Elizabeth: August 1580, 16-31

Pages 388-406

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

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August 1580, 16-31

Aug. 17. 400. The DUKE OF ANJOU to COBHAM.
I am sending a courier to the Queen of England, whom I pray you to furnish with a letter of commendation, and to beg her from me that the deputies may set out without delay to her Majesty, to treat of our marriage, which is the sole consideration that has moved me to seek the acceleration of their journey. If you get any news sooner than I do, I should be glad if you would impart it to me.—Le Plessis, 17 Aug. 1580. P.S.—I have also to send you the dispatch for the Queen, promising myself that I shall have a speedy reply, and praying you to use diligence thereto. I was greatly pleased with what M. la Fin said to me from you. Add. Endd. Fr. 1½ p. [France IV. 134.]
Aug. 18. 401. A REPORT ON PAPISTS.
The Earl of Westmorland, riding from Paris to Rheims, and lodging at the Swan there, sent for Dr Webbe and Mr Bayllye to sup with him. At supper, Dr Webbe demanded of the earl to what end the King of Spain had prepared his great army. To whom the earl answered—'and took bread and did eat it'—that the army was prepared for England and Ireland ; for which cause he with other Englishmen that had the King's pension were sent for into Spain. Also he said that the King was staying only for 35,000 Italians from Italy ; but he wished that Portugal had been 'on a fire' so that the King had not meddled with it, for had not that fallen out so unluckily, he would have seen England in short time, and Dr Saunders have lacked no help in Ireland. Also he would often say 'and if' he had been as malicious as she (meaning the Queen) he might have been in his own ere this time. Also he said he would never come into England but to the end it should be Catholic ; and on that condition he would willingly lose his life in the last battle to seal up the peace withal. Moreover he said they might all curse the Earl of Leicester, for he being one of the chief of their conspiracy craved pardon and disclosed all their 'pretence' ; so that their company durst not come in to them, but left him and the Earl of Northumberland in the lurch. Besides he said that the Earl of Leicester sent one over to kill him and Lord Copley, but he hoped to see the day to meet him in the field, when he may be revenged on him and lend him a lance in his breast for his labour.
The names of priests.
1. Wilson, about London or at Mr Gage's.
2. Blackwell, in London.
3. Short, otherwise Stalie, in Holborn.
4. Bennett, in London.
5. Nicolson, in London, or at Mr Bennett's in Essex.
6. Appleton, in Essex at my lady Pawlett's at Boxley.
7. Vivian, at Mr Martyn's of Long Melford in Suffolk.
8. Ford, otherwise Harwood, at the Yeats' of Lyford in Berkshire.
9. Stamp, about Sir George Pecham's or my lady Tregonion's in Hampshire, or very near thereabout.
10. Scott, about Kent.
11. Corry, otherwise Pawle, in Hampshire with Mr Carrell.
12. Norris, with Mr Gylbarte, and Mr Garves Parpoint, and Mr Gifford.
13. Clifton, about Buckinghamshire.
14. Eake [?], about 'Lankyshire.'
15. Martyn Aray, about Hampshire.
16. Mr Fytton, dwelling about Windsor, has one who goes in a blue coat and is named in the house nothing but Richard ; his other name I know not.
17. Johnson, lying at the 'Spittle' with Mr Hare ; and this Hare is he who conveys over to Rheims and Douay at least £400 every year.
Endd. : 18 Aug. 1580. A report made by A. B. late servant to the E. of West. [France IV. 135.]
Aug. 19. 402. DR. RUY LOPEZ to LEICESTER.
Being here in Walsingham's house, I thought it well to let you know what the ambassador asks of her Majesty, beseeching to be a means with her for her consent, seeing that it is a matter so necessary for the defence of our realm of Portugal. As the King Don Antonio says, it will ever be devoted with all its might to the service of this realm against all others, and there will remain a league which will never be broken. Wherefore I pray you herein to show yourself a true Portuguese, and I promise to be not only, as I am, your doctor and servant, but your slave. The work in hand is to make that realm free and this secure. The ambassador begs that you will arrange for the Queen to see him (if it were secretly with me alone), that he may tell her what he thinks.— Barn Elms, 19 Aug. 1580.
Enclosed :
These are the things that the King of Portugal asks of the Queen of England. 1. Twelve ships well equipped with artillery, men and munitions.
2. Two thousand harquebusiers with their officers, who will all be paid in Portugal from the day of leaving England till their return.
3. As much bronze ordnance of all sorts as the Queen may be willing to direct ; the realm being in great need of it.
4. A thousand quintals of gunpowder.
5. Two thousand quintals of iron balls of every sort. Payment will be made in Portugal, in coin, jewels, or specie as the Queen shall please. I, the ambassador of Don Antonio, have written and signed this with my own hand : John Rodriguez de Sousa. Add. (Seal). Endd. Ital. 1 p. + ¾ p. [Portugal I. 38.]
Aug. 20. 403. COBHAM to the SECRETARIES.
