Elizabeth: April 1584, 1-15

Pages 444-458

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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April 1584, 1–15

April 1/11. 519. The Prince of Chimay to the Queen.
Introducing the bearer, his maitre l'hotel, whom, now that Mr. Walsingham's servant [Burnham] is returning home, he is sending to offer her his humble service, and to inform her of all that has passed in Flanders.—Bruges, 11 (or 2) April, 1584. [Reading doubtful, but this and the next probably written about the same time. Also, on Mar. 23—Ap. 2, Burnham was not preparing for departure.]
Holograph. Add. Endd. “April 2.” Fr. ¾ p. [Holl. And Fl. XXI. 59.]
April 2/12. 520. The Prince of Chimay to Walsingham.
To the same effect as the preceding.—Bruges, 12 April, 1584.
Add. Endd. Fr. ¾ p. [Ibid. XXI. 60.]
Annexed, on a slip of paper, undated:—
Apology for not having earlier sent this gentleman, having been delayed by matters of importance.
Fr.lines. [Ibid. XXI. 60a.]
April 2. 521. Stokes to Walsingham.
Has received his letter of the 14th of March, desiring him to stay to see the end of the treaty between Flanders and the Malcontents of Artois and Henego, which he is most willing to do. Has given the bearer, Edward Burnam, the particulars of the cost of the letters &c. which he has sent to his honour and to Dr. Wilson, amounting to 38l. 6s. 4d., which sum he would be very glad to have, and prays his honour to procure and receive for him.—Bruges, 2 April, 1584, stilo Anglie.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XXI. 61.]
April 2. 522. Stafford to Walsingham.
Has returned from Chasteau Thierry. Monsieur detains deputies from the Low Countries on report of disturbances at Ghent. The King making a great emprunt of money. Mendoza has had audience, but Lord Seton is deferred. Seton's great expenses, feasting &c. Quarrel between Lavardin and Randan. Epernon and Joyeuse support the former. Mandelot, Governor of Lyons, reported to be dead and the government given to La Vallette, “which Madame de Nemours stormed at greatly, because her son, the Prince of Genevois, had the brevet and promise of it before. But they have been both deceived, for he is revived and never was sick.”—Paris, 2 April, 1584.
Add. Endd.pp. [France XI. 68.]
[Calendared at some length in Report on the Cecil Papers, iii, p. 26, but not printed by Murdin.]
April 2. 523. Stafford to Walsingham.
After I had put up your and the Queen's letters, there came one from Lord Seton asking me to beseech her Majesty to grant him a passport to go through England into Scotland. He only waits for a second audience to be dispatched and desires to return by England to satisfy her Majesty concerning the evil and false reports made to her of his ill-will to her service, and to assure her “that there is nobody in the world he desireth more to serve than her but the King his master.” He desires a speedy answer, as he wishes to hasten his journey.
“The man I think will do no great harm here for France; for Spain I will not answer. For neither is there sufficiency in the man but as his lesson is daily taught him (which he cannot always well carry away),” nor do I think those here will do more than maintain the old customs and leagues, and that but very barely.
“The chiefest matter that he came to treat of, which is the marriage of his master with the Princess of Lorraine, I think he will go away with a cold suit, and not greatly satisfied for anything else but a few good words. . . .
“The King of Navarre and his wife be now together, but he tarrieth but four or five days with her, and goeth straight to meet with Montmorency by the King's appointment, to seek to appease all things. The King seemeth to deal very confidently with him. I think he hath appointed Bellièvre to go with him, who truly hath done very good offices to them of the Religion, and is a great maintainer of the peace and quietness of France.”
For the matter of the league, I await the King's return to deliver him the commandment I received in your last “about the advertisement her Majesty had out of the Low Countries of the King of Spain's practising some great man of this State.” I mean at the same time to thank the King for his agent's good usage of Mr. Waad in Spain, for, besides the letter which I obtained to him, the King sent him special orders to use Mr. Waad very well, by M. Villeroy's letters.
