Elizabeth: February 1587

Pages 217-233

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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February 1587

Feb. 4/14 Henry III. to Elizabeth.
"Le Sieur Vuade [Wade] nous a presenté vostre lettre, et faict entendre ce que vous luy avez donné charge de nous dire, touchant la cognoissance que vous pretendez que a eue le Sieur de Chasteauneuf, de nostre Conseil d'Estat, et ambassadeur resident pres de vous, d' une trahison que l'on a voullu faire pour actempter a vostre vye, chose de laquelle nous estimons qu'il se scaura bien justiffier envers nous (a qui il a a respondre de ses actions) et qu'il vous en demeurera la satisfaction raisonable, quant les choses seront bien entendues. Car nous le tenons pour celluy qui a eu le cœur et la pensée du tout alliené d'un tel mal, avec ce qu'il a bien sceu que nous en avions l'esprit et la volonté entierement esloignée, d'aultant que nous l'improuvenions et detesterions mesmes entre les princes qui seroient en guerre ouverte, et poursuiveroient la ruine l'un de l'aultre. Et pour ce que nous ne desirons riens plus que de faire paroistre la verité de ce faict, si claire qu'elle ne puisse estre obscurcye, nous escrivons a nostre dict ambassadeur qu'il est (oultre ce qu'il nous en a mandé cy devant) a nous en escripre de nouveau. Cependant la responce que nous avons a vous faire, sur la proposition dudict Vuade, sera ung peu retardee, affin qu'il s'en puisse retourner avec une resolution plus entiere. Mais nous vous prions affecteusement, ce attendant, que pour le regard de de Trapes, qui est nostre subject, a la suicte de nostre dict ambassadeur, et nostre justiciable, que vous le faictes remectre entre ses mains, vous promectant que s'il se trouve coulpable de l'accusacion que luy est mise sus, nous en ferons faire telle pugnition que chacun cognoistra combien nous abhorons ung tel faict, et nous affectionnons ce que peult concerner la conservacion de vostre vye, qui ne nous sera jamais moings chere que celle de la nostre propre. Desirans pour nostre part mainctenir nostre commune et fraternelle amityé par tous bons et louables offices et rejecter les choses qui seroient pour 'y pouvoir apporter quelque alteracion. Ainsy que noz effects le feront tousjours plus cognoistre que les parolles, dont nous pourrions estendre ceste lettre [sur] un tel subject; laquelle partant nous finirons en suppliant le Createur . . . qu'il vous ayt en sa tressaincte et digne garde."—Paris, 14 Febvrier, 1587. Signed "Vostre bon frere et cousin, Henry." Countersigned Brulart.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [France XVII. 21.]
Feb. 4/14 Henry III. to M. Roger.
Having heard the Sieur Wade, whom the Queen of England has sent to make known to me what has happened in the conspiracy which she professes to have been made against her life by the young Stafford and Mody, in which she says d' Estrappes has joined and that the Sieur de Chasteauneuf has had full knowledge of it:—I have thought well, while waiting for his defences against the extracts of the depositions of the above named three persons, to write to my good sister to divert her from any hurried pursuit or rigorous treatment as regards d' Estrapes, who is my subject, praying her to remit him into the hands of my ambassador, who will take charge of him, that he may suffer punishment if he has merited it. Desiring you to present this letter to my good sister, and to pray her, in the name of our mutual amity, to grant this my desire, which I have the more reason to urge as I fear that those who desire men to go on believing that this conspiracy has been formented by the Sieur de Chasteauneuf and d' Estrapes, may try to push on the matter against him, in order to confirm the calumny which I believe has been drawn up against my ministers. In which you shall govern yourself according to this, my intention and the advice of the said Sieur de Chasteauneuf. Signed Henry. Countersigned Brulart.
Endd with date. Fr. 1 p. [France XVII. 22.]
Feb. 4. Horatio Palavicino to Burghley.
The letter from the Duke to her Majesty which I now send, will, as I believe, ratify his bonds. He sent me a copy of it last week, so that I might write to the same effect, and wished, in like manner to see a copy of mine, but not thinking this either reasonable or convenient I excused myself, saying that I had written several letters, and on divers matters, and therefore he could not see the whole at once. He was annoyed by this, would not accept my excuse, and has not told me whether he has now written in accordance [with what he sent me].
