Elizabeth: March 1586, 21-25

Pages 466-491

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, 21–25

March 21. Gilpin to Walsingham.
I have forborne to trouble you, as I was awaiting the answer to my last which by a few lines you partly promised me. The cause of my present writing is to tell you that his Excellency has advanced me to be one of the secretaries of the Council of Estate, “a place in respect of the credit worthy of a far better and fitter than I in any 'avails' so few and small, as I 'ensure' your honour the office I held by the merchants was as good if not better in gains, besides more quiet and less laboursome; yet to show the desire I had and have under and unto his Excellency to do such service as may be acceptable to her Majesty and to the good of my country, I would have accepted of any, though never so slender and weak a calling, nothing doubting but his honour will some way or other be good unto me, and by your honour's means may get some small pension of her Majesty to help the supply of my want; and I durst assure your honour that in the place I am in, I can and will do good service diversely. . . .
“Until I was chosen and placed by his Excellency's favour I followed the Court and waited a good while at my own charges with three men; a charge greater than my ability will bear, and if it had continued, should have been constrained to give all over and return to my former office, but the choice unto my present enjoyed place eased me somewhat, though indeed it hath cost me above 30l. sterling, and where to recover penny, unless your honour be favourable to help me, I know not; but must with patience make the best shift I can. . . .
[Concerning his need of money, and assistance given him by one Christopher Humphrey.]
All goes well in these parts, and as the coming over of her Majesty's forces under his Excellency was the only stay of the ruin of all the country, “so is his honour's presence an encouragement and assurance to the people that better wars will be now made” and their state surer than in time past, the enemy having won nothing since the English forces' coming. If there were a force in field to offer head to the enemy, it would make shorter wars, for the commons in the malcontent provinces are so wearied that a small occasion would move them to agreement.
The contributions come in reasonably well, and I believe the promised sum will be furnished each month and the soldiers satisfied, but other charges “fall great,” and money is needed to dress a good force in camp to oppose the enemy, and for that end, to make a new levy, both horse and foot, and that with diligence, so that the enemy become not master of the field.
Moreover, though a chief part of the means of this country “consist in the contributions for the transport of butter, cheese and fish, the stay whereof will hinder a great income,” yet most men think that the restraint will more ruin the enemy, and prevent him from doing anything. A few persons, to make their gain, must not endanger a country, and it is better to please all the people “than to serve the turns of those greedy appetites.”
Assuredly the enemy is in distress for victual; the wars will be long drawn out if we suffer him to be further furnished from hence, but from other places it will cost him so dear, “that his Indies and all other helps will not serve for money to find the soldiers”; so that he will be driven to composition or else division will fall out amongst the malcontents, the chiefest of whom might easily be brought to hearken, and so this state be reduced to quietness.
If your honour would write a few lines to the Council of State against licensing the passing of victuals out of these countries I think it would serve to good purpose, though “his honour inclineth not to any such grant”; but do not let me be mentioned. I wish myself with your honour for an hour or two, and if I can pike any occasion, would gladly make a voyage over.—Amsterdam, 21 March, 1585.
Add. Enddpp. Seal of arms. [Holland VII. 43.]
March 22./April 1. de l'Aubespine-Chasteauneuf of Walsingham.
I have just been informed that there is a report here that four gentlemen of M. de Nemours have arrived, who are much suspected and that yesterday search was made throughout the town. Although I believe all these reports to be false, yet as they dined with me last Sunday, I send the bearer to explain all that I know of it. Last Saturday evening four gentlemen arrived, with two or three attendants. Coming to see me on Sunday, they told me that they were all subjects of the Duke of Savoy, living near Genoa and the territories of M. de Nemours in those parts, and that having accompanied the said M. de Nemours to Paris and seeing him confined to his chamber by his wound, they has asked for three weeks' leave, in order to visit this kingdom. They obtained passports from M. de Stafford. I said to them that coming from Paris at such a time, it seemed to me they should have brought letters from the King or some other lords of the court, and this is all I can tell you, having only seen them that one time. They prayed me to arrange for them to see the Queen, to which I said that they could easily do so as she was going to or returning from chapel. If her Majesty or you desire to know more of them, I will have their actions watched more closely.—London, 1 April, 1586.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [France XV. 65.]
March 22./April 1. Diederich Snoy, Governor of Enchuysen, to Count Edzard of Embden.
Has married his only daughter to Luder Maninga, son of Hayo Maninga of Lutsboer and Dycke; which Hayo has given certain of his free lands in the Westermarsh near Norden to her for her dower. But against all expectation and to his no small wonder, Sony finds that his lordship has seized and taken away part of these lands which have been for thirty years and more in the quiet possession of the said Hayo. [Remonstrates strongly and at length against this unjust and unchristian action.] For his daughter's sake, who is not a little interested, he has felt obliged to take the matter in hand, and he entreats the Count to reconsider the matter, and not to treat in so unfair a manner a well-deserving noble and chief pillar of the Countship of East Friesland, but to restore to him his lands, as justice and equity demand. Should this reasonable suit be disregarded, he shall do all in his power to assist the said Maningas to regain their rightful and inherited possessions; but he makes no doubt that his lordship will yield to his just entreaty and restore to them that to which by God, nature and the course of law they are entitled. Begs for a speedy and gracious answer.—Enchuysen, 1 April, 1586, stilo novo.
Copy. Endd. German. 2 pp. [Holland VII. 44.]
March 23. Stafford to Walsingham.
I have very good advertisement that Chute is gone over, and departed hence three days ago (which is indeed very true), to execute somewhat upon her Majesty's person; has taken money from the Spanish ambassador, had secret speech with the Queen Mother and the Duke of Guise, and has taken letters to divers in England “that have intelligence here with those that set those things forward.”
That he has had conference with the Spanish ambassador is very certain, but I thought him a man they made no account of, and in truth do not think he has courage to do any such thing. That he spake with Queen Mother I know, but took it “to be like a cozening cogging merchant as he is, to draw somewhat of her under colour that he was a hanger on of Monsieur.” That he spoke with the Duke of Guise I know, but thought he intruded himself rather than otherwise. He is said to have “gotten letters of Bacqueville (Backeville) that was in England to divers, and especially to Mr. Rawley, to have thereby some countenance, and that feathered under somebody's wing, he might be able to show his head.”
I am advertised that he carries over certain poisons and drugs to use if he fail of the other, and this makes me doubt of the matter, because I take him that he is said to have had them of, Dr. Pena, to be an honest man and affected to England. Another thing which makes me doubt is that Charles Arundel and Charles Paget are said to have had intelligence with him, for they are mortal enemies, and Arundel is not here, but gone into Spain.
But as the matter “is so chary as the Queen's person,” I send this bearer in haste to avoid all mischances, though I do not think they dare trust him; “but perchance in such a time as this they will be content to cast away a few crowns to make a knave enterprise something, fall out well or evil they care not.”
I have written to Geymer at Rye that he may be sought for and searched, and either stayed till you be advertised or else sent to you. No doubt if there be any such matter, being put in fear he will confess it, for I think he has no courage at all. I think you know the man, “with a great long hooked nose.” Sir Walter Waller married his sister. I hope this bearer will be before him, as he is to stay a day or two at Backeville's house.—Paris, 23 March, 1585.
Postscript.—I will hunt out the dealings between him and Pena, but “dare not tamper in it yet awhile,” as if he has not yet passed, it might breed suspicion that I know of it, and so the other man have warning of it.
Holograph. Add. Endd.pp. [France XV. 66.]
March 23./April 2. The Council of State to her Majesty's Privy Council.
