Elizabeth: April 1579, 16-31

Pages 492-502

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

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April 1579, 16-31

April 18. 660. L. TOMSON to DAVISON.
My master had no leisure to stay here at the Court longer than might serve him to acquaint her Majesty with your letter and that from the States. He wished me therefore to write and signify to you in how good part her Highness took both letters ; resting somewhat better satisfied than before towards them, for acquainting her with the state of their affairs. Nothing displeased her so much as their making her a stranger to their state, not vouchsafing to impart one 'iote' thereof to her since their Honours came from thence. If they go on with this satisfaction, which she looks for at their hands, it will turn to their good ; all the more if the Prince will sometimes write to her himself and let her understand how their case stands. Seeing it imports them so greatly, and 'their pains therein is so small,' and her content would so much increase, his Honour's desire is that you would move them to consider of it, assuring them they will not find it lost. This beginning has wrought a favourable inclination in her Majesty to yield to their request, and they may look for greater favours hereafter if they will not 'forslow' the means themselves.—Whitehall, 18 April 1579.
Add. (seal). 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. X. 139.]
April 24. 661. ADVICES from [?].
My Lords, On the 19th (sic) inst., being Easter Eve, there passed through here an imperial courier on his way from Spain, having left the Court of Madrid on the 3rd. He also brought letters for our principal men, one of whom told me that both in Spain and in Portugal all was in arms, about the succession to the Crown of Portugal. Our King Philip intends to have it by force, and that inasmuch as 'this modern king the late (feu) Cardinal' offered him every assistance ; and to this effect they are levying great numbers of infantry in Spain, and in Italy 10,000 men who will be commanded by the brother of the Grand Duke of Florence. Also 3,000 footmen from Germany under the charge of the Count of Ladron ; and they will be all embarked for Spain, for service in the army of Portugal. Our king is hastening on this enterprise, not only for the kingdom of Portugal, but also to have the Portuguese Indies, which are rich ; and though the Spaniards keep it very secret, the king has made a truce with the Turk. We know very well that this is only for a year ; meanwhile being secure on the side of the Turk, he will employ all his forces in the direction of Portugal and Flanders. The Spaniards are already boasting that if ever the king attains to that kingdom it will ultimately be the means to visit and chastise Holland and Zealand. As I hear, Don Antonio, bastard son (sic) of the king who perished at the defeat in Africa intends to resist the Spaniards, and has asked help from the King of France. Somebody said to me that he was going to ask help from the Prince of Orange and those of Holland and Zealand, to oblige him with an army, and make a perpetual league with him when he shall succeed to the kingdom ; for they say that the Portuguese will sooner take the Turk for their lord than the Crown of Spain, as our king knows very well, and if his Majesty does not succeed in his own lifetime, his predecessors (sic) or heirs will never do so. So that from that side we are certain to have that which will make peace the sooner possible in our direction. We hear from the Emperor's Court that the Turk, in two actions and defeats, has lost 80,000 men, so that it is thought he will look out to make peace : though by the present post from Italy there is nothing from Constantinople. There is mention only of the King of Spain's preparation for Portugal, and that the army which he is raising at Naples has cost 700,000 ducats, and will cost more before it is ready. I hear from Genoa, the 4th inst., that the 5,000 recruits (Besoingios) and that some shipsful of them entered straight into the port of Genoa. The Signory were ill-pleased and would not permit them to land, but made them go 3 leagues out to sea (en pleine marree) ; where they anchored, and will be landed day by day at Vado and thence taken to Lombardy to be equipped and sent on to Flanders, —From the usual place, 23 April 1579. Copy. Fr. 1¾ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XI. 110.]
April 27. 662. 'From HER MAJESTY to the PRINCE OF ORANGE, on behalf of the merchants of Ipswich, 27 April 1579.'
