Cecil Papers: March 1586

Pages 133-138

Calendar of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House: Volume 3, 1583-1589. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1889.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


March 1586

250. R. Douglas to Archibald Douglas.
[1585/6], Mar. 6. Not hearing from him, repeats his former advertisements touching a ship bought by his directions, the purchaser, John Lowe, having since died, and the vessel not likely to be bought by the merchants there. The death of Thomas Douglas.—Edinburgh, this 6th of March.
251. Sir Thomas Heneage to Sir Francis Walsingham.
1585/6, Mar. 9. Most sorry I am that I can have no such help from you for this present business as I desired, and find I shall have so great need of, having to do only with the Council of the States, and not with the States themselves, to whom I can deliver no letters till they be called, and who (for anything I find yet) cannot be called at this time without endangering the whole cause. Well, I must do as I can, and will beg help at God's hand, beseeching you to do in this and all things agreeable to the truth and virtue [which] is in you. And remember that truth is seldom other than sour, but most sure to stand to; that the good Master doth not leave the helm, when he is more than once beaten from it with the surges, and that to suffer evil to do good is a most noble patience. More now I cannot write, my haste is so great. And Mr. Vice Chamberlain I refer you to for the rest.—From Haarlem, attending on my Lord to Amsterdam, whither he is now going, and from thence to Utrecht, to settle the staggering state of those parts, 9 March 1585.
1 p.
252. Sir Francis Walsingham to Archibald Douglas.
1585/6, March 17. Her Majesty is pleased that the Lord of Lochleven and the Master of Weymss shall have access unto her this afternoon at two of the clock, which I pray you to make known unto them, and to desire them that they will be at my chamber by that hour, from whence I will take order they shall be brought unto her Majesty. Her Majesty hath also promised to despatch you presently, so as I hope you shall be ready to depart with these gentlemen.—From Greenwich, the 17th of March 1585.
½ p.
253. The Earl of Leicester to Sir John Norris.
1585/6, March 19/29. With regard to the cavalry and infantry now assembled round Utrecht, in order to ensure good military discipline, has written to the Count de Meurs to provide them with convenient quarters, with the least hurt to the peasantry. Desires Norris to assist the Count.—Amsterdam, 29 March 1586.
French. 1 p.
254. James VI. of Scotland to Archibald Douglas.
1585/6, Mar. 21. Asks him to further the bearer, Robert Scott, in his suit for recovery of certain goods bereft him in June 1585 by Captain Morgan, &c.—Holyrood House, 21 March 1585.
½ p.
255. R. Douglas to Archibald Douglas.
[1586], Mar. 28. Since my last I have been with his Majesty at Freuchtown. I find him minded towards you even as I wrote to you before. He will not be moved by sinister reports to speak of you, but will think what he pleases. He has commanded me to write to you his mind, which is, that by all means, but privily and -secretly, you deal here that offers and satisfaction may be made to him. The greater they be, and the farther to his advantage, the better occasion, says he, will he have to esteem of you and your services. He has commanded me also to receive your letters, and whatsoever may concern him or his service to communicate to his Majesty. The rest of the heads of my instructions, for he caused them all to be given to the Secretary, I am to wait upon him for answer, with whom I am to be to-morrow. The state of this country reposes altogether upon the Secretary, without whom there is nothing done, and who does all at his own pleasure, and I think matters are now come to these terms that no man of the nobility is desirous to be a doer, but suffers him gladly to make or spill matters at his own fantasy. By them who are very privy to all his doings, I am informed the Secretary means not that the King in any ways should enter on any violent course with England. For that effect he is to send James Hudson to Sir Francis Walsingham. And yet he has been the only cause of the restitution of the Bishop of Glasgow, and of the Commission which is to be sent to him to be ambassador for his Majesty. This has offended the house of Mar and all the Protestants of Scotland, and they grudge marvellously, fearing the overthrow of religion, especially since Jesuits and Papists come home openly. How the Secretary can allow these so contrary courses I leave you to judge.
Sir John Seton and the Laird of Barmbairoch are nominated Ambassadors, he for Spain and this for Denmark, if money could be had for their voyage. My Lord Bothwell, though he be an open enemy to England, and never ceases to urge the King to break the Borders, yet to you remains a very constant and loving friend, both publicly and privately.—Whittingham, this 28th of March.
256. Thomas Morgan to the Queen of Scots.
1586, March.29/Apr. 8. Desires her to stay the bearer, and not to remove from the country where she is, until she be called to enjoy her own right, which he hopes she shall be shortly, though it may cost him his life perhaps. Tells her to make much of her host. When her son heard that Randolph should come to Scotland, he said, that he never came there to do good, so is glad that he knows Randolph. The Duchess of Savoy is brought to bed of a boy. Cautions her to make none privy that he wished her to enter into intelligence with the Countess of Arundel. Recommends John Lawrence to her service.—Written in captivity, 8 April.