After several former complaints that the English garrisons were not being paid according to the treaty between her Majesty and the United Provinces, the magistrates of Flushing and the Brill have, by their letters of March 29 herewith enclosed, informed us [to the same effect as the letter from the Brill, below]. As the said manner of proceedings would cause much discontent, and tend greatly both to her Majesty's disservice and the diminution of our authority, we have desired them to delay executing them until we have informed your lordships thereof, that by your good means order may be given for present payment and conformity with the treaty in the future.
Being arrived here, we found that the enemy was in great straits for Victuals, as the last harvest was very scanty, little land being cultivated in Brabant and Flanders; the stores at Antwerp, Malines, Brussels, Ghent, &c. consumed, and much less provision drawn from France than formerly, owing to the wars there, from which it was evident that if the carrying of victuals were hindered, the enemy would waste all his means and strength uselessly, wherefore we resolved to forbid all such transport either directly or indirectly. But finding by experience that in spite of this, the enemy has been aided by strangers, who have taken them provisions in abundance, as also into Spain and Portugal, we have published a placard by which all traffic with the enemy is forbidden, as also into Spain, Portugal and other countries and harbours included in the said placard, on pain that those acting against it shall be held to be good prize. And as this placard is drawn up in conformity with certain apostiles upon the articles exhibited to the Lord Treasurer and Secretary of her Majesty, (sent us by the Sieur Ortel in January last) and it would not be possible to enforce it unless it were also avowed by her Majesty, and ordered to be carried out in her ports, we send your lordships a certified copy thereof, desiring that you will use your endeavours with her to publish ordinances in conformity with it. In confidence of this, the inhabitants of these countries have ceased their negotiations, but if it should be found that their friends and associated were acting in a contrary manner they would rightly oppose it, seeing that it would only serve for the diversion of traffic from our ships and maritime people, in which consist the greatest strength of these countries; trusting that your lordships, with your accustomed prudence will take such measures therein, that her Majesty's authority may be maintained, our good intentions seconded, and the enemy so much enfeebled that he will be forced to give up what he has gained in the last five years, especially if we are supported by an army which would make him quit the country which he has mastered.—Utrecht, 2 April, 1586. Signed by Meetkerke, president and Burchgrave, as greffier.
Add. Endd. Fr. 3 pp. [Holland VII. 45.]
The town of Brill to the Council of State.
Stating that before taking English garrisons into their town, and giving the said town up as assurance to the Queen of England, they stipulated both with the States of Holland and the States General that for maintenance of good order and discipline, these garrisons should be paid each month, as had hitherto been done, and in default of such payment, the States gave them bond of all the general means and imposts of this town, the Pays de Vorne and Putte, with other revenues, to be used for the payment of the garrisons in case of need; and also power to seize and stay all ships and merchandises belonging to those of Holland in particular or the United Provinces in general, in accordance with letters given them. And since the companies of Captains Norreys, Hill and that at the forts have not been paid for three months and that of the governor, being two hundred strong, for two months, and not knowing when the said payment will be made; so that the vivandiers had determined not to give further credit to the soldiers (being more than nine thousand florins in arrear) if they had not required them to do so until Tuesday next, hoping that meanwhile the payment will be made, without which not only great inconveniences may ensue amongst the said soldiers, but disorder and robberies, as they have already perceived and are informed have happened, both inside the town and out of it, more than there have been during all the troubles and wars, and worse may follow, so that if the matter is not looked to they will be compelled to take the moneys in the hands of the receiver of the said imposts, and if these are not sufficient, to use the powers given them to arrest ships &c., to prevent the dangers which might overwise arise, considering that the countrymen are sufficiently burdened by their contributions, without having their cattle, fowls &c. taken from them. Wherefore they pray their lordships to give such orders that they may not be obliged to proceed further, but that the moneys may be promptly provides.—Brill, 29 March, 1586, stilo novo.
Endd. “Copy of a letter written by those of Brill to the Council of State in the Low Countries that the garrisons are unpaid.” Fr.pp. [Holland VII. 46.]
March 23. Paper endorsed by Burghley, “Mr. Cade's memorial for the money to be sent into Middelburg, 20,000l. Add 4,000l. paid to merchants.”
Sliver money delivered by Mr. Foxwell, Mr. Stonleye and Mr. Raven, 13,000l. and gold (rose nobles and angels) by Alderman Marten, 1,200l. Total 14,200l. Remaining in the hands of Mr. Sugden and Mr. Stonleye 5,800l., “to be converted into gold by Mr. Marten.” To be paid to Mr. Killigrew, Mr. Freke, Mr. Stonleye and Mr. Taylor.
1 p. [Ibid. VII. 47.]
March 23. de Loo to Burghley.
Having communicated to your lordship what Lanfranchi wrote to me in his of the 6th and 9th instants, I am in expectation of being able to hope for a good accord, in conformity with the first kind relation which you made me on behalf of her Majesty; upon which the said Signor Carlo has gone to work to find out—from M. de Champagni and others of the Prince of Parma's court— all he could about their disposition to peace, and has thereupon reached the conclusion which you have seen by the letters; hoping that as he is labouring there, God might be pleased that some one here might do the same. Your lordship knows that the nobles there would willingly see the stranger soldiers out of the country. And the said Signor Carlo being the chief negotiator, it imports him greatly that war be not made, which, by what he said to me in another of his, of the 19th inst. is certainly approaching with great speed, more than is seen or heard; therefore with the more haste we should begin to negotiate the treaty, for, arms having been once taken, it will not be so easy to lay them down. . . .
And as I see that the difficulty consists only in the method of breaking this ice, by beginning to write to each other, I said in my last—since on so small a thing the whole depends— that the Prince of Parma has no lack of matter whereof to write to her Majesty, as concerning her sending her people into Holland and Zeeland, and of the little book published of her justification, to which the Queen then replying, they might thus enter into treaty about the rest; exhorting Signor Carlo to persuade the Prince to this, to whom copies of my letters have been sent, saying there was news from hence that things are being held back, so that the fire should not break out.
As to the report spread of M. de Champagni, he tells me for certain that it does him much wrong, finding him very well inclined towards her Majesty, and very friendly towards her subjects in all their affairs, insomuch that when he has the facts, he will make appear the contrary of what has been reported of him. The said Signor Carlo saying further, that if goads are not lacking near the King to exhort him to make war, the same may easily be the case with the Queen. Feeling sure that your lordship will make her Majesty partaker of my letters (inasmuch as I am not of rank to speak with her) I pray God long to preserve your life &c.—London, March 23, 1585.
Add. Endd. by Burghley. Italian. 1¼ pp. [Flanders I. 66.]
[March about the 23 ?] Dr. Hector Nuñez to Walsingham.
In November last, I had a safe-conduct from you for my man, Jeronimo Pardo, to go into Portugal, who went in a Frenchman with some goods belonging to Englishmen (but went in my name). As soon as the ship reached Lisbon, the goods were arrested, “being suspected to be Englishmen's.”
By my man I wrote to Antonio de Castilio, touching upon the “pretence” of the Low Country (as declared by the discourse published in her Majesty's name), not to possess that country to her use, but only for security of her estate and the relief of the poor people there, tyrannically dealt with by the King's officers; which thing has been declared here by her Council to Don Peter de Villa Reale, at his going away. I touched briefly on the many good means her Majesty has used to purchases the King's goodwill and amity, and what ill offices he and his ministers used to countervail the same; and that he should commit the dealing of such matters to other men (if he mean to live in peace) and not to such as were dealers in it before, and under the name of ambassadors” were factors and deputies to the devil; spreading dissension and discord amongst Princes.”
