Elizabeth: August 1586

Pages 64-80

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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August 1586

Aug. 5. Horatio Palavicino to Burghley.
Having received letters from Lazaro Grimaldo of the 20 and 27 of last month, in which, after telling me that Prince Doria was still in Genoa by order of the Spanish King, he encourages me to carry on and mature the project for a peace; I have reflected that sooner or later we must come to the point of thinking on what conditions her Majesty might make an agreement with the Spanish King; and finding myself at leisure, I have made bold to write down what are perhaps, I will not say fitting, but not improper; for truly many things trouble me on one side and the other, and I have not known how to make an end of them otherwise. After writing them, my boldness in thinking of sending them to your lordship has been more apparent to me; but in the end, trusting to your kindness, and hoping that as my patron you will take it in good part, I have let myself be carried away by the desire that you may see my affection in your service, praying that if you find it different from your own opinion (which is better than any other in her Majesty's service) you will burn it; but if otherwise, that you will tell me whether to send it to Grimaldo, and add to it or take away from it much or little, according to what you shall wish me to signify to that party.—Francfort, 5 August, 1586.
Add. Endd. Italian. 1 p. [Germany, States IV. 72.]
Aug. 5/15. Charles, hereditary prince of Sweden, Duke of Sudermania, etc. to the Queen.
Having desired one Thomas Fisck, merchant of London, to buy and bring to him some geldings and a hundred pieces of English cloth, he prays her Majesty to allow them to be exported free of duty.—Nicopia [Nyköping], 18 kal. Sept. 1586.
Signed. Add. Endd. Latin. 1 p. [Sweden I. 14.]
Aug. 10. The French Ambassador's Requests.
Sir William Courtney's ship in April last took a French ship returning from Spain with oil, leather, wines, etc. and 12000 ducats in money belonging to Francois Le Pape, merchant of Landerneau. Le Pape obtained commission from the Admiral to have the said goods stayed in all places in this kingdom, and having found a good part thereof in the hands of one of Sir William's servants, had him arrested. But Sir John Gilbert, Vice admiral of Cornwall had the goods put into the hands of one William Franche, merchant of Salcombe (Salcon), hindering the said Le Pape from the enjoyment thereof, and saying that he did so by orders of the Admiral, forbidding the restitution of anything.
Le Pape, believing that the goods are perishing, has been forced to give good securities to have main levee of them, which has been granted him. As to the money, he has spoken to Thomas Courtney, captain of Sir William's ship, in whose hands it was placed, demanding its restitution, who says he had only 6000 ducats (although before he confessed to 8400) part of which he had distributed amongst his sailors, and the rest was willing to restore if the said Sir John Gilbert would consent, who had forbidden it, or if the Admiral would write commanding it.
Le Pape prays Walsingham for letters from the Council, ordering the discharge of the cautions and restitution of the money; also letters to Sir William and Thomas Courtney, Captain John Norrys and Robert Louvrein [qy. Lorraine] master of the said ship, to answer personally before the Council.
This was resolved in the last conference on the matter of Sir Walter Ralley and Geoffrey Periere, (fn. 1) touching the wines taken from the said Periere for his ships, but remained without execution, because of Sir Walter's complaint of a ship of his stayed in Brittany. It will be proved that the said ship being driven on to the said coast by bad weather, the master or others authorized by Sir Walter had sold it, with its furniture and munitions, so that he had no cause on this account to withold the value of the wines, seeing he has had no loss. Mr. Semer [Seymour] has also not made satisfaction.
Nor has anything been executed of what was ordered touching Ravenel and Yoncs (fn. 1); and yet the said Yones still enjoys the commission which he has, to the great prejudice of the said Ravenel.
Endd. with date "10 August, 1586." Fr. 2½ pp. [France XVI. 43.]
Aug. 14. Stafford to Walsingham.
Your servant asks me to give him this packet to colour his abode in Dieppe and thereabouts.
Since my last by my cousin Cecil, nothing has happened, but even now news comes that Auxonne is not rendered as was reported, but that if it please the King to give them for governor either M. le Grand [Ecuyer] himself, lieutenant of Burgundy and therefore the chief besieger; the Duke of Guise, for his interest in it as a private man; "or his brother [or] M. de Brion [qy. Biron] or M. de Bourbon or M. de Raigny, they all being the King's faithful servants . . . they are willing to yield themselves into any their hands that they know will keep the town at the King's devotion," the King doing them wrong to besiege them, who are altogether his, and only did what they did to keep the town out of the League's hand, "who were altogether Spanish, and that would keep at the King of Spain's devotion a place that he had so long thrusted [qy. thirsted] after."
