Elizabeth: December 1587, 16-31

Pages 442-463

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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December 1587, 16-31

Dec. 16/26.
[latest date.]
Advertisements from divers parts.
Venice, 26 December. (fn. 1) The report concerning the King of Navarre is rather that he is dead than that he is taken, and that it happened by a shot which struck at the same time the King and the Count of Soissons, brother of the Prince of Conde, as they were passing under a fortress, but the certainty thereof is not known.
The Signoria has these last days been occupied with the usual pious works of giving money and other things to the poor and liberating those imprisoned for debt; and during these days of Christmas, the Prince with the usual company is present at all the holy offices celebrated in the church of San Marco and San Georgio Maggiore.
The intention to rebuild the Ponte di Rialto with stone is put off in consequence of the opposition of the many persons interested, whose shops and houses must be pulled down.
At Naples, on St. Lucy's day, there being a great sirocco, a thunderbult fell upon the room where the powder was in the Castle, whereby all the houses in the Castle were blown up, 260 persons killed and 50 wounded. The castellano, Don Garcia da Toledo and his wife, had gone to Naples four days before. The monastery of the Frati of San Martino in was greatly damaged, and also the palace of the viceroy, the whole loss being estimated at six millions of gold.
Letters are come from 'Isprach' [Innsbruck] and Trent, but what the advices concerning the affairs of Poland are, is not known. Nor is there news of the promotion of cardinals, unless by the ordinary from Rome which arrived on Wednesday night. The piazza has been in the greatest confusion because of the betting, and the matter had reached such a point that some wagered that there had been no promotion at all. On Sunday it was said that in place of Borromeo and Arezzo, there had been created, as well as the other six, Monsignor Ravario and one Frate Batiferro, a Carmelite; whereby much money was lost, but the report died out the following day. M. Bandino has arrived at Bologne, his government.
Spinolo, an agent of the Exchange has fled, with many thousands of crowns obtained by fraud, and is not yet found, unless since his flight.
Letters from Prague of the 8th instant, sent by way of Augsburg, confirm the news that those of Lithuania and of Russia had, in their Diet, approved and confirmed the Archduke Maximilian as their King; who had now transferred the siege of Cracow to the other side of the river Veixel [i.e. Vistula], in order the better to besiege the Chancellor, who had withdrawn into the Castle; upon which his Highness had directed his artillery, being joined by 2000 Hungarian footmen and 100 horse; and expecting shortly from Bohemia 1000 horse and 3000 foot. Merchants in Prague had intelligence from Vratislavia [Warsaw] that his Highness had taken Cracow, and had cut in pieces all the enemy, but had pardoned those who had demanded it, holding the Chancellor in the Castle; and that the Austrian soldiers had captured money which was going to the Grand Chancellor. Also that those of Transylvania having learned of the succour gone from Hungary to Maximilian, had stayed the despatch to the said Chancellor of the three thousand footmen whom they had got together to send him. Merchants come from Poland to Prague have stated that Cracow was open, but that the soldiers would not trust themselves to enter, fearing the artillery from the castle; also that certain Hebrew merchants had gone to offer Maximilian 50000 thalers not to sack the city; and that 150 of the principal Polish noblemen of the adherents of the Grand Chancellor and the Prince of Sweden had come to his Highness' camp, but nothing certainly known thereof; some thinking they had returned home, and others that they were still at Warsaw with the Queen dowager.
Yesterday the deputies for the [re]building of the bridge of the Rialto met at the House of the Procadatore Barbaro to consult with divers architects and engineers whether it should be rebuilt of stone or not; but so far it is not known what was decided. . . .
Rome, 19 December. On Sunday last the Pope assisted at the service in the Chapel in Sta. Croce in Jerusalem.
That evening the Signor Gio. Pietro Caffarelli brought home his bride, daughter of the Marquis Carlo Mati with public rejoicings, to which most of the nobles and ladies of the city were invited. Artillery was fired from the Capitol, with sounding of trumpets and fireworks, whereupon the guard suspected some insurrection and began to shoot. His Holiness's guard took horse and put themselves in arms as did also the light horse and the whole Palace was in confusion, but the cause being learned, all became quiet.
In yesterday's Consistory, besides the proposition for a church in France, the Pope published the following, as chosen for cardinals, viz.: Gonzaga, a Mantuan, Monsignore Sauli, Archbishop of Genoa; Palotta, Archbishop of Cosenza della Pergola della Marca, Monsignor Gondi, Bishop of Paris, a Florentine: Fra Steffano Benutio, Bishop of Arezzo, brother of Servi; Mendoza, Archdeacon of Toledo, a Spaniard; the Grand Master of Malta, a Frenchman, and the Count Federico Borromeo, Milanese.
Monsignor Ghislieri, a prelate of great worth, is dead, by which there fall vacant offices of 12000 crowns of rent. A courier has come from the Emperor to Cardinal Madrucio and the Count of Olivares with letters to his Holiness in favour of the Archbishop of Naples, but they have been without effect, as have also the efforts made by Cardinal Colonna and others for Monsignor Maffei. There has been no public betting upon this promotion, but the other evening some agents and merchants were imprisoned who, however, have been let off very easily.
It is said that the Grand Master of Malta means of his own accord to lay down that dignity.
The new Cardinals, except Mendoza and Gondi, who are absent, were banquetted by Montalto and this morning in public Consistory they received the hat with the usual ceremonies.
Antwerp, 5 December, 1587. The Duke of Parma is still at Bruges, continuing his warlike preparations and sending them to Ghent; and the soldiers are marching towards Bruges.
On the 2nd instant, the Earl of Leicester left Zeeland for England. Whether he has arranged all matters with Holland and Zeeland is not yet known. But he left good garrisons in all the ports, with ships of war; and the fortresses of Bergen-opZoom, the Brill, La Fere [i.e. Ter Vere] and other places in Zeeland with double guards.
It is said that the Duke of Parma has sent for M. de Champagni, but the cause is not known. There is a report that the Duke's enterprise will end in smoke, as his practices against Zeeland have been discovered, and that he will shortly return to Brussels. Others say he will go into Lorraine to the marriage of one of those princes.
Cologne, 10 December. In the diet at Bisseldorf [qy. Düsseldorf] they have settled, as to matters of religion, that every man shall live in his own way. The Duke of Cleves demanded a general tax, but this is put off to the next diet.
The Count of Mers (Mœurs) seeing that those of Holland and Zeeland are not agreed among themselves, and that the war will have a miserable end, is treating with Colonel Verdugo and Colonel the Governor of 'Mers' for a reconciliation, offering to give up Berck and Valtendonek [Wachtendonek], whereby Colonel Schenk is very ill contented, having sent many matters of importance to him. Besides 150 horse which had left him other 250 have now departed.
