Elizabeth: February 1589, 1-10

Pages 84-103

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 23, January-July 1589. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1950.

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February 1589, 1–10

Feb. 1/11 William Lyly to Stafford.
Those of Rouen “have been there together by the ears about a gate M. de Carouges would have opened, which of long time had been shut up: but the same was appeased by the premier president who hath hanged three or four of the mutins.” This not assured, though brought by one who came post from thence. All is well there so far, but all is lost if de Mayne go thither.
Some say Chartres is for the League, some say not. Hears they will accept either the King or de Mayne, but not a garrison, nor conflict with other towns. De Mayne now there: leaves Sagona and Drow to govern it.
La Chartre still at Bourges, “and promiseth fair, but, etc.”
Montescot here. He was captured and ransomed. The King's ‘procureur-général’ also taken in the fauxbourgs of Chatre. His man brought the news. He is said now to be here himself. “Yesternight Montescot said also that M. de Mayne came in at one gate at Chartres when he parted the other….”
The King sends now for his nobility, including those of Gascony. There is great hope of him and no doubt that the other's forces will melt away in time, whereas the King's will increase.
Nevers hath not yet seen the King—both sick or indisposed. The government is not confirmed.”
Corsi has great forces. It is not yet known whither he marches. Maugeron, governor of Dauphiné, is dead: his son to have his place. The truces concluded there on January 25. Ledigyres besieged a town of the Duke of Savoy.
“The news of St. Paul holdeth true, but it was by the aid of forces drawn from Seddan, they are certain.”
One come from Spain speaks of their fear of the English army: “the name of Drake did kill them alone.” He says “that the King could not find men to defend his frontiers, that divers in Spain would have mourned the loss of their army [but] that proclamation was made to the contrary, and that there was an extreme fear that the two towns in Africa were lost….”— 11 February, 1589.
Postscript. “Your lordship shall do well to give good [sic] for ‘l'amb[assadeu]r’ in England. Queen Regnant is thought to be packing towards Paris, although it be given out otherwise…. There were no ‘chasse-marées’ [at] Dipe this Friday but that you desire will well be done from hence by them. W. desireth you yet to pause upon your meeting … [worn away] that Loignak is master, no fool nor leaguer. Ways at this time are dangerous … [MS.faded].”
Holograph. Add. Endd. Passages in italics in Stafford's cipher over Lyly's, erased, undeciphered. 1 p. [France XIX. f. 62.]
Feb. 1/11 Contents of a letter from Sir Edward Stafford.
28 January, 1588. There was a false alarm yesternight that the Duke of Nemurs had escaped, that Marshal d'Amond was defeated before Orleans, and that the King had fled for fear to Amboyse, taking the prisoners with him.
“This in part was true then, for the Duke was escaped; but the defeat was not then true, but now it is true. That the King was fled for fear is very false, for he is come again to Bloyse.”
“He was purposed to have sent them to Amboys with a guard, but he changed his purpose, went himself and saw them lodged there.”
“He thought at the first to keep Mme. de Namuers and the Cardinal of Borbone with himself, but, fearing to be betrayed, he changed his mind, and saith that Mme. de Namurs shall answer for her son if he play the fool, and that he will be sure to keep the Cardinal from ever doing hurt with his name.”
“There be two Scottish men in prison for the escape (of whom one is called Graye), but I think without cause, for they were commanded by an exempt who is fled away with the Duke.”
“The matter of Orlyance hath given a sore blow, for many things dependeth thereon. The Marshal d'Amond is much blamed of some for flying, but others think he did wisely.”
“The Duke de Maine came to Orlyans with 800 footmen and 300 horsemen.”
Towars offers to open its gates to the King. "This is true, and so is that of Sommearce for I spake with the party."
“Epernon abuseth the King and stayeth his forces till [he] hath capitulated with him, which he will not do, for he is angry with him—and so should I be if I were King.”
“The King raiseth and sendeth for all, tag and rag, but I [see] not any in these parts that make great haste. I think that the lesser towns will now be brave.”
“The King now knoweth what evil counsel was given him when he sent to stay the Duke de Naviers after he had sent for him upon the slaughter of the Duke of Guise.”
“The army of the Duke de Naviers is here arrived, poor though it be, and lieth between this and Bloyes expecting the King's pleasure. What that will be I cannot tell.”
Marshal de Raze gone with his wife to the baths in Italy, pretending to deal with the Italian states. Fears that he will serve “the idol of Spain.”
“All this is gathered out of several letters, whereof two was in ciphers (wherein was that matter of Epernone). Another was from Lyllye written at Bloyese to the ambassador. The fourth was in English from the ambassador to Mr. Secretary Walsingham. There was also a letter of one Lentall, of his own private, and another of an ill handwriting subscribed with these two letters, J and L, wherein was all private matters except these words— ‘it will go ill with the King of France if no help come out of England.’ Thus far of these letters intercepted.”
“You shall hear more of me ere long. 11 February.”
“Since this was enclosed the gates were shut, which prevented the passing thereof. In the meantime they have taken the Protestants and carried them to prison.”
“A brother of Monpansyre is with certain horsemen at Equytt, who hath taken the packet of this town wherein is thought to be the ambassador's letters.” Certain poor handicraftsmen of this town were to-day armed and sent to attack them.
Namures said to be coming hither from Paris as governor, and to have been nearly taken by the horsemen at Equytt.
Not signed. Add. “to my loving friend T. G., priest.” Endd. “1 Feb., 1588. From A. B., the contents of Sir Edward Stafford's letter intercepted.” 2 pp. [France XIX. f. 43.]