It is said that M. le Grand has sent to know the King's pleasure, and that the Duke of Guise "thinking this be a match made by the King," has retired his forces, leaving but a few with M. le Grand, and tarries to know the King's pleasure. Whether this be true or not I cannot tell; but the King has done himself great wrong to let it be besieged, for under colour of this the League has gathered and still gather themselves in arms, ready for any enterprise. "They here have been known so long deceitful as nobody can judge of their intents in anything; but else, the King maketh open show, although by constraint he be fain to agree to many things the League will have him, that he hateth them deadly."
Ten days ago, he pardoned a gentleman for killing one or two of the League, who when they were first in arms had spoiled his houses and villages, saying "that he was sorry for nothing but that he had not killed so many of them that his patent might with the names of them, have contained as much parchment as might be bought in the best shop in Paris; and divers that have been in the hands of Justice for very small matters, not one hath escaped with his life. But this day thirteen year after the French account [i.e. St. Bartholomew, Aug. 24, n.s. 1573], maketh me trust no dumb shows whilst I live."
This bearer will satisfy you of the sea preparation, and Grimston of the advertisement about Scotland. I have had it again, but see no cause to believe it, considering the King's disposition. "I rather think . . . that the putting them out upon this sudden is only to make a show, that they which have had the money for the doing of it may have a colour not to be called to account."—Paris, 14 August, 1586.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [France XVI. 44.]
Aug. 17/27. Mazin del Bene to the Queen.
Thanks God and congratulates her Majesty on the safe return of Drake, and would rejoice still more had he brought back upon his ship all the gold and silver of those countries, both under and above ground, and that in exchange, there might have been poured down upon them sevenfold the famine, plague and war which they have in this miserable kingdom [of France] with very little hope of their cessation. If her Majesty's ships could encounter those of the King of Spain in their going to and fro, and get the better of them, it might cause his ruin: for, the sea being free, she might at her leisure, before they could recover themselves, establish herself in some convenient place for the cutting off from him entirely the trade of those countries. Has written a long letter to Mr. Secretary, and sent him a discourse made about a week ago. If it should be so favoured as to come under her Majesty's eyes, and she might find anything in it useful to her, he would have obtained his end, which is to serve her; and if not, he trusts so much in her kindness as to hope that she will not take it amiss. Prays God to keep her from all danger, protect all her enterprises and dissipate those of the enemy, grant her long to reign with piety, justice and peace and finally bring her to eternal life among the blest.—Paris, (Parigi), 27 August, 1586.
Add. Endd. "27 May," in error. Italian. 2¼ pp. [France XVI. 45.]
Aug. 19. Dr. Schulte to Burghley and Walsingham.
Your lordships will, I think, fully understand from my enclosed letter, the position in which the business of granting a residency to the English and the Merchant Adventurers stands; and the purport of the letters written by the Senate (I think in March last) to the Queen and the Adventurers. You will also gather what is to be expected from our people, and that now it only remains to send some good men hither as soon as possible as ambassadors.
Since from that letter it will be clear to all how honestly and diligently I have transacted this whole business, and your lordships will be aware of the promise made to me in England last year in the Queen's name—a promise given in writing, signed by the Queen's hand, and countersigned by Sir Robert Beale, secretary of the Council—touching the export of a thousand English cloths provided I paid the usual custom thereon, I greatly hope that your lordships will not only be mindful of that promise, but will confirm it and bring it to effect; especially as, in the loyal carrying out of this business, I have incurred the hatred of many persons, and have actually suffered great loss. For the people of Lubeck, on my return, refused to pay me the 64l. sterling which I had borrowed in England towards the cost of my journey and embassy; so that I have had to pay it out of my own private purse; and all because I was denounced by a colleague of mine, one Losemann, and fell under suspicion of being favourable to the English nation.
I pray you therefore to give due consideration to this matter, and to the expences incurred by me, and to bring it to the Queen's notice, so that even if you do not think it fitting that I should gain anything by my embassy, yet that at least the loss I have suffered may be made good, and some sort of compensation given me. I think I may justly complain in this matter, and am sure her Majesty will indemnify me.
If I can repay you by any kind of service, and prove my zeal to the Queen and your lordships, you shall find that I am not lacking in zeal and goodwill.
I have in previous letters set forth my services to the Queen, and will only now repeat that if she should have need of my help in carrying out missions in Germany, I will give it as loyally and diligently as a man can, trusting to her royal beneficence in the matter of remuneration.
I pray you let me know what hopes I may have in this affair, and what is the opinion of her Majesty and your lordship therein, or else notify the same to my agent, John Robert, citizen of London.—Hamburg, 19 August, 1586.
Add. Endd. Latin. 2½ pp. [Hamburg and Hanse towns II. 49.]
Enclosed in the preceding:
Aug. 19. Dr Schulte to Burghley and Walsingham.
I trust your lordships have not forgotten how I was sent last year, together with a colleague, as ambassadors to the Queen on behalf of the Hanseatic cities, and how, having wrought with her and received an answer, we were sent back.
