Elizabeth: April 1586, 21-25

Pages 566-582

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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April 1586, 21–25

April 23. Stafford to Walsingham.
Upon Friday last the ambassadors from Denmark arrived, and had audience on Saturday, when they delivered to the King both by word and writing what they had to say from their master. I send you an extract which they gave me, and also the King's answer which he gave them yesterday; “and so they are presently to depart.”
I went to visit them and gave them the best advice I could, how they might deal to good effect; but they had their speeches set down in writing and would not alter a word; nor would they reply a word to the King's answer, or ask him to interpret the meaning of his words. “which are so double as they may [be] turned into what sense the King himself in the sequel of his affairs shall be disposed.” I did what I could to make them seek a more peremptory answer, but they said they had commandment what to say, and to receive what was delivered and no more, “and all that I could have of the doctor was that Rex audibit a nobis quod numquam audivit. I would have persuaded them that he would little care for words, he was enough accustomed to hear them. He told me, and so they have given out to every-body, that Si Rex non fecerit pacem videbit quod Germani corrigebunt cum virga ferrea. Those great words they thought would have done good with the King, and have made all the world afraid; but truly, I find that they have made themselves but laughed at, and their legation scornful, as they have used it, for there be cunning fellows that have entertained the doctor after meals, that have sounded him what their disposition is in Germany to do for the King of Navarre, to whom he hath been so indiscreet to answer that if the King of Navarre have money he shall have men by swarms”; and I the rather believe the bruit, because I myself sounded him and he answered me almost in the same sort; and when I told him that the King of Navarre's goods being confiscated, he must needs be helped by other princes, as his King and the rest of princes of Gremany, or else the cause would quail, as he could not furnish so great sums, “all I could get of him was but tanto peius Rex meus faciet quid potest, but I could not get what that potest was, nor find by him any great hope that it could do much.
“I pray God that their verba acerbissima that they said they gave to the King . . . do not prove a mountain with child brought abed with a mouse. For if they do not show greater effects by deeds after they come home than they have showed knowledge in their manner of their negotiation here, I will hope no great good by them.”
They would not speak with the Queen Mother, which those affected to the King of Navarre grieved at, and desired me to deal with them in it. “Thereupon I persuaded them that if they did not, it would quite make her desperate and animate her deadly against them of the Religion and the King of Navarre, by whom she would conceive that this embassy was procured, and therefore would conceive they were the cause she was neglected.” That they might excuse the King not sending to her by the speeches of the League in Germany, and the reputation that she was a chief actor in it; but that, finding she was still a pillar of this state, they desired her to be a means for its quiet and would make known to their master how much they had wronged her. But I could get no other answer from them but that they durst not pass their limitations, saying ”Mulier ista tantum male habet, propter multas iniquitates a pud regem Daniœ, qui est princeps honestissimus et piissimus, quod nihil vult habere quod eum illa agat.”
I pray God those who are coming will deal more agreeably with the humours of this Court, or I am very much afraid their coming will rather do great hurt than any good. But I hear Beauvois la Nocle comes with them, and if ruled by him, he can tell them how to deal. They are looked for within this fortnight.
“There is news come of a great defeat the Prince of Condé, hath given to those forces the King had in Saintonge, where he hath slain four hundred in the field. But withal there is pitiful news come, which I am afraid is too true that first Monsieur Dandelot, Monsieur de Laval's youngest brother was slain, then Monsieur de Rieux his second brother, and that he seeing him slain, ran so desperately into the enemies for grief and rage, that he brought them on beating to the walls of Saintes, in the which he heated himself so that a burning fever took him . . . and died of it at St. John d'Angeli within two days after; so that there is none of the brothers left, the fourth being dead of sickness three months before. Monsieur Laval hath a son left, a little child which is at Sedan, and they say his wife is with child now.”
M. de Bouillon sends me word that he has let thirty “muys” of corn pass quietly, that they may not be afraid to bring the rest; and then he will stay all that comes if he can have the least “avow” from the King, which he has now sent Cussi again to demand. “If the King do not, if he can find means to buy it under colour of his provision, he will take all,” but he has such charges upon him at this hour that he cannot do it unless her Majesty will help him with what he requested by “Siville,” though if he were able, he would do without it or anything else, if he might do her service.—Paris, 23 April, 1586.
Postscript.—The King has appointed Duc Joyeuse, La Forest, President Faucon and Pinard to deal with me about hearing the complaints for sea matters, within these two or three days. They will take some time. “In the meantime there are daily new complaints still.”
April 23. Stafford to Walsingham.
I received yesterday a letter that you sent me by John Tupper, “and certain letters to one Hamilton, (fn. 1) a Scottish man, which as he writ to me were of importance and that he had in them direction to communicate something to me for to advertise your honour of, I have delivered him the letters.” The matter was only what he long since declared to me and I advertised you of; viz. of Lord “Glawd” [Hamilton]'s proceedings here at his departure for Scotland. Hamilton himself will be with you almost as soon as this letter, and will declare it to you more at large, as also to Mr. Randall in Scotland, “whither he goeth presently, having leave, his quarter being out for three months. I did not write before who it was, but I had it first from him. He does not wish this to be known, “for it is as much as his head cometh to here.” I pray you make much of him, “for if there be an honest man in all Scotland, he is one, and affectionate to her Majesty's service.” One Mure comes with him, carrying Pinart's packet to the ambassador in Scotland. “I will not answer for him, though harm I do know none, but he is a Scot, and very inquisitive.” I pray you send the enclosed to Mr. Randall with the first opportunity.—Paris, 23 April, 1586.
