Elizabeth: March 1583-4, 6-10

Pages 382-390

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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March 1583–4, 6–10

March 5. 460. Walsingham to Stafford.
Her Majesty is told that 20 ships are preparing on the hither coast of France to be employed in Scotland, whereupon, though well persuaded of the King's sincere meaning, yet “for that the world is now full of jealousies and practices,” she would have you acquaint him with these reports and ask for satisfaction therein from himself.
Some think these ships shall be employed against the King of Spain in the Indies, for the intercepting of his fleet or otherwise; nevertheless, you shall do well to discover the intent of these or any other like preparations. If the King be absent, you may open the matter to the Queen Mother.—London, 5 March, 1583.
Postscript.—As to the joining of the French King and her Majesty in the enterprise of the Low Countries, I have yet received no resolution from her Majesty, but your last letters sent by Painter will, I doubt not, give occasion to send you some direction therein, which I will further the best I can. I hope to be at the court in five or six days, being now almost recovered of my sickness.
In delivering the matter to the King, you are so “to use your speeches” that he may not think her Majesty makes any doubt at all of his friendly meaning.—London, 5 March, 1583.
Endd. Copy. ¾ p. [France XI. 45.]
March 8. 461. Edw. Burnam to Walsingham.
I wrote to your honour by General Norris from Flushing. The next day I arrived at Bruges and in the evening presented your letters to the Prince of Chimay, with such speeches as you commanded me. Entering into discourse with him concerning the treaty, I asked by whom it was first motioned and also if Champagny had not been a great dealer in the matter. Whereupon he told me that those of Ghent (Gaunt) were its first beginners, considering with themselves what extremity they are driven to, with their river stopped up and provisions growing dear and very scarce; with little hope of assistance by the Prince of Orange and the General States and with but small means left to maintain their forces. Wherefore they called their deacons and the chief of their companies together, and “sought to grow” to some treaty with the Malcontents, not from any offer that these made them, but “by and of themselves.”
They then sent to the college and magistrates of this town and Ypres, offering for them to be comprehended, and requiring them, if they liked of it, to send deputies to treat with them. They of this town, liking the offer, desired the Prince of Chimay to send one to the Marquis of Richebourg for a safe-conduct for their deputies to go to treat with them of Ghent. The Marquis replied that if they would go to Tournay and treat with the Prince of Parma, he would give them a safe-conduct, as you may see by the copy of his letter which I send herewith. The Prince sent again three days ago that he would have it but for Ghent. His messenger is not returned and he believes the Marquis has sent to the Prince of Parma to know his pleasure. “The Prince hath told me that a knoweth no otherwise but that they shall treat with the Prince of Parma, or such as from him shall be appointed.”
The names of the six deputies to go from this town and the Free I send enclosed. My coming has augmented the jealousy of some of these magistrates; chiefly those affected to the Prince of Orange. If you thought good to order me to speak to them with some small compliments from her Majesty, it might quench it somewhat. Some have asked me if I had nothing for them from her. I told them I was come to solicit the delivery of a prisoner, for which I desired their Prince's letters, but I think if I had something to say to them they would “impart openly to me how things do pass.”
I find the Prince very willing to do her Majesty service, but the magistrates use him something unkindly. He has promised, when I return, to send a gentleman to her to certify how things are and what they are like to grow to. He wishes me to stay ten or twelve days, when he will see how things go and may the better inform her Majesty, and, the whilst, desires me to resort to him daily, and what he learns he will impart to me. He says he has divers times urged the magistrates to send to her Majesty, and found most part very ready, “but suddenly some that are here affected to the Prince of Orange have letted it.”
Those of Ghent, seeing the deputies here “so long a coming” to them have sent two of theirs to Tournay, to make some offers to the Prince of Parma.
The Prince has received letters from Antwerp how they mean to treat with the Prince of Parma, and do as the Gantois do. Zeeland also begins to murmur the like. This “growth” because such towns as have yielded by composition to the Prince of Parma have no garrisons put into them, but in such as he has taken by force he has placed garrisons of Spaniards. For the avoiding of this, they are the readier to enter into the treaty.
In my opinion the treaty will not be so soon concluded as is thought, for though now it is very hot, if any prince that had means would make show to help them, it were easy to be over-thrown.
Manuy and Richebourg's lieutenant with a cornet of horse were at Ghent; they two entered, but the cornet stayed outside the town, and victuals and wine were sent to them. It is thought they came with some offers from the Prince of Parma.
Yesterday came a Scot from Ypres with news that they have victuals for three months and good store of powder and shot, and are very resolute to hold out as long as they can, if they of Ghent do not urge them to treat with the enemy.
