Elizabeth: March 1580, 11-20

Pages 185-194

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, 11-20

March 11. 211. Passport for a servant of the Portuguese Ambassador, being sent into Portugal.At the Court, 11 March, 1579. (Signed) Fra. Walsingham. Endd. p. [Portugal I. 24.]
March 11. 212. MAUVISSIRE to M. DES MARETS.
The Sieur 'Anthoyne Fougasse,' the present bearer, was some days ago wishing to go into France, and as he intended to land at your town, he asked me to give him a letter to you, to secure him against molestation by any of those who would annoy him. The same request which I made before to you on his behalf I make again hereby, that you will give him all security to go to their Majesties on business relating to their service.London, 11 Mar. 1580. Add. Edd. by Walsingham : The French Ambassador's letter to the Governor of Boulogne. 1 p. Fr. [France IV. 30.]
March 12. 213. COBHAM to [the SECRETARIES].
As this bearer wishes to return with speed, I only write these few words, having four days ago dispatched Mr Slingsby with some letters to you. The king remains at St. Germain's, partly upon a little pain in his leg, partly for his pleasure. The Duke of Guise is gone to his house near Evreux intending to return this week. There is some speech that he 'should cause' four or five ships to be rigged, but I find no certain foundation for that rumour. It is likely that he could be contented to be employed in some action whereby the opinion of his greatness may be maintained, and he may find means to pay part of his great debts ; but no resolution or beginning thereof is as yet known. I enclose such occurrents as have come by this post from Italy. This bearer gives me no information from Monsieur's Court, only that he told him he meant to be shortly in England. I understand that he has commanded his followers to be in readiness to gather companies, which is suspected to be for the Low Countries. The other day he sent M. de la Fin to the Queen Mother and the king. For a few days there was an opinion that the king and the Court would remove to Fontainebleau ; but that bruit is passed over. The Bishop of Ross has been with me again, to let me know that his messenger was returned, who had been in England soliciting his suit to obtain her Majesty's favourable letters in his behalf to Monsieur for an Abbey. He now conceives small hope that way, but would have me 'written' to M. Simier. I answered that since he had understood the Queen's meaning, it was not a matter for me to deal in. He further told me how his Queen had written that she had been 'calumniated to have said' some words in dispraise of Monsieur ; touching which report he says that she has answered to her Majesty so well that she remains satisfied. With this and suchlike speeches he passed some time. The abbot of Landors [Lindores :probably Patrick Leslie] the said bishop's kinsman, with whom one of the Duke of Guise's 'Escuierye' has practised much lately, is shortly going to Scotland. Nothing further is known from Portugal since my last. They of Rochelle have lately taken a ship very richly laden, wherein they found five pipes full of Spanish 'Ryalls' of two shillings each, and of sugar, chests to the value of 150,000 francs, of rich furs and ostrich feathers, to the value of 100,000 francs. Thus much the merchant of Rochelle, who is here making privy suit that the king will not move against them for the enterprise, confesses. Notwithstanding, Vargas, the Spanish agent here, has complained to the Queen Mother, adding that they had 100,000 francs more in pistolets, and that the ship and men were sunk ; which indeed is true. I wrote last January, and caused some of the Religion to send 'by means' to M. de Rohan and M. de Laval, who have territories in Britanny and along the coast, that they would, for the respect they bear his Majesty, inform themselves and advertise me of the Spanish preparation by sea. They inform me that for the present the preparations are to be towards Portugal ; as also in the port of San Lucar were seen two very great ships, which had in their lading two huge iron chains of a marvellous length and great bigness, with many mattocks, spades, and shovels, and as yet no preparations making for this king on all that coast. Francis Erasso, who has been so long in 'Sweneland' agent for the Spanish King, having likewise been in the Prince of Parma's camp, has passed on towards Spain with many packets. He reported to a friend of mine whom I sent under a pretence made for that purpose that the King of Sweden is for himself inclined to be a papist and a friend to King Philip, having now 40,000 crowns yearly from Italy, levied on the lands lately the inheritance of the Queen of Poland, called Regina Bona. Mr Parker, my lord Morley's brother, has been with me, being come hither this last week ; 'showing' that his coming is only to see his mother upon some 'occasions' of his father's will. In his company came one Mr Liggins, a young gentleman of the West Country. They both came with the ordinary post.Paris, 12 Mar. 1579. 2 pp. [France IV. 31.]
