294. MAUVISSIÈRE to WALSINGHAM.
Not having at the end of my audience the other day, had the
advantage of speaking to you to give you the letters which the King
my master has written to the Queen on behalf of some French
merchants for the recovery of certain securities due to them from
English and Italian merchants, I thought good to send you this
word (having heard that the Lords of the Council will not take
cognizance of the matter) to beg you to get the Lords to write to
the Judge of the Admiralty that he may hear the arguments on
both sides, and give his decision.—London, 19 May 1580.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1½ pp. [France IV. 69.]
295. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
Upon the directions in yours of the 2nd inst. I informed the king
how thankfully the Queen had received his advertisements concerning
the preparations intended against Ireland ; to which he said
that the obligation he had 'with' the Queen persuaded him to have
the care he had shewn, and he would continue it.
And whereas the King of Navarre and the Prince had informed
her Majesty by Bouchart of their 'condoleances' (of which I
delivered his Majesty a copy 'drawn out' of that which you sent)
he said they had not only taken arms but surprised his town,
committing many other insolences 'which do follow the wars.'
Notwithstanding, since he finds the King of Navarre somewhat
conformable, he has resolved to continue the repose of his country ;
having caused the Edict of Pacification to be published anew, with
further order, for the satisfying of those of the Religion. But if he
would bend his ear to those that are of his opinion in religion, they
would exhibit twenty complaints for one. Yet since he saw the
Queen governed quietly, he would also according to her counsels
incline to maintain the pacification which in his heart he desired,
as by effects he shows. He thanked her that, as he was advertised
by M. Mauvissière, she had not 'allowed of' their disorderly proceedings
in troubling his State at this time, which should not be,
considering the preparation and intentions of King Philip. I replied
that the Queen had reproved the present taking of arms by those
princes of the Religion, for the affection she bears to him ; yet she
would take it well if he would deal with those of the Religion as his
oppressed and afflicted subjects, being men whose welfare depended
only on his will. They had reposed their safety on his pleasure,
knowing that the intentions of some others, whose authority is
great, put them incessantly in extreme peril and 'diffidence' of
their lives ; which is done by the devices of those who would be
glad to do some service against those of the Religion, whereby they
may frame steps to advance their ambitions, though at his Majesty's
cost and charges.
He answered, it was not unknown to him that there were those
who desired 'renuvement' of his estate, but that being a king he
would rule them as a father in all his further proceedings ; beseeching
her Majesty to hold that hand towards him which it pleases her
now to do, which he would deserve by all means. And if such
occasion should fall out in his affairs he would address himself to
her for her counsel and favour.
After this I repaired to the Queen Mother, to whom I declared as
before, receiving from her words in effect much like the king's,
saving that she added how the King of Navarre had done better to
repent wisely than to proceed in his beginnings ; not being content
to commit disorders and break the Edict, to the prejudice of those of
the Religion, but also to repair to the Queen with their complaints.
However she knew the Queen was well acquainted with their
humours, as she perceived by Mauvissière.
Finding her thus moved I requested her to call to mind, first that
the King of Navarre was of the blood royal, and as it were a son of
France, a prince of a high lineage, of a good wit and ripe judgement,
rendered unfortunate only for his profession in religion, exiled
thereby from the King and Court, being 'presumed on' by sundry
under pretence of the King's service, and often put in great doubt
of his safety ; constrained by the provocations of others to do as he
does, and to exceed in his actions for the safety of his life. I besought
her to think not only of this, but of the declarations that they have
set down to the Queen, reporting matter of much importance with
exceeding appearance of truth.
She said that he was not bound by his religion to take arms
against the King, and he might come to Court. I replied that
things had passed heretofore through the counsels of such as were
thought not to be far from the King's presence and not to carry the
least part of reputation in his favour, who seem to break out at
times with privy practices, by which the King of Navarre and all of
the religion were made to despair of their safety and to take arms
as it were to make a way to fly from peril, adventuring their lives to
get some little place of refuge.
She returned that those times and humours were past, and if I
hearkened to them I should be 'abused' ; wishing me to continue my
good offices, and that she would consider their complaints, for
whose sake she had made many an evil journey.
I ended with this, that as the Queen had sent to the Christian
King and her the negotiations which the Princes and others of the
Religion had made her privy to, which now were revealed to them
as a clear show of sincere affection and private intelligence from the
Queen, I hoped that she and the king would have care so far that
they of the Religion should receive favour and comfort from them
in respect of the Queen my sovereign having given their causes and
complaints into their Majesties' hands ; having left them comfortless
only to the intent they might depend on their Majesties and
so receive defence. And thus with a little promise in a few words
that she would respect those of the Religion, I retired from this
At the end of these conferences with their Majesties, I informed
them how the Queen's governor in Ireland had obtained some
victory against the rebels and the Spaniards who were sent to assist
them and give them courage ; in such sort that the Queen's army
had scattered the rebels, driving the small remnants into the woods
and marshes, having taken their fortresses, and the castle where the
Spaniards had 'renforced' themselves, who were put to execution ;
as also that her Highness has now appointed such part of her navy
to guard the coast of Ireland that she hoped no further attempt
could be procured that way, by the King of Spain or otherwise.
Their Majesties said they were right joyous to hear those news,
wishing the continuance thereof.
