Elizabeth: January 1586, 11-15

Pages 287-302

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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January 1586, 11–15

Jan. 11. Stafford to Burghley.
I have advertised Mr. Secretary of two things that I know for a certainty, “the one of a great jar between the French King and Queen Mother; of the King retiring himself in a great choler, and of Queen Mother feigning of herself sick upon it, which the King will let no knowledge be given him of. As also of the King's evil estate of body, which is most certain,” and of Queen Mother's practice to bring the Duke of Guise hither, who says he will be here within three or four days, though men of judgment doubt it. If he come, all here of any wit believe that some great and unlooked for matter is to be executed. God keep us, and send us grace to provide for the worst abroad and keep us from harm at home, for it any accident happen to the King, and the Duke of Guise and they that belong to him be then the stronger, “we shall feel the smart of it, and that very soon".—Paris, 11 January, 1585.
Holograph. Add. Endd. by Burghely. ¾ p. [France XV. 7.]
Jan. 11. Stafford to Walsingham.
Recommending the bearer, Mr. Bruz, as one “very well travelled and a good scholar, who, although he cannot make the best of that which is in him, yet hath he very good parts,” as his honour's “sometime” servant, Mr. Champernon can testify, having been long time his companion.—Paris, 11 January, 1585.
Signed. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. XV. 8.]
Jan. 11. Leicester to Davison.
“Cousin, my lord ambassador, to your good grace all greetings. Now concerning our great cause among your sober companions be it always remembered, I beseech you, that your cousin have no other alliance but with gentle blood, and by no means to consent he be not linked in faster bonds than their absolute grant may yield him a free and an honourable government, to be able to do such service as shall be m[eet] (fn. 1) for an honest man to perform in such a cal[ling] which of itself is very noble, but yet i[s] more to be embraced if I were not [to] be led in a ly[a] me (fn. 2) by such keepers as wi[ll] sooner draw my nose from the right scent of the chase than to lead my feet in the true pace to pursue the game I desire.
“Consider I pray you therefore what is to [be] done, and how unfit it will be in res[pect] of my poor self, but how unacceptable [it] may be to her Majesty, and how advantageous to [her] enemies that will seek holes into my coat, I should take so great a name upon me [with] so little power more than almost was without [con]dition spoken of at the beginning. They challenge [my] acceptation already, and I challenge their absolute grate and offer to me, before they spake of any Instructions, for so was it when Leoninus first spake to me with them all one New-year's day, as you heard; offering in his speech all manner of absolute authority, which if it please them to confirm without such restraining Instructions, I will willingly serve this state and countries ; or else with such advising Instructions as the Dowager of Hungary had. I am informed by some among them they will not stand with me. I pray you remember both for myself and your self. So adieu.”—Leyden, Tuesday, 11 January.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland Vl. 10.]
[Quoted at length but with some variations by Motley, United Netherlands, i. 382.]
Jan. 11. Walsingham to Leicester.
Since I last wrote of the Duke of Bouillon's offer “touching the staying of the grain that cometh out of Lorraine and those parts,” I find from M. de Civille, the Duke's servant, that it cannot well be done unless the grain be paid for ; and as this will amount to 200,000 crowns[?], the Duke desires that 40,000 may be furnished, “with offer that he himself will make some shift for the rest.” It may please you therefore to consider how such a sum might be found amongst the merchants of that country, of whom I hear that some have good purses. The bargain will be easy and good, and if they would deal in it, they would both benefit themselves and further the cause. M. de Civille is to attend upon your lordship, from whom you will receive more light about the matter, and in the meantime, letters are to be written to the Duke “to desire him to continue the stay,” with some hope that the required sum would be got in the Low Countries ; wherein I doubt not but you will use your best endeavour.
I received of late from Mr. Wylford, the new governor of Ostend, a letter to the lords of the Council containing a large report of the state of his charge, and of the wants which he “instantly” requires to have supplied ; but as her Majesty was offended (as I have written to you) with the note brought by Mr. Gorge, I have not acquainted the lords with the letter, lest it should minister occasion to such as do not favour the action to breed a conceit in her Majesty that the whole charge is to be drawn upon her, who will bear no more than by the contract she is bound to do, but looks to your lordship to take order with the State to supply these necessary wants. Therefore you may be pleased to direct Mr. Wylford to have no more recourse hither.
