Elizabeth: February 1580, 11-20

Pages 152-160

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, 11-20

Feb. 11. 162. COBHAM to [WALSINGHAM].
Since the departure of John Furrier yesterday, there have happened but small occasions to move me to write, but that I would let no time nor occasion pass without putting my pen to the paper, especially by this bearer Mr Stafford ; since he is detained longer than he looked for, awaiting his Majesty's letters. I am informed that young Rochefoucauld has entered 'Pontz' and is keeping it for those of the Religion, because Madame de Pons would have surprised it for the use of the Papists. It may be that you will shortly hear of some towns surprised, since everyone begins to think somewhat of their further safety. The affairs of Scotland are earnestly solicited. The Spanish Agent is a 'kind and often' visitor of the Bishop of Glasgow. There is hope conceived that Mr Henry Kier shall find means to do good offices about the king for the advancement of the Papists' religion. He went hence with M. 'd'Obeny,' and is secretary to the Queen of Scots, as I think you are well certified. The Master of Ogleby and his brother John, sons to Lord Ogleby, both papists, and lodged in the Bishop of Glasgow's house, return shortly to Scotland. So too Mr Thomas Lenystone, who married this young king's nurse, as I am informed, a Catholic and a continual resorter to the Bishop of Glasgow, returns presently in hope to receive more favour of the king than he has done. M. 'Villeclier' is at la Fère conferring with the Prince of Condé. By letters from Spain of the 1st inst. it is advertised that the King of Portugal has agreed that King Philip shall be declared Prince of Portugal after his decease. Most of the spiritualty and lords have agreed thereto, as I am informed this morning by sundry means ; and King Philip levies many soldiers in his own realm, besides those from Italy and the Almains who are daily looked for in Spain. Please inform his Majesty how I have dealt earnestly with Queen Mother to procure the deliverance of Alfonso, her musician. She has already directed letters to the king's ambassador at Rome, and promises me to accomplish all means to bring her Majesty's desire to pass. I have been assured that one piece of the Spanish practice is either by firing [sic] her Majesty's ships, or by sinking some ships in the channel of the Thames mouth or in some such like place thereabout, to the intent her Highness' ships may not set out to do her service ; 'and this it is devised should not be performed afore some final time that the army of Spain might address themselves towards our coasts.' As yet this king makes no preparation for victualling or any such matter by sea. Some ships are preparing at Bordeaux, wherefore I am sending to understand the particulars of it, as I will do in other places. The king has sent M. de Bourie, one of his 'masters of household,' to Saint-Luc, with a 'pretended' message to persuade him to render the government of Brouage to Lancosme according to the king's 'mind.' Meanwhile Lancosme is gathering gentlemen and companies, whereof the Rochellers are well warned ; and, as God would have it, they have this year a 'sure sufficient' man for their mayor and governor. My lord John Hamilton has received a letter from his brother from Newcastle ; whereon he is sending his assured servant Robert Cunnyngham, whom I 'accompany' with a letter to you. He is a man of little stature, and a brownish beard. It is thought that Marshal de Retz will be sent to England if the treaty of marriage continues. No other occasion is offered me of which to advertise you, otherwise than I signified in my last.—Paris, 11 Feb. 1579. Probably a draft. 3 pp. [France IV. 15.]
Feb. 12. 163. COBHAM to [? WILSON].
Mr Stafford having gone hence but yesterday, by whom I wrote, there is nothing for me to 'enlarge' at present. The Earl of 'Craifort' is come to this Court, but as yet keeps secret. The Bishop of Glasgow went on the 10th inst. with little Douglas in his coach privately, and visited the earl. The Bishop of Ross is now sending a packet from the Queen of Scots into Spain to Sir Francis Englefield, by a gentleman of M. de Sansac's whom the Queen Mother is sending into Spain and so into Portugal. We hear from thence that the Parliament is broken up, because the commonalty would not agree to receive King Philip. Cardinal Birago and the Duke of Guise are being used by the Pope to persuade this king to agree with King Philip for the enterprise into Portugal and other designs which he, the Pope, and the Duke of Florence intend. The Abate Delbene is daily expected from Monsieur, with a decision when he will come to Court. I perceive by your letter that it has pleased her Majesty hitherto to like my service. Howbeit, to my discomfort it seems she is determined to give me no allowance till Oct. 15, whereas her 'streight' command to me was delivered both by you and Sir Francis jointly in his chamber at Greenwich in August last, how that I should without excuse put myself in readiness for this service ; whereon I at once entered into great charge of men and other things thereto belonging. Therefore I hope her Majesty will rather take upon her the expenses than lay them on me, who am most unable to bear them. Meantime the cross is grievous to me who hoped rather that she would now at length have begun to accompany her gracious credit with benefits, since I have left my country, my house, her presence, to serve her with all my ability in this country, and in these days, which I pray God prove not worse and worse. But what God and her Majesty will, I must submit to. And now you look that I should give intelligence hereafter ; yet her Majesty by this last Privy Seal allows nothing for intelligence, without which you know what can be done. Copy. [France IV. 40 (9).]