I find, as to the league, that they fear if we make them enter into it, “Spain shall be presently advertised, and then we leave them and join with Spain, and swim between two waters. I would to God there were a certain way to take away jealousies . . ., for I am afraid the King of Spain will give both realms cause to seek wherewithal to defend his naughty practices against us.”
Your servant was with me all this journey, and will bear witness “we engendered no melancholy. It is the only playing time I have had since I came hither; I am now come to school again.”
There is here a Captain Moffet whom I have long known, and know how to use. He is much misliked of some in England and I would know your opinion of his “haunting with me.” With good usage, there is somewhat to be got out of him and harm I am sure he shall do none.
Mr. Waad is even now come and waits only for his passport, which I think he will not have till Monday, the King being out of town.
“Duke Joyeuse is gone into Normandy with so large a commission for his office of the Admiralty that the court of parlement repineth greatly at it” and will not yet allow it. I am sending one to wait on him.—Paris, 2 April, 1584.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [France XI. 69.]
[There is only a very short abstract of this in the Report on the Cecil Papers, iii, p. 27, and it is not printed in Murdin.]
April 2. 524. Waad to Burghley.
Finding this gentleman ready to go to England, I have delivered the enclosed to him, (fn. 1) which I could not be permitted to send from Madryll [i.e. Madrid], the Secretary telling me plainly that the King's pleasure was I should forthwith depart, and not letting me send one before me to advertise her Majesty either of my proceedings there or “coming after.” Very cunningly he would have laid the occasion of my departure to my own seeking, but when I pressed him with his words and dealings towards me and showed him my resolve to send one to her Majesty and await his return, the King in his passport having given me “so large a time,” then he told me in plain words that I must not send, but must presently depart.
“Whereupon I told him that being not able in the other offers made me to show the desire I had to conform myself to his Majesty's will and pleasure, I would show that obedience to this his express commandment, as he might perceive, if any indifferent terms had been propounded to me, it should have likewise appeared that in me there should have wanted no good will.”
Thus having proceeded so far as I possibly could, both to discover how the King stands affected to her Majesty and to further the service, I pray you “to construe favourably of my doings, which have had all the help that care, labour and my poor understanding could afford.” I stay here only to receive the King's orders and passport.—Paris, 2 April, 1584.
Add. Endd.pp. [Ibid. XI. 70.]
April 2/12. 525. Paul Yve to his Father-in-law.
I am very glad to hear of your welfare, “and gladder that you live void of suspicion, keeping your conscience unto yourself.” I would long ago have written, but doubted the delivering of my letters, yet being better assured of this bearer, for his long using of this place, than of a stranger, I am the bolder to write.
The likelihood is great that the towns in Flanders and Brabant will shortly be in the King's hands, for those of Ghent sent upon mid-Lent Sunday two commissioners to the Court; those of Bruges others ten days after. Those of Ypres “in the good week” sent three deputies into the fort, and the town was to be delivered on the 10th of April.
The voice goes that those of Brussels, Dermonde and other towns of Brabant have been at the Court, and there “have treated their appointment.” The Prince of Parma very courteously received them, and certain “treves days” were given them, now almost expired. The towns of both provinces join to have one agreement for all and have jointly replied to his Highness' demands.
Those of Sluys and Ostend seem not to be well pleased with those of Bruges for this, but those of Ostend having received five months' wages from Bruges have promised them loyalty. Sluys continues obstinate and will let nothing pass to Bruges.
In this good state standeth the matter, so that there is great hope that the Catholic religion shall shortly have free course throughout Flanders and Brabant. Some doubt this treaty may be “but colourable and to detract the time, thinking the Huguenots wait for a Monsieur or for a Casimerus, but this is but a presumption of a Huguenot. His Highness does not fear the biting of these bugs.” In truth, want of victuals and money will force an agreement, “ and as better may be thought they hear of the Spaniards coming, which will be here about the latter end of May under the conduct of Don Pedro Taxis, the Prince of Parma no doubt remaining governor will get himself great honour, and infinitely profit the King.—Gravelines, 12 April, 1584, stilo novo et Catholico.
