Cecil Papers: January 1598

Pages 10-74

Calendar of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House: Volume 23, Addenda, 1562-1605. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1973.

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January 1598

Embassy to France 1598.
1597–98, January 31. "Mr Secretarie Cecill his negotiation into Fraunce.
Althoughe her Matie, according to a resolution taken when Mounsieur de Maissie was last in England, had promissed to send to the Ffrench Kinge some servants of hers of good quallitie to conferre with his Ministers, both to be truely informed of the state of his affaires as also to understand how hee stood affected to the generall treaty of peace offred by the Cardinal Albertus in the behalf of the King of Spaine of the one parte and the Ffrench King, the Queene of England and the States of the United Provinces of the other parte: yet it was not throughly knowne whome her Matie intended to imploy in this service till the beginning or neare the middest of January about which tyme Mr Secretary, Mr Harbart and Sir Thomas Wilkes were nomynated and had instructions signed by her Majestie to this effect ffolowinge:
Instructions for Robert Cecill, our Principall Secretary, sent as our Ambassador to the French King, and for John Harbert, Master of our Requests, and Sir Thomas Wilkes, knight, Clarke of our Counsell, whome wee have likewise appointed comissioners for his better assistance in his present negotiation. Att our Palace of Westminster, the last of January 1597.
Fforasmuch as you our Secretarye are sufficiently accquainted with the substance of the late negotiation of Mounsieur de Massie sent to us from our brother the French Kinge to give us knowledge of an offer of peace made to him on the behalf of the King of Spain, and of the intentions of the said French [King] concerneing the same, it shalbee needlesse here to expresse the particulars of the said negotiation. But that the rest nowe imployed with you in our service may receave knowledge from you of the materiall points of that negotiation, whereby they may the better conceive the effect of these our instructions and the scope of our meaneing in the present ymployments of you and them:
You shall therefore with all diligence, after the receipt of your dispatch, repaire to Roane in Normandy, where wee suppose you shall fynde our brother the French Kinge, and there to him deliver our letteres of credence with all due salutations from us; and shall let him know that (according to our promise signified) wee have sent you our Secretary and you the associates to conferr with such ministers as hee shall appoint on his part, and the deputyes of the Estates of the United Provinces if they shalbee arrived as wee suppose they are, ffor which purpose you may lett him know that you attend his pleasure and direction for tyme and place to bee appointed for conference to bee had amongst you upon the points propounded by Mounsieur de Massie.
Wee thinke it meete (if you see cause) that you have conference with the Ministers of the Ffrench King alone, and of them you shall require to bee informed particularly how the motions of peace from the King of Spaine or the Archduke Albert have proceeded, as well before the repaire of Mounsieur de Maissie to us as since his comeing thither and departure from hence, and what creditt may bee given to the motions, ffor that thereby wee have had cause to remember the disorderly proceeding held with our ministers sent to treate for peace in the yeare 1588 att Ostend and Burborough, wherein you shall relate unto them the manner of treating held at that tyme by the King of Spaine and his ministers, which hath and doth give us cause to doubt of the sincerity of the Kinge of Spaine at this tyme. And for that it is in reason likely that as well the King as his Ministers wilbee earnest with you to understand, upon such satisfaction as they will suppose to have bene given you in this principall point, our inclynation to a peace and what conditions wee will require of the Kinge of Spaine for a pacification with him, that hee may give knowledge of your disposition thereunto and so drawe from the Archduke a direct answeare concerneinge his power to treate in that case with us:
Wee are content you give the Kinge a tast of our inclynation thus farr, that wee shalbee content to hearken to a peace if upon this mutuall conference betweene his ministers and ours with the deputyes of the States wee shall thinke it convenyent to proceed to any treatye.
In this conference with the Ministers of the French King you may happily find whether there bee likelihood of plaine and direct dealing in the Spanish Kinge; or whether the motions for peace are but baites laid to abuse us as in the yeare 1588. Whereupon you shall by conference with the Ministers of the Ffrench King and of the Estates, either severallie or joyntlie as occasion serveth, judge of all circumstances requisite tendinge either to the makeing of peace or contynuance of warre which is the principall cause for which you are sent.
After this conference first with the Ministers of the King alone, if so it happen you shall in the next to bee had with them and the deputyes of the States joyntly consider how farr forth they and wee may bee induced to assent to a treaty of peace on each part, and what reasonable conditions may bee required on either part if it shalbee found requisite to enter into treatye with the comissioners of the Kinge of Spaine:
Ffor you shall not enter into any conference or treaty with any comissioners of the Kinge of Spaine untill after report by you made of your severall conferences with the comissioners of the French Kinge and the Estates, wee shall consider of the advertisements and take a further resolution. And then if you shall determyne to treat of peace our pleasure herein shalbee signified hereafter by what persons wee shall thinke it fitt to bee dealt in.
And albeit as a Christian Princesse wee doe heartilye wish and desire peace for us and our estate, kingdome and people, and would acknowledge the same as a speciall blessing of God, yet are wee in wisdome and providence to consider how the same may bee of assurance to us and noe masqued peace whereby wee might bee drawne into danger to our irreparable hurt. And for that wee have had antient confederacy with the people of the Provinces United, for both our securityes, our speciall desire is that if wee shall discend to treate of peace they may bee con cluded in the same with conditions sufficient of securitie, otherwise wee shalbee unwilling to accept of any peace for our selves.
Our meaneing therefore is that you with the comissioners of the Ffrench Kinge shall effectually consider of such conditions of peace as shalbee required by the comissioners of the States if they shall inclyne to a peace, and of what necessity they bee and how many of them may well bee forborne for the present. And in case the same demaunds or any of them shall seeme unreasonable, whereby you maye gather their inclynations to bee rather to warr then to peace, you, finding the offers of the Kinge of Spaine in reason acceptable for the security of the Estates, shall with the ministers of the French Kinge by conference with the said deputies travaile to perswade them to frame their demaunds agreable to honor and reason.
But if the comissioners for the Estates shall willfully refuse all perswasions to peace and to condescend to reasonable conditions such as ought to content them, then by common consent of you and of the comissioners of the Ffrench Kinge they shalbee informed of thinconveniencies that of necessity must followe their willfull determination, that is, that either the French Kinge or wee for the benefitt of our owne countries and people must accept of a peace with conditions for our selves, and leave them to theire owne fortune; or els for standing for them the warre must bee contynued for theire respects onely, wherein they are to consider of the burthen of the charge they must of necessity undergoe, not onely in maynteyneing forces to defend themselves, but also to assist us and the French King to maynteyne a warre without certeinty of charge to bee throwne upon us.
Moreover they must advise how to answeare our charge for the succors already yeilded to them by the space of divers yeares past.
To conclude, when you shall throughly have enformed your selves of all particularities needfull, wherby to discerne the true purposes of the Spanish Kinge in the offer of peace, and shall have found by your diligente travaile and indeavors the direct intentions of the Ffrench Kinge and how farr he hath already proceeded with the King of Spaine (a matter which wee do speciallie commende to your care), and that you shall have seene the purposes of the Estates and their determination to have peace or warre, you shall with all expedition advertize your proceedings and what shall have appeared to you in every particular together with your opinions. And because it were a matter to us full of difficultye to prescribe unto you a way of proceedinge in this our service, considering the same will and doth consist of many points, wee must and doe referre to your discretions the manner and course you are to hold herein. Not doubting but you in your experiences and duty to us (haveing this light of instructions) wilbee carefull to furnish your selves with the knowledge of all other matters and circumstances whereupon wee may addresse our judgements and resolutions to imbrace peace or to contynue warre as shalbee best for our Royall safetie.
And forasmuch as in this conference there will many things fall into consideration and debate amongst you which hath beene heretofore handled on all sides, sometime betweene Spaine and France and Burgundie apart from us, sometyme between England and Spaine, and other times betweene the Low Countryes and Spaine alone, and lately betweene us and the Low Countryes, wee have thought fitt provisionally to instance you so farr by this memoriall as yow may in no discourse bee found ignorant of forme and proceeding in like cases, nor bee unfurnished how to proceede now in the conferences in the discussing of this hard question of peace or warre with consideration of all difficulties riseing on every side as hereafter followeth:
Ffirst, yow shall declare to the Kinges Ministers that wee at the first motion hereof had cause to remember the disorderlie proceedings of such as treated with our comissioners in the yeare 1588 at Ostend and Burborrough, where long tyme was spente of purpose and delayes used by the Spanish Councellors to give tyme to the Kinge of Spaine to have his great navye in readines upon the sea, and the Duke of Parma to have his army by land in the Low Countries. And though they had given out in the Dukes name that hee had sufficient comission from the Kinge of Spaine to treat of peace, yet by proofe it followed that there could bee shewed no such comission sent from the King. But after many delayes a comission was shewed onely warranted by the Duke of Parma. And for the proof of ill meaneing secretly hidd under faire language, many points tending to make a peace being offred privately by some of the Kings comissioners, the same at publique treatyes was by the same particular persons denyed against the oathes of credible persons produced by our comissioners to avowe the same.
And besides these disorders the Kinges comissioners finally pretended to lack authority to assent to diverse speciall articles propounded to them, being very necessary and indifferent to the good conclusion of the universall peace both betwixt us and the King of Spaine and the Estates of the Low Countries and the saide Kinge.
With all which disorderly proceedinges none are more accquainted and privye then the President Richardott whome wee understand now to have bene specially used by the Archduke for communication att this tyme with the French Kings Ministers. And for theis and such like respects, wee did doubt at the first to answeare Mounsieur de Maissie, shewing to him those reasons wherewith wee were moved to doubt of the sincerity of the Spaniard at this time. Yet, neverthelesse, yow may say that wee are well contented that after yow have heard of the manner of the proceedings on the Archdukes part, how the same maie bee waighed to bee good or badd, shall you by conference with the Kings ministers and the comissioners of the Low Countries consider of all circumstances requisite tending either to the making of a peace or the contynuance of the warre. If the Kinges Ministers shall urge unto yow their facillity to have a peace, according to Maissies declaration agreable to that of Chastian Cambresie, you may then remember unto them by way of argument that in that peace the Ffrench King is to have restored unto him divers of his townes and fforts in Picardye as Callais, Arders, Chasterlet, and likewise his Duchie of Brittanie made free. But whether those things shalbee performed there is some reason to doubt, especially for Brittanie to which the Infanta of Spaine maketh title by her mother and the Spaniards in possession of divers townes thereof. Besides this it is to bee doubted how the warrs with the Duke of Savoy shalbee compounded.
And it is to bee considered that if all conditions shalbee performed that were included at Chastean Cambresye, there was at that tyme speciall provision made that wee as Queene of England should have after certaine yeares the towne of Callais with the members thereunto belonging restored to us, which conditions were as reasonable to bee graunted now by the Ffrench Kinge as it was at the same tyme at Chastean Cambryse, where consideration maye bee had, that by the consent of the Kinge of Spaine the same may bee nowe effected without contradiction of the Ffrenche Kinge, consideringe hee oweth unto us as great summes as the towne of Callais is worth.
But of this matter concerneinge the conditions for the Ffrench Kinge wee meane not further to enlarge unto you, though it bee requisite ffor yow to shew that you are not ignorant of such thinges if occasion bee offred. Ffor as for matters betweene him and us there may further communication bee had hereof to cleare such matters as remayne in suspence betweene us, especiallie concerneing great sommes due by the said Kinge unto us whereof at tyme convenient yow may give some remembrance by speeches without any manifest manner of demaundinge reimbursements. But if the Kinge himself bee not disposed to remember the same as his debt, you may object and as ab improviso make mention thereof therby to binde him to have regard to our state that hath bene engaged by our assistance of him, not onely since hee became Kinge of Fraunce but also for preservation of him to come to that Crowne.
Secondlie, for the state and condition of us as Quene of England with the Kinge of Spaine, yow are in your conference to consider as well of the difficultyes that doe arise both by the matter of the peace and by the warre.
Ffor the first, in the matter of peace are to bee considered a multitude of thinges requisite to bee had, amongst which cheiflie are theis which were propounded in Anno 1588 at Barborough.
That in makeing of peace the antient treaties of peace betwixt the Emperor Charles as Duke of Burgundy and King Hen. 8, our father, may be remembred and confirmed both for amitye and for the entercourse, with abolition of all that passed contrarie to the said treatyes from the beginning of both our raignes. And when tyme shall serve, especiall provision to bee made and added to the same treatise that our subjects maie use theire lawfull trade of merchandize in all the Kings dominions that were in the possession of the Emperor Charles at the tyme of the said antient treatye without any trouble by reason of the ecclesiasticall inquisition, so as they give no open occasion where they shall traffique for merchandize to the contempt of the Catholique religion; and when tyme shalbee to add any thinge to the antient treatye, it shalbee necessarie to have speciall covenants for mutuall traffique betweene our subjects and the subjects of Portugall for the common benefitt of them both, for that at the tyme of the treatise betweene the Emperor and King Hen. 8, the kingdome of Portugal was not subject to the Kinge of Spaine, but was in good amity by antient treatye betweene the King of England and the Kinge of Portugal. And so it shalbee good for the subjects of both countryes to have such treatyes renewed as hath bene betwene the kingdomes of England and Portugal.
Of all these thinges, if the Kinge should discourse with you, wee thinke it fitt you bee provisionally informed.
Furthermore, wee have also just cause to demaund satisfaction for great sommes of mony lent to the Estates that were att Bruxells holding the part of the Kinge in Anno 1577, who being destitute of money to mainteyne them in the Kings obedience did at that tyme by sundry ambassadors require to borrow great sommes of moneye in the Kinges name, which was willingly for the Kings service delivered to such as are now in creditt for their service to the Kinge of Spaine, as by their obligations, when tyme shall require, shalbee manifest.
Item, it shalbee also most necessary to bee thought of for contynuance of peace, that the Estates of Holand and Zealand and other provinces united to them may be restored to quietnes and to bee made free and possesse all the antient liberties which hee [sic] held at the Kings entrye, for without the restitution of them to theire antient libertyes and to bee free from all oppression of strangers, it is so necessary for us to see the assurance thereof as without it noe good peace for us is likely to bee contynued.
And for matter to bee considered to the benefitt of the Estates, though their comissions are most sufficient to remember the particularities requisite for their owne assurance, yet for your remembrance (whereof you cannot bee ignorant) the most ordinary meanes for their assurance are these:
Ffirst, that the pacification att Gaunt made in Anno 1576 is necessarie to bee observed, which pacification was ratified by the Kinge of Spaine and the prelates, nobles and townes of all the provinces obeying the Kinge representing the Estates of the said countryes in November 1576; and after that confirmed by Don Juan de Austria at his entrye into the goverment at La Marchffame in Ffebruary 1577, at which tyme is to bee remembred that in the 18th Article of the peace there is a speciall provision that all the obligations made by the Estates with any that did assist them shalbee answerable to furnish money to serve for such as did aide them, and principally by name thus expressed: —The most high and mighty Princesse the Kings deare sister, the Queene of England,—which speciall provision is to bee remembred when time shalbee to treat thereof.
Secondlye, that all the forces of strangers being souldiers may bee sent out of the Low Countries, as well out of the provinces nowe obeying the Kinge as out of the United Provinces of Holland, Zeland and the rest. And therefore if peace may bee graunted to the United Provinces, it is most necessarie that the Estates may bee warranted to levy so much money as by their bonds unto us they owe; and for some part of the said money the townes of Antwerpe, Burges, Gaunt, Newport, Dunkerk and Brussels are also bound, for the which they are to contribute for theire portions. And upon satisfaction made to us the two townes which wee have for our assurance may be delivered into possession of such as held them when we entred into them.
Many other conditions there are to bee considered for the benefitt of the Estates which wilbee manifested unto yow by themselves at your conference, without obteyning wherof to the said Estates wee shalbee very unwilling to accept any peace for our selves. And upon the discussions of those conditions will rest in good likelyhood the finall successe of this cause now comitted to your charge. So as either peace may bee accepted with such reasonable conditions for the Estates, or if it shalbee thought that such reasonable conditions canott be by any treatye obteyned, then the said Estates must yeild to beare of greater charge for the warre to be contynued by the French Kinge and us then hitherto they have yeilded, which onely for theire benefitt and assurance shalbee contynued though to our great charges without anie profitt to our selves; consideringe if it were not in respect of the surety of the said States and their countryes wee mighte both have peace upon reasonable conditions betwixt us and the Kinge of Spaine, and so thereby wee should bee free from all callamityes that the warres have brought and may bring both to our countries and people.
And upon the consideration of these difficulties which concernes the Estates, both of the Ffrench Kinges ministers and yow, you shall use the best reasons you can to perswade them to hearken to a peace and to make their demaunds for conditions with the Kinge of Spaine soe reasonable as in honor may bee required of him, and maye also bee sufficient for their assurance to live in peace and to enjoy all theire libertyes, and namely to have the freedome of theire religion, which they now professe. And in the debateing hereof they may bee remembred what thinges were agreed upon before tyme in the tyme of the Prince of Orange, speciallie by the Pacification at Gaunt Anno 1576, and by the Colloquies after that in the tyme that the Kinges Councell of Estate att Brusells tooke armes to expell the Spaniards, which act of theires was allowed by especiall placcarde of the King dated at Brussells in December 1577. And the same placcarde also confirmed by the Estates Generall at Brussells the same day, and which also was by a confederation made in January 1578 solemnely accorded by the prelates, men of the church, Lords, gentlemen, magistrates of townes and castles representing the States of all the Low Countries and being under the obedience of Kinge Philipp.
After which also followed in July 1578 a solemne publique Act both by the Councell of State and the Estates Generall of the Low Countries assembled in Antwerpe by which a generall peace was established for all the Low Countries, and besides the ratifieing of the pacification at Gaunt a great number of articles were there allowed in the reformed religion professessed [sic] in Holand and Zealand. The review of which Acts and other the like soe passed in favor of all the provinces of the Low Countryes may seeme at this tyme to make reasonable projects for the demaunds to bee made for the Estates of Holand and Zeland and thother Provinces United.
And though at the treaty begunn 1588 at Ostend the Estates of the Low Countries were not then ready to joyne without comissioners for the treaty of peace at that tyme, yet (as you John Harbert doe best knowe) upon your sollicitation in our name the Estates of Ffrizeland by deputyes of Ostergo and Westergo, the 7 Silve comonly called the 7 wolden and cittyes did assent and determyne to enter into treaty by meanes of us or our deputyes upon reasonable conditions with the Kinge of Spaine and his deputyes, which act of theirs was ratified the 6 of December 1587 and signed by sundry of the Estates of that province comonly called the land of Omland, the remembrance wherof may serve at this tyme as a good induction for yow to perswade the comissioners of Estates to assent to the like.
And if hereupon, notwithstanding all the perswasion, the comissioners of Estates shall not bee induced to hearken to a treaty of peace, or though they should agree therto yet if they could not condiscend to require reasonable conditions such as ought to content them, then by common consent of the Kings Ministers and yow they may bee informed of the inconvenience that of necessity must thereof [follow], that is:
That either the Ffrench King and wee shall for the benefitt of our owne countries and people accept of a peace with conditions for ourselves and leave the Estates to themselves at their owne wills unprovided for, and still subject to a civill warre; or els by standing for them and forbearing to accept our owne peace the warre must bee contynued onely in respect of them, which if it shalbee so resolved the Estates are to consider what charges they ought to bee at, besides the maynteynance of their owne forces, to assist both us and the French Kinge to hould out such a warre as wilbee uncertaine what the charge thereof may grow unto aswell by sea as land.
