Elizabeth: February 1583-4, 1-10

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: February 1583-4, 1-10', in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 18, July 1583-July 1584, (London, 1914) pp. 335-346. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/vol18/pp335-346 [accessed 27 May 2024].

. "Elizabeth: February 1583-4, 1-10", in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 18, July 1583-July 1584, (London, 1914) 335-346. British History Online, accessed May 27, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/vol18/pp335-346.

. "Elizabeth: February 1583-4, 1-10", Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 18, July 1583-July 1584, (London, 1914). 335-346. British History Online. Web. 27 May 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/vol18/pp335-346.

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February 1583–4, 1–10

Feb. 1. 396. Stafford to Walsingham.
The man “of the chequered paper“ that I once sent you, offering to discover matters of importance to her Majesty, has been this sennight asking to have letters to you and to her Majesty, for affairs of merchandise, as he says. I refused that to her Majesty, but have given him one to you. My judgment of the man or the cause of his voyage I cannot yet certainly give, but I suspect that he is either a spy, or that “his only drift is under hope of giving intelligence to make his profit.” By watching with whom he confers and what he does, you may best find out.
This morning he brought with him a kinsman (which makes me suspect him the more) who he says is a man of value and judgment, and who from time to time will give me advertisements for her Majesty's service. He told me he was of the Religion and the place where he dwelt, but I find not that he dwells there.
Next time he comes I will watch where he goes and what becomes of him and advertise you of it. In the mean time I have no good opinion of the man.—Paris, 1 February, 1583.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [France XI. 15.]
Feb. 1/11. 397. Richard Stallynge to Walsingham.
Laus Deo. I pray you pardon my boldness, as one unknown to your honour and unskilful how to write to my betters; but “I cannot tell of what effect this letter which I have received from my friend may be,“ and as it is come in a short time from the Straits in the furthest part of Spain, and in it my friend writes that there is coming for Flanders a great number of soldiers, I send it to you, your honour being better able to judge thereof than I can.
My friend is servant to a worshipful merchant of [South] Hampton called Mr. John Crook, and as I know him to be a very honest man, I believe he has written the truth. He sends also a letter for his master, which I pray you to read and then seal, for it came unsealed to my hands.
“Jesus preserve still his Church, our good Queen and realm, and send us peace still if it be His will.”—Rouen, 11 February, 1584.
Add. Endd. 1 p.[Ibid. XI. 16.]
Feb. 1/11. 398. Fremyn to Walsingham.
Mr. Dayre [Dyer] arrived here last night, and M. St. Aldegonde was to visit him at three o'clock this afternoon.
Many false bruits have spread here, namely that her Majesty has escaped a peril like to that of the late King of Scotland, who was blown up by powder, but that miraculously it had been discovered. Also that the Scots had hoped to surprise Berwick, having scaled the town in several places, but had been repulsed with heavy loss.
The States are still assembled in Holland, and it seems that they have resolved to recall his Highness. In order to lose no more time, each town and province is to resolve separately and promptly upon the matter, and it is proposed to deliver Bruges and Sluys as pledges to his Highness. In default of heirs to the Duke, the Low Countries are to fall to the crown of France, on the same conditions as shall have been concluded with his Highness. Those of Bruges and the Free are entirely resolved on this point, and it is said here that deputies have been sent to France, they seeing that the Spaniard daily gains upon them, whom they detest above all, preferring the French to them. Even if the other provinces should not wish it, it is believed they will accommodate themselves to it; to which purpose the Bredenraet or great council of Antwerp was yesterday assembled, that they may resolve on which side to range themselves. The Spaniard is making great preparations, and his lieutenants here are masters of the country, ever pushing forward their borders, to the great prejudice of the land, which has not yet resolved what to do, nor is ready for a campaign against the enemy; who if not prevented will this summer take many towns, besides the distress it will be to the country. There is lack of soldiers and of good chiefs; there are too many espagnolises and zealots for the papacy, and avarice, parlardise and drunkenness are far too popular. The ministers preach in vain; there is little or no amendment.
