Elizabeth: February 1575

Pages 10-19

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 11, 1575-1577. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1880.

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February 1575

Feb. 1. 21. Dr. Wilson to Lord Burghley.
Has been very earnest with Mr. Copley to know the author of that book which was written against the Queen's right and title to the crown, but cannot learn of him anything. He alleges his undoing here if it should be known that he was the reporter, and then not be sure of his living in England he would be undone altogether, and that he would first be sure of his lands and person before uttering such a secret. Wilson told him that he showed himself very mistrustful of the Queen's goodness, and undutiful. Hears that one Aleyn, a doctor of divinity, some time of Oxford, and now of Douay, who is counted the best learned and wisest of any Catholic this side the seas, has written a chronicle of England in Latin, wherein he deals with the Queen's title and others. Touching the book of treasons he has used a stratagem, setting a "pyke" betwixt Sir Francis Englefield and the Earl of Westmoreland, for whereas the Earl sent now secretly that Sir Francis was privy to the setting forth of the book, and a deeper dealer than he was in divers practices; Wilson thought good to let Sir Francis know that he held him in suspicion for the book and other matters, that either he might charge others or purge himself. Hereupon there is a great division amongst them at Brussels, and the Earl utterly out of credit. Englefield makes means for his own purgation, which he will not admit except he charges others. Englefield lately sent to him one Freeman, a Catholic priest, who was heretofore committed to the Marshalsea, who told him that Gifford, of the Temple, was the deviser of the latter part of the book, and Sir Nicholas Throckmorton not unacquainted therewith. The conjectures that move him to charge Gifford are that when he was in this country he heard him often use these speeches, that "England was governed by Machiavellians;" those unseemly words touching the parentages of Lord Burghley and the Lord Keeper, often using this speech, "Cecilian tricks, Sinons sophistry, Sinon's creed, a creeper of the cross in Queen Mary's days." When Freeman saw the book in print he at once said that Gifford was a doer in it, though he never showed him the book in writing, as he was a very close man, and melancholy. Thinks that after the first platform was had divers here were doers to finish the upright, as Darbyshire, Stapelton, Dr. Knotte, Hyde of Louvain, and Heighynton, the Countess's secretary. Has sent word to the Earl of Westmoreland that if he would disclose the uttermost of his knowledge in writing it should be shown to the Queen, who is a prince of great mercy. Desires that if he should seek to speak with him he may have warrant and instructions. Some say that one Mownse, born in Calais, servant to the Duke of Norfolk, put the English into French, and was in Paris at the printing. Antonio Guarras lately sent a letter to Dr. Parker, which he hears was of great moment. One Dodzer, a tall black fellow with a black beard, comes often into England for the Nortons, and lies often at Colchester with one Ramme, his brother-in-law, the town clerk there. Encloses a letter from one Smith, a captain here, who promises to get all the English mariners from hence, who are within a little of 100 tall fellows, and good seamen. Touching the buying of one of the Queen's ships, they imagine it should be the Bastard. Southwell, who writes often to Mr. Copley, has spoken to Fowler, the printer, who will not disclose anything touching the printing of the abstract. Egremont Ratcliffe continues his suit; he is marvellously repentant, and accuses the Earl of Westmorland as the only cause of his wicked revolt. Forwards his letter. In accordance with his request he gives the numbers and names of the different commanders of the Spanish forces in the Low Countries. The whole number is said to be 50,000 soldiers, besides 800 reiters, as many light horsemen, and the bands of the country. The charges are said to amount to 300,000 crowns monthly; and further, that King Philip and the country have been at charges within these eight years of 33,000,000 crowns, or florins of 2s. 8d. each, and also that the King paid the third part whenever he borrowed money, so that for 6s. he received but 4s. This is more to be wondered at, seeing there has been such evil pay to the soldiers, who mutiny daily in every place for want of wages. Of late there came by way of Paris 50,000 crowns, and 100,000 more shall be sent shortly, at which there is great rejoicing; yet this is under the monthly expense before declared, so that he knows not what to believe. It is now granted that the English rebels shall depart presently. The King minds to send an ambassador very shortly, but does not think that he will be one who will be apt to maintain the peace. Froward ministers may be the cause of untoward answers, but he is certain that they dare not offend the Queen: Found the Commendator cold enough when he would not yield to his great anger and heat. The navy of England has given great cause of misliking, seeing their open trading with the enemy, but he has told the Commendator that this should be remedied when the Merchant Adventurers had their free passage granted.—Antwerp, 1 Feb. 1574. Signed.
