Elizabeth: March 1585, 1-5

Pages 309-326

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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March 1585, 1–5

March 1. Stafford to Walsingham.
I thought fit to advertise your honour of a thing that I think you are to consider of, “least you be by a fair show deceived by a young King and his fickle headed ministers. It may be that he playeth on both hands and with fair words deceiveth them here; for certain it is that the King of Scots hath written to the Duke of Guise letters of the 26 January, and so to the Bishop of Glasgow here that they should not be amazed of anything that had been done by him at this time, for they should find the effects of it to follow to their contentation; and that he was fain to do it to avoid a worse inconvenience; and that they should assure themselves of him that the end should make them say that they would not for anything but that he should do this that he hath done with her Majesty. Added farther in it that the Master of Gray himself knoweth not his meaning, as they shall see by proof. Now your honour knoweth this, you may seek farther into his meaning by such good instruments as you have other ways.” For my part, I pray that the King of Scots may be as assured to her Majesty as, if he had reason, discretion or honour in him he ought to be, considering the care she has had of him from a child, and would have now if he would deserve it.
The Queen of Scots wrote ordering the Bishop of Glasgow to repair to the King and Queen here and declare “how well she was satisfied of her Majesty, upon whose favour she meant to depend, thanking them for the furtherance that they had given unto it” also to say the same to the Duke of Guise and to require him and all her friends here to “make no attempts for anything touching her, or if any were made, to break them off; . . . . desiring him and all them that loved her to be content with that fortune that she should run, which should be none other than that which it pleased her Majesty to have her to do.”
He came to me and showed me these letters, saying he had delivered them to the King, and that “he never rejoiced so much at nothing in his life as at this good intelligence.” That he had sent them also to the Duke of Guise, who had sent to stay the Bishop of Ross from going into Scotland, because he would breed no suspicion in men's heads, nor give her Majesty cause for jealousy.
Such a letter was written to the Bishop of Ross, whereupon he stayed, about three weeks since. Whether it were for a colour or no (which I rather think) I know not, but I do know that he is now again preparing to take his journey thither, upon a letter to him in which is written in that King's own hand “that he hath heard of the good service he hath done his mother and him, and especially in this last setting out of his book touching his title to the crown of England, which, with the rest of his services he will never forget but recompense them, and that he shall be welcome and well used at his hands as any subject he hath.” What good effect his having into his kingdom so bad a fellow will bring, I leave to your honour, praying God “to put a better meaning into his head than that can prognosticate.”
There is another thing which I have been informed of and I beseech you to tell me whether it be true or no, that I may the better judge of other things that come from the same party. He assures me there is a letter come from Creichton the Jesuit, which came out of England by Morgan's means, wherein, he tells the Bishop of Glasgow that he was lately sent for before you and examined on three points :—” the one which way he got letters conveyed from him out of prison; the other, that it was laid to his charge that he had knowledge of an enterprise against her Majesty's person and against her State, practised by the Pope and the King of Spain, and that you were thereof advertised from these parts; the third that at Lyons he had made a public prayer for the furtherance of their enterprise. And that to the first his answer was in effect this; that he never had sent any letters out of prison, nor had any means to send any; to the second, that he knew not of any enterprise; that the Pope was too wise and too politic a prince to enterprise any such matter, that also he feared God too much; that for him, it was a thing against his own profession to have a thought of any such matter; that it was a thing inviolably kept among them that whosesoever was consenting to the conspiration of any death was to be degraded and deprived of his order of priesthood and to be punished with extremity; and that from hence nobody could advertise you of it but I; that if he did ever come out and had leave to come hither, he would make it appear before me that he never had any knowledge of any such thing. And for his prayer at Lyons, that it was never for any particular thing, but for a general prayer to prosper all enterprises that any Catholic princes should take in hand. This, as near as I can, was the effect of what was told me.
Here we have many bruits, which I think are spread abroad to make a King who has no great mind to do any great matter do less if they can. It is said that the Duke of Guise has a levy ready in Germany of 11,000 horse, and that the King so much mistrusts them that orders are given in their governments that strong watch be kept at the gates of all the frontier towns, and let no man come in.
But Malleroy, Clervant's brother, came yesterday from Germany, and has passed by most of the towns of Champagne, especially Chalons, the town chiefly reported of, and he says there was only the ordinary guard, and in Germany no stirring at all, “but only fine practices underhand for matters of religion, to use all cunnings to alter that “; which is done particularly by Jesuits, and amongst others by one Possevin, who altogether governs the Emperor, and is said to have been the cause that the Muscovite has acknowledged the Pope. He has bragged that on his return from Rome, whither he is now gone, “he doth not doubt but to make the Duke of Saxony consent to have liberty for mass in his country and perchance to come to it himself.”
The Cardinal of Guise—the only one of the brothers here— on hearing the reports of his brother's practising, went to the King to desire him to give no credit thereunto and to assure him of his brother's loyalty; answering for him that if desired, he would come to the Court whenever the King pleased, to answer those reports himself.
The King answered him shortly that he would believe any reports of his brothers “as the effects of their actions did give him cause; that to be true to the crown they were best; that they had found best of it when they were so; that for his desire to have them come hither, as they went away without cause given them, so he would not send for them again.”
