Elizabeth: March 1579, 11-20

Pages 449-466

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 13, 1578-1579. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1903.

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

Please subscribe to access the page scans

This volume has gold page scans.
Access these scans with a gold subscription.Key icon

March 1579, 11-20

March 11 606. WALSINGHAM to DAVISON.
My good friend Alderman Martin having of late certain silver 'vessell' which he had made ready for the Lord Chamberlain and marked with his name and arms, his workmen whom he trusted with it have run away with it, and gone it is thought to Antwerp or Flushing. The names of these ill men, and the description of their persons, as also the number of pieces of plate, you may see by the enclosed note. Pray use all the best means you can for their apprehension and the recovery of the said 'vessell,' both in Antwerp and Flushing, and in any other place where you think they may be met with in those parts. It is very likely that the plate will be offered for sale to some goldsmiths at Antwerp, among whom if you cause some secret watch and enquiry, it is likely to be recovered.— From the Court, 11 Mar. 1578. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Holl. and Fl. XI. 79.]
March 14. 607. 'The KING OF SPAIN'S letter to the ALDERMEN, RECORDER, and WARDENS' (vereadores, procuradores, y menesteres) 'of Lisbona, touching his right to the Kingdom of Portugal.'
Though I have ordered Don Christopher de Mora to tell you from me what you will hear from him, I wished you to hear them by a letter from me, and to tell you that no man has felt the loss of the king my nephew and his people so much as I have. I have lost a son and friend whom I loved dearly, and I hold of the same account all who were lost with him, because I esteem all subjects of this realm as I do my own. I think that my efforts to hinder his expedition are well known, at Guadalupe [Eng. when we were at my lady of G.] and before and after through my ministers, as many persons can testify. But not to renew grief, let us leave what cannot be remedied, and look at the true consolation, that this trouble has been permitted by the high Providence of God. It may also be a consolation that in its time of sorrow this kingdom has found so Christian and prudent a prince as the king my uncle, of whose virtue it may be hoped that he will get the present affairs into so quiet a state that things may proceed gently and sweetly. This I wish for the sake of the friendship and kindred that has always been between this Crown and that ; I and my children being descended from King Manuel, and the Empress my mother having brought me up in this friendship. But the matter of the succession being in the position you all know, I have sought, after mature consideration, to know the right which God has been pleased to grant to me ; and having caused consultation to be held by persons of much science, both in and out of my realms, they all find that the inheritance of this kingdom comes to me by right and without any doubt, and that there is no person alive who can with justice deny it to me. I am as is well known a man advanced in days, and having determined with all love and civility to lay the case before the King my uncle, I have asked him very affectionately to be so good as to decide at once, as he is bound to do for the good of these realms and their peoples ; and this we both ought principally to procure. Beyond this, as a consequence and effect, is the greater security and increase of our Catholic faith. I have sought to do the like by this city, for its constant loyalty and as the capital of this realm ; pointing out that it is no foreign king who is to inherit, but one most akin, being, as I am, son and grandson to your princes, and will be as much father to each one, as you shall see. But now I would ask you that with all prudence you would consider in what points I can show you honour and favour, not only by confirming your liberties and privileges, but by increasing them. And the same I wish all the other cities in the kingdom to know, and beg you will give them to understand it ; and it is right that you should strengthen yourselves in recognising it by the will of God, whose decisions none can withstand. And so trusting that your city and the rest will do their duty when the time comes, I have no more to say, save that besides my sense of the past trouble, I have especially grieved over the loss of so many nobles and people of that realm, which that expedition caused. So I charge you to look what I can do for those who have remained captive ; and although I have used and am using all diligence, I shall be glad to hear your views, that everything needful may be done for their release.—Madrid, 14 March 1579. Copy (by a Portuguese hand). Endd. by Burghley's secretary. Spanish. 1½ pp. [Spain I. 20.]
608. English translation (rather free) of the above.
Endd. by L. Tomson, as at head
. 1 p. [Ibid. I. 20a.]
March 15. 609. ROSSEL to WALSINGHAM.
