Elizabeth: November 1579

Pages 83-102

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 1579

Nov. 9. 78. HODDESDON to BURGHLEY.Occurrents.
Antwerp, Oct. 25.The States' men have taken Menin, which was kept by the Malcontents as their chief entrance from Hainault into Flanders and a dept for plunder as well as a great annoyance to Lille. The Spaniards are 'on their departing' and set forth apace, having handed over to the Malcontents all towns, forts and other places held by them, as promised in the agreement. Letters have come from Cologne with new articles of peace. An answer must be given by the end of this month, or the Commissioners from the Empire will depart. But all these are taken for 'very' interludes and devices, to breed division by a show of offering peace, when the Spaniards mean nothing less. Antwerp, Nov. 1.It is credibly reported that the Portuguese have accepted the King of Spain as their prince, so that on this present king's decease he is likely to have the succession of that realm. Other Christian princes will be occasioned to have regard to this. The Spaniards still linger hereabouts. Some say they are Burgundians, some Albanians ; but they attempt nothing. The Malcontents are making preparations to recover Menin from the States, who for their part have sent the English and French thither to rescue the town if need be, and upon occasion deal with the enemy. Hamburg, Oct. 21.'The Sweden' has besieged 'the Narve' with 13,000 men, and these received an overthrow from 'the Russe,' who has slain 2,000 Swedens. The King of Pole is marching towards Perno in Liefland purposing to follow his late victory and besiege that place.London, 9 Nov. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XII. 42.]
Nov. 10. 79. POULET to WALSINGHAM.
Yet a little while and I trust I shall be happy to see you, and then I shall have many things to say to you. Meantime I am and will be yours unfeignedly. My successor is landed, and there is hope that the King will be here by the end of this week.Paris, 10 Nov. 1579. Add. Endd. 7 ll. [France III. 44.]
Nov. 14. 80. VILLIERS to DAVISON.
I am sorry I cannot send you news of anything decided in this country. Many things hinder a full resolution : among them the fact that those of Holland, after having been a long time awaited, are not coming, so that the choice between such a peace as is offered and war remains very difficult, weighty difficulties presenting themselves on all sides. If it were only a secular question, I think it could be easily solved ; the question of religion is the greatest impediment. If this be settled according to the articles propounded by the princes at Cologne it is the ruin of all the Churches, indeed of the whole country. The provinces assembled here have pretty well made up their minds upon the other articles presented by the princes ; there remain only the two articles about religion. These are of great difficulty, and have been put off till next week. I send you some letters from Venice. His Excellency has sent express for M. Junius, to make him burgomaster of Antwerp if he can in the place of M. Van der Stralen. We need a good magistrate badly. M. de la Noue has promised to remain, but the little order that can be put into the soldiers he has to use may discourage him. However, he has fine talents. Just now he is in the neighbourhood of Menin. Recent events in London have afflicted my very soul, chiefly inasmuch as I fear that general harm may come of them. I do not write more of it ; I have indeed only spoken of it to let you know that there is no need to inform me of what has happened. God give her Majesty good counsel. Up to now I have not taken to heart the talk of the marriage ; now I begin to muse on it. I commend me to your favour and that of 'Mademoiselle' your wife ; my wife and Marie do likewise.Antwerp, 14 Nov. 1579. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XII. 43.]
Nov. 15. 81. GILPIN to WALSINGHAM.
The Estates have been all this week and still are so earnestly busied about the devising of Articles touching the 'pretended' hoped peace, that no other causes or suits have been by them 'sorrowed,' but deferred till they have resolved on the principal. I hear from the Pensionary of Bruges that they hope their late letter to the Queen will serve them for some excuse if any displeasure be contrived at their delay occasioned by so urgent necessity. Therefore until I learn from you her pleasure as to the answer, I doubt they will be slow enough to 'redress their longness' in taking some order for the satisfaction of their credit. Thus the only hope of the merchants, as they tell me, rests on her Majesty ; wherefore it were not amiss, for reasons which I refer to your judgement, if a way were taken to see them by one means or another satisfied. The state of the States declines daily and grows to further extremities for money, insomuch that they can find no other way to pay the few soldiers whom they retain in service hereabouts save by 'making prests' and borrowing of those in their town who are most able. These grow so weary of this, being otherwise burdened with taxes, that the poor soldier continually can hardly receive one month's pay out of two. Of all which I thought good to advertise you, so that upon your next writing I might deal as you may direct in soliciting the States to effect her Majesty's pleasure. We hear little news since my last save certain credible reports, which have continued these three or four days that M. de Bours, who was governor of Mechlin, was sent thence last Tuesday as a prisoner to Maestricht ; he being thought the only cause why the Spaniards were not received into Mechlin, where the burgesses will not as yet take in any of their garrison. Of the proceedings between M. de la Noue and the Malcontents nothing has yet been heard ; only that both sides are preparing their forces, so that ere long 'some dealing will pass between them.' There is talk that Cambray has been surrendered to the Duke of Alenon ; but no certainty known. The States of Holland and Utrecht are not yet come, which causes some 'jealousy' among the others. Enclosed I send you two or three letters, a writing and a book lately sent me from my friend at Cologne, and another small book come out here in print this week. The men that were reported to be about Strasburg it is now said are 'dissolved,' their intended enterprise in Burgundy having failed. Antwerp, 15 Nov. 1579. P.S.My friend in one of his letters which I have noted in the margin seems [sic] our Catholics of Cologne greatly desire to have him go on their affairs to England, and thinks it would be a means to learn all their practices. I wait to hear your opinion thereon. Add. Endd. by Walsingham. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XII. 44.]
Nov. 15. 82. N. LYMBORCH to BURGHLEY.