Feb. 16. 164. W. WAAD to BURGHLEY.
Immediately after Mr Jacson's departure we heard that Duke Casimir had gone from the christening of the Rhinegrave's child, (where was a great assembly of nobility) to Nancy in Lorraine. This evening, being certainly assured of it, I thought it not amiss to advertise you. The Duke of Maine is there likewise, come only in order to meet and have conference with Casimir ; the treaty has been long in handling about which du Mey, the same that was one of the conductors of the forces that were to have been employed about this town, had been sent before from the Guises to Casimir. From this town has gone to Casimir his treasurer of his wars. This town has concluded a league with the princes and towns in Alsatia, everyone contributing so that there may be always a 'convenient' army in readiness, with the captains and general named for the defence of the country, which complains extremely of the insolences and damage they 'abode' by the late passage of the French ; and this suspicious time gives them occasion to look about them, for by report no time is remembered wherein more rumours of wars 'bussie' abroad. As before great storms men say confused sounds and noises are heard, so some tempest is generally 'doubted' to follow. News is come to this town from Italy that the forces which the Spanish have there are preparing anew to be in readiness, awaiting convenient time and command. In the 'Franche County' we hear that great provisions of victuals are made, part at the King of Spain's charge ; the rest the country affords. Thus reporting to you what is given out in these parts, I leave the consideration to your wisdom, which has always been of marvellous foresight for the preservation of her Majesty and the benefit of the realm.—Strasburg, 16 Feb. 1580. Add. Endd. by Burghley : 16 Febr. 1580 Gallice 1579 Angl. Wm. Wade. 1¼ pp. [German States XII. 1.]
Feb. 18. 165. — to M. DE ROCHECOURBE.
I wrote to you lately by one le Roy, messenger in ordinary ; I do not know if you had the letter. The subject of it was that du Verger had recovered your hackney long ago, in the name of M. de Puibra, who has been at Court there 4 months. He has not seen her, nor have I ; nor do I know what he has done with her. I should think you had better write to that gentleman ; also on the other matters which most concern you, which it only depends on yourself to be out of. If you send me the letter I will take it to him and solicit your case as that of one whose affectionate servant I shall all my life be. I have never been able to find that M. d'Halli whom you commended to me ; still less found means of writing to you by way of the ambassador of England, knowing no one nor having found any who knows you. I forgot to tell you in my last that you can continue to address your letters 'care of Dame Anne' ; as I have made arrangements to be advertised of them at once for the desire I have to hear news of you. I cherish them as much as any man in the world ; with which truth I will take my leave.—Paris, 18 Feb. 1580. Beneath in another hand : With your leave I kiss your hands. I arrived here on the last of last month. (Signed) Delozieres. Add. : à M. de Rochecourbe, à Londres. Endd. by L. Tomson : from [blank] at Paris ; note receipt of a gelding ; and in a later hand : Bundle of letters concerning Portugal of the years 1580, 81, 82, 83. D. Over the seal is written : Saura de ces nouvelles ce porteur s'il lui plait chez [?] l'enbasader [sic] de France. Fr. 1 p. [France IV. 16.]
Walter Baily, M.D., one of our physicians, has informed us that some years ago his father-in-law, Herman Venonce, in consideration of a sum of money paid into your hands contracted with you for an income of 400 gold guilders payable to him and his heirs for ever, and that the said income with the arrear was settled on him by his father-in-law at his marriage, for payment whereof the said Baily, having called upon you, has received nothing for seven years past either himself or his deputies, but notwithstanding all instances made by him to you due payment of what was assigned to him has been refused. Finding himself thus deprived of all ordinary means of coming by his own he has finally had recourse to us, humbly beseeching us to have justice done him out of such of your people's goods as are in our realm according to the contract made between you and the said Herman. This we shall not be able to refuse, if after once again demanding justice from you it shall appear to be the only means left to us of aiding him. Wherefore we have thought good to write the present to you, requesting you to satisfy him, as you would have us see justice done to any of your people who might have similar trouble in getting their rights from any of ours. We know not what cause you may be able to allege for this refusal, whether it be lack of means, or measures that have been taken, as Baily has informed us, in the way of some placard for the reduction of the interest paid by your town, published in the year '75, whereby it is attempted to knock off a good part of his arrears ; a thing which anyhow we hope you would not do, since it is totally contrary to justice, neither Baily nor his father-in-law having ever consented to the placard, that a foreigner for whom you have never done anything, and who has done you no harm should bear the penalty of your recent statutes, directly opposed to your contract. If lack of means prevents you from satisfying him, he will be content to have patience for some further term, in reason, as he or his representative may agree with you ; provided that you give him good and sufficient security for the payment to him at that date in London of the arrears in question, as well as in future for the prompt payment of the interest according to the contract made with his father-in-law. This seems to us very reasonable, and we think you will make no difficulty about it. In case of refusal, you will compel us to grant him the means for which he asks.—Westminster, 19 Feb. 1579. (Signed) Elizabeth. Copy. Fr. 2 p. [Holl. and Fl. XIII. 14.]
