Elizabeth: January 1587, 26-31

Pages 199-217

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.

Please subscribe to access the page scans

This volume has gold page scans.
Access these scans with a gold subscription.Key icon

January 1587, 26-31

Jan. 26./Feb. 5. The French King to her Majesty.
Having heard of her arrest of the Sieur des Trapes, belonging to the Sieur de Châteauneuf, his ambassador with her, and likewise her suspicion that the said ambassador had lent an ear to some evil practices against her person, he marvels greatly that she, or those of her Council, being well-informed of the sincerity of his actions, and the upright manner of his dealings, very proper for the maintenance of their mutual amity, should so quickly have given credit to such a calumny and suffered him to be treated in a manner so unworthy of the respect in which all ambassadors should be held. Whereat he cannot but be much dissatisfied, and has given charge to Roger, one of his ordinary valets of the chamber, to say to her boldly certain things on his behalf, to whom he prays her to give credence as to himself.—Paris, 5 February, 1587. Signed Henry. Countersigned Brulart. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [France XVII. 13.]
Jan. 27. Horatio Palavicino to Burghley.
In this final conclusion of the business with D. Casimir I have wished more than ever to have frequent letters from your lordship, Mr Secretary and Mr. Stafford, but quite the contrary has happened. Mr. Secretary has writ to me but once since the 16 of November, and my last from Mr. Stafford was of the 12 of December. Thus I have found myself very bare of information as to outside matters just when I needed it, but have carried on the thread of the negotiation as well as these difficulties allowed me, as your lordship will have seen by mine of December 30 and the 8 and 15 of this month, and have finally concluded and on my part executed it in the manner of which I am now writing to Mr. Secretary and her Majesty, praying God that as I have tried to be most diligent, so I may have been of service to her Majesty as I desired. The matter is left with D. Casimir, who cannot honourably get out of it without satisfying her Majesty and the King of Navarre . . . nor can Quitry and Segur join in collusion with D. Casimir save to their everlasting shame, so that I feel pretty easy in my mind, although the malice (tristitia) of D. Casimir's men have often made me doubtful of everything.
Now I have finished and am desirous to return home, wherefore I am sending a servant express, praying Mr. Secretary to write as soon as possible whether her Majesty would have me return or remain longer, whereto I will conform myself. But I do not see that my longer stay will be needful, and that another man, less known, cannot as well or better come hither, and, if desired, follow the army in my stead.
I beg that if it can be done without prejudice to her Majesty's service, I may come home; but if not, I will willingly stay and do all that shall be commanded me.—Frankfort, 27 January, 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd. by Burghley. Italian. 1½ pp. [Germany, States V. 9.]
[The words in italics are in cipher, undeciphered.]
Jan. 27. Horatio Palavicino to Walsingham.
Having sent my letter of the 15th and a copy of it by two different ways, I will go on, without repeating its tenor to tell you that the Sieurs Segur and Quitry passed the bond in the name of the King of Navarre to her Majesty for the hundred thousand crowns on the 18th, payable in two years in two halves, and on that and the following day all the money that was here was counted out. On the 20th, I went to D. Casimir with the writings and letters of exchange for the moneys which are at Nuremberg, who promised me on his honour to give her Majesty full satisfaction, whereupon I left with him the letters of exchange and returned hither, giving into his man's power all that had been counted out, and bringing with me from D. Casimir the two writings signed by his hand.
I have now placed the capitulation under my own lock and key in my lodging, ready to take out on the 1st of next March, sending him the other key, which his man carried with him, All now depends upon the honour of D. Casimir, who, I hope, will give more prompt satisfaction therein than his irresolution and delay have made us expect; especially as for my part he cannot complain that I have not made full and true payment, to the amount of 155,000 florins. . . .
Wherefore, as I have said, D. Casimir ought to give us satisfaction worthy of this sum. It is true that he seems to hope for much less from these Princes than he did, and complains much thereof, desiring her Majesty to do good offices with the King of Denmark, that the contribution of 50,000 dollars promised last summer may not be withdrawn. Nevertheless he has told me clearly that for his present bond, he no longer relies on any such hope, but means to go forward effectually according to her Majesty's desire and his own promise; but he prays that she will not abandon him, and is writing to her to this effect, urging me to do the same; upon which I have touched in a few words in the letter which I send annexed to this.
Shortly after the 1st of March I go to Hamburg to embark, if it please her Majesty to give me leave, and in order to know this certainly, am sending my servant, that he may get back to me before the 10th of that month, with her Majesty's orders what I am to do.
Truly, to follow the army will be much more fitting for some person less known than I am, but this I leave to your wisdom, while striving to do the best I can to serve well and diligently:—If I am to return, I beg you to order those in London to send one of their ships to Hamburg, well armed, to await me; and am ordering my men there to add to my expenses the pay of fifteen or twenty soldiers and mariners, that she may hold her own against the Dunkirkers, if we should meet them. And thus I hope, by God's help, to be with you by the end of March or the beginning of April, when I will bring with me all the writings, unless you order the contrary.
If her Majesty wishes me to follow the army, I might come over to relate to her the state of affairs, and return hither by way of Paris, Lyons and Switzerland in time, bringing with me her commands in relation to the conduct of the enterprise.