And likewise they are to consider how wee may bee reimbursed of our great sommes of money and other charges theis many yeares yeilded to them without any manner of satisfaction or gratuity for the same. And if the comissioners of the Estates (being charged to beare the burthen of the warres which shall contynue for their sakes) shall seeme desirous to understand wherin their charges should be required above theire former expences and actions, it may bee said, as to the charges by them to be borne for the Ffrench Kinge, yow will leave it to bee answered by the French Kings ministers.
But for answering to them to satisfy our charges, yow may alledge that although it bee a thing uncertaine to be esteemed, yet in two things wee doe thinke to bee releived of our former burthens.
The one is to have some good portion of money expended by us and sent to them, to bee repayed towards the maynteynance of our charges in the warres that shalbee contynued.
The second is, considering wee are like onely to bee burthened with the mightye forces of the Kinge of Spaine by sea, that wee may bee assisted at all times, when wee shall prepare our navye to the seas to withstand the Spaniard, with some good number of shipps and soldiers of the Lowe Countries to joyne with ours, which charges they may with more reason beare.
Ffor the first, consideringe that they have had so long tyme and so many yeares the benefitt of our aide both with money and men without any repayment of anie sommes or any manner of helpe untill those two late journeyes by assistance of shipping wherein they are able to doe great things, considering both their abundance of shipps and that the King of Spaine, the common enemy, hath and doth only attempt to offend us and our country by sea without any hostillity used against them by sea:
Yow, the Secretary, if yow shall see Mounsieur de Lencye [sic], may as of yourself remember him of his bonds joyntly with the Duke of Bulloigne, and both their promises for the payment of 20,000 crownes which oughte to have bene paide more then twenty monethes since.
Yow may also at the same tyme remember him of the contract made at his beinge in England for the payment of the charges of certaine forces lent to the King at the seidge of Amyons, for the answering whereof the Kings bond under his great seale is here in England for the payment of 66,000 crownes and odd money which was for thentertainement of the English forces only for 6 monethes, and yet the forces have contynued there above 15 monethes. If by this remembrance unto him the money may bee gotten, you shall doe good service.
And if upon the allegation of these thinges which may bee fitt for us to require (if a treatie should bee begunne the French Kinge shall require some memoriall of our demaunds) you may privately deliver them unto him for his remembrance though not signed authentically as our comissioners.
Finallie, considering there are like to arise soe many difficultyes upon those your conferences, for to induce all parties to enter into a publique treaty and an accord for a peace, as the same cannott without some length of tyme bee well discussed and resolved or reconcluded, especiallie considering the distance of place of the King of Spaine from France, England and the Low Countries, to which three he is the principall enemy: for that purpose it wilbee necessary that reasonable tyme bee given to have us all, the three Kinges and States of the Lowe Countries, to bee fully and largely from tyme to tyme informed of all the circumstances of the said difficulty [sic? difficulties] concerneing us all, both severallie and jointly, as, by common concord of conditions of peace may bee assented unto. And therefore yow, our comissioners (if such difficulties and doubts shall arise as cannott at this your being there bee discussed) shall consider with the French Kinge and the Estates comissioners, either by speech joyntlie or severallie as you shall see cause in respect of the three causes aforesaide, how a truce may bee made betwixt the Kinge of Spaine and his Leivetenant the Archduke on the one parte, and the French Kinge and us, as Queene of England, and the States of the United Provinces on the other parte. So as the same truce may have contynuance for no lesse tyme then 13 monethes after 28 daies to a moneth, and bee graunted and confirmed by every party interchangeablie, not onely by writeing subscribed and sealed in authentique manner but also by oath to bynd every of us to the observation of the said truce. And if this shalbee allowed of, then by the French Kinges meanes as of himself the same may bee propounded to such of the Archdukes Ministers as have occasion to deale with the Ffrench Kinge, and to proceed therein as shalbee found necessarie to determyne the same; wherein upon knowledge from yow how the same shall proceed, wee will let yow understand our further determination before yow grow to any conclusion.
And if it shall happen that after all these forcible arguments used to dissuade the French Kinge from makeinge peace with the Spaniard in either sort then by comprehending his allyes, the King shall urge yow to make him some offer of assistance against the common enemy, seeing wee doe not allowe of his falling from us to any pacification yow may then in generall tearmes thus answer him:
That as wee are still in eminent expectation of invasion by the Spaniard (a matter wherwith the whole world is filled) besides our charges in Ireland by the rebellion there maynteyned, wee cannott in any just reason be invited to any auxiliary charges wherby to weaken ourselves. So by the experience of our former proceedings with him hee shall not need to doubt but if wee see the blow to have likely his lighting place on him, wee will bee ready as ever were to assist him by all such meanes as shalbee agreable to the condition of our affayres.
Subscribed heere in the foote by Mr Secretary himselfe.
Ffor the finishing of this dispatch there were also written diverse letters of creditt from her Matie to the King, to Madam his sister, to the Constable and Duke of Bouillon, besides a Privy Seale for the comissioners dyetts.
Whereby Mr Secretary was to have for himself iiii1 per diem allowance. And the rest 50s per diem a peice.
There was also one other letter of speciall importance written with her Mats owne hand. (fn. 1)
Though these instructions and whatsoever els belonged to the negotiation were soone perfected and made ready when once her Mats pleasure was knowne whome she intended to imploy therein, yet there was some protraction used both before the dispatch was presented to her Majesties signature and likewise afterwards onely of purpose, as it should seeme, that the Estates Deputyes, Justitian Nassaue and Mounsier Barnevelt, might bee past by in the Narrow Seas towards France before her Mats comissioners did set forth.
Att length it being well perceived that the Estates used extraordinary protraction thereby discovering their unwillingness to enter into conference, especially seeing it tended to pacification, it was then resolved no longer to attend their comeing, and the rather because the Ffrench King, whose presence in Brittanie was necessarily required, grew impatient that the conference was so long deferred. Therefore the dispatch being ready, all provisions shipt and gone, and Mr Harbert and Sir Thomas Wilkes with most of the company gone to Dover, Mr Secretary himselfe followed the tenth of February, being accopnayed with the Earle of Southampton, the Lord Thomas Howard, the Lord Cobham, Sir Walter Raleigh with diverse others.
Hee tooke barge at the Duchie House and went to Gravesende by water. Then he tooke coach and horses and rode the same day to Sittingborne, being mett in the way by Sir George Delves and Mr Cromer who accompanyed him to the George, being the Postmasters house where hee was lodged.
Heere Mr Merediths man overtooke us and delivered to Mr Secretary a jewell from the Queene.
[Marginal note: 11 Ffebr.] This day being Satterday and as stormy weather as ever was travayled in, hee rode to Canterbury where he dyned at the Sarazens Head being the Postmasters house, and wrote some private letters by the ordinary post to my Lord Treasorer and some other of his freinds.
In the afternoone hee rode to Dover, and was mett at Barham Downe by Sir Henry Parmer, Sir Thomas Wilford and some other gentlemen, both of Kent, and such as were gone before to Dover with purpose to accompany him over. Hee was lodged at one Kemps house nere the Castle.
[Marginal note: 12 Ffebr.] This day Mr Tomkins arrived with letters from my Lord of Essex whereunto Mr Secretary made answere by post at seaven of the clock of the eveninge. Hee likewise sent his servant Shepeard to London this afternoone by whome he writ a private letter to my Lord Treasurer.
This afternoone order was taken for placeinge the gentlemen in her Mats shipps in this sorte:
Mr Secretary
Earle of Southampton
Sir George Carew
Mr Norris
Sir Alexander Ratcliffe
Mr Wroth
Mr Harbert Crofts
Mr Warburton
Mr Thynn
Mr Beeston
Mr Doyley
Mr Maynard
Mr John Ratcliffe
Mr Meredith
The Chaplaine with some of
Mr Secretaries servants
Mr Paget
Mr Stanley
Sir Charles Blount
Sir James Wootton
Mr Throgmorton
Mr Slingsby
The Swedland Gent.
Mr Daniel
Mr Crane
Mr Harbert
Mr Maurice Berkley
Doctor Crompton
Mr Cope
Mr Tufton
Mr Studdall
Mr Hubberd
Mr Cooke
Mr Philipps
Sir Thomas Wilkes
Mr Ffrancis Mannors
Mr Vane
Mr Cuttes
Mr Turvyle
Mr Corbett
Mr Cannon
Mr Smyth
with most of Mr Secretaries servants.
The Moone her Mats pinnasse served to transport Mr Secretaries trunks and other provisions which were shipped the xiiith of this instant Ffebruary.
[Marginal note: 13 Ffebr.] This day one Russells, a French gentleman, being sent from the French Kinge to the Estates, arrived at Dover from the Lowe Countryes, by reason of contrary wynds. Mr Secretary had long conference with him.
Hee received letters this evening from the Lord Treasurer, the Earle of Essex, Sir John Stanhope, Mr Grevill, and Mr Wade brought by John Symonds.
[Marginal note: 14th] The 14th my Lord Thomas Howard, my Lord Cobham, Sir Walter Raleigh with others retorned to the Court. Mr Secretary wrote a letter of thankes for the jewell hee received from her.
My Lord Cobham had the letter to deliver. Hee (Cecil) writ by post to my Lord Treasurer and a private letter to my Lord of Essex for a supply of xx daies victualls for the 800 soldiers sent out of Picardy for Ireland, and driven to the Downes by contrary winds.
The same day Peter Browne arrived with a letter from Mr Edmonds conteyneinge some speech betweene the Marshall Byron and him concerneing the treatye. The letter was forthwith sent to London to my Lord Treasurer, being dated at Paris the 17th of Ffebruary, and it conteyned in effect this much:
[Marginal note: The effect of Mr Edmonds letter.] That the King did comunicate with him the first dispatch which hee received from Vervin which conteyned great offers of the Cardinalls part shewing his necessity and his feare. And that they intended conference with Mr Secretary, and the comissioners of the Lowe Countries may further engage the French King into a warre against him.
That therefore hee doth seeke peace at any hand, promising the delivery of Callais and Ardrees within two monethes after the conclusion of the treatye, and within another moneth following to restore thother places, Douelans, le Chasteylett and La Capelle and to rase Blavett.
That for assurance hereof sufficient hostages should be delivered.
And that the accord should be reduced to the same state and conditions as it was last made in the yeare 59.
That the Cardinall pretended to demaund that tearme onely to procure money to withdraw the garrison.
That the Spanish comissioners were willing to have signed those offers, and urged those of the Kinges part to have also subscribed, thereby to have concluded his owne treatye, promiseing that they would afterwards treate with her Majesty and those of the Low Countryes, but it was refused by the French Kings comissioners to advance the one before the other
And because it appeared they are not as yet sufficiently authorized to treate with her Maty, they demaunded pasport to send into Spaine for more ample power.
That the King had given pasport in name of the Legate, and had answered that hee would resolve of nothing till the comeinge of Mr Secretary and the comissioners of the Estates.
It was also said to bee moreover promised on the behalf of the Duke of Savoy that Bresse shall remaine to the King in exchange of the Marquisitt of Saluce.
This was the substance of that letter concerneing this matter.
[Marginal note: 15th.] The 15th of this moneth Mr Secretary receaved letters from the Lord Admirall conteyneing an advise of a fleet from Spaine discovered about the mowth of the Silve.
To this letter hee made answer the same afternoone by an ordinary post.
This day Shepheard retornd and brought with him letters from Sir John Stanhopp to Mr Secretary with an advice from Brittanie sent by Captain Prynne. Hee brought also the copies of ciphers betweene Mr Secretary and such as hee doth ymploy for matter of intelligence in forreigne parts. This advise came that xxxvii saile of shipps were to come for Callais with 4000 men from Spaine, whereupon notice was given to Sir Robert Crosse, being at the Downes, to the end he might plye over in the morneinge with her Maties shipps which was done accordinglie.
The next morneing, being the 16th, Mr Secretary himself rode to the Downes with an intent to have gone over with the shipps, but they had all weighed before his comeinge, whereupon he retorned to Dover where he mett with Captaine Poore, by whome he was advertized that the Spanishe fleet entred into the harbor of Callais yesternight.
The same day Mr Secretary writt twice to the Lords at ten in the forenoone and three in the afternoone.
[Marginal note: 17th.] The 17th, after hee had made a dispatch to the Lords, hee imbarqued himself in the afternoone and sett sale about 5 of the clock.
[Marginal note: 18th. Deepe.] The 18th arrived at Deepe about fower of the clock in the afternoone, where Mounsieur de la Boderie, a Mr d'Hostell of the Kinges did attend his comeing and delivered him a letter from the King. (fn. 2)
[Marginal note: 19th Febr.] To this letter Mr Secretary made an answere the next day, being the xixth, in this sort following, and sent the same by a French carrier which attended Mounsieur de la Boderie. (fn. 3)
Mounsieur de Chate who comaunds this towne was absent when wee entred it, being buisyed at Kilboufe about his sea preparation. Howbeit his lewetenant enterteyned us very kindly. And in the eveninge the comaunder himself came home.
This afternoone Mr Tomkins, a gentleman of the Earl Marshalls, was dispatched for England by him. Mr Secretary writt to the Queene and likewise a joynt letter from him, Mr Harbert and Sir Tho. Wilkes to the Lords to this effect:
[Marginal note: 19 February. A joynt letter to the Lords.]
May it please your Lordshipps. Being now arrived here at Deepe after a good and convenyent passage from Dover by Gods favor, wee thinke it our part to advertize your Lordshipps of the same as desirous to omitt no circumstances that may concerne our cares and dutyes in this service.
Att our arrivall wee found Mounsieur de la Bodiere, Mr d'Hostell of the Kinges, a gentleman of very good fashion and understandinge, by whome I the Secretary received this letter which here I send your Lordshipps. And to the intent yow may receive what course wee meane to hold, I send your Lordshipps the coppie of that answer which I have returned to the King, being moved by this gentleman to write some thing because he was to dispatch away a carrier presently towards the King. [Marginal note: The 2 precedent French letters.]
How the same may like her Matie I know not, onely this I may say as wee finde thinges here disposed, it is such as wee have all thought fitt to returne, ffor as wee doubt not but her Matie would thinke our imployments to little purpose if wee should not beginne with the principall head to whome wee are addressed. So to the intent that our advancements further may give the King lesse collour of excuseing his absence, though indeed wee find that the estate of Brittanie did violently presse his owne presence, wee doe resolve by easie journeyes to passe to Paris where wee doe meane to forbeare any formall colloquy with any of his ministers other then by way of discourse untill we shall heare from himselfe what course hee will then direct us for our accesse to him. And beinge now come over hither, wee are most willing to remove rather then to abide at Roan where wee shall dispaire to speak with him and live in darknes without any manner of meanes to understand thinges to any purpose; there being on this point no other difference considering her Mats honnor then our further paine and charge, which to mynds that are desirous to undertake all things which may deserve her Mats acceptation, no such second considerations can move any difficulties. And forasmuch as by the last letters that came to Mounsieur de la Ffountaine it seemed there was some course resolved on to draw to the Cardinall new powers from Spaine, wee thinke this course of ours fittest which, notwithstanding, wee doe humblie submitt to your Lordshipps favourable interpretation of our desires at all tymes and in all things to doe the best wee can.
When wee are at Paris, if wee bee drawne further, it shalbee unto a good country and where wee shalbee better accomodated, in which case two hundred miles rideing were better bestowed to deale with the King personally then to passe as farr as this place onlye to treat with subjects.
Besides wee shall have this other advantage to speake with him before the deputyes of the Estates have flattered and raised him, and shalbee returned to Paris by that tyme they come thither, who being members of a popular state have not so much cause to value themselves as wee that are the humble servants of so great and glorious a monarche, they happily not meaneing to presse accesse to the King but resolveing to content themselves with conferences with his ministers. They are not yet arrived but to [sic: do] attend the firste puffe of wynde, diverse of their bagages being landed and (as wee heare) they meane to follow the Dutch bravery by comeing with 60 horse all of a colour.
Wee have certified the Kinges Mr d'Hostell of the new discent of the Spaniards thereby to give the King some alarum to draw him neare, ffor after his owne presence in Brittanie hath disposed the mynds of those that have voluntary purposes to become his servants,
It is conceived that the Constable, who was left for us at Paris, shall remayne with the armye in Brittanie (where force shalbee needfull), and the King returne to have aydes to the Low Countryes army where he shall finde another manner of avenge.
Although it be very true that the same was in great misery before theis last supplies came to Callais, which are notwithstand ing a miserable company but that they are naturall Spaniards for the most part, and so more trustie to reinforce two garrisons.
The Governor of this towne haveinge longe attended for us was constrayned to goe to Kilbevy where hee hath much of the sea preparations which are intended for Brittanye, and is appointed to be Admirall there. But hee hath left his Lewetenant Governor heere who is ready to afford us all good usage.
On Tuesday wee meane to goe to Roan to bedd, where likewise Mounsier de Montpensier remayneth. Wee are informed that there are ten or twelve thousand men left ready to defend the ffrontiers. How true it is wee know not but by the Marshall Byron, Generall of those troopes in his government of Burgoigne.
Thus haveing troubled your Lordshipps long wee doe humbly take our leaves, being desirous to take the first comoditie of sending back as wee doe by this gentleman towards my Lord of Essex, who came over with Sir Allexander Ratcliffe for company and is returned from Deepe the xixth of February.
Directed to the Lord Treasurer, the Earl Marshal and the Lord Admiral of England.
The xxth of this moneth there was another written by the comissioners to the Lords wherein was sent another letter of Mr Edmonds brought from Paris by old Painter, by whome the dispatch following was sent into England. 20 Febr.
May it please your good Lordshipps. In the enclosed addressed to me, the Secretary, from her Mats agent at Paris, there is expressed a discourse delivered unto him by the Marshall Byron, whereby your Lordshipps may perceave how necessarie it wilbee for us to present our selves to the Kinge before any conference had by us with his ministers, and how unwillinge the Kinge seemeth to bee wee would have speech or discourse with the Constable untill wee shall first have spoken to him.
Moreover wee thinke it fitt in our owne opinions and agreable with our instructions that wee take our ymediate light first from the King whose disposition wee shall best discerne, and by the meanes of our aboade unto him shall have meanes the better to discover the trueth of thinges, therby to direct our courses in this.
The furthest places of our travaile (as wee conceave) wilbee Towers or Argieres, and both in good countryes ffor the comodity of passage by waters, victualls and other necessaryes for our present uses.
The other part of Mr Edmonds letter wee humblie leave to your Lordshipps grave consideration, haveing thus breiflie noted unto you so much as doth confirme our resolution to passe with as convenient diligence as wee may to the Kings presence as most availeable to her Mats service, hopeing, though our journey bee further then wee thought yet beginning in the right place, first that wee shall drawe our selves and others afterwards nearer to finish in some other place as much as by our instructions (which specially tend to matters of inquisitions) wee are directed.
Att Deepe xxth of February.
[Marginal note: 21th] The xxlth the comissioners and all the gentlemen dyned with the Governor, being therto solemnly invited.
[Marginal note: 22th] The 22th wee removed from Deepe to Roan and dyned by the way at Tobas, to which place the Governor of Deepe brought us.
