Elizabeth: February 1586, 26-28

Pages 394-406

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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February 1586, 26–28

Feb. 26. [Davison] to Heneage.
A long letter on the state of the United Provinces; giving an account of the government and authority of the Earl of Leicester; the grants made to him by the Provinces and how they are levied; the whole force of their own troops now in entertainment (some 25,000 or thereabouts, which could hardly be paid by the contributions, were it not that “they think they have done well if they pay six months of twelve”); the extra contributions put into his lordship's hands, and the constitution and powers of the State General and of the Council of State. States that he has left the names of this latter body with Mr. Secretary for him, and warns Heneage that if the States General are not in assembly, he must wait for a fresh “convocation,” as to them only it appertains to answer the matter of the Earl's election. Finally, as to “the subject of the service” on which Heneage is going, he is heartily sorry that it is not more “plausible” to his lordship and more profitable to the service and cause of that poor country; protesting that he knows not what other course either the Estates or his lordship could have taken, or how the country may be saved if this Act be discountenanced and overthrown; believing that the message, unless very wisely handled, “cannot but breed utter dishonour to my lord, ruin to the cause, and repentance ere long to her Majesty's self.”
Minute. Endd. with date. 2½ pp. [Holland VI. 132.]
[Only a brief abstract of this letter is given, as it is printed almost verbatim by Motley (i. 406, note.]
Feb. 27. Stafford to Walsingham.
The chief cause of my sending this bearer is that I am earnestly pressed by Count Soissons, who is also pressed by those he has to do with, “who, now that they see things draw nearer some action, either desire him to go forward with that he hath dealt with him in, or else they mean to take party with somebody else. Of how great importance the missing of it will be to the general cause, I leave it to you to judge. . . . How necessary a thing it is for the King of Navarre and by consequent to the general cause to have towns a this side, considering the hazard the French King standeth in, and the great footing the League hath, is a thing that I know her Majesty must needs consider.” If the time be once overslipped, it will never be recovered. “He holds himself assured of three of the best towns in Picardy. . . and all of them be now at the devotion of the League, besides others that he is in hope of. . . . He has great means to do things, if such means as he hath not to do want him.” I pray you let her Majesty well feel it. He has earnestly pressed me, having given them his word that within ten days, if he be not able to perform any things, he will give them their words back again. What pressed them more is that “the King (fn. 1) is so earnestly pressed by the League that seeing stirring about for Montpensier, he sendeth within these twelve days Biron into Poitou with an army to prevent that which he is to do, so that things must be precipitated. And at the same time that Montpensier stirreth, Soissons must do that which he hath to do. If this fail him, he shall be constrained, besides the losses of the places of importance which that party never had the like, to retire himself with a small company into Montpensier's forces; which, besides that he shall be able then to do nothing to effect, the stir in Picardy shall not be, which is of no small importance to make them to scatter their forces, nor, if a peace come to be made, which will be the end, they having none towns that they have gotten, shall have none given them, and so after so great a stir and so great a charge be in statu quo prius, whereas having towns, that which they have shall be left them, and by that means they kept in awe for stirring any more.”
I have promised to answer him within ten days to-morrow, and beseech you I may keep my word. I shall have the better credit hereafter.
One has been sent secretly from Spain, and had conference with Queen Mother, Villeroy, Retz. The French King would not himself speak with him; whether indeed he means plainly, or (as I rather fear) will let them treat, and himself not be touched whatever be discovered. “His commission is to show unto them the incommodity that France shall receive if England have footing as they have in the Low Countries. Offereth to do anything the French King will desire him for the peace of France. . . that her Majesty is the only cause of all their mischiefs in their realms, which if he will join with him in, they will remedy. Queen Mother hath taken a time to answer. What it is, or whether it be yet, I cannot know, but this I am sure, on which (fn. 2) I now have found out Retz's journey into Brittany is founded, who goeth thither to make ready eight ships and two galleys on that coast, and four or five more are now making ready upon the coast of Normandy and eight in the river of Bordeaux and those parts; all these be made ready upon colour (which in truth Sir . . . we give them some colour to do it) to keep the seas free and sure from the spoil both of English and Rochellers. . . . When they be together what they may be turned to I fear greatly, and will look after as near as I can; but one thing I am sure, that there is great assurance conceived that [on] the Lord Glaude's coming into Scotland, somewhat will there be broiled. . . .
