Elizabeth
October 1583, 26-31

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Institute of Historical Research

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Sophie Crawford Lomas (editor)

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1914

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171-192

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'Elizabeth: October 1583, 26-31', Calendar of State Papers Foreign, Elizabeth, Volume 18: July 1583-July 1584 (1914), pp. 171-192. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=78997 Date accessed: 22 October 2014.


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October 1583, 26–31

Oct. 26.194. [Walsingham to Stafford.]
I returned from Scotland on Monday last was sevenight, being longer on the way than I meant, by reason of a fall from my horse, which bruised my side, whereof I am almost recovered. Her Majesty has made me acquainted with your private letter to her, and is very glad to perceive that you conceive so good hope of the King's friendly disposition and inclination to the continuance of the amity between the two crowns, which she doubts not will be furthered by your good carriage and apt using of the kind message she sent him. She requires you to let him understand that she will always kindly accept his goodwill and requite it in all friendly sort.
I left the King at my departure out of Scotland, well inclined, as he professed, to continue in good friendship with her Majesty, to forbear prosecuting further the partakers of the action at Ruthven, “and generally to run hereafter a milder and more temperate course,” whereby he may win the hearts of his subjects, which will be the better for him. But as he has heretofore had little regard to the like promises, and “is still possessed by those ill instruments which have led him into this dangerous course,” and as his young years cannot have sufficient judgment and discretion for him to choose the best course, I greatly doubt the performance of what he now promises.—26 October, 1583.
Copy. Endd. by L. Tomson, “1583, October 29 [sic.]. To Sir Ed. Stafford.” 1 p. [France X. 65.]
Oct. 27.195. Stafford to Walsingham.
Yesterday was the day for the assembly at St. Germains, which was first appointed to be in the great hall, but in the end they are put off and are to give their demands in writing and the King will answer them, which men think will come to nothing, as all other assemblies have done.
They of the Religion are put off their answers till the coming of the Queen Mother, who is looked for every day.
The Bishop of Glasgow was with me “the last day,” with great compliments and assurances of good proceedings on the part of the Queen of Scots. “But I believed him not; so do I think he did not me of all I said.” I mean to requite his courtesy on Monday next.
He greatly complains of the evil usage of the Queen of Scots here, in matters of her dower, and I hear of everybody that it is so. “But I doubt in matters of such quality they here deal ill with everybody, but in matters of hurting their neighbours they agree better.” He and I had much conference. If he spoke me fair and loved me not, I did what I could to speak him as fair and not to trust him. I hope to keep him “from doing any good of me.”
Charles Paget has been with me and offered all the service that might be, assuring me he never did or would do anything against the Queen or his country. I desired him to do somewhat for proof thereof, “as especially in discovering some practice against the State, which he being of that religion, as he was haunting with them that were papists of state and not of religion he might easily do” without prejudice to his conscience, for every man was bound to discover anything done against his prince and country. And that I would not hide his good service under a bushel, but set it out with all the help to him I could. He desired me to judge of him by the effects. I will have good watch over him and the rest. Till I have had time to discover them, I will use them all well. “For my part I am of a mind to use the devil himself well, if he could come to me in the likeness of a man to serve the Queen withal,” and this course I mean to hold awhile.
I have sent one to Rouen, to see what the rest of the English there do. Also to Eu, to see how the seminary goes forward, and what English be in it and their names, as also to learn of the Bishop of Ross's doings there. I am told that 25,000 crowns were delivered to certain captains at Rouen, for setting out of some ships for the Marquis of Elbœuf, that some of them were at Honfleur, and that there came one great one thither from Nantes, to be furnished with artillery out of the castle, by the King's command.
I have sent orders to him [the messenger] to go to Honfleur and enquire diligently of all things there and along the coast.
I have also taken order with the minister here to be further advertised both out of those parts and Brittany, and have ordered him, if he see any likelihood of “short preparation” there, to send to you presently from thence, and certify you thereof.
“There came to me to-day an Englishman, one Christopher Cmyfford. (fn. 1) He belongs to Biron; serveth in some good place of credit about him. He was put, as he telleth me, to Casimir by Master Sidney.” At his coming into England, pray enquire what this man is, that I may know your opinion of him. He told me that as a dutiful subject he came to reveal speeches used to him by one Hunter, a Scots captain now with Biron, who “brake with him” that the best way for Scotland to annoy England was by burning the ships, which it was easy to do, “for he had seen all the last summer, being led in every corner there by a gunner belonging to them,” whose name he has promised to bring me. When he does so, I will send it to you, that you may enquire if any such man is serving in that place.
I thanked him for his good-will and sent him away not empty-handed. He assures me he will do all he can, and if he have wit and such credit as he saith (of both which I am not thoroughly persuaded) he may do very good service.
I wished him “to seem flexible” to anything they will enterprise, the better to discover their pretences. He says he will do it, and I have given him means to come to me secretly at his will. I shall know, ere many days, whether he has any credit with his master. He tells me that Biron, being weary of Monsieur, seeks to be employed by the King again, and is content to fawn upon the minions rather than follow Monsieur any more; that there is speech of some stir “again” Danville by Joyeuse's means and that he shall have a chief charge in it.
I was advertised of some such intent the other day, and indeed there is one “of great privateness with the last man in cipher,” despatched upon a sudden that way, which I have made “the contrary part's friends” acquainted with, that they may have an eye over him.—Paris, 27 October, 1583.
Postscript.—The Queen Mother is just come by and is gone in haste to St. Germain's. Home, a gentleman of Monsieur's, went post a little before from Monsieur to the King. In a day or two I shall hear somewhat of their proceedings.
Cmyfford has been with me again and says that the gunner's name is either Averell or Gabryell Rustie; a Scotsman can never hit off a name right. He is tall and speaks good Scottish or broad northern. His father long served in the like place before him.
Add. Endd. 3 pp. [France X. 66.]
Annexed:
196. Decipher, in Beale's hand, of ciphered words. (Biron is spelt Bron or Brone.)
1 p. [Ibid. X. 66a.]
Oct. 27.197. Stokes to Walsingham.
