524. Bernardino De Mendoza to Zayas.
I have three of your letters, and as you exonerate me from blame
in the delay, I have no more to say on that head, excepting that I
am astonished that my letters should arrive so tardily there, and I
should be very glad to receive orders to forward them by some
other way as I am sure that they will always run the same risk of
delay whilst they go through Juan de Vargas.
The talk of getting rid of me here has gone no further, and I now
never see the Queen but she tells me how glad she is for me to be
here. She gives me audience freely and I have her now in an
excellent humour, thank God, whilst the Englishmen in general are
not bad friends with me, as they think I shall not do anything
against them in the event of disturbance.
With regard to your request that I should say what is the amount
of money which we may be able to get from the misappropriated
property from the seizures, as I have told you Hatton, the Captain
of the Guard and a Councillor, is the man who has reported the
matter to me, and he will not declare the names of the persons who
hold the property unless a large share of it is given to him ; but I
suspect that it is in the hands of some of the councillors and other men
of position, from whom he expects to get it with the favour of the
Queen, without which nothing can be done. I do not wish to let
Hatton cool in the matter as he is very warm about it now, from
which I conclude that the sum is a large one. The amount obtained
might be applied to lighten the expenses of the journey to Monzon
and, having this in view, you may move his Majesty to instruct me
that as soon as the Queen arrives near here I may ask for audience
and beg that commissioners be appointed in conformity with the
agreement, to enquire about this property. I thank you for prolonging
the credit, that for the five hundred crowns for extraordinary
expenses being already exhausted, as you will see by my six-monthly
account enclosed, leaving nearly two hundred crowns
owing to me, which I beg earnestly you will have paid and send
me another credit as I can do nothing here without it.
Antonio de Guaras is still in the Tower. I sent to tell him to
let me know if he needed anything and he asked for two hundred
crowns which were given to him out of the thousand. I never see
the Queen without speaking about his affair.
As his Majesty in my instructions orders me to try to gain over
some of these ministers, I have made some steps towards doing so
with the earl of Sussex, Lord Burleigh, and James Crofts the Controller,
and it has been necessary to give them some hopes of
reward. They ask me every day what reply I receive from Spain,
especially Sussex, and although I answer significantly, yet it is
difficult to keep them in hand very long with words alone. I am
much confused as I cannot now withdraw from the position I have
taken up, having gone so far, nor can I carry the matter any further
unless means of doing so are sent to me. If you have a chance
pray mention it to his Majesty, as Don Juan writes that he has
sent to the King about it but has no reply, and in the meanwhile,
orders me to keep the negotiation pending, saying that if he were not
so pressed for money he would send it to me from the Netherlands.
During her progress in the North the Queen has met with more
Catholics than she expected, and in one of the houses (fn. 1) they found a
great many images which were ordered to be dragged round and
burnt. When she entered Norwich large crowds of people came out
to receive her, and one company of children knelt as she passed and
said, as usual, "God save the Queen." She turned to them and
said, "Speak up ; I know you do not love me here."
A very curious thing has happened here lately. A countryman has
found, buried in a stable, three wax figures, two spans high and
proportionately broad ; the centre figure had the word Elizabeth
written on the forehead and the side figures were dressed like her
councillors, and were covered over with a great variety of different
signs, the left side of the images being transfixed with a large
quantity of pig's bristles as if it were some sort of witchcraft.
When it reached the Queen's ears she was disturbed, as it was
looked upon as an augury, and great enquiries have been set on foot
about it, although hitherto nothing has been discovered.