Postscript.—I send you a letter from Rouen. “I rather think it the zeal of the man that bringeth fear of some favour he hath heard is to be showed in England than anything else . . . but dare not settle myself to judge.”
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [France XV. 105.]
April 23. Walsingham to Stafford.
According to your desire to know what course her Majesty wishes you to take with the French King when the ambassadors from the King of Denmark and the Princes of Germany shall arrive to persuade him to a peaceable way with his subjects, she wills me to say that you are to confer with the said ambassadors, to learn the particularities of the several charges committed to them; to give them the best advice you can and concur with them in the same, and further their cause by the best means you can.
But before you deal with the King in the matter, you shall let them communicate their charge to him, and afterwards require audience and concur with them in their course, unless you see special cause to alter the same. You shall also let them understand how glad her Majesty is to see so many princes concur in an action that so much concerns the glory of God and also their own safeties, which must needs be in great peril if the King of Navarre and his confederates should be abandoned by other princes of the Religion.
And as the French Kings and other princes favouring the Pope have heretofore done all they could to work division amongst the princes of Germany, her Majesty would have you, as from yourself, advise these ambassadors to beware of such attempts as are likely to be practised by the French, lest thereby the cause committed to them may be brought to a very dangerous issue.
You are also to have a special care to use the King of Denmark's ambassador with such courtesy and tokens of affection that he may understand how much her Majesty “affecteth” the King his master, who is so greatly devoted to her, as declared by his offers to serve her with all his forces and his own person “if need were.”
At your audience with the French King, her Majesty would have your speech to be “in this form following or like in effect":—
That understanding the repair of these ambassadors into that realm from princes who have always shown themselves well affected to that crown, and now, seeing the great calamity that realm may fall into by civil dissension, have sent their ministers to dissuade him from the violent course he is entered into— her Majesty cannot but concur with them in an action that tends so much to his own good and the general benefit of his realm, and persuade him (as she has oftentimes heretofore done) to desist from prosecuting his own dutiful subjects, and to restore that realm to its former quietness, “a matter which she need not with many words persuade him to, seeing the hand of God himself, through the unseasonableness of the year and the great scarcity which both that realm and others are like to endure, doth lead him to think [it] most necessary at this time,” if he tenders the conservation of his subjects, who otherwise are like to die in great numbers, the spoils and wastes commonly committed by soldiers increasing the present scarcity; wherefore her Majesty sees no better way than for him “to take some peaceable course in suffering them of the Religion to enjoy the benefit of sundry his former edicts, made not so much for their particular safety as for public good of that whole realm.”
“And here you are to put the King in mind who they be that have carried him into this violent course . . .; even the house of Guise, which affect that crown, though the upholding of the Catholic religion (as they term it) be their colour; and that the principal setter on of that house is the King of Spain, a competitor of that crown, and that seeketh the ruin of the said King and his realm, thereby to establish his own greatness. That they whom the King now prosecuteth are they that are to oppose themselves to the malice both of that house and of the Spanish King,” whom, if he now strengthens, he will more and more weaken his good subjects, and so be an instrument of his own ruin.
If he would take a princely course to chastise those that under pretence of the Catholic religion seek his destruction and their own greatness, he would find many of the League to abandon the heads of it, and her Majesty and divers other princes ready to yield him any reasonable assistance, who being now stirred up to make him friendly offers, “you may advise him in no wise to refuse the same.”
If however you perceive that notwithstanding her Majesty's persuasions, he intends to prosecute the wars, “you are to show him that . . . he is to look for no better success than hath fallen out at other times heretofore, when the like wars have been attempted upon like assurances; and that none will be more sorry for the same than her Majesty, who doth acknowledge herself so greatly beholding unto him for the constant good will he hath always showed to bear towards her” and which has led her to urge what she thinks may “either avoid his peril or work his good.”
This, as you know, is but a repetition of what you have often had in charge to deliver to him, and her Majesty refers it to you to use any such speech as you think may best advance this cause, “who shall be better able to judge what is fittest to be done there than we can direct here.”
If the King continues as resolute as at your last audience, “there is no other remedy but for well affected princes to assist roundly the King of Navarre, and to do that King good against his will.”
Draft corrected by Walsingham. Endd. with date. 7 pp. [France XV. 106.]
April 23/May 3
[last date].
News from Divers Parts.
Prague, April 9. Signor Fintler is preparing to depart, having presented Ubine to the Emperor.
The Count of Zimer and Signor Curtio [Zimbern and Dr. Kurtz] are about to set out for Rome, and Detristain [Dietrichstein] his Majesty's chamberlain, for Savoy. Monsignor Sega is eagerly expected here, having arrived at Vienna.
