Elizabeth: October 1584, 11-20

Pages 99-114

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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October 1584, 11–20

Oct. 12/22. The Admiral Of Zeeland to Ortell.
I am grieved to learn by yours of the 6th the untrue complaints daily made, that our ships of war of Ostend, Flushing, and Holland, finding ships at sea, forcibly drive them to the coast of Flanders and there take them, which is only a tale and I am sure was never done. On the other hand, English ships daily go to Dunkirk, Gravelines and elsewhere with all sorts of merchandise, and never any brought in here has complained of any such thing. If any such should be found, not only shall restitution be made, but the offenders grievously punished, rather than that any “should be robbed and stripped to the shirts and their goods taken and sold as prize,” as you write that complaints are made. Methinks it were better for such as give ear to these, to inform themselves somewhat better of the truth before report be made to her Majesty.
Touching the satisfaction her Majesty believes to be due to her subjects for things taken from them before the time of restraint, “there is no such thing done here since the time of my government,” nor do I learn that any burgomaster of this town has ever rigorously handled any of her Majesty's subjects, “but will take information and, if need be, such order and remedy therein as shall appertain.”
You write further to me of heavy complaints to the Council on behalf of one John Westwrye, (fn. 1) for four packs of cloth brought in here and stated by his friends there to be “shipped or trifled out of the way,” which is not so, for they are here in safe hands waiting for the sentence of the Admiralty at Flushing, before whom the matter is in process.
I am forced once more to repeat that I marvel any ear is given at the [English] Court to such complaints; for, as I wrote before, the said Westwery being brought in here [Ostend] and asked for his coquet, answered expressly that he had none, and at Flushing has exhibited a forged one. He “dealeth not as he ought,” for the worst turn that he had at my hands was that, making moan that he had no money, I lent him twenty crowns. I am presently going into Zeeland, and will then send you certificates that the said Westwraye was taken hard by Gravelines, and as soon as he was brought in here sought to corrupt me, “offering me half a dozen of cloths to let him pass on his voyage.”
I pray you to impart these things to the Lord Treasurer and the rest of the Council, that credit may not be so easily given to such surmises; for, if so, it were better for us to set no more men of war to sea, and suffer everybody to victual the enemy at their pleasure.
Translation. Endd. with date. 2¼ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XXIII. 30.]
Oct. 12. The Muscovy Company to Walsingham.
Your honour having desired us to deliver Sir Jerome Bowe's stuff, we took order that all coming in his name should be given up to him, amongst which there is a great quantity of goods which, although he disclaimed, he was not willing should remain in our custody, but had it away with his own stuff, giving his word that it should be forthcoming.
As the Company mean to dispose in favourable sort of those as of other goods in their custody brought over upon private accounts, and cannot do it, they being out of their hands, we pray you to move Sir Jerome to re-deliver the goods according to his promise, and also to deliver in again the plate which he had out of her Majesty's jewel house “for his furniture in his embassage, for the which the company stand chargeable,” although we think he knows it not. 20 signatures.—Muscovia House, 12 October, 1584.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Russia I. 13.]
Oct. 13/23. The States General to the French King.
Copy of the letter sent by M. des Pruneaux, thanking him for his letter and the favour shown them and praying for its continuance. Have made all diligence to inform the provinces of the honour he has done them, who have very gratefully received it, and those of Brabant, Gueldres, Flanders, Holland, Zeeland, Frise, Utrecht and Malines have resolved to receive him for their prince and sovereign lord, and do, by these, pray him to accept them for his humble subjects and to establish his domination in such sort as the late Emperor Charles V received and took oath to them; upon the conditions, as to religion and other matters, which their deputies will present to his Majesty, and which they pray him to accord; and for this purpose to grant to their deputies, who are ready and will shortly set out, a favourable audience.
They prayed M. des Pruneaux to wait and take the said deputies in his company, but he desires to return without delay. As their need is very great, they have asked the said M. des Pruneaux to lay it before his Majesty, imploring him to send them a succour of 4,000 men without delay, with a good martial commander.—The Hague, 23 October, 1584.
Copy, collated and certified by Greffier d'Aerssens. Endd. French. 2¼ pp. [Holl. and FL XXIII. 31.]
Also another copy, not certified. [Ibid. XXIII. 32.]