De Catilio sent his letter presently to Señor Christopher de Moura (who is in great favour with that King), “and wrought unto him what he thought good.”
Afterwards, Mr. Castilio sent for my man and asked if his goods were released, or else he would procure them to be so; and hearing that he was already clear and about to come away, told him he was ready to do all in his power “bring these matters to quietness”; that he had sent his letter to the court and had his answer, and desired him to hasten home, and learn whether the lords had any good meaning to peace. My man answered that the matter was of great weight, and he must have some letter or credit, “for to be believed,” to which Castilio replied that if he had a letter from Mr. Secretary, declaring her Majesty to be inclined to peace, he would take it upon him to bring this agreement to pass, to the satisfaction of both sides. On my man's urging it, he gave him letters to your honour and to me; charging him to learn here whether these matters should be dealt with by ambassadors or by commissioners, to meet at any port in France, and desiring him, as soon as he had answer, to freight an English ship and come in her himself; and warranted him his safe-conduct. Told him more, that if he had brought a letter away with him when he talked with your concluded it should be firm and sure. This was at the end of February, about which time the French master of my man's ship had a suit with another ship's master but by means of Antonio de Catilio, he got the suit discharged and was about to come away when the ship was arrested at request of divers Lisbon merchants, who said they had hulks of Hamburg richly laden ready to sail and that if our ship came to England, our men would give warning to the men-of-war to take their goods. On their supplication to the Cardinal and the Marques of Santa Cruz, all the ships were arrested except the Hamburg men. Antonio de Castilio did all he could, and not prevailing went to my lord Cardinal, who promised to speak to the Marques, and told Castilio that he was to blame for not declaring to me in his letters that Englishmen's goods were not stayed in that country, to which he answered that he had done so. Next night our ship was discharged, and the Marques desired Castilio in the Cardinal's name if I, [sic] came back there, to bring half a dozen hobbies for them both and two hounds; also that he [after I deleted] should carry certain hats for the Cardinal.
No address or endorsement. 2 pp. [Spain II. 60.]
March 23. Dr. Hector Nunez to Walsingham.
Sends enclosed “the writings” translated as well as he could; the Lord grant it to be good effect. Prays his honour to remember him on the occasion. Has not been troublesome for a great while, seeing the time unseasonable.—London, 23 March.
Postscript.—My man shall wait upon you within two days to know “whether he shall have an answer, for then he hat to provide shipping and some goods to carry in her.”
Signed. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Spain II. 61.]
Antonio de Castilio to [Dr. Nunez.]
I was very glad to understand from Jeronimo Pardo of the good intent of her Majesty concerning her new attempt in the Low Country, and that all was tending to amity and peace; “whereof I am good witness, by the good offer that I made to the King's Majesty, and by the means of others in the Low Country.” I do not understand why the matter does not come to pass, both their Majesties being so desirous of it, “unless by our sins and sins of Englishmen. . . . . But the ill dealers to whom this business was committed heretofore did handle it so ill-favourably, that the state of this will never have an end, some because they live by the war, some by the spoil, some by their particular pretence. Because when Sir Francis Walsingham, in her Majesty's behalf, did talk with me in these affairs, could be easily understanded that I was a particular man and that it were no reason that the King's Majesty should take no hold of my words, having no letters of credit for to deal therein, neither I could deal in this matter deeply, being one of the King council . . . for peradventure they will deny me their promise afterwards; for I do differ much of Anthoine Fuggasse [Fogaza], which (being deceived by some men of that Court) was persuaded of things of the which gave here advertisement; and afterward, when the ambassadors began to deal in such matters, did find all to be dreams and fables.” This must be so treated that no question be made who began it; for those who invent such things, “understand very ill the sweetness of the war to them that have no experience of it,” and that the profits of it go to the pirates and the losses to the princes and the people. The treasures slowly gathered waste and consume, and at length the victory is gotten by the most power[ful], and it is easy to understand that the King, gathering all his strength, at length will have the upper hand; so that for the Lord's service, the quiet of the world, and enjoyment of the profits of both realms, it were good to have a sure and perpetual peace; and if you are still familiar with my Lord Treasure and others of the Council, as when I was there, you are bound, for the benefit of our country and quiet of that realm to deal in it, and to persuade those lords to such good agreements as they are offered, before his Majesty determine to be revenged “of so many offences,” as he shall be compelled by his honour and the importance of the Low Country. If you find any hope to bring this to pass without breach of our master's honour, I know he will yield to any good composition for the quiet of Christendom, and employ his forces in other enterprises of greater weight; because as to England he knows “the little fruit that he shall reap in the matters belonging to the Catholic religion. . .”
I write to Sir Francis Walsingham concerning Peter Frire's matters. It were well that he should answer me somewhat that I may show here, not to have it thought that I move this of my own head. If your worship find a disposition in the lords, you may presently freight a bark and send in her commodities of that country. “Send away presently Jerome Pardo, bearer of this, and I will take upon my account his safeguard, and I hope in the Lord that you shall see the greatest deed that ever had been done in such affairs.”
Translation. 1 ¾ pp. [Spain II. 62.]
[March 24 last date.] Paper endorsed by Burghley: “Seven piracies whereof no justice could be had in France.”
1582, April 16. The Pheasant of Bristol, with merchandise worth 2,000l., belonging to William Gittens of Bristol, merchant; assaulted in the port of Lough Foyle in Ireland and carried away by French pirates. Gittens obtained three sentences in France against them, and spent 500 French crowns in the suit, but was forced to return home without any restitution or satisfaction.
1584, last of May. A ship of Weymouth, laden with broad cloth, kersies &c., value 300l., belonging to Barnard Michell, John Allin and Richard Pit of Weymouth, merchants, assaulted and spoiled by Robert Hermeel and his pilot, Cochet of Fécamp (Feckam), and Captain Normand of Falaise, French pirates. The said merchants obtained order from the French King and his lord Admiral for restitution of their goods, but could never get restitution or the apprehension of the pirates. Making complaint at the Court in Paris, the Admiral “put the fault in the time, which yieldeth disobedience, the fruit of civil wars, but one other of the King's counsellors advised them to return home, and not to gape after restitution, where none was to be had . . ., whereupon, after a two years' suit and expenses, they returned home into England with experience of injustice.”
1582, Oct. 4. A bark of Newhaven in Sussex, robbed by Capt. Jollif of Fécamp and goods taken out belonging to John Holland of London, girdler and company, value 450l. “He obtained commission from the French King by way of law and sentence to receive the said goods out of the hands of M. Baron le Hogue (Hog) in the isle of the bay of Hogue,” who had received them of the pirate, but after long suit and great expences, returned home “frustrate of all justice.”
1579, Sept. 8. A ship of Stonehouse, coming from St. Malo, laden with “180 fardels of vitrey canvas” belonging to divers merchants of Totnes, value 5,400l., taken by Captain Mabilia of Fécamp. The merchants obtained the King's decree and commission for recovery of their goods, and came in full sight of them at Brest and by St. Malo's, but could not get their commission executed, being “resisted by M. Chasteauneuf and his men with cullivers,” and after half a year's suit, in which they spent 200l., returned without a penny of restitution.
1585, Sept. 7. A ship of “Poulgneu” (?) in the Gironde (Guerande), Francis Perrotin, master, laden with wools, iron and ready money, belonging to John Norrice of Barnstaple and company, value 1,600l., returning from Bilbao, spoiled by a ship of Brouage, and the goods carried to M. de St. Luc, governor of Brouage, of whom Norrice has often required justice, but been denied and threatened and enforced to depart.
