May 1580, 16-31


Institute of Historical Research



Arthur John Butler (editor)

Year published





Comment on this article
Double click anywhere on the text to add an annotation in-line

Citation Show another format:

'Elizabeth: May 1580, 16-31', Calendar of State Papers Foreign, Elizabeth, Volume 14: 1579-1580 (1904), pp. 267-284. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=73450 Date accessed: 16 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


(Min 3 characters)


May 1580, 16-31

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.]
May 19. 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 audience. 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.]
May 20. 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.]
May 21. 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 1580. Add. Fr. ½ p. [Holl. and Fl. XIII. 30.]
May 23. 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.]
May 23. 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 my servants. 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.]
May 23. 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 margin.] 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 matter.] 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 best please. 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 Calais. 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.]
May 23. 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 occasion. 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 Majesties. 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 doubled. 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 coast. 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.]
May 31. 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 crown. 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 largely. 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 May 1580. 4 pp. [France IV. 76.]
May 31. 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 1580. 3 pp. [Portugal I. 30.]
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 following :— 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.)