Elizabeth: January 1587, 21-25

Pages 191-199

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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January 1587, 21-25

Jan. 21. Duke John Casimir to Walsingham.
Craving his interest with her Majesty on behalf of Jeremias Neunner, in the matter of his pension. [See letter to the Queen, above.]—Heidelberg, 21 January, 1587. Signed. Add. Endd. Latin. ¾ p. [Germany, States V. 8.]
Jan. 21/31 Captain Jacopo de Pissa to S.V. (fn. 1) [for Walsingham.]
At this instant I have received your welcome letter of November (without the day) and learn that you have received mine of September 12, October 2 and November 15. I do not find that I wrote on the 2nd of October [gives a list of his letters, September—December, 9 in all] which I hope to hear that you have received, so that no confusion may ensue, and that I may know very well the proceedings of Don Bernardino, who is in Paris and has his eyes upon all who write in England, yet there are certain Italians to whom I can address letters at Lyons, with security that no-one will know who it was that wrote, and from Lyons they may be sent to Paris, to your ambassador; and I will write always under the name of Captain Jacopo da Pisa, but I pray you to arrange either with Palavisino or with il Corsino or some other by whom order may be given that they may be sent me as soon as possible, that I may go or make ready to do service; and you may assure yourself that I am well affectioned and with reason, having consummated my fifty years; so that you may be assured that you will be safely served by me.
The Conte di Lifonto will be here within three days bringing 800,000 crowns. It is said here, that in Italy they continue to hold back every sort of ship. Andrea Doria is ordered to go to Spain, with all the galleys of Italy and three thousand old Spanish soldiers.
From Florence they write that Ridolfo is going to Spain, sent by the Grand Duke.
Dr. Alen, although he has not succeeded in being a Cardinal, yet makes a brave show in Rome with his coach and servants; and will not come hither so soon as was expected.—Milan, last of January, 1587.
Endd. by Phelippes. Italian. 1¼ pp. [Italy I. 19.]
Words in italics in cipher, deciphered by Phelippes.
Jan. 22. Stafford to the Queen.
As soon as I had received your Majesty's letters by Mr. Davison's man, I sent for audience, and to be sure that no courier from the ambassador should come to the King before me, I went presently to M. Villeroy; where by good chance I found M. Bellievre, newly arrived that day; to whom I declared what your Majesty commanded me touching the stay of the ambassador's man, desiring him to acquaint the King with it, and also that I might have audience; and in the meantime that they would beseech him not to be carried away with an opinion of anything till he heard presently further from your Majesty, either by me or by somebody sent expressly. Audience is deferred "upon an excuse of the King being at Bois de Vincennes, where he hath not been, but only is an excuse."
Every day I have sent once or twice. On Friday, M. Bellievre was with me, and told me that Villeroy and he had declared to the King what I delivered to them; who was greatly astonished, "because he could not be persuaded his ambassador would give cause; and that it was a thing not seen that ambassadors' men, sent upon their masters' business should be stayed," but that he would suspend his judgment till he heard from his ambassador, finding it very strange that he had not done so, "which he could not impute to anything but to the keeping of the passages . . . a very strange and a hard course . . . desiring me to be a means for it, and that though they were bound to hear from theirs, I should not be bound to send from hence till they knew further."