Add. “to Mr. James——erer, at Limehouse.”
[The first part of the surname has been torn away in opening the letter, which was probably intercepted.] Endd.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XXI. 62.]
April 5. 526. Stokes to Walsingham.
Yesterday your servant Burnam departed to Ostend, to take passage for England, since which I have got a copy of the contract for the delivery of Ypres to the Prince of Parma which I send enclosed. The conditions are hard, but the town was forced to yield for want of victuals. The soldiers sent in are all Walloons. Little by little the States will lose all Flanders by evil government. This town might have been easily succoured, if the Prince of Orange would have sent but a thousand foot out of Holland.
Letters from Ghent say that all the deputies of Ghent, Bruges and the Free are gone together to Tournay, and that there is great hope that the peace will be made before they depart, for the Prince of Parma is greatly desirous of it.
In Ghent victuals grow scant and dear, which makes them the willinger to the peace; yet every day they fall out amongst themselves, for some will have it and some will not. But for matters of religion they agree all together “that they will not have none of the Pope's religion used there,” which may make new trouble, “for the Gantois hath it of nature to be full of troubles and mutinies.” It is said that M. d'Hembise and Captain Yorke will shortly be set at liberty.—Bruges, 5 April, 1584, stilo Anglie.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XXI. 63.]
April 6. 527. Stafford to Walsingham.
Mr. Waad's return will excuse me from writing a long letter. I am sorry that the malice of the Spaniard will prevent her Majesty from reaping due contentment from his journey, but in my opinion “she hath at his hands all that she is to look for, without it be every day worse and worse, and therefore, if she provide not as bad for him . . . she is much to blame.”
I yesterday received letters out of Italy, from those who had heard from Spain that it was fully resolved he should have no audience. Last Thursday night, Mendoza stole away in post towards Spain, with no creature living with him. If he be not met withal there be some who are much to blame, “for if it had been to take the Emperor, I could not have done more than I have done to help him to a good turn.”
I have communicated to Mr. Waad such things as are here worth the knowing, “which is” the causes which the King of Navarre and they of the Religion have to be secure of the King's well meaning towards them, as his speeches to the Cardinal of Bourbon since Monsieur's extremity of sickness, and open speeches of the like matter in presence of most of the house of Guise, “as well as the mislike the Duke of Guise hath of the King and the King of him.”
All men believe the “opinion” between the Duke and the King to be very bad, but when I deal with them, I deal plainly “that ictus piscator sapit; for if the Admiral had not come to Paris the massacre had not been done, nor if Teligny and Briquemaut (Brikemault) had not abused others with the King's abusing of them with too good usage, others had not trusted, and then neither the one nor the other had been deceived.”
Therefore I hope that dealing dutifully with God and truly with their own country, they will live so warily, “that neither the King of Navarre's coming to the Court shall make their fingers tickle upon a second St.' Bartlmy,' nor Plessis and Clervant revive the memory of Teligny and Briquemaut, and that in the end they will not forget King Charles' answer to some Catholics that misliked of his favours to them of the Religion, that he would give them so many as he burst them with kindness.” One thing makes me fear they may be abused, that when I warn them, they say times and circumstances are not now as they were then, and I am of opinion that unwary dealing will bring evil disposed persons to make all times serve to do mischief.
I received yesterday yours and her Majesty's letters and will procure audience of the King as soon as I can, and when I do “will keep myself full within my bounds.” For her Majesty's mislike about what you wrote to me by her commands,"when a man hath clear conscience his mind is the less troubled, and in truth, if it were to do again, I should do it in the like case, not to him alone, but to the devil himself if he came in the likeness of a man; and therefore I humbly beseech her Majesty to pardon the fault if it be done, and to let the earnest love I bear to her be a mediator for me.”—Paris, 6 April, 1584.
Postscript—Don Antonio has often asked for the letters I sent you from him to be deciphered. I pray you let me give him answer.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [France XI. 71.]
