225. The CAPTAIN of FERROL to CAPTAIN SYDEE.
Do not be surprised that we should have taken up arms, having
seen that you did not want to anchor where other vessels usually
do, but made as though you wanted to carry off two of his Holiness's
ships that were in this port, saying that they were Irish, and vassals
of the Queen of England and traitors. To this I reply that we hold
them for persons of importance, and highly respectable men, and
we are not breaking the peace between his Majesty and the Queen ;
rather it is you that are breaking it, and we want to keep it, all
being friends. Wherefore I beseech you for your part let the
friendship between his Majesty and the Queen be preserved, for it
is of old date. And if you think to do anything else, pray pardon
us if we are as ready to attack anyone who wants to annoy us, as to
defend ; for we are men like yourselves and the rest. And do not
be speaking evil of the Irish, especially of the lord bishop, whom
we hold in this country above our heads. Your wish to fight a duel
in this place cannot be allowed ; but do us the favour, you and
those gentlemen, of not insulting the bishop and the count, and for
the rest we will be your servants in all reason.—Ferrol, 20 March,
1580. (Signed) The Captain Juan Pita da Beiga.
Add. to Jacomes Seyres. Endd. Sp. 1½ pp. [Spain I. 40.]
226. CAPTAIN SYDEE to the ALCALDE OF FERROL.
I have received yours, in which you say that they were in arms
because they saw that I did not anchor in the ordinary harbour.
Looking to the treaties between the Queen my mistress and the
King of Spain it seems to me that any part of the harbour is as
free to me as to the ships that anchored there, called the Pope's.
Whoever told you that I made as though to seize them, must
have seen badly, for I have no intention of touching them in a port
of the King of Spain's. I know and say that they are traitors ; let
those of good intelligence judge. If they see the truth and do not
dare to publish it, let them keep it to themselves ; and if they take
them for respectable men, many discreet persons are living in error.
I have nothing more to say about the bishop, lucky man, since so
many illustrious gentlemen hold him in high esteem.
With regard to the count we do not yield to you, since we hold
his lordship in the same degree as you the bishop ; without
infringing the loyalty we owe our Queen.
You say that you are not breaking the peace, but charge us therewith.
My actions show, and will show. I have no more to write
except that I am somewhat affronted by your saying that we esteem
you little ; for as you say we have done no injury in this place.
There is nothing to complain of, nor can it be said that we have
given them any annoyance. For my part, you gentlemen may see
that they do not infringe the treaties as you charge me with doing ;
for I have no intention of doing so.
What you say about not fighting duels, I do not understand ; but
if you have no power in that matter, neither am I, as I have said,
come to annoy any vassal of the King of Spain.
Our Lord guard the illustrious persons of yourself and the rest of
the town-council, and may God grant the Count as much health
as I desire for myself.—From this port, 21 March 1580.
Copy. Endd. Sp. 1 p. [Ibid. I. 40 bis.]
227. The 'REGENT' [President of the Court] of CORUÑA to
It grieves my soul that vassals of the Queen of England come to
annoy those vassals whom she has in the ports of this kingdom ;
and still more when natives of that kingdom are treated and received
as it is right they should be in all the ports of this coast. I am
sure that the Queen will not be pleased with such news, looking to
the relationship, peace and concord which exist between the two
realms. I will receive you in private if you think it necessary that
in any matter such order should be kept as all those who have
recourse to these ports are wont to keep, without alteration.
A certain English ship was maltreated of late, as many others
from these realms and from other parts must have been. Those
who did the mischief got into safety betimes, though orders had
been given to seize them, and the ship which you say you wanted
to board is sequestrated till the case can be heard and justice done
to the injured party.
I hear that you have written much to the Justice of Ferrol, and
complain of his having wished to take arms. I have much more
reason to do so, since without regard for order you wanted to board
the ship that was sequestrated ; still more knowing the obligation
that in this realm to defend traders and all who come peaceably to
its ports. And as I do not want to have any occasion to do so, use
all convenient diligence and pass on further, for it would grieve me.
I say no more.—Coruña, 21 March. (Signed) El licenciado
Add. : el señor Seydes. Endd by Sydee. Sp. 3 pp. [Spain I. 41.]
228. RALPH LANE to BURGHLEY.
Yesterday came to me out of the west the master of a ship, who
was in 'Calys' on the 1st of this month ; and brought me
thence such news as I think not unfit to advertise you of, though I
hear of your pain, which I am right sorry for. The news are these,
and that for certain, as he constantly affirms :
The five Governors of Portugal have dispatched commissions to
all their signories both in the East Indies and in Africa, willing their
governors to have great care of all their charges, and in no sort to
resign them into the hands of any whatsoever without the great seal
of Portugal, what other warrant soever shall be offered to them.
Tangier and other towns in Africa have answered, assuring the
Governors that they will perform their commissions to the uttermost.
The King of Spain prepares to go to Guadalupe, and has written
to the Governors of Portugal to have good regard to the performance
of universal justice in their country, as though he took himself
to be their king. But the Portugals have, it is said, 'purchased'
a new bull from the Pope to the 11 arbitrators of the right to the
kingdom, that they should have special consideration of certain
points in favour of the Duchess of Braganza's and Don Antonio's
titles, which will ask a longer time to decide them than was looked
for by a great deal. The whole country is marvellously inclined to
Don Antonio. And it seems as if the Portugals will all die before
they subject themselves to the King of Spain.
