Elizabeth: September 1584, 1-10

Pages 43-58

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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September 1584, 1–10

Sept. 1. Duke Casimir to Walsingham.
Some time ago I wrote to ask you to aid poor Zolcher to some recompense for the pains and trouble he has taken in the Queen's service, and I now send you by himself this in addition, both in my name and that of my beloved consort, recommending him to you very affectionately, and praying you to despatch him as soon as possible, and to tell me by what means I can best send to you and others of my friends there some of my wines, which will be, judging by the state of the weather, very good.—Heidelberg, 1 September, 1584, à l'antique.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal. Fr. ½ p. [Germany, States, III. 38.]
Sept. 1. Elizabeth, Countess Palatine, to the Queen.
Our faithful George Zolcher has shown us, by his humble petition, that for sixteen years he has diligently served your Majesty, and has been many times sent to you with letters by the late Elector Palatine, our lord and brother-in-law, by Dr. Mundt, your Majesty's agent in these parts, many years ago deceased, and by John Sturm, who succeeded him, as well as by our husband, John Casimir; which letters he has always quickly and faithfully delivered, and brought back the answers. He did not accomplish these journeys without great toil and peril, for he was plundered by sea and land, not without danger of his life; all his goods being taken by thieves and robbers except the letters, which he always guarded with the utmost care. Moreover, a year ago, when he returned out of England to Germany on your business, he fell into a very great illness, so that his very life itself was in danger. By all which means, not only was his estate all spent, but large debts contracted, which he is not able to pay. Now, being worn out by toils and years, we cannot refrain from praying your Majesty to grant him that relief in his necessity which he himself has always hoped to obtain from you, and for which he has at divers times offered petitions. Also our husband, Duke Casimir, has written on this subject to the Earl of Leicester and Sir Francis Walsingham. Your Majesty may see the whole matter by his petition, which we send enclosed.
Being destitute of other means by which he can hope to bring about his desires with your Majesty, he has prayed us earnestly to give him letters of recommendation to you, which we could not deny him. We write therefore with all respect to pray that, in compensation for all the misfortunes which he has suffered, you will grant this good man permission to export from your realms, at divers places and times, a thousand barrels of beer free of all port dues, new and old, ordinary or extraordinary, as we hear that you have now and again allowed to others. And if the laws and customs of your kingdom hinder this my petition, we yet pray that by your benevolence you will lift up this poor man, who has not deserved ill of you, and is now so cast down, and thus incite him to your further service in the future. By which we shall always feel ourselves most bounden to your Majesty.—Heidelberg, 1 September, stylo veteri.
Signed (in German characters), “Elizabeth Pfalzgreffin.” Add. Endd. Latin. 2 pp. [Germany, States, III. 39.]
Sept. 1. Harborne to Walsingham.
For two months I have been too ill to write, but am now restored to my wonted health. Three of our house have died, and as this city is often visited with pestilence (seventy thousand having died in two months, according to a “perfect note” kept by order of the Grand Signor at the city gates of those taken out to be buried), and my term with the Company expires in November, 1585, I humbly crave licence then to return, not so much from fear of the infection, for it matters not where we die and are buried “so we die well,” but that it has pleased God so to bless my labours here, as by that time I doubt not, if we can repress the cursed corsairs of Barbary (for which I will labour earnestly, although neither French or any other have prevailed therein) that the Company's affairs will be brought into such good order that they may easily be maintained by any “well staid and grave person,” who may reap a quiet residence from our past travail, wherein I have attempted rather to “find out the traffic” than any private gain, as shown by “the small reward of my best years consumed therein, contrary to that of others in like place,” praying God only at my return to bless me with a competent living to maintain a good name and do humble service to her Majesty, and my duty to my poor parents. Twenty-five years of foreign travel (since my first passing the seas) have brought untimely age upon me, especially for the term spent in this country, and I am persuaded that in your own foreign travels, to her Majesty's good liking and England's welfare, you have proved how joyful is the return of a wearied traveller to his native country.
