Elizabeth: September 1582, 26-30

Pages 343-364

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 16, May-December 1582. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1909.

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September 1582, 26–30

Sep. 26 352. Cobham to Walsingham
I have received a letter from M. de Foix dated in Rome the 3rd inst. in which he writes that he had been certainly informed the day before that the bark Reynolds was set at liberty by order from the Pope, and also another English ship which had likewise been detained at Malta. He further certified that Shute was gone to Naples about his affairs, intending shortly to return this way.
I shall not fail 'but' presently to deal in the cause of the agent for the merchants trading to Constantinople, though perhaps I may not so speedily deal therein because the king and M. Pinart are both absent; but in my next I will advertise you what answer I receive.
I intend, if you please, to continue some intelligence by letter with M. de Foix, and mean to write in favour of Mr Thomas Aglionby, at present prisoner in Rome, being a right worthy honest gentleman of my long acquaintance.
I have 'presently' received letters directed to you from M. 'La Chappelle Ursino,' enclosed herewith. His request is to have some greyhounds to send to the Cardinal de Medicis, whose letter this gentleman showed me.
I have also been requested by one la Chapelle to send his letter directed to her Majesty; wherein he offers to serve her if she please. His manner of play on the virginals and cunning in music is known to her, as I understand from him, since his being in England.
Mr Parry, whom you recommended to me, departed yesterday towards Lyons.
I think I have forgotten to advertise you in my former letters how it is understood that Bernese make some difficulty to admit into their association the five little Cantons, because they have given aid to the Duke of Savoy.
As I had written thus much and was making up the packet, Mr Charles Paget sent me a letter which I send herewith. I could not accomplish his request because my nephew was ready to depart.
Letters are come from Rome certifying that for five and six days together there were libels and pasquils set up on the corners of the streets, prejudicing the name and 'valeur' of the French king. M. de Foix complaining of this received small show of redress. Some of these pasquils are sent to the king, wherewith he is highly moved to indignation. He intends to depart from Moulins if his health will permit him, to be at Saint-Germain-en-Laye about Oct. 9 or 10. His Majesty still continues his diet and physic, because his appostumacion' has broken out in two or three places of his head.
The Queen Mother has understood that 'la Charretiere' has passed by, sent by Monsieur to the King of Navarre, without having seen her; wherewith she is somewhat displeased, and as I am informed, said: “Charretier is a person not very agreeable to the King of Navarre.”
It was resolved yesterday that Marshal Biron, shall go to conduct the army into Flanders, and further provision be made of money both for him and to be sent to Monsieur.
I have just been informed that in the Spanish agent's house it is understood that a town in Flanders has been surrendered to the prince of Parma by composition and corruption.
I send you herewith the discourse of the action and battle at sea between the Spaniards and the French, which when you have read, I beseech you it may be restored to me to serve for my own use and remembrance.
The Duke of Montpensier is extremely sick, but not deceased as 'it was informed me.' His wife is gone to him in haste and the Prince Dauphin has likewise repaired to his father.—Paris, 26 September 1582.
Add. Endd. By Walsingham. 2(½) pp. [France VIII. 50.]
Enclosed in the above:—
353. An Account of the Battle in the Azores, and Strozzi's Defeat
On June 16, 1582, the French 'army by sea' raised for the affairs of the Kingdom of Portugal, set sail from Belleisle; wherein, according to the intention of the King of France, the general command was held by Don Antonio, King of Portugal, to whom power to do this had been given by their Majesties, with command to MM. de Strozzi and de Brissac to receive and obey the king embarking in that fleet.
The king embarked in the ship of M. de Strozzi, admiral of the same, making direct for the Azores, and finding the weather sufficiently contrary. A hundred leagues from those islands was captured a little caravel, from Madeira and St Michael's by which they learnt the state of affairs there, the fear they were in of the French force, their governor and general very ill—he died afterwards,—the desire and devotion of the people to receive their prince, the French garrison which was being brought them, the likelihood there was of capturing or destroying eleven ships of war which were off the fort, to weaken the enemy and strengthen themselves in proportion.
All which points being considered, and also in order to force the enemy before he received his succours, it was decided to go straight to St Michael's although the resolve had been to go to Tercera to get speech (prendre langue) and have news of the enemy, in what numbers he was and if his reinforcements had arrived. On this decision the fleet sailed for St Michael's and only one bark (axiso) was sent to Tercera to give advertisement of the army, and to cause M. du Landereau and the English captains whose ships were there to join. The bark brought back word that M. de Landereau and the English were at sea with their vessels.
The — of July the fleet arrived at St Michael's where it stayed some time in the offing (? an long de terre) for all to assemble, find an anchorage, and at the same time decide whether to attack the force below the fort before landing. To this end MM. de Strozzi and Brissac, and other captains of land and sea forces, got into launches to reconnoitre the place where those vessels were anchored, and the land defences. They found that they were so near the fort, which commanded them, and was furnished with many good pieces of artillery, that it was impossible, without very evident loss, to go and fight them under the fort. When they had landed they would consider some other method.
On the 16th of the same month, it was decided to land, and men to the number of 1200 or 1500 were put ashore that day. Landing was very troublesome, the sea being high, so that the greater part of the boats which took the men were smashed and lost on the rocks of the coast.
Count Brissac led the landing (? donna a la descente) with a portion of his companies; M. de Buz with 50 men from each company of his regiment; then M. de Strozzi and the Constable accompanied by Captain Borda and a troop of harquebusiers, who followed in support. M. de Sainte-Soleine also brought some soldiers of his regiment. The landing was so promptly effected that three ensigns of the enemy who were resisting it were compelled to give it up; the soldiers falling on with such courage routed a great quantity of men who came up from all directions. The Spaniards retired into the great fort, and into another which they had built close to the sea at a landing-place; so that all that could be done for that evening. seeing that many soldiers had been knocked about (harasses) and had got wet in landing, was to take up quarters in a neighbouring village, to rest and refresh the men.
And forasmuch as the great ships could not anchor nor come near the shore. MM. de Strozzi and de Brissac and other chiefs begged the King of Portugal to embark in a French launch, and anchor close ashore, so that he could more easily be advertised how things were going, and that they might receive his orders from hour to hour, until they had some place of security ashore for his person.
