Elizabeth: December 1585, 11-15

Pages 207-218

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 20, September 1585-May 1586. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1921.

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December 1585, 11–15

[Dec., after the 10th.] Observations on the state of Spain in November, 1585, by Joel Ladronner de Schwaz, gentleman, born in Tyrol, who has been fourteen years in Spain with the Emperor's ambassador, Joannes Kevenhuller, Baron of Aichelber &c., “who for fourteen years hath continually sojourned there, and is greatly esteemed, whose secretary this Joel Ladronner was for six years in the Dutch tongue” and came from Lisbon at the end of November.
The King is still at Monson, on the borders of Aragon, Valentia and Catalonia, travailling to assemble the Estates of those Kingdoms, to swear them to his son, the Infant, Don Philippo. There are many controversies in these kingdoms for their prerogatives. They of Valentia are content for those of Aragon to be nominated and preferred before them, but complain that the King has wronged them by nominating those of Catalonia before them, and therefore the procuradores (as they term commissioners) are not yet assembled. The King has been sick of an ague, but at Ladronner's departure was thought to be “well disposed.” Even when well, “he cometh seldom abroad, which made this gentlemen to wonder that her Majesty came so upon the Green before Richmond Court, the 10th of this present month of December.
“The Infant Don Philippo is of seven years, of a very weak body, yellowish and as dry as a stick, besides that he heareth not well and can speak little; even as the King's other sons, born of the last incestuous marriage, to wit Don Diego, Don Ernando, Don Carolo, were likewise of a weak disposition.”
The Empress holds her court apart at Madril and does not trouble herself with any public affairs. The King has entreated her to take upon her the government of Portugal, but she would not. “She is short of body, but seemeth to be of a middle stature, by reason of very high corked pantouffles which she useth. She is most superstitiously bent towards the observation of Roman ceremonies.”
The King has oftentimes solicited the Empress's daughter Elizabeth, the widow of France, in marriage but she will not be persuaded, although the Empress inclines that way. She remains at Vienna. Of late, secretly, he has desired to marry the youngest daughter, Margaret, of fourteen years, who abides here with her mother, but the Empress will not allow it. For the king's eldest daughter, of eighteen years, named Elizabeth, or as the Spaniards call it, Isabella, there has been great travail to have her married to the Emperor, but two causes hinder it, viz. “the perpetual residency which her husband is to make in Spain” and the Emperor's ill-health. In the meanwhile, the Estates of Spain, considering the King's age and seeing no hope of long life in the Infant, incline towards Archduke Albert, the Cardinal, of twenty-two years, wishing the Pope would give dispensation and let the King's eldest daughter be married to him. The Pope is inclined to it, but there is a secret handling to marry her to Archduke Ernestus, lieutenant for his brother the Emperor in Hungary, Bosnia &c., and to this the Empress and the Emperor's ambassador incline, hoping to make this Archduke governor of the Low Countries.
Portugal is governed by Archduke Albert, who resides at Lisbon. The Marques of St. Croix has commandment over the soldiers and mariners through the whole kingdom.
Seventy-five ships, English, Hollanders and Esterlings are stayed at Lisbon and Juberte. It is thought that “against May, the King will provide for some armada against the Low Country.”
Ladronner was at Lisbon when Sir Francis Drake was about Baiona, and says that if he had not been driven that way by tempest, he would surely have met with the King's fleet returning with great riches out of the Indies, and having no artillery or soldiers. And that the King's ships of war serve not to go with the treasure fleet but only to scour the seas when advertisement comes that there are ships of war which might lay wait for the said treasures.
Also he says that the Emperor's Ambassador is treating with his master to deal with her Majesty for “according” the troubles of the Low Countries, and to intermeddle betwixt her and the King of Spain. “The Prince of Orange is kept at Pinta, two leagues from Madrid, whom he commendeth for his wit and comeliness.” All his Germans are taken from him, and he is served only by Spaniards.
