259. "A true report of the fearful earthquake which happened
generally throughout Rouen, the principal city of
Normandy, the 6th of April, 1580 ; written by a
gentleman to an especial friend of his."
As the follies of youth were the first cause of our acquaintance,
so in the wane of our years I hope firmness of life shall settle us
in our friendship ; and as you have advantage of age, so the sweet
report of your virtues gives me encouragement of well-doing. It
is said you have altered your delight in plays to devotion in hearing
sermons ; persevere I beseech you, in your good purpose, wherein
you shall find the advantage double. For as good wine not only
refreshes the heart but seasons the bottle, so the regard of wholesome
doctrine both presents our souls with divine contemplation
and turns our frailties into honest actions. Let it not seem strange
that I alter my wonted familiarity in writing with such an unwonted
exordium : 'when as' separated by the sea, men nourish their
natures with their friends' letters stuft full of news, more than with
praises, or necessary advice.
But to be short ; the news of which I shall give you intelligence
was so fearful to the beholders that they were all glad to refresh
their consciences with prayers for God's mercy ; which I wish to be
performed in such as shall hear of this fearful fore-threatening of
God's vengeance, that they may be excluded from the plagues which
this following true report presages.
On April 6, in the city of Rouen, between 5 and 6 p.m., there
was such an universal earthquake that there was no house that did
not open its joints, nor church that did not tremble ; insomuch
that people ran into the streets for fear that the fall of their houses
should give them present death, where many more were hurt with
the slates and tiles that fell from the firmest buildings. Further,
the very streets trembled, so that people who passed to and fro were
glad to take the succour of church walls and suchlike supports ; of
which some were entertained with such falls that they bewray the
welcome of the hard stones in their battered faces. There fell a
huge stone with such thundering noise from the top of Our Lady's
church, that neither monk, canon, nor friar durst 'indure within
the same' with their frivolous intercessions to make an atonement
with God ; so that the people were driven to use their devotion in
the churchyard. To conclude the 'amaze' was such that timorous
women 'burst out their tears' and the hardiest men quivered with
silent fear. The clergy presently clapt on their copes [?] and in
general procession cried to a thousand saints for aid, and the godly
Protestants, secret in their houses, only upon Almighty God and
Christ, so that there were few or none but were buried with fear, fruitless
or fervent, and to this day there are no rumours among the people
but prognostications of this earthquake. Some divine of Doomsday,
some 'conster' the following effects to the scourge which the like
earthquake many years past gave to Rouen, not long after which
30,000 died of the pestilence. Some 'hold opinion' that it presages
calamities by civil dissension, some hearken after the judgement of
astronomers, who, although they hold the cause to be natural, are
of opinion that the effects will be lamentable, especially where the
impression was greatest. So that although the terror be out of their
eyes, the trembling remains in their hearts ; faring like him who
after sentence of death obtains a reprieve, without pardon.
This earthquake was not only universally throughout the city,
but also in divers other port towns in Normandy, as in 'Deepe,'
'Feckham,' 'Coebeck,' etc. 'In advantage,' this is our most true
and especial note, that in divers places where the trembling was
most vehement some staggered to and fro where they stood, while
other some stood firm without feeling alteration. Thus much is
generally confirmed and published in print. Speeches of more
affright pass through the mouths of many ; but as their strangeness
may bring suspicion on the rest which is faithfully reported, I bury
them in my ear, holding truth the only beauty of a man's tongue,
and falsehood the unrecoverable disgrace of a writer since his fault
comes to daily rehearsal.
But to my purpose. This report, naked of other garnishing than
truth, suffices to light the hearer into his conscience, when the sight
of sin shall give his soul as great a terror as the feeling of this
earthquake has done to the Normans. Therefore the burden is alike
that should make one as well as the other cry out with just Job,
Factus sum mihi met ipsi gravis, and to seek ease with prayer and
amendment of life, a sacrifice which wrought remission to the
Ninevites when their abominable vices had 'set an edge of' God's
vengeance. Artemidorus' dreams nor Niphius' auguries are no
warrant for the hearers of this fore-threatening to hold themselves
free from the vengeance ; for although these hold that the soul of
man is replete with such divine knowledge that it forsees mischiefs
ere they fall, and gives intelligence thereof, either by dreams or by
unlooked-for accidents, yet either give authorities that such forewarnings
take their effect as well in our neighbours, friends and
enemies as in ourselves ; although for the most part where they be
discovered they have most force. Then in such apparent
threatening from God, and sin generally abounding, what is
he that dare appoint a scourge to another, that deserves
death in himself ? Presumption through sufferance is as
damnable as despair of mercy ; and therefore unhappy is he
that lives in such conceit of security as to imagine that
danger cannot fasten on him. The wicked 'Hamon' broke his
neck on the gallows he prepared for the Jews. The like was the
reward of the false judges that endeavoured the death of chaste
Susanna. Many other like contraries of determinate . . . es I
could report, which I hold to be needless, for I know your . . ble
judgement is confirmed with easy instructions. Yet as I forethink
that you will 'depart' these news among your friends, some of
whom will perhaps pass them over with light regard, and others
give their opinion upon the subject without amendment in themselves,
I give this one example as a general advertisement ; which
is that as lightning bewrayeth thunder, but not where the bolt will
light, so this earthquake, so diversly dispersed, presages bitter
calamities. But God knows where or on whom they shall fall, and
it is therefore necessary that the hearers hereof who sorrow for
their secret sins add this suffrage to their litany : From the execution
of thy forthcoming wrath, good Lord deliver us.—Rouen,
12 April 1580.
Add. to my very friend Mr. Myles Jennyngs, at the Bible, in
Paul's Churchyard. (The writer's name in the salutation at the head
of the letter has been carefully blacked out, only A . . . . . . . . ger
being legible.) 2¾ pp. [France IV. 47.]
