170. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
I have received your letters, which came but slowly to hand.
From them I perceive that the Queen proposes to send out certain
of her ships, which may serve to some purpose. But if all the rest
may be rigged out and appointed in other convenient places, it will
prove to better purpose. I trust she will find it a frugal part to
spend this year in order to save her states for the rest of her reign,
and thereby to put from her with a strong hand the malicious forces
of the enemy who are thought to be confederated in hope of revenge.
For the Spaniards discourse how they may in no way return
the Low Countries to King Philip's 'obeisance' so long as England
stands in this sort in their way, favouring the King's rebels.
On the other side it is said the French King is persuaded that
he will never be throughout King of all France till the Queen of
England be so 'oppressed' that his Protestants and malcontents
may not receive any comfort or relief thence. Other princes are
drawn to confederate, as favouring either the Spanish faction or
that of France, and those of Italy are drawn into the bargain for
fear of the Pope. Therefore since the signs of this secret practice
are almost apparent I trust her Majesty will look providently to
the cause, both to have her own forces in readiness, as also to prove
before they suffer extreme need what the countries of the sea-coast
will yield her in good friendship ; as Denmark through the persuasions
of the Duke of 'Houlste,' and Hamburg with the other
cities privileged in England may be dealt with. If the princes of
Germany perceive that a league is made against the Queen, being a
prince Protestant, it is thought they will be moved to lend so many
of their 'powers' as may speedily startle the Spaniards out of the
Low Countries ; which quickly handled may in part cool this enterprise.
Also that they would send to him to understand of the preparation
of so large a power, which cannot be thought to be
employed for the benefit of Christendom, since King Philip has so
good intelligence with the Turk, and peace with the King of Fez
and others of the Moors ; with some show of care towards her Highness,
such as they shall afford.
And since the Spanish King has an ambassador at Constantinople
it were not 'without purpose' to signify by some messenger that
he is sent thither by the king to be the Sophy's spy (as is true), as
well as of other matter. If this is liked, I will seek to inform you
further. If any be sent, it were well he should pass this way.
'My thinks' the Duke of Braganza and his eldest son may be
'tempered with' for the staying of ships, and such other provision
as the Pope and confederates may seek at their hands ; yet I hear
the Pope is not willing as yet to be discovered as a dealer in this
action. I trust you will excuse me if I have uttered my 'simple
curious zeal' in the service of my sovereign overmuch. I acknowledge
there are many counsels of better purpose ; yet I would not
'leave to do' the part of a willing remembrancer.
The lords of Germany have sent a petition to the Emperor to
have part of the ecclesiastical livings for the maintenance of the
cause of religion, alleging the example of those Kings who have
grants from the Pope, whence it is conjectured that some dissension
will be kindled in Germany. The King's agent from 'Praga' has
advertised him of this.
The Queen Mother has been troubled with her 'grief' in her
throat, the King is not well, the young [queen?] has had a fit or
two of ague. There have been some 'household unkindnesses'
Clermont d'Amboise had been like to have been clapped up in
the 'Bastyllyon' if he had not escaped ; but he is gone, and will
do well and do God and his country service to some better purpose.
I beg that my servant Adams may be the next to be sent hither,
unless her Highness' service 'import' it otherwise. God restore
your health and continue your life to do Him service.—Paris,
Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Ibid. IV. 18.]
171. Copy (in places abridged) of part of the above. At the end
is written : Here endeth the packet sent by Mr Jackson and
followeth the packet sent by Bluemantle. [France IV. 40 (12).]
172. COBHAM to the SECRETARIES.
On Saturday M. Gondi invited me in the Queen Mother's name
to dine next day at her house ; meaning to make a private banquet
to the king, not as King of France, but Henry her son and his wife.
And that he might be the cheerfuller she desired me to be present,
to accompany him as the servant of his good sister the Queen of
England, and that I should have there no competitor for precedence,
as other ambassadors would be likewise invited, whereby the king
might show himself better contented finding himself in, such
company. My answer was that I humbly thanked her Majesty as
one willing to obey her, betaking myself into her hands to be
employed at her pleasure, because the Queen's mind was that I
should serve her as she should will during the time of this service.
So next day, at the hour appointed, about 10 o'clock, I went to
the hostel de la Reine mère, a house of her building ; being 'quadrante,'
all of stone, of three stories, very 'proportially' framed, having
in one of the corners at the upper end of the quadrant a pyramid 30
fathoms high as I guess, all of hard stone, with a pair of stairs within
the hollowness conveyed up to the top, from whence most part of the
city may be seen. At the entry of the gate M. Gondi received me,
and in the court I was met by M. la Mothe Fènelon, M. Beauvois,
a captain of the guard, and Colonel Chomberg, who conducted me
into a place appointed for the ambassadors, where I dined in the
company of the ambassadors of Portugal and Venice. After the
king had dined, the same gentlemen accompanied us to the place
where the dancing was to be ; and as we were mounting the stairs
the king came thither likewise, with the Queen, where, upon the
occasion of some disorder through the press, the king staying
plucked me to him, speaking to me of the disorder, and enquiring
of me if the Queen were in like sort troubled upon such occasions.