On the 17th the advance was sounded, all the companies marching in order, to take up a position nearer the enemy. The troops covered a distance of 6 French leagues in the heat of the day, always among mountains, without finding even water, which they most longed for. Once indeed it was decided to go and lodge in the city: however, fearing lest it should be pillaged by the soldiers, and not wishing to give the Portuguese any reason to complain of the French, they would not do it.
One league from the rendezvous the companies were halted, to let Captain Borda, the quartermaster-general, have the quarters prepared. When they began to march the Spaniards from the fortress, which was near, made a sortie with 500 to 600 men, who came to the skirmish very well. Both sides were quickly engaged, and the enemy beaten off in such style that they were compelled to retire. They lost many men, and some arms were left on the field. Their governor and two of their principal officers were killed there, with quite 60 men. On the French side Captains Roquemoret and Sauvat received sword-wounds, of which Roquemoret died next day; besides 10 or 12 soldiers. The same day they lodged at Lagrime, a league from the city and fort, whither came Portuguese from all directions, with white banners.
Next day. the 18th, arrived at Lagrime one of the older inhabitants of the city, sent on behalf of the town to M. de Strozzi to let him know the good will they all had to receive their prince, and that they would employ all they had in his service. They gave him to understand that all the Castilians and Biscayans had retired into the fort with a great store of provisions, and that there might, one with another, be in the fort about 1,200 men.
It was then decided that they should go and take up their quarters as close to the city as possible, but that only some companies should be lodged in it, to guard it: and that officers should be commissioned to keep the soldiers in hand and check pillage and any injury to the inhabitants. At once were sent the — with — men, who took up their quarters near the fort, and made some barricades to hinder the enemy's sorties; of which they made several, but were always beaten back.
The same day the King of Portugal came to lodge with the army, whither from all sides the inhabitants and officials of the island came to see him, bringing in tokens of obedience all their banners, and offering their keys, and all that was in their power. He thanked them, with all promises and assurances of good treatment to be hoped from him. He asked only for victuals for the French, which they promised to see to.
Afterwards a party was sent to reconnoitre the fort, and see what means there was of forcing it, and what resistance they could make. It being found impossible to force it without cannon, and that it was strong enough to stand ten or twelve hundred shots, it was resolved to land the artillery to batter it. Also before besieging it, it was necessary to get provisions from the ships, awaiting the preparation of the munitions; the soldiers having suffered much in regard to victuals since their landing.
During this time an aviso was captured in Villafranca, in which was a Spanish captain and a company. It had been sent by the Marquis of Santa Cruz, with advices of his fleet. Among other letters and memoranda taken were found some dispatches from the King of Spain to the Marquis of Santa Cruz, that he was to take no other route than that by St. Michael's, that he might join Pedro Pixotto's force which was there, and await another armada of 17 great ships and 12 galleys which was starting from Seville, and that he was then to safeguard the fleets which were to pass in lat. 37°, 38°, and up to 40°, and that he might then go to Tercera; but forbade him to fight the French fleet until he had all his forces joined.
Wishing upon this to prevent the enemy from being reinforced by the ships that were under the fort, there were summoned m. de Beaumont, who had remained on board, Captain 'Caugingan,' 'Nepvivelle,' and other ships' captains, to see what means there was of destroying, taking, or burning these vessels. They all promised on the following night to do some enterprise to that effect. Four rowing boats were equipped and sent by M. de Beaumont, 'Cauquigny,' 'Nepiville,' and Maucomblo; who found the ships lost on the coast, expect four Biscayans, which they took and brought off, notwithstanding all the shots that were fired at them from the fort. These vessels were supplied with both victuals and warlike stores, with artillery.
Having advice of the arrival of the fleet of the Marquis of Santa Cruz, which was close at hand, both through the bark taken off Villafranca, and from others which had come from thence, they decided to put off (temporiser) yet this day landing the guns. Meanwhile they could lodge in the city and round the fort, could summon the fort to surrender, and put the place into the King of Portugal's hands.
The 18th [sic] of July, the Marquis's fleet appeared near the island, and came past Villafranca, being of 34 to 35 sail; namely, 7 or 8 great gallions of 500, 600, and 700 tons; others of 400, 300, and 200, and a number of 20(?).
A council was held to consider if a certain number of men could be left on shore, and if they could put to sea with the rest to fight this fleet. It was decided that the French force was not enough to perform two such tasks, and that they must all reimbark and make an effort to beat the enemy before he were stronger. It was carried out promptly and without disorder or confusion. M. de Buz was left in the city with 400 harquebusiers to cover the retreat, in which not one man was lost. As soon as all were on board the fleet weighed anchor, in the resolve to go and fight the enemy, who nevertheless was to windward. However, next day the French fleet found that it had the wind, because this had changed; and since it had blown hard, their vessels were a good deal scattered, and it was late before they were reassembled. This caused the action to be put off till the next day, and in the evening MM. de Strozzi and de Brissac went in a boat to reconnoitre the enemy's fleet from very close.
On Tuesday. July 24th, M. de Strozzi went on board one of his launches as he did every day, to go and speak to all the captains of the troops and of the ships, and inform them of their duties. He bade them not to scatter, but keep near him; that he had desired to attack and fight the Castilians' fleet; that this was the day and the occasion when they must make a good show of their duty and friendship they bore to their prince, and preserve the reputation of France: that if all fell on with a good affection, with the just cause they were defending, they might by God's will expect nothing but a good and prosperous issue. This they all promised to do. Then M. de Strozzi returned to his own ship to prepare for fighting and laying the enemy aboard; to whom finding himself near. seeing the greater part of the vessels in their fleet arriving, and he in the hulk, the heaviest vessel and worst sailer in it, and that Count Brissac, M. de Beaumont, and others who had gone forward and were beginning to fight with cannon-shots, were hauling their wind (?) to retire, M. de Strozzi was compelled to do the like, seeing himself so badly supported.
The night of July 24 there was a great storm, and M. de Buz's ship carried away her masts, and the ship was consequently lost the next day with two-thirds of her company, soldiers and sailors alike, drowned. The rest of the vessels in the fleet were much scattered by this storm, in suchwise that M. de Strozzi found himself to leeward (? avant le cent) of all the enemy's fleet, which had preserved itself very well that night. He was accompanied only by the Count of Brissac and two or three other ships. The enemy's force, seeing our company so small, bore down with intent to give battle; but MM. de Strozzi and de Brissac closed on each other quickly, which caused the Castilian force to retire, and for that time nothing more happened.
