Elizabeth: March 1586, 6-10

Pages 416-432

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.

Please subscribe to access the page scans

This volume has gold page scans.
Access these scans with a gold subscription.Key icon

March 1586, 6–10

March 6/16. The King of France to Elizabeth.
Certain merchants of Paris and Toulouse complain that in Dec., 1584, the Jacques of Cherburg, Barthelemy Faversine, master, coming from Bordeaux to Rouen with woad and cork, was driven ashore by tempest in the Isle of Wight, where the Governor, Sir George Carie, seized all the goods, and the merchant has been able to get no redress, in spite of several suits brought by him.
Also in December last, five ships of Flushing, the Cerf Volant, Pierre Lansequer, master; the Basilic, Balthazar Andreson, master; the Bonne Esperance, Chrétien Avern, master; Chevalier de Mer, Paul Pitie, master, and Levrier Rouge, Martin Franx, master, laden with woad and wines, belonging to several French and Flemish merchants, coming from Bordeaux to Middelburg, were driven by tempest into the harbour of Plymouth (Plemue), and being met by certain English, who were conducting the Prince of Condé to Rochelle, the said English took those ships and carried them to Rochelle, where the Prince gave most of the woad to the English and sold the rest to an English merchant; most part of which should have been stayed in England at the request of the said French and Flemings to whom it belongs, or of their procurators, who are proceeding in the matter.
Moreover, on the last of January last past, a Scots ship, the Salamander, from St. Andrews, Mr. Thomas Lantion, master, having laden at Rouen certain woad and wools, belonging to merchants of Paris and Bordeaux, and having on board one Bernard Lescelle to bring over the merchandise, who had passports from the French King, the King of Navarre and the Prince of Condé, was boarded by Sir William Fenel, captain of a ship called the Gallion Fenel of Chichester, and by James Baze, his lieutenant; who carried the said ship and merchandise into the harbour of Fermue [qy. Falmouth] in England, where they obliged the said Lescelle to give them 110 bales of woad.
For all which depredations and seizures, he prays her Majesty to do prompt justice to the said merchants, as is fitting by the treaty of alliance between their crowns. His ambassador, M. de Chasteauneuf, will give her more particularly to understand the matters.—Paris, 16 March, 1586. Signed Henry. Counter-signed Pinart.
Add. Endd, Fr. 1 sheet. [France XV. 45.]
March 6. Stafford to Walsingham.
“Having had news yesterday from Montpensier that he hath now all things in a readiness [for ?] the assurance of four towns in his part, whereof one is a passage upon the river of Loire, with six thousand footmen and six hundred horse; and from Prince Conti that he hath two thousand footmen ready and two hundred horse; that all their stay is to hear from Count Soissons, whose enterprises in Picardy is one of their chiefest expectations, and indeed is of chiefest weight, for stirring in that place will carry more effect than anything else, both because it is a province of importance, as also because the towns the enterprises be made upon be strong, and at the devotion of the League; I could not choose but in haste to make this despatch, for in truth the poor Count Soissons is almost out of his wits, having made so assured a 'plat' both for the general good, and particularly his own reputation for ever, and only for lack of wings cannot fly. In truth, Sir, the matter is so small, that I would to God her Majesty would think what a great good might come of a small thing, for I think the coming of reisters will not do more good than this; for the end of the one must needs be, for it must be the assurance and block of all the rest. I would to God all I had were worth as much; truly I would willingly engage it for assurance of it to her Majesty, and if all the service I have had a goodwill to do her might countervail anything near part of it, I would quit all hope of recompense, if great good come not of both for the general cause, and particularly for her Majesty's service; for I dare undertake for him that upon his word and honour he hath given and assured that what peace soever be made, that her Majesty shall have commandment 'ever upon' to keep any enemy she hath awake in those parts, besides that her Majesty maketh a bondman to her for ever by taking of her a Prince of as great a hope as any I have seen in France in my time. And so is every body else of the same opinion with me. Six thousand pounds will do this or very little more. Alas, what is that to her Majesty for so good an effect.
“Besides, if for want this man cannot do that which he hath promised Montpensier, whom he hath been the chiefest cause of setting on, and nobody so much, considering the great offers are made him by the French King upon the League's great pressing, I cannot tell what humour may take him; for he is tickle headed enough, as you know, and if he be broke withal, what he will do all we know not, if he see them that first brought him in fail themselves.”