260. The KING OF NAVARRE to BURGHLEY.
You have understood by my former letters the perplexity that we
were in, trying on the one hand to overcome our enemies by
patience, and on the other, seeing fresh occasions every day for
losing it by reason of the enterprises, surprises, and plots that were
brewing against us. In these difficulties we ask for the Queen's
wise counsel, as that of one who has always had a singular care for
the afflicted Churches of these countries, and has done me in
particular the honour of showing me many testimonies of her good
will. But our ill-luck will have us take counsel rather of necessity
than of our friends, inasmuch as our enemies, not content with
frauds and bad faith, are making war upon us openly, having put
armies and artillery in the field against us—so far indeed with little
enough result, considering their designs and their ill-will. M. du
Plessis my councillor and chamberlain-in-ordinary, whom I am
sending to the Queen, will tell you all more fully ; credit him as
myself. I beseech you make her Majesty thoroughly understand
the importance of this matter, which is surely only a beginning
compared with what will hereafter follow, if those who have an
interest in it do not remedy it betimes. Your prudence and wisdom
are known of all men ; your zeal for the oppressed Churches is
testified by the effects that have appeared in our case heretofore ;
and if it be possible to add anything thereto, I beseech you with all
my heart employ it at this moment when it appears that all the
enemies of the true religion are leaving their own particular designs
in order to destroy us.
If in return for all the good offices with which you do not cease
to bind us to you I can ever do anything that may be agreeable to
you, believe that it will be with all my heart.—Lectoure, 13 April
1580. (Signed) Henry.
Add : à mon cousin le Baron de Burghley. Endd. by Burghley.
Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. IV. 48.]
261. COBHAM to BURGHLEY and SUSSEX.
I have sought for the book of which you wrote to me, and will do
my best to 'understand' the author and keep it from printing as
much as may lie in me. I heard tell of such matters 'pretended'
to be translated into sundry languages, extracted out of divers
books by the Bishop of Ross and others ; and now since the receipt
of your letter Dr. Sylvio has shown me some leaves of it, but cannot
detect the author.
I send you the copy of a book which is printed, (but I could not
obtain it in print) entituled : De titulo et jure serenissimæ Principis
Mariæ Scotorum Reginæ, quo Regni Angliæ successionem juste
rendicat [sic] Libellus.
Also I have in my hands an English book lent me, of which the
title is : A Treatise of Treasons against Queen Elizabeth divided into
two parts, printed A.D. 1572 ; a most perilous book as ever I saw,
for the particular touching of the course of her Majesty's state since
her reign ; but it has been so long printed I abstain from sending
it till I receive your commands therein. Meantime I will have it
There are other books privily framing which I will send as they
come to my hands ; wishing I could do you service agreeable to your
honourable dealings with me, beseeching you to put me out of these
cares of want by your favourable means to her Majesty, that I may
continue in her service and receive comfort for so many years of
travails past. I desire that what her Majesty may grant me may
pass in 'some other bodies'' names, whereby it might be employed to
the payment of my debts ; otherwise, being in this place I cannot
as I understand make any lawful conveyance of it to the answering
of my creditors and such like uses.—Paris, 13 April 1580.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [France IV. 49.]
262. COBHAM to [WALSINGHAM].
After I received on Saturday last yours dated the 2nd inst. I perceived
that the Queen was pleased that speeches might be
'motioned' for the renewing and further advancing of the amity
here. Therefore finding that the King was gone to St. Germain's,
and the Queen Mother far advanced on her journey to Angiers, and
M. de la Mothe-Fènelon being in Languedoc employed in appeasing
the apprehensions which the King of Navarre had conceived against
Montmorency and Biron, 'and thereon ready to take arms.' Also
he has secret charge from their Majesties to stir up the King of
Navarre to employ himself and his friends in the cause of Portugal
by such means as they devise.
I took occasion to speak to M. Chiverny upon the request of
certain merchants, finding him the only person left here of 'entireness'
with the king for the like affairs, and a man known rather
to favour foreign attempts than civil wars. After some words in
the merchants' causes, having their grants delivered me from him
under the Great Seal, I told him how I thought that considering
the place and dignity he held in the government of the State and
the special private favour he stands in with the king, it could not
be but he was privy to what I had first 'motioned' from my
sovereign, as also to what MM. Bellièvre and Brulart 'conferred'
with me from their Majesties, which tended to have a league containing
matter for an amity offensive as well as defensive, in order
that the Catholic army and those alliances that are written of from
Italy might the better be resisted ; whereon they said they would
consider and advertise me further.
Upon my pause, M. Chiverny entered into a large discourse,
wherein I specially noted these points. First, he touched two
parties in France ; one under the colour of being Catholics, the
other under profession of religion, sought to advance their ambition ;
notwithstanding they were always the king's subjects, and the
easier to be dealt with. But the enterprise of Portugal was of
greater consequence, and therefore at once to be 'redressed,' so
that hereon a way might be found to have it 'framed' a general
cause, in respect that in some or most contracts of amity between
the realms Portugal was ever included as he thought ; which
point her Majesty might cause to be considered. If it were found so,
he esteemed that the Crowns of both France and England were
bound to defend that of Portugal, and wished me to further the
cause as occasion should afford, which I promised to do.
Then he asked me if I had not to speak to the King from my
Sovereign on the information of the answer which Brulart delivered
me. I said, somewhat, yet not of so great consequence but that I
could stay the King's leisure ; the rather since I expected to hear
further from MM. Bellièvre and Brulart as they promised. And
today I heard from him that the King is removing from one house
to another, so that it may be these five days ere he return hither.
It is now 'informed' that M. de la Noue has taken Count Egmont
and his brother prisoners.—Paris, 13 April 1580.
1½ pp. [France IV. 50.]
263. COBHAM to the QUEEN.
On the 14th inst. Secretary Villeroy 'resorted' to me, giving me
to understand that he had been yesterday with the king at St.
Germain's ; when his Majesty had willed him to shew me that he
made account to entertain your Majesty's amity by all the offices
he could, holding your friendship dearer than any other. Therefore
being advertised by letters of March 25 from the ambassador
in Spain that a messenger had come out of Ireland with a request
from the rebels for aid, directed to the Pope's nuncio, who forthwith
intreated the Spanish king to have some soldiers sent thither
at the Pope's charge, upon which the king had given order that 700
soldiers should be embarked from Galicia with good munitions and
other provisions towards Ireland, this king thought good to advertise
I answered Villeroy that you would be sorry to understand the
indisposition (sic) of King Philip to be so bent against you that at
the request of any of his confederates he will send forces to
strengthen your rebels ; but seeing he had so far discovered his
intentions you would be right glad of these advertisements,
especially as you would receive them from so good and great a
friend as the Christian king. As one way for the redress of it, it
was necessary you should be informed ; so it were not well I kept
this frank and princely dealing many hours from your knowledge.
