Elizabeth: November 1583, 11-15

Pages 203-211

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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November 1583, 11–15

Nov. 12. 235. Norreys to Walsingham.
We are all very glad to hear of your safe return after so “travailsome” a journey, which many doubted would not have been so easily ended. You have long since understood “how the Prince answered her Majesty's advice touching the treaty with the Spanish.” Ever since, we have expected that the General Assembly would settle some order in their affairs; but after many confused propositions, they have separated re infecta, concluding only that they cannot resist Spain without help of the French, and hereupon “have once again called Monsieur in question, having projected very plausible articles” to be sent to each province, to be resolved on within three weeks. Thereto are annexed large promises of the King, “especially that if his brother be again accepted, and that for want of heirs from him they will assure the country to the Crown, then the King will openly declare himself enemy to the King of Spain. It is like this will be granted from hence, for I am credibly informed that Antwerp and Guelderland have taken resolution to yield unto it.”
As on my being in England I found her Majesty curious about this point, I send this bearer of purpose to advertise you thereof. “One of the Council, and enemy to the French, told me that he saw the King of France's hand to this promise, and that likewise it was written out of France that the King had long since declared himself against Spain if her Majesty had not hindered it. It is also given out by some ministers of the French that her Majesty hath agreed with the King of Spain.”
I thought it my duty to tell you this, but I think “her Majesty need not much trouble herself with this resolution, for as far as I can see, although the French do meddle in the matter, the King of Spain will go near to beat them both. Holland and Zeeland will not meddle with the French, but will seek to ally themselves with her Majesty, which I think (as soon as they shall have chosen the Prince for their Count) they will motion to her Highness.” If I knew her pleasure, I could further the matter, for I have been “cunningly” asked my opinion in it.
All other matters I refer to the report of the bearer. The command you send from her Majesty I will not fail to obey, “marvelling not a little whence any such matter should proceed, since Mr. Morgan and I am far enough asunder for doing one the other any hurt; but if Mr. Morgan had been as diligent to have done honest offices for his countrymen in these parts as he is ready to trouble your honour with these follies, both our estate and reputation had been better than it is. We are here the worst used of all others by his and Mr. North's sinister dealings. We can neither get pay nor our accounts, and by this means I am forced to stay here longer than I thought for. The Scots bring daily letters from their King, so that sometimes with threatenings and sometimes with fair words their turn is served. We only are least accounted of.
“For myself, I have no great cause to weigh hereof now, for that I mean not to stay long, but yet I would fain see my countrymen in better estimation.”—Dordrecht, 12 November, stilo anglie, 1583.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 80.]
Nov. 8/18—13/23. 236. Proceedings in the Assembly at St. Germains.
Friday, 18th November. The King spoke of the oppression of his people, and gave the reasons which had hitherto prevented his taking steps for their relief, in order to which he had sent commissioners about his realm to get information and advise him what to do; with many other grave remarks, all tending to the relief of his subjects and the maintenance of his justice.
M. de Chiverny, keeper of the seals, showed the regret of his Majesty at not having sooner taken counsel concerning his people's complaints and relief, praising his present good disposition.
Saturday, 19th. M. de Videville, Intendant of Finances, presented his statement of the King's revenue and expenditure; the salaries of all his officers and which might be retrenched, always leaving it to his Majesty's good pleasure.
Sunday, 20th. Day of rest.
Monday, 20th [sic]. M. de Lenoncourt, otherwise Auxerre, deputed to see the papers of the aforesaid commissioners, gave in a summary of what they had found in regard to clergy, judges and nobility, and especially as to the great surcharge and oppression of the subjects, and their complaints thereupon.
Tuesday, 22nd. M. de Laguesle, one of the presidents of the Great Chamber of the Court of Parlement of Paris, said that most of the towns of the realm were endowed with ample privileges, granted by former kings, especially to the churches; some of them very mischievous, like that of the shrine of Saint Romain at Rouen, and the States General of Blois. It had been agreed that these pernicious privileges should be abolished, it being unreasonable that what was itself holy should serve as a refuge to the most wicked men of the time, and there being every day complaints of the injustice resulting therefrom.
The Cardinal of Bourbon, Archbishop of Rouen, upbraided the President, reproaching him with corruption of justice by presents, &c., and with a desire to make his office hereditary in his house. The President very pertinently replied, but the Cardinal interrupted him, putting one knee to the ground, and saying that, having the honour to be the first prince of the Blood and the first prelate of the realm, he humbly begged his Majesty, in the name of all his Catholic subjects, that there might be only one religion in the realm, for so long as there were two, his affairs could not prosper.
