Elizabeth: February 1580, 21-28

Pages 160-176

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.

Please subscribe to access the page scans

This volume has gold page scans.
Access these scans with a gold subscription.Key icon

February 1580, 21-29

Feb. 21. 170. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
I have received your letters, which came but slowly to hand. From them I perceive that the Queen proposes to send out certain of her ships, which may serve to some purpose. But if all the rest may be rigged out and appointed in other convenient places, it will prove to better purpose. I trust she will find it a frugal part to spend this year in order to save her states for the rest of her reign, and thereby to put from her with a strong hand the malicious forces of the enemy who are thought to be confederated in hope of revenge. For the Spaniards discourse how they may in no way return the Low Countries to King Philip's 'obeisance' so long as England stands in this sort in their way, favouring the King's rebels. On the other side it is said the French King is persuaded that he will never be throughout King of all France till the Queen of England be so 'oppressed' that his Protestants and malcontents may not receive any comfort or relief thence. Other princes are drawn to confederate, as favouring either the Spanish faction or that of France, and those of Italy are drawn into the bargain for fear of the Pope. Therefore since the signs of this secret practice are almost apparent I trust her Majesty will look providently to the cause, both to have her own forces in readiness, as also to prove before they suffer extreme need what the countries of the sea-coast will yield her in good friendship ; as Denmark through the persuasions of the Duke of 'Houlste,' and Hamburg with the other cities privileged in England may be dealt with. If the princes of Germany perceive that a league is made against the Queen, being a prince Protestant, it is thought they will be moved to lend so many of their 'powers' as may speedily startle the Spaniards out of the Low Countries ; which quickly handled may in part cool this enterprise. Also that they would send to him to understand of the preparation of so large a power, which cannot be thought to be employed for the benefit of Christendom, since King Philip has so good intelligence with the Turk, and peace with the King of Fez and others of the Moors ; with some show of care towards her Highness, such as they shall afford. And since the Spanish King has an ambassador at Constantinople it were not 'without purpose' to signify by some messenger that he is sent thither by the king to be the Sophy's spy (as is true), as well as of other matter. If this is liked, I will seek to inform you further. If any be sent, it were well he should pass this way. 'My thinks' the Duke of Braganza and his eldest son may be 'tempered with' for the staying of ships, and such other provision as the Pope and confederates may seek at their hands ; yet I hear the Pope is not willing as yet to be discovered as a dealer in this action. I trust you will excuse me if I have uttered my 'simple curious zeal' in the service of my sovereign overmuch. I acknowledge there are many counsels of better purpose ; yet I would not 'leave to do' the part of a willing remembrancer. The lords of Germany have sent a petition to the Emperor to have part of the ecclesiastical livings for the maintenance of the cause of religion, alleging the example of those Kings who have grants from the Pope, whence it is conjectured that some dissension will be kindled in Germany. The King's agent from 'Praga' has advertised him of this. The Queen Mother has been troubled with her 'grief' in her throat, the King is not well, the young [queen?] has had a fit or two of ague. There have been some 'household unkindnesses' among them. Clermont d'Amboise had been like to have been clapped up in the 'Bastyllyon' if he had not escaped ; but he is gone, and will do well and do God and his country service to some better purpose. I beg that my servant Adams may be the next to be sent hither, unless her Highness' service 'import' it otherwise. God restore your health and continue your life to do Him service.—Paris, 22 Feb. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Ibid. IV. 18.]
171. Copy (in places abridged) of part of the above. At the end is written : Here endeth the packet sent by Mr Jackson and followeth the packet sent by Bluemantle. [France IV. 40 (12).]
Feb. 21. 172. COBHAM to the SECRETARIES.
