Elizabeth: July 1587

Pages 328-345

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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July 1587

July 3. Buzanval to Walsingham.
An opportunity having arisen for enjoying the grant made him by her Majesty, he prays his honour to let him have the letter, that he may complete the business, if it may be done. As to the other matters of which he lately discoursed, he leaves them to his honour's judgment and good affection for public affairs.—London, 3 July.
Holograph. Add. Endd. with full date. Fr. ½ p. [France XVII. 92.]
July 3. "A note of complaints of our merchants against the French."
The chief are: 1. "That of our merchants trading to Rouen, whose goods, notwithstanding the general release, are like to be stayed by a decree of the Privy Council, because in the agreement between your honours and the ambassador, it was ordered that all ships stayed sithence the month of January should be released, so as the particular cases stand as they did until the commissioners appointed for those causes shall end the same."
"The goods of our merchants trading to Brittany, arrested by the Duke of Mercœur and sold by him after my first audience and complaint made to the King thereof during my last abode in France.
"The ships of Yarmouth men sold while I remained there.
"A new ship of Yarmouth taken at Blaye without any cause or colour of arrest but to serve the King, whereof though my lord Admiral hath written to the Duke Joyeuse twice, no restitution is made."
In Waad's handwriting. Endd. with date. 1 p. [France XVII. 93.]
July 5/15. "Advertisements out of Spain."
The Spanish army [i.e. armada] will be ready to go out upon its enterprise in a month at latest; the troops here only awaiting fit weather to go to join the said army of Lisbon. It is not yet known whither it is going; but it is not thought that it is to seek the fleet coming from the Indies, as for that end it would not be needful to make so great a store of victuals and munition of war as have been put into fifty great ships at Cales [Cadiz], with four galiasses and a goodly number of galleys. I was there two days ago, where I saw them load more than 6000 muskets and harquebusses etc.
In Lisbon there are at least as many vessels and greater than those above. There pass ceaselessly strong companies all drawing towards Lisbon. But they do not embark, which makes me think that they have not yet all the men needed for their design. The King of Spain has pardoned all the banished men and robbers who were in the mountains, in order to employ them. Two days ago, fifty captains arrived from Flanders, and went straight to the King, whence they will come to Lisbon. The Duc Despeche [qy. de Spes] has charge of this armée now making ready, and some say that he will have 15000 old Spanish soldiers out of the garrisons, without the bisognes [recruits] who are many more; but as to the old ones, I do not believe there are so many. There is one thing which makes many muse, which is that there are embarking with the said fleet twenty monks of each order. Some say that this armada is for Larache; others that it is for escort to the fleet of the Indies; but this I do not believe, for they would not have embarked so much victual for so small a voyage. These are people, as one knows, from whom one cannot learn about the enterprise; nevertheless, having access two days ago to some ancient captains, and discoursing thereof, they made so many enquiries what harbours there are in Brittany and if that of Brest is strong, I should fear they may mean to fall upon it, of which you and your town must be on your guard. And if this is not the design, and they wish to fall upon England, I know that the great attempt would certainly be made in Ireland, for being possessed thereof, they would be much nearer to England, and the King could send thither a second armada which would be ready to land where he pleased.—St. Jacques [Santiago], 15 July, 1587.
Endd. French. 1 p. [Newsletters XC. 33.]
July 6. Duke John Casimir to her Majesty.
I never thought to receive the answer which your Majesty has made me by the Sieur de la Huguerie, my counsellor, after he had clearly shown you the necessity of the business and the grounds of my resolution therein, upon your instance and the promises which M. de Palavicini, your ambassador has given me both verbally and in writing, and to many others also, that your Majesty would not forsake me in this charge, which he has been obliged to confess it is impossible for me to support alone.
I had hoped to have prevented this your reply by two dispatches which I wrote to the said la Huguerie while he was still with you, and had put into the hands of the said Palavicino, but instead of enclosing them in his Emden packet of April 20, he kept only my letters to your Majesty and sent the others back to me here. Being very sorry that you had not by them been enlightened as to the truth of the matter, I wrote again to you by the Sieur de Buy, then returning into your kingdom, besides which, La Huguerie assured M. de Buzenval of it, both from Hamburg and Brunswick. Which, together with some particularities which M. la Huguerie has reported to me of your Majesty's present conviction of the great trouble to which I have put myself alone and notwithstanding all hindrances, to satisfy your views (wherein I pray you to believe the said M. de Buzenval in what I desire him to declare to you) makes me still hope that you will not forsake so important a matter, and so well begun, or myself, most affectionate to your service, in the trouble wherein I find myself; referring myself to him both for this and as to the assurance which has been brought to me as regards the Low Countries, Denmark and others who are connected with this affair.—Heidelberg, 6 July, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. French. 1½ pp. [Germany, States V. 54.]
July 6. Duke John Casimir to Walsingham.