His Majesty replied that he was greatly astonished that his uncle should put forward such things, since they had not met for any such matter, and would like to know whence it came, seeing well that he was pushed on by somebody to use such language, and there not being a man in his realm who would have dared to use such language to him without being punished for it. He prayed that God might rather shorten to ten years the thirty which in the course of nature he had yet to live than that it should come into his desire to infringe the edict of pacification to which he had so solemnly sworn.
Went on to say that he had been employed by the late King, his brother, to make war upon those of the reformed religion, and had found himself in three or four battles in peril of his life, and nothing was furthered thereby; and having by God's grace come to this crown, he had, at the beginning of his reign, done what was possible to extinguish that religion; in which effort, the best part of his nobility had perished, his people been trampled on and devoured to their bones, and in the end he had gained nothing but the ruin of his own strength, being like one who, beside himself, with his own hand puts an end to his days. Having experienced this, to his great regret, he did not intend to enter again upon such unlucky courses. Since the said religion could not be put an end to by human forces, other remedies must be used, namely, preaching, fasting, prayers and orations, and good living, to bring them back to the way of salvation. Let the bishops go to their sees, and perform their office and duty.
Wednesday, 23rd. Messieurs de Lyon and de Maintenon conformed pretty much to the King's speech.
Endd. (in hand of Burghley's secretary) “18 November, 1583. The effect of the speeches in the Assembly at St. Germain.” Fr.pp. [France X. 76.] Probably enclosed in No. 78.
Nov. 13. 237. Dr. Wenceslaus Zuleger to Walsingham.
You have been fully informed of the condition of the Elector of Cologne, who, if a little supported by the potentates making the same profession of religion, by his position, and by the situation of the lands of which he is lord, can greatly advance the affairs of his co-religionists, and hinder popish enterprises. Truly, Duke Casimir has aided him as much as he could, considering that the winter weather and the decease of the late Elector Palatine have caused him to disband his army for a time, until he has secured the Palatinate. But my said master, the Elector, has need of aid from all Christian potentates, and the Queen, your mistress, has so often given proof of her faith and Christian charity, that she may well be declared the true patron of the church of God and the afflicted in our day. Being summoned by my master to assist him, I cannot but let you know that he has been very greatly depressed (supprimé) by the papal bulls, which, with other grievances in the Empire will shortly cause much change and commotion, if God of His mercy do not interpose; and already there are signs that there can hardly be any outcome but a long and terrible war.
I implore you, in order to support the Elector and so good a cause, if ever you have done an act of Christian charity, that you will use all your influence with her Majesty to persuade her to send without delay ten thousand 'angelots' for his relief, for being assisted at once with ever so little, he will be able to keep back the enemy until he can get further help elsewhere, as we are making ceaseless efforts to do. I pray you to favour me with a word to say whether you have received my letters, addressing it to Heidelberg, to the care of Monsieur Ehem, chancellor of Duke Casimir, to whose excellencies I am entirely reconciled, though I reserve my liberty.
The Duke is at present receiving the homage of his subjects in the Palatine Electorate, of which he is administrator and guardian until the young Prince, who is only ten years old and sickly, shall be eighteen.
The peace of Cologne is being negotiated in this town by ambassadors of the four other Electors, the Palatine being excepted, but I believe they will depart without doing anything. I assure you if the Elector of Cologne is [not?] assisted, you will see that the war in the Low Countries will shortly spread over the whole of Germany.—Frankfort, 13 November, 1583.
Add. Endd. French. 2 pp. [Germany, States, II. 76.]
Nov. 14/24. 238. The Burgomasters of Amsterdam to Walsingham.
Recommending Richard Heder, one of their citizens, who desires to transport forty or fifty goetelingen [i.e. pedredos, small guns] out of England. Being certainly informed that he would sell them for the service of the common cause to the foreign ships masters in their city and not export them elsewhere, and having no doubt of his fidelity and patriotism, they pray that permission may be granted.—24 November, 1583.
Add. Endd. Dutch. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 81.]
Nov. 14/24. 239. Flemish Advertisements.
[Nov.] 24. By this present assembly, the alliance between Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, &c., is confirmed anew; into which all the others desire to be received. It is resolved that the administration of monies shall be from one purse, to be distributed as necessity requires, by which means many inconveniences will be avoided and the soldiers more regularly paid.
His Excellency goes to-morrow to the Hague, to confirm the covenants, and then to proceed to what you know. May it redound to God's glory, and the good of the prince and poor afflicted people.
In Brabant and Flanders the enemy keeps quiet, but still occupies the country. We hope that the new fort made by Count Hohenloe, at 'Ter Nees' will be a great hindrance to them, both on the river and in the plain country. Those of Antwerp are of good courage and resolved to live and die with Holland and Zeeland; and they are all so resolved to give satisfaction to those of Bergen that it is hourly hoped that the mutiny of the twenty companies there may be appeased.