Touching your requests for the governors of Ostend and Sluys, her Majesty is content for chains of a hundred pounds apiece to be bestowed upon them, which I will cause to be made “fair and sightly,” but does not see that she can receive them as her sworn servants, “considering she hath not taken upon her either the sovereignity or protection of the country, by reason whereof they remain still the subjects of another prince.” Nevertheless, she would have them assured that she will account them as her loving servants, “until by some some good and honourable agreement with the King or otherwise, she have restored them to their own lands, livings and possessions.”
Minute. Endd. with date. 1½ pp. [Holland VI. 11.]
Jan. 11. Colonel Morgan to Walsingham.
I wrote to you at large by Capt. Blunt, who I hope is safely arrived, and I leave the news of Holland to this bearer, who is newly come from thence.
I understand that the enemy lies with his full force about the Grave, in Brabant, where he has raised some sconces but done nothing more. “The Prince of Parma remaineth at Brussels, where he honoureth many gentlemen with the order of the Fleece, but I hope St. George will wear the flox.
I have earnestly moved this Governor to acquaint you with the defects of our garrison, which I am sure his care will not omit. With some difficulty I have drawn into the town Capt. Huntley's company, so now we are six ensigns strong, and yet not of that force that I wish. M. “St. Aldacondy” still professes all possible service to her Majesty and honour to yourself. I beseech you, set down your opinion of him. I had of late a merchant of Antwerp under arrest for the pay due for my last service there, but on entreaty of friends, his Excellency has dismissed him, yet so as my action is not hindered. If you would procure her Highness' letter to his Excellency, I should account myself most bounden to you, for I must seek to strengthen my estate, “further charged than erst it was,” by my having the care of my brother's children. I pray you to have consideration of my nephew's estate, “who is now in the voyage with Sir Francis Drake.”
I send enclosed a draft presented by the commons of these countries to his Excellency, the matter whereof I think should be put in practice, and so we poor followers of Mars enjoy our expectation.—Flushing, 11 January, 1585.
Postscript.—Even now I have received a letter from Mr. Burnham, who advertises me that his Excellency has retired from the Hague to Leyden, “suspecting lest the enemy would draw his forces that way, by reason of the frost being so hard as he may pass all the country over.” He has been most nobly entertained in all those parts. Your servant, Mr. Brewen, reports from Antwerp that the Prince of Parma proposes to attempt Bergen-op-Zoom ; “and in the neck of those news, Colonel 'Baffourde' writeth to me but touched no such thing.”
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland VI. 12.]
Jan. 11. Ortell to Burghley.
As at yesterday's Council your lordships gave order to the Judge of the Admiralty for the redress of the business at Dover, and the letter for the Count of Embden (as I hear) is already despatched, and the last point may be decided on the other side the sea by the Earl of Leicester; I only find it needful to translate into English the two points which still remain to be considered concerning trade at sea ; praying that I may have the resolution of her Majesty and your lordships upon them in writing, and the rather that the matter demands haste, and a great number of ships are detained on the other side, waiting for her Majesty's final order.—London, 11 January, 1585.
Postscript, in his own hand.—As in future the affairs of the United Provinces will require address and expedition, I beg that, besides the many obligations which those countries are under to your lordship, you will give order to your people that in case I should have to come to you for any of the said affairs I may be admitted.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. VI. 13.]
Jan. 12. Passport, from the Earl of Leicester, for Thomas Poolewhele, his servant, to go into England and to return ; requiring those “to whom it may appertain,” to provide him, his man and his guide with posthorses at the usual rate, and to see him and such men as he shall bring to any of her Majesty's ports, furnished with convenient shipping for transportation into these parts.—Leyden, 12 January, 1585.
Signed and sealed. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. VI. 14.]
Jan. 12. Leicester to Walsingham.
James Parrye, a gentleman of my company, now prisoner in the Fleet, was arrested, a little before my coming out of London, at the suit of one Shepham, “being before imprested for her Majesty's service in these countries.” The Master of the Rolls promised me either to see him delivered or to send Shepham to me, which if he had done, I need not have troubled you with the matter. But (as I hear) he lies still in prison without hope of liberty, although he has made very reasonable proffers of satisfaction to Shepham. I pray that without further delay he may have the benefit of her Majesty's protection, so that he may come over hither to serve her, “as he is very well able, and a man whose service may ill be spared in these parts.”—Leyden, 12 January, 1585.
Postscript in his own hand.—I am grieved that her Majesty's protection is so lightly regarded as to be contemptuously broken by such fellows. This Shepham has been by the heels two or three times for arresting her Majesty's subjects, but will take no warning.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland VI. 15.]
