Elizabeth: March 1586, 11-15

Pages 432-448

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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March 1586, 11–15

March 11/21. Masino del Bene to Walsingham.
I wrote to you at length a few days ago, telling you about the matter of the Spaniard. Now, desiring much for him to go into that country, I consequently desire that you should be the one to guide him there. I assure you he is a man from whom to get good service, and who knows all Spain, and is as well informed of the humours of that King and his Council as I am of my own house. I feel sure that if her Majesty would once speak with him, she would be so pleased that she would not for ten thousand crowns have him come back again.
Here it is resolved to make a great army and give it to M. de Guise, to oppose certain troops who are reproted to be coming from Germany to aid the King of Navarre. It is said that shortly the King will raise another and larger one. Already, M. du Maine (d' Aumeine) has one, M. de Matignon another, and the Sieur de la Valette another in Dauphiny (Delfinato). And one for Poitou is designed for M. Biron, and another for Auvergne and the Valais for M. d'Aumont, so that, as may be seen, this kingdom is not so unfrunished with forces as is said, if they should talk of making a foreign war.
You are greatly threatened form Italy. Be very prudent and careful. Imagine a young chicken, surrounded by three great venomous spiders.—Paris, 21 March, 1586.
Postscript.—The Spaniard will find means of procuring me frequent news form Spain.
Add. Endd.pp. [France XV. 50.]
March 11. Ortell to Walsingham.
Has rejoiced greatly to learn from his honour's letter her Majesty's firm resolution as regards the Low Countries, and is assured that they will trust to her entirely, and that there is nothing too great for them to do for her service. Doubts not but that both the Earl and the country will shortly give her such full satisfaction that she will not have the least ground for discontent, but will see by results that what has happened will have been for her service rather than otherwise.
Sent her Majesty's letter to the Count of Embden by a man-of-war, the captain of which has since been here and says that he delivered it.—London, 11 March, 1585.
Signed. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Holland VII. 18.]
March 12. Lord Willoughby to Walsingham.
“Your letters for Denmark have at last found me in Flanders. . . . I hope there is no meaning nor I find no devotion to be sent hence thither or any where else of my own charge; what I have done, and as I live here makes me know what it is to spend sufficiently; I would I knew but half so well what recompense means, though it were but in reputation, not in profit.
“I think the King would have proceeded more soundly, if he had been solicited according to his offer made in my last advertisement. He may perhaps make squeamish to join in war on our side, before it be openly proclaimed by us or that he had sent to the King of Spain to know how conformable he would be to his request in those points her Majesty setteth down; but as it is, I hope God will continue his mind so well affected as I left him, that good success shall follow.
“I received a letter form old Ranzow, Vicegerent of Holst, wherein I understand it hath been practised by the Spaniard and Spanish faction earnestly to remove him from her Majesty, but I persuade their intelligence is so 'parfitt' as it may faint but never fail.
“His Excellency's excellent entertainment in all places, with a general applause of all persons, I know it is better advertised by divers more sufficient and more acquainted.”—Amsterdam, 12 March.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. VII. 19.]
March 12. Huddilston to Walsingham.
I send enclosed a copy of the letter which his Exellency sent me to deliver to the “Governor and Company of Merchants Assistant.” With it I received one to myself, that if her Majesty's treasure were come, I should either bring or send it with all possible speed; otherwise, I should deliver the letter. “In the want of the one, I have accomplished the other, having insisted with them for speed, according to the importance of the matter,” and the sum I think will be answered, though not as quickly as his Excellency expects. I marvel so little credit is to be had in so great a company, but they say every man stretches himself to the utmost. They deliver the money in such small coins that I and all my men will not be able to tell it in three days. Her Majesty will have to answer it by exchange in London, the exchange being so enhanced that she will find what it is to have need to use it. I pray you to furnish me with credit as requested in my former letters, without which I cannot borrow a penny. I have written to my Lord Treasurer, and besought him, as I do you, for allowance for my clerks, whereof I can have no fewer than four at least; one with myself in attendance on his Excellency; one in these parts, Zeeland, Brabant and Flanders; one to send into Holland and Guelderland, and one in England.
My service cannot be despatched as if it were within the compass of one garrison or one camp in the field, but lies in sundry places far distant, many as inconvenient as if half my charge were in England; besides the often sending “to imprest and pay,” whereby the charges I am like to sustain will leave me a poor remain of my protage money.
I have also moved his lordship for a proportion of beer, “which were no small disburdening of me, considering the excise, from which I have no hope to get release, with all the friends I have.” I pray your frutherance of these poor suits.—Middelburg, 12 March, 1585.
