Elizabeth
January 1578, 21-31

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Institute of Historical Research

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Arthur John Butler (editor)

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1901

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464-482

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'Elizabeth: January 1578, 21-31', Calendar of State Papers Foreign, Elizabeth, Volume 12: 1577-78 (1901), pp. 464-482. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=73312 Date accessed: 17 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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January 1578, 21-31

Jan. 21.
K. d. L. x. 242.
603. The PRINCE of ORANGE to BURGHLEY.
As Mr. Rogers was here a little time after the departure of M. de Famars, he will be able to let you know what passed here a few days ago, from which you will recognise that I have more good friends to do with than I ever had ; which makes me beg that you will do what you can for the country in general, and for me in particular, to keep us in her Majesty's good graces.—Brussels, 21 Jan. 1578. (Signed) Guille de Nassau. Add. Endd. Fr. ½ p. [Ibid. V. 24.]
Jan. 21.
K. d. L. x. 240. (From another source.)
604. THE PRINCE of ORANGE to the QUEEN.
Your Majesty will have heard from M. de Famars how things stood here at the time of his departure ; and Mr. Rogers will be able to tell you in detail what has happened since. As touching an alliance in Germany, I have always been, and still am, well-disposed thereto ; but I shall not be surprised if in the present circumstances it takes a long time to arrange ; for the trouble which arose some time ago in Saxony and the neighbouring countries, and is like to set all Germany on fire, has so occupied them that I think it will be best first to settle this difference, as your Majesty has so wisely begun to do. I hope that we shall be able to do something with them when they see the progress of events in this country. This is not all that might be wished ; still the hindrance caused by the enemy is not equal to the advance in our affairs, and I hope that they will go incomparably better when your Majesty furnishes us with the assistance you have promised. To arrive at this, it seems to me, under correction, that if Duke Casimir would treat with the Protestant Cantons of Switzerland and with those nobles of Germany whose promise he holds to follow him if he goes to war, and would further solicit the King of Denmark and the Counts of the 'Wederhaye' [Wetterau], a good and strong league might be reached. For my own part, I think that by the means of my friends I may do something herein ; and if your Majesty thinks it fitting, I shall most willingly set to work. But as your ancestors from old time have most rightly judged, so I think that the most useful alliance for the Crown of England and for these countries is a well-assured conjunction between them. If you please also to include in it the King of Navarre and other French princes, it seems to me that humanly speaking the security would be such that those who to-day raise obstacles would be glad to share in it.— Brussels, 21 Jan. 1578. Copy. Fr. 1½ pp. [For. E.B. Misc. II.]
Jan. 23. 604 bis. HODDESDON to BURGHLEY.
My last, dated the 17th, I sent by one Edward Goodman, who departed hence on the 18th with letters from the King of Denmark to her Majesty. I mentioned the conclusion of peace at Dantzic and the conditions of it ; but having now received from a friend of mine there the full articles of the agreement, I send you a true copy of them, together with the conditions of the new league between the Emperor of Turkey and the King of Poland. Other occurrents which have lately come into my hands, I have caused to be written on the other side, though part of them comes from France, whence you have daily intelligence. I am bold to send them, that you may see the difference between those that come directly and those that come by so long and 'travelsome' a way. I am the bolder now to write of all things that come to my hands, since I perceive by letters from Mr. Secretary Walsingham that you do not mislike of my rude writing nor tedious matters ; whereby I am encouraged, as occasion serves, to put my pen to paper.—Hamburg, 23 Jan. 1577. P.S.—I am in good hope that after a while we shall come to reasonable terms for the continuance of the traffic to this town.
Occurrents.—From Rome, 5 Dec. 1577.
The Spanish ambassador here has lately heard from Spain by letters of Nov. 14 that the king is not ignorant of Archduke 'Matthew's' journey to the Low Countries, and thereupon secret council has been holden, and many posts dispatched into more places, to understand the king's resolution thereon. The Spanish commissioners here still earnestly solicit the Duchess of Parma to take her journey to the Low Countries, though small credit is given that it will be performed. The Procaccia [post] of Naples has reported that 400 chief gentlemen of that province are appointing themselves at their own charge to serve Don John as 'venturers' against the Low Countries. It is also written from Naples that the Duke of Sessa has sold his admiralship of that kingdom to the Duke of Bisignano for 60,000 crowns ; also that he is daily 'treating' here to take up soldiers on behalf of the Romish Church against the Low Countries. The Portugal ambassador is still at Florence, and is said to have taken up 200,000 crowns by exchange, to be repaid by the king, and is also still treating with the Great Duke for help in preparing a power against Africa. From Paris comes tidings that Don John sought help from the king there ; but he denied him, and rather counselled him to reconcile himself with the Low Countries, and take example by him, how he has made peace with his subjects, and also to consider the present time and the state of the Low Countries. All which notwithstanding, the news from France is that 'the Gwyse' has 'set over' most part of his soldiers to Charles, Earl of Mansfelde, in the wages of Don John ; also that certain great pieces of ordnance have been transported from Lyons towards the Low Countries, and that the Catholics of France will take part for Don John and the Huguenots for the 'Gewses,' and go for the Low Countries.
—From Venice, 15 Dec. 1577.