The Secretary then entered into a large discourse of present
affairs, concluding how convenient it was to withstand the violence
now being offered to the realm of Portugal, as also to prevent the
like outrage which might elsewhere be executed. To which I
answered that I had 'these other days' let the king know not only
your Majesty's conception of these affairs, but also that you wished
to be advertised of his opinions for proceeding to action.
Lastly he asked me what I understood of Monsieur's cause and
of the proceeding therein ; for M. Mauvissière wrote lately that you
had by Captain Bowes dispatched a matter to be imparted to the
king his master, which the king hearkens after.
I said I had as yet no notice of it. And thus after some other
conference and discourse we parted.
I have employed towards Spain two of your own subjects, whose
faith and truth I have received in pledge for the assurance of their
dealings in seeking out matter that may in any way touch you.
Their names I have certified in cipher to Mr Secretary Walsingham,
for their lives would run in great danger if they were discovered in
those parts. I have one come to me who was lately in Rome in
company of some priests which are here, and are ready to resort
into your dominions. His name I likewise signify to Mr Secretary.
This king begins to feel and take knowledge of the proceedings
of the Spanish king, the Duke of Tuscany, the Pope, and the Duke
of Savoy against him. The courage that you shall give him will I
hope the better hearten him to make more manifest show of his
mislike of their practices ; 'which' how far it may profit your
Majesty to put from you those foreign confederacies, you may determine.
And since it is now manifest that these great kings can
think it best and needful for them to draw other princes into strait
amity before they make any enterprise, I trust you will thereupon
judge it convenient in these perilous and evil days, both for the
repose of your governmeut and the safety of your good people whom
God has committed to your protection : that in like sort you will no
otherwise deem, notwithstanding the clearness of your own conscience
and the assured faith that you have in God, than that all
such reasonable means are to be accepted, friendships to be
embraced, and good occasions not to be let slip, which may put
from you the peril which is 'meant and bent,' and that undoubtedly
with all such expedition as they may use, against your person, your
nobles, and people.—Paris, 15 April, 1580.
Add. Endd. 2½ pp. [France IV. 51.]
264. COBHAM to [the SECRETARIES].
I think it good her Majesty should be advertised how the
Christian king daily makes many apparent shows in favour of the
State of Portugal. 'At first,' he graciously continues to the
ambassador his grant of access at all times, having received
willingly and answered speedily the letter of the Duchess of
Braganza, and in like manner at the request of the Governors made
a general arrest along the sea-coast, and suffers to be made and
transported hence underhand, shot, powder, and weapons for their
defence ; which is carried in chests conveyed to Rouen by the means of
Francisco Anriques and Girolamo Copes, Portugal merchants. He
has besides written very earnestly in their behalf to the Pope and
King Philip, and now writes to the Governors there assuring them
of his favour and countenance in the maintenance of their justice.
The ambassador of Portugal yesterday lamented to us that
whereas the Duchess of Braganza turned to the queen as other
Kings of Portugal had done to the Kings of England for succour in
defence of the freedom of their country, notwithstanding her dutiful
dealing, he does not understand that her Majesty has answered the
letter, nor shown the like favour which the king here has done ;
which grieves him much, for he had assured the Duchess and
States of Portugal that they would find her Majesty more prompt
to aid them that any other prince in Christendom. Of this I
think he has written to her Majesty and others of the Lords ;
because he broke to me his mind therein somewhat 'appassionately.'
It is certified that the Bishop of Coimbra and Senhor Manuele de
Melo sent in embassy to the Catholic king had not as yet obtained
audience of him, neither is it known if he would accept them as
ambassadors ; because he would not prejudice his own pretence.
Howbeit it is judged he will use them with courtesy.
Meantime the Portuguese have put a strong guard of 70 ships in
the haven of Lisbon, well provided with money, men, and
munitions. They have also fortified another port 20 miles from
Lisbon called Setubal ; being resolved to obey none other than such
as the judges shall declare by sentence. They have lately received
into Lisbon powder and other provisions from Antwerp and the
The Bishop of Ross and Thomas Morgan received the other day
letters from Sir Francis Englefield, dated at Madrid the 12th ult.,
wherein he shows himself a passionate Castillian and very desirous
to advance the King of Spain's practices, enlarging much on the
hope of the army of Spain. He writes that a ship was sent from
Spain with 140 men in it, well-appointed, and purposed to have
landed in Ireland ; but through extremity of contrary winds and
lack of victuals after a time they were driven to return. He
signified further that the ambassadors of all the princes were left
at Madrid waiting on the Cardinal, wherewith they were aggrieved ;
which cardinal manages all the affairs. By the same packet came
letters from him to the Queen of Scots and one Throckmorton, and
a great packet to Dacres, called Lord Dacres, now at Rheims, as I
Signor Astorgo 'Balione' who passed into Italy last March, has
now gathered 2,000 men from Tuscany ; for whose government the
Grand Duke has named five captains, all of whom will be under the
government of Don Pietro his brother. In the territory of Perugia
are 'made' 2,000 more.
The Governor of Milan and the Viceroy of Naples have commission
for the like number. The Spaniards who were dismissed
from the Low Countries are passing towards Spain. Some few of
them are come to this town on the way to Nantes, to embark for
One Dr. Knott, lately come from Spain, of whom I wrote in my
former letter, stays here for answer to letters which he has sent to
King Philip caused the Prince of Parma to dismiss all the
'Pensionaries,' with this 'device' that they should thereby be
driven to go into Spain to serve there or where the king shall
appoint ; whereon most of the Englishmen, the Earl of Westmorland,
Copley and others are looked for in this town within a few
days, whence they purpose to go to Spain, hoping to be employed to
recover their country.
