Elizabeth
April 1586, 11-15

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Institute of Historical Research

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Sophie Crawford Lomas (editor)

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1921

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540-554

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'Elizabeth: April 1586, 11-15', Calendar of State Papers Foreign, Elizabeth, Volume 20: September 1585-May 1586 (1921), pp. 540-554. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=79225 Date accessed: 23 October 2014.


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April 1586, 11–15

April 11/21.Henry III to Elizabeth.
On behalf of Jehan Menaut, merchant of Paris, whose ship, laden with wine at Rouen for Calais, was taken by pirates and afterwards rescued by an English ship, which carried it to the port of Mechey [qy. Meeching, i.e. Newhaven] in England, near the Rye, and consigned it into the hands of the Admiral of that country, who had the wine locked up. And whereas by the charter-party of the lading of the wine it appears that it was only for Calais, and that by the friendship existing between the two kingdoms it cannot justly be detained, he desires her Majesty most affectionately to have it freely restored to the said Menaut or any having charge from him, according to the treaties between their crowns, as she will learn more particularly from the Sieur de Chasteauneuf, his ambassador.—Paris, 21 April, 1586.
Signed. Countersigned by Pinart. Add. Endd. Fr. ½ sheet. [France XV. 91.]
April 11.Edzard, Count Of Embden to Diederich Snoy.
We have to-day, April 11, stilo veteri, received your letter from Enchuysen of April 1 of this year 1586, stilo novo, and are not a little surprised by what you write on behalf of Hayo Maninga and his brother; as if we had forcibly set upon them, and against what is fitting, had taken away and seized for ourselves their property; with further insolent threats—if we shall not do this or that according to your will—of what you are minded to do. We are not accountable to you or any other for our management of our nobles, any more than the rest of our subjects, much less have you or they any right to dictate to us that we shall put an end to one thing or take in hand another; but we are firmly determined to do nothing contrary to what is right and for which we are answerable to his Imperial Majesty our most gracious Emperor; and as we hold our Countship, royal dignity and privileges in fief from the Holy Empire, so are we bound to give account thereof or of our affairs and proceedings to no other; to whom we shall refer this whole matter. We therefore desire that you will declare what you intend against us, and on our part shall do nothing against you that is unbefitting, but shall by no means omit what is necessary for the protection of our dignity and rights.—Aurich, 11 April, 1586.
Copy in the same hand as Snoy's letter (see p. 468 above). Probably both sent by Sonoy to Leicester. Endd. German. 2 pp. [Holland VII. 93.]
April 11. (fn. 1) News from Holland.
The enemy having lain about Grave for four months or thereabouts, raised five sconces about the town, and make a pale and bridge over the river between two sconces, whereby victuals can be brought in, his Excellency “hath had intention” to relieve the town as soon as might be, though it is yet provided with victuals for four or five months at the least.
To perform which, the week before Easter, he drew what companies he might from the garrisons, which met in Bommelsward, and on Friday before Easter all came together on the Brabant side of the Maze, not far from Thiel (Tyell). Next morning we took a stone windmill, kept by the enemy, with a little sconce about it, wherein were about fifty persons; some being slain, “some put to the sword for using malicious words, and the rest ransomed; the most part being boors of the country.” Leaving a few troops there, on our Easter day we marched toward Megen, on the dyke, and passing the river lodged at a dorp called Mazebommell, most of the rest of that country being drowned, owing to the dykes having long been neglected in these wars and so a goodly, fertile country waste.
On Monday all our camp, now near four thousand footmen, marched upon the dyke towards Battenborow Castle, where we entrenched a place of good advantage to defend most of our camp, while some advanced towards Grave.
Tuesday, leaving the most part at the sconce, we marched with the rest within caliver shot of the Castle, but with little hurt, and there left about three hundred men to make a sconce about a windmill within musket shot of the Castle, “who, after two pieces discharged out of a ship of war, suffered us with more quiet to do our purpose.” The rest marched to a dorp over against Ravestene, and in the night we entrenched a place two English miles higher upon the dyke, within about an English mile of the sconce at the end of the bridge over the river.
