Cecil Papers
February 1573

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Institute of Historical Research

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1888

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44-47

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'Cecil Papers: February 1573', Calendar of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House, Volume 2: 1572-1582. (1888), pp. 44-47. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=109821 Date accessed: 28 August 2014.


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February 1573

116. —to the Queen of Scots.
1572/3, Feb. 21.Understands by my Lady Levingston and the letter sent by her, that she finds fault with him for not writing. Marvels at this, seeing that he never omitted his duty in this respect so oft as he could find means to convey the same. Sent the answer of those he received last from her Majesty to the Ambassador of France to Paris by post. Hears her Majesty is some more “stratly handlit” than she was before, whereof he is nothing content. Wishes to God that he might help it, though his using in her cause does him and his friends no good at the hands of others, of which she shall know more at her coming into Scotland, which he prays God may be soon.—Dunkeld, 21 February 1572.
In cipher. 1 p. Signed :—“[symbol]”
Cipher endorsed by Burghley :—ij letters in cipher to the Queen of Scots. [For the second letter see under date Feb. 23 below.]
Modern copy of the preceding.
pp.
Contemporary decipher.
pp.
117. Lady Levingston's Brother to the Queen of Scots.
1572/3, Feb. 23.Has received her letters sent by his sister Lady Levingston, and understands by her the good health and estate of her Majesty's person. Regrets to hear that she is “mair straitly handelit,” than she was all the time bygone, and that his sister should have had such occasion to leave her company, seeing her Majesty found her company agreeable. Perceives that she finds fault with him for not writing. He sends the answers of all that he had received to the Ambassador of France. Marvels greatly she had not got them, and her Majesty may consider, when that “moyen” is not sure, what other he may leap into. “[symbol]” is seeking “sutand” now to have an end of Lord Angus's marriage, and your servant and maiden Jane, which has stood over as yet undischarged on either of the sides, because her Majesty was the doer of it herself. There are others seeking it, but will bear of none till he hears her mind, nor yet will end with Angus because he knows some of his friends to have offended her Majesty, until the time her Majesty find it good. He has some small remembrance in readiness to send that would be to her contentment, if he had the means to convey the same; but his sister will take nothing in hand till she have word from her Majesty. Will not trouble her with the miserable state of this poor realm, of which, doubtless, she is amply informed.—Dunkeld, 23 February 1572.
In cipher, 1½ pp.
Contemporary decipher. 3 pp.
[At the end of the decipher appears this note :—“The characters following are written in the foot of the original letter in cipher, but I find no sense in them; and a 'paraphe' for the writer's name.” The decipherer gives the letters as :—z. m. m. a. h. o. s. a. s. t. a. d., and Burghley adds :—“Perhaps every letter a word as—zor. mates. most. assurit. humble. obedient. subject. and. servant. to. all. duty.”]
Modern copy of the preceding.
pp.
118. Walsingham to sir Thomas Smith.
1572/3, Feb. 25.The King departed from hence to St. Germain'sen-Laye 8 days past; the Queen Mother remains here still about the provision of money, whereof the King has great need, and the same very hard to be recovered here.
Touching their proceedings at Rochelle, there hath repaired hither of late divers couriers who use great silence; which make men to doubt that things fall not out to their liking. Learns that there is in the King's camp great scarcity of victuals. A great number of soldiers through cold and want of necessaries are dead and die daily. The duke of Nevers has undertaken with the help of certain Italian engineers to make fortresses in the middle of the haven, to “impeach” all such as by sea would bring to the Rochellois any succour; for the two fortresses, lately made at the entrance of the haven, serve to little purpose, as there are entered into the haven 6 ships laden with corn and other munitions as it is reported. The common opinion is, that the fortress the Duke pretendeth to make is impossible. There is secret whispering of some intelligence given by Pienes of an intended enterprise by Montgomery in Picardy, and that the King hath given order for the impeachment thereof. The Cardinal of Lorraine has taken up 300,000 francs within these two days, to what end is not yet known. He is now retired from hence to Rheims, as it is thought, to remove the suspicions from the Protestant Princes, that they should suspect nothing of the great conference had between the Queen Mother and him since the departure of the King. There arrived here lately a nobleman sent by the K. of Portugal to congratulate the Queen's delivery and (as it is said) to renew the offer of help by sea.
Great unkindness is conceived here against the Emperor, that his ministers in Poland have of late caused certain cartels to be published there in defacing of the King's late proceedings here, and thereby to impeach the election there. Schomberg is lately sent into Germany, as it is thought, to observe the doings there, and to make some levies, if he shall see any preparation of help for them of the religion here. Upon the assurance of the good offices that the Laird of Levingstone will do at his return to Scotland, has given him a passport, subject to her Majesty's approval. The gentleman feareth he should be constrained against his conscience either to yield to the superstitions here, or hazard his life in refusing them.