On the 6th instant a ship arrived here from Barbary which had
left Morocco on the 4th ultimo, and brings a very insolent message
from the new king of Fez to the Queen saying amongst other things
that he hopes to send her Stukeley as a present. (fn. 2)
Walsingham has written to the Queen that the chevallier Lorison
and M. de Bussy, (fn. 3) two of Alençon's gentlemen, had had a quarrel in
France, and Lorison, to whom the lie had been given, had gone to
Don Juan's camp and from there had challenged Bussy who was
with his master ; the challenge having been accepted, Bussy had
taken a letter from Alençon to Don Juan saying that he placed
these two gentlemen in his Highness' hands so that both of them
might came honourably out of the affair, which Don Juan had
promised and given 400 lances for his escort. I should be glad
indeed to be able to write definitely about Rambouillet's affairs but
I have not been able to do so as my sources of information are
drying up. I am writing to Juan de Vargas asking him to send
this letter on with more diligence than the others, which I hope to
God he will as I have not written lately. This Queen has given
Rambouillet two pieces of gilt plate, some people say of the value of
six hundred crowns, and some of a thousand.—London, 8th September
|525. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
I wrote on the 14th ultimo., giving an account of the arrival of
Rambouillet and L'Aubespine. They went on to Norwich two days
afterwards to see the Queen who received Rambouillet. On the
2nd instant she dined with Rambouillet, Mauvissière who is the
resident ambassador here, and Bacqueville, at Lord North's house,
and after dinner she was talking with them apart for more than an
hour. (fn. 4) Rambouillet was overheard to say that his master was much
surprised to see so many Englishmen in organised regiments in the
Netherlands. The reply was that there were not many there yet,
and there would have been many more if she, the Queen, had not
heard of the large numbers being raised in her country. What
Rambouillet said in reply is not known as he spoke very low, but
the Queen retorted that she knew that long ago. Rambouillet then
said that his master was only dealing truthfully with her, to which
the Queen replied that it was so much the better for both of them.
During the discourse nothing more was heard than these words, as
the conversation was carried on in a low tone, but to judge by appearances
and hints that have been dropped since, the matter under
discussion is the marriage of Alençon. After the conversation, the
Queen summoned Leicester and went with him into a corner of the
same public chamber, where they were talking apart for nearly an
hour. After this the Queen asked the ambassadors whether they
would like to play at primero, to which they answered that they
would do so if she wished. She said that it would be better that
they should take the opportunity of the councillors being there to
speak to them on the dispatch of their business, and they were
accordingly with the Council until eight o'clock at night, the earl
of Sussex and James Crofts the Controller being absent. When
Leicester was leaving the Council he said to an Englishman,
"suffice it that these Frenchmen want to marry the Queen." It
seems as if the Queen herself were willing to entertain the matter
as M. de Quissé returned on the 25th, and although he took no
assurance about the loan of 300,000 ducats which Alençon had
asked of the Queen through Bacqueville, the excuse being that the
merchants of London would not advance the money without security,
he seems to have taken with him some artifices about the alliance
and marriage. I am told that Rambouillet tried to settle the
matter of the loan to Alençon by offering that the King would be
surety for his brother and that certain personages would come
hither shortly to represent him and his brother to treat of the
marriage. He also brought instructions to discuss Scotch matters
with certain pensioners, but as things are settled there he has not
done so, and his King has sent a gentleman of his from Boulogne to
Scotland by sea.
L'Aubespine has been discussing the arrests of ships from Dieppe
and seizures of French property under letters of marque, but has
come to no decision about it and Bacqueville has not yet obtained
an answer from the Queen.
Junio, (fn. 5) who was governor of Vere in the time of the rebels and
is a native of Antwerp, has come from Casimir to this Queen, it is
understood about the payment to him for having raised troops, she
having ordered twenty-five thousand pounds to be obtained to
send to the Netherlands.
Since the disturbances which I reported in my last as having
happened in Scotland, Morton came in disguise near to Berwick to
ask Lord Hunsdon the governor of the frontier to enter Scotland
with the troops he had there which Hunsdon refused to do until he
received the Queen's orders. Upon this Morton returned, and both
sides laid down their arms and entered into the agreement of which
I enclose a copy. I also send herewith a report of what had passed
at the opening of Parliament there. St. Aldegonde has written to
the Flemish Calvinists who live here and call themselves the new
Church, on behalf of Orange, excusing himself for having given
churches in Antwerp to the Martinists, it having been forced upon
him in order that he might not lose the town, of which he was in
great fear, as when the offer was at first refused the Martinists
joined the Catholics. He tells these people they must not be
discouraged by this or think that they are changing their opinion.