Feb. 1. G. de Prounincq, called de Deventer, to Walsingham.
Has long been unable to send to him. Sends this by Captain Morgan. Must importune his honour on his own behalf, for they turn into charges against him almost everything of note that occurred during his excellency's government, as the articles sent by Captain Blond's cousin to MM. Meetkerke and Borchgrave show. They would have him answer upon all that the Estates and Council of this town have done or resolved during the past thirty months. He replies that if neither Estates nor Council are answerable, much less is he; but he closes their mouths best by quoting their letters of 19 January, 1586. They then wrote that the Hollanders could not see any way to maintain the commonwealth longer without the authority of her Majesty and his excellency, and that, unless they wished to fall into the Spaniards' hands, they must treat his excellency with greater respect than previous governors, for he had come to rule not to be ruled: their disorders were due to lack of authority [this sentence underlined]. This letter is registered in the book of the Estates of this province. It condemns them of all the changes with which they charge him. This is especially true of the charge of belittling the States General's sovereignty. The States General cannot be the sovereign, for their masters are the natural and ordinary Estates of each province, which are guardians of the sovereign power so long as there is no Prince. They are, however, too swayed by passion to hear reason and he must, therefore, appeal to her Majesty for aid, seeing that his excellency made him accept this consulate which, since his excellency's death, has been so costly to him. Thanks her Majesty for her letters, but complains that no person of quality has come hither. Letters are answered with words, people by deeds. Desires him to obtain his release.— Utrecht, 1 February, 1589, stylo veteri.
Postscript. Lacks writing paper in this prison.
Holograph. Add. Endd. French. 1 p. [Holland XXXI. f. 1.]
Jan. 18 and Feb. 2. Edward Barton to [Walsingham?]
Wrote last on January 3. His associates in inciting these people against the King of Spain have left off in despair, though Hassan Bassa still makes great preparations in the hope that bad news from Barbarie will force them to set out their fleet. Had Barton the hundredth penny of what the King of Spain bestows, he would certainly achieve his objects, “but without Cerberus have his sop it is hard to come to the speech, but harder to prevail, with Pluto.”
Complaint made by the Vicerey to the Emperor's ambassador about the depredations of the Schochi pirates, of Segna, upon the Turkish merchants trading to Venice. He answered the Vicerey that they were not the Emperor's subjects and that the Emperor could not, because of his treaty with the Venetians, maintain galleys in the Gulf of Venice. They were admitted to the harbours because sometimes they came to buy and sell and it could not be ascertained whether their goods were Turkish prizes or not. Thereupon the Vicerey turned upon the Venetians, for they have agreed with the Grand Signor to keep the Gulf free from pirates on condition that the Turkish galleys no longer come there. The Venetian ambassador said that they kept continual watch, but that since the pirates could take refuge in Segna and other ports belonging to the Emperor they could not control them as they desired. The Grand Signor has, nevertheless, sent letters to the Signoria demanding due recompense. They have replied, and there the matter rests.
The Grand Signor demands recompense for the harm done to the Turks who recently were repulsed whilst raiding into Hungary, and for the damage done in the Imperial troops' retaliatory raid. He is unlikely to obtain it, particularly as a sharper war has been proclaimed against the Persians. Defeat of Hassan Bassa, beglerbey and vicerey of Cervan, by Topsacke Sulman, who is likely to recover Tauris. Eight thousand Janissaries—who never were wont to leave Constantinople in such numbers unless the Grand Signor went in person—and the Spahies are to march thither with all speed. “It is suspected the Vicerey shall go as general, but I doubt the sweetness he findeth here will make him open his purse-strings wide to keep at home.” Reported preparations by the Grand Signor against the King of Poland. —18 January, 1588.
Neither the Emperor nor the Venetians stand in awe of the Grand Signor now that his enemies molest all his borders. The Emperor has replied that, as the Turks of Buda and other subjects of the Grand Signor had raided into Hungary, there was no cause for the Grand Signor to be offended, much less to require recompense. The Venetians say that as the Schochi were sheltered in Segna, they could not so well assure the safety of the Turkish merchants. The matter is already quenched. A chaouse and a rich Greek merchant lately forged letters and firmans from the Princes of Bugdania and Wallachia complaining of the Beglerbey's extortions in those provinces. The Grand Signor sent for him in a rage, but he soon appeased him, asking that three or four ‘capugies’ might be sent to the Princes to learn the truth. The result is already clear—the Beglerbey's commendation and the shameful death of his accusers.
Report that the Great Tartar, Usbecke, has made peace with the Persian, who consents to take back his daughter (formerly divorced), Usbecke agreeing to aid him against ‘this.’ Matters of great consequence may follow if this prove true, for “this man” is molested on all his borders—in Hungary, in Poland by Cassackes, in the Tanay by Muscovites, in Barbary by the Moors, in Tripolye, about Damasco by the Drusi, in Medea and those parts of Asia by the Persians and the Georgians. His treasury is so dry that he cannot pay his stipendiaries: “neither I nor other of the Christian ambassadors or agents could these 6 months recover a penny of the allowance the Grand Signor granteth us, his officers without shame answering monthly that there is no money come into the treasury.”
Reported proclamation of the Vicerey of Naples that all “ships of Levant”, especially Ragusians, should come to the King of Spain's aid against her Majesty this summer. Barton complained to the Vicerey here that the Ragusians last summer, despite the command of the Grand Signor (whose tributaries they are), sent 4000 mariners, as well as ships, to aid the King of Spain. Desired the Vicerey to warn them against again acting in the same unfriendly manner. He promised to do so, and presently sent for the Ragusian ambassador. Knows not what passed between them. The Vicerey assured Barton of the preparation of his master's fleet for this summer, but he sees no suggestion of it at the Arsenal and Hassan Bassa says that unless the tumults of Tripoli compel them they will not set forth one galley.
