Elizabeth: April 1580, 11-20

Pages 227-246

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, 11-20

April 12. 259. "A true report of the fearful earthquake which happened generally throughout Rouen, the principal city of Normandy, the 6th of April, 1580 ; written by a gentleman to an especial friend of his."
As the follies of youth were the first cause of our acquaintance, so in the wane of our years I hope firmness of life shall settle us in our friendship ; and as you have advantage of age, so the sweet report of your virtues gives me encouragement of well-doing. It is said you have altered your delight in plays to devotion in hearing sermons ; persevere I beseech you, in your good purpose, wherein you shall find the advantage double. For as good wine not only refreshes the heart but seasons the bottle, so the regard of wholesome doctrine both presents our souls with divine contemplation and turns our frailties into honest actions. Let it not seem strange that I alter my wonted familiarity in writing with such an unwonted exordium : 'when as' separated by the sea, men nourish their natures with their friends' letters stuft full of news, more than with praises, or necessary advice. But to be short ; the news of which I shall give you intelligence was so fearful to the beholders that they were all glad to refresh their consciences with prayers for God's mercy ; which I wish to be performed in such as shall hear of this fearful fore-threatening of God's vengeance, that they may be excluded from the plagues which this following true report presages. On April 6, in the city of Rouen, between 5 and 6 p.m., there was such an universal earthquake that there was no house that did not open its joints, nor church that did not tremble ; insomuch that people ran into the streets for fear that the fall of their houses should give them present death, where many more were hurt with the slates and tiles that fell from the firmest buildings. Further, the very streets trembled, so that people who passed to and fro were glad to take the succour of church walls and suchlike supports ; of which some were entertained with such falls that they bewray the welcome of the hard stones in their battered faces. There fell a huge stone with such thundering noise from the top of Our Lady's church, that neither monk, canon, nor friar durst 'indure within the same' with their frivolous intercessions to make an atonement with God ; so that the people were driven to use their devotion in the churchyard. To conclude the 'amaze' was such that timorous women 'burst out their tears' and the hardiest men quivered with silent fear. The clergy presently clapt on their copes [?] and in general procession cried to a thousand saints for aid, and the godly Protestants, secret in their houses, only upon Almighty God and Christ, so that there were few or none but were buried with fear, fruitless or fervent, and to this day there are no rumours among the people but prognostications of this earthquake. Some divine of Doomsday, some 'conster' the following effects to the scourge which the like earthquake many years past gave to Rouen, not long after which 30,000 died of the pestilence. Some 'hold opinion' that it presages calamities by civil dissension, some hearken after the judgement of astronomers, who, although they hold the cause to be natural, are of opinion that the effects will be lamentable, especially where the impression was greatest. So that although the terror be out of their eyes, the trembling remains in their hearts ; faring like him who after sentence of death obtains a reprieve, without pardon. This earthquake was not only universally throughout the city, but also in divers other port towns in Normandy, as in 'Deepe,' 'Feckham,' 'Coebeck,' etc. 'In advantage,' this is our most true and especial note, that in divers places where the trembling was most vehement some staggered to and fro where they stood, while other some stood firm without feeling alteration. Thus much is generally confirmed and published in print. Speeches of more affright pass through the mouths of many ; but as their strangeness may bring suspicion on the rest which is faithfully reported, I bury them in my ear, holding truth the only beauty of a man's tongue, and falsehood the unrecoverable disgrace of a writer since his fault comes to daily rehearsal. But to my purpose. This report, naked of other garnishing than truth, suffices to light the hearer into his conscience, when the sight of sin shall give his soul as great a terror as the feeling of this earthquake has done to the Normans. Therefore the burden is alike that should make one as well as the other cry out with just Job, Factus sum mihi met ipsi gravis, and to seek ease with prayer and amendment of life, a sacrifice which wrought remission to the Ninevites when their abominable vices had 'set an edge of' God's vengeance. Artemidorus' dreams nor Niphius' auguries are no warrant for the hearers of this fore-threatening to hold themselves free from the vengeance ; for although these hold that the soul of man is replete with such divine knowledge that it forsees mischiefs ere they fall, and gives intelligence thereof, either by dreams or by unlooked-for accidents, yet either give authorities that such forewarnings take their effect as well in our neighbours, friends and enemies as in ourselves ; although for the most part where they be discovered they have most force. Then in such apparent threatening from God, and sin generally abounding, what is he that dare appoint a scourge to another, that deserves death in himself ? Presumption through sufferance is as damnable as despair of mercy ; and therefore unhappy is he that lives in such conceit of security as to imagine that danger cannot fasten on him. The wicked 'Hamon' broke his neck on the gallows he prepared for the Jews. The like was the reward of the false judges that endeavoured the death of chaste Susanna. Many other like contraries of determinate . . . es I could report, which I hold to be needless, for I know your . . ble judgement is confirmed with easy instructions. Yet as I forethink that you will 'depart' these news among your friends, some of whom will perhaps pass them over with light regard, and others give their opinion upon the subject without amendment in themselves, I give this one example as a general advertisement ; which is that as lightning bewrayeth thunder, but not where the bolt will light, so this earthquake, so diversly dispersed, presages bitter calamities. But God knows where or on whom they shall fall, and it is therefore necessary that the hearers hereof who sorrow for their secret sins add this suffrage to their litany : From the execution of thy forthcoming wrath, good Lord deliver us.Rouen, 12 April 1580. Add. to my very friend Mr. Myles Jennyngs, at the Bible, in Paul's Churchyard. (The writer's name in the salutation at the head of the letter has been carefully blacked out, only A . . . . . . . . ger being legible.) 2 pp. [France IV. 47.]
April 13. 260. The KING OF NAVARRE to BURGHLEY.
