Elizabeth: November 1587

Pages 409-429

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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November 1587

Nov. 1/11. J. Wroth to Walsingham.
His last was written four days ago. They now hear that the Spanish fleet is not like to go to sea this winter, most part of the Marquis of Sta. Croce's ships being much weather-beaten by his last voyage to the islands.
It is written from Rome that Cardinal Allin is shortly going to Spain, but "although through his many platforms (fn. 1) he hath gotten his Cardinal's hat, yet I think him to be so sufficient that, without his own peril, he will leave the execution thereof to others, and keep himself at Rome, where, through daily courtesies and duties, he may procure the goodwill of them who may help him to be blessed or beato; when as occasion shall be presented.
"Two days past, this Signoria despatched commission to their ambassador in France to deal with her Majesty's ambassador there about the taking away of the new custom of currants, as well in England as here . . . which will constrain them to come to some good composition, for they make profession to make all the world fools. Her Majesty may with this occasion confirm many privileges for our nation in these parts."
The Duke of Savoy is levying soldiers, some think only to withstand M. 'de Diguières,' who has taken two places in the Marquisate of Saluzzo; afterwards retiring into Dolphiny. Others think the preparations are for Flanders; whither (as rumour says) the Duke of Savoy shall go governor, and the Duke of Parma be sent as chief captain of the League into France. Believes it to be rather for the former occasion, or else for some enterprise against the Marquisate of Saluzzo or Genoa, for the winter is not a season to send soldiers over the mountains, nor does he think "that the King of Spain will give the Government of Flanders into the hands of a prince so little practised, as well in the wars as the world," especially as the sending of the Duke of Parma into France would make the factions there come to agreement.
Uncertain rumours are spread of a truce between the Turk and the Persian for six months.—Venice, 11 November, 1587.
Add. Endd. 1¼ pp. [Venice I. 23.]
Nov. 2/12. De L'Aubespine Chasteauneuf to Burghley.
On behalf of a French merchant named Nicolas Masselin, who having been spoiled by the English about a year ago, presented his informations to the commissioners deputed by her Majesty to do justice to the French, and was by them given redress against one named Thobie Franche, in the sum of a hundred pounds sterling.
Masselin having had this sentence put into execution, the said Franche went to prison in default of payment, and would have remained there until now, but that, in order to defeat the said Masselin of his pay, he devised the trick of carrying the cause before the judges of Common Law. Prays his lordship to prevent the matter being referred to other judges than those who gave the sentence—whose judgment, they being commissioned by her Majesty, should be final and without appeal—and to order at once that the said sentence shall have its due effect, seeing that tomorrow the cause is to be called before the judges of Common Law.
Has also on his hands many other poor Frenchmen, whose petitions his lordship already has in his hands, and which he is begged to settle forthwith; as also that of Francois le Pape, who is waiting for the rest of his payment.—London, 12 November. 1587.
Postscript. Asks his lordship to write to the Lord Chief Justice [of Common Pleas] in favour of Masselin; that he may not take cognizance of the cause, but that all may be referred back to the Commissioners.
Signed. Add. Endd. "2 November." French. 1 p. Seal of arms. [France XVII. 133.]
Nov. 2/12.
[latest date.]
News from divers parts.
Antwerp, 7 Nov. [n.s.] 1587. The Goesi (fn. 2) have this week taken three vessels coming hither from Diest and Malines, killing some of the people in them and then, going before the break of day to Arscot, on the opening of the gate, entered by force, and killed the guard, sacking the town and carrying off many persons of quality.
The Duke of Parma continues to make ready for war by land and sea; gathering his people into the field, and collecting great store of biscuit and beer, with ladders and other instruments of war. And as it is said that the King of Scotland has declared himself against England, and has granted leave to the Catholic King to enter all his ports with his fleet, it is held almost for certain that it is to make some enterprize against the English Queen; who, suspecting it, is making provision against it.
There is no more talk of the treaty of peace, but advices from Brussels say that his Highness had recalled Signor Andrea de Loo, who was on his way to England.
There is a report that the States of Holland and Zeeland intend of themselves to treat of peace with the Duke, since the Queen of England meant to do so without their participation therein.
Four thousand Italians and three thousand Spaniards have arrived at Maestricht, come lately from Italy, and it is said that the Duke of Parma is made General of the Italian league; but whether he will go into France is not yet known.
Cologne, 12 Nov. The soldiers of Vartendonc go out daily on excursions, doing very great harm in all places, for they have free passage every where. The other evening they went with 180 horse to above Bonn, between Orchel and Linz, to make prisoner Count Salatin d'Issemburg, but their design did not succeed, as he withdrew into a castle. The most Christian King was at Orleans, with 8000 men, and was expecting the Dukes of Guise, Mayenne, Delbœuf and Lorraine with their forces, and then to attack the enemy.
The Earl of Leicester has sent out a protest in print against the States of Holland and Zeeland, in which, amongst other things he says that as they not only would not acknowledge him as their defender, but moreover have brought him into very ill consideration with his Queen, he was forced to depart, and to make known to the world that he had come from England to serve and defend them and not to play the lord over them; whereupon the said States have re-assembled at the Hague, to deal with this matter, and others concerning these two provinces.
Venice. 12 Nov. The Prince of Bessignano is expected in Pesaro to pay his respects to the Duke of Urbino, his cousin, who is said to be going to the government of Milan. . . .
From Boseveino, a castle sixteen leagues from Cracow, where the Archbishop of Naples was of late, they write by letters of Oct. 26, that the Prince of Sweden, in the oath taken to the Polish ambassadors at Dantzig, swore, amongst other things not to shed human blood; not to restore the part of Livonia which used to belong to Lithuania, and that after his death, a king should be elected of his blood; desiring authority to proceed criminally against those who should commit homicide, against the privileges of Poland, which with some trouble was granted; from which it was believed that those people would not consent thereto, and from Prague other letters writing on these matters of Poland say that this Swede has gone to the City of Toren [Thorn] in Prussia, from whence he would go to meet the Queen widow, his sister, at a place called Petechau [qy. Piotrkow] thirty leagues from Cracow, the magistracy of which has been changed by the Grand Chancellor.