The captain called Blanchemair, in 'Caises' [Kaiser's] Lauteren, made himself master last week of the castle called Berchenhausen, in the lower Archbishopric of Cologne, under colour of preventing the enemy from taking it, which would be very harmful to the Archbishopric.
Italian. 4 pp. [Newsletters XCV. 39.]
Dec. 16/26. Stephen Powle to Walsingham.
My last letter was dated on the 19th inst. [n.s.], since when I have received your honour's of Oct. 15 by means of Mr. Farrington, merchant, who dwells in Lothbury, over against St. Bartholomew's Lane. The long delay of the letter was caused "by the discord between the ordinary courier of Augsburg and the post of Antwerp." I sent the answer to the points inquired after "yesterday, being Christmas day here, by Geronimo di Bonna, factor for Nicolo di Gozzi in London, and this next week will send the copy by Mr. Farrington's means.
Rome, Dec. 12. The Grand Master of Malta, having landed at Gaeta, and safely reached Marino, twelve miles from here, the French ambassador has gone to meet him, he being a Frenchman.
Tuesday morning, resolving to dine at the Vigna of Cardinal Matthei, he took boat, whence he was escorted by the 'family' of the Pope, with the guard of light horse and Swiss, the families of the Cardinals, many prelates and all the Roman gentlemen and barons, and being conducted to the Palace was received by his Holiness in the hall of Constantine, and there kissed his feet and exchanged compliments with him. His Holiness having retired, the Grand Master was conducted to the apartment of Innocentio, prepared for his habitation in the Palace, where he lives in the greatest splendour, having with him about 200 knights, and among them seven of the Grand Cross. Many of them have the most beautiful lodgings, superbly furnished, amongst which, the hangings of gold, silver and silk, of one sala alone is worth more than 100000 crowns, besides the very rich sideboard of silver plate and other furniture of marvellous beauty; the which stanze being all furnished by the ministers of the Pope splendidly, he has nevertheless wished to hang the second sala with his cloths of silk and gold of the value of 30000 crowns, given to the Order by Don Ernani di Toledo.
The Grand Master has presented to the Pope a cross of crystal, jewelled, and a casket of very great value.
They are hastening to finish the galley being made here on the coast at the instance of the Pope; and at Messina, Palermo, Genoa and other places, fusti (fn. 2) and galleys, to the number of ten. The dispatch of the Catholic armata, as we hear from Spain, is entirely suspended, although Don Diego di Lieva, Master of the camp, would persuade them not to wait, showing that all difficulties might be surmounted.
Signor Odoardo Farnese, being returned from Capravola, was sent by Cardinal Farnese to kiss the feet of the Pope, who having received him with much kindness, exhorted him to attend to his studies, and make himself reputed to be a worthy son of the Duke of Parma, who, in the profession of arms, surpasses all the most valiant captains of his time.
Later letters, of Dec. 19 say that at the marriage of Signor Giovanni Pietro Caffarello with the daughter of the Marquis Carlo Mattei, in the house of his father-in-law, when he was leading her into his own house, adjoining the Capitol, with public rejoicing, and very many of the city, both lords and ladies being invited, in sign of greater festivity some pieces of mortaletti were discharged in the Capitol, with sound of trumpets and drums, artificial fire etc., between the hours of five and six at night; which the guard of the Castle hearing; not knowing what it was, and suspecting some great revolt or other serious accident, shot off two rounds of artillery; whereupon the Swiss of his Holiness' guard did the like, and put themselves in arms, as did also the light cavalry, and the whole palace was in confusion, not knowing what was happening; to the great amazement of his Holiness. But sending at once to the Castle, and from thence to the Capitol, and it being made plain that it is only a Romanesca, all became quiet again.
It was spread about that the firing was a sign of joy for the victory of the Most Christian King, with the slaughter of all the Huguenot army, and that a courier had arrived that night, which, although not true, was prophetic of the express which on the following day brought the news of the death of the King of Navarre by a cannon shot, as the French ministers here have informed his Holiness; who on Tuesday morning announced it to the assembled Cardinals, although the certainty thereof is still awaited.
On St. Lucy's day, a thunderbolt falling on the Castle of St. Ermo at Naples, and setting fire to the ammunition there, destroyed not only a great part of the Castle, but St. Martino and other monasteries, palaces and houses near to it, with the death of a hundred persons. It seems incredible that so many should have been killed, but it is confirmed by letters to the Cardinals and people of quality.
It is said that the Grand Master of Malta will voluntarily lay down his Mastership, for the reasons that were written before.
From Prague, they send advices hither to Venice of the 1st of this month, that in the diet of Poland under Maximilian, there were more than two hundred gentlemen who had not yet subscribed the decree for his election; in which it was decided unanimously to give to his Highness the administration of the kingdom, his election being approved; and a solemn resignation of the whole was made by a sealed instrument, in which absolute authority was granted him to confer at his pleasure all offices and benefices, ecclesiastical and temporal. The Lithuanians have postponed their diet, on which will depend the conclusion of all this business, and the rather as it was held for certain that the Turks would not move; and in the Imperial Court it was said that the Catholic King had of late sent 300000 crowns for this [Polish] account.
From Constantinople letters have arrived here of the 11th of last month, by which it is understood that the report there spread—viz.: that peace was concluded with the Persian; that the Georgians were reduced to the obedience of the Grand Signor and that a son of the Persian was expected for the confirmation of the peace—is believed to be false, although the rout of the Georgians by the Turks was confirmed. Ferac [i.e. Ferat] Bassa had written to the Porte that in the spring fresh forces must be sent, but this was refused him and he was ordered to treat of peace, since the Turks being weary of the war, showed a desire not to go out again with the army. Ferac was to winter in Amida [the modern Diarbekr.]
Letters from Turin say that Ladiguiere intended, as is reported, to return into the Marquisate of Salazzo with a greater force of Huguenots.
On Monday there arrived here Monsignor Mattevici, Nuncio Apostolic, to take up his residence at Venice. It is said here that the Duke of Parma aimed at having the fortress of Flushing. By advices from Milan here in Venice and also from Genoa a report is spread of the death of the King of Navarre, whereof also the governor of Lyon had written to the most Christian ambassador. It is also stated from Milan that the Duke of Terra Nova, governor of that State, is going into Spain, being made president of the Council of Italy, and that his place will be taken by the Conde de Olivares, Catholic ambassador in Rome. The letters from Genoa announce the arrival there of two galleys of that Signoria, returned from Barcelona with 500000 crowns.
It is rumoured by advices from Gratz that the Archduke Maximilian had entered Cracow, and that the Grand Chancellor had withdrawn into the Castle.
After writing the above, came fresh advices, which I adjoin.