Feb. 19. 167. The GOVERNORS of PORTUGAL to the QUEEN.
We do your Majesty to wit that on the last day of January it pleased God to take to himself our lord King Henry ; whereby we and all these realms are in grief proportionate to our loss, since the quiet of the realm so greatly depended on his life. We are performing this duty by the hand of Dr. Antonio de Castillo, who will communicate the rest to you as we have ordered. We recognise our great obligations to your Majesty ; and we are confident that remembering the ancient alliance between this Crown and your Majesty and your predecessors, whereby in troublous times these realms have often times been aided, and seeing that they stand now in need of your help, you will readily grant us your favour. We look for it with the more confidence that the present occasion and our need are greater than ever in the past, and also because our cause is common to all the princes of Europe. If there is anything in this realm wherein we can serve you, you will find us most prompt. But we commit everything to Antonio de Castillo and pray your Majesty to give him all credit, both in this matter, and in all that may occur affecting this Crown and its subjects.—Almerin, 19 Feb. 1580. Signed by the Archbishop of Lisbon, Don Joao Mascarenhas, Francisco de Saa, Don Joao Fello, Diego Lopez de Sousa. Copy. Add. Endd. Ital. 1½ pp. [Portugal I. 24.]
Feb. 20. 168. COBHAM to [WALSINGHAM].
Many means have been proffered to procure Monsieur's coming to Court, but neither the sending away of the minions, nor the Abate di Guadagna being sent from the Queen Mother, could do any good ; for the said Abbot has 'now lastly' informed the Queen Mother that Marshal d'Escosse [de Cossé] altogether dissuades him, and so governs him that he could not confer with him but in the Marshal's presence. Monsieur has sent the Prince of Condé and la Noue as commissioners with authority to deal for him with those of Flanders, and has written very earnestly to the king in the Prince's favour. He proceeds as he may in the affairs of the Low Countries, and wins the consent of as many of the Marshals of this realm and those of the Court of Parliament and other principal persons both for that enterprise and also by their advice to set some good order in his own estates for the maintenance of the public quiet and repose of the people belonging to his 'partage' ; not 'leaving' to show he has a mind for the whole realm to be reformed, if the King could 'like and think thereof.' Villequier is returned from the Prince of Condé ; and the king seems to be satisfied with the Prince's peacable and humble dealings, having agreed that he may stay at la Fère. The Prince asks to be allowed 300 soldiers for the defence of the town. He has named M. de la Personne the elder as his lieutenant, if it please the king. M. de 'Strosso' is gone to the King of Navarre from his Majesty. It seems the king will take Marshal Biron from Languedoc and place some person more grateful to the King of Navarre, whom I hear very much praised for his wise carriage of himself among so many doubtful necessities. Though there were some 'ruffling brutes' for a few days and a little moving of small munitions, now all is calmed. And whereas the king had caused his Council to consider whether it were necessary to enter into war and think about the means of maintaining it, after some days' deliberation he met them, 'at what time' Cardinal Birago as Chancellor began to declare that the proceedings, not only of the heretics but of some others whose ambitions the king neither would nor could satisfy, were such that the best advice for the king was to suppress their indispositions by war, and thereby he would by his valour make himself known to his subjects and to the world. After the Cardinal had provoked what he could with his sharp persuasions, the king commanded M. de Roissi sometime called Malassise to deliver his opinions ; which was that peace in general was to be embraced, especially before civil wars, which rather dismembered the realm and severed the subjects from their prince, and thereby all the executions have happened upon some members of this estate only, so that it is judged this evil will rather through time and easy means be redressed than by violence vanquished ; especially the time being such as it is, the proof of this has been seen, to the grief not only of the French, but of all Christendom. Notwithstanding, if necessity urged, it were meet his Majesty should use the forces of his good servants ; and that for the war, the common people and true subjects might have no more talliage imposed upon them, but that the King might obtain grace of the Holy Father to have the profits of the benefice vacant, and the tenths of the ecclesiastical persons. The Bishop of Lyons with sudden passion broke off this discourse and showed that it was an heretical opinion to take the sacred livings and the apostolical 'duties,' to employ them those ways. Lastly the king caused M. Pibrac to declare his opinion ; whose words were 'to the effect' for continuing the public peace. The Bishop of Valence concurred with Cardinal Birago. Whereon his Majesty declared that