The chiefest of the King's Councillors at this time are, the Archbishop of Toledo (head of the Inquisition), Cardinal Granvelle, Conde de Barajaz, president of the Council of State and the Marquez de Aguillar. None of these, or the secretaries of State, dare visit any of the nobility, or “otherwise” come to ambassadors.
The secretaries now in credit are Matteo Vasquez, who two years ago was in disgrace but now in great credit; Don Carlo d'Erasso; Don Juan d'Idiaques and Gabriel de Saiaz [or Zagias], who now intermeddles little in public affairs. Antonio de Perez, who sometime was secretary, fell into disgrace and is in prison.
Don Antonio is highly beloved in Portugal, and of those supposed to be on the King of Spain's side, two out of three are at Don Antonio's devotion. the King of Spain has as yet made no profit of Portugal; it has been and still is only a charge to him.
The Constable of Navarre is now the Duke of Alva's heir, his eldest son being dead. His base son [The Grant Prior, Don Hernando] is yet living.
The King maintains a hundred galleys, which are partly at Genoa and Sicily, under Doria. The cost, with wages, munitions &c. is 600,000 ducats yearly. The King's whole yearly revenue is said to amount to fifteen millions, and that six millions come out of the Indies.
The huge cloister called Los Curiales [i.e. the Escorial] which for many years the King has been building in a desert, and which may have cost him 20 millions, will be finished within a year.
Endd. 3 pp. [Newsletters XC. 17.]
Dec. 11/21. The oration of Adolf Meetkerke, Councillor of State, made to his Excellency the Earl of Leicester at his arrival at Flushing, in the names of Count Maurice and the deputies of the States General, on the day after his arrival.
Endd. In French. 2 pp. [Holland V. 106.]
Dec. 11/21. News from Italy.
Venice, Dec. 14, 1585. Many gentlemen come from France have been sent into quarantine at San Chimento to their no small annoyance, on suspicion of the plague. Count Giulio has come as ambassador from the Duke of Urbino, and is much pleases with his reception. The purchase of a house for his Holiness, is delayed by the desire that these Signori have to know his pleasure about the site, and as the orther day the legate went into a house in S. Moise, appearing to look at it casually, it is believed the procurators will buy it, as by this action it is supposed that he knows the Pope's wishes.
Count Mario Colarto has been confined for six years to the galleys. A Romagnolo has been hanged being taken in the Osteria della Piccia, with loaded pistols. Although tortured severely he would confess nothing, but his comrade, being promised his life, confessed that they came to kill Don Pedro Silva, a Portuguese.
Many ships are being laden with corn on the shores of Ravenna by order of the Pope, for the supply of Rome.
[Account of the stabbing of a boy at Romano by masked men, and the killing of the assassin by the boy's father.]
News has come from Spain that Aragon, Valentia and Catalonia were about to take oath to the Prince, after which the King would return to Madrid in time for the Epiphany.
Rome, Dec. 21. [Murder and executions at Torre di Conti.]
Gottardi and Cevoli, merchants here, have failed for 150,000 [crowns ?], but it is said they have property which in a little time will satisfy all their creditors. They had already fled, but are to be allowed to return, and to have six months in which to arrange their affairs.
For some days Father Panicarola has preached at the palace in place of Father Toledo, who is ill. Monsignor Castruccio has arrived, summoned from his archbishopric by the Pope.
In Wednesday's consistory the Pope finally published the following eight persons to be promoted to the Cardinalate:—Monsignor Gaetano, a Roman, Patriarch of Alexandria; the Archbishop of Colocza, Hungarian; Monsignor Castruccio, a Luchese, Archbishop of Civita di Chieti; Monsignor de Rossi, Parmese, Bishop of Pavia; Cornaro, Bishop of Padua, clerk of the chamber; Monsignor Pinello, Genoese, formerly Bishop of Fermo, clerk of the chamber; Monsignor Decio Anolini [Azzolini] of Fermo, Bishop of Cervia, secretary of his Holiness [sic]; Monsignor Aldobrandini, Florentine, datario of his Holiness.
