Elizabeth: April 1585, 1-5

Pages 389-404

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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April 1585, 1–5

April 1. Stafford to Walsingham.
Mr. Waad's letter will tell you so fully of the silly answer brought by Brulard from the King concerning Morgan that I will not write of it; leaving further report to Mr. Waad's return, if at our audience today the King deals no better, or to other letters if he do.
Meanwhile we are in great perplexity for Orleans, which the Governor assured the King was devoted to him. “First, M. d'Entragues got into the citadel, and going about to persuade the town to hold for this other faction and they seeming to refuse it, sent to the King to advertise him of it;” who thereupon sent Duke Montpensier and Marshal d' Aumont (Domont) thither, despatching after them four cannons with munitions, 800 shot and five companies of men-at-arms to conduct them and to batter the citadel if they would not yield; but d'Entragues had so instilled the town with false opinions of the Duke of Guise's good meaning and the King's intelligence with the King of Navarre and others of that sort, that Montpensier not only found the gates shut, but was shot at, and was fain to retire to Artenay, three leagues on this side. The King is so “astonied” thereby that he has deferred our audience while he takes order upon it. The artillery is stayed at Estampes.
The Queen Mother “greatly stormeth at the sending of the cannon thither, she being there to bring matters to a peaceable end, as she saith. She hath spoken twice with the Duke of Guise, who maketh great complaint of the evil usage of him and all his, of enterprises that hath been made against his person, of consultations whether he should be made away or not, and nothing but unkindness; that, notwithstanding, he is so affected to this realm that he will do any reasonable thing, but that he can do nothing of himself, without the Cardinal of Bourbon, Duke de Mayne and Duke Mercœsur, who be all sent for with authentic passports of the King, and is hoped, afore they come, the Duke of Lorraine will be there also. But for my part, I am afraid that all this is but to delay time and to have their things the readier,” for every day news comes of the taking of towns by them, as this morning of Langres, and, as is said, Chartres also, and even now, that the Duke d'Elbœuf has taken Rouen. As every hour fresh news comes, so after a while it changes, so I cannot assure you of any of these. The King himself is assured of nothing “but as badly and as uncertainly as ever I saw.”
He gives “marvellous good and straight order” in this town, but yet is not sure of them. He would fain bring some companies in, but they will not consent to it, which makes him fear the town so greatly that he dare not go out of it, though he meant to go to Meaux to assemble his army.
The best news I hear is that “within this sennight the drum sounding to levy men for the King, there have a great many enrolled themselves, and left the other party, of the which they had taken money of to serve them, under colour that they made them believe all was for the King's service.” They say this to some, to others they privately declare that the King “hath intelligence with them against them of the Religion.”
Epernon went away yesterday with a good troop of gentlemen. “They give out it is for some enterprise of importance, but it is thought he is gone to Metz, either to be there in safety mistrusting himself, or else to assure himself of the town, of the which is governor under him a brother-in-law of Marchaumont's,” who they doubt doth not stand sound.
It is still thought that by the Queen Mother's means there may be quietness, but that they will insist on having Metz, Toul and Verdun for their surety. Cambray was also determined on, but there is nothing yet propounded.
There happened a case here yesterday which has made the King look about him and I think scared them more than anything, though he dare not show it. A gentleman went to confession to a Jesuit, and after telling his faults, the Jesuit said he could give him no remission unless he promised to defend the league of the Duke of Guise “to the last drop of his blood.” He told the King of it, who was greatly amazed and sent him and two others to other Jesuits, but all preached the same thing.
We find no cause to judge that the King has any intelligence with them [the Guises], but almost all fear that he will be overthrown and acablé as they call it, for lack of good counsel and order, and that his person and life are in danger. “Truly, in my opinion, never King was more betrayed than the French King of them that he hath most bound to him, and do not think any true counsellor about him but only Villeroy and Bellièvre. I think Chiverny and Villequier the two greatest traitors to him that ever were in any place.
“The last day there was great ado made for money and the Chancellor made great moan, saying there was no way to get any. Villeroy stood up and told them all it was a shame in a matter of so great importance to the King to stagger upon getting of money, offering for example that though the King had never given him so much as some of them, yet more than he had either asked or deserved, though he had not money, because he ever had been a spender, yet he had land, and his father also, of whom he made him sure to have all he had to engage for the King's service, which quickly would find means to make money; and offered it willingly, but none of the rest would follow.”
The Duke of Retz, before going to Cardinal Bourbon, offered the King two hundred thousand crowns which he had in his coffer, and credit for four more, praying him to use him and all that he had; so he is thought to be assured to the King.
