Elizabeth: May 1585, 1-5

Pages 448-463

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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May 1585, 1–5

May 1. Walsingham to du Plessis.
We are much grieved to see that our hope that those poor Low countries might receive some comfort by a good concurrence of France with her Majesty is frustrated by the troubles there, and that there is even likelihood of a civil war, and that the King will be forced to turn his forces upon those of the Religion; as her Majesty has explained more at length by the messenger whom she has sent to the King of Navarre. How agreeable your letter was to her you will learn by her own letter, which she will send to M. Stafford.
This gentleman, Captain Williams, a man very able and skilful in arms, being desirous to present his service to the King your master, to whom he is recommended by her Majesty, I pray you to lend him your aid and favour during his stay.—Barn Elms, 1st May, 1585.
Fr.pp. [S.P.F. Entry Book 162, p. 124.]
May 1. John Spritwell's Report.
On Monday last, being the [26] of April, he arrived at Calais and was immediately brought before the governor, who demanding the cause of his repair, he answered it was on some private affairs of his own in Picardy, whereupon he was courteously dismissed. Found very few soldiers there, the King having ordered them to Paris a fortnight before, and saw no force of shipping, either small or great.
From thence went to Boulogne, where he found the town quiet and the governor making show of loyalty to the King; but he and the governor of Calais being sent for by M. Crevecœur, the King's lieutenant in Picardy, to confer for the withstanding the outrages committed by the troops of the Duke d'Aumale (who runneth all over the country), both refused to go, making excuse of sickness and other impediments. They of the Religion told him secretly that they hourly feared a massacre, the whole generality of the people being inclined to the Duke of Guise, and the governors “but hollowly affected towards the King.” Great part of the garrison is sent towards the King. Most part “of the Religion either fly or retire into castles of strength.”
Was advised neither to go further or stay longer there, as it would be with peril of his life.
Informed himself what ships were in the ports all along Picardy, but learnt of no great store there.
The Duke d'Aumale has sent to all governors, noblemen and gentlemen in the province “an instrument entitled the Holy League to subscribe unto.” Some have refused, but most have signed.
Endd.pp. [France XIII. 116.]
Another paper also headed “John Spritwell's report.”
“The said Spritwell landed first at Boulogne [sic]. The town quiet, governor making show of loyalty to the King, some of the garrison gone to the rendezvous at Meaux. At Ste. Marie de Boys, two leagues from Boulogne, “the place appointed for preaching to those of the Religion in the baillage,” some horsemen of the Duke of Guise had laid wait for the minister and others, “going towards the sermon,” and murdered them.
From Boulogne, passed to Montreuil and Abbeville. The towns quiet, without garrison from either side, but the ways between these towns and the country thereabouts kept by the Duke d'Aumale's horsemen.
Likewise from St. Valery, along the river and up in the land towards Alets, the fields kept by companies of the Duke of Guise.
Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XIII. 116a.]
May 1. Extract of a letter from the Council of the Count of Neuenaar, Arnhem, of this date, old style.
Your honours will learn from the annexed copy the news we have received from the Count of Neuenaar, coming from his officers at Berck, and also from Captain Gistel. The surprise was effected by the fire which his lordship had made in three places, by means whereof our soldiers gained a port and so made themselves master of the town. May our Lord grant you greater success.
Copy of the letter above mentioned, addressed to the Countess of Neuenaar, and informing her that the Count yesterday morning surprised the town of Neuss, as the bearer will tell her more at large.—Berck, last of April, stilo antiquo.
French. 1½ pp. [Holland II. 1.]
May 1. Davison to [Burghley ?].
I have not written since the return of Burnham, Mr. Secretary's servant, as I would not trouble your lordship with uncertainties.
Yesterday all was resolved, and deputies sent to me this afternoon “to communicate with me the articles touching the sovereignty, being the same offered to the French, reformed and qualified in divers points, wherein the commissioners shall be authorized to enlarge them yet further to her Majesty's contentment, if there be cause. The persons chosen by those of Holland are le Sieur de Nortwick for the nobility; and Menin, Barnevelt and Dr. Francis Malson, pensioners of Dordrecht, Rotterdam and Enchuysen for the towns, Mr. Paul Buys being intreated in the behalf of those of Utrecht.” Those for Frise, Gueldres, Brabant and Flanders, yet unnominated. The day appointed is the 8th, but I think it will be towards the end of the next week ere they are ready to embark.
