Elizabeth: November 1583, 16-20

Pages 211-225

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, 16–20

Nov. 16/26. 242. Col. Morgan to Walsingham.
By your honour's letter it appears you have been advertised of some quarrel between Mr. Norrys and me. “True it is, he hath made challenge unto me by Capt. Edward Yorke, by whom he sent me word I was a villain, and that I should presently meet him in a place of his appointment, otherwise he would take me according to his best commodity,” which I was rather contented to abide than to accept his challenge, as well because it was given out here that he was ambassador from her Majesty, as also that we were both leaders of our nation, to whom we have to render account; “which for my part I mean to do, by such assurance as I hope to procure from the States, to the contenting also of other my particular friends, which by my service here I am greatly endommaged unto.”
The wrong he has done me, I refer to the judgment of all the world, who know the dealings between us-the money he has received of mine, and the bonds and accounts passed to himself which belong to me and others, which occasion me to refuse his challenge until we have levelled things between us; at which time I have made him promise to accomplish his challenge.
I should be very sorry to disobey her Majesty or you in any service it shall please you to honour me with, hoping you would not wish me to lose now, for want of maintenance, the honour which by my service I have sought to recover.
Likewise, as my last being in England I brought over a great company of soldiers, the transport whereof Mr. Norris hath not yet answered, but retains in his hands my pay for the time of my being there, and hath no means to countenance it but my lord of Leicester and your honour, whom he saith he hath acquainted therewith, for whose sakes I have borne many injuries at his hands, but am now resolved no longer to enrich him with what by hazard of my life I have attained unto; and doubt not but to receive justice with as much favour as he.
His hard dealings with other Englishmen by retaining their pay has made them go to serve with the enemy, or forced them to such disorders as discredit the whole nation.
Monsieur has of late made many large offers for the relief of this country. The enemy lies still about Ecloo, but has sent some forces to besiege St. Margaret's fort, which lies on the river of Antwerp and cuts off the passages to Mechlin, Dermonde and Brussels.—Bruges, 26 November.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 83.]
Nov. 16/26. 243. P. Bizarri to Walsingham.
The Count Vandem Bergh, governor of Guelderland, and brother-in-law of the Prince of Orange, has been made a prisoner in Arnhem (Harnem) together with his sons, for holding intelligence (as it is said) with the enemy; whereat many are astonished. It is a mercy that his evil intentions have been discovered before he could put them into effect, which would have done much harm to these poor countries.
The mutiny of the soldiers at Bergen-op-Zoom continues, although both from here and from Antwerp commissioners have been sent to bring them to a reasonable agreement.They demand six months pay, and to have it, not partly in cloth and other merchandise, as was proposed, but the whole in ready money, which is very difficult. Nevertheless it must be done and that without delay, seeing that the enemy is making them great offers and promises.
Here is to-day assembled the great Council, called in their language the Breidcnrath [i.e. Breedenraat], to which has been called the Sicur St. Aldegonde, newly come from Holland, and it is held for certain that he will be made chief Burgomaster of this city.
I hear that the Hollanders agree to satisfy them [here], but upon condition that for the future they be bound to them by oath, which is contrary to the laws and statutes of Brabant, and cannot be done without much offence to the other party.
There are about twenty-two ensigns of soldiers, all experienced men, and yet of the Religion, as it is said. May it please God speedily to bring about some good conclusion, for the place is of very great importance in respect of the navigation, and already the enemy have taken twenty-five or thirty vessels, and matters grow worse every day.
It is assuredly stated that the enemy at Rupelmonde have taken four ships going to Ghent, all laden with grain, salt meat, cheese, salt and other provisions. Others say they were taken by the garrison of Dermonde, and that the sailors have been allowed to go free, without any harm done to them.
From Germany they wrote lately, that the Count Neuenaar (Nuinar) with the Elector Truchsess and the lord Eitel Heinrich (Edelrich), said to be a natural or bastard son of the Duke of Brunswick, had routed seven cornets of the enemy, and were following up their victory.
I must not omit to tell you a strange piece of news and difficult to believe, although it comes from a person worthy of credit in Germany; viz., that in a city not far from Brunswick, called Osnabruck (Ossemburgh) which is a bishopric, have been put to death there in one day, by sentence of the judges and magistrates, a hundred witches and as many more escaped by flight.—Antwerp, 26 November, stilo novo.