The matter is of such importance that I thought it necessary to dispatch this bearer to advertise her Majesty of it. There is one dispatched to Montpensier this morning from the other, to tell him that Biron will not be ready to march this twelve or fourteen days, and that at that time he is to go to horseback and execute his part. Therefore, Sir, let me have present answer, or both things will quail with great dishonour, and men hereafter will hardly engage themselves with any hope of good from her Majesty or her ministers, when in a matter of so great importance and so long a time as since Staling's going from hence, no resolution be returned.
“For my part I shall be ashamed ever to deal with any of them again, and they shall have cause to have little confidence in me, whereas perchance else I might have credit to serve her Majesty in a greater matter, and surely . . . it is no small service for her to have her ministers to have credit with persons of importance here, that may stand her in stead if occasion serve.”
The King, pressed by the League, has sent his chief provost, with some men at arms and shot, to take certain who are levying companies in Burgundy under the name of Monpensier. He that is gone sent to give me warning of it, knowing I should find means to advertise them of it, which I have done. “It maketh men to muse very much, for he is altogether the King's, and if he had thought the King would not have liked of it, he would never have done it. The King carrieth himself so as the League suspect him marvellously, and the others have no great cause to trust him; as for my part, I do not, but is is generally thought he is pleased with anything done against them, and that his show of mislike of any help given to the others is but that they have the hand over him yet, and the Queen Mother their friend.”
The preparations of shipping continue. What the end of it will be, I cannot yet tell. Marshal Retz's journey is still stayed.
He that came out of Spain for the purpose I wrote of, is here still, secretly stayed by the Queen Mother. The King will not yet speak with him. He has once or twice had conference with the Duke of Guise:
From Spain comes “assurance” that the thirteen galleys which should have gone out will not be ready till after Easter. The Spanish ambassador here tells of wonderful preparations against us, but nothing of it is advertised from thence. It is good to provide for the worst, and “neither fear them too much nor set by them too little.”
Schomberg came last night. What he has brought I know not, but he gives out that the Duke of Saxony is dead. The League persuade the King that great hindrance will come to the King of Navarre's actions by it in Germany, while others persuade him that it will rather advance them, seeing the young prince in his father's time was so forward to help them, and now, having better means, will do the more good,” to get him in his beginning reputation.”—Paris, 6 March, 1585.
Postscript.—I have written a few lines to her Majesty, leaving her to this letter of yours.
Add. Endd. 3 pp. [France XV. 46.]
March 6. Sir Thomas Heneage to Walsingham.
Has received in this town great complaint from divers merchants, whereof some are his old acquaintance and are greatly wronged, “and my lord of Leicester greatly touched,” as appears by the enclosed. Prays him to give the best help he can. Is just going to take boat for Holland, with the Governor of Flushing.—Middelburg, 6 March, 1585.
Signed. Add. Endd. ¼ p. [Holland VII. 10]
Jacques vanden Walle and partners to Heneage.
Praying him to write to her Majesty, Sir Francis Walsingham and the Lord Admiral, for the restoration of the Golden Falcon of Flushing (for pursuit of which their friend Julian Meyngaert is already gone), laden with divers merchandise, which left Middelburg to sail to St. Malos with his Excellency's passport, and in returning was taken by an English ship, set forth by some of those of Hampton, named the Marigold, Thomas Wood of Plymouth, master. The master of the Golden Falcon, trusting to his Excellency's passport, made no resistance, but the English on board, “nothing regarding his Excellency, said they had nothing to do with him, and if they had him on board, they would hang him at their yard's end.”
They pray his worship that the letters he shall cause to be written in this behalf may be in the name of Jacques vanden Walle, Balthazar Moucheron, Cornellis Meunincx and Julian Meyngaert. Without date.
Translation? ¾ p. [Ibid. VII. 11.]
March 6. Leicester to Stafford.
The affair of which I write is of such importance both to the service of the Queen and the good of these countries, that I pray you to take it into consideration, and to write to me fully of the answer which shall be given you.
