335. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
Since my last I have had word from Lyons that after the King
had sent letters containing the abolition and pardon of the league
of the country of Dauphiné, the gentlemen of that league separated
and returned to their houses until now of late ; when four companies
have been defeated by Captain Bouviers, who commands for
those of the Religion in the towns and castles of 'Cinquantin' [St.
Quentin], Yseron, and Châteaudouble.
About the 17th ult. the Estate or Council provincial was held at
Grenoble ; where it was agreed that the clergy should pay two-tenths,
the nobility 10,000 francs, and the commonalty or third
estate 40,000 francs, which sums are levying with great diligence,
for they expect very shortly the coming of the Duke de Maine to
be general against them of the Religion. He has taken up much
corn in Burgundy, and 1,500 soldiers, who were already transported
to the Saone, to descend to Lyons.
M. Lesdiguières is besieging Tallart, and is in good hope to win
the town before the King's forces approach.
M. 'Livrot's' company traversed Burgundy and Beaujolais,
having crossed the Loire at Roanne, marching up towards the forest.
It is thought they will traverse the country of Gévaudan to approach
Mende, which is appointed by the King to be besieged. M. de Paye,
with his regiment raised in Dauphiné passed the same way. M.
Vidal of Auvergne left Lyons on the 9th, taking thence with him
one battering-piece, and 150 quintals of powder.
Monsieur remains at Tours, where he often exercises himself on
horseback by four o'clock, armed, but privately.
The Earl of Westmoreland is looked for here shortly.—Paris,
21 June, 1580.
1 p. [France IV. 98.]
336. SPANISH ADVERTISEMENTS.
I thought it my duty, hearing of some Spanish news, to examine
some man of the most credit and best judgement among the
company—considering the matter is weighty, and to advertise
you thereof. And finding one John Ley, master and 'honor' of
the Flower de lice of 'Lime Rege,' being a wise and expert fellow,
having some acquaintance of English, Irish, and Spanish members
of the confederation, the 'rather' to give information thereof, I have
thought it well to send you the same, according to the 'collection'
that I have made of his talk.
He says that about May 24 Mr Henry Cary came from the Court
of Spain, with whom he had conference, Mr Cary told him he had
been a captain with Mr Furbusher in his voyage to Cathay, and
being the King of Spain's godson, and not liking the religion in
England, he came to Spain, and had got the 'entertainment' of a
captain to serve the King in this war, which he said was prepared
for Portugal. The King himself had gone from the Court (leaving
the Queen 'on' childbed, being 'brought abed' not above 14 days
before), with a great army of his nobility, who refused 'the same'
without his presence. He said his long stay was the means of
sickness among the soldiers in his ships. He has taken them ashore
again and sent for new men into the straits to furnish them.
Fourteen sail lay at Biscay, and were expected every day at the
Groyne, where Mr Cary and other captains stand to take charge of
He also told Ley that there were 40 argosies lying in 'Cales' in
Andalusia, which were to meet these ships at Bayona, and be
victualled from the Groyne, where all the King's provisions were.
He thought these were sufficient for a very large army ; and having
conference with a Spanish merchant there, what the meaning of it
was, being a great deal larger, as he thought, than would suffice
these ships, he answered that the King had to employ them for
other purposes. He also told the merchant, he marvelled why the
King would relieve certain rebels to the Queen, 'and when he had
some there' ; and he answered that he did as she did by his rebels
in Flanders and also said, 'He that would England win, with Ireland
he must begin.'
He also talked with a Portugal merchant, who said they had made
provision to defend themselves, and they had leifer deliver themselves
into the hands of the Moors than yield to the King of Spain.
Ley also reports that on May 24 there arrived at the Groyne an
Irish bishop with two ships, one of 160, the other of 50 tons, in which
were 800 soldiers and plenty of munition for the field ; so that he
was driven to hang the carriages of the ordnance by the ship's side.
They are reported to have 4,000 harquebuses. The ship is the
same which Stukeley came in, and was left in Portugal.
Ley acquainted himself with one Oliver, an Irishman, having
good credit with the said bishop, who could speak English very
well. He discovered to Ley that 18 ships of their confederacy
were lying at 'Saint Tanderes' in Biscay, wherein he said
were 12,000 men, Irish, English, Flemings, Italians and Spaniards ;
and they had great plenty of money, and daily received great sums
from the abbeys and monasteries, by command of the Pope. Ley
asked Oliver for what purpose this company and the ships were
ordained. He told him they were for Ireland, and maintained by
the Catholics for the restitution of the Catholic faith and liberty
of the country ; which the said Bishop, going over with James
'Feemorice,' has meantime been practising both by the Pope and
with other princes for the purpose aforesaid.