Since my last of June 28, Osmond, having won the hearts of his soldiers by promising them augmentation of their pay according to their merit, on his return required Ciaus Bassa, the Vizier, to put the Sultan in mind thereof, but he, moved by envy of Osmond, deferred it from day to day, so that the spahis, seeing themselves deluded, entered the divan or judgment hall and openly demanded their due, giving him villainous words and showing the scars of their wounds, for which he was deprived of the office of their governor and commanded forthwith to give them content. But he proceeded very coldly upon this order, whereupon Osmond, being secretly admitted by the Bustangi Bassa or head gardener (fn. 1) (an office of great credit) to his Majesty's presence, showed him letters from Ciaus to the late Tartar, warning him of Osmond's coming and urging him to entrap him. Upon which, the next day Ciaus was deprived of his office of Bassa and would have lost his life if his wife, the Grand Signor's sister, with three other sisters, assisted by the Queen, had not obtained it. He now lives privately in Asia, being allowed a sum for his own maintenance and a pension for his wife. He is a man not above forty, a comely personage, proud and disdainful though of fair speech to those coming to him full-handed, a deep dissembler and of insatiable avarice. Such as he, elevated from a base degree, become so insolent in their prosperity that it is their destruction. Few are sorry for him, yet we pray God our suits with Osmond “have no worse success than with him, who never denied us anything.”
Osmond was urged by the Prince's letters and by the Queen to procure the restoration of Sinam Bassa to the post from which he was deposed in favour of Ciaus, (fn. 2) and this he promised and faithfully performed, although Sinam had been his mortal enemy. But the Sultan answered that it “stood not with his security to give any misliked of himself and yet so greatly favoured of the Queen and her son such power and authority, of which none was so worthy as he himself, whose fidelity, good service, approved wisdom, gravity and experience “merited it. Osmond, falling at his feet, craved to be excused, alleging that the place appertained only to those who had matched with the blood royal and been brought up in the seraglio, and that both his age and his extreme love for his wife (of the blood royal of Persia), by whose means he subdued Derbent, were sufficient impediments; for the envy of his competitors and their wives might prevail against his innocency, as in the time of Sultan Solyman, when Acmet Bassa, forced into the place of Rustan Bassa, was shortly deprived of life. Wherefore he prayed that he might return to the wars, as most fit for the field, wherein he had spent his days and could do his Majesty worthier service. The King replied that his good service, integrity and faithful mind was counterpoise enough for the education and affinity of others, swearing “ceremonially,” that he would give no ear to any complaints against him without telling him thereof and hearing his answer; willing him to be of good courage, for governing faithfully, he should never be deprived.
Next day he sent him the Privy Seal, which the Vizier (Viceroy) wears always about his neck, and he took his place, whereupon the Grand Signor's three sisters, assisted by the Queen, complained that their husbands were deprived of the place due to them and a stranger preferred, who, moreover, contrary to their law, drank wine.
The Grand Signor angrily sent them away with this answer, that he could “dispose of his as he pleased, and that the Ottomans preferred excellent virtue to ancient custom; and, quoth he, our father drank wine in abundance, yet who was a more happy or fortunate Prince, as Tunis, Goleta, Cyprus and many other places conquered of the Christians do approve; wherefore, more to honour him, I will send him all the vessels my father was accustomed to drink in,” knowing that he will use temperance as always hitherto.
Two days after he was established, Osmond made payment to the spahis, and moreover paid the widows of those who had been slain, and to encourage their children to imitate their father's virtue, had every boy set down for an asper a day in the King's books. He visited the arsenal, which no Prince in time of peace with the Christians had ever done, as it appertains to “Oluchely” the Admiral, then at sea; and finding but 130 serviceable galleys, he rebuked the head officers and threatened to deprive them of their office if they did not perform their charge. They all accused their master, who, it is most true, in sundry ways defrauds the King for his private gain. He also viewed the armoury, telling the under officers that if not fairly treated by their superiors they were to complain to him and it should be remedied. He called before him the Greek victuallers of the city, charging them to provide things plentifully and at accustomed prices; and as he understood that many in the King's pay were forestallers of the market and took victuals perforce from the said Greeks at what price they pleased, he commanded the Cadi or judge of Constantinople to certify him of all such cases and to give their names to the Janissary Aga, who should take order that it was no more permitted. Also as suits in court are often retarded by the lawyers, he has limited a time of despatch; and touching his own sitting in judgment, whereas hitherto only the rich (by their rewards) were allowed to appear, now, when he sees “the poor sort” in the court, he despatches them before the others, whereat the officers are much offended.
He has hitherto taken no bribes, saying to those who offered them that “if the cause were just, his duty was to do it, and being unjust neither for it nor for any other thing whatsoever he would condescend thereunto.”
To the aged poor and impotent he has used great liberality and charity, and all, especially the poor, extol his worthy rule.
Hitherto we have not visited him from lack of health, but he seemed to accept our salutation in writing in friendly manner. We mean, if we can, to defer it until the coming of our next ship, for we must make him a present and wish it to be of our native commodities.