Endorsed :—1586.
[Murdin, pp. 505–506. In extenso.]
257. Archibald Douglas.
1586, Mar. 30. Warrant under the Privy Signet for a lease in reversion of lands to the value of two hundred pounds per annum, “for the benefit of such a person as shall be by our commaundement named unto you by our trusty and well-beloved Counsellor, Sir Francis Walsingham, Knight, our principal Secretary.” — Greenwich, 30 March, 28 Elizabeth.
Endorsed by Lord Burghley :—“30 Martij 1586. For Archibald Douglas.”
1 p.
258. Charles Paget to the Queen of Scots.
1586, Mar. 31/Apr. 10 Gives particulars touching Poley and Christopher Blount, who are in practice to gain others to serve her Majesty for intelligence. For her conveyance unto Scotland, if she thinks so good, it is meet she understood of certainty either by the Lord Claud [Hamilton], or the Prior of Seton, how her son stands affected to the Queen of England. For, if any about him affected to the Queen of England should discover the intelligence, and specially the Master of Gray, it were that which would breed much inconvenience.
Complains of the behaviour of the Bishop of Glasgow towards himself. Morgan, Lord Paget, and Monsieur Fontenay. It is long since they heard anything out of Scotland, and it is to be feared that the Queen of England will entrap her son, if good heed be not taken. There is nobody so able to draw her son the right way as herself, and therefore were it necessary that the intelligence between her and some sure person in Scotland were made. Does not see how she or her son can receive any good by the Duke of Guise. The King of Spain is the best to rely upon, for the enterprise made by the Earl of Leicester should bind the King of Spain to hate the Queen of England and to seek revenge. Many of the English of this side are fallen info great necessity, and the Queen of England taketh advantage of it to win some to her service. Mr. Charles Arundell is already gained, and has now gone to Spain to discover what preparation the King maketh to the sea. Fitzherbert, whom he recommended, is an advertiser for the Queen of England. Rolston, who carried her letters into Scotland, will make his way to return into England. The Earl of Westmoreland is treated by the ambassador of England with very fair promises to return to the Queen of England's service; but trusts he will never yield—Paris, 10 April.
P.S.—She shall receive enclosed in Morgan's packet a packet from the Bishop of Glasgow; a letter from Mendoza; two from Mr. Dennis; one from M. de Ruisseau; and one from M. Fontenay.
Copy. [Murdin, pp. 506–510. In extenso.]
259. Instructions for a Letter to be sent to the Countfss of Arundel from the Queen of Scots.
[1586, Mar. 31.] Condoling with her in her affliction, no doubt much increased by what has happened to her husband. It is no small grief that her only son is, by the malice of this time and the wicked practices of some instruments, conducted to be so backward in matters of his own salutation, and for the consolation of this whole isle. Requests her to buy two gowns for Lady Cobham, and sends a letter to Lord Harry Howard. Desires to receive all information by means of the French ambassador.—Undated.
[Copy. Murdin, pp. 503–504. In extenso.]
260. Thomas Morgan to the Queen of Scots.
1586, Mar. 31/Apr. 10 Her letter of 17 January reached him on the 15th inst. The ciphers enclosed, marked for the Duke of Guise, could not be deciphered. The King of France confessed that he wished he had spent 50,000 crowns rather than have committed writer to prison. Gives full details of matters connected with his imprisonment, the charges brought against him, and his chances of release. When he heard of her Majesty's removal to the guard of her host that now is, whom he knew to be a curious, vigilant, and severe gentleman, he treated forthwith, whilst at liberty, for the good of her service. Desires her to make provision of money on this side for the advancement of her service. It is also requisite that some personage of accompt be called to follow her service in London. “II” is well able to do this, and to bear some burden and charge in these hard days. Has written to him that he could not, with good conscience, give her so slippery adieu as to leave her at this time. Has also written to Lord Harry Howard, though he is ordered to live in Sir Nicholas Bacon's house; and has sent an alphabet to Lord Lumley. Forwards a draft letter which he wishes her to write to the Countess of Arundel, which may be delivered by means of the French ambassador. Leicester, before his departure, tried to make four new Councillors, the Earls of Huntington, Pembroke, and Kent, and Lord Gray, but Burghley, who was weak in the Council, admitted the Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Cobham, and Lord Buckhurst, all three opposed to Leicester. Hints it might be well to revive her intelligence with Lady Cobham, who “beareth a great stroke over her husband”; if, however, she be still in league with Lady Cavendish (otherwise the Countess of Shrewsbury) then is she to be dealt with with more discretion. Details his dealings with Mendoza with a view to aid her service. To entertain an intelligence with Scotland, advises her to write under the name of “Godfrey Sutton,” by means of the French ambassador, to “II”; in this letter Throgmorton may be called “Nicholas Germin.” Holds it to good purpose that she wrote to Lord Lumley, as he may do some good offices towards Scotland.
