Elizabeth: April 1580, 1-10

Pages 212-227

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

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April 1580, 1-10

Andr Jesse, heir of Jehan Delpuech, deceased, Guillaume Brye, and Guillaume Bohier, merchants of Toulouse, inform us that four years ago and more they brought an action in London to recover the sum of 2,200 sterling guaranteed to them by sundry merchants of London on certain woads shipped from Bordeaux in April and July, 1575, of which sum about 2,000 crowns still remains owing, the guarantors refusing to pay it under the persuasion of one Acerbo Bullutelly [Vellutelli] of Lucca, resident in London, on the pretext of certain enmities which he has against the merchants of Toulouse aforesaid, and endeavouring not only to keep them out of the 2,000 crowns remaining, but to make them restore what they have already received (touchs) in virtue of a judicial decision in their favour ; in such wise that these merchants our subjects have not since that time received any summary justice owing to the delay that has been used till now, for all their solicitation, which we are sure is against your wishes. We have therefore thought good to write this line to pray that you will have justice well and promptly administered to our merchants that they may recover their dues without wasting more of their time (? sans les consommer davantage) as befits the amity between our realm. We have charged our ambassador M. de Mauvissire to make this request more in detail. Paris, 1 April, 1580. (Signed) Henry : (Countersigned) Brulart. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. Fr. Broadsheet. [France IV. 41.]
April 2. 246. HODDESDON to BURGHLEY.
In my last, written the 21st ult. I advertised you both of 'Grave' Edzard's desire touching a pension and of his estate, power and alliances ; also of the commodious situation of this country for the service of England, and of the occasion why he and his younger brother are at some variance. Since then through some conference with him, in which he uses me not as a stranger and one of my calling, but rather like his familiar friend, I perceive that he desires the pension more in respect of honour than for any gain. He imparted to me further, that if her Majesty would make him one of the Order of the Garter, so that it might appear he was in some estimation with her as well as his brother, there would be no want of readiness in him to show all honour and duty to her, as well as such friendship to her subjects as lay in his power. I told him that I would make some of chief authority acquainted with his desire, which I thought would be accepted in very good part. If it may please you to further the matter, there is no doubt that with the honour 'employed' upon the elder brother and pension given to the younger, this country will be wholly at her Majesty's devotion and a firm friend to the state of England. It is given out in these parts that her Majesty of late seeks much to the Hanse Towns, having it is said offered them their ancient privileges in England, so far as the Merchants Adventurers may be restored at Hamburg only. And that you may perceive I do not write this without some ground, I send the enclosed letter which I received three days ago from 'Grave' Edzard in his own hand, by which you may understand that the 'Hanzes' are still like themselves in using their accustomed manner of bragging. My hope is there is no such matter offered as their speeches import ; especially seeing by experience we find this place so good that having the benefit of it we have no need of Hamburg or the 'Hanzes,' but may well be without them who are so desirous to exclude us. Yet 'some disordered' among us, who have no regard for the honour of our country nor your Lordships' decrees, will by no means abstain from trading to Hamburg ; whose abuse, or rather contempt, I hope by your furtherance will be shortly redressed, so that the whole body of our Company who for the most part are content to 'traffic in order,' be no longer hindered as hitherto through the unruly affections of particular members. Touching Groningen, it is so straitly besieged by 'Battalense' and his people that no man can pass out, but he must fall into 'their danger' ; and if aid come not soon, it is thought they will deliver up their Governor to the States, and yield to some agreement. They of West Friesland have lately expelled all the religious out of their cloisters and monasteries, and begin to set up preaching in divers places.Embden, 2 April 1580.
On fly-leaf :
Translated out of High Dutch.
An extract out of a writing to us delivered.Edzardus. 'The Queen of England has lately sent a letter to the towns of Lubeck, Hamburg, and Bremen, and offers to the towns of the Hanse to confirm and continue their ancient privileges in England, so far as Englishmen may have their old accustomed residence and privileges at Hamburg, about which men are taking no small pains, that the English may come again to Hamburg. 'This was in effect the contents of the points which we to the Courtmaster for a new order could not conceal.
'Edzardus with mine own hand.'