It is said here, that by reason of the divisions between the Hollanders and Zeelanders, and seeing that their fortresses are not well furnished of soldiers, the Duke of Parma will attempt some enterprise against Holland.
They write from Spain and also from Venice that the Catholic King has taken up 100000 men for the service he has in hand.
Endd. Italian. 1½ pp. [Newsletters XCV. 35.]
Nov. 10/20. Dr Schulte to Walsingham.
I know that your honour is fully occupied with weighty affairs of state, and has no leisure to read or hear a long story. Moreover it is only a few days ago (on the 8th of this month) that I wrote to you and the Treasurer, giving you full information as to all points, which I gave to be carried by the English ambassadors. I hope you will gather from them my opinion on the whole matter. Moreover the Senate has written to the Queen and your Excellencies, so that anything lacking in my letter may be supplied from theirs. They have transmitted a few articles upon which they think the new residency at Hamburg could be established. I leave these to your Excellency's scrutiny, but will add one remark. In the article about religion, nothing more can be obtained by you openly, unless we wish for a commotion amongst our churches here. But it might be possible to make a further secret concession if such were demanded, and we were not urged to put it in writing . . .
If, in regard to this one article you will trust to the good faith of the Senate, I think there are no difficulties in any of the others; and that the Queen, your lordships and the Adventurers will be content with them, and give a definite and early reply.
"But my real reason for writing again is that a certain good and educated German of Meissen in Saxony, a zealous student of theology and the scriptures, has written and designs for her Majesty a book which he is now sending over, wherein he has predicted and prophecied many things in regard to all the realms and nations of the world now and in future times, until the day of judgment.
This man has lived for nearly two years in this neighbourhood, and has often told me wonderful things about the revelations and visions shown to him by Divine agency, although he is but a simple man, formerly a schoolmaster, not very learned in history, and with even less knowledge of the condition (or even the names) of the regions and realms of the world. These revelations he has put together in writing . . . and has told me that he wishes to send the book to the Queen, chiefly because many things in it concern her and her realm, and which might console and encourage her in the present tumults and evils threaten ing on all sides, as they are of happy omen for her and all other Evangelical princes. . . . He has already offered it to many German princes and to the King of Denmark, and knowing no one in England, has asked me (as one sometime an ambassador there) to commend him and his book to your lordship, who, he has learned, has no little favour and authority with her Majesty. I, for my part, on account of our common bond of religion and our love for each other, nay for the sake of the safety of the whole Christian commonwealth, the future prosperity of England and the happy issue of the present wars, could not deny him the favour. And so I pray that his action and mine may have her Majesty's favourable consideration, and that your lordships will offer the book to her in the good man's name with all due reverence and a short explanation of his life and the purport of his writings.
If so, I doubt not but that what he has written will be to the great advantage of England and no small encouragement to her Majesty . . . I understand also that he has high hopes of a return from her Majesty and that she will not be unmindful of him, since his book has been no small expence to him in writing and drawing the pictures (although the latter are not very elegant). . . —Hamburg, 20 November, 1587.
Add. Endd. Latin. 3 pp. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns II. 78.]
Last date
Nov. 11/21.
Documents in relation to Nicolas Ouseley.
Proceedings against Nicolas Ouseley (Oseley) an English merchant in Malaga, on Aug. 4, 1587, by virtue of the King's letters of 31 July.
"Don Mendo Rodrigues de Ledesma" chief governor and justice of this city, in presence of me, Pedro Rues Flores, chief clerk to the Council there, said he had received a letter from the King "to do certain diligences in secret." And presently went to the prison where the said Nicolas Oseley was, and ordered him to be brought to his house, where he demanded to know what books, letters or writings he had, and where; who on oath said they were in his lodging in the prison, where they were found.
The confession of the said Nicolas Oseley, [in answer to the interrogations of the said Chief Justice.] He said he was an Englishman, born in a town called Bristol; that he had been in Spain 22 years, and in Malaga seven; is a citizen there, but has sold his possessions to pay his debts. The other 15 years he was one year in London and all the rest in Galicia, Seville, and Lisbon. In Seville he learned the language. His parents were Francis and Margaret Oseley, now dead.
He came to Spain "to learn the trade of merchandise, as he hath, always used."
He traded there not with his own goods, but with the goods and money of James Hawes, "one of the twenty-four of London" who died about five years ago, and before and after with John Watts and John Hawes and one Giles. Floode by order of Peter Martinez, citizen of Seville, and other merchants, and also had dealings with John Bawtista de Santa Cruz, of Veles Malaga.
He wrote to his masters in England by the ships that came by sea, and by land sent them by Peter Martinez, "of whom he had answer of them."
He was imprisoned eight months since in Malaga, and wrote by a French ship, name unknown, to one Richard Colvell and Henry Bichar, Englishmen in London), telling them of his misery and of the stay of all Englishmen and also of divers hulks, because they brought English commodities.
He does not remember writing any other letters, and what letters he has received are in the straw basket which the Justice had out of his prison.
There was no other Englishman at liberty [sic] in Malaga but one William Reynolde, now in prison in this city.
Since coming to live in Malaga, he has had conversation and dealings with all, but privately with none.
He also had dealings with Hugh Leyton of Seville, William David dwelling in St. Lucars, and Robert Tonsone of Cales, who formerly dwelt at Veles Malaga.
At this present, he had no goods in Malaga, but in time past had to the value of four or five thousand ducats.
The biggest book found in the prison is his own, in which he kept his account with his masters, and the lesser one belonged to William Reynolds. He believed Reynolds had other books, and he had dealings with George Barnes and John Barnes of London, who were his masters.