Every day Flanders is in more danger to be lost, which they plainly see before their eyes and yet they seek no means to defend it.
The Prince of Parma has gone to Tournay for ten or twelve days, leaving his army in the charge of the Vicomte of Gand and M. Mondragon.
This week the Vicomte besieged Middelburg castle, wherein were 140 English, horse and foot, of Col. Morgan's soldiers.
The enemy brought five pieces of artillery and discharged them but once at the castle, and then they fell to a parley and yielded the place, their lives to be saved and to depart, but carrying nothing with them but the clothes on their backs. “They had much ado to save their lives, for the Vicomte of Gand would have put them all to the sword.”
This castle lies within a mile of Sluys. It is of small strength, but keeps Sluys and Damme very short, and if they take Damme, this town cannot be long out of their hands.
The Prince of Parma had 600 rich persons prisoners in Ecloo church, and has released them all for nothing, but charged them to plant and sow their lands and to use the Catholic religion, and no man shall harm them, “so as these friendly dealings wins him the hearts of all the poorest sort of the commons.”
He has demanded of the land of Waes 100,000 guilders a month for four months, and so doing they shall not be troubled with soldiers, so it is said they will give it him.
M. de Hembysen begins roughly at Ghent, having this week taken twenty-seven of the best and richest citizens, and many more of smaller quality, most of them for having practised a peace with the Prince of Parma for their town alone, without the knowledge of the rest of the Four Members, and others being those that had the sale of all the spiritual goods, whereof he will have a true account how they are bestowed. These rough dealings make all at Ghent afraid.
Also M. de Riova [Ryhove], Governor of Dermonde, has there taken four Gantois, who were of the Council of this peace, and sent thither to displace Riova and choose another governor.
So the coming of Hembysen, who arrived eight days sooner than they expected, has overthrown all these practices, and some have already confessed that the Prince of Parma was sent for to come nearer to Ghent. Hembysen has taken four cornets of horse into Ghent, and takes up in the town two new regiments of foot, so it will be well guarded, whereas before they would suffer no soldiers to come in.
The Ballewe of the land of Waes has given the castle of Rupelmonde to the Prince of Parma, which will trouble Ghent and all those parts very much. Ypres grows daily into great misery, there is no talk of aid for it, and it is much feared it will be malcontent before long. And notwithstanding what is revealed at Ghent, all men here believe that Hembysen will make a peace with the enemy, “for all those that bears rule in this town speeches it openly that they cannot continue long, and therefore when those uses such speeches, it is like it will be so.”—Bruges, 27 October, 1583, stilo anglie.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 64.]
Oct. 27./Nov. 6.198. Fremyn to Walsingham.
Since my last I have heard of the misfortune which happened to you on your return from your journey, which has distressed your friends very much, praying God shortly to restore you to health.
The four deputies of Brussels have followed the three of Antwerp to the assembly at Dort. The deputies of Ghent are come to this town, to declare that they will remain united with the rest, and for this purpose will go to Dort. The Sieur d'Embyse arrived at Ghent in the nick of time, for two days later it would have been in the power of the Prince of Parma. D'Embyse has played a good part in preserving that town from the enemy, it being full of artillery and munition, which was to force all the other places on terra ferma gradually; and he has also seized many of the principal men who had the management of the affairs and finances of the town under the veil of religion, that their extortions might not come to light.
They wished to betray their country, and to follow the counsel of Champagny and those like him.
M. Dathenes has been in this town for a week and leaves to-day for Ghent, being asked by d'Embyse to do so in order to make safe that town. The factious persons there have taken advantage of the youth of their governor, the Prince of Chimay, making pretext of his health, turning out the old captains, giving commissions to their friends, judging the trade of “bugeron” to be the cause of so much of the disorder in Flanders; of which the enemy has known well how to make his profit, and has nearly been peaceably possessed of Flanders. After God, no one could have done it except d'Embyse, and if they take some good order for affairs in the assembly at Dort, what the enemy holds in Flanders may be lost to him as easily as he conquered it. But first one must be master of the country (campaigne), otherwise everything will be lost, one after the other.
Those of Antwerp are quite resolved to remain firm with Holland and Zeeland, and to use all their means thereto, which they must do by force, notwithstanding there have been some in their town and neighbourhood who were of the league of the factious ones in Ghent, which will be verified little by little, so that this fact will become the cause of a great good and a prompt resolution. And for a good peace, one must make a good war, whereas it has been waged pitifully for five years past, against a liberal Prince and his forces, conducted by brave chiefs; the war here without discipline or obedience; the soldiers given to all sorts of brigandage and robberies, without obedience to their chiefs, and having the most part of the booty; thus it is the war itself which one must reform, to which those of Antwerp have now consented, 200,000 crowns being raised to pay the garrisons, who are urgently demanding it, so that they are on the point of making a general muster this week if they do not let the time slide away, to which this nation is too much addicted; and in the most part of their councils and deliberations there are no men of war, which has brought them all into contempt, as being governed by a council of mechanics, of which the results could not be noble.
However, those of Antwerp have had the dykes cut in divers places to cool (rafraichir) the Pay de Waes, where the Prince of Parma will not do all that he had designed, having failed to get Ghent and the ships of war which the bailly of Waes had promised.
The ships come and go to Dermonde and Ghent from this town, although they hold Rupelmonde, and at Brussels and Malines the boats pass. They have made some forts from which they shoot, but it does no harm.
Our people have fortified the fort of La Marguerite, opposite Rupelmonde, which hinders all their designs, and they are making a fort at the Head of Flanders, moreover seven ships of war have been sent from Holland and Zeeland, where the Admiral Terlong is in command. They have proposed to batter the castle of Rupelmonde from the water. The castle has high walls, which are not flanked on the water side, so that one can batter it at the foot, and as the wall is high and old, it will be easy to accomplish it.
However, they are next to send all that is necessary to Brussels, Vilvorde, Malines, Alost and Dermonde, to make safe these places, and as for Ypres, they have made a fort there where they have left three cornets of horse and two ensigns of foot; and those of the town go in and out at their ease. They have grain and salt for eighteen months, as I have seen by letters from the governor. The plague is very bad there, more than 6,000 having died of it during the siege.