Though the peace has been so thoroughly 'travailed in' that some of it might have been justly conceived, and lately the rather that the King sent the King of Navarre's agent to Monsieur in company with M. Strozzi, yet all this has brought forth no further fruits but that adhuc est messis in herbis. However since the King's last dispatch to Monsieur, and Chassincourt's departure, his Highness sent Captain la Sale to the King of Navarre with the King's intention ; wherein were good offers, which I partly signified in my last. But it seems these evil chances hinder the furtherance of the desired public repose, for Captain la Sale was murdered by the way and the packet lost. Therefore the King now purposes to send Chassincourt to the King of Navarre, which would further the 'effecting' of the peace, because he is accounted to be a faithful dealer, and agreeable to all parties. If la Fère is not taken with great facility it is thought peace will be the willinglier hearkened to. Those in that town made a sally on the 12th inst. at 10 o'clock at night, 'about the defence of their ravelins,' and slew sundry captains. The King continues the preparations of his sundry arms, on which a great part of the money which is to be levied by means of these eight new edicts will be speedily spent. Marshal Biron has been compelled to retire and to separate his forces ; they fall sick of the coqueluche so fast about Bordeaux. The Marquis de 'Montecho,' eldest son to Don Alfonso d'Este, uncle to the Duke of Ferrara, is contracted to Mile Anne de Vaudemont, the Queen regnant's sister ; which is as yet kept secret. Their alliance has been procured by the Cardinal of Este, since neither the present Duke of Ferrara, having now had two or three wives, nor any other of that House has children, and the young Marquis is accounted heir to Ferrara. The Duke of Savoy is married privately to the Marchesa di Pianezza, the daughter of the late Duke's chancellor. She has had three children by the Duke. The Bishop of Turin and M. de Signy, general of the Duke's galleys and kinsman to the lady, were present at the marriage. The Duke of Nevers is gone towards Piedmont to confer with the Duke about this marriage, for after the decease of the Prince of Piedmont, the children of the Duke of Nevers are in expectation of that duchy. Though the Duke of Savoy offered to lend this King money, it is not accepted ; but the Duke of Maine, what with 'laying jewels to gage' and delivering of bonds, has obtained by earnest intreaty, and partly by constraint, 80,000 crowns among the merchants in Lyons, whence he is not yet gone. Duke Montmorency has dispersed his companies for the great infection in those parts, and is retired with his wife and children to a small place beside Pézenas, within 6 leagues of Montpellier, where they are dying much of the plague. M. Châtillon remains for the most part at Sommier near Lodux in Gévaudan, within 12 leagues of Montmorency. Turenne is in Lauraguais with 200 horse and 600 harquebusiers, within 12 leagues of Toulouse. Count Rochefoucault is at Saint-Jean d'Angely with 200 good horse, gentlemen of the Religion from Poitou, and 600 shot, purposing to make towards the King of Navarre, though M. de Rufec has put himself in the field to hinder his passage over the Garonne. No other towns are as yet besieged. They suspect that the Prince of Condé is preparing some sudden rescue for the frontiers and Sedan for the relief of la Fère, but there is no sign of it. The French Consul left Lisbon about the 10th ult., and has come here with letters of credit from Don Antonio for their Majesties. He has given out that their new king is well accompanied by the nobility, and has been presented by the clergy with jewels and plate from the monasteries and churches ; and that the Duke of Braganza receiving a loving letter from Don Antonio by a friar has since been disposed to repair to the Court. Whereon he has sent his cousin, Don Diego de Lancastre, to assure the King's favour to him, with determination presently to repair to him himself ; having been afflicted with the loss of a son and two daughters, deceased of the plague. I send the names of the new King's Councillors. And as the French Consul assures people here that an ambassador has lately passed to her Majesty I do not enlarge on those affairs at present. They have advertisement in this Court that 1,000 Scots are preparing to pass into Portugal. But they certify from Spain that the King's army having taken Setubal are approaching Lisbon, assuring themselves that the conquest is in their hands. A Spanish courier has passed into Italy with great diligence, carrying letters from Badajos of July 22, with commissions to make new levies in Italy ; and so goes from Milan to Florence and Naples. After the Spanish companies lately departed from the Low Countries had mutinied for three days in the Contado [qy. Comtat Venaissin] they were appeased and satisfied with eight pays (sent from Florence), whereas there were due to them thirteen. Whereon they departed to Finale, to be embarked in the 25 galleys. I inclose a letter from a friend of mine, who writes from Nantes, showing the state of those parts. I also send the residue of the Edicts published.—Paris, 20 Aug. 1580. Add. Endd. : from Sir Henry Cobham to Mr Secretary Wilson and myself. 3 pp. [France IV. 136.]
I trust you remain in good opinion of me ; and whereas I am 'grown in good acquaintance' with one here who is thought to understand very secretly the passages here, and is employed in them, he is willing to 'certify' to you, that you may be secretly 'kept unto' them. And after proof of such service done and allowed by you, that you will be a means for some recompense for him as I have heard men of like service have had. Please let me know your pleasure herein. I send herewith a discourse of his written to me, with a copy of a letter sent by his 'Altezza' to the Estates. The commissioners sent by the Estates to the Duke of Anjou required to have full authority to conclude all things touching their commission ; but as I am secretly told they must either return before, or have larger commission.—23 Aug. Add. Endd. : Mr Tho. Cotton from Antwerp. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XIII. 47.]