And he declares that this is all he knows "in truth by the oath that he hath taken; and that he is of the age of thirty years, little more or less, the which he subscribed with his name." Underwritten,
1. Copy of the King's letter to Don Mendo Rodrigues deLedesma, governor of Malaga.
Understanding that there was in that city an Englishman named Nicolas Oseley, who had lived there certain years and had much dealing with England, and particularly for to give advertisement to that realm of what passed in Spain, his Majesty commanded the said governor in July last to lay hold on him and to arrest his books and papers, and to take his confession. And also if there should arise any other persons faulty in the said city to put them in safe keeping, and particularly to apprehend John Bawptista de Santa Cruz, Luis Coxete, Christophall Cano and Diego de Madrid and others: being advertised by his Council of War that by Oseley's confession, they had had conversation and trade with England, and have received Englishmen and their goods into their houses, contrary to his Majesty's will and pleasure. Due proof being made of their guilt they are to receive punishment according to their deserts, and their goods to be sequestered. [Further orders concerning those outside his jurisdiction, and the four persons mentioned above]. If any appeal, he is to grant the appeals and remit them to the Council of War.
And he further commands all justices of these his kingdoms to fulfil his "letters requisitorias," to whom the Governor is to give all aid and favour in so doing. He is also to call before him all persons by whom he may be informed concerning the said matters, "taking their sayings and oath upon a certain pain to be inflicted upon them" in his Majesty's behalf, giving him power "to order, decree and condemn all such as shall go against it" in as ample manner as the cause shall require.— Court at Segovia, 17 October, 1587.
II. Petition of Nicolas Oseley to the Justice of Malaga, presented 8 November, 1587.
Has been a prisoner in the Common gaol of Malaga for a year, being apprehended by Don Diego Ordonez de Lara, then chief justice here, as an Englishman. By his honour's command he was set at liberty, yet presently stayed again. Has dwelt many years in this Kingdom, and having now not only lost what he should have gained by his industry but also spent all his goods, he humbly prays for his discharge and liberty.
III. The accusation against Nicolas Oseley, given 14 November. 1587.
Joan de Caravazall, fiscal, says that "Nicolas Oseley thismany years, as well before the prohibition as since hath had trade and conference with England, writing and receiving letters in the English tongue; giving them advertisements of all that hath passed in these kingdoms; the which hath been the cause that the English pirates hath done so much evil in these kingdoms and in the Indies." He was factor for divers English merchants dwelling in Seville, who gave him 200 ducats a year and other profits. In his possession were found many letters and papers in the English tongue, all of which have been sent to the King; he "having knowledge of the offences committed by the said Oseley, which be very offensive and grievous.
Prays that the said Oseley may be condemned "in the greatest and the most grievous pains, into which he hath fallen according to the right and equity of the laws of this realm; executing it in his person and goods for his punishment and example of all others." Desires justice and costs of his suit.
IV Reply of Nicolas Oseley to the above, made by Luis Delgado his attorney, 21 November, 1587.
Says that his "party," Nicolas Oseley should be cleared of the accusation, it being no true relation and ought not to pass; firstly because there are other things in it than the said Oseley confessed in his examination, and secondly that it is not just that he should be accused of what he has not committed and they cannot prove. His trade was lawful and good, and the writing of letters is no offence, for he had not had time to, write concerning his estate and the misery he was in respecting his suits or to give advertisements "any way redounding to the hurt of these kingdoms." If there have been men of war by sea, it is no fault of his, "who hath been long time in Spain and in this city a man of good wealth until the suits in law between him and William Reynalls and his wife hath undone him. And although he be an Englishman born, he is a principal man, very honest, a good Christian, fearing God and his conscience . . . and zealous in the Catholic faith." Humbly prays that the accusation may be made void and his "party" set free. Desires justice and costs of the suit.
Endd. 4 closely written pp. [Spain II. 86.]
Nov. 15/25. M. la Roque to Walsingham.
Has had the pleasure of meeting 'Mr. Griville' in this place, and they have often spoken of his honour and of the rare virtues with which God has endowed him. Has never forgotten the kindness and good entertainment received from him when he came over to her Majesty by command of the King his master, and has only not written because he did not think his letters worthy of giving his honour the trouble of reading. Rejoices at the happy victory which it has pleased God to grant them, and of which Mr. Griville (?) will be able to give a good account.—St. Martin, Isle de Ré, 25 November, 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd. French. 1 p. [France XVII. 134.]
Nov. 17/27. Ottywell Smyth to Walsingham.
This day certain news is come from Spain that whereas the King had commanded all his army of ships to stay till the next spring, and the men of war to lie in garrison in the towns, now he has suddenly caused all the ships to be made ready and all the mariners to go aboard. Report says there are above a hundred great ships, and that most go "norwards," either for England, Scotland or Ireland; but they think for Scotland. From Flanders there is news that twenty ships are arrived at Newport and Dunkirk, laden with pitch, cables, anchors and other things for ships, bought in Denmark by the Prince of Parma. And that the Prince is gone towards the sea-coast with all his army, and great store of small barks and flat hoys. "I pray God save England from traitors, and especially upon the sea coast . . . and that there be not too much credit given to the Scots." The Bishop [of] Rosse, a Scotsman here in Rouen, went to confer with the Prince of Parma about three months past, "which is an utter enemy both to the true church of God and all England, and one that doeth nothing but invent treason against England." This news I was requested to give you by John Toper [i.e. Tupper].
As I hear from any merchant of credit in Spain which way the army is gone, I will write to you of it.
Last Tuesday night, above 2500 of the Allemands were slain by M. de Guise's camp; being betrayed and taken in the night lying by a castle in a small town. (fn. 3) The General of the Allemands is slain, but none of the French men were amongst them. It is reported here "that twelve thousand of the Schwarzreiters ('swaderowters') are going back into their own country, and the French King giveth them all their pay, with 10000 crowns to the chief of their army."—Rouen ('Roanne'), 27 November, 1587.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [France XVII. 135.]
Nov. 18/28. News from divers parts.
Venice, Nov. 28. On Saturday evening we had letters from Lyons giving news of a defeat of the reiters by the Dukes of Guise and Mayenne, in a village two leagues distant from Montargis; when 1500 were killed, some by the sword, others burnt when the village was set on fire, as is alleged. Of prisoners a thousand; besides the booty of 1200 horses, as many corslets, and the pillage of the baggage of 21 cornets.