On Saturday M. Gondi invited me in the Queen Mother's name to dine next day at her house ; meaning to make a private banquet to the king, not as King of France, but Henry her son and his wife. And that he might be the cheerfuller she desired me to be present, to accompany him as the servant of his good sister the Queen of England, and that I should have there no competitor for precedence, as other ambassadors would be likewise invited, whereby the king might show himself better contented finding himself in, such company. My answer was that I humbly thanked her Majesty as one willing to obey her, betaking myself into her hands to be employed at her pleasure, because the Queen's mind was that I should serve her as she should will during the time of this service. So next day, at the hour appointed, about 10 o'clock, I went to the hostel de la Reine mère, a house of her building ; being 'quadrante,' all of stone, of three stories, very 'proportially' framed, having in one of the corners at the upper end of the quadrant a pyramid 30 fathoms high as I guess, all of hard stone, with a pair of stairs within the hollowness conveyed up to the top, from whence most part of the city may be seen. At the entry of the gate M. Gondi received me, and in the court I was met by M. la Mothe Fènelon, M. Beauvois, a captain of the guard, and Colonel Chomberg, who conducted me into a place appointed for the ambassadors, where I dined in the company of the ambassadors of Portugal and Venice. After the king had dined, the same gentlemen accompanied us to the place where the dancing was to be ; and as we were mounting the stairs the king came thither likewise, with the Queen, where, upon the occasion of some disorder through the press, the king staying plucked me to him, speaking to me of the disorder, and enquiring of me if the Queen were in like sort troubled upon such occasions. I 'showed' him that the smallness of the Queen's estate could not bring forth such multitudes of nobility and gentlemen as the realm of France plentifully yielded ; but at such times she had the captains of her guard and chief officers of her chamber, who 'gave order,' though with some difficulty, for subjects are desirous to draw near to the person of their kings, as gods on this earth. With this I offered to put myself into the rank of the rest of the Ambassadors, but his Majesty took me by the cloak and kept me still while he was on the stairs, ever passing some pleasant speeches ; among other he wished that he might see some cheerful day between his brother and the Queen of England. I said that the Queen might think herself beholden to him for his earnest desire that way, assuring him that I have heard her Highness wish as earnestly that he were blest with children, as also good servants to both of them wished and prayed that this might be a year of good harvest wherein France and England might reap the blessed fruits of their princes' children. With this and suchlike speeches he passed the time till we were come to the upper 'hende' of the chamber, where he and his Queen being placed in their chairs, he commanded me to sit on the righthand side, beside his person. The Pope's ambassador, and the ambassadors of Savoy and Ferrara, who had dined among certain ladies, were placed round about behind him, accompanied by the Cardinal of Guise. The Portugal ambassador was beside the Queen and the ambassador of Venice beside me. After some pause the King rose from his chair, saying to me : 'Yonder is a gentlewoman that was one of my mother's maids, married to an Italian called Camillo Fera Mantovano, a servitor of ours ; I will do her the honour to dance with her' ; asking me if my mistress did not use the like in England. I said she showed these favours after the manner of princes to their servants. With that he took the gentlewoman, dancing the Spanish pavane singularly well : which being done he returned and took his Queen, pacing the measures with her, followed by the Prince Dauphin, the Dukes of 'Mercury' and and Guise, and 'Charles Monsieur' [? Charles de Valois] with some of the 'ladies of estate.' This dance being done, the king and queen after their measures returned to their places. After this the king took Mme d'Autrey [d'Atri] lately married to Count Châteauvilain and danced with her the 'currants,' followed by some other young gentlemen, entertaining the time until there entered a masque ; the order of which was : First six musician maskers, playing on their lutes ; then two young boys in apparel representing Cupids, having small bows and quivers full of shafts, with certain garlands on their arms and their eyes bound with thin veils. Then there followed one of the maskers habited alla Portughese, with a 'cassack' and 'gargasses' of 'cramoyzin' satin, 'laid on' with silver lace ; his Portugal 'capecloak' and cap both of russet cloth of silver ; having in one hand a Portugal dart, blunt at both ends and in the other a timbrell with bells after their manner. There followed him five other maskers attired like him in all points. After they had passed once or twice about the hall they came up to where their Majesties sate and the two boys sang a French song to the lute ; afterwards they returned down again, shaking their timbrells in measure ; at the sound of which came forth six attired like women in long Spanish white satin gowns, 'garded' with carnation and silver lace, dancing with their timbrells ; and on passing each of them took an arrow out of the quivers of the Cupids, with which they threatened each other. The Portugueses likewise took arrows. Thereon the two boys having two scarfs of carnation and silver tinsel made a barrier by holding the scarfs at both ends, the Spanish women keeping on one side and the Portugal men on the other. They came to the barriers one to one still observing the measure in offering 'their fight' ; but the Portuguese when it came to striking the women threw down their darts, submitting themselves by their countenances as overcome, which act they passed one after another. On this a garland was put on the women's heads by the Cupids. Then the Portuguese by gestures requested the Spanish women to have compassion on them ; whereon the Cupids went away with the barriers. Then the ladies after a while, with cheerful gestures, put the garlands on the Portugueses' heads, and so they entered into sundry dances together. Thus the greater part of the afternoon of that day was spent. While these things were doing, it pleased the king to 'minister sundry occasions' of speech. Calling to him young Lansac, the chief and deviser of the masque, he willed him to bring the verses that were sung. After he had a little perused them he delivered them to me ; whereon I said : "This should present how your Majesty's will were to celebrate the unity of Portugal with Spain." He said : "No ; it is to show what they 'pass' and our mislike ;" for his mother pretended a right to that realm. Then their Majesties arose, and I waited on them into an adjoining chamber, where were two long tables furnished with a banquet, wherein the dishes were all of 'India earth of China,' the bowls and cups all of crystal. There was a 'cupbarde' furnished only with crystal cups of sundry fashions and rare workmanship, among which was one very great covered cup of agate and a small one of lapis lazuli. The king went from thence to the Queen Mother, who had not been present owing to indisposition, through a 'rhume