Elizabeth: March 1587, 1-15

Pages 233-243

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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March 1587, 1-15

March 1. Memorandum of Directions to "Mr. Horatio" [Palavicino] with notes of certain of his letters, from May, 1586, to March 1, 1586–7.
To procure the delivery by exchange in Germany of 50000 crowns, amounting to 15468l. 15s. sterling, to be paid by parcels to parties to be authorised by him to receive the same upon bills of exchange that shall be sent to London.
To let Duke Casimir understand why her Majesty disburses but 50000 crowns, while the King of Navarre's ministers challenge her promise of double the sum.
Quitry named to her 150000 crowns as the sum in readiness in Germany, and promises to procure the adding of 50000 more to her Majesty's, thus making up the sum of 250000 crowns.
Conditions demanded by her Majesty.
1. The sums promised by the King of Navarre's ministers to be answered.
2. Casimir to march in person with 9000 reiters, 10000 Swisses and 4000 'lanskenechts,' and
3. To promise that he will not return out of France until the conclusion of a peace.
Qualification of the said conditions.
"There may want of the said sums.
"The number of reiters and Swisses may come short by 1000, either of them; and
"The Swisses may be turned into so many lanskenechts, so as Casimir march and bind himself to enter into France ut supra.
And if Casimir cannot march, he may appoint another prince in his place, "yielding a sufficient excuse in writing for himself, and undertaking for the other prince.
"To demand such a promise in writing as is specified in the 3rd article before, either of Casimir or of the other prince; or to procure that an article to that effect may be set down in the capitulation between either of them and the King of Navarre's ministers, and require a copy thereof signed by both parties . . .
"To require a bond of the King of Navarre's ministers for repayment of the said sum within a year after the conclusion of peace.
"That her Majesty be not named in the said bond, but the sum to be contained among other sums payable in Germany."
[Notes of letters.]
1586, May 23. "Her Majesty's good liking that he stood upon the signing of the capitulations before he delivered the money. A reformation of the part concerning her contribution, "which she would have contained in some capital apart. The other parts of the capitulation allowed of."
June 19. As the levy "goeth not forward for want of money, to sound the Duke what new supply would serve the turn." If 50000 crowns more will do so, to signify that her Majesty will furnish it, or so much as shall be necessary. But first to inform himself whether the levy may not go forward otherways; and if he finds a new contribution necessary, to advertise her how much may suffice.
June 29. If another prince march in place of Duke Casimir, both must be bound. "Upon the granting that Casimir shall be bound," he [Palavicino] may disburse the money, "and otherwise not."
Sept. 2. If other princes should contribute, and "there will be means enough otherways to make the levy, he shall forbear to offer the 50000 crowns"; but if without it the levy cannot go forward, he may offer it.
"To know what authority the King of Navarre's ministers have to assure repayment, and if they have any, then to require such assurance.
Nov. 16. "Her Majesty offended that he had yielded to pay the whole sum, for that she hoped that the other princes would not refuse to contribute; but afterwards better satisfied.
[1586–7] March 1. "Her Majesty offended with the last disbursement of the 50000 crowns, alleging that she meant not to have yielded thereunto unless the rest of the princes had contributed."
Endd. 2¼ pp. [Germany, States V. 25.] (fn. 1)
March 2. M. de Quitry to Horatio Palavicino.
Leaves the account of his journey to M. de Queteller, the bearer of this, who has accompanied him on behalf of M. de Bouillon, and is now going to Duke Casimir. The evil of doing nothing is so great, seeing the general state of public affairs and the extremities to which their cause is reduced in France, that whatever happens, he is determined to make an agreement by God's help, and to gain sufficient time to allow the aid of the English Queen to come in to crown the work which she has so well begun; so that, if left to perish, they will have arms in their hands to do what God shall counsel them.
Herein Palavicino can greatly oblige this Prince and many honest men, and worthily and faithfully serve the Queen his mistress and the State of England. Is assured that he will do so by letters now, and in person after he has arrived there.