The Imperial and French ambassadors lately met at the Vicerey's, but the Imperial was given audience first. The French ambassador thereupon followed him into the Vicerey's chamber. The Vicerey told him that the affairs which he had to treat of with the Imperial ambassador were important, whereas his might be dealt with at any time, and therefore bade him for the present depart, which he was forced to do, to his great shame.—Rapamet, first of February, 1588.
Signed. Endd.pp. [Turkey I. f. 162.]
Feb. 2. Chasteauneuf to Walsingham.
It was ordered at last Friday's meeting that all French goods taken at sea and brought into the ports of this realm should be taken away again, without payment of customs, by the Frenchmen to whom they had been legally restored. A French merchant, Masselin, was recently charged customs duties upon such goods when he was reloading them at Bridgewater. Desires that the duties be repaid.—Sunday, 2 February, 1589.
Postscript. This is the merchant of whom they spoke on Friday.
Signed. Add. Endd. with note of contents. French. 1 p. [France XIX. f. 39.]
Feb. 2/12 Du Pin to Walsingham.
God's marvellous doings in this kingdom. The King, his master, after taking Niors fell dangerously ill. However, their incessant prayers have been answered, for he is now entirely cured. He sends M. de Bongars into England and Germany, (fn. 1) as his honour will understand from that gentleman and also from MM. de Pujols and de Buzanval. M. d'Evreux has been able to obtain a thousand crowns, so that he will lack nothing: will always be pleased to serve him and so to continue in his honour's good graces.—La Rochelle, 12 February, 1589.
Holograph. Add. Endd. French. 1¼ pp. [France XIX. f. 40.]
Feb. 2/12. [Lyly] to Stafford.
“Yesterday Surdy sent unto [the] K[ing] that the Duke de (fn. 2) … there, and that he came but to do his vows to Notre Dame de … done, he practised the people to receive garrison, which he fou[nd] … he desired to consider that his brother died for their defen[ce] … Catholic, Roman, and Apostolic religion, that he would … and desired nor obtained at their hands any other than that … such part as Paris did and unite themselves with her, which … but have made a counsel amongst themselves that shall rule … and so remain neuters until such time as the K[ing] shall have (fn. 3) … the town remained … subjects, en attendant les forces en compagnie: he himself … the town to meet him, and de Mayne entered with 12 hors[e]….“
“For Roan, it standeth in good order yet. The premier … played the devil for the King. It is said that he hath kil[led] … forty: I pray God it be four.”
“The Count Suassions hath sent to the King that if he will se … he will render account of the D. de Mayne's passage … his forces being drawn now thitherward.”
The King of Morocco's agent says that that King has gone from Morocco to Fesse with 30,000 men, half horse, half harque-busiers. He hopes much of it.
News that Gondy's Moor, who was [brought to?] England by Drake attacked d'[Omal] in Paris because he took away Gondy's horse which the Moor had in his charge. “D'Omal was armed, and so had no great harm, but it…. The poor Moor is drawn with four horse[s].”
“It is assured that within 17 or 18 days the King sh[all] … and 8000 footmen, and that yesterday there parted gentleme[n]…. Count Suassions, and that Pernon's companies walk that wa[y]…. And W. should have gone also, but stayed to do service. The said … hence is deferred and is the cause he cannot come on Wednesday, but after, when you…. The King of Navarre's man (fn. 4) to come to him this morning, which if I can bring to pass, I …, and we will come together….”—12 [February], 1589.
Postscript. Sends the declaration herewith [not found].
Holograph. Signature torn away and also considerable portions of the document. Add. Endd. Seal of arms, ¾ p. [France XIX. f. 63.]
Feb. 2/12. Names of prisoners taken on Sunday 12 February, 1589 [N.S.], at St. Gevino by M. d'Amblise.
Signor de Rotigoti, gentleman of Duke of Lorraine's chamber.
Captain Rerdelly, Albanian, wounded.
Signor Mandricardo, captain of 50 lances.
Captain Urbano, Ferrarese.
Captain l'Arche.
Signor Arbitri.
Captain Basso.
Signor de Senlis.
Captain Navan.
Captain la Brosse.
Captain Provençale.
Captain Alessandro.
Captain Sorviandre.
Captain la Salle the elder, dead.
Many unknown dead and captured. Of 400 only 50 escaped with Captain Sant Paolo.
Endd. Italian. 2/3 p. [France XIX. f. 42.]
[Feb. 2.] Articles touching the state of Ostende.
That her Majesty send thither a gentleman of trust and reputation, under whom the inhabitants will be ready to return to the town.
To maintain there for one year six companies of 150 men apiece, half English, half of the Low Countries.
To hold the town as part of Flanders, according to the Treaty with the United Provinces, with whom Flanders was a contracting party.
To move her Majesty to grant for fortifications the sum which they hear has now been granted.
These things performed, the town will be renewed and will again have its officers and magistrates according to ancient usage, which will attract the refugees back. This will restore the fishing trade, which formerly made the town so prosperous, and then this realm will be well supplied with all kinds of fish. Many merchants and artisans promise to return, with their households, if this good order is established. Then it will be able to pay contributions, etc., like other provinces. If the town is assured, the commons that are of the Religion in the towns and countryside of Flanders will send secret contributions, and would continually supply information about the enemy.
Endd. with date. French. 1½ pp. [Holland XXXI. f. 2.]
[Feb. 4.] “The Heads of Mr. Wotton's Instructions.”