On delivering the Queen's letter to the Portugal ambassador, I
told him that she had waited to answer the Duchess of Braganza's
letter, because she was daily expecting to receive further information
concerning her title and the state of the country, in what sort they
were united and disposed ; which in good policy ought to have
been done long since, considering the Cardinal King was not likely
to live, and the state of their country falling into present imminent
danger, especially when 'so nigh a mighty prince' as the Catholic
King pretended a right of succession to their realm with forces in
readiness to make good his claim. And yet, since the death of
their last king, they have not employed persons of quality, with
good knowledge of their affairs, to inform and explain to the Queen
and other princes the dangers supposed to be growing in their
estate ; nor had they signified what forces they were able to make
by sea or land for their defence, or their needs which might have
been relieved in convenient time.
To which the ambassador resident, and the other, Don Francisco
Baretto, answered first that the last king for a time inclined somewhat
to the Castilian King, persuaded thereto by the instigation of
the Pope. During his life they could pass no further than to procure
that by order of Judges the titles and claims might be indifferently
heard, examined, and adjudged. Since then they would not make
any alteration, but quietly and 'by time' put themselves in some
order to withstand the invasion of King Philip, if he shall seem to
trouble and force their justice. But both affirmed that they were
all united in this, that they thought it just the State should be
governed by a king of their own nation. Meantime the Governors
had sent to the Christian King, and to the Queen, to 'enlarge'
thus much by their letters, and had also appointed a gentleman to
be sent to England to signify their meaning, and understand her
Majesty's towards them, and obtain further favours as occasion
should present ; meaning not to make any show of hostility until
the King of Castile should first press on them, when they might
justly shew their resistance. Thereby they hoped to move all other
princes to take compassion on them and assist them. Meantime they
had fortified their principal posts and taken note of the number of
their fighting men, preparing weapons and armour for them.
Thus far they enlarged to me of their meaning and proceedings.
And so I took my leave of Don Francisco Baretto. He had finished
his negotiations with this king, and was preparing for his journey to
Rome, whither he is gone to treat with the Pope about the causes
of Portugal, intending to return this way.—Paris, 19 May 1580.
3¼ pp. [France IV. 70.]
296. The COUNT OF EAST FRIESLAND to the QUEEN.
We thank you for your letter of last November, and for that of
Mar. 4 in reply to ours. The sum of your request agrees so well
with our wishes that we long to fulfil it. We were much displeased
in former years by the sudden departure of your subjects, especially
as they were bound by their privileges to fix their trade permanently
at Embden. Now, however, that your letters have satisfied us on
this point, we have granted to the Governor of the Society of
Adventurers all that he sought in their name. His industrious
way of doing business deserves all praise from us, for since his
arrival we have heard no complaints of your subjects, except that a
few neglecting the old way of trade have been throwing themselves
too eagerly into the German commerce, whereby not only our
subjects incur great expense and loss, but all the German provinces
have of late taken great offence. We have discussed this with the
Governor, that it may be put a stop to at once. But as this has not
come about, we thought it well to seek a remedy from your Majesty.
If this is applied, and all cause of offence removed, there is no doubt
but that your merchants' business will become every day more
flourishing and more profitable to us.—Embden, 20 May 1580.
(Signed) Edzardus manu pp.
Add. Endd. by L. Tomson : pray cutters [qy. cutting] off of
forestallers. Lat. 1½ pp. [Hanse Towns I. 60.]
297. GOSSON to DAVISON.
I have received your letter, which I did not expect so soon, and
nevertheless had sent off [lâchée] another. I am glad and thankful
to you for confirming me in my purpose to the extent of your power.
Choice I have none, otherwise than to present myself on the chance
to one of those whom I named to you, who in all other things
show me favour and friendship. The business is difficult for me in
many respects. Still I will try the experiment.—Antwerp, 21 May
Add. Fr. ½ p. [Holl. and Fl. XIII. 30.]
298. COBHAM to BURGHLEY.
According to the command in your last letter I have written to
the Italian who is at Milan, to whom I have given order for his
coming hither, and so to pass into England, if he likes. I wish he
may accomplish some of the great deal he pretends ; which is
rather to be doubted than much hoped. Notwithstanding I would
not 'leave to' advertise his offer made to me, with that profession of
her Highness' service, which is to be dealt in according to her
pleasure and your lordship's opinion.
Best is returned hither a most sorrowful man, having been led to
that mishap (as it seems by him) through the reports of someone
that went between him and the other who is slain.
Du Vray is now come and has spoken with Queen Mother to-day,
but not with the King. He gives out that the Queen proposes
within a few days to send one to Monsieur who shall satisfy him for
the continuance of good mutual intelligence, but for no other matter.
To-day three commissioners from the Low Countries have passed
towards Monsieur. He continues a mediator for the public peace,
and for the time there is a surcease of arms.
The unkindness between the Dukes of Montpensier and Nevers
continues, and Montpensier sent lately to the King of Navarre, to
know if he would take part with him, which that King has promised
with great earnestness.
The King has lately caused the Edict of Pacification to be published
and proclaimed in sundry places. He does not yet proceed
with his edicts devised and propounded in the Great Council for the
'recovery' of great sums, but has borrowed divers sums of private
persons by way of loan, and caused it to be 'required' in the
Parliament that he may sell 12,000 francs a year of his domain :
which was somewhat 'opponed against' at first. At that time
M. de Lansac being sent thither to 'motion' this to the Presidents,
persuaded them with a long speech, concluding that they must
accommodate themselves to the King's need.
