154. HODDESDON to BURGHLEY.
Being now ready for my journey to Embden, I thought it my
duty to let you know before my departure that it might be an
excuse for the discontinuance of my accustomed writing to your
lordship. For the Merchants Adventurers finding themselves to be
friendly entreated at Embden, and the market very commodious
for the 'utterance' of their cloths, are resolved to establish the
greater part of their traffic in that place ; for which purpose I mind
to go there myself next week, so that I shall have no opportunity
to send you such occurrents as pass here. Yet if you please to use
my services in those parts in any way, I will be always at your
command ; being not only myself greatly beholden, but all the
fellowship of Merchants Adventurers must acknowledge themselves
generally indebted to your furtherance of their causes ; humbly
desiring that as you have hitherto advanced them against open
adversaries, so you will hereafter continue their good lord in
supporting them against such as contrary to the honour and profit
of our commonwealth shall privily go about to disorder their
traffic.—Antwerp, 7 Feb. 1579.
Add. Endd. : Mr Hoddesdon to my Lord. Occurrents from
Antwerp. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XIII. 13.]
155. COBHAM to BURGHLEY.
It seems that the king having been long in a slumbering repose
and his spirit 'settled to entertain the quiet of his country,' is now
startled and begins to rouse himself toward his affairs, having
called to him such of his counsellors as heretofore were ever quickly
bent toward their civil troubles.
Since the Queen Mother's repair hither, the minions are sent
from hence [in copy : sent a little from the Court], and the King is
used sometimes to repair early to the Cabinet to confer on affairs,
and often sits at Council.
And because he has been by sundry means tempted to some
foreign conquest, and with delay shifts away those affairs, it is
doubted his mind is joined still with Spain, and bent rather to
chasten and 'revenge' certain in his own state than to 'buskle'
himself to assault some other country ; whereon great secret
jealousy has arisen.
It is thought that Monsieur is not resolved to repair as yet to
Court, seeing that sundry days have been appointed, and many
devices used after his mother's manner, and nothing can draw him.
As to them of the Religion, they look for a storm, being in a very
weak state. The Churches are not able to contribute towards the
common cause, as in time past. Casimir's levies are spoken of,
but undoubtedly are in no readiness, nor as yet are any sufficient
The King of Navarre has been like to be trapped as he was
hunting ; whereon it is thought he has taken arms. The Prince of
Condé remains at la Fère.
The king having declared his will to be that all foreign dukes or
ambassadors should take place according to the antiquity of their
duchy, the Duke of Ferrara's ambassador has got the precedence
before the Grand Duke's, and [sic] goes hence on Monday next,
having taken his leave of the king ; whereby is discovered some
unkindness between the king and the Grand Duke.
The news from Portugal is that the Duke of 'Barseilles,' eldest
son to the Duke of Braganza, is delivered from prison, and is at
'Massegan' ; and since through the King of Spain's means he was
the longer detained in captivity his father has 'made show of the
The burgesses of the Parliament in Portugal are come to Lisbon
with instructions that they will have no king but one of their own
nation. Howbeit King Philip's army is in readiness.
The Duke of Ausouna [Osuna] in Lisbon promises for King
Philip, his master, all the friendship he can any way obtain.
Mr Stafford came last night, the 6th, in health but not very
cheerful. Now I beseech that I may obtain some favour from you
toward the obtaining of my suit, in such sort that you will bind me
more and more to you. You can best allege in my behalf my often
journeys, for I have gone most of them by her Majesty's command
and your directions ; also that having now spent 21 years, the best
part of my life, in her service, and having sold some of my wife's
'living' to enable me thereunto [sic]. And those things which I
sue for are not in any ancient tenants' hands, or servants' of her
Majesty or her father ; and without any store of wood or underwood.
Hoping I may be happy by your favourable means, and receive
I would be glad to know wherein my service can be employed
for her profit and for her other causes, if you will direct me to
inform you of anything tending thereto.—Paris, 7 Feb. 1579.
Add. Endd. (and in a later hand, with reference to the question
of precedence ; see Nos. 130, 131). 1½ pp. [France IV. 13.]