By letters of the 8th ult from Constantinople, also by two 'Wallachen' come hither, it is reported that the 'Sangiacho' of Tauris, or as others have, the Bassa of Chiardie [qu. Kurdistan] has rebelled against the great Turk on the frontiers of Persia and 'fallen into' his land, and joined with the Persians, because he could not obtain the release of his brother at Constantinople ; whereupon all the generals in Grecia are commanded to prepare their soldiers, both horse and foot, and upon the first warning to make towards 'Andriopolly' to assemble there. The great Turk is also minded to set forward this war and go into Asia in person. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Hanse towns I. 27.]
Jan. 23.
K. d. L. x. 242.
605. DAVISON to WALSINGHAM.
On Saturday last, when the Archduke entered this town, I wrote to you. On Monday in the forenoon he took the oath and was proclaimed Governor ; the Prince being declared his lieutenant, and governor particular of Brabant, to the infinite joy of the people. They have since begun to compose the Governor's household and the new Council of men unsuspected ; so it is hoped that things will take a better train than they have done, unless some people, corrupted by the French, or seduced by their own passions, hinder the success of a good beginning, a matter much feared in the case of Count Lalaing, who, inclined wholly to France, seems already to pick a quarrel to discover himself. He has this week written to the Prince from 'Mounts,' whither he repaired from the camp, at the request of the States, about the levy of a contribution in his government, uttering some causes—though very slender—of discontent. In substance they are, that the States have called over her Majesty's forces to their assistance ; that the prisoners detained at Ghent are not released ; that the deputies from his government are not treated as they ought by the Estates or the Bruxellers ; and lastly that his own musters [Qy. ministers] that have from time to time to deal with the States on his behalf, have not that favourable ear that in reason they should. These are the points on which he founds his complaints ; but written in the style of one that has the sword drawn. With this letter came another from such of the particular Estates as were assembled at Mounts, addressed to the States-General, insisting upon the point touching our forces, and requiring that M. de Famars might not be dispatched till they had sent their opinions. But the Governor and the Prince have written them a soft answer, and dispatched with it Count Bossu and M. de Willerval ; partly to persuade them, but chiefly to look to the surety of the towns, and to prevent this practice between the Count and the French, the number of whose forces hovering about the frontier makes the danger on that side vehemently feared. In sum they look for nothing but that the French will fall with all their force upon them, unless their troubles renewed at home divert their purpose—the only remedy in the opinion of the wisest to shatter this war, which must be chiefly nourished from thence. We look every day for news from Count Bossu how these matters incline.—Brussels, 23 Jan. 1577. P.S.—I have dealt with the Marquis on the points of your last letter. He has promised to move the Estates, and give me answer. I look every day for Mr. Leighton, of whom I have heard nothing. Draft. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fland. V. 25.]
Jan. 23. 606. COLONEL WILLIAM STEWART to DAVISON.
My 'bonding' duty being remembered, with like request of pardon for my boldness in making you 'advertesit or knowin' that about the space of 3 months ago I directed a gentleman from here with writings to the Prince and the Estates of the Low Countries to offer any service, with the rest of my nation who serve under my charge, which is six 'handseinges' [ensigns] to the number of 1,000 men, well armed and equipped, whose faithful service has been so well esteemed in these parts as I hope you shall soon be sufficiently witnessed both by fame and writing as occasion represents and opportunity shall serve. Meantime, hearing by report that the Queen of England has joined her good-will to the aid of the Prince and Estates, I have thought good to write to you, requesting your favour joined with the diligence of Mr. George Halkat, the bearer of this, in 'expediating' an answer of this my simple offer, wherein I and mine shall be found ready to acquit our duty as appertains to men more desirous of credit and good name than greedy of any commodity. For news in these parts, I am sure you have heard of the conclusion of peace between the King of 'Poole' and this city and the conditions ; by reason whereof, together with the great sums of silver which the inhabitants must disburse, they are in good 'esperance' of its continuance during this King's time ; who has recently directed letters with sums of gold to the 'Toator,' whom he desires to lend their forces against the 'muskowiture' or Emperor of Russia ; who has intercepted both letters and gold, and has sent them with 2,000 'ungaris guldlings' more to the said 'Toator,' to the end that he may take part with him against the country of 'Letto' and 'Poole.' For which reason the King has sent the Earl of 'Pomster' with one of his own secretaries to treat with me that I and my men may come into his service, with many offers of assurances of good treatment ; which I have altogether refused, chiefly because I doubt not that the King of Scotland, my Sovereign, will join his assistance to the support of that her Majesty favours. Wherefore my request is, according to my former petition, that I may have a speedy answer 'in the premiose,' and with respect that my commission expires here in the middle of March.—'Dansweck,' 23 Jan. 1577. Add. Endd. Scottish. 1½ pp. [Ibid V. 26.]
Jan. 24. 607. POULET to the SECRETARIES.