1585, March 24. One of the French King's ships, in the river of Bordeaux, took out of the Elizabeth Bonaventure of London, owners Thomas Andrewes and other merchants, falcons, culivers, powder, shot &c., value 200l. The master craved restitution of the magistrate, “the matter being so clear and notorious, but he was posted off from one to another, and so enforced to depart without any penny restitution or satisfaction.”
1584, May. M. de St. Luc sent out three of his captains “in three good barks; who from time to time sent their booties into Brouage, but to whose use I will not say.” Capt. Medecin took the Anne of Yarmouth, laden with corn &c. belonging to Augustine Peersey and company, value 530l.; and Capt. Jeame in July following took the Primrose of Lynn in Norfolk, laden with steel, money &c., going from Spain into England. The ships were taken into Brouage, but the merchants have sought justice in vain from M. de St. Luc. [The total loss is given as 10,910l. is the sum of the items) in the margin, and as 9,920l. in the dorso, “besides charges.”]
Marginal notes and endorsement by Burghley. 3½ pp. [France XV. 67.]
March 24./April 3. Charles Merbury to Walsingham.
As I doubt that my cousin, Mr. Waad, is absent from the Court, I beseech you to give me leave “to recommend unto you my humble service for Germany, whither . . . I do mean shortly to take my way.” If you would give me “the least word of letter of any servant or friend of yours” I shall be much bound to you, and emboldened thereby to write to you what passes in those parts.
I have lately returned from Valence, where I made some abode to see M. de la Valette's camp, and to understand the proceedings and troubles of that country, whereof I pray your leave to make such report to you as I can.
The King's army is of 8,000 footmen, of which 2,000 are Swissers, 2,000 horse, 500 pioneers and 22 pieces of battery. The chief leaders are M. de la Valette, M. de la Pierre, M. de Tornon, M. de Maugiron the younger, M. de Lessin [? Lusignan], the Baron de Rieux, the Baron de la Rochepluviar, M. de Ramefort, M. de Passage, M. de Gourdes.
There is also the Signor Alfonso, (fn. 1) governor of [Pont] Saint Esprit, who is reported to be of great value, having particular inimity with M. de Montmorency.
The protestants are few in number, not above 2,000 in the field, horse and foot, “of whom M. 'Desguieres' and M. de Gouvernet are the leaders, and do run (as they term it here) battent la strade, (fn. 2) even to the gates of Granoble and of this town. M. de Poyet [Poët] is governor Montelimar; M. de Blacon at Oranges, a brother-in-law of M. Desguiere's at La Mathesine. Captain Blache [qy. Baix] sur Beas,” wherefore all men are forbidden to descend the river beyond Valence. Nothing has yet been done of great weight, M. de la Valette having for most of the winter kept himself and his companies in his towns and villages, (as I think) to avoid the extremity of the weather, and wait for more forces from Paris. The protestants in Vivares [Vivarais] have taken a castle called La Torrette, and had much booty therein. They of Montelimar have by night surprised forty men at arms in a village two miles from them. A little before I left Valence, M. de la Valette passed the river with most part of the army and some of the artillery, “pretending to clear the passage of the Rhone, and there are rendered to him already Beauchatel and Pousin. He hath placed a garrison within La Vote [Voute], because M. de Vantador, being lord thereof, and allied to M. de Montmorency, is suspected to favour them of the Religion. Beassur-Beas is thought will endure the cannon, and Montelimar is newly fortified and victualled for two years; whereas at Valence, and where the King's camp hath been, I can testify that many have died with hunger. Dio [Die] sometimes a bishopric town in the mountains of Dauphiny, and now of the Religion, is thought to be of great strength, and inaccessible with the cannon. There are many other towns and villages of the Religion in this country, and almost all the peasants do take part with them, from an old quarrel they have against the gentlemen of the country. Besides, . . . they are backed by M. de Montmorency and M. de Chastillon, who by report have, 3,000 horse in readiness to rescue them at need.”
Of these things, having been oculatus testis, I am the bolder to make report, yet desire pardon for doing so without your direction, which I shall be most glad to receive and obey.—Lyons, 3 April, 1586.
Endd. 4 pp. [France XV. 68.]
March 24. R. Huddilston to Walsingham.
Last night I received a letter from Capt. Thomas Maria Wingfield, left governor in Bergen in the absence of Capt. Roger Williams, deputy governor of the same, dated Tuesday the 22nd [o.s.], and in effect as follows:—
“The most of our companies are this afternoon in arms, discontented for their pay and showing their great wants. Myself as prisoner stayed amongst them more than three hours. They determined to spoil the burghers, to sack the town, what else I know not. I have by my persuasion qualified their rage for the present, upon my promise to send to you with all speed, hoping that you will so consider of it as the town may be kept to her Majesty's use, which I cannot warrant or undertake when myself am prisoner with those whom I ought to command. The chief men in the motion are the three companies in the States' pay, which must be so considered of as they may be all alike, without any jealousy. . . . This town is of more importance than all our lives that be in the town. I have undertaken that they shall be contented for their pay within these four days, otherwise the second mutiny will be worse than the first; yet as far as I can see, they will be masters of the town in the mean time.”
In reply, I promised to-morrow to send Capt. Havers with what further imprest the warrant will stretch to. “If it rise not to content them, I mean to go thither myself, and doubt not to stay them for the time, and provide for the punishment of the principals according to their deserts. His Excellency being at Utrecht is advertised of it ere this. So we hope that either from England or thence we shall shortly receive some remedy for this mischief.”
Capt. Wingfield's servant told me further that three days before this fell out, a boor was stayed by chance at the gate leading towards Antwerp, who, by reason of his language to the ward was searched, and two letters found, one in his hose and the other in his cap, which discovered a practice of certain burghers to deliver the town to the Prince of Parma. The boor, being in fear of his life, confessed that there were four or five waiting for him without the gate, who were presently apprehended, all burghers, and one of them in boor's apparel. By what is confessed, it was intended that the town should be delivered “upon Easter even very early in the morning; the manner whereof seemeth somewhat strange to be undertaken in so many places without manifest suspicion of discovery; which, as he saith, was that the women, after having let forth their husbands about this enterprise, should have locked up their doors, carried away the keys, and so shut in the English that none should go out to the alarm. The men suddenly should have set on our corps de garde, which being dispatched (as they imagined) without difficulty, they mean to seize one of the gates, not far from whence should lie such companies ready prepared as were appointed to enter the town to the Prince's use.” If this fail of truth, the “enditor” of the report is to be blamed, but I believe most of it is true.—24 March, 1585.
Postscript.—I have acquainted the merchants with Capt. Wingfield's letter, to see, in case of need, what we might hope from them, but I suppose, if the crown of England lay in the balance, unless “warranted by such as themselves like, they would not hazard a penny.” I beseech you, let there be some speedy remedy provided for these mischiefs, which daily grow very dangerously upon us.
Add. Endd. Seal of arms. 3 pp. [Holland VII. 48.]
March 24. Stephen le Sieur to Walsingham.
“The present relaxation of this bearer, a shipper of Lynn (Lin) in Norfolk . . . and his speedy repair to London, hath given me occasion to write these few lines (though with great difficulty) unto your honour, my only refuge in England in this my adversity. It is now one month since the Governor and the Baillif of this town came into this prison, and without using and words unto me or examining me, commanded the keeper to put me into a dungeon, where I did remain till the next day at night, that I was brought into a little better place alone, where I remain still, not suffered to speak with any body, nor to have pen nor ink, but such as I have secretly.