Heere Mounsieur Villers mett with us and brought us to Roan, being accompanyed with some 20 gentlemen well horst, being sent of purpose as it should seeme by Mounsieur Montpensier, who did himself meet with the comissioners halfe a mile out of Roan, and conducted them to their lodgeinge, being L Hostell Vanderell, where the Duke Montpensier had caused a chamber to bee hung with very rich hangings of his owne with a faire bed for Mr Secretary.
[Marginal note: 23th.] This daie the comissioners and all the gentlemen dyned with the Duke, of whome they had great enterteynement. And in the evening the gentlemen were invited to a banquet and danceing. The Premiez President of this towne came to visitt Mr Secretarie.
This day Sir Henry Davers and Mr Edmonds arrived in this towne from Paris.
[Marginal note: 24th] This 24th a dispatch was sent to the Lords.
[Marginal note: 25th] The 25th Sir Thomas Wilkes fell dangerously ill of a feaver. Mr Edmonds retorned to Paris.
[Marginal note: 27th] The 27th the dispatch following was made to the Lords and sent by Jasper, Sir John Stanhops man.
[Marginal note: Dispatch to the Lords the 27th February.]
May it please your Lordshipps. Since wee did joyne in letter to your Lordshipps of the fower and twentieth, being ready to depart from hence to Paris, to which Sir Thomas Wilkes subscribed, it hath pleased God to our no small greif to visitt him with a very sharpe feaver full of badd accidents and sweatings, contynuall sleeping and great decaye of strength universallie.
Hee hath beene ill disposed ever since our comeing to Dover, but since our landinge in appearance throughlie mended. By this accident our stay hath bene here very longe ever since Wensday, at which tyme wee resolved to have parted on Friday towards Paris. But now that it appeareth that the best that can bee lookt for is a slow recovery, wee have thought it very necessary to depart. And if it bee Gods pleasure that hee doe recover, wee hope hee may come after us to Paris by that tyme wee are returned from the King, and then assist us when all such persons shalbee assembled that must joyne in conference.
In the meane tyme wee have caused consultations of physitians and have left a very honest man of his acquaintance named Breasda for to attend him, though his estate in such a nature must more shew itself then medicine. Wee are right sorry of this misfortune and pray to God to alter it, to whose pleasure and providence wee must committ it. And soe wee humbly take our leave.
From Roan xxviith of Febr.
This very day, after the finishinge of this dispatch, Mr Secretary and Mr Harbert removed from Roan towards Paris. They lay the first night at Margene and Mounsieur Villiers accompanyed them in the way some 4 or 5 myles.
[Marginal note: 28th. Pontois] The 28th they came to Pontois and were lodged att the Archbishopp of Roanes possessed by Mounsieur de Allen Court who is sonne to Mounsieur Villeroye, the Kinges Principall Secretary.
The Governor of this towne was said to bee here though he shewed not himself. And his wife lay sick in the towne. Mr Secretary sent Mr Phillips to visitt her.
Here the carrier that was sent from Deepe to the Kinge mett with us and brought a letter to Mr Secretary in answeare of his the xixth. (fn. 4)
There was also at the same tyme another letter of the King written to Mounsieur de la Bodire with which Mr Secretary was made accquainted. (fn. 4)
March 5. Paris.
The first of March wee came to Paris and dyned by the way at St Dennys, where some tyme was spent before dynner in veiwing the monuments of the church.
Mr Edmonds mett us on the way betweene Paris and St. Dennys, and conducted Mr Secretary to his lodgeing, being a faire and spacious howse of the Duke Montpensiers in the streete called Rue de Cock.
[Marginal note: 2]—This day Mr Secretary was visited by divers as Mounsieur de Maissie, Seigniour Cantorini, Agent for the State of Venice, Anthony Peres and Mounsieur Madeny, Agent for the States of the Lowe Countryes.
[Marginal note: 3] The third of this moneth Mr Secretary writt to the Lords the dispatch following:
May it please your Lordshipps. Wee are now arrived at Paris soe farr onward on our way to the King, haveing made our journeys the lesse because wee were desirous to find some answere there of the letter which I, the Secretary, writt to the King upon my arrivall at Deepe, which hath fallen out accordinglie as may appeare by this letter inclosed, as also by the coppy of a letter written to his Mr d'Hostell which attends us this voyage, which wee have thought good alsoe to send to your Lordshipps because it conteynes some particulers.
It is very true that the nearer wee draw to the center of this kingdome, the more wee gather of the state wherein th'affaires doth presently stand, of which for the present your Lordshipps may assure your selves of this one thing: that this country that hath endur'd a warre of that perpetuity both needeth and affecteth peace universallie. And howsoever it may bee well argued that the makeing of peace will give Spaine breath and meanes to prevaile in any enterprize against all his enemyes hereafter when his appetite shall serve him to breake out into warre, yet this is firmely stood upon by all here (and not without reason) that by the same repose Ffraunce, of any country in the world, will soonest flourish upon laying down of armes. So as if the consideration of breaking ffaith with her Matie and others were no more dangerous then it is for any enequallity betweene the good that Spaine and Ffrance shoulde gett by being particulerly conferred one with another, there is no questestion [sic] but France should receive good by concluding a peace upon any equall conditions, though it were sure to fall to warr againe within few yeares.
If therefore your Lordshipps now observe how likely Spaine is to bee weary of French ffaith when Marcurye upon excesse of the King personally in to Brittanie with small force is farr onwards to become the Kinges servants all, that every particuler towne and place makes hast to acknowledge him, Dynan and Vaneez being reduced, and the composition of Ansennys and Rochforte, one of the Duke of Mercuryes principall fortresses, with many others being yesterday ratified by Parliament, so as even in that province, to which the King of Spaine may pretend most right, hee is abandoned and onely thrust into one coyne at Blavet.
Wee doe then thincke your Lordshipps will gather, seeing each of the partyes that have infested him can never now trust one another, that if Ffraunce had ever collor to urge his allyes to beleeve that Spaine will conclude, hee is now best provided.
Wherin I for my part, I, the Secretary, have bene bold at all tymes to deliver myne humble opinion, that whensoever Spaine will come to any reason, no consideration of former promises, oathes, benefitts or obligations of honoor should make it to bee refused here. Not that I imagine so of the Kinge in whome there is great virtue and sincerity, but for other respects which your Lordshipps can judge, and whereof I have in my dispatch from Roan spoken freely to her Majestie, being bold onely to affirme thus much:
That when the match is to bee playd between the Councell, the Nobillity and the Popular of Ffraunce on the one side, and the Kinge onely on the other, the odds is rather to be laid on the plurallity then the unitye.
And therefore the more wee looke into our imployment wee thinke wee may the more renewe to your Lordshipps memoryes that, fforasmuch as concernes the preparation to a treatye, conteynes:
Ffirst, wee are like onely to make this fruit of our negotiation, to justifie the Queene to the world that she is not alienated from a Christian disposition, wherein your Lordshipps will hardly imagine how sinisterly the generallity are possessed to the contrary, wherein our comeing hath done her great honoor. Although by all our discourses and our compaynes wee doe divulge that, seeing God hath blessed her Matie with so greate successe against her enemyes, shee will never heare of any conditions but such wherein both honor and safetie above all thinges shalbee concluded.
Secondly, wee shall take from the King his advantage to say that if her Matie would have harckned, shee mighte have bene included.
And lastly, wee shall doe that which can never bee expected by his ministers (who are compounded of nothinge but severall partiallityes) namely, to discover and distinguishe him from them, especiallie takeing this course, though to other provinces, to bee nearer with him, and to learne that, by often discourseing and abrupt speeches, which by a formall artificiall speech will be disguised, ffor whosoever knowes him must know that any man of meane judgment may well distinguish his art from nature. But for any hope that wee can make preparation to a second treaty with the Spaniard for peace and truce, it is not to be looked for, seeing such is the mixture of her Mats estate with the Estates fortune. And such is their constitution and resolution (although the Spaniard shall have power and all authority) as I, the Secretary, doe particulerly knowe it, that they come instructed to refuse to treate if they were offred la Charta Blanche. Soe as wee doubt not but your Lordshipps see for that point that theis are matters opposita in subjecto.
The case therefore is plaine that wee shall temporize it and shall make a journey of inquisition to see what may bee expected of France, whether it will leave his freinds either nowe or hereafter, wherein as wee might feare by externall circumstances to bring present newes of peacemakeing in France. If wee did not suspect that the Cardinalls treatye will breake out into some enterprize in Picardye upon Monstreal or Bulloine, or if wee lapped not in that helpe with which the Estates may disswade him, wee should little trust to that which our just arguments or our enumeration of benefitts past or true representation of her Mats present estate in her affaires could be able to doe with him and his Councell. For where wee might justly argue that the King, being now soe farr onward as he is, need not now hearken to a peace but upon condition of honor and advantage, I, the Secretary, know it already by good meanes that there hath bene consultation already, what is like wee will not say, who they suspect are onely come to wynne tyme with them, and therefore that his ministers are provided to say to us (if wee urge that) Alons donc faire one armie pour chaser les, (fn. 5) a matter to which I know the States care not to inflame him and meane to ayde him.
To which if your Lordshipps will say that is true, it is wee shall reply, as wee intend to doe, that the King of himself is now provided better then ever and that his necessities bee now diminished. His ministers will answere flatly negativelie that without some depose or great assistance theire possibillityes are not able yet to keepe an armye together, but by eating out the people who will not longer endure it.
Wherein, though wee intend to give little way to their arguments of necessityes, yet your Lordshipps may please to beleeve that although it is meerelie the disorder of France that increaseth his wants, yet an argument that God will have it soe, your Lordshipps may understand this for certaine that, now that an allarum is come hither of the gathering of forces to some head and drawing of artillery together by the Cardinal of Picardye (supposed for Monstruel and Bulloigne) the Constable is not provided of any body of an army worth any thinge, nor able to give one dynner to any of the garrisons to releive them.
Compagnelle for Bulloigne and the Viscount Auchye for St. Quintines telling him and the Councell here, since I came to the towne, that neither of them had bread, munition or men, to keepe a place 5 daies.
Here was also with me, the Secretary, a French gentleman of the Religion, Lewetenant of La Nouee his regiment which is in St. Quintynes, and with him one Deale that came over with Mr Sackville that dyed valiantly in Normandy, who hath a company there, who both vowed unto mee that if the Cardinall sett downe before St. Quintins hee would carry it in ffower dayes, that more then one monethes bread neither captaines nor souldiers have had this 5 monethes day, that of 1500 there are not 600, and that because they are of the Religion and those whome the King ever sends soonest to a place of danger, they were answer'd hee could not lett them to have a lyvre.
They that treate doe lye at a place called Vervin, which is six leagues of St. Quintynes, a newtrall burghe, and 5 leagues about it there is a truce whilst they sitt, the Legate being at the boards end. A pretty distance from the table is a moderator. Hee lay in St. Quintynes when hee went thither, and had much speech with this French gentleman which shall serve for another dispatch, hee haveing beene with me, the Secretary, two or three tymes, and being well affected and a wise gentleman, and one that is not ignorant of many particulers.
Wee thinke by our next letters wee shall give your Lordshipps the newes that the King is in Nants, in which respect wee doe slacken our journey because wee may have thereby to meete him about Towers, which being the quarter in which the Duchesse of Beauforts wilbee brought a bedd, and here wee are surest to have him oftenest.
Besides wee hope that the Estates deputies will not be long after us or at least, if they bee contented to treate without comeing to the King, wee may come back to this place by that tyme they are here, and hope to find Sir Tho: Wilkes able to come hither.
Wee meane to goe out of this towne on Wednesday at the furthest, and to be rather in travaile in the heate of theis devotions then to tarry heere in this greate citty, being so insolent a place where nothing but robbing and cutting of throates is practised every hower of the night.
Besides on Sunday sennight is the Kinges Easter whome wee will not trouble before that ffeast.
Wee have bene very well used everyewhere by all Governors where wee came and in this place, though wee were not mett by the officers of the citty, who have the priviledge never to meete any but the Kinge, yet have they bene in the howse where I, the Secretary, am lodged (being L'Hostell de Montpensier) with us and made a solemne oration how the King recomended the good usage of us and how much Ffrance is bound to her Matie, for all which wee have thanks. And I, the Secretary, tould them that as it was a contentment for her Matie to have been able so much to have steaded France, soe it would be very agreable to her to have it confessed of their mouthes.
Thus have wee laid before your Lordshipps for her Mats satisfaction where wee are and what wee purpose, wherein (though it bee true that rolling stones gather noe mosse) yet wee hope your Lordshipps shall finde that wee shall make some profitt by the way, and that wee will effectually urge what is conteyned in our instructions, though wee thinke it not amisse to let your Lordshipps knowe both what is provided to answere us and how thinges are disposed.
Yesterday Mounsieur de Maissy was with us and the Venetian Ambassador afterwards with many complements with whome I, the Secretary, had much speech at his owne desire, to whome I used all good formallity in which they stand much. And for his satisfaction spent tyme in discourseing of her Mats actions by sea against the Kinge of Spaine, and of the reasons and successes wherewith hee was much pleased, and by which hee told mee how much honor shee had gott in the world.
And for the matter present I ledd him as I could from it, onely I used such generall discourse of her Mats purposes now and of her indifferent affections as were fitt for the world to know, finding it a decorum to doe so least I should have beene to dry to one that was so large in protestinge the great affection the Seigniorie bare the Queene, and seemed to speake soe playnelie of the King of Spaine, wherewith (as since I understand) hee remayneth very well pleased and said to Anthony Peres hee meant to make a dispatch to the State presently of the corrospondency of her Mats Ambassadors held with him.
Anthony Peris hath also beene with mee, the Secretary, and hath very good respect and gratefully acknowledgeth all the Queenes favors to him, and his obligation being truely in all his words very respective to my selfe, and very freelie and kindly discovering his mynd, neither is hee ignorant of many particulers of the mannors and humors of this court, of which I may make some use, the gent[leman] deserveing courteous usage and thanks of mee.
Thus have wee for dutyes sake delivered your Lordshipps an accompt of our proceedings wherein wee must and doe submitt our selves to her Mats acceptation, of whose saftie and your Lordshipps well doing it wilbee great comfort if wee may heare, for which as wee are bound wee daylie pray. And so most humbly take our leaves.
From Paris 3 Martii, 1597.
Postcript. Wee must here also add this one thinge to your Lordshipps, that the Cardinalls lack hath beene this one yeare infinite, and that even with those men here that are wise and yet are apt to undervallue the Queenes succouring of the Kinge of late yeares to any purpose, wee find noe one thing more to stopp their mouthes or with lesse impudencye denyed then when wee shew them the notable fruit which hath risen to the King by the late diversions which her Matye hath made by invadeing the King of Spaine and namely, the last keeping from him of his treasure this long: D. Maissie himself confessing to mee, when I reckoned that in the number of her Mats other helpes to the King, that Richardott talking freely with Mounsieur de Villeroy, who urged him to deale plainly with him whether the Kinge meanes good faith if England would treat, used theis words:
[Marginal note: Richardottes words] Blame not my Mr to bee tractable if their [sic] bee good meaneing, for shee most galles him and his in keeping his treasure long from him, and spends him half in fetching it home wherein though shee take it not, yet it fareth with him (that hath so many mouthes to stopp and people to releive and cannott) as it doth with a phisitian that finds his patient in a feaver burneing for drouth and sends him a weeke after store of drinck to coole him.
The Provost of the merchants who governes this towne is called Anglois. Hee was in it all the time of the troubles and governed in the pride of the league, and after over-ruled them, and is very remarkeable for his wisdome in this kingdome and betraid the Spaniards with Brisack. Hee hath bene with mee this day and hath discoursed very long with mee, being passionate against the peace out of hate to the league and the Spaniard whome hee would be sorry to trust having betraid them. Hee hath shewed me a letter from Bewlgen, the Secretary, where hee writeth that the composition which D. Mercury is like to have is 200,000 in money and 50,000 franks pension, but to quitt the goverment whollie. They that came to the King were the Queene Dowager, Madam Mercury and her sister Madam Joyeuse, who fell downe att his feete in Towers.
This Provost is very wise and practised in affaires of state and, I see, harkens after them. He told mee privately that theis three ladyes were also with the Kings mistresse, and they hoped by her to prevaile for the goverment of the province hereafter, though in no sort for Nants.
Ymediatlie upon the finishing of this dispatch Mr Corbet arrived with the infortunate newes of Sir Thomas Wilkes, and because noe scandall might rise about his buriall wherein those of Roan were very scrupilous, Mr Secretary gave order for the imbalmeing of his body to be sent into England.
Mr Vaughan, a principall servant of his, writt to Mr Secretary signifying that his necessityes were so great that his servants had not money to defray the charges of his phisick and other nececessaries [sic] for which he was indebted there, whereupon Mr Secretary gave order to one Willaston, a merchant of Roan, to furnish Vaughan with 200 crownes and sent Vaughans letter to the Lords inclosed in their packett.
[Marginal note: 6th] The sixt of this moneth Facondar the post arrived with some private letters out of England from the Lord Treasurer, the Earle of Essex, Sir John Stanhoppe and others.
[Marginal note: 8th] The viiith another dispatch was made and sent to the Lords by Mr Cannon, agent of the Earle of Derbys, to this effect:
May it please your Lordshipps. Haveing now the opportunitye of this messenger who goeth voluntarily for England, wee have thought it not amisse to move your Lordshipps that, forasmuch as wee cannott yet heare any thing of the Estates deputyes wherein there can bee nothing as the wind hath served but a voluntary slacknesse, it will please your Lordshipps to move her Matie that, if they have resolved of some such artificiall delay, that wee may not be tyed to their grosse comeinge, but haveing dealt with the King according to our instructions and seene what language doth hold, to come our wayes into England whereby the affayres may be still kept in dispute, which can bee noe losse to the Queene to contynue, and the scandall of unwillingnesse to treate, if faith bee meant by the Spannish Kinge, may yet bee taken from her Matie and laid upon them, who haveinge made this sweete of theire sower are fittest for the obloquie of practise and private partiallties.
Thus much doe wee write now out of jelousie of this stay and with desire to receave some provisionall direction because the dependancye on dispatches (when seas are to bee passed) are neither safe nor speedy, if otherwise it happen before these letters come it was but our labour to write, and that for which wee would not have dispatched expresslie any bodye to your Lordshipps.
This day wee cannott stirr till noone in respect of the processions for the reduction of Brittanye which are soe solemnely performed. And soe wee humbly take our leaves of your Lordshipps.
From Paris 8° Martii, 1597.
This letter was noe sooner written but Mounsieur Resels arrived with a letter from the Kinge which (albeit the Comissioners were ready to take horse when it came) was forthwith inclosed in another letter and sent to the Lords.
[Marginal note: Chatree. Estampes] This day the Comissioners removed from Paris and came that night to Chatree to bedd. The next day to Estampes to dynner and to Egervaile to bedd.
[Marginal note: 10th] The 10th they came to Arteny to dynner and to Orleans to bedd. The Marshall de Castre who governes this towne met with the Comissioners about a league out of the towne, being accompanyed with divers gentlemen of good quallity to the number of some 50 or 60 horse.
Mr Secretary was lodged at a comon inn called the Escue in the markett place.
