Elizabeth: March 1580, 21-31

Pages 194-212

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, 21-31

March 21. 225. The CAPTAIN of FERROL to CAPTAIN SYDEE.
Do not be surprised that we should have taken up arms, having seen that you did not want to anchor where other vessels usually do, but made as though you wanted to carry off two of his Holiness's ships that were in this port, saying that they were Irish, and vassals of the Queen of England and traitors. To this I reply that we hold them for persons of importance, and highly respectable men, and we are not breaking the peace between his Majesty and the Queen ; rather it is you that are breaking it, and we want to keep it, all being friends. Wherefore I beseech you for your part let the friendship between his Majesty and the Queen be preserved, for it is of old date. And if you think to do anything else, pray pardon us if we are as ready to attack anyone who wants to annoy us, as to defend ; for we are men like yourselves and the rest. And do not be speaking evil of the Irish, especially of the lord bishop, whom we hold in this country above our heads. Your wish to fight a duel in this place cannot be allowed ; but do us the favour, you and those gentlemen, of not insulting the bishop and the count, and for the rest we will be your servants in all reason.Ferrol, 20 March, 1580. (Signed) The Captain Juan Pita da Beiga. Add. to Jacomes Seyres. Endd. Sp. 1 pp. [Spain I. 40.]
I have received yours, in which you say that they were in arms because they saw that I did not anchor in the ordinary harbour. Looking to the treaties between the Queen my mistress and the King of Spain it seems to me that any part of the harbour is as free to me as to the ships that anchored there, called the Pope's. Whoever told you that I made as though to seize them, must have seen badly, for I have no intention of touching them in a port of the King of Spain's. I know and say that they are traitors ; let those of good intelligence judge. If they see the truth and do not dare to publish it, let them keep it to themselves ; and if they take them for respectable men, many discreet persons are living in error. I have nothing more to say about the bishop, lucky man, since so many illustrious gentlemen hold him in high esteem. With regard to the count we do not yield to you, since we hold his lordship in the same degree as you the bishop ; without infringing the loyalty we owe our Queen. You say that you are not breaking the peace, but charge us therewith. My actions show, and will show. I have no more to write except that I am somewhat affronted by your saying that we esteem you little ; for as you say we have done no injury in this place. There is nothing to complain of, nor can it be said that we have given them any annoyance. For my part, you gentlemen may see that they do not infringe the treaties as you charge me with doing ; for I have no intention of doing so. What you say about not fighting duels, I do not understand ; but if you have no power in that matter, neither am I, as I have said, come to annoy any vassal of the King of Spain. Our Lord guard the illustrious persons of yourself and the rest of the town-council, and may God grant the Count as much health as I desire for myself.From this port, 21 March 1580. Copy. Endd. Sp. 1 p. [Ibid. I. 40 bis.]
March 21. 227. The 'REGENT' [President of the Court] of CORUA to CAPTAIN SYDEE.
It grieves my soul that vassals of the Queen of England come to annoy those vassals whom she has in the ports of this kingdom ; and still more when natives of that kingdom are treated and received as it is right they should be in all the ports of this coast. I am sure that the Queen will not be pleased with such news, looking to the relationship, peace and concord which exist between the two realms. I will receive you in private if you think it necessary that in any matter such order should be kept as all those who have recourse to these ports are wont to keep, without alteration. A certain English ship was maltreated of late, as many others from these realms and from other parts must have been. Those who did the mischief got into safety betimes, though orders had been given to seize them, and the ship which you say you wanted to board is sequestrated till the case can be heard and justice done to the injured party. I hear that you have written much to the Justice of Ferrol, and complain of his having wished to take arms. I have much more reason to do so, since without regard for order you wanted to board the ship that was sequestrated ; still more knowing the obligation that in this realm to defend traders and all who come peaceably to its ports. And as I do not want to have any occasion to do so, use all convenient diligence and pass on further, for it would grieve me. I say no more.Corua, 21 March. (Signed) El licenciado Antolinez, Regente. Add. : el seor Seydes. Endd by Sydee. Sp. 3 pp. [Spain I. 41.]
March 21. 228. RALPH LANE to BURGHLEY.
Yesterday came to me out of the west the master of a ship, who was in 'Calys' on the 1st of this month ; and brought me thence such news as I think not unfit to advertise you of, though I hear of your pain, which I am right sorry for. The news are these, and that for certain, as he constantly affirms : The five Governors of Portugal have dispatched commissions to all their signories both in the East Indies and in Africa, willing their governors to have great care of all their charges, and in no sort to resign them into the hands of any whatsoever without the great seal of Portugal, what other warrant soever shall be offered to them. Tangier and other towns in Africa have answered, assuring the Governors that they will perform their commissions to the uttermost. The King of Spain prepares to go to Guadalupe, and has written to the Governors of Portugal to have good regard to the performance of universal justice in their country, as though he took himself to be their king. But the Portugals have, it is said, 'purchased' a new bull from the Pope to the 11 arbitrators of the right to the kingdom, that they should have special consideration of certain points in favour of the Duchess of Braganza's and Don Antonio's titles, which will ask a longer time to decide them than was looked for by a great deal. The whole country is marvellously inclined to Don Antonio. And it seems as if the Portugals will all die before they subject themselves to the King of Spain. The Portugals have levied 10,000 foot and 6,000 horse for their defence. Touching the news of Spain, they are that the king's armada is very great, and that 30 of the smaller barks are 'cumen' off as far as Biscay. On Feb. 27 the Duke of Alva was proclaimed general both by sea and land, and was coming down from the Court and looked for 'very presently' to come in person to be invested in his charge. Upon the arrival of the Pope's bulls lately sent from Rome, all opinion of motion towards Portugal is ceased in both Spain and Portugal, for the decision of the right is wholly referred to the order of justice. Further he tells me that the King of Spain has made all the nobility swear homage to the prince his son. But that it is not known otherwise than by conjecture to what parts the army is meant, but greatly mistrusted to be for these parts, or some service for the Church, since the Duke of Alva is proclaimed General, as this fellow constantly affirms. If you had been well, I had brought him to you ; but having most urgent cause upon a seizure made of certain goods that belong to my patent of transportation, for delivering 600 aboard to a pirate, so send him back again to-day. My humble suit to you is that I may have your letters patent to the sheriff of Dorsetshire, the sheriff of Poole, the Customs comptroller [sic] and treasurer of the same town, to stay such goods as by one Peter Vogleman, a stranger, were lately bought of a pirate, until by order of law he has answered such matters as I am to charge him with for conveying money to Clerke and other pirates.21 March 1597. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Spain I. 42.]