It is said that the Marquis de Risbourg, with Haultpenne, are to come upon the 'retenuees' of the water of Brussels, which goes into the great river, and to take the forts and block up the town, while we have not forces to prevent them.
There has come to this town a man named Rebours, who was a lieutenant of horse at Dunkirk, sent from his Highness to the States or the Sieur des Pruneaux to know what resolution would be taken, which was the reason why his Highness had so much delayed to go to receive the Lieutenancy-General.
The loss of Zeeriszay or Serisay [Zierikzee] brought great result, and the overthrow of Gembloux and, I hope also, the affair of Ghent will bring safety and good resolution to the affairs of these countries. His Highness does not acknowledge the faults he has committed in these countries, but is not without repentance for the counsel given him, and would willingly repair all these disorders if he were recalled.
The House of Guise desires that he may be hated and without means, in order that there may be no obstacle to their pretensions in case of a lapse of the crown of France.
Duke Casimir still does nothing with his army; the bishop the same except to treat, so that he has let pass the season and scattered his means.
The Countess of Suarsenbourg [Schwarzenberg] is soon to prepare herself for Germany. The Prince and Princess are very well disposed to it. It is said that if the said Prince quits the sovereignty of Holland and Zeeland, his Highness would be received again in this assembly and that there is some appearance and hope of it. Antwerp, 6 November, 1583.
Add. Endd. Fr. 3 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 65.]
Oct. 28./Nov. 7.199. P. Bizarri to Walsingham.
Although these poor countries, by the divine permission, have suffered and still suffer the greatest possible afflictions and calamities, yet it is seen by countless instances that God does not abandon them, and he has lately given the greatest earnest thereof in two very notable cases, viz. by bringing to light the great conspiracy plotted in Ghent by means of M. Champagny (Sciampigni) on account of which about forty burghers have been taken and imprisoned, and amongst them sixteen of the chief men of the city, including the Sieur Carlo Rem, formerly ambassador to Constantinople from the Emperor Maximilian, a gentleman of the most honourable quality in ability and valour, excepting for his great leaning to the crown of Spain.
The other piece of good news is that the citizens and burghers of Ypres, with the aid they have had from Ghent, Bruges and Ostend, have resolved to free themselves from the siege, with injury to the enemy and ruin of the three forts which they erected in order to keep the town shut up and in misery. Now may it please God by his holy grace to continue to give us his aid.
From Germany we hear that Duke Casimir has wholly retired towards his own dominions, and that the enemy have followed him from Bins [qy. Linz], at present held by the new Elector, on the bank of the Rhine, three leagues above Bonn, have taken a village called Engers and have attacked his rearguard, which consisted mostly of French, of whom many were left dead on the field and many more were made prisoners, amongst whom is said to be M. de Buy.
It is also said that the assembly of the deputies of the Electors, with the assistance of those sent by the Emperor, convened at Frankfort, is dissolved without doing anything of importance, and that the deputies of the said Electors and Protestant Princes are going to Mulhausen, a place in Thuringia belonging to the Elector of Saxony.
We also hear that last month the Elector Palatine, only brother of Duke Casimir, passed to a better life, leaving the Landgrave William guardian of his state and family, as nearest to him in blood and parentage.—Antwerp, 7 November, stilo novo, 1583.
Add. Endd. Italian. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 66.]
Oct. 28.200. Dr. John Sturm to Walsingham.
The youth who has brought you this is Silesius, of the noble and ancient family of 'Burghusiorum' [qy. Burghausen], who has lived with me for many months. This day news is come that, by letters of the Emperor, and the advice of the conference at Frankfort, it has been brought about that the forces on both sides are disbanded and that the Bishop of Cologne, married and evangelical, is to retain his title and to govern until a new assembly shall be held. If so, the business has been managed by Duke Casimir, who is now at Heidelberg, for his guardianship. But I return to “Burghusium”; who, when he comes to you, prays that by your influence and kindness, he may have permission to see the Queen, at least if occasion should offer; as also that when he leaves England he may be allowed, together with his fellow travellers, to bring away some gold and silver by way of viaticum. I could not refuse to oblige him in this, if it may be done without any inconvenience to you in your many, varied and weighty occupations.—Strasburg, 28 October, 1583.
Add. Endd. Latin. 1 p. [Germany, States II. 75.]
Oct. 29./Nov. 8.201. M. Ségur-Pardeilhan to Walsingham.
It is with great regret that I have to tell you that all goes ill in this country, and that I do not see that they seek any means of escape. Those who ought the most to rejoice at my journey are full of suspicion that I have undertaken it in order to break their designs and rekindle the war in France. M. du Plessis in very evil case, amongst those whom he has best served. It is a great pity to see that we understand one another so badly. I have enlightened the people the best I could, and shall do better, for I am going shortly into Germany. Alfaran, instead of coming into these countries, as he assured the Queen, has returned to France, after having conversed long in London with the Spanish ambassador, and after having tried to get important matters out of me (santir de moy prou choses) and to come with me to this country. These sort of people ought to be known by her Majesty.—Dordrecht, 8 November, 1583.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 67.]
Oct. 24 and 29.202. Harborne to Walsingham.
[The first part of the letter, down to the middle of the second page, is a copy, in cipher, of the letter of Aug. 28.]
Two copies of the abovesaid, right honourable, sent heretofore, we thought sufficient, but now mistrusting our ordinary conveyance of Venice, for that the merchants' agent here, by advice of two letters, parcel of many others there not hitherto received, is certified but only of the receipt of one of sundry which we knew he sent accompanied with ours to your honour, which of necessity having the like success, enforceth repetition of our former serving for original to this present of the 24th of October, under coverture of the Dutch secretary by Vienna, a conveyance not heretofore used, as so well for that we were destitute of any respondent there, as also for want of a courier, which this way passeth not otherwise than licenced upon great and urgent affairs, pretending hereafter to observe this mean, for that we are certainly persuaded the Signoria to have commanded their restraint of ours in their packets, and now are promised of the abovesaid secretary safe conveyance to and from us by means of his friend, under whose address these are to be presented your honour, craving pardon of my enforced presumption in the enclosing of the merchants' letters in your honour's packet, which otherwise could not safely pass.