April 6. 528. Duke George John, Palatine of the Rhine &c. to Walsingham
Although we wrote to you on March 12 on the same matter which now leads us to despatch M. Robert de Hen, Seigneur de Malleroy, our well beloved and trusty counsellor, to the Queen your mistress, we have desired the said M. Malleroy to bring you this, and pray you to confer with him upon what he has to say to you as freely as with ourself.
Also, that you will be the means that he may not be kept long in your parts, as we have business for him elsewhere, and moreover, the matters with which we have charged him do not admit of delay.—Pfalzburg, 6 April, old style, 1584. Signed.
Add. Endd. Seal. Fr. ¾ p. [Germany, States, III. 10.]
April 7. 529. Segur-Pardeilhan to Walsingham.
During the good weather we have had all this winter, I have seen the King of Denmark, the Electors of Saxe and Brandenburg, the Administrator of Magdeburg, the Archbishop of Bremen, the Dukes of Brunswick, Luneburg, Mecklenburg and Holstein, the Landgrave of Hesse and the Prince of Anhalt [Hanalt], and from all have received honour and good answer. I would have sent you the “doubles” of these, but I have been so busy that I have not had time to have them transcribed. However, I can assure you that they are very good, and such that the Emperor is very angry, and has sent orders to all parts to have me taken, as you will see by the doubles of two mandates, which I send you.
I am also informed from France that the King and Monsieur are very much vexed, and wish me all evil. I send you the double of a letter that I have written to the King, to soothe them.
shall not give up the pursuit of so good and holy an affair, and by God's help, they shall not prevent my bringing it to a good end. I need time, for it is a matter which touches every Protestant Prince and they cannot finally come to a resolution until they have conferred together, but whatever may be my hindrances I shall not weary, and I have, thank God, good health and means to finish that I have so well begun.
Not being able to go about so freely, and while waiting for the reply of the Emperor, to whom I have made my complaint and have sent a despatch from the King of Navarre of which I enclose you the duplicate, I have written to the King of Denmark and the Electors, and shall here await their reply. Meanwhile I have sent to all the Princes whom I have not been able to see, but whom I am convinced will give me as good answer as the rest.
I send you also a letter which the Elector of Saxony wrote to the King, which he gave to me without my speaking of it. By it you will see how much he is softened. I pray you, send me news of yourself and of what passes in England.—Bremen, 7 April, 1584.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Germany, States, III. 11.]
530.Enclosures in the above:
1. Letter from Ségur to the King of France, expressing his regret that the King has listened to false reports of him, in spite of his devotion to his Majesty's service, and declaring his conviction that the end of his negotiation will show that his aim has only been the glory of God and of their churches and the greatness and repose of France. Does not wish to conceal the fact that he tries all means to gain friends for the King of Navarre, for he loves him more than himself, and the time is coming when he will have need of them. Hears that Bernighen, whom he had sent to the King of Navarre, has been taken and brought before his Majesty, who, if he has seen the letters, will find nothing to offend him, seeing that they are full of exhortations to peace. His Majesty will also see by the letters from the King of Denmark and the Elector of Saxony,which he sends him, what he has treated in this matter, and that this good Elector recognizes the reformed Churches of France, and follows and loves true religion. It is a great sorrow to him that having manifested how much he is both a good Frenchman and a faithful subject, he sees his King persuaded to the contrary by those who have neither such good will nor means to do him service.—[Undated.]
Copy. Fr.pp. [Ibid. 11a.]
2. Letter from Ségur to the Emperor.—[Undated.]
Copy. Latin. 3½ pp. [Ibid. 11a.]
3. Letter and “instructions” (but rather credentials for Ségur) from the King of Navarre to the Emperor.—[Undated.]
Copy, Latin. 6 ½ pp. [Ibid. 11c.]
4. Letter from the Elector of Saxony to the King of Navarre.—Augustusburg, 3 February (iii. non. Feb.), 1584.
Copy. Latin. 2 pp. [Germany, States, III. 11d.]
5. Letter from the King of Denmark to the King of France.—Hadersleben, 15 March (Ides of March), 1584.
Copy. Latin. 2½ pp. [Ibid. 11e.]
