Elizabeth: March 1585, 16-20

Pages 357-364

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, 16–20

March. 16/26. Thomas Beckner to Walsingham.
Although I believe you have better information of the news here than I can give, yet in duty I must tell you what I know, “which is very doubtful of troubles to ensue.”
This day M. de “Carouge” has sent for all the ancient burgesses of this town that have borne charge and been captains, and it is suspected that here will be watch and ward at the gates; also it is said that the King will have all strangers void his realm, and that divers noblemen levy forces in sundry places and mean this summer to besiege Geneva. But many doubt that other ways, for that it is said the King hath determined to have but one religion in his realm. I pray God turn all for the best.” —Your house at Rouen, 26 March, 1585, French style.
Postscript.—Some of the gates are now shut, and watch appointed for others.
Add. Endd. 2/3 p. [France XIII. 67.]
March 16/26. Rotterdam and its jurisdiction, viz. Sevenhus, Bleyswyck, Hillegersberge, Cralingen and Capelle, Charlois. Farmed out on March 25 and 26, 1585.
Excise on wine, brandy and beer; gemael, wage, soap (retail), beasts, cattle . . . . Sum total, 42,993 guilders.
Endd. Flemish. 1 p. [Holland I. 76.]
March 18. Waad to Walsingham.
I only arrived here on Monday morning, for I was landed at Calais, and my Lord of Derby and his train had carried all the post horses with him. The ambassador, having had audience the day before I arrived, was expecting answer, and thought better to await this before he demanded audience for me, The next day, Secretary Pinard bringing him answer and taking knowledge of my coming, undertook to procure my access to the King, and yesterday came again “with new excuse to prevent my negotiation, which not prevailing, he promised to procure audience with expedition.” I am now referred until Sunday, for the King only gives audience on Thursdays and Sundays by reason of this sudden broil. All this day he spends with his Council, to take order in these matters.
“I do doubt the issue rather than I see occasion to suspect the beginning; for be it that the Guises are set a work by the Spaniard to decry the succour the King in likelihood was to afford to those of the Low Countries; or by their own ambition impatient of further delay; or so far discovered as they were driven to unmask themselves, or else that these be effects of the holy league, it is greatly to be feared lest some mediators working a reconciliation, all the sooner may be driven against those of the Religion.” Touching my negotiation, you will perceive by the ambassador's letters, that there is little hope of her Majesty having any satisfaction.—Paris, 18 March, 1584.
The Queen Mother goes to-morrow to the Duke of Guise, and has sent me word to leave her Majesty's letters to her with the King; but she looks to be here again within few days, so upon audience with the King we shall resolve whether to do so or wait for her return.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [France XIII. 68.]
March 18/28. Jacques Toqueville to Walsingham.
M. de la Motte is gone to Bruges. There is great dearth of provisions in the country, especially at Bruges. I hear to-day that the King of France has proclaimed war against all those of the Religion, and that they are going to sell and confiscate all their lands, goods, and estates. Also that the King has given letters of mark to those of Dieppe and St. Malo, against the subjects of her Majesty. Moreover, that the armies of the Prince of Condé and the Duke of Mayne have fought, and that the Prince did not get the better of it, but that the Duke is seriously wounded.
I will write from St. Omers, and I pray you not to take it amiss that I shall call myself Jehan Commont.—Calais, 28 March, 1585, French style.
Add. Endd. Fr. ¾ p. [France XIII. 69.]
March 18. Christopher Hoddesdon to Davison.
As in my last I asked to hear from you quickly “touching the assignation given you in Mr. Paul Buyes” [name], so now I put you in mind of the same, “for if the payment grow from Mr. Copcott, then must I keep by me in readiness here for the discharge thereof.”
I send you a true recital of the treasons and indictment of Parry. The Parliament yet makes no end, though the subsidy is granted; therefore it is thought to be stayed upon some further advice from you. My Lord of Derby is returned from France, where he had great entertainment. It is thought the French Queen's brother shall come hither as ambassador.—London, 18 March, 1584.
Add. Endd. “Mr. Hudson.” ½ p. [Holland I. 77.]
March 18/28. Truchsess to Davison.
Wishing to inform him of certain affairs, he prays him to give credence to the bearer, and to grant him wise and good advice, as the importance thereof seems to require.—Utrecht, 28 March, 1585.
