Elizabeth: February 1580, 1-10

Pages 147-152

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

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February 1580, 1-10

Being now ready for my journey to Embden, I thought it my duty to let you know before my departure that it might be an excuse for the discontinuance of my accustomed writing to your lordship. For the Merchants Adventurers finding themselves to be friendly entreated at Embden, and the market very commodious for the 'utterance' of their cloths, are resolved to establish the greater part of their traffic in that place ; for which purpose I mind to go there myself next week, so that I shall have no opportunity to send you such occurrents as pass here. Yet if you please to use my services in those parts in any way, I will be always at your command ; being not only myself greatly beholden, but all the fellowship of Merchants Adventurers must acknowledge themselves generally indebted to your furtherance of their causes ; humbly desiring that as you have hitherto advanced them against open adversaries, so you will hereafter continue their good lord in supporting them against such as contrary to the honour and profit of our commonwealth shall privily go about to disorder their traffic.—Antwerp, 7 Feb. 1579. Add. Endd. : Mr Hoddesdon to my Lord. Occurrents from Antwerp. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XIII. 13.]
Feb. 7. 155. COBHAM to BURGHLEY.
It seems that the king having been long in a slumbering repose and his spirit 'settled to entertain the quiet of his country,' is now startled and begins to rouse himself toward his affairs, having called to him such of his counsellors as heretofore were ever quickly bent toward their civil troubles. Since the Queen Mother's repair hither, the minions are sent from hence [in copy : sent a little from the Court], and the King is used sometimes to repair early to the Cabinet to confer on affairs, and often sits at Council. And because he has been by sundry means tempted to some foreign conquest, and with delay shifts away those affairs, it is doubted his mind is joined still with Spain, and bent rather to chasten and 'revenge' certain in his own state than to 'buskle' himself to assault some other country ; whereon great secret jealousy has arisen. It is thought that Monsieur is not resolved to repair as yet to Court, seeing that sundry days have been appointed, and many devices used after his mother's manner, and nothing can draw him. As to them of the Religion, they look for a storm, being in a very weak state. The Churches are not able to contribute towards the common cause, as in time past. Casimir's levies are spoken of, but undoubtedly are in no readiness, nor as yet are any sufficient means used. The King of Navarre has been like to be trapped as he was hunting ; whereon it is thought he has taken arms. The Prince of Condé remains at la Fère. The king having declared his will to be that all foreign dukes or ambassadors should take place according to the antiquity of their duchy, the Duke of Ferrara's ambassador has got the precedence before the Grand Duke's, and [sic] goes hence on Monday next, having taken his leave of the king ; whereby is discovered some unkindness between the king and the Grand Duke. The news from Portugal is that the Duke of 'Barseilles,' eldest son to the Duke of Braganza, is delivered from prison, and is at 'Massegan' ; and since through the King of Spain's means he was the longer detained in captivity his father has 'made show of the mislike thereof.' The burgesses of the Parliament in Portugal are come to Lisbon with instructions that they will have no king but one of their own nation. Howbeit King Philip's army is in readiness. The Duke of Ausouna [Osuna] in Lisbon promises for King Philip, his master, all the friendship he can any way obtain. Mr Stafford came last night, the 6th, in health but not very cheerful. Now I beseech that I may obtain some favour from you toward the obtaining of my suit, in such sort that you will bind me more and more to you. You can best allege in my behalf my often journeys, for I have gone most of them by her Majesty's command and your directions ; also that having now spent 21 years, the best part of my life, in her service, and having sold some of my wife's 'living' to enable me thereunto [sic]. And those things which I sue for are not in any ancient tenants' hands, or servants' of her Majesty or her father ; and without any store of wood or underwood. Hoping I may be happy by your favourable means, and receive some grace. I would be glad to know wherein my service can be employed for her profit and for her other causes, if you will direct me to inform you of anything tending thereto.—Paris, 7 Feb. 1579. Add. Endd. (and in a later hand, with reference to the question of precedence ; see Nos. 130, 131). 1½ pp. [France IV. 13.]
Feb. 7. 156. Copy of the above in Letter-book. [Ibid. IV. 40 (10).]
Feb. 8. 157. COBHAM to BURGHLEY.