Yours of the 14th came to hand on the 18th. As the King was not expected to return from Dolinville till the 27th I sent the letter addressed to him from M. de Mauvissière next morning by one of my servants, bidding him ask M. Pinart for the restitution of the two English barks still at Brouage, and to tell him that this would be a great satisfaction to the English merchants and necessary for the quiet of both realms. M. Pinart promised to answer next morning, and then told him that the King would write for those ships. 'But,' saith he, 'two French ships, one laden with wines, the other with green woad, have lately been taken by Englishmen, and one of the two being rescued by a third Frenchman is brought into Calais with such Englishmen as were in her.' My messenger replied that if they were pirates he would do well to have them hanged, and that he might be sure they would not be received in any part of England, and that no Englishman would be a suitor for them. It is easy to consider that this tickle and dangerous time requires frequent advertisements, and, therefore I trouble you with the occurrents of these parts, signifying sometimes even those things which I think unworthy to be believed, and yet not unnecessary to be believed in these corrupted days, when nothing is so safe that it may not be feared. La Roche said lately to a gentleman whom he knew to be well affected to the Prince of Condé that he intended nothing less than to do anything to the prejudice of the said Prince ; that his preparation was not against Rochelle, but that he shot at another mark ; and therefore prayed the Prince to think well of him. A Scot of good credit in this court came shortly afterwards to the same gentleman, and told him that la Roche was not going to the Indies, that his enterprise was not against any part of France. He had spent 10,000 francs last year in vain, and would now recover it if he could. He intended to go to Ireland, where he had intelligence with many ; he was well appointed with ships and munitions, and he trusted to make a prosperous voyage. Though I will not take upon me to judge what may be the meaning of this journey, yet, considering the cunning dealing of this country, the concurrence of these two tales gives cause to think that the ships will be employed against Rochelle or the Isle of Ré. I am not easily moved from my former opinion that all these bruits may be given out to divert her Majesty from giving succour to her distressed friends. Their subtilty is the harder to be discovered because la Roche has 3 or 4 ships which do nothing but rob and spoil on the seas ; so that under colour of the setting forth of these ships he may always pretend to have some great preparations in hand. In my opinion it is certain that this preparation is made to the prejudice of true religion ; perhaps with no final resolution to attempt here or there, but to do as time and occasion shall show to be for their advantage. Where they find the breach most easy, there is the end of their enterprise ; and thus they make their reckoning that events in the Low Countries will give good opportunity to attempt Rochelle, Ireland, Scotland, Zealand, England, or Guernsey and Jersey ; being not ignorant that the worst part of this choice is of such consequence that it draws the rest after it, and puts the residue in danger of ruin. The close understanding between Spain and France is not to be doubted, and it is easy to see that some great mischief is brewing. As long as our neighbours are occupied abroad there is no doubt of our quietness at home ; but if they be quiet in France and Flanders, our trouble is no less assured, unless our bargain be so well made, that who troubles us may be troubled at home by those of his own nation. La Roche has lately received a gift of 30,000 francs from Monsieur, and some say that he is the chief of this enterprise. La Roche depends specially on the house of Guise, which now seems wholly devoted to Monsieur. Upon the quarrel between Bussy and Grammont the Duke of Guise came to Monsieur's chamber, and told him that he was ready to sacrifice his life (I use his own words) in his service, and that he had 200 gentlemen at his command. It is strange to many to see this sudden alteration, and that he is in a little time grown to such credit with Monsieur. It is certain that M. Myossans coming lately from the King of Navarre, and being in serious talk with Monsieur, the Duke of Guise was admitted to the conference ; which argues not only corruption in the messenger, but also great familiarity between the two Dukes. This little accident is much misliked of such as are well acquainted with the humours of these personages. It is said that the holy league between the Pope, Kings of Spain and France, and other potentates of Italy, has of late been renewed in Rome. It is said by letters from Rome of the 28th ult that Thomas Stukeley has a galley furnished with 800 men at the charges of the Pope, and intends to repair to England by sea ; where he promises to do great things with the help of such intelligences as he hopes to find in the realm. Those who know him think that he will disdain to take the sea with one galley, and that he is not so void of understanding as to invade England with his slender force, on the bare hope of being received by his partisans ; yet who knows if, besides this galley from the Pope, he shall receive another supply in Spain or France? Therefore I thought it agreeable to my duty to mention the matter. One that is secretary to Guerras arrived here lately from England [in margin, in Poulet's hand : This man is called Damiano. He would be stayed at Dover or Rye on his return], and is said to have brought a packet from Guarras for Don John, and another for the King of Spain, which was sent away in post ; and some say that he is gone to Don John and comes again to England. Please read this copy enclosed of a letter sent lately from the Low Countries. On the 12th I received letters from Duke Casimir and Mr. Daniel Rogers ; and as I did not know the messenger, and found his message of credence from the Duke, and his other information, to be very strange, I have thought good to send the originals of these letters to you, not doubting but that if they are not counterfeited, Mr. Rogers can inform you of the man's quality. For my better discharge I asked him to hand me in writing the message committed to him by Duke Casimir, which I also enclose. After a long discourse at our first meeting, touching the late proceedings in France, he gave me at his next coming the same in writing, which is so long and tedious, and contains such strange and incredible matter that I forbear to trouble you with it ; the rather because it is not unknown to Mr. Rogers, as appears from his letter. To speak plainly, I think it strange that Duke Casimir should commit any matter of importance to this bearer, whose head seems to be fraught with great store of superfluous matter ; or, rather, I doubt if this message were delivered to him in these terms or no. The King doubting lest new troubles should arise from the intended surprise of Périgueux, and that la Noue being at that time at his house near Blois, would resort forthwith to the King of Navarre, dispatched la Rocque, a gentleman belonging to the King of Navarre, with a letter to la Noue of such courtesy as had been