Many here hold it for certain that there has been a reconciliation between the States and his Highness, and yesterday I heard it from the mouth of M. St. Aldegonde himself. If this be so, may it please God to give it better results than before.
Since I returned from Germany I have never missed an opportunity of writing to you, or in your absence to Mr. Robert Beale, always by the same means, of Sieur Filippo Cataneo. I hope you have received my letters safely.
Postscript.—This week the burghers of Antwerp have taken near the city fifteen malcontents, amongst whom was a youth of twenty years, the son of a gardener, who was in correspondence with the enemy and acted as their spy in order to take people. He was immediately executed, as an example to the rest.
The Bourse is nearly finished, and is much more beautiful and magnificent than the former one.
The gates of the city towards the main land are marvellously fortified, especially that of St. James where the burgers remained the victors, on the top of which they have put a very fine pyramid as a testimony of their wonderful victory and of [sic] the monument or sepulchre of the French, which is near that gate, upon the banks; these likewise being fortified with traverses of great timber, nailed and barred, so that the scouring of cavalry is impeded and at the same time the artillery and munition there are protected.
Above the said gate is to be placed the motto Tibi soli honor et Gloria.
Endd. Italian. 4 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 84.]
Nov. 17. 244. Stafford to Burghley.
I send you copies of my letters to Mr. Secretary, and a book newly set out, the date being of next year. “I pray God we may here well read it and better follow it than we have done many of years. But I am afraid it is so far past with us that we shall never come to learn so good a lesson.” I pray you to send me the copy of the cipher I sent you.—Paris, 17 November, 1583.
Add. Endd. ½ p. [France X. 77.]
Nov. 17. 245. Stafford to Walsingham.
Having received yours by Grinston, with her Majesty's directions to visit Don Antonio, I sent to him at Rueil to know when I might wait upon him, which he appointed for yesterday. He took her sending to him marvellous kindly, and I earnestly assured him of her affection and care for his safety, according to your directions. This also he seemed to take most kindly and said that he would seek safety nowhere sooner than with her, but that he found himself in no danger here, and had certain business “very importing to him”.
I assured him further, according to your direction, that if her Majesty could stand him in any stead, he might be sure she would do all in her power, and that I would willingly do my best to serve him in any way I could, and would wait on him where, and as secretly, as he pleased.
For the rest of your direction, “I found no disposition in him that way, neither that he desireth composition nor that the King of Spain offereth him any.” I therefore omitted the Queen's offer in that behalf, but if I hear of any such thing, I will be quickly with him.
Of my own good will, I would have done all this a great deal sooner, if I had been a private person, so much pity I have of the poor gentleman's affliction, which is seen in his face and expressed in his speeches, in which he mingles sighs which I see he would keep in if he could. I would to God all princes in Christendom would show him the pity his case require.
But I hope her Majesty will not be offended with me, that having no instructions, I went not to him till I knew her pleasure; especially as he sent only to know whether I had anything to say to him, when I had heard nothing from her, and if I had said any thing of myself, it might have worse pleased her than my deferring till I knew her pleasure, especially this poor prince standing in need of her, and not she of him, so that I needed to have the less fear of his “evil-taking” of my not coming at his first sending for me.
He used very few words to me, more than I gave him cause to speak, which I impute to his being overwhelmed with cares, more than to anything else.
He told me that he heard that the King of Spain had left a governor in Portugal, Cardinal Granvelle, and would bend all his forces “this spring” to the Low Country, and that greater forces would come than he needed there, many of which would be paid by the Pope, under colour of going to the Low Country, to make an enterprise upon England.
Don Antonio lies mostly at the Queen Mother's charges and “hath her furniture very honourable, like a King,” but is hardly furnished for his diet, for all the poor men in the village and thereabouts complain, having provision taken for him and they unpaid. He has about forescore persons, but 1 see none of quality. He has fourteen or fifteen Portugal friars whom they say he “communicateth” much with, for consolation in his afflictions.
It is credibly said that the King of Spain will this spring call home the Prince of Parma, and send the Marquis of Santa Croce to Flanders, that was the chief at the taking of the Terceira, because the Prince and his mother seem much discontented with the King's refusal to take his garrison out of Piacenza, in recompence of all the service he had done him.