Oliver also told Ley that he heard the Queen's ships were on the
coast of Ireland to await their coming, but they would prevent the
danger of that well enough ; for as soon as they came within sight
of land they would strike their sails, and lie 'at hull,' and send two
'pynishes' of 10 and 4 tons, which were in Ireland on May 1 last,
to learn of the Irish where her Majesty's ships lay, and so would
'forsee' to the land without 'their danger.' It was no matter in
what place they landed ; for the whole country, 'such as were in
arms as not,' were her Majesty's enemies and their friends, and
stayed but their coming to show themselves so openly.
Ley left Spain by the Groyne on June 15 and arrived at Lyme the
night of the 21st. He verily thinks these rebels will put to sea the
next easterly wind, towards Ireland ; who understanding of his
enquiry herein picked a quarrel 'to' him, seeing him ready to
depart, and stayed his merchants and 700 ducats of their goods ;
'manning out' certain pinnaces to have brought him in again.—
23 June. (Signed only 'your honour's to command.')
Endd. : Spanish advertisements. There is also on the back, written
in Burghley's hand : To Mr D. Hutcher, Vice-chancellor in the
University of Cambridge (probably written on the wrong letter). 1¼ pp.
[Spain I. 51.]
337. STAFFORD to [WALSINGHAM].
Being arrived at Calais I found everybody full of the Prince of
Condé's arrival in England, and being asked by M. Gourdan of it,
'whom' I knew had sent it two days before to the ambassador,
I was ashamed openly to lie. Yet not to tell altogether the truth,
I told him the last man I saw in London was the ambassador, who
told me of it, and that the same morning he had written to the
Queen of it ; and that I had since heard so too by the way.
Whereat I much marvelled, because coming from the Court the
day before I had heard never a word of any such thing ; which I
was sure I should not have been ignorant of if the Queen had
heard anything of it. He seemed to go about to draw out of me if
I thought the Queen would receive him well ; and that he thought
coming in person thither she would gratify him with any help she
could. To that I answered that I was sure the Queen would if he
came use those courtesies which she never denies to any stranger,
especially so great a prince ; but as for giving him help, I thought
he, knowing her so well as he did, would look twice or ever he would
ask for her help 'again' the King, to whom he knew her to be so
good a sister, and so straitly allied, and I assured him, if he did he
would find himself denied. But I rather thought, if he were there,
he was come to save himself out of a place of danger here ; to put
himself in a place of surety under the wing of so virtuous a princess.
He answered me he prayed God it were so, and wished all things
were well in France, desiring peace much, as it seemed ; and so we
'left,' being very late.—Calais, 23 June 1580.
P.S.—Please send this to the prince, and let him understand by
you that you are that I dare account of my honourable friend, and
how sorry indeed you may assure him I am that I cannot, by
'necessity' of absence, show the good will I have to do him service.
1 p. [France IV. 99.]
338. THE QUEEN to the FRENCH KING.
Whereas many curious spirits in this present age discourse
after their fancy concerning the affairs of princes without
any respect or consideration, interpreting them for the most
part in an ill sense, we, holding nothing in so high commendation
as honour, and to obviate the frivolous discourses
which some of these malicious and restless spirits might
utter concerning the coming hither of the Prince of Condé, have
charged Sir Henry Cobham, our ambassador in ordinary, to tell you
the cause of it in detail, and what has passed between us and the
prince, all of which we have communicated to your ambassador ;
who reporting it faithfully to you, as we hope he will without fail
(having found him up to now well disposed to do all good offices
for the maintenance of our mutual amity), we doubt not you will
remain satisfied, and interpret our actions in good part, as those of
a princess who loves and honours you, and would not on any account
do anything with which you could rightly be displeased.
A similar document (to Monsieur) for Stafford. 'Not only the
reason of the prince's coming, but the particular hope and trust
which he has in you, owing to your reputation as a prince full of
pity and inclined to have compassion on the poor afflicted, as he
admits you have shown by your actions towards him.'
Drafts in the hand of L. Thompson. Endd. : Mts. to Sir H.
Cobham and Mr Stafford, 26 June 1580. Fr. ¾ p. and ¾ p.
[France IV. 100.]