I sent you the letters and protests of the Viscount of Ghent, M. de Capres, Count Lalaing, Montigny, la Motte, and others, and the answer of the States-General to those of Artois, which has since been printed. From these you can judge of their intentions, which is nothing else than to make war on the Prince of Orange and all his partisans, as may be seen by their actions and negotiations. M. de Bours is returned as wise as he was when he was sent to them. MM. de Montigny, de Hèze, and d'Aleynne have 40 companies of Walloons and 500 cavalry, who however are neither Spanish nor French. We much fear that nothing can be done with St. Omer, though M. de Mauny is not on good terms with la Motte, who with all his practices will succumb if the others remain firm enemies to the Spaniard. The enemy has broken up his army and is resting it at Namur, Diest, 'Leo,' Aerschot, and Louvain, where M. d'Hierges is with 6,000 men, preparing forces and munitions ; which makes us fear he has intentions on Brussels or Vilvorde, where M. d'Argenlieu has been placed in garrison with his regiment. The other French will be entertained, but the place of their garrison is not settled, because there is hope of setting a small army on foot if Count 'Holac' brings back the reiters ; but it is said that not more than 500 will stay. There is a talk also that M. d'Hierges thinks of going into Flanders to la Motte, but the Walloons will in no way agree to it. I learnt three days ago from a person who has confidential access to Secretary Brulart in France that in talking familiarly with the person in question respecting the Duke of Alençon's fruitless expedition to those parts, Brulart said that it would be the cause of greater advantage to the affairs of France, and that they hoped shortly to join England and their Crown. The other dissembling said to him that the marriage would be of great advantage to that end. 'That is not,' said Brulart, 'the sole aim of the design nor of our intelligence' ; which made the person think that there is some pernicious design under colour of the marriage. This is given out here as so forward that her Majesty is reported to have said that she finds herself of age and disposition to have children by the Duke of Alençon. Whereupon many say that Queen Mother's stock will never prosper, and especially that of the Duke of Alençon, who is noted for perfidy and other lightnesses and vices in his desperate (déplorées) actions ; talking of which they compare him to Aeneas in that when in despair he takes refuge with Dido. If I repeat to you all the talk about it, both public and private, I am induced by sincere affection to her Majesty's service. I hold her for so prudent and well-advised that she will close her mouth to all the world, and not let herself be branded with lightness in these disturbed times. If I had thought that her Majesty would have wished to marry I would have suggested to you one of the most noble and handsome, aged thirty-six, most discreet, and without vice, in Europe ; by whose means the Crown of England might have been increased by two or three others, and other advantages gained for the public weal. By letters of Feb. 20 and merchants coming from Madrid we hear afresh that the Duke of Alva is imprisoned in a castle, three leagues from Madrid, and that Albornoz his secretary and the secretary of Don Frederick are in chains in the public prison. The Duke of Brunswick and his wife Dorothy of Lorraine are much welcomed by the King of Spain. Through them we hear that the King is more offended with the prelates and papists of the country than with those of the Religion. He was sure of one, not of the other. What has happened afresh at Ghent will make those of Artois and the Walloons declare all the sooner. Meetkerke and the Abbot of St. Bernard who went with the Marquis of Havrech are returned and have brought back nothing to the good. At Termonde they followed those of Ghent and have killed three. The enemy has changed his mind and has set up his camp with all speed to surround Maestricht, so that none may go in or out. I perceive that we shall send our army into Flanders, where the Prince of Orange has offered to be present in person. It is thought that M. d'Hierges will go into Flanders if he can with his brother M. de Floyon, with Walloons but no Spaniards, to please the States of Artois. The Prince's ships of war have arrived to guard the passage of the river. Thus from hour to hour the time brings new incidents and changes.—Antwerp, 15 Mar. 1579. P.S.—The French are soliciting a new treaty to recall the Duke of Alençon, since the States-General cannot be convoked to declare him sovereign of the country. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson, who notes : Vid q'd mali in nuptiis p'tensis. Fr. 3 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XI. 80.]
March 15. 610. DAVISON to WALSINGHAM.
I have nothing from you of the receipt of her Majesty's obligations, which I sent you by my man 14 days since, followed by other two for Spinola's sum sent by the last post, containing in all 10 pieces, of which six, viz. : three general bonds from the States, and three particular from Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges, were for the £45,000 ; two general for the £28,000 and odd disbursed by Spinola and Cataneo ; with two former pieces touching the States' promise to give her Majesty their bonds to hold her harmless in respect of those she had entered into to the said creditors. I beseech you that I may 'with the first' hear of them, with some discharge from her Majesty to myself ; together with some order for the jewels. I understand the States have written to her Majesty for the other 30,000 ft. on Spinola's behalf, which they have requested me to further, and as I hear will this week write other letters of excuse to her for those noted faults into which they have fallen of late, rather (as they say and would persuade me) by reason of the infinite trouble and confusion which the time has brought forth among them than from any undutiful respect towards her. This I the rather believe in respect of my own observation of the course of things here. In their next letter I think they will sue her Majesty to stand so gracious lady towards them as to satisfy the merchants to whom she has given her bonds in their behalf ; some motion has already been made to me to help it forward, and though I will not take upon me to persuade her what she should do, I think, under your correction, the bonds with the hypotheque remaining in my hands, a reasonable assurance that she can sustain little prejudice ; besides that, having given her promise she cannot refuse to satisfy the merchants unless she will prejudice her credit hitherto unspotted. As for the 30,000 guilders, if she grants it, sending me the bonds here, I may if it be her pleasure get a particular bond from one or two towns in Holland for her better security of that and the rest of the sum payable to the merchants. Pray vouchsafe me some resolute answer by the next.—Antwerp, 15 Mar. 1578. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XI. 81.]
March 15. 611. The STATES-GENERAL to the QUEEN.
We have before now besought your Majesty to give Baptista Spinola your obligation for the sum of 30,000 florins, which we borrowed from him to set free the jewels that we had pledged and which we subsequently deposited as your Majesty's security for the aid given to us. Considering that nothing has been done towards this, and that Spinola is pressing us, we have to apply to you again, the more so that Spinola is employed daily in our service, which gives us the more inducement to satisfy him in the matter.— Antwerp, 15 March 1579. (Signed) A. Blyleven. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. Somewhat damaged. [Ibid. XI. 82.]
March 15. 612. M. DE GROBBENDONCK to [DAVISON].
The letter for the Queen had already been passed by the States, so the further 'compliment' to her Majesty has been deferred to another letter, which will be written when the next courier goes. I will see to this ; and thereupon wish you good day.—15 March 1579. (Signed) Gaspar Schetz. Holograph. Fr. 6 ll. [Ibid. XI. 83.]
Various dates. Mar. 1579-June 1580. March 15.
Full translation in Hakluyt.
(1) "The Great Turk's letter to her Majesty, 20 March, 1579."
