182. COBHAM to [? WALSINGHAM].
Being suddenly advertised that M. Pinart's eldest son, who
arrived yesterday from Spain, was to repair to England, I would not
fail to write to you, 'leaving' to certify anything touching Spanish
or Portugal affairs, because I hope the king is sending him to relate
some matters wherewith he would 'show' to gratify the Queen, and
that you will be somewhat frankly dealt with by M. Pinart as to
the relation of the present state of Portugal and Spain.
M. Chemereau who was sent to King Philip in February has
returned to his house, but not yet come to Court.
The king, as I wrote the other day, has sent his mother to
Monsieur, being ill-satisfied that he does not visit him, but resolves
on enterprises without communicating them to him. He thinks
that his brother will not be able to succour Cambray with the
assistance only of his voluntary servants, but is rather like thereby
to hazard his reputation and friends. The king further finds himself
not sufficiently prepared to declare war against King Philip,
not having paid the gendarmerie for a long time. Thus he weighs
that enterprise, misliking the progress of it.
Since his coming hither the king passes his time a-hunting
often ; at other times he plays at Pallemaile, using exercises above
his accustomed manner, and rendering himself more conversable
and affable to the nobility and gentlemen than he was ever heretofore
wont to do ; dining and supping daily openly, with better
appetite than he has done for a long time. He has entertained the
Duke of Maine with good countenance and long conferences.
The Duke of Nevers accompanies the king at the Pallemale and his
other exercises. The Duke of Montpensier is expected to be here
at this feast.
Count Montgomery and the greater part of the gentlemen have
retired from the troops which Fervacques commanded, and gone to
Marshal Retz and his wife have gone towards Paris to his house ;
for he finds his services not so far accepted as he looked they
should have been.
The Abbot of Guadagna was very coldly answered by Monsieur
when he was lately sent by the queen to meet him at Saumur ;
with which she was somewhat moved, and resolved on this journey
to Alençon, where she remains ; purposing, as she said at her
going hence, to follow him. There is at present among these
princes some froward mood.
Strozzi has been advised that an Irish Bishop has arrived who has
been a practiser in the matters of Ireland, with a captain in his
company. I have sent to Nantes to enquire after him and have
him followed to Paris, for I understand he addresses himself
The Bishop of Glasgow went yesterday towards Paris. He has
signified in this Court that the Earl of Morton was executed,
because Mr. 'Randall,' the Queen's ambassador, sought the means
to deliver him out of prison by practice ; which being discovered, the
Queen's ambassador was glad to convey himself away privily, having
in the Queen's name required three things of the Scottish king ;
first, to have Earl Morton set at liberty ; that M. d'Aubigny might
be returned into France ; thirdly, that certain in Scotland should
be delivered to her Majesty ; to which points the Scottish king did
not give much ear, but in requital had sent an ambassador to
demand of her Majesty that his mother might be set at liberty,
that his right of succession might be declared in the Parliament in
England, and lastly that Berwick should be restored to him. The
Bishop says further that the Irish have received succours from the
Scots, and that more Spaniards have landed ; so that Lord Grey
has requested more forces, fearing to be distressed. The Bishop of
Rimini is looked for here shortly as nuncio. He is severe, and
addicted to the humour of Cardinal Borromeo, which gives some
fear to the Protestants.
I have requested M. de Reus [? Réaux] to write to Monsieur for
his help in apprehending the Irish Bishop. M. Pinart's son thought
to have started this day, but the king has resolved to send him first
to the Queen Mother ; whereon I thought it best to send this by
M. Brulart's means.—Blois, 11 May 1581. Add. and endt. gone.
1⅓ pp. [Ibid. V.]
183. "The form of the Speech delivered to the Commissioners."
To let them understand that whereas her Majesty did by her
Secretary signify to the Commissioners, that she found it expedient
upon conference with such her Commissioners as she deputed to
treat with them that the treaty for sundry good causes should be
suspended till she might hear from the Duke, whom as a principal
party contractant this cause chiefly touched ; that now upon conference
had with the Par [liament] considering how, through contrariety
of wind or some other impediment, the answer cannot come
as soon as she desires, being loth that they should be idle in the
meantime, how convenient it were that the treaty should proceed ;
and also for the satisfaction she 'delivereth' to yield both to him
and to the rest of the Commissioners ; is now pleased that it should
go forward, with this caution, that such things as shall be agreed on
between the Commissioners shall hang in suspense till she receives
answer from the Duke. Whereof if it shall please them to allow, we
are ready to proceed to the treaty of such article as it shall please
them to propound, being contained in their commission.