[Oct. 14.] Capt. Emanuel Lucar to Walsingham.
The river of Antwerp is chained up. It is staked at the head of Callo from side to side, where are twenty “plates” in a rank fast piled and chained, so that it will hardly be removed or broken, and there are three pieces of cannon placed on each side, yet “they make account to break it out of hand.” At Armue they are making fireworks and “skewtes,” and in divers other places also provision for the freeing of the river, which God grant. “I would they were as valiant to put their enterprises in execution as they are ready in devising of them.” They might more easily have kept the enemy from chaining the river than they can now break it. “The States of Zeeland have made me and Capt. Gasfielde [i.e. Gachill] lie with our men seven days at the head of Flushing in great misery,” to see if they could send us to Antwerp, but being in despair thereof, at our earnest suit that they would take order for us and our poor men, they have appointed us to go for Holland and there to receive direction from Grave Maurice (“the grave of Mauritz “) and the States General, to which place we are ready to depart.
They of Antwerp have taken 52 of the best sort there prisoners for making motion to their commonalty in their town-house to agree with the King. The names enclosed are the chiefest of them. Grave van Hollock is gathering men to make a camp for us, and his rendezvous is at Bergen-op-Zoom. God knows when we shall join with our companies that are at “Bargenholt” near Antwerp, in great misery, “all long of hard and evil dealings with them.”
Captain Morris and Captain Ley came on the 13th to Flushing with their men, and are also directed for Holland, so that we go all together if their opinions change not.—Flushing.
Postscript.—A galley is “this noontide” come from Antwerp, which was there the 13 of this month (by our English style) and says that the chain and plates are so broken that we may pass thither, though not without great danger, for the galley is shot through and through three times but only one hurt. God helping “I am minded to take the adventure in hand,”and when I have passed, will not fail to certify you of that I find there. The galley came here “the 14 of this month, afternoon.”
Add. Endd.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XXIII. 33.]
Oct. 14/24. Capt. John Gachill to Walsingham.
The river of Antwerp being shut up by a chain, with “a rank of boats linked together underneath the same,” Captain Lucar and I were ordered, with our men, into Holland, “which caused us greatly to fear their accustomed entertainment,” and the rather that we hear what misery our Englishmen endure at Antwerp. Being ready to embark, a hoy and galley arrived here, saying they were come from Antwerp and that the chain was broken by the force of the tides, on which news we are stayed here until the return of a boat sent to see if this be true.
Count Hollock is at Bergen-op-Zoom, with 500 horse and fifteen companies of foot. Also, about seventeen galleys are come down from Holland, and lie between Bergen and the Ramekins, f the chain is not broken, the troops may charge the enemy by land, and the galleys, with fireworks and other inventions, et the passage at liberty.
Fifty of the richest burgers of Antwerp, that openly in the own-house would have persuaded M. Aldegonde and the rest to a composition with the enemy, have been straitly imprisoned. The names of the chiefest I send enclosed. [Not now with the letter.]—Flushing, 24 October.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XXIII. 34.]
Oct. 15. Françis De Civille to Walsingham.
I am daily looking for her Majesty's letters, both for the Duchess of Bouillon and the Duke her son, and as I “long and mean” to depart from hence no later than Monday next, I beseech you that I may get these letters and have a day appointed, between this and Monday, to receive your picture and letters and to take leave of your honour. I am right sorry I cannot before my departure see Sir Philip Sydney, to whom I am many ways beholding, but I will leave a letter to remain in his hands as a bond of my duty to him, until such time as I may effectually show my wish to do service to you both.
Last night I took leave of my lord of Leicester, with whom talking about the young ladies of Orange, he told me “that albeit her Majesty did at this present refuse to take with her but one only of them, that is called Elizabeth, yet that we should not fail to have them both brought hither,” and that he would do what he could to have them both remain here with her Majesty. But for all that, I look for her Majesty's favourable letters (which you promised me in your chamber at Hampton Court) for the Princess of Navarre to have the eldest (Louise) kept with her grace, (if her Majesty refuses to have her), that she may be driven from the Duke of Montpensier's government, and by those means rescued from papistry, which is a good and Christian deed, “whereabout” all faithful men ought to labour.
