Cecil Papers: August 1595, 16-20

Pages 324-337

Calendar of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House: Volume 5, 1594-1595. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1894.

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August 1595, 16–20

Sir Francis Drake and Sir John Hawkins to the Queen.
1595, Aug. 16. Very lately a barque of Bristol took a Spanish frigate that came from an Island in the West Indies called Porto Rico, and had in her sundry passengers that came out of the Vice-Admiral, a ship of 350 tons, which was of the late fleet that came into Spain, and being in distress by loss of her mast was forced to harbour in the port or haven of this Island of Porto Rico. She had then in her two millions and a half of treasure : she lieth there unrigged and her ordnance put ashore. It is about two month's past that the mariners that doth discover this came from thence and left their ship in that port, which cannot come from there without order from the King. We have sent to Bristol for the master's mate of the ship and a “portyngall” that hath discovered this matter, and do mind, with God's favour, to take that place with all speed; it lieth in our way and will no way impeach us.
We do write to none other in this matter, but refer it to your Highness to impart it to such of your Council as shall seem best to your Highness.
Here hath been very foul and temptestuous weather, yet all your Majesty's ships and the rest are all in good safety, thanks be to God.—Plymouth, 16 Aug. 1595.
P.S. We send the letter that came from the alderman of Bristol and we have conferred with the master that took the frigate.
Addressed :—“To our most dred sovereign, the Queen's most excellent Majesty, at the Court, with all possible haste. Hast, Hast, post Haste.”
Endorsed :—“16 Aug. 1595. Rec. ye 18 of the same at Greenwich.”
Signed. Seal. 1 p. (34. 30.)
The Queen to Sir Francis Drake and Sir John Hawkins.
[1595, Aug. 16.] We have received your letters of the 11, whereof we are no waies satisfied for the principal matters whereof we gave you direction by ours, neither for your forbearing to go upon the coast of Spain to meet with the Spanish forces that might issue thence, neither yet by your refusal to spend a month to the meeting with the Indian fleet; but though we are content to pass over your answers to these two points, yet we can no waies allow your uncertain and frivolous answer to our notion to have knowledge in what time we might hope of your return, in that you have used words altogether uncertain, without answering either our opinion or according to your own former promise that the voyage might be performed in six or seven months. And for proof of the probability thereof in our opinion we sent you an information, given us by men of credit, within what time the voyage might be reasonably made, with God's favour and reasonable winds, whereof you have made no mention, but passed it over with all uncertainty; wherein we have cause to doubt whether you have taken to heart or had regard to our former reasons expressly contained in our letters, which as dutiful subjects you ought to have done, having neither limited any time certain by your own judgement, nor answering the times expressed by us. And though you may say that no person can make assurance of such matter without God's sufferance to have wind meet therefor, yet you might so have said that, with God's favour, having no let by wind, you had a full intention to have finished the journey within the space of six or seven months, as at the first you did promise; or, enlarging yourselves with two months more, your voyage might be ended by the end of April, or at the furthest by middest May, which is nine months. But considering you have not herein answered us, as you ought to have done, we cannot assent to your departure without you shall presently herein satisfy us, in shewing your intention fully in what time you shall mind to finish the voyage, having, with God's favour, a reasonable wind to further you. And so we charge you, upon your allegiance, to make us a direct answer, either that you mind and purpose by all your means possible to finish your voyage in the time by us aforementioned, which if you shall upon your allegiance assure us that you mind so certainly to do, then we are content that with the next good wind you may depart, or else make you an account that the journey shall stay; for the breaking whereof the disgrace shall be yours; and to diminish the loss for the charges sustained, you shall consider how the chargeable provisions may be dispersed with least loss, and the companies also discharged, so as the loss betwixt us and you may be made as little as can be devised; and therein we charge you hereby advertise us with speed of your opinion for order to be given accordingly.
Endorsed :—“16 Aug. 1595. M. of her Majesty's letters to Sir Fr. Drake and Sir Joh. Hawkins.”
Draft with corrections by Lord Burghley. 2 pp. (34. 31.)
Sir Francis Vere to the Earl of Essex.
1595, Aug. 16. How small occasion soever there be, when I have a messenger, I must not forbear to trouble your Honour. We have done nothing at all since our coming to this quarter, only retrenched ourselves and prepared to abide it out here. For the States will not stir so long as Mondragon is on this side the Rhine, and for aught we can perceive, the enemy is of like humour. He retrencheth and provideth his army with necessaries. Two days since we intercepted a packet of letters sent from Steven de Varra to Mondragon, in which it appeareth that they are well content he shall stay it out so long as Fuentes of himselfi s able to make his part good in France. He writeth also that the Count Fuentes hath an enterprise in hand of more importance than that of Durlans, which in other letters, is named to be Cambray. Fucherolles hath detained six companies for the assuring of Calais, but his motion to draw the States away into Flanders worketh no great effect, so that if her Majesty help not the King he must trust to himself. The mutinied Italians, which are 700 horse, 1500 foot, are now upon the point of reconcilement, which is a great augmentation to their forces. Their care and judgement in their late proceedings is such that it may make all those that have to do with them fear a change in the course of their fortune, and even at this instant they give all their adversaries their hands full. And as for us here, I know not when we shall be abler than we are now.—Camp near Wesel, 16 August, 1595.