In case they shall not assent to treat 'at the admittance of' the
caution, it is to be replied that forasmuch as this treaty is not
merum civile but religiosum it requires principally satisfaction of all
difficulties in the parties contracting, whereof some are not meet to
be communicated to others, but are only to be resolved between
themselves. Moreover, the proceeding in the treaty, notwithstanding
the caution, will very much advance the matter to an end
after her Majesty's and the Duke's pleasure shall be known, and
therefore most fit to be proceeded in.
That if, notwithstanding the caution, they shall hereupon propound
the articles contained in the treaty with Simiers, they may be
asked whether they propound them as things agreed on, or as articles
thought meet to be treated on for the better accomplishment of the
matter they are come for. If they answer that they propound them
as articles agreed on, it may be replied, first that their commission
from the King makes no mention of those articles ; secondly, that if
they say they may treat of them by virtue of the Duke's commission,
that may be replied that though in the presence of the Commissioners
mention was made of the articles, yet when you come to
verba dispositionis or authoritatis in the commission there is no
mention of them. Besides, the validity of the articles is called
in question, for that signification was not made to the King
touching her Majesty's assent to the coming of the Commissioners
in such form as is contained in an instrument signed by de
After the delivery of the like speeches, at the end of the conference
it was agreed that the Commissioners should set down in
writing the summary of that which they conceived to be accorded in
Mem. in Walsingham's hand and endd. by him : 12 May 158. The
speeches delivered by the Lord Treasurer at the time of the conference.
3 pp. [France V. 73.]
184. THE MARRIAGE NEGOTIATIONS.
Pursuant to the request made to the Queen of England by the
Prince Dauphin and the other commisioners of the king, the
Queen his mother, and the Duke of Anjou, the Queen's commissioners
being assembled with those of their Majesties it was
resolved as follows :—
1. That in virtue of their powers, and without regard had to
the letter to the contrary which passed between the Queen, M. de
Simier, the 28th of November, 1579, they shall proceed to the
sight and reading of the marriage articles between the Queen and
Monsieur, subject to the protestation respectively made ; to wit,
that nothing which is decided shall be binding until the Queen
has received an answer to the letter she wrote with her own hand
2. That all the articles agreed upon between the Queen and Simier
on 24 Nov. 1579, shall have full effect in the matters resolved upon.
3. And with regard to the first of the said articles, concerning
the celebration of the marriage, the king's commissioners suggest
that it should take place as follows :
A lofty dais, otherwise called theatre, shall be erected, whereon
the Queen and Monsieur shall meet, supported each by a bishop of
their own religion, in whose presence the mutual promises shall be
made, and oath taken in public to keep them inviolably. The
Queen shall then retire to her oratory and hear the Service customary
to her religion, while Monsieur goes to a chapel prepared to this
end near the 'theatre,' where Divine Service shall be celebrated
according to his religion, as permitted by the articles accorded to
M. de Simier.
4. As to the coronation demanded by Monsieur after the marriage,
seeing that the king's commissioners judge that the Queen desirous
to see this good work effected has already prepared the will of her
Parliament on the subject of such coronation, and with so much
authority that it will oppose none of her wishes, they trust it will
please her, in order that the contract may be passed (which is the
sole reason for their coming) to grant the said coronation according
to Monsieur's request, subject always to the consent, decree, and
ratification of Parliament.
Endd. by Walsingham, and some passages underlined. Somewhat
damaged. Fr. 1 p. [France V. 74.]
185. The MARQUIS OF BRANDENBURG to the QUEEN.
George Spindeler desires to serve your Majesty in preference to
other potentates ; and though I do not know if you maintain
soldiers, I could not refuse to forward his request. He has done
good and honourable service, in superior posts, in Hungary,
France, Denmark and the Netherlands ; and will acquit himself
manfully and honourable on any occasion that you may employ
him.—Coln on the Spraw [sic], 13 May 1581.
