Elizabeth: March 1585, 6-10

Pages 326-345

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, 6–10

March 6. Derby and Stafford to Walsingham.
That her Majesty (before I, Earl of Derby, can come to her. because of my great company and my indisposition) may know what has been done here about that naughty fellow Morgan, this is to certify you that on Sunday last, when I took my leave [of the King] “we pressed him for the rendition of him, now being in hand,” giving him great thanks in her Majesty's name for his care in doing it, and for the diligence of his provost.
He answered that in all he could do, her Majesty should receive satisfaction to the uttermost, that her person was as “chary” to him as his own, but that as it was a matter of the freedom and liberty of his realm, he desired time to “ communicate them” to his Council and to look into it, that he might do nothing prejudical to himself or his estate, and upon Tuesday we should have answer.
Whereupon I, Edward Stafford, laid before him the importance it was to himself; “that her Majesty and he were both in one predicament, being both without heirs, and therefore the more subject to be gaped after their ends” and that if he did not show an example of terror to any that enterprised anything against either of them, his own life hung but upon a small thread; whereas if it were shown that upon both sides there were “a present redition” of such, none would be found so hardy as to attempt it; adding, that this case was not among those comprehended in ordinary treaties (though indeed by them any traitor is to be rendered within a certain time after demand) but was a harder and more extraordinary one and deserved to be made a precedent for ever.
The King again said he would content us, whereupon we went away, and at parting “to set him over the shoes all that I could, I told the King that if he were well looked to, he should be found as bad a member for France as he was for England” and that if I might have his ciphers I could perchance show it to them; and indeed the copy of the letter of his which you sent me awhile agone touches on France, which, if we can get his ciphers, we shall better perceive.
Upon Tuesday, Pinard sent us word (and after came himself to us) that the King was abroad, but the matter had been consulted upon in Council, where they found that, the matter touching the life of the Queen, “it was reason there should be justice done of him, which should be done effectually.”
To that I, Edward Stafford, answered that that was no answer to her Majesty's request; that we were to demand either that he should be delivered into my lord's hands to carry with him, or into my hands, here to await her Majesty's pleasure; or “to assure” that he should be delivered into the hands of any sent by her to receive him or else the King himself to send him to her. Besides, where he was “ he was spoken withal,” for Charles Paget and Throgmorton had both been with him and others whom I would not name, being the Bishop of Glasgow and Maldonat from the Spanish ambassador.
Also, I made request to be at the opening of his writings, that I might see whether there were anything touching her Majesty, and that those might be delivered to me. He went away and said he would make the King acquainted with all this.
Next morning he came again, just before (as he thought) I, Earl of Derby, was ready to go to horse, thinking we should be contented with anything rather than I would stay, and brought as slight an answer as before. Then I, Edward Stafford, “re-demanded again the effect of his words,” that is, the effectuating of one of the four things we demanded the day before; otherwise, we should have to tell her Majesty that my lord could not go away till he had answer.
He answered that on opening the papers (which the King had delivered to the Chancellor) the first they found touched the state of France, which was reason that the King should seek further to see what else touching himself might be found; and “ that it was like enough . . . the King should have reason to have justice done upon him in his own realm.”
I answered that one of our chief reasons of complaint was that his papers, being sealed with my man's seal, were opened or delivered to anybody till I was present; and that I was sure, in like case in England, nothing would have been done without his ambassador being present.
To this he answered that the custom here was for all such things to be delivered into the Chancellor's hands and he to make report to the King; and if there were not trust between the King and her Majesty, “then there were no dealing no way.”
I answered that if we found effects follow their good words, there would be no cause of mistrust, but being fed with fair words and no deeds, we desired “to see an eye testimony of their doings”; and so much more said I, Earl of Derby, that Pinard went away heated and with the plain answer that I could not go away without a perfect answer to one of the four points, or “the cause why.” He said he thought the cause was that the King wished to search into his dealings against this estate; but when we asked if we should send that answer as from the Kong, he said, no; it was his own opinion.
Then I, Edward Stafford, said I must ask audience of the King, “to know it of his own mouth, for I did not mean to take his warrant or judgment to send to her Majesty, which was subject either to mistaking or disavowing.” He said he would go to the King, and within an hour sent to us “that the King was not to be spoken withal, and that we should do well to be contented with that which he had brought this morning.”
Then I, Edward Stafford, sent him word that my lord could not go until he had a perfect answer or that I had spoken with the King. Thereupon M. la Mothe-Fénelon came with answer from the King that he had given order to have Morgan carried to the Bastille, where none should speak with him and he would be safely kept; that he must see what things could be discovered about his own estate, and then would satisfy her Majesty; that if anything in the papers touched any harm to her, I should know it and that he desired her “to think that he taketh this case of hers as his own, because her state and his was much alike” and they must provide for each other's safety.
To this I, Edward Stafford, answered with thanks for the last point; and for the sending of him to the Bastille, “it was a place fit for such a naughty merchant, but that in all places men might be kept safe, if the King's commandment were straight, and no under-commandment to the contrary.” As to the King's excuse for not satisfying her Majesty, we must take “by force” [i.e. perforce] what we could get, but it was not sufficient to discharge the love that ought to be between her and the King. “I desired him to crave pardon of the King if, upon M. Pinard's pleading of a point of the treaty that fugitives for treason and such like crimes the King was not tied to render till within twenty days after the demand, . . . I did not let slip one hour, the twenty days expired, but were importune for his reddition.”