Aug. 24. 405. COBHAM to the SECRETARIES.
I was appointed today to have audience of their Majesties, but the King was gone to Saint-Germain-en-Laye, where he takes great delight, and therefore I was directed to Queen Mother. I declared how the Queen was certified of the continuance of these civil troubles, and that those of the Religion were annoyed and persecuted, to her grief and that of her best subjects, who were moved therewith, and were loath to see the cause of the marriage so far advanced as to be treated of towards a conclusion by commissioners of that high quality while the war continued against the Protestants of this realm ; which stirred up divers suspicions, reviving the remembrance of some matters past and executed with great terrors not long since in these parts. At my first coming to her presence she excused the King's departure, and said that he had requested her to hear my negotiations. Wherewith incontinently she broke off my speech, and in an earnest manner said this showed that the Queen meant to defer this treaty, and therefore desired she would speak as plainly as they did, and let them know her mind, whereby they 'might enter to make' some other assured amity, for this might breed great inconvenience, more particularly to her ; pleading her age, and thus to see her son remain in hope of marriage and never to marry, as also that thereby the King of Spain was suffered to increase his greatness, which she said 'imported' the Queen more than any other. To this I answered that in respect of the principal cause which had persuaded her to condescend to marriage, her Majesty desired expedition, not only in respect of satisfying her husband with the hope of issue, which by protracting the time would 'quail,' but also to satisfy the expectation of her subjects, who coveted it with extreme desire only to see and obey her husband, who would be a second person, being so well contented with her quiet government. She said the King had that morning sent Secretary Villeroy to require Monsieur to 'bring the peace to an end,' as also to learn from him the difficulties, in order that the King might make the doubts become more clear and easy to be accorded. And that they of the Religion had slain Captain de la Salle, who had been dispatched by her son to the King of Navarre. I besought her to 'be informed' of these accidents without partiality, for it might rather prove to be those who would be accounted Catholics that committed the murder, since the place where it was done was not commanded by those of the Religion. She affirmed assuredly, as before, and would have named a captain belonging to the King of Navarre, but she had forgotten his name. I also pointed out that by all means I understood that the King of Navarre had shown great unwillingness to take arms, but was compelled thereto by show of imminent peril to himself and those of the Religion. Seeing she had a mind thus earnestly bent towards peace, it might do great good if she would send to the Queen of Navarre, since she is one that has much power over her husband, known to be a great lady in those parts and respected in those governments. The Queen said she doubted not that she did her part in procuring the peace. It seemed to me that she answered that 'motion' somewhat heavily and with a few staggering words. I then gave her to understand that the King had honoured my Queen greatly in naming the Prince of Condé's brother to be one of the commissioners ; but as the affairs that were to be treated on were such as required that all the commissioners should be of ripe years and expert judgement, it seemed to the Queen that his age was too tender to work on those causes. Wherefore she requested that some other convenient personage might in the mean time be thought of, to be named when the affair is reduced to such terms that it shall seem good to have commissioners sent. She said there was Marshal Cossé, a person of sufficient experience, and M. Pibrac ; and I said those were thought to be sufficient persons. She could not tell, she said, how to find a prince of the Blood otherwise proper for that purpose ; for the Duke of Montpensier was aged and feeble, and the Prince Dauphin was loath to go so far from his father. She lastly mentioned that Simier was appointed to the commission. I said the King had not, so far as I remembered, named him at first, but I since heard his pleasure was to have him one ; and now I understand there is a 'bruit delivered' of him. She said he was parted from her son and was no more with him. Howbeit Monsieur had written nothing of it to her, but that on Villeroy's return she would be advertised of the peace and all other things from thence ; and that the King purposed next week to go, on the way to the 'Baynes' of Bourbon-Lancy, to 'Fontaine-bell'-eau' with the young Queen, and thence to Orleans, and so to Blois, to hear oftener from his brother, and to be in a more commodious place and nearer for negotiating the pacification. At his return next Friday the 26th she would let him know what I had conferred with her, and wished I should resort to him. So I assured her 'to' follow her advice and obey her commands ; parting thus in humble sort from her. Now I have been informed in this sort of the 'course' of M. Simier's disgrace and loss of Monsieur's favour. First, since his being last in Paris, Monsieur has shown somewhat less liking to him ; which grew from the mislike of the 'good countenances, and certain conferences which he passed with their Majesties' and other most assured principal persons of this Court, when the quarrel first began between Baligny and him ; at which time Queen Mother specially 'tendered' Simier, commanding 'il Signor Strossi' to accompany him, and by all means special order was given for his safety. This being signified to Monsieur, diminished his entire favour towards Simier ; and further impression had been made on him of this jealousy through the intelligence sent from the Court and other parties on this side. Further, before this last taking of arms, the King and Queen of Navarre wrote earnestly to Monsieur to send Simier with intreaty to repair to them, that they might deliberate with him by word of mouth of affairs which they would not speak to any but him for the service of the Duke his master. He excused to Monsieur, and to the King and Queen of Navarre, his staying from taking that journey upon him, pointing out that the King would too much mislike his