more seemly between companions than between a King and his subjects. These fair words have stayed la Noue for this time ; yet being resolved to see the King of Navarre shortly, he has asked the messenger to use such persuasion with the King that he may not mislike it, and meantime has removed from his house in Beaussy [Beauce] to another he has beyond the Loire. The Abbot of Dandino is named and comes shortly to be ambassador resident for the Pope at this Court. He is said to be well acquainted with the practices of Ridolfi, and to be devoted to the Cardinal of Ferrara ; and then you must account him to be a Guisard. The Pope's ambassador still here is of the faction of Florence. I think no man can tell what will come of this second marriage between the King of Navarre and his wife, in which nothing is omitted that may hinder the journey ; and these delays are, in my opinion, so many blessings for the cause of religion. She lacks no cunning to provide for all dangers ; and I believe she will never leave the liberty of this Court to be controlled in Béarn. If she goes, she will make sure of returning shortly, and her husband with her. There is a good opinion of the King of Navarre's constancy ; and there would be no doubt at all of it if he were faithfully served. Some good counsel from thence will entertain him in his good disposition. It is said that 3,000 Spaniards are arrived at Genoa, and are now in Lombardy, on their way to Don John. I hear from Geneva that the Papist Cantons have granted the King of Spain 25 companies, to be levied after the day of marché (as they call it), held in Bade on the 14th inst. ; and that Duke Casimir is levying reiters diligently. A wise man and well-affected to religion has told me lately that we are too good in England, and that if Morgan had been well handled [Walsingham's mark in margin], he would have discovered many things which are now secret, and then could not have done the hurt which he now does ; and that Guarras is acquainted with great practices, and ought to be intreated to reveal them. [In cipher, deciphered.] The jealousy between the French King and Monsieur was never greater.—Paris, 24 Jan. 1577. Add. Endd. Marginal notes. 5¼ pp. [France II. 5.]
Jan. 24. 608. POULET to the SECRETARIES.
After sealing my packet, I received a letter from Mr. Wade of the 20th, saying that there is great preparation of force throughout Italy for the Spanish King, that most of the Spaniards "dislodge" out of Sicily and Naples, that the Duke of Florence helps them with men, and that there is a plan for the Duke to buy certain towns of the King. They were mustering in Savoy, but he did not see how they could pass for some time, the country being very bare, by reason of the former Spaniards. The Spaniards and Italians make full account of the sack of Brussels.—Paris, 24 Jan. 1577. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. II. 6.]
[24 Jan.] 609. [WALSINGHAM] to POULET.
You must pardon our slackness both in acquainting you with what has passed touching the ships, and in answering some of your letters, which should not be forgotten : on the matter which you wrote of in cipher. Other occasions cause us to intermit them, though we do not forget them ; as you shall understand by Jacomo, whom her Majesty means to send shortly. The French Ambassador frequently urges the cause of the Queen of Scots with her Majesty, and has of late been earnest with her for certain new officers to attend upon her, with leave to dismiss others that have served her before, and to send some of his own men to visit her, which cannot but breed jealousy in her Majesty, as she sees his solicitations increase every day for one that is discovered by former evil practices to be most maliciously affected towards her Majesty and her State ; especially as this care for so dangerous a personage proceeds from of whom she expects all good offices of amity, and some effect from the protestations made by his Ambassador. She wishes you, therefore, to let the King understand that she does not like it, and desires that another course be taken from henceforward if he wishes her to take account of his sincere meaning and good amity. For since it is a case so evident as has been disclosed by divers former discoveries, that she carries an evil mind towards her Majesty, it cannot stand with the amity that is professed between them, that his minister should be so great an advocate of her cause, as though that were his principal charge. Therefore she desires the King hereafter to forbear to give his ambassador commission to deal any further in such earnest sort in her case. [Erased : for her meaning is that hereafter all requests and letters that concern her, coming from the parts beyond the seas, shall pass through your hands, and things that are to be sent from hence into those parts shall pass by the secretaries ; etc.—Hampton Court, 24th Jan. 1577 (but no letter seems to have gone between Jan. 14 and Feb. 5).] [In L. Tomson's hand.] The order set down by my Lords for releasing the Dieppe ships, which should have been sent in my last, was forgotten by my man in making up the packet ; whose oversight I will see redressed by this dispatch. I commend also to your careful solicitation the cause of those poor men of Exeter lately spoiled by the French, whose certificate I sent you in my last. Their case is greatly to be pitied, the men being very honest, and by this second spoil utterly undone if they do not obtain some speedy relief. I mean Richard Ardern and his fellow, who have now twice been spoiled by the French. For the first they cannot to this day obtain any restitution or recompense, and if they be no better answered for the second, their state is so decayed that they will never recover it, but must to perpetual prison, unless they may be otherwise provided for here, which will hardly be obtained. As for Sir Arthur Champernowne being charged with taking certain 'ballets' of canvas from the merchants of Dieppe during this last arrest, in forcible manner, and compelling them to give him a release and acquittance for the same, he has delivered me an attestation to the contrary, signed by the merchants in presence of witnesses, signifying the untruth of that information ; which I thought meet to send over to you. Richard Wightman and his co-partners, merchants of Rouen, have for a long time been molested by the creditors of one Anthony Tuke. After long impleading and imprisonment of the said Wightman, they can come to no end, through the right of the creditors who have so great a faction among the lawyers in Rouen that Wightman can come to no sentence, but has his matter drawn into length, and the pledge that he put into sufficient men's hands for his redemption out of prison, sought by all indirect means to be drawn into the said creditor's hands. If it should so fall out the poor man and his partners were like to be undone ; and they have requested me to commend their cause to you. So get it removed from the Court of Rouen to the King's Privy Council, where they think to find more indifferency than in the other place. They have there one Frederic to follow their matter, who will resort to you, to call upon it. I have sent you their supplication presented to my Lords. Draft in the hands of Walsingham's secretaries. Endd. by him, and in a later hand. 2½ pp. [Ibid. II. 7.]