It is said that the said course will be pursued in Malines, Brussels,
Lille, and other places, until they find themselves more powerful.
He writes also very urgently that certain very rich burgesses of
Valenciennes who are here should be sent to that town in order
that they may use their influence to keep the people in submission
to the States, they being heretics and extremely seditious persons
of the same sort as the refugees who were sent from here to Ghent
in a similar way ; the effect of which has been seen. These Calvinists
are so led astray by the devil that there is no sovereign in
the world obeyed so implicitly as the two old men that they have
appointed to govern them and their church. Those who are here
have been made to pay large sums of money to succour the heretics
and, poor and rich, they pay it most willingly, obeying the
commands that are given to them with incredible alacrity and
leave behind them wife and children, and everything else, to fulfil
the orders given to them.
The Queen is tarrying on her progress in order not to approach
London where the plague increases daily. It is understood that
she will be at Windsor or Hampton Court on the 20th. She has
not been at all gratified by the people in the North in consequence
of the large number of Catholics that there are amongst
Some English gentlemen have recently left here to serve the
King of Portugal taking with them letters from his ambaasador.
Amongst them are Captain Bensar, Stanley and Lister. Stanley is
considered a Catholic, but the rest are going by order of the
Queen, and with the connivance of Leicester to see what Stukeley
is up to, now that his expedition is at an end. (fn. 6) —London, 8th
526. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
Since closing the accompanying letter I have been told by a
member of the Council, through a person I sent to him to find out
about Rambouillet's errand, that the king of France had sent him
to learn whether there was any foundation in the negotiations being
carried on for a marriage between this Queen and his brother, and
if this were so and the Queen were disposed to listen to him,
Rambouillet was to press the matter forward and to promise in the
King's name anything in his power to bring it about. The Queen
has arranged with him that she will send by Bacqueville and
Quissé in a few days a copy of the conditions which would be
demanded on her part, she having seen those which Alençon
had sent by Quissé. The king of France and Alençon can
then send personages hither to conclude the marriage. The
business is not a solitary one for they are talking about marrying
Leicester in France if the Queen's marriage is brought about, but,
judging from what has happened hitherto, the matter will no doubt
be long drawn out.—London, 9th September 1578.
527. Bernardino De Mendoza to Zayas.
As William Bodenham is leaving in a ship for Seville I have
thought it a good opportunity to send his Majesty the enclosed
letter with duplicates of mine of the 8th and 9th sent by France.
Cobham has helped me in his Majesty's interests since I have been
here which I have thought well to signify, and to express my
obligation to him.
I have been informed that the courier Juanin, a great rogue and
a subject of your Majesty, has sold to the prince of Orange three
or four despatches from the King's officers, and particularly one of
great importance from Colonel Mondragon. He is now going with
a merchant to Genoa, and I think of writing to the ambassadors
there (giving an account also to Don Juan) that he may be arrested
and punished as such a scoundrel should be.
There has been a struggle in Bruges lately between the Catholics
and the Calvinists, fifteen or sixteen people being killed therein.
In Malines also, the Calvinists have tried to get up a disturbance,
but were prevented by the governor, who is a Catholic. Orange has
written begging them to have patience for a short time when a
Friesland-man will be sent as governor of the town who will not be
so much opposed to them. Bacqueville has been entertained in this
city by orders of the Queen, and has been taken to see the Tower and
other things, with great ceremony. A present of jewels valued at
five hundred crowns has been given to him as well as some horses
from Leicester. Yesterday by way of France there arrived very
bad news about the king of Portugal's enterprise ; God send that it
be not true. (fn. 7) —London, 11th September 1578.
|528. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
On the 8th and 9th I wrote to your Majesty and send copies
herewith together with the marine chart, which I wrote to your
Majesty that I had procured of Frobisher's voyage, but which I
have not sent before for want of a good opportunity such as now
offers by a safe bearer who goes to Seville by sea. M. de Bacqueville
has arrived in London after taking leave of the Queen He
is going directly to M. D'Alençon and the negotiations for the
marriage are being taken up more warmly every day by the English.
