Elizabeth: January 1580, 16-31

Pages 130-146

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, 16-31

Jan. 17. 134. FREMIN to DAVISON.
Captain Gainsford being on his way to England, I would not fail to write a word to you, to recall myself to your good graces. The Malcontents are just now in the neighbourhood of Bouchain and Valenciennes where their principal chiefs are assembled to consult as to their course of action. There is no appearance of the Spaniards' departure. They are on the other side of the Meuse for victualling reasons, intending to recross at the right time. I send you the 'Remonstrance' which his Excellency has brought out ; on him depends the salvation of the country. The bearer will tell you the rest.—Antwerp, 17 Jan. 1580. Add. Fr. ½ p. [Holl. & Fl. XIII. 4.]
I wish to renew the request I made to you last summer, to wit, that you would do me the kindness to obtain the restitution of certain double ducats and other specie, taken in a ship and now in the hands of the Admiralty, to John de la Forterie and James Gabry, agents for Francis le Fort, merchant of this city, a worthy man and a great friend of mine. I will not now trouble you to read my letter to the agents, and will defer entering into further particulars. As I know that I have in no way merited this favour, I beg you to give me the opportunity of doing so by any service you may command.—Antwerp, 17 Feb. 1880. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. XIII. 5.]
Jan. 19. 136. F. GIRALDEZ to M. DE GOURDAN.
This letter will be presented to you by Antonio Fogaza, a gentleman of Portugal, who is removing from the English Court to this in the service of the Most Christian King. Let this be his sufficient recommendation to you, and let him not be put to any charges. I am persuaded that for my sake he will find courtesy and favour from you. When an opportunity occurs, I will show myself your servant, as the Duke of Guise can testify.—Paris, 18 Jan. 1580. Holograph. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson : From the Port. Ambassador resident in Paris to M. Gourdan. Touching Fogaz. Ital. 1 p. [Portugal I. 21.]
Jan. 19. 137. ROSSEL to WALSINGHAM.
In my last, of the 17th inst. I mentioned the large naval force that is fitting out in Spain. According to common report it is to consist of 60,000 men, and is for an attack on Algiers, the resources of the Turk being reduced and his forces dispersed by reason of the defeats inflicted on him by the Sophy. To accomplish this design the King of Spain and the Portuguese have sent ambassadors to the Moorish king. Those from the Turk had already arrived ; but they have been sent back and those from Spain welcomed. They have obtained the late King of Portugal's body, and the more notable of the prisoners. The result has been a good understanding between that king and Spain, by means of which they hope to do some exploit against Algiers. I apprehend another design on their part, namely that they will pursue their first plan against Ireland, and other maritime places in our [sic] direction. They have stayed all the vessels from here that were at Cadiz ; a piece of malice which gives all the more ground to imagine their intention. I told you that M. de la Noue is on his way back to France in connexion with the settlement of the Prince of Conde's difficulties at la Fère, pacified by his means at the instance of the Queen Mother. In return for which benefit it is reported here, but not well confirmed, that he has been killed. This must be sad news for all public men, especially those on the side of the Religion, still more those who have followed him and been his friends. I can say with truth that he whom you know to be administering in a high station was only superficially well-affected to him, because he would not second his passions—irreligious, I mean. I find that ill-will is borne me for having followed him so willingly. I did it to remove the opinion which was held of the correspondence I carried on here. This was suggested to me by a person of authority to get me out of the way and remove that opinion. I was glad to explain this to you, having the opportunity of this bearer, who is yours assured. I should like also to speak more in detail about what I see concealed here, but this I can only do verbally. If my old acquaintance were not out of the way I would have sought some expedient for crossing the sea ; for to sail any longer without a helm would be too great a risk. The French who were sent for from Tournay have remained till now in the suburbs, so discontented that the great part are disbanding, some going to France, others to the enemy. The Spaniards, who have already passed across Luxembourg have stopped to hear what is going on, and according to some advices are inclined to come back with the others against Flanders. One of these days the briratten [breederaed] are to assemble to levy some money to advance to the garrisons of Herentals, Brussels and Lierre, to allow them to act against three cornets of cavalry and a regiment of foot which M. de Haultepenne, 'Barlemoniste,' is alone keeping in the field to annoy the country. I do not know who will be able to perform the feat. For my own part I know no one ; still less in all other affairs.—Antwerp, 19 Jan. 1580. Add. Endd. : from Russell. Fr. 2½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIII. 6.]