Breslau, 1 December. The Camp of Maximilian, 18000 men, is pitched beyond the Vistula, to batter Cracow, and his Highness has attired himself in Polish fashion, more determined than ever to effect his enterprise, although many of his men die of their sufferings by being out in the field in such intense cold, and so poorly provided with clothes. The Grand Chancellor, who is withdrawn into the Castle, is in want of money, intercepted by Maximilian's troops.
Prague, 8 December. King Maximilian has transferred the siege of Cracow from the side of the city where is the river, to press it the better, having already planted his artillery. Signor Gianuschi de Osbrau, a Hungarian, has come into the camp with 2000 foot and 500 horse, and the troops of Bohemia are hourly expected.
Our merchants here who hold correspondence with those of Breslau have news that Cracow has already opened its gates to the Austrians, to enter at their pleasure, but that so far they have not ventured to do so, as the Castle into which the Grand Chancellor has retired dominates the street below with its artillery. A hundred and fifty of the chief Poles have left the Chancellor and gone into Maximilian's camp. Others say that he has taken Cracow by force, cutting in pieces all who opposed him, and that the 3000 Transylvanians who were going to the aid of the Chancellor, having learned the arrival of the Hungarians in the enemy's camp, have remained at home. There is no news of the [Swedish] pretender, save that having left his sister and her ladies in Varsovia [Warsaw] with the Infanta, he has returned home.
I enclose particulars of the treasure said to have been brought home by the last India fleet to the King of Spain. Also the names of the Cardinals created this Christmas.—Venice, 26 December, stilo novo, 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 5 pp. Seal of arms. [Newsletters LXXXI., 1.]
[The "occurences" in Italian, the rest in English.]
Dec. 19. M.B. to Lord—
This morning your Lordship's letter of the 10th has arrived, by which I see that the issue of what had then happened shows that an ill-resolution was taken for the conduct of that miserable army, as since then things have gone from bad to worse, led by the judgment of God to make manifest that resolutions taken for private interests on pretence of the service of God and the public good are never blessed, and that his divine Majesty will do his work without the intermeddling of the hypocrisy and avarice of men. And there is no doubt that if they had resolved at first what they have done since, when they arrived at the Loire, they would have done all they wished, but to the fatal ruin of all that flourishing army, it was opposed (as I learn) by the brother in law of your friend [margin "Quitry"] who stood out against the opinion of all, and thus they took that way which then they did. Afterwards, being separated, they resolved of necessity to go back again, in order to repass the river, where being conducted, they found no means of passing it by a ford, and having stayed two days to consult quid agendum, there being the same disputes, Captain Cormone [Cormont] appeared, sent by the Duke of Epernon to treat for their returning home, with promise that they should be given a free passage. Nearly all were agreed to go away, M. de Ciastiglione [Chatillon] promising to conduct them and offering the Baron de Donna [Dhona] to be the avant guard or to march in the rear as he pleased, and that in six days he would put them in a safe place and in friendly towns, to recover from the corvee; which was resolved upon, and promises given on both sides (fn. 3) : but in the end the same spirit of contradiction arose against it, so that many withdrew from him; seeing which, M. de Ciastiglione resolved to cross with 400 arquebusiers on horseback and about a hundred horse, which he did; and that, as is understood, with such boldness that his enemies themselves say it was not possible to do any thing braver; having marched day and night, fought three times and in the end, brought themselves off safely, with the loss of fifty or sixty of their men. Finally they passed the Saone (Sonna) by the bridge at Macon, and having got a pass from his Highness of Savoy, came as far as Nantua, and this evening ought to be at Ciastiglione [Châtillon] a place five leagues from here. They have had victuals given them all through Brescia [i.e. la Bresse] and Savoy, and at Colonge is Count Martenengo with some companies of horse and foot, to let them pass. It is not yet known whether they will go by la Chiusa [la Cluse] or turn by another valley, which goes from Ferire to S. Glodo [qy. from Ferreyres to S. Claude] but however this may be, there is no doubt that they will pass safely. The Baron de Donna is with them. M. de Clervant and M. de Buglione [Bouillon] kept company with them as far as this side the Saone; then, it is said, they disappeared, but nothing is known certainly save that the troop was yesterday on its departure from Sardon, and those that came from it say that there may be about three thousand, horse and foot; as one might say reliquias Danaum. (fn. 4) There is come a report this evening that M. de Guise, with forces of the county were at Guigne [Jougne] a place three miles from Pontarlier and as many from la Zara [la Sarras], the first place of the seigneurie of Berne, and made as if he would assault it in passing, but there being another place of the Bernese, called Escle [la Cluse] within half an hour, and as with twenty five foot [sic] they could make head against his army, I do not believe he will take any such resolution, or that the country will wish at this time to break with their neighbours, especially as his Highness of Savoy has given them free passage. It is true that the dispersal of that army will so have encouraged those who wished to put everything in confusion, that they may perhaps resolve to make this bravado. Of the Swiss here is no news at all, and this day I have letters from Zurich of the 13th, and they had no intelligence of them.
Many French have retired hither, and the remainder of those of M. de Chatillon, so there will not lack people for our defence. Provisions are very abundant although they are dear; these Signori not having wished to touch their granaries, which are full, and where they have abundance of corn for a year, designing that those who have means shall provide themselves, each one being bound to do so for a year, as the most part have already done, besides which a great quantity has been sent for, to Basel and into Alsace, and is still being sent for daily, so that this point is provided for. As to the fortification, a good bastion has been made upon the shore of the lake, on the Swiss side, that part being without any flank, and they have repaired the bastion of the gate of S. Gervase, which corresponds to the one aforesaid, and the flank from there as far as the bank of the Rhone, which is indifferently good; besides which, the ditch has been cleared out, and a very good counterscarp made there, and an excellent shelter behind, so that we cannot be eaten up in a day. Very good guard is kept over all, and we pray with all our heart, and thus we stand awaiting what it may please God to resolve. To whom I pray that the eyes of that poor King [of France] may be opened, so that he may see the manifest ruin which threatens his crown and state and that courage may be given him to remedy it. Shortly there will be seen the purpose of Spain's great preparations which must before long break out into something. As you say, England is in great danger, and if they have not provided for it, they will have to do so. They write from Germany that the preparations may, as it appears, well be for there, but they may strike in Picardy. This is not the season to begin a war, but that party is strong and the dissatisfaction continually increases.
Your lordship will do a favour to many of your friends if you continue to write, whom I have acquainted with your last letter. Loste di Lardo says that you prophesied this calamity, but even Cassandra was not believed, Troy being doomed to go to ruin. There is no need to pray you to continue your good will, and so we commit the whole to God.