I 'showed' him that the smallness of the Queen's estate could not
bring forth such multitudes of nobility and gentlemen as the realm
of France plentifully yielded ; but at such times she had the
captains of her guard and chief officers of her chamber, who 'gave
order,' though with some difficulty, for subjects are desirous to draw
near to the person of their kings, as gods on this earth. With this
I offered to put myself into the rank of the rest of the Ambassadors,
but his Majesty took me by the cloak and kept me still while he
was on the stairs, ever passing some pleasant speeches ; among other
he wished that he might see some cheerful day between his brother
and the Queen of England. I said that the Queen might think herself
beholden to him for his earnest desire that way, assuring him
that I have heard her Highness wish as earnestly that he were blest
with children, as also good servants to both of them wished and
prayed that this might be a year of good harvest wherein France and
England might reap the blessed fruits of their princes' children.
With this and suchlike speeches he passed the time till we were
come to the upper 'hende' of the chamber, where he and his Queen
being placed in their chairs, he commanded me to sit on the righthand
side, beside his person. The Pope's ambassador, and the
ambassadors of Savoy and Ferrara, who had dined among certain
ladies, were placed round about behind him, accompanied by the
Cardinal of Guise. The Portugal ambassador was beside the Queen
and the ambassador of Venice beside me. After some pause the
King rose from his chair, saying to me : 'Yonder is a gentlewoman
that was one of my mother's maids, married to an Italian called
Camillo Fera Mantovano, a servitor of ours ; I will do her the honour
to dance with her' ; asking me if my mistress did not use the like
in England. I said she showed these favours after the manner of
princes to their servants. With that he took the gentlewoman,
dancing the Spanish pavane singularly well : which being done
he returned and took his Queen, pacing the measures with her,
followed by the Prince Dauphin, the Dukes of 'Mercury' and
and Guise, and 'Charles Monsieur' [? Charles de Valois] with some
of the 'ladies of estate.' This dance being done, the king
and queen after their measures returned to their places. After
this the king took Mme d'Autrey [d'Atri] lately married to Count
Châteauvilain and danced with her the 'currants,' followed by
some other young gentlemen, entertaining the time until there
entered a masque ; the order of which was : First six musician
maskers, playing on their lutes ; then two young boys in apparel
representing Cupids, having small bows and quivers full of shafts,
with certain garlands on their arms and their eyes bound with thin
veils. Then there followed one of the maskers habited alla
Portughese, with a 'cassack' and 'gargasses' of 'cramoyzin'
satin, 'laid on' with silver lace ; his Portugal 'capecloak' and cap
both of russet cloth of silver ; having in one hand a Portugal dart,
blunt at both ends and in the other a timbrell with bells after their
manner. There followed him five other maskers attired like him
in all points. After they had passed once or twice about the hall
they came up to where their Majesties sate and the two boys sang
a French song to the lute ; afterwards they returned down again,
shaking their timbrells in measure ; at the sound of which came
forth six attired like women in long Spanish white satin gowns,
'garded' with carnation and silver lace, dancing with their timbrells ;
and on passing each of them took an arrow out of the quivers
of the Cupids, with which they threatened each other. The Portugueses
likewise took arrows. Thereon the two boys having two scarfs
of carnation and silver tinsel made a barrier by holding the
scarfs at both ends, the Spanish women keeping on one side and
the Portugal men on the other. They came to the barriers one to one
still observing the measure in offering 'their fight' ; but the
Portuguese when it came to striking the women threw down their
darts, submitting themselves by their countenances as overcome,
which act they passed one after another. On this a garland was
put on the women's heads by the Cupids. Then the Portuguese by
gestures requested the Spanish women to have compassion on them ;
whereon the Cupids went away with the barriers. Then the ladies
after a while, with cheerful gestures, put the garlands on the
Portugueses' heads, and so they entered into sundry dances
Thus the greater part of the afternoon of that day was spent.
While these things were doing, it pleased the king to 'minister
sundry occasions' of speech. Calling to him young Lansac, the
chief and deviser of the masque, he willed him to bring the verses
that were sung. After he had a little perused them he delivered
them to me ; whereon I said : "This should present how your
Majesty's will were to celebrate the unity of Portugal with Spain."
He said : "No ; it is to show what they 'pass' and our mislike ;"
for his mother pretended a right to that realm.
Then their Majesties arose, and I waited on them into an
adjoining chamber, where were two long tables furnished with a
banquet, wherein the dishes were all of 'India earth of China,' the
bowls and cups all of crystal. There was a 'cupbarde' furnished
only with crystal cups of sundry fashions and rare workmanship,
among which was one very great covered cup of agate and a small
one of lapis lazuli. The king went from thence to the Queen
Mother, who had not been present owing to indisposition, through
a 'rhume fallen into her throat,' whereupon she was that day let
M. de Gondi had likewise invited me and the other ambassadors
to the king's masque on Shrove-Tuesday at night ; whereon obeying
his pleasure I went thither after supper with my neighbour the
Portugal ambassador. We were met as before at the gate, and so
accompanied to the great chamber : at the upper end of which we
found the young queen already set, with her lords and ladies about
her. After obeisance done, she appointed me on her right hand
between her and the Princess of Lorraine, and the Portugal ambassador
on her left between her and the Princess Dowager of Condé.
