Elizabeth
March 1583-4, 1-5

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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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377-382

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'Elizabeth: March 1583-4, 1-5', Calendar of State Papers Foreign, Elizabeth, Volume 18: July 1583-July 1584 (1914), pp. 377-382. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=79013 Date accessed: 29 August 2014.


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March 1583–4, 1–5.

March 1.455. Stephen Le Sieur to Walsingham.
Has received his letters and those from her Majesty for Mr. Rogers, and within two days, God willing, will start on his journey; but prays his honour to consider whether he should not have a safe-conduct from her Majesty, seeing that there is no mention of him in her letters.
Asks that his letters may be directed to one Thomas Cartwrit at Flushing, who will forward them. Antwerp, 1 March, 1583, stilo antique.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XXI. 39.]
March 2.456. Walsingham to Stafford.
I send this bearer, understanding that you have “some use of his service there.” He can tell you of my sickness and present state, which is such that I cannot write as largely as I would.
“The jealousy that is grown between France and Spain contained in your letters, hath bred great security in us, which is the more dangerous if that jealousy fall out to be but feigned.”
How things pass in Scotland and the Low Countries you will see by the enclosed.
Those of the Malcontent provinces of Hainault and Artois have entered into a treaty with the Gantois for the maintenance of their liberties and free exercise of both religions.
If the French king and her Majesty would agree together to set foot into the country, not with intent to impatronize themselves thereof, but only to restore the people to their liberty and keep down the greatness of Spain, they might do great good, but hereof I will write more on my return to the court.
The bruit of the great sea preparations in Spain proves vain, so I think we need this year fear no danger “that way.”
Add. Endd.“1583, March 2, to Sir Edw. Stafford.”
Copy. ¾ p. [France XI. 42.]
March 3.457. Stafford to Walsingham.
The king having taken a sudden humour to go Saturday morning by break of day to Notre Dame de Chartres on foot, sent to me and the ambassador of Venice (who had audience appointed us on Sunday) to excuse him till his return next Saturday. Therefore I cannot yet make answer to the charge given me by her Majesty.
Yesternight I had word that Sir John Seton is gone by sea from Bordeaux to Scotland without coming hither, but his father heard from him first.
One piece of Lord Seton's private commission, which he moved the Queen Mother in but not the king, was a request from his master for the marriage with the daughter of Lorraine, who is here with the Queen Mother; “which is plainly refused him, under colour that they are in speech with another match, and the second [daughter] offered him.”
Seton came on Staurday with the Bishop of Glasgow to see me, with many offers of courtesy and assurances of his master's reverence for her Majesty. I could not but thank him and wish well both to his master and to himself, “that was his minister here, in all his actions.”
Perhaps his conscience pricked him, for he told me that he came hither to treat of nothing but such matters as her Majesty consented to and liked well of, as they had known her pleasure both by Mr. Randall and your honour. He has yet uttered no more of his private commissions to either King or Queen Mother.
The news I mentioned in my last by postcript is this. That the forces the King of Spain has in Italy were marching out of the Duchy of Milan, Don Pietro de Medicis commanding the infantry and the Duke of Urbino the cavalry, which made great suspicion that it was not for Flanders, as it is thought those two would not be commanded by the Prince of Parma. Besides, they drew out of Milan twenty cannon and ten out of Casale (Cazell) in Monferrat, which makes them here greatly fear that, the King having intelligence with the Duke of Savoy, these forces are to be commanded by him and employed in the Marquisate of Saluces. There is a rumour that he has besieged Carmagnolle, but it is uncertain, and I think not true. The bruit of wars here is not so hot as it was, and the haste less, but nothing is countermanded.
A courier has brought a letter to the King from Montmorency to the effect that certain seditious subjects having retired into Gavastein, he was going to besiege it, and hoped in forty-eight hours to have it and bring it into the King's devotion. When Villeroy had delivered the packet to the King, he came out and told the courier that he was to make haste back again to M. Montmorency, for he would carry him the joyfullest news he had received these ten years. It is thought that the King “seeing him aforehand with him, will make a good show to like all well and make him fair promises and content him.” Presently a despatch was sent to Bellièvre to go from the Queen of Navarre into Languedoc to seek to pacify all things.
A courier from the King of Navarre says that he and his wife are not together yet and that the garrisons are not removed according to the King's command, but one was despatched next day to Marè chal Matignon to do it presently.