I am entreated by the States to go over with them, and will do so unless countermanded, for my stay here would be to little purpose when they are gone and the General Assembly dissolved. In the point of caution, those of the Brill and Enchuysen have consented, the Zeelanders as yet doing so only in general terms. I suspect there will be difficulty about Flushing, “wherein Villiers and some other ill-affected to this treaty have done and do bad offices. They had here projected another letter to her Majesty, touching the point of provisional succour, which, imparted with me, I dissuaded, seeing the deputies were so shortly to depart, and that her Majesty must thereby sufficiently declare herself before she were assured, wherein I thought she would haply be advised.” Their pretext for haste is in regard of those of Antwerp, who seeing nothing to succeed upon the river, or any appearance of relief, might yield to those amongst themselves who desire composition with the enemy.
“Iselstein had the last week attempted and for an hour possessed a part of the ditch of Cowenstein, but unseconded by the rest of the forces, and namely by the galleys of Antwerp, appointed to give the charge on the other side, was repulsed with the loss of sixty persons. The Count Hohenloe hath since written hither for a supply of a hundred mariners, intending once again to give the attempt; if not with better success than hitherto, considering how the helps of wind and water begin to fail with the season of the year, it is like to breed no little discouragement to those of the town, unless they be comforted with the hope of her Majesty's succour in time.”
We hear this evening that Count Neuenaar has surprised Nuys, on the Rhine, in the Archbishopric of Cologne, where he has found great store of grain, wine and all other munition, which with the strength of the place, will greatly aid the Elector in annoying the enemy, and diverting great part of his force into that corner, if well garrisoned. The Count had with him five or six cornets of horse and as many companies of foot, who seized a gate while those within were quenching the fires he had caused to be kindled.
To-morrow I go to Utrecht to learn more of the Archbishop's determination and means to follow out this action, and will deliver him the money yet in my hands rather than it should quail for so small a matter. Here is a great bruit of some new alteration at home, but I have had no letters for six weeks, so know not what to think of it.
Your lordship may remember the advertisement I gave her Majesty two years since, being in Scotland, of a league against her, “discovered from the mouth of Manningville, the French ambassador there.” If they be well looked into and the doings in that corner examined, it will be found, I doubt not, that they know all that is intended, and are privy to Parry's attempt, as I will show you on my return.—The Hague, 1 May, 1585.
Endd. 2 pp. [Holland II. 2.]
May 1. Gilpin to Walsingham.
I hear that they of Antwerp “could not come within the land to second those of this side for want of water,” being all in readiness at the Boor scance, where their spies brought them word that the enemy's infantry was in such fright that the commanders and horsemen had much ado to keep them together, and more to drive them to fight on the ditch, where the shot from the galleys played so hotly that none dared abide it, “insomuch that if on both sides the charge had bin given, the ditch nodoubtedly would have been possessed and cut through.”
They of Antwerp have sent hither a Scots captain (who during the intended enterprise passed to and fro twelve or fourteen times) “to excuse their faults and advise to make a new attempt” which they have in hand to try both on the ditch and the bridge. The Council has bought more hulks, armed in front and beset inside with wool sacks and such like, ballasted with wood, so that cannon cannot sink them, “and with force of wind and weather sailing against the bridge and drifts, is assuredly thought will break all in sunder.”
They have written again to Antwerp not to lose courage, for those of Zeeland are resolved to spare no charge to assist them effectually.
Victuals begin to grow dear, and for relief of the poorer sort, bread is sold by order at a reasonable price, so they can hold out some time. The fear is of divisions among them, divers being neuter in religion and others covetous of trade, and inclined to a peace. M. Aldegonde is vigilant and careful, but seconded slenderly by the States of Brabant. The magistrates good and sound, but weak in martial affairs and little respected. The colonels and captains are merchants, and unfit for such matters.
An ensign of men is taken from Ostend, another from Sluys, and the like to be done from the Doele, St. Anthony's hook and other scances for service and the guarding “of those places”; and burgesses, taken by lot, sent from sundry towns; three hundred going from hence. Men are their chief want, and with some small aid, the enterprise might be sooner done; and then there would be great disorder and mutiny in the enemy's camp, and divers towns would make composition with the States, “for they cannot continue in so great misery as the wars bring upon them.”
M. de Marquette, chosen governor of Ostend, cannot be spared from Barrow, so M. de Hornes is sent provisionally with promise to yield the place to the other when required.
The States in Holland are busy about the instructions for their commissioners, touching the protection, if her Majesty refuses the sovereignty, which they hope she will accept of.