“This I am sure of, that though the Duke of Guise was not at the conference with Queen Mother and him that came out of Spain, that he hath been twice or thrice in the night with Queen Mother. And one thing cometh in my mind which I thought not of when Pinard came to me with the French King's answer for my request for staying of the corn; that I told him that it was the least the King could do, considering the great enterprise the Queen had taken in hand for the good of both the realms, upon the King's request to her both by his letters, by his ambassadors, and by word of mouth to me to desire her, because he could not do it, to take it in hand; . . . but he told me Mauvissiere never had such commandment; which me-thought was very suspicious, and sign they have changed their copy of late.”
They have sent one Laurence Tournabone into Brittany to M. Mercoeur, to have charge of the ships on that coast, “which is as naughty a man as liveth.”
There is certain advertisement from Italy of one Louis d' Adovara, sent by the King of Spain to the Pope and all the princes of Italy. First, he is gone to the Duke of Florence, “with commission to press the general league which hath been so often in hand, and to persuade the Pope and the other princes to send hither again about it; but it her Majesty will at this time but help at a pinch, I dare warrant things will be so broiled here, that there shall be no danger from France.”
Other news I leave to the bearer.—Paris, 27 February, 1585.
Postscript.—I send you a letter which M. de Nevers sent to me open to see, directed to your honour, to desire you to make a request to her Majesty on his behalf. You can best judge of the reasonableness of it. I have promised him an answer within three weeks or a month.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Cipher words in italics, deciphered. 3 pp. [France XV. 38.]
Feb. 27./March 9. Leicester to Walsingham.
The great complaints of many honest men of this country, which seem to him to be just, as also his desire always to see justice done, urge him to send his honour the enclosed petition; begging him to read it and consider (if the fact is so) the small reason the suppliants have to be satisfied. Truly, if they have received two sentences in their favour (as they allege) they ought to enjoy the effect of these sentences, and have restitution of their goods. Prays him to use his authority that they may have no longer reason to complain.—The Hague, 9 March [new style], 1586.
Signed by Leicester and also by Bardesius, president [of the Council of State].
Add. Endd. Fr. ¾ p. [Holland VI. 133.]
Petition from Merchants of Middelburg in Zeeland.
About four months ago they laded their merchandise at Middelburg in the ships of Jehan Pieterssen Vermoulen (?), Adrian Cornelis, Hans Normans, Legier Wyllems and Herman Adolphs, dwellers in Zeeland, and after being duly discharged, having paid all duties and customs, sent their goods in the said ships to Calais in France with the passport requisite, all being according to the ordinance of the State General; but on their way, the ships were boarded and seized at sea by some ships under the commission of the States of Zeeland, which carried them to Dover in England, where they began a process against petitioners in the English Council of the Admiralty, which lords, after full knowledge of the cause, and finding, by inquiries made by their clerk, that the goods were duly discharged, gave judgment for petitioners, and freed their goods from the claims of those who had taken them. As these latter opposed the sentence, the cause was by order of her Majesty, revised by the said lords of the Council of the Admiralty, and some learned doctors deputed to assist them; but notwithstanding that the revised sentence was also given in favour of petitioners, they have not been able to gain restitution of their goods, although aided by letters from the Council of State in Zeeland to the said lords of the Admiralty. Wherefore they humbly pray his Excellency to defend their just cause, and to send favourable letters and recommendation to the Admiral and the Council of the Admiralty that restitution may be made of the goods and merchandise wrongfully detained.—March 7, 1586.
Copy. Fr.pp. [Ibid. VI. 134.]