“To perform some ordinary compliments in condoling Queen Mother's death.”
“To acquaint the King with the cause of her present sending without attending his allowance thereof, according to her promise signified in the last despatch; in which point the King is to be made acquainted with the late advertisements she had received touching the revolt of Roan.”
“That it will behove him now to take a resolute course, seeing that by his temporising so long, in bearing with the indignities offered by the Duke of Gwyse, he was forced for his own safety to resort to a violent remedy in taking away his life.”
“That whereas his realm is compounded of three sorts of people, Royalists, Leaguers and Huguenots, and that the Leaguers, countenanced by the Pope, Spain and Savoy, are grown to that strength as, without joining with the King of Navarre and that speedily, he is like to hazard the loss of his crown, it shall be most necessary for him, leaving the point of Religion aside, to use the said King and his party against the Leaguers.”
“To put him in mind how necessary it will be for him to deal with Venice, Florence, Ferrara and Mantua, to take some course to bridle both Spain and Savoy his son in law.”
“The princes of Germany, ancient allies of that crown, and the Swisses, to be also dealt withal, in point of assistance.”
“To recover by all means such of the nobility as have been aliened from him by the practices of the Gwyse.”
In Walsingharris hand. Endd. with date. 1½ pp. [France XIX. f. 45]
[About Feb. 4] The Queen to the King of France.
Credence for the bearer, Wotton, gentleman of the chamber, sent to condole upon the Queen Mother's death.
Draft, much corrected. Endd. February, 1588. French. 1 p. [France XIX. f. 76.]
Feb. 5. Stafford to Walsingham.
Sends the letters which he receives daily from Lilly at the court. Most of their news is true, though “the King hath many things false and that very often.”
The King hopes soon to have 1200 horse and 8000 footmen or more. Many towns neutral, but when he has an army probably the stream will turn.
All beyond the Loyre, except Toulouze, are for the King. On this side of the river those “whom he hath best deserved of are worst bent.” Champagne well affected and there is hope of Burgundy. Two declarations published by the King, one against de Meyne, d'Omale, and the Chevalier d'Omale, the other against Paris, Orleans, Amiens, and Abville. All the nobility are summoned with their forces to the King. Hears that the declarations “speak very plainly.”
The Princess of Lorraine to go on Wednesday next to her nusband, though the Parisians insist that she is promised to M. de Nemours. They would let nothing that the Queen Mother gave her come out of Paris and they coined a great deal of ‘vessel’ made there for the D[uke] of Florence.
“The Spanish ambassador will by no means come hither where we are, and yet he receiveth every day terrible ‘escornes’; and among the rest one notable one the last day. For, coming to the funerals, he would needs have audience whether the King would or no. But he was fain to turn back again without it, and at night when he turned back, he found five companies of footmen lodged in the village that he lodged himself in, a league from Bloys, and the captain in his bed, so that he was fain himself to lie in his garderobe. And the next day, sending to make a great complaint of it, the King would not believe it, said it was not possible for he was sure he was at Vandome where he appointed him.”
“My friend attendeth every day news out of Spain. When I have any I will send it you….”—Vandome, 5 February, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd.pp. [France XIX. f. 47.]
Feb. 5. Stafford to Walsingham.
“Yesterday the King sent to me after I had received his letter, whereof I send your honour a copie, and withal sent me her Majesty's letter to him; sent me word that he would not for anything in the world it had benefounde, and showed that he was half discontented that in this time her Majesty wolde write unto him, having no cifer, that which, being taken, (as everything now is subject unto that) that which theie mought make theire profit of, as [they] do. That the King hathe had ever inteligence with her Majesty that for anything that it plesed her Majesty, having sifer with me, her Majesty mought finde means to send it in cifer to me and I to deliver it him as I had done other things. That he had made an answer such as he wolde be contented for the time that mought be seene. That for that which the King writ in it, that he had released the defens for vitels, he was cons[t]rained to it for tooe resons; the one that it had li[k]e to have lost Nantes whooe had like to have mutined upon it; the other that in this time, whether he wolde or not, [t]heie wolde doe it, and so neither her Majesty have cause to be contented, and he dishonored to have it done against his will after his defence.”
“That for the third point, it was very true that their was nothing in the worlde founde in thes papers of the Duke of Guise but that which did directlie touche his ambitious humors for the ruine of France, and that what show soever he made to the world, because it served his torne, he thoght not of her Majesty but oneli of France and the King's ruin. Sent me word that he would not for anything in the world that the leter had bene seene for that point, and other of secresie that her Majesty promised, for that would have plainelie shewed to his disavantage a confidence between them wich wolde have bene interpreted of the contrarie partie to have bene of long continuance. And therefore desired her Majesty to pardon him if he made no aunswer to al at [t]his time in writing. And in truth he hath reason at this time, and if you had sent me the copie of her Majesty's leter, as yow were ever wonte to doe, I had not delivered it, knowing the King's humor, til I had sent her Majesty mi poore judgment of it and known thereupon her plesure. For, for the chief point that was in it which was about the Duke of Guise's papers, I could have answered that, for as soon as I heard of the taking of Mem, I presently thought upon that and presently found means to inquire of that and found that which the King writeth to be trwe, that there was nothing in the world in them but touching his ambitious deseins for France.”