I know what pains you have taken in the Duchess of Bouillon's behalf, which I hope to make her privy of, that both she and the Duke may give you thanks for it; praying you to continue in this holy purpose unto the end.—London, 15 October, 1584.
Sir, I honour you as I ought, and love England, the Englishmen and the English speech.
I beseech you let me hear from you what I must do.
Add. Endd. English. 1 p. [France XII. 88.]
Oct. 16. Stafford to Walsingham.
I did not mean to have despatched this bearer until des Pruneaux and the States' deputies had come, but as we are driven by the plague from this place, where all were appointed to have their audiences and despatches, I thought you should know of our departure, that you might not expect from me what I had hoped to send, but cannot; for I think, until the 10th or 12th of next month, the King will hear nothing. He comes to no settled place, “but goeth running up and down, he one way and the queens another; “appointing to be at St. Germains in Laye on the 7th or 8th of next month.
I was constrained upon two occasions at my coming hither, by her Majesty's command, to feign sickness, “somewhat to pass the charge you gave me in your letters by Long, in form, but not greatly in matter,” for,—being informed that it was looked for I should ask audience, and [seeing] that (as I know well enough by your letter) they knew the effect of the despatch by John Welles as well as I did; and being advertised that Bellièvre (now returned from the King of Navarre, and who sets forward the action of the Low Countries as much as he can) had answered one Granville, sent from des Pruneaux upon his first certain hope of good success, that he could give him no assured hope of “hotness” in this Court, unless the English ambassador, who, as he knew, had commission to speak of the matter, did heat it more than it was; and that thereupon I was requested by some very well-affected, to “kindle the fire all I could,”; also considering your command to me underhand “as I could to do it,”—I thought best, as I was desired to be thought ill at ease (and being so indeed without dissembling) to ask Pinard, as I was unable to go to him, to take the pains to come to me, which he did, and I dealt with him in this sort:—
First I declared that I had a despatch by John Welles (which I was sure by Mauvissière's means he was well acquainted with) that her Majesty, from her love to the King had “taken that familiar course” to make his ambassador there acquainted with such things of importance as she sent to me here, that she and the king might the better understand and correspond with each other: That thereupon I had come from Paris to seek audience, declare my charge and receive their Majesties' commands; but that at Or-leans there had come to me a servant of mine, despatched from Middelburg in great haste by one who does business for her Majesty (to whom I had sent him with request to despatch him to me upon any needful occasion), who now sent him with a letter which I showed him “signed and dated from Middleburg, of the same date of that you sent me, and in it I writ as much of the letter as concerned them, which I read to him out of English into French.”
Then I told him, that having received these news, and “soldiers and ambassadors having liberty to cease or execute their commissions as their sight and judgment . . . gave them cause,” I thought good to “surcease” speaking to the King, and to send one to the Queen to advertise her what I had received and that I should not speak to the King until I had her further directions; to which I was moved by my orders to love, honour and serve the King next to her Majesty, and besides, having—by my bringing up in this realm and the honours and favours I have received in it, especially from his Majesty—of myself a bounden goodwill to do him service. Therefore, seeing how far they of the Low Country had proceeded with his ambassador, and that my charge tended to another course, I thought it better to do nothing to break this course, begun so much to the King's honour, advancement of his estate and “impairment” of the common enemy to both our realms. Which course of mine, I hoped the Queen would like and that the King would not mislike it, seeing that it was done from my great goodwill to his service.
He desiring to know what I had received, I read him the letter, and coming to the point of their agreement to choose the King as their prince and sovereign, he desired me to read it again and then asked me “in what sort I thought that would be.” I said I knew no more than he saw, but thought he could tell better, being advertised from the person who had the managing of it there.
He answered me upon his honour that they had not received “any particularities from him, not so much as I told him,” but that they daily expected to hear, and in the mean time, he thought I had taken a course which the king would like of and would thank me for my goodwill shown in it, which he would report to him.