Please let me know if you received a note of the names of the
Englishmen in these parts. I sent it by Jacomo Manucci, late
servant to Mr Secretary Walsingham. Also that you would shew
me the favour 'as' to send me the schedule which you found in one
of my letters ; for to confess the truth I can find no copy of it, nor
do I well remember the meaning.
I do not yet hear tell that the Scottish gentlemen repaired to
you, who went from this Court with my letters for you.—Paris,
23 May 1580.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [France IV. 71.]
299. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
I beseech you, let me be 'comforted' to know if God has some
way blessed me, so that my 'selly' services are any way agreeable
to her Majesty, and that my care and intelligences given of the
greatest causes, which I take to be first the preservation of the
mutual amity with their Majesties here, or any carriage in the
matter of Monsieur's cause has been according to what she commanded,
and without offence or prejudice to any of my lords ; and
that I have not [sic] with expedition and circumspection advertised
of the proceedings of Portugal, as also that I was not the last who
discovered the enterprises of d'Aubigny. For it seems from the
message which Best brought that my lord of Leicester, to my great
grief and discouragement, understands otherwise of my service ;
since he has sent me word I have very evil intelligence, and that
the Queen was informed I carried much furniture for myself and
As for the first, concerning advertisements, I beseech you make
such answer to my lords as may truly be done, and let me understand
from you if my service be so slender ; that I may seek
amendment, and clearly know how I may do, and whereof I may
send more agreeable dispatches. For the bringing over with me of
furniture or provision, I may truly call God to witness that I did
not bring over with me anything of silk or cloth unmade, nor my
wife, as she swears, any piece of linen for her own use ; not so
much as sufficient for our daily use, so that it is openly known I have
bought it since I came hither. I wish those whisperers might not
be admitted to the ears of principal persons. But my lord might
deal honourably to cause such either to be punished who abuse his
gentleness ; or if it turn out to be true, I yield myself to be
punished as the meanest person in England.
Thus I receive no comfort or recompense for my 21 years' service
past, being come to the years of 43, receiving no answer to my suit
begun two years ago at Windsor ; and am made subject to the
speeches of the worst. What God will.—Paris, 23 May 1580.
[On a separate leaf, but apparently part of the same letter.] I have
enquired of Best upon what occasion his pitiful cause was brought to
the action of the extreme adventure of his life and the loss of another
man's life. He has told me how first the speech of this slander
commenced by words spoken by John Furryer, which were with
deep oaths (I cannot tell with what truth) answered by him, and so
put over to Lilly ; who, being thereon challenged by Best, would
have passed it with some fair words. But as the report was too
much spread Best could not be satisfied except Lilly brought forth
his author ; where at length it seemed this poor unfortunate young
man was 'heartened' on, to take the quarrel, as he thinks. Thus
through the impunity used to tale-carriers and whisperers, these
evil events fall.
For my own part I might justly take occasion to 'lament' of
John Furryer, for his evil tongue toward me and mine, and other
his demeanors ; but so as I may have the hap to be no further
'travailed' with his dealings, I shall the willinglier pass what is
past. 'Your honour do by me herein as it may be done conveniently,
and some good to you.'
Add. Endd. (with date) in Walsingham's hand, and (with
reference to the 'furniture' matter) in one of the 18th century.
1½ pp. [France IV. 72.]
300. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
There is a friend of mine, whom I moved to pass into Spain ; but
coming to Nantes on Feb 22, he embarked there, and through some
occasion landed on Mar. 4 at Lisbon, in the company of Gratiane,
my neighbour's servant, where he has seen the order of the affairs
in that country. They are particularly set down in the enclosed
letters which he brought with him and delivered to me ; as I think
it impertinent to write the same in my letter.
This person assures me that he was in the Duke of Alba's camp
at Badajos, which is within half a league of the river dividing the
Catholic King's territories from Portugal ; where he thinks the
Duke has not above 5,000 soldiers and those all Spaniards and most
of them 'besonyos.' He could not pass to see the 'army by sea,' for
passages are kept straitly that way. He understands that the
Catholic King has about 200 vessels and galleys 'attending on this
enterprise,' but their people exceedingly decayed with sickness.
The King of Spain was looked for to approach Portugal, and
secure means to land his army about the foot of Cascaes.
I wrote in February how Queen Mother had sent d'Abadia, by
whom her cause and pretence is negotiated. I beseech your
honour it may be concealed that I did send these inclosed or that I
'should be' in any way privy to it. [Walsingham's mark in
If it be your pleasure that the said person should be employed in
Spain, I will send him into the camp by sea. [Marginal note :
the man fit to be employed.]
I have (as I wrote to you before) procured one Cornwallis, but I
cannot altogether assure myself of his 'confidency.' I have sought
other means, which you shall shortly learn by an assured
messenger, if it takes place.
The agent of Spain's secretary has had some beginning of conference
with Best and has appointed him to come to-morrow night
to the agent. As he assures me you are privy to it, I have also consented.
