Elizabeth: September 1584, 21-30

Pages 71-86

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, 21–30

Sept. 21. Ortell to Walsingham.
Regrets that owing to having just taken medicine, he was unable to comply with his honour's request that he would go to the Court about the complaints made to her Majesty's Council against some Holland ships of war. Prays the Council to excuse him for this time, and hopes that he will be able to go by the next evening at the latest, and to quickly find a remedy for all reasonable complaints.—London, 21 September, 1584.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. xxiii. 9.]
Sept. 23. Stafford to Walsingham.
I am now going to horse to meet the King, or at least the Queen Mother, at Chenonceaux. The King would not give me audience at Bois de Vincennes, but referred me and all the ambassadors to his meeting with the Queen Mother at Blois, on the 10th or 12th of this month at farthest. But she having sent him word that “there was no coming to Blois nor thereabouts, the plague being so rife,” he appointed to see her at Chenonceaux, “and not tarry past a night or two and so bring them away with him to Montargis, and so roving about and staying in no place till St. Germains house be ready, where he meaneth to make his rendezvous,” desiring us all to wait until then.
“But knowing that he hath so pulled down and patched at St. Germains that it cannot be ready a good while, and his humour so changeable that God knoweth whether he will keep that deliberation or no, and desirous to have her Majesty served to her contentment,” though it is above seven score miles hence and will be a great charge, I mean to go to Amboise, within two leagues of the Court, and be there before the King, and speak with them both. If he comes not within ten days, I will speak with the Queen Mother, and stay till she has sent to him, rather than leave her Majesty's will undone.
He that came from des Pruneaux was very secret with his best friends in this town, yet to one he said that he brought all contentment to the King and that des Pruneaux and the deputies would come to confirm the same, but that the States desired that her Majesty might be partaker in the matter, which he could not tell how the King would like of. I hope at Chenonceaux I shall hear somewhat of it.
They say here that the Duke of Savoy is counselled, being an absolute prince, not to go out of his own country to fetch his wife, but to send the Prince of Genevois for her; so that there is doubt of his going into Spain.
I think the meeting of Madame de Nemours with her children by the way is broken, because it was appointed at Dijon, which the King will not allow, but sent to the Count of Charny, lieutenant in Burgundy under the Duke of Maine, to forbid it, “and that if they would needs bid one another farewell, there was villages, inns, or gentlemen's houses in the high way to Lyons to serve that turn well enough; whereupon it is said they meet not at all and that she goeth away greatly grieved.”
Videville is fled into Aix. The King has been to see his house, and some say if la Valette liked it, he would give it him. He proceeds hardly against the treasurers already in hold and says he will do justice upon the rest, and thence “search into” his officers of justice and all abuses of officers.
The Chancellor is sore afraid and it is thought the Seals will be taken from him. Divers are named as Garde Sceaux, and among them Belliè/vre, “whom I least believe shall have it, for here such places be not bestowed upon so honest men commonly.”
The King means still to search into such as have had under hand parts in farms of gabelles, customs and such things, taking them “upon a very shrewd point, that being his counsellors, they made him believe that the farmers were too high rented; and made him for pity to abate a great deal of rent, and being a deceitful counsel, they being partners in it and grown extreme rich by those means,” he will have them answer for it, but I think money will appease it.
I hear out of Spain that Bernardin de Mendosa will presently come hither, but whether to tarry or what else to do, I cannot tell.
There is great dissension between the Pope and Venetians which may burst into war, about the patriarchate of Aquileia, “which the Pope will have to be sovereign” both in spiritual causes and temporal, and the Venetians in spiritual only.—Paris [torn], September, 1584.
Postscript.—The Spaniard I wrote of came to me again this morning and persists that enterprises are made for the delivery of the Queen of Scots, that Englishmen are to come over with them, and that he will give notice at the ports to have them all taken. I have given him a scrowl with the mark I sent to you, “to give warning to them to stay any that he that bringeth it shall appoint to them,” and have promised a great reward if he perform it.
The Bishop of Glasgow came to me yesterday, under colour of visiting me before I went, but his real errand was to draw out of me what was become of Norton, who he says was taken at Dover, and what Scottishmen were taken “with them.” I said I had heard of no such thing.
Add. Endd. with date. 2¾ pp. [France XII. 76.]
Sept. 23./Oct. 3. Edmund Yorke to Walsingham.
As in your letter of the 19th of the last, you command me to continue writing, I will not “leclect” my duty, being only sorry that I have not the means to send you occurrents worthy of your reading.