We made a true report to our people, and especially to the Senate of Hamburg, of the whole business, which was summed up in the writing delivered to us last year at Nonsuch on October 3, wherein was contained all the concession we had been able to obtain from her Majesty for the Hanse merchants in England, in return for a residence at Hamburg. Not only did the Senate accept this gratefully, as a kindly and sufficient decision, but in return they undertook to do all good offices to the Queen and her subjects, and put their undertaking and acceptance in writing; with this single reservation; viz. that commissioners should be sent to treat with them touching all outstanding matters, and to receive a full explanation of their mind; since they could not entrust everything to writing; having regard to the circumstances of the times and the importance of the business. I had hoped that this letter of the Senate would have had some weight with the Queen and your lordships, so that the whole matter might have been brought to a fitting conclusion, and the English nation or the Merchants Adventurers be trading in Hamburg this year; especially as I accompanied the letter from the Senate with one from myself, by way of commentary, and had done all that was possible; effecting more than I had at first expected, but not without great labour, and incurring much dislike among the men of Lubeck.
In spite of all, however, I learned that the letter of the Senate was considered unsatisfactory, both by the Queen and your lordships, and also by the Society of Adventurers; and that certain points in it had been interpreted in a wrong sense, and were understood to mean something quite different from what the Senate intended, with the result that the whole matter remains hung up, and the hoped for treaty has been shelved.
On being advised by a friend of all this, and of the points which the Queen and your lordships found wanting in the letter, I lost no time in laying the matter once more before the Senate, and moved them to write again to the Queen, explaining their opinion more clearly.
Meanwhile, there arrived a letter from the Merchants Adventurers to the Senate, setting out (though rather obscurely and baldly) their further demands; the letter being more in the nature of a general complaint than a specific enumeration of the shortcomings of the Senate's former letter.
The Senate seized the opportunity, and wrote again to the Merchants Adventurers. The Adventurers may perhaps think that they ought to have set forth their opinion on all the matters at issue concerning the residency. This, I must confess, the Senate has not done. They think such a course would be unsafe (for who can say into what hands the letter might come?) and inconsistent with the usual custom of making treaties; and urge strongly that the one way to treat satisfactorily and bring matters to a conclusion, is to send ambassadors to them If this is done, the Senate pledges its good-will, and assures the Adventurers that everything can be settled without difficulty and by fair methods. And indeed, although soon after our return to our own country, when the former letter from the Senate was written, certain difficulties were shewing themselves which, it seemed, might cause some slight hindrance in future negotiations, yet these have all now been settled and removed. For those who are unfavourable to the negotiation (they are not unknown to your lordship) failed entirely to effect anything either against the Queen or against the Senate of Hamburg; although they left no stone unturned to do so.
As to the points in the Senate's former letters which may have seemed somewhat hard or obscure, I have written about them to the friend mentioned above, asking him, since I might not write to your lordships myself thereon, to apprise you once more of my explanation of the matter, or rather of the declaration and intention of the Senate; and to communicate to the Merchants Adventurers an English translation of my letter. Whether he has done this I know not. In case he thas not, I have thought it best to append a few words hereto.
The people of Hamburg do not expect, nor do they unreasonably demand, confirmation and restitution of all their old privileges, without exception or limitation, even though mention was perhaps made in the Senate's former letter of those privileges and such restitution. It is now quite clear to them that they cannot obtain such wholesale and unreserved restitution. They are therefore content with the decision communicated to us at Nonsuch on October 3rd, provided that (after the Residency at Hamburg has been granted) it be confirmed under some royal seal, so that they may have assurance in the matter, and that this assurance be brought to them by the ambassadors to be sent hither at some future time. It is not asked that this confirmation be made under the Great Seal, which has usually been applied only to the most important affairs of the realm, but only that some sort of competent assurance be given; and with this object:— that in granting a Residency at Hamburg, they may not seem to have neglected the interests of the other cities, or the general privileges of all, and their reciprocal rights in England.
In the same way, when asking that one of the Queen's confidential counsellors might be sent, the Senate did not intend to demand one of those who are daily in her Majesty's presence, nor did they pretend to prescribe who it should be; but only that it might be some one of authority, with the Queen's orders and instructions and the consent of the Merchants Adventurers.
If the Adventurers think that an increase or fresh introduction of dues has been made, with special reference to themselves and designedly for the prejudice of the English nation, they err and are deceived. This is not a newly invented plan. It has been the custom in this city, time out of mind, to take, in respect of every kind of merchandise, a small, fixed sum of money, in compensation of the expenses incurred by the people of Hamburg, year in and year out, to make the Elbe, with its multitude of hidden sandbanks, safe for navigation. For, with this object in view they are bound to put in position and keep in repair, an almost infinite number of sea-casks (tonnas marinas) as they are called, made of timber, in the form of bells and strengthened with iron fastenings; as well as a number of beacons, for the warning of sailors. These devices, which involve the people of Hamburg in unspeakable expence, are used by the sailors in place of pilots, and enable them to bring their ships in and out of the river without cost.