Jan. 12. “A note of such sums of money as have been delivered to the Treasurer towards the defraying of her Majesty's charges in the Low Countries,” by privy seals or defalked for armour, or “of the commissary for victuals.” Total, 72,250l.
Also, “Money disbursed by the Treasurer here in England.” Total, 13,804l. 18s. 4d.
Endd. “Money delivered to the Treasurer before January 12, 1585.” 1½ pp. [Ibid. VI. 16.]
Jan. 12. “An estimate of the monthly charge of her Majesty's forces in the Law Countries, beginning the 12 of January, 1585.” Total, 11, 334l. 15s.
With notes by Burghley of further estimates for charges in February and March.
Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. VI. 17.]
Jan. 12. Sum total of receipt, 48,250l.
“Whereof disbursed by warrant” from the Lords of the Council, his Excellency and General Norris, and by divers extraordinary occasions, 43,232l. 12s. 7d. And so remaineth 5,017l?. 7s. 5d.
½ p. [Ibid. VI. 18.]
Jan. 12. Depositions taken at Plymouth, Jan. 12m anno 28 Elizabeth, before Thomas Ford, mercator major.
Derick Cornelles of Amsterdam, master of the White Falcon of the same place, saith that he came from Leape, in the King of Spain's dominions, four leagues from “Avemowntye” [Ayamonte] about a month past laden with wine and fruit for Middelburg in Zeeland, the goods belonging to merchants of that place and of Amsterdam. Being examined what shipping or provision for wars is there, he knows of none, “but that divers young English merchant men have their liberty in that country.” Corn there is worth but 12 reals a “hannicke,” (fn. 3) and “seckes” [sack] eight or nine ducats the but. Greater store of oil than for twenty years.
John Alderson of Amsterdam, master of the Dolphin, same place, also from Leape, saith he laded his ship with fruit and other merchandise for the merchants of Middelburg.
On the coast of Spain one of the King's galleons met him and carried him to “St. Lucas,” where he was in prison three days and nights, but by suit of his merchants was discharged. There were twenty-four “armadoes” set forth to conduct home the Indies fleet. Twelve were returned to St. Lucas, to remain there till the spring and then to go for the Indies. Another armado came in after the rest, which had met certain English ships said to be of Sir Francis Drake's company ; which armado lost in fight about four-score men. He saw in October last twenty-eight ships from the Indies, which went for “Civille,” and heard report that English ships had taken three of the same fleet. He brought a passenger who came from Lisbon by land to St. Lucas, and saith “he heard nor saw any army of soldiers provided for any war.”
Being further examined, saith he knows of no army making at “Civille” or elsewhere. There were twelve great hulks at St. Lucas ballasted with salt, and laden with wines, oil and other merchandise, freighted by Englishmen. said they were bound for France, but mean to come to London. “There is an officer appointed by the King of Spain to make inquiry in all the Country for Englishmen and their goods ; and the people of the country when they hear of their coming do use all means to keep them close in, out of his danger ; and after his departure they are at liberty to use their trade.”
Endd.pp. [Newsletters XC. 22.]
Jan. 13. French Refugees.
List, endorsed by Burghley : “Frenchmen repaired into England for religion.”
From Paris and places round about.
The Sieur de Vaugrongneuse [Vaugrigneuse].
Mademoiselle des Moulins. (fn. 4)
The Sieur du Mesnil.
Mademoiselle del Bene and her two daughters.
General Portal.
M. Honore, secretary of the King, and his daughter.
M. Perrot, Sieur de la Tour.
M. du Mesnillet, nephew of Maisonfleur.
M. Bourdon, procurator of the Great Council.
M. Mercier and Mademoiselle his wife.
The Sieur de St. Germain and his son. At the Rye.
From Orleans and its neighbourhood.
The widow of [Jerome Groslot, Sieur de l'Isle] Bailly of Orleans.
The Sieur [Jacques] de l'Isle, his son and daughter.
Mademoiselle de Chambaudouin.
The Sieur d'Amberon, secretary of the King, and his wife.
Mademoiselle de Meneinville and her daughters. At Rye.
M. des Gorris, doctor of medicine, with two young men.
“ses freres, doctes.”
M. Maillard, doctor of medicine.
M. Bernard, jurisconsult and advocate.
M. Bavimet, doctor of medicine.
M. Tardif and his niece, of Tours.
M. Shorin, doctor of medicine, of Brittany.
Mademoiselle de Molettes and her daughters. At Rye.
From Picardy.
M. de Jumelles.
M. de Soycourt.
M. de Berville and Mademoiselle his wife.
M. de Berlette, his wife and his brother.
M. d' Estrielles [qy. Estrelliers].
M. de la Neufville.
From the Vexin.
