Elizabeth: March 1585, 11-15

Pages 345-357

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, 11–15

March 11/21. Extract from a letter of Paul Buys.
From France, besides the letters of our deputies of Feb. 22, we have nothing but advice of their arrival at the court and good audiences of the King and Queens. Also of the commencement of their treaty with the chancellor and other counsellors; their performance of their duty for the aid of Brussels and the demand of the chancellor for a more ample statement of the present state of the Low Countries; without their being able to gain any resolution whatever, still less any final declaration to accept, reject or at least carefully consider the conditions, or the necessities of these countries, up to the 18th of February.
The States of Holland have imparted these and other letters to Mr. Davison, which was the first communication held with him. I think the eyes of some of them begin to be opened, and that they are coming to a better understanding of affairs, seeing these inopportune delays of France in these dangerous times. God grant it may not be too late, and that he may move the heart of some Christian prince to help us speedily.
For although Holland and Zeeland and some other provinces might yet find means to defend themselves, they entirely lack a supreme chief and commander of authority, so that it is to be feared that affairs may fall into such a state of decadence that they could not be repaired.
I doubt not but that Mr. Davison will have laid before her Majesty and her Council what has been said to him and what he has seen and does see daily. In all events, it would be a great comfort to these countries if it would please her Majesty to hold some forces in readiness, to be employed if the urgency of affairs required.—21 March, stilo novo.
Extract. Fr.pp. [Holland I. 63.]
March 11. Davison to Walsingham.
By my letters of Jan. 20, Feb. 12, 14 and 28, and 3 March, you will perceive how things have proceeded here, and what the States have received from their deputies in France. Since their last general letters, these of Holland have had particular ones from Dorp, their only deputy, which, besides the substance of the former, tell of the difficulties “fallen out amongst themselves about his procuration, being visited and conferred with the rest, which appeared so strict and peremptory as would be occasion of impediment and hindrance to the whole cause, if at the importunity of his colleagues, he should not accommodate himself,” which he has since done by “qualifying the articles” in many words and somewhat in the substance (a thing found very strange here), “whereunto he pretends to have been urged by necessity, that the blame should not be laid upon him in case through his strictness the matter should break off”; praying them to avow what he has done and to enlarge his commission for proceeding in the rest, especially in the points of contribution and assurance (for touching their religion and liberties there will be, he conceives, no question). For the contribution, he learns that the King is minded to employ some of his own to take charge thereof; and for assurance (besides what is offered by the rest) he underhand demands the Brill and Medemblick in Holland; in which points he desires authority, “that the burden be not laid on his shoulders, if by the want thereof they succeed otherwise than is wished,” or he be driven in this behalf to return home, in which case they must excuse his going back again.
These things have so ill-satisfied the States that they have commanded no copy to be delivered to any of the deputies of the towns; of which nevertheless I have had a sight. There has been some talk of sending Cassembrot (appointed at first one of the deputies) to supply the wants of this one, with whom they find great fault for taking upon him to exceed their commission; but as this would be “of very ill grace unless they sent him with new charge,” he has found the means to stay at home. They have answered Dorp “that they find it strange that he writeth of altering or changing the articles and exceeding the charge delivered unto him . . . and therefore enjoin him to keep himself within his limits and to advertise oftener of the proceeding of things, without giving him any other power, or making any mention of the points of contribution or assurances, as things they do hear with a deaf ear.” Wherein I lay all the impediments I can, because their refusal in these points will make the rest follow in their train; in regard that the greatest burden of the wars lies upon their shoulders, and that being freest and furthest from danger, “they have the greatest voice in the Chapter.”
There is no further news from the deputies, although it is a full month since the date of their last and the wind has been very fair; which makes some who have been most forward begin to put water in their wine. If their next letters bring nothing better, “it is not unlike that these of Holland and Utrecht will turn over a new leaf.”