You have understood by my former letters the perplexity that we were in, trying on the one hand to overcome our enemies by patience, and on the other, seeing fresh occasions every day for losing it by reason of the enterprises, surprises, and plots that were brewing against us. In these difficulties we ask for the Queen's wise counsel, as that of one who has always had a singular care for the afflicted Churches of these countries, and has done me in particular the honour of showing me many testimonies of her good will. But our ill-luck will have us take counsel rather of necessity than of our friends, inasmuch as our enemies, not content with frauds and bad faith, are making war upon us openly, having put armies and artillery in the field against usso far indeed with little enough result, considering their designs and their ill-will. M. du Plessis my councillor and chamberlain-in-ordinary, whom I am sending to the Queen, will tell you all more fully ; credit him as myself. I beseech you make her Majesty thoroughly understand the importance of this matter, which is surely only a beginning compared with what will hereafter follow, if those who have an interest in it do not remedy it betimes. Your prudence and wisdom are known of all men ; your zeal for the oppressed Churches is testified by the effects that have appeared in our case heretofore ; and if it be possible to add anything thereto, I beseech you with all my heart employ it at this moment when it appears that all the enemies of the true religion are leaving their own particular designs in order to destroy us. If in return for all the good offices with which you do not cease to bind us to you I can ever do anything that may be agreeable to you, believe that it will be with all my heart.Lectoure, 13 April 1580. (Signed) Henry. Add : mon cousin le Baron de Burghley. Endd. by Burghley. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. IV. 48.]
April 13. 261. COBHAM to BURGHLEY and SUSSEX.
I have sought for the book of which you wrote to me, and will do my best to 'understand' the author and keep it from printing as much as may lie in me. I heard tell of such matters 'pretended' to be translated into sundry languages, extracted out of divers books by the Bishop of Ross and others ; and now since the receipt of your letter Dr. Sylvio has shown me some leaves of it, but cannot detect the author. I send you the copy of a book which is printed, (but I could not obtain it in print) entituled : De titulo et jure serenissim Principis Mari Scotorum Regin, quo Regni Angli successionem juste rendicat [sic] Libellus. Also I have in my hands an English book lent me, of which the title is : A Treatise of Treasons against Queen Elizabeth divided into two parts, printed A.D. 1572 ; a most perilous book as ever I saw, for the particular touching of the course of her Majesty's state since her reign ; but it has been so long printed I abstain from sending it till I receive your commands therein. Meantime I will have it copied. There are other books privily framing which I will send as they come to my hands ; wishing I could do you service agreeable to your honourable dealings with me, beseeching you to put me out of these cares of want by your favourable means to her Majesty, that I may continue in her service and receive comfort for so many years of travails past. I desire that what her Majesty may grant me may pass in 'some other bodies'' names, whereby it might be employed to the payment of my debts ; otherwise, being in this place I cannot as I understand make any lawful conveyance of it to the answering of my creditors and such like uses.Paris, 13 April 1580. Add. Endd. 1 p. [France IV. 49.]
April 13. 262. COBHAM to [WALSINGHAM].
After I received on Saturday last yours dated the 2nd inst. I perceived that the Queen was pleased that speeches might be 'motioned' for the renewing and further advancing of the amity here. Therefore finding that the King was gone to St. Germain's, and the Queen Mother far advanced on her journey to Angiers, and M. de la Mothe-Fnelon being in Languedoc employed in appeasing the apprehensions which the King of Navarre had conceived against Montmorency and Biron, 'and thereon ready to take arms.' Also he has secret charge from their Majesties to stir up the King of Navarre to employ himself and his friends in the cause of Portugal by such means as they devise. I took occasion to speak to M. Chiverny upon the request of certain merchants, finding him the only person left here of 'entireness' with the king for the like affairs, and a man known rather to favour foreign attempts than civil wars. After some words in the merchants' causes, having their grants delivered me from him under the Great Seal, I told him how I thought that considering the place and dignity he held in the government of the State and the special private favour he stands in with the king, it could not be but he was privy to what I had first 'motioned' from my sovereign, as also to what MM. Bellivre and Brulart 'conferred' with me from their Majesties, which tended to have a league containing matter for an amity offensive as well as defensive, in order that the Catholic army and those alliances that are written of from Italy might the better be resisted ; whereon they said they would consider and advertise me further. Upon my pause, M. Chiverny entered into a large discourse, wherein I specially noted these points. First, he touched two parties in France ; one under the colour of being Catholics, the other under profession of religion, sought to advance their ambition ; notwithstanding they were always the king's subjects, and the easier to be dealt with. But the enterprise of Portugal was of greater consequence, and therefore at once to be 'redressed,' so that hereon a way might be found to have it 'framed' a general cause, in respect that in some or most contracts of amity between the realms Portugal was ever included as he thought ; which point her Majesty might cause to be considered. If it were found so, he esteemed that the Crowns of both France and England were bound to defend that of Portugal, and wished me to further the cause as occasion should afford, which I promised to do. Then he asked me if I had not to speak to the King from my Sovereign on the information of the answer which Brulart delivered me. I said, somewhat, yet not of so great consequence but that I could stay the King's leisure ; the rather since I expected to hear further from MM. Bellivre and Brulart as they promised. And today I heard from him that the King is removing from one house to another, so that it may be these five days ere he return hither. It is now 'informed' that M. de la Noue has taken Count Egmont and his brother prisoners.Paris, 13 April 1580. 1 pp. [France IV. 50.]
April 15. 263. COBHAM to the QUEEN.