I did not forget in my last journey to ask Duke Casimir what had passed in the conference at Luneburg; who replied that it was held rather for the particular satisfaction of the two Electors and the King of Denmark than for any public reason; that many promises of goodwill and assistance were given, but that the affairs of France were only spoken of slightly, as has since appeared by the results.
Of the King of the Romans nothing has been or is spoken save as a very distant matter; that the desires of the House of Austria are well known, but that at the Imperial Diet (of which all the reports made last month have now died down) the Princes will not lack excuse to defer the like proposals, namely the youthful age of the Emperor. Thus I obtained from him nothing of importance to signify to her Majesty, save that he declared he did not believe the news of Sweden.
I hear that the Polish nobility much incline to elect the son of this King of Sweden, both as being born of a daughter of Queen Bona and as being a neighbour and enemy of the Muscovite. And a counsellor of the Landgrave who has been here told me that his master believed they would elect no other. But on the other hand, the High Chancellor, a near relative of the dead King, is doing his utmost for the election of one of the house of Bathori, whereof there is the young Transylvanian prince, the Cardinal, who has gone thither from Rome in all haste, and another prince; the election of one of which princes would not be doubtful if it were not favoured by the Turk.
I send you the articles of a new league which the papist cantons of Switzerland have made amongst themselves, greatly to the prejudice of the general one with the Protestant cantons. It is the work of the Jesuits and the largest declaration that these Swiss have yet made; wherefore great dissensions may be expected among them, and for this reason, the republic of Berne has sent one of their senators to Duke Casimir, showing their no small anxiety at the practises of their adversaries.—Francfort, 27 January, 1587.
Add. Endd. Italian. 3¼ pp. [Germany, States V. 10.]
[Words in italics, cipher symbols, not deciphered.]
Jan. 29. Horatio Palavicino to Walsingham.
My servant started yesterday and will cross the sea at Calais, so as to arrive as soon as possible, but I am sending two copies of this, one by way of Antwerp, the other by Zeeland, being very desirous for you to know speedily what has been done; as to which, so far, I am entirely satisfied, both on the part of D. Casimir and of France. To-morrow I hope to receive his letters for her Majesty, and that they will clearly make his obligation appear and assure her of its speedy execution. Meanwhile, I have not written to Stafford anything of this conclusion, and have to-day said nothing save of the distribution to the Count de Soissons, awaiting your direction, and believing there could be no danger in so small delay, especially as I predicted it to one who came on his part and has lately returned. The said Count has great courage and very good intention to employ himself herein; it appearing that he will join himself with ours of the religion. His man has had many and important discourses with me, which, being well put into execution, would be of great service to her Majesty. M. de Clervant is cognizant thereof and professes to be in great part the author; he is so full of zeal and warm affection that we may have great faith in all his promises, and if I mistake not will rather lose his life than not carry out what he has undertaken.
His ideas rather need a curb than a spur, it being to be feared that his ardour may carry him too far. It may be that Buy's journey and offers spring from the same thought. I wrote, in regard to him, what was told me by the person now nominated to your honour [la Huguerie] and am very glad if it was groundless. In truth, that person is passionate and violent, and may have had some private reason for it.
I thank you for your kind letters of the 14th inst. and of December 31, both received to-day. The new conspiracy has distressed me, although its instruments are little to be feared; but it is shocking that the practices of strangers can, in so many ways, trouble both great and small. It is manifest that God is the protector of her Majesty and of ourselves, but I fear that during the life of the Queen of Scots, there will be no lessening of the designs and conspiracies of her partisans.
As you mentioned Beuterich in your relation concerning Buy, I may say that I cannot speak certainly of his loyalty to the public cause, but he is assuredly a bad Englishman and unworthy to be near one with whom her Majesty is on confidential terms.—Frankfort, 29 January, 1586.
Add. Endd. Italian. 2¼ pp. [Germany, States V. 11.]
[Marked by Palavicino "Copy," but in the sense of duplicate. Words in italics, cipher, deciphered.]
Jan. 30. Waad to Walsingham and Davison.
"I arrived here on Wednesday last [Jan. 25 o.s.] and had audience of the King yesterday, being here Shrove Sunday, in his cabinet; where according to my instructions declaring unto the King the causes and circumstances of her Majesty's proceedings in the apprehension of de Trappes and dealing with the ambassador, before I came to deliver the particularities of the extract taken out of the several confessions of Stafford and the rest, the King desired me to stay a little, taking there occasion with great and earnest protestations to declare with what sincerity he had, did and would hereafter always continue to proceed in all respects concerning her Majesty, avoiding all occasions to give her just discontentment; and gave God very hearty thanks that he had given him that grace to show that clearness in all his actions, which he doubted not but her Majesty was thoroughly resolved of, as he did hope, in all those discoveries which were revealed to her . . . nothing could be found any way to touch his sincere dealing and professions of amity and friendship; which he repeated with very effectual words and special declarations of desire to continue good correspondence and intelligence with her Majesty. And therefore he inferred it should be strange to him his ambassador, knowing his inclination to continue this course, should forget himself so much as to be any way partaker of so bad a practice, which he hoped, though suspicion might be conceived of him, should not fall out accordingly; and though he were 'interessed' in the person of his ambassador, yet if any such thing could be proved against him, he had no part therein. And therefore he hoped that as the Queen had a care to be informed in a matter that concerned her so near, so she would withal have regard of his honour, which might be touched in the person of his ambassador; seeming not to believe that his ambassador should be found faulty.