In Palavicino's handwriting and endorsed by him: "Copy of M. de Quitri's letter to me, written from Misen in Misnia 2 March." Endorsed also by Burghley's clerk "March 2, 1586" etc. French ¾ p. [Germany, States V. 26.]
March 3/13. Captain Jacopo da Pissa to [Walsingham?]
On the last of last month he wrote that the Pope had contributed 600000 crowns for the enterprise [of England.] Also that his legate had passed through this city, going to the Swiss Catholics, to whom the Catholic King last year also sent an ambassador to conclude a league; and had already sent 60000 crowns from Milan to pay the captains and others entertained by him.
Sixty Spanish captains have gone for Spain, of those in Flanders, Naples, Sicily and Milan, and there will shortly go in Doria's galleys some footmen of the old troops, as I have already told you. So far, there is at this time no other movement in Italy, but something may show itself in a few days.
By letters of the 14th ultimo from Spain, his Majesty was going to Lisbon, where the armada is assembling. It is said that Andrea Doria has already departed with twenty galleys to go to meet three English ships which they say are going to Constantinople with gifts for the Turk, and which are believed to have put in on the coast of Marseilles in consequence of contrary weather.—Milan, 13 March, 1587.
Endd. by Philippes. Italian. 1 p. [Italy I. 20.]
March 5. Stafford to Burghley.
Two letters which I now write to Mr. Secretary will show you all that has passed here since my last.
"I must needs write unto your lordship the truth, that I never saw a thing [more hated by] little, great, old, young and of all religions than the Queen of Scots' death, and especially the manner of it. I would to God it had not been in this time, and when it happened, I would I had lost one of my fingers she had died and no more. And for my part I do think that it is a happy thing for us that there is a thing of that humour of this King, that no man knoweth and can dissemble [sic] his thoughts; for surely else everybody is so animated against this, that they would put him to the touch with this matter, to sound the bottom of his stomach; and I think as he is, he shall be extremely urged to declare himself upon this pretext, to either attempt or help to attempt somewhat against her Majesty. For my part, I think he will not be brought unto it; and that which is happiest for us are the jealousies that the King and they of the League be [in] one of another, which is daily continued and augmented; and if, as I have written to Mr. Secretary . . . he be well handled, I think he may be used to good purpose; and . . . as things go there is most likely[hood] to do good of him; of any prince at this day.
"I beseech God, and so I have written to her Majesty, she may think to look well unto herself, for I think she never had more nor so much need; for I never saw all so desperately bent against her as they are. I pray God save and keep her." Paris, 5 March, 1586.
Postscript. "Belliever is a very honest man, and I dare assure you will do all good offices he may. He told me no longer agone than yesterday that he was sorry extremely that he could never speak with your lordship throughly when he was in England: that the colour of his journey was not all the intent of it.
Holograph. Add. Endd. by Burghley. 1 p. [France XVII. 31.]
March 5. Horatio Palavicino to Walsingham.
I am in great anxiety for my servant, sent on the 28th of January, not having had any news of him, and fearing that the passages being closed at Cales [here means Calais, not Cadiz] may have hindered him; as I hear that it stayed the copy of the dispatch which I sent by way of Antwerp, and which reached you on February 11. I expected by this time to hear how you had been pleased with this negotiation and to receive her Majesty's orders to stay or to return home, which I await with eagerness. Whatever orders come to me, I engage to follow with all diligence.
So far, I do not perceive that the death of this minister has caused any disturbance to our business, although D. Casimir will not do any thing much until Quitri returns. We expect him daily, and depend entirely on the success which he will bring, which I hope will be conformable to his commissions, of which in due time I will inform your honour. As showing that we do so depend, D. Casimir has desired me to leave the capitulation for eight or ten days longer in the place where it is deposited, to which I have willingly agreed, but on condition that I do not receive orders to return home, seeing that to leave it where it is or to have it in my hands amonnts to the same thing.