In the evening of the 25th Count Brissac, accompanied by M. de la Fariere and Capt. Pellicart visited M. de Strozzi on board his flagship to consider what could or should be done the next day. A council was at once held, at which were present on behalf of M. de Strozzi, Count Vimioso, M. de Chataigueraye, and Capt. Borda: and on behalf of Count Brissac, those above-named. In this council the plan of battle was drawn up for attacking the enemy.
Now, inasmuch as in the past on several occasions those to whom M. de Strozzi has sent orders by boat to come up into action had replied 'When the flagship goes, we will go,' that gentleman, in order to remove all occasion of shirking, decided to be in it with the first, although he knew that he was unwell, and that it was a thing which he ought not to do. Therefore he quitted his own ship, for she was a bad sailer and heavy, as has been said, went on board M. de Beaumont's ship to fight, Count Brissac, Captain Maucomble Crainville, and he together.
Next day, Thursday 26 July, early in the morning, M. de Strozzi bade Capt. Cauquigny to let him have one of his boats that were ready, to go and again command all his captains not to desert him in the fight, as well as to put himself on board M. de Beaumont's ship. This was done, and just as the boat was ready and M. de Strozzi was preparing to get into it with Count Vimioso, de la Chataigneraye, and other notable gentlemen. Capt. Cauquigny who remained in command of his vessel said to him 'Sir, please do not leave your ship, but do all these honest men, your servants here, the honour of letting them fight with you this day, and you will be all the better for it.' He replied, 'I cannot, because the enemy's fleet is avoiding action, and I could not be in time if I was in my own ship. I want to take from certain people the will and the opportunity (subject) of throwing the cat between my legs.' Capt. Cauquigny repeated 'Sir, remember that twice or three times when you have been ready for action two-thirds of your fleet would not come up. Do not venture to engage yourself too far to-day.'
For all these remonstrances M. de Strozzi did not fail to get into the boat, and the persons named with him. Being there, he goes to fetch M. de Brissac in his ship, and they go once more to urge all the captains, gentlemen and soldiers to do well and appreciate (guoultir) the good cause for which they were about to fight. The honour and reputation of France were at stake, and they must hoist (? guinder) all sail to close up together, and not abandon each other for any danger. Each promised to do well, and on that assurance M. de Strozzi withdrew on board M. de Beaumont's ship, who, with Capt. Lievre, made great objections to receiving him, saying, 'We shall do our duty very well, and you can be easy and assured as to us. Leave us in this mind, and return, we pray you, to your ship, where you will rejoice plenty of honest men who are there by letting them fight beside you.' To this he had agreed, and was preparing to return. But then the Constable, who had been always urging him to fight, against the advice of many others, began to say, 'What, sir, instead of approaching would you recoil? Know you not that if you do not go first your fleet, for all it may have promised you, will not come up? Do you want to lose this day the opportunity of setting the Crown of Portugal up again? See you not that those with whom you have to do are only making a show (mines) but actually will run away?' All these remarks, and those of some others who were there again invited M. de Strozzi to go on board with M. de Beaumont, who were unwilling to refuse him the second time. And when he was thus on board, and M. de Brissac in his own ship they closed in to go and fight together as had been agreed between them.
Immediately they made all sail and drew near the enemy's fleet; and whereas they thought to lay aboard the gallion which carried the flag, called the St. Martin, they were unable to do so, because it went to windward of them (de l'avant d'eux); and seeing astern of it another very great gallion of 900 to 1,000 tons called st. Matthew, which only carried the vice admiral's flag, though of much greater burden, by 200 tons, than that which carried the admiral's, they thought that in her, being the larger and stronger, they had found the Marquis of Santa Cruz. Wherefore M. de Strozzi, being in the ship of M. de Beaumont, which could not have been more than 350 tons at most, went alongside the great gallion Marquis de Croix rougat [sic], and M. de Brissac with his ship of similar burden came alongside M. de Strozzi, as did some others of his side, to support him, and they began to fight. And as they were fighting, several ships of the enemy's fleet came alongside M. de Brissac made him quit M. de Strozzi, and made him run (le mirent a rau-le-rent); and he remained alone, with five ships upon him, from which he endured a great struggle, for they reached the middle of his own vessel, and plundered his own furniture in his cabin. But by his active resistance, being well assisted by honest men who were near him, de disengaged himself; one of his servants named Capt. Maucomble at last coming to his aid, which was partly the cause of the Castilians returning to their own ship. And I think that but for Maucomble the Count would not have got way without greater difficulty, seeing that he came out of action with only 60 men alive.
And with regard to M. de Strozzi, being aboard of the great gallion, as has been said, and Count Brissac having retired, he remained fighting alone for more than an hour without help from anyone, not even from those who by the plan of battle should have given it. Seeing which, Captain Cauquigny, whom M. de Strozzi had left in command of his own hulk, and who had been always in pursuit of the enemy's flagship with intent to bring her to action, to the point of making her and several other vessels with her sheet off (? pourgrer), wore and came to M. de Strozzi's assistance, who ordered him to lay the gallion aboard and not him. This being done, the gallion was assisted by three strong ships, who supplied her with fresh soldiers which she much needed, and by several others, who rendered her help with both cannon and musketry. At this juncture those on board the hulk, seeing no preparation made to aid them, called to M. de Strozzi to disengage himself, considering the behaviour of his fleet, which he did with the help of the hulk, which remained laid aboard of a gallion. But when he had drawn off and was thinking to withdraw, the enemy's flagship, which had not yet been in action, being fresh and a good sailer, wore and caught M. de Strozzi still all in disorder (desagracellé qy. desapareillé), not having had leisure to set himself straight, laid him aboard, catching him to leeward and gave him such a volley of cannon and musketry, that the greater part of those who remained alive were slain; and so M. de Strozzi, was taken and carried off, and up to this day we know not if he is alive or dead. It is said indeed that he was wounded by musket-shots. Nor yet do we know anything for certain as to the life or death of the Constable.
As for the rest of the fight on M. de Strozzi's side, M. de Buz being in a hulk, after the loss of his own ship, laid a great ship aboard, which had two with her. But seeing no appearance of help, and the unequal odds, he drew off with much trouble and danger, and not without great loss of men, both killed and wounded, and himself received a musket-shot in the right hand, from which and the illness that supervened, he is dead here at 'la Terziere.'