By ancient Ottoman custom, all ambassadors whose masters “break league” are kept prisoners in their own house, but enjoy their provision of diet, as the Persian has been these four years, but Osmond, to save the yearly allowance, and believing his presence here more harmful than profitable, has by his counsel got him sent to Ferat Bassa at the camp, there to remain until some order is concluded with his master, who, they think, cannot long hold out. For our opinion of this Osmond, we doubt his sincere intentions will not long last, “wanting the chiefest grace of the heavenly spirit,” without which it is impossible for him to continue in virtue, what show soever he may at first make.
Here was expected in place of du Germigny, M. “Lancomo” [de Lancome], a Poitevin, nephew of M. Villeclier [Villequier], premier valet du chambre au roi, who has had the same charge at Rome, and in the civil war the conduct of sundry cornets of horse; but it is said he is “letted by sickness, “and” du Germigny is repealed, who seeks here his congé, leaving his secretary for agent unto the coming of the next.
“To the death of Monsieur is affirmed there his chiefest friends to have consented, misliking of his pretence against the King of Spain.”—Rapamat, near Pera, 1 September, 1584.
Cipher. Add. Endd.pp. [Turkey I. 23.]
Calendared from the decipher, but compared with the original on all doubtful points.
Decipher of the above.
Endd. 5 pp. [Ibid. I. 24.]
Sept. 3/13. King of Navarre to Burghley.
My desire to continue ever in her Majesty's good graces is my reason for this despatch. The alarms given us here of several practices discovered against her and her State have so much the more invited me to repeat the offer of that humble service which I long ago vowed to her, and which she will never so much desire to make proof of, as I shall desire faithfully to offer it, though I do not wish that any misfortunes shall constrain her to make trial thereof. I am so convinced of having hitherto acquitted myself faithfully of my duty towards her that I cannot suspect that she will ever call in question my affection; but I hope that those who have the honour of being her servants will consider that the evil brought upon her does not come so much from within as from without her kingdom; that is to say, that they will take the trouble to think of the affairs of their neighbours as well as of those which touch them closely.
We have of late seen the Archbishop of Cologne ruined for want of aid, and Spain making great strides, by this means, in the Empire. He and other princes will testify to my pity for it, I do not say without result, but followed by such small means as God had put in my hands. One might say almost as much of the Low Countries. I know, my cousin, that you have too much understanding of the affairs of the world and zeal for the advancement of the right not to know these things and guide them according to the desires of good men. Wherefore I pray you to redouble the affection you have always borne to the glory of God, using your credit and authority that the evil brought upon us by our common enemy may not so much gain the upper hand by our private affections that we may not too late think of turning it from us. For myself, although I have had much to suffer and have spared nothing to discharge my duty in the place to which God has called me, I shall not be wanting in my duty, to which I shall be the more encouraged when I shall see my good and holy intentions and efforts followed by those who have as much or more interest than I in this common cause. You can and will do much in it, for the love which I am assured you bear me. I shall be able to aid myself both by your good advice and by your credit with the Queen, whose very humble servant and friend I shall remain through all my life.—Montauban, 13 September, 1584. Signed, “Your very affectionate cousin and assured friend, Henry.”
Postscript, in his own hand.—“My cousin, I pray you to love me as I honour you, and to be assured of my friendship.”
Add. Endd. by Burghley. Fr. 1 p. [France XII. 59.]
Sept. 3/13. The King Of Navarre to Walsingham.
I think I have so often shown my good will to her Majesty, and my affection for her service and the welfare of her affairs, that the repetition thereof in what I write to her is hardly needed. Yet, for the continual solicitude which I have for her prosperity, and the rumours which are daily renewed of the snares which are laid for her happiness, I cannot do less, to satisfy myself in the good opinion which I desire to keep with all good people, than offer myself in the future to do her humble service.
I believe you are not ignorant what course I have taken in all my actions up to this time, wherefore I promise myself that you will be able to assure the Queen of my entire affection. I hope God will give me grace to be always true to myself, and to justify the good judgment which honest men make of me. If it pleased God that those who have as much or more interest than myself in the disorders and confusions with which we are menaced, had contributed what they could with as liberal a hand as I have striven to do, above the power which God has given me, we may believe that our wills and our means being joined together would have made our common enemies think of securing themselves at home, without coming to seek us in our houses. I console myself with having done my duty, not without hope that God will bless the counsels and holy intentions of the well-affectioned Princes.
I know with what zeal you employ your authority wherever you can promote what is right, and I “doubt not but that you have a like judgment to my own as to the most necessary remedies to be applied to the present evil. Therefore I shall not exhort you with many words to continue to exert all your virtue and credit and to increase more than ever your care.
For myself, as I was one of the first to predict this storm which was at our doors, so I assure you I shall not be amongst the last when, by a common affection, we endeavour to divert ruin and calamity.—Montauban, 13 September, 1584. Signed, Your very affectionate and assured Henry.
