Elizabeth: July 1583, 1-5

Pages 1-8

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 18, July 1583-July 1584. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1914.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.

Please subscribe to access the page scans

This volume has gold page scans.
Access these scans with a gold subscription.Key icon

July 1583, 1–5

July 1/11. 1. M. de Chamoy to the Burgomasters of Nieuport.
(1) The bearer is despatched by “Messieurs” of this town to the States, and I send this by him, begging you to get it with safety and diligence to the hands of M. de Gourdan, as it is of great importance for his Highness' service. Send a man express and order him to keep well out to sea, that he may run no risk near Gravelines.—Dunkirk, 11 July, 1583.
Postscript.—I send also a letter for M. des Pruneaux, which please send to Antwerp.
I will add this word in my own hand; which is that you need have no fear for this town, and that I hope, with God's help, you will have no change of neighbours.
2/3 p. French. [Holl. and Fl. XIX. 75.]
(2) A letter sent with the above.
I could not omit to let good friends know that we have now been besieged for eleven days and have received no succour as yet. We are still in good heart, hoping that God will raise up someone, but we should be in still better heart had we weapons in our hands, also our twelve ensigns of French are very sick.
We therefore beg those whom it concerns and who inhabit this land, to lend a good hand towards helping us, for the enemy is over 4,000 men strong, reiters and footmen. They lie in four divisions, the first lying west of the gallows, where they have made a battery to prevent ships coming into the harbour.
They lie also under the dyke by the Doernegat, near Cleen Sinten and on the east in the dunes by Pierpepas; the fourth lying by Stendamme. Would to God we had two or three hundred good soldiers, and that his Excellency and the States would send arms to furnish those who have none. We could hold the town well, with God's help. The harbour is closed with seven or eight great hawsers, so that none can come in or out. The citizens do not know what to make of it, and whether they have been deserted by the States or not. If we are (which I hope is not so) I implore that we may receive some aid from them as soon as possible. I hope matters may go well, with God's help, but it is no use to conceal the fact that only from Him can we look for a happy issue.—11 July, near Altemal, before the town of Dunkirk.
Addressed to Pieter Mahieu at Nieuport or Jan Gryp, to send to Admiral Treslong at Middelburg.
Copy. Endd. Copy of Chamoy's letter to Newport. Flemishp. [Holl. and Fl. XIX. 75a.]
July 2/12. 2. M. Cormont, Sieur de Vllleneuve to the Four Members Of Flanders.
Dunkirk is besieged and the enemy are plainly determined to take it. The Prince of Parma arrived yesterday, twelve pieces of artillery have come, and forty more are expected. There is need of haste, if anyone wants to help it, for if we wait until their succours come up, there will be much more difficulty. You must bear a hand to it; it is you whom it touches most nearly. If the opportunity is lost, it will not be regained. I have written of it fully to his Highness and his Excellency. I am fortifying this town the best I can, that I may make a good defence if attacked.
I beg you to send us necessaries before we are more closely invested, and to content the Besancon captains in what they have in charge, that captains and men may go to work more willingly. I do what I can to satisfy them, but their needs are great. I give them all the exercise I can, that they may not think of their hardships.—Winoxberghe, 12 July, 1583.
Copy. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. XIX. 76.]
July 3. 3. Cobham to Walsingham.
Monsieur makes levies and prepares for the framing of a camp, but so slowly and with so little money that they think the army will not be in any “force or order” until Michaelmas or after. In the meantime, I hear the King has commanded fourteen companies of men of arms and the regiments of Picardy to march towards the frontiers near Cambrai.
It is said that the Queen Mother has spoken with Monsieur and is returned to the King, “and that she will not consent Charetier should have the torment for to make him confess, because she thinketh for fear of the torment he will deliver many untruths and vanities.”
M. de Marchaumont sent to me one that waited on Charetier, who informed me that Charetier hurled overboard into the sea certain letters before the enemy searched him.
There is come from Barbary a Frenchman with letters and instructions from those parts, directed to the Queen Mother and Don Antonio.