Since then the Senate is not grasping after any gain in this matter, but only striving to avoid loss, they conceive that they are neither doing nor exacting anything unjust, especially as the English nation is exempt above all others, and is bound to pay nothing more than the citizens of Hamburg themselves. And even supposing that the Senate has increased slightly the above-mentioned small sum of money, it does not follow that the increase is established for ever; and I think, when it comes to treating, the Merchant Adventurers will be able to obtain a certain modification even in that.
The Senate will not be blamed, I think, by any person experienced in politics for not putting all this in writing in their letter. I, for my part—such is my fidelity to the Queen and your lordships, and my good-will towards the English nation— have thought it best utterly to avoid any dissimulation towards you, lest you be diffident of future negotiations and despair of the goodwill of the men of Hamburg. I trust that, as a result, the negotiation which has been in suspense will be taken up with us again with greater confidence.
Lastly, being informed that the Merchants Adventurers, and even the Queen and your lordships, are annoyed by the unceasing attacks and misrepresentations made against them to the Emperor and other orders (ordines) of the Empire, I certainly do not think this can be imputed to the people of Hamburg, or could be prevented by them. For it is done without their knowledge and against their wish, and they have no authority to lay down rules for the other cities. For instance, without their knowledge or advice, a letter was recently written to the Emperor in the name of all the cities, and an answer given to his Imperial Majesty by the people of Lubeck alone, or with a few others, and the people of Hamburg know nothing of its purport to this day.
For this reason, it seems to the people of Hamburg unfair and quite contrary to the treaty which has been begun, that the Merchant Adventurers in their latest letter should expressly demand the consent of all the rest of the cities; as though they were not willing to treat with the people of Hamburg without the others' consent. They must know or could easily guess that this [demand] is impossible, and that the other cities are diametrically opposed to Hamburg in this business. I think this must have been inserted in the letter by someone as a sort of joke or excess of caution, and that they do not really wish to insist on it, or indeed would think it right to insist, since the treaties now begun principally concern the city of Hamburg alone, and there is no need for the consent of the rest.
Therefore it will remain for your lordships to intervene in this matter, and promote it with the Queen and the Adventurers, to the end that two ambassadors, good men and discreet, and lovers of equity and peace, be sent at the earliest opportunity to Hamburg, with full orders, and a reciprocal sealed confirmation of the concessions promised to the Hanseatic traders at Nonsuch on the 3rd of October of last year, in return for the residency to be planted at Hamburg, If that be done, I hope all the matters in controversy will not only be settled with ease, but that the ambassadors will return to England in a short space, leaving their business here happily accomplished.
And if I can give them help and counsel, or otherwise show my goodwill to the Queen and your lordships, I will make it clear that a sincere mind is not lacking to me.
There is no news here save (alas!) that it is said for certain that Neuss on the Rhine, five [German] miles below Cologne, was stormed on July 16 by the Spaniards, and occupied by them, and that there was great slaughter, all men found in arms being killed. An edict, however, was issued by the Duke of Parma forbidding the soldiers to illtreat the unarmed crowd, especially maidens, women and boys, and any persons who of their own accord should offer to yield to the Spanish King. It is said that the city was stormed in seven places at once, and that the troops had the strictest orders not to desist until it was taken; at which the citizens were greatly troubled, for they said that they could not possibly resist the enemy, mines having been dug in four separate places and trains of gunpowder laid, to set the city on fire and so destroy it. The reason for so bitter an attack is said to be that on the day before, a colloquy between the enemy and the men of Neuss had been decided on, and that relying on the promise given to him, the Duke approached the city with his chiefs, wereupon those of Neuss fired all their engines of war upon his army, which act of perfidy so enraged him, that he is believed to have sworn on the spot to destroy the city, and so the next day the attack was made.
On the 18th of July last, and until the end of that week, the King of Denmark held a Convention at Luneburg with Christian, Duke of Saxony; John George, Elector of Brandenburg; George Frederick his son, administrator of the archbishopric of Magdeburg; Philip Duke of Brunswick (or Grubenhagen) and the younger Prince of Anhalt and Count Barbi. Segur, ambassador of the King of Navarre, was also present. Absolutely nothing of their deliberations has been made public, and the conferences were held privately by the princes alone, all counsellors being excluded; but it is thought that the Convention was primarily concerned with matters of religion. This I was able to conjecture from some words spoken by the King himself, who, when it was over, crossed to Hamburg, while the other princes returned to their own dominions.