"I answered that her Majesty had conceived no doubt, nor found any occasion for aught that had been brought to light in these last practices to suspect the sincerity of the good love and friendship he professed, and therefore this accident troubled her so much the more in that she looked lest [qy. least] any minister of his should do so bad offices and contrary to her expectations. And as ambassadors were respected and honoured, sustaining the person of their masters, who were interessed in the injuries and wrongs offered to their ministers, so the offences and misdoings of them did not only offend those princes where they reside but the honour of their masters, of whom they were the more severely to be corrected. That her Majesty had proceeded with great regard towards him, her good brother, for as she could do no less than seek by all means to be informed throughly of a matter that concerned her so near as her life, so how could she show greater respect of the honour of the King than to forbear to proceed forthwith against the King's ambassador, advertising him with all speed of his doings, hoping he would take such order therein as should be both to her Majesty's satisfaction and his honour. The King said that in the former pr[actice] (fn. 1) of Babington, there appeared nothing to charge his ambassador with any privity with those conspirations; whereupon I repeated what presum [ption] there was he was not unacquainted with that practice, having confessed the receiving into his house of Babington the day before his apprehension, which suspicion was the more to be aggravated considering his last proceedings. The King said he would take a time to consider of the matter and give me answer therein. And that as he would, according to the weight of the cause concerning the life or taking away of the life of a princess, regard that which might touch her Majesty, so he was to respect his own honour, whereof he would have equal and indifferent consideration. Thereupon, I read to the King, according to her Majesty's commandment the special points out of the extracts of the confessions, whereunto he gave ear, and at the repetition of the name of Stafford, asked my lord Ambassador if he were his brother; who answered that he would to God he never had been born, but in causes that concerned her Majesty, his sovereign and mistress, neither nearness of blood nor kindred should carry or weigh with him, but that he utterly detested his brother's doings. In like manner, when I read to the King the confession of de Trappes, avowing that the conference he had had with Mody [Moody] was by the express commandment of his master, he asked me if de Trappes had himself confessed so much, which I repeated again and the conference he had with Mody to relieve the Scottish Queen by taking away the life of her Majesty, giving the King to understand, as I had done before, that the same confession of de Trappes was shown to the ambassador under the hand of de Trappes. Whereupon he was driven to maintain that dangerous and strange assertion that albeit he knew such a matter, he thought he was not bound to reveal the same to any but to the King his master. The King required me to leave with him the abstracts of those confessions that he might consider of them, as he would do of that I had delivered unto him in speech, and thereupon give me answer. I told him they were in English, out of the which I read the same unto him. He made very great instance notwithstanding that I would send them unto him, the principal points whereof I began again to repeat in speech, without the notes, to avoid the urging of the delivery of the abstracts, because her Majesty gave me commandment not to leave them with the King. But he pressed so earnestly in requiring the sight of them, saying it was reason, for his own information, that he saw the charge against his ambassador, being of so great a matter, concerning her Majesty so nearly and touching him in honour, so as I was constrained to yield so far to his pressing of me therein, to promise so much as especially concerned that charge, because the King added his memory indeed would not serve him to carry away so many particularities. From thence I took occasion to urge the delivery of Morgan and Charles Paget, both according to the instructions I received in writing and by word from her Majesty, and with such other reasons and arguments as I thought good to add for to move the King, wherein I spent some time, with the greatest instance I could make. The King referred me to receive answer another time and again very earnestly pressed me to deliver in writing the foresaid extracts; as though he had some doubt I meant not to perform the same. Lastly I dealt in the merchants' causes of arrests, where the King at the first interrupted me, showing how extremely he was importuned and troubled with the continual and infinite complaints of his subjects, robbed and spoiled every day, and no order or redress could be had, or justice, so as he was constrained to have some care of them, and to cause those arrests, all other remedies failing. I showed the King that the arrest made at Roan "was for a matter done ten years sithence, whereof her Majesty having noise, caused the records of the Court of the Admiralty to be sought up and to be perused, and it was to be proved there had been no occasion given by default of justice why any such arrest should be granted, which I had divers times, by commandment from the Lords, signified to his ambassador and to M. de Bellievre, with whom the Lords themselves had conference in that cause; and doubted not but the King understanding that the arrests here, growing upon wrong informations and a false copy of a record sent hither, would revoke the same. That her Majesty desired nothing but justice and that the truth of these matters might be examined indifferently according to the treaties.
