Elizabeth: April 1585, 16-20

Pages 415-422

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, 16–20

April 17/27. Vicomte de Turenne to Walsingham.
I wish I could write to you of pleasanter things than the evils which daily increase in our miserable country, yet it is a relief to tell them to one whom one honours. You know of the open enterprises put in hand by the common enemies of Christianity, which, indeed have been less than their hopes, but (mes) have advanced more than they should have done because of our negligence. Our wavering spirits prepare for the worst, it not being unseemly for those who are broken to be afraid. God send us better things !
The Spaniard has armed, and has in Castile and Aragon more than 12,000 men. He is preparing a fleet, and we have advices from thence that it is for you; but they do not specify the places for the descent. If I learn anything, I will advertise you of it. The King my master puts his trust in God, who has preserved him until this hour. He hopes for no so sure aid in his need from any place in the world as from the Queen your mistress, and I know, and your piety is a faithful witness thereof, that you will ever lend a helping hand to the protection of God's church.—Bergerac, 27 April.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Fr.pp. [Ibid. XIII. 102.]
April 17. Instructions for Thomas Bodleigh, sent to the King of Denmark.
On his way to Denmark, he is to go to the Duke of Brunswick and deliver her Majesty's letters to him, as well as those to the Electors of Saxony and Brandenburg (praying him to convey the same); and after acquainting him with his charge to the King of Denmark, and with other things for which he shall receive further instructions [see under date April 27, below] is to go with speed towards Denmark. [The Instructions for Denmark which follow, are very well epitomized in the following document.]—17 April, 1585.
Draft. Endd.pp. [Denmark I. 45.]
[April 17.]—“The effect of Mr. Bodleigh's Instructions” to the King of Denmark.
“To let him understand how the attempt of the Duke of Guise and his associates is procured by the King of Spain, the Pope, and the rest of the Catholic princes in Christendom, and for the putting in execution of the Council of Trent.
“That therefore it standeth all such princes upon as profess the gospel to look well to themselves.
“That the purpose of the Guise to force the King to deprive the King of Navarre of his succession to the Crown of France is a dangerous example, like to be extended to all other princes professing the gospel that be present possessioners of their own dominions.
“That the safest way for the princes of Europe professing the gospel is to join themselves in an association for their common defence.
“For this purpose, that all the said princes send their deputies to some place in Germany, to resolve upon some course for their common defence, and to make offer, on their princes' behalf, of both money and men, to be employed to this end in case of necessity.
“The said deputies to be authorised both to consult and offer some means of support for the King of Navarre.
“That the said King of Denmark would write his letters to the princes Protestants of Germany to the effect of all the premises, like as her Majesty hath done, persuading them to the foresaid association.
“That the said King persuade his uncle, the Duke of Hoist, though heretofore for some particular respects he have served the King of Spain, yet now, for the common cause sake of the gospel which he professeth he forbear to yield any forces to go out of his country to serve the Catholics.
“To let the said King understand of the pretended title the house of Lorraine maketh to Denmark crown.
“To acquaint his Majesty [with] your memorial of the treacherous dealings of the Jesuits in France.”
Endd.pp. [Ibid. I. 46.]
April 18/28. [Thomas Morgan ?] (fn. 1) to Dr. Lewes, in Rome.
“Because my dear friend and yours, Mr. Thomas Morgan, who is still a close prisoner in the Bastille at Paris, is not permitted to write abroad, as I know he would have done to you with the first in the world, I thought good to say somewhat unto you by my own pen in favour of him, now a prisoner for the cause of God and service of his country, wherein he was always forward, though often times it happen that such men be least rewarded or comforted in time of prosperity or adversity; yet if the quarrel had lighted upon a party dependant of some men in the world, as he depended upon God and the justice of his own actions, the same would have been made notorious both by pen and by mouth, to the relief of the party afflicted. But it is you, for your faithful friend and for so good a quarrel, as must now or never honour Mr. Morgan and move all means possible to support him, the charge of his captivity being very great, besides other extraordinary expences, having to contend with so rich and so puissant adversaries, that spare nothing to bring their wicked purposes to pass.
