469. MADAME DE LA NOUE to WALSINGHAM.
If I did not know how highly you esteem virtue, and desire to
employ yourself on behalf of those that practise it, preferring it to
all the things which the generality of men admire, I should fear
to importune you by writing of the miseries which are increasing
upon M. de la Noue, one of your most affectionate friends, in this
long captivity in which he is rigorously detained. But when I
call to mind the friendship that you have always borne to him, and
the foundation on which you have mutually built, namely, that of
piety, religion, and virtue, assuring myself that such affection is
indissoluble, and that no adversity can dissolve it, not only was the
fear of being importunate removed, but I thought I should not do
my duty if I did not write to you freely of the state in which he is,
since you ought to know it inasmuch as between friends grief should
be shared as well as joy. The disaster which threatens us is so
great, that we almost despair of ever seeing him restored to liberty.
Since I wrote to you from Cambray, after seeing him at Namur, they
have moved him to Charlemont ; and I am informed that in a few
days they mean to send him to Spain, which is in truth, to send him
from this world to the other, for the feelings of the Council there
are known in regard to those of M. de la Noue's sort. If he is
not promptly succoured by his friends, he must inevitably fall
into this disaster. The way to help him would be to keep some
vessels in readiness on the route, under brave and well-disposed
captains, assuring them that in the event of success they will be
well rewarded for their trouble. If you would speak of this to the
Queen and obtain her favour to that end, it would be what we could
desire of your friendship for M. de la Noue. He is in extreme
affliction, and I see no surer way than this. It will not be difficult,
if the Queen intervenes. It will be pleasing to God and honourable
to you, to save the life of a worthy man, who may yet do service to
God's glory and the preservation of good people. Since then you
have the power, and have always had a good will towards all who
suffer in the cause of justice, surrounded as I am with insupportable
griefs and thick darkness, after God I look to the expectation
I have of your aid ; praying that when you represent to yourself
the calamitous state of your friend, you will be moved to do all that
your zeal for piety and justice may dictate.—Les Plessis [aux
Tournelles], 22 Oct. 1580. (Signed) M. de Luré.
Add. Endd. by L. Tomsom : From Madame de la Noue.—
Means to relieve her husband. Fr. 2 pp. [France IV. 170.]
470. CHRISTOPHER HODDESDON to WALSINGHAM.
I have received both your letters of the 15th inst. and have taken
order accordingly with George Leicester for my brother Carleil's
debt of 100l. ; minding likewise to satisfy your request in the other
concerning advertisements out of Spain as often as means and
opportunity offer. At this instant we here understand very little
of the proceedings in those countries, because all the letters that
came by the last post were intercepted by la Motte. If hereafter I
can 'learn out' anything touching those matters I will not fail to
impart it. My wife finds this air very agreeable with her nature,
and thanks you for having her in remembrance, imputing the chief
cause both of my greater credit and her own estimation in those
parts to the good countenance which we receive from you ; acknowledging
also no less in behalf of her brother, whose estate is of late
so greatly relieved and advanced by your means that she cannot
but confess you to be a very loving father to them both. For my
own part I must give you thanks as well for her as for myself, with
assurance that my endeavours will never be wanting to do you
what service I can.—Antwerp, 22 Oct. 1580.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XIII. 68.]
471. THOMAS STOKES to WALSINGHAM.
Your last was the 16th inst., since which I have received yours of
the 15th, and thank you for them.
As I wrote in my last, some Frenchmen, both foot and horse,
have arrived beside Crêvecœur for the aid of the States, sent by
Duke 'Dalenzon,' but they are not so many in number as I wrote,
for by letters from Lille they write there are not above 500 of them
in all ; but they write that more are marching after them, for which
cause all the forces of the Malcontents in these parts are gone
towards Cambray, where it seems they have already met with some
blows, for the speech is here that the company of the Count of
Egmont's horsemen are overthrown by them of Cambray and the
aforesaid Frenchmen, and even so they write that many are slain
on the other side.
As for the States' forces in these parts, as yet they lie still and
do nothing ; for it seems they will not stir till the Duke of Alençon
come. Their trust is only in him, for surely there is a weak
'government' on the States' side ; God send it better.
This week everything has been very still between the States and
the Malcontents in these parts. Nothing has passed worth the
writing ; but there is great speech of great matters that the Pope
and that faction are preparing against England. Surely it seems
that some great matter is in hand against the realm ; for speeches
come from all places that England will have all the troubles this
next summer. For Ireland they say the preparation is such in
Spain, made by the Pope and his friends, that it is much feared he
will put that country in hazard to be lost. Likewise there is great
speech here of some alliance sought by the King of Spain to make
with Scotland by way of marriage with the King of Scots ; so that
there go strange speeches here, and all against England, 'whom'
I trust God will defend and make strong to withstand all the
enemies that shall come against 'them.' Surely all these speeches
cannot rise upon presumptions, and therefore I pray they may be
prevented in time.