6. Letter from the Same to the King of Navarre.—Hadersleben, 15 March, 1584.
Copy. Latin. 1¾ pp. [Ibid. 11f.]
April 10. 531. Stokes to Walsingham.
Letters came yesterday from the deputies of this town and the Free at Tournay, who write that they were very well received by the Prince of Parma and the nobles. The Prince pays all their charges, and gives them very friendly words.
On Monday last, the 6th, the deputies gave in their articles to the Prince, who promised them speedy answer to their contentment, so that they are in great hope they shall make some good agreement.
There have been great troubles at Ghent this week, but now all is in good quiet again. M. de Riova of Dermonde, M. de Temple of Brussels, and those of Antwerp and Mechlin designed to take Ghent by surprise, by means of intelligence with some burgers of the Prince of Orange's faction. Last Sunday, Riova and Temple with about 2,000 men came before Ghent “at nine of the clock in the fore noon at the sermon time,” to enter at one of the gates, but found it shut, for their enterprise was discovered and the town all in arms.
There are taken ten or twelve of Riova's captains and a great many soldiers who had come secretly into the town, besides two ministers and many burgers who were dealers in the matter. It is said that M. de St. Aldegonde was with the rest before Ghent. Also that on the Saturday, the magistrates sitting in council in the town-house, on some matter that fell out amongst them, the two parties drew their swords and dealt some blows, “and under their garments divers of them were hard” [i.e. in armour]; there were none slain, but two or three hurt. The town gates were kept shut for three days, but now are open again, and all in quiet, “and will suffer none of the Pope's religion to be used there.”
They write further that some of Riova's captains taken in Ghent “shall release” Somers [i.e. Jacques de Somere], whom Riova keeps prisoner at Dermonde. If not, what is done to Somers will be done to the captains.
Yesterday the Governor and Admiral of Zeeland came together to Sluys with two ships of war bringing victuals and munitions for the town and castle, so they mean to keep it if they can. The rest of the country is very quiet; the Marquis of Risbourgh lies still at Ecloo and the Prince of Chimay keeps this town in very good order, and looks straitly that none of the Pope's religion be used here.—Bruges, 10 April, 1584, stilo Anglie.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XXI. 64.]
April 13. 532. Stafford to Walsingham.
I have told her Majesty what I have been able to fulfil of her commandments, having spoken to the Queen Mother, but not yet to the King, who is very private at St. Germains.
I have been to Don Antonio to ask in what forwardness the ships are for his enterprise, and unless he is much abused, there is no cause to fear that they are for any other intent. The agents of the Religion here say they fear no enterprise upon Rochelle.
I have sent you a note delivered to me of the privy causes of Seton's coming hither, but cannot yet discover whether the man who gave it to me means to cozen me or no. If I find him as sound and honest as he is of excellent wit and good judgment, I must pray that he may have a reward worthy of his service. If he can do what he says, he will deserve it, for he has promised to get me all that has passed between Seton, the Nuncio, the Duke of Guise, Glasgow and the Spanish agent. He is intimate with one “that is familiar with the Jesuit Aymond, that is so great with the French King, and whom the Duke of Guise esteemeth so greatly of” and is acquainted with all their actions and the matters of Scotland.
Since his first audience, Seton has not spoken with the King. He had another audience granted him, but desired to have it in the King's Cabinet and so was put off, as the King was too busy. It is certain that he has yet propounded no matter of importance.
Don Antonio desires me to tell the Queen that he has declared to the Queen Mother that he means to go to the sea coast and may perhaps go into England, with which she did not seem discontented. Therefore he is determined to retire into England, but leaves the place of his abode to the Queen. I think he would fain be in Guernsey, from his enquiring of everybody whether he would be “sure” there. He said nothing to me of the request he made to the Queen for money.—Paris, 13 April. 1584.
Postscript.—“It is here the secret of the Cabinet that all these devotions of the French King will prove in the end a revelation for to serve for the divorce of his wife, to take another.”
I pray you send me back the bearer [Shute] as soon as possible. He has experience, wit and honesty, and I use him in the privatest matters.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [France XI. 72.]