M. du Mesnil, at Rye.
M. de Hazeville [qy. Hacqueville].
M. de Pertuys.
M. de Gadancour [Gadencourt].
M. de Hazeville, jun.
M. de la Falaize, his wife and two daughters.
Mademoiselle d' Araigny and four daughters.
Mademoiselle de Beaulieu and two daughters, at Rye.
M. d' Ancour [qy. d'Ancourt].
From Rouen.
M. de Rouelles.
M. de Civille and his wife.
M. le Gras and M. Mire, advocates, and their wives, at the Rye.
M. de la Vieuxrire.
From the Pays de Caux.
(fn. 5) M. de Normanville and his wife.
M. de Beaunay.
M. de Feuqueray [qy. Feuquerolles] and his wife.
M. Bouchard.
M. de Bauvale [Beauville or Bauville] and his wife.
M. de Sancourt and his wife.
M. de Villerets [qy. Gilles de Villeray].
Messieurs de Ratepont.
M. de Fontenil [qy. Fontenelles] and his son.
M. de la Motte.
M. de la Fontaine's brother:
M. de Lectuze.
M. de Capetot, advocate.
M. de Granval [Grandval]. (fn. 5)
In Jersey.
I only know of a dame d' honneur, named Madame de Dangeau. There are many others, concerning whom I will make inquiry if desired.
There are in this kingdom about twenty refugee ministers and more, of whom, if it pleases my lord, I will send him the names.
Endd, with date by Burghley. Fr.pp. [France XV. 9.]
[The names are probably many of them mis-spelt, and it is sometimes impossible to distinguish between u and n.]
Jan. 13. Extract of Articles delivered by M. Ortell to Burghley and Walsingham, to know her majesty's and their honours' pleasure therein ; apostiled by Burghley with answers given on the above date.
1. That presupposing all manner of traffic to the Low Countries under the power of the enemy to be forbidden, “if her Majesty doth not understand that with other sorts of merchandises (except victuals, munition and materials serving for rigging of ships . . .) it may be freely trafficked upon Calais and other ports in France?”
Answer. “The opinion of the L. Treasurer, L. Admiral and the L. Chamberlain . . . declared to M. Ortell, to be imparted to the Earl of Leicester, for to consider thereof by conference with the Council of the States, whether it shall be meet to have the same observed on the part of them there, as it is meant to the same observed on the part of them there, as it is meant to be here, until some other resolution from the Earl of Leicester:— Not to carry any merchandise to any part of France on the east side of the river of Seine.”
2. “How far and to what places the victuals are to be inhibited, either eastward to the river of Seine, comprehended or otherwise?”
Answer. “Neither to carry any victual, munition or other thing belonging to shipping on the east side of the river of Seine.”
3. If her Majesty means to “defend” the traffic for Spain ; seeing that divers ships daily attempt to lade for Spain by indirect ways, at Bordeaux, Nantes, &c.
Answer. “No shipping nor merchandise to be sent to Spain or Portugal ; but for merchandise to pass to any part of France as far as 'St. John de Luse' and no further westward, and not to carry any manner of victual of matter for shipping by any indirect mean, to be sent to Spain or Portugal.”
Endd. 1 p. [Holland VI. 19.]
Jan. 13. Colonel Morgan to Walsingham.
I send over the bearer, who was my brother's man and well acquainted with his estate, praying you to favour him in the causes of his deceased master, otherwise I fear the case will go hard with my nephew, Mathew Morgan, whose estate depends on my care in his absence.
The bearer is come from my regiment, “which is so spoiled for want of honourable regard as of 1,300 there is not above 600 living.” His Excellency, being informed by my lieutenant-colonel of this matter has rebuked Mr. Norris for his small care herein. Divers soldiers have gone into England without passport from me or their captains, whereby the garrisons are lessened and the forces weakened, wherefore I beseech you to send letters to the Justices of Peace in Wiltshire (where they remain) “that this bearer may apprehend them and return them over; for if this example be not punished, it will encourage others to commit the like. If it please your honour to appoint your servant, Captain Udall, to bring over some men to supply his company, it will be very requisite, for his band is weak.”—Flushing, 13 January, 1585.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland VI. 20.]
Jan. 13. Ortell to Burghley.
Prays him to remember as soon as possible the articles sent to him two or three days ago, especially those translated into English concerning the traffic to Spain, Calais and other parts in France. As also the last point of those in French, concerning the payment of the garrisons &c. When he knows his honour's pleasure, he will come to the court to receive her Majesty's resolution.—London, 13 January, 1585.