Add. Endd. Fr. ½ p. [Ibid. I. 78.]
March 19. Stafford to Walsingham.
I could not longer delay to give you an account of my audience on Sunday last, when I insisted with the King “almost in as plain language, though not so fully hard terms,” as Mr. Waad has now charge to deliver.
The King answered me in words as good as I could desire, but when it came to the effect of the delivery, I found delays upon very small reason, as I told him; for he said as before that the Chancellor had found matter in the papers touching his own estate, which he must first see into thoroughly; and therefore desired me to wait until next day, when he would send Pinard to me. I long debated upon this, but he insisted upon it, and “I was fain to make of necessity a law.”
The next day, being here Our Lady's day (when Mr. Waad arrived) and the King in his penitent's weeds, nothing could be done, but Pinard promised that the next afternoon he would come to me, which he did, where he brought me as cold an answer (though coloured with many good words of the King's meaning towards her Majesty), which was that the King had sent for the Chancellor, who said he had looked no further into the matter, and desired our patience “till then”; and for looking into the papers or having them, as I greatly pressed, he replied as before, that there must be confidence between her Majesty and the King, who would communicate to us anything that concerned her. On my pressing that this was not how her Majesty had dealt in cases concerning the King, he answered “that all realms had their own justice, into the which it was not reasonable any other princes' ministers should look, whereupon I desired him to tell the King . . . that this touched her Majesty so near that I was afraid it would scarce breed any good blood betwixt them, seeing that the delay of the delivery of him brought such danger that for lack of the man to discover by him the rest of the complices, there might some so bad accident happen to her Majesty that we should rue, and he have a blot of perpetual dishonour left unto him for keeping of him from her.”
He said he would report this to the King, and inquiring the cause of Mr. Waad's coming, I told him I was sorry the King had given the Queen cause to send any, and had not by his frankness in this matter prevented the coming of one who might perchance “bring in harder terms of her Majesty's misliking than I would wish he had deserved”; that I had kept him from asking audience, hoping the King would have satisfied what in justice and honour he was bound to, but now, seeing there was no remedy, I desired him to demand audience for him. He answered that he would tell the King plainly all I had said, and next morning I should have answer. Next day, coming to me from the King, he told me that having reported what I had said, the King sent for the Chancellor and ordered him to look again into the papers, of which great store more had been found, and among them things very important for this State, particularly “about this present action of stirs, and many touched in it that were not here present, which by necessity of his estate are to be confronted with him, and therefore desired her Majesty to have patience till that were done.”
I answered that if there were anything discovered to the King's good in it, she was to have thanks for it, the man being by her means apprehended, . . . and therefore, in recompense of that . . . she might have him, to know of him all the 'platt' of that which touched her so near.” He still persisted that the matter must first be further sounded, whereupon I desired him to demand audience for the next day. But the next day the King desired we would excuse him till Sunday, as matters of great weight had come to him, and he was going to his mother, “who was in her bed, to take counsel and to give present order for the looking into those things; which in truth, . . is no excuse, but a matter of necessity.
“These matters of wars do grow very hot, and great troubles like to ensue. Maintenon, as I writ in my last, came 'scarred' [i.e. scared] from the Duke of Guise, who entered Chalons, and yet useth the matter so cunningly as he would make all the world believe that he came to Chalons but by chance, and that he meant nothing less than to take it by force, having, as he saith, with him (and that is true) nothing but his own house and an ordinary guard that he hath always; indeed in that town he needeth no more, for he is sure enough of it without any guard.”
M. La Mothe Fenelon has returned from the Cardinal of Bourbon, who assured him he would be here as yesternight, but, as the King hears, he has taken a contrary way, being conducted by the Dukes d'Aumale and Elbœuf to Peronne, “which is assured to hold at their devotion,” and from thence is to go to the Duke of Guise at Chalons, as will also the Duke de Maine, now at Dijon, holding it at their devotion, and the Cardinal of Guise, who is yet at Rheims, where only part of the town is so.