For this matter of Loignak's discontentment, I think it be a cuning betwene the King and him, and the more I think it because that I have not hard of Loignak and that he that was wont to com betwene him and me, as you may see by Lyllye's letters, diferreth from daie to daie our apointments of meting: but I do think ere long I will decipher that cipher. One thing is most certain, that either the King must be the st[r]angest man that ever was seene or this must needs be a fained mater betwen them for som pourpose, for but tooe daie[s] before the King tolde him he knewe him irecon-silialel with the League and therefore he woolde deliver into his hands both the castle and the prisoners, because he might have in his hands—whatsoever became of him—wherewith to kepe theire nose to the griston, and upon that went himself and put them into the castel, put him into possesion, and gave the oolde governor tuelve thousand crowns recompense: which all Loinak sent me worde of afore, and it fel out so and nowe he is gon thither and remaineth in it.”
Som think theire is inteligence betwene the French King, the King of Navarre, Espernon, and him aboute this. But if that be, it is withoute mi knowledg. But I think theire is betwene the French King [and] the King of Navarre, but it is mervelous secretlie kept if it be, for without doubt R[o]kelaure was heere and spoke mervelous secretlie with the King and the King can abide nothing so evil as to have it onest spoken of that Rokelaure was heer: but that is very certain without doubt.”
Nevers I have sought into all that I could, both myself and mine own interest and by others also that had interest in him for other respects: of whoome therie ar divers judgments made, which partly you shall see by Lilie's leters, parili bi a fernd's leter of min whoe hathe als[o] cause to looke into his actions and disposition al that maie be. There is nothing in the world that could make me conceeve wel of him but that I knowe he is dedlie hated of the contrarie partie. No longer agone than yesterday he was with the French King and ofred life and blood in the King's service.”
Espernon without doubt is not wel with the French King, if the King can chuse; and worse noue the Duke of Guise is dead then before, for now he nnedeth him less. But surely Epernon hath given him som cause for he wolde send him no troups till he had capitulated with him, which was not well done of him in this time. And besides, Belegard, whome the French King loveth with extremitie, hateth Espernon dedlie: who also, if the mater be not fained betwene the French King and Lognak, is cause of that to.”
“As for other counselors aboute the French King, Rambouliet is the chif in maters of afairs, and d'O
. But nobody knoweth the French King's ooune counsel but himself and he is least astonied of al these accidents of anie, and I think, if God have not somewhat in his secret judgment against him, wil ruine them al. But I do hope that God wil turne al to his glorie. One thing I am sure of, that in all likelihood all yet torneth onelie to the King of Navarre's good.”—Vendome, 5 February, 1588.
Postscript.—“The Princes of Lorein, as theie saie, carie a ha[?r]t of a daughter of France, and, they say, the Duke is afected to France and not to Spain, and that he, suspecting his brother for Spain, hath a greate ie over him.”
Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. Passages in italics in cipher. 3 pp. [France XIX. f. 49.]
Decipher of the above, by Wilkes.
2⅓ pp. [France XIX. f. 51.]
The French King to Stafford.
“J'ay receu la lettre de la Roine, ma bonne seur, vostre maistresse, que vous m'avez envoiée, avec une que vous m'avez par mesme moien escrite. Sur le contenu desquelles je vous diray qu'il ne s'est trouvé icy aucune chose de ce qu'elle pensoit. Quant au surplus, j'avois cy-devant defendu pour la commodite de mes armées le transport des bleds hors ce royaume, pour le regard d'aucuns provinces: mais depuis, considerant que le principall moien qu'aient mes subiects de recouvrer argent pour satisfaire a leurs charges et necessites consiste au debitement et transport de leurs bleds, j'ay pensé leur debvoir subvenir en cest endroyt par l'ouverture que j'ay faicte des traictes, enquoy la liberté du commerce ne leur peult estre empeschee sy Ton veut entretenir la paix et amitié entre nous et noz roiaumes suivant les traictez, comme j'estime estre l'intention de ladite dame vostre maistresse, laquelle me le fera cognoistre par effect si elle donne ordre de faire cesser les vexations et incommodites que continuellement mes subjects recoivent de sesgens en leurs navigations et trafficq. Neantmoins, pour le regard des six navires qui ont este menez a Douvre (ainsi que vous me mandez), je suis content que les bleds dont ils estoient charges soient venduz de ce coste la a la plus grande commodité du mesdits subiectz que faire se pourra, et de gre a gre sans faire tort ny preiudice a la liberté qui doibt estre gardée au commerce. Ce faizant, j'auray occasion de faire reciproquement observer a ses subiects en ce dit roiaume….” —Blois, 6 February, 1589.
Copy. Original signed Henry, countersigned Revoll. Endd. French. 1 p. [France XIX. f. 53.]
Feb. 5/15. Lyly to Stafford.
Nothing spoken of here but the revolt of towns. La Charité expelled its garrison, Auxerre and two or three towns on the river will do as they list, Chartres has taken the oath of Union, and Mantes [recte le Mans] receives garrison under Beaudolphin who keeps Fargis a prisoner. Roan accounted lost: M. de Carouges' secretary told Lyly last night that he feared this, since he had received no news thence for [MS. torn] days. The King not discouraged: he says that his turn will come.
At eight last night Larchan and all the Scottish g[uard] left for Amboyse, “and with three coaches the King, the Bishop of Lyons, and another. Whereupon one of my friends told me that either it was for the Cardinal de Bourbon who now promiseth to do marvels, or else [to] beguile Loignak. Some say it was for all together. But if there happen anything worth the sending the great packet hath promised to send me word of it.”
Chatillon reported to be at La Trischery on his way hither, with cordage, etc., to cross rivers and scale forts. Chatelrault thought to be for them.
“I spoke to the principal man about the Queue regnant. He told me that it was more than practised, but yet the time served not.”
“He assured me that there was a treaty between the King of Navarre and the French King, but it could not appear yet, and that the French King went towards Burgundy and joins with the Swisses, to avoid some other inconveniences of the King of Spain's practices and possess himself of that government. These places in the mean[time] to be possessed of the King of Navarre and his.”