The superscription is : To the worshipful Courtmaster, presently being in the town of Embden. Add. Endd. by Burghley's secretary. 1 and pp. [Hanse Towns I. 57.]
April 3. 247. COBHAM to [?WALSINGHAM].
It is true that as by your last letter you seem to have been advertised, sundry rumours were spread about the Duke of Anjou, as that he had become a Malcontent. These suspicions appeared to be greatly increased by the conference lately 'passed' at Nancy where the Duke of Maine, as I was informed by letters from those parts, declared to Casimir in his brother the Duke of Guise's name that France was so evil-governed that unless some remedy were found in time it might run to ruin. Whereon, he said, his brother requested Duke Casimir to show his accustomed zeal towards France, remembering the bringing-up he had there and the assured friendship of the French nobility, of whom he had received sufficient proof ; beseeching him that he would be 'contented toward' a good enterprise to help them with 8,000 reiters and 6,000 Swiss. Whereon the Duke of Maine 'delivered' that the Duke of Guise would keep those of the Religion in a state of peace. For sure performing of this he promised to deliver into his hands five towns, Langres, Troyes, Metz, Toul, Verdun, and if these were not sufficient he would deliver his children for a pledge. To which Casimir answered that if the Duke of Guise would be the occasion for the restoration of the reformed Churches to that liberty of exercise of divine service according to the peace made when he was last in France, and also if the Churches will agree to his entering with those succours ; and further if the King of Navarre, the Prince of Cond and 'the Chtillons children' may be restored to their estates and recompensed for the injuries done by them of the House of Guise, he would agree to the Duke of Guise's request. So they made no resolution, but passed it over to a further conference after hearing from the Duke. Since this M. Melleroy has returned to Casimir, being employed by the Duke of Guise in that negotiation. About which time there came also M. de la Huguerie from the King of Navarre and the Prince of Cond. This is all I have heard of this practice, which seems to be of the same quality as that pretence for the seizing of Strasburg and many others, which often spring up in this State. When I am further informed, I will not fail to advertise you. Paris, 3 April 1580. 1 p. [France IV. 42.]
We have received your letters by Don Antonio Castillo, late ambassador to our brother your late king, Henry, and are glad to perceive what account you make of our friendship. And where you require of us our favour for the conservation and defence of justice in your realm as in former lifetimes by our 'antecessors' those kings have had, we assure you of our good will therein. And for the demonstration of our good will, we cannot forbear to move you, to whom it appears the government of the State in this interregnum belongs, that all means be used to unite the whole Estates of the realm with you in one consent for the good government of the realm in peace until God shall establish one on the throne of that kingdom ; and especially to stay all factions that may be stirred to disunite your strength. And to that end whatever 'domestical partialities' may arise about the title of that Crown should be speedily by your wisdom compounded, lest the union of your strength at home be dissolved, and ruin follow to that State, as by the wisdom of God has generally in such cases been pronounced, 'That every kingdom divided in itself shall be desolate.' And so we have thought good in this sort to make some answer to your letter, and for the rest meet to be imparted, we refer to the report of the said Don Antonio de Castillo, to whom we mean to give credit as you require, and in whom we find great cause of liking ; and therefore cannot forbear to recommend him to your favour, requesting that by his absence here for the service of his country, he be not as it were 'forgotten to be advanced to such calling as by his wisdom, learning and experience he seems very worthy.'Westminster, 4 April. Draft, with corrections and addition in Burghley's hand. Endd. by him with date, 5 April 1580. 2 pp. [Portugal I. 27.]
April 6. 249. Draft of the above in Spanish. Endd. by Burghley with date, 6 April 1580. 2 pp. [Ibid. I. 28.]
April 6. 250. Fair copy of the above. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. Sp. Broad-sheet. [Ibid. I. 29.]
April 8. 251. The GRIEVANCES of the HANSE TOWNS.