Please send some instruction in writing, how he is to
proceed for her Majesty's service. [Marg. note : Privy to the
And I would know if you think it good he might take occasion to
be a malcontent upon this mishap lately done, showing his little
desire to return into England ; and to offer his service for Ireland
or England [marg. note : it may serve to good purpose], with desire
to serve in that army, and further as you may appoint. But this
shall not be done till I know your commands ; only he shall go to
the agent in the mean time and find his disposition. If therefore
you 'have liking hereof' let me receive the speedier answer.
I am advertised that Cardinal Riario passes through the King of
France's country, if the Duke of Savoy do not lend him his galley ;
so that he was minded to come to Lyons by land and not far from
thence to pass down the river Loire to embark at Nantes ; the
certainty of which I shall hear by the next 'ordinary' from Italy.
I have thought with myself that this Pope's legate will be fully
instructed in the affairs, not only for the negotiations of Portugal
and Spain, but of the Pope's counsels touching the enterprises of
Ireland, England, and Scotland ; so that I have conceived that if
such a person might be brought into the hands of some friends of
the Queen of England it would save great sums in her purse, procure
quietness to her heart, be a means to discover treasons, and save
many godly religious men's lives. [Marg. note : hard to be effectuated.]
There are ships of the Prince of Orange, of Scotland, and
Flanders, and others which have occasion to pass along the coast by
Nantes. The rest you understand and can order. If I may hear
from her Majesty that this dealing likes her, when I know her
pleasure, I will follow it with all my spirits. [Marg. note : They of
Rochelle most . . . for such an enterprise.] I have only delivered
my thought to you, beseeching you to deal therein accordingly. If
you will have it forward, upon one word of notice I will send Mr
Waad to receive instructions thereof, or otherwise handle it as you
Alexander Hayford, servant to Ralph Liggons, sometime attending
on the Duke of Norfolk, was sent hence on the 18th inst. to
Liggons's elder brother in Worcestershire.
Captain del Bene thinks to be dispatched within two or three
days to Flanders for the relief of Count Egmont, and hopes to
'introduce' a treaty for the delivery of M. de la Noue. He is
'advanced' to this privacy by the means of Strozzi ; he is directed
to the Prince of Orange and the States and means to go by way of
By letters of May 13 brought by a courier from Spain to-day it is
announced that the Catholic King was near Portugal with his forces,
having 25,000 foot, 2,000 horse and 1,500 men-at-arms on the
frontiers of Portugal, that he hoped to obtain possession of that
kingdom without force of arms ; meaning afterwards to turn his
forces toward Algier ; but this is certified from Madrid by those
affected towards him.
I have stayed this message this half day to receive my lord
Hamilton's answer in writing, but since it comes not, I will send
it by the next. [Marg. note : the Lo. Clawde's . . . . ].—Paris,
23 May 1580.
Add. Endd. by Walsingham : 'decyphered,' and in another
hand : letters intercepted of D'Abadie (see Nos. 253-6). Notes by
Walsingham. 2 pp. [France, IV. 73.]
301. COBHAM to [WALSINGHAM].
According to her Majesty's instructions in yours received on Friday,
the 20th, sent by Bluemantle, immediately on his arrival I
sent to demand audience of the King and Queen Mother ; but as the
King was on Saturday occupied in some great affairs, and about the
solemnizing of his feast of St. Esprit, I could not have audience of
him that day, nor yesterday, which was 'the feast of the descending
of the Holy Spirit,' nor yet to-day. Howbeit, the Queen Mother
admitted me to her presence, to whom I signified the Queen's
gratitude for her constant continuance in the suit of her son, which
infinitely bound the Queen to acknowledge this particular affection.
And since she and the King were pleased to concur in this suit with
Monsieur's good disposition, the Queen was moved so far to conceive
of their gracious dealing as to wish us to assure her that she would
with all zeal run the course of their fortune as a friend to their
friends, which she meant to testify to the world on any honourable
And whereas she had been upon sundry weighty considerations
moved to stay the sending the Commissioners, she has informed
du Vray of the reasons for this, and also for the prorogation of
Parliament ; which she was sure he would communicate to them.
Further, I was to show her how the Duke of Alençon had most
earnestly followed his cause, using all princely means for its accomplishment ;
which demonstrations of amity the Queen would requite
to him and them by all good friendship with entire intelligence.
To which she answered that she had shown herself importune in
her son's cause, being the thing she most desired, alike for the
worthiness of the Queen's person, and for her own contentation ;
desiring above all things in her old age to see her son have issue,
for which she could no longer 'attend.' But seeing marriages
were ordained in heaven, and but concluded 'in' earth, she left
the sequel of their desires to God ; being glad to learn by me my
sovereign's disposition for embracing entire amity with them. She
would inform the King of it, knowing he would take it to be the
best news that could come to his hearing. Herewith she asked of
du Vray. I told her I thought he would shortly be dispatched, and
I judged she might by him be more fully advertised of the Queen's
will and the causes which urged her to defer the Parliament in
England and the sending Commissioners.
She said it is reasonable her Highness should dispose of her
affairs to her own liking, notwithstanding their desires. And with
that she excused the King's not giving me audience for the solemnity
of that day ; to which afterwards she also repaired, to the
Augustines, where, as also on Whitsunday, the ceremony was held.
Monsieur remains as yet at Tours, where he has lately ordained
a Council of twelve chosen persons, among whom M. de la Fin and
the Vicomte de la Garche were appointed. But as he sometimes
called into his cabinet more privately part of his council only these
two not being admitted have departed from him as malcontents.