The Pope's nuncio and the other ambassadors took their places
behind the queen. It pleased the Queen Regent very much to
speak of her Majesty's peaceable government, and of her own desire
of once seeing her, and of her marriage with Monsieur. From
this she 'entered' to speak of her apparel, showing me her gown,
which was of white camlet cloth of silver, which she said she had
put on for lightness ; because the gown which she wore the day
before was too heavy. It was of cloth of silver, figured with a
damask branch of embossed gold and coloured silk, powdered with H
for the King's name, and W signifying Vive. She said further she
heard that the Queen delighted in the attires of France, and I confirmed
it, adding that she liked everything which came from thence.
With this there entered a dozen maskers playing on lutes, and
after them six apparelled like Almain reiters, and with them sixteen,
two and two, hand in hand, like Almain women, their garments
'parted' with white satin and cloth of gold. The King was one of
the foremost two ; the next were the Dukes of Guise and 'Mercury,'
Count 'Montlmerey' [?] with other gentlemen. They danced first
newly devised measures, which the King had learnt privately. After
that he came up and took his Queen, and his other maskers danced
around with the ladies of state, and so in sundry dances the night
was passed till almost 12 o'clock. The King went from thence ; the
Queen rose and licensed the Ambassadors, so we returned to our
lodgings. The King passed all that night abroad in sundry houses
in his mask until daylight ; since which time, Wednesday and
Thursday, he has kept his chamber, resting after his pleasant
Copy. [France IV. 40 (13).]
173. COBHAM to LEICESTER.
I have heard otherwise than by your letter of such unlooked for
chances as are not to be liked at any time ; but in these days they
are rather to be thought calendars of evil months than shows of
good luck. Howbeit since it has pleased her Majesty in a good
hour to enter into consideration of the matter, there is nothing
further to be doubted. I beseech you to lay aside, if possible, all
your own occasions, and to pardon any injuries offered to your
person, and to employ your mind and forces this year only for your
country, since her Highness's states are threatened by so great a
body of confederates ; which in the opinion of the world is judged
to be addressed to the invading of England and Ireland. It seems
that the consents of many potentates are joined to abolish religion.
And since you have for many years received great good at God's
hands and your Princess's, I beseech you this year only to do
unspeakable service to God and your country. I know you are
willing and can well weigh how much it imports your Prince and
yourself ; hoping you will gather together enough to join their
hearts and lay their hands to this year's work. I have written at
large to 'Mr. Secretaries,' both of the pleasant entertainment I
received of their Majesties and of the intelligences that are come to
my hands, whereof the one may show to be a fair cloak, and the
other advices which manifest a secret armed malice.
Copy. [France IV. 40 (14).]
174. COBHAM to SIR H. SIDNEY.
I have received your letter dated Feb. 9, from which I learn the
receipt of mine. You signify that you are going to your charge,
wherein I pray God to prosper you, recommending to your lordship
[sic] the care for the quiet preservation of her Majesty and her
estates, the necessity of the time so requiring ; considering the
preparations of Spain, an army being gathered by confederates,
and, as it seems by many appearances, intended against her
Majesty's territories. This is certified from many places and
discoursed of in all Courts ; wherefore I trust you will diligently
'put to' all your cares, and bestow all your virtues and 'valures'
on the defence of your country, especially upon so imminent a
peril, and your speeches to raise up men's hearts to think of their
duty to her Majesty, the preservation of the liberty of their
conscience and the repose of the country ; preparing armour instead
of apparel, and weapons for the defence of their lives and goods.
I beseech you to let me know what order is taken by her Majesty
in those parts, which will be some comfort to me, and I from
time to time will signify to you such things as pass here. There
are many sent from Rome and these places to abuse the people
of England, to put matter of ceremony in their heads, and
dissuade them from their allegiance, which I doubt not will
be made known to you, and that you will look into it more
particularly, as the malice of the time requires. I send you a note
of such occurrents as are come to my hands, wherein may appear
how sundry princes and potentates concur to oppress religion and
use tyranny under colour thereof. You shall also receive the
'passage of the time' and courteous manner used by their Majesties
towards me this Shrovetide, which makes some show of good will
towards her Majesty, if it were faithfully meant ; but daily there
break out so many devices that the world is full of 'mistrute' [sic].
I beseech you to hold me in your good opinion, and to favour me
with your letters to some of the Court, for I assure I have more than
Copy. [France IV. 40 (16).]
175. The advertisements which were sent to Sir Henry Sidney.
The minions having been sent from the Court, partly to entice
Monsieur thither, and partly upon some enterprise against Rochelle,
the matter being discovered, some are already returned, and the
rest shortly looked for.
The King of Navarre has been in some danger, but now he
disposes his things in better order, and is better accompanied.
Casimir has bent [qy. spent] his Shrovetide with the Duke of
Lorraine, making good cheer ; to the grief of his best friends, 'doubting
some abuse,' though he be wise enough.
They of Strasburg upon discovery of the practice against the town
have put all the Frenchmen out ; those also that were of the
Religion, and had long continued there, for they doubt the practice
is yet continued.
The Pope's practice in Poland with the king for reducing the
whole country to papistry is discovered.
