Elizabeth: September 1586, 1-15

Pages 80-89

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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September 1586, 1-15

Sept. 4/14. De l'Aubespine-Chasteauneuf to Walsingham.
Memoire to which he desires reply in writing, seeing that owing to the great affairs of the lords of the Council he cannot go to them.
Desires to be informed why Nau, the Queen of Scots' secretary, and others of her servants have been taken from her and brought hither prisoners; that he may give an account to the King his master.
Also in what state the said Queen is, having heard that she is strictly shut up and deprived of most of her servants and ladies; a thing which he cannot believe, in face of her Majesty's assurances that she would treat her well and favourably, as a sovereign princess who has had the honour to be Queen of France, and is her near relative.
Desires also that the said Nau and others, servants of the said lady, subjects of the King, may be favourably treated.
There is a Scot named Critton [Creichton] and another named Erady [qy. Patrick Addie], canon of Perowne in France, prisoners in the Tower, for whose delivery the King has written to her Majesty. This she promised shortly, and the ambassador, now hearing that she has ordered them to be set free, prays that it may be done, and they sent back to France.
Mr. Walsingham has a letter which the Queen Mother wrote to her Majesty, to allow one of her servants to buy twenty hackneys for her stable. The merchant having bought them at this St. Bartholomew's Fair, the ambassador prays Mr. Walsingham to send him a passport for their leaving the kingdom, or at any rate a reply from her Majesty. And so to regulate the excitement of the people that none of his servants may be abused by word or deed.
Depredations. That justice may be done to Francois Le Pape [see particulars of his case under date Aug. 10, above]. For three months Sir William Courtney has entertained him with fair words, but offers him less than half. The lords are prayed to put an end to the matter, as Le Pape can no longer support the costs and delays.
To give judgment upon the report of the Judge of the Admiralty concerning the woad taken by Mr. Crouk of [South] Hampton and others, accompanying the Prince of Condé to La Rochelle.
To dispatch for Jehan D'Orval of Havre de Grace the letters he needs for the restitution of the eleven hundred ecus sol stayed at the Rye, and which he wishes to send into France; according to orders given by her Majesty.
To give order upon the requests of Hierosime Andre, merchant of Rouen; Romain de la Gorsse, merchant of Blaye, and Guillaume Michelot of St. Malo, which were yesterday presented to the Lord Treasurer.
To allow the merchants of Calais to transport the cloths bought at this fair to Calais, according to the liberty of mutual commerce.
To reply to the memoires delivered at the last conference, both on the matter of the Earl of Leicester's placard, and the order taken in the King's Council in regard to depredations.
To take order upon the request of Martin Noel concerning the robbery by Captain Remond.—London, 14 September, 1586.
Signed. Countersigned by Le Sueur. Fr. 4 pp. [France XVI. 49.]
Sept. 4. Horatio Palavicino to Walsingham.
My last was of the 21 ult., of which I sent a copy on the 26, since which I have received no letters from thence, Castelvetro not being yet arrived. God knows how I long for them, especially as for two days a rumour has been spread abroad, founded upon letters from Antwerp and Cologne, of strange conspiracies against her Majesty's own person, and although it is generally concluded that by a merciful providence of God she is safe, and the malefactors taken, yet my heart is filled with horror at the thought of her danger; and little as I allow myself lightly to believe the things that are written hither, yet I may not be incredulous of any sort of action proceeding from so fierce and cruel an enemy as we have on our hands. Therefore I am eagerly waiting for some certainty, praying God not to withdraw from us his greatest protection in the person of her Majesty, so many times attacked, and so necessary to us for the quiet of the kingdom.
Saracino has at length arrived, but without money, saying in excuse that owing to the difficulty of the journey he was not able by any means to get it through; so that there is wanting one of those foundations for a treaty which we held for certain. M. de Guitry is ill with grief, and I am greatly distressed, because the thing is reduced to what Duke Casimir shall bring; or if he should not bring enough, to doing the whole ourselves, according to the last commission; since otherwise the cause is in manifest danger of miscarrying, there being no appearance from France of a good peace, but rather that the League is bestirring itself more boldly than ever, and full of its usual designs. Wherefore I am resolved to use all diligence to learn as soon as possible the result of Duke Casimir's negotiations, even by going to meet him; and if I do not find sufficient result for our need, I shall certainly offer him the whole sum of a hundred thousand crowns, believing that now or never will be the time to employ them, and that her Majesty will approve the action. I will give your honour notice of it as soon as possible, and will tell you by what means it will be fitting to send the money. Meanwhile you will do me a very great favour, by writing to me, by a speedy way, how you approve of my intention.
