211. Passport for a servant of the Portuguese Ambassador,
being sent into Portugal.—At the Court, 11 March, 1579.
(Signed) Fra. Walsingham.
Endd. ½ p. [Portugal I. 24.]
212. MAUVISSIÈRE to M. DES MARETS.
The Sieur 'Anthoyne Fougasse,' the present bearer, was some
days ago wishing to go into France, and as he intended to land at
your town, he asked me to give him a letter to you, to secure him
against molestation by any of those who would annoy him. The
same request which I made before to you on his behalf I make
again hereby, that you will give him all security to go to their
Majesties on business relating to their service.—London, 11 Mar.
Add. Edd. by Walsingham : The French Ambassador's letter to
the Governor of Boulogne. 1 p. Fr. [France IV. 30.]
213. COBHAM to [the SECRETARIES].
As this bearer wishes to return with speed, I only write these
few words, having four days ago dispatched Mr Slingsby with some
letters to you. The king remains at St. Germain's, partly upon a
little pain in his leg, partly for his pleasure.
The Duke of Guise is gone to his house near Evreux intending
to return this week. There is some speech that he 'should cause'
four or five ships to be rigged, but I find no certain foundation for
that rumour. It is likely that he could be contented to be employed
in some action whereby the opinion of his greatness may be maintained,
and he may find means to pay part of his great debts ; but
no resolution or beginning thereof is as yet known.
I enclose such occurrents as have come by this post from Italy.
This bearer gives me no information from Monsieur's Court, only
that he told him he meant to be shortly in England. I understand
that he has commanded his followers to be in readiness to gather
companies, which is suspected to be for the Low Countries. The
other day he sent M. de la Fin to the Queen Mother and the king.
For a few days there was an opinion that the king and the Court
would remove to Fontainebleau ; but that bruit is passed over.
The Bishop of Ross has been with me again, to let me know that
his messenger was returned, who had been in England soliciting
his suit to obtain her Majesty's favourable letters in his behalf to
Monsieur for an Abbey. He now conceives small hope that way,
but would have me 'written' to M. Simier. I answered that since
he had understood the Queen's meaning, it was not a matter for
me to deal in. He further told me how his Queen had written that
she had been 'calumniated to have said' some words in dispraise
of Monsieur ; touching which report he says that she has answered
to her Majesty so well that she remains satisfied. With this and
suchlike speeches he passed some time.
The abbot of Landors [Lindores :—probably Patrick Leslie] the
said bishop's kinsman, with whom one of the Duke of Guise's
'Escuierye' has practised much lately, is shortly going to Scotland.
Nothing further is known from Portugal since my last.
They of Rochelle have lately taken a ship very richly laden,
wherein they found five pipes full of Spanish 'Ryalls' of two
shillings each, and of sugar, chests to the value of 150,000 francs,
of rich furs and ostrich feathers, to the value of 100,000 francs.
Thus much the merchant of Rochelle, who is here making privy
suit that the king will not move against them for the enterprise,
confesses. Notwithstanding, Vargas, the Spanish agent here, has
complained to the Queen Mother, adding that they had 100,000
francs more in pistolets, and that the ship and men were sunk ;
which indeed is true.
I wrote last January, and caused some of the Religion to send
'by means' to M. de Rohan and M. de Laval, who have territories
in Britanny and along the coast, that they would, for the respect
they bear his Majesty, inform themselves and advertise me of the
Spanish preparation by sea. They inform me that for the present
the preparations are to be towards Portugal ; as also in the port of
San Lucar were seen two very great ships, which had in their lading
two huge iron chains of a marvellous length and great bigness,
with many mattocks, spades, and shovels, and as yet no preparations
making for this king on all that coast.
Francis Erasso, who has been so long in 'Sweneland' agent for
the Spanish King, having likewise been in the Prince of Parma's
camp, has passed on towards Spain with many packets. He
reported to a friend of mine whom I sent under a pretence made
for that purpose that the King of Sweden is for himself inclined to
be a papist and a friend to King Philip, having now 40,000 crowns
yearly from Italy, levied on the lands lately the inheritance of the
Queen of Poland, called Regina Bona.
Mr Parker, my lord Morley's brother, has been with me, being
come hither this last week ; 'showing' that his coming is only to see
his mother upon some 'occasions' of his father's will. In his
company came one Mr Liggins, a young gentleman of the West
Country. They both came with the ordinary post.—Paris,
12 Mar. 1579.
2 pp. [France IV. 31.]