“I have underhand put them in good comfort of her Majesty's favour, and find that for her assurance there will be no difficulty of any places she shall desire in Holland, whatsoever the rest do, of whom, notwithstanding, she may have the better market in case they break off with the French.” I should be glad to know what places she affects, that I may sound them.
For news, the doubt of Nimeguen has not been without cause, for having secretly compounded with the enemy to enjoy their privileges and be excepted from garrisons and contributions, on Saturday morning they expelled those of the Religion and the companies in garrison, and since, have “turned all things upside down.”
The like was intended at the same time in Arnhem, but by Count Neuenaar's diligence prevented; who, with such troops as he could gather, occupied a place upon the river, over against the town, which he has fortified and furnished with artillery and some companies, “which are like to prove noisome neighbours to Nimeguen.” We hear the like ill news of the rendering of Brussels, which is said to have compounded for 200,000 florins; the soldiers suffered to depart with their arms and ensigns displayed, and such as list to serve the enemy offered two months' pay. The river is believed to be closed, yet the fleet remains about Tertollen, to pass with the first fair wind; making some preparations for the opening thereof, by arming of vessels, &c.
The news of the marriage of the King's eldest daughter with the Cardinal [Albert of Austria] is daily confirmed.—The Hague, 11 March, 1584.
Postscript.—It is suspected that the enemy has some enterprise against the Sluys or Ostend in Flanders; making all provision necessary for a siege, as minding “to give these men on all sides their hands full.”
Add. Endd.pp. [Holland I. 64.]
Two copies of the above. Endd.pp. [Ibid. I. 65, 66.]
March 11. Davison to Burghley.
I wrote a few days since to you and Mr. Secretary jointly, sending you a copy of the last letter of the commissioners in France. Since then have come special letters from Dorp, commissioner for those of Holland, the sum of which you will perceive by the copy of my letter to Mr. Secretary which I send herewith. These men begin to find their error, taught by the loss of Brussels and Nimeguen what fruit to look for from their French treaty, which begins so happily, “entertaining their deputies with ceremonies and difficulties whilst their estate goeth here to wrack.”
Yet some still persuade themselves and others that help from that side cannot deceive them. Touching the difficulties made in the points of contribution and assurance, I find these of Holland undisposed to their enlarging; wherein I have not been slow to persuade or confirm them, as occasion offered; especially those of Holland, whose backwardness will easily withhold the rest. Yet if her Majesty will help them, I am sure there will be no question of any places (especially in Holland) which she shall affect, and should be glad to know which she would demand.
I pray you to help forward my revocation, that I may be at home against the term, to take some order in my poor estate, which the shortness of time after my return from Scotland would not permit.—The Hague, 11 March, 1584.
Copy. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. I. 67.]
March 12. The Earl of Derby to Walsingham.
“It fareth with me now as with a man newly come from the sea,” so I pray you to excuse me that under my own hand I do not tell you of my safe and happy arrival here from Boulogne. I received your letters, one near Amiens, the other near Abbeville, which last I sent on to my Lord Ambassador.
The report of all matters I reserve to make to you myself, only I pray for your advice about my repair to her Majesty at Greenwich, whom I would gladly attend as I pass by if my long passage and the weariness of the journey did not make me wish to rest myself till Tuesday; but I will do as you advise.
Since landing, I hear of Mr. Waad's repair towards Paris. He took shipping here last night and as it would seem went either to Calais or the Black Ness, for I neither heard of him or saw him.— Dover, Friday night, 12 March, 1584.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [France XIII. 62.]
March 12. Stafford to Walsingham.
Having even now received A letter with matter of importance, I send back your servant who came to me yesternight. The letter came inclosed in one from Madame D'aubeterre; The Man I do not know, and cannot guess the name from his signature, but I have answered it, and shall presently know who he is. The matter I leave to the letter itself, and the preventing of the danger, If it be true, to your and her majesty's wise counsel.