The King of Swedeland has accepted the Pope's authority and
Mass. His sister with her English son is at present at Maestricht
in the Prince of Parma's Court.
The Duke of Florence has consented to have the Inquisition in
his territories. Bellegarde's son keeps those places and forts which
his father had, notwithstanding that the king has given the government
to Lavalette, one of his minions.
The king of Spain is levying 10,000 more men in Italy.
Englishmen who come hither are soon corrupted, and by many
enticements drawn to leave their religion, which is likely to do
great harm in these days.
Copy. [Ibid. IV. 40 (17).]
176. COBHAM to the QUEEN.
It has pleased God to call to His mercy the old cardinal King of
Portugal, about midnight on Jan. 31. Next morning 'Donnya
Cattilina,' wife to the Duke of Braganza, was declared Queen of
Portugal ; whereon the Spanish King has 'addressed' his army
towards Portugal, and is minded to go in person, as is reported by
letters dated at Madrid on the 1st inst. which reached the king here
early yesterday morning. But I would not certify this till I received
further knowledge and had seen and read some letters sent from
the Spanish Court to a principal person here, verifying this much ;
'as also that the Portuguese will not here tell, nor abide to come
under the government of the Castilian.' Preparations are made on
both sides, but 'much doubted how' the forces of Spain will prevail.
The ambassadors in the Catholic Court were preparing to accompany
the king. Meanwhile your Majesty will have him to give order
in your affairs ; for the malice is not altered though the execution
is deferred, as by a copy of a letter which I send herewith to 'Mr
Secretaries' you may guess, that they would trouble by all means
your quiet estate.—Paris, 23 Feb. 1579.
Copy. [qy. by L. Cave] ; signature imitated [?] 1 p. [France IV.
177. Copy of the above in Letter-book. At end : Here endeth the
packet sent by Bluemantle, and followeth that sent by Mr. Slingsby.
[Ibid. IV. 40 (22).]
178. COBHAM to [the SECRETARIES].
The king and other principal personages of this Court received
letters yesterday, how the King of Portugal died on Jan. 31, and
that the Duke of Braganza's wife was declared queen. The King
of Spain addresses his power against that realm, to make good his
claim. It will be overstrong for the Portuguese, especially being
thus suddenly assaulted by so puissant an enemy.
I hear daily of the confederacy against her Majesty's estates, and
seek to discover what I may. I send a copy of the Pope's letter to
the French King for credence to Cardinal Birago, to whom here all
English 'bad members' specially address themselves. He continually
receives letters from the Scottish Queen. In her last,
dated Jan. 29, she informed him of her indisposition and
The Spanish King's practice is so clearly discovered to this King,
touching the Marquisate of Saluces, that he is somewhat moved ;
but there is no 'place' with him to do any good that way. The
Spanish agent, Don Francisco de Erasso, who has been in 'Sweneland'
almost two years, is, on his return, with the Prince of Parma
and passes this way. I suppose his coming thither has been the
occasion for the Lady Cecilia, the 'Swenish' King's sister, to repair
to the Prince of Parma about some further practice in those parts,
or to be 'some spy' in those parts of Germany where she is ; which
may be understood by some of her best acquaintance in England.
It may prove worth the knowledge.
Casimir's coming to the Duke of Lorraine at Nancy 'ashroving'
was pretended to be for the demand of the 100,000 livres tournoises
due to the rittmeisters which the duke is respondent [sic] for the King.
But Casimir was moved by the Dukes of Lorraine and 'Demayne' to
associate himself with the House of Guise, and to take the protection
of the estates of France and by force to cause some reformation.
This device had been first 'dealt in' by 'Rochegyen,' Chantelou,
Pontberacq and other gentlemen of Normandy, who promise to
bring 4,000 harquebusiers and 600 French horsemen, Casimir to
have 5,000 reisters and 3,000 lanceknights. But he is well-advised
to beware of this fellowship.
Those of the Catholic League have put themselves in arms in
Dalphinois,' and now those of the Religion are mounted and prepared
for defence to the number of 4,000 horse and 2,000 foot under
MM. de Lesdiguières, de Gouvernet, de Blascons, de 'Cugi' and other
captains. Duke Montmorency has by his cruelty constrained the
Protestants in Languedoc to take arms, conducted by M. de
Chantillon, Captain Gresmayn (Grémian) la Merle and others. M. de
Torre [Thoré] keeps neutral, but they of the Religion cannot trust
him. Marshal de Biron in Guyenne is prepared with his forces, having
six cannon ready mounted to march into the field. The King of
Navarre stands on his guard, but the Protestants in that country are
too weak. They see danger approaching on all sides ; yet the king
seems willing to appease things and not have war.
The king's messenger 'La Badia,' who was to have gone yesterday
to Portugal, is stayed. Letters have come again this morning
from Spain, of which I cannot as yet learn the particular contents,
for the king is gone to St. Germain's.
It is advertised from Italy that 12,000 foot are now levying for
the King of Spain. His army is all arrived ; it consists of 9,000
Italians, of whom 'scant' 6,000 fighting men arrived. Many fell
sick and died, having been 'through ill weather beaten at sea,' and
by change of air and diet. Whereas there should be 6,000 Allmaynes
there are shipped 'scant' 4,000. The 3,000 Spaniards from Italy
and Sicily are safely landed. I have this from so good a place as
may much 'enforce the credit.'
