16. COBHAM to the SECRETARIES.
The king departed hence early on the 7th inst. in his caroche,
accompanied only by his three minions, Châteauvieux, and his
premier Escuyer, and waited on by a few of his guard. About two
leagues hence, not 'finding himself well' in his caroche, he sent
back for his riding apparel, and so continued his journey towards
Saint Germain, in which house, or some other not far from Paris,
he purposes to take diet and physic for six weeks. The Queen went
the same afternoon with a few ladies to Chenonceau, where they
The Queen Mother has both the Secretaries of State, Pinart and
Brulart, attending on her. The Chancellor, Keeper of the Seals,
Marshal Cossé, certain others of the Privy Council, and the ambassadors,
still abide here. It is expected that the queen will return
The Duke of Guise departed on the 9th, taking his way towards
Paris, where Marshal Cossé told me he meant to stay 15 days for
his, the Marshal's, coming. Thence he intends to go into Champagne,
and so to Lorraine, to keep the carème-prenant with his kinsman
Cardinal Guise went the same afternoon towards Burgundy, with
like intention to meet the duke his brother at the Duke of Lorraine's
Court. Some have watchful eyes on this journey of theirs, and the
issue of it, considering the time and the affairs at present in hand ;
the rather because there were certain præcursores who gave notice to
noblemen and gentleman of this passing through those countries.
The Bishop of Glasgow also departed on the 9th, taking leave of
me in the morning, intending to go to Moret and so to Paris about
his money matters. He showed in his conference with me that he
greatly misliked the dealing of the Spanish king in Ireland, wishing
ill-success to any foreign prince that should 'pretend' anything in
Scotland or England. Whereon I took occasion to say that some
gentlemen of his country were to blame, to become pensioners to
that king to the prejudice of their own state, and betraying of their
He assured me on his faith that he knew of none but the two
brothers Hamilton of 'Bodelaugh,' who were lately come from
thence. I 'inferred' that I heard say there were more who had
become Spanish pensioners, and that in this Court it was doubted
lest d'Aubigny had some dealings that way.
He answered, by his truth he was sorry to hear tell that. The
Council of Scotland was made of so many young heads, and
d'Aubigny was too young to have so great government in that
This is all I could learn of him at that time, and in other conferences
I have always found him in this manner of opinion ; but I
hear that Morgan, who lies at his house in Paris, is privy to his
more 'inward meanings.'
The king, two days before his departure, received a letter from his
Highness, in which he signified how he had conceived that the Duke
of Nevers offered him great injury in his justification lately exhibited
in print, concerning his quarrel with the Duke of Montpensier.
Monsieur alleges first that he is aggrieved that the Duke of Nevers
publishes and renews the memory of his departing from Paris,
which he protests was done only to give place to the king's
displeasure, not for fear of any fault he had committed, or 'meaning
of any indisposition.' Secondly he is displeased that in the justification
it is signified that the king commanded the duke to follow him
in some manner of hostility ; whereby he discovered to the world
that his Majesty had evil meaning towards him. Thirdly, that
in the printed book the duke had manifested to everybody that
he sent a gentleman to Monsieur's Court who had delivered the
démenti in his great chamber, making all men thereby understand
that little regard was had to him. Fourthly, whereas upon the
king's letter his Highness had persuaded the Duke of Montpensier
to have the quarrel accommodated, he had so worked with the duke
that he had referred the cause and his honour wholly to his hands ;
which he entered into upon the king's writing to him that the Duke
of Nevers had promised to do the like. Yet in the meantime the
Duke of Nevers printed his justification, contrary to the course
taken, in which these injuries have been offered ; showing likewise
that he thinks his Highness insufficient to take up the quarrel.
Wherefore he has written to the king that he is bound in honour to
assume the quarrel. Upon the receipt of this letter M. de la Fin
was sent back by the king to Monsieur, stating that he 'has and will'
have his honour in consideration above all else, and mislikes the
Duke of Nevers proceeding in this way. He has sent M. de Rambouillet
to the Duke of Nevers to desire him to satisfy his Highness
in those points where he finds himself aggrieved ; otherwise it is
thought he will have more parties against him than he will be able
to sustain. But since reason will move him, being a prince of ripe
judgement, it is esteemed he will accommodate himself to the king's
will and submit himself to Monsieur. On the other side Queen
Mother 'travails' with Montpensier 'to ease these griefs.'