It is that the States General, finding themselves pressed on all sides by their enemies, and having no sure means of defending themselves but by cutting off provisions from the said enemies, have forbidden their subjects and inhabitants to take any victuals or commodities to the enemy, directly or indirectly. But seeing that their enemies continue to be daily assisted by the subjects of the neighbouring countries, and amongst others by the French, who, contrary to the intention of their King, and to the great prejudice of these countries, send their victuals, sometimes straight to the enemy's territories, sometimes to places adjacent, thence to be taken to the parts occupied by the enemy; the States, in order to obtain the effect of the said prohibition, have been obliged to extend it to the subjects and inhabitants of the neighbouring countries, whereupon there have ensued complaints from certain French merchants, who required the King, since my arrival in this country, to write to the said States, who have replied as you will see by the copies sent of the said letters, both of the King and the States. And as our Queen has embraced the cause of these countries, of which the government has since been yielded to me by the States General, and it is seen that the arms and design of our enemies are not so prejudicial as this transport of victuals by the subjects of the neighbouring countries, I pray you to put this before the most Christian King, adding all the best reasons that you can to induce him to forbid his subjects to transport any victuals from his kingdom either directly or indirectly to the enemy; as the Queen our mistress has done in like case. A think which I hope may be easily obtained form his Majesty, seeing the interest he himself has in the increase of the power and force of the King of Spain; the good friendship and alliance there is between France and England, and finally, the favour which he has always shown to these countries. And in case that, owing to the difficulties of the present time and the affairs of France, the said prohibition cannot be obtained, at least I pray you so far to move him that he may not take it ill that they proceed to the execution of the edict and the prohibition published here against those whom they find guilty, as against those who are not any way avowed and authorized by his said Majesty. Whereby you will do good service to her Majesty and good offices to these countries and to me.—The Hague, 6 March, 1586.
Copy. Endd. as received by Stafford on the 24th “by a French merchant.” Fr. 2 pp. [Holland VII. 12.]
March 6. Dr. John Schulte to the Lord Treasurer and Walsingham.
You will not have forgotten the negotiations of last summer. These failed because the times were unpropitious and the Queen pre-occupied with other matters.
When I saw that the affair would not succeed according to our wishes, and that we could not obtain, all that we were instructed to secure, I decided that I must take up a line a s deputy for Hamburg, and have a care for my own city and its advantage, without sacrificing the rest.
With this object, I instituted a treaty with your lordships as to the Residence at Hamburg, and made proposals how it might be obtained and settled.
When you did not disapprove of this, and dispatched an envoy to Germany on the subject, I hoped that the whole affair would be quickly ended, and that he would soon return. That he has been detained here in Hamburg against my expectation and your hopes, must not be ascribed to his negligence, or laid to the charge of the promoters of this business, or even to the Senate of Hamburg, but rather to certain other persons, who have done all they could to hinder and hang up the matter.
However, at last a way has been opened in all these difficulties, and a remedy found. Your commissioner is returning to England with letters, and an answer which I think is satisfactory.
I beseech you to construe favourably this answer of the Senate of Hamburg, my colleagues, and not to twist it to a wrong interpretation. Your commissioner will bear witness how much labour has been bestowed on the matter by the Senate and other favourers of the English nation who have had a hand in it.
In order that the matter may be duly considered and weighed, I think it is not only fair but even your duty to see to it that further progress be made in the business as soon as may be, and that as little delay as possible be interposed in bringing it to the desired conclusion. Commissioners should be sent hither at the earliest opportunity, so that a friendly treaty with us as to the conditions of residence may be entered on. As to the general principle of the thing, the letters of the Senate of Hamburg will make it plain to the Queen and to you that what has been written to her Majesty and the Society of Adventurers is seriously meant, and is intended to be understood as such; and that the Senate has decided in its own mind that if the Queen or the Society consent to send commissioners hither, it will treat them so favourably and offer them such conditions of residence, that they will be fully satisfied, and the commissioners will not repent of their labour and journey.
There is no necessity for the Queen or you to refuse or delay the embassy because the Senate's letter is conceived in general terms, and does not set out all at once the conditions of residence (which I know is what you and the Adventurers most of all hoped for), or because certain difficulties as to customs are inserted therein. The Senate has good reason for its action. Not that it is planning any deceit or fraud, or that it is working for its own advantage. It simply considers that the whole matter should be done personally and not be writing. . . .
I think the old conditions should be taken in hand and examined, and with a few omissions or improvements they can be obtained again. . . . The whole thing can be settled with no humiliation to the Queen and with little expence to the Society of Adventurers; for the expences of one or two commissioners are very light, and it is possible to live here more cheaply than in England. If the Society or the English nation do not wish to stay here for the whole ten years granted by the Senate and citizens of Hamburg, I should have thought that this opportunity would be worthy of acceptance at least for one or two years, for the sake of trying whether the Society could distribute its wares and buy others here without loss, even if the conditions were a little more difficult.
There is no reason for you to look back at the Residence you had for some time at Embden in Friseland, or at the immunities you once obtained there. There is no comparison between Hamburg and other places. I know that what you obtained previously in Friseland could not be got again, or at any rate, it would be with great difficulty. There are now various obstacles in the way, and the previous grant was made, if not by mistake, at any rate without proper deliberation. Besides, that country is rendered uncomfortable by its climate and way of living, and especially now, when it is afflicted by war and robbery. Commerce demands security and peace, and cannot conveniently be carried on in the midst of tumults and hostile attacks. Also, the city of Hamburg surpasses in convenience all other places which the Society of Adventurers could dream of for settling their residence there.