Holograph. Seal. 1½ p. (34. 32.)
Matthew Ewens, [Baron of the Exchequer,] to Sir Robert Cecil.
1595. Aug. 16. Whereas it pleased your father, near two years since, to grant to his servant, Mr. Ernelie, a lease of the lands of one Edward Kaines, a recusant dwelling in this county of Somerset, and a commission was awarded accordingly, myself having moved the said Ernelie therein for the care I had to have the inheritance preserved from spoil, for that the said recusant's wife is near of kindred to my wife, as his children are, and not meaning to make any benefit otherwise to myself; and upon my lord's grant and warrant, so signed by his lordship as aforesaid, I compounded with Mr. Ernelie and paid him in hand a good part of his money. Now, forasmuch as I have understood that some other should use your Honour's means unto your father for a second grant of the same, which I do assure myself his lordship would not pass if informed of his former grant, I very humbly beseech you, in regard of your father's poor servant's good, and mine own interest herein, to take knowledge hereof, and if you have already moved my lord for any other, you will be pleased to let him understand what I have written.—Hereford, 16 August, 1595.
Signed. ½ p. (34. 33.)
Sir R. Sydney to the Earl of Essex.
1595, Aug. 17. This is only to give you very humble thanks for your letter of 11 August. I received it but even now, and am now called upon for my letters by the passengers which are ready to go on board. Your lordship, therefore, I hope, will pardon the shortness of this letter; by the next I will write more at large. And yet truly here is at this time small store of news. The States' army and the enemy lie about Wesel, some two or three Dutch miles asunder, and look one upon another, but have not yet done anything else, neither I think will, for the enemy doth not assail, and the States are unwilling to come to a battle. The King of France presseth earnestly to have succour. I think these people will assist him with some money, and not with men. The matters of Picardy are thought here to be in very bad terms. The good fortune that Fuentes hath had doth greatly assure the hearts of the Wallons, and won him great reputation and love among them, and now it is thought that the King was ill advised, before he was better provided, to proclaim war, for that did make the said Wallons, seeing they were to expect all hostility from France, to join resolutely in the war; which otherwise they would unwillingly have done, desiring to keep themselves as long as they might from spoils and other extremities that the war brings; and in the middle of all these troubles comes the Queen's urgings upon the States for her money. Who truly at this time, I am persuaded, are ill able to make any payments, having been this year at 160,000t. extraordinary charges. And every way the envy of the ill conjoining against Spain will lie upon her. And here my paper makes an end, which I humbly do.—Flushing, 17 August, 1595.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (34. 34.)
[Thomas Bodley] to Lord Burghley.
1595, Aug. 17. I had audience with the States the 14 of this month, where I presented her Majesty's letters and added so much more as I had either in charge, by virtue of my instructions, or was otherwise enjoined from her Majesty by word. Whereupon they required to have my speeches in writing, which I exhibited the next day, and send here enclosed the copy to my lord. Other answer I had none more than they give commonly at the first proposal of a matter, that they would take advice upon it. Which yet they offered unto me with signification of their grief that her Highness would proceed so directly against her treaty, and that in such a season as, if their state were thoroughly sifted, it would be found in greater danger than it was at the time of the making of the contract. They have met very often about the matter and yester afternoon, because I pressed them hard to know to what effect I should write unto her Majesty, they deputed one to tell me that I must needs have the patience to attend a little longer for that they had not yet concluded what answer they might make, but found it every way a matter full of infinite danger if they should not proceed with very great circumspection : for which they were agreed to impart it out of hand to Count Maurice and Count William and to the council of Estate, which are together at the camp, to the end that with their advice they might determine for the best. As far as I can conjecture they are fully bent to satisfy her Majesty in sending to the provinces, but I cannot yet perceive in what sort they are inclined to propose the matter to the provinces. For if they do it effectually by imparting their advice and by persuading with the people to assent to a certain sum, either that which I have signified or that they shall set down I may happily have an answer with some expedition. But if they will not determine to give direction to the provinces (as I find them that way very backward), but shall barely make request to know their resolution upon her Majesty's letters and my propositions, such a general kind of writing will occasion great variety in return of their answers which are of force to be reduced, by often sending to and fro, to a full accord of all in one (because they go not in such cases by plurality of voices), and then what time it will require your lordship will conjecture. I will, therefore, endeavour by all means I can devise to draw them here beforehand to agree upon a portion worth her Highness' acceptation and to move the generality to condescend thereunto. I have publicly proposed, as her Majesty willed, 100,000 pounds, but they show so little token of hearkening unto it, as I must grow to other terms in my private communication or else expect to be denied. For to inform you roundly what I find, with humble suit to your lordship to make it known unto her Majesty, I see the chiefest here among them full of silence and sadness for the troubles and discomforts which they declare to come by heaps upon the people of this country, and to minister much matter of discouragement and danger. They allege, in dealing with me, their losses in winter by the great inundations, whereof a great country complaineth continually; the contention of the provinces about their contributions which are not yet appeased; the consumption of their troops which they sent to the Duke of Bouillon; the foils they had at Huy and at divers times since in small encounters with the enemy; the dangerous consequences of the overthrows in France; their ill success at Grolle; and the general puissance of the enemy both here and in France, having presently a foot four several armies in Brittany, Burgundy, Cambresie and here. To this they add the sudden want that is noted of all men of zeal in religion in the people of this country, their excessive damages sustained by the stays made of late of their shipping in Spain, the spoils that have been done upon their merchants' ships by Dunkirkers, who are said within these two months to have taken at the least 100 ships of this country and not so a little as the value of 150,000l. sterling. They also put unto the reckoning the continual detriments which they receive by English seamen and the small assurance that they have to hold her Majesty's forces, either those that her Highness or the country entertaineth, but are most of all moved with this message of mine for restitution of her monies, insomuch that they affirm that if there come not in some amendment of their estate to keep the people from despair (whereof they do protest that their hope is very slender) they are very much in doubt of some sudden alteration; which is also feared will begin among the mariners and seamen that, as they were the chiefest in delivering the country from the bondage of the enemy, so they doubt that now again they will be readiest to revolt if their traffic be impeached, which the Spaniard out of question will omit no practice to effect. And very now here is news from St. Lucan in Spain that the King hath prohibited by public edict the payment of any debt to any person of these provinces, which is supposed will extend to the undoing here of many. There was a letter intercepted about this time twelve-month, written by one Frideri Spinoler (as it seemeth a seaman) to Yvarra at Brussels, by whom a question had been moved about the use of galleys upon the coast of Flanders for cutting off the traffic of Holland and Zeland, because I am not certain that your lordship hath seen it, and we hear that the enemy is busy again about it, I have sent you a transcript of it. It was written in ciphers and deciphered by Monsieur St. Aldegonde.