Add. : 'Durchlauchtigen Furstin Frewlein Elisabethen' etc.
Endd. German. 1½ pp. [Germany II. 19.]
186. STOKES to WALSINGHAM.
My last was the 7th and 8th inst. Since that etc.
On the 8th inst. the Gentners sent out all their forces and took
a small castle and church which the Malcontents held within half-a-league
of 'Halst.' In the castle were 63 soldiers, who yielded it
by agreement, to depart without weapons ; and in the church about
100 stout peasants, well-appointed, who would not yield. For
which cause the Gentners set fire round about it, and burnt them
all ; so the castle and church are both razed down to the ground,
which two places were the chiefest friends that the town of
'Halst' had in those parts.
This week letters are come to Sainte-Aldegonde from Monsieur,
in which he writes that he will be on the frontier in person with a
good force of soldiers on the 20th inst. He has withal written that
the States here in Flanders should send such forces as they can
into the field with as much speed as may be.
Upon the receipt of this the States of Flanders sent two days
ago a small camp into the field. It is by 36 ensigns of foot and
12 cornets of horse, who are marching towards 'Feurne' and those
parts ; so it will shortly be seen what they will do. M. de Villers
is commander, and Captain Yorke sergeant-major. God send them
better fortune than the last camp.
Speeches have come to the magistrates of this town that a few
days ago the town of Cambray was to have been delivered to the
Prince of Parma by the treason of some Frenchmen and others in
the town. But the matter was espied and revealed before it was
ripe, so that many in the town are taken and executed, and since
the enterprise has failed, the Prince of Parma lays the fault on
M. de Montigny and other captains. Hence there is great discord
and disorder in the Malcontents' camp, and the speech goes that
Montigny has retired from thence malcontent, and the Prince of
Parma has gone to Namur. But I doubt all this is too good news
to be true.
Also M. la Motte has gone from the camp to Graveling in great
haste, and since coming home has well manned all his forts and
bulwarks lying between 'Iper' and Graveling ; for the speech goes
that the camp will be 'doing' with some of them.
Four days ago those of Tournay, Meenen and Ypres had an
enterprise upon Lille, to take it by surprise ; and when they were
going to it, within a quarter of a mile of the town, it was revealed
in the town.
The matter was very ill-handled, for they made their enterprise
too much known abroad ; so that many rich burghers have been
taken in the town who were acquainted with the matter, who will
lose their lives.
It is now said that the Prince of Orange will shortly come to
Middleburg in Zealand, and will continue there.
Although there is disorder in the Malcontents' camp, it is
feared they will agree well enough and send forces against 'their'
small camp, which is weak and slenderly appointed.—Bruges,
14 May 1581.
P.S.—I have received yours of the 6th and thank you for it.
Also I enclose a copy of Monsieur's letter to Sainte-Aldegonde.
Add. Endd. 2¼ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 70.]
187. WALSINGHAM to COBHAM.
Her Majesty's pleasure is that you shall forthwith repair to the
king and his mother and thank them for their choice of a prince of
the blood and other such honourable personages as have lately been
sent hither ; which she accepts as a magnifest argument and testimony
of their good meaning towards her.
But since at the first meeting with the commissioners, upon view
of a commission they showed to those appointed by her to treat with
them, it was found that they were only authorised to treat of the
matter of marriage, without mention of any straiter league or amity
between the two Crowns, according to the overture made to you in
December last, when Chiverny, Villequier, and Secretary Pinart
were appointed to treat with you by their Majesties' order, they were
pressed to declare whether they had not another commission.
Whereupon they protested on their honour that they were only sent
to conclude the marriage treated before by Simier.
