Elizabeth: December 1586

Pages 156-176

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 21, Part 1, 1586-1588. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1927.

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December 1586

[Dec.3/13.] "Discours de la Royne mere et du Roy de Navarre, tenu le 25 Novembre, [sic] 1586."
Begins. "Apres les remerciemens, embrassements et caresses, faictes tant d' une part que d' autre, la Royne mere demanda au Roy de Navarre—Eh bien, mon fils, ferons nous quelque— chose de bien?—R[oy]. Il ne tiendra pas a moy, Madame, c'est ce que je desire.—Il fault donc qu'a present vous nous disiez vos volontés—R. Mes volontés, Madame, ne sont que celle de vos majestés.—Laissons toutes ces ceremonies mon fils, quy ne servent de rien. Que demandez vous?—R. Madame, je ne vous demand rien. Je ne suis venu icy que pour recepvoir vos commandemens.—La dict, faiste quelque ouverture.—R. Madame, il n'y a point icy d' ouverture pour moy.—Mais quoy. Voulez vous estre cause de la ruine du Royaume, auquel vous avez, apres le Roy, grand Interest?—R. Madame, vous me l'avez mal monstré et luy aussy, m'ayant dressé huict armees pour cuider me ruiner."
Ends. "Et quoy, mon fils, vous vous abusez. Vous pensez avoir des reistres, et vous n' en aurez point.—R. Madame, je ne suis pas venu icy pour en scavoir des nouvelles de vous.—Ceux de la Rochelle ne vous ont encor point donné leurs clefs de leur ville—R. Non, Madame, mais bien m' ont ils donné leurs cœurs.—Vous avez si peu de credit parmy eux, que vous ne scauriez mettre sur eux aucuns impos—R. Il est vray, Madame: aussy n'y a il point d' Italien avec moy etc."
Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [France XVI., 81.]
[See Catherine's letter of Dec. 3–13 (Lettres etc. t. IX. p. 111) and the version of this interview printed in footnote, p. 113. Also Pierre Mathieu, (Histoire de France, livre VIII) and Memoires de la Ligue (ed. 1758, t. II. p. 76.]
Dec. 7/17. —to M. de Maigny.
Sending letters delivered to him by one of M. de Maigny's best friends, and the writer's near neighbour in town.—Paris, 17 December, 1586.
Postscript.—The Comte de Soissons is infinitely obliged for kindness shown in relation to one who has robbed him and is withdrawn thither.
Signed with a device. Add. with name only. Endd. Fr. ½ p. [France XVI. 82.]
Dec. 7. Buzanval to Walsingham.
I do not doubt that Pitbrun has brought you news from Guyenne and France; and possibly he may have some for me, wherefore I send my servant to receive either the one or the other. The bells of this town have so stunned M. de Bellievre that he is pressing for his congé. Yet I do not think this sound has been so dangerous for him as was that of the great bell of the Palace in Paris for the Huguenots at the St. Bartholomew.—London, 7 December.
Add. Endd. Fr. ¾ p. [Ibid. XVI. 83.]
Dec. 8/18. — to M. de Maigny.
This is to accompany a letter which the secretary of M. de Guitry has urgently desired should reach you without passing through the hands of any public persons, as it is of very great consequence. For he tells me that the affairs of Germany today entirely depend upon your Queen 'de dela,' since she alone could ruin or re-establish all the affairs of those of your party by the resolution which she shall take and send into Germany. It is therefore for you to strike this great blow, and I am as sured you will not spare yourself, but will employ your diligence, fidelity and incomparable capacity in this crisis of your patient's malady, who is reduced to extremity and has need of extreme remedies, without which the illness will be mortal. As also to keep your friends in France and Germany diligently informed of what they may hope.
As for the news of France, although the King of Navarre has has been obliged—in order to gain time—to resolve to see the Queen [Mother], of whom there is not yet any certain news, yet it is with protestation that he will treat nothing with her that he has not first advised of with his friends both within and without the Kingdom. Wherefore the Queen Mother despairing of treating anything with him, is resolved to go into Languedoc to confer with M. de Montmorency, and see if she can gain more by his means. But besides that the Marechal de Montmorency has always advised and is of opinion that the King of Navarre should treat nothing so long as he is feeble, he is newly so provoked and irritated by the army of M. de Joyeuse in Languedoc, and by the league sworn between the first President of Toulouse, his mortal enemy, and the said Sieur de Joyeuse, which has made pretty good progress there, that you may credit me—for you know the nature of the man— that he will never be for making peace without the reiters, who, if they came time enough to succour Raucroy—which M. de Guise has blocked up, also menacing and making preparations to attack Sedan, against which he has a design, and is arming strongly to this end—they would find more than twenty pieces of ordnance with which to open the towns and gain victuals. For otherwise they will find nothing at all in the country, owing to the extreme poverty there, and to M. de Guise's pillaging. I wished to tell you all this, that you may provide the needful remedies. And beware of the great credit which they give there to the good man M. de Bellievre, who truly is a very good Frenchman, but a very faithful servant of the King does not . . . [The next few lines are so much defaced that the sense is uncertain.]
Hold me in your good graces, dispose of me on all occasions, and keep me informed of what you think by a sure way and frequently.—18 December, 1586.
Unsigned. In a different hand from that of the previous letter to de Maigny. Add. with name only. Fr. 1 p. [France XVI. 84.]
Dec. 10. Stafford to Burghley.
Mr. Secretary's letters will make you acquainted with what has happened here since my last, as also of an advertisement I have had of some enterprise upon Flushing, chiefly by intelligence of some within, which, though it come not upon certain ground, I have sent them to consider of.
I send you a copy of a letter of Palavicino to me, by which you will see "how ungratefully they deal there, both with her Majesty and Palavicino, for all the help they have; but surely the masters must not be punished for their ministers' faults, nor the public cause abandoned for their follies." I pray you not to let Mr. Secretary know that I have sent you this, which I do only that you may know how things go, and that as Palavicino's good friend, if there be any calumnies sent thither, you may "protest his honest and faithful meaning."
