Elizabeth: March 1585, 21-25

Pages 364-378

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, 21–25

March 21. “A remembrance for Mr. Governor Martyn, at his going to the Court.
1. To tell Sir F. Walsingham of the coming of Raynald Beckeman from the Emperor of Russia, with letters for her Majesty.
2. To know his pleasure when Beckeman shall come to the court to deliver them.
3. Being commanded by the Emperor to deliver them himself, he requests his honour's favour to do so.
4. From his report, it is thought the letters are touching Sir Jerome Bowes and other matters for the Company.
5. That his Honour will appoint some place for Beckeman to lie, and, although his charges will be borne by the Company, that her Majesty may seem to have some care of him, as he comes from the Emperor.
6. He was here with the Russian ambassador two years ago as interpreter and speaks good English; was born in “Lefeland” [Livonia] and served the Company in Russia three or four years; is well known here by the Company's servants, “yet a well-wilier of the Flemings, as it seemeth.”
Endd. 1 p. [Russia I. 20.]
March 21. Walsingham to Davison.
The bearer, my servant, and other merchants have had of late a barque of Dover laden with soap and other things taken at sea by the ships of war of Zeeland and carried to Flushing, because she was bound for the enemies' country, although she carried no victuals, for which only there is a restraint here. I have written to the Admiral there praying for restitution of the barque and goods, and desire you to further the suit as much as you can; letting the States understand how ill it would be taken here if they restrained the free and ancient traffic of her Majesty's subjects, carrying over only lawful commodities.— Greenwich, 21 March, 1584.
Signed. Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Holland I. 79.]
March 21. Gilpin to Walsingham.
According to my last of the 15th, written in haste on Burnam's arrival, I have endeavoured to carry out the charge committed to me by your honour, but the States of Zeeland being busy in the islands, about the farming out of their imposts of wine, beer, grain, &c., I could not declare what I intended in their assembly; though I have dealt with sundry that bear credit here. Although they knew the French King's resolution, yet they pleaded ignorance, and I, taking no regard of their speeches, followed the matter, and argued and reasoned to their reasonable liking, to satisfy the command of her Majesty.
Most of them agree, knowing the difference between the Queen of England and King of France, “but still came forth with several offers made to her Majesty and of shows or presentations from her Majesty to the States, but nothing followed; so as it is doubted still by them so long as her Majesty and her Council find or see any likelihood of their ableness or means to defend themselves and withstand the enemy, would hardly be induced or resolve to take the protection upon her.” Yet some of the better of them showed a thorough inclination to her Majesty, saying none could be fitter and dearer to them if she would take the protection; adding that a short resolution were best, and for the deputies yet in France to be despatched into England to treat with her, as time passed and they ran into further ruin daily. Other answers &c. were made, tending to one end, that the United Provinces had long desired it, but her Majesty was ever cold, and loth to make war against a King of Spain; for if either Ortell or Mr. Davison had been authorised “to manifest any such meaning, it would have been the first thing should have been hearkened unto.”
They seemed to agree to most of what I alleged, saying they still were of ability to withstand the enemy, “but wanted a head to govern and command, to take up and end questions between province and province, town and town . . feeling now the loss and want of his Excellency.” As for assurance, the General States would “no doubtedly” deal to her Majesty's liking, and they hoped a short resolution would be taken after the deputies' return, saying they had yet received no certain word of the King of France's answer, “though the contrary understood in secret.”
The opinion of divers is, first to settle an order in their affairs, and a general grant of contributions for the wars, without limitation of time, and then, dealing with any prince, could assure them what they should trust to, as to forces, garrisons, payments, entertainments etc., “which course is not to be discommended, unless the tract of time might draw hindrance and danger unto them.”
The contributions granted in the United Provinces amount to above 300,000 guilders monthly, whereof Holland, Zeeland, and Utrecht contribute two parts, and Guelderland, Friesland and Overyssel the other third, which money has been duly brought up since about four months before the Prince's death, and still is, none failing except those of Guelderland somewhat slack of late.