Your letter to M. de Tempell was delivered, and those from M. de Grise and M. Ortell to the States of Brabant were given them by Mr. Steven le Sieur. “Before their coming to any definitive judgment [they] answered that for two causes it was not necessary to proceed; first for that your honour had written earnestly in his cause, then that he had done good service and might do. Whereupon they sent one Captain Dorpe (one of the commissioners for that cause) to the States in Antwerp, to advertise them of their proceedings and to know their pleasure.” Before whose coming, the letter from de Grise and Ortell was delivered to them, who considered them without further answer save that one of them privately told a friend of mine that he now doubted nothing of my brother's well doing, as her Majesty had vouchsafed to take knowledge of it.
I have by all possible means tried to search out the truth, “whose case is not so ill as the bruit,” for I have talked with most of the captains from Ghent, who all acquit my brother, saying he did but what he was bound to do. Besides, M. Pierre “d'Attenes,” a minister, told me he had defended my brother's cause, “that in right he ought not to be touched, neither did he at any time confer with the enemy, but with one Jeronimo de Sigour, a Spaniard and agent for the Prince of Parma in Gaunt for those affairs; all which he did by commandment of the lords and his captain.” And Charles Utenhove, who succeeded d'Embyse in the government, has said divers times that my brother's cause was not punishable; so I hope you will not only do a charitable action but defend the innocent, and that M. 'd'Attenes' will satisfy you and her Majesty that my brother was “no such kind of man, of the which I am as glad as of his life.”
To-morrow, it is said, the States will answer M. des Pruneaux, which if I had known sooner, I would sooner have been there. To-morrow I will go to Delft and return to England with the first wind; but I must go to Bergen to speak with M. de Tempell's brother; at which place all the States forces are now assembled, and where it is thought they will perform some enterprise.
The Marquis of Richebourg (Ruskebroke) is over the water against Lillo, and has brought more ordnance, so that the passage waxes worse and worse; also 400 masts, to stop the river.
There is one Captain Luarde, sometime lieutenant to the Prince d'Epinoy (de Pinoys), who served in Gaunt, and now serves the Prince of Parma, who has promised to go into France and discover all the practices there, and “to colour his pretended practice,” means to pass into England. In Antwerp they are discontented that the traffic is taken from them, and the French are not “too too well liked of there,” except by the burgomasters.
The Prince of Parma only enters Gaunt to-day, and none of his forces have been there. The companies from Gaunt are at Sluys, not suffered to pass to Bruxelles, Antwerp or Mechlin, all which, I fear, will not long “hold.”
M. de Teligny (Tilline) and Colonel Bahour [qy. Balfour] yesterday passed this way towards Holland, and are determined upon some exploit. “Embyse was not executed for any matter touching Dermonde, but for divers horrible murders and larcenies committed by him long since and now discovered.” Diego di Botelho, I hear, is coming to her Majesty to advertise her of his master's [Don Antonio's] proceedings.
Thirty ships of Holland, bound for Spain, laden with victuals, were driven here by the weather, which put this island “in alarum and in arms,” it being bruited they were the ships for Dunkirk and Nieuport. Botelho sent the water bailiff to tell them that if they went to sea, the King of Portugal's ships would take them as lawful prize, but they answered they would try their fortunes. So, her Majesty and the French King both prohibit victualling Spain, and they themselves [of Holland] do it.
I could sometimes send you things to be known only to yourself, but doubt doing so, for “I never receive letter but the seals are ill-handled, I cannot justly say opened”; a little check to your servants might make them more careful.—Middelburg, 3 October, 1584.
Postscript.—A “Portingal” has this night arrived who within this thirteen days was there, and says for certain the King of Spain is dead. He is well spoken and temperate, and says “that with his life he will affirm it, and that there is not any that this two months saw his person.” Another, who arrived before, had affirmed the like, “but being servants to Don Antonio, your honour knows affection transports them.”He says that all the nobility of Portugal desire his Majesty's return.
Another alarm has been given here to-night by fifteen ships, suspected to be those of the enemy. “To-morrow the clear day and the quiet rest of the night after the 'Renske' [i.e. Rhenish] wine, will make them better able to discern what they are.”
Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XXIII. 10.]
Sept. 23. The Syndics and Council of Geneva to Walsingham.
Have received his letters of June 22, and learnt his in-tentions and those of the other lords as to the distribution of the 1,000 crowns sent lately by order of Mr. Bodley, and although they always take great care of what is provided for the needs of those under their protection, yet they will give order that the said sum be specially applied, according to his will, for the comfort of poor refugees in their town and for poor scholars. Thank him once more very affectionately for his care of their republic.—23 September, 1584.