339. DISPATCH to SIR H. COBHAM.
Her Majesty having an especial regard to her honour, and considering
that divers constructions might be made of the Prince of
Condé's late repair into her realm, thought it to stand greatly with
the respect she had thereto if the King might be made acquainted
both with the manner of his coming and also with the cause of it,
for her better justification ; wherein she first made his ambassador
privy to the prince's arrival incontinently after she had received the
certainty of it herself, and afterwards that he might be an ear
witness of the speech between herself and the prince, she sent for
him to be present at the prince's audience, that he might report it
to the King, and the King judge thereby of the sincerity of her
First therefore, touching the manner of his coming, he was
landed before she ever heard of any such intended voyage he meant
to make to her. This she wishes you to assure him on the word of
a prince to be true. As for the intention of his coming, he desired
her to think it was for no other end but to 'lay open' to her for her
satisfaction against all such contrary reports as might be given out
against him of his withdrawing from that realm and repair into
Germany, and also to acquaint her with the reasons which moved
the King of Navarre to have recourse to arms. In the declaration
of this he laid down before the ambassador many particular wrongs
and outrages by them sustained ; wherewith they do not in any sort
charge the King either as willing or consenting thereto. To him
they mean, as in duty bound, to yield all dutiful obedience so far as
their lives and living will extend ; and then to beseech her Majesty
to be the means to make them known to their own sovereign, as the
fittest instrument they could think of to present their justification.
This was the effect of his speeches, as the ambassador is to report ;
and her Majesty thinks he will do it sincerely.
You should further let the King understand that for the sincere
affection she bears him and the good she wishes to his state in
respect of the strait terms of amity he has lately desired to enter
into with her, she cannot but pray him to consider what the nature
of the war is he enters into and what effects are like to follow, by
consideration of the miseries of 'forepassed' times. For if the
number of subjects be the glory of a prince, what can the diminishing
of them, yea, of the best sort of them, be, but a spoil to his
Crown and a very pathway to the ruin of his person and state?
All princes that ever honoured the glory of France, 'sorry' greatly
to see those heavy accidents already fallen upon the realm, a great
part of the ancient nobility being worn away by these civil wars,
and such as remain, likely to pass the same perilous course ; a
matter of small comfort to a prince of long continuance, to be
driven for the maintenance of his princely state to create a new
nobility and perhaps of so small deserts as do not answer to that
calling. Besides, the misery cannot but be great for a prince to behold
infinite numbers that never offended consumed by fire and sword,
error and malice of a few, and commonly with this 'rate' that the
better sort are carried away and the worse remain, and that as it
always falls out in civil wars, there is nothing more grievous than
victory. You should therefore shew the King that she does not
conceive these troubles to proceed from want of good disposition in
him to have his subjects live quietly in obedience to his laws, or
from any lack of duty or desire to demonstrate it by agreeable
effects in these princes who now stand out for their defence, but
only from such as desire nothing more than to be fishing in troubled
waters, and whose dispositions are so unquiet, that carrying in
them the nature of fire they cannot be maintained in their being
but by consuming and roasting others, who either to work their
private revenge or by other men's falls to make themselves great
care not what becomes of king or realm.
If the King shall allege that they of the Religion are the chief
causes of the troubles, answer that when her Majesty considers the
quality of both parties, the match itself being between a sovereign
and a subject, the whole combination of them of the Religion being
in number small and means to help themselves poor, their profession
being rather to bear than to offer wrong, as by many proofs they
have made manifest to the world, not allied to any but such as are
of the same profession as themselves, princes and states who are
not easily brought to join them without great appearance of oppression,
her Highness cannot think that without constraint for the
safety of their lives they would enter into so hard and desperate a
For these respects therefore her pleasure is that you should
declare to the King how for the good will she bears him and not for
any other respect she 'has to meddle' with the affairs of his
government and state. She could be content, if he so like, to
interpose herself as mediator to do that good for the appeasing of
these troubles which the present condition of things may seem to
Endd. : 26 Junii, 1580. Copy to Sir Henry Cobham, and below,
in Burghley's hand : Concerning the Prince of Condé's being in
England ; also in a later hand. 2½ pp. [France IV. 101.]