You will remember how about two years ago some of our subjects, merchants of Ipswich, were captured by the fleet of Holland and Zealand on its way back from Spain and taken to Flushing, contrary to all law divine and human. Now, though we might justly have taken vengeance for this as for a manifest wrong done to us, yet, remaining constant in our ancient desire for the good and safety of those provinces, we were content for the time to wink at the fault, and postpone our just wrath to the advancement of their affairs, which would have suffered to no small extent if we had taken up the case of our subjects in good earnest ; consenting to the agreement by which the provinces were to pay them in four years the sum you wot of as compensation, though it was not very advantageous for them. Yet our subjects complain to us that though by their agents they have made demand in Zealand for the payment of the fourth part, due in October last, they have not profited one little bit, but rather have received rude enough answers and no hope of satisfaction. This seems to us so strange, and shows so openly the small respect which those of Holland and Zealand have for us (seeing that instead of being the more prompt to give satisfaction for having been thereto invited by our kindness they have become over proud and insolent), that for the sake of our honour and the care we have for our subjects we can no longer put off taking steps which may chance to be a little rough upon them, if they do not prevent us betimes by taking order for the due satisfaction of our subjects. We beg you to set your hand to this with all your might, that we may be able to continue our good affection to the provinces and refrain from attempting aught to their prejudice, which we should be very sorry to be compelled to do. We have thought good to apprise you first, as one who we think would not wish to give an opening to the inconveniences that may ensue. Copy. Fr. 2 pp. [For. E.B. Misc. II.]
Same purport as the last ; rather more peremptory. 'If you do not very soon see to giving them better satisfaction than heretofore we shall be obliged to consider of remedies therefore, and for the maintenance of our honour, such as will haply not be wholly agreeable to you. Wherefore you had better take steps,' etc. Copy. Fr. 2 pp. [For. E.B. Misc. II.]
(prob. first half.)
664. 'A note whereby it may appear that the English nation are used in the Hanse Towns worse than other strangers.'
About the end of 1577 the magistrates of Lubeck called before them all Englishmen there resident, and others come from Hamburg, openly prohibiting any Englishman from that day forward from shipping goods out of their haven to Russia, alleging that all other strangers would be commanded the like. But no other strangers were so prohibited. And whereas they of Lubeck 'pretend' a decree made in the assembly in 1578 that no stranger is to be admitted a freeman of any of their Hanse Towns, it can be proved that they have since made divers Hollanders free, whereby it may be perceived that their decree affects Englishmen rather than others. Again, whereas they of Lubeck before the year 1578 made free of their town all nations, viz. Scots, Frenchmen, 'Swedens,' Danes, Flemings, Hollanders, and all others, no Englishmen could obtain it for love or money, nor at the desire of kings and princes ; as was proved by John Chappell, draper, and others, who procured letters from the King of Denmark in their favour. And some Englishmen having found so much favour in the town of 'Wismore,' one of the Hanse Towns, as to be made free of it, they of Lubeck so 'mislike and spurn against it as they stick not to propound it as a matter of great offence' at the next meeting of the Hanse Towns. For Hamburgh.—It appears in the 10th article of the 'griefs' exhibited to your Honour last November that before 1576 the English paid only 2d. flemish for the transport of a cloth through their town. Now they have to pay 10d. per cloth, whereas the Italians and Netherlander avouched before you that they pay but 1d. on the kersey, which is 3d. on the cloth. If that is true our nation is in this point used worse than others ; and may be so in various matters unknown to us, as this was before the declaration. For Dantzick.—In the 7th article of the complaints made by the English in 1557 it appears that all nations were served with beer for their ships at 30 groschen the barrel, the English were made to pay 60 groschen for the same beer. And whereas it appears in the 10th article of the 'griefs' sent from Dantzick that the Dutch nation may buy and sell with all strangers in the fair held at 'Martelmas,' the English are prohibited. While in the 12th article it appears that the English have to pay the burghers' contribution, it seems that those of Lubeck and Posno do not. What other nations do, we know not. By the 21st article it appears that a Jew with his wife and family may remain a whole month at Dantzick for one Hungarian ducat, or about 6s. 8d. sterling ; but if an Englishman do so it will cost him 50 marks 'spruce,' which is £5 sterling. So it is evident that the English nation is not only used worse than strangers, but worse than Jews. Endd. with date 1579. 1½ pp. [Hanse Towns I. 54.]