[Marginal note: 11] This day Mounsier Ansell came to visitt him, and the townesmen presented wynes and sweetmeates.
[Marginal note: 12] The next day being their Easter Day the Marshall Byron himself, de Chastre and Mounsieur Margaosie came to Mr Secretaryes lodging to visitt him. John Wells was sent post from hence to Mounsieur Villeroy to signifie the arrivall of the Comissioners in their towne and their intent to come to the King with all speed.
[Marginal note: 13] The 13th of this moneth the Comissioners tooke boate on the river of Loyre to passe to Angiers where the King was the first night.
[Marginal note: Bloys] They lay at Bloys but came in something late. Mounsieur Mantignye is Governor of this towne.
[Marginal note: 14] The next day they removed from thence to Lowers [sic] where Mounsieur de Saverye is Governor, who enterteynd them with all shew of kindnesse, and the towne presented them with wyne and sweetmeats.
[Marginal note: 15] The 15th at night they came to Lawmore Saresmore [sic] where Mounsieur de Plessis doth governe. Hee was with the Kinge at their comeing thither, but his Lewetenant, who is called Mounsieur Peerfets, entertain'd the Comissioners and brought them to theire lodgeing, being a gent[leman's] howse, wherein the King useth to lodge when he comes to this towne. Madam Plessis sent a gent[leman] of hers to salute the Comissioners and her coach to attend them, because they staid there the 16th all day.
[Marginal note: 16] This day Mr Edmonds was sent to the King. And Mr Phillips and John Wells sent to take up lodgeings at Angiers.
[Marginal note: Pont de Sey. Angiers] They came to Angiers the 17th but landed at Pont de Sey where the Governor gave them kind enterteynement untill such tyme as theire baggage was landed and horses made ready.
The Governor of the province of Anam [sic] whose name is Mounsieur Rochpott of the order of the St. Espitte [sic] mett with the Comissioners at Pont de Sey, being accompanyed with some 40 or 50 horse, and conducted them to their lodgeing at Angiers. They came to the towne about 5 of the clock in the afternoone.
[Marginal note: 18th] The 18th of this moneth the agent of Geneva, who is one of the Sindigz of that citty, came to visitt Mr Secretary at his lodgeing, and so did Mounsieur Villeroye with whome hee had long conference, and after him came Mounsieur de Inquervills.
This day did the Duke Mercwes make his entrance into the towne.
[Marginal note: 19th] The King came from a place 3 leagues off where he had hunted and sent Mounsieur de Roquelaure att 11 of the clock of the night to visitt Mr Secretarie.
[Marginal note: 21th] The 21th Mr Secretary writt to my Lord Cobham and sent his letter to Mr Willingstone to Roane to bee sent over by the next.
This day the Comissioners had their audience of the Kinge, who had conference with Mr Secretary alone at least 2 houres in his garden. They were brought to the King by the Duke of Bouillon and Mounsieur de Maissie who came to their lodging for them.
After Mr Secretary had done with the Kinge he went to visitt Madam his sister, and delivered her a letter of credence from her Matie and had speech with her neare half an hower.
When they came back to their lodging they found their [sic] Mr Bussie, John Symonds and Peter Browne newly arrived out of England.
[Marginal note: 22th] The 22 they had their second audience and were brought to see the Kings mistresse, La Duchesse de Beaufforte. Mounsieur le Premer came for them.
[Marginal note: 23th] The 23th they had another audience of the King as hee lay in his bed. The Admirall brought them unto him.
[Marginal note: 24th] This day the dispatch followinge was made to the Lords and sent by Painter the next day.
[Marginal note: Another dispatch to the Lords. 25]
May it please your Lordshipps. Being arrived at Angiers on Ffriday night last, the 27th (i.e. N.S.), wee thinke it fitt to give your Lordshipps present knowledge, haveing before bene driven to write such rapsedys as wee take upp par la rue, wherein wee thinke your Lordshipps better liked our diligence then if wee should have wholly used silence untill wee had arrived here where the subject of our charge was to bee handled. From the tyme wee landed att Deipe till our recovery of this place there passed 30 dayes over our heads, wherein your Lordshipps may be pleased to take knowledge that wee onely spent in travaile 10 daies of the same, it being more then 310 miles from Deepe hither. The rest was all spent in attending the issue of Sir Thomas Wilkes unfortunate accident, and in expecting answere from the Kinge whome wee were not a little vexed to follow into Brittanie, if wee could as well have avoyded the notorious inconvenyence to her Mats service as wee were willing to save our selves an ill journey, the youngest of us both being not humersome now of noveltyes, and neither of us to bee spared where her Mats honor and service is in question.
To have hoped for the Kings returne had bene strange and hopeles to us that knew his presence in Brittanie onely made his fortune.
To have treated with his subjects had bene of all the most absurd.
To have retournd without doeing anye thing (if that had bene convenyent) was more than wee durst doe without comission. And therefore after wee came to Paris upon a joynt resolution (when Sir Thomas Wilkes was liveing), wee thought alsoe to stay by the way and at Paris, as wee did that from our landing 19th before wee could stirre our foote from that place being still to have heard from England. But when wee saw noe winde brought us anie direction, and knew the French King would not hazard Brittanie to leave us an ill journey, hee being then to strike le coup de partie in that province, where her Maty may bee glad to bee ridd of ill neighbourhood, wee did resolve to neglect all our owne incomoditye and soe came on thus farre where wee arrived the 27th of this moneth (i.e. N.S.) whether as many reasons ledd us as there was reasons to send us over.
Tuesday wee had accesse to the Kinge whome wee did finde accompanyed with the Dukes D. Mercury, Despernon, d'Afonse and De Monthusson, the Marshall de Retts, Saverdyn [sic] and Boysdolphin, the Chancellor, the Admirall, the Secretaries and divers others of great quallitie.
Wee were brought to him by the Duke of Bouillon and Mounsieur de Maissie and others. I, the Secretary, did deliver him her Mats letters and kind salutations with all due complements, and assured him of her great contentment to heare of his good fortunes, and told him how her Matie had charged me particulerly to informe my self of his good health to the end to advertize her by my next comoditye whereof I was glad to bee able to send soe good newes.
I told him further that forasmuch as princes, whose jurisdiction and dignity hindred them from personal conference of their affaires, were constrained to serve themselves of some confident ministers by whose mouth they might discover their inward meaneing, it hath pleased my soveraigne out of this consideration (that those ought ever to be faithfull whoe were tyed in straightest bonds) to make election of mee, though otherwise of little meritt, whome she had made her creature to comunicate unto him her secrett and princely thoughts when it should please him to discover his owne disposition and judgement of this project of a generall treatye, wherto shee had beene so invited by Mounsieur de Maissie his propositions.
This I did tell him was the generall subject of our legation, wherein wee were comaunded precisely to addresse our selves to his owne person before any further conference with any of his subjects, to the intent wee might govorne our selves in all things with all others according to his advise and councell. Ffor howsoever shee had yeilded for his satisfaction to engage herselfe thus farr as to depute us hither, and whatsoever assurance Mounsieur de Maissie had given her of the inclynation of the comon enemye, yet shee was soe farr from beleife of any good meaneinge in the contrary partye as shee still thought it fitt to resolve all resolutions untill shee had fetcht her true light from himself, who can best tell how great a stranger shee was to this cause. And forasmuch as in a matter of this weight it was very necessary that their advise and judgement should be used whome longe experience had well instructed in affaires of state, it pleased her Matie to honor mee at this tyme with the company of two of her ffaithfull servants whome I then desired to associate and assist me in this service, whereof Almighty God hath taken one to my extreame greife, and left mee this other, whome therewithall I tooke by the hand and did present according to the substance of my letter of creditt, which he did read very curiouslie.
Hee did receave us with very respective forme and did pronounce in all theire hearings his thancks to her Majestie for her great favor, which though it could not make her affection great beinge such alreadie (said hee) as speech could not deliver, yet did this manner of dealinge with him both in the forme and substance multiply his obligation. Hee had bene longe her servant, and hee held himself and his estate next under God confirmed by her, who would acknowledge it in whatsoever quallitye fortune should bestowe him. For the care of his health hee humbly thanked her, and thought himselfe unhappie in nothinge more then in that hee had not seene the same perfections which meane men (whose fortune he did envy) had to their contentment beheld with admiration, desireing mee to tell him truely in what disposition of body I now did leave her.
Whome I did answer that (God bee thanked) shee was when I came out of England according to her custome come ceste Princesse qui na jamais senty que ceste de maladie.
Thus much being passed and our resolution being for the first daye to passe noe more then a complementall audience, where all the princes should approach soe neere him whome wee wished should bee the witnesses of nothing els but his sensible and publique acknowledgment of his obligation and respect towards her Majestye.
I, the Secretary, made request unto him because the tyme and place was now improper for any further particularityes, that hee should yeild mee some other accesse where with more freedome hee mighte understand what wee had in comission, beseeching him for this tyme onely to permitt mee so much favor as to present the Count of Southampton who was come with deliberation to doe him service.
Hee said I should with all his heart the next morneing have accesse, and then embraced and welcomed him. And afterward, when I presented to him all the rest whome I described to be most of them her Mats servants of very good place and all gentlemen well borne, hee did the like to them, and soe suddainely tooke me by the hand contrarie to myne expectation, saying hee would walke with mee downe into the garden en qualitye de amy, where he entertayned mee an hower and a halfe with many pleasant and familliar discourses of his opinion of diverse of his subjects and other particulers not fitt for paper nor of necessity now though fitt to bee related at other tymes, wherein when he had pleased himselfe hee brake forth very abruptly into theis words, (eh bien) I have bene sorry to find that it hath beene soe confidently beleived amongest yow that the Kinge of Spaine despiseth to compound with mee as being a poor prince, my subjects halfe masters, and I therfore contemptible. And that it hath not pleased her Matie to hold more comon councell and corrospondency with mee in her designes upon the Kinge of Spaine, wherein hee doubted not to have done her service. For hee must deale plainely with mee that, notwithstandinge they were noblie begunn and ended, yet unlesse her Majestie did make the warre of another fashion and followe it with a more constant resolution, the greatest purse in tyme must ever spend the lesse for himselfe. Though hee were naturally affected to armes and had made it his profession, yet hee was by Gods ordinance a kinge of people and made it a conscience needlesselie to waste them. Neither was hee of soe meane judgement as not to discerne how great a scandall it were for him to beere the imputation of such an ambition or irreligion as when it was offred him by peace which could not be bought with blood, that hee should disdayne to heare of it for his owne good and his allyes, assuring mee that howsoever the power of other princes was absolute over theire subjects, yet durst not hee adventure their suspicion of being carelesse of what became of his kingdome, either in respect hee wanted children or tooke a glory in the fortune of armes, in the which hee confessed on his soule hee tooke more delight then in all the professions of the world. Howsoever, said hee, I am censured amongst yow to bee sould over to idlenes and delight wherin I will confesse God hath made me a man. And as I know my frailty to bee a scarre in my forehead, soe the circumstance of my misfortune considered, if I bee not guilty of other villanyes I doubt but I may be numbred (if not among the better sort) yet not amongst the vilest ranck of princes.
I told him that for the first report, it might easilie bee answeared with trueth itselfe which needed noe other helpe, ffor I could assure him it was soe farre contrarie to my hearinge and knowledge as I durst avowe the relator to him was the first and only author. And for any conceipt that hee should bee despiseable for his poverty I must use libertye of plainenesse that it was a paradox to others that a kinge of Ffraunce should bee in such necessity, haveing now noe one subject unreduced; assureing him with humble suite of pardon that the comon discourses of tyme did feare that some who governd his affaires did represent his owne lacks the greater to the intent to drawe him into some other courses more to theire likeinge. Att which hee smiled and told mee hee knew whome I meant.
I told him so did not I, but thus I further proceeded with him that all that looke with single eyes upon the Kinge of Spaine handling this matter (in seekeing him alone) doe fully thinke that as hee would bee glad by single contract with him to have the lesse to doe awhile, so should it bee with noe other finall purpose then to worke his ruyne by the meane of such seperation. And for her Matie, if shee had not held him deare when he was weakest, shee would not have sought soe much to restore him. Neither needed shee nowe have bene unreconciled to Spaine if either her ffreindshipp or judgment had bene soe weake as to have forsaken other quarrells. For the second point of her Mats not comunicating with him her designes in particulers:
Ffirst, I must bee bold to remember him, haveing had the honor to understand somewhat of them, that her Majesty did ever accquaint him in generall with her purpose of makeing warre on the comon enemye. Although under his pardon I must bee bold to say that hee was never pleased to allowe of any thinge to bee done upon the Kinge of Spaine but in Ffraunce onely, where although I could not deny but her Maty by enjoying great numbers with him might have furthered some of his particuler desires, yet had shee thereby wholie kept herself exposed to the fleet of Spaine ffrom which no action of his in Ffraunce would have secured her. And as it pleased God to prosper her in the first action at Cales, where her forces did bring awaye of his greatest shipps and utterly consumed all the rest besides his infinite magazines of sea preparations, soe could it not but [sic] be denyed but by that very action of diversion hee was mightily assisted to his owne enterprizes whilst the Cardinal was kept here in weaknes by reason hee was forced to keepe all at home to defend himself, desireing him to remember this last yeares action also, so fresh in memory, whereby he had so good successe at Amyens. And whereof also the Estates of the Lowe Countryes made theire advantage by encountringe an enemy who was the more infested with all manner of lacks and miseryes by her Mats diversion and occupation of his treasure and forces.
So as her Majestie had given sufficient proofe of her contynuall care and labor to assist him, though shee had lent him never a man to serve him, which shee did still notwithstanding to her greate charge in the tyme when her affaires at home in both her kingdomes were in termes of greater difficultye then they had bene at any tyme since 88.
Att this he did a little change his manner and said abruptly, Mounsieur Cecil, je le confesse tout vouz avez raison. Je men acquietray envers ma seur et facon d'home de bien. And soe haveing heard before that wee desired to see Madam hee said, yow shall now goe to my sister, and soe departed.
Wee went thither and I, the Secretary, delivered her Mats letters with all complements and assurance of her good will, lettinge her understand that I had charge to crave accesse to her to informe her more particulerlye of any thing at her best leisure, and to assure her of her Mats readynes to employ herself in any thinge wherein shee might stead her, with divers other French ceremoniall phrases which are now soe usuall as they will make mee forgett my Paternoster.
All was accepted from her Majestie with very great affection and wee were courteouslie receaved. Shee was well painted, ill dressed and strongley jewelled, but well accompanyed with a number of great ladyes, the Duchesse of Mercurye, Madam Longuevill, Madam de Roan, Maddam Mombasson, Madam Mountaban, Madam Belisle and divers others.
The next morneing, being Wednesday, hee did send to mee to excuse himselfe till after dynner, being ill disposed, and then sent Mounsieur de Premier about 4 of the clock for us, who waites in the place of Mounsieur de Grand. The King did much intreat mee to goe in to see his mistris and his sonne. Shee is with child and truely a faire and delicate woman. I stayed little to speake with her, and yet shee is very well spoken and courteous, and spake of her Matie with very great respect and wished shee would once comaunde her.
Then the King tooke mee into the garden and told mee hee would crave pardon for speech of any matter of state that night but onely minister matter of sport because it was late, but the next daye I should have a cabinet audience, and nowe onely talke and bee merry. Hee then did tell mee all the particulers of Mercuryes proceedinges, how the Spaniard and Mercury brake about Nannts which they would have had, which hee refused, and so all fell in peices. Hee told mee also that hee had putt off Mercuryes entry hither till our comeinge, whose presence hee was sure did vex him. I answered that hee needed not bee offended with us, for wee were glad hee did soe well. True it is that all the people, when he came in, cryed out upon him, Voycy la queue de la ligue, vooycy le petit roy de Bretaigne. Afterward hee passed the tyme in familliarity both in discourse of the Queene and her court, showing to diverse the picture of her Matie that I wore.
After two howers stay wee returned and the next day hee sent for us into his cabinett where he was in bedd, and then att very great length gave audience; haveing heard before I came hither that the King called those which spake sett tales les harranguers follastres, and finding in my discourse with him what forme was to bee used towards him, and being above all other thinges desirous to make advantage of driveing him to open himselfe by first speakeing, I did shortly and provisionally resolve to beginne myne audience onely with a short preface and to confine my selfe to these heads followinge:
Ffirst, that it was not my purpose to trouble him now with long discourse or formallityes, for as I might well thinke in that to doe wrong to the judgement of a prince, which could judge so well and was charged with soe many affaires, soe was it little needfull seeing I came from a prince that hath given proofe of her amitye by effects and not by words and protestations.
Secondly, that the Queene our soveraigne had not sent us to diswade him from makeing a peace without his allyes because shee should thereby doe her self wrong as well as him, insomuch as once to doubt him, for besides that shee knew his owne wisdome would foresee the ill of it, shee was sufficiently reposed [upon] an assurance that he was a prince of honnor, faith and gratefulness. Neither was it other then injustice for any prince to suspect that in another which they would be loath should be doubted in themselves.
Thirdly, that shee sent us not hither with perswasion that any offers which came from the fraudulent enemyes carryed any trueth, but onely to satisfy the straight amity betweene them, and to make him see how much shee would repose herselfe upon that which should passe the ffyle of his judgemente, haveing not a little ventured her honnour to send us thus farre, whereby the world might conceive shee sollicited him to mediate a peace for her, being also not assured whethere there were such sufficyent power or noe as shee should thinke to treate with the Kinge of Spaine if hee would inclyne to it.
Ffourthly, that shee had not a mynd alienated from generall peace for anye particuler interest, haveing justly satisfyed herself with revenge sufficiyent on her enemyes and not extending herself to any further desires then to conserve her owne right and honnor to preserve her freynds.
Ffithly, that shee desired now particulerly by him to bee cleared what the offers were, and what in his owne judgement hee did beleive of them, and how hee did deliberate to embrace the peace, and finally, above all other thinges, to knowe how they could thinke the Estates might be proceeded withall in case they refuse to bee comprised in the treaty, seeing they deserved especiallye to bee cared for, both for the honor and obligation of ffaith given them, and alsoe for the interest which both theire realmes have in their conservation.
Hee heard mee all this with great attention and answeared mee:
Ffirst, that hee was gladd I was not a Venetian, and that hee loved to negotiate with the Earle of Essex for hee leaves circumstances, soe as hee saw wee served a wise prince. Rethoriques was for pedants. Hee could now truely and freely answere mee and not as hee answered ordinarye ambassadors, seeing the Queene had sent her tabletts.
Ffirst, hee did thanke the Queene that shee would not mistrust him, for what any creature possible could doe hee would doe by her councell. And if hee were to loose nothing but life, hee would quitt it for her. As for her feare to bee scandalized by sending soe farre especiallie to him, hee desired mee to thinke her Majesty in that did runn noe danger, for shee sent not to her enemy but to a freind, to a Kinge and her brother, to one that made it knowne to all the world that hee honored her and that hee desired it. If hee had drawne us after him for pleasure, it had beene another matter, but hee protested hee did tarry for us ffive weekes to the perill of all Brittany, soe as the world saw his necessity. Ffor yet neither had hee or would hee bee negligent to shew in us the respect hee bare his sister before all other princes liveing.
Ffor the power of Spaine hee doubted not but by Sonday it would bee certified for the carrier was returned to Fflaunders.
