Elizabeth: April 1587, 16-30

Pages 278-286

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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April 1587, 16-30

April 21. [Walsingham] to William Waad.
"I doubt not but that d'Estrappes' enlargement will work your present audience with the King there, so that very shortly we shall have your company here. I have dealt with the French ambassador that some good regard may [be] had for your more secure passing, and I doubt not, (what report soever may have been given out) but the King, as he is bound in honour, so he will see you safely returned.
"The French ambassador of late told me that you had in purpose to have secretly withdrawn yourself from thence, which he thinketh could not but have turned to your great danger, and been very dishonourable for his master. For such news as have passed here, I have imparted to my lord ambassador, who I doubt [not] will acquaint you with them.—From the court, 21 April, 1587.
Endd. "M[inute] to Mr. Waad, 21 April, 1587." ½ p. [France XVII. 56.]
April 21. [Walsingham] to Stafford.
[The first paragraph contains directions for Stafford to remonstrate with the King upon the Duke of Guise's seizure of towns in Picardy, which the Queen misliketh greatly, "as well for that she is loth to have an ill neighbour so near her as that the King is weakened thereby" etc.; but in the margin against it are the words "This not written."]
"Her Majesty, after many refusals to release des Trappes till our men stayed there should be set at liberty with their ships and goods, and yourself and Mr. Waade suffered to have access to the King, hath in the end, upon the earnest solicitation of the ambassador, yielded that he shall be delivered to the said ambassador with the condition of the releasing presently of the said ships and giving audience to you by the King; which, being not performed, he is to return to the Tower again.
"The ambassador told me that he understood that Mr. Waade meant to steal away out of France, whereby it appeareth that such as were acquainted with the matter have discovered the same.
"Sir Francis Drake, as I doubt not but you have heard, is gone forth to the seas, with four of her Majesty's ships and two pinnaces and between twenty and thirty merchant ships. His commission is to impeach the joining together of the King of Spain's fleet out of their several ports, to keep victuals from them, to follow them in case they should be come forward towards England or Ireland, and to cut off as many of them as he could and impeach their landing; as also to set upon such as should either come out of the West or East Indies into Spain, or go out of Spain thither. But now upon knowledge received that the King doth dissolve his preparations, having already discharged the Easterlings, there is new order sent unto Sir Francis Drake to take a milder course, for that he was before particularly desired to distress the ships within the havens themselves.
Endd. "M[inute] to Sir Edw. Stafford. 21 April, 1587." 1¾ pp. [France XVII. 57.]
Postscript to the above:
"I have stayed the sending of this dispatch away by her Majesty's express commandment ever since the date of my other letters, for that she did once purpose, according to your advice to have written some kind letter to the King, and therein both persuaded him to take some course for repressing of the insolency of the Guises in Picardy, as also made offer unto him of her own means and assistance for the better performance thereof; but now her Majesty seemeth to be of another disposition, thinking it not agreeable with her honour to write before her subjects' ships be released. Besides, whereas the ambassador here pretended that he had no commission to demand audience, I had, with her Majesty's good liking, brought him to that point that he was content (fn. 1) to repair (fn. 1) to be an humble suitor to resort unto her in the quality of a private gentleman, with offer to satisfy her touching what it should please her to charge him withal, which being done, and her Majesty satisfied, he would then desire public audience; but that course her Majesty doth now likewise refuse (after the said ambassador had assented thereunto) to yield unto, till such time as you have first had audience there; so as I do not know what other way of advice to use, but must refer things to be holpen there by you as well as you may."
Draft, corrected by Walsingham. Endd. "21 April, 1587. M[inute] to Sir Edward Stafford." 1 p. [France XVII. 57a.]
April 21./May 1. King John of Sweden to her Majesty.
Praying that his subject, Olaf Werne, sent with his ship, the Angel, into Spain, may pass through her maritime possessions without let or hindrance.—Court at Wadstena, Calend. May, 1587.
Signed. Add. Latin. ½ p. [Sweden I. 16.]