“These following are such late occurrents as since our last hath passed.
“The army sent hence to the borders of the King of Poland remain without any attempt in Moldavia, arrested by the King of Poland his forces, superior in number, attendant in his frontiers their coming, whose ambassador, master of his horse, licenced to depart hence with twelve horse of service, in his return transporting double so many, on the way homeward with all his servants except one, to the number of twenty-five persons, by secret commandment of the Grand Signor were murdered seven days' journey hence by a chouse sent after him for the same purpose, and upon complaint of a Polish gentleman residing here by the King his order to learn the language, the Viceroy replied he marveled nothing thereof, for it was impossible he should scape the rage of those interested in the men, women and children cruelly murdered by the Casakes, without respect of age or sex, and therefore was of him requested to stay until that popular fury were appeased. Notwithstanding, if the parties could be certainly known, promised to see them executed; but the poor gentleman knowing his contrary both party and judge, fearing the like stratagem, seemed with the answer to be satisfied; notwithstanding hath secretly certified his master, according to the relation abovesaid, and supposed the deceased his kindred, being of the nobility, will revenge his death upon the Grand Signor his merchant bound for Moscow. Whether these beginnings will have a peaceable issue or otherwise is to be doubted; but if the King of Poland attempt the contrary, it is to be thought the Grand Signor will call out of Persia the army, and bend all his forces that way.
“In Ruan, Ferat Bassa the general hath builded two fortresses with their gates of iron, either in compass 4000 yards, both which fortified with men and munition, is retired to winter with the army at Esrome.
“Sultan Topmack, general for the Persian, having appointed to fight the field with Osmond Bassha, upon promise not to use of great or small shot, met him at the day with 50,000 Persians, which conflict lasted between them three days, with retract of truce every night. But when Osmond, with his, being double in number, perceived themselves over weak [he] retired in flying manner towards the camp, having formerly prepared all his great ordnance in readiness, whom the Persian pursuing valiantly, not mistrusting deceit, were not only of a sudden in great number slain, and many much spoiled with the said artillery, but also the rest so amazed, as unable to resist the force of their contraries returning upon them, having lost 10,000 souls, but slain more of the Turks, by flight escaped.
“If the Persian this winter cast down and rase those two fortresses, as it is verily thought he will, he discourageth these from further attempts. The harms and charges sustained already hardly supported, but contrariwise, if the forces remain unto this next summer, the Persian is like to be driven clean out of the kingdom by the excessive multitude of these continually sent from hence. God give them both equal forces,like courages and often victories, one over the other, until none rest of their race, or otherwise in his mercy, in newness of holy life, convert them with us to glorify him, as daily we pray for this according as the merit of his liberality toward us next after Christian charity requireth.
“Hitherto we have not any news of the coming of John de Marilano, or any other for the King of Spain, and now it is thought verily of the wiser sort, the safe conduct demanded and sent for him was to no other end than politically to refrain the going out of Coluchelie the admiral into the Levant Seas, suspected of them to have been to their harms, who is returned to'Rodus', attending the safe conduct of the fleet to come from Alexandria hither, having, contrary to the opinion of all men, and the mind of the Grand Signor his master, who sent him to deprive Hassan, King of Algier, accused of treason, now of him corrupted with excessive bribes, agreed in most friendly manner, leaving him quiet possession of his former estate and government, whereby, as it is here secretly affirmed, he hath so greatly incensed his master his displeasure as the price of his life must satisfy the same, and his office the greedy expectation of one among many of the highest competitors greedily seeking the same, and aggravating his offence in most grievous manner, so as if the salve of all like sores with this generation, regina pecunia, help not, he shall in æternam descendere ad infernos.
Six of the Venetians' gallies encountering four of Malta upon the coast of Candia, assailed them, not mistrusting any quarrel, in which conflict were two of Malta taken, of which success their Bailo giving relation to the Grand Signior, to gratify him in the behalf of the Signoria, offered restitution of all the captives his subjects, who not satisfied therewith, by his letters to them doth demand both the Maltese and their gallies, affirming for that they were taken in his seas, of right they must be sent hither, otherwise he will not think well of them, whereunto as yet they have not replied, in which Erasmus' proverb may be verified. Turdus sibi caccat malum, a wicked deed, utterly unworthy of a Christian state, and not to be put up of the oppressed without revenge.
“Thus, not having others, we crave pardon of your honour of these our prolixuous ragged discourses, and according to our formers, your honour's good and safe direction in our future proceedings with the chief of this state and other Christians our equals in title, in answer to such objections which unexpected occasions may offer, with whom hitherto in silence a safeguard of simplicity hath warranted to remember that true adage, Volat irrevocable verbum.
“Thus ending, incited of bounden duty in wonted manner humbly recommend to your honour's most favourable protection the weak worldly estate of my poor aged parents, whose godly piety towards them the Almighty graciously hearing our continual prayers shall reward with full perfections of all divine graces.”—Pera, 29 October, 1583.
Postscript.—The copy hereof, we send under conveyance of a friend this day by way of Ragusa. It is credibly reported to me, sundry English gentlemen to be within a day's journey of the city, whom we suppose to be Mr. Gifforth and his company, whereof we are very glad, trusting to be certified of her sacred Majesty's health and your honour's.
Signed. Add. Seal. 3 pp. [Turkey I. 11.]
203. The above mentioned copy, sent by Ragusa.
Signed. Add. Endd. Seal. 3¼ pp. [Ibid. I. 12.]
204. Decipher of the principal part of the above. 3½ pp. [Ibid. I. 13.]
Oct. 30.205. Stafford to Walsingham.
As this bearer was going, one came to assure me that the Master of Gray is gone this day towards Dieppe, to embark for Scotland, taking great store of such stuff as may cause great broil in Scotland, “that hath been a great while rid of that filthy trash,” chalices, copes and such things as belong to saying of mass, on which he has spent above fifteen or sixteen crowns, as a Scotsman told me this afternoon.
If you think good, warning may be given into Scotland that they may be searched for where they land, from which “two commodities” may result. First, if they be found, they may be burnt and so do no further harm, and also I may have better knowledge whether this man knows secret things so well as he says, and so better judgment hereafter of what he brings me.
