Elizabeth: November 1580, 21-30

Pages 493-501

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

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November 1580, 21-30

Nov. 24. 498. ROSSEL to WALSINGHAM.
I am leaving Antwerp suddenly, but cannot omit to write a line, having to thank you for your last letters, and for 30 livres, gros monnaie of Flanders, which Mr Gilpin has handed to me. I have been here for about 8 days, waiting to take 4 companies of horse into Flanders, in order, as I told you, to make up an army of 3,000 to 4,000 men while the enemy engaged on the side of Cambray against M. d'Alenon's troops ; who, as rumour went, have defeated the Marquis of Risbourg. The 'halting messenger' says that there has been some combat, or re-victualling of Cambray, and not more. From the newly-established Council for War in Brabant I have obtained only two cornets, which will follow in a week. Letters have come to-day from the deputies in France, but they are of old date. They find us hoping for peace. Meanwhile the King of France is not abandoning the war, for according to letters from Lyons M. du Maine is waging a cruel war in Dauphin. As you say, the coming of Monsieur will be very necessary and advantageous to us ; for Friesland is being lost, if some remedy is not quickly applied. You will hear the details from Mr Norris, wherefore I leave off, deferring a more ample discourse to the next ordinary post.Antwerp, 24 Nov. 1580. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XIII. 76.]
Nov. 24. 499. DR. HECTOR NUEZ to BURGHLEY.
Last night I received letters from Flanders, and there were two from Portugal dated the 6th and 7th ult. They confirm what was said before, how Don Antonio was very strong and had a number of Frenchmen with him, and how 'Sanctoa de Avola' went against him, and, by one of my letters, was overcome by Don Antonio ; and this I doubt, because others do not say so much. They write also for certain that a good number of Frenchmen were with him also ; and 'Senior Descovare' [Escobar] (the 'Portingale' who came here first from Don Antonio) writes now from France that he was ready to go to Nantes to take ship for Portugal, with a good number of Frenchmen. From Medena [? Medina] it is written to a friend of mine that King Philip, understanding the great power that Don Antonio had, had called out again the soldiers whom he had dismissed, intending to make a new company to 'invade' Don Antonio one way, and 'Sanctoa de Avola' by another way. They of Lisbon had the Spaniards in great hatred for their evil behaviour ; specially those that were newly come from the Indies and Guinea and other places, finding their houses spoiled and their wives and children misused. And every day there were frays between the Portuguese and Spanish soldiers ; and the Duke of Alva, fearing the worst, brought all the soldiers into the city, and lodged them in the merchants' houses, which will be the undoing of the city.From my house, 24 Nov. 1580. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Portugal I. 44.]
Nov. 27. 500. COBHAM to [the SECRETARIES].
You may know by this that the king has accomplished his journey into Bourbonnais, and is at present on his return with his young queen. He is expected at Orleans to-morrow, where Queen Mother has purposed to be to-night, awaiting their coming. It is thought they will go on together to Blois, whither the principal personages and the Council, who have been dispersed abroad, mean to repair. It is purposed that all affairs will be thoroughly managed and accorded on, as occasion serves. The queen had received no letters from his Highness for eight days ; but by a letter received three days ago she heard from him that the peace-conference had like to have been dissolved without anything effected ; but they have since grown to better terms, with greater hope than hitherto to have peace concluded. The courtiers cast the fault on the troublesome demeanour of the commissaries for those of the Religion, 'imposing' to them that they are wrought with some Spanish artifices to continue the troubles of the realm. How unlikely this is, I 'report me' to you ; for those who look into the government of this state, rather judge that the Italian faction will by all means trouble the uniting of the princes and nobility lest they should enter into the old consideration of them, which 'heretofore has been so often stirred in,' and they thereby be put in great fear. The occasion is rather taken to be that the king has by their discourses been long dissuaded not to consent to the interview between his brother and the King of Navarre ; as also that no peace would contain them of the Religion within any assured limits of obedience, but that they will be a continual impediment to foreign enterprises. The Italians have misliked Matignon for observing so well the composition made at la Fre. They blame the Duke of Maine for using the like at la Meure in Provence. Howbeit hitherto the king shows by his commands that he has a will to continue the pacification made at Nrac. Oftentimes of late, both in his private passages to his houses, and at Olinville, he has been put in fear of the companies levied for Monsieur (which marched not far from his Majesty's 'being'), through the secret malicious advices of those who would continue the jealousy between him and his Highness. Monsieur has likewise, by Fregoso and other Italians, as I am given to understand, been practised with ; first, in laying before him deep