Endd. Marginal notes in Burghley's writing. Pp. 5.
Feb. 1. 22. Advertisements from Antwerp.
1. The wardens of the watermen were lately committed to the castle at Antwerp, being charged with being privy of the Flushingers' enterprise. Some burgesses of the town were lately taken upon suspicion of the late attempt by the only authority of the Commendator, without the new Margrave's knowledge. There came to Antwerp out of Spain from the Catanes and D'Oren 50,000 crowns. Those of Arragon have humbly requested the King Catholic to make his abode in Arragon, offering him within five months 2,000,000 of gold, but he is minded to lie at Barcelona, to make provision for Italy.
2. There is great means made in the courts of Spain and the Emperor to grant the title of Grand Duke to the Duke of Florence. The King Catholic makes great provision for money, having stayed ships in all the ports from coming to the Low Countries.
3. The Turk makes two armies for Italy, first to set upon Sardinia, and then upon Malta, threatening all Christendom with great insolence and pride.
4. The Duke of Ferrara makes all the means he can to be King of Poland, and has offered 300,000 crowns to the French King, and the Turk is well inclined to advance his desire.
5. There is a league for eight years between the Emperor and the Turk. The Huguenots have got St. Gilles, in Languedcc, and are like to get Macon. There is small likelihood of peace.
6. The Pope has written to the Princes Catholic to unite their forces against the Turk. He has sent 4,000 footmen and 200 horsemen to the French King. Ambassadors are come out of Poland to pray the King to leave his title to that realm, as his subjects of Poland will not be governed by a lieutenant.— 1 Feb. 1574.
Enclosure. Pp. 12/3.
Feb. 12 & 13. 23. State of Genoa.
The old nobility remained well armed in their houses with the foreign soldiers, and the new took arms with the people openly in the streets. The former had determined to commence the attack in three days' time, which caused the others to alter, so that there is a suspension of arms till Mid-Lent. Up to this time the Seignory have had no power over either party. Most of the galleys have been withdrawn. The Seignory being divided is unable to punish anybody or take any measures.—Genoa, 12 and 13 Feb. 1575.
Fr. P. 2/3.
Feb. 13. 24. Dr. Dale to Walsingham.
Would God he had Cauriam with him for his disease! If it be his pleasure will solicit him to come to him, for he doubts he would not be so tenderly handled there as he was here. Men would hardly believe this sudden marriage when it was spoken of till the maiden was sent for herself. It is much discoursed what the Queen Mother may think of it, for although she may like the person well enough because she is not like to take over much upon her, yet she may well doubt what may become of the greatness of the Guises by this affinity. She is the daughter of M. Vaudemont, uncle to the Duke of Lorraine, and of the sister of the late Count of Egmont. Has left the description of her person to Mr. Randolph, who did sit over against her when they were invited to the Duke of Lorraine's; saw no singularity in her at that time. Their matters of war are laid in water. Marshal Bellegarde is withdrawn to Valence, M. Montpensier to his own house. The King makes haste towards Paris to make preparation for money. Cannot learn that the deputies are come for any treaty of peace; they do not make any haste unless they can make their bargain. The better men are much encouraged with the departure of the King in this manner from Dauphiny, being constrained to levy the siege from such a petty tower as Livron. The jealousy of the Duke and the King of Navarre is not yet quenched. The King would not suffer them to lie in any house but where he lay, were the lodging never so strait by the way. Prays to be commended to Mrs. Walsingham, and commends Jacomo for his diligence.—Rheims, — February. Signed.
Add. Endd. by Walsingham: "Dated the 13th of February." Pp. 3.
Feb. 14. 25. Dr. Dale to Lord Burghley.