I need not repeat what I have written to the Queen of the necessity for what I have asked and still ask very urgently, as you will learn it at length from M. de Buzenval. Words go slowly from hence to you, while the matters themselves remain upon my hands. I wish you nothing but prosperity, yet if you were in my place, you would conceive how much cause I have to urge you for what I cannot hope for or find elsewhere. I have always valued your good affection to God's service, with which is bound up the preservation of the King of Navarre and of yourselves, and having so well begun, you cannot do better offices than in what I desire, without which we can hope for no assured result from your beginnings. I pray you then, both in this and in the matter of the Low Countries and of Denmark to further all these things, and to employ yourself in the States of the neighbouring princes with such diligence that we may speedily feel the effects thereof.—Heidelberg, 6 July, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. Frenoh. 1¼ pp. [Germany, States V. 55.]
July 6/16. Paul Grebner to Walsingham.
The writer, a German and a visionary, desires Walsingham [in a cloud of verbiage] to present a volume of his prophecies to her Majesty, and to procure for him in return aliquid subsidii; and the printing and publication of the work in England at the Queen's expense.—Hamburg, 16 July, 1587.
Signed. Endd. "From one Grebner, the new prophet of Germany." Latin. 2½ pp. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns, II. 61.]
July 11/21. Copy of a letter from Jehan Merel, mariner of Havre, to the French ambassador, on behalf of himself and Nicholas Vincent, complaining of the seizure and detention of their ships in the Isle of Wight, although he left London with commission and letters of assistance to retake possession of them.—Southampton, 21 July, 1587. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [France XVII. 94.]
July 12. "A note of the griefs of her Majesty's subjects."
1. "That such as were arrested in France have their sails and ordnance taken from them.
2. "That the arrest at Rouen is continued, notwithstanding the information given unto Bellievre, how the said arrest was not agreeable with justice.
3. "That Duke Mercœur hath sold goods appertaining to her Majesty's subjects to the value of 5000l., whereas the wine that the said Duke pretendeth to have lost amounted to not above the sum of 300l.
4. "That restitution be made of Sir Walter Rawley's ship."
In Walsingham's handwriting. Endd. with date. ¾ p. [France XVII. 95.]
[Before 15/25]
"Report of the Spanish preparations"
At Lisbon are 24 ships; 15 'Portingals,' 8 'Biskins' and one of the Duke of Florence.
Their provisions are on board, and their sails "across," but they want mariners, and are waiting for those of the ships which Sir Francis Drake burned in 'Cayles' [Cadiz], and for the soldiers from Naples, who are to come to Lisbon and all go forth together on St. James' Day [July 25] to meet with Sir Francis Drake and wait for their Indies (Inges) fleet.
Before Sir Francis Drake's coming it was reported that this 'army' should go for Ireland, and carry with them the Irish bishop who is in Lisbon, "for to proclaim him governor of Ireland under the Pope."
Drake arrived in 'Gaskaylles' [Cascaes], within sight of Lisbon on Whitsun Wednesday, after the Portingales' account; men, women and children leaving the town with all their substance. The Cardinal [Archduke] was informed by fishermen that "Drake's staying was for the 'nantonye' [qy. Don Antonio], for the winning of the country"; and presently sent for all his noblemen to sit in Council, and that day they made twenty-four Portingal gentlemen captains, some of them being sent up into the country to make soldiers in a readiness. Before my coming away they had armed two ports with Portingals, 'Gaskalles' and Penniche.
They have made many pieces of ordnance of copper, and of bells brought out of Flanders, before which they were not half provided of ordnance for the shipping. "Sir Francis Drake hath so touched them in their shipping and castles that they were almost unprovided both of provision and ordnance.
"The report is in all gentlemen's mouths in the Court of Portingayle that the Pope and the King of Spain and the King of France [and] the Duke of Florence, with all the power they are able to make [intend?] to conquer England this next year and saith the Prince of Parma shall come general and that the Pope hath granted him to be King of England, and to aid and assist him with all the power he is able to make."
Endd. 1½ pp. [Newsletters XC., 34.]
July 15. [The Duke of Petite Pierre] to his cousin [the Duke of Lorraine.]
As to what M. de Buy and your ambassador Haussonville are negotiating for the passage, and for the security of your subjects, I think they are playing a terrible farce, and that they wished the King of Navarre's ambassadors to charge everything upon them, and to send crude and rude articles; M. de Buy desiring to make one of that King's ambassadors to Heidelberg. I have defeated that stroke, so that he has not gone; nor has he approved these harsh articles, but has done what M. de Dommartin and Oberamptmann Weyer know; so that you may remain neutral, and your countries not be spoiled or burned, nor you forced to accept the said articles, which you could not well do. For, 1st, they wished you to promise to quit Liége; 2, not to prosecute those of the Religion in your country; 3, to give them free passage and security; 4, to give them 400,000 crowns. The reasons why, if you do not come to terms with them, they will be forced to make war against you are said to be these:—
1. That you are the chief of the house of Guise, who are trying to put hindrances in the way of the King of Navarre, and advance claims against him, and that to leave you in peace, seeing what means you have to content them would much weaken the forces of the said King.