Jan. 24. 610. M. DE MAUVISSIÈRE to WALSINGHAM.
Mr. Melville begs me to send you a packet and letter forwarded by M. du Verger to the Queen of Scots. I am also writing at length to her in reply to all her recent missives ; you shall, if you please, see this and all that I write to her, as you can do me no greater pleasure than to see all that she may write to me. If you do not become my co-operator in her affairs so far as regards her requests to the Queen, her good sister and your good mistress, I shall earn from her the reputation of a very bad advocate ; for I must confess that if you do not bear a hand therein, I always get a cold answer from all quarters. Warm yourself up, therefore, a little with the grace and beauty of this fair Queen, and make yourself a suitor to make her position in her Majesty's good graces a little better than it is at present. Remember, too, the talk which we had in my gallery about doing some good in the matter of which we were speaking. You will find me frank and open, and ready to do the best offices I can devise. I have not failed to write to the King my master about the complaints that you made to me of the St. Malo people, to do everything else which might concern a good and secure commerce between the two realms.—London, 24 Jan. 1578. (Signed), M. de Castelnau. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. II. 8.]
Jan. 25. 611. FRANCISCO GIRALDEZ to [the KING OF PORTUGAL].
On the 8th inst. I wrote to your Highness of the audience which I had of the Queen on the 2nd and how it was put off and further adjourned till the 12th. On that day, being Sunday, I went to Hampton Court, and after waiting a little while was informed through one of her gentlemen that she could not give me audience that evening by reason of a syrup which she had that morning taken ; and it would be convenient to her if I would come again when she let me know. I know that she feigned this indisposition to me, because the same night that she last put me off came M. de Famars, sent by the States and Orange as familiar with these goings to and fro, that by his information she might be better prepared for business ; and not to lose an occasion of soliciting skilfully and warmly, I addressed myself for the nonce to Leicester, whom I took at unawares in his house, where there was nothing I did not pile up to the effect that you had nothing in view, save the matter of Africa only. He wanted to make me think with his dissimulations that they were much obliged for the good offices which I did in removing all these suspicions from their fancy ; although they were advertised from many quarters by persons of authority and by their ambassador in France that your Highness had given money to one James Fitzmorris, an Irish rebel of this crown, who came from Rome to Lisbon last November, and had further given orders to furnish him with a ship of 80 tons with 60 Portuguese in her, fitted out with stores and artillery from your magazines, that he might cross to Ireland, with a bishop, a friar of his own country ; to which end he had got 2,000 or 3,000 cruzados in alms from the monastery of St. Vincent ; with reports that they and further provisions from Flanders [sic ; but qy. France] are to serve for the conquest of that island, the Irish intently hoping for your Highness's forces, and that these preparations were being urged on to no other purpose than this at the instance of the Catholic King and his Holiness ; and that he had many benedictions and documents of investiture for that kingdom. I reassured his lordship (qy.—o milhor) as to all doubts, and how it was only maurais esprits who had raised them, in order therewith to double the impression which they had. He would find that you had never assisted him (Fitzmorris) in the form which he had related to me, only that as a Catholic you might have ordered some alms to be given for his support ; and that if they would not believe these true statements, the most certain way of all to undeceive themselves of their mistake would be by sending a person of authority to your Highness, whereby they might get better assurance. They must be thinking of the steps which they are informed João Gomez da Giloa has been taking at Florence to levy in April Italian infantry in that state. This was the time for the Queen to offer her help to you, and not raise questions about the exportation of powder for which I asked, with the passage of the Germans and other preparations which you had ordered your commissioners to see to in the Low Countries ; giving no place for grumblers to find any more fault with you in the matter of the munitions which were granted [?] from hence, denying that they were provided [?] with your Highness's money to be used against her. He made a show of flattering me, in presence of Secretary Wilson, who came in at the end, about the satisfaction which I gave them in setting their minds at rest with such strong and urgent reasons ; he offering to lay it before the Queen. He would speak to her and dispose her, in the audience she had to give me, to gratify me in one way or another, they thought it well that she should send a gentleman to your Highness to settle this matter ; and you might at the same time be pleased to oblige by mediating on Flemish affairs with the King of Castile. This being over, he pressed me to sup with him, for he had good company ; among them M. de Famars, to whom I drank. Afterwards, being apart with him, the Earl being present, I told him at length that as the minister of so honoured a country and of Orange, so excellent a prince, I could not omit when the occasion of our meeting offered, to tell him as your ambassador in this country, whatever the commissioners had done, to undeceive them (the States) and assure them that your forces and things connected with them, which the aforesaid were arranging for in those parts, were for Barbary, and this I affirmed before Leicester, as I had done to the Queen ; and begged that he would write to the Prince and States in such sort that they might increase their good will towards you, seeing that you were neutral in their troubles, and desirous to be on good terms with them. He received these remarks with many good words and said he would write ; though he told me that permission had been given to Sebastian da Costa to raise 300 Germans, who were going in small bodies through Brabant. Their colonel was one John Lazarus, who was at Haarlem, under orders to go to the island of 'Biraflite,' where he could embark them with such ammunition and victuals as he wanted. Further, it was sufficient proof of their intentions that they had let 50 or 60 hulks go to the kingdom in December, seeing your Highness had treated him so honourably, and your superior officials had orders to give the Queen facilities in all her affairs ; whereat Leicester let it be understood that their purpose is resolutely to assist the States if the Catholic King throws them over [qy.