Postscript.—Our horsemen were called from Bergen towards his Excellency about five days since, as conjectured for the relief of Grave, which the enemy's cavalry keeps very short. There was a preparation for an enterprise upon Tergoes last Wednesday. “It took no effect by reason of the tempestuous weather. Now it is discovered, I hope the like hereafter will have no better success.”
Add. Endd 2 pp. [Holland VII. 20.]
Copy of Leicester's letter to the Merchants Adventurers at Middelburg, calendared on p. 413, above.—Harlem, 4 March, 1585, stilo Angliœ.
Underwritten, by Huddilston.—“It was the 10th of March ere this letter was delivered here, and I fear it will be the 15th at least ere answer be despatched out of this town.”
¾ p. [Ibid. VII. 21.]
March 12. Huddilston to Burghley.
On Thursday the 10th, there arrived a letter from his Excellency that if her Majesty's treasure were come, I should send 4,000l. to Utrecht with all speed; and if not, to borrow so much of the merchants of this town, to whom he addressed letters for that purpose, the copy of which I enclose. [See letter on p. 413, above.] [Concerning the obtaining of the money, as to Walsingham.] In former letters I wrote that “I should be compelled to bring her Majesty into some interest” for answering the wants of our companies at Bergen, Ostend and Flushing, which the remain of her treasure could not satisfy. There is some small interest rising so, which indeed is the easiest way for her Majesty, but when it is due to be answered, I cannot continue in that manner, as the exchange “is so suddenly risen to the advantage of the merchant, as they will either deliver it that way or else not at all,” so all must be answered by exchange in England.
I beseech you to consider of our wants here. “From the best officer to the meanest soldier, here is more that feeleth it not in some sort.”
Our “occurrents” from Holland are few, the late tempestuous weather having made the passage between us so dangerous Those whom I have employed in necessary service “betwixt both,” have had this winter as hard hap as any, and those whom I sent with the muster-master to pay our companies in Holland and Guelderland are not yet returned, which somewhat troubles me, considering the daily rumours of the wreck of hoys come from thence. My service is much foreslowed by their absence. [Concerning their small number, as to Walsingham.] I must be better furnished, yet I have not one penny of allowance for these, that I know of. I beseech your help, for truly I have need of it, seeing the chargeableness of many servants here, especially men able for such places. We are no more freed from excise than other men. Wherefore I pray your leave for 200 tons of beer to pass without impost from London yearly during my service here. It is the thing above all others we find most chargeable in our housekeeping.
Horsemen have been called from Bergen towards Guelderland; we think for the service his Excellency has in hand to relieve Grave, long since blocked by the enemy. They also meant an enterprise upon Tergoes and Sudbeveland, but it failed from the tempestuous weather.—Middelburg, 12 March, 1585.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland VII. 22.]
March 12. John Schulte to Burghley and Walsingham.
I was compelled to write the letters sent by John Roberts in such haste that I omitted many things. Amongst others, this:—Your lordships will remember the verbal message which the Treasurer gave on 23 August last to Adam Wachendorf, secretary of the Steelyard, when he solicited an answer to our letters transmitted to your, and the negotiations held with you at Nonsuch on 13 August; and also the letter which you wrote to me on 25 August from Wimbledon, in order to declare the matter more fully.
Now that answer is not obscure, and does not differ greatly from your despatch of the autumn of 1584 to the Alderman of the Steelyard. Its purport is that, in return for the offer made by you, you demanded an immediate residence at Hamburg. But it was distorted into quite a different sense by my colleague; viz., that you consented to an immediate and unconditional abrogation of the decrees against us, and had given orders or promised to do so, to all collectors of customs to allow all Hanse merchants from that moment to have free exercise of commerce on payment of a noble as toll, being content that the residence at Hamburg should be postponed until we got an answer from Germany, as to whether and on what conditions it should be granted.
When the matter was explained by subsequent letters and my colleague found that his opinion was wrong, and his splendid promises to the cities incapable of realization; in order to save his reputation here he told lies to the men of Lubeck and others, and spread it abroad that I and William Moller, Chancellor of the Count of Friseland and Syndic of Hamburg, had been a hindrance to him, and were the causes of the revocation and correction of the supposed unconditional promise of abrogation of the decrees.
Now this is an obvious falsehood, and the man in doing me and William Moller much wrong. Your lordships know well that at that time I had spoken or communicated with absolutely nobody. I therefore pray you to give me under your seal an open testimonial of innocence to this effect. [Proposed form of letter]
This falsehood has so influenced those of Lubeck that they even decline to pay me the money expended on our journey and embassy; which therefore has become a source both of loss and suspicion to me.