No settlement of the Uscocchi business. Furio Molza believed to be destined for that government, but still at Gratz. Nothing heard of the Diet of Worms, or the marriage of the Emperor and eldest daughter of Spain.
Antwerp, April 4. The English Queen said to have sent an illustrious merchant, Agostino Graspino [Grafiña] to treat with the Prince of Parma for free trade and navigation.
Grave still besieged. 300 soldiers gone into it. Plot discovered at Bergen [op-Zoom]. Some soldiers and a lieutenant of the garrison executed. Prince of Parma still at Brussels. None can guess what he intends. An unexpected accord suspected. News from all parts of dangerous navigation; the Rochellers scouring the seas and doing much damage.
Cologne, April 10. Neuss not yet besieged. Parma's troops partly in Cleves, partly gone towards Grave, which the English are attempting to succour. A strict ordinance published in London that no English cloths or carisce [qy. kerseys] shall go to Hamburg and into Germany. Those who carry the same goods into Italy to give certificates not to take them elsewhere. The King of France said to have sent Montpensier to treat with the King of Navarre.
Rome, April 19. One Ascanio, an engineer from Urbino, introduced by Monsignor Lamberti, has offered to drain the Sezza, Piperno and Terrazina marshes, an enterprise desired by the Popes but never attempted by Martino Colonna up to now. A commission appointed to ratify the contract. As resistance is feared, all recourse to Rome is to be done away with, and the Pope is sending Monsignor Fabio Orsino with powers to decide all differences.
His Holiness invited to be godfather to the Duke of Savoy's child. Cardinal di Cremona to be his deputy.
Prince Ranuccio [Farnese] has departed, to whom Rome has said Beata ubera que suxisti. Has been greatly favoured by the Pope. [Festivities in his honour.] The new Venetian ambassador arrived last Wednesday. The old one leaves in three days, and shortly after, [the Cardinals] Verona and Como, who goes greatly pleased with favours received from his Holiness.
[Proceedings in Monday's Consistory.] The Pope has assisted in the blessing of the Agnus Deis, aided by many cardinals and prelates. Ten cases of them, of which one was sent to Prince Ranuccio and two to the Prince [of Parma] his father in Flanders, for his army. Bowls of them are being carried round to the cardinals, ambassadors and chief men of the city.
Both the Legate and the people of Perugia have sent to the Pope an account of the rising caused by hunger and the ill-government there, the people turning in fury against the ministers of justice, breaking open the prisons, throwing stones at the windows of the palace and obliging the Legate to take refuge in the fortress. The Pope has summoned him to Rome, sending the Abbot Dandino in his place, with orders to inquire into Spinola's proceedings. Medici and Cesis protested to his Holiness, this method of removing a cardinal being without precedent, but the Pope would not give way. The son of Archduke Ferdinand has come from Este, Medici, Farnese and Montalto and the son of the Marquis of Baden, who is in the German College. . . .
A hermit has been brought to the Holy Office from Naples, who, in the sacrifice of the altar, has seduced people with magic, causing himself to be lifted up (faciendosi alzare) by the devil, so that the people, deceived, dared to say hic est virtus Dei. It is said the Pope means to put the Appian and the Ostain Way into use as far as Gaeta. To an Irish bishop who craved help, he replied: Be comforted; you will soon see the account we make of you and your compatriots. The Archbishop of Bari to go as nuncio to Poland, though he has been talked of as governor of Rome. The German Congregation has resolved to give so much a month to the Bavarian Elector during the war of Cologne.
Venice, April 26. Gio. Maria Martinego going to his government of Corfu. From Constantinople, news that Ferrat Bassa was gone to the camp. Common belief that Tauris is surrendered to the Persian. The English ambassador has urged the Grand Signor to give up the war and turn his forces against Spain, but without success. French ambassador expected daily. No movement of the fleet.
On Thursday at vespers and on Friday morning, the Prince, Signoria and ambassadors attended solemn mass at San Marco, for the festival of the saint, after which was the usual procession of the great Schools, offering of candles &c. and banquet by his Serenity. News from Rome. The Marquis of Pescara going to Flanders. The Legate in the Romagna is taking order against bandits, but it is said that he is returning to Rome and that Pinelli, fiscal of Rome, son of the Cardinal is to be president there. A Franciscan friar preaching in the Ghetto, the Hebrews protested before the Sacred College, but the cause was given in his favour. Report that Algiers galleots have been cut to pieces by Neapolitan galleys. Business of the Uscocchi of Segna believed to be in course of settlement.
Prague, April 15. M. Sega expected to-day. To-morrow Count Zimer starts for Rome, and M. Kurtz, who is to make the speech to his Holiness and on his return to be Vice-Chancellor, as Vieheuser (Viheisir), being tormented by the gout, wishes to retire. “Detristain” sets out within a week. Archdukes Ernestus and Maximilian expected, the latter going to his place as Grand Master of the Teutonic order, the former for affairs of Hungary. Duke of Savoy also expected. The Emperor has chosen the Duke of Sabbioneta to hold the Prince of Mantua's child at the font.