Add. Endd, Fr. ½ p. [Switzerland I. 14.]
Sept. 24./Oct. 4. Captain Edward Prinn to Walsingham.
I trust that you have received the letter I wrote to you from Paris, by means of Sir Edward Stafford, and desire an answer touching M. de Botelyo's going to England; “whether that he may go 'dether' with your safe 'coning' [qy. conduct], from any let of arrest,” as I wrote more at large in my other letter. These few lines I was moved to, having so sure a messenger as Mr. Yorke,—wherein M. Botelyo prays so much of your favour, as to let me have answer touching his coming. We shall wait here until we hear from you.—Middelburg, 4 October, 1584.
Add. Endd. 1/6 p. [Holl. and Fl. XXIII. 11.]
Sept. 25. Francis Veselini, Chamberlain of the King of Poland, to John Herbert.
As to the matter which by your letter you commended to my care, I have sedulously urged the King as you wished. There is no lack in him of inclination to cultivate a neighbourly feeling and sincere friendship with the Queen of England, nor will there ever be; indeed, he would gladly accede to her wishes in all things, and would with pleasure give sentence in this business at once. But the affair is one which needs much deliberation, and depends on the consent of the whole State; and for this reason and no other . . . he has thought best to postpone it until the next Assembly, where he will so press it on as to be able, without detriment to the kingdom, to answer your sovereign's demands according to his convictions.—Grodno, 25 September, 1584.
Copy, on the same sheet as the Archbishop of Gnesen's letter, p. 60 above. Latin. 1 p. [Poland I. 336.]
Sept. 25. Albert Baranovski, Bishop of Præmysl, to Herbert.
I have handed your letter to his Majesty as you wished, and urged him strongly to conclude the business and despatch you with a fitting answer. I could see that he desired to prove his zeal in the matter to your sovereign, and by his good offices, so far as the provincial statutes allow, to show his friendship and goodwill towards her, and bring these negotiations to a conclusion advantageous to both realms. But as the matter affects the public welfare, it must necessarily be publicly discussed, and cannot be settled without the assent of the orders of the realm. So his Majesty is bound to postpone it to the next Assembly, where he will settle it by the common assent and vote of the orders.—Grodno, 25 September, 1584.
Copy, on the same sheet as the preceding. Latin. ½ p. [Poland I. 33c]
Sept. 26. Francois De Civille to Walsingham.
On my return this morning from York, I found a letter from M. de Jolytemps, showing me the prompt despatch he has had for the affair of Flanders by your means, of which I shall to-morrow inform the Duchess of Bouillon, that she may thank you for your pains and good will.
I found the Earl of Huntingdon at York, and gave him your letters, which he promises duly to answer. He left York last Monday for Carlisle.
Seeing that in our journey to the North, we have had trouble about our horses, because the commission from the Council specified no price, and that this commission will not serve at all for the journey which (by your good pleasure) I propose to take to kiss the hands of the Earls of Bedford and Pembroke, I pray you to give me another, entering such price as you please and to deliver it to this bearer (who has much need of your help to obtain justice), so that I may as soon as possible return to the Duke of Bouillon in France.—London, Saturday, (fn. 1) 26 September, 1584.
Postscript.—For the love of Jesus, I pray you let me commend to you the affairs of this poor man.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [France XII. 77.]
Sept. 26 Ortell to Ealsingham.
Praying him to reply to the letter of the Prince Elector of Cologne, which he brought from Holland; for that good prince will take it as a great pleasure and honour to see that in the midst of his disasters he is still rememberd. Has ye no letters from the States.—London, 26 September, 1584.
Postscript.—Has written fully of the States of Holland and and Zeeland concerning the complaints made by those of Sandwich and Dover, and has no doubt but that they will take means to remedy the matter at once.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XXIII. 12.]
Sept. 16/Oct. 6. The Elector Of Cologne to the Queen.
Has communicated to the sieur de Pardeilhan, now going into England, certain things which he desires to be declared to her Majesty; and as she will thus be sufficiently informed of his condition, he prays her to consider the aim of the Kin of Spain and his adherents, enemies of all prices of the Religion, and to aid him in his adversity, tyranically oppressed against all right, both human and divine, so that he may be able to check their dangerous practices.—Honslerdyck, 6 October, 1584.
Signed. Add. Endd. Fr. ¾ p. [Germany, States, III. 41.]
