126. SIR HENRY COBHAM to [WALSINGHAM].
I perceive by yours of the 19th ult. that sundry bruits had then
stirred doubtful opinions, but before this, both by John Wellis'
dispatch and by Mr Stafford's return thither, I hope all things are
satisfied. Now here they 'harken after' the sending for commissioners,
and Queen Mother above all others professes to long for
the quick success of this amity and joining of hands. God direct
her Majesty's heart, and stretch out her hands for His service, to
do the best for her self and her comfort.
It seems that Monsieur prepares to leave assured friends, and
deals daily in settling his estate and affairs. Occasion has of late
been offered him to renew his enterprise in Flanders ; but nothing
will, as it seems, remove his thoughts as yet. So these causes rest
till her Majesty's message comes.
The king has agreed that the Prince of Condé shall remain in
the castle of la Fère with a guard for his person, so that he will
disperse his other forces. He does not countermand the prince's
exercising his government in Picardy.
La Noue is at his house, 18 leagues 'beside' Paris, but the
Nuncio and the Spanish agent thunder complaints against him to
the king ; otherwise it is thought he would by this have been here
openly at Court.
Monsieur had appointed a conference with the King of Navarre,
but the king, by sending 'Tinterville' [Dinteville] to him has
'procured the stay.'
The King of Navarre has had an interview with Montmorency
about the 'causes' of Languedoc.
The advertisements from Italy are that the Spanish 'army' has
passed towards Spain, but some of the munitions are perished.
I think to hear her Highness's pleasure for sending a person into
those parts. He is in readiness.
God send you much 'contentation' this new year.—Paris, the
first of the year.
Add. and endt. gone. 1 p. [France IV. 1.]
127. ROSSEL to WALSINGHAM.
Just as I was sending off my last letter I had news confirming the
negotiation as to Cambray between M. d'Inchy, the governor, and
the Duke of Alençon. This news caused much talk among the
people generally, some asserting that it was due to the Prince's
advice, others that it was done with the assent of the States, and
others that it was a private affair of M. d'Inchy ; so that the perplexity
rendered everyone uneasy, because all parties lowered their
sails under the cloak of ignorance. Meanwhile the execution of
the treaty remains suspended, of which and of everything M. d'Inchy
has advertised the States and his Excellency, who are working
together in the matter of the war, as I told you. It is unlucky that
the commissioners from the States have not absolute authority with
power to take instant decisions ; which I think would be convenient,
since (cause pourquoi) they will leave this in six days to represent to
the provinces what is expedient for the war, which of necessity it
behoves to continue, and to content the importunate demands of
M. d'Alençon, which will be provided for.
For the month of February it is estimated they will have in the
field 14,000 foot and 5,000 horse ; and to this effect four new
colonels and other officers of cavalry are being sent out. M. de la
Noue will raise two companies of horse, each to be 100 gentlemen,
with 1,000 harquebusiers to follow, to fill up the regiments ; and on
this subject fresh orders are being sent to him.
Meanwhile after the Malcontents had had sundry squabbles
among themselves over the dispute about the departure of the
Spaniards, on which matter Montigny gave the lie to la Motte, and
Count Egmont a slap in the face to M. d'Alennes, everything has
been set right (repatrié) by Count Mansfelt, who insisted on their
departure ; and ultimately they went out of Turnhout, Gheel, and
other places on Wednesday the 30th of this [sic] month and
marched straight for Maestricht. This I think is to do mischief in
Friesland, which has been disaffected by the practices of Robles : or
else to stay in Luxembourg or Burgundy until the Malcontents have
performed some better exploit. To do this they have been brought
by the management of Count Mansfelt, and have gone with all
speed to St. Amand in order, favoured by the frost and bad weather,
to carry it by storm. Three English companies are there, who will
be badly handled. The colonel of the French starts to-day to their
aid with a certain number of cavalry ; while Colonel Balfour
with his men will take steps elsewhere to prick them in divers
I am vexed that the person with whom I conversed has gone off
to Lubeck without receiving my last words, for the good service he
might have done by coming here and going on to Liége, upon all
The rittmeisters and colonels of the Religion are assembled at
Frankenthal, where they turn their thoughts to France ; a bad
omen. It is given out that they want to look for their pay. The
assemblies that are being held in various places in France testify to
the contrary ; as also the maintenance of the army of Italy, which
gives expectation of more calamity than ever. I wish that her
Majesty's prudence may anticipate these events, so as to continue
the peace of her realm, the envy of all the world.—Antwerp, 3 Jan.