No account is made of Brabant, it being rather chargeable than helpful since the closing up of Antwerp river.
Besides this they have their convoy or impost money, for imports and exports, which goes to maintain the navy, they keeping above forty ships of war abroad. The “domains” are chiefly used to pay rents and debts, but on any extremity, they can obtain “a hundred penny or more of all the lands.” At the return of the Zeeland States, I will persuade them all I can to bring the General States to a speedy resolution. Those of Antwerp have taken a side scance, where they slew all they found and got six pieces of artillery. The enemy attempting to re-take it were repulsed, and report says that the Prince of Parma was there and was hurt by a shot.
The enterprise to clear Antwerp river is to be in two or three days, all ships being ready by the Batze tower. The rendez-vous for the States men is in Tergoes, whither the Earl's Council is gone with others that came out of Holland with money, munition &c. to give direction in all things.
The Count of Hollock, the new Admiral, Haultain and a number of others are all there; and good store of men and ships with sundry devices to further the attempt, “all animated and fully resolved, so as the fight will be desperate and great.”
Some think they will but land their men on Brabant's side, and cut a new passage through the “ditch”; but others say “their navy is not prepared with so great charge to do nothing.” We shall know the result by the end of this week. I mean to venture as far as the Council has gone, and when the news is known will make you partaker of it.
If God grant not good event, Antwerp will be in more despair and danger.
Nimeguen is said to continue their own government, leaving two or three ensigns of their towns-men as garrison. Arnhem was almost gone like Nimeguen, but prevented. Colonel Tempell is come with his men to Barrow and thereabouts. Ostend and Sluys will be so cared for that no danger shall fall to them.
The late Admiral is still in prison and sought to be tried before the Earl and Council, or in the Hague, “but not granted,” and full authority given to the magistrates here to make his process, who are taking all the informations they can. A captain who suffered victuals to pass to the enemy, by order (as is thought) of the Admiral, and denying it, “will be tried ont by torment.” If he [the Admiral] be found guiltless, he will be discharged without cost or charges; “if an offender,. is like to abide the extremity of justice.”
I send a copy of the articles with Brussels, and a letter from Captain Asseliers, in which is a draft how the enemy lies about Antwerp river. He has promised to write from Lillo how all matters pass, for thereabouts the fight will be.
I wrote to M. Aldegonde as you commanded, and having here dealt with Mr. Peter van Aelst, one of the Earl's Council (formerly borrowmaster of Antwerp, now here for Brabant and gone with the rest to Tergoes land) he sent his man express by Barrow with the letter, so I hope to have answer shortly.—Middelburg, 21 March, 1584.
Postscript.—Captain Asseliers was sent away on the sudden, and had no time to write, but gave me the plat enclosed [wanting]. If you have cause to write to Count Maurice, and insert two or three words of me, the delivery thereof by me would bring things to an understanding the sooner.
Add. Endd. 3 pp. Partly in cipher, deciphered. [Holland I. 80.]
March 21. Gilpin to Walsingham.
Since sealing my letter there is come news from Ostend that La Motte, knowing of the imprisonment of the Admiral, and of M. de Locre's absence here, none being there to command as governor, drew out of sundry towns about 3,000 men, and feigning to go by Dixmuyden, as if to the Prince of Parma, came to Oldenborch on Friday, and next day, with part of his forces, six pieces of artillery and divers waggons of provisions, marched at low water through the drowned lands and came before Ostend at five o'clock that morning. By scale they got over the palisado upon the rampire, slew the sentinals, and about fourteen or fifteen hundred entered the old town, meaning to fortify themselves there till the rest came. But all the soldiers there put themselves in arms, brought ordnance, played upon the enemy, and in the end repulsed the Malcontents, “and then proceeded to the execution, so as happiest was he that could fly fastest.” Above 600 were slain, for they saved never a prisoner (one captain excepted) but put all to the sword. Five ensigns have been brought to Count Maurice, amongst which is de la Motte's own. The bearer, an Italian, broke the staff and tore off the ensign, refusing to render it, whereupon he was slain and so it taken from him.