The Council of this Imperial free and Hanse city of Cologne understand that their citizens and others of the Hanse cities trafficking in England, by the instigation of a company of English merchants who call themselves Merchants Adventurers, are with all manner of tolls hindered in their usual traffic. And since this is against the old privileges, and happens with the knowledge of the Crown of England and the magistrates of London, without consideration that English subjects are not troubled with the like molestation in the Hanse Cities, but besides the showing of all reverence and friendship all that in the agreements ought to be done has long been and still is kept, against which the Council is informed that their citizens and other Hanse merchants are charged to pay such tolls and customs as other strangers and are not permitted to lade or ship outward cloths or other English commodities ; And since the intention is 'dommageable,' chargeable, and to the prejudice of the Council and citizens ; The Council determine and ordain that the English merchants now present should enter into sufficient caution and security here in Cologne immediately to solicit and help their matters in England, that to their citizens and others of the Hanse be granted the accustomed free shipping in and out without cavillation or trouble. And if of them any tolls or customs be taken, then their sureties ought to be bound to pay the same here 'free and frank.' Copy. Endd. : The Decree of the Senate of Collen against the Merchants Adventurers upon information given by those of the Stilliard of the ill-usage which they pretend to receive here. [Hanse Towns I. 58.]
April 8. 252. COBHAM to [the SECRETARIES].
Her Majesty may be advertised that the Protestants are very weak and torn in sunder : yet being oppressed by Marshals Montmorency and Biron, who are the two boutefeux in those parts, they are constrained to take arms. On the 6th inst. Fontainelles being sent hither from Biron brought news to the king that the Viscount de 'Torrayne' had taken the castle of Montignac le Cont in Prigord, and other castles on the Vesre ; which he has done assisting Beaupr, who has a quarrel with Pompadour. Whereon the king sent a courier the same day to the Viscount commanding him to live in peace according to the edict of pacification ; writing also to Strozzi, who is now at his bishopric near Toulouse, to do good offices for the satisfaction of all parties. The king has also sent a message to Montmorency, shewing that he much mislikes his taking of towns. M. Chemerault is sent to la Fre to give money to the Prince of Cond for the payment of his garrisons, with pleasing words assuring the Prince of the king's special favour. Since the Queen Mother's departurewho set out on the 6th inst. towards her son at Angiersthe king has bestirred himself in seeking to appease the troubles that were arising in his realm. He entertains the 'opinion' of his journey towards the 'Baynes of Plumiers' [Plombires] in Lorraine, seeming to await the return of his physician, Dr Miron. The other day Colonel 'Chamberg' was dispatched by him to Germany under colour of visiting the frontiers there, and a place fit for the king's lodging ; but in fact rather to understand Casimir's dealing with certain Norman gentlemen who are there. M. Bellivre is 'on his dispatch' towards 'Kezars Luther' to satisfy Duke Casimir in part with some payment and more with promises in consideration of the debt due to him and his captains. From thence he is to go to the Swiss to satisfy them likewise and to 'entertain' their favour with promises that the king is levying money to pay them. He held a Council about the beginning of this month, to deliberate by what means he might with the least discontent of his subjects levy 7,000,000 livres tournoises. After some debating it was agreed that the sum should be taxed only on the walled towns ; and the particular means for the execution of this were referred to M. Bellivre, superintendent of the finances. But I will 'somewhat enlarge' to you of two pretty speeches used by two of the Presidents. The first president, upon the first motion of it, making a cross said : 'Sancta Maria, there is not so much money in all France' ; whereat the king somewhat smiled. The President Sguier following said : 'O est Ruchellai, o est Sardigni, o Diacetto ?' who could serve the king with mountains of money without troubling any of his subjects. So the matter passing on further deliberation was concluded as aforesaid. Captain Hakerstone, a Scot, came from the Prior of Provence with request to the king for commission to levy men, because they of the commonalty of Dauphin seem to be joining them of the Religion in Provence. Lavalette, the king's minion, is come from Saluces, having by money and other means compassed some appearance of quietness in that Marquisate. The ambassador of Savoy informed me that the Duke was the principal means therein, by sending to Lavalette 2,000 crowns and divers Piedmontese of his Miliza to besiege the castle of Saluces, the fort of Carmagnola, and 'Reveilla.' The king of Navarre is selling a barony in Normandy, called Espernon, valued at 60,000 crowns, and a town in Anjou called la Flche. The late advertisements from Spain and Portugal are that certain of the nobility seem to mislike