I wrote 'this other day' to you by Pyne, Mr Vice-Chamberlain's servant, such things as then came to my knowledge. Since then, Saint-Luc, one of the king's chief minions, is gone hence with such speed that he is entered into his government of 'Bouruaige' before Lancosme, nephew to Villequier, could take possession of it by commission from the king. At this the king pretends to be so highly displeased that he desires her Majesty should be informed how he is resolved to assail him by sea and land, that preparations 'addressed' for that purpose may not seem strange to her. But as his displeasures are not known this sudden show is suspected and doubted to be the cloak of some other design. The King of Navarre was last week put in danger of being taken or slain, if the ambush which Montmorency had laid for him had not been discovered ; whereon the king has vehemently complained to his Majesty and draws more of his friends about him. Those of Guienne begin to 'buskle' themselves to stand to their defence, and to seek some advantages. Thus there rises daily very sharp mistrust of secret practices against all such of the Religion as are either here or elsewhere. I doubt not you will consider this and providently foresee for the maintenance of her Majesty's good estate, which is threatened by the advices from sundry places. Yet by letters of the 23rd ult. it is advertised that King Philip addresses his power against the Portugals, since their whole 'commonalty' seems to mislike him for their king. Also at that time Cardinal 'Grandville' was 'extreme sick.' Duke Casimir stays his further preparations, to hear from some of these parts. The Emperor by means of his diets in Hungary and 'Bohem' seeks to make money, and deals very roughly with those of the Religion in Austria. There is no great good agreement among those of Germany, owing to certain doctors about the Duke of 'Saxe.' Mr Stafford, who came hither on the 6th, had audience of the king to-day, and now means to return home within three days. Their Majesties profess to entertain the hope of marriage, requesting that her Highness will not mislike what is 'passed by articles.' —Paris, 8 Feb. 1579. Add. Endd. 1 p. [France IV. 14.]
Feb. 8. 158. Copy of the above in Letter-book. [Ibid. IV. 40 (6).]
Feb. 8. 159. COBHAM to LEICESTER.
After remaining many days at Angiers, about his negotiations with Monsieur, Mr Stafford returned here on the 6th and to-day was admitted to the king's presence, and delivered her Majesty's message. In answer thereto the king wished that whatever had passed might be continued ; desiring that some good issue might follow to the cause, which he said he and his greatly coveted. After having 'passed these speeches' touching that matter, he requested me and Mr Stafford to certify her Majesty that St. Luc having received much goodness at his hands, had 'miscarried himself' in divers ways, as in abusing his favour in divers causes wherein the subjects and merchants of other princes were prejudiced ; which he misliked so much that he would no longer think him worthy to enjoy those benefits and places of credit which he had received. It therefore seemed convenient to bestow his government of Brouage upon some other person ; of which St. Luc having got intelligence, had 'through his expedition' entered into that government. This he highly misliked, and was determined to draw him thence, by all means he may assail him, and has commanded preparations to that end to be made by sea and land ; the place being so situate that it can be approached by both those means. These preparations, he would have her understand, are only for this purpose ; and not 'amuse' herself, or think further of these enterprises. Notwithstanding that all this has indeed passed, and St. Luc's house and goods here have been seized, and his wife kept therein by some of the king's guard, beginning yesterday morning, being Sunday, many doubt whether it be a clear disgracing of St. Luc, or some stratagem committed to his handling ; for it is known that he has been an entire favourite of the king, married by him to Count Brissac's sister ; a man of quick wit and valiant, affected to the Duke of Guise. Until this matter fell out, the king had, since the rest of his favourites were sent away, shewn to him alone the 'countenance' of a minion ; besides that there is no apparent cause for so high displeasure. Therefore the preparations that have been 'framing' by Lansac and Strozzi on the coast, 'though it be spoken' for the Indies, yet this and the other raises some doubt ; the rather that a week ago ambush was laid by Montmorency for the King of Navarre, whereby he would have been put in danger of his life, or taken. He being gone to Nérac to a conference with Montmorency, to order the affairs of Languedoc, 200 horse were in readiness to set upon him. The king being advertised of this went to Nérac another way, with great speed ; some of his troop, however, were followed and shot