March 12. 214. Copy of the above in Letter-book. [Ibid. IV. 40 (38).]
March 12. 215. COBHAM to LEICESTER.
I received your two letters by this bearer, since which he has been at Monsieur's Court. By his dispatch it will appear what devotion Monsieur has to her Majesty and 'dispositions to his ceremonies, or that it will like him to obtain the company of her Majesty though he bestow his prayers accompanied with a few.' I can learn no particulars from this messenger concerning the matter of marriage. M. Simier sent me a letter with a few courteous words of 'accomplements' only. It seems that Monsieur intends to undertake the enterprise of the Low Countries if it be in any way agreeable to his mind ; and his followers are gathering companies secretly. Whether this little beginning will have any other proceeding, God knows ; since the manner here has been to make many beginnings, but to finish few. As they go forward in their proceeding, I will not fail 'but' to advertise ; so that her Majesty may think of what shall be best for her safety. In my last I sent a dispatch touching the affairs of Portugal, which if it may be dealt according to that wisdom wherewith you have heretofore managed the like occasion, it will become I hope as good a safeguard on that side as Flanders is now for those parts, between the enemies and your harm. I trust you will let me understand wherein I may most stand instead in my service that I may the better satisfy your desires, which I have a good wish to perform. I humbly recommend my suit to your furtherance ; I think Mr Secretary Wilson has moved it for me of late. You have means that way to bind me and mine much to you. Copy. [France IV. 40 (39).] At end is : here endeth the dispatch sent by John Wells the 12th of March, and followeth the packet sent by Charles Cooke the 20th of March.
March 13. 216. The KING OF SPAIN to DON ANTONIO.
Considering that you have known 'for so many years ago' the good will which I bore to you and 'procured' to shew you on all occasions, I am assured that you will answer to 'her' with such thankfulness 'as doth find you the reason and kindred that is between us.' And as we were sure that you understand the 'notorouse' right and justice that I [sic] have in the succession to the 'same' Crown, I pray you to be first in receiving and swearing of me 'for your king and natural lord, as God appointed it should be' ; for by you and your example the rest shall do their duty. Being sure that in those things which 'particular' touch you I will keep that account that reason require to do you good, as shall declare unto you the Duke of Soona' [qy. Ossuna] my cousin and Don Christopher de Mora our ambassador. 'And, our beloved cousin, our Lord God be in your keeping.'Cesaye [?] 13 March. (Signed) I the king, and below Gabriel de Sayas. Endd. by Burghley's secretary : 13 Martii 1579. A copy of the Spanish king's letter to Don Antonio [apparently a translation by a Spaniard or other foreigner]. 1 p. [Spain I. 38.]
March 15. 217. HODDESDON to BURGHLEY.
In my last of the 6th inst. I told you of such matters as I had then to write of, being emboldened to do so by your courteous letter which I received from Antwerp the same day. Since then I have been invited by 'Grave' Edzard, who welcomed me very courteously and gave me entertainment much above my calling, promising to further our traffic here all that he may ; as I hope he will do, if the dissension between him and his brother Grave John be no hindrance, for they have not been perfect friends these 10 years or more. Among other causes of their variance, as I hear, the elder 'doth somewhat stomach' that his younger brother should have a pension from England, and himself none ; for which reason he has not favoured our nation as he perhaps would have otherwise done. But both the brothers seem to be of so good a nature and bear such reverence, towards her Majesty, that I think if she would vouchsafe to be a 'moyenner' between them, this controversy, which is only nourished by certain misreporters might soon be pacified ; whereby she would not only be assured of both the earls for ever after, but also purchase an assured remembrance among the people of this country, who greatly desire to see the concord of their Lords. Grave John has not been here since my arrival, but during his brother's abode in this town he lies in a very strong castle, about 8 English miles distant. He has sent his secretary to me, declaring his readiness to pleasure our company whereinsoever he is able ; so that I see no place better to be liked in every respect than this town, where, if there were any wants concerning our traffic (as, to speak uprightly, I hitherto see none) they are at present supplied by the courteous demeanour of the people towards us, and hereafter if we continue here would be easily amended, as daily experience shows. For the town is at present not only much enlarged in quantity of building, but far better frequented with trade than at our first coming hither we found it, and the situation is so strongly fortified, partly by nature, partly by industry, that besides the walls, which are very thick, it may be environed with water 5 English miles about by means of certain sluices made for that purpose. The country adjoining is very light, though somewhat subject to inundations of the sea. Very good powder is also made here ; and I was in good hope to have drawn the trade in it chiefly to this town, if other men's disorder had not hindered my endeavours. Since my coming I dealt with one of Brunswick for the value of 2,000 in saltpetre to be delivered here ; but before I could go through with the matter, there was such buying up of powder in Hamburg by some of our company, and the price thereupon so increased, that most part of the saltpetre which should have been brought hither was forestalled by those of Hamburg to 'feed the humours' of our merchants there ; who within one