If your honour will have poor Edward Stafford's judgment upon this, I think her Majesty should send one express to demand his delivery, and believe their stay is only either “to find some matter for him to be 'justiciable' in France . . . and so never send him into England, or else perchance (which I do not speak without a ground) tarry a time that he may have some melancholic drug, that he may peak away without accusing anybody,” for their fear is lest his confession may hurt others, not for any account they make of him.—Paris, 6 March, 1584.
Signed by both. Add. Endd. 4 pp. [France XIII. 51.]
March 6. The Elector Truchsess to Davison.
Praying him to give credit to the bearer, his squire, Leuvestein, whom he sends to speak with him on certain matters.—Utrecht, 6 March, 1585, stilo antiquo [as regards the day of the month].
Signed. Add. Endd. Fr. ½ p. [Holland I. 55.]
March 6/16. News from Rome.
From Spain.—The King, after leaving Saragosa, gave a pension of 2,000 crowns to the Count of Triultio, in the kingdom of Naples. The secretary, Antonio Perez, threw himself from a window to escape from prison, but was re-taken in the church of Santa Giustina. It may do him harm, for before his fife was in no danger.
From Portugal.—A conspiracy has been discovered and about a hundred chief men of the kingdom arrested as abettors. Some have been killed by the Spaniards.
From France.—M. de Poigny (Pugne), brother of Cardinal Rambouillet (Rambuglietto), has gone as ambassador to Spain, and M. St. Gouard (la Garda) as ambassador to Rome.
Signor Valerio Orsino has gone from Rome very angry, not having been able to obtain the resignation of the Archbishopric of Cosenza, and Pietro Orsino, Bishop of Spoleto, is praying to be allowed to resign his bishopric, with some compensation. It is believed that it will be given to Monsignor Giacoballi.
On Sunday there was chapel in the palace with the assistance of our Lord and all the cardinals. The mass was sung by the Bishop of Terra Nova and the Procurator of the Minerva gave the sermon; and that day the Marquis of Baden, having “done” (fatto) the seven churches, visited many holy places, and disbursed alms, withdrew with the Jesuit fathers penitentiary of St. Peter, there to live the contemplative life throughout Lent. The day before, there arrived here the 30,000 crowns of the Pope which were attacked by sixty bandits at Colporito, but the Corsican soldiers defended it valiantly.
On Monday Signor Giulio Colonna left Caprarola and went to Fabrica accompanied by many Roman gentlemen.
We hear nothing important of Monday's consistory, but that the church of Faenza was solemnly resigned to the nephew of Monsignor di Grassis by his uncle; and that Monsignor Aragonia, bishop of Ascoli, has not yet obtained audience of his Holiness, who wishes that he should purge his contumacy.
[Marriage gossip.] Cardinal Santa Croce has left suddenly for St. Gregorio, his place, and Cardinal Sforza is preparing to go into Lombardy, Este to Venice, and Medici to Florence; where, it is said, on the 8th instant there was the entry of those persons come from the Indies; viz. the two sons of the King and two nephews, who gave a great present to the Grand Duke and his wife, all of jewels; having been made much of by his Highness. The commissioners of the Pope have arrived at the frontiers to receive them with all honour and friendship, whence they will come to Rome and lodge in the house of the Cardinal di Medici.
On Thursday Cardinal di Medici met Signor Paolo Giordano at Acqua Traversa, where they treated at length of the marriage with La Corambona, Signor Paolo saying that he was pressed to effect it by the knawing of his conscience, but the Cardinal protested that he must not do it because it would greatly displease the Grand Duke; so it is believed it will go no further.
From Naples they advertise that Alfonzetto Caracciolo has this carnival made a sumptuous pageant, in which were about twenty-four musical instruments and ten black slaves; also twenty-four pages on horseback and twenty four supporters, and finally they had running at the quintain before the palace.
In the house of Don Luis de Toledo a comedy was acted, on which was spent 3,000 crowns, where Don Rodrigo, son of Don Luis, appeared descending in a cloud, and presented to the Vicereine a gold apple worth 300 crowns.
Yesterday the Pope, accompanied as usual, it being the third holy Friday, went down to pray in St. Peter's.
It is said that by means of Signor Prospero Colonna the bandits will relinquish the enterprise of further damaging the precincts of Rome and other possessions of the Roman States; which lord, it is said, is called by the Grand Duke to his charge, or he will be perhaps appointed by the Venetian Signoria in the place of Sforza Palavicino.
Italian. 4 pp. [Newsletters LXXII. 12.]
March 6/16. Advertisements sent from Rome.
Prague, 19 Feb.—Last week the Emperor remained in retirement for some days, and will shortly depart for Vienna, seeing that these lords of the Diet have agreed to grant him what was desired. Last Thursday the nuncio sumptuously banqueted all the principal lords of the Court, and his efforts have been so successful that he is beloved and made much of by all. It is said that the Diet of Poland goes on quietly; that Sborowski had made provision of 26,000 florins by the merchants, and they suspected that he meant to stir up some strange thing, being, as they say, a rebel to the crown of Poland, and discovered to have held secret correspondence with the Muscovites.
It will shortly be published to whom has been offered the offices of High Chancellor of this kingdom, vacant for twenty-eight months, and of Major Domo, vacant for three months; viz. this to Signor Enusius, and that to Signor Giovanni Popil, beloved by all for his honesty.
The Padre Possovino has at length brought to an end the business of the differences between the Emperor and the King of Poland on account of Savomar, having settled the whole to the joy of everybody.