Affairs in Guelderland have been in a very dangerous condition, but order is now restored by the absence of the Count.
From France we hear that Monsieur has retired towards Paris, there to await the deputies of the States General.
Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Newsletters I. 59.]
Nov. 9, 10, and 14. 240. News from Cologne, Frankfort and Rome.
Cologne, 10 Nov.—Casimir and his people have left this archbishopric, as we hear, and it was believed that Bavaria's men would do the same, but it appears they intend to besiege Bonn and other territories of the episcopate, it being said that for this they expect three regiments of Walloons, 1,000 Spaniards and much other cavalry, sent by the Prince of Parma to the new bishop, who is in his archbishopric of Liége, and his camp with Duke Ferdinand his brother three leagues from Bonn, which country is very well provided with all necessaries. Truchsess is said to be in Westfalia, and to have mustered 6,000 soldiers, horse and foot, in order to succour Bonn, if it shall be molested by the Bavarians.
By letters from Signor Leonardo Tassis we have advices from Spain that Signor Don Pietro, his nephew, has received from the King the charge of 9,000 foot, to conduct them into these countries, they being part of those who have served in Terceira.
Some days ago there was a rumour going about here that the Duke d'Alençon was practising to give the Catholic King the city of Cambray, and some hope that this will take effect.
We have not yet this week got our ordinary letters from Antwerp, but only those of the 7th of last month, which confirm the news that the Malcontents in the Pays de Waes had made themselves master of the fort of Sas, And others by an extraordinary from Antwerp of the 2nd instant give advice that these Malcontents were then gone from Axel towards Hulst, and that those places, with the castles of Rupelmonde and Tinesche (Temsche), and the fort of St. Maria near the village Bromchen, were rendered to them, so that they are almost masters of all that part of Flanders; and the bailiff of that province, seeing things go so badly, suddenly declared himself of their party.
It was thought that the vessels of war which guarded the river would have to do the same, but having fired some cannon shots, they drew before Antwerp, offering themselves for the service of that city, which is also providing itself with other vessels, and has cut open a dyke in three places, drowning some fine villages, and has set on fire other places round about, so that the enemy cannot approach any nearer.
It is said further that a good number of Malcontents had drawn near to Ghent, where they had good intelligence, but this coming to the knowledge of M. d'Embise he entered secretly with a few soldiers and showed the matter to the Council, which at once made all necessary provision, and the Malcontents, saluted by a good cannonade, retired.
The States are still at Dort, without having come to any decision, and are in more confusion than ever, finding no way to oppose the progress of the Malcontents, who, as it is said, have abandoned Ypres, perhaps thinking that that city with others will soon drop into their hands.
Frankfort, 14 November.—Here they are expecting the return of the counsellors of the Elector Palatine to conclude this diet, and meanwhile the other Electors and Princes of the Empire have sent to intimate to the new Bishop that he is not to adopt the title nor other jurisdiction of the Electorate or Archbishopric of Cologne, not wishing in any way to acknowledge that the Pope has authority to make an Elector of the Empire.
Rome, 19 November [n.s.].—In Monday's Consistory the [business of the] church of Mantua was despatched in favour of the Bishop of Casale, with reserve of 1,000 crowns of pension for Cardinal Gonzaga. The Pope proposes that of Casale for Monsignor de Zibramonte and that of Alatri for Brother Ignatius Terloso.
Cardinal Madrucci reported (preconisa) a monastery and a church in Germany and San Sisto two churches in France, the one for a nephew of Cardinal Bourbon, and the other for one Maffei.
In Bologna, they were making the necessary provision for receiving the Pope and defraying his expences, and it is said that the ambassador of that city having gone in the public name to kiss the feet of his Holiness and thank him for the favour he is doing their country by going there, had commission from him to write to the government that they should now provide nothing but hay, straw, oats and wheat, because for the rest they should have notice in time to do it; and we hear that he had told the Tuscan ambassador to write to the Grand Duke, that on the return from Bologna he would come to some convenient place to confer with his Highness. There is gone from here l'Azzolino, the postmaster of Mantua, with the Pope's letters for the dissolution of the marriage between that Prince and the Princess of Parma.
Signor Ludovico Ursino has been to meet the Grand Duke and the Cardinal di Medicis at the Poggio, from whom he has received much kindness, and his Highness has given him permission to live in the fortress of Sorano. The governor of Rome has intimated to the brother of the said Signor and to M. Vitelli, the brother of Signor Vincenzo, that they must give security in 15,000 crowns each and disband the bravos under their leadership, which they have obeyed. And last Monday the six younger sons of Signor Vincenzo departed for Ferrara with a good guard, that Duke having offered to receive them in his city under his protection. The seventh is with his uncle, a clerk of the chamber, the eighth is in Paris at college at the expense of the Cardinal d'Este, and the ninth is in Flanders with the Prince of Parma.