He says that the Master of Gray, who is appointed governor to young d'Aubigny, means to carry him with him, and rather to venture him in a private barque than to tarry in hope of a greater “waft.”
I send you a book, printed within these two days, of the “rancownter of Duke Casimir and the Spaniards in the bishopric of Cologne,” rather “that you may see their humours here to set things out to the advantage of the Spaniard” than for any great matter in it. My audience with the Queen Mother is appointed for Sunday next.—Paris, 30 October, 1583.
Add. Endd.pp. [France X. 67.]
Oct. 30./Nov. 9.206. Charlesde Croy, [Prince Of Chimay,] to Walsingham.
Recalling with gratitude his courtesy and friendship when in Flanders, expressing his wish to be of service in return and begging to be kept in her Majesty's good favour, for whom no gentleman in the world has more sincere affection, or a greater desire to serve her. Intends shortly to send his maitre d'hotel to make this assurance more certain.
Does not speak of the affairs of this province, doubting not that Mr. Stokes (Meister Stoc) keeps them fully informed thereof, but prays his honour to commend them to her Majesty and to give his advice for the improving of them.—Bruges, 9 November, 1583.
Postscript, in his own hand. —I will write but two words to assure you that in me her Majesty has a very humble servant, and you a very affectionate one.
Add. Endd. Fr.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 68.]
207. Duplicate of the above, but without the postscript. Signed.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. XX. 69.]
Oct. 30./Nov. 9.208. Col. Thomas Morgan to Walsingham.
This poor country of Flanders “standeth now but in bad terms,” for the King is master of the whole plat country, so that there rest only Bruges and Ghent (Gawnte) with such towns as are members to them, about which are dispersed the enemy, a regiment or two in a place, and the horse divided in like manner, saving in the land of Waes, which the bailiff has compounded for with the enemy for certain sums to pay his soldiers, and has surrendered the castle of Rupelmonde, two miles from Antwerp, now guarded by the Spaniards to the great annoying of that town.
The enemy lies also upon the passages to Ghent, so that hardly anything can pass thither by water. Ypres has promised to hold out four months.
This country has now sought again the Prince of Orange's favour, by which means Holland and Zeeland are become contributaries with Flanders, “who attendeth daily relief from thence, as well in money as otherwise.” The Prince of Parma is at Eccloo with some regiments of Spaniards and Italians and three or four cornets of horse. He has sent for all his forces out of Brabant, and it is thought that in time of frost he will seek to do some enterprise about the Sluce or the Damme. He is shortly returning into Artois, leaving the Vicomte of Ghent in his place.
M. de la Noue is presently to be delivered, in exchange for a Walloon who is prisoner with Madame de la Noue in France, named M. de Selle. The King of Spain once before this wrote to the Prince of Parma, “who would not make known the receipt thereof,” but now has written again expressly for his delivery.
I was appointed to keep the castle and town of Middelburg [in Flanders] with my regiment and my cornet of horse; a place of small force, but some annoyance to the enemy, “who visited us many times and often to his damage.” But in the end I was sent on other service, leaving one company of horse and one of foot, which offended the enemy so much that he brought cannon, after having sundry times demanded the castle, “so that the force of the canon and the house being so much indefensible did occasion them to yield (ild) the place,” with safeguard of their lives, but disarmed, and with the loss of forty-four horses.
The Prince of Chimay has written to you and greatly desires your friendship, “who truly is very careful for the conservation of this country.”—Bruges, 9 November, 1583.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 70.]
Oct. 31.209. Stafford to Walsingham.
You may find, by all my letters sent by John Welles, Peter Browne or this morning, before yours of the 26th arrived, by Peter Tenet, that I am in doubt of the party you wrote of. For you may see that there is no matter of importance written with his hand; but the first copy (as I do of everything) written by me, and written out again, either in secretary's hand or by a boy writing on a table before my face, or else with my own hand, as this is.
But truly I did this to prevent what might be, rather than for certainty that anything hath been done, for I had an inkling of it by an instrument of Sir H. Cobham's and suspect it might be “rather for evil will to my man than for goodwill either to me or to her Majesty's service; for of all the men in England, Sir Henry Cobham cannot abide him.” It may be also that her Majesty's advertisement, though in show good, is in effect nothing either for her service or for goodwill to me, for if it come from any belonging to Sir Henry, it may be invented first to hurt a man he does not love, and next and chiefly to make her jealous of trusting what comes from me, “I being so silly a soul to keep such a man about me.” I have cause for suspicion by his close keeping of anything from me that might help me to serve her Majesty, and also by his seeking, both before and since I came, to make the few Englishmen of reputation here to have a doubtful opinion of me. What he has done with strangers I know not, but have great cause to doubt it. “God forgive him if he have; it is but a Spanish trick.”
You shall find that “with poor plain English cunning” I will do her Majesty service when I am settled and may compass the means he has left me destitute of. And if when I return, “I leave not more goodwill to me of honest men that serve her behind me than he, let her hang me when I come home.”
But all this is out of the matter, and you shall find that I will account of this as though it were most true, and indeed did so before your letter came. I would give a hundred pounds it were true, for I would make more profit of it than of a greater matter.
If her Majesty will keep all that I write to her of men here as secret as I will do this, and make me sometimes such despatches as well serve my turn to show here, I doubt not but to keep credit with them here and yet serve her truly and well. And if she “seem, to the ambassador there or sometimes openly, to stand in some jealousy of my partiality of this part; so it be not so often and openly that he may easily find it, I do not doubt but to serve her turn with that manner of dealing very well. Sub intelligitur that her use of her speaking of it commonly do not bring her, with use of it, to think it inwardly.”
For deciphering, assure yourself that nobody “hath done nor doth nor shall cipher or decipher but myself,” and that my cipher comes to nobody's sight but my own.
The man is at the Court now, and I despatch this bearer before he comes home that he may not, by seeing me write anything extraordinarily, suspect anything in the world. I will keep the letter you sent me to be showed till the next packet come, “and then let it lie scattered, that anybody may look in it,” which I think better than now, he knowing that since my writing after my audience with the King, it was not possible for me to have an answer.