considerations, that he was to go into those parts with some forces, lest he might fall into the hands of the king through Biron's companies, or else be intercepted by those of the Religion, whereby they should better assure themselves of his person. Otherwise he was counselled that it would be very dangerous for him to persuade the King of Navarre to disarm, if assured of his frendship ; for his forces would be his defence, and a cause for the king to regard him the more. I hear also that they of the Religion have been advertised of sundry secret attempts prepared against them, whereby they should be induced to demand such difficult assurances, as may seem to the king altogether unreasonable, and that so the 'treaty' might pass without any good fruit. While it is not performed the king is constrained to abstain from all foreign enterprises. He has hitherto deferred the determination of entering into any other foreign actions as to resolve on the propositions made by the deputies of the Low Countries, treated on with his Majesty by Marshal Coss, until the treaty of peace is concluded or dissolved ; whereof, I suppose, his Highness has informed Mr Stafford for the satisfaction of her Majesty. The courtiers report that if the King of Navarre does not consent to the peace the friendship between him and Monsieur will be broken. I have been assured by M. Marchaumont that the king has suspended all things till peace is concluded, and nothing resolved on the matter of Flanders, but when peace is effected he supposes Monsieur will reserve that, to advertise her Majesty. There have been many pretty devices spread abroad by the Catholics in France to trouble the king's mind from having peace with his Huguenots. The burning of the church of the Cordeliers is imputed to the Italians. Some gentlemen belonging to the Ambassador of Savoy, walking by the church to see the spoil made by the fire, were apprehended by sergeants and carried to the Chief President, whence they were brought as prisoners to the ambassador's house until they were avouched by him to belong to him, and so released. At Paris they have small opinion of the conclusion of the peace. The King of Navarre has desired the Viscount of Turenne to come to him, which was some cause of the stay in the conference. The Prince of Cond is said to have passed unknown through Switzerland with a small train, and [been] rifled by the way in a little town ; whence he took his way through Provence to enter France. But nothing is certainly known. There is 'a treaty procured' to restore Captain Anselme to the king's grace. He has agreed to surrender the forts in Saluces which he now commands if the king will pardon him and give him some other strong town and 50,000 crowns. The king is pleased to give him 20,000, and the captainship of such a castle as shall be thought convenient by the Governor of that country. I hear from Lyons, under date the 13th inst., that they of the citadel of la Meure, having first abandoned and set fire to the town, had valiantly defended themselves, being of the Religion ; but afterwards for want of water, wood, and sustenance were so famished that they drank their own urine. They made in the end a composition with the Duke of Maine to depart with their arms, without ensigns or drums, and their matches quenched. Without this composition they were resolved to make a sally and venture their lives. They were but 800 in number. Their eight ensigns were brought to the king, as I have already advertised, by young 'Livrot.' The Duke of Maine leaves a garrison in the town, meaning to dissolve his camp and make no other enterprise this winter but go to Grenoble. I enclose the advertisements from Spain of the 2nd inst. The like is confirmed from Lyons. It is much contrary to those that Antonio Brito de Pimentel delivered to me before. It is confirmed that 4,500 soldiers from Flanders have returned from Spain and been placed in garrison in Milan, Naples, and Sicily. There has been some bruit in Paris that Nrac is taken. Count Chanfrey, ambassador from the young Duke of Savoy, had audience of his Majesty before he left Olinville, and was 'referred' to come to Blois for further conference ; whence he is determined to repair to his Highness. The Duchess of Nemours, mother to the Duke of Guise, the other day had a dangerous bleeding at her nose, since which a swelling has fallen into her legs, not without suspicion of hazard to her life. The Earl of Westmorland left Rouen about the 6th inst., embarking at 'Newhaven' for Spain about the 8th ; being, as I am informed, advertised from Spain by one Muckett, a Kentishman, that the king's pleasure was all Englishmen should be restored to their pensions. He had supply of money at the hands of Humphrey Shelton, upon certain centributions that came from England. Some of the papists give out that the Spanish king has sent for him to be employed for the affairs of Ireland. Howbeit, I understand from those that love him for his professions towards the Pope and indisposition to her Majesty, that they think him not a fit person to be employed in any great enterprise for some defects which they impute to him. I enclose a proffer made by a Jesuit in England, which is dispersed here among the Papists ; and a little pamphlet newly set forth of the taking of Saint Agreue [qu. Santarem], with a discourse of the enterprise of Portugal, and the Turk's receiving of the Ambassador of Persia.Moret, 27 Nov. 1580. Add. and endt. gone. 4 pp. [France IV. 180.]