Postscript, in his own hand.—I have held in this place a general assembly of our churches. I send M. Delaval and the Sieur du Plessys to the King, my master, upon what has been done. You will thus be advertised of what they have negotiated. I pray you to be assured of my friendship.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [France XII. 60.]
[Sept. 4.] The Queen to Stafford.
Letter of instructions directing him what to say to the French King concerning the giving of aid to the Low Countries. The arguments used have all been mentioned in earlier letters, and the scope of the instructions is sufficiently shown by the following draft of the “heads” of the same letter.
Copy. 5 pp. [Ibid. XII. 61.]
Sept. 4. The Queen to Stafford.
Her Majesty seeing the United States of the Low Countries likely to grow to extremity unless some order be taken for their relief, and understanding that the King has some more care of them than heretofore, thinks it meet that his disposition should be thoroughly sounded in that behalf.
Therefore Stafford is to declare to him that she is very sorry to see that in a cause which imports them both so much as the overgreatness of the King of Spain, which may prove very prejudicial to them if he attain an absolute government in the Low Countries, there should be nothing done by France for the prevention thereof, which is imputed to them by the wise to proceed from “lack of that care and providence in government that appertaineth to their place and qualities.”
That as her Majesty believes this to proceed chiefly from a mutual suspicion that there was not a “sound and sincere dealing in the action between them,” she thinks this distrust should first be laid aside by both parties, and as she herself protests so to do, so she prays the King to do the like, and plainly and frankly to declare his mind to her, whether he means to enter into the action or no.
If upon this overture he shall affirm that he would be glad to join with her Majesty, he is to be informed that she thinks some commissioners should be sent “out of hand” to one of his maritime towns “in her parts,” for which purpose Boulogne is thought a fit place; whither, on learning the time of repair and the quality of those he means to send, her Majesty will also send some of hers with commission to consult upon some good means to relieve the said countries; whereof notice may be given to the States that they also may send authorised deputies to confer with the said commissioners.
Draft, corrected by Walsingham. Endd. “4 Sept., 1584. Heads of a letter to Sir Ed. Stafford.” 3 pp. [France XII. 62.]
Sept. 4. Roger Williams to Walsingham.
“This is the occasion the Netherlands do not make parley presently with the Spanish.” The French King gives them courage by some promises only to keep them from yielding their ports to us. The States persuade themselves of no succour from England; yet some twenty or thirty of them will do their best to persuade the people to hold out, because they fear the Spanish will never pardon them, knowing they were the instruments of the Prince of Orange to maintain the wars; wherefore they persuade the people that England will not suffer Holland and Zeeland to perish.
As soon as the people see that we mean to do nothing for them, all the States will not persuade them from a peace, unless her Majesty sends a gentleman to go with one of theirs to show the French King that she means not to deal with the countries, “but that her clergy is willing to entertain three or four thousand Englishmen in their action for God's cause and pity of their misery, seeing the cruelty of the Inquisition ready to fall on them.” These may persuade the King to do the like, under the name of Queen Mother and Monsieur's faction, which I “assure” will not be refused.
If this be done, I am sure the States will persuade the people to give of their goods to maintain the wars. They may keep in camp 15,000 men if their contributions be gathered in one purse, which, with good chiefs will assure Holland and Zeeland and Anvers to hold out to the uttermost. “The chief of the English must ask Sluys and Ostend for the assurance of his league, that he may persuade his men the country doth love them.” This must be done for fear the French King calls his back. They might be defeated “in a day,” or the Spanish might force him to recall them, “with threatening or with the Pope's praying.”
The English, with good government in these towns and valour in the field, might persuade the people to open all their ports to her Majesty. If we were defeated, we should get no relief but from those who send us out, therefore we must have always in those towns “five hundred apiece and the quays (kaies) to enter more when we would.”
I dare venture my life, were Mr. Norreys, Mr. Bingham, Mr. Yorke or Mr. Carleil in either, with a thousand men, to keep them during the Spanish King's life, having a small army in the field. Some will say, if that King saw we mean to take his towns he would enter into wars with us, but he could do us no harm without the shipping of the Low Countries, “nor to nobody without some of the troops there hence.” If you will do this, and join with Treslong (Turlone), the States' Admiral, to send threescore sail into his Indies, “we will force him to retire from conquering further, and to be contented to leave other princes to live by him.