There are come hither two of the Hamiltons, John and James,
pensioners to King Philip, with intent to resort to him. They
report that they hope the matter of Portugal will soon be ended,
and then they may be employed against England. They carry
letters of recommendation from the two Scottish bishops to Cardinal
Granvelle and the Duke of Alva, and Vargas the Spanish agent
writes in their favour.
Morgan reports that the servant of Lord Talbot who was here is
put in prison, doubting he shall be ill handled ; but Tempest is
greatly in fear, because he kept him most company.
The Scottish bishops and Morgan received letters from Scotland
on the 11th inst. mostly written in cipher.
D'Aubigny's lackey, 'directed' to M. d'Antragues, brought letters
dated Mar. 16, 'declaring of' the gift of the Earldom of Lennox,
and captainship of Dumbarton. He came hither on the 8th,
having landed at Dieppe.
The Bishop of Ross has made sundry books, and short notes of
other books in printing, all tending to the justifying of the Queen
of Scots' dealings and the justifying of her pretended title ; which
I 'seek to recover.'
Books are sent into England, Scotland, and Ireland, very prejudicial
to her Majesty's government, and those who have principal
places about her. There is an Irishman named Pedgrave, who is
sending sundry of these books, wherein are many slanderous
reports of the nobles and principal personages of England.
I am informed that Peter Broune, the ordinary post, who departed
hence three days ago, carried with him letters of some 'indisposed'
persons, whether of his own knowledge or no I cannot tell.
The Pope directed certain letters about the end of December last,
of which the Bishop of Ross had a copy. He did it on being
informed by such priests and papist visitors as he sends to and fro
into the realm of England, that there were divers principal persons
inclined to the alteration of religion and government of the state ;
but that they feared the taking away of their Abbey land and their
further subjection by conquest. Whereon the Pope has written
favourably, in general terms, giving assurance on these points to
The Consistory of Rome give order to their 'espials' that understanding
what enemy any nobleman has, they should practise with
him and win him ; whereby to divide the hearts of the subjects one
against another, and her Majesty, to the subversion of the State.
There are certain priests come from Rome and now going over
who are sworn not to discover any of their company. They carry
nothing with them, but will receive books and other like trash when
they have landed in the realm. I send herewith the advertisement
of Rowland Russell, written with his own hand. He is upon his
return to England to render further testimony of his good meaning.
I also send a note extracted from a letter sent from Britanny to
M. Montigny, a minister here, concerning the affairs of Spain.
Colonel 'Chamberg' is sent into 'Almany,' and as I hear passes
further, to Duke Augustus of Saxony.
The Princess of Parma is so forward on her journey, accompanied
by 100 horse and nine coaches, that it is thought she will be on the
frontier of Flanders by the end of this month.
Eleven priests are come from England, some of whom are gone
towards Flanders, some to Rheims, and some hither. One of those
here is named Belks ; he crossed at Dover. They have brought their
certificates what progress they have made in England, saying that
if the realm were divided in five parts three of them would remain
Catholic and favour the Queen of Scots.
There is an old Scot named Patrick, 'of the age of fifty years old
and upward,' whom I understand to be a wily fellow. Being come
hither to ask a passport of me, I delivered him one to pass over at
the port of Dover and no other place. If you cause him to be
talked with, it will appear, as I am informed, that he is a busy
fellow and a carrier of bad stuff. I send herewith a passport which
he had before. I have written within it the description of his
This king is informed that the Grand Duke of Tuscany with his
wife 'pretends' to go to Venice, with cloak to visit his wife's
kindred. But the Duke of Ferrara, understanding of it, sent hither
seven days ago Count Giulio da Monte Cucculo to visit this king,
with thanks for the precedence he had granted him over the Grand
Duke, and therewith signified to him how the Catholic King had
procured the Duke of Tuscany to make that journey to Venice for
some negociation or inducing the Signoria of Venice into a new
league and confederacy with King Philip.
The captain of Lyons, named Mandelot, with some other forces
joined to him, has broken sundry companies of the league ; whereon
they, finding themselves too weak for the king's forces, have betaken
themselves to the protection of those of the Religion, as Villeroy
told me ; and, as I am otherwise informed, they have distressed
Mandelot and put to flight divers of his companies, in which conflict
some gentlemen of name are slain.
The King of Navarre having appointed a hunting by Nérac was
invited to dine at a gentleman's house with some of his train ; but
having other occasions he went not forth that day. But his
gentlemen went to the dinner, whereon some of them died that night
and others are still in danger, which is suspected to come by poison.
On occasion of my last speech with Villeroy of certain griefs of
which the Protestants lament, I rehearsed this to him. He excused
it, saying if it should be so it was by means of some papist
It is written from Germany that Casimir has arrested all the
Flemish merchants for the money due to his colonels and captains
for their service to the States.—Paris, 15 April 1580.
4 pp. [France IV. 52.]
265. COBHAM to [? WILSON].
As I was making this present dispatch, Secretary Villeroy came
to me with a message from the king that he meant to show himself
a faithful friend and assured ally to her Majesty on all occasions,
acknowledging that her well-doing appertains to him. Therefore
whereas his ambassador in the Spanish Court had lately advertised
him by letters of March 25 from Madrid that there was come thither
from Ireland a messenger with a dispatch from the rebels to the
Pope's nuncio for aid ; whereon the nuncio forthwith 'made means'
to the Catholic king to obtain their request for 700 soldiers, which
the king has granted, and given order for them to be embarked 'at'
Galizia with expedition and sundry provisions ; of which proceeding
the king desires her Majesty may be advertised.
I rendered M. Villeroy humble thanks that it had pleased his
Majesty to make me the messenger of so 'friendly shows of his
entire zeal to her Highness and her realms' ; but she would be
sorry to find King Philip so bent against her as to send forces to
strengthen the rebels in her dominions. But seeing he had so far
discovered his intentions, she would be glad of these advertisements,
especially from so good a friend as the Christian king.
The secretary fell into discourse of present affairs, concluding
how convenient it were to withstand the violence now offering by
King Philip to the realm of Portugal ; saying that it seemed to him
that the cause of Portugal was embraced in England 'but in some
cold and retired sort.'