As yet no news or letters had come out of France from M. de
Sainte-Aldegonde and the rest of the States' commissioners, at
which there is great marvel. Some begin to mistrust the dealings
of the French ; 'which if that' fail them, all is lost on the States'
side unless her Majesty will help them. If the States are overthrown,
it is feared it will not be good for England.—Bruges,
23 Oct. 1580.
Add. Endd. 1¼ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIII. 69.]
472. HODDESDON to WALSINGHAM.
As soon as I heard here that Mr Rogers was taken and kept
prisoner by Schenck I at once advertised those merchants of
Nuremberg to whom I had before given order for payment of the
£200 not to deliver any part of the said sum unless Mr Rogers was
himself present ; to the end that during his imprisonment no benefit
might be taken of those letters of credit which I gave him for that
money at Nuremberg. Therefore, according to your letter of the
22nd, I do not look to have the £200 sent over as yet, till I hear
further how the matter goes.
By ships lately arrived from 'Porte Porta' in Portugal, news
comes that King Antonio lies before that town with a force of
12,000 men, and is in great likelihood to 'take in the same.'
By letters dated at Lisbon, Sep. 10, it is advertised that the city
remains in the King of Spain's power, for the Duke of Alva entered
forcibly with all his army. The soldiers sacked the suburbs and ten
leagues round about, spoiling to the value of two millions and
more ; which they of Lisbon think well employed, because by that
means the city was saved. It is also reported thence that 5 ships
have arrived from the Portugal Indies very richly laden. They
bring 25,000 quintals of pepper, 3,500 of cloves, 200 of mace, and
great store of other spices and pearl.
On the 26th came certain merchants in a ship of Flushing from
Caudado in Spain, who report that within seven leagues of 'St.
Jacob's', at a barren place called Corroga, wherein is no trade,
preparation is made of soldiers to be sent to Ireland, but the
number is unknown.—Antwerp, 29 Oct. 1580.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XIII. 70.]
473. ROSSEL to WALSINGHAM.
In my last, of the 22nd, I pointed out the little means that the
Malcontents had for attacking and battering Ninove, where they
were opposed by a French regiment and four Flemish companies
under M. de Thian. Since then, after long deliberation and scouring
the country they have decided to besiege and blockade Ninove,
and to-day they have sent for 9 battering guns. If we may hope
for any defence on the part of our soldiers, we look for it there.
Meanwhile we are letting things drag to the utmost. We amuse ourselves
by making up new unions from time to time. To this end
the Prince of Orange is about to travel to Holland, followed by the
Archduke and Estates, on Monday. They would have started
already had there been means to pay the Archduke's creditors.
The Breederaed was called together to that end, and will find
150,000 florins to content them. The rest will be paid by bills
during his long stay at the Hague.
It was not for nothing that that great meeting of nobles and
reconciled States was held at Mons. Last Tuesday M. de Hèze was
sentenced and beheaded.
M. de la Noue's prosecution is launched (fulmine) and ready [sic]
to give sentence ; put off, however, on the Prince of Parma's advice,
till further orders come from the King of Spain. Subsequently to
that the seige of Ninove was decided on, which makes me think they
have some assurance that our aid from France will be slow in
coming ; as indeed the facts testify, since the news that we have
from a gentleman of M. de Laval, arrived to-day from France,
bringing us letters in which we are assured there will be peace
shortly. The short of it is that M. d'Alençon had gone to Cognac,
whither the Queen Mother was to follow for the conclusion of it.
Meanwhile M. d'Alençon would send 3,000 foot and some horse to
Cambrai. There are not sufficient forces to retrieve our campaign,
nor to oppose those of the enemy, who are making progress everywhere,
as well in Friesland and Guelders as in Brabant and the
Campen country. They are building forts three leagues from
Breda. Meanwhile the people amuse themselves with a vain hope,
and do nothing but grumble at the Estates and others who rule. So
to give them some satisfaction, all the houses in Antwerp have been
visited, and those of the council of the Chancery imprisoned, and
others who had been promoted by the Spaniards. Some have been
remanded, others compelled to go and live at Brussels and elsewhere.
Restans in ore populi, this is the policy at present practised ;
and other frivolities more pernicious than advantageous to the
The Prince has had made an apology, not yet printed, in answer to
the Ban against him, and other calumnies.—Oct. 29, 1580.
Add. Endd. 1½ pp. [Ibid. XIII. 71.]
474. The answer of the Spanish Ambassador to the speech
delivered him by Mr Beale.
Mr Wilkes had the same day been with him, and told him as
much as I had done, and his answer to both is this :
Touching Drake, he has information from the King, his Council
of the Indies, and other good proofs, that Drake has spoiled his
Majesty's subjects, which he holds to be so sure that it cannot be
The spoil is of great importance ; a great quantity of bullion and
pearls taken in Mar del Sur, appertaining partly to the King, partly
to his subjects.