voyage that way the rather because he was so lately returned from England, which might breed too much diffidence towards him ; declared that he would become less able to serve Monsieur after the King had so deeply conceived evil of him. Whereon the King and Queen of Navarre sent for Fervaques, by whose messages all those affairs have partly passed. Upon this refusal of Simier made to the Queen of Navarre, and his strangeness, being given and recommended by her to Monsieur, she has taken indignation against him ; and 'it is doubted that a great part of this storm proceeds against him from that coast.' And by experience, they say, it is found how her credit displaced Count de Saint-Aignan, la Bordesiére, M. d'Arpenty and M. de Soury. Further, it is conceived that he has been a hindrance to the better intelligence which would otherwise have passed between Monsieur and the King of Navarre, and has as they say charged those of the Religion with taking arms without the knowledge of his Highness to their prejudice, nothing 'favouring' their cause to Monsieur. So that as I am given to understand Monsieur conceived such displeasure against him that he desired to have him further from his presence ; whereon Baligny, being in the palace on the 9th inst. talking with . . . broker [?] received a letter in which his Highness wrote that upon sight of it he should repair to him, which he did a few days after. At his coming, Monsieur welcomed him in his cabinet with good acceptance and some conference, which was marked ; and next day Baligny sent M. de Meure [qy. la Meure] to Simier, to tell him that Baligny was waiting for him in an appointed place with rapier and dagger to talk with him about some 'causes,' and if he would take a friend, he [Meure] would second Baligny. On this Simier sent for Fervaques, who promised to come at once, but being in his Highness' cabinet when the message was 'done' to him, either by his means or otherwise the matter was discovered to Monsieur and consequently the quarrel was for that time stayed. And since 'by some shows' it appeared to Simier that this was a 'platform' to affront him, he found means to get at night out of his lodgings within the Court, accompanied by some of his most assured friends, and so departed to the Abbey of Bourgueil and thence to Angiers. But Monsieur sent for him from thence and desired him to do no further in that government, with command that since he had departed without seeing him or taking leave of him, he 'licensed' him, and wished him not to repair thereafter to his presence. The Queen Mother let me know that Baligny was at Court this morning, and she asked him how it chanced that he had renewed quarrel with Simier. He said that at his going to Monsieur he had not thought of challenging him, but afterwards upon advertisement from his friends, he found he had occasion to talk with him. The same day a gentleman came and spoke openly to Baligny in the Court, saying that Simier was an honourable gentleman, and he would find him so, and assuredly he would fight him. I hear that Baligny will within two days take his journey to his Highness, who it is thought is at present with the Duke of Montpensier. Baligny's wife came to the Court last week, and among other conference declared to the King how this quarrel between her husband and Simier had lately passed. The King, in the sight of everybody, 'shewed to have' no great contentment in her speeches, and gave her no great pleasant countenance nor gracious answer, but after her parting said to some about him how little pleasure he had received in the rehearsal of her husband's quarrels, and that it seemed to him a very indecent and unwomanly part for a wife to be a meddler and reporter of 'those kind of' causes. It is mistrusted that some have discovered how Simier is assured to their Majesties more than his Duke would have it. The cause being so far beyond most people's opinion and expectation that sundry conjectures and suspicions are arisen thereon, and it is held that the King has expressly sent Villeroy to salve this displeasure towards Simier, as also to complain that Saint-Luc has been received by his Highness and entertained in his Court in some sort. The King of Navarre having been advertised that M. de Ruffec and M. de Bourdeille are making head in Xaintonge against Count Rochefoucault has advised him not to venture any battle as yet. The Viscount of Camillac has lately 'reysed' some castles about Aurillac in Auvergne, in the hope that Marshal Montmorency will join him. The King has discovered that Monsieur has very small means to annoy him, although he has written to some of his friends that if it might not be otherwise he would employ his own person to make the peace, as also that there are divers which 'linger of' and show themselves most unwilling to become of any party, such is the misery of this state. And surely unless it please God to stir the Queen to the consideration of the dangers which threaten those of the Religion, without doubt there will be little appearance of persons and people who will stick to God and His glory, but [sic] thoroughly apply themselves to the world, seeing princes so entirely bent by all means to force the minds of men to forget God and follow their opinions. It seems that they are willing to disorder this whole state, whereby they may the easier reduce it to their designed order. Meantime they are content to see Portugal and Flanders lost for any honourable or royal care they perform, more than a shew of aid. The King of Spain advances his affairs in Portugal, where their own 'opinion of ability' and their disunion and lack of resolution will be a great part of their ruin ; whereby the King of Spain's small forces, together with his great corruptions, will prevail. Yet those here have sent away Don Francisco Baretto, who was sent hither from the Governors, and embarked him in two ships with 300 soldiers. They left Nantes about the 16th ; but it is thought this help will be too late and too little. How far these affairs, passing in this sort, import her Majesty, 'it is thought they are sufficiently considered on.' Strozzi has shown himself forward in promoting these preparations, and has written to a friend of his to wish me to solicit the affairs of Portugal to her Majesty. Please inform her of the particulars herein.—Paris, 24 Aug. 1580. P.S.—I inclose the ordinary advertisements from sundry parts, received from Italy. 6 pp. [France IV. 137.]