“If you mean to do anything, it is more than time. If you will send some man of credit about it, will it please your honour, I will go with him, because I know the humour of the people, and am acquainted with a number of the best.” I can show him their dealings and perhaps find means to send messengers to Ghent and other places better than the States, “for the message of one soldier is better than twenty boors. Were it for her Majesty's service, I myself would refuse no hazard . . . although I do persuade myself she makes no account of me. Had it not been for my duty to her and my country I might perhaps “have fingered more pistolets than Mr. Nevell, the late Latimer (Latiner), (fn. 3) and had better usage and pension of the Spanish than he. Sir William Stanley doth know what I was with them afore 'Siricsey'; some others do know my time with Don John, some can tell also I refused large offers in the misery of Alost of the Prince of Parma. Last of all, Verdugo offered me very fair, being in Lochem (Lockon), to quit the States' service and accept theirs, without treachery or betraying place or man.”
I pray you show her Highness these things. If she will do nothing for me, I must crave your favour “to go to Embden, there hence, because I have acquaintance with divers Pollacks, which have been with Corseback in the Low Countries. Find I nothing there, Duke Mathias promised me courtesy if I would serve in Hungary. If not, I will offer service to one of the Turk's Bassas against the Persians. I am sure, being in Embden, will it please me, I can be welcome to Verdugo and that party; I will not, because I know their meaning is to make war with England.—London, 4 September.
Only signed by him. Add. Endd. with date. 3 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XXIII. 1.]
Sept. 5. Stafford to Walsingham.
There is yet no news of the assembly of Montauban, and therefore I can write nothing of it. Nor is anything come from the Low Countries, only one Captain Preaux, a Frenchman, as I writ in my last, was sent hither from them of Antwerp to demand some aid, who went to the Queen Mother and was by her commanded to stay at Blois (Bleez) for his answer till the King's coming, as was M. de Reaux's brother, who was sent by M. de la Val to the Princess of Orange and had also some charge to the same intent as de Preaux.
The King will be at the Bois de Vincennes this next week, and from thence will go to Blois, whither we shall all repair about ten days hence.
The sudden marriage of the Duke of Savoy makes people believe in some great intent of the King of Spain, and is greatly misliked by the King and Queen Mother, as they have both shown openly by their “hard receiving of him that the Duke of Savoy hath sent to congratulate with them.”
“The Scottish faction here doth storm at it, having been fed in hope with that match for their King, which some of them hoped of indeed; others some more cared of the reputation that the opinion of it might bring to their master and his affairs than for any hope they had of the effect, and now both hope and reputation being taken away, they are very much discontented.”
Madame de Nemours goes away to-day, greatly dissatisfied with France by reason of the little credit she leaves her children in with the King, and as little pleased with the country she goes to, for this match with Spain, both because it may deprive her children there of the succession and also that some jealous heads cast doubt that the Duke, being thus wholly given to that King, will put Spanish garrisons into most of his places, which, if anything should “come at him” (as it is not thought he is long lived) may lead to their annexation to the rest of what that King has in Italy.
Our King here says that his [Savoy's] grandfather [Charles III] matching with Spain was the loss of his estate, “by the evil opinion the French King, his grandfather [Francis I], conceived of it,” and that it might fall out so with this man; but I take these to be but words, of which we have better store than of courage.
The Prince of Genevois goes presently into Spain to fetch the new Duchess; the meeting and marriage is to be at Nice (Nisse).
It was said the King's other daughter should also come for the Emperor, but some think he will bestow her on the Cardinal of Austria, of whose strength and wit he has a much better opinion than of the other.
There has been a great assembly of the House of Lorraine, first at the Duke's house at Nancy, and then at Bar, whither the Duke of Lorraine conducted them. The King only mocks at it and them, seeming to have them in no reputation.
I have sent Mr. Secretary a leaf newly graven, with the picture of the King and Queen of Scots added to it, meant for a preface to a new edition of the Bishop of Ross's old book; but they are not yet resolved on it, and so keep it very secret.—Paris, 5 September, 1584.
Holograph. Add. Endd. by Burghley. 2¼ pp. [France XII. 63.]
Sept. 7. Stephen Le Sieur to Walsingham.
I send these few lines that you may understand the success of my travail for Mr. Rogers' liberty. The miserable alteration in these countries since my coming has kept me in this town “this long, to make over the money given by her Majesty” for his liberty. I have continually written to my master [Sydney] of the miseries of these provinces and people, and know that you have been informed of all.
My solicitation for Mr. Rogers has been (besides its great dangers) very chargeable to me, as I hope he himself will witness to you before long. In two days I shall take my journey towards him to pay the said money, “which truly will not suffice to clear him nor me neither out of those parts.” I hope, when you hear he is at Wesel, you will send some further assistance.