214. Copy of the above in Letter-book. [Ibid. IV. 40 (38).]
215. COBHAM to LEICESTER.
I received your two letters by this bearer, since which he has
been at Monsieur's Court. By his dispatch it will appear what
devotion Monsieur has to her Majesty and 'dispositions to his
ceremonies, or that it will like him to obtain the company of her
Majesty though he bestow his prayers accompanied with a few.'
I can learn no particulars from this messenger concerning the
matter of marriage. M. Simier sent me a letter with a few
courteous words of 'accomplements' only. It seems that Monsieur
intends to undertake the enterprise of the Low Countries if it be in
any way agreeable to his mind ; and his followers are gathering
companies secretly. Whether this little beginning will have any
other proceeding, God knows ; since the manner here has been to
make many beginnings, but to finish few. As they go forward in
their proceeding, I will not fail 'but' to advertise ; so that her
Majesty may think of what shall be best for her safety.
In my last I sent a dispatch touching the affairs of Portugal,
which if it may be dealt according to that wisdom wherewith you
have heretofore managed the like occasion, it will become I hope as
good a safeguard on that side as Flanders is now for those parts,
between the enemies and your harm. I trust you will let me understand
wherein I may most stand instead in my service that I may
the better satisfy your desires, which I have a good wish to perform.
I humbly recommend my suit to your furtherance ; I think Mr
Secretary Wilson has moved it for me of late. You have means
that way to bind me and mine much to you.
Copy. [France IV. 40 (39).] At end is : here endeth the dispatch
sent by John Wells the 12th of March, and followeth the packet
sent by Charles Cooke the 20th of March.
216. The KING OF SPAIN to DON ANTONIO.
Considering that you have known 'for so many years ago' the
good will which I bore to you and 'procured' to shew you on all
occasions, I am assured that you will answer to 'her' with such
thankfulness 'as doth find you the reason and kindred that is
between us.' And as we were sure that you understand the 'notorouse'
right and justice that I [sic] have in the succession to the
'same' Crown, I pray you to be first in receiving and swearing of
me 'for your king and natural lord, as God appointed it should be' ;
for by you and your example the rest shall do their duty. Being
sure that in those things which 'particular' touch you I will keep
that account that reason require to do you good, as shall declare
unto you the Duke of Soona' [qy. Ossuna] my cousin and Don
Christopher de Mora our ambassador. 'And, our beloved cousin,
our Lord God be in your keeping.'—Cesaye [?] 13 March. (Signed)
I the king, and below Gabriel de Sayas.
Endd. by Burghley's secretary : 13 Martii 1579. A copy of the
Spanish king's letter to Don Antonio [apparently a translation by
a Spaniard or other foreigner]. 1 p. [Spain I. 38.]
217. HODDESDON to BURGHLEY.
In my last of the 6th inst. I told you of such matters as I
had then to write of, being emboldened to do so by your
courteous letter which I received from Antwerp the same day.
Since then I have been invited by 'Grave' Edzard, who welcomed
me very courteously and gave me entertainment much above my
calling, promising to further our traffic here all that he may ; as I
hope he will do, if the dissension between him and his brother
Grave John be no hindrance, for they have not been perfect friends
these 10 years or more. Among other causes of their variance, as
I hear, the elder 'doth somewhat stomach' that his younger
brother should have a pension from England, and himself none ;
for which reason he has not favoured our nation as he perhaps
would have otherwise done. But both the brothers seem to be of
so good a nature and bear such reverence, towards her Majesty,
that I think if she would vouchsafe to be a 'moyenner' between them,
this controversy, which is only nourished by certain misreporters
might soon be pacified ; whereby she would not only be assured of
both the earls for ever after, but also purchase an assured remembrance
among the people of this country, who greatly desire to see
the concord of their Lords. Grave John has not been here
since my arrival, but during his brother's abode in this
town he lies in a very strong castle, about 8 English miles
distant. He has sent his secretary to me, declaring his readiness to
pleasure our company whereinsoever he is able ; so that I see no
place better to be liked in every respect than this town, where, if
there were any wants concerning our traffic (as, to speak uprightly,
I hitherto see none) they are at present supplied by the courteous
demeanour of the people towards us, and hereafter if we continue
here would be easily amended, as daily experience shows. For the
town is at present not only much enlarged in quantity of building,
but far better frequented with trade than at our first coming hither
we found it, and the situation is so strongly fortified, partly by
nature, partly by industry, that besides the walls, which are very
thick, it may be environed with water 5 English miles about by
means of certain sluices made for that purpose. The country
adjoining is very light, though somewhat subject to inundations of
the sea. Very good powder is also made here ; and I was in good
hope to have drawn the trade in it chiefly to this town, if other
men's disorder had not hindered my endeavours. Since my coming
I dealt with one of Brunswick for the value of £2,000 in saltpetre
to be delivered here ; but before I could go through with the
matter, there was such buying up of powder in Hamburg by
some of our company, and the price thereupon so increased,
that most part of the saltpetre which should have been
brought hither was forestalled by those of Hamburg to 'feed the
humours' of our merchants there ; who within one month have
done more hurt in that respect than those who made provision for
the Low Countries did in all last year. So although there shall be
no unwillingness in me to perform this service, for the accomplishment
of which I have my money in readiness at Hamburg, yet
I assure you the price of powder is of late so enhanced that I am
likely to be a great loser on what I must provide hereafter, and yet
shall hardly get it so well made as what I have delivered already.