March 21. 229. [The QUEEN] to the ESTATES.
We had hoped to receive from you other contentment than we have hitherto done in the matter of our letters respecting the debt due to Palavicino and Spinola. We have therefore, being infinitely importuned by them, dispatched this bearer to represent to you what it is that we desire and expect to see promptly resolved and executed by you therein, to put us out of this trouble and the clamour of those merchants. We have given more ample instructions to the bearer to represent this on our behalf ; and beg you to give him credit as to ourselves, and to send him back without delay, with a resolution to content us.Westminster, 21 March 1579. Draft. Endd. Fr. p. [Holl. and Fl. XIII. 17.]
March 22. 230. HODDESDON to BURGHLEY.
Experience of your courteous acceptance of my rude letters emboldens me to write to you of my proceedings with Grave Edzard touching the affairs of the Merchants Adventurers. Although at my first coming I was invited by him and very courteously entertained, as I reported in my last of the 15th inst., yet I thought to have stayed my second repair to him until the coming of her Majesty's letters in answer to him, sent to her before my coming to London, But the time growing somewhat long, and small appearance of the 'sudden having of the same,' moved me to repair to him on the 16th, when I had audience and conference touching the said affairs of the company, according to the enclosed, in the 'Dutch' language. At which time he opened himself to me, saying he was offered a pension by the King of Spain, which he had hitherto refused, as bearing most reverence to her Majesty, who may command him in any thing reasonable. He is willing for a pension to bind himself, and desired me to signify as much to some of greatest credit about her Majesty. This earl of whom I write is very wise, of a comely personage, about the age of 50 years, not without some impediment of speech. His eldest son is to marry the only daughter and heir of the Grave of 'Ezence' [Esens], a gentlewoman of the age of 20 years. Her father being already deceased the greater part of her lands are already in her own possession. It joins with the lands of this earl, so that in time he is likely to be great ; having already appertaining to this town above 200 sail of good ships and 'boyards,' chiefly maintained by the trade with Dantsic, in corn etc. They have also some trade into Spain and Portugal. The difference between his brother Grave John and him is because he will suffer his brother to have no government with him nor any inheritance in this land after his death. I have had some conference with him by way of entreaty for brotherly friendship to be and continue. He has shown me the wills of his great-grandfather and grandfather, which both dispose the government to the eldest only, ordering that the younger brethren shall have their several portion during life, if they remain unmarried ; but if they marry, then an 'allowance of pension.' For this reason Grave John is still unmarried, and therefore his brother through friendships and allies is much the stronger. I have not as yet been with Grave John, who is at a castle 8 miles from here. He sent me a roebuck ; also his secretary to welcome me. He claims by custom half the lands in equal government. Their father died without making a will. The house is not 'above four descents ancient.' The commons desire but one head to govern. The 'sittewation' of the country for conveying a force out of Germany to aid any foreign prince is well-known to you.Embden, 22 Mar. 1579. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Hanse Towns I. 56.]
March 22. 231. HODDESDON'S report of an interview with the COUNT OF EAST FRIESLAND.