I hope and pray that you will not deny me this document, as it may concern the preservation of your honour also. For it will prevent your being accused of having written the letter of 25 August without sufficient consideration, and afterwards revoked it, as this man openly and unblushingly affirms. If you grant my request, be pleased to send the document as soon as possible by John Roberts or with the ambassadors that are to come hither.—Hamburg, 12 March, 1586.
Add. Endd. Latin. 3½ pp. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns II. 38.]
March 12/22. A relation sent to the King of Spain by the Marques de Santa Cruz and the Contador Bernabe de Pedrosso from Portugal on this date, of the preparations of ships, troops, marines, provisions, wines, artillery, munition, mules, fire-works &c., &c., with estimate of total cost.
Copy. Endd. “A proportion for the King of Spain's preparations.” Spanish. 3 pp. [Spain II. 56.]
Another copy of the same, more neatly arranged, but not so detailed.
Copy. Endd. “An estimate of an army, supposed to be in setting out by the King of Spain.” Spanish. 1½ pp. [Ibid. II. 57.]
March 12. Advertisements of Tervere and Hamburg.
Tervere.—There is a party who daily practices with the mariners to stir them to mutiny, and has servants whom he sends to Zeeland and Holland. “The jealousy had of the water bailiff of Tervere and Armuyden is to be had in consideration.”
At Hamburg there are thirty merchants' ships, both of Antwerp and Flushing, lading for Spain. “They appoint themselves in warlike manner,” and mean to pass in one fleet, and if assaulted by any English, “to resist and claim their liberty of trading.” Of one ship, “Ramoen, sometime Admiral of Antwerp, is captain, whose being there is much marvelled [at], and therefore thought to be corrupted. Also there is Peeter Lensen [or Leusen] and other captains of consequence.”
Endd. with date &c. by Burghley. 1 p. [Newsletters I. 70.]
March 13. Thomas Digges to [Walsingham].
Sends enclosed such observations on the present state of this country, as he has collected by his own experience and conference with many others of all degrees. He has “opened the wound plainly and truly,” leaving the cure to the grave wisdoms of her Majesty's Council, but will be ready to offer his poor advice, if he be thought worthy to speak in a matter of so great weight.—Amsterdam, 13 March, 1585.
Signed. ½ p. [Holland VII. 23.]
“Advertisement of the present state of these Low Countries.”
The enemy has drawn out his forces to the field and appointed in every quarter a governor to prosecute the war.
Verdugo, on the quarter of Friesland and Groningen.
Hautepenne, one of the sons of Barlaymont, on the frontiers of Guelderland and Brabant.
Lamotte in Flanders. Great suspicion of an attempt to be made on Ostend.
His Excellency has also drawn great part of his forces together to answer the enemy's attempts, do something to succour Grave, or second Colonel Schenk.
His Excellency may, he hopes, draw forth 3,000 English foot, besides the garrisons of Flushing the Brill, Bergen-op-Zoom, and Ostend, which must be kept complete.
Of the bands that came over in August or September, more than half are wasted, dead and gone, and many of the rest sick and feeble, fitter to be at home in hospitals than to take pay as soldiers.
The people generally desire to be her Majesty's absolute subjects, and hate the States, whom they accuse of having “pilled” the people, starved the soldiers and enriched themselves.
The exactions and excises are incredible, and amount to at least three times as much as the 20,000l. monthly allowed to his Excellency for the war. “The rest they divide amongst themselves.”
This 20,000l. monthly cannot content the 180 foot ensigns in their pay, much less the cavalry and great stipends of Count Hollock, Count Maurice, Count de Meurs, Grave William and many colonels, “but for all this the States offer there shall be new impositions to levy more.”
Hereby they will divert the people's malice upon his Excellency, in whose name they will have these new impositions levied.
Great part of the people of these United Provinces are “much addicted to Papistry, . . . so that religion will no more stay these men from according with the Spaniard than those of Brabant, Flanders &c., if they find no ease of the burden of impositions and may hope for any mitigation by returning to the Spaniard.”
The States' soldiers have been so badly paid, that their bands are weak, and so discontented that if they had not been put in hope to be satisfied by her Majesty, many would have “cassed their ensigns” before now.
Our own soldiers, “notwithstanding great numbers of them be paid with earth in their graves,” are so discontented that if pay come not speedily, “I doubt some worse adventure than I will devise beforehand.”
Till his Excellency's coming, there was no order in the office of the musters; no entry made of the death, departure or supply of soldiers, no view of their arming, no training or exercise. But his lordship has given me such authority that I hope many defects are and hereafter shall be amended.
“Many of the captains are extremely 'discontent' with me for my severe musters, and surely they have cause; if pay may [not] now accompany the same, it will breed some bad effects.” I have discovered more defects and made more checks of pay in three bands than has been done in a dozen mustered in my absence.