“When the Earl of Derby arrived here, one of the principal points that he had laid was the restitution of Mr. Morgan into England, bearing the King in hand that he was a mortal enemy to the Queen of England, an old pensioner to the King of 'Hyspayne,' and lived here to draw the English to his service; and had done and did daily sundry offices here to the hindrance of the King's affairs and his brother's when he lived. The French King hereupon, and upon the great suit of the said Earl and the ambassador lieger here for England, gave order that Mr. Morgan was arrested, the 9th of March, and that his lodging and study should be searched, and his writings and letters viewed, which was done accordingly. But thanks be to God they found nothing there that may hurt in common or in private.
“The King knew not all this while that Mr. Morgan was so devout a servant to the King of Scotland as he did afterward. After Mr. Morgan was arrested, he was kept a close prisoner in this town five or six days, during which time the English were always in hope to have him with them to England, but the King would not consent thereunto; nevertheless, the same day that the Earl of Derby departed this town, Mr. Morgan was removed to the Bastille, where he liveth a close prisoner, a life not new or strange to him, for in his youth he was a close prisoner almost two years in the Tower of London. And I perceive that this restraint of his liberty doth not for his particular trouble him at all saving for the charges, being four francs a day, which is heavy for him, and that he cannot now so well further the common service of God and his country, being in this captivity. Sithence his commitment to the Bastille, the Queen of England sent in haste one Wade an ambassador hither to pray the King to deliver Mr. Morgan into England, whereabouts there was 'old hailing' of both sides, though the English were put in great hope to have him.
“But in the end, his Majesty Most Christian took the best resolution and flatly denied him; yet the bruit went far and near that Mr. Morgan should be delivered, whereupon they of the house of Guise (having in singular recommendation the old service of Mr. Morgan to her Majesty of Scotland and to some of them also) laid wait for Wade his return, thinking Mr. Morgan should have been in his company, about Abbeville in Picardy, where M. d'Aumale, cousin germain to M. de Guise, commanded much. Wade was assaulted in the highway, accompanied with four, and was well beaten, and Wade detained in ward by the command of M. d'Aumale until he found the truth that Mr. Morgan was not of the company.
“The French King being hereof informed wrote to M. d'Aumale to put Wade to liberty, and so he did, and made humble suit to his Majesty to do the like with Mr. Morgan, who should have been rescued, as you may perceive, if the King had sent him to England.”
But as there is still amity between the Christian King and the Queen of England, who will never leave to persecute Mr. Morgan to the death, it is most requisite to procure his liberty, that he may not be at the mercy of either of these princes, for albeit the King has honourably resisted Mr. Morgan's delivery into England, things may so fall out here, that he might be induced not to stand for the defence of one who has no means to serve him, to the offence of the Queen of England, who offers him money and other assistance, both against Flanders and the house of Guise, who have moved, as you have heard, some stir in this country.
“Wherefore for the speedy relief of Mr. Morgan . . . where his Holiness according to his power may debate with the King and seem to take it very strange that his Majesty would, in favour of the Queen of England, an enemy to God and his church, imprison Mr. Morgan, an English gentleman who lived in banishment for his faith and religion and towards his Majesty and his crown as dutiful as any subject that he had, and lastly ready to serve the Catholic Church—yet his Holiness may thank the King that he did not deliver Mr. Morgan to England, which would have been his ruin and the trouble of all the Catholic people of that realm. . . . Besides, his Holiness may declare to the King that if he had delivered Mr. Morgan to England it should have been a great offence in the King towards God, to consent to the effusion of innocent blood and a great dishonour to him and the noble realm of France. Lastly, his Holiness may require the liberty of the said Mr. Morgan forthwith, and allege that he will employ him for the service of the Catholic Church.” The same course should be held with the Queen Mother, and the Nuncio Apostolic here should be required to execute these offices with effect. And if the Bishop of Bergamo continue here to serve the Pope's Holiness that shall be, I desire he may be thanked both by his Holiness and by yourself, for his care of Mr. Morgan in this time of his trouble. If his Holiness will do this, he should require the delivery of Mr. Morgan into the Nuncio's hands, for there is great threatening that he shall be killed as soon as he is at liberty.