All these, except the Hungarian, who is absent, early in the morning were called into Cardinal Montalto's chamber, where they were vested with the cardinals' robes, and then introduced into the consistory, where his Holiness gave them the red hats, after making a relation to the Sacred College of the causes that had moved him to create the said cardinals, speaking of each individually.
The consistory being over, all the cardinals returned to dine with Cardinal Montalto, and afterwards went to kiss the feet of the Pope and to thank him for the dignity bestowed on them, when, it is said, he made them a most beautiful exhortation. They then went to visit the Signora Camilla, sister of his Holiness. On Thursday, the hats were given to them in public consistory (that for the Hungarian being sent by one of the chamberlains estra muros); followed by the usual rejoicings and illuminations.
The new cardinals are now making their visits and compliments to the rest, from many of whom they have received presents. Cardinal Gonzaga, who was only a deacon, has been made a priest, in order, as is believed, to take precedence of those now promoted.
It is said that Monsignor Spaciano, Bishop of Novara, who departed hence a few days ago, has been sent as nuncio into Spain.
Also that Signor Scipio Gonzaga, Patriarch of Jerusalem, is to be sent as nuncio to Poland, and the Bishop of Gaeta to the Emperor, and that the nuncio to France is to be changed.
In Wednesday's consistory, the Pope gave a long discourse upon the authority of the Roman pontificate to create cardinals, quoting many passages of the Old Testament, and after publishing the new cardinals, made a decree that in future no one should be made a cardinal unless he had for a year at least worn the clerical habit and tonsure, saying that he had never wished to make any layman a cardinal, and particularly the senator, who it was believed in the court would have been the first in this promotion.
He then forbade the old cardinals to go to visit the new ones until they had first been visited by them, making them a long exhortation that they should always uphold their rank, the dignity of a cardinal being so great that it is equal to royalty.
Cardinal Allesandrino was not present at the consistory, either on Wednesday or Thursday, wherefore the Court imagines that he is ill-satisfied with this promotion which includes none of those proposed by himself. They say that he especially recommended a youth his kinsman, called Pio Ghislieri, of the same family as Pio V; who is now studying in Perugia [Pera] of Constantinople, nephew of the late Cardinal of Pisa; and it is said that the said Allessandrino will resign the charge he has over La consulta of the States of the Church and that Cardinal Castruccio is to succeed him; moreover it is believed that Cardinal Azzolino will succeed Cardinal Rusticucci as secretary to the Pope; the Cardinal Aldobrandino, datario, still exercises that office, although it is said it will be given to Monsignor Feratino and that Cardinal Pinello will have the Signatura di Giustizia. The two clerkships of the chamber vacant by this new promotion have not as yet been given; but it is said that one will go to Monsignor Gloriero, who was clerk of the chamber supernumerary; and that for the other, the Bishop of Pisa, the Bishop “of Rustici” and others who wish to buy it will compete.
The only son of the Marquis d'Ariana has been thrown from his horse, and his life is feared for. A courier has passed from Spain to Naples and thereupon a report has spread that the King of Spain had fallen ill again and was in peril of his life. The Bishop of Paris has arrived, sent by the King of France, although not with the title of ambassador. He is lodged in the house of the Cardinal [qy. d'Este] and is to treat of various matters with his Holiness, but no particulars are as yet known.
Endd. Italian. 5¼ pp. [Newsletters LXXII, 26.]
Dec. 12. Stafford to Burghley.
I have been so tormented with a sciatica that I must crave pardon for not writing a long letter, but leave your lordship to my general letter to Mr. Secretary of my proceedings and the slender answer I have received about the peace. “Her Majesty may see by this what to trust to, and see how evil they be disposed to peace that ruleth the King, if by any means they can find ways to make wars”; and therefore truly she should provide for it, for though I do not think the King evil minded towards her, yet they that govern him if they get the upper hand, “will quickly bring him to attempt anything against her.”
