knew his will, but if he would “look into it,” I nothing doubted but that he would find her mind unaltered towards the King of Spain.
He would fain have had me deal with the King at my to-morrow's audience (for a merchant's cause) and when I would not, desired me (and by this I saw he came not unsent) that if the King spoke of it, I would encourage him all I could. To which I answered that if he spake of it, I would presently advertise her Majesty, and do all the good offices I could in delivering it, with as much affection to his service as if it were her Majesty's own case. This was all I could answer him with warrant, and the course I shall take until I have further directions, which I pray you to send with what speed you think fit.—Paris, 2 January, 1584.
Add. Endd. 3 pp. [France XIII. 1.]
Jan. 2. Stafford to Walsingham.
The cause I had to write in my other letter of the mignons' power to cross this or any other matter that they list is this.
On Wednesday night, when the news came of the deputies' arrival, “and that they come to offer to the King a greater sovereignty than ever Charles V had over them,” Epernon earnestly desired the King, these matters going forward, to bestow upon him —as upon the colonel-general of the infantry of France, to whom that charge should belong—the government of Antwerp and the rest of the places left in Brabant and Flanders; “that he hoped not only well to keep it, but also to get more about it.” To which the King answered him only thanks.
The Duke Joyeuse, hearing this, came to the King next day, and “afore” Epernon told him how it had pleased the King to bestow great favours upon them both, “and beseeched him that as he had given him the Admiralty,” maintaining him against his own brother, Duke Mercœur, who would have “debated “that of Brittany against him, that therefore, as the river of Antwerp would be within the jurisdiction of the Admiralty, he would “leave him all that already was under his gift, and that he hoped he would give him good account of it, and lose his life rather than one iota of it; and that as he loved Epernon (because the King had commanded him so) better than any brother of his own, so, with his leave, if he took upon him to tread upon his steps and to encroach upon his reputation, he would lose his life rather than suffer it.
“There upon Epernon's reply in heat (as he is never cold) the King grew in a choler to see them out of square, and sware if they did disagree, rather than that there should be dissension between them, he would give over this matter and never hear of it more.
This is certainly true, and it is likely that Spanish gold and cunning have set one to demand what the other will “sure stand against,” and so breed a grudge between them; not that either of them would be willing to be away so long from the King's presence, but only to make the King (who will do anything rather than that they two shall fall out) neglect this action. For on Thursday night, Mendoza, “coming home evil contented of his audience, burst out in a great choler that if there were no other remedy, he had a means to put such a dissension in the court that the King should be more busy to appease it than to look to other matters.” He means to do it, not by themselves, but by some that are great with each of them, to blow into the ears of one the seeking of a thing which the other will never suffer.
If the Queen wishes the matter to go forward, ways should be taken “to discover the plot to them here that are affected to that action.”
A “guess” is this day told me that there is some determination to seek her Majesty's goodwill for a marriage between the Princess of Lorraine and the King of Scots; and “reasons a seeking out” to persuade her to desire it. I write of it now that if the motion should be made without my further privity, she may have her answer ready.—Paris, 2 January, 1584.
Holograph. Add. Endd.pp. [France XIII. 2.]
Jan. 4. Herlle to Davison.
I was no less glad to hear of your arrival in these parts than I should be to see myself safely in England, having passed in my coming hither sundry dangers, both of the sea and of pirates.
I hope shortly to see you at the Hague, where I will tell you what will both advance your service and show my good will to you.
Meanwhile I send you hearty commendations from Horne by Dr. Francis of Enchuysen, your good friend and mine.
I stay here for six or seven days, being indisposed and also expecting the coming of a person from Germany who is “addressed” with me to her Majesty. If you will let me know how things pass in England and France, you shall bind me to render you the like. Your letters may be addressed to me hither by the Syndicus of Amsterdam, who is there resident with the General States. I desire to be commended to Mr. Hudson [Hoddesdon] and the rest of our friends.—Amsterdam, 4 January, stilo antiquo, 1584.
Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Holland I. 1.]