Moreover, as you can gather from the letters of the Senate that the English nation, or the Society of Adventurers, will be on an equality with the citizens of Hamburg and will enjoy similar privileges and be bound to pay the same taxes only as they do, I suppose there is no cause for complaint that you are put at a disadvantage or unduly harassed. . . . But it is right, and indeed is expected by all of us that the Queen in her turn should inform us under seal of what liberties we and the other Hanse merchants in England are in the meantime and henceforth to enjoy, which I think she could easily do without difficulty, inconvenience or prejudice. For even if she is not willing at present to grant more than the old privileges, or even all of them, at any rate she cannot revoke or deny those that were lately offered to us by her at Non such on the 3rd of October, when we were in England and acting as commissioners of the Hanse cities. For they were long ago made known to them by us, and came to their ears also by the report of traders in England. They only thing wanting is that the commissioners you appoint should bring hither with them a clear declaration of the number of white cloths promised us yearly. For we are fully persuaded that 20,000 or more were granted, and ought not to be refused. So the cities desire a definite royal pronouncement on this point.
Even though the Queen's late envoy, John Roberts, takes back with him from the men of Lubeck and other cities letters which clearly differ from and contradict the letters was not confirmed by us, nor were they written by our consent or at our request. So that I leave your lordships to judge how far the men of Hamburg should be bound by them. I think myself that you ought not to be deterred by them from your plan, for affairs are no longer in that condition that we think it necessary to require the consent of the other States to our settling conditions with the Merchant Adventurers, even though lately in England this was proposed and put before you by me and my colleague.
So that everything is in the best posture for a treaty, and nothing remains but for you to send commissioners as soon a possible. . . .
I desire these letters to be carefully kept lest they come into the hands of those who are not favourable to this business, and have it in their power to harm me. For I lately heard that some of our people were boasting that they could buy back and get information as to anything they liked from the Chancellor and others. William Mollar, syndic of Hamburg, was informed against in this way by one of your people before the Alderman of the Steelyard.—Hamburg, 6 March, Stylo veteri, 1586.
Postscript.—Recalling to their memory a promise made by them to him of a thousand English cloths of the best kind, in return for services rendered and to be rendered; and praying them, as all the services he can do have been done, to carry out their promise. He has told John Roberts to make arrangements that the thing be done as conveniently as possible, and as it were in secret. . . . If in time to come, the Queen has any business to transact with the King of Denmark and other princes of Germany he will give his assistance, and carry out her commands with as much loyalty as if he were bound to the Queen by an oath.
Postscript (2).—Anne, wife of Duke Augustus, Elector of Saxony, sister of Frederick, King of Denmark, died on 7 October last. The Elector married as his second wife, on 3 January of this year, Agnes Hedwig, a girl of fourteen years, daughter of Ernest Joachim, Prince of Anhalt. Afterwards on 11 February, at six o'clock in the evening, the Elector himself died suddenly, of apoplexy, as is supposed. It is a curious fact that Caspar Peucer, a physician who was at one time in great favour with the Elector, but was committed to prison twelve years ago, on suspicion of having changed his religion, was released on 8 February, three days before the Elector's death, at the intercession of the Prince of Anhalt, the Elector's father-in-law. This man is now in perfect health, and has been wonderfully preserved so far. He is living at Dessau, at the Prince's Court. There is no other news except that a report is being circulated as to a congress at Siena, between the Pope, the King of France and the Spaniard and the Princes of Italy. The following are the heads reported to have been agreed upon:—
1. The King of Spain is to attack the King of Navarre.
2. He is to send part of his forces to Savoy.
3. The Pope and the other Italian princes are to hand over auxiliary forces to the Prince of Ferrara, with which he may help the Duke of Savoy.
4. The Duke of Savoy is to have his forces chosen out of the Italian and Spanish knighthood, and Ferdinand will submit the German horse and foot to him.
5. The Emperor, the princes of Germany and the Bishops are to occupy all the roads, to prevent the Protestants form bringing support and invading France.
6. The Catholic Swiss are to wage war with all their strength against the confederate Lutherans, to prevent them from bringing help to their troubled neighbours.
7. At the same time, the Guises will massacre the Lutherans [Sic] in France and extirpate the Bourbon family.
8. The Duke of Savoy will attack Geneva, and destroy it with fire and sword, and will sink the ruins in the Lake Leman.
9. After which he will join forces with the Catholic Swiss, and destroy the rest of the confederates.
10. The Guises and Savoy will then invade Germany, and join forces with the Bishops and Emperor, and then overturn the Protestant princes and cities.