After compliments : A certain man has come to us and signified to us from your Majesty your desire that we should grant him leave to pass from your country to ours, and return, in company with two merchants, and that traders with their goods might go and return freely between our country and yours. Now our Sublime Porte is always open to our friends and foes ; but whereas we understand that you are ever well-disposed towards us, it is always the more open to merchants from your realm, and we shall never fail them in all such good offices as they may require. We have therefore issued an imperial order to all kings, judges, sea-captains, and volunteer mariners (called Reis) and to all emmeiis (qy. emirs) of our ports, that traders from England by sea or land are to have free access to our possessions and return to their own frontiers, without let or hindrance, no otherwise than as our allies the French, the Venetians, the Poles, or even the King of Germany enjoy the same. We trust that the same privileges may be granted by you to our subjects.—Constantinople, 15 Mar. in the year of our most holy prophet Muhammed 937 (sic).
March 15. (2) Mustapha Bey to the Queen.
Your subject William Harbroun [Harborne ; Burghley notes in margin ; Wilhelmus Herbrannus] came to me and asked me to obtain leave for him to trade freely to the territories of my master the Emperor Sultan Murad Khan. While dealing with my sovereign in this behalf, it occurred to me whether I could by any means bring about an alliance between yourself and him ; both because I know that you hold the most Christian of all religions, and that the Christians throughout the world envy you on that account and wish by all means to hurt you if they can, and also because I deemed it good that you should be in concord with so great an emperor, with whom nearly all princes and kings desire to be in close alliance. Accordingly I said that you were a well wisher and full of all good offices towards my sovereign, and asked him to give me a letter to you, as you see. Wherefore I think it will not be alien to you to have an alliance with our emperor, who can aid you against all the enemies of your religion. If you think fit, I will exert myself to set on foot and foster such an alliance.—Constantinople, 15 March, in the year of great Jesus 1579. (Signed) Cæsareæ Celsitudinis Interpres, Mustafa Bey. Copies. Latin. 3 pp. [Turkey I. 1 (α & β).]
March 16. 614. DAVISON to the SECRETARIES.
This week has brought forth some new alterations which newly perplex the mind here. On Tuesday last, the 10th inst., the Gauntoys, indisposed any longer to observe the decree for religion, have suppressed the exercise of the Catholics, apprehended divers of the clergy, expelled the rest, ransacked their houses, utterly defaced their churches, and also imprisoned divers principal gentlemen of the town who were noted either to favour that faction, or to dislike 'with' the insolent government of Hembize, the 'suffered continuance' of whose authority has in all men's judgements been a furthering cause of this 'recidive.' It is notwithstanding coloured partly with the pretext of a detected intelligence between some of these Catholics and the Walloons ; partly with the seditious sermons of their preachers, who, insufferable in that respect, were the more hateful inasmuch as they had been of the orders of friars, inhibited by the Religion's-peace from returning into the town. But howsoever it be, this matter, set abroad by the instruments of the former troubles, has had so little furtherance by the proceedings of those of Artois, Hainault, and Douay, whose intended revolt under protest of religion has drawn these men into this desperate course for their own security ; though this remedy, as in a body affected with sickness, unseasonably applied to the cure of our grief, will I fear be the cause of another so much the more dangerous as the apparent defection of those of Artois is like to be followed by the revolt of some of their neighbours, no less 'altered' with the insolent behaviour of the Gauntoys than impatient of these innovations in religion. The assembly, which was to begin as yesterday at Arras, will soon resolve us. The enemy, benefiting by these occasions, is come 'with the cannon' to the siege of 'Mestright,' which was shut up on the 10th. The place, strong and sufficiently victualled, is nevertheless in the more danger that the means to succour it are yet to seek. The Emperor's Ambasssador we hear is come to Werdt for his audience of the Prince of Parma. During his absence the Baron of 'Tamberg' is arrived from the Emperor ; but his charge, undelivered till he have heard from the other, is thought a thing of more ceremony than substance.—Antwerp, 16 March 1578. Draft. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XI. 84.]
March 16. 615. DRAKE in the SOUTH SEAS.
Deposition, taken in the city of Panama, 16th March 1579, before Dr Alonso Criado, senior judge of the high Court of Panama, of San Juan de Anton, master and owner of the ship Nuestra Senora, of La Concepcion, now lying at anchor in the harbour of Perico in the same city, concerning what happened and what he knows about his being spoiled by the English in the South Sea of the treasure which he was carrying to his Majesty. Being out of Ciudad de los Reyes [Lima] on 22nd Feb. last, he went to ship flour at the ports of Guanoa, La Barranca, and Truxillo, where he also took a lading of silver, the total value of which and of the gold and reals which he had was 360,000 pesos more or less. And above Cape San Francisco at midday they saw a vessel sailing towards Panama, and at 8 P.M. she shaped her course for deponent's ship, and at 9 came up with him on one side, and on the other a pinnace which the pirate brought with him, and which deponent had not previously seen. And as they came up they fired two shots, one of which carried away deponent's mizen-mast, and then a volley of musketry, and came aboard deponent's ship, 'which' he carried no artillery nor arms, and so could offer no resistance, and robbed him of all the gold, silver and reals which he had on board, both his Majesty's and those of private persons, but did no harm to anyone. Then they left the ship, also taking certain fruits, preserves, sweets, and eatables which he had, and some flour. Then he took deponent and his ship along with them putting an English guard on board for the space of six days, at the end of which he made off and left him. And during that time deponent was with them he heard them talk, and learnt from them that there were among them 'latin' men, including a lad born at Seville. The pilot was a Portuguese, and would never tell his name. He also had a Fleming on board, whom he said he had taken at Arica. He learnt, too, that the captain, Francis, had taken and burnt a ship at Arica, and that at Callao de Lima he had boarded Miguel Angel's vessel and others, looking for plunder, and had found none, and had cut the vessels' cables ; and that about Callao he had plundered the ship of Patagalana and slain the crew ; and had there got information that deponent had much silver and gold on board and had gone after him, enquiring for him of all the vessels he came across. He saw also that this Captain Francis had with him a man