fallen into her throat,' whereupon she was that day let blood. M. de Gondi had likewise invited me and the other ambassadors to the king's masque on Shrove-Tuesday at night ; whereon obeying his pleasure I went thither after supper with my neighbour the Portugal ambassador. We were met as before at the gate, and so accompanied to the great chamber : at the upper end of which we found the young queen already set, with her lords and ladies about her. After obeisance done, she appointed me on her right hand between her and the Princess of Lorraine, and the Portugal ambassador on her left between her and the Princess Dowager of Condé. The Pope's nuncio and the other ambassadors took their places behind the queen. It pleased the Queen Regent very much to speak of her Majesty's peaceable government, and of her own desire of once seeing her, and of her marriage with Monsieur. From this she 'entered' to speak of her apparel, showing me her gown, which was of white camlet cloth of silver, which she said she had put on for lightness ; because the gown which she wore the day before was too heavy. It was of cloth of silver, figured with a damask branch of embossed gold and coloured silk, powdered with H for the King's name, and W signifying Vive. She said further she heard that the Queen delighted in the attires of France, and I confirmed it, adding that she liked everything which came from thence. With this there entered a dozen maskers playing on lutes, and after them six apparelled like Almain reiters, and with them sixteen, two and two, hand in hand, like Almain women, their garments 'parted' with white satin and cloth of gold. The King was one of the foremost two ; the next were the Dukes of Guise and 'Mercury,' Count 'Montlmerey' [?] with other gentlemen. They danced first newly devised measures, which the King had learnt privately. After that he came up and took his Queen, and his other maskers danced around with the ladies of state, and so in sundry dances the night was passed till almost 12 o'clock. The King went from thence ; the Queen rose and licensed the Ambassadors, so we returned to our lodgings. The King passed all that night abroad in sundry houses in his mask until daylight ; since which time, Wednesday and Thursday, he has kept his chamber, resting after his pleasant travails. Copy. [France IV. 40 (13).]
Feb. 21.(?) 173. COBHAM to LEICESTER.
I have heard otherwise than by your letter of such unlooked for chances as are not to be liked at any time ; but in these days they are rather to be thought calendars of evil months than shows of good luck. Howbeit since it has pleased her Majesty in a good hour to enter into consideration of the matter, there is nothing further to be doubted. I beseech you to lay aside, if possible, all your own occasions, and to pardon any injuries offered to your person, and to employ your mind and forces this year only for your country, since her Highness's states are threatened by so great a body of confederates ; which in the opinion of the world is judged to be addressed to the invading of England and Ireland. It seems that the consents of many potentates are joined to abolish religion. And since you have for many years received great good at God's hands and your Princess's, I beseech you this year only to do unspeakable service to God and your country. I know you are willing and can well weigh how much it imports your Prince and yourself ; hoping you will gather together enough to join their hearts and lay their hands to this year's work. I have written at large to 'Mr. Secretaries,' both of the pleasant entertainment I received of their Majesties and of the intelligences that are come to my hands, whereof the one may show to be a fair cloak, and the other advices which manifest a secret armed malice. Copy. [France IV. 40 (14).]
Feb. 21.(?) 174. COBHAM to SIR H. SIDNEY.
I have received your letter dated Feb. 9, from which I learn the receipt of mine. You signify that you are going to your charge, wherein I pray God to prosper you, recommending to your lordship [sic] the care for the quiet preservation of her Majesty and her estates, the necessity of the time so requiring ; considering the preparations of Spain, an army being gathered by confederates, and, as it seems by many appearances, intended against her Majesty's territories. This is certified from many places and discoursed of in all Courts ; wherefore I trust you will diligently 'put to' all your cares, and bestow all your virtues and 'valures' on the defence of your country, especially upon so imminent a peril, and your speeches to raise up men's hearts to think of their duty to her Majesty, the preservation of the liberty of their conscience and the repose of the country ; preparing armour instead of apparel, and weapons for the defence of their lives and goods. I beseech you to let me know what order is taken by her Majesty in those parts, which will be some comfort to me, and I from time to time will signify to you such things as pass here. There are many sent from Rome and these places to abuse the people of England, to put matter of ceremony in their heads, and dissuade them from their allegiance, which I doubt not will be made known to you, and that you will look into it more particularly, as the malice of the time requires. I send you a note of such occurrents as are come to my hands, wherein may appear how sundry princes and potentates concur to oppress religion and use tyranny under colour thereof. You shall also receive the 'passage of the time' and courteous manner used by their Majesties towards me this Shrovetide, which makes some show of good will towards her Majesty, if it were faithfully meant ; but daily there break out so many devices that the world is full of 'mistrute' [sic]. I beseech you to hold me in your good opinion, and to favour me with your letters to some of the Court, for I assure I have more than need thereof. Copy. [France IV. 40 (16).]
About Feb. 21. 175. The advertisements which were sent to Sir Henry Sidney. The minions having been sent from the Court, partly to entice Monsieur thither, and partly upon some enterprise against Rochelle, the matter being discovered, some are already returned, and the rest shortly looked for. The King of Navarre has been in some danger, but now he disposes his things in better order, and is better accompanied. Casimir has bent [qy. spent] his Shrovetide with the Duke of Lorraine, making good cheer ; to the grief of his best friends, 'doubting some abuse,' though he be wise enough. They of Strasburg upon discovery of the practice against the town have put all the Frenchmen out ; those also that were of the Religion, and had long continued there, for they doubt the practice is yet continued. The Pope's practice in Poland with the king for reducing the whole country to papistry is discovered. The King of Swedeland has accepted the Pope's authority and Mass. His sister with her English son is at present at Maestricht in the Prince of Parma's Court. The Duke of Florence has consented to have the Inquisition in his territories. Bellegarde's son keeps those places and forts which his father had, notwithstanding that the king has given the government to Lavalette, one of his minions. The king of Spain is levying 10,000 more men in Italy. Englishmen who come hither are soon corrupted, and by many enticements drawn to leave their religion, which is likely to do great harm in these days. Copy. [Ibid. IV. 40 (17).]