2. That the King of France will prefer the war to be made in Lorraine, rather than in France, against those who have forced him, as is said, to take up arms against his will.
3. That the most part of the subjects of the crown of France will see thereby that the King of Navarre desires to spare them and only to attack the property of the Leaguers.
4. That it is needful for them to fortify some places in your countries and the frontiers of Germany, in order to have safe retreats for the French of the Religion, and meanwhile to keep the passages open and curb Lorraine from stirring against them.
Thus seeing how the comedy is played, and the misery of a continual war on the frontiers if they fortify these frontiers, I desired to assure you of the continuation of my good-will, in answer to your last letter. As you know, the King of Denmark [sic] is determined to employ all his means, and takes offence at the title of Majesty; also that he has made his son canon of Strasburg, desiring to make him King of the Romans; I wished to warn you to seek all means to make yourself neutral; for it will be needful to satisfy the ambassadors of the King of Navarre and to understand the ruse of him who plays the comedy.
For my part, I have made known my opinion on the four points:—1, that you must quit the League and offer to remain a neutral. 2. In order to leave your subjects freedom in Religion, you should declare that you search into no man's conscience, nor will banish any for love of the Religion.
And seeing that they have resolved, if they make peace with the King, that their brothers, as they call them, in Lorraine shall not be driven out, it is better to grant such an article in good time than after your countries are wasted.
For the 3rd article, i.e. the passage, since the Archduke Ferdinand has granted it, I advise you to do so also.
For the 4th point, the demand for 400,000 crowns—which is their chief one, for two reasons, one to give cause to their soldiers to be satisfied without pillage; saying that this is a country not yet ruined as France is—the Oberamptmann and have found a fitting means how this article may be treated; [see below] for to give them so much money at once might probably inconvenience you, and secondly, the Leaguers would think it ill done of you, to strengthen their enemies. On the other hand, none of the protestant princes will give passage to reiters for the Leaguers.
For the 2nd article, it is to be considered that there is with Duke Philip of Brandenburg, on behalf of the King of Denmark, a still greater army than this one. For the third, in case you stand upon your guard, the soldiers of the Leaguers will ravage your country as well, and may put all your territories in hazard, chiefly by the second army which will follow, and if you do not come to terms with them, will take Pfalzbourg, Finnetrange, Salbourg [qy. Sarburg], and Lindenstat, and leave a camp thereabouts. In this way, all my countries of the land of 'Lhuzelstein' will be ravished at the same time.
I send you M. Guitry's letter, as he desires, praying you to return it to me. Nevertheless, I have found a fitting expedient both for you and for my lands;—to write by the Oberamptman that you would surrender Pfalzbourg on condition that the Navarrese promised never to make peace unless the King of France returns you the 400000 florins for its redemption; and that meanwhile I would discharge the King and the churches of the money which they owe me from past wars, and from the contract of M. d'Aumale; and would be bound to the reiters for 300000 florins for their pay, and that Pfalzbourg should remain in pledge to them, with some other land. By this means, neither your lands nor mine would be wasted; you may be satisfied of your money and we shall both escape.
For if Duke Casimir fortified Pfalzbourg, having the disputes and actions with him as to the heritages which you know of, he would have me always under his thumb.
Thus, my cousin, I beg you to consider seriously, and if you do not find this method of escaping these hostile perils convenient, to propose others, that our lands may be protected.
You will have heard by M. de Ronquenalz how both the Queen of England and the Navarrese have demanded that my son should be made leader of the army and what fair offers Duke Casimir has made. They have been trying to persuade me, with many offers to be the Chief; but I see neither beginning nor end to the business, only confusion and great mobs of people so desirous to pillage a country, that they hardly spare these parts, though friendly to them.
I pray you send me your resolution upon this, assuring you that whatever I can do to help you to keep neutral and to preserve our lands, I will do very heartily; and knowing the humours on both sides, as soon as I learn your decision, I will make the attempt.—Ilkerich, 15 July, 1587.
Endorsed as to the Duke of Petite Pierre, in error. Fr 4 pp. [Germany, States V. 56.]
[Enclosed to her Majesty in the Duke's letter of Nov. 22. See under that date.]
July 16. The Elector Truchsess to Walsingham.
Thanking his honour for his letters, and expressing his pleasure that by his own to her Majesty and divers lords, the return of His Excellency the Governor has been hastened. Has not received the letters from her Majesty which he mentions. Will never cease to be her very loyal servant so far as the present state of his fortunes permits.—Flushing, 16 July, 1587, stylo veteri.
Signed. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [German States V. 57.]
July 16. Intelligence from Pompeo Pellegrini, at Florence.