Her Majesty finds this very strange, considering that both the
king and his mother have heretofore by their letters, as also by the
mouth of their ambassador here, promised to satisfy her desire
therein. For both, in their speeches to you, have sundry times
shown how necessary it was, in respect of the growing greatness of
Spain, that some straiter league should be made between the two
Crowns, whatsoever became of the marriage, that being subject to
sundry difficulties of importance, such perhaps that its proceeding
could not be profitable to either party ; and therefore for more security
it was always thought requisite that such as should be sent
hither to treat of marriage should also have authority to treat of
amity. Thus much has been delivered to the commissioners here ;
who were also let understand that her Majesty would write to you
to signify as much to the king and his mother, and pray them
according to their promise, and as the necessity of the time requires
(it being also doubtful what issue the marriage may take), that they
might have a general commission to treat of amity. And to the
end the matter might 'take the better place,' they were also
requested to write to the king to the like effect ; wherein they made
some difficulty, alleging that they did not think it reasonable to
treat of amity otherwise than accompanied by marriage, and to
such effect they promised to write, since at the time of the
conference it was shown them that they had no authority to treat
of amity otherwise than in general terms, which they in a sort
confessed. And though they make scruples to write for a several
commission to treat of amity, it is thought they will do it, but will
not confess so much to us, because they fear that if they should
'amply discover' to us that they are also to treat of amity, it
might hinder the marriage.
But howsoever they write, her Majesty's pleasure is that you
should earnestly urge the king and his mother, by laying before
them their own promises, how necessary it is that the greatness of
Spain should be looked to, the doubtfulness of the issue of the
marriage in respect of sundry difficulties, and how dishonourable
it would be that for lack of authority, commissioners of that
quality and so many in number should depart hence without
concluding either amity or marriage.
And in case you find the king and his mother inclinable to allow
such a commission to be sent, her Majesty would have you let
them understand that it were expedient the number of the commissioners
were abridged ; both because she considers that divers of the
persons who are here cannot in respect of their callings and the
necessary use that the king has of their service be long absent, and
also it were not expedient that a matter of that importance, wherein
secresy was necessarily to be used, should be committed to many.
This cause requires expedition, and therefore her Majesty would
have you solicit it in such careful sort, that you may return a speedy
Draft. Endd. by L. Tomson, with date. 2¾ pp. [France V. 75.]
188. THE MARRIAGE NEGOTIATIONS.
Causes of delay.—The principal is because her Majesty is desirous
to hear from Monsieur his resolution of certain matters pertaining
to him which are only to be considered betwixt them two ; as will
appear hereafter to be such indeed as properly belong to no others
but themselves privately to determine.
This was the cause why her Majesty wished and requested that
the French king would not have sent the commissioners till she and
Monsieur had so agreed that their coming might have been to good
purpose ; and so can M. Marchaumont tell, who heard her dealings
with Mauvissière the ambassador.
A second cause of forbearing to treat upon the article of marriage
was that her Majesty always expected that the commissioners who
should come for the marriage, would also have another power to
treat of some strait league betwixt the king and her ; and as she
always desired this, so the French king and his mother always
remembered it, using these terms sundry times, that though she
would not marry, she was desirous there should be some special
treaty of a league. But now, finding that they show no special
power as she looked for, she has cause to forbear treating of one
without the other.
Thirdly, it seems needful to know in what terms the French king
. . . . . . . . enable his brother, whereby the marriage with
him may . . . . to the realm ; for as Monsieur's state is changed
by his real acceptance of the sovereignty of the Low Countries,
whereby he has directly entered into hostility with the King of
Spain, and is by no appearance able of himself to pursue it without
the king his brother to aid him with men and money, so cannot a
marriage with him standing only upon his own power be agreeable
to the state, or comfortable to her Majesty ; seeing she will be partaker
of his fortune by marriage, notwithstanding any articles to
To this is to be added what is most certain, that she has often
written directly to Monsieur to let him know that if he should take
upon him the protection of the Low Countries, whereby he would
enter into a war with the King of Spain, he must not think the
marriage would be agreeable in her realm.
Upon these causes, as well as such matters as are not yet accorded
between her Majesty and Monsieur, we pray them not to think it
without reason 'why' we have forborne to treat of the marriage
before treating of a league, and especially till we saw how Monsieur
was able to pursue his intentions in the Low Countries.
But to content them against our own reasons, her Majesty will
have us treat upon the marriage ; with this condition, that our treaty
shall not bind her Majesty to marriage until she has heard from
Monsieur ; thereupon shall finally assent to our treaty, or dissent
from it ; which she is content to do [sic] 'because' the time shall
not be lost meanwhile ; so that if upon answer from Monsieur she
shall assent to the marriage, there may be no further delay for lack
of treaty and conclusion to be made ready betwixt us.