11. The Guises, in order that money for such great concerns be not lacking, are to take all the gold and silver of the churches of France, on condition that after the war, restitution thereof be made with interest out of the goods of Lutherans.
12. The Cardinals, Bishops, Abbots and Priors of France are to provide money to help forward the war.
13. To carry on this war, as though it were a war against Turkey, monks, priests and others whose age and strength allows it, are to give in their names . . . I believe this to be false.
But one thing I must add. An Assembly is now being held at Worms, between the Emperor, the ecclesiastical and lay Electors, and the other chief princes of Germany; to which some of the Imperial cities have also been summoned, and there is a rumour that the Emperor has solicited the orders of the Empire that he may be allowed to declare the Queen of England and enemy of the Empire. The person who transmitted this rumour hither thinks that the princes will never allow or assent to this.
An idle rumour is also circulated that the Earl of Leicester is destroying everywhere in Holland and Zeeland all the insignia of the Empire and the King of Spain that he finds. This course of conduct, as being insulting to the Empire, should, I think, be moderated.
Add. Endd. Latin. 13½ pp. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns II. 33]
A duplicate of the above, without the postscripts.
Add. Endd. Latin. 7 pp. [Ibid. II. 34.]
March 6. The Magistrates and Senate of Hamburg to the Queen.
Agreeing to the principle of her Majesty's declaration that if a Residence in their town is granted to English merchants on fair and tolerable conditions, she will assent to the abrogation of the restrictions imposed on the Hanse merchants in England; and praying her to send ambassadors to them to treat fully as to the new Residence. They feel bound to say that the chief purpose of the treaty is that the Queen's subjects and merchants shall enjoy an equality of privilege with their own citizens and subjects, and vice versa. . . .—6 March, 1586.
Postscript.—As regards the number of cloths which they and the confederate cities are to be allowed by way of licence to export every year from England, they pray her Majesty to advert to the demands of their ambassadors in England last summer, and to answer their requests by her ambassadors.
Add. Endd. Latin. 4½ pp. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns II. 35.]
March 7/17. M. Villiers to Walsingham.
What I write now, is not to give you any particulars of these countries, for I know little, but to maintain myself in your good graces, and to pray you to continue your goodwill towards me. My duty, however, will not let me forget to say to you that this gentle nature of M. de Sidney indiget freno et non contraribus. If you place to write to him of it, do not let him perceive that I have said anything to you of it; he will discover it very easily, for I have mentioned it to him. However, you must remember the proverb, virtus laudata crescit, which you many touch upon to him, for he is a good and virtuous man, but needs to be taught not to be dismayed by the rubs of the world, for no good man can escape them; but constancy, patience and prudence welded together will make them to pass over without melancholy. If your daughter came hither, she would find a wise and prudent princess, who would be as a mother to her, and demoiselles who would do her the service which your virtue, that of her mother and her own deserve, from the obligation that I and mine hath have towards what belongs to you.
If you fear bad air, we can furnish her with as good as any to be found in “Cant” or Essex.—Middelburg, 17 March, Stylo nostro.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Holland VII. 13.]
March 7. William Knollys to Walsingham.
I mean not to trouble your honour with any discourse of these countries, for I know you are better certified thereof, but this much I may say, “that if his Excellency had not accepted the Government which by the Estates' free choice was given him, I think this war would have had a hard course. For first, both the people and soldiers were grown into such a mislike with the government of Estates, as they would never have endured the same longer, besides, where there were so many commanders, and each of them for a divers province, there grew such confusion amongst them, as every one, desirous to favour his particular, had small respect to the general, and seeking only to enrich themselves, neglected their country, which now is taken from them, because nothing passeth but by his Excellency's warrant. It is now feared that her Majesty misliketh with my Lord's acceptance of this absolute government, and truly some of the Estates have heretofore told me that they were willing to give my Lord more honour than her Majesty is willing he should receive, a dangerous course in my conceit to be put into their heads, for if there were an intention of peace, the more credit is given to the cause and the greater show of war will bring forth best conditions in the accord.
“But I dare not enter into these seas, where in seeking to shun Charybdis, I may fall upon Scylla; only I wish the best, and thereto will put both my hand and heart. Out greatest want is money, which if it be not better supplied, the service may be greatly hindered, especially in the poor town of Ostend, where wanting money we can have no meat. The land yieldeth us nothing because it is all waste, besides the enemy lieth very near us; the boats from sea only come to us when we have money, the Dunkirkers keep in our fishermen, that we lose the benefit thereof, wherefore understanding that certain pinnaces be made to be employed upon these coasts, my humble suit to your honour is that two of them may be sent to Ostend, a place of the greatest need, and fittest to do service upon the enemy. Mr. Borough being here with the ships is content to supply my want with fifty black bills, a very necessary weapon for us, and hath required my letter to your honour to be allowed so many out of the Tower, which if it be not, I will be answerable for them. I have written to Sir William Pelham for three hundred, wherein I beseech your honour's furtherance.”—Flushing, 7 March, 1585.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland VII. 14]
March 7. Horatio Palavicino to Walsingham.