The Portugals have levied 10,000 foot and 6,000 horse for their
Touching the news of Spain, they are that the king's armada is
very great, and that 30 of the smaller barks are 'cumen' off as far
as Biscay. On Feb. 27 the Duke of Alva was proclaimed general
both by sea and land, and was coming down from the Court and
looked for 'very presently' to come in person to be invested in his
Upon the arrival of the Pope's bulls lately sent from Rome, all
opinion of motion towards Portugal is ceased in both Spain and
Portugal, for the decision of the right is wholly referred to the order
Further he tells me that the King of Spain has made all the
nobility swear homage to the prince his son. But that it is not
known otherwise than by conjecture to what parts the army is
meant, but greatly mistrusted to be for these parts, or some service
for the Church, since the Duke of Alva is proclaimed General, as
this fellow constantly affirms.
If you had been well, I had brought him to you ; but having most
urgent cause upon a seizure made of certain goods that belong to
my patent of transportation, for delivering £600 aboard to a pirate,
so send him back again to-day. My humble suit to you is that I
may have your letters patent to the sheriff of Dorsetshire, the sheriff
of Poole, the Customs comptroller [sic] and treasurer of the same
town, to stay such goods as by one Peter Vogleman, a stranger, were
lately bought of a pirate, until by order of law he has answered such
matters as I am to charge him with for conveying money to Clerke
and other pirates.—21 March 1597.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Spain I. 42.]
229. [The QUEEN] to the ESTATES.
We had hoped to receive from you other contentment than we
have hitherto done in the matter of our letters respecting the debt
due to Palavicino and Spinola. We have therefore, being infinitely
importuned by them, dispatched this bearer to represent to you
what it is that we desire and expect to see promptly resolved and
executed by you therein, to put us out of this trouble and the
clamour of those merchants. We have given more ample instructions
to the bearer to represent this on our behalf ; and beg you to
give him credit as to ourselves, and to send him back without delay,
with a resolution to content us.—Westminster, 21 March 1579.
Draft. Endd. Fr. ½ p. [Holl. and Fl. XIII. 17.]
230. HODDESDON to BURGHLEY.
Experience of your courteous acceptance of my rude letters emboldens
me to write to you of my proceedings with Grave Edzard
touching the affairs of the Merchants Adventurers. Although at my
first coming I was invited by him and very courteously entertained,
as I reported in my last of the 15th inst., yet I thought to have
stayed my second repair to him until the coming of her Majesty's
letters in answer to him, sent to her before my coming to London,
But the time growing somewhat long, and small appearance of the
'sudden having of the same,' moved me to repair to him on the
16th, when I had audience and conference touching the said affairs
of the company, according to the enclosed, in the 'Dutch' language.
At which time he opened himself to me, saying he was offered a
pension by the King of Spain, which he had hitherto refused, as
bearing most reverence to her Majesty, who may command him in
any thing reasonable. He is willing for a pension to bind himself,
and desired me to signify as much to some of greatest credit about
her Majesty. This earl of whom I write is very wise, of a comely
personage, about the age of 50 years, not without some impediment
of speech. His eldest son is to marry the only daughter
and heir of the Grave of 'Ezence' [Esens], a gentlewoman of
the age of 20 years. Her father being already deceased the
greater part of her lands are already in her own possession. It
joins with the lands of this earl, so that in time he is likely to
be great ; having already appertaining to this town above 200 sail
of good ships and 'boyards,' chiefly maintained by the trade with
Dantsic, in corn etc. They have also some trade into Spain and
Portugal. The difference between his brother Grave John and him
is because he will suffer his brother to have no government with
him nor any inheritance in this land after his death. I have had
some conference with him by way of entreaty for brotherly friendship
to be and continue. He has shown me the wills of his
great-grandfather and grandfather, which both dispose the government
to the eldest only, ordering that the younger brethren shall
have their several portion during life, if they remain unmarried ;
but if they marry, then an 'allowance of pension.' For this reason
Grave John is still unmarried, and therefore his brother through
friendships and allies is much the stronger.
I have not as yet been with Grave John, who is at a castle 8 miles
from here. He sent me a roebuck ; also his secretary to welcome
me. He claims by custom half the lands in equal government.
Their father died without making a will. The house is not 'above
four descents ancient.' The commons desire but one head to govern.
The 'sittewation' of the country for conveying a force out of
Germany to aid any foreign prince is well-known to you.—Embden,
22 Mar. 1579.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Hanse Towns I. 56.]
231. HODDESDON'S report of an interview with the COUNT
OF EAST FRIESLAND.
On Mar. 16 I repaired to Grave Edzard, and declared to him that
the privileges granted by himself, his mother and his brother to the
company of Merchants Adventurers, subjects to the Queen of
England, were the chief cause of my coming hither, to establish the
merchants' trade in this town. Which could not well be brought to
pass without his assistance for the bringing hither of all foreign
merchants with such of their commodities as were necessary for
England ; the defect of which was the principal cause of our sudden
departure before. Therefore we were now to crave his aid for
severe regard to be had in the keeping of certain ordinances without
which it is not possible to bring the trade to good effect. The first
is, to have a special care that all such officers as have any commission
to meddle in his territories with merchants should be of good
behaviour and just in their doings ; especially that those who judge
causes give the stranger justice with expedition, for there is no
better means to nourish trade than sincere justice. Likewise that
'customers or tolners' take diligent regard to maintain all men in
their due rights and not demand anything more than duty. Finally,
that all others as 'wayers,' wharfingers, lightermen, carmen,
porters, packers etc. might be straitly enjoined to use the merchants
courteously and not require more than due and reason ; for the
merchants will not gladly resort where any exaction is used.
My second request was, that he would cause a certain, unremovable
rate to be set on all manner of coins ; to the end that the
merchant might know his certain payment, without which it is not
possible for the merchants to establish any such trade as the
Merchants Adventurers commonly carry with them to the
places where they frequent. For the exchange, which is the ground
of all great trades, commonly moves to the place where the
Merchants make their residence, and is much hindered, through the
want of 'fix' payments, of continuance etc.