P.S.—The credit of the French increases daily, even to a point
which I cannot express. So I hold my peace rather than speak
Add. Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIII. 1.]
128. 'An Extract out of a Spanish letter, dated at Madrid,
the 7th of January, 1579.'
The 30th ult. there came to this Court in post from Rome a
Scottish gentleman named Virgil Fender, who was very honourably
received and entertained by the Archbishop of Toledo and Secretary
Sayas, with whom he chiefly conferred. On New Year's Eve
they two with divers other personages of quality brought him to
the king, with whom he had speech two long hours.
This gentleman has received 1,000 crowns in gift from the king
and departed on the 5th for France. As one of his servants gave
it out, he was to pass from thence into Ireland and so into his own
country for the Pope's service.
One of his servants told a friend of his that ere two year came
about, all Christendom shall be subject to one only law by the
means and the endeavours of the Pope and the King of Spain, who
were about to bring the matter to pass.
On the 2nd inst. came letters from Ireland to the Archbishop of
Toledo, Secretary Sayas and others, signifying that the Governor
with three earls, Capt. Boulter [?] and about 3,000 soldiers were
slain ; whereat they greatly rejoiced, thinking that the Queen has no
more men of war left in that land.
It is reported that the King of Morocco has offered the king
passage through his dominions, to go to 'Argiel,' and the assistance
of 40,000 men for achieving that enterprise.
Of the king's preparations there are divers discourses made. Some
think they are for 'Argil,' some for Portugal, and some for England,
but no man knows certainly for what place.
The King of Morocco, has sent the king for a present the son of
the Duke of Braganza and other prisoners whom he had before
refused to release for any ransom.
The king has caused proclamation to be made in certain of his
port towns that they shall not traffic with the Portugall, and has
sent an express messenger to confer with Don Antonio on his behalf,
and to seek to draw him hither, where he shall want as good
It is said that ere long Don Bernard de Mendoza will pass into
The king purposes shortly to go to Seville, to give order for the
wars. Don Pedro de Medicis is come to the Court with divers
captains, men of great countenance, who repair daily to the Archbishop
of Toledo, Cardinal Granvella and Secretary Sayas and have
also been to visit the Duchess of Feria.
It is written from Portugal that the Commons will not agree to
the sentence given in favour of the King of Spain, and that if he
will enjoy the benefit of it, he must win it by the sword.
Endd. 1¼ pp. [Spain I. 36.]
129. VILLIERS to DAVISON.
I send some letters that I have received from you ; and though I
have plenty to write, I will for this journey [sic] content myself with
telling you that after much debate the Estates have finally resolved
to write to the Duke of Aerschot thanking him for the trouble he
has taken, and in consideration of other business that he may have,
not summoning him back. But they order Grobbendonck, Marolles,
and St. Gertrude to return (which they will not do), and bid M. de
Rummen remain at Cologne, not as ambassador with any powers,
but that through his agency they may hear whatever information
Count Schwarzenberg may wish to send here. So ends this long
The Spaniards are marching as heavily as they can towards
Liége, and have left Brabant. The Duchess of Parma is coming to
rule as the King's lieutenant. We have lost this week Mortaigne
and St. Amand ; no great loss, for they were open places, but
Mortaigne was carried by assault, with the loss of Cotton's ensign
of English, Sonhai's of Brabanters, and le Febvre's of Walloons.
The St. Amand people gave up the keys and remain prisoners of
war, among them being Morgan. Mr Norris is in Tournai, where
I hope that the regiment that was M. de Mouy's has this day
arrived, if it has not been opposed by the way.
My wife, Marie, and I present our greetings to you and Madame.
—Antwerp, 7 Jan. 1580.
Add. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XIII. 2.]