at. Upon this he has drawn some more force himself, and has sent to the king to have justice against Montmorency ; otherwise he will seek to revenge himself. The king therefore sends to-morrow Colonel 'Strosso' to pacify the King of Navarre, if it may be. Meantime he is preparing by little and little to levy forces, so that they of the Religion and others are much 'amused' and begin to think for their own safeties. Howbeit, the Protestants are much scattered and weakened, having nothing that power they were wont to have, unless God raise some help for them. Mr Stafford left Monsieur at Angiers, where there were and had been the Duke of Aumâle, Marquis of Elbeuf, and other principal persons ; and now Duke Montpensier is going to him. Marshal de Cossé continues there. Monsieur pretends to 'call an estate' of the countries which belong to his 'partage,' to consider their opinion of his voyage into England if occasion offer ; as also to learn their disposition as to his enterprise to the Low Countries, and that the establishment of the peace of France and means for its continuance may be spoken and consulted of. M. de Buy passed by this morning, sent from Monsieur to the Prince of Condé with friendly words and good encouragement. The king is in good health and very cheerful. He is feasted daily by one and exercises his dancing in sundry places, as occasion offers, very familiarly, without great 'sequite' ; showing himself in these outward appearances and other daily actions rather to delight in a pleasant, quiet life than inclined to war. It is advertised from Spain, by letters of the 23rd ult. from Madrid, that they think King Philip's army will be wholly employed against the Portugals, because the whole commonalty seem utterly to mislike him for their sovereign. (The remainder appears to belong to another letter.) The French king attends daily to his affairs, and confers oftener than has been usual of late years with his Council of State ; notwithstanding he 'uses familiarity' and is often feasted by noblemen and great persons. Monsieur remains at Angiers accompanied by the Duke of Aumâle, the Marquis of Elbeuf and M. de Laval, Marshal Cossé remains with him, and the Duke of Montpensier is repairing to him. The King of Navarre is in Guyenne and has lately been frightened by an enterprise 'pretended' to entrap him as he was hunting, which is imputed to Marshals Montmorency and Biron ; so that he takes arms unless the king can shortly remedy it. The towns in all places are carefully guarded. All the king's minions are out of the Court ; St. Luc, who was one of the minions disgraced, is gone in great haste to Brouage, the king having given his government to Lancosme nephew of Villequier, governor of the Isle of France. The Protestants of Vienna and Austria have exhibited a supplication to the Emperor for the exercise of religion, which will be a means of troubles in that country. The Emperor will hold a diet in Bohemia and Hungary. Mr Stafford returned from Monsieur on the 6th. As he means to return home within a day or two, I refer to him to inform your lordship more in detail as to the affairs of this realm ; beseeching you not only to continue me in your good favour, but that you will be any best means to advance me in her Majesty's credit, whereby I may receive some fruit of my 21 years' service. It will be the better if you will vouchsafe to renew my suit which I left in your hands for certain farms about my poor dwelling, and 'that' by your favourable words Mr Secretary Wilson may be moved to deal therein for me, to whom I find myself much bound. Copy. [France IV. 40 (7).]
Feb. 8. 160. COBHAM to [WALSINGHAM].
Mr Stafford had access to-day to King and Queen Mother. They have seemed to mislike his message so far, but that they would have the cause entertained and brought to some good end. They 'allow' greatly the care Monsieur 'pretends' to have of his religion. The king wishes me to say that St. Luc having received much goodness at his hands, etc. (as in the last letter). P.S.—Advertising [sic] also of Casimir's sending to them of the Religion in France ; and some hope of the King of Scots' conversion and marriage according to the King of Spain's liking. Copy. [Ibid. IV. 40 (8).]
Feb. 9. 161. COBHAM to WILSON.
I send herewith the letter for which you wrote in yours of Jan. 28, wishing that her Highness may take that compassion of her loving subjects and countries as to vouchsafe to cast her thoughts this year, and use her counsels to be provident for the affairs of her Crown ; for there are many causes arising from sundry parts showing appearance of a secret ill-consent intended against religion and her principal favourers thereof. Thus, as an entire well-willer to my sovereign, I wish the worst were provided for, and thereby do the part of a watchman in praying God to prosper your counsels, and waken your minds to His service and the preservation of the good.—Paris, 9 Feb. 1579. Copy. [France IV. 40 (4).]