On the 14th inst. Secretary Villeroy 'resorted' to me, giving me to understand that he had been yesterday with the king at St. Germain's ; when his Majesty had willed him to shew me that he made account to entertain your Majesty's amity by all the offices he could, holding your friendship dearer than any other. Therefore being advertised by letters of March 25 from the ambassador in Spain that a messenger had come out of Ireland with a request from the rebels for aid, directed to the Pope's nuncio, who forthwith intreated the Spanish king to have some soldiers sent thither at the Pope's charge, upon which the king had given order that 700 soldiers should be embarked from Galicia with good munitions and other provisions towards Ireland, this king thought good to advertise you. I answered Villeroy that you would be sorry to understand the indisposition (sic) of King Philip to be so bent against you that at the request of any of his confederates he will send forces to strengthen your rebels ; but seeing he had so far discovered his intentions you would be right glad of these advertisements, especially as you would receive them from so good and great a friend as the Christian king. As one way for the redress of it, it was necessary you should be informed ; so it were not well I kept this frank and princely dealing many hours from your knowledge. The Secretary then entered into a large discourse of present affairs, concluding how convenient it was to withstand the violence now being offered to the realm of Portugal, as also to prevent the like outrage which might elsewhere be executed. To which I answered that I had 'these other days' let the king know not only your Majesty's conception of these affairs, but also that you wished to be advertised of his opinions for proceeding to action. Lastly he asked me what I understood of Monsieur's cause and of the proceeding therein ; for M. Mauvissire wrote lately that you had by Captain Bowes dispatched a matter to be imparted to the king his master, which the king hearkens after. I said I had as yet no notice of it. And thus after some other conference and discourse we parted. I have employed towards Spain two of your own subjects, whose faith and truth I have received in pledge for the assurance of their dealings in seeking out matter that may in any way touch you. Their names I have certified in cipher to Mr Secretary Walsingham, for their lives would run in great danger if they were discovered in those parts. I have one come to me who was lately in Rome in company of some priests which are here, and are ready to resort into your dominions. His name I likewise signify to Mr Secretary. This king begins to feel and take knowledge of the proceedings of the Spanish king, the Duke of Tuscany, the Pope, and the Duke of Savoy against him. The courage that you shall give him will I hope the better hearten him to make more manifest show of his mislike of their practices ; 'which' how far it may profit your Majesty to put from you those foreign confederacies, you may determine. And since it is now manifest that these great kings can think it best and needful for them to draw other princes into strait amity before they make any enterprise, I trust you will thereupon judge it convenient in these perilous and evil days, both for the repose of your governmeut and the safety of your good people whom God has committed to your protection : that in like sort you will no otherwise deem, notwithstanding the clearness of your own conscience and the assured faith that you have in God, than that all such reasonable means are to be accepted, friendships to be embraced, and good occasions not to be let slip, which may put from you the peril which is 'meant and bent,' and that undoubtedly with all such expedition as they may use, against your person, your nobles, and people.Paris, 15 April, 1580. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [France IV. 51.]
April 15. 264. COBHAM to [the SECRETARIES].
I think it good her Majesty should be advertised how the Christian king daily makes many apparent shows in favour of the State of Portugal. 'At first,' he graciously continues to the ambassador his grant of access at all times, having received willingly and answered speedily the letter of the Duchess of Braganza, and in like manner at the request of the Governors made a general arrest along the sea-coast, and suffers to be made and transported hence underhand, shot, powder, and weapons for their defence ; which is carried in chests conveyed to Rouen by the means of Francisco Anriques and Girolamo Copes, Portugal merchants. He has besides written very earnestly in their behalf to the Pope and King Philip, and now writes to the Governors there assuring them of his favour and countenance in the maintenance of their justice. The ambassador of Portugal yesterday lamented to us that whereas the Duchess of Braganza turned to the queen as other Kings of Portugal had done to the Kings of England for succour in defence of the freedom of their country, notwithstanding her dutiful dealing, he does not understand that her Majesty has answered the letter, nor shown the like favour which the king here has done ; which grieves him much, for he had assured the Duchess and States of Portugal that they would find her Majesty more prompt to aid them that any other prince in Christendom. Of this I think he has written to her Majesty and others of the Lords ; because he broke to me his mind therein somewhat 'appassionately.' It is certified that the Bishop of Coimbra and Senhor Manuele de Melo sent in embassy to the Catholic king had not as yet obtained audience of him, neither is it known if he would accept them as ambassadors ; because he would not prejudice his own pretence. Howbeit it is judged he will use them with courtesy. Meantime the Portuguese have put a strong guard of 70 ships in the haven of Lisbon, well provided with money, men, and munitions. They have also fortified another port 20 miles from Lisbon called Setubal ; being resolved to obey none other than such as the judges shall declare by sentence. They have lately received into Lisbon powder and other provisions from Antwerp and the Low Countries. The Bishop of Ross and Thomas Morgan received the other day letters from Sir Francis Englefield, dated at Madrid the 12th ult., wherein he shows himself a passionate Castillian and very desirous to advance the King of Spain's practices, enlarging much on the hope of the army of Spain. He writes that a ship was sent from Spain with 140 men in it, well-appointed, and purposed to have landed in Ireland ; but through extremity of contrary winds and lack of victuals after a time they were driven to return. He signified further that the ambassadors of all the princes were left at Madrid waiting on the Cardinal, wherewith they were aggrieved ; which cardinal manages all the affairs. By the same packet came letters from him to the Queen of