Sept. 26./Oct. 6. The Elector Of Cologne to Walsingham.
Praying him to support the Sieur de Pardeilhan in what he has asked him to lay before her Majesty.—Honslerdyck, 6 October, 1584.
Signed. Add. Endd. Fr. ½ p. [Ibid. III. 42.]
Sept. 27. Stafford to Burghley. (fn. 2)
If (my servant and) your old servant Long had been as careful and diligent as he might have been, he could have been at Paris before my coming away, or when he found me gone but seven leagues, might have overtaken me; also when he came after me, if he had had the wit to enquire by the way how far I was before him, or in Angerville (where I lay all night) to ask whether I were passed or no; or having passed me, had not been so sluggish as to be abed next day at ten o'clock in the morning, so that when I passed he neither saw nor heard of me, “I had not been in that peck of troubles that I am,” how to feign cunningly what you commanded me. For I arrived here on the 27th of this month two hours before him; so that being come thus far, and Gondy having, as I am sure, advertised the King of my coming from Paris before the rest to speak with him, “that excuse of sickness is now not so well to be made” as if he [Long] had met me at Angerville, where I might easily have feigned sickness and returned for fear of worse. But finding myself by his faults driven to a pinch, I thought best to stay here, and to send one to Pinard asking his help for my lodging at Blois, for that finding my sickness I had at Paris to return, I rested in this town for a day and would come down for my more ease by water, meaning, if the King had tarried there, only to have made a show of my coming to Blois, and to have hired a coach here and returned to Paris, sending an excuse to Pinard that I was fain to retire thither, “to seek at my own house remedy the sooner.”
“But as God would have, the King's changeable humour, who had sent to the Queen to meet him at Blois, took a toy in his head that arriving upon Thursday at night, the next day at gates' opening would needs go to Chenonceaux back again; carry the Queen with him, and command all the Court to dislodge from Blois to Montrichaut, two leagues from Chenonceaux”; and yet Pinard writes that he means to be at Blois again within eight or nine days. “Thereupon, seeing upon the King's absence I may have some colour and means to come to Blois and to send my mischance to Pinard of my sickness which stayeth me there, without making any excuse for not asking audience, which will be better as I think left undone than done, and to let it so come on as a thing forgotten by negligence and not of purpose.”
I rather think good to take this course, the King being absent, to counterfeit sickness at Blois than to either stay here or go back to Paris, and that upon two occasions to be the nearer him; the one because Plessis is there and Laval, to give account of the assembly at Montauban, and also Bellièvre returned from Languedoc, “of which matters the nearer I am, the better I shall hear of them, and speak with some that I cannot here, from being far off”; as also that des Pruneaux will shortly arrive, and if near, I shall the better understand their proceedings and further the matter, according to your direction, as from myself underhand, which I will do by all the means I may.
But give me leave to say “that an honest Englishman must put on a hard conscience to further such a matter.” Seeing that wiser than I think it good, I pray God it may take good effect, but I am “half with her Majesty in fear” that the King will not accept the offer made him, which I would wish we were partakers in if any good be done, and that we might not so much fear a present charge, which I am afraid is why we consent to this sudden acceptation of the French King, and that if he embrace the action thoroughly, “we double not our fear and triple not with vantage our charge hereafter.”
I have some cause, upon speech with President Brisson, who passed by here this morning, to doubt the King's acceptation, for he seemed to think it was too late to take the action in hand; “nothing being left in the firm land,” Ghent, as he said, rendered, Vilvorde taken, Brussels in danger and Antwerp and other places only to be succoured by sea, which was fitter for us than any.
I sought to make him think of the greatness it would be to France, and the great abasement to the King of Spain, besides the great riches of Holland and Zeeland; but he still replied that those maritime places were fitter for us than for them, which speeches, as he left the King but yesterday, make me think he found the same humour there.
You wrote to me not to deliver the commandment I had from her Majesty by John Fourrier until I heard what acceptation the King would make of this, but have not told me, when I hear it, whether to deliver it or no and in what terms, therefore I shall not deliver it at all till I have further direction, which I beseech you to send me with expedition.
Let me again put you in remembrance what harm may come by Mauvissière being acquainted beforehand with the despatches you send; for no doubt he has told the King of this one, and they may be in doubt why I stay the delivery of it, whereas, otherwise, if you change your minds at home, it need not be known.
President Brisson wished to persuade me that one had passed by Poitiers, sent from her Majesty to the King of Navarre, but I assured him it was false, for I think you will not do me that wrong to send one without some notice to me, especially as I have so often pressed to have it done but could never obtain it.
