Elizabeth: September 1586, 16-30

Pages 89-104

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, 16-30

Sept. 16/26? M de Clervant to Walsingham.
I lately wrote to you concerning two gentlemen of different nations who are going to her Majesty, one is whom is a kinsman of mine; the other, I only know from him.
They both greatly desire to do her service, and the first has suffered much at the hands of the Spaniards. I leave you to judge of the matters they will propose to you, but I am told that the other seeks to make his fortune by arms.
The report here of an attempt against the estate and person of the Queen has given rise to much talk. I myself think that she gives occasion to her enemies and ill subjects to annoy her, for she deprives herself of those well-affectioned to her, whereas she might employ, outside her realm, those nations faithful to her own, who would guard the chief places, and thus she would preserve to herself her good subjects for her needs within and without the realm, and, in order to train them, would change sometimes those within to go without, while those without would return to their homes and country.
We owe so much to her Majesty, armed against Goliath and succouring the afflicted of many countries, that I think of her preservation as joined to our own. If, by a good war, God gave us a good peace, we should be able to do him good service.
As to our affairs in Germany, the delay does us great harm, but I am sure you are well advertised by M. Pallavisin of these matters.—Geneva, 28 (?) September.
Postscript. If the war which M. de Savoy wishes to begin here should bring about the extension by the Swiss of their boundaries to the "mont seny" [Mont Cenis], the Spaniards and Italians could do nothing in the Low Countries. Think of this, and give them courage by providing them with the means to do it by the booty from Spain.
Signed. Add. Endd. with date. Fr. 1 p. Seal. [Switzerland I. 16.]
[The date of the month appears to be 26 altered to 28, but Walsingham's clerk has endorsed it as 26.]
Sept 17 The Lords of the Council to the Danish Ambassadors.
Whereas in our reply by apostiles to the 3rd article requested by you, we prayed in her Majesty's name that your King should strictly prohibit his subjects from transporting or allowing to be transported any of those things wherewith the King of Spain furnishes his fleet and army, prepared against our Queen and her realm; amongst which we expressly named those belowmentioned; we learn by conference with you that your King agrees to prohibiting the transport of the said things named, except that it appears you have no authority by your instructions to consent that wheat and rye, or the meal prepared from the same should be prohibited amongst the rest. But albeit you very earnestly urge that these two sorts of corn may be excluded from the prohibition, yet it is certain, on the other hand, that her Majesty has more reason for prohibiting the said corn than divers other things here expressed; and it is not to be doubted that when your King takes the advice of his military counsellors, he will clearly understand how necessary this apostile is to her Majesty. And therefore she very earnestly prays that the transport of those two sorts of corn, i. e. wheat and rye, and the meal made from them, may be prohibited into any dominion of the King of Spain.
Articles prohibited:—
Cables, cordage, gunpowder, hemp, masts, ordnance, sail yards, pitch, tar, saltpetre, wheat, rye, meal of wheat or rye.
Endd. Latin. ¾ p. [Denmark I. 87.]
English translation of the above. Endd. 17.7. vi. "Things prohibited to be transported." ½ p. [Denmark I. 88.]
Sept. 18/28. Fabritio [Palavicino] to his brother Horatio Palavicino.
Being here at the Villa in San Pier d'Arena, I only late this evening have received yours of the 27th of last month; and have given your letter to Signor Lazaro [Grimaldi], who will not answer it until he has spoken with the Prince.
I also mean to speak with him tomorrow morning, though he is expecting the new vice-roy of Naples to dine with him, who is said to have arrived today at Savona, with the Spanish galleys, and will then write; wherefore now I will only assure you that I have always sent you all that I have been able to discover of what was treated of here, as to this design, both by Signor Lazaro and the Prince; and if I have seemed to you very brief, as you say, it is because, until now, I have had nothing of moment to tell you, since, as you know, it has not yet come to treating of affairs of weight.
But I am advertised of all the particulars you mention, and will keep you completely informed of what happens.
Signor Lazaro believes the Prince will be astonished to see by your letter to him (Lazaro) that in reply to his of August 16, you cannot yet let him know any particulars of the conditions which the Queen of England will demand, in order to come to an agreement with the King of Spain, which you must do, because it not being possible otherwise to treat, it is to be feared that the whole will remain without fruit, and this great delay cannot but do much harm.
God grant that the Queen and her Council may treat in time of the said particulars, and that they may be so moderate and reasonable that we may look for the good conclusion of a good peace.