that the Spanish king having released the young Duke of 'Barseilles' from the Moors should detain him ; whereon it is said that he has set him free, and is [sic] thought to be in Portugal 'yer' this time. The Governors of Portugal propose to send a gentleman to Rome with letters and intreaty to the Pope by all means to dissuade King Philip 'to withdraw' his forces which are bent against their realm ; which they would have done by means of some Cardinal sent into their country. The Pope's nuncio resident here, being invited by the King to the ceremony of the 'funeralles' of the two Portugal kings last deceased, would not be present ; which is taken in ill part by their ambassador here. The Portugal ambassador is 'bestowing' 20,000 crowns in ammunition and artillery. He informs me that the Governors have requested her Majesty to make the like provision there ; but it seems to me that except she may be assured by good hostages or way of marriage of the entire and sincere amity of Portugal, their provisions and the forces of their enemies, if they should agree, might prove most perilous. I hope her Majesty will give especial regard to this, and not let pass this occasion which God offers, lest by negligence we perish. They are afflicted with the plague in Lisbon. The general arrest was made at the request of the Portugal ambassador, and upon my motion to Queen Mother I am informed by Brulart that the English ships in general are released. The papists write from Rome to their associates resident in these parts that they should be of good comfort, with the form of the following : That God tries His people many ways, as appears by sundry calamities and misfortunes which have happened to the Church, and now last of all, through the death of the old King of Portugal, whereon now the Portugals continue in their resistance to the Catholic king ; surely a thing suffered by God, to try us further, that we may see our own imperfection. For when this plot was first laid the young king was yet living ; and after him succeeded a most godly man, enjoying the seat. Through the commodity of this, the way was the better made again. Likewise a league was procured with them of Barbary and an amity with the Turk, that there might be no impediment. Notwithstanding it is a miracle to see how the chance fell out through the death of the late Cardinal King, which is now the only let of so godly an enterprise. Certainly a thing not only for the trial of our patience in this mortal life, but also a show of great punishment towards the heretics. For let all good princes be well assured that the heretics of England will not be suffered to continue long in their mischievous proceedings, but a way shall be devised to cut them off 'yer' it be long, and execution made 'yer' they be aware ; I mean the usurper of authority, the puddle of lasciviousness, the very Antichrist, and her wicked counsellors and minions, who always maintain the enemies of God and of His Church. Their heretical devices shall by God's might be withstanded, and then by political means cut off, as you shall hear more hereafter. There is one Lassell a merchant in London, and Watson a lawyer in London, Crouder, Smith a lawyer of Guildhall, and one Whyte in London. These advertise much of the state of things about London. Concerning Scottish affairs I have received the following advertisement, that Thomas Levistone, the 'Lard' of Glandbury, and the Abbot of Lindores went together from Paris on Maundy Thursday to associate themselves with d'Aubigny in his enterprise. The Bishop of Scotland [sic] hearkens much how the 'Lard' Boyde carries himself, being esteemed one of the most politic in Scotland. The papists and Scottish bishops praise the Earl of Shrewsbury very much for his well-using of the Scottish Queen, and that he is a high friend of hers. Howbeit I suppose they say it rather to breed some evil opinion of him, than of any good meaning towards him. There is come hither one 'Nekcalf' [? Metcalf] who passed by Southampton and so from Guernsey, bringing with him letters from Sheffield, from the Queen of Scots and others to the Scottish bishops and Thomas Morgan and others here. Mr Davison, a licentiate in law, is come over, and passed to Orleans. He brought an order for certain sums of money, which he received of two or three merchants in Paris. There is one Dr Knotte come out of Spain, who goes from hence to Namur, to certain Englishmen there. I enclose the articles of them of the Low Countries and Monsieur's answer thereto.Paris, 8 April 1580.
Enclosed in above :
Demands of the States-General of the Low Countries and Monsieur's answer thereunto.
1. That the king should take in hand their cause together with Monsieur, or aid him with all his means, both with money to pay 8,000 foot and 2,000 horse, and also take away all commodities and stop the free passages between France and the enemy.
His Highness is so assured of the king's goodwill, that on the States making choice of him to be their Lord with reasonable conditions, the king will favour his greatness and their preservation by all the means he may. As touching the forces with which they desire to be aided, he being required and entering in person to incur the danger with them will employ the 'best and worst' he can and pay the forces for three months.