On treating of the articles it may be alleged that since they were
written many alterations have happened of things that require in
some special points a change to the satisfaction of her Majesty's
The attempt of the Pope and the King of Spain in Ireland on
pretence of religion. The people's yielding [?] thereto for religion ;
The repair of Jesuits into England, and that from France ;
The people's yielding thereto, not only to the change of religion,
but also to the relinquishing of their obedience.
The sending of 'Daubeny' into Scotland, by means of the House
of Guise, who has laboured to dissolve all good friendship and love
between the two countries.
Upon these 'accidents' the realm here is grown more jealous of
this marriage, not so much for mistrust of Monsieur's sincerity,
but for the comfort that evil subjects will conceive . . .
Memo. in Burghley's hand, and endd. by him : 16 Maii 1581.
A Conference with the French Commissioners at Somerset House.
Slightly damaged. 3 pp. [France V. 76.]
189. "The substance of that which passed at the conference
the 17th of May."
It was declared to them by the Lord Treasurer that by her
Majesty's order he and the rest of the commissioners were ready
to proceed in the treaty of such subjects as yet remain unviewed.
Whereupon the French commissioners desired that whereas the
time appointed for the holding of Parliament was expired, the next
session, appointed to be held May 29 might not be prorogued, and
that within a few days after the session the article for the Coronation
might be propounded ; requesting further that some fixed time
might be set down within the session when that request might
To which two points, after some debating, time was required to
consider ; and that a blank might be left in the draft of the
contract for putting in the time of the session, as also the term
when the said request was likely to be obtained.
It was accorded that article V. should pass as before agreed.
Touching the VIth, they desired that the commissioners would
name what sum they thought meet to be proposed in Parliament ;
to which it was answered that it would prejudice Parliament to
name any sum, seeing it was referred to their consideration.
Besides, it was contrary to the course agreed to alter anything of
what was accorded in the articles ; therefore, being referred to
Parliament, Parliament was to determine it. The commissioners
desired that it might be remembered that the sum proposed by
Simier was also demanded.
Article VII ministered matter of long argument, for the president
[Brisson] showed many 'presidents' of dowries granted by Kings
of France to such as were married in England, thereby to persuade
the commissioners to content themselves with like sums ; which he
alleged to be only 20,000 crowns.
To which it was replied that there was a difference between a
daughter of France and an inheritor of England. Secondly, that
there was a difference in the coins ; every crown then being threefold
'richer' than it is now. Thirdly, that the duke requiring a present
pension, and that of a great sum, it was reasonable that a dowry,
being in consideration of the course of both their years not likely to
'fall out,' should be 'answerable' to it.
They were also reminded that the King of Spain required no
pension, and yet granted to Queen Mary an honourable dowry,
besides that the Low Countries were assigned to the issue male of
both their bodies ; the Prince of Spain being then living. After
long dispute they offered 40,000 crowns dowry.
The next articles containing no matter for consultation, it was
agreed they should 'pass in contract' as they were set down in
the treaty with Simier, and so it was ordered that the contract
being reduced to form by the president should be sent to her
Memo. in Walsingham's hand and endd. by him. 3¼ pp.
[France V. 77.]
190. COBHAM to [the SECRETARIES].
I certified you lately of Monsieur's coming to Alençon and of the
Queen Mother's repairing to him. She arrived there on Wednesday
the 10th, staying only two days, so that she departed the next
Saturday, finding that Monsieur had prepared for his own departure,
which seemed to her an 'occasion offered' that her stay was not
desired. Howsoever the causes were dealt in between them, they
took their leave with many tears. The Queen Mother went towards
Paris, where it is judged she is to-day.