On this day, the 7th, I have come to this city, where the Earl is, and have left Sieur Heneage (Ennige) behind me, in my desire to hasten the more. I have given your letters to the Earl, and have fully discussed with him all that was contained in the memorial. He hopes to be able to satisfy the said Sieur Heneage of the good reasons which have moved him to act as he has done, showing that the confusing in which the country was, was manifestly ruining everything if he refused the charge which they gave him. But of this and of the result, you will be more fully advertised by others. I am going on my journey, having here found the Sieur de Guitri, who had begun to despair of my coming, and together we shall take our way to Enchuysen, there to embark; but the Earl has kept me to-day, and wishes to detain me also to-morrow, because he means to give me some particular instructions, which are being drawn up; wherefore I believe I shall have to follow him to Amsterdam, and from thence go to Enchuysen to embark with the first wind.
Now about the passage. I find here great diversity of opinion and many difficulties; but as Mr. “Kiligre” and others advise me not to go to Emden or that country, I believe we shall be constrained to go to Bremen, and make that voyage, which is long and wearisome, in respect of the shallowness of the river at this season. M. de Guitri and I shall consult together at Enchuysen and there try to take the best resolution we may.—Harlem,. 7 March, 1585.
Add. Endd. Italian. 1½ pp. [Holland VII. 15.]
March 7/17. M. de Quitry to Walsingham.
Together with the satisfaction of receiving news of you (which cannot be better than I wish them), I have had a great pleasure in the arrival of M. “Palvaizino,” who only reached this town of “Herllem” to-day, March 17, by the new account. (fn. 1) I hope, by God's grace, we shall start on our journey to-morrow, and shall find things well disposed for effecting some good, although my delay has been somewhat harmful. But we shall find means to remedy that.
Of the news of this country, you will be better advertised by others. I will not fail, whenever occasion offers, to let you know of our arrival in Germany, and of the Progress of our affairs, which I pray you to continue to assist as you have always done heretofore.—Harlem, “ce 17.”
Holograph. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Germany, States IV. 21.]
March 8. Stafford to Walsingham.
“Because I had no great matter to despatch by this bearer, I must leave him to your honour's favour, beseeching you to be as good to him as you can.”
Tow days since the King sent Monsieur Pinard unto me about the daily complaints made unto him by his subjects spoiled at sea by our men, and especially for one Estienne Damasquette of St. Jehan de Lus, who had a ship taken by a man of war set out by Sir George Carewe; he is now returned out of England, with a certificate from their ambassador there, that notwith-standing any proofs he could make, he was put off with delays from day to day, neither expected to have any justice; which the King takes in very ill part, and willed Pinard to tell me that he saw her Majesty was not so ready to satisfy him in those cases as he was her Majesty; “for upon my first motion (he said) the King (without hearing of the cause) sent his letters to St. Jehan de Lus, to have our merchants and their goods released. . . . And he, contrariwise, having so often written and caused his ambassador to speak in favour of his subjects (especially for this Damasquette) . . . found no effects to come thereof, nor they nothing at all satisfied, so as he said the King should be forced to take another course, which he would not willingly do but by constraint of our slackness in doing in doing his subjects justice, the which he told me with greater vehemency and in hotter terms than ever he did any thing since my coming hither, willing me in the King's name to advertise you that if by the fifteenth of the next month there were not some better order taken to satisfy them, he should be constrained to grant them letters of mark to recover their losses as they could.”
The news of the levy of reiters in Germany has made them sit these two days very busily in Council, but nothing is yet resolved. The speech of the Marshal of Biron going into Poictou still holds.—Paris, 8 March, 1585.
Postscript in his own hand.—In truth, the exclamation is so great, of this man especially, and with some colour, considering their readiness, upon my speech, to discharge all at St. John de Luz, that if a satisfactory answer come not within the time, I shall not be able to help any mischance.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [France XV. 47.]
March 8. Leicester to the Privy Council.
