Elizabeth: January 1580, 1-15

Pages 123-130

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

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January 1580, 1-15

I perceive by yours of the 19th ult. that sundry bruits had then stirred doubtful opinions, but before this, both by John Wellis' dispatch and by Mr Stafford's return thither, I hope all things are satisfied. Now here they 'harken after' the sending for commissioners, and Queen Mother above all others professes to long for the quick success of this amity and joining of hands. God direct her Majesty's heart, and stretch out her hands for His service, to do the best for her self and her comfort. It seems that Monsieur prepares to leave assured friends, and deals daily in settling his estate and affairs. Occasion has of late been offered him to renew his enterprise in Flanders ; but nothing will, as it seems, remove his thoughts as yet. So these causes rest till her Majesty's message comes. The king has agreed that the Prince of Cond shall remain in the castle of la Fre with a guard for his person, so that he will disperse his other forces. He does not countermand the prince's exercising his government in Picardy. La Noue is at his house, 18 leagues 'beside' Paris, but the Nuncio and the Spanish agent thunder complaints against him to the king ; otherwise it is thought he would by this have been here openly at Court. Monsieur had appointed a conference with the King of Navarre, but the king, by sending 'Tinterville' [Dinteville] to him has 'procured the stay.' The King of Navarre has had an interview with Montmorency about the 'causes' of Languedoc. The advertisements from Italy are that the Spanish 'army' has passed towards Spain, but some of the munitions are perished. I think to hear her Highness's pleasure for sending a person into those parts. He is in readiness. God send you much 'contentation' this new year.Paris, the first of the year. Add. and endt. gone. 1 p. [France IV. 1.]
Jan. 3. 127. ROSSEL to WALSINGHAM.
Just as I was sending off my last letter I had news confirming the negotiation as to Cambray between M. d'Inchy, the governor, and the Duke of Alenon. This news caused much talk among the people generally, some asserting that it was due to the Prince's advice, others that it was done with the assent of the States, and others that it was a private affair of M. d'Inchy ; so that the perplexity rendered everyone uneasy, because all parties lowered their sails under the cloak of ignorance. Meanwhile the execution of the treaty remains suspended, of which and of everything M. d'Inchy has advertised the States and his Excellency, who are working together in the matter of the war, as I told you. It is unlucky that the commissioners from the States have not absolute authority with power to take instant decisions ; which I think would be convenient, since (cause pourquoi) they will leave this in six days to represent to the provinces what is expedient for the war, which of necessity it behoves to continue, and to content the importunate demands of M. d'Alenon, which will be provided for. For the month of February it is estimated they will have in the field 14,000 foot and 5,000 horse ; and to this effect four new colonels and other officers of cavalry are being sent out. M. de la Noue will raise two companies of horse, each to be 100 gentlemen, with 1,000 harquebusiers to follow, to fill up the regiments ; and on this subject fresh orders are being sent to him. Meanwhile after the Malcontents had had sundry squabbles among themselves over the dispute about the departure of the Spaniards, on which matter Montigny gave the lie to la Motte, and Count Egmont a slap in the face to M. d'Alennes, everything has been set right (repatri) by Count Mansfelt, who insisted on their departure ; and ultimately they went out of Turnhout, Gheel, and other places on Wednesday the 30th of this [sic] month and marched straight for Maestricht. This I think is to do mischief in Friesland, which has been disaffected by the practices of Robles : or else to stay in Luxembourg or Burgundy until the Malcontents have performed some better exploit. To do this they have been brought by the management of Count Mansfelt, and have gone with all speed to St. Amand in order, favoured by the frost and bad weather, to carry it by storm. Three English companies are there, who will be badly handled. The colonel of the French starts to-day to their aid with a certain number of cavalry ; while Colonel Balfour with his men will take steps elsewhere to prick them in divers places. I am vexed that the person with whom I conversed has gone off to Lubeck without receiving my last words, for the good service he might have done by coming here and going on to Lige, upon all the confusions. The rittmeisters and colonels of the Religion are assembled at Frankenthal, where they turn their thoughts to France ; a bad omen. It is given out that they want to look for their pay. The assemblies that are being held in various places in France testify to the contrary ; as also the maintenance of the army of Italy, which gives expectation of more calamity than ever. I wish that her Majesty's prudence may anticipate these events, so as to continue the peace of her realm, the envy of all the world.Antwerp, 3 Jan. 1579 [sic]. P.S.The credit of the French increases daily, even to a point which I cannot express. So I hold my peace rather than speak amiss. Add. Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIII. 1.]