Feb. 23. 176. COBHAM to the QUEEN.
It has pleased God to call to His mercy the old cardinal King of Portugal, about midnight on Jan. 31. Next morning 'Donnya Cattilina,' wife to the Duke of Braganza, was declared Queen of Portugal ; whereon the Spanish King has 'addressed' his army towards Portugal, and is minded to go in person, as is reported by letters dated at Madrid on the 1st inst. which reached the king here early yesterday morning. But I would not certify this till I received further knowledge and had seen and read some letters sent from the Spanish Court to a principal person here, verifying this much ; 'as also that the Portuguese will not here tell, nor abide to come under the government of the Castilian.' Preparations are made on both sides, but 'much doubted how' the forces of Spain will prevail. The ambassadors in the Catholic Court were preparing to accompany the king. Meanwhile your Majesty will have him to give order in your affairs ; for the malice is not altered though the execution is deferred, as by a copy of a letter which I send herewith to 'Mr Secretaries' you may guess, that they would trouble by all means your quiet estate.—Paris, 23 Feb. 1579. Copy. [qy. by L. Cave] ; signature imitated [?] 1 p. [France IV. 19.]
Feb. 23. 177. Copy of the above in Letter-book. At end : Here endeth the packet sent by Bluemantle, and followeth that sent by Mr. Slingsby. [Ibid. IV. 40 (22).]
Feb. 23. 178. COBHAM to [the SECRETARIES].
The king and other principal personages of this Court received letters yesterday, how the King of Portugal died on Jan. 31, and that the Duke of Braganza's wife was declared queen. The King of Spain addresses his power against that realm, to make good his claim. It will be overstrong for the Portuguese, especially being thus suddenly assaulted by so puissant an enemy. I hear daily of the confederacy against her Majesty's estates, and seek to discover what I may. I send a copy of the Pope's letter to the French King for credence to Cardinal Birago, to whom here all English 'bad members' specially address themselves. He continually receives letters from the Scottish Queen. In her last, dated Jan. 29, she informed him of her indisposition and recovery. The Spanish King's practice is so clearly discovered to this King, touching the Marquisate of Saluces, that he is somewhat moved ; but there is no 'place' with him to do any good that way. The Spanish agent, Don Francisco de Erasso, who has been in 'Sweneland' almost two years, is, on his return, with the Prince of Parma and passes this way. I suppose his coming thither has been the occasion for the Lady Cecilia, the 'Swenish' King's sister, to repair to the Prince of Parma about some further practice in those parts, or to be 'some spy' in those parts of Germany where she is ; which may be understood by some of her best acquaintance in England. It may prove worth the knowledge. Casimir's coming to the Duke of Lorraine at Nancy 'ashroving' was pretended to be for the demand of the 100,000 livres tournoises due to the rittmeisters which the duke is respondent [sic] for the King. But Casimir was moved by the Dukes of Lorraine and 'Demayne' to associate himself with the House of Guise, and to take the protection of the estates of France and by force to cause some reformation. This device had been first 'dealt in' by 'Rochegyen,' Chantelou, Pontberacq and other gentlemen of Normandy, who promise to bring 4,000 harquebusiers and 600 French horsemen, Casimir to have 5,000 reisters and 3,000 lanceknights. But he is well-advised to beware of this fellowship. Those of the Catholic League have put themselves in arms in Dalphinois,' and now those of the Religion are mounted and prepared for defence to the number of 4,000 horse and 2,000 foot under MM. de Lesdiguières, de Gouvernet, de Blascons, de 'Cugi' and other captains. Duke Montmorency has by his cruelty constrained the Protestants in Languedoc to take arms, conducted by M. de Chantillon, Captain Gresmayn (Grémian) la Merle and others. M. de Torre [Thoré] keeps neutral, but they of the Religion cannot trust him. Marshal de Biron in Guyenne is prepared with his forces, having six cannon ready mounted to march into the field. The King of Navarre stands on his guard, but the Protestants in that country are too weak. They see danger approaching on all sides ; yet the king seems willing to appease things and not have war. The king's messenger 'La Badia,' who was to have gone yesterday to Portugal, is stayed. Letters have come again this morning from Spain, of which I cannot as yet learn the particular contents, for the king is gone to St. Germain's. It is advertised from Italy that 12,000 foot are now levying for the King of Spain. His army is all arrived ; it consists of 9,000 Italians, of whom 'scant' 6,000 fighting men arrived. Many fell sick and died, having been 'through ill weather beaten at sea,' and by change of air and diet. Whereas there should be 6,000 Allmaynes there are shipped 'scant' 4,000. The 3,000 Spaniards from Italy and Sicily are safely landed. I have this from so good a place as may much 'enforce the credit.' I send herewith a copy of the Cardinal of Como's letter to the Duke of Guise.—Paris, 23 Feb. 1579. 2 pp. [France IV. 20.] Enclosed in the above :
Jan. 14. 179. The POPE (GREGORY XIII) to the FRENCH KING.