Jan. 6. Stafford to Walsingham.
I am requested to advertise you in haste of the arrival of Aldred and one Batson a Jesuit, on matters, as he says, of great importance. Aldred means to be presently with you; the other stays for something more to come from Rome, but if it does not arrive presently, and you will send him a safe-conduct, he will come to you as soon as he receives it.
On receiving your direction, I will see him safely conducted thither, and have found a means for his letters to be received by the Pope's nuncio. By the same way anything that comes from him shall be sent to Rome; and they that fetch the letters shall not know whence they come or whither they go.—Paris, 6 January, 1584.
Holograph. Add. Endd. ¾ pp. [France XIII. 3.]
The cipher words deciphered.
Jan. 6/16. The Elector Truchsess to Davison.
Recommending the bearer, of whom he has already spoken in relation to their private correspondence.—16 January, 1585.
Holograph. French. ¼ p. [Holland I. 2.]
[Jan. 6/16 ?] Memorial for the Sieur Paul Buys, on behalf of the Elector [Truchsess].
Mr. Davison, ambassador of her Majesty, has suggested to his Excellency, that in order to encourage both his soldiers and his subjects and vassals, it would be well for her Majesty to write some gracious letters to him, by which they would see that she favours and has at heart his affairs; and also letters to some others of the potentates and princes of Germany, well-affectioned to the cause. M. Paul Buys is to speak of this to the said ambassador, and to try to obtain the said letters as soon as possible, especially that for the Elector, and send it hither by the first opportunity.
Endd. Unsigned. Fr. ½ p. [Holland I. 2 bis.]
Jan. 8/18. “Privileges” granted by the French King to Nicolas Wasser, Jehan Desponde and Paul la Treille, citizens of Basel in Switzerland for their discovery of a method for raising water from a deep place, giving them the sole right to employ their invention in France and forbidding any to imitate or interfere with them. For having long sought for it, they have arrived at the knowledge of the true secret, so that they can lift water as high and in as great quantity as they wish, and can make of each well a perpetual running fountain, and this without any aid whatsoever of man or beast, but solely of itself. They have also the means to make with each well a mill for corn, cloth, powder, paper, wood &c, and to blow the bellows of all forges. They can make fountains in all parts of the city of Paris, which will throw up continually as much water as is wished, by means of a canal from the river; and this water will be more clear, pure and wholesome to drink than that of the river; a very necessary thing for the city, as also for many fortresses, which have great lack of such fountains and mills, by reason whereof they are often obliged to surrender when besieged. And as many people have promised such things, but have not been able to perform them, the abovesaid offer to make proof thereof at their own cost and charges. Moreover they have a means to raise more earth in a day with two horses than hitherto has been done with ten pair of oxen, and to draw carts heavily laden more easily with six horses than has commonly been done with thirty. They have also found the secret of perpetual movement which will serve for an infinite number of important things.
Said to be signed “Par le roy” by Brulart, sealed with the great seal of yellow wax, and signed on the back, “Thielement.”
Copy. Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [France XIII. 4.]
Jan. 9. Stafford to Walsingham.
I sent by my last the complaint of a certain ship taken at Portland, “wherein was Captain Ronsset as chief, though himself then at the taking was in his pinnace “; the ship belonging to one Captain Cocquiny, a follower of M. de Joyeuse, and being, I think, mostly set out at M. Joyeuse's own charges. But I am again pressed, both by M. Joyeuse and by the King to recommend the bearer to you that justice may be done, which I could not refuse. I have assured them that if any of the Queen's ships have done it, it was upon some other cause than they set down, “whereupon” they should certainly be satisfied; but if it were (as I was informed by others) a pirate, then likewise they should have all redress possible in such case, they knowing themselves that in no place in the world was more severe justice done upon pirates than in England.
The case touching “him that it doth” and considering his favour with the King, as also his office “that may pleasure sometimes our nation greatly,” I think some extraordinary favour may procure good hereafter for any of ours who may have need of friendship.—Paris, 9 January, 1584.