—thas escardease] in the answer they are expecting from him. And in order to fulfil all my duty, I did the like office next day with Burghley, who sat with me. It seemed to him fair that I should not be refused the leave to export that I asked for, and that the Queen should show herself your good sister and cousin in this enterprise against the infidels. "I must remember, besides that she and he were annoyed that the war was not brought to an end," from which I inferred that the cause and origin of all this disorder was in Leicester. Of the Irishmen, whom I have mentioned in this letter, they had it from Lisbon, from persons to whom they gave full credit. Considering the frankness with which they spoke to me I had reason to deem their mind to be quite the contrary ; for, besides that I know them, not many hours elapsed before I had confirmation from a good quarter of the venom which was distilling from their hearts. They have no patience with your Highness for not writing to the Queen at the time when your [qu. her] allies received letters from you. And although in my heart [das mas entranhas] I am undeceived about these people, I shall none the less continue to do all that in me lies to see if I can reduce them to offer no hindrance to your Highness' service, whose life and royal estate may our Lord increase.—London, 25 Jan. 1578. Copy. Endd. in Italian : Duplicate of a letter of Francisco Giraldes, written in cipher. Port. 2 pp. [Portugal I. 9.]
Jan. 25. 612. BEALE to DAVISON.
I received your letter late last night. Touching my coming to Brussels, as your servant that brought me Mr. Randolph's letter assured me you would be here to-day, I waited to know your resolution. At present I am in sad doubt what I should do, for by reason I am willed to make haste home, [though] my meaning was to have repaired thither and seen you, though only as an unknown person, without dealings with any other ; to whom I have no charge. But as I understand my being here is so known that I cannot go thither without perhaps being stayed longer than I would, because I should be loth to deal with any of them without commission, nor would have them think I desired any conference in a public person, not being sent to them, I have resolved to take my voyage hence on Tuesday next, direct to England. Make my commendations to Mr. Leighton and the gentlemen of his company ; also to M. Villiers. You know how I was [served?] on the way, whereof I can get no restitution ; save that it is said that three or four of the meanest companions are hanged. But this will neither content me, who have had a chargeable journey, nor perhaps please her Majesty, at whose hands I must seek for recompense ; seeing that if diligence had been used, the men and goods stayed at my suit in Zealand were sufficient to have made satisfaction. But I understand nothing is to be had unless I will compound with them and set them at liberty, which, the injury being done to her Majesty, I will never do. I thought more care and consideration would be had of such violence and outrage, considering her Majesty's dealing towards them ; whereof they are so vain and full of 'ingrate' that they think her Highness only made to help them in their necessity as of duty, and yet to be contented to suffer all injuries and indignities at their hands, by reason of their fair words and no deeds. I am the earnester herein as the loss is great, and I not able to bear it ; and I hear from Zealand that the party whom I charged to follow this suit dare not, for threatening and danger, proceed in it any further, which, in these days of pretended amity, seems to me very strange. But all as it shall please her Highness to take it. —Antwerp, 25th Jan. Add. 1½ pp. [Holl. and Fland. V. 27.]
Jan. 25. 613. WILSON to DAVISON.
The greatest expectation at present is, what answer Mr. Leighton is to receive from Don John. I wish all uprightness may be used for the maintenance of Christian peace and quietness. But I fear the hatred is so rooted that either party will hardly be brought to such agreement as is requisite. Pray thank the Prince humbly for his letter to me by M. de Famars ; and God grant I may satisfy the hope conceived of me for the welfare of the Low Countries. The States have also done me the honour to thank me for the good affection which I bear to them. And surely if my service may do any good for the establishment of their rights, I shall be always ready to use my endeavours. I am informed of the good speech that the noble Marquis has given out of our Sovereign, of my Lord of Leicester, and, amongst others, of me, so simple a man. Let him understand how well he is liked here for his good offices ; and I hope that country shall taste the effect of his reports very shortly. M. de Famars has had audience once ; and now her Majesty, minding to call her Council together, will determine, I trust, on some sound resolution speedily. I told M. de Famars lately, and willed him to signify to the Prince that practices were laid to corrupt the Scots ; and I named two men especially, Captain Wyer and Captain Montgomerie, who are suspected to be of Don John's faction for the Scottish Queen's sake. You shall do well to inform the Prince hereof, that Col. Balfour may, by his means, the rather be warned to take heed and look about him, if he be not already advertised. If you would use me in your private affairs, you must first make me acquainted with your demands, and then you may have a trial of my goodness towards you. Commend me to such as you know to be my friends.—Hampton Court, 19 Jan. 1577. Add. with date 25th January. [N.B.—Famars came first to the Court on Jan. 23.] Endd. with date, 19 January. 1 p. [Ibid. V. 28.]