In further speech concerning the words “prince and sovereign” I found “that he doubted it would not fall out so sovereign as the word importeth, and that (as he said) he prayed God it were not nomine but re, and asked me very inquisitively whether I thought the King should be suffered to put in garrisons for his assurance of their promise.” I answered that I knew no more than was written, but thought the word sovereign comprehended many things, and I was sure they were so wise as not to “linger time “by standing upon small points. He asked how I thought the Queen would like of it, and if she would assist the King in it. I said I knew not, not having heard from her since this resolution of the States, but guessed she would not mislike it, knowing her great ill-will to the King of Spain and her love and goodwill to the King here. Nor could I say whether she would assist him, but thought that even if she only looked on, “they were too wise to let slip such an occasion for that, or else times were greatly altered; for time had been that (France and the house of Burgundy being at a jar) the King of France would have been very glad that England would have winked at them,” and I thought the Queen would do more than wink; and offered him, if the King would command me anything, to do my best endeavour in his service.
He gave me great thanks, and said he would report our speech to the King and presently send me his answer. We continued awhile talking of the matter, and I gathered that “if they may be absolutely received to order and dispose all things as they list, they may perchance hearken to it; and yet I dare scarce assure it, knowing the king's humour and theirs that govern him, who know that if he enter into a war, that so much as is spent that way must fall from their lips, and besides that, they having the charge of the armies both by sea and by land, they must for very shame be themselves in the action and so be sequestered from the King's daily presence, which I can assure you upon my credit none of them will come to but with great unwillingness; for they have both found (the one in his journey into Italy, the other into Gascony) that absence breedeth their harm; and I know it very certainly that they have to their principalest friends said it that they will never be absent while they live if they may choose.”
On the other hand, if there come not very absolute offers, they will hardly be accepted, and I think the King would like better what you sent me by John Welles than any other, for Pinard repeated me that despatch almost word by word, and I judged that the King did not greatly mislike of it; but now they will listen to nothing until they hear of the conclusion of des Pruneaux' negotiation.
When he departed, I asked him to take it as from a private friend, brought up and bred in France, not as ambassador, if I reminded him “that occasio was calva, and being let slip, was not so easy to 'taken' handfast on it again.”
Next day he sent word to me that he had dealt with the King, who gave me great thanks; that he looked every day for news from des Pruneaux or for himself, and that till then he could say nothing, but desired me still to keep my goodwill to him and his estate.
Thus you know my poor judgment of their dispositions, which must needs be as uncertain as their actions, but in the meantime, I think by my dealing her Majesty is left at liberty either to avow my proceeding or, if she likes John Welles' despatch to go forward, to lay the fault on me for staying it without her command.
Du Plessis and de Laval arrived on Saturday and saluted the King on Sunday. They should have been heard next day, but the plague has altered all things, and they and everybody else are assigned to the 7th of next month, new account, at St. Germains. As far as they can gather, the King will not be overmuch offended with their request to keep their towns some time longer, but till they speak with him they are assured of nothing.
This remove upon the plague will be so lucky, I think, as to break off the King of Navarre's and the King's meeting, which I believe, if the King of Navarre had been earnestly pressed, would have come to pass. As for the Prince of Condé, he was fully resolved, if the King commanded him, to come to Blois, but now I think all things “will be stayed till a new year.”
The King of Navarre had sent secretly to all gentlemen of account of the Religion, and to such Catholics as are affected to him (no small number) to be in readiness to accompany him, for he meant, if he came, to come well accompanied.
One Belleville, a very ancient gentleman, and one of the best accounted of in Perche, a neighbour of my old master [i.e. Condé], and one I was well acquainted with, has been taken and brought to Blois “for making verses of the King, and a little 'treaty' called the legend of the King's life, not out in print but only written. I am afraid it will cost him his head, for he is sent to the Chamber of the Edict in Paris to be judged.” None of the Religion dare open their mouths for him. I am very sorry for the poor old gentleman, for I knew him “the greatest accounted of, both for wit and value [qy. valour], in all his country and most accounted of with the old Prince of Condé, . . . a man that had carried more of the Religion with him than all the gentlemen in the country.”—Paris, 16 October, 1584.
Postscript.—I have kept this bearer from the day we left Blois till now, the day after my arrival here.
Add. Endd. 5 pp. [France XII. 89.]
Oct. 16. Stafford to Walsingham.
I ended my other letter by the way. On arriving here yesterday I found Mr. Hakluyt (Hacklitt) with a packet from you, and to-day is come a kinsman of Mr. Geoffrey [Le Brumen] with another.