Easter Wednesday the enemy charged our men at this trench, “having about a thousand men, divided into four several fresh charges (besides 2,000 that kept a stand to back them) with exceeding forwardness and fury; being all of the bravest and ancientest regiments in the country and all Spaniards; at the third, fresh supply repulsed our men,” the supplies which should have come from our first sconce, above six miles back, not being in time.
Fearing also a great power of the enemy's horse, we retired almost two miles, the Spaniards following us, but on foot only; where our supply met us, marching with great celerity. Whereupon turning and charging again, the enemy “ran back as fast as they could, not without much slaughter, and made little stay till they came to their stand of fresh men . . . which stand of 2,000 men or more our men perceiving, and much wearied, retired again, but the enemy . . . pursued not, but retired wholly to their sconces”; and we, knowing they had many horsemen on the other side the water, retired to our camp, and in the way turned back our third supply that came all too late.
“During this conflict, two of our ships did much pleasure, both with ordnance and muskets, on the flank of the enemy and also drove them from two pieces of ordnance which they had planted to drive away our ships, whereof our ships recovered one, being a saker, after the conflict ended.”
“There was slain of the enemy's five hundred at the least, and of our men not above a hundred and fifty.
“Of our side only one Dutch captain and one English lieutenant, and another lieutenant and two private soldiers taken prisoners. General Norris, Captain Price and Captain Borrowes hurt; who did most valiantly.
“Of the enemies, Don John de Aquila, a colonel and nine other captains, and seven or eight captain ensigns, the rest being all Spaniards and of the most ancient regiment,” besides two hundred at the least sore hurt. Only one gentleman of account taken prisoner. All under the leading of Count Mansfield.
Though both sides left the ground, and we failed to break the bridge and relieve Grave, yet our mariners took all the spoil.
“The next day some of our companies and the ships tarried before Battenborow Castle, and some to keep the other sconce, and the rest to encamp at Mazebommell for a time.”
Yesterday, Wednesday, April 13, the Castle was yielded after thirty or forty shot, “being within it about 30 Italians, and 120 Dutchmen and boors of the country, to depart with life. It is a lord's house, with two moats, not to carry ordnance.”
On Thursday night, the 14th, and Friday, thirty flat-bottomed boats “went up over land by the flood water” with ammunition, butter and cheese, into Grave, and more may be put in daily.
The enemy's piles over the river were broken somewhat by the same flood, so that it is thought ships may pass up with victuals with the next reasonable wind if need be.
Endd. by Burghley. 2½ pp. [Newsletters XLV. 2.]
April 12.Stafford to Walsingham.
This bearer, Mr. Browne, asks me to write to you on his behalf, “suspecting that in his absence there might by ill-offices his discredit be wrought.” For anything that I could learn or perceive, his behaviour has been very honest and like a dutiful subject; but as I would not write in his favour without further assurance, I wrote to the merchants at Rouen, where he has mostly made his abode, who have made a very good report of his demeanour in a letter which I send enclosed to your honour. His religion is not so good as I would wish it, but for the rest, the opinion of all is that he is very honest and dutiful.—Paris, 12 April, 1586.
Signed. Add. Endd. ½ p. [France XV. 92.]
Enclosing:
The English Merchants at Rouen to Stafford.
Certifying that Mr. Thomas Browne,—an English gentleman desirous to retire into England, who has requested them to attest his modest and honest behaviour during the three years he has been amongst them—“is of civil and sober conversation, showing always a dutiful respect both in word and deed toward her Majesty” and her Council; well affectioned to the realm, and having in all respects governed himself as a true and dutiful subject ought to do, insomuch that his honest behaviour and “continual company” with themselves has made him suspected by the English papists of the town.—Rouen, 18 April [n.s.], 1586. Signed, Robert Smyth, Homfry Basset, Ottywell Smyth, Robert Ball, Barnwell Coper, William Chrismas.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XV. 92a.]
April 12.Remainder due to her Majesty's forces in the Low Countries on this date. Total, 14,161l. 18s.
Endd. with “estimate,” in Burghley's hand, for the following months. 1 p. [Holland VII. 94.]
April 12.Edward Morris to Burghley.
I intended to deliver the enclosed to your honour myself, but as the credit of this bearer will “exempt my letters from the fortune of other men's fingers, I thought good to remain here till I might be the messenger of the last part of that action, and by him to advertise your honour how I had proceeded in my last journey.”