Some hold the opinion that she was put in doubt that Monsieur
had been persuaded to repair to Paris to make a party, with the
further intention of declaring to those of the Court of Parliament
the reasons which moved him to his enterprise for succouring
Cambray and recovering Flanders, for which he was said to desire
the aid of their counsels and good opinion. Therefore hereon she
hastened to prevent her son's coming to Paris, to impeach his
proceeding by pursuasion and other means. Some suppose otherwise,
that since she finds Monsieur fully resolved on those actions,
she is gone to Paris to provide him money. But howsoever she is
affected, it is seen the King would have it thought that he is discontented
with these proceedings. Notwithstanding, some personages
in this Court have been advertised both that 'Roysters' are being
levied in Germany of whom the Marquis of Brandenburg was to
bring 3,000, and also that 6,000 Swiss are prepared for Monsieur's
service. The Marquis of Elbeuf gathers sundry bands and troops
of horse, and the like is done by other persons of quality. The
rendezvous of Monsieur's horse is meant to be at Château-Thierry,
and of his foot at Gisors near Rouen. So there are these shows for
foreign attempts ; yet there rise doubts of some civil wars, because
the King has given order for a 'camp' of 10,000 foot and 12,000
horse to be levied for the wars of Dauphiné, which will be
commanded by the Duke of Mayne.
On Whitsunday the King desired the King of Navarre's agent to
let both him and the Prince of Condé understand, because he did
not mean to surprise them, that since those of the 'Religion in
Dauphiné' did not 'yield' to observe the Edict of Pacification, he
would make them obey him. On this he had resolved, having
already 'addressed' an army for the purpose ; with many words to
that effect, with great earnestness and 'collor.' The agent
besought him not to put the King of Navarre and Prince of Condé
from him, since they 'had and do' seek to effectuate the Edict by
all means they can use, with great desire to please him. And for
the advantage of the public repose they had appointed an assembly
at Montauban, where all things will be propounded for his better
satisfying. He besought him to stay till he might hear what was
done about them of Dauphiné.
Lastly, finding the king so thoroughly animated against those
of the Religion, he besought him to give him leave to go and find
the King of Navarre, whereby he would have the better means to
signify what he had received of his Majesty's pleasure. The king
desired him to write it ; for he meant to execute all that he had
said. But he would have him stay to witness his actions.
The cause of the king's displeasure against those of Dauphiné is
that they desire to keep Livron and Gap, which they have in their
hands, instead of Noyons and Serre, town and castle.
M. de la Hunaudaye, lieutenant for the king in Basse Bretagne,
has entered the castle of Nantes, and having taken victuals and other
munition out of the townsmen's storehouses and cellars, caused
them to be brought into the castle with other necessary furniture.
He is known to be a person most assured to his Majesty. The
townsmen have sent complaints ; whereon the king has sent a valet
of his chamber to M. de la Hunaudaye. It is supposed that this
is a command of the king for some other cause.
The king has sent for the Count of Lude, governor of Poitou, and
de Roches-Barriteux, between whom has arisen a quarrel, which he
means to accord, because they are both of great quality. His
diligence in making unity and atonements with those who are head
of parties and factions should signify that his mind is bent to have
repose in the realm.
It seems that the authority which Monsieur has left to the King
of Navarre in those quarters, and the negotiation which Marsilliére,
that king's secretary, has lately performed at Bordeaux, together
with the absence of M. de Biron from thence would 'foreshow a
meaning of further trust remitted' to the King of Navarre. I enclose
a copy of Marsilliére's negotiation. I have in this sort set before
your eyes the present shows, the speeches of the king, and the
actions which either import the establishment of the public peace,
and also the doubts conceived with the present occasions, together
with the preparations of Monsieur, which being seen by you, it may
be the better judged of, according to the commissioners' manner of
trading there with you.
A courtier of some quality communicated a matter of substance
to the Duke of Nevers, between whom [sic] there is friendship,
touching the reformation of certain particulars in the finances
which might redound to the king's benefit. The Duke answered
with these words : Nous avons autres écuelles à laver. So there
are many signs that they are bent on some purpose of importance.
Howbeit, I remember that at beginning of last year they likewise
'braved them' with many warlike words, making much
preparation. Sundry bands were levied in all quarters ; so that
their furious beginnings ministered cause to think on extremities ;
but since, it is seen how all their 'hurleburles' served but to bring
on the treaty which has been 'a harrowing' all this year and yet
hardly 'contain from' civil broils. On which matter they have
framed these two verses : Gallia quae nunquam fuit in sua commoda
constans, In sua constanter funera caeca ruit.
Certain opinion was conceived upon the occasion of Monsieur's
return to Alençon, with his intent to repair incontinently to the
frontiers of the Low Countries known, that their Majesties with
the Court would remove from these parts toward Paris. Some of
the Ambassadors thereon resolved before departing to see Tours ;
so I, having likewise the commodity of the nearness of the place,
went to Amboise on Thursday after Whitsunday, and on Friday
arrived at Tours, spending the Saturday in seeing the town.