Other reports from Germany are very current, and des Pruneaux thought to persuade me “that seeing he said it, I should believe it :—That the Bishop of Liége sent to the Electors who staggered at the allowing of him, that he required it of them because it was just; because the Pope liked of it; because he was of the right Catholic religion that a bishop should be of; . . . promising during life to acknowledge them that pleasured him in this, as also not to forget the others; and that by this means, by braving them, he is allowed.” He told me divers other things said of the King of Spain's practices in Germany, whereof part I believe and part I do not, and therefore leave till I hear further.
This afternoon we are promised audience in the King's cabinet, and resolution of his meaning to the Low Countries. As far as I can gather, he will rather be contented to have them helped underhand than to declare himself openly; which I think you will best like of.
This instant I have word brought that Morgan was taken “this night by one that I sent with the provost that the King commanded to do what I would direct him. His writings are in the provost's hands, sealed with my man's seal; his closet doors also sealed, and kept by a guard in the chamber till the King's further pleasure be known. In his coffers was about 10,000 crowns, which also is sealed up and kept by the guard. Throgmorton was with him when he was taken, “who quaked for fear.” This afternoon, my lord and I will, now he is in hand, press the King “to have him according to her Majesty's will.” We can but greatly commend the King's good dealing, for when we spoke to him of it he said he would speak with his mother, and send the next day to satisfy us, “detesting in show very greatly the fact.” He kept promise, for next day Pinard brought us word from him that “whom” of the provost's lieutenants I would name should be appointed to do what I commanded him; who presently came and I arranged for him to meet with my man at ten o'clock last night, when all was faithfully executed.
“I was never since I came into France troubled more by any one thing [than] for fear he should escape, for I knew of Parry's taking from some of themselves the day before I had your letters, and knew that Morgan was greatly startled at it, and therefore I was afraid he would have retired himself,” but I had two watches who never left him, and should have followed him and given me notice what became of him; “besides Shute, whom I sent with the provost, who, together with him have played their parts very discreetly and worthy praise.” If I get him [Morgan], Shute shall remain with him, and I hope her Majesty will recompense him for his pains. I have promised the provost's lieutenant 100 crowns, which I think her Majesty will allow of. Pray tell me whether to put it in the quarterly account for intelligence or send it to you.—Paris, 1 March, 1584.
Add. Endd.pp. [France XIII. 39.]
March 1. Stafford to Walsingham.
I have not answered your letter about my servant Moody, for since my lord's coming I have been too busy to think of any particular cause. “God send me never to have the like here again and rather to have my lord Treasurer here than my lord of Derby, for though he is so good a natured man that he will be ruled, he is too good a natured man; for when my back is turned every one of his men can over-rule that which anybody hath done with him,” and so he that deals with him has to begin again. But I beseech you, keep this to yourself.
For my man, I will be satisfied with anything that you wish me to be, for you have more power over me than perchance you think; but pardon me if I remind you “ how unkindly you would have taken it at one's hand that you loved to have had a man of yours stayed by him, upon any cause, from September to January, and he never send you word of it.” For the man, I recommend him to you no otherwise than he shall deserve, but I pray you, favour me so much as that I may know what he deserves, to satisfy my mind, “and neither the matter nor they that discover it shall pass myself.”
I was glad when I heard that your servant, Francis Mills, was to come with my lord of Derby, for “being trusty to you, I would have dealt confidently with him”; meanwhile, I have committed to this bearer, your servant, and as honest as any man I know, what I should have given to the other; and pray you to credit it “as if I were by with a Bible to swear it.” I beseech you return him again, as he has promised to come before Easter to accompany his cousin Champernon into England. I send you a letter which my lord desires may go in my packet for Francis Mills. I think you shall there hear of your bill of credit “fully received, without the which I know not how they would have done, for at their coming to town, they had not a hundred crowns left, and no other provision.” I fear want of money will constrain them to return sooner than I wish.—Paris, 1 March, 1584.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [France XIII. 40.]
March 1. Stafford to Walsingham.
I despatch this bearer so soon after the other, and before we can send the King's resolution, to pray you to let me have answer to what I wrote about one Brus, who, as I told you, was very private with the Bishop of Glasgow, and upon some falling out (as he says) offers to serve the Queen in Scotland, whither he is now going to remain as lieger for the affairs of the Duke of Guise and the Jesuits, with whom he has great credit. He offers to communicate all that passes there to any appointed by her Majesty or me, but as, having deceived them here, he is like enough to deceive us, I leave to your consideration what to arrange with him. But if you will deal with him, you must send one presently to say what money and pension he shall have, for, till assured of that, he will do nothing; and he is upon his despatch, which I make him put off from day to day till I hear from you.
I send you a cipher said to be that used between the Duke of Guise. Bishop of Glasgow and Queen of Scots; the keeping of it can do you no harm, and if it be true, may do you good. If you have anything in your hands with which you may try it, I should be glad to know whether it is a true one, to give better or worse credit to him I had it of.