It has been lately reported from Norimberg that the Evangelical demagogues (concionatores) were expelled from Augsburg on July 18, and forced to leave the city before sunset. It is said that the Emperor was a witness of the affair and that it was done by his authority.
The commissaries and counsellors of the Emperor, Electors and Princes assembled at Worms have completed their task, and left the city about the middle of May. What their deliberations or decisions were is not known, except that matters have not gone too well with the accusers and enemies of England, who have not succeeded in getting what they asked for, the whole matter having been referred to the general Diet of the Empire.
There is no other news worth mentioning.—Hamburg, 19 August, 1586.
Add. Endd. Latin. 8 pp. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns II. 50.]
Aug. 20. Stafford to Walsingham.
Three causes have moved me to send this bearer away at once. First, the going away yesterday of Count "Mombeliard" and today of Count Isenbourg, the two chief ambassadors here, without seeing the King. They pressed it—thinking to hasten his seeing them—"upon great business that they pretended they had, that they could stay no longer" and desired, if he would not see them, that he would give them somebody to conduct them home; which the King granted, and so they are departed, leaving the other four to await their courier out of Germany, whom they sent a fortnight ago to their princes; and then they say they will return too.
I think this will be the end of this great embassy so long talked of, which I never thought could bring any effect but delay. "If they have any mettle in them in Germany, this manner of dealing of the King's will egg them to be no more so slack, and to see well enough how little they be set by, and how much they be dallied withal. The Count Mombeliard goeth away marvellously stomached, as he maketh show, and thinketh himself greatly disdained, as he hath good reason."
The second cause is to tell you of the Queen's journey; who was yesterday to go from Chenonceaux towards the King of Navarre; but I do not think she be gone, for the Abbot of "Guadigne" is returned the second time from that King, and at his being there, "very hardly received and in evil terms of him, upon speeches that he should give out that the King of Navarre should use unto him at his last being there, which he never spake; as of mind to change his religion, and his assurance that he would consent to a peace with any conditions." Besides, we are advertised that the King of Navarre went away suddenly, without saying anything to the Abbot, and with all the troops he could gather is gone to join the Viscount Turenne, and raise the siege of Castillion, which holds out still, and does greatly "indomage" M. de Maine, who has lost a great number of men before it, and does daily.
For all that, the Queen Mother wrote hither yesterday that she departeth presently, will follow the King of Navarre wherever he goes, and will assuredly make a peace, but "all those be but accustomed cunnings to sow bruits abroad," and, in my opinion, she neither believes the King of Navarre so ready for a peace nor means to give him cause of contentment.
Plumaux, who held Auxonne, having made himself craftily master of the citadel, has betrayed the town for 30,000 crowns given him by the Duke of Guise, with 12,000 more for certain private men there, and [it] is now in the hands of the Baron of Senecey (Seneces), the Duke of Guise's lieutenant. "The King greatly stormeth at it, though he dare make no show of it. He had written not five days afore to 'Plumaut' with his own hand that what show soever he was made to make to besiege them, and to seem he was willing they should be put into the League's hand, that, upon all the services he meant to do him he should hold out; that he would never forget it, and that there should means be found that he should want nothing within the town, and that they without should be weary of their siege. But such is the infidelity and coveteousness in these parts as no man can tell how to judge of anybody or to trust to any. I can assure you that the money the Duke of Guise gave was the King of Spain's."
The Duke makes show to dissipate his troops, yet in all places else they of his party assemble, and daily letters come from him to his participants to that effect.
News is come that our men have surprised Breda. If true, it would greatly divert the Duke of Parma's enterprises.
There is here a negro who says he came with Sir Francis Drake, and stole away when he landed in England. He gives out that Drake has brought home little or nothing, and has done less, and that his taking of Cartagena, Nombre de Dios and the rest is false. But the man is never away from the Spanish ambassador, and I think is "supposed" (sic) by him to give out these things. I would be glad to know whether any such has escaped from Sir Francis Drake, and also as much as may be known of the particular successes of his journey. "I would make them blown abroad to his honour."—Paris, 20 August, 1586.
Postscript. Even now news comes that the Queen Mother is not yet going from Chenonceaux, and that the King of Navarre is further from speaking with her than ever. There is also news come that St. "Luk" has agreed with the King of Navarre to keep Brouage for him. I think it is true, "because the Council that be here left take it to be so, and that they are greatly troubled withal."
Holograph. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [France XVI. 46.]
Aug. 20. Proconsuls and Senate of Hamburg to the Merchants Adventurers.