340. DISPATCH to STAFFORD.
Of late, unexpected by her Majesty, the Prince of [Condé] came
over from Germany to this realm, and afterwards, upon request
made to have access to her person, was thereto received. Wherein
notwithstanding she first acquainted the King's ambassador with
his arrival, and afterwards with the time of his audience, willing
him to repair to the Court that he might hear what the Prince
had to deliver to her ; yet not resting satisfied with this
sincere kind of dealing, and considering how diversely the world
is wont to 'construe of' her actions, she has thought good to
give order to her ambassador resident there, and likewise to you to
deliver and report the whole matter, one of you to the King, the
other to Monsieur, with directions to you both for the performing
of your charge. Sir Henry Cobham has his in such sort as was
meet for the person of the King. Yours has a little different course,
not in matter, but in respect of the circumstances of the person
upon whom her Majesty most relies, both for the maintenance of
her honour against all sinistrous constructions and for doing good to
those princes whom he has in former times no less honourably
favoured. Then their case as it is taken is not lightly to be
abandoned, for many inconveniences that might ensue, not only to
the realm in general but in particular to Monsieur himself. Therefore
you should declare this much to him, that the Prince when
with her, and in the presence of the ambassador, proposed only two
points ; one touching his justification in withdrawing to Germany,
and the King of Navarre's for taking arms ; the other a request to
her to be a means to present his justification to the King. Which
points she contentedly heard, and has thought good to present the
knowledge of them to Monsieur, meaning to have his defence if she
be misreported or [ill] thought of for this mediation. She desires
both one and the other for her own sake and not without respect to
him, who cannot but be touched with the sense of that grief
which either the one or the other of those two parties shall
feel. But for her own defence she does not much labour, because
she stands assured of the sincerity of his affection towards her ; and
for the other she rests as well resolved, because it is not now only that
he has carried a singular favour towards them, joining his fortunes
with theirs in former times and by their behaviour then understanding
the dutiful mind they carry to the King. Then how great a loss
it would be both to his brother and himself to have such persons
cut off through the malice of their enemies, who touch him so
nearly in blood, and of whose devotion he stands most sure. If it
were but the loss of those two princes, it were too great an adventure
for the State ; but as the cause is not included within their two
persons, but rather to all parts of France, their followers and
'adjoints' will be many, and the misery that will ensue will draw
with it the utter ruin of infinite numbers.
Former 'presidents' show how far the incommodities of civil war
reach ; the matter needs no long discourse. Her Majesty thinks it
sufficient to lay before him that great trees cannot fall without
mighty destruction ; and therefore her pleasure is you should commend
this cause with special words to him, and move him to let the
world understand in what recommendation he has his brother's
safety and his own, the wealth and flourishing state of that Crown,
which cannot come glorious to him if it be eclipsed in his brother's
life, the preservation of many thousand lives, the maintenance of
the liberty given them by Edict on the faith of a prince, the continuing
of those two houses, the next of his blood—in short how
far he would adventure himself to do an acceptable pleasure to her
Majesty ; for the fruit of which his actions, besides the honour he
shall win and the obligation he shall lay up in that whole kingdom
whereby the subjects will be for ever bound to him, her
Highness will not forget to acknowledge this benefit shown
her, by what means soever she may demonstrate how much she
does and will hold herself beholden to him for it.
So recommending the performance of this to the care you have
'for your own particular' of those two princes' and their associates'
well-doing, though they desire no such mediation, I
commend you, etc.
Endd : 26 Junii, 1580. A letter to Mr. Edward Stafford. 2 pp.
[Ibid. IV. 102.]
341. STAFFORD to [WALSINGHAM].
Being arrived here at Paris on the 26th in the morning, the
ambassador having gone to the Court 'present' after my coming,
to ask leave of the King for me to go to his brother, late at night
came hither again with my passport ; so that I hope now 'upon'
to-morrow night to be with Monsieur at Tours.
To write what I found by the way : great companies are assembling
to go to the siege of la Fère. As the general is appointed
Marshal Matignon, who yesterday arrived at Senlis, 'onwards' his
journey thither. The camp assembling at Compiègne, great store
of artillery and munition is gone thither, both from hence, and
also from Abbeville and Amiens.
I find by everybody that the King is 'sore bent to set up his rest'
at this time. Many complain that they of the Religion, as he says,
have begun this ; and offers (as one of no small credit told me since
I came here) to have peace, so that those towns which were surprised
in peace-time and those upon whose taking the peace was
broken, may be restored. When I have spoken with Monsieur, and
on my return with the King, I shall be able to say more.—Paris,
27 June 1580.
P.S. (autograph.)—Pray think good that 'again' my coming back
again from Monsieur I may find here some instructions to answer
anything that may be objected to me by the King either for the
Prince of Condé or King of Navarre. I was to have sought Plessis
the night before I came away ; but he was gone into Kent, your
honour knows whither.
1 p. [Ibid IV. 102.]
342. BOTOLPH HOLDER to WILSON.
My last was by the Jonas, which departed 15 days past, and the
first day she went out was taken by the Frenchmen and carried
clean away. In which ship I laded fifty-seven tons oil, with other
things for my 'nown' account ; and since February last I have lost
by divers that died and others that fled away more than 9,000
ducats, and my loss in the ship amounts to 'the point of' 8,000
ducats, so that I am left in manner without anything. God be
praised for all. Some debts are due to me here which the time
permits me not to recover, may be the value of £1,000 or better ;
which if God permits me to recover I will bring it to your honour
to maintain me my lifetime, and give over all kind of trade with
tossing and toiling, and serve you in such things as I can.
As touching the state of this country since my last, by reason
that there died an earl amongst them in Almerin, the four
Governors there remaining upon his death fled thence to 'Santoval.'