D. Casimir is sending La Huguerie into England, and a Swiss scholar informed me that he wished to hide it from me, fearing it may be, that I should have done ill offices; and yet I have never had such an intention, because what the service of her Majesty and the safety of the common cause requires is more to me than any other thing, and I know well enough that upon these the determination depends, and not on any persuasion or information. I consider it not only useful but necessary that her Majesty shall aid herself by the reputation of these arms, and in order so to do, should support them liberally and countenance D. Casimir's actions, provided that, on his side, he will do what is reasonable, and in this and no other sense, I make account that all my letters shall be understood.
I pray you to let the aforesaid man know this, seeing that he is of those who believe it less and have striven with me more than any other; as also that he having projected all the writings, thought it meet to dispute over every exception contained therein.
Besides this, you may be able, if it please you, to make him feel how much there [in England] these doubts have been held needless; and that there is some resentment at the distrust and refusal of the writing of Neuschloss, first granted and offered. Finally, if you will take your stand upon the bond of D. Casimir and will inquire very particularly of his thoughts in executing it, it will be a very good thing for future actions and for what you may desire me to procure.
There is no news, save that the wife of Duke Julius of Brunswick's eldest son has died in child-birth, and that it is said that the King of Denmark is making a great fleet.
Of the Archduke Matthias I know nothing except that from Hamburg he went to Lubeck, and thence, it is said, into Denmark. In Poland, the election of the new King proceeds slowly but peacefully.—Frankfort, March 5, 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Italian. 1¾ pp. [Germany, States V. 27.]
March 5. Duplicate of the above.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Italian. 1¾ pp. [Ibid V. 28.]
March 5/15. M. Clervant to Horatio Palavicino.
I have come with M. de la Noue to meet the Duke, who sent for me to this place, believing that M. de Guytry would have returned; but hearing that he is delayed, I have put off going to Frankendal until Tuesday, when his Highness will be there. He goes meanwhile to Louter [i.e. Kaiserslautern], and I also for a day or two, to put before him many details which would take up the time on Tuesday. I am expecting the return of my servant from Cassel, and pray you to tell him to go by way of Frankendal to see where I am.
I am seeking in many directions for aid in the great charge laid upon my shoulders, and so far God has blessed me, for what was judged impossible by Heidelberg has been easy to me in that poor and rude nation [i.e. the Swiss] where I have found both zeal and honour, and more satisfaction than I dared to hope for.
In brief, I have fifty-five companies ready, which are six thousand five hundred men. I should much like to see you, and think you should be at Frankendal on Tuesday, or at least at Vorme [i.e. Worms] in order to discourse together beforehand that we may not find ourselves to seek in matters which concern your Mistress, which I learnt in Switzerland, and which, if difficult would also be useful. I would go to you but that I must go to 'Kaiserlouter,' and the day after we have finished at Frankendal must return in haste into Switzerland, because of M. de Guytry's delay, for I had arranged my affairs on the information that he would be back at the beginning of March. You have nothing pressing on hand, therefore I pray you, come to 'Vorme', where you will see M. de la Noue and be able to confer together, and consult upon the matter which I have to impart to you.—Neustat, 15 March.
Signed. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Germany, States V. 29.]
March 6. Waad to Burghley.
We cannot by any soliciting obtain answer to her Majesty from the King for my negotiations until the return of the groom of his chamber, and then are put in hope to have also conference about the arrests, though daily new complaints arrive of depredations committed by our nation, which breed great slander and hate, so "as we understand nothing here but things very unpleasant to write and most grievous to us to hear; wherein I assure your lordship the good opinion my lord ambassador hath purchased here, to the nourishing of good amity and to be desirous to do good offices, hath greatly served to temper the vehement choler and fury of this passionate time. But he, on the other hand doth movere Acheronta. Those that be best disposed here, weighing the credit of the friends here to him there, wish, if with her Majesty's honour it might stand, they might discreetly be retained by some favour showed to him; who otherwise apprehend so his case as they apply it to themselves, and such is their credit as they have a voice negative in the chapter to overthrow anything propounded. But seeing how far her Majes ty's honour is to be weighed before any particular's credit, I leave it to your lordship's wisdom to consider how that may be done. The accident of the Scottish Queen happening to the former occasions hath raised such a tempest as there is nothing but fury; but time will lay these blazes," and we omit nothing to allay these heats and to give forth the truth in these matters, wherein strange things are daily invented. For these and other occurrences I refer your lordship to the ambassador's letters.— 6 March, 1586.
