Elizabeth: July 1583, 21-25

Pages 31-36

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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July 1583, 21–25

July 21/31 39. Mauvissière to Walsingham.
Poor Salfranque, whom I have aided twice in three months at much expence that he might get what is owing to him by Hotton, the merchant, came weeping to me this morning, saying that he had received no justice, help, or favour save from you, whom he found full of honour and equity, all the others favouring his adversary, even in the smallest matters. Being in despair, he asked me only for a letter to the King, and an attestation, that he might go and make his complaint on the other side. But I am sending him back to you, to beg you, since you have been so favourable to him and his cause is just and imports much to the credit of all the English at Bordeaux in the future, that you will yet help him to obtain his guarantees (cautions) which are solely for the costs which his adversary claims and which cannot exceed seven or eight pounds, that he may go to have his cause tried at Bordeaux.
If you will thus assist him to escape ruin, since he is responsible for the goods which Hotton has had, you will bind him ever to pray for you, and he will make it known everywhere that you have been more just to him than others have been the contrary.— London, 31 July, 1583.
Postscript.—Please bear in mind the Queen of Scots, pursuant to the letter I sent you yesterday by Courcelles.
Add. Endd. 19 July (sic). Fr. 2 pp. [France X. 12.]
July 21. 40. Gilpin to Walsingham.
I have received your packet and conveyed the letters to Col. Morgan and Capt. Williams, one to Antwerp, the other to Bruges, where I understand them presently to abide.
I have tried to persuade my friend in Cologne to commit this matter to letters, but he perseveres that it must only be opened by his presence, as by the copy of his last, which I enclose, will appear. To draw him hither the sooner, I have written that he might take up sixty or seventy pistolets which I would repay, and on his arrival furnish him with a greater sum to “make home to his wife and family,” and to bear his charge into England, where I was sure he would be rewarded according to his deserving. If this would not suffice, I offered to come myself to Cologne, or else that he should send an express to me, or that I would send a sure man to him. More than this I was loth to say, until you resolve me how much money I may disburse, as also of my repair to him if he choose that course. In which case, I shall need licence from our Company and a passport from her Majesty to go and return through the Duke of Cleves' and other adjacent countries, though I would not let it be seen unless need urged.
Touching the interests for Pallavicino and Spinola, I will hearken afar off whether it will be moved this assembly of the States; for the merchants of Antwerp (as I hear) mean to become earnest suitors to that end, of whose proceedings I will not fail to advertise you.
The Prince of Orange continues at Flushing, and has given orders to redress matters in Flanders, especially along the sea-coast, although at the first writing of them of that province he gave them small comfort, “objecting” their delays about receiving Monsieur to be the cause of their present harms, and knew not without that means how to help them out of the same, nor defend them from further.
Those of Nieuport, seeing the cannon placed ready to batter “a weak, undefensive old wall” and the soldiers being too few to endure an assault, the burghers loth to fight without hopes of rescue and the river taken from them, by composition surrendered.
The next day Feurne, being summoned, took two days deliberation, and then, by practice of de la Motte with the “burrowmaster,” yielded the place voluntarily. And afterwards the said “burrow-master,” by order and with a drum from the Prince of Parma, was sent to those of Bruges, “presenting composition in case they would seek their reconciliation with the king.”
This done the enemy came before Ostend, where one part of the town was so overflown with water, by cutting a dyke, that none could lie in field on that side, and they had to plant the cannon on the Nieuport side, and so high that they overshot the town and could not harm it.
Besides, those of Flushing sent ships thither with provisions, which could not be kept from entering, and they of the town, shooting off great ordnance, annoyed their enemies so much that they are said to have retired.
The Scots have left Menin, but durst not fire it for fear that discovering thereby their departure, they might have been pursued and cut off. The “town gaged” soldiers at Bruges and most of the burgesses would not have the Scots let in, but “the whilst” the magistrates had called the town captains and officers to consult of matters, “the Scots were by device let in,” and in the midst of the town before it was known. They have since also received two companies of horsemen, and the Prince of Chimay (Semaye) is chosen governor of the town and the “Vrye” and was on Monday at Sluys to settle good order.
Damme, Oldenburg and Sluys are well provided “and shall be stuffed with soldiers,” the water being also brought in between Damme and Bruges.
Those of Bruges, seeing Ostend hold out, have taken better heart, and likewise Ghent and other places, but Ypres feared.
“At Antwerp, Bruges and other places, the more to assure themselves, have sent and still send billets, commanding sundry suspected persons to depart their towns.”
The French and Swiss under Marshal Biron are said to be discharged and shipping made ready to send them into France.
M. Aldegonde keeps still at his home, but hath been to see the Prince, and as I hear, standeth in election to be chosen Governor of Antwerp, the more because it is thought he altogether disliketh further dealing with the French.
I understand that Ostend and Sluys and certain frontiers in Friesland and between Holland and Zeeland and other provinces, “thoroughly foreseen upon all events,” will be defended to the uttermost.
As to the refusal to accept the Prince for Earl, this town was the chief opponent, saying that they could not accept a prince that had deprived them of their privileges, “for that he was to take oath to hold and maintain them in the same, and so until the restitution neither he nor they could be deposed (sic)” and other towns, hearing this, said they would do as Middelburg.