The same person tells me that he was “certified” that the King of Spain meant to come himself into the Low Countries, and to have them under coram, whatever it cost him, but this party believes it not, as the King's humour is “nothing affected to the air of that country, as his father was"; and for my part, I less believe it, his indisposition being great, and withal I think he dare not venture so far from Portugal and Spain.
I have returned the Spanish agent's visitation, but he spoke of nothing but of toys and courtesies to myself, “which I hope I shall live without and without his company hereafter.”
Gougnies (Cony) is still with Monsieur, who, as I hear, keeps him in hope of some treaty for Cambray, but in my judgment, it is rather “to draw more out of the King's hand, that would fain have it,” than as meaning to do it. Yet some here were in such fear that he would compound with the Spaniard for it, that they would have had me write or send to him to put him in remembrance what a dishonour it would be to him to do it, but I know not how this would be liked of with you, and also I verily think he will not be so hasty. If her Majesty desires me to do it, I shall still have time enough, and withal “I have not wit enough to judge whether it were better for us to have it where it is or to return where it was, so little choice I find in good meaning towards us” in either party.
Clervant was yesterday to be despatched with his answer to the King of Navarre and the churches. The King seems not to desire war, but his answers are so ambiguous, “of Villerry's [Villeroy's] handiwork,” that many doubts may be made of them. He demands the restitution of the towns, and they the “effecting” of the peace, which the King says he means to have done, till which, as far as I see, they mean to defer the other. Clervant, when despatched, will come to me, and then I shall know more.
Friday last was the Assembly at St. Germains, where the King propounded in few words his mind. Chiverny followed, and amplified the King's mind and his necessities, at length coming to the clergy and declaring how necessary it was for them “to stretch themselves and help the King, that had so well deserved at their hands.” He proposed that they should let the King have divers lands “that they are not careful to keep,” to sell, and that they should have sure assignation, to them and their successors, of such rent to the uttermost penny as these lands are now worth to them, therefore they would have no hindrances and the King would be greatly beholden to them.
I am assured by very wise men, that if this were granted, the King could discharge all his debts and have 10,000,000 francs in his coffers.
The Cardinal of Bourbon was the first that answered this, admonishing the King rather to increase than to diminish the church; then he knelt down to the King and desired leave to speak further without offence, which being obtained he began:— That as the oldest prelate of France and of his blood, he humbly besought him, in the name of the whole clergy, to remember that he carried the name of most Christian. King and therefore was by duty to permit no religion in his realm but the old Catholic and Apostolic religion of Rome, and that if it would please him “hotly” to give order for that, “the clergy, poor as their estate was, would sell themselves to their shirts.” He besought him, as an old man, a prelate and a prince of the blood, to have care of that.
The King broke off his speech, and in a choler said to him, “Uncle, these speeches come not from yourself; I know from whence they come. Speak no more to me of it. I have already, by divers battles, assayed to have done that which you desired, and have hazarded both my life in my brother's time and mine estate in mine own and have been never the nearer; and in the end have been counselled by yourself and them of your coat, and of other persons bearing weapon of my Council to make peace, which I have promised and will keep-that if it had been a thing could have been done, I would gladly of every three years I was likely to live have abated two of them, but it was a thing I found unpossible, which they [sic] knew well enough, and upon unpossibilities made their large offers, which he [sic] was little beholding to them for, and so departed in a choler.”
That night the Duke of Guise came into the King's cabinet, and told him that divers had given out that the Cardinal's speeches had come from him, “and that he made the Cardinal the author of them. He beseeched his Majesty not to believe it of him, for he had never thought of it. The King shortly answered that he did believe no such thing of him, but that he was sure the Cardinal had not said it of himself.” The Duke again assured him he never meant any such thing, and that if he had, he would have found a more abile homme, as he termed it, to deliver it than the Cardinal of Bourbon. The King shortly answered him as before, and by his manner rather left an opinion that he believed it came from him than otherwise.
Yesternight Cardinal Birago died, whom the King visited when in extremity. Evil as the man was, I would he had left the rest of the King's Council as evil-affected to Spain as he was, which was the only good thing I knew in him.
Last Saturday there was a quarrel between the Duke d'Aumale's brother and Epernon, “he playing at 'payle-mayle' with the Duke of Guise, who seemed then, after his accustomed cold manner, to make no count of it, and the matter was put up, and commandment from the King that there should no words be made of it.”