Meanwhile some present aid is greatly longed for; a few men, who could not prejudice the treaty, seeing they could at all times be called back. Ostend and Sluys would I think be yielded for assurance of the charge their sending might come to.
Here was news of the Zutphen scance (but continues not); also that Schenk was come over to this side, and would yield Blyen-beck and other places into the States' hands. Intercepted letters show that Verdugo, governor of Groningen, is discontented, having desired his discharge of the Prince of Parma, with intent to go to the King of Spain, to answer anything that may be said to him about his service, which “cannot be such as he desireth, if his mind and direction might be followed.” There is a rumour that the enemy has attempted Liefekens hook, but was put back with some loss.—Middelburg, 1 May, 1585.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland II. 3.]
May 1/11(?). John Herbert and William Salkins.
Declaration of the above, ambassadors &c. from the Queen of England to treat with the King of Poland and the magistrates &c. of the city of Elbing concerning the privileges to be granted to her Majesty's merchants in the said city, that the magistrates of the said city having, for the greater security of the said merchants, granted the said privileges, which have been ratified by the King of Poland:—They, the said John and William, in the name of the Queen of England, do likewise engage, and by these their letters sincerely promise that these articles agreed upon, or such others as by mutual consent of the city of Elbing and the English merchants shall be later agreed upon and confirmed by the King of Poland, being freely and securely afforded to the English merchants, all things in them included shall likewise, by the English Queen, for herself and her successors, be granted to the citizens of Elbing, with liberty to come freely and securely by land or sea to any places in her dominions, with their ships, wares and other things, and in the same to continue, with all and singular the uses convenient to them, buying and selling with as much freedom as her Majesty's own subjects. The said privileges to be enjoyed by the said citizens of Elbing in England so long as the English merchants shall enjoy those granted to them by Elbing and confirmed by the King of Poland. Testified under their hands and seals at Elbing, 11 May, 1585. [Style doubtful.]
Copy. Latin. 2¼ pp. [Poland I. 38.]
[May] 1/11. (fn. 1) Pedro de Çubiaub to ——
This is the 11th. I sent my nephew with Don Gaston's servants to Dover; but they there would not let him pass, stripped him to his shirt, and although they found nothing, still refused to let him go on, so he has returned hither. I did not wish to go to Walsingham, but Lord Cobham has promised me a licence for him, because he is my nephew. I thank God for his goodwill.
I am told by a courier that the Secretary, “Leila Moyle” bade him ask at the camp whether any English merchant was sent thither to carry a letter to Captain Yorke (Hiorque), but would not go, because they are such rogues. His Highness [Parma] is putting an end to the business of the said Yorke, but he does not confide in the English, or the Earl of Westmorland.
Here it is reported that the King [of Spain] is dead, for they are making rather more resistance at Antwerp. There is great trouble here as to how it will go on.
I have a letter of April 1st from Çaragoça, telling me that the Duke of Savoy, the Admiral of Castile and the Duke of Medina Celi have been given the order of the Golden Fleece. They are sending four thousand soldiers to his Highness. Couriers have come to the French ambassador yesterday and to-day, and this morning he went to the Queen at Croydon, seven miles from hence. The ambassador told me that the Queen sent to call him, and it may be so; but I believe that—as a courrier had come at night with letters from the King of the 5th instant—he goes upon some business. They wrote from Rouen on the 7th that they were coming to an agreement or had made a truce and that if the King goes to the Duke of Guise and they make an accord, it may be that they would then attack this [country ?], and those near Flanders see plainly that if his Highness gets possession of those States, they are lost. God grant that he may shortly have Antwerp, and then if he goes on destroying with the ships which he has and with those he will get in Antwerp, he will be able easily to attack a fleet of the enemy and then to fall upon Zeeland and surprise Middelburg and other places before they can do anything, and if they desire to make a fleet, even if his Majesty cannot send galleons to Dunkirk, they may assemble as many ships as they can and may pass before Flushing.
The French ambassador says that there comes in his place as ambassador Monsieur Château Neuf, and that he will be here in ten days. They are both our enemies, thereefore God grant that his Highness may quickly obtain his town of Antwerp.
In a letter of April 27 and 29, they write that they had made a computation of the corn there, and found that it would only last until the middle of July. There are letters from Zeeland of Wednesday the 8th instant in which they write of the blow his Highness has given them, and both here and there they are all dismayed. They are preparing fire ships and two sailing vessels. Aldegonde sent out an English captain “de Salisbury” who is married at Antwerp, a good sentinel, to observe matters. His Highness examined him, as he is English, without torture, and he confessed that his only business in Holland and elsewhere was to annoy his Majesty's galleys, that there may be fewer enemies, because they are rogues, and do not deserve to be counted as soldiers.