Aug. 24. 406. STAFFORD to BURGHLEY.
I thank you for your honourable dealing on my account. I can offer nothing more assured than my service to you and yours while I live. I hope, though the matter go not forward as, if it be for her Majesty's good, I pray it may, my faithful travail is never a whit less to be accounted of in deed, though perchance not to her Majesty's judgement and opinion. The ambassador was at the Court on Monday. I saw him yesterday, and he told me that he never in all his life found the Queen in words more fervent nor constant. But he says she does not deceive him, for he trusts nothing that she says till he see it done ; but he says he is content to be deceived 'with company,' and that it is you, my Lord Chamberlain, and myself that deceive him, and he is content to be deceived by us, because he desires a good success to the matter and therefore hopes for it. He is advertised, he says, that la Fère is upon the point to yield for want of money, a thing which I promise you I have always 'doubted.' He 'assures' that if they yield they will find the King, for the Queen's intercession, very favourable to them. I hear the Prince of Condé is very ill content, not with the Queen, but for many promises from home, which he saw when he was here they were not able to perform. I wish I 'were lept' thither for a day, and hither again for another. 'I do so much presume of his love to me that he would utter his stomach to me,' which if he did, her Majesty should for my duty's sake not be ignorant of it ; though perchance her ill-hap would cause her to make as little account of it as of other true things I have told her. —Highgate, 24 Aug. P.S.—Lord 'Shephylde' is in the country with Lord Arundel. Neither my wife nor I can hear or spy anything like a slipping back in him, and for his wife she is when she is here very 'reformable' and comes dutifully and devoutly to service, and is besides of such behaviour that we have great hope of her. My wife desires her humble duty to you and my lady. Add. Endd. by Burghley. 1 p. [Ibid. IV. 138.]
Aug. 25. 407. (1) Ban and proscription made by the King's Majesty in respect of William of Nassau, Prince of Orange, as chief disturber of the estate of Christendom, and specially of these Low Countries, whereby all men are authorised to fall on him and put him out of the world as a public pest ; with a reward to whoso shall do it or aid in it.—Published in the town of Mons, 25 Aug. 1580. Printed by his Majesty's express command, 1580. Douay : Jan Bogaert, sworn printer. MS. copy of the proscription of the Prince of Orange. 'Done in our town of Maestricht, 15 March 1580. By order of his Majesty (signed) Verreyken.'
(2) Copy of the Prince of Parma's letter to the Governors, etc. of the provinces, directing the publication of the above.—Mons, 15 June 1580 (Signed) Alexander, (counter-signed) Verreyken. Endd. in L. Tomson's hand : Proscription against the Prince of Orange, 1580. Walsingham's mark. Fr. ½ p. and 11½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIII. 48.]
Aug. 30. 408. COBHAM to [WALSINGHAM].
I have in my other letter told you of what has lately passed, and only mention these further details in order that her Majesty may be persuaded to give such further occasion to the Portuguese that by her gracious dealing they may think themselves entirely bound, and thereby conceive the better of Religion ; for more followed Christ for the miracle he showed of the loaves, which filled their eyes and belly, than for all the hopes and joys through the preaching and assurance of everlasting life. Therefore the worldly comfort often entices weak spirits to make account of gifts, and to hearken after their voices who give them succour and benefit. And surely here is small hope for them of Flanders, little comfortable amity to be hoped for the English, and less good toward themselves, but by afflictions to bring them to heaven, or end many of their lives miserably. It is sure that the King will be strong in the field, though not able to continue ; and they of themselves soon wax weary of any enterprise ; so the less extremities are 'doubted.' Captain Anselm having lain in ambush in hope to surprise the castle of Dorn, and given an overthrow to la Valette the elder in the Marquisate of Saluces, and for some other new troubles, the ambassador of Savoy lamented to the King that his duke was sorry those disorders could be no better appeased, having done his best to frame all things to the King's will. The King said he thanked the duke, but he liked to give order himself in his own dominions ; however, this trouble and all the rest should shortly be remedied ; which the ambassador noted and it was marked by others. 'Mal Donato' was repairing to Monsieur to procure a passport for a Spanish ambassador who was to be sent here ; but was persuaded to stay. The said 'Donato' and Capello the banker in Paris are managing a practice in Antwerp against the Prince of Orange by means of Flemings who resort hither. The King of Spain has sent ships, among whom I hear there is gone one Clark, an Englishman, to take the Portugal fleet coming from the Indies. Some of the Religion hope that Viscount Turenne will succeed to the place of favour about Monsieur. 'It were to good' if it might so fall out. Some thought Saint-Luc would ; but I hear he is returned to Bourges [Brouage]. The Lord of Arbrothe is out of town with the Bishop of Glasgow. I thank you for the comfort you sent in your last letter, and I pray God I may have the better means to do Him and her Majesty more agreeable service. I have in most dutiful manner 'taken acknowledgment of' her gracious speeches in my behalf.—Paris, 26 Aug. 1580. P.S.—I thought it well to send back M. Simier's letters, for I could not hear of any certain place where he is. Besides, I suppose they contain matter touching Monsieur's causes ; so I return them herewith to her Majesty, seeing mishap has befallen him, as I learn both from his own friends and otherwise. 1½ pp. [France IV. 139.]