“Thus with my humble duty to yourself, and my wife's heartiest commendations to your honour and my good ladies your wife and Sydney, of whose marriage we heard but now &c.”— Paris, 31 October, 1583.
Postscript.—I beseech you be good to the bearer of this. When I write “with a Stafford knot at the end of the last letter of my name,” as you may see in this, assure yourself they are letters of no great matter, but purposely for him to copy and deliver out, if he list.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 3 pp. Stafford knot after signature. [France X. 68.]
Oct. 31.210. Copy of the above, in Stafford's hand.
Endd. Copy of my letter &c. By James Cornellys the post. 3 pp. [Ibid. X. 68a.]
Oct. 31.211. Edmund Stansfeilde to Stafford.
According to your orders I have made diligent enquiry here in Rouen, “where I learnt as much in effect as you write me.” I have been at Honfleur (Homflew), and am informed that the two hoys and the barque are set forth by the “Marques d'Albeauff” and are gone to Brouage, with 300 soldiers, 30 pieces of great ordnance, 20 pieces chambers, powder and shot, victuals and other provision of broad cloths and Manchester cottons for their apparel. They are to discharge their ladings into a tall ship at Brouage which the Marquis sets forth for Peru (Peroie), from whence they are to bring her back laden with gold. She is victualled for fifteen months and cost 15,000 crowns. There are also 20 sail of ships of 60 tons apiece setting forth for Terre Neufve for fish, with but ordinary provision of ordnance. Another tall ship, well appointed, so far as I can learn, goes a-roving and this is all the shipping there is at Honfleur, but certainly there is no preparation that can prejudice us or Scotland. I have obtained a friend there, who will give me advertisement from time to time.
I have also been at Eu (Eux), “where I have seen a great number of proud papists, our countrymen.” I have laid wait for them at Dieppe, which I trust may prevent some of their daily treachery against the Queen. At Eu I heard of some papists that were gone for England, and went after them to Dieppe. One of them is a notable fellow, and, as I heard, the first founder of the Jesuits' College at Eu. But my being at Dieppe was discovered, and hearing that I was “towards” your lordship, two went back and the rest took passage, whereupon I wrote to the searchers of all the ports to make diligent search, and to apprehend those whose names I sent. I enclose a copy of my letter and think some of their knavery will be discovered.
I have enquired for M. Bacqueville, and am told by M. “Le Noo” and others that he is at the court at St. Germains; wherefore I send your letters back again. As I rode through Bacqueville I asked for him, having some acquaintance with him, and was told he was at the court.
I have done nothing in my own business as yet, but within six days I think I shall despatch.—Rouen, last of October, 1583.
Add. Endd. by Stafford, “From Stansfyld the last of October from Rouen. Received at Paris by John de Vigues the 2nd of November, 1583.”
And in another hand: “Munitions and ships sent to Brouage by the Duke d'Aumale” [sic]. l½ pp. [France X. 69.]
[Enclosed in Stafford's of Nov. 7. See p. 199 below.]
Enclosing:
212. Copy of above-mentioned letter.
To all Bailiffs, Constables and Searchers of her Majesty's ports, namely Rye, Hastings, Hythe (Hyde), Winchilsea, Farelee, Miching [i.e. Meeching, now Newhaven], Dover &c.
Informing them that in the present “passage” whereof Guillaume Le Tonte is master, there are certain passengers, papists and Jesuits, “who are not her Majesty's friends and lawful subjects as is imagined.” They go by divers names, but those given are Artus Rydall, Henry Jackson, Hugh Somes and Janet Dericke.
Charges them, in the name of his master, Sir Edward Stafford, to apprehend these and other suspected persons, and to make diligent search for seditious books, letters or other things written or sent against her Majesty. The persons are to be examined severally and kept apart, what is found is to be advertised to the Council and their lordships' orders followed. The bearer will instruct them as best he can, wherefore they are not to molest him, but with a willing mind discharge their office.—Dieppe, 28 October, 1583.
1 p. [France X. 69a.]
Oct. 31./Nov. 10.213. News From Antwerp.
The Prince of Parma is still at Eccloo, several places in that country having come to terms with him. Ypres has been succoured with munitions and victuals of all sorts sent by those of Ostend and Bruges, and the Malcontents, abandoning one fort because of the plague, have retired into the others, but there too is the contagion, as also in the town. And it is believed that those in the Pays de Waes will be forced to remove from thence, since the States have opened other dykes, drowning Rupelmonde, the first castle rendered by the governor of the country, and other places occupied by the Malcontents, the rather that the treaty with Ghent has not succeeded, managed by M. de Champagny (Ciampigni), brother of Cardinal Granvelle, and other counsellors, who with divers others have been imprisoned to the number of forty.
If the treaty had taken effect, all those of the Calvinist religion would have been cut to pieces, but this was prevented by M. d'Embyse, the burgomaster, who discovered the whole, and suddenly enlisted 1,500 footmen to guard the city, and had Champagny imprisoned, some saying that he will be beheaded with the rest of his accomplices.
Here are put ready eight armed ships to guard the river, and others are being made ready, and it is said that there are coming from Holland 2,000 foot, to be put partly in Flanders, partly in Flushing.
The United States have agreed to contribute 20 per cent, of their means, resolving everywhere to keep good guard, and some of the principal burghers have offered to pay 150,000 caroluses in ready money, on condition of there being no negotiation for bringing back the Duke d'Alençon. Here many wish that they would chose for lord a prince of the Empire, especially recommending Casimir.
From France we learn that the King has prolonged to the Huguenots for three years the restitution of the towns; that the King of Navarre has sent M. de Pardailhan as ambassador to the Prince of Orange; and that everywhere there is talk of the restoring of Cambrai to the Catholic King.
Italian. 1¼ pp. [Newsletters I. 58.]
[Oct. ?]214. Reasons for aiding the Prince Of Orange.
“A consideration of the difficulties that may and are likely to ensue upon the not aiding and maintaining of the Prince of Orange and Estates in Holland.
1. If the Estates be too weak longer to endure the forces of the King of Spain, they must either suffer conquest or submit to the King.