I have also written Mr. Secretary a little letter in cipher of matter of weight, to be communicated only to you and her Majesty. If she like to have it dealt in, it were good I should know whether and how to proceed.
One Buzenval is gone for England from the King of Navarre. “He was directed to me, and therefore whatsoever that same Lasale which I writ to you [of] had charge from others, I dare think the King of Navarre is innocent of any thought. I questioned with him afar off about such a one; I found him in two or three sundry tales in it, which maketh me to suspect the more, and also because that I know this man is altogether Mr. Secretary's and Sidney's, besides one or two very abrupt questions he asked me; and at his farewell asked me what I would to the Queen; whether he should not tell her that I was weary here; all which things with the rest bring suspicion, and that also about three weeks agone one of Mr. Secretary's men writ to me rejoicing that he heard in Mr. Secretary's chamber that I should come, and I know it hath been written to two or three in this town . . . that Mr. Wootton should presently come hither and I be revoked. I would that were the worst harm they should do me, so you thought well of it and her Majesty liked of it.”—Paris, 12 December, 1585.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [France XIV. 113.]
Dec. 12. “A true view” taken and certified to the Earl of Leicester, Lord General, on this date, of all the companies here in pay before his coming.
1. Schedule of the companies in the camp and in Bergen-op-Zoom, Flushing, the Rammekins, the Brill, Amersfort, Ostend, Lillo, Waghening, Arnhem and Utrecht; no. of companies, 47; number of men when mustered, 6633; when reviewed, 5,681; “wanting” 964; “overplus” (at Utrecht) 12.
2. List of the captains and where stationed.
Endd. by Burghley as “delivered by Mr. Ed. Norreys, 10 March, 1585.” 3 pp. [Holland V. 107.]
Dec. 12. Statement of money imprested in Zeeland to the companies in garrison at Flushing, the Rammekins, Bergen-op-Zoom, Ostend. Total in guilders 31,025; in sterling money 3,102l. 10s.
Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. V. 108.]
Dec. 12. Edward Burnham to Walsingham.
Upon Friday, being the [10th] of this month most of the fleet arrived here safely with my Lord General, who was very honourably received and remained till next day after dinner, when he “took boat at Head” and went by the Castle of Rammekins to Middelburg, where likewise he was well received and entertained. “His journey hitherto hath been prosperous and healthy; his arrival very joyful to all the people.” Sir Philip has been in good health ever since his coming, “but not without melancholy.” My lord's coming was very needful for many things, but you will know of them from others of better capacity than myself.
“No doubt but my Lord General's sufficiency will soon discern these things and reform them. . . I have found myself many times in troops with captains and soldiers, but never with so many captains as deal hardlier with their poor soldiers; and of as many companies as are in these parts. . . I speak with the most if twelve captains are with their companies. But here is many new, raw captains, which I doubt me seek more by military profession to make a private gain than to follow it for honour.”—Flushing, 12 December, 1585.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holland V. 109]
Dec. 12. Thomas Digges to Burghley.
Giving a description of Ostend, in accordance with his lordship's desire. It is strong by situation because by means of sluices the ecountry round can be drowned or drained at Pleasure. It can only be approached either from Blankenburg or Newport, along the coast, and on both sides the sandhills come close up to the town, the access being upon strait banks easily fortifiable. But the haven mouth on the Nieuport side is so far outside the walls that the enemy at his first approach might cut it off, and works sufficient to guard it could not be made without infinite charge. With small charge however a haven mouth might be cut about the middle of the base town which would be deeper, better and more commodious than the present one, and impossible to be hindered by the enemy.
When there lately, he showed M. Locres and Captain Erington one place of great peril, where the enemy might plant his battery and at the same time command the rampire and one of the longest curtains; they confessed the danger, yet to this hour nothing has been done either to possess or to guard it.