I pray you look well to the two of whom I wrote by Tupper, who will come to you with letters from me about the discovery of certain in England who are factors for Mendoza; for I am even now told that the principal man “whom they make account of to be there,” which is he that cozened me, is this night taken in this town, where he lay secretly; all his papers stayed by the King's command and divers poisons and characters [ciphers] found about him. But I am neither certain whether it be true, “nor yet whether they be honest or false, but it is good in my opinion, having a good eye over them, still to let them go on and see what they will do.”—Paris, 1 March, 1584.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XIII. 41.]
Names in cipher, undeciphered.
March 1. Harborne to Walsingham.
In my last of the first of the past, I stated that the last Tartar's son was put to flight by the Beglerbey of Temesvar and his uncle Islam reinvested, but now it is certainly affirmed that the young Tartar has returned with most of his native subjects (they hating his uncle's rule, forced upon them by the Grand Signor), and further assisted by sundry Muscovite harquebusiers sent him from their prince; and has shut up his uncle and the Beglerbey in Capha. It is said that the Grand Signor will not only send the Beglerbey of Greece to their succour with a great power, but also Osman, the Vizier, with the army levied against the Sophy and Georgians; of which nation Saide, brother of Simon their chief prince, who in the second year of these Persian wars yielded Teflis to Mustapha, and ever since warfared valiantly with his said brother under the Persian, has now with his son of twenty years “revolted and revenged” and was, a fortnight ago honourably received here, and by the intercession of Osman, Vizier, again made president of Teflis, leaving his son as a pledge with the Grand Signor, by whose means they hope easily to subdue the said Georgians.
The Spahis and others who returned from Persia at the end of last summer are ordered to repair to Ferat Bassa, their general, “who by means of these Tartars, is thought shall have enough to do to keep the conquered.”
“The Venetians are quit of the difference for their prize made ” of the galley of Romadan, Bassa of Tripoli.
We hear from Christendom that the King of Spain “pretends” the invasion of England and conquest of Ireland; for which, as the renegates here say, he is daily augmenting his navy; “which so being, as I judge the contrary by the experience I have reaped some years in Spain, I doubt nothing but that pretence shall redound to God his glory, his overthrow and our victory; to the end his swellings with Portugal sweet figs may be purged with hard and sharp English pills, to restore his former health of mind, utterly decayed through the late conquest of many new christened faint hearted old Jews.”—Rapamat, 1 March, 1584.
Decipher. Endd. 1 p. [Turkey I. 32.]
[c. March 2/12.] The King of Navarre to Elizabeth.
Has received with great pleasure by M. de Segur and by her own letters the assurance of her good will and affection, and also of the good state of her affairs and her health; assuring her of his service to her and hoping that God will long preserve her and give her more and more prosperity, in despite of the practices of her enemies. But seeing that she is in a sure port, while others are tossed at sea, he prays her to remember that, as he gives her peace that she may aid the oppressed, so this oppression would bring trouble upon her own State, if by her prudence it is not remedied. What glory it will be for her to break the designs of those who have planned the ruin of Christendom, and believe that it is nigh at hand. Already she has shown her virtue and greatness by her goodness to her neighbours, and especially towards the Elector of Cologne, whose cause concerns all Christendom and deserves to be aided.
Prays her to complete so good a work, who by her liberal help will oblige all who love right and the true religion and will hinder and keep at a distance her enemies. Wishes he could put these things before her by word of mouth; kiss her hands in gratitude for her kindnesses to him, and see the princess whom in all the world he most honours, loves and admires. But her memory is graven in his soul, and he will have nothing more at heart in all his actions than to be worthy of her good graces and to ever remain therein. And as he cannot find a better interpreter of his affection than M. de Segur, so she could not choose anyone, even among her own subjects, more ardent in proclaiming her virtues; it is indeed to be feared, in spite of her assurances of his fidelity, that he has been so won over and corrupted by her favours that his master would have cause for jealousy were it not that he himself being wholly hers, all his servants must be hers likewise.
Holograph. Fr. 4 pp. [France XIII. 42.]
Printed in extenso in Lettres Missives de Henri IV, t. ii, p. 17; where the reference to the British Museum should be to the Public Record Office.
March 3. Derby and Stafford to Walsingham.
The discourse of our audience on Sunday is so long and the King's sudden alteration will be so unpleasant to her Majesty that we thought it more convenient to write to your honour, and by your means have her acquainted with it.
We were in good hope on Saturday to have an answer to her Majesty's liking, and so were the deputies, but the same night they were sent for and an answer made them quite contrary :— that the King thanked them for their goodwills, that if the case of his realm stood not as he is advertised from all places that it doth, he would willingly accept their offers, but his own estate was “so tickle and so unsound within itself that he was to fear lest in going about to get upon others, he should put in a venture to 'leese' himself”; but that though he would give no cause to enter into open war, yet in anything that touched their good he would show himself a good neighbour to use any means that lay in him for the maintenance of their ancient privileges, customs and liberties; “which the poor men did stand greatly amazed at, but could get none other.”
When we came to him in his chamber of estate, and had declared that we came to know his resolution in these matters, he asked us to go into his cabinet, where we might speak together with more liberty, taking nobody with him but Bellièvre and Pinard, “nor came not in afterwards any but two or three princes of the blood, who stood aloof off.”