M. de la Noue told me he was sending me a letter for you; if he does it shall go with this.
From Germany we have letters that they heard from Poland that Maximilian's affairs were not proceeding very prosperously. He remained near Carcovia [Cracow] where was the Chancellor with troops, and the Prince of Sweden was at Petercovia [Piotrkow] with the Queen and a great many of the nobility, who had accompanied him from Danzig; and had made his entry into many towns; so that it is believed here that Maximilian will have to withdraw.
The affairs of the Bishop of Liege also do not go on very well, and many of the nobles of Westfalia and the country of Juliers have demanded the Religion; for which in Germany they had banished Jacob Andrea, and many are joining our confession. I do not know how they will take this scattering [of the German army] but many think they will not be cast down by it.
La Ugheria [la Huguerie] is here, (fn. 5) having escaped from an encounter near Macon, when some of those with him, including his own man, were made prisoners, with whom was taken the cornet of M. de Maine, whom the reiters had captured at Vimori [Vimory] He has been to 'Ciamberi' [Cambrai] and obtained his passport.
I have felt troubled by what you told me of that poor Curione, taken by the guards of the Duke of Maine, but it does not seem to me possible to believe it is Monsieur Leone; because two months ago he passed by here, and took the road to Lyon, although I have never heard of his arrival. But I think it may rather be his young son, who was with the army. I beg you to pardon me if I have wearied you with this. Pray salute M. de la Chesa [qy. La Chaise] for me. I have had no reply from Agostino to the many letters I have written him, and know not if he be dead or alive.—Geneva, 19 December, 1587.
Postscript. M. de la Noue has sent me the enclosed [wanting]. Without covering sheet or address. Italian, 4 pp. [Switzerland I. 19.]
[Found amongst the Italian papers of 1585.]
Seventeenth Century copy of an epigram by Daniel Rogers, ambassador from Queen Elizabeth to Frederick II., King of Denmark, upon a map of the "Chersonesus Cimbrica" [i.e. Jutland in Denmark] set forth by [Henry Count of] Rantzow. "Segeberg, 20 Decembris, anno ultima sœculi 1587."
16 lines, Latin.
Overleaf, in the same handwriting, but the head-line in a different hand:—
"Idylion. Jac. Maiori.
"De Policarpum, pastorem Wittenbergensi." 18 lines. Latin.
One of the Conway Papers. [Denmark I. 102.]
Dec. 23./Jan. 2. Stephen Powle to Walsingham.
My last bore date of Dec. 26, having the day before, by means of Bonna, factor to Nicolo di Gozzi in London, sent answer to your honour's letter. I send you this week the copy thereof, by means of Mr. Cioll, factor to Mr. Farrington in London.
According to your orders of 15 October (received here about the 20th of December) I have conferred with my best friends, "whose resolutions of those three doubts," though I do not value them in comparison with your experienced judgments, yet I set down as you desired.
Qy. "Whether this peace be offered by the Duke of Parma with a true intent of performance by the King of Spain.
1. "When no open war went before, either by herald or proclamation, it cannot be termed a peace that ensueth.
2. "A Spanish peace is more dangerous than manifest hatred, being the snare he lays to entrap princes withal; witness Don John's offer of free liberty of conscience, when he harboured the hope, by maintaining the double faction of religion, to nourish the fire that should consume their liberty and work their perpetual overthrow. . . .
3. "Although the particular disposition of the King (being inclined to a quietness of life) be different from the general nature of the country, yet no true peace may be thought to be offered by him (who supposeth himself, in respect of his number of kingdoms, to be monarch of the world) without derogating from the greatness of his estate . . . especially having received so many old wrongs and fresh injuries these three summers together.
4. "The nature of the Spaniard is to bear plumbeas iras" and never to be content till he have infinite and public satisfaction for the least loss or displeasure; therefore it is not likely that he means a true peace either with her Majesty or those under her protection, seeing what treasure he has consumed in these wars; last summer's charge alone being said to amount to two million crowns.
The Spanish favourites say that the motion proceeded from Cardinal Allen, who "foreseeing and pitying the overthrow of his country . . . hath made intercession to the great King of Spain to licence the Duke of Parma to propose this offer.
"Why this peace should be handled when nothing is less meant.
1. "To lull your honours asleep . . . in a supposed security and in the mean while suam rem agere, by preparing all those helps which might work your harms . . .
2. "To stay her Majesty from the endeavouring a farther defence both for home and the Low Countries, by either ambassadors to German Princes . . . or levies of men in England.
3. "To justify to the world his manner of Royal proceeding, that remitting wrongs after so many losses sustained . . . offered peace if it would have been accepted by her Majesty.
4. "To lessen and make neuters her Majesty's assured friends, as Denmark, by framing him first an arbitrator to compose strife . . . and by this means this great Jupiter, the King of Spain, by ambassadors, might rain gold into Danœ's lap by either corrupting his favourites there or diverting his mind from her Majesty . . . or at the least, work in him some small kind of indifferency, who as yet is wholly ours.
5. "Because . . what protestation so ever he maketh, be either solemn oaths, or letters or commissions, he may by that daily practised ground of Fides non est servanda break at that time when the observing thereof shall be prejudicial to his profit . . .
6. "The manner of his proceedings . . . was long since concluded in the Great Council of Spain; first to endeavour by force of arms to recover all his losses . . . and if this were not effectual, then to have recourse to this show of proffered peace . . . following that devilish advice of Macchiavel, to join the lion and fox in one body, in making show of peace and carrying secretly in heart war.
"Reasons why some enterprise in hand.
1. "First, the supposal the Spaniard hath . . . of his own greatness and strength, which he compareth to the main ocean sea [enumerates his possessions] and therefore nothing without the compass of his power, or the reach of his good fortune, which hitherto, in Holland and the Low Countries' wars, hath followed his endeavours . . .
2. "The easiness, he supposeth, of bringing it to pass, grounded on the weakness of her Majesty's forces and means of her friends, not throughly assured unto her . . . because there be no [English] ambassadors anywhere, France excepted.
3. "Her Majesty's forces were never more distracted . . as chiefest captains and men of service in Holland, and greater numbers of others in ships abroad far off . . . besides the suspicion of Scotland's faith and subjects' loyalty; so that the question here is not whether any such enterprise be endeavoured, but . . . whether it be riuscibile, being undertaken; and thereof all those that wish well to Spain make no difficulty; as of late Don Battista del Monte, sometimes Colonel . . . of the infantry of the Low Countries, hath given out in Venice . . . that there was not in the world a more easy attempt, nor more likely of proof and good success than that of England . . .
4. "Their great preparations concurring at one time, of Parma in Flanders and Santa Croce in Spain . . . serveth to prove that some enterprise is in hand. And to what other end Santa Croce should be in a readiness at this unseasonable time of the year for the seas, no man can conjecture.