In fight Drake has cut off the hands of some of his Majesty's
subjects ; cut the cables of some ships in Porto de Linoa ; and by
the customs books there, and the certificates sent to Spain, and
depositions viva voce, it can be proved he has spoiled divers, etc.
That he is not altogether innocent appears by his doings six
years ago, which matter was wrapped up in that of the arrests.
Young Winter's report of his spoils done upon the Portugals on
his way out, the 'interest' and right of which is now come to the
king, is enough to prove his piracy, and to demand justice.
Hereupon he has said that in honour and justice her Majesty is
bound by 'league' to have him punished and restitution made, as
he thinks she would. He knows she loves not troubles ; and it is
very hard, for the enriching of Drake and some individuals, to
hazard the impoverishing of many. A war is easily begun, but not
so soon ended ; the event is doubtful. And yet sometimes 'wars
have been moved upon less occasions.'
He has not used any threatenings, but only said that if justice
be not done, the king will have cause to be aggrieved. But he may
do further as it pleases him. He has rather threatened that he
should be sent home, 'with setting of her Majesty's ships to the
sea,' with France which seeks amity here. But he is not moved
with words. He has not spoken evil, nor charged any person about
her Majesty. He is not so foolish.
Touching Ireland, he says he told her two years since of 22,000
crowns sent with Stukeley, afterwards employed with James
Fitzmorris. She told him of certain Spaniards landed in Ireland,
and that they should be brought hither. Since he has heard
nothing ; nor thinks that Julio &c. taken in the castle in Ireland
was a Spaniard, for it is no Spanish name.
If the Pope attempts anything, he must be answerable. His
Majesty has nothing to do with it. Being in 'league' with him, he
cannot deny him passage.
And if they were Spaniards, it is not so much as has been done
by the English in the Low Countries, the king's rebels being aided
by them by land and sea, as he knows, who has served against
them in the field.
Her Majesty may dispose of the treasure, may do as she shall
think good. Having demanded audience, being denied, and answered
that in reason he ought to have no access, he desired a passport.
Has written to the king, awaits an answer, and then shall do as he
For his 'particular' he has done good offices, and borne in
some things which touched himself ; and sorry to be here now
when things grow to such terms. The salving of these matters
requires a wiser man than he is. If he would conceal the things
others would not ; and it would be his discredit if he did not certify
things as they were.
The injuries are great, as Drake's, Mr Knollys, a ship of M. de
la Motte, the case of one Venero, taken by a ship having a letter of
marque from the Prince of Condé ; rescued beside the Isle of
Wight by William Winter the younger, and yet restored to the
pirate. And divers other outrages done upon the coast of Spain
by the English, which he could recite if need were.
Mem. in writing of R. Beale. Endd. 4 pp. [Spain I. 57.]
475. Later copy of above. Endd. 2½ pp. [Ibid I. 57a.]
476. ROGERS to the SECRETARIES.
No doubt you have heard by report that I have been taken by
Colonel Schenk's reiters ; but in what manner, I cannot tell if you
have been truly advertised. If I could before this have found the
way to obtain paper and ink, you may be sure I would have certified
On Oct. 6 I came to Arnhem from Utrecht, because the way by
Nymegen was exposed to more evident danger. All the way from
Utrecht to Arnhem and thence to Cleves, I was compelled to 'go
strong,' accompanied by a dozen harquebusiers, for the avoiding of
'Freibuiters,' who lay in divers places, to spoil such as passed by.
At Arnhem I understood that the king's soldiers under Count
Renneberg lay about Dotekom, so that the right way, by 'Embrick'
to Collen, was interrupted. Yet because the enemy did not
always lie still in one place, I was advised at Arnhem, by those
to whom the Prince had written on my behalf, to take my
journey to Doesberg, which was not much out of my way ; and
as Colonel Norris was there with his regiment, he would be able
to conduct me further. Wherefore on the 7th I came to Doesberg,
where I tarried a whole night ; but forasmuch as by Mr
Norris's talk it appeared that the enemy with his whole camp
was then in the way which I should take, I went back to
Arnhem ; and there having consulted with Count John of Nassau's
secretary, on the 9th I crossed the Rhine to come into the Duke of
Cleve's country. Those of Arnhem to whom the Prince of Orange had
written, recommended me to the 'droste,' as they term a governor
there ; who sent one of his horsemen with me towards Tolhuis,
likewise appertaining to the Duke. So on the 9th I came to Cleve,
where the Chancery for the Dukedom is commonly resident. In
this town was present Colonel Schenk ; who having a castle called
Blienbeck, three leagues from Cleve, keeps his wife for more
security in the town. I was heartily glad to be come to Cleve,
because men persuaded me there that I was now out of all danger
and past the territories of the King of Spain. Besides, my host at
Cleves, and some of the Chancery, of whom I desired conduct to
Xanten, affirmed that the way was safe ; because none were wont
to molest the Duke of Cleve's country, but Colonel Schenk's reiters,
of whom I might think myself assured, for the Colonel was still in
the town with his wife. Nevertheless next morning I desired the
reiter whom the Drost of Hensen had sent with me to Cleves, to
conduct me further. I was minded the same day, Oct. 10, to have
gone as far as Meurs, which is a town belonging to the Count of
Neuenahr, who desired me to visit him when passing towards
Collen, and might have conducted me further if I had heard of any
danger in the way. But when I thought myself 'most surest,' I
came, against all expectation, into the greatest danger.
