Elizabeth: November 1583, 6-10

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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, 'Elizabeth: November 1583, 6-10', in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 18, July 1583-July 1584, (London, 1914) pp. 196-203. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/vol18/pp196-203 [accessed 30 May 2024].

. "Elizabeth: November 1583, 6-10", in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 18, July 1583-July 1584, (London, 1914) 196-203. British History Online, accessed May 30, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/vol18/pp196-203.

. "Elizabeth: November 1583, 6-10", Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 18, July 1583-July 1584, (London, 1914). 196-203. British History Online. Web. 30 May 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/vol18/pp196-203.

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November 1583, 6–10

Nov. 7. 225. Stafford to Walsingham.
On Saturday last arrived at the Court the Duke of Joyeuse, who determined to abide anything rather than by long tarrying to venture the loss of the French King's favour, whereof Epernon seeks all ways to deprive him, “taking colour” of his inwardness with the Duke of Guise, which he knows the King no way likes of. I hope their broils (fn. 1) will keep the King and France occupied from worse things. “He telleth the King that Joyeuse gave the King of Navarre's (fn. 2) bedfellow warning that the beginning of all his sorrow came from him, and that he, following the King's humour in it, which nobody was acquainted with but Joyeuse, hath brought the King of Navarre's wife, the Queen Mother and Monsieur all upon his back; that he depending upon nobody else but the King, the other hath taken his vantage of that, because he leaneth of the favour of the Duke of Guise, who hath assured him to keep him in with the rest of the contrary party. The King hath been jealous a great while of Joyeuse's favour with the Duke of Guise, and the other hath taken his vantage of that.
“It is thought the Queen Mother will back privily Joyeuse and that the Duke of Guise and she would be glad to hoist the other out, for Epernon keepeth both out. I pray God they have not the stronger hand and put the other out, for he is of humour to do his best to keep them both from special favour.
“This broil is as yet kept close; but Joyeuse's likelihood to fall is great to them that look into it, though outwardly they show it not, and is thought the King is cause of it, or else it would burst out presently.
“For Monsieur, it is plainly said he is about to bargain for Cambray and sell it to the King of Spain. Pibrac is now come to the Court, they say, to deal with the French King to have 400,000 crowns for it, and that if he can get so much, he meaneth it not but to deceive the French King and in the end to let the King of Spain have it.
“While this man is at the Court, at this instant I am advertised that Gonye [Gougnies] is come to Monsieur from Parma, and that it is thought they will agree and Monsieur will let the King of Spain have it.
“Rochet was here with me yesterday. I enquired of him; he saith for a certainty that Gonye is come from Parma and that they have offered Monsieur to leave him Cambray and money besides, to give over his title of the country by any means. These things are given out for a certainty by Monsieur's folks, but I believe them not, because there is in it no likelihood. The King is marvellously offended with Monsieur for dealing with him so for Cambray. It is thought unpossible they should ever agree; that there is [between] them deadly hate. And truly I cannot find by any men's opinions of all sorts and by all likelihood but [that] it is irreconcilable.
“Monsieur hath sent to his sister, as they say, to come to him; and if she cannot come, he meaneth to go thither where she is. It is thought by any means he meaneth to broil there, but the King of Navarre and the Protestants mean not to trust him. For my part, saving my charity, I pray God it be no worse.
“I hope it will bring the French King to any reasonable thing the King of Navarre asketh about the towns or anything else, howbeit yet they be deferred and put off still with replies upon that, but it is thought, if all be not granted, they shall not be pressed to render anything.
“I think Damville's [i.e. Montmorenci's] friends have not found any great harm of the advertisement I gave them of one that was despatched at midnight from this town in great diligence by one that Joyeuse sent to make him hasten away, and went in post to Bordeaux and from thence further. They had so good an eye over him, that they dogged him from thence to Toulouse and found that as soon as he had conference with old Joyeuse, within a day or two after his coming, one Peres of Divodan, one that had been a great follower of Merle, got out of the prison of Toulouse, as they gave it out broke out of a window, but since it is found that it was but a colour, and that he was let out by old Joyeuse's mean, upon promise to kill Damville, Châtillon or the King of Navarre, but especially Damville, if he could. . . .
“Everybody here looketh for some sudden broils if these two minions' heartburning keep not the King from countenancing old Joyeuse. In the meantime, I remain spectator what will fall out and expect your honour's direction from her Majesty if any of these things burst out, as I think some of them will, what course you will have me to take.