Has made a “perfect platt” of the town, but by a misfortune happened to one of his legs, has been forced to keep his bed ever since coming from Ostend, and has not been able to finish it.—Flushing, 12 December, 1585.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. V. 110.]
Dec. 13. Leicester to Walsingham.
Recommending the bearer [Gelee], a magistrate of Flushing, formerly his host, and host to the governor [Sydney], who has “some matter” at the English Court. Wishes well to the man, both for the above respects and for his honesty, and prays that, for his sake, he may receive the better success and favour.—Middelburg, 13 December, 1585.
Signed. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. V. 111.]
Dec. 14. Leicester to the Lords of the Council.
“Coming to Harwich on Wednesday the 8th of this present, I embarked the same evening, and the next night having, the wind and weather somewhat favourable, put to the seas and arrived at Flushing the day following which was on Friday last, where I stayed that night to inform myself thoroughly of the estate of that garrison and to give such direction to my nephew Sydney for the supply and 'renforcing' thereof as I found expedient. The same evening the Count Maurice with others of the Council deputed from the General Estates came unto me, both to congratulate with me her Majesty's gracious resolution in sending me hither, and mine own sage arrival, and to acquaint me summarily with their estate, and finally to entreat me (as well in regard of the present assembly of the States in Holland expecting my coming as for the better and more speedy redressing of their government, greatly declined as they confess, by lack of authority) to take my journey thither so soon as I might conveniently. Which request renewed again unto me since my coming to this town, I have in fine yielded to and determine to depart hence about Friday or Saturday next.” In the mean time, finding Mr. Norrys here, I have informed myself of the state of her Majesty's forces, which appear to be some 5,600, sick and whole; but when I come into Holland I will have a more precise survey taken, and afterwards dispose of them as I find most expedient.
The day I arrived, I heard of the loss of the sconce before Nimeguen, abandoned, after the withdrawal of our people, by the Dutches put in the Count of Mœurs. Of other particularities I shall be able to tell you more after my coming into Holland.—Middelburg, 14 December, 1585.
Postscript.—Finding Ostend in dangerous terms, I have taken some order for assuring it (as I have more particularly told her Majesty); it being a place that imports greatly to the whole cause.
Copy. Endd.pp. [Holland V. 112.]
Dec. 14. Sir Philip Sidney to Walsingham.
In favour of Mr. Cromwell, who (“having here well deserved and very commendably behaved himself”) desires to furnish himself again with soldiers, as many of his men be dead, and some sick and not able to serve; “the cause thereof attributed to the noisome air of the place, and not to any want of regard in him.” Prays his honour to hearken to his request and procure his despatch as conveniently as may be.—14 December, 1585. “Your honour's most humble sonne Ph. Sidney.”
Signed. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. V. 113.]
Dec. 14. The King of Denmark to the Town of Hamburg.
Urging them to show themselves friendly and forward as regards allowing the English merchants a Residence in Hamburg, and so gain her Majesty's goodwill, rather than by any unkindness to move her displeasure against them.
Translation. Endd. with date &c. 1 ¼ pp. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns II. 30.]
Dec. 15/25. Thomas Wilsford to Walsingham.
I have now been employed by my Lord Lieutenant in a voyage to Ostend, upon advertisement that La Motte had made approaches to the town, minding to besiege it; but coming thither I found no likelihood of it, the alarums growing “upon some suspicion that the enemy had some intelligence of the discontentment that was between the governor of the town, M. de Locre and his companies.