Queen Mother . . . is marvellously suspected, both because she hateth the minions, because the King doth not make account of her now a days, and because there remaineth still in her the old accustomed humour to have sundry ways to the wood, and that therefore she will maintain the King, King of Navarre, Duke of Guise, that if it may be, they may all rely upon her and that one flinching from her the other two may still be strong enough to maintain her. I pray God our much cunning do not deceive us all at length.”
The Queen Mother hath a device in her head which if the worst fall, she means to set abroach and thinks would pacify all things; viz., to make matches between the Duke of Lorraine's eldest son and the Princess of Navarre; the Prince of Condé and the Princess of Lorraine that is here, and the Duke of Guise's eldest son and the Prince of Condé's daughter.
The following lines are written to Burghley.
These copies will stay me from troubling your lordship with any longer letter, only, for your own particular, I was sending, as I wrote, for your son William Cecil upon these bruits when I heard from him that he was then going to Blois. But on these new bruits, I will send again, and if he be at Orleans will send for him hither; but if at Blois, will wait for your orders, as there I think him very safe. Paris, 1 April, 1585.
Add. Endd. 4 pp. [France XIII. 88.]
The cipher words have been put into Burghley's cipher.
April 1. Waad to Walsingham.
On Tuesday last Secretary Brulard was sent from the King to say that he must defer his answer to her Majesty's request longer than he would have done, both because of these troubles and his desire to see how he might content her, which he was sorry he could not do according to her expectation and his goodwill. For this war being pretended for religion, the preachers in this town began to murmur and in their sermons to declare how unjust it were for the King to deliver over a Catholic, those in arms also opposing themselves against it. And as the Queen Mother is now in speech with those, to make some agreement, the King is forced to ask her Majesty to wait till better opportunity may serve. In the meantime, he [Morgan] shall be kept where he is, so that he shall be forthcoming and not able to do any hurt, and when these troubles are overpast, the King will be glad to give her Majesty all satisfaction.
The ambassador answered that if the King would have resolved at the first, he might have prevented all those inconveniences; that it seems strange “that subjects will give law to their prince in those matters specially which concern them not,” and that in this answer there is no mention of Morgan's writings and papers, which might in all this time have been perused, whereby her Majesty might have had some satisfaction. And hereupon I told him that as I was sent expressly for this cause, with orders to receive the King's answer from his own mouth, I must humbly require this of him; as likewise because this answer was only to a part of what I had propounded, the demand being in two parts, touching the person of this vile traitor and the papers found in his study, which I must urgently request might be delivered to us; as by the detaining of them, the conspiracy with its complices remained hidden from her Highness, to her great prejudice and danger.
For the first part, I was very sorry that his answer was such as would both discontent her Majesty and carried no show of reason, and that “to make the Catholics here protectors of so notorious a traitor was, in mine opinion, a great slander to their religion. . . . There were in this town at the least 300 English Catholics, of whom nothing was required, nor of those at home, so long as they use themselves as good subjects. But to favour so devilish and damnable an instrument in giving him the name of a Catholic, I thought it sounded very 'harse,' and rather would have looked he would have said that traitors and atheists could not like to have a traitor delivered over, for so he was, and of that profession I took all them to be that any way had any intelligence with him in his ungodly and unnatural conspiracy . . . of what quality soever they were, and what title soever they may bear or usurp.
“As for those in arms against the King, be it rebellion or for religion, I understand it not, for I know the King to be Catholic and saw no reason they should therefore arm against their sovereign,” but this very thing should move him to see justice done, “that no man by this indulgence might be encouraged to attempt aught against the sacred person of his prince.” And even had there been no friendship or alliance between their Majesties, as a Christian King and one of the greatest monarchs in Christendom he should have proceeded with all expedition and resolution, to show how he abhorred that devilish kind of treason One thing evidently was to be noted, how new excuses, not agreeing together, were pretended, whereby it appeared there was no intention to gratify her Majesty. For first it was pretended that her request “stood not with the liberty of the realm of France,” which were a bondage indeed, under colour of liberty to make this realm a sanctuary for the highest treason. Next, it was alleged that the treaties allow twenty days of respite before delivery of traitors, which is now long since expired, and as to which her Majesty had looked that the King her good brother would not in such a case have stood upon terms of treaties, but proceeded with all expedition and severity. Then excuse was made that in his writings were some which concerned this estate, but if he and his writings had been at the first delivered, her Majesty would have had the writings perused and also drawn from the traitor his uttermost knowledge in what concerned the King, and presently advertised him thereof.
At another time, the King referred the matter to his Council, which her Majesty found very strange, not taking this case to have need of consultation but resolution; nor was it thought any counsellor durst dissuade the King from justice in a matter concerning the life of a sovereign prince.