Upon the siege of Cambray by the count de Fuentes there goeth already a great fear among some that it will be carried ere be long. For Monsieur Baligny, they say, is very ill beloved both of the burghers and soldiers, who are doubted to be no more than seven or eight hundred, whereas the town doth require three thousand at the least to make good resistance, with a great deal greater store of warlike provision than is there to be found by all report.
It is also commonly spoken that if La Motte had lived, de Fuentes' first intention was to go in hand with Calais, insomuch as those of Zeland, upon request of the governor, were determined to send thither 6 or 7 companies, having sent already upon the bruit a certain quantity of powder. There is a general conceit among the wisest of these countries, considering how de Fuentes is both governor by provision and financier, where by he hath authority to undertake what he list and the means in his hands to perform his designs, which was neither granted to Ernestus nor to the duke of Parma; considering also his sufficiency for the managing of his business and his victories of late in the most of his attempts; and that the King hath no occasion to be so jealous of his doings as it seemed he was ever of the Duke of Parma before; that the coming of the Cardinal will be stayed for all together and an absolute commission conferred on the Count.
Count Maurice with his camp is said to he about Bislike, a place adjoining unto Wesel in the land of Cleve, and the enemy near unto him within two hours march, but here is nothing reported of any thing lately done of one side or other. The States are very willing that the Count should return and put his people in garrison, for that they find it a heavy charge to continue him there; but doubting lest the enemy, who is said to be strong 5,000 foot and 1,500 horse, should repair to de Fuentes at the siege of Cambray, they stand doubtful what to do. Having seen certain copies of intercepted letters which Mr. Gilpin of late hath sent unto your lordship, by a clause in a letter of William Creighton that a certain Englishman should be taken in the North parts of England, with one David Lawe, a Scottish priest, I call to mind what was written to Tyrius at Rome by the selfsame Creighton in a former letter intercepted, which I sent unto your lordship at my last being here, to wit, that he had sent a man with David Lawe, who had undertaken to effect by way of persuasion some special matter in 429, which I guess to be Scotia, as methinks it is also manifest that 428 is Anglus, and 427 Anglia, and perhaps some man else could aim at the rest, containing somewhat in my opinion of very good moment, which may perhaps be discovered by the examination of Williamson, who I learn was the man that was taken with Lawe, and is meant, as I think, in the letter of Creighton. Though your lordship may have noted this matter before, yet I thought it not impertinent to remember you of it, and to send you the copy of that part of the letter which toucheth that matter.
I saw a letter right now from Morlaix in Brittany, that all along the coast between that and Brest the Spaniard is busiest in making of forts, so as, if he may be suffered for two months together, it will be found very hard to chase him away. Though your lordship wants no means to know those occurrences, yet the letter being fresh and coming so fitly at the writing hereof, I thought to touch it in a word. Here is also notice at this instant that the mutinied Italians are like to composition; which will add a great strength to the enemy's forces.
Endorsed :—“Copy of my letter unto my lord Treasurer.”
pp. (34. 36.)
Enclosed in the foregoing.