I answered that I would make this known to your Majesty, who was beholding to the King upon your request to suspend his judgment, and that there was nothing yet done wherein he might think himself injured at your hand; "for as all ambassadors and they that were sent were free to go and come about their affairs . . . so if they meddle with other matters, dangerous either to the State or the prince they remain withal, they lose their liberty, and every prince was to search into his own safety." That in a very short time I was sure he would hear from his ambassador and I from your Majesty, and in the mean time I desired to be pardoned if I was importunate for an audience; for he [Bellièvre] would have made the same excuses as were sent me by Gondi, of the King's absence "and upon these times, wherein the King is all day and all night almost in pleasures." I desired him to say plainly if it was not delayed until they heard further, which he neither confessed or denied, but from other places I am certainly advertised that I shall not have any until they hear. "Your Majesty shall see that I will hasten it all that may be, and fulfil your commandment about [blank space, no doubt for insertion of Waad's name in cipher] as you commanded me in the three first lines written with your own hand in your letter to me, wherein I will press the King so far as I pray God he take it well, and that when I have done, I be avowed; not for any indemnity, as your Majesty writ to me that I might fear to myself (which if I had not had a very clear conscience might have amazed me at the reading of it) but only because it is your commandment for your service, which I never was nor will be slack in, what opinion soever any that I know not of may have gone about to put into your Majesty, whereof I desire to know no more, neither of the matter nor of the bringer of it to your Majesty's ears than it shall please you; only this I desire, that when you have heard all that can be said, you will keep one ear open for me, and when you have heard me or from me, to let me have no other judge but yourself. . . . If I were as sure of my desert to heaven as of my desert to your Majesty, if I were the greatest papist that were under heaven, I would never hurt my knee with praying to any saint for mediation."
Since M. Bellievre's return, he has had very private conference with the King, and daily with M. Villeroy, "which is between them three, and hardly shall I be able to come to all that; but surely . . . he maketh a very honourable report of your Majesty, and though neither the King is well contented to have obtained no more at your Majesty's hands than he hath, nor he himself not so well pleased that, being the instrument, he could do no more good; yet truly he rather doth repute it to the fear your Majesty had to displease so many good subjects as you have, and the natural fear your councillors had to displease you in so weighty a matter as that was, than to any other worse censure. And surely in lamenting wise bewailed the hardness of the time and the case that permitted him not to have some private speech either with your Majesty or some of your nearest councillors; which he saw, as he saith, that as the case stood, he neither durst press nor they durst have consented unto; for as he protesteth, he went with a good intent for many good things for the common good of both the realms, wherewith nobody could never have gone with so good a will as he, nor anybody else would have been able to have brought so good effects. And truly this much I know (as I writ to Mr. Secretary at his going over), that he had very private inward instruction of the King's mind throughly; and this I durst answer of the man, that any good he had liberty to have done, he would have done it with a very good will."
There is no means left unsought by the League and their faction to animate the King, and make the matter of this stay odious to him, and to procure his breaking of the league with your Majesty; and if he yield never so little, they will do it; but I cannot yet find his disposition to incline to it, nor Bellièvre's, nor some two or three more about him; but the greatest part will egg him to it, and some that were not of that mind have come to it since Bellievre's return, "who assureth that we are in hand with a treaty for a composition with Spain, and in truth cast out words to me of it, which I protested I never heard of. And upon that I know they begin new counsels, which I hope to come to knowledge of, and what that opinion— with the weakness of the King's own nature, as you see proof in other things—will bring him to, with importunity and fear, in the end, I doubt shrewdly. One thing I can assure you; that they think themselves very assured of the impossibility to bring the King of Spain to it, and that if they see any show of it, they are determined to lay on all the load they can . . . to impeach it," which I cannot but advertise your Majesty of, that you may consider of it with your excellent wisdom before things go on farther, "which I think yet not past remedy, but every day growing worse and worse . . . and think it no great cunning to hazard a breach with France afore you be thoroughly assured of Spain."
There is no courier come that I can any way hear of, yet they have some news, for they give out that another of the ambassador's men is taken, one Captain Bernard, whom I never heard of.
Copy sent by Stafford to Burghley, endorsed by him with date, and as being sent "by Cornelius." 4 closely written pp. [France XVII. 8.]
about the 22nd.]