Duke Casimir's delay vexes me very much, but he has been greatly retarded by those whom he went to see by the way. The two principal ambassadors have returned from France without having negotiated anything at all, as you will have been already informed, and also of the state of the affairs of that kingdom.—Francfort, 4 September, 1586.
Duke Casimir writes to me that it is thanks to him that the Duke of Brunswick let the reiters of the Count de Mœurs pass, for which I will thank him on his return.
Add. Endd. Italian. 1¾ pp. [Germany, States IV. 79.] The words in italics, in cipher, deciphered.
Two copies of the above, signed by Palavicino. Addressed and endorsed. [Ibid. IV. 80, 81.]
Another copy in his own hand, endorsed by him as copy of his letter to Mr. Secretary, and evidently sent to Burghley, being endorsed by Maynard. [Ibid. IV. 82.]
Sept. 4/14. Lazaro Grimaldo to Horatio Palavicino.
Yours of August 6 has only arrived today. My last to you was on the 17th of the same, and I have not written since, having so far had nothing further from Spain. I have communicated the contents of yours to the Prince Doria, and he is awaiting a declaration of what her Majesty demands from his King for her security and the quiet of the Low Countries, as I wrote in mine of the 17th, because this being known, it will be possible to judge how our negotiation may be conducted. Better security the Queen cannot have than the word of the King, his Majesty having always kept it; and the moderation of his mind being so well known to all the world should make the Queen and her Council quite easy. The said King, as he has the title of Catolico, has also the reality thereof, and this must be taken for granted as a chief and firm foundation.
If the essential points are agreed upon, it will be possible to treat, if it be agreed that the said Princes shall make a confederation together for mutual defence if they should be troubled in their States, and lending of aid for the recovery of what was seized unlawfully, and this is what I advised in my other letters; desiring extremely an agreement between the said Princes, for which I shall work as much as ever I can, as I many times have written.
As to the progress of the war in Flanders, I shall not enter into discourse, referring myself to the results which shall be seen. To the ministers of the King, it appears that they are losing nothing on their side; they hope every day for greater success, and live in expectation of the storming of Berck.
Of the return of the Cavalier Drake into Ireland, we have here no other advice than that which your honour gives to Signor Fabritio, your brother. It is believed that he has done harm enough, which will turn to the distress of the poor people, but that the King will feel it very little, and her Majesty derive small benefit from it. The Spaniards presume that he has not dared to set foot on land in the Indies, and assure themselves that he will not be able to do so in the future.
The Prince does not yet start for Turin, waiting to know from that Duke when it will be convenient for him to go there; and so far as one can see, the journey may be deferred for some days.—Genoa, 14 September, 1586.
Add. Endd. by Maynard. Italian. 1½ pp. [Germany, States IV. 83.]
Sept 4/14. Anthonio de Castiglio to Dr. Hector Nunez.
Jeronimo Pardo arrived here on July 20, so far after his time that I had trouble to get his safe-conduct, as he can tell you.
I have not entered into the principal matter "to justify the cause of the King our lord, although he have many good reasons in his side," but moved by your first letter, telling me her Majesty's good intent, as I always understood when in that realm, especially from Secretary Walsingham, when I came away: for then we talked alone of this matter of the peace, which he thought most fit for her Majesty's service and the quiet of her realms. I assure you peace will be well received here; but they must be agreed in two principal points; "the first in forgetting all offences and wrongs past . . . the second that we cannot hope upon any agreement . . . if we do not proceed with reputation of both these crowns; and this is impossible to agree, in case your worship understandeth [not] the great wrong offered by the Englishmen, as it is to give laws unto so mighty a prince in matters of religion; with so small regard that I 'darse' not show the articles which you do send unto me, fearing that they will not admit them, and not trusting that the ministers of his Majesty (in whom hith'erto' I had most hope) would not think well of me in the receiving of them . . . considering that the words of the same articles doth promise moderation, and this may be ruled by the wisdom of the Queen's Majesty, which hath more understanding of the world and less trust in his felicity than the Prior of Crato. I hope in our Lord, that seeing the King's Majesty never pretended to usurp other men's estates, (as experience doth show) they would not deny him his own."