I had left Calcar a little behind me on the left, and being come
to the castle of Monderberg belonging to the Duke of Cleve, where
the prince his son had lodged but two days before, eight reiters
'with a full gallop charged me,' being then accompanied by five of
my own company and one of Col. Norris's soldiers, whom he sent
after me that he might provide some horses at Collen for his cornet.
As soon as they reached us, they bade us surrender, for we were
Spaniards. I said I had no Spaniard in my company ; we were
Englishmen, the rest being my servants, who were sent by the
Queen of England to the Emperor and Electors, who were to meet
at Nuremberg. The chief of the reiters, who ever since has been
my keeper, answered that if it were so, we should have no hurt ;
that they served the Duke of Cleve, who thought it well to appoint
soldiers to assure passengers and keep his subjects indemnified.
Meanwhile some of them chased my men, after whom I cried, they
should not shoot ; for we were under and near the castle of
Monderberg, and as the reiters said that they were the Duke's,
and that they only desired to know who we were, I thought it good
to make less resistance. Most of my men's pistols were shot
off, Mr Norris's man cast from his horse and shot in two places.
I do not know for certain what is become of him ; they make me
believe he is not dead. One of my men, born in 'Mizen' and called
Christopher, escaped to Xanten, the rest I brought together again.
The reiters guarded them on both sides and wished us to go with them
to prove what we were. "Thereof," quoth I "I need no great probation,
for lo his [sic] my passport, signed and sealed with the Queen's
hand and seal," which I drew out of my pocket. They answered,
they did not understand Latin, and therefore we must go with them
to their captain ; picking as it were quarrel 'unto' us, for that some
my men had defended themselves. I replied in such sort as the time
and place would suffer, and as any reasonable man might have been
contented with. I asked where their captain was, if he was in the
castle. They answered that he went thence in the morning, and
was hard by, in another castle, where they meant to bring us. As
we rode on, always they said we were near the captain. To be
short, after we had ridden four hours, they brought us to the castle
of Blyenbeck, three miles from Cleves, and not far from the river
'Mose,' and within 3 or 4 miles of Nymegen. Colonel Schenk
'pretends' the castle to be his by right ; but I heard at Arnhem
that having been at law for it, he has lost his process, which was
the cause of his revolt from the Prince, whom he served both
in France and in the Low Countries. His castle is full of freebooters,
and a company of rakehells, with whom I thank God
I was but one night. Here we were searched to the very skin,
and whatever money, writing, or thing of value we had, they took.
When they saw letters to Duke Casimir, they threatened to bring
me to the Prince of Parma. I gave them to understand that they
could make no right prize of me, and desired them to bring me
either to their colonel, or to the Prince of Parma. The next day,
about evening, they bade me pull on my boots, saying they would
bring me to the Prince ; and accompanied me with 16 horsemen,
leading me now southward, now northward, so that I could not tell
where I was. They meant to have ridden the whole night ; but
at the passage of a bridge they found the falling bridges taken up.
So as it was very cold they retired to a cottage, and there we sat
by a fire the whole night. This was Oct. 11 ; at which time, about
9 o'clock, I marked an obscure comet, 'which as yet in these places
In the morning, Oct. 12, they brought me (as it appeared
afterwards) through the Duke of Cleve's country, and by Greite we
crossed the Rhine. Thence leaving Emmerich on the left, we went
towards the camp, which lay before Dotecom, a town of Gelderland
belonging to the States. But the same day, about two o'clock, they
'levyed' their siege, because they easily saw that for want of
artillery they would not win the town. Here I must tell you that
after it was known in Cleves that I was taken and carried to
Blyenbeck, they of the Chancery came to apprehend Col. Schenk,
who was still there with his wife ; saying that he had
greatly injured the Duke their master, for his reiters had
taken the Queen of England's ambassador in the midst of
'Cleveland,' and requiring him to see me restored forthwith.
He swore they were none of his reiters and that he was
sure I was not at Blyenbeck, and to avoid danger 'got him forth of
the town,' and crossing the Rhine came to the camp which had
removed from Dotecom. His reiters brought me to Anhalt (Anholt)
a town belonging to the Baron of Anhalt, who holds it of the
Empire. About evening Col. Schenk came, and caused me to be
sent for. I supped with him, and afterwards lay in his chamber.