These last days a placard has been stuck up on the Maison de Ville, on which is written in Flemish:—d'Alençon, Orange, St. Aldegonde occupy the people here with war in order to ruin them and make themselves rich. There are always wicked spirits [?], which are the jealousies borne to his Excellency for his well-doing; if he had been believed, the Spaniard had been entirely chased out of these counties.
The enemy in the Pays de Waes have made a strong fort within cannon shot of Antwerp, on the river going to Brussels, and put many soldiers there. Our ships of war fire upon it heavily. It is to hinder our navigation, which it will do if a fort is not made opposite to it. Thus we struggle on, waiting for better things.— Antwerp, 11 February, 1584.
Add. Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XXI. 18.]
Feb. 2. 399. Waad to Walsingham.
I found here Sir John Seton, newly come from Spain. He came to me, being both lodged in one house, to know if the Lord Seton, his father, was come to Paris, who comes from thence by sea, and whom he waits for.
He tells me there are few English at the Court of Spain, but great store of Irish. He had heard no news “of the death and taking” of the Earl of Desmond, which greatly startled him. The young Count of Feria is in trouble with the Inquisitors for encouraging one of his servants who could not get licence to marry to do it without dispensation.
This gentleman “letteth not to say” that the King of Spain only waits the “delivery” of the Queen of Scots, to marry her.
Mendoza's servant, sent into Spain, everywhere gives out my coming after him, and that her Majesty “licenced his master upon jealous suspicion with great contempt.”
The King of Navarre is at Paris, and goes to Agen to receive the Queen, who only awaits the removing of certain garrisons which M. de Bellièvre is to see done. M. de Plessis I met at Chateau Herault, sent to the King “for that there was show to remove the garrisons but was not performed in deed.” That difficulty being removed, all is reconciled.—Bordeaux, 2 February, 1583.
Add. Endd. Seal of arms. 2 pp. [France XI. 17.]
Feb. 2. 400. Stokes to Walsingham.
This week, the enemy, with 200 foot and 100 horse, are come to a fair open village called Ostbourg, between Sluys and Zeeland, joining to the island of Cassant, and there lie still, but it is feared that when more force shall come to them, they will enter Cassant and make bulwarks along the haven “that comes in to Sluys,” so that no ships shall enter.
The enemy at Ecloo, hearing daily of the evil government in this town and other places hereabouts, and of the great murmuring of the soldiers for their pay, begin to write secretly letters to the captains of this country to leave the Prince of Orange's service and come to them, and they shall have good entertainment and not be governed by the Spaniards, whom they hope to keep out of the country; by which persuasions they have drawn some of our captains from hence and it is feared that more will follow, for the government here is “so evil as may be, whereby it doth discourage all captains and soldiers to serve them.”
Also, when the enemy takes any captains, gentlemen or country soldiers of this side, they make them great cheer and release them for very small ransoms or none at all, which makes us fear some alterations before long.
The speech is great in the camp at Ecloo that they will not be governed by Spaniards, nor that they shall tarry in the country, but this is supposed to be given out rather to draw away our men than that they have any such meaning.
This town has ordered some soldiers into the Island of Cassant to burn the houses, that the enemy may have no succour there, and also because the peasants have agreed to pay them contribution and take victuals to their camp.
This week, those of Antwerp came over into Flanders, and have burnt Stecken, Bever and all the other villages and houses thereabouts, “so as here is a lamentable destruction in all places, and in the end all will not help unless God do provide better for them.”
Two days past, letters came to the magistrates of this town and the Free from their deputies at Ghent, stating that the Gantois are wholly resolved never to receive the Spaniards or French, “nor yet to have to do with the States, if they do not the like.” The cause that moves them and the way to find money to maintain the quarrel they will set out in print, that all may see their dealings, and the deputies write that they are without fear of any man, and that Hembisen is of good courage and rules all.—Bruges, 2 February, 1583, stilo Anglie.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XXI. 19.]