Givry said to have “taken a great booty, a president of Dig[eon], the principal counsellor to de Maine, two of Colonel Pipher's children, and 6000 crowns sent to Madame de Mayne.”
“D'Omal is parted Paris with 120,000 crowns to go to the frontiers … to receive the licensed soldiers of the Duke de Parma. Nemours is governor of Paris, and de Mayne entered there on Saturday at night, and when he had spoken to his mother, he said when the [King] had set at liberty the prisoners, then he would talk of an accord…”—15 February, 1589.
Postscript. “There is no appearance that any prisoners shall be brought away, for Larchan was permitted to enter, himself the third, into the town: Loignac despatched to Angolesme. This by a friend of mine … [illegible].
Holograph. Endd. Seal of arms. Words in italics in Stafford's cipher over Lyly's crossed out. Edges of MS. damaged. 1 p. [France XIX. f. 70.]
Feb. [5.] The Queen to Muley Hamet, Emperor of Morocco, King of Fez and of Sus. (fn. 5) "
The Emperor's ambassador, Mushac Reyz, has communicated that which was committed to his charge. Thanks his Majesty for his assurances of goodwill, and returns answer by Mushac Reyz.—Whitehall.—February, 1588.
Copy. Add. Endd. with date. Spanish. ½ p. [Royal Letters II (Morocco), No. 9.]
Feb. 6. Stafford to Walsingham.
Sends three Declarations of the King's, one against the Dukes de Mayne, d'Omale and the Chevalier d'Omale; another against the towns; and the third “for the calling together all that he is able to make, tag and rag.”
Thinks his army will soon be ready, though they come forward slowly, and that then “the minds of a great many will change, but yet they run hell-head and again all one way; and almost few towns but are either against the King or will have ‘receive“ no garrison at all.”
“My friend had news out of Spain of the 20th of December that they were making ready thirty galleons in Biscay; and, with them and fifty ships small of burthen, they would again attempt their enterprise of England. That all the soldiers that were left of the Armada, which are, as he writeth, counted yet 6000, were sent into Portingal, there to attend the defence of the country against the attempts of Drake, as they say, which they expect.”
“That presently parteth the fleet for Nova Espagne, with thirty good ships, and in them 2000 men, to be left in the places of St. Dominigo, Cartagena and Havana and those places.”
Yesterday he had letters of later date, of which Stafford sends an abstract. Wrote yesterday by another way. Sends also a short letter come even now from Lillye.—Vandosme, 6 February, 1588.
Postscript. Ways are so unsure that he knows not how safely to send: “and if Roan start too, I know not how to do.” Has not heard for a long time from his honour, so wrote to Lady Stafford, as he needs to learn of his own business.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. 1 p. [France XIX. f. 64.]
Feb. 6. Chasteauneuf to Walsingham.
Received his honour's of the 4th yesterday. Sees by it that her Majesty means to send Mr. Houtton to France. Will willingly wait for him until Saturday. Heard from Gourdan yesterday that the Leaguers have taken Rouen and that the way of Dieppe was unsafe. Means to go to Calais and thence as Gourdan shall advise. Thinks Houtton had better go by Jersey and Guernsey to Alençon and le Mans and so to Blois. This would take him through peaceful provinces. He might be in danger in Picardy and Normandy, and might find it difficult to get horses since the chief towns would be closed to him. However, if Houtton comes with him, desires that he may be ready by Saturday. Desires his honour's letter to Captain Winter, who is here with one of the Queen's ships. Frobisher has gone to Zeeland.— Dover, 6 February, 1589.
Holograph. Add. Endd. French. 2/3 p. [France XIX. f. 28.]
Feb. 6. Chasteauneuf to Walsingham.
Received his letter by Mr. Stalenge. Sees that her Majesty wishes him to stay for three or four days until she has news of Stafford. Will stay. Does not think Stafford is stayed. Hears Rouen is for the League, but that cannot affect Stafford. Sends his secretary to learn her Majesty's full intention. Has sent his baggage from Gravesend, so does not wish to return to London, which might breed a rumour that he was stayed. Desires to know definitely whether her Majesty means him to return. Stalenge would not tell him. Stafford can be in danger only if the King is too. That is unlikely, for Poitou, Berry, Touraine, Le Mans, and other provinces are for him and he is near to the King of Navarre and Épernon.—Dover, 6 February, 1589.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. French. ¾ p. [France XIX. f. 29.]
Feb. 6. Captain Nicholas Erington to Walsingham.
Received his letters of January 14 by Bournahm. Is sorry to be given the charge of this town in Sir William Russell's absence or until a new governor be sent. Many captains absent, and the companies weak. Reinforcements advisable, especially as three companies are withdrawn. Men cannot be had here, and it is costly to bring them from England: 150 would meet the need. Desires that another governor be speedily sent over.— Vlisshinges, 6 February, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XXXI. f. 5.]
Feb. 8. Lord Wyllughby to Walsingham. (fn. 6) "
Received her Majesty's letters this morning. Sent translated extracts to the Council of State and the States General. (fn. 7) Has written four times to Sir Thomas Morgan to send away the companies from Berghen for the voyage. Yet this day a message from him was delivered to the Council, that he would send none away without their assent. Sir Edward Norreys writes that the governor of Ostend “standeth in terms also not to send.”
Hears by a letter received this afternoon that “Thomas Maria Wingfield hath complained, and you awarded, my case unheard, that I should deal hardly with him. I say to you as the accused said to Caesar, appealing from him ill informed to him well informed.” Desires him to leave one ear open for his case, and not to decide upon the evidence of one-sided abuse. Hopes soon to be home.—The Hagh, 8 February, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland XXXI. f. 9.]