Jan. 26. 613 bis. BEALE to DAVISON.
I advertised you yesternight of the change in my determination to come to Brussels, and I minded to depart for England on Tuesday. Since then I am advertised that I cannot pass certain harquebuses and cases of dags which I bought in Germany for my greater security in my journey ; and indeed some of them have been given me by sundry noblemen and gentlemen of those parts, and I would be loth to leave them behind. I would therefore heartily desire you to procure me a passport to pass them both out of this town and over the seas ; which I think they will not refuse, seeing that by the treaties (which . . . break at this present) our nation might . . . otherwise without any licence at all. My desire is for eight long pieces, and eight pairs of dags ; half of which I mean to send 'by long seas' and take the rest with me. Please procure it as soon as you can, for the Governor is not here, nor do I know to whom I should address myself ; and I would be loth to 'brable' with these country folks. Pray be good to my old friend Mr. Pietro Bizarri in his suit.— Antwerp, 26 Jan. P.S.—If you have laid out anything either for my former passport or this, as I doubt not but you have done, pray send me word, and I will repay with thanks. Add. Somewhat damaged. 1 p. [Ibid. V. 28 bis.]
Jan. 27.
K. d. L. x. 253.
614. DAVISON to WALSINGHAM.
I love so ill to be an importunate suitor, that to my hurt I forbear to trouble you as often as I have cause. Such as are acquainted with the 'dearth' of this country can tell you what it is to live here upon such allowance as I have. I protest to you that my expenses rise so that I am above £480 clear behindhand for the short time that I have been here, though I have used all the husbandry I could. My very 'diets' one day with another amount to 40s., besides my house, my furniture, my horse ; and how this will agree with my stipend, you can judge. And to help it, I know no way but through your goodness, which I humbly and instantly beseech. I should perhaps use more words with you were I not persuaded that this more than suffices.—Brussels, 27 Jan. 1577. P.S.—I have done as you charged towards Mr. Knevet. I find him a man worthily received into your favour. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. V. 29.]
Jan. 28.
K. d. L. x. 259.
615. The PRINCE OF ORANGE to WALSINGHAM.
As Mr. Leighton is presently returning, I take the opportunity of sending this to beg that continuing your good and sincere affection to the affairs of this country you will always do your best with the Queen and the Lords to cause them to consider our interests.—Brussels, 28 Jan. 1577. (Signed) Guille de Nassau. Add. Endd. Fr. 12 lines. [Ibid. V. 30.]
Jan. 28. 616. The FRENCH KING to the QUEEN.
Though we make no doubt that the commissioners deputed by you to enquire into the depredations committed by your subjects on ours. Yet we would draw your attention to the fact that Guillaume Lefer and his partners, of St. Malo, have been long seeking redress for the capture of their vessel 'le Saulveur' by the English ship 'Castle of Comfort,' in May 1575 ; neither our letters in their behalf nor their own suit having so far profited them. We write, therefore, to entreat that you will cause the Commissioners to use dispatch in doing justice to Le Fer, as we have directed our Commissioners to do in the case of your subjects. —Olinville, 28th Jan. 1578. (Signed) Henry. (Countersigned) Pinart. Original document, Add, Endd, Fr. 10 lines. [France II. 9.]
Last wee in Jan.
K. d. L. x. 261.
617. DAVISON to WALSINGHAM.
The conference I had with the Prince at Antwerp on the receipt of your last letter touching a magazine for munitions, etc., was at such a moment that what with his haste to start for Brussels, and what with the multitude of his other business, neither I had time to deal with him at length, nor he the leisure to hear me otherwise than superficially ; which was the reason why in my former letter you were no better satisfied in that behalf. Since his coming hither, taking the first opportunity his leisure afforded, which was last night after supper, I repaired to him for a decided answer. This he gave to my full content ; because making no manner of difficulty, and naming to me himself Flushing and Antwerp as fit places for the purpose, he left it to her Majesty's choice which to use ; praying me as soon as I knew her pleasure to advertise him, that storehouses and all things necessary might be provided. As to the transport of victuals out of England, he thought it would be a needless expense ; the country yielding sufficient, and the States intending to order special provision to be made against the coming of our forces. Now, as I have been earnestly desired by the Prince and States to recommend to her Majesty their necessity for the speedy performance of her promise for men and money, I must assure that the hastening of both is a matter of singular importance. [It has not a little amazed them to understand in the meanwhile the doubtful state of things there, now that her Majesty has sent back the Marquis with so good offers, and they, on the other side, have drawn France upon their heads in respect of abandoning them to incline to her Majesty ; though I can put you out of doubt that things are not yet in that condition, but that seeing themselves neglected by her Majesty, I assure myself that faction would be strong enough to] (part in brackets marked for omission), but because Mr. Leighton now returning can at length inform you of the case, I leave to enlarge hereon any further. The matter of Count Lalaing and the danger beginning in Hainault, of which I told you in my last is, God be thanked, very wisely met. The Count is now come to this town, and all made whole ; and so it is hoped will continue, though the French, the kindlers of that fire, 'do not let to muster continual matter to entertain it.' Of the audience and proposition of the Emperor's ambassadors and other things, Mr. Leighton will amply discourse to you. —January 1577. P.S.—I send herewith certain letters which I intercepted this last week coming out of Spain, two of them being of some importance Mr. Knevet has taken some pains to decipher. Draft. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fland. V. 31.]