Then the King told us that Bellièvre, who had been one that treated with the deputies, should declare to us their manner of proceeding with them, and the answer he was fain to give them from the necessities of his own estate, for which he was as sorry as for anything that could have happened to him; as also what answer he was to deliver to her Majesty.
Thereupon, Bellièvre, with a very “long and premeditate oration,” declared how all things had passed since Monsieur's death, as to a treaty with the Low Countries, and the causes of the delays until the day that the deputies had access to him and propounded their demands; affirming that since then he and the other commissioners had lost no time in doing all things necessary, wherewith they had four times made the King acquainted; and had always charge from him to despatch them to their contentment; which was in a good forwardness to be done, “if advertisements from so many places had not come to him of evil affected subjects in his own realm, who, with practices and intelligences abroad and round about him he was greatly to fear, if he were entered into any action abroad, would greatly seek to trouble him at home and put him into some jeopardy that seeking to win others he might venture to lose himself, and therefore he had been fain to give them that answer that afore I have set down unto you.” That the King prayed us to make her Majesty acquainted with this”; that although he could not do what he would, yet if she would join him in what was in them to do—” which was in respect of the great care that both her Majesty and he were to have that the countries should not come to the bloody subjection of the King of Spain, but to remain with their ancient privileges . . . that the best remedy now, if her Majesty thought so good, was for them two to join in a more strait amity and league than ever they did, and then jointly together to send to the King of Spain and to interpose their authorities with him to the receiving of these his subjects into his grace and favour, with the maintenance of them in their old accustomed customs and liberties . . .
“That he did not doubt but the King would look about him, and seeing them two meddle withal, being joined in firm and strait amity, will be easily brought to consent to take away his strangers there and to leave them to their own ancient government and liberties . . . That this course he thought her Majesty would like of, as the way that by all her ministers, at both the times when he was there . . . he found was the thing she most desired and sought for, as at Monsieur's first going to Monts [Mons], when my lord Cobham and you were there from her Majesty, he there from the King, with the Emperor's ambassador that was as a mediator, where as he said, you plainly dealt with him that her Majesty's chiefest desire was to have a good peace gotten between the King and his subjects, and that he found plainly by you that her Majesty desired not to have the French to have a footing in the Low Country. That since, . . . at his being at Dermonde after Monsieur's retreat from Antwerp, Mr. Somers coming thither from her Majesty to Monsieur, he used the same speech; that therefore, to conclude, finding that it was an impossibility for the King to do them good the one way . . . [he] will willingly send to treat that with her or she with him, or they both together to send to any place appointed equal for personages to treat for both, both of a strait league, and for the manner of sending to the King of Spain”; and that what he had declared to me, he would presently despatch to their ambassador there, to declare to her Majesty. Then I, Edward Stafford—craving pardon of the King (as I beg you to do for me to her Majesty) if upon a sudden, and some points of M. Bellièvre's speech being before I had such matters in hand, I answered his wise and premeditate speech either impertinently for her Majesty's service or not altogether to his contentment—declared how sorry I was, and so I was sure her Majesty would be, to see a thing so long treated of, with such great hopes of those well affected to the two crowns, and such fear of them that were Spanish hearted, so suddenly ended to the comfort of them that loved neither of us, “and with so little cause extant to the world why his Majesty should be led to do it. That I was, for my part, greatly afraid . . . that this breaking, in this sort, upon so small a cause, would be a present touch to his honour and reputation, the poor men having undone themselves with not seeking any other helps upon the assurance they had to have help and succour at his hands, whereby their total ruin and destruction was likely to ensue; having already, in this time of delay and treaty, lost one of their chief towns, and the rest likely to follow and ensue after.” That this had been a good course when they were strong, both by their army in the field and the towns of strength, as they had at the time when my lord Cobham and you were there, and when the King of Spain might have granted any conditions rather than hazard all, and that then it was likely enough her Majesty would have best liked of that course. That when Mr. Somers propounded it as best in her opinion to seek a peace between the States and their King, I believe she thought it necessary, in order “to relieve Monsieur's necessity, and to pull him out of the danger that he was in . . . considering that since that unfortunate, evil counselled chance of Antwerp, he was at Dermonde, between the States, who for that fact were hardly bent against him, and the Spaniards, who of reason were to hate him worst”; therefore from her fervent goodwill to Monsieur, and fear of any mischance happening to him, she thought that the readiest way to save him from danger, which was the cause that Mr. Somers, seeing all other ways lacking, propounded it as the only remedy. Therefore I must plead for her Majesty “that she might not now be made an excuse for the King's doing nothing at this time, and her opinion at other times followed for an example now, when, as I am afraid, it cometh out of time to do it for divers reasons; as the one, that I know not, upon this, whether they would be discouraged and make their own peace without him and her Majesty as good cheap as they can; the other, they being so low brought, whether the King of Spain will for any request give them any peace or no but such as men vanquished are wont to receive at their conqueror's hands, which both would be dangerous for them to accept, and very dishonourable for such mediators as he and her Majesty was, to procure them with their help.” That I was very sorry that he, being descended of so noble progenitors, would leave a thing which they would have bestowed all their labour to attain to, and not make an essay of a Queen of England's good will to him, which he would have found more than he could have looked for; “that time had altered all things; that it was no more now a question whether it were fit a Queen of England should permit a French King to have a footing in the Low Countries, but whether a French King and a Queen of England should permit a third King to be quiet and so give him means to encroach upon them both. . . . That when you were in the Low Countries, the Queen was not so well acquainted with his goodwill to her; that the frequentation of his brother with her since, and his goodwill to her showed by divers actions, had so much altered her Majesty's mind . . . that he should find by effect, if he would employ her friendship, what account she made of him and how much she desired the detriment of Spain; . . . that this was the last time that ever was to be hoped that any such offer should be made to him; that the accepting or leaving of this was the last cast of his good fortune or his bad. Therefore desired him well first to look into it, and not to give such a blow to his reputation and his own estate as this sudden breach would bring; that these bruits were but practices by the Spanish faction invented, whereof I did know certainly most of them were false and the rest easily to be remedied; that the way to make the heart of his realm sound was to make a circle about it, and by seeking to get upon them that troubled it, to drive them to defend their own and not to meddle with his, which easily were done if he would, and the only way to help to salve all sores.