I answered that her Majesty could do no more than shew her first
feeling of the inconveniences, and refer the proceeding to the
remedy to his Majesty's further advice ; whereon she clearly
demonstrated that she reposed exceeding trust, and greatly
He then told me that to confess the truth they have proceeded no
further on two grounds ; one, because the Portuguese demanded no
further aid, and also made no offer of any matter to the king's
liking. He therefore stayed lest he should seem to enter 'on the
gayeté of his heart' to make war with the King of Spain ; and
meantime the Portuguese might fall to agreement with him.
The second cause is, that seeing the protestants have taken arms,
in sundry places and also received into their protection others,
called of the league, who have likewise taken arms against the king,
knowing their own small ability to maintain the war, the king
doubted lest her Majesty and some princes of Germany had
encouraged them ; which he said would be very prejudicial,
considering the time was come when all unity would rather be
required. But otherwise, he was fully bent that the matter of
Portugal should proceed according to justice, and desirous to join
the Queen therein.
I said I had not heard any such doubt made heretofore of any
dealing of the Queen that way with the king's subjects : so I could
assure him she had no such meaning ; and that this being known to
her I supposed she would by good means clear his suspicions.
Whereon he entered into a large discourse of things past, and in
the end spoke very frankly to me ; whereby I found that if
things pass according to his speech, the king will give order to lay
down arms on both sides, and if there fall out any just foundation,
will declare his mind and shew a ready disposition against King
Villeroy said that he himself had been taken to be Spanish, since
his service was bent that way ; but for his own part he saw the
King of Spain and others presume very much on his Majesty's
gracious dealings, not doubting but the king would find means to
make them understand it if the Queen Mother will be his constant
friend, as he accounts.
He showed me both his letter in cipher and the other which
came from the king's ambassador in Spain, in which was shown
this point of the rebels' request in Ireland, and the ambassadors'
general discontent 'for staying at Madrid with Cardinal Granvelle
from the king's person' ; also that the Portuguese were united for
the defence of their country, as I have written in former letters.
Also an advertisement of a great ship come from the Indies, which
the Spanish king had been informed the Frenchmen had taken, but
was safely come to Seville ; also that the Duke of 'Barseilles' had
been set at liberty.
I enclose a little note, written partly in cipher ; also two or three
little letters, whereby you may see the names of such as trade with
the papists. By the next I will send the names of such English
gentlemen as remain hereabout.—Paris, 25 April 1580.
2 pp. [France IV. 53.]
266. COBHAM to [? WILSON].
I had forgotten to notify in my other letter the bruits lately given
out that the Queen Mother was gone to the Duke of Anjou with
three purposes : first, to tempt him with the marriage of his own
niece, the Duke of Lorraine's daughter ; secondly, if that may not
take place, to renew the treaty for marriage with the Princess of
Navarre ; which offers I never heard that he liked, and least that
of Lorraine. The third occasion of her going is construed to be
that she may dissuade him from the enterprise of the Low Countries,
and 'make offer' to him for the defence of Portugal. It is
appointed that the Bishop of Commynes [Cominges] shall meet
her at the abbey of 'Bourgouilles' beside Angiers, before his
passing in embassy to Portugal.
I think Rowland Russell takes his journey today towards England,
where he looks to meet some 'landleapers,' by the ways I have
written of.—Paris, 15 April 1580.
P.S.—I leave it to Mr Floude to report of the earthquake felt in
some parts of Paris, as the bruit credibly goes. News is now come
that M. la Noue has taken Mechlin ; and that the king's Almaynes
in Flanders have mutinied ; whereon the Spaniards stay from
Please let me know if you or Mr Secretary Walsingham have
seen a book called the Treaty of Treasons against her Majesty in
English, printed about 8 years past. If not, I will send a copy, for
I cannot get the printed book.
1 p. [Ibid. IV. 54.]
267. [? WALSINGHAM] to COBHAM.
This gentleman, servant to Mr Hatton, having occasion for
private affairs of his own to repair into that realm, desired my
letters to you ; whereto I did the 'more willinglier' yield, for that
I know you desire to hear often from hence, and in deed it will be
hard for you to direct your course well there unless you are thoroughly
made acquainted with our proceedings here. Your last dispatch by
your servant Mr Best was very agreeable to her Majesty, as the
rest of your doings since you entered into that charge.
It is 'received' here that the king there is not so effectually bent
to give the required aid to the Governors of Portugal as the
necessity of his State requires ; seeing the late attempts against
those of the Religion by the two Marshals, which would never have
been by them attempted unless they stood assured of the good allowance
of the same. Therefore men of judgement begin to doubt
that there is too inward a friendship between the King of Spain and
the King of France, whatever is outwardly pretended, and that the
jealousy which heretofore one has had of the other, especially that
France ought to have of Spain, is laid aside ; both being overmuch
inclined to concur in the overthrow of those of the Religion.
Besides, it is conceived that if the king earnestly affected his brother's
match with her Majesty it is an extraordinary course to prosecute
those of the Religion. You will therefore do well, in my opinion, when
you have occasion to meet such of the Council of State as affect
either the marriage or good amity between the two Crowns, to lay
before them how greatly this hard course held against those of the
Religion, is like to impeach both the marriage and the amity ; and
that while they 'intend' their inward dissention, nourished by faction,
upon private quarrels, the realm will go to ruin, and their
competitor Spain will wax strong. There may fall out some apt
occasion for you to deliver the like speech to the king, or to the Queen
Mother, which by my own experience when I 'supplied' that place
you now hold, I have found has been very acceptably taken. And
however it were taken, if it might tend to the furtherance of her
Majesty's service, I never weighed the 'acceptation' of it ; and yet
had a due regard to deliver my speech in such sort that there might
follow no just cause of offence.
It cannot be but that Monsieur must be highly offended with
Marshal Montmorency's and Biron's proceedings, considering how
much they may hinder his designs for the Low Countries, which now
go very fast forward, as you may perceive by the enclosed ; but if
the prosecution of the war against those of the Religion continue it
will breed an utter alienation in those of the Low Countries against
Monsieur, whose neutrality in matters of religion has been the principal
cause of the furtherance of the sovereignty which he desires
in those countries. Since M. de la Noue's arrival there, their case,
before very desperate, is greatly relieved in respect of the success
he has had at Ninove. Besides the great 'valure' of the gentleman,
his embracing of their cause tending to no other end than the
advancing of God's glory, being free from ambition and desire of
gain, no doubt God blesses his attempts with an extraordinary
success. It will be no hindrance to his credit to tell you that the
recovery of Mechlin has been performed by our nation under the
conduct of my cousin Norris, wherein they showed both great
'valewe' and judgement, as M. de la Noue himself witnesses to me
in his letter.