5. "Moreover, the exceeding charge the King is at in maintaining men in garrison . . . showeth there is some present service to be undertaken.
6. "Advertisements be given to great men here, from Rome, the Low Countries and sundry other places, to confirm the supposal of some present expedition . . . therefore it is held here that nothing less is meant than true peace by Parma; as that Allen was promoted Cardinal extraordinarily at the re quest of Spain, being her Majesty's disloyal and traitorous subject [and] the Duke of Parma made Gonfaloniero of the church, as it were to encourage him to deserve by some especial service this great honour in the cause of Rome. To this end most princes of Italy solicited by the Pope's ambassadors; to this end money . . . collected and distributed; to this end, men promised and levied, and to this end munition and armour, with all furniture, in a readiness; if not for this enterprise, to what other end not known? . . .
"Why at this time this enterprise is to be undertaken, and so long deferred, considering the pretended causes of wrongs offered be of many years' continuance.
"First, the nature of the Spaniard is to be slow in all his actions . . . And therefore Don Pietro de Toledo, vice-roy of Naples . . . was wont to say, in dispraise of tardanza Spagnuola; Che se la morte venisse di Spagna, viverebbe longo tempo.
"Moreover he never hazardeth his honour to the fortune of any conflict till all preparations be in a readiness, in his opinion, to ascertain him of victory; as it appeared . . before Don Garzia de Toledo could have order for the freeing of Malta from the siege of the Turk, 1565, and . . before Don John of Austria could be furnished for that great battle against the Turk [i.e. Lepanto] at the islands of Corsolary, 1571."
All things to further this enterprise are now concurring. Never was Pope more forward to enter into it than Sixtus Quintus, or of long time the Princes of Italy less incumbered with dissensions at home, or more at his devotion; "as the Cardinal Duke of Florence hath his brother Giovanni di Medici serving him in Flanders as a colonel; Parma is his general; Savoy his sonin-law; Urbin[o] his pensioner, and those of the faction di fuora, as [the] Dorias in Genoa, be his favourites."
The King, being aged, would gladly assure his son's quiet possession in Portugal, the Low Countries and the Indies, which cannot be throughly done so long as her Majesty has her forces in Holland, Don Antonio in England, or English ships endangering his Indian fleet.
I have put down the means supposed here most fit to overthrow the world's opinion of his puissant greatness, and thereby daunt his ambitious mind; "which is to bid him base at his own goal, by furnishing Sir F. Drake with some especial ships . . . to encounter Spanish armados even at his own doors," which the wisest sort think would so dismay him, that either present peace would ensue, or his death from melancholy.
What intelligence France hath herein.
The only advertisement I can give is that he has been solicited thereunto, and I have notice from an especial person that the Pope's nuncio in Paris four months ago earnestly requesting his help against the enemies of the Catholic religion, "he made only this answer: that he would not hinder any of his Holiness' or the King of Spain's enterprises; but to further the same by either men or money, being pressed in his own country, he found himself unable; whereupon his nuncio replied that his consent was only desired to join in heart against the Huguenots, the utter exterpation of which venomous sect was meant and endeavoured by the Holy League; and as for his wants, he said he doubted not but if his Holiness understood thereof, he would give supply thereunto. And upon this conference, the French King undertook the suit for the loan of 300,000 crowns of the Pope this last summer and obtained the same," but whether any straighter intelligence was entered into is not known, though rather supposed by those of best intelligence here, "that there lurketh a jealous suspicion between France and Spain, for that the French King perceived himself hindered by Spain's secret detraction . . . Moreover, Italy being the seminary of the Spanish forces, if the French King should increase his greatness, then might Spain be overweighed . . . especially seeing France hath his faction in Rome by the mean of Cardinal Santa Croce" and in Genoa by being favoured by the side termed di dentro. In Milan he [the King of Spain] has his faction to uphold his ancient pretended title; and the possession of the Marquisate of Salazzo (a passage for his forces into Italy) belonging of right to his son-in-law, the Duke of Savoy. His garrisons are in the Comté of Mirandola, and Florence, Mantua and Ferrara are at his devotion.
"Whether Scotland etc.
I know of no certain intelligence had with Spain, and do not think that the King, having received so many gracious favours from her Majesty, would ever consent to further a plot against her by opening his ports to land any foreign power, or would be so blinded as not to see that thereby his own misery would ensue; "especially because I have seen in him a mirror of heroical virtue, a wonderful zeal of true religion and a most rare judgment of all matters politic."
Yet as his country is thought most fit to serve the Spanish enterprise, that faction daily vaunts that he consents thereunto, and some here fear "that his young years, carried away with the hope of increasing his greatness, cannot behold that which all men discern. Moreover, because he hath his ambassador 'lidger' in France, a Catholic Bishop (fn. 6), and [the Bishop of] Ross to acquaint him with the occurants of Rome, it is thought by our men here that he cannot be free from the suspicion of some intelligence with Spain, especially considering that sundry priests of Scotland were sent this summer by the Pope directly into Spain, where they received great entertainment, . . . and the same time there came two gentlemen by stealth out of Scotland that did belong to the Earl of Huntly, with a secret message from the King, so that these lines (to use their metaphor) . . . meeting in one centre, Spain, it is thought they agree in one point," and this is confirmed by advices from Rome and Spain.
These are but my own collections, upon private conferences with my friends here, and as there might be danger to myself if my letters were intercepted, I have not subscribed the place from which they are sent, or my own name, and pray your honour that having read this you would burn it, and send me a note that it came safely to your hands. I send my servant, Daniel Sympson to attend you, and if it please you to command any service to me, he will come directly. By the time this reaches you, I shall have finished my first year, wholly employed here in her Majesty's service, in which I have bestowed not only her allowance but as much more of mine own; wherefore I humbly pray you to send the allowance augmented to one French crown a day, according to my first petition when I was in England; for otherwise, to my great grief, I must give over the service.
After writing thus far the advices from Rome were delivered me by the courier, with these occurants, dated 26 December, [n.s.] 1587.
Last Tuesday there passed a courier from Spain to Naples and Sicily, only leaving here a dispatch for the Catholic ambassador. Signor Vespasiano Gonzaga is sent by the King of Spain as governor of Flanders, in place of the Duke of Parma, who is going with his army on the enterprise for England. [This paragraph is in Italian.]
"By which your honour may perceive that there is nothing less thought of here than peace. And although that all these reports . . . be not oracles, yet some true meaning may be gathered of them. For it seemeth here an impossibility that any peace should be concluded, when no apparent place is provided for to bestow that Spanish rubbish in, if the common soldiers should be removed from the Low Countries. And Parma himself having made an habit of a warlike life, could never content himself to live either as viceroy of Naples or in peace in his own dukedom in Italy," of which I made larger report in my letter of Dec. 25, sent in Nicolo di Gozzi's packet.