On Mar. 16 I repaired to Grave Edzard, and declared to him that the privileges granted by himself, his mother and his brother to the company of Merchants Adventurers, subjects to the Queen of England, were the chief cause of my coming hither, to establish the merchants' trade in this town. Which could not well be brought to pass without his assistance for the bringing hither of all foreign merchants with such of their commodities as were necessary for England ; the defect of which was the principal cause of our sudden departure before. Therefore we were now to crave his aid for severe regard to be had in the keeping of certain ordinances without which it is not possible to bring the trade to good effect. The first is, to have a special care that all such officers as have any commission to meddle in his territories with merchants should be of good behaviour and just in their doings ; especially that those who judge causes give the stranger justice with expedition, for there is no better means to nourish trade than sincere justice. Likewise that 'customers or tolners' take diligent regard to maintain all men in their due rights and not demand anything more than duty. Finally, that all others as 'wayers,' wharfingers, lightermen, carmen, porters, packers etc. might be straitly enjoined to use the merchants courteously and not require more than due and reason ; for the merchants will not gladly resort where any exaction is used. My second request was, that he would cause a certain, unremovable rate to be set on all manner of coins ; to the end that the merchant might know his certain payment, without which it is not possible for the merchants to establish any such trade as the Merchants Adventurers commonly carry with them to the places where they frequent. For the exchange, which is the ground of all great trades, commonly moves to the place where the Merchants make their residence, and is much hindered, through the want of 'fix' payments, of continuance etc. Thirdly, regard must be had that the toll which strangers here pay be not higher than it is in other ports of Germany ; for small tolls make a heavy purse. All which ordinances, and any others necessary, being severely observed, and his letters written to the Bishop of 'Monster' and 'Osenborch,' the Landgrave of Hesse, the Grave of Oldenburg and other princes of Germany, that the merchants' goods may have safe passage through their countries without taxation from either their officers or others that serve the merchants, there is no doubt but that in a short time he would grow famous and his country be greatly enriched. And in token of the good will the merchants had to this, they presented him with a standing cup of silver-gilt, engraved with their arms, wishing him all success and long life. This he courteously received, and took notes of all that was said, in a pair of 'writing-tables' as fast as I uttered it, and gave present answer himself, saying that he had heard my speeches, and well understood them. To the first branch he answered that our privileges should be firmly kept according to the composition, in which we had 6 years, as he thought, to come. To the second he would give strait order, and look severely to it himself, that our company and all strangers should be well used, with expedition of justice and also defended in all their rights and liberties from the exaction of the 'tolner' or others, and courteously intreated by all other his subjects with whom they should have occasion to deal. As for the rates of money, he has long had a great desire to establish them ; but the difference is so great between the valuations appointed by the Empire and the rates set in the Low Countries, on which the country adjoins, that he cannot well bring it to pass as he would. Yet he will do the best that in him lies to take order therein. As concerning the tolls of strangers, he will cause the rates of Hamburg and other places to be learned, and take order that the toll here be not set higher, but rather lower than those rates, to encourage the stranger to bring his goods hither. Also he will direct letters to the princes of Germany, for the better passing of the merchant with his goods through their countries, whereof he has no doubt, for they are his good friends, and some allied to him. After his answer, I replied to the first point, saying that I did not know of any other privilege than those which are not only granted under the hand and seal of himself, his mother, and his brother, but also promised and confirmed by the solemn oath of all three. Of this for my own part I had no doubt ; and therefore would seek no other, not knowing how to pen the same more effectually, desiring him both for the continuance thereof, and also that there might be a present certain rate set upon all coins payable here. This he promised should be done out of hand, and that our nation should have no cause to complain, so far as we would deal according to what was meant when the privileges were granted us ; which was, that we should be 'freed in toll' of all such goods as we brought hither or transported from hence. It was not thought that we should pass our goods any further, but that the stranger would fetch them from hence, whereby he might receive some benefit from our trade. But as it was used last summer, we made his town but a thoroughfare, 'bearing the name' both of our own goods and of strangers, and so his tolls thereby defeated ; for which cause he willed his 'tolner' to take 'pawndes' of our nation for the toll of such goods as they shipped, until further order were taken. These he told me should be released so far forth as we would look better to the 'premises.' Whereunto I answered that if he would command the said 'pawndes' to be delivered and discharged, I doubted not that such good order would be taken by the Company that he would have no cause hereafter to mislike of their dealings ; provided always that such order might not be prejudicial to the tenor of our privileges granted by him, his mother, and his brother. Whereupon he promised that order should forthwith be taken for their redelivery. This being done, I presented the countess his lady a chain of gold with a device of the Company's arms thereupon in stone, desiring that she would not only continue a good friend to the Company but also a mediator in all causes between the earl and them if any question or difference should hereafter arise ; which God defend. Which chain her Grace very courteously received, with promise amply to pleasure the company in all that she may. And so with thanks I took my leave. Enclosure in the last. 3 pp. [Ibid I. 56A.]
March 24. 232. SALE of a SHIP.
Whereas Geerbrant Waerwyck having a power of attorney from Philip van Aveliers, dated 25 Aug. 1578, caused to be stayed a hulk, 'surging' (gelegen) outside the North dam gate of this town of Middelburg, formerly called the Minion Gale, but now the Star of Portsmouth, brought in by Sir Henry Radclyffe or his assigns, and having sued it in court with three several Tuesdays' proclamations, with one day of releasing, which day by the authority of the Burgomaster and Aldermen, by an act bearing date 24 Dec. 1578, was made by putting up bills to arrive at the ownership of the said ship, according to the custom of this town ; and thereupon for the preferring were appointed by the bailiff Hugo Joos, burgomaster, Robert Jans de Lanoy, and Salvador de la Palma, aldermen ; who having heard the proclaimant, and seen his justification, pursuant to the sentence of the burgomaster and aldermen, dated 22 Jan. 1579, whereby the proclaimant was authorized to sell the ship, provided he should bring the money to the Countinghouse to the use of those that shall be found entitled to it ; and Sir Henry Radclyffe not appearing having been 'put from his action which he might pretend upon' the ship ; have ordained that it shall be openly sold 'by the Utropes to the most enhaulser' [by auction to the highest bidder] after three several crying days, whereof remained for buyer (for he bid most for it) John Patrisen, on the 9 Feb. 1579, for the sum of 91l. 2s. Flemish ; upon express condition that the buyer shall have to the ship, four anchors, two cables, a long hawser, a rope wherewith the ship is made fast, a mainsail (een groot schoverseyl) with two bonnets, a foresail with two bonnets, a great topsail (mersseyl) with a fore-topsail, two spritsails (blinden) with a mizzen (bezaen), four chains with a false netting (een loos bounenet), one cast piece with shot and 'crasbarres' (cruysballen), nine pikes, four halberds, two iron clubs, four shovels, and a drum, 'as good and as bad as all is to be seen' on board, and upon the 'garrotts' where it lies. The buyer is bound to pay his money within a month at latest, so that he enter into sufficient surety, which is subject to the Court at Middelburg. The ship shall be delivered as by the laws of the town at his costs and charges, as she rides in the haven of the town ; and with her appurtenances shall immediately on the conclusion of the bargain (nae de palmslach) come and lie at his charges ; with other conditions as agreed upon. After which promoting of justice, the burgomaster and aldermen 'proceeding to the preference,' and finding nobody with a recognised status to prohibit (op het verbodt bekennt staende) but one Giles le Tor, attorney for Andrew van Assche, pleading before this Court, and having seen his demands, and also by the consent of the proclaimant, who recognised the debt, have preferred the said Giles, and ordered that to him should be paid the sum of 91l. 2s. in part payment of an obligation of 150l. with interest 'after ten in the hundred,' given by Philip van Asseliers and his wife, bearing date 16 April 1576, to the said Giles. After which proceeding the ship with all her appurtenances is adjudged to the said John 'Paterson,' and he is put in possession by the bailiff in the King's name.24 March 1580. Endd. by L. Tomson : The Act of Court for the sale of a ship by M. Asseliers. Dutch. 3 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIII. 18.]