“My very good lord, I am fain to send you only this copy of Mr. Secretary's letter. My lord of Leicester hath now written two letters of great kindness to me, which I have answered with all duty. I am sorry this last despatch doth bind me from seeing the King and Queen Mother, to whom I had thought to have presented your son, Mr. Robert, in the best manner I could,” but hope some occasion will occur to do him all the honour I can.—Orleans, 27 September, 1584.
Holograph. Add. Sent by M. La Fontaine. Endd. by Burghley. 3 pp. [France XII. 78.]
Sept. 27./Oct 7. Edmund Yorke to Walsingham.
Understanding of this great Assembly, and that the burgomasters of Bruxelles were here, I came hither, “hoping to find some good,” but nothing more is known. As you had written to M. de Meetkerke, I presumed to tell him that you felt so assured of his friendship as that he would do anything that with reason you required; “he answered that he had and would again deal with the States of Brabant in it as faithfully as for himself, but I believe him not.
“Great stirs have been here before the election of the French King, which this day is chosen.” Amsterdam and divers other towns could not be brought to it till now, and truly, if they had not felt sure that her Majesty would not “condescend” to it, it had never taken place.
Peter “d'Attenes” has promised to come with me, or I should have crossed with this bearer, who has the reputation here of a very honourable and honest gentleman. If you will give him thanks for his courtesy to me, “it will greatly favour me.”—Delft, 7 October, 1584.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XXIII. 13.]
Sept. 27. Steven Le Sieur to Walsingham.
Having from Antwerp made over to this town the money for Mr. Rogers' liberty, which amounts to 4,281 florins, 15 stivers, I yesternight, after escaping many dangers, came hither myself, where I learn that the constable of the castle in which Mr. Rogers is kept (a very tyrant) will have a great deal more than the 4,300 florins agreed upon, which with divers charges since, and the apparel “he must have from top to toe,” will increase it very near 100l. I therefore pray you to have compassion on the poor gentleman, “fast bound with chains,” and find this sum, or I fear he must perish where he is; for he is in the hands of those who truly are no Christians.
Now Schenk is at liberty, he swears “that if ever he can have me, I shall fare no better than him whom the Duke of Cleve at my suit caused to be beheaded, and am therefore wished to take heed not to come to his hands.”
I had the man apprehended but to do her Majesty service, and at my return, you “did allow well of it;” but as this man in his confessions accused Schenk as the author of Mr. Rogers' capture, I think her Majesty has just cause to demand justice upon him of the Duke of Cleves, seeing that he comes daily into his towns. The Duke could hardly deny this request, therefore if her Majesty would send a letter to that effect, one of her enemies would be punished, and it might do Mr. Rogers some good.
In my last from Antwerp I wrote that a well-wisher to her Majesty had told me that there was talk at Cologne of a conspiracy against her. He knew no particulars, but has given me a letter to one at Cologne, who, if I go thither, will tell me more. If you think there is any likelihood in it, and will send me your orders, I will presently obey them. Mr. Gilpin knows how to convey letters to me.
The Bishop of Liége has brought to pass the marriage of a cousin of his, daughter to the Marquis of Baden, with the young Duke of Cleves. She is aged thirty-six or thirty-eight and he twenty-one. The Bishop's purpose is to get to himself the bishopric of Münster. At the marriage there were present only mortal enemies to the Religion “and wholly Jesuits, as she herself is.” This Bishop's forces last Sunday surprised Urdingen; thus Truchsess has now only Berck and a castle or two, besides what pertains to the Count of Moers, now made governor of Guelderland in recompense of all that he has lost.
The plague is in all these towns upon the Rhine “extremely.” This town flourishes daily more and more in the word of God.—Wesel, 27 September, 1584, stylo antiquo.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Germany, States, III. 43.]
Sept. 28. Henry Kirkman to Walsingham.
I wrote in my last of the journey “pretended” by the King of Denmark for the recovery of Onsell, which “slote or castle” and land the King had given to Fornesbecke for his lifetime but he practised to surrender it to the “Poles King,” on hearing which this King sent a ship with two or three gentlemen to “Vhornesbecke” to demand the castle and land, and one of them to remain as governor. To which Fornesbecke answered: The King had given it him “under hand and seal, and he was sufficient for the keeping of the same.” Upon this, the King sent two ships and two gallies, which, arriving within a league of the “slote,” sent a boat on shore which brought us word Fornesbecke was away “to rye,” (fn. 3) but his wife and brother were there. The next day our Admiral, with the “rexe rode,” captains and gentlemen went on shore and requested to speak with the gentlewoman, who with her guard, came before the port, but refused to surrender without commission from her husband, and so kept us out for eight days. She then offered to surrender if she might pass with what belonged to her man and to herself, which being granted, we entered. Had we not gone when we were unlooked for, the King would never have gotten it again, for the Russ lay before it with 4,000 men for six months and could not take it.—Copenhagen, 28 September, 1584.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Denmark I. 43.]