The 5000 footmen under the conduct of Col. Biagio Capperzucco are ready to march next week, being hastened by a courier from the Duke of Lorraine, who returned this way back from Rome on the 9th instant, when one of the captains of that regiment (an old acquaintance of mine) told me they were hastened that they might arrive in "the French Countie" about mid August, "there to make alto [halt] or else to pass into the Duchy of Lorraine, if so [be] the King of Navarre's Germans intend to pass through either the one or the other province. Don John Manriques, a Spaniard, but born and brought up in the Emperor's court, is leaving a regiment of Lanzknechts in the States of Tyrol and Baviere" and has commission to make rendezvous with the Italians.
"By my last letters out of Spayn nothing but great doubt of those rich fleets daily expected; and Drake hath put a great terror amongst that people. The Fleming (fn. 1) sends me the discourse herein enclosed. . . . To me it came in the Castilian tongue, and remembering that at my being at your Court that tongue to be nothing 'in pritie' neither anything familiar to 3 [qy. the Queen] I resolved to turn the same into this vulgar, Who was the exhibitor I cannot learn, but I am well assured the King of Spain sent it to the Marques to Lisbon." Even now M. Lorenzo, brother to him there showed me a letter from which I see that I shall shortly be paid somewhat and that my letters have arrived safely. "Your 'Tygre' is at Alexandria, and we look for her shortly here. She shall receive all the help and favour I may, or my friends here."—16 July, 1587, old style.
Endd. by Walsingham's clerk. "From A. B. at Florence." 1 p. [Tuscany I. 10.]
[Probably sent by Standen, whom Walsingham calls A.B. (See p. 286 above).]
July 17. The King of Denmark to her Majesty.
We understand from your Majesty's letter that Emden seems to you unsuitable for the purpose of negotiating the peace, chiefly because, in case of need, matters could not be referred [to the principals] with sufficient ease and promptitude on either side. Also that the Duke of Parma thinks that it is for you to fix the time and place of the said negotiation, and lastly, that you will certify us of these by an accredited servant as soon as you have learned from the said Duke what his mind is in regard to the peace.
Whereto we send you our loving answer as follows:—In the first place you will see by the copy of the Duke's letter to us, dated last month and enclosed herewith, that he does not reject this friendly overture for peace, but even undertakes to send his commissioners to the place and at the time by us proposed. In which letter he makes no mention whatever of his having left the said time and place to you to decide, nor do we know what may have passed between you in regard to this business. Nevertheless, as he does not reject but embraces our friendly negotiation, while your Majesty deems the time and place appointed for it to be hardly convenient for either side; we must needs sound both your mind and his, whether you seriously desire this friendly treaty, and where and when you would have it take place. For as to sending our men to Belgium where there is scarcely a single place to be found exempt from the intrigues of faction, suitable for such a negotiation or even according our men sufficient security, we can by no means suffer ourselves to be induced thereto. Besides which, your own wisdom, even though we were silent, will apprise you that insomuch as our ministers—who while aforetime they were in Belgium on a mission from us in this business, were inhumanely treated by the soldiers on both sides, and barely escaped with their lives—have now returned to us, it would be hardly right, nay indeed it would be grievous to us to send them thither so often to no purpose and subject them to such peril. Wherefore we lovingly beseech your Highness, as you value our fraternal union, to inform us by letter as soon as possible, whether, where and when it is your desire and pleasure that this negotiation be undertaken, that we may weigh the matter and decide what to do, either in undertaking, promoting, or—if by our so pious, sincere and friendly zeal and endeavour we have gained nothing—in altogether abandoning this business.
We have made known your declaration to the Duke of Parma, and at the same time, in a friendly way have required him to defer for awhile the despatch (which he wrote he intended) of his commissioners to Emden, until he have a plain answer again from us as to your mind. And so we expect from your Highness a clear and perspicuous response at an early date.— "In Villa Logagger," 17 July, 1587.
[Covering sheet wanting. Pasted on to the back of the Queen's letter; see p. 323 above.]
Signed. Add. Endd. Latin. 2 pp. [Denmark I. 96.]
July 18. William Lyly to Walsingham.
When Mr. Waade was here, he informed himself of my case and promised to do what he could to restore me to favour where I was disgraced. I told him all my errors, and my desire to repair them and to be held a servant of her Majesty's and my country. He wrote that he had delivered the same and that it pleased your honour to accept my services. I beseech you to believe that touching my services to my mistress, I observed all loyalty, diligence and affection, and that my errors never smelt of crime, whatsoever my malicious observers have supposed against me. My course into Italy and the place of my abode there were sufficient to prove "that my retreat thither was to live as of my country, no contrary, but there to have studied in time to have served the same." I will go into no further details as I told all to Mr. Waade, but will all my life dedicate my services to your honour and pray for your long life and prosperous health.—Paris, 18 July, 1587.