I see clearly that the interest of himself and his men is to keep me here, making by my means ever new demands, which would be so disagreeable to me that if I wish to come home, I hope your lordship will not blame me. I have asked Mr. Secretary for licence, and I beg you, unless it be for her Majesty's express service for me to remain, not to leave me here; but in case her service requires it, I bow my head thereto, and pray you to take no heed of my request, only asking that if there is to be treating of more money and some new agreement, you will send me a fellow-worker, who, with myself, may grant the conditions demanded and will aid me in this charge, too great for one person alone, and with only ordinary servants about him. Moreover, if I should have to go to procure and collect the money, there must be some person here upon whom I can rely in my absence, as also in case of other accidents which might happen; for I by no means wish to submit any longer to the anxiety and risk in which I have been, and which is better known to me now than is was formerly.— Frankfort, 4 February, 1586–7.
Add Endd. by Burghley. Italian, 1¼ pp. [Germany, States V. 13.]
Duplicate of the above.
Add. Endd. Italian. 1¼ pp. [Ibid. V. 13a.]
Feb. 4. Horatio Palavicino to Walsingham.
I send you the copy of the Duke's letter to her Majesty, and as he presses for a speedy answer, I beg you to gratify him as soon as possible. The tenor thereof is not known to me but I am given to believe that it is but to ratify his bonds, and will give you due satisfaction; in which case it will be best to answer it to the like effect, and to give him the aid which shall appear reasonable.
As from myself, I have said to him and his that I believe her Majesty will not be disposed to disburse more money for the King of Navarre, having done it so notably and so alone among the many princes as much concerned therein as she is; but that matters may so fall out for her own service, that if the Duke has such regard thereto as is fitting, and shall govern his actions thereby, she may be able to give another succour; and truly as the affairs of the world stand at home and abroad, I believe that we may expect very grave accidents, and that it would be well not to despise any advantage whatever.
[Concerning his return or the sending of a comrade, as to Burghley.]
In mine of the 27 of last month, I told you of the ambassador from Berne come to Heidelberg. I am told that he is a brave man and a good soldier. Now, he has written me the letter which I send you, by which you will see his offers on the one side, and on the other the irresolution of the Sieur de Clervant, which vexes me not a little, believing that to him he trusts mostly for support. Whereto I have replied as your honour will see, although by my writing, he and his may be little moved from their own ideas.
But this man may do good service in the Low Countries, or indeed in the designs of the Count de Soisson, and by this [letter] you may see what I ought to reply to him, either of hope or thanks, which I will execute with all diligence.
In Sicily they are making great quantity of biscuit, and ships are sailing for Seville and Lisbon with provisions for King Philip's fleets; but no other provisions of war or for sea affairs are being made in Italy for his service.—Frankfort, 4 February, 1586.
Add. Endd. Italian. 1¾ pp. [Germany, States V. 14.]
Feb. 4. Also
Duplicate of the same.
Add. Endd. Italian. 1¾ pp. [Ibid. V. 14a.]
Feb. 6. Stafford to Burghley.
Your lordship will see by the date of this letter how long we have stayed without getting a passport. I have written at large thereof to the Secretaries, by which letters you will also see that two days ago "speaking with M. Belliever, he fell into our treaty underhand with Spain and the knowledge they had of Champigny's coming into England; and told me that he knew your lordship was very willing to hearken to that. That he did not speak it for blame to you, for he esteemed you a notable counsellor and a very wise man, and affected to your country; but that if your lordship well looked into it, that there was more surety now in the amity of France, and gave many humming words out, wishing that we might well understand one another, and understand ourselves better; and repeated again that he would to God he had found her Majesty and her Council, and particularly your lordship, in such terms as he might have spoken freely and declared why he came," the cause pretended being but a colour, and his chief object being "to set good things in hand for the good of both the realms." I am even now advertised that they that blow the coal here to make a breach with us are assured of having Spain with them against us; and though this is not from a source we may build our faith upon, yet these sudden arrests make me know not what to make of it.
"The Scottish Queen's favourers give out here that the King of Scots hath openly declared he will have war with her Majesty if she content him not in this action of his mother. He will, never begin it, I think, if he be not assured of a better back than his own."—Paris, 6 February, 1586.
Holograph. Add. Endd. by Burghley. 1 p. [France XVII. 23.]
[Feb. ?] Notes concerning complaints of Englishmen in Spain.
"I gave your lordship a brief note . . . wherein I said that of 37 of the Spanish complaints, seventeen were not answered; ten excused; five delayed and five denied.
"I understand since that the Spanish ambassador affirmed that there was none denied.
"The five which I set down as denied were denials de facto, viz.: denied that the complaints were true, and they were these:
1. "The 18th complaint denied that Thomas Johnson was not forced to kneel to the sacrament, nor had not 200 ducats taken from him.
2. The 20th: "that Peter van Loors, factor or agent was not poisoned, but died of the tabardillo.
3. The 28th: "That Gregory Hills' goods were not carried to the confiscation house, but to the custom house.
4. The 29th: "Don Luis [Fagiordo], saith it is false that he ever forced any to serve in the armado.
5. The 36th: "That D. L. Fagiardo never sent English ship to the Indies, but by the goodwill and to the great benefit of the owners.