Nature teaches that one man is born for another's sake, in such wise that he may be of service even to a stranger on the score of his humanity. Reason however bids that we understand ourselves to owe more to those by whom we are ourselves most loved and who are most united to us by conformity of life and morals. Wherefore since Antonio Fogaza your subject is an excellent man, adorned with all virtues both in regard to Christianity and sincere faith, and for the numerous benefits wherewith he has long aided those followers of the old religion in England who are oppressed and well-night brought to nought, we cannot refuse him a small service. It is fair therefore that we say a few words to you touching his integrity, both because it concerns a prince to know what kind of citizens he has, and because we wish to escape the disgrace of ingratitude and can make no other return for all his merits. From the time then of his first admittance to our friendship, his loyalty, recognized in our many great dangers, was such that he was the only person to whom we entrusted the case of our affairs and the protection of ourselves. When he went to Portugal in 1569 to greet in our name King Sebastian of glorious memory we gave him our petition. How diligent he showed himself in that matter may be seen from the annexed copies of that petition and the reply to it. On his return to England he ceased not to refresh us with exhortation, to console us with kind words, to alleviate our misfortune by his efforts, and in every way to soothe our grief ; whereof the bitterness is such that but for the presence of such a man, we should deem it intolerable. Nor did he assist us only when we enjoyed a free servitude with power to move about, but since we have been in prison he has been diligent in relieving us, at great cost to himself, more trouble, still more disrepute. We had besides a church here common to all Catholics, enlarged and decorated largely at his expense, where he kept the lamp by him dedicated to the Venerable Sacrament constantly awake for nine years ; and would have done so longer, but our meeting is prevented by all the eyes and ears strained against us by prowling spies and 'Corycœans' surrounding us on all sides. Yet we have always a refuge with him, nor does he desert us even in these wretched times and this dangerous place ; so that next to God and the saints we hold him our protector, our father, or rather our sanctuary. Which being so, we marvel greatly that no report of his deeds has reached your Majesty's ears, for so we learn from him ; but it was better that we should write this announcement of it to you, that all handle for doubt being removed he might be the more commended to his king. We are much grieved too for his fortune, and beseech you by the Crucified that a Christian and pious prince may not leave so pious and Christian a subject in hiding, but grant rather that when you have read the petition which he brings to your confessor, it may be fairly and kindly considered, and an edict issued, which will be a great consolation to us, and we will pray inter sacrificia, which are here much performed in secret, for your safety and long life.— 13 Kal. Febr. 1580. (Signed in the name of the English Catholics) Thomas Watson, Bishop of Lincoln, though now de facto deprived, and more than twenty years in prison ; Richard, Archbishop of Armagh, Primate of Ireland, bound for eight years in chains of iron, but continuously kept in prison for fourteen years, more or less. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. Walsingham's mark in many places. Lat. 3 pp. [Portugal I. 22.]
Jan. 20. 139. BISHOPS OF LINCOLN and ARMAGH to LEON HENRIQUEZ, Confessor to the King of Portugal.
We have heard from Antonio Fogaza, a Portuguese resident here for many years, of good family, but more illustrious for the innocency of his life, with whom we sorely distressed Catholics in England are on friendly terms, that there is with you a countryman of ours, John Castell [Castellonem], an alumnus of the University of Coimbra, admitted under your patronage into the Society of the Jesuits ; whose constant faith, combined with his learning, offers hope of advancing the Roman Church among us, hitherto, alas !—I will not say overthrown, but lacerated overmuch, though we trust that God will grant us to see it reviving in great splendour. The same we have learnt from his own letters, which though intended for his father, who has been with the blessed these ten months, were opened and read by a noble friend of his (to whom they were addressed in order that they might reach his parent more securely), so that he might reply, if a reply was wanted, as he does in the annexed letter. If you with your usual kindness to Catholics will have it taken to him, you will do a great favour to the whole Church, and we shall look for any letters he may wish to write in answer. But let them be directed to our friend Fogaza above-named, for so both he and we decided ; since we know no one else whom we can trust, and there would be danger otherwise of our getting into trouble such as perhaps caused his father's death on account of similar letters having been interpreted and read out in the Queen's Council, which is most unfriendly to us. But as our affair has led us to mention Fogaza, it is right that since we have received from him what makes us feel our calamity less grievous, we in our turn should offer him something, though we can return no favour worthy of his merit toward us. We beg you therefore to help us in this, that as his excellence is vouched for in a letter to the king, so our commendation may serve to gain him confidence, and the discharge of his petition ; whereby you will oblige him and us. It is, to speak the truth, our own cause in regard to divine worship, though his name appears who has had nothing but labour, affliction and misery. We send a list of those who are in prison, and will face torture and death rather than desert the Catholic religion.—Dated and signed as the last. (fn. 1) Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. Lat. 1½ pp. [Ibid. I. 23.]