Ffor her Mats suspicion of the enemyes offres hee had so long so thought himselfe, for he knewe nothing but necessity drave him to seeke him, and thus malice would never cease.
But now hee told mee upon his honor and as he desired absolution of his sinnes, hee would truely tell mee all. The enemye offred him all but Callais, and that onely now of late hee stuck to deliver untill some triall, but presently to contract for it, which hee said was not a matter one way or other that ought to make or marre the matter.
And for the Spaniards meaneing towards the Queene, hee made this judgment, neither did the contrary side conceal, that his losses were infinite. Ffor, saith hee, her interrupting by sea doe mightily charge him and consume him, a matter for which the Queene is to bee comended. Ffor I confesse the Queene hath hurt him and not I, but hee mee. And therefore if hee can with good conditions make an end, hee were madd not to bee contented. And if I make him shew a power to treate with the Queene, shee haveing given none to treate with him, doe not I an honest worke?
Beleeve (saith hee) I pray yow, that though his affaires by private faction and disorder doe not prosper, yet if there bee no remedy his councell and his purse will eat out the Queene of England and us all. And therefore now is the time to consider. I have dealt faithfully with my sister, and the more because I see shee doth in this sending respect mee, ffor if I would beleeve what hath bene beaten into myne eares, I am told that your drift is to amaze mee to leave mee in the warre ever, and to accompt that your safety. But I am not of that ffaith. And yow doe see that though I may have good offers, yet I have forborne till I may bring in others.
I answeared him that for these calumniations theye were ever used by malitious spiritts but never creditted by princes against those whose actions were soe contrary.
Ffor the offers hee had her Matie beleeved it, as I told him before; but for any forwardnes for others, ffirst, I say it failed in the originall beginninge for his freinds because neither the power was seene nor the conditions yet seconded.
Hee answered, that was true, but I should here [sic] now furthwith. And for conditions betwene England and Spaine, they were easily agreed. The difficulty was for the States for whome (saith hee) must wee bee still miserable in perpetuity.
I told him that was the knotty question and untill that were decided, there could bee no sure resolution, in which I left them that were wise men to speake for themselves.
Hee asked mee this, but what thinke yow. I made difficulty till hee pressed mee. And then I answeard that I heard many wise men hold it for infalliable, that it were a strange apprehension to all his neighbors to behold a Kinge of Spaine by conquest or contract owner absolutely of all the seaventeene provinces.
Hee rose upp to mee and said I was an honest man, hee loved mee for myne opinion, but, saith hee, use no such speech to my councell that I say so.
I then asked him what his judgment was how thinges should be carryed.
Hee then told mee that the Estates would bee with him on Satterday, that hee and I should meete as onely to passe the tyme, and that hee would tell mee what they said and what Barnavelt would doe, who is myne. (Saith hee) there is but two wayes, either I shalbee driven to all necessity and fury of my people who are ready to rebell for peace, or my frends must helpe mee, which I see yow meane not, by maynteyneing the warre and in helping mee. Heare I pray yow therefore (saith hee), seeing you will have warre, speake with my councell, heare there [sic] reasons. I will assign yow Villeroy and Massie. Shew them what the Queene will doe for a warre.
I answered him that I feared I had already passed my comission to speake openly. But his favourable usage and comandement made me bold and forgetfull. To meet with his counsell I and my fellow were ready at his pleasure. But to deliver the Queens mynd for a warre was not the ground of our comission, wee being sent to see the bottome of the likelyhood or safetye of a treatye. And yet I desired him to consider that the Queene was in a warre and soe reckoned her charges and her expenses at large, which I thinke he had never patience to heare before himselfe, neither should I have told him now but that hee was in bed.
Hee denyed many of theis particulers, in which I answered him. And then he said. I was sonne to the Treasurer.
I told him also that my soveraignes case was worst of all the three, for his fortune by her helpe encreased, the Estates grew rich, and she had newe fires kyndled still, and yet new importunityes, so as her trouble was infinitum.
Well, saith hee, it is a strange message, when a man is in need and wants, to heare of others lacks and former helpes. If the Queene will propound her minde what warre shee would have to be made (saith hee) I will urge nothing but upon good consent. And because yow told mee yesterday I never liked anything but my owne warres, I say this; if my plotts be not allowed good, lett the Queene of England, if shee be alyenated from a peace, set downe the way of a safe warre, in which the Spaniard may be beaten indeed. And then will I bee found reasonable. But to loose my self and my kingdome, to bee mutined against by my people, it is hard for mee to bee put to it.
I told him that our comission was to deale in that which was propounded by Mounsieur de Maissie, which the Queene was borne in hand should not now have bene unready. For the warre makeing in another fashion wee had noe power to deale with it here.
Well, saith hee, I see yow come to wynne tyme. For my part, I would tyme could be wonne without losse of my kingdome. But if I stand on the defensive now, I loose my reputation. If I lett goe my hold and my offers, my people will rebell against mee, ffor though I have honor to bind mee, yet the feild misery [sic they feel misery]. Collours I have none to breake it. Ffor I can have any thing and if I have my owne, what honor will it bee to mee if it breake after.
I told him that point of a single peace was it which must not bee disputed of, ffor then all leagues were ridiculous. And with pardon, I must speake it, that if thinges should bee so carryed (as when one ffreind had helped another to equall his enemy) hee should then compound with the third enemy for his own particular advantage without his confederates, I must make princes take heed of assumeing others quarrells, and make us that were her Mats poore servants wishe, that if any such strange accident should followe of which wee never dreamed, that the Queene had but her money in her hand which shee hath spent in France and the Lowe Countryes. Wee doubted not but with the assistance of God in her juste quarrell, Spaine should gett as little at her Mats hands as hitherto it hath done.
Hee told mee hee liked mee well for my pleynesse, and that her Maty might trust mee to dispute for her. But seeing then, saith hee, that yow will not have mee make peace alone, nor yow may not make peace without the Estates, what is the third way yow would wish. (Saith hee) propound it.
I told him againe wee came not to propound but to heare and argue of that which was propounded by Mounsieur de Maissie, and to consider of it with his councell and the Estates Deputyes.
No, saith hee, then yow will, I perceave, push mee to the wall still to speake. How would you like it to have us two that are monarches to make peace with Spaine and make the Estates make a truce?
I told him it were good to heare the Estates. But if his Matie would have mee to tell him my poore opinyon, I have ever found them as jealous of a truce as of a peace, and so I told him the reasons.
Well then, said hee, what if wee could make a temporall peace and lett them bee in warre.
I told them [? him] so they might not perish by it, it was least harmefull.
Well, saith hee, what will meetinge content the Queene. I desired him to pardon mee, when it came to conference on all sides it should bee debated.
Hee would needs have mee speake. I told him I saw no cause why hee that had little to defend but one ffrontyer, and might bee assisted by the Estates for the present, should not weare the King of Spaine out of Picardy by little and little, who was old and tyme would discover what the Cardinalls marriage would prove to in the Low Countries. And if the Queene might but once have quietnes in Ireland and have recovered in some of her owne meanes, if hee were once overpressed, shee would bee the same that ere shee was to him. Otherwise, if a generall peace with honor and safety might bee wrought, her Matie was (as I said before) not alyenated.
Well, said hee, I see that the devise is that I must bee tossed still, my countrie must be miserable, and no end must bee had. But, sir, said hee, yow see I deale with you not like an Italian upon punctoes nor with devises. And the Queene shall see I will trust yow and negotiate freely with yow for her sake. I will speake with yow agayne within two dayes. I shall then know more and I will strive to bethinke mee with yow what course wee maye take which the Queene shall not dislike, unlesse I must smart for all. But I pray, saith hee, use this speech to my councell, that you came not to disswade mee from peace but to see upon what termes of honor and safety the Queene shall venture; and to see how the Estates may bee included and that the Queene will not abandon them; but if they may bee safely brought in, that yow doe know the Queene will not bee unreasonable. And the rather because yow find mee soe truely to discover my impossibility to maynteyne a warre and my passionate resolution to comfort my people with a peace. And so heare what wilbee said to yow. And keepe yow on these grounds still which I direct yow with myne, for the Queene your mistrisse will like it well that you should bee rul'd by mee and so hath shee written to me.
Whereat I could hardly forbeare smileing when hee would tell mee what my soveraigne had written. Much more passed but it is impossible to write all. Wee are sorry to bee thus tedious. The affaires of the religion are setled, wherein hee hath much complayned to mee of them. They have sent mee thanks ffor her Matie confessing that they were dispatched more speedilie at our arrivall in tenne dayes then in 40 before.
The King himselfe meerly told mee that when he heard a Hugonite was landed, hee was sure I would bee a spokesman.
I told him her Maty knew Hugonetts were honest men, and I did hope that they should neede no spokesman to him, seeing ffaith and merritt did plead for them.
I [sic? Ay], said hee, I would they had more discretion and patience. The Duke of Bulloigne is here not well contented in some private suite. Hee hath Espernon for his freind who is very sound with the Kinge and counted one of the most able men of France. Hee useth to us great respect and protesteth to owe unto her Majesty obligation for her wishing the Kinge to deale well with him in his late prosecution in Province. St. Aldgone hath broken the matter to the King for Count Maurice to marry Madam. [The] Estates, wee can assure your Lordshipps, came to offer the Kinge contynuance of the former 4000 paid and to increase that charge further.
Whether your Lordshipps or they have informed her Matie of this wee know not. But of this I, the Secretary, have particuler knowledge. They wilbee here to morrow, with whome wee will hold all good corrospondency; yet Barnavelt is wholy French.
Those of the religion much honor the Queene, but all their counsell is this, the Queene must roundly helpe the Kinge.
Thus have wee now delivered to your Lordshipps an accompt by way of narration of the substance of our accesse. Wee thinke it therefore best becomeing the meane conceit wee have of our owne slender judgment to referre the censure to her Mats wisedome, hoping att our retorne to deliver some such accompt as may justifie our duty and diligence and, if under her Mats gratious pardon wee shalbee comaunded to speake what our weake under standing shall have gathered, wee shall doe it more confidently when wee are, where wee may strengthen our arguments by verball replications better then by letters which may bee intercepted under other collours, and what toyes (for the most part) cipheres are. Seeing the Estates are at hand wee shall have uniformity in our negotiation. Wee doubt not therefore but within ten dayes after to have finished our conference and to bee at the sea side within six dayes after. If your Lordshipps will say that wee were instructed to advertise before wee conclude, wee wilbee bold to lett your Lordshipps knowe that wee neither have or meane to take any liberty of conclusion ffor as your Lordshipps knowe wee came but to enquire, to conferre and to advertise whether wee that heare by common conference find that a treatye may be thought expedient for all parties. Wee thinke therefore that wee shall doe our dutyes sufficiently to advertise personally all such resolutions, ffor seeinge wee are now at Angeirs instead of Roan and that wee have never heard one word from England of fresher date then the xxvth of Ffebruary, wee hope your Lordshipps will conceive that wee have small hope of effecting any thing by answeres to any dispatches. This is therefore that which wee intend, and that which wee thinke agreeable to our comission to informe ourselves of the power which the Kinge of Spaine doth send to a generall treatye, to heare the Estates reasons and see what they will doe, to find also by conference with all three partes whether the King will leave them or noe.
To the States also wee meane to use noe language but of all corrospondency, and yet to lett them knowe, howsoever either their reasons or their wills shall divert peace makeinge, that if for their cause the warre bee contynued, they must thinke to beare the greater burthen and not to increase or contynue her Matys insupportable charge of them.
Lastly, for the better justification of our retorne, wee doe thus conclude, that if treaty with the enemy shall goe forward, it must bee in some place neere England, for contynuation whereof in speech shalbee carryed on still betweene the French King and them whilst wee, in the meane tyme, have informed her Mats judgment, and shee hereupon resolve, which is the furthest of our comission. If wee find that the Queene shalbee forced to charges of a warre, then must the warre be advised and resolved on by her Matie. Of which two many points, God forbid wee should presume either to advise or your Lordshipps, if you would attribute anything to the small knowledge which wee have gathered in this negotiation, fall to any resolution upon our letters, which are maymed and barren informations in such intricate questions in comparison of personall relations. Our suit is therefore to your Lordshipps, that seeing tyme cannott prejudice the Queene to like of this course, that her Maty wilbee pleased to send us shipping for Caen, whereby wee shall save allmost 200 miles ryding, the coast being as fitt as Diepe in all respects, and that they may bee there by the xiith of this next Aprill.
Angiers, this Thursday, the xxiiith of March 1597. (fn. 6)
Your Lordshipp, my Lord Admirall, doe knowe that Esterham is a very good road hard by Caen, where if wee might have the Answeare or the Adventure with Captaine Reignolds, wee should bee gladd.
[Marginal note: 24th] This day the deputyes of the Estates arrived.
[Marginal note: 26th] The sixe and twentieth Mr Secretary and Mr Harbert had conference with the Kinges councell and were mett by Chasteau Vieux, Captaine of the Guard.
This day was the affiance made betweene Cesar Mounsieur and the daughter of the Duke of Mercury in the castle of Angiers.
This evening Mr Mole arrived with letters from her Matie bearing date the 27th concerneinge the intercepted pacquetts of the Cardinall.
This night the Comissioners, the Earl of Southampton and Sir George Carew supt with the Kinge.
This afternoone the deputyes of the Estates had audience.
The xxviith they came to Mr Secretaries lodging to visitt him, with whome they had conference neare 3 howers.
This day also this dispatch following was made:
May it please your Lordshipps. Haveing had this day and yesterday our conferences in the castle of Angiers with the Kinges Counsell, and to day morneing with the Estates Deputyes, wee thinke it fitt to send your Lordshipps this accompt by this bearer whome wee have cause to send into England. Wee have also receaved her Mats letter by Mr Mole, and your Lordshipps that night att xien of the clock, with answer whereunto hee shall retorne, haveing sent this day to have audience to morrow but cannott get it because the King is in physick. Wee are promised it the next day, and then will wee both together deliver the substance of her Mats royall instructions to himself in private.
Hee receaved the Estates Comissioners in the castle yesterday, where hee kept his court, his owne towne lodgeing being straight.
They that treated with us were the Chancellor, Duke Espernon, Duke Bulloigne, Monsieur Sencye, Villeroye, Maissie, Plessis and Shamberghe.
When wee did assemble I, the Secretary, was placed at the boards end, and the Duke Espernon on the right hand and the Chancellor on the left.
I, John Herbert, next Espernon on that side and the Duke of Bulloigne was over against mee, and so the others in their places.
I, the Secretary, did declare unto them the like language which I held to the Kinge.
Ffirst, to shew the substance of our legation was onely to satisfie the King that hee might see thereby her Matie would neither discreditt any thing which hee should beleeve nor sever herself from him att any tyme either in counsell or action of importance according to the obligation of faith and honor betweene them. Ffor otherwise wee both had charge to protest in her Mats name that shee doth nothing with any beleif in any thing which should proceed in soe corrupt an enemy, in whome shee hath discovered soe notorious practise and collusion. And so it was declared unto them how the treaty in the Duke of Parma his tyme was carryed and how Richardott then did use himself. In which respect her Majestie, when Mounsieur de Maissie had shewed the inclynation of the comon enemy in respect of his great necessityes, and when hee seemed so much to assure her Majestye of a power already given to comprehend her and the Estates in the treatye, her Matie notwithstanding, when shee heard from what a broken trumpett that was sounded, did so little expect to find any thing of substance followe on in conclusion, as hee could not forgett with how great earnestnes shee did contest it with him that even in that originall circumstance wherein Richardott was used it would bee found, if it were tryed, that they were not soe provided but that they [sic? there] would bee found abuses. Nevertheless, things being here conceived otherwise, and her Maty being loath to bee scandalized to have interrupted such a good intention for the publique good of Christendome, shee had thought it fitt by this publique sending to make tryall of the probabillityes to come to that whereof there was conceived so generall an expectation, desireing to bee cleared by them in particuler how all things stood in the firste point and in all other, and what was returned by the carrier which I, the Secretary, by the Kings owne speech, perceived was returned to Bruxells.
The Chancellor made a studdyed speech amplyfieing in generall the Kings sincerity and his necessity, and how acceptable a thing it was to save Christian blood. And therefore wished that wee would deliver the particuler of that wee had to say or to require in that great action.
Wee answeared againe that as the question did now consist whether it might bee likely by treaty of peace to make good conclusion of good conditions to all parties interessed, such as in honor and safety might be accepted of by all, so till this first point were cleared it was hard to discend into other particulers because her Mats honnor was too much engaged already by this which shee had done.
Hereupon Espernon (who is a reserved spirit) looking upon Mounsieur de Bouglon, and hee looking downe to Villeroy (as though the Chancellor had said what he was capeable off:
Villeroy tooke the tale and did reduce from the beginning how the matter had bene carryed, that the enemy had long reserved the Kinge, that the King was offred all his places which the enemy held, according to that which Maissie had told the Queene, and that the King still persisted:
That it was in vaine to thincke of any composition except his allyes were included, whereby the matter was trayned into length untill the losse of Amyens, and then it was renowned. And soe Richardott had assured it since that tyme that there was power very authenticall to treat in generall, if it were soe intended on all sides, whereupon hee said Mounsieur de Maissie was dispatched and deteyned there six weeks about it, and another sent to the Estates to advertize them accordingly. And since upon her Majesties makeing question of that power which the deputyes had, the King had given charge to examyne the power. And to the intent they of the Spaniards part should shew that which they had, the Kinges deputyes were comaunded to shew theire comission from the French Kinge, whereupon they shewed theirs.
In conclusion it appeared only a comission for Fraunce authenticall. But for the Queene and the Estates there was onely a power from the Cardinall, which being refused it was said that her Majesties sending to his Islands made them in Spaine desperate that shee intended to treate, which was the charge of it. And therefore moved the French Kings ministers for leave to send into Spaine for a new comision The answer wherof was now retourned though not certifyed hither but every hower attended.
It was answeared by us that for her Mats armeing to sea it might have bene well replyed that in that point hee would have done otherwise though shee had bene engaged in a treaty, for shee should then have differd from the Kinge of Spaine and from the French King and all others. But for the estate of the affaires now in present, wee were sorry that by miscarriage or male intend (fn. 7) the Queene had bene no sooner admonished that shee might have staid our journey, and that it happned ill for her Matie that Mounsieur de Maissie did no better beleeve the Queenes doubts.
Whereupon because that speech was directed to Mounsieur de Maissie, and that Espernon and all the religion side lookt on him (as who would say) it belongd to him to speake, hee tooke upon him then to answere.
Ffirst, hee confessed that the Queene did shew her wisdome in the doubt concerneing the peace, but that shee needed not to have embraced peace except shee pleased, for his comission tended as much to perswade her to make warre as peace, and that his Mrs causes and fortunes stoode at that tyme upon more then a formallity of sending to this end only. Neither needed it to bee made such a matter as whoe would say that never king had sent to another, ffor truth of princes actions stood not upon rumor which follow passions. Neither was the treaty at that tyme otherwise to have bene carried, and if her Matie would have resolved particulerly of a warre, shee would not have followed soe precisely the overture of peace. But her Matie was absolute and might draw on her causes att her pleasure and her resolutions. The Kinge was pressed to take opportunityes when they were offred, and the Queene hath done herself honor not to refuse to send. Shee medled not with the Spaniards but tooke off the publique scandall, and therefore it was to much urged that the Queenes honor was dyminished in doeing what shee did.