Jan. 7. 128. 'An Extract out of a Spanish letter, dated at Madrid, the 7th of January, 1579.'
The 30th ult. there came to this Court in post from Rome a Scottish gentleman named Virgil Fender, who was very honourably received and entertained by the Archbishop of Toledo and Secretary Sayas, with whom he chiefly conferred. On New Year's Eve they two with divers other personages of quality brought him to the king, with whom he had speech two long hours. This gentleman has received 1,000 crowns in gift from the king and departed on the 5th for France. As one of his servants gave it out, he was to pass from thence into Ireland and so into his own country for the Pope's service. One of his servants told a friend of his that ere two year came about, all Christendom shall be subject to one only law by the means and the endeavours of the Pope and the King of Spain, who were about to bring the matter to pass. On the 2nd inst. came letters from Ireland to the Archbishop of Toledo, Secretary Sayas and others, signifying that the Governor with three earls, Capt. Boulter [?] and about 3,000 soldiers were slain ; whereat they greatly rejoiced, thinking that the Queen has no more men of war left in that land. It is reported that the King of Morocco has offered the king passage through his dominions, to go to 'Argiel,' and the assistance of 40,000 men for achieving that enterprise. Of the king's preparations there are divers discourses made. Some think they are for 'Argil,' some for Portugal, and some for England, but no man knows certainly for what place. The King of Morocco, has sent the king for a present the son of the Duke of Braganza and other prisoners whom he had before refused to release for any ransom. The king has caused proclamation to be made in certain of his port towns that they shall not traffic with the Portugall, and has sent an express messenger to confer with Don Antonio on his behalf, and to seek to draw him hither, where he shall want as good entertainment. It is said that ere long Don Bernard de Mendoza will pass into France. The king purposes shortly to go to Seville, to give order for the wars. Don Pedro de Medicis is come to the Court with divers captains, men of great countenance, who repair daily to the Archbishop of Toledo, Cardinal Granvella and Secretary Sayas and have also been to visit the Duchess of Feria. It is written from Portugal that the Commons will not agree to the sentence given in favour of the King of Spain, and that if he will enjoy the benefit of it, he must win it by the sword. Endd. 1 pp. [Spain I. 36.]
Jan. 7. 129. VILLIERS to DAVISON.
I send some letters that I have received from you ; and though I have plenty to write, I will for this journey [sic] content myself with telling you that after much debate the Estates have finally resolved to write to the Duke of Aerschot thanking him for the trouble he has taken, and in consideration of other business that he may have, not summoning him back. But they order Grobbendonck, Marolles, and St. Gertrude to return (which they will not do), and bid M. de Rummen remain at Cologne, not as ambassador with any powers, but that through his agency they may hear whatever information Count Schwarzenberg may wish to send here. So ends this long negotiation. The Spaniards are marching as heavily as they can towards Lige, and have left Brabant. The Duchess of Parma is coming to rule as the King's lieutenant. We have lost this week Mortaigne and St. Amand ; no great loss, for they were open places, but Mortaigne was carried by assault, with the loss of Cotton's ensign of English, Sonhai's of Brabanters, and le Febvre's of Walloons. The St. Amand people gave up the keys and remain prisoners of war, among them being Morgan. Mr Norris is in Tournai, where I hope that the regiment that was M. de Mouy's has this day arrived, if it has not been opposed by the way. My wife, Marie, and I present our greetings to you and Madame. Antwerp, 7 Jan. 1580. Add. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XIII. 2.]
Jan. 12. 130. COBHAM to the QUEEN.