I saw a letter, dated three days after this, to the King of Navarre, from the chiefest of his there, "that maketh him believe that all things is done, and that in March next there will be many scores of thousands from thence in France; but they never writ yet but lies, and that which hath come from Palavicino hath ever been true, and therefore till I have it from him, I believe nothing."
The letter laid the fault of all these delays upon her Majesty:— that a dispatch sent to Palavicino, "that if the Princes of Germany gave anything, she would be 'rembursed' of the last sum that was sent, and that howsoever the world went, the last sum should not be disbursed but upon the warrant of the Landgrave, which Casimir did greatly stomach at, had almost marred all." I forgot in my last to tell you "a pretty fine Italian trick that Wotton used with me," whether to make me conceive some unkindness in your lordship, or to sound me in my affection to you, I know not; but he told me "that Mr. Davison was advanced only by you; that therefore he would counsel me to seek him; that he had counselled him to seek you; that there was no way else to be advanced, and that he did so, and that you made him have it afore any such thing was thought on. If I may indeed know from your lordship that he is one that you have extraordinary liking of, . . . I will then indeed seek his favour all the ways I know."—Paris, 10 December, 1586.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [France XVI. 85.]
Palavicino to Stafford.
I wish I had more leisure to reply to yours of Nov. 10 old style, but not being able to do so, I pray you not to be vexed by my brevity. I am daily expecting letters from you, for in a month many things must have occurred worthy to be the subject of a letter. We are told that the Sieur de Villequier has gone to the King of Navarre, and also the physician of the [French] King, by which it seems that he desires peace, and that perhaps having been stirred up by the German ambassadors he may wish to guard himself from waiting till the succours come which the King of Navarre may probably have from Germany; but these are only vain discourses, and until you send me what you promised, I attach no importance to what they say. We do not yet know how the Princes have taken the King's answer, except the Landgrave, and if they follow his counsel, they will do something good. Nor have we yet done anything for the assurance of the levy, for the person with whom I am treating is so irresolute, so feeble and so mistrustful that he is as one dead, besides which he desires to do nothing in it unless he can engage other princes, for he wishes to gain in any case, and so do all those around him.
You could not believe the artifices which they employ against me in order to get all the money, and the French aid it all they can, and because I am firm in observance of my orders they give me a thousand affronts, particularly Guitri, who has shown himself little my friend. My patience was never so much tried, but my fear of their accusations and calumnies, and of the credit I know they have in England with those you know of, makes me bear everything. As to satisfying the Queen, they trouble themselves as much about it as those who never give it a thought. It is no wonder they have never accomplished anything, for unless I am mistaken they are the most unfit persons to be found. What you say about the falsehood is very true, and shows that you know them well. I think they will induce the Duke to bind himself, and give me a discharge, now that they have agreed amongst themselves to wait, and to do what shall please them, without regard to what another is bound for. Nevertheless I shall not fail to bind [or oblige] him so far as honour and pledges permit.
You tell me to take care so to act that they cannot put the blame upon me, and you say well, but one cannot prevent it, for their passions condemn innocence itself, and even if I make them confess a thing demanded by me to be reasonable, and have it in writing, if afterwards the Duke does not grant it, or is dissatisfied, they turn incontinently upon me to have it in another fashion. In sum, in order to treat with them, we ought to be equal in number and in an indifferent place for fighting each other. When I have finished, I will let you know. I think within ten days things will be settled.
The above is the copy of another, and having the opportunity by an honest Scotsman, I hope you will get it quickly. I hear nothing more about Sir [Philip] Sidney, and hope the news may not be true. I should have had the Duke's reply yesterday, but it is not yet come, which makes me believe that there is still a disposition to delay. Whence it proceeds I cannot say, but for two months and more, since the return of the ambassadors, he has been less resolute and well-inclined than before.
Copy. Fr. Undated. 1½ pp. [France XVI. 85a.]
Dec. 10/20. Captain Jacopo da Pissa to S. V. (fn. 1)
On the 25th of last month I wrote to you by the usual way, telling you what was happening here; and am now expecting yours, by which I hope to learn that mine [dates enumerated] have all reached you safely, and that you will tell me what your honour would have me do; being doubtful lest, if I go on in this same manner, in time some harm may result from it, so that I could wish that you had some Italians in Paris to whom I might address mine; your honour giving orders that letters sent to them by Captain Jacopo da Pissa, and superscribed only S.V., shall be sent to you; and in the same way that your replies to me shall be subscribed also S.V., the superscription being to the said Captain Jacopo da Pissa, and put into a cover directed to me here, according to the manner following:—
Six days ago, Captain Jacopo da Pissa departed from hence to go thither, where he was to remain for some days; and left order with me that if any letters of his came to me, I should send them to you, having known him in past years in England. Therefore I send you the enclosed, which you will be pleased, if he has arrived, to give into his own hands, and if not, to keep them until his arrival. I believe he will lodge at the Falcon, and for the carriage you will be paid by the said captain.
I wrote to you of the quarrels between the Genoese gentlemen and those of this State, but nothing more has happened. We are expecting news of what the Genoese ambassadors have done who went to Spain. Just now the Genoese merchants who were detained here are in prison. Prior Shelley (Sielle), although summoned to Rome, did not go, but has remained in Venice, and if there shall not be an agreement, he will not go.
By letters of the 17th ult. from Madrid they write that the King will not go to Lisbon; and the Cavalier Girardo writes from Lisbon that there were there twenty Portuguese galleons, well furnished and armed, come to join with Martino de Ricaldi, who will have twenty other galleons of Biscay; and that every day there arrive in Lisbon Spanish soldiers from Castile and other parts.
The Signor Andrea Doria has sent word to this governor of Milan that in February he will have need of 1500 Spaniards for the galleys which he is to send into Spain.
The Conde de Cifuentes (Cifonta) is expected here, coming as Governor of the Castle. Many wonder that the King should send so important a personage. The Conde de Fuente (Fonta) is also coming, as general of the Italian cavalry.