Scots and one Throckmorton, and a great packet to Dacres, called Lord Dacres, now at Rheims, as I am informed. Signor Astorgo 'Balione' who passed into Italy last March, has now gathered 2,000 men from Tuscany ; for whose government the Grand Duke has named five captains, all of whom will be under the government of Don Pietro his brother. In the territory of Perugia are 'made' 2,000 more. The Governor of Milan and the Viceroy of Naples have commission for the like number. The Spaniards who were dismissed from the Low Countries are passing towards Spain. Some few of them are come to this town on the way to Nantes, to embark for Biscay. One Dr. Knott, lately come from Spain, of whom I wrote in my former letter, stays here for answer to letters which he has sent to England. King Philip caused the Prince of Parma to dismiss all the 'Pensionaries,' with this 'device' that they should thereby be driven to go into Spain to serve there or where the king shall appoint ; whereon most of the Englishmen, the Earl of Westmorland, Copley and others are looked for in this town within a few days, whence they purpose to go to Spain, hoping to be employed to recover their country. There are come hither two of the Hamiltons, John and James, pensioners to King Philip, with intent to resort to him. They report that they hope the matter of Portugal will soon be ended, and then they may be employed against England. They carry letters of recommendation from the two Scottish bishops to Cardinal Granvelle and the Duke of Alva, and Vargas the Spanish agent writes in their favour. Morgan reports that the servant of Lord Talbot who was here is put in prison, doubting he shall be ill handled ; but Tempest is greatly in fear, because he kept him most company. The Scottish bishops and Morgan received letters from Scotland on the 11th inst. mostly written in cipher. D'Aubigny's lackey, 'directed' to M. d'Antragues, brought letters dated Mar. 16, 'declaring of' the gift of the Earldom of Lennox, and captainship of Dumbarton. He came hither on the 8th, having landed at Dieppe. The Bishop of Ross has made sundry books, and short notes of other books in printing, all tending to the justifying of the Queen of Scots' dealings and the justifying of her pretended title ; which I 'seek to recover.' Books are sent into England, Scotland, and Ireland, very prejudicial to her Majesty's government, and those who have principal places about her. There is an Irishman named Pedgrave, who is sending sundry of these books, wherein are many slanderous reports of the nobles and principal personages of England. I am informed that Peter Broune, the ordinary post, who departed hence three days ago, carried with him letters of some 'indisposed' persons, whether of his own knowledge or no I cannot tell. The Pope directed certain letters about the end of December last, of which the Bishop of Ross had a copy. He did it on being informed by such priests and papist visitors as he sends to and fro into the realm of England, that there were divers principal persons inclined to the alteration of religion and government of the state ; but that they feared the taking away of their Abbey land and their further subjection by conquest. Whereon the Pope has written favourably, in general terms, giving assurance on these points to satisfy them. The Consistory of Rome give order to their 'espials' that understanding what enemy any nobleman has, they should practise with him and win him ; whereby to divide the hearts of the subjects one against another, and her Majesty, to the subversion of the State. There are certain priests come from Rome and now going over who are sworn not to discover any of their company. They carry nothing with them, but will receive books and other like trash when they have landed in the realm. I send herewith the advertisement of Rowland Russell, written with his own hand. He is upon his return to England to render further testimony of his good meaning. I also send a note extracted from a letter sent from Britanny to M. Montigny, a minister here, concerning the affairs of Spain. Colonel 'Chamberg' is sent into 'Almany,' and as I hear passes further, to Duke Augustus of Saxony. The Princess of Parma is so forward on her journey, accompanied by 100 horse and nine coaches, that it is thought she will be on the frontier of Flanders by the end of this month. Eleven priests are come from England, some of whom are gone towards Flanders, some to Rheims, and some hither. One of those here is named Belks ; he crossed at Dover. They have brought their certificates what progress they have made in England, saying that if the realm were divided in five parts three of them would remain Catholic and favour the Queen of Scots. There is an old Scot named Patrick, 'of the age of fifty years old and upward,' whom I understand to be a wily fellow. Being come hither to ask a passport of me, I delivered him one to pass over at the port of Dover and no other place. If you cause him to be talked with, it will appear, as I am informed, that he is a busy fellow and a carrier of bad stuff. I send herewith a passport which he had before. I have written within it the description of his person. This king is informed that the Grand Duke of Tuscany with his wife 'pretends' to go to Venice, with cloak to visit his wife's kindred. But the Duke of Ferrara, understanding of it, sent hither seven days ago Count Giulio da Monte Cucculo to visit this king, with thanks for the precedence he had granted him over the Grand Duke, and therewith signified to him how the Catholic King had procured the Duke of Tuscany to make that journey to Venice for some negociation or inducing the Signoria of Venice into a new league and confederacy with King Philip. The captain of Lyons, named Mandelot, with some other forces joined to him, has broken sundry companies of the league ; whereon they, finding themselves too weak for the king's forces, have betaken themselves to the protection of those of the Religion, as Villeroy told me ; and, as I am otherwise informed, they have distressed Mandelot and put to flight divers of his companies, in which conflict some gentlemen of name are slain. The King of Navarre having appointed a hunting by Nrac was invited to dine at a gentleman's house with some of his train ; but having other occasions he went not forth that day. But his gentlemen went to the dinner, whereon some of them died that night and others are still in danger, which is suspected to come by poison. On occasion of my last speech with Villeroy of certain griefs of which the Protestants lament, I rehearsed this to him. He excused it, saying if it should be so it was by means of some papist pastissier. It is written from Germany that Casimir has arrested all the Flemish merchants for the money due to his colonels and captains for their service to the States.Paris, 15 April 1580. 4 pp. [France IV. 52.]
April 15. 265. COBHAM to [? WILSON].