March 24. 233. English version of the above. 2 pp. [Ibid. XIII. 18A.]
I have told their Majesties what you said to me upon the remarks I made to you this morning. They replied that having directed M. de Mauvissire to tell the Queen of England the same thing as you declared to them from her, they hope soon to have an answer ; and that for the moment they can add nothing to what I said to you on their behalf. I thought I would let you know this at once, to satisfy my promise. 'C'est du xxiiime jour de Mars 1580.' Add. Endd. Fr. p. [France IV. 35.]
March 25. 235. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
There is no doubt but that the Pope has a good mind to trouble the state of her Majesty, and King Philip thinks it a most necessary means of taking the courage away from his Low Country men, so that not only are their hearts prepared, but they have, it is thought, joined their counsels and purses to make an enterprise that way. To that intent it seems their forces would be most willingly employed, only that God hitherto goes between them and our harm, preparing some other lets. Therefore as in your letter you well show that Non est consilium contra Dominum, so surely something 'would' be done according to the counsel of the Almighty for the protection of his persecuted and threatened people. And methinks the religious princes 'should' not stay 'at agaze' and see the malicious prevail to root out the glory of the living Creator ; I mean those princes of Germany, who take their ease but too much, seeing the danger prepared alike for them. I have delivered to their Majesties the matter which my lord Treasurer wrote by Bluemantle, perceiving by their answers that they feel the greatness of the cause and consider the dangers, but refer and pass over to her Majesty to understand her opinion of the means of proceeding jointly in the remedy against these extremities offered by King Philip. M. Mauvissire is to enquire the like of the Queen. It seems that because they are here not assured of the union, and doubt their disagreement in Portugal, and that the successor is not yet declared nor any farther association offered by the Portuguese, it is likely that these respects cause them in policy to keep themselves coy ; for it is possible they look to have some further advantage or compact offered by Portugal. I hope to find an Italian who will venture to go and remain in Spain for her Majesty's service, and in reasonable sort. I am seeking also to entertain someone belonging to this king's ambassador in Spain. When I have compassed this, I will advertise you, and seek your further instructions. I have to ask your favour that I may enjoy Mr Wm. Waad's company, whose coming hither I have procured, trusting he is on the way. Notwithstanding, he relies so much on your liking that he would not bestow himself but to your satisfaction. He has left order to receive intelligence at Strasbourg in an ample and sure sort as if he remained in those parts, as appears from his letter which I have received today by Mr Henry Hopton. Mr Hatton, Sir Christopher's kinsman, has been here these four or five days, and went yesterday towards Orleans.Paris, 25 Mar. 1580. 1 pp. [France IV. 36.]
March 25. 236. ADVICES from FRANCE. (COBHAM to the SECRETARIES.)
On the 21st inst. the King assembled the whole or the greater part of his Council, joining with them six of the 'principals' of Paris for his own liking, namely, the President Nuile, Marcel, mdccin Miron, le trsorier Miron, M. de Preoys [gy. Paroy] (alias Luylier) and one other ; who being set the King propounded to them his occasions for money, and that at least 6 or 7 millions of livres tournoises, requiring them to assist him with their counsel how to levy it with the least 'grief' of the people. He thought it most convenient to be taxed rateably on the walled towns only. Answer was made by some of them that it could not easily be done ; since in seeking for a less sum not long ago the 'bourgeoises' had made great difficulty and shown themselves dangerously moved. Upon which speech thus delivered, the King swore that if any of the towns refused this demand, he would make them know that he was chief of one party, using these and other threatening words, so that none of them durst then move for any general assembly of Estates, because he had heretofore shown himself himself highly displeased with the like motion. Then some of the Council declared that when the towns should be moved therein, it was likely they would agree to a great part of the demands, if they might take order and employ the said sums for the 'disbursing' of his debts. Whereat the King, much offended, said they would be his tutors, and so with passion departed. Notwithstanding, they are devising means to levy great sums. The king has put a new imposition on salt, and has commanded that none of his dominions shall go to Brouage to fetch salt. If they do, any other subjects are permitted to assail and spoil them lawfully. It is certified from Lyons, by letter of the 16th, that M. de Mandelot, governor of that town, has passed into Dauphin with two cannon and six field-pieces, together with the company of Maugiron, governor of Dauphin ; having with them 4,000 footmen and 600 horse, to fight against those of the league in that country, who have taken arms for its liberty and retired into the mountains ; and are like to be overthrown if those of the Religion do not join them. As for the matters of Saluzzo, they stand thus : young Bellegarde has joined la Valette, having surrendered the fort of Carmignola and the town of 'Reicell' [qy. Ceresole] into the king's hands, but the captains of the castle of Saluzzo do not yet yield ; whereon Bellegarde and la Valette, with some help from the Duke of Savoy, are battering it with cannon. so that it is thought they will not hold out unless succoured. By letters from Spain it is certified that the plague has consumed a great part of the Almaynes and Italians. Those of Castile and of King Philip's other dominions have granted him to maintain 20,000 men for some months towards the conquest of Portugal. They write that he has not above 70 galleys nor above 50 ships ; and those but in mean order and as yet ill-appointed. The king has lately caused 5,000 soldiers to be levied in the kingdom of Naples, and 3,000 in the Duchy of Milan. Though the Duke of Alva has been appointed general of the land army, it is not understood that he has yet been