[Stafford to Burghley.] (fn. 2)
"The same that Burghley wrote to Stafford, in his last letters but one, of that that hath been given out of Stafford, that he should favor the Queen of Scots and the Duke of Guise; Bellievre told me the very same tale, that Frenchmen in England told it him, and of Burghley too, of the Queen of Scots and that Leicester and Mr. Vice-Chamberlain were the eggers and givers of it out, that hated [Stafford] and loved not Burghley; and told also Stafford all the jar betwe[en] Judith [i.e. Stafford's mother] and Leicester and upon what words: if Burghley think good, Stafford would fain write by the next to the Queen and take knowledge of it that way." I pray your lordship send me your mind, for I will do nothing without your counsel, but if you think good, "Stafford will send Burghley his letter open that Burghley may see it first. Bellievre is come away in a very good opinion of Burghley. Besides that he hath said to me of it, I know it very privately otherwise, and that he hath spoken in very good terms, and said that if Burghley put not the hand to it, there is no good to be hoped for between England and France, but that he was afraid you were fed with hope of amity with Spain, but that he knew you so wise that you would quickly find that could not be. That he knew nobody of the Council in England unpassionate, saving only to the Queen, but Burghley, and yet he is somewhat piqued for the first and last apostile." Stafford dare not write plainly to anybody but to Burghley, but he never had thing so certainly advertised as the news that is come to-day, "that the King of Navarre will do part of Queen Mother's mind and the French King's, and that there will be a truce for two years. Things may change, and especially in France, and the K. of Navarre may change his mind upon one's arrival to him that is gone by within these two days out of Germany, that carrieth a certain hope though not yet concluded. But I lose my marks if the K. of Navarre do not a good piece of the French King's will, and perchance without her Majesty." I will seek more of the truth of this, but those I had it of have not given me many tales. I send your lordship the copy of the letter I write to her Majesty. Undated.
Holograph. No address or endorsement. The words in italics in cipher, mostly undeciphered. 1 p. [France XVII. 9.]
Jan. 22. Stafford to Burghley.
I thank you for the last side of paper that you writ to me, which I saw not till next morning, and feared you had commandment not to write to me of that matter. "Hasten, I charge you, as you will answer it, for Morgan and Paget, for if you knew as much as I do, for your own indemnity you would do it. . . . If I had not had a clear conscience, I might have been astonied. I would to God I had my conscience as clear to Godward as I have in those things that touch her Majesty, and especially in that matter of Morgan's and Paget's. I think another would hardly have done so much as I in it; but at my next audience I will do more ... I pray God her Majesty avow me." Next morning, reading your letter again about what touched the delivery of these things to Bellievre, I perchance turned the paper and found what I had not seen before, whereof "I must needs be sorry, and the more that though he (fn. 3) do fall out to be untouched ... he shall never remain without a great reproach for having haunted the house and being well used in it; which for my part I have long heard of and never liked." He has written twenty times to desire me to thank the ambassador and his wife for their good usage, but I would never do it. I fear the more because Bellievre told me he would fain have come over with him, and got the ambassador and his wife to speak to him, but he very honestly and discreetly refused, unless either her Majesty or my mother spoke to him. I pray God he [Stafford] may clear himself of all want of duty to her Majesty and infamy of any reproachful action, or else I would to God he had never been born, and so should I if he were my own son.
A great discredit has been done me here, where as you know it is all a man can do to keep his credit. One of Palavicino's folks has sent word to him from whom I take up money here by exchange that Mr. 'Peeter' has told him, by your lordship's and Sir Walter Mildmay's commandment, not to pay me my diet at March, upon a stay made of 250l. "which I think is for a debt to one Monsey, to whom Sir Walter Mildmay ordered I should pay 300l., in consideration of a great moan he made [that] he was a great loser if he paid me my whole sum. I was very well contented with it, and entered into bond to pay him so much at certain days, upon assurance that my debts should be paid, both those that should have been paid afore I came away long and were not, and also those that were remained to pay, which last sums came to a thousand pounds and odd. And I justly at the day paid my first payment, and had given order for all the others. I paid mine at my day, but my debts were not paid . . . though upon Sir Walter Mildmay's order there were days taken for that too, which neither are kept, for Cooper and Langley, as I take it, are yet unpaid. And for the other thousand pounds and odd, I think there is not thirty pounds of it paid since I came away. If I had reason to stay my payments and to pay and I not be paid I leave to your lordship to judge. I have written this same to Sir Walter Mildmay more than once or twice, which I leave to anybody to judge whether it be reason. And yet I have had this discredit offered me, to have a commandment given to stay my diet; this same delivered to a stranger who delivereth it here to strangers that I have credit withal. If I were a rich man, I had rather have given anything in the world, for such a thing is not hidden but given out to the worst, and discourses made upon it, why it is done, and what state I stand in, in England, that the Queen's allowance is stayed, and the man cometh to me crying that the bill I gave him in December shall not be paid in March, and if I had need of a groat of him I might starve for it. I have assured him that it is but a mistaking of him that told it Palavesino's man; that he shall not fail ... to have it paid. I beseech your lordship, if it have been your commandment, as I hope it is not, that you will have consideration of me, and of the necessity of the time here, wherein if I be discredited I may shut up the doors. ... I ask no more but justice, and if there were cause that upon necessity, being in this service, I might fail of somewhat performing that in deed were right, I am not the first that had been borne withal in such case; and commonly, means to serve her Majesty have been preferred afore any private man's case, and all actions ceased against any man in the time of his service. But I think it was never seen that the Queen's allowance . . . was ever stayed, to be employed in any particular cause." I hope I have deserved no less favour than others, and shall have it at your lordship's hands.—Paris, 22 January, 1586.