April 27. 665. 'A note of such goods as certain merchants have now in their houses packed or ready to be packed to have shipped for Hamburgh, and which they had before the time of the restraint or prohibition, or bargained for before the same time.'
Clement Draper has already packed 180 kerseys ; ready to be packed 60 kerseys, 23 short Suff. cloths drest. He has also 9 barrels of pewter cont. 30 cwt. Also he has bargained for 20 short Suff. cloths with one John Spencer, clothier. Thomas Silvester has ready 20 long Kentish cloths drest, 40 Hampshire kerseys and 3 double northern dozens, and 3 Worcester long. Lewis Writtze has packed 12 long Kentish cloths drest. Roger Clerke has ready 100 short cloths coloured and drest. Richard Glascock and Co. have packed 200 Hampshire kerseys and 30 short Suff. cloths coloured drest. Of strangers, John Delanoye of Lille has 80 Hampshire kerseys bought of Alexander Ivory of London, and 20 pieces bays bought of Thomas Silvester ; Nicholas Delanoye has 40 pieces of bays ; and Zuani Setropo (in duplicate Setrocho) 60 Hampshire kerseys. (Signed) Richard Young. Endd. by Burghley's secretary. 1 p. [Hanse Towns I. 53.]
666. Duplicate of the above. [Ibid. I. 53a.]
April 28. 667. POULET to WALSINGHAM.
Excuse me if I do not write often, as the world goes at present. When the news of this country consisted in open actions, it was a pleasure without danger to give daily advertisements, and there wanted no store of new matter ; but our doings are now turned into whisperings, our executions into consultations, and those managed by so few and conveyed so cunningly that it passes my understanding to understand their true meaning, and I am not ignorant that the duty of my charge forbids me to . . . you with divinations, though my devotion to her Majesty's service and my love to my country sometimes force me to exceed the bounds of my commission. It will be some discharge for me if you believe that my sayings during this embassy are void of all corruption and partiality. One of the deputies of Normandy lately repaired hither is a gentleman of the Religion and of my old acquaintance. He has imparted to me all that has passed between the king and the deputies. I forbear to send you the particular demands and answers because they would be more tedious than profitable ; yet I troubled you with the enclosed note of such things as the king has granted by letters patent and letters missive. Though the king abases himself greatly, and deals liberally and honourably in some things, having yielded to the rebate of 12,000 francs, yet many think that the Normans will suffer no money to be levied in that province without full satisfaction of their demands ; and that the disease will be mortal before many months pass. They urge the assembly of the Estates-General, which the King promises by word of mouth to perform shortly, ensuring himself upon the absence of his mother. This answer is confessed to be reasonable, but they believe nothing less than that it is plainly intended. You will find only this article touching the Estates-General and the answer to it, in this bill enclosed, which I have added because the granting or denying of it imports that of all these questions for diminution of taxes and subsidies, for discharge of all new-erected officers and suchlike. The Deputies were forbidden by the Estates-General to confer with the King except in the presence of his Council, nor to treat with the Council in the absence of the King and without adding to or diminishing their demands and to receive no answer but in writing under the Great Seal. The King found it strange that they were not authorised to consider with him of some 'moderation' which might breed satisfaction on both sides, and saying that every bad lacquey had been sufficient to be a messenger 'in this order' ; but the deputies were not unprovided of their answer. I have told you this, as it may serve you to judge the humour of these people. They received their dispatch with protestations that it might not be prejudicial to the Estates of their country, praying the King to have better consideration of the just demands of his poor afflicted subjects. The assembly of the Estates of Britanny is deferred from the 25th inst. to the 5 prox. and Marshal de Retz is now arrived there to appease them if he may. Herein he will be greatly furthered by the division which still continues between Rohan and Laval. My letter to her Majesty makes mention of a plan to prepare four galleys for Monsieur's passage from Calais to Dover. As I doubt not that his passage will be sufficiently furnished from England, I could wish that they were not prepared, for being once rigged and appointed on this pretext, they may perhaps be employed in some service which will not be greatly to our liking.—Paris, 28 April 1579. Add. Endd. 1½ pp. [France III. 21.]