If there be no Pope yet elected, I pray you procure the College of Cardinals to write to the King and Queen Mother to the effect abovesaid, and likewise to the Nuncio. Also, it would help Mr. Morgan if the Cardinals that chiefly depend upon this King should also write in his favour. Cardinal de Joyeuse, who is gone towards Rome, has credit in this court by means of his brother, Duke Joyeuse. If this trouble had not happened to Mr. Morgan, I know he was “at a point” to make you known to M. St. Gouard (Singuard), now ambassador from this King in Rome, who is much affected to M. de Guise. If he would let the King and Queen Mother understand the hard interpretation made at Rome of his punishing Mr. Morgan at the instance of the Queen of England, he might also report that it was well taken that he had not delivered him into England to be ruined; advise them to put him to liberty, and wish them to be good to him, he “being held a member of some consequence.” I also desire that his Holiness would recommend Mr. Morgan to such in these parts as be most addicted to the service of the church.
“There was hard debating in this Council about the delivery of Mr. Morgan to England, wherein M. de Villeroy, counsellor and secretaire d'estat, and in special credit, overthrew the device in Council, and many other good personage of Scotland laboured earnestly to relieve Mr. Morgan.” M. Pinart, secretaire d'estat, likewise did 'friend' him and many others put their helping hand to his case.
“Of his countrymen here, Mr. Paget and Mr. Throckmorton had no small care of him, and Mr. Arundel was at point to die in the field against those that should have led Mr. Morgan to England, which will be still followed.”
I know that Mr. Morgan is by nature thankful to such as have pleasured him, and I pray in his name that his Holiness may thank M. d'Aumale for his honourable care, and that the Cardinal of Guise do so also. The Cardinal may also signify so much to the Duke of Guise, and pray him and M. d'Aumale and the rest to continue their favours towards Morgan. His Holiness should also thank MM. Villeroy and Pinart.
The ambassador of Scotland would think himself much honoured if his Holiness and some of the Cardinals would thank him also. The Archbishop of Lyons and the Bishop of Paris are here resident and of the Privy Council. I would be glad that his Holiness would specially recommend Mr. Morgan to the Bishop of Paris, and pray him to be good lord unto him. “All that we can do is too little to withstand the malice of England and calamity of this time.”
There is a great conceit amongst such as know you and Mr. Morgan, of your friendship to him, and his to you cannot be dissolved but by his death. This is the time for you to put yours into execution, both for his liberty and means to go through with his business, being indeed the service of God and his country.
The time is dangerous, therefore I pray you not to communicate my letters to any living, but by the means which bring these to your hands, answer me, that I may let Mr. Morgan know what comfort he may expect from you. “All that he had in the world, either of his own or other, are stayed to the King.” I leave you to be informed of the state of the world by such as know the same better than I do. “Scribbled in haste, this 28th of April, by the hand of him whose heart and hand you know.”
[Note by the copyist. “This that followeth, I copied out of morsels of paper lapped in the letter.”]
Mr. Arundel and I were with the Cardinal of Guise at his house a few days before he departed hence, and Mr. Morgan was shortly after committed to ward. I tell you this that the Cardinal may remember me if you deal with him. He will remember well enough the subject of our talk. As he departed from Rheims, I hope Dr. Allen has not omitted to make you acquainted with him, but if not, yet I pray you, for the honour of the Queen of Scotland and of his family, devout servants to the Catholic church, to visit him “and to help his want for that place.” You may thank him both for his favour to our countrymen at Rheims and goodness to Dr. Allen, to whom he has given a prebend in that church. I pray you “supply his want of the Latin and Italian tongues in so much sort as were fit for him to be adorned.” When Mr. Morgan shall be at liberty, if God will have it so, he will help to “cope” you well together, but your own merits and friendly offices will deserve the same. “Respect also Cardinal Joyeuse as one that may be a profitable instrument. He hath a devout mother, and his brethren here in great credit with the King.” If his Holiness would send an express to their Majesties to deal for Mr. Morgan's liberty, “that were the way to rid him out of trouble and to put a multitude of the best sort in England, now in fear (by the suit that England makes to have him) out of all doubt, which were a gracious deed and a service acceptable to God.”