1595, Aug. 15.—[Thomas Bodley] to the States General.—Messieurs, Il ne me sera besoin de vous reduire en memoire ce que vous proposay dernierement de la part de sa Majesté, tant à cause qu'il n'y a gueres que suis party d'icy, qu'aussi parce que l'affaire vous touche de si pres que je m'asseure qu'en aves encores la memoire toute fresche. Il vous plaira donques entendre que sa Majesté avec MM. de son conseil ont par plusieurs fois avec tres meure deliberation poisé le contenu de vos lettres, que m'avies baillées pour luy presenter au lieu de response à ma dite proposition, et pareillement tout ce que m'aviez declaré de bouche ou publiquement en ceste assemblée, ou à moy en privé par tels et autres personnages dont il a pleu à vos seigneuries vous servir pour me remonstrer plus vivement l'estat de vos affaires avec certaines des plus particulières exceptions qu'avies à faire à ses demandes. Nonobstant tout cela, j'ay en charge de vous sìgnifier de sa part qu'elle ne peut, en facon quelconque, trouver vos dites allegations, exceptions et remonstrances bonnes, ou tant soit peu suffisantes, pour donner aucune couleur au refus d'une tant juste et raisonnable requeste, faite de par une princesse qui a mieux merité de vous autres que n'ont fait en aucun temps tous les princes de l'Europe par ensemble. Et c'est pourquoy elle ne s'est peu garder de me renvoyer quant et quant par devers vous, pour vous soliciter tres instamment de mieux penser à ce qu'aves à faire, en proposant le tout à la generalité de ces provinces sans en faire difficulté, leur ramentevant la grandeur des merites de sa Majesté, en ce aussi vous servant de vostre singuliere sagesse et dexterité pour les attirer à luy en faire toute deue recognoissance. Long temps y a, Messieurs, que sa Majesté a commencé de vous assister de ses forces; l'espuisement de ses cofres et tresors, et la perte des vies de ses tres chers subjects a este excessive. Les necessités qu'elle a d'hommes et d'argent dans ses propres territoires (lesquels sont à present et ont esté souvent par cydevant fort inquietés de l'ennemy, point pour autre occasion que pour avoir prins le party et protection de vous autres) sont de tres grande importance, tellement que force luy est de s'ayder de tous costés et par tous les moyens qu'elle se pourra adviser, d'insister que vous ayes pareil esgard à son estat comme elle a eu au vostre en vos plus grandes extremités. A quoy faire, combien que vos moyens et pouvoir ne soyent tels comme il seroit bien à desire, si estre que en esgard à l'accroissement que n'aguères en aves eu, y estans parvenus par le seul moyen de sa Majesté, apres Dieu, vous aves, Dieu mercy! la puissance de ce faire sans vous grandement grever. Et afin de vous esclaireir de plus pres l'intention de sa Majestè, la somme qu'elle m'a commande expressement de soliciter est de cent mil livres sterlinges, laquelle elle requiert luy estre presentement payée. Et quant au reste, son desir est qu'il vous plaise deputer et envoyer en Angleterre quelques uns de vostre part suffisamment authorisés, pour se joindre avec ceux qui seront constitués de son coste, pour conclure, arrester et vinder tous les comptes et la dessus ordonner pour le remboursement du reste. Afin aussi que scachies que les occasions qui ont à ce esmeu sa Majesté sont si urgentes qu'il n'y a plus moyen de pouvoir endurer aucum refus on remise, faisant autant de cas de l'un que de l'autre, ma charge est de vous faire scavoir tout à plat que si l'on ne s'accommode en toute diligence à luy faire une offre honorable, qui vienne en proportion à la grande debte et qui soit aussi digne de sa royale acceptation, qu'elle ne rappellera pas seulement toutes ses forces tout incontinent lesquelles sont au service de vous autres, mais aussi remonstrera à tout le monde par ses publiques protestations de quel loyer elle est guerdonnée par les Estats des Provinces Unies, après les avoir tant d'années de suite si royalement secourus; estant en fin resolue que plustost que d'exposer son honneur à telles indignitès, par lesquelles l'ennemy commun peust prendre occasion de s'en resjouir, elle s'advisera d'un moyen bien autre et peut-estre telle qui ne sera nullement conforme, ni à son naturel ni à l'affection signalée que tant elle que ses predecesseurs ont de toute ancienneté portée vers ces pais cy. La ou d'autre costé son bon plaisir est, que je vous declare, que si en cet affaire vous luy donneres bon contentement, à quoy elle s'attend bien, elle ne se lassera jamais de vous bien faire, en conformant tellement ses actions et procedures aux vostres et à la preservation de vostre estat (pourveu que ce ne soit à son trop grand prejudice) qu'aures journellement plus grande occasion de priser et honorer son amitié et voisinage qu'autre qui ait jamais esté entre aucuns princes et nations de l'Europe.—Fait à la Haye ce 15 d' Aoust 1595.
Endorsed :—“Copie of my proposition to the General States. Aug. 15, 1595.”
Unsigned. 3 pp. (34. 27.)
George Gilpin to the Earl of Essex.