April 24./May 4. Antonio de Guavara and others to Don Miguel de Erasso Captain-general of the fleet of the Terra Firma.
On the 29th of last month, Francis Drake came into the Bay of Cadiz with 27 ships of war; bombarded the city, burned some of the ships in the bay, and put out again on the first of this month, sailing towards the south-west, which is the way to the Indies. According to what some English declare that were taken from the fleet, he is going in quest of the fleets and to do all the damage he may in the Indies.
They send this carvel to inform his honour of this, that he may provide whatever may be needful to prevent his sustaining any damage from these corsairs, and hope that if the enemy goes thither, things will turn out very differently from what he expects; so much do they count on his honour's care, valour and diligence.—Seville, 4 May, 1587.
Signed by Guavara and three others. Endd. in error (in later hand) "1585." Spanish, 1 p. [Spain II., 80.]
April 25. Paper endorsed by Burghley "25 April, 1587. The state of causes in justice between the English and French and the English and Scots." And in another hand "About matters of depredations, ab 25 March 1560 ad 25 March, 1585."
[No names given of men or ships; only statements of amounts claimed, paid, or still due.]
3 pp. [France XVII. 58.]
April 26./May 6. Antonio de Castilho to Walsingham.
Rejoices to learn by his honour's letter of the Queen's desire for peace. Hears that his Catholic Majesty has given commission to the Duke of Parma to carry through the business, which all hope may be brought to a happy conclusion.—Lisbon, 6 May, 1587.
Add. Endd. Italian. 1 p. [Portugal II., 27.]
April 26. "Extracts of 8 packets of Spanish letters sent in a bark of advice from Malaga in the Straits to the town of Melilla in Africa, where the King hath a garrison; and concerneth no matters of the Indies."
In the packet of Geronimo de las Barrios, captain of the footmen in the Melilla, no letters on matters of state, but only on private affairs.
In that of Gregorio de Arrano, master of the works at Melilla, letters and accounts concerning wares sold, money received etc.
In that of Juan Alveres d'Aguillar, master of the ordnance there, a letter signifying his Majesty's pleasure for the sending of brass pieces to Malaga to be new cast.
In that of Antonio de Texeda, captain of the city and fort, letters and accounts. Four letters signed with the King's hand, one desiring the said captain to certify the sufficiency of Juan de Bastillo to be paymaster in his uncle's place, another commending him for his good service and sending money for paying the garrison, redeeming of Christian captives and purchase of horses; a third, willing him to see that all things be well furnished, "for that he taketh such order in all places of his dominions." Also a letter from the King to the paymaster, desiring him to assist the captain in bestowing the money where most need is.
Two letters from gentlewomen, desiring to have their sons home that are in garrison there, and another declaring the hard usage they receive from the captain.
In the other packets there is nothing of importance "but that Secretary Escobedo and a cousin of his are committed to close prison, declaring the hard fortune both of the father and son; for the father was slain in the court, being Secretary, most traitorously, and now the son runs the same fortune, for that they have seized upon all his goods to the King's use; and his cousin that was in prison with him sent to Saragosa, a city far off and there slain. And so it is thought to be the end of this Secretary." The rest are on business, letters of attorney, certificates of notaries etc.
Endd. as in headline, and with date. 1¾ pp. [Spain II. 81.]
April 26. Horatio Palavicino to Walsingham.
I wrote to your honour from Frankfort on the 7th, the day of my departure, and then took my journey to this city, where I arrived happily on the morning of the 24th, notwithstanding the difficulties of the road and the snares of enemies, to whom I was very near. Now I must wait for the ships which are coming hither, for none will go from hence before their coming; and as I fear this may be delayed, I pray you to give orders for it to be as soon as possible. I greatly desire to arrive before the dispatch of 'La Huguerie, as I wrote in my last; and besides this, I hope that my personal relation of many things will not be fruitless. Meanwhile, I would have you know that in passing by Cassel, I visited the Landgrave, and have letters from him for her Majesty. He kept me three days and granted me long and familiar discourse, amongst other things assuring me that the two colonels, 'Bouk' and 'Bernelstolff' [Berndorf or Bernstorf] will not be hindered by the Electors of Saxony and Brandenburg and that they will be allowed to serve the King of Navarre. He was pleased that I had left in the Duke's hands all the money, and brought with me his bond for the execution of the enterprise, towards which he is extremely well inclined; believing it to be most necessary to the common cause.