Feb. 3. 401. Edward Dier to Walsingham.
It seems that the Estates are still in love with their liberty, to maintain which they would do strange things. But the fear of the King of Spain's power takes away their courage, though their opinion of his unreconcileable will makes them give a show of resolution. “The government in all these places is in effect popular, and therefore it is not so subject to treason of great consequence, though on the other side it is not like to bring forth any action for their safety long, whiles they are, as it were, tyrannous over themselves, making themselves miserable at home and despised abroad. . .. The occasion is not yet desperate to do much for them, but truly it is dying and lies panting with sorry life enough.”
I have been here but two or three days, and have yet had no acquaintance with such as have inward intelligence. I send you three books, one for yourself, and two to give where you please. They are of importance, if as true as they are believed here.—Antwerp, 3 February, 1583.
Add. Endd.pp. [Ibid. XXI. 20.]
Feb. 4/14. 402. Roger Williams to Walsingham.
“It is told me this morning the enemy means to embark men presently for Scotland. It is by one that knows much. What number I know not. They are able to make at the least forty or fifty sail, true it is not armed eight, nevertheless your honour knows all these 'whits' and such baggage will serve the turn for transporting. To be sure it were good her Majesty did send two of her ships, good ones, to Flushing, with a small ship to lie betwixt Dunkirk and Nieuport, for to run to and fro and send two or three others at the least as high as “Leysto” [Lowestoft] so betwixt both, let the wind be where it list, they should not miss them; for your honour knows what a fault there was when the Spanish came last to Ireland.
“If it be true, as it is reported here, that the Scots proffered for Berwick, I would your honour would read once again my great letter written from Alost. It were the only way. Because I think your honour lost it, I will do it again. If the Scots [king] does declare, her Majesty may defeat him ere any succour comes, to send presently an army either to take him prisoner or else to ruin his country in such sort that 5,000 men should not get victuals ten days in all his country. She might do it very well if any succours presented to pass or did not, nevertheless it were necessary her Majesty kept ready a good number of ships, some at Milfort haven, some by the Isle of Man, some at Newcastle, some at Dover, some at [South] Hampton, some at Flushing. Her merchants is able to beat both the French and Spanish at sea.
“If I am too bold, I trust your honour will pardon me. If you be remembered, I wrote to you afore Stuart (Stuard) went from this country that he had great intelligence with Daubigny and with that faction. Desire your honour to deboise him with crowns. Your honour must think the Earl of Arran and he and such others are poor; the King of Spain is rich and will not stick on crowns to serve his turn. Assure yourself as long as such does govern the King [of Scots] he shall want no ill counsel.
“The only way for her Majesty is to make much of their countries in Scotland, but not to give any of them over much trust. Nothing grieveth not[?] the baggage are so beggarly. There is nothing ' the wan '[qy. they want] of them but blue capes, whinyards and ale. If her Majesty would send me here a hundred pounds, I would promise her Highness to spend it every penny in spions in the enemy's camp. I would send one apparelled like a mariner to seek service. They do all they can, gives largely to all that comes, many runs to them daily.
“I wrote letters to Ghent, to Antwerp and to these, I mean the best here; perhaps within a twelvemonth, they shall find some service in them. It will kill my heart to hear that any blows should be for England, and I here.—Delft, 14 February.”
Add. Endd 4 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XXI. 21.]
Feb.4. 403. Norreys to Walsingham.