There are fourteen ships going between Dover and Calais, which rob the English more than any others [cf. p. 456], and dissemble, and defend themselves as much as they can against her Majesty, and the English are much annoyed.
If his Highness could get to Embden, it would be a great matter; however, they tell me of 1,500 pieces of cloth, which they had sent from Middelburg to Embden, but arrived by accident elsewhere, and were seized by our people. God grant it be so !
Of my own business I have nothing to say save that if your honour does not order me, I do not desire to remain here, spoiled of what I have and in so great peril, but if you so order me, although I should die, I will not quit. And I shall be able to advise his Highness how he may have Antwerp with the less danger, if he will change the courier; but all those that go are traitors and rogues. He should put good and trusty men, and make them change that heretic traitor the Flemish post-master, in whose house lodge the ambassadors and all the enemies of his Majesty.
The Queen's ships keep guard with great care, because it is said that there has been a design to burn them by order of the French and the Earl of Arundel. If your honour does not order me to remain here, and can do me the kindness to give me some charge in which I may be of service to his Highness, like other honourable men, I hope in God and your honour that I may be favoured.
Upon the Earl of Arundel were found an Agnus Dei and in it a letter from the Pope, in which he declares him Duke of Norfolk. In this kingdom are five hundred priests and although, in this Parliament, very strict edicts have been passed, they prefer rather to die than to quit. To-day, those of the Council have been in the Tower, to examine him [? Arundel] about something.
If they take St. Aldegonde and his papers, they will discover much villany, and from Col. Morgan and his papers. If the war in France goes on, these people may try to make an attack in Scotland, with the Scottish rebels, of whom there are many in this kingdom.
Decipher, in Spanish. Apparently the key has not been accurately worked out, for sometimes the decipher does not make good sense, and the meaning is therefore doubtful. Endd: “Sebeauro's letter deciphered.” 2½ pp. [Spain II. 34.]
Another copy of the same, in a different handwriting. 1½ pp. [Ibid. II. 35.]
[May] 2/12. Pedro de Çubiaur to——.
This is the 12th. [Concerning his nephew's journey to Dover, the application to Lord Cobham, and the report of the death of the King of Spain, as in the previous letter. His nephew was asked if he was carrying papers of the Earl of Arundel.]
I have letters from Antwerp of the 29th of April, whence a man writes that lately those of Zeeland, thinking to gain a dyke on which they had set their eye, were many of them killed or taken. In Antwerp they had made an inventory of what corn they had, which would only last until the middle of June [sic]. Many are subsisting on biscuit. They are secretly making ready their powder ships and two sailing ships, which will do nothing. A ship departed from Zeeland on Wednesday, the 8th inst.; and on Tuesday, at night, there arrived a bark with 400 wounded. It is said that the Count of Hollock and the son of Orange are killed. They do not declare the details, but presently it will be known. Nothing more is said about Arundel. They say it is intended to burn the Queen's ships, wherefore great care is taken of them. It is agreed that in October they will embark, if all the hulks go, and so make an end of things. It is a great burden on their conscience that all might have been settled two months ago, but they do not seem to desire to come to an understanding. With the fleet which the Prince has, and with that which may be joined to it at Antwerp, if he goes against Zeeland, he may catch all that have not troops, and more if his Majesty will send him a dozen galleons, well furnished with ammunition and mariners, and which may pass before Flushing, joining other ships at Dunkirk, but without succour they can do nothing.
Yesterday the Ambassador of France had couriers from his King. This morning I was at his house, and he told me the Queen had sent to call him, and that she expected him to dinner at Croydon. I believe it is about some matter which came by this courier. If his Majesty has gone to the Duke of Guise, and they now agree, I hold for my part that joining with these and with the Turk and all the devils, they will do all they can against his Majesty, of whom they are in great fear. Drake is not going, and this people must guard their own land.
I am advising the Prince of some important matters as a good servant of his Majesty. I hope you will get him to show me
favour, giving me some charge so that I may leave here. Every day they give tortures in the Tower, straitly examining all, and at the first it is demanded if his Majesty and your honour favour me. Ships of war go between Dover and Calais from Zeeland and take the English going to Dunkirk and Nieuport. I labour daily for the sending of victuals and ammunition.
[Concerning the Earl of Arundel's Agnus Dei and letter from the Pope. The 500 priests in England.]