The news you sent me from Antwerp, of the Marquis Ste. Cruz being at Tournay, cannot be true, for I saw a letter from a man of importance that on Feb. 1, by the King's command, to do him honour for his service at Terceira, he made his entry openly into Madrid; that coming to the King, he was made a grandee, and that he is to be chief governor of Portugal under the Cardinal of Austria, in place of the Duke of Candia.
The same letter said that the King of Spain had no sea forces together save those at Bilbao which came from Terceira, but that the Council of the galleys was that day meeting, and, as it was thought, about a preparation to be made by sea, the greatest there has been for many years.
From Genoa I hear that in Italy they were hourly expecting “the effect of the broil in England”; that 3,000 old Spanish soldiers, and 3,000 besognes, “to make soldiers of,” were landed near Genoa and lay in Lombardy, eating the poor contadine while waiting for certain Italians and lansequenets to join them; that it was given out they were for Flanders, but some more secret enterprise was suspected.
“That the Duke of Terranova should go into Flanders and the Prince of Parma return, which (the writer thought) would bring some alteration in the matters of the Low Countries, the Duke being so Altiere as no man may be more, and therefore would hardly govern there as the Prince of Parma doth.
“Bernardin de Mendoza is still here, and it is given out of the Spanish agent's house that he shall remain here and Tassis return. If it be so, on my conscience it is to be near us, to see if he can still follow, being here, his beginnings in England. He is not very well liked of here, and therefore I think they will hardly receive our refuse.”
There is talk of sending La Motte Fènèlon to Scotland, but nothing is resolved. Dr. Lobetius writes that the Bishop of Liége is raising new forces, and that a Diet for pacifying things is desired, especially by Duke Casimir, but not yet agreed upon. “Duke Casimir, as a good tutor of his nephew, hath put away all superfluous officers, to cut away charge.”—Paris, 3 March, 1583.
Add. Endd. 2 ½pp. [France XI. 43.]
March 3.458. Stafford to Walsingham.
I thought it good to write the cause of the stay or at least the “sluching”[qy. slacking] of the wars here in this private letter, as it is kept very secret; for the King is “lofte” [i.e. loth] the dissension between Epernon and Joyeuse should be bruited forth, and does all he can to hide it, and besides, if it came abroad as from me, it must needs be guessed where I had it.
D'Epernon,the last day the King and Joyeuse were with him at his house “where he keepeth diet,” uttered a speech which men (who know he had said the same before to the King) think the King and he had agreed before Joyeuse's coming, that he should say. The effect was this. The King began to speak of these preparations for war and the cause of them, and asked d'Epernon's advice, who first “with painted and fine speeches” began to declare the great benefits which he and Joyeuse had received at the King's hand, “and, therefore, as they both ought to desire all things to succeed well to the King, so they ought to be the causers of it by all the means they could, and never so far to forget themselves as to be the eggers of him, for their particular profit or ambition, to any thing” that he might not do with honour or achieve with ease. That for his part, he appealed to the King whether he had ever moved him to anything to serve his private ambition, “but was ever contented to take that the King would give him, which was so largely as never subject had received greater of his prince. That Joyeuse was in the same predicament, and therefore [he] wished him, as one that the King had with the equality of his favours and benefits made equals and brothers, to leave off egging the King to take anything in hand for the love of him that might by chance prove to be dishonourable to him; for anything was dishonourable to a prince to take in hand, especially against his subject, that he could not acquire with ease; for the least mischance . . . was to encourage his other subjects to take any thing in hand against the King at the first occasion that the toy took them in the head.
“That in this action against Montmorency, it was like enough it might fall so, whom the King had made desperate in seeking to please Joyeuse, to take the government from Montmorency to give it to old Joyeuse; that Montmorency was of an ancient house; that he had done good service and his predecessors, that the doing him that wrong might make him desperate . . . as already the King and Joyeuse knew, advertisements came from all places that the King of Spain and Duke of Savoy had treated with Montmorency and that it was feared he was won by them, what prejudice that might bring to France, the King and Joyeuse might judge well enough,” and therefore he counselled the King to take another course with Montmorency, who no doubt might be brought back again, and advised Joyeuse to be a means to it, “or else he desired the King to have respect to himself and France and not to Joyeuse's own particular ambition; that he had more need to look to the actions of the King of Spain and Duke of Savoy . . . which would be more honourable for Joyeuse to persuade him to, and more profitable for the King to follow than this course.