I commend myself humbly to your good graces, inasmuch as I have always had a great desire to serve her Majesty, having in time past served her father King Henry and King Edward, and as in these troublous times machinations might be set on foot against her in England and elsewhere. Certain personages, counts, lords, and others, all notable men of war have by my means bound themselves and combined in all loyalty to serve her Majesty if required ; as by my former letters of 3 Sept. both in Latin and French, which I wrote to her Majesty and yourself, by a young man of this town of Emmerich, named Luloff Bruins. I now offer to bring into that realm in case of necessity, at 14 days' notice, 3,000 or 4,000 soldiers of experience, both infantry and cavalry, to be employed in her Majesty's service, by the method contained in my last. Touching the engineers and inventors of engines and artificial fireballs, also mentioned in my last, they are willing to give practical proof of what they can do at their own charges, and to that end I am ready to repair with four or five of them to her Majesty, and that though they are under oath to me and I undergo great expense in maintaining them. Awaiting her Majesty's good pleasure, I beg you to take this in hand and let me have an answer by this bearer to say what her pleasure is and how I can serve her.Emmerich on the Rhine, 15 Nov. Add. Endd. : 15 No. 1579. Capt. Oste to my Lord : the offer of his service to her Majesty. Fr. 1 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XII. 44 bis.]
Since your departure the time has offered so little agreeable matter to write, and so little opportunity to send it to you, that it has kept me in silence hitherto. That I break it now is rather in order that I may no longer defraud your expectation of hearing from me than because I have anything worth writing. The state of our poor neighbours in the Low Countries remains as hard as it was at your going, 'without tasting in the meanwhile of any great alteration.' The Spaniards have attempted nothing of importance since the taking of Maestricht, make a show of quitting the country according to their agreement with the revolted provinces ; but few wise men look for any performance of it. The Walloons, fortified by the revolt of Mechlin and Alost, have on the other side 'exploited' little else ; and having now lost Menin, 'surprised on them' by Balfour without the loss of any of his, and thereby deprived of their only safe retreat in Flanders, are now 'in state' to abandon that province and succour their confederates in Hainault, where war has broken out by those of Cambray, Bouchain, and two or three other towns holding the part of the States against the rest. Willebroek, the fort upon the point of the passage by water to Brussels, won by the help of those of Mechlin from the States, is now recovered and newly fortified, to the disadvantage of those of Mechlin and relief of the Brussellers. In Ghent things are reduced to some quiet by the exile of Hembise and two or three of his faction, authors of all the former troubles among them ; and the confusion in the rest of that country has been the more easily redressed. The peace negotiations at Cologne are still on foot ; unlikely to bring forth any other fruit than further division of the country. The French are still hunting that hare, as near to their purpose now as at the first day. La Noue is 'upon terms' of returning to to France, but his stay is earnestly 'labored' by the Prince. He is now at Menin to execute some enterprise intended against the Walloons. Of the doings in France I hear little else than that the Queen Mother, having pacified the broil in the Marquisate of Saluces (a trap laid, as some think, for those of Geneva), and having set abroach some new stratagem to a like end, is returned to 'Mount Argis,' where she has been met by the King. The Duke of Anjou remains at Alenon accompanied by the Viscount of 'Touraine' and others, sent for, as we hear, to make ready to wait upon him on his journey hither. He has solicited others of the chief Protestants to do the like ; but the wisest of them, still mindful of the bloody and fatal marriage of his sister, made no great haste to run into a second snare. How the match will succeed we are yet doubtful, but pray for such issue as may be to the glory of God, the comfort of her Majesty, and the profit of His Church. Simier, often ready to depart, is not yet gone. There is talk of dispatching some person of quality into France to conclude the matter there. My lord of Leicester has been named for this ; but of these things you will hear more fully from others. Scotland is quiet at present, and now stands at gaze, awaiting the issue of our doings here. Many thanks for your letter sent by Mr Spencer.London, 16 Nov. 1579. Draft. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XII. 45.]
Nov. 17. 84. [? ROSSEL] to [? GILPIN].
Since I left Antwerp I have been working without intermission at jobs required by the war, especially since the 13th ; on which day it was decided in council by M. de la Noue to march direct upon Verny [sic : qu. Vervy, Wervick]. At the same time I quartered the French and Flemings at Wevelghem, that the troops might march at dawn by a covered way so as not to be perceived by them of Hallewyn. At the hour I was ordered to send two demi-cannons out of Menin, escorted by 400 Scottish arqubusiers as an advanceguard and six companies of Flemings as rear-guard. These by the badness (malice) of the roads were delayed till 3 p.m. The French and Scots had entered the town, where they surprised several prisoners, among others a sergeant of Captain Croy, who recognised me on the spot and told me some particulars of what was going on in their army. He said there were two ensigns in the church, one under Captain Carondelet, a knight of Malta, the other M. de Perone, who at the moment was at Lille ; Croy was in command in the fort on the other side of the Lys. He too was absent. Meanwhile their men came to the aid of those in the church, which was flanked on one side by those from the fort. For this reason we had to remain barricaded all night both on the bridge, to prevent relief coming, and in the streets, where it rained harquebusades. Finally they continued fighting till Sunday the 15th, because M. de la Noue did not wish to use the guns until he had beaten off the relief promised Carondelet during the night. M. d'Alennes' regiment came up next morning, but could not force our barricades. In their impatience the soldiers made an admirable attack by escalade on the strong church through the windows, where the combat, or I should say assault, was for an hour and a half as furious as I can say. Our chapeaux did incredible things, of which I was a spectator. It was well assaulted and well defended, but forced at last. Only six were killed in the church ; the rest received quarter from the soldiers,a wonderful thinga sergeant of Bouffart's and a few others. Towards evening a couple of rounds were fired at the fort across the Lys, and at the same time five or six arrows with Greek fire were shot (rus) at a thatched house, which was quickly burnt, and set fire to the fort. Seeing this, the enemy quitted the fort at night and set fire to all the town beyond the river. Next day, the 16th, I advised M. de la Noue that it would be a good thing to go further with the cavalry ; which he resolved to do, and sent 800 harquebusiers against Commines. On the way we were told that four cornets of the enemy were at Bondieu [Bondues], a village one league distant from us, which made us turn back. Then came up the cavalry commanded by Seton. We stayed in a village near there, in the church, to support and give them something to fall back on. Our men entering Bondieu with a rush surprised and defeated three cornets, taking the ensign prisoner and capturing 150 horses. If night had not overtaken them they would have got them all. After this exploit it was decided to return to quarters. The night was so dark that one could not see another, and accordingly fires of straw were lighted all along the road. The enemy at Hallewyn thought we were marching straight upon him, as a drummer of ours had told him. Fearing this they abandoned the work of reasonable strength that they had made round the church, and subsequently the castle, having first set fire to the town ; an unspeakable injury to the Duke of Aerschot. They have left Besselaire [?] and two other castles. Warneton was abandoned on the 17th [sic] by the enemy. The same day 400 harquebusiers were sent to Commines where they found 60 soldiers. These sustained the first attack in their fort round the church, afterwards retiring to the castle, where they profess to be awaiting a bombardment, which would do a deal of damage to the Duke. M. de la Noue has summoned them to surrender, calling upon them in the Duke's interest not to ruin his house and his vassals, and has given orders that they are not to be roughly treated, putting off the assault till the 19th or 20th. The Duke's bailiff is obstinate, and says he wants to keep it for his master ; we know better. The Lille people are a good deal frightened, and will soon receive a visit. I have sent word to those of the castellary to furnish to us the contributions they were in the habit of making to M. de Montigny, who with his people has gone beyond Lille. That is how the war stands, and our hopes of giving them a fall if they do not recognise their faults, as M. de la Noue has called upon them to do, and return to the union. God counsel them aright.Werny, 17 Nov. 1579. Copy, apparently by Gilpin's secretary. Fr. 1 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XII. 46.]