130. COBHAM to the QUEEN.
For their quarrels 'pretended' to M. Simier hitherto, they have
been suppressed by the king's command ; so your Majesty may be
out of doubt that except it be by treason, they shall not have any
means to hurt his person. He took his journey toward Monsieur
on the 11th, leaving with me the enclosed letter for your Highness.
[See Cecil Papers Part 2, No. 808.] Many of Monsieur's
gentlemen resorted hither to accompany him out of this town. I
have sent my servant to bring me news of his good 'passing
forward,' that you may be the 'perfectlier' advertised thereof. I
have abstained from dealing with the king in his cause, by the
advice of his best friends.
It seemed that the king is so moved with the taking of the town
of Mende in 'Gevodans' [Gévaudan] that he takes counsel for the
preparation of war. The report of Casimir's levying of 6,000
'royters' and as many Swiss is confirmed, so that it is judged their
peace this year will suffer an eclipse.
Duke Montmorency seeks the king's favour, and apparently
deals very ill with the Protestants in all manner of ways to please
The king has appointed that ancient Dukes' ambassadors shall
take their place as in his father's time ; so the ambassador of the
Grand Duke of Tuscany has lost his place and the ambassador of
Ferrara has taken precedence at the feast of St. Esprit these last
Simier promises to send expressly to me on coming to Monsieur's
Court.—Paris, 12 Jan.
Holograph. Beginning apparently lost. Add. Endd. by L. Cave
with date ; and in a later hand. 1 p. [France IV. 2.]
131. COBHAM to BURGHLEY.
I suppose you understood from Mr Stafford how M. Simier
accompanied him hither from Monsieur's Court, since which time
he has remained here, informing the king and queen of his prince's
affairs and proceedings ; so that they are entered into a further
opinion of his good success and expect to hear of her Highness's
pleasure for the sending of commissioners. Thus the case rests.
Simier left this town on the 11th accompanied by about 200
horse well-appointed. The first night he lodged at St. Cloud, and
last night the Count of Reise [qy. Retz] lodged him and his chief
gentlemen. Thus from place to place he will be safely guarded.
The king has commanded Bussy and Balagny to abstain from arms,
or from making any unfriendly offer towards M. Simier ; yet notwithstanding
this Balagny has been seen in the way with some
horsemen. Upon this the king had appointed a guard to march
with him ; but Monsieur's servants undertook to do the king
sufficient service for that matter.
The King of Navarre has had some conference with Montmorency
in Languedoc ; but finding that he was directed by the king to stand
upon the delivery of the towns in that province which are in the
keeping of the Protestants, he did not stay ; but is calling the
chiefs of his religion together to take counsel for their preservation
and repose. Captain la Merle has taken by night scaling the rich
town of Mende in Gévaudan, belonging to the Bishop of Mande,
Chancellor to Monsieur ; whereon, and upon the levy which Casimir
and Rocheguyon are making, the king takes counsel for preparing
war and gathering of money, which hitherto is but slackly begun.
Of late the Protestants intended to have surprised 'Shawmont in
Basigni,' which would have served for an entry for the 'roysters.'
M. 'Vyllycher' [qy. Villequier] has entered on his government of
the Isle of France.
The king has decreed that all Dukes' ambassadors shall take the
places they had in his father's time. This proceeds partly upon
the discovery of a league between King Philip, the Pope, and the
Duke of Tuscany. Also Queen Mother has received some indignity
at Florence in a process she had there.
There is slyly whispered here a practice which M. 'd'Obeny' is
taking in hand to procure the marriage of the young King of Scots
with some young Lady of Lorraine.
Please let me become suitor for your favour in my suit of which
I left a note with you. I need it, and have taken pains to deserve
it. My expenses may if her Majesty please be allowed for a fine.
Please therefore let your earnest speeches be my help.—Paris,
P.S.—As the causes of France are in debate I send you the
'books' of the Estates of this country and a descent, with the
marriages of their kings.
Add. Endd. : from Paris, by Bluemantle ; and in a later hand :
All foreign Dukes to take place in France according to their
antiquity. 2 pp. [France IV. 3.]
132. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
I have received your letter sent by Lewkner and have delivered
the enclosed according to their indorsements.