I have to-day again sent to ask audience of the King, of whom I have had none since my Lord Derby left, he “having been in his foolish devotions. But I hope upon Sunday to have it, and there to know the short and the long of his mind for the delivery of Morgan.” I mean to take Parry's confession translated into French and the copy of the Cardinal of Como's letters, and to “leave no string to my bow” which may further his delivery.— Paris, 12 March, 1584.
Postscript.—Mr. Cooke, whom you sent to me yesterday, has done some wrong to this service, for he has given out “that Parry denied at his death all that he had confessed; which the evil affected here, I am afraid will serve their turns of. I have sent for him and charmed him so that since I hear no speech of it,” and also warned those whom he told, that I know of, not to speak of it.—Paris, 12 March, 1584.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XIII. 63.]
March 12. Stafford to Walsingham.
Recommending Mr. Hatton, now returning into England, for his honest and good behaviour and good parts, and praying his honourable good friends in England to show him all the favour they can, both by themselves and by their speeches of him to her Majesty.—Paris, 12 March, 1584.
Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. XIII. 64.]
March 12/22. William de Maulde to Davison.
I now fulfil my promise to send you Cornelius Tacitus talking French, and pray you to excuse my delay; for having got him back from those I had lent him to, I found him so badly apparelled that I thought he ought to have a new robe before sending him to you. I pray you to accept him kindly, not being ashamed to offer you so small a thing, as I know your good nature, and moreover am constrained by the baseness of the times to conform myself to the proverb, parvum parva decent. You will find therein some notes of the translator, giving reasons for his rendering of certain passages, on which I will give no opinion, but leave it to you, who can do it much better than I can.
I must tell you that I should not have left you so quickly, but that, being with one of the States' deputies, I heard the most unhappy news of the loss of Brussels and the revolt of Nimeguen, where the papists have not only turned out the garrison but all those of our religion; a most pernicious example, and which, it is to be feared, will spread to the towns of Guelderland and even to this country, where the papists are no less numerous than our people. This good man was himself a papist and had another with him of the same colour, who did not seem very sorry for these fresh misfortunes, and who being suspicious of the tediousness of the treaty with the French, said that if they went on much longer with it, it would be necessary to decide upon a general peace with the Spaniard without further delay; in which the deputy of the States seemed to agree with him. This would be enough (if all were of this humour) to bring to pass the prophecy of our Pythagoras, but I do not believe that the authority of this deputy will be sufficient to persuade his confreres to so disadvantageous a thing as a peace made thus hastily with the enemy, as if we were absolutely forced to it.
For my part, I believe the Estates will bear in mind this sentence of Tacitus, pace dubia, tutius bellum. It is much to be wished that they would quickly make some preparations, for I much fear that the enemy, to make a mock of us and an affront to the King of France, may soon besiege and take from us some other place; for my cousin de Gruneveldt, governor of Sluys, wrote to me two days ago that the enemy was making great preparations at Bruges to besiege either Ostend or Sluys itself; M. de la Motte being come to Bruges, and there amassing great store of cannon balls, picks, mattocks and such things, needed in a siege. I think it will be rather Ostend than Sluys, for Ostend is not strong, and cannot be guarded with less than 1,500 men; and they have not half that number.
I have also letters from Paris, but of a pretty old date, telling me that the King is not such a recluse as he was wont to be; addicting himself daily a courre la vergette et a picquer ses chevaulx, and giving audience twice a week to the ambassadors. With these three particulars:—that he had made d'Espernon, one of his mignons, general of the French horse and foot, a thing, however, which seems to me incompatible; that in case any army is raised to come here (which all the French nobility greatly desire) M. de Biron will lead it; but that so far no mention is made of any appearance of raising the said army, which gives me and many others very small hopes of any good issue, joined to the fact that they have had so little care to aid Brussels, which was of such importance for carrying on a powerful war in Hainault, and which above all others deserved assistance as having been the first which dared to make head against the Spaniard, who will now give them cause to remember it. My letters also said that the Spanish ambassador, having heard of the arrival of our deputies at Calais, went to the King, urging him not to give audience to these rebels heretics; who replied that the Kings of France were not accustomed to refuse audience, and that his, master, the King of Spain, granted it even to the ambassadors of the Turk, who is an infidel; asking him further if he knew certainly for what cause they came, which might be to pray him to be an intercessor between them and his master.—Delft, 22 March, 1584.