The person who best can tell you our mind and our great desire to be joined with you for the good of the faith of Christ and all the commonwealth is our Cardinal Birago, who has always been partaker of all our purposes. We have not been able to turn to any person more apt than he to be a mean between your Majesty and us that the matters which have often times been propounded to the Cardinal of Este and to you by our nuncio may once for all be concluded with such firmness as is desirable, as he can more particularly explain to you. We will therefore not write at greater length, but only beg that for love of us, and of your own benign nature, you will give him such audience as the business demands.—Rome, 14 Jan. 1580. Endd. by L. Tomson. Ital. ¾ p. [Ibid. IV. 20a.]
180. Another copy of the above in Letter-book, with the Pope's letter. [Ibid. IV. 40 (18, 19).] There follows :
After Cardinal Birago has declared everything to his Majesty, our Lord desires to interpose himself also in this holy and memorable work ; namely to make representations to his Most Christian Majesty and pray him to be willing and disposed to come to this outward demonstration. Your Excellency can well judge how much it will conduce hereafter to his reputation and private interest as well as to the good of his realm, and to your own praise and merit, without any staying to recount the particular good results that it will bring forth. You, who are most prudent, can discern it for yourself. I will say, however, that his Majesty will never in all his life have a finer opportunity of demonstrating to the world and all Catholic princes his own excellent purpose of putting an end once for all to the calamities in which this realm is involved as well as the Church of Rome. I leave it to you to judge what a resurrection he will give it with a demonstration like this. Copy. Ital. [Ibid. IV. 40 (20).]
About Feb. 23. 182. COBHAM to the LORDS of the COUNCIL.
At my coming over I received of 'Mr Secretaries' certain articles for the 'avoidance' of pirates and depredations. According to my instructions I declared to the Christian King her Majesty's zeal for delivering from that kind of outrage the merchants and well-disposed persons, subjects to the princes her confederates as also her own vassals. And that her Christian meaning herein might be better known she caused to be set down by the 'advised advice' of your lordships, these articles as the sure means to redress such excess, and thereby tie the hands and stay the proceedings of the rovers. Which his Majesty very well likes, and thanks her for this good demonstration toward the repose of his subjects, and has caused the articles to be communicated to his Council and the principal officers in his admiralty. He has lately caused Secretary Pinart and M. de la Mothe-Fènclon to come to me and deliver the enclosed orders and advice, which the king and his Couucil approve, willing me to send them to her Majesty, whereby the manner of proceeding against the pirates might by the consent of the princes of both realms be considered and agreed on, after these other articles have been well weighed by your lordships. Pinart said further it seemed to him the king would be well content that a chamber should be assigned here in Paris for speedy judgement of those causes, so that her Majesty's subjects should not need to travel into any further parts of France for the process of those affairs, but hither, where they would be near their country and assisted by the Queen's ambassador. You sent letters to me to deal with the King in behalf of John Woodward, merchant, of London. His Majesty and the Queen Mother have ordered that all those goods which are not proved to be Edward Taylor's 'own proper,' and so forfeited by droit d'aubaine shall be restored to the owners ; which I hope is already done, for the letters of the order are sent. The King has written earnest letters to M. de Gourdan for the delivery of the Englishmen imprisoned in Calais, and to restore the goods to the right owners. Wherein I likewise moved the King, being so instructed by your letters. I have certified her Majesty that the King of Portugal deceased on the 30th ult. about midnight ; whereon the King of Spain is now addressing his powers towards that kingdom, to make good his pretended right, as is advertised from Madrid by letters dated the 5th inst. Copy. [France IV. 40 (21).]
Feb. 23. 183. M. DE MONTIGNY to POULET.