Thirdly, regard must be had that the toll which strangers here
pay be not higher than it is in other ports of Germany ; for small
tolls make a heavy purse. All which ordinances, and any others
necessary, being severely observed, and his letters written to the
Bishop of 'Monster' and 'Osenborch,' the Landgrave of Hesse,
the Grave of Oldenburg and other princes of Germany, that the
merchants' goods may have safe passage through their countries
without taxation from either their officers or others that serve the
merchants, there is no doubt but that in a short time he would grow
famous and his country be greatly enriched. And in token
of the good will the merchants had to this, they presented
him with a standing cup of silver-gilt, engraved with their arms,
wishing him all success and long life. This he courteously received,
and took notes of all that was said, in a pair of 'writing-tables' as
fast as I uttered it, and gave present answer himself, saying that he
had heard my speeches, and well understood them. To the first
branch he answered that our privileges should be firmly kept according
to the composition, in which we had 6 years, as he thought, to come.
To the second he would give strait order, and look severely to it
himself, that our company and all strangers should be well used,
with expedition of justice and also defended in all their rights and
liberties from the exaction of the 'tolner' or others, and courteously
intreated by all other his subjects with whom they should have
occasion to deal.
As for the rates of money, he has long had a great desire to
establish them ; but the difference is so great between the valuations
appointed by the Empire and the rates set in the Low Countries,
on which the country adjoins, that he cannot well bring it to pass
as he would. Yet he will do the best that in him lies to take order
As concerning the tolls of strangers, he will cause the rates of
Hamburg and other places to be learned, and take order that the
toll here be not set higher, but rather lower than those rates, to
encourage the stranger to bring his goods hither. Also he will
direct letters to the princes of Germany, for the better passing of
the merchant with his goods through their countries, whereof he
has no doubt, for they are his good friends, and some allied to him.
After his answer, I replied to the first point, saying that I did not
know of any other privilege than those which are not only granted
under the hand and seal of himself, his mother, and his brother, but
also promised and confirmed by the solemn oath of all three. Of
this for my own part I had no doubt ; and therefore would seek no
other, not knowing how to pen the same more effectually, desiring
him both for the continuance thereof, and also that there might be
a present certain rate set upon all coins payable here. This he
promised should be done out of hand, and that our nation should
have no cause to complain, so far as we would deal according to
what was meant when the privileges were granted us ; which was,
that we should be 'freed in toll' of all such goods as we brought
hither or transported from hence. It was not thought that we
should pass our goods any further, but that the stranger would
fetch them from hence, whereby he might receive some benefit from
our trade. But as it was used last summer, we made his town but
a thoroughfare, 'bearing the name' both of our own goods and of
strangers, and so his tolls thereby defeated ; for which cause he
willed his 'tolner' to take 'pawndes' of our nation for the toll of
such goods as they shipped, until further order were taken. These
he told me should be released so far forth as we would look better to
Whereunto I answered that if he would command the said
'pawndes' to be delivered and discharged, I doubted not that such
good order would be taken by the Company that he would have no
cause hereafter to mislike of their dealings ; provided always that
such order might not be prejudicial to the tenor of our privileges
granted by him, his mother, and his brother. Whereupon he
promised that order should forthwith be taken for their redelivery.
This being done, I presented the countess his lady a chain of
gold with a device of the Company's arms thereupon in stone,
desiring that she would not only continue a good friend to the
Company but also a mediator in all causes between the earl and
them if any question or difference should hereafter arise ; which
God defend. Which chain her Grace very courteously received,
with promise amply to pleasure the company in all that she may.
And so with thanks I took my leave.
Enclosure in the last. 3 pp. [Ibid I. 56A.]
232. SALE of a SHIP.
Whereas Geerbrant Waerwyck having a power of attorney from
Philip van Aveliers, dated 25 Aug. 1578, caused to be stayed a hulk,
'surging' (gelegen) outside the North dam gate of this town of
Middelburg, formerly called the Minion Gale, but now the Star of
Portsmouth, brought in by Sir Henry Radclyffe or his assigns, and
having sued it in court with three several Tuesdays' proclamations,
with one day of releasing, which day by the authority of the Burgomaster
and Aldermen, by an act bearing date 24 Dec. 1578, was
made by putting up bills to arrive at the ownership of the said ship,
according to the custom of this town ; and thereupon for the
preferring were appointed by the bailiff Hugo Joos, burgomaster,
Robert Jans de Lanoy, and Salvador de la Palma, aldermen ; who
having heard the proclaimant, and seen his justification, pursuant
to the sentence of the burgomaster and aldermen, dated 22 Jan.
1579, whereby the proclaimant was authorized to sell the ship,
provided he should bring the money to the Countinghouse to the use
of those that shall be found entitled to it ; and Sir Henry Radclyffe
not appearing having been 'put from his action which he might pretend
upon' the ship ; have ordained that it shall be openly sold 'by
the Utropes to the most enhaulser' [by auction to the highest bidder]
after three several crying days, whereof remained for buyer (for
he bid most for it) John Patrisen, on the 9 Feb. 1579, for the sum
of 91l. 2s. Flemish ; upon express condition that the buyer shall
have to the ship, four anchors, two cables, a long hawser, a rope
wherewith the ship is made fast, a mainsail (een groot schoverseyl)