He took occasion to write thereof to the Duke of Brunswick and exhort him to favour and aid it, which I hope will not fail to have good effect. At Brunswick I met Couvrelles, who is now about treating and concluding the agreement with the several colonels, and told me that he found no hindrances which would prevent him from making an end of it this month. I also met there with Dr. Junius, who had been to the Duke of Brunswick to ask licence for the raising and passage of 3000 horse, 4000 foot and 1000 pioneers for the service of Holland. The Duke has referred the matter to the Landgrave, from whom Dr. Junius hopes to obtain it.—Emden, 26 April, 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Italian, 1¼ pp. [Germany, States V. 41.]
April 27. (fn. 2) La Huguerye to Burghley.
Has been much dismayed at what he has learnt from M. de Buzenval on his return from court, as having been told him by his lordship, it being so different from what he had hoped that he cannot but put before him the just grief which will be felt by the Duke, that when—upon the hope given him by M. de Palavicini that her Majesty would assist him with all her power—he has given up his peaceful life, to take up again the difficulties and dangers of these affairs, caring more to give satisfaction to her Majesty than for the circumstances of the time or the warning of his friends, he shall find himself forsaken. What an example this will be to all other princes, who know what proof he has given of his affection for her service, notably at the assembly at Worms. Surely it will greatly cool their ardour, and will constrain his Highness to provide for his own and his nephew's preservation; and what is of still greater consideration is to see the succours for the King of Navarre in so ill a state, and that prince in danger of being forced to conditions of very dangerous consequence to her Majesty's affairs. As to which, he begs his lordship not to imagine, as some may have given him to understand, that all things are ready and settled, but to hold it for very certain that if her Majesty do not aid the Duke according to the hopes given to him, all will go very ill. Prays his lordship to think seriously of this.— London, 27 April, 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Germany, States V. 42.]
April 27. La Huguerye to Walsingham.
To the same effect and almost in the same words as the preceding.—London, 27 April, 1587.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. V. 43.]
April 27./May 7. Pompeo Pellegrini to Giacopo Mannucci, in London.
The last letters from Spain having been intercepted on the Landes of Bordeaux, I can say nothing of those matters, and but once a month do they dispatch from thence for Italy, so unless by chance a vessel come from Spain to Genoa, we here hardly hear ought but by the common couriers of the merchants, who also bring dispatches from court for the governors in these parts; "and commonly the Duke's ambassador there, my great friend, still adviseth me what passeth." As I wrote by my last, the four galleys of the squadron of Genoa had arrived at Barcelona, and were lading the two millions for Milan, and from thence the most part for Flanders. "The general of these gallies is gone to Turin to hold at christening the young prince of Piedmont, where on Sunday next will be high festival. The Prince of Spain by this last galley was sore sick of the small-pox and in danger.
"From Naples they write that the other four galleazzi are in hand and these made almost ready to sail for Spain. In Portugal hath been embargoed for the King's service the Duke of Florence's great galleon, which he is miscontented with and hath sent a courier express to get her released. She is a great ship and carrieth eighty pieces of brass, as our mariners and gunners that have sailed in her do know." Here is no talk of making of men, only the King has written to his cousin, Archduke Fernando, to have ready two regiments of lanceknechts, whose colonels, Madrucci and Lodrone served him both in the naval war against the Turk and in that of Portugal.