Some of the States already being underhand to cross his Excellency's most important actions against the enemy, because it would cut off their corrupt lucre by uttering their commodities &c. at high prices to the enemy. The drift of many is still to enrich themselves by such wicked means and so “continue a long war, making their private profit of the calamity of the people.”
The coin of this country is so base that it is thought 100l. sterling English would make twice as much or more of theirs as now rated, but I have made no assay, and so speak but by report. If it be so, “it shall marvellously exhaust the English treasure to the excessive gain of this country and loss of our nation.”
There are other matters which I forbear yet to write; and perhaps had been wise, for my own safety, to be silent in these, “the persons bearing no small authoirty whose errors I wish reformed. But if I had meant to fear any peril in regard of her Majesty's service, I would never had waded thus far.”
General covering sheet. Add. Endd.pp. [Holland VII. 23a.]
March 13. Thomas Digges to Burghley.
To the same effect as that to Walsingham, above.
½ p. [Holland VII. 24.]
Advertisement of the state of the Low Countries; being a duplicate of that sent to Walsingham.
Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Ibid. VII. 24a.]
March 13. Audley Danett to Thomas Wilkes, Clerk of the Council.
Hearing that you are come to London from the country, I send a line or twain to thank you for your friendly remembrance and desire to do me good “amongst the persons which, upon his Excellency's coming hither, were to be preferrd. My hap hath not been to stumble upon anything,” which I impute to my insufficiency and want of wit, though some, my good friends, lay it upon my hard fortune. Howsoever it be, “I bear with patience the loss of that which I never had.
“Touching the proceedings, I am not now, as in the time of the Duke of Anjou and of the late Prince, to make any roving discourse, as well because I know great persons have many ears, et scimus longas regibus esse manus; withal a poor man's discourse being 'misconstred' might breed some great incongruity and silly souls, which are no way able to do good, must be fearful to do any harm . . . and yet if we be not the better backed from home, I could wish us all at home, rather than to become desperate adventurers. Sed que supra nos, nihil ad nos; bene vixit qui bene latuit.”
I commend myself to good Mrs. Wilkes, and my friend Mr. Ciprian.—Amsterdam, 13 March, 1585, stilo Angliœ.
Postscript.—“What reports soever may be brought to discredit Mr.Norreys . . . suspend your judgment until trial be had; and never trust my judgment if the gentleman be not every way worthy of great commendation; although your new aspiring secreatary [Davison] do seek secretly to disgrace him; who in truth, if he have that room (quod absit) will in a short time soon disgrace himself.”
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. VII. 25.]
March 14. Stafford to Burghley.
The King has had certain adverstisement of the reiters' coming, and after long consultation (being thrust forward by the Duke of Guise) has resolved upon war, meaning himself (as is said) to go lie with an army at Montereau; to send the Duke of Guise into Champagne, the Marshal de Biron into Poitou, and the Marshal d'Aumont into Auvergne. You will understand the rates they have set down by Mr. Secreatary's letters, “which are so great as I see small means to compass them.
“The clergy hath agreed to the sale of 50,000 crowns a year rent and to give the King 300,000 crowns more, but they fear that so soon as he hath it, he will make a peace. News is come that the Vicomte of Turenne hath defeated the Vicomte de la Guerche, with three hundred horse and twelve hundred footmen, going to the succour of a town.”—Paris, 14 March, 1585.
Underwritten.—Notes by Burghley of the strength of the forces, evidently taken from Stafford's letter to Walsingham.
Add. Endd. by Burghley. 1 p. [France XV. 51.]
March 14. Stafford to Walsingham.
“The King being certainly advertised of the reiters' preparation to come down, hath been in Council these four or five days what he could do. They have in the end resoled upon war, and have named the men that shall have the charges, and where they shall be employed; but I do not think but a great part of it will prove nothing, or a great deal less than that which is set down.
“The Duke of Guise (who is to receive them at their first entry) hath appointed him forty companies of men at arms, eight hundred light horsemen, strangers; four thousand reiters, four thousand lansquenets, and four thousand Swisses; and from Monsieur de Lorraine he is to have three thousand footmen, five hundred horse, and fifteen hundred harquebusiers of horseback.
“The King is resolved to go up to Montereau, and to have with him three score companies of men at arms, and three score companies of footmen, French; eight hundred French light horsemen, six thousand reiters, six thousand lansquenets, and eight thousand Swisses.
“The Marshal of Biron is appointed to go into Poitou with twelve companies of men at arms, eighteen of footmen, and four of light horsemen.
“The Marshal d'Aumont hath his charge at Auvergne and Velay; and with him four companies of men at arms, and eight of footmen.