Nov. 28. 501. COBHAM to [? WALSINGHAM].
I have just heard that there is some doubt of the king's going to Blois, because of the plague which 'should be' in the town. Advertisements have come that Marshal d'Aumont has taken the castle in which M. de Beaupr's wife and children were, having razed it. Beaupr is with the King of Navarre. Montbreny's brother, cousin to Mme d'Aubigny, is slain before Montaigu. Mme d'Estampes died last week and M. de Chartres [la Chtre], who is a follower of Monsieur, has sent a company of his servants, who have entered her castle and seized her goods ; 'challenging' to be one of her heirs by right of his wife. The latest letters from Lyons certify that Don Antonio is taken. Moret, 28 Nov. 1580. Add. and endt. gone. p. [Ibid. IV. 181.]
Nov. 28. 502. COBHAM to [? WALSINGHAM].
I have not failed to let M. de Marchemont know how her Majesty greatly desired to be informed from Monsieur or by his means, of the answer the king gave to the articles agreed upon between his Highness and those of the Low Countries. To which he has answered that the king could not in any wise be induced to deliver his resolution for the according of those articles before peace was established, having deferred all suchlike affairs till then. Therefore he says Marshal Coss did not make any 'overture of those causes' to me, since they remained unconcluded on. So it seems the king intends to reserve his meaning, the secret determination of his further progress in those enterprises, till his realm is in repose ; which God send. Nevertheless Mr de Marchemont assures me the king marches with an upright and sincere meaning in these negotiations. I have sent Mr Waad to 'Rone,' where he purposes to stay some days for the better deciphering of the earl's enterprises ; whereon I have caused this post to repair to him, to receive such intelligence as he shall there gather of those professors of the Pope's authority ; among whom the earl is not reported so valiant and sufficient as to take any important enterprise in hand. Copley showed a letter of his which he wrote to him, of his departure for Spain in the company, as I hear, of Dacres, by sea from 'Newhaven' ; being afraid that his Highness would have him taken and sent to England. The Pope's nuncio remains 'in evil opinion with' the king, ever since the intimation of the bull of Cena Domini. He has made means by Cardinal Birago and old M. de Lansac to be admitted to his Majesty's presence ; but he cannot be permitted, nor have as yet any hope thereof. By the intimation of the bull, according to the Romish institutions, the king would remain excommunicated. You have long ago heard of this 'fact' of the nuncio, so I 'leave' to rehearse the circumstances in detail. Meantime the nuncio remains condemned of indiscreet handling of its publication. I have reminded you of this matter to have occasion to move you that I may know whether her Highness's pleasure be that in the conference which I may have at Blois with their Majesties I shall in some way touch on the excommunication used by the Pope against her, or certify to the king how certain articles of confederation are agreed upon against her between the Pope, King Philip, and the Duke of Florence ; a copy of which I sent some months ago. The Queen has most just cause to confederate herself against the usurping power of the Pope. Two silly fellows have been apprehended in the church of St. Eustacius, suspected of setting fire to the Cordeliers' church. The Duke of Guise and the Cardinal of Bourbon are gone together toward Orleans to meet the king there to-morrow. The ambassadors are resolved to start on the 29th on their journey to Orleans, and so to Blois if the king's mind do not alter. After I had written thus much, Lord Hamilton hearing of my 'short departing' hence sent the enclosed letter, beseeching he may receive an answer at your next convenient leisure. I have not heard from Mr Stafford since his repair into France ; therefore I cannot advertise anything of him.Moret, 28 Nov. 1580. P.S.I have delivered 100 crowns to Sir Jerome Bowes ; the rest he shall shortly receive. Add. and endt. gone. 5 pp. [France IV. 182.]