To-day are gone towards Monsieur's Court, Hubertus Langetus,
M. Provyn, M. Caron, Commissioners from the Prince of Orange
and the States of Flanders [sic] to receive his resolution touching
the articles and propositions which the States had already sent him.
They are accompanied by a servant of M. Pruneau, agent for
Monsieur in the Low Countries.
The opinion is that Monsieur hopes to obtain the Duchy of
Orleans, or some better 'partage,' and that his sister, the Queen of
Navarre, will have an increase of her estate in Berry ; whereon he
promises the King of Navarre and the Prince to stand their assured
friend, which will be well for him if the effect agree with this
supposed promise. It seems that of late the Protestants have
entered into some confidence that way, whereof God send them
more good than everybody hopes for.
Meantime, they of the Catholic league in Picardy are united and
ready to take arms against the Prince of Condé, whereon M. de
'Susanna' was sent hither on Friday last from the Prince, and sent
back again by the Queen Mother. His return is looked for to-night.
But as yet there is no very great appearance whether this motion
in Picardy will grow to war, or be smothered by order from their
It is reported that their rendez-vous was to be to-day Breteuil, a
town of the Prince's own inheritance, as I understand.
I saw a letter sent from the parts of Picardy toward the sea, how
thereabouts they had taken weapons from those of the Religion.
It is thought that M. Rambouillet will in a few days be sent with
letters patent from the King authorising him to treat for peace and
'accord' all matters happened in Languedoc and Guienne and
accommodate the affairs of the King of Navarre and the Prince
of Condé ; but the delay herein breeds doubts of further danger
to them of the Religion.
Monsieur has sent to Casimir to stay the levies of reiters which,
the opinion was, had been intended.
They of the Religion have taken Pierrepertuis near Perpignan.
M. Montmorency has surprised Saint-Paul, and put all the inhabitants
to the sword. Bassompierre has sent the King word that he
has 6,000 reiters ready at his command.
Some quantity of powder has been sent to Portugal, but it is
doubted lest it should be employed in Picardy, being sent down the
river towards Rouen.
Last Monday an edict was propounded in the Court of Parliament
for the alienation of 12,000 livres of 'rent of domain' ; to which the
first President added the condition that the money shall be
employed 'to the action' of war. The King also seeks to procure
an emprunt or loan of 400,000 crowns from certain persons, and will
gather a good piece of money by the contributions to the new
bridge beside the Louvre. The tax for the fortifications is also
I send you a letter written from Venice to the King of Spain's
agent here, concerning the affairs of Constantinople.
I am advertised by letters from Bordeaux of the 11th inst. that
there are no preparations of ships for war being made along that
M. Biron has lately demanded at Bordeaux in the King's name to
have a new imposition put on divers merchandise ; 20 sous on every
bag of woad, 15 on every tun of wine, 20 on the pipe of salt.
The Chamber erected by the King at Agen to execute justice on
both sides, alike on Catholics and on Protestants, is dissolved, and
the lawyers returned home.
I received letters from Nantes of May 10, at which time there
were no other preparations than I mentioned in my last. The Count
of Retz is at Court.
By letters of May 2 it is advertised from Spain that as many
soldiers as were 'taxed' were paid for six months by the commonalty
and provided with victuals and weapons to be sent to the Catholic
camp. And that all the noblemen and principal persons were
commanded by his Catholic Majesty to be ready with their munition,
horse, and weapons ; though the opinion was that the matter of
Portugal would be determined without war. Also that the Catholic
King would give his second daughter in marriage to the Duke of
'Barseilles,' with the greater Commandery of the Order of the
Religion of Christ, and that he should govern the kingdom of
Portugal during his life. And to Don Antonio he promised the
Priorate of Castile.
I send herewith the Pope's indulgence for the passing of the
affairs of Portugal. Having dealt with their Majesties on behalf
of Fabrizio Pallavicino, imprisoned at Rome, the King has written
very favourable letters, one to the Pope, the other to his
ambassador at Rome, as appears by the copies herewith.
I understand from Secretary Pinart that Alphonso Parabosco is
released out of prison and 'confined' into Bologna, with command
not to return to England ; and the Secretary wished her Majesty
would let him remain there.
'At the making up' of this letter came to me a servant of Lord
Copley with a message from his master to know if he might visit
me, as I was her Majesty's ambassador. But I answered that since
he remained out of the realm without licence, and in a sort her
Majesty might mislike, I could not entertain him till I knew her
pleasure.—Paris, 23 May 1580.
3¼ pp. Marginal notes. [France IV. 75.]
302. R. LLOYD to [WALSINGHAM].
The letters which I received at Court on May 27 I delivered
safely to the ambassador on Monday following, the 30th, at 8 a.m.
In Picardy, as I passed, it was said of all men and held for truth,
that all the soldiers who had been in that country, who were many,
had assembled by the King's special command to besiege la Fère ;
but now being known for certain that the Prince of Condé is elsewhere,
they have, as I understand, changed their purpose,
esteeming it too late to shut the stable door when the horse is stolen.
Whereupon the speech runs that the troops of soldiers who
impoverished and oppressed the country are dispersed and gone
away as secretly as their coming was.