Your honour's letters of the discovery of the intended treasons against her Majesty put us out of a great deal of fear, which the uncertain rumours of dangerous conspiracies had brought us into; thanks be to God, who has defended her and disclosed those wicked practices. I trust her Majesty will by this learn to know and provide for so unreconcileable an enemy as the Spaniard is. In all the enemy's camps they openly discourse of the great troubles in England, the greatness of the King of Spain's faction there, his league with Scotland and his intent to be revenged for the injuries her Majesty has done him. “So that it seems they mean to make open sale of their merchandise.” These alarms were so hot that I stayed but for the wind to come over, not intending her Majesty should have cause to employ any of my profession when I was not there. But finding she had wisely prevented the danger, and being required by the Prince to stay a few days, as I think to let her Majesty understand the conclusion of their assemblies weakness of their state, and in the end, after their custom, to demand her assistance, I pray your advice, and have sent over my brother, who will let me know your opinion.
The enemy grows daily more terrible to this party. The Marquis St. Croix is said to be arrived, who is accounted a greater tyrant than the Duke of Alva. Cologne matters go badly. Bonn is rendered.—Delft, 4 February, 1584, stilo Anglie.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XXI. 22.]
Feb. 5/15. 404. Richard Stallinge to Walsingham.
Stating that he sent his former letter to Dieppe by his servant, but finding no “passage” is to depart until John de Vigues (Vigges) and two or three others “be there to make one,” he has asked de Vigues to take that letter and hasten the passage, even if he pays a little more. Prays his honour to give him something for his pains, as he has hastened his departure from Rouen in consequence.—Rouen, 15 February, 1584, stilo f [ranco].
Add. Endd. ¾ p. [France XI. 18.]
Feb. 5/15. 405.—to Edward Unton, in Paris.
I have received two letters, very agreeable and comforting to me. The letters were written on the 25 and 27 of January. They are written in the midst of my heart. This you may believe from me.
Cardinal Sabilus [Savelli] was called to the Pope on account of some letters of Lord Hatton's, which were intercepted in Paris. At Secretary Walsingham's, (fn. 1) a certain noble Frenchman who stole his letters, whose name I know not. He writes in cipher. There was in Rome a certain noble Englishman who came secretly to the Pope with Turkish letters to the English Queen, and was sent immediately with all diligence into Spain. He was a tall man with a red beard, fifty years of age, and knew no language but English.
The messenger had sold those letters. He was in haste to return.
Aldred and Fitzherbert are birds of a feather, for they mutually help each other in their affairs.
I pray you send letters more frequently, but not by the letters of the English for many reasons.And I pray, worthy Mr. Unton, remember me in your charity when you can. “A piece of carsey [kersey] I pray you, my heartily friend.” [These last cipher words are spelt out in English.]
I pray you, when occasion serves, to think of me. In you I trust, most noble man.
The Turks have intercepted many Christians and a ship which was going to the island of Sardinia, in which were two Jesuits.
There is a verse in the 22nd psalm “Domine in virtute tua lœtabitur rex,” which includes the number of this present year D.M.I.I.V.I.V.V.L.I.V.X. Many things are said concerning Kings this year.
My brother salutes your honour with all his heart. The Lord Cardinal is well and salutes you.—Rotterdam, 15 February, 1584.
Add. Endd. Latin. 1½ pp. [France XI. 19.] The passages in italics are in cipher.
406. Copy of the letter, with the cipher passages deciphered.Latin. 1 p. [Ibid. XI. 19a.]
Feb. 5/15. 407. Bizarri to Walsingham.
Four days ago, the enemy came to a village called Burgh, [Borcht] over against the castle of Antwerp, by the river, began to build a fort there and have already planted their standards. They have been fired heavily upon from the castle and from some armed ships near the shore, but it has not been sufficient to drive them away. I do not know what can be done to remedy a thing which, being before the eyes of the city, will be of great prejudice to it, but we shall see before long what those who now have the government of the city will do, to whom I pray God to give, together with good resolution, also the means and the strength to bring it to effect before the pride of the enemy prevails, and this place shares the fate of the poor city of Bonn, which the new Elector is said to have entered on the 5th instant and to have used much cruelty to those who had embraced a different doctrine from his own.
Seeing these ways of the world, I often think of the poet who said:
Ludit in humanis divina potentia rebus &c.