month have done more hurt in that respect than those who made provision for the Low Countries did in all last year. So although there shall be no unwillingness in me to perform this service, for the accomplishment of which I have my money in readiness at Hamburg, yet I assure you the price of powder is of late so enhanced that I am likely to be a great loser on what I must provide hereafter, and yet shall hardly get it so well made as what I have delivered already. This sudden alteration proceeds from no other cause than the greediness of our own merchants, as the thing itself will more effectually declare, if this disordered running to Hamburg do not either stay itself, or be shortly stayed by your means. The matter of 'Groening' continues 'at one stay,' yet 'Battalense' [qy. Barthold Entes] on behalf of the Prince and States is building a strong fort at 'Delfsile,' and does what he can to restrain victuals from 'Groening,' having lately burned four mills and taken a monastery adjoining the town. The King of Denmark is making great preparations to receive the Electors of Saxony and Brandenburg, with the Dukes of Brunswick, 'Prusen,' 'Pomeren,' Mecklenburg, Luneburg, Casimir, and the three Dukes of 'Holst,' besides sundry other earls ; who, with their ladies, intend to meet about Easter next at Colding in Denmark. The King is making great provision for a navy ; it is thought to aid the Kings of Poland and Sweden against the Emperor of Moscovia. Embden, 15 Mar. 1579. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Hasne Towns I. 55.]
March 19. 218. CAPTAIN JAMES SYDEE to [? the ALCALDE of FERROL].
19 Mar. 1580.This is to let you know how at our coming we found the place in some disorder. See what you do in the service of the king your master. I am not a pirate nor am I come to do anything prejudicial to any vassal of the King of Spain or other Christian king allied with the Queen of England my mistress. The fact is that there are in this port certain vassals of hers who not content wtth having personally rebelled against her will not give over molesting others who are vassals to that Queen, my mistress and theirs. And for its being a royal port (camara) of Spain, and for the truce, a thing so important as it is right it should be, I do not want to get into a quarrel (mi poner en demandas) with them. As for their saying that they are in the service of the Holy Father, I do not know if he has given them any such power ; if they have it, I shall be pleased to see it. We trade every day in his [qy. King of Spain's] territories without molestation, and his vassals in those of the Queen. I am sorry to importune you at such length, but the matter requires it, being of so great importance, when I see a country like this in arms without cause against the friends of its king, and in defence of traitors. Again I beg you to take good counsel, and not deprive your king's vassals of their trade and their fishery ; wherefore I hereby protest against all and sundry who do the like ; because as I have said, I am not in arms save against the rebel vassals of my Queen, as may be seen by my actions. See too how I cannot but lodge a complaint about the way in which they have taken arms ; not to say how I and all my company have seen that those rebels are favoured all through the country, by whose orders I do not know, only that I see it in effect ; whence we think to be favoured, considering the cause there is for it, for the friendship of princes is worth more than the compliment of traitors ; if your honours see my reason, and if you knew for whom they act, as I do. It is true that James Fitzmorris who in this country called himself an earl without being one was a knight and the cousin of an earl. But if you and the other gentlemen of this country ask me who are the lord bishop and the others [?] you must please ask him if he was brought up to steal or mind cows, or, to put it better, both. One of his masters, William Hall, a robber and pirate all his life, fled his country to escape hanging. John Fleming fled his country for bankruptcy ; as for the maintenance of the truth shall be maintained against those persons or better men than they if they put it in question. For the pacification of the land I am come to this port, and when I am gone, my intention will be seen by what has passed. Touching those gentlemen and myself, we will leave the quarrel for when we meet. But I think that if the bishop is well-advised he will find it better to be a sexton in Spain than a bishop in Ireland, and the captain, to go with mules here than to mind cows in Ireland, lest they be taken in the rear like their Captain Fitzmorris, as happens to such traitors. The reason why I did not take the ships was that they were anchored below this town, which is a royal port, and I am ordered not to disturb it by reason of the existing treaties. And if I should take them it would be a bad job for your lordships, whose illustrious persons would be forced to maintain those vagabonds by charity. And I beg you to send and show this letter to the Count, because the translation has to be shown elsewhere. If I knew where he was I would not trouble you with this. You are aware that it was with maintenance from this port of Ferrol that those gentlemen started who took from us a bark of Plymouth, from whence we come, which was the reason why we were ordered to arm against them ; and the answer given here is that they have nothing to do with those who serve the Pope. The reason why I do not now come ashore here, as I have been requested, and as I have disembarked elsewhere in Spain, is as I think you will be able to see from this letter. (Signed) Jacome Saides. On the back : 'the bishop' followed by a list of arms (in Spanish) similar to that in the 'Advertisements' of June 2. Sp. 3 pp. [Spain I. 39.] (A translation will be found in Ireland, Vol. LXXII, together with other correspondence on the same subject.)