"These are denied in fact, but the truth is that all the rest almost, that are said not to be answered, or otherwise excused or delayed, are indeed . . . in a manner all denied in jure, as well as the other are in facto, for as yet there hath been no just satisfaction given to any."
On the dorso is written: "Laid out to my Lady Coppinger" [amount illegible.]
[Spain II. 76.]
[If the reference to the Ambassador refers to the date of writing, the paper cannot belong to this period, but it appears to be rather a collection of facts of past occurence, perhaps gathered with a view to the peace negotiations with Parma going on at this time.]
Feb. 8. Robert Pecok to Walsingham.
Understands that when Jerome Horsey was in England, his honour took great pains in furthering the merchants' business to her Majesty and her Council, and in respect of their favour towards Horsey and willingness to wink at his former misdemeanours, not only . . . to dispatch him away with her Majesty's letters to the Emperor here; but also to be an adventurer with him." Thinks it his duty to tell him something of the man, lest he be deceived.
His state is not good; he owes four thousand roubles to the merchants, and two thousand more to others; and of the goods he brought over he hath little left, nor any commodities of this country to send home to his honour and "other his friends adventurers." But he will make shift to make return to his honour with profit, that he may think well of him and be encouraged to adventure further. To tell of his disorderly be haviour here would be "to enter into a sea that hath no bottom," and he knows his honour will hear thereof from others.
Thanks him for his good counsel given at Richmond, "to maintain and keep that good name of honesty," which his honour was pleased to say he had, and which he assures him Russia shall not corrupt.—Moscow, 8 February 1586.
Postscript. It will be well to call Horsey home, and best by his honour's letters to him, to put him in hope of other employment.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Russia I. 23.]
Feb. 10/20 G. de Crulay to Walsingham.
When some time ago, I sent back to your honour an old passport, you replied by Mr. Bel [Beale] that for a fresh one, I must apply to the Lord Treasurer. This I did several times, and finally received answer that I must return to you, as it was not his place to give passports. Wherefore I pray you to order it without further delay. I have heard that a new passport was given to a company of Italians two days ago. I hope that you will not treat me worse than another unless I deserve less. I did not go away last year with the passport you then gave me, because, you having desired me to remain, I lost the chance of the merchant who was to have accommodated me with money, and have only now managed to get what will barely suffice for my journey. I pray you not to oblige me to waste it while waiting for my passport, as I have done for nearly a month already. Moreover, it is essential that I should go over at once to procure wherewithal to pay my creditors, being in daily danger of arrest.—London, 20 February, 1587.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1¼ pp. [France XVII. 25.]
Feb. 11. Horatio Palavicino to Burghley.
I send a copy of mine to Mr. Secretary that you may see all that has been done here and what D. Casimir still demands, who is shortly sending one to her Majesty with his propositions. If the state of her service induces her to lend an ear to them, I believe he would bind himself to repay her with the first money he receives from the French King, if peace be made in France, or at least would make himself her absolute debtor to repay it at Heidelberg on his return, or on the return of the army, in case he remains at home. But this is only my imagination, not gathered from his words or his men, and I cannot be sure whether it was agreed to by him.
Your lordship will see the new severity of the Pope against me, and the doubt which it breeds in me about my men, whether they may abandon me, in which case I must certainly return home speedily; but I believe them to be so honest and faithful that they will do their duty, and therefore do not wish this to excuse me from doing any service to her Majesty, here or elsewhere, being sure that your lordship will protect my interests in my absence, as I pray you to do with all my heart.—Frankfort, 11 February, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. by Burghley. Italian. 1 p. [Germany, States V. 15.]
Feb. 11. Horatio Palavicino to Walsingham.