And yet I know surely that the affairs of the world are not governed by chance or fortune, but only by divine providence and with most just judgment, although hidden from our eyes.
It is said that Count Neuenaar has been lately in the greatest danger in the town of Bergen lying on the Rhine on this side of Cologne, which still holds out for Truchsess, and that it happened by a mutiny of his soldiers for want of their pay; but in the end the matter was smoothed over and some say that the Count has been made Governor of Guelderland by the States, which may God grant, for he is a lord most worthy, not less by nobility of birth than by his own merit, of all honour, and well affected to her Majesty and yourself.—Antwerp, 15 February, stilo novo.
Add. Endd. Seal. Italian. 1½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XXI. 23.]
Feb. 7. 408. Walsingham to Stafford.
You will receive herewith a letter from her Majesty to yourself in answer to the King's letter and message delivered by his ambassador.
For the answering of your letters of Jan. 21, 26 and 30, her Majesty thinks it will suffice that, on delivering the contents of her said letter to the King and Queen Mother, you thank them for their dealing against the printer and honourable respect to herself, “notwithstanding the earnest solicitation of the Pope's Nuncio and others to the contrary"; and if the parties have been committed again to prison, as it seems the Queen Mother promised, you may show in what good part her Majesty taketh this, and thereupon, in her name, “be an intercessor unto them both that the said parties may be remitted, and have no further bodily punishment inflicted on them, so as it may appear that they are rather discharged at her Majesty's suit than otherwise.”
When you repair to the King, you are to tell him “of yourself” that you hear there have been sundry practices against her Majesty contrived by some of her subjects in his realm, and that if any are found culpable thereof, you doubt not but he would show himself so good a brother and ally “as that he would not stick to deliver them, and to perform so much as by the law of nations and the treaties one Prince is bound to do for the maintenance of the safety of the life and person of the other, and especially both their Majesties that have made profession of so sincere amity and neighbourhood, which her Highness for her part shall always most carefully and constantly perform towards him"; and so do what you can to see if the King will make some promise to deliver such persons if demanded.
Her Majesty prays you to thank the Venetian ambassador for his courtesy to you and Mr. Waad, and to tell him that albeit she found the Signory “more affectionate unto her being but Lady Elizabeth than being Queen, yet she assureth herself that the fault hath not been hers, but perhaps they have sought therein to please some other potentates.” Nevertheless her good will has been no less than that of her progenitors or any other Princes, and she will always be willing to show the Signory or the Ambassador himself any favour that she may.
Touching Don Antonio's requests, she is contented for him to repair into this realm at his pleasure, and he shall be used with all courtesy, but she cannot like that he should make his abode in any haven or place by the sea side, both in respect of his own safety and of her service, for in such places attempts might be made upon the sudden, to the prejudice of both his person and her estate. Besides, her Majesty remembers no such fit place in her hands, and if there were, it could not be spared, as she is to employ them about the musters and provisions to be made along the coast, “in case the King of Spain should bend his navy hitherward, as it is thought he will.” But order shall be taken that his servants and goods shall pass and repass freely to him.
Of the pension you need make no mention at all, but you shall know her pleasure when she learns how he likes her answers to his other demands.
Draft, much corrected.Endd. “Notes of a letter which her Majesty hath appointed Mr. Secretary to write unto her Highness' ambassador resident in France. 7 February, 1583.” 2½ pp. [France XI. 20.]
Feb. 7. 409. The Queen to Stafford.
The French ambassador having told us of his master's desire to send him into Scotland to visit the King there, and to do all good offices in his name for appeasing the present troubles in that realm, and offering, for the avoidance of all suspicion, that we may send some minister of ours to join with him in his charge, and also that the said ambassador shall follow such directions as may be given him by us or our Council:-We have answered that as the troubles in that country are now appeased, “there is no more likelihood of any danger to grow to the King or the State, either through dislike between him and his subjects or by reason of private divisions among themselves,” and we therefore see no necessity of present sending, and pray the King to defer it till some other time, letting the ambassador also understand, that as we thankfully accept his master's respect to us in these matters of Scotland, in that he would do nothing without our privity, so we should be most willing and think ourselves greatly honoured to join with him, if occasion should require, in so honourable and princely an action.