Feb. 8. Sir Thomas Morgan to [Willoughby?]
Encloses copy of a letter from the governor of Flushing. If companies are drawn hence before replacements are sent, Stanley may easily perform his practice against this town.—Berghes, 8 February, 1588.
Postscript. Learns certainly that Stanley is at Antwerp, making great provision, and that his forces have greatly increased in these parts in the last five or six days.
Copy. Endd. “Copy of Sir Tho. Morgan's letter to my lord, and Sir Wm. Russell's letter…. Received the 10 February, 1588.” ½ p. [Holland XXXI. f. 12.]
Sir William Russell to Sir Thomas Morgan.
Hears that Standley has come from Brusselles, where the Duke of Parma is, to attempt the surprise of Berges, for which he is collecting forces. He has daily correspondence in the town, it is believed. So advises Morgan to look to his watch and to search all who pass in or out. “Victuals pass daily to the enemy; if they were bared thereof, they would starve.” The Duke does little, but keeps his forces strong, either for this design on Berges, or for Ostend or France.—4 February, 1588.
Copy. ¾ p. [Holland XXXI. f. 4.]
Feb. 8. Cornille Kyen, burgomaster of Ostend, to Walsingham.
Refers to the petitions on behalf of Ostend which he presented to her Majesty, who promised that General Noritz should get the States General to aid and relieve them, or, if they would not, then she would take order for them. They sent their treasurer to join Noritz in soliciting the States General, but after a considerable delay he came back with nothing but empty promises. So they are compelled to come again to seek her Majesty's help, according to the articles which he desires his honour to communicate to her, using therein his accustomed good offices.
Hears that Conway, their governor, has spoken ill of him, accusing him of inclining rather to the King of Spain than to her Majesty or the States. His past services, and his great losses therein, disprove this. Gave two ships, one of them to Sir William Knollys, for her Majesty's service, and has received not a stiver for them. Gave credit at first to the captains, but has never been repaid. Conway is annoyed because, at the time of the mutiny, Kyen left without speaking with him. Could neither speak to nor receive letters from anyone, but was forced to put to sea against the wind very dangerously. Also Conway was falsely informed that Kyen complained of him and asked for another governor.—London, 8 February, 1588.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal. French. 2½ pp. [Holland XXXI. f. 14.]
Feb. 9. Lord Wyllughby to Walsingham.
Has done all possible to send away the companies appointed to go. With her Majesty's letters, received yesterday, was a list showing what men might be left in Berghen and Ostend, so as to satisfy the States. Probably framed by Sir John Norreys. How different it is from the true state of the army, the enclosed will show.—The Hagh, 9 February, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. ½ p. [Holland XXXI. f. 16.]
Note of the forces in the Low Countries.
There are 41 companies. The Lord General's, the governors' of Vlishinge and Briell, and Colonel Morgan's, are of 200 each; the other 37 of 150. According to the old establishment this gave a total of 6,744, or, without the dead pays, 6,074. Under the new establishment the figures are 6,400 and 5,760.
A true collection of her Majesty's forces.
Originally her Majesty paid for 6,728 (150 pays, with 8 officers, for the ordinary bands): of these 1,680 were in the cautionary towns, leaving 5,048 at the Lord General's disposal.
Actually the bands of 150 must be reckoned at 135, plus 8 officers, and other bands on a similar scale. This gives a total of 4,335, of whom only 3,120 are available outside the cautionary towns. Of these 3,120, only 3,048 were present at the last musters.
“Of which number, 1,500 [Written above: ‘10 companies’] being by your Lo. last order appointed to be left in Berghen, and 7 companies [above, 1,350] in Ostend, I leave to be considered how many Sir John Norreys may have hence for the voyage.” Experience proves that the governors of the cautionary towns will never consent to the withdrawal to Berghen of 500 men from their garrisons. Nor would that be very wise.
Of the horse bands, one is broken, so there remain 782 men.
Signed, P. Wyllughby. Endd. with date. 2 pp. [Holland XXXI. f. 87.]
Feb. 9. James Digges to Lord Wyllughby.