Signor Lazaro has always written to you sincerely and intimately of what has been done here, and will continue to exert himself to the utmost of his power that, with the aid of God, this good conclusion may be reached. And the same I see and affirm of the Prince.—Genoa, 28 September, 1586.
Add Endd. Italian. 2¼ pp. [Germany, States IV. 88.]
Sept. 20. Horatio Palavicino to Burghley.
It appearing a natural thing in general and very reasonable to favour all those who serve or work for those given to study, it is not only a kindly office, but one's duty to aid those who make research into the study of the sacred letters, which above all others are useful and needed; wherefore I cannot but write to your lordship in recommendation of the heirs of Wachel, the printers, who desire privilege from her Majesty for the Bible of Tremelius and Junius which they are reprinting; and although I know that all pious and virtuous matters recommend themselves sufficiently to your lordship, yet I could not refuse my intercession, being glad to have a share in obtaining it.— Francfort, 20 September, 1586.
Holo Add. Endd. Italian. 1 p. [Germany, States IV. 89.]
Sept. 25./Oct. 5. Merchants at Rouen to Sir Edw. Stafford.
Informing him that "yesterday" their merchandise and everything belonging to them was "seized by Justice" and delivered into the keeping of sundry of the town, men of evil fame; the arrests being made at the suit of certain merchants there, viz. Thomas Le Gendre, Michell Le Quesne and others, "for a recompense adjudged unto them of 40000 francs" by the King's Privy Council, and, as they say, his honour consenting thereunto. Pray him to have the demand looked into, which will be found altogether unjust, for the goods taken in England do not amount to the half of it. Also, as they are told by their counsel, "letters of recompense are never granted to be executed but at the seas, and against the town who had committed the piracy."
They send the bearer, Thomas Beckner, to give him to understand the matter, humbly begging him to find some means whereby they may enjoy their goods and peaceable traffic, "which otherways" will be their utter undoing.—Rouen, 5 Oct., 1586.
Signed: Cuthbert Hoptoun, William Christmas, Robert Bell, Persevall Lyddell, Nicolas Pistor, Bartholomew Laskey, John Hancks, John Wyse, William Goulde, Anthony Hawtre, Anthony Mosley, Nicholas Yeo.
Add Endd. with date "Sept. 1586" ¾ p. [France XVI. 52.]
Sept. 25. Stafford to Walsingham.
I must first tell you "of the great sign that God is offended in extremity with this country, though they be so hard hearted as they will not see it, which is this; that the river of Loire hath so extremely deborded, beginning almost from his head, but especially at Roanne, twelve leagues from Lyons, that from thence to Nantes, where it goeth into the sea, there is almost neither house nor bridge left," and it has so broken the great banks made upon its sides that the whole country for four or five leagues on each side is all in a sea, and in some places much further.
More than fifteen or twenty thousand persons are thought to be drowned, besides whole houses and almost towns carried away; "innumerable numbers" of cattle and sheep drowned and the whole country spoiled. They have no wine "in hope" at all; the small amount of corn in their barns is carried away, and no hope to sow for next year. If God be not good to them above man's reason, never was nation so miserable as they are like to be, both this year and the next.
"The Queen mother is a very sad woman . . . upon the remembrance she hath of a certain astronomer (fn. 1) that told her when she came first into France, that she should take care for nothing till there came such an inundation in France as the like had not been seen; but that that year she should think upon her conscience."
There is yet no certainty what hope she has of the meeting with the King of Navarre, but here it is thought not very likely. It is believed that on Thursday the King will give audience to the ambassadors, till when (they having tarried so long for it) it is neither likely nor reasonable that any of us should have it, though we have desired it, but had no answer; for the King is not yet visible, nor has been these three months.
"They of the League are now assembled at Soissons. They have sent to the King Le Seure, the Duke of Guise's secretary, to desire him not to be offended with it, because that seeing the realm . . . in so poor a case and they given out to be the authors of it, that they would be glad to seek some ways how to remedy it." The King has seemed to give his consent, but what is his and their intent, the wisest man is not able to judge.
The sea army of Spain is said to be at Lisbon. I am told by one of credit, who, I am sure, did not mean to make the matter less than it is, and who was in some of the ships when they were in Biscay, that there were eight good, tall ships from two to five hundred [tons]; twenty-eight barques from thirty ton to fifty and not more; most part of the ordnance cast iron pieces, and "lying very high, not to do any great harm; in them two thousand soldiers, besides mariners; but, as he assureth me, six good English merchant ships will beat them all." There was a bruit that they were for Ireland, for they carried harquebusses and muskets for six thousand men, besides pikes and brass pieces, but I believe this bruit is but the Spanish custom "to keep the world at gaze," and that their intant is for the Indies.
