Cecil Papers: May 1577

Calendar of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House: Volume 2, 1572-1582. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1888.

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'Cecil Papers: May 1577', in Calendar of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House: Volume 2, 1572-1582( London, 1888), British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-cecil-papers/vol2/pp150-154 [accessed 18 July 2024].

'Cecil Papers: May 1577', in Calendar of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House: Volume 2, 1572-1582( London, 1888), British History Online, accessed July 18, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-cecil-papers/vol2/pp150-154.

"Cecil Papers: May 1577". Calendar of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House: Volume 2, 1572-1582. (London, 1888), , British History Online. Web. 18 July 2024. https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-cecil-papers/vol2/pp150-154.

May 1577

455. The Oath of the Clerk of the Privy Seal.
1577, May 2. To be true to the Queen, her heirs and successors; not to prefer or colourably present to the Keeper of the Privy Seal any manner of thing to pass that seal, but such as he shall have sufficient warrant for by writing, or by mouth, given by the Queen, or some of her Council, or Council of Requests; not to disclose any causes till publication thereof be made; not to defraud her Majesty of any of the profits, &c.
Note.—Wm. Parker took this oath before Sir Fras. Walsingham, 1 May 1577. Tho. Clark took this oath before him, 2 May 1577.
¾ p.
456. Thos. Copley to Lord Burghley.
1577, May 7. Has this day received letters from London whereby he perceives that his servant was apprehended on his landing in consequence of certain tokens taken on him which were sent from women and children here to the like there without his knowledge and much to his discontent.
The tearing of his letters by the said servant was even more indiscreet for there was nothing in them to conceal as they related only to his own poor affairs. Thanks his lordship for releasing his servant but thinks a week or two week's imprisonment would but have served him right for his folly.—Louvain, 7 May 1577.
2 pp.
457. Sir Fras. Walsingham to the Lord High Admiral.
1577, May 11. Great complaint being made from divers parts, especially Norfolk and Suffolk, and from the Regent, of piracies, the Queen directs him with all speed to set forth ships to clear the seas of pirates; the charges of the said ships to be defrayed from the goods of pirates taken. From the Court, 11 May 1577.
½ p.
458. Dr. Thos. Wilson to the Earl of Leicester.
1577, May 18. “My verie goode Lorde,
I presume upon the goodnes of your nature to deall plainlie with yow at this tyme, so that I hope no disselyking wilbee conceyved of me for the same, especially when my whole speache shal tende to the glorie of God and the welfare of my countrie; for although I may erre in judgement yet my good will ought to be regarded, yea I take myselfe bounde in conscience to saie my mynde, beeinge in place of service, and not to forbeare in any respecte to saie what I knowe, howsoever myne opinion is enclined either one waie or other, for upon the diversitie of judgements some sounde resolucion maye be gathered and put in execucion.
The Queues Majestie (whom God preserve) is the onelie Prynce of Europe at this tyme, most honored of dyverse and most feared of others, whose State as some wyshe to contynew and prosper, so some others woulde gladlie disquiete yf occasion myght serve; yea her Majestie is maliced for twoe cawses especiallie, the one for religion professed, and the other for the wealthe and felicitie of her dominions and kingdomes. For the first, I praye God hartelye that his religion maie bee maynteyned and his churche encreased with al synceritie, courage, and constancie, which course being taken no doubte al other worldelie matters wil prosper the better; yea her Majestie's safetie dependeth altogether upon the advancement of God's glorie, which beeing either neglected or forgotten present ruyne foloweth.
There is greate workynge at this present to wynne the Prynce of Orange, whose case is better than either Kynge Philippes or the Frenche Kynges, becawse he is founde faithful, constante, godlie and most resolute for the defense of publike welfare and libertie. The others are violent, wilful, faithlesse, and not contented that right showlde everywhere take place, through the wrong persuasion of flatterers themselves being weak of judgement, and therefore have not onelie lost al credite but are also voyde of al wealthe, yea and that which is chiefest, they have lost the hartes of al good men.