In behalf of a poor shipper called John Peterson of Enchuysen, whose ship was taken in Harwich haven by certain rovers named Gregory Piper, Hodges, and one Earle, and he left without amends or recompence. The act (if it be as he alleges) is not only unjust and offensive, “but so much the more grievous and worthy correction as the difference to be made between friends and enemies requireth”; those of North Holland being much disquieted—seeing her Majesty's favour to them and their resolution to yield her obedience—that they should be ill dealt with by her subjects. Prays their lordships' favour in the poor man's behalf, that he may have his ship restored, with all its furniture, and recompense for his losses and charges, besides due punishment of the offenders.—Harlem, 8 March, 1585.
Signed. Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Holland VII. 16.]
Petition of John Peterson, late master of the Pieter of Enchuysen, relating the seizure of his ship at Harwich by Degory or Gregory Pyper, captain of the Sweepstake of London, Richard Hodges, master of the said ship, and one Earle, captain of a small pinnace, formerly a scrivener in London; who nailed suppliant and his company under hatches and sailed to the Isle of Wight, keeping them imprisoned for a month or thereabouts without competent nourishment or sustentation. The said suppliant obtained her Majesty's letters to all her officers, “by whose help were gotten certain of the company of sea-rovers under the said captains,” who, being examined examined in the Marshalsea, confessed and named the captains and owners of the said ships. They have set sureties, and now as suppliant is a man of no wealth at all, not able to follow this heavy case, he prays that his Excellency will be pleased to send to her Majesty's Privy Council, that it may please them “ex officio to have such deep regard that redress may be taken,” the malefactors arrested, and petitioner have recovery of his great losses.
Copy. 1¼ pp. [Holland VII. 16a.]
March 9. [Walsingham] to Stafford.
“The French Ambassador did very earnestly in the King his master's name, press her Majesty not long since to promise that she would be no intermeddler nor dealer in those causes that concern the said King and his subjects by procuring them assistance out of Germany, and thereby to strengthen them in the undutiful course they now hold, a manner of proceeding not agreeable with the ancient treaties, by the which they were bound reciprocally not to maintain each other's rebels, which he said the King his master did look that her Majesty would inviolably keep towards him, for that otherwise he should be forced to enter into some such way of remedy by joining with such princes as are not best affected to this Crown (which he would be loth to do otherwise than forced of necessity, in respect of the goodwill he hath always professed to bear towards her). And further did pray her to advise the King of Navarre to conform himself in point of religion, as the only way to work his own good, and to restore the poor afflicted realm of France to his former repose. Her Majesty, in answer hereof, did let the ambassador understand that as she did acknowledge herself to be greatly beholding unto the King, whom she hath found ever since she entered into her government friendly and well affected towards her; so would she be loth to minister unto him any just cause of offence, having no other meaning but to continue good friendship with him, and to maintain inviolably all such treaties as have passed between the two Crowns.
“But touching the King's request to forbear to assist the King of Navarre (to whom certain factious and evil affected subjects of his have and do attribute the title of rebels) she showed the ambassador that if she should assist him, as it seemed the King had been persuaded she would, she should thereby deserve rather thanks than blame, being persuaded in her conscience that the King of Navarre's overthrow could not but put in hazard the King's own estate; and thereupon prayed the ambassador to put the King in mind of the opinion he himself conceived of the attempt of those of the League when it first brake forth, as they whose chief heads, under the colour of the advancement of the Catholic religion, sought nothing else but most ambitiously the advancement of the Catholic religion, sought nothing else but most ambitiously the advancement of their own credits. And that both her Majesty and all others that look into the course of their proceedings, do see no cause why the King or any other that standeth well affected towards him should take any other conceit of their doings, specially seeing that they of the Religion yielding all obedience unto the King, agreeable with his edicts at the time of the attempt, gave no cause to provoke those of the League to enter into so violent a course.
“And as touching the King's other request, to advise the King of Navarre to conform himself unto the Catholic religion, she answered, beside that it was a thing against her own conscience to persuade him to abandon the religion she herself professed, and that she also thought, if she should assent to any such motion, that the King of Navarre was a prince so constantly settled in his religion, as he would not be drawn to yield any such conformity as was required against his own conscience, she did beside see most apparently, that the King himself should reap thereby, instead of a benefit, danger; for that by yielding thereunto, the said King of Navarre should be greatly weakened, in respect that it is to be looked for that upon any such change they of the Religion would then quite forsake him, which would so far forth abate his present force and strength as he should in no respect be able then to serve as he now doth as a most apt and profitable instrument to bridle the ambition of them of the League; whereof she prayed him to tell the King that she could not but advise him, as often she had done heretofore, to have due consideration, and to assure him that if he would take that princely course that was fit for his calling, and as the necessity of his estate required, for the bridling of the insolence of those that sought to give law unto him in his own realm, she would not fail to yield him all assistance that she might.