To-day the Earl of Leicester and Hatton have been at the Tower, probably to examine Arundel.
Your honour may consider how we are treated; they say publicly that it grieves them that his Majesty is not dead. Oh the rogues and the rogueries which they talk! If they make war in France, these desire to join with the Scottish rebels, of whom there are many in this kingdom.
Being carried in old boots, this cipher has got wet, as it went a long way when I was taken from one house to another, which I pray you to pardon.
Cipher, deciphered, Spanish. 1½ pp. [Spain II. 36.]
May 3/13. Clervant to Walsingham.
Original letter of which the translation is given below.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [France XIII. 117.]
May 3/13. Clervant to Walsingham.
“Sir, I will say this much only unto you; that the state of France standeth in so ill terms as a man would think that the inhabitants thereof had both lost their sense and forgotten their wonted love to their prince and to their blood of France, which change happeneth by the practice and working of preachers and confessors procured thereunto by the pestilent sect of Jesuits. Our league men pretend a colour of religion and of the common weal, and their end tendeth to the overthrow both of the one and the other, whereby they may the easilier attain to that they have long wished for. The matter of religion concerneth all those that have wound their necks out of the Pope's yoke, and the matter of state all other Christian princes are interested in, whom the King of Spain goeth about to reduce under his sovereignty by the means of such instruments as he hath at his devotion everywhere. Those that he hath in France are special enemies to the Queen of England for one cause, and to the Kings of Denmark and Sweden for another. You have good reason not to like of their greatness.
Help us then, Sir, to stay here the course of their purposes. It will stand you in less charges than the least attempt they may make against you. You shall by that means spare both your men and your treasure. Yet a small help will not serve the turn. I must needs plainly tell you that under 200,000 crowns and 100,000 more to be had from another place, we cannot levy a convenient and well-ordered army, and make some such necessary show as the continuance of the war may require. Consider, I beseech you, that our wars have not been accompanied with that good success that was expected, for want of good order and necessary maintenance, through scarcity of money. The war of Cologne doth confirm the same, and that no enterprise of great importance can be achieved with small means; it is as much as to lose all that a man hazardeth in it. Therefore do I oppose myself against those that will ground a cause ill, pretending that God will work in it by his providence or that somewhat may happen which we think not of. It is a kind of rashness which God alloweth not of. And if it be alleged that the Prince of Orange with very small or no means at all hath done great things in Holland and Zeeland, I answer that what is easy to be done in some place may be impossible in some other. Sir, I write this much unto you to the end you may use your zeal and judgment at this time in persuading the Queen your mistress that she will bountifully assist us, for our sake and for her own.”
[A very good translation of the preceding letter.] 1 p. [France XIII. 118.]
May 4. Stafford to Walsingham.
I send you herewith what Brulard sent me of Morgan's writings, viz., nine divers ciphers; a little book of the Life of one Edward Throgmorton; the request of the gentlemen of Suffolk to her Majesty, and the confession of one William Lewys in English. There is nothing else worth looking into, the rest being a book of the Bishop of Ross on the Queen of Scots' title; a letter to Charles Paget from the counsellors of Rouen about a trifling process, and other things of no moment, as Shute can tell you, who was present both at the taking and at my receiving of them, and could best guess what quantity was missing.
They were brought me by Arnault, who was Mauvissière's secretary in England, and is now one of the secretaries of the King's Chamber. I laid afore him all the ciphers and the letter of Morgan's in cipher that you sent me in the summer, to see if any of them would decipher it, but they would not; whereupon I desired him to tell M. Brulard that if no others were sent me, I should be fain to complain to the King. Shute also affirmed afore him that there wanted a great many things of those that were wrapped in a cloth and sealed up by him. The same day I had answer from Brulard, protesting that he had sent all that were found in Pinard's cabinet wrapped in the cloth, and that “afore God he knew nor heard of no other.” That Charles Paget had been with him and very importunate to demand the money found in Morgan's coffers, saying it was his brother's, and for testimony desired to refer to a book of accounts found in Morgan's study; which Brulard sought for (as he said) in Pinard's cabinet, but could not find, nor ever heard of. But I requested it at his hands, being assured by Shute that there was such a one, and also a book of memorials, which also he assured me he never saw or heard of.