2. That the freedoms, preeminences [sic] and liberties may be preserved.
His Highness will maintain the freedoms, liberties and privileges which in former time they have enjoyed.
3. That the Religion which they term fredde [sic] may be freely permitted and universally maintained.
He will maintain the same as it has been agreed by the States.
4. That there be no garrisons in the towns but of those of their nation ; and they shall be where his Highness and his Council shall think meet.
The garrisons with which the towns must be furnished shall be as his Highness may find it needful for the safety of the places.
5. The Council shall be composed only of those of their country, except two or three Frenchmen who shall be permitted according to the order held by the ancient Dukes of Burgundy ; and the elections and nominations to the degrees and offices of the country be referred to the States, to name foreigners or their countrymen at their discretion.
His Highness will establish his Council by the advice of the States, according to their knowledge of the worthiness of the person.
6. They will give to his Highness all the domains of their State for his maintenance, and 160,000 crowns a month for the war.
He will consent that the 160,000 crowns a month which the States will furnish for the maintenance of the war shall be distributed by the advice of his Council and managed by the treasurers of the country. Concerning his own maintenance, he will be content with what shall be thought convenient according to the charges which he has to support.
7. His Highness will continue the alliances and confederations which he shall find necessary to maintain the wealth of the public state.
He will by all means procure to join the Archduke in marriage with such a party as his quality requires.
6 pp. [France IV. 43.]
April 8. 253. D'ABADIE to the QUEEN MOTHER.
The impetuosity and contrariety of the weather has rendered it impossible for me to make more haste in getting here. I arrived on March 28 at Casquays [Cascaes], when I landed in order to go and see Don Antonio de Castres, to learn from him the state of affairs ; who informed me in detail of what was going on in this realm. I gave him your letter and explained my mission as you had charged me. He said that he was always at your devotion, and all that depended on him ; giving me nevertheless poor hope ; accounting that the King of Spain [?] had gained over the chief men of the country, and that the rest would be easy to him, being of small discernment (? pour tre mal aperus). This makes me think that he is of the number ; as I have since learnt. Anyhow, I found the realm going on under its five governors or defenders, appointed under the will of the late King Henry to settle judicial matters. These are in part inclined to the Catholic King. But the Estates have seen to that, and they have been constrained to change their views. Inasmuch as the Estates are not sitting, I had to present your letter addressed to them, to the governors, with the declaration which I made to them and the protest I handed them ; all which was very well received. At my second audience it was ordered by them, being at the Council at Almeyrin, that the protest should be submitted to the procedure made at the instance of the Bishop of Comminges, in order that the parties might communicate about it, and that the clerk in charge of the case (greffier de la cause) should give me an entry (acte) of it to use in due time and place. As regards the Catholic King, he is at our Lady of Guadelupe, where Ambassadors from Portugal have been to represent to him the intention of the Estates and reply to a summons which he had sent them. The Portuguese do not seem much afraid of his forces, and are preparing to defend themselves to the best of their power. The greatest evil is the division among the princes of the country, who all aspire to be the same thing. I have not been to Lisbon, because the danger is very great there and the town is almost depopulated. Those who are left die strangely of a contagious malady, which is generally disseminated through the country. I have talked with some of the aldermen of the town and they have shewn me that they have a private affection to the King of Spain. Nevertheless the distrust which the people have of them has caused them to have so little authority that they could in no way execute their designs. They hold themselves much bound for the great succours that they have from France of great quantity of corn for their extreme need. I have distributed your genealogy everywhere, and given it to all who would. It has not been badly received ; the only objection is the length of