It is thought they will be sent to the navy, and there set up for the encouragement of this side and discouragement of the enemy, to whom the news will be heavy, it being thought La Motte himself is slain, “for a trumpet or drum was sent to know whether he were prisoner, being missing, so as he is judged to be killed or drowned, for he was sore hurt à coup de lance.”
“Within the town were about 800 men, the States' Council having two or three days before put in two fresh ensigns, and given the rest some reasonable satisfaction, so as the place was the better sured, and unknown to de la Motte, of whose enterprise there was some doubt.”
How many were slain of this side is not yet known, but it is certain that eight captains of the enemy were killed, and all the artillery and waggons with provisions brought into the town.
One of the captains that were with the Prince of Parma about the agreement with Brussels has shown the Count and his Council all the “plat” of the Prince's devices to stop Antwerp passage, saying that they are so slender that with 600 men he would “charge the forts, and with ships to sail all the work in pieces.” He is gone to the navy with the rest, to assist the intended enterprise.—Middelburg, 21 March, 1584.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holland I. 81.]
March 21. Gilpin to Davison.
You will have learnt from Mr. Burnam the charge sent me from his master. My proceedings since could not be what I wished, for the States of Zeeland have been abroad, to let out their imposts to farm, and are not yet returned; and those of his Excellency's Council are all gone to Tergoesland to give order in the enterprise for opening Antwerp passage. But I have not been altogether idle, having dealt with sundry persons of credit, whose inclinations are indifferent good, their only trust resting in the Lord and in her Majesty.
But as the instructions say that these causes should proceed as from ourselves, “and I not so acquainted how to deal, especially in matters of State,” I pray you to impart to me the course you take and your opinion and advice, seeing it tends to her Majesty's service, and not from any intent to meddle in what does not appertain to my duty.
I heard this morning the good news of de la Motte's attempt to surprise Ostend, where by scale 1,400 men entered, slew the ''Scowte watch'' and began the alarm in the old town. The garrison —about 800 strong besides shippers and burghers—took arms, placed artillery, offered skirmish, and at length so repulsed the Malcontents “as happiest was the nimblest runner.” de la Motte is missing, and thought to be slain or drowned. His own ensign is here among the rest and the bearer dead. There are thought to be about 600 slain, none saved and five ensigns taken and brought hither to the Count. Eight captains are slain and taken, but the names not yet known. This was on Saturday morning, about five o'clock.—Middelburg, 21 March, 1584.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holland I. 82.]
March 21/31. Commissioners of Holland And Zeeland to Walsingham.
When we had embarked with the other deputies of the United Provinces at Dieppe, on the 27th of this month, the wind turned contrary, and we were obliged to take shelter below a village of this kingdom named “Schauffort” [Seaford].
The wind continuing, we thought it well to come to see this famous city and speak with M. Ortell, deputy from the said provinces, to learn if he had anything to send to our masters, having promised the other deputies that by tomorrow we would join them at Dover, to embark with them. We therefore pray you to excuse us that we have not come to pay our respects to you.—London, the last of March, 1585.
Signed, Aernt van Dorp, Jacob Valcke.
Postscript.—We pray you to give us a word to whoever the charge belongs, that we may not be troubled by searchers or others on the way to our embarkation.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid: I. 83.]
March 22. Walsingham to Stafford.
The Queen understanding from your last letters that the Duke of Guise has taken Chalons and that there appears great likelihood of civil wars in that realm, thinks that if you find good ground to judge that this is no stratagem, “devised by secret intelligence between the King and the said Duke, for the overthrow of those of the Religion (as former proceedings in that realm doth give some cause to doubt) but rather that the King walketh plainly and sincerely, and that the said Duke [is either pushed on by his own private ambition or] (fn. 1) set on work by the Pope and the King of Spain, is entered or meaneth to enter into actual rebellion,” you shall let the King understand that in thankfulness for his late demonstrations of friendship towards her, and the honour he has done her by entering into the fellowship of the Garter, and the good correspondency that the bond of such a society requires, she will be now and at all times ready to assist him to the uttermost of her power, against either subject or foreign prince that shall seek to disquiet his estate; whereof she has willed you to make offer to him and to assure him it shall be accordingly performed.