Sept. 29. Stafford to Walsingham.
I am told that the King's “only lingering thereabouts” is to see the King of Navarre, which I think will come to pass, for his servants are wholly disposed to it. The first meeting I fear not, but what may come after, “for the Admiral's first meeting at Blois with Charles IX was full of kindness, which brought him to Paris, and so to his end; I pray God this fall out better.”
The Prince of Condé is also determined to come to the Court, and if the King employ him not, “to retire himself with liberty of conscience to his own houses in France, being weary of his poor life where he is.”
It is thought that the King and the King of Navarre will meet at Champigny, M. Montpensier's house.
I would to God you would let the King of Navarre feel “she” hath not forgotten him. It cannot bring worse effect than letting him think that her Majesty makes no account of him.
I am rather worse persuaded than yesterday of the King's acceptation of the Low Countries, for all that come hourly from the Court are very cold that way. I pray you send me speedy direction how to govern myself “if either he refuse it or linger it off,” for I mean to do nothing till I have it.—“Out of an alehouse upon the river of Loire,” 29 September, 1584.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [France XII. 79.]
Sept. 29. Stafford to Burghley.
A copy of that to Walsingham, above.—“Out of an alehouse where I met with this bearer, by Meun.” 29 September, 1584.
Add. Endd. by Burghley. 1 p. [Ibid. XII. 80.]
Sept. 29. Ortell to Walsingham.
I yesterday received your letter for the Prince Elector, which I will forward as soon as possible.
You will remember that about two months ago they were preparing here to send a ship laden with cables to close the passage of the river of Antwerp, which, by your lordships' orders was unladen and the cables confiscated. The principal solicitor in such matters, a true Spanish instrument and their secret spy, called Jehan Regal, formerly a courretier and broken merchant of this town, now water bailiff at Dunkirk, has come again to Dover, I know not on what pretext, and it is believed that he will come hither to-morrow. Amongst other things, he brought over and sent hither two letters, which being without seals and one of them without a proper superscription, were intercepted by a friend of mine and brought to me, I send them to you, who may find something in them, especially as to the enemy's designs with his ships; praying you, in that case, to inform me of it, that I may advertise my masters. Also, that you will have a sharp eye kept upon the said Jehan 'Real' and Pietro 'Zibiour,' for truly they are knaves, and only spy all round, having intelligence with the Spaniards, the enemies of religion in this kingdom.—London, 29 September, 1584.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XXIII. 14.]
Sept. 30./Oct. 10. Thomas Lovell to Walsingham.
I have been requested by divers of your gentlemen here to inform you of the state of these countries, and lastly by Mr. Edmund Yorke, who tells me he has received letters from you, touching me, to this end. I was glad to hear there were “such good-willers to the setting forth of God's word” and to this country, which is also my duty, and by God's help I will not be slothful in doing it. If you will say what you wish to know, I will from time to time advertise you, or if you wish me to come over, I will leave all my other business to do so.
The States here now stand wavering and cannot agree upon their government, and it is to be feared that one town after another will fall into the enemy's hands, as Gaunt has done. Since the death of the Prince, M. 'de Prenewes' is come from France, and has brought articles from the French King, about which the States have gathered (for the second time) and many of them have agreed to them, but divers will not, “whose names, for the gentility, are these:—the Sieur Jorge Skonehove [Schoonhoven], Sieur Otto van Hegmond, lord of Kenengborghe, Wyllm van Newfeld [? Neufville], the lord of Martenes [? Martena], the lord of Pollegest, [? Jasper de Pollgheest] the lord of Devenford [Duivenvoorde]; these six of the thirteen, being of the knighthood, that will not agree. And for the towns, Dordrecht, Tergowe, 'Anserdam,' Home, 'Henkhewsen,' Hedam, Permeren, 'Skonehoven.' These be all of Holland. For Zeeland, on the 28th of last month they were agreed wholly for the French, but on the 3rd of this present “are come again in the meeting of the Council here” and begin to recant, remembering better the dangers they may fall into.