Signed. Add. Endd. Fr. ¾ p. [Ibid: VI. 21.]
Jan. 14/24. Jacques Yman to Walsingham.
Is sending his servant to ask his honour to favour him with a passport, that he may bring over some letters which the governor and magistrates of Antwerp have charged him to deliver to her Majesty.—Calais, 24 January, 1586.
Add. Endd. Fr. ¾ p. [France XV. 10.]
Jan 14. M. De Quitry to Burghley.
Since you have informed me by M. d'Angrongue that my despatches will soon be ready, it only remains to take leave of you, and to justify myself from the complaint of the French ambassador, which is easy for me to do, for in the six weeks during which I have been in this kingdom, I have remained in my lodging, without seeing or haunting anybody; besides which I imagine that you believe I know how to be silent; therefore her Majesty may easily understand that the fault is not mine, and you will pardon me if I say that delays in such affairs bring with them these accidents, and although this loss of time has caused me extreme regret, yet the evil which I foresee from it to my master's affairs has not so much angered me, that I have imparted it to any one.
I know how greatly it imports to his preservation to be well-informed of what he may hope from hence, and therefore pray you not to think me importunate, that I desire to know from your mouth—if I may not have the honour of doing so from her Majesty's—when I may hope for the coming of M. “Palvezin” if the wind is not contrary. For I have express orders, on leaving this kingdom, to send certain news of it to the King my master, as also to Duke Casimir. And if I too much fear delays, this may easily be pardoned to me, if it please you to look at the need my master has of succour and of feeling some good result of the promises with which her Majesty has so long honoured him, and upon which he has built so much; for, if delayed, it is evident that it would be a case of après la mort le medecin. For the honour of God, let not her Majesty see such a prince be lost, or myself his faithful servant, so unhappy that while waiting for her help and the effect of her oft repeated royal promises, I must keep my master in uncertainty, for which I may be blamed.
And if he must be lost, I desire to go and be lost with him; for as to returning into Germany without any results, I know what M. de Segur's return under the same circumstances brought about, and that it would break the happy beginnings there set in hand, so that my journey would be without result.
On the other hand, returning into Gascony, I may declare to my master what he has to hope for, that he may take measures accordingly, before his affairs are reduced to extremity.
I know, Monsieur, how much my master is bound to you for your good offices with the Queen. I pray you then to bring this affair to a good and speedy end and to excuse the passion which makes me write to you so freely, being urged on only by desire and struggling with fear, which would afflict me still more if I were not assured that my business depends upon one of the greatest and most virtuous princesses in Christendom; the truth of whose promises I can never doubt.—London, 14 January.
Signed. Add. Endd. by Burghley's clerk, “14 January, 1585.” Fr. 2 pp. [France XV. 11.]
Jan. 14. Ortell to Leicester.
On the 13th O obtained from her Majesty's Council answer upon certain articles whereupon those of Zeeland desired to know her pleasure; and as the Lords declared to me that they would themselves write to your honour, that upon your and the Estates' answer they might know how to deal further, I send you a copy of the articles and answers, whereby it may please you to make your pleasure and the States' resolution known here, that convenient order may be taken.
The Lords find in no wise good that any trade at all be permitted to Spain, Portugal, Calais, Picardy &c., “forasmuch as it stretcheth to nothing else but strengthening of our common enemies and baring of ourselves, insomuch that in the end all assistance would help full little” if it were continued.
“Touching our merchants endamaged,” I had yesterday long discourses with my Lord Admiral, who “would be contented that from henceforth a general order might be taken for better direction of these and like causes.” I think it would be well for the Estates to cause to be drawn certain articles for me to communicate to the said Admiral, “and his and the other councillors' opinions had therein, whereby, once for all, all misintelligence might be avioded.”—London, 14 January, 1585.
Signed. English. 1½ pp. [Holland VI. 22.]
Copy of articles and answers, as on p. 294 above. 1 p. [Ibid. VI. 23.]
Jan. 14. Lobetius to Walsingham.
I have received yours of Oct. 24, at the end of which you ask me to excuse you to M. Sturmius for not writing to him. He was pleased with your message and salutes you humbly. The good man is generally at his house in the country, at Northeim; he is old and feeble, and it is become somewhat a toil to him to write. He has entered upon his seventy-ninth year, which is a good age, and only reached by a few in our times.