As I was making this present dispatch, Secretary Villeroy came to me with a message from the king that he meant to show himself a faithful friend and assured ally to her Majesty on all occasions, acknowledging that her well-doing appertains to him. Therefore whereas his ambassador in the Spanish Court had lately advertised him by letters of March 25 from Madrid that there was come thither from Ireland a messenger with a dispatch from the rebels to the Pope's nuncio for aid ; whereon the nuncio forthwith 'made means' to the Catholic king to obtain their request for 700 soldiers, which the king has granted, and given order for them to be embarked 'at' Galizia with expedition and sundry provisions ; of which proceeding the king desires her Majesty may be advertised. I rendered M. Villeroy humble thanks that it had pleased his Majesty to make me the messenger of so 'friendly shows of his entire zeal to her Highness and her realms' ; but she would be sorry to find King Philip so bent against her as to send forces to strengthen the rebels in her dominions. But seeing he had so far discovered his intentions, she would be glad of these advertisements, especially from so good a friend as the Christian king. The secretary fell into discourse of present affairs, concluding how convenient it were to withstand the violence now offering by King Philip to the realm of Portugal ; saying that it seemed to him that the cause of Portugal was embraced in England 'but in some cold and retired sort.' I answered that her Majesty could do no more than shew her first feeling of the inconveniences, and refer the proceeding to the remedy to his Majesty's further advice ; whereon she clearly demonstrated that she reposed exceeding trust, and greatly respected him. He then told me that to confess the truth they have proceeded no further on two grounds ; one, because the Portuguese demanded no further aid, and also made no offer of any matter to the king's liking. He therefore stayed lest he should seem to enter 'on the gayet of his heart' to make war with the King of Spain ; and meantime the Portuguese might fall to agreement with him. The second cause is, that seeing the protestants have taken arms, in sundry places and also received into their protection others, called of the league, who have likewise taken arms against the king, knowing their own small ability to maintain the war, the king doubted lest her Majesty and some princes of Germany had encouraged them ; which he said would be very prejudicial, considering the time was come when all unity would rather be required. But otherwise, he was fully bent that the matter of Portugal should proceed according to justice, and desirous to join the Queen therein. I said I had not heard any such doubt made heretofore of any dealing of the Queen that way with the king's subjects : so I could assure him she had no such meaning ; and that this being known to her I supposed she would by good means clear his suspicions. Whereon he entered into a large discourse of things past, and in the end spoke very frankly to me ; whereby I found that if things pass according to his speech, the king will give order to lay down arms on both sides, and if there fall out any just foundation, will declare his mind and shew a ready disposition against King Philip. Villeroy said that he himself had been taken to be Spanish, since his service was bent that way ; but for his own part he saw the King of Spain and others presume very much on his Majesty's gracious dealings, not doubting but the king would find means to make them understand it if the Queen Mother will be his constant friend, as he accounts. He showed me both his letter in cipher and the other which came from the king's ambassador in Spain, in which was shown this point of the rebels' request in Ireland, and the ambassadors' general discontent 'for staying at Madrid with Cardinal Granvelle from the king's person' ; also that the Portuguese were united for the defence of their country, as I have written in former letters. Also an advertisement of a great ship come from the Indies, which the Spanish king had been informed the Frenchmen had taken, but was safely come to Seville ; also that the Duke of 'Barseilles' had been set at liberty. I enclose a little note, written partly in cipher ; also two or three little letters, whereby you may see the names of such as trade with the papists. By the next I will send the names of such English gentlemen as remain hereabout.Paris, 25 April 1580. 2 pp. [France IV. 53.]
April 15. 266. COBHAM to [? WILSON].
I had forgotten to notify in my other letter the bruits lately given out that the Queen Mother was gone to the Duke of Anjou with three purposes : first, to tempt him with the marriage of his own niece, the Duke of Lorraine's daughter ; secondly, if that may not take place, to renew the treaty for marriage with the Princess of Navarre ; which offers I never heard that he liked, and least that of Lorraine. The third occasion of her going is construed to be that she may dissuade him from the enterprise of the Low Countries, and 'make offer' to him for the defence of Portugal. It is appointed that the Bishop of Commynes [Cominges] shall meet her at the abbey of 'Bourgouilles' beside Angiers, before his passing in embassy to Portugal. I think Rowland Russell takes his journey today towards England, where he looks to meet some 'landleapers,' by the ways I have written of.Paris, 15 April 1580. P.S.I leave it to Mr Floude to report of the earthquake felt in some parts of Paris, as the bruit credibly goes. News is now come that M. la Noue has taken Mechlin ; and that the king's Almaynes in Flanders have mutinied ; whereon the Spaniards stay from passing further. Please let me know if you or Mr Secretary Walsingham have seen a book called the Treaty of Treasons against her Majesty in English, printed about 8 years past. If not, I will send a copy, for I cannot get the printed book. 1 p. [Ibid. IV. 54.]
April 15. 267. [? WALSINGHAM] to COBHAM.
This gentleman, servant to Mr Hatton, having occasion for private affairs of his own to repair into that realm, desired my letters to you ; whereto I did the 'more willinglier' yield, for that I know you desire to hear often from hence, and in deed it will be hard for you to direct your course well there unless you are thoroughly made acquainted with our proceedings here. Your last dispatch by your servant Mr Best was very agreeable to her Majesty, as the rest of your doings since you entered into that charge. It is 'received' here that the king there is not so effectually bent to give the required aid to the Governors of Portugal as the necessity of his State requires ; seeing the late attempts against those of the Religion by the two Marshals, which would never have been by them attempted unless they stood assured of the good allowance of the same. Therefore men of judgement begin to doubt that there is too inward a friendship between the King of Spain and the King of France, whatever is outwardly pretended, and that the jealousy which heretofore one has had of the other, especially that France ought to have of Spain, is laid aside ; both being overmuch inclined to concur in the overthrow of those of the Religion. Besides, it is conceived that if the king earnestly affected his brother's match with her Majesty it is an extraordinary course to prosecute those of the Religion. You will therefore do well, in my opinion, when you have occasion to meet such of the Council of State as affect either the marriage or good amity between the two Crowns, to lay before them how greatly this hard course held against those of the Religion, is like to impeach both the marriage and the amity ; and that while they 'intend' their inward dissention, nourished by faction, upon private quarrels, the realm will go to ruin, and their competitor Spain will wax strong. There may fall out some apt occasion for you to deliver the like speech to the king, or to the Queen Mother, which by my own experience when I 'supplied' that place you now hold, I have found has been very acceptably taken. And however it were taken, if it might tend to the furtherance of her Majesty's service, I never weighed the 'acceptation' of it ; and yet had a due regard to deliver my speech in such sort that there might follow no just cause of offence. It cannot be but that Monsieur must be highly offended with Marshal Montmorency's and Biron's proceedings, considering how much they may hinder his designs for the Low Countries, which now go very fast forward, as you may perceive by the enclosed ; but if the prosecution of the war against those of the Religion continue it will breed an utter alienation in those of the Low Countries against Monsieur, whose neutrality in matters of religion has been the principal cause of the furtherance of the sovereignty which he desires in those countries. Since M. de la Noue's arrival there, their case, before very desperate, is greatly relieved in respect of the success he has had at Ninove. Besides the great 'valure' of the gentleman, his embracing of their cause tending to no other end than the advancing of God's glory, being free from ambition and desire of gain, no doubt God blesses his attempts with an extraordinary success. It will be no hindrance to his credit to tell you that the recovery of Mechlin has been performed by our nation under the conduct of my cousin Norris, wherein they showed both great 'valewe' and judgement, as M. de la Noue himself witnesses to me in his letter. The state of Scotland stands upon very loose and broken terms, as you may perceive by the enclosed occurrents from thence. If that gap were shut I should the less fear foreign malice. This gentleman will tell you how greatly we were terrified with an earthquake, lately happened on the 6th inst. I pray God that we may take profit thereof, and become more zealous in the advancement of His glory than we have hitherto been ; but I fear that we shall neglect his merciful admonition, and thereby draw on us a more sharp measure of judgement. Draft. Heading (with date) in hand of L. Cave. 1 pp. [France IV. 55.]