By them I find that her Majesty wishes me to deliver the despatch sent by John Welles, with “mitigation” of some things, which I will perform as soon as I can get audience. The King was to arrive to-night at “Dolingville” but I fear I shall be put off to the 10th of next month like the rest, and especially the Venice ambassador, who wishes to present his successor and take his leave, and has already posted to Orleans and Blois and hither again, but can by no means get it sooner. I will send word to Pinard that her Majesty has commanded me to speak to the King with all diligence, but if possible let me hear from you before the 10th, new style, for many accidents may fall out between this and that.
It is reported that des Pruneaux and the deputies are come to Rouen. If they are likely presently to come to the King, I will not press my audience, but hear what they bring and how the King accepts it and advertise you of it, taking what course seems to me nearest to the meaning of your direction.
For inquiring further about Creighton (Gretton) the jesuit, I will do all I can, but fear I shall hardly come by much, “so secret be they in their naughty enterprises.” I wrote to you of his and Gourdon's departure and the time of it, “which fell out right with their taking, and also that it was thought that they carried great matter of weight both from the Pope and the Duke of Guise. What the things be, having the man in hand, you may best know of him. If he be well wrung, no man can tell more. . . . It is pity the other is escaped, but this can tell as much as he, for Seton and Glasgow were never out of his chamber, and sometimes Seton lay there, and no conference of the Pope's nuncio, the Duke of Guise, the Spanish agent and the Scottish men but he was at it; and this is certain, that he was despatched upon the Duke of Guise's departure hence with great deliberation of all our good friends here.”
Last Saturday the Prior, Seton's son came hither to the Bishop of Glasgow, and presently after, Glasgow sent one to the Duke of Guise. I am told it was with letters from Gourdon since he reached Scotland, but others will have it that Seton is afraid to “pass,” and sends to the Duke for some strong boat to take him to Scotland.
I hear the Master of Gray is looked for with you shortly out of Scotland. I can assure you that here “he lived the greatest enemy and with the greatest enemies “the Queen has, and that his life and religion minister cause enough not to trust him.
Mendoza passed by Blois ten days ago disguised, and is now here, in Tassis' house. It is said he is come to be lieger here, but Tassis tells everybody it is but to condole Monsieur's death. I think he will tarry here, and will have as good an eye to him as I can.
I have been often asked when my lord of Derby cometh, and I think by some sent by the King. “Truly it were good he did come, for the King is more won with vain appearances often than with matter, and may think the Queen doth but mock him,” indeed something has been said to me to that effect.
While I was away I bid my wife keep all letters for me save the packets I commanded to be sent to me. Amongst the rest is one from my Lord Paget, which, as she had received it, I could not send back again, so send it to you to use at your discretion. I pray you tell me how I shall “use the like matter hereafter.”—Paris, 16 October, 1584.
Postscript in his own hand.—I shall be glad if it be resolved that my cousin Robert Sidney shall be sent to the King of Navarre. Somebody should go and none fitter or more grateful than he. I pray you let me know if he will come openly or no. Great care should be taken not to make the King here jealous of it, “yet I think it not impossible to have him to think well of it.”
M. du Plessis is not yet arrived, but I hope will be here at the least by the seventh of next month, new account.
Add. Endd.pp. [France XII. 90.]
Oct. 16. Stafford to Walsingham.
I have just received letters from the King of Navarre and these which I enclose to her Majesty. I send my letter also, that she may see his devotion to her, which it is very needful she should know and requite with assurance of amity and correspondency; “being a thing . . . very necessary for her own service and safety, and of whom there is more likelihood for her to assure herself than of any other, being divers causes and bonds to bind them both to it.” 16 October, 1584.
Holograph. Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Ibid. XII. 91.]
Oct. 16. Stafford to Walsingham.
I find from Mr. 'Haklitt' that Drake's journey is kept very secret in England, but here it is in everyone's mouth. When questioned about it, I have answered as an ignorant body, as indeed I am, except for what I find by their speeches here. “It may [be] they hit not all right, but they guess at great part.”
Tassis gives out that Mendoza is come but to condole, which indeed may be the colour, but I think there will be a commission sent to him “to tarry here upon Tassis' sickliness,” which, if the King accepts of, he will remain, and if not, his coming to condole “will be a colour for him to return back again without dishonour.”—Paris, 16 October, 1584.