After I had briefly run over my former speech with Bodenham, and he had told me the Prince would send, I desired him to procure some present effect thereof; as the matter had now been imparted to your lordship, who had been pleased to command me to will him to proceed therein. He showed me the Prince's letter, “importing that his Highness would send, but when or whom we knew not”; and therefore he wrote by me to the Court to have some resolution thereof. I arrived at Brussels the Wednesday before their Easter, and on the Saturday was brought to the Prince, and having declared my proceedings with Bodenham, told him of your honourable inclination to advance peace and justice, so that if he pleased to send some person of quality over, I doubted not but that good success would ensue. The Prince answered that your lordship's inclination to peace and concord confirmed the opinion he had long conceived that you were a grave and prudent councillor, well worthy your place about her Majesty, “and for his part, though he handled matters of war, yet he desired nothing more than that the King his master should live in amity with the princes his neighbours about him, which he had ever sought to do with England specially, and . . . could wish that for as much as from England grew the first offence” (by the violent invading his Majesty's country under pretence of her Majesty's title), that some might be sent thence to treat of reconciliation, which they might better do than he, who was not an absolute prince but a subject. And as this was a matter in which he must be advised by his council, he prayed me to wait till the morrow for my answer. I remained four days, in which time Bodenham arrived from Dunkirk; and after his being with the Prince, I was called in and commanded by his Highness to commend him heartily to your lordship and to request you not only to continue your inclination to peace, but be a mean to induce per Majesty to like the same, and for his part, he will presently appoint some person to be sent over to treat with her; and has commanded Bodenham to stay to conduct the gentleman to Calais. When I know his name I will advertise you of it.—Calais, 12 April, 1586, stilo veteri.
Add. Endd. by Burghley, “Edward Morryce from Callis, with a letter from W. Bodenham.” 1 p. [Flanders I. 73.]
Enclosing:
Bodenham to Burghley.
Hearing that you approved of my employing myself in the service recommended to me by the bearer, (fn. 2) I sent him with my letter to the Court, where afterwards I arrived and procured him two audiences of the Prince my master, from whom he received by word of mouth that which he will deliver to you. I can certify to you that the Prince is very well disposed to bring matters to unity and peace, and will presently employ some person herein especially because I have told him that you will be a furtherer of so honourable a motion, he having a good opinion of your prudent counsel towards her Majesty.—Brussels, 12 April, 1586, stilo novo.
Add. Endd. by Burghley, Wm. Bodenham, by Morryce, from Dunkirk [sic].” 1 p. [Flanders I. 74.]
April 12.Note of moneys delivered for Horatio Palavicino, by his servant, Francisco “Ryzo,” to divers merchants, &c. including Alderman Billingsley, Mr. Gifford, Hippolyto Buiamonte, Thomas Cordel and Co., Nicolo di Gozzi and John Alden for Rouen, who have furnished the said Palavicino with letters of credit &c. Prays his lordship [Burghley] to give order for another 2,000l., that he may be able to pay the 6,000 crowns provided by Antwerp.
Endd. with date by Burghley. Italian. 1 p. [Germany, States IV. 31.]
April 12/22.A Letter from Rome.
Your League announces that peace will not be made until the new sect and its heads are exterminated. If so, you have a piece of work in hand, but if it succeeds, the gain would be great enough for you willingly to employ any time and trouble. The said League still persuades us of the enterprise against England and Geneva, and affirms that his Majesty will approve of it, and will not be able to do otherwise than allow it. Spain hates that Queen and with reason; and perhaps believes that she cannot settle firmly her affairs in Flanders except by striking against her. Many designs are making to this end, and the attempt may easily be made, but truly, Spanish deliberations are so slow that the years pass by. Your League, moreover, wishes us to give Avignon to the Cardinal of Guise, but, as I think, Montmorency opposes this strongly, who is able listened to here. Great harm is being done in the Indies by that English corsair, which can be but ill-provided against; and this we shall see the more when some diversion is to be attempted with that Queen. [Without signature or address.]
Extract. Endd. “Copy of a letter from Rome.” Italian. ¾ p. [Newsletters LXXII. 27.]