1. The matter of the King's marriage was suddenly blown abroad as the King was in his voyage, and all men sent about for preparation thereof. Who now but the Guises; in such matches envy of equals breeds more enemies than the good will of such personages can procure friends. She is by her father joined to the House of Guise. Found no singularity in her either of stature, personage, or beauty. Mr. Randolph peradventure can better judge, for she sat over against him at supper at Nancy. She was not at the Court at this time, nor seen by the King since his being at Nancy. As the Queen Mother loves to have none that would take over much upon her, so may she have good cause not to wish the Guises to be over great.
2. News from Dauphiny and Languedoc is kept very secret. Hears privately that they of the religion are entered again into L'Oriol upon the Rhone, and that there has been a rencontre between the Duke D'Uzes and Danville, nothing to the advantage of the Duke. The reiters are almost all sent away; it is thought the King will do what he may by treaty of pacification. Understands from M. Montigny that other men are of better courage than they were, either to stand to their defence or make the betterba rgain. Sends the names of those remaining here of the House of Guise. The maps of France are very imperfect, therefore will be careful to express the situation of such towns as are named by any occurrent that shall happen. The King makes haste to Paris of necessity to make money; men are occupied about the solemnities of the sacre and the marriage, so that it is no time to deal with any of the suits. Bellegarde is withdrawn to Valence in Dauphiny; Montpensier to his own house in Poitou, and is now come to the Court et omnes sunt in hibernis weary of wars, saving the Duke D'Uzes. It cannot be expressed how much these slender doings in Dauphiny and Languedoe have touched the credit of the King with all Princes of Christendom, and namely, that he was constrained to raise the seige of that little town of Livron. The King cannot suffer Monsieur and the Duke of Navarre to be out of his house.—Rheims, 14 February 1574. Signed.
3. P.S.—Prays him thank the Queen for forgiving him the first-fruits. Would that it might stand with his leisure to cause him to have a copy of the treaty of the precedence of England and Castile.
Add. Endd. Pp. 2½.
Feb. 14. 26. Edward Woodshawe to Lord Burghley.
Offers his services to surprise Boulogne or Calais. Could with 10,000 men so besiege Calais that the French should neither raise the siege or succour it with 100,000 men. If it might please the Queen to send him into Spain with letters to the King that he might have the leading and levying of certain English gentleman and soldiers to go into Italy to serve the King in his wars against the Turk he would make further suit to have the King's commission to levy 300 soldiers in his country of Artois that they might be divided amongst the English to train and lead them. He doubts not to be able to obtain therewith letters to the Governor here to aid him therein, and give him order to lodge the men upon the frontiers near St. Omer. Instead of 300 men he would levy 500 or 1,000 and having a commission from her Majesty, upon the sudden declaring to them that she made war upon the French King, and that same night they would set upon the town of Boulogne and have all the prisoners and spoil to themselves, no doubt but the greedy Walloons will have such hearts that instead of climbing over the walls they would fly over them. The same night the English ships and men might enter the haven of Boulogne. If he had deserved a thousand deaths he will come over to England at Burghley's commandment. Has sundry times broken with the ambassador according to Burghley's commandment of these and many other matters, who has required him to ride with him to Dunkirk and then go to Gravelines to desire M. de la Motte to come and confer with him. Has written to M. de la Motte about Calais, who said he would render the ambassador contented thereof. Has refused to serve with Mr. Copley against the Prince. Recommends the bearer to him who has so good experience in such politic cases that he would be a fit instrument in the matter. Desires that he will send him answer of his pleasure, for he will be forced to travel into Spain to get order from the King for the payment of 2,400 guilders that are owing to him, for that he cannot long continue here. Hopes also to obtain a pension to maintain him in his old age, as he has better deserved it than any of all his countrymen in these parts.—Antwerp, 14 Feb. 1574.
Add. Endd., with seal. Pp. 4.
Feb. 16. 27. Instructions for Thomas Wilkes sent to the Count Palatine.