Before their departure certain burgesses that were come thither
about the new parliament lately called, joined together, and required
the Governors not to depart, but rather to pass over to Santarem,
and there to sit and determine the matters for which they were
called. The Governors not regarding their request, willed them
rather, with such as should come after, to repair to 'Santovall.'
They answered that they would not, but would rather join together
and determine that which they thought good. So the Governors
departed to Santoval and the others to Santarem, where they were
'denied' by the justices by order from the Governors, 'not to come
in, but to cause them' to repair to 'Santovall,' but in fine, they
entered by force, about the 10th of this month. They went to the
Duke of Braganza, requiring him to take upon him the government
of the realm, and 'defensor' thereof, which he would not, and so
departed to 'Santovall.' And on the 19th of this month, being
Sunday, certain people gathered together in Santarem, where Don
[Antonio] was, and a sermon being made by a bishop, at the end of
it Don Antonio being present, they all cried 'Don Antonio, King of
Portugal,' at which he beat his hands on his chair, and said that at
no hand would he accept it, but only to be head governor and
defensor of the realm. But in fine, 'at' afternoon they raised him
up for king, and carried him to the Chamber, where they did him
homage, and carried him about the town.
The city of Lisbon had not yet chosen their burgesses for this
parliament, but upon Monday, June 20, they set upon choosing
them ; at which time came news of what had passed in Santarem,
and as they were sitting together, came in before them the consul
of the French nation and offered them letters from the King of
France. But the heads of the Chamber would not receive them,
willing him to present them next day ; wherewith he seemed to be
offended and so were some gentlemen of the country who were
present about the election of their burgesses, and required to receive
them and read them presently, which was not observed. The next
day at night, great proclamations throughout Lisbon that no one
should [say] that Don Antonio was king, nor obey him, nor name
any king at all, nor speak of this matter upon pain of death ; and
no man to go out of his house after sunset.
The Duke of Braganza coming to 'Santovall' requested the
Governors earnestly to cause sentence to be published about the
succession. King Philip lies upon the border of Portugal, by
Badajos, with all his power. He lately wrote his ambassador here
to notify Don Antonio and the Duke of Braganza and the Governors
to go and give him homage as the rightful king of this country.
The Duke of Braganza, as they say, answered that he was ready to
do homage to 'whosoever the judges should give sentence to be
successor.' What the Governors answered, I hear not. The third
ambassador that is here has not yet notified Don Antonio ; who on
the 23rd inst., being St. John's eve, came to Lisbon from Santarem
with 200 horse. They sent against him 14 bands of 'sogers' to
'defend' his entering, but a friar and others that came with him
persuaded them so that they yielded to him ; and so entered quietly
and caused the common people to cry him king. The same night,
such head officers of the Chamber as were here, fled away to the
Governors, and so did the Gov. . . . . was in Belem, with divers
others in the galleys, wherein they carr[ied away] the money and
treasure that was in the mint, and the rich . . . . that came
from the 'Inds.' and all other treasure and things of substance.
King Philip has taken possession of Elvas, Villa Viçosa, and
Campo Mayor, principal cities and towns on the border, which
yielded to him, and so comes into the country ; and they here contend
one against the other, the people much divided and the most
part of them so amazed that they know not what to do ; no money
in the country, nor force of men, nor armour, and therefore doubt
of much misery, troubles and vexation, and utter confusion and
loss of the country, which God 'defend,' and send peace and quietness
to all nations.—Lisbon, 27 June, 1580.
Somewhat damaged. Add. Endd. by Wilson : 31 Maii, 1580,
27 Julii and (erased : Sir William Winter to the Lords) Botolph
Holder to Secretary Wilson. 2 pp. [Portugal I. 31.]
343. MAUVSSIÈRE to BURGHLEY.
I wrote to you by this bearer, who is one of Monsieur's guard, on
account of a false accusation brought against him by a little English
hussy, of which he has cleared himself before the Mayor and judges
assigned to him here. He is now going to you, to beg you also to
satisfy yourself of his innocence, and that her Majesty and the
Council may not esteem him so wicked as to have spoken evil of the
princess at this day, the only one in the world whom his Highness
loves and adores. The said bearer, who is Savourny's brother, said
to me that he would never dare to find himself in France nor to
show himself to Monsieur if he were not cleared of such an accusation ;
wherefore I beg you to aid and favour him in his innocence,
which in truth I find to be great, otherwise I should be the one
most against him.
I will herewith share your sorrow over the little ailment which
her Majesty has had. I can give her no succour but my prayers, and
pray God to give her good health, as I hope He has done already.