Holograph. Add. Endd. by Burghley. 3 pp. close writing. [France XVII. 10.]
Jan. 22./Feb. 1. Du Bassinet to [Chasteauneuf?]
Not having found M. de Gourdan at Calais, I have desired Jehan Musnier to start early to-morrow morning to take him your letter, wherein I think he will not fail, according to his promise to M. Prevost, his lieutenant. Having heard that there was a gentleman here about to cross the sea on the King's service, I have been to see him, and learn that he is going into Scotland. Not wishing to remain in the town I came hither, whence I write these lines to you, and should wish him to be the bearer, that you may see him, but I fear that he starts to-night. I hope to be in Paris on Tuesday, which would have been more easy if the lack of wind and fear of pirates, causing us to put in towards Dover, had not hindered us. You have sent me word that it would suffice if I delivered your last dispatch, without showing the first or even the Memoire written by M. le Sueur. But I remember that in this latter you make mention of the former ones, and even refer yourself to the truth of the said Memoire. I shall see what your 'proaive,' to whom I believe you will not object to my communicating everything, orders, and do what he judges for the best.—From Marquise, 1 February, Sunday.
Without address or endorsement. Fr. 1 p. [France XVII. 11.]
Jan 22. Memorial by George Zolcher for Walsingham.
Duke Otto of Lunenburg desired him to write to his lord's grace, that Count Edzart of Embden and his lady had written to him to come and make peace between his brother and them; seeing that if they do not agree, their lordship will decay and be lost, and promising that whatever agreement his grace makes, he, Count Edzart, will perform.
Whereupon this said Duke Otto came and persuaded Count John to agree that the elder son should come and shake hands with him, with liberty to dwell with him or come to him when he pleased. And the Duke will further travail that the two Counts shall be good friends for ever.
In the mean time, 230 Spaniards came over the ice at Aldersam [Oldersum] and spoiled an innkeeper of all that he had, saying that he had upheld and lodged their enemies, and that they would do so to all who so "companied" with them. They then went before Embden, lay half a mile off, and then went in the "Griet" to view the haven, which the Spaniards would gladly have to their purposes. Understanding of their being there, Zolcher went to the lord of 'Kniphussen' for three days, who then sent his coach with him to 'Awrigh' [Aurick] where the governor helped him to a waggon and a messenger to guide him to Embden; but when they had only gone about two English miles, his "spy" found that the Spaniards were marching that way, whereupon they returned in haste to Awrigh. No sooner had the governor there locked the gates than the Spaniards were before them, demanding to come in. The governor answered that he had no such commission from his lord, but sent them out bread and beer and they lay in a village near. Afterwards going towards Stekhussen to pass the river of Ems, they began to spoil a village, but the boors and some of Count John's men killed fifteen of them and the rest ran away, and came over the water to go home, saying they would shortly come again with more power to visit them.