“After I had written this much, we received here secret advertisements that there is a secret league made between the Pope, the King of Spain, the Duke of Savoy, the princes both of Italy and the Catholics of Germany, whereof they have chosen the Duke of Guise to be executioner, tending to. reduce the French King to ease his clergy of the great exactions he hath laid upon them, and to disburden his commons of the excessive taxes and impositions which they daily pay, not for the benefit and service of the State, but for the private enriching of his mignons, as also to remove the said mignons from about him, who make him and his government odious to his subjects, and lastly to suppress those of the Religion, for that the realm cannot prosper and be peaceably governed so long as the subjects shall be divided in the exercise of two contrary religions; whereunto, if the King shall not yield, then is it meant that the Pope shall proceed against him by way of excommunication; but he is so superstitiously given and of so fearful a nature as it is thought he will rather yield than stand to the hazard of the danger that he may otherwise throw himself into.” Queen Mother is said to be secretly a party in the matter, from her hatred to the mignons. Inform yourself as to the truth of this, as also what party the Duke of Guise is likely to find in France, and who the King can “make account of to stand assured for him.” Draft. Endd. with date. 2 pp. [France XIII. 72.]
March 22./April 1. Declaration of the causes which have moved the Cardinal of Bourbon, the peers of France, and towns and communities of the kingdom to oppose those who by all means endeavour to overthrow the Catholic religion and the State.—Peronne, 1 April, 1585.
Copy. Endd. Fr. 6⅓ pp. [Ibid. XIII. 73.]
[Printed by Davila, Storia delle Guerre Civili di Francia, and elsewhere.]
March 22./April 1. Protestation by the German colonels, rittmasters and captains serving the Duke of Guise.
Some years ago they brought horsemen to the French King, and were promised due entertainment, but at their departure were only given “solemn obligations . . . with the assurance of certain great potentates.” Have ever since solicited payment, but in vain, and the acts delivered to them have not only been left unexecuted, but disannulled and made void; whereby they have been brought into suspicion that they had received the pays to their private uses and kept them back from the reiters and horsemen serving under them, and have been defamed by slanders and lewd songs.
They are therefore constrained to abandon that King's service, and give themselves to other princes “of account,” for which they trust none will blame them. And being informed that the King is causing horsemen to be levied in Germany against them, they pray all making profession of arms to give no credit to slanders and much less to allow themselves to be employed against them, but rather to aid and further them; who profess their dutiful obedience to the Emperor, and the princes, states and decrees of the Holy Empire.—1 April, 1585.
English translation. Endd. 3 pp. [France XIII. 74.]
March 23. Stafford to Walsingham.
“Here is every day such change and copy of very naughty news and such untruths brought hither of this action” that I know not what to write, but “I will let my duty blush for me” and write as true news as the King has, and in the same sort.
Yesterday news came that Orleans was taken; then, that they were but afraid of it. The King despatched Clermont d'Entragues, a captain of his guard, thither, with command to Entragues' brother to come hither, leaving his brother there in the mean time. This day news again comes that it is taken. It is “assured” that the Duke of Guise will not meet the Queen Mother, and his rendezvous is said to be this day sennight at Dammartin (Domartin), eight leagues from hence. Special charges are given to many, and commissions to levy men, but they know not which way to begin, for nobody is willing to be enrolled, all here “standing in a maze,” not knowing who are friends or foes. “I pray God they have not more friends than we all be aware of.”
Certain word is brought that in Dauphiny most of the towns are taken, and all, of both religions, “wholly assured to M. de Maine, which for my part I do not believe, though I know that he is marvellously beloved there on both sides.” They have failed of many towns which they assured themselves of; but it is feared they have many which the King thought himself very sure of. There has been great strife between the mignons for the honours and charges of the army the King is levying.” If he were my King, I would pray God to help him, that leaveth all counsels to follow two only, and they two not agree[d], for their own ambitions.”