Cologne, 24 Feb.—Brussels is not surrendered, as was written, seeing that the Prince would not accept it on the conditions granted to Ghent, but wished to have it at his mercy; whither the commissioners being returned, three of them were beheaded on suspicion of having some intelligence with his Highness. He expects to close the river with his new palisade, having had certain erections put in a triangle with very long iron spikes, within which they can put small ships and galleys with armed men and with these pass to Antwerp, which is not in a very good state, and the rather that for two months nothing has entered it, and sixty ships which were made ready to go there have returned to Holland and have unloaded everything; no good sign for that city.
It is said that they of Nieuport in Holland, perceiving that the States were doing all in their power to the end that the King of France should take their protection, have signified that if that agreement follows, they will remove themselves entirely from their friendship, not wishing the French to have lordship over them; that it would not be fitting for the States, that being one of the chief places in Holland.
Col. Giovanni Manriquez, to quiet his soldiers for their arrears, pushed them forward into the country of Liége, that they might live without spending any money; but they there behaved themselves so badly that the peasants were driven to attack them when asleep in the night, killing about three hundred and carrying away all that they had; the rest escaping by flight.
Of the ambassadors who have gone into France nothing is known except that it is said the Queen Mother has given them private audience; and that an ambassador from the Queen of England was expected.
Venice, 9 March.—In these last days of the carnival so many accidents have happened that it appeared like the forest of Bavano, with infinite number of murders, robbing of women, married and unmarried, in the street, and a booty of thousands of crowns and caps, purses and other like things, but thank God the carnival is ended and the hurly-burly all over, as if it had never been.
A galley has arrived in ten days from Corfu to take the new Bailo to Constantinople.
From Genoa we hear that Prince Doria has gone to Barcelona; from France, that the King had given private audience to the Flemish ambassadors, but nothing is known of it but that they came niggardly (avarezzati); and every hour an ambassador from England was expected with great offers in case the King accepted the protection of the Low Countries.
Add. to the Signori Dominico and Ottaviano della Torre de Leone, 16 March, 1585. Endd. Italian. 3 pp. [Newsletters LXXII. 13.]
March 7. Walsingham to Stafford.
Finding that you make no mention of Morgan in your last, by Mr. Marbury, I send this bearer with speed to say that you would do well to procure that Morgan may be sent over in my Lord Derby's company, and in the meantime to “advertise hither” your proceeding in the cause, for her Majesty greatly desires to hear of its success, whereupon I have already sent you word by Mr. Cooke (who departed on Friday night) to press the King earnestly.
I have moved her Majesty to write letters of thanks to the King and Queen Mother for Morgan's apprehension, but cannot obtain them; therefore you will do well “to perform the same by speech”; as by her special direction.
Some write from Paris that Morgan shall not be delivered, which I the rather credit, considering the course the King now takes with the Low Countries. We are now in consultation what way we shall take for them, wherein there is diversity of opinion, for we are loth to enter into open war, yet see the peril from Spain so great that by seeking to avoid an external war, we may “draw it home to our own doors.”
I would to God that, if we take the protection of those countries, the King could be induced to make stay of victuals, to furnish them with some money underhand, and to assist Don Antonio to recover his country, “as also the King of Navarre.” We fear that his inwardness with the Jesuits has wrought this resolution in him, and that by their persuasion he may join with Spain against us, under colour of setting up the Catholic faith.
I pray God Morgan may be delivered to the Earl of Derby before these come to your hands. “I never saw her Majesty affect any matter so greatly. The French ambassador here is doubtless moved by the ill-affected to stay his delivery. The Earl must take good heed between Abbeville and Montereau lest an ambush be laid to intercept him; I have written to advise him “to leave that way and to pass along the sea-side.” Her Majesty is greatly satisfied with your reply to Bellièvre, which she greatly commended before her Council, “wherewith your poor friends here were not a little glad.”—7 March, 1584.
Copy. Endd.pp. [France XIII. 52.]
March 7. Walsingham to Davison, “her Majesty's Agent in the Low Countries.”
We yesterday learnt from our ambassador in France that King's answer to the States' Deputies (communicated by him to Lord Derby and the said ambassador), which was to the effect that he thanked them for their offer of the sovereignty of the country, and to yield him such obedience as they did to Charles V, and would willingly have accepted it, but that he had of late discovered “some dangerous practice” in his own realm which forces him to alter his purpose, adding, however, to my Lord Derby and the ambassador that he would be willing to join with her Majesty as a mediator for the States to the King of Spain. With which answer, as it is likely that the States, considering their own weakness and the small hope they see to be relieved by us, will be greatly dismayed, her Majesty desires me to send this bearer, my servant, with direction that you should use the best persuasion you can to assure them that she will not abandon them, “but be ready to do for them, if she shall find a like disposition in them to do for themselves.—Greenwich, 7 March [altered from 8], 1584.
Signed. Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Holland I. 56.]
March 7. Copy of the above letter.
Endd. ¾ p. [Ibid. I. 57.]
March 7/17. The Council of State to the Queen.
Having given a commission to Capt. Daniel Fovasse to raise 200 Walloon soldiers, for which purpose he is sending someone into her kingdom to levy some Walloon refugees there, they humbly pray her to show favour to him in the matter.—Utrecht, 17 March, 1585. Signed Chr. Huygens.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. I. 58.]
March 8. Leicester to his cousin Davison, Ambassador to the States.
You will see from Mr. Secretary's letters “how the French have dealt with that people, who are well enough served; but yet I think if they will heartily and earnestly seek it, the Lord hath appointed them a far better defence. But you must so use the matter as they must earnestly seek their own good, though we shall be partakers thereof also.
“They may now, if they will effectually and liberally deal, bring themselves to a better end than ever France would have brought them. Fare ye well. I am in such haste.''—8 March.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland I. 59.]
March 8/18. Arnolt de Grunevelt, Governor of Sluys, to Walsingham.