I have not yet sent to Rowland Yorke, for I can find none that will venture to Ghent under ten or twelve pounds for the carriage. To-morrow I mean to send a boor, “and agree as good cheap as I can.”
I see small hope of Jacques de Somer's delivery, for he is in the custody of Ryhove, who cannot abide to hear any man speak of it. I will send his letter and that to Embyse to Rowland Yorke. “I understand that a beareth not that affection to his friends that a was wont to do; it is but the venturing of a cipher (shipher).”
I send enclosed letters from the Prince to her Majesty and your honour. Also a copy of two Acts which those of Ghent have sent to this town, which he has delivered to me for you.
This bearer, Spritwell, will tell you of the dangers we were in both by sea and land, between Sluys and Bruges. If I had not taken convoy, I should hardly have escaped. I have here set down what the Prince has told me about the treaty, but by another I will declare what the common bruit is. When I spoke to him of the difference, he declared that whatever I may hear “it is no otherwise than he hath told me”; and to my thinking his report is the truer. It is thought that the Prince of Orange seeks underhand to get Sluys and Ostend “at his devotion” if this treaty takes place. There is no doubt but that Champagny has been a dealer in the matter.
About ten days hence, as soon as the Prince is ready to send his gentleman, I mean to depart, unless you order me to the contrary.—Bruges, 8 March, English date.
Postscript.—The Gantois in their articles demand liberty of conscience, no building of citadels or castles, “exempt” of garrisons.
Add. Endd. 4 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XXI. 41.]
[The enclosures are not with the letter.]
March 8. 462. Lobetius to Walsingham.
It is long since I wrote to you, as you said it would suffice if I wrote to M. de Stafford, which I have done several times; but this is to accompany the enclosed packet, which a gentleman of your acquaintance passing through this town on his way to Heidelberg wished me to send to you.
Duke Casimir has his residence at Heidelberg, exercising his office of administrator and tutor, not without the ill will of some; he has much to do to satisfy everyone, and to please both God and the world, doing away with many superfluous expences in the Palatinate, and for the good and use of his pupil making great retrenchments and suppressing many offices.
They were expecting at Heidelberg the return of the ambassadors of the King of Navarre, who have been into Saxony and Brandenburg, where they have been very well received, but of their exploits there I have heard nothing.
One has generally to do what one can, not what one will. There are some who sleep so soundly that they cannot be wakened, not troubling themselves about the affliction of others, or making any account of peril unless it is at their own door. Yet for all that, we must do our duty, nor lose courage because of the indifference of others; one often gains by importunity what one cannot get by reason.
The old Archbishop of Cologne is regaining courage. He receives reinforcements, as does also the Count of Neuenaar, and some say they are aided with money and men by the States of Flanders, in which case the wars of Flanders and Cologne will be but one. The Bishop of Liége thought he had about done everything, but he finds he has met with his match. The Emperor is calling an assembly at Rotenburg to discuss the affairs of Cologne, and is sending thither as commissioners the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order and the Count of Solern. There will be three Protestant princes, the Electors of Saxe and Brandenburg and the Duke of Würtemberg, and three Catholics, the Electors of Mayence and Treves and Archduke Ferdinand of Austria. The Elector of Cologne cannot be of the number, because he is the subject of discussion; nor the Elector Palatine or his administrator, Duke Casimir, because there would be three Electors on one side and only two on the other. Whatever comes of it you will tell me that the match is badly made.
The Emperor has also sent his commissioners to Aix-la-Chapelle, to set that town in order, but I know not in what way. The Imperial towns have also sent their deputies, to smooth things over as much as possible.
You will have heard of the marriage of the daughter of the Elector of Saxe with the son of Duke Julius of Brunswick. The wedding was to be at Dresden on the first of this month.
The good and venerable old Dr. Sturmius is pretty well, thank God. He is at his country house, and is awaiting the result of his suit at Speier, which is costing him more than there ought to be any occasion for to a man poor and in debt.—Strasburg, 8 March (not à la Gregorienne), 1584.
Postscript.—This bearer, M. Zolcher (Sulcker), is well known to you. I pray you to favour him, so that he may shortly return
hither. You know it is not very fitting for a young man to be too long separated from his wife, for many reasons.
Add. Endd. Fr.pp. [Germany, States, III. 3.]
March 9. 463. Stafford to the Queen.
I send your Majesty enclosed a discourse that Marchaumont sent me of Monsieur's extremity of sickness and the beginning of his recovery, which every day they hope will be more certain, knowing that you will be gladder to hear of his amendment than of his sickness.