The enemy's footmen in Friesland lie within a mile of Groningen, where two regiments of the State's men 'make' against them, but as yet there is nothing doing on either side ; only small skirmishes pass, of no great effect. Their horsemen lie all at Oldensael, and make incursions even to the gates of Deventer, the like being 'used' also by the States against them. Staveren castle is thought to be yielded by this. It has held out longer than was thought, being at first judged to be unprovided with victuals ; but the contrary has since appeared. The Prince is at Leeuwarden in Friesland, where he is said to be devising some means of treaty with those of Groningen, who will receive none of the enemy's soldiers. The Malcontents of 'Henow' are with all their forces about Cambray, and have, by report, sent the cannon thither, the Prince of Parma lying at Valenciennes to be nearer. The Scots in Vilvorde are 'quieted,' and payed certain months by the pole [?] ; wherewith the colonel, captain, and chief officers are aggrieved and will not take such contentment, considering their long service and slender payment ; but demand their pay after the old roll, until the former accounts are cleared, and a new mustering. Great treachery was discovered in Brussels by the intercepting of a letter which the Prince of Parma wrote to the Scots ; and at a banquet to be made by M. d'Auxy, who by his wife's procurement was made a chief instrument in the practice, the Governor, Captains, and all the chief officers were to have been slain and the town fired in divers places. D'Auxi with his wife and family are taken, and confess to have practised with the Prince of Parma, having written and received sundry letters. They crave for mercy, and his wife, as author and 'intissor' of her husband requests pardon for him, submitting herself to any punishment. The enemy's horsemen, who a few days since were near this town and took some prisoners, were on their retiring charged by some of the States' garrison, who released the prisoners, recovered the spoil, and put them to flight with the loss of all their own 'carriage.' The three Members of Flanders are framing a new camp, to consist only of 3,000 or 4,000 foot and 1,000 horse ; the chief of it, M. Villiers, who was governor of Bouchain. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XIII. 20.]
April 16. 269. The PRINCE OF ORANGE to the QUEEN.
The Estates of Holland and Zealand have informed me of the suit which the merchants of Ipswich are pressing against them for payment of the second term of an obligation into which they have entered. They tell me that the instalment is no doubt long overdue, and that they would have used every endeavour to content the merchants ; but looking to the stress of affairs which has for some time prevailed in these parts, they have been compelled to employ on the costs of the war whatever money they could raise, to avoid the certainty of utter ruin, inasmuch as the enemy, thinking to carry us at a single blow, has been attacking us in various places. This was the sole reason why, to their great regret, they could not discharge their debt at the appointed time. And as for this reason they find themselves at present without ready cash, and consequently unable to pay the second term. They have prayed me to represent this to your Majesty, in order that you may be certain it is not from lack of good will that they have failed to pay hitherto. Now I am fully assured of your Majesty's clemency, and beg that you will take into consideration the expenses which those of Holland and Zealand have for some years had, and still have, on their hands in the defence of their country ; and will be pleased to excuse the delay that has taken place, and not permit any stay of their merchants' goods and vessels to be made on that account. Also that you will be pleased to grant them the further favour to give order to the merchants of Ipswich, your subjects, that they may be content to postpone the payment of the term in question until October next, on condition that those of Holland and Zealand then pay in addition to the principal, interest at the rate of 10 per cent. The Estates and I feel sure that the merchants will not fail to meet your Majesty's wishes.Middelburg, 16 April 1580. (Signed) Guitte de Nassau. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. Fr. 1 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIII. 12.]
April 18. 270. 'The examination of the mariners of the Spanish bark stayed at "Winsellse" since Friday the 8th of April, made there the 18th of the same month.'