Feb. 27./March 9. Col. Morgan to Walsingham.
I pray you to procure letters form her Majesty to his Excellency, her governor here that I may have justice against those who are on the side of the enemy and whose goods are still here under the command of his Excellency; in order that upon these goods I may recover the two months' pay owing to me by those of Antwerp. And as her Majesty's treasurer here has rebated 400 crowns to me and not to the soldiers for arms and furniture which I took into England for those levied in Devonshire, which arms are now at the house of Thomas Newton in Westminster, to whom I have given order to deliver them to you, or to any to whom you may be pleased to commit them, I pray that by your favour I may have some small order, seeing that here I am forced to pay for my own furniture. The treasurers excuse themselves and say that they have commission and charge from the lords of the Council, which his Excellency will not go against without you honour's direction, for the time when General Norreys commanded here.
I pray moreover that I may have some order from your hands for my entertainment, upon which I have only received form Mr. Norreys a hundred pounds Flemish for one month, three months more remaining due to me, of which I can get nothing, yet all the time must pay my officers. I thought to have been an assured man with the governor of Flushing, and of the suite of Madame your daughter, but it is his Excellency's pleasure that I should not remain there.
Finally I beg that your honour will receive the money which shall be produced by the said arms, and that you will give me a favourable answer upon the above matter.—Sgravenhage, 9 March, 1586, stilo novo.
Signed. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Holland VI. 135.]
Feb. 27./March 9. Carlo Lanfranchi to Andrea de Loo.
By Gian Thomaso Fossa, I sent you one of mine and told you that I had spoken here to M. de Champagni and other gentlemen, to see kindling, to the destruction of these countries and the small profit of England; and that I had found matters so well disposed that provided that Queen, benign and cordial as she has ever been, will agree that nothing shall be treated of religion, and that each one in his own countries shall have his people live as he will, there will be a good remedy for all; finding that as to the restitution to the Queen of the moneys lent by her to these States, his Majesty will be content that they be restored as is fitting.
Touching the safety of her realm, the remedy will be that the nobles of the country shall give their promise, as without them the Queen cannot be molested. The King would affirm it also, it not being his intention to take what belongs to anybody. There would only be found one difficulty, which is that the Queen has proceeded so far with the affairs of Holland and Zeeland, and that also, for the matter of Don Bernardino [Mendoca] it would be needful that by the good means she has through the Earl of Leicester she should give some opening, either to his Highness or to M. de Champagni, that letters might pass; for Champagni having at other times treated of a like business, and moreover having his brother the Cardinal in such favour with the King, the said Champagni moreover being desirous that the country may be in peace, and free from the yoke of the Spanish militia, I believe no better way could be found; especially since I know from a good source that his Highness would show his clemency and kindness towards putting out such a fire, if occasion should arise, with all his power, and would do his best endeavours to exhort his Majesty not to have regard to trifles, in order to secure himself in his kingdom and others in peace; and in effect, if he could, would open a way; but cannot do it, first for the King's honour and then for his own, as being the valiant and fortunate prince and captain that he is, it should seem to show cowardice.
On the other hand, Champagni did his best in the past, to the end that the States should chase away the Spanish soldiery from these countries, and to-day is so hated and disliked by the Spaniards that there are some who only seek an opportunity to calumniate him and bring about his fall. Therefore he cannot without good cause treat of this matter, because it might bring him into suspicion; but if he had the least opportunity given him, not only he put all in general will very willingly do their best, both with the Prince and with the King, to bring it to pass that this unhappy war may go no further, but that as good brothers and sisters, and for the honour of all the countries, they may all treat together. Now you know how matters stand. This more I have to say, that to give, as it were, an opening, there is a prisoner at Dunkirk, Mr. Stefano [le Sieur] secretary, I believe, to the present governor of Flushing. If, in order to liberate him, my lord of Leicester would write four lines to M. de Champagni, it would be a means to afford an opportunity to write of this matter. You see how small a thing might obviate so great an evil. I pray you to go to that lord with whom you have treated hereof and tell him or read him this, asking him for the love of God to make all known to her Majesty, for I hope by her goodness and God's Majesty that she will be willing, since she can do it with her honour and profit, to quench the fire which is burning and will burn; seeing we hear that in Italy they are making ready 12,000 footmen for this country, with other preparations, and in Spain and Portugal they are arming, so that if the evil is not prevented, it will be upon us as the greatest scourge. May God and the Queen remedy it, as the King, seeing his countries rising, may not be able to do so otherwise than by endeavouring to secure that his inheritance may be left to him.