Having no other answer, I demanded audience of the King, both to complain of this dealing, and also to say that, finding Lewys' confession, I had got the man, whom I held “stayed” in my house, and prayed him to allow him to be put in safe keeping by his provost until I had advertised her Majesty, “who, I was sure, was so far from any thought of any such thing, or any of her Council whom he named in general terms in the deposition,” that although she sought to have Morgan, to have his desert for his villainous attempt against her, “she would rather lose the best morsel in her realm than seek the murder of anybody by extraordinary means,” and that for my part, who was also touched in it, I protested first, that I had never heard of any such thing, and also that though, if Morgan were condemned by justice, “for lack of a hangman I would willingly hang him myself,” yet not for the best duchy in England would I favour his murder, or any one else's, by extraordinary means; and if any in her realm had practised any such thing, or used her name in it, I was sure her Majesty would punish him as he deserved.
And that this might be manifest, I did not require to have him sent into England, but to be kept here, “where they might be witness that there was no legerdemain used in the examination of the matter.” For the writings, I declared of what little importance they were, and that some of the ciphers were wanting; for “that he being a man that had so great dealings with so many great personages and of matter of so great weight, not to have one letter to him nor from him to anybody of any matter in the world, . . . no copy of anything written to him or from him, no memorial of any one thing done or to do; that I thought her Majesty would find it very strange and a great mockery done to her to defraud her of the knowledge of anything, and that there was greater care had of so naughty a fellow as Morgan, to sift all his papers thoroughly, to have nothing left that might impeach him or anybody, than of her Majesty's life, of whom in reason he was to be more careful at all times . . . than of such a varlet and his adherents, who were they now that troubled him and his estate.”
That I was sorry that in so necessary a time for perfect goodwill, he gave her Majesty no better cause to “confirm” it, than after giving his word to Mr. Waad and to me to deliver us the papers, to do it only after they had been “shifted and embezzled away in that sort,” but I must needs send to her what I had received, and my opinion of the manner of dealing, if not of him, at the least of them that he had put in trust.
To that he answered that he had given express commandment that I should have such writings as were Morgan's; that the delay was because Pinard had them, to whom he had sent for his keys, and had ordered Brulard to get them and send them to me, and that he would send Brulard to me next day to satisfy me both about them and the man whom I desired to be kept; in the meantime assuring me that he would do all he could to satisfy her Majesty, and swearing with great oaths that he cared more for her friendship than all other princes; which I desired him to show as good effects of as she did, and so departed.
Brulard came to me as the King promised and again protested on his soul that he never saw nor could find any other things. For the man [Lewys], the King was willing that I should do with him what I would, but in his opinion, it was of no use to have him kept, “being but a knave's speech, whom nobody would nor did believe, and that there could be but his yea and another's nay about the matter, which would never come to trial”; that the King and everybody else knew her Majesty too well; that it might be but a plot of him who was prisoner to induce the fellow to confess this; and “that if there were ways to come to the trial of it—but that he could see none—he would gladly do it, and finding it out, punish it extremely.”
I answered that for the papers, seeing I could have no other answer, her Majesty must have what I had; which I knew she would not take in so good part as I could wish. That for the man, “seeing they were no more hasty in such a matter that touched the Queen's reputation to seek farther into it and to punish it,” I could do no more.
I believe Brulard never saw more than he sent me, and that they were sifted by Pinard and the Chancellor, who have carried away all that might prejudice anybody. Therefore I think it best to wait for Pinard's return and speak to him first, and after to the King to deal with him, which I shall do with more efficacy if, before then, I may have direction what to say further to the King about the matter.
I have let the man go quietly back to his master, so that, suspecting nothing, he may be forthcoming when I hear from you whether I am to deal with him further, for I believe “they sent me the confession among the papers purposely to see whether I should be moved at it or no.” I heard of such a thing before, as Mr. Waad can tell you. The fellow avows it, and stands to it “that Toplif used all manner of speeches to him as are there, and that Charles Borowe can testify the same, to whom he told it when he would needs know the cause of his coming away. Toplif never writ to me in his life of it, nor anything else, but he writ to my wife to recommend the man, without naming the matter; which truly I take not well, sending him for such a purpose (if it be true).” If I were a private man, I should write to him of it, but being as I am I pray you to do it; for I will seek as much as he or any man living to have justice done upon such a villain as Morgan . . . but I cannot take it well to be put before the world as a shrouder of a murderer or any villainy.