It was reported that their chief captain was dead and that among the prisoners were some of their principal men, who had fought on foot, and not in their proper dress, for want of time to get to horse; being attacked at night unexpectedly, both by the troops and by fire.
The Duke of Mayenne was in great danger, for being with his cornet of volunteers, watching to prevent the escape of the enemy, and seeing a good troop of them coming who had drawn together, with only sixty horse he threw himself amongst them and put them to flight; receiving many pistol shots, which, however, did not harm him, owing to his good armour.
Some Swiss colonels from the Huguenot camp had been with the French King, who (according to letters from Paris of the 3rd) was then near Orleans; some said in order to treat of returning home, others that it was to try to accommodate matters; but they had returned to Estampes to join the rest. The Guises are said to be at Montargis. Navarre had disbanded his army for six weeks, to rest themselves; and a man had come from him to the Court, to speak to the King; but his Majesty not only would not hear him, but sent him word to depart within an hour, or he should be hanged.
This letter also confirms the defeat and death of Joyeuse, of the Grand Prior his brother, and of 400 gentlemen of his side. On that of Navarre, there are said to be missing M. de la Tremouille and the Vicomte de Turenne, and that it is not known whether the Prince de Condé is alive or dead.
We have many and divers advertisements of the affairs of Poland, and amongst them, that Maximilian was battering Cracow on three sides, and that, on the 10th instant, he entered that city amidst much applause; yet later news from Vienna says nothing further of this, but only that the ambassadors written of before were gone from Cracow to his Highness to excuse themselves for not favouring one more than another for the crown; seeing that they did not know which was in truth the rightfully elected King, and that in a congregation of Poles it must be settled which of the elections, his own or that of the Swede was the legitimate one. To which his Highness replied that he was legitimately elected, and that if within two days they did not resolve to accept him lovingly, he should batter the city. Succours continue to come to him from all parts. From day to day they are expecting those from Lithuania; and the last letters from Vienna say that it was not known where the Swede was. There is put about the copy of a letter written to Maximilian by the Muscovite, who is said to have offered him 30000 horse.
News is come that the Po has burst its banks in all places from Turin hither.
The ambassador of Florence on Sunday took leave of the Prince and the Signoria. On Monday he was banquetted by the proctors, Giovanni Michele, Matteo Zane and Alberto Badouro, and on Tuesday departed to return to his Master; being presented with a collar of 500 ducats in the name of his Serenita, and much satisfied by the favours received in this city.
The last advices from Spain say that the Marquis Sta. Croce was expected at Court, having given orders that his armada should be refitted.
It seems that the Duke of Mantua is not to go into Monferrato until after Christmas. These signors are sending Colonel Antonio Cavall; as Governor to the 'Orcinuovi' in place of the Signor Mario Bonello, who has licence to come hither to purge himself; and Gio. Battista Caracciolo is going as captain into the government of Istria.
Prague. Letters of the 10th say that the last advices from Poland were that Maximilian was still beneath Cracow, not failing to do all offices whereby those within should become willing to receive him as their King; but it appears that they continue in their obstinacy: that having been succoured by 1500 horse from Silesia and a good number from Moravia, together with some pieces of artillery, it is believed his Highness will shortly make them feel the force of his arms: that the grand chancellor has not lacked any diligence to keep matters firm in the city; having beheaded certain citizens who were suspected, and that the Swede and his sister proceed on their way, rumour saying that half a day's journey from Cracow they had been met by more than 12000 horse. The said Swede had written to the Emperor, praying him to do good offices with his brother, but his Majesty's reply is not known. He is thought to be holding a Diet, to procure aid for him.
Constantinople. Letters of the 28 of last month tell of the carrying on of the war in Persia, and of the extreme scarcity in Constantinople and the places round about. News is come of a defeat given by Simon the Georgian to the Turks, with the death of 5000 of them, and that there is no more talk of the peace. Ambassadors from Transilvania had arrived at the Porte to bring their tribute, but they knew nothing of the affairs of Poland, although the Chiaussi who were in the convent at Warsaw and had returned gave an account of the manner of the election of Maximilian and the Prince of Sweden.
The Senate have appointed Signor Tomaso Contarini, a very fit gentleman, formerly an advocate, to go as ambassador to Florence, to return his Highness' compliments.
Rome, Nov. 21. On Sunday last there were baptised in the church of Sta. Lucia della Tenta the two uterine sons of Signor Virginio Orsino, who had the evening before returned from Florence; the first, called Latino, being held at the font by the ambassador of Spain in person, and by a niece of the Pope; and the second, called Francesco, by a chamberlain of Cardinal Montalto, who could not be present, and by a gentlewoman of the Signora Camilla, for her Excellency.
Advices from Naples of the 14th say that there and in Spezzia, the wind and the fortune of the sea have wrecked many vessels and galleys, with the loss of more than 150,000 crowns and the drowning of as many as a hundred persons; such a misfortune not having occurred within the memory of man.
In Monday's consistory, after long audiences, the cardinal of Como reported the second million of gold collected in the Castle, for which a bull will be issued, as with the first, for the needs of the holy see. Aldobrandini proposed two churches in the Indies, and those were dispatched which had been preconizate (fn. 4) in the other [consistory] with the bishopric of Castro for a friar; the church of Nazareth not having been proposed, which, as they say is to be for the confessor of his Holiness. Monsignor Matteuccio was to start today for his Nuntiato of Venice, the Archbishop of Capua returning in view of being a cardinal at the next promotion. M. Dandino is about to depart for the vice-legateship of Bologna, and the Bishop of Civita di Penna, having purged himself of certain imputations of having received bandits into his house at Naples, pretty certainly will be made a Cardinal, together with the Archbishop of Cosenza, to whom a courier was sent on Sunday evening. M. de Rustici and the Bishop of San Marco, besides those already suggested, are also su'l tavoliero [i.e. sur le tapis], although here, betting being prohibited, little or nothing is said concerning the Christmas promotion, as to which couriers go continually backwards and forwards to other places in Italy.
Cardinal Savello is still in bed with a catarrh and tertian ague, but is much better since yesterday. Gesualdo is troubled with the colic; Altemps cured of his catarrh.