Our friends advise us from Italy of the embarkation of the King of Spain's army, and that among the grandees it is held to be directed at England. We are also informed that Monsieur is planning something against you ; and that they are on the point of (après pour) embarking the Scots upon it by the means of M. d'Aubigny, and that the marriage which is now held for broken off was only a cover for this negotiation. Being on the spot, you can better judge of it than we. One thing we know for true, that Simier has laid the foundation of great divisions in your nation. Monsieur has returned from Gonnor to Angers. He has now only Marshall Cossè, Simier, and Fervacques to join his Council for business. They do not reckon on his coming to Court again. The Queen has been sick of a fever caused by an issue on the neck ; she is better. D'O has visited his government, and returns to Court. La Valette has done nothing so far at Saluces ; Bellegarde follows in his father's steps. The leagues continue in Dauphiné and Provence is not yet at peace. The capture of Mende has started the war again in Languedoc. Since the King of Navarre has returned to Nèrac Guyenne is a little quieter. Strozzi has been sent there to settle matters for the reception of the special commission (Grands jours) which it is wished to send thither. Judges have been chosen, honest men enough. St. Luc has been in disgrace for giving some advice to Monsieur ; but he has managed by his rate of journeying to outstrip Lancosme, who had been sent to take possession of Brouage. His wife is in prison and his goods seized. The king has granted the Prince 300 harquebusiers for his guard at la Fère, on condition that he will give up St. Jean. The question of his government is to stand over. He has sent representations to his Majesty, but so far nothing has been got from him but fair words. The king has recently proposed four points to his Council, the most suitable means to restore the royal authority and the dignity of the Church, to carry out his edict of pacification and relieve his people. As soon as I hear of anything being settled, I will impart it to you.—23 Feb. 1580. Add. : Monseigneur Paulet, gouverneur de Jersey. Endd. by L. Tomson. Fr. 1 p. [France IV. 21.]
Feb. 27. 184. The LORDS of the COUNCIL to the ESTATES.
Whereas after the long suit made to you by [Robert] Hungate, merchant of London, for the reimbursement of a good sum for which you are bound to him on account of certain merchandise received from him, he has been constrained, being much prejudiced, even to the point of ruin, by your delay or rather refusal to pay him his due, to complain to the Queen our mistress and request power to stay in this country goods belonging to the subjects of that, up to the sum for which he holds your obligations, which has been granted ; now the stay having been made, and we having from her Majesty charge to give order for execution in this matter to the contentment of Hungate, and considering that the example of such execution cannot fail to bring upon you greater inconveniences, and open the door to others, who having similar grievances have requested permission to use similar means for the recovery of their goods, we have thought to advertise you hereby how we have proceeded, in order that, if it seems well to you, you may rather give satisfaction to Hungate than let us proceed to execution ; which cannot be denied him if he may not receive of you some other resolution as to his payment than up to this hour he has done, whatever pretext or subterfuge may be alleged to the contrary. Draft. Endd. : To the States of the Low Countries from the Lords of the Council, 27 Feb. 1579. Fr. 1¼ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIII. 15.]
Feb. 29 185. COBHAM to [the SECRETARIES].
I sent word late by Bluemantle of the King of Portugal's death. It has since been confirmed ; as also that the Duke of Braganza's wife hopes to be accepted for Queen. Here they greatly doubt the army and strength of Spain will overrule right in that behalf, though the Portugals have no liking to come under the government of the King of Castile. The five who were assigned to govern the realm until the resolution of the Succession maintain as yet the ordinary justice and government, and have sent two ambassadors to King Philip ; who is now going towards Portugal as far as Guadalupe, meaning to solemnize the burial of the old King, sending his forces forward towards the confines of Portugal, as letters from Madrid of the 15th inst. certify. I heard to-day from Lyons that Michael Sael, a factor there for the 'Foulkers,' merchants and bankers for the King of Spain, had received intelligence of the same from Spain, with a dispatch to the Emperor and another to the Duke of Terra Nova of the King of Portugal's death. They write directly from sundry parts that the Catholic army is prepared for her Majesty's realms, if the affairs of Portugal do not let 'him' ; and to the intent she may not be succoured, they have at Rome excommunicated her. Cardinal Alexandrine, nephew to Pope Pius Quintus, has caused many copies of the excommunication to be printed, and dispersed them among the Ambassadors and others at Rome. In the 'discourses' from Italy they write that King Philip was moved to procure this excommunication and gather their forces on suspicion of the confederacy he supposes the Queen is entered into with Monsieur for the taking [?] of the Protestants of the Low Countries. I have shown M. Marchmont thus much, to let Monsieur know of it. And as the chief potentates are confederated together, so in almost all the provinces of France there are particular Catholic leagues and brotherhoods, which they say is 'somewhat offered to be framed' in England ; and to that intent there are divers hallowed small crosses and medals which are to be worn secretly, whereof I send you two couple for patterns. In Tuscany 12,000 more soldiers are levying for the Catholic King to be commanded by Prospero Colonna and Count Malatesta Sporza. The Italians and other soldiers that first landed in Spain are much consumed by sickness and have no great abundance of victuals. If the earnestly [sic] provision of corn from Dantzick and such like places and from her Majesty's coasts were restrained for a few months, as till July, it might be a good means to 'disfurnish' their victualling, and force those of Biscay and Galicia to