Joyeuse grew in a great choler, and would have replied, but he found the King for that time to hearken so much to the other that he came out of the chamber as red as could be,” and he and Epernon have not spoken to each other since. The King till he went to Chartres, was twice or thrice a day with Epernon, but Joyeuse never went with him.
God uses all instruments as he listeth, “for Epernon is sure in this 'gogge,'” not for any good, but because he does not wish old Joyeuse to have the thing, thereby to advance Duke Joyeuse so much before him.
That night the King went away, and a courier, sent after him with a packet from Epernon and Villeroy, was robbed of it on the high way, it is suspected by order of Joyeuse and the Duke of Guise. The knight marshal and all his archers (as they call them) are making great search, but it is not yet found out who did it.
Don Antonio sent for me yesterday morning, and seemed very desirous for a good league between the French King and her Majesty. A year ago he spoke of it to the Queen Mother, “who seemed greatly to complain that their evil luck was so great that her Majesty would never take confidence of her and the King,” and that when they spake of any league, it was neglected and the King of Spain advertised of it. If I thought good, he would that night speak with the Queen Mother, and would be himself “the messenger up and down between England and France for the doing of so good an action.
“I answered him that they deceived him, for in that sort as they told him we dealt with them, their consciences could best witness they dealt with us”; that for my consent to his dealing in the matter, I had no charge and could not dare beyond my commission, but that if the Queen Mother and the King made any motion to me, they should find me so evilly disposed to Spain, so true to England and so affectionate to France that I would do my best endeavour to let their desire be known to her Majesty, and was sure she would both keep it secret till time served, and do anything in it that was fit on her part.
I believe he was set on by the Queen Mother to make the motion, for he had been with her the night before, and “I have divers that under colour of private friendship persuade me to it daily, and tell me that all the world wondereth that we do not better seek to annoy the King of Spain and to league with France,” to whom I make the same answer that I did to Don Antonio, and mean to keep that course until I have further orders.
The news of Spain in my other letter I saw in a letter to the Venetian ambassador here from their ambassador there, and by that means I hope from time to time to know more.—Paris, 3 March, 1583.
Add. Endd.pp. The cipher passages deciphered. [France XI. 44.]
March 4.459. Edward Burnam to Walsingham.
I embarked at Dover on Monday the 2nd; next morning when we were on the coast of Flanders, hard by Nieuport, there came a very great tempest, “insomuch as we resolved to have ended there this transitory life,” but the Lord had mercy on us, and with much toil we got into Flushing, for to enter at Sluys was not possible. I will go there as soon as the weather is “anything likely.” Here I found General Norris, who, as he is going to England, will tell you how all passes here.
I understand that those of Ghent, Bruges and Ypres will go through with their treaty. The magistrates of Bruges were not so minded, but the commons have forced them to it.
The Princess of Chimay is come to Sluys from Bruges, where the Prince still is. The Governor of Sluys is come hither; it is thought he will treat with the States of Holland and Zeeland.
The chiefest of this treaty are the Marquis of Richebourg, Montigny and Manuy (Mannewy) the Governor of Oudenarde, but its inventor was Champagny, who has (it is thought) received divers letters from Spain and the Prince of Parma during his imprisonment, and by whose means it was propounded to Embyse, who, having lately married a young Papist “groweth to be indifferent.”
Jacques de Somer is prisoner at Dermonde, in the custody of Rihove. “Well may I solicit earnestly, but hardly will a be delivered.”
There is no great liking between the Prince of Orange and the Prince Chimay; it is thought that he will listen to this treaty. From Bruges I will despatch Sprytwell and certify you more at large.—Flushing, 4 March, 1583.
Postscript.—A friend of mine is here who dwells at Bruges and came from thence within these four days, who tells me that Rowland Yorke has been sent by the Gantois to persuade them of Bruges to compound with the Malcontents. Also that the Prince of Parma has made large offers to Yorke “how that a shall not only enjoy his house and lands but also receive a greater mercede if a will leave that way.” If this proves true, I will advertise you more largely thereof, and use myself accordingly. If I find Yorke at Bruges I do not doubt but by God's help to find out some part of his resolution, “though I know a wanteth no discretion to guide himself.”
Add. Endd.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XXI. 40.]