618. Another draft of the above, the first paragraph identical with the above. Nothing is said as to the matter of the second ; and the matter of Count Lalaing is more fully dealt with. Count Lalaing is this day arrived here, and has made his own report and purgation, to the contentment of the States ; approving both for himself and the States of Hainault of the Archduke as governor, the Prince as lieutenant-general and governor of Brabant, the act of the States, and treaty with the Queen, and in sum whatever they before made difficulties at. He is to go in a few days to the camp, where there have been some 'alterations' for lack of pay ; but through the diligence of the Prince, order is taken that they shall have about 230,000 florins by the end of this month.—Brussels. Draft. Endd. ¾ p. [Ibid. V. 31A.]
Jan. 619. SCHEME OF INSTRUCTIONS for a COUNCIL.
Whereas the Estates General of the Low Countries are resolved to maintain at all points the Pacification of Ghent, the perpetual Edict contracted with Don John and approved by his Majesty, and the Union of Estates also approved by his Highness on May 6 last ; and whereas his Highness has separated from the Estates for reasons unknown but to be conjectured from his letters and actions to be ruinous to the country ; and whereas they do not wish to desert the country in such necessity, to avoid confusion, and place the conduct of the public estate on the best footing for the protection of good subjects and defence against injuries, have appointed fourteen capable persons, held to be good patriots and zealous for the public weal, to serve as a Council, to be called the Council of the Estates, with two clerks and two ushers ; to wit the following [names left blank], who shall sit in the Guildhall of Brussels or wheresoever else the Estates shall ordain.
And being assembled all or the most part shall transact business as follows :
They shall advise, resolve, and order, absolutely on all points touching military operations requiring prompt execution and unfit to be treated by a large number of persons, lest they be discovered, or the opportunity be lost. Provided that when camp is pitched, the general and his appointed council shall advise and order on the spot, without need of reference to the Council of the Estates. At the camp shall serve as councillors [names blank.] On matters concerning the levy of men or money, soldiers' pay, and the like, the Council shall advise and report to the Estates, who shall resolve at once and take order ; Who shall have right of entry to the Council when military affairs are under discussion. Provided always that the Council of State or of War shall have no ordering or dispensing power over the state funds, which remains with the Estates, assisted by the advice of those of the Chamber of Aids, and when they think fit to take it, of the Council also. As concerns the governments of provinces, towns, and castles, disposal of domains and royal rights, appointment to offices, and other matters which before the late troubles were in the hands of the Governor-general and the Council of State, as it would be disastrous to the country to let them remain unprovided for, the Council shall advise upon them and report to the Estates, who shall decide, subject to the right of each province in respect of its own officials to nominate three persons for a post, of whom one is to be selected by the Estates-General on the advice of the Council. Those of the finances or of the Privy Council shall not have power to ordain or decree anything affecting the authority, domain, or right of his Majesty, save which as they have been accustomed to decree without the intervention of the Governor-general, except with previous communication with the Council, who shall advise and report to the Estates, who shall take order as they deem, but for the service of his Majesty and the good of the country, and give charge to those of the finances or Privy Council to act accordingly. Those who have any representation or request to make on the above matters shall address them to the Estates, who may refer them to the Council. Those of the Council shall not make report of their business, nor ask the advice of the Estates, unless all the deputies of all the provinces, or a majority of them, be assembled, under pain of nullity. Nor shall they dispatch any business unless seven of them be present. The president of the Council shall have the king's seal (seau) or some other such as the Estates shall devise, to seal ordinances, placards, graces, and such documents, as it has heretofore been customary to seal, being duly resolved. The Council shall also have a signet (cachet) for employment in closed and secret letters which it shall appertain to them to dispatch. The clerks shall see to the due execution of all matters which on the advice of the Council the Estates shall resolve, using in ordinances this form : Ordered by the Estates with the advice of the Council, and in the subscription of letters ; By order of the Estates and their Council, leaving to the clerk of the Estates all other business, as that concerning money matters, which shall be done without the advice of the Council. All letters and dispatches emanating from the Council shall be countersigned (paragraphées) by a member of the Council present at the vote, and signed by a clerk. The clerks shall keep a note of all dispatches and decisions of the Council ; also, every day, before and after dinner, of the names of the Councillors present at the dispatch of business, who shall be responsible, if necessary. In order that the Estates may be informed of what has been done by the Council, a weekly statement, with copies or authentic extracts, shall be presented gratis to all deputies who require it. The Councillors, all or part of them, shall wait upon the Estates when required for deliberation on matters of importance. The Estates or their deputies shall have access to the Council whenever they think fit, to make such representations or communications as are desirable. The Estates shall have power to limit, amplify, and interpret the present injunctions, or any article of them, as the affairs of the country shall require ; and may add such new points as they deem in accordance with the public weal. They may also fill up vacancies by death or default. They may also, in the case of default or unfitness, replace either of the clerks by another person. The Councillors shall have for their daily pay [blank] ; always understanding that on such days as by the clerks' notes it shall appear that they have not appeared at the ordinary hours, to wit, in summer, in the morning, from — to —, and after dinner from — to — ; and in winter, — to —, and — to —, they shall not be paid for that day. Copy. Endd. by L. Tomson : Instructions for establishing a Council of War. Fr. 6½ pp. [Ibid. V. 32.]