1595, Aug. 17. Mr. Bodley being arrived here made me acquainted with all had passed there, joining thereto your Honour's singular favour towards me; which since is confirmed by your letter of the 2nd of this month, when Mr. Bodley received also one whereof I was partaker. How he hath dealt in his business and what the States said, with the particularities that passed in private conferences with some of them, the difficulties they find and fear, I leave to his writing for avoiding tediousness; but sure it is that the message doth very much trouble them, insomuch that talking with one of the chief and using persuasions to the end they would think upon it and do all endeavours to yield her Majesty contentment, he protested they know not which way to begin it, and a worse conjuncture had there not been this seven years for causes which I know Mr. Bodley will enlarge unto my lord Treasurer, if not to your lordship likewise, and therefore will not trouble your honour therewith, only must yet add this, that having familiarly conferred with such as ever have and still do greatly honour her Majesty and affect our nation, they all say plainly that they could have wished the matter to have been deferred or handled with less earnestness in respect of the people, the which ever made account of her Majesty's favour as their most assurance against their enemies, and now will despair if he should come upon them with any force and see her Highness's hand withdrawn. They do not stick also to say that they know it dangerous to provoke a prince's anger but of as great danger to make a people desperate. Your honour can hereby in part judge what is to be expected, and will not fail to do all endeavour in that shall belong unto my duty and may tend to the furtherance of her Majesty's service any ways, as Mr. Bodley can and, I am sure, will at all times witness for me, whose care, endeavour and discretion is such as deserveth to be liked and commended. What the last advertisement I received from the camp was, your lordship shall perceive by th' inclosed copy. Here arrived since certain of the Council of State to make report of all unto the General States, and withal to know their pleasures whether the camp shall still remain together or be severed and the men put into garrison. It seemeth to keep Mondragon with his forces from returning, and consequently that none be sent into France; also that he attempt not anything to further the Emperor's purposes against Clevelande, nor yet do any other thing to annoy this State, that the resolution will be that his Excellency shall continue still for a while where he is with all the troops. For so long will not the enemy stir nor diminish any part of his strength, which consists of 19 cornets of horse, well in order and very strong, and 3,000 foot at least. His Excellency hath more and better footmen, but the horse are not so good nor so many. As for Thomas Hull I cannot certainly learn what is become of him, nor yet what to judge of him, but I expect daily news by one I have sent of purposes, for my friend in Antwerp is still in trouble, and he thinks Hull to have been the cause of it. The truth of all I shall know ere long and then shall your honour understand thereof. I am laying another bait for Jaques or his colonel and such others, hoping of better success than hitherto, the governor of Breda, Harroguieres, being the chief actor, and hath promised me to do his uttermost. Thus craving pardon for my longness, I do most humbly take my leave.—Haeghe, 17 August, 1595. In haste.
Signed. Seal. 2 pp. (34. 40).
Sir Francis Drake, Sir John Hawkyns, Sir Thomas Gorges, and Sir Thomas Baskerville to Sir Robert Cecil.
1595, Aug. 18. We have answered her Highness's letter, we hope to her good liking, which we humbly pray may be delivered to her Highness, hoping the next letter we shall write shall be of our happy departing. The wind is now very bad, but we hope it will shortly turn, which God grant!—Plymouth, 18 August, 1595.
Signed :—F. Drake. John Hawkyns.
Note at foot :—We have seen the letter of her Majesty sent to the Generals and us, and have seen their answer, which we cannot mislike.
Signed :—Thomas Gorges. Tho. Baskerville.
Endorsed :—“Received the 20th of the same at the Strand. 1 p. (34. 41.)
The Grocers Company to the Lords of the Council.
1595, Aug. 18. According to direction lately given us by your honours' letters, we have called a court at our Common Hall where we caused her Highness' letters patents [to Mr. Anton] touching the buying and selling of starch, as also your honours' letters, to be publicly read, declaring further her Majesty's most gracious express pleasure to have the contents of the said letters patents observed without contradiction or impugning.—Grocers Hall, 18 August, 1595.
Signed :—William Salter, John Hyd, Oliver Style, Wardens of the Grocers. (34. 42.)
News Letter.
1595, Aug. 18. News letter headed Venice, 18 Aug. 1595.
Summary of news from Vienna and Gratz of the 5th and 7th inst. and from Constantinople of the 11th ult., announcing, among other things, a great defeat of the Turks by Mansfelt. Mercantile news; and affairs of France, Italy, Spain and Flanders.
Italian. 4 pp. (172. 47–8.)
Ottywell Smyth to the Earl of Essex.
1595, Aug. 19. “My last letter was sent per John de Vyges the post. Since, the King hath writ to the Duke Monpansyer to take all the gentlemen in Normandy and to take with him the governors of Dieppe companye to go to Cambray, and to leave him governor of Roanne till the King doth come, the which will be about the 20th of September next. There be other letters come to Monsieur de Incarvylle, how that the King had given the government of Roanne and Dieppe to Monsieur de Chatt, governor of Dieppe; but that Monsieur Le Grand maketh great suit to the King to be governor of Roanne. If he be, it will bring great troubles; for the Chevalier Doysse, nor the captains that hold the strong forts, will not permit it; but they will permit the governor of Dieppe for to be their governor. And so doth the Duke de Monpansyer, the Court of Parliament and all the bourgeois of Roane desire that the governor of Dieppe may be their governor. I most humbly desire your honour to procure her Majesty's letter to Mr. Edmondes, to command him to speak unto the King that the government of Roane and Dieppe may be given to the governor of Dieppe, called Monsieur Du Chatte. So it will be a great assurance unto her Majesty to have good neighbours, and a great assurance for them of the Religion, to the augmentation of the Church of God. It is needful these be sent with diligence for fear the King give the government of Roane to some other. The King is now at Lyons and doth mind to be shortly in Picardy, with all his forces, to raise the siege that is before Cambray, the which will not be without 3 or 4000 English pikes, the which will do good service now in Picardy; for the King will bring horse sufficient, but he lacketh footmen.”—Dieppe, 19 Aug. 1595.
P S.—“The States have sent into Picardy, to the Duke of Bowlyon, some money with 30,000 weight of powder; and his regiment of 1,200 men be come to him out of Gascony. The captain that brought the powder saith that Mondragon, with his forces, goeth to the siege of Cambray and that Count Moris doth follow him. The King hath sent a gentleman, called Monsieur de la Barodereye, to her Majesty, to have some men for Picardy; and he saith the Duke Denmowers is dead but the Duke de Geysse amended.”
