Elizabeth: March 1580, 1-10

Pages 177-185

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

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March 1580, 1-10

March 1. 190. Deposition by Melchior of Vades that in February last, anno 1579 [sic], there arrived in 'this river and channel of this said city' a little chaloppe, which the company said was called enemy to the English nation, and was vouched by them to be of the company of a ship of his Holiness, which is in this city and river, and of others that are at Ferrol in Galicia, whither she is bound. And she has on board nine men and a boy, whose names are as follows :William All, Mr William Manners, Herne Legal, Julian Ciron, Pieter Lyemote, John Bargine, Thomas Barre, John Nemet, and Nicolas Albertre, and the French boy. There are besides in here two vessels with their munitions and their muskets, 13 harquebuses, 6 targets, 3 halberds, 4 morions, 6 coffers of linen and apparel. And I give this testimonial that if it happen that the shallop and her company arrive at any other port before they come to Ferrol they may not be stayed, because they have been here, and their captain and company that remain in this city and river, upon shew made of their authority from his Holiness and his Majesty, have not only been 'disarrested,' but also furthered with all assistance. 'In witness whereof,' etc.1 Martii 1580. Copy in writing of L. Tomson, and endd. by another of Walsingham's secretaries. p. [Spain I. 36 (bis).]
March 1. 191. COBHAM to the QUEEN.
Letters of Feb. 19 are this day come from Madrid, wherein it is certified that the Portuguese continue constant in their opinion against the King of Castile and seem inclined to accept Doa Caterina, wife to the Duke of Braganza, to be their Queen. Your Majesty may thereupon, if it 'stand' with your policy, show yourself gracious to another Queen oppressed in her right, according to the honourable compassion of great Ladies. Copy. [France IV. 40 (23).]
March 1. 192. COBHAM to BURGHLEY.
The death of the King of Portugal is confirmed, and also that the Portugals are constant in refusing the government of the Castilian king, and are putting themselves in arms and strengthening their passages. On the other side, the king addresses his forces easily and slowly towards the frontiers of Portugal. The five persons appointed by the deceased king still 'keep the state' of the realm, maintaining justice and the ordinary course of law. The Duchess of Braganza is however respected as Queen. No ceremony is used, nor coronation passed, but people's minds are fully bent that way. The Queen of Spain is brought 'abed' of a daughter, and the king minds to have his subjects sworn to his eldest son, before pressing the cause of Portugal to the uttermost. Meantime his Italian soldiers die and consume. The king of this country visits of an evening the houses where there is dancing or masking, as is now usual at Shrovetide ; and when he is at St. Germain's he likes sometimes to go on pilgrimage to the holy nuns of Poissy. Monsieur remains at and about Angiers, visited by the principal persons of Brittany and Normandy and those of his own 'partages.' They of the Religion live in suspicion, but no apparent preparations pretended. From Italy is news of further aid to the King of Spain. I send a copy of the Emperor's demands of the States of Bohemia, at the parliament lately held at Prague.Paris, 1 March 1579. Add. Endd. (and in a later hand). 1 p. [France IV. 25.]
May 1. 193. Copy of the above (without last two pars.) in Letter-book. [Ibid. IV. 40 (29).]
Enclosed in the last :
194. 'Advertisements sent Mr Secretaries concerning the points following demanded by the Emperor of the States of Bohemia.'
1. That they should give him means to pay his debts, and his father's and Ferdinand's ; but that his own should first be paid.
2. That they would give him on every barrel of beer two pieces of silver called grossi more than they gave him last year ; which were then given for payment of his debts, but now he will have all the 6 grossi on the beer to be allowed for the maintenance of his house, which will amount to 600,000 'dallers' yearly.
3. That the grants given him in the last Diet may continue three years longer, which was that every house pay him yearly three 'dallers,' that every Jew pay him fifteen ; and that the impost on cattle may continue.