. . . In great want they were and hardly dealt with by the States; the governor himself being so discontented with them as he hath vowed never to serve and take pay of them again. Her Majesty he will serve though she give him but eightpence a day.” No town is more important (Flushing excepted) yet the fortification so slender by means of the sandy soil that if it were not for the palisadoes, men might easily enter any part of the town without battery. “The walls and mounts after a frost and rain do 'shot' down of themselves.” The haven can be cut off unless great “out” fortification be made, but if a cut were made in the middle of the town to let in the sea, then it would never be taken away, but with all winds and tides might be manned and victualled. Five or six hundred pounds would do it, and “a million of gold would not please the enemy so well as to get Ostend and Sluys, which would not hold out long after. There would not have been nor is no doubt of driving the enemy out of the country through famine and by excessive charges, if every one of us will put our minds to go forward without making a miserable gain by the wars; . . . alas, a man may see. . . what this long peace hath wrought in us; we are weary of the war before we come where it groweth.” This will be a fit school to nourish soldiers to defend our own country hereafter, if men will follow it. I hope you will pardon my boldness. I may be judged to be afraid of my own shadow. God grant it be true.
The governor of Ostend returned with me to my lord, by whom he has been very honourably used. The governor of Sluys is here also; both discontented with the States.—“This Christmas day here.”
Postscript.—“If her Majesty had not taken the helm in hand and my lord of Leicester sent over, this country had been gone ere this; and yet if the relief of places distressed shall stand upon the States, the Dutch governors and companies will never trust them. The enemy doth not nor will not omit to take hold upon any occasion offered, with great promises and large offers to win them. If the States will not put the whole dealings into my lord's hands, no good will be expected of this.” The countries are rich and do and can contribute largely. If her Majesty will deal roundly the wars may be ended this year, and next year the charges will come in double. This war doth defend England. Who will refuse to spend his life and living in it. “The realm is rich and full of men. The sums that men expend in apparel would bear the brunt of this war out. . . . If her Majesty consume twenty thousand men in this war, the experimented men that remain will double the strength of them left to the realm.”
Add. Endd. 14 [sic] December. 3 pp. [Holland V. 114.]
[Partly quoted by Motley. United Netherlands, i. 355.]
Dec. 15. Leicester to Walsingham
After my other letters were written, the burgomaster of Flushing came to advertise me that certain Flushingers having lately taken a ship or two of Nantes (Nans) passing towards Spain, and brought them into England, they of Nantes have arrested five ships of Flushing with their goods and lading, and imprisoned the masters; wherefore he desired my letters to you to take order that those ships of Nantes in England may be delivered to their owners, whereby their ships “presently detained for the others” may also be released. I heartily pray you to satisfy their request.—Middelburg, 15 December. 1585.
Postscript.—Some of Flushing are appointed to attend you about this cause. I pray you hearken to them, that all may be done with their consent and liking.
Signed. Add. Endd. ¾p. [Holland V. 115.]
Dec. 15. Sir Philip Sidney to Walsingham.
In favour of M. Gelee, his host in Flushing, and of “good reckoning” among the inhabitants, who has occasion to go into England and is desirous to be made known to his honour. Prays that he may be so used as to return satisfied, which will procure “the better usage of us and ours here.”—Middelburg, 15 December, 1585.
Signed. Add. Endd. ½p. [Ibid. V. 116.]
Dec. 15. Drusius to Davison.
I congratulate both you and us on the success of your embassy; you, because you have won undying fame, and us because we have been, as it were, snatched by you from the jaws of hell. I know not whether your own country or the Netherlands is more in your debt. Truly, you have bound both peoples to you for ever.
The bearer had asked me to recommend him to you, and I could not deny him. He is man of integrity and learning, and is seeking something in your country. What it is you will learn from him, and if you think him worthy you will help him. I earnestly ask this of you for the sake of learning, but I have told him that he is mistaken in thinking that I had any influence with you; for the fact that your civility,—Francker in West Friesland, 15 December, stilo veteri, 1585.
Add. Latin. ¾ p. [Ibid. V. 117.]
Dec. 15. Frederick, King of Denmark to Queen Elizabeth.
I have received your Majesty's letter informing me of the common calamity which threatens the whole Christian state, and of the disturbed state of true religion. Moreover, Peregrine, Baron Willoughby, who has it in command from you to assist the King of Navarre in his present straits, has expounded the whole matter to me most clearly, and has left no stone unturned to obtain what he asked for.
