Elizabeth: September 1583, 1-15

Pages 100-109

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

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September 1583, 1–15

Sept. 1. 116. Stokes to Walsingham.
The Prince of Parma has returned to his camp before Ypres, and has sent Dom Pedro Passa, an Italian, towards Cambray with twelve cornets of horse and three regiments of foot. It is said that Monsieur's French army is “entered besides Cambray” and has taken Cambresis.
Spies sent to the enemy's camp report that they are not strong and lie scattering in great disorder. Last Thursday, those of Ypres made a great skirmish, when many were slain of both sides. They took three Spanish captains, and their great ordnance slew many of the enemy.
This week the Prince sent a trumpet with an open letter to Ypres, making them great offers, which letter the magistrates and captains burnt before the trumpet's face, and told him if he brought such another they would hang him. Next day he was sent with the like letters which they burnt, and hanged him, which shows they will hearken to no offer.
There is here no preparation for succouring Ypres, which considering its importance seems strange to all men
This week divers gentlemen were taken in Ghent, who had intelligence with the Prince of Parma about some enterprise against the town. They of Ghent have sent another messenger to Duke Casimir, desiring his speedy presence and the hastening of Hembyse to his office there, which dealings are strange, considering that money wants here in the country, for which cause it is much feared that some worse matter will follow.—Bruges, 1 September, 1583.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 26.]
Sept. 2. 117. Gilpin to Robert Beale.
I expect the party from Cologne daily. By the copy of his last letter, you will see my care and his forwardness.
For our present news I refer me to Mr. Dannett. Those of Flanders had only limited power to deal at this general assembly, so that nothing could be resolved.
The Prince [of Orange] in five or six days goes to Dordrecht, where the States will meet on the 25th inst. Those of Guelderland appeared not here, but, is hoped, will come thither, as also those of Utrecht, where great difference has been between the lords and commons about “yielding the accounts in their contributions.”
Of the French not much is spoken, but those affected that way persevere, “what misery soever may lie therein. Brabant bent much to Flanders, and now, methinks, groweth colder, and shall be a mean to draw on the other, for that course Holland and Zeeland taketh the rest must follow, or else by division will work their town ruin.”
The sickness grows great in Ypres, and. with small likelihood of rescue (“resketh”) will ere long procure a surrender.
Duke Casimir is said to be in Cologne with 50 horse, let in by the lords, and is in terms to make an agreement with the town to receive again their last Elector and reject the new, having sent him defiance on behalf of the three electors temporal if he desist not from the title and place.—Middelburg, 2 September, 1583.
Add. Endd. “Mr. Guilpin, Advertisements from Cologne.” 1¼ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 27.]
Sept. 3/13. 118. The States General to the Queen.
Apologising for not having written so often to her as her affection for their safety and welfare demands, and informing her that they have been assembled at Middelburg for about a fortnight to discuss the points lately framed in Antwerp for the happy union of all the provinces, and their defence and protection against the common enemies, and amongst other things the point of a reconciliation with the Duke of Anjou; but owing to the absence of the deputies of Gueldres, Utrecht and Oberyssel, they have determined to adjourn to Dordrecht, where they will resolve on all things, as they have written to his Highness, according as her Majesty will see by the copy enclosed [not now with the letter]. They are doing their utmost that a final resolution may be taken at Dordrecht, not only upon the treaty with his Highness, but also on all that concerns the welfare of the country.
Pray her to continue her affection, as they will always continue their humble service.—Middelburg, 13 September, 1583.
Add. Endd. Fr.1 p. [Ibid XX. 28.]
Sept. 3/13. 119. John Norreys to Lord Burghley.
Having delivered her Majesty's opinion and advice touching the affairs of this country to the Prince (according to instructions received by Mr. Danett) he gave me the resolute answer that neither himself or Holland and Zeeland, the provinces where he had most credit, would in any sort treat with the King of Spain or the Malcontents, who could do nothing but what the King liked of. For their reasons, I refer you to my letters to her Majesty, as also for what I have else learned of the course they here mean to run, though nothing of certainty is concluded. The deputies for the States at this assembly could resolve of nothing, but only hear what propositions would be made, and at the next meeting (appointed at Dordrecht the 20th [sic] of this month) to determine fully of their affairs.
The deputies of Friesland “desired me to know” her Majesty's opinion in some points, whereof you will understand by Mr. Danett's report.
Touching my own estate, I understood from Mr. Secretary that her Majesty wished me to return into England, and that I should have the Marshalship of Berwick, paying five or six hundred pounds for the same.