Jan. 21. 140. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
I received your two letters by Mr Stafford on the 19th, and on the 20th the king gave me audience in Giacetto's house. This happened I suppose the sooner upon that they heard of Mr Stafford's coming, for I did not look for it then ; but Gondi came to me suddenly, giving me to understand I should speak with the king privately before his going to St. Germain's, otherwise I might stay longer than I knew. I had demanded access to his Majesty two days before, meaning then to have dealt in the causes of some English merchants, reminding him to shew his meaning concerning the order for pirates. But now I only informed him, for he was ready to mount his horse, how the Queen had sent Mr Stafford to relate to him and to his brother her further resolution in the negotiation of marriage ; and as Mr Stafford had somewhat slacked his journey owing to the state of his health, and was directed to address himself first to Monsieur, he desired to go towards Angiers with all diligence, so as to arrive there before the 24th inst. the better to accomplish 'with' her Majesty's commission concerning the appointed day in the articles agreed on with Simier. He besought his Majesty not to 'find it strange his repair thither,' since the necessity of the time constrained him thereto. He did it the rather because Monsieur was the principal person in this action, and would like well to be first informed of her Highness' further resolutions. Which office being accomplished towards Monsieur in such sort as her Highness had directed, he was to return to his Majesty with her letters and message, with such expedition as he could make. The King said he was very glad to hear of so good news as he hoped Stafford would bring with him ; acknowledging that there were some reasons why he might like his brother to be the first to receive her Highness' will, seeing that he must principally 'attend thereon,' showing herewith with how great 'effect' he desired the marriage, and asked me if all things were now accorded. I showed him that she had resolved to signify to him and his brother her further disposition, which was committed to Mr Stafford, a gentleman whom she had found very 'confident' in this cause, and well accepted of his Majesty and Monsieur. The question seemed somewhat strange to me, together with his smiling countenance, casting his eyes therewith on the others that were in the chamber ; for we thought either he had little thought of the matter, or else he used some pleasantness, for it has been written to him by her Highness and said to him at Mr Stafford's first being here, that the commissioners who should be sent from hence and those appointed in England had to accord only those things which were to be agreed on. I further declared to him that whereas her Highness had condescended to have her Parliament begin some day this present month she has now thought good to prorogue it until next month, that there might be a more convenient time for him and his brother to consider of the further proceeding and sending of their commissioners at their good pleasure, after they had now again received her letter with her intention and disposition ; since she had appointed this assembly of her estates for the better satisfaction of her subjects in this cause of marriage. The king said he was well informed thereof, and found her to deal so well with his brothers, that he and himself and all his were bound to do her service ; and with such like good language, I was 'licensed' from him. I found with the king only Châteauvieux, a captain of his guard, and Giacetto with two other Italians, and a few Swiss in a nether court. From thence M. Gondi conducted me to the 'Lover' to the Queen. At the entering of her chamber I met the Duke 'Denavers,' Duke of Guise, Lansac, with the secretaries, coming from her. I found her in her cabinet with the Princess of Lorraine, the Princess of Condé, and Mme de Fiasco. I declared to her in effect what I had delivered to the king. 'Seeing,' she said, 'Stafford is returned, I hope that God has heard my prayers,' with the same effect she desired ; demanding if he meant to return by Paris. I answered, as I had said before, in any wise ; for the Queen's meaning was that she should be 'signified' by him of her intention, as she had ever used hitherto. For in these kind of causes none could be [sic] understand and handle than her Majesty, who was a mother and a great queen, governing so great a state, wherein there daily happened so many accidents, and yet well passed, through her vigilance and dexterity. She replied that none had ruled a realm more happily than the Queen, whereof all the world was witness. Now she trusted that Mr Stafford would bring Monsieur to Paris ; desiring me to speak to him that he would persuade her son to repair hither according to his promise made to her now two months past. With such other speeches of her son as of his . . . . at Angiers, she licensed me. As I was going out of my doors to the king, Mr Stafford entered at the gates, and at my return from this audience he made such haste that he stayed only 'a dinner time,' taking with him Sir Jerome Bowes and Mr Barington ; 'hoping' at his return to have more leisure with him. I have enclosed something in cipher. It is bruited that the king will tomorrow morning repair to Compiègne in Picardy, and visit his towns in that province, but others 'nigh unto him' think he will not sojourn far from this town, which I rather believe.—Paris, 21 Jan. Endd. and again in a later hand. 3 pp. [France IV. 6.]
Jan. 23. 141. ROSSEL to WALSINGHAM.
I mentioned in my last the rumour that M. de la Noue had been put to death in France. He has since been brought to life again, and came on the 15th to Cambray, where he is to collect some force both horse and foot, while the Estates are engaged in deciding what is to be done upon the proposals of his Excellency in respect both of the war and of the satisfaction to be given to Monsieur, who in addition to the title of defender has been 'graduated' with that of protector. It only remains to call him lord, which is a point debated on either side. The king and his council are of a contrary opinion to Monsieur's wish on this point, judging that it would be highly mischievous for France if he were to accept the lordship, which could only be maintained by a lasting war, and so bring war again into France, after they have had so much trouble to get rid of it ; considering too the expense that would be necessary to keep the war when the Low Countries have been devastated. On the other hand, it is here pointed out what danger and ignominy will fall on their backs in the event of failure, and the disgrace which will ensue to their posterity. These and other objections are raised in the assemblies of the towns, who are waiting to see how your marriage will turn out. His Excellency starts today for Breda ; his Highness likewise, returning, it is hoped, in seven or eight days. His Excellency will go on to Utrecht, to hasten up as well those of Holland as those of Friesland and Guelderland, that they may be at Antwerp for the meeting of the States-General on Feb. 15, as resolved. It is feared that some new trouble may occur at Antwerp during the absence of the princes ; people are withdrawing in apprehension of it, some one way, some another. Sainte Aldegonde and Villiers remain at Antwerp, which I hold to be the right thing in the circumstances. Our troops, French and Flemings to wit, to the number of 24 ensigns of foot and 8 of horse have entered Oudenarde and Haulterive, and thence are on the look-out to bring victuals and stores to Tournay, waiting for M. de la Noue to join them when his forces are ready. The Malcontents have withdrawn and have their headquarters at Valenciennes. The Spaniards have crossed the river into Luxembourg. Some of their cavalry had recrossed, which caused it to be thought they were returning, as everybody expects they will do. I am taking the road to travel with his Excellency, and will be sure to let you know what passes.—Antwerp, 23 Jan. 1580. Add. Endd. Fr. 1½ pp. [Holl. & Fl. XIII. 7.]