“In Guienne shall remain the Duke of Maine and the Marshal Matignon with their armies, and in Dauphiny Monsieur de la Vallette.
“Those are rates which the King and his Council have set down in their imaginations, but they are so great, as I see small possibility how they will be performed. It is all done at the earnest pursuit of Monsieur de Guise, who they say goes away on Tuesday or Wednesday, whereat the King (in my opinion) will be nothing sorry.
“The King hath so 'tempered' with his clergy, that in the end he hath won them; and they are content to sell fifty thousand crowns a year rent, and to satisfy him for the other fifty, they will give him three hundred thousand crowns in money, but they fear, and speak it openly, that so soon as he hath their money, he will presently make a peace with them of the Religion.
“The Duke of Maine doth little where he is, since that they of the Religion took Royan; there is such scarcity of victuals in his camp as his men run from him, and die of hunger by the way. It is said that there are eight ships sent out of Bordeaux to safe conduct the provision that comes that way out of Bretagne for the camp; which if they do not, they are like to starve, for they have nothing but what comes from thence. I think those eight ships be they that I writ to you of afore.
“There are new edicts propounded for the making of money for the maintenance of these wars. One is, that all they of the Religion that had any grant from the King to have their rents and goods sent them where they are, it shall be now revoked, and the money, moveables, or anything else that shall be found belonging unto any of them, shall be seized and employed to the use of the wars; but how it will pass is not yet known.
“I have news out of Germany, that the Ambassadors (notwithstanding their safe conduct which they have) stay yet about Spire and Heidelberg, for two considerations; first, to attend what be concluded at Frankfort; and next, to have a general commission from all the princes in Germany, under their hands and seals, which before they had from two only, having afore of all the rest but letters of credit only.
There is news come before yesterday, which they keep very secret, because it is not good for them, that the Marshal Matignon, having sent to the Duke of Maine and protested that if such a town were lost for lack of succours, the fault should be his, the Duke sent him under the conduct of the Viscomte de la Guerche three hundred horse and twelve hundred shot, whom the Viscomte of Turenne charged upon the way, and defeated all the horsemen. The footmen laid down their arms, and demanded mercy, but they crying that they were of the League, slew them every one. They do here give out that the Viscomte of Turenne is slain or hurt; but I think it not so. They of the League here say that it is a Norman's trick of Monsieur de Matignon, that sent for them to have them defeated. This news doth make them more hasten the Marshal of Biron's army that goes into Poitou than anything else.
“I have sent you here a letter from Dr. Lobetius. If it be of as stale a date as mine, the news will not be very fresh.”— Paris, 14 March, 1585.
Signed. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [France XV. 52.]
March 14. Copy of the above.
Endd.pp. [Ibid. XV. 53.]
March 14. Stafford to Walsingham.
I have an advertisement “which is very certain, and of great importance in mine opinion that with speed the Queen should be advertised of it, to be advertised of the cunning proceeding here of the Queen Mother, to abuse both her Majesty and all the whole action; which is—besides the certainty of the advertiser—confirmed to me by many likelihood of circumstances done to myself, with speeches used to me with that colour and I think to that effect meant.
The Queen Mother talking that last day with the Duchess of Nemours [the D. of Guise's mother], who she found very much melancholied, seeing this marriage retarded, and that the Duke of Guise did not his things in effect, though in good words and shows otherwise so well as she would, bid her be of good cheer, that things should go better than she did look for, for there should presently go unto the French Ambassador order 'assure' that there was nothing so much desired here by the King of France as peace; that she did very well know the Queen's humour, that she will presently send to stay her money she sent into Germany; that that being done—as she knew the Queen would do it to save her money—it was sure no reisters should come for the King of Navarre, and that they should have them at what point they listed. The Queen Mother maketh it also be given out that presently after Easter she doth mean to go into Guienne to the King of Navarre, and to make a general peace. Villeroy hath also written to his brother-in-law, who is Ambassador in Switzerland, to persuade them as from himself to send to the French King for to persuade him to a peace, assuring them there is nothing he desireth so much as to have colour to make it; but all this is but to lull them asleep with that opinion, that there may be no forces prepared, but in truth they send as he requesteth, but 'let' not provide for war, and to be ready when the reisters come. Besides it is openly given out here that the French King doth but expect the coming of them that are sent out of Germany to make a peace, but assure yourself that all these are but shows of cunning, only to bring the world in that opinion, and to leave the remedies that must help unlooked for; not that I think but that the French King would very willingly have a peace, for he desireth nothing more than to live quietly; but he is both forced to do the contrary, and besides I can assure you upon my life for a certainty that it is a resolution now of his that the reisters shall come, and the Duke of Guise and they of his faction shall be opposed against them at the entry, when he hopeth to put them to the hazard of a battle, wherein his hope is the best of both sides shall lie by it, and in my conscience I think he had as lief it were the Duke of Guise as any, but he is put in this opinion that if he can bring them to that, one side must needs be altogether weakened, and the other side so shaken as he with his fresh army shall bring the victorious party to what composition he himself will; but man proposeth, and God disposeth. I do think that if strangers come, the necessity of famine will and must bring them to a composition, which can not be, the reisters coming so strong for the Protestants as they say will be, but it must be greatly to their advantage.