Utrecht and Guelderland have not agreed, fearing they may be separated from Religion and become Papist again, and Friesland with the three towns over Yssel, Campen, Deventer and Swolle, are wholly bent to the Queen, as some of the knighthood have told me. Some of the deputies have gone to report to their burgesses, and must return on the 13th; the rest give out that her Majesty has consented for them to take the French King. They are greatly to be blamed if it is not true, but they do it to persuade the common people to the French, who are wholly contrary, and well affectioned to the Queen. If your honour or any others of the Council knew these countries as I do, and the strength that they might be to England, both by shipping, mariners and money in time of need, and by their haven ports, "there is no neighbour about us, French nor Spaniard or any other by force of arms might hinder her or the realm of England.”
Holland and Zeeland, Guelderland, Friesland and Utrecht, are well able to maintain 20,000 men in the field, and a great sum in the prince's coffers besides. I have known and borne offices in these countries for twelve years, “and no exploit done but my counsel hath gone over it . . ., according to my office” and I am sure that, joined with England, “no prince christened” could withstand them; while their falling into the hands of the French or Spanish would bring great troubles to England, as we and our ancestors have experienced.—From my house at the Hague, 10 October, style of Holland.
Signed. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XXIII, 15.]
[Sept. ?] Notes of points to be investigated in visiting a country.
1. The names, position, confines, size, divisions, towns, fortresses, rivers, mountains, woods and islands of a province.
2. Its climate, water, fertility, minerals, elevation, animals, population, &c.
3. Its inhabitants. Their stature, disposition, costume and habits. If superstitious or religious. Their manner and furniture for war. Arts, imports and exports &c. Government. Chief princes and barons; their riches, rank and favour with the Prince. Condition of the people.
4. The Prince. His behaviour; whether beloved by his subjects. His revenue, guard, court. With what princes he has friendship or enmity. His blood, life and person.
Italian. 1 p. [France XII. 81.]
Sept. 30. A description of France, arranged under heads of the provinces, and to a certain extent following the lines of the notes above, but giving special attention to the chief families and their alliances, and the advantages and drawbacks (commodités and incommodités) of each province. Entirely in Robert Cecil's hand and signed by him.—Paris, 30 September, 1584.
Fr. 21 pp. [Ibid. XII. 82.]
[Sept. ?] Sir Jerome Bowes' report on his Embassy.
First it is to be understood that the [Russian] Emperor's ambassador, sent to England undesired by her Majesty, was brought over entirely at her charges, and most honourably entertained.
I, being sent ambassador to him, at his own entreaty, was five weeks in his land before he would take any knowledge of me, myself and my company being all this while at her Majesty's charges. He then sent a gentleman to me (a follower of the Chancellor Shalkau) who “used himself very proudly and me very badly,” amongst other ill speeches telling me I was no Christian.
This man being my guide a thousand miles up the rivers, fed me with very bad victuals, nor would ever suffer my boat to go before any of his, but rather (when it was likely to do so) forced my guides to run me on the sands, to the hazard of all our lives. Two miles short of Moscow, there met me five gentlemen of the Emperor, who, having somewhat to say to me from him, desired me to alight to hear it, “and would yet themselves have sat on horseback.” The same night the Emperor sent me a supper by a mean gentleman, who, keeping his own cap on, “stood long upon proud terms with me, because I would not be bare.”
“At my first coming to the presence of the Emperor, after offering me to kiss his hands, he caused me to be put back about ten yards before he would hear me speak, and then made me deliver my message openly, as if I had been to have made a proclamation; and then demanding my letters, and I going towards him to deliver them, his chancellor Shalkau came to have taken them from me, esteeming me, as it seemed (though her Majesty's ambassador) unworthy to deliver them myself; neither did the Emperor vouchsafe to touch her Majesty's present, but caused the same Shalkau to take it of me, at the place where I stood.”
The same day, being to dine at a side board in presence of the Emperor and going by the upper end of the table to my place, he challenged me for it, and caused me to go about by the lower end of the board. He would also have forced all my servants to have dined at the same table with me, and when I utterly refused, caused the table to be furnished with a company of mean gentlemen of his own.
After divers audiences and conferences with his Council, when he found that I had not commission to yield to all his demands, he one day used these speeches:—“I do not esteem (quoth he) the Queen your mistress for my fellow; there be that are her betters, yea her masters; whereunto answering as I thought fit, he told me in fury he would throw me out of the doors, and bade me get me home.