I should have a hard bargain to pay so dear for a place that would put me to further charge, and my time spent in the wars, where I trust to learn something, will be as much for her Majesty's service as if I were at home. I pray you assure her that if I thought I could do her any service there, or that she disliked my being abroad, I would quickly return; I continue here to avoid living idly at my father's, which (if her Majesty will bestow nothing upon me) must be my refuge.
Having found your lordship wish well to me, I pray for your advice and furtherance.—Middelburg, 13 September, 1583, stilo Zel.
Add. Endd.p. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 29.]
Sept. 5. 120. The Emperor to the Governors Of The Craises [i.e. Kreise].
[Marginal note. “Craises.” The first division of the government of Germany consisteth in these Craises, the whole country being divided into ten parts, the government whereof is committed to the greatest prince in that quarter.]
What we have of late written to your Lovingness as concerning the levying of men and practices against the Archbishopric of Cologne, I trust is yet in fresh memory; and, as notwithstanding our charges, the said levying of men is grown so far that the Bishopric and Chapter of Cologne, with their lands and subjects, are not only in hostile manner over-run, spoiled, and charged with payments to exempt them from being burned, but also it is secretly practised how to get into and take the city of Cologne, pertaining to us and the holy Empire (which, in these late differences between the deprived and new chosen Bishop, hath not any way meddled or had to do) and, having it in their hands, would keep it from the Empire; which are such notorious practices as all States and governors of the Craises should by all possible means withstand:—We therefore earnestly commanded the General, colonels and other commanders who have over-run the Bishopric, seeking to get it into their hands, that they should desist from their hostile proceedings and dismiss their soldiers. Wherefore we charge your Lovingness with the other Governors of the Craises, that in case our commands be not obeyed, but that anything further be done against the aforesaid Archbishop and his subjects or the city of Cologne, that you do not only repair to them with the help of your government, (being by the said chapter or city thereto required) and aid them to the best of your power, but, in case your own help should not be sufficient, that you raise so many of the neighbouring Craises as shall be needful and with their whole force proceed according to the tenure of the ordinances of the Empire.—Vienna, 5 September, 1583.
Endd. [See p. 91 above.] Translation. 1½ pp. [Germany, Empire I. 55.]
Sept. 6. 121. Cobham to Burghley.
We hear that they of the Religion in Languedoc are alarmed by the King's late going to Lyons, as also that a gentleman of the Religion has taken Domeville, on the river of Dordogne, which is done only, I am told, in respect that the Papists had taken a castle of the same gentleman and he could obtain no restitution. Otherwise there appears no likelihood of troubles. But the bishops in their dioceses “procure by all sleights and inventions to frame the people” to make demonstrations of their devotions, as by going in procession on pilgrimage to great towns, to bring the people's minds to like of the publication of the Council of Trent, and that by the show thereof, the King might be encouraged to authorise the said Council.
I have visited M. Pinart, who told me the Duke of Anjou intended again to enter into the enterprise of Flanders, whereof there is so small likelihood that it is hardly to be believed. I signified to M. Pinart that her Majesty had received letters from the Queen Mother, desiring to bring to pass an universal peace throughout Christendom, which, I assured him, her Majesty desired extremely, and was willing to join in bringing to effect so Christian an union. I asked what means might be taken. He answered that Queen Mother had so written because their Majesties saw the troubles in Scotland, the wavering minds in Ireland and some disorder in England, the combustions in Germany, the wars in Flanders, and this realm not altogether in good estate, and would willingly employ themselves to remedy those “travails,” if her Majesty would communicate some ways to them. This I take to be only offered to understand her Majesty's mind, and meant rather to undermine than for good intentions.
It is reported that Ochiali has passed along the coast of Barbary, and into the ocean seas, which puts the Spanish in doubt of the Turk's evil meaning.
The Duke of Epernon is to be here on the 19th, their style, and the King likewise. The same day the Queen Mother comes either here or to St. Maurs.
I beseech you that Mr. Stafford may come the sooner, lest their Majesties remove to some further place, whereby both our charges will be the greater, and to no purpose.—Paris, 6 September, 1583.
Add. Endd. 3 pp. [France X. 36.]
Sept. 6. 122. Cobham to Burghley.
When the King was at Lyons, he was banquetted by M. de Mandelot the governor, and feasted by the companies of the merchants, who played at the Calce before him in costly silk liveries. He was likewise present at the devotion of the Order of the Battus. He left Lyons on the 10th instant, arrived at Bourbon Nancy on the 12th, their style, where he found his young Queen at the baths, intending to stay five or six days and thence pass to Moulins and so towards Paris, towards the end of this month.