To this point most of them agreed with one voice that her sending was most honorable and most necessary.
Hereto wee answered that wee could not dispute that circumstance further whether her Maty had good or harme by sendinge.
Neither was it urged as if her Matie would have thought too much to send to the furthest part of his kingdome to doe him honor. But this I must say under his favor, that I, the Secretary, never understood it, haveing had the honor to waite upon her Mats councell when hee was with them. But that his whole scope was to shewe the great offices of Spaine and how fitt it was now to end warre. And that the Kinge presumed he did a great worke in it, and that it was now to bee taken when the King of Spaines necessityes were so important. So as when her Matie found by the discourse, and that notwithstanding the Spanish King was in great want, yet a peace was necessarie, her Majesty thought of no other subject to bee handled then to informe herself what apparance there was of comeing safe and honorably to that pacification.
The point of inviteing the Queene to a warre was of all points most necessarie, for the Queene was then in warre more then ever before tymes. Shee had an army newly retorned from the sea, shee had her troopes in France maynteyned nyne monethes beyond promise, her forces in the Lowe Countryes, eight or ten thousand men in Ireland, and now preparations to sea. So as for any such matter, if that had bene the purpose onely of his comeinge, her Matie might have resolv'd without sending us hither.
Wee told them also that it seemed strange to us that the King, who wee know would not have the thought to conclude single, would soe farr shew himselfe in this befoore hee had sounded the conditions for the Queene in some particulers, ffor this was enough to make the matter suspected that there was noe sincerity, and that the enemy would raise himselfe reputation by it.
Then Villerou answered that without a beginninge thinges could not bee sounded, some one must speake, else nothing should be knowne. And this hee would protest, and knew that the King had also protested it to us, that hee was still La Charte blanche in that matter, and had ever resolutely told them that they did speake to a dead wall as long as they went to sever him from the Queene. And therefore that there was nothing but just proceeding and such as no way ought to displease the Queene, which hee was willing to speake there before good witnes. And that the French Kinges deputyes had bene fayne to use art to please them and keepe them together, the Legate being in person on the ffrontiers now five monethes and the Spanish deputyes, who were apt enough to thinke by the length of the matter that the French King did but worke them about the Queene of Englands consent. So as in the meane tyme, if wee would either stay 2 or 3 dayes or enter now into particulers what the Queenes conditions were, either to demaund in the peace or els what the Queene would doe to helpe the King by warre, they would heare it and it would wynne tyme against the answer arrived.
Wee than that saw to what end this tended, and saw what wee should get at his Councell by reason or disputation, haveing nothing to offer for the warre but onely the laying before him her Mats former great charges with France and his great debts to her which wee are sure Espernon and divers there never heard of before, wee did for the rest and for the present thinke fitt to have the aid of the Estates, who wee knew had both arguments to disswade peace and had gott offers to present the King, which weighteth downe all benefitts past in this corrupt tyme and councell.
Wee replyed further that as wee were particulerly charged;
Ffirst, to make especiall inquisition of the peace in which the Queene had beene so often dealt with, and that wee understood the Estates were arrived with whome in councell and motion wee were to hold correspondency, seeing that first matter would soe shortly bee cleared that wee did thinck it an ordinary way to conferr with them and that they might bee alsoe heard (all parties present), by which meanes thinges might bee expedited and the answere of the power attended. Or especially considering the respect which ought to bee carryed towards them and haveing soe freely called them into a league offensive or defensive, whereof none could better tell then Mounsieur Bouyllon and Plessis Cenoy [sic] whose instance in the Kinges behalf made that to bee done which the Queene did, for what was their need for her to tye herself with new formallityes when her Matie already (onely under God) and without any manner of utillity by any contract, had soe royallie and fortunatelie assisted him and the Lowe Countryes. So as if this should be violated, they that were least touched whomsoever could not but runn the hazard of scorne and infamye. They all allowed of the course propounded and so wee parted.
And afterward, it being very late, wee were brought to the King in the garden. When wee came to him and that hee had done with the Estates Commissioners, the King told mee, the Secretary, that hee had caused this number to assemble with us at first because this was an affayre which touched his whole kingdome, and that hee had made a mixture of all such as were of severall dispositions to the intent that every one of them, on whome depended so many severall parties, might know his manner of proceedings and so give satisfaction in grosse to the multitude, each of them haveing a quantity of people who do move no further then as their heads doe sway them.
The Chancellor, that bon home, and Maissie, hee said, were ministers of his justice and associates with his courte of Parliament. Espernon no leaguer but affectinge the reputation of a devout Romanist and very froward to them of the religion. Senoy [sic] and Villeroy with Scomberghe affecting the peace as knowing his extreame necessities. The Duke of Bouyllon and Plessis, hee said hee need not describe for we knew them. This censure hee gave mee; the Secretary, in his garden of them when wee retourned from our conference with them. And the firste question which hee asked mee when I saw him was whether I had not told his Councell that the Queene was no way against any peace or purpose to keepe him in warre and misery, pretendinge to have a desire to putt that out of his peoples heads. And thereupon recounted to mee very badd offices and conceipts which had bene wrought into his head, which I did satisfie I hope and found necessary, the accompt whereof may bee fitt for another tyme.
I told him I should have much injured her Matie if I should have said otherwise, and soe gave him an accompt of all that had passed of which hee seemed to allowe.
And when this was done hee retyred and sent us into a banquetting house where musique was and so wee spent the tyme.
I, John Herbert, sometymes conferring with the States deputyes, and I, the Secretary, with the Duke of Bulloyne, with whome by Edmonds I doe hold privat corrospondencie, hee beinge one whome hee trusteth, besides private speeches when hee is appointed to walke with me and accompany mee.
This day the Estates Comissioners had conference with us for the space of two or three howers, wherein wee did acquaint them what course wee had held with the Kinge and his Councell, how much wee had bene in paine for lacke of their company, and with what straight comaundement her Maty had enjoyned us to publishe to the world in what estimation shee held that State, a matter whereof wee neede not to use large protestations seeing they did dayly feed upon the fruits of her Mats extraordinary protections. Onely least some should, as they did desire to sever them artificiallie, might have sett on foote some bruits that her Majestie meant to seeke her owne quiett without respect of them, I thought it fitt to assure them to the contrary, and for proofe of it to appeale to the Duke of Bulloine who could well tell what course wee held in our conference yesterday with the Councell, desireing them to bethinke them how to disswade the King from treaty with Spaine, if they could not bee reconciled to their doubtfullnes of harkneing to a peace.
Mounsieur Barnevelt did thereupon very formally yeild us thankes in her Mats behalfe, protesting assured confidence in the Queene with acknowledgement of all her former benefitts, as also for that which they had understood since they came to this place, how her Matie had demonstrated the favor towards them, thankeing us very much for the particuler corrospondency which wee held now in communicating with them what had passed of late; as also in haveing certified them before they came into this towne of such thinges as were convenyent by those confident persons that were used betweene us, whereof one is Mr Edmonds, who is very trusty and sufficient. The other is one Aersens whome they doe trust, and resolve to leave us this agent.
After this they went plainely to worke that their State might not hearken to a peace or treaty of peace, and that theire commission was resolutely to protest against it; that they found all the Kinges Councell, with whome they had any conference, passionate for it, and that the King himself did plainely tell them that though in his nature hee did not desire it, yet by the importunitye of the people and necessity of his affaires hee should bee forced to accept it for some tyme unlesse he were better assisted. And therefore they concluded to us that all his trust was in the Queene of England who onely had power to alter it.
Wee told them that wee had laid before the King the strictnes of the Tripartite league, and the danger for him to trust to Spaine whoe would onely serve himself of him against others thereby to ruyne both.
They answeared that these thinges were in vayne, they had said them often. Leagues between Princes had civill constructions, and benefitts that are passed helpe not future things. Neither are present necessityes, wherein it is in vaine to contest with them that must be judges of theire owne lacks, remedyed with enumeration of good turnes past. They therefore come fully resolved to obstinet any treaty, and doubted not but by this tyme theire fellowes had bene in England and had procured us authority to doe as they would doe, namely, to divert the Kinge by presenting to him the present extremities of the Spaniards, which made them so willinge to treate, and by presentation of some other manner of project to helpe him to beate the Spanishe army out of the Low Countries.
To this we answered them that wee had no such dispacth, but onely were to follow our former instructions as wee had already informed them. Ffurther, wee held some discourse with them why they should not hearken to a treaty if those conditions with bannishing of strangers might bee made by treaty that were to bee desired by a warre, which was subject to adverse successe.
Hereunto they answered that it was the way to theire perdition ever to acknowledge one person whatsoever for their soveraigne, either as Kinge of Spaine or Duke of Burgundy, that monarches might bynd or loose as they saw cause, but the composition of theire State being once altered it would resolve of itselfe, saying it was not onely the condition of removeing Spanish forces and strangers but all such natives of the Provinces as were now Spaniolized, which was farr greater in number then the Spaniards were.
Wee told them they best knew their State but many wise men were of another opinion. Yet seeing they did so resolve, it was not wee that could alter it but rather yeild to them the power to know themselves better then any other could doe. Onely this wee thought, they should not find it an easie worke to doe in hast though for our parts wee wisht it were soe. And therefore, if they could divert the Kinge from the course the Councell had trayned him in by arguments or offer, wee should bee very glad. And did indeed conceive that if they would joyne with the French King in making the warrs, who now had need but to make warre in one place, and not increase those enterprizes in places more remote, there might come good of this interruption. They told us that it were reasonable her Maty should send over an army of 12 or 13000 men which would make way into the heart of all hee possesseth. Wee findeing in them this speech did plainely lett them knowe that her Mats ffleetes at sea and armyes that had bene sent out to make a diversion of the enemyes forces, besides manye other greate charges in Ireland and elsewhere, have soe much increased as her Majestie would bee well advised how to engage herself suddenly for others, especially seeing in leiwe of old [? all] that shee had purchased for them shee was never yet reimbursed of one half penny. They shifted off that with their ordinary excuses, and still insisted whether wee had heard out of England since the arrivall of their deputyes or noe, ffor they did hope by that tyme her Matie had heard them shee would take some such resolution. And if an army were once kept together in Picardy or Artois, England need not to bee in doubt, no, if France should leave the Queene and them, ffor it was cheiflie they that need to feare and not the Queene, for she might ever be mistris of the seas.
Wee told them that it was true that if there were nothing to bee expected but such a mayne invasion as was in 88, her Majesty might prepare well to defend by strength at sea. But whether that were a charge supportable or no, wee left them to judge. Besides, wee saw that the enemy tooke unseasonable tymes in winter, when a navy could not bee ever maintein'd at sea, and that by the meanes theire shipping was never from Spaine, by which hee might transport a convenyent army on a suddaine. Wee told them also that experience last yeare shewed us that they durst come in the winter, and that they meant to make the warre of another fashion and further then ever from Callice. With Callice an army in calmes might bee suddenly transported if they had nothing to feare of France, which might save an army in spight of all the shipps that should bee kept at sea. And therefore as wee went not to perswade them more then wee would our selves to any perillous resolutions:
So wee must then require them to bethinke them how to ease the Queenes charge if the Queene must bee kept in warre for them. Mounsieur Barnevelt seemed a little awakned with this and then fell into protestations of their necessityes, and withall dislikeing the diminution of her Mats forces that ought to bee in the Lowe Countries. But wee told them her Matie had done but for theis late enterprises and theire good, but that her Majestie must bee forced to summon them to some better reckoning by reimbursements of those great somes which they did owe the Queene. Whereupon they incited on the contract and other arguments. Wee told them plainely that must bee no answere, and that they must stand no more uppon theire contract without civill interpretation then by their former speeches it appeareth other princes meant to doe in the like occasions. Much more there passed both with them and on Sonday with the French which [we] cannott not [sic] advertise all att once but leave thus much humbly to your Lordshipps judgements, and hope to give her Majestye an accompt of the rest of this our hard negotiation hereafter. Ffor that dispatch which is come by Mr Mole wee doe thank God both for the publique and our particuler that God hath given her Majesty the fortunate discovery wherby her Majesty may now by dealing plainely with him make judgment what to trust to, wherin wee will not vary from that princely and prudent direction which wee have received but each bee witnes of the others words to the Kinge. Thus have wee yeilded your Lordshipps an accompt truely of all that hath passed and hope that your instructions bee examined, which wee trust shalbee our tryall and not our successe, that wee shall not receave her Maties disfavor the diminution whereof is more precious to us then our lives.
The Kinge goeth to Nants and from thence towards Blavet the 8th of Aprill to leave it blocked, soe as wee shall have our dispatch before he doe depart one way or other. Yf hee do satisfy under his hand this last matter wee will proceede further; if hee doe not wee will come away. Soe as wee beseech your Lordshipps that our shipps may bee att Caen, and to thinke that wee are not so rash as to doe any thinge without reason. If the Kinge part from Nantes hee will not bee back in 6 weekes. Whatsoever wee finde wee will keepe all things still else till wee may wayte on her Majestie. If the power come wee will then informe the Queene whether wee and the Estates deputies finde it fitt here in our poore opinion that a treaty bee prepared, for if not best a warre must be. Wee will alsoe without giveing finall answere one way or other take our leaves and promise them her Maties resolution.
This is all wee can doe with our lymitations which wee may not exceed. Though wee have made great difficulty to followe the Kinge to Naunts, yet is it not prejudiciall for us to goe, though necessity for her Mats service did not require it. Ffor though it bee somewhat further from Caen as it lyes then Angiers, yet it is a safer way to Caen then this from Angiers and Rhemes without any other good townes are by that way to bee had to lodge in.
Besides wee shall have a cornet of Montgomeries horse which wee may trust that will not cutt our throats or betray us when wee come neare the scattered troopes which must march towards Blavett. And thus haveing singly and truelye delivered the particulers wherein wee could not avoid length, which is no pleasure to either of us, wee doe most humbly take our leave. (fn. 8) Angiers, March, 1598.
[Marginal note: March 28.] Because wee have so urged to heare whether the power were come or noe, the King hath sent a carryer expresse to Vervyn, and by the 30th hee shall heare with particuler certeinty.
[Marginal note: March 29.] This day they had audience againe and imparted to the King the effect of her Mats letter of the 17th brought by Mr Mole. They were brought to the King by Mounsieur le Grand.
[Marginal note: 29th] The 29 Facondar was sent for England with the letters of the 27th.
This day Mr Secretary went to Mounsieur Villeroy to the Estates.
This day also Romane the Post arrived with letters from England and coppies of the Cardinalls intercepted pacquets.
[Marginal note: 30th.] The 30th the Estates Deputyes came to Mr Secretaryes lodgeing and had conference with him and Mr Herbert.
[Marginal note: 31th.] The last of this moneth the Kinge departed from this towne of Angiers towards Nants, but being in hunting hee lost himself and returned back to Angiers where hee made little abode but went thence early in the morneing the first of Aprill.
[Marginal note: Aprill 3.] The third of Aprill wee removed out of Angiers towards Nants and lay the first night at Ansenis.
[Marginal note: 4th.] The next day about 4 of the clock in the afternoone wee arrived at Nants.
[Marginal note: 5th.] The 5 of this moneth Mr Mole was dispatched with letters in answere of her Mats of the 17th of March brought by him, the tenure whereof here followeth:
[Marginal note: Aprill 5, 1598] Most gratious Soveraigne. After wee had receaved your Mats letters so full of princely and prudent directions by Mr Mole, wee founde nothinge left for us but to apply them to our present negotiation with our best diligence and discretion according to the circumstances of the tyme. How wee had proceeded formerly till the hower of his arrivall wee have delivered your Maty an exact accompt by long and particuler discourses sent to our Lords, being driven to husband our tyme and vallue our instructions as much as wee could untill wee mighte see whether the Spanish comission were come or noe, whereby your honor at least might bee thus saved, that if yow had pleased yow might have treated. On Monday the 27th the King rode forth very early and came in very late.
That night I, the Secretary, sent to have audience. The next day hee sent mee word hee must take phisick, but in the afternoone I should bee welcome. About 3 of the clock on Tuesday wee both went to him and found him in bedd, where I, the Secretary, did desire him (because the matter was weighty) that hee would [discharge deleted] that hee would bee pleased for my discharge to heare us both together. Hee yeilded to it very willinglie, and so wee sate downe by his bedd side where wee warmed him soe well, as whether it were his phisick or our message, Mounsieur le Grand was faine to fetch drinke for him. Before our comeinge to him wee had considered how much wee should disadvantage soe playne a matter if wee should speake unto him in other stile then with assurances that his deputyes had done so much as was discovered by the letters, though with such reservations to himself as became us; although wee must plainelie tell your Majestie that inwardly our hearts so boyled that wee held our selves accurst to tread upon the soile. Wee considered further that wee should no sooner touch upon a part of the quick but that hee (who knew all hee had done) would straight conceive wee knew more then wee speake, and therefore thought it unfit by temporizeing to give any leizure to studdy or advise with others for his answer. Wee have therefore thought it good to sett downe here precisely the same language which I, the Secretary, used, for wee that know your Maty to bee in all languages mieulx disans (fn. 9) must justly thinke that your Maty hath cause to bee very jealous whether your meaneinge hath bene delivered in the French to the same sence which of English repitation should now expresse. And therefore I, the Secretary, beseech your Matie to pardon myne errors especiallie who have come so short of that significancye and propriety which in your pure stile doth allweyes flourish.
Sire, Depuis que jay eu l'honneur de voir vostre Mate jay receu une depesche de la Royne ma Souverayne, et suis infiniment marri de ce que par son commandement (sur l'exigence des affaires) je suis contraint vous faire ses plaintes tresinstantes pour le grand regret et mescontentement qu'elle a d'avoir occasion de se mesfier de la syncerite de vostre affection en son endroict qu'elle a tousjours tenue pour fidelle et inviolable; aiant eu notable indice que les procedures de vos ministres en ce present traicte de la paix avec l'Espagnol portent desseing et promesse que vostre Mate se laisseroit en fin aller a rompre la foy publique que vous luy avez juree. Elle ne peulte, Sire, croire chose si indigne de vous, mais les lettres mesmes qui sont tombez entre ses mains des Deputez d'Espaigne et d'aultres portent clairement telles asseurances. Elle ne peult aussy que le supporter avec beaucoup d'impatience jusques a ce qu'elle soit au vray esclaircie par vous mesmes de la verite, et que vous lui aiez faict paroistre combien il vous desplaist que vos ministres aient tenuz telles procedures en son endroict.
Ces lettres des Deputez d'Espaigne escrites au Cardinal contienent qu'ils sont acertenez et par le Legat et par vos ministres que vostre Mate este resolue de leur donner pouvoir de conclurre son traicte particulier si il y a empeschement en l'accord de vos confederez. Et que vostre Mate consent que vos deputez signent de part et d'aultre les articles convenus pour vostre accord particulier lequel seroit baille pour quelque temps entre les mains du Legat. Et que vous ne vous attaches maintenant a la formalite de leur consideration que seulement pour l'acquit d'honneur. Dont sil plaist a vostre Mate avoir plus particuliere cognoissance, je luy remonstreray l'extrait de quelques unes de desdites lettres. Pour aussy asseurer vostre Mate qu'il ny a aulcun artifice ou simulation de la part de la Royne ma Souverayne en ce que je viens de vous representer, je vous proteste sur mon honneur et devant le Dieu vivant comme Monsr Herbert icy le pourra tesmoigner, que l'extrait que je vous exhibe est le fidelle abrege des lettres qui ont este prises, escrittes en chiffre par le Cardinal au Roy d'Espaigne, dont les originaulx sont entre les mains de sa Mate. Et la Royne ma Souveraine prend merveilleusement a cueur le scandale que ces declarations apportent au prejudice de l'estroicte amitie qui est entre vous.