“This in substance passed between her Majesty and the ambassador, which she desired him to impart unto the King his master, saying merely unto him that he durst not do so, for fear of the House of Guise. Whereupon he prayed her Majesty that her own ambassador, to whom it did most properly appertain to deliver such like messages, might also have charge to impart the same unto the King. To which motion her Majesty assenting, gave me commandment to give you direction accordingly, in the execution whereof her pleasure is that you shall prosecute these two points following, applying the same as to you shall be thought best, to enter into any hard conceit against her Majesty upon doubt of the support she should give for the levying of forces in Germany. The one, that the cause [for] which those of the League took arms, was in respect of the doubt they conceived that the said King could not long live, and so under pretext of religion sought to possess themselves of the principal towns in that realm, with intent, howsoever it fall out, to continue the possession of the said towns, whereby they may both be better able to bridle the said King for the time present, as also to execute their other designs in time future.
“The other cause that moved them to take arms was for that they did greatly 'stomach' the King in respect of the extraordinary favour he hath showed to certain gentlemen, as the Duke of Joyeuse and 'Espergnon,' by advancing them to places of honour, a thing that princes have at all times and in all ages done, and were most dangerous example that they should example that they should be called by any subject to any account for the same; a matter by them most assuredly intended, if they may so far forth prevail as to make the King himself an instrument and joined with them in the prosecution of the overthrow of the King of Navarre, who is the only stay and impediment of their malicious intents and designs.
“Thus I write unto you by her Majesty's commandment, having myself no hope that the same will work any great effect; the King being so weak minded as he is, and betrayed by his mother, who, despairing of his life, buildeth her future standing upon the house of Guise, which she thinketh to make more assured by the overthrow of the King of Navarre. I do not think the Almaine ambassadors shall prevail much, when they shall find none there either to counsel or countenance them, but shall be as many ways disgraced as they of the League (who carry the sway there) can devise.
“The repair and countenance of the D[uke] of Guise at the Court, and the part he hath there showeth sufficiently his strength. It is reported here that both the mignons, Espergnon and Joyeuse, do seek to make their peace with him, finding the weakness of their master such as it is, and the cold backing and support they see yielded to the King of Navarre. The remedy therefore is to grow from above, for in the arm of flesh is little hope. In the report you are to make of that which shall pass between the King and you, touching his present negotiation, you shall do well to use shortness, for that her Majesty doth love no long recital, especially in that which you are directed from her to say unto him.”
Minute. Endd. with date. 3 pp. [France XV. 48.]
March 9. Leicester to the Lords of the Council.
Copy of letter of this date (printed by Mr. Bruce, from the original in the Harley MSS., in Leycester Correspondence, p. 162), defending himself for having accepted the authority offered him by the States. Will not excuse himself for doing so without first acquainting her Majesty, but yielded to the persuasions of Davison and others. Complains of Davision's “slackness to have answered sooner and better . . . as he promised he would.” Prays to be recalled, feeling himself “very unfit and unable to wade in so weighty a cause as this is, which ought to have much more comfort” than he will either find or deserve.—Harlem, 9 March, 1585.
Endd. 2 ¾ pp. [Holland VII. 17.]
March 9. The Magistrates and Senate of Hamburg to the Merchants Adventurers.
Congratulating them on the restoration of the good understanding between England and the Hanse towns, and proposing that plenipotentiaries shall meet at Hamburg to treat fully for the better confirmation of the matters in question, and the restoration of ancient privileges.—Hamburg, 9 March, 1586.
Add. Endd. Latin. 2¼ pp. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns II. 36.]
Copy of the preceding letter.
Endd. Latin. 2 pp. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns II. 37.]
March 10/20. Count of Montgomery to the Queen.
Assuring her that, having been dedicated to her before his birth (nesense), no one of her natural subjects will serve her with more devotion. Therefore if her Majesty should, as all the would believes, undertake some warlike enterprise, he prays to be allowed to take leave of the King his master, and bring her four thousand harquebusiers and a hundred gentlemen, who, with himself, will ruin themselves or do her some signal service. Her ambassador will testify to his ardent desire to employ himself for her who merits that the whole world should render her obedience.—Lorges, 20 March.
Holograph. Add. Endd. with full date. Fr. 1 p. [France XV. 49.]
March 10/20. Passport from the Prince of Parma, for Captain Yorke (Yorck).—20 March, 1586.
Signed Alexander Farnese. Countersigned Pamier. Fr.½ p. Seal of arms. Flanders I [Placed in the Museum of the Public Record Office.]


  • 1. This proves that Palavicino used the old style.