Matters here are still in as great uncertainty as ever. Miron, the King's physician and chiefest confidant, returned on Friday from the Queen Mother and was despatched back to her next day; what passes between them no one but Miron knows. “But in show though men think there will be a peace made with the rupture of the edict, men of judgment cannot think that will fall out so, nor that the King will ever consent to it, or their demands, for whereas at the first they sent it they desired nothing but that the Catholic religion should be universally stablished in France and none other to be in the realm, now, when the King hath seemed to relent upon that point, they demand sureties for themselves and their parties. First, all the towns they have; besides to have Metz, Toul and Verdun, to be united to the government of Champagne and to remain an addition for the Duke of Guise. To have the government of Normandy taken from M. Joyeuse and given to the Cardinal of Bourbon, and the Duke d'Elbœuf to be in that government the King's lieutenant in his absence. To have the government of Picardy taken from the Prince of Condé, who hath it now, and to be given to the Duke d'Aumâle. To have the government of the Lyonnais and the town of Lyons and the citadel to be added to M. de Mayne's government of Burgundy, and to have it put again into M. de Nemour's hand. To have Bretagne remain, with the right of the Admiralty, as it was wont to be, to the Duke Mercœur (Mercury) and to have the Admiralty of France again for M. de Mayne, who had it afore it was given to M. Joyeuse, besides money that they demand for the great charges they have been at.”
No reasonable person thinks the King will yield to these conditions, and they are so puffed up with the little order given here to withstand them, that it is thought they will rather increase than decrease their demands, so there is no great hope of peace, and “what will become of us, our lord knoweth.”
“For the honour of God, Sir, let her Majesty provide for the worst, which is the likeliest, and if any of these two fall out with the one of them if not both,” I think peace must needs be made with the rupture of the edict, and the ruin (as far as God will permit them) of them of the religion. “How dangerous the burning of her neighbour's house will be to the setting of hers afire, let all men of judgment judge.” If they have the havens and sea coasts of Normandy and Brittany added to those of Picardy, her Majesty must have continual strength upon the sea, to remedy all sudden attempts, besides the commodity they will have to enterprise some matter of great weight which might trouble us worst of all; considering the unsoundness of some of our hearts at home. Therefore let her prepare, that when she shall presently see which way the market will go, she may be ready, with such good helps as may be found on this side, to mar it before it be settled.
It is said that the King has, by Miron, sent to his mother to take the whole charge upon her, and that they of the other side have done the like to the Duke of Lorraine; but we neither know the charge to Miron nor believe that the Duke shall have so large a commission.
A rumour is come that the Grand Prior, with the aid of Desdiguieres, a gentleman of the Religion of Dauphiny, has defeated the Count de Sault (Saux) and Vins in Province, who had levied great forces for the Duke of Guise, and that Sault is slain and Vins taken, but no great credit is given to it, as the Grand Prior has sent no word of it.
“If the King would go roundly to work, that men might be out of doubt of his intention, they were in great danger to repent the enterprise of this action, for many would sit on their skirts who now stir not; for where the peasants have stomach and rise, they cut their throats in every place, as divers companies of the Duke d'Elbœuf have found the severity [?] of in Normandy, where by the sound of the tocsin, the peasants have gathered themselves together and cut divers of them in pieces.
Holograph. Headed, “ Copy of my letter to Mr. Secretary of the 4th March, 1585, by Mr. Haclytt,” but March is evidently a mistake for May. 6 pp. [France XIII. 119.]
May 4. Stafford to Burghley.
One that I sent out has come home, who has visited the towns held by the Dukes of Guise and Maine in Champagne and Burgundy, and also the forces they have “scattering abroad” there, for they have nothing together. He says he never saw poorer companies in his life, that the towns he has taken are weary of his garrisons, and that the Duke of Guise has not above 2,500 foot and 300 horse; and the Duke of Maine “much about a pitch.” So nothing but the King's evil order strengthens them “and the evil company that he hath about him, that betrays him,” either from fear, or else purposely giving out their forces to be great, to make the King afraid.
If the King would take courage, and with what forces he has here go to Meaux or Chasteau Thierry or somewhat nearer them and make a camp, that the world might see that he means to go against them and “taketh them plainly to attempt against him and his estate,” they would be astonied and amazed, for they have yet no man of quality with them but those of their own house, or that declares openly for them except the Count de Sault in Provence and M. de “Chevierere,” who brought the Duke the greatest force of footmen that he has. They begin greatly to want money, “and no more is furnished from the well-head from whence the first came, and they gave so liberally in the beginning to have the fame of them spread abroad,” hoping that many would flock about them; but now I do not hear that of a good while any at all is come to them and a great many slip away.
The King has about this town six or seven thousand foot and thirty companies of men-at-arms, besides some light horse. If he would gather them in a camp and go but ten leagues out of the town, I think “they would speak a great deal gentler than they do, and money, which now wanteth extremely, would easilier be had when they should see the King take a way to bestow it well.”