The French fleet has had some bickering with the Rochellois, in which they have lost a couple of ships, but have recompensed themselves with three of the Rochelle barks, which they found at the Road. I hear they are in Brouage, which I believe was the chief intent of their setting forth. It is now doubted whether St. Luc will stand to his bargain with M. Joyeuse.
Geneva expects presently to be invested and besieged, and letters from Turin say there are great preparations there for that purpose; the Pope furnishing four thousand foot and six hundred horse; the King of Spain six thousand foot and the Duke of Savoy himself ten thousand foot and six hundred horse; "and that their purpose was to seize in one night Rolle, Morges and Nion, belonging unto the Bernois upon the lake's side, which was discovered by two that were taken sounding the lake" to see whether the Duke's galleys would be able to go there. Also "that the Pope had sent a Bishop to the Papist cantons to desire them not to stir in this action of Geneva, for he did give them his word it should never be put into the Duke of Savoy's hand, but utterly razed and burned, for example of heresy."
Yesterday came news which I pray God be true, that the Swissers, on return of those sent to the Duke of Savoy, who still put off doing reason to them of Geneva, have seized the three baillages they had rendered to his father upon the Lake and also le pas de l'Escluse. I half think it is true, as I know that the old Savoy ambassador's house is much troubled by news received yesterday.
The Kíng has promised the Swissers to aid them for the defence of Geneva, but what he will do, God knoweth.
I have made this up into a packet for the Queen's affairs, that nobody at Dieppe may look into the letters, but have only promised the bearer some thirty or forty shillings for his labour, which I pray you to let him have.—Paris, 25 September, 1586.
Postscript. I send you a note sent me even now. Truly I have divers such every day. I am yet hunting for particulars, but these generalities, joined with our knowledge of their bad meaning and devilish intent gives her Majesty cause to take great heed to herself.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [France XVI. 53.]
Copy of the above. 2¾ pp. [Ibid XVI. 54.]
Sept. 26. Stafford to Walsingham.
I cannot yet discover any particularity of what these devilish villains have in their heads against her Majesty, but either they have some great hope left or "they give it out for a brag, this being failed, to keep everybody in breath that there is somewhat left behind; but for my part, I rather fear their knavery than their vanity."
I am dealing with one who knows the bottom of it all. If it fall out right, you shall soon hear; if not, no harm is done.
Whatever assurances are given of Scotland, have a good eye that way, for they give out they are assured of undoing us there. The Pope's nuncio [Bishop of Nazareth], the Bishop of Glasgow and the Spanish ambassador are perpetually together about it, and Glasgow and the ambassador have daily conference. I know their meeting-places, and if it had pleased her Majesty a year ago, when I writ of it, to let me follow the course "sought upon me by them," I would have been drawn in pieces by wild horses if she and you would not have had in your hands both the plot that is past and anything that is to come, "as plain as they themselves know it." I will one day tell her and you the manner of it, which is not fit to be committed to writing.
I send you an extract of a letter written from one where Bodin dwelleth to a friend of mine, whom I made secretly try to get out of him "whence he had that inspiration of her Majesty's end the 27 August, which I writ to you of long since." —Paris, 26 September, 1586.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [France XVI. 55.]
The words in italics, in cipher.
Sept. 28. Captain Jiroust to Walsingham.
A week ago, in consequence of bad weather, he returned to this town, having quitted the fleet between 'Youessant' and Surlingues [i.e. the Scilly Isles], at which place, just before the storm, they captured a man of war of Rochelle. Has hitherto been prevented by sickness from returning to the fleet. Will not fail to do all that can be hoped for from a faithful servant of her Majesty. Prays for a licence to transport fifty or sixty casks of corn from England to this place.—Dieppe, 28 September, 1586.
Add. Endd. by Walsingham's clerk, "28 September, 1586. From Captain Giraut." [style doubtful]. Fr. 1 p. [France XVI. 56.]
Sept. 28. Duke Casimir to Horatio Palavicino.
Since you have assured Beutterich that in a few days I should have an ambassador from my cousin M. the L[andgrave?], it is only reasonable that before giving you an answer [I should await?] what my said Cousin will send to me of his int[entions?]
All the same desiring [that you should put?] into my hands a hundred thousand crowns, [having] proved many times the trouble and risk caused in such matters, if there is [a lack of ready money.]