Add. Endd. Seal of arms. 1¼ pp. [France XVII. 96.]
July 21/31.
[latest date.]
"Occurences of News."
St Gallen, Switzerland, 16 July, 1587.—We have certain news that our men going to the King of France, six days ago came to the confines of Lothringea. Yesterday came news from Shaffhausen "that the ten ancient Switzers who were sent from the five Popish towns to serve the King of France, were met by the King of Navarre's horsemen, who gave them the foil, and for the most part have slain them; whose captain was Redix von Sweitz." This day the news is confirmed.
Wiglosh [qy. Siclos] in Hungary, 16 July.
On the 13th inst. the Turk showed himself thereabouts, with horse and foot, and hard by the fortress carried away a gentleman's daughter and hewed a soldier in pieces. The next night, he set upon Shitmia [qy. Szigevar], "a flight shot from thence, with certain thousand men," set it on fire and burnt 130 "great countrymen's houses and 800 persons in them." The rest, partly he hath with his sables [sabres] hewn in pieces and part carried away captive. He tried to take the castle but could not, save that he set the roof on fire whereby some poor men were smothered and choked.
On the 15th, he entered five towns belonging to Bathimani two miles from Guisinge, which he partly spoiled and partly burnt. The rest of the men, beasts and spoil, he carried away. The Turks are assembling between Gran and Buda, to the number of 20000 men.
Vienna, 25 July. Yesterday the Pope's Legate delivered the hat and sword to the Archduke Ernestus, in the Augustine Friars church. Some think the Pope has sent him 100000 crowns, and some that he will be King of Polonia. The Legate is gone towards Gretz [Gratz] and so back to Rome. He hath had great banqueting and gifts bestowed upon him.
Prague, 29 July. No news from Poland. Our and the other ambassadors not yet heard by the Estates. "The election is deferred until the Chancellor be agreed with 'Borophsky.' There will nothing be done before Bartholomew time."
Frankford, 23 July. The King of Navarre's men have passed. There is not 5000 horse and foot in all behind, who are to be used for a rearward. Three hundred horse and footmen have spoiled and burnt a town near 'Strasborowe,' belonging to the Bishop, because they would not let them in, nor give them victuals for their money.
The Princes are returned from the Assembly at Naumburgh, but no one knows what they have treated there or concluded, for they called none of their doctors, councillors or secretaries into counsel, "but have distributed the offices amongst them, and served themselves. The Assembly hath been soon ended; God grant that some good be there done."
Rome, 25 July. Four thousand soldiers are gone out of the realm of Naples to Genoa. A new commission is come from Spain to muster soldiers. They of Malta have taken two Barbary galliots. "The Turk maketh the Goletta very strong." Captain Camillo Manelli, a Florentine, is here with the Pope's leave to take up soldiers for the Guise; and Sir Prospero Colonna is looked for to muster a certain number for the King of Spain.
Venice. 31 July.—Letters from Constantinople advise that Ochiali is departed, and Celesti, viceroy of Algiers is chosen in his place; or others say, the Grand Turk's son-in-law. Ochiali has left behind him a great treasure and one only son, whom "the great Turk had caused to be retained, as the custom in such cases is." Signor Marco Antonio [Colonna] is gone from Lisbon towards Terzera to meet the fleet coming from Peru; and "Draques" is retired into England. From Corfu comes news that the gallies of Malta "have fought with seven Turkish gallies eight hours long, and have taken the Turkish Assan Aga."
Rheinhausen, 15 July. Duke Casimir and his men of war gather daily to come to the place of mustering, which is to be about Hagenau. No great matter of horsemen are yet come, but they are looked for in great multitude; wherefore the Bishop of Spire has sent 700 quarters of oats over the river of Rhein to a place here next adjoining. The Bishopric of Spire is sending wine and oats at Duke Casimir's desire to the Neustat, "and if they had not done so, he would have fetched it."
We thought the horsemen would have passed the river, but some of them go towards 'Strasborowe.' The footmen "will not be suffered to pass the Marquis-ship [of Baden?]. They take the Berghstras[se] and so through 'Prurin' [sic] towards Brassels [qy. Bruchsel] and from thence to Wynegarten, through the county Palatine.
Meissenheim, 29 June. "Duke Otto of Lunenborowe passeth here through the County Palatine with 12000 horsemen and 10000 footmen; is almost past the river of Rhein, and goeth towards Elsass Zabern, where there meet him 12000 Switzers and 200 Gascons, 600 horsemen and many other lords and men of arms"; there will be in all 35000. There they muster, and from thence go towards Lorraine into France to the King of Navarre, who also is very strong. "The Guise feareth this matter, for he is not very strong, and his aid doth not come as it was thought; neither is the King well pleased with him. Duke John Casimir doth not go himself; but yet he is the chiefest in this action, and provided all things necessary, and is well provided of men of war in his whole county Palatine. And the lord Henry von Stein is daily looked for with 1500 horsemen . . . so that the Bishops upon Rhein and the Duke of Lorraine do fear him, and dare not put in ure that which they purposed.