Yesterday we received letters from France, from her Majesty's ambassador, which I had thought to have sent to you ; but doubting that she might in some respect 'have use' of them, it made me stay the sending of them. The effectual points were the following. First, that Queen Mother did not like the stay of the Commissioners, interpreting it to be but a delay ; and therefore prayed her Majesty to deal clearly in the action, that in case she have no liking to deal in the marriage they might proceed to treat for some further degree of amity, being a thing most necessary for both Crowns in respect of the greatness that the Crown of Spain is grown to. That the treaty for peace being committed to the duke her son's hands, there is likelihood that it will take effect ; and that it may be performed with more expedition the King meant to go presently towards Blaye, where, being nearer to his brother, the intelligence between them might pass with the more speed. That Simier seems to be altogether in disgrace with his master, upon suspicion that he was 'too inward' with the King and Queen Mother, and that the Queen of Navarre has been a principal instrument in setting this matter forward. That Baligny, the Bishop of Valence's son, and Simier are shortly to come to the combat, Baligny being, it is thought, encouraged thereto by the duke, as he had secret conference with him in his cabinet. That the King of Spain prevails greatly in Portugal, and that the succours sent from France are only 400 soldiers and certain expert captains. These are the chief points in the ambassador's letters. Her Majesty seeing by these letters that the King of Spain prevails in Portugal, and seeing a disposition in the French king in spite of Queen Mother's speech to prosecute the war against those of the Religion, has put on a disposition to proceed in her marriage, and has therefore caused me to qualify the former message sent to Queen Mother, letting her know that the cause why she wished the Commissioners to stay until a peace was concluded was because she was advertised that this was likely to take effect out of hand ; which if it had come to pass before the coming of the Commissioners would have wrought great satisfaction in her subjects here. Her meaning was not that in case no peace should be concluded the Commissioners should not come at all. What Queen Mother will do upon this qualification time will show. Her Majesty has written an 'effectual' letter to the Duke in favour of Simier. She is greatly perplexed that he should be by practice divided from so faithful a servant. Last night her Majesty had secret conference with the gentleman sent from Don Antonio ; but what passed between them, I know not. By the inclosed you will see that the speech given out touching the taking of la Fère is vain, and that the winning of that town will be a matter of great difficulty. The town of Paris by the increase of the plague is become almost desolate.—The Court, 30 Aug. 1580. P.S.—I find now that her Majesty would like your return to Court. Add. Endd. by Burghley. 3 pp. [France IV. 140.]
Aug. 30. 410. WALSINGHAM to COBHAM.
Her Majesty understands from your letter sent by my servant Burnham that in your last audience you signified to Queen Mother that her Highness thought it fit the Commissioners should not come till peace were concluded ; and also that though she thought herself greatly honoured by the choice that had been made of the Prince of Condé's brother to be sent hither as one of them, being a prince of the King's own blood ; yet in respect of his youth and the quality of the matter to be treated of, she desired that some personage of good calling, accompanied by more years, might be thought of. Whereunto Queen Mother in some earnest manner answered, to the first, that she thought your message delivered to her in that behalf to be but a delay, and therefore desired to understand her Majesty's mind more plainly in the matter, in order that some straighter kind of amity might at least be treated of to avoid the inconvenience which might follow if that cause were suffered to hang longer in suspense ; and to the second, that she could not find any other prince of the blood to send, for the Duke of Montpensier was aged and feeble and the Prince Dauphin his son was loath to leave him, being in that state ; alleging Marshal de Cossé and Pibrac to be men of sufficient experience. Her Majesty would therefore have you signify to her, touching the stay of the Commissioners, that being informed by their ambassador resident here that the King himself desired nothing more than peace, and that Monsieur, to whom by assent of both parties the treaty was committed, was in good hope of concluding it, she conceived so great expectation of its conclusion that she most assuredly believed it would have been done out of hand. Therefore knowing how great satisfaction it would work in her subjects' hearts to have the peace concluded before the Commissioners came, she thought it not amiss to request their stay for a time ; not with any such resolution as that if peace did not follow they should not come at all. Touching the Prince of Condé's brother, you should let her understand (as, if it had not been by me mistaken, would have been written to you in my last) that she can be content that he should come if he be accompanied by some well-qualified personage of more years and good understanding. Such an one might be old Lansac, Carrouges, or some such other of the King's Privy Council, of robe courte ; for the world expects that a matter of such consequence should be handled by persons of wisdom and gravity. As for the Marshal and Pibrac, she takes the Marshal to be chosen for Monsieur, and not for the King, and desires therefore that another may be chosen for the King, to accompany the Prince's brother. She prays her to interpret her message in such honourable sort as princes, knit in that amity they are, ought to do one of another. Thus much you are to say to Queen Mother ; and since her Majesty has written nothing to Monsieur touching the Commissioners' coming or at least touching the hard interpretation made of the message delivered by you, you shall by letter acquaint him with this qualification of the former message, and further let him understand that immediately after she hears from him, which she hopes to do shortly, he shall know more of her intention touching this matter. Her Majesty was at first offended with the returning of the packet ordered to be sent to Simier ; but after I had debated the matter with her at some length, she rested satisfied. Now she would have you inclose the greater packet sent you herewith, in a letter of your own and direct it to Monsieur, and that the gentleman who carries it should deliver it into his own hands. The triangle is her letter to yourself ; which her pleasure is, after you have perused it, you should seal up and return to her by the next. She would have you advertise her by the same whether the Commissioners appointed to repair hither made any preparation for the voyage, as was given out here, and whether they had received any sums of money by the King's order towards their preparation as the ambassador reports. There is some doubt of this, as you do not advertise any thing in that behalf. Draft. Endd. by L. Tomson : M. to Sir H. Cobham, August 30, 1580. 4¼ pp. [France IV. 141.]