Also I am sending to ask 'Mme de Staffort' [Lady Sheffield] to
visit her Majesty and hear news of her. Please, if it be a fit
moment, kiss her hand from me, and assure her of my perpetual
service ; begging her that the Prince of Condé's eloquence nor his
vivacious persuasions may incite her to give him any money or
permit any to be given him in any sort, by his good friends and the
Churches of this realm, to reopen the troubles in France. The true
way is to give them no aid except a piece of good advice, to seek the
king's grace and return to his obedience, as I am sure that his Majesty
will prefer gentleness and peace to the rigour of war ; wherein I
will further say that the king in all human probability is bound to
be victorious. For to tell the truth, by the last letter I have
received, I do not see whom he has to fight with, since the wisest
and best-advised persons ask only for peace and repose.
I have a man just arrived who tells me that from what he learnt
on the road Mr Stafford reached Paris Saturday evening or Monday
by dinner. I hope he may have a good journey, for it is the true
means of establishing peace throughout the world. But the
common report, and that of London, says that there are so many
subtle contrivances to hinder her Majesty from marrying that she
will have great difficulty in deciding. Still, what God wills to grant,
men cannot hinder.—London, Wednesday, St. Peter's Day.
Add. Endd. by Burghley : 28 (sic) Junii. Fr. 1½ pp.
[France IV. 103.]
344. INSTRUCTIONS for HENRY MIDDLEMORE.
Mr Middlemore is to be presently sent into France, with letters
of credit both to the king and to M. d'Anjou.
He is to learn from our ambassador the state of his negotiation
with the king upon such directions as he had to notify the arrival
here of the Prince of Condé and of her Majesty's dealing with him.
He shall thereupon consider with the ambassador in what sort
he shall best deliver to the French king that for which her Majesty
has now directed him, as may best serve to procure a cessation of
arms in France in this lately begun levy against the King of
Navarre, the Prince of Condé, and their party ; for the said
H. Middlemore and the ambassador shall understand that what her
Majesty most desires is to procure for the Protestants in France
such an assured peace that they may enjoy the benefits of the
former edicts. To that end only shall the ambassador and Middlemore
direct all their actions and speeches to the best of their
Her Majesty's meaning in sending Henry Middlemore at this
time in haste is to declare to the king that she is as desirous of the
stay of these new troubles in France for the weal of both the king
and his country, and being determined to live in a firm, perpetual,
and brotherly friendship with him, and to avoid all suspicion that
might arise between them two to the impairing of this friendship,
as she is desirous at this time to employ herself with her advice,
yea, with any action in her power to stay these troubles in France
no less than if they were beginning in her own realm.
And though she has directed her ambassador to deal in such sort
with the king upon the late sudden coming of the Prince of Condé,
and has also imparted to the king's ambassador here her sincere
good meaning to the like purpose, yet such is her desire to hasten
this good act of extinguishing the fire already kindled, that she
could not be quiet in her mind till she renewed her actions towards
preventing it from increasing to so general a flame that no after
counsels could restrain it from ruining the king's estate ; and therefore
she sends you, to repair with such speed as a greater person
could not easily do, to request the king to suspend his 'offences'
commenced against the King of Navarre and Prince of Condé, and
first graciously to hear their complaints with his own ears, and not
with the ears of such as her Majesty is not ignorant have long
laboured to provoke the said king and prince, by notable injuries
and violences committed against them and the rest of his people, to
whom the king had by his edicts given liberty to live according to
their consciences, to use such means for their defence as might
cause the king, not being favourably informed of their truth, to
enter into indignation against them. And that the king may
understand why her Majesty conceives that they have been thus
without his knowledge injured and oppressed, their lives sought,
and great multitudes professing nothing but to serve God and the
king according to his own edicts, slain and murdered, you shall
pray him at her instance to be informed of some principal and most
notable facts of outrage committed against the King of Navarre and
such as sought to live in the king's obedience according to edicts ;
of which she has received information, by reason she has at sundry
times to such as have come into her realm appertaining either to
the King of Navarre or to the Prince of Condé, used sharp
speeches, charging them with not behaving towards the king and
his ministers in such obedient sort as it becomes dutiful subjects to
do, and as by the edicts they were 'limited' to do. So that her
Majesty often reproved them, notifying them that she could not
have any compassion of them if the king should deal hardly with
them hereafter. Whereupon they have in their defence not only
denied all such acts, but have caused particular declarations in
writing to be sent to her containing a multitude of outrages committed
against them, with such particulars and limitations of times,
places, persons and circumstances as cannot but move any strong
heart to lament their miseries. Of these, as it may be troublesome
to the king to hear a recital of so many, Middlemore shall beseech
him to give him leave to make mention of a few, wherewith her
Majesty is persuaded that the heart of a Christian king, as he professes
to be, cannot but receive an impression of pity, and thereby
remove from his heart such impressions of indignation as it is
likely have been by sinister and malicious reports already engendered
there. And so after advice taken with the ambassador, and
using also the secret advice of such as favour the cause of Religion,
Middlemore shall make choice of five or six most notable and most
'probable' outrages, and if he shall find the king not ill-disposed to
hearken to them, he may add more, with a further addition that
the rest are of the same nature.