For their quarrels 'pretended' to M. Simier hitherto, they have been suppressed by the king's command ; so your Majesty may be out of doubt that except it be by treason, they shall not have any means to hurt his person. He took his journey toward Monsieur on the 11th, leaving with me the enclosed letter for your Highness. [See Cecil Papers Part 2, No. 808.] Many of Monsieur's gentlemen resorted hither to accompany him out of this town. I have sent my servant to bring me news of his good 'passing forward,' that you may be the 'perfectlier' advertised thereof. I have abstained from dealing with the king in his cause, by the advice of his best friends. It seemed that the king is so moved with the taking of the town of Mende in 'Gevodans' [Gvaudan] that he takes counsel for the preparation of war. The report of Casimir's levying of 6,000 'royters' and as many Swiss is confirmed, so that it is judged their peace this year will suffer an eclipse. Duke Montmorency seeks the king's favour, and apparently deals very ill with the Protestants in all manner of ways to please the king. The king has appointed that ancient Dukes' ambassadors shall take their place as in his father's time ; so the ambassador of the Grand Duke of Tuscany has lost his place and the ambassador of Ferrara has taken precedence at the feast of St. Esprit these last holidays. Simier promises to send expressly to me on coming to Monsieur's Court.Paris, 12 Jan. Holograph. Beginning apparently lost. Add. Endd. by L. Cave with date ; and in a later hand. 1 p. [France IV. 2.]
Jan. 13. 131. COBHAM to BURGHLEY.
I suppose you understood from Mr Stafford how M. Simier accompanied him hither from Monsieur's Court, since which time he has remained here, informing the king and queen of his prince's affairs and proceedings ; so that they are entered into a further opinion of his good success and expect to hear of her Highness's pleasure for the sending of commissioners. Thus the case rests. Simier left this town on the 11th accompanied by about 200 horse well-appointed. The first night he lodged at St. Cloud, and last night the Count of Reise [qy. Retz] lodged him and his chief gentlemen. Thus from place to place he will be safely guarded. The king has commanded Bussy and Balagny to abstain from arms, or from making any unfriendly offer towards M. Simier ; yet notwithstanding this Balagny has been seen in the way with some horsemen. Upon this the king had appointed a guard to march with him ; but Monsieur's servants undertook to do the king sufficient service for that matter. The King of Navarre has had some conference with Montmorency in Languedoc ; but finding that he was directed by the king to stand upon the delivery of the towns in that province which are in the keeping of the Protestants, he did not stay ; but is calling the chiefs of his religion together to take counsel for their preservation and repose. Captain la Merle has taken by night scaling the rich town of Mende in Gvaudan, belonging to the Bishop of Mande, Chancellor to Monsieur ; whereon, and upon the levy which Casimir and Rocheguyon are making, the king takes counsel for preparing war and gathering of money, which hitherto is but slackly begun. Of late the Protestants intended to have surprised 'Shawmont in Basigni,' which would have served for an entry for the 'roysters.' M. 'Vyllycher' [qy. Villequier] has entered on his government of the Isle of France. The king has decreed that all Dukes' ambassadors shall take the places they had in his father's time. This proceeds partly upon the discovery of a league between King Philip, the Pope, and the Duke of Tuscany. Also Queen Mother has received some indignity at Florence in a process she had there. There is slyly whispered here a practice which M. 'd'Obeny' is taking in hand to procure the marriage of the young King of Scots with some young Lady of Lorraine. Please let me become suitor for your favour in my suit of which I left a note with you. I need it, and have taken pains to deserve it. My expenses may if her Majesty please be allowed for a fine. Please therefore let your earnest speeches be my help.Paris, 13 Jan. P.S.As the causes of France are in debate I send you the 'books' of the Estates of this country and a descent, with the marriages of their kings. Add. Endd. : from Paris, by Bluemantle ; and in a later hand : All foreign Dukes to take place in France according to their antiquity. 2 pp. [France IV. 3.]