Capt. Montmort, who commanded a company of foot aboard a hulk, also endeavoured to come to close quarters. He did not succeed, but had many men killed and wounded all the same, by canons and musketry.
Capt. du Dresnay did the like, aiding well the retreat of the great hulk, which had remained engaged alongside the enemy's vice admiral's gallion.
Capt. Brevedent of Count Brissac's division fought at close quarters and lost many men. Ultimately he was rescued and drew off.
Some others got cannon or musket-shorts in passing near the thick of the fight; but the fact is that of 47 or 48 sail that were in the force of MM. de Strozzi and Brissac—the greater part, it is true, of small burden—not more then 8 or 9 tried to come into action; which shows plainly enough that few were well-affected.
Endd. in Portuguese: Information as to the battle which the fleet of France had with that of Castile. Fr.pp. [France VIII. 51.[
Sep. 26 354. Cobham to Walsingham
On receiving your letter I sent for Mr Charles Paget, who came to me on the 25th, when there were with me Mr Edward and Mr Henry Talbot, the Earl of Shrewsbury's sons, and Mr Ralph Evers, eldest son to my lord Evers; in whose presence and hearing I declared to Mr Paget how I had received direction from her Majesty to will him to return presently to England. To which he answered, that if he might have liberty of his conscience, he would return; otherwise he would not return. Then he added how that her Majesty might so deal with him that he would come home; but he requested he might have some leisure to think of the matter, and he would make a further answer; but he thought it would be, that he would not return. Notwithstanding his meaning was to carry himself towards her Highness as a dutiful subject so long as he may enjoy his living. If this be taken from him, he will seek to provide for himself, and he doubted not but he might have as much relief and living from other princes as he has in England. Lastly he requested me to 'stay the advertising' this answer till he wrote to the Queen. I showed him that I could not but certify with truth so much as he had delivered to me in answer to her Majesty's command signified to him for his return. Then he said that within a day or two he would frame a letter to her and bring it to be made up before me; concluding, he perceived this much tended to the deprivation of his living. Whereon I further said that her Majesty had never hitherto sent for any of her subjects to give them cause of repentance; wherefore I thought he would have well liked to return upon the delivery of this message, and that he should rather have conceived hope, through his dutiful proceeding, to recover her grace, to his better comfort.
Those above written are the very speeches and words of Mr Charles Paget delivered to me, which I then presently set down in writing in the sight of the abovenamed gentlemen, as they are ready to certify.—Paris, 26 September 1582.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [France VIII. 52.]
Sep. 26 355. Cobham to Walsingham
Since I find no remembrance of my suit in your last letter, my necessary occasions now constrain me to beseech you to move her Majesty to some resolution in my behalf, being desirous to return in no worse state than I was at my departing thence, and to receive some reward, whereof I cannot but hope, trusting she will be pleased to 'do for' me; which I desire may be brought to effect through my lord Treasurer's and your honourable mediation, which I am induced to think will be now the sooner granted, having served out the accustomed term as other her ministers have done.
Though my grief provokes me to importune you in more earnest manner, yet I will thus leave it to God to stir up your mind to deal in honourable sort for me; 'betaking' my nephew 'into' your good favour. having sent him to obtain the means to supply my wants with her Highness' relief, or else to sell a portion of the little which is left, 'having deferred to do the same, for giving thereby further grief to my wife.' —Paris, 26 Sept. 1582.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid VIII. 53.]
Sep. 26 356. La Chapelle-Des-Ursins to Walsingham
This letter is to recall myself to your favour, and to beg you to keep me therein; also to make you a humble request, namely that you would be so kind as to send me some English greyhounds. I should not be so presumptuous as to importune you for them on my own account, although I like them well; but it is to satisfy the Grand Duke of Tuscany and the Cardinal de Medici, who have sent to ask me for French greyhounds and coursing dogs. I have plenty of dogs to send them, but no greyhounds, and I am forced to have recourse to my good lords and friends, among whom I hold you. I feel sure that you will not think I am importuning you, and I will do you any service I can, and beg you to believe that there is no man in the world over whom you have more power than over me.—Paris, 26 September 1582.
Add. Endd. Fr.pp. [France VIII. 54.]
Sep. 26 357. Walsingham to Cobham
The Queen having found of late that the French ambassador here has been a secret conveyer of letter as both to the Queen of Scots and into Scotland, conveying 'matter of practice,' whereof she has just cause to suspect that these broils which have of late disquieted the state of Scotland and still continue there have in some part ensued, her pleasure is you should let both the King and Queen Mother understand from her, that though she has been content to 'yield' that his ambassador resident here might from time convey such letters as should be sent to the said queen, either from her friends in France, containing only matter of ordinary salutations, or from the officers of her dowry there, touching their charge, together with her own letters in answer, it was never meant by her to give him liberty to convey any other letters to her. Wherein the ambassador being discovered to have dealt otherwise and to have greatly abused the leave he had to send to and 'from' the said queen's private and ordinary letters,—which if her Majesty were disposed to take things in the worse sense might give her cause to suspect that there were not that sound amity and affection borne towards her as outwardly is professed, when their ambassador shall deal in causes not appertaining to his charge, so greatly prejudicial to her estate, which the world can hardly conceive to be done without direction—she prays them to command both the ambassador and all others that shall hereafter succeed him in the place not to meddle any more with conveying any of that queen's letters, and to order that they may be delivered to her ambassador resident there to be by him conveyed hither; as likewise that queen's shall be sent over to him, to be delivered according to their directions, to avoid the like inconvenience hereafter by giving his ambassador leave to convey the letters.
And here her pleasure is you should take occasions to put them in mind that howsoever the Kings of France have heretofore used Scotland as a means and instrument to annoy England and this Crown was possessed of some portion of the dominions belonging to that Crown, yet considering, all pretence of titles being taken away, that things stand now in better terms between the two Crowns, a most entire friendship and amity knit between both their Majesties, which of late especially has been embraced on both sides with great earnestness, so that England may be said to become the safest friend that Crown has, which by some outward effects has of late been manifest to the world, and therefore she hopes that they for their parts will also now use England as a friend, and make such account thereof—for the matter stood upon such extremities—that for Scotland's sake they would not hazard the loss of England.