—London, 11th September, 1578.
529. The King to Bernardino De Mendoza.
All your letters have been received up to the 14th of August as
well as a copy of what Don Juan wrote you on the 4th of July,
instructing you as to your proceedings towards the Queen, respecting
the help she is giving to the rebels in the Netherlands and her
communications with them. I am glad that you have informed me
of the way you have carried out these instructions and the reply
given to you, which was simply an excuse, as their actions prove
their words to be false. It is desirable nevertheless to keep matters
in hand and preserve friendship with the Queen as you are doing,
and at the same time cautiously to win over the ministers who
appear favourably disposed to us. You say that in order to pledge
them firmly on our side it will be necessary to treat them liberally,
and it will be well for you to consider how much should be given to
each one who may be of use to us, and whether it should be in
money or valuables ; the cost or amount of the same, how and when
it should be given and what means you have of conveying it.
When we know this and you are quite sure they will act sincerely
and straightforwardly in what they are entrusted with, I will send
orders for the provisions of what may be necessary for the purpose.
I will do this all the more willingly, since I see by your later letters
that my brother is of the same opinion. It is necessary, however,
that before doing anything, we should have the information now
requested, so as not to cast our seed on the sand nor give money
to people who will cheat and then laugh at us. You will enquire
well into this and report fully.
It would be very appropriate if any money could be got from
the person who, you say, tells you of the unregistered and unclaimed
property now being held which could be recovered by virtue of the
last arrangement made between the Queen and the duke of Alba.
It will be well for you to investigate the matter, and, if you find
there is anything in it, you will inform us here of what is necessary
to be done, in order that the needful instructions may be sent to
you. I shall also be glad for the person who gives you the
information to be properly rewarded.
Your diligence in discovering the object of equipping ships was
very acceptable and useful for the purpose of allowing us to provide
for the safety of the voyage to the Indies. You will continue to
exercise the same vigilance in this respect.
Scotch affairs seem to be getting into an acute stage which makes
it needful to keep the probable outcome of them in view. It has
therefore been well to keep me informed of what you have
heard, and you will try to discover what object is being sought, and
what share the Catholics have in the Government and the care of
the King's person ; who is their leader, how they regard their
Queen, and what could be done on my part to benefit her or her
affairs. What is the character and disposition shown by her son
both as to religion and other things. You will advise me fully of
this, so that we may see what it will be desirable to do, but you
will be very cautious about it, so that your object may not be
understood. The report that I had written to the earl of Morton is
I notice the persons who have gone to England on behalf of the
States and also on that of the duke of Alençon as well as the plots
and toils in which they are immersed ; all directed, no doubt, to
the raising of distrust and suspicion in accordance with their own
nature. I expect that the talk of the marriage of the Queen and
the duke of Alençon will have all turned to smoke, but no doubt if
Rambouillet and L'Aubespine went back with any decision of importance
you will have let me and my brother know. You will not
fail to inform my brother of everything, in order that he may
instruct you, he being much nearer and having the business of the
provinces in his hands.
I observe that Antonio de Guaras is still being severely treated
and, as we should be glad to have him released and sent out of the
country, we enjoin you to continue your efforts with this object and
get him set at liberty as early as possible.
As regards yourself, it is my will that you should remain in
England until I send further orders, endeavouring to keep friendly
with the Queen, and maintaining kindly communications with her
ministers as you have hitherto done.—London, 19th September
530. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
On the 11th I wrote to your Majesty by sea to Seville, and since
then it has been publicly announced that Alençon is to come here
at the beginning of November to see the Queen in anticipation of
the marriage. In view of this the Queen has ordered great
preparations to be made and magnificent dresses for herself and her
ladies. The king of France and his brother are pressing the matter
with great warmth, and, to judge from the despatches he sends to
his ambassador, it may be concluded that the matter is of great
importance to some design they have in view.