The Queen Mother made me be sounded by the Abbot of Gadaine, her confidant, the last day, whether the Queen would not find them so 'greatly' as again to speak of a peace, and by the same means to be a means of a reconciliation between the Queen of Navarre and the King of Navarre, and to persuade the King of Navarre to change his religion for the good and quiet of France and all Christendom. I told him that though the Queen had no cause, by the little that was set by her last willing offer to travail in it, that I knew her Majesty so well affected to the good of France, that I thought she would do any thing that were reasonable, but that I would never write nor send to her Majesty of it till the Queen Mother had with her own mouth or the French King spoken to me of it; but if any of them did, I would willingly write to her Majesty (fn. 1) of it to know her pleasure; but I thought it was an unpossible thing for the Queen to be brought to speak to the King of Navarre about religion, whatsoever she might be about the Queen of Navarre, which matter was grown to that extremity that I did not know how anybody could well deal in it; but for all that, if any of them spake to me of it I would write to her Majesty what they commanded, and that they should be sure I would further any good thing to the uttermost, so that there might be very plain dealing of all sides, and that which was spoken were meant faithfully. He bid me assure myself that there was nothing more desired by both the French King and the Queen Mother than a peace, and that the Queen Mother should speak to me of it; but yet I hear nothing from thence, which maketh me to assure myself farther, besides that which I am credibly and perfectly advertised which you may trust to, that all this is but to make me to write of this that the Queen may have a conceit of it that it may be done, and so to stay all helps she meaneth to give the others, and then they mean to laugh at the matter and do nothing.
“That which more confirmeth me in this opinion with the rest, is that since, the Queen Mother hath dealt with one that she thinketh can do somewhat with me, and offered him great reward both of love and other ways to persuade me that the Queen Mother and the French King desire nothing but a peace, and to persuade me to write it to her Majesty. (fn. 2) And to put me out [sic] of opinion that the Queen Mother hath desired ever peace and doth, and that she was never cause of these troubles.
“The Queen Mother hath had a further coming that she hath her [self] sent me word of his being here, that was sent from the King of Spain, and what he came for, as I have written to you in my other letters; that she would never let him speak with the French King, which is most false, for she hath done what she could; whether it were the cunning of the French King, or no, I know not, but he spake not with him. And that he was returned again without any answer at all. That he is returned four days agone is very true; but that he had no answer is false, for the Queen Mother herself gave him answer that at this time things stood in such state as there could not be answer to purpose, but that shortly after the time, one should be sent after him to the King of Spain that things might so fall out that every thing should be done to the King of Spain's contentment. The Queen Mother farther sent me word, to make the colour fairer of her integrity, that the Queen should well look to her state; that the King of Spain had great practises against her both in England and
Ireland, and especially Ireland. I desired to know some particularities, but that could not be told me. For my part, I less believe of any thing in Ireland because they speak of it. I pray God there be nothing in Scotland a practising which they name not, which I cannot yet discover, but that still there is great expectation that Claude Hamilton will put some discord between his brother and them of that party.
If the Queen embrace the contrary party, which God help, I do not doubt but that this will be their last hand. She hath as much interest as any, for there is none more shot at than herself. If they that have their interest joined with her were once weakened, you should quickly see how she would hear of them thick and threefold.
“I marvel I hear not from you about the matter that Staling was sent for. Truly the matter lieth a bleeding. I keep it up as well as I can, and sink it will, if it be not helped, which if it do, next to the reisters, nothing will be done here of that importance, and I think a more everlasting good will come of the one than of the other; and yet both, if things be well done, must needs be.
This bearer you know is he that I writ to you dealt between Cal [Cahil] O'Conor and me; he will tell you how the matter doth stand. Lord Westmorland desired the last day to speak with him, and he asked me if he might. Ibid him go; he would fain have spoken with me, which I refused, upon the commandment I had from you in her Majesty's name not to do it. The rest I leave to him to tell your honour, and thereupon to receive what order I shall receive from you in her Majesty' name.”— Paris, 14 March, 1585.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [France XV.54.]
March 14. M. Buzanval to Walsingham.