Holograph. Add. Endd. by Burghley. 1 p. [France XVII. 32.]
March 8. Horatio Palavicino to Walsingham.
For the greater clearness in the account of these moneys, he has taken up some part, to show from whence arises the difference which appears in the sum of the crowns sent over by Giustiniano and Rizzo and that which he has paid. For the greater part thereof, he has had testimony from Messieurs Ludovico Perez and company, with whom they were passed, who proved it so justly that he hopes his honour will be fully satisfied, and that he will not, by any pretence, be defrauded of the thanks and recompence which his toil has deserved. Prays that her Majesty may have knowledge of this, in case she may have heard somewhat of the allegations against him.—Francfort, 8 March, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. Italian. ½ p. [Germany, States, IV. 30.]
March 8/18. Ferdinand Duke of Tuscany to the Queen.
As in his states, the subjects of her Majesty will always find justice, courtesy and favour, with good correspondency of trade, so he assures himself that his own subjects and vassals in her Majesty's dominions will find the like, and therefore confidently recommends to her Filippo Corsini, his subject; that he may have dispatch of the cause which he is carrying on by the name of Bartolomeo Corsini and Company of London, against Nicolas Rainton (also his subject), and recover what is due to him from the said Rainton, who for many years has avoided paying it.—Firenze, 18 March, 1587.
Signed. "Fer. Gran duca di Toscana." (fn. 2) Add. Endd. Seal inscribed "Ferd. Med. Card. Magna Dux Etrurie." Italian. 1 p. [Tuscany I. 8.]
March 9. Walsingham to Stafford.
"With what answer her Majesty hath returned du Roger to the King his master you may perceive by the enclosed.
"Because M. de Villeroy is said by his credit to govern all at this present in court, and for that also the ambassador cannot otherwise be directly charged in this matter of the late conspiracy against her Majesty's person than with concealing his knowledge of the same; doubting lest those of the League might, upon the advantage they have now, prevail with the French King in drawing him to combine with Spain against her Majesty; it was thought meet by my Lord Treasurer, my Lord of Leicester and me that her Majesty should be moved that she would be pleased, for the better removing of the present jealousies and unkindnesses . . . to yield that des Trappes might be sent to the King by du Roger and left to such punishment as in honour and justice it should please the said King to lay upon him . . . That the ambassador himself might privately have access unto her, whereof (fn. 3) —for that being by some apt instruments secretly dealt withal, and let understand what a blemish it would be to him in honour and reputation to be touched with so foul a fact and sent out of the realm with shame, which would breed unto him the reproach to be a turbulent person and so make him unfit for ever hereafter to be employed towards any other Prince, (fn. 3) he hath showed himself very desirous to satisfy her Majesty, and to be restored again to her good opinion and favour; offering to deserve the same by any good means or offices he could use; as well to remove the present unkindnesses as to continue good amity and friendship between the King his Master and her. And lastly that some commission might be appointed to yield redress unto the French King's subjects of such wrongs and spoils as they should prove to have been committed upon them by hers.
"The two first points her Majesty did not find convenient to yield unto, lest such a kind of too overtimely relenting in a matter that touched her own life should confirm the suspicion conceived that the charging of the ambassador grew but out of practice. And in that part which concerneth des Trappes, her Majesty thinketh fit, if the King take her refusal unkindly, that you should let either himself or such as may make report unto him understand that she hath more cause to find herself grieved with the delays and difficulties that have been so long used . . . in the delivery of Paget and Morgan . . . found guilty by privity, assent and practice of so horrible and detestable a conspiracy as the attempting to offer violence to her own person."