'Them' of the Religion that are in arms in Dauphiné daily
increase in force, notwithstanding M. 'Livero,' one of the King's
minions, who was sent thither a month ago, with 12 companies.
The King was lately advertised that if aid did not come from him
presently he would lose the whole country. Now there is some
secret talk that the Duke of Mayn will be employed there with
great forces. Others think rather that the Duke will go into
Picardy and besiege la Fère, notwithstanding the prince's absence,
In Poitou they are up in many places, and 'by name' one M. de
Boulay is in arms, to whom men daily repair. The town of
Montaigu in the same country was not long since taken, and is now
held by them of the Religion ; M. 'of' Saint-Estienne is governor
of it, a gentleman reported to be wise, virtuous and valiant. It
will, as I understand, be besieged very shortly, for the speedier
accomplishment of which great preparation is made by M. de la
Roche-Barritot, governor of Fontenay for the King. It is further
reported that 12 field-pieces are being brought thither from Nantes.
Nevertheless M. de Saint-Estienne makes full account to withstand
it. The town and castle are thought to be very strong, and well
furnished with men, victuals and other requisite provisions.
In Guienne, Britanny, Normandy, Picardy, Champagne, and other
places they stand in very 'tickle' state ; every hour ready to take
arms, and no less expected by all men.
The King was lately desirous that the Prince Dauphin should
have gone to Dauphiné with some forces to aid those that serve the
King there ; but not only did he refuse to go there himself, he is
unwilling that the King should send any other.
The quarrel between the Dukes of Montpensier and Nevers rather
increases than 'takes any good end' ; and surely the hot words
daily given out on both sides will come at last to blows, if it be not
a matter feigned between them.
Not long since, the King seeing his affairs fall out contrary to
his will and expectation, being therewith greatly moved, and in
choler, spoke these words to one of his minions in the hearing of
many other people : That he had always desired peace and quietness,
and done what lay in his power to procure it ; but seeing his
travail took no better effect, and they did not leave to molest him
still, he now was fully determined either to enjoy his crown quietly
and govern as a King, or else make it their prey and gain, who so
long had envied his reign, troubled his state, and affected his
It is said that Picardy offered to serve him with 2,000 horse and
6,000 foot in good equipage, at their proper charge. Nevertheless
as I passed through that country they were still continuing their
preaching in the accustomed places, as they had done when greater
danger menaced them. And it is most certain that the first
company of soldiers that enter these countries, be they for the King
or any other, the people are resolved to take arms and follow the
course 'done' in Dauphiné.
Toulouse also promises to serve the King with 6,000 men at their
own pay, for the space of three months ; and indeed it 'stands
them in hand' to do no less, so imminent is their danger, if the
King do not aid them.
This brings the Parisian [sic] in very great fear, that they also
shall be constrained to furnish the King with 18 or 20 thousand
men at least, at their proper expense, seeing other places offer so
The Prince of Condé is reported to be at Sedan on the confines
of Germany, and M. de la Roche-Guyon of Normandy is said to
have retired to him. Great companies of soldiers will, I hear,
arrive there with speed.
It is given out for certain that M. Laval is 'gone post' into
Germany with money to make a new levy of men.
Mme la Noue is at Paris soliciting for her husband's enlargement ;
and M. de 'Strosse' also, who once was delivered for M. la
Noue, both being taken prisoners in one encounter, is a very earnest
suitor for him, but hitherto they have prevailed little.
Englishmen from all parts resort daily to Paris from Rome and
other places. Amongst them is one called Mr Copley, a Norfolk
man, made, as I hear, lord by the French king, and his son (who
died lately at Rheims) knighted. One Liggins, Darbeshire, and the
Earl of Westmorland, with one called here Lord Dacres, are looked
for. Their coming in this sort cannot be without great cause and
secret intent. I pray God that these things, which prognosticate
small good for England, may be soundly looked into and thoroughly
deciphered before our enemies have, under show of amity, wrought
things to their purpose.
It is a common speech in France, and especially among those that
serve God, love His word and them that defend it, that the Pope, the
French king, the King of Spain, the Duke of Florence and the
Venetian have from the beginning of their preparation for the war
had no other intent than the hurt of England ; the Pope in hope to
recover his Peterpence, the French king because he esteems his
civil dissension to take beginning and continuance from England ;
and the King of Spain for the continual war made against him in
the Low Countries, and only maintained, as the bruit is here, by the
Queen and her subjects. Therefore the Pope to purchase safety to
his own seat has by his travail and promises of pardon joined these
princes together in amity, persuading them that their quietness and
the good of all Christendom depends thereon.
And as for the Pope, he has already begun to play his part by a
massacre committed by his command, in this manner. There was
a gentleman of good calling, some say he was a bishop, in the town
of Avignon, governor of the country thereabouts, and Major domo
or steward of the household to the Cardinal of that place, under
whom he had great authority and good credit ; all men loved him.
And by the Pope suspected to be of the Religion ; for which cause
his Holiness addressed letters to him, very friendly praying him to
repair to Rome for some special service that could not be 'participated'
to any other than himself, and that with all speed possible.