Your letters of 11th June from London are a proof that things often turn out in an unwelcome and unexpected manner. For although they contain clear and welcome proofs of your good will and affection to this city, yet the aspersions you make on the alleged unfriendly expulsion of the English merchants after ten years residence here, and on our letter of March last to the Queen and yourselves, as though its purport were inconsistent with last year's conference between the Queen's Councillors and the ambassadors of the Hanseatic League, have greatly troubled us. For it is quite clear from the terms of the arrangement entered into just before the beginning of the previous residence that a period of ten years was fixed upon, with the consent and ratification of both parties, as the term for the continuance of that residence, either party being free to withdraw from the arrangement at the end of that term, with the goodwill of the other. Moreover, we did not adhere strictly to the term fixed, but allowed your merchants a full year beyond it, in order that you might more conveniently settle your affairs. This fact absolves us from the charge of an unfriendly dismissal of your nation, since it proves that we strove to do all that our zealous wish to please you would allow, in such a way as would fully satisfy any candid judge of the matter; and indeed many of your own people admitted as much And again, in the last letter we wrote to the Queen in the name of the city, we do not think there is anything to prove a withdrawal on our part from our previous declaration. The main purport of it was to show our sincere and friendly wish for a renewed residence on a practicable and fairer basis.
We do not think you can justly be offended, because we have signified that your fellow merchants will enjoy equal rights and benefits with our citizens in the payment of customs and taxes and no more. For it was made plain to our ambassadors, at their conferences with the Queen's counsellors, and also from the resolution communicated to them at Nonsuch on 3 October, that our citizens and merchants could not expect any greater liberty in the payment of dues in England than was allowed to English subjects; and this in spite of the fact that the Hanse towns were in former times in possession of a practical exemption from paying such customs, by virtue of certain old agreements made with former English Kings on onerous terms, and that the customs exacted in this city from our citizens and Englishmen alike are certainly very different from the customs exacted in England from English and other merchants. However, although our ambassadors, by common decree of the Hanseatic Society, pressed strongly for the entire restitution of our privileges, we will not let this demand so restrict our future consultations as to make them depend on the grant of full restitution. We gather from the Queen's letter and the reports of our ambassadors, that such restitution is not to be expected, but we hope—as indeed is clear from her Majesty's declaration—that in her own time, she will take the matters into equable consideration. Meanwhile, to avoid delay and interruption of the negotiation as to a residence at Hamburg, we think it best to take up again the last answer given to our ambassadors (on October 3 last) and to resume our negotiation, so that . . . the whole matter may be brought to the desired conclusion by ambassadors sent from you to this city.
We feel sure that neither the Queen nor yourselves can be offended because we have asked that one of her Majesty's councillors. with a sealed commission, may be put in charge of the business; for the correcting clause which we have inserted in the letter makes it clear that we have left the matter to her Majesty's judgment:—Provided only that assurance and security in some authentic form be given to us, in the name of the Hanseatic cities, touching all that was put in writing and promised to our ambassadors at Nonsuch on October 3rd, and touching the concessions due to the Hanseatic League as a recompense for the Residence at Hamburg; and among other things concerning the yearly export from England of a suitable number of white cloths. There was no attempt on our part to dictate anything to her Majesty by these words. Our only wish was to prevent delay.
It remains therefore that some fit person from your Society should be sent as soon as possible, to confer with us and come to some agreement . . . In this conference, it will be our anxious care to accept what is consonant with reason and equity, and to reject what is not. You must realize that it was not possible for your counsellors and our ambassadors to carry the negotiations as to the Residency any further than was done recently, because it was not permissible for our ambassadors to be informed as to all details under this head; and if any difficulties have emerged, they can be settled in this place better than elsewhere, by common consent of all our citizens. We do not think the consent of the other confederated cities will be required, since the matter of residence is one that specially concerns us and our city, and it is clear that when negotiations were being carried on touching the first residence here, the authority or consent of the remaining Hanseatic Cities was not invoked.
As to your complaints about calumnies and charges of monopoly being stirred up against you, we can understand that these are troublesome and grievous to the Queen and yourselves, but we can testify that we are entirely blameless. We cannot deny that complaints on this head have been made to the Emperor and the Electors; but we do deny that they were made with our approval; and we doubt not but that you will distinguish between the intentions and opinions of the various parties and consider the matter again with riper judgment.
So far as we are concerned, we have always laboured to prove by tireless zeal our ready service to her Majesty, and we shall continue to leave nothing undone which might tend to the continuance of the goodwill and mutual friendliness which has grown up between the English nation and this State. At the same time, our citizens and merchants . . . complain bitterly that in addition to all the other burdens which are being gradually heaped on them in England, their trading there is now so restricted that they are not allowed to export even the smallest wares from thence, while on the other hand, English merchants and subjects with us enjoy every mark of hospitality and friendship, and have, at present, freedom of trading in all wares without hindrance.