I wrote last on the 4th, by the two usual ways. On the evening of the 5th, Quitry arrived here on his way to Wittemberg, where he is to meet the colonels and make an agreement, carrying with him the instructions of D. Casimir, although the capitulation is to be made in the name of the King of Navarre. It is hoped that they will return at the beginning of next month, and that he will obtain an engagement [from the colonels] to cross the Rhine two months after the date of the capitulation, that is about the end of April, haste being very necessary for the succour of the King of Navarre; for one of his gentlemen, lately come from him, called Beauchamp, says that he cannot wait longer, and that his affairs are in great extremity, not so much from the enemy as because a great number of his best men are dead of the plague, whence the country is very desolate, and that King left with fewer followers than ever before; which is confirmed by a very earnest letter from the Vicomte de Turenne to Quitry, appealing to him on his honour to tell him the truth about the succour: from which I understand that the King of Navarre has been disappointed of the success of the meeting with the Queen Mother, in which he had put great hope; but since this has been hostile, our negotiation happens very seasonably; for the execution whereof D. Casimir shows himself very diligent in all his letters to me, and lately, I hear, has sent to the Marques of 'Ansbak' to inform him of his resolution and ask his assistance. But if in the end he decides himself to take horse (of which nothing is yet said) it would be a most satisfactory thing, and would, I believe, insure the success of the enterprise; and possibly necessity may stir up his will, either by means of the enemy or the want of any to take his place. Towards the end of next month, we shall be able more certainly to judge of this, it being natural that now he is inclined rather to thought than to resolution. Meanwhile I rejoice that he is making ready for it, hearing that he is about to make a regiment of German foot and Beuterich another, besides showing himself very solicitous that we should write to your side for her Majesty to give further aid to the levy; having urged me greatly thereto in a letter of the 6th instant, and resolving for her greater satisfaction to send a special dispatch by a Swiss gentleman now with him and desiring to see your parts, who is to set out next week, by whom no doubt he will fully declare his mind to her Majesty in such manner that she will be willing to favour the enterprise.
It is very needful that you should there consider the state of affairs, and seriously reply to his proposals, in order not to feed him with doubtful hopes and then give him cause to excuse himself afterwards by reason of the coldness of their execution. To his aforementioned letter, I replied begging him to particularise what he desires from her Majesty, and at what time and on what conditions, as, if he offered such as would give her Majesty hope of being more surely and shortly reimbursed than she expects to be by the King of Navarre, it might be well to give ear to him, and satisfy him with some reasonable sum. When he replies, you shall know it at once. He seems resolved that she must make up the money to the entire sum of a hundred thousand crowns; that is ten thousand crowns [more], if it does not come up to the true value of the 100000; because the procuring of it and interest of the exchange are dear there, as Giustiniano and Rizzo have written; and although it was said that all this should go to the charge of the King of Navarre, because he gave the bond to her Majesty for a hundred thousand, yet D Casimir takes the occasion to demand it, wherefore, unless the service of the state shall receive more aid, her Majesty ought not to take any notice thereof, and so have I replied to him.
For myself, I have just heard of an accident which makes it almost necessary for me to return home shortly, viz. that the Pope having, since he learnt that I was in Germany, redoubled his harshness and injustices against the property of my brothers, has now, by a bull published in Genoa, commanded that neither my mother, sisters, brothers or friends should either write to me or receive letters from me, under great penalties. Wherefore I fear that my two men may wish to leave me, in order not to incur the like hurt; and they having all of mine in their hands, I shall need to take greater care than usual, of which I give your honour notice, not in order for you to say anything to them, but that if, while it pleases her Majesty for me to remain in these parts, any disorder should occur, you will give kind protection to my house and goods.—Frankfort, 11 February, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. Italian. 2½ pp. [Germany, States V. 16.] [Italicised words in cipher, partly deciphered.]
Feb. 11. Duplicate of the above.
Signed. Add. Endd. Italian. 2½ pp. [Ibid. V. 17.]
Feb. 11. Another copy of the above, also addressed to Walsingham, but evidently meant for Burghley's perusal, as his cipher is used throughout.
Not signed, but in Palavicino's own hand. Add. Endd. as Copy of the letter sent to Mr. Secretary, both by Palavicino and by Burghley. Italian. 2¾ pp. [Ibid. V. 18.]
Feb. 12/22 G. de Crulay to Walsingham.
Urgently prays for an answer to his letter touching his passport, being told by his man, that having solicited these two days at Court, he can not get any of his honour's men to ask him for it. Would have come himself to beg for it, were it not for the suspectes of the times. London, 22 February, 1587.
Add. Endd. Fr. ½ p. [France XVII. 25.]
Feb. 12. Horatio Palavicino to Walsingham.
The annexed letters, written yesterday to your honour, not having yet gone, I have to-day had letters of the 22nd of last month, whereby I have begun to feel the results of the passions of those here at my not having wished to obtain all their desires in unreasonable things; seeing that M. de Buzenvalle has received intelligence that 22000 crowns are lost; which being very far from the truth, I have tried to prove to him by the annexed letter (fn. 1) which I pray you to read, or let him read in your presence, assuring him that it can be verified at any time. I am sure he will not be able to answer it, and will acknowledge how unjustly they have treated me from whom he had it. I pray that if the Lord Treasurer have notice thereof, he also may see it, or at least be told the truth; that I may have the satisfaction of feeling, that even if he [Buzenval] has no cause to be obliged to me for the trouble and risk suffered, although both the one and the other have been very great, at least he has not received any prejudice thereby. And you may also consider whether it be possible or not to satisfy one so blinded by his passions.—Frankfort, 12 February, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. Italian. 1 p. [Germany, States V. 19.]