You ask my opinion as to what is to be hoped from the protestant princes in Germany, for the common good and to maintain the common cause against its adversaries, in reply to which I say that I desire to have more reason for hope than I have had hitherto; for truly they have been very cool so far, and very difficult to warm. They have made a pretext of the diversities of religion, but this stroke has been sufficiently parried, Some think that long repose, accustomed ease and the avarice of some is the cause of their being so tardy in moving. However this may be, they are always behindhand, but we do not cease to press them, in hopes of obtaining by importunity what we cannot gain by reason. And as the affairs of the cause depend in great part upon your Queen, the King of Denmark and the protestant princes, some of whom began to open their eyes, in order not to be surprised with them shut. It is thought that the Elector of Saxony (upon whom most part of the others depend), having changed his marriage will change also his humour. M. de Segur is not returned from his journey to Saxony, and intended to go into Denmark, if he hears that your ambassador is there. M. de Clervant has been to the Prince of Anhalt and the Landgrave, whom he has found most gracious and very well-inclined. He is now going to the Duke of wurtemberg. Thus you will see that it is not for lack of diligence and solicitation that things do not go well. God, the chief governor of our actions and who can warm the frozen hearts, will take his cause in hand, if implored on our part with such piety and ardour as there is need of. It is the goal at which we must aim, and without which all our designs are vain. The present Pope is marvellous and very bold, and cares neither for Kings nor princes, but only to enterprise great things, and to bring his enterprises to pass. Amongst other things which he has at heart is the ruin of the town of Geneva. It is said that the King of Spain also has this at heart, and wishes to do it by means of the Duke of Savoy. The Duke of Nova Terra was going to the Duke of Savoy at Turin for this purpose. Five thousand Spaniards were to arrive at Genoa; those of Berne could not permit the ruin of Geneva without doing very great wrong to their own State. For the rest, the Swiss are quiet. At their first assembly at Baden they will declare on both sides whether they wish to maintain their union, as it is hoped they will. The French King has lately sent money into Switzerland for the pensions and payments of the said Swiss.
The business of our canons still remains unsettled, and those of the Religion are in possession of the chapter, having lodged an appeal against a certain mandate of the Emperor Ad status imperii et ab imperatore male informato, ad imperatorem melius informandum.
They are going to hold an assembly at Worms, which they call journee de deputation [Deputationstag]. This is an assembly to treat of things which have been omitted at the Imperial Diets, and deputies of both religions assist thereat; but it is apparent that in this assembly they will treat of new matters also. The Emperor will as much as possible prevent the levies and I believe that her Majesty has already written of this to Duke Casimir. The Pope's nuncio at the court of the Emperor tries as much as possible to have the Council of Trent put in execution in the kingdom of Bohemia. Gaspar de Schomberg has already been some time here; he goes sometimes to Nancy, sometimes to Metz and other places, to be on the watch as to the deportment of the Navarrese and oppose their designs. He has given money to the German colonels of the King. The Duke of Lorraine has commanded his subjects who are not Catholics to leave his country within twenty days, with only two months in which to sell their possessions. The Duke of Epernon has been to his government of Metz. He has given liberty of conscience to those of the Religion but without exercise; and has promised that they may conclude their marriages and celebrate their baptisms.—Strasburg, 14 January, old style, 1586.
Postscript.—I would willingly write oftener if I had the means and knew that it would not displease you. It is very likely that in future many things will happen worth the writing. You have formerly desired me to write to Mr. Stafford, but he very rarely replies, so that one is in doubt whether the letters are delivered or lost. If you think well for me to write by Paris, that my letters may be given to the messengers who go from thence into England, I will do so. I humbly commend the enclosed to you.
After closing this letter, I received one from Heidelberg, written on the 8th and 9th of this month. M. de Segur had returned thither from Saxony. They are shortly excepting at Heidelberg your ambassador, my lord “Wilebe.” They have conceived good hope of the cause from the gracious and favourable answer they have had in Saxony. It is said that on the 3rd of this month the nuptials of the Elector with Agnes Hedwige, the young princess of Anhalt, were to be celebrated. The Duke of Epernon, when at Metz, sent a man to Duke Casimir with very gracious letters, full of good offers.
Add. Endd. Fr.pp. [Germany, States IV. 1.]
Jan. 14
[last date].
Advertisements from France.