“The cause of this restraint of mine I can not well conceive, for they have no just occasion ministered from me, I assure your honour. Of suspicion and jealousy I know they are not void, judging and persuading themselves that to be in me the which in truth is not. What usage I have received, this bearer Richard Barowe can let your honour understand. . . .
“The not coming of Mr. Tomson with Pedro Cibiur, and his silence ever since his departure, doth animate these men the more against me, so that if shortly they be not assured of the said Cibiur his coming, I foresee that I have not as yet tasted of their cankered mind towards Englishmen, with whom they do deal more cruelly than with the Dutchmen. It seemed by the speeches of Mr. Tomson at his last being here, that Cibiur should be delivered unto him to be brought over presently after his arrival unto your honour; insomuch that he promised to be here again within fourteen days; but it is now six weeks, and no news of him. For my part I thank God I support patiently this imprisonment, seeing that there is no remedy; besides that I assure myself so much of your honour's accustomed favour that I hope I shall not continue long in this misery, although when I shall be at liberty, it lie not in my exterior power in any actions to countervail the least of the infinite favours I have received of your honour. Captain Brackenbury and one Mr. Charles Hast, a gentleman of my lord of Leicester are here still, not knowing as yet what the Prince of Parma will do with them. Divers others Englishmen and Dutchmen are here prisoners, of whom great sums of money are exacted.
“I hear D. Josephus [Michaeli] to be at Brussels still, and employed in his profession. I hope shortly to hear more particularly from him, and in person to make relation unto your honour. . . .”—Dunkirk, 24 March, 1585, stylo anglicano.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Flanders I. 67.]
March 24. “The effect of Mr. Millward's letters to the Governor [of the Merchants Adventurers] or his deputy and assistants, dated at Embden, 24 March, 1585.”
He is treating with the commissioners of the Earl [Edzard] for continuance of our privileges, and has in the mean time obtained safe-conduct and privilege for traffic for a year, “and adviseth presently to ship cloths thither.”
The commissioners signify the Earl's good-will towards her Majesty and her subjects.
They have propounded to him [Millward] three questions— 1. Whether we were treating with the Hamburgers for privileges. 2. As the Earl understands that the Hanses renew their suit to the Emperor for execution of the decree against us, what we would contribute to withstanding it. 3. Her Majesty having taken the defence of the Low Countries, he may be suspected by one side or the other. Therefore, if for her sake he should be offered injury, what succour would she give him.
To the first he answered that last year commissioners for the Hanses had been in England and the treaty with them “in some sort” still continued; but no treaty was yet entered into for privilege at Hamburg, and the event was still uncertain.
To the second: that his Grace and his subjects received great benefit by our trade, and that to withstand the decree was a matter which touched his own dignity; therefore hoped he would demand nothing of us.
To the third: he doubted not but that showing his good-will to her Majesty and her subjects and friends, the Earl might assure himself of her favour, but to promise succour was not in our power. “We being subjects might deal for our trade, but in those matters of princes we might not meddle.” But he would signify this to his “Ancients” at London, that they might show it to the Lords of the Council. “With which answers they seemed well satisfied.”
Then they demanded on what points he intended to treat for privileges; he said, for renewing former privileges. They asked what consideration we should offer for this. He answered, the benefit to their trade was sufficient, especially as that only was to be continued which had been granted before.
At a second meeting, the same points were again urged. Also they demanded that the men of war lying in the river might have order not to annoy the trade as they had done and yet do; the Earl having ordered his people not to victual either party, but that either might buy anything for their money and carry it away at their own peril.
Millward has asked to have their demands in writing, and daily expects them. He gathers that the Earl has “a good inclination and fear . . . towards her Majesty, and a purpose not to offend her and to show favour to her people,” and thinks that if he were “entertained to her service,” it would be a great means to annoy the enemy and to distress Groningen, which is already in penury. Also that “the stay of our trade at Embden will be much beneficial to her Majesty and our country, and our departure to the contrary.”
It is reported that many ships are laden with corn for Spain at Hamburg and Lubeck, and that “what pretence soever is made,” the Hanses are stirring up all the enemies they can to annoy her Majesty.
In sum, he collects that the Hanses have no good meaning towards her, and the Hamburgers no better than the rest. They are all agreed what privileges the Hamburgers shall offer us, but especially that we shall have no exercise of our religion; their preachers having for three months inveighed against that, seeking to make us and our religion odious. Some of themselves, fearing that their proceedings may be misliked, give out speeches to raise a hope of better dealing, but he thinks “they have no good meaning any way towards her Majesty or her country.”
They have raised their tolls in Hamburg (expecting our commissioners) to 8s. Lubeck money upon every cloth by their own burghers, and 16s. by strangers, and for other merchandise at that rate; every man having to declare the true value of his goods on pain of confiscation. By this, all good merchant strangers will be driven away, and we driven to deal only with the burghers; “a plain preparation either to receive us with the plain mischief of ourselves and our country and their own unreasonable enrichment, or else clearly to reject us.”
Endd. 2 pp. close writing. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns II. 40.]
“Specification of the new toll [for imports and exports] . . . agreed upon and concluded by the Senate and commonalty of Hamburg,” March, 1586; given the different rates for citizens and strangers.
Endd.pp. [Ibid. II. 41.]
March 24./April 3. Newsletter from Spain.
Madrid, April 3.—The twenty-five ships sent to meet those of England are ordered to be recalled, on hearing that the English ships have taken Santo Domingo, Santa Margarita and other places, killing many. A greater number are being prepared to oppose them, which are to be a hundred in all. Meanwhile they are taking counsel. There is here a prisoner, one Don Diego Maldonado, who has much experience of the Indies, having been several times general of the fleet. He advises them to go to seek the enemy, believing that he will come in disorder and not all together, and that with fifty ships, his fleet might easily be broken; but I see they do not mean to take his advice. It is further said that the English have taken the fort on the fort on the island of Santo Domingo, where was a Spanish garrison with fifty cannon. I do not believe this, but I do believe that the evil is worse than they say, and that to comfort themselves it is given out that the Bishop of La Guardia has been taken, with Don Antonio's eldest son, going in a ship to India [sic], which does not seem to me credible.
It may well be that they have taken them, but I do not believe they were going into the Indies, as I cannot see what they should have to do in those parts.
It is now said for certain that these corsairs cannot return all together, nor sooner than two months hence; that meanwhile these will be ready and will go to find them.
Seville, March 28.—They say the same as above, and that they had the intelligence by a carvel four days before. That Porto Rico in the island of S. Giovanni is also taken, with booty that may amount to a million and a half. A fortnight before the carvel left, the dispatch boat (carevella d'aviso) departed from New Spain, and as there is no news of her, they judge that she been taken, though in New Spain there was no news of the capture.
Another report is, that this year the fleet will remain as it is, and that from Seville no fleet would go at all.
Endd. “1586, 3 April. Madrele.” Italian. 2 pp. [Newsletters XC. 25.]
March 24./April 3.
[latest date].
News from Sundry Parts.
Antwerp, March 8.—The Walloon soldiers in garrison in these parts, and the Spaniards and Italians who were going against Neuss, have been sent to besiege Bergen.
The reiters in the garrison of Grave (still besieged) have abandoned it by night for want of food for their horses, wherefore it is believed it must shortly surrender to the Count of Mansfelt, since the English and Hollanders coming to succour it have been hindered by the cold; the English now turning the bulk of their forces towards Brabant, intending to encamp near Rosental when the cold weather is over, which still holds, to the hindrance of the provisions coming from La Campine (Campigna).
We hear from England that some Frenchmen have taken and carried to Rochelle five vessels going from Hableneuf [i.e. Newhaven in Sussex] towards Biscay.