admitted to the king's presence, but acts as he receives orders by letter and commission in writing from the king. The king has not admitted to his presence the Bishop of Coimbra and Don Manuele de Melo, ambassadors from the Governors of Portugal, but has written them to stay at a town 'as' he shall pass to Guadalupe, where he will give them audience. Fabrizio Colonna is, they write, dead of the plague. The king left Madrid on the 6th, but has appointed the ambassadors to remain there. The fleet remains about Carthagena and Cadiz. It is written that they are arming and putting ships in readiness in Biscay. The Portuguese hve 50 good ships besides the 'army' they have sent into the Indies ; whence a ship has come richly laden. From Flanders 2,000 harquebuses have come to them with some powder. The parliament still continues. They have chosen from it 6 of the clergy, 6 of the nobility, and 6 of the burgesses to join in council with the Governors. They have sent to the Pope requesting him to favour their cause and to send a cardinal with commission to King Philip, whereby he may be 'procured' to dismiss his army, and the cause be decided by way of justice. I send a note of such advertisements as are come to hand touching Monsieur.Paris, 25 Mar. 1580. Endd. 2 pp. [France IV. 37.]
March 26. 237. WALSINGHAM to GILPIN.
I find by your letter to Tomson that there is some stay made by the third member of the town of Antwerp in delivering their bond for the payment of the interest ; which would be strange to me if you did not 'assure' by the word of the Pensionary Van der Werke that 'contentment' would begin the Monday next after the date of your letter. But what I find most strange is that they refuse to be bound for more than one year. The debt is not her Majesty's but the States'. She has, upon their power given her, dealt for them as she would have dealt for herself. She was hardly brought to do so much, but insisted greatly upon present payment both of the principal and the past interest. But at their instant request, and at the contemplation of their extreme necessity, she was content to interpose herself as mediatrix for a longer day and for reasonable interest. At what term the States would pay the principal she knew not, nor could well conceive, considering their present occasions for employment of money ; and therefore for their benefit she was content (which otherwise she would not have done by any persuasion) to make the prolongation for a year, and until they 'satisfied' the principal ; and so she has bound herself, meaning notwithstanding that the debt shall not run on more than the year, unless they themselves be the causers of it, and become suitors to her for further prolongation. I cannot promise them what favour they shall find herein, her Highness having so many extraordinary occasions as she has of employing her money ; and therefore though the like manner of bonds be demanded of them as she has already given, they must not think it strange, considering it is for their good and not hers, and her Majesty has as good reason and is as desirous to be 'answered' her debt, as they are loath it should run on. The obligations both for principal and interest are to bear date from 31 December ; and so you are to proceed with them, and most earnestly to require them to have a care, by moving the States-General in convenient time, that without further prolongation the principal may be discharged at the year's end, giving them plainly to understand that her Highness will not 'enlarge herself' further. Draft in the hand of L. Tomson, and endd. by him : M. to Mr Gilpin, 26 Martii 1580. Written on the back of a letter addressed to Walsingham apparently from Scotland. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XIII. 19.]
March 27. 238. COBHAM to BURGHLEY.
Receiving your letter on Sunday, the 20th, I procured audience the next day ; when finding the King in his chamber alone I delivered to him the effect of what you had given me in charge from the Queen, beginning with the bruits of the Catholic King's army, and lastly the bringing of it about from Italy and other parts, whereon I showed that her Majesty began to conceive within herself some imagination of those proceedings. And now since the death of the Cardinal King and the opinion given of the Duchess of Braganza's title, she had entered into a further thought, moved thereto by the claims of other great princes as well as of some within the realm of Portugal. It appeared to her that the disorder in that realm might the sooner bring to effect the designs of the Catholic King. After she had thus well weighed these causes within her own breast, she began to think it necessary to disburden her mind to him. Therefore her pleasure was that I should secretly 'discover' to him as to her brother and ally, and a prince whom she thinks to be the nearest to her and the most entirely joined in amity, in order to let him know what 'seems' to her of these great preparations and motions ; considering first that whereas the King of Spain is by birth a King of a great entire nation, commanding further and more amply all those islands along the coast of France on the Levant side reaching to the coast of Italy, where he enjoys the Kingdom of Naples and the Duchy of Milan, so that he is esteemed a mighty prince, much redoubted and respected in all Italy, by means of which he has there not only multitudes of subjects at his command, but many factious and noble houses at his devotion, by whose credit he does and always may levy armies to secure any enterprise which he shall 'pretend,' and for the maintenance of any faction [sic, qy. action] he may take in hand, the uncoined treasure which is yearly brought from his Indies, with other merchandise, well enriches him, besides his revenues, taxes, and impositions, which are marvellously much ; so that if to the greatness of his own estate and seat of Castile he should unite Portugal and become thoroughly and peaceably sovereign of the whole body of Spain, his strength will be such that it will be too late to consider and think thereon. To its advancement and strengthening the navy of Portugal will serve to command not only the Levant, but also the Ocean seas ; as likewise the East and West Indies must become his with all their riches and commodities. Therefore since the cause is so weighty that it may not be thus passed. . . [the fragment of Letter-book ends here.] Copy. [France IV. 40 (41).]