Bordeaux, Jan. 9, 1585. The 25 of December, the companies of the Duke du Mayne and Marshal Matignon joined at Chateauneuf, by Angoulesme. The Duke had with him six cannons, 3,500 horse, 3,000 French soldiers, 2,000 Swiss. Received money at Chatellherault for two months, which was expired, “and four months” pay more the clergy should pay, whereof one month was almost past.” The Lord Marshal had 1,500 horse, 1,500 soldiers, 2,000 Swiss, who had six cannons, which were left at Blois, and the soldiers went to the Duke du Maine. The Marshal was lodged at Jonsatt [? Jonzac], two leagues from Pons, and lost in six days that he was there, more than 400 men and all his “mulets,” by those of Pons. It was given out that he and the Duke would besiege Pons, but they durst not approach it.
Then they prepared to besiege Castillon, in perigord (Pyregoe), “which was an occasion that the King of Navarre and the troops of M. Danville and the Vicomte of Turenne and Chastillion did join themselves together. They said that they had well 12,000 horsemen and footmen, who should all go into Gascony because they could not live in Languedoc.”
The Duke of Epernon (Pernoune) passed six days since with 500 horse towards Pampilonia, to receive 4,000 Spaniards sent by the King of Spain.
The Duke du Mayne wished his wife to come and be delivered at Angoulesme, but the lord of Belle Garde, governor of that province and of Saintonge, “smelling his devise,” made request to the Duke that she should not lodge there, “wherewith he was greatly discontented.” The Prince of Condie is promised to Mademoiselle de “Tremoyle,” who is at Rochelle, “and hath a town and a castle called 'Talliabork' [Taillebourg] in Saintonge, eight leagues from Brouage (Borwagi), being one of the strongest castles in France, whereof M. le Wall is governor. She hath also a great seignory and territory belonging unto her.”
The Prince passed by Conquet about the 23 of last month with twenty sail, mostly Englishmen.
M. le Wall is not mistrusted any way.
The Flemings that came hither for wines were laden with powder, which is transported into Spain. They were of Antwerp
Rouen, Jan. 14, 1585. The report is that the Inquisition shall be in France, as it is in Spain.
The King has published that all Frenchmen departed France shall receive the profits of their lands and goods quarterly or half-yearly, “so as they will be bound not to bear arms, or maintain war, or give relief against him or his.” He will make no wars against England, yet must not refuse to aid the King of Spain.
One whose kinsfolk were killed at the massacre at Paris by M. Careugi[Carouges], has 5,000 men within ten English miles of Rouen, and “desired the combat of M. Carewge, which not being granted, he hath sworn revenge . . . so as 25 December the town of Rouen, being afraid of him, caused the town gates to be shut up.”
Complaints have been made to the French King of certain of his subjects spoiled by the English to the value of 9,000l.; 3,000l. five or six years past, the rest lately. If the Queen will not make restitution, the King has given licence for the stay of Englishmen's goods to that amount, whether in houses, cellarage or ships.
“There was shown at Rouen a grant under the Great Seal of France, procured by our Ambassador there, that all Englishmen should be suffered to live according to their consciences.” An English merchant named Otwell Smythe was sent to prison “because he would not kneel down to their elevation at mass time, but afterwards delivered.” It is said that some bands of Allmains are coming for the aid of the Protestants, and that the King of Spain is preparing 400 sail of ships for England, and will have 30,000 men from Italy and within the Straits, mostly from the Pope.
[News of Newhaven ships, as below.]
It was reported at Rouen that about a month ago, Rochelle had been betrayed, and a “sap” made in the wall to admit the enemy, and that certain bends to the number of six or seven thousand were to execute the enterprise; “which treason was discovered by a cobler or a brushmaker who dwelt near unto the wall and heard them work; whereupon it fell out in examination” that the Mayor and some others were privy to it and the Mayor and three or four others were executed, “the Mayor being rolled in a pipe of nails, the points driven inward, as was said.”
[Margin.]—"This by certificate from Bordeaux is not true; for that it was mistaken. being a principal town of the Prince of Condy's.”
About Dec. 27 fifty sail from Holland and Zeeland came to Rouen with herrings, which were sold at 20l. the last, being very dear, yet all bought up, to be carried back up land to the Prince of Parma.
The Spaniards there and in places thereabouts brag of the preparations of the King of Spain against England.
Newhaven [i.e. Havre], Jan. 14. The town is watched and warded continually, every house taking it in turn.
The Captain, an Italian, looks very straitly to the town, and has more soldiers in the country, “to be in a readiness.”
On Jan. 8, about forty ships departed for Lisbon &c. for salt; so as to go to Newfoundland. Fifty or sixty more go presently in like manner. A ship and a pinnace have gone for Peru and three more are making ready.