Prague, March 11.—Two days ago there arrived two ambassadors from the new Duke of Saxony, to obtain (it is believed) investiture for this Duke. As soon as the late Duke is buried, his Majesty will send one to compliment him, as he is friend, and follows in the footsteps of his father, who alone kept on foot those troubled affairs of Germany.
The Assembly of Worms has treated of nothing but of giving aid to the Circle of Wesfalia; the deputies have resolved to exact two months' contributions, but have not yet agreed as to the manner of doing so.
Monsignor Sega is expected here in six days. Signor Gaspar dall' Armi departs to-day.
Cologne, March 13.—It is reported that Col. Schenk has abandoned Werle in Westfalia, not having been able to master the castle, to which our “newly elected” is sending succour. At his departure, he sacked the town, burned twenty-five villages, killed 1,500 peasants and carried prisoners to Neuss some ecclesiastical and secular nobles.
The Earl of Leicester has the absolute government of Holland and Zeeland. Six thousand more soldiers are expected from England, under the leadership of two English Earls, and in the spring 3,000 reiters are to go from Denmark.
Frankfort, March 16.—The Diet of Worms is not yet ended, because of the death of the Elector of Saxony. He is to be buried on the 25th with great pomp in Freiburg, three thousand horsemen accompanying the corpse, but the Elector Christian will not be three, who as soon as his father was dead, with his wife took possession of the castle and Electoral palace at Dresden, and put guards into Leipzig, Wittenberg and Zuickau (Zuica). Only an hour after the Elector, his doctor, Gibelius, died suddenly in the street, on his way from the castle.
Rome, March 22.—Some say that the Pope will raise footmen in Umbria and horsemen in Tuscany, by licence of the Grand Duke, either for Avignon or to surprise the territory of Orange, but most people deny the reports. Money come from Genoa. Monsignor Ottinello going as nuncio to Savoy. Doria is having the galleys at Naples, Genoa and Sicily careened, ready to come out. The Pope has appointed Cardinal Sforza to the Congregazione dell' Abbondanza, and bestowed other favours upon his house. Cardinal Gesualdo about to depart for Naples. Mass sung by Cardinal Dezza last Sunday in Sta. Croce in Jerusalem. The Duke of Sora reported to have disbanded those men who served rather to eat his bread than to guard his person.
In Monday's consistory, the Pope proposed the church of Viesti for Doctor Valentiano, and San Georgio the erection of the church of Loretto into a bishopric, to which will be joined that of Recanati; and the castles of Sta. Maria in Cosciano in that of Osimo, Ficardo in that of Ancona and Montelupone in that of Fermo, which altogether will give the new bishop (not yet announced) about 2,000 crowns a year.
The Pope has ordered Monsignor Mocenigo, Bishop of Ceneda, and all the others advanced by the first edict by special favour to go to their residences. The Bishop of Calavra has been absolved of all and restored to his charge, and Captain Gambino by favour of the Duke of Urbino is released from prison.
The Pope has had carried from the library of the Vatican into his chamber many books containing notes of all the ancient lives of churchmen, in order to obtain a new rule from them. The news of the Bishop of Como's death is false.
M. d' Ossat, secretary of the French King, now in the Casa d' Este, is said to be going to Florence, to make the Grand Duke understand the clear rights of the Queen Mother to great property upon the death of Madame di Parma, as claiming to be sole legitimate heir of Duke Alessandro. It is hoped it will be settled amicably. The people of Naples are rioting about bread, which in future is to be made only every fourth day, instead of daily.
The Grand Master of Malta has sent a Gascon knight to the Cardinal d' Este, for protection in a suit with the knights of the ltalian tongue. Luigi Dovara, councillor of the Grand Duke is here, either to protect Pirro Malvezzi, declared contumacious for causes stated in the Pope's bull, or for the common business of the Pope, the Catholic King and his Highness.
One of the congregations in the house of Sta. Severina is said to be discussing the restraining a little more the liberal granting of indulgences by the Pope; and the other, in presence of Aldobrandini, to be revising and adding new chapters to the bull of Cœna Domini. Cardinal Gaetano has consecrated the church of San Vito, intended for the monks of St. Bernard, lately admitted into this city, who are to be provided with all necessaries by the society of the said saint in Piazza Trajana.
It is thought that the Pope has great matters on hand and wishes to do heroic things, as it is known to all that he has been in communication with princes and potentates, but not what his purpose is therein. His Holiness said the other day in a loud voice that if the Spaniards wished to do I know not what (no so che) they would have to pass through this door; putting his hands to his breast. The Cardinal de' Medici will be here to-morrow or the next day.
Venice, March 22.—We hear from France that the clergy had called upon the King and the Bishop [of Paris] to give their reasons in Parliament next Easter day for the alienation of the 100,000 crowns of ecclesiastical goods granted by the Pope, not wishing it to take effect, as they had given no authority to either King or Bishop to ask for it; and that the King replied that if they refused to pay what he was forced to have for the needs of the war, he must make peace with the Huguenots, as he would not have strangers enter the country to ruin it.
The Pope is said to design the palace given to him by this Signoria as a perpetual patrimony for his successors.
This morning, by resolution of the Council of Ten, the magnifico Carlo Zeno was beheaded for his crimes, and amongst others for killing the son of the French secretary. Yesterday the dye house for silk at the bridge of San Cassano was burnt.
Gaspar dall' Armi has arrived here on his return from the Imperial Court and Signor Minutio [Minucci], secretary of Bavaria, on his way back to his master. Gio. Gritto has gone to Ancona, will keep the feast at Loretto, and make his entry into Rome on the octave of Easter.
Antwerp, March 16.—Many reiters have passed towards Turnhout, where a force is gathering for the siege of Bergen, which place has to-day been reconnoitred by the malcontents. Sixteen great pieces of artillery have been taken from hence to batter it. It is well provided with necessaries and fortified for defence.
After the Hollanders had agreed that those of the territory of Breda might trade into Holland, there was a design to attempt something against Breda, but being known at 'Stimbergh,' part of that garrison issued out to warn and succour the town. Meanwhile some companies from Bergen attacked Stembergh, but being repulsed in three assaults, returned to their garrison with no small loss. The Spaniards having intelligence (but false) with the captain of the fort of Way, went to take possession of it, but the garrison, issuing forth, killed most of them and took their captain prisoner. The town of Grave is still besieged, and if not speedily succoured by the English must surrender.
There is a report amongst the Spaniards that thirty great ships are arming in Lisbon and Seville to go in search of the corsair “Drago,” who is gone towards Peru, after disembarking in Florida a thousand soldiers, English and French. These being come as far as Setubal, were attacked by Indians and Spaniards and 600 killed, the rest saving themselves by flight.
Prague, March 18.—The Count of Zimer (fn. 3) has been here four days, being lodged with George Popl, major domo of the Kingdom. Signor Curtius (fn. 4) will accompany him, and several other Bohemian councillors, at their own expence, in order to see Italy. The King of Poland is said to be at the Diet of Lithuania. Signor Piombino is asking for the title of Duke. The courts of Bohemia will close at Easter. His Majesty has respited the hanging of those of the mines of [Kuttenberg] Cuttembergh, and the execution of the death sentence on others who have killed stages, pheasants &c. in his park; who are to go to the galleys.
At Worms they have done next to nothing and little is hoped for, they being about to separate, for in the principal business of aiding the Circle of Westfalia the Catholics have not come to an agreement with the protestants, who do not wish such aid to redound in any way to the benefit of the affairs of Cologne, by the recovery of places still occupied. It is believed, by the preparations made here, that his Majesty will not leave Prague this summer.