Jan. 23. 142. COBHAM to BURGHLEY.
I hope my former letters were delivered to you, since which time there have been divers counsels held for wars, with intentions to compass matters by devices and privy policies. But I hear tell that the means to attain to them are not to be come by here as yet, I mean the provision of money ; yet the clergy have again opened their purses. The king and the queen by all shows greatly seek Monsieur's repair to the Court, but he delays on the pretence of visiting his friends and estates in the country ; notwithstanding he is daily expected here, if the concluding or breaking of the cause in England do not 'alter the same.' At present Monsieur is gone from le Mans, and arrived the 14th inst. at Angiers, being now accompanied by M. de Laval, the Marquis d'Elbœuf, Count Brissac, Marshal de Cossé, 'Pompator,' with other principal noblemen and gentlemen. The Viscount de Turenne is daily looked for. Monsieur is determined to go from Angiers towards Berry, with intent to 'have interview' with the King of Navarre. The regiments of Champagne are in readiness to march with the Duke of Guise, upon the first occasion offered. The regiments of Normandy are 'addressed unto' the leading of Marshal Matignon. The third companies are those of the king's guard, and are to be commanded by Marshal d'Aumont. There are divers pieces sent away upon the river towards Picardy and Champagne. As yet there is no open appearance of civil wars ; rather 'it is held assured' of the contrary. M. de Couchy of 'D'Alphiné' is arrived here, by whom it is declared that young Bellegarde will keep the towns and places of the Marquisate of Saluces as his father did. He has written to his cousin la Valette, if he would come with a dozen horse to 'cheer' with him, he should be well entertained ; but if he pretend otherwise, he would displease him. The Duke of Savoy 'comforts' Bellegarde secretly, and has sent to la Valette to deal gently with him ; so that la Valette's return is shortly looked for, without having entered upon the government given him by the king. M. la Noue has written hither, dating his letter from Cambray the 16th inst. certifying his friends that he has placed 200 French soldiers in the castle of Bouham [Bouchain] beside Cambray, in the face of the enemy's camp ; also that certain French companies are put into the castle of Cambray. Howbeit the town made some 'stagaringe' thereat, the enemies' camp 'near approaching.' I hear from Germany that Casimir is at Kaiserslautern, about 14 leagues from Metz. With him were Count Philip of Nassau, the Count of Haux [? Höchst], George Count of Schwarzenburg, the Baron of 'Stene' ; and of French gentlemen, M. de Buy, M. de Lanty [qy. Renty], M. de Clervant, with 200 French horse and 4,000 reiters dispersed in the towns of the Bishops, but most in the territory of Trier. It is likewise written from Germany that the Emperor 'pretends' to have a diet held at 'Augusta.' It is reported that the King of Spain has taken two towns in Portugal and put garrisons in them. But the Portugal ambassador will 'take no knowledge' nor be 'acknowen' thereof.—Paris, 23 Jan. 1579. P.S.—As yet I can hear of no order for the exchange of her Majesty's plate remaining here. Add. Endd. 1½ pp. [France IV. 7.]
Jan. 23. 143. COBHAM to [the SECRETARIES].
Duplicate of the last. Add. and endt. gone. 1½ pp. [Ibid. IV. 8.]
I have received yours of 2 Jan. The answer was almost what I feared, but God will give a better when He pleases. In France our affairs are still shaky ; the more so that the king wants to cut down what his mother had arranged with the Prince [of Condé], at his good pleasure. Meanwhile he has sent to the King of Navarre, to take advice of him. The continued urgency of the provinces for their relief, and Bellegarde's new doings in Savoy may prolong our peace for a while, for which I heartily pray. Here, since the taking of St. Amand, the enemy has advanced to near Oudenarde, to hinder its revictualling and the reinforcement of Tournay which had been begun. He might quite enter the country ; but there is an easy remedy, if people will believe the advice given them, namely, to put strong garrisons in the places. The result of the States-General has been to put finances, war and Council on a good footing. The definitive decision of the Provinces is looked for on 15 February ; the deputies have promised to do their best with all diligence. Lastly, I do not fear to importune you afresh for the aid of your favour in making those who have robbed me (mes larrons) condescend to some reason ; the more so that I have destined it to the subvention of certain worthy persons who are in great need of it, as you can hear more at large from M. Geoffroy.—Ghent, 23 Jan. 1586. Add. (seal). Endd. by L. Tomson. Fr. 1 p. [France IV. 9.]