March 29. 239. COBHAM to [WALSINGHAM].
This morning the Bishop of Ross has sent to me for a passport for the Abbot of Lindores, his kinsman, who takes with him a Spanish jinnet, and means to go from Dieppe to England, and so into Scotland. I answered that I understood there was so good intelligence between her Majesty and those of that country that it was not requisite to have a passport, knowing that if they should be driven on the coast of England they would be as well used as in their own country. However, I beg you to let me know if I may hereafter deliver passports upon such requests. I am informed of one John Hamner, who has gone to England on the affairs of Lady Morley and others, and as I hear by your servant Fante has been stayed at Rye ; which is well happened, for I am told he has been 7 years a reconciled papist and is known and trusted confidently by the chief papists in London and Hull, and other places of the realm, assuring some of his friends that at his return he will bring with him such enterprise as might be to the destruction of the heretics of England. I am given to understand that Lady Morley imparted to him the intended practices against England, lamenting with tears the state of her friends there. I am requested that if he be taken he may be kept from writing to his friends in France. As I am informed that the Count de Retz on his arrival in Britanny will flatter and offer great courtesies to M. Rohan, so as to nourish the disagreement between him and M. de Laval, which would not only discourage them of the religion but also be prejudicial to her Majesty if there be any pretence from hence, or any means to harbour the Spanish fleet on that coast, her Majesty may, if you think good, be intreated to warn M. de Rohan. They of the Religion lament somewhat that they do not hear tell of her Majesty's favour to them as accustomed.Paris, 29 Mar. 1580. P.S.As I was making up this packet, I heard that Queen Mother has advertised that Monsieur was troubled with a swelling in his throat, through the pain of which he is fallen into an ague, whereon she is sending him one of her physicians, meaning to go and visit him herself, if he do not speedily recover. But I trust it is but a rumour ; I will 'hearken' better to it, and send advertisement accordingly. I send herewith a letter written to her Majesty by Jno. Alardo, who came to visit me ; of whom this bearer . . . . Endd. 1 p. [France IV. 38.]
March. 240. 'A declaration of the great army which the King of Spain and the Pope make, as follows.'
There are come to Spain, from Rome and Naples, 20,000 harquebusiers, from the Duchy of Florence, 12,000 ; 'more' 12,000 'tedescos,' and most of them are pikemen. In Spain are made to the number of 85,000 men, for all sorts of weapons, but the greatest sort harquebusiers. All these are in readiness and appointed to march towards Portugal the 25 of March, unless order come from the king to the contrary. Also 135 galleys with men and munition are all in readiness at a day's warning. They look also for 20 galleys from the Venetians, 12 from Florence, 20 from Naples, and 30 from particular persons. These they make account of to be all in readiness, and it is reported that most of them are made with false 'pavisse' in the waist to 'defend' the seas, as also covered with 'Indias hides,' to 'defend' the seas and succour the men in the galleys. More there are in readiness 25 'aragoseas' [argosies], the least of them of 300 tons, and some of 800, all appointed as men-of-war, and replenished with provision for the wars ; in which they have 700 pieces of brass of all sorts, for 'ligeres,' for bulwarks, field-pieces and battering pieces, with all kind of carriages and furniture in great quantity. They have likewise great provision for husbandry, as ploughs and all ironwork belonging to the same ; and pots, kettles, pans, and great copper pots to carry water. Also they have great store of monstrous chains of iron, which they say are for 'travesing' of rivers, with many kinds of instruments of ironwork to be laid in rivers to destroy shipping. They have also in readiness 23 sayettas, some of them of 100 tons, laden with victuals and apparel ready made of all kinds of cloth, silks and velvets of all colours, and shoes and boots. Also they talk of 5,000 horsemen of arms, to be made ready with all speed to go with the rest. They have also 300 and odd draught 'moyles,' and they say they must have 400 and odd, to draw ordnance and munition by land where occasion shall serve, and for service of husbandry, for which all necessary things are provided ; and when they are fully ready, they mean to take all kind of shipping to be found on all the coast of Spain for their purpose. Also the Alcalde Tezada has taken up in the country of Old Castile the sum of 800,000 hanegas of corn for the provision of the army, which is 'reported' into many places to be ground into meal with all speed, and carriers 'staying upon' it, to be carried to the sea-coast. This I have seen in travelling the country. There are in Biscay 15 sail of ships in readiness, three of 100 tons and upward. The rest are smaller ships, which are to take in victuals there being made ready, as biscuit and great store of flesh, which is to be ready by April 20. Also I was told of a sayeta that 'should be' on the coast of Galicia, belonging to an Irish bishop, which had taken in to the 'sum' of 8,000 pikes, 3,000 calivers. It is commonly spoken of, but I saw it not. The Pope complains, as it is reported at the Court, that the Queen's predecessors gave such a wound to the Church of Rome that they can find no salve to heal it ; and that she has wounded the King of Spain with the like wound, that they cannot find any salve to help them. But they live in hope by this enterprise that they have now in hand to have remedy, that is to say if they obtain their 'pretended' purpose, which is to put or land in Ireland 50 or 60,000 armed men, which they doubt not but to do ; thereby they think to obtain 'health' of their running wounds. The Pope makes a challenge, and says that the right of Ireland belongs to his inheritance, and the right he has he surrenders to the King of Spain ; and they report in the Court of Spain that it is a country very necessary for the said king for many considerations, and stands near to Spain, which is for many