Buzenval came yesterday from the King of Navarre, whom he left, with Marshal Montmorency, the Prince of Condé and Viscount Turenne at Castres, but presently the King was to go to Saintefoy, the Prince to St. Jehan and the Marshal into the midst of Languedoc. He has brought an offer to the King from them, upon what he had sent to them of this taking of arms against him, that if he pleases to command it “they will be with him by the end of May with 25,000 footmen and 3,000 horse to obey his commandments; and the King of Navarre and Prince of Condé do offer to give their words and bonds for Montmorency that he shall be the King's most affectionate, and neither depend upon Spain nor anybody else.”
The King has accepted this very gratefully in show, and promises tomorrow or next day to give them an answer. From six to twelve this morning he was in Council, where all his counsellors were against his accepting the aid of those of the Religion. As yet he has stood against them all, “and saith it is necessary for him and he will have it so, but yet nothing is resolved.” I am afraid he has almost as many traitors as counsellors, and that they will yet put him into the wolves' mouth.
The Spaniards sent by the Prince of Parma are still at Ivoy, waiting to be sent for; the reiters are not so ready as was given out, and the King is now sending Schomburg to levy more.
Nobody here knows what these stirs will tend to. For my part I still believe that the King is not consenting to it all, but I am afraid he has so many about him who betray him that he will not be able to levy a sufficient force in time, and will be constrained “either to fall into their hands, to have his name a colour to any bad league or enterprise, or else to put him to wear a new crown, and take his old off his head.”
Some think that the Queen Mother has intelligence with them, either with intent to bring the King to be better ruled by force, or believing that “she hath power enough to make them be quiet again, which the King seeing, shall evermore stand in awe of her credit in France, and so make the more account of her; . . . what likelihood there is for an old woman at her end for ambition to arm so tickle and strong subjects in her son's realm against him, I leave it to you to judge.”
But one thing (though I see no great likelihood of its taking effect) I must advertise you of, because it touches her Majesty. I was told this morning “in great secret that the Queen Mother's last string to her bow (if all others will not serve) is to persuade the Guise to turn all this upon a sudden upon England, thinking it a thing that the Pope and King of Spain will easily consent unto, as the root of all their mischief, which, if it can be first rooted out, they make no doubt but to attain to all the rest of their wills after.” I will with better eye, being advertised, look into their course of dealing, and tell you from time to time what I can pick out.
To-day Clervant informed me that upon great urging of the Pope's nuncio he went to him, who told him with very fair and sweet speeches that he wished to see him because of the bruits that the Pope and King of Spain were the stirrers of these coals; that he could not answer for other men, but “for his master he would assure he had no such thought to sow sedition through Christendom; that, as his duty was, he did seek to make peace among Christians; that where among the rest it was given out that one of the chiefest causes of those taking of arms was for the naming of a successor a Catholic prince, his master took not the King of Navarre so far out of the bosom of the church, but that he hoped with good prayers he might be easily brought in again; that therefore his intent was no other than to pray for his amendment, and to receive him when it should please God to call him.” I think the Nuncio's speech was “either to put a fear into them, to think the more of it because he seeketh to excuse himself afore there be cause why he should do it, or else indeed by fair words to seek to amuse them, and thereby to make the King of Navarre the less careful to look to himself.”
This day the gates begin to be kept, and to-morrow the artillery is to be taken out of the Arsenal and carried to the ramparts.—Paris, 23 March, 1584.
Add. Endd. 4 pp. [France XIII. 75.]
March 23. Stafford to Burghley.
Copy of his letter to Walsingham, with additional paragraph saying that he has sent for his lordship's son William to come to him, where he will be surer if he is to remain, and nearer if his lordship thinks fit to call him home, for in these troubles it will be very dangerous to travel, and there is not a more seditious place than Orleans in all France, Has also sent a letter to the governor, who, if the town should be taken, will give him leave to come and have respect to his surer coming.—Paris, 23 March, 1584.
Add. Endd. by Burghley. 3½ pp. [Ibid. XIII. 76.]