The carrier of Naples, imprisoned here for carrying prohibited arquebusses to a traveller, has been set free by the Pope's favour, but to be banished at the pleasure of the governor. On Thursday Gaetano arrived here, received royally at Caprarola by Farnese. Yesterday he kissed the Pope's feet and was made much of by his Holiness. Sforza is not yet here; Farnese expected within ten days.
In Florence great fetes are preparing for the Coronation of the Grand Duke, and for his journey at Christmas to make visits of state. We learn from thence also that the son of the late Grand Duchess is ill, and that the Commendatore Coloreto, formerly first gentleman to the Cardinal d'Este, has been made chamberlain to his Highness.
The Duke of Urbino has given the administration of his state and government to the Marquis della Rovere, his cousin, in preparation, perhaps, for going out on some enterprise.
Curtietto, the chief of the brigands, was lately besieged in the Abruzzo by a hundred soldiers, with all his men; but he escaped towards Ortona, where he embarked and got away on to the high seas.
Gerini, the agent of the Grand Duke here for many years has returned to Florence, and Cipriano Saracinelli of Orvieto is appointed in his place.
A gentleman has arrived, sent by the Duke of Parma from Flanders to offer his thanks to the Pope. Also M. de Tricarico, who has rooms in the Palace.
They write from Florence of the great satisfaction of the Grand Duke that Don Giovanni di Medici, his brother, has been so warmly received by the Duke of Parma; who sent to meet him, and gave him an escort of five hundred horse; it being said that there is a project of the marriage of his Highness of Tuscany with the eldest daughter of Carlo. (fn. 5)
This rota, at the instance of the King of Spain has decided two matters of the eight proposed, in favour of the canonization of St. Diego, a Spanish Franciscan of the convent of Alcala, who died on the 12 November, 1563.
Venice, ut supra. The letters from Vienna contradict the report of the cutting off of the 500 horse going from Silesia to Maximilian, and that on the contrary, they reached his Highness safely.
It is said that the embassy from Cracow to the said Maximilian was to this effect: that they feared to fall into the crime of lœsœ Magistatis if they should favour one more than another, until one of them had been declared il bencreato Ré. That his Highness had sent his chief chamberlain and two other of his principal gentlemen to reply that he was the legitimately elected one; to which the others sent back answer that they would consult together and then reply. Whereupon his Highness determined to make further provision and then besiege the city.
On the termination of the Senate it was published that for four months there shall be brought in no foreign silk cloth nor shall any attire himself therein, under severe penalties.
The piazza at present thinks of nothing but wagers on the next promotion of Cardinals. Those first in the betting are the Patriarch Gonzaga, the Archbishops of Cosenza and Capua, the Bishop of Cervia, the governor of Rome, the confessor of the Pope. M. de Rustici and the Bishop of San Marco, and those who wish to have eleven, add the Bishop of Paris for France, one Mendoza for Spain and the Archbishop of Naples for the Empire.
Antwerp. The mass of his Highness's forces are in the field, in Flanders and Hainault.
Letters from London of the last of the past month say that the Queen, persuaded by the King of Denmark, being determined in some way or another to come to an agreement with the Duke of Parma, had, the day before sent Dr. Erbrot [Herbert] one of her Counsellors, together with Giocomo Ortel, deputy of the States of Holland and Zeeland, to announce to the said States, that within ten days they must declare whether they meant to join with her in negotiating the peace with Spain. Yet her Majesty is arming a great number of vessels to stand on guard, in case the Biscay fleet should move against her.
The Goesi (fn. 6) last night burnt the pretty village called Schel, two leagues from here, near the monastery of S. Bernard, because those fathers would give them no contribution.
Just now comes intelligence from Holland that the Earl of Leicester has assembled all the States of Holland in the city of Dordrecht, and that each one is to put down in writing what they mean to do in the future. The cities of 'Alchemar', Oren [Hoorn] and Medemblick are strongly in his favour; but those of Enchuysen do not wish for him. Also the cities of Schneck, Arlinghen, Cranchen and Bolverd (fn. 7) in Frisia have sent their burgomasters and secretaries to pray him to visit them; but those of Leuvarden, the principal city there, with the support of some of the barons, detest him.
Italian. 4½ pp. [Newsletters XCV. 36.]
Nov. 19. Dr. Lobetius to Walsingham.
I have received your letter of 19 June, and am glad to be able to send you letters which will not tarry so long on the road. There is little chance at present of sending by way of France, and if one gives them to M. Solcker or any other going into England, they go so far round and have so many little delays on the way that they take several months to complete their journey.
Of French affairs you know enough, and are not ignorant of the fights there have been, on both sides the Loire, or of their issues. It is now said that the Duke of Mayne has retired to his government, and is at Dijon in Burgundy, and that this is by the King's orders, to keep guard against the many strangers who are still daily passing through that country.
Report says that the French people, being most of them afflicted by the three chief scourges of God, cry out for peace. All the world wonders what the Duke of Parma will do with so great an army as he is now making ready. Truly, it is long since there have been so many troops going from Italy and Spain into the Low Countries, and yet they have been long kept back by the pourparlers for peace.
The affairs of Poland might well lead us into a labyrinth from which it would be difficult to get out without having some thread or clue in our hand. Although we promise ourselves much, the issue seems to me doubtful and uncertain, but since we have begun we must go on with it; it is no longer the time "de retirer son epingle du jeu."
Our protestant Princes are at work reforming their churches and schools, and coming to an understanding touching certain points of difference in religion. Duke Casimir is in his own country, endeavouring to manage to advantage the estates of the young prince, his ward, having particularly at heart the cause of religion.
In this town, things go on pretty well, thank God. The seigneurs are about to send their ambassadors to Basle, to be there on the 28th; where and when they are to meet those of Zurich and Berne, to conclude some alliance and confederation. M. Sturmius has remained in this town since the country round about has been occupied by the camp of the King of Navarre; whereby the good man has had great losses. Otherwise he is well; but he is blind and can do nothing at all, being now entered into his eighty-first year. He humbly salutes you, and is eagerly looking for milord Solcker.