There begins to be talk of the enterprise of Geneva; and that the Pope will bear half the expence, who now finds himself well furnished with money and daily amasses more and more.
A fortnight ago there came hither from "Provincia in Piamonte" about three hundred skilled men for building ships, said to be for this enterprise of Geneva, the Duke of Savoy having already sent seven companies of infantry to the frontiers and to guard the passes, that victuals may not go thither, as it is discovered happened last year, when corn went from hence; there having been imprisoned a Spaniard who was secretary to Don Giorgio Manrico (Mandricho) who counterfeited this governor's signature and sold licences for corn etc., for which every day it is expected he will be put to death.
At this moment we are in very great want of corn here, and if it were not provided from the Abbruzzo we should be greatly distressed. The Genoese, Savoy and Piedmont are supplied from Spain, which has had a great abundance of it these last two years.
The Marquis Santa Croce has arrived in Seville, on the very rich India fleet from New Spain. In all they had lost eight ships, which by good fortune went ashore, so that the people, treasure and merchandise were saved. The Peru fleet will not go this year, by order of the said Marquis.—Milan, 20 December, 1586.
Add. "S.V." Endd. by T. Phelippes. Italian. 2½ pp. [Italy I. 17.]
Dec. 11. Buzanval to Walsingham.
I spoke to you yesterday of either a peace or a truce in France, but it is too soon for the first, for it needs more forces to make it good, and it seems to be too late for the latter, seeing that the Queen Mother has departed discontented from the King of Navarre before the said King had had news of his succours or of the irresolutions of Germany. We must therefore resolve on war, or on a victory for the common enemies. I believe we wish to avoid this. The means of doing so, is by so carrying on our war that we may bring it to a good issue, and for this, we must hasten the German forces.
M de Clervant urges this upon me very strongly. To this end we do not importune her Majesty for a fresh sum of money. If her liberality is employed as the affairs of the King of Navarre demand, this, joined to our own means, will be sufficient for what we desire. You know that M. de Clervant, having taken the promissory notes and papers of Languedoc for ready money, is furnishing by order of the King of Navarre, 100000 crowns upon his credit, by means of which he is making a levy of 12000 Swiss, arming them, bringing them to the place of muster, and giving them payment for a month. M. de Bouillon furnishes ten thousand; so that Duke Casimir would not, if he now came in, find less than 300000 crowns.
Now this is the course that our friends in Germany wish her Majesty to take in order to bring Duke Casimir to a resolution. First, that she should write to him that she is much vexed to hear that other hindrances retard the good inclination which he had shown to march in person into France; that she begs him, if for any private reason he cannot undertake this, that he will aid by his counsel and authority in choosing one worthy of such a charge, and assist him by his means; but with the proviso that if before the departure of the army he wishes to be its leader, he shall be received. I doubt not but that this will be a spur to him, to take the matter to heart, and that even if M. Palavicino should have begun to treat with another, he will not let him take this place of honour.
My reason is this. That when the Prince of Conde led our last army for the late Monsieur, seeing Duke Casimir's irresolution, he treated with Bouch and Stayn, (fn. 2) colonels, without the said Duke, who, seeing this, desired to come in himself and was received. This stratagem served the said Duke as a rampart against the usual demands for money made by the colonels at the camp, for he excused himself as having promised nothing, they having negotiated before he came, and without him; and he having joined them as leader, but without any promise of money. It may be, he is trying to obtain the same advantage.
For this reason, it is necessary to enlarge somewhat M. Palavicino's powers, so that he may use the liberty to be given him by her Majesty for the advancement of his negotiations. His past behaviour may assure her and the lords of her Council, that he will never treat otherwise than very prudently, since it is not to be presumed that M. de Clervant, entering into this affair for more than 100,000 crowns on behalf of the King of Navarre, and offering his life for it, would treat to the disadvantage of his master, his life and his honour.
You know how important this army is to the affairs of the King of Navarre, and to your own it is so much so that if you fail to bring it into being, you cannot but shortly lose either the person or the affection of this prince, making him venture (as he is full of courage) upon things which will be his ruin, or lead him into courses from which he can never be extricated. Believe me, after God, he has no hope save from this help from Germany. I know what daily reproaches I have in his letters for the coldness and slackness shown towards him. I am blamed for not soliciting with sufficient warmth, and not making the necessity evident to her Majesty. If he learns that she refuses what I now very humbly beg of her, he will think, with good cause, that we have not acted with good faith in sending what has been done in Germany, and that he has been played with as if he were a petty prince, of whom no great account is made.
He knows that affairs were carried on in quite another fashion in regard to his late Highness, who was a worse husbandman, and whose charges might be more suspected. Princes have patience for a time, but it gives way in the end. I know that Duke Casimir will dispose him to take ill the condition attached to the last 50000 crowns. For does it not make them appear to depend on the contribution of the princes? So that, this contribution being for long uncertain, this sum will remain also uncertain for our army. It is not that the King of Navarre does not think it well for her Majesty's money to be well taken care of: but it would be reasonable, since he has been promised this help, that, the princes contributing in time, and this last sum not being employed in the levy, it were destined to make one or two months later, a muster of the army, and that Duke Casimir should be assured of it, being the second point on which all the servants of the King of Navarre most insist. Finally, this army is so necessary, both for us and for you, that one may compare it to a sun which begins in spring to warm the earth and makes everything germinate. All good things which our friends have in their wombs they will bring forth on the coming of this warmth; and even yours will not be so far away that they will not feel it, if this sun does not rise, and we remain in this continual winter. Believe me that as all rots in continual cold, so shall we do. M. de Bellievre says that our apostume will not be ripe until this time; that then the good servants of the King will have liberty to speak of the good means for peace. And the King and great subjects to hearken to it in good earnest.