Jan. 24. 145. HODDESDON to BURGHLEY.
My late arrival here is the reason why I have no great matter to report. However, since my coming several principal brokers of this town have offered me their services in taking up money for the Queen's use. Others offer to give me daily intelligence of all that shall happen in these parts ; but I cannot entertain them, because I have no commission to deal in these causes. As for news, I send in the enclosed such as shortness of time would suffer me to learn. —Antwerp, 24 Jan. 1579. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Holl. and Fl. XIII. 8.]
Jan 24 [?] 146. OCCURRENTS from the Low COUNTRIES.
The Malcontents' forces lie between Lille and Valenciennes, 'spending' upon the poor peasants ; but nothing attempted since their taking of St. Amand and Mortagne, the reason being want of money to pay their soldiers, who refuse otherwise to serve any more. Certain ensigns of the States' men, mostly French and Flemings, with 600 or 700 horse, lie between Tournay and Outteryne [qy. Herines] serving for safe-conduct to bring wines, victuals, and munitions from Oudenarde to Tournay. Baron d'Aubigny, who was badly hurt with the powder that was set on fire at Mortagne, is since dead ; and M. Montigny not yet recovered, but in danger. M. de la Noue is at Cambray, where a force will be gathered ; divers French gentlemen and others having been with him. It is thought certain that on that side a 'power' will fall into Artois or Hainault, to which end all diligence is being used. Meanwhile he has sent a French gentleman with 200 soldiers to 'sure' Bouchain, and they lie in the nether town. The Prince of Condé is established as governor of Picardy, the French king having commanded all those of that province to obey his government so far as may tend to his Majesty's service, having allowed him three companies of soldiers to guard his person. The calling in of M. d'Alençon is very forward, and at the next meeting of the States, which is appointed for Feb. 20, full resolution will be taken on it. To-day the Prince of Orange with the Archduke Matthias departed towards Breda, and thence to Utrecht, where those of the united Provinces are assembled to further the affairs of the country for resistance to the enemy this next spring, when he will employ his uttermost forces. News are [sic] here that the Pope is dead, and that in choosing a new one some controversy may fall out ; which may be a hindrance to the army so long preparing in Italy. Yet the King of Spain with the Duke of Florence 'bears such a swing' in the choice, that none can be elected but such as are to their liking, and do serve their purposes. Probably encl. in the last. [Ibid. XIII, 9.]
Jan. 19-25. 147. The OPERATIONS in HAINAULT and ARTOIS.
(1) 'The Castellan of Cambray to the Prince of Épinoy.'
The taking of St. Amand and Mortaigne has astonished many persons here, as also their approach to Bouchain. I can assure you that our condition was such that if they had turned this way they would have caused great disorder here for lack of forces ; for we had furnished 100 men to Bouchain, besides those I had sent to one place and another. M. de Villiers also was short of men for the lower town, saying that he saw it to be in danger without ; and sent word to me that if I had the means to get any French I should endeavour to do so, even that I should proceed to the treaty with M. d'Anjou, seeing no chance of help from the side of the Estates. And as I saw the town was excited I went to them ; when seeing that they had no forces, and alleging the example of Maestricht and other places which were not relieved, they asked me what succour or support I had, besides that of the States, from whom they expected nothing. I was forced to tell them that I had an assurance from M. d'Anjou, which appeased them somewhat. Whereupon I despatched M. de Ruynsart to him, in virtue also of the Prince of Orange's letter of October 9, in which he refers this matter to you and me ; and not having your consent, I proceeded to act. You know that I foresaw this danger, by my last letter, which you sent to Antwerp. I sent word absolutely to his Highness, the Estates, and the Prince of Orange that if they did not make up their minds to succour me promptly, I should proceed to the treaty ; to which they did not vouchsafe a word of answer. If, however, you can send me at once some companies of infantry and some money to pay our cavalry, we will put that off, if it is possible. You must reflect that I have everything on my hands ; since the approach of the enemy to Bouchain I have paid out (tiré) more than 200 crowns, in order, pending news from M. d'Anjou, to raise some men. But it is trouble lost, for if they are raised we shall have no means to maintain them. You must send us five ór six companies of 200 'head' paid ; and something for the maintenance of Bouchain, which up to now I have aided from my own stock of munitions and money. Since the enemy's retreat we have forced the fort of Avesnes, where there were forty soldiers from Landrecies ; besides a sergeant, who they say was the cause of the misfortune at Landrecies, named Gougillon [qy. Goup-]. But their lives were assured them. We will try to do some other with the little means we have ; but if we are succoured as above, some fine opportunities offer. M. de la Noue's arrival was most timely. Just now he has gone on a trip to Fére. He much desires to go to you, but we know not how to find the means. Let me know what means there is ; and as soon as possible, that I may advise him. It is rumoured here that St. Amand and Mortagne have been recaptured, also that Gravelines is besieged ; and in fact a good many horsemen have passed through Cambrai. But I cannot understand it, and believe that as a matter of fact all the States forces are near you. The Prince of Condé does me the honour to assist me with all the means he has, which comes very timely for us. Yet I fear from what we can learn that he will himself be in some danger. It seems that the king will not admit him to his government, and that he is secretly preparing troops ; even making a journey to Compiègne, it is said, as a means of concealing the forces which it seems he wishes to slip through to drive the Prince out. So much that the poor Prince fearing this has for some time been sounding me as to whether in case of need he could find a safe retreat here ; as to which I am much perplexed whether it could be done if he were alone and without forces. The King of Spain is certainly preparing a strong fleet of galleys for Holland or Flanders. Please let me hear from you soon.—The Citadel of Cambray, 19 Jan. 1580. P.S.—Please consider that it is impossible for me to provide the 'inexcusable' necessaries for a place like Bouchain.