I shall expect you then to tell me that you have spoken to your friend, and having put the proposal before him and that Queen, to report to me what passes, seeing that both by me and by others the reply is much desired.
As I told you, an English captain has passed by here to the court. I do not know what he has brought, but I do know well that a good accord will be made with much more glory and honour to her Majesty by means of Champagni than by any other, both by his brother, who can do much in Spain, and because he will negotiate with more reputation.—Antwerp, 9 March, 1586.
Copy. Endd. Italian. 1½ pp. [Flanders I. 63.]
Feb. 28. Stafford to Walsingham.
Urging the employment of the Spaniard of whom he has already written [see p. 382 above], and whom he believes to be very sufficient and to bear a deadly hath against the King of Spain. He says that in six months “he will bring more with him home than ever Sir Francis Drake brought”; and afterwards is willing to be employed as her Majesty pleases. If she will not employ him till she has proved what is in him, his setting out will require so little that his honour, the lord Admiral, Sir Walter Rawley and some other good friends might take it in hand. If he himself can borrow a hundred and fifty pounds of a hundred men, he will willingly venture it with him, and begs that he may do so.
If there be any fear that he may enterprise something against Don Antonio, “let him not come near him.” Don Antonio's men give out that this is why he is stayed, and rejoice that “as poor a man as their master is, he is one day in hope to be in better state, and that in the mean time he would be loth (lofte) to see any stranger . . . enterprise anything upon the commodities in those quarters, but he will hinder it if he can. This may be a Portingal brag . . . and I would be 'lofte' so vain a brag should put us out of so great a commodity.” If it is feared that he may spy out anything to hurt us, sending him on this voyage avoids that, and he may be watched before going and on his return. He desires to be at my lord A[dmiral's] appointment, or any other that her Majesty's Council shall order him to be commanded by.—Paris, 28 February, 1585.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [France XV. 39.]
Feb. 28./March 10. Madame de Laval to Walsingham.
Being troubled to find means to procure some money for the Count de Laval, who is in this country of Poitou, by reason of the great strictness with which the passages are held, I have been advised to take the way of England as the safest and remembering to have heard from the Count of your kindness to him, I have thought that my petition would not be disagreeable to you.
Two of our subjects, Regne le Coc and Guilles Ravenel, merchants of this town, who have charge of my husband's affairs, are sending into that country certain merchandise, from which they hope to obtain some money to relieve his necessity, but fear being examined by the rigour of the law of the country, . . . I therefore pray you very humbly to favour me so far as to use your authority to preserve them from this examination, that M. de Laval may not be deprived of his hope of assistance by this means. I do not think her Majesty will taken it ill, for he has the honour to be known to her as her very humble servant.—Vitray, 10 March, 1586. Signed, Anee d' Allegre.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [France XV. 40.]
Feb. 28. Lord North to Burghley.
Although I have received no answer to three former letters, I shall not “leave” to advertise your lordship as occasion may serve.