Feb. 12. Duplicate of the above.
Signed. Add. Endd. Italian. 1 p. [Ibid. V. 20.]
Feb. 16. Duke John Casimir to the Queen.
Although I have shortly advertised your Majesty of the resolution taken with the Sieur Palavicino your ambassador, and above all of the pressing need that, for the full carrying out thereof, your Majesty may be pleased to employ your means further, having given my letters to the said Palavicino to send with his despatch, who then promised and has since assured me that he has always by his letters very particularly exhorted you to it, and would continue so to do on every opportunity:— yet the importance of the affair, the shortness of the time and the need which increases daily, constrain me to send to your Majesty the Sieur de la Huguerye, my counsellor, well informed of the negotiation and its conclusion, at which he has always assisted, to humbly show you that since it has pleased God to give you at this time so generous a resolution, accompanied with rare virtues and admirable wisdom, and miraculously to preserve your person from so many evil attempts which have been and daily are directed against your life and state, giving you hereby to know your enemies, open and secret:—I doubt not that you have gathered, from his grace and providence towards you, that it is in order more than ever to use you and the means he has given you, for the advancement and preservation of his church and to increase your will to spare nothing to confine the evil designs of your enemies within the bounds of their own states and prevent them from going further, as you may well do, reaping good results from the resolution taken with the said Palavicino and the good course which you have taken with the other affairs put by God into your hands. For which, it is so needful for your Majesty again and promptly to employ your means, that without this, it is impossible for me to bear such a burden, and we have rather to fear harm than to hope for improvement, as the Sieur de Huguerye will give you to understand on my behalf; to whom I pray you to give credence as to myself and to dispatch him quickly with such good resolution as the affair demands, my need for haste requiring him not to remain more than a fortnight with your Majesty.
I pray you to believe that no prince in the world is more devoted to your service or desirous to employ his life therein than I; hoping that by the kind affection of which it has pleased you to assure me, you will not leave me in the trouble into which I have chiefly put myself for your contentment and service, joined to the advancement of God's glory.—Heidelberg, 16 February, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Germany, States V: 21.]
Feb. 16. Duke John Casimir to Walsingham.
To the same effect (mutatis mutandis) as the preceding. Prays for his influence with her Majesty to persuade her to do what he asks.—Heidelberg, 16 February, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. V. 22.]
Feb. 18. Horatio Palavicino to Walsingham.
Informing him that Beuterich, who has long been ill with the gout, died last week in Heidelberg. Cannot yet tell whether this will disorder or further their affairs. Fears for the present, for he was clever and prompt enough, but hopes the best for the future, because his humours were dangerous with a prince who let himself be guided by him absolutely. Besides which, he hears such various opinions of his true disposition that he knows not what might have been expected of him.
Has not had a word from the Duke and therefore has nothing more to say.—Frankfort, 18 February, 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Italian. ½ p. [Germany, States V. 23.]
Feb. 22. Stafford to the Secretaries.
I have answered at large to her Majesty (fn. 2) the commission I received from her "about the declaring unto the King the execution of the Queen of Scots without her Majesty's intent and meaning." I could not deliver it myself, for though I pressed for audience I was answered plainly I must have patience till they heard of Roger, the valet de chambre, but thought to do it by Belliever's means. He said he durst not take upon him to do so, "yet I know he hath, and to all the Council, who are all greatly piqued at it, though he will yet take no knowledge of it; which, as also my speeches with Belliever, and all other things belonging thereunto, I leave to her Majesty's letters.
"Truly I find all men here in a fury, and all that love not her Majesty in a great hope to build some great harm to her upon it . . God is a good God, and I hope as he hath ever done will still preserve her Majesty, but I see if things be not very calmly wrought with this fury that is here, they will fall out into greater extremities; it may be that well used they may fall out better, which I have written more at length to her Majesty. . ."
Mr. Waade and I send copies of the letters sent by other means, hearing that they are all stayed. The bearer will take an indirect way, "to see if at all adventures he can pass."
News comes to-day that the King of Navarre and Queen Mother have met, and that she has sent hither certain hope of peace, but I cannot assure you it is true.—Paris, 22 February, 1586.
Postscript. I am told for certain that the King has sent to her by all means to make peace, but can no more assure you of this than of the other.
"I am even now advertised that the King for a certainty was yesterday told of this [i.e. the Queen of Scots' execution] by M. Belliever; that he took it very evil, and said that he might easily perceive how little account the Queen made of him in this. But he desireth not yet to take knowledge of it."