exclaim for hunger, and wax loath to enter into hostility with England. The Abbot of 'Brisennio,' a Neapolitan who was nuncio at Florence in Pius V's time, and is now the Spanish king's agent at Rome, has been soliciting the Pope for the excommunication against the Queen. Arnald, secretary to Mauvissière, is still here. His brother has now received his patent from the Scottish Queen to be her treasurer, and enters into the accounts of his office at Midsummer. I send a copy of Pope Pius's bull, renewed against the Queen and an indulgence procured by Don Bernardino to infect her subjects. Some principal cardinal lately said that whereas it pleased God that Papa Gregorius Primus, Magnus, first 'induced' the Christian faith into England, he hoped that Gregorius XIII should be the means to return the whole nation to the Catholic faith. The king is within these three days dispatching M. de 'Longley' on a message to the King of Spain. The Governor of Milan practised with the captain of Cremona to surprise Mirandola, the only city in Italy that is at the French king's devotion. He has likewise sent money to young Bellegarde, 'who still keeps perforce the state which his father held.' The Queen of Spain was delivered of a daughter about the beginning of this month. The king proposes to have his subjects sworn to his eldest son, as Prince of Spain. Count Olivarez is expected to come as the Spanish King's Ambassador to Rome. The Marquis of 'Sta Croce' is named general of the enterprise which the Spanish army is to take in hand. Four thousand more soldiers are levying in the kingdom of Naples and Sicily. Queen Mother has been troubled with a swelling in the side of her throat, 'through the falling down of a catarrh,' for which she keeps her chamber, and sometimes all day her bed. She is now however 'reasonably amended.' The king was last week at St. Germain's, waited on only by MM. d'O, 'Arx,' Lavalette the elder, Liancourt and Châteauvieux. He has sent for Lavalette the younger, since he cannot obtain the government of 'Chaluce.' St. Luc does not think it good to leave Brouage, since he sees the king's displeasure so much kindled against him [in copy : has sent answer to the king that he thinks not good to be without a place of refuge since he perceives his Majesty's displeasure to be so highly kindled against him. Notwithstanding he purposes to do him dutiful service in that place]. Some of the commonalty of Dauphiné had a bickering with them of the Catholic league, wherein about 100 were slain. In this state the affairs of this country remain.—Paris, the last of February, 1579. P.S.—I send herewith the articles expounded by the Emperor to the States of 'Bohem.' Endd. 2 pp. [France IV. 22.]
Feb. 29. 186. Copy, not quite identical, of the above in Letter-book. [Ibid. IV. 40 (24).]
Feb. 29. 187. MAUVISSIÈRE to M. DES MARESTS, lieutenant to the Governor of Boulogne.
Passport for 'the present bearer' sent by the writer on business of importance to their Majesties. London, 29 Feb. 1580. (Signed) M. de Castelnau Mauvissière. Holograph. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson : From Mauviss. to the Governor of Boulogne. Recommendation of Fogaz. Fr. 1 p. [Frànce IV. 23.]
Feb. 29. 188. MAUVISSIÈRE to M. de GOURDAN, Governor of Calais.
The same for 'le Sieur de Fougasse, gentilhomme Portugais.'— London, 29 Feb., 1580. Holograph. Add. Endd. as before. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. IV. 24.]
Feb. ? 189. COBHAM to [? WILSON].
M. de Ravignan, President of Pau, had audience this morning of Queen Mother, having delivered complaints against Marshal Montmorency for laying an ambush to entrap him [sic] and for the surprising of Sourez [Sorèze], where great cruelty was used in murdering women and children. He has also complained against Biron for his intent to surprise divers places of his inheritance. The Queen Mother has answered him with very good words that all things shall be well accommodated, and has asked for the Queen of Navarre's sister [?]. I cannot yet find out to what intent the Duke of Guise is rigging three or four ships in his haven of Eu. Your servant Fante came to me yesterday. I will shew him all the goodwill I can in respect of the service I owe you ; beseeching that I may have your favourable help in my suit. Draft? ½ p. [Ibid. IV. 24 bis.]
Feb.? 189*. LADY COBHAM at the FRENCH COURT.
Being invited on Shrove Monday by Queen Mother to her own house, where a sumptuous feast was to be kept, I was met at the stairhead by a great 'scoort' of ladies, among whom were duchesses and countesses, and was led by them into a chamber where the Princess of Lorraine and the Princess of Condé were awaiting the coming of the young queen. Queen Mother being sick, appointed the king and the queen his wife, in her absence to solemnize the feast. Afterwards I was brought down into the hall where the feast was kept. There the king met me. He saluted me with a kiss and bade me welcome, offering to do me all the service he could. He said he was very desirous to see the Queen my mistress ; to which I answered that she desired as much to see him. He said, moreover, it would be great joy to him if he could see her Majesty and his brother together, professing that as long as she enjoyed the presence of his brother she had as it were a part of himself. I answered that I referred that to the will of God and his brother's good affection. Then he desired of me her Majesty's picture, of which he had heard from M. Gourdan. My answer was that I had made a vow the first that should see it should be his mother, who as I heard was then sick, which my mistress would be very sorry to hear. He told me it was but 'lickell' cold which she had takén, and no doubt she would soon recover. He said further, he 'thought beholding' to her Highness that she was so careful of his mother's good health. Then he desired again to see the picture, which I told him was very excellent ; wherefore I trusted he would the rather hold me excused 'for that I made it so dainty.' Then with a smiling countenance he left me, saying that the ambassador's wife was much changed ; and in my sight he charged the Princess of Lorraine and the Princess of Condé to accompany me, commanding that I should sit at his own table. By this time the meat was ready on the table furnished. We stayed therewith a great while for the coming of the young queen. Meantime