Since the yielding of Vilvorde, the enemy has been very still, having posted his army, one part towards Louvain, the other towards Hainault. Some forces still remain here upon the dykes, but do little, notwithstanding continual shooting with their great ordnance. “The said dykes are thought this winter to be all overflown with the sea.”
It is certainly reported that those of Gand have sent their deputies to the Prince of Parma to conclude an accord, and it is thought the Prince “will not be much entreated,” considering the importance of that town, with its ships and ordnance.
Brussels has sent deputies hither, and from hence are to go for Holland, “to confer with this town and the States what course they were best to take . . . to resist their enemy if they do not agree with him.” I do not think they can get any great comfort, this town and State having themselves great need of help, or else I fear they will be forced to yield to the Spanish yoke. It is suspected that Brussels will be apt to agree with them, from the great number of burgers Papists, and almost all those sent out of this town, who have retired there, “and the governor somewhat governed by his wife.” But they still proceed against Mr. Rowland Yorke, and I fear he will be in great danger unless her Majesty write on his behalf to the States-General. I have divers times written to M. Tempel, who answered that “he never dealt nor will deal in Mr. Yorke's cause, but I know the contrary, for it is he that was the occasion Mr. Yorke was brought from Gand to Brussels; they two not being very great friends, never since the last spoil of Mechlin.” M. de St. Aldegonde also seems loth to deal in his behalf.
Considering all I owe to England, I must tell you that certain of ray acquaintance here, well wishers to her Majesty, have had letters from friends in Cologne (who not long before the Prince of Orange's death warned him of such a conspiracy) stating that somewhat is to be done against her Majesty. If it please you, I will go from Wesel to Cologne and learn more of the matter.
M. Fremyn (who is very sick) desires me to let you know that not long since he was told by one Lieut. Andrewes, Scot, that his brother, who is clerk of the Council in Scotland, had written to him that Lord Seton was to return shortly to the Court, and his son likewise was looked for out of Spain, where he has lived a long time. Therefore he desired his said brother Andrewes to repair into Scotland, as there was great likelihood that he and other martial men should be employed; whereupon he is departed. Colonel Steward, “who is accounted the great man in Scotland,” has written to the same effect to many Scottish captains and others here, promising them satisfaction for what the States owe them, so that many have already gone, “in hope to be employed in some good service by their King.” I hear that there is much “sending” between Spain and Scotland, but what it means, M. Fremyn and I leave to your wise judgment.
The accepting of the French King is much sought by some that govern here, but it sounds ill in the ears of the common people, though the report is that Holland and Zeeland have almost accepted him. If her Majesty would, give ear to it, I believe she would have bon marché of these countries.
Letters from Holland say that one M. de Malroy (a gentleman of the country of Namur, who from the beginning of these wars has kept himself neutral at Dinant) is sent into Holland with a commission from the States of Artois and Hainault.
Mr. Watson, serjeant-major to Colonel Morgan, and Captain Littleton have arrived with about 400 men, “which are as yet indifferently cherished by these men, who with great devotion look for Colonel Morgan and the rest of his regiment, which, though it be here whole, unless it be seconded with more, I fear me it will be but a breakfast to the enemy.”
The bearer, Mr. Jehan Caltrop, will tell you further of the state of this town. He has entered into aft action worthy of commendation, viz., “to transport from hence a great number of the fairest armours and other of the richest arms that ever I did see “; which has only been done with great travail and expence. I long ago wrote to my master about it, knowing no one worthier to possess them than he. If he should want money to pay for them, I hope you will assist him.—Antwerp, 7 September, 1584, stilo antiquo.
Add. Endd. 4 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XXIII. 2.]
Sept. 8. Walsingham to Stafford.
That you may the better know the cause of her Majesty's writing the enclosed to you, I send you a copy of the answer she has made to certain requests of the States, propounded to her by M. de Grise and one Ortel, the late Prince of Orange's agent here, sent over by her after the death of the Prince to learn the state of the country, and now returned to make report thereof; “wherein her offer of such a motion to be made to the French King for their relief is contained; and where you are only in general directed to require the appointing of the place where the commissioners may meet,” you may understand her Majesty would like well that Boulogne should be chosen, as a very fit and convenient place.
The ambassador here is made acquainted with the direction now sent you, to the end that he may dispose the King to grow to some resolution in this cause. It is true, as Pinart says, that he had no direction to move her Majesty that the King of Scots should be comprehended, but made the overture as a thing proceeding from himself. You may therefore inform Pinart that this error grew by mistake, and that the ambassador no way exceeded his commission.—September 8, 1584.
Copy. Endd. 1 p. [France XII. 64.]
Inclosing the letter of instructions of September 4, above.
Sept. 9/19. Edmund Yorke to Walsingham.