Suspecting the matter, he disobeyed the letters ; of which the Pope
being advertised wrote to the Cardinal, willing him without fail to
send his Major domo at once to him. But the Cardinal making
greater estimation of the man than of the Pope's command, being
assured that if he went to Rome he would never return, answered
the Pope that he had talked with such an one according to the tenor
of his letter, and found him not willing to come to Rome ; and, for
his own part, he would not send him against his liking. The Pope not
altogether contented that his command was no more regarded 'with'
the Cardinal and his officer, writes secretly to the Mayor of Avignon,
commanding him in any case to find some means to put him to
death, the cause of which he would impart to him hereafter ; as yet
it could not be manifested to any. Upon view of this letter, the
Mayor sought by all means possible to accomplish their contents ;
and having intelligence that this gentleman was sent for into the
country to christen his friend's child, found means also to write to
a Captain that had charge thereabouts to put the matter into execution.
To encourage him the more he sent all the Pope's letters.
The Captain to gain the favour of his Holiness made his secret and
speedy arrival, accompanied by three or four score horse, near the
house where the Major domo was 'as then' ready to go to dinner,
and sent in great haste to desire him to come and speak with him
upon a cause of importance there hard by. The other sent that he
was going to dinner, where, if he would come, he should be 'very
well welcome.' The Captain, not content with this answer, sent
back his man to excuse his not coming, and to declare that the
matter was of great weight and required no less haste. Whereupon,
nothing doubting the villany and treason of the other, he went
forth accompanied only by five or six of his people ; where the
Captain, having given many occasions of quarrel (and the other,
wise, taken none), in the end desired to speak with him apart. And
so being from his company, the captain drew out his dagger
secretly and stabbed the other in the body in two or three places,
whereof he presently died. The news of it being brought to the
Aldermen and others of the town, they rose and took arms, some
against the Mayor, some with him, so that the slaughter is reported
to be great among them, and whether they are appeased or no,
I cannot yet learn.
In the Seignory of Venice, which was the freest part of Italy and
where a stranger had greatest friendship and liberty, there is of late
a general restraint ; that is, that none can remain there but such
as will 'reform' themselves to the Roman religion, which is duly
and surely executed towards all men.
On Monday last three gentlemen passed this way towards
Monsieur, who lies at the Abbey of St. Martin at Tours, with commission
from the Prince of Orange and the States to deal with him
very earnestly for his coming into the Low Countries.
The King, Queen Mother, the French queen, and the Duke of
Guise are at the Louvre. The Queen Mother they Bay will once
again undertake to make peace if it be possible.—Paris, last of
4 pp. [France IV. 76.]
303. BOTOLPH HOLDEE to [WILSON?].
By reason of the great plague in Lisbon, all the inhabitants in
a manner are 'sparsyd' abroad, at least such as are able to suffer
the charges, and even so I myself, out of the city ; by which means
for lack of access to such as might instruct me I cannot learn the
true report how things pass here, especially since through the
plague in divers places men are 'sparsyd' abroad, and no place
certain of therein abiding, but rather moving from day to day from
place to place as occasions cause them. Thus I cannot advertise
you as I would wish ; yet you shall understand what I know by
such report as I do hear. King Philip with his queen and nobility
left Madrid long since, and has gone from place to place approaching
near the borders of this country. Before Whitsuntide he was
at Merida and the Duke of Alva at Illerena preparing and giving
order to the captains about the enterprise of this country. The
Governors sent their ambassador to King Philip long since to
'intreat with him' that he will abide the sentence to be orderly
given by such as shall be appointed for the 'discourse' of all
things as by King Henry was ordained long before his death ;
alleging as some say that if he deny to stand to that order and to
the sentence to be given, but will rather use force, in that
respect he loses his title. But as it is said, he answers
that he has caused this case to be disputed and determined
not only by learned men both divines and 'sevillians' in
his realms, but also in France and other places ; and has
likewise given them here space from time to time to conclude and
give sentence, which they do not. He will therefore use such
remedies as he thinks good. He 'leaves' not to use all means
possible both by letters and messengers to the principal cities and
places to persuade them to his purpose ; with large promises and
large allegations of his right, and how he is a natural 'Portingall,'
and what great benefits they shall receive by him, and how their
countries shall be 'innoblyshyd,' and in fine every one in particular
to receive great benefit ; and if they will not, then to consider what
destruction shall fall upon them, and how for his part he desires
all things to be done quietly to their content and profit, and has
been already at great charges and can delay no longer. Yet if they
will receive him, he will employ his army in such wise as will be to
the great benefit of all Christendom with ways he means, as God
knows. Yet all this notwithstanding, and although he has divers
friends here, they do not relent to him ; but order is of late given
to all the preachers to 'amoneste' the people to use the fear of
God and put their hope in him, and everyone to shake off particular
interest and be true to their country ; alleging how few in rightful
quarrel have overcome great numbers, and what victory they themselves
have divers times had against the Spaniards, few against
many, and how their case is just and their enemies' unjust, and
that the rigour and tyranny he begins to use in usurping force, shall
be his destruction, if they put their hope in God and 'do their
diligence of true and faithful natural.'