La Rochette, who as I wrote, fled from hence, was yesterday taken by M. de Sagonne, brought to the King, and confessed all. “That this is a league agreed upon by the King of Spain, the Pope, and all the princes of Italy. That the Duke of Nevers' going to the Bains at Lucca (Luques) is but a colour to meet with the companies that are to be levied and sent out of Italy, of the which he shall be general, and in his going, if he can, to surprise Lyons”; that the King of Spain has levied in Germany 4,000 reiters and 6,000 lansquenets, who are ready to pass; that the Prince of Parma is sending them 2,000 Spanish footmen and 500 horse, who are already at Ivoy; that M. de Nevers is general of the strangers, M. de Guise of the French horse, M. de Maine colonel of the foot; their marshals of the camp, M. de Brissac, young Lansac and St. Luc; and masters of the camp, St. Florian, Beauvoys-Nangis (Langay) and La Rochette himself.
The King hereupon is resolved to levy an army, to be ready by the first of next month, of 8,000 French footmen, 6,000 Swissers, 30 companies of men at arms and six companies of light horse, two hundred in each.
“The Queen Mother, notwithstanding her great pain of the gout, is this morning going to meet at Epernay or at Dormans the Duke of Guise, to see if by pacification things may be ended.” There is sent to the Duke of Guise, M. la Chappelle aux Ursins and the Bishop of Lyons; to the Cardinal of Bourbon, the Duke of Retz and the Bishop of Lenoncourt; to the Duke de Maine, to the Cardinal of Guise and the Duke of Nevers (each) a knight and a bishop; then all to meet with the Queen Mother.
Leancourt, the King's first esquire, is sent to M. de Lorraine, “to move him, as a brother of France, . . . to draw them of his house back from enterprising anything to the trouble of this State; but that, I think, be to speak to the wolf to speak to her whelps to come back from seeking to get meat, when both dam and whelps are ready to starve for hunger.”
Their demands, as La Rochette confesses, are these:—“To make the King name a successor to the crown, a Catholic; to demand that there be but one religion in France; that the people may be relieved of their extreme taxes and subsidies; that there be an account made of all the great sums of money that have been levied since the King was King; that princes and such as by reason and the duty they owe to the crown, are to be about the King's person, may be approached near him, and others of baser state and quality removed; that the States may be assembled to provide for all these things.
“The King is truly in a marvellous perplexity at this, and in truth, as it is conceived by all men and of all sorts, this matter is pretended against him, and [he] hath no intelligence with them but what necessity may bring him to have; and what a treaty of peace between them and him, which I think in the end the necessities of both 'parts' must bring them to, and which indeed, by this going of the Queen Mother's is only pretended, and whether that may be prejudiciable to them of the Religion, and that they both be contented to make a peace to fall to their harm and ruin, and consequently of all well-disposed persons, that nobody can yet settle judgment upon. For my part, the best advice I can give her Majesty is this; to provide for the worst that can come, for the best will be much better and sweeter when it cometh unlooked for.”
There is rather the opinion that this will be ended by treaty, because the taking of their armour and advertisements sent to the King have made them hasten their enterprise, and so miss of many things, favourers and towns, they held themselves sure of, as of Langres, Compeigne, and, it is hoped, Newhaven; “which they made account should have been 'executed' as this day, but the King, being advertised of it, on Monday sent, and hopeth hath prevented them.
“In this town, everybody looked three nights together to have their throats cut, but order hath been taken for it, though men be not yet out of fear, as well rich men as them of the Religion.” The King has changed the ordinary captains of this town, and put in counsellors, rich burgesses and substantial men; the gates are not yet kept, though these two days it has been agreed upon. —Paris, 19 March, 1584.
Add. Endd. 5 pp. [France XIII. 70.]
March 19. Stafford to Walsingham.
Since writing this other letter, I have certain news that the King has sent La Rochette back to the Duke of Guise in the company of M. de la Chapelle and the Bishop of Lyons. He has now declared that the King of Spain is not of this enterprise, but nobody here believes it. He says it is only the enterprise of the Duke of Guise and the discontented nobility, joined with the clergy. The King lets him go to show that he means to get all things by gentleness and not by rigour.
M. de la Chapelle, with whom I have spoken, believes the Spaniard has set this awork, and therefore does not hope that his journey will come to any good effect, or the Queen Mother's either, who is stayed for a day or two till they are sure where the Cardinal of Bourbon is, for news is come this morning that he is gone “straight to them” and not to Peronne, the governor writing “that he is nor will be at nobody's commandment but at God's and the King's.” The King is warned out of Spain to give good order to the Marquisate of Saluces, for, on the Duke of Savoy's return out of Spain, an attempt is to be made upon it.