Add. Endd. Fr.pp. [Holland I. 68.]
March 12/22. The Queen to the Signoria of Venice.
Acknowledging their letters of December, 1584, in answer to hers concerning the taking away of the new imposts. Their statement that the “regent” of Zante had acted without fresh orders (and against their decree of August, 1582) does not content her, seeing that her subjects had informed him of this decree, and also that such a matter, passed in their senate, could not but be known to him, in spite of which he rigorously demanded the impost. She might have proceeded in like manner with their subjects, but, desiring the restoration of the old friendship and intercourse, has not done so, but has exacted only “suretyships,” not ready money. Nor does she mean in the future to charge them with any new imposts more than her own subjects will pay. When it shall please them to restore to these latter what they paid before they knew of the new impost, and after, and to permit them in trade in their lordships' dominions as they were wont to do, then she will take order that the suretyships of their subjects shall be discharged and released.
Hopes this promise will content them and that they will not require that she should pleasure them in all their desire, seeing they have not yet done what they first promised. Desires them to show “by some lively deed that they have that opinion of her which by their letters they would make her believe, and that they wish, as she does, for the restoration of the old traffic; otherwise she will be constrained to proceed to the indemnifying of her own subjects.
Translation. Endd. with date. 4¼ pp. [Venice I. 20.] Briefly calendared in Cal. S.P. Venice, 1580–1590, p. 112.
March 5/15 and 12/22. Extract from letters from Antwerp.
In my last, I had no leisure to advertise your honour of the untoward services of Colonel Morgan's regiment, “refusing all good offices when they have been required at their hands,” but we afterwards agreed that all differences should be forgotten, that only upon their third month's pay the arms delivered to them should be rebated, and that they should pass muster on the fourth month, and be paid. But when they were ready to be mustered “they refused to take oath, moving many difficulties, for that Capt, Powell (Powl) was returned out of England, who had there made many complaints and untrue reports,” as that they were here so ill-treated and sore blamed by the magistracy, chiefly M. St. Aldegonde, that they desired to serve no longer, but would have leave to depart, which not being granted they said “they would take it of themselves and fetch passport by the Prince of Parma, and so to pass to their country”; so that we could not come to any agreement with them.
The Earl of Hohenloe hath been here and desired them that they would accompany him in this enterprise which he had in hand for the succour of Antwerp, but they refused it. Then he willed them to go with him to Bargen opten Zoom and so into Holland and Zeeland, saying he would procure them shipping for their transport into England. We would likewise have paid them 2,000 guilders and contented their creditors, which was more than we owed them, but they would not of it [sic], so that of their service there is no great good to be looked for.”
“Out of another letter dated 22 March, in substance as followeth”:—
Steven Legir [Le Sieur] says Colonel Morgan's drum was come back from the Prince of Parma with safeconduct for Morgan's lieutenant and the said Legir to go to the Prince to treat for a general passport for the regiment to pass through Flanders to Dunkirk, and so into England.
Copy. Endd.pp. The passages in italics underlined in the copy. [Newsletters I. 67.]
March 13. Walsingham to Davison.
This gentleman, M. de Grise, is going over to try to induce the States to send their deputies hither, furnished with “other manner” of instructions than they had to the French King, seeing that her Majesty “carrieth another manner of princely disposition towards them.” And in the mean time, fearing least in their hard estate and distrust of being relieved from hence, they should, in despair, throw themselves into the course of Spain, she desires you (though by Burnham I directed you to put them in comfort of relief only as of yourself) if you see cause sufficient, now in her name to assure some whom you shall think meet to chose, that, rather than they should perish, she will be content to take them into her protection if they will yield her such sufficient cautions and assurances as she may in reason demand. But if you do not see good cause to proceed thus far, then you shall forbear the same.—Greenwich, 13 March, 1584.