There shall be nothing [wanting on my part?] which is possible to me for advancing matters but not precipitating them. I have talked with the bearer, wherefore this may be the shorter.—Heidelberg, 28 September, 1586.
Copy, so much torn that the sense can only be suggested. French. ¾ p. [Germany, States IV. 90.]
Sept 29. Stafford to Walsingham.
After I had put up my other letters I received yours by Captain Perdin, and thereupon stay this bearer a day or two longer. I am sure no man of importance has been sent from the King to the ambassador. One who belongs partly to Villeroy, partly to himself was dispatched to him secretly from Villeroy, but I think without the King's knowledge. "He is no gentleman nor man of account," and if he has brought letters to the Queen seeming to be in the King's hand, "they be counterfeited by Villeroy, as it is a common thing here, and he will perchance make the King acquainted with it a fortnight after."
The Council here determined, as I wrote to you, "that the King should send some [one] of quality about the Queen of Scots to her Majesty. Some would have had [it] to be a Knight of the Order; some would have had it to be Dannevall, [d'Esneval] that is new come out of Scotland," but no resolution was taken, and if any be sent, it is some such base fellow as I say.
"Of their conceit of your dealing at home with the Queen of Scots" I wrote at length by John de Vignes, and things are in the same state that they were.
I send you the copy of a letter that the ambassador in England wrote to me, "which truly sheweth him as wise a man as they do conceive of him here." I also send you the answer I have made him, which if you like of it, I pray you send it him.
The Abbot of Guadaigne came yesterday from the Queen Mother to the King, who has been all this while with the King of Navarre. He has gone today to the King at St. Germain. "God knoweth whether he shall meet him there or no." To a private friend of his who asked what likelihood of peace, he answered "that the fault should be but in the King, in whom there was no hope of any good. That there was never man in the world so notable a deceiver as he; that in this journey they had found him to deceive the Queen Mother, King of Navarre, Duke of Guise, Montmorency, Epernon, Joyeuse, and that he lieth here in a corner and laugheth at them all. And I promise you, in that point I dare think he sayeth true. He speaketh with the greatest praise in the world of the King of Navarre, but the man is so well known that no man believeth but that his words and his thoughts be far different, and therefore there is no trust in anything that cometh from him. I will seek to learn more when [he] hath spoken with the King.
The King lying at St. Germains, all the ambassadors were sent to, to have lodgings at Poissi; but when Tupper went to inquire, he was told these could not be distributed for a day or two, but that when the Nuncio and the Spanish ambassador had chosen, I should choose. "Tupper saith that in Sir 'Amis' Paulet's time and other times it was always [so], but in my opinion, the choice given to the Spanish ambassador afore the English is so open a show of precedence that I will send to ask no lodging at all, having borrowed a house of Simier's near enough, till I hear from your honour . . . which I pray you may be presently, for it may be the King will have all ambassadors lie there, and I would be 'lofte' [i.e. loath] to have the Queen lose anything whilst I were here."
The merchants of Rouen have had their goods stayed because Le Quesne and Le Gendre have had no execution of the judgment given for them in England. I have stayed the prosecution ever since I came hither but now suddenly it is come out. I will deal about it at my next audience, but fear there will be little good done in it.—Paris, 29 September, 1586.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [France XVI. 57.]
[The words in italics, in cipher, undeciphered.]
Sept. 29. Instructions from the Queen for Mr. [Edward] Wootton.
To tell the King of the discovery of a dangerous conspiracy to subvert her estate and take away her life, and assure him of her belief in his love and friendship (now confirmed by some intercepted letters, copies of which are to be shown to him).