This being the case—and your English merchants can bear witness that it is so—we would ask you in the most friendly fashion to adopt a somewhat more kindly attitude in regard to our people's trading. If we can obtain some relaxation in this respect,—and equity demands that we should—we are sure that such an increased freedom of export from England will arouse in our wills and minds a very strong desire to establish and perpetuate our mutual friendship. . . . . [Hamburg] 20 Aug. 1586.
Add. Endd. Latin. 6½ pp. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns II. 51.]
Aug. 21. Horatio Palavicino to Walsingham.
While awaiting Duke Casimir's return, I have nothing worth reporting, and write but to let you know that only yesterday the Moravian scholar arrived from Oxford, from whom I had your letters of the 19, 29 and 30 June. If they had come before the Duke's departure, we might now be able to see a little more nearly what it was possible to obtain as bond from the Duke for the levy, availing myself of the permission in your letters, for the modification of a certain condition whereby I might be freed from the disbursement of that increase, or could reduce it according to the time and the concurrence of the other contributions. But coming so late, nothing can be done till his return, which will be delayed longer than was thought, and certainly will not be next week, as he has gone to Brunswick, where he was with Duke Julius on the 4th inst., on which day he wrote to me. Since then I have had no news, and he has probably gone direct to Brandenburg, as already it was after the time when he was to be in Luneburg with the other princes. When I do see him, I will treat with him, with the resolution to confine myself to the first offer, and not to go on to the second (according to your honour's advice) without express need, and then will proceed by degrees, as the state of affairs shall warrant, so that you may know by results that I have used all the diligence and care in my power. Yet I have reason for fear, as I have no information of the state of France from Sir E. Stafford, from whom I have had no letters since the 10th of July, so that I do not know what to believe of the practices for a peace, which is reported to be treated of there. If I could be assured of being daily advised of what is happening there, I could be sure of not committing any mistake. I shall nevertheless do my best to the end that her Majesty may be pleased with my service.
I am greatly delighted to hear of the arrival of Sir [Francis] Drake, since—not doubting but that all we have heard of his acquisitions is quite true—it rejoices me to know that he has come back safely and in time for a good part of his company to return with new ships and provisions, to carry on the war in those countries before or at the same time that the Spanish armada will arrive there; as is necessary to maintain the benefit of the diversion of the enemy's forces, which is certainly of greater importance than any great booty.
Thus from my soul I hope that Signor Drake may have found and left matters in such a state as may easily be continued, and pray God that in that and all other places he may acquire honour before the world, and the glory of victory over the enemy. May God preserve and bless him.
The galleys of Sicily and Malta have fought five of our English ships in those seas, which defended themselves valiantly and have proceeded on their voyage home, having killed and wounded divers men of the galleys; a thing very honourable to the nation. —Francfort, 21 August, 1586.
Holo. Add. Endd. Italian. 2 pp. [Germany, States IV. 73.]
Words in italics, in cipher, undeciphered.
A duplicate of the above, in Palavicino's own hand, signed and addressed [Ibid IV. 74.]
Also two copies, sent by him; one endorsed by Burghley; the other, which Palavicino has noted as a copy of the letter to Mr. Secretary, being no doubt the one mentioned by him in his letter below. [Ibid. IV. 75, 76.]
Aug. 21. Horatio Palavicino to Burghley.
Your lordship is kind enough to excuse yourself for the pauses between your letters to me, but the multitude of your occupations is well known to me, and moreover I ought not to expect an answer to each of my letters, which, for the most part, are rather narratives. . . . But words cannot express the affection with which I render you my thanks. . . .
I only yesterday received yours of June 28, together with that from Mr. Secretary. Coming so late, they cannot affect the negotiation more than is permitted by the present state of affairs, as I am writing to him; of which I send you a copy.
If Heidelberg [i.e. Casimir] does not obtain his desires, I think he will come back very averse from the enterprise; and if he has obtained them, there will be no need of argument, unless it should be needful to increase the first sum; in which I shall proceed so warily that her Majesty shall be well satisfied with me; and in due time I will give notice of all.
I wrote to your lordship on the 5th instant of the business of Genoa, and have not since ventured to send you a copy; partly in order not to add boldness to boldness, and also because of the danger of the road. . . .
The gentleman from the King of Denmark had arrived at the Spanish court, but they do not tell me what answer he had received. I shall press to be informed of it, and at once send it to your lordship. Now that Sir Francis Drake has returned, both sides will be able to judge of the naval injuries and of the war; but if he do not go again into those parts, or if he shall not there gain a firm footing in some place, to annoy the Spaniards, we shall not be able to rejoice much over that voyage.
Now that the Earl of Leicester has money, men, and her Majesty's consent to his action, there is no cause why noble deeds of arms should not be done there; and this I hope for, praying God to prosper him in the government, and the preservation of Holland and Zeeland.