Frankford, 16 July. All thought, as Duke Casimir had the chief banner and other furnitures made here, he would have gone himself in person; but for care of what might happen in the County Palatine, he hath committed the charge to some of his officers. "The Prince Elector of Mentz keepeth at Konigstein, and will not trust this matter."
Endd. 3¾ pp. [Newsletters XCV. 34.]
July 22. Truchsess, late Elector of Cologne to Walsingham.
Having already replied to his letter of June 21, this is only to inform him that although the Earl of Leicester has found affairs very unready, yet he hopes that the mere presence of his Excellency will work good effect. They will find by results what he himself has already written to her Majesty, his honour and others, and consequently who are her Majesty's true friends. —Flushing, 22 July.
Signed. Add. Year date given in endorsement. French. ½ p. [German States V. 58.]
July 22. William, Duke of Brunswick and Luneburg to Queen Elizabeth.
Is informed by his subject, John ab Horn, a citizen of Ulzen that an English merchant, one Harry Alington, in August and September last received in London two sums of 100l. sterling by his factors, Melchior and Andrew Berends, to be remitted by his servant Rizert [qy. Richard] Hassel to Daniel ab Eizenn at Emden; which servant, four days before the first payment fell due, departed from Emden, leaving a note to the effect that he had not money to make the promised payment, and that they had better sue his master for it.
John ab Horn accordingly wrote to his factor, Gerhard Heidtman, (who on Melchior Behrend's death had been put in his place in London), bidding him with all diligence procure satisfaction from the debtor; being greatly damnified by not receiving the money on the appointed day, and so unable to keep his word with those to whom he had proposed to pay it.
To this, his said agent replied that Alington had sold his house in London (where the money was borrowed) and was living with his family in a suburban villa, and in answer to the application for payment, tardily replied that if Horn would forego a third of the debt, and give two years' credit, he would find sufficient sureties for payment of the residue.
Meanwhile, he was living in good style in his villa, and 200l. would barely suffice for his yearly expenditure; this by reason of the trust he placed in some young nobles, either his patrons or connexions, and who, it was said, had inspired him with the hope that for two years no creditor would vex him by demanding payment of debt.
But as this delay and unjust failure to pay the debt was bound to result in very great loss and detriment to Horn's affairs, he had prayed the Duke to intercede with her Majesty in this his most just cause, that she would constrain the merchant aforesaid, her subject, to pay the debt, the amount whereof, principal, loss and interest included, would exceed 1050 thalers. [The rest only complimentary verbiage].—Celle Luneburg, 22 July, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. Latin. 3 pp. [German States V. 59.]
July 31. Buzanval to Walsingham.
Today M. de Stafford's minister has given me the letter which I send you. I am very sorry that there is discord amongst those who could do such good service, if they would come to an understanding. However matters may be, I do not justify the Abbé [del Bene] for taking such offence against his friends as he has done; but I dare assure you that up to this time he has not betrayed the public cause; for if you call to mind the good letters and advice which he wrote to make void the trial of the Queen of Scots, you will see this proceeded only from a mind resolute for what is good. I have them all, and know that they moved the Queen when I communicated them to her. It is the surest argument of his fidelity, to which however I would never trust the main parts of my master's affairs.
I also send you a letter to me from M. de Clervant, although I believe you already know what he writes.—London, last of July, 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [France XVII. 97.]
July. Stafford to Walsingham.
I send you a letter from M. de la Noue, written to me from Geneva.
"I am yet about that matter of 'Floushinge,' and to discover one that hath had conference with the Duke of Guise about it. I have his name and mark . . . yet I cannot hear what is become of him . . .
"There is somewhat a practising by Paget, Morgan, my lord Paget and the Bishop of Glasgow about Scotland . . . The Bishop of Ross is gone into Flanders about the managing of some practice. My lord Paget goeth shortly after about the same, under colour of going to the Spawe." [Undated.]
Holograph. Add. Endd. by Walsingham's clerk "July 1587." 1 p. [France XVII. 98.]
July. Spanish Memorial, endorsed by Burghley: "Discourse to move the King of Spain to enterprise some force against England."
The uneasiness caused by this Corsair Drake to Spain, and consequently to the whole world moves the writer (from desire for his punishment and zeal for his Majesty's service) to put in writing this short opinion, praying his Majesty to deign to listen to it with the same sincere good will with which it is offered.
His Majesty, as a most noble and christian Prince is the friend of peace, as appears from his having preserved it by good treatment of his friends and neighbours, as also by upholding his garrisons and fortresses, for, as is shown by many examples, ancient and modern, a powerful King, desiring to preserve what is his own, can take no better course, holding this as his maxim: che chi ben conserva, non acquista, ne meno conservando può levare la volontà a cattivi di procurargli disturbo.