And to Queen Mother especially her Majesty thinks meet you should let fall some speech to this purpose: that she particularly has great cause, were it but for her son's sake in the Low Countries, to 'tender' the quietness and well-doing of this state, his good or illfortune in this action he is now entered on depending so much thereon as she herself can best judge. And both to the king and Queen Mother you are to say in the continuance of your speech to this purpose that her Majesty conceives that whoever is a friend to the King of Scots, and would seem careful of his well-doing, cannot better express the same than by advising him to embrace the amity of England, and to endeavour to seek the continuance of her goodwill and favour towards him by good deserts for his own behoof, in respect of the trust that may otherwise ensue to him, both presently and hereafter, if her Majesty be at any time disposed to take her revenge for his ungrateful carrying of himself towards her, who has heretofore had and presently may have advantage enough to make her profit of, if she had any dispositions to carry a hard hand over him. And to show that she takes rather a course agreeable to the loving princely care she has always had of his safety and well doing, her pleasure is you shall make them acquainted with the cause and purpose of her present sending into Scotland Sir Edward Carye and Mr Bowes, letting them know that upon the falling out of these new stirs and alterations between them of the nobility, she had thought meet to send her minister thither to hold an even hand in the matter and to do all good offices to stay things from growing to any extremity, and to advise that such as should be found faulty as disturbers of the common peace and quietness of the state might receive their trial and punishment by a general assent of the nobility in due course and order of proceeding, without any violence or effusion of blood.
And in case any other informations shall be given out that her Majesty's sending into that realm tended to some worse purpose, you shall then pray them, as her proceeding in Scotland has always tended to the preservation of the king and the conservation of the realm in quiet, so they will be persuaded that her late sending thither was to no other purpose, as by effect in time will appear.
[The last paragraph is substituted, in Walsingham's hand, for the following, which has been crossed out:—And that d'Aubigny had been very ill-counselled to go about to shuffle the cards in that realm, as it was most apparent that he had done by the general ill will and hatred that he has thereby purchased unto himself both among the nobility and commons; for it falls out now in the end that so doing he has procured the greatest hurt to himself.
And further, to let the king understand how dangerous it was for him is his young years to be carried away only with the advise of the Duke of Lennox, though his kinsman, yet by birth a stranger, and in matters of estate and counsel very weak; whose advice, by taking away a principal nobleman of the realm and the banishing of another of like quality, and the taking into his hand's the whole execution of the government in that Kingdom, had greatly 'withdrawe' the devotion of his subjects from him, and therefore to counsel him, as one careful of his well doing, to beware that his particular affection should not so possess him as that he should through the love borne to one particular person hazard the loss of his subjects' hearts, the true force and strength of a prince. Which advice her Majesty hopes the king and queen will find good and allow of; so should they do well to 'convene' with her in giving the like.
And if upon the delivery of this speech you shall find the king and his mother to stand in defence of Lennox' proceeding, then it is her pleasure you let them both plainly understand that she very well perceives that their ambassador's secret and underhand dealing in the Scottish cause proceeds from their special direction, and therefore cannot conceive that there is that sound sincere affection borne towards her as outwardly is professed.]
This in substance is what I am commanded by her Majesty to deliver to you, to be imparted to the king and his mother, which you may amplify as you see cause, and accordingly as you shall discover there, touching their proceedings for Scotland. Surely if the ambassador here has proceeded by direction from the king and his mother, then we are to think that all his protestations of amity are but 'abuses'; for if they unfeignedly desire an association against Spain, they would be careful to preserve the quiet of England and advise Scotland to depend upon her Majesty. By dealing with them, you will be able best to discover how they are affected; and though the king and his mother can with very great 'temperancy' cover their passions, yet by Pinart who commonly 'speaks out of their humours,' you will discern how they are inclined.
Draft, largely in Walsingham's hand. Endd. with date. 6 pp. [France VIII. 55.]
Sep. 27 358. Herle to Walsingham
I would not leave you unadvertised, having so convenient a messenger as Mr Ashby, of the state of things: that is, that Monsieur had given express order to those that had the charge of the army in Guelderland to do their best to relieve Lochem on Saturday last, whatsoever should befall of it. Whereupon news are come to Monsieur today that his army has so well 'exploited' that the enemy's 'skonces' are forced, the town revictualled, the young earls at liberty, the old garrison taken out and a new put in the place, and the enemy driven to the hill, with the loss of five ensigns taken, and they are in hope to defeat him wholly; which good news have revived the spirits of many here. Notwithstanding, there are some who doubt of the truth of it, as well because the enemy was very strong, and far superior in power to our side, as that there is no ringing of bells here, nor 'fires of joy' for so good a turn received. But by the next you shall hear more, for if the town should miscarry, it were likely that all Guelderland would become 'altered' and give place to the enemy. It is a common fashion here, when they have had some notable loss by the enemy, then to give out the contrary for three or four days, to counterpoise the ill news the better. I pray God this be not likewise.
The French army is likely not to come to our side at all, for the king's 'bands of ordinance' are retiring, and will not join with the other cavalry, whereby the rest will not be able to make their way through the enemy; and without horse the foot are too many that we have already. The French king will not declare himself; the country here does not contribute; and the 'causes' of Portugal discourage us all. Our English people for very poverty disband themselves, and also run to be enemy. And to conclude, this is a state of poverty and irresolution.
Monsieur mislikes utterly 'with' these magistrates, who perform nothing to him, and therefore threatens to forsake them. Some others wish him in France this winter that he might raise a sufficient army against next spring. M. de Sainte-Aldegonde yesterday 'discharged himself' of his state of President of the Council of State, and so every side grows to be discontented.
Montigny by practice and finesse has found the means to put 15 ensigns of soldiers into Lille in Flanders, whereby he is master of the town: which gives an ill taste to the towns in Flanders, Hainault and Artois, and may breed some alteration.
I am solicited again by Mr Stephen [Lesieur] to move you touching the charges of Mr Rogers's 'diet,' of which if there be not an allowance from her majesty his deliverance cannot follow; and now especially, since the count of Meurs has ridden in post to the Imperial Diet, and therefore cannot satisfy the Prince of Orange's request for giving caution to discharge the 'diet' demanded at Mr Rogers's hands.