This I have heard myself, and 'more larger' is preached in
divers places of late. Also of late one of the Governors 'come' to
'belya' [qy. Belem] to assist them, and upon the 'cachoppes'
[Chachopos] is made a new fort of wood, and others on the sands ;
and divers preparations throughout the realm, in fortifying their
towns, and soldiers in every place, though I must needs confess
that they are not strong, both through the overthrow in Africa,
where all their treasure was consumed and munitions and force
lost, and now the plague in divers places. Even at Almerin, where
the Governors are, they die of the plague. And the people not well
united together ; for a great number to be in quiet would have
King Philip, also divers others for their private profit. What I
most doubt is the difference between Don Antonio and the Duke
and Duchess of Braganza, Doña Catarina, who has most right in
this case, as learned men say, 'when as' Don Antonio do not prove
himself legitimate, upon whose case they now stand. It is said
that of late the Governors required the Duke and Duchess as well
as Don Antonio to depart from the Court fifteen leagues, each
of them a different way, until the ymbargos of Don Antonio
should be published, upon which the judge appointed one daily
sitting, but in fine neither of them would obey, much to the 'disliking'
of the Governors. It is feared that the difference between
these personages will be hurtful to this State and a means whereby
King Philip may the easier enter. God remedy all.
Last Easter a gentleman was sent in secret to France about the
state of this country, and another departed of late to England, as a
gentleman, a friend of mine, told me. They have need of great
help, and with much speed, as I suppose. God let all things be
done to His glory.
They begin now to stay some hulks here, and put their own shipping
in order, though very slowly, considering their enemy so nigh
at hand, and so mighty as it is said he is both by land and sea.
Yet if they agree together, no doubt but it will cost him dear before
he obtain his purpose. They look 'owerly' for the breach ; what
will be the end, God knows.
Of late 'in manner jointly together' I have received five letters
from your honour, of the 7th and 9th January, 6th February, 22nd
and 27th March, by which I perceive you received certain of mine.
I like them well, and I would my knowledge and power were according
to my heart ; then you would be well served in all respects.
'As touching to advertise you' what 'Pirs Harbroun' spent in all,
as I have before told you how he would by no means remain at my
house, wherefore I could not learn his particular proceedings, and
therefore know not what he spent more than the 100 'duchkets'
which I delivered to him, and what he received of Don Antonio,
which he told me was 100 ds., and to others he said it was 200.
Wm. Olbro is far from me, so I cannot learn what he had of him.
It is no small comfort to me that you write me that her Majesty
'deleyteth' with my letters. I would it lay in my power to give
her content, but that small talent which God has lent me I shall
always be ready to employ in her service to the utmost of my power,
till the 'owre' of death.
As for conserves and such like the time serves not now ; but God
willing I will provide such things at the coming home of the ships.
You never wrote me whether her Majesty liked the last gloves better
than the others before, so that I might have prepared such as
should have contented her.
I am glad that Antonio de Castilleo behaves himself so that she
may like him, for so he will do his country good. He was with me
divers times before his departure and conferred with me of divers
things, and perhaps my instructions and advices to him were not
hurtful. He is a good Spaniard, much inclined that way and likewise
somewhat allied that way.
If 'Harbrown' come hither he shall have his deserts ; but he is
wise enough for that matter. I have advised Don Antonio's folks
to beware of him. As for the chest of writings, there is no such
thing here ; all was carried away to the party 'yemediatly' in his
departing. The week before Easter came hither in a French bark
from those parts two young men that were his servants here, and
as they said were bound for Spain, where they should have 'great
remedy' ; and gave out that all things prospered much on their
side.—'Vall fremoso' [qy. Valle Fermosa] beside Lisbon, 31 May
3 pp. [Portugal I. 30.]
304. MEMORANDUM AS TO THE BONDS.
As there is at present some discussion how to find some way by
which those of London may pay Spinola and Pallavicino the already
accrued interest, and give a certain assignment for that to come,
and the States of the Low Countries may do as much by that city,
the more prompt and final method that occurs to us is the
That the States give a mortgage on the taxes that they call
moyens generaux to the company of Merchants Adventurers of the
City of London for the amount of the future annual interest on the
obligations, which will be 27, 312 florins of that money of brossi [?] ;
on which it is calculated that the merchants will discount 20,000
florins every year upon their proper merchandise which is affected
by those bonds. The rest they will recover on those of other
nations, and it will no doubt be a most secure assignment, and the
best that the States can give in these times. If the City of London
were to require fuller caution for cases that might arise, her Majesty
might give her particular obligation, to assure them that she will
have them repaid by the States.
For the interest accrued up to to-day, which already amounts to
nearly £3,000 sterling, those of London may either get reimbursed
from the silver bullion which is here, or get an assignment from
the States on the above-mentioned general taxes.
Endd. by L. Cave : May, 1500. A device for the satisfying of
such interest as is and shall be due to Sor. Spinola and Horatio
Pallavicino for the money lent by them to the use of the States of
the Low Countries. It. 2/3 p. [Holl. and Fl. XIII. 31.]
Below is written, in a hand 40 years later : I am to give your
Maty. most humble thanks for your Gracious Royal promise to
me of the next place of Mr. of requests signified by my lo. Villiers.
I desire that your Maty did know that my meaning was not to
beg the place whereby to be any charge to your Maty by sea
or otherwise until another place fall ; but only to be sworn into the
place as in locum vacativum [?] to prevent the importunity of others,
that in the mean time I may have occasion thereby to do your
Maty. better service than yet you can take knowledge of. 9ll.
(Probably by Lionel Cranfield, afterwards Earl of Middlesex, sworn
Master of Requests in Nov. 1616.)