When he has done, he shall add that her Majesty does not think
but where the professors of the reformed Religion have been in such
frequent sort persecuted, some among them could not forbear,
partly in their defence, partly also in revenge towards such as they
thought to be the authors of their calamities, from committing some
acts of violence contrary to the perfection of dutiful subjects, thereby
giving occasion of offence to the king. Her Majesty means not to
use any just defence in their behalf, but yet she cannot but request
the king not to interpret the cause thereof to proceed from any
disloyalty of the King of Navarre or Prince of Condé, but with the
balance of equity like a wise and merciful king, and like a father
to his people to command a present stay of all hostilities, and during
that suspense to cause all these past actions to be more duly
examined ; and to provide by his good ministers, who shall not be
partial in these causes, nor naturally disposed to more civil war for
their own profit, or to serve the appetites of some who are desirous
to continue the king in troubles so that he may not regard their
And as these may seem but words mentioning her desire of peace
without showing how it might best effected, she prays the king to
take this advice in good part, namely, that whereas she understands
the king means to besiege la Fère where the Prince of Condé has
left a great number of his best friends, and also intends to levy a
number of reiters in Almany and to amass great numbers of men
of war in sundry parts of France to pursue the King of Navarre
and all others of the Religion, which cannot be done without the
king's great and unnecessary charges, and consequently without
great ruin to his country, on the other side she understands that
the King of Navarre and his party will do their best to make forces,
so that the whole realm is like to come to a combustion and a spoil
to strangers ; her Majesty having knowledge of the intention of
such as are minded to come with great forces out of Almayne to
the relief of the King of Navarre and the prince and their
associates, is also assured that if the king will incline to peace and
withdraw his forces from the siege of la Fére and stay the levy of
reiters and other hostile persecution of the King of Navarre, she
can cause the foreign forces to stay, so she may assure them that
should enter France that the king will bend all his actions to
peace. And as she has been informed from Almayne of thus
much, she cannot but request the king not to mislike of this
advice, which is to bring peace into France and banish war ; a
thing of the greatest estimation that she can wish to France, and a
thing that she desires as heartily as she would for England.
Draft in Burghley's hand. Endd. 7 pp. [France IV. 104.]
345. INSTRUCTIONS for an ENVOY to PORTUGAL.
"Forasmuch as the actions of princes are often subject to the
surmises and discourses of jealous heads," for the avoiding of any
suspicion of some 'particular affection' on our part to one of the
competitors more than to the other in that realm of Portugal, or
that we were disposed to 'maintain partiality' there, we have
thought good, in order both to take away any just occasion of such
surmises, and to be informed of the true state of things there, that
at your arrival you shall first address yourself to the Governors
who in this time of interregnum have the conduct of the state, afterwards
to the Duchess of Braganza and her husband, whose several
letters and messages since the death of the late king we have
received, being the persons that claim a chief interest in the right
of succession, which as yet, for anything we can learn, remains in
doubtful terms. We think it meet, however, in respect of the great
good will that Don Antonio has always professed to bear towards
us, you should at your arrival give him secret intelligence of your
coming into the realm, and let him know that in respect of the
jealousy that might be conceived by the Governors and the other
competitors, we did not think it meet that you should address
yourself first to him according to the request made by his minister
lately sent hither, for it could not but be prejudicial to him, considering
the order set down by the late king in his last will, as
though by our countenance and favour he should go about to
anticipate the decision to be given by order of the Governors ;
which we think in honour is to be followed, 'as whereon' depends
the surest hope of welfare to that Crown and State.
At your access to the Governors, after delivery of our letter, and
ordinary compliments, you shall let them understand the good
affection we have always borne to that Crown, and how glad we
would be to do all good offices for the staying of the troubles and
miseries that are like to fall upon them. In testimony whereof,
because we could by no other means, either from their ambassador
resident here, or otherwise, understand certainly the state of their
affairs, we resolved for our better satisfaction to send an express
messenger to them.
Our chief meaning is, by him to advise them (as a princess that
greatly affects the prosperity of that Crown, which by evil or foreign
dissensions is like to be shaken, unless those titles in controversy be
discreetly governed) that in deciding the competitors' pretensions
they follow the line of justice, laying aside all particular favour, for
otherwise there will never grow any sound establishment of peace
For which respect you shall declare to them that for our own
part, though the King of Spain has heretofore dealt unkindly with
us, yet if it shall fall out in due trial that the Crown ought to
descend to him by right, we cannot but advise them to accept him
as their Sovereign, even for justice' sake, which cannot be withstood
without great inconvenience in the end.