March 23. Stafford and Waad to Walsingham.
Our audience on Sunday last was deferred, because the King went to Queen Mother at St. Maur, where he had long secret conference with her. This day, being admitted into his Cabinet, I, William Waad, before delivering her Majesty's letters, very specially excused the manner of her writing, requiring the King in her name, if she had written in so earnest sort as might otherwise not seem pleasant to him, that he would impute it only to her sincere affection, and assurance of the like in him, for where friendship is most perfect unkindness is most grievously taken. Thus, as at the time when he made greatest profession of good will to her, and the most just and honourable occasion was offered him to prove it, he neglected to embrace it, he must hold her excused if she could not forbear to express her grief.
Then I delivered her Majesty's letters, excusing them that they were written with such haste that she feared he would be troubled to read them. The King answered that he knew her hand so well that he could read it very easily, but instead of reading the letters, he prayed me to go on if I had anything else to say and he would peruse and consider them afterwards.
Whereupon, according to my instructions, I set down as effectually as I could the causes her Majesty had of miscontentment by the refusal and delays of the writings found in Morgan's chamber and the delivery of his person, as also the reasons which might induce the King in honour, reason and respect of his own safeguard to satisfy her Majesty, concluding that she found it strange that the King referred to his Council a matter of this quality, “wherein there was no consultation to be had, but all celerity and expedition to be used,” seeing what danger might ensue to her Majesty by concealing the writings and person of that wicked traitor, when, if any evil happened, the fault would he on his conscience. Moreover, that the example would be dangerous to himself, in case of the like attempt against his person. Therefore it was not to be thought that any counsellor would be so evil advised as to wish him to use delay, and such an one would be unworthy to be admitted to the Council or even to his presence. The best advice he could take was of himself, as a king, and his own royal inclinations, which should not endure the malice of others to prevail over his good affection to the Queen.
The King answered in very good words that his actions had always been and still should be so clear as not to give the least occasion to call them in question, especially as regarded his affection towards the Queen, and that he forgot not in this to do what appertained to a King and most Christian Prince, as her Majesty might well perceive by his apprehension of the party at her request, wherein he might easily have used delays and excuses. Therefore, as the Queen had a fair and goodly kingdom, which it behoved her to have care of, and especially of the safety of her person; so likewise, he could not neglect his own estate and realm. And, as he had sent word to her ambassador by his secretary Pinart, matter had been found amongst Morgan's papers not only concerning his estate but which touched his person; wherefore, nature itself privileging a man first to take order for his own safety, which this matter concerned so much that if the party were in any other country he should do all in his power to “recover” him, there was no reason that he should not first look into what concerned himself and his estate, and that being done, would advise (which word he used) how to do what should be to his good sister's satisfaction, as soon as conveniently might be.
I, Sir Edward Stafford, replied that there was no occasion of further advice, and besought him to appoint a time for the delivery of the party, and meanwhile that his writings and papers, might be delivered to us. That I had always endeavoured to do good offices, and would be loth that in my time this occasion of unkindness should fall out.
I, William Waad, added that her Majesty would be very glad to have been the occasion whereby the King had got notice of anything that might concern him, and I was assured, if he had delivered the party and his papers, as soon as he was apprehended, into her Majesty's hands, she would not only in all speed have imparted to him what it appertained to him to know, “but would have drawn from that wicked traitor all his knowledge in those matters for the King's behalf.” A month had passed since his apprehension, in which his confession might have been taken. If the King would appoint a time to consign him to us, and meanwhile deliver us the writings, in a day or two we would peruse them, and would not conceal or keep back anything which might concern his Majesty. “He answered as before that I might see how the time was troublesome here, and that he had enough to do, but would give order that there should expedition be used herein.” To this I, Sir Edward Stafford, replied that if it would please him, “after so long patience to give her Majesty some satisfaction . . . she would not forget to requite it in any occasions she might show the grateful acceptance thereof. I, William Waad, likewise said that the Queen had sent me expressly to take his resolutions as in a thing which concerned her so near as her highness could not be contented until she received satisfaction, considering . . . that which I had hope he would do, the unkindness of this delay . . . troubled her as much as the matter itself; and that the whole realm, to whom her Majesty's welfare is infinitely dear, by the confession of that detestable traitor that was lately executed, having notice of this conspiracy, did extremely murmur at this delay they so made, as though her Majesty's safety could not sufficiently be provided for while that abominable and unnatural fellow, the hatcher and bosom of all treason, was out of her Majesty's hands.”