Duke Joyeuse was at Loretto the 21st of June, according to their calendar, and was to depart on the 27th, having given 4,000 crowns to the church of Loretto, where he was shriven and received his sacrament, in company of M. de “Seguin” Pardaillan, Mario Bandini, Alessandro del Bene, Cosmo Strozzi and Roberto Venturi, his followers.
The packets of the ambassador of Savoy and the Spanish agent were taken in “Dolphine,” going towards Savoy. The letters which the ordinary post carried were not touched. It is thought this was done by order of the King.
The Bishop of Glasgow is said to have shown the Nuncio that her Majesty received the news of d'Aubigny's death at my Lord Treasurer's, when she “spake many particularities of the said d'Aubigny.” So it seems the bishop has acquaintance who approach her Majesty. He has had letters from the Scottish Queen, to be delivered to the Queen of Navarre.
I understand that Mr. Copley has caused certain English papists at Rheims and Paris to testify how he left his country and lost his lands for the Pope's cause, whereon the Pope has assigned him a pension of twenty-five crowns monthly, to be paid here by the Jesuits, and he is sending his son to Rome.
They write from Italy that the Venetians grudge at the English trade begun in Constantinople, finding that their Venetian cloths and other Italian serges and draperies will not be so well sold and esteemed in the Levant as heretofore; the which matter the Venetians begin to have in consideration. You may hereon judge whether it be needful for our English merchants to return in wary manner, for the better avoiding of malicious enterprises.
I send herewith a letter directed to the Palatine Laski, with occurrents from sundry places, beseeching you that I may return “in some better season of the year than I was sent out in, into these parts.”—Paris, 3 July, 1583.
Add. Endd. With short marginal summary of contents by L. Tomson. 1½ pp. [France X. 1.]
July 3. 4. Advertisements from Cologne.
The assembly at Speier was about the contribution granted at the last general Diet, and nothing was done in favour of the deprived Elector save that the protestant assessors objected to admit the assessor sent by either the new archbishop or the old one.
I lately sent you the list of Casimir's army, which since yesterday is augmented (according to letters from Strasburg and statements made by the Archbishop of Treves to the Senate of this town) by 4,000 horse and a large force of foot. At present Truchsess has no need of them, for he is strong enough to drive away the feeble and distant sieges of the Chapter before Bonn and Ording. Last Sunday that before Bonn withdrew a league and a half towards Brühl (where Bavaria is ill), having learnt that (besides the thousand soldiers in the city) another thousand have entered it, foot and horse; amongst them are four English companies, including that of Capt. Williams. The dismissed Elector has passed the mountains, but has retired to Wherle where he has 4,000 footmen and 1,500 horse, good troops, to defend Westphalia against the forces which Verdugo is said to be bringing thither. A pagador has passed by here with 36,000 crowns for the said Verdugo.
To-day, all the priesthood is summoned into Chapter, to find money promptly and freely, otherwise Count Salentin will resign his charge. Meanwhile, the Nuncio is proceeding further with his papal fulminations, and now wishes to reform the manners of all the clergy of Cologne, and amongst other things to make them give up their confinceres or valets de nuit, which may spoil his whole business and make them turn their coats, as they will not hear of disbursing any money. Those of Bonn yesterday made a sortie and took and sacked the house of Bornheim (Bournom), full of goods which the peasants around had carried there for safety. God grant us peace!-Cologne, 3 July, 1583.
Endd. Fr.pp. [Newsletters XXVII. 16a.]
July 4, 5. Cobham to Walsingham.
On the 26th ult. Lord John Hamilton came to me, showing me how he had received such a comfortable letter from you that he resolved to repair into England to give himself entirely into her Majesty's hands, hoping only by her means to be restored to his country and estates, which he would acknowledge to her with sincere duty all his life. He intends to depart hence in about eight days. I enclose his letters to you and to his brother Lord Claude, desiring him to resort to London, because he means to go hence with no company but one of my servants.
“I trust her Majesty may assure herself of this Lord John Hamilton as much as of any Scottish nobleman, considering he is known to be constant in religion, of good life and loving his own conscience; having been slackly relieved of all other princes, so as he is to be most bounden unto the Queen's Majesty, and thereby to be made assured; betaking him into your honour's hands for to be favoured according to the goodness of his cause and worthiness of his personage.”