“The King hearkened very attentively, but answered that he must have pardon, for he could not by any means venture in helping of others to put himself in a danger to 'leese' of his own therefore desired we would certify her Majesty of this which he can do and desireth to have done and to concur with her in, that it is the only way to help them now withal; which Bellièvre also (though against his conscience) affirmed.”
Thereunto I answered, that seeing it was his will, we must certify her Majesty of it, but prayed him again “to remember the nature of the Spaniard, who puffed up with this, would be uneasier to be persuaded to any reason than afore, especially knowing that they are but words, which are refused easily with words again,” and being put out of fear that if he refuses, the King here might seek to gain his request by force.
To that he answered that when the King of Spain knew that her Majesty and he were resolved to press him to it, and are linked in a straiter amity than ever, he would “look twice about him” before he refused it; also, if they were seen to enter into it, other princes would also do so, and perchance the Emperor himself.
Whereunto I answered that this Emperor was not of the “mould and judgment” that his father was, and that I feared other princes, seeing him who should be the ringleader so afraid of the King of Spain's greatness, might hang upon the strongest and seek to carry favour with him, as even at this time there were practices enough in Germany to that intent. He answered that if her Majesty and he began it, more would follow, “and that in treating, time brought occasions that were not looked for.”
Then remembering [to him] an instruction that I had from her Majesty before Monsieur's death, to see whether, “if the Malcontents that were with the Prince of Parma could be brought, upon hope of a certain back from him and her Majesty, . . . to seek a peace and to be maintained in their old liberties,” he would take that course or no, it being to be done with greater ease and less charge, besides the assurance that they would ever after depend on us, which were no small abasement to the King of Spain, he answered “that in treating, ways and new inventions came, that time brought alteration of things, and that things were not so desperate as I thought them.”
Seeing he was resolved, I told him if there had been cause to countenance the matter, her Majesty wished my lord to remain till she had heard the King's mind and sent answer again, but that as his pleasure was no other than this, we thought it needless to trouble him with my lord's tarrying here; whereunto he answered that he thanked her, and if further cause, had offered, would have desired my lord's stay, but now he would not trouble him; and so we took our leaves.
From him we went to the Queen Mother, and declared to her the incommodities that would come of the King's resolution, and the harm this realm would receive from it. “We found her, poor woman, as much troubled withal as she could, and told us (as in truth it is true) that she hath wished it, and done the best in it that she could. To the which I, Edward Stafford, answered her that she must use and interpose her authority in it, and to make an end with as much honour as she hath continued withal hitherto in maintaining the state of France in as flourishing a state as ever princes did. She answered all she could to excuse the matter upon the great practices in this realm, whereof the King daily was advertised of, which, if the King did occupy himself otherwise, might burst out to his great harm and endanger his estate.”
On which, seeing that anything we could say booted not, I, Edward Stafford, told her we knew well enough what she had done and wished, and must excuse her that, “like a kind mother she seeing no remedy, would seek to excuse her children's faults,” and so we took our leave.—Paris, 3 March, 1584.
Signed by both. Add. Endd. 7 pp. [France XIII. 43.]
Copy of the above, in Stafford's hand (for Lord Burghley), sent “ by Mr. Marbery.”
Endd. by Burghley. 7 pp. [Ibid. XIII. 44.]
March 3. Stafford to Walsingham.
Besides what I and my lord have written jointly, I thought good to tell you particularly that I went privately next day to Bellièvre at his house, under colour of asking him to let me declare to him in short words how I comprehended the King's meaning, delivered to us by him, that he might tell me whether I took it right or no. But I found I took it as he meant it.