With these and the like reasons we insisted with all the earnestness we might, but all we could obtain was that in a day or two we should have answer, “with very good words, mild and cheerful countenance, but no word that we could take hold of to conceive any certain hope; but so general and indifferent as are now current in those matters where a man cannot, or is loth to resolve in.”
If the King shall send his answer to us, we are resolved to receive it from his own mouth, that we may reply to it, and that nothing may be omitted that might further this cause. The Queen Mother does not return until Easter, so we think it best that her Majesty's letters be left here, to be delivered hereafter as shall be thought best; and not to give them to the King.
As the ways in France are now more dangerous than in any civil wars heretofore, we do not see how Morgan can be better than in the King's castle, for if delivered to the ambassador, there would be great danger in keeping him, and he must be delivered again to whom the King shall appoint to convey him to the sea-side, which, if your Majesty undertook, would be a great charge and hazard. So we are resolved, if the King grants his delivery, to ask that he may be consigned to us at Dieppe, where shipping may be prepared for his embarkation, and whither the King must see him conveyed with good guard.—Paris, 23 March, 1584.
Signed by both. Add. Endd. 6 pp. [France XIII. 77.]
March 24. Ortell to Walsingham.
Last Sunday I informed you that the deputies returning from France, and being forced by the wind into the Road of Seaford (Seffort), those of Holland and Zeeland, with the Greffier of the States General, came to London to speak with me, the others going to Dover to await their return. On their arrival, on Saturday evening, we had much talk together, and I did not fail to give them heartily to understand the singular affection of her Majesty and the lords of her Council for our preservation; as well as the reasons of M. de Gryse's departure. At which being much rejoiced, and having dined with me on Sunday, at three o'clock that afternoon they departed to meet the rest and go together to our country; hoping that M. de Gryse will have already arrived, and that we shall soon have news from thence.
As to their negotiation in France, it is no way different from what we have heard, except that the King excused himself on the ground of his already disordered State, and hoped with all his heart that her Majesty would be disposed for our preservation. And that, for his part, he would not be wanting to hinder the carrying of victuals from all parts of France and would be very glad if God did us the grace to maintain us in liberty and to resist our enemies.
If the said deputies had had the least reason in the world, they would not have failed to go to the Court, but seeing that they had no charge, and that it would only make an extraordinary and causeless rumour, they thought it better to return as quickly as possible to our own country.—From my lodging, 24 March, 1584.
Add. Endd. Fr.pp. [Holland I. 84.]
March 24./April 3. News from Normandy.
“Sor. le Boyes,” captain of Newhaven, daily fortifies the town and quay more than heretofore. Great store of ordnance is placed in divers parts to defend it, and the quay is strengthened (ranfost) with timber and long masts laid lengthways, to be covered with earth on every side. The water-gate is shut day and night. “The Duke of Guise or the Cardinal of Bourbon is looked for daily, and some think that one from either of them hath been at Rouen or Dieppe or both. The captains and garrisons say they are and will be for the King; townsmen, commoners and countrymen yields a kind of government to the Duke and the Cardinal.” The Duke and his faction “put out” that the King has a consuming sickness and cannot recover, and that the Duke is making himself as strong as he can against that time. The King of Navarre is said to be gone into the furthest parts of his country to raise fresh forces against the Duke, and leaves the hither parts as well “garnished and ranforced” as he can, for his own safety. It is said there has either been some conference between him and Montmorency, or else a meeting “by some from either of them.” There is as yet no preparation known on the coast for shipping to transport men or munitions, the only shipping being pirates, “who be strong and rob every man they can take.”