This long letter is against my custom, but one can never speak too much of a good business or too little of a bad one. Also the Lord Treasurer advised me lately to write to you very particularly of all this matter, and that then you would consult together, and with her Majesty. I pray you as soon as possible to take a good and blessed resolution thereupon, and let me know it at your earliest convenience.—London, 11 December, 1586.
Signed Add. Endd. Fr. 2¼ pp. [France XVI. 86.]
Dec. 14/24. De Laubespine-Chasteauneuf to Burghley.
In the last conference upon depredations, you resolved to summon Sir William Courtney to make amends to a merchant of Brittany named Francois le Pape, according to the former order which you had taken with the Admiral and M. Walsingham. And forasmuch as the said le Pape has felt no effects of what we agreed upon, and that for more than eight months he has pursued this very just matter, and has even resigned half of what he has lost in the hope of being paid down the other half, I pray you to do him full justice and that what you have ordered may be put into effect.—London, Dec. 24, 1586.
Signed. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [France XVI. 87.]
Dec. 15/25. Bellievre and Chasteauneuf to Burghley and Walsingham.
Desiring, in this time of the Queen of Scots' affliction, to offer her some testimony of the French King's good will towards her, and of their own desire to give her some consolation, they have written her these short letters, if her Majesty will allow it; which they humbly suplicate her to do, and their honours also to aid them in the matter.—London, 25 December.
Signed. French. ½ p. [France XVI. 88.]
[Very beautifully written; probably as meant to be shown to the Queen.]
Dec. 18. Paper endorsed by Burghley, "A 24 January 1586 ad 18 December 1586. The receipts of 30,950l. by the servants of Signor Horatio Palavicino."
To John Baptista Justiniano and Francis Rizzo, agents for Horatio Palavicino in London; to be by them made over to the said Horatio and by him to be employed in Lyons and other places, by virtue of a Privy Seal dated the 27 January 1585[-6] whereof they have been satisfied the times ensuing [monthly payments from January to July inclusive.] Total 15468l. 15s.
More to be made over to them, for the like her Majesty's causes, and in satisfaction of moneys taken up by the said Horatio by virtue of a Privy Seal dated the 3rd day of October, 1586 [monthly payments from October 1586 to January 1586 [-7.]
Total as before. Sum total, 30,937l. 10s.
With memo. that an account of the employment of the said prests, framed by Palavicino, and exhibited to her Majesty and accepted by her, would be a better discharge to him than the delivery of his factors' acquittances. 1 p. [German States IV. 128.]
Dec 20. The Syndics and Council of Geneva to Walsingham.
Although they know the great and important affairs which he has in hand for her Majesty, and above all at this time, when her enemies are making every effort to shake her virtue and heroic constancy, they yet believe that, as in the past, he would now do them the honour to remember their estate and commend it to her Majesty, that it may please her (as they have already prayed her by their last) to lend them a helping hand by assisting them with money or otherwise, that they may be able (if assailed by the prince their neighbour) to protect themselves from the hostilities which he is preparing against them in the coming spring; being aided by the King of Spain, the Pope and other enemies of their liberty and of the true religion, not being able any longer to call in question their ill-will; above all by what his Highness—led astray by having accepted the declaration made by those of the League between himself and them—has lately declared by his letters to the said lords; viz. that he would not deal with them [of Geneva] either by friendship or by law. They doubt not but that his honour's wisdom and experience will show him that the aid they seek from the Queen will not only serve for their own preservation, but also for breaking the designs of the enemies of her Majesty.—Geneva, 20 December, 1586.
Add. Endd. French. 1¼ pp. Sealed with the arms of the town. [Switzerland I. 17.]
Dec. 22. Proposal made [by Palavicino] at Frankenthal on this date touching the writings of the negotiation.
Seeing that it is said that the difficulty in concluding this matter lies in the form and not in the substance, and it having been proposed to me that I should be satisfied with seeing all the points demanded by my paper presented at Nidenfelt clearly explained in the capitulation between the Duke and the ambassadors of the King of Navarre, and the time of the succour fixed for March and April next; and that for my discharge I should have a writing from the Duke, declaring that he had made the aforesaid capitulation, and had given it to me signed by his hand, and promising her Majesty of England to fulfil all the clauses therein contained; with which capitulation and writing, besides the other one already granted me touching the contribution of the princes, I replied that I was satisfied, and so I will maintain:—
And in regard of the said capitulation, that it shall be sealed and placed in a chest of which I shall have one key, and he whom the Duke shall appoint another; not to be taken out for five, six or seven weeks, as we shall agree together.
Draft of the Agreement.
We etc., declare that we have this day made a capitulation with the ambassadors of the King of Navarre, to levy an army wherewith to aid the said King and the churches of France, of which capitulation we have given and now give to Horatio Palavicino, in behalf of the said Queen a copy signed with our hand and sealed with our arms, all the clauses whereof we promise the said Queen to carry out and fulfil in every point, in testimony whereof etc.
Note. The writing of Nidenfel contains all the points of that already drawn up at Niuscelos, or at least their substance.
In Palavicino's hand. Fr. 1 p. [Germany, States IV. 129.]
Dec. 24./Jan. 3. Du Pin to Walsingham.
I cannot tell you the grief which this Prince has felt on the loss which you have had in the late M. de Sidney, both for his virtues, and the hope that he would advance piety and true religion in your country, and be there the support of honest men and a shining example of virtue, knowledge and valour. But why have I said loss? For abiit non obiit, nec mors hœc vera putanda est. Parte etenim vivit nunc meliore sui. What would it avail us to have been brought up in God's school if we did not conform ourselves to his will and ordinances, determined from all time and against which there is no remedy.
By the dispatch carried by M. de la Roche Giffard you will see more and more the designs of the enemies of God and of ourselves, tending to the ruin of his church and of christian princes. Wherefore they must be resisted with more determination, and by all the means which God has put into the hands of his people.—La Rochelle, 3 January, 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [France XVI. 89.]
Dec. 24. Buzanval to Walsingham.