This in effect was our answer to him, given by our secretary, with whom we think meet you should concur in the delivery thereof to the King, yet we cannot but let his Majesty know that we have reason to think that the authors of the advice for the present sending into Scotland were led thereto “rather to have practised somewhat that might have bred a doubt in us of the King's good meaning towards us, than either for the advancement of his service or the good of that realm.” Therefore we are to pray him that, when anything is propounded to him concerning Scotland, nothing may be resolved which may give us just occasion to think that his inward friendship does not conform to his outward profession.
Further, you shall declare to him that we neither have done nor mean to do anything to interrupt the ancient amity between the crowns of France and Scotland, so long as it is not used to the disquiet of us and our estate.
You shall also let him understand that whereas we hear he has been informed by some ill-disposed persons that we seek the disquieting of his estate and reviving of the late civil troubles in his realm, and for that purpose entertain secret practices and intelligences with the King of Navarre and other his subjects; we pray him to suspend his judgment on such informations (as we do in like cases, when bruits are brought to our ears of his arming by sea or other warlike preparations in his realm tending to the disquieting of our State and the breeding of alteration in Scotland) and to do us the favour to believe that, as in these causes of Scotland he has shown a special respect not to minister the least suspicion to us, so we for our part also “carry the like respect not to intermeddle in any matter with his subjects that may justly be to his dislike,” as our sincere dealings from time to time with the King of Navarre's and other his subjects' ministers sent hither manifestly witnesses; by whom we have ever sent such sound advice to the said King of Navarre (whatsoever he has been informed to the contrary) that he cannot but rest very well satisfied withal. For we have always had in remembrance the place we ourselves hold, and that “to deliver any counsel to his subjects against him, being an absolute Prince, might be a precedent of dangerous consequence to ourself.”
Finally, you shall request him, that when any such reports shall be brought hereafter against us, he will make you, our ambassador, acquainted with them, that we may answer the same and make our innocency and honourable dealings known to him.
You shall also let the King understand that whereas his ambassador here was licenced to convey the Queen of Scots' letters to and from her, concerning her revenue and other private causes with her friends in France, he has underhand conveyed secret letters to her “containing matter of practice,” as is plainly confessed by some of his instruments, which might give us just cause to require his revocation were it not that we would be loth the world should call in question the soundness of the amity between the King and us (whereof this indirect dealing already gives cause of suspicion to our subjects) and also that we respect the gentleman's honest carriage here in all other causes. We therefore pray him to give express charge to his ambassador hereafter to meddle no further in the Scottish Queen's causes. And for letters concerning the Queen's dowry in France and other her private causes, you shall let the King understand that the letters may be delivered to you to be conveyed over hither, and those to be sent into France shall be delivered to our principal secretary, to be by him conveyed thither.
And as we understand “that there were certain books and pictures intended to be set forth in print there by some of our disloyal and ill-affected subjects, tending to charge our government with injustice and cruelty, which by the King's favour you have found the means to have suppressed and some of the parties to be punished,” you are to give the King our hearty thanks, and assure him of a friendly requital upon like occasion.
You are also to repair to the Queen Mother, and acquaint her with the contents of these our letters and speeches, letting her understand further our singular good liking of the beginning of her last letter professing her great good will and friendship towards us, “but when we came to the end of the letter, and found so earnest a recommendation of the Scottish Queen's estate, it seemed to us to represent a gilt pill, that doth more content the eye than satisfy the taste.