April 13.Willoughby to Burghley.
“Since my last letter unto your lordship, I find his Excellency so favourable unto me as he hath bestowed the government of Barges [Bergen-op-Zoom] upon me, unto the which I think I shall be presently dispatched. Some occurrents from Embden I have now received, which as they are I here present unto your lordship:—
“The Grave was much dismayed at the answer he had from Worms, being before comforted from the Emperor that he should not fail of aid, for gladly he would (if he could have induced the prince thereto) have fought with the forces of Germany for the King of Spain, not only in the Ems, but also along the Rhine.
“The restraint of trade and ships is now set at liberty, and the burghers at their choice to sail which way they list, and yet the Earl doth not discharge his soldiers, but still increasing their number doth greatly charge his boors, whereby he procureth not only much muttering against him in the country, but breedeth in the minds of many a strong suspicion that either he meaneth to use them against his brother John, or purposeth to oppress the liberty of this town [i.e. Embden], (seeing that he may at his pleasure bring them through his castle), or else hath received money from Spain some way to help that side.”
His journey to Lunenburg is deferred by the death of the Duke of Saxony, the chief commissioner in causes betwixt his brother and him. He has been some time in the country sick, and can neither come to town to deal with Mr. Milward, “come hither for continuance of the trade,” nor yet admit him to go to him, although he has brought letters from her Majesty. He sent two commissioners hither, who, having joined with them (by the Grave's commission) the “drosser” and burgomaster of Horn, called Mr. Milward to the Town house on the 20th inst., where D. Yonkher said “that the case stood how otherwise than before betwixt her Majesty and the King of Spain, by means whereof it was like that King of Spain would molest the Grave, in case he should maintain the English nation in Emden. He demanded therefore whether her Majesty would save his master harmless, and take him into her protection against the King of Spain, whereby is gathered that he is perplexed, neither being able to assure himself of the Spaniard without performing that whereunto his subjects will not agree, and fearing that by loss of trade (in case he refuse his offer) he should not only diminish his own revenues, but provoke against him his own subjects, who by his misgovernment should forego their gain.
“The burgomaster that now is chief did lately send for the preachers, whom he exhorted to moderation in the pulpit when they deal with the King of Spain, saying that Verdugo in two several letters had expostulated with the Senate for permitting their preachers to term his master tyrant.”
When occasion serves, I will send you more news.—Utrecht, 13 April, 1586.
Holograph. Add. Endd.pp. [Holland VII. 95.]
April 13.Andrea De Loo to Burghley.
Thanking your lordship for all favours you have shown me in what little I have been able to do in this negotiation, and assuring you that I will never fail in what I promised in mine of the 25th of December last, to be honest, faithful and secret, I doubt not (if I am trusted here, and allowed to act, as I know that on the other side they will do sufficiently) but shortly to be able to guide the bark into a good haven; trusting very much to the uprightness and sincere inclination of the Prince of Parma and also of her Majesty who, from the first time it was moved to her, has let it be understood that she only desires peace. And as it has been said quod audaces fortuna juvat, I will ser sail bonis avibus, to make proof thereof; and if it be God's holy will be give it good success for the public tranquillity, he giving me this grace, I will give him the glory. I therefore pray your lordship to give me leave (and ample passport) to make this venture in so good a work, not aiming at a reward, or anything else in the world, but only led on by true zeal, having faith in God, who will grant me to bring it to a good conclusion. Begging you to do me the favour to be allowed to know—should this my action be discovered (although until now I have kept it very secret here) and I be summoned by Mr. Secretary or others of the Council, to have a relation of it from me—how I must govern myself in replying, and also when I am on the other side, if occasion should present itself to inform your lordship of anything of importance, if you would be willing that I should do it; with renewed direction to my lord Cobham that a packet coming from me (his lordship having already knowledge of my seal) should not be touched; and also telling his people to inform your lordship at once if I sent anything. And that my going should be in no way published by any of them.—London, 13 April, 1586.
Postscript.—By your favour, I should not wish to treat of this with the Earl and still less with the Secretary or any other (except yourself) of the Council.
April 13/29.— to Robert Broke.