I have determined not to show the articles to any, till I hear from your worship that there may be some moderation of them; for as set down, they cannot be showed to the Earl of Kildare, nor can I do better with them than stir new war. If there were found any way to treat, as I say, I have sure hope that it might come to a good end, and considering its great weight for both these realms you may prove what may be done in it, and tell me what I can do, before the preparations of war go forward; "and the Queen shall have no more cause to call me Merline. And if I were as near as you, I could show her that I am not a magician, but that I had read sometimes the words that Cæsar did answer unto the Helvetians, being deceived by some prosperous successes; and by the good usage made unto the same ship, your worship may judge what credit is to be given unto my words. . . ."—Lisbon, 14 September, 1586.
Endd. 1 p. [Portugal II. 23.] Translation, apparently not always accurate.
[Aug. or Sept.] "The heads of a letter to be written by Mr. Dr. Hector [Nunez] to D[on] Antonio Castilio." (fn. 1)
"To let him to understand that he findeth her Majesty to continue her former good disposition to have the interruption of the amity and the unkindness between her and the Catholic King compounded in some honourable sort for the common benefit of both their subjects and the general good of Christendom.
"That the greatest difficulty will consist in matter of caution and surety, forasmuch as the doubt and jealousy of the King's good meaning towards her Majesty is greatly increased upon the late discovery of the most wicked and devilish practice, both against her person and this realm; for that it falleth out upon the examination of those conspirators that the King's minister in France, D. Bernardin was privy thereunto.
"That it is thought that those of the people of the United Provinces will stand greatly upon point of religion, and although it may seem a very hard matter for the King to yield unto, yet men of best judgment, even such as be. Catholics, are of opinion that the said King, in respect of the miserable state those countries stand in, ought in consequence to yield so far forth in that point as is contained in the Pacification of Gaunt, which may be handled in such sort as the said King, without touch of honour or conscience may assent thereunto by remitting the point of religion to the General States of the whole Provinces, to assent or differ accordingly as they shall be directed by their own consciences, upon whose souls his Majesty may lay the burden thereof.
"The wisest sort of the Catholics here do fear greatly that if those countries should not be reconciled to the King before his death, that they will then wholly not only revolt from the obedience of Spain, but also in religion, the most part of the meaner sort of that country being enemies to the Catholic Religion. And therefore they hold it a better course that a toleration be granted to a few than that the Catholic religion should be thrust out of the whole countries."
Endorsed as in headline; and (in another hand) "April 1587," but this is cancelled. Clerical draft, but with many corrections and insertions by Walsingham. 1¼ pp. [Spain II. 70.]
Sept. 6. Abel Berner and Olaus Mathei, envoys of the King of Denmark, to Walsingham.
Their entire confidence in his kindness gives them courage once more to approach him. They are exceedingly grateful for his kind offices in assisting their business in regard to the tax on fish and cloth; and had no small hope that they should have a declaration from her Majesty without encountering further difficulty from delay, especially as they learned from John Stack (sent again to his honour by his own order) that the business was not to be dealt with in the ordinary course by the Lord Treasurer, but that his honour had desired that the said Stack should have a definite and acceptable answer as soon as possible. As however the said Treasurer, after many applications, yesterday told Stack (in Berner's presence, and when both humbly prayed for expedition) that he, Stack, and the furtherance of his cause had been referred to his honour: they now again apply to him, and very reverently implore him, as he loves his Majesty the King of Denmark, to deign so to take order that, as soon as possible, they may be informed of her Majesty's decision, and what is to be the result of the whole business. Not indeed from any doubt or fear as regards the matter; but driven by necessity against their will, they press it the more earnestly and unseasonably; chiefly because with the [passing of] summer they are deprived of the convenience of navigation, and the longer they are detained, so much the more violence of the winds and tempestuous nights are to be expected.
There is now nothing to delay their return to Denmark save their expectation of the Queen's decree in this matter of portdues; and his honour, in his great wisdom may easily judge that the longer detention of these two Icelandic ships, with so great a number of sailors and royal servants (especially now that almost all their provisions are exhausted, as was to be expected from the length of time taken by so great a journey) cannot be without great inconvenience. They do not wish to trouble him further or to appear to doubt his goodwill towards the King of Denmark, which on the contrary, at their return they will praise and sound abroad to everyone.—In great haste, from John Stack's house, 6 Sept., 1586.