Rodorigo Kassapino Sinuatso [sic], about 23 years of age, of Laredo, says that they took their lemons and oranges in at Collindo, a channel within a mile of Laredo ; and that the ship has three owners, Jehan de Loes ce tien [sic], Torrinio di Cotsio [sic], and Pedro da Lencres, who is master for the present voyage. She is laden in all with 323,000 oranges and lemons, which belong partly to the owners and partly to the mariners. He says that at their departure from Laredo they needed no letter from any officer, for that kind of merchandise pays no custom, and they have none but such as they have heretofore at their arrival delivered to the mayor here. Charter party or other bills of lading they have none, for the commodity belongs to the owners and the company. At Laredo he says there is a corregidor for the king, who governs four places, to wit, Laredo, Santander, Castro and St. Vincent, and in each of these places he has his lieutenant. His name is Don Hernando da Badez ; he appoints officers to search ships when required. At their departure they were minded to come for London or Zealand, where they might hear of best 'uttrance' for their oranges. He likewise declares that the day before they entered the channel of Winchelsea, the wind was at N.E., and blew so much that they could not go ahead, and so put in here. Otherwise they meant to have gone along to Dover Road, there to know where they might best go for the sale of their commodity ; and according as they learnt that the best 'untrance' [sic] was at London or Zealand, they proposed to go. They departed alone from Laredo, and there was an English bark of 30 or 40 tons which meant to lade oranges as he thought for England. Likewise a fly-boat of Zealand was at Laredo to lade oranges, also another Spanish bark of 30 or 40 tons, which should lade oranges and lemons and come in company of the fly-boat for Zealand or Flanders, and would not be ready to depart till the 17th or 18th of this month. He does not know the names of any of the masters. He knows of no bark that departed or meant to depart from Laredo or any other port thereabouts for Ireland or England other than those above-mentioned. He says also that they 'are' all born in Laredo save the boy who 'is' born at La Nocha, two leagues thence ; and none of them can speak any language but Spanish. They brought with them two passengers, an Englishman and a Fleming, who is still here ; the Englishman they landed the day of their arrival, Friday, April 8. He knows not his name, but as he told him and the rest, 'a' was married in the islands of 'Cannare.' This Englishman at his leaving told them that if anybody asked to whom the oranges belonged they should say to an alderman of London, to avoid the danger of pirates, if they had met with any ; whereupon in their first examination, and upon the Englishman's saying, some of the mariners 'differ to' their first declaration. He says, moreover, that the mariners being poor men and amazed, coming before a justice in a strange country, it is no marvel though they do alter somewhat in their examination. And for him, he is a poor gentleman of Biscay, and his father was during his life part owner of divers ships, and used to go as master of them himself ; and leaving him poor, is [sic] constrained to follow this trade as a mariner. He married within these 12 months the daughter of one Pedro de Bayona of Laredo. He was in England when Duke Casimir was in London, with a ship of Laredo laden with oranges, and went then as 'a' does now for a mariner. Sometimes he lades 30 or 40 thousand oranges for his own account, but in this lading he has no part, but goes only for meat and drink and wages, he says, 8 or 9 ducats for the voyage. He says he never was in Ireland, and they of Laredo do not use to trade that way, nor any of the parts thereabouts. Thomas Deos, mariner of Laredo, aged 20 or thereabouts, examined, agrees with Rodorigo Cassapino both as to the port of lading and the name of the corregidor ; and that they have no charter party nor bill of lading, for the goods belong to the owners. He confirms the owners' names. He affirms also that the wind was at N.E. when they came, and that they would have gone to Dover if the weather had served, there to have known where they might make the best sale of their goods. He knows that no ship came out of the Laredo with them, and that no bark from that place or any port thereabout went either for England or Ireland, but a fly-boat was lading for Flanders, and another bark with oranges and lemons meant to come with it, departing on the 17th or 18th, as above. He affirms that they are all born at Laredo, except the boy, as above ; and none can speak any language but Spanish. Otherwise confirms the first deponent. Adrian Goodeaar, born at 'Bridges' in Flanders, aged 21 years, passenger, says that they departed from Laredo the Thursday before Easter, and their meaning was to go to Zealand or London according as they might learn at Dover where they could find best sale for their oranges. He says that the Englishman whom they landed at Rye desired to land anywhere in England, it was indifferent to him where, meaning to return to Ghent about a suit he had there, when he had dispatched his business in England. He supposed the Englishman and the Spaniards misliked the one the other, for they differed in argument about the good subjection of the Prince of Orange. And being asked whether they touched in the Isle of Wight, he says no, nor in any part of England till they came to Winchelsey. He says further that he is sure no bark came in their company, nor did they land anybody till they came to Rye. Divers Spaniards say about Laredo that the navy which the King of Spain has ready there is to go into England, but he cannot tell. In Spain they blame the Queen of England for maintaining the Prince of Orange with money and men, and he heard that the 'comen' is there that it is either for Flanders or England. Alleging that the Portugals were determined to receive the King of Spain, and he would have no cause therefore to employ his army for those parts. He does not know that there is anything in the ship but oranges, if there be, it is under the oranges and lemons. He knows of no shipping gone from 'Alleredo' for England or Ireland, and he says that at Bilbao he saw five or six small barks laden with victuals and munition going to the great navy which lies eight miles from Seville, 'at Andolezia.' He said 'they sounded not with their lead but for the security of their bark' when they came in here. He thinks they came in at Winchelsey against their will. Martin de Serniago, aged 52 years, says that he is pilot of the ship. The goods being theirs and their master's, they have no bill of lading nor charter party. There is a governor at Laredo, who is governor of 4 towns, his name he knows not. If they had gone to Flanders they would have gone for Zealand. He confirms that the wind was N.E. when they came in here. They were not minded to touch in England unless they had stayed in Dover Road to know where the price was best for their oranges. No ship came in their company from Laredo nor does he know of any bound for Ireland or England. There are none but Spaniards in their company, save only one English passenger and a Fleming. The former landed at Rye, the Fleming is here still. He says they meant to land none but the English passenger. He cannot tell the causes of their different examination, for he was not examined before. As for 'Kachapina,' he is a poor gentleman, and his father was, as he says, master of a ship during his life. Jehan de Rodo of Laredo, aged 28 years, says they took in their lading as the others 'confess.' He knows nothing of bills of lading nor other such writings, nor that the officers are to give briefs or bills of lading. He says that they meant to go into Zealand, to Flushing or Middelburg, or to London. The wind blowing at N.E. was the cause of their coming in. They came alone out of Spain and no ship in their company. But there were an Englishman and a Spaniard lading oranges for England or Flanders about a fortnight after they came out. He says there were not but Spaniards in their company, save the passengers above mentioned. They meant to set no one ashore till they came to London or Flanders, where they meant to sell their merchandise. He can say nothing touching the difference in the examinations, because he was not examined before for want of an interpreter. He 'justifies' those to be owners whom the others have named, and says of 'Kachupina' as the others said. Martin Laurence of Laredo, aged 40 years, says that they laded as the others affirm. They have no charter party because the goods belong to the masters and company ; and to the 3rd, 4th, and 5th articles he says as the others. For the rest he confirms the others. Pedro de Faca, St. Jago Nates, say as the others. 'More,' there is a boy who can say little or nothing. The master went from Winchelsea on Sunday last, the 17th, and said nothing. They suppose he is gone to London. Endd. by L. Tomson. 8 pp. [Spain I. 46.]