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1¾ pp. [France XVII. 26.]
Feb. 23./Mar. 5. Gaspar Diz (?) to Walsingham.
Enclosed is a letter received from a friend of mine in Lixboa, one George Morys, who charged me to convey it to your honour. It is about a ship of yours which he has news of. He likewise charged me to tell you any news of the country. God be praised, we have plenty of victuals, though having our trade taken away, we are greatly impoverished. "But we hope in short time to have redress for that [by] the Condy which the Chamber have sent to the King's Majesty to have a grant for English men to trade with us, as they have done heretofore; which otherwise it will be our utter undoing, for that we have no other living but by trade of merchandise." I have no other news.—5 March, 1587. Ponta del gada, Island of St. Michells.
Add. Endd. by Walsingham's secretary "from A.B." ¾ p. [Portugal II. 26.]
Feb. 24. Walsingham to Count John of East Friesland.
My most gracious lady, the Queen, has of late sent a gentleman in her service, Horatio Pallavicini by name, into Germany, on business of no little moment, who—being about to return, and apprehensive lest, by reason of the disturbed and uncertain condition of affairs, he should run some risk between Bremen and Embden—has earnestly entreated me that for his greater security in returning, application may be made to your Excellency for a guard of soldiers to attend him on the journey. Her Majesty, reposing (as she does) the utmost confidence in your constant and sincere regard for her, and being too much occupied with other and very great affairs to write herself, at least so soon as is needful, has desired me to undertake the commission, and to crave of your Excellency in her name that so soon as the said Horatio shall have apprised you of his arrival at Bremen, you will furnish him with a guard of soldiers, sufficient to make his journey to Emden the safer. For which carrying out of her request, her Majesty professed that she will be extremely grateful, as she will speedily acknowledge by her letters.—Greenwich, 24 February, 1586.
Endd. by the Copyist. "Copy of my letter to the Count John of East Frizeland." Latin, 1 p. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns II. 55.]
[Feb. ?] Robert Poly to the Earl of Leicester.
My three years' past determination, right honourable, to do her Majesty and the State some special service, and my earnest suit to Mr. Secretary for my entertainment and direction in the same service, "will I hope persuade your honour that my reserving of Morgan's letter (as a testimony to be showed Mr. Secretary of my credit with him), my recourses to Norres in the Marshalsea . . . and my receiving and keeping of a few purposeless books from the said Norres, with what else I have coldly done, as seeming to favour their religion and cause, will I hope, as I say, confirm your honour's judgment of my loyalty and behooful service intended; and so acquit me of and from all sinister reports or conceits for that part."
And if you need further witness, I beg that Thomas Audely, a Spanish merchant (skilful in their language etc.) dwelling at the Plough in Thames Street may be called. With him, a good protestant and most affectionate subject, I have much conversed for three years' past, and made him privy with my intent (but not my intended service) to deal with Mr. Secretary. He accompanied me to Greenwich, Otelands, St. James and Seething Lane, "where I attended Mr. Thomas Walsingham for my secret recourse to Mr. Secretary, but all to lost labour then and my distress now."
About three or four months since, Mr. Audlye asked me to acquaint him with Mr. Christopher Blounte, "for that he having married a near kinswoman of your honour's first wife, was determined by her to move some suit to your lordship. . . ." I earnestly persuaded him to offer you his service for Spain, for which he is very sufficient, and which, after much debate, he condescended to do, and I brought Mr. Blounte to his house. "Then went your honour immediately to Kylingworth; and he since hath been delayed by your honour's great business of the Parliament (fn. 3) and other occurences." He knows my intent to do some acceptable service, "and I presume would be bound life for life," for my accomplishment of the same.
"Further, whereas Mr. Secretary in my late examination did charge me as justly to be suspected by your honour and him, as procuring or knowing the procurers of certain libels against her Majesty, the State and other persons of honour published," I protest that I am utterly innocent of all such traitorous libelling or other undutiful practice against her Majesty or the State; neither is there any conformity that I, who for three or four years have instantly laboured to be admitted to serve the State "in like discoveries," should in the meantime myself commit a like offence, or conceal it in any other.
And if it be demanded why I have never discovered anything, I humbly answer that if, without your or some of the lords' consent and direction, I should have insinuated something against any at home or abroad, and not shortly detected anything, I should have been directly charged as a practicer with them.
But here I humbly beseech you "to direct or licence me in some course of discovery and service either abroad or at home; but rather, I wish, with Morgan, because my plat being laid that way, my credit is both enough with him and also much with some of them which were last sent over, as Norres the priest and the rest." And I no whit mistrust but that in short time I shall accomplish something worthy acceptance, and also sufficient to countervail and recompense the offences of my youth. Your honour's most humble etc.