“I am as inquisitive and have my ear open as much as I can to see whether there be any likelihood that these be dissimulations, as they have proved often. Truly I am still in a fear. But men that be here wise and look and deal in this state, think not, yet they cannot tell what the devil may do, they have been so oft deceived.
“I have sought all the means I can to get somebody in the King of Spain's agent's house, yet I cannot find the way. But there is a Fleming that lieth in a banker's house, where all the money that cometh here for the King of Spain passeth his hands for all things. I have some way promised me to win him, and that if any money come thither I may know how much and for what intent. I am also put in some hope by a third mean to win Maldonat, (fn. 3) that is with the King of Spain's agent. It will cost well, but if it may be done to purpose, I will venture on it.
“I cannot yet find any mean to get or win anybody in the Bishop of Glasgow's or Duke of Guise's house. I do what I can and hope well. The Bishop of Glasgow had the last day news of Scotland and went to the court; carried with him hawks to the Duke of Guise that the King of Scots sent him; but he liked not very well the news, for he said to his private friends and one Douglas that was with him that he was afraid the King of Scots had not but young counsel, and that he governed not himself so well as he wished him.
“The French King is marvellously in an agony of late that the Protestants have taken Montreal, because it is upon a great passage of a high way, but it was but they of Alet that the Papists surprised and put them out of their houses they seized; that presently there have been divers heads broken between them that besiege it and them that are in it, that sally out.
“There is one Finch, an Englishman, come hither to me, that hath tongue at will. He saith he hath done many good services to Sir Henry Cobham and that you know him. I have heard of him to be but a cozening knave and I think he once cozened me. I pray your honour send me word whether he be good for any other occupation than is fit for such a fellow, and what I were best to use him in. . .
The Spanish ambassador was here with me upon All Hallow day (he names himself so, though here they take him but for an agent); he made excuse of his sickness for not coming to see me; never spoke word of the Queen till at the last he said his master had ever loved and reverenced her, and if I entered into speech on any matter, turned it aside into courtesies and such trifles. To-day or to-morrow I mean to return his salutation.
I fear my writing so much cipher may be some trouble, but you may guess why I do it. And whereas before I wrote concerning a Stafford knot at the end of my name, I have thought necessary to alter that; therefore, where in the margin there is this mark |: |; think that it is written for a purpose, which you may guess, and not for a truth, and that articles noted with that mark “be not scripture.”
I send this bearer your servant back to you as he says his business is done.—Paris, 7 November, 1583.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 5 pp. [France X. 71.]
226. Decipher of ciphered parts of the above.
Endd.pp. [Ibid. X. 71a.]
Nov. 7. 227. Stafford to Walsingham.
I send enclosed a letter from a man of mine that I sent to the sea coast, upon advertisement of the Marquis of Elbœuf's preparations, and also to Rouen and Eu, “to see what stir our English Papists keep there.” [See Stansfeilde's letter, p. 185 above.] The one he has done reasonably well, but as to the advertisements given to the ports of England, I no way like his course, though if he had written a letter in my name, I could have liked it very well.
I pray you to excuse the young man's taking too much upon himself, and that if any good be done by it, it may be kept secret that it came from me or mine, for I shall else do less good here hereafter, because I make show of a milder course with these people than has been done heretofore, which I hope will do no harm.
I hope when I have put water in my man's wine, he will serve very well. He is but young, but has both courage and wit.— Paris, 7 November, 1583.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. X. 72.]
Nov. 8/18. 228. Edmond Latymer to Walsingham.
Meeting by chance with this bearer, Mister Lasse, at Rouen, and finding him much affected to your service, and (as I learn by him) my kinsman, I have imparted to him the Duke of Lennox's departure towards Scotland, whose embarking at Dieppe was stayed by a report that two of her Majesty's ships lay in his way. I have desired him to inform himself of the truth in passing that way and make report to you. I send my man with him, to bring me answer from her Majesty and your honour. I am as desirous to serve her Majesty as she is to command me, so as I may have maintenance, without which I can do nothing.
I pray you return my man with as much speed as you may; that I may the more quickly go about my greater charge, which I hope to bring to good pass.
And I beg you to “entertain” her Majesty's good opinion of me during my endeavours in her service, and that I may have yours also, which, after her's, is the only thing I crave. If she sends me any money, let it be delivered to Mr. Lasse “as coming from my father” and he will find means to pay it me by exchange, lest it might miscarry by the way.— Rouen, 18 November, 1583.