The Venetian ambassador made his entry into this city with great pomp, having been met by very many gentlemen and a troop of light horse, and on Tuesday had a very kind first audience of the Pope.
The courier from Naples brings news that the Cavaliere Bandini, son of Signor Pier Antonio, whilst at anchor off the island of Gozo with the galliot armed by him to go to cruise towards Barbary, was taken by four galliots of Algiers. The courier who was going to Florence with very important despatches from merchants, lost his packet before he arrived at the first stage.
Cardinal Farnese has let it be known openly that he does not mean to make his great nephew, Don Odoardo, a priest, for fear of a failure in the succession.
Cardinal Maffeo is very ill, is indeed more dead than alive. Cardinal di Medicis is expected shortly to return from Florence, and last Tuesday Cardinal d'Este returned from Tivoli, having audience the next day of the Pope. There came also from thence Signor Don Alfonso, and yesterday they were together with the Pope, with the Cardinal nephew [San Sisto] and then with Cardinal Farnese. This morning his Excellency left for Tuscany. His audiences were very long and satisfactory, but opinions differ as to their object.
A courier from France has come here in five days, with letters from Spain, and since his arrival it is said that there were 5,000 footmen in the Catholic fleet, and that they were going into Scotland.
Endd. Italian. 4 pp. [Newsletters XXVII. 18.]
Nov. 15. 241. Gilpin to Walsingham.
The Prince and States are still at Dort, but little said of their dealings save that commissioners are to be sent to Monsieur to treat upon his offers and promises.
There is still talk of the States' intended camp, but no appearance how to make it, their money running too low to content those already in service, so that almost every garrison is ready to mutiny, and the places are in danger to be given over to the enemy, who loses no opportunity that may serve his turn.
At Bergen (Barrow) the men demand six months' pay, whereof half was offered by this town but refused, and sundry laden ships still stayed by them.
The enemy sent a drum with conditions, but they rejected them and made him nail his letter on the gallows, “howbeit doth not therefore give it over, whereupon doubting the worst,” they here have sent to them of Holland and Zeeland offering to pay one half if they will pay the other, according to their former agreement.
At Amersfort the soldiers are also said to be in mutiny, and feared to have intelligence with the enemy, but now it is hoped they are quieted.
Alost, where most of the English lie, is in such want of victuals that they are forced to abandon it, and have sent to those of this town that if not relieved within four days they will be driven to get passport from the enemy to retire, “taking spoil” of the town instead of payment; and to prevent this no means is yet devised.
The magistrates here have had divers of their chiefest burghers before them to contribute voluntarily towards these needful payments, “but they found so cold generally as is marvelled,” so that another course must be taken. Next week they change the Senate, and M. Aldegonde, whom they made free denizen last Monday, shall be chief burgomaster; the others not yet known, but all papists to be removed from office.
The Prince of Parma continues in Flanders and has put his horse at St. Gillis, St. Nicolas and Vrasene, and the foot at Crubeck, Rupelmonde and Tensicke [Tinesche]. Hautepenne from Lierre sent one Lougin to him this week, for consultation (as is thought) to make some force on the Brabant side, over against Rupelmonde, to cut off the passage to Brussels, but many are of opinion that he cannot “greatly annoy the passage, the wind any way serving.” Besides, by cutting the dykes at Terneusen (which is not yet altogether done, because they would not drown too much of the country,) they could be forced to remove.
Those of this town sent a commissioner to Ghent, but he returned with small answer. News is daily expected of the surrender of Ypres. “The trade over all these countries greatly decayeth, and so the means to maintain wars lessened. The 'campion' country over all so much spoiled, and the number of poor so multiplieth daily as is lamentable; and if relief from foreign country for victuals and provision were not, 'suredly' these parts would grow to great extremities.”
The Grave van den Berghe, governor of Guelderland, has been practising with the Prince of Parma to deliver him certain of the chief towns, but discovered, and he, with his sons and others to the number of thirteen taken, and that government, as report goes, given to the Count of Moeurs. It is feared he has correspondence in other provinces, having of late sent 45 ensigns of foot towards Friesland. Here is great talk of the army preparing by the King of Spain against the next spring.
Cologne matters grow to nothing, but some murmur that Casimir's men have overthrown seven or eight hundred of the Malcontents.—Antwerp, 15 November, 1583.
Postscripts.—The overthrow to the Malcontents is said to have been given by the Count of Moeurs and Eitel (Ydle) Hendrick at a place called Huls [i.e. Hultz] not far from Moeurs.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 82.]