with two bonnets, a foresail with two bonnets, a great topsail
(mersseyl) with a fore-topsail, two spritsails (blinden) with a mizzen
(bezaen), four chains with a false netting (een loos bounenet), one cast
piece with shot and 'crasbarres' (cruysballen), nine pikes, four
halberds, two iron clubs, four shovels, and a drum, 'as good and as
bad as all is to be seen' on board, and upon the 'garrotts' where it
lies. The buyer is bound to pay his money within a month at
latest, so that he enter into sufficient surety, which is subject to
the Court at Middelburg. The ship shall be delivered as by the
laws of the town at his costs and charges, as she rides in the haven
of the town ; and with her appurtenances shall immediately on the
conclusion of the bargain (nae de palmslach) come and lie at his
charges ; with other conditions as agreed upon. After which promoting
of justice, the burgomaster and aldermen 'proceeding to the
preference,' and finding nobody with a recognised status to prohibit
(op het verbodt bekennt staende) but one Giles le Tor, attorney for
Andrew van Assche, pleading before this Court, and having seen
his demands, and also by the consent of the proclaimant, who
recognised the debt, have preferred the said Giles, and ordered
that to him should be paid the sum of 91l. 2s. in part payment of
an obligation of 150l. with interest 'after ten in the hundred,' given
by Philip van Asseliers and his wife, bearing date 16 April 1576,
to the said Giles. After which proceeding the ship with all her
appurtenances is adjudged to the said John 'Paterson,' and he is
put in possession by the bailiff in the King's name.—24 March
Endd. by L. Tomson : The Act of Court for the sale of a ship by
M. Asseliers. Dutch. 3 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIII. 18.]
233. English version of the above. 2½ pp. [Ibid. XIII. 18A.]
234. SECRETARY BRULART to COBHAM.
I have told their Majesties what you said to me upon the remarks
I made to you this morning. They replied that having directed
M. de Mauvissière to tell the Queen of England the same thing as
you declared to them from her, they hope soon to have an answer ;
and that for the moment they can add nothing to what I said to
you on their behalf. I thought I would let you know this at once,
to satisfy my promise. 'C'est du xxiiime jour de Mars 1580.'
Add. Endd. Fr. ½ p. [France IV. 35.]
235. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
There is no doubt but that the Pope has a good mind to trouble
the state of her Majesty, and King Philip thinks it a most necessary
means of taking the courage away from his Low Country men, so
that not only are their hearts prepared, but they have, it is thought,
joined their counsels and purses to make an enterprise that way.
To that intent it seems their forces would be most willingly
employed, only that God hitherto goes between them and our
harm, preparing some other lets. Therefore as in your letter you
well show that Non est consilium contra Dominum, so surely something
'would' be done according to the counsel of the Almighty for
the protection of his persecuted and threatened people. And
methinks the religious princes 'should' not stay 'at agaze' and see
the malicious prevail to root out the glory of the living Creator ;
I mean those princes of Germany, who take their ease but too
much, seeing the danger prepared alike for them.
I have delivered to their Majesties the matter which my lord
Treasurer wrote by Bluemantle, perceiving by their answers that
they feel the greatness of the cause and consider the dangers, but
refer and pass over to her Majesty to understand her opinion of the
means of proceeding jointly in the remedy against these extremities
offered by King Philip. M. Mauvissière is to enquire the like of
It seems that because they are here not assured of the union, and
doubt their disagreement in Portugal, and that the successor is not
yet declared nor any farther association offered by the Portuguese,
it is likely that these respects cause them in policy to keep themselves
coy ; for it is possible they look to have some further
advantage or compact offered by Portugal.
I hope to find an Italian who will venture to go and remain in
Spain for her Majesty's service, and in reasonable sort. I am
seeking also to entertain someone belonging to this king's ambassador
in Spain. When I have compassed this, I will advertise you,
and seek your further instructions.
I have to ask your favour that I may enjoy Mr Wm. Waad's
company, whose coming hither I have procured, trusting he is on
the way. Notwithstanding, he relies so much on your liking that
he would not bestow himself but to your satisfaction. He has left
order to receive intelligence at Strasbourg in an ample and sure
sort as if he remained in those parts, as appears from his letter
which I have received today by Mr Henry Hopton.
Mr Hatton, Sir Christopher's kinsman, has been here these four
or five days, and went yesterday towards Orleans.—Paris, 25 Mar.
1¼ pp. [France IV. 36.]
236. ADVICES from FRANCE. (COBHAM to the SECRETARIES.)
On the 21st inst. the King assembled the whole or the greater
part of his Council, joining with them six of the 'principals' of
Paris for his own liking, namely, the President Nuile, Marcel,
médccin Miron, le trésorier Miron, M. de Preoys [gy. Paroy] (alias
Luylier) and one other ; who being set the King propounded to
them his occasions for money, and that at least 6 or 7 millions of
livres tournoises, requiring them to assist him with their counsel how
to levy it with the least 'grief' of the people. He thought it most
convenient to be taxed rateably on the walled towns only.
Answer was made by some of them that it could not easily be
done ; since in seeking for a less sum not long ago the 'bourgeoises'
had made great difficulty and shown themselves dangerously moved.
Upon which speech thus delivered, the King swore that if any of
the towns refused this demand, he would make them know that he
was chief of one party, using these and other threatening words, so
that none of them durst then move for any general assembly of
Estates, because he had heretofore shown himself himself highly
displeased with the like motion.
Then some of the Council declared that when the towns should
be moved therein, it was likely they would agree to a great part of
the demands, if they might take order and employ the said sums
for the 'disbursing' of his debts. Whereat the King, much offended,
said they would be his tutors, and so with passion departed.
Notwithstanding, they are devising means to levy great sums.
The king has put a new imposition on salt, and has commanded
that none of his dominions shall go to Brouage to fetch salt. If
they do, any other subjects are permitted to assail and spoil them
It is certified from Lyons, by letter of the 16th, that M. de
Mandelot, governor of that town, has passed into Dauphiné with
two cannon and six field-pieces, together with the company of
Maugiron, governor of Dauphiné ; having with them 4,000 footmen
and 600 horse, to fight against those of the league in that country,
who have taken arms for its liberty and retired into the mountains ;
and are like to be overthrown if those of the Religion do not join
them. As for the matters of Saluzzo, they stand thus : young
Bellegarde has joined la Valette, having surrendered the fort of
Carmignola and the town of 'Reicell' [qy. Ceresole] into the king's
hands, but the captains of the castle of Saluzzo do not yet yield ;
whereon Bellegarde and la Valette, with some help from the Duke
of Savoy, are battering it with cannon. so that it is thought they
will not hold out unless succoured.