In accordance with your letters of Jan. 24, I have done all I could to assist the merchant therein mentioned, notwithstanding that the Reyders (fn. 1) and commanders of the ship of war claimed the right of confiscation of the goods, for reasons by them stated before the Council of the Admiralty, and demanded judgment accordingly. But, in order to serve you, I have caused the merchandise to be returned to the factors of the said merchant on condition of a fair recognizance; and I assure you that in all other things in which you shall be pleased to employ me, I will do it very willingly.
There are no good news here. Since the river of Antwerp was closed, we have lost Brussels, which surrendered on the 11th inst., after having long held out. Count Hohenloe had gone with the horse to revictual it, but arrived too late. If the neighbouring princes do not take pity on these afflicted countries, the King of Spain will reduce them all under his domination and the tyranny of Antichrist. So manifest a calamity should be prevented without delay, and I pray your honour, as one of the chief protectors of the reformed Church, to lend us your helping hand therein.—L'Escluse, 18 March, 1585.
Signed. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. I. 60.]
March 9. Stafford to Walsingham.
His good friend the ambassador of Venice has asked him to recommend to his honour the Signors Paolo Cornaro and Andrea Coredano, “men of very good account in their country,” knowing by report of those who have made proof thereof that he has both means and will to do favour to all strangers.
Prays him to continue the same in their behalf, that they may return satisfied, and that “their mediator may think his credit able to prevail in a matter of greater consequence.”—Paris, 9 March, 1584.
Add. Endd. ½ p. [France XIII. 53.]
March 9/19. Anthony Bacon to Walsingham.
It was no less strange than grievous to me to learn by M. Segur that you, and my mother likewise, were ignorant of the occasion of my abode here, and conceived otherwise of it than by God's grace any action of mine shall deserve.
I am constrained, by reason of my sore eyes, to refer you to this bearer, my good friend Mr. Fenner, who having been ten months in my company, will be able to satisfy any demands you may propose; by whom I send such of the King of Navarre's letters as I received from M. du Pin; namely, to her Majesty, your honour, my Lord Chancellor, my Lord Treasurer, my lords of Bedford and Leicester, Lord Chamberlain, Sir Philip Sydney, Sir Francis Drake, Mr. Rawley and Mr. Wade, all from the King, who, doing me the honour to come to my lodging, accompanied with the Prince of Condé, the Vicomte of Turenne and other nobility, declared how much he was bound to her Majesty, which he would always be ready to acknowledge by any service he could do to her, or pleasure to any of her faithful servants, whereunto M. Segur replied in these terms, which, having continually in his mouth when mention is made of her Majesty, I thought good to set down as he spake them.
Sire, dit-il, vostre Majeste (fn. 2) a bien raison, Comme ont aussi tous vos fideles serviteurs, voire tous les gens de bien, a desirer de faire service a la Reyne d' Angleterre, car, en le faisant, vous ne feries que vostre debvoir, et grand' honneur a vous-mesme; veu que ses vertuz toutes seules surpassent celles de tous les aultres princes de la Chrestiente: Et pour mon particulier, sire, dit Monsieur Segur (reservant le service que je vous doibs) il n' y a roy ni reyne de la Chrestiente, la bonne grace desquelz je m' estimerois aulcun honneur que celle de sa Majeste d' Angleterre. Eh, mon pere, dit le roy, for he honoureth him always with that name, Si la reyne d' Angleterre vous entendoit parler, sa Majeste vous diroit grand mercy. Mais ce n'est pas chose nouvelle, dit le roy; car on diroit que vous ne fussies jamais a vostre aise qu'alors que vous aves occasion de louer sa Majeste, son conseil, son gouvernement, la police, V obeysance de ses subjects: somme, tout ce qu' il y a.”
If it please her Majesty to take notice of this in her answer to the King, I think he will take it very kindly, who having committed his letters to my charge and this bearer's delivery, will perhaps look for the answer this same way; and the rather as he has made him one of his gentlemen in ordinary, of which calling my experience of the gentleman's honest disposition and behaviour gives me good cause to hope he will show himself worthy. As for the King of Navarre's favours to me, I am not so overweening as to attribute them to anything but “to the merit of her Majesty's perfections, which are so infinite and shine so far, as I, the least of her humble servants . . . am partaker of the beams.”
If you will vouchsafe to make some word of thanks in my behalf, I am sure the King will judge them the better bestowed.— Montauban, 19 March, 1585.
Postscript.—May it please you to accept two discourses which, as I have had no leisure to copy out fair, I have given order to my brother Francis to see done there with all speed. Of one, you may have had the sight, but the other is of so fresh a date that I am assured it has never passed the sea.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [France XIII. 54.]
March 9. A memorial for Edward Burnham from Walsingham.
That her Majesty, seeing the peril if the King of Spain should possess himself of the Low Countries, is resolved to take the protection of them, upon due caution given her, which is three principal towns, Flushing, Enchuysen and Briell.
If they make any difficulty therein, they are to be shown that while the King of France seeks possession of the countries, the Queen, without regard of benefit to herself, offers to be their protector, whereby she throws herself into a present war. The French Kings have been their ancient enemies; the Queen and her predecessors their ancient friends. The King is an enemy to their religion, the Queen a friend. But if they are not satisfied by these reasons, they are to be plainly told that unless they make “some such like offers,” her Majesty cannot in reason give ear to them, as, in entering into war, she would be void of all assurance for the reimbursement of her money and for the yielding of due obedience to her during the time of her protection.