Jan. 13. 132. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
I have received your letter sent by Lewkner and have delivered the enclosed according to their indorsements. The king continues here and begins to deal with his Council for preparing for war and levying money, but the 'devises' for the finances have not that quick dispatch they are accustomed to have. They are assured that Casimir is levying 6,000 'roisters' and as many Swiss ; and la Roche-Guyon is gathering some French companies ; whereon the king sends Rochefort to offer some favourable means. La Merle has taken Mende, wherein he had a rich booty. As M. de Chtillon was at Brocher within 3 or 4 leagues of Mende, the king presupposes that he is the chief actor ; notwithstanding he was there 'a-wooing' Mme de la Brocher's daughter, who is heir to her first husband, M. de Peyris, 'that was slain on St. Bartilmew's Day in the massacre.' Duke Montmorency has come to the conference appointed with the King of Navarre, but he would not 'enter to speak' of any redress until the Protestants should yield up their towns. It is discovered that he received this order from the king ; whereon the King of Navarre repairs again into Languedoc, to take order with the 'substitutes' for those of the Religion that they may not be 'taken and snatched up' unprovided. There is hope that Monsieur may meet the King of Navarre, though it has been deferred. The king has decreed that all foreign ambassadors (as in the last). 'Mount Dragon' has passed in post from Spain towards the Low Countries. He was rifled of his money and baggage, but escaped without further harm. Don Pedro de Medicis has passed with a few galleys for Spain ; the rest of the army, 'through strange and foul weather,' are about La Spezia and 'Gayetta.' Arnold, Mauvissire's secretary, has stayed here ever since my coming. His brother is now made the Scottish Queen's treasurer, and she has appointed Arnold a pension of 2,000 francs. He carries the special letters of the Papists and the most indisposed. There is expected from Scotland a sister's son of the Bishop of Ross, called James Brown, and the 'good man' of New Leslie. The Scots have some hope that M. 'd'Obeny' shall bring the king to marry with one of the house of Lorraine. Last Saturday the 9th, Mr Carye, who lately served la Motte, passed to Nantes and so by sea to Spain. Doyle goes hence to-day to the Spanish camp in Flanders. Copley's wife is come hither, and he is looked for, with others of our malcontents. One Pierse, a priest, escaped out of York prison, as he says, is come hither to raile [?] and so goes to Rheims. Julio Rousin [qy. Busini] desires you to be a means for recompence of the time and service he employed in Sir Amyas' time. He offers to do great service, and has wished me to send her Majesty herself certain names written from Rheims and sent hitherto to the 'B.' ambassador. I know he has good means and a quick spirit. He demands 100l. to pay his debts, and 'therewithal to serve this year.' Simier is gone to Monsieur with a great number of gentlemen, upon occasion of the quarrel 'made to him' by 'Bowsye' and Balagny.Paris, 13 Jan. Pray let me have your favourable means 'for the amending of my silly estate.' Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. IV. 4.]
I had a satisfactory passage, and did the whole journey in four days. On reaching London my first business was to attend to our Serene Prince's letters. These are the facts in the case. I put it to S. 'did he retain the same mind that he was in some months ago?' He said plainly that he had changed his view, for if great kings fell out, our position would be more secure, which does not seem bad counsel. But he gave me no opportunity of opening what I told you of when I was here. 4 is very anxious to hear all that I have to advise, and I will deal with him next week. I hope all will go well, for the time has been too short to finish everything this week. Philip Sidney, a young man of eminent wit and virtue, is wholly with us, and displays great affection for our prince. It is certainly rumoured here that there are disorders in Scotland ; for the Earl of Lenox, who is devoted to the French king, has put the Regent in prison and is overturning everything, which necessarily alarms us. Our prince has shown me many tokens of his kindness, and I find his recommendation of great service. But I wish he would also send me a letter of introduction to the Earl of Sussex. I think it would be useful, as he has much influence, and thinks much of our Prince. It may be of the same tenour as the other. Commend me to his Serenity, and salute M. Giele from me. London, 14 Jan. 1580. Copy (qy. in L. Cave's hand). Endd. Latin. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XIII. 3.]