Antwerp, April 12. Nothing expected to be done this summer save stopping provisions from going to Bergen. Scarcity increases from day to day. Soldiers seize meat and bread and plunder everywhere. Hope that the coming of the Prince of Parma will reform matters. Grave fiercely battered by the besiegers; arrival of succours not confirmed. The Hollanders have men of war below Dunkirk, Calais and Havre (Ableneuf) to prevent carriage of victuals to Flanders. “Graspino” only came from England to obtain licence (from the Prince of Parma) to carry certain silk cloths to that Queen, with which he departed yesterday.
Cologne, April 17. The ecclesiastics having subscribed large sums for recovery of Neuss and seeing no signs of a siege, have complained to the Elector. Orders now given to besiege it and munition of war sent from Bonn, Andernach and this city. Charles Truxes, prisoner in the country of Liége, present by licence of the Elector at the last Frankfort fair. General opinion that he ought to be set free.
Rome, April 16.—Rumour that an English ship with soldiers &c. has been wrecked off Portugal, going to Algier. Pierto di Toledo, with eighteen galleys, gone from Naples for Africa. Bishop of Arezzo at Rome, summoned by the Pope. In Monday's Consistory, his Holiness lamented greatly the heavy and superfluous expences of his predecessors, exhorting his successors to preserve the money in the Castle, that the church may thus be more feared and obeyed, and pontiffs not compelled to do what is not fit, to get money in times of need. He then gave general pardon to all who have favoured the banished men. Cardinal d'Este has obtained the coadjutorship of Avignon for the Cardinal of Guise. Cardinal Castruccio made prefect of justice, and Napoleone Comitolo, of Perugia, auditor of the Rota. The Sacred College has presented Gualtierucci for Secretario di brevi, in place of Canobio, he having paid them 5,000 crowns for doing so. Cardinal Spinola to be imprisoned in the Archdeacon of Mileto's house until he purges himself. He is expected every hour. The Spanish ambassador has spoken warmly for him, but like the others, got only civil words from his Holiness, who has ordered all the townspeople imprisoned by Spinola to be set free, regretting that the many warnings given him had availed nothing. A ban issued against all who have moulds (stampe) for Agnus Deis or sell them, and a precept printed that all the ecclesiastics are to go to mass on April 29 in San Pietro Martire.
[Movements of cardinals and ambassadors.] Donna Girolama Colonna gone to Loretto and the Duke of Termole going, who came to Rome on business of his brother, the Archbishop of Naples. Thursday, for the creation of the Pope, Cardinals Castruccio sang mass in the Sistine Chapel, and the cardinals offered l'ad multos annos to his Holiness. When the people went to do the same, he told them that he loved them dearly, but hated the robberies of their officers.
On the disturbance in Milan between the Court and the Sandalled Friars, his Holiness has appointed a Congregation to take cognizance of all causes of orders of friars, Jesuits &c.; the heads to be Alessandrino, Marcello, Mondovi and Medici. The jurisdiction touching priests falls to Sans, with the heads of the Congregation of Bishop. [Insult of the Viceroy of Naples to the Count of Mileto, a prisoner there.]
Venice, May 3. Report from Paris (last month) that Balagni had given Cambrai to the Prince of Parma for 400,000 crowns only founded on statement of mutineers there, now quieted Duke of Guise was still at Court, either waiting the coming of the German ambassadors or the result of the project for the marriage of the Duke of Nemours to the Princess of Lorraine. The King would attend to nothing but giving orders for making of churches &c. Affairs of Dauphiny going from bad to worse. King of Navarre said to be wounded in the arm in a skirmish with the Duke du Maine near Bergherout [qy. Bergerac].
From Constantinople news that the soldiers refuse to return to Persia. Ferrat Bassa must reach Tauris within two months if he is to succour it.
[Dispute between the nobles and podesta of Bordenone in Friuli.] The Nuncio has urged the Signoria, in the Pope's name, to give him the bandits brought from Dalmatia. [News of arrivals &c.]
The tumult at Cambrai said to have arisen from the French King's desire to give the Government to Epernon. Fresh troops, bisogni [i.e. recruits] sent to take the place of the garrison. dismissed by Balagni, who turned the artillery upon them. Duke du Maine and Marshal Matignon besieging the castle of St. Basil and another post on the Garonne. Cardinal of pavia going to Turin to visit the Duchess of Lorraine, and Count Renato Borromeo sent thither by the Governor of Milan to congratulate the Duke on the birth of his son. Baptism to be solemnized in September; sponsors the Pope, Republic of Venice and Grand Master of Malta. Marquis del Vasto gone towards Flanders, leaving his wife with child in Pesaro. From Cologne, report that the Prince of Parma has cut to pieces 600 English going to succour Grave. [Movements of cardinals.]
Maranta, a very famous doctor, imprisoned for many months by the Holy Office, is banished for ten years and has to-day departed for Ferrara.
Endd. Italian. 4¼ pp. very close writing. [Newsletters, XCV. 29.]
April 24. Stafford to Walsingham.