Postscript by Berner.—Is very glad to have the letters for the Chancellor, Nicolas Kaas, knowing that nothing more acceptable or pleasing could be given him. Has asked the bearer to deliver them as soon as possible.
Add. Endd. Latin. 3 pp. [Denmark I. 86.]
Sept. 10. Dr. P. Beutterich to Horatio Palavicino.
I cannot tell you where you can meet my master. He sent me word on the 24th of August that he hoped to be at Francfort at the close of the fair, but I do not believe it, for many reasons. However, I have assured him that the Queen had increased her aid by a good sum, which will replace what is wanting elsewhere, and believe that upon this he will treat with some of the Colonels. It will be at your discretion to go to meet him by way of Cassel, which I believe he will take. In any case, it would be expedient for him to be certainly informed of what you have in charge and that speedily, in order to gain time; and if you would tell me some particulars, I could negotiate more surely for the advancement of affairs.— Fridelsheym, 10 September old style, 1586.
Holograph. Endd. Add. to Palavicino as ambassador for the Queen of England. Fr. 1 p. [Germany, States IV. 84.]
Sept. 11. Stafford to Burghley.
As my two letters to Mr. Secretary will give you the news, I will not trouble your lordship by repeating them.
"The true advertisement that toucheth certain letters written and returned from the French ambassador's wife to the Duke of Guise's mother cometh from Simier to me, who is contented I shall make your lordship partaker and to know whence it cometh; but he will not by any means Mr. Secretary should know it, for he feareth old grudge would make him careless to keep it, if he knew it came from him. But he maketh account of your lordship, as his good friend. . . . I would have written it to the Queen, but I am afraid she hath lost my cypher, as she hath done once or twice, and so I beseech you tell her Majesty.
"It is likely he may in this serve the turn to good purpose . . . for he is in love with the French ambassador's wife's sister's daughter and the ambassador's wife sendeth all her letters for Guise's mother to her sister to deliver, and Simier knoweth all of her daughter, who is as far in love with Simier as he with her. This last I beseech your honour not to tell the Queen, for your honour knoweth [her] humour, that being angry with any love may make her in a choler utter all." But the Queen must know it comes by Simier, that he may have thanks. Being kept close, we may know more hereafter.—Paris, 11 September, 1586.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [France XVI. 50.] [The words printed in italics, in this and the following letters are in cipher, mostly undeciphered.]
Sept 11. Horatio Palavicino to Burghley.
Sends his lordship copies of his letters of the 4th and of today to Mr. Secretary, and explains his reasons for not accepting as positive certain orders which he received with the letters of June 29, but which seemed to be stayed by the letter of the 30th. Now however, as they are both necessary and confirmed he will delay no longer, but at once give orders for the moneys in the best way he can, and although, as his Lordship kindly judges, he is caught somewhat unprovided, hopes to be able to give satisfaction to Duke Casimir. Prays his lordship to send off the warrant. It will suffice for the present to put five thousand lire into his men's hands for immediate use, reserving the rest to be given out as needed. Rejoices over the good news of her Majesty's health, and the preservation of herself and her kingdom, learned from Castelvetro.—Francfort, 11 September, 1586.
Add. Endd. Italian. 1¼ pp. [Germany, States IV. 85.]
Sept 11. Horatio Palavicino to Walsingham.
I wrote to your honour on the 4th, and now send you a copy. On the 7th Castelvetro arrived, bringing your letter of the 5th ult., and told me of the conspiracy, the taking of the conspirators, and the good state in which things now are, by God's grace and the vigilance of her Majesty's ministers. I praise the divine goodness, by which her Majesty and her State are always preserved, and the baffled adversaries receive the due reward of their villainous designs.
I am sure also that this our happy success will be to the great disadvantage of that iniquitous league against Christendom, and hope that this beginning of confusion may lead to the like in all their other enterprises.
The confirmation of her Majesty's new order to succour this levy with other fifty thousand crowns has wonderfully uplifted the hearts of the Navarrese ministers, as you will see by what Signor Quitry writes, which has confirmed and will confirm in the King of Navarre the hope of succour, and will draw him away from any thought of a disadvantageous peace.