To Burghley.—I have sent your lordship a book of the same that I sent to Mr. Secretary by one that was Dr. Parry's man. I have heard nothing of your son. I send to the coaches that come from Lyons, but can learn nothing, but by a coach come from Bourges (Burges) I hear he was there fifteen days ago. I send you two prophecies which ” come here abroad.”—Paris, 4 May, 1585.
Holograph. Endorsed by Burghley as sent by Mr. “Haklytt”pp. [France XIII. 120.]
4 May. Stafford to Walsingham.
I hear from some that know as much of the King's meaning as any about him (but perchance it is given out “of purpose to feed me withal”) that he means to make no peace, “but letteth them come on” with the greatest demands they can ask until more forces are got together about this town, and his Swisses have arrived, and then to make a plain declaration to all the world, and to show how they who at first said that nothing but religion moved them—when the King to sound them had agreed to the revocation of his edict, and to go to work himself with his forces for the execution of his will—then began to ask sureties for themselves and refuse to disarm, claiming to be his lieutenants and executioners. Their outrageous demands being thus shown abroad, and the declaration made by the King of their evil intent, “and he showing himself ready to march against them, as attempters against his estate and as hypocrites under the colour of religion,” it is thought they will be utterly ruined. I know for a certainty that privately, he has laid before the best affected of his parlement his offers and their cruel demands from time to time, “and declared unto them that they may see what they mean by these manner of dealings not to be religious as they make show, but to take away his crown and estate.”
The little book I sent you is of Plessy's doing. “The King saw it afore it was printed and liketh it marvellous well.” Navarre's agent wishes it might be set out in English and Flemish. There is great doubt here of Queen Mother's double dealing in this matter. “The King of Navarre's wife is plainly discovered to be of this league by letters of hers to the Duke of Guise. . . wherein she calleth him her Hercles, her Alexander and such other terms, and assureth him that she . . . desireth him not to spare the King of Navarre and the French King. Besides, she is retired into Agent, which she fortifieth and another town thereby, and the King of Navarre having sent for her, she excuseth and cometh not. These letters in cipher be fallen into the French King's hands, who rageth greatly at it, as he hath cause.”
Since writing this, I have a note from a friend at Chasteau Thierry that they wished the Queen Mother to sign the King's consent to the revocation of the edict, but she answered, he would sign nothing till they were disarmed and asked reasonable demands for their surety, “because he would never consent to their great demands of governments and such like,” so it is thought there will be no peace. I send you a declaration made by the King, penned by Villeroy and sent to the governors to publish in the provinces, before he will have it published here.
Holograph. Private letter. Copy [sent to Burghley], the cipher changed from Walsingham's to his. Cipher words undeciphered. 1¾ pp. [France XIII. 121.]
May 4. The King of Denmark to the Queen.
When Baron Willoughby d'Eresby was ambassador here two years ago, he promised to send me some hounds that follow the scent, and like an honourable man, did so. So much was I pleased with them, that I should delight to have more, and as your Majesty is, I know, very fond of the hunt, and has, no doubt, a great number of hounds of all kinds, especially staghounds, I should be very glad if you would be pleased to send me some. The sound of them as they hunt will give me the greater delight, in that it will often bring your memory to my mind. If there is anything in my kingdom which you would like to have in exchange, I will gladly send it.—Fredriksborg, 4 May, 1585.
Signed. Add. Endd. Latin. 1½ pp. [Denmark I. 48.]
May 4/14 (?). M. Danzay to Walsingham.
We see the fruits brought forth by the dissensions amongst those of the reformed religion, which proceed more from the negligence and indifference of the kings and princes professing the same than from the ambition or audacity of the theologians. Thus it would seem that God will rather do justice upon such kings and princes than upon the others. But it is to be hoped that he will show mercy to the poor afflicted churches and will preserve them according to his promise.
All things are quiet here. I am very sorry that I have not the means of showing you how much I esteem your friendship and desire to increase it. The present bearer, Simon van Salinghen, being sent by the King of Denmark into England, it is needless to recommend him to you.—Coppenhagen, 14 May, 1585. [Style doubtful.]
Seal of arms. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. I. 49.]


  • 1. This and the following letter are not dated (except by the statement at the beginning), but they were written after the arrest of the Earl of Arundel and before the surrender of Antwerp, and the mention of Wednesday the 8th inst. shows that the month was May.