Elizabeth: April 1585, 21-25

Pages 422-427

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, 21–25

April 21. Davison to Walsingham.
All the Holland deputies are now here. So soon as the rest are come, they will acquaint me with their instructions touching the sovereignty and protection, committed meanwhile to the “digesting” of Vander Werck, Dr. Sylla and Menin, pensioners of Antwerp, Amsterdam and Dordrecht. Only those of Gouda made some difficulty as to offering the sovereignty, by instigation of “some corrupt instruments having credit amongst that people, ill-disposed for the most part in religion and fed with a hope of peace, but the rest of the towns have sent to persuade them to conformity. . . . With Vosberg, one of the deputies of Zeeland, they had likewise returned Vander Mulen, a deputy of Antwerp, to remove all impediments on that side, where some are busy to shuffle the cards. Dorp is gone thitherwards this last week to no better end, as is suspected.” The people are incredibly comforted with the hope of her Majesty's favour, and public prayers are appointed to be used for her in all the churches. I hear no more of the Princess's coming into Zeeland. They make account that the deputies will depart next week, whose names I cannot tell you till the matter is determined. I shall return with them if her Majesty gives no order to the contrary. I am disposing the money in my hands very safely, where it will be ready at an hour's warning. More is hoped than effected as to the opening of the passage to Antwerp. Last week they took the house of Lillo and mean to attempt the piercing of the ditch of Cowensten.—The Hague, 21 April, 1585.
Postscript.—I hope you will procure comfortable answer to the letters sent by your servant Bruyn and that nothing will be said to Ortell that may make them here suspicious on the point of sovereignty.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland I. 101.]
April 21. Edw. Burnham to Davison.
After being three times put back to Flushing by contrary winds, I landed at the North Foreland and arrived at the court on the 20th. I find my master [Walsingham] very ready to further your return; when I came he was about to leave the court for a fortnight to take physic, and is now at Barn Elms, but he left order with Mr. Wolley to move her Majesty for it, and doubts not but that you will obtain your desire. I doubt me that her Majesty will not accept of the title of sovereign, “but as a protectress.”
I find this negotiation colder than at my coming to you, “and I doubt it will fall out as you said, for that creatures are not always in one mind.”
Mr. Waad returned from France three days before me. He was stayed by the Duc d'Aumâle at Pont de Remi (Pont Dormy) by Abbeville, who took his letters, but used him courteously, opened none but the King's letter to her Majesty, and after dinner let him go.
The Queen Mother is gone to Epernay in Champagne to try to make some agreement with the Duke of Guise. Some of the Ring's forces levied in Picardy were encountered by some of the Duke of Guise's and defeated. “This is a beginning of 'bickeridge.' The King being destituted of money for the levying of his forces, the Lord Chancellor answered a could not well tell what means might be found presently, whereupon Villeroy offered to lend him 200,000 crowns, though a were but one of the meanest among a great many that had received any mercede of the King.
“The Marshal de Retz (Count the Rayes) is sent to the Cardinal of Bourbon; upon his departure a told the King that a had 200,000 crowns in his chest; that if a had occasion to use them that a should take them, and that a had credit in Paris for 400,000 crowns more. . . . The like offers hath been made by divers others of his nobles.”
The Earl of Arundel has been taken by Portsmouth, flying beyond seas. This day it is thought a will be brought to the Tower.
Young Arthur Champernon, a gentleman of my master's, is sent to the King of Navarre.
I have delivered your letter to Mrs. Davison. This bearer will tell you how well all your family doth. I humbly thank you for my good entertainment.—Barn Elms, 21 April, 1585. [Altered to 1584, in error.]
Add. Endd. “For Mr. Davison, lord ambassador for her Majesty in the Low Countries, at the Hague.” 3 pp. [Holland I. 102.]
April 22. Walsingham to Davison.
You will see by her Majesty's letter that she is well pleased for you to return, howbeit she would not have you come with the commissioners, but either before or after them, lest it be thought they come by her procurement. I have retired for my health to my own house, and therefore, for matters of the countries where you are, must refer you to what you will receive from the court, but so far as I can perceive, her Majesty will not accept more than the protection of those countries.—Barnelms, 22 April, 1585.