But for the last, touching the appointing of commissioners here to yield redress to the French, her Majesty was content to agree thereunto, if the King would do the like, which you are to signify to him, moving him "that some order may be taken for the release of her subjects' persons, ships and goods, (fn. 3) as by the contents of her letters to him you may perceive her Majesty writeth that you are directed to do." (fn. 3)
The French ambassador earnestly requesting to be admitted to her Majesty's presence, Mr. Vice-Chamberlain and Mr. Wolley were sent to know what he had to say to her; to whom he made answer that the matter must be delivered to her by himself; and, besides, "did let them understand that it seemed convenient unto him that special commissioners should be appointed on both sides to compound the griefs of the subjects of either prince."
Mr. Vice-Chamberlain has been in London ever since, by reason of the parliament, and so no resolution is yet taken on the ambassador's motion.
"About five weeks since, we had many alarms and a general uproar throughout the realm. False bruits were spread abroad that the Queen of Scots was broken out of prison; that the City of London was fired; that many thousand Spaniards were landed in Wales; that certain noblemen were fled and such like . . . The stir and confusion was great; such as I think happened not in England these hundred years past; for precepts and hue and cries ran from place to place, even from out of the north into these parts, and over all the west as far as Cornwall. Every man was in arms and doubtful in what state things stood; the ways and passages were kept, and no man could travel without being stayed; yet was there a general dutiful affection found in the subjects towards her Majesty, and a constant resolution to fight in her defence. Amidst these great accidents her Majesty was also in continual danger of her life and so subject to daily practices and conspiracies as she could scarcely stir out of her chamber with assurance of safety, which did necessarily move my Lords of the Privy Council to urge her Majesty with all dutifulness to take a final resolution for the late execution of the Queen of Scots.
"And for that you may perhaps be desirous to know the cause of Mr. Davison's commitment, and of her Majesty's displeasure against her Council, especially against my Lord Treasurer, with whom she is highly offended, you shall understand that upon the necessary resolution, her Majesty having signed the warrant or commission for the execution of the said Queen, directed unto the Earls of Shrewsbury, Kent, Cumberland and Pembroke, delivered the same unto Mr. Davison, with commandment, as her Majesty saith, that he should keep it to himself; which words Mr. Davison understood otherwise, as he offereth to take it upon his death [sic], supposing her Majesty had said that she would no further be troubled with the matter—which he thought had been the circumstances and order of proceeding, wherein her Majesty would no further be dealt withal—and thereupon caused the said commission to pass under the great seal, and presented it unto my Lords of the Council, by whom it was sent down unto my lord of Shrewsbury, but with no other direction than to refer his lordship to the contents of the same. Her Majesty, understanding what hath followed, in great passion against Mr. Davison hath committed him to the Tower, and proceeded so far as to require the opinion of the judges how far forth the law might reach unto him; who made answer that because her Majesty, who was to carry credit in the matter, did affirm that she directed him to do otherwise than he had done, his fact might be within the compass of a contempt punishable by fine and imprisonment; and further the law could not touch him.
"Her Majesty is offended against her Council and specially against my lord Treasurer, (upon whom she layeth the greatest blame) because they sent down the commission without making her acquainted withal. My lord at that time kept his chamber by reason of a bruise of his leg that he had received with a fall from his horse, and besides, doth allege in his own defence that Mr. Davison was her Majesty's secretary, unto whom credit was to be given; that the commission was brought by him sealed with the Great Seal, and that if, in that dangerous time, he had stayed the sending of the same, whereby any danger should have happened to her Majesty's person, all the whole realm would have accused him of high treason. This in substance is the very truth of the whole state of that matter.
"I de easily believe . . . that this execution is greatly stormed at there, for you are in the midst of the most passionate Leaguers, who are chiefly interressed in the cause; nevertheless I cannot so easily be persuaded that we have cause to fear any new attempts against her Majesty's person; the papists being now out of hope to advance their religion by the taking of her away: because as well the King of Scots as all others that pretend right of succession are protestants; and they have no reason, nor I think any meaning to hazard themselves in the quarrel of the dead. And yet you shall do well to forbear hereafter to write any more of the sharp humours that this accident hath bred there, because it increaseth the more her Majesty's offence against her Council.