(2) 'A Captain of Bouchain to the Prince of Épinoy.'
I have received yours, and am glad to learn that the States have aided you with men at Tournay. It is a great pity, the loss of men at St. Amand and Mortagne, but I hope we shall have our revenge. 'La Mot de Pardieu' brought some troops here, horse and foot, but I gave them plenty of cannon and harquebuss shots, whereby they lost some men and horses. Then setting out from here, seeing they had blockaded me for ten or twelve days, I set fire to the villages near the town. And yesterday M. d'Icy [? Inchy] sent me 3 companies of horse, to whom I added 200 harquebusiers and a field-piece, and we retook the fort of Avesnes le Secq, where there were forty men from the garrison of Landrecies. These surrendered, lives, swords and belts being spared ; except the commander, named Antoine Gobillin, whom I am keeping at my discretion, to make a present of him to M. d'Euvre, for I understand he is the villain who betrayed him. To-morrow we shall start for Noyelles, after this beginning ; and the besieged will be the besiegers. As for my own position, seeing St. Amand and Mortagne taken, and no hope of getting men from there, I had recourse to M. de la Noue, to such effect that 200 French are now in the lower town under M. de Pressagny, a gentleman of good credit, for whom M. d'Inchy has promised to get the Estates' commission. So, provided we are supplied with money, we will let it be seen who we are. My men, 150 in number, have certainly shown themselves willing to back me up, and to shrink from no effort, even had we not been reinforced ; wherefore I beg that we may have some money, both for the 200 French and for my 150. Meanwhile please let his Highness, the Prince of Orange, and the Estates know that I will serve them faithfully ; and I hope you will send me word that some notice will be taken of the large sum I have spent in maintaining and victualling this fortress. I should be glad to see something begin to be done, for it should be considered what it costs me to give satisfaction to those who have so freely flung themselves into the assistance of the place.—Bouchain, 20 Jan. 1580. (Signed) Joos de Zoete [M. de Villiers].
(3) 'Monsieur de Melun from Tournay to the Prince of Orange.' I wrote to you this morning, and fearing that the letter may stop on the road, I am sending a duplicate. I have had a letter from M. de la Noue at Cambray in which he says that he would like to be near, and is glad to learn that we have got some gendarmerie together. I wrote and begged him to come, and have made arrangements for his journey, which is very dangerous just now, our gendarmerie aforesaid having passed beyond Oudenarde, fearing the enemy who were gone in search of them. I am afraid they will get separated, and left in here in want of all munitions ; though I prayed them not to do so, but rather betake themselves to some safe place as near to this town as may be, in order to help us and revictual us in case of need, pending the arrival of M. de la Noue, whom we hope to see shortly. I thought it good to advertise you of this, that I might ask you kindly to order the commanders of our troops to act as above ; otherwise, if they get separated, I dread our ruin. The enemy is still all about, sometimes one side of the river, sometimes the other, and I cannot get knowledge of his intentions. The chief thing is to be on our guard quickly.—Castle of Tournay, 25 Jan. 1580. (Signed) Pierre de Melun [Prince of Épinoy]. Copies (apparently made by Hoddesdon's direction). Endd. : Letters from Cambray and Bouchain to the P. of Epinoy, and from Tournay to the P. of Orange. Fr. (except the headings). 3¼ pp. [Holl. & Fl. XIII. 10.]