My lord of Leicester administers justice so justly that the people are marvellously contented, and looks so carefully into all their matters that the States themselves cannot tell how to love and honour him enough. “They study by all dutiful offices to show their obedience and thankfulness to her Majesty, having enlarged themselves very royally only to honour this her princely and Christian action. They have, I say, added to their first offer as much more, which amounteth to 40,000l. a month at least. . . . It seemeth also that God blesseth these labours with matter of special moment. My lord is advertised that Skinkes, the governor of Venlo, hath surprised a town in Westfalia called Werla, which town he entered with waggons, like travellers.” He killed the guard at the gate, and took the castle, a place of great strength. It is one of the chief towns of Westfalia, and having it may much annoy the enemy, and bring quiet to the countries about it. It belongs to the see of Cologne, “which doth a little cheer up the late Elector, to whom it may now revert; who is a rate gentleman, notably furnished with excellent gifts; religious, wise and modest, and worthy of all honour and estimation.
“My lord hearing that Deventer stood in danger by corruption of the enemy, presently wrote his letters to the Count of 'Mewers' to repair thither, who both wisely and faithfully performed that whereunto my lord directed him; who entered the town with a few persons and some danger; notwithstanding by the help of some few in the town, he changed the magistrates and hath settled the same in good assurance, well furnished with men and victual; and this town was and is of great importance.”
These beginnings, joined with the love both of people and states, give such courage to us all, that every man is willing to hazard his life; assuring ourselves that God, who has stirred up her Majesty's heart to seek his glory by assisting this action will so continue and increase the same that she will bring honour to her life, safety to her kingdoms and peace to these people.
I trust your lordship will learn her Majesty's pleasure whether she will allow me any entertainment here, or else give me leave to dispose of myself. “I am the bolder to press this matter, for that I was not voluntary it this voyage, but commanded by her Majesty.”
His lordship goes to-morrow towards Utrecht, “in mind” to see Harlem and Amsterdam by the way if the weather will suffer him, which is here most miserable frost and cost.—The Hague, last of February.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 ¾ pp. [Holland VI. 136.]
Feb. 28. Leicester to Burghley.
I hear this morning that a town called Werl in Westfalia, belonging to the Archbishop of Cologne, has been surprised by Col. Schenk, now with his regiment at Venloo in Gueldres, who conveyed men in Waggons covered with straw (under colour of victuals) into the town, and the next day, with the munition he found there, took the castle also.
Further, Deventer in Overyssel was to have been delivered to the enemy, but the practice being discovered to me, I sent the Count de Mœurs thither with all expedition, who being admitted with only six men, by conference found out the practice, changed the officers and settled all things in quietness and safety.—The Hague, 28 February, 1585.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. VI. 137.]
Feb. 28. Leicester to Burghley.
“I do long greatly to hear from England; I never heard word since I received your lordship's and the rest discomfortable letter of her Majesty's displeasure. How Mr. Davison hath satisfied her Majesty I know not. I pray God she may take all things as they have been intended and by necessity here taken in hand. And lest I may be thought negligent, albeit I have and do remain full of grief, I have thought good to send my cousin Shirley to her Majesty to acquaint her with the state of things here as they have passed since Mr. Davison's repair home. I hope her Majesty nor your lordships will mislike with the proceedings here neither yet with the success for the time. I will not trouble your lordship here withal, but refer you to his declaration. Only this much I must say, I think there was never seen in so short a time so great an alteration as is now to that when I arrived first. All men being now to join well together and very earnestly, and will contribute willingly for to further the matters of their wars, wherein we have such a want of Sir William Pelham as I would I had lost one of my fingers he had been here. We are dressing of an army to keep the field, without which we shall hardly keep those places we have. The enemy hath used infinite practices for the getting of divers towns into his hands, which but for her Majesty's countenance, and the hope all men have of her, assuredly as I live they had been gone 'or' this. One of them we hardly saved very lately, called Deventer upon 'Ycell,' by the honest advertisement only of a good burgher to me, one of the Religion, and the plot so laid that if [had] been delayed but two days, it had been gone. Now it is in good safety, through the faithful, diligent dealing of the Count de Mœurs, governor of those parts and of Utrecht, who is a very honest gentleman and of the Religion very earnest. I am in good hope to end all matters between the Elector Truchsess and him at my coming to Utrecht, if I receive not her Majesty's discharge before my coming thither, for as long as I can do any good I will, because I see all things go happily yet forward. Religion increaseth exceedingly, and as great obedience here through all places as ever I saw. And her Majesty so beloved of all as I think her own subjects can show it with no greater affection than these people do.