I received this day a letter from my cousin Waad, with one from your honour to M. de Tempell, and another from the commissioners to the States of Brabant and “governors” of Brussels, in behalf of my poor brother. I sent your letter to M. de Meetkerke, who answered that he could not meddle in that matter, but would write to you, which letter I enclose, hoping that it is better than his “comfort” to me.
All this people is turned absolutely French, even the populace (which were contrary), and to-morrow M. des Pruneaux is to have his answer of acceptation. “Neither, in truth, do I find them bear that dutiful affection to your honours in England that they are bound to do, for those infinite goods they have received. Divers may tell your honours they find the people this and this; I dare gage indeed your honour shall well see in short time that the French shall be so assuredly settled as it will be impossible to remove them, if in time it be not prevented, which I verily think now almost impossible. M. des Pruneaux feasted the States of Holland upon Sunday, who never before were with him.”
Gaunt is certainly “bruited” to be returned to the enemy, and that M. de Champagny went with the commissioners to treat for it. The States' horse that were at Zutphen are come about Antwerp, but the enemy are still about Vilvorde and Mechlin, “which was in some hard terms had not those companies of Vilvorde entered, whereupon M. de Famars (Fama) answered directly he would not in any case deal for restitution.”
My brother writes that they have granted him advocates and a procureur to plead his cause, but I pray God your letters may supply that place, for I like not their manner of proceeding.—Middelburg, 19 September, 1584, stilo novo.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XXIII. 3.]
Sept. 9. Capt. Henry Ricardes to Walsingham.
I arrived at Ostend on September 8, in company of a captain bringing letters from you to M. Treslong (Torlonne), Governor of Ostend and Admiral of Holland and Zeeland, who entertained me and twenty of my men very honourably, at dinner drinking to the health of her Majesty and your honours, hoping her Majesty to be his mistress; withal telling me that he had a letter out of Zeeland that they would deliver Zeeland unto the Queen-Mother. Craving pardon of him, [I] demanded where their towns of garrison should be, he answering, no towns but dykes to lie upon.”
After dinner he showed me the fortifications, and the dangers, which are two sandy hills and banks by the sea, towards Nieuport and Bruges. All the rest of the country they can drown breast high. That these sandhills may not hurt the town, he has dug a great trench, fifty feet deep, full of water, and in the town a very strong bulwark, “that beats over all the sandhill,” so that the enemy can bring no ordnance, if these two bulwarks had great artillery, which is wanted here greatly. The bottom of the ditch is all mud, for of late, “a peasant in the night leaped over the wall and stuck fast, and so died sticking upright, and as yet is there, for that I saw him myself.”
The country is all waste, for the soldiers of the town go fifteen or twenty miles into the Spaniards' country and take booty. The soldiers' boys burn houses to get the iron and bring it here to Ostend to sell for victuals, which are plenty, by reason of shipping out of Holland and Zeeland. The enemy are marched towards Gaunt, but the chiefest enterprise is for Mechlin, as the governor here tells me.
He asks me to write to you to send him an English trumpet, and to tell you he is her Majesty's servant and yours; “craving some [pardon] of my lord of Hunsdon, for that at my lord's being in the country here, he would not suffer him to pass, for that the Prince commanded him to the contrary, and he answered he was there to obey the commandment of the prince his master. It was at my lord's being at Antwerp.”
I send you “a lieutenant that was taken of the Scottish men and delivered me here by a preacher, one Daniel Waterhoffe.”—9 September.
Add. Endd. “1584, 9 September, Capt. Richardes.” [Style doubtful] 3 pp. [Holl and Fl. XXIII. 4.]
Sept. 9. Jehan Baptiste Rota and Charles De Jonvilles to Walsingham.
Thanking him for the thousand crowns which he has sent them for the poor strangers and settlers and for their poor scholars. They know how much their church has been obliged to him and will ever pray for him and for her Majesty.—Geneva, 9 September, 1584. Signed, John Baptiste Rota, minister of God's Word, having charge of the purse for the poor scholars, and Charles Jonvilles, deacon and clerk, in charge of the purse of the poor strangers, in the name of all their companions and themselves.
Add. Endd. “The overseers of the poor at Geneva.” Fr. 1 p. [Switzerland I. 13.]
Sept. 10. François De Civille to Walsingham.