On my entering the castle to view it, and from it the situation
of the town, Count Vimioso being lodged there came down
into the court to me and brought me to his lodging ; where I found
him accompanied by M. de Strozzi, Count la Rochefoucault and
divers other captains, and guarded by sundry French shot. At first
I was entertained with his music which he had there, of Monsieur's.
Then he drew me apart into a private walk ; where first he showed
me that he had had a great desire to communicate to me what now
upon this commodity he would briefly do in short words ; which he
said was his manner, because though rain was profitable for the
bringing forth of fruits, yet too much of it was noisome. Therefore
as words served to express the mind, too many cumbered the hearer,
and confused the sense of matters. He meant therefore briefly to
show me how he was a prisoner in Barbary, where he passed some
danger, being favoured by the Shereef's sister, who had got 2 or
300 horsemen to accompany her and him into Portugal. But being
brought back with greater forces he escaped with much pain, partly
through the intreaty of the ambassador of King Philip ; and also
because the 'occasion' was found not to be in him, nor any dishonourable
dealing ; whereby the Shereef was induced to release him. At
his return he found the King of Castile at the frontiers of Portugal ;
by whom he was much 'cheered' and honoured, and received the
like entertainment from the Duke of Alva, his mother's great uncle.
The four Governors of Portugal welcomed him honourably, persuading
him to favour the Castilian king's 'pretence ;' to which
he answered that if his right led his conscience to that, he
would yield, and accommodate his mind accordingly. But he
further told them that it seemed to him that the honour and
dignity of the Crown of Portugal would be swallowed and utterly
confounded when the King of Castile was become their king. They
would have no more ambassadors of Portugal sent to other princes
and no princes' ambassadors sent to them. Their conquests, won
with great labour, would be made the prey of the slothful Castilians
in such sort that no more fame of the name of the Royalty of
Portugal would be left in memory than is now heard of the
kingdom of Aragon, Granada, 'Lyon,' and others ; who are all
'bleamished' and confounded with the title of Castile. Upon
consideration of this he was moved to desire the preservation of
the dignity of his country.
After he had thus signified his mind, the Governors sought to
cause him to be slain and taken [sic] ; but his credit with the
people and the 'estate' he held in Portugal was then able to
preserve him. At the same time he was of opinion that Portugal
needed a person as king who was a warlike prince, whereon he had
cast his mind towards the pretensions of the Duke of Savoy,
knowing he was also rich, and would be able to bring them captains,
soldiers, arms, and munitions. On this the Duke's ambassador had
solicited him, making offer of great sums of money, which he
'lightly hearkened' after. But being presently after sent to by Don
Antonio he resolved to meet him on an island by St. Arene
[? Santarem], where these few speeches passed between them. The
count asked Don Antonio if he 'thought good' to be King of
Portugal. Don Antonio said he desired to live but for that purpose.
The count asked if he could be contented to obey, if better right
were found to be in any other person. Don Antonio said he would
submit to any natural Portuguese who should be chosen king.
Lastly, the count desired him to be ready upon occasion, and so
Since then, Don Antonio being chosen king, the count has run
that course, being led thereto in his conscience by the justice of the
cause ; and now being unable to withstand the oppression of King
Philip's forces and treasons, he had been advised to leave Portugal,
to seek aid of other Christian princes. Since coming to France he
has requested only that their Majesties will for their money and
other considerations suffer them to 'wage' forces sufficient to land
them in some convenient port in Portugal, where they may have
means to gather together such of his friends and accomplices as
shall willingly adventure their lives for the chosen natural king, for
the liberty and honour of their country. This request has seemed
so plausible to them that they have received him with much honour ;
permitting Strozzi by a secret commission to levy 8,000 men and
put ships to sea, suffering victuals to be taken at the count's charges.
A 'consort' is made that Strozzi shall command by sea and land as
general, having the charge of a particular regiment, Count Rochefoucault,
Saint-Luc, and young Lansac, with sundry others, having
regiments under him. The expenses are made upon such composition
as the count has 'passed' with those named and other private
persons. He is sending a ship to fetch from the Islands money and
other 'short merchandise' which is ready there for Don Antonio.