“Shalkau, supposing that I did not put in use the full authority of my commission, said that I deserved to be whipped, and Mekita Romano[vich] and he, being of the Dutch faction (fn. 4) and so envious both to her Majesty's embassage and all their master's good purposes towards our nation, did deliver to my truchman [i.e. interpreter] these disgraceful speeches of me:—The one said I gathered the grease and fees [i.e. perquisites] of my kitchen to carry into England, the other that I would make myself rich with skins of the sheep that the Emperor allowed me.
“The late Emperor was resolved to have made her Majesty some part of amends for these indignities used against her but died before he had performed aught, so as the dishonours do still remain and have been since then much increased by this Mekita and Shalkau, who only governed after him, for presently upon the Emperor's death 1 was shut up (though in my own house) a close prisoner for eight or nine weeks, with this extreme usage, that if any of my people that lay upon the street side did happen at any time to look out at any window, they were by and by (by the watchmen who were there set to guard me) beaten in with clots and such things as lay in the streets.”
Such liberal allowance of diet as the late Emperor had given me was taken from me, and I had to content myself with slender and bad fare, and being at this time dangerously sick, they would not suffer any physician to come to me.
All this time I vainly sued for my despatch. When Mekita and Shalkau had held me prisoner as long as pleased them, they sent me word to come to Court the next day and I should have it, where being come, “whereas ever tofore I was met with at Council with many of the greatest and gravest counsellors,” I was now entertained only by Shalkau, a brother of his, and one other gentleman, “who delivered unto me, for a resolution from the now Emperor, that he had no meaning' to proceed further in those treaties that his late father had before dealt in, nor they would give me any further hearing.
“Ere long after, I was hasted away to take my leave of the Emperor, but order given withal that my rapier and dagger should be taken from me, and all my men disweaponed; which like disgrace was never offered me before. This misliking me much, as well in respect I doubted the malice of these men, as also that I thought it uncomely, being in very short garments, to come before a Prince and state without a sword, rather like a prisoner than like an ambassador, I made some stay where I was, and seemed to be willing rather to return to my lodging than with these disgraces to see the Emperor; and in this mean while I sent for a longer garment, meeter to be worn without a sword; but they finding my purpose, a brother of Shalkau's came unto me with stern countenance and bad behaviour, to hasten the taking away of my weapons and my coming to the Emperor. Thus, finding no remedy and doubting some outrage to be purposed unto me, leaving my weapons I went to the Emperor, as well with purpose to complain of the injuries done me as also to receive what he would further say to me touching my ambassage; and by the way I met with my man, with the garment that I sent for, whom they perceiving, ere that he could come to deliver it me, heaps of them with fury ran upon him and thrust him quite out of my sight, myself being still hasted to the Emperor, with offer of too much occasion to have bred me mischief if I would have taken hold of it.”
Meanwhile, Mekita and Shalkau, lest I should complain of the injuries they had done me, commanded away my truchman, “and so made sure work that I should say nothing.”
“When I was come before the Emperor, he told me a very short tale, not much to other purpose but that he desired such league of friendship with her Majesty as his father tofore had had, and, for the sum of my despatch, offered me a letter to deliver to her Majesty wherein I well knew was no matter of importance or grant of aught I came for, and therefore refused it; but they earnestly pressing me to take (doubting their usage if I still refused it) agreed to receive it until I might find some meeter time to rid myself of it.”
The next day, Dr. Jacob telling Shalkau in how ill part I took my entertainment the day before, was answered “Let him thank God. God was his good God; for had he not come to the Emperor even when he did, he had been torn in pieces and thrown over the walls.”
It was a fortnight after this ere I could win them to give me means to go homewards, and when at length they sent me post-horses, they would provide neither bridles nor saddles, so that if I had not provided them at my own charge, my servants must have ridden upon the bare horse backs.
The morning before I came away, to further disgrace me, they sent back such things as I had given to the late Emperor, and presented to me in the Emperor's name “three timbers of sables, no question the very worst that were to be found in all Moscow” and not worth above forty pounds. It was also determined by these kind men that the gift I presented from her Majesty should have been sent back.
There were also many injuries done me in my return to St. Nicholas, but I forbear to speak of them.
Signed: He. Bowes. 4 pp. [Russia I. 10.]


  • 1. This shows that Civille is dating old style.
  • 2. But see last paragraph of the letter.
  • 3. “to rye”=to fish, as for roach or dace. “Rexe-rode,” probably=“reichs-rar.
  • 4. i.e. German faction, supporting the Hanses against the English.