Postscript.—If Burnham is still there, pray acquaint him with this new direction.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland I. 69.]
Copy of the above. ¾ p. [Ibid. I. 70.]
March 13/23. Advertisements sent from Rome.
Prague, Feb. 26.—Last Saturday the Venetian deputies departed for Vienna, where they stopped outside the city at the house of a Milanese merchant named l'Ambrosio. A Neapolitan boasted that he would make a piece of artillery to shoot twenty times without stopping, refreshing the bore with vinegar or otherwise; they have made trial of it and it succeeded marvellously.
A chiaus has arrived at Vienna with letters to the Emperor and wished to come hither, but the Emperor gave orders that he should deliver the letters to the Archduke Ernest. Signor Christopher Sborowski and his brother have left the Diet, whether by order of the King or of their own free will is not known, it being said, as at first, that the King would win, having suborned all the chief men. Of the marriage of the Emperor with the eldest [Infanta] nothing is said, and there appears no preparation at all to that end.
Cologne, March 8.—It is many weeks since any vessel went up to Antwerp, yet they expect the Holland fleet, which they say had already started in that direction to free the river and the city; and it is said that some vessels went to enter, but found in the river a great quantity of great timbers, which the Prince had put there, with a bridge of iron to the shore, bringing thither much artillery; wherefore the vessels returned back. The city has agreed to pay another imposition, to provide for their needs.
It is said that the States' commissioners advertise that they expect aid from the King of France, the Queen Mother making every effort that he should accept the enterprise, together with the offer of the Queen of England. It is said that the captain who is so great a favourite of that Queen because of the great booty he has gained in the Indies, is arming thirty ships in order to go again to cruise in those parts, where the island of St. Thomas was stirred up in rebellion against the Catholic King by the aid which Don Antonio gave them, with some ships; and that they are making great preparations in the Queen's arsenal. Brussels still holds out, but has sent fresh deputies to the Prince of Parma to treat with him. He will not accept them except at discretion, but they are very obstinate and will rather eat their own children and then bury them[selves ?] alive. In Ghent and Bruges there have been imprisoned those who had resolved to pay the soldiers, and this for lack of money. Sixty horsemen went out from Valdo and fell into an ambuscade and were cut to pieces.
It is said that M. de Hollock was in that island [sic], but it is not believed; the deaths of the natural brother of the Prince of Orange and the brother of the old Archbishop are confirmed.
Twelve ships had entered as far as the palisade, well armed with 46 pieces of artillery, and encountering seven ships which wished to go to Antwerp, sent three to the bottom, and the others returned very much injured. Some soldiers of the Count of Meurs went out and burned thirty houses in a village near, in revenge.
Venice, March 15.—The Count Troilo de S. Secondo has been abilitato as a noble Venetian and 500 crowns have been returned to him, deposited for that purpose, and on Sunday he will put his balla for the exploits that he has done. The Providator General demanded licence to retire, but these Signori have ordered him to go to visit the Polisene (fn. 1) di Rovigo.
It is said that when Bernardo Baiolini goes to Constantinople, which will be on the Feast of the Annunciation, these Signori will send a great present to the Turk; many vests, twelve massive rings of gold and a looking-glass as big as a man, adorned with pearls and jewels of the greatest value. An English ship has brought great wares from that kingdom, and two others are expected.
During the days of the carnival, the guardian of S. Francesco was wounded by the son of Finetti Potente, the advocate criminal, who chased him into the house, and because he could not find him, and resistance was offered to him, all who were found in the house were arrested. From Constantinople it is reported that Ucchiali is dead and another captain, called Isaac, a Spanish renegade, and that the Grand Signor is summoning all the pensioners of his state because he wishes to make great forces, and resolutely do battle against the Persians.
Add. to the Signori della Torre in Leone as before, 23 March, 1585. Endd. Italian. 3 pp. [Newsletters LXXII. 14.]