These reasons should prevail more with his Majesty than with any other prince, since his great dominions are so scattered, and much of his power rests in things moveable, like the fleets of both the Indies, which cannot be defended by garrison or fortress.
And now this corsair disquiets the world, nor is it likely that he will pause, but will go on further and further, lured by his rich spoils and urged on by ill neighbours. His Majesty should therefore resolve upon the enterprise against England, the chief stirrer up of this trouble in the Indies; nor can he better do it than at this time, finding himself safe as to matters in the East and other princes of moment being occupied with civil dissensions which cannot be appeased, being for the cause of religion. Many other princes will be on the side of his Majesty and to none will it be so pleasing as to his Holiness, who is able to aid it greatly by men of war, money and prayers for victory.
The Spanish kingdoms, by the special grace of heaven are now strong enough to defeat any great army and navy whatsoever, having ships enough to conquer a much greater Kingdom than England, and captains, generals and soldiers, both by sea and land, accustomed to win battles, and more desirous to wage war than to hold garrisons.
His Majesty is bound to this enterprise in the first place by christianity [or Christendom] and also by his title of Catolico. His soldiers will go gladly for the rich booty there, that kingdom being the most luxurious [il piu delitioso] and richest in the world; where there are no soldiers save the few who have learned their trade in his Majesty's school [i.e. in Flanders] and no fortress at all of any strength.
[Concerning the invasion of Julius Cæsar, who pretended no other cause than the extension of the Roman Empire and withal made his conquests so quickly and with such glory to himself.]
There is no need to put forward the difficulty of a sea-fight, or to imagine an infinite number of vessels, as we have seen occasions when she has not been able to bring together forty vessels, although she knew that a fleet was coming no less strong than her own.
And granting that she could put together two hundred or more, most part of them are more fit for piracy than to fight a real battle. Nor can any comparison be made with Drake's successes, because so far he has not been brought face to face with soldiers whose ardour is ever increasing. Thus this Drake will go on increasing in daring, trusting more in their negligence than in his own valour, until, when they one day change to passionate resolution, they will make him, without doubt, fall into their net.
Still less must we imagine that this nation is particularly valiant by sea, since it was seen in the year of the naval defeat given by the Marquis of Santo Croce to the French at the island of Sun Michele, (fn. 2) that the first vessels which took to flight were the English.
If his Majesty will loosen the curb on his anger, the valour of his warlike soldiers will be sustained and their minds stimulated. There are no means of coming to terms with men, or one might rather say with women without faith and without laws, and the rather that they are already allured by the riches of the Indies, nor does he see any substantial difficulty which might interfere with the battle, if the matter be taken in hand with judgment, seriously and openly, and the rather that a royal enterprise cannot be prepared secretly, and even if possible it would not be well to do it. Thus it was the custom with the Romans to announce it by a herald, whereby they might quiet the suspicions which other princes might conceive of secret preparations, and that the enemies' charges might be increased by his calling in the aid of strangers, which is wont to prove the total ruin of the provinces and has often resulted in those succours making themselves masters of the realm which had called them in, as happened in this same England, when it took the name of 'Angli' from the stranger nation called upon for help, who in short time made themselves masters of the whole.
Stranger soldiers, who care for nothing but their pay, if they lack their due, fall quickly into mutiny, and it is doubtful how this Queen's treasure might support so great a charge. It is known how much a single regiment of Germans receive, and no others are to be had, the French being occupied with their civil wars; and in short, of whatever nation they were, all would be in confusion in that realm, and the Queen made odious to her natural subjects, since she alone would be the cause of the evil, who now stands in fear of the discontented and the Catholics, for though they cannot be relied upon, it is very likely that there might be tumults in favour of his Majesty.
The enemy may adopt three ways of defence, putting aside the procuring aid of foreign princes.
The first, that having called in great numbers of foreign soldiers, they should resolve on a naval battle; the second only to defend the land; and the third, which is the worst, to resolve on both these things, dividing her forces between land and sea. As to trusting only to the sea, although they should have a greater number of men and ships, he holds the victory secure, as the quality of the Spanish vessels will suffice to withstand the whole armada which may be united in the northern parts, especially if they are disposed in the following manner.
Nave di Gabbia (fn. 3) 60. Soldiers 18000.
Galleons, 25. Soldiers 10000.
Galleasses 6. Soldiers 3000.
Galleys 40. Soldiers 4000.
Pinnaces and pataches, 40. Soldiers 3000.
Vessels 171. Soldiers 38000. Spaniards 16000. Italians 12000. Germans 10000.
There must also be 2000 pioneers distributed in the said ships.
It will be very important also to have 1000 horses, seeing there are very few war horses in that kingdom, and the country is open and very suitable for them.
Does not speak of artillery, munition etc., supposing that these will easily be provided.