In Holland, few or none would receive him, in spite of what was wrought by his creatures (as the others term them). This notwithstanding, his Excellency has not given over the matter, yet I fear if the Malcontents overcome Flanders and other places, “so that these islands should fall out to be the frontiers” the commons would cry out for peace, and make a composition, and then the King of Spain's forces be employed otherwise.— Middelburg, 21 July, 1583.
Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIX. 91.]
July 21/31. 41. Pietro Bizarri to Walsingham.
The enemy, after making themselves masters of Dunkirk and Nieuport, intended the same with the port called Ostend. But understanding for certain that men and victuals had been sent from Zeeland, and that those in the town had opened some of the dykes and flooded the country, they are said to have withdrawn from the enterprise and taken the road towards the French frontier to hinder the passage of Monsieur's people, who they say has already an army in being.
Many families are said to have gone out of Bruges, fearing the fury of the enemy, although there is a good garrison there, both of the Scots that were in Menin and of burghers and other soldiers. The States are making a new camp between Bruges and Ghent, in a village called Eccloo (Hieclo). Marshall Biron remains in Brabant with his people, and declares that all will end well, but this is little believed unless other effects are seen than hitherto.
The States General are to meet at Middelburg on the 2nd of August, together with his Excellency, to consider what must be done for fresh defence.
The counsellors of the Duke of Cleves have induced him to take up arms for the new Elector of Cologne, but the nobles and subjects of that country have told him that they do not wish to meddle in this war, but to keep at peace; and at their request, it is said, some great pieces of artillery sent to the enemy's camp, have been recalled.
There has been a report that the new Elector was dead, but now it appears that he has been dangerously ill but is beginning to mend, perhaps to his own greater misfortune and the chastisement of his unbridled ambition; it being certainly reported that Duke Casimir is hourly approaching Cologne, and there being a strong hope that he will win it, replacing the former Elector and introducing the true religion. It is likewise hoped that he will undertake other laudable enterprises, and those of Cologne begin to see that the threats uttered against them by the Duke of Biponts and other protestant princes were not without foundation. The Duke of Biponts is come with his people to Coblentz, a place belonging to the Elector of Trier, and Duke Casimir is following with his army. Archduke Ferdinand, they say, has used every effort to stop the Gascons and others coming to the support of Duke Casimir, but they have been too strong, and have opened the way with the sword. It is likewise affirmed that the number of cavalry is larger than was before stated.
What I wrote to you about Count Witesten [Wittgenstein] Provost, or as they call it vulgarly Dom Probst (Don Proste), which is the highest dignity after the Elector of Cologne, and some other gentlemen who adhere to the former Elector-that they have been deprived of their benefices, is quite true, but it is hoped that with the victory of Duke Casimir, they will soon recover them, whom may God assist with his favour.
I have written four lines to the Bishop of Salisbury about my canonry. I pray you, give it to Mr. Robert Beale to be sent on the first opportunity, and be favourable to it as hitherto, that I may gather the fruits of what by your honoured means I have obtained.—Antwerp, the last of July, 1583.
Add. and Endd. wanting. Italian. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIX. 92.]
July 24. 42. Cobham to Walsingham.
Introducing the bearer, M. de Ruisseau, an advocate and counsellor of the Scottish Queen, first made known to him by the Bishop of Glasgow and since recommended by M. de Bergeron, who knows him to be of a modest and well-disposed nature.— Paris, 24 July, 1583.
Add. Endd. by Walsingham. 1 p.[France X. 13.]
July 24./Aug. 3. 43. J. Jernegan to Walsingham.
I have already written you three letters, but am doubtful of their deliverance, as the messenger's late conversation argues him not to be trusted in these affairs.
Dunkirk, Bargus [Bergues-St.—Winnock], Nieuport, Furne, Dixmude and Menin are already rendered to the King, and now “his Alteze is marched to Ypres, to receive the ' rendew ' thereof. Like expectation is of Bruges, whither it is thought he will apply his next march. Ostend, least in account at first, by the access of those English and Scots of Menin hath most prejudiced our camp, in five days killing at least 400, whereof 300 were Spaniards,” while the ships of war so beat our camp in the sandhills that they enforced our remove. From thence his Highness returned to Dixmude, reserving Ostend to the last, as “ a supulchre of a number of his soldiers.
“M. de la Motte was there hurt in his foot, who only awaits the 'galorden' [qy. guerdon] of these services. Surely a most resolute, most expert and most faithful servitor to his King, and as I think the most sufficient.
“In two months is recovered a most goodly country, fraught with goodly towns, accommodated with many good ports, to far beyond expectation.”
The whole camp is greatly “penuried” with scarcity of provisions, and like to be worse when their spoils of cows and sheep are consumed, whereof at present they have plenty. There comes from England, from Dover, Sandwich, and London, great supply of beer, bread and other victuals, besides much merchandise, as shoes and such other. Yet they are most malicious against her Majesty and country, attending only an opportunity, which is carefully sought for, but of which I doubt not you and the rest of the most honourable are and will be vigilant preventers.
I venture again to pray your favourable mediation with her Majesty, craving her clemency and pardon; protesting before God “to have been, am and will continue” her most humble, loyal and faithful subject, and beseeching some trial of my service, even to extremest danger of my life.
I wish every unloving subject of her Majesty (if any such be) were enjoined to live under these governments but for seven years, upon the entertainment of the King. They would find it so miserable that the English government would ever after be most pleasant, “and reform their opinionate minds.”
Before Michaelmas I foresee no satisfaction for Mellowes but will earnestly travail for his then despatch.—Gravelines, 3 August, “according to the account here.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIX. 93.]