Postscript in his own hand.—I find those whose judgment her Majesty most trusts so coldly affected to the cause that I have no great hope of the matter; yet as the hearts of princes are in the hands of God, I would be loth to hinder the repair of the commissioners.
Scotland is now greatly at her Majesty's devotion; “wherein the Master of Gray hath been a very singular good instrument. It is yet doubtful what issue things will take in France; whether it will prove war or peace, but . . . I see no cause to think that the French King will ever deal with those countries, and therefore do not see any ground why Junius should put them in hope.”
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland I. 103.]
April 23. Justus Lipsius to Davison.
Ventures to write, although unknown, being invited thereto by his honour's benevolence and urged on by his own duty to a friend. Israel Waver is a kinsman of his and a youth of good position, disposition, manners and talents, who by these public tempests being exiled from his home and possessions, desires to find a place in which he may repose. Conceiving some hope of this through his honour's benevolence, he earnestly prays him, if possible, to help the youth, moved thereto in the first place by the kindness of his nature, and furthermore by this recommendation.—Leyden, ix kal. May, 1585.
Add. Endd. “9 May” [sic]. Latin. ¾ p. [Ibid. I. 104.]
April 24./May 4. Mauvissière to Walsingham.
Praying him to let the bearer have a reply to the letters lately written by the King to the English Queen, at the request of Michel le Quesne, Thomas le Gendre and their partners, for payment to them of 4,000l. sterling, with expenses &c. in pursuing the same from 1576 until now, as appears by sentence of the Admiralty judge of this country. The bearer has been waiting two months at great charges and begs every day for a certificate to return to France.
Sends a little memoire by Ribot, which he prays him to look at and to let commission be given to Geoffrey Prior to go to fetch the Duke of Joyeuse's ship, and that certain goods belonging to poor French merchants be restored to them.—London, May 4, 1585.
Postscript in his own hand.—I am urgently pressed by this bearer to obtain for him an answer to the King's letters, that he may procure justice and also to give him my certificate of the reply, which I cannot do since I do not know it. I send my humble respects to Madame and to Madame de Sydney.
Add, Endd. Fr. 1 p. [France XIII. 106.]
April 24./May 4. William Lewckner to Walsingham.
I hope my former of the 20 last has come to your hands, since when there has been great watch and ward, both within and without this town, “for a suspicion that M. Mandelot and the town had of M. Passage (Pasage), lieutenant of the citadel, who rather should hold it for the King of Navarre than for the King of France.” Since M. Passage's last coming, the King has assured the contrary, yet either from envy or to achieve honour, or “to defeat the King for the Guises,” or by consent of the lieutenant, M. Mandelot yesterday took the citadel without striking of a stroke. Whereupon, within an hour, the whole town was in arms with such an uproar that a new massacre was feared, to the terror of a great many, and the rather that one of the Religon was killed in the town, but, thank God, no further hurt.
Whether the citadel now holds for the King or the Guises I cannot say, but rather judge for the Guises. It is supposed that M. Passage was himself cause (kaws) of the treason. He departed the same day for Dolphiny, of whence he is.
News came four days ago that Cardinal Montalto (fn. 1) was elected Pope, and at the sealing of this the ordinary [post] from Rome is arrived, who confirms the election.—Lyons, 4 May, 1585.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XIII. 107.]
April 24. Gilpin to Walsingham.
Last Monday afternoon, the States of these islands being assembled, Sieur Vander Muelen, one of the Antwerp eschevins, sent hither from the Hague with Vosbergen and Vander Beken had audience, and “showed the resolution of the General Assembly to deal with her Majesty,” requiring their advice whether to offer the sovereignty, to beseech her to take them into protection, or to desire some good assistance of men and money. The points having been debated, it was found most convenient to offer the sovereignty, in such sort as Charles the Emperor had it, with some few alterations to suit their present estate; and there are nominated to join with Vosbergen, Vander Beke and Rolsius, the councellor Vaulke, “who is noted the fittest of them, and so appointed to be sent over with the others to be chosen by the General States.” The Instructions run as did those to the deputies into France, mutatis mutandis, “and is not doubted but will be found by her Majesty and Council to be reasonable, so as a good conclusion is hoped.”
I chanced to talk with Mr. Villiers, who wished for an hour or two with you, to give you his opinion about the matters now a-handling. I, asked him to write, but he said he would wait till my going over, and “the whilst” I might say that his advice would be “as best for her Majesty for to accept the sovereignty.”