Pour lever lequel soupcon elle m'a commande de vous semondre et conjurer (sil vous plaist) de luy ouvrir en cecy fidellement vostre cueur, quelles sont vos intentions, et si vous avez faict signer tels articles, et l'en esclaircir vivement par l'asseurance expresse de vos lettres; m'ayant commande de ne le communiquer qu'a vous, et ne voulant croire que vostre Mate seule, sur la conscience et integrite de laquelle elle se repose, qu'elle fera plus equitable jugement de ses merites que ne pourront ou ne vouldront faire ceulx de son Conseil.
Et pour ce que sa Mate ait envoye ung gentilhomme tout expres pour porter quant et luy nostre responce, nous vous supplions bien humblement que vostre Mate se vueille esclaircir sur ce sujet, afin que nous pourrions juger comment nous avons a nous gouverner pour nostre descharge. (fn. 10)
After hee had heard this first speech without other interruption, saying in this kynde—Ah! cela est faict in Angleterre, la royne ne me trouvera pour tel, with diverse other broken speeches, sometymes smileing in scorne of the invention and sometymes rapping out an oath all tending to absolute denyall, hee made this quiett answere:
Ffirst, that on his honor and by his part in Paradice hee never gave anye such comaundement, and that hee was sure his ministers durst not for theire heads commit any such act, but still inferring that it was either an artifice of some in England or of the Estates.
To this wee replyed, ffirst, that as assuredly as wee know the light from darknes so truely wee did both know that this was no devise of England, of Holland nor of any creature liveinge, but the worke of the Cardinal himselfe whereof my self in particuler, the Secretary, had so perfect knowledge, as if hee would beleeve me as a Christian I did protest upon my religion and faith that it was nothing but a true letter and a cipher of the Cardinals wherewith I had reason to be well acquainted, haveing had diverse of them fall into my hands. And therefore it greived mee to see him passionate in distrust though I joyed to see him passionate in deniall of it, assuring that I did wish my armes and leggs broken for comeing hither untill I had heard him. This we spake both to him with feelinge. Well, saieth hee, I am satisfied, but I did allwayes quitt your Mistriss. And now goe on, I pray you, saith hee, what bee these further particuler great presumptions.
Whereupon I, John Herbert, read unto him this extract enclosed wherein wee used those cautions which I, the Secretary, received also from my Lord, my father, in his great letter to mee.
Ffor, first, wee left out many of those articles which shewed the Kinge of Spaines readines to yeeld him all his desires, because that would have made him proud and raise himself towards us. Ffor though wee thinke hee knowes too well what hee shall have of Spaine, yet wee would not have him thinke that wee know it out of the Spaniards mouth.
Secondlie, wee left not any thinge unto him that might shew him that the Spaniards meane to offer any injurious conditions to England, for then he would also have thought your Maties state the more irreconcilelable [sic]. And therefore onely acquainted him with the reports of Villeroys speeches, of the Legates speeches, of Bellievre his speeches and other things, which wee have further sett downe in the inclosed.
When hee had heard this hee did make this answer very sensibly and orderly without study or without advise, for he little dream'd of such an overture, wee can assure your Matie it beeing not the least worke to procure audience so private and setled as wee have had no small number.
Hee said that in this matter he observed three thinges.
Ffirst, the instructions from the Cardinal to the Spanish Deputyes.
Two speeches of the Legate.
The discourses, speeches and promises of his ministers.
Ffor the first, hee had nothing to doe to answer him, the Cardinal might presscribe what he listed, and it was no other like but hee would bidd his comissioners propound the hardest.
Ffor the Legates speeches of him, true it was that hee had ever shewed himselfe to the Legate to bee desirous of a peace, and so had reason for his honor was engaged in it. And the Pope had travelld in it, and hee must not loose his reputation with them howsoever others contemned peace, wishing us to thinke whether it bee not a pretty tyme that he hath kept le bon home, the Legate, at the beggerly towne of Vereine 5 moneths day by day, and only of purpose to see what the Queene of England would doe.
Ffor the rest, true it was that his comissioners wrote to him when hee went into Brittanie, that the Spaniards said hee meant but to abuse them and make his profitt, and that they offered to bee gone. And that the Cardinal himselfe protested that hee knew the King of Spaine would taxe him for that facillity which hee had shewed already. Whereupon, saith hee, I directed him to use all art to keepe them together whilst my affaires were accomodated in Brittaigne. At which very tyme, when I had greatest need, the Queene drew awaye her succours and left my frontiers naked.
This, saith hee, may have bene the cause that my ministers in private discourses have used large speeches of my resolution. But that all is not true that the Spannish Deputyes report to the Cardinal and that. the Cardinal writes to the King. God and I know that they have not done it nor dare not. No, the Queene must think that the Low Countries affect peace with the Cardinal for his private. And yet hee is accomptable to a Mr that wonders why nothing is done. And therefore the Cardinal, seeing that Brittany is reduced, that I will have the Queene and States included, with those ffynenesse hee is well accquainted, being yet desirous to bring as well to passe if it might bee, hee hath written thus to the Kinge that hee may see his carefull instructions to his deputyes, and what cause his deputyes give him still to contynue. This it must needs bee and nothing els, said hee, and soe certify the Queene, I pray yow, for shee shall never finde mee trompeour ny pipeur. And when I have a mynd to doe such an act, I will never denye it ffor I had as willingly it were knowne today as to morrow.
Wee told him wee were glad to heare his Mats words so absolutely. Wee hoped his Maty could not find but her Matie had cause to doe what shee did, and that in thus doing she did like to her owne franke and royall spiritt.
Hee confesseth it was true: but now, saith hee, that yow are satisfied, what doth the Queene say, tell mee to satisfie mee. Will shee joyne with mee to make peace or no with Spaine, now power is come. Or will shee assist mee in such sort as may bee for our safety and comon profitt. Yow speake nothing directly to mee. If shee could make mee a good offer, she should see whether I were soe tyed as I would not breake the treaty.
Wee then answered him that for your Mats drawing away the troops at the instant, your Maty had kept them there 15 monethes, and that shipping had bene sent for them 3 monethes before. Besides they were sent for Ireland. And yet if de Maissie had importuned for them soe much as hee sollicited the peace, her Maty, wee know, would not have denyed them.
Ffor the power which hee said was come, now that the Estates might know so much, wee would doe our best to perswade them. And as wee found them, so should hee heare more.
Well, said hee, must you to Nants for I must needs be gone to morrow.
Wee told him wee had comaundement, even as wee would beare the perill of it, not to proceed further in any matter till wee had such satisfaction in ourselves by his answere as might warrant our judgment in not suspending the negotiation. Being men better brought upp then to doubt such a religious and princely vowe of such a prince, yet wee could not discharge ourselves entirely without it would please him to satisfye her Matie by a letter to herself what hee had done and what hee will doe.
Well, saith hee, though shee writt not to mee, and that I am sure shee will not distrust yow two, yet will I write that which is fitt for a letter as things stand now. And therefore, saith hee, yow shall have my letter. Besides I will send Villeroy to yow to satisfie yow particularly what hee [hath] said or done, for this is true, I repeate it againe, no such thing is done nor ever was comaunded to bee done. And where they say myne did move them to send for a new comission and that I did say I will write to the Queene to be content, the Queene knowes herself I never writt so to her, nor never did it proceed but from their motion to send for a new [commission] when my servants disliked the former, baile upon it, saith hee.
Wee then departed, and by that tyme wee had bene at our lodgeing an hower the Duke of Bulloigne. . . . (fn. 11) As wee were talking, Villeroy and Maissie, who had bene with the Estates, came to my lodgeing and found the Duke with mee who offring to goe away they staied him and said hee mighte remeyne. Hee then in short begun to tell us what the King had said, and following ever the same course which the Kinge did, in making shew that it was onely the Cardinals devise for his owne justification, did, in the hearing of the Duke and us, vow by monstrous oathes that there was neither any such thing done as signeing nor any authority given to signe any thinge.
Wee did then desire him to hasten the Kings letter that wee might fall to some resolution, for wee waste tyme here and saw that others affaires went on apace.
Hee told us wee should and so wee ended. Beeing desirous, now that wee were thus driven to the wall to advise with the Estates and with the Duke of Bouyllon what to doe, wee must assure your Maty that wee found the Estates resolute not to hearken to treaty.
Wee find all them of the religion absolutely of the opinion the King will make peace, and can have no other councell of them but that your Maty must offer him great helpe, such are the necessityes of Spaine, such are the greedynes of France and such is the unremoveable resolution of the Estates not to treat any way.
Wee have now delivered your Maty a true and plaine narration, though diverse other arguments have passed which wee cannott set downe being ashamed to have thus detayned your royall eyes. Yow know our power that wee cannott promise treaty with the Estates, neither may wee discover ourselves to have come over for nothing but for inquisition, ffor then shall wee confirme that wee were sent onely to gaine tyme. Soe as being driven to us the best of our poore slender judgements, wee have resolved of this course and not without advice in part of the Duke of Bulloigne and the Estates.
Ffirst, to the intent to keepe him in expectation, wee will tell the King that wee are sure that when your Matie is informed of all these particulers, yow will quickly resolve either to helpe him or concurre with him in the treaty to which belongs choice of other Comissioners, place and other forme. For the helpe in particuler wee cannott speake it, but therein would bee glad to know what hee would desire and for what purpose, that the common utility of it may be discerned by your selfe and your Councell. For such it may bee as hee had as good tell us in plaine tearmes hee doth meane to conclude without your Majestye.
Secondly, wee will privately tell him that although wee have so sufficient understanding of your Majesties mynde as that wee knowe most of your Mats conditions in which yow will stand with the Spaniard for the peace, and that wee might give the Kinge presently liberty to assure the Spaniard underhand that hee doth finde by us noe other likelyhood now but that your Matie will send comission to treate according to the power which is come from them; yet finding now that the Estates were so resolved which your Matie beleeved not when wee came from yow, wee are constrained to desire the King in respect of that circumstance that hee will give us leave to repaire to your Matie and that wee might carry the Estates with us, who do contest with us that they doe knowe howsoever France would use them, yet that your Maty would heare them alsoe howsoever afterwards your Matie resolved to proceed.
To this request of theires wee meane to tell the Kinge that wee dare not but condiscend, it being past our rules that his Matie can thinke it safe or honorable that they should bee left out, and therfore wee must have new instructions. If wee should say wee would write home, hee would thinke wee would but waste tyme. And your Maty shall lack such light as wee can give yow by way of information, though wee are farre from presumption of thincking to give councell. Besides your Matie may well thinke that att our parting hee will speake in his last and clearest voyce to us, whome if hee finde still content to tarry hee will still hope to draw us on by little and little.
The good that your Matie shall have by this is this: if hee doe not followe the greedy and corrupt councell of this nation who comonly answere, even the best of them, when there is speech either of faith or honor breakeing, that necessity hath no lawe, that every man ought to provide first for himself, your Matie shall then wynne tyme here. Yow shall have these two, which are of the best ministers the Estates have, humble petitioners to yow in England upon whome your Maty will worke more in an hower then all your instruments can doe in a moneth. Wee have also had opportunity to try them now and can guesse somewhat by Barnevelt what may bee looked for. They are past their old rules and doe plainely confesse that they see what trust to give France, and have observed what her Mats direct proceedinges are. By this course, if your Matie shall finde it fitt, by takeing some good resolution to disorder the present facilitiye of the French Kinges peace which being once disjoynted will not bee so easily sett together, your Maty will see they will do as much in it to ease yow as can bee found reasonable rather then your Maty should leave them.
If, on the other side, your divine judgment resolve that it is better to suffer France to make peace alone then further to helpe him, then is your Maty by this meanes eased of sending any to the Estates with whome, howsoever thinges goe, wee thinke your Majestie will newly consult, for things stand to our poore understandinge now but rawly, come peace or warre. And therefore wee will so use it as Barnevelt shall voluntarily come creeping to yow, who wee assure your Matie is wise, and with whome wee have had soe many and particuler conferences almost once a day since wee mett, as in many things your Majesty shall make verie good use in omnem eventum of their comeing to seeke yow and not the worse when yow have heard our poore informations. For wee must plainlie lay before your Majesty that although the King hath said in both our heareings as much as wee have written, and that if hee bee not a monster hee hath said true of that which is past, yet both of us and I, the Secretary, especiallie, whoe have hadd accesse many tymes and have heard him in many humors, sometymes upon sudden in liberall speeches and sometymes in serious, discover himself to mee his ends and his natureyll disposition, dare not say other to your Maty then that I feare France wilbee France and leave his best freinds, though to his owne further ruyne, to which I thinck God hath ordayned it.
The Estates have bene with the Kinge since our audience and have made him direct offers to contynue the former 4000 and more to any good purpose, and have plainely laid before him that neither the law of God nor man will suffer him to leave them. They have return'd to us and have passionately reported his answere to bee this, that his freinds have helped him long and that hee hopes after two yeares peace to order all things and to bee able to helpe them if they need, soe as they are in despaire, and now onely attend what hee will say to us, to whome hee yet never used any such language. If your Majesty conceive that it may bee hee doth this to merchant upon us and them, wee submitt ourselves to your opinion. But your Matie sees too well by the intercepted letters how neare hee is to his owne conditions. And there (? therefore), if your Matie should thincke wee doe this to have further instructions from yow to make him some particular offer, wee doe protest against it, for wee should but abuse your Majesty to desire it. But wee will come provided by way of discourse, withoute engageing yow, to enforme yow what it is that they would have, and how they would offer it should bee used for any good to your Maty, which when wee have told yow then tis fitt for yow and your Councell there to advise of either way, whether your Matie shall doe anye thing for him in the warr or leave him to the peace and stand upp your self with the Estates.
Of both which wayes bee it farr from us to judge, not doubting if yow shalbee driven to the last way of proceedinge but God and your cause will defend yow, though your Maty cannott but consider that the state of Ireland and Scotland are greatlye changed since 88, when France was not in warre with Spaine.
This doe wee humbly represent to your Matie as an argument that wee are neare our furthest inquisition, haveing found more then wee wish. And therefore meane now to labor onelie to this end, that when wee have enquired and informed and used all the strength of our instructions wee may leave thinges unconcluded, soe as yee may have the libertie of election.
This, if wee can doe, wee hope wee shall doe yow noe ill service, which is that for which wee were borne.
If his answere shall either bee directly partiall to himself or such as wee find hee is content wee should so construe them, in that case, as the Estates have already spoken plainely unto him according to our agreement with them and meane to pursue it when they are upon dispatch from Nants, so I, the Secretary, will finally lett him know that your Matie, before he was King and since, when all the world had abandoned him, did royallie assist him and thereby brought him to bee capeable of those conditions which now have made him change his language, and notwithstanding all contracts before and treaties since, your Matie never receyved performance of any thinge.
And whereas hee doth still insist upon the necessity that presseth him, your Matie must needs take that as a faire evasion out of that which both publique ffaith and infinite benefitts by greater necessity doe bynd him.
And because hee seemes to say that your Maty drawes things to length, and that wee are come over to gaine tyme, I will likewise invert it upon him that his drawing us hither from whence wee can have no speedy returnes for our dispatches hath bene the onely cause of our protraction.
And if hee will say that wee ought to have had a provisionall comission, which is common in their mouthes, wee will tell him that provisionall instructions are allwayes by princes left to the judgment of their ministers to declare them upon new accidents or circumstances; and that in this case judgment doth teach us to bee in some things reserved untill wee see how your Matie can satisfie the Estates to treate without them if hee shall once have given them such a finall answere, your Maty haveing never before receaved into your thoughts any conceipt that hee could thinke it lawfull or expedient. And therefore that your Matie must heare them as hee hath done, before yow would like that wee should give him the dernier met [? mot] Besides wee will tell him playnlie that without a sight of the coppie of the comission your Matie cannott send any body to the treaty, ffor if the King of Spaine speake of the Pope in this comission which hath relation to her Matie or use any other punctilio which may carry away inequall sense, your Matie will disdaine to send any comissioners thither.
So as I will let him see plainelie that if his demaunds for the warre bee so exorbitant as your Matie shall find they bee but motives to bee denyed, or if hee or anie other of his ministers can thinke your Maty wilbee carryed post into a treaty wherin soe many new circumstances are to bee considered, they wilbee deceived. And his Maty will never bee able to justify his sepera tion from yow before God or man. When hee doth, either wee consider his sacred vowes of which the Earle of Shrewsbury is witness or remember how many mens lives and what somes of treasure your Matie hath spent for his conservation, wherein wee wilbee bold as wee shall see cause to know of him alsoe what course your Matie shall expect for the present payment of all those debts which hee doth owe your Matie, seeing now his new amitye will free him from all his necessityes.
Wee doe send your Matie herewith his letter which wee requir'd to warrant our report wherein, when wee noted the stile to bee bare and did insist to have it mended, wee were playnly answered that many wayes letters are intercepted, that hee hath spoken to us at large already whoe he thought your Matie would trust, hee was a prince soveraigne and desired to bee beleeved as other princes would bee. And that if the Spaniards should intercept his letters, it would putt no small jealousy into theire heads, and then your Majestie might happilie care lesse for him.
But to tell your Matie truely I, the Secretary, know it affirmatively by good meanes that hee was perswaded that such a letter it might have beene as I would have caused to have bene conveyed to the enemyes knowledge by some meanes or other.
Now hath your Matie all which wee have done, can doe or thinke fitt to bee done, wherin if your Maty thinke it shalbee done without discretion, wee have then enjoyed (and I, the Secretary, especiallie) to much of your Mats former trust. I humbly beseech your Majestye therefore to bee in no payne through any such apprehension, ffor I thanke God Nature hath not made mee lavish nor violent. Though I protest to your Matie if his ingratitude shall now appeare when it shall come to tryall, I shall in my heart abhorr him, for hee hath both witt, conscience and meanes to doe otherwise, although as a carnal natural man it may bee said that it is prima facie the longest way about to seeke that by warre which hee might have by peace.
And thus beseeching the everliveing God to blesse your Matie with perfect health and eternall happines, wee most humblie take our leaves from Nants, 5 April. 1598.
Postscript. Your Maty shall finde by the letter from the King how he doth bauke the deniall of his ministers speaking to signe the articles, though he writeth plainlie they have not signed nor never had comaundement to signe.
I desired to see the coppie of the letter and did plainely expostulate why hee did not aswell in the letter disavow that point as thother, having so fully forsworne both.
I am term'd to curious, and that the King had said enough if reason would serve, and so much as any Christian would beleeve. But for the King under his hand to disavow his ministers doings, to whome hee gave leave to use large words in extremeties to keepe them from breaking off at that time, hee would not doe it by my leave. For so might this use bee made of it, that the Spaniard finding that they would say that for which they had noe warrant in one thing, might well thinke they would say soe in others.