All these things “greatly animate the King in show” and he seems to seek the help of all his subjects and friends, both within and without the realm. I am assured that he means, by his ambassador and perchance here by me, to have the Queen's assurance to join with him for defence of them both and their estates. If so, I pray her Majesty to encourage him in the matter by “hope of a back,” but not to come to the particularities of anything till you hear more from me, which cannot be till news comes from the King of Navarre, every day looked for, and upon which the King's disposition will be the easier guessed. Meanwhile, I advertise you of it that her Majesty may know it aforehand, and that you may judge whether to prolong the parliament till you see which way this may tend. It may be that God will let them fall into the net they have laid for others, and turn their inventions to their own destruction, by driving the King into league with them whom afore he little cared for.—Paris, 19 March, 1584.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [France XIII. 71.]
March 19/29. News from Rome.
On the second Sunday in Lent there was chapel in the Palace, at which his Holiness and all the Cardinals assisted. The mass was sung by Monsignor Cesis, bishop of Todi, and the sermon preached by the procurator of Ara Cœli.
In Monday's consistory the business of the church of Faenza was settled and that of two abbeys by collation of Cardinal Farnese, one in Sicily, the other in Spain. The consistory being ended, the Pope gave orders that Signor Pier Francesco di Nobile, with his company of light horse should take the road to Bologna, to go against the bandits, and for the same purpose the charge of colonel of 400 men has been given to Capt. Minio d'Ascoli, and they will shortly set out for those parts. The Bastard of Pepoli is in the country with a following of 700 bandits, against whom the Cardinal Legate was sent with 150 Corsicans and other men, and having come to blows with them, they there remained, dead or wounded. His Holiness sent to the Grand Duke of Tuscany for some companies of soldiers, but so far no preparations of succours have been seen.
After the consistory on Monday, Cardinal Sforza went to Ardia where he has made a very fine place for fishing. On Wednesday, Cardinal di Cremona sang the solemn mass in the church of Santa Cecilia (his title), other cardinals assisting. The same day was murdered Master Stefano, a worker in stucco and maker of fountains, a fine man in his profession and very valiant. Alfonzo Bordigiera is dead, leaving great riches and offices worth 12,000 crowns. Last week Signor Paolo Giordano wrote to Signor Anverso di Stabbia, taking back his word. The letter was carried by Fiorello, his secretary and there were present the notary who had assisted when he gave his word not to commit any offence, and also the Marquis di Riano and Signor Gio. Battista his son. It is not known whither Giordano has gone. The Cardinal di Medici has been fishing at the Villa di Mattei and caught a great many fish. The Pope has given safeconduct, as is said, to Count Avegadro and twenty of his comrades, and he will soon be in Rome. Three other bandit chiefs have likewise conducts, and are coming hither. Monsignor Valerio Orsino is not without hope of the Archbishopric of Cosenza, the Duke of Sora being his advocate with his Holiness. Monsignor Lamberti is about to be sent by Cardinal Altemps to give account to the Catholic King of his purchase of the Marquisate of Messuraea from the Marquis a few days ago, by which he becomes his Majesty's vassal.
From Cologne.—A quarrel has arisen between Duke Frederic of “Saxonia Colidicano” [qy. Kolditz]. and the Elector, the Duke declaring that he was attacked by certain horsemen with intent to kill him, by the Elector's orders.
From Spain.—The King has dismissed his chief secretary; the reason not yet known.
From Lyons.—The French King has given audience to the German [sic] ambassadors, who departed little satisfied.
Yesterday the Pope went down into St. Peters to make the usual prayers for Holy Friday. In the evening the Indian princes arrived, and this morning made their solemn entry, accompanied by the whole court. His Holiness received them in public consistory with much kindness, and they have been banqueted by Cardinal San Sisto. The Prince of Parma has sent a courier to Cardinal Farnese with news that Brussels has surrendered to him at discretion. This morning the heretic Paleologus-was beheaded in Torre di Nona; his body afterwards burned in the Campo di Fiore.
Italian. 4 pp. [Newsletters LXXII. 15.]