I assure myself that Mr. Davison will have sent you copies of the resolutions &c., “besides, do trust” that the commissioners will go over with the first fair wind, it importing much that Antwerp should be rescued.
M. Aldegonde wrote that as on Thursday or Friday last he would “venture upon the enemy, and this side to do the like.” He has sounded all the depths, from the Austrewell breach to the Cowesteen dyke, and hopes to bring the water thither to beat the scances, and so cutting through and fortifying them, to make a passage up to Antwerp, in which case the enemy's soldiers will mutiny, finding themselves frustrated of the promised spoil of that town. The Prince of Parma is said to have small store of money, not having given his men, this six months and more, one month's pay. Moreover, failing of success, a division would fall out between him and the Malcontent nobility, “having attempted that cause of his own head,” contrary to their advice.
From Antwerp I hear that great store of timber had “come driving up the river,” and one of the enemy's floats, so that it is supposed some part of the bridge is broken. By Lillo twenty or thirty galleys have gone towards the Cowensteen dyke, and on the other side they of Antwerp will bring in all the force they can; thus they seem to mean to cut through the same ditch. Last week the post was taken hard by Antwerp, and amongst other letters, yours and mine to Stephen Le Sieur. There is such want in the enemy's camp that for three or four days they have had no beer, and so little provender in Brabant that eight cornets of horse had to lie as far away as Maestricht. We hear that “this side” have taken a scance before Zutphen.—Middelburg, 24 April, 1585.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland I. 105.]
April 24. H. Killigrew to Davison, in Antwerp.
According to your request, I have done my best to hasten this bearer, Mr. Travers, over to you, He is furnished with all our occurrents, so I may reserve myself for another occasion.—London, 24 April.
Add. ¾ p. [Ibid. I. 106.]
April 24. Thomas Randolph to Davison.
I willingly accept your just challenge for my silence, and “had rather” confess my fault then slenderly excuse myself. I know not what to write but thanks for your letters and book, and am glad this bearer, your own man, is going to you, who can report much more than I am willing to write, and especially that he brings you news of your return, whereby we shall have familiar talks together and ease our hearts of griefs that can hardly otherwise be “holpen.”—St. Peter's Hill, 24 April, 1584.
Signed. Add. 1 p. [Ibid. I. 107.]
April 25./May 5. Cabrian to Walsingham.
If I have failed in my duty to you by keeping silence so long (silence rather necessary than voluntary) I pray you to excuse me, and to believe that my affection is not and never will be diminished. Assuring myself that you will believe this, I make bold to pray you to favour the present bearer in what concerns the service of his master, M. de Chasteauneuf, appointed ambassador to the Queen your mistress; he being sent beforehand to provide a house and the necessary furniture for his said master, whose virtues and those of Madame his wife you will know. When they are there, I am assured that your kindness will show the said M. de Chasteauneuf that my recommendation has not been trivial (vulgaire).—Paris, 5 May, 1585.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [France XIII. 108.]
April 25. Ortell to Walsingham.
Both before and after being with you at Barnelms, I have been constantly at the court, in hopes of some good issue of affairs; having twice shown the lords of the Council how much her Majesty's assistance would import at this time, and how it would encourage all (even those who have hitherto been opposed to it) to be ever her humble servants, as much as are her own subjects.
Now, thinking we are well advanced, here is a simple, hopeful letter from Mr. Gilpin, which overthrows the whole, and I can obtain nothing (according to what the Treasurer declared to me yesterday), save that her Majesty will first see the issue of the enterprise prepared for the relief of Antwerp mentioned in the said letter.
And seeing that our ill wishers hope for nothing more than for such a delay, by which to make their profit to the total destruction of the Religion and the country, and that it grieves me to the heart that so simple, private a letter should be as much or more regarded than that from the States themselves, and their present necessity;—I implore you to use your credit with her Majesty and her Council, either by letters or through Mr. Sidney, that we may enjoy a resolution better corresponding to expectation; for I should be very sorry to write this, knowing the disturbance it might make.—London, 25 April, 1585, stilo anglico.
Signed. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 pp. [Holland I. 108.]


  • 1. Felix Peretti di Montalto, usually called Cardinal Montalto (Sixtus V).