I send you a little letter received yesterday from Sedan. The Sieur de Couppet there mentioned is the Sieur de Clervant. I see a pretty good beginning there, but it is for her Majesty to finish it; for as you know, the Germans only move when they are pushed. The bearer, Cabresche, a merchant of la Rochelle, desires to return home and fears to lose an opportunity which he has for doing so. He prays me to write you these lines, that by your favour he may obtain his despatches, and licence to buy victuals for his ship; and also, for its defence, eight cast iron guns, instead of those which his ship had when it was taken. The said merchant complains very much that Mr. Ralegh (Ralle), will only give him half-that is a hundred crowns—for the sale of the elephant's tusks (dans de morfil) which were in the ship, which he will not accept, preferring to give up the whole. If by your authority this poor man, who has suffered a great loss, could obtain what the lords of the Council have ordered, you would oblige both him and me.—London, 14 March.
Postscript.—I send you the reflections which, in my opinion, those should make who meddle with the peace of France. I have not yet polished it, but I think something of the sort might be usefully put before the German ambassadors.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [France XV. 55.]
[Buzanval probably, like de Quitry, used English style, when in England.]
March 14. John Douce to Walsingham.
I have no news of our barque, and am out of hope of her, considering the great winds there have been on this coast. Here be two barques of the west parts; I would have freighted one of them if I had received your advice, but staying to hear from you, they are freighted for Morlaix with wines. It is thought we shall have some shipping of this place come out of Spain.—Nantes, 41 [Sic] March, after our count.
Postscript.—“Here is no news but wars, both by sea and land. The Rochellers letteth none pass; they make all papists good prize; . . . they come within three leagues of this place, into markets and fairs, and make good prize of all, so that there is gone out these last days power [sic] to meet with them and have met and fought.”
Nothing has come from Spain by sea these three weeks to this coast. There is thought to be some stay there till the army be passed.
One that came from Rochelle told me that it is said there that the army is ready, and that it is for England. The Low Countries have in their great hulks great store of flat-bottomed boats, to set men and artillery on shore.
Add. Endd. “14 March, 1585.” 1 p. [Ibid. XV. 56.]
March 14. Resolution for the speech to be pronounced by Sir Thomas Heneage to the States.
“Forasmuch as we have evidently found that her Majesty's first letters and message to the Council of Estate (though it were used with all care and secrecy) hath much weakened the authority of this government, and made some alteration of minds both in the Council and the States (as lately appeared by their objecting against the placcard of trafficking with Spain, their unwillingness to increase their supply for the wars, with desire to withdraw their grant of confiscations &c.), we thought convenient, upon good deliberation, to stay the delivery of her Majesty's second letters (under her Majesty's gracious favour) lest they might confirm the secret reports of her Majesty's mislike of the present government, and so overthrow all that had been hitherto done, to the great danger of the common cause. And therefore we thought best, according to her Majesty's secret instructions, to take that course that might least endanger their weak estate; that is to say, to utter so much in words as we hoped might satisfy her excellent Majesty's expectation, and yet to leave them nothing in writing to confirm that which was secretly spread in many places, to the hindrance of the good course of setting the affairs of these provinces, which speech after Sir Thomas Heneage had devised and we both perused and allowed, he by our consent and advice pronounced to the Council of States. This we did think needful, especially because every one of the Council that was present at the reading of her Majesty's first letters was of the full min that if her Majesty should again show the least mislike of the present government, or should not by her next letters confirm it, they were all undone, for that every man would cast with himself which way to make his peace.—Signed by Leicester, Heneage, Clarke and Killigrew.
Copy. Endd. “The resolution of my Lord L. &c. for speech I should use to the Council of the States.” Added by Burghley: “14 Mar. Upon the letters written from her Majesty in March.” 1 p. [Holland VII. 26.]
[Partly quoted by Motley, I., 423.]
[March 14.] Dr. Clarke's answer to Mr. Heneage's Oration.
The Earl of Leicester, deeming that no opportunity should be omitted of declaring through me his duty to her Majesty, protests that he knows not by what words to express his grief of mind that he should be suspected by his august prince (to whom he owes his life and soul) of having violated or neglected his office. For if he had taken, or by pretext of the commission from her Majesty, had gone about to obtain absolute authority or sway in these United Provinces (with we usually call sovereignty) without consulting her Majesty, he would deem himself worthy of her indignation. And unless the Lords of the Council here present may satisfy her that neither the contract begun in the month of August nor the public declaration of our Queen have been in any way violated, he will at once most readily strip himself of all power and authority (whether conferred by the ordinances of the Netherlands, or at least agreeable to her Majesty's will), nor will he now delay to do so (unless he see it to be to the danger of all the provinces and loss to the common cause) at the first opportunity, as soon as her Majesty shall signify it to be her will. Signed, Bar. Clerk.