Before supper he caused all the letters that were found in my trunk
or about my men, to be brought to him. As they were ready to
break the Queen's letters, I besought them to send them whole to the
Prince of Parma ; protesting that there was nothing in them but a
request to give credit to me. But I could not be heard ; they opened
my letters in the presence of soldiers and rash heads, amongst whom
was one half a lawyer, who said he knew me better than I was aware,
and knew my dealing with the Estates for the coming down of Duke
Casimir, to whom he affirmed I was sent again to levy new forces
for use against the king. Withal he cast forth words against
the Queen, as though the King of Spain had no other enemy ;
that she had always fostered the rebellion in the Low Countries,
and as she had formerly sent others to defend the Prince's quarrel,
so now she had sent Col. Norris, who was the mortalest enemy
they had. It appears that Col. Schenk would never have gone
about to 'have taken' me, but because of an immortal [sic] hatred
which he bears to Col. Norris, in whose 'klawes' he has been once
or twice. And to say the truth, had not Col. Norris been in
Gelderland, 'Over Isle' and Friesland, the Malcontents had compassed
their purpose. In all those places, they who follow the
king's side, fear the Englishmen as much as they did the Spaniards.
But to return to my accusations. I answered the Colonel that
he did not paint the Queen in her right colours. She had done
nothing to the hurt of the King of Spain ; her cogitations were so
Christian that she did not go about to offend any foreign prince.
As for Duke Casimir's coming into the country, she consented
to it the rather that otherwise by reason of the desperation of the
States and the practices of the French, the Low Countries had fallen
into the hands of the French. As for what I had to do at present
in Germany, they had my instructions, "by which," quoth I, "you
may easily perceive that the Queen goes about nothing against
the King of Spain," and advised them to look diligently to what
they did. They could make no just prize of me ; they had taken
me against the law both of God and of man, and I required them
either to set me at liberty, or to send me to the Prince of Parma.
The colonel answered, he knew well what he had done. He bade
me be of good cheer ; he would do no hurt to my body, but would
make the Queen ransom me with 5,000 crowns. Then the 'demilawyer'
conferred a little with the colonel ; and afterwards the
colonel said, among my letters were two of the Prince of Orange's
by which it appeared that the prince had 'opened' certain things
to me, to declare to Duke Casimir. He required to know what
those matters were ; asking withal, what letters I brought to the
Prince of Orange, and what had been my negotiation with him. I
told him that this time I had had no letters nor any charge to deal with
the Prince ; I had only sent to him for a passport, and he knowing
of my coming, required me to come to him. "At which time"
quod I, "he asked me divers things, and declared to me the state
of the countries ; also giving me to understand what letters he had
received from the States' deputies sent into France to the Duke of
Alençon" ; and that it was not in my power to hinder the prince
from telling me what he listed. Then the colonel said he perceived
well I must go to the rack if I would confess no more. I answered
that I was sure the Duke [sic] of Parma would not deal so with me,
and desired him to be contented with the truth. Then began my
half-lawyer to say he was well acquainted with the Queen's agents'
proceedings, and said he had been familiarly acquainted with Mr
Davison 'as' he was ambassador in the Low Countries, who had
told him of a league which her Majesty had made with the Protestants
of Germany, and smilingly said he thought I had been
employed thereabout, and began to speak secretly in the colonel's
Upon this I desired them, seeing they said they would send my
letters to the Prince of Parma, that I might go also ; giving them
to understand that whereas they had read divers letters among
mine, written to the Prince of Condé, M. de 'la Gytry' and others
in Germany, I was not to be charged with these, both being
ignorant of their contents, and they not having been delivered to
me, but to one of my men, who had received them at Antwerp.
The colonel he was going from thence into Friesland, and was
minded to go to the Prince of Parma on his way, and then would
take both the letters and me with him. Meantime he said he
would leave me at Breforde (Brevoort) a town within two miles of
Anhault where I should be safe and well-treated. This was on
On the 13th he took me with him to Breforde, and there recommended
me to the Baron of Anhault, to whom the place has been
mortgaged by the king, who has courteously entertained me. On
the 14th the colonel with 100 light horse, took his journey towards
Groningen. I asked him for a passport for my men, that I might
send them to my friends and advertise them what was become of
me. He answered, they should tarry with me till he returned,
which would be within four days. But promise was not kept with
me, for he took them with him on the 14th, and as far as I can
understand has left them at Oldezeel (Oldensaal), where three of
them lie in fetters ; to wit, my brother Ambrose and one of the
Knevetts, besides a 'Frize,' born about Groningen, whom I took
at London to serve me in this journey. I have left with me the
young lad whom I once sent to you from Frankfort.
Before the colonel left Breforde, the men that took me played at
dice for all that I had. Some had my chain, some my money, some
my rings, and my apparel was distributed among them. What
they have done with my five horses, pistols, and petronels, swords,
&c., I cannot tell. Nor have they left me one farthing in my purse.
I took six 'horse' with me out of England, upon good deliberation
taken beforehand ; for setting down the greatness of the charges at
which I should be, in hiring of wagons, which would be at the least
30 or 40 shillings a day. I found it best to take 'horse' with me.