Yesterday Chevalier d'Aumale, another brother, began the quarrel again, saying his brother was too young, and a place was appointed for their meeting to fight, but the King forbid it, “which Chevalier d'Aumale hearing, got upon a horse without boots, because he would not hear the 'defence' and came as fast as his horse would run to Paris.” I saw him myself, in this case, as I was coming from Don Antonio. “Sure, Sir, this will not be without blood, and I the rather doubt it, because the Duke of Guise saith little, and then he commonly thinketh most.”
There has been this jarring ever since the Cardinal's death, “for Joyeuse sought the chancellorship for his brother, the Bishop of Narbonne, and Epernon for Chiverny, that kept the seals, and hath been very much marked these jars to increase ever since.”
Fervaques is coming to Château Thierry, Monsieur desiring to have the marriage ended between Aurilly and his daughter. “There is wait laid for him by the way by them that he hath malcontented and have forsaken Monsieur. If he have not better luck, he will be cut short before he come there.”
My man is returned from Honfleur, and assures me there is no great haste in the preparation for Elboeuf, but one or two of his ships are gone to Brouage, to set forward with a great ship he has there.
“I am both extreme glad and very sorry of the news you writ to me of Somerfield: glad he is taken, and that God is still her Majesty's good lord, miraculously to reveal all wicked enterprises against her and to preserve her from them, and sorry that our English nation produceth such cankered subjects to so merciful and loving a sovereign.” I pray God save and preserve her.
As I was thus far, word was brought me that Epernon was killed, and it was so common in Paris that everybody was open-mouthed with it, but one I sent to the court is returned and assures me there has been no fight, and that presently after the Chevalier d'Aumale went away so fast the King sent the Due d'Aumale to bring him back, which he did, and hath made them again friends, which I believe; for when Chevalier d'Aumale overtook me the day before, his brother the Duke followed him as hard as he could drive.
My man brought me a brief note of the speeches at the Assembly, which I send you [see p. 204 above]; also assured word that Chiverny is made chancellor, “by Epernon's stiff standing with him.” Duke Joyeuse is gone away discontented, but makes excuse that he is gone to take the air at Dolenville.
Pinart is despatched to Monsieur, and, it is thought, will offer him any reasonable demand. The King stands in fear that his brother is the setter-on of the surprising the towns in Languedoc. I do not find that they of the Religion have any trust in him, “without that the King still insisting upon the 'rendry' of the towns and will not [sic] perform the edict, and then they be constrained to come to arms, they be contented to have the colour of a brother of France leaning to their party, rather to pull back part of the forces the King might otherwise make, than for any trust or confidence they have in him.” That they will never trust him, I have of themselves; that they will use the colour of him, if they must come to arms, is but my own opinion.— Paris, 17 November, 1583.
Postscript (holograph).—After I had written this, three things came to me; first that there is a practice to send men into Scotland within 24 hours; second that they are up in Languedoc, and that the King is in great fear of the King of Navarre and Monsieur stirring, fearing Monsieur more for the King of Navarre than for himself, and that this fear has made him send Pinart to Monsieur, to content him every way he can desire; that the King has sent to Cornusson (Cornishon), governor of Toulouse, not to come hither, as he was sent for, to be made of the order of the Saint Esprit, but to seek to content the gentlemen of Languedoc; and has sent also to Bellièvre, who was despatched for the Queen of Navarre's causes, to help him in it. Both these I will seek further after.
The third is that a gentleman of Monsieur's came to me, as from himself (but I think sent from Monsieur) to tell me how ill Monsieur took the bruit that he will compound with the Spaniard for Cambray and would send the articles into England and elsewhere. By the way, he told me that he heard there was one article touching Monsieur's marriage with the second of his nieces of Spain, and then “made himself in haste, and departed.” Why he did this, I leave to wiser than myself, but take it “the first beginning was to bring in the last, to give me a gudgeon, as he thought, to bite at.”
Add. Endd. by Walsingham. 6¾ pp. [France X. 78.]
Nov. 17. 246. Stafford to Walsingham.