"Since the new nuncio came hither [i.e. to Venice], there have been sundry pictures of the Scottish Queen to be sold in divers places, with verses made by G. Cr. Scotus (fn. 7) (for he putteth down no more letters) and I take it, printed at Rome, wherein, after many commendations of her virtues and especially of her miraculous patience at her death, he inveigheth in most opprobrious terms against her Majesty, and endeth with an exhortation to all princes of the earth to endeavour a revenge against her royal person and estate.
I have bought as many as I could see . . . and acquainted a man of special account here with this libel, who will underhand take order that no such from henceforth be sold of them, for his authority could not warrant any open inhibition, not know ing from what person it received commandment to be published.
"By our letters from Prague, of the 18th of December, Maximilian hath met with the vanguard of the Swede, and made him retire back to Petricovia, so that we hear nothing but of the great success of the house of Austria."
I send enclosed a letter of compliment from the Muscovite to Maximilian.
By the last from Lyons, the Swissers and Reuters are reported to be fled out of France. We hope the contrary.
I sent you last week the names of the cardinals created before Christmas, and a note of the King of Spain's treasure brought from the Indies by this last fleet. (fn. 8) —From N.N. 2 January stilo novo, 1588. Signed N.N.
Add. Endd. "From Mr. Stephen Powl," and in his writing throughout. Seal of arms. 9 closely written pp. [Newsletters LXXXI. 2.]
Dec. 27. Reasons for not accepting the last answer of the Senate of Hamburgh, "given us for a Vale."
1. Because "it containeth no one matter answerable" to her Majesty's letters or our commission from the Merchants Adventurers; which was to treat for the renewing of the Residence at Hamburgh. Their last answer contains a flat refusal to contract for this on any conditions whatsoever.
Again, our commission was to treat for the Merchants Adventurers only; but their decree "sets all open to the common merchant, and to so many as will come"; quite contrary to the meaning of our commission.
2. Because it requires us to become suitors to her Majesty and your honours for taking away all impositions "comprised in a book late sent them by the Alderman of the Stilliard, which is in effect a full restitution of all the Hanse privileges in England; and namely the Accord of Utrecht, at fourteen pence a cloth . . . which we had cause to doubt how it might be taken by her Majesty and your honours . . . being so prejudicial to her customs.
3. "In respect of the ends they had in making this decree, . . . viz. 1. to gratify the King of Spain and Duke of Parma, who laboured with them . . . to make no contract with the English nation"; 2. That within the time prescribed, they might see the success of matters between her Majesty and the King of Spain, and thereupon frame their determination; "in which respect, to have rested upon this answer . . . had been nothing but to have applied ourselves to their advantage.
4. Because it contains an untrue accusation against her Majesty and your honours, viz. that your letters are obscure, and contain only a show of general matters to be done for the Hanses; whereas they contain a particular promise of all points to be performed by her Highness, as given by her Highness at Nonsuch . . .
5. Because it contains divers other untruthful contradictions to their own letters of Aug. 19; namely, that these say 'they will contract for residency with the English Merchants Adventurers without the consent of the rest of the Hanse towns, while their decree saith they must do nothing without it. Also that they will accept what her Majesty promised them at Nonsuch, while their decree claims a full restoration of all the Hanse privileges. Their letters promise to restore the residency of the Adventurers; their decree requires her Majesty first to remove all grievances. "Which contradictions we might seem to have approved by making acceptance of their decrees."
Endd. 1½ pp. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns II. 80.]
Dec. 27. Reasons for the continuance and strengthening of the residence of the Merchants Adventurers at Stoad.
1. Because thereby the late practice of the Hanse towns has been disappointed; i.e. "either to force her Majesty to a full restoration of all the Hanse privileges, enjoyed in England 200 years ago, and namely that of Utrecht at 14d. a cloth, or else to banish the English commodities quite out of Germany." For if we fall off from Stoad, her Majesty must fall into the old controversy, and the Merchant Adventurers into the hard conditions of the Hamburgers, or go quite out of Germany.
For the Hanse towns meant to take advantage of the extremity they thought our country to stand in, for lack of place to vent their commodities in; as is shown by the relation of divers well affected to our nation, by the letters of the rest of the Hanses to Stoad, by propositions delivered by those of Hamburg to the Senate of Stoad to dissolve this contract, and by their decree wherein they require us to take away all the grievances imposed on them since the accord of Utrecht.
2. The conveniency of the place for our trade, the proof hereof being our late mart there, "which being the first in that place, exceeded the best they had these twenty years . . ."
3. In regard of her Majesty's honour, who has confirmed the contract made with Stoad, and therefore cannot give her consent for the dissolving of it except they give theirs also . . .
4. The great discredit that would grow to the Company, "noted already with often flitting from one place to another . . . who if they should deceive Stoad and break off their residence there, might never look for the like friendship and entertainment hereafter in any town of Germany. . . ."
5. The disposition of the two places towards the Company and the whole nation, and the better usage of their goods and persons. "The Stoaders far better conditioned and better affected towards the nation and Company than the Hamburgers."
For the Hamburgers, "if they be not plain enemies, yet are but hard and subtle friends towards this realm." First, because they are Spanish, and make more account of the Spanish friendship than of ours; as is apparent by their rejecting of her Majesty's petition in behalf of the Adventurers, at the request of the King of Spain and Duke of Parma, it being shown by the confession of divers of their Senate that the embassy from these and letters writ by principal men on that side were the cause of their rejecting her Majesty's petition; as also by the propositions from the Commissioners of Hamburg to the senate of Stoad, wherein they profess this to be their motive, using the power and authority of the King of Spain "to terrify the Stoaders from this contract; and the relation of a burgher of Groningen, who certified us of the Hamburgers' letters to Verdugo, captain there, to that effect, viz. that they had satisfied the King of Spain's request by casting off the English, etc.
2. "Their common rejoicing when any news cometh of loss or disadvantage to England, or good success for Spain; as at the loss of Sluys, the report of Sir Fr. Drake hurt and part of his fleet surprised by the Spanish; the safe arrival of the Spanish fleet from the Indies etc.
3. "By their late fleet often ships bought by the King of Spain's factor and sent towards Spain, with men, victuals, armour and engines to furnish the enemy; by the way divers of the shippers entered Stoad, professed themselves to serve the King of Spain, quarrelled and fought with the English merchants and uttered many dispiteful words against the whole nation. . . .
6 [sic]. The conditions at Stoad far better than at Hamburg; "as the free exercise of religion, with a preacher and administration of the sacraments; custom of one stiver on a cloth where Hamburg requireth four, a convenient house free etc.