In sum, by their own confession, they have taken from me as much
as came to 900 French crowns, and as they handled me, so they
dealt with my poor servants, not leaving them so much as a shirt
besides what they have on. I beseech the Almighty to comfort
Now please understand that whereas Col. Schenk promised
to return in four days, he did not come till the 20th ; and the 21st
took his journey toward the Prince of Parma, taking all my
'writings' with him, as he had promised, and I besought him.
He would not suffer me to write to the prince, d'Assonleville,
Rassenghem or any of his counsellors, but said he would deal with
him himself ; declaring to me in a rage, in the presence of half a
dozen, that if the Prince of Parma should command me to be set
at liberty, rather than I should get away free, he would thrust me
through. Yet at his very departure he bade me be of good cheer ;
his meaning was but to have money for my ransom. But what
account I should make of him I cannot tell ; he seems to me to be
led by such furies. Meanwhile nothing grieves me so much as that
there is no man to speak for me in the Prince of Parma's Court,
and that I have neither leave nor means to send thither. And I
am so narrowly looked to, that I can have neither pen, ink, nor
paper, and am unable to do anything apart ; and were it not that
my keeper were drunk at this time with Rhenish must, it had been
impossible for me to have written this to you. Since the time the
Colonel departed, I have heard nothing from him ; but yesterday
came to this town Colonel Norris's trumpeter, with letters from
Col. Norris and Mr Carlill, as I have learned secretly. The Drost
of the castle tells me that my countrymen would gladly know where
I was. They have let the trumpeter go away again ; but he [sic]
that brought him hither from 'Deusburge,' which is about 12
English miles from hence, they have put in prison.
I have written thus particularly that you may know the truth,
for I doubt not but that they who took me will invent divers things
to make me a good prize. It remains that I beseech you to tender
my case and to move her Majesty to send letters to the Duchess and
Prince of Parma for my speedy delivery. It is now 14 years since
my lord of Rycott, then being ambassador in France, desired me
to come to him and remain with him. If another man had taken
that trouble, both for the advancement of God's glory and for her
Majesty's service, which I then took for three years, I would have
judged him worthy of great recompense. Since then I have been
sundry times with others that have been employed in her Majesty's
service, as Mr Secretary Wilson, Sir Edward Horsey, Sir William
Winter can testify ; and I have been employed myself now six years
in matters of great importance, and many a dangerous journey have
I made. In 'pursuing' my liberty, her Majesty shall animate your
spirits to travail with more earnestness for her affairs ; and our
Saviour, whose glory I fervently desire to be advanced, will reward
you in travailing for my liberty. I beseech you not to regard the
vain reports which some that envy me (whose virtue and godliness
is only in their words) will cast forth against me ; and though I did
not take my journey so discreetly as I might have done, I think,
under your correction, if the Queen wrote for me to the Duchess
and Prince of Parma, and dealt effectually with the ambassador
Mendoza, and sent the letters to Mr Gilpin—it is but two days'
journey from Antwerp to 'Mounts'—they would command Schenk
to set me at liberty and restore the things taken from me. I was
threatened to be sent into Spain, and before I am set free they will
make me pay 'unreasonable' for my charges, unless by your care
my liberty be earnestly 'procured.' I trusted so to have used
myself in this journey for the obtaining of such matters as were
commended to me, that both her Majesty and you should have
perceived what my ability (to speak modestly) had been. Now my
estate is such that I am to try my friends, among whom I beseech
that I may find you the chiefest.—From Bredeforde, the last town
of Gelderland, towards Westphalia, last of Oct. 1580.
Add. (seals). Endd. by Walsingham. 12 pp. [Germ. States II. 6.]
477. PAPERS RELATING to the INVASION of IRELAND.
(1) "The examination of Petro Mendia, a Spaniard born in
Bilbowe, taken this last of October."
Ad primum articlum dixit that the six ships which 'came for'
Ireland were of 'Sanct Andro's,' and there victualled and manned.
2. Two of the ships were separated from the fleet in a storm,
and he hears that one of them is returned to the place whence the
first came ; but being asked where the other is, says he knows not.
3. Four of them came home from Ireland on Oct. 4.
4. Dr Sanders returned in one of them, accompanied by one
bishop and two friars.
5. The 20th of November they looked for the coming of six
sail more for Ireland, but how they are funished he knows not.
6. Out of the four ships were landed 400 soldiers, of whom 50
were Italians who are brave and lusty, and 350 Spaniards, very poor
and miserable, and most of them sick and diseased.
7. Their colonel and captain-general is an Italian, named
8. There were four captains whose names he does not know.
One is dead.
9. Their great artillery in the fort is 8 cast pieces, 3 of brass,
5 of 'yorne.' They have 300 calivers and 200 pikes.
10. The Irish have desired to be furnished by the colonel of the
Spaniards, but he would never give them credit with any of his
munition, as this Spaniard confesses.
11. Their bread is scarce, for much of it had 'taken wet.' They
have 59 jars of oil, and of wine but one butt.