Praying, on behalf of the French refugees at Canterbury, who are being pressed by the Flemings and Walloons to contribute to the victualling of soldiers, levied by certain captains of the Low Countries to be carried over there, that they may not be included in this charge, which belongs to others. They petition this in order to forestall the requests which may be made by the said Walloons to obtain his honour's declaration to include the said Frenchmen in this matter.—London, 24 December.
Holograph. Add. Endd. "That those of the Dutch [sic] Church at Canterbury may be exempted from payment of the charge of the victualling of Capt. Hennebert's soldiers. Fr. ½ p. [France, XVI. 90.]
Dec. 24/Jan. 3. Du Pin to Burghley.
The King my master has given express charge to M. de la Roche Giffard to see you, give you news of him and discourse of the state of all things here and especially of the declaration which the Queen [Mother] has made to him of the resolute will of the King to allow no religion in this kingdom save his own, and of the delay which she has asked for, in order to send again to the King and learn if he perseveres in the said resolution. The King my master had intended to keep back the said Sieur de La Roche until the King's answer arrived, but the Spanish memoire which has been sent to him by his seneschal at Marssan, who has taken Dom Pedro di Sarmiento, going post to Spain, charged with the said memoire, which he has found important, obliges him to send M. de la Roche off at once, that the Queen and you may learn what the said Spaniard is plotting against her Majesty and her kingdom; the King my master being determined, if he learns that any enterprise is on hand, to hazard his life and all his means for her Majesty. He is of opinion that she should have some persons in Portugal to learn truly what preparations are being made there, in order to be advertised seasonably of the designs of her enamies. M. de Bacon is still at Montauban; we are expecting to hear from him.—La Rochelle, 3 January, 1587.
Postscript. The King my master is having search made in all parts whether the brother (fn. 3) of the Earl of Windsor has fallen into the hands of his men.
Signed. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [France XVI. 91.]
Dec 25/Jan. 4. Petition of English Prisoners in Spain to the Privy Council.
"Albeit our vexations in this country have been sundry and our imprisonment long and wearisome, we have not hitherto presumed to trouble your honours . . . yet being occasioned at this time by peculiar order now profferred us by the King, we hope your honours will have both patience to hear us and care to relieve us." It may then please you to be advertised that his Majesty has given order to his magistrates in this place that the English prisoners, giving bond of 3000 ducats per man to free one Spaniard out of England (which in our poverty we cannot do) shall be immediately dismissed; and if not able to perform this, "that then bringing testimony that your honours will, upon advice of our releasement, free and dismiss such his Majesty's subjects there for like cause detained, that we, with the rest of our countrymen throughout this his whole dominion should have licence to depart for our country."
Wherefore we pray you humbly, that you will have consideration of us so far as it may not be prejudicial to the weal public; giving to our masters (who will be petitioners on our behalf) your letter testimonial for the premises; depending in this our misery on your wise and wonted care to each member of the common wealth, and nothing doubting "but as the cause is general and the deed godly, so you will both carefully ponder it and briefly remedy it.—In the prison of San S[ebasti]an of the province of Guypuscoa, 4 January, 1587.
Signed by Lawrence Greene; Gerrard Gyffard, Robert Byshopp, Leonard Parker, Erasmus Broughton, Christopher Gardner, Lawrence Simones and John Portory, master, for himself and other 30 mariners in this prison.
Copy. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Spain II. 72.]
Dec. 27. R. Lemacon [alias] la Fontaine to [Laurence?] Tomson.
We hear nothing certainly of the state of Geneva; some having written that the enemy had retired with his forces into France, others that he had been chased away and others that he had come back again, but however that may be, it should not have any weight to hinder the good will of her Majesty and her Council, for it is quite evident that the irreconcileable hate of the League and the inveterate contests with the Duke of Savoy cannot in the near future allow any security to those of Geneva. And what has induced the lords of that city to have recourse to those who countenance them is not the fear that in a month or two they may be brought under the power of their enemy; but seeing the town of Lyon, which was the source of their commodities, brought into subjection to the League, seeing trade ceased in their town, and the same filled with widows and poor people and depleted of victuals and munitions of war; the surrounding country ravaged, without hope of harvest; dearth already extreme, all the neighbouring places occupied by the enemy up to the bridge of Arve, and even the passage of the lake hindered; this it is which has induced those of Geneva regretfully to importune her Majesty.
Whatever accord may be made (as it may be the season and the poverty of the country may constrain the Duke thereto), these incommodities can only be removed by the aid of friends, seeing that all the country round is the domain of the Duke, wherefore my lords may easily judge how necessary their favour and benevolence is to this poor town.—London, 27 December.
Signed. Add. Fr. 1 p. [France XVI. 92.]
Dec. 29. "Frenchmen that have ships of War."
Monsieur Lansac, 4 ships, 2 pinnaces.
Capt. Bontemps, who has made many spoils, 3 ships, 1 pinnace.
The Captain of Bellisle, 2 ships, 2 pinnaces.
M. Brissac; Captain Jolly; M. La Chastre, governor of Dieppe; M. St Luc, each 2 ships, 1 pinnace.
M. Gordan [qy. Gourdan, governor of Calais]; M. Torce; M. La Chastre, lieutenant; 1 ship, 1 pinnace.
Capt Nepeville [Neufville] number not known.
Capt. Jeiome [sic]; Capt. Coyne.
Duke Joyeuse, 1 ship called Diana.
Duke Mercœur, 2 ships, 1 pinnace.
Endd. by Burghley with date. Also with note, "M. de Bretigny; M. de Lobell, a Fleming; M. Francois Bennart of Rouen (Roan). ½ p. [France XVI. 93.]
Dec. 29. Notes by Burghley, and endorsed by him "The proceedings with M. de Bellievre and the French ambassador."
"The process of Calliss, wherein justice hath been done and consequently the sentence and execution against the English merchants at Rouen not duly awarded.
"To have Peppard and Henry [?] Edwards forthcoming.
"To show the error of the process declared.
"The two proctors, Smyth for Chamberlen and Babham for Calliss.