To let him know that one Ballard, a priest and her subject, trained up in the seminaries of that realm and for the most part at Rheims, but often repairing to Rome, "was by one Charles Paget, a party condemned as a traitor about a year past, brought to Barnardino Mendoza, the Spanish ambassador," which two, together with Morgan, a prisoner in the Bastille, persuaded him to return into England, to deal with the discontented subjects there to enter into actual rebellion, "joining themselves" to such support as they should assuredly shortly receive from the King of Spain, for that purpose. Accordingly, Ballard, returning over, consorted with one Anthony Babbington, "a young gentleman of a good house and living," used before by the Queen of Scots for the conveyance of secret letters to France, who, being stirred up, practised with six other gentlemen for the offering of violence to her Majesty's person, while the plot for rebellion and foreign invasion should otherwise be put in execution; with which things the said Queen being made acquainted, not only gave her assent thereto, but very earnestly by writing encouraged the parties to go forward in their purpose, as by letters voluntarily confessed by her two secretaries to have passed between her and Babington plainly appears, and which Babington and one Tichburne, one of the six confederates, have also confessed; copies of which, testified under the hands of certain of her Councillors, Wootton shall offer to show to the King and any of his Council. Upon view of which her Majesty doubts not (whatsoever affection has been borne by him towards the said Queen) that he, being a prince of honour and justice, will condemn her for so detestable an act, and worthy of the greater reproach as her Majesty has "sundry ways used her heretofore with extraordinary favour; as namely, at her first fall in sending into Scotland immediately after the murder of her husband . . . to stay the proceeding intended by her subjects against her as being manifestly charged with that murder; at what time the most part of the nobility of that realm were resolved to have taken away her life by assent of Parliament," had not her Majesty threatened them with revenge. Secondly, in seeking to save her honour "by suppressing of such infamous letters as had passed between her and Bothwell, the principal murderer, and yet made by her to be her husband"; and lastly by saving her life itself since she came into England, to the great discontentment of her Majesty's subjects, who earnestly pressed in Parliament for judicial proceedings against her for conspiracies contrived between her and the late Duke of Norfolk and others, whereof ensued a dangerous rebellion in the North parts of the realm, she "being comforted thereto by one Guerras d'Espes," the Spanish ambassador. And yet her Majesty still refused to have her convicted thereof, "and so still would be" in respect of her quality, sex and nearness of blood, if her long continued malice did not daily break out into such mischievous effects as her Majesty's life is and always shall be put into continual peril, which causes her subjects importunately to require that some course should be taken for her safety.
And that the King may perceive how little he is 'beholding' to the Queen of Scots and her ministers, he is to be made acquainted with certain extracts of letters, and to be pressed, in respect of the detestable practices of certain unnatural subjects remaining in his realm, to deliver them into her Majesty's hands, especially Charles Paget and Morgan (the latter having been an actor in Parry's conspiracy as well as this one). And Wootton may say to him that if Morgan had been delivered at that time, according to her Majesty's request, he would not have been an actor in this new conspiracy, which makes her Majesty feel aggrieved that a man charged with so foul a crime should be denied to her, "and kept in such sort as he had liberty to make himself a party" to it. She hopes the King will now deliver them both, which she will accept as a testimony of his affection and requite by any like proof of her friendly disposition.
On shewing the King the copy of one La Rue's letter, he is to advise him in the Queen's name to beware of the house of Guise, and to remember a prediction of his grandfather King Francis, who not long before his death foretold "that the ambition of the House of Lorraine would be the ruin of the House of Valois"; for the compassing whereof their intent has been to advance their cousin the Queen of Scots to the English realm, and with her assistance to be the better able to attain their purpose in France; though for the present "they make show to affect the Cardinal of [Bourbon paper torn] whose good nature they have greatly abused to serve their own turn."
And as her Majesty doubts not that through the goodness of God she shall prevent their mischievous designs, she cannot but counsel the King to have a watchful eye over them and not suffer himself to be made an instrument of his own ruin by committing his chief forces into their hands and letting them "prosecute with his sword and authority such of his subjects as are most faithfully devoted towards him"; without whose destruction the said Duke and his confederates cannot attain their ambitious desires.
Her Majesty desires Wootton to communicate "the premises" to her ambassador resident in France, who is appointed to assist him in this service. And having made the King and "the rest there to whom it shall appertain" fully acquainted with the contents of these his Instructions, and other things contained in his "message," he shall, after taking leave of the King, make his repair home without waiting for any further directions.
Endd. "29 September, 1586. Instructions for Mr. Wootton." 8 pp. [France XVI. 58.]
Sept 30. Dr. Hector Nunez to Walsingham.
The ill state of my legs forbids me to fulfil your command to wait upon you this day at the Court, so I send my man "to declare all necessaries touching our former talk."
I then delivered you Mr. Castillio's letter, and the copy of another, directed to me. "Although he saith in that letter that he durst not show the articles that I sent him, because it might have been occasion of a new war, yet he saith his pleasure [sic], because I do know by the report of my man that the Cardinal and the Marques of Santa Crux (St. Decruse) hath seen them and your honour's letter and mine, and presently the copies were sent out by a post unto the King; and afterwards the King did write unto Anthonie de Castillio, and likewise Sir Christopher de Moura (he is as great with the King as Roye Gomis was) and he did write a large letter unto the said Castillio, and my man saw these same letters in Mr. Castillio's hands, so that all that Castillio writeth unto me was taken out of those letters, even as it were of his own head; and so appeareth that they do know all, and yet they will not be known that they have seen our writings, which shows evidently the great desire that they have of peace.