Holograph. 1 p. (172. 49.)
News Letter.
1595, Aug. 19. News letter headed Rome, 19 Aug. 1595.
News from Spain. The question of the absolution of the King of Navarre, Poland, the war with the Turks, &c.
Italian. 3 pp. (172. 50.)
Sir Thomas Cecil to his brother Sir Robert Cecil.
1595, Aug. 19. Has come a hundred miles nearer him and trusts his letters will therefore be the oftener. Till he hear from my lord his father or from Sir Robert he will have some hope of seeing his Lordship here. Will not however tarry long at Burghley but return home towards London (?) by the Bath, although, thank God! he has at present no great need of the Bath. His wife and himself send commendations to Sir Robert and his wife.—Burghley, 19 Aug. 1595.
“I pray you write unto me what you know of the remove of our bishop here; for that if he be removed we may have a good man in his room, whom I would wish that my lord my father would remember. The place is of a small revenue, and but for the title of a bishop, I think few will affect it but to step forward to a better.”
Holograph. 1 p. (172. 52.)
M. de St. Luc to the Earl of Essex.
1595, Aug. 19/29. “Monsieur, nous avons perdu ces jours passés M. le Maréchal Daumont, en la vie duquel residoient beaucoup de choses pour cette pauvre province, qui neust jamais tant de besoin du secours de ses bons voisins comme elle a de present, s'ils ne la veuillent voir du tout sucombée soubs la tirannye et servitude des ennemis communs, qui ny vont pas maintenant de morte main; car les estroits et renouvelés traités qui se sont faits entre eux et ce duc, la confiance qu'il y prend, les seuretés et pied qu'il leur donne tous les jours, ne tesmoignent que trop la planche et lestablissement qu'il leur y veult dresser.” Thinks it well, therefore, by this gentleman, to write to her Majesty of these designs, and begs that Essex will consider the necessities of this province and promote his suit for aid.—Rennes, 29 Aug. 1595.
Endd. :—“29 Aug. 1595, novo stilo.”
French. Holograph. 1 p. (172. 56.)
Henry Lok to Sir Robert Cecil.
1595, Aug. 20. “I was this morning going to speak with some Scottish gentlemen, departing for Holland, who craved the same; in going to whom I am arrested by two sergeants, called William Pigot and Chr. Watson, at suit of one Prowse, in a bond of 20l., due at Mid-summer.” Thinks this done out of malice because Prowse's brother could not have the collectorship. Begs for an order to the sheriff for his release and suggests that the two sergeants should be committed meanwhile.—Wednesday morning.
Endorsed :—“20 Aug. 1595.”
Holograph. 1 p. (172. 53.)
Absolution of the King of France.
1595, Aug. 20/30. Monseigneur—Par ma dernière lettre du 29 de Juillet je vous escrivis sommairement ce qui s'estoit fait jusques à ce jour là en l'affaire du Roy, depuis que Monsieur Duperron estoit arrivé en ceste ville. Le lendemain, qui estoit un dimanche, 30 du dit mois, nous eusmes de nostre Saint Père la seconde audience; ou nous dismes à sa Saintetè comme nous avions achevè de visiter et d'informer les Cardinaux, suyvant son commandement, et luy presentasmes la requeste par escrit, en laquelle estoit contenu la demande de sa Majesté que sa Sainteté avoit aussy voulu avoir par escrit. Sa Sainteté leust la dite requeste et nous dist qu'il la consideroit et puis nous fist appeller. Après cela, nous fist plusieurs interrogations et difficultés sur ceste affaire, ausquelles nous respondismes. Et le mercredi ensuyvant, 2 de ce mois d'Aoust, nostre Saint Père assembla tous les cardinaux en une congregation generale et leur proposa le dit affaire, leur desduisant tout ce qui s'estoit passé depuis le commencement de son pontificat jusques à ce jour là, et leur contant toutes les rigeurs qu'il y avoit tenues, et comme elles n'avoyent de rien servy, estant le Roy tousjours allé en prosperant et s'establissant au royaume nonobstant toute la resistance qu'on luy avoit peu faire; que sa Sainteté s'estant en fin laissé entendre à M. le cardinal de Gondi qu'elle escouteroit celuy qui seroit envoyé de nouveau, le Roy avoit envoyé M. Duperron, qui luy avoit porté deux lettres de sa Majesté, dont l'une estoit de sa main, et presenté sa requeste par escrit; que e'estoit le plus grend affaire que le Saint Siège eust eu depuis plusieurs centaines d'ans; qu'il les prioit, exhortoit et conjuroit de vouloir bien penser et mettre à part toutes sortes des passions et interests humains et ne regarder qu' à l'honneur de Dieu, à la conservation et amplification de la Religion Catholique et au bien commun de toute la Chrestienté; qu'ils se sonvinssent qu'il ne s'agissoit icy en un homme privé, qu'on tint en prison, mais en un très grand et trèspuissant prince, qui commandoit à des armées et a plusieurs peuples, et qu'il ne falloit pas tant regarder à sa personne comme à tout un royaume qui luy suivoit et dependoit de luy, ny tenir si grande rigueur en absolvant des peches; que à quatre ou cinque jours de la il les feroit appeler, les uns après les autres selon leur rang et ordre, pour venir luy dire leur advis en sa chambre à part et qu'en s'y preparassent. Après avoir ainsi parlé, il fist lire en la dite assemblée les deux lettres du Roy et la requeste par escrit que nous luy avious presenté. Le lundy ensuivant, 7 de ce mois, il commenca à ouir les advis des dits seigneurs cardinaux, et, pour