By letters from Spain it is certified that the plague has consumed
a great part of the Almaynes and Italians.
Those of Castile and of King Philip's other dominions have
granted him to maintain 20,000 men for some months towards the
conquest of Portugal. They write that he has not above 70 galleys
nor above 50 ships ; and those but in mean order and as yet ill-appointed.
The king has lately caused 5,000 soldiers to be levied
in the kingdom of Naples, and 3,000 in the Duchy of Milan.
Though the Duke of Alva has been appointed general of the land
army, it is not understood that he has yet been admitted to the
king's presence, but acts as he receives orders by letter and commission
in writing from the king. The king has not admitted to
his presence the Bishop of Coimbra and Don Manuele de Melo,
ambassadors from the Governors of Portugal, but has written them
to stay at a town 'as' he shall pass to Guadalupe, where he will
give them audience.
Fabrizio Colonna is, they write, dead of the plague.
The king left Madrid on the 6th, but has appointed the ambassadors
to remain there. The fleet remains about Carthagena and
Cadiz. It is written that they are arming and putting ships in
readiness in Biscay.
The Portuguese hàve 50 good ships besides the 'army' they have
sent into the Indies ; whence a ship has come richly laden. From
Flanders 2,000 harquebuses have come to them with some powder.
The parliament still continues. They have chosen from it 6 of the
clergy, 6 of the nobility, and 6 of the burgesses to join in council
with the Governors. They have sent to the Pope requesting him
to favour their cause and to send a cardinal with commission to
King Philip, whereby he may be 'procured' to dismiss his army,
and the cause be decided by way of justice. I send a note of such
advertisements as are come to hand touching Monsieur.—Paris,
25 Mar. 1580.
Endd. 2 pp. [France IV. 37.]
237. WALSINGHAM to GILPIN.
I find by your letter to Tomson that there is some stay made by
the third member of the town of Antwerp in delivering their bond
for the payment of the interest ; which would be strange to me if
you did not 'assure' by the word of the Pensionary Van der Werke
that 'contentment' would begin the Monday next after the date of
your letter. But what I find most strange is that they refuse to
be bound for more than one year. The debt is not her Majesty's
but the States'. She has, upon their power given her, dealt for
them as she would have dealt for herself. She was hardly brought
to do so much, but insisted greatly upon present payment both of
the principal and the past interest. But at their instant request,
and at the contemplation of their extreme necessity, she was content
to interpose herself as mediatrix for a longer day and for reasonable
interest. At what term the States would pay the principal she
knew not, nor could well conceive, considering their present occasions
for employment of money ; and therefore for their benefit she was
content (which otherwise she would not have done by any persuasion)
to make the prolongation for a year, and until they 'satisfied'
the principal ; and so she has bound herself, meaning notwithstanding
that the debt shall not run on more than the year, unless they
themselves be the causers of it, and become suitors to her for further
prolongation. I cannot promise them what favour they shall find
herein, her Highness having so many extraordinary occasions as she
has of employing her money ; and therefore though the like manner
of bonds be demanded of them as she has already given, they must
not think it strange, considering it is for their good and not hers,
and her Majesty has as good reason and is as desirous to be
'answered' her debt, as they are loath it should run on.
The obligations both for principal and interest are to bear date
from 31 December ; and so you are to proceed with them, and
most earnestly to require them to have a care, by moving the
States-General in convenient time, that without further prolongation
the principal may be discharged at the year's end, giving them
plainly to understand that her Highness will not 'enlarge herself'
Draft in the hand of L. Tomson, and endd. by him : M. to
Mr Gilpin, 26 Martii 1580. Written on the back of a letter
addressed to Walsingham apparently from Scotland. 1 p. [Holl. and
Fl. XIII. 19.]
238. COBHAM to BURGHLEY.
Receiving your letter on Sunday, the 20th, I procured audience
the next day ; when finding the King in his chamber alone I
delivered to him the effect of what you had given me in charge from
the Queen, beginning with the bruits of the Catholic King's army,
and lastly the bringing of it about from Italy and other parts,
whereon I showed that her Majesty began to conceive within herself
some imagination of those proceedings. And now since the
death of the Cardinal King and the opinion given of the Duchess of
Braganza's title, she had entered into a further thought, moved
thereto by the claims of other great princes as well as of some
within the realm of Portugal. It appeared to her that the disorder
in that realm might the sooner bring to effect the designs of the
Catholic King. After she had thus well weighed these causes within
her own breast, she began to think it necessary to disburden her
mind to him. Therefore her pleasure was that I should secretly
'discover' to him as to her brother and ally, and a prince whom
she thinks to be the nearest to her and the most entirely joined in
amity, in order to let him know what 'seems' to her of these great
preparations and motions ; considering first that whereas the King
of Spain is by birth a King of a great entire nation, commanding
further and more amply all those islands along the coast of France
on the Levant side reaching to the coast of Italy, where he enjoys
the Kingdom of Naples and the Duchy of Milan, so that he is
esteemed a mighty prince, much redoubted and respected in all
Italy, by means of which he has there not only multitudes of
subjects at his command, but many factious and noble houses at his
devotion, by whose credit he does and always may levy armies to
secure any enterprise which he shall 'pretend,' and for the maintenance
of any faction [sic, qy. action] he may take in hand, the
uncoined treasure which is yearly brought from his Indies, with
other merchandise, well enriches him, besides his revenues, taxes,
and impositions, which are marvellously much ; so that if to the
greatness of his own estate and seat of Castile he should unite
Portugal and become thoroughly and peaceably sovereign of the
whole body of Spain, his strength will be such that it will be too
late to consider and think thereon. To its advancement and
strengthening the navy of Portugal will serve to command not only
the Levant, but also the Ocean seas ; as likewise the East and West
Indies must become his with all their riches and commodities.
