Elizabeth: December 1579, 1-15

Pages 102-107

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 14, 1579-1580. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1904.

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December 1579, 1-15

In reply to your letter which has been handed to us by the proctors for the English Society of Adventurers dwelling in our town of Embden we would not have you ignorant that from the year '64 when we granted to the society full immunity of importation and exportation, we have sought nothing so much as to see those privileges confirmed and advanced by the Emperor and the other princes of the Empire. But after we had taken much trouble to this end, and had deputed certain of our chief councillors to attend to the matter, quite unexpectedly in less than three months after their coming, with no just cause except that they so decided to do they left Embden in a way disrespectful to us, uttering some flippant scoffs in place of the leave which they did not think fit to take of us, and repaired to Hamburg, to the no small loss of ourselves and our subjects. And though we had then good ground for revoking the concessions we had made, we have kindly allowed them, until the present time when they are beginning to want to come back to continue the trade they had started, though of insignificant amount, often not more than two or three transactions, as they will be obliged to admit if asked. Further when deputies from the Adventurers' Society brought us letters from the Master and Court asking us to renew the former privileges we assented, and confirmed those privileges. But whereas we are fully persuaded by your letters and other indications that you wish these useful as they are to the subjects of either nation to be not revoked, but restored and established, I will in a few words point certain abuses and defects by which the mutual conveniences of trade are either wholly removed or else diminished, to the great hurt of your realm, and of our town of Embden. The chief seems to be that whereas it is obvious that Embden in respect of harbours, roads, and lodging may be of more service to your subjects for trade whether by sea or land than any other maritime town of Germany, it is in your realm left free to Italians and other foreign merchants, contrary to the ancient customs still observed by that society, to transport their goods to Hamburg, Dordrecht and other towns where that society has no residence. Secondly other English merchants not belonging to the Society, and perhaps some members of it, transport their goods constantly to Hamburg and other German towns, and sell them ; forestalling there the German goods which the inhabitants of those towns were wont in large numbers to transport to the mart or residence of the Society and exchange with it, to its prejudice and loss ; upsetting in this way the old trade principles, as well the citizens and merchants of many German towns, who lose the profit which they used to make by bringing and exchanging those goods, exasperating them against the English nation, and give them cause for new counsels. Nay they increase the prices of things, and bring about a dearth of German goods, which are not brought to meet the English at the place of mart, in the same quantity as formerly. Last but not least, an abuse which hinders the success of navigation here is that with the freedom of import granted to merchants, foreign and English, more goods every day are carried to your realm from the Hanse ports than from our town. All which clearly causes a delay in bringing those goods into public use, and is even less to the advantage of the Merchants Adventurers than of our citizens. Since then your letters testify above all things to your desire that the privileges granted to the Adventurers may be continued and extended, and to your opinion that this will be to our honour and do no harm to our citizens of Embden, we would humbly advise and beseech your Majesty, having duly considered and weighed the hinderances and abuses alleged by us, to restore the old laws and customs, adopted doubtless after serious deliberation, which the Society always enjoyed while it lived in other places where they had a mart, and will in earnest command all merchants, foreign and English, whether belonging or not to the Society, to carry their goods to and from Embden only, as the Society's appointed mart at the present time. By this means you will certainly cause trade to become brisker, while the privileges granted to your lieges will be rendered of the highest use to them, and not injurious to our citizens.Aurick, 1 Dec. 1579. (Signed) Edzardus, manu propria. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson : from the Count of Emden. Latin. 5 pp. [Germ. States. I. 78.]
Dec. 8. 103. COBHAM to WILSON.
I received this morning from Mr Stafford in a letter of his yours with a copy in French. But as Mr Stafford had to pass towards Normandy to find Monsieur, he had opened your letter the better to inform himself in his negotiations, so that he has seen the copy which you wished me to give him. I shall not fail to do as you have directed in your letter. I have to-day sent a man to find Mr Stafford at Monsieur's Court, having informed him of Monsieur's being in this town ; wishing him to enquire what intelligence he may perceive to be between Monsieur and the Prince of Cond. I have sent one to the Prince of Cond in Picardy, that I may certify the Queen about those proceedings ; as, whether the intention be to make any enterprise into Flanders with the secret consent of Monsieur or the King, or only to settle himself in Picardy with the favour of the lords and gentlemen of that country. I was moved thereto because suspicions have arisen upon this action of the Prince, and 'I cannot tell what thought' in that he ventured so near this Court. Be sure I will not fail to keep the things committed to me faithfully and secretly, hoping that others will do the like.Paris, 8 Dec. 1579. P.S.Before I received your letter, I was ready to dispatch one, certifying Mr Secretary Walsingham of my second audience of the King and the occurrents here. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [France III. 56.]
[Dec. 10.]
See Dom. Add.