4. Whereas in the Diet held last year the realm of Bohemia was content to pay him 150,000 'dallers' towards the maintenance of the wars in Hungary, 40,000 of which are employed in fortifying two places in the confines, he now requests them to give him 20,000 yearly for continuing the fortifications and the above 40,000 to be repaid to him, having been by him laid out to the use aforesaid.
5. That the kingdom of Bohem do cause to be fortified at 'his' own charges a fort called Vizze, a place of importance in Hungary.
6. That the debts of Ferdinand and Maximilian be paid, since the interest of them is now growing to be almost as great as the principal. The Emperor likewise means to cause those of 'Slesia,' 'Morania,' and Hungary to pay the portion due to the Archduke his brother, which comes to 37,000 'dallers.'
7. His Majesty desires that there may be assigned to the Empress in Bohem 20,000 crowns, upon some city, that she may be somewhat honourably entertained as Queen of Bohemia.
Copy. [Ibid. IV. 40 (25).]
March 1? 195. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
I hear that letters are come to this Court from England dated five days ago certifying her Majesty's arming and preparing for sea ; but the particulars I cannot at present learn. I have received no letters from England since yours of Feb. 13, since which there has come only one of the ordinary posts. Awaiting daily to hear some good news of her Majesty's health, and beseeching you that in these times I may in some way be oftener remembered with a letter, wherein I shall be particularly beholden [sic] to you, I take my leave. Copy. [Ibid. IV. 40 (26).]
March 1. 196. COBHAM to WILSON.
As in my last, so now I must inform you that I have received no letters from Monsieur's Court since Mr Stafford was here. Yet I have written to M. Simier, and am now writing by M. Marchemont to Monsieur because he has required me so to do. Monsieur's Chancellor, the Bishop of Mende, is going with the book of accounts for the affairs of his house, wherein he is taking better order than before. The King's message to his brother by Marchemont is only ordinary commendations, with thanks for his letters and offers, and wishing him good success in his enterprise, meaning that of Flanders, as I am informed. The Queen Mother has 'delivered somewhat more warmly her liking' that Monsieur should 'have feeling' of the King of Spain's enterprise against Portugal, and has promised Marchemont to write a few words to that effect. But there is no means ready here to enter into so great an action. Their intestine wrangles and 'particular respects' hold them occupied in trifling, while they let slip causes of more importance, and are wrapped in further dangers, and no remedy is yet ministered to redress their disunion. In this sort the days are passed here and now, with banqueting and masking in Lent as at Shrovetide. I hope the malice which is suspected to be 'bent unto' our Sovereign will unite all noble hearts and virtuous patriots. Copy. [France IV. 40 (27).]
March 1. 197. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
The other day 'il Signor Capitano del Bene' let me know his views as to the Queen's arming by sea and land. He has thought of sending one into England, or else going himself in person, to offer his services, with a dozen or more with him, as she shall please ; and asked my opinion therein. My answer was that I thought his offer would be welcome to her and to his friends in that Court ; but as yet there might fall out some chance such that she would perhaps refrain for a while from entertaining any foreign soldiers. I assured him however 'to write' of his courteous intention. You may therefore if you think good signify to him that I have written of his zealous demonstration towards her service. Further news has come from Madrid, by letters of the 19th and 20th ult., that Doa Caterina, wife to the Duke of Braganza, is accepted Queen of Portugal, and that the Portugals mean to resist the Spanish forces to the uttermost. This came this morning. 'I think very long' to hear from you, for I have received no letter since the 13th ult., which somewhat grieves me.Paris, 1 March, 1579. Endd. p. [France IV. 26.]
March 1. 198. Copy of the above in Letter-book. [Ibid. IV. 40 (28).]
March 1? 199. COBHAM to SUSSEX.
Same news as in letters to the Secretaries of Feb. 29, to Burghley of Mar. 1, and others. On Sunday, Feb. 28, the king sent a gentleman called d'Abadia in post toward Portugal, and tomorrow they send hence for Spain M. de 'Longley'. . . . . Of the marriage is little speech here. As M. Marchemont goes tomorrow to Monsieur, he requested me he might take with him some lines from me. I have thereupon written to M. de Simiers ; the copy of which I send you 'hereinclosed.' Copy. At end : Here endeth the packet sent by Mr Slingsby, and followeth the packet sent by Mr Slingsby the elder. [France IV. 40 (30).]