The Queen Mother honours the marriage of M. St. Gouard (Guarde) with Mademoiselle de Vitri at the Duke of Retz's house at Noisy. The Marquis of Belle-Isle, the Duke's eldest son, is to match with the young Duke of Longueville's sister.
The Court of Parliament has given sentence against the Duchess of Longueville in favour of Madame de Nemours, which imports 10,000 crowns of yearly rent. M. Pinart's eldest daughter is married to M. d'Anneval, descended from Gualtier, Count of Dreux, of the House of France. His yearly revenue is better than 4,000 crowns.
Some disagreement has happened in Brittany between the Duke of Mercœur and M. de la Hunandaye. It is believed that the King will let Montmorenci enjoy the whole government of Languedoc, whereby to win him from his friendship with those of the Religion.
Marshal Joyeuse is to have the government of Provence, and the Grand Prior, bastard of France, that of Paris and the Isle of France, taking it from Villequier, who remains away from Court, in apparent disgrace.
The Duke of Anjou is in Cambray, but not Puygaillard and his forces, though some of the gendarmerie have followed him. Before leaving La Fere, he sent Cosimo di Ruggieri, an Italian greatly favoured by him, to his mother, who, in the wood of Compiègne was attacked by four harquebusiers, who took his packets and part of his money, threatening him that if he returned to Monsieur or remained in France, they would slay him. Balagny objects to give up the government of the citadel of Cambray, but Monsieur will make him master of his horse in recompense.
The Queen of Navarre is in Poitou, going to her husband, but not with his consent as yet. On her way she visited the Duke Montpensier, and lamented to him the King's proceedings, assuring him that the King meant to disgrace all the Princes of the Blood, and particularly had him in derision, scorning him in the hearing of all men. She wished him to consider how the King had deprived him of his government of Dauphiny and taken that of Brittany from the Prince of Dombes, his son.
She visited likewise the Duke d'Aumale, declaring to him that the King loved not the Guises, as might be seen by the little authority he gave them, and that his Majesty's coming to his house this year “was but to cheer with his wife, a matter made known to all the court, to his dishonour.”
The King excuses himself to the King of Navarre that he did but wish his sister to put away Mesdames de Duras and Bethune, for their defamed life and bad language against himself and those nighest to his person.
The Queen of Navarre intended to have gone to Saint Jean d'Angeli to see the Prince of Condé, but he had departed to the King of Navarre.
It seems by some “purpose” of his Majesty, held with M. de Plessis (sent from the King of Navarre) that he intends to have a conference between the papist bishops and the ministers of the Religion, “but small hope had of the well-meaning for the advancement of God's gospel and glory.”
There is a convention of French bishops and abbots now at Angers. Duke Joyeuse has recovered his health and is come to his Majesty.
Don Antonio is at Poissy, whence he may retire to the seaside or to Flanders; being much displeased with the French “slight surrendering” of the Terceiras, and that the Marquis of Santa Cruz has beheaded the Count of Torres Vedras, and hanged divers Portuguese, his servants.
The Italian merchants here give out that the Spanish sea-army was not only provided for the Terceiras, but likewise for some enterprise on the Scottish or English coast.
The Roman barons and gentlemen fortify themselves, because of the Pope's levy of soldiers, yet it is not believed there that they will prevail, but rather bring their lives and estates “into the Pope's further danger.” Their names and proceedings are specified in the occurrents enclosed. The Pope intends to raze sundry of their castles about Rome, which is a way to kindle all their minds against his government.
They write from Spain that Marco Antonio Colonna, now viceroy of Naples, is to pass into Spain to reside in place of Cardinal Granvelle.
The Spanish King has agreed with the Duke of Florence for 400,000 crowns at eight per cent, assigning the repayment on the contractation house of Seville, for the service in Flanders.
The Electors of Saxony and Brandenburg, with other Protestant Princes, have given the Emperor to understand that they cannot like that the Pope should use authority or meddle in the affairs of the Empire, acknowledging no power over them but that of the Emperor.
I send herewith three French printed pamphlets.—Paris, 6 September, 1583.
Add. Endd. 4 pp. [France X. 37.]
Sept. 6. 123. John Leotrym to Walsingham.
Thanking him for his letters by Mr. Smith, showing his good opinion and favour, and declaring that although hard reports have been made of him, yet his service and loyalty to the Queen shall be without “spot of suspicion,” for the better testimony whereof he intends to come to England so soon as conveniently he may.— Athtou (?), 6 September, 1583. [Style doubtful]
Add. Endd. ½ p. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 30.]