Pursuant to the notice you sent me yesterday by M. de Jolytemps of her Majesty's refusal to sign the letters which you had presented to her for Holland, I have written to the Earl of Leicester and Grand Chamberlain Howard, urgently beseeching them to move her to accept the two eldest daughters of the Prince of Orange, according to the earnest request made to her by the Duchess of Bouillon through me, owing to her fear lest her nieces should be brought up in papistry, unless it may please her Majesty to send for them all three on condition of distributing them afterwards to such persons as she shall see fitting, even on the terms of giving up the eldest to the Duke of Montpensier if he demanded her, so that, taking her from her Majesty's hands, he may have her on condition of allowing her to live in liberty of conscience and leaving her her governess and servants; by which means the holy zeal and intention of Madame de Bouillon would be accomplished, which tend only to maintain her nieces in the fear, love and true service of God, that they may not be defiled in the future by the superstitions of papacy, as would, no doubt, happen, if her Majesty did not send for all three of them to come into this country. Knowing how this affair has been recommended to you, I will write no further, but only pray you to continue in the good affection which you have always shown to the Duchess of Bouillon and my lord's children; particularly praying my Lord Treasurer and the other lords of the Council to supplicate her Majesty to grant the very humble and just request of Madame de Bouillon.—London, 10 September, 1584.
Postscript.—I should have come to see you, but I hope to depart after dinner or to-morrow morning to go to the Earl of Huntingdon, for whom I pray you to send your letters by this bearer
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [France XII. 65.]
[Civille's dating of his letter of September 26, below, shows that he used old style while in England.]
Sept. 10. Oudard De Jolitemps to Walsingham.
In accordance with what you yesterday informed me of the will of her Majesty, which causes a delay in the designs of the Duchess of Bouillon, I have advertised M. de Civille thereof, in order that he may write to my Lords of Leicester, the Grand Chamberlain, Hatton, Willoughby and Sancton [or Lancton] to endeavour, by entreaties to her Majesty, that Madame de Bouillon's solicitation in relation to her nieces may be granted, for I am assured that when her Majesty has seen the two eldest together, she will not desire or permit the hearts of these poor little orphan princesses, always united from their birth and brought up together, to be separated. And if her Majesty persists in her opinion, that it will please these lords to beg her to allow all three to come into her kingdom, when, she having chosen the one she wishes to keep, I will send the other two into France to Madame de Bouillon, who will govern herself according to her Majesty's wishes, for otherwise, all the letters which Madame de Bouillon has written, both to the States-General and to the several states of Flanders, Brabant, Holland and Zeeland, to those of the Council of the house of the late Prince and to Count Maurice his son, and also to M. de St. Aldegonde, the Princess of Orange, the Countess of Schwarzenburg, the Electress Palatine, to her daughter, wife of Count John of Nassau, to the demoiselles of Orange, the eldest, Anne [or Elizabeth] the second, and the little ones, will be all useless, for they are all in conformity with the instructions given me. But by the plan of bringing all three into this kingdom, they cannot deem the intention of her Majesty to be other than conformable to this praiseworthy desire of the Duchess of Bouillon, and by this means the affair will be recommended to them. I beg you to use your interest and that of your good friends as soon as possible in this matter, that I may shortly depart with a good answer, for I have found here a ship of war belonging to the States of Holland in which I may cross into France, and which has promised to wait for me at Gravesend until Saturday morning.—London, 10 September, 1584.
Add. Endd. Fr.pp. [France XII. 66.]
[Sept. 10.] Memorial from M. De Jolitemps to Walsingham.
Praying him, in case he cannot obtain from her Majesty shelter and abode for the demoiselles Louise and Elizabeth of Nassau, daughters of the late Prince of Orange and of Madame Charlotte de Bourbon, that at least he will procure letters from her to the States-General and the Council of the Household of the late Prince, to send over the two demoiselles and their next sister, Brabantine, as soon as possible into this realm, preparing their equipage, furniture and whatever they see them to have need of, and sending with them the Demoiselle de la Montaigne and the Sieur de Jolitemps, only in order that afterwards, having kept one at her choice, her Majesty may send the others wherever she thinks fitting, in accordance with the Duchess of Bouillon's desire.
There will also be need of an instruction to the Sieur de Jolitemps in the matter, in accordance with the instructions of the Duchess, of which his honour has a copy, and of a passport and safe-conduct both for his quitting this realm and his returning to it with the said ladies and their suites and furniture.
Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [Ibid. XII. 67.]


  • 1. Nominally “head gardener,” but actually, commander of the corps of guards at the Sultan's palace.
  • 2. Sinam or Sinan Bassa, appointed Vizier in Aug. 1580, was displaced in favour of Ciaus or Schiavus Bassa in Dec. 1582.
  • 3. Apparently Edmund Nevill, who signed himself Latimer, is meant. He was the son of Richard Nevill (who claimed the barony of Latimer on the death of his cousin in 1577); had been a captain in the Spanish Army, but was now in the Tower.