To tell your Matie my replyes were to bee more tedious, but in short I must either take this or nothing, for it hath made mee stay this dispatch 5 dayes, for I could not forbeare to let them see that it was necessity and not my simplicity that made it to bee accepted by mee. For in my conscience the Kings ministers speake of it either by warrant of himself or Mounsieur Villeroy, but which party hee meant to disguise withall I dare not judge because he is the Lords annoynted. April 5th. (fn. 12)
John Symonds was sent into England this afternoone with a coppie of the former dispatch, being comaunded to passe through Normandy by land, where Mr Mole with the original went by St Mallowes there to imbarque himselfe for England, which course was thought fittest by the comissioners to bee taken to the intent both the pacquets might not miscarry.
This afternoone Mr Secretary had audience and was brought to the Kinge by Mounsieur le Grand. When he was retorned to his lodging Mounsieur Villeroy came to him and had conference with him neere an hower.
[Marginal note: 6th.] The 6th in the morneing came the Duke of Bouyllon to visit him, and in the afternoone the Estates deputies and the comissioners conferred together.
[Marginal note: 9th.] The 9th the dispatch following was sent to the Lords by Jasper, Mr Edmonds man, who was staid till the next morning upon some occasion.
[Marginal note: Another dispatch to the Lords of the Councell.]
Maie it please your Lordshipps. Having had audience the nexte daye saveing one, after our comeing to Nants, in the Kinges Cabinet, wee thinke it our part to advertise your Lordshipps of such particulers as passed, each of us distributing our portions to speake as should bee cause.
Ffirst I, the Secretary, told him that as at my first comeing I declared unto him that the Queene my soveraigne had imployed mee to him to discover her mynd and to understand his, and to resolve with him about this great affaire, so I desired him still to beleeve that shee had the same meaneing still, and that hee would not suffer himself to bee transported by those who would perswade him that shee desires only to amaze him thereby to make him loose his opportunityes, that it was now tyme to shew the effects of that ffaith which hee had sworne to her whose meritts had neither bene small nor unknowne. And to the intent hee might see that she would leave him no ground of jealousie, I desired him to resolve mee clearly whether hee did desire warr or peace, which hee should do no sooner then I would open to him her Mats purpose to either way.
Hereupon hee replyed that hee was sorry to find himself in this extremity that either he must ruyne himself or offend the Queene. But he must plainely tell us that his necessityes were such as hee could not stand out, for hee should gett by the hazard of a warre no more then hee should have with assurance by peace. And if hee once were able to stand of himself, hee then might bee a stay to the Queene and his freinds.
I told him that this was strange that his necessityes were such as that hee must bee forced on a sudden to compound with the common enemye, and to doe it to the prejudice of the confederates. There was difference betweene his estate now and before, ffor hee could then recover his kingdome with the helpe of his freinds, and now hee could not defend a part of it but must out of greediness of suddaine quiett make such a peace as must prejudice his confederates. And so wee fell into the arguments that his necessityes could not bee soe great, and that it was but his servants disorder who made it great of purpose to engage him as they had done.
Hee answeared it might bee true and might bee false, but what it was he knew best, and that howsoever wee might take upon us to understand or judge of others estate, that hee knew it himself and felt it; and that if Brittany had not now come in hee had bene ruyned utterly, for the seige of Amyens had made him miserable.
Wee answeared him that if the Duke Mercury had not come in wee durst saye the Queene would not have denyed to have helped him by sea as soone as her shipps had bene fitt against the Kinge of Spaines ffleet, whome as shee had beaten in other places by land and sea and had helped to pull him out of Croyden by land, soe nowe shee would not have suffered him to have kept Blavet. But if hee had brought a navye thither shee would have helped to have removed him thence.
Also hee answeared plainlie that the Queene denyed Maissie directly any such succor. Wee answeared him againe that when Maissie was there his onely language was aboute peace, but at his parting hee asked for some shipps to further the seige of Blavett, and that answere was made that her Mats shipps were new come home and wether beaten and could not presently bee made ready to goe out in winter.
But I, the Secretary, should come to him with satisfaction for all things.
Well, said hee, it is now past, and I am like a man cloath'd in velvett that hath not meat to putt into his mouth. Your comeing hath bene welcome, but your long stay after Maissie and the Estates lingueringe hath drawne on the tyme soe farre as I am in extremity. I hope the Queene will not looke I should undoe my self for that could bee no pleasure to her.
Wee answeared that his Maty might use the worde of ruyne as often as he would, but the word would never justifie his arguments. Neither would his Maty save breach of the treaty without being content to sustaine difficultyes or prejudice for the Queenes sake as well as shee had done for him.
Wee (? He) said that for the worlds satisfaction hee cared not, his conscience was witnes. And whensoever the world should calumniate him hee would justifie himself. For the Queene, shee had done very favourably for him, and yet her succors might have bene better imployed then they were, for hee neere had them in tyme nor half the number.
Wee desired him to excuse us, for although there was never yet by him one penny paid nor one promise kept, yet hee had them still contynued, and had them sooner then the tyme appointed and att Roan before he was ready, where hee had the bravest troopes that ever were sent to kinge.
Hee said they were brave troopes indeed, and his necessities only made him breake all promises.
Wee told him also that where hee said the numbers were decayed, it was not the Queenes fault, shee paid them. If any captaine deceaved it was a comon disease. But they that comaunded them would say that they were never accomodated but putt to all extremityes and abandoned, even in this province especiallie, to theire destruction, it being the first defeyt that ever any English troopes in our Mris pay receaved.
Hee said in that hee could not remedy it, for hee lost his owne and a prince of the blood was one here taken prisoner. Wee told him wee would faine knowe in what matter to deale with him.
Ffor although wee had noe power presently to offer him satisfaction, in particuler if hee would leave the treaty, seeing the Estates could not bee comprised, yet wee could assure him that the Queene would aid him, and therefore desired him to speake plainely what numbers hee would aske and to what end. For if the designe were fitt and good for all parties, as wee knew the States woulde ayde him, so when her Matie should undertake it wee were sure that the Queene would also strayne herself upon any reasonable probabillitye to accommodate him.
When hee answered that he knew the Queene did much affect Callais, for to every body that spake with her shee shewed great passion for it, and so did all her Councell to, but it was in vayne to thinke of it nowe for hee might loose an army before it, and when hee had it hee should have no more then hee should have by peace.
When wee heard him say so after wee had so disputed with him in that conceipte of the matter of Callais, wee told him it was in vayne, as now wee saw things, to dispute of any thing but his peace. For as both his enemyes had written that all conditions were agreed on, so wee saw it now by his Maties owne conversion in 14 dayes, for hee that spake nothing but of particuler affection to warre when wee came, now would hearken to nothinge but peace. Wee would therefore proceed with him in that pointe. Hee said it was the best.
Then wee askt how hee would dispute with leaveing out the Estates either in honnor or safety.
Hee said hee had told them his mynd, ffor that necessity had no law, they might defend themselves a while well enough till their freinds reposed. But (saith hee) you sett a shew that yow came to satisfy. What can yow doe in the peace, now power is come and I have engagd myne honnor in that I have kept the Legate so longe. What will yow treate, or can yow or have yow any comission. It hath bene otherwise a strange legation, and must confirme that which the world say, that the Queene meanes no peace herself but to keepe mee in warre. And with this speech hee turned himself to mee, John Herbert, who answered him that wee came over with such comission as the Queene thought fitt, and that wee had power to doe more then wee sawe in duty wee ought to entend. Ffor the Queene, who entred soe lately into a confederacy more strict then before with such a state as the Low Countryes and at his only intreaty, did not dreame that his Matie would so suddenly have left them. And therefore, although wee know sufficientlye her Mats meaneing for all particulers of the treaty of peace, yet were wee not warranted to say more without further knowing her Majesties pleasure for that mayne point concerning the Estates comprehension which are the third partie. Besides, I told him that if the States would have joyned, yet wee in our instructions would be well advised, without knowing her Mats pleasure, to yeild that any treaty should bee kept so farr from England. And that wee would knowe more certainly of the power, assuring him that the Duke of Parma did by his letter before her Mats Comissioners came over, write that hee had una comissione testantissima. (fn. 13) Soe as hee must not finde our delay strange, especially seing the place of assembly at Roan was changed so as wee could not heare from England once in thirty daies.
Hee asked us whether did ever any man thinke that an enemyes comissioners would shew their power to treate before they bee assured that the other side will treate, or that it shalbee shewed but upon the place. My Comissioners, saith hee, were sent thither and with my power, and so both were shewed; and soe dare I say that yours shall see one if the Queene do send any thither, for, saith hee, both Taxis [and] Richardott doe say now to my servants that it is come, and in the same forme that the other is for mee. And for that point it is but in vaine to stand on it, for it is to mee a scorne and not to the Queene if the power were not sufficient.
And, besides, I know it that they doe desire a peace with all their hearts. I, John Herbert, said the Queene must know thus much, and that hee might in the meane tyme write to his deputyes to get a sight of it, least when her Mats Comissioners should shew a power to treate, there should bee anie more respect shewed to the Kinge of Spaine in the fourme then hee doth shew her Matie in his. And that now his Maty had thus farr opned himself that noe warre must bee made and that hee would leave the Estates, her Matie beinge informed of it hee should heare what shee would answere.
Hee said then, O, but I cannott tarry it. Withat I, the Secretarie, said, Sir, why then I beseech yow, let us have our pasport, if that bee the point, ffor if her Mats benefitts past and your honor tye yow onely to respect yourselfe, the Queene knowes what to expect hereafter.
Hee was with that and many former contestations of ours much chafed, and said unto mee that hee had not used mee like an ordinary embassador to dispute thus freely and particularly.
I answered him that I took myself to bee sent from a prince that ought to bee extraordinarly respected. And, if without arrogancy I might speake it, I might take my self, consideringe my place, for no comon ordinary embassador.
Hee said it was true, and soe slubberd upp some speeches of kyndnesse againe.
Ffrom thence I told him of his letter last written, and how farr it was short of his speech delivered to us both together.
Hee said that for that point hee was too curious, hee would not bee taught to write, hee had said enough to us both of all that and had good reason to write no more.
I answered him that if any body had told him that I desired to appoint the stile hee had done mee wrong, for I was not so ill bred to doe it. And yet I had not kneeled at the foote of such a prince as my soveraigne seaven yeares but I could guesse what letters usually passed betweene princes when they meant to give satisfaction, and what in other letters.
Well, saith hee, as much as I do meane to committ to a letters perill my letter carryes. If the Queene trust yow not, why did shee send yow.
Wee answered that it became us to gett as much satisfaction as wee could from himself, finding that her Matie had so much cause of doubt, and that wee must bee content now that his Matie was so resolved. But if hee will have mee to expound his letter more effectuall then it was, I must crave pardon, and that I did contest cheifely that with his ministers that by his letters the King did dissavow nothing but that he had not given them comaundement to signe any thing, where in speech hee both dissavowed the haveing given them warrant to promise it as well as not to doe it.
Well, said hee, I have said enough for that matter, and where yow presume with benefitts past, the world will say that the Queene did herself no harme in it, and shall find me her faithfull and kind brother to the uttermost of my life.
I answered that howsoever partiall men might construe her Mats helpe of him to bee out of her owne respect, sure I was that if her Matie had had a purpose to have served herself of the tyme and his necessityes, shee might have served her turne upon France when it was in soe many cantons with the same charge which shee had bene at with him. And for my part I humbly did beseech him to pardon mee, though I had for that speech no warrant as an embassador to speake it from the Queene:
Yet seing France did so partially regard itself as whensoever by the helpe of others it was made able to procure good conditions of the enemy, they must presently bee taken without respect of his allyes or giveing liberty to such a prince as myne was to bee informed or to understand and advise what way to take for himselfe, that I would pray to God that England might never have need of France though I would ever thinke reverendly of his Majesty, hopeing that hee would bee more respectfull then to loose so great reputation and the hearts of so many by doing so great an injury to her who never had fayled him, who notwithstanding that shee had shewed herself thus farre to bee contented at his intreaty to hearken too [sic] an enemy, yet shee would lett the world see that shee disdayned to seeke peace by any mans meanes in Europe.
And that, I durst avow it, shee was resolv'd at this tyme, as much as ever, to maynteine her honor against her enemy, howsoever her freinds should use her.
Well, well, saith hee, je combattray contre nous sacreete querelle. Wee will advise further, and I will appoint the best of my Councell, whereof Villeroy shalbee one, to speake further with yow. And then wee will grow to some further resolution. For I would bee as loath to discontent my sister as any body.
Thus have wee sett downe this daies journall truely as our memoryes serve and with all his circumstances, here beinge nothing amongst them talked of but that the Queene may have a peace, that the States are onely self-lovers, that they will do well enough with underhand assistance, and that it is dishonorable and ungodly to refuse that may sett publique quiett in Christendome.
Not knowing therefore in what tyme wee shalbee dispatched, and finding this opportunity of writeing, wee have thought it not amisse to acquaint your Lordshipps with so much as is past.
The Councell that should meete with us, as wee are informed, shalbee the Duke of Bouillon, Espernon, Villeroy, Seney [sic] and Scomberghe, who is a very wise man, with Plessis and Maissie, to whome wee doe resolve to speake plainely to the intent those persons, whereof diverse of them are free from gredinesse of peace, may know truelie what her Majesties intent hath bene in this legation, which the King himself, being every day more then other transported with desire of ease, is content to calumniate under hand. And, although hee bee never so plainely spoken unto, yet hee and the secretary slubbers [sic] it upp together and deliver but halfe to the rest, to the intent that it may bee thought if he had bene otherwise dealt withall or had any offer, that it would have stayed him from this course which his nature and humors doe draw him unto.
From Nants, the xth of Aprill, 1598.
This day the King did invite the Comissioners and divers others to dyne with him, and at evening did solemnize the ffeast of St. George in St. Peters Church in Nants.
[Marginal note: Aprill 13.] This afternoone they had audience in the Kings cabinet.
Att night Mounsieur Villeroy came to conferre with Mr Secretary at his lodginge.
[Marginal note: 14th.] The 14th Mr Secretarys servants were embarqued in a Scottish shippe to goe by long seas into England.
This morneing the Duke Espernon came to visitt Mr Secretary in his lodgeinge. The Estates deputyes had also conference with him.
In the afternoone Mr Secretary took his leave of the King, Mr Harbert and he haveing had audience in the Kings cabinett. And after that Mr Secretary had private audience in his innermost cabbinett an hower together. They should have taken leave of Madame the Kings sister, but shee was at a sermon.
Mounsieur Tremonall had this day private conference with Mr Secretary.
The Duke of Bouyllon presented Mr Secretary with a faire jewell wherein was the Kings picture.
[Marginal note: 15th.] Chastean Breean. The 15th of this moneth wee removed from Nants in our journey homewards, went to Chastean Brean to bedd, and by the way mett with Mounsieur Montbarrett, Governor of Rhemes.
Neere to Chastean Breean the Governor of the place met twith us. His name was Sieur Giles. The towne and castle are both belonging to the constable.
[Marginal note: 16th.] Here wee staid Sunday all day being our Easter Day.
[Marginal note: 17th.] Trois Maris. The 17th wee removed from thence about 10 in the forenoone and came to a village called Troys Maris to bedd. In our way wee mett with the Duke Montpensier travailling to Nants to the Kinge.
[Marginal note: 18th.] Rhemes. The 18th day wee came to Rhemes and were lodged at the Seneschells howse.
The sonne of Montbarrett mett with us without the towne very well accompanyed, and towards the eveninge his brother came to visitt Mr Secretary at his lodging.
[Marginal note: 19th.] Vitrey. The 19th wee came to Vitrey, where the next day after our comeing the preacher of those of the religion with others came to visitt Mr Secretary and the townsmen presented him with wyne.
[Marginal note: 20.] Fulgiers. The xxth wee came to Fulgiers at the house of one Mounsieur Jenure, who is sonne to the Kings secretary.
[Marginal note: 21th.] Anaranches. The 21th wee came to Anaranches, but stayed a little while by the way at a village called St. Gelun.
[Marginal note: 22th.] Vill Dreir. The 22th wee came to Vill Dreir where wee lodged the same night.
[Marginal note: 23th.] Thorigny. The 23th wee came to Thorigny, where the Marshalls de Anmonts widdow and Mounsieur Thorigny invited Mr Secretary to supper.
[Marginal note: 24th.] Caen. The 24th wee dyned at a village called La Masson Bland, and came to Caen to bedd. There wee mett with Jasper the Post with letters out of England.
[Marginal note: Aprill 27th.] The 27th being Thursdaye, wee parted from Caen towards Estreataon, a port some 3 leagues thence where the Adventure and the Moone, a shipp and pinnace of the Queens, the one comaunded by Sir Allexander Clifton, the other by Captaine Willis, did attend our comeing, being accompanied with the Lions Whelpe of my Lord Admiralls and two small barks, being men of warre of Weymouth. Wee had not stayed there an hower but the marryners brought word that the winde was good.
Whereuppon Mr Secretary himselfe imbarqued with some few of his company in the Adventure, leaveing the other shipping for Mr Herbert and the rest of the company. The wynd contynued good att our putting out of the harbor. Howbeit, in the night, by what mishchance [sic] it is unknowne, the marryners did mistake their course and tooke the Hogge head for the Isle of Wight. By meanes whereof and the calmes and contrary wyndes wee stayed at sea Ffriday all day and night. And Satterday in the morneinge, being the 29th, wee arrived at Landham castle in the Isle of Wight, where wee dyned, and after dynner came to ride att a little port in the Island where [marginal note: Portsmouth.] wee tooke passage to Portsmouth arriveing heere about ffower in the afternoone.
The xxxth in the morneing wee sett forth towards London, dyned by the way at Altham, and came to Staines about 9 at night, where a coach of my Lord of Essex attended for Mr Secretary, and brought him to the Court betweene 10 and 11 of the clock at Whitehall. Mr Secretary went presently to the Queene, not stayinge longe with her, but retorned to his howse in the Strand.
210 pp. (351)


  • 1. For a copy of this letter, see PRO, S.P. 78 (France), Vol. 41, p. 195.
  • 2. For this letter see PRO. S.P. 78 (France). Vol. 41, p. 159.
  • 3. For a copy of this letter see S.P. 78 (France), Vol. 41, p. 161, with English translation appended.
  • 4. For these letters, see PRO. S.P. 78 (France), Vol. 41, pp. 185 and 186.
  • 5. The original despatch in PRO, S.P. 78 (France), Vol. 41, p. 214 reads: "Alons donc faire une armee pour chasser les Espaignols tout a un coup hors du pais bas."
  • 6. See H.M.C. Salisbury MSS, vol. VIII, pp. 90–99.
  • 7. mal entendu is meant here.
  • 8. See H.M.C. Salisbury MSS, Vol. VIII, pp. 104–12.
  • 9. The original letter in PRO, S.P. 78 (France) reads: "one of the mieulx disans of Europe".
  • 10. Copied from the original despatch. See S.P. 98 (France, Vol. 42, pp. 18b–19b.
  • 11. The original despatch reads: ". . . the Duke of Bouillon came to me, the Secretary, to see me, I having bene the day before with the Princesse of Orenge and the Duchesse of Bouillon."
  • 12. See H.M.C. Salisbury MSS, Vol. VIII, pp. 118–27.
  • 13. The original despatch in PRO. S.P. 78, Vol. 42, p. 1 has bastantissima.