called Costodio Rodriguez, formerly pilot of a ship at Paita, whom he had taken to bring along with him. This man told deponent that Captain Francis had said he should not stop till he had got the silver and gold which deponent carried, though it were inside Panama ; and that they had entered the Straits of Magellan five ships, and had put into Port St. Julian, where Magellan had been. And being on good terms with the Indians, one Indian had said that men like them had killed his father, and that he would slay them, and put an arrow in his bow and killed an Englishman, so that all the English were terrified at the Indian's strength, for with the arrow he shot he passed clean through him, and they could not see the arrow. The Indians were so big that they seemed boys beside them. And there in the (guoacauara?) which they had, they killed other English, and so there were two which died there. They said also that 400 men came in the ships, and that it was 16 months since they had left England. They had wintered 6 months in Port St. Julian, because there were north (sic) winds, which were against them. Loosing from thence, the 5 ships had entered the straits when a storm arose and two of them went to the bottom. Some of the people were saved and taken on board the other ships, with each of which went a pinnace towed at the stern. The three passed out through the straits where they are narrowest. I asked the Portuguese pilot what was the distance across at the narrowest, and he said from one headland to the other not further than you could shoot with a harquebuss. I asked him whether the strait went between islands or mainland, and he said mainland. To get there they had gone by Cape Verde, and the coast of Brazil, and had entered the Rio de la Plata, and gone six days up it and taken fresh water in six fathoms ; and seeing that the bottom was shoaling and that there were many islands and shallows, they coasted till they came to the mouth of the straits, where the port they call St. Julian is, and there they found an inscription on a stone which said 'Magellan.' And being issued from the straits with the three remaining ships, they took water in lat. 44° ; and sailing out into the sea, a storm came on which kept them 40 days under bare poles, and there two of the ships parted from them, and Captain Francis found himself alone with his ship, and nothing more had been seen or heard of them, but he suspected they had gone off to the Moluccas, because the 'sea card' that he carried to find the coast of Chile was wrong Then they sailed 12 days, when the storm was over, to NNE, finding themselves in 44°. And having gone these 12 days on that rumb, and not finding land they cast about to NE, and in 14 days came to the river of Valdivia in Chile, and went up the river half a league, and as the stream was strong reached an island called La Mocha, not far from Valdivia, where there was war, and Captain Francis and his people went ashore and got water, and the Indians shot at them and killed two [Eng. version : one] of them. So leaving this they came to Puerto San Domingo in Chile, where they found a vessel called la Capitana, which used to belong to Muriel. This was laden with Chile wine from Arica, and gold, and they spoiled it. They showed deponent a great crucifix of gold and emeralds which they had taken out of that ship, and some of the English said, if that was God, how was it that it had not guarded the ship, since it was God ; which they said in contempt of the holy crucifix, adding that God was in heaven and what were such things for? Thence they went to El Morro del Moro Moreno, and made up the pinnace which they carried with them, because they had the framework for it in their ship [Eng. version: joined together the pinnace which he carried aboard his ship in pieces], and so came to Arica, where they found two ships, and in them 40 and odd bars of silver, and plundered them, burning one, and taking the other out to sea and sinking her. At Arica they picked up a Flemish sailor out of one of those two ships ; who told deponent that word had been sent by land from Arica to the port of Arequipa, which they call [blank], because there was a ship there which had begun to load with silver and gold, and when Captain Francis got there he found the ship empty, and no people in her, and she had plainly been lightened by more than the depth of a palm, and the boat was on shore. And when the Englishman heard that they had been warned, and that she had been laden with silver, he abused and ill-treated the Fleming, saying that he had deceived him, and wanted to kill him [Eng. version : conceiving that such warning was given by the said Fleming, he threatened to kill him]. And he took away the ship, and left it out at sea, to be lost.
Thence he went out to Callao de Lima, near which he met a barque bound for [blank in both versions] from which he got news of the ships that were at Callao. Those in the barque told him that Miguel Angel's vessel was there with 1,500 bars of silver, and that deponent's ship had sailed for this kingdom not long before, and would have to stop at the ports to load flour. Captain Francis went to the port of Callao, and anchored his ship at the mouth, and with his pinnace went on board Miguel Angel's ship in which he had heard there was much silver, but found none. He also boarded two other ships which were about to come to this kingdom, and found no silver or gold ; so he cut the cables of all the ships that were there, and went on to Paita ; but before they got there they fell in with a barque coming laden from Los Valles, and having plundered it they took out of it a man, and had news as to where deponent's ship was. Then he entered the port of Paita where he found a barque, which he robbed of what he would, and took out of her a pilot, who was called, as has been said, Custodio Rodriguez. Thence they coasted along, and took a ship coming from Guayaquil with tackle (garcia) and other things for the provision of the ships and men on his Majesty's account ; and they threw the cargo overboard and put the crew ashore in the ship's cockboat. He kept however the pilot and two boys in her for one day, for he said he wanted them to come to this kingdom with him, and to this end he put three pieces of artillery into her ; but when he saw that she was not a good sailor, he left her, and the pilot, who was named Bravo, and the other persons in her. Also he took a ship belonging to Gonzalo Alvarez, bound from this place to Lima, and took out of her a negro, a Cimaroon they said, and took him along. Captain Francis had had another negro for six years, formerly belonging to Captain George de Palma. Out of that ship he took some pearl and other things, and let her go on her way. Next he went in pursuit of deponent, making much sail, and came up with him near Cape San Francisco, and Punta de la Galera, where they took him and spoiled him as he has declared. This was about 150 leagues from the city of Panama, and Captain Francis said to deponent that he wanted to put him in irons, so that he might take him to Panama ; and deponent said he would take him ; and the Englishman was so content with the gold and silver of which he plundered deponent as he went along, that he thought good to let him go.