“Where I spake of the Elector here, I assure you, my lord he is a very wise gentleman, and if it were possible to set him in his place again, these countries were soon at quiet. I doubt not to get him Berges [Rheinberg] and 'Newse' [Neuss] at the Count Mœurs' hands again, and this last town that 'Skenks' took, Werla in Westfalia, belongs also to Cologne. He is exceeding poor and great pity; believe me, my lord, he is worthy to be esteemed, he doth greatly love and honour her Majesty. I would to God your lordship could but procure her Majesty to bestow five or six hundred pounds of him for a token. I have received more comfort and good advice by him than of any man here. He is very virtuous and very sound in religion, very grave and a comely person, but of a mean stature. His adversary doth all he can to put the King of Spain into his territories, yea even into Cologne itself; he is very poor and weary of his keeping that place with such charge, his Bishopric of Liege is all spoiled also with these wars, and he no longer able to maintain his charges. A small matter would set up this man now, he hath many friends in Germany and more of late than ever he had. I hope her Majesty will not forbear to send some gentleman to visit the Duke of Saxe, he is now to be wrought a good instrument for the cause of religion, he hath called home his learned divine again; he lodged Segur in his own house, and made very much of him.
“Here came one of these Councillors to me within these two days, and told me he heard Louis de Pace was gone secretly into Spain by the consent of some Councillor to enter some speech of peace of which I have written more particularly to Mr. Secretary.”—“In some haste this last of February, 1585.”
Postscript.—“My cousin Cecil hath had a cold but well again, and will be here this night or to-morrow with me.
“Poor Monsieur de Gyttery [Guitry] doth remain at Harlem very greatly grieved that [he] heareth nothing of 'Pallavasyne.'”
Holograph. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holland VI. 138.]
Feb. 28./March 10. M. de Combes to Walsingham.
This is the fifth letter he has written since he left England without knowing whether they have reached his honour's hands. Acknowledges no prince for his master save the Queen. M. de Leicester can inform her how he employs himself for the advancing of the affairs of the Low Countries.
Colonel Schenk (Ceincker) with 500 horse and 500 foot, has taken the town and castle of Werle, in the “Misfol” by scaling, and also a little town called “Gheysqure” [qy. Gesecke]; so that they have a firm footing in the “Misfol,” and the Prince of Liege will have difficulty in dislodging them, for they hope to gain other places by means of the succour which Truchsess expects from the English Queen. The Bavarian bishop was intending to besiege Neuss, but now he does not know what to do, for he has not a halfpenny.
The Diet Worms has had great debate upon the affairs of the Elector Truchsess and the Prince of Liege. The duke of Bavaria, bishop, has demanded help from the Empire, as being peaceably bishop and Elector of Cologne. The Dukes of Saxe and Brandenburg said they ought to give it, but the Landgrave of Hesse, the Dukes of Pommern, Mecklenburg and Luneburg and the most part of the Imperial cities were by no means willing to agree, or to recognize him as Elector. Those of Nuremberg were not willing to let the deputies of Cologne take their old seats, but wish those of Strasburg to have precedence of them. The matter is still under dispute; how it will end, time will show. All this is to the advantage of the English Queen as regards what concerns her Low Countries.
Since the taking of the abovesaid town and castle, the Colonel has defeated 800 peasants, who had taken arms against him; and the greater part of the nobles who led them are taken or killed. This is an act of great consequence; her Majesty may be assured of having a brave knight in the said Colonel “Ceincker,” and such great services should not be forgotten by her.—Wesel, 10 March, 1586, stilo novo.
Postscript.—If M. de Merle is not in England, begs that the enclosed may be sent to M. du Plessis (Plissy) at the Court of the King of Navarre. Has just heard certainly that M. Ceincker defeated more than 2,000 peasants. Sends a letter for M. Rogier from the aforementioned great and good friend on their side.