There departed from Emden about the 4th inst. one M. de Bologne, a Burgundian born, yet greatly hispaniolated, a creature of Cardinal granvelle's, into Scotland, with commission from the King of Spain to treat with d'Aubigny to make a faction there against her Majesty, and to alter religion, and finally to establish marriage between the King of scots and a daughter of Spain. This Bologne is about 60 years of age, a great practiser, and had instructions to sow division between the Earls of Emden before he went into Scotland, and to promise one of them aid against the other, and to confirm him in that state against his brother that [he] would be at the devotion of Spain. Herein he proceeded so far that he wrought part of the effect which he came for, but being discovered, he was fain for his safety to hasten his journey into Scotland, which is necessary that her Majesty be speedily advertised of; and of this matter you shall be better instructed by the next.—Antwerp, 27 September 1582.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVII. 22.]
Sep. 27 359. John Cobham to Walsinghham
Today there came a post with letters to Monsieur from Lochem, who certifies that the town is relieved and victualled by M. 'Lapeire' and Mr Norris; the Prince of Orange's nephews in safety, and the enemy retired.
The enemy took a skonce at the bridge-foot of 'Meening' in Flanders, and kept it two days, till Col. Preston and Col. Traill issued from the town, and beset them both by land and by water, and charged them so hotly that they left their fort and retired, insomuch that they were—being two ensigns, of which one were English rebels that had fled to the enemy—all put to the sword and drowned, saving one English soldier and two Walloons. The sickness and poverty of our Englishmen is so great that of 4000 men there is not left here 1000.—Antwerp, 27 September 1582.
Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. XVII. 23.]
Sep. 27 360. Péna to Walsingham
From the conversation which you have kindly had with that equitable pillager or pillar and support of law and equity, I Perceive the kindness and honour which you continue to show me, and at the same time the wrong and dishonour which he thinks to do me, pretending not to know that he owes me anything if he does not see his own paper and handwriting. Thus if I had lost his note, he would have lost his good faith, if anyone ever did, and I my goods and reputation for having been too honourable and serviceable towards him, and for his sake to another, as to Messrs M [ansfield ?] and others, who know well, and especially Mr James Thomas, their governor, that I showed them the bill of the then ambassador, who borrowed from me for them the sums of which he now says he had only been responsible for half. On that occasion I told him and showed him how he owed me previously the 500 crowns, for which about that time he made himself responsible to me, and offered to have them paid me in Antwerp by his stepson, his wife's [sic], a merchant, who brought his mother to this town, and had promised to have the sum paid to me, at Antwerp, or pay me according to the way of London. Then I wrote to an acquaintance of mine to draw that part, but he was not then in the country. Since then the great assurance which the gentleman in question gave me that he would indemnify me for all loss, together with the friendship he made show to bear me on account of both his own health and that of his wife, daughter, stepson, and all the family, whom I had tended or cured, made me believe that that sum would not only be carefully preserved to me, but increased, as was reason, since it was in the hands of his stepson, an opulent merchant, who had promised me to that effect. Moreover he himself was such a good manager that he let nothing lie useless. There, sir, is the requital (revenche) wherewith he will repay me: namely, to make me lose the principal, or at least the honest revenue (apports) which I hoped for from it, and at the same time to make it appear that it was not from frankness and courtesy that I employed it thus, but from folly, and since even if he makes me lose everything he cannot get me taxed with misconduct, For evident proof of what I saw, let him be asked by letter from some place for 10 crowns only, which he does not owe, or has paid; you will at once see a flight of letters in answer to represent that he is being wronged. Yet for two years I have been asking some English gentlemen to put my letters into his hands, having previously let them see them; to whom he has never been willing to say a word of the contents, only has always said that he had lately written back to me, and that he would write back to me on the first day; for which being often taken to task, lately even by Master Geoffroy, he could find no expedient save silence. This sufficiently shows his conscience, and science in jurisprudence, qui silet, assentiri ridetur; especially a personage qualified and armed with every variety of stratagems. I have written to him reverently, humbly, and as moderately as I could, then pretty freely, in French and Latin, in order to be understood, and that I might have an answer to my placet. I have even threatened to have a request presented to her Majesty to have me paid, seeing that I lent to him in the quality not only of man of honour, but of ambassador. For all that, he has not returned me one word of answer. If he had said: 'I do not remember how much it is, or if it has been paid, 'that would at least have been to palliate his insincerity (faintisc) in a tolerable way; but to cover himself with such a sorry shift (sac mouillé) is silly naughtiness; to amend which, and at the same time the wrong which he has done to my reputation, and the damage he causes me, it would be reasonable for him to reimburse me besides the principal, some part of the profit my money might have earned, which is at least as much again.
I send you two duplicates of his bill, and by the first messenger will send the original. But since a veritable Nestor and an equitable Hephæstion like yourself and that honourable gentleman your friend, the last ambassador but one [sic; but Poulet seems to be meant] have done me the honour to avail themselves of my small means, and on being called upon to pay their debts have not asked for an explanation, I could not believe there could be found a Sinon so monstrously treacherous as to steal away the faith and friendship so often promised to a poor friend who had deserved well of him and known to such honourable personages, of whom he has often heard me say how much I am their humble servant. Which affection and devotion, with the hope I have, make me so bold as to beg you not to fail to accomplish this benefit for me. The fact is so clear that there is no need to send a credential for it; but I must be careful, because I have to do with so awkward (hargueux) a man. The return of the present [bearer] is so hurried, that I am unable to provide sooner than by the next. Meanwhile Mr Wilkes who was his secretary, Mr Dallaber, an English doctor, and others of my acquaintance, know if I am in a dream. I have shown it to several here; Geoffroy has one of Mr Mansfield's in his hands, which I beg you to get from him and keep, for good reasons.—Paris, 27 September 1582.
Add. and endt. gone. Fr. 4 pp. [France VIII. 56.]
Sep. 28 361. Thomas Longston to Walsingham
Your letter of the 22nd I received here this afternoon, and sent 'for' Antwerp that enclosed to Mr Danett. I trust my answer to your former letter, touching these Dutch merchants' small trade of late used in shipping for England, is long 'yer' this come to your hands, for I wrote immediately upon receipt of yours, and signified thereby of my being here about our company's affairs, as also that I thought the cause of the Dutch merchants' late small shipping for England had been the careat which you there gave to some of them, whereby for a time they were here stirred to solicit earnestly that her Majesty might have had contentment. But since then, I consider another cause also, viz. that since the loss of Lierre little of their merchandise has been brought to Antwerp, but rather conveyed from Dort and other places into England, and perhaps landed at Sandwich and other ports; in which they can and will handle so cunningly that I shall never espy them. As for 'colouring' of their goods by any of our merchants, I can see no likelihood of it, for I would be loath to help another man's goods to the market, whereby my own market should be hindered; besides that (ut supra) the Dutchmen have not of late ventured to bring their goods into Antwerp except such as they know in effect to be sold before they brought them thither.