Lastly, the King affirmed there was matter found that concerned his own person. “How this man is now made a Catholic, and so thought worthy to be protected I understand not, unless those that favour him . . . would have us to think as unreverently of the King as they in their open actions show little respect, sith they term this a war for religion.”
By all these shifts it appears there is no meaning to satisfy her Majesty, which will be occasion of great grief to her, discourage her from hopes of receiving hereafter any satisfaction from the King in anything whatsoever and lead her to believe that his friendship is but in outward show and appearance.
I further let him understand that she had expected those who were evil affected to her and had interest in this practice to try to dissuade the King, but had assured herself he would not let their malice prevail over his princely inclination to justice. I requested him to consider in how many respects he was bound to satisfy her, and how unkind the refusal must needs be; praying him earnestly, as Secretary of State and counsellor to the King to further his good inclinations to satisfy her Majesty, seeing that even his own excuses ought to move him not to defer longer the delivery of this wicked person, whose life she sought not (indeed no place in the world could be surer for him than a Bastille) but desired to have all knowledge of those wicked conspiracies whereof he was chief mover and deviser.
I need not repeat Brulard's words, they were so few; “seeming to think our request reasonable, but that the King must yield against his will and desire to the necessity of the time.”
At his going forth, I prayed him to pardon my earnestness, for never any sovereign was so dear to any people as her Majesty to all her subjects; so that the King would not only satisfy her, but give such content to all her realm, that, if needed, he would find an infinite number ready to serve him in these wars, only from gratitude. So concluded by requiring audience to receive answer from the King himself, though I hoped he might yet again advise himself herein; for I should be sorry to have been employed in a matter which had fallen out so contrary to her Majesty's expectation.
This day we looked for audience, but the King sent to request us to have patience, “through very sudden and very great occasion of business, as indeed he hath received letters from the Queen Mother, as also from divers places hath advice of the revolt of towns of great importance,” so that I believe Brulard's last excuse had truth in it, and that even though he meant to satisfy her Majesty, he would be advised to forbear to do it. “It behoveth her Majesty in time to look into this action, which (as they term it here) carrieth a long train and is the beginning of a most dangerous and universal war.”
After my next audience, I shall return with all expedition, for considering the state this realm is in, it is vain to hope either that he will be delivered or that he may be safely conveyed; so that her Majesty may think of some other way to have his examinations taken. But I see no reason why the perusing of the writings should be denied us, and mean to urge it specially.—Paris, 1 April, 1585.
Add. Endd.pp. of very close writing. [France XIII. 89.]
April 1. Instructions for Sir Thomas Layton.
To tell the French King that we are right sorry to learn of the late troubles in his kingdom, which we are persuaded are nourished by great personages abroad, meaning to override him in his own realm, unless he opposes himself “with that princely magnanimity that appertaineth” to their designs.
And if he resolve to take a princely course therein, to say that we will not fail to assist him with such means as God has given us, and that we desire to know plainly the cause of these alterations, and what foreign potentates are parties to them.
Further to let him understand “that we doubt not but some unsound persons about him, entertaining him in a needless jealousy of those of the religion,” will try to dissuade him from using their service against those who have bred this alteration and from accepting our aid, but we also doubt not that, being a prince of judgment “he will be able well enough to discern such spirits and to what malicious end their pretended piety tendeth.”
Endd. “1585. Instructions for Sir Thomas Layton, sent to the French King. This was at the time that Mr. Champernon was sent to the King of Navarre, but to that it proceeded not.” 1¾ pp. [France XIII. 90.]
Another copy of the same. Endd. (by the writer, Walsingham's clerk), “1 April, 1585. The heads of Instructions unto the French King.” 1¾ pp. [Ibid. XIII. 90a.]
April [1?] Instructions for A[rthur] C[hampernon], sent to the King of Navarre.
To tell him that in case the French King shall be misled to attempt anything against him, her Majesty promises her best assistance, knowing how much it will import all princes Protestants to be united for common defence.
That she has sent into Germany to move the princes of the Religion there to think upon some way to prevent the common peril.
To enquire, in case anything be attempted against him, what help he will desire, what forces he can put into the field of horse and foot and in what time; what towns are at his devotion; and how the Catholic noblemen not factious are inclined to him. Whether Montmorency would adhere to him, or any others of quality of the contrary religion.
To inform himself how Bordeaux and other “presidial towns” are affected to the said King.
To move him to send one through England to the assembly in Germany.
Endd. “An abstract of the Instructions for Mr. Champernon, sent to the King of Navarre, April, 1585.” 1 p. [Ibid. XIII. 91.]
April 3 (fn. 1). Davison to Walsingham.