la longeur qui est comme naturelle à Rome et pour n'avoir peu sa Sainteté laisser les affaires ordinaires de ceste Court, il n'acheva de les ouir que le mercredy, 20 de ce mois Il y en a eu plus des trois quarts qui ont esté d'advis que sa Sainteté donnast l'absolution. En ces huit jours qui ont passés depuis que le Pape eust achevé d'ouir les dits advis nous avons sollicité et traité des conditions de la future absolution et en sommes demeurés d'accord; pour le moins leur avons dit et baillé par escrit tout ce que nous pouvions leur accorder sans nous rien reserver et leur avons declaré ne pouvoir y adjouster aucune chose et jaçoit qu'ils monstrent de vouloir passer outre à l'expedition de l'affaire comme nous en suppliasmes. Nostre Saint Père en la troisième audience que nous eusmes de sa Sainteté, lundy, 28 de ce mois, faisant à sa propre personne la susdite declaration de ne pouvoir plus adjouster aucune chose aux conditions par nous auparavant accordées, aussy ce jour d'huy sa Sainteté a tenu consistoire et en icelle a declaré aux cardinaux comme, ayant recueilly leurs voix, il a trouvé que presque tous avoient esté d'advis de donner l'absolution, et suivant cela il s'estoit resolu de la donner et avoit ja advisé avec les procureurs des conditions d'icelle, desquelles il leur a dit les principalles et les plus importantes, adjoustant qu'il tascheroit d'en tirer encores davantage si faire se pouvoit; et, à ce qui ne se pourroit obtenir à present, il verroit puis après de l'avoir par le moyen d'un legat qu'il envoyeroit et des nunces qu'il tiendroit près le Roy et des ambassadeurs que sa Majesté envoyeroit et tiendroit aussy par deça. Maintenant il reste que nous signions les dites conditions et promesses, arrestées et convenues, et que sa Sainteté face et publie le decret de l'absolution. Cependant on est après à dresser la forme de l'abjuration et profession de foy qu'il nous faudra faire icy au nom du Roy et la forme de la bulle de l'absolution; de quoy on nous donnera coppie, et sera convenu avec nous avant que rien s'y face. Cela faite, sa Sainteté prendra un jour auquel sera faite l'absolution publiquement de la dite abjuration et profession de foy et de l'absolution, qui sera donné quant et quant et d'une mesme teneur, et avons esperance et quasi assurance que ce sera le jour de la Nativité de nostre Dame, 8 du mois prochain, et puis sera la dite bulle grossoiée, signée et publiée pour estre portée au Roy et publiée en France et par toute la Chrestienté. Je ne vous particulariseray point icy les susdites conditions, ny rien des negociations qui se sont faites, pour le peu de seureté qu'il y a par les chemins que le courrier ordinaire de Lyon, qui portera le presente, aura à faire et tenir, remettant le discours plus ample quant nous vous depescherons courrier exprès suivant ce que je vous escriviz par ma précédente. Cependant, vous pouvez croire, et en assurer le Roy, que nous n'avons point excédé et n'excéderons nostre pouvoir, et que toutes choses s'y sont passées et passeront avec la dignité de sa Majesté et de la couronne treschrestiene, comme aussy n'avons nous jamais pensé à refuser rien de tout ce qui appartenoit à la dignité du saint siège et de nostre Saint Père en tant que nostre pouvoir s'est peu estendre. Voila, Monseigneur, quant à nostre affaire, tant pour le passé et present que pour l'advenir en ce qui reste, à quoy appartienent encores en certaine façon les brigues et les menées que les Hespagnols et autres ennemis du Roy et de la France ont continuées sans cesse en diverses façons. L'Ambassadeur d'Hespagne a persisté tousjours ouvertement à soutenir que le Roy estoit impenitent, et qu'il ne le falloit point absoudre en sorte du mond, et cependant il a eu ung grand nombre de supports qui l'ont servy soubs main, taschant soubs autres pretextes à faire que l'absolution ne se donnast jamais ou le plus tard que faire ce pourroit; dont les ungs faysoyent tout ce qu'ils pouvoient pour faire enchérir les conditions et, soubs pretexte d'assurer la Religion Catholique en France et d'assurer et conserver la dignité du Saint Siége, mettoyent en avant des demandes qu'ils scavoient que ne s'obtiendroient jamais, et cependant affermoient au Pape contre leur conscience que le Roy avoit si grand besoin de l'absolution et mesmes pour des respects et interests temporels qu'il l'achepteroit à toutes conditions que le Pape voudroit, pourveu que sa Sainteté tint bon et ne se laisast point aller à la peur que on luy faysoyt du schisme, comme ils disoient. Autres, qui voyoient la force de la necessité et la cognoissance que le Pape peut avoir de ce qui se peut obtenir ou non, servoient le dit Ambassadeur d'Hespagne d'une autre façon, mettant en avant que pour certaines considerations le Pape ne devoit point donner l'absolution à Rome, mais la devoit faire donner en France par ung legat qu'elle envoyeroit pour cest effect, esperans de trouver moyen que le legat ne partiroit de quelque temps, et qu'il seroit longuement par les chemins, et que avant qu'il fust receu en France il pourroit survenir des choses qui feroyent que l'absolution ne se donneroit jamais, et nous avons eu bien grand affaire à nous defendre de ces derniers. Mais à la fin nous en sommes venus à bout, et avons obtenu que l'absolution se donneroit à Rome en la façon que je vous ay prédicté cydessus.