I humbly thank your honour for your plain dealing with this bearer in things touching me; to whom I have imparted the truth of all things to tell you at his return, “as to one upon whose friendship I do so assuredly build, and in whose friendship, if I were deceived, I should never trust nobody whilst I lived again.”
I marvel what bad disposed people (considering with what courtesy and friendship I have dealer with everybody) can have talked of me with such untruths as I find by your speeches with Tupper, and I heard from others. “Truly, it had much more grieved aforetime than it doth now; for now I am so used to be evil dealt withal, that seeing they take it for a custom, I will not accustom myself to be grieved with it, because I think it would please them too much; but leave truth to try itself, and that which I have done or shall do in my charge to the effects that shall come of it, and to your honour's and wise men's considerations. . . . At the least, I hope you will testify that her Majesty's service, though it have received no good, hath received no harm by me. . . .”
Touching my own particular and all things else, I have committed the truth to this bearer, and beseech you to give credit to him reporting it and to me who send it, and “crave your words in my absence to assure that which I send to you to be true.” I think my gentle dealing with some that have deserved evil of me has encouraged them or some other to speak of me at their pleasure, as I have given given charge to the bearer to tell you; “especially of one that is gone naughtily and secretly from hence; . . . as very a knave and as very a fool withal as any is in England or France.”
I am sending by this bearer for my son and desire that both he and “Hackluytt” should come with him. I pray you “help them with somewhat” that they may do so. I wish to have him here awhile before my return to see him settled, and “what his disposition will be given unto; that . . . as I see him fit I may dispose him to somewhat; either to leave him here or to. return him with me when I come home.”—Paris, 24 April, 1586.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [France XV. 107.]
April 24. Stafford to Walsingham.
After I sent away my man, I received the enclosed packet from “Pallavesino,” which he desired me to send you with great haste. If things be no readier than I see by what he writers to me, I fear the King of Navarre will be hardly bested meanwhile. "The only way to remedy all and keep them here from doing harm is the setting of these Catholics awork, so that they may here be made to stand at the gaze, and seeing of all sides stirring, as there will be, not know whom to trust,” which I think “will given a shrewder push at the constraint to a peace than anything.” I used this bearer's coming for an assurance that the money was already at Rye, to assure them present help.
To-day I have told Count Soissons that the money should be ready when Montpensier was embarked, but without that, no more was to be had. He answered “he would not desire it else.” He wishes it to be brought hither, that at the instant the news arrived “he might by ready to do his effect, to which if there were any intermission between soldiers and captains, though they had already received, seeing then nothing to be kept according to promise [they] would take party with somebody else, and so all quail, which will be of no small weight.” I assure him all shall be ready in four or five days after I know that Montpensier is on horseback. I am assured that he stays but to hear from those here that they are ready “and that Biron be a horseback out of this town, for at the same instant he meaneth to declare himself, and would do sooner if Soissons and they here kept him not from it because they be not ready, and that it will be to most purpose to have all done at one time.”
I would to God that the Queen would consent, and that instead of remaining at Rouen the money might be brought to Paris, than when needed, a good opportunity may not be overslipped for want of having it ready. “Let my head answer for it, if they have one groat till Montpensier be embarked; but that being done, an occasion of great importance may be lost for four or five or six days which must needs be spent at the least in sending to and fro for that. Marshal Biron is every day ready to depart, but the King still wandereth up and down and cometh to the conclusion of nothing”; howbeit he promises within four or five days to dispatch him. Many think that he does what he can “to give Montpensier and the Catholics with him and that house leisure to interpret somewhat, that seeing all France afire, 'every' may cry out upon the League and him to make a peace by constraint, but there is no trust to nothing here till we see the effects.”—Paris, 24 April, 1586.
Postscript.—I send you an extract of a letter of a friend of mine out of Spain; and I am assured that a ship's master who is come to M. de. Joyeuse affirms the same “that hath been himself with Sir Francis at many of his enterprises, and assureth that at his departure he was going to Nombra de Dios.”
Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [France XV. 108.]
April 24./May 4. William Lewckner to Edward Lewckner.
Letters from Spain say that Captain Drak has taken the Isle of St. Domingo, where he has found a million and a half of gold and 120 pieces of artillery, “and doth fortify there, being a place where perforce the Indies fleet must pass. It is said that he hath taken the King of Spain's packet, coming from the Indies, whereby he seeth the readiness of the fleet and provides for them accordingly, so that it causeth the King to augment his shipping, hoping that by his molesting the King there, we shall remain the quieter, which God grant.”
We hear certainly that two English ships which left Marseilles a month past for England, met four Spanish galleys near Seville; and after some fight the biggest was sunk, the other carried into Seville. Twelve galleys are at Gibraltar “attending” our ships from Turkey. “The Lord be their defence.”
Within six days, there is to be a conference between the Duke of Savoy and those of Geneva, “but it is to be thought to small purposes, for he showeth his goodwill towards them by having sent lately several countrymen to the galleys for transporting victuals to Geneva.”