I hear that your lordship's son, Sir Thomas is in good health. I pray God that Mr. William has arrived there, and that he may have an honourable beginning in the art of war (alla sua militia), that he may gain reputation in her Majesty's service, in imitation of his seniors.—Francfort, 21 August, 1586.
At this point, letters have been brought to me from Lazaro Grimaldo from Genoa, of August 16, new style, of which I send you copies as usual. It seems to me that they talk somewhat more modestly, and this because I spoke pretty imperiously when I replied to their first dry answer. Be good enough to tell me your mind upon my dispatch of the 5th, above mentioned, that I may know how to govern myself; and to give the letters to my men, who will send them much more quickly. I shall now write to him, using only my own bare name, that the word of the King of Spain is not caution sufficient, since matters have advanced so far that they may be said to be at open war; but of this I have infinite need to be instructed by your lordship, according to whose orders I shall govern myself.
Holo. Add. Endd. Italian. 2½ pp. [Germany, States IV. 77.]
Words in italics, in cipher, undeciphered.
Duplicate of the above. Signed, addressed and endorsed. Italian. 1½ pp. [Ibid. IV. 78.]
Aug. 24./Sept. 3. De l'Aubespine-Chasteauneuf to Burghley.
On Sunday I complained to her Majesty of an Englishman named Turner (Tourner) who had insulted one of my men by saying publicly that this conspiracy [the Babington Plot] had been contrived in France, and that I had some with me who deserved to be killed, even in my lodging. I also complained that many others, English and French, had said loudly on the Exchange that the King my master was the author of this plot, a thing which I could not suffer. Her Majesty promised me to have justice done, and desired me to name to you the said Frenchmen and also the said Turner.
M. d'Aisneyal (fn. 2) and I had intended to visit you yesterday, but having learned of your departure I pray you to remind her Majesty to order justice to be done on these Frenchmen, that I may assure the King how dearly she holds all that touches him. Her Majesty also promised me to restore to a poor fellow a thousand crowns which in ignorance he tried to pass to Dieppe; I pray you to have this hastened. London, 3 September.
Postscript. I hear that the Queen has summoned hither Mr. Nau, secretary to the Queen of Scots. I pray you to consider that he is the servant of an imprisoned princess and one moreover so nearly related to the King, that I am assured her Majesty will treat the said Nau as a subject of the King, who would be greatly displeased to see the said princess and her servants troubled by the calumnies and depositions of men who to hide their own faults accuse great ones as being the authors of them.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [France XVI. 47.]
Aug 24. Dr. Beutterich to the King of Navarre.
Your Majesty honours me greatly by your remembrance of me in your letters to M. de Guitry, and are not mistaken in assuring yourself of my fidelity and care in what concerns your service, knowing by so many signal proofs your constancy and magnanimity, which will doubtless be blessed by God and praised by all posterity.
My master, seeing the small fruit of the hopes of some of our agents, has resolved to make a journey in person to those who are able do the most, to draw from them what he can for the advancement of these affairs, to leave us no longer in simple hopes, but to set their hands in good earnest to the business. So that whether there be concurrence in the wills of all the princes, which I desire more than I dare hope; or whether only some join us, or none at all, having received the means promised by France and England, we shall proceed with what we can get, and God will doubtless bless the work. I could wish for the good of our affairs that there were fewer of our agents here. We have a proverb in German that many shepherds will never take good care of a flock, and thus it is in these affairs, in which I do and shall employ myself with all possible care and diligence, seeing that the cause is just and against tyrants.—Neustadt, the unhappy day of St. Bartholomew, old style.
Postscript. My master has already seen the Landgrave of Brunswick (Bronswyg) and the Elector of Brandenburg; is going to see Saxony and will return in about a month; having already been more than a month away.
Copy by Stafford. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [France XVI. 48.]
Aug. 25./Sept.4. Antonio de Castiglio to Walsingham.
Expressing his delight and gratitude on learning that her Majesty has not forgotten her Merlino. Greatly desires to do her service, and is writing to Dr. Hector [Nunez] on the subject, who being born a Portuguese and very fond of the English, will not be wanting in affection.—Lisbon, 4 September, 1586.
Add. Endd. Italian. 1 p. [Portugal II. 22.]
Aug. Advertisements from Spain.
Remembrance by John Pilkington touching news had by Mr. Leonard Rearsbye that the King of Spain had sent for all his old captains and soldiers to be with him on May day last past, placing young soldiers in their rooms. The English in Spain wondered at it, conjecturing that it was to invade England, and that they should be aided by the King of France. What was specified touching Scotland the party cannot remember. It was since the xith of August that the said Pilkington saw the copy of the letter.
Endd by Walsingham's clerk, "August 1586. ⅓ p. [Spain II. 69.]


  • 1. i.e. Prior and Young. See p. 33, supra.
  • 2. Charles de Prunelé', Baron d' Esneval, French Ambassador to Scotland.