I sent letters to you last week, but they were driven back by a westerly wind, which still continues.
[The first part of the letter is, in substance, a repetition of that of March 26, down to the mention of Ortell's letters.]
The commissioners have arrived at the Brill, and made their report on Monday last, the first day of the General Assembly. Next day, some of the States came, firstly to acquaint me therewith and of that signified by Du Gris, agreeing with Ortell's letters; secondly to excuse what had passed in their French negotiation; thirdly to show me why they had not entered into particular communication with me (growing partly from my own refusal at my first coming) and lastly to let me know their disposition to enter into more straight treaty with me, if I had any further overtures to make from her Majesty, to whom they desired to give all honourable satisfaction.
After some general thanks, I answered that albeit the little respect borne to her Majesty in their late proceedings might give her Highness just cause to think hardly of them, yet I thought she would not (for the faults of some few ill-advised), cast off the care she had of the common cause. That, for the third point, they knew well how at my coming I found them resolved in their French course and therefore refused to enter into particularities with them without her Majesty's further direction, so as that fault growing from themselves could not be imputed to me. Lastly, touching any special overtures, as her Majesty (forseeing what would come of their doings in France and how the enemy might profit by it) had sent me over to learn their necessities and assure them of her favour, so, notwithstanding the cause they had given her to withdraw her affection, yet finding by me how things had been carried against the likings of the greater part, and that they were now abandoned by all others, she had commanded me to let them know that for religion and compassion's sake, she was ready (her surety provided for) to give them all the succour she might.
They pressing to know what particular assurance might satisfy her, I answered that I thought she would desire Flushing, the Brill and Enchuysen, the reason for which I let them see by the difficulties and charges into which she would throw herself for their sakes; “the example of other princes in like cases; the satisfaction of her people, whose persons and goods she must use in their defence; the little surety her Majesty can otherwise have of them, who, obtaining by her means their desires, may at all times make their peace with the Spaniard,” leaving her without remedy for all her charges; which she has the more cause to suspect from the inconstant nature of the multitude and remembrance of things past, as also “for the experience she hath had of the Protestants in the first troubles of France, who, driven to the wall and forced to commit their persons and cause into her Majesty's protection (which with her singular charge she undertook), they, contrary to their faith and obligation, did shortly after not only make peace with the King, excluding her Majesty, but, which is more, came into the field against her, assisting at the siege of the same place which themselves had not long before delivered into her Highness' hands for her assurance; which unthankful and dishonourable part of theirs, as it hath cooled her Majesty's affection towards them from that time forth and prejudged themselves in the succeeding troubles of their country,” so is it not strange if she should look to be better assured in taking the protection of this cause of theirs; which point provided for, I doubted not they would find her ready to give them all the succour she might.
Hereto replying little but that they would communicate this overture to the assembly and return in a day or two with such answer as they hoped would content me, we parted.
The second day following, the Lord of Brederode and the pensioners of Dordrecht and Enchuysen were sent to inform me that the deputies of Zeeland being not yet come and some of those present needing to return home for fuller powers, they had deferred their answer till Monday or Tuesday next, and till then prayed me to have patience. But I suspect they will be all this week occupied “in digesting the conditions and advising of the persons” to be sent to her Majesty and so send this bearer with what matter I have. Those of Friesland, Utrecht, North Holland and Antwerp, have full powers, also divers of the towns; all glad of the issue of their French business, and resolved to be wholly her Majesty's if she will accept them, desiring her rather as sovereign than as protectress, “both for their surety and her greatness' sake.”
Touching the cautions, “I am borne in hand” there will be no difficulty (notwithstanding some ill-affected instruments), to which may be added Harlingen for Friesland, a place for its situation on the Zuider Zee and strength of great importance for that quarter.
I find a disposition in those of Holland, Zeeland, Frise and Utrecht, all entire provinces, and the town of Antwerp, to come into the treaty with her Majesty, admitting Flanders, Brabant and Gueldres “to enter with the same conditions for such places only as they hold,” with reservation of like liberty to such as are disposed to follow their example, seeing that most parts are under the power of the enemy.
I believe that next week they will resolve upon their offers and the despatch of their commissioners. “In the mean time, finding no hope that these men can subsist long, governed as they are, without falling into a thousand hazards, and that to preserve them in their entire, they have only or chiefly need of the authority of a prince to guide the stern (for touching their means otherwise, they are no doubt very great, notwithstanding all the troubles they have passed) in which respect they do much rather wish her Majesty would embrace their cause as sovereign than as protectress, as the thing both most safe and fit for them and most honourable, sure and profitable for herself, considering how much her greatness and strength should be thereby augmented, both over the whole ocean, which she should absolutely command from the one end to the other and over so strong and important countries, wherein are so many rich and stately towns, with a thousand other commodities,” I leave it to your and her determination which of the two were more expedient.