Sept. 8. 124. Stokes to Walsingham.
Few things have passed here since my last, for all is as still on the States' side as if there were no troubles in the country.
The horse and foot which the Prince of Parma sent last week towards Cambray are returned to camp, whither the Prince sends all the soldiers that may be spared from every town. They have made provision to bake, brew, and grind corn in the camp and the Prince has determined not to leave it until he has Ypres. They have brought in twenty-five small pieces of artillery and planted them round the camp.
This week those of Ypres have made another great skirmish, which lasted three hours, and in which were slain about 100 of the town and 300 of the enemy.
Two days ago letters came from the magistrates and captains of Ypres to the Prince of Chimay and the Four Members of Flanders, who are all in this town, stating that they are of good courage, fear not the enemy and want nothing, only that by their daily skirmishes and the sickness in the town they lose their men, and therefore desire that they may be remembered in time; but there is as yet no preparation here to aid them.
There is some quarrel in the enemy's camp between the Walloon soldiers and the Spaniards; blows have passed, and forty or fifty are slam on both sides.
Monsieur is come to Cambray and has written the General States a letter of which I enclose a copy; but the enemy do nothing fear his coming thither, neither do they of this side like well his coming again into the country, for none desire to have him “in any part of these seventeen lands, and especially those of Ghent.”—Bruges, 8 September, 1583.
Postscript.—Even now a letter is come to the Prince of Chimay from Ypres, asking for money to pay their soldiers, and saying that between six and seven hundred die there in a week of the sickness. They also write that the enemy is not 4,000 men in all in their camp.
Add. Endd. 2pp. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 31.]
Sept. 10. 125. Cobham to Robert Beale.
Finding that the post stays longer, I write this much more, to advertise you that the Queen Mother comes to-day to Paris, and that the King intends to stay for the most part at Fontainebleau, until St. Martin's day in November. But he will probably at times come hither, for M. d'Epernon has been here these two days, having ordered his house and prepared other things, so that it is thought his Majesty will be shortly in Paris.
It is reported in Court that the King will give M. de la Vallette, Epernon's eldest brother, the government of Lyons with the citadel, assigning to M. de Mandelot in recompense 20,000 francs yearly of the ecclesiastical livings and promising that he shall be Marshal of France at the first vacation.
Cardinal Birago is dangerously sick of a burning ague. There is come to Paris an abbot, nephew to the Cardinal del Monte, under pretence to see this realm, but since he is a personage of quality, they suspect some further reason for his coming from Rome at this present. It is said that Monsieur intends to go to Quesnoy in Artois, whereon the Prince of Parma has sent great succours to the governor of Artois. Puisgaillard is on the frontiers of France, not passing any further.
Letters from Vienna signify that the Emperor has promised the Electors Protestants that he will no further consent “that the late elected Archbishop of Cologne shall be put into quiet possession, nor that the married bishop shall be disgraduated by the Pope's power, but by the order of the Empire, since those electors and princes of Germany have given him so clearly to under-stand that they cannot like of the Pope's authority or dealing therein. Whereon the Emperor and the Electors have published thus much by an edict throughout all Germany, prohibiting their subjects not to serve in arms either the married or the new-elected Bishops of Cologne. So as thereby it is hoped those broils in Germany will be appeased. But otherwise, it is esteemed the Emperor hath done thus much with the consent of the Pope and the Spanish King, in respect of the troubles which appear in Italy about Rome, as also for that Casimir's forces do now show to be in better order and of more ability to do greater effect than they mistrusted. Therefore it is like the Emperor, the Pope and the Catholic King will make all shifts to win time, to take better advice for to dissever the Duke Casimir's forces and to disunite the Princes of Germany, whereby they may be either wearied or discouraged, to their own overthrow.
“The Pope findeth himself much encumbered, having been warned both by the Spanish King and Marc Antonio Colonna, Viceroy of Naples, that he should rather slacken his preparations and let fall his enterprises against the barons of Rome, or otherwise by the least further demonstration he might kindle such a flame in Italy as would not easily be quenched; for that it is understood how certain of the House of Colonna, Orsini, Sforza, Savelli and Gaetano, with other of the Roman nobility, from whom the Pope intended to have taken certain castles and seignories, were confederated together. And now of late the people of Rome have skirmished with some of the Pope's Italian garrison newly planted in Rome. The Pope hath been very evil at ease, but hath recovered the extremity of his sickness. “
The Duke of Florence and the Viceroy try to appease the discord between the Pope and the Roman barons. They have placed soldiers on the frontiers of their territories, towards the Pope's States. We hear that the Turkish galleys of Rhodes have taken three galleys of the Religious of Malta, with 100 Italian gentlemen, the most part knights, which imports them very much, besides the dishonour of the loss.