Since my last, the General or Viceroy of this province has come hither and “imbarged” all the Spanish shipping. In this and the next harbour are thirty sail of tall ships, and his captain is gone along the coast to arrest those in every harbour of this province. Forty great ships are ready at Seville, and twenty are coming from Venetia, to meet by the end of May at Santanderas. “So that there is nothing to be hoped but variance, and it will be no sending of goods to St. Johns. . . . God grant that in England and Ireland and such like the Queen's dominions these quarrels may be thought of and with policy prevented or with force resisted, for there is nothing intended but mischief to our Prince and country.”—St. Sebastian, 23 April, 1586.
Copy or translation, on the same sheet as that of March 18–28 above. The name of the writer is carefully obliterated. ½ [p [Spain II. 59a.]
Another copy of the first part of the above, undated.
Endd. “Advertisements from Spain.” ⅓ p. [Newsletters XC. 28.]
April 15.Stafford to Walsingham.
“According to your honour's direction in the letters I received from you by this bearer, I 'purchased' audience from the King as soon as I could get it, which was not afore Monday, for he came not abroad till then, where I took as great care as I any way could both to make him know that which was delivered by his ambassador to her Majesty, as also her Majesty's answer to him. We had very long speech and many replies one to another, which he is not wont to do; but at this time he was fully instructed and perfect aforehand. But not to trouble you her Majesty too long with hearing every particularity, the chief points were these:—
“He avowed all the speeches used by his ambassador, told me that though he were a prince that was to give account to none but to God of his actions, yet, for the particular love he bare to her Majesty he was desirous to have her Chast[eau]neuf acquainted with his estate, with his mind, with his good will towards her, with his desire to have quietness, with the occasions that have bred unquiet; with the desire that he hath to have those occasions taken away; what nourisheth those occasions; how unwilling he was to take any unkindness with her Majesty for nourishing them; how desirous he was to use her help to stablish a present quiet; and in the end how unwillingly he would be brought to join with anybody that in requital of the unquietness nourished in his realm by her, would seek to unquiet her estate, which hitherto he protested he had always 'flyed' from, and would never hearken to, nor would not do yet without great occasion given him from her Majesty. Adding withal to the propositions that I made him according to your direction to those points, that the King of Navarre and those of the Religion, not to show themselves that which their enemies did term them, and to leave that name justly to themselves, was to obey his will, both for the duty he bare unto him, as also for the respect of the stablishing of the perfect quietness in this realm, in the which he had the greatest interest after himself, and whose interest if he would do so he would strengthen all the ways he could, and give him as much advantage over his enemies and more than they have now over him. And if that those that were his friends, and that I told him he were likely to lose if he changed his religion, did forsake him for that, that they were not his friends in deed if they would maintain him in a point that would lose him the assurance of such a state as this, which he would never attain to if he remain as he doth, whereas in changing, though he lost them he should recover a stronger party in this estate than that which he lost, which were the Catholics, that would wholly cleave unto him if he became of their religion, whereas if he did not it would go very hard with him. I replied unto him as well as I could, and objected what I could against his reasons, both to persuade him by former examples that the way to maintain peace in his realm was to suffer both religions, in which permitting he had always found quiet and in stirring with them never failed to have wars, as also to lay afore him the certainly that the King of Navarre did abandon if he should hazard the losing those friends he had, and the danger he put himself into, to be never the whit the more assured of others; the weakness that it would be to the King himself, the weakening of him so much; the little cause the King should have to be offended with her Majesty if she helped to keep them from falling, that were the pillars that kept him up against the others' ambition; that she would never give him just cause . . . to complain of any breach of league or friendship with him; that if upon false suggestions of those that were had subjects to him, and as bad friends to her, he would suppose a cause, and thereupon take a quarrel to annoy her with those princes that were her enemies against her, that it was a great wrong done to her by him in her [sic] respect of her great goodwill showed to him, both in the beginning of these unseasonable troubles in offering him her purse, her aid, and all the means she had to suppress them that were the authors of it, and after, seeing, notwithstanding the peace that was made with them, the fire so kindled in France that it was not to be quenched, how willingly she offered her helping hand to bring all things to quiet, besides her chargeable entering to the succouring of the poor Low Countries against the tyranny of the King of Spain, for the good of both these realms upon his request, he not being able to do it himself; for the fire that these Spanish French had even in the nick set in his realm, to hinder him of his goodwill that way. Desiring him in the end to consider that he could join nor have league with no prince her enemy but was as deadly his as here, and that had but sounded in her realm a way which he could not find to trouble, but in his, had both sounded and found the bad depositions so ready that I was sure he had felt the harm of it, and his realm the smart which would scarce ever be healed whilst France was France.