I hope that within three days the King will be at home, and then I will press for my audience.
I have been to the Queen Mother under colour of visiting her after her long sickness, and spoke to her of the letter you had received from her, so full of kindness in the beginning but ending with so earnest a request for the Queen of Scots, “whom your Majesty found every day so great cause to mislike of, and that knowing the evil will she bare you, and the no great goodwill she and all hers have ever borne her [the Queen Mother], you marvelled she would write to you in her behalf,” and especially that she would be moved to it by those who bear so little goodwill to both “as, if they and theirs had had their wills, neither your Majesty had had any crown upon your head, nor she any government in France.”
She answered that she was sorry you took her meaning otherwise than she meant it, and desired you to think what you would have done if you had been asked for the like favour. She prayed you to believe that in all she has written or may write, her meaning is never any harm to your Majesty, to whom she bears more love than to any prince that is, and withal she assures you that she was requested to it by nobody but by her [the Queen of Scots'] own letters, whose request she was loth to refuse as having been her daughter-in-law, and “at that time showing herself as loving and as dutiful as if she had been her own child.”
The Queen Mother is now with Monsieur, and means to bring him to St. Mort [St. Maur des Fossés], a house of hers two leagues from hence, as soon as he has the strength, for change of air.—Paris, 9 March, 1583.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [France XI. 46.]
March 9. 464. Stafford to Walsingham.
I send this bearer with a letter to the Queen, and must advertise you of what I have been pressed so to do, leaving you to judge of the matter and the man.
An Englishman, one Clifford, that is with Biron, of whom I wrote at my first coming hither, has been with me twice this week, and says that Hunter, the Scottish captain, of whom I also wrote, has been often with him “to egg him,” to go into England and find means to be placed at Berwick, upon which an enterprise is determined to be taken in hand in September, newly motioned by Lord Seton. That the Queen of Scots has determined to annoy England that way, and if it come to pass, may do well enough without the help of France, which they are loth to take, lest they become their masters. He says the Scot has promised to give him by the Duke of Guise means to address the Queen of Scots, and that he shall have great favour and reward.
In September, the nights being long enough, they mean to attempt it by scaling, which, they say, they may easily do, being informed by him of the fittest place.
He desires to come into England, to give you better intelligence and by your means to her Majesty, and if this be not true, he offers to be hanged.
I do not find any great matter in the man, except about matters of artillery, for which Biron makes great account of him, but it is good to neglect nothing, therefore if I may hear your liking, I will cause him to come to you. He says that the Scot will come to me also.
I have written to Lord Hunsdon that I have written to you of a matter which I could not toll him of, because I had no cipher. I pray you, as it pertains to his charge, make him a partaker of it.—Paris, 9 March, 1583.
Postscript.—After I had written this, John Tupper brought me your letters. I hope the jealousy between France and Spain will breed no security in us, for their actions here are very uncertain in two sorts, either from their changing their minds or dissembling.
As to your wish that her Majesty and the French King would join with the States of the Low Countries for bridling the King of Spain, “in my opinion you shall find that for all our devotions, we do not use to do here any great matter for God's sake.”
I am credibly informed that Mendoza means to go into Spain, but very secretly, going by way of Nantes. I have told Monsieur's folk of it; “he may as well stay him as he did Navarett once, there were to be gotten more by one than was by the other,” He [Mendoza] was with Queen Mother the day before she went to Monsieur, but I cannot learn what he said to her.
Villeroy was yesterday three hours with the Spanish agent and him, whereat the Protestants and many here are in great jealousy. There is great bickering between the Spanish agent and Mendoza, as I certainly know, but they hide it all they can.
Add. Endd. 3 pp. [France XI. 47.]
March 9. 465. Stafford to Walsingham.
Since closing my letter I have received two letters for you by a gentleman of the King of Navarre, one from Mr. Waad and the other from Du Pin, which I send enclosed.
I must needs make a complaint of the searchers of Rye, who, as is told me, have opened divers letters sent into England by my wife and me, and especially one from my wife to my Lady Ormond. I think it has never been done to any in this place. “They might well think there was no matter of state in a letter from the mother to the daughter.”
I think it were a good course (to avoid legerdemain) that the searchers of Rye should put all letters directed to my house and myself in a packet and send them to me, and “in a by letter,” write how many they send, and I will write by the same post of the receipt of them, “or else let the post answer it,” and likewise any letter coming from hence, “I will sign it upon the back side, or else let the searchers open it,” If you like of this, I pray you give order for it.—Paris, 9 March, 1583.