2. Or else obtain aid from England or France.
1. If they return to the King's obedience, they must be governed by Spaniards, for the King will not trust any native person, but will so rule them that they shall never rebel again; therefore England will be neighboured by a nation who will attempt to alter or rather subvert this estate.
2. If they seek aid of the French King, it is doubtful whether he can give it, because of his own troubles, and even if he can he will demand an interest in their countries, which though at first only an outward show of protection, yet they will shortly be so at command of the crown of France that the French will command England and Scotland in the narrow seas, “a peril inevitable to the crown of England.”
If aided by England, it may be done in two ways:—
1. By secretly relieving them with money, so that they may continue their defence.
2. By receiving them into her Majesty's protection, either to aid them with money and by mediation with Spain to obtain their liberties; or, upon their own offer, to receive them as her subjects, to be governed by her as heretofore by the Dukes of Burgundy.
Considerations what were meet to be done.
Firstly, her Majesty must be truly informed what is just, and also the true estate of the Prince and of the people of Holland and Zeeland, to show what aid would be necessary and what effects likely to follow.
1. On what points the treaty broke off; whether the King would not grant, or they would not be content with reasonable things.
Item. What are the articles of their privileges, granted by the Dukes of Burgundy and confirmed by the King, and whether if not observed, it is lawful for the people to withdraw their obedience and become subjects to another Prince. And whether they have any previous examples of the like.
Item. How many nobles and towns adhere to the Prince and how many to the King.
Item. What number of soldiers the Prince has, and where; what the monthly charges are and how they are levied.
Item. How many more are necessary for defence of their State, where they should be bestowed and how maintained.
Item. To know the number of the ships at the Prince's command and their tonnage, how they are manned and victualled and what services are meetest for them.
Item. To understand the power of the other party by land and sea.
Item. To know what places the Spaniards hold in Holland and the Isles, what numbers they keep there and what danger grows thereby to the Prince.
Finally, if her Majesty shall “accord” to relieve them until mediation be made to restore them to their liberty under the King, what is the least sum that will be demanded, when and where must it be paid and what securities shall she have. Or if she take the country, how much money will be yearly required and what may be hoped to be the revenue of the country.
And it must be considered, if her Majesty assents, how she may be made able to go through with it, for the realm must be provided to maintain a war against Spain and perchance against France.
It seems reasonable, whilst these things are in hand, that her Majesty should call to her some number of noblemen and of capital persons of the best towns in the realm [i.e. summon a parliament] to consult not only whether this enterprise shall be taken in hand, but how it may be maintained.
Endd. 4 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 71.]
[Oct. ?]215. Reasons for an “Accord” by the Low Countries.
“The effect of the considerations which might move the Crown of England to seek rather to end the troubles of the Low Countries by accord than to desire the continuance of the war. And of the means to procure the same.”
1. Margin. “The Low Countries perpetually made devote to this crown.”
The Low Countries having received their ancient liberties by means of our crown, from thankfulness and for their own surety, would never suffer anything to be attempted to the prejudice thereof, “no more than the Scots since the matter of Leith, by which capitulation her Majesty hath prevailed more with that nation than ever did any of her predecessors with all their power.” So that the Spanish King would have his hands bound for harming us, and his brain occupied, whereas if he prevailed, he might make these countries “a dangerous staple of warfare,” to annoy his neighbours.
2. Margin. “Her Majesty's honour and reputation saved.” Her Majesty loses her credit and reputation if the King prevails by arms, whereas, by the contrary course, she will gain great honour.
3. Margin. “The French shut out.”
By despair, they would be driven to cast themselves into the hands of the French, which the Prince of Orange protests is their only means of safety, a thing very dangerous for this State. They who think the Prince will be able to prevent the mischief following this will find themselves deceived.
4. Margin. “The dismembering of that State avoided.”
Her Majesty has great reason to keep the Low Countries united, as now, contrary to the policy of the French, “who, as Louis XI. sought in Edward IV.'s time, would break this body into many members, which England is not to suffer, having no other passage upon their common enemies in time of war.”
5. Margin. “Impossible to shift them into a third hand.”
This is impossible, for France would then take what lay fit for her, and the rest would never “light to one man's portion,” besides which Spain would “set his whole rest” before he would be driven from the countries.
6. Margin. “France advantaged by continuance of this war.”
“The King of France gains by the continuance of the war, by the purging of evil humours and divisions, gaining absolute power amongst his subjects “without reply of 'but' and 'marry' and delivering himself of the jealousy of his brother's stirring at home.” Also France will always be jealous of Spain, though for the present the King of Spain has managed to lull the French to sleep and they seem to concur to the prejudice of her Majesty.
7. Margin. “Danger if it be done without her Majesty.” For the people are “out of taste” with the Prince of Orange, and wrought upon by the Prince of Parma's fair promises.
8. Margin. “The accord to be practised while there is appearance of resistance.”
If her Majesty waits till they are quite overthrown, they must receive laws at the pleasure of the vainqueur, and if the Prince take upon him to be sovereign of Holland and Zeeland, his ambition may carry her into a sea of danger.
9. Margin. “Monsieur's displeasure not to be feared.”
Her Majesty may justly break with him, “who hath so dishonourably broken with her, and by his shameful departure out of the Low Countries caused the ruin thereof.” He would easily assent to any accord by which he might retire with some honour, having so little means to venture by force.
The accord being wrought under hand, her Majesty need not appear to be the conductor of it; and “at the hardest,” his unquiet mind, ambition and aspiring to his brother's state will make him always seek her Majesty's good-will. If it be thought he will accord first with his brother and then with Spain, which divers think not likely, her Majesty's action would not hasten it, and indeed she should rather hasten the pacification, not to drive the King of Spain to make a party against her.
10. Margin. “Her Majesty can win by time no more than she hath.”
“Time bringeth the bad as well as the good; her Majesty therefore ought not to put into the hands of fortune that which is already in her own.”
11. Margin. “The peace of the Low Countries more necessary than war.”
The principle that Princes should, for their own peace, keep their neighbours in war is sometimes false. The peace of the Low Countries is more necessary for this State than war.
12. Margin. “The means of accord.”
Touching this, “he saith,” the parties may be brought thereto.