“To that last point he quickly answered he had felt it indeed, and that if her Majesty would help to stablish a perfect quiet in his realm, which one only point agreeing to would quickly bring, they might both quickly join together and find means to taken an order with him for all the good offices he had done them both, and would do it very willingly.
“To be short, we had long speech, but in the end he doth seem resolute to have but one exercise of religion; that being done, to favour the King of Navarre in all things, and to give him all the vantage he can to pull down the others, when the colour of religion which they only help themselves withal is taken away, whom by all speeches he seemeth in his heart to hate, which point truly I do very well believe, though for his loving the King of Navarre anything the better for that, I would not put my finger in the fire for it. And for his conceiving evil of her Majesty's dealing, I left him with these words: That he will never believe evil of her till he see great cause; and I assured him be should never have just cause to believe otherwise; and for my part, whatsoever he saith, I think he will never greatly quarrel with her Majesty for the interpretation of that justness or unjustness of the cause.”
Then the King spoke to me of the extreme complaints by his merchants of their daily spoiling by the English ships, desiring greatly that provision might be made for it hereafter, and justice done for what was past; that he was loth to prejudice the good amity between her Majesty and himself, and desired that order might be taken, “else” he could not deny his subjects justice; but his speeches were in very good terms.
I answered that I was sure such order would be given that no such mischance should happen in time to come, for her Majesty had already provided for it by proclamation; and for what was past, such justice should be done that he should be satisfied with her Majesty's proceedings; though indeed Frenchmen themselves were the cause of it, partly because they, knowing the letters of 'mart' that our English merchants had against the Spaniards and their goods for staying of our ships and injustices against our merchants, would needs help them to convey their goods away under the colour of French, which was the cause of all these complaints and mishaps. And “whereas the ambassador did send out of England divers attestations that there could no justice be had,” I besought him, before proceeding, as urged, to letters of mark, to have their processes in England “well visited” by capable persons, as also the like should be done of our side. He desired me to give him a note (which I did) and would answer it in a day or two, when I will send it you, with other complaints that I have here daily and hourly.—Paris, 15 April, 1586.
Postscript.—The Queen Mother desired me to excuse her, as she is in bed with the gout. I hear that the King of Denmark's ambassador is in France already. The rest are coming after. I beseech you let me know I shall behave myself with them.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 3 ¾ pp. [France XV. 93.]
April 15.Stafford to Walsingham.
Mr. Aldred has written at large about Gratley and Gifford, and I leave to his letters the report of all things. I talked with them secretly, and encouraged them all I could. I find them “very good and proper wise fellows, and fit to do that which your intent is.” I persuade myself that they will deal very honestly. I send you the reasons why they would have Dr. Gifford stay awhile. Truly I find reason in it, and if Dr. Allen could be got into the same faction, I think “all their combs would be cut here, for he is their apostle.” If I have your direction, I will follow this course, and think it might do good service “to get things out of the Spanish ambassador's house.” If you think good, he will come and lie here to that purpose, and I will take order to hear from or have conference with him secretly enough.
I send a letter to you from Mr. Fitzharbert and pray you to be as good to him as you may, for I take him to be a very honest man. If any information be given you against him, he offers to answer it, either to me or to any may appoint. Geoffrey Poole sent from Rouen to ask me to give his wife a passport to England. I have refused it till I hear from you, because he is my near kinsman, and I cannot tell how it may be interpreted; also, “his wife was my wife's woman,” and it might be thought I would favour her more than others. But if you give me leave, I would be glad to do it.—Paris, 15 April, 1586.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [France XV. 94.]
April 15.Stafford to Walsingham.