1. Of late there has been earnest request made to the Queen on behalf of the Prince of Condé, as well by his own letters as by M. de Meru, that she would either lend a sum of money or be respondent therefore to the Count Palatine with condition to repay the same to her. Forasmuch as it has been declared by the said M. de Meru, that by the imprest of this money the Prince of Condé will be able to levy a force and enter France and set at liberty the Marshal Montmorency, the Duke of Alencon, and the King of Navarre, who are reported to be restrained from their due liberty, and procure freedom to the multitude of the professors of the religion in France now persecuted to death, her Majesty has been moved to have some regard as of a matter of great importance and pertinent to her estate. The Queen being informed out of France that the Prince has sent certain persons to the French King to treat of peace is moved to be doubtful what were expedient to be resolved therein, and has answered M. de Meru that it behoves her to be more certainly informed what is meant to be done by the Prince of Condé and his party.
2. For this special purpose Wilkes is to repair in as secret sort as he may to the Count Palatine, and after presenting his letters of credit, declare that he is sent to him for the causes above specified, and if it shall appear that the Prince of Condé continues in his firm purpose to levy force, then he shall require the Count Palatine to well consider of this great matter not only in respect of the Prince of Condé, but also of her Majesty and himself if they shall assent to aid the Prince and the French with money and men. Herein is to be considered whether the Prince and his party will be able to withstand the French King's forces in continuance of time, considering that it is very probable that they will daily increase, whereas there is no cause to hope that the party of religion will have means to increase their strength, but rather by casualties and chances of war to diminish their numbers.
3. Secondly, whether after a long time spent in war the Prince and his people may not be constrained to accept offers of peace of less advantage than those they may now have without war. Thirdly, whereas the Queen is now in peace with the French King, by this aiding the Prince and his party she may be justly challenged to have broken the peace. He shall require the Palsgrave, as a prince of wisdom, to consider of these three objections, and whether the Prince and his party might not by treaty without outward force obtain a reasonable peace at the French King's hands; and hereunto the Queen is more earnestly disposed, because she is informed that the French King is advised by his wisest counsellors to yield to his subjects their reasonable demands, both for exercise of religion and the restitution of the Princes to liberty, moreover the death of the Cardinal of Lorraine, who was the original counsellor of the troubles in France, seems in the judgment of the wise much to further the counsels for peace. If he shall perceive by conference with the Count Palatine that there is no such assurance of an accord to be had, he shall then require of him what he thinks of the success that may follow the sending of a force with the Prince, and what further help he has or hopes to have. He shall further say to the Count Palatine that he is authorised, if other means cannot be found, to procure their safety by accord; that if he shall find means to procure for the Prince the sum of thousand crowns from the bankers, that her Majesty will cause the same to be repaid at Frankford or Hamburg as soon as by means of her merchants it can be done, by the end of September or October next. Her Majesty thinks it expedient that the contract should be made between the Count Palatine and the Prince of Condé and his party for the repayment of the said sum, and that she should have a bond from the Count Palatine that he will pay over to her whatsoever he may receive. The French may also be bound to him not to conclude peace or return their forces out of France without the repayment of the money lent, and also that the Count will be pleased to be bound not to consent to any of these points without the Queen being first made privy thereto.
4. And for the execution hereof, upon the matters for this loan being agreed upon he shall deliver to the Palatine a second special letter by which the Queen signifies that she will be respondent to him for a certain sum of money at times and places to be accorded. Gives him instructions as to the form in which he is to agree with the Count Palatine for the repayment of the money. He is to make M. de Meru acquainted with this negotiation. As the Queen would have this matter as secretly used as may be, she would have the occasion of his journey known to be as for the meeting with Philip Sidney; yet when he shall come to the Count Palatine he shall require him to let it be understood that his coming is about a certain horrid damnable book lately made in Germany, entitled against Moses, Christ, and Mahomet, and to require him that the same may be condemned and punished as so unspeakable and devilish attempt may be vanquished and surpressed.
Rough draft with erasures and corrections by Burghley. Endd.: 16 Feb. 1574. Pp. 11.
28. Another copy in Burghley's writing.
Endd. Pp. 13.
29. Another copy corrected by Burghley.
Endd. Incomplete. Pp. 2.
Feb. 18. 30. The Earl of Morton to the Privy Council of England.