Signed. Add. Endd. Fr.pp. [Germany, States IV. 19.]
Feb. Leicester to Walsingham.
Hears that some of the Muscovy Company are seeking to discredit Jerome Horsey, now come to her Majesty. Hopes he is an honest man, and “so proving,” begs his honour to stand good friend to him, lest he be “overborne without desert.”— The Hague,—February, 1585.
Signed. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Holland VI. 139.]
[Feb. ?] [qy. Villiers to Walsingham.]
This morning the Count of Nassau, going to meet his Excellency, has left me a letter to send you; and as he told me the subject of it, as did also M. Michaeli, passing through this country, I cannot but write you a word, to make some particulars clear to you.
First, that I have never perceived any discontent in the said M. de Nassau, but only a fear that by the rumour of peace some towns might come to talk of an agreement with the enemy, as certain of them have done, fro which, as I hear, his Excellency has provided a good remedy. Moreover, that he believed that by such a pourparler, conducted by Champagny, who can never speak the truth, we should not get the better of the enemy, and he might get the better of us, as his aim would be to sow dissension amongst us. And although the said Count did not think it possible to make a good peace, yet this report being now in every man's mouth, he was advised by M. de St. Aldegonde (who is as much opposed to the peace as he was believed to be desirous of it) to write of it to Mr. Sidney, in a familiar and fraternal manner, which he did, and sent the letter by an express.
Since that time, I am assured, he has not spoken of it to anybody, for he is, thank God, discreet.
I was absent, but when I came to him he showed me the letter, and I thought it good and fitting, since he and Mr. Sidney had sworn friendship and brotherhood, that he should tell him everything, and not dissemble with him. Since then Mr. Sidney has entirely satisfied the Count in it, who was thinking no more of it, or any of his, when M. Michaeli arrived. Nevertheless I was very glad to have his message, for the said Count has perceived that you loved him and his welfare, for which I know he is very grateful to you, and if it serves for which I know he is very grateful to you, and if it serves for nothing else, it will always be an occasion to increase the friendship between these two lords; and truly I see that Mr. Sidney does all that a good friend may.
I pray you to take what I write in good part, and if my prayers have any power with you, I beg you to continue to love this young gentleman, for he is a belle jeune plante.
Endd. “Copy of a French letter, written in Mr. Beale's hand; touching the secret intended peace as it was bruited between her Majesty and the King of Spain, to the disadvantage of the States.” Fr.pp. [Holland VI. 140.]
Feb. Advertisements out of Spain.
Some part of our news I report with a heavy heart, “and so ought all good Catholics, as a good father friar told me there is now a dissension and incurable malice between the new order of Jesuits and good old priesthood so that in short time one will be quite subverted in the holy seat, especially you shall shortly have books of 'envie.'
“Pardon is granted by our holy Father to all banished offenders in lieu of three years' service to be done under the Duke of Guise in France.
“The King of Navarre is excommunicated and deposed from land and title by his Holiness, so shall Casimir shortly from being an Elector [sic].
“His Holiness hath aided the Guise with great masses of treasure, and will not see him want. So hath promised the King of Spain”.
Spain is in great want of victual, and has sent to Sicily for grain and other things. The reason is that the King of Denmark stops the Sound, which was wont to be Spain's reliever.
On a bruit here lately that the King of Spain was dead, “it was liberally given out by us Catholics that Sicily, Naples and Milan would revolt. . . . Whenever death assaileth him, no other is looked for.
“Here is a pretence against the Calvinists in England worse than excommunication, but what I cannot yet learn.”
Endd. “Advertisements out of Spain. February, 1585.” 1¼ pp. [Newsletters XC. 23.]


  • 1. The symbol here is 20 (the English Queen) but evidently 22 (the French King) is intended.
  • 2. This word, abbreviated, has been mistaken by the decipherer for the symbol for Epernon, which it much resembles.