Touching the points in which you desire satisfaction, I assure you that for the contributions, the four provinces of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht and Frise can furnish monthly 300,000 florins at the least, Holland bearing about three parts, which may show the power and wealth of this province. For their forces, besides the garrisons of Holland, they have not above eight or nine thousand foot and a thousand or twelve hundred horse, “both for the field and the rest of their garrisons in Flanders, Brabant Gueldres, &c.” In Enchuysen they have three ensigns of two hundred each, in the Brill, two, and in Flushing about five.
The affections of the people are universally inclined to her Majesty, “those few that have persuaded the dealing with France having now their mouths stopped, and all men glad it hath fallen out thus,” finding her highness so well disposed towards them, contrary to what they have been heretofore persuaded.
The Elector [Truchsess] is still at Utrecht, to make an end of his difference with Count Neuenaar, “who I suspect dealeth not soundly with him.” He sends me word that he has taken order for the levying of troops in Germany, but finding things to go slowly forward in his behalf, I have forborne to disburse any more money, having yet in my hands above 30,000 florins, which if his business proceed no better, may be employed here for her Majesty's service if need be.
To conclude with myself, I would be glad to return home with these commissioners, though it were but for some few days, to order my own affairs, which done, I would be ready either to return here or to do her Highness any other service she shall lay upon me.
I pray you to put your helping hand thereto, and the rather as my presence may serve to give information in many things too long to write. Having brought things here as far as I may to a good resolution, I may be the better spared, these States breaking up and returning home, except some few appointed for ordinary business, until they hear the success of their commissioners with her Majesty.—The Hague, 3 April, 1584 [sic].
Add. Endd. 4 pp. Signed. [Holland I. 88.]
Postscript on a separate sheet.—“Here be letters come out of France from Junius, who remained behind, persuading that things are not so desperate there touching the King's affection and means to relieve them as some imagine; making light of the troubles newly begun as though that will soon be at a point, the King and his mother sparing no travail or diligence in that behalf. These letters have served to some purpose to open the mouths of some that were before stopped,” and may breed some impediment, though not, I think, to alter the disposition of the generality to enter into treaty with her Majesty. By the end of next week I shall see what the issue will be.—The Hague, 3 April, 1584 [sic].
Endd. ¾ pp. [Ibid. I. 88a.]
Draft of the above letter, without the postscript.
Endd. 4 pp. [Ibid. I. 89.]
April 3. Davison to Walsingham.
In my last I told you of the rendering up of Brussels and revolt of Nimeguen, which, expelling the States garrison and those of the Religion, received Haultpenne for their governor. Those of Doesburg have followed their example, and Dotechem and other places are suspected. The burghers of Arnhem (where the like was discovered and prevented) sent soldiers to entrench themselves upon the point by Tollhuis (where the river divides, one branch going towards Arnhem, the other by Nimeguen), for the better bridling of the town and commanding of the passage, but they have been defeated and the place recovered by the enemy.
Count Neuenaar having solicited the towns within his government to receive no garrison but such as he appoints, “groweth here suspected.”
[Account of proceedings at Liége, as in letter of March 26.] I doubt not but you have heard of La Motte's attempted surprise of Ostend, where he entered and for two hours possessed the old town with 1,000 or 1,200 men, but in fine repulsed with slaughter of above 200 (with divers captains and officers), the hurt of many, and the loss of their carriages and munition. Their defeat had been much greater if their horsemen had not come in time to favour their retreat.
Count Hollock has recovered the fort of Liefkenshoeck, which, after two or three hours battery from the fort of Lillo, was approached by a hulk, in whose tops and upper-decks were divers musketeers, “which beating into the fort whilst the mariners (landed in other places), offered the assault, constrained the enemies to abandon the place, as their fellows had done the fort of St. Anthony's hook and Tervent,” the Doel being since surrendered by composition.
A day or two before this attempt, (fn. 2) those of Antwerp conveyed down a ship “vaulted with tombstones and other like matter, wherein they had enclosed a great quantity of powder, provided for the forcing open and burning of the enemy's vessels and engines that close the river; which, directed by an instrument like a clock and falling against the fort of Callo, where it took on fire, hath blown up a platform before the fort, sunk five or six pieces of battery and slain the Marquis of Rysbourgh, the Baron d'Obigny with some others of note and about four or five hundred soldiers, without working the other effects for which it was principally destined; and now we hearken every hour what will succeed of the like and other preparations on this side for the same purpose, whereof is conceived great hope and opinion.”