The cantons of the Religion have sent their ambassadors to Montmellier [? Montbéliard] to meet those of the King of Denmark and Duke of Saxony, and go together to the King of France “to require him to peace with his subjects. For that the young Duke of Saxony is a Lutherna, and feareth to displease the Emperor, it is to be thought there is small hope of his aid. 'Kasemery' hath offered of his a hundred thousand dollars, but for reiters can get none without more present money; whereupon it is said her Majesty hath lend fifty thousand pounds sterling.
“It is here greatly rejoiced for some hurt happened to the Prince of Code near Brouage. The King of Navarre hath given a new repulse unto the Duke du Maine (Demen) with victory only of two ensigns. Touching the troubles in Dauphiny, I see small provision on M. de La V[alette] his part, and less to be looked for by reason of the great dearth of corn that is here.”
Mr. Cecil is come to Geneva and will stay there until he hears out of England. Aldred not yet arrived, but we look for him daily.—Lyons, 4 May, 1586.
Add. Endd.pp. [France XV. 109.]
April 24. “A memorial touching the Earl of Leicester's request” [by] Sir William Russell.
“1. The perfecting of the contract touching the horsemen. 2. The sending over of Sir William Pelham. 3. A commission for the;levying of stiltmen. 4. Their lordships' allowance of the inhibition for the traffic into Spain. 5. The sending over of treasure. 6. To take strait order for the restraining of the sending over of victuals. 7. To have a herald and a pursuivant. 8. The sending over of voluntaries.”
Endd. with date. Two copies, each½ p. [Holland VII. 10–8, 108a.]
April 24. Horatio Palavicino to Walsingham
I have delayed writing till I could give you some certain news, and the continual suspense in which we have been and still are has held me back even to this day. Now I have to tell you that I have been with Duke Casimir at a castle of his called Niuscelos [Neuscholss] for three days, where I showed him my commission and sough to learn his resolution. His answer and all the discourses which he held with me, and also those of Beuterich were always that he wished to embrace the enterprise, that the levy should be made according to my request; that he would be the conductor thereof, unless prevented by lawful impediments or that Duke Otto of Luneburg, of the house of Brunswick, should be sent, a prince of consequence and very well known there.
They said further, as a thing of which they had great hope, that if these princes contributed, they could make a much greater levy, binding themselves however, if those would not contribute, to go forward with the aforesaid design. Yet we did not come to any certain conclusion, because on my request that he should treat with the Navarrese ministers, he had not altogether made up his mind, and put off the business until the 12th in this country, where he would see Beuterich. Accordingly he came, and we were together on the 13th, when I desired to know all the sources of the moneys which they had for making the levy and found that, those which I had to disburse excepted, all the rest were hopes received of the good disposition of Duke Casimir and the persuasions of his minister aforesaid of good payment, and that this Duke Casimir was willing to charge himself bindingly, not only to the Navarrese ministers with the agreement, but also with a writing to her Majesty which I demanded, of the tenor of which I send you a copy; whereby Duke Casimir taking all upon himself, and guaranteeing by his promise and the faith of a prince the expected result, the points of my instruction were fulfilled; and it being my part to consent to the disbursement of the money, and being thus entreated, I did not refuse it. The following day there were counted out 43,000 florins of this money, and for the rest it was agreed that it should be paid at the forthcoming fair at Strasburg; but when it came to the passing of the writings, Beuterich was willing to given me the private paper signed by Duke Casimir, but refused to given me the convenants signed in like manner; and refused so obstinately that as I could not consent to relinquish it, it being charged in my instructions, the business was not completed, and I retained the money, much to the dissatisfaction of the Navarrese ministers, who reproached me and furiously condemned the strictness of my instructions; but it was not in my power to dispense with them, and although I was much grieved to see that they should charge me with the blame, and should accuse me without any reason, I did not fail in my duty; wherefore the matter was referred to Duke Casimir, who has consented to give me the covenants also, on the condition which you will see in the annexed sheet, and which I do not reply to, as being superfluous. Enough that I apply myself with all diligence so to act that I may be able to offer the whole payment; very desirous to find out whether the difficulty is owing to mistrust of having the money, or to hesitation as to the whole business; of which I cannot deny I have strong suspicions. So soon as I shall be convinced of it, I will give you full notice thereof.
Meanwhile, against those who may say that I have been unwilling to consent to the will of these people, I beg you to believe that I was as vexed about it as they were; but neither could nor might—my hands being bound by the instructions—do otherwise than I did, it being my duty to serve her Majesty according to her will, and not to excuse myself from consideration to any others. I pray you to accept my actions and to defend me against those who would blame me to her. What I have been able to gather of matters here relating to France, I have put together on the annexed sheet, and send it to you with my usual confidence that, of your kindness, you will accept what is worthy, and excuse what is worthless. Up to now, I have received no letter from you or from Ambassador Stafford, which I greatly desire, that so I might be guided in my actions. I am hoping for them every hour.—Frankfort, 24 April, 1586.
Add. Endd. Italian. 3 pp. [Germany, States IV. 34.]
[The words in italics are in cipher, undeciphered.]
April 24. Duplicate of the same, no doubt sent by another way.
Add. Endd. Italian. 2½ pp. [Ibid. IV. 35.]