"A. To show a number of depredations committed in France by the French, from 1562 to 1586, amounting to 127,331l.
"B. And of judgments given . . . . and executions denied of depredations done and no justice done.
"To show judgments, executions and restitutions made in 1585 to the value of 2720l." and in 1586 [value not given].
"To show the process for Sir G. Carye's prize of the ship of [Stephen] Damasquete." [See Cal. S.P. Dom. 1581–90, pp. 323, 328.]
Endd. with date. 1 p. [France XVI. 94.]
Dec. 30. Horatio Palavicino to Walsingham.
Great as is my desire to receive letters and directions from your honour, yet when I saw that added to your heavy cares was your private cause of grief for the death of M. Sidney, all other thoughts were superseded, and I could only mingle my tears with yours, lamenting, as I ought, the great loss, both public and private, but holding firm the thought of the contempt of death which he so nobly showed at his end, crowning it with the highest praise which a knight can have, and serving for all as a shining example of illustrious deeds.
As to public affairs, I am not ignorant that if ever there were important matters in hand, those of this present time are so more than ever, for the employing of body and soul to provide for the safety of her Majesty and the realm, and to make clear to the world the business of the Queen of Scots, in order that whatsoever be the execution of the laws, it may in all times hereafter be by all most fully justified, whereof the stranger nations are already so convinced, either by the providence of God, or by the moderation with which at other times her Majesty has dealt in her cause, that not even her supporters can gain-say whatever resolution may have been taken. . . .
The Landgrave requested me a few days ago, by an express messenger, to give him notice of what was happening, which I did immediately, much thanking your honour for enabling me to do so by your reports, because, communicating sometimes to these Princes the matters of greater importance, there may be engendered in them such knowledge as may beget care and thought of external affairs which may one day turn to profit.
Touching my own charge, I have written in my annexed Relation all that up to the present seemed to me worthy to be shown to your honour, and will now only say how grateful I am to you for showing her Majesty the bond proposed by me, to engage the Duke to the restitution of half the money if contributions come from the Princes; so that she will see that I have not proceeded without consideration to the granting of the second sum, which bond has been, after great difficulties, at last granted by the Duke, and will be concluded if he does not forget and leave it behind.
What the Princes are to contribute, I cannot learn, either here or in Heidelberg; but if I have time to go to the Landgrave, I shall from him get to know the truth; whereas if I discussed it by letters, it might come to the notice of the Duke, and thereby the conclusion be certainly contrary to our desires.
It would doubtless be a great stroke if those two Electors of Saxe and Brandenburg were embarked in the defence of the cause of France, but this cannot be done in short time, on which point I have already in these past months written what I could learn thereof, and since then have heard nothing to make me change my opinion. If the Duke, to whom I have written of it, will reveal it to me, you shall know it at once. I have also asked him to tell me particulars of the meeting at Luneburg. I did not write much thereof, because to tell the talk of the vulgar sort did not seem fitting, and I am here in a place where there are no means of getting information.
As to the other demands of your honour, to know the dispositions of these Princes in regard to Religion; the friendships and enmities amongst them; their strength and riches; their inclinations towards the House of Austria; their opinions concerning the future King of the Romans, the Pensionaries of Spain, and other like things worthy your notice, I have had and still have all these things in my mind, and will gather all the information possible in order to give you a relation thereof at my return. I would rather do it now by reason of your orders, but confess that to do it well would require a long residence in a better place than this, the greatness of this province being such that it cannot be understood in a short time. There is nothing more to say in reply to yours of the 14 and 16 of November, but I must rejoice over the safe arrival of the Earl of Leicester at so opportune a time, hoping that his coming will be the occasion of a thousand good ordinances, within and without, whereby his after return into Holland may be accompanied by all necessary means not only to carry on but to win the war.—Frankfort, 30 December, 1586.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Italian. 3 pp. [German States IV. 130.]
Dec. 30. "The substance of Pallavicino's last letters."
Nov. 18. Quitri and Scamino came to Heidelberg, but brought no more hope of the Duke's resolution than before. It seemeth he is not willing to take in hand the enterprise without bond of the other princes to maintain the same.
"A small army will not help the King of Navarre's necessities. The money promised will not suffice. The King of Navarre's ministers have no money; the princes there are irresolute; the fear of the King of Navarre's desolate estate may discourage them. Their disunion, their suspicion that Duke Casimir shall be general. They will rather look to their home affairs.
"There must be a strong army in respect both of France and Spain. The King of Navarre (fn. 4) should not be bound to any one man, but deal with any other who will be content with a less army and less charge to undertake the enterprise. Yet the matter should be so handled that Casimir take no offence thereat, but further the proceedings as far as he may. To which effect a letter should be written to him, according to the direction sent by Pallavicino.
"Her Majesty would willingly know the causes of his irresolution, that she might likewise content herself with the same. Indeed a great army were requisite for so worthy a personage, and great charge to the maintenance thereof. Wherewith, because he is not likely to be furnished, her Majesty hath given order to Pallavicino to seek some other prince, which will undertake the enterprise with less charges. Yet would she desire his favour in directing him to find a fit person, and also himself to further the cause with some men and munition.
That if in the mean time these difficulties shall be removed, he shall be acknowledged as chief captain."
21 November. "The gentleman which the Duke sent to the King of Denmark is returned, which bringeth some hope of a last answer. Certain French gentlemen have surprised a place called Raucroy, strong and of great importance, placed near the 'Mose,' a frontier of the Low Countries, which may be very commodious to trouble our enemies in that passage.
22 Dec. The offer made at Frankenthal.
30 December. "The time from the 27 November to the 24 December was spent in travelling up and down between Franken- thal, Heidelberg and Newstad, with as great uncertainty as before.