time. I hope that with the help of God you will be satisfied one way or another. I have had no news from M. de Saint-Gouard, nor means of sending him mine, because no one coming from Portugal is allowed to enter Spain by reason of the malady ; besides that they are rummaged and searched so closely that no one goes or comes. I shall not however fail to advise him if opportunity offers, and I will often send news to your Majesty. I called on the Duke of Braganza and the Duchess at Almerin, where they are with the governors, gave them your letters and explained to them verbally the commission that I had ; whereat they were much pleased and make answer as you will see by their letters which I send. The duchess told me that in hers she gave you full explanation (rsolution) as to what passed between Don Rodrigues de Lancraste and 54, and that there was no need to write these things in several letters, not that she distrusted me ; and said particularly that they were and always would be at your devotion. The duke has given me a book which he has had printed concerning the claimants' rights, which I am sending you. You will see by it how they account of yours, to which there is plenty to answer. They expect that the justice will be with them. I made the most of yours to them. I do not find the people much inclined to the duke's devotion. Forces he has none, unless it be his own vassals. I will keep on entertaining them, in order to perceive their intentions. All the lords to whom you wrote have withdrawn to their houses ; when I see them I will present your letter, though there is a part of them who are of the P [qy. King of Spain's] party. Touching Don Antonio, I called on him at Santarem whither he has retired. He is in pursuit of the revocation of the sentence which the the late King Henry gave against him, and to have a decision for his legitimation. The judges are the Pope's nuncio and the Archbishop of. He alleges that it will soon be finished. Meanwhile I gave him your letter, and specially informed him of your goodwill in his behalf, and found him no less well disposed towards you. Having communicated with him more in detail he told me his intention, which is to get justice done him and to spare nothing thereto ; always intending to put himself wholly in your hands to act as you may wish, desiring in nothing to displease you. I should have come to such an understanding with him if I had wished ; but finding him in this mind, it seemed to me necessary to refer the matter to your Majesty to take order therein ; inasmuch as he is dispatching the Consul of the French [Pierre d'Or], in whom he trusts, with full memoranda, and power to contract with you. You will be able to do as you wish, according as the matter turns out. The said Consul has always been present in these Courts, and continues with the Estates. He has employed himself as his duty was in all that concerned your service, as I am informed. You will hear from him what has passed here. A gentlemen calling himself the Baron de Montagut has arrived in this town of Santarem dispatched from Monsieur the king's brother to Don Antonio ; and has brought letters and made offers with which Antonio is much pleased. I hear that a great part of the people is devoted to him and a great part of the nobility. The Estates, distrusting the governor and seeing also the preparations of the Catholic king, have decided to take steps to improve matters (pourvoir la millior), and to that end have appointed four colonels in whom the people have confidence and have assigned them each to his province, where they are at present making arrangements and resolved to resist the forces of Spain if occasion offers. They have also made a superintendent of all fortresses to take such steps as he may see needful. They have nominated to the post Don Manuel of Portugal in whom the people put much trust. They have no foreign troops in this realm, and are pretty short of arms. You will see how needful it may be to hold yourself ready when occasion offers, for things cannot long go on in this way. There is not much belief in the King of Spain's advance, since most of his forces are people ignorant of war. He wants to frighten the Portuguese, but they are not alarmed, and have long been hoping for an attack, to stir their hands.Santarem, 8 April 1580. Endd. in English. Parts in italic (not being in brackets) are cipher. Fr. 3 pp. [France IV. 43.] (Enclosure, with Nos. 255 and 256 in No. 300.)
April 8. 254. Decipher of ciphered portions of the above. Endd. by L. Tomson : Advertisements of the Court of Portugal. [Portugal I. transferred to Cipher-book Elizabeth I.]
April 8. 255. D'ABADIE to VILLEROY.