Nov. 17. 85. POULET AND COBHAM (a) to the QUEEN, (b) to WALSINGHAM.
(a) 'A copy of such speeches as Sir Amyas Poulet delivered to the French king and queens at his departing, as likewise the speeches of Sir Henry Cobham at his admittance to the said King for ambassador ligier. Delivered at Paris in the Louvre, 17 Nov. 1579.' Following the example of time past upon like occasion, Queen Mother arriving here the 14th inst. I would not fail to congratulate her safe return, and to that purpose prayed audience. I also gave M. de Gondy to understand by my messenger that Sir Henry Cobham was arrived and desired to be presented to the King and Queen Mother. I received answer by Gondy that the King made a difference between your Majesty's ambassadors and those of other princes ; and being willing to make some demonstration thereof, intended to give audience the next day, being the 15th, to other newly-arrived ambassadors, and would shortly omit [sic] us to his presence. We should hear from him in a day or two. On the 16th Gondy informed us that the King was minded to give us audience the next day, and the Grand Prieur de Champagne, otherwise called Chevalier de Seure, and la Mothe-Fnelon would conduct us to the Court, where our dinner would be prepared at the table of the Great Master, the Duke of Guise. We could have been content to change our host for some meaner and more friendly personage, but we durst not be so hardy as to disobey the King's command. It was some satisfaction to us to dine at the King's table, and with his Great Master, without regard to his private name or 'partial affection.' Repairing to the Court at the time appointed, accompanied by the said gentlemen, after dinner we were conveyed to the King's presence ; where I, Amyas Poulet, declared that being licensed by your Majesty to return to my native country, I thought myself happy that having at my first arrival here found not only peace but perfect amity between these two Crowns, it was not diminished during my time of service, but rather increased, to the unspeakable comfort of the subjects of both realms and the terror of their enemies. It was not to be doubted that the good offices of ministers served greatly to entertain good correspondence between princes ; yet where they have done their best endeavours hostilities have sometimes ensued, the blame of which lies commonly upon the shoulders of the ambassadors, so that I esteemed the continuance of this good understanding a benefit to myself in particular. Your Majesty desiring nothing more than to preserve this amity, with concord and natural intercourse between the subjects of both realms, had made choice of this gentleman, Sir Henry Cobham, to succeed me and reside as your ambassador near his person. And as he would not fail to do all good offices to cherish the amity, so I doubted not but he would find in his Majesty correspondence answerable to your good inclination. Therefore I assured myself that God would bless the two realms with long continuance of peace. The King made great demonstration with many words of his good affection to your Majesty, of his confident opinion of your unfeigned friendship towards him, of his desire to see the accomplishment of this marriage, of his brother's constancy to prosecute it with all earnestness, and lastly of his good acceptance of my service here.
Sir Henry Cobham. Then I, Henry Cobham, after thus much had passed by Sir Amyas, humbly presented myself to the King, delivering from your Majesty some salutations of kissing of hands, with the desire of his long and healthful life. Then giving your letters of credence, I informed him how it seemed to have been the ancient custom of the kings of England to have their ambassador ligier with the king of France, to entertain the mutual amity and clear away suspicions and doubts. Thus not only is the friendship between the princes maintained, but treaties are preserved inviolate, in such sort that the subjects of both realms freely trade, helping themselves with their merchandise to the great satisfaction of both nations ; etc. [No allusion to the marriage.] Then the King said : 'I have found the Queen, by many good effects, so much my good friend and sister that by no cause or time may I "let pass to remember" it, considering she has so well observed the treaties between us, and for showing herself thus careful for my estate.' He would not leave the like amity unperformed, having the same desire for the intercourse of his subjects that you have, and would put his hand to the continuance of it. He said how he 'received contentation your Highness liked' his government, declaring that he purposed to pass all things agreeable thereto. Your ambassadors had been welcome, of whatever quality or degree they were, being your ministers. He assured me that he would show he meant to favour me, to my contentment ; with more favourable words than my estate could deserve. I replied that your Majesty would be glad to hear he had that good health which I perceived to be in his cheerful countenance, and well pleased to learn that his mind was bent so affectionately towards you. Lastly he said he had shown his good will to have all causes pass agreeably to your mind, better sorry there is no better occasion offered wherein he might 'utter' the desire he has to desire your care of him ; but trusted God would in time give him means to make you know his meaning and how much he is yours. Also he would inform me of those causes which may concern you and your realm ; and again said I was welcome. So I departed from him.