"The Duke's ministers hindered all that which Palavicino and the King of Navarre's ministers had concluded, and would have changed the form of the bond, thereby hoping to change the substance also. But seeing the same still held sure by Palavicino, they returned to their former difficulties, as the appointing another governor than Casimir, the limiting a time of the enterprise; that they should be so much bound to her Majesty; and the chiefest doubt, which was kept close; the Duke would not trust neither the ministers of the King of Navarre neither Palavicino, till the capitulation were ratified; with the colonels and all things so furnished that he might sooner begin the enterprise than they in France should be able to practise anything in his state. Palavicino came to the Duke to know his pleasure, whether he should depart and seek some new means and whether Sieur de Borda should return to the King of Navarre without any certainty.
"But now at last hope is risen again by the letter of the Baron of 'Bhona' [Dhona] who hath sent for him to come with some promise of a resolution. The Prince of Anhaldia [Anhalt] is dead, a good prince and careful of their common state. It is said that M. Schomberg is sent hither from France. The ministers of the King of Navarre are afraid his coming would [sic] have hindered the matter. The report here is that the Duke Charles of Suenia [Sweden] hath taken arms against the King and doth besiege him in a castle as prisoner.
30 Dec. "He desireth that her Majesty would so think that he came to grant the second sum with good consideration. What the princes will contribute he cannot know. The certifying of the state of Germany he referreth till his coming over."
Endd. 1¾ pp. [Germany, States IV. 131.]
Dec. Elizabeth to the King of Poland.
Acknowledging his letter of 7 August, to which grave affairs have precluded an earlier answer. Admitting the privileges of trade with England enjoyed by the people of Danzig in common with the Hanseatic cities of Germany under her predecessors on the throne, but alleging that they were lawfully abrogated in the time of Edward VI, and not renewed under Queen Mary. On her own accession, such immunities were offered to the cities as seemed to consist with her dignity, and for many years they were allowed equal trade privileges with her own subjects, until these latter were forbidden residence and trade in the city of Hamburg, at which time the people of Danzig distinguished themselves by insolent behaviour towards her subjects and nation, as well in Poland as in the Holy Roman Empire, in consequence whereof, they were obliged to transfer their residence to Elbing in Prussia. The King's announcement that his subjects now at length offer to hers liberty to trade on the same terms as before the controversy arose, is very grateful to her; but as her merchants maintain that the dispute originated with the people of Danzig, who by their plebiscites imposed new duties upon them, and abrogated the jus matrimonii, domiciliorum et liberi commercii in the city, as regards her subjects rather than any other strangers; let these matters of complaint be set right, and the Queen will direct that the same consideration be shown to the King's subjects in her realm as she shall learn is observed towards hers in that city. But as her subjects, with the approval of those of the King have established themselves at Elbing, she cannot but leave it to them to decide where they are to trade, especially as it seems to be the King's intention that not Danzig alone, but all the ports of his realm should be open to them. If they should be for exclusive trade, the fault will be theirs, not the Queen's.
As touching the edict for ensuring a certain number of yews, a law was made in the time of King Edward IV. that staves of yew should be brought into the realm by foreign merchants; under which designation the Hanseatic merchants were comprehended, which statute was in the 13th year of the Queen's reign expressly declared by Parliament to apply alike to the Hanseatics and to other foreigners. This was in order that the Hanseatics should not be able to deny [sic] that that sort of merchandise was brought only by those of Dantzig and Cologne. And although it be true that a single merchant of Cologne may have had the said monopoly, yet if the Hanseatics desired to undertake the import of a certain number of staves deemed necessary for the realm, they were assured that they would be exempt from the penalties of the said law.—Richmond, December, 1586.
Draft, corrected by Burghley. Latinpp. [Poland I. 42.]
Dec. Advices from Calais.
The Prince of Parma is at Brussels, where the commissioners appointed are to create him Duke of Parma in place of his late father. It is said in Antwerp, Brussels and Dunkirk that he will return to his Dukedom, and the Marquis of Guasto succeed him as Governor.
There is great hope of a peace throughout the country. The Spaniards likewise desire it, saying that otherwise they cannot continue, considering the extremity of the country. The soldiers serving under the Prince are retired into garrison. In the country of Cleves they are in the suburbs of Wesel.
Wheat in Antwerp is sold for fifteen and sixteen guilders the veertel, which contains about two bushels "of this measure." They feed mostly upon barley, oats and a kind of grain called boeckwaye [bockweit, i.e. buckwheat] mingled with a fourth part of wheat or rye. The plague is very sore in Antwerp, being in at least five hundred houses. In the country of Flanders, about Cortrick, Audenarde, Yper etc., the people are forced to eat tares, "notwithstanding a loaf being of the bigness here of two pence is there sold for twelve pence."
The Prince received four waggons laden with money by way of Namur about three weeks ago; and it is bruited in Calais that he has a new supply of three thousand Italian and Spanish soldiers. He has promised those of Antwerp that when he comes thither, he will bring them "so good news as never they received the like; whereupon they live in some good hope." The number who have gone out of Antwerp by passport into Zeeland and Holland is very great.
It is affirmed by some who left Spain two months ago that there was great show everywhere of levying of men, as also in Italy by the Pope, and the bruit was that they were to come into England about May next, "boasting to make themselves rich" with the treasure there. "Likewise the Jesuits in pulpit preach that they mean not to leave neither man, wife nor child alive."
Twenty galleons have gone for the Indies, very slenderly manned.
"It is said that the King means to dub two thousand knights and to receive of them two thousand ducats, which is a way to find money.
"A village called Lommel in the Kempen is burnt by those of Bergen-op-Zoom. Those of 'Bridges' are in great necessity. The enemy is watchful for the surprising of Ostend. Those of Dunkirk have and do rig to the sea fifteen ships of war very well appointed, which are to go forth after the holidays."
Endd. "December, 1586." Advices from Callis [Calais]. 2½ pp. [Newsletters, IX. 32.]
1586. Copy (in 17th century hand) of a minute of letter from her Majesty to Sir E. Stafford.
"If it be true that is reported, that the King of Spain by the favour of the Pope shall be made Emperor of the East and West Indies, then shall France lose his prerogative of precedentship, and the rest of the princes of Christendom the benefit they received by the said crown, which always heretofore hath served for a counterpoise against the greatness of the House of Austria."