purposes and provisions necessary for the king. Also the inhabitants of Ireland are able to live of themselves, and have great store of corn ground, and great store of flesh, and notable goodly fishing ; many good ports and havens for harbouring his ships and to winter his galleys, and a country well stored with many goodly woods and timber to make ships for any service he shall need, whereby the Pope and the king shall be remedied of their great grief. Also they shall do a charitable deed in bringing in the Romish faith, which many years they have been desirous of, and by it they shall 'reduce' many Catholic Christian men, who have long forgone their living for conscience sake. More they say in Spain that since the Queen's reign the realm of Ireland is made the den of thieves, dishonouring her honourable Council, saying that by their appointment there are sent thither to govern the country such persons as remain there as 'rovers and robbers' of true men's goods, and are suffered to make sale of it for the interest that the Council of England have in it ; and how the nobility of Ireland can bear no rule, but live as captives under them to the utter undoing of the country, and in these many years can get no redress for the establishing of the Catholic faith, and to remedy this have of long time been suitors to the Pope to help them ; and he seeing the suit that they have so long made to him and to the King of Spain to stablish the Catholic faith, and considering that most of the nobility of that country are Catholics and that 'the two parts' of them are ready to receive such favour as shall be sent them, therefore the Pope has joined the King of Spain for this 'pretended' army ; with more matters than I remember. Captain Cabreras [qy. Cabretes] a man born in 'Marcelia' and in his youth trained up in the galleys, who is reported to be a man of great wisdom in warlike affairs and fortifications, and in Spain so taken that none is like him, was sent by the Pope and the King of Spain in 1576 to 'peruse' and see all ports and havens with their landing-places and their forces within the realm of England all along the coast, and has a plot drawn out of them how they lie. From hence he departed to Ireland, where he perused that country with the ports, havens, and forces. It is reported that he left no place nor force to be seen, nor landing-place in both realms. He is one to whom much credit is given by the king and all the magistrates of the country, and by his information he has encouraged the Pope and the king for the making of this army, which is to revenge the great injury which they say the Church of Rome and the King of Spain have received by England. This captain, as report goes, makes no doubt but to put the king in possession of these countries within a few months after his departure from the coast of Spain. And as to Ireland he makes no doubt of it, for he has laid his plot so that with the forces he carries with him he thinks that the land will not be able to withstand them ; and that obtained, they shall be the better able to deal with England. They make account to do miracles with their galleys for landing their soldiers in any places they please, and afterwards to lay part of the galleys in such place as shall 'disappoint' any aid that may come from England ; for they say they know all the shipping-places in England where any aid shall come from, to land : and that after they have landed such soldiers as they shall think needful for Ireland, the rest of their navy shall proceed towards the coast of England to keep England so occupied that they shall forget Ireland, though thereby they should lose 40,000 men. 'What more' they live in hope, and say that the king has many friends in England who are of the best sort, and when they see the force that he sends, they will not let but favour them, or to make insurrection in such parts of England as shall be a furtherance to their pretence. This ingenious captain has also encouraged the Pope and the King of Spain to this industry, and fears no force that her Majesty can make to let their purpose. He says that he knows well what army she is able to make, and how they are provided by land and by sea, for he has seen all England, both cities and towns, especially all the shipping, which is her Majesty's sole force ; and for everyone of her ships they will have another as good, if they should come abroad. 'What more' he is assured she will be at no such cost to set forth all her shipping, until they have obtained their purpose ; for the ships are all together, and with the wind which shall serve them her Majesty's ships cannot come abroad to annoy them till they have gotten their landing-ports, and when they have got in, they will be as bulwarks against her shipping. The king departed from 'Madrill' to 'Aranioyce,' which is 7 leagues off, on March 4, intending to stay there for the Duke of Alva, who is 'pretended' general for the army by sea and land ; and there having met with him and many other noble captains, as the Duke of Brunswick, who is general of the 'Tudescos' and Don Pedro de Medicis, general of the Florentines, with 25 or 26 captains of the Romans, 'as' part of the names of them I give in particular, he intended to remain 20 days and thence go to Our Lady of Guadalupe, to remain there the Easter-week, and thence to march all his captains and soldiers for Portugal. And it is given out that Portugal is the cause of his wars ; also his shipping and galleys shall come in to Portugal and the coast of Galicia. I understood by credible men in the Court that this army goes for Portugal colourably for the service of the former pretence, and that in all the realm of Portugal are not made above 5,000 men, who are also colourably made to follow this pretence ; for that the King of Spain and the churchmen of Portugal with the principal magistrates of Portugal are all agreed, except certain persons who are of small force, and small account to be made of them, so that all these men of war shall pass through Portugal, and be shipped from thence and from Galicia. In the same hand as the translation (in Irish papers) of Captain Sydee's letter, No. 218. Endd. as heading ; 'Duke of Florence aid' added by L. Tomson. 6 pp. [Spain I. 43.]
March. [perhaps 26th, on which day Walsingham sent a packet.] 241. [WALSINGHAM] to [COBHAM.]