7. "For that the rest of the Hanse towns are less discontented with this residence at Stoad than if it were returned and planted at Hamburg, as appeareth in the Lubeckers' letters to the Senate of Stoad to that effect viz.: that they ought all to refuse this residency of the English merchants, but yet can better afford it to the town of Stoad than to Hamburg, if it were to be received by either of them."
Endd. with date. 2¾ pp. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns 11. 81.]
Dec. 29. "The Merchants Adventurers' answers (fn. 9) to the points of aggrievances contained in the letters from the Senate of Hambrow (fn. 10) and such other exceptions as they take to the trade newly established at Stode."
1. Their commission was to treat with the Hamburghers for restitution of their residence and trade either with their former privileges, or upon reasonable conditions. and for assurance of the Hamburghers' restitution in England they had her Majesty's answer, dated at Nonsuch, 3 October 1585, for further confirmation whereof we delivered her letters missives and your honours' promise for performance of the said answer. "So both our commission and instructions were fully sufficient." Before our going thither they wrote both to her Majesty and the Merchants that if the said merchants would send their commissioners, they would, on reasonable conditions accept them to their former residence, in consideration of her Majesty yielding them their privileges in England, and would conclude with them without consent of the other Hanses.
2. Their decree [of August last] denies clearly for that time to make any contract with us for privileges to the Merchants Adventurers; setting the trade there open to all English merchants, and that only till Easter next; and in the first entry of their answer (contrary to their former letters) they say they cannot conclude any thing without the consent of the rest of the Hanses. And whereas her Majesty promised their restitution in England when they had restored the Adventurers' residency at Hamburg, by their decree they demand it first, and that not according to the answer at Nonsuch, but to the treaty of Utrecht; "at 14d custom for a cloth etc."
Their deferring of the treaty till Easter was specially to perform their promise to the King of Spain and his lieutenant the Duke of Parma; for it is apparent by their letters etc. that they had promised not to conclude with us without their liking. If all the rest of their answer had been reasonable (as it is not) the danger that might have grown from that delay might so have interrupted the utterance of our cloth at the spring as would have been grievous to the whole realm. Moreover we saw that they followed the direction of the King of Spain, and might at Easter do the like.
3. No doubt they were grieved that we had concluded for residency at Stoad, for thereby their whole plot (1. for preventing utterance of our cloth save by their favour; 2. the pulling down of her Majesty's custom in England; 3. the advancing of the custom with them; 4. their unreasonable searches and hard dealings with our merchants; 5. the decay of the said merchants and their shipping; 6. "the bringing of the trade to the Hanses, and to their shipping from us") was and is prevented.
"We are rejected of a forward and unkind people; never blushing to say and unsay (being written or unwritten) not only to us but also to her Majesty and your honours; and we now are settled with a faithful and courteous people, honouring her Majesty, reverencing your honours, and loving us"; and by this means the Hamburghers, who stood as great lords to be entreated, are driven themselves to become suitors; therefore no marvel though they be grieved.
4. "They of Stoad are the most ancient Hanstown, and affirm themselves to have privileges for the free passage of all men by the river to and from their town. And in that behalf, offer to try their right with the Hamburghers in the Imperial Chamber.
5. "It is not understood that the Hamburghers are at any charge for keeping the channels or clearing the river of pirates otherwise than for the commodity of themselves and their shipping."
6. "The matter between the Senate and the commonalty at our being there we found only to stand in such terms as thereby to delay and delude us; otherwise they could always agree well enough"; for when the Senate had agreed for us to take up our cloths at 6d. the pieces for custom, next day they made us pay 14d., saying the burghers would not otherwise consent. And when they last expelled us from Hamburgh, having but few days before confirmed our privileges inperpetuum, they said it was against their wills, by order of the Lubeckers and other their superiors, whose decrees they might not break. And now they allege that they cannot conclude without the consent of the other Hanses, "which colour if they may hold for current, who can have anything assured them?" We and they never agreed upon any articles after our coming to Stoad, though they showed us some which they had drawn.
7. 8. The conclusion being absolutely made at Stoad, and the merchants settled there; "as also the unkindness, [etc.] of the Hamburghers, with their great devotion to the King of Spain and Duke of Parma remembered," your suppliants do not see how any good may come to them or to the common weal by leaving Stoad, nor do they find anything in the Hamburghers' answer that might move them to it.
9. "Lastly, whereas they say that they cannot tolerate this injury (as they term it) offered to them by those of Stoad," these last have offered to justify themselves before the judge of the Imperial chamber. And they say for themselves that they are of the very first and most ancient of those which are truly the Hans towns, and that in the catalogue of those towns they have always the first and chief place; and consequently have the first pre-eminence and jurisdiction for the passage and re-passage of all persons, merchandise and shipping to and from their town," as shown by their ancient charters, the validity whereof they offer, in friendly manner, to try with the Hamburghers before the Imperial Judges; if they will not otherwise be satisfied.
Endd. 2 pp. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns II. 82 II.]
[On the same sheets as the abstracts of the complaints.]
Dec. 30./Jan. 9. Thomas Bathecom to Walsingham.
Having often written to his honour but never received any answer, he feels rather inclined to keep quiet than to busy himself further; yet desiring to show himself a good member of his country, "when there is some likelihood of cause of offence," he sends the enclosed letter. "The man it is directed unto is known so ill and vile a member to God and his country as the substance therein cannot be good." Prays pardon for his presumption and craves an answer.—Rouen, 9 January, 1588, French style.
Add. Endd. ½ p. [France XVII. 143.]
Dec. 30./Jan 9. Stephen Powle to Walsingham.
His last was on Jan. 2 [n.s.], when he sent his honour answer to the three points given him to enquire of by his honour's of Oct. 15, received Dec. 20.
Constantinople, Nov. 28. The war was to go on in Persia, as the Turk not only persisted in keeping garrisoned the seven fortresses built against the Persian, but wished to keep up a great army of 100,000 Turks, hoping to gain possession of the Royal seat and the King who is master of the country, and, enjoying the income of his city and provinces, no longer cares that so many of the fortresses are now in the hand of the Turk, hoping that if not to-day yet tomorrow, his views will weaken, it may be by the wastage of his people, which is great or by the long and weary journey, as by the frequent attacks of the Persians against their enemies, and that either by the raising of the Turkish camp or by some other design of war, the Persian may make himself master of the fortresses without fighting.
Vienna. The last advices from thence say that the Grand Duchy of Lithuania had sent thirty ambassadors to Cracovia to see if they may find means that Maximilian may remain King of Poland, and the Prince of Sweden return to the King his father, with the satisfaction of having made his sister queen, and the Grand Chancellor reconciled to the house of Sboroschi, with permission obtained from the Emperor and the King Maximilian that he should remain in possession of his goods, although deprived of the honourable charges which he had in that kingdom.