Whereas the eldest son of the Lord Carlile died last year leaving an only daughter, six years old as his heretrix, in the custody of her grandsire; the same daughter was soon after stolen away from her grandsires dwelling-place by her father's brother and one Adam Carlile of Bredekirk, a notorious thief, and carried into England and secretly kept there. She is presently in the custody of Lord Scrope, whom he desires may be commanded to restore her to whomsoever may be appointed to receive her.—Holyrood House, 17 Feb. 1574.
Endd. P. 1.
Feb. 20. 31. Dr. Wilson to Lord Burghley.
1. Trusts that he understands his disliking of the late answer given by the Commendator touching the merchants, which opinion he delivered to him in writing. Thinks that they must yield of necessity.
2. Ernestly called on the Commendator for the banishment of the rebels, who, notwithstanding his promise, still remain. He answered that when the accord was made for the merchants passage the rebels should be banished. On his saying that he could not trust the English because they were of the same religion as his master's rebels, Wilson asked him if he could not trust the Queen, to which he answered that though he could not trust the Council yet he could the Queen, because he hoped to see her one day Catholic against whose knowledge and will many things were done in England. Wilson told him that no law can stay all lewdness as might appear by the Low Countries. "Nay (quoth he) where heretics govern nothing can be well done, neither is there any trusting of them; and here began a hot dispute betwixt us which religion was better, he condemning mine and I condemning his; and I told him that this advantage I had of him, that I had read the writers of his religion and he had read none of mine, and here I offered to send unto him our service and order of prayer and administration of the Sacraments set forth in Latin, with the apology of the same religion also in Latin, but he utterly refused to read any such books. I told him it was strange for him to condemn the religion of England before he did know it. Nay (quoth he) it is enough that the Church doth condemn England, et extra ecclesiam non est salus. That's well said (quoth I) if it be well understood, and so I told him that the Church was everywhere not only in Rome; and where two or three were gathered together in the name of Christ, there was the Church, be it in France, Flanders, Spain, England, or elsewhere in the whole wide world. Well (quoth he) I have sent to Rome for absolution from his Holiness for talking with such as you are. It needed not (quoth I) for you will not learn, and therefore you have received no harm by me."
3. The Commendator told him that M. Boischot should be sent into England only to deliver letters, but that if the Queen would send an ambassador resident that he was well assured that the King would send the like, and wished that he whom the Queen should send might be a Catholic. Wilson told him what answer he had received from the Procurator Fiscal in the behalf of the English merchants, and how he had refused to put his hand to the bill. Forwards letters from Lille from one Thomas Crewes. Richard Thomson of York, who minded to come into England, went no further than Dunkirk and then returned to Brussels. On the 17th instant eight were hanged here and five beheaded, being charged with consenting to the conspiracy against this town and some of them only for concealing words spoken, and all were condemned and judged in the Castle and not in the ordinary place of justice, nor by the common course of law, but by certain deputies from the Commendator. The Commendator has sent word to the Countess of Egmont that his master granted to her the Count of Egmont's lands. This is thought to be done because the Lady Vaudemont, now the French King's wife, was daughter to Count Egmont's sister. It is hard to say what will follow touching the peace here, some reporting that the Prince will have the exercise of religion, others saying that he refers this matter to the Estates of Holland and Zealand, and that he desires only a recompense for the faithful service he has done to the King, and the great loss which he has suffered by the Spanish government. Told the Commendator that he greatly marvelled that the Queen's offer was not accepted; who answered that he desired rather the Queen's power against the Prince than any intercession for agreement, and hereupon he took occasion to speak of the Queen's letter in Mr. Lane's behalf, of which offer he made very little account. It is said that King Philip has caused Oran to be utterly defaced. Is greatly beholden to the Marquis Vitelli, who as he is very wise so he mislikes the Spanish government. If a man may be trusted upon his word, he is very well affected to do the Queen any service he can.—Antwerp, 20 Feb. 1574. Signed.
Add. Endd. Pp. 3⅓.
Feb. 26. 32. Dr. Dale to the Duke of Alençon and the Council.
Demands a further discussion upon and examination of the causes of the English merchants, for that nothing that was in the demands has been touched upon in the answers returned to him. Urges the claims on the ground of the special and particular privileges granted by King Henry [the Second], and also that thereby the Queen's subjects may be encouraged to traffic in France.
Copy. Endd. Lat. P. 1.