Deponent saw that the Englishman was held in great reverence by his people, that he had a guard, and that when he ate, trumpets and clarions were sounded. On deponent asking him which way he thought to go home, the captain showed him a map and a sea-chart, and pointed out that there were three ways to go. One was by the Cape of Good Hope, that is, towards China, another by Chile, the the way he had come ; he would not tell him the other. An Englishman who spoke Spanish very clearly asked deponent how many negroes there were at Vallano [qy. = San Miguel] ; to which deponent answered he did not know, but they were peaceable. The Englishman hearing this laughed, and said that negroes were Captain Francis's brothers, and loved him much. He also asked whereabouts on the coast of Nicaragua they could 'repair' (dar monte a : qy. for 'mondar') a ship. Deponent saw the captain ask the pilot Custodio Rodriguez if at Cabo Blanco there was a good port for that purpose and for taking water ; and he said there was. It seemed to deponent that the people whom Captain Francis had in his galleon and pinnace were about 85 men, 50 of whom seemed to be fighting men, and the rest boys and crew. He carried 7 castiron pieces of a side on the lower deck, two large cast-iron pieces astern near the helm, and above deck 6 pieces of large calibre, two being of bronze ; and deponent understood from the captain that he had more artillery on board. Also deponent saw much 'wild-fire' (artificios de fuego) and arms for fighting, like fire-bombs, arrows with an arrangement for fire, to burn the sails of ships, chain shot to smash masts and tackle, dead works for musketry, pistols, corselets, armour, pikes and other weapons in great quantity ; for he was six days on board and saw everything, because the captain showed all to him and those who were with him. And Captain Francis said : 'I know well that the Viceroy will send for you to get information from you. Tell him that he has put quite enough English to death, and not to kill the four that remain his prisoners ; if he does they will cost more than two thousand Spaniards,' for before he knew where he was, he would hang them and send him their heads. Also deponent saw on board many pickaxes, billhooks, and other tools ; also many linen cloths [Eng. version : aprons] and other things ; and the captain gave cloth and pickaxes and other things to him and the 'passengers' who came with him. He told him also that the Viceroy of New Spain had not kept his word with Juan Acles [Hawkins] and had taken 7,000 ducats from him, which he was now come to recover ; and that he carried a letter of [qy. marque] from the Queen of England to plunder on her account, and that whatever he got more was for her, and that she made him leave his home perforce, although unwilling. Among what Captain Francis gave him was a gilt corselet, and would have given him ammunition, powder, and other things, but his soldiers said they would not allow it. He told deponent that he had taken some pains to find a good course from Castile ; and that in future there was no need to come to Nombre de Dios, nor for the merchants to take so much trouble and waste so much silver. If the King of Spain would not give them leave to trade, paying him his dues, they would come and carry away the silver. And the captain gave deponent a negro whom he had got at Arica, because the negro, in deponent's presence, went down on his knees before him and besought him to let him go with deponent, because his master was old. And the captain said : 'As you wish it ; God be with you ; for I do not want to take any against his will' ; and bade deponent take him to his master, and so gave him to him and he took him in his ship. He does not know his name. Captain Francis's ship seemed to deponent to be about 200 tons burden. It is full of barnacles and stands in great need of being scoured (dar monte), that is done up (aderezar). He asked deponent if in the Isla de los Lovos, which is off Paita in the direction of Lima there was a good harbour to 'trim' a ship. Deponent thinks this was to 'deceive him' (?desvelarle) about the course he was taking, for he believes for certain that the Englishman is going to the coast of Nicaragua, for he carries no fresh water, and it is that way that deponent understands he wants to go ; because he heard their Portuguese pilot ask Custodio Rodriguez, the pilot whom the captain picked up at Paita, if he knew any woman in Sonsonate ; whence deponent suspected that he is the pilot who 15 or 20 years ago went off (se alzò) with a great quantity of gold and silver belonging to his Majesty and other individuals, and ran away with it, and no more was ever known of him. And people said that the pilot who went off in this way had been married to Sonsonate ; and by reason that the Portuguese pilot enquired about women at Sonsonate, and also asked deponent particularly if the ships from Peru came into the port of Panama proper or went to Perico, and on deponent's replying that they went not into the harbour of the city, but into that of Perico, rejoined that in old times they used to go straight into the port of Panama, deponent believes that this Portuguese pilot is the very one that went off with the silver as has been said ; and if so, he knows the South sea very well. And deponent has no doubt whatever that Captain Francis is going to the coast of Nicaragua to repair his ship, whence he would be able to return home. And deponent says that this is the truth upon his oath. The Viceroy of Peru announces by a barque that came two days after San Juan de Anton, that the English ship came to Callao and cut the cables of the ship of Patagalana which had been laden, and of others, and had something of a scuffle, and went away at once without doing further damage. And the Viceroy promptly manned two ships which were at his command with about 200 men, and Diego de Frias in command ; who came to Vallano and with him Havana, the marshal of the camp, and the general of las Islas de Salomon. And they overtook him but did not dare to attack him, and returned for reinforcements, and another ship, better provided, was got ready with all diligence, and he imprisoned [Eng. version : committed] the commander and his advisers for not attacking, and ill-treated them ; and sends word to the Government (audiencia) of this city to keep an eye on the passage from Vallano, holding it certain that the enemy's departure will be that way, and in that he places his hope. And they are taking in the ship things for the negroes ; and he plundered a barque of 200 pairs of shoes (alpargatas). There are letters from Peru that at Cuzco the Bishop had found the Inca's chain, valued at three millions, because every link of it is as big as a man's leg, and it will go round the market-place of Cuzco. An Indian told the Bishop of it. When the Viceroy heard of it, he sent to arrest the Bishop for not informing him and giving security for the chain ; and the Bishop had absented himself, and hidden the chain, and no more is known of it.