12. He says an offer was made by their general to Sir John
'of' Desmond to have had the leading of 100 Spaniards ; with
whom they utterly refused to go, affirming that their general
should sooner kill them.
13. Being asked if he ever saw the Earl of Desmond with their
general or in the fort, or Sir John his brother, he confesses he
knows neither of them, nor ever saw them to his knowledge.
14. Being asked if the Earl is fled with Dr Sanders, he knows
15. Not long since their general practised with some of them to
have manned their boat one night, and come privily to cut the
cable at the 'hawste' of the Queen's ship ; which they never dared.
16. The French ship was manned with 50 shot, with very good
watch kept in her.
17. Asked what treasure the general has in his custody, he says
he is well furnished, but knows not the exact sum.
(2) "A note of all such officers and others as are no 'Laborers'
in the Swiftsure."
In the steward's room, 5 ; cook room, 5 ; carpenters and
caulkers, 3 ; swabbers, 3 ; stockfish-beaters, 4 ; Sugans [qu.
surgeons], 2 ; armourers, 2 ; boys, 12 ; shipkeepers, 9 ; gunners,
Of the captain's retinue :—Of soldiers in his livery, 30. Of our
whole number of eight score, there ran away at Chatham and
These numbers all together come to 105, "so have I that doth
rest neat" of labourers or sailors, their officers comprised, but 45.
To advertise your honour how she has heretofore been manned :
Sir William Gorge had in her 240, Mr Nicholas Gorge 220, Mr
York last 200 ; so that he that had least, and in the summer too,
had 50 more than I have, and 40 more than we were allowed.
Reason would that in winter we should have more, for in foul
weather and long nights men will forsake their labour, and therefore
more are required to give them relief and 'spell.' I do not
write this from any doubt I have of performing with reason as
much as may be looked for ; but what I could and would have done
if I had been thoroughly manned, I 'leave to write.' And so wishing
that you did but see these poor men, how they have been
over-laboured, and held with foul weather on the 'tow' side and
with the enemy on the other, who spares no powder nor shot.
(3) The confession of the Frenchman whom the Spaniards
took by the way, who with seven of his fellows were [sic]
flying away from the said Spaniards, and were met by Mr
Clinton and examined by Mr Bingham the 19 Oct. 1580.
1. They were of 'New Haven,' and were homeward 'bowne'
from Newfoundland, laden with 55 or 56 thousand fish, in a ship of
180 tons, manned by 30 men and 2 boys. Their captain's name was
Craim [?] of the aforesaide town. On their course they were
met by these Spaniards four days before their arriving here ; and
at their taking the captain and 3 or 4 more were slain.
2. He heard them say they were from St. Andero's, with 5 ships
and a small galliot.
3. As to what number of men, he heard 1,000, of which 250 with
a great part of their ammunition was lacking or lost in two of their
ships that were put from them in foul weather. He says they had
since heard these were taken by the Rochellers.
4. As to how many they landed, he says about 800 in the
other ships, and further, that they were poor 'Byswynes' [bisoños]
and could not use their pieces, or very few of them, but that there
were among them 80 Italians who were proper men.
5. Of the chief leaders and officers that came with them, he
says there came in the great ship of 400 tons a bishop-friar, that
had the name of the Pope's nuncio, and in the same ship an Italian
of good years who was their colonel, and was called Signor Cornelio,
with 3 or 4 friars and divers captains, of whom one was hurt at
Feonod [?] Castle, whereof he died.
6. He says they had great store of bread and wine and oil ; but
much of it went from them in two ships that they lost. Of
'harkcebuce' or calivers they had four or five chests full, of pikes
good store, of 'close pieces' five, the highest a saker ; of chamber
pieces seven or eight.
7. As to when the ships went 'for' Spain, he says Oct. 3 ; in
which there went away of soldiers sick and malcontent with their
entertainment and country, whom the colonel could not stay, 250 at
least. Whether their spiritual men were 'here' or with the earl he
could not tell, but in the country they were.
8. The rest of his fellows were prisoners in the fortress, but
were forced to labour with the rest.
9. Asked whether they looked for any aid from Spain, he says
they expect 4 or 5 sail from Biscay, with a supply of men and
munition ; and he had heard them talk of far greater power to
Add. to Walsingham. Endd. : The examination of Petro Mendia.
5½ pp. [Spain I. 58.]
478. [WALSINGHAM] to [? COBHAM].
Sir,—The cold and delayed kind of proceeding, both in the Duke
of Anjou in sending succour into Flanders, and in the King touching
the treaty of peace, ministers to many in this age, so full of dark
practices and cunning devices, just cause to suspect wrong measure.
Great expectation there is of the issue of the meeting at Nérac ;
whereof if no good effects follow, the fraud, if there be any, cannot
long be kept secret. The hope of their sincerity has made us build
our surety altogether that way ; and therefore if it fall out otherwise
our danger will be the greater, since we have neglected other
helps. So long as the House of Guise enjoys the King's care (in
my private opinion) I never 'look' that her Majesty shall enjoy any
sound amity that way. And truly we are now reduced to such
terms that there is nothing but patience and prayer left us ; which
if we would heartily offer, I would take more comfort of it than of all
the leagues that are grounded and depend upon the arms of man.