The dispatch sent to the ambassador was not to the effect he gave out to the Queen, as to the French King joining with princes her Majesty's enemies, for Pinart assured me (and I have seen the copy of it) that it was only to tell her Majesty that he had never joined with such as were her enemies, “but only the exaggerating of that came of the counsel of a private letter of Villeroy to the ambassador; and the French King had disavowed the ambassador to me in that point, but that Villeroy did earnestly press him to it as a thing, he persuaded him, would greatly amaze the Queen, and draw her from doing anything for the King of Navarre.” This is very certain, but must be kept secret, for else few thing will come to me.
“Villeroy doth what he can to set out the ambassador's proceedings in England, and giveth out to the French King and Queen Mother and everybody that never any ambassador was ever so esteemed of her Majesty.” Queen Mother told him openly that if that were true, good effects would have been shown of it if the ambassador had stayed the Queen from sending money into Germany.
“Surely the ambassador is very ready to give attestations of everything to the worst that is done in their next send you a copy of one of them.”
Marshal Retz is gone into Brittany and so to Belleisle to give order for victualling and setting out the ships of which I wrote; which they say are but to keep the coast and merchants in safety. As yet I find no other intent, but will seek into it as well as I can. For y part, I doubt something further. Some think his going is but to sell the corn he has in great commodity which he doth mean to reap thereby.”
Marshal Biron is still kept here by want of money, though they are providing it with all the haste that may be, which falls out happily, they having not (from lack of wind as I persuade them) yet heard from you for the matter promised to Count Soissons, which I still keep them assured of. “I hope I shall not need to put you in remembrance of haste.”
I send you a book “for the placing of the gendarmerie and the assembling of them. The Duke of Guise purchaseth the advancement of all things in all he may.”
News is come that the Prince of Condé has given a defeat by Saintes and slain six hundred. The others give out in requital that M. de la Val and his brother were killed at it; but I believe neither.
A French ship come to Newhaven says that Drake has taken St. Domingo and fortifies it; but I believe nothing till I hear it from you. If there be any news of it, I beg that I may Know it.—Paris, 15 April, 1586.
Holograph. Add. Endd 2 pp. [France XV. 95.]
April 15/25
[last date].
Extract from the Register Of The Council Of State.
Resolution of his Excellency, April [7–]17, 1586. Having heard from Messrs. Meetkercke, Looze and Teylinck the request of the States General, concerning the money, confiscations and ecclesiastical goods, as also the remainders of previous contracts in Brabant:—His Excellency declares that as to the money his intention is and has been no other than to act by advice of the States General; and to this end has ordered the minute taken thereupon to be communicated to the said States, begging them as speedily as possible to take a resolution thereupon. And as to what concerns the remaining two points, having understood the meaning of the States, he will willingly let the matter rest until he and they shall agree otherwise; provided that the clauses in the Instruction of the deputies being set out in order to put the contracts in train in Brabant—the States General shall do nothing in their prejudice, since otherwise his Excellency has had no other intent therein than that the foresaid remainders shall be collected under no particular authority; being content that the previous receipts shall henceforward continue in the administration and receipt of the aforesaid remainder, for such use as shall be found to be right; provided that the current contracts and future confiscations, destined for the maintenance of the men of war, be kept for that purpose before any other.
Underwritten:
This declaration of his Excellency and the Council of State being seen by the States General, the said States do not find it so clear and explicit in regard to the last two points as they could wish; for since his Excellency is to remain unmolested in the matter of the debts or charges made by former governments before the 10th of January last, it is very meet that the remainders of the contracts received before the same day shall be collected on behalf of the said States for payment and satisfaction of the said charge and old debts; desiring that Interdictie for the gathering of the said remainders may be committed to the receivers of the States General to dispatch, and by them be answered to the said States. And for what concerns the matter of the confiscations and spiritual goods, they would remind his Excellency and the Council of State that in the transfer of the rule and government of the land to his Excellency, the said confiscations &c. were reserved and preserved to the generalty and sovereignty, by them to be employed and disbursed, according to the resolution taken thereupon; and therefore hope that his Excellency and the Council of State will leave the disposition both of the general confiscation and of what shall fall due hereafter, together with the spiritual goods, to the States General, in conformity with the foresaid acts and treaties made with his Excellency.—Utrecht, 22 April, 1586, stilo novo.