Aug. 31. 411. COBHAM to the SECRETARIES.
After the King's return from St. Germain's I was admitted to his presence the 29th of the last month [sic]. I declared to him the Queen's zealous desire to see France returned to their accustomed quietness, that she might hear tell that his Majesty joyfully governed without civil troubles. She wished this the rather, because the troubles seemed to be an impeachment of other design more advantageous to him ; as also that the Queen's best subjects 'did much muse' to hear tell how those of the Religion were besieged and 'encumbered' in other parts of the realm, which raised many doubts in their minds, conceived because the Queen showed a liking for the person, birth, and virtue of his Highness more than she had ever seemed to do to any other prince. Notwithstanding her whole realm well understood that to satisfy their desire for succession she was thereon only moved to condescend to marriage, which was wished for with the enjoyment of the Religion ; but these wars brought some peril to remembrance. Wherefore the Queen greatly desired he would command the peace to be made, because hitherto it has been discoursed on and negotiated ; the wars being still advanced throughout the realm of France, to the great danger and extreme threatening of the Protestants. The King said, for himself he had determined to have the pacification renewed and established, so that his subjects would do their parts. He had sent Secretary Villeroy to his brother to clear the difficulties and understand the stay, since in the meantime he was losing his best subjects, which he was driven to do for the maintenance of his honour. I further informed him that the Queen for the respects aforesaid and for the happy performance of that alliance which seemed to be devised as a means to the establishment of a perfect amity between the Crowns of France and England, now requested that the Commissioners might not hasten their coming until the negotiations for peace were advanced, according to the endeavours of Monsieur, authorised by his Majesty. The King said the peace might be dealt in while the Commissioners were also bringing this other good work to pass ; and although they were ready, having the money assigned for the purpose, yet as the Queen thought their stay convenient, they should await her further pleasure. I further signified her opinion as to the age of the Prince of Condé's brother, which the King said he would seek to alter ; though he did not find it easy to send another of his blood, for his elder brother being to be preferred to benefices it was feared the Pope would not like the journey, which would be a hindrance to his being employed 'toward' England. I pointed out how the Queen thought herself much honoured by the appointment of a prince of the blood, and so left it to his further pleasure. He said he thought she would be sorry to hear that Portugal stood in such evil terms. I said it concerned both their states, and she had offered to concur with him in these causes 'in all manner of sorts.' He said it was necessary to consider thereon, and his mother would deal that way.—Paris, last of August, 1580. 1½ pp. [France IV. 142.]
? End of Aug. 412. "Representations to the King and Queen Mother on the State of Portugal."