“After, we grew into some speeches of the importance of this matter and of the slightness of the cause that made it break off. In truth, Sir, the tears ran down his cheeks, and told me there was no remedy for servants, but when they had discharged their consciences to their masters, to declare their masters' minds as they gave them commandment; and for the causes that might move the King to it, he confessed to me that he took them not to be so great as they were made, yet great enough (the King being of the humour that he was) to give him cause enough to do that which he did. That within the realm from all places there were advertisements which fell out to be true, that a great many, especially of the followers of the house of Guise, retired their best goods into their strongest towns and them that were at the devotion of the house of Guise; that great store of armour, both for horse and footmen, have of late gone to them out of this town. That out of Brittany there is news come how M. de Mercœur hath let slip divers soldiers into Nantes, whereby they think the town will be at his devotion and that he practises divers in that province, that this marriage of the Duke of Savoy is very suspect, and the sequel of it at his return, that hath in France a great many friends and intelligences (meaning as I found by him, Montmorency), that out of Italy advertisement came (but those surely false) that men were there levied in a readiness and that the bruit went it was to besiege Geneva, which the King had rather cause to think that it was some other intent; that indeed out of Germany there was advertisement come that great levies were made there, but . . . they found them all to be false but only 1,200 horse that Hoteplotte [i.e. Otto Plotz], an entertained colonel of the French King, hath raised, and being sent to know why he, being entertained of the King, will serve anybody else, he made answer that in his capitulation he hath excepted anything against the King's service, and that the King having no need of him [he] desired that he might be permitted to serve where money and great sums were owing him already, which he would fain do the best he could to get into his hands.”
I told him I thought all these things were done but to put the King in fear, and were practices of the King of Spain's agents here, who cared not how small a thing it was to frighten him; as was seen in the taking of a woman in lackey's apparel at Corbie, a frontier town in Picardy, inquiring of the number of soldiers, captains, munition &c. in the town, and being taken for a spy (by those, as I thought, who set her awork) “confessed that the Prince of Condé had met her in the forest of Orleans and given her money to do it, promising her more at her return to a place which he appointed,” when, as he knew, the Prince was in Gascony, with the King of Navarre.
“He confessed that he was of my opinion, and when I pressed to know his advice, as of one whose sincerity was had in great opinion, what were best to be done in this cause, that there might be some help to the poor men, he wished greatly that the King's request might be granted in this, to have the Queen to hearken to somebody to advise with her of things necessary for them for their best, seeing the best of all could not be done, and that he hoped, in treating, some better way would be found than this desperate case would make us look for.”
Thus you see what is passed. I leave it to your and her Majesty's resolution what you will do, for there is no certainty here to cause me to advise anything, and I believe the best we can look for at the King's hands is “that he will never whilst he liveth do himself good nor anybody else harm, without the harm come to others by not doing good to himself.
“The deputies begin now to press to come to me, and have been already once with me since this refusal of the King's, and deplore their own unhappiness greatly.” The King commanded me not to tell them of his pleasure that he and the Queen should join together, but I did so, desiring them to keep it to themselves, as they promise me they will; “but I do not find by them that they have any mind to proceed that way. They rather desire to have her Majesty to take them . . . and said that if they had found by Mr. Davison that he would have given them any hope when he came thither, they were not so far desirous to come hither to offer themselves here, as they would have been desirous the Queen would have taken them. But (as they say) they found . . . that he came to do nothing but to break off this treaty with France, which I did not let them run away with, but put them in remembrance that des Pruneaux and some of themselves had done her Majesty wrong with giving out here that Mr. Davison's coming thither was purposely to break or at the least to trouble this treaty underhand, which they denied.
“But surely, in my opinion, they be men that must have good done them against their wills, and for our own good, we must needs do them good, and must not seem to see their faults.”
They say that if they can they mean to pass by England. They have spoken with the King again to-day, to see if underhand they may have any help, and mean again to have conference with me and with one you have a very good opinion of, for “some means with small cost and great expedition to give them some present, speedy help.”—Paris, 3 March, 1584.
Postscript in his own hand.—I send you an advertisement which was put into my hand “closely,” being behind the King yesterday, by one who would not give me his name but assured me that what is contained in it is very true, which I also think, and so leave it to your wisdom to provide for it.
Add. Endd. 3 pp. [France XIII. 45.]
Copy of the same, in Stafford's hand, sent to Burghley. The postscript omitted, but a final paragraph added, saying that he sends copies of his two letters to Mr. Secretary that his lordship may know at large what has passed.
Add. Endd. by Burghley. 3 pp. [France XIII. 46.]
March 3. Stafford to Walsingham.
As it is not my custom, without good cause, to find fault with any, so I should be loth to recommend any without good proof of desert. Yet having, amongst others of my lord of Derby's company, “marked the diligence and honest behaviour of Mr. Somerset, the herald, (fn. 1) to be very commendable,” I like him so well that I esteem him worthy of all favour and countenance in his profession; which testimony I make bold to give you, and should be more earnest but that I perceive that both he and his nephew acknowledge themselves bound to you for the greatest favours already. What we wrote generally this bearer can more plainly inform you of, he having been present in the whole course of my lord's negotiation.—Paris, 3 March, 1584.