Said to be signed by Noortwyck and Aerssens.
In the margin is written:
Upon this answer, it is committed to Messrs. Leoninus, Meetkercke, Looze and Valcke to enter into communication with the States General or their deputies in presence of his Excellency.—Utrecht, [15–]25 April, 1586.
Dutch. 2½ pp. [Holland VII. 96.]
April 15.Sir Philip Sidney to Walsingham.
Praying him to continue his favour to Mr. Caesar, who desires to go back to England, “being, as it seems, inclined to some other course of life.”—Flushing, 15 April, 1586.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Seal of arms. ½ p. [Ibid. VII. 97.]
April 15.De Loo to Burghley.
I pray your lordship not to be vexed if I open my mind to you concerning the discourse you discourse you were pleased to hold with me the other day in regard to M. de Champagney and his brother the Cardinal, and the scruple which you showed in entering into it, as if I had been willing to serve as an instrument of deceit or humiliation in this treaty, with other points to which it behoves me little to reply. Yet since you are good enough to say that you will be willing to have the obstacles removed (if possible) which prevented you from believing that they on the other side were acting with sincerity, I on my part hold M. de Champagney for one who would never think (or act) anything which either now or in the future might fall out to his blame, as tending in the first place to derogate from her Majesty's reputation, or secondly to prejudice the hope and expectation had of him for the public good. And the most valid argument which may be adduced in confirmation of this my opinion is that he is a true Burgundian by birth and descent, who has been educated and passed his life until now in the Low Countries; a sufficient cause for him to love them and desire their welfare. Which depending (so to speak) altogether upon the confederation with this Kingdom, it cannot be but that he should earnestly desire if possible to settle the differences from which grow the unhappiness and total ruin of those countries; and more especially he having passed most of his life as such a martyr to the gout that it may easily be thought how much he would desire rather to keep quiet than (together with torture of the body) to be afflicted continually in his mind by the heavy thoughts and distastes arising from war. And in order to cantent him, there is nothing which his brother would not do, who, as is known, has much influence with the King of Spain. As also, on the other side, the Prince of Parma, of whom it cannot but be believed that after so much good success as he has had up to this time in arms, he would rather abstain, for quiet (being of very gentle blood) than have all his life to govern cum tandem omnium rerum sua sit vicissitudo, et non durabile, quod caret alterna requie.
Then, as to the point of religion, although in effect the greatest and most important, I yet hope that the Catholic King (as a peaceful and gentle prince) in order to keep his dominions in quiet, videbit ne aliquando faciat alteri quod ab alio oderit fieri sibi, cum illa sit lex et prophete. Et cum sit quod tempora mutentur et nos mutemur in illis; thus it is indubitably to be believed that in future another course will be taken, treating the people in more gentle fashion, as the present times demand; all the world now perceiving well enough quod non volentis neque currentis, sed miserentis sit Dei omnipotentis.
And for the last point which you mentioned to me: that those on the other side might design to make me an instrument for their own purpose and to the prejudice of this kingdom, may I be allowed to say that I hold those people for so ingenious and shrewd that if at any time they should think of such a thing, they would take care to use others, more fitting for such bad purposes; but as I am sure that neither M. de Champagney nor any of the nobles of the Low Countries (by whose hands the negotiation must pass) has the least thought of fraud or malice, so also I shall presume to say that even to gain the crown of Spain, I should not let myself be overborne by ambition or reward to do anything contrary to my claim to be a sincere and honest man. Your lordship also knows that my small labours are only by way of supplication on both sides, to obtain their agreement to come as soon as possible to some negotiation; praying God to inspire them with what may be to his great glory and the public tranquillity.
This will be the last time I mean to trouble your lordship unless I have fresh matter.—London, 15 April, 1586.
Add. Endd. by Burghley. Italian. 1½ pp. [Flanders I. 76.]

Footnotes

1 So dated and endorsed (by Burghley); but the last paragraphs added a few days later, in a different hand.
2 i.e. Morris, who then intended to take it himself. This Morris is spoken of by Walsingham as “Norryce, the Controller's man” (Leycester Correspondence, 231), and is evidently the Inglese, who showed Parma letters from Crofts (Correspondence de Card. De Granvelle, XII. 429).