My request is that her Majestie being nowe wel hable and havyng good oportunitye offered, would work suertie for herself and cowntrie hereafter, which in my poore judgement cannot be otherwise than by alliance made with al those Prynces and States of the religion everywhere. And if the Prynce of Orange coulde bee woonne that he woulde not yeelde to anythynge withowte her Majestie's good allowance and approbacion: then would I wish that aswel for her Majestie's safetie as the Prynces assurance, the investynge of Holland and Zelande myght be demaunded, and good ostages or suer fortresses thereupon had, yf any article agreed upon showlde be broken either to the defacyng of religion, to the breache of peace, or to the prejudice of Englande, or to the hurte of the Prynce of Orange in his person and estate.
I doe thynke thys kynde of dealinge most safe for the assurance of religion and welfare of Englande, whiche otherwyse woulde be in some hazarde, yf upon takynge the fortresses, municions and townes, the Prynce showlde symplie yeelde to the kynge for his owne indemnitie without some assurance made for Englande. This is myne opinion of this matter at this time, whereof your Lordship may consider as yow shall think meete and convenient.
The Duke of Arschot, Mons. de Hierges, Mons. de Resinghen, Mons. Yillerville, and others were sent by Don John and the States to deale with the Prynce the 16th of this monthe by al the waies and meanes they can for an accord and ful agreement in al thynges. I have written latelie to the Prynce that he woulde make the Quenes Majestie acquaynted with al thynges and to resolve upon nothynge in substance until her hignes' judgement and advice were first had therein, whiche I trust his Excellencie wil faithfullie observe. There shalbee no devise unsought to bring this agreement to pass, for a farther mischief to be doone as I do gratelie feare.
The divines and Clargie of Lovayne have resolved upon a toleracion in religion both in Holland and Zeland without prejudice or blemyshe to the holie Catholicke and Apostolyke Romayne religion, which act and determinacion of theirs is an apparante trappe in my judgment to catche the Prince withal; for first Kinge Philippe maie disavowe this toleracion, the States here in the meane season doe not allowe of it but parforce and for necessitie sake, and the Inquisicion of Spayne no doubt wil never lyke of it.
The Pope's Nuncio dissembleth the matter for the time. Lastlye the general Councel of Constance saythe that no faythe is to be kept with an heretike, whereupon John Husse and Hierome of Prage wer both burned notwithstandinge they had the Emperor Sigismundes safe conduict under the seale of the Empire for their indemnitie. And where is then the Prynce or any of the religion when soche a lewde lawe standeth styl in force, by vertue whereof al thynges now doone may be disavowed hereafter.
I have latelie spoken with the Pope's Nuncio (a man ful of cunnynge and myldenes as communelie Italians are), and chiefelie I went to speake with hym becawse I would know the trewth of that which Mr. Copley had said to me heretofore, as first that the Pope showlde write a letter to Thomas Stewkeley, which letter the Nuncio hearing that Copley was named Don Thomaso, sayd that his Holynes had sent unto him with this inscription to Thomas Stewkeley as Copley said to me, which error when Copley had perceaved he gave the letter back agayne saying his name was Thomaso but not that Thomaso, and thereupon the Nuncio was amased. All whiche is moste untrew, as the Nuncio himself did constantlye affirme unto me, sayenge farther that the Pope did not write to any Englishman at all, moche less to Thomas Stewkeley whom this Nuncio doth not knowe, his government being at Ancona and cuminge seldome to Rome. I asked him if he did not take a skrowle out of his bosom wherein were the names of all Englishe Catholikes in this countrie, and findyng Thomas Copley there was the less offended with his error. The Nuncio hereupon did make a crosse upon his brest and did sweare by that, nexte by his baptisme, thyrdelie by the sacramente, and fourthelie by the faithe of a Christian and a gentleman, he had no suche skrowle at all, neyther passed any soche speache at all from hym of Stewkeley or otherwise. He denyed not but Thomaso Copley was with hym and sayd he was a Catholike, and so welcomed hym to Lovayne in the name of Don John, one of the Taseril (?) being Master of the householde to Don John cumminge with hym. Thus your Lordship seeth what trust is to bee geaven to these desguysed Papists and fugitives who under color to wynne credite in these forged matters wil coumpasse greater thynges for their purpose. Copley promised me that I showld understande al the doinges of the yonger Hamylton whome I required of Don John but cowld not get hym.