That they should consider that without her protection, being now abandoned by France, they cannot hold out against the King of Spain, and therefore whether it were not better to trust her with their towns, who desires nothing but the preservation of their liberties, than a King of Spain, an enemy to their religion, and who seeks to deprive them of these liberties. As Haultain, the governor of Walcheren, may oppose the delivery of Flushing, in respect of his own profits, it would be well for the States to devise some recompense, “to draw him to yield therein.”
That as her Majesty does not mean to make herself possessor of these countries, there is no reason for her to be at any extraordinary charges in winning men to yield towns into her hands, from which she will gain no benefit.
That he shall desire Mr. Davison and Mr. Gilpin, from her Majesty, to “use the matter in such sort” as it may not appear that the proposal comes from her, but rather from their own goodwill; for if they thought she was moved by the necessity of her own estate, their offers would be “more base, and thereby alienate her devotion from them.” Mr. Gilpin is to advise them of Zeeland to take order for “assuring” Ostend and the Sluys, said to be in a mutiny, for if they were lost, it might make her more unwilling to take the protection.
Those of Antwerp should be at once put “in comfort of relief” from her, so that she may perceive by their offers that they are disposed to trust her.
She desires Mr. Davison to inform her thoroughly what “alteration” the King of France's refusal is like to work, what contributions they can yield and for how long; what forces they have in the field and in garrison, and what further forces they would require for the relief of Antwerp.
Also she looks for Mr. Davison to inform her how the Elector of Cologne goes forward in his enterprises, and what forces he could draw into the field if further supported, and to learn what abuses there are in the collection of the general contributions and how they may be redressed.
He is to be told that as he desired, I have written a letter of thanks in her Majesty's name to Paul Buys, who must not be employed as the Archbishop of Cologne meant, as she cannot spare so devoted a servant.
And he is to keep so much of the copy of the letter from France as concerns Bellièvre's conference with the ambassador.
Endd. 4 pp. [Holland I. 61.]
A further memorial for Burnham.
To give order for the stay of Morgan's regiment, if they pass by Flushing. To require Mr. Davison and Mr. Gilpin to advertise often. To consider with them how the Malcontents may be “recovered.” To acquaint them with my intent to send some of the Dutch Church over. And that they hasten the States to send some to treat with her Majesty, “in respect of our parliament.”
½ p. [Ibid. I. 61a.]
March 10. Elizabeth to the French King.
The letters before the last sent to me by my ambassadors confirmed me in my love and honour for you, informing me of your great care of my life by giving order for the apprehension of him who has often attacked it in divers ways, being the greatest traitor ever living in a prince's realm. But this pleasure (liesse) is like a fire made of straw, which flames up more than it endures, for now I have a packet which has made me very angry, hearing that not only was he not delivered into my hands, but that my ambassadors have not been permitted to see his ciphers and writings.
But, qui pis est, my greatest enemies have been allowed to visit him, in order to agree upon the replies he shall make, to hide the accomplices of such treachery. My God, what necromancer has blinded your eyes, that you cannot see your own danger, to whom God has not granted such sincere and adoring subjects that you may not have the balance of their fidelity shaken. Even amongst barbarians, such iniquity would be punished in exemplary fashion before all the world. Certainly it would be expected from a Most Christian King, and I swear to you that if he is to be denied to me, I shall conclude that I am not desiring a league with the King, but with a legate, or a governor of seminaries, and shall be ashamed to put myself into such bad company; for I shall never think that such an act came from a nature so honourable and so royal as your own.
My good brother, you will excuse this roundness, which is only from my love to your renown throughout all lands, which I hold so dear that I desire to have no just cause to abate the affection I have vowed to you; coming not from deceitful lips (from which may God guard you) that under cloak of piety have little care for your greatness. I send this gentleman to show my heart to you, and pray you to give him credit and listen favourably to what he has to say to you on my behalf.
Pardon me if these last dealings have made me forget to thank you for the honours you have shown to my ambassadors.
Copy, in very bad French. Endd. “10 March, 1584. Copy of her Majesty's letter . . . sent by Mr. Waade.” 1¾ pp. [France XIII. 55.]
March 10. Elizabeth to the Queen Mother.
She excuses her good sister by the adage, Chi fa quel que puo non e tenuto a fare più, otherwise she would grieve much that a princess whom she has loved so dearly has permitted the King so far to forget his office as not only to refuse to deliver up the traitor, but, which is worse, not to allow his papers, letters and ciphers to be searched, as if he made more account of a villain than of a prince. The time may come when those who have hindered so just an act may give him more pain and when he will value a friendship such as hers. If her ambassador had not written it to her, she could not have believed that they would have been listened to, or that the King would have preferred them to her honour, expecting rather that he would have desired to stop the mouths of such babblers, bethinking himself not of what they wished, but what he ought to do, supposing that some others of the same mind were concealed in the papers. Her Majesty is wise, so she will say no more but that if the dead were living, he would not permit such an insult, and one which happened at a bad time, for never was she more devoted to any prince than to the King both in heart and will, as her own acts should have shortly proved, as God knows.
Copy. Endd. “The copy of her Majesty's letter to the Queen Mother, sent by Mr. Waade, 14 March, 1584.” Fr.pp. [Ibid. XIII. 56.]
Calendared only shortly, as it is printed in full in Lettres de Catherine de Medicis, VIII, 437. Is there put to the year 1584, but although Elizabeth might, in writing to the French King, quite conceivably have used new style, the allusions to Morgan show that this was written in 1585.”