And for my own particular, it confirms and increases my resolution to go on with all possible diligence, and by all the means I can, to overcome the difficulties of these times, hoping so to do that it shall not be from any lack on my part if Casimir has not entire reason to embrace the enterprise.
I wrote in my last that I thought of going to meet him, and sent to Beuterich to know which way he would return, fearing to miss him. But the effect of his reply (as you will see by the annexed letter [see preceding page] induces me to remain here, which indeed it is necessary for me to do; especially as Beuterich has great hope that he may have already negotiated with the colonels, and that the affair is put in train; of which, when I can assure your honour, I shall not lose an hour.
Meanwhile I pray that, with the Lord Treasurer, you will have the usual warrant dispatched there, so that my men may use the money for the business which may presently begin here, and all be done with that ease and advantage which I endeavour. I shall not leave these parts until all is in order, and as little shall I depart without your express directions, so that if there is need for me to follow Casimir, I may be able to carry out the will of her Majesty.
As to the voyage of Sir Francis Drake, I have always considered the disturbance, the loss and the diversion of the enemy as much as the booty which he might bring, because from these result in so many ways such advantages as are of the highest importance to the conclusion of the war; since he [the King of Spain] thus loses much of his revenues, greatly increases his expenses and occupies so many of his men, of which at present he is very short; it being certain that one year of war in the Indies will cost the Spaniards more than three in the Low Countries. Therefore, nothing is more necessary than the return of a good fleet into those parts, and establishing a footing in a fitting place for hostilities by land and sea, which will be a meeting-place for all men who may wish to go to fight there; hoping that many will gather there of all nations and that the Cimerroni will be well inclined to join themselves to our men, seeing the firm and strong hope of establishing themselves with them. God grant that her Majesty may take the best resolution in all things.—Francfort, 11 September, 1586.
Add. Endd. Signed. Italian. 2½ pp. [Germany, States IV. 86.]
Also a copy of the same, in Palavicino's writing, noted by him as copy of the letter to Mr. Secretary and endorsed by Burghley's secretary, but not signed or dated. [Ibid, IV. 87.]
Sept. 13/23. The Due de Mercœur to M. de Chasteauneuf.
In reply to remonstrances from the Privy Council to the ambassador, complaining that by the Duke's orders English ships had been stayed at St. Malo, Morlaix and other places of his government, for what cause they knew not, considering the friendship between the two realms:—he states that at the beginning of last Lent a ship of his, laden with furniture and wines for his house at Lamballe was taken by certain English and carried into the port of "Monteboy" [qy. Mounts' Bay] where goods and ship were detained.
Thereupon he stayed three English ships in the river of "Dynan" near St. Malo and at St. Brieu, two laden with wines and the third empty, but shortly afterwards had them freed and restored, as is proved by a quittance of which he sends a copy. The third was not withdrawn from forgetfulness. Since then, he has had three barques stayed at Morlaix, and the goods put into a safe place, till he should have satisfaction for his loss. Sends proofs of this, and also the information asked for regarding his said loss, showing the justification he had for staying the said goods, which do not amount to more than 4000 crowns, while what he lost was estimated at 12000, for which he begs the ambassador to have right done him as soon as possible, seeing that the goods are decaying from day to day.
He wishes to God that the English (at the cost of his demand ing no recompense himself) had taken nothing from the King's subjects, and especially from "these countries" for it is great pity to see the number of merchants of this province who have been so spoiled by the English that the most part will be poor ever afterwards. Quite recently they have taken ten or twelve ships belonging (amongst others) to merchants of St. Brieu and Morlaix, and many of the crews (equipage) drowned, there having been found, on the coast of Treguyer ten bodies tied together and without their heads. Prays the ambassador to make protest in the matter, as if by his means some order be not taken, commerce must cease; and to let him have a reply at latest by the 25th of next month.—Nantes, 23 September, 1586.
Copy. Endd. Fr. 1½ pp. [France XVI. 51.]


  • 1. This paper was evidently drawn up not long after the examination of the conspirators in the Babington Plot. Walsingham's proposals for Toleration in Religion and for basing the negotiations with Flanders on the Pacification of Ghent are alluded to in Nunez' letter of Sept. 30 (see p. 98 below), and also in a document in the Spanish Calendar (Vol. III. p. 654).