Since the receipt of your last, asking intelligence of Spanish matters, I have borrowed a hundred crowns and dispatched to Lisbon a Fleming who has a brother there in service with the Marquis Santa Croce, giving him address for his letters to me at the ambassador's house in Madrid, who will send them to me. He is a proper fellow and writes well. This was why I wished 300 crowns to be sent hither, as you know occasions offer on a sudden, and the distances do not permit delay.
For my particular, I thank you for procuring me the forty crowns of Mr. Bracey, "as also to see that honest man Broke paid, to whom I find myself much beholding. . . . For the rest, I am a pure Englishman, and consequently wish the good of England; the ruin whereof must necessarily follow, if it should come under the yoke of people divided from us by the seas, and specially of such whose insolency in regiment I am too well acquainted with." I do not mean to make a merchandize of my zeal and affection, but will not refuse relief from so loved and liberal a hand, "which I may do with honesty and conscience, and so, as the Tuscan proverb says, salvare la capra co' cavli. (fn. 3) —7 May, 1587, new style.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Spain II. 82.]
[The words in italics are in cipher, deciphered.]
April 28./May 8. Jacopo di Pisa to [Walsingham?]
[Departure of ships with troops from Naples and Sicily, all bound for Lisbon.]
Some Spanish captains have arrived who say they came from Flanders, and the friend I have there writes that 28 captains had been sent thither to raise men; but that most assuredly in a year they would not be ready; and I am of the like opinion that here, throughout Italy, they will not raise a single man. But in Germany, the opinion of some persons experienced in Spanish affairs is that this bravado is only to put her Majesty to greater charges. A galley has come to Genoa with 200,000 crowns, and four others are going to Barcelona to raise 800,000. Here have been furnished 600,000 crowns for Flanders, whereof it is said they have great need.
My wife and children returned on the 3rd instant by the galley from Barcelona to Genoa, and have not made ill cheer, for I have had to throw away much food that remained. My lord Paget is to have from the King the hundred crowns a month, beginning to-day, which were promised him here. Likewise, from Don Bernardino [Mendoza], Charles Arundel has eighty, Charles Paget 50 and Throgmorton 40, all commencing as above. From Rome we do not hear that the Pope is making ready to pay what he has promised for the enterprise here, but it is rather believed that nothing will be done this year.
Dr. Allen remains in Rome, and the King has given him an Abbey in La Paglia, of 3000 crowns a year.—Milan, 8 May, 1587.
[In T. Phelippe's handwriting, probably a decipher.]
Endd. Italian, 1 p. [Italy I. 21.]
April 30. La Huguerye to Walsingham.
Praying his honour to send him word by Buzanval whether he has received his packet, in which was also enclosed a letter for the Earl of Leicester. Sees by what M. de Bournan [i.e. Edw. Burnham] said yesterday that if so, the letters have availed nothing, and having lost three weeks, hoping to mend matters, earnestly begs, since it is hopeless, to have his congé and his reply from her Majesty; also Duke Otto of Luneburg's congé and his own passport. He cannot wait for the Emden or Hamburg ships, and having been informed that a vessel was being made ready for Palavicini and was to sail at the end of this week, desired to go over in her. But this not being so, he must seek such passage as he can, to lose no more time, and awaits his honour's summons to receive his reply from her Majesty and to take his leave.—London, last of April, 1587.
Add. Endd. Fr. ¾ p. [Germany, States V. 44.]
April. Memorial from the French ambassador "pour resouvenir M. de Walsingham."
To adjudge to the merchant owners all that was stayed at [South] Hampton, being in the ship of St. Jehan de Luz; they giving good security for the value thereof, in pursuance of the order taken in the conference with the Lord Treasurer, Thursday, 16 April [n.s.] 1587.
To grant commission for sending up the mariners of the said ship, to be questioned by the Judge of the Admiralty, or whoever the lords of the Council may appoint.
To grant commission to the merchant owner of the ship stayed at Guernsey to have sent up those who have bought goods which were in the ship, in order to declare before the Judge of the Admiralty how much they bought and what they have paid. And by the said commission to order all customers and farmers of imposts to deliver to the said owner the number of the goods "entrées en coustume."