This sudden alteration proceeds from no other cause than the
greediness of our own merchants, as the thing itself will more
effectually declare, if this disordered running to Hamburg do not
either stay itself, or be shortly stayed by your means.
The matter of 'Groening' continues 'at one stay,' yet 'Battalense'
[qy. Barthold Entes] on behalf of the Prince and States is building
a strong fort at 'Delfsile,' and does what he can to restrain victuals
from 'Groening,' having lately burned four mills and taken a
monastery adjoining the town.
The King of Denmark is making great preparations to receive the
Electors of Saxony and Brandenburg, with the Dukes of Brunswick,
'Prusen,' 'Pomeren,' Mecklenburg, Luneburg, Casimir, and the
three Dukes of 'Holst,' besides sundry other earls ; who, with their
ladies, intend to meet about Easter next at Colding in Denmark.
The King is making great provision for a navy ; it is thought to aid
the Kings of Poland and Sweden against the Emperor of Moscovia.
—Embden, 15 Mar. 1579.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Hasne Towns I. 55.]
218. CAPTAIN JAMES SYDEE to [? the ALCALDE of FERROL].
19 Mar. 1580.—This is to let you know how at our coming we
found the place in some disorder. See what you do in the service
of the king your master. I am not a pirate nor am I come to do
anything prejudicial to any vassal of the King of Spain or other
Christian king allied with the Queen of England my mistress. The
fact is that there are in this port certain vassals of hers who not
content wtth having personally rebelled against her will not
give over molesting others who are vassals to that Queen, my
mistress and theirs. And for its being a royal port (camara) of
Spain, and for the truce, a thing so important as it is right it
should be, I do not want to get into a quarrel (mi poner en
demandas) with them. As for their saying that they are in the
service of the Holy Father, I do not know if he has given them any
such power ; if they have it, I shall be pleased to see it. We trade
every day in his [qy. King of Spain's] territories without molestation,
and his vassals in those of the Queen.
I am sorry to importune you at such length, but the matter
requires it, being of so great importance, when I see a
country like this in arms without cause against the friends of its
king, and in defence of traitors. Again I beg you to take good
counsel, and not deprive your king's vassals of their trade and
their fishery ; wherefore I hereby protest against all and sundry
who do the like ; because as I have said, I am not in arms save
against the rebel vassals of my Queen, as may be seen by my
actions. See too how I cannot but lodge a complaint about the way
in which they have taken arms ; not to say how I and all my company
have seen that those rebels are favoured all through the
country, by whose orders I do not know, only that I see it in effect ;
whence we think to be favoured, considering the cause there is for it,
for the friendship of princes is worth more than the compliment of
traitors ; if your honours see my reason, and if you knew for whom
they act, as I do.
It is true that James Fitzmorris who in this country called himself
an earl without being one was a knight and the cousin of an
earl. But if you and the other gentlemen of this country ask me
who are the lord bishop and the others [?] you must please ask him
if he was brought up to steal or mind cows, or, to put it better,
both. One of his masters, William Hall, a robber and pirate all his
life, fled his country to escape hanging. John Fleming fled his
country for bankruptcy ; as for the maintenance of the truth shall
be maintained against those persons or better men than they if they
put it in question. For the pacification of the land I am come to
this port, and when I am gone, my intention will be seen by what
has passed. Touching those gentlemen and myself, we will leave
the quarrel for when we meet. But I think that if the bishop is
well-advised he will find it better to be a sexton in Spain than a
bishop in Ireland, and the captain, to go with mules here than to
mind cows in Ireland, lest they be taken in the rear like their
Captain Fitzmorris, as happens to such traitors.