Besides what I have written in this other letter, I thought well to tell you of a thing not good to be spread abroad. Last Monday, a foul picture of the Queen was set up here, she being on horseback, her left hand holding the bridle, with her right hand pulling up her clothes; upon her head written La reine d'Angleterre; verses underneath signifying that if any Englishman passed that way, he could tell what and whose the picture was. Under it was a picture of Monsieur, very well drawn, in his best apparel, on his fist a hawk, “which continually baited and could never make her sit still”.
These were set up in three places; the gibbet in Greve, before the Town House, (fn. 1) the corner of the Augustines, and the corner of Montegu College. But they were soon pulled down again, for as soon as ever word was brought me, I sent a watch to see who would do anything about it, but they were taken away before my folks came thither.
Some would have had me complain of it, but this would have put me to seeking of it out, and “to strive in a filthy matter that was so quickly gone” were but to make a laughing-stock for them that list, besides which, it touches more Monsieur's honour than the Queen's, if everybody interpret it as I do.
I do what I can to find whence it cometh, but never saw so open a thing so soon hidden. I am afraid some of our Englishmen have a part in it, “for I think there are not many naughty people in the world as some of them be.” And truly they be naught that have the title of “fathers” given them, about Rouen, who are extremely hated for their insolency. I hope I shall hear whence these godly pictures come, “or it shall scape me narrowly.”—Paris, 17 November, 1583.
Postscript.—I send a book newly set out here. “I would to God we could here as well follow things of virtue as we can set them out, but I am afraid we are so far out of 'eure' [use] here of any good thing” that they should be sent where they may be practised, not kept here “to cast pearls among swine.”
Add. Endd. by Walsingham. 1¾ pp. [France X. 79.]
Nov. 17. 247. Stokes to Walsingham.
All things this week have been very still, saving only these following. The Prince of Parma is returned to Ecloo, and it seems he has some enterprise in hand, for divers drums being sent from this town for the release of prisoners and other matters, were not suffered “further than within a great Dutch mile” of Ecloo, and were sent back without their prisoners. Great preparations are being made there of scaling ladders, small boats and other engines, and most men fear it is for the island of Cassant.
The enemy has taken two or three strong houses near Rupelmonde which those of Ghent kept, “so as by little and little the enemy shorten (shrottens) the Gantners very much of their liberty.
“It seemed at M. de Hembysen's first coming that those of Ghent would have done some great matters against the enemy, but now it is turned all to words.” His coming gave a little courage to many, in hope he would have given some better order to martial affairs, but they are as bad as ever, and here is neither men or money.
Letters have come from Dort to the magistrates of this town and the Free, wherein they write of a new offer by M. des Pruneaux in Monsieur's name to the Prince of Orange and General States. These dealings much discontent the commons, “for they will never yield to it to the last man, and besides this, since the receipt of these letters, here is a great anger happened” between the Prince of Chimay and the burgomasters of this town and the Free, only about the French coming in again, which the Prince of Chimay is utterly against, while the burgomasters are for them and the Prince of Orange. The Prince of Chimay has a noble good will and desire to do service in this cause, but he is obeyed in nothing.
Speech is come of a great quarrel at Dunkirk between the Spaniards and the Walloons in service there, and that the latter are driven out of the town. It is hoped this may breed further discord.
The Prince of Parma has once more sent letters to these magistrates, showing the great desire he has “to come in some speech to make agreement” with them, and in his letter is a blank with his hand to it, for them to set down what they would have and it shall be done. But the burgomasters will hear of no peace, yet they say themselves they cannot hold out long.— Bruges, 17 November, 1583, stilo anglie.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 85.]
Nov. 17/27. 248. Flemish Advertisements.
Since our last, nothing has happened here, save that the enemy, seeing the failure of their enterprises upon Ghent, Bruges and other important places in Flanders (by the good offices of Hembyze) as also that the Count of Hohenloe had made a good fort upon the river at Terneuse, has since done nothing.
All through this country it is affirmed that the ambassador of Spain, by the intercession of some great lords, is again reconciled with her Majesty, and, moreover, has obtained permission for Spanish ships henceforward to harbour in her kingdom, in order to go to and from Dunkirk, Nieuport and other places round about. And although we do not easily give credit to such rumours, and the less as you do not mention them, and that until now we have not doubted of her Majesty's singular affection towards our cause and desolated country, nor that she would support anything which might be to the prejudice of all good and faithful Christians; yet seeing that many here entirely believe this rumour, which has caused great astonishment, we pray you to inform yourself thereof, and, if you find it is so, to speak to some of the chief of those who have influence with her Majesty, that her kindness and favour may be continued towards these countries, considering how much our preservation or ruin imports to her and to her State, and so much the more if the Spaniards should begin again their sanguinary designs. For they desire nothing but the total ruin of herself and of her State, as has for many years been apparent and still is daily so by their unhappy practices. Fr. ¾ p. [Newsletters I. 60.]