Holograph. Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Ibid. XII. 92.]
Oct. 16/26. [Thomas Lovell to Walsingham.]
Postscript.—My letter has stayed unto this day for lack of wind, and since, the States have “concluded” to send into France “to contract with the French King upon what conditions they will deliver these countries under his government,” two commissioners to go from every province. M. des Pruneaux (Deprenewes) departs presently, and the commissioners as soon as they are ready. Here is great murmuring among the people, for since writing my letter, the passage to Antwerp by land or water is shut up so that no victuals or passengers may pass “to nor fro,” and by this the enemy has “shut” both Brussels and Mechlin. The country is in great distress, and except God help them, they are like to fall into the hands of their mortal enemies, “and then will follow a great spending of innocent blood . . .
“M. Palles Bousse [i.e. Paul Buys] the advocate of the land, hath laid down his commission before the States and they have taken it up, so that he comes no more among them.',—The Hague, 26 October, stilo novo.
Endd. “16 October, 1584, from Mr. Lovell.” ¾ p. [Holl. and Fl. XXIII. 35.]
[Uncertain whether sent with his letter of Sept. 30—Oct. 10 or with a later one, missing.]
Oct. 16/26. Capt. Henry Ricardes to Walsingham.
The enemy's ships coming from Ghent, that went to Callo to stop up the river, as yet have not done it, for this day, the 25 [sic] October, there came up to Antwerp Lieut. Col. Mores [Morris] and other captains, and twelve other ships with victuals.
On October 18, the chief merchants and papists here, whose names I send you, went to the Chancellor of Brabant to desire him to treat with the enemy for peace, “whereupon he answered them, I will go and tell my lords the States of it.”
Presently the States had them apprehended. This day four or five of the chiefest are delivered with a great fine, and the rest must either pay or lie in prison.
The enemy is said to be gathering his forces together; those on the side of Brabant are in great distress for victual. They have abandoned the sconce called the Boors' sconce, on the Brabant side.—Antwerp, 26 October.
Add. Endd. with year date. 1½ pp. [Ibid. XXIII. 36.] [Ricardes is now dating new style.]
Oct. 17/27. M. Arnoult to Walsingham.
I would not, to you, use either ceremony or long discourse, knowing that your nature is far removed from the first, and that your important affairs prevent me from employing the other. This is only to assure you of my continued affection and humble service, and also not to let the season pass without sending you, as usual, some boxes of Orleans quince marmalade, such as this year, unfruitful in good quinces, has permitted to be made.—Paris, 27 October, 1584.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [France XII. 93.]
Oct. 17/27. Bizarri to Walsingham.
A few days ago, by order of the chief magistrate, there were arrested here some of the chief and richest citizens, who had treated with the Grand Chancellor of Brabant for an agreement with Spain. Amongst them was John de la Faglia, who for ransom has had to pay five or six thousand florins; others have paid two or three thousand. Four still remain in prison, as the principal actors, and who sought to bring about a great mutiny in this city. Their capture occurred at the very time when the enemy came close to Antwerp with twenty-four vessels, entering from the other side of the dykes by means of Burchen [Borcht], their fort, and there amused themselves for three or four days, cutting more dykes and following the road to reach the river (as they then did) and join with those of Callo and their other forts on both banks.
Many say that their enterprise was brought about by secret intelligence with some in this city, in hopes of making themselves masters thereof. However that may be, we owe infinite gratitude to Providence for giving us, in these troublous times, so vigilant and faithful a magistracy. Amongst others, I can never sufficiently praise the burgomaster, St Aldegonde, whose virtue, prudence and industry are lauded by all lovers of their country.
Three weeks ago there arrived many vessels and some armed ships of Holland and Zeeland at Fort Lillo, but were not able to pass further because the river was so calm, no breeze blowing whatever; at last, three days ago, a scuta arrived here, and this morning sixteen vessels, amongst which are four ships of war, bringing some English captains and soldiers. Meanwhile, there had come hither no vessel of any sort whatever, and many greatly feared that the enemy, with chains and other things, had closed the passage; but now, by God's grace, the contrary is evident and it is even said that many of them will remove, on account of the approach of winter and other inconveniences. It is said that they have abandoned “Burescant” [Boors' sconce], a place near to Antwerp, in Brabant.