156. Copy of the above in Letter-book. [Ibid. IV. 40 (10).]
157. COBHAM to BURGHLEY.
I wrote 'this other day' to you by Pyne, Mr Vice-Chamberlain's
servant, such things as then came to my knowledge. Since then,
Saint-Luc, one of the king's chief minions, is gone hence with such
speed that he is entered into his government of 'Bouruaige' before
Lancosme, nephew to Villequier, could take possession of it by commission
from the king. At this the king pretends to be so highly
displeased that he desires her Majesty should be informed how he
is resolved to assail him by sea and land, that preparations
'addressed' for that purpose may not seem strange to her. But as
his displeasures are not known this sudden show is suspected and
doubted to be the cloak of some other design.
The King of Navarre was last week put in danger of being taken
or slain, if the ambush which Montmorency had laid for him had
not been discovered ; whereon the king has vehemently complained
to his Majesty and draws more of his friends about him.
Those of Guienne begin to 'buskle' themselves to stand to their
defence, and to seek some advantages. Thus there rises daily very
sharp mistrust of secret practices against all such of the Religion as
are either here or elsewhere. I doubt not you will consider this
and providently foresee for the maintenance of her Majesty's good
estate, which is threatened by the advices from sundry places. Yet
by letters of the 23rd ult. it is advertised that King Philip addresses
his power against the Portugals, since their whole 'commonalty'
seems to mislike him for their king. Also at that time Cardinal
'Grandville' was 'extreme sick.'
Duke Casimir stays his further preparations, to hear from some
of these parts.
The Emperor by means of his diets in Hungary and 'Bohem'
seeks to make money, and deals very roughly with those of the
Religion in Austria. There is no great good agreement among
those of Germany, owing to certain doctors about the Duke of
Mr Stafford, who came hither on the 6th, had audience of the
king to-day, and now means to return home within three days.
Their Majesties profess to entertain the hope of marriage, requesting
that her Highness will not mislike what is 'passed by articles.'
—Paris, 8 Feb. 1579.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [France IV. 14.]
158. Copy of the above in Letter-book. [Ibid. IV. 40 (6).]
159. COBHAM to LEICESTER.
After remaining many days at Angiers, about his negotiations
with Monsieur, Mr Stafford returned here on the 6th and to-day
was admitted to the king's presence, and delivered her Majesty's
message. In answer thereto the king wished that whatever had
passed might be continued ; desiring that some good issue might
follow to the cause, which he said he and his greatly coveted.
After having 'passed these speeches' touching that matter, he
requested me and Mr Stafford to certify her Majesty that St. Luc
having received much goodness at his hands, had 'miscarried himself'
in divers ways, as in abusing his favour in divers causes
wherein the subjects and merchants of other princes were prejudiced ;
which he misliked so much that he would no longer
think him worthy to enjoy those benefits and places of credit which
he had received. It therefore seemed convenient to bestow his
government of Brouage upon some other person ; of which St. Luc
having got intelligence, had 'through his expedition' entered into
that government. This he highly misliked, and was determined to
draw him thence, by all means he may assail him, and has commanded
preparations to that end to be made by sea and land ; the
place being so situate that it can be approached by both those
means. These preparations, he would have her understand, are
only for this purpose ; and not 'amuse' herself, or think further of
Notwithstanding that all this has indeed passed, and St. Luc's
house and goods here have been seized, and his wife kept therein
by some of the king's guard, beginning yesterday morning, being
Sunday, many doubt whether it be a clear disgracing of St. Luc, or
some stratagem committed to his handling ; for it is known that he
has been an entire favourite of the king, married by him to Count
Brissac's sister ; a man of quick wit and valiant, affected to the
Duke of Guise. Until this matter fell out, the king had, since the
rest of his favourites were sent away, shewn to him alone the
'countenance' of a minion ; besides that there is no apparent
cause for so high displeasure. Therefore the preparations that have
been 'framing' by Lansac and Strozzi on the coast, 'though it be
spoken' for the Indies, yet this and the other raises some doubt ;
the rather that a week ago ambush was laid by Montmorency for the
King of Navarre, whereby he would have been put in danger of his
life, or taken. He being gone to Nérac to a conference with
Montmorency, to order the affairs of Languedoc, 200 horse were in
readiness to set upon him. The king being advertised of this
went to Nérac another way, with great speed ; some of his
troop, however, were followed and shot at. Upon this he has
drawn some more force himself, and has sent to the king
to have justice against Montmorency ; otherwise he will seek
to revenge himself. The king therefore sends to-morrow
Colonel 'Strosso' to pacify the King of Navarre, if it may be.