As you may hear sundry bruits of the cause why the Palatine Costka, (fn. 1) the 'Polonoys' (of whom I certified in my last), was come hither, I send you his own letters to the Queen Mother, with his supplication to the French King, wherein the occasion of his coming appears.
Earl Moreton is still here, “having made himself apparel and his servants fair liveries, dissembling his dealings as much as he can.” Sir John Seton is, either to-day or to-morrow, to take his journey towards Spain.
I hear that Monsieur was, the other day, secretly in the Queen of Navarre's house, and that he has dispatched Girolamo, the son of La Romana, with letters into Spain to King Philip, with the advice and favour of Tassis, this Spanish agent. Howbeit, some suppose that Tassis has sent Girolamo “of his affairs,” without his Highness's knowledge. It is said that after Dunkirk is taken, the Prince of Parma will besiege Ghent, having there a party and good intelligence, and that Monsieur will in no sort impeach his enterprises.
The French King has denied the Duke of Bipont's request for the levying of Frenchmen to serve in Truchsess' cause.
“The young Queen pretendeth to repair unto the baths of Bourbonensis and so to return in August,” and it is thought the King will retire himself towards Paris next month.—4 July, 1583.
P.S.—I send herewith a copy of Anthony Standen's letter to the Bishop of Glasgow, which I saw and read, “as may appear by this enclosed, which is copied word for word.”
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [France X. 2.]
July 5/15. 6. Instructions of the King Of Navarre [to M. Ségur-Pardaillan], for the Princes Of Germany.
The chief points insisted upon are the necessity of concord in the protestant Churches, and the desirability of holding a general synod, especially in relation to the position of the Gallican church, and the questions which have arisen in relation to the Lord's Supper, which, however, he did not think were so difficult that the synod could not settle them. To this follows a summary of the proceedings in the various countries of Europe “to extinguish the light of the Gospel,” as seen in the “tyranny of the Roman antichrist” and the cruelties of the Inquisition against those suspected of leaning to the Reformed Religion in Spain and Italy; the efforts of the Papal legate to procure the promulgation of the Council of Trent and the establishment of the Inquisition (contrary to the protests of the Senate and the liberties of the Gallican church) in France; the attempts of the Jesuits to persuade English to rebellion; the arts employed by the pontificals to tempt the young King of Scots to change his religion, etc., etc.
The latter part of the instructions relates to the Cologne war, the need of defending and aiding the Elector Truchsess, and of protesting against the Pope's claim to interfere with the rights of the Electors of the holy Empire. All these things Ségur is to put before the Princes, praying them to fix upon a time and place for the synod, where the deputies of the English Queen and the King of Denmark may meet the illustrious Princes of Germany, upon whom all eyes are fixed in hope, both at home and abroad.—Nérac, 15 July, 1583.
With statement that the original is signed Henry; and below, Copy. Latin. 13 pp. [Ibid. X. 2 bis.]
Alliarius [i.e. d'Alliers], and sealed with the great seal.
July 5. 7. Geoffrey Le Brumen to Walsingham.
Last Saturday M. de Guise left Dieppe for Eu, and the Cardinal of Bourbon to go to Fécamp. Some English went from Rouen to see M. de Guise at Dieppe and spoke much in praise of him. He has given 120 commissions to levy soldiers, and it has been done in several places. Those of Sedan are in great fear while the King is at Mezières. It is commonly reported that there is an enterprise for Scotland; those of Rochelle are alarmed for themselves.
It is clearly perceived that divers schemes are on foot; some are afraid of them, others expect that they will break or be discovered, through the number of humours that there are to manage them. The common people believe that the King, his brother, the King of Spain, and MM. de Guise have a mutual understanding, and but for the distrusts and jealousies between them would already have carried out many designs. Meanwhile the protestants remain weak and disjointed and will not aid one another.
The above is from one who left Dieppe on Sunday and announced at Rye that an English priest was to come after him. He arrived here yesterday.—[London] Friday, July 5, 1583 [old style].