I declared how the arrest made by the Duke of 'Mercuire' was done without form of justice, wherein our merchants had sentence against him and yet could obtain no restitution, and so came to speak generally of the other arrests, because I perceived the King began to be weary; desiring him to consider how unfit it was, considering the amity between her Majesty and him, that these arrests should breed interruptions of traffic, and so take away those commodities that arise both to him and the subjects of his realm by commerce and intercourse of traffic, no small cause of the amity and friendship between princes and their realms: and that her Majesty, if the King should not revoke the said arrests, should be driven to grant the like stay on that side, whereunto she was extremely pressed by importunity of her subjects interessed in those causes, and forbare as yet to grant the same, hoping the King would take such order in these cases as should be agreeable to justice, wherein because the said causes were diverse and of sundry sorts, I required my lord ambassador and I might have some conference with some of his Council in those matters. The King willed me to send him in writing a note of those arrests whereof we desired redress, and withal again and especially required me to send him in writing the confessions that did charge his ambassador. My lord ambassador told the King that our merchants at Roan were so threatened as, the fair being now at Roan, they durst buy no goods there, lest the same should presently be arrested, because no merchandise came out of England; and therefore prayed the King to give order that they might in the mean season, while these causes might be considered of, be assured from arrest to use the benefit of the fair. But the King referred all to further consideration. The charge hereof being committed to me, I thought good to make report thereof from myself in my own name.
"After we were come home, being at dinner, between one and two of the clock, a secretary of Brulard came unto us, signifying the King desired very earnestly that he might have a copy of the examinations if it were possible presently, or the same day. We made answer he should as was promised receive the same. Hereupon we conferred together what was best to be done, both to satisfy the King's importunate request and not to transgress her Majesty's commandment, which had not been fit to have been brought forth for excuse to keep back the said confessions. And to deny the sight thereof to the King, having, both according to her Majesty's instructions and the abstract, repeated the same often, might have bred both suspicions and inconvenience.
I, William Waad, resolved shortly to set down in writing only so much as in my Instructions was contained to have been showed to the ambassador of his man's hand; which whilst I was about, M. de Bellievre and M. Brulard came from the King to speak with us about three of the clock. M. Bellievre began with a large and ample discourse, letting us to understand how the King his master was greatly and exceedingly perplexed through this accident happened about his ambassador, to be accused of so great and odious a matter as to practise the death of the Queen of England, he being a minister of the King's, and knowing how his master doth esteem of the amity and friendship of her Majesty; as he himself might be bold to say, and that truly, that the Queen of England had not a better friend in all the world than the French King; nay, he might go farther and say indeed she had not so good a friend of any other, or at all, as the King his master. And what should they get by her Majesty's death, whose life for divers respects was behoofull to them; what should move M. Chasteauneuf to enterprise any such matter? He was none of the League; M. Limoges and 'Morvyllyers,' his near kinsmen, come of Laubespine, all sound and well affected persons; so as it was to be thought he could not degenerate so much, and it was not to be believed he would forget himself in such sort M. la Chastre had been, but had given them over, as he thought. So as they could not tell what to think and the King was greatly troubled, who, as he told the Queen, had so greatly esteemed her friendship as it had brought great hatred and evil will against him abroad, and indeed was no small cause of the discontentment that bred the trouble and wars here in the realm; for they laid to his master's charge that he did confederate himself and made leagues [with] and maintained heretics, so as it had cost the King dear the preferring of her Majesty's friendship. "Thereupon fell to discourse how necessary it was to both the realms and to their Majesties to continue this good intelligence, whereto his master had all good will and inclinations. And that in his negotiations in England he could not say but he had received greater honour than he deserved, but the Queen could not be brought to yield the King any contentment, and yet, said he (after his manner drawing his words so as his meaning might rather be gathered than expressed) things are as they were, but the Queen is wise, and knows what she hath to do, and gave him audience, as she did to all the rest of the Council there and those that were in the chamber. So as he could not deal with her in such sort as he would he might have done, for he protested most earnestly he came to do good, and to propound to the Queen those things that might have made a sound and perfect amity; otherwise he wished the fire (by which we sat) might consume him. To be short, quoth he, I found you the same men you were a hundred years sithence. Well, quoth he, I will tell you, I say not but you may agree and conclude a peace with Spain; and hardly can you do it but you must yield unto him all the places you hold of his, and if you have friendship with Spain, it shall not be amiss for you to retain us; for things stand not in those terms they did heretofore when none could annoy you but we, nor us but you. There are now others so mighty as they are able to hurt us both. In conclusion, good amity and friendship shall be good for us both. Then returned again to speak of the ambassador, showing that de Trappes was not far from him when he was stayed; wishing her Majesty would have vouchsafed to have made him acquainted with the matter. He would most willingly have returned back again, and have cast himself at her feet to beseech her to have been at the examination of the same; the rather because it seemed these conferences were had at such time as he was in England, where he did call to remembrance he saw Mr. William Stafford at the ambassador's house to entertain the ambassador's wife as young men do, and would fain have gone over with him into France, but he excused himself as he did the like to others; and for the little knowledge he had of Stafford, he thought him a very unfit man for the ambassador to deal with in any matter. If the King his master would aggravate matters, he knew many little things, as he termed the same, to lay to our ambassador's charge, receiving and conveying of packets; but the King showed never a whit the worse countenance to him for all that he knew his conference with Reaux and others, and was not ignorant what 'Palavycyni' did in Germany; that 'Bucenvall' gave forth daily letters of marque in England, where we sold at reasonable prices such corn as French merchants brought for the relief of the present dearth here, and that their merchants that did traffic bona fide were daily taken and spoiled by our reprisalers; besides, the Admiralty established at Camphire, and revived Sir Nicholas Throgmorton's doings. These things could not but greatly move the King. But above the rest, it grieved him most that we had used less consideration of him than of the Spanish ambassador found in like fault. Indeed the King of Spain was a great King, but in respect of the good will his master bare to her Majesty, he could not but take it grievously that less account had been showed of him than of the Spanish King; for we caused Chasteauneuf to be sent for and to be confronted with others, and already had made his proces (which word he used oft) one of her Majesty's Council, and that reputed the wisest personage in all the realm, telling him he was subject to our laws. So as he concluded, already we had made his proces and then sent to advertise the King, which indignity being far greater than the measure offered to the Spanish ambassador, as I, William Wade (sic) could not but know, being sent into Spain about that matter (as he said) could not but greatly offend the King. Therefore the King desired greatly to understand the particularities of the accusations against his ambassador that he might consider thereof; for that he had informed the King of our proceedings in other manner than I seemed to report.