Nov. 19. 249. Stafford to the Queen.
I hear from Monsieur's court that Alfeyran (Alpherant) has been lost these nine or ten days, and is suspected to have been sent secretly to your Majesty, to procure money for Monsieur's enterprises and to tell you that without help Cambray must be lost, “which being done,” the King of Spain, being without fear of further trouble, may easily put in execution “the evil meaning that he hath towards you and your realm, at this spring.”
In my opinion, warnings to take heed of your own estate “are not to be set light at by your Majesty, and I do not doubt but there are and will be intents of a great many against you"; but I do not think that helping Monsieur will hinder them, and though I have reason to think the advertisements of the intentions of Spain towards you are very true, yet I think Monsieur sends them rather to put you in fear and draw money from you, than from any great meaning he has to serve you. For he lacks money greatly, and “which way to get it, he careth not.”
As he deals with you one way, so he deals with the King his brother another way, entertaining Gougnies with a treaty only to keep the King in a doubt that he means to bargain Cambray away, to draw the more money from him under colour of helping Cambray, which, as I hear, marvellously hates the French that are in it.
What to do, you and your wise Council can best tell. I discharge my duty in sending you with speed what I gather. Alfeyran's departure was so secret that he was away almost a sennight before anybody suspected he was gone; now they can only guess whither and why he is gone, thought they do their best to hunt out.
“I hear Marchaumont is in the declinative mood with his master, but only [i.e. except] when he will serve his turn of him,” and begins to find his master's service more chargeable to his purse than either honourable or profitable.
I hope this may come to you before the other from Monsieur, or at least before you have fully despatched him.—Paris, 19 November, 1583.
No add. or endd. Probably the copy mentioned as enclosed in the following. 2 pp. [France X. 80.]
Nov. 19. 250. Stafford to Burghley.
I send enclosed a copy of what I write to the Queen. Your lordship may assure yourself “that here there is nothing sought but money, and God wot they employ it to little purpose when they have it, and little thanks they give to them they have it' on' [sic].”
I have a letter written to myself, saying it were good that your lordship would not be so sparing of her Majesty's treasure, for if you were, the King of Spain might trouble us this spring, but, as I have written to the Queen, though I do not doubt his ill-meaning, I think there is little help to be gotten by this [Monsieur's] means, and therefore she had best, keeping her own, find some other means or trust to herself, lest, parting with her own, she forego her best help.—Paris, 19 November, 1583.
Postscript.—I cannot send you the copy of what I have written to Mr. Secretary, because some of it is in cipher.
Add. Endd. by Burghley. 1 p. [Ibid. X. 81.]
Nov. 19. 251. Stafford to [Walsingham].
I send you a copy of what I wrote to the Queen. I hope you will burn both this and it, and so hereafter any I send you in like sort.
I thank your honour for the friendly warning you gave of haunting the Bishop of Glasgow, which I will avoid, for the reasons you have given me, though I did think that he not knowing me and I knowing him and having had warning of him and he perchance none of me, I might have done good and drawn somewhat from him. As for Panet I will do as you counselled me. He is not now here.
It comes from the Bishop of Glasgow that you have heard that some here suspect that you practise harm against the Scots Queen and King, against their persons, and that you have written hither to assure the contrary.
It is given out that the Spanish ambassador is of late greatly made of by the Queen, and has been in her courts “fested” of late, especially by the Earl of Leicester. This the ambassador gives out, and others depending of him, both of English and Spanish men. I hope, if there be any meaning of being friends that way, you will tell me what to do.
For the pictures, I have had much ado to find them out that I wrote to you of. Now I have had a sight of them, there is nothing to the dishonour of the Queen, their meaning having been greatly mistaken by them that reported on them to me. “I see in such things it is good to have a little flegm, and not to be so fiery as some would have had me.”
No add. Endd. with date. 1 p. [France X. 82.]