We are astonished that the Earl of Leicester cannot be on terms with Holland and Zeeland. Some attribute it to those of the Low Countries themselves, saying that they are suspicious or crack-brained. Others put the blame upon the English, who, they say, wish to treat these poor people as slaves, as if they had been conquered in war; making use of their services, but desiring to exclude them from honours and offices.—Strasbourg, 19 November, 1587.
On a scrap of paper, attached: My humble remembrances to Messrs. de Sidné, Beel, Waad, Rogersius.
Holograph. Signed "J. L." Add. Endd. French. 1 p. [France XVII. 136.]
Nov. 23./Dec. 3. Masino del Bene to Walsingham.
Captain Pardino has given me tidings of your Honour and told me of your remembrance of me, for which I thank you with all my heart, and also give thanks to God, who, as the said Pardino tells me, has been pleased to free you from the serious infirmity from which, as I heard from your ambassador, you have been suffering. May he long preserve you in health and happiness. Here we are all eager to go to meet the people called Reisters, who are making long days' journeys with some German and French footmen, and as is said, are bringing with them three cannon, and have made such progress that it is judged to be almost impossible we can arrive in time, they having, as is said, advanced more than twenty leagues. And if it be true that the Vicomte de Turenne has taken a place called Saint Lanbert or Ranbert, it will be a great convenience to them, there being a bridge there which will save them nearly 20 leagues of a bad road which they are now obliged to take, to their great peril and inconvenience.
I have not written to your honour for a long time, but very often to Signor Palavicino, intending that it should be imparted to you, which I believe he will have done. It vexes me greatly not to have anything more pleasing to write to you than I have had for a long time. It is believed here that the King of Spain reckons on sending out the Marquis Santa Croce with a powerful armada, and that the Duke of Parma is also making ready, with all that he can get together in his countries. As for us, our condition is still more facile (fn. 8) than I represented it to her Majesty. God grant that he [Parma?] may not attack us, as I greatly fear—it being reasonable that the weakest and most facile should be assailed—and especially as our ruin would infallibly bring about yours. May God of his grace deliver both you and us from so great a peril.
I am advertised, and that from a very good source, that you have in your house one who is little to be trusted.—Paris, 3 December, 1587.
Holograph. Unsigned. Add. Italian, 2 pp. [France XVII. 137.]
Nov. 24./Dec. 4.
[latest date.]
News from divers parts.
Venice, Dec. 4, 1587. News is come to the governor of Milan from the Spanish court of a league established between the Catholic King and the Swiss [Catholic cantons]. Also that that King has published an edict summoning all those who, while the ships of the Armada were refitting at Lisbon, had gone from her, to return at once to the fleet and embark, under pain of life and confiscation of goods; to be ready to set sail at the shortest notice given by the Marquis Sta. Croce, who was returning to Lisbon after being with his Majesty. It is said that on the 15 of next March all are to be embarked.
Letters from Vienna of the 21st ultimo deny that the Prince of Sweden had got so far forward in Poland as had been reported; saying that he had been joined at Dantzig only by a hundred and fifty persons, a few soldiers and less money; where he had found an ambassador from the Emperor, sent to exhort him solemnly not to interfere in the affairs of Poland.
The army of Maximilian increased daily by the succours coming from Bohemia, Silesia, Moravia and Poland, both foot and horse; Ferdinand having sent him 4000, the Administrator of Magdeburg 380000 florins as a loan and the States of Austria a thousand harquebusiers. There were also arrived at the camp at Merghent some carts with money. The passage to Cracow had been opened, and was safely held by the Comte de Gorch and the cavalry of Silesia. The High Chancellor had tried three or four times to issue forth with only three or four others from Cracow, but was prevented by Maximilian's men. It was even said that divers of the citizens had gone out secretly to the camp to offer obedience to his Highness, and take the oath of fidelity.
The Archduke Ernest was at Possonio [Pressburg] in Hungary, at the Diet of that kingdom, which began on the 14th, and it is thought will be over by Christmas. His Highness has already made his proposal in the Emperor's name.
Many think that the Duke of Mantua, in imitation of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, will send someone express to make the like compliments, for his own private interests, which the chevalier Dovara has been to do. The Duke of Savoy is sending M. de Villargé to the Emperor and the Conte de Beinette to Maximilian to congratulate him on his election as King of Poland.
Advices from Prague of the 17th of last month state that Maximilian was awaiting what the Lithuanians would do in their Congregation, which was to take place on the 8th instant. That the Chancellor [of Poland] still remained obstinate, and seemed to intend to defend himself with all the strength that could be made. The Swede, it was understood, was not far from Marienburg it not being known what he meant to do. His man was dispatched by the Emperor with only general words. The Bohemians were still treating, and some good resolution was expected. The Emperor had commanded the liberation of the ship stayed by the Uscocchi, with all its cargo, there appearing in court one sent from the Grand Duke of Tuscany, offering, as is believed, to bring to a settlement the affairs of Poland.
Of the affairs of France there is no news by the ordinary of Lyons, further than already written, save that the King had resolved not to come to a general engagement with the German army, but merely to follow it, without ever giving it time to rest or encamp; it being believed that the men desired to return into Germany in order not to die miserably, as they had begun to do, of disease. But on the other hand, it was said that new levies had been made, that of the footmen being in great numbers.
It is said that the Catholic King had granted licence for a treaty of marriage between the only daughter and heiress of the late Count Alfonso della Somaglia and of a daughter of the Count di Chinchion, a Spaniard, with 25000 ducats of rents, and Don Michele, great nephew of the Pope. . . .
The Chancellor Vittorio Capello, brother-in-law of the late Grand Duke, wishing for the future to go into the Grand Council, claims precedency of Signor Tomaso Contarini, knight, Conte dal Zaffo, who sits above all the other knights; as to which the Senate will have to make a declaration.
It is said that those acting on behalf of M. Valiero, now in prison, are treating to buy off the bands of certain of the Falconi, Veronese bandits killed during these last months by the Cappelletti, in order to liberate the said gentleman.