"Because in this speech M. de Bellievre seemed to charge me, Sir Edward Stafford, particularly, I answered him that I knew not what he meant by those words; and that it was conceived by some wrong information, being assured I had done nothing in any respect otherwise than became one that did sustain the place I held; and as for de Reaulx, he repaired unto me by the King's appointment and privity and by order from the Queen Mother. Then M. de Bellievre said I might colour the taking and sending of packets by some of his servants; which I answered, if so it were, as I could not believe the same, it was done without my consent and knowledge. And because the rest of his speech concerned the charge her Majesty committed to me, William Waade, I took upon me to answer the same particularly in this sort: That as he had showed us the King his master was perplexed about this accident, he might assure himself it must needs be more grievous to her Majesty, who was more nearly touched in the same, and even in that she looked not for those kind of offices at the ambassador's hands, considering the good intelligence between the King and her Majesty, to the cherishing whereof her Majesty, on her part hath always given as great causes and occasions as might be; and carrieth the same mind, as I have more at large to impart to the King, which I omitted because I did see we spent more time in those causes I dealt with him in than I thought I should have done; and the question was not what should move Chasteauneuf to any such practice, for we see less cause knowing he hath received all honour of her Majesty, but by manifest proofs it falleth out he was both privy and had interest in that matter, therefore is his fault the greater, when no reason can be produced to move him to hearken any way to so wicked an act. And where offence is taken with the manner of her Majesty's proceeding, what could she do less than, in a matter that touched her so near as her life, to seek by all means to be informed of the truth and particularities of the same, and presently send to inform the King thereof. For the sending for him to meet with those noble personages is no new thing, and the like hath been practised before, and towards her Majesty's ambassador here, who hath been contented by the King's appointment to meet with you now here, and other his counsellors; much more it is not to be evil taken in so rare a case, neither the bringing of Stafford before him to avow in his presence that he had confessed before, which you call confronting, was any kind of indignity, for the confession of Stafford being signified unto him, upon his denial thereof it grew that the Lords told him Stafford was not far off, to avow the same, and so was produced for the further proof and manifesting of the truth, which they do not well to term making of his proces; for those noblemen and councillors are no criminal judges that deal in such matters; but for the importance of that case and in respect of the person of the ambassador, especially appointed by her Majesty and sent to London to confer with him and show him what fell out in the said informations and confessions against him. As for the words alleged to be used towards him, it might be he gave occasion, standing upon terms, for some of their lordships to say that considering the quality of his offence, if the Queen's Majesty meant to proceed against him in rigour of law, he might be found subject to the laws of the realm, but it was more than I had heard, and I was sure that great personage they might mean was one that spake not without knowledge and unadvisedly. M. de Bellievre, as he interrupted me oft, so especially made a great matter of those words, as though he had been already indited and condemned. Bruslard said he was the easier brought to believe that those words were spoken, because the like were used towards the Scottish Queen. I told him in her case we had proceeded further than words, and that long sithence to my knowledge the most learned men that France had brought forth were clear in that opinion. Bellievre said they would not meddle in that, but persisted the King's ambassador was not subject to our laws, and still urged me to show the proofs. Then I told him I desired chiefly to remove from the King and him that conceit that less regard had been used of the King in our proceedings with his ambassador than in the case of Mendosa, for Mendosa his offence was not altogether so heinous as that which Chasteauneuf standeth charged withal; his touching the State, this her Majesty's person. Bellievre said it was one thing and one fault to offend against the estate and the prince. Both, I said, was crime de leyse Majesté, but yet not in like degree to be accounted. Mendosa was sent for before some of the Lords of the Council, and charged with his indirect dealing and so sent forth of the realm, and I addressed to the King of Spain to inform him thereof, where I remember the only offence which was taken there was that the King looked her Majesty should have first advertised him of the behaviour of his ambassador, and the King would have taken the same most thankfully, and revoked his ambassador. Now here, in this case, her Majesty, though the same doth concern her more nearly, so soon as she was informed of the practice, presently and with speed advertiseth the King of the whole proceedings, whereupon many words passed between us. In like manner I answered the matter of Camphyre, that though her Majesty had a town in that isle for caution of treaty between them and her Highness, yet she was so far from having any jurisdiction over the Admiralty and sea matters as she could not reform extreme wrongs offered to some of her subjects whose cases had been earnestly recommended to the States. Touching M. Busenvall, I could witness, so soon as her Majesty understood of those doings, I was commanded to will him to forbear in any case to give forth any of those letters of marque, and am able to witness with what regard the Lords have proceeded in the complaints of French merchants that have come before them, taken by virtue of any of those letters of marque; and can satisfy the King that there hath been no bad offices done by others, howsoever it may be construed (which I meant of Palavicini because her Majesty willed me to tell the King she had caused the reiters to be stayed.)