April 18. 271. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
I think it good to send you some further points as to the speeches passed between M. Villeroy and me. First, he let me understand the king's disposition to be so determined that he would by no means have any civil wars, but has rather chosen to suffer them of the Religion to keep the towns which by the treaty of pacification should have been surrendered two years ago or thereabouts ; also that they have detained his droits and revenues from these towns, the customs and profits of the 'salts,' besides divers slaughters committed, which the king has patiently passed over. As for what was objected by them of the Religion to Montmorency for taking certain towns, he says they were such as they had taken from the Catholics since the edict of pacification, which he has by the like means recovered ; notwithstanding they have again taken arms and received into their protection those of the league, who are the commonalty that rise against the king, the nobility and the officials. In the end, having uttered these griefs and declaration of the king's toleration thereof, he asked me if I thought good that he should continue this patience, and what advice I would give the king therein. I answered that as for advice, I should shew much presumption if I should open my mouth to utter words for that purpose ; but seeing he had spoken his mind thus frankly to me, and asked me what I thought of it, I would shew him what I had heard since the time of my being here and 'conceit' of their affairs ; which was that it clearly appeared the king to be [sic] of good disposition, and to have 'framed' himself a nourisher of the repose of his subjects, whereof he must in time reap great contentment. And notwithstanding he still found a continuance of troubles, that was left to him by his brothers, while the private ambition of a few was still the occasion and instigation of the practices which for many years had been wrought underhand in the realm, cloaked by more plausible shows. For it was apparent, entering into consideration of the persons of them of the Religion, that first the King of Navarre, whom I had not seen nor was acquainted with, yet I was informed he was a wise and considerate prince, and well understanding his own state, much misliking to enter into troubles, seeing that his living did not satisfy his expenses he was then driven to enter into, and to accept and favour such 'facts' as are odious to him, partly to be accompanied for his own defence, and partly to 'accomplish' with other men's friendships, which otherwise he would lose, so that he was as I heard much in debt and at present constrained to sell 'of' his territories, much to his grief. This Villeroy affirmed, taking it to be much as I had said. Then as to the Prince of Cond, I said he was a nobleman whom everybody accounted to be of great value and good vivacity of spirit, prompt and ready in all his affairs, but poor in ability to maintain the state he was born to, and to shew himself of the lineage whom [sic] he descended ; whereon he was driven, upon necessity and being in many ways hardly dealt with, perhaps without the King's consent, to shift as well as he could for his defence, and to maintain himself in some reasonable estate. And for his disposition, I understand he loves the King for the remembrance of some kindness that passed between them in King Francis's time, when they were both together in their young years at Court ; and that the Prince hearing of the indignity done the King by the Duke of Savoy in the Marquisate of Saluces, and of King Philip's double dealing with him, said in very private discourse in his cabinet to some of his friends, that rather than King Philip should offer those injuries to the Christian king, he would give himself into the king's hands at Paris to be sacrificed in his behalf, which shewed his zealous affection to the king. He said he took the Prince to be an honourable person and one that carries himself well towards the king. Then I said, 'Sir, if these persons are thus inclined, it were well to be considered how God and nature have joined them ; therefore it were an unjust part to separate them, especially their minds being no otherwise bent than has been said.' It were good now awhile, after so many experiences made otherwise, that the occasions of these provocations, which have caused so many disorders within our body, be looked to, considering that the principal members were so naturally affected one to another, so that it might easily be discovered that they of the Religion neither for their religion, safety, or profit, nor any other cause, had or have the will to take arms but upon mere constraint for the safeguard of their lives, pursued through as many snares and subtle practices as daily appears. Therefore it rather seems that this body of France being thus infected with so sharp an humour cannot be better remedied than 'to have' those ambitious heads employed in some other country, where it may be for his Majesty's honour and the repose and advancement of this realm. And I cannot tell how it was in France, but in other countries it was plainly seen that the Consistory of Rome by their counsel poisoned all other estates by sending ill-disposed persons to stir up subjects against their princes, 'assuring some of authority and provoking others with their subtle intents and coloured means.' He said it was great truth, and they of France felt it, and it was the accustomed manner of Rome to deal thus with princes in time past ; and he thought verily that seeing the troubles of France would not be remedied by all the means that have been used, it were good to move the minds of the subjects to enterprise some foreign war. To this he found the king well disposed upon any just occasion offered ; which he thought would fall out through the matter of Portugal. Lastly, I told him that the king was to think that the diffidence among the protestants and elsewhere would remain till he had 'made overture' that there is not that intelligence between him and the Scottish queen which the world yet mistrusts. Then he said I should shortly hear further, and so we parted. Since which time I am credibly informed by some of the Religion, who have received it by good means, that Villeroy has given out that he hopes the king will shortly talk with some of the chief of the Huguenots in such sort that they should render him account of their doings ; not doubting that it would pass well unless it were by very ill hap shortly discovered ; as indeed it has fallen out. For first the King of Navarre was in danger of poisoning, and now the rendezvous appointed at Pierrepont, whereby the Prince of Cond had been entrapped about la Fre. Whereon he is gone into Germany to join with Casimir and such other company as he can find there. On the other side, in Dauphin, Mandelot captain of Lyons has massacred all that either would yield or he could conquer. So that through these suspicions every man's mind is bent to defend the cause, themselves and their allies, and very small hope left of any longer continuance of peace. Some of the Court, to kindle the matter the more, give it out that the king means to go in person to suppress by force such as withstand his authority. Thus I have told you what I have received in speeches, and what passes in action ; so that though the time alters, yet it appears the manner of double dealing continues.Paris, 18 April 1580. Add. 3 pp. [France IV. 56.]