I send herewith a copy of the Cardinal of Como's letter to the
Duke of Guise.—Paris, 23 Feb. 1579.
2 pp. [France IV. 20.]
Enclosed in the above :—
179. The POPE (GREGORY XIII) to the FRENCH KING.
The person who best can tell you our mind and our great desire
to be joined with you for the good of the faith of Christ and all the
commonwealth is our Cardinal Birago, who has always been
partaker of all our purposes. We have not been able to turn to any
person more apt than he to be a mean between your Majesty and
us that the matters which have often times been propounded to the
Cardinal of Este and to you by our nuncio may once for all be concluded
with such firmness as is desirable, as he can more particularly
explain to you. We will therefore not write at greater length,
but only beg that for love of us, and of your own benign nature,
you will give him such audience as the business demands.—Rome,
14 Jan. 1580.
Endd. by L. Tomson. Ital. ¾ p. [Ibid. IV. 20a.]
180. Another copy of the above in Letter-book, with the Pope's
[Ibid. IV. 40 (18, 19).] There follows :
181. The CARDINAL OF COMO to the DUKE OF GUISE.
After Cardinal Birago has declared everything to his Majesty, our
Lord desires to interpose himself also in this holy and memorable
work ; namely to make representations to his Most Christian
Majesty and pray him to be willing and disposed to come to this
outward demonstration. Your Excellency can well judge how much
it will conduce hereafter to his reputation and private interest as well
as to the good of his realm, and to your own praise and merit, without
any staying to recount the particular good results that it will bring
forth. You, who are most prudent, can discern it for yourself. I
will say, however, that his Majesty will never in all his life have a
finer opportunity of demonstrating to the world and all Catholic
princes his own excellent purpose of putting an end once for all to
the calamities in which this realm is involved as well as the Church
of Rome. I leave it to you to judge what a resurrection he will give
it with a demonstration like this.
Copy. Ital. [Ibid. IV. 40 (20).]
About Feb. 23.
182. COBHAM to the LORDS of the COUNCIL.
At my coming over I received of 'Mr Secretaries' certain articles
for the 'avoidance' of pirates and depredations. According to my
instructions I declared to the Christian King her Majesty's zeal for
delivering from that kind of outrage the merchants and well-disposed
persons, subjects to the princes her confederates as also her own
vassals. And that her Christian meaning herein might be better
known she caused to be set down by the 'advised advice' of your
lordships, these articles as the sure means to redress such excess,
and thereby tie the hands and stay the proceedings of the rovers.
Which his Majesty very well likes, and thanks her for this good
demonstration toward the repose of his subjects, and has caused the
articles to be communicated to his Council and the principal officers
in his admiralty. He has lately caused Secretary Pinart and M. de
la Mothe-Fènclon to come to me and deliver the enclosed orders and
advice, which the king and his Couucil approve, willing me to send
them to her Majesty, whereby the manner of proceeding against
the pirates might by the consent of the princes of both realms be
considered and agreed on, after these other articles have been well
weighed by your lordships. Pinart said further it seemed to him the
king would be well content that a chamber should be assigned here
in Paris for speedy judgement of those causes, so that her Majesty's
subjects should not need to travel into any further parts of France
for the process of those affairs, but hither, where they would be
near their country and assisted by the Queen's ambassador.
You sent letters to me to deal with the King in behalf of John
Woodward, merchant, of London. His Majesty and the Queen
Mother have ordered that all those goods which are not proved to
be Edward Taylor's 'own proper,' and so forfeited by droit d'aubaine
shall be restored to the owners ; which I hope is already done, for
the letters of the order are sent.
The King has written earnest letters to M. de Gourdan for the
delivery of the Englishmen imprisoned in Calais, and to restore the
goods to the right owners. Wherein I likewise moved the King,
being so instructed by your letters.
I have certified her Majesty that the King of Portugal deceased
on the 30th ult. about midnight ; whereon the King of Spain is now
addressing his powers towards that kingdom, to make good his
pretended right, as is advertised from Madrid by letters dated the
Copy. [France IV. 40 (21).]
183. M. DE MONTIGNY to POULET.
Our friends advise us from Italy of the embarkation of the King of
Spain's army, and that among the grandees it is held to be directed
at England. We are also informed that Monsieur is planning
something against you ; and that they are on the point of (après
pour) embarking the Scots upon it by the means of M. d'Aubigny,
and that the marriage which is now held for broken off was only a
cover for this negotiation. Being on the spot, you can better judge
of it than we. One thing we know for true, that Simier has laid
the foundation of great divisions in your nation.
Monsieur has returned from Gonnor to Angers. He has now
only Marshall Cossè, Simier, and Fervacques to join his Council for
business. They do not reckon on his coming to Court again. The
Queen has been sick of a fever caused by an issue on the neck ; she
is better. D'O has visited his government, and returns to Court.
La Valette has done nothing so far at Saluces ; Bellegarde follows
in his father's steps. The leagues continue in Dauphiné and
Provence is not yet at peace. The capture of Mende has started
the war again in Languedoc. Since the King of Navarre has
returned to Nèrac Guyenne is a little quieter. Strozzi has been
sent there to settle matters for the reception of the special commission
(Grands jours) which it is wished to send thither. Judges
have been chosen, honest men enough.