I last wrote to you from Olonne on Mar. 13. I was at sea with much stormy weather all the time till the 28th, when I arrived at Cascaes, where I landed to get the news of the country from Don Antonio de Castres, who told me all that was passing here. Then I went to Almeyrim, where the Governors of the country were, to present the Queen's letter addressed to the Estates of that realm ; inasmuch as they were not content with a copy of the declaration and protest and the verbal representation which I made to them being assembled in Council. It was all taken in very good part, inasmuch as they were hard pressed by the Catholic king, and wished to aid themselves with the said declaration and protest, in order to show the claimants that matters must be settled according to justice and the right maintained of him who possessed it. Whereupon the Governors having granted me a second audience ordered that I should place the original of the protest in the hands of the clerk in charge of the case, by whom an entry in due form would be delivered to me, which would be for use in due time and place. Of this I am sending a copy to her Majesty. I have received no letters from M. de Saint-Gouard, and I hear that the Catholic king has made all the ambassadors stop at Madrid. They are allowing no one to pass from Portugal into Spain on account of the contagious malady which is prevalent in this country, and they are dying in numbers, so that the danger is very great. Further no one is allowed to go about without being examined, in such wise that no man comes or goes. The Catholic king arrived some time ago at Our Lady of Guadelupe. Nothing is said as to his further advance for the present. Two ambassadors from this country went on Mar. 15 to meet him, to represent to him the intention of the Estates of the country, and reply to a summons that he had sent them. I have found great divisions in this realm and many private interests which might in the end be the total ruin of it, great part of the nobility taking the part of the Catholic king. The princes of the kingdom are divided, all aiming to be the same thing (aspirant tous a tre une mme chose) ; while the people generally are resolved to be altogether ruined rather than accept subjection to the Spaniard of whom they have lost their fear, for the enmity that is between the nations. So nothing is resolved yet, and none knows to whom the lot will fall. Meanwhile things remain just as they were. The Ambassadors of the claimants are all here, each intriguing more than the other, and waiting for the Estates to pull themselves together and put an end to this business. I have visited the princes of this kingdom, whom I found well disposed to satisfy the Queen, as I am telling her in more detail in the letter I am writing her. Don Antonio has had from the Pope a provision for the quashing of the decision given against him by the late King Henry. I send a book which the Duke of Braganza has had printed upon the rights of the claimants. He has given it to me to send to her Majesty, who will see the reply that is made as to her right ; which I think can easily be answered. It would be needful to send ambassadors on the King's part, with good counsel to support his right. I am doing all I can for it ; and have translated her pedigree into Portuguese and got it printed [other version : by a friend of mine], so as to let everybody see it and become acquainted with it. They are very glad to see it, and the only difficulty they find in it is the length of time [other version : prescription] ; so that I hope with God's help that in one way or another the Queen may be satisfied. A great many ships have arrived laden with wheat and other goods, which have not been ill-timed, but a great help in their need. For people were dying of famine in this country, so that they had a two-fold malady. I tell them that his Majesty having heard of the country's need had empowered his subjects to ship this corn without paying any dues, for their succour ; as he would do much else in their need. They all confess that they are greatly in his debt. There has arrived in this town of Santarem a gentleman calling himself the Baron of Montagut sent by Monsieur to Don Antonio. I do not know his errand. He is returning by the first vessel that goes. I send a dispatch by him that you may get it shortly. I will lose no opportunity of writing to you, and often advising you of what happens. M. [other version : Mgr] de Comminges is much regretted here ; he has left a good reputation. All the gentlemen to whom the Queen wrote have withdrawn from the Court. It is thought that they are among the King of Spain's supporters. I will not fail if I see them to salute them from the Queen, for in the end they will come back to their first state. They are isolated, and I believe their domestic servants would be against them. I assure you there are many who would desire to have an opportunity of stirring their hands. [In other version : that the Catholic king should attempt them, to cause some movement.] I will write to you by the French Consul who is going home on business, who will tell you details.Santarem, 8 April 1580. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. Fr. 2 pp. [France IV. 44.]
April 8. 256. D'ABADIE to LANSAC.
Practically a duplicate of the last, but with a few variants, and, except signature, in a different hand. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson and another. Fr. 3 pp. [Ibid. IV. 45.]
April 9. 257. COBHAM to [WALSINGHAM].