104. Report of the Commissioners appointed to enquire into the question of compensation to Spanish subjects.
By Art. 5 of the treaty of Bristol, the actions and rights of all ships' goods etc. not specified in a schedule mentioned in that article are reserved to the subjects of the King of Spain against the subjects of her Majesty, by whom their goods are detained, or they are damnified. And by Art. 7 it is agreed that justice shall be ministered summarily to the subjects of both princes, or those lawfully appointed by them to sue. It is requisite both by the said treaty, and by the order of the law, that such as make demands against her Majesty's subjects either in an ordinary court of law or before special commissioners shall exhibit sufficient procuration and authority from the proprietors interested in the thing reserved, to sue and recover the same ; otherwise neither can the process be 'vailable' in law, nor would her Majesty's subjects, if they should satisfy the ambassador or any other not so authorized, be discharged as against the true proprietors, but may be 'eftsoons' charged, either in this realm or in the King of Spain's dominions, for the same. And whereas above the value of 100,000 has been already restored or satisfied by way of compensation to the King's subjects, it is necessary that such as sue for the things reserved by the treaty shall specify the things for which they make suit and not intermix them with the things for which compensation has been made and a discharge given. Copy. Endd. in a later hand (qy. Sir J. Williamson). p. [Spain I. 33.]
Dec. 12. 105. 'A note of the charges of the Scout for two voyages in transporting 'Duke Allanson' and 'Mounsewer Semyres' from Dover to France.'
'Prest' and conduct from London to Chatham, of 110 men, at 2s. 6d.- - - - - 13 15s.
Ten gunners at the like rate 25s.
For provision of sea-stores, viz. nails, sheet lead, salt hides, compasses, running-glasses, leadlines, bowls, buckets, shovels, flag of St. George, etc. - - - - - - - 15.
Two new anchors for the ship - - - 14 11s. 8d.
For wages, diets, and 'deadshars,' of 120 men, for 14 days, at 4s. 8d. every man - - 28.
For the 'conduct in discharge' of the said mariners and gunners, at 12d. per man - 6.
For travelling charges, carriage of letters, etc. - 6.
Sum - 84 11s. 8d.
For 'prest' and conduct of 70 mariners, at 2/6 per man, with the charge of the 'prester' - - 8 15s.
Ten gunners - - - - - - 25s.
Provisions and necessaries as before - - 15.
Wages, diets and 'deadshares,' for 5 weeks and 4 days, beginning 29 Oct. 1579, ending 4 Dec., at 12s. 8d. every man - - - - - 50 13s. 4d.
Conduct and discharge, 80 men, at 12d. per man - 4.
Travelling charges, etc. - - - - 6.
Totals, 170 5s. (Signed) John Hawkyns, Willm. Holstok.
Endd. 1 p. [France III. 59.]
Dec. 12. 106. THOMAS CELY to the QUEEN.
"In Andalazia [sic] the 12 of December, in Porta Santa Marya 1579."Since my bringing-up has not been such as to write duly to your Majesty, I crave pardon if my pen run astray, for I am where I cannot attain to counsel, neither do I wish any to know that I am writing, for I am sworn by the Inquisition of Spain neither to speak nor to write anything touching the secrets of the Inquisition nor their house where I was three years in close prison for God's laws and yours, and all my goods taken from me most unjustly, for I take God to witness I never did anything contrary to Spain in all my life. Notwithstanding these great injuries they have condemned me to the galleys for four years ; three of which, within two months, are past. My friends have procured your Majesty's favourable letters for me, but they do not avail. I pray God I may be thankful for your good will to me. There is in the galley where I am a woman who is a courtesan. She is daily in the company of the captain, where she hears much. She is of Alexandria, and is amiga to one of the captains of the infantry. This woman talks with me very often, and I make fair weather with her, for I am sure to hear such talk as passes with the captains. I am in one of the chambers of the galley, where I do her pleasure to suffer her friends to talk with her, and she does what she can for me. I thought it good to move your Majesty, for their communications have been such that 'aforce' I must needs venture my life to write, for they touch you and your country very much. I think it good to trouble my Lord Treasurer with this affair [see Dom. Add. letter of even date], for I will not trouble your head with a long letter ; my Lord Treasurer's wise and politic head will in four words put more into your head in a quarter of an hour than I shall with writing ten sheets of paper. I have written your Majesty two letters touching other affairs ; but I wrote in the last, which I sent by one Perse of Weymouth, that I would be worth 100,000 a year to your subjects, and 40,000 a year to your coffers. I hear nothing from you ; I fear you doubt I work for my liberty. Truly, liberty I desire, and one year I have to 'accomply and two months, and have nothing but ill biscuit and water ; but my trust is in God to attain to my country, and if I may be heard, I trust God will give me grace to 'accomply' my word ; if not, strike off my head as a traitor. I am in a galley called the 'Strellya,' otherwise the Spera. In misery I thank God I am whole of my racking. All my study in close prison has been for your common wealths. Send me for God's love to pass this year to come, and bear with my rude and bold manners. I marvel you have not the [? most] fruitful island in the world. You may, if you will put to your hand. I would fain copy out this letter, for I doubt your Majesty will be troubled with reading it. Have patience with you [sic] and take some pains to read it, for I dare not write any longer. This I omit ; committing your Majesty to God's good will and pleasure, amen, and all the elect wheresoever. Peruse my Lord Treasurer's letter and 'keep well the Queen of Scots and sure.' I need not give this counsel, but my pen will not otherwise do. I beseech God to give me the grace to see the Court of England ere I die. (Signed) Your poor obedient servant Thomas Cely of Bristol, of your guard extraordinary. Add. : To my sovereign lady and mistress the Queen's Majesty of England etc., ye [qy. give] these when God shall appoint wind and weather. 1 pp. [Spain I. 28.]