Postscript.—I think you will have ere long one Monti, an Italian, your servant Jacomo's kinsman. I refused him a packet, for “of all the Florentines that ever I met withal, I think him the veriest balordo“ [blockhead], and so I think you shall find him.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [France XI. 48.]
March 9. 466. Walsingham to Stafford.
In my continued absence from the Court, I have desired Mr. Sommers to know her Majesty's pleasure touching the things contained in your letters of Feb. 23, who, commending greatly your answer and the reasons for the same delivered to the party that dealt with you, would have you continue the like course if the like motion be made to you again, finding it very convenient, for the reasons set down by you, that the overture should first be made by the King (though the party himself thought to drive it to that pass that her Majesty should make it), and the rather, that in the time of your predecessor “she caused the matter to be often dealt in, and employed some special ministers in furtherance thereof,” showing thereby her willingness to join effectually with the King in so necessary an action; but never found his disposition answerable to concur therein, nor yet to comfort and assist his brother in his then begun enterprise in the Low Countries.”
Therefore she now looks that the King should move the matter first, and he has the less cause to expect that she should renew it to him.
For my own opinion, knowing well that the King of Spain wants not good friends in France, who will use all the means they can to stop this course—wherein one argument they are likely to use will be that upon any demonstrations of enmity which may break out between the two Kings, her Majesty will take advantage thereof to make peace with Spain, to the utter ruin of the French King—I could wish that her Majesty, to take away all occasion of this jealousy, would once again make the motion herself to the King for a mutual association against Spain; nevertheless since it is her pleasure that the matter be carried otherwise, you must follow her directions therein.—March 9, 1583.
Endd. Draft. 1 p. [Ibid. XI. 49.]
467. Fair copy of the first half of the preceding.
Endd. ½ p. [France XI. 50.]
March 9. 468. Edw. Burnam to Walsingham.
The bearer has been stayed till to-day by the weather, and now news is come that on the 7th a truce was proclaimed at Ecloo, in the Marquis of Richebourg's camp and at Ghent, and this day shall be proclaimed here, to last until revoked, during which there shall be free intercourse on every side for those who have passports from the governors. The deputies sit at Everghem (Evingham) and as soon as the articles are set down the Prince has promised to give them to me.
Embyse has taken a son and daughter of Ryhove, and will not deliver them until Jacques de Somere be released.
The Prince of Chimay has ordered out of the town one named Brisault, some time burgomaster, and another named Caron, eschevin of the Free, who did “let,” this treaty all they could, being much affected to the Prince of Orange and the French.
I told you in my former that I would certify you the common opinion of the treaty. It is thought to proceed from the Malcontents, chiefly those of Artois and Hainault, who—seeing how the Spaniards behave in those towns they have taken, and understanding that they are bringing forces which they mean to place in the garrisons, and to proclaim as traitors all who refuse to receive them,—are afraid, and have offered to treat with the towns.
It is said that Champagny has been in hand with the matter these five months, whereupon they of Ghent would have given him more liberty, but he refuses it, alleging that he is so used to his prison that it is no grief to him; but he makes daily great banquets to those of the town.
It is thought that Richebourg, Montigny and Manuy deal underhand in the matter and are discontented with the Spaniards, “but I doubt it be but a treachery to deceive this poor people,” It is said the towns will come to no agreement unless the Spaniards void the country, a thing very unlikely. The Scots here and at Ypres will be comprehended in the treaty.—Bruges, 9 March, English date, 1583.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XXI. 42.]
March 10. 469. Walsingham to Stafford.
Mr. Sommers has come to me with further directions from her Majesty, that “upon my renewing unto you of the speech touching the association,” you should let the parties understand that when Don Antonio was in this realm, the King, by his ambassador, recommended his cause earnestly to her Majesty, and laid before her how necessary it was that somewhat should be done for abating the King of Spain's dangerous greatness; which purpose he himself afterwards withdrew from and so the motion took no effect, save that the Queen Mother attempted somewhat which for want of good following had no good success, so that her Majesty has found a coldness in the King's disposition that way, and cannot hope that if she made any motion it would have better success than heretofore.
She wishes to hear speedily what answer the King has made to what you were to deliver to him touching his ambassador, and to the motion you were to make, as of yourself, to feel his disposition whether he would deliver up her rebels, if request were made to him.
And whereas her Majesty is advertised from the Low Countries that the King of Spain has secret intelligence with some great personage in France, you are, on some apt occasion, to acquaint the King withal, and let him know that she would be glad to hear whether he has knowledge of any such thing.—10 March, 1583.
Endd. Draft. ¾ p. [France XI. 51.]