Duke Otto went "to Griet" to fortify the castle and make a haven that ships may land there without danger of the enemies instead of at Embden, and so the merchandise be carried from thence to Embden in safety. If the English ship had been ready he would have gone with Zolcher into England, "for he thought to persuade her Majesty that he might be chiefest for the company who shall go into France."
In the mean time Zolcher went for Holland.
In Burgundy is great dearth and plague, and in all Germany great dearth. The Emperor would have the country called Overlausints [Ober Lausitz], but the Duke of Saxony, who has it in pledge, will not surrender it without money.
The Princes of Germany and the Free Cities have agreed to pay each a share of the charges for sending soldiers into France.
The young prince [Palatine]'s humble request to her Majesty is to send him her picture to wear about his neck.
Mr. Sturmius sends hearty commendations to his honour and prays him to give Zolcher a warrant to receive his half year's stipend.
Beseeches his honour, according to the Duke's request, to procure the beer-brewers to buy the licence of his 400 ton of beer, that he may make money thereof to serve his honour with wine and other things. He lay in Brill and Flushing over five weeks waiting for a wind, which cost him much, all things being so dear.
Signed. Endd. by Walsingham's clerk with date. 3 pp. English. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns II. 54.]
Jan. 23. Stafford to Burghley.
I have acquainted M. de Bellievre with the Apostiles your lordship sent me, telling him to have regard to the substance and not to the phrase, and using withal such speeches as you commanded me. When he read the last three lines of the first Apostile, "he found himself somewhat grieved and thought he had as great injury offered him ... as any ambassador could have in laying to them that they had committed an error or used partiality, for of that which they had written to the King and reported, it was signed with their hands, and their heads were to answer for it if they had reported an untruth; and that anything which they had delivered from the King, they had it signed with his own hand, who would not nor could not disavow them. And so read till the fourth Apostile, and then said this was of your lordship's doing, for you had used the same reason to him . . . and desired to have it left with him, that with more leisure he might peruse it, which, because your lordship said that I might, I did, notwithstanding as a thing done without commandment; desiring that I might have it again within a day or two, which he promised. And so upon Friday coming to me from the King about the staying of Trappes, whereof I have written to her Majesty, he brought them to me again, and told me again that he took it very unkindly to be injured; that it was a wrong to all ambassadors and especially to him that had not deserved to be wronged at any man's hands; and taketh very unkindly a word in the last Apostile gens maladvisés, which he saith, and in French indeed is plainly a very lubberhead. I told him I knew there was no such meaning in them that sent it, and with us the phrase was not in that sense, but that I thought advisés was put in for advertis . . . that he having not seen the process, had been evil advertised of the manner of it . . . or else he would never have noted a judgment given with justice by so many noble men and estates of a realm for rigorous, when it was but just. And so he remained better satisfied. And for answer to the matter he never gave me other but that where a resolution was taken and not so diverted, there was no reply but needless; he only prayed God that things might succeed as well as he desired, and told me it was to us to look that she that we had kept all this while for a buckler to cover us from many a danger, that we took her not away when we had most need of her, which I do take it were the very words he said to me."
Touching the arrest of the ships, "he told me he would put his helping hand to any good thing when time came, but there must be helps on both sides, or else all would be marred; that he was sorry to find, as he did in England, Englishmen of a hundred years standing in their opinions, and . . . not to consider of the state of the realms as they stand now, which is far different from that which was in old time. That he went with a determination to have done good for both the States, which he did not doubt to have brought to very good effects if he had seen a disposition to it; that for the arrests he would do all good when it came to be spoken of, which he thought would not be till they had heard from their ambassador of this matter of Trappes' staying."—Paris, 23 January, 1586.
Holograph. Add. Endd. by Burghley. 2 pp. [France XVII. 12.]


  • 1. See footnote on p. 160 above.
  • 2. This is probably a private memorandum, sent to Burghley with the copy of his letter to the Queen. In it Stafford employs the signs for himself and Burghley lately sent him by the Treasurer.
  • 3. William Stafford, his younger brother.