Endd.pp. [Newsletters IX. 20.]
March 25./April 4. Duke de Joyeuse to Walsingham.
Thanking him for his kind action in relation to a ship of his plundered by English robbers, and praying him to continue his favour in the matter.—Paris, 4 April, 1585. Signed Anne de Joyeuse.
Add. Endd. Fr. ¾ p. [France XIII. 78.]
March 25. Gilpin to Walsingham.
Though I have had no opportunity to deal further in the charge committed to me, I have still been doing, and have busied the ears of those of any sway or credit here, and find some outward show of inclination to England, having often been in conference with two or three whose names I will impart to Burnam if he return this way. But, opportunity serving, I mean to deal with these States, either in their Assembly or particularly at their lodgings, still keeping from them that it proceeds from her Majesty, for, from the nature of these people, I judge “that the King of France failing them with other hopes will resume their business, and fall to her Majesty, to their good and her Majesty's better liking,” but this I submit to the grave judgment of yourself and others.
M. de Grise arrived on the 22nd at Middelburg, and finding both Council and States absent, sent letters “and (as he termed it) nostre besoingnes depuis la response du roy de France into Holland, where the General States assemble this week.” He has also made a despatch to Antwerp, whither I wrote to Col. Morgan and to the soldiers, encouraging them in their duties and hoping their needs shall be supplied till the return of this bearer, “whose speedy return methinks very necessary for the [need the] Englishmen stand in,” referring myself to him for particulars. De Grise has, since his> coming to Middelburg, been at Flushing, and dealt with Count Maurice and others, protesting that he will do all good offices, and meaning, immediately after the return of the Council and States, to depart for Holland.
“Of the States deputies diversely spoken. Some reported they landed at Rye, some at Dover; two of them to be ridden to her Majesty for passport or other like cause; others say some to be arrived in England and some in Holland. . . . I heard that all was kept secret for the discouragement [sic] of the enterprise against the enemy, where the service will be hot and furious.” I would not go to see it because of the coming of this bearer, but hope to learn all particulars.
News came this morning that the States' men have taken Liefkenshoeck, wherein were about 250 men; divers slain and the rest escaped. It is hoped they have also got the Doel and other scances; “the wind serving so fitly and weather so fair as both sides the place where the river is closed may be charged; those of Antwerp setting forth yesternight late.” God send them good success.
One Kenel, captain of a ship, was sore hurt at Liefkenshoeck, and is brought to Flushing.
“Some report that they landed four or five hundred men and are run to do some exploit at Beveren . . . to drive the more fear and terror amongst the Malcontents, who by report of two constables of gunners being run from the enemy and come hither, are in some more dread, hearing the great preparation and resolution on this side, and that the mariners of Antwerp were paid and would to fight [sic],” for whose encouragement 150 shippers were sent safely thither.
The Prince of Parma is marvellous strong on both sides the river, having sent for men from wherever they could be spared, leaving the towns, as it were, without garrison; and neglecting no means to hinder the present service for “the releasement of Antwerp siege.”
Those of Holland that were in Tergoesland are returned, but I have not yet been able to talk with them. Here is still news of levies and likelihood of troubles in France, which makes the people despair of any good from thence; “doubting those coloured quarrels will fall on the necks of the protestants there, or to intend some further mischief.”
The success of Ostend is good, but only two or three hundred slain, amongst whom were three captains and seven or eight officers.—Middelburg, 25 March, 1585.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland I. 85.]
March 25. Certificate of Mr. Alderman Marten of moneys delivered, or by Tuesday next to be delivered “into her Majesty's receipt,” amounting in the whole to about 7,000l.
“So that the whole furniture of 20,000l. is ready for your lordship's further direction for speedy conveyance &c.
Endd. “25 March, 1585.—A proportion of gold moneys to be sent to the Treasurer of her Majesty's forces in the Low Countries.”
Endd. ½ p. [Flanders I. 13.]


  • 1. The words in brackets are underlined, perhaps for deletion. Wt. 42952.