The Italians have been somewhat startled by the earnest disposition
of Monsieur against the Duke of Nevers. The Duchess of
Montpensier has been at Court 'making appearance' to play the
part of a faithful wife, so far as the counsels of her brother the Duke
of Guise may lead her.
Monsieur has recalled Fervacques, so that he does not go as his
lieutenant into the Low Countries.
The night before the Duke of Guise's departure there was a
quarrel in the chamber between the Bishop of Langres and
Lancosme, playing at primera with the Duchess of Montpensier.
Now that his Highness has caused the peace to be published in
Guyenne, as I have said in my letter to her Majesty, and has taken
up certain private quarrels, it is thought he will hasten his journey
to Tours, but he will hardly do it before the beginning of next
M. Biron will be restored to the King of Navarre's favour when
Monsieur is at Bordeaux, so there will be a reconciliation that way,
and the confrèrerie will be dissolved. M. de Duras the enemy of the
Viscount of Turenne is lately dead, whereby that quarrel will have
an end. The two MM. de Limeuil, nephews to the viscount, will be
recognised, and 'severed in action of service' ; so that enmity will
likewise cease, and Gascony be the better brought to peaceable
Sundry packets and numbers of letters sent from Spain have
been intercepted and brought to his Highness, among which he has
found about 25 written by Cardinal Granvelle's own hand, most in
cipher ; containing, as I am informed, some matter against her
Majesty. I suppose his Highness will cause them to be sent to her.
I have 'motioned' it to Marshal Cossé, who thinks they have been
sent, or that M. Marchaumont will bring the contents of them.
The Marshal has among other matters discoursed to me that he
thinks the King of Spain's policy is to keep her Majesty occupied
in Ireland, framing by his and the Roman Bishop's practices some
conspiracy and rebellion in England, knowing the English to be a
people willing to fight and apt to come to 'handy strokes' ; whereby
through the rebel battles they may enfeeble themselves, and so the
weakest faction may be persuaded to bring in some foreign powers ;
and meantime to raise some alteration in Scotland with offer of
marriage and such like. He concluded that Monsieur was the
fittest person for her Majesty to assure to her, either by way of
marriage or of close amity against the common enemy ; making large
significations to me of his entire affection toward her.
I told him that the Queen had such liking for his Highness'
virtues, and opinion of his love toward her, that she was more
affected toward him than any prince in Christendom, as he would
find at his coming to England, after conference with her ; of whom
he would receive as good entertainment as I hoped he would be in all
ways satisfied with. Meantime I besought him that all things might
pass 'assuredly' between the king and his Highness, or it would
be dangerous for her to enter into amity with them, not being united.
I further entered into some particulars of the minions and
principal persons about the Court, of whom he spoke to me frankly
enough, concluding that this matter of treaty being accomplished,
others must accommodate their wills to the son and heir of France ;
the rather since they account that the king will have no issue.
Whereupon he entered into commendation of her Majesty, and the
likelihood there was she might have children, considering the
freshness of her blood and the strength of her voice, which betokened
her heart and other parts to be strong and whole ; which alliance
he seems earnestly to desire.
Speaking of marriage brought us to naming them of Guise ; by
which means he delivered his mind of them to me. He did not
take them to come from Hugh Capet, but to be descended from a
Count of Vaudemont, who married a daughter of the line of France,
whereby there could by their laws be no descent nor lawful claim to
the Crown ; for if the Crown of France could descend by women,
the claim of England would be preferred, being of later lineage and
nearer kindred. As for the King of Navarre his estate could not be
prejudiced ; and he hoped he would embrace the counsels which
have been given him, following Monsieur and making himself
known in France. He thought the Prince of Condé would shortly
be with his Highness.