Touching that M. Bellievre discoursed of our reconciliation with Spain we thought it best to reply nothing. But I told him for his particular I knew there was generally a very honourable opinion held of him; and if his message had not been very unpleasant and full of jealousy, his entertainment might have been more to his contentment and desert, but there was no time past to do good offices. At the length, they pressing still to see the proofs, I read to them the principal points. M. Bellievre, when I touched the confession of de Trappes, asked me if I had no more of his confession to charge the ambassador. I said, what needeth there more. Stafford accuseth him directly to have first propounded to him the enterprise; Mody confesseth particularly the speech that passed between de Trappes and him of the means to take away her Majesty's life; de Trappes confesseth the conference and speech he had with Mody was by express commandment from his master. So as the matter was too apparent. He said all this was nothing, and that they knew and had more than I had, for we took pieces of the examinations and cut them off, in which sort a man might apply any part of the Scripture to any evil purpose, which was no direct dealing, for we should have showed de Trappes' whole confession, whereby it appeareth that de Trappes confesseth only he had leave of his master to speak with Mody, because Stafford did tell him Mody had somewhat to reveal unto him for the relief of the Scottish Queen. But so soon as Mody did open and enter into the discourse of killing of the Queen, de Trappes reprehended him eagerly, and said he would not for anything tell the same to his master. I told him de Trappes had made more confessions than one and be it he might seem at the first to excuse his master, yet having once confessed the points material directly, what were it after to mitigate the same with words. And the ambassador himself implicatively confessed the matter when he was driven to maintain so bad an assertion before the Lords. You mean, quoth M. Bellievre, that he was not bound to reveal the same; no more was he, quoth he. Think you not but the ambassador hath informed us particularly of all that hath past. And for the accusation of Stafford, it is not to be regarded, for (I say it not to offend his brother) it is known what conversation he is of, and the ambassador perceiving his evil disposition did correct him with sharp words. Whereupon I (Sir Edward Stafford) did wish that he had sent him hands and feet bound unto the Queen; I should have thought myself beholding unto him for the same. Bellievre said all this would resolve in a rashness of Stafford of some device to entrap the ambassador. It was answered we used not to lay such snares; they were not matters to dally withal the lives of princes. Bellievre added that it was a confederacy between Stafford and Mody, to get some crowns of the ambassador, which when he would not depart withal, then Stafford revealed the matter. It was answered that it was more than was to be affirmed; the goodness of God had revealed this as he had discovered other most detestable practices to her Majesty, which way we knew not. Bellievre seemed to desire very earnestly that a good course might be held and taken in these things; which he often wished that the honour of his master might be tendered.
I answered already that was performed, for none had been appointed to deal in these matters but of her Majesty's Privy Council, who had taken the confessions and examinations of these men, so as the proceedings of her Majesty therein had been very advised, sound and authentical. He said they were to give credit to their ambassador, who had purged himself to the King and offered to confirm the same on his oath, honour, life and by all other means. After much replying, he and Bruslard required again very earnestly the copy of the examinations to be sent to the King which he willed them to demand. Sir Edward Stafford answered sithence they made so small account of the same, it was needless. No, said Bellievre, in any wise the King desireth to be satisfied in that which may charge his ambassador, and willed us in any wise to demand the same of you. He may be of other opinion than we are.
After, we had some speech of sea and merchants' causes, where they objected the Queen's Majesty had stayed all Frenchmen's goods in England, and Bruslard said that les Francois ont maintenant rien en Angleterre, as though all their goods had been confiscate. I assured them no such stay was made as yet, although her Majesty had been importuned by the sundry complaints of her subjects to do the like, which was deferred, hoping my repair hither might serve to inform the King of the truth of those causes, and so some good order might be taken therein. Bellievre said 150 had been spoiled of late by our nation (as questionless the complaints are very great). We replied we were able to show the like griefs, and no restitution at all done to our men, so as it was necessary the truth of these griefs might be examined, and some order taken in the same.
At our parting, I required M. Bellievre to satisfy the King in the opinion it should seem he had that her Majesty had used less regard of him than of the King of Spain, and that any indignity had been offered his ambassador; saying that they having heard and considered the chief points of the examinations, could well remember the same and make report thereof to the King; wherewith they answered the King would not be satisfied, neither was it reason those confessions should be denied him that served to charge the said ambassador; as Bellievre found often fault that we sent not hither the confession of de Trappes under his own hand; which we said was to be reserved to charge the said de Trappes and his master, being the original. But being in your hands you may make him set your [sic] hand to so much as concerneth the ambassador, said he. It was told him so much was already showed the ambassador of his own hand. I, said he, tronked as you deal with us, which is no clear dealing, to show pieces of confessions. I said if they came to be arraigned, so much would serve to condemn them, and therefore might be taken for avowing the truth of the matter. Upon occasion, I demanded what the ambassador meant, to ask for a resolute man. Bellievre denied the same. I said he himself denied it not to the Lords, and said in the French phrase it was taken in good part. Bellievre would not be brought to believe the one or the other. Bellievre said likewise, the ambassador denied utterly the receiving of Babington into his house; which I showed he himself had confessed before the Lords, which Bellievre in no wise would believe. I said the witness of so many noble personages was to be credited and especially her Majesty, that gave me commandment to say so much to the King.