Sir Amias P. to the Q. mother. Having ended with the King we were conveyed to the presence of the Queen Mother, whom we found accompanied by the French queen. I declared that I doubted not but her arrival in this Court was the singular comfort of the King and all depending on him, and assured myself that they rejoiced to have this opportunity to acknowledge by word of mouth how much they were bound to her for the great pains and dangerous 'travailes' which she has sustained of late for the weal and quiet of this country ; and especially that it had pleased God to bless all her actions and doings, as she had done greater things by her bare word than could have been done perhaps by some others with a mighty army. It was most reasonable that the King should acknowledge this debt with thankfulness, and no less so that all the subjects of this realm, both of one and the other religion, should with open mouths acknowledge that they held a great part of their quiet and peace of her wisdom, goodness and favour. I prayed her to believe that no prince in the world received greater content than your Majesty from her safe arrival in this Court, the success of her proceedings and her good health. It was not to be denied that you were greatly beholden to her for assenting to her son's visiting you in your country, which could only be done with many perils. Touching the duke, her son, he had given such plain testimony of his singular good will in that, forgetting his own greatness and without respect to the hazards of sea or land, he passed into England, that you could not escape the note of ingratitude if you did not set him in the first rank of those whom you most esteemed. Lastly I informed her of Sir Henry Cobham, as before to the king. She could not say enough of her assured opinion of your good will towards her, saying she had found long since that you esteemed her not only as a good neighbour but as a loving sister. She spared no words to utter her liking of this intended marriage, lamenting she was not present to accompany her son on his journey to England. She answered for the like sincerity in both her sons towards this marriage, and doubted not to see it performed. After some discourse of the conveniences likely to ensue to both realms and many good words touching myself, she prayed Sir Henry Cobham to draw near.
Sir Henry Cobham my L. with Q. mother. After the speeches and conference of Sir Amyas Poulet were dismissed, I passed nearer to the Queen, first using some words of courtesy from your Highness ; wherewith I gave her your letter of credence, which when she had read I let her know that whereas your pleasure had been to appoint me to reside about the Christian King, her son, you specially commanded me to offer my services to her, and declare to her that while her friendship so long begun moved you to remembrance of her, it was the more so now that the cause of her son had advanced so far with such apparent demonstration of affection, hoping that she would continue these great affairs with the like sincerity, and thoroughly answer your intentions. She might by no means better assure you of this than by entertaining the peaceable government of her son, wherein indeed she had taken so much extraordinary 'travell' that no more could be desired ; whereby she and the King remained in singular good opinion with the princes their confederates. Therefore, that your Majesty's subjects might be the more sensible of their quiet and just government, my humble suit was that she would vouchsafe at her leisure to grant an access to intreat for those English merchants who had sustained such injuries and depredations, hoping she will procure order for redress according to her princely manner and godly conscience.
Q. Mother's answer. Her Majesty said that both she and her sons are well content to do anything that may be agreeable to the Queen of England. The affection her son the Duke of Alenon has shown to your Highness is so well employed that she desired the good success of it before the continuance of her own life. The trouble she has taken cannot deserve the great hap which will come to him and his if after the seeking of so many his lucky chance may be to enjoy a lady of so great quality and worthiness. And now that she and the King were in hope of your favour and grace toward her son, since there can no further trial be made, notwithstanding she will not dissuade her son Monsieur from attending on your pleasure, to whom she meant shortly to go. As for the care you have shown for the repose of the realm of France she finds herself more beholden to you than to any other, because your advice has always been to maintain the quiet, and the princely assistance which you have given can never be forgotten. As for any access to negotiate for your causes or the private complaints of your subjects, I should have it at any convenient time.
Sir Amias Poulet. This was the effect of what passed between the Queen Mother and us. And then I, Amyas Poulet, drawing near to the French Queen, said that, although I was not so happy as to have seen her for a long time, I had not failed to enquire diligently of her health, because I knew your Majesty would always be glad to hear of it. I told her I was happy at my coming to find the two Crowns united in good amity, and thought myself still more happy that on returning to England I left this amity greatly increased, and likely to attain its highest perfection, for the performance of which Sir Henry Cobham was sent to succeed me, who I doubted not would be agreeable to her. She answered that she had been always glad to hear of your Majesty's health, and doubted not your good disposition towards her.
Sir Henry Cobham my L. to the young Queen. Then I turned to the young Queen, whom I found standing hard by Queen Mother, using to her some 'accomplements' and delivering your Majesty's letters, beseeching her to be the means to the King her husband for the better preservation and continuance of the amity, and so make you feel the singular goodness whereof she has great fame in this country and elsewhere. The young Queen enquired, as she opened your letter, if your Highness had your health. I said, well, God be thanked. To my speeches she answered how she would not fail to entertain the amity of the Queen of England, which she found her husband held so dear. She wished you good health and happiness. After this we left the Queens, whom we had found accompanied by the daughter of the Duke of Lorraine, standing a little beside the young Queen against the wall adjoining the bed's head of Queen Mother ; the Princess Dowager of Cond, and the Duchess of Nemours, mother to the Duke of Guise, both of them sitting on Queen Mother's bed's feet, with the young Queen's sister and the Duchess of Guise standing beside them. The rest of the ladies kept other places somewhat further off. The King was apparelled that day in green cloth of tissue, and his cape of black velvet with the cross of his new order of St. Esprit thereon. He makes some preparation to hold his feast of this new 'brothered or Gonfalania de St. Esprit' on New Year's Day. The Queen Mother left Paris on the 19th in the afternoon, lodging that night at Noisy, the Marshal of Retz' house, and so goes forward to Dreux in Normandy. It is thought Monsieur will meet her at Verneuil, about eight leagues from Dreux. She took with her, as I am informed, 15,000 crowns for him, with promises of richer sums, one of his excuses for absence by M. Fervacques on the 16th inst. having been lack of money. Another request of his is to be the king's Lieutenant-general, 'which if he stick on,' his coming will not be soon looked for in this Court. Queen Mother this month has 'broiled' among those of the finances and receipts for the 'recovery' of money. The imprisonment of Vomigni has troubled Monsieur's friends here, for it is doubted he has done some great excess and 'trecheri,' or else Monsieur would not have caused him to be apprehended. M. de Marchemont, to whom I delivered your Highness' letter for his Highness, was informed that Vomigni had discovered to the King something that passed in England, being then trusted to write letters for Monsieur. The Duke of Guise when at his house at the end of summer had framed a practise for the surprise of 'Stronsborough,' which being discovered was not performed. Some of the companies are dispersed and the rest returned to Burgundy. The King of Spain has been dangerously ill of a quinsy, but has recovered and is now troubled with the gout in one hand. (Signed) Amyas Poulet, Henry Cobham.