Or, tant plus ces malins esprits s'estudioyent d'empescher ou retarder ung si grand bien, tant plus nostre Saint Père a fait continuer par Rome les prieres publiques et privees de tous les gens de bien, et tant plus luymesmes a esté et est assidu à prier et invoquer la grace et inspiration du Saint Esprit et outre ses devotions ordinaires, qui en tout temps sont grandes, le samedy, 6 de ce mois, feste de la Dedication Ste. Marie des Neges, accompagné d'un petit nombre de ses serviteurs, il alla tout pied nud sur l'aube du jour depuis son palais de Monte Cavalli jusques à Ste. Marie Major, et la fist une très longue oraison, et y dist la messe tousjours pied nud en son dit palais, tousjours plorant et tenant la tete basse sans donner la benediction ny regarder personne. Et le jour de l'Assumption de Nostre Dame, 15 de ce mois, retourna à la mesme heure en la susdite eglise, aussy pied nud, y fist longue oraison et y dist la messe aussy pied nud, et puis y tint la chapelle de ce jour la, assisté des cardinaux qu'il y attendist plus de deux heures aprés avoir achevé les devotions susdites. Et comme il fait tous les jours quelque nouvelle demonstration de sa devotion et pietie envers Dieu, aussy en l'audience que nous eusmes de sa Sainteté le dit jour de lundy, 28 de ce mois, il nous rendist un très grand et insigne tesmoignage de l'estime qu'il faysoyt du Roy et de la France, et de sa paternelle affection envers luy et autres, comme il vous sera declaré en temps et lieu plus seur. Aprés sa Samteté je ne douty et ne puis taire les bons offices que auprés du Pape et ailleurs a faits au Roy et à la France (ou pour mieux dire à la Religion et à la Chrestientè et en particulier au saint siège) M. le cardinal Toleto par les bons conseils, instructions et courage qu'il a donné et continué par un long espace de temps à sa Sainteté et à d'autres, tellement qu'il se peut dire avec verité que, après Dieu qui a fait prosperer le Roy et inspiré le Pape, le dit seigneur cardinal a plus fait et peu auprès de nostre Saint Pére que tous les autres hommes ensemble pour la fiance que sa Sainteté a en sa doctrine, prudence, integrité, fidelité et bonne affection envers elle; et est chose esmerveillable que du millieu de l'Hespagne, d'ou est issué toute l'opposition et contradiction à un œuvre si saint et si nécessaire à toute la Chrestienté, Dieu aye suscité ung personnage pour conseiller, procurer, solliciter, acheminer, advancer et parfaire ce que les Hespagnols abhorrent le plus. Il y en a qui ont opinion qu'il sera legat en France, quant ainsi seroit les choses ne s'en porteroient que mieux, luy estant personnage de grand entendement, de doctrine eminent et insigne prudence, vertu et valeur, qui cognoistra incontinent la raison et la recevera en paiement, et passera par dessus beaucoup de petites choses ausquelles un autre de moindre capacité s'arresteroit et feroit difficulté. Quelques uns, pour ce qu'il est nay en Hespagne et a esté Jesuiste, pourroient penser qu'il voudra procurer quelque chose pour le Roy d'Hespagne et pour les Jesuistes; mais, outre qu'il est homme de bien et des plus raisonnables, et ne fera que selon l'instruction qui luy sera donnée, il n'a moyen d'enchanter ny de forcer le Roy ny son conseil à faire ou conseiller chose qui ne soit juste et expediente. Aussy bien tout autre qui sera envoyé par dela aura les mesmes instructions que luy, et neantmoins ne les executera possible pas avec tant de discretion et de respect que luy, et ne se contentera pas si tost avec raison, et ne fera pas par deca rapport si favorable des choses de dela comme luy qui est comme engagé et affectionné par une infinité de bons offices qu'il a faits pour l'acheminement et entiére expedition de cest affaire.
Le 5 de ce mois, je receu la lettre qu'il vous pleust m'escrire de Givry près Chalon et le 16 juillet, avec la coppie de la demande de M. de Mayenne et de la responce que luy avoit este faite, du contenu de laquelle despesche je me suis servy ou il a este à propos et vous en remercie très humblement.—Rome, le Mercredi, 30 August, 1595.
Copy of a letter apparently written by Monsieur d'Ossat. 5 pp. (34. 76.)
The Governor of Dieppe to the Earl of Essex.
[1595,] Aug. 20/30. Puisque la Barroderye s'en va en Angleterre, je ne luy veux pas faire ce tort de vous mander de noz nouvelles, m'en remectant à sa suffisance. Je vous supplieray seulement de permettre à ces porteurs d'amener quelques haquenées qu'ils vont acheter en Angleterre, en ayant este prié par un de mes amys.—Dieppe, 30 jour d'aoust.
Endorsed :—“1595.”
Signed. ½ p. (34. 79.)