Margin. “With the Prince of Orange.”
A man of understanding to be sent, under some other pretext, to induce him to it, “being armed to deal with such a one as the Prince is, wise, experimented, but perhaps, though not without cause, full of choler, desire of revenge, ambition accompanied with some taste already of sovereignty; full of hope and despair, and in truth of just distrust, joining always his own cause with the public, and wholly transformed both into a lion and a fox.”
If ambition and distrust prevent his hearkening to peace, the feigning thereof would serve the turn greatly, as a means to unite the people, by this French treachery discomfited, and work a new obstinacy, as to the two points of religion and assurance, by which the people may be won to him. And her Majesty may threaten to divide her course and fortune from him, and to provide apart what is best for the whole.
Margin.”With the King of Spain.”
He may be content to be discharged of so violent a war and have means to establish his authority better elsewhere. His doubts as to permitting heresy and enduring the Prince of Orange may be easier cleared than is thought.
For avoiding all inconveniences, either from offending the King of Spain, or from impairing her Majesty's credit by a refusal at his hands, the accord should be wrought underhand; “ some man to be agreed upon by the personage employed with the Prince of Orange and him, that should write to some well-affected to the Low Countries about the King of Spain, signifying the likelihood of drawing the Prince and the people, discharged of the French, to agreement, whereunto the King by apt persuasions to be counselled, that he incline and also to make offer thereof.
“The like course to be taken out of England from some person of credit; the Duchess of Parma to be used as a woman fit for the desire she hath to return to that government, and then the King inclining, the reins to be let a little loose to the magistrates of the principal towns . . . and deputies to be appointed of such as either in respect of the honour or profit they win by war, or of desire of revenge, or otherwise, be not enemies to the proceedings.
“The articles of the accord, he offereth to draw; the difficulty whereof consisteth in ordering the matter of religion and establishing the form of the State.”
4 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 72.]
216. Another paper in the same handwriting, with the same heading and to the same effect, but differently expressed. Both papers appear to be Written by Thos. Phelippes, and are probably translations or deciphers.
4 pp. [Ibid. XX. 72a.]
217. A copy of the preceding, in a 17th century hand. At the top Sir J. Williamson has written (in reference of course to the original) “Seems to be like Philipp's running hand.” And below the endorsement “Like the endorsement of Philipps.”
Endd.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 72b.]
Oct.218. Notes of the negotiations between England and Denmark “touching the Norway navigation,” from May, 1576, to October, 1583.
5 May, 1576.—The King of Denmark demanded that her Majesty's subjects should not trade by Norway into Muscovy, pretending a prohibition made by consent of Edward IV.
27 June.—To this her Majesty answered that she could find no such treaty made by Edward IV, nor any words tending to that meaning in any other treaty; and desired that (as motion had been made before in his name by Foxall) commissioners might be appointed on both sides to consider the matter, that order might be taken thereupon.
4 Nov.—The King sent hither Mr. James Huitfield, with letters containing his former claim, and voucher of the treaty with Edw. IV, in eadem verba. And accepts the offer of commissioners.
11 Jan. [1577].—Her Majesty again alleges that no such treaty can be found, thanks the King for accepting the appointing of commissioners, and prays that the meeting may be at Embden, and that meanwhile nothing may be attempted against the traffic of her subjects into the said country.
31 (fn. 2) (?) March, 1577.—The King agrees to forbear until the meeting of the commissioners, which he desires may be put off until July 25, at which time they shall not fail to meet those of her Majesty at Embden.
16 July.—Her Majesty sends John Rogers, doctor of law, and Anthony Jenkinson, gent., as her commissioners. The sum of their instructions and commission was to lay before the commissioners what by ancient treaty they had to show for the lawfulness of that trade, and to pray its continuance.
The commissioners met in St. George's Chapel, and sat until the end of August, but could not agree upon the interpretation of the word versus, wherefore the matter was referred to their Majesties.
12 Sept.—The King “signifieth his mislike that the article in controversy should be decided by law points; descendeth to the equity of the treaty, which was that Vectigalia Oresundensia should not be lessened by any our navigations, which was done by this navigation”; deferreth the determination of the cause, but prayeth that in the mean season the navigation may be forborne.” The matter then remained in suspense until Lord Willoughby was sent with the Garter, at which time something was moved, but no effect followed.
8 Dec, 1582.—After his lordship's return, the Chancellor of Denmark went to Mr. Secretary, delivering his opinion as to the best means of appeasing the King's mind and establishing the trade, which was that the English merchants should yield the King some acknowledgment yearly.
25 Jan., 1582[–3].—Mr. Secretary defends the Queen's cause, and prays the Chancellor to be a means that the amity between the two crowns may receive no breach.
3 March.—The King, by an express, renews his former demands for prohibiting that traffic, and desires another conference.
12 April, 1583.—Her Majesty thanks him for that request, promising to despatch someone forthwith, with sufficient authority.
16 May.—Mr. John Herbert was sent with instructions to stand as long as possible to the maintenance of her Majesty's rights, but, in case he could not prevail, to enter into some composition, as he should be directed by the merchants, which course her Majesty took, not as granting the invalidity of her rights, but at the entreaty of her subjects.
22 June.—Mr. Herbert concludes the continuance of the free traffic on condition that the English merchants shall pay yearly the sum of a hundred rose nobles or the value thereof for the concession, to the King at Elsinore, the payment to begin in the spring of next year, 1584, and to continue during both their Majesties' lives.
12 Oct.—This agreement being sent over by a minister of the King, was accepted of by her Majesty, and by reason of certain doubtful words therein, a “dilucidation” was sent to the King under her Majesty's hand and seal; her Highness requesting him to send her the like under his hand and seal. The form of concession and acceptation, with all things thereunto belonging, are together in a bundle, and are to be entered into the book of the Treaties.
Endd.pp. [Denmark I. 38.]
219. Copy of the same.
Endd. 3 pp. [Ibid. I. 39.]

Footnotes

1 So spelt. In the list of deciphered words it is written C—myford.
2 The day of the month is partly hidden by the “guard” of the binding. In the copy it is given as 1 March, 1577, but that would mean 1577–8, which is impossible.