When I dispatched Mr. Jacomo the Prince of 'La Grand Valachia' had not thoroughly resolved what course he would take in his affairs, because he had not then spoken to M. Vertemont, a secretary of this king, who came to the Court about the 2nd inst. with letters from Constantinople sent by Germigny, the French Ambassador there resident. But now that the Prince has received letters from the Grand Signior's Court by which he is persuaded to return thither, being assured that at the Christian king's entreaty and for the justice of his cause, the Grand Signior will show him favour and restore him to his estate, he hopes that the Queen's letters, of which I showed him the copy that you sent me, will much profit him. Therefore he humbly beseeches her Majesty to send those letters hither, purposing to carry them himself, starting about the end of this month. He beseeches her further to write some gracious letter to the mother of the Great Turk, by whom he is much governed ; also to his first Bassa, Ahmeto, and to the admiral of the sea, Lucialli [l'Occhiali], by whom all this prince's affairs must be managed : thus she will bind him to remain her devoted servant all the days of her life. I send herewith his letter to her Majesty, and he 'moved me' that he might receive her letters by the next, with the copies. I enclose the names and titles of the Grand Signior's mother, and the two Bassas. It is advertised by letter which the secretary brought, that the Grand Turk is arming 200 galleys, which are appointed to be in readiness to depart about the end of this month. Also that last February the Spanish Ambassador coming to the first Bassa's house to have audience of him, was with fury put down the stairs, with 'many foul languages,' and threatened with cudgels ; which happened since the quarrel between the French Ambassador and him. It is in like manner written from Venice that King Philip's Ambassador has been imprisoned at Constantinople, because he would have fled, not finding his entertainment so good as at first. I am told that 'Lucialli' is off Calabria, and protests he is an enemy to the Catholic King, hating the Spaniards. Secretary Villeroy is to-day returned from Monsieur. They say he went to make him an offer to be the King's lieutenant-general with these qualifications : first that he shall not meddle with the finances ; that he may not have power to open the King's packets ; that in all wars the Duke of Guise shall be lieutenant-general ; also that the King would allow him 7,000 crowns a month. But whether this be accepted or 'stayed on' I cannot yet learn ; so that doubts have risen. I cannot perceive, if Monsieur be thus secured to the King, but that the Protestants of France must needs think their ill days and extreme persecution draw near. 'Strosso' is returned from the King of Navarre, whence he brought no hope that the king would be easily persuaded to disarm again but on good and more assured conditions ; though as yet he has no great forces. The captain of Ariole [la Role] M. de Sac [d'Ussac] has at the persuasion of Strozzi left the town and put himself among the Catholics in the castle who 'beat' the town, so that it is thought the town must surrender ; which the King of Navarre takes in evil part. The Viscount of Turenne is resolved to pass into Languedoc to fight his uncle Marshal Montmorency. So every day brings forth new matter, more suspicions, daily alterations of men's minds ; and these affairs proceed in a most staggering and doubtful sort.Paris, 9 April 1580. P.S.The Portugal ambassador, named Don Francisco Baretto, casting anchor about the Groyne, driven by extremity of weather, enquired of certain fishermen what preparations were made for war, or what ships rigged. They said there were six or seven vessels preparing to go out, with 800 or 900 soldiers, 'besonyos,' for Ireland, under the 'conductions' of a kinsman of Pedro 'Melandus' [qy. Menendez.] 1 pp. [France IV. 46.]
You know that by our letter of August 1577, we commanded that 'two years being past,' from that time there might not be laden nor unladen in the coasts of these realms, by Frenchmen, Englishmen, Irishmen nor 'Levantists' any kind of merchandise or victuals or anything to be carried in their ships to any place, salt only excepted, upon pain of losing the ships and merchandise ; and that the justices should command it to be so executed ; and not doing it, or being careless in the cause, or remitting it, then our servant Christopher de Barros, who has charge of the ship-building in those parts should require on our behalf that the same be fulfilled, and advise us of such as do not. And because we are informed that what is contained in that letter has been kept in that lordship of Biscay with great diligence, but is not fulfilled in the ports of Guipuzcoa, but that against the tenor of it they lade, and the justices consent that strangers lade merchandise and other things, which is against our service and to the hurt of our royal rents and customs and prejudicial to the said lordship ; and if four towns on the coast of Biscay kept it inviolably the building of ships might be increased, and more merchandise would come to that lordship and our rents would increase, as also the trade of the said lordship, and the iron and steel that is wrought there, which is its principal trade, would have the better dispatch ; which ceases because the strangers go to the ports of the province with their ships and because the said four towns consent to merchandise being laden 'forth of' them freely. We command all and everyone of you, in your towns and jurisdictions, that you 'look upon' the letter above-mentioned, and that you keep and fulfil it and cause it to be kept and fulfilled inviolably.Guadalupe, 10 April 1580. By command of his Majesty, John Delgado. Translation. Endd : Proclaimed in Biscay the 22 day of October, 1580. 2 pp. [Spain I. 44.]