Jan. 26. 148. SIR H. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
I dispatched a packet of letters to you on the 21st, in which I certified you how I had [audience] with the king concerning Mr Stafford's passing direct to Monsieur. Since then the king has been at St. Germain's at 'poyse' with those devout nuns. At this time he is r[eturned] to the Louvre. The king has sent very earnest commands to the Duke of Maine and the Count of Charny [Jacques] governing in Burgundy in the Duke's absence that they shall suffer none to enter Dijon except . . . . well-known persons, and at his departure to search h . . . . like sort, and to make sure guard over all the d[uchy?]. The king has sent letters to M. de Thevalle, the governor of 'Metts,' to keep good watch and guard ; as also that he should 'espie' towards Germany what preparations they make. 'Rambolet' returned on the night of the 24th from the King of Navarre, having 'in his relation' made all things sure against those of the Religion. The King of Navarre has written to the king that he purposes to send M. de Bouchart with the reasons which have moved those of the Religion to desire the keeping of their town. The king has 'made stay' of the King of Navarre's pensions. Rambouillet was present at the interview between the king of Navarre and Montmorency, where he openly summoned the king and delivered the 'summance' to him in writing, with which the king was much offended ; the rather that Rambouillet having been some days in his company at his Court would not there deliver the summons, but in that open assembly. They mean to cause some of the 'gyaunce d'armery' to be mustered, and to give them their pay. So they daily prepare to receive or make war. I enclose a copy of a letter which the Ambassador of Florence here has written to Petruccio Ubaldini, beseeching you that it may be kept secret for the party's sake who conveys this. They advertise from Italy and they hold opinion in France that the navy of the King of Spain is for the estates of the Queen. I am informed for a certainty there is in England a secret practice to steal the Queen of Scots, and 'Obeny' practices the King of Scots ; where there is appointment made to pass her into the French king's country. If the Queen will, I can have one who shall be sent to 'Obeny,' and serve to let your 'factor' in Scotland know what trade is meant. Let me know your pleasure herein. The French king 'pretends' to [indecipherable] out of the place he is [sic] now. There are ways and means used 'slieghly.' It is here judged that if Monsieur returns, all will go ill with the Protestants. La Noue's wife is come to this town to-day. I have received letters from her, and returned answers. There is a man, a Scot, called Stevenson, one of the French king's archers, sometime known, or servant, to the Earl of Warwick, who 'requires' he may carry my packet. If you will, he shall have one, so that at his landing he may be presently 'visited' ; for he is a kinsman to the Ambassador of Scotland here, and a busy fellow.— Paris, 26 Jan. Add. Endd. Italicised words in cipher partly deciphered. 2 pp. [France IV. 10.]
Jan. 28. 149. E. STAFFORD to BURGHLEY.
To discharge the duty I owe you, and to write in few words a great deal of circumstance, which I leave to her Majesty's letter to show you. I find whatsoever they can here gather, either by the letter I brought or by what I said by her commandment, there shall no 'show of breach' be made on their part, and they think they have the Queen at an advantage, and there they will keep her. The haste I send this bearer away in by her command is 'cause I have write no more.'—Angiers, 28 Jan. 1579. Add. Endd. by Burghley, ½ p. [France, IV. 11.]
It is a good time since I have written to you, which has not been for lack of good affection toward you, or from negligence ; but I was sent last March to the German cavalry which was on the frontier of Guelders and other places thereabouts. Hardly anything happened there of importance, or worth writing ; but now being back again I will not fail to advertise you often of all that occurs. As for our affairs here, there has been up to now such confusion and disorder owing to the division of the provinces that the best men have seen no way in which zeal for the glory of God and for the country could be displayed. Now they profess to be putting things into better order. God give them grace to do so, for they need it greatly ; ut habeant Lincyos [sic] oculos contra illos qui calcanco [? clanculo] ipsorum insidiantur. The Duke of Alençon's practice not only continues, but indies sumit incrementa, propter plusquam Eudimianum [sic] somnum Imperatoris et ipsius delegatorum. I have written at length to some great persons in credit with his Majesty, setting out in much detail the state of our affairs here, and the storm [ourage ; perhaps ouvrage, or outrage] and inconveniences which will fall upon his Majesty and the Empire generally if he does not remedy it incontinently and effectually without delay or tergiversation, roundly, without letting anyone hope to delay or suspend matters by means of perfumed or rouged words and promises. And I am sure my letter will be well weighed. The Archduke sent one of my friends to the Emperor ; who is returned and reports that above all things the Emperor wishes the peace negotiations to go on. But I have written to them that they will never get on by means of bishops, but should appoint certain secular persons whom I have named, the most sufficient and experienced that there are in these parts. I hope to have an answer soon and will advertise you of it. We must one and all work ne respublica naufragium patiatur. Quia me terrent vestigia. Cum nemo unquam rerum suarum habuerit exitum felicem ex illis qui eas partes sunt amplexi, sed omnibus male cessit. M. de la Noue has been at Cambray, but is gone back to France. The Prince of Orange has gone for a week to Breda, and the Archduke with him, for whom he has made great cheer. The Prince goes on to Holland and the Estates of the new Union of Utrecht, to prepare the way and bring them to understand the matters to be treated of at the assembly which will be held in this town on Feb. 15. There have been 200 French about Cambray, come from France to oppose the Malcontents. The garrison of Brussels have had some intelligences in Nivelles, and have concealed 40 soldiers in the house of a burgher, who about midday seized the gate, killing the guard. An ambuscade from Brussels came to their aid, and they took the town, M. de Glymes, and some captains. From Germany there is no news.—Antwerp, the last of Jan. 1580. (Signed) Frederich Schwartz von Ruissingen. P.S.—Please remember me to the Earl of Leicester, Sidney, and and Dr. Wilson. Add. Endd : From M. Schwartz. Fr. 4 pp. [Holl. & Fl. XIII. 11.]
End of Jan. 151. OCCURRENTS [from ANTWERP].