Sir F. Walsingham's letters at that time [?] (b) I have herewith sent a joint dispatch of the conference Sir A. Poulet and I had with the King and Queens, and of Queen Mother's going from hence to meet the Duke of Alenon in hope to entice him hither. The means are fair promises to himself and threatenings used to some about him by Queen Mother ; in such sort that M. de Fervacques, sent here by Monsieur, having access to the king and Queen Mother on the 16th, she among other things threatened 'that there was about the Duke which would not have the good amity between the brethren.' But she said their heads should answer for it if they did not guard themselves the better. The King has a great desire to hold a feast on New Year's Day of his new order of St. Esprit. Preparations are intended which will go forward if Monsieur returns and will be of the company. The King gives his guard new rich liveries, which he has not used to do for a long time. He does 'devoutly apply' his Mass, wearing very solemnly his beads hanging at his girdle. Queen Mother is framing certain marriages to draw them of the Religion to her will by means of her rich young darlings ; seeking to get some of the best marriages of young ladies of the Religion for the sons of 'Duke Albeuf' and others of the Guises. She 'doth somewhat decay, and by her physicians doubted to decline towards a poplexia.' It seemed to me that in her conferences with me her voice and strength was not altogether in as good order as I looked for, and I have since found the opinion of others to be the same. The King of Spain has had a quinsy and is recovered, but not altogether void of some evil flux or 'rume' yet in his throat, and troubled with gout. I cannot omit to tell you of something which happened during the dinner. The Chevalier de Seure sitting next me had begun to speak of Portugal, assuring me that if the old King should live another year, voleva esser squartigato [he would be skinned alive] if the Spanish king would ever get that kingdom ; saying further how the old king daily redeemed those of his faction, and left the 'philippians' of the Spanish faction unredeemed in Barbary. Further, if it pleased the King his master, and her Majesty, means might be found to cause King Philip to surcease that practice. I answered that it was thought King Philip had over great forces to be resisted ; whereon he said that though kingdoms are not so easily conquered, there are means to suffer them to be lost. Perhaps moreover if the Duchy of Burgundy were seized it would bring forth some honest composition, whereby King Philip might be induced to slack his enterprise towards Portugal. I gave him the hearing. I received courteous entertainment from him and la Motte-Fnelon. Being but new arrived, as one altogether unacquainted I cannot inform you of this broken and divided state. But my good Sir Amyas will supply my inability at his return. Therefore I refer to him. Draft (or copy). 13 pp. [France III. 45.]
Nov. 18. 86. The FRENCH KING to the QUEEN.
Acknowledges her letter of the 10th ult. delivered by Sir H. Cobham, who will no doubt do as much to preserve the amity as Poulet has done.Paris, 18 Nov. 1579. (Signed) Henry, (countersigned) Pinart. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. Broadsheet. Fr. 8 ll. [Ibid. III. 46.]
Nov. 18. 87. QUEEN MOTHER to the QUEEN.
To the same effect. Cobham will be as well received as Poulet has been.Paris, 18 Nov. 1579. (Signed) Caterine, (countersigned) Pinart. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. Broadsheet. Fr. 7 ll. [Ibid. III. 47.]
Nov. 19. 88. 'The parcels of the Queen's plate which Sir Amyas Poulet delivered to Sir Henry Cobham 19th November, at Paris, 1579 :
Two flagons with cover weighing - - - 12 oz.
Two salts in the one cover parcel gilt - - 35 oz.
Three bowls without cover - - 70 oz.
An ewer and bason gilt - - - 90 oz.
Two other ewers gilt - 49 oz. dwt.
Twenty-two silver trenchers - - - 154 oz.
Fourteen great platters - - - 354 oz.
Three little deep platters - - 48 dwts.
Thirteen silver dishes - - - - 204 oz.
Eleven silver dishes - - - - 135 oz. dwt.
Eight silver saucers - - - 60 dwts.
Seven fruit silver dishes - - 30 oz.
Total 1121 oz. qr. [sic].'
Endd. by Burghley's secretary. p. [Ibid. III. 48.]
Nov. 20. 89. Commission to William Lord Burghley, Edward Earl of Lincoln, Thomas Earl of Sussex, Henry Lord Hunsdon, and Thomas Wilson, LL.D. (added in margin : in the Commission signed by her Majesty, Sir Christopher Hatton and Sir Francis Walsingham were inserted), or any three of them, to negotiate with M. de Simier in respect of the marriage between the Queen and the Duke of Anjou. One clause, running as follows : And whereas, after Simier had entered on his embassy, the said Duke came in person into our country to greet us and speak with us, and left the said ambassador with us to prosecute the affair of the marriage, has been marked for omission.Greenwich, 20 Nov. 1579. Draft, corrected in Burghley's hand, and endd. by him in Eng. (dated 19 Nov.) and by Wilson in Lat. Latin. 2 pp. [France III. 49.]