Nov. 19. 252. Stafford to Walsingham.
“First to salute you with news whereof we may all rejoice. Yesterday arrived hither the Pope's nuncio, of the house of Ragasoni. He was once Bishop of Famagusta [or Arsinoē] now of Pergamo. He is here my neighbour, thanks be to God.”
The burial of Cardinal Birague will be to-morrow sennight, the King and all his fraternity of penitents assisting in their weeds. He hath lain till this morning on his bed of state, the first two days with all his furniture of cardinal, the other days like a bishop, “but they were fain this morning to put him into lead; they could abide him no longer.”
I never saw him alive, but did so dead, in both his suits, “though not given him holy water, as I think forty thousand have done, these six days.”
Chiverny, the Chancellor, though given the place, is not to take the name till the other be buried. The King hath of his own motion, given all his benefices to his kinsmen, and none to any that asked them; and in distributing them, has considered “some according to their poverty, some according to their desert.”
As to the advertisement of some preparation into Scotland, I have had all the diligent eye I could, but all I can find is that Maningvill, who is new come to the Court, had private conference with the King, in the cabinet, and that a great while. Some say he is come to wait his quarter, some that he was purposely sent for. I rather believe the last, and therefore will hearken as much as I can.
It is told me for certainty that Duc d'Aumale is upon taking an enterprise for Scotland, but I think they mistake d'Aumale for Elbœuf, “and that if there be any men leaving, it is for the last-named or for Don Antonio, for whom they speak of a preparation to sea, from whence they persuade themselves to come home all rich.” If it be by sea I hope I shall be advertised, for besides some friends on Normandy coast, I mean to send thither again, and have taken such order for Brittany, Rochelle and Brouage, that I hope nothing will be enterprised there without my hearing of it.—Paris, 19 November, 1583.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [France X. 83.]
Nov. 20. 253. Norreys to Walsingham.
The Bishop of Cologne's forces, with the Count de Meurs and some of the States' forces in Gueldres and Wacktendonck, have defeated certain ensigns of the Bishop of Liége, and taken divers prisoners of account, amongst which is M. de Billy's son-in-law.
I understand here that they of Brabant resolve to accept Monsieur on the conditions offered, and that the King shall remain his heir. They intend shortly to send Asseliers, audiencer of Brabant, to him and meanwhile make no preparation to resist the enemy.
All the garrisons are mutinied. Our men at Athe have not a piece of bread to put in their mouths, and “stand in terms” to treat with the enemy, yet the States are readier to pay other garrisons that are in no necessity “than to send us victuals to live withal. So good account they make of us. If there be no present order for us, our men will all go serve the Spaniard.”
This bearer asks me to crave your favour for him in his affairs, which I trust you will grant him the sooner for that he hath been always a friend to those that are here at your commandment.— Antwerp, 20 November, stilo ang., 1583.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 86.]
Nov. 20. 254. Edzard, Count of East Friesland to the Queen.
The new and varied occupations in which I have been engaged have been the cause that I have not sooner replied to your Majesty's most gracious letters. I should be glad to continue the good offices which I have hitherto rendered to the Society of Adventurers (in spite of the hostility of certain of the Hanse Towns, who have done their utmost against me simply on account of the English trade and at the greater risk to myself that they were rendered as a favour to your Majesty and for the benefit of your subjects), but that it might result in grave prejudice and loss to myself, this province and my subjects. Wherefore, it being understood that your Majesty, by your letters and legation, had sent to his Imperial Majesty, my master, and the hope at the same time arising of establishing security both for me and your Majesty's subjects, I trusted that provision would be made for defence of me and mine by his Imperial Majesty, the Electoral Princes and the Estates of the Empire, against the hostile attempts of certain Hanseatics, and that we might be released from the Emperor's resentment.