[There is a short abstract of this in Report on the Cecil Papers, vol. iii, 27, but it is not printed by Murdin.]
April 13. 533. Stafford to Walsingham.
Stating that the Queen Mother having assured him that there were still garrisons in Picardy along the river Somme, to stop victuals from going to the Prince of Parma, he has made enquiries and finds from a friend newly come from thence that everywhere thereabouts there are garrisons and it is believed no victuals can pass.
Prays his honour to put his hand to a bill which he sends to Mr. Peter for money laid out in the last three months.—Paris, 13 April 1584.
Holograph. ¾ p. Probably enclosed in the preceding letter. [France XI. 73.]
April 13. 534. Walsingham to Stafford.
I am so restrained from often writing to you by the chargeableness thereof, that if I did not know how much you use this gentleman's service, I might not despatch him so soon after my last.
The enclosed will tell you of the state of Scotland. A servant of the Lord of Hunsdon's is lately come from thence by whom the King makes us very large offers, showing that he finds his own state to be weak, and yet he threatens and “takes upon him to be able to inflict deserved punishment in due time” upon such of his subjects as have offended him. For my part, when I consider the authority of a Prince and how little we here take these matters to heart, I “greatly fear lest the well affected receive some hard measure, and yet so great and general is the discontentment that his subjects have received, that there might easily fall out such a reformation of the State as would be to great good purpose for both realms.”
My servant Burnham returned yesterday out of the Low Countries, who says that the treaty between Ghent and the Malcontents goes but slowly forward, the rather as those of the Religion at Ypres (which was yielded up eight or ten days since) have all been thrust out of the town. But it is greatly to be feared that the disagreement between the Prince of Orange and the Prince of Chimay, Governor of Flanders, may resolve the Four Members of that country to conclude the peace.
The enemy will now probably make his approaches towards Bruges and build forts about it, “to restrain them from victuals,” as he did at Ypres.—13 April, 1584.
Copy. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XI. 74.]
April 14. 535. Stafford to the Queen.
Having often demanded audience of the King and not obtaining it, “by reason of his privateness, where nobody cometh at him, at St. Germains,” and seeing the time goes away, and we are certainly advertised that the King of Spain's forces are crossing the mounts [i.e. the Alps], I thought best to speak with the Queen Mother and declare to her what by your letters I was commanded, knowing that she will find means to make him partaker of it and draw answer from him.
I had access to her at St. Maur (Mort) and having shown the cause of my coming to her before the King, I declared to her the first part of your letter; as to the bruit of the King of Spain's practising with some great personage of this realm; the need of abating his power; your Majesty's willingness to have helped Don Antonio if the King would have assured you of assistance; his coldness in the matter of aiding his brother, and your fear lest there was secret cause to hinder him from giving offence to the King of Spain.
The Queen replied, first, that there had indeed been discovered divers practices, but such orders had been given that they missed of their purposes, and she assures herself no more will be done in that matter.
Secondly, that the King's good will ever was to have entered into a strait league with your Majesty about those matters, but whether the “letters” [i.e. hinderers] had been of your part or theirs or both, she could not well judge. She hoped if there were any faults they might be remedied, but could answer no further till she had spoken with the King. She would presently make him partaker of the whole, and assured me that he would be ready to do any good thing in that behalf.
The third point, relating to Don Antonio, she either forgot or would not answer it, but let it slip.
To the fourth she answered that the King was bent to help Monsieur for Cambray; that for the succour of the rest of the Low Country, “they themselves were the cause there was no more forwardness, for they were so backward in giving Monsieur security, that the King... would be no forwarder to be at so great charge to give his brother means to help them than they were forward to give him assurance that his labour would not be lost.”
To the last, she said she could assure me without speaking to the King “that there was no secret matter between him and Spain; that the daily hard dealings one to another was proof enough,” and that she was sure I should have in this and all things “the like and more ample reason at the King's hands in very few days.”