On the 26 of last month the President of Ravenna left suddenly and in great haste to go towards Cesena, with a great train of sbirri and with the Minister of Justice. The reason is not known, but some say it is because of a great tumult in that city about a treasure discovered there.
Letters from Spain of the 10th of last month, brought to Milan to that governor with order to raise from the Genoese many thousands of scudi, advertise that the Marquis Santa Croce had left Lisbon with the Armada, going towards Holland and Zeeland; it being said that the Queen of England offered to leave those islands [sic], with condition only to reserve Flushing to herself.
Rome, 28 November. Upon advices bringing confirmation of the defeat and death of the Duke of Joyeuse, his brother, the Duke de Mercoeur, his brother-in-law and others, the Cardinal de Joyeuse withdrew to St. Antonio, to provide the household with mourning; but our Lord does not wish him to make lamentation, saying it is not fitting, for his brothers have died as martyrs and in the service of Holy Church.
On Monday evening he went to Ostia, and from thence to Porto, and yesterday evening came to Madame's vigna, near to the city, to escape visitors. The Most Christian ambassador went on Wednesday to Ostia, and stayed with him all the day. The said Cardinal has two brothers remaining; one a Capuchin friar, and the other Grand Prior of Toulouse; all without heirs, and disabled from the succession without a dispensation.
The above ambassador has sent another courier to Cardinal Lenoncourt, praying him to note that so much delay is displeasing to the Pope, but this was on the 27 of last month, when he had already left France on his way hither, where Aragon arrived last evening, and Farnese and Sforza are expected on Monday.
The Court holds as almost certain that at the next promotion the new Cardinals will be Mendoza, Paris, the Patriach Gonzaga and the Archbishops of Genoa and Cosenza. The Grand Master of Malta is arrived at Pozzuolo with the galleys and will be here on Wednesday, all these being at 70 (fn. 9) except Rustici, who was at 79, and going up and down, Arezzo and the Auditor of the Chamber, Todi, Orsino, Capua, Tircarico, Civita di Penna, Cernia, and others are at the bottom. There is talk of a friar and of another unknown and that there will be 9 cardinals made. Borromeo has buono tirato da Altemps, but no one can say certainly, for the Pope does not discuss it with anybody. The Governor stands between hope and fear. They speak of one Fra Dominico Ferro, a Franciscan, and of the Count Ferranto d'Ascoli; a little also of the Pope's confessor and of one Pio Bonello, of the house of Pio V.
The merchants of Rome hope on Tuesday next to have licence to make bets, seeing that all the money goes to Florence, where they are permitted. The couriers go backwards and forwards, and the officers with the Pope [aid] by their suggestions for and against, according to the interests of each one of them.
The two ambassadors sent by the Roman people to Florence to offer their compliments to his Highness are ready to depart, being licensed by the Pope. Mattevicio is gone to take up his office of Nuncio at Venice, but Dandino not yet departed.
The Po has carried away from Cardinal Canano all his rents for this year in Lombardy.
All the officers in Naples suspended for two years from their charges have been finally dismissed by the Viceroy, by orders from Spain.
At the beginning of December, will be celebrated at Florence the funeral rites of the late Duke and the coronation of his successor; his Highness having meanwhile learned with great satisfaction that in Flanders, the Duke of Parma had given the title of Eccellenza to Don Giovanni, his brother.
Cardinal Savello is without fever but kept in bed by a cold. A felucca, escaped from Constantinople has arrived here with twelve Christian slaves.
By the mediation of Cardinal Aldobrandino, the Grand Duke has pardoned Alfonso Loderini, declared a rebel by Cosmo.
When the Pope last week gave audience to Verona and to the Venetian ambassador, he settled the business of the Abbey of San Cipriano, erecting a chantry and prebend in Padua with 1700 crowns of rent; the rest of the Abbey to remain as part of the revenue of the patriarchate of Venice.
The Pope has declared that the knights of Malta shall not be obliged to contribute, as was demanded, to the composition which the clergy of Italy are making for the money which is to be disbursed at the Treccenti of the Archbishopric. He has deputed a congregation of three Cardinals to accommodate the differences between the Auditor of the Chamber, as supreme judge, and the Governor of Rome.
The death of Cardinal Bourbon is reported.
In the consistory held yesterday morning, there was proposed a monastery in Sicily and Segovia in Spain, and his Holiness exhorted the College to pray to God for the affairs of France in their chapels during Advent, with almsgiving and other pious works.
This morning after mass sung by the Patriarch Gonzaga, in the church of Loretto, there was blessed the brass statue of S. Peter: and the said statue, by command of the Pope, has been placed on the top of the Column of Trajan. (fn. 10)
Antwerp, 14 November. The provisions of war which the Duke of Parma is making are being sent to Ghent. This week there are going thither many little vessels laden with all sorts of munitions and amongst them a great quantity of lanterns and torches, some horse mills and many ladders. To-day or tomorrow, his Highness follows them from Brussels, where he has called together all his principal counsellors of war, to consult with them what enterprise shall be taken in hand. Those of Bergen-op-Zoom (Berghes su la Soma) and Walcheren in Zeeland are doubtful how they stand, wherefore there daily come ships of war from Holland and Zeeland to Lillo, to join their fleet, to prevent the soldiers of his Highness from setting foot in any place in Zeeland.
Covering sheet wanting. Italian. 4 pp. [Newsletters XCV. 37.]
Nov. 26. Daniel Rogers to Walsingham.
Although I make haste to depart for the court of the King of Denmark, I think good to advertise you that for certain, contribution has been made already by some of the German Princes for the King of Navarre, about the beginning of last month. The King of Denmark has contributed 20000 dallers, i.e. 4500l. sterling. The Elector of Brandenburg's son has delivered 15000 dallers and the Landgrave William of Hesse other 15000. The Electors of Saxony and Brandenburg have not, as the rest, sent a sum to Duke Casimir, but have disbursed 'Wargelt' [i.e. Wartgelt] for the staying of 6000 reiters, "to the intent partly that the emprise might be furnished with some reiters in readiness, in case any sudden trouble happened, partly to stay the better such as would have served the enemy." But as her Majesty writes of her grief that none of the said princes have contributed, I mean to follow that tenor in declaring her intentions, not professing to be acquainted with any thing done by them.