Here, with anchors and other instruments, they have closed the mouth of that passage by which the enemy entered from the other side of the dykes in order that no more vessels may come hither from Ghent and Dermonde and I pray they may not. The two vessels artfully made, and also the new structure are happily finished, and the fort already begun over against the Bighino gate which is past that of St. George, going towards the walls, where the castle formerly was.
In fine, the present magistracy leave undone nothing which tends to the safety and defence of the city, in which provisions are stored, especially flesh, cheese, butter, candles, turf, wood and other like things, in case of sudden accidents, and for all these things, the magistrates have fixed a price by public edict, in order that there may be no fraud or cheating of the public interest by individuals. Two days ago was the Breedenrath, that is the assembly of the greater senate or community. Some say that they treated especially of the agreement with the crown of France, and it is certainly thought that this will be concluded between the States General of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Gueldres and Frise and that on the 25th instant M. des Pruneaux, with the States' deputies, will be sent into France with the conditions and articles.
The Prince of Parma is using every means to reduce Brussels to his King's obedience, and in that city there is no lack of bad humours, or of those who would be willing to consent to it. The Governor and magistracy seek all means to satisfy the garrison, in order to keep them ready and faithful to their party, which is of great consequence to present affairs.
They say that M. Champagny will be governor of Ghent and that that city is reduced to slavery and very miserable. For the rest, we shall know more by and by.
I pray you to offer my good wishes to Mr. Robert Beale, and to give commission to Mr. Emanuel Demetrius to demand my rents at Salisbury at the usual time.—Antwerp, 27 October, 1584.
Postscript.—It is said that many mariners who conducted the malcontents from hence are fled from them towards Holland and Zeeland.
Add. Endd. Italian. 2 pp. [Holl and Fl. XXIII. 37.]
Oct. 18/28. Zacheria De Monty to Anthony Bacon at Montauban.
I have greatly desired to see you here again, and lived in hope that this joy would not be denied to me, but hearing that you will probably take your way to Paris by another road, and fearing that I may not see you for a long time, I have recourse to my pen, praying you to let me know if you will shortly return hither, as, if not, I should desire to go thither to speak with you of many things which are of importance to me and which I feel sure you will willingly hear. And if you should not think it well for me to go there, and would appoint me a day to meet you at Perigueux, which is on your way from Montauban to Paris, I will not fail to be there, and if you will do me the honour to send me a notification thereof, shall be infinitely obliged to you.
M. de Balfort, the philosopher, knows well where I live, we see each other often, and he will let me have your letter without delay; and if you would prefer that I should not divulge it, I pray you to believe that I will govern myself therein according to your wishes.
I do not speak of the book, which you know would be useful here; but I count this as the least part of my trouble, being well content that it should be in your hands.—Bordeaux, 28 October, 1584.
No one here has spoke of the Sieur Giulio's quarrel, and the adverse party is not here and does not live here. I do not believe anyone would say anything to him if he came, but it is better that he should go to wait for you at Monferrato or some neighbouring place secretly, to be more sure of quiet.
Add. Endd. by Burghley, “An Italian to Ant. Bacon at Montauban.” Italian. 2 pp. [France XII. 94.]
Oct. 19. Francois De Civille to Walsingham.
You have so often and in so many ways obliged me, that it needed not for you to send me a diamond by Mr. Burnham. I cannot show my gratitude by any service that I could ever do, and can only say that I put myself and my two children entirely into your hands, to dispose as you will and to live and die in your service.
I have received the letters from her Majesty, the passports and letters for Rye and your letters for the Duchess of Bouillon and the Duke her son, to whom I shall make known the pains you have taken for them, beyond any other.
And as amongst her Majesty's letters, I do not find one for Madame de Paracly (as the Duchess requested) recommending the young Princess to the care of that lady according to her father's intention, as if in his lifetime he had requested her Majesty to do it; I pray you to let me have a letter from her to this effect, and to send it me at Rouen by Jaques le Peintre or other sure way; that Madame de Paracly may withstand the Duke of Montpensier if he should demand the young Princess, which is what the Duchess of Bouillon desires above all things, for fear of her being brought up a papist, which M. de Montpensier would endeavour to do.