I replied to the first “that things deferred were not forgotten, which I would no better proof of than the King of Spain's nature, who, when he bad once taken a thing in hand, though crosses break it for that time, he never forgetteth it, but attempteth it new again at all occasions that shall be offered,” therefore there was no cause to live in security because his last enterprise was broken, but a new attempt was more to be feared than the old one.
She answered that they did not nor would not live in security of the King of Spain's actions, and that they knew him well enough.
I then replied to the second “that the more time was delayed, the hardlier things would be prevented; that if there were any fault of ministers of both sides, it were good Princes were so wise as to judge by the evil effects that had proceeded of their counsels, the evil disposition of their counsellors”; that, asking her pardon, I thought the fault was more likely to come from hence than from us, because it is a general opinion that the King of Spain has many more affected to him here than with us, and that whether the fault came from too much security of the Prince or the evil disposition of the ministers, it should be amended in time, before it became “remediless.”
To the fourth I replied that the King's helping Monsieur in the matter of Cambray was to small purpose, as the King of Spain's greatness would be little abated thereby, and if his other enterprises succeeded, he could easily have that when he listed. And as for the help of Monsieur, if the King saw the cost and hazard too great or that the States do not deserve it, I thought there was another expedient which might with greater facility and little cost bring great honour and security to this state and great abasement to the King of Spain, “with a new course of proposing liberty and the maintaining of the Low Countries in their privileges,” to which many noblemen and towns there would willingly hearken if assured of being backed by two such Princes as the King and your Majesty, being drawn thereto by hope of sweet liberty or fear of the cruelty of the Spaniard, and so would be the means to do the most part of it themselves. And though I confessed their hard dealings with Monsieur had not deserved it, yet it was well to seek to aid them, not for their good, but for the benefit of the State and hurt of the Spaniard; and would bind them for ever, if not from thankfulness yet from necessity to the authors of their liberty, for protection against the King of Spain, who they know will “never leave to seek to bring them under bondage.”
To the last I said I was glad I could assure your Majesty that there was nothing between Spain and the King to impeach any enterprise against him, and prayed her to get the King's answer as soon as she might. But, “because the King of Spain's forces advance, and yet nothing was done to the preventing of his enterprises, I thought if there were some order in the mean time taken for the cutting off the victuals from going to them out of France, it would marvellously trouble the Spaniard and greatly encourage the other party. “To that she answered that order is already taken for it, as indeed it is, but how well it will be kept, God knoweth.” Whether the garrisons on the Somme remain I know not, but will send to learn. [So far the letter must have been written on or before the 13th]
So I took my leave, she assuring me that she would presently advertise the King of my speeches, and was sure I should like his answer, and I praying her to have something done which might be good both for your Majesty's State and this, while there was yet time.
Seeing that she referred me till she spoke with the King, I did not declare the point of your Majesty's letter commanding me, if I find any disposition in them to do some good, to assure them that you will give honourable caution for not agreeing with the King of Spain, but keep it in store until I have occasion to think that they mean to do any good, “for they be here of that nature that if they find others to seek too much upon them, they be farthest off themselves.”
I have sent your letter to Monsieur, and written to Marchaumont. I hope to hear from them to-night or to-morrow and that Marchaumont will come hither himself. “I hope Monsieur cannot take in any evil part my manner of propounding the liberty offering to the States. Monsieur's state of health beginneth to be very good, and there is here no more doubt had of him.”
Two days since the King sent Gondi to me to desire me earnestly to request your Majesty to permit one whom Duke Joyeuse is sending into England to go to the Queen of Scots, to speak with her only in the presence of whom you may please to appoint. The cause is that he has bought a manor, “the which doth relieve of the Queen of Scots' dowry in Champagne, whereby there appertain to her certain droits seigneuriaux (as they call them), as much as her due is worth 25,000 crowns at the least.” He has sent letters also to the King and Queen here, begging them to compound with her as reasonably as they can. I have not seen the King earnester about anything, to pleasure Joyeuse (as it seemeth), and the Queen Regnant has earnestly desired me to “friend” the man to your Majesty all the ways I could. Madame Joyeuse, the Queen's sister, sent also to me and to my wife.