In our days we have seen that God has then wrought most mightily
for us, when in the eye of the world we seemed altogether given
over for a prey to our enemies. And therefore though our own
sins and unthankfulness give just cause for fear, yet when I consider
how dear His own glory is to Him, I doubt not but he will
consume in the end the conspiracies and conspirers.
Draft ; many corrections in Walsingham's hand. 1 p.
[France IV. 171.]
479. [? STAFFORD'S] speech to the KING OF NAVARRE.
When the Queen my mistress dispatched me to you, her Highness
having heard from M. de Buhy [Buy], who had been sent to her,
that Monsieur was about to treat for peace in France, bade me
offer him all her credit and resources to aid in furthering it. To
this effect I was to do whatever he might command me, either by
letters addressed to you, sir, or by any other means he might direct
as the best and most expedient. Luck would that I should find
him here, instead of at Tours where I thought he was, assembled
with your Majesty and this honourable company to that end. I am
as glad as possible, hoping to be able to report the completion of
the affair, which will be of profit to Christendom generally, and will
give her Majesty as much satisfaction as anything could do. On
my first arrival I told his Highness my instructions, and said what
I could to confirm him in his good will to so holy a work ; whereto
I found him as well disposed as I could have wished. At his
request, in the name of my mistress, I have made bold already
once or twice to speak to you on the subject, but being at this
moment on the point of sending a dispatch to the Queen, I
venture once more to beg your Majesty to hear me in the presence
of these gentlemen who have always accompanied you and been
ready to share your fortunes ; in order that knowing your answer,
I may impart it to her who has long been awaiting news from me,
and enlighten her as to the hope I see of a good issue to the affair.
Before you answer, I will ask you to take in good part my
presumption, as it might be imputed to me, in advising a prince so
well-advised, to take good heed of the times in which we are, the
great number of our enemies, the means they have to hurt us, and
the means which we may have of hindering them. I use the word
'we,' because this business touches you, and us, and all the honest
people in Christendom. In the first place, sir, the great enemy of
all honest people in the world is the Pope and all that depends on
him ; and the greatest darling [minion] that the Pope has ever had
for his aggrandisement is the King of Spain, whom we can see
growing as we look, till he becomes formidable to all his neighbours.
You see the means that he has always used to hurt us have been,
under colour of defending the Catholic Religion and as a pretext
to embroil the whole world, calumnies cast against those of the
Religion of being disturbers of the public quiet, and the corruption
which the King of Spain has effected through his greatness and
wealth, the divisions which he has thus caused in France and the
Low Countries, where the success has been such that a good man's
heart bleeds when he thinks of it. Even in our country he has
tried to do the same, but the grace of God has preserved us
hitherto ; which for our faults begins now to diminish owing to the
trouble which he and his holy father have raised up for us in
Ireland, which I fear is the beginning of a smoke, and in danger of
making a greater flame if God do not help us, and we do not take
in time the means He has given us to remedy it.
The means which we have is a general peace and union, and that
can be confirmed only by this particular peace ; which if it depends
in the least upon you, you will give occasion to your enemies to
calumniate you, to your friends who are interested in it to wish you
ill, to your own country to curse you, and to all Christendom to
reproach you, if any evil befall them through the aggrandisement
of him who is becoming so great. The only way to remedy this is
peace in France, which being made without loss of time, God will
grant that, as this realm was the first to recognise Him as God
alone, so when united it will hold the balance for itself and its
neighbours, and hinder them from being crushed by their common
foe, and will finally by the grace of God succeed in becoming the
sole instrument to make Him known in His purity to the ruin of
What I say, sir, is not to doubt your good will towards peace,
which has been so often proved, but to pray you to lose no time,
which is the one thing that cannot be recovered. If the enemy
gains it, as he seeks to do, he gets what he wants, and will
fortify himself so that it will afterwards be hard to dislodge
him. You will look to this for the sake of your duty to God,
professing the religion that you do ; for the friendship you owe to
your friends, in return for the aid they have always been willing to
give you ; for your neighbours, by not hindering the succour
promised them and prepared for them ; for your country, in showing
that you are religious, a Frenchman, a prince of the blood of
France, preserving by peace the innocent from ever suffering, blood
from being shed and your country from being ruined ; for your
servants by giving them release from their labours ; for Christendom,
by gaining such good for it ; and lastly for yourself, by saving
yourself from the calumnies your enemies always seek to lay on
you. I have made bold to point this out to your Majesty, and pray
you to take it in good part, as from the envoy of her who loves you
as her own son. For my own part I am always ready to risk my
life in your service.
Endd. : paroles de Staf. au Roi de Navarre. Fr. 2⅓ pp.
[France IV. 172.]