Meantime he is preparing by little and little to levy forces, so that
they of the Religion and others are much 'amused' and begin to
think for their own safeties. Howbeit, the Protestants are much
scattered and weakened, having nothing that power they were wont
to have, unless God raise some help for them.
Mr Stafford left Monsieur at Angiers, where there were and had
been the Duke of Aumâle, Marquis of Elbeuf, and other principal
persons ; and now Duke Montpensier is going to him. Marshal de
Cossé continues there. Monsieur pretends to 'call an estate' of
the countries which belong to his 'partage,' to consider their opinion
of his voyage into England if occasion offer ; as also to learn their
disposition as to his enterprise to the Low Countries, and that the
establishment of the peace of France and means for its continuance
may be spoken and consulted of.
M. de Buy passed by this morning, sent from Monsieur to the
Prince of Condé with friendly words and good encouragement.
The king is in good health and very cheerful. He is feasted daily
by one and exercises his dancing in sundry places, as occasion
offers, very familiarly, without great 'sequite' ; showing himself in
these outward appearances and other daily actions rather to delight
in a pleasant, quiet life than inclined to war.
It is advertised from Spain, by letters of the 23rd ult. from
Madrid, that they think King Philip's army will be wholly employed
against the Portugals, because the whole commonalty seem utterly
to mislike him for their sovereign.
(The remainder appears to belong to another letter.)
The French king attends daily to his affairs, and confers oftener
than has been usual of late years with his Council of State ; notwithstanding
he 'uses familiarity' and is often feasted by noblemen
and great persons. Monsieur remains at Angiers accompanied by
the Duke of Aumâle, the Marquis of Elbeuf and M. de Laval,
Marshal Cossé remains with him, and the Duke of Montpensier is
repairing to him. The King of Navarre is in Guyenne and has
lately been frightened by an enterprise 'pretended' to entrap him
as he was hunting, which is imputed to Marshals Montmorency and
Biron ; so that he takes arms unless the king can shortly remedy
it. The towns in all places are carefully guarded. All the king's
minions are out of the Court ; St. Luc, who was one of the
minions disgraced, is gone in great haste to Brouage, the king
having given his government to Lancosme nephew of Villequier,
governor of the Isle of France.
The Protestants of Vienna and Austria have exhibited a supplication
to the Emperor for the exercise of religion, which will be a
means of troubles in that country. The Emperor will hold a diet
in Bohemia and Hungary.
Mr Stafford returned from Monsieur on the 6th. As he means
to return home within a day or two, I refer to him to inform your
lordship more in detail as to the affairs of this realm ; beseeching
you not only to continue me in your good favour, but that you
will be any best means to advance me in her Majesty's credit,
whereby I may receive some fruit of my 21 years' service. It
will be the better if you will vouchsafe to renew my suit which I
left in your hands for certain farms about my poor dwelling, and
'that' by your favourable words Mr Secretary Wilson may be
moved to deal therein for me, to whom I find myself much bound.
Copy. [France IV. 40 (7).]
160. COBHAM to [WALSINGHAM].
Mr Stafford had access to-day to King and Queen Mother. They
have seemed to mislike his message so far, but that they would have
the cause entertained and brought to some good end. They 'allow'
greatly the care Monsieur 'pretends' to have of his religion.
The king wishes me to say that St. Luc having received much
goodness at his hands, etc. (as in the last letter).
P.S.—Advertising [sic] also of Casimir's sending to them of the
Religion in France ; and some hope of the King of Scots' conversion
and marriage according to the King of Spain's liking.
Copy. [Ibid. IV. 40 (8).]
161. COBHAM to WILSON.
I send herewith the letter for which you wrote in yours of Jan. 28,
wishing that her Highness may take that compassion of her loving
subjects and countries as to vouchsafe to cast her thoughts this year,
and use her counsels to be provident for the affairs of her Crown ;
for there are many causes arising from sundry parts showing appearance
of a secret ill-consent intended against religion and her
principal favourers thereof.
Thus, as an entire well-willer to my sovereign, I wish the
worst were provided for, and thereby do the part of a watchman in
praying God to prosper your counsels, and waken your minds to
His service and the preservation of the good.—Paris, 9 Feb. 1579.
Copy. [France IV. 40 (4).]