The town of Oldezell has been surprised by a captain of the States, which will cut off the enemy's victuals from coming to the relief of his garrisons at Zutphen and other places thereabouts.
This week they have been occupied at Middelburg about the process of Treslong, against whom (as I hear) they have more malice than matter. Temple, returned thither since the giving up of Brussels, is committed to the same prison, “but of the pretext of the one and success of the other” we have yet no details.
To divert the forces on the river and in Brabant, the enemy has entered the Veluwe, rangeing and spoiling the country and taking divers peasants to ransom, who have no force to resist them, unless they employed their garrisons, which they dare not do.—The Hague, 3 April, 1584 [sic].
Postscript in Davison's own hand.—News comes even now that the Prince of Parma “should be slain” at the fort of Callo.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. Signed. [Holland I. 90.]
Copy of the same, apparently from a rough draft of Davison's by a scribe who had difficulty in reading his handwriting, as many spaces are filled up and corrections made, by Davison himself.
Endd. 3 pp. [Ibid. I. 91.]
April 3. Davison to Leicester.
I have of late received two letters from you, one by a merchant of Antwerp touching Anermore park, (fn. 3) the other by this bearer “importing the success of the States' legation in France.” In the first, having, as it seems, satisfied both Mr. Peters and Gilpin, you require me to send over order for the assignment. I hope your lordship is persuaded that I want no disposition to do you all the service I can, yet I know not how to satisfy you, having in the little time between my return from Scotland and my repair hither had no leisure to take order in anything concerning my poor estate.
If your lordship will obtain leave for me to come home with the deputies from hence, I shall be able both to give you contentment and “set some stay” in the rest of my business. If I cannot obtain this leave, I will write to a gentleman of the Temple whom I have before used, for a draft of the conveyance, to be imparted to your counsel, and afterwards sent to me to be sealed. For the price, “I compounded with Gilpin at the rate of 20 years fine for 30 years term, and if I had more years, to increase the rate accordingly as I had with others,” but your lordship shall dispose the matter at your discretion.
Touching the States' success in France, you will see by my despatch to Mr. Secretary that so far from working any great alteration here, all men appear glad it has “so determined,” finding her Majesty so graciously inclined to their relief, who, as I think, had never such an opportunity to increase her honour and greatness, wherein your lordship, as a principal counsellor, cannot but have your part if things succeed as is to be wished. On this side I think there will be no difficulty for her satisfaction if they find at her hands what they look for; but by my next you shall have more certainty.—The Hague, 3 April, 1584 [sic].
Copy. Endd. “To my lord of Leicester.” 1 p. [Ibid. I. 92.]
April 3. Davison to Burghley.
By the enclosed copies of my letters to Mr. Secretary you will understand as much as I can presently write of the state of things here. The news of their refusal in France has wrought the less alteration “in that it came accompanied or rather prepared with the tidings of her Majesty's gracious inclination to embrace their cause, which all men here do a thousand times rather affect.'' On Monday or Tuesday next, those who have gone home for sufficient powers will return, In the meantime I find them disposed to give her Majesty contentment in the cautions, “and of the two to affect rather the sovereignty than protection, as they that resolve never to turn under the Spaniard,” and are willing rather to enlarge their offers to her, because their principal want is a head, “to contain the parts and members within their office and duties, which, otherwise, (governed as they are), cannot but lanquish and perish.”
Her Majesty shall not need to employ above five or six thousand men of her own, which, with companies of 200 to save the pay of needless officers, will grow to no great charge (in respect of the benefit these countries may bring to the increase of her estate, honour and greatness) above what they themselves will contribute, which I am told by those who best know will amount to 300,000 florins monthly.
I will bring you a very particular “estate” of all these things if I may return with the commissioners, to have some little time for my own business, wherein I pray for your lordship's furtherance, the rather because I think to procure these commissioners to come so fully authorised that there will be no need for my stay here.—The Hague, 3 April, 1584 [sic].
Endd. To my Lord Treasurer. Copy. 1 p. [Holland I. 93.]
April 4. Stafford to Burghley.
I send this bearer to warn Mr. Secretary of the coming of a Spaniard that I send within a day or two by Painter to him, “who seemeth to be a man of good quality and wit” and says he will do the Queen service of importance. I never knew or heard of him before, therefore leave him to the judgment of those that will deal with him.
For your son, as I wrote in my last, I learned that he was going to Blois, from whence I received a letter from him this morning, “with that which is here to his father enclosed.”
I send one of mine to Blois for him on Wednesday, so I hope “you shall have him here” before answer can come of this. If you wish him to come home, he will be here, ready to obey you, and I think it would not be the worst advice to send for him, this troublesome time being very unfit for one that comes to learn. I will be as careful of him as if he were my own, and do not doubt but for my sake he will be as sure as any can in these times.