The reference “British Museum,” should be Public Record Office. The text as printed in the Lettres contains a few transcriber's errors, viz:—on p. 434, column I, line 3, for offre, read office; l. 5, for nous livrer, read non livrer; l. 18, for de si, read et sa; l. 24, for escontre read escouter. Column II, l. 4, for pour le cas read posé le cas; l. 8, for de tel acte ensuivant, read si tel acte ensuiviste; l. 15, for amie read voué.
March 10. Instructions for William Waad.
Before your access to the King, you shall inform yourself, from the ambassador, how best to execute the service committed to you.
And at your access, you shall let the King understand that as we received singular contentment that, according to, our request, he had caused Thomas Morgan, a most wicked subject who practised against our life, to be apprehended, and his papers to be sealed up by a servant of our ambassador; So we (fn. 3) were not a little grieved to learn that difficulty should be made in the delivery of him to our ambassador, on pretence “that the treaties do yield twenty days respite before delivery be made of any rebels or malefactors.”
And that we did not think that the King, professing such good will as he hath done of late towards us, would have made difficulty in a cause so just, for the world looketh that, besides good will, the love of justice should have moved him, without solicitation, to make delivery of so wicked and devilish an instrument; a matter that cannot but touch his honour, for that princes in such extraordinary cases do not stand upon terms of treaties or liberties of kingdoms, “for if there should not exemplary justice be made in such a case, both princes and kingdoms could not long stand.”
You shall also say that we are sorry the world should see such cold effects of his late protestations of goodwill, and that we cannot in reason (if he persists in his denial) make hereafter any account of his friendship, finding that Morgan's papers and writings, sealed up with the seal of our ambassador's servant, have been carried away without our consent and privity, wherein “there hath not that regard been had unto us that we might in reason look for, and do thereby easily gather how unwilling the King is to satisfy us in anything that may be to our contentment.”
And in case the King shall assent to our request for the delivery of Morgan, you shall require that he may be delivered into the hands of our ambassador resident, there to remain until our pleasure shall be known touching his conveyance into this realm, and shall inform yourself how this may be performed most safely.
But if the King shall still refuse to deliver him, you shall without delay return to us.
Draft. Endd. with date. 2¼ pp. [France XIII. 57.]
March 10. Stafford to Walsingham.
I must needs write to you what visions pass here, though I cannot tell what to make of them. “All this town and court here is at a gaze what will become of these bruits that all the house of Guise and their adherents are armed, and with (fn. 4) the Cardinal of Bourbon will be on horseback the 20th of this month.”
Last Saturday, a great boat was taken going up the Marne, laden with corslets and harquebusses which the Cardinal of Guise had bought and sent to Rheims; who left this town the day before without leave-taking. On Saturday morning, the King in great choler was sending some of his guard to the Duke d'Elbuœuf's lodging to stay him, but whilst he was consulting with the Chancellor, Elbœuf had warning and went away suddenly, taking nothing with him and leaving his wife here sick almost unto death.
On Sunday the King resolved to stay Madame de Montpensier and a son and daughter of the Duke of Guise and one son of the Duke de Maine, that are with her; but as yet it is not done. All those affected to the House of Guise have left the Court; not one man left.
Every day comes news upon news from all parts that the provinces where the House of Guise has any interest are in a readiness and that divers gentlemen have “retired” their stuff, wives and children into the strong towns at their devotion, and among others, that Beauvais-Nangis (Beauvois Langey), once one of the King's mignons, had retired all into Chalons; but that is not true; for a week ago a friend of mine passed by his house, where he found wife, children and house in their usual state, and he gone to his mother in law's at Millian.
I also sent one express to Joinville, where the Duke of Guise is, and reported to be greatly accompanied, but my man assures me he has not above thirty gentlemen with him. Others interested in the matter have found the same; and when we met together, to “cast” what all these bruits should mean, it is found that when such bruits came of the Admiral, at the last troubles, and the King sent M. Thoré to see what they meant, he was found at his house, never so smally accompanied, making his wines, yet the next morning he went to horseback and began the troubles. Armour is daily bought here, not in gross, as the Cardinal did, but in parcels, in such sort that in five days, enough has been got to arm 4,000 men.
The Duke of Guise's chief secretary, La Fevre, last week openly at the encan [auction] sold his house here with all its stuff and furniture, which makes the “less deep conceited men” think that the bruits are true, but those of more judgment, “who know him to be wise, and his master no fool,” think it is done to make men think more than there is, for that if there were any such action in deed, they would rather do all they could to keep it secret.
For the King's manner of proceeding, here in the Court, he makes as little of all these things as though they were never thought on, only he is sending to the Dukes of Guise and Maine, Mercœur and Nevers, and the Cardinals of Guise and Bourbon, to advertise them of these bruits, know their meanings and order them to desist. To the Cardinal of Bourbon is sent M. la Mothe Fénelon, to the Duke of Guise M. de Maintenon. To the Cardinal of Guise he was sending M. de la Rochette, “that was belonging to him,” but suddenly his humour changed and he sent to apprehend Rochette, who, however, had warning and “saved himself” in the ambassador of Ferrara's house for the night, and this morning at the gates' opening went away, well mounted and alone.
The King, as you may see by the book I send you, has “made the gendarmerie for this quarter,” and will openly make no more, but has privately sent to all who are devoted to him to have their companies ready at the first call.