Unsigned. Add. Endd. From M. Geffray. Fr. 1 p. [France X. 3.]
July 5/15. 8. [Pietro Bizarri to Walsingham.]
I have written to you at length of my journey into Germany, and will say no more on that subject.
As for public affairs here, the enemy has left Herentals and turned all his forces to the more important enterprise of Dunkirk. It is said that 300 French arquebusiers have gone to its assistance, and that four ships, with a provision of 1,200 men are only waiting for a fair wind. Please God things may be better in the future than in the past.
Duke Casimir and the Duke of Biponts are said to be marching to the relief of Bonn, and to aid the former Elector.
It is reported that the King of Fez is showing great hostility to Spain; that his Catholic Majesty has a great fleet under the command of the Marquis Santa Croce, and that Don Antonio has another in Terceira to meet it. An ambassador from him is returning here. I am told that my Lady of Parma is soon to return to Italy, and that Signor Mario Carduino, Governor of Lierre, is to accompany her, by his Majesty's commission.
At my return here, I learnt that my agent, John Davys of Salisbury, had passed to a better life; and, meanwhile, I have been defrauded of my rent for last Lady-day (la Madonna di Marzo). I have written to Mr. Robert Beale, having no other friend there beside yourself whom I would trust in my affairs, and I beseech your assistance that I may enjoy the liberality granted by her Majesty and assured to me by your honourable means.
I have likewise written four lines to the Earl of Bedford, my lord and patron of old, to give news of myself, and thank him for his many courtesies and benefits. I pray you, for love of me, to confirm me in his good favour.
A little before my departure hence, among my other Latin works, I had begun an exhortation in verse to the States of this country, recounting the tyrannies of the Spaniard and the bad government of the French, and adjuring them to abandon France and Spain, and put themselves under the protection of the Empire, England and Denmark. These verses were finished during my long journey on the Rhine, and amounted to 500 Latin verses or more. When I was captured, they (with other writings) were in the boat, under my bolster. The enemy, more intent on plunder than on writings, although often most inquisitive about such things, took no notice of them but tore them up and threw them into the Rhine.
When I was in their hands, I was distressed and uneasy about nothing more than this; and I should straightway have been reduced to dust and ashes if they had been found, and the contents seen. Here then was revealed to me the great goodness of God and his unspeakable clemency and mercy. But truly I may say that I had more luck than wit, and cannot sufficiently wonder at my own folly in carrying with me instant death, albeit I thought to be out of all danger immediately. God be praised for all his favour granted to me.—Antwerp, 15 July, 1583.
Without Add. or Endt. Italian. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIX. 77.]
July 5. 9. Roger Williams to Walsingham.
“These two bearers generally many knows them to be brave soldiers. They are both my cousin germains. They have requested me earnestly to kiss your honour's hands. Were they not my kinsmen I would praise them more, but if her Majesty had to do with men of our profession, I dare answer they will not turn the bridle from no two hands that carries lances.
Since Mr. Norrys arrived I have not troubled your honour with letters, because I do persuade myself he will show you his, who I think can read them very well.
One of them [i.e the bearers] is to return presently to me from Mr. Norrys. I have desired him to speak to your honour in my behalf; I never had more need of your help than at this present.”—Antwerp, the 5 July. [Style doubtful.]
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XIX. 77 bis.]
July 5/15. 10. Bernardino De Mendoça to the Privy Council.
Stating that Hans Wouters and Nicolas Auchemant [Hausman] subjects of the King, his master, and natives of Brabant, have been condemned by Dr. Lewes, Judge of the Admiralty, to pay 4,000l. sterling, in virtue of an obligation of the rebels of that country. Prays to be informed if it be the Queen's pleasure to make his master's subjects pay the debts of his rebels, a thing so unjust and unreasonable that he hopes the sentence may be revoked, and his master's subjects set at liberty without being further troubled in the matter.—London, 15 July, 1583.
Add. to the Council of State of the Queen of England. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Spain II. 6.]


  • 1. See Calendar for Jan.—June, 1583, p. 410.