But after my return to this province, I was unable to learn what answer Mr. William Waad had brought from the Emperor, or that any notice had been taken of us. The business is not without danger, and I therefore could not omit to apprise you at some length of these matters. For one of the Hanseatics lately brought an action of monopoly against English merchandise here, both by word of mouth and in writing, in the court of his Imperial Majesty and the Electors, and the people of Lubeck and Cologne cease not with all their might to endeavour to obtain the execution of the Augsburg decree. The Lubeck secretary has preferred fresh charges at the Imperial Court against the Adventurers residing at this place, whom he hoped to get excluded from my city of Embden and from all Germany, and many of these charges were sent to the Electors, from whom a declaration was desired. The Imperial cities and other estates, whom D. Henry Sudermann, Syndic of the Hanse Towns, and D. Calixtus Schein, Syndic of the city of Lubeck, drew over to their opinion, unite with the Hanseatics solely by reason of its being a case of English merchandise, on pretext of some alleged monopoly the nature of which does not appear, to which they postpone altogether the main cause of privileges and immunities in England; and they would have a proscription brought forward and published against me and my subjects, at the instigation of the said Sudermann. I have learned for certain that the same demand was seriously made at the Diet of Augsburg by Cardinal Madrucci, the Papal Legate, to whom other Pontificals or Catholics as they would be called, who had a grudge against prosperous England, joined themselves.
By people of good credit at the Imperial Court, I am informed that the Spanish ambassador and his secretary at Vienna, probably instigated by the said Sudermann, and having free access to the Emperor, sedulously promote the cause of the Hanseatics; but whether this is by their King's order, or of their own accord at the suggestion of Sudermann I know not, and prefer to say nothing about it. Seeing that the [United] Provinces are daily declining in power and approaching ruin, and are now in a worse plight than ever, while the Spaniards are everywhere growing in prosperity and power, the Hanseatics think that the English cannot long remain or trade securely at Middelburg, and they are therefore said to be the more eager to proscribe English merchandise and exclude it from my dominions, and all Germany.
The Emperor himself, by letters to your Majesty and rescripts to me (copies of some of which are annexed hereto) shows plainly that ex officio he must (the Hanseatics not ceasing to be trouble-some and querulous) proceed to the execution of the Imperial decree unless the English monopoly is abolished. I am not a little moved by the answer of the Emperor's Vice-Chancellor, given to my solicitor at the farewell of your late ambassador, Mr. William Waad; for the former mandates of the Emperor for the discharge of English merchandise from my city of Embden not having been obeyed, he warned me that I had cause for apprehension lest the county of Friesland should, on account of the English, be overwhelmed by the thunderbolt of the Imperial Bann, in which case your Majesty would perchance not be able, as soon as need were, to aid me, Count Edzard, and so great loss and calamity would befall this province.
There are also some of the Imperial nobles, my kinsmen and well-wishers, who sedulously warn me of my imminent peril of proscription, unless I take steps to meet it in time. Therefore in order that all suspicions of the illustrious English nation and of my province, on the score of monopoly, may be the more thoroughly and completely eradicated from the minds of the Emperor and the Estates (as it is needful they should be) and thereby the honesty and integrity of the English commerce be made apparent to all Germany, it is necessary to see to it that the Emperor and certain chief princes of the Empire be informed by a just apology, both by word of mouth and in writing, touching this whole business, in which there should be a competent handling, as well of the privileges as also of the action principally in dispute; and the better thereby to put an end to these injurious actions, and establish peace and security for English commerce here and throughout Germany, it would be advisable that as soon as possible an imposing embassy should be resolved upon to the Emperor and the chief Electors, to be appointed by a few of the most illustrious nobles of the Empire. And if this plan be not displeasing to you, I will willingly depute at least two notable and very experienced men, who are known at the Imperial Court and to the Chief Electors, and are in favour and authority, that a just apology may blot out the unjust stain of monopoly, in itself odious and condemned.
If to them you would be pleased to add George Gilpin, your late ambassador at the Imperial Court, it would be well. They might meet here at Embden, or at Hamburg or at some other convenient place, and journey together to Prague, where I feel sure the Emperor is now. In this way the controversy aforesaid will be terminated. For indeed there are some of the Hanseatic towns that disapprove the rigour and austerity of the people of Lubeck and Cologne, and gave no countenance to the action taken by Sudermann and Calixtus Schein; witness the city of Hamburg. [The letter concludes by urging the need of sending over a thousand English angelots, or two thousand Imperial thalers, and by praying that her Majesty may live and flourish “ad Nestorios annos.”]—Embden, 1583, 20 November.
Copy. Endd. “Grave Edzard's letter to the queen.” Latin.
In L. Tomson's hand. 4 pp. [Hanse Towns, I. 73.]


  • 1. The Place de Grève, now the Place de l'Hôtel de Ville.