I address myself to you as to one who has ere now shown true zeal and singular affection towards the Churches of God in general and our poor Churches of France in particular. Help me, if you please, to make my excuses to the Queen if I have not been as careful in continuing to write to her as might perhaps have been agreeable to the obligation that we all are under to her, of which I for my part am infinitely conscious. But it vexed me to importune her so often with the same thing, having nought to write to her but complaints of the injustices committed day by day against us. Now we were hoping that this conference would afford us some better matter (argument) whereon I promised myself to write something more acceptable to her. But on the contrary, all my representations on the non-execution of the Edict have been treated with contempt, and they talk only of spoiling us of what little security we get from our fortresses, the surrender of which was expressly stipulated on the peace taking full effect. On this basis M. de Montmorency has taken arms against us, while M. de Biron has failed in certain important enterprises, up to now at any rate. In this difficulty we implore her Majesty's sage advice, with whom I pray you more and more to deal, laying us ever under more obligation to you. M. du Plessis will inform you of it more at length.3 May. (Signed) Henry. Fr. 1 p. [France IV. 27.]
March 6. 201. The ESTATES to the QUEEN.
We have received the letter from your Council, dated the 27th ult. Understanding therefrom that your Majesty has at the urgent request of Robert Hungate granted him permission to stay the goods belonging to the merchants of the Low Countries, until the settlement of [the sum] still owing to him from us for certain [merchandize] which he delivered to us, in such wise that he should [see to] the effectual execution of such stay, which [was done after] mature deliberation by the Council ; and [seeing] that by this means a door would be opened to all [persons] of similar kind, to whom we might be [indebted] ; we would not omit to advertise your Majesty, humbly beseeching that the stay in question and others like it may be deferred . . . inasmuch as by this sort of procedure traffic between these countries and your realm will be cut off, which in the interests of good neighbourship must not be hindered on account of a private suit ; especially if you will be pleased to consider the endeavours we are making to give reasonable satisfaction to Hungate, having put his debt into the statement we have made of those that are most urgent, and upon which a resolution is shortly to be taken. We therefore beg again that the intended execution may be postponed (source) and delayed ; whereby you will add to the number of the benefits we have received, and oblige us to pray the Creator to bless (bienheurer) you, as we hereby do.Antwerp, 6 March 1580. Signed Houfflin. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. Fr. 1 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIII. 16.]
March 6. 202. COBHAM to BURGHLEY.
Since the Queen has accorded the exercise of Monsieur's religion in some convenient manner, which testifies her good disposition towards him, I trust that if his affection have power, and the benefit of the match be well and duly weighed, he will surely not stay for further liberty, nor tarry for more company at his ceremonies. But undoubtedly, as it seems to me, if the sense of your words written in your letter to me, had been 'with viva voce' delivered in French, together with the last packet, it would have moved deeply one of the best men in France to accept so reasonable conditions with so great a possibility in England. And though this has not so far been done, it may be trusted that if other backward dissuasions have not pierced over deep, and secret policies 'possessed the contrary,' he will without doubt easily incline to his desire, and satisfy his affection ; which will be the maintenance of his honour in this country, the increasing and emboldening of his well-wishers in the Low Countries, and the establishing of the friendship of the Almaynes, as well as the only means to set up his house, which is in a declining and staggering state. Which I have partly at this time 'by means' signified. Monsieur's credit increases among the frontier towns, and they of Cambray have accepted him for their sovereign lord, as may appear by the enclosed copy of the articles agreed upon ; while further hopes are offered him lately from those parts. I hear that the Viscount of Ghent will willingly become French. Some motherly admonitions, mixed with a little sharpness, have passed of late from Queen Mother to the king in reprehension of his manner of proceeding ; whereon there is grown unkindness, and the king has kept himself at St. Germain's. They of Paris have given the king to understand that the plague is beginning in this town ; but other wanton discords have moved them to desire his absence, together with the consent of Queen Mother. The nobility and the Estates seek to have the minions removed, and the great secret gifts and expenses lessened, if they can. There is not, as you write, any debts due to me for letters written to you, but much duty owing to you on my part for goodness received. It is enough for me that my service be acceptable. Paris, 7 Mar. 1579. Add. Endd. 1 p. [France IV. 28.]