Therefore since the cause is so weighty that it may not be thus
passed. . . [the fragment of Letter-book ends here.]
Copy. [France IV. 40 (41).]
239. COBHAM to [WALSINGHAM].
This morning the Bishop of Ross has sent to me for a passport
for the Abbot of Lindores, his kinsman, who takes with him a
Spanish jinnet, and means to go from Dieppe to England, and so
into Scotland. I answered that I understood there was so good
intelligence between her Majesty and those of that country that it
was not requisite to have a passport, knowing that if they should
be driven on the coast of England they would be as well used as in
their own country. However, I beg you to let me know if I may
hereafter deliver passports upon such requests.
I am informed of one John Hamner, who has gone to England
on the affairs of Lady Morley and others, and as I hear by your
servant Fante has been stayed at Rye ; which is well happened, for
I am told he has been 7 years a reconciled papist and is known
and trusted confidently by the chief papists in London and
Hull, and other places of the realm, assuring some of his friends
that at his return he will bring with him such enterprise as might
be to the destruction of the heretics of England. I am given to
understand that Lady Morley imparted to him the intended practices
against England, lamenting with tears the state of her friends there.
I am requested that if he be taken he may be kept from writing to
his friends in France.
As I am informed that the Count de Retz on his arrival in Britanny
will flatter and offer great courtesies to M. Rohan, so as to nourish
the disagreement between him and M. de Laval, which would not
only discourage them of the religion but also be prejudicial to her
Majesty if there be any pretence from hence, or any means to
harbour the Spanish fleet on that coast, her Majesty may, if you
think good, be intreated to warn M. de Rohan.
They of the Religion lament somewhat that they do not hear tell
of her Majesty's favour to them as accustomed.—Paris, 29 Mar. 1580.
P.S.—As I was making up this packet, I heard that Queen Mother
has advertised that Monsieur was troubled with a swelling in his
throat, through the pain of which he is fallen into an ague, whereon
she is sending him one of her physicians, meaning to go and
visit him herself, if he do not speedily recover. But I trust it is
but a rumour ; I will 'hearken' better to it, and send advertisement
I send herewith a letter written to her Majesty by Jno. Alardo,
who came to visit me ; of whom this bearer . . . .
Endd. 1 p. [France IV. 38.]
240. 'A declaration of the great army which the King
of Spain and the Pope make, as follows.'
There are come to Spain, from Rome and Naples, 20,000
harquebusiers, from the Duchy of Florence, 12,000 ; 'more' 12,000
'tedescos,' and most of them are pikemen.
In Spain are made to the number of 85,000 men, for all sorts of
weapons, but the greatest sort harquebusiers.
All these are in readiness and appointed to march towards
Portugal the 25 of March, unless order come from the king to the
Also 135 galleys with men and munition are all in readiness at a
day's warning. They look also for 20 galleys from the Venetians,
12 from Florence, 20 from Naples, and 30 from particular persons.
These they make account of to be all in readiness, and it is reported
that most of them are made with false 'pavisse' in the waist to
'defend' the seas, as also covered with 'Indias hides,' to 'defend'
the seas and succour the men in the galleys. More there are in
readiness 25 'aragoseas' [argosies], the least of them of 300 tons,
and some of 800, all appointed as men-of-war, and replenished with
provision for the wars ; in which they have 700 pieces of brass of
all sorts, for 'ligeres,' for bulwarks, field-pieces and battering
pieces, with all kind of carriages and furniture in great quantity.
They have likewise great provision for husbandry, as ploughs and
all ironwork belonging to the same ; and pots, kettles, pans, and
great copper pots to carry water.
Also they have great store of monstrous chains of iron, which
they say are for 'travesing' of rivers, with many kinds of instruments
of ironwork to be laid in rivers to destroy shipping.
They have also in readiness 23 sayettas, some of them of 100 tons,
laden with victuals and apparel ready made of all kinds of cloth,
silks and velvets of all colours, and shoes and boots. Also they
talk of 5,000 horsemen of arms, to be made ready with all speed to
go with the rest.
They have also 300 and odd draught 'moyles,' and they say they
must have 400 and odd, to draw ordnance and munition by land
where occasion shall serve, and for service of husbandry, for which
all necessary things are provided ; and when they are fully ready,
they mean to take all kind of shipping to be found on all the coast
of Spain for their purpose.
Also the Alcalde Tezada has taken up in the country of Old
Castile the sum of 800,000 hanegas of corn for the provision of the
army, which is 'reported' into many places to be ground into meal
with all speed, and carriers 'staying upon' it, to be carried to the
sea-coast. This I have seen in travelling the country.
There are in Biscay 15 sail of ships in readiness, three of 100
tons and upward. The rest are smaller ships, which are to take in
victuals there being made ready, as biscuit and great store of flesh,
which is to be ready by April 20.
Also I was told of a sayeta that 'should be' on the coast of
Galicia, belonging to an Irish bishop, which had taken in to the
'sum' of 8,000 pikes, 3,000 calivers. It is commonly spoken of,
but I saw it not.