The state of Scotland stands upon very loose and broken terms,
as you may perceive by the enclosed occurrents from thence. If
that gap were shut I should the less fear foreign malice.
This gentleman will tell you how greatly we were terrified with
an earthquake, lately happened on the 6th inst. I pray God that
we may take profit thereof, and become more zealous in the advancement
of His glory than we have hitherto been ; but I fear that we
shall neglect his merciful admonition, and thereby draw on us a
more sharp measure of judgement.
Draft. Heading (with date) in hand of L. Cave. 1½ pp.
[France IV. 55.]
268. ADVERTISEMENTS from the LOW COUNTRIES.
The enemy's footmen in Friesland lie within a mile of Groningen,
where two regiments of the State's men 'make' against them, but
as yet there is nothing doing on either side ; only small skirmishes
pass, of no great effect. Their horsemen lie all at Oldensael, and
make incursions even to the gates of Deventer, the like being 'used'
also by the States against them. Staveren castle is thought to be
yielded by this. It has held out longer than was thought, being at
first judged to be unprovided with victuals ; but the contrary has
The Prince is at Leeuwarden in Friesland, where he is said to be
devising some means of treaty with those of Groningen, who will
receive none of the enemy's soldiers.
The Malcontents of 'Henow' are with all their forces about
Cambray, and have, by report, sent the cannon thither, the Prince
of Parma lying at Valenciennes to be nearer.
The Scots in Vilvorde are 'quieted,' and payed certain months by
the pole [?] ; wherewith the colonel, captain, and chief officers are
aggrieved and will not take such contentment, considering their
long service and slender payment ; but demand their pay after the
old roll, until the former accounts are cleared, and a new mustering.
Great treachery was discovered in Brussels by the intercepting
of a letter which the Prince of Parma wrote to the Scots ; and at a
banquet to be made by M. d'Auxy, who by his wife's procurement
was made a chief instrument in the practice, the Governor, Captains,
and all the chief officers were to have been slain and the town fired
in divers places. D'Auxi with his wife and family are taken,
and confess to have practised with the Prince of Parma, having
written and received sundry letters. They crave for mercy, and his
wife, as author and 'intissor' of her husband requests pardon for
him, submitting herself to any punishment.
The enemy's horsemen, who a few days since were near this town
and took some prisoners, were on their retiring charged by some of
the States' garrison, who released the prisoners, recovered the
spoil, and put them to flight with the loss of all their own
The three Members of Flanders are framing a new camp, to
consist only of 3,000 or 4,000 foot and 1,000 horse ; the chief of it,
M. Villiers, who was governor of Bouchain.
1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XIII. 20.]
269. The PRINCE OF ORANGE to the QUEEN.
The Estates of Holland and Zealand have informed me of the
suit which the merchants of Ipswich are pressing against them for
payment of the second term of an obligation into which they have
entered. They tell me that the instalment is no doubt long overdue,
and that they would have used every endeavour to content the
merchants ; but looking to the stress of affairs which has for some
time prevailed in these parts, they have been compelled to employ
on the costs of the war whatever money they could raise, to avoid
the certainty of utter ruin, inasmuch as the enemy, thinking to
carry us at a single blow, has been attacking us in various places.
This was the sole reason why, to their great regret, they could not
discharge their debt at the appointed time. And as for this reason
they find themselves at present without ready cash, and consequently
unable to pay the second term. They have prayed me to represent
this to your Majesty, in order that you may be certain it is not
from lack of good will that they have failed to pay hitherto. Now
I am fully assured of your Majesty's clemency, and beg that you
will take into consideration the expenses which those of Holland
and Zealand have for some years had, and still have, on their hands
in the defence of their country ; and will be pleased to excuse the
delay that has taken place, and not permit any stay of their merchants'
goods and vessels to be made on that account. Also that
you will be pleased to grant them the further favour to give order
to the merchants of Ipswich, your subjects, that they may be content
to postpone the payment of the term in question until October next,
on condition that those of Holland and Zealand then pay in addition
to the principal, interest at the rate of 10 per cent. The Estates
and I feel sure that the merchants will not fail to meet your
Majesty's wishes.—Middelburg, 16 April 1580. (Signed) Guitte
Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. Fr. 1½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIII. 12.]
270. 'The examination of the mariners of the Spanish bark
stayed at "Winsellse" since Friday the 8th of April,
made there the 18th of the same month.'
Rodorigo Kassapino Sinuatso [sic], about 23 years of age, of
Laredo, says that they took their lemons and oranges in at Collindo,
a channel within a mile of Laredo ; and that the ship has three
owners, Jehan de Loes ce tien [sic], Torrinio di Cotsio [sic], and
Pedro da Lencres, who is master for the present voyage. She is
laden in all with 323,000 oranges and lemons, which belong partly
to the owners and partly to the mariners. He says that at their
departure from Laredo they needed no letter from any officer, for
that kind of merchandise pays no custom, and they have none but
such as they have heretofore at their arrival delivered to the mayor
here. Charter party or other bills of lading they have none, for
the commodity belongs to the owners and the company. At Laredo
he says there is a corregidor for the king, who governs four places,
to wit, Laredo, Santander, Castro and St. Vincent, and in each of
these places he has his lieutenant. His name is Don Hernando da
Badez ; he appoints officers to search ships when required. At
their departure they were minded to come for London or Zealand,
where they might hear of best 'uttrance' for their oranges.