March 7. 203. Another copy of the above in Letter-book. [Ibid. IV. 40 (33).]
Enclosed in the above :
204. 'Certain capitulations made in the behalf of Monsieur, between the Prince of Cond, la Noue, and the magistrates of Cambray.'
Monsieur is recognised as sovereign lord of the said town of Cambray and of Cambresis, with the same rights as the King of Spain. He can place in the citadel 120 French harquebusiers under the command of Captain Vallires. M. d'Inchy shall however continue to command on his behalf in the citadel, and shall have 300 harquebusiers. The Prince of Cond shall be his lieutenant-general in the district, and also of any army which may have to be employed in the defence of the town ; in which case Monsieur shall furnish 2,000 foot and 300 horse. The Prince going to Cambray to negotiate the above was honourably received, with gratification and submission, even by the ecclesiastics. Endd. Fr. p. [Ibid. IV. 28a.]
March 7. 205. COBHAM to [the SECRETARIES].
Since my last nothing has happened which might move me to signify it to you ; for the king has continued at St. Germain's privately, and the Queen Mother has kept her chamber, attending to the recovery of her health. On the 2nd inst. between 10 and 11 in the forenoon, a person 'modest in sight, of years about 40, and as they say of some quality of living,' came into the great court of the Louvre, where he first knelt down, and with a loud voice lamented greatly the disorders of the realm, of the little justice with the calamities and oppressions which the people daily sustained, praying with fervent words to God to have mercy on the people of this realm ; and concluded that except the King should more carefully discharge his duties towards God, and give audience in affairs, God would shortly send vengeance upon him. All which was delivered with a very loud voice, the people coming about him ; so that the king being in the Queen Mother's chamber, and advertised thereof, sent Chteauvieux, a captain of his guard, to apprehend him, which was done forthwith. So he remains in prison. Last week the king gave out commissions for levying soldiers ; as to Marshal Biron for Langnedoc and those parts, and to Mogeron [Maugiron] for Dauphin. It seems that Monsieur's credit increases among them of the Low Countries, as partly appears from the matter of Cambray. M. de Belleville, governor of Xaintonge, was lately slain going a-hunting. He was formerly one of the king's minions, when he went to Poland ; and shewed himself an enemy to the King of Navarre. Today the Prince of Cond's horses and carriages have passed on the way to la Fre from St. Jean d'Angely, with a passport from the king. I cannot yet hear of any preparations by sea ; but there is speech of such.Paris, 7 Mar. 1579. 1 p. [France IV. 29.]
March 7. 206. Another copy of the above in Letter-book. [Ibid. IV. 40 (31)] with copy of the 'capitulations' (see No. 204) [IV. 40 (32).]
March 7. 207. COBHAM to BURGHLEY.