At their departure, they prayed me again to send the King the copy of the confessions; whereof I resolved to send this short note, agreeing with my instructions to satisfy the King, which I hope her Majesty graciously will consider I could in no reason refuse to do, and might have bred great mistrust and inconvenience. And as it may appear to your honours they are privy to all that part of de Trappes' confession that they think might serve to make for him; so as I know no reason to keep and conceal from them that part that directly condemneth him; having told the King the same in my first speech, and repeated it both to him and to these councillors.
These matters being of weight, we thought it our duties to make thereof particular relation, because we perceive the ambassador hath advertised hither very precisely of all matters, and Bellievre told us the King had dispatched a valet of his chamber in all diligence to be further advertised from his ambassador. Thus referring the consideration hereof to your wisdoms and ourselves to be favourably thought of, standing in some doubt how we shall be dealt withal here, we commit your honours to the protection of God.—Paris, 30 January, 1586. Signed by both.
Add. 13½ closely written pp. in Waad's hand. [France XVII. 14.]
Copy of the above. Endd. by Burghley and evidently sent to him, as the watermark is the same as in the preceding paper. [Ibid. XVII. 15.]
[After Jan 30.] Sir Edward Stafford's request to the French King.
Praying him to grant mainlevée to the English ships stayed in France, to use all means to settle matters already past, and to prevent difficulties in the future, according to a conference already had between the deputies of the Queen and his ambassador; as appears by the articles (of which a copy is enclosed) sent by them, of what passed between them; and also touching particular arrests made in many places of his kingdom, of which Mr. Waad had directions to speak to his Majesty.
Also, seeing that since Mr. Waad's coming, M de "Mercure" has caused the goods of certain English merchants which he had stayed at Morlaix in Brittany (notwithstanding two decrees against him by the justices of Morlaix) to be sold, concerning which Mr. Waad gave in a memorial at his first coming (fn. 2) :—That he will be pleased to order the French merchants to whom the goods have been sold to hold them in kind, and not to give them up to any until the matter has been fully considered by those whom it may please their Majesties to appoint for the purpose; and that meanwhile the Queen's subjects may trade there freely and without fear of stay, as they have been always accustomed to do.
And in like manner, in regard to the rigorous sentence given in his Privy Council against certain English merchants trading to Rouen, (fn. 3) without the matter having been properly heard, as has been shown to M. Bellievre in England, his Majesty is prayed to give orders that all arrests on this judgment may cease until the affair has been heard and decided before such as he shall depute.
And as regards the arrests made at St. Jean de Luz; that mainlevée may be given, and that all things in like case may pass before those ordained by both their Majesties to see execution of justice on both sides.
In Stafford's hand. Endd. as in headline. French 1 p. [France XVII. 16.] (Found amongst the papers of 1585.)
Jan. 31. Waad to Burghley.
"As this realm standeth at this present divided in factions, so this accident concerning the French ambassador is by those that are well affected to us, and in the other not of the best disposition to the King himself, taken in such sense as may be applied to serve their turn. Wherein they regard more the circumstance in the handling of the same to enforce against us some contempt and little regard of the honour of the King, interessed in the person of his ambassador, than they weigh the substance of the matter importing the life of her Majesty. To aggravate the indignity of this matter, they revive a proceeding with Mendosa in like case and what followed thereon.
"The friends and kinsfolks of Chasteauneuf, interessed in his fault and disgrace, and especially his brother-in-law, M. Villeroy, that preferred him to that charge, by opinion of all men here, hath done what he may to move the King to take it in evil part; who having especial credit with the King, and being a very wise personage, is nevertheless noted to be hot, violent and haughty. And had wrought the King before my coming already to conceive hardly of the matter, furthered, as I hear, by misdoubt I had commission not only to lay open the fault of the ambassador to the King, but to signify in respect of his offence, how her Majesty was purposed to deal with the ambassador. Whereupon, as we are informed, motion was made to have a guard sent to our ambassador, and he restrained to keep his house; and dispatches were presently sent to all parts of the realm to arrest all Englishmen's goods. Howbeit, the King considering sithence her Majesty's proceedings to have been grounded upon great cause, and to have carried regard and moderation, things are somewhat calmed. For which behalf your lordship by my report in my letter to the Secretaries may perceive how on the sudden I was able to answer to the objections made, which I beseech your lordship to weigh with my small ability to deal in matters of so great weight, forethought of here by great and wise counsellors, that they may receive favourable censure. By that conference I am in some sort instructed and armed against my next audience, to answer their chiefest objections, and to persuade the King to weigh the importance of the matter, and to conceive aright of her Majesty's proceedings therein, which in respect of the quality of the offence, have showed great respect towards him. The greatest indignity that is taken here is, as I understand and may perceive, that Stafford was brought face to face before the ambassador, as they term it to confront him, which I have answered as may appear by my letter. But I assure your lordship, M. Villeroy generally hath gotten small reputation by urging the King to take so much to displeasure this matter, more upon his passion and fault pretended in the manner and form of our proceeding than in regard of the matter itself, indeed heinous and most offensive.