Cologne, March 20.—Col. Schenk has returned from Westfalia to Berck with great booty and many prisoners. Part of the forces of our new Elector, with some companies of the Prince of Parma, have since gone into Westfalia to seize whatever Schenk had left; sacking and burning many villages and killing the inhabitants. They have now gone back, to pass the Rhine near Kaiserswerth (Cassersvert).
The Earl of Leicester having warmly solicited the city of Hamburg to join with the Queen of England, the magistrates showed themselves willing, but the people would not consent. The nobles of Denmark are said to have risen against their King, not wishing him to make a league with the Queen of England, which, it appeared, he had determined to do without their consent. Many reiters are being levied in those parts for the service of that Queen. The said Earl has anew urged those of Dort to put a tax upon the houses and incomes of the burghers for support of the war, to which they have replied that they must consider the matter.
Prague, March 25.—Since the protestants still stand firm against giving aid to the Circle of Westfalia, the Elector of Cologne will have to make some other provision. The said protestants are about to send ambassadors to the King of France to induce him to make peace with his Huguenot subjects. It is thought that Count “Zimer” will not go to Rome until after the festival. The Emperor has written to the Imperial cities who are in treaty with England, to hinder that design. A courier is come from Milan to invite the Emperor to be godfather to the son to be born to that Prince.
Rome, March 29.—It is said that the Catholic ambassadors have procured 500,000 crowns from the Pope for the service of their King against the common enemy, and the Duke of Savoy to have 200,000 of this against those of Geneva. A courier has been sent to Spain with the result of the negotiation, and the brief dispatched upon the prohibition to the priests of Spain
to make a will without licence of the Council, the spoils of which will go into the royal chamber.
There is a design on foot for selling the Referendaries' places for 5,000 crowns each, and to make a hundred of them, amongst which will be divided all the management of this state; and in recompense they will enjoy all the revenues of what they sell and the emoluments they have acquired. His Holiness still thinks of selling the Vice-Chamberlainship to the clerk [of the Chamber] Gloriero, for 50,000 crowns, but the Governor of Rome is not to suffer. Cardinal Azzolini sang mass on Sunday in Sta. Maria Maggiore, and on Tuesday, the day of the Annunciation, the Pope rode to the Minerva for the ceremony of the Citelle. (fn. 5) They were 104, to whom his Holiness gave 1,200 crowns in alms. Alessandrino sang the mass, and Prince Ranuccio [Farnese], without the assistance of other ambassadors, served his Holiness. It is thought the Duke of Urbino will come in person to offer his obedience, to the great satisfaction of all this Court.
In Monday's consistory, the Pope proposed the patriarchate of Alexandria which Gaetano held for the Abbot Albano, legitimate son of the Cardinal, with all the votes in his favour. The pallium was dispatched for the Archbishop of Lisbon and the church of Loretto settled for the income of 2,700 crowns in the person of Monsignor Cantuccio, auditor of the Rota, which auditorship will be given to one Marchigiano.
The Pope has declared to all his subjects that if any in the future wish to sell either land or jurisdiction, he will be the purchaser, intending to erect Monti with their revenues, for the benefit of the apostolic see. The Bishop of Aquino is dead. The Pope is said to have received from the Catholic ambassadors offers of pensions and commands for such of his kinsmen as he has dedicated to the service of that crown.
The Cardinal de' Medici has returned, bringing with him the new Duke of Bracciano, Prospero Colonna, the Archbishop of Corfu and the elect of Pesaro (if no other appear). They say that the Grand Duchess is with child. Some men of Perugia are here against their legate for having impoverished their city by allowing too much transport of corn. It is said that the Cardinal of Padua will give up his church to the Bishop of Treviso, his nephew.
There is talk of opening a road from the Porta Salara to the Terme of Diocletian and of enlarging that Piazza to have there the fair usually held at the Abbey di Farfa. It has been resolved in congregation to put a third part of barley into the bread, in order that the corn may last at least until harvest. Signor Mario Sforza has rented the palace of Riario in Trastevere with the vineyard for a thousand crowns yearly, and Cardinal San Sisto has bought the palace which he inhabits, for 21,000 crowns. The Cardinal of Pavia has nearly been drowned in crossing a river. The Archbishop of Salerno, designed as nuncio to Poland is now going to his residence, as also the ambassador of the Grand Duke and Mansignor Mocenigo.
Venice, April 3.—From Constantinople we hear that Ferrat Bassa was, on the 1st of this month, to go as general to Persia, either to undertake the enterprise of Casbin, or to go against the Georgians, who are said to have taken the fortress of Tomanizza, built two years ago by Ferrat, and to be besieging Lori. The Cicala had written from Van to the Porte that by reason of the great scarcity in that province, it would be impossible to take in a great army this year; nevertheless the Grand Signor wished the enterprise to be executed, having appeased the janissaries and spahis by an increase of pay. The taking of Tauris by the Persians was not confirmed. Nothing said of the fleet, and much less work in the Arsenal. In Moldavia the Tartars who made a raid into Poland had returned, re infecta, to their homes. The Sanjac of Scutari was being raised to be sent into Persia.
[Judgments of the Council of Ten against Turlone, a very rich citizen, and the Magnifico Gio. Brugadino (accomplice of Zeno, beheaded for the murder of the Frenchman) &c. for various crimes.]
These holy days, the Prince has been present as usual, together with the Signoria and ambassadors, at the sermons, masses and other holy offices in the Church of San Marco, and has been to take the usual indulgences in the churches of the city.
Letters from Paris of the 15 ult. say that the protestant ambassadors had not yet arrived, and some believed they would not come at all, though their lodging was appointed. The Duke of Guise was still at court, honoured by all, and had obtained 200,000 crowns from the King on account of the 500,000 promised him for paying his debts. It was confirmed that some agreement might easily be made with the Huguenots, to the great advantage of the King, but meanwhile it was known that the Duke “di Umena” had joined the forces of Marshal de Matignon and Joyeuse to his own, to go to the siege of Montauban. It was said that the clergy were reconciled with the King. M. de la Valette, in Dauphiny, has had more artillery sent to Valence.
The rest of the army was going towards Loriol, and it was thought that La Valette was going to besiege Baisubai, (fn. 6) upon the Rhone, opposite Montelimar, to keep the passage of the river between Lyons and Marseilles open for trade.
There is a report from Antwerp that the Prince of Parma had demanded licence from the Catholic King to retire to Parma, and had been answered that he must go on until next June, at which time a successor should be sent. The Duke of Savoy spoken of, but many here do not believe it. Count John della Torre is here on his way to Rome for the feast. Many prisoners for debt have been set free these holy days, with the public money. There is a report from Lyons that the Duke “d' Umena,” going towards Montauban, had defeated the King of Navarre's men who opposed his passage.
[Account of a quarrel between Count Luca Faliero, captain of Sebenico and Col. Bierconti, the governor, in consequence of which the governor has been recalled.]
Signor Gaspar dall' Armi has left for Rome. The companies of the Duke of Gravina and of a Neapolitan baron of the house of Caraffa have passed towards Naples returning from Flanders.
Signor Minutio [Minucci], secretary and councillor of Bavaria, who lodged in the palace of Don Alfonso d' Este, has departed, after offering congratulations to this prince on behalf of his master. It is said that the Signoria wish to close the passages by water to Segna, the nest of the Uscocchi, in order to bridle those people, who by their insolencies and excursions annoy the navigation of Dalmatia.