“My wife meaneth to pluck up a good heart and to take part of [i.e. share] my fortune, which for my part I no way fear.”
I have written to Mr. Secretary of the King's kind acceptation of the Queen's offer in general terms. I could not bring him to “open his need nor yet require any particularity of help, though I egged him to it as much as with modesty I could.” Mr. Waad, who I think departs the day after to-morrow, will give you ample relation of all things.—Paris, 4 April, 1585.
Holograph. Add. Endd. by Burghley. 1 p. [France XIII. 92.]
April 4. Gilpin to Walsingham.
I am still expecting Burnham's return from Holland. Thomas Brune arrived with our post last Wednesday and brought me your letters. I will fulfil your commands both towards him and Stephen Le Sieur, from whom I had a letter this morning “confirming the operation of the fireworks,” which turning out so well, they are preparing three others.
Our English men are still at Burgenholt, unwilling for any service, but in terms to depart they know not whither. A letter I lately wrote to them served to good purpose with the discreet, yet some worse-minded interpret all to serve their purpose. Our navy continues resolved to proceed with their enterprise, with fit tides, winds and weather, having meanwhile provided all things necessary. The enemy has replaced his losses and grows every day stronger. Those of Flushing daily bring in prizes, “and make short expedition of justice in their Admiralty.” The Ostenders have been out as far as Bruges walls, and brought home above three hundred cattle, and those of Sluys “be not still,” so that Bruges is greatly distressed. The Doel is surrendered, and the Prince of Parma narrowly escaped taking by a few soldiers seeking adventure. It is murmured that he is dead, “but not taken true.”
Letters from Dunkirk say that in five or six days there arrived there at least thirty-five English boats with victuals, which much disquiets this people. The ways between Antwerp and Barrow are so kept by cornets of horsemen that the posts can hardly pass, divers having of late been taken.
Count Maurice and his Council are still here, but some sent into Holland to the General States' meeting. Those of these islands have concluded upon instructions for their deputies to Holland, especially as to recourse to some other prince for succour; yet I doubt they will not yield any towns for assurance.
Count William of Nassau is reported to do singular service in West Friesland, where he is Governor, having of late given an overthrow to Verdugo, and taken a place of importance near Groningen. The late Admiral was on Thursday publicly indicted before the lords of this town, sixty-five articles being read against him, and “the Bailiff concluding to have his head cut off and goods confiscate. His confession was also at his request read, and with a stout countenance answered 'flieringly' to each objection.” What will come of him, time will show.—Middelburg, 4 April, 1585.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland I. 94.]
April 4. Gilpin to Walsingham.
Next July, it will be two years since I disbursed one hundred French crowns to the party of Cologne, and a good while ago you promised order for repayment to my friend, this bearer, Christopher Humfrey, of whom I took it up “per exchange,” and by whose friendship I have been able to forbear it the longer. I humbly pray you to give order that my friend may receive it.—Middelburg, 4 April, 1585.
Add. Endd. ½ p. [Holland I. 95.]
April 4/14. Thomas Lovell to Walsingham.
The cause of this country is much changed since my last letter, for which God be thanked. The ambassador is writing to you of all that the States handle with him, who are now decided to deliver these provinces into her Majesty's hands, to govern and defend as her own, and on such conditions as I hope she will not refuse, considering what strengthening it will be to her and to England, and weakening to her neighbours that are or may be her enemies. No doubt but through God's help it will turn to good effect and establish His Word through Christendom within few years and the putting down of Antichrist, “for this is the way by land to Rome” and her Majesty being master here, will make all her enemies to quake, “for it is the only country for strength in the world both by sea and land,” and the people most able and ready to bring money for the wars and willing to become her subjects. For my part, I desire heartily to bear arms here against the enemy at her command.—The Hague, 14 April, 1585; style Holland.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. I. 96.]
April 5. Waad to Walsingham.
We only had audience yesterday, when I received the same answer Secretary Brulard delivered before, “but qualified with excuses and protestations” which the King urged her Majesty to accept until time would permit him to resolve otherwise. I did not urge the delivery of the party greatly, because we find it both vain and out of season, but insisted earnestly for Morgan's writings. He said he would consider what might be done and send us answer to-day by Brulard. For the other point he would promise nothing, “because whatsoever might fall out, he ever would perform that he doth undertake,” but his good sister might conceive the best of him and he would do in all respects what became him towards her, as if she were his own mother, sister or daughter; with so many protestations of sincere meaning and good affection as you shall understand at my return, which only stays for the answer concerning the writings and for the King's letter to her Majesty.—Paris, 5 April, 1585.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [France XIII. 93.]