The Pope complains, as it is reported at the Court, that the
Queen's predecessors gave such a wound to the Church of Rome
that they can find no salve to heal it ; and that she has wounded
the King of Spain with the like wound, that they cannot find any
salve to help them. But they live in hope by this enterprise that
they have now in hand to have remedy, that is to say if they obtain
their 'pretended' purpose, which is to put or land in Ireland 50 or
60,000 armed men, which they doubt not but to do ; thereby they
think to obtain 'health' of their running wounds. The Pope makes
a challenge, and says that the right of Ireland belongs to his inheritance,
and the right he has he surrenders to the King of Spain ; and
they report in the Court of Spain that it is a country very necessary
for the said king for many considerations, and stands near to Spain,
which is for many purposes and provisions necessary for the king.
Also the inhabitants of Ireland are able to live of themselves, and
have great store of corn ground, and great store of flesh, and notable
goodly fishing ; many good ports and havens for harbouring his
ships and to winter his galleys, and a country well stored with
many goodly woods and timber to make ships for any service he
shall need, whereby the Pope and the king shall be remedied of
their great grief. Also they shall do a charitable deed in bringing
in the Romish faith, which many years they have been desirous
of, and by it they shall 'reduce' many Catholic Christian men,
who have long forgone their living for conscience sake. More they
say in Spain that since the Queen's reign the realm of Ireland is
made the den of thieves, dishonouring her honourable Council, saying
that by their appointment there are sent thither to govern the
country such persons as remain there as 'rovers and robbers' of
true men's goods, and are suffered to make sale of it for the interest
that the Council of England have in it ; and how the nobility of Ireland
can bear no rule, but live as captives under them to the utter undoing
of the country, and in these many years can get no redress
for the establishing of the Catholic faith, and to remedy this have
of long time been suitors to the Pope to help them ; and he seeing
the suit that they have so long made to him and to the King of
Spain to stablish the Catholic faith, and considering that most of
the nobility of that country are Catholics and that 'the two parts'
of them are ready to receive such favour as shall be sent them,
therefore the Pope has joined the King of Spain for this 'pretended'
army ; with more matters than I remember.
Captain Cabreras [qy. Cabretes] a man born in 'Marcelia' and
in his youth trained up in the galleys, who is reported to be a
man of great wisdom in warlike affairs and fortifications, and
in Spain so taken that none is like him, was sent by the Pope
and the King of Spain in 1576 to 'peruse' and see all ports
and havens with their landing-places and their forces within the
realm of England all along the coast, and has a plot drawn out
of them how they lie. From hence he departed to Ireland,
where he perused that country with the ports, havens, and forces.
It is reported that he left no place nor force to be seen, nor landing-place
in both realms. He is one to whom much credit is given by
the king and all the magistrates of the country, and by his information
he has encouraged the Pope and the king for the making of
this army, which is to revenge the great injury which they say the
Church of Rome and the King of Spain have received by England.
This captain, as report goes, makes no doubt but to put the king in
possession of these countries within a few months after his departure
from the coast of Spain. And as to Ireland he makes no doubt of
it, for he has laid his plot so that with the forces he carries with
him he thinks that the land will not be able to withstand them ;
and that obtained, they shall be the better able to deal with England.
They make account to do miracles with their galleys for landing
their soldiers in any places they please, and afterwards to lay part
of the galleys in such place as shall 'disappoint' any aid that may
come from England ; for they say they know all the shipping-places
in England where any aid shall come from, to land : and
that after they have landed such soldiers as they shall think needful
for Ireland, the rest of their navy shall proceed towards the coast
of England to keep England so occupied that they shall forget
Ireland, though thereby they should lose 40,000 men. 'What
more' they live in hope, and say that the king has many friends in
England who are of the best sort, and when they see the force that
he sends, they will not let but favour them, or to make insurrection
in such parts of England as shall be a furtherance to their pretence.
This ingenious captain has also encouraged the Pope and the
King of Spain to this industry, and fears no force that her
Majesty can make to let their purpose. He says that he knows well
what army she is able to make, and how they are provided by land
and by sea, for he has seen all England, both cities and towns,
especially all the shipping, which is her Majesty's sole force ; and
for everyone of her ships they will have another as good, if they
should come abroad.
'What more' he is assured she will be at no such cost to set
forth all her shipping, until they have obtained their purpose ; for
the ships are all together, and with the wind which shall serve
them her Majesty's ships cannot come abroad to annoy them till
they have gotten their landing-ports, and when they have got in,
they will be as bulwarks against her shipping.
The king departed from 'Madrill' to 'Aranioyce,' which is
7 leagues off, on March 4, intending to stay there for the Duke of
Alva, who is 'pretended' general for the army by sea and land ;
and there having met with him and many other noble captains, as
the Duke of Brunswick, who is general of the 'Tudescos' and
Don Pedro de Medicis, general of the Florentines, with 25 or 26
captains of the Romans, 'as' part of the names of them I give in
particular, he intended to remain 20 days and thence go to Our
Lady of Guadalupe, to remain there the Easter-week, and thence
to march all his captains and soldiers for Portugal. And it is given
out that Portugal is the cause of his wars ; also his shipping and
galleys shall come in to Portugal and the coast of Galicia.
I understood by credible men in the Court that this army goes
for Portugal colourably for the service of the former pretence, and
that in all the realm of Portugal are not made above 5,000 men,
who are also colourably made to follow this pretence ; for that the
King of Spain and the churchmen of Portugal with the principal
magistrates of Portugal are all agreed, except certain persons who
are of small force, and small account to be made of them, so
that all these men of war shall pass through Portugal, and be
shipped from thence and from Galicia.
In the same hand as the translation (in Irish papers) of Captain
Sydee's letter, No. 218. Endd. as heading ; 'Duke of Florence aid'
added by L. Tomson. 6 pp. [Spain I. 43.]
on which day
241. [WALSINGHAM] to [COBHAM.]