Letters from Constantinople says that the Persian, his son and a nephew, being very friendly with the Georgians and well inclined to crush the Ottoman house, were, with a very great army holding in check the forces of Tauris, and had recovered many places occupied by the enemy. The army of the Cicala was all in mutiny. The Tartars wished to break off their confederation with the Turks. There was great dissension at Constantinople amongst the Bassas of the Porte, and the men who were to return into Persia with Ferrat had declared openly that they would not go.
Endd. Italian. 11 pp. [Newsletters XCV. 28.]
1586. March 25./April 4. Masino del Bene to Capt. Tomaso Sassetti.
Signor Bandini is about to send a man to your parts to receive certain dogs which the ambassador has promised him, and to bring them hither. For love of you, I advise him to send to you, because chi god' una volta, non stenta sempre. I say this supposing that you are hungry for news of certain things in the world, of which he will be able pretty well to satisfy you.
As to public affairs, I know not what to say, except that every one save those who have stirred up the war desires peace, and believes it to be very necessary, but it does not appear that any one is putting his hand to so holy a work. The King of Navarre, fearing to be shut up beyond the rivers is gone to Bergerac, and from thence may easily pass into Saintonges and Poitou. The Prince of Condé, it is said, was battering Saintes with eight cannon, and M. du Maine was at Villeneuve (Valla Nuova) in Agenois, resolving which of the many places which “those” hold he should attack.
The Swiss are in Diet, where it is held for certain that they will come to an agreement to preserve Geneva, considering what great prejudice it would be to their liberty if it should fall into the hands of those who menace it. Only two cantons, Lucerne and Uri, were not there, remaining at home, very determined, but it is thought that if they be [brought ?] together, reason and love of their country may easily draw them into this uniou, especially as those passionate and corrupt persons will not be able, in that place, to cheat them as they have done while they were at home by giving them false news-there being there none to contradict them-in order to keep them apart; all which things are making the threatenings against that town to grow cold, even if these two cantons should remain obstinate (which is not believed); and they are so small, and so held in by those of the Valais and the Grisons, who are united with the rest, that they could do little harm.—Paris, 4 April, 1586.
Add. Endd. Italian. 1½ pp. [France XV. 69.]
March 25./April 4. Admiralty of Zeeland to Leicester.
Jehan chevrier, calling himself a merchant of Thiers in Auvergne, has brought us your Excellency's letters, with a copy of those written by the King of France to you and to the States of Holland and Zeeland, touching the sentence given against him by us in August last in favour of Jehan Pedel, captain and free-booter, in relation to merchandises taken by sea and brought by Pedel into Walcheren, together with the person of the said Chevrier, who had embarked the whole at Calais in a ship going for Spain. Chevrier complains of being rudely treated and shut up in a miserable prison for a month and threatened with death, after which he applied for letters of reprisal to the King of France (whose subject he was), who has sent letters to your Excellency demanding restitution of the said merchandises or their value. Upon which your Excellency, not being informed of the matter, orders us to give our reason for our sentence against him. Our Sentence was grounded upon the placcarts of the States General, it being found that the said Chevrier trafficked with the enemy. [A long account of his proceedings and the reasons for their action against him.]—Flushing, 4 April, 1586. Received at Utrecht on the 8th.
Copy. Endd. Fr. 4 pp. [Holland VII. 49.]
March 25./April 4. Placcart issued by the Earl of Leicester, forbidding the sending of victuals, ammunitions of war and merchandise, to the enemy, his associates, and neutral places; together with all correspondence or treating with the enemy by letters or otherwise.—Utrecht, 4 April, 1586.
Printed. Fr.pp. [Ibid. VII. 50.]
[Printed in Dutch by Bor, bk. xxi, f. 17 (d).]
At the bottom of the title page is written: “The interposing of these words: places neutrales, was the cause that this placcart took no effect, which otherwise might have continued in force, save they allege that the fruits thereof was greatly impaired by the means of licences granted by the Admiralty of England.”
March 25./April 4. Ms. Copy of the above, with objections against some of the articles written in French in the margin.
Endd. Fr.pp. [Ibid. VII. 50a.]
English translation of the articles of the above.
6 pp. [Ibid. VII. 50b.]
[March 25./April 4.] “Articles of the prohibition of traffic into any the King of Spain's dominions”; being the hands of the articles of the Placcart issued by the Earl of Leicester on the above date.
Endd.pp. [Holland VII. 51.]
[Printed by Bor, bk. xxi, f. 17.]
March 25. ” A note of all such commodities as are made in Flanders and Brabant,” with memorandum that if brought into England they come by Middelburg.
Endd. with date. 1 p. [Flanders I. 68.]
March 25./Aril 4. Spanish Advertisements from William Norris.
About Jan. 10, I wrote from Alicante to an English merchant at Valencia, to advise me secretly of the King's coming, and what passed while he was there. Jan. 18, I went to “Bessellona,” where I heard that the Turk is making a great fleet in Argeytte [Algier] which appears to be true, as there have been no Turks' galleys abroad. The Spaniards believe “that he binds his force with Perpenyon [qy. le Pignon] or Oran.”
At my return I heard from my friend of the King's entrance into Valencia on Jan, 18; “many proper shows before his Highness by devices of boats in the streets signifying the sack of Malta,” &c. For two days he was royally banquetted by the nobility, and then gave himself to council. Having sat but few days, a post came, “signifying that Sir Francis Drake hath taken the island 'de Fror' in the Indies and doth build a fortress upon it, which was greatly to the King's disliking.
His Majesty was shortly to depart for Lisbon. The princes and nobles of Catalonia and Valencia made their assembly.
“The young prince, the King's son, is greatly lamented for that he is a leper; is preserved as much as possible may by physic. The princess his daughter a fair woman, in whom the King takes great liking, and hath sent to the Pope to have licence to marry his own daughter. The 26 of February we came athwart 'Jebraltor' eleven ships of the town of St. Malo in company. There came forth seven of the King's galleys. The general made a shot in the 'forfott' of our admiral. Our admiral obeyed with the duty of his topsails, and came to parley the Duke himself in person, who is general of fourteen galleys which are there appointed to guard the Straits; demanded of our admiral 'where' there were any English ships and Englishmen or Englishmen's goods in the fleet, to which he answered no. Then he commanded us to enter into the road of Jebraltor in the King's name, which was obeyed.” The second day the Duke had proclamation made in the city, on pain of death, “that neither gentleman, townsman or soldier should proffer any wrong to any Frenchman, but suffer them quietly to pass their business.” Thus we continued for twenty-five days, not visited or searched. No ship passes in or out the Straits but the galleys speak with him.
I heard from an Irish man and also by a French merchant that the King has caused the princes within the Straits, as Savoy (Sowffoye), Malta, Sicily, Genoa, Venice and Florence to make ready a hundred ships.
About March 1st there came aboard my ship an Englishman born, who has dwelt in “Jebraltor” eighteen years. He told me he had heard in Seville that the King is making a great force of ships in Lisbon, of two hundred sail, and in Seville and “Calles” upwards of forty more.
“The King hath referred all matters to the Inquisition, whose judgment is what men or goods they can seize on, the men condemned to the galleys for ever and all the goods to the King's use.”
Endd. “4 April, 1586.” 2 pp. [Newsletters XC. 26.]


  • 1. Alfonso d'Ornano (Alphonse Corse).
  • 2. i.e. Battant l' estrade, scouring the country.
  • 3. Graf Daun von Zimbern.
  • 4. Dr. Jacob Kurtz.
  • 5. For giving dowries to certain poor girls.
  • 6. Probably Baix (Baix-sur-Baix), near Chomérac.