This copy has more cipher in it than the other (undeciphered), and the symbols are often different, but all are given in the key to Palavicino's cipher with Walsingham in Book of Ciphers, Eliz., Vol. ii, no. 99.]
April 24. Horatio Plalvicino to Burghley.
I pray your lordship to do me the favour to look at my dispatch to Mr. Secretary for information of what has happened to me here; and to assure yourself that I will not exceed orders in my duty, notwithstanding what I incur from the dissatisfaction of these Navarrese Ministers, who think of nothing save the satisfaction of their desires. As to the business of Genoa, I have written continually and with the greatest ingenuity that I could imagine. Now I shall add in my letters the prosperous success at Grave, and draw from it all the arguments if furnishes for the advancing of the credit of these affairs, which I pray God may grow to the height of her Majesty's desires.—Frankfort, 24 April, 1586.
Add. Endd. by Burghley. Italian. 1 p. [Ibid. IV. 36.]
April 24. Elector Truchsess to the Queen
Not only do I rejoice with those of these countries that your Majesty has been pleased to embrace their defence and to send them so accomplished and wise a lord, but I have received the greatest satisfaction in that you have deigned so affectionately to recommend to him my affairs; taking both the one and the other for very apparent signs that God in these last times has set apart your Majesty for his church, and that, daily increasing your holy and heroic course he wishes to show forth the glory of his name and to maintain his people by the happy success of your enterprises.
For since the Earl of Leicester has been in these countries, notwithstanding that heretofore all was in extreme danger and ruin was at their door, he has by his vigilance and wise moderation so well reformed matters that we do not lack sure testimonies that by his means God will bless your Majesty's great designs. Moreover he has so taken my affairs to heart that I hope shortly to see removed all that has hitherto held them back. As your Majesty may understand particularly both from the said Earl and Sir Thomas Heneage (Hennich) how easy it is to aid me, and the profit which the advancement of my affairs may bring to these provinces, I will not trouble you with longer discourse, but pray you to continue to me your royal grace and favour, so that the Christian church may feel the fruits of my resolution to depend, after God, upon your Majesty.—Utrecht, 24 April, 1586.
Signed. Add. Endd. Fr.pp. [Germany, States IV. 37.]
April 24. Elector Truchsess to Walsingham.
I doubt not but that Sir Thomas “Hennich” will have told you of the good success of things here, and that the Earl of Leicester will have given her Majesty and yourself to understand the importance of my affairs and the ease with which they may be restored to a good footing.
And as he has so well begun to smooth the misunderstanding between the Conte de Meurs and myself, and by this means has opened the way by which to go further in my business, I make bold once more to beg for her Majesty's assistance, praying you to lend a helping hand therein, and hoping, by God's grace, that there may result to the Christian church both comfort and joy, as I believe M. de Sidney, your son-in-law, whom for his rare virtues I love as a brother, will have testified to you.—Utrecht, 24 April, 1586stilo antiquo,
Signed. Add. Endd. Fr.pp. [Ibid.iv. 38.]
April 24. “The effect” of two letters from Count Edzard of East Friesland and from his councillor Sebastian Muller, written on this date.
In his own, he requests in general terms that her Majesty will consider the afflicted state of his country, “grieviously injured by those of Holland's invasions and spoilings,” referring the particularities to his councillor's letter.
Wherein he desires that order may be taken that the Earl of Leicester's placard, debarring those of Münster and Osnabrück (the Monasteriens and Osnabruccens) passage up the river Maas (Amasis), to the great hindrance of their traffic, may be revoked:
That having, at her Majesty's appointment, sought redress of the injuries done them by those of Holland and Zeeland at the Earl of Leicester's hands and received no order herein, her Majesty “would see the redress thereof”; as also for the spoils done by our English soldiers to those of Brunswick, Augsburg (Augusta), Norimberg, Dresden (Misna), Hessia; whereas otherwise the Electors of Germany have promised him their aid.
That his annuities and privileges may not be diminished. That her Majesty will safeguard him from the threatening of the Hanse towns; and that he may know how and for how long “the intercourse of traffic shall be continued,” and what the English will give yearly for renewing the privileges.
In conclusion, he protests his forwardness in making this contract, “so that the Estates of the Empire consent thereto, without whose assent he dares not go through with anything.”
Date given in endorsement. 1 p. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns II. 42.]
April 25. M. De Buzanval to Walsingham.
The bearer of this is the person of whom I wrote four days ago. He has long studied at the University of Cambridge (Canturbrige) and has been for some time in this town. M. de la Fontayne testifies to his piety and religion. He desires a passport to go into Ireland and Scotland and begs me to write to you in his favour. I pray you to grant his request if it be reasonable.—London, 25April.
Add. Endd. with year date. Fr. ¾p. [France XV. 110.]
April 25. Thomas Rodwell to [Walsingham?].