90. Rough draft of the above, in Burghley's hand throughout. Lat. 2 pp. [Ibid. III. 49a.]
Nov. 20. 91. The FRENCH QUEEN to the QUEEN.
Acknowledges her letter delivered by Sir H. Cobham.Paris, 20 Nov. 1579. (Signed) Loyse, (countersigned) De Laubespine. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. Broadsheet. Fr. 6ll. [Ibid. III. 50.]
Nov. 20. 92. VILLIERS to DAVISON.
I will not repeat what I wrote to Mr Secretary touching the successes gained in the past week by M. de la Noue over the enemy. I wrote at length, and I hope you will see it. I will only say that poor Mr Norris is much annoyed at not having been there ; but he has done his duty fully. Those of this town who it was agreed by the Council-General should pay them [qy. his men] have made so many difficulties that his Excellency has been forced to garrison the houses of the burgesses ; and this again has not been of much service, for there are a lot of ill-conditioned people who do a deal of harm. His Excellency bids me tell you that he has certain information of la Huguerie and Sarrazin, who as you know were the authors of the last troubles at Ghent, having gone to England on behalf of Duke Casimir, to assist the betrothal of Monsieur, and in view of the marriage are commissioned to offer him the Duke's service. His Excellency does not think it strange that the nobleman in question should offer his service to a King of England. But as you know, the great stalking-horse (bouclier) of those who have done so much mischief in Flanders had come to an agreement with the papists to keep his promises to them, and the same with the Duke ; and he wished to let you know what I have mentioned that you might make secret use of it ; begging that you would kindly keep him well informed of all that comes to your knowledge on the subject. All honest folk here are very sorry for what has happened to Mr Stubbes, for many reasons, For my part, I am inconsolable, chiefly because I fear that the consequences will be other than many people think. God preserve the Queen, her Council and her realm. Antwerp, 20 Nov. 1579. Add. Fr. 1 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XII. 47.]
Nov. 22. 93. POULET to BURGHLEY.
Being now in good hope to leave Paris at my back in a day or two, although I must confess that I rejoice greatly to taste the sweet air of my native country, I may say truly that my content is not a little increased in that you are pleased to desire my return, which I take to be an argument of the continuance of your favour towards me. I doubt not to conserve the same all my life ; the rather when being restored to my former quietness, I shall have to deal only for myself and my country matters, and not be encumbered with occasions that may alter the good affections of my friends towards me. These satisfactions, though reaching only to myself, are of great comfort ; but the 'full heap' of my happy return consists in the good amity between these two Crowns, which, thank God, is not diminished since my coming into this country. Of one thing I am assured, that I shall depart hence with a quiet mind, my conscience bearing me witness that I have levelled at no other mark than to serve my prince and country faithfully. I confess that I have committed many faults for want of wit and experience ; wherein my burden will be the easier, because you have part therein, as one of the principal 'founders' of my journey into France ; and to say truly I do not repent that journey, nor shall it ever repent you to have furthered it. My lord ambassador will not fail to advertise you of the occurrents of these parts.Paris, 22 Nov. 1579. Endd. Add. 1 p. [France III. 51.]
Nov. 22. 94. POULET to WALSINGHAM.
I am Jack out of office, I thank God for it ; yet I cannot forbear my wonted course, to write somewhat to Sir Francis Walsingham. I do not trouble you with a copy of the letter sent by this bearer to her Majesty, because it contains little but ordinary compliments. I cannot satisfy myself unless I acquaint you after the old manner with all my doings, and therefore trouble you with the copies enclosed. I should be glad to hear from you a day or two before coming to Court, and if you lack a trusty messenger pray send my old friend Mr Nicasius. I hear you are in good towardness of health, and I trust to find you in perfect health.Paris, 22 Nov. 1579. P.S. (autograph).Your good directions received beforehand may stand me in good stead. I desire to be advertised from you in what things her Majesty will most seek to be satisfied. It will not be amiss that you peruse this device enclosed, because your opinion on it may be required shortly ; but if it be known that you have it, I lose my credit utterly. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. III. 52.]
Nov. 22. 95. Notes for the marriage negotiations.
1. To ordain a certain sum to continue for the time of the marriage, and that there shall be a certain sum for the dowry. And that for the time following the marriage the sum be left to Parliament. Provided that Monsieur's pension shall not endure after he is King of France.
2. If the Queen will continue the articles in an uncertainty for Monsieur's pension as they are conceived, then she shall have for her dowry half of such sum as is accorded by Parliament.
3. If her Majesty will assent presently, then
4. If her Majesty will not like any of the former points, then all be referred to the Commissioners.22 Nov. 1579.
Mem. in Burghley's hand, and endd. by him :
L. Treasurer with M. Symier Combelles.
L. Cchamberlain with M. Symier Combelles.
Dr. Wilson with M. Symier Cobelles.
1 p [Ibid. III. 53.]
Nov. 22. 96. GILPIN to DAVISON.