March 19. 219. Another copy of part of the above, but signed in full. Endd. : The copy of the first letter sent to the Allcalldye Ryall of Farroll. Sp. 1 p. [Ibid I. 39a.]
March 19. 220. English translation (somewhat inaccurate) of the above, in a different hand to that in the Irish papers. Endd. by L. Tomson : Copy of a letter of James Syda to certain magistrates in Spain. 3 pp. [Ibid. I. 39b.]
March 20. 221. COBHAM to BURGHLEY.
I have heard and clearly perceive by your last that Spark the scrivener is fallen into decay, and that the Queen would mislike his having the reversion of those offices of the Usher of the Receipts. I know not who has been his means therein, nor have I received, as you seem to be informed, any 100 or other sum to grant my goodwill therein, as he must needs confess. Now however that he is in distress, having in some ways had friendly dealings with him, I would be loath to heap coals on his head, or in stirring therein perhaps offend some other. Therefore I refer the consideration of his reversion to her Majesty's pleasure and your liking. I have covenanted with him to be my deputy, which in honour I am bound to acknowledge ; submitting myself, if it be not for her Majesty's service, to do as shall be found convenient in that behalf. I am further given to understand that he 'pretended' to shift himself into France, and as it is said, for money that I 'should owe' him, which surely is nothing so ; for all accounts between him and me were cleared on the 1st October last, as this bearer can 'apparently' certify. Therefore I am that way somewhat 'injuried.'Paris, 20 Mar. 1579. Add. p. [France IV. 32.]
March 20. 222. [COBHAM to the SECRETARIES.]
Since the king last came to Paris, he has for the most part kept his cabinet, partly owing to indisposition, partly through the extremity of the weather, for much snow and bitter frosts, which have continued this s'ennight, so that he did not come down into his dining-chamber till two days ago. The first day as he was at dinner M. Pibrac, a man much esteemed, and 'in expectance' thought fit to be Chancellor and Keeper of the Seals, 'governed' him all the dinner-time, which was somewhat noted. Next day the king repaired to the Queen Mother's chamber to sit in council, after which consultation 'some speeches have been delivered that the king should pretend to make show of wars with King Philip.' Howbeit, it seems as yet far from any such purpose ; but her Majesty shall be advertised according to the sequel of this motion. M. d'O has procured his Majesty to assign to M. Rambouillet 20,000 francs with a yearly pension of 4,000 to give up his Captainship of one of the French guards to M. Manou, brother to M. d'O. Yesterday the king commanded him 'to be delivered his patent,' and to take the oath for that office. He further promised Rambouillet that M. de Pyn shall surrender to him the government of Metz, and that in recompense de Pyn should have the next vacant 'room' of Marshal of Frances with other favours ; but he is not at present removed from Metz. Monsieur has sent to the king by la Fin that he would be loath to enter into the action of the Low Countries without his command and furtherance. He has taken his seal from the Bishop of Mende, the gentlemen of his house having been ill paid. They say he means to bestow it on M. Perot, a man esteemed to be wise and just, and secretly somewhat affected to good religion. They certify from Saluces that la Valette has persuaded his cousin young Bellegarde to submit to the king and surrender his charge, whereon some of his father's captains have retired into the castle of Saluces. Other affairs of this country remain as I have before written. From Spain and Portugal we hear that in Portugal they are not thoroughly united ; for whereas a sentence or two had passed against Dom Duarte [qy. Antonio] whereby he was judged illegitimate, since the death of the Cardinal-king he has procured a bull from the Pope that his cause shall be heard and judged by the Pope's nuncio and the Bishop of Lisbon only and jointly. So the matter is not yet decided, but many of the commonalty ally themselves to him. Notwithstanding this uncertainty, they have appointed 8,000 horsemen, armed with 'lances de Gay' [= lanas zagayas] to be in readiness between Coimbra and