Endd. Latin. ½ p. [Ibid. VII. 27.]
March 15. Leicester to Burghley and Walsingham.
“I will not trouble your lordship at this time or any others my good friends with my own matters, or any thing that may privately concern myself. I see what the acceptation of my services is, and how little it availeth to allege most just reasons in defence of them. But though I see I am and must be disgraced, which God I hope will give me strength to bear patiently, yet let me entreat your lordship to be a mean to her Majesty that the poor soldiers here be not beaten for my sake. There came no penny of treasure over since my coming hither. That which then came was most part due before it came. There is much due to them. They cannot get a penny; their credit is spent; they perish for want of victuals and clothing in great numbers. The whole and sound are ready to mutiny, they cannot be gotten out to service, because they cannot discharge the debts they owe in the places where they are. What course may and is likely to ensue shortly if it be not remedied, I am sorry to see. I have lent of my own more than I may spare. The only thing I can now do is to lay their case open to your lordships, praying you to make it known to her Majesty. And then my duty discharged, what shall please her highness may not mislike me. With what policy it may stand to send their pay thus scantly over, I cannot tell. But this I can assure you, that the delay of one moth's pay loseth her Majesty little less than half a month's pay, which with due pay at every months might be saved. For without pay, there can be no muster, and till pay the old rolls come on, be the bands never so weak. And it is the thing the captain desireth, never to have full pay, but to run on with imprests, for so shall his band be never looked into. I have been able to make but one muster since my coming, and I think I have saved her Majesty a good deal in it. I have dealt strictly with the captains, and therefore they look for due pay. The want whereof, though it touch my credit, yet is it not that I weigh. I hope the consideration of her Majesty's honour and profit, of the most miserable estate of the poor soldiers, and of the state of the service, much already hindred and I pray God not too much hazarded thereby, will move for regard herein. And so with my hearty commendations I commit your lordship to the Almighty.”—Amsterdam, — March, 1585.
Postscript, in his own hand.—” I received yesternight late a letter from Colonel Shenks—the only soldier in troth we have, for he is never idle but doing somewhat and it successdeth hitherto very happily—that he hath again overthrown, besides two thousand men which did seek to stop him within the town of Werle after he had taken it, and most slain of them, he hath now again killed fifteen hundred more, and brought away seven ensigns which were soldiers, most of them, that were joined to the last new company that thought also to have besieged him, being in the whole above five thousand, whereof four thousand were of the country of Westfalia, and the former time and this last time he killed the two chief captains and thirty-six gentlemen of name, and twenty very good prisoners he hath brought away. He hath not lost many men, under sixty as I hear, and at these two overthrows he hath killed above three thousand of the enemy's; he found Werle so weak as he hath left it and spoiled it, and returned safe to Venlo again, and he assures me within few days to do as acceptable service as this. Grave, a town in Brabant of great importance, whereof I wrote heretofore to be in danger of treason within it, besides the enemy hath made five or six sconces found about in manner of a siege, as God did discover the treason and the traitors executed, so I did send the Count Hollock the last week to relieve it by putting in some more men if it were possible, because there remained yet some dregs (draggs) of the late conspiracy. He hath handled the matter so well as he hath put in three hundred good soldiers; and by this means I fear it not; for they be now well manned and well victualled; and I have returned him about an other good service which God send good speed of, and shortly I trust you shall hear of it. I carry my grief inward, and will proceed till her Majesty's full pleasure come, with as little discouragement or hindrance to the cause as I can Praying God her Majesty may do that may be best for herself; for my own part my heart is broken, but not by the enemy.”
Add. Endd. by Burghley, “15 March, 1585.” 2 pp. [Holland VII 28.]
[Extracts given by Motley, 1., 424, 427.]
March 15/25. Champagney to Leicester.
Enclosing a letter sent him by the Countess d' Aremberg, and another which she has written to the Queen of England, both of which she desired to be forwarded to his Excellency. [The enclosures are not now with the letter]—Antwerp, 25 March, 1586.
Endd. by Burghley. Italian. ½ p. [Ibid. VII. 29.]
March 15/25. Letter from Romano Anriques, concerning “provisions made in the East Country for the King of Spain.” At the end, he states that “here” there are great preparations for war, namely ships, men and munition, but it does not seem to him that this year they will go any further.—Lisbon, 25 March, 1586.
Copy. Endd. Spanish. 3 pp. [Spain II. 58.]


  • 1. The symbol for the French King (22) used by mistake, instead of 20.
  • 2. The number 22 in again used by mistake.