The mustering and embarking of the companies lately arrived here and “the perverse, peevish, overthwart, injurious, hard courses of the States' commissaries and the burgomasters of this town, without all discretion and reason, of purpose, as far as I can perceive, to cause our nation … to enter into open mutiny, or at the least to refuse to go this journey.” Owing to his sudden despatch hither has no commission from his lordship, except to assist the States' deputies in all ways to further her Majesty's service. Refers the details of his proceedings to this bearer, Mr. Sparhawke. Meant to wait on his lordship to-day, but letters came this morning from the Council of State in answer to the commissaries' and burgomasters' complaint of Sir Christopher Blunte's company refusing to embark as soon as mustered. Mr. Allen, or Blunt himself, can show how it would have spoiled their horses. Digges had no authority to deal in the matter, but assured the commissaries, etc., of his lordship's eagerness to see the men embarked if their victuals, forage, and ships, were ready. They demanded an answer, yea or nay, whether or not he had instruction, as the Dutch commissaries had, to embark them immediately after the muster. Replied, he was to aid them in all things for her Majesty's service, and that the captains were under orders to embark as speedily as possible, Sir Edward Norreys having accused them of unnecessary delays. Assured them he would require the captains to embark at once if the ships, etc., were ready. Desired them to examine the officers of each company hereupon, himself having charge only for the musters. Captain Morgan told them that his lordship had commanded him to use haste and that he desired to do so, desiring to view the shipping and provision. Seeing him so willing, they bade him stay till the company in the town was embarked. Sir Christopher Blunte's lieutenant then came from the market place, where his company was waiting to be mustered, and answered likewise. They agreed to let him view the ships before being mustered. The shipping preparing for the five horse companies and one foot, amounted to 7 or 8 small hulks, ‘fleeboates,’ and ‘burses,’ still in the hands of carpenters, caulkers, etc., unrigged, without cables or anchors, only three ready to carry horses, without cask for fresh water, and no hay, straw, oats, or victuals laid in. They could not carry 50 horses as they must be carried at sea, whereas Blunte's company alone has 60 horses and expects more from Utrecht. No room for more than five days' hay, straw, etc. Moreover, they cannot move until the ice thaws. One small hulk is brought aground and may be ready in five or six days, but the rest will not be ready for 10, 12, or 16 days. Mr. Barker says other hoys are appointed for the other companies, but he has not shown them: that he has provision but for ten days and no order to provide more once the companies are embarked. The companies may break for want of lendings, or be forced to commit outrages, if they have to wait much longer. Has twice caused Captain Champernon's lieutenant to march to Delpheshaven, where shipping was said to be waiting, but none was there and no provision for the company to stay there. The burgomasters have appointed them a new quarter until they hear from the States. The most honest of the burghers say that the shipping is old, rotten, and ruinous, incapable of facing a rough sea. The bearer is oculatus testis of all these matters. Desires to know his lordship's and the States' resolution about the troops embarking: also whether they must go all together, what convoy there is for them, and, if they are to embark and await a thaw, how they shall be supplied with victual and forage, Sir Edward Norreys having left no order beyond the 10 days? If they wait on shore, what order shall be taken to supply them, the town already complaining of being overcharged? Whether he shall in his lordship's name command them to embark, as the States' deputies require?—Roterdam, 9 February, 1588.
Copy. Endd.pp. [Holland XXXI. f. 17.]
Feb. 10. Lord Wyllughby to the Privy Council.
The enclosed will show the state of those horse and foot companies which are to be transported. “I have been careful to bring them unto the waterside, but to see them shipped, or provisions laid in for them, appertaineth unto a commissary's office, and were most requisite to be done by such as have the means and money in their hands for the same, and that are to employ and use them. Their misery is great, which I cannot devise how to redress, and therefore I hope your lordships will not lay upon me that which other men ought to perform….”— Hage, 10 February, 1588.
Signed. Add. Endd. by Burghley, as with a schedule of the forces in the Low Countries. ½ p. [Holland XXXI. f. 19]
Feb. 10/20. John Gylles to Walsingham.
Has been ten days in the ‘vloot’ before Anwarp, but could learn little news. The Prince of Parma “makes all the haste he can toward the frontiers,” whither he daily sends ordnance. Lord Paget and one Luckener seek earnestly to come into the English house. Standly has sold all his baggage and leaves in a day or two; does not know whither. The Prince has made divers engines at Anwerp and Bruges, probably intending some sudden exploit. The gates of Anwarp have been shut these five or six days and Spaniards keep watch nightly in the new town, apparently because some treason is feared. To-day Justinus asked Gylles to inform Walsingham that the Prince of Parma means to surprise Ostende. “Parma will give no more passports to any, so as the Protestants in Anwerpe doubt that they shall not get away.” Anwarp news that the Guises are too strong for the King of France, who has left Blois in ill order. No certain news to be heard that way. Means to send with ‘our’ ships an excellent wild boar pasty and the boar's head to Mr. Stockes: if Walsingham would like it, it is at his commandment.—[dated at head] Mydelborow, 20 February, '88, style novo.
Holograph. Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Holland XXXI. f. 21.]
[Feb. 10.] (fn. 8) " Memorial for Mr. Allen from the Lord General.
To go to Utrecht to urge the deliverance of Deventer, Clare-hagen, etc., whose causes her Majesty has commended to Willoughby and Bodley, as well as, by word of mouth, to Allen.
He shall deliver Willoughbys letter to the Governor and Magistrates. Although her Majesty understands that the articles against Deventer and Clarehagen are slender and unimportant, yet, Allen shall say, she prefers to proceed “by way of request and petition” rather than “by way of justification of their actions,” trusting that due regard will at length be had for her solicitation.
If they say that her Majesty, in her last letters to the Count, asked only that proceedings against Deventer might be stayed until she was informed of the charges against him, Allen shall say that it was her last refuge, and that she means still to press them to favour him.
As Clerhag[en] has been released by the Magistrates, provided he pay his prison expenses, and yet has been detained by the Count until he subscribe to certain dishonourable conditions, as her Majesty considers them, Allen shall urge the Count to deal less severely with him, as the matter in no way touches his authority or dignity.
He may offer, as Deventer and Clarehagen shall direct, that if the Count or Burgomasters fear they may use some sinister practice in England or elsewhere, an oath or assurance may be taken from them not to go into England or into any other specified place.
Copy. Original signed by Willoughby and Bodley. Undated. Endd. 12/3 pp. [Treaty Papers XXXIV. f. 49.]


  • 1. See Lettres Missives, II., 430–2.
  • 2. The ends of the lines have been torn away.
  • 3. Almost a whole line obliterated here.90
  • 4. Cipher.
  • 5. Printed in extenso in Castries, Les sources inidites de l'histoire du Maroc, I. 518.
  • 6. Printed practically in extenso in Bertie, pp. 249–50.
  • 7. See Japikse, VI. 389.
  • 8. See ' Mr. Allen's proceedings at Utrecht,' below, p. 137.