March 14. Stafford to Walsingham.
Even now news arrives that M. de Guise has taken Chalons in Champagne and that we are in open war. His rendezvous is appointed on Tuesday next by the forest of Cressi, eight leagues from hence. “We are here marvellously troubled, and the Queen Mother weepeth and taketh on and cryeth out upon the King,” who, standing upon his assurance of his greatness, has provided no better for these things, despised all the bruits that have gone before, and now “cannot put three men together.” She now in her bed, sick of the gout, fears not to speak plainly to the King.
Maintenon returned yesterday from the Duke of Guise, who made a jest to him of the reports of his arming; showed him that there was nobody with him and told him he would come with his wife to Paris, who was ready to He in there; that he would go to Chalons the next day, and the day after to Rheims, to the Cardinal his brother, with whom the King had spoken at large, and whom he must see to know whence all these rumours came. Maintenon, who is very discreet, and to whom the King had given charge to provide, in passing by, for the safety of Chalons, it being the chief town he feared, went presently on horseback hither, and sent to “Tenteville,” (fn. 2) the King's lieutenant-general in Champagne in the Duke of Guise's absence, to meet him, which he did, and together they gave commandment in the King's name that “they should make good guard, and nobody whosoever should enter into it with any other than with their own train. And upon that assurance, Maintenon came hither in such haste that he had almost broke his leg with a fall.”
He was no sooner arrived than Pol, the Duke's gentleman of his horse, arrived also, bringing great complaints of Maintenon from him for coming away in that fashion to make the King believe amiss of him; and that he would presently come with his wife and children. Madame de Guise also sent letters to divers ladies at the Court, “jesting at Maintenon's fear and at his fall.”
But very late last night the news came that the Duke has entered Chalons, and all here are so amazed that they know not what to do. I shall know more anon, for I am promised audience this afternoon, which I have pressed for, to deal again about Morgan. I have translated his [sic, Parry's] confession into French, and mean, if I see cause, to give it to the King, and the copy of the Cardinal of Como's letter; but “this thing” being happened so suddenly, I send the bearer without waiting for the answer about Morgan.—Paris, 14 March, 1584.
Postscript.—As I was signing this letter, news came to me from one altogether depending upon the House of Guise, of the manner of taking Chalons. Two hours after Maintenon left, the Duke arrived, and “for all Tenteville's preaching,” the gates were opened to him. He used no evil words to Tenteville or of the King, but let Tenteville go out quietly, and said he would presently send to the King “that he heard he had served him so well as that he would not mislike that as governor he should enter into any town of his government; but that message is not yet come hither.” The cause of his coming in that haste is said to be that “he was advertised that whilst Maintenon entertained him with toys from the King, there were companies coming out of Metz to surprise him at 'Jenville' [Joinville],” which being of no strength, he retired into Chalons for safety. But I think that was only for a colour.
Never anything happened in France that was more mused at than this and no man knows whence it cometh, or where it will end.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [France XIII. 65.]
March 14/24. Rasse Des Neux to Walsingham.
I have been much rejoiced to hear from Jan de Vigues that you and your family are well, and her Majesty also; as well as of God's grace in discovering to her the treachery intended against her. All godfearing men here pray for her, and I do not forget to proclaim her kindness, virtues and graces wherever I may be.
I believe you have been advertised of the reports here that the House of Guise mean to make war. I think they are u ged on by the Pope, King Philip, the Duke of Savoy and the Jesuits.
It is held to be certainly true that the Grisons and Swisses have cut to pieces five or six companies of Italians whom his Holiness sent to aid in this war.—From your house [at Rouen] 24 March, 1585.
Add. Endd, Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. XIII, 66.]
March 14/24. M. de Vllliers to Walsingham.