None hath done more mischief to the King of Navarre than Doctor [Jacob] Andreas, who did all possible to get the Duke of Wirtemberg to hinder any reiters going to his succour from passing through his possessions, "being afraid lest the purity of doctrine might, by the King of Navarre's good successes, prevail against his ubiquity."
It is here given forth for a certainty that the Duke of Parma's son will marry the Duke of Lorraine's daughter, "to engender straighter correspondency between the Guisards and the said Duke of Parma." They have also certain news of the King of Navarre's victory. I never thought to find at Hamburg men so addicted to the Spaniards. There is one Dekema, a knight and Frise born, who has great correspondency with the syndicus, Moller. I send herewith news from Rome and other places of Italy, received by means of the Landgrave. Although somewhat old, they are worthy the reading. The author is a German of my acquaintance who has for twenty years lived in Italy and been accustomed to send occurences to the Elector Frederick, father of Duke Casimir. Some who have come hither out of Spain affirm that the King, by the approbation of the divines, hath increased the rate of his 'regales' for [i.e. per] ten in the hundred.—Hamburg, 26 November, 1587.
Postscript. Those come out of Spain add that the King pretends to have spent two millions of gold in furnishing ships for defence of the fleet come out of 'India'; which he requires to be repaid by the merchants who "received commodities" by the said fleet.
Add Endd. 1½ pp. [Denmark I. 101.]
[Nov. 28.]/[Dec. 8.] Articles of capitulation made by the Duke of Epernon with the Prince de Conty, chief and conductor of the army of strangers, the Duke of Bouillon, the Baron d'Hone [Dhona] and the colonels, captains, reiters, lords, gentlemen etc. of their army.
The French to surrender their cornets and flags to the Duke, to be sent to the King.
To the French in the said army, his Majesty grants mainlevee of their goods and security of their houses, provided they obey his edict and give a signed promise not to take arms save for his service, unless without the kingdom.
Those who wish to leave the kingdom, making the like promise, to have security of their goods, and to go with the strangers.
Those who will promise nothing, to have liberty to depart, but not main-levée of their goods.
Any who deliver their cornets (fn. 11) or flags to the strangers to enjoy none of the above benefits.
To the reiters, the King gives passport and security for their return to the frontiers of his realm, on condition that the Colonels, Captains and Rittmasters shall give promise to him, signed by their own hands, not to bear arms in France against the King, being called thereunto by his subjects without his express command, and shall be bound to fold up their cornets and flags while they are returning; not to take or carry away any prisoners, subjects of his Majesty, nor to commit any acts of hostility.
Endd. "December, 1587." French. 1 p. [France XVII. 138.]
[The document is almost word for word the same as printed in Memoires de la Ligue, t. II. p. 237.]
Nov. "Draft of an order agreed upon between the Lords of the Council and the French ambassador, touching the granting of letters of reprisal. November, 1587."
That such letters shall specify the just value of the goods claimed to have been stolen, and no sale shall be permitted of such goods as have, by virtue of the said letters, been stayed on land or taken at sea until there has first been made a valuation thereof by four merchants, two of them English and the other two French, to be appointed by the chief officers of the port or place where the stay is made, or whither goods taken at sea shall be brought.
That if any to whom letters of reprisal shall be granted shall remove and sell goods so stayed or taken, they shall lose the benefit of the said letter of marque and shall also receive such corporal punishment as shall be deemed fitting.
It is also required that the French commissaries shall declare their intention touching the manner of interpreting the deniement de justice; viz.: whether it shall be after the cause has been heard and sentenced by the ordinary judge of the province where the fault has been committed, or after it shall have been re-heard by way of appeal; or whether it is intended to appoint an especial judge in the city of Paris, as there is in London, to attend to the said causes, and judge them summarily, in order to expedite the cause of justice.
French. 1 p. Endd. as in head-line. [France, XVII. 139.]
[Nov. end of?] "The heads of a letter to the town of 'Hambrough' in answer of one of theirs to her Majesty of the vii. of November, [n.s.] 1587.
That whereas her Majesty perceived by their letters of Nov. 7 that they find themselves grieved with the late conclusion made by the Merchants Adventurers with the town of Stoad, yet if they duly look into the matter they will see that it has fallen out through their own default.
For after promising by letters both to her Majesty and the said merchants to accept them to their former residency (which they said they might do without the assent of the [rest of the] Steedes) they do not perform it; wherefore she thinketh herself greatly abused therein.
She is also informed of their great affection to the King of Spain, made manifest in many ways to the world; and that one cause of their non-performance of their promise "grew upon the solicitation of the Duke of Parma," sent by an express messenger.
These things might justly move her to have nothing more to do with that town, but that she has had very great care "to continue and maintain good friendship with the ancient allies of this crown; of which number, few or none have been more ancient than the Steeds whereof they are a member," and therefore, contrary to their desert, she is pleased to yield to their request touching the residency of her Merchants in their town, if they will renew the residency in as ample manner as lately granted by the town of Stoade; and also, by some friendly treaty, get the consent of the town of Stoad to the return of the said merchants to Hamburgh; and "procure the assents of the Hanse towns under the seal of their Society for confirmation of the said residency at Hamburgh."
Endd. as headline. 2¼ pp. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns II. 79.]


  • 1. probably in the old sense of "schemes, devices, designs."
  • 2. Qy. Queux; though the term was now out of date.
  • 3. At Auneau, Nov. 14/24.
  • 4. preconizate: i.e. a report made that the person presented is qualified for the same.
  • 5. He married, in April, 1589, Christine, daughter of Charles III, Duke of Lorraine,
  • 6. Cf. Newsletter of Nov. 2–12 above.
  • 7. Sneek, Harlingen. Francker (?). Bolswaert, all in West Friesland.
  • 8. In the sense of weak.
  • 9. In the betting.
  • 10. i.e. the statue of Trajan was replaced by that of St. Peter.
  • 11. i.e. the pennons of the troops of horse.