The Archduke Ernest is gone from Venice by way of Milan to Genoa, to embark in the galleys of Naples and of Don Giovanni Andrea Doria, who goes in person to conduct him into Spain.
From Madrid it is written that the third daughter of King Philip, whom he had by his last wife, this Emperor's sister, is dead, and his only son, the Prince of Spain, so sick that he is not likely to escape death; which happening, all the children that he had by his niece are deceased, to his discomfort.
It is thought that Duke Ernest's coming into Spain is in order to marry one of the King's daughters, and so to remain in Spain. The army sent from Portugal is returned, having left 2,500 soldiers in garrison in the Terceiras.
They signify that Ochiali has been along the coast of Barbary, and returned to Algiers; and had called to him all the corsairs subject to the Turk, without having done any harm to King Philip's subjects or estates.
Advertisements are come from Constantinople “how, since the agreement was made between the King of Persia and his son,” the Persians have given a great overthrow to the Turks' army with much slaughter. The Tartars have shown themselves neutral, having served, in these last wars, neither the Turks nor the Persians.
An Irish bishop, who three months past was in this town, and sent from Rome to pass through England into Ireland, is dead at Rheims, after long sickness.
One John Stoner, an English gentleman, on his way from the Prince of Parma, has been taken between Rheims and Namur, and carried to a castle near Cambray. There was found on him 100 crowns in money, a chain and rings to the value of 400 crowns, and letters in his commendation directed to the Catholic King and others in Spain, into which kingdom he intended to have addressed himself. I am informed that the numbers of her Majesty's subjects in these parts exceedingly increases, which seems strange.—Paris, 10 September, 1583.
Add. Endd. by Beale. 3½ pp. [France X. 38.]
Sept. 10. 126. Gilpin to Robert Beale.
Sends him by this post a copy of the last letters from his friend at Cologne, showing his resolution to make haste for these B parts, and prays that a copy may be sent to Sir F. Walsingham.
Ypres still holds out, and is provided for four or five months, but by reason of the plague, with which they are sore troubled, they may be so weakened as to be forced to surrender.
Monsieur, with a small force, is said to be about Cambray, “and promiseth wonders, but Flanders cannot abide to hear of the French until they do some better service than hitherto.”— Middelburg, 10 September, 1583.
Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Holl and Fl. XX. 32.]
Sept. 15. 127. The Queen to the Prince Of Chimay.
Thanking him for his letter of the 7th inst. and for his kind affection towards her and her state, which she hopes some day to have an opportunity of reciprocating. As to his request, she thinks that the party is too well known where he is to be able to get the credit and authority he desires, and that his qualities and means are too small for him to be able to injure her. But she thanks her “cousin” as heartily as if the matter had been of greater consequence, and prays him to dispose of “the Scot” (when he has been examined again) as he pleases.
Copy. Endd. with date by Beale. Fr.1p. [Holl and Fl. XX. 33.]
Sept. 15/25. 128. Edmond Latymer [or Nevill] to Walsingham.
As my zeal to her Majesty's service has constrained me utterly to overthrow my poor estate I am now forced to appeal to her princely consideration, and beseech your honour to advance my suit as much as in you lieth.
“It is here, I mean in the Low Countries (sic), feared that I am back again to execute some great piece of service, in so much as they call me a second Ratclyfe,” (fn. 1) so that it had been better for me to be committed into any of her Majesty's prisons than to live here in a labyrinth of infamies to the utter discomfort of all my friends, only for my well wishing unto my prince. When once these reports of me arrive in these parts, her Majesty must either call me away, or else will go near to lose more than she hath won by one faithful servant; “for not making care of my security, she shall lose the hope to reclaim any of her subjects that live abroad and much less be served by strangers.” If I speak a little by the spleen, I beseech you pardon me, being forced thereto by the desperate terms wherein I stand, and in which your honour's help is my most present remedy.— Rone [Rouen] 25 September, 1583.
Add. Endd. “Mr. Edm. Nevill.” 1¼ pp. [France. X. 38. bis.]


  • 1. Egremont Radcliffe, executed for plotting to poison Don John of Austria.