Endd. "Pooley's letter unto the E. of Leicester." 2¼ pp. Undated. [France XVII., 26 bis.]
Feb. 25. Stafford to the two Secretaries.
Everything here grows more furious; I hope when some time is blown over, men may be heard. "There is fire enough kindled; for the honour of God let us put as much water as we may to quench it. The usage of the ambassador well is the way to make him deliver to the King the sincerity of her Majesty's intent, and nobody will be heard nor understood so well as he, for whosoever shall come else from her Majesty will but renew the remembrance of the sore . . . and perchance run in hazard of miscarrying"; for the King is greatly piqued and all is done to increase it more, all others being bent to spare no way, neither to her Majesty's person nor her realm.—Paris, 25 February, 1586.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [France XVII. 27.]
Feb. 28. Buzanval to Walsingham.
Yesterday, before I arrived here, the Council was engaged in the execution of their charge; which was the reason why I could not fulfil mine. I have been solicited by several people to write to you on behalf of the bearer, who is said to be an honest man, wherefore I pray you to show him all just favour.—London, 28 February, 1586. (fn. 4)
Add. Endd. Fr. ½ p. [France XVII. 28.]
Feb. 28. Abstract of letter from the King of Denmark to her Majesty.
Referring her Majesty to the Hamburghers' letter of the 7th of November for many special reasons wherewith her Majesty should be induced to return her merchants' trade to Hamborough, his Majesty writeth: That it is likely to prove prejudicial to the ancient privileges of the Hamburghers if the trade be translated from them.
That hereby all traffic is like to be translated from that side of the river on which Hamborough stands to the other, to the great hindrance and damage of Hamborough and other towns, his subjects, on that side the river.
That himself shall sustain loss in his customs. Desires her Majesty would forget the discourtesies of the Hamburghers at his entreaty.
But if her Majesty be resolved not to put up those ill offices, and consequently not to return the trade to Hamborough, that yet she would choose out a place on that side the river, for that right over against Stoad there be as convenient towns for traffic as Stoad.
But if neither of these may be granted, he writes he and they must think of some means how to avert all damage from themselves, seeing no commodity will arise to them by this residency.
He promiseth that if her Majesty think good that the cause be committed to some equal persons that should compound it, and will account him meet to be one, he will send some of his Council to Hamborough to treat and mediate this controversy.
"That if any of the Adventurers have any ships ready fraught with cloth bound for Stoad, her Majesty would at his request make stay of them till some further treating, and (if it may be) compounding of the controversy. Otherwise they may chance to be by the Hamburghers, in respect of the defence of their privileges, impeached and damaged."
Endd. 1½ pp. [Denmark I. 92.]
Feb. M. Brulart to M. Roger.
Sending him the despatch made by the King on the occasion of Mr. Wade's audience, which it is hoped will still find him there [in England]; otherwise, he must return thither, to fulfil the office with which his Majesty charges him, in case M. de Chasteauneuf is still denied audience of the Queen, and not accounted as an ambassador. Undated. Signed.
Covering sheet wanting. Endd. "Feb. 1586. M. Brulart to M. Roger." Fr. ¼ p. [France XVII. 29.]
Feb. "Pheodor Ivanowich the new Emperor's Gracious Letter of Privilege to the English Merchants word for word: obtained by Mr. Jerom Horsey, 1586[7]."
English translation, 6½ pp. Endd. [Russia I. 24.]
[Printed in Hakluyt, i. 530 (ed 1809), apparently from the same translation, as the variants are few and insignificant.]
Feb. Richard Gibbes to [Walsingham?]
Notes concerning preparations in Spain.
They have 18 great ships of five, six and seven hundred [tons?]
Also 50 great hulks of Holland, stayed there a year and a half ago, and above 60 great hulks "looked every day to be stayed to serve the King at my coming away." They have stayed at and about St. Lucas above 60 great ships; "also they have coming out of the Straits 30 great argosies and six of their best galliasses, and there is talk of 300 gallies from thence, but many men doubt that they will not send them so far to the sea." Spies should be sent into Italy to learn the truth. I did not certify their honours hereof when I spoke with them, being doubtful, but the truth should be learnt with speed. "Small pinnaces for landing they have great store; most of them were provided against the winning of Treserus [Terceiras]. Also great store of victuals and all necessaries for an army. Biscuit they have been baking night and day for two or three months. The Pope allows the King a great sum of money monthly; what army he provides I know not.