He likewise declares that the day before they entered the channel
of Winchelsea, the wind was at N.E., and blew so much that they
could not go ahead, and so put in here. Otherwise they meant to
have gone along to Dover Road, there to know where they might
best go for the sale of their commodity ; and according as they
learnt that the best 'untrance' [sic] was at London or Zealand,
they proposed to go. They departed alone from Laredo, and there
was an English bark of 30 or 40 tons which meant to lade oranges
as he thought for England. Likewise a fly-boat of Zealand was at
Laredo to lade oranges, also another Spanish bark of 30 or 40 tons,
which should lade oranges and lemons and come in company of the
fly-boat for Zealand or Flanders, and would not be ready to depart
till the 17th or 18th of this month. He does not know the names
of any of the masters.
He knows of no bark that departed or meant to depart from
Laredo or any other port thereabouts for Ireland or England other
than those above-mentioned.
He says also that they 'are' all born in Laredo save the boy
who 'is' born at La Nocha, two leagues thence ; and none of them
can speak any language but Spanish. They brought with them
two passengers, an Englishman and a Fleming, who is still here ;
the Englishman they landed the day of their arrival, Friday,
April 8. He knows not his name, but as he told him and the rest,
'a' was married in the islands of 'Cannare.' This Englishman at
his leaving told them that if anybody asked to whom the oranges
belonged they should say to an alderman of London, to avoid the
danger of pirates, if they had met with any ; whereupon in their
first examination, and upon the Englishman's saying, some of the
mariners 'differ to' their first declaration.
He says, moreover, that the mariners being poor men and amazed,
coming before a justice in a strange country, it is no marvel though
they do alter somewhat in their examination. And for him, he is a
poor gentleman of Biscay, and his father was during his life part
owner of divers ships, and used to go as master of them himself ;
and leaving him poor, is [sic] constrained to follow this trade as a
mariner. He married within these 12 months the daughter of one
Pedro de Bayona of Laredo. He was in England when Duke
Casimir was in London, with a ship of Laredo laden with oranges,
and went then as 'a' does now for a mariner. Sometimes he lades
30 or 40 thousand oranges for his own account, but in this lading
he has no part, but goes only for meat and drink and wages, he
says, 8 or 9 ducats for the voyage.
He says he never was in Ireland, and they of Laredo do not use
to trade that way, nor any of the parts thereabouts.
Thomas Deos, mariner of Laredo, aged 20 or thereabouts,
examined, agrees with Rodorigo Cassapino both as to the port of
lading and the name of the corregidor ; and that they have no
charter party nor bill of lading, for the goods belong to the owners.
He confirms the owners' names. He affirms also that the wind was
at N.E. when they came, and that they would have gone to Dover
if the weather had served, there to have known where they might
make the best sale of their goods.
He knows that no ship came out of the Laredo with them, and
that no bark from that place or any port thereabout went either for
England or Ireland, but a fly-boat was lading for Flanders, and
another bark with oranges and lemons meant to come with it,
departing on the 17th or 18th, as above. He affirms that they are
all born at Laredo, except the boy, as above ; and none can speak
any language but Spanish. Otherwise confirms the first deponent.
Adrian Goodeaar, born at 'Bridges' in Flanders, aged 21 years,
passenger, says that they departed from Laredo the Thursday before
Easter, and their meaning was to go to Zealand or London according
as they might learn at Dover where they could find best sale
for their oranges. He says that the Englishman whom they landed
at Rye desired to land anywhere in England, it was indifferent to
him where, meaning to return to Ghent about a suit he had there,
when he had dispatched his business in England. He supposed
the Englishman and the Spaniards misliked the one the other, for
they differed in argument about the good subjection of the Prince
of Orange. And being asked whether they touched in the Isle of
Wight, he says no, nor in any part of England till they came to
Winchelsey. He says further that he is sure no bark came in their
company, nor did they land anybody till they came to Rye.
Divers Spaniards say about Laredo that the navy which the King
of Spain has ready there is to go into England, but he cannot tell.
In Spain they blame the Queen of England for maintaining the
Prince of Orange with money and men, and he heard that the
'comen' is there that it is either for Flanders or England. Alleging
that the Portugals were determined to receive the King of Spain,
and he would have no cause therefore to employ his army for those
He does not know that there is anything in the ship but oranges,
if there be, it is under the oranges and lemons. He knows of no
shipping gone from 'Alleredo' for England or Ireland, and he says
that at Bilbao he saw five or six small barks laden with victuals and
munition going to the great navy which lies eight miles from Seville,
'at Andolezia.' He said 'they sounded not with their lead but for
the security of their bark' when they came in here. He thinks
they came in at Winchelsey against their will.
Martin de Serniago, aged 52 years, says that he is pilot of the
ship. The goods being theirs and their master's, they have no bill
of lading nor charter party. There is a governor at Laredo, who is
governor of 4 towns, his name he knows not.
If they had gone to Flanders they would have gone for Zealand.
He confirms that the wind was N.E. when they came in here. They
were not minded to touch in England unless they had stayed in
Dover Road to know where the price was best for their oranges.
No ship came in their company from Laredo nor does he know of
any bound for Ireland or England. There are none but Spaniards
in their company, save only one English passenger and a Fleming.
The former landed at Rye, the Fleming is here still. He says they
meant to land none but the English passenger. He cannot tell the
causes of their different examination, for he was not examined
before. As for 'Kachapina,' he is a poor gentleman, and his father
was, as he says, master of a ship during his life.
Jehan de Rodo of Laredo, aged 28 years, says they took in their
lading as the others 'confess.' He knows nothing of bills of lading
nor other such writings, nor that the officers are to give briefs or
bills of lading. He says that they meant to go into Zealand, to
Flushing or Middelburg, or to London. The wind blowing at N.E.
was the cause of their coming in. They came alone out of Spain
and no ship in their company. But there were an Englishman
and a Spaniard lading oranges for England or Flanders about a
fortnight after they came out. He says there were not but Spaniards
in their company, save the passengers above mentioned. They
meant to set no one ashore till they came to London or Flanders,
where they meant to sell their merchandise.
He can say nothing touching the difference in the examinations,
because he was not examined before for want of an interpreter.
He 'justifies' those to be owners whom the others have named, and
says of 'Kachupina' as the others said.
Martin Laurence of Laredo, aged 40 years, says that they laded
as the others affirm. They have no charter party because the goods
belong to the masters and company ; and to the 3rd, 4th, and 5th
articles he says as the others. For the rest he confirms the others.