To release a fly-boat in the port of Dartmouth belonging to merchants of Calais in exchange for one of equal size stayed at Calais, which M. de Gourdan offers to release. "Pour Michelot."
[Margin] "To be revisited."
Endd. "French ambassador's Memorial, April, 1587." Fr. 1 p. [France XVII. 59.]
April. [Walsingham?] to Duke John Casimir.
As not long since your Excellency wrote to her Majesty, my most gracious mistress in favour of a citizen of Strassburg, Jerome Neunner by name, and she by stress of weighty affairs lacked leisure to reply, I am bidden by her to make known to you that she most gladly received your letter and gave careful consideration to your request. But seeing that Jerome Neunner had promised to give her Majesty the monopoly of his services in making engines of war, and yet has almost totally failed to keep his word, she wonders that he should so forget himself that having had leave, after the lapse of hardly one year here, to visit his country and arrange his private affairs, promising shortly to return, and though he has not yet returned, not only is he dissatisfied with the very liberal gift which her Majesty bestowed upon him, but proceeds to demand through his agents a yearly pension. Her Majesty therefore prays you to accept this answer, and to believe that such is her munificence in compensating the meritorious, that she is most desirous to bestow upon them yet ampler rewards, while on the other hand she is careful to deprive of her benefits those whom she deems unworthy of them. And that there is therefore nothing to constrain her to keep her promise to pay Neunner the pension, seeing that even now when it is evident that men skilled in those arts will be of the greatest use to her, he is so far from practising them with assiduity that he seems rather to neglect them altogether.—Greenwich, April, 1587.
Unsigned Minute. Latin. 1½ pp. [Germany, States V. 45.]
[April or May.] [Walsingham] to [Sir Anthony] Standen at Florence.
"The heads of a letter to A.B."
That I was glad by his letters of—April [to hear] that my packet came safely to his hands, "containing such matter as the Scottish Queen stood charged withal."
"That before the receipt of those letters, we stood in doubt here of some levies made in Italy, for to be employed in the sea preparation in Spain intended for England.
"That although the generality were carried away with some doubt of the said preparations, yet men of judgment here, knowing the weakness of Spain by sea, so long as he is divided from his forces in the Low Countries, did never make account of those bruits.
"That to show how little we here did fear them, Sir Francis Drake is sent to lie upon that coast, with thirty sails of ships, and hath, sithence his repair thither, entered into the harbour of Cales [Cadiz], (fn. 4) and fired thirty of great ships and sunk two galleys, and doubteth not to stay there all this summer, notwithstanding the great preparations that are there made.
That . . . . there is some doubt that the French King will be drawn into the league; wherein Queen Mother is a principal instrument. The King, of himself, doth greatly hate those of the house of Guise; for that he understandeth most assuredly they have a meaning to deprive him of his crown and to sheaf [qy. shove] him into a monastery."
That I have given order for the making over to him of 300 crowns that he may resort sometimes to R[ome?] "to discover what practices are there a hatching against this State.
"That I doubt not but we shall so provide for them against the next year (for that this year I see no reason to think that anything will be attempted) as they that have contributed the great sums of money that the Pope hath of late collected shall have no great cause to think the same well employed.
"That her Majesty doth accept very well of his advertisements, and prayeth him that he will continue in doing good offices between her and the Duke."
That to avoid peril, I mean to write "in a Catholic style, and will subscribe my letters only with A.D.: and that he may do his with B.C."; and write as though to some Catholic here.
In the hand of Walsingham's clerk. Endd: "Heads of a letter to Standen at Florence." 3 pp. [Tuscany, I. 9.]


  • 1. The original draft ran "to repair unto her privately." When corrected by Walsingham, these two words should have been struck out with the rest.
  • 2. It is probable that as the Agent of the Protestant Duke John Casimir, La Huguerye at this time used old style.
  • 3. Salvar la capra e i cavoli, i.e. to do good to one without hurting another.
  • 4. On April 19.