"Neither Castillio should have been so bold to write without the King's commission that her Majesty should send for him to come hither privily to talk with her, that he would come and that he was sure to do a great good in this matter, therefore in my opinion, in no respect can [it] be hurtful that your honour (with her Majesty's good liking) should write unto the said Castillio that her Majesty would be glad to speak with him here privily, and that he shall crave leave of the King for it." And having good liking of this, then my man shall go back again in the same ship and bring Castillio with him, or if more haste were needed, shall ride by land. And Mr. Castillio will have a safe-conduct from her Majesty, either for himself or any other that shall come hither in the King's name. The sooner this is done the better, for there are great preparations in Portugal, but it is not known for what place.
"And if the course aforesaid is misliked, then they will have an exposition of the words of the Article, Toleration in religion; for surely these words hath troubled them very much, and upon that, they will answer what they will do. But this I think will be longer adoing.
The Marquis durst not give liberty to ship and goods without the King's order, and my man has left in the ship (which is not come up yet) a safe-conduct from Santa Crux to all the King's subjects for our ship, men and goods; thus, notwithstanding the general prohibition, we have leave to go back with ship and goods "by the King's express commandment; peradventure for to bring this matter to pass."
We should be glad to know the resolution in this matter, that we may take order in our business accordingly.
I am much importunated by my friend in Italy, Licentiatus Lewes Alveris to obtain her Majesty's letter in his favour to the Duke of Ferrara. When I first moved the matter, you made the obtaining of it very easy and caused the letter to be made, but it is still in your custody, and he now writes that if it cannot be got, I should procure the English ambassador in France to get a letter from the Queen Mother. I have no acquaintance with the ambassador and so humbly beseech you to help me in one of these ways.—London, 30 September, 86.
Signed. Add. Seal. Endd. "From D. Hector." 1½ pp. [Spain II. 71.]
Sept. M. de Quitry to Burghley.
When, in despair, we were ready to take away from the King of Navarre all hope of a foreign army, the money gathered together in Languedoc and Dauphiny being prevented from reaching us by the difficulties of the ways and the troops in France, and all safety lost in the countries of M. de Savoy, where our people are arrested and cruelly treated (as they have lately taken M. de Briquemault and keep him cruelly imprisoned, for no other reason than the general), and were only awaiting the return of Duke Casimir to take our leave; I received assurance by the Sieur de Meyneuf that he was taking to the King of Navarre a sum equal to the first granted us by her Majesty, which has revived our hopes of having shortly the proposed army, and makes us hold fast to the resolution that the King of Navarre has made, and for which I have given his word to the Princes, that he will conclude nothing until he has sent hither, both to communicate with them and to have certain news of his succours, as also to gain time, so as not to precipitate himself into one or the other extremity, or demand anything without certainty.
I came here to find M. Palavicino, to inform him of the evil and solicit him for the remedy; and have made such instance to him, both as to time, necessity and the opportunity of the Fair, apart from which one could not obtain so notable a sum, that he has promised to provide himself with money; without which I cannot give the needful assurances to the King my master. Upon this, I am despatching an express to him to assure him of the army, and remove all doubt of his succour; which we shall diligently solicit, so that it may reach him before the evil be at its height.
And knowing your part in what has been done by the Queen, to whom, humanly speaking, we owe our deliverance, I humbly thank you, and assure you that not only the King of Navarre and the princes of his house but all good Frenchmen will ever acknowledge this master stroke from your hands.
Nothing fresh has happened here, save the last resolution at Berne to send 15000 men to oppose the designs of M. de Savoy; six ensigns having been sent on in advance. There is some murmuring in Germany, but it will not come to blows unless precipitated by some fresh occasion.
Undated. Add. Endd. "Sept. 1586" by Burghley's secretary. Fr. 2 pp. [Germany, States IV. 91.]
[Sept.] Lazaro Grimaldi to Horatio Palavicino.
[The first page is a duplicate of his letter of Sept. 4–14, calendared under that date.]
Of what I have written above I will direct a duplicate to London, as you desire, but not of what I now add.