I wished that Monsieur had councillors about him of noble degree
and quality, which he said I should shortly see ; among others the
Viscount of Turenne, whom he praised, saying he was of kin to him
by marriage through the alliance of the Montmorencis.
The Marshal goes tomorrow to Chenonceau, to the Queen Mother,
for she has sent for him twice or thrice. Otherwise he had appointed
to go to 'Chomberg' [Chambord], a fair house of the king's two
leagues hence, and take me with him. I have visited him three
sundry times ; the last was 'this other' day, passing the time in the
king's garden and the walks. The Pope's nuncio was there at the
same time, with Cardinal Birague, which gave the lookers-on occasion
to speak their opinions. The Marshal let me know how the king had
sent to M. Pibrac to put himself in readiness ; but now upon receipt
of your letter I will deal accordingly, and advertise you as occasion
M. d'Agé, a councillor of the Parliament of Paris, 'makes means'
to succeed M. Mauvissière. He has been with me twice or thrice,
and now lastly since my coming hither requests me to use all the
means I can that he may be acceptable to her Majesty ; the rather
that he is given to understand that she has been informed he is
affected to the House of Guise. This he denies, confessing that
his kindred have been servants and beholden to that House. So I
leave that matter to your judgement.
M. de Marchaumont is daily looked for, but not yet come, from
his Highness. Marshal Cossé is advertised of three shallops or
pinnaces armed from Gravelines and those parts, and wishes that
he might have some of her Majesty's ships for his better safe-conduct.
Please move her so that he may be satisfied therein, and to let me
know thereof that I may content him.
The Duke of Maine sent an alarm hither that Saint-Esprit had
been surprised ; which proved nothing so, only that 'Desguieres'
passed with 1,000 foot and a few horse for his better strength, going
to confer with some of the Religion in Provence.
It is stated that the King of Spain has at Genoa 600,000 crowns,
which he sent thither by the galleys that passed lately from Spain.
And by the advertisements from Spain we hear that he is staying at
Elvas, being persuaded by the Duke of Alva not to go to Lisbon
because of the plague. Also that Prospero Colonna will remain at
Lisbon with 500 Italians and no Spaniards. Don Pietro de Medici
has recovered from his sickness, and proposes to repair into Italy,
the hope being renewed of marriage with the daughter of the Duke
It is held in Spain that Don Antonio has fled into Africa.
They say that the Duke of Alva has given his opinion that the
king should first settle the affairs of Portugal, and make sure of the
Indies before he takes any other enterprise in hand.
The advertisements of Italy are that the Pope has made the
Prince of Parma his Governor of Aquila, which the Princess his
'Hannibal da Capua,' Archbishop of Naples, has presented to
Jacomo Buoncompagno, the Pope's son, a Turkey horse with a
marvellous rich furniture, and to the Pope a hackney furnished in
pontificato ; to Cardinal Como, secretary to the Pope, two coachhorses
richly furnished, and to the Cardinals of San Sisto and
Guastavillani, to the one two pair horses, to the other a 'lictar' with
two goodly mules.
The chief Master of Malta has come to Rome, and been committed
to the chief inquisitor, because, as it is understood, he licensed
certain gentlemen of his 'religion' in Provence to arm a galley,
wherewith they are roving on the seas. Howbeit it is supposed the
Pope's displeasure is grounded upon some other secret cause.
Count Girolamo Pepoli has returned to Bologna 'yielding himself
to prison' ; but will be pardoned and set at liberty for his wife's
sake, she being cousin to the Pope. The same day that Cardinal
Morone died, his niece was beheaded at Pavia, having sought to
murder her husband for love of another.
Jehan Liberge has been dispatched to England, to renew his
As I understand by a letter of the merchants of Bordeaux, which
I sent to you in my last, that they did not enjoy the benefit of the
king's letters patent, I procured his further letters in their behalf, a
copy of which I send.—Blois, 13 Jan. 1580.
Endd. by Walsinqham and by Burghley's secretary. 6 pp.
[France, V. 6.]
Enclosed in the above :