The reason why I did not take the ships was that they were
anchored below this town, which is a royal port, and I am ordered
not to disturb it by reason of the existing treaties. And if I should
take them it would be a bad job for your lordships, whose illustrious
persons would be forced to maintain those vagabonds by charity.
And I beg you to send and show this letter to the Count, because
the translation has to be shown elsewhere. If I knew where he
was I would not trouble you with this.
You are aware that it was with maintenance from this port of
Ferrol that those gentlemen started who took from us a bark of
Plymouth, from whence we come, which was the reason why
we were ordered to arm against them ; and the answer given here
is that they have nothing to do with those who serve the Pope.
The reason why I do not now come ashore here, as I have been
requested, and as I have disembarked elsewhere in Spain, is as I
think you will be able to see from this letter. (Signed) Jacome
On the back : 'the bishop' followed by a list of arms (in Spanish)
similar to that in the 'Advertisements' of June 2. Sp. 3 pp.
[Spain I. 39.] (A translation will be found in Ireland, Vol. LXXII,
together with other correspondence on the same subject.)
219. Another copy of part of the above, but signed in full.
Endd. : The copy of the first letter sent to the Allcalldye Ryall
of Farroll. Sp. 1 p. [Ibid I. 39a.]
220. English translation (somewhat inaccurate) of the above, in
a different hand to that in the Irish papers. Endd. by L. Tomson :
Copy of a letter of James Syda to certain magistrates in Spain.
3 pp. [Ibid. I. 39b.]
221. COBHAM to BURGHLEY.
I have heard and clearly perceive by your last that Spark the
scrivener is fallen into decay, and that the Queen would mislike
his having the reversion of those offices of the Usher of the
Receipts. I know not who has been his means therein, nor have I
received, as you seem to be informed, any £100 or other sum to
grant my goodwill therein, as he must needs confess. Now however
that he is in distress, having in some ways had friendly dealings
with him, I would be loath to heap coals on his head, or in stirring
therein perhaps offend some other. Therefore I refer the consideration
of his reversion to her Majesty's pleasure and your
liking. I have covenanted with him to be my deputy, which in
honour I am bound to acknowledge ; submitting myself, if it be not
for her Majesty's service, to do as shall be found convenient in that
behalf. I am further given to understand that he 'pretended' to
shift himself into France, and as it is said, for money that I
'should owe' him, which surely is nothing so ; for all accounts
between him and me were cleared on the 1st October last, as this
bearer can 'apparently' certify. Therefore I am that way somewhat
'injuried.'—Paris, 20 Mar. 1579.
Add. ¾ p. [France IV. 32.]
222. [COBHAM to the SECRETARIES.]
Since the king last came to Paris, he has for the most part kept
his cabinet, partly owing to indisposition, partly through the
extremity of the weather, for much snow and bitter frosts, which
have continued this s'ennight, so that he did not come down into his
dining-chamber till two days ago. The first day as he was at
dinner M. Pibrac, a man much esteemed, and 'in expectance'
thought fit to be Chancellor and Keeper of the Seals, 'governed'
him all the dinner-time, which was somewhat noted.
Next day the king repaired to the Queen Mother's chamber to sit
in council, after which consultation 'some speeches have been
delivered that the king should pretend to make show of wars with
King Philip.' Howbeit, it seems as yet far from any such purpose ;
but her Majesty shall be advertised according to the sequel of this
M. d'O has procured his Majesty to assign to M. Rambouillet
20,000 francs with a yearly pension of 4,000 to give up his Captainship
of one of the French guards to M. Manou, brother to M. d'O.
Yesterday the king commanded him 'to be delivered his patent,' and
to take the oath for that office. He further promised Rambouillet
that M. de Pyn shall surrender to him the government of Metz, and
that in recompense de Pyn should have the next vacant 'room' of
Marshal of Frances with other favours ; but he is not at present
removed from Metz.
Monsieur has sent to the king by la Fin that he would be loath
to enter into the action of the Low Countries without his command
and furtherance. He has taken his seal from the Bishop of Mende,
the gentlemen of his house having been ill paid. They say he
means to bestow it on M. Perot, a man esteemed to be wise and
just, and secretly somewhat affected to good religion.