St. Luc has been in disgrace for giving some advice to Monsieur ;
but he has managed by his rate of journeying to outstrip Lancosme,
who had been sent to take possession of Brouage. His wife is in
prison and his goods seized. The king has granted the Prince
300 harquebusiers for his guard at la Fère, on condition that he
will give up St. Jean. The question of his government is to stand
over. He has sent representations to his Majesty, but so far
nothing has been got from him but fair words.
The king has recently proposed four points to his Council, the
most suitable means to restore the royal authority and the dignity
of the Church, to carry out his edict of pacification and relieve his
people. As soon as I hear of anything being settled, I will impart
it to you.—23 Feb. 1580.
Add. : Monseigneur Paulet, gouverneur de Jersey. Endd. by
L. Tomson. Fr. 1 p. [France IV. 21.]
184. The LORDS of the COUNCIL to the ESTATES.
Whereas after the long suit made to you by [Robert] Hungate,
merchant of London, for the reimbursement of a good sum for
which you are bound to him on account of certain merchandise
received from him, he has been constrained, being much prejudiced,
even to the point of ruin, by your delay or rather refusal to pay him
his due, to complain to the Queen our mistress and request power
to stay in this country goods belonging to the subjects of that, up to
the sum for which he holds your obligations, which has been
granted ; now the stay having been made, and we having from her
Majesty charge to give order for execution in this matter to the
contentment of Hungate, and considering that the example of such
execution cannot fail to bring upon you greater inconveniences, and
open the door to others, who having similar grievances have
requested permission to use similar means for the recovery of
their goods, we have thought to advertise you hereby how we have
proceeded, in order that, if it seems well to you, you may rather
give satisfaction to Hungate than let us proceed to execution ; which
cannot be denied him if he may not receive of you some other
resolution as to his payment than up to this hour he has done,
whatever pretext or subterfuge may be alleged to the contrary.
Draft. Endd. : To the States of the Low Countries from the
Lords of the Council, 27 Feb. 1579. Fr. 1¼ pp. [Holl. and Fl.
185. COBHAM to [the SECRETARIES].
I sent word late by Bluemantle of the King of Portugal's death.
It has since been confirmed ; as also that the Duke of Braganza's
wife hopes to be accepted for Queen. Here they greatly doubt the
army and strength of Spain will overrule right in that behalf, though
the Portugals have no liking to come under the government of the
King of Castile.
The five who were assigned to govern the realm until the resolution
of the Succession maintain as yet the ordinary justice and
government, and have sent two ambassadors to King Philip ; who
is now going towards Portugal as far as Guadalupe, meaning to
solemnize the burial of the old King, sending his forces forward
towards the confines of Portugal, as letters from Madrid of the 15th
I heard to-day from Lyons that Michael Sael, a factor there for
the 'Foulkers,' merchants and bankers for the King of Spain, had
received intelligence of the same from Spain, with a dispatch to the
Emperor and another to the Duke of Terra Nova of the King of
They write directly from sundry parts that the Catholic army is
prepared for her Majesty's realms, if the affairs of Portugal do not
let 'him' ; and to the intent she may not be succoured, they have
at Rome excommunicated her. Cardinal Alexandrine, nephew to
Pope Pius Quintus, has caused many copies of the excommunication
to be printed, and dispersed them among the Ambassadors and
others at Rome. In the 'discourses' from Italy they write that
King Philip was moved to procure this excommunication and gather
their forces on suspicion of the confederacy he supposes the Queen
is entered into with Monsieur for the taking [?] of the Protestants
of the Low Countries. I have shown M. Marchmont thus much, to
let Monsieur know of it. And as the chief potentates are confederated
together, so in almost all the provinces of France there are
particular Catholic leagues and brotherhoods, which they say is
'somewhat offered to be framed' in England ; and to that intent
there are divers hallowed small crosses and medals which are to be
worn secretly, whereof I send you two couple for patterns.
In Tuscany 12,000 more soldiers are levying for the Catholic
King to be commanded by Prospero Colonna and Count Malatesta
Sporza. The Italians and other soldiers that first landed in Spain
are much consumed by sickness and have no great abundance of
victuals. If the earnestly [sic] provision of corn from Dantzick and
such like places and from her Majesty's coasts were restrained for
a few months, as till July, it might be a good means to 'disfurnish'
their victualling, and force those of Biscay and Galicia to exclaim for
hunger, and wax loath to enter into hostility with England.
The Abbot of 'Brisennio,' a Neapolitan who was nuncio at
Florence in Pius V's time, and is now the Spanish king's agent at
Rome, has been soliciting the Pope for the excommunication against
Arnald, secretary to Mauvissière, is still here. His brother has
now received his patent from the Scottish Queen to be her
treasurer, and enters into the accounts of his office at Midsummer.
I send a copy of Pope Pius's bull, renewed against the Queen and
an indulgence procured by Don Bernardino to infect her subjects.
Some principal cardinal lately said that whereas it pleased God that
Papa Gregorius Primus, Magnus, first 'induced' the Christian faith
into England, he hoped that Gregorius XIII should be the means to
return the whole nation to the Catholic faith.