The Portugal Ambassador, Cavaliero Giraldi, has delivered me under the colour of a 'visitation,' a packet with an inclosed letter of 'Donnia' Catherina, Duchess of Braganza, which he desires may be delivered to her Majesty's own hands with all secrecy, so that especially none of the ambassadors 'ligiers' or others may be made privy thereto as yet. His hope is that you will have the right of his Lady favoured and the tyranny of the Castilian king bridled by all such means as her Majesty may think good, both by treating with the king and otherwise. He has in like sort requested me to send his dispatch to Monsieur, since he is much watched by the Spanish ambassador, and his doings looked into, so that if his dealings for his Lady should be any way perceived, it would be an occasion for King Philip to press upon them with great expedition. If her Majesty think good, I shall willingly deliver any such message to the Spanish agent as I may be commanded. It is understood that he has been a busy dealer against Monsieur's marriage with her Majesty, and a frequent visitor and a great practiser with the Scottish Queen's ambassador and with the Bishop of Ross. Methinks Giraldi would be glad if her Majesty and the Christian King would join together for the protection of the Duchess of Braganza's right, and desires that such expedition may be used as the necessity of the cause imports and it shall seem good to her Majesty. As yet the ambassador of Portugal 'ligier' in England is not made privy thereto ; but in time, Giraldi says, he will be trusted, as one known 'confident' enough in this cause. Copy. [France IV. 40 (34).]
March 7. 208. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
The ambassador of Portugal understanding that this gentleman was about to pass towards England, requested me to send in my packet to the Lord Treasurer his letter to her Majesty, in which was one from the Duchess of Braganza. He desired with many earnest words that this may be kept most secret and in any case concealed from the ambassadors. I enclose a letter to my cousin Edward Wootton which the Portugal ambassador delivered to me, wishing he may be advertised to have it kept unknown. His 'pretence' is that the Spanish ambassador watches him. He seems now 'appassionate' against the Castilians, and delivers his mind therein more freely than before. Copy. [Ibid. IV. 40 (35).]
March 7. 209. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
I send inclosed a note of [name blank] acknowledgement for the receipt of 330 crowns. By the next I think he will write to you the causes which move him to press me to disburse so much to him. If the effect follow his designs, he may be a great means for her Majesty to stay some way her further charges.Paris, 7 March 1579.
A note follows :
Written also at the same time to Mr Secretary Wilson, certifying him of certain Italian music-books which I sent by his servant Jackson in behalf of her Majesty, desiring to be advertised of the receipt of them, and that he would remember my suit as time permitted. Copies. [Ibid. IV. 40 (36, 37).] At the end is written : Here endeth the packet sent by Mr. Slingsby the elder, the 7th of March, and followeth the dispatch sent by Jno. Wells the 12th of the same.
March 8. 210. A REPORT from SPAIN.
The examination of Robert Frede of Harwich, master of the Salomon, of London, taken at San Lucar 8 March, anno 1579, by the Duke Medina Sidonia. First he asked when he came out of England : the master said, three weeks past. Further, in what state the realm was, and how all the castles were furnished : the master answered, very well and in good order, for they are repaired yearly. Further, whether there was any mustering of men throughout the realm. He answered, not to his knowledge at that time. Whereto the duke said there was mustering ; saying further to the master that he should tell him the truth of all things and not jest with him, for he would not be jested with. Further he demanded in what time a number of men would be ready in England. The master said, if need were, in 8 days ; whereto he said to his secretary : 'You may now see.' Further he asked how many ships the Queen had, and in what readiness they were. The master said that she had 60 sail always in readiness to serve ; to which the duke said : 'Jesus! hath she so many?' ; saying he always thought she had not above 30. Further he asked if at that time any of them were abroad in her service. The master said there were three then going abroad. The duke asked whither : the master said for 'Yerland' as he thought. The duke asked what they would do there : the master said he thought, carry munitions for the Queen's towns and castles against the rebels. The duke further said he was sure there was mustering of men in England. The master said he knew no such thing ; but if any men were mustered, it was for Ireland, as he thought. The duke said he knew there were 14 of the Queen's ships abroad. The master said it was more than he knew. Further the duke asked what speech there was in England of the King of Spain's fleet. The master said the bruit was in England that it was for 'Argier,' Barbary, or Portugal. With that the duke shook his head and said no more ; saving he asked the master how 'chance' the Queen of England lent certain soldiers to a nobleman of Portugal whose name he does not remember. The master said he knew no such thing. All this the duke caused his secretary to write. (Signed) Robert Frede. Add. to Walsingham. Endd. by L. Tomson, with date March 8, 1580. 1 p. [Spain I. 37.]