It will be accompanied by five other ships ready to sail from Rochelle
with the next good wind.
For the state of their country the count is advertised that King
Philip has been accepted as King of Portugal at Tomar, a town
belonging to the count, where they have held their Court of Parliament
in favour of King Philip. But the city of Lisbon have excused
themselves from taking their oaths, because they have been sworn
to Don Antonio, who is still living. Nevertheless, they have
'yielded' to obey King Philip's authority. The Duke of Braganza
was present, and executed the office of Constable of Portugal, which
belonged to the Count. So the cause grows, by politic means, more
assured to King Philip, and becomes further doubtful to the faction
of Don Antonio. Nevertheless, as long as they have the Isles
assured there remains hope ; but they must be made good in their
behalf with great expedition, before King Philip has leisure to
'assault them by his politics.'
The Count of Vimioso is advertised that there are many Malcontents
in Aragon and Catalonia, wherewith the Spanish king may
be annoyed. He dispatched Don Juan de Sousa from Tours, with
letters and instructions to her Majesty on the 10th inst. trusting his
king and the realm of Portugal may find some of that royal comfort
which Kings of Portugal have in times past upon like occasion
from her predecessors ; but in no sort desiring her to attempt anything
in their behalf to her trouble, or to the prejudice of her
peaceable reign, only that they may have relief and succour as
Christian people afflicted. This is the substance of what he repeated
to me ; saving what I have signified in her Majesty's letter, which
I suppose you will also see.
M. Chemereau, sent from the king, remained only two days with
King Philip, having but one audience which served for his receiving,
negotiating, and parting.
I am sure you are informed how MM. d'Entraigues often resort
to the Bishop of Glasgow, as instruments for following the Scottish
practices framed from hence. The Bishop of Rosse has 'assured'
by letters that the Scottish king is in his heart a papist ; as I hear
from papists.—Blois, 18 May 1581.
Add. and Endt. gone. 3½ pp. [France V. 78.]
191. COBHAM to [? WALSINGHAM.]
I thank you for letting me know so much of the proceedings.
That course seems to me to be providently begun ; for however her
Majesty shall be minded, it is good reason and most convenient she
were more certain of the king's zeal towards his brother, and in
some sort better assured of their Majesties' friendship towards
herself. Therefore I am persuaded that the manner of the negotiation
in that sort is to be thought necessary for the better clearing
of the dangers which have arisen in these days.
I cannot think how to understand their Majesties' interior meaning,
but in show the king would have the world believe he did not
consent to his brother's enterprises ; yet hitherto he has suffered
and done many things in his favour. Many ways are used to get
money of all their Majesties' confederates.
It seems the king would have the charges of the enterprises in
the Low Countries be borne by the Queen and the States, and
that the Portuguese should have succour at their own charges.
They have a meaning to bring the Indian fleet into some of these
ports. Thus I conceive of their trade and present course.
Count Vimioso desires to know in what sort they may hope for
the Queen's favours ; and that you would send Sir Francis Drake
towards the Islands with the best expedition that may be used.
I am informed that M. de Foix has had his letters and instructions
to be the king's ambassador at Rome.
It is reported to-day that Monsieur has gone to Evreux, within
17 leagues of Paris.
There are assigned for the Duke of Maine 100,000 crowns to
furnish his camp of 10,000 foot and 2,000 horse. Twenty cannons
are appointed for that war. I enclose a private note touching those
preparations.—Blois, 18 May 1581.
Add. and Endt. gone. 2 pp. [Ibid. V. 79.]
192. HODDESDON to WALSINGHAM.
In my former letter I told you how I have proceeded with 'this'
people in the matter touching her Majesty, which I solicited as a
thing that imported them greatly to look speedily to ; laying open
what hurt might chiefly ensue to this town by delay. Hereupon
M. Junius brought me this afternoon these two letters which I enclose,
whereby he hoped she would be somewhat satisfied, or at least the
matter stayed for a time from coming to extremity. But as I have
heretofore fully certified you upon what points they stand, and as I
doubt not but it is also touched in their own letters, I the less need
at present to iterate those matters.—Antwerp, 20 May 1581.
Add. Endd. ½ p. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 71.]