On Sunday he sent for Clervant and Chassincourt, declared these bruits to them, and desired them to write to the King of Navarre not to take alarm or make a show to arm; to stand upon his guard, as also the towns of the Religion, but not to assemble companies or do anything to give a colour to them for taking arms. The King protested his love to him and his “assuredness” to maintain his edicts and conserve those of the Religion; though it was cunningly given out that he had intelligence with them [the Guises], he declared on the faith of a King that he hated them and their treacheries and would maintain his promises, “or else that he wished to God to confound him; and that he affirmed with the greatest protestations and deepest oaths that could be.” He told them what he had done about the gendarmerie, and the causes of it; that these enterprises were not only against him but his allies; that he had sent to levy 6,000 Swisses; that he heard Geneva was to be besieged and that whoever would go to its aid would do him service, saying to Clervant that when last it was besieged, he meant to go thither, and if now he did so, he should take it very well at his hands; and that he would presently send an express to the King of Navarre, and in the mean time desired them to assure him how well he loved him.
To tell you the diversity of judgments here:—Some think that the King himself has had these rumours given out, to have a lawful excuse to do nothing for the deputies; but this I see no cause to ground my faith upon. Some think they are practices of the King of Spain's faction and that the matter is nothing; which I cannot tell what to think on. Some, that they are real actions practised by the King of Spain to trouble this realm, with which opinion I could easily go. Some, “that upon proofs that are made of the King's death ere long they will be ready armed for such a chance, which is neither unlike nor impossible. Some that they mean (upon the colour of seeking the relief of the oppressed people and the abolishing of the Religion, which two things carry here a fair show) to seize upon the King and make him alter his government and his governors, which is not unlikely. Some that they and the King have intelligence together to the ruin of religion and all religious persons, which I cannot tell truly what to say to. . . . For my part . . .if I should judge, I should rather judge with the worst than the best, though the best be bad enough, if it were not that I and the most religious men here . . . conceive that the King would fain live in peace, and that any kind of war is against his will.”
Having written bad news, I must conclude with good, freshly come hither; “that the Governor of Milan, following an old practice begun in Cardinal Borromeo's time, to make a practice among the Grisons, had let slip one Renaldo Totoni, who was entering into the Voltolino underhand, with almost 6,000 soldiers in divers parts, which the Grisons finding, levied in a moment 25,000 men, and are entered into the Duchy of Milan. Being sent to by the Governor to know the cause, they desire justice to be done to them of the enterprise against them contrary to their league; which being disavowed by the Governor, they desire to have the said Totoni delivered into their hands . . . as also restitution of their charges in making this levy, and thereupon remain yet in the Duchy, demanding satisfaction. I am sorry that such poor folks show example to great princes what they should do in like cases, and that for all that, they have not grace to follow it. It is thought the King's ambassador there, M. de Liverdy, hath put courage into them and set them on. It is like enough, for he is a very honest, wiseman, evil affected to the Spaniards, and in whom they have a marvellous great confidence.—Paris, 10 March, 1584.
Add. Endd. 4 pp. [France XIII. 58.]
March 10. Copy of the above, probably sent to Burghley.
Holograph. 4 pp. [Ibid. XIII. 59.]
March 10. Stafford to Walsingham.
The deputies are departed, and before their going came once or twice to me and I to them. They seem marvellously amazed at this sudden answer of the King, quite against their expectations. I think they have altered their minds for some of them passing through England, and I cannot tell what purpose it would have served, seeing they have no commission to deal with anybody. They came to me for counsel, and I sounded them, but found they had no authority, though they were sure they would not be disavowed if they could get any help.
I answered that they who were sick could best tell their own sore and the remedy; that I was sure her Majesty would be as careful of them now as ever and help them all she could, but they must also help themselves, must by no means lose courage, and must put courage into the hearts of those at home, and no doubt but God and their good friends would help them if they put their helping hands to it. I left them “well edified of her Majesty, and in a good opinion of all that she had done for them.”
There is a very honest gentleman who desires that both his name and what he would enterprise should be kept secret, for if the matter were known it could not take effect, “whereas else it is likely to be the surest and the speediest way to succour them that can be devised.” The man is Clervant. I send you his notes of the cost and way it might be done, as also the note he gave Junius “to demand of one or two of his secretest companions, whereunto you may see how slenderly they answered.” He met Junius and another here, to talk over the matter with me, “but truly I find they would be helped of everybody but would not help themselves, for when it came to enquire of them for the payment of the 6,000 that should come to their help, if they could be contented of such wines as they themselves brought or cause to be brought, to let the “daces” [customs] and the taxes that they take to go frank and to have a charge given that till the wine they brought were sold, nobody should sell, they answered they could not, so that they will discourage all men to seek to help them.” Therefore they that deal in this desire that if her Majesty think well of it, they may, by her authority be caused to look better into their own estate, and to leave off private profits to help public commodities. A hundred thousand crowns would be needed for the setting out of it; the party's own credit will supply part, and he believes the King of Navarre will furnish the rest.
He is now going out of the town, but will come again if he is to be employed. Whatever her Majesty's answer be, let me have it, that he may not think himself little set by, for he deserves well.
A strait commandment has gone to Calais and Mezières, the two chief places for carrying them, “to let upon pain of life no inch of victuals go out of France.” I hope it will be kept. This sending about it reminds me of what Bellièvre answered when I said to him that if the King would do nothing else he might stop victuals going—”that those things that were to be done, the King would do of himself without entreaty or persuasion of any; and the Queen Mother, when the deputies took their leaves of her, lamenting their case, she bid them be of good comfort, that perchance they should have help afore they look for it.
“The poor old woman is in her bed, sick for very melancholy. The day before yesterday, she was brought in a chair from the Louvre to her own house here in the town,” the King going all the way afoot by her, and his wife following her in a coach.— Paris, 10 March, 1584.
Postscript.—Even now one tells me that the King means to give the States a private help, but I see no likelihood of it unless he takes this stopping of victuals for a help, which, indeed, will annoy the enemy greatly.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [France XIII. 60.]