Upon confirmation of your news of the King of Portugal's death and of the coronation of the Duchess of Braganza, conceiving thereby that the King of Spain shall be sufficiently occupied with the enterprise of that nation, without attempting anything elsewhere till that be achieved, we have altered our purpose for the setting out of our ships. Yet hearing that an Irish Bishop with the Pope's support and assistance is making preparations in Biscay to come to the aid of the rebels in Ireland, we have given order that five of her Majesty's ships shall repair to the western coast of the realm, to impeach the descent of the foreign assistance ; being the rather moved thereto, that we have lately heard from thence that upon the arrival of two Spanish shallops with new supplies, the rebels are greatly comforted in hope of further assistance from Spain, while divers who before made good shew of obedience are now revolted to them. Nevertheless, the Lord Justice and the Earl of Ormond having already received from hence supplies of such things as they wanted for the prosecuting of the said rebels, are now acting against them, in hope to distress them before the arrival of any Spanish aid. They give out that they look for support from France, and that preparations are being made for the purpose in Britanny. Wherefore you may do well to send some meet man thither, who under colour of seeking some ship that has been distressed at sea, or weather-driven into those parts, may travel along the coast to discover whether any such preparations are being made there ; a matter I was wont upon like occasions to put in practice when I served in your place. Touching the proceedings as well in the Low Countries as in Scotland, you will see by the enclosed how things pass there. For information of your warrant and your suit, Mr Secretary Wilson and I will when we conveniently may do our endeavour to procure that at her Majesty's hands that shall be to your contentment and surety. Draft in hand of L. Tomson. 1 p. [France IV. 39.]
March. 242. 'The names of the nobility and principal personages which have the present managing of the affairs of Portugal, anno dom. 1580.'
The Duke of Braganza and Donna Catherina his wife, who make pretence to the Crown of Portugal. The Duke of Barseilles [Barcellos] son to the Duchess of Braganza. Don Antonio, natural son of Don 'Luigi.'
The 5 Governors :
The Archbishop of Lisbon : Francisco de Saa, Lord Chamberlain to the last king Don 'Anriques' ; Don Diego Lopes de Sousa, at present Governor of Lisbon ; Don Joan Mascarenhas ; Don Joan Tello, sometime ambassador at Rome.
Governors of provinces and commanders of places :
Don Diego de Sousa, Governor of 'Lentesio' ; Don Duarte de Menesis of Algarve on the south east ; Antonio Monisbaretto, who was governor of the Indies, and now governs the port of Setubal and the country of Ribatezo ; Don Diego Menesis, appointed governor of the Indies, now stayed and assigned to be governor of all the frontier places on the west of Portugal, and of the port of Lisbon ; Don 'Giorgio' de Menesis, general of the army by sea ; Francisco Barreto, maggiordomo, who was sent by King Sebastian to govern between the rivers Douro and 'Minius' towards the north parts ; Manuele de Melo, montero maggiore, who was sent with the Bishop of Coimbra in embassy to the Catholic king, and appointed to be governor of the country of Beira on the east side of Portugal ; Don Duarte de Castel-Branco, proveditor and distributor of all munitions and victuals, and other such principal things. Endd. 1 p. [Portugal I. 26.]
Feb. 9 to end of March 1580, and Jan.-Mar., 1581. 243. Forty pages apparently from Sir Henry Cobham's letterbook, containing copies of letters to various persons. They have been calendared under their respective dates. [France IV. 40.]
End of March? 244. A collection of documents relating to the Portuguese succession.
(1) 'The true copy of an article contained in the last will and testament of our sovereign lord King Henry of famous memory.' He has referred the whole cause of his successor to be tried by the course of justice, and leaves the succession 'to him upon whom right will cast it ;' charging all persons in the realm 'that as soon as any person shall be thereto nominated either by myself or by the judges thereunto appointed they do forthwith receive him as their sovereign lord.' He commends to such successor the defence of the Catholic Faith, and that he will maintain the Holy Inquisition as most necessary for its establishment and continuance. Also the religious orders, of St. Jerome, St. Francis and St. Dominic, with the order and fellowship of Jesus, and lastly the colleges and universities wherein so many persons are instructed. Endd. by L. Tomson and in two other hands, the last : Bundle of matters touching D. Anto his right to Portugal, 1579. p.
(2) Two pedigrees of the Portuguese royal family, in both of which Don Antonio is called 'unlawful' or 'bastard.' Endd. 3 pp.
(3) Another pedigree in Lord Burghley's hand. 1 p.
(4) 'The reasons whereby Katherine the Duchess of Brigance doth claim the Kingdom of Portugal.' 'The reasons whereby Raynutius Farnese, son to the Prince of Parma, doth claim the Kingdom of Portugal.' 'The reasons whereby the King of Spain etc.' 'The difficulties of the disputation, if the doctors of both sides do stand upon their points.' 'And much of the difficulties do consist whether idem ius sit in Regno quod in feudo. Et utrum regnum deferatur iure sanguinis an iure hereditatis. Et utrum filus ex fmina debeat prferri fili ex masculo in Regno quemadmodum in feudo.' Endd. 3 pp.
(4a) Another copy of the same, in a later hand (Sir J. Williamson's clerk?). Endd. 3 pp.
(5) Account of a vision seen by Alfonso, King of Portugal, when about to fight with Ismael and four other Moorish Kings, and related by him to certain chief men of his realm, Oct. 30, 1152 ; together with his institution of the arms of Portugal. Endd. Principio de Reyes en Portugaly origen de sus armas. Latin. 2 pp.
(5a) Another copy of the same. Endd. as above. 3 pp. [There is no indication of the date of these two papers, but they probably belong to a time when Portuguese matters were of interest in England.] [Portugal I. 26.]