You may tell M. de Bellievre that all men of judgment do conceive that no good servant of the King his master or sound patriot could like to see any prince possessed of this crown who should in any sort be at the devotion of the house of Guise; considering that as things do stand, if Spain and this realm should combine together and have intelligence with the Guises, the said King could not long keep the possession of his crown; so as we suppose they find little cause to be sorry for the late execution of the Queen of Scots.
I am also to tell you that her Majesty hath now taken order that my Lord Treasurer, Mr. Vice-Chamberlain, Sir Walter Mildmay and myself shall join with my Lord Admiral for the satisfaction of the French, wherewith you are to acquaint the King and move him also to appoint commissioners to yield redress to her subjects; for many of our merchants' ships and goods are stayed there and they said to be committed to prison, a very strange proceeding, which cannot but endanger a breach of the good amity between the two realms; for we must now be constrained to stay all French ships which come into our ports or pass along the coast. Therefore you may do well to be earnest with those best affected, that they use their means and credit for the timely compounding of these difficulties.
Draft, corrected by Walsingham. Endd. "Minute to Sir Edw. Stafford, March 9, 1586." 6 pp. [France XVII. 33.]
March 11. Waad to Walsingham.
Roger, the groom of the chamber, arrived on Wednesday night, and I hope the King will now stay me no longer, as I have been delayed until he might hear from his ambassador. I will do all I can to procure my answer, but believe the King will resolve nothing until the coming of the Queen Mother, which is looked for on next Tuesday; "being here the week of their devotions, (fn. 4) where in the King will attend nothing else," so I fear it will be after Easter before I get hence. I forbear to write further, for they stay all letters, both going and coming, save those sent with their messengers, and we know not how they shall be used.—Paris, 11 March, 1586.
Holograph. Add. Endd. ¾ p. [France XVII. 34.]
March 12. Horatio Palavicino to Walsingham.
I have to-day received a letter from the Sieur de Quitry [see under March 2, above] of which I send you a copy. The bearer reports that he had come to an agreement with the three chief colonels and that on the 8th, the Rittmasters were to come, in the presence of whom they wished that the capitulation should be subscribed. The charge will not be more than was calculated, viz. 20 florins per horse for the Anrittgelt (fn. 5) and a half month['s pay] to be given them at the time of the muster. But M. de Quitry has exceeded what we hoped by promising to pay them the other half month so soon as the army shall join the forces of the King of Navarre, and in regard of this promise, he writes what your honour will see of a new succour; on which point I pray for your earnest consideration and that you will write what I shall reply, either of hope or of promise. I think he has acted prudently in resolving to treat, even with this condition, for time demands on all sides that they should put themselves in arms, and these arms will do a thousand benefits in a thousand ways and will never be more opportune than now.
The Sieur de Clervant has come to Franckenthal, and writes that he left all matters of which he treated with the Swiss in good order, promising himself to have as many as forty companies. I hope to see him within three days and to hear further particulars. He also wrote that a regiment of thirteen companies would offer themselves for service in the Low Countries, if desired, who would be raised and conducted together with the others at small charge. Meanwhile, I await your honour's orders, being very vexed that my servant had got as far as Calais and that the delays there have prevented him from going further.—Frankfort, 12 March, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. Italian. 1 p. [German States V. 31.]
March 12. Duplicate of the above.
Signed. Add. Endd. Italian. ¾ p. [Ibid. V. 32.]


  • 1. No. 24 was found to belong to a later period.
  • 2. But he did not become reigning Grand Duke until October, 1587, on the death of his brother Francesco; and he then resigned his cardinalate.
  • 3. These passages are underlined, perhaps for deletion.
  • 4. Holy week, new style, began on March [12–] 22.
  • 5. Antrittgeld. i.e. earnest money.