The king is within these three days dispatching M. de 'Longley'
on a message to the King of Spain.
The Governor of Milan practised with the captain of Cremona to
surprise Mirandola, the only city in Italy that is at the French
king's devotion. He has likewise sent money to young Bellegarde,
'who still keeps perforce the state which his father held.'
The Queen of Spain was delivered of a daughter about the
beginning of this month. The king proposes to have his subjects
sworn to his eldest son, as Prince of Spain.
Count Olivarez is expected to come as the Spanish King's
Ambassador to Rome.
The Marquis of 'Sta Croce' is named general of the enterprise
which the Spanish army is to take in hand. Four thousand more
soldiers are levying in the kingdom of Naples and Sicily.
Queen Mother has been troubled with a swelling in the side of
her throat, 'through the falling down of a catarrh,' for which she
keeps her chamber, and sometimes all day her bed. She is now
however 'reasonably amended.'
The king was last week at St. Germain's, waited on only by
MM. d'O, 'Arx,' Lavalette the elder, Liancourt and Châteauvieux.
He has sent for Lavalette the younger, since he cannot obtain the
government of 'Chaluce.' St. Luc does not think it good to leave
Brouage, since he sees the king's displeasure so much kindled
against him [in copy : has sent answer to the king that he thinks
not good to be without a place of refuge since he perceives his
Majesty's displeasure to be so highly kindled against him. Notwithstanding
he purposes to do him dutiful service in that place].
Some of the commonalty of Dauphiné had a bickering with them
of the Catholic league, wherein about 100 were slain.
In this state the affairs of this country remain.—Paris, the last of
P.S.—I send herewith the articles expounded by the Emperor to
the States of 'Bohem.'
Endd. 2 pp. [France IV. 22.]
186. Copy, not quite identical, of the above in Letter-book.
[Ibid. IV. 40 (24).]
187. MAUVISSIÈRE to M. DES MARESTS, lieutenant to the
Governor of Boulogne.
Passport for 'the present bearer' sent by the writer on business
of importance to their Majesties. London, 29 Feb. 1580. (Signed)
M. de Castelnau Mauvissière.
Holograph. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson : From Mauviss. to the
Governor of Boulogne. Recommendation of Fogaz. Fr. 1 p.
[Frànce IV. 23.]
188. MAUVISSIÈRE to M. de GOURDAN, Governor of Calais.
The same for 'le Sieur de Fougasse, gentilhomme Portugais.'—
London, 29 Feb., 1580.
Holograph. Add. Endd. as before. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. IV. 24.]
189. COBHAM to [? WILSON].
M. de Ravignan, President of Pau, had audience this morning of
Queen Mother, having delivered complaints against Marshal
Montmorency for laying an ambush to entrap him [sic] and for the
surprising of Sourez [Sorèze], where great cruelty was used in
murdering women and children. He has also complained against
Biron for his intent to surprise divers places of his inheritance.
The Queen Mother has answered him with very good words that
all things shall be well accommodated, and has asked for the Queen
of Navarre's sister [?].
I cannot yet find out to what intent the Duke of Guise is rigging
three or four ships in his haven of Eu.
Your servant Fante came to me yesterday. I will shew him all
the goodwill I can in respect of the service I owe you ; beseeching
that I may have your favourable help in my suit.
Draft? ½ p. [Ibid. IV. 24 bis.]
189*. LADY COBHAM at the FRENCH COURT.
Being invited on Shrove Monday by Queen Mother to her own
house, where a sumptuous feast was to be kept, I was met at the
stairhead by a great 'scoort' of ladies, among whom were duchesses
and countesses, and was led by them into a chamber where the
Princess of Lorraine and the Princess of Condé were awaiting the
coming of the young queen. Queen Mother being sick, appointed
the king and the queen his wife, in her absence to solemnize the
Afterwards I was brought down into the hall where the feast
was kept. There the king met me. He saluted me with a kiss and
bade me welcome, offering to do me all the service he could. He
said he was very desirous to see the Queen my mistress ; to which
I answered that she desired as much to see him. He said, moreover,
it would be great joy to him if he could see her Majesty and
his brother together, professing that as long as she enjoyed the
presence of his brother she had as it were a part of himself. I
answered that I referred that to the will of God and his brother's
Then he desired of me her Majesty's picture, of which he had
heard from M. Gourdan. My answer was that I had made a vow
the first that should see it should be his mother, who as I heard
was then sick, which my mistress would be very sorry to hear. He
told me it was but 'lickell' cold which she had takén, and no doubt
she would soon recover. He said further, he 'thought beholding'
to her Highness that she was so careful of his mother's good health.
Then he desired again to see the picture, which I told him was very
excellent ; wherefore I trusted he would the rather hold me excused
'for that I made it so dainty.' Then with a smiling countenance
he left me, saying that the ambassador's wife was much changed ;
and in my sight he charged the Princess of Lorraine and the
Princess of Condé to accompany me, commanding that I should sit
at his own table.
By this time the meat was ready on the table furnished. We
stayed therewith a great while for the coming of the young queen.