Postscript.—To let me know how earnest the King is in it, they have sent me the copy of his letter to her Majesty, which I send you.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [France XIII. 5.]
Jan. 9/19. The Deputies In France to the States General.
We believe you remember what we wrote from Boulogne on the 13th, and what des Pruneaux conferred with us, as appeared by the copy we then sent. The same day we embarked and arrived safely at Dieppe and at Caieux respectively.
On the 16th we all met at Abbeville, where we have waited two days for his Majesty's orders. But hearing nothing, we despatched M. Jolitemps to announce our arrival here, after whose departure, M. des Pruneaux arrived, accompanied by Col. “Dalanoes” and bringing the letters of credence hereto annexed.
M. des Pruneaux then declared to us that his Majesty rejoiced at our arrival, had charged him to conduct us to Paris, and was well inclined to undertake our cause if our articles were reasonable; adding that many at the court were well disposed towards the said cause, but that many others were exerting every means to prevent its success. And moreover that some time ago, the English Queen had sent her ambassador to his Majesty, to discuss and resolve upon a mutual aid to be sent to the Low Countries; but that he had put off his answer until after our arrival, so that if our proposition was found reasonable he might then inform her Majesty, in order to find a means of common assistance. But we know nothing certainly of this.
We thanked M. des Pruneaux, declaring that we were quite decided to conform ourselves to his Majesty's commands and to make ready to set out next day by Amiens to Paris. And as the Holland ships of war which served us as convoy are still at Dieppe, awaiting news whether we return or remain, we are writing to the captains that they may return home, leaving only Capt. “Dervout le Bout” at the disposition of those whom we may send to you with news of what happens at our interview with his Majesty, assuring you that we shall neglect no time or opportunity for advancing the common cause and the prosperity of our country. And although your lordships may be embuts by the length of time we have been on our journey and the heavy expenses we have incurred, yet we urgently pray to have 2,000 florins as soon as possible, that we may not fall into disaster and confusion for want of money—Abbeville, 19 January, 1585. Signed by C. Aerssens, J. Junius, Leoninus, Gerart Voet, Jehan Rengers, Amelis van Aemstel de Minden, J. Feytsma, Aysma. Received at the Hague, Jan. 28.
Translated into French. 2¾ pp. [Holland I. 3.]
Prewritten.—Copy of letter of credence from the French King for des Pruneaux, sent to the deputies at Abbeville.—Paris, Jan. 4–14.
Jan. 10. [Walsingham] to Stafford.
Finding by your letters that des Pruneaux has taken some exception to the employment of Mr. Davison in the Low Countries, as though the purpose were to hinder the King's treaty, I send you a copy of Mr. Davison's negotiation with the States, that you may be the better instructed how to answer such objections.
For further directions how you yourself should proceed in the matter with the King, I being absent from the court “about the cure of mine old disease of carnosity,” I have caused her Majesty to be moved to let you know her pleasure therein, but cannot yet draw any resolution from her. In the meantime, my private opinion is that you will do well to continue to answer that until you know the King's mind, you have no direction to deal further, “holding withal a mean, neither to encourage nor discourage him,” though you may as of yourself, say “that her Majesty hath for her part showed herself so forward and resolutely disposed in the cause, as, if she had found like concurrency in the King, the King of Spain's encroaching greatness had ere now been met withal.”
My lord Derby departs on the 20th, or perhaps sooner. You will do well to meet him the next place of his lodging to Paris, which will be Lusarche or St. Denys (whereof you shall have certain knowledge beforehand); “and touching the precedentship between you, because my lord is a nobleman of that birth and degree that you do know, it will therefore be requisite that you give place unto him from the time of your first meeting; though if it were a meaner man, you should of course have taken it of him until you had presented him to the King. The other noblemen, meant yet to be only the Lord Sandes and the Lord Stourton, are to give place unto you.” Some ten gentlemen of the household are to attend my lord.
How things pass in the Low Countries, you will see by the enclosed occurrents.
Draft. Endd. with date. 2 pp. [France XIII. 6.]