March 29. On the 29th March, two ships of war came to Panama dispatched from the Viceroy of Peru to look for the English. An uncle of the Viceroy commands them, and they come with great caution. Their news is that a fleet is being got ready at Lima to bring all the gold, silver, and passengers for this kingdom and with them the President of Panama, and will be here within 30 days. They come at a good moment, for we had no news of the fleet. Sp. 7¼ pp. [Spain I. 23.]
616. English version (not very literal) of the above. In the hand of one of Walsingham's secretaries. Endd. by L. Tomson : Depositions taken by the King of Spain's ministers in the India touching the spoils supposed to have been committed there by Mr Drake. 8½ pp. [Ibid. I. 23a.]
Though it is long since I have written to you, you must not think my will to serve you is any less. I desire to remain in your good graces, and to employ myself as I may judge to be agreeable to you. I have an opportunity of sending you this by the present bearer, who has been in the service of the Viscount of Ghent ; being as I am in the province of Artois to finish a matter which the Archduke and Estates have entrusted to me. Meantime there is no lack of occasion to bring about great diversity in our affairs. But I hope that God will some day look on us with His eye of pity and have compassion on this afflicted country. I would send you details of what has occurred here ; but as I have been away from Antwerp these two months, I doubt not but you have been fully informed of it all by her Majesty's agent.—Hesdin, 17 March 1579. Holograph, Add, Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XL. 85.]
March 20. 618. POULET to the QUEEN.
Marchemont being sent to me from Monsieur on the 17th inst., which was the first day that he was seen or openly known to be in this town, as is contained more at length in my last letter to Sir Francis Walsingham, I sent immediately to M. Gondi to pray audience of Monsieur, which was appointed the next day after dinner. At that time I besought his Highness to pardon my boldness in having 'made mean' to present myself to him so suddenly upon his arrival ; being not ignorant that after so long absence he could not in so short time satisfy the king his brother and so many other princes and noblemen who desired nothing more than to enjoy his company. I told him I was so deeply bound in duty that I could not forbear to offer my service to him with all possible speed. The good intelligence between his brother and your Majesty gave me just cause to honour and respect him greatly. His singular affection towards yourself, which was manifest to all the world, commanded me to honour him before all the princes of Europe. I doubted not but his arrival at this Court was to the great comfort of the King, of his nobility, and generally of the whole realm, as a matter which imported them greatly. I prayed him to believe that no Prince or Princess in this world would receive greater 'contentation' of the good union between his brother and him than your Majesty, as one that wishes all honour, prosperity, and contentment to both. Seeing this reconciliation between them, the world now expected a true, perfect and inviolable peace, not only between the King and his subjects, but generally in all other parts of Christendom. This blessing depended greatly, or rather wholly, upon him ; no man doubted but that his brother would conform to his advice, and assist him in his honourable attempts, and therefore this blessing of universal peace was looked for by all good men to be the true end of this peace between his brother and him. Finally, I thought myself greatly bound to him for his message sent by Marchemont, which I had not failed to advertise truly to your Majesty. He answered that I 'mought' be sure of my welcome to him at all times. He was very glad to see me so well affected to nourish amity between your Majesty and his brother, while my inclination to further good liking between your Highness and himself was no less acceptable to him. Doubting lest his coming hither 'upon this sudden' would breed occasion of sinister interpretation, he had thought good to signify his true meaning to me by Marchemont. He was not ignorant that you desired to see good amity between him and his brother. In his access to this Court he 'tended to' nothing more than to further his negotiations with your Majesty, and through his brother's good help, he trusted to be better able to obey your commands, and he intended to return to Alençon within two days. I replied that I was sorry to hear of his departure from this Court ; I thought his coming hither had been "so much advanced' of his journey towards England. Many there expected him with great devotion, while many here no less desired his going thither ; and I desired so much the performance of his honourable attempt that I was sorry to see him step one foot backwards. He answered that his going into England depended altogether upon your Majesty, and he trusted to hear your pleasure shortly from Symier. His return from the Court would be no hindrance to that journey, and he might perhaps see the King again on his way to England. He was not ignorant of the 'alarums' (as he called them) and sinister impressions which had been given to your Majesty of his treating for marriage in other places, protesting with oaths that he was guiltless therein. He had vowed service to your Majesty, and will never commit so great a fault as to deal unjustly or untruly with so worthy a mistress. I told him he ought not to find it strange if evil constructions had bred evil reports, and that these had been 'informed to' your Majesty with liberal additions, when so mighty enemies opposed the intended marriage, and spared neither words nor deeds to hinder it. For my part I must confess that my ears have not been free from suchlike tales ; and although I have long since been satisfied therein, I was glad to hear it confirmed by his own mouth, and would not fail to report it. Monsieur concluded that he was glad to receive my promise to do good offices between yourself and him ; praying me to use him boldly where he might stand me in any stead. I will not trouble your Majesty with other occurrents, of which I have written at good length to Sir F. Walsingham, who I know will report them to your Highness. I know you will take pleasure to hear of the towardness of any of your subjects, and therefore would not fail to advertise you that this bearer, Mr Francis Bacon, is of great hope, 'endewed with many good and singular parts' ; and if God give him life will prove a very able and sufficient subject to do your Highness good and acceptable service.—Paris, 20 March 1578. Duplicate. Endd. by L. Tomson. 3 pp. [France III. 14.]