The houer is to come that he hath sayde anythinge to me of Hamylton, and yet I am crediblye enformed that Don John hath sent hym verie secretlie into Spayne synse my beinge at Lovayne, which cannot be unknown to Copley who seekes hetherto (as it appeareth) to abuse me, not thynkynge that ever I woulde have spoken with the Pope's Nuncio, but perhappes he maie deceave hymselfe. I will not feare to speake with the Pope hymselfe or any other whatsoever he bee, to doe the Queenes Majestie trew and faithful service. After al this of Copley, I praie your Lordship read his man Brooke's letter written frome London to hym hether, which felowe your Lordship latelie examined and my Lord Treasurer. Consider I beseche your honour every parte of the letter and the several cyphers there, and geave order that the felowe be straytelie examined who knoweth as much as Copley hymselfe being his most assured trustie servante.
Copley keepeth Lovayne and dare not cumme hether for feare of the States, unto whom I have written to meete me without Bryssels, yf he dare not cumme into the town, whome I wil rowndelie charge yf I may speak with hym. But what good is to be had of soche as he is ! Grapes wil never be had upon thornes.
For God's love have regarde to them, as you love God and our Soverayne. A papist wilbee a papist still and vowethe no lesse in his harte hopynge for a change every daie. God graunte that those who bee of the reformed religion woulde bee as they professe. Deceave not yourselfe, my Lorde, but bee wel assured that no Papist in harte either doth or can love you. And in the ende when they have their wil, yea and devised your ruyne, they wil then pitie yow and prayse yow for a good jentleman.
God grawnte I may rather see yow envied, yea happie is that man who can aswel make an evil man feare hym as a good man to love hym. It is greate honour to be hated for vertue, for God, and for religion. There bee few examples in this age of soche men that honour God and our Soverayne without respect of person. I doe knowe that courtesie and myldenes are to be used where the same maie doe good, otherwyse severitie is most necessarie, least both lawes and the lawe maker through overmoche softenes doe growe into contempte. Resolucion is the best meane to make an ende of al thynges, aswel in civil causes as in matters of religion; working underhande shewethe cunninge for a while but beeing ones discovered, it doth more harme to the parties that have used it than ever it did good before.
And surelie yf wee thynke that by our own political wisdome in Englande we have hetherto had quietnes wee deceave ourselves greatelie, it is the weakenes of our neighboures who beinge hetherto trowbled cowld never have power to deale agaynst us although they never wanted wil and cowrage. And if wee have been the cawse of this trowble abrode, and fedde the factions (as the worlde gevvethe it out), the policie is not good becawse it is not perpetual but temporarie and for a season, and in the ende the harme wil whollie fawle upon us that are the suspected maynteyners covertlie and underhande of al these foreyne broyles and troubles. Better not deale than not to goe roundelie to worke, and oftentymes a blowe geaven without farther harme dooinge costeth them deare that went no further. It is good for a man either to bee an assured frynde or els to discover hymselfe an open foe.
Thus my Lorde yow see my bolde folie whiche proceeding of good wil can not in reason bee blamed, especiallie of your Lordship being of soche a nature as I knowe yow are.
Don John here foloweth his delite, rydeth his horses on the daie tyme and masketh in the nyght, geaveth audience easelie to al, and applieth hymselfe greatelie to the States' wil. His chief care is to wynne the Prynce to hym and to have the peoples favor here whiche he hath gotte marvelouslie. Upon Tewisdaie next there wilbee greate sporte at the barriers and breakynge of stafes on foote at Conte Lalainges howse, who is thought to. bee verie wel affected to the Prynce. And at this sport Don John wilbee and suppe there with the ladies; upon the returne of the Duke of Arschotte and others from the Prynce your L. shal understande more. In the meane season I doe humblie commende me to your honour, prayinge yow to beare with my longe letter, whiche althoughe it maye bee fraughted with folie, yet it is not voyde of honestie and dewtie soche as I owe to your Lordship.—From Bryssels, this 18 of Maie 1577.
Your Lordship's ever most assured to commande,—
Tho. Wylson.”
4 pp.
459. Export of Hides.
1577, May 29. Warrant under the Privy Signet empowering certain Barbary merchants to transport out of the kingdom and “there to utter and sell the same to their most profit” a quantity of hides imported by them which have been certified by the Wardens of the Grirdlers, Sadlers, and other Companies to be unfit for use and the smell thereof so noisome that it is feared they may breed some infection.—Greenwich, 29 May 1577.
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