questions arose among the ladies what could be the cause of her staying so long ; to which some answered, it was that she was to be very gorgeously apparelled that day. At last she came in such sumptuous and costly attire, indeed so decked and 'besceatt' [beset] with precious stones and pearls, and so gallantly set out, that it was a most goodly sight to behold. At her entrance I was shown to her. She saluted me with a kiss, and bade me welcome. I humbly thanked her, and said for my excuse that I would have done my duty to her long before, if I had not been hindered by sickness since my coming over. She answered she had heard of it, and was sorry for it ; being then as glad of my recovery, and to see me walking. She asked how the Queen did ; I answered, I trusted she was very well, and would rejoice to hear the like of her. Then the king took his queen by the hand and led her to the table, where was a towel ready prepared. One part of it was wet and the other dry. This the queen took, and kissing it, gave it to the king. When they had wiped their hands, the queen made low courtesy to the king, and they sat down together. The king and queen and the rest took their places in order. A little distance from the queen sat the Princess of Lorraine, over against whom I was placed. The feast was very plentiful, with rare dainties. I was 'carved unto' on all sides, and much looked upon. After dinner the queen called me to her in the presence of the king, and desired to see the picture ; saying I should not break my vow in showing it to her, because she was the queen. Thereupon I showed it to her, and as she was looking at it, the king suddenly took it from her, so that it was well viewed by both. The king said it was an excellent picture ; the queen asked me if she were like it. I answered that she was. Then said the Queen is a very fair lady [sic]. I told them her Majesty had commanded that whenever I came in the presence of them both, I should wish her there. They said again that if wishing would have prevailed, they would have been together many times long ago. Then I said to the queen : If it should so happily fall out that the Queen my mistress and your Majesty might meet, it might then be truly said that two of the goodliest creatures and greatest queens in the world were together. She answered that as appeared by the picture it might be very true of my mistress, but not in respect of herself. I answered that in my opinion she much resembled my mistress ; and indeed she does, not only in my opinion, but in that of others. So the queen thanked me for the good opinion I had of her, and asked me if I could find in my heart to part with the picture. I answered that the greatest comfort which I have, being absent from my mistress, is to behold it. Hearing that, she said she would not do me so much injury as to request it from me ; but commended me greatly for loving my mistress so well. She asked me also if I had been continually at the Court. I said, not so much of late as in times past, for I have had the charge of a household and children to look to. She asked me, how many children I had. I told her, five. Then she asked how many of them were here. I said, but one. And she desired greatly to see him ; for which I thanked her, and promised that when he was a little able to prattle he should wait upon her. But she said she could not forbear the sight of him so long. Then I told her he was at her commandment. Then the king departed and commanded us to follow. He led the way up into a goodly gallery, himself keeping the door till all those were entered whom he liked to have present. Then showing the pictures to the ladies, he called me to him and brought me to those of the King and Queen of Scots, asking if I had seen them. I said I had seen the king, but the queen never. So he passed through the gallery into a very gallant chamber richly hung round, wherein there stood a sumptuous bed. The king showed me there the picture of his father, which he said was very like him when he lived. I said it seemed by his picture he was a wise and valiant gentleman, which the king said was true. Then he went into a very large chamber, where there was the greatest company of men and women that ever I saw in such a place at one time. The women were so gallantly and richly decked 'as it was a world to see.' Here the king and queen sat down in their state, and the king caused my husband to sit next him, and beneath my husband sat all the rest of the ambassadors. Next to the Queen sat the Princesses of Lorraine and Condé, the queen's sister, and myself ; and so the duchesses and countesses with ladies and gentlewomen, all in their degrees. After a while the king rose up and took his queen by the hand, and danced the 'measures' with her. Then bringing her to her place again, he took Madame 'Dawtree' [d'Atri] and danced with her the 'currants.' Next he danced a galliard with Madame 'Pownce' [qy. Pons] very excellent well. Afterwards he danced the 'levoltes' very lustily ; which ended, he left dancing and sat down again in his state. Presently there came in a very gallant masque, with excellent music and sweet voices. The men were attired like Portugals, and the women like Spaniards. Both had each a dart in their hands ; the men had a thing in one hand that made a great jingling, the women had another device, to snap with their fingers after the Spanish 'order.' Having done their duty to the king and queen they danced 'on towards,' seeming as they would wound each other with their darts. In the end the women overcame the men, and received each a garland. Then they danced again, and in a while the women gave their garlands to the men, and continued dancing. When they had made an end, the king went up into another goodly chamber, where stood a long board furnished with banqueting dishes, very curiously and cunningly wrought ; also a cupboard furnished with crystal glasses set in gold, so strange and so many fashions as I have not seen the like. Every table had divers 'coverd paynes' very finely wrought, which being taken off they fell to the banquet. Some ate and some put more into their pockets than into their bellies, so that at last all was gone. Then the king saluted the ambassador and departed. The throng was so great that he himself could not pass out for a great while. Endd. : The French courtesy to the Lady Ambassador. 3 pp. [France IV. 24 ter.]