March 20. 619. POULET to the SECRETARIES.
I am at the end of my latin when I consider these French doings, which are so tickle and uncertain that nothing comes sooner to pass than what was least expected, and those things which in reason, honesty and judgement, seem to be most assured are seldom performed. Promises are made for advantage, faith and truth are esteemed according to their profit or disprofit. Inconstancy, the natural vice of those of this nation, is now 'encountered, or rather surmounted,' with infidelity ; no care of credit, no regard of honour, no love of virtue, no shame of vice. It is certain that Monsieur, accompanied only by La Fin and Chanvallon, arrived in this town in the night, and spent that night and the next day in a poor house, hired on purpose ; and at 8 P.M. on the 16th resorted to the Court, and remained there, unknown save to those of the King's Cabinet, until 8 o'clock the next morning. This reconciliation is of itself so honourable that wise men see no reason why it should be disguised, and good men are amazed, fearing some treason. The comparison between the manner of Monsieur's going out and the fashion of his return ministers great store of talk in this Court and city. His old faults are called to memory, and nothing is omitted that may increase his discredit. This reconciliation, grounded upon good and honourable meaning, would have required the advice of friends at home and abroad, and should then have been performed with open solemnities in the face of all the world, and not to be huddled up in this close and covert manner. No doubt the King is greatly satisfied with this kind of submission, and thinks that his brother's access to the Court 'in this order' is to him in place of an honourable amends for his last departure. It is said and believed that he will be Lieutenant-General, but the King knows that he has so pruned his wings already that his place will make him little stronger. La Fin has been the only doer of this great act, and the King takes it so than kfully that, besides open thanks beyond measure, he is chosen one of the Privy Council and has a company of men at arms. Many fear that this sweetmeat will have sour sauce, and that the end will 'try' that he has done his master ill service, and himself little good. Monsieur has sent his agents into Normandy with his protestation, 'signed with his sign,' to defend against all persons such as would commit themselves to his protection, requiring also their promise under seal to serve him against all, and to take arms when he shall command them. This matter was in treaty even when he came to Court, and two honest gentlemen employed therein ; and now many are of opinion that this intelligence between the King and Monsieur is no new matter, and that his retirement to Alençon has served to good purpose to sound the dispositions of those of that country. It is possible that the King of Navarre, Prince of Condé, and others have as just cause to be troubled with this sudden change. Arques, one of the King's minions (as they term them here), was dispatched immediately towards Queen Mother ; and it is greatly feared by those of the religion lest his message be full of poison. I may be bold to affirm that there is great appearance of truth in their conjectures. Queen Mother having settled the Queen of Navarre at 'Po' in Navarre, has taken her journey towards Toulouse, and some say she goes thence to Bayonne, but I dare not affirm yet. I consider that good or bad amity between Monsieur and the Duke of Guise will greatly show the inclination of Monsieur towards her Majesty, and therefore I desire greatly to know if they met here by assent, and if there has been good intelligence between them, which cannot be judged in this country by their outward behaviour. And although I hear many opinions therein, as I cannot satisfy myself, I will not trouble you with uncertain tales. Du Vray at his late being here assured me that Monsieur was resolved to be shortly in England, and even set down the time of his journey ; affirming that he carried full commission to Simier to promise it on behalf of his master. But by my conference with Monsieur it may appear that he is not yet resolved on this voyage, but depends upon some new resolution to come from her Majesty. I will not tell you that du Vray assured me, with 'long circumstances,' that Monsieur would never come to this Court so long as this king lived. But you must bear with him ; he is a Frenchman. It is supposed that the Provinces will be appeased ; and then many of good judgement here are of opinion that the Spaniards will want no assistance from hence. A man of good credit comes to me yesterday, sent no doubt from the Marshal de Retz, who now cleaves wholly to Monsieur. He tells me among other things that the Pope, learning that the King of Spain had concluded a peace with the Turk at the price of one yearly pension of 70,000 crowns, sent for the Spanish Ambassador and used some high speeches against his master. The ambassador answered that his master was forced to seek quietness with foreign nations, to have the better means to reform his own subjects of the Low Countries who were revolted from the obedience no less of the Pope than of their temporal sovereign ; and that those countries being parcel of his ancient patrimony, he was resolved to reform them at any price whatsoever, even though he were to hazard his Crown to do it. This answer, said the gentleman, somewhat satisfied the Pope. He added that 700,000 crowns had lately arrived at Genoa for the service against the Low Countries, and another 300,000 were sent by another way. It is enough that I can assure you this tale came from the Marshal of Retz, and that he is wholly at the devotion of Monsieur ; referring the interpretation to your better judgement. Yet to say somewhat of my simple opinion, I am much deceived if this tale have any other meaning than to bridle her Majesty by consideration of the dangerous state of the Low Countries. I cannot assure you what is become of Bussy, but I know La Fin has said to his 'very friend' that Bussy did not know that Monsieur intended to come to Paris. La Fin will not lose any part of the honour of this enterprise, and some think that Bussy and others will 'cry quittance' with him before long. But as Monsieur returns to Alençon, I am of opinion that Bussy was acquainted with this journey. It is thought by some that the King of Spain will give a great push to the kingdom of Portugal ; and no one doubts but that the league between the Pope, Spain and France was never more firm than at present. And although the French are so poor that they can do no hurt abroad, yet to make war against those of the Religion at home, or against their neighbours of the Low Countries, where they are sure of living on the spoil of the peasant, they are ready, and will be able to do more harm than were convenient. You must believe that the first resolution holds firm and inviolable ; which is to root out Religion by all means possible ; and you may not doubt that Queen Mother has spent her winter's 'travell' to that end, and that these late incidents are flowers of her garden, and therefore not unlikely to lead to the like conclusion. Those of the Spanish faction have changed their cheer, and think their penny no bad silver ; being in great hope that this summer's work will make such a breach in the walls of religion, that the scale will be easy and the victory certain. They promise themselves great things, and no doubt they are greatly comforted on every side. But thank God they reckon without their host, and the matter is not so desperate as they pretend ; the remedies being no less certain than easy if taken in their due time. The King, accompanied by his brother, the Duke of Guise, and the Cardinal of Guise departed hence to-day in one coach toward Noisy, a house belonging to the Marshal of Retz. Thence they go to Saint German-en-Laye, where Monsieur leaves the King to return to Alençon, with purpose to be here again shortly.—Paris, 20 March 1578. Add. Endd. 4¼ pp. [France III. 15.]