Wherefore in truth I know not how her Majesty may yet be satisfied by way of arrest unless by some of those that are resident in London. But these things rest in your wisdom, and therefore I crave pardon. If any matter had fallen out worthy of advertisement, I would have sent an express messenger, and will gladly so do when there shall be cause. Of our merchants' proceedings here, you may be advertised. We are almost agreed with this town for our residence and traffic to be kept here, so that if the States will maintain the 'intercourse' and privilege we may be better here than at Antwerp, wherein the Lord grant good success.—Middelburg, 28 September 1582.
P.S.—It was reported here today that the Count of Hollock had given an overthrow to the Malcontents in Guelderland, and raised the siege before Lochem. The Duke of Brabant places French garrisons in most towns, and will place some in Antwerp, as it is thought, so that he will have good 'pawns' of the towns before he will do any great exploit in the field. God preserve His Church.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVII. 24.]
Sep. 29 362. Pietro Bizarri to Walsingham
There is certain news here that Lochem has been finally delivered and victualled, not without some loss to the enemy, seeing that his Highness's people took a fort from them by assault, and also a house in which they had fortified themselves; also in the crossing of a bridge, 300 of them 'remained.' Our men although in the ardour of victory they had a mind to pursue them, withal abstained at their commander's order from the enterprise, in order not to risk themselves without certainty; which must be the more commended, that oftentimes desperate action takes away the fruits of victory. Tomorrow, being Sunday, his Excellency gives a splendid banquet to his Highness and many nobles and chief men, and last Monday his Highness entertained his Excellency and 40 chief men. About 500 French are lately arrived by way of Zealand, who with others from the camp, both cavalry and infantry, are gone on an enterprise, the result of which will soon be known. It is hoped it will succeed.—Antwerp, last but one of September, 1582.
P.S.—His Excellency's three nephews have been set free with the others, and taken to a safe place.
The enemy is said to have withdrawn to Ruremonde.0
Add. Endd. Ital. 1 p. [Ibid. XVII. 25.]
Sep. 30 363. Aduley Danett to Walsingham
I advertised you by Mr Ashby that the siege before Lochem was raised and the enemy retired. The forces on this side have followed after, and they are said to be about two leagues one from the other. If the enemy take the way towards 'Frise,' it is said the duke's forces in Guelders will return to these parts; but if they march towards Brabant, then the direction is to follow them and upon any advantage to assay their strength. Count Mansfield and M. de Haultepenne both arrived in person to the aid of the enemy before Lochem; but by their sudden 'retire' from thence, it is said they have no desire to hazard anything by way of fight. By this means the town was victualled with little resistance and almost no loss at all, no, not of the common soldiers. No'particular' letters have come as yet from Mr Norris, but by all conjectures he is well; nor any particulars of the service spoken of worth the writing. Therefore I forbear to trouble you further on this point.
Since Sunday last, the 23rd, there arrived here from Calais, 'by times,' to the number of 1,500 French at the least; which gives occasion to conjecture that the army about Cambray, being gentlemen, and many serving voluntary, will be spared to some better season of the year, and the mercenary foot only to repair here now.
Our English troops, who naturally mislike to serve with the French, on Friday last, upon some speeches used by some of the French, and thereupon some blows and violence offered, suddenly took arms, ready to encounter one with the other, had not the matter been pacified by the great care and persuasion of some of our English captains then present among them. His Highness being advertised of it gave order to M. de Rochepot to see some execution done upon two or three of the French authors of the broil, but as yet nothing has been done on that behalf. The reiters and Scotchmen 'presently' upon the alarm put themselves likewise in arms, and offered very readily to charge the French, who unadvisedly will be masters in these parts before their time; which some judge to be the cause that these people here hold so hard a course towards them. It would not appear as yet that their credit here is much, and unless some better course be observed by the common soldier, I think it will not be increased in haste. The gentlemen, and those of judgment, carry themselves very temperately and with good discretion, although inwardly they are greatly discontented, as some of them have not spared to utter.
There is an enterprise taken in hand by the French, either for the victualling of some place, or the surprising of some town, near Brussels as it is supposed; for the performance of which all the duke's minions and most of the gentlemen of his Court, with 500 English and more of the French, took their journey towards Alost (where they are to receive further directions), on Saturday, the 29th, in the afternoon, some horse by land and all the foot by water. Some think it is Notre Dame de Hal, a town 4 leagues from Brussels, into which are lately retired all the rich boors of the country thereabouts; so that they hope to find some great wealth, and the town withal offer little defence, as the enterprise is not thought to be of much difficulty, especially as the garrisons in the enemy's towns in those parts have lately been called to some service 'abraud.' Upon the success of the service I will advertise you more particularly, and meantime beseech you to take these in good part.
This morning I received your letter of Sep. 22, for which I thank you; as also for the happy news from Scotland, whereof many here are very inquisitive, and many well-affected glad to hear that d'Aubigny is removed; although they expected some further matter against him, and fear lest hereafter he attempt some further harm.—Antwerp, last of September 1582.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVII. 26.]
Sep. 30 364. Stokes to Walsingham
My last was the 23rd, 'having' since received these few speeches as follows.
The States of Artois and Hainault have not as yet given their answer to the demands that the Prince of Parma made at Arras; for by some advice out of those parts it is hoped it will be denied him.
M. de Capres, governor of Arras, who is now altogether one of the Spanish faction, had this week almost brought the Spaniards into Arras. But before it was ripe it was espied by the burghers, who set themselves speedily all in arms and told M. de Capres that they would suffer no Spaniards to come into their town, to the last man. Though 'the like has not chanced in this order' at Valenciennes, yet those of that town will not suffer any Spaniards to enter there neither; so as they write the Spaniards grow daily in great hatred in those parts under the enemy's government, and not without cause, for by good report they use the common people of that side very cruelly.