April 6. Harborne to Walsingham.
In my last, of the 1st of last month, I told you what was reported here of the siege of Chapha by the late Tartar's son, and the Grand Signor's determination “in the rescue,” which has since proved a vain rumour, but the four fortresses for the safeguard of that city go forward with speed.
The Admiral Oluchely's return thence is hourly expected, to go into the White Sea; Hassan, King of Argier, having sent to demand aid against the King of Spain, “pretending, as he saith, the conquest of the same.” Some affirm this is but to give a colour to a matter of more importance; that a hundred and eighty galleys are to be set out and the Beglerbey of Greece to be sent to that province to levy an army, which makes the Venetian fear something intended against Candia or Corfu.
Osmond bassa, vizier and general for Persia is told by spies that the Persian is coming to Ruan; for which cause he has left the treasure and heavy carriages behind and is departed in haste with the spahis to defend that place. Petrasco, sixteen months ago created Vaivode of Wallachia (by favour of the French) is removed; partly through the complaints of the victuallers here, restrained of their wonted excesses there; partly by the malice of Peter, Vaivode of Moldavia (uncle to his predecessor Myckine, banished) who accused him of intending flight into France with the annual tribute, but chiefly by the great liberality of Myckine's mother to those about the Grand Signor. The state is given again to the said Myckine for the same tribute, with condition to pay the other's debts. “The fickle fortune of worldly felicity” is shown by this Petrasco, who, son of a Greek priest of an obscure family in the Morea, “could so long time shadow his base birth under the princely lineage of the ancient Vaivodes of the Wallachia, and through an aspiring mind, endued with singular gifts of knowledge in sundry tongues, abuse both Sigismond and the French Henry, late King of Poland,” the history whereof (though worthy of discourse) I omit for tediousness.
The rude and ignorant Patriarch of the Greeks is dispossessed at their suit, by one more learned, who has raised the annual tribute from 12,000 to 25,000 ducats; “to whom the other remaineth prisoner for much church goods mortgaged”; but now some of the richest (in the name of the good Patriarch prisoner in Rhodes, who is said to be ignorant of their proceedings), have raised it to 35,000, that he might not be deprived.
This day, April 5, the Emperor's ambassador has presented the King of Spain's letters to the Grand Signor, “wherein he certifieth the navy made ready to sea not to be in his prejudice, but only for safe conduct of his daughter to her ancient affianced husband the Emperor; which, if he credit, will occasion the stay of the fleet now preparing as abovesaid, unless it be against St. Mark, which, considering the wars with the Persian, I think is not meant.”
Decipher. Endd. “Mr. Harborne's advices of the month of March [sic]” 1 p. [Turkey I. 34.]
April 5/15. Advertisements from Paris.
The towns will not accept garrisons, each one saying that they will defend themselves for the King, and in fact Troyes, Rheims and Orleans do so and the bourgeois of Orleans have agreed with the Sieur d' Antragues in such sort that they have put into the citadel twenty five children of the town at their devotion, and d'Antragues as many, and I believe that he has been over-reached by the said citizens, for keeping him out of the said citadel.
M. de Montpensier with Marshal D'Aumont came as far as the faubourgs of Orleans, bringing after them four great cannon to batter the citadel, but when they approached, they were fired upon in such sort that there was only one boy wounded and would have retired without entering, but the said Antragues and the inhabitants were already agreed, so that yesterday there arrived a good company of the citizens to offer excuses to the King, that he may not be displeased with what they have done, and according to the example of the said towns, each wishes to do the same.
Those of Rheims have taken from the town and the environs four hundred men to guard them, whom they pay at their own charges, and the inhabitants keep on their guard and are in arms. They have in their town the Cardinal of Guise, their archbishop, who favours his brother as much as he may, but could not obtain entrance for him save with only twenty-five men and he was only there three hours. Those of Troyes are in arms and have cut down the gardens which are dangerous to the town; are cleaning out the moats, and have assembled the chief clergy of each church, and made them take oath that they will obey and hold to the King and their country.
Fearing his ecclesiastics, because of the Holy League, the King, in Paris, is gathering his gendarmerie with all diligence, and I believe by the middle of May, we shall know how things will go.
Endd. Fr.pp. [Newsletters IX. 21.]
[In Le Brumen's hand-writing. No doubt that mentioned on p. 412, below.]


  • 1. See note on p. 384 above.
  • 2. Sic. Liefkenshoeck was taken April 3, n.s., and the attempt on the bridge made the next day. See Bor and Meteren.
  • 3. Leicester calls it Warmour. See p. 309, above.