About Dec. 22, an ambassador arrived from the King of Spain in a French ship “with commission of treaty and request that the King of Spain's navy might harbour and revictual there in France.” He is gone to the French Court.
A hulk of Dartmouth has brought Newfoundland fish, which being sold, is unlading into French ships to be transported into Spain. Fifteen or sixteen flyboats and busses have come thither laden with herrings, which sold for about 10l. the last and are to be conveyed to Rouen.
Endd.pp. [Newsletters IX. 25.]
[Jan., about the middle.] Lord Willoughby to Walsingham.
If I had anything worthy of commending to you, I would hardly send it, for the enemy daily come with their yachts within a mile English, and some even into the town, “whereby I am in no great security, so that they bestow more cost to get me than I am worth.”
They have in the islands of Ameland and Schermonikoog, 200 men and between a place called the Knock and Embden two days ago were four yachts, and I myself saw divers landed.
Besides, they have manned out two ships to meet me at sea, each having 200 men, to resist which the town has given me convoy of a “townboyer” with sixty men, but divers of good quality here have requested me not to trust to it, for her captain is half a malcontent and is reported to have conveyed victuals to them.
The States' ships here are so frozen in that they are in peril themselves, “so that I am here fast up in a cage, but if I get at liberty I hope I shall sing no ill tuned note, either to you at home, or in Flanders. . . . I would require some convoy from home but I hope before it shall come I shall have determined my journey one way or another, even by God's help through them, for they have left me no other passage.”
When this frost shall yield, I trust some favour and grace may be also yielded to me, and confirmed by deed, not words, “the hope whereof maketh me think all labour ease and all adventures pleasant.”—Embden, [no date].
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Denmark I. 77.]
Jan. 15. Nicasius Yetsweirt to Walsingham.
Sends copies of letters written by the Queen to the French King and the Duke of Bouillon, which Mr. Staling is presently to take over, that his honour may see what she has written, and, if he thinks well, that they may be enclosed to the ambassador in France, “whereby he may the better know how to deal with the King.” in the matter therein contained. Prays that God will send him speedy recovery of his “grief.”—From the Court, 15 January, 1585.
Add. Endd. ½ p. [France XV. 12.]
Jan. 15/25. The Burghers of the Brill to Davison.
Enclosing papers as his lordship desired, and apologising for not having sent them sooner.—The Brill, 25 January, 1585, stilo novo.
Fr. 1 p. [Holland VI. 24.]
1. Inventory of the artillery and munitions of war in the town and forts of Brill when the English garrisons entered and which are still there.—Jan. 22, 1585.
French. 5¼ pp. [Holland VI. 25.]
2. Points which the burghers of the Brill have to propose to the ambassador, in order that he may intercede on their behalf with the governor of the town, touching the guard at the Maison de Ville, which has always been in the burghers' hands, and the new office of water-baliliff, which interferes with their freedom of trade. Also that the administration of the provision of powders, both by the States and the town, may remain in the hands of those appointed by the said States and themselves; and that all persons, burghers and strangers, may go in and out freely with the knowledge of those commissioned to guard the gates, who shall demand of strangers whence they come and where they are lodged, that their host may give report in writing daily to the Maison de Ville as heretofore. Seeing that last Thursday, the 13th instant [o.s.], the pensionary of Middelburg coming to the north gate, an English soldier held his pike against him saying, you cannot pass without licence of the marshal, and doing the same to a burgher of the town who wished to enter.
French. 2 pp. [Ibid. VI. 26.]
The whole addressed to Davison on covering sheet.
Jan. 15. Jacques Gelee to [Walsingham?].
Desires to know whether his request and papers are sent to the court, that he may go to the Lords of the Council, and by means of a line from his honour, may obtain access (axchise) to them, and make known his request, to the end that he may have justice, seeing he has been here a month and nothing has been done. Prays for a continuance of the help already given him by his honour.
Endd. with date by Walsingham's clerk. Fr. ½ p. [Ibid. VI. 27.]


  • 1. The letters in brackets are supplied conjecturally, the document being injured by damp.
  • 2. "Lyam, lyame &c., obsolete term for a leash for hounds. Motley renders this passage "But yet it is not more to be embraced if I were to be led in alliance," but the other fits in much better with the context.
  • 3. Fanega or hanega; about a quarter of a hundredweight.
  • 4. "Autrefois, tire qu' on donnait a toute femme mariee qui n' etait pas noble, ou qui, etant noble, n' etait pas titree." Littre.
  • 5. All these from the Pays de Caux are stated to be at the Rye.