Enclosure in the above :
Letters and permissions (expéditions) obtained by the deputation of the Estates of Normandy in April 1579.
Letters patent to the treasurers-general of the district for the discharge of 20,000 livres tournois which his Majesty has remitted over and above the 100,000. Other letters patent addressed to the Parliament of Rouen, the Chamber of Accounts at Paris, etc., confirming the privileges of the country according to the Norman Charter, copy of which will be attached under the counter seal. Others, addressed to the same, by which the King declares that he will not henceforth levy any moneys on the district without previously asking for them in the assembly of the Estates, or in case of necessity in the assembly composed of the deputies of the preceding convention ; and authorises those who have been and shall be nominated to bring up the reports and petitions from the district to settle with the procurator of the Estates any business that may arise in the province between two meetings of the said Estates. Others, in form of a commission to the president and councillors nominated to try the officers both of judicature and finance, to summon the deputies of the Estates, and put in force all the necessary clauses ; with injunction to the judges to attend to this exclusively. Others, addressed to the Parliament, declaring that his Majesty quite understands that in all their deliberations and behaviour the deputies have had a sincere intention, as befits good and loyal subjects, and giving commands to that Court that all informations and trials still to be directed against any of those deputies should cease and remain null and void. Letters patent to the Parliament to terminate the commission of one called Bodin. Letters close, to the Parliament, to keep the regulations as to the six weeks' sitting of each bailiwick ; that during that time only cases from the bailiwick be dispatched. Others, to the Commissioners appointed to draw up the customs of the country, to proceed at once. Letters patent to the governors in the country to have the soldiers victualled at fixed points (étapes) ; the accounts of these to be rendered to the deputies, as well as a statement of the stores levied in the country, and not to be sent to Paris. Others, to the Court of Aids, declaring that those who have been ennobled since the death of King Henry may enjoy the rank for their lifetime, but it shall not pass to their heirs. Others, to the Parliament, suppressing the subsidy of hoofed beasts set up in the bailiwick of Cotentin to pay the salary of the judgeship (siège Présidial) there established, which is from now united with that of Caen ; and only three councillors are living, whom his Majesty will declare suppressed by death provided that their salaries are paid by the taxable inhabitants of the bailiwick. —Signed by the King and M. Brulart. May it please your Majesty to give an answer in writing as to the general assembly requested by the provinces, and to fix the time and place for it. Meanwhile your Majesty is asked to give the deputies a copy of the answer given to the report from the Estates at Blois, seeing that the greater part of the articles in their report is answered by reference thereto. The petitioners must be content with the answer which the King gave them with his own mouth as to the assembly, which is of more value than any writing that could be given them. As to the Edict made upon the general reports, it shall be sent to Parliament at Rouen. Endd. Fr. 2½ pp. [France III. 22.]
[April 28.] 667 (bis.). POULET to the QUEEN.