March. 620. The QUEEN to the DUKE OF ANJOU.
The Baron of Courtemer, who accompanied M. de Cymier on his journey hither, being about to return, we write a word to let you know the good opinion we have conceived of the gentleman for the good qualities and virtuous deportment he has shown during his stay in this country. Not only has this rendered him worthy of our esteem, but it has shown as in a mirror the good sense, virtue, and judgement of one who can choose such instruments for his service.— Westminster, March 1578. Copy (or draft). Endd. by L. Townson. Fr. 10 ll. [France III. 16.]
[Ca. March 20.] 621. DAVISON to the SECRETARIES.
Immediately after the dispatch of my last by Walter Williams, there arrived a trumpet from the Prince of Parma with letters to the States offering peace on the same conditions, of observing the Pacification of Ghent and due obedience to the King, as in his Majesty's late letters, addressed to those of Artois, Hainault and Douay (a copy of which I sent you among other things in print) ; the scope of this offer tending partly to the amusing of the States and slacking of their provisions for the succour of Maestricht, while the enemy follows his purpose with less impediment, partly by offering that which is agreeable to Artois, etc. but which these States neither will nor can accept, to confirm the others in the opinion that the Prince and they will not have peace, and consequently push them forward the more resolutely to their pretended reconcilement with the King. This, being impeached by the general murmur of the people, who are for the most part unwilling to separate themselves from the rest of the provinces (without whom they can hardly subsist) remains yet in suspense, against the wishes of the nobles and clergy. The Duke of Anjou has of late written earnestly to them, dissuading their disjunction from the rest of the provinces ; rather as fearing it may be some impediment to the resolution to be taken in this respect in the general assembly appointed to begin on the 26th inst. than as otherwise greatly zealous of their well-doing. But his counsel is likely to avail little with them, and there is no great appearance of his profiting by the other. The Gauntois having by force suppressed the exercise of popery established among them not without difficulty, by the late agreement, and having as far as in them lies, prevented the 'redressing' of it by ruining and defacing the churches, have as we hear since found means by Ryhove, in whose charge they were, to fetch back the prisoners from Dendermonde, releasing the gentlemen who were apprehended in this last tumult. To cover their action with some show of justice they have beheaded three common soldiers and imprisoned divers others accused of murder and other outrages committed in that fury. 'But so far off is it that they repent' this incident, that they have since furthered the like at Oudenarde, Hulst, and Dendermonde ; in the last, not without disorder. The like happened about the same time at 'Newmeghem,' Arnem, and other places in Guelderland. The sedition among the peasants in Flanders, somewhat qualified by the departure of the soldiers against whom they first took arms, begins to break out anew against the Walloons who being won, in common opinion, to the part of la Motte, ransom, spoil, and 'branschat' the villages in West Flanders with all the insolence that may be. There is some talk of de Hèze, one of their leaders, being now at Gravelines with la Motte ; who, usurping as we hear the title of Governor of Flanders, lies hovering between Dunkirk and Bourbourg with the forces that he has, forbearing it would seem to attempt anything of importance till he see some end of the traffic in Artois. At St Omer the soldiers 'practised underhand,' have this week mutinied against the 'Manuys' [de Mauny] and have solicited the Count of Egmont their Colonel to come among them, offering to put him in possession of the town. The Count is gone to them, but we do not hear the result with certainty. The enemy has not yet placed the cannon before Maestricht, intending as it seems to try what he can do by famine and intelligence rather than by force. The defenders to prevent the one have expelled the 'remanent' of priests and clergy from the town, under pretext of some matter discovered against them ; but how sufficiently they are provided against the other is much doubted. Since the approach of the enemy they have had divers light skirmishes, wherein such prisoners as they take are on the one side and the other cruelly executed and put to death. Count Hohenlohe, sent after the reiters to retain if he might 3,000 of them, has not hitherto, that we hear, been able to stay above 300 or 400. Notwithstanding, he follows them, soliciting for more ; but with very little appearance of prevailing. Draft. Endd. : March 1578. To the Secretaries. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XI. 86.]