Meantime questions arose among the ladies what could be the cause
of her staying so long ; to which some answered, it was that she
was to be very gorgeously apparelled that day. At last she came in
such sumptuous and costly attire, indeed so decked and 'besceatt'
[beset] with precious stones and pearls, and so gallantly set out,
that it was a most goodly sight to behold.
At her entrance I was shown to her. She saluted me with a kiss,
and bade me welcome. I humbly thanked her, and said for my
excuse that I would have done my duty to her long before, if I had
not been hindered by sickness since my coming over. She answered
she had heard of it, and was sorry for it ; being then as glad of my
recovery, and to see me walking. She asked how the Queen did ; I
answered, I trusted she was very well, and would rejoice to hear the
like of her.
Then the king took his queen by the hand and led her to the
table, where was a towel ready prepared. One part of it was wet
and the other dry. This the queen took, and kissing it, gave it to
the king. When they had wiped their hands, the queen made low
courtesy to the king, and they sat down together.
The king and queen and the rest took their places in order. A
little distance from the queen sat the Princess of Lorraine, over
against whom I was placed. The feast was very plentiful, with
rare dainties. I was 'carved unto' on all sides, and much looked
After dinner the queen called me to her in the presence of the
king, and desired to see the picture ; saying I should not break my
vow in showing it to her, because she was the queen. Thereupon
I showed it to her, and as she was looking at it, the king suddenly
took it from her, so that it was well viewed by both.
The king said it was an excellent picture ; the queen asked me if
she were like it. I answered that she was. Then said the Queen
is a very fair lady [sic]. I told them her Majesty had commanded
that whenever I came in the presence of them both, I should wish
her there. They said again that if wishing would have prevailed,
they would have been together many times long ago.
Then I said to the queen : If it should so happily fall out that
the Queen my mistress and your Majesty might meet, it might
then be truly said that two of the goodliest creatures and greatest
queens in the world were together.
She answered that as appeared by the picture it might be very
true of my mistress, but not in respect of herself. I answered that
in my opinion she much resembled my mistress ; and indeed she
does, not only in my opinion, but in that of others. So the queen
thanked me for the good opinion I had of her, and asked me if I could
find in my heart to part with the picture. I answered that the
greatest comfort which I have, being absent from my mistress, is to
behold it. Hearing that, she said she would not do me so much
injury as to request it from me ; but commended me greatly for
loving my mistress so well.
She asked me also if I had been continually at the Court. I
said, not so much of late as in times past, for I have had the charge
of a household and children to look to. She asked me, how many
children I had. I told her, five. Then she asked how many of
them were here. I said, but one. And she desired greatly to see
him ; for which I thanked her, and promised that when he was a
little able to prattle he should wait upon her. But she said she
could not forbear the sight of him so long. Then I told her he was
at her commandment.
Then the king departed and commanded us to follow. He led
the way up into a goodly gallery, himself keeping the door till all
those were entered whom he liked to have present.
Then showing the pictures to the ladies, he called me to
him and brought me to those of the King and Queen of Scots,
asking if I had seen them. I said I had seen the king, but the
So he passed through the gallery into a very gallant chamber
richly hung round, wherein there stood a sumptuous bed. The
king showed me there the picture of his father, which he said was
very like him when he lived. I said it seemed by his picture he
was a wise and valiant gentleman, which the king said was
Then he went into a very large chamber, where there was the
greatest company of men and women that ever I saw in such
a place at one time. The women were so gallantly and richly
decked 'as it was a world to see.'
Here the king and queen sat down in their state, and the king
caused my husband to sit next him, and beneath my husband sat
all the rest of the ambassadors. Next to the Queen sat the Princesses
of Lorraine and Condé, the queen's sister, and myself ; and so the
duchesses and countesses with ladies and gentlewomen, all in their
degrees. After a while the king rose up and took his queen by the
hand, and danced the 'measures' with her. Then bringing her to
her place again, he took Madame 'Dawtree' [d'Atri] and danced
with her the 'currants.' Next he danced a galliard with Madame
'Pownce' [qy. Pons] very excellent well. Afterwards he danced
the 'levoltes' very lustily ; which ended, he left dancing and sat
down again in his state.
Presently there came in a very gallant masque, with excellent
music and sweet voices. The men were attired like Portugals, and
the women like Spaniards. Both had each a dart in their hands ;
the men had a thing in one hand that made a great jingling, the
women had another device, to snap with their fingers after the
Spanish 'order.' Having done their duty to the king and queen
they danced 'on towards,' seeming as they would wound each other
with their darts. In the end the women overcame the men, and
received each a garland. Then they danced again, and in a while
the women gave their garlands to the men, and continued dancing.
When they had made an end, the king went up into another goodly
chamber, where stood a long board furnished with banqueting
dishes, very curiously and cunningly wrought ; also a cupboard
furnished with crystal glasses set in gold, so strange and so many
fashions as I have not seen the like. Every table had divers
'coverd paynes' very finely wrought, which being taken off they
fell to the banquet. Some ate and some put more into their
pockets than into their bellies, so that at last all was gone. Then the
king saluted the ambassador and departed. The throng was so
great that he himself could not pass out for a great while.
Endd. : The French courtesy to the Lady Ambassador. 3 pp.
[France IV. 24 ter.]