he saw as yet no occasion to enter into hostility with his subjects, desiring their good means for the redressing of disorders and to keep the state in repose ; in which disposition he remains. The Pope has however lately written a letter to the king, requiring him to give ear and credit to Cardinal Birago, who has to communicate to him important matters, presently to be considered. In the beginning of January was newly confirmed and secretly printed the bull and judgement which Pope Pius Quintus pronounced against the Queen. There was also given out a few days before, a general absolution to all the English nation for the oath which they took at her coronation to hold her as their sovereign Lady, so giving them power not to obey her. This was granted at the request of one Father Thomas Darbyshire, a Jesuit, who was procured to seek it at the request of a great prince whose name I cannot learn, and but this much I understand to be true ; and that this Darbyshire came here twenty days ago, and is here now 'pretending' to go secretly to England by way of Flanders. The Pope has lately sent 400 crowns to the Bishop of Ross, who was in arrears of his pension ; declaring that he is informed the bishop has sufficient relief besides, and therefore he intends to employ the pension upon certain Scottish scholars in Paris, as it were towards the erection of a college for them, to which the Queen of Scots has allowed 600 crowns yearly. Thus they 'use these policies' to instruct youth in their papistry, and to entice the meaner sort by these helps and nourishments to increase daily the number of their faction. I must inform you that divers gentlemen's heirs come hither weekly, and of other quality, who alter their religion. At their coming they are accompanied by such as are papists and maliciously bent towards the state ; who by little and little may in time do great harm. An English papist has written from Rome to the Bishop of Glasgow that there are three things which are marvelled at. One is that the King of Spain was not privy to the going of those Spaniards who went into Ireland ; the 'other,' that the Queen of England was not privy to the Englishmen who went into Flanders ; the third, that the Pope is not privy to the bull which is now printed and set forth against the Queen of England. There is one Meridey alias Meredith, born about Bristol, lately gone into England. If he might be taken and well examined he could discover somewhat of the present practices. His brother is here attending on Lady Morley. I am informed that the Bishop of Ross when in Rome propounded to Cardinal Granvelle the marriage of the Scottish King with the King Philip's second daughter ; which has since been negotiated in Scotland by an earl, a friend and kinsman as I understand of the Bishop, and furthered from hence by Vargas, the Spanish agent. But it is thought that the practice is continued rather to cause jealousy to some others and to be a cover for a second pretence ; because they judge the Spanish king will match none of his daughters with a Protestant, so that small hope is conceived of it. But the other match, with the Princess of Lorraine, which is managed by the Duke of Guise and the Bishop of Glasgow, is 'well hoped on.' The Duke of Lorraine has referred the matter to Queen Mother and the king. Now that Monsieur does not come to Court, and the enterprise against Rochelle is discovered which d'O and others had in charge, the minions are returning. M. d'Arx has come, d'O is looked for to-morrow, and Lavalette returns shortly, since he cannot enjoy the government which the son of Marshal Bellegarde enjoys and occupies in the same state as his father did. I received a letter from Maestricht, dated 8 Feb., stating that on Saturday the 6th there arrived at Maestricht the Count d'Alein, who went thither to dispatch the Spaniards out of that country. They stay only for their pay, which they were like to have, as I was advised within 7 days. The Burgundians also shall have their discharge, and in like manner the Almains. After the dispatch of the Spaniards the Prince of Parma means to go to Mons. They daily expect the coming of the Duke of Aerschot. As for Casimir's preparations, we hear nothing of them. There is arrived at the Prince of Parma's Court Madame de Cecilia, sister to the King of 'Swethland,' and her son. Madame de Parma, the prince's mother, is also looked for. The said party further writes from Maestricht that the Prince of Parma 'expecteth the prophecies' of Sr Scoto the Italian, who has been in England and makes the prince believe there shall be great news from thence ere long ; which prophecies are founded upon the present preparations. Thus the tongues speak, and the pens from all places write of some enterprise meant against her Majesty's territories ; which God turn from us. Though such trifling prophecies are not to be regarded, yet the preparations of armed men, and the dispositions of men's minds are to be weighed, according to the quality of the causes and the malice of the present time.—Paris, 20 Feb. 1579. Endd. by L. Tomson. 4 pp. [France IV. 17.]
Feb. 20. 169. Copy of part of the above. [Ibid. IV. 40 (11).]