Add. Endd. November 8. Mr. Edward (sic) Latymer. 1½ pp. [France X. 73.]
Nov. 10. 229. Stafford to Burghley.
Has written to the Secretary, but cannot write either to his lordship or the Queen because in his haste he forgot to copy the cipher he sent him. Prays his lordship to send it him “by the next,” as her Majesty is angry that he does not write in cipher.— Paris, 10 November, 1583.
Addp. [Ibid. X. 74.]
Nov. 10. 230. Stafford to Walsingham.
There has come to me a man praying to be sent over to her Majesty, having matters importing her estate to declare to her, which he chanced to hear first in Epernon's house, the French King being there, and afterwards in Queen Mother's chamber. John de Vigues being here ready, I thought good to save her Majesty's charge in sending a man of my own, declaring to de Vigues that this man was going about a suit he had at the Court, with letters from me to you and my Lord Treasurer, and desiring him to conduct him with great care, and bring him to speech with you, as he was one who had greatly pleasured me. He will declare nothing to any save to the Queen, and is sure that I shall hear from her as soon as he has spoken with her. He is needy, and desired to borrow thirty crowns of me for his charges, offering to leave certain jewels in gage till his return. I gave him the money and at first would have no pawn of him, but when he offered them again to me to keep in safety, I “made not much bones of it, and was indeed glad to have somewhat in my hands if he should chance to be a cozening knave, as there are many here.”
I send here enclosed my part of a paper cut between him and me for a mark to know you by, or my Lord Treasurer if you be not there. He desires to speak with her Majesty and nobody but yourself or some man of trust. I can give you no warrant other than his words, the effect of which you shall find on hearing him, or her Majesty when she shall speak with him. Among the jewels, there is some musk and sweet smells; whether under colour of speaking with her Majesty privately, he may have some evil intent that way or any other, the world is so naughty, and I so jealous of her safety, that I pray you to look to such things.
News came here yesternight that the Protestants in Languedoc have surprised another town and a strong castle. If it be true, they be revenged of the Papists' surprising of Alet. Some doubt a new stir within the realm. In my opinion it will be full sore “again” the king's will.
I am certainly advertised “that young d'Aubigny is passed at Dieppe, and gone into Scotland. His mother came back by a gentleman's house of the Religion in Normandy, having conducted him to Dieppe, and told him that the King of Scots had sent for him, and that the Duke of Guise had given him men of good counsel to go with him. Especially they say there is one, a captain, a follower of the Duke of Guise, that is a shrewd fellow, and for being such a one, the Duke makes very great account of him, and hath given him a good living in the country of Eu (Eaw).”
I forgot to write “the last day” that I found by Pinart (Pynard) that they are about to send one into Scotland; he says to maintain amity and peace. That I leave to your judgment. He says the King awaits his mother's return for choosing him, because he will have her advice and choose such a one as shall be hanger on of nobody's humours but his own, “nor be at nobody's” commandment.
The gunner's name that I wrote of, that Clifford told me let the Scots captain see the Queen's ship, is Rostye Gabriel; Rostye being a nickname given him by them of the ship “because he is a pleasant mad fellow. His father was a ' Hilandman' as they call them in Ireland, half a Scottish-Irish.”
“I can by no means find a way . . . to go about Mandat that is Pinart's chief man, yet I lie in the wind all I can. As for Paquier, I find by everybody that he is the earnestest man against England or English that may be. “I beseech you, if you can remember more, let me know.
I will spare neither labour, cost, nor well-using.—Paris, 10 November, 1583.
Postscript.—Letters are come now from Dieppe that d'Aubigny is still there, at one William Hackman's house, a Scottishman, and stays for the wind. These advertisements scarce agree, “without” the wind drove him back again from sea. In a few days I shall know the truth.
Yesterday the King should have made his oration at the Assembly. I have sent to know what was done.
Add. Endd. 3 pp. [France X. 75.]
231. Decipher in Beale's hand. 1 p. [Ibid. X. 75a.]
Nov. 10/20. 232. P. Bizarri to Walsingham.
I have only one thing to write to your honour which is for the good of the States, viz. that a Walloon captain, governor of two forts near Herentals, having demanded of the Prince of Parma more men for the better guard of these places and also some money to pay his soldiers, and having received nothing from him but hard words, made an agreement with those of Herentals, and having convinced them of his good faith, took a number of soldiers [into the forts] under pretext that they were some of those whom the Prince of Parma had given him, and they being admitted in this hope, or rather firm persuasion, he killed the most part of those that were there and executed his promise. Others say that it was done by means of his lieutenant. The two forts are called Grobbendonck and Vorsolare.—Antwerp, 20 November, stilo novo.