And in case anything be said touching a request preferred by Don
Antonio de Castiglio to assist them with our favour and supply such
'wants as they lack,' we found it strange that he was neither able
to inform us thoroughly touching the right of the Crown, how it
was likely to incline, nor yet what means they had to withstand the
King of Spain's forces in case he should seek to obtain the Crown
by force before decision of the title, and what force he had for that
purpose ; 'circumstances' most necessary for us to be informed of
before we could make any open declaration how we were affected.
Besides, the King of Spain's minister here gave out that both the
Governors and the competitors had yielded to the acceptance of his
master for their sovereign, whereof the ambassador could give no
assurance, but his bare assertion, to the contrary, being so slenderly
advertised of the proceedings there.
Lastly, you shall declare to them that to our great grief we see
nothing more dangerous for them than the disunion that we hear
is among them, and therefore we advise them that if the King of
Spain, contrary to the order taken by the late king, seeks to win by
force that which does not appertain to him by right, they, laying
aside their private contentions, should concur in one common
defence, and afterwards enter into discussion of their rights, referring
the final decision, in case the judges cannot agree, to such
other competent judges as shall be thought void of partiality.
When you have performed your charge to the Governors you
shall repair to the Duchess of Braganza, whom, after delivery of
your letters, you shall let understand how careful we have been to
be truly informed touching the establishing of the right of that
Crown, and towards whom the counsel of those to whom the
decision was committed would incline, and in what sort they should
be able to defend themselves against Spain, since we learn nothing
from the ambassador here, who has received very slender information
from thence ; as also to understand particularly what hope she
has touching her own 'pretended' title. We have therefore thought
good to send a special minister to inform himself both of the general
state of the realm and of her 'particular.'
You shall also declare to her that it has been given out here by
the King of Spain's ministers, that he has compounded with all the
competitors ; which was the cause why we stayed so long from
sending thither, which otherwise we would not have 'forslacked'
to have done, and furnishing them with such supply as by their
ambassador was demanded.
As for the right which she 'pretends' and the best means to
compass it, we advise her, in case the King of Spain attempts to
gain the Crown by force, to lay aside all respect of particular rights
and concur with the rest of the competitors with united minds and
forces in withstanding his attempt ; considering that there is no
easier way for him to attain his purpose than by their disunion and
division ; which being buried into a sound accord will make his
attempt of harder success. But if it shall appear that the right is
on his side, we cannot but advise her to give place to right.
On the other hand, if by the opinion of those to whom the
decision is committed the right shall be cast upon her, you shall
tell her she may be assured we will not fail to assist her so that she
shall have cause to think that both nature has force in us and that
we will not abandon that Crown whereof our progenitors have ever
had an especial value.
You shall then repair to Don Antonio, and after delivery of our
letters and demonstration of our sincere affection towards him, give
him to understand how in respect of the honourable report that
has been made to us by Mr Secretary Wilson of the devotion he has
always borne towards us and of the singular virtues he is endued
withal, we have always wished in our heart that the right might
incline to his side, and that the principal cause of our sending you
into that realm is to inform yourself thoroughly of the right which
he 'pretends' ; which falling out to incline to his side, he may well
assure himself of any favour or assistance we can yield him.
And in case the right do not incline to him, you shall advise
him from us to desist from prosecuting it ; for the attempt of
unjust acquisitions cannot but be accompanied by great bloodshed,
and either very doubtful to be attained, or if they be achieved, of
small continuance and followed by continual unquiet jealousies and
suspicions, the only canker and incurable ulcer of quiet and
contentedness of life.
And however it may be determined in the end, you shall advise
him in the mean time to carry himself in an united course with the
others against the King of Spain if he seek to attain by sword what
law and right will not give him, or at least he cannot patiently wait
till it be by order and without bloodshed cast upon him. If he hold
this temperate course it cannot but 'turn him to advantage,' as the
contrary be occasion of his ruin.
Lastly you shall most heartily thank him for his honourable offers
made to us by his minister, in respect of which we cannot but think
ourselves greatly honoured 'on his behalf,' and therefore he may
assure himself that our realm shall in all cases of necessity be his
sanctuary, to which effect we have sent him our safe-conduct, which
our pleasure is you shall deliver to him.
Draft with alterations in Walsingham's hand, and endd. :
Minut Instr. Portugall ; also Junii, and in another hand :
B. Negotiation Mr. Wotton Porting, and Spain, 1579 [sic.]
8½ pp. [Portugal I. 32.]