Monsieur arrived here on the 26th inst. The King, accompanied by the Cardinal of Guise, the Duke of Guise, and the Duke of Nevers, all in one coach, received him two miles out of the city ; and at their meeting took Monsieur into the coach, followed by a great train of the nobility, and that night Monsieur, the Cardinal and the Duke of Guise supped with the King. Next day 'Rocquetalliado' comes to me, and tells me that Monsieur, desiring nothing more than the conclusion of this marriage, intended to send him to your Majesty in two or three days, and that the King and Queen Mother would witness their affection herein by their own letters. He doubted not upon his return to bring the full resolution, off or on—I use this gross word 'off or on' to signify the true sense of his own speech, which was, le faict ou le failly. He says that Queen Mother has advised the King to extend the same liberality to Monsieur in his voyage to England as he received when he went to Poland from his brother King Charles ; and to confirm this report of Queen Mother's good inclination towards the marriage, he speaks of the many great gifts promised by her to Monsieur, as 'vessell' of gold, hangings and other rich furniture for chambers, as likewise of some rare things which he intends to provide for your Majesty. Also that she has already directed Monsieur touching the order and number of his train, in councillors, officers, gentlemen of his chamber, as well as in other inferior ministers, and that she was willing to accompany him on this journey, which, said he, Monsieur would not permit for many causes. And in this behalf he used so long speech that I had some reason to think he looked when I would allow of Monsieur's opinion therein ; which being a matter above my reach, I forbore to give any opinion, save that I referred it to the better consideration of Queen Mother and Monsieur. He added that the King would accompany Monsieur to Calais, and for his better passage would cause four galleys to be brought from Nantes and that Monsieur intended to depart from hence within twelve days to meet Queen Mother on the way to Lyons, and there take leave of her. He has not omitted to tell me that Monsieur has already considered patterns for liveries for his pages and others to be provided immediately upon his return from England. He concluded with all honourable speeches of your Majesty and of your rare and princely virtues, and with protestation of his devotion to your service ; affirming with oaths that he would rather destroy himself with his own sword than to be employed towards you in any message of 'trumpery.' He took occasion to tell me that Monsieur had heard from Symier that your Majesty and your Council have been advertised from hence that la Fin was dispatched into Spain 'and no marvel' says he 'when many here, even of those belonging to Monsieur had conceived the same opinion.' I could perceive that this arrow was shot at me, and therefore doubting lest my silence might breed some sinister interpretation I answered that whoever had given that advertisement had betrayed his own want of judgement ; the matter carrying no shew of likelihood at all, and that for two reasons. First, no man ought to believe that Monsieur would commit so great a fault as to treat with Spain during his treaty with England ; and second, that if any such treachery were intended, a matter touching Monsieur in honour so nearly would not be carried so grossly as to send la Fin into Spain so suddenly after his arrival at this Court, which being discovered, and it could not be hidden, would not fail to discover the whole practice. For my part I never believed la Fin was sent, so I had not written thereof to your Majesty or the Council ; not sparing to tell him if I had believed it, I would not have failed to discharge my duty therein. I have thought it my duty to deliver to your Majesty all the particulars of this conference ; yet this one thing remains, that upon talk of the departure of Bussy from Monsieur, he told me that Bussy would give account of his doings to your Majesty in a letter to be sent by him. It is thought, and Roquetaillade does not deny it, that Monsieur has not withdrawn his favour from him. However this is, it is certain that he is removed to satisfy the King ; and now Monsieur will do wisely to deal sincerely with the King, being followed by many that are at the King's devotion. Bussy has the reputation of having been always faithful to his master, and for his own surety at home, he has had great reason to seek all means of friendship for his master abroad ; and of such servants I could wish that Monsieur had many. Roquetaillade has promised to see me again before his departure, and then by way of friendship will show me the copy of the letters sent by la Fin from Queen Mother to the King [see Lettres de Cath. de Medicis, vi. pp. 332, 326].—Paris, April 1579. Copy. Endd. The copy of my letters to the Queen. 2½ pp. [France III. 23.]
End of April. 668. DAVISON to WALSINGHAM.