Above all, they must seek very quickly to attack the fleet, which, with all its power, will not be able to withstand his Majesty's. And God having given them the victory, they must at once land in England, in a port convenient for the ships which should continually go and come, both from Spain and Flanders, carrying necessaries and assuring the sea, for the enemy's fleet being routed, it is not likely he can bring together ships to resist them, as the English will have enough to do on land and their confederates would be much troubled to gather a fleet; for on innumerable occasions has been seen the negligence and confusion of allies, they not being able to do anything effectual save in the first impetus.
The troops being disembarked, a site must be seized where an earth fortress must be quickly built and fortified, and a sufficient garrison left there for its defence; after which the whole army should march for London (unless the naval battle had been so sanguinary that there were not 15000 men left, in which case the captain general must do what he finds best) for great peoples who for many years have not had an overthrow are incredibly timid, no one taking any important resolution, or knowing what course to steer. For example, see the sack of Rome by the Duke of Bourbon, and in more recent times the famous sack of Antwerp. But if he wait until the people round about overcome their fears and recover courage, it is impossible to take great cities by force.
If the enemy resolve only on defence by land, they will at once lose their greatest power, for they boast of being the stronger at sea; yet they will not be able to hinder the disembarkation, seeing that it has been often declared on other occasions as a thing impossible to prevent, and once landed, an army of the strength mentioned above may sustain itself against anything the enemy can do, the wise and prudent general making good use of the situation; and if by chance he should find the enemy reluctant or not yet able to give battle (as it is not probable they will be, the Queen not having the Indies to supply so great charges) and ours should remain there some days, the enemy will be disheartened, seeing that the invaders do not leave the sea, but keep it always behind them for convenience of victuals, although the better part would be to fight as soon as possible, the whole depending on the suddenness of the battle.
And if the enemy resolve on defence both by sea and land, the first thing to do will be to rout his fleet, in order that it may not annoy the ships going to Spain, whither they should return, leaving only the galleons and the galliasses.
It will doubtless be easy to defeat this fleet and this will much facilitate a victory on land and the further carrying on of the enterprise by the wisdom of the Captains general; these only needing a sudden resolution in all things; wherefore by the help of God, in a very short time the whole thing will be made easy, seeing that that kingdom is open and without any fortress whatever.
Does not treat of the advantages which would result from the conquest of England, as they are so plain that all may see, but would have consideration taken of how much the defence of the fleets imports every year, and the trouble which will go on ever increasing by the injuries done by the enemy in all parts.
Some will say that France will join to hinder the enterprise, but this is impossible because of the discords there already mentioned. She could do nothing by sea, for she has neither quantity or quality of ships to obstruct the passage, as was shown at the naval battle at the island of St. Michele, when twenty-five vessels of Spain routed sixty of theirs.
And if they wished to land in his Majesty's country by way of diversion, they could only do so in three places, one of which is the frontier of Navarre and Ghipusca, where one knows the roughness of the passes, the well furnished fortresses and the warlike people, as much so as in any part of Spain. It is not to be thought that they would attempt it by the state of Milan, so faithful to this crown, and where, besides the opposition which might be given by the Duke of Savoy, his Majesty's son in law, there are in every pass fortresses to hold at bay and wear out an enemy for a year, even if the governor did not resolve, for his Majesty's sake to attack it. And if they should wish to attempt anything by Flanders, putting aside the hatred conceived in that people by the tragedy of Alençon, and calculating the worst, which would be for the soldiers of his Majesty to be shut up in their garrisons, this is to believe that what were gained in so many years and with so much blood would be lost in a moment, and even so, this would not interfere with the brevity of the battle in England.
There will not want those who will speak of some stirring on the part of the Turk, which presupposes that he is freed from the Persians and Tartars, whereas it is notorious how they press upon him and that he could do nothing more than some incursions and plundering of villages and open places upon the coast; for is it not known how much time he spent at Malta, which defended itself so valorously against his great power, forcing him in the end to depart with hurt and shame; and if he should wish to undertake anything of importance, he would have all the princes of Italy against him, as being the common enemy.
Denmark and Germany, so much thought of by many, can only aid for their own interest, having no other cause to assist England, for they cannot suspect that if his Majesty should make himself master of that realm, it would prejudice them in any way; nor would the cause of religion prevail therein, from the diversity of the opinions held by the Lutherans and the Calvinists, so that who has most money in that land shall have most part of the German people.
All enterprises are in God's hands. His Majesty has just cause to act, et poi il pro et il contro si resolve in infinito.
To God then be the issue commended, who on other occasions has shown himself to favour with his divine aid his Majesty's just enterprises.
Endd. by Burghley as above. Italian. 13 pp. [Spain II. 83.]


  • 1. Deciphered "party," probably designedly.
  • 2. The defeat of the French Naval Expedition under Strozzi in aid of Don Antonio, in July, 1582.
  • 3. Ships with round tops or cages.