Upon confirmation of your news of the King of Portugal's death
and of the coronation of the Duchess of Braganza, conceiving thereby
that the King of Spain shall be sufficiently occupied with the enterprise
of that nation, without attempting anything elsewhere till
that be achieved, we have altered our purpose for the setting out of
our ships. Yet hearing that an Irish Bishop with the Pope's
support and assistance is making preparations in Biscay to come to
the aid of the rebels in Ireland, we have given order that five of her
Majesty's ships shall repair to the western coast of the realm, to
impeach the descent of the foreign assistance ; being the rather
moved thereto, that we have lately heard from thence that upon the
arrival of two Spanish shallops with new supplies, the rebels are
greatly comforted in hope of further assistance from Spain, while
divers who before made good shew of obedience are now revolted to
them. Nevertheless, the Lord Justice and the Earl of Ormond
having already received from hence supplies of such things as they
wanted for the prosecuting of the said rebels, are now acting against
them, in hope to distress them before the arrival of any Spanish
aid. They give out that they look for support from France, and
that preparations are being made for the purpose in Britanny.
Wherefore you may do well to send some meet man thither, who
under colour of seeking some ship that has been distressed at sea,
or weather-driven into those parts, may travel along the coast to
discover whether any such preparations are being made there ; a
matter I was wont upon like occasions to put in practice when I
served in your place.
Touching the proceedings as well in the Low Countries as in
Scotland, you will see by the enclosed how things pass there.
For information of your warrant and your suit, Mr Secretary
Wilson and I will when we conveniently may do our endeavour to
procure that at her Majesty's hands that shall be to your contentment
Draft in hand of L. Tomson. 1 p. [France IV. 39.]
242. 'The names of the nobility and principal personages
which have the present managing of the affairs of
Portugal, anno dom. 1580.'
The Duke of Braganza and Donna Catherina his wife, who make
pretence to the Crown of Portugal.
The Duke of Barseilles [Barcellos] son to the Duchess of Braganza.
Don Antonio, natural son of Don 'Luigi.'
The 5 Governors :
The Archbishop of Lisbon : Francisco de Saa, Lord Chamberlain
to the last king Don 'Anriques' ; Don Diego Lopes de Sousa, at
present Governor of Lisbon ; Don Joan Mascarenhas ; Don Joan
Tello, sometime ambassador at Rome.
Governors of provinces and commanders of places :
Don Diego de Sousa, Governor of 'Lentesio' ; Don Duarte de
Menesis of Algarve on the south east ; Antonio Monisbaretto, who
was governor of the Indies, and now governs the port of Setubal
and the country of Ribatezo ; Don Diego Menesis, appointed governor
of the Indies, now stayed and assigned to be governor of all
the frontier places on the west of Portugal, and of the port of
Lisbon ; Don 'Giorgio' de Menesis, general of the army by sea ;
Francisco Barreto, maggiordomo, who was sent by King Sebastian
to govern between the rivers Douro and 'Minius' towards the north
parts ; Manuele de Melo, montero maggiore, who was sent with the
Bishop of Coimbra in embassy to the Catholic king, and appointed
to be governor of the country of Beira on the east side of Portugal ;
Don Duarte de Castel-Branco, proveditor and distributor of all
munitions and victuals, and other such principal things.
Endd. 1 p. [Portugal I. 26.]
Feb. 9 to
243. Forty pages apparently from Sir Henry Cobham's letterbook,
containing copies of letters to various persons. They have been
calendared under their respective dates.
[France IV. 40.]
244. A collection of documents relating to the Portuguese
(1) 'The true copy of an article contained in the last will and
testament of our sovereign lord King Henry of famous memory.'
He has referred the whole cause of his successor to be tried by
the course of justice, and leaves the succession 'to him upon whom
right will cast it ;' charging all persons in the realm 'that as soon
as any person shall be thereto nominated either by myself or by the
judges thereunto appointed they do forthwith receive him as their
sovereign lord.' He commends to such successor the defence of the
Catholic Faith, and that he will maintain the Holy Inquisition as
most necessary for its establishment and continuance. Also the
religious orders, of St. Jerome, St. Francis and St. Dominic, with
the order and fellowship of Jesus, and lastly the colleges and
universities wherein so many persons are instructed.
Endd. by L. Tomson and in two other hands, the last : Bundle of
matters touching D. Anto his right to Portugal, 1579. ¾ p.
(2) Two pedigrees of the Portuguese royal family, in both of
which Don Antonio is called 'unlawful' or 'bastard.' Endd. 3 pp.
(3) Another pedigree in Lord Burghley's hand. 1 p.
(4) 'The reasons whereby Katherine the Duchess of Brigance doth
claim the Kingdom of Portugal.' 'The reasons whereby Raynutius
Farnese, son to the Prince of Parma, doth claim the Kingdom of
Portugal.' 'The reasons whereby the King of Spain etc.' 'The
difficulties of the disputation, if the doctors of both sides do stand
upon their points.' 'And much of the difficulties do consist
whether idem ius sit in Regno quod in feudo. Et utrum regnum
deferatur iure sanguinis an iure hereditatis. Et utrum filus ex
fæmina debeat præferri filiæ ex masculo in Regno quemadmodum in
feudo.' Endd. 3 pp.
(4a) Another copy of the same, in a later hand (Sir J. Williamson's
clerk?). Endd. 3 pp.
(5) Account of a vision seen by Alfonso, King of Portugal, when
about to fight with Ismael and four other Moorish Kings, and
related by him to certain chief men of his realm, Oct. 30, 1152 ;
together with his institution of the arms of Portugal. Endd.
Principio de Reyes en Portugaly origen de sus armas. Latin. 2½ pp.
(5a) Another copy of the same. Endd. as above. 3½ pp.
[There is no indication of the date of these two papers, but they
probably belong to a time when Portuguese matters were of interest in
[Portugal I. 26.]