Endd. “A copy of a letter of Thomas Morgan, writ out of the Bastille in Paris to Dr. Lewes in Rome.” 9 pp. [France XIII. 103.]
April 18/28. R. Peter to W. Napper, “besides Oxford” [erased].
“Myne old acquaintance and friend W.,” this opportunity invites me (otherwise slow in writing, as you know) to salute you and through you the rest of my good friends in those parts. “We here stand in great doubt of troubles, which continuing may drive me out again (though now wearied with old age and so very unfit to travel) to return to the Low Countries, whence upon like occasion and with great losses I departed now almost seven years past. . . . I desired this bearer to recommend a certain fellow to you. If he forgets to do it, put him in mind thereof only, and peradventure then shall he remember his promise, having first scratched a little his head.” The party recommended is a very friendly man.—Rouen, 28 April, 1585.
Add. ½ p. [Ibid. XIII104.]
April 18. Francesco Gomez Pardo to Walsingham.
Having orders from the King, Don Antonio, to receive his goods, and being favoured by a letter from his honour that he should receive the ship San Francisco, now in this town of Southampton (Antona) he has twice, as ordered by his Majesty from France, come hither, but this people here have never been able to give him order to have it, Dr. Lopez having written that he is ambassador for the said King Don Antonio, and that by his letter of commission he (Gomez) was not to receive anything more, but that Dr. Lopez was to send letters to one Barnet Corten and to John Longe that they were to give possession of all to him. Prays his honour, on behalf of himself and the said Corten and Longe, to say whether he thinks a commission from Dr. Lopez is of more value than one from his Majesty in such a case. Antona, 18 April, 1585.
Add. Endd. “From Jacomo [sic] Gomez.” Portuguese, 1 p. [Portugal II, 16.]
April 19/29. The King of Navarre to Walsingham.
Has received so many proofs of his good will in befriending those whom he has recommended to him that he the more readily begs him to lend a helping hand that François de Bloc, a merchant of the town of Southampton [Antonne] in England may recover those goods of his father and mother which one Peter Poche, also a merchant of the said town, detains from him; assuring him that he shall consider it as a favour done to himself.—La Rochelle, 29 April, 1585. Signed, “Vostre plus affectionné et meilleur amy, Henry de Bourbon.”
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [France XIII. 105.]
April 19/29. Capt. Asseliers to Walsingham.
My sergeant Pogge is now going into England, and will tell you by word of mouth how this service “presenteth.” We hear there is a great mutiny amongst the enemy. If there were any relief, in my judgment they would make small resistance. If you have any occasion to employ me, I am ready to venture my life for your honour.—Garrison at Lillo, 29 April, 1585, stilo novo.
Add. Endd. ½ p. [Flanders I. 17.]
April 19/29. Mendoza to Pedro de Cubiaur, in London.
Concerning the trouble he has taken in the despatch of some “Madera,” and Mendoza's tapestry and bureau. Has had no letters from Spain later than the 4th of this month, when his Majesty was travelling to Barcelona for the embarkation of the Duke of Savoy and his wife.
Here every day there are increasing threatenings of war, although the prudence of the Queen Mother gives some hope of an agreement.
A son of Swigo has set out for that kingdom to hasten to his mother, as she is preparing to go to Milan.—Paris, 29 April, 1585.
Signed. Add. Spanish. 1 p. [Spain II. 30.]
April 19/29. Beltran to Pedro de Cubiaur.
Has received his of the 9th instant, but cannot reply to it as exactly as he would wish, as he has been very ill and in bed since Monday until yesterday, and would not have risen now, but that he would not fail in his master's service. Within four days he will write more at large. Nothing has come for his brother except to Cortes (?), who will depart to-morrow with one who goes away in haste.
Here all is in disquietude, with these civil wars.—Paris, 29 April, 1585.
Add. Spanish. 1 p. [Spain II, 31.]
April 19/29. Beltran to his master, Martin de Cubiaur.
To the same effect as the above, excusing himself on account of his illness and promising to write at length very soon.—Paris, 29 April, 1585.
Add. Spanish. 1 p. [Ibid. II. 32.]


  • 1. It seems probable that the letter was from Morgan, in spite of the opening sentences. See endorsement.