If your lordship thought good, it should not be amiss that so much of de Trappes' confession as might charge the ambassador might be sent hither under his own hand; though in truth I think they see to much in their own opinions, and as I have told them, the more proofs are sought and doubts presupposed in the matter, the fouler it will appear. Therefore the best for them is to see that which is apparent and to find the fault themselves; and make that amends and satisfaction to her Majesty to acknowledge the regard her Majesty hath already showed in her proceeding, in the sifting out the truth of the cause [sic] of the King's honour, and the King to take upon him the correction; for I perceive they are content de Trappes may bear all the burden, though they labour to excuse the ambassador.
In truth my lord, the complaint of the spoils committed by our reprisalers is too general, and I fear me too true, though it hath been answered [that] her Majesty hath shown great care to redress the same by strait proclamation, which I am the bolder to write to your lordship because long sithence I have heard you find the fault. Our merchants find the smart of it, and further inconvenience will ensue, as your lordship shall hereafter understand, if order be not taken in it.—Paris, the last of January, 1586.
Holograph. Add. Endd. by Burghley. 1¾ pp. [France XVII. 17.]
Jan. Stafford to Walsingham.
I yesterday received a letter from M. de la Noue, which he earnestly desires me to send safely into your own hands; and that (if you vouchsafe him an answer) I will send that also safely to him.
A friend of yours here would be very glad if you would send over with the next packet some trusty body belonging to you to whom he might speak freely, and being assured of his honesty and secrecy, might confide both private matter for yourself or matters of state. He knows well Mr. Thomson and Mills, your servants, but thinks they can hardly be spared; also Bournham and Fant and believes them very honest and discreet; but leaves it to your discretion, only desiring your assurance that nobody shall ever hear word of what cometh from him but yourself, he that you send and I. Undated.
Holograph. Add. Endd. "January, 1586." 1 p. [France XVII. 18.]
[Jan?] Des Trappes to Chasteauneuf.
"Monseigneur, Je vous suplie aultant que faire ce peult de escrire a messieurs du Conseil les parolles que je vous dict, que mode [Moody] me avoit tenues. Et paraillemant ce que je vous dict que je luy avois respondu. Vostre tres humble serviteur Destrappes."
Add. ¼ p. [France XVII. 19.]
Jan. Four rough drafts of letters endorsed "January, 1587. Copies [sic] of certain letters in French for my Lord Russell to the Duke of Bouillon and the Duchess his mother."
(1) To the Duke of Bouillon.
Has delayed to thank his Excellency for the great favours shown to him, having learnt that one belonging to his Excellency was expected where he now is, by whom he could send his letters. But as no one has arrived, he must delay no longer to offer his thanks for the great honour he received and to assure his Excellency of his desire to serve him. Refrains from sending news, as it would be so long before they reached him; but takes the liberty of presenting him three or four pourtraits, which it seemed he desired to have, and which he begs him to receive in good part until he can send something more worthy of such a prince. Prays to be recommended to the good graces of Madame, his mistress and his Excellency's sister, and of the Conte de la Marck, his brother.
(2) To the Duchess of Bouillon.
As he has made bold to write to the Duke her son, so he begs also to offer her his grateful acknowledgments for favours received from her when he was in their country, at Sedan. And also to assure her of the affection of the Queen his mistress, there being no princess in the world whom her Majesty more desires to see, having heard her so greatly praised for the virtues and gifts with which it has pleased God to endow her.
(3) To M. Perot.
Thanking him for the great honour and courtesy received from him, and also for the letter sent by "le Sieur Lee."
Begs him to send intelligence whenever possible, although he himself sends none at present, as it will be so long before this letter is received, and hopes he may have occasion to come into England.
(4) To M. de Nay.
Although he was greatly obliged to many when he was at Sedan, to no one was he more bounden than to M. de Nay. Takes this opportunity of assuring him of his gratitude, and begs him to thank (on his behalf) the other gentlemen about M. tho Duke for the favours received from them. Sends affectionate greetings to Mr. Capel and Mr. d'Anstry.
Draft. Fr. 3 pp. in all. [France XVII. 20.]
January A brief statement of the entertainment and pay of 2000 High German Reiters.
For the Chief or Colonel, with his lieutenant-colonel and the officers immediately under him, as serjeant-major, quarter-master, doctor, surgeon, secretary, provost, halbardiers etc. etc., total 3166 florins. But the only personal item is that for himself and his lieut.-colonel. For his table he draws 2000 florins, i.e. one florin for each horse, and his lieutenant 300 florins.
The general totals are as follows.
For the entertainment of the Colonel 3166 florins.
For his company of 400 horse 7172 "
For that of his lieut.-colonel, also 400 7172 "
And for other four companies, each of 300 22192 "
Total, 39702 florins.
Endd. 2 pp. French. [Germany, States V. 12.]


  • 1. The paper torn.
  • 2. This shows that Waad had had his first audience, described in the preceding letter.
  • 3. There are several notices of this matter in the Acts of the English Privy Council, vol. xiv., p. 286 et seg.