(1) "The copy of a letter dated in Antwerp the 26th of the last month" [i.e. Nov.]. From Lisbon we have letters of the 19th and 25 of the last month [i.e. Oct.], containing that 'Santoa Deavola' and his company were marching toward 'the port,' and on the 16th was 16 leagues from Lisbon, and stayed there by reason of a great flood, and afterwards went forward, and was passed 'Quinborowe' [Coimbra] and Monte Maior without resistance, because the plague was very busy at 'Quinborowe' ; and so went to 'Averoe,' and when 3 leagues on 'this' side of it, wrote to Lisbon for more soldiers, understanding that Don Antonio was very strong ; and they were sending him 4,000 men. The new sickness was very busy in Lisbon, and a great many died of it, especially Spaniards. It was also very busy throughout Spain, and on the 26th ult. the Queen of Spain died, being with child of a boy. The king lamented her decease very much, and was himself very sick of 'it' all the month of September, and many noblemen died of it, and most of the Queen's gentlewomen. From 'the port of Portugal' we have letters of the 15th ult., containing how Don Antonio was very strong there, and making ready to meet the Spaniards. He had also laden three ships 'of' sugars to be sent to England, to get with the 'proceeding' thereof all manner of victuals, of which the country was greatly destitute, and other things for his wars. When he took 'the port' he hurt no man, nor any of his goods, but only them that were against him. (2) "Of the 28th of November." This day, being Nov. 28, arrived here John Martin, an honest mariner of 'Rosco.' He left Malaga on the 1st inst. and says that on the 18th he met with a 'Brytaine' at the beginning of the Channel who was in 'Bayon' 8 days before, that is Nov. 10, and there was news that Don Antonio was very strong and did much harm to the Spaniards ; which is clean contrary to the news we hear from 'Vyctorye' of the 10th inst. that he was overcome by the Spaniards, and either 'prisoned' or dead. Which news we think here to be untrue. John Martin says that in 'Malager' was never an English ship to lade but only two, which came with fish from 'the new found land.' Two of the Governors of Portugal were deadsome say that they were 'helpte' ; and the rest now confess their evil behaviour against their own country. From Flanders it is written also that the king had arrested my any [sic : qu. many] Hollanders and Britanny ships to go to Oran. In same hand as Dr Nunez' letter (No. 499). Endd. by Burghley's secretary : 26 Nov. 1580. 2 pp. [Portugal I. 45.]
In June and July last I wrote you a letter or two. I hope they were delivered. There would be no small danger for me if any of them should come to my enemies' hands, the more to be feared because there is much search made here 'of' such as write anything from hence, and there is more danger for me in our own Englishmen than in the Spaniards ; though there are Spaniards in England that would gladly find such an occasion against me. If you gave them their passports and sent them away, no small service would be done by it. You know that in the Court here no man is suffered that may in any way be suspected. I do not know what the cause is that Don Bernardino is suffered to remain there ; but I am most certain that he does much harm by being there. Also there is another come to England of late called Pedro de Subiaury, with another who is a 'ladger' there called Alonso Basurto. These men are maintained by certain merchants of London, who in that behalf have small regard of their duties towards God and their country. They have done much harm, as is manifestly known. As for John Baptista de Sanvitores, he 'plays of both hands' ; and if you make enquiry of the merchants what these Spaniards be, you shall find they will extol them to the highest degree, having only a mind to their gains, let the rest go which way it will. What I understand of this country is that the king has much feared what way the Queen was bent ; and to know this has sought all the means he can, for which these men have been instruments. If it might have been kept from him, no attempt had been made by them in Ireland at this time, nor any other ways. But now that the king has Portugal at his will, it may be that the Spaniards will enter into such vain pride as to attempt something, though there is less cause for it than there was before. I am of opinion that 'and yef' the Queen's proceeding 'may be made doubtful to them which way she will deal,' the king will take another course than he has hitherto done, for surely England is much more feared by Spain than France isand good cause why. You have heard of the 'fame' which was written of by many, of the great army which the king prepared to enter Portugal. It is most true that when it was at the greatest there was not 20,000 men with the Duke of Alva when he entered ; nor among all the provision, being mostly strangers, 'yet there was not indeed so many,' and it was much feared here that some aid should have come from England or France to Portugal. If it had, it is well known that Portugal had not been Spanish now, nor for years hereafter. The great navy which was so much spoken of in like manner was of no force to serve anyone further than where they are, which is in Portugal. The truth is that the king's power by sea to be employed towards our ports is of no force. Thus much I am bound to say, because I have some understanding in seafaring matters by reason of my long experience in them. I am most desirous to do you any service that lies in my power, and therefore I am 'boldened' to write you 'thus large.' The king is preparing to enter Portugal personally with all speed, and so to pass to Lisbon. I think he will have enough to do to put things in order there, for three or four years at least ; as he was three years and more in making this army at incredible cost. I do not think he will break with England, 'by no manner of means.' There are great reasons why he should not.San Lucar, 28 Nov. 1580. Add. Endd. 1 pp. [Spain I. 60.]