March 10/20. Thomas Lovell to Walsingham.
My former letters, which I enclose, waited long at the Brill for a wind, which serving not, the bearer returned here when I was away at Schonhoven in South Holland, and “in the meantime the ship was gone.”
Since then, a letter is come from the commissioners in France, a copy of which is enclosed. Your honour will consider more of the French handling than I can.
The Papist burgers in Nimeguen (Neweemegen) have beaten the protestants out of the town and disarmed them of all their weapons. They keép the town without taking in any soldiers. This was done last Saturday, the 16th, and sixteen protestants are said to have been slain, whereof the burgomaster is one. This dealing with the French will cause all the country to rebel. Nimeguen “importeth” the most part of Guelderland, if they let in the enemy, as it is to be doubted they will in short time.
The river of Antwerp is wholly closed up since Feb. 25, and the “mean men” here say that Brussels is in the enemy's hand, but the States have no writing of it, and I hope in God it is not true. He visits us on every side, but when we acknowledge our sins and cast them off, he will deliver us.—The Hague, 20 March, 1585, style of Holland.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ho'land I. 62.]
March 10. Le Sieur to Walsingham.
Colonel Morgan is still in treaty with the States here for his fourth month, according to the muster, for which the States “take order with the creditors to the sum due unto them since their last coming.” The overplus shall be given to the Colonel, and he to distribute it to his captains.
On the 1st inst., Count Hohenlo came hither from Bergues [op-Zoom], with a good number of horse and foot. He was very sorry to learn that the Colonel would send to the Prince of Parma for a passport, “and more for that he perceived the bad entertainment the said Colonel and his regiment had received here this winter;” offering to safe-conduct them to Bergues, rather than do the Prince of Parma the honour to send to him. The Colonel accepted the offer, if he might have waggons to carry his sick men and baggage, which were not to be had here at that time.
Two days after, the Count set out with his forces to relieve Bruxelles, but half way to Mechlin, met the serjeant-major of Bruxelles and a trumpet of the Prince of Parma, who told him that on the Sunday before the town had agreed with the Prince and he was come for safe-conduct from the Count for the convoy that was to escort the garrison out of the town towards Bergues.
Upon this certain news, the Count returned hither again, and that night marched to Bergues with his horse, leaving his foot in the quarter of the Englishmen.
The garrison has not yet left Bruxelles, nor is the Prince of Parma admitted. It is said the garrison will not depart until they have of the Prince two months' pay and hostages for their safety; “they of the other side to swear not to do any service for half a year in Brabant.” This alteration makes many hope that Bruxelles shall hold out for a time, the garrison being stronger than the ill-affected burgers.
Since the departure of the Count, the Colonel has solicited daily for his departure, but nothing is concluded, “more than the creditors to be persuaded to forbear with the Estates upon the eighth penny for a time, being destituted of ready money to satisfy them otherwise.”
On Sunday last the Colonel received letters and order for money from the Merchants Adventurers, according to the letters sent them signed by my lord of Leicester, my lord Treasurer and lord Chamberlain. The next day he desired me to write in his name to the Prince of Parma, asking for a passport for his lieut.-colonel and me to go to his Alteze to treat for the passage of his regiment.
The letter written, he offered it to the Estates, but they refused to read it or give their consent to his sending it. Notwithstanding, having no other means to obey her Majesty, he yesterday sent a drum with the letter; giving likewise their pay to his soldiers out of the money sent him by the merchants, and now only awaits the Prince's reply.
The three captains prisoners he intends to take with him, to be disposed of as her Majesty and her Council think requisite. More I would write, but “the venture of these lines” to Bergues is too great, “the Prince of Parma having of late broken quarters, so that those that pass, hazard their necks.”—Antwerp, 10 March, 1584, stylo antiquo.
The “feeling of her Majesty's money” made many who were half dead come abroad next day; of such virtue is her name and pay in respect of their usage received here. Colonel Morgan humbly salutes your honour.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Flanders I. 12.]
March, after the 10th. Note touching Duke Joyeuse's Ship.
Duke Joyeuse's ship was taken by Rivers, at the Isle of Wight, carried into Kinsale, and there manned by direction of the President of Munster; one Sampson being appointed captain, with Rivers as lieutenant.
The said ship, being so manned, took a French ship wherein my nephew's lieutenant was, upon the coast of Ireland, coming for England, this ship being first taken by my nephew upon the coast of Spain, laden with sugars and other commodities taken from the “Portingals,” the captain being a pirate, serving without any commission, who “in a ship of Newhaven came to take my nephew, and upon the encounter, my kinsman took one of the said French ships, being admiral.”
Of which ship no part of the goods were diminished, and at my nephew's first coming, I informed the French ambassador thereof, assuring him that upon its arrival my cousin should deal with him according to his liking. I also made it known to the Judge of the Admiralty, who said if the ship “were belonging to a pirate, it should be to her Majesty's uses.” I said she should be disposed of according to his judgment and the law, and that meanwhile I delivered him the truth, whereas if my nephew had not spoken truly, I should not have manifested the matter to him. This ship was brought into Kinsale, and Sampson and his lieutenant going to Cork, his company ran away to Duke Joyeuse's ship, and were with her “under Wight” about the 10th of this instant March, 1584.
Endd. 1 p. [France XIII. 61.]


  • 1. Reeders, i.e. partners or owners of a ship.
  • 2. Bacon uses no accents, which indeed are seldom found in French letters of this time.
  • 3. The first two times that “we” occurs, it is altered to the third person, but afterwards left as written.
  • 4. Written “why” by the secretary, but correctly in Stafford's holograph copy sent to Burghley.