It is said that Baron de la Garde is dead, and that the Duke d'Alençon desired to have the charge by sea, to which the Queen Mother would by no means consent. It is also reported that M. de la Hoüe has discharged himself to Monsieur of his promise to the King, and professeth to live and die with those of Rochelle.
Endorsed by Walsingham :—“The copy of my letter to Mr. Secretary.” Also, by Burghley :—“25 Feb. 1572.—Mr. Walsyngham to Mr. Secretary Smyth.”
2 pp.
119. Dr. Valentine Dale to [Lord Burghley].
1572/3, Feb.Perceives by his Lordship's letters that he would be glad to be advertised of such circumstances as the writer knows touching Mons. Le Duc (D'Alençon), and therefore will be bold to write what he can.
“For hys parsonage, me thinketh the portrature doth expresse hym very well, and when I sawe hym at my last audience, he semed to me to growe dayly more hansom than other. The treat of hys visage may be gathered likewyse by hys pictur but not hys couleur, which ys not naturally red, sed neque pallidus nec niger, nee candidus neque tamen omnino fuscus. The pock holes ar no greate disfigurement in the rest of hys face bycause they ar rather thick than diepe or greate. They uppon the blunt end of hys nose ar greate and diepe, howe much to be disliked maye be as yt pleaseth God to move the hart of the beholder. As touching his behavior, he ys the most moderat yn all the Court; never present at any of the licentiouse acts of his brethren, nor here nor at Rochell; of much credit, and namely with them of the religion; thus he ys and hath ben hetherto; what may be hereafter God knoweth, whom yt maye please of hys goodnes to direct her Matie to the best.”
1 p.
120. Notes concerning David Chalmer and John Gordon.
[1572/3, February.]Master David Chalmer, born in Buchan in Aberdeenshire. His father was named the “gudeman of Strechin,” who had a brother named Duncan Chalmer, Chancellor of Ross, an aged priest. And he having opinion that David his brother's son should be a scholar, and minding to make him successor to his benefice, bore his charges in Paris and Louvain. David, at his return into Scotland, became servant to Earl Bothwell; but rather it appears, their acquaintance was beyond sea. By Bothwell he was entertained, and promoted to the provostry of Creithtoun. By Bothwell's means also he was made a lord of the State, and bare a great “swinge” with him all the time of his rule; not from any proof of learning or other good quality that appeared in him, but rather because he had served Bothwell as a bawd and otherwise in his naughty practices and attempts. He was a great dealer betwixt the Queen and Bothwell, so as Mr. David's lodging was chosen as a place meet to exercise their filthiness into, the time before the King's murder, when as the Queen lay at the Checker-House in the Cow-gate; and then, he was made Common Clerk of Edinburgh. This and other great presumptions gave cause to my Lord of Lenox in his letters to the Queen, to accuse David as culpable and “participant” of the murder of the King his son.
After Carberry-Hill, when Bothwell fled, David also withdrew him, and secretly lurked, while as the escaping of the Queen forth of Loughleven was practiced, and he of their counsel of the same. She escaping, he passed unto her, and after that conflict, amongst others he was called by law and “ferfaltit” in the Parliament. The whole time since he has wandered, whiles in England, whiles in France, and whiles in Flanders, with the “conjurit” enemies against the religion and the present state of both the realms.
Mr. David's brother's son in the mean season has sold and put away all his patrimony.
Mr. John Gordon, son to the Bishop of Galloway, gotten with Barbara Logy, whom the bishop “appropriate” to him more singularly than the rest of his concubines, long before he was either bishop or abbot. And she being the mother of sundry children to him, at length, after the reformation of the religion, he married her, or at least ever since has entertained and kept her as his wife. Master Johnny, eldest son, having a prompt “ingyne” to letters, after some “entres” thereto in Scotland, passed into France and profitted well, but as age in him grew, so resembled he in conditions the nature and qualities of his father. And albeit he nor none of his name bore good-will to the Earl of Murray, yet being in Paris to acquire credit and reputation, he took on him to write to my said Lord the estate of the French affairs, even there when he knew his chief to be “contrarious” to the estate of the King. But as soon as he understood of the Queen's escaping and coming into England, he came there also, and thinking to serve her turn more, being in some nobleman's company, than with the Queen herself, he found means to enter into the Duke of Norfolk's service as pedagogue to his son the Earl of Surrey. The Regent and Commissioners of both parties in Scotland being then in England, his custom was to dine with the one and sup with the other company, making his profit of both, and making both privy of other's counsels. And carrying all at home at night, he “assayed” his credit largely in borrowing of silver from such of both companies as he thought might best spare money. After the D. of Norfolk's apprehension he returned into Scotland, and passed again with his father the bishop, when he went there Commissioner in winter 1570. And after the last disclosing of the daily practices Master John departed to France.—Undated.
Endorsed by Burghley :—“David Chambers, John Gordon.—Scottishmen.
pp.
[See S.P. Foreign, 1573, No. 762.]