A further note "to certify your honour that I went from hence to carry a great hulk to Porchmouth, there to take in Portingales and 'Negers,' and being there, by th' entreaty of Peare de Vaus, which was chief of the Portingales—who knowing that I was pilot of the ship, demanded of me what countryman I was—I answered him, a Scottishman; and he promised me that if I would bring him to Lisbon, he would get me a licence of the 'Car[di]nal and Markease' to pass quietly to and fro with such ship and goods as I myself should come in, which licence he had grant of the 'Carnall' for; and brought me before the 'Markease' and was an earnest suitor to him to affirm the same. And being before him, he demanded of me whether our King were married or no. I answered No, but he was toward marriage with the King of Denmark's daughter. He demanded of me also what store of money I thought he had. I answering said he must needs have good store of money, because he hath had peace so long, which was wont to have wars. He asked me again what strength the King of Denmark was of; I answered of great." Also "what good havens or rivers were in Scotland for a navy to come in. I answered him the Frith [of Forth?] in these parts of Scotland, for that was a fair river without danger." Also "whether one might ride over between England and Scotland. I answered, Yea. Then he demanded of me what parts I did 'occupy' most. I answered Denmark, Danske, Hambrow and all these parts, France, England and Spain. Then he asked me whether I had been at Bristo in England, or in any good harbour thereabout. I made answer, No, I was never in that part of the sea. Then . . . what good harbours or rivers were in the West part of Scotland. I answered him, I have heard there be good harbours, but I was never in them, nor about that coast. Then . . . whether I had been at London or in that river. I answered, Yea, we came now from thence. Then . . . what manner of river it was to bring in a navy. I answered him, It is a very ill river, full of sands within and without sight of land, and not possible to bring in a navy. . . . Then Peare de Vauce was in hand with him for my licence; and he willed him to come another time when he was at leisure and bring me with him, for he must talk more with me. I liked not well of his demands, and doubting lest . . . he should learn that I was an Englishman, the next day I got aboard a small 'fleebote' of Holland which was ready to come away. I was hired to bring home a hulk which would have been ready within fourteen or fifteen days, and should have had eighteen pounds for bringing of her hither. I,—to certify your honours of the news in that country—was loth to tarry so long, which made me come away with all haste, making no man privy to my coming but one Englishman who dwelt there." Signed.
Undated, but endd. by Walsingham's clerk, "February 1586." 1½ pp. [Spain II. 77.]
[Feb.] Spanish preparations.
1. In Biscay neither ships nor men making ready, nor any warlike provision in Biscay or Galicia. In these countries, corn very dear.
2. At Lisbon, on Feb. 2, six great ships making ready and two new ships new 'barreled', thought to be for the East Indies, and to keep about the islands of St. Michael and the Tercera. No other preparation in Portugal.
3. At Seville and in the river of St. Lucar, 16 sail of "Biskins" preparing for their ordinary trade; some of them thought to have taken in their most lading." on Feb. 1.
4. At 'Sheares' in Andaluzia, seven new ovens built, making now fifteen in all; occupied day and night in baking biscuit. All wines of that place embargoed for the King's use. In force on Feb. 16.
5. The report was "that the King, his army and fleet was providing in the Duke of Florence his country . . . both ships and gallies to be ready the 15 of March."
6. In France no shipping making ready, and their principal shipping gone to Spain to lade salt to go to Newfoundland for fish, and to Peru (the Perrow) and other parts. Undated.
Endd. ¾ p. [Newsletters XC. 32.]
[Feb.] Petition of Nicolas Masselin to the French Ambassador.
Prays him to put before the Lords of the Council the case of Nicolas Masselin, French merchant, who loaded a French ship called the Christofre, of Croiset, Nicolas, Mirault master, with grapes and cochineal in Spain; which ship was taken by John Oradon of Chichester, going from Spain to Rouen, and the said goods brought to Bristol and then bought by some of the inhabitants of that city, to the number of 636 barrels of grapes and 29 puncheons, as appears by the informations hereunder written; viz: by the Limao of the customs at Bristol; Mr. Anthony Stanbank, master of the Common Pleas there, and George Ollam and John Fil (?) searchers of Bristol and Richard Tissan searcher of the sheriff de Longs of Bristol; the said sheriff himself, Toby Franche and many others.
Endd. French. 1¼ pp. [France XVII., 30.]
[A letter of assistance was granted him by the Privy Council, "according to a commission out of the Admiralty Court, dated the 10th of this February, 1586[–7]" (Acts of Privy Council, 1586, 1587, p. 329.]


  • 1. Not among the papers.
  • 2. The letter is amongst the Cotton MSS. (Galba E. VI. 350.)
  • 3. Parliament met on Feb. 15.
  • 4. And so endorsed by one of Walsingham's clerks. Buzanval seems generally to have used old style when in England and writing to Englishmen.