Add. Endd. Italian. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 77.]
Nov. 10. 233. Stokes to Walsingham.
All the infantry of the Spaniards and Burgundians, with ten cornets of horse, are sent to lie about Alost (Halst) and Dermonde. They had some enterprise upon Alost by means of a mutiny of the soldiers there; but happily it was espied before it was ripe, and so they have missed their purpose.
The rest of their forces remain at Ecloo and in the land of Waes. They have taken the town of Hulst (Oulst) in the land of Waes, and the castle of Beveren (Bevar), which stands between Stecken and Antwerp, belonging to the Prince of Chimay, so now they have all the land of Waes at their command. Also they seem to have some other enterprise in hand, for in the church at Ecloo they are making many scaling ladders and daily expect some great pieces of artillery by water from Tournay.
This week they have held council at Ecloo, to pass their camp over into the Isle of Cassant, where they mean to make great bulwarks along Sluys haven, that no ships shall pass in or out, and the great artillery from Tournay is to be put there. If they bring this to pass, Damme and Sluys must shortly yield. “so as this town and the rest grows daily more and more into great fear.”
The scaling-ladders at Ecloo, it is said, are to be ready against a great frost, for dealing with Damme or Sluys, for otherwise they can do those towns no harm because the country is so full of water, which has forced them to abandon Ardenburg. So they have burnt it and gone to Ecloo to the rest.
It is said that the Gantois will raze Alost, but it is thought the enemy will prevent them.
A great many of the best burghers of Ypres are put in prison, “for the very same cause that those of Ghent are taken for, which is come out by their confessions that are taken at Ghent.”
Two days ago letters came from the magistrates at Ypres, saying that they are in good state and victualled for six or eight months, and that they will agree in all things with those here, save that they will never consent that the French shall come in again, and those of Ghent have written the like; yet the Prince of Orange writes still “persuading letters to receive the French again.”
The evil government here begins to make all men “aweary” and the principal persons of this town, as well of the Religion as Catholics, abandon all they have and go into other countries, “for surely the government is too bad, and the Prince of Chimay is smally obeyed by the magistrates because he loves not the French, and the burgomasters of this town and the 'Free' are all for the Prince of Orange and the French, and the commons clean contrary to both.”—Bruges, 10 November, 1583, stilo anglie.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 78.]
Nov. 10/20. 234. Segur-pardeilhan to Walsingham.
The deputies of this country are assembled, and begin to treat of the means for their conservation, which are not easy to find. Those of Holland and Zeeland engage to put everything into the hands of the Prince of Orange, to pay their guard and the ordinary expences of the country, 125,000 florins to pay the army. Those of Antwerp 80,000, Bruges 50,000, and thus each according to their quota. By this means they would give much more trouble to the Spaniard than he looked for.
Duke Casimir has sent to Antwerp and thence to Ghent, to renew former treaties and promise his aid. I am going to pursue my journey, but fear the ice may prevent my reaching Germany; however, I shall do my best.
They tell me I shall be able to leave what I have brought at Bremen, Hamburg or Lubeck. I long to be discharged of this burden, and to put it in a safe place, which I shall do as soon as possible. To save time, M. de Calignon is going to see one part of the Princes of Germany and I another part. Meanwhile, M. de Buzenval will go to the King of Navarre to tell him what we have done so far.
Knowing your affection for what is right, I beg you frankly, if you know the time not to be fitting, to aid in turning him from it. We are on the eve of seeing great changes, therefore I pray you to think on the matter and to give us your advice.—Dordrecht (Dourdrecque), 20 November, 1583.
Postscript.—News has come that the Elector Palatine is dead, who has made the Landgrave tutor of his son and his estate. As this is unjust to Duke Casimir, I fear that these two Princes may quarrel, which would be very unfortunate for our negotiations. Signed.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. XX. 79.]


  • 1. This word is incorrectly written and has puzzled the decipherer, who first writes “grudges” and then alters to “broils.” It is spelt “grivat.”
  • 2. Deciphered “the Duke of Guise's,” which may probably be what Stafford meant, writing 47 (the symbol for the King of Navarre) in mistake for 74.
  • 3. Diego Maldonato, secretary of the Spanish Embassy at Paris.