Four days ago the Prince of Parma commanded all his forces that lay beside Lille and those parts to march in all diligence, some towards Cambray and some towards Renty; so they are all gone towards those parts saving 700 or 800 foot, who are left at Hallewyn to keep the 'boulewarke' they have made there; which it is hoped they will not keep long.
This week those of Meenen have taken a bridge and a sconer which the enemy kept between Hallewyn and Meenen. At the taking of those places there were slain above 200 on the enemy's side; so those of Meenen make sharp war with the enemy in those parts.
M. de Villers, who was marshal of the camp that lay last year at Loo, is sent by His Highness in great haste into France, to bring his army through Artois and Hainault, because he knows all those parts. It is said they will be there within less than 14 days.
From Lille they write that many gentlemen and captains that have charge and are in service on the enemy's side are in some great trouble of mind, only because they see the great cruelty that the Spaniards begin to use amongst them; so they write of some hope that these matters will turn to some good for this side era long.
Great want of victuals begins to grow at Cortrick, Lille, and many other towns under the enemy's government, so that it is thought this winter the want of victuals will drive him to some extremity.—Bruges, 30 September 1582.
Add. Endd. 2. pp. [Ibid. XVII. 27.]
Sept. 365. Strozzi's Defeat
That which I could gather of the loss of our army by sea, and of the death of M. de 'Strosso,' both by the advertisements which the King of Spain has sent to his ambassador here and from M. Fournicon, secretary to M. Strozzi, who arrived on September 17 from the Isle of Terceras, is that Strozzi having on his arrival at the Isles of 'Essore' taken that of St. Michael, being one of the chief, and held by the Spaniards, having vanquished at his landing all the enemies whom he found to make resistance, except about 900 or 1,000 soldiers, who retried within the fort; having also taken four great ships of the eleven which the Kings of Spain had sent before with 700 or 800 men for their succour, the residue being abandoned and broken on the shore; he had intelligence that the Spanish 'army' was coming forward. This was the cause why he left the enterprise of forcing the fort, having intended to win it and raze it, that they might have reduced the whole isle to Don Antonio's obedience. The rest of the islands had already very willingly surrendered, the inhabitants making all demonstrations of good will towards Don Antonio.
On July 21 the Marquis of 'st. Cross,'general of the Spanish 'army,' which contained 28 ships, amongst them 6 very great, and two galleons, first discovered our army in the road of the Isle of St. Michael. Hereupon some of our ships set forth to discover them; and provoking them the space of four or five days, the enemy seemed not willing to fight, but rather to entertain them, only, it is presumed, while the fleet of Peru 'might' pass safely towards Spain, or else because they would not hazard the battle. Our men also, for certain considerations which were agreed on in the Council, resolved to fight, and four of our ships were appointed to charge and assail each of them one of the great vessels of the enemy, so that every one of them understood what they had to do; in such manner as Fournicon has brought the order to their Majesties, signed by the general. Strozzi, Count Brissac, lieutenant in his absence, and the principal captains.
On July 26, M. de Strozzi went in the morning from ship to ship to exhort everyone to do their best endeavours, showing them how the occasion which they had so long desired was come, to fight the Spanish army; which being overthrown, as there was great appearance to give them assurance, there would remain no other difficulty why the other islands and the fleet looked for from Peru should not be taken by them, and they might return to France with much honour and riches.
Thereon, everyone having assured him of their duty, and how they had left France to no other intent than to follow him, he assured them he would lead them the way, and would give the first onset, assuring himself they would follow. This he accomplished as soon as he was re-entered into the ship he had chosen to fight in, and went toward the enemy with a marvellous resolution, assailing the galleon wherein he might judge the Marquis 'St. Cross' should be embarked. The other three ships assigned to accompany him in the fight went forward in appearance with the like resolution. In one of them was Count Brissac, who also with the other two ships did at first their endeavours. But the residue did not move, staying as amazed without essaying to do any notable exploit; which gave the cause that those who had accompanied him, seeing the evident danger of fighting without the succour of the rest, retired. This M. de strozzi refusing to do, having 'refreshed' his ship with men, because the most part of those in her were slain or wounded, bending himself obstinately to the combat. the mariners discomforted with the long fight, and M. de Beaumont, to whom the ship belonged, slain, Count 'Viminose,' Constable of Portugal, and M. Strozzi having both received their death-wounds, the enemy entered the vessel; and as the Marquis 'St. Cross' entered the ship, asking for M. Strozzi, he, forcing himself to answer the marquis, his sprits failing him, fell down there and died in the Marquis's sight.
The marquis has given great testimony of M. Strozzi's valour and resolution in his letter to the King of Spain, protesting that he and those who accompanied him had slain 350 Spaniards, and hurt 500; and that if half the French 'army' had done the like endeavour, he would have been in danger to be overcome.
It is further to be understood that the enemy has taken of our 'army' only the vessel in which M. Strozzi was, and one other bark which the marquis caused to be set on fire the next night because he found it empty. It was the one which brought supplies of men during the fight to M. Strozzi.
The ambassador of France resident in Spain has sent hither a discourse printed at Lisbon, which contains how the marquis arriving at the Isle of St. Michael has caused all the French gentlemen to be beheaded, and the soldiers and mariners, whom he had taken at sea, or found in the islands, to be hanged. But those who have latelier come from Terceras bring no certain report thereof. Nor do they as yet know certainly M. Strozzi's death or overthrow, because 30 ships of our 'army,' which retired thither, could only certify that he fought valiantly; but they last perceived his ship to be taken, and carried away by the enemy.
Further, Don Antonio, who the day before the battle had gone to Tercera to make his entry into that island, had sent some trumpeters and drums to St Michael to enquire after the slain men and prisoners taken; and the trumpeters were retained, contrary to all rights of war. Don Antonio greatly laments M. Strozzi's death, witnessing it by a letter to the Queen Mother.
Four days after this overthrow Captain Pardin and the Captain of Don Antonio's guard arrived at Tercera from Rochelle with some ships and French soldiers. Through this is grown occasion of spreading abroad these new reports within this realm, how those of our army who had not fought the first day had charged the enemy on the day following with this succour and overthrown them, and rescued M. Strozzi, hurt on the head and shoulder. It is understood to the contrary now, by the certain knowledge of his death.
Stroza cadens classem depugnans solus Iberam, Victricem numero vicit (ovans) animo.
Endd. in hand of (?) L. Care. 3¾ pp. [France VIII. 57.]