Rome, January 2. There is arrived here a secretary of the Queen of Scots, who was made prisoner with others of her people by the Queen of England, but after her death was liberated by means of the French King, from whom he brought letters to the Cardinal de Lenoncourt, which caused people to think that he had some important business, but after kissing the Pope's feet, he went back to be with the Cardinal Grand Master of Malta, and it is believed that he came only on his own affairs, to obtain some aid and comfort for his disgrace, as he has done with the said Grand Master, who means shortly to return to Malta, for which purpose he retains his galleys at Naples.
It is said here that the Duke of Ferrara, besides his ordinary agents at the Emperor's court, has lately sent one of his chief men thither to obtain the investiture of Modena and Reggio in the person of Don Cesare d'Este, offering very liberal conditions, and also to pay a certain sum of money for the affairs of Poland. And, at his request, the Dukes of Mantua and Tuscany will do the same.
On Thursday evening there arrived from France Signor Marco Bandini, a gentleman of the chamber of the Most Christian King, and sent by him to the Pope. It is said he is come to give an account of what has happened in France, and to demand favour of his Holiness in the matter of the alienation of ecclesiastical goods, which has not yet been put in operation.
The Signor Chiapini Vitelli, private Chamberlain of the Pope, is said to be making ready to carry the staff and blessed hat for this year to the new Duke of Mantua.
There has died here a nephew of Cardinal Joyeuse, on his sister's side. It is said that letters from Turin state that the King of Spain is indisposed, though not very seriously; yet not without danger because of his age and weakness. But no further news having come, it is hoped that all goes well.
Venice [undated]. From Spain, the dispatch of the powerful armada is confirmed, but the enterprise not yet announced, though conjectured to be for England; from whence, letters of Nov. 25 from London advise us that the Queen had made very great preparations for the defence of her realm, menaced by the Spaniard in spite of the treaty of peace; although others believe that this great force may be to join with that of the Duke of Parma, for the recovery of Holland and Zeeland.
From Milan news comes hither that advices from Spain say that it is held to be certain that the Marquis of Santa Croce will go out with the fleet now at Lisbon, which increases every day; but when or whither it will go is not known.
His Majesty has sent Archduke Maximilian 200000 florins for the business of Poland. It is said that he is finding many difficulties, but it is hoped that by God's grace he will overcome them all. The Duke of Paserana, son of the late Ruy Gomez, a young man of good reputation, started a week ago for Flanders. His Majesty gives him 500 crowns the month.
As to the pragmatic of titles, it seems that his [Spanish] Majesty has given satisfaction to his Holiness.
Other advices from Milan say that last week the Archbishop of Ireland passed through the town, who was aided with money by the Duke of Terranuova, governor of the town, and other prelates and knights. It is stated for certain that the Holy Father will make the English enterprise, and that he is sent by his Holiness to help on the business.
[The above intelligences are in Italian.]
I cannot learn who it is that passes under the name of the Archbishop of Ireland, but there is nothing more current here than that this enterprise is forthwith to be undertaken, "which the meaner sort imagine will be to the utter overthrow of England; and that with the least difficulty in the world; but those of more judgment make it not a matter of that easiness, unless that the King of Spain have some straighter intelligence with some traitorous Englishmen (and those not little ones) than is apparent to the world. . . ."
Spain is reported to have above 60000 men ready for this enterprise, and above a hundred and forty ships, having unfurnished Sardinia, Majorca and Minorca, Sicily and the gallioni of Naples, besides the general contribution in Spain of all things needed for it.
Schenck has taken 'Bouna' [Bonn] in the Low Countries." As it is of great importance for the passage of the Rhine, it is given out that the first service the Duke of Parma undertakes will be to recover it.
By the time your honour receives this, my first year of being employed wholly in her Majesty's service will have expired. [Requests further allowance, as in his letter of Dec. 16. Mr. Dr. White, the preacher, can give more particular notice of his needs.]
Later letters from Prague, of the 27th of last month, arrived here in Venice this morning, bring confirmation of the injury done by King Maximilian to those of Cracovia, and received from them, when his Majesty would have entered the town, if the intelligence which his people had with a captain there had not been discovered by the Grand Chancellor, who thereupon took all necessary measures with diligence and speed. It is said that his Majesty has withdrawn to the borders of Silesia, resolved rather to lose his life than to abandon the enterprise, and hoping that his brother the Emperor will give him aid, as here it is believed he will do. It is further reported that the Swede [Prince Charles of Sweden] has entered Cracovia, where it is believed he has been crowned, but this is not certain. Also that Sboroschi had arrived in Prague, as if he meant to go into Italy, to collect men in the name of his Majesty of Poland; and also doing his utmost to get a good number in Germany.— Venice, 9 January, 1588, silo novo.
Add. Endd. 5 pp. [Newsletters LXXXI. 3.]
[News in Italian; the rest in English.]
Notes of a few of the principal points in Powle's letters of Dec. 26, and Jan. 2 and 9, new style, in English.
Endd. "Occurrences out of Italy from Mr. Stephen Powl, Feb. [sic] 1587." 1¼ pp. [Ibid. 4.]
Dec. Stafford to Burghley.
I send you a copy of my letters to Mr. Secretary and the Queen by which your lordship will see what has passed since my last. Also a commandment given me from the Queen by Mr. Secretary "about the leaving of that which I writ to her of late of a course I had taken about my wife. I pray God I may have wit to invent so good a way to serve her again," and that he will send me better luck to please her than I look for; "for I see that what way I take to serve her, I have so many good friends that it is taken for a jest; and if I do not serve her, howsoever it be, I shall be thought negligent or worse. And so I will leave all to God, and assure myself, si Deus nobiscum, quis contra nos."—December, 1587.
Postscript. Recommending the honesty of the bearer, who, though he be a post, is also his ordinary servant for the time of his abode in France.
Holograph. Add. ¾ p. [France XVII. 144.]


  • 1. All the dates in this and the following Newsletters are new style.
  • 2. Fusto, a kind of light galley.
  • 3. Capitulation signed Dec. 8. n.s.
  • 4. They arrived at Geneva shortly afterwards, having left Clervant ill at Chasteauvieux, where he died. See Memoires of La Huguerye, ed. de Ruble, iii, 208.
  • 5. He arrived on Dec. 18. See Memoires, iii, 208. [The learned editor of the Memoires states that he always used Old Style.]
  • 6. Beaton, Archbishop of Glasgow.
  • 7. Probably stands for "Guillaume Crichton," the Scottish Jesuit.
  • 8. See letter of Dec. 16-26 above.
  • 9. i.e. the answer of their commissioners, to be put before the Privy Council.
  • 10. See under date Nov. 7 above.