Lisbon, with 25,000 foot, well-furnished. They have further sent to all parts of their frontiers certain principal personages to gather the armed men and prepare to resist the enemy when they are assaulted. Dom Duarte de Meneses is to command in the country of Algarte [sic] on the coast, and Don Diego de 'Zzotsa' [Souza], who was general on the sea when the late young king passed into Barbary, with command in that quarter of the realm called 'Lemtesio' [Alemtejo] which is the next frontier towards Castile, where it is thought King Philip will make his first entrance. The young Duke of 'Breseilles' [Barcellos], eldest son to the Duchess of Braganza, as he returned from Barbary duly ransomed was at his first landing at San Lucar entertained by his kinsman the Duke of Medina Sidonia, but is now detained there against his will. Howbeit, the eighty other gentlemen who returned in his company have been suffered to pass into Portugal. Dom Luys, Count d'Atogia [Atocha], viceroy of the Oriental Indies, wrote to the Cardinal-king in his own name and that of the rest of the gentlemen and captains in the Indies that rather than the Castilian king should possess their conquests, which they had obtained with many travails and loss of many lives, they were resolved to betake themselves first to the Turk or to some of the Indian kings as subjects ; beseeching the king and Council to consider deeply of this matter and their determination. The letter was read to the Cardinal-king some days before his decease. The Catholic king caused his eldest son to be sworn Prince of Spain at Madrid, on the 1st inst. The Duke of Alva is sent to be the king's General of the Army. There are some in Portugal who would be content to have the realm governed hereafter by some senate, in the form of a commonwealth, to take away this division and dissension. These are the last advertisements from Spain. It is now given out here 'in the favour of' the Pope that he will take from King Philip the 'Croysados' and other grants of spiritualties, because his forces are to be employed against the Christians. It is however sufficiently known that the king has paid for his Catholic pardon, and that secretly the Pope's power and will is with him. [The rest from copy, see No. 223.] Perhaps he 'thinks long' ere the army be employed against those whom they call infidels and rebels to their 'ceremoniald' Church, the which their indisposition and bloody zeal God turn on their own heads.Paris, 20 Mar. 1579. Incomplete. 2 pp. [France IV. 33.]
March 20. 223. Copy of above in Letter-book. [Ibid. IV. 40 (40).]
At end is : here endeth the dispatch sent by Charles, and followeth the packet sent by Adams the 27th of March 1580.
March 20. 224. COBHAM to BURGHLEY.
Queen Mother is well amended of her sickness. There have been some consultations lately held in her chamber, on which rumours have been spread that the king is disposed to have war with King Philip. Since however the king's mind is known to be far alienated from war, and his coffers bare of money, and the divisions within this realm yet continuing with their diffidence among the greater sort, it is judged that all such politic speeches or brags are delivered rather to please the Portuguese than upon any sincere intent. It is also said here that Monsieur 'has or should levy' soldiers for his enterprise in the Low Countries ; but as it is known that he will not enter into so great an action without the king's consent, it is deemed the cause will be passed with many procrastinations and little action. And this opinion is made good, for the king has declared his unwillingness to deal with the Flemings, being subjects of another king rebelling against their natural lord ; except these gentlemen now come from the Prince of Orange can persuade Monsieur. News from Spain and Portugal as in the last. In this sort the estate of that country remains, and not yet united, nor the right of the Crown confirmed to any person by the consent of the whole realm. The Duke of Guise is at a house of his wife's near Dieppe. It is said he will return some day this week.Paris, 20 Mar. 1579. P.S.As I was dispatching this bearer, Bluemantle delivered me your letter. I shall not fail to 'accomplish the effect' of it, and send answer with expedition. Add. Endd. 1 pp. [Ibid. IV. 34.]