There have now been put into Grave about 150 boats with victuals, which, with what they had before, will suffice for eight or nine months. It is thought that the Prince of Parma is bringing cannon to batter the town, but it cannot be brought near until the water is “gotten out of the land.” If we might have a good number of Englishmen I think we could easily hold Grave and obtain Nimegen, “Sertingham Burse” [S'Hertogenbosch] and other important towns, and with the aid of our English ships and these men, Dunkirk and Newport might be surprised. There is no doubt Bruges would come over to us, with other towns and the country thereabout, so that, destroying part of the corn in Brabant and Flanders &c., the enemy's towns will be forced to revolt, for want of victual. I know not what means might be made, during the wars in France, to obtain, Calais, but it might be more important to us now that at any time before.
Our foot camp is removed to Herward [Heerewaarden], near Sertingham Burse; the horse remain at Newkirke in Gelderland. I think we cannot bring into the field above five or six thousand foot and three thousand horse.—Utrecht, 25 April, 1586.
Postscript.—Our men yesterday took Knowle sconce and Emble castle on the Side of the “Maze” by which the enemy passed into Bommelswert last year.
Copy. Endd. 1 p. [Holland VII. 109.]
April 25. Leicester to Burghley.
The coming over of Sir Thomas Heneage and my servant Atey somewhat eases me in this extremity of business, as they will declare what my leisure serves not to write.
Since the last news I wrote of Grave, I have received advertisement that our men have taken two forts on the Maes, near Bolduc [Bois-le-Duc], one called Knowl sconce, the other Embel. I hear the Prince of Parma is coming from Brussels towards Grave, “to see if he can any way amend the matter himself,” with 3,000 horse and 8,000 foot. We have not above fifteen or sixteen hundred horse at most, English and Dutch, and four or five thousand foot; “yet we mean to attend him so, if he come, that he shall do no great harm,” and at most cause us to demolish the forts which we took from him, rather that they might not be offensive than in order to defend them. If we had a few more men here, “I think we should give him cause not to desire to stay long amongst us.”—Utrecht, 25 April.
Postscript in his own hand.—Count Hollock won these two forts, which did us much harm, “yet no places for us to hazard any men in.” Atey will tell you how far this money can help us. “Truly, my lord, if you will have her Majesty's honour saved and our soldiers encouraged, there must be more care over us.” The treasurer, having paid only Brill, Ostend and Flushing, has but 8,000l. to pay our 800 horse and 4,000 footmen and more, for two or three months.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland VII. 110.]
April 25. [Francesco Rizzo to Burghley.]
Signor Palavicino writes that up to the present he has caused about 10,000l. sterling to be taken up in exchange at Middelburg, Antwerp and Lyons, and that what has to be paid in the two first places falls due on the first and fifth of June next. But as it is very difficult, now that the business is so straitened, for his friends in these places, in the space of a few days, to find so great a sum of money in exchange, I beg your lordship, by his desire, to give order that 2,000l. may be paid, with which to discharge his debt to the friends who provided the last 2,000l., part of which was sent to Antwerp direct and part by way of Rouen. Unsigned and undated.
Endd. by Burghley: “25 April. Pallavicino's servant. Request for 2,000 'mo.'” Italianp. [Germany, States IV. 39.]
April 25./May 5. Extract from a letter of Monsignor di Nazareth, of this date:
Touching the uncertainties and difficulties of your affairs, I pray God to give you courage and prudence to govern them better than they have been governed heretofore. Pardon me if I say that they have not been good, either for peace or war.
About my coming, your lordship says you do not believe it, and I must say that I fear it. At other times I came willingly; I was younger, better regarded and more credited than perhaps I should be now, from the malignity of the men of the world, yet the Pope having yesterday commanded, it, I cannot fail to obey. I have been and always shall be an honest man, faithful to the service of God, of his Holiness and of their Majesties, and also to mine own honour, which I esteem more than all other things. And although others may not believe me, I shall say always what is true and right, but I would hope also of you, on that side, that you may learn to discern good from evil, and better than by the relations of others, which are not always true.
I spoke with the Pope yesterday of the affairs of France, or rather his Holiness spoke of them to me, with so much fatherly love towards the Kings, and such desire for the safety and real tranquillity of his whole kingdom, that his Majesty can desire nothing more. May it please God that those men whom you know, may not be able, by their private interests, to disturb and hinder the public good.
On the same sheet:
Another letter, from Cavalcanti, at Rome.
you do nothing but wear yourselves out, which grieves many and pleases some. We believe you may have great difficulty in making a peace, and your heads of the League, both there and here, persuade themselves that it will not be done, seeing the Navarrese obstinate and pretty strong; and even if preparations by Germany be neither heard of, moved or solicited, yet their doings are not a little to be feared, since the strength of that[i.e.your] kingdom is being wasted, and it seems that you do not mean to accept more aid than is necessary, which may be usually a good thing to do, but perhaps — !
If you could in any way come to some form of peace, I believe it would be preferable to any other consideration. You do not believe that anything is practised against either England or Geneva, but I fear this is to deceive yourselves greatly as to England, for if she supports the offenders in Flanders, we others cannot but solicit or propose the like enterprises, and perhaps aid them.
Endd. Italian. 1 p. [Italy I. 14.]


  • 1. Probably Captain Hamilton, of the French King's Scottish guard.