You may be sure that in conducting this negotiation I will not spare myself, and moreover, that although I chiefly desire the benefit of King Philip, as a Catholic prince, and protector of our Republic, yet I much wish for that of the Queen; believing that the tranquility of the two crowns will be of universal benefit to Christendom; and if God pleased that it should succeed by my means I should rejoice greatly, especially because of the advantage which I hope would thereby result to your honour.
The Spaniards consider themselves greatly injured; for a long while they have esteemed their forces sufficiently strong, and some time ago I learned from a good source that they did not believe it would be very difficult to make a successful enterprise against England, if the King should make up his mind to attempt it, his Majesty having plenty of money, and abundance of martial and experienced men, brave and fortunate captains on land and sea. And trusting in their maritime forces, they hope to vanquish the English fleet, if they encounter it, with no less ease than they did the French fleet, full of warlike soldiers, set out in Don Antonio of Portugal's name. The Queen has no successor, and they hold for certain that in her dominions there are many disaffected people, particularly in the matter of religion, there being there a great many Catholics, if not openly yet in secret; and so reckon much upon a rising in the kingdom in favour of a natural Catholic King, whenever a foreign force shall enter it, which is thought to be feasible enough, with good luck, for carrying on the war; his great grandeur being considered, which is at this day as it were without counterpoise; and God, it is seen, favours his holy intentions, for every day there appear manifest signs there, and now this of his only remaining son, who was believed not to be likely to live; restored from his dangerous illness to very good health, and as I learn, certain things which were attempted against him having had no success. Thus, (if I am not misinformed) unless affairs shortly change, there will be seen what will bring great renown to his Majesty. If he needs money and men, there is no doubt the Pope will aid him, and I have heard that the last year his Holiness had already gathered large sums together, and is still continually accumulating them; and others also would concur to assist him in an enterprise against England.
In short, I believe that it would be an advantage to her Majesty to make peace with the King, who besides the moderation of his mind is now sixty years of age, hence it is not to be feared that he would break the treaty if it came to a peace, while his son is only in his ninth year, so that if God called his father to himself, there would still be nothing to fear, because of his tender age. If the Queen were Catholic, the Pope would be able to give security for the observance of the treaty, but not being so, I do not see any suitable person, fit to support such a charge.
The King of Denmark has offered himself to the Catholic King to be a means whereby the people of Zeeland and Holland shall return to his obedience, but, by what I learn, does not treat of the business with so much authority, credit and perhaps advantage to the Queen as you do.
The Duke of Parma is lately dead; things go on very quietly in his States. Prince Ranucio is eighteen years of age or more, and already inducted into the management of the government, so that there will be no need for his father to leave Flanders, and in case of any necessity in Italy, Cardinal Farnese would act in his place.
Cassandra is much obliged to your honour, and so are we all on her behalf for the kindness you have shown her. She is well, and is going to the waters of Lucca for the benefit of her liver, being advised to do so to preserve her health. Please God they may be of benefit, and give her opportunity still to serve your honour. [This latter part undated.]
Add. Endd. by Burghley "11 October, 1586." Italian, 3½ pp. [Germany, States IV. 92.]
[Palavicino did receive a letter from Grimaldi dated Oct. 1–11 (see p. 104 below); but the above was evidently written earlier.]
[? Sept.] Petition of the Merchants Adventurers to the Privy Council.
When the Commissioners of the Hanse Towns were here at Nonsuch last summer, (fn. 2) her Majesty, by her Commissioners, offered that when they had restored the Merchant Adventurers at Hamburg in integrum, she would restore the said Hanses to the same liberty of traffic in England as they had enjoyed at any time from the beginning of her reign.
Since their commissioners' return, the Hanses have met at Lubeck, but have agreed on nothing, and brake up their conference without any resolution thereon.
Whereupon, they of Hamburg have consulted amongst themselves, and in the matter of the restitution have decreed (as is said) to stand to their own determination without consulting the rest of the Hanses, or "expecting of any of their consents"; and have shown their readiness to treat with the Merchants Adventurers so soon as they shall send commissioners, which they are ready to do, if it please her Majesty by your honourable advices.
And in their opinions, considering the slack vent of English commodities at Middelburg and Embden, the opening of the trade at Hamburg in the former orderly manner will be very beneficial to the common weal of this realm.
And if the said commissioners be sent by them, they pray that they may have letters of commendation from her Majesty to the Senate and burghers of Hamburg, to such effect as your wisdoms shall think fit; and also her Majesty's commission "upon the said restitution granted as aforesaid" (or it may be with some small alteration) that they may assure to the Hamburgers the full performance of that offered by her Majesty's commissioners at Nonsuch, and also have authority to grant some gratification to Mr. John Schultz (one of the Hanses' commissioners here and a senator of Hamburg) for licence to ship such number of white cloths as your honours shall think meet.