As to the letter written by her Majesty to M. de Montpensier, Madame de Bouillon would desire that it would please her Majesty to send it to him by her ambassador in France, for fear he should discover that my said lady had any hand in this negotiation; therefore I return it to you, to hold back for a time, until that of the Princess of Navarre has been sent, and that we have news from her, for fear M. de Montpensier may disturb or break Madame de Bouillon's good and pious design, although I doubt not that on sight of her Majesty's letter, the Princess of Navarre will accept the young lady.
And if you should find it expedient to send back the letter to the Duke of Montpensier, to send to him ourselves, I pray you to send it to me by Jacques le Peintre or some other with the letter which her Majesty will write by your means to Madame de Paracly.
Finally I can only thank you in the name of the Duchess and Duke of Bouillon for all the kind offices you have done them; and in return for all you have done for me I can only advise you not to throw away for the future so many benefits on me, by which you may draw much more profit from many good personages, and assure you that the diamond you send me is not so hard as I myself shall be firm and constant in your service.—From London, very tired, very ill and in haste, 19 October, 1584.
Add. Endd. Fr.pp. [France XII. 95.]
Oct. 19/29. The Prince Of Parma to Walsingham.
Recommending the bearer, a gentleman of his suite, whom he is sending to her Majesty upon certain affairs which he himself will more fully explain.—Beures, 29 October, 1584. Signed, Alexandre. Countersigned, Gamier.
Add. Endd. Fr. ½ p. [Holl and Fl. XXlll. 38.]
Oct 20/30. Thomas Beckner to Walsingham.
Lord Seton and the Bishop of Ross are in this town, and, “as I am informed, have much conference with divers others about the state of Scotland, and that the Duke of Guise with divers other nobles of this realm are affected to the King of Scots, and is thought some secret enterprise that way towards England. But as men suppose, so God disposeth,” trusting that their endeavours will come to no more than heretofore.—“From your honour's house at Rone” [Rouen], 30 October, French style, 1584.
Add. Endd. ½ p. [France XII. 96.]
Oct. 20. Segur-Pardeilhan's Memorandum.
Her Majesty should at once send into Germany a man of honour, God-fearing, full of zeal, free, frank, very patient and diligent, to put matters before the King of Denmark and the protestant princes, viz.:—
How much the Papacy and the King of Spain are strengthened by our dissensions.
Her Majesty's regret at their tardiness in coming to a resolution upon the Sieur de Segur's proposals.
The need for their making up their minds as soon as possible. But as the evil is pressing and it takes time to assemble all the princes and come to an agreement about the differences of the theologians, her Majesty should meanwhile exhort them separately to forbid their doctors to write or preach against “our” doctors, but that they shall acknowledge “us” as brothers and good friends. And that will be easy to obtain, for, but for the illness of the Elector of Saxony, it would have been done.
The harm and shame caused by their abandonment of the Elector Truchsess, and the need for them to do their duty after the example of her Majesty and the King of Navarre, who have the least interest in the matter, yet were the first to aid him. And that each should contribute without delay, and to know how much. By this means they may replace the Elector, and little by little stir up the great body of Germany against the House of Austria and the Papacy. This would have been done long since if the Elector of Saxony had not feared that the Emperor would liberate Duke John Frederick, whom he holds prisoner; but now this is put an end to by the marriage of the eldest son of the Duke with the third daughter of the Elector, in consequence of which the Duke is or very shortly will be set free.
The King of Denmark to be asked to send some one to the Princes for the same object, which he will do willingly and will contribute largely. Duke Casimir, Duke Julius of Brunswick and Landgrave William of Hesse will do the same.
It would be well for the Elector Truchsess to send a man of his own with the Queen's ambassador, and that she should, to save time, send two; one to Denmark, the Electors and some princes, the other to the Rhine, Hesse, Brunswick, &c. She should write separately to each; and if the ambassador finds some of the Princes not very liberal he must not refuse even a little, for if they are once engaged, that is enough, and afterwards they will do better.
Endd. by Burghley, “20 October, 1584. M. de Segures.” Fr. 1 p. [Germany, States III. 45.]
[Oct. 20.] Another copy of the same.
Without date or endorsement. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. III. 46.]


  • 1. The name is given as spelt in each case.