Postscript.—My lord of Weemes told me when he came hither that his cousin, Mr. Colvill, told him that I should be allowed a hundred crowns which he had of me “in an account of intelligence.” I pray you send me word whether I shall put it in a reckoning apart or in this quarter's intelligence, “and if your pleasure be so, your honour (I know will not) but Mr. Peeter (fn. 2) may think it much to have the sums increased 30l. more than ordinary,” therefore I desire your help. I pray also to know “how to use myself for the day of the Feste Dieu this year . . . for in truth if it had not been that I knew not how it would have been taken at her Majesty's hand, I would rather have given over my place of ambassador last year than have had it done.”
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XIII. 47.]
March 3. Stafford to Walsingham.
It has pleased my lord to allow this gentleman, Mr. Merburie, to be the bearer of the letters to you, in whose behalf I write these few lines, “for a testimony of his behaviour since my coming hither, which hath been very good and honest, and ready always to do what service he could.—Paris, 3 March, 1584.
Add. Endd.½ p. [Ibid. XIII. 48.]
March 4/14. Segur-pardeilhan to Walsingham.
The King of Navarre desired to send a despatch to the Queen by this gentleman, and by the same means I wish to tell you that I arrived here a week ago, where I find the King very well and better disposed than ever. He is going to Castres to meet M. de Montmorency and I am going to the Princess in Bearn, and then to look after my health, for after such long toil I find that I must think about myself. A month hence I go to the King at Saintonge, whence he will send news to her Majesty. Meanwhile I commend the Elector of Cologne to you, and if M. le Bel [Beale] has not yet started for Germany, I beg you to despatch him. Very shortly the King of Navarre will send some honourable man thither to aid in bringing all the world to act in the good cause.—Montauban, 14 March, 1585.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [France XIII. 49.]
March 4/14. M. Arnault to Walsingham.
I have nothing to write worthy of troubling you with, but this gentleman has prayed me to give him a word for you, and therefore although not long ago I wrote by M. de Mauvissière's secretary in reply to yours by Mr. Stalling, I beg, by this to recall myself to your good graces.—Paris, 14 March, 1585.
Add. Endd. Fr. ¾ p. [Ibid. XIII. 49 bis.]
March 4/14. A Letter from Saragosa.
I have not written to your honour these last days, having been busy every day with the Duke of Savoy, and now I cannot write at large as this courier is in haste, yet I must send you these lines to tell you briefly what has been happening.
The Duke arrived here late on Sunday, the 10th, by the post, with a fine company of more than 400 horse. His Majesty left the city and crossed the bridge to receive him as far as a monastery of the brothers of S. Francis which is called Jesus, with all the great lords and cavaliers of the Court and of this realm, and all his guards, who came out with great pomp. His Majesty halted in a very convenient large green field, where was made a great circular piazza, furnished with Spanish and German 'guards; where his Majesty remained a quarter of an hour awaiting the arrival of the Duke; who having entered the place and come to within fifty paces of where his Majesty was, dismounted from the post horse, on which he had come, and just afterwards his Majesty also dismounted, and the Duke coming up and kneeling on one knee, asked for his hand, and his Majesty lifted him up and embraced him, bidding him welcome and treating him as a son, and having asked him how he did, mounted his horse, the Duke at once mounting one of those of the King which was there ready for him. None of the lords or cavaliers dismounted or came to speak to him, but saluted from where they were. Then they went towards the city and there was much discussion as to his going on the right hand, which his Majesty desired; and although the Duke excused himself with many demonstrations of humility and courtesy, in the end he accepted the favour, always keeping himself a little behind, and the King calling to him and even taking hold of him by the cloak.
In this manner they arrived at the palace and his Majesty conducted the Duke to his room, leaving him there to change his habit until the hour for the marriage, which was celebrated by the hand of Cardinal Granvelle, and that over, the Xarao (fn. 3) began, in which all the grandees and gentlemen had their appointed place.
The Duke danced with the Infanta Duchess, and the Prince, our lord, with the Infanta Donna Isabel, with which the evening was spent until it was time for the Duke to sup (which he did), being served by the majordomo of his Majesty as he himself was, and the same was done by the tasters (gentilhuomini della bocca) and at rising from table and going into his chamber, he lifted his hat, which was the end of all that can be told so far.
The Vellationi or benedictions took place on Monday in the great church adjoining the palace and were celebrated by the Archbishop of Saragosa. The Prince and the Infanta Donna Isabel were padrini. That night there was an Assembly (Veglia) and afterwards some feasts; also tourneys, tiltings and a guioco di canne. (fn. 4) Shortly, they will depart for Barcelona. .
In any case, it is said that they will not go from Barcelona for Nice until the 1st of May. They say that the Infanta Duchess is [qy. not] much in love, and that she was vexed at the noble usage of the Duke, it being ordinarily reported that she said the apparato was too much for a duchess, as wishing to infer that she had made a bad match.
The King has given out that the Cortes of these kingdoms shall be held, but it is not credited. We have no other news.
No signature or address. Endd. Italian. 3 pp. [Spain II. 27.]
March 5/15. François de Civille to Walsingham.
It is long since I heard from the Duc de Bouillon, and believe he has been prevented from writing by his great affairs of late, and by the troubles which threaten France, and especially his quarter of it, by reason of its proximity to Lorraine, where great forces are assembling.
I am very sorry that I have not been able to go to Paris, to pay my respects to the Earl of Derby (d'Arby), but I have been kept here by a sciatica, which I have had ever since January, and which still torments me greatly.