And that they may have her Majesty's grant under her privy seal, that from the time the said Merchants Adventurers shall be restored and possessed of their residence, trade and privileges at Hamburg, they of the Hanse Steedes of Germany which shall allow favour to their said residence etc., shall enjoy as ample privilege for trade of merchandise in England as they ever had since her Majesty's coming to the crown.
Also, "if it be stood upon," that they may have authority to promise her Majesty's licence to the town of Hamburg for a certain number of white cloths to be transported by them yearly; the commissioners using their discretion therein as occasion shall be given and according to such instructions as they shall receive. And that your honours will determine whether this licence shall be to Hamburg only, or to all the Hanse towns of Germany; or whether it shall be left to the commissioners to deal therein as they shall find cause.
Also the said Merchants Adventurers pray that their Commissioners may have letters from the Lord Treasurer and Mr. Secretary Walsingham to the said Mr. John Schultz.
Endd. 1¾ pp. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns II. 52.]
[Sept. or Oct. (fn. 3) ] Advertisements from France.
All the negotiation for peace so far made between the Queen Mother and the King of Navarre is that the [French] King being gone to the Baths of Pougues, and the Queen [Mother] to Chenonceaulx, she dispatched the Abbe de Gadagne to the King of Navarre to propose an interview; to which, after thanking her most graciously, he replied that in order to have the interview with more freedom and safety, the army of the Marshal de Biron must retire; wherefore he prayed their Majesties to give orders to the said Marshal to withdraw his army to the Loire.
After receiving this answer, the Queen again sent the Abbé to the King of Navarre to urge the said interview, but without taking the said order to the Marshal; whereupon that King gave the Abbe to understand that it was not reasonable, when the armies of his enemies were at hand to make exploits of war, and do hurt to his forces, that instead of providing against this he should be amused by interviews and pourparlers; and since they could not grant him so just a demand, and that he saw no demonstration of good-will and affection towards himself, after so much ill-treatment as he had received, he prayed the Queen to excuse him from the said interview.
The Abbé informed the Queen Mother of this by an express, who, having communicated with the King (then at Blois on his return from the said Baths) sent the Seigneur de Chemerault, grand Maréchal du corps, with a passport (of which the copy is given below) (fn. 4) to enable the King of Navarre to start for the said interview, without having granted anything concerning the place, or the withdrawal of the said army. Which passport has been published everywhere, as if the said interview had been settled and concluded, to give umbrage to the Allies and confederates of the King of Navarre, to make those of his party cold, and to lure them with a fair hope of peace; which is a new kind of artifice practised at present against the King of Navarre.
And as the Queen informed the said King by M. de Chemerault that the King could not withdraw the army and that she must return to Paris unless the King of Navarre appeared at the said interview on the 26th of this month, near Niort or Fontenay le Conte, in default of which she would be discharged before God and men for the evil which might result, having done all she could to arrest it; and that there was no need for him to stay for the withdrawal of the said army, which was very small and much diminished:—the said King sent back M. de Chemerault to say to the Queen that if she had any real desire of peace, she would not stick upon making the army retire, since it was so small and useless; that it was the usual thing, from all time, and the only fruit which could result from the interview for freeing the country from it, which was oppressed by it and to satisfy those of his party who took umbrage at this negotiation. That she knew he was not the author of this war, which had been begun against him at a time when he was patient, and obedient to the King's commands, and that honest men knew how much at that time he had served the King and his state, and that his past actions had sufficiently shown how much he desired the peace and repose of this realm. That he had continued always in his just demand, but as he foresaw that in the said interview it would be impossible to resolve anything, seeing that he was bound in respect of his friends, allies and confederates not to treat of peace without their advice and mediation, he did not see that it was worth while for her to trouble to come further, fearing that at this time she would not receive satisfaction. But that he would send the Sieur de Reau to her, that he might be the better enlightened as to her wishes, which he would do all in his power to carry out; and would go himself to kiss her hands if the said army should be withdrawn.
Endd. "October 1586." French. 2½ pp. [Newsletters IX. 31.]


  • 1. Qy. Nostradamus. But if so, must have been at a later date.
  • 2. They seem to have been twice at Nonsuch; when they came over in Aug. 1585, and again at the beginning of November.
  • 3. Probably the beginning of October new style.
  • 4. Wanting.