Horatio Pallavicini, a Genoese, in company with Baptist Spinola
who lives at Antwerp, has advanced the money which I wrote to
your Majesty was to be raised for the States, three hundred and
fifty thousand florins, the payment being guaranteed, in defect of
the States, by the city of London. This has probably been of
enormous service to enable them to strengthen their army. This
money, together with that raised on the alum, and the hundred
and fifty thousand florins supplied by the Ghent people from the
church silver, will enable them to pay the soldiers a month's wages,
without which not a man would have moved. One of the conditions
of the loan is that for six years Pallavicini is to have the sole
right of introducing alum into the States of the Netherlands. This
is to the disadvantage of the dominions of your Majesty and the
Papal States whence the alum comes, as the Netherlands is the place
where most of it is consumed, and this man thus becomes the
monopolist of the article, and the money for it will come into his
hands and those of the States for the purpose of the prolongation
of the war. Walsingham certainly will not stand in the way or
prevent the security for the money being given in England, as I
am assured that they are making him a present of four thousand
pounds out of this loan. Pallavicini, in order to forestall other
people, has sent for all the alum which he has in various parts,
Milan, Genoa, and other places. From the latter port the ship
"Santa Maria la Incoronada," belonging to Juan Maria Rato with
seven thousand jars has sailed, with the intention of touching at
Alicante to ship some jars that he has there, and perhaps those
belonging to him in Cadiz, which I have already mentioned, also
will be shipped. If they come hither they certainly will enable
the States to prolong the war against your Majesty.
M. de Quissé, who has been residing here for Alençon, and the
prince of Bearn, and is a great man amongst the Flemish heretics
here, has left for the Netherlands. Junio who came from Casimir
to the Queen is still negotiating about his payment.
This Queen has written to her ambassadors, Cohham and
Walsingham, telling them that, notwithstanding her instructions to
them to return, they are to remain there until they see the result
of the negotiations now being carried on between the ambassadors
of the Emperor, the States, and Don Juan.—London, 23rd
|531. Extracts from Letters from Bernardino De Mendoza
to Zayas, dated London, 23rd September and 7th and
11th October 1578.
Great payment and prizes have been promised in Ghent to all
the ministers and secretaries who will go to the University and
colleges which they are establishing for the maintenance of their
new religion, so that the bait has had the effect of drawing all the
ministers and schoolmasters away from here, and none now remain.
Amongst them has gone Hermanus, a famous heretic who was
thought much of in Antwerp, and preached there in Madam's time,
and is now a minister at Norwich.
Letters from Antwerp of the 18th report that the States and
Mathias have written to the people of Valenciennes telling them to
obey Lalaing, both as regards billetting troops in the town and
neighbourhood and in other matters.
By my letters to his Majesty you will see what passed with the
Queen, and the discussion she raised about the ministers. I suspect
that the object of his discussion was to learn from me what sort of
reception her representatives would meet with in Spain, as it is
stated here lately that when Cobham and Walsingham return she
will send some one there. I replied to her in general terms, as you
will see, and she afterwards said that if I were a "gaglioffo" (fn. 8) (for
she likes to use such terms as these in Italian) I should not have
remained here so long. She praised my mode of proceeding in
affairs, and of conducting myself here, and said that, if I had lived
here years ago, things would not have arrived at such a strained
condition as they had, mentioning Don Guerau de Spes' proceedings
which she has not forgotten yet. She also spoke about the release
of Guaras, replying to my reference thereto, and told me that she
had promised me before she left on her progress that she would
deal with the matter on her return, as the men who were expected
from Ireland to clear up the matter would then have arrived.
Harry Sidney the Governor of Ireland has arrived, summoned
by the Queen, and, no doubt his coming will enable us to learn
what are the charges made against Guaras in this particular. I am
doing the best I can for his release.
The Ghent people have hanged president Hessels to a tree outside
of the town, and they say that Champigny was very near accompanying
him. Hessels was a good Catholic and a faithful subject
of the King, and as such, he boldly addressed the people of Ghent
when they were about to execute him. (fn. 9) — London, 23rd September,
7th and 11th of October 1578.