The enemy with 19 cornets of horse, meaning to have charged the States' men that lay in the county of 'Henowe' about Tournay to keep open this passage between that place and Oudenarde, forced them to retire in haste, being but 6 companies of horse and 24 ensigns of foot ; and if the Frenchmen 'had not been,' who in a village by means of a barricade resisted the enemy and stayed them, they had overthrown both horse and foot. De la Motte was with certain forces before Bouchain, but so met by those of the town that he retired. A place called Gauer, belonging to Count Egmont, is said to be taken by them of Oudenarde. M. de la Noue has left Cambray and gone towards la Fère, where the Prince of Condé lies ; whose safety is much feared there, by reason that he doubts practices may be wrought against him by the Queen Mother ; most of the gentlemen of Picardy being against the profession of the true Religion. Those of Brussels have this week taken Nivelles, by intelligence, with 5 ensigns. There was but one ensign of the enemy's there, under M. de Glymes, the governor of the place, who was with others of the chief rulers brought prisoner to Brussels. Since this enterprise they have taken Notre Dame de Hault and Gemblours, where they found no man to resist them ; but 'failed of' Alost and Enghien, 'who' hearing of the taking of the other places were vigilant. Nivelles and Notre Dame de Hault will be garrisoned ; but Gemblours as a place not tenable is again forsaken. The Spaniards are still lying about Marche en Famine, and in the Bishop of Liége's territory, which they consume and spend without regard or exception, nor account of the Bishop's displeasure ; for want of payment makes them both careless and 'in raging terms urging two months' contentment' for the taking of Maestricht, because half that city belonged to him. The Prince of Orange is at present in Holland, and on Feb. 1 is to be at Utrecht at the meeting there appointed, whither 'Straelie,' with another of 'this town colonels,' departed this morning. There is a bruit here of the Duke of Terranova's return to Cologne with absolute authority from the king to compass some peace, to which the Emperor and the princes of the Empire have persuaded him ; but they mean to continue their preparation for war against the next spring. By the last letters from Italy news has come that the army prepared at Naples is departed for Spain. So it will be known shortly whether that is intended which is so diversely bruited and talked of. Probably from Hoddesdon. 1¼ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIII. 12.]
152. Copy of an Act of the Privy Council ordering the issue of a safe conduct for the Duke of Anjou and his suite. In a later (? after 1650) hand. Endd. : Act as it was drawn by order of the Lords, 1579, 25 (or 15) Jan. Latin. 1¼ pp. [France IV. 5.]
Jan. 153. [WALSINGHAM?] to COBHAM.
Since my last I have received a packet from you dated the 23rd ult. and now this bearer, Tupper, servant to Sir Amyas Poulet, repairing thither for private business of his master's, I could not let him pass without some few lines to acquaint you with the present state of things in Ireland ; whence we are advertised by the last letters that the subjects there daily decline from their devotion towards her Majesty, being encouraged thereto by Saunders' promises, who assures them of assistance from Spain 'even upon the only writing of his own letters' ; offering himself to the Earl of Desmond as a pledge, to be martyred in case they are deceived of their expectation. Which promises of Saunders we were the rather induced to believe were made upon some good grounds, that we had received very lately advertisements of the stay of our merchantships in Spain ; which, however, the same day that we entered into consultation about Irish causes were disproved by the report of certain of the said ships that came from thence. But her Majesty, doubting the worst, has given order for the setting forth of some of her navy to guard the Irish coast, having already sufficiently strengthened the realm within to daunt those rebels. These merchant-ships that are now come from Spain advertise that the king's preparations still go forward, but that none in Spain dare take upon them to say for what place they are meant ; though many are of opinion they are to be employed on Algier. Also that the 20 galleys of Naples and the 10 of Sicily are already past the straits and come to 'Calis.' For Scottish matters, we hear from Mr Bowes that M. d'Aubigny grows daily more and more in credit, being greatly favoured by the king ; and that for the better winning to his devotion of those in the realm that are well-affected, he puts them in hope that he will change his religion, seeming besides well inclined to this Crown. But time will show his meaning herein, and I refer you to your own judgement whether he is to be trusted that has his religion at command to change with every wind for the serving of his own turn. To prevent the hurt that this may work, though for himself, being of no great sufficiency, he be not so much to be feared as in respect of some dangerous instrument that he has about him (among whom is one Kerr and others, men of judgement and great practisers), My Lords have been earnest with her Majesty to send some persons of good quality to look into his doings, and procure that the Earl of Morton may again be called to the administration of public affairs, from which he seems to have withdrawn ; so that by his means things may be kept in more equal balance and d'Aubigny the easilier hindered and prevented in the execution of any dangerous course. This motion of My Lords will, I think, take place, and some good will follow. For Low Country causes I refer you to the enclosed occurrents lately received.—The second of Feb. 1579. Copy in hand of one of Walsingham's secretaries. Endd. : Cobham, 2 Feb. 1579. 2½ pp. [France IV. 12.]


  • 1. The sequel of this correspondence will be in the Domestic Papers for March.