Though I have not been more successful than I told you in my last letter in suing to the States for their decision as to satisfying her Majesty, I must answer yours received by the last post. According to its contents I have not failed several times to request the States' answer, which has been delayed owing to their being so busy about concluding certain articles touching this hoped-for peace. When this is finished they promise to answer her Majesty. But I see their want is so great and the likelihood of amendment so little with the increase of daily troubles that I cannot see how they will be able to save their credits. This week, being in need of money to pay our English companies, 7 or 8 of whom lie in Flanders under Capt. Morgan, and will not march on any service before they are paid, they were forced to send bills to some of the richest persons of this town, by way of commandment, charging them to bring in certain sums of money. Most of them refusing to obey were with rigour threatened to be compelled thereunto and soldiers put into their houses to lie there at their charges, and to have 20d. a day till they had satisfied what was required of them. Notwithstanding this they persisted ; and so the Common Council of this town have been called together and have to devise some other way to find money. This dealing gives me less hope that they will be able to discharge their debt to Spinola ; who, I think, will do his endeavour to further the sending over of the keys, thereby to induce her Majesty the sooner to satisfy him and his partners. This, for causes, I could wish were accomplished ; and remit the consideration of it to your judgement. I received a letter this week from Mr Secretary with enclosures, which I have delivered. I defer writing for the present, as there is nothing beyond what I wrote in my last worth troubling him with. As for news, I know several will write to him who have more leisure than I this week to enquire into the certainty of matters in these parts. Excuse me to him for not writing this time. Since my last M. de la Noue has, this week, taken by force 'Waruyche,' an open town one mile from Menin, and put 200 Walloons that held it to the sword. Also 5 companies, of horse with some foot, under the conduct of M. de Montigny who came to the rescue of the place were met by 3 companies, one being Scots under Capt. Seaton, and 6 ensigns of French foot, M. de la Noue 'being himself in person,' and wholly overthrown, so that few escaped 'unslain or taken.' This bred such terror among the rest of the Malcontent soldiers that they set fire to Hallewyn and have since forsaken Commines and Wastene. News is daily expected of their surrender of Armentieres, which M. de la Noue has beset and 'makes full account' to have it. Thence towards Cassel ; which had, all Flanders will be clear of malcontents, so that Lille will be the next place the States' men mean to deal with, lying in their country already, which will be sacked, spoiled and destroyed. Those of Lille offer 100,000 'gildons' to have their mills saved from burning, the Frenchmen having threatened to destroy them. On Thursday morning some Spanish horse came to Eheren, a village one league from this town, where a company of the States' light horse lie, meaning to have them 'for prize' ; but failing of their purpose spoiled and set fire to the village, and so after losing 8 men slain and 2 captured, departed, having taken but one of the States' men, who had retired to a strong house surrounded with water. This they tried to fire, but losing the aforesaid men durst venture no further. To-morrow some persons appointed by the States set out for Cologne, with the newly-devised articles to be presented to the Duke of Nova Terra and the commissioners from the Empire, touching the 'pretended' peace.Antwerp, 22 Nov. 1579. Add. Endd. by Burghley's secretary. 2 pp. [Hol. and Fl. XII. 48.]
I have delivered your letter to Captain 'Mazin' Delbene. He is willing to deal thereafter, but it must stay till the matter of Monsieur's coming is determined on, which he thinks will hardly be brought to pass ; he is of opinion that Monsieur will not long stay, such have been the unkindnesses past. The King is looked for from Saint Germain-en-Laye within two days, and it is thought Queen Mother will be here by the end of this month. I have sent John Furrier to see the interview between the mother and son. It is reported here that Vominy [see For. Cal. 1575-7] 'should be' executed . . credibly spoken. M. de Marchemont does not certify [?] . . . Sir A. Poulet left Paris on Monday the 24th in the evening and lay that night at St. Denis. This day I have removed to his house, for I cannot get any other so convenient in Paris. Signor Mazin Delbene has received letters from Italy that about the beginning of this month Don Pedro di Medici embarked with his soldiers for the service of King Philip. His opinion is that we have cause in England to mistrust his preparations. As another ordinary courier is shortly going hence I write no more, but desire to hear of your better health.Paris, 25 Nov. 1579. Slightly damaged. p. [France III. 54.]
Nov. 28. 98. VILLIERS to DAVISON.
I send two letters received this week. I hear that since the execution of the sentence on Mr Stubbs several persons have been imprisoned, and I think the cause of it has been faithfully stated. As I doubt not you have influence with sundry people, although you are not ignorant of these things, yet for my duty's sake and the fear I have lest some of my friends get into trouble, I cannot refrain from saying that the way to pacify kings is not to oppose them, or announce by writings, signatures, or remarks that one does not approve their doings. It is necessary to be humble, or at least, to hold one's tongue. You know why I say this and there is no need of longer discourse. As to some of your country I long ago said to them on matters of less consequence that the opposition they made did more harm than if they had held their tongues. They went wrong through misunderstanding the maxim that one ought to oppose evil ; for if they had combated the evil by good counsel it would have been crushed better than by their writings. I had resolved to write no more of these affairs ; but the fear lest more harm should come to so many honest folk, who I know do not err through evil will, gives me so much perplexity and trouble that I cannot restrain myself. The instructions to be sent to Cologne are drawn up. There is in them nothing to please papist Bishops, who will find nevertheless that with all their thousands of transformations they have after all not brought this country into such a mess as they think. If I am not mistaken it will get itself clear before summer comes, at least if affairs here be put in some order. M. de la Noue has been doing great service, for with few men he is clearing the enemy out of the country, after saving Brussels. He wages war with such stiffness in fighting, such gentleness in victory, and so loyally preserves the very houses and lands of the hostile nobles, that he breaks down the enemy's courage more by his discretion than by his arms. He would do very wrong, it seems to me, to attach himself without great cause to any other than the Prince, for their natures are too much alike. Yesterday he was to besiege Haulterive, but the Prince of Espinoy, fearing that Count Mansfeldt who is very busy at Valenciennes might besiege St. Amand, is pressing him to take his forces into the Tournsis to its succour. Mr Norris joined him with seven companies three days ago. M. de la Noue has with him 8 cornets, well mounted at the enemy's expense ; the Prince of Espinoy has two, and two more towards the Cambrsis. Of infantry he has 24 companies with himself, 18 at Menin, 5 at Wervick, 7 at Commines, 1 at Quesnoy near Lille, 4 at Courtrai, 4 at Oudenarde, besides 600 pioneers. He is at a point midway among these companies and can reinforce himself in one day if necessary. The enemy is as strong, even stronger ; for 27 companies of Walloons are coming to him from the camp. But the leader is different, and people recently beaten do not get their courage for some time. We all salute you. Commend us to Mr and Mrs Killegrew. Antwerp, 28 Nov. 1579. Add. Fr. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XII. 49.]
Nov. 28. 99. The QUEEN to the STATES-GENERAL.