Pedro de Faca, St. Jago Nates, say as the others. 'More,' there
is a boy who can say little or nothing. The master went from
Winchelsea on Sunday last, the 17th, and said nothing. They
suppose he is gone to London.
Endd. by L. Tomson. 8¼ pp. [Spain I. 46.]
271. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
I think it good to send you some further points as to the speeches
passed between M. Villeroy and me. First, he let me understand
the king's disposition to be so determined that he would by no
means have any civil wars, but has rather chosen to suffer them of
the Religion to keep the towns which by the treaty of pacification
should have been surrendered two years ago or thereabouts ; also
that they have detained his droits and revenues from these towns,
the customs and profits of the 'salts,' besides divers slaughters
committed, which the king has patiently passed over.
As for what was objected by them of the Religion to Montmorency
for taking certain towns, he says they were such as they had taken
from the Catholics since the edict of pacification, which he has
by the like means recovered ; notwithstanding they have again
taken arms and received into their protection those of the league,
who are the commonalty that rise against the king, the nobility
and the officials. In the end, having uttered these griefs
and declaration of the king's toleration thereof, he asked me
if I thought good that he should continue this patience, and
what advice I would give the king therein. I answered
that as for advice, I should shew much presumption if I
should open my mouth to utter words for that purpose ; but seeing
he had spoken his mind thus frankly to me, and asked me
what I thought of it, I would shew him what I had heard since
the time of my being here and 'conceit' of their affairs ; which was
that it clearly appeared the king to be [sic] of good disposition, and
to have 'framed' himself a nourisher of the repose of his subjects,
whereof he must in time reap great contentment. And notwithstanding
he still found a continuance of troubles, that was left to
him by his brothers, while the private ambition of a few was still
the occasion and instigation of the practices which for many years
had been wrought underhand in the realm, cloaked by more
plausible shows. For it was apparent, entering into consideration
of the persons of them of the Religion, that first the King of
Navarre, whom I had not seen nor was acquainted with, yet I was
informed he was a wise and considerate prince, and well understanding
his own state, much misliking to enter into troubles, seeing
that his living did not satisfy his expenses he was then driven to
enter into, and to accept and favour such 'facts' as are odious to him,
partly to be accompanied for his own defence, and partly to
'accomplish' with other men's friendships, which otherwise he
would lose, so that he was as I heard much in debt and at present
constrained to sell 'of' his territories, much to his grief. This
Villeroy affirmed, taking it to be much as I had said.
Then as to the Prince of Condé, I said he was a nobleman whom
everybody accounted to be of great value and good vivacity of
spirit, prompt and ready in all his affairs, but poor in ability
to maintain the state he was born to, and to shew himself of the
lineage whom [sic] he descended ; whereon he was driven, upon
necessity and being in many ways hardly dealt with, perhaps without
the King's consent, to shift as well as he could for his defence,
and to maintain himself in some reasonable estate. And for his
disposition, I understand he loves the King for the remembrance of
some kindness that passed between them in King Francis's time,
when they were both together in their young years at Court ; and
that the Prince hearing of the indignity done the King by the Duke
of Savoy in the Marquisate of Saluces, and of King Philip's double
dealing with him, said in very private discourse in his cabinet to
some of his friends, that rather than King Philip should offer those
injuries to the Christian king, he would give himself into the
king's hands at Paris to be sacrificed in his behalf, which shewed
his zealous affection to the king.
He said he took the Prince to be an honourable person and one
that carries himself well towards the king. Then I said, 'Sir, if
these persons are thus inclined, it were well to be considered
how God and nature have joined them ; therefore it were an
unjust part to separate them, especially their minds being no
otherwise bent than has been said.' It were good now awhile,
after so many experiences made otherwise, that the occasions
of these provocations, which have caused so many disorders
within our body, be looked to, considering that the principal
members were so naturally affected one to another, so that it might
easily be discovered that they of the Religion neither for their
religion, safety, or profit, nor any other cause, had or have the will
to take arms but upon mere constraint for the safeguard of their
lives, pursued through as many snares and subtle practices as
daily appears. Therefore it rather seems that this body of France
being thus infected with so sharp an humour cannot be better
remedied than 'to have' those ambitious heads employed in some
other country, where it may be for his Majesty's honour and the
repose and advancement of this realm. And I cannot tell how it
was in France, but in other countries it was plainly seen that the
Consistory of Rome by their counsel poisoned all other estates by
sending ill-disposed persons to stir up subjects against their
princes, 'assuring some of authority and provoking others with
their subtle intents and coloured means.'
He said it was great truth, and they of France felt it, and it was
the accustomed manner of Rome to deal thus with princes in time
past ; and he thought verily that seeing the troubles of France
would not be remedied by all the means that have been used, it
were good to move the minds of the subjects to enterprise some
foreign war. To this he found the king well disposed upon any
just occasion offered ; which he thought would fall out through the
matter of Portugal.
Lastly, I told him that the king was to think that the diffidence
among the protestants and elsewhere would remain till he had
'made overture' that there is not that intelligence between him and
the Scottish queen which the world yet mistrusts. Then he said I
should shortly hear further, and so we parted.
Since which time I am credibly informed by some of the Religion,
who have received it by good means, that Villeroy has given out
that he hopes the king will shortly talk with some of the chief of
the Huguenots in such sort that they should render him account of
their doings ; not doubting that it would pass well unless it were by
very ill hap shortly discovered ; as indeed it has fallen out. For
first the King of Navarre was in danger of poisoning, and now the
rendezvous appointed at Pierrepont, whereby the Prince of Condé
had been entrapped about la Fère. Whereon he is gone into
Germany to join with Casimir and such other company as he can
On the other side, in Dauphiné, Mandelot captain of Lyons has
massacred all that either would yield or he could conquer. So that
through these suspicions every man's mind is bent to defend the
cause, themselves and their allies, and very small hope left of any
longer continuance of peace.
Some of the Court, to kindle the matter the more, give it out that
the king means to go in person to suppress by force such as withstand
Thus I have told you what I have received in speeches, and what
passes in action ; so that though the time alters, yet it appears the
manner of double dealing continues.—Paris, 18 April 1580.
Add. 3 pp. [France IV. 56.]