Leicester, like himself, hath taken the government of Holland and Zealand in his own name, contrary to his commission; whereupon she of England stormed not a little, terming him by the name of traitor and villain. He taketh the matter upon him as though he were king of the country; his greatness there doth much weaken England. Refers to his uneasiness on receiving the examination and confession of Father Creighton; trusts the Jesuits may preserve more secrecy in the future. Reminds her to write to the Pope to commend Scotland and her son to his special protection, as also the English seminary at Rheims. Is sorry to hear of the death of the Laird of Fernihurst. Has heard that Randolph was to be sent ambassador into Scotland, who is both dogged and crafty. Her Majesty will well perceive upon whom she builds in Scotland for her service; holds Mr. Alexander Seton a lit member for the purpose.
The preparation outwards is to make war against the Huguenots; but the King of France inwardly desires peace rather than war. The King had in hand with the Pope to provide that nothing should be attempted against England; whereupon his Holiness pleaded ignorance, yet answered the King that, if such enterprise were in hand, it should not lie in the power of the French King to resist the same. Sir Philip Sidney hath been a good while since in Germany to draw some from thence to assist the Huguenots.
Either Raleigh, the minion of her of England, is weary of her, or else she is weary of him; for writer hears that she hath now entertained one Blount, brother of Lord Mountjoy, being a young gentleman, whose grandmother she may be for her age and his [Blount's]. If this is confirmed, thinks it will be necessary to revoke Christopher Blount out of Holland, to serve her Majesty's turn by means of the credit he has with the other Blount. Has heard strange stories of her ambassador's behaviour towards him in this time, which, if true, the Bishop of Glasgow hath forgotten the office of a good prelate, and done the writer a foul wrong.—“Written in the place of my captivity, the last day of March.”
P.S.— “Monsieur Châteauneuf, for whom this mark 'A' standeth, hath informations sufficient to know the Countess of Arundel, whereby he may serve your Majesty's turn towards her. Let this mark serve for her name hereafter— 'II' and let her be put forwards for the service of your Majesty.”
Copy [Murdin, pp. 481–503. In extenso.]
261. Memorial from the Victualler in Ireland.
1586, March. Prays that a warrant may be granted, fixing the sterling rate instead of the Irish rates in accounting for victuals, and that the imprest for victualling may be 3,000l. Also proposes that the large arrears of debts due to her Majesty in that country should be received in corn and cattle in lieu of money.
1 p.
262. Extracts from Letters of Godfrey Foljambe and Sir Francis Englefield to the Queen of Scots.
1585, Mar. Godfrey Foljambe.— Must, as in duty bound, plainly signify to her Majesty that, having sounded the intentions of many towards the King her son, there is of late, and hath been, wonderful inquiry of his disposition and affection towards the Catholic religion. There are great presumptions that his intentions are not suitable to the desire of the Catholic princes, whereof the Ambassadors and others greatly complain, and religious men, who have continued in Scotland divers years by the connivance of the said King, are ready to depart, for fear of persecution. These are matters of great consideration, for he sees the affections of Catholics wax cold towards him. It is therefore necessary that by some public and notorious act he should manifest to the world that he beareth no evil affection towards the Catholics nor their cause, and thereby to entertain their devotions towards him.
Sir Francis Englefield, the Papists' agent in Spain, pressing the King of that country to prosecute the long-intended enterprise for the delivery of the Scottish Queen out of prison, and the deposing of her present Majesty under colour of reforming the State, and reducing the whole isle to the Catholic faith, uses this as his last and most effectual argument to the said King : that, admitting that the Queen of Scotland escaped all dangers during the life of the Queen of England, yet, since her passing through the same cannot be without the favour and friendship of heretical authority, it were neither wisdom nor policy, but apparently prejudicial to the Catholic church, to permit her to acknowledge the safety of her life and the enjoying of her state to the favour of heretics; as also, if she perish (which is now most likely), it cannot be but very scandalous and infamous to his Catholic Majesty, as he, being after the Queen of Scotland the nearest Catholic that is to be found of that blood royal, will ever be subject to the false suspicion and calumniation of leaving and abandoning the good queen to be devoured by her enemies, in order to make the way more open to his own claim and interest.