“She is not ignorant how little favour the said Scottish Queen deserveth at our hands, and we appeal to her own conscience whether she herself, or any other Prince, having discovered so many ill and dangerous practices as we have done against us, would have afforded like usage.” But we know (and so you may tell her) that this earnest recommendation was rather to content others than to satisfy herself, “who cannot forget that if the Queen of Scots and her kin might have had their wills, she had long since been excluded from any public government in that State.” If those whom she seeks to gratify were as well affected to her and hers as we are, we should have cause to rest satisfied.
Copy, endorsed with date. 5¼ pp. [France XI. 21.]
Feb. 8. 410. Walsingham to Stafford.
I send herewith two letters from her Majesty, one to Monsieur and the other to Marchaumont under the name of the Moyne.
I have, according to your request, long and earnestly solicited her to write letters of thanks to the King and Queen Mother, finding it very necessary, now that the King of Spain seems so maliciously bent against her, to entertain the amity of France, but I cannot prevail, her Majesty thinking it sufficient for the thanks to be delivered by you in her name, as contained in my general letter written from the directions she sent me by my brother Beale to my house, whither I have withdrawn by reason of the indisposition of my body.
Touching your dealing with the King for the delivery of the dangerous practisers, her subjects, her Highness was once resolved to write herself in that behalf, but “I did remove her from that purpose, letting her understand that it was unlikely the King would yield thereunto, and that his denial could not but breed unkindness between themselves and an encouragement to the parties, who had already received some inkling” that they were to be demanded; yet her Majesty wishes you as of yourself to feel the King's disposition, wherein you shall do well to follow her direction.
Concerning Don Antonio, I fear me you shall hardly receive any answer to his comfort and good liking, unless he can satisfy himself with fair words.
I have sent Mortimer's letter to my Lady of Northumberland, who will take order for sending over money to her children. Your dealings cannot be disliked of, as they are conformable with reason, but you should inform yourself of the man's religion, as he is suspected to be a Papist.
By the next you shall receive her Majesty's letter of thanks for the Venetian ambassador, who might be used as a very fit instrument to procure intelligence from their ambassador in Spain of the state of those preparations, wherein he cannot refuse to do her Majesty some service “even for the behoof of the Signory itself,” seeing that the growing greatness of Spain cannot but be dangerous to them.
How things pass in Scotland and the Low Countries, you shall perceive by the enclosed.—Barnelms, 8 February, 1583.
Copy. Endd.pp. [Ibid. XI. 22.]
Feb. 8. 411. [The Queen] to Marchaumont.
“Her Majesty hath by experience found that his Highness enterprise in the Low Countries, in respect of the weakness of his means, hath neither won any honour to himself nor yielded any relief to those poor afflicted countries; and therefore can by no means be induced, as one that greatly tendereth his reputation, to advise him to further proceedings therein, unless he might receive some open support at the hands of those who have no less cause to provide for the mischief and peril that may grow unto them by the King of Spain's greatness than her Majesty hath. For if the same be well weighed it will be found that those that heretofore were his competitors will grow now overweak to match with him.
The branches of the house of Austria hath, as it were, overshadowed all Germany. Italy, what for love and what for fear, is altogether at his devotion; his treasure groweth infinite, which commandeth most in these days, yea, and which is most perilous of all other to make the way of his greatness the more easy, what Prince is there in Europe (England only excepted) that hath not some Spanish factor in the same ?”
Men of judgment can grow to no resolution but that it is fatal, and if there were remedy, it were fit that those of greatest puissance should by example provoke others to concur in the action, before which time, I can hope for no remedy but what patience and prayer yield.
“I am sorry for his Highness' sake that in so honourable an action he should be so weakly assisted at the hands of those whom it so much in honour and policy toucheth. If their counsels were no more poisoned with Spanish treasure than M. de Marchaumont and Secretary Walsingham is, this greatness would not pass on so smoothly without opposition.
Copy, without address or signature. Endd. “To M. Marchaumont.” 2¼ pp. [France XI. 23.]


  • 1. These two words are carefully obliterated in the decipher, but not in the cipher itself.