Your Majesties ought not to abandon your intention of aiding the King of Portugal for the news of the capture of Lisbon ; rather you should use more diligence, that the realm be not lost. Nor need you give it up from fear lest Portugal be lost already. For Lisbon is not all the kingdom, nor the key of it ; only a town very difficult to hold, and in itself of no defensive strength. If the King of Spain wishes to keep it, his whole army must remain there inactive. It has no walls or fort where he could leave a garrison to keep it in subjection, nor is it possible to erect one owing to the inconvenience of the situation. It will take 20,000 men to guard it, and he has not more than 15,000 all told. If the King of Portugal has had some of his people routed as they say, it is not all the kingdom ; only those whom he could hastily get together in the city, not having time to do more. While the King of Spain's army is occupied in guarding Lisbon, the King of Portugal will be at the other towns which remain to him, which are many and strong. Here he will collect his forces from all his provinces, and with the succours which you will send him, will easily retake Lisbon and drive the Spaniards from his country. If the King of Portugal had been slain, there would have been some reason for not sending the promised succours, as things would be desperate (déplorécs) ; but as he is in one of his strongest towns, and has plenty of people who take his part yet upright, and has all the towns and ports at his devotion, except Lisbon, there is good appearance of resources, if the succours are hastened, and he gives the King of Spain no leisure to establish himself ; whose violent proceeding is in truth formidable to many, and disagreeable to all. If they can see any appearance of succour, they will take fresh courage. Guyenne, Normandy and other provinces, even Paris, have ere now been occupied by the English, and the King of France called in mockery the King of Bourges. Yet in course of time the French re-established their true King and drove out the English, who nevertheless seemed to have a firm footing. Even if all Portugal had been seized by Spain, and the King slain, neither of which events is likely to happen for some time, your Majesties ought, for the benefit of this Crown, and to prevent the King of Spain from becoming so great, to give M. Strozzi the means to go at least to the Azores and the Portuguese Indies in order to take possession of them and defend them against the King of Spain while he is occupied in this new conquest, as a counterpoise to so great a power ; otherwise, if leisure is left him to seize them, he will care little for France, and may do it much harm. If the King of Portugal, being left without the support that you have promised him, finds himself unable to maintain his position, he will in desperation go off to Barbary and hand over his strongholds there to the Moors, whence they will easily be able to pass into Spain, to the shame of France and ruin of Christendom. Another consideration which should induce you more boldly to support the King of Portugal is that M. Strozzi is the person employed in the matter. Being a foreigner, and known to be a courageous and enterprising man, you will be able at your ease to disavow him if the fear of an enterprise against the King of Spain chills your ardour ; though his powers are not so great as we make them out. Or you might let it be undertaken in his own name by Monseigneur, as an interested party, having been offered by you to the Estates of Portugal to be their King ; to which the most part, nay the whole, of the realm was well inclined, but for their affection and duty towards their native prince, Don Antonio. And provided you assure M. Strozzi secretly that you approve his undertaking it, and secretly provide him with the means (for better concealment fitting him out once for all) he will also be content that you should thenceforward make such outward show of disapproval as you please. In this way you will discharge your promise, will succour a neighbour and friend, binding him and his realm for ever to you and your posterity, without any need to fear vengeance on the part of the King of Spain, both because he will ostensibly have no just cause, and because this course of action will give him enough to do to attend to his own affairs. Moreover, if anyone thinks that the King of Spain is not aware of Don Francisco Baretti's visit to the Court, and of the hopes held out to him, he is much mistaken. He has too many friends in France, even at Court, to be ignorant of it ; and notably of the fact that Strozzi accompanied him to Nantes, had him well entertained by the way at Chenonceau, by order of the Queen, got him a ship, supplied him with all the men he could, kept back a good number of vessels in virtue of the King's commission, and lastly obtained money from André Ruys, who is a Spaniard and must have told the King his master. So that it is a double mistake to believe that if nothing further is done, the King of Spain will abate aught of any illwill he may have conceived against you ; for he will on the contrary grow more insolent, when he sees that fear is the only cause of holding back. And inasmuch as he will recognise that it has seized us at the report of a single piece of good fortune which he has had in Portugal, what will it be when he has got everything and the Indies, and reduced the Low Countries to his obedience, which will be easy for him if he is let do it ; aye, and to take England afterwards? In short, your Majesties may take it as certain that he will not lack pretexts for making war on you as soon as he sees it convenient The more you temporise with him, the more you further it ; and you need not respect him so much, since for his part he has not respected the agreement of '59, when the King of Portugal was called by the late King Henry a brother in arms and allied with France, nor had regard to your Majesty's rights and claims when you had been admitted to assert them. Of which he was not ignorant ; but as a disturber of the peace of all Christendom he entered by force of arms into Portugal, to which you have much more claim (action) than he. Your Majesties ought not to omit to send succour there, nor fear that it may be unable to enter Portugal, even though Lisbon be taken ; inasmuch as on this side Lisbon the King still has several good ports, as Tosquia, Porto, la Perdriguera, Mandego, Viana, Huero, Camigna, and others, where a landing may be made. If M. Strozzi thinks it better not to enter the kingdom in arms, he might keep with his force 50 miles off the coast of Portugal, and send a small vessel under cover of selling corn, with some experienced men in her to see the state of affairs ; by whose report his proceeding should be guided. If he should find from them that it would be better he should not land, he can go to the Azores where he will be well received, and strengthen himself there. He will stop the King of Spain's traffic with the Indies, and secure Brazil, Guinea, Cape Verde, San Tome, Camigna, and all the Indies, the islands lying on the route to those places. I beg your Majesties not to think I am speaking for any harm the Spaniards have ever done me, nor for any good I have had or hope to have from the Portuguese ; but solely from my affection to your service, and the loyalty which I owe you.
To this is appended :
A list of the towns and seaports devoted to Don Antonio as yet untaken by the Spaniards, together with provinces, territories, and foreign possessions :—("the Viceroy of India is a great friend of the King, and an enemy to the Spaniards, has a larger army there than the Kings of Spain and Portugal together could make, and many kings in those parts are his friends and allies, and will be much annoyed if the Spaniards take possession of the Portuguese, and will resist them with all their power")—with reflexions similar to those in the memorial. "If the King of Spain has almost lost the Low Countries, where he has rights, how will he conquer Portugal?" Copy, probably made in the English Embassy at Paris. Endd. Fr. 5½ + 5 pp. [Portugal I. 39.]