You will see what the Count of Nassau writes to you, and also the copy of Don Bernardin's letter. (fn. 3) There are other private letters from this gentleman to some Spaniolized Italian, but for the most part, they relate to nothing but amours and follies, which I did not think worthy to send you. But by them we see no less clearly than by this one the small satisfaction Don Bernardin feels from the negotiation with France, and the little intelligence he has with the King, which seems to me to be one of the principal points of this negotiation, and of which we have so much occasion to desire the explanation; and as we see well that you will have now to treat and negotiate with the King, my lord thought well to send you this copy.
You will do him a kindness, if anything of consequence is treated of, to advertise him thereof; he is young but he is secret. I must not forget to inform you that my lord did not wish to send a copy to the deputies in France, or to mention it to them, fearing that in so large a number there may be one who would let out imprudently that the cipher has been discovered.—Middelburg, 24 March, 1585.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Holland I. 71.]
March 14/24. Count Maurice of Nassau to Walsingham.
Knowing your friendship to my late father, and the good correspondence you have had together in affairs touching the church and state of the kingdom of England and of these countries; and there having fallen into my hands certain letters from Don Bernardin de Mendoza to the Prince of Parma, by which appears part of the negotiation in France, I send them to you but as they have been deciphered and as we must keep this cipher secret, for reasons which you know better than I do, I beg that this communication may not tend to our prejudice as regards other like letters. I pray you to keep me always in her Majesty's good graces, desiring ever to remain her very humble servant.— Middelburg, 24 March, 1585.
Signed. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. I. 72.]
March 14. Ortell to Walsingham.
Yesterday at dinner time I received your letter, with the copy enclosed, and will not fail to act in conformity thereto. But I think it would be very expedient for her Majesty to honour the States of Holland and Zeeland with a letter to each separately, declaring my good offices here, and that her devotion to them, on the failure of the treaty in France, is rather augmented than diminished, both for the general preservation and their own particular, as she doubts not they are more fully informed by my letters. This would not only encourage the said States (upon whom, after God, everything depends) but also the whole people, so that they could not have a better remedy or hope in this time of need. I must have the letters at latest about five or six this evening, when my man must not fail to set out.—London, 14 March, 1584.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Holland I. 73.]
March 15. Edward Burnham to Walsingham.
On the 14th I arrived at Flushing, not without some danger from them of Dunkirk and Nieuport; but by reason of a “hause” [qy. hazy] weather, we lost sight of them after they had chased us for four hours. I have conferred with Mr. Gilpin, who will follow your direction, and advertise you. Tonight I leave this town to go into Holland to Mr. Davison and on my return shall learn how Mr. Gilpin finds their disposition here. There came one from the commissioners in France, who being chased by them of Dunkirk threw his letters over-board as they had commanded him, but he giveth out “that the French King hath made them a bold answer.” I hear that Dr. Michelli has “let slip some speeches which had been better kept in; the substance I will defer to write.”
The mutinies at Sluys and Ostend are “meetly well quieted.” I think it were an easy thing to get them of Sluys to receive Morgan's regiment if they came this way.—Middelburg, 15 March, English style, 1585.
Add. Endd. “March 15, 1584.” 1 p. [Ibid. I. 74.]
March 15. Gilpin to Walsingham.
This morning Mr. Burnham arrived, gave me your letter, and communicated the instructions, &c. I will not fail to fulfil your commands to the uttermost of my power and as speedily as I can.
It is murmured that they of Antwerp have got one of the enemy's scances. Yesterday a post came from the commissioners, but meeting a Flushing man of war, feared him to be the enemy and cast the letters overboard. This is the report, but I rather think the news to be so cold that they [here] will not divulge them, “doubting what it might cause amongst the people, for the course of Nimeguen is feared will be followed by more towns.” The post told me the commissioners were coming away, but matters kept so secret that he could learn nothing else.—Middelburg, 15 March, 1584.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. I. 75.]


  • 1. A Venetian word, importing half or almost an island, or a plot of good ground amongst fens (Florio).
  • 2. Joachim de Dinteville. Stafford spells him sometimes Teinteville, sometimes Tenteville.
  • 3. Probably that calendared on p. 285 above.