They certify from Saluces that la Valette has persuaded his
cousin young Bellegarde to submit to the king and surrender his
charge, whereon some of his father's captains have retired into the
castle of Saluces. Other affairs of this country remain as I have
From Spain and Portugal we hear that in Portugal they are not
thoroughly united ; for whereas a sentence or two had passed
against Dom Duarte [qy. Antonio] whereby he was judged illegitimate,
since the death of the Cardinal-king he has procured a bull from
the Pope that his cause shall be heard and judged by the Pope's
nuncio and the Bishop of Lisbon only and jointly. So the
matter is not yet decided, but many of the commonalty ally
themselves to him. Notwithstanding this uncertainty, they have
appointed 8,000 horsemen, armed with 'lances de Gay' [= lanças
zagayas] to be in readiness between Coimbra and Lisbon, with
25,000 foot, well-furnished. They have further sent to all parts of
their frontiers certain principal personages to gather the armed men
and prepare to resist the enemy when they are assaulted. Dom
Duarte de Meneses is to command in the country of Algarte [sic] on
the coast, and Don Diego de 'Zzotsa' [Souza], who was general on the
sea when the late young king passed into Barbary, with command
in that quarter of the realm called 'Lemtesio' [Alemtejo] which
is the next frontier towards Castile, where it is thought King Philip
will make his first entrance.
The young Duke of 'Breseilles' [Barcellos], eldest son to the
Duchess of Braganza, as he returned from Barbary duly ransomed
was at his first landing at San Lucar entertained by his kinsman
the Duke of Medina Sidonia, but is now detained there against his
will. Howbeit, the eighty other gentlemen who returned in his
company have been suffered to pass into Portugal.
Dom Luys, Count d'Atogia [Atocha], viceroy of the Oriental
Indies, wrote to the Cardinal-king in his own name and that of the
rest of the gentlemen and captains in the Indies that rather than
the Castilian king should possess their conquests, which they had
obtained with many travails and loss of many lives, they were
resolved to betake themselves first to the Turk or to some of
the Indian kings as subjects ; beseeching the king and Council
to consider deeply of this matter and their determination. The
letter was read to the Cardinal-king some days before his decease.
The Catholic king caused his eldest son to be sworn Prince of
Spain at Madrid, on the 1st inst.
The Duke of Alva is sent to be the king's General of the Army.
There are some in Portugal who would be content to have the
realm governed hereafter by some senate, in the form of a commonwealth,
to take away this division and dissension.
These are the last advertisements from Spain.
It is now given out here 'in the favour of' the Pope that he will
take from King Philip the 'Croysados' and other grants of
spiritualties, because his forces are to be employed against the
Christians. It is however sufficiently known that the king has
paid for his Catholic pardon, and that secretly the Pope's power
and will is with him. [The rest from copy, see No. 223.]
Perhaps he 'thinks long' ere the army be employed against those
whom they call infidels and rebels to their 'ceremoniald' Church,
the which their indisposition and bloody zeal God turn on their own
heads.—Paris, 20 Mar. 1579.
Incomplete. 2 pp. [France IV. 33.]
223. Copy of above in Letter-book. [Ibid. IV. 40 (40).]
At end is : here endeth the dispatch sent by Charles, and
followeth the packet sent by Adams the 27th of March 1580.
224. COBHAM to BURGHLEY.
Queen Mother is well amended of her sickness. There have
been some consultations lately held in her chamber, on which
rumours have been spread that the king is disposed to have war
with King Philip. Since however the king's mind is known to be
far alienated from war, and his coffers bare of money, and the
divisions within this realm yet continuing with their diffidence
among the greater sort, it is judged that all such politic speeches
or brags are delivered rather to please the Portuguese than upon
any sincere intent.
It is also said here that Monsieur 'has or should levy' soldiers
for his enterprise in the Low Countries ; but as it is known that he
will not enter into so great an action without the king's consent, it
is deemed the cause will be passed with many procrastinations and
little action. And this opinion is made good, for the king has
declared his unwillingness to deal with the Flemings, being subjects
of another king rebelling against their natural lord ; except these
gentlemen now come from the Prince of Orange can persuade
News from Spain and Portugal as in the last. In this sort the
estate of that country remains, and not yet united, nor the right of
the Crown confirmed to any person by the consent of the whole
The Duke of Guise is at a house of his wife's near Dieppe. It is
said he will return some day this week.—Paris, 20 Mar. 1579.
P.S.—As I was dispatching this bearer, Bluemantle delivered
me your letter. I shall not fail to 'accomplish the effect' of it,
and send answer with expedition.
Add. Endd. 1½ pp. [Ibid. IV. 34.]