The king continues here and begins to deal with his Council for
preparing for war and levying money, but the 'devises' for the
finances have not that quick dispatch they are accustomed to
They are assured that Casimir is levying 6,000 'roisters' and as
many Swiss ; and la Roche-Guyon is gathering some French
companies ; whereon the king sends Rochefort to offer some favourable
La Merle has taken Mende, wherein he had a rich booty.
As M. de Châtillon was at Brocher within 3 or 4 leagues of
Mende, the king presupposes that he is the chief actor ; notwithstanding
he was there 'a-wooing' Mme de la Brocher's daughter,
who is heir to her first husband, M. de Peyris, 'that was slain on
St. Bartilmew's Day in the massacre.'
Duke Montmorency has come to the conference appointed with
the King of Navarre, but he would not 'enter to speak' of any
redress until the Protestants should yield up their towns. It is
discovered that he received this order from the king ; whereon the
King of Navarre repairs again into Languedoc, to take order with
the 'substitutes' for those of the Religion that they may not be
'taken and snatched up' unprovided. There is hope that
Monsieur may meet the King of Navarre, though it has been
The king has decreed that all foreign ambassadors (as in the last).
'Mount Dragon' has passed in post from Spain towards the Low
Countries. He was rifled of his money and baggage, but escaped
without further harm.
Don Pedro de Medicis has passed with a few galleys for Spain ;
the rest of the army, 'through strange and foul weather,' are about
La Spezia and 'Gayetta.'
Arnold, Mauvissière's secretary, has stayed here ever since my
coming. His brother is now made the Scottish Queen's treasurer,
and she has appointed Arnold a pension of 2,000 francs. He carries
the special letters of the Papists and the most indisposed.
There is expected from Scotland a sister's son of the Bishop of
Ross, called James Brown, and the 'good man' of New Leslie. The
Scots have some hope that M. 'd'Obeny' shall bring the king to
marry with one of the house of Lorraine.
Last Saturday the 9th, Mr Carye, who lately served la Motte,
passed to Nantes and so by sea to Spain. Doyle goes hence to-day
to the Spanish camp in Flanders. Copley's wife is come hither,
and he is looked for, with others of our malcontents.
One Pierse, a priest, escaped out of York prison, as he says, is
come hither to raile [?] and so goes to Rheims.
Julio Rousin [qy. Busini] desires you to be a means for recompence
of the time and service he employed in Sir Amyas' time. He offers to
do great service, and has wished me to send her Majesty herself certain
names written from Rheims and sent hitherto to the 'B.' ambassador.
I know he has good means and a quick spirit. He demands 100l. to
pay his debts, and 'therewithal to serve this year.'
Simier is gone to Monsieur with a great number of gentlemen,
upon occasion of the quarrel 'made to him' by 'Bowsye' and
Balagny.—Paris, 13 Jan.
Pray let me have your favourable means 'for the amending of
my silly estate.'
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. IV. 4.]
133. FABIANUS NIFFIUS [NIPHUS] to DANNEWITZ.
I had a satisfactory passage, and did the whole journey in four
days. On reaching London my first business was to attend to our
Serene Prince's letters. These are the facts in the case. I put it
to S. 'did he retain the same mind that he was in some months
ago?' He said plainly that he had changed his view, for if great
kings fell out, our position would be more secure, which does not
seem bad counsel. But he gave me no opportunity of opening what
I told you of when I was here. 4 is very anxious to hear all that
I have to advise, and I will deal with him next week. I hope all
will go well, for the time has been too short to finish everything
this week. Philip Sidney, a young man of eminent wit and virtue,
is wholly with us, and displays great affection for our prince.
It is certainly rumoured here that there are disorders in Scotland ;
for the Earl of Lenox, who is devoted to the French king, has put
the Regent in prison and is overturning everything, which
necessarily alarms us.
Our prince has shown me many tokens of his kindness, and I
find his recommendation of great service. But I wish he would
also send me a letter of introduction to the Earl of Sussex. I think
it would be useful, as he has much influence, and thinks much of
our Prince. It may be of the same tenour as the other.
Commend me to his Serenity, and salute M. Giele from me.—
London, 14 Jan. 1580.
Copy (qy. in L. Cave's hand). Endd. Latin. 1 p. [Holl. and
Fl. XIII. 3.]