In yours of the 1st inst. replying to ours of Sep. 7, we cannot see that settlement we looked for of the money which you owe us, and of which the term for payment has expired ; nor that you have given order for the satisfaction of the debt to Spinola and Pallavicino, part of which fell due in June last and part will do so in December, according to the obligations given them for our indemnity and that of our citizens of London. Whereupon we would remind you that you have not shown due consideration for the favours granted by us at your urgent solicitation, in aid of your necessities, not to mention the loss to our subjects in the meantime, and the trouble we have taken for your good. Wherefore, gentlemen, you must devise some other means to satisfy us and those merchants, who are importuning us both for the principal and for the interest since June, as well as threatening the goods of our citizens for the discharge of the obligations. To which if you do not give heed, to our contentment, besides the ingratitude for the favour with which you have been treated we shall be obliged to take notice of it in some such way as will result in no good as regards you. Pray, therefore, take counsel promptly as you would hope for the continuation of our favours.Greenwich, 28 Nov. 1579. Copy. Endd. Fr. 1 pp. [Ibid. XII. 50.]
Nov. 29. 100. GILPIN to WALSINGHAM.
I received your packet this week, and have sent his own letter, with that to M. de la Noue, to Mr Carleil who departed towards the camp in Flanders last Tuesday. The others I delivered here as directed. Having had [sic] large talk with M. de Villiers and M. Ymans, they both shew their readiness to 'advance expedition' ; and it had been accomplished ere this had not the long negotiation about the peace 'letted' the States. Being with much difficulty assembled together, some of them show 'frowardness' enough to yield to any conformity with what was resolved ere the other provinces were disjoined ; so that it is likely sundry such difficulties will fall out among them. M. Ymans told me yesterday he had reminded the States and shown them your letter, to which he wished to answer with a declaration of his proceedings and the States' intention touching the same. I am sorry my endeavour has no better success. Enclosed I send the summary of two letters lately received from my friend at Cologne, though of no great importance. I wrote to him three days ago as you directed to encourage his voyage to England, in which I think some good service may be done ; advising him if they so earnestly request his going over, to work diligently to understand all the details of their secrets, whatever they may be, which I doubt not he can and will accomplish. For Spain ; I know not whether he will be content to take the charge upon him, but I 'take' him very meet for that place, both because he has languages, and also as a jewel-merchant by profession, under which colour he may be anywhere without suspicion. By the next Cologne post, who starts in two or three days, I mean to 'break' with him of the matter, requesting his answer with all convenient expedition ; upon which you shall at once be advertised. I am also about a 'practice' to learn with what the crew of English fugitives are occupied at Lige. If it haply fall out to do any service to my prince and country, you shall surely understand it. I am most grieved that my small ability will not yield the means that some services require. The States, after 15 or 16 months' suit to them for satisfaction of my 'travaile' for them into Germany, wherein I spent above 40 ti. fs. of my own, have granted me 400 guilders to be paid out of the first money her Majesty should 'prest' to them, adding that if I could find some other means to get so much money here, they would willingly aid me. This I account desperate, for all their customs, imposts, taxes and contributions are already charged so far for payment of their debts, that I am out of all hope unless you will be so favourable to me as to order that if her Majesty hereafter pays any sum to them or their creditors, or otherwise to their use, I might be remembered. This would do a great good in this hard world and dear country, our doings being so slender here that my gains will not meet the cost of my maintenance. I presumed with all the reverence to touch thus much to you, reposing on your goodness extended to all men. Herewith I send a copy of a letter sent me from Flanders, with details of M. de la Noue's last service [qy. No. 84]. I am sorry it did not come to my hands a day sooner, ere the last post departed. The enclosed book came out this week ; the other from Cologne mentioned in one of my friend's letters I have not as yet received This week's news are very few. M. de Melroy with the articles of peace departed at midnight on Thursday, in post towards Cologne, armed with the Prince of Parma's passport. M. de Pruneaux had audience to-day before the States, and after declaring as I heard that his master 'thought much' that this last meeting to treat of peace was held without his knowledge or consent contrary to their promise to him, requested to have their final answer for which he had so long been put off. M. de la Noue lies with his men before a castle between Tournay and Oudenarde, which it is said he has battered, and if rescue comes not shortly, 'will bear it away.' It is defended by 5 ensigns of Malcontents, who annoyed the passage toward Ghent. The Prince of Parma has sent to the aid of the Malcontents three regiments of Walloon foot under the Count of Reulx, M. de Floyon and the Count of Faulquemberg, with 3 cornets of horse led by M. du Gat. Last Thursday some Frenchmen lying at Herentals, going out to seek booty, were surprised by the enemy, 30 of them being slain and taken, of whom 3 or 4 were 'men that had charge.' Next Monday according to custom the Magistrates of this town will be changed. I hear the greater part of the new will be of the Religion ; others, suspected and not liked, will be rejected. M. Liesvelt, one of the councillors of State, was this week elected Chancellor, and knighted by the Archduke on taking the oath of office. His predecessor has been 'put unto' a pension.Antwerp, 29 Nov. 1579. P.S.M. Ymans has just sent me word that he will not write till next time, hoping that the States will come to a resolution this week. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XII. 51.]
Nov. 101. Draft, in the hand of L. Tomson, with corrections by him, of a statement, to be signed by Simier, respecting the negotiations between him and the commissioners (see No. 93). The said articles were agreed upon and put into writing, after several conferences between the said councillors and us, signed by them and handed to us, and signed by us in our turn ; always with the proviso that these articles or any of them notwithstanding, the signatures shall not be deemed to have any effect until after the arrival in England of other Ambassadors, persons of high quality sent from the King and the Duke of Anjou, upon the request of her Majesty by letters under her sign manual or through her Ambassador in France. If she sends none such to the king or the duke within from the date of these presents, the articles shall remain of no force. But if she advertises them within that time stated, full powers shall be given to the Ambassadors in the names of the King and the Duke to ratify and confirm the articles, and to resolve upon one article which remains undetermined and in suspense. The day of Nov. 1579. Endd. Fr. 1 pp. [France III. 55.]