Endd. ½ p. [France XVI. 95.]
[1586? (fn. 5) ] The points which "Celui que vous savez" is to negotiate with the [French] King [from the King of Scots].
1. To inform his Majesty of the great wrong lately done to several persons put to death for no cause but attempting to deliver the Queen his mother from prison, who has always hoped for her deliverance by means of the King of France. Wherefore her son now requests the said King by his ambassador to remember the promise repeatedly made by him, and—a favourable opportunity now presenting itself—to assist him, both by favour and force.
2. Since his Majesty is assured that other Christian princes are only waiting to see him moved by pity for the Queen, to likewise assist her, that it may please him to let it be known as soon as possible and by deed that he does not mean to retract his promise, or withdraw from so holy an enterprise.
3. That his Majesty may consider that under pretext of the imprisonment of the said Queen, and the King of Scots being young, and not of age, he is not obeyed by his subjects as he ought to be, forasmuch as they being for the most part heretics, and gained by the Queen of England, have usurped several towns and countries on the frontiers of his kingdom.
By reason whereof his said Majesty may know that the chief Catholic princes will assist in so just an enterprise if he do not himself withdraw from it.
4. That if his Majesty would set on foot this enterprise, the expense to him would be very small, and, besides, there are certain personages of name and great worth, who will particularly make known to him the means for its easy execution, with assurance of the sure joining in of those who will undertake and be appointed for carrying out of the said execution.
Finally his Majesty may assure himself that when the aforesaid matters shall be in train to be executed, the greater part of England will incline to the side of this Catholic and holy enterprise.
Fr. 2 pp. [France XVI. 96.]
[Dec. 1586.] The King of Navarre to Walsingham.
Informing him of his interview with the Queen Mother and the King's resolution to have no religion in the realm save his own. Means to make every effort on behalf of religion, and prays Walsingham to continue to do his part, referring him to the Sieur de Rochegifford for further news. With postscript expressing his regret for the death of Sir Philip Sydney (of which he has only heard since writing the above) and his deep sympathy with Walsingham in so great a loss.
Undated. Endd. by Walsingham's clerk "February 1586" [-7]. (fn. 6) The body of the letter probably in du Pin's hand, in imitation of the King's. Signed by the King. Printed amongst the Addenda of the Lettres Missives [t. ix. p. 348] from this original, but the old spelling not uniformly preserved. 2 pp. [France XVI., 97.]
[? Dec. 1586.] Vicomte de Turenne to Walsingham.
"L'amitie qui est antre nous me donne part en vostre perte. J'ai santy la mort de M. de Sidene, et je trouve autant d'amertume que je trouve de dousseur an la memoyre de sa vie. Je l'aimois comme vostre fis et l'honorois comme fidelle serviteur de sa mestresse, et j'admirois an la fleur de son eage, les fruits meurs de sa vertu. J'ai regrete qu'il a si peu dure, mes vous monsieur resjouisses vous que ces merites ont este si prompts que Dieu an a haste la rescompanse. Je scay que vous esperies beaucoup de luy, mes estant mort honorablemant pour le servisse de sa mestresse, vous n'an pouvies atandre davantage. Il a trouve an sa jeunesse ce que les autres ont peine de cercher an leurs vieus ans. Il a seu beaucoup gagne et nous avons tous beaucoup perdu; ne plaignons donques point tant nostre dommage que nous regrettons son profit et nous qui avons anvye de le suivre avons moings de regret qu'il n'est demeure. Peut estre que les malheurs qui nous atandent nous feront beaucoup mieus gouter son heur a l'avenir. Cepandant portant le deueil que je dois de ce que dieu le nous a ote, je me consollerai de ce qu'il me lesse le moien de jouir de vostre amitie et a vous de tirer preuve de mon servisse. Vous scaures comme les ennemis de l'esglise la veulent ruiner, non seulement an France mes par toute l'Europe. Le roy de Navarre montre une constanse heroique a ne craindre ces ennemis par la confiance quil a an Dieu. Il souhaite la pes [paix] pour servir la roine vostre mestresse, et moy, moien de tesmoigner a sa Majeste que je serai heureus lors que l'occasion sofrira d' aporter ma vie pour sa tres humble servisse. Continues moy vostre amitie, et vous serez servy de vostre humble ami et serviteur, Turenne. Undated. Add. Endd. with same date as the King's letter, above. 1½ pp. [France XVI. 98.]
I trust your Highness by this time do see through the damage of these matters in Artoys; and other service here is none to be done. This man useth me with all courtesy, yet not without jealousy, for I do nothing nor say nothing but mine host yieldeth him an account. And having only pretended my stay on these matters of Cambray, I am persuaded he looks I should not stay long. Which I write the rather because of the poor Posts, who now against Michaelmas will all whine if they miss me.
Fragment, without signature, date or endorsement. [France XVI. 99.]
List of princes and peers of France, undated, but drawn up after the "erection" of the lands of the Dukes of Joyeuse and Epernon into dukedoms in 1581 and before the accession of Henry of Navarre in 1589.
Endd. Mr. Robert Talbotts. 3 pp. [France XVI. 100.]


  • 1. Apparently sent to Veicellini to be forwarded to Walsingham.
  • 2. Hans von Buck and Heinrich von Stein.
  • 3. Probably Edward Windsor, who was implicated in the Babington conspiracy.
  • 4. Cipher symbol for the French King used by mistake.
  • 5. Between the Babington plot and Queen Mary's execution. Probably in November. Bellièvre was sent to England to intercede for her at the beginning of this month and on the 30th, James had received kind letters from the French King, promising to aid him, if need be, with men and money. See Cal. of Scottish Papers, ix. pp. 159, 185.
  • 6. This date seems quite too late. Sir Philip Sydney died in October, 1586, and the interview with the Queen Mother was on Dec. 3—13. Probably sent at the same time as that from du Pin. See p. 166, above.