While I cannot sufficiently praise your desire and zeal to promote and defend the safety of the Christian state, I consider it a thing to be rather prayed for than hoped for, that the rest, or even the majority of the Evangelical princes should at last discern the snares of the whore of Babylon and her accomplices, and should take measures to thrust away the daggers from their throats, which are threatened through the King of Navarre's head. I indeed, at your demand, long ago used all my influence with the Electors and Princes of the Empire to secure that this great weight and burden of the fury of the Papists might be taken on to the shoulders of many. But a cloud seems to me to have hindered their vision, and deprived them of all sense of danger. So I must acquiesce at last unwillingly, and commit all to God. . . . My reasons for not being able to assist the King of Navarre by myself, while the other princes of the Reformed Religion refuse their aid in the common cause, I have explained at length to Lord Willoughby, and have no doubt that he will faithfully expound them to you, and have no doubt that he will faithfully expound them to you, and that you will excuse me. I also pray that he, the King of Navarre, in consideration of all the circumstances, will kindly excuse me for not being able now to do him this service. . . .—Cronburg, 15 December, 1585.
Holograph. Latin. 2 pp. [Denmark I. 69.]
Dec. 15. Lord Wyllughby to the Queen.
I received your Highness' letters of Nov. 5 on Dec. 6, when I had taken leave of the King of Denmark and was ready to depart for Germany, but understanding by them your further pleasure, I diligently addressed myself to expedite the same, and having audience on the Sunday following, declared in the best sort I could your Majesty's pleasure; the “proceedings of which my service” being too tedious to write to you I have sent to Mr. Walsingham to be commended to you, beseeching your gracious acceptance of my willing endeavours, “whereunto, if my sufficiency had been answerable, I should have been acquitted of that fear which now I stand in, lest by ignorance failing I may have offended; . . . acknowledging my want of experience and vowing my readiness in all actions to venture my life rather than the least disliking of your Majesty.”—Crounenburgh, the King's principal castle, 15 December.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. I. 70.]
Dec. 15. Lord Wyllughby to Walsingham.
I present you with my whole negotiation with the King of Denmark (see under Dec. below], proceeded in by me with the best means I could according to my instructions, and beseech you to commend it to her Majesty in the best terms you may.
“In my simple conceit, it was an untimely fruit and therefore never likely to wax ripe. In these parts, religion must first be persuaded, then policy. Till they be satisfied in the one, it is in vain to solicit the other. Though this King standeth not with the Ubiquitaries in opinion, yet doth he in resolution of affairs,” as I wrote to you in my last, which I see had not come to your hands when yours were despatched to me.
It is feared of some here that the Elector of Saxony “will fall to be flat popish and Spanish; the rather by the Emperor's practice and daily solicitation; how indifferent the other princes will be then may be easily conjectured.”
The King's treasurer here openly wishes the Spaniard lord of the Low Country. The good King is undoubtedly of another affection, but held back by the “avarice and opinion of profit which this money-scraper bewitches him with. The last messenger, Grubbe, solicited her Majesty's commandment effectually, but was slenderly heard.”
The King commanded her Majesty's letters to be put into Dutch [i.e. German] and keeps them in his secret coffer, and bears about him her picture in a tablet of gold. His will is good, but he is overruled.
“I beseech you deal with her Majesty that I may be discharged of these services; for it passeth my reach to communicate with princes and my purse to bear the port and give rewards like a Queen's ambassador.” I am fitter to follow a camp, whither I am now hastening. My lord of Leicester has called me, and I am most willing to go, hoping some other better furnished may be chosen for these affairs.—Crounenburgh, 15 December.
Postscript.—What I did for the affairs of the Hanse towns Roberts will have told you, and by the copy of the King's letters may thoroughly appear.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 ¼ pp. [Denmark I.]