We see here nothing but preparations and threatenings of civil war; gathering and raising of soldiers, both horse and foot, on all hands, which I doubt not you hear of often enough at the Court. Jacques le Peintre has been here but has not been to see me, which I wished, for many reasons, and am sure you would tell him to do it.—Rouen, 15 March, 1585, by the French account.
Postscript.—Since writing the above, a Provençal gentleman, my kinsman and friend, has arrived, who has brought me some very excellent seeds. I send you six different sorts and my wife sends Madame fifty pears and fifty apples which we pray you to accept from your very affectionate servants. I send the Earl of Pembroke five sorts of seeds and beg you to forward them to him, as, owing to the haste of this bearer, I have not time to write. For news, we are at war. God have pity upon us !
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [France XIII. 50.]
March 5/15. The Princess of Orange to the Queen.
In the great afflictions with which it has pleased God to visit me, I have no comfort, after his divine assistance, which I implore daily, save that of seeing so many good and honourable people who feel with me in my calamity, amongst whom your Majesty holds the first place, by reason of your greatness, and of the honour you have done me in so graciously offering me your favour. I have great cause to thank God, from whom comes this grace, and to hold myself always as your very humble servant, not meriting the honour you do me, and imputing it only to your friendship to my late husband and to the Cardinal de Chastillon and the Admiral, my father and uncle.
I pray you to continue it to me and to all the children whom my lord has left, who will ever be ready to offer you humble service.—Leyden, 15 March, “Louyse de Colligny.”
Holograph. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Holland I. 54.]
March 5. Colonel Morgan to Walslngham.
I have received the answer by my cousin Powell and followed the direction which he brought. “They have detracted me and dealt very hardly with me (contrary to the report made by them in England) for the Scotsmen have been better used than we, and have received two months' pay since my arrival here.” I send you a true note of what I have received; “the soldiers have lived upon it three months and thirteen days, after thirty days to the month, and yet withal, would not allow us the excess for our drink which they allowed to other soldiers.” Our poor men used to bring wood into the town upon their necks, but the States made a proclamation that no burgess should buy it, on pain of death. Since the closing of the river, the States “pretended” to do a piece of service in which they would have had all their ships for the burning of the bridge. They went down as far as the sconce of Austerwell, and there they all mutinied and called for money. “M. St. Aldegonde, being in the sconce, called them all Spanish villains; the mariners answered and called him French villain.” These captains and mariners are mostly of Antwerp, thus you see how their own people stand against them for want of pay, yet they are only a month behindhand. Their worst mariner has ten guilders a month and meat and drink besides.
“The common people are very sorry for our departing, and some of them say they could not do a better deed than to cut the States' throats,” crying out upon them for their hard dealing with us. The States answer that they owe us nothing, and that we refused service, wherein they do us the greatest wrong, for the principal service here was for the victualling of Brussels, which I offered to do if they would give me maintenance for my regiment lying at Mechlin.
For the loss of Brussels (fn. 5) and other particulars I refer you to the bearer. I meant to send over Mr. Middelton, with hangings and other household stuff, but because of the hard passage and their ill-dealing, I was forced to sell them. I doubt not but I shall have your countenance; you will always find me a soldier, and I will answer all proceedings betwixt the States and me, and me and my captains.—Antwerp, 5 March, 1585.
Signed. Endd.pp. [Flanders I. 9.]
Probably enclosed in above :—
March 5. (1) “The strength of Colonel Morgan's regiment, to say able men besides them sick.”
Viz.: The companies of the Lieut. Colonel, and Captains Lucar (Leukar), Morgan, Martyn, Lyttelton, Rycards, Gwyn, Gasfylde, Laye.
Total, able men, 508; officers, 50; sick, 160.
Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. I. 10.]
(2) Money received for Colonel Morgan and his regiment. Before his arrival, and from Dec. 18 to Feb. 5 15,220 guilders
On another month's 2,000,
N.B.—Of this was rebated 72 guilders for kine which the soldiers had killed and eaten, and 3,120 for arms and ammunition. Treatment for the Colonel and his officers, for two months 1,514 guilders
The pay of his regiment for a month by the muster rolls amounts to 13,706
Sum together 15,220
15,220 guilders flemish makes 2,536l. flemish, 6 guilders to the pound, a month 2,536l.
Which sum makes sterling 1,691l. 2s. 3d.
Endd. “A note of money received by Col. Morgan from the States.” 1½ pp. [Ibid. I. 10a.]
Paper headed “ The pays belonging to a company of 150 footmen, set down by the States of Antwerp.”
Total, 1,700 florins.
pp. Endd. [Ibid. I. 11.] Perhaps sent with the preceding.


  • 1. i.e. Robert Glover, Somerset Herald. His nephew was Fras. Mills, in Walsingham's service.
  • 2. Robert Petre, teller of Exchequer
  • 3. i.e. ball or assembly.
  • 4. Yuégo de Cañas; a mimic tilting on, horseback, with reeds instead of lances,
  • 5. Its surrender was proclaimed on March 3—13. As regards the day of the month, Morgan is dating English style.