M. Joyeuse is Admiral, and I shall continually have need of his friendship in the merchants' matters. Hitherto I have had no cause to complain of his good dealings. If, at the King and Queen's request, you may permit the man to go, it is a thing will content them as much as a greater matter, and you “may use his going so as he can do no harm, though there were an intent, which I find no cause to suspect.”—Paris, 14 April, 1584.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 5 pp. [France XI. 75.]
April 14. 536. Stafford to Burghley.
I am in perplexity between my own nature, that does not like to part with a man who hath served me any time, and an accident “come either by folly or worse, by a motion that my servant Michael Moody made to me, to take one to my service that deserveth not to live in a commonwealth.”
I am sending him to your lordship and have quite discharged him of my service until he has discovered to you the man that he would have put to me. If you find that he is any way touched by the other's “filthy naughtiness” I would not take him again for all the gold that any man has in London. But upon my wife's and some of my friends' request, if you find him not guilty in anything but the fault he has done to me, I will do so, though I shall never again have the liking to him I have had. And yet I am sorry to part with one who has been some good time with me “and that I never found till now but that he loved me.” The [other] man is a cunning coiner, “and pity that he should remain in any place, for he will sure over-reach somebody afore he have done.”
I wrote to Mr. Secretary to complain of them of Rye that have opened my private letters, and see by his answer “that there is half a consent of his in it, though he showeth to find great fault with them.” He tells me to put all my private letters in a packet, sign the packet and send it to him; and he will have them delivered. Also that he will put a cover signed by himself on all letters my servants take to him. “Truly, my lord, it were too much pains for him and therefore I will not trouble him so much, for I am sure there is no letter I shall write to your lordship or any else but shall be opened.” I will sign my letters on the back side, and if they of Rye open them, I shall think none in my place were ever so hardly dealt with, and “give over writing to anybody rather than I will receive such a disgrace. I write plainly to your lordship, but I am contented Mr. Secretary shall think I am [a] child and cannot find the bondage he would bring me in; and therefore I pray your lordship say nothing to him of it.”
This bearer is an honest, wise and godly fellow; I pray you favour him if need be.—Paris, 14 April, 1584.
Postscript.—I thank you for the Latin books you sent me. “I would both they and the French had had no more in them than the first English. They had been read of a great many willinger than they are, and besides, I had had them printed here with privilege.”
Holograph. Add. Endd. by Burghley as sent “by one Shute.” 2 pp. [France XI. 76.]
April 15/25. 537. Passport for one Stinson, archer of the French King's Scottish guard, to go to England to buy horses.—St. Maur des Fosses, 25 April, 1584. De par le roi. Signed Pinart.
fr. 1 p. [Ibid. XI. 77.]
April 15. 538. Capt. Roger Williams to Walsingham.
M. de Villiers gave these letters to send to your honour. I do understand the Prince of Chimay has sent one to England. If my Lord of Leicester has a letter of mine which I writ to him almost a year ago, it was a large letter, were it to be done now of all that passed in Flanders since, I could not do it better.
If her Majesty will do anything with Bruges, she must deal with 'Markaie' [qy. Marquette, the Governor of Ypres] and such Spaniolists which were 'foistit' by that party, who has led the foolish Prince too far to retire, or at least not able to call back his folly and to make good his party against the Spaniolists. Embize had reason to refuse my service with Mr. Norrys' troops, because he was 'deboished' with the enemy afore he parted from Germany.
“Of late I learned many things more than ever I did. Either I will come shortly to England or write at large to your honour. If the wars falls not hot presently here, I will remember all that I saw and learned since the beginning of my time, and will cause one to write it. First your honour shall have it; if you think good it shall pass further; if not, I trust your honour will pardon me for that folly, as you have done for many others.
“The Elector comes hither this night. The Prince counsels that the fort at Zutphen (Sutfene) shall be mined. The miners and all provision are parted this morning.”—Delft, 15 April, “stilo vecho.”
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XXI. 65.]


  • 1. Probably his letter of March 11 aad its enclosure. See p. 391 above.