The commissioners appointed for the treaty of Collen having on Thursday received the Emperor's safe-conduct, and promise to meet the like by the way from the Prince of Parma, departed hence last Friday [qu. Ap. 24]. The special cause of their long stay proceeded in part from the instance of the townsmen, who desiring to be comprised in the league lately concluded at Utrecht before their departure, had till now 'impeached the same,' albeit their confederacy still remains undetermined, upon hope to bring the whole Estates of Brabant to accord it generally ; the nobles and clergy having already passed their assent, together with the religions-fried, which they would never hitherto accept. The Duke of Aerschot has taken his wife, children, and whole family with him, intending, in some men's opinion, not to return in haste. The Marquis his brother is to repair again to Hainault or Artois, where it seems there is yet hope to do some good, the people being generally indisposed to divide themselves from these provinces. The town of Lille has this week abandoned the confederacy, and promises to send deputies hither forthwith. From Flanders we hear of no new thing 'exploited' since the taking of the abbey of Watein [qy. Waeten], la Motte having in these two attempts lost 400 or 500 men, and being abandoned by four companies of French that were in his service, both because they would not bear arms against la Noue, and in 'despite' that he had refused them entry into Gravelines, is with the rest of his people keeping in garrison. The success of la Noue has not a little cooled the ardour of our Messieurs of Artois. By a letter, intercepted this week, from a commissary of the King's at Gravelines to the Prince of Parma, it seems that the enemy remains in some diffidence of the proceedings of la Motte and the rest of his confederacy. Our reiters 'are in fine accorded withal ;' and having passed muster, they intend to 'address their camp' for the succour of Maestricht. Rough draft. Endd. 1 p. [Hol. and Fl. XI. 111.]
End of April. 669. DAVISON to WALSINGHAM.
I wrote to you by the last post as much as I could then say in answer to your letter. Next day I had my audience of the States, to whom I delivered her Majesty's letter and signified her pleasure for my return, with such other points as I had in charge. I thought good to deliver these in such terms as might prevent them from conceiving a sinister opinion of her Majesty's meaning ; the rather because I had understood from the Prince that the matter chancing at this time would breed a suspicion of some change in her affection towards them. This they seemed by this answer to apprehend, especially in 'handling' both for the treaty of peace and for the decision they were to give to the Duke of Anjou before the dissolution of the general assembly ; the issue of which they imagine I should have tarried unless her Majesty were in some way altered ; all which impression I fully removed. And after they had used some protestations of the obligation they 'pretended' to have to myself for the good offices I had done between her Majesty and them and having. Draft, on the back of last. ½ p.
End of April. 670. DAVISON to WALSINGHAM.
I wrote to you by the last post [and so on, as in the last, somewhat differently worded]. As for the matter of the jewels, they told me they would confer with the Prince and Council of State, and give an answer accordingly to my full contentment. This, by reason of their great business, I have not received, though I find from the Prince that there remains no difficulty in that behalf, so that by the time I hear from Sir Thomas Cotton I doubt not but they will be ready for him. And as I understand from Mr Thompson's last letter in your name that her Majesty has inclined to the States' late request on behalf of Spinola both for the 30,000 florins (as I take it) and for the rest for which she had given her bonds, I must beseech you to let me know by your next, so that I may accordingly 'travell in recovery' as such further assurance as shall be needful ; the rather because I do not see how I can well depart with the jewels and leave those things undispatched, which I beseech you to consider. Because the multitude of the States' business in this general assembly may suspend my [several lines obliterated]. Our Commissioners . . . last received the Emperor's safe-conduct departed the next night. [Other information as in No. 668.] The deputies of Zutphen after many difficulties accorded the same [religions fried] yesterday on their parts. The resolution of those of Valenciennes and Cambray to abide with the generality, and now the departure of those of Lille from their confederacy, but especially the fear of a popular sedition among themselves, the seeds of which are already sown in some of the towns, have cooled their [Hainault and Artois] hot treaty with the Spaniard. This is assured as yet to be undetermined, how far soever some 'particulars' are embarked. [Information as to la Motte, as in No. 668.] It seems by a letter intercepted this week written by a Spaniard of some quality from Gravelines to the Prince of Parma, that the accord between la Motte and Montigny is a matter of which they make no great foundation, doubting they will not reap the fruit of them that they desire. The succour of Maestricht goes slowly forward, as they presume the town to hold out for some months yet, notwithstanding the force and fury of the enemy. Draft. Endd. 1¼ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XI. 112.]
671. Rough draft of the above. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid XI. 112a.]