Elizabeth: May 1584, 11-20

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: May 1584, 11-20', in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 18, July 1583-July 1584, (London, 1914) pp. 491-506. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/vol18/pp491-506 [accessed 30 May 2024].

. "Elizabeth: May 1584, 11-20", in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 18, July 1583-July 1584, (London, 1914) 491-506. British History Online, accessed May 30, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/vol18/pp491-506.

. "Elizabeth: May 1584, 11-20", Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 18, July 1583-July 1584, (London, 1914). 491-506. British History Online. Web. 30 May 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/vol18/pp491-506.

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May 1584, 11–20

May 11. 586. Stafford to the Queen.
Don Antonio sent for me “the last day,” and declared to me “his extreme desperate case, being quite unrelieved here by the King.” I enclose a letter which he gave me for your Majesty. He demands your counsel what he should do and I see he fears to starve and even for his life. I never saw poor gentleman whose case I more pity. I have written at large to Mr. Secretary, and therefore will leave troubling your Majesty.—Paris, 11 May, 1584.
Holograph. Add. Endd. ½ p. [France XI. 95.]
May 11. 587. Stafford to Burghley.
I cannot deny M. Paumier's request for a packet at his going over into England with Mademoiselle Britoniere, a gentlewoman who was brought up with your lady, he being a very painful, honest and learned man. I have written a few words privately to Mr. Secretary desiring that if her Majesty would mislike of it, he will, without sending him to Sir Thomas Heneage, give him what he thinks good, and I will presently repay it. I would rather do it than either have her Majesty discontented, or let him think that I had so small credit that 1 durst not bestow a packet on him.
Monsieur is “here these two days taken to be dead,” but having no news of it from Chateau Thierry, I dare not believe it. If it last all to-day, I will to-morrow send to visit him, and so know the truth. I can assure you “the King, by the physicians, is certainly persuaded he cannot pass the fall of the leaf, and that account he maketh and no other. But this of Monsieur I pray you to keep to yourself, which I have written to nobody but to you, for truly I cannot tell how either to speak or write, my meaning is so subject to be mistaken.”—Paris, 11 May, 1584.
Holograph. Covering leaf gone. 1 p. [France XI. 96.]
May 11. 588. Stafford to Walsingham.
Don Antonio sent for me, “to open his case, which truly is very hard and his necessity very great.” He asks me to send the letter enclosed, and to ask her Majesty's advice, which I remit to your report to her.
He says he finds the Queen Mother willing, if she were either able herself or had credit with those that are so, but from the King he has the same answer that I had. “and the poor gentleman is quite desperate, for the allowance that the King gave him is very scantily paid, so that for very meat and drink he is in very hard case. I am afraid that necessity will constrain him to accept almost any composition, which the ambassador here layeth daily 'platts' to make him to take taste of. He saith he will rather die for hunger than do it, but that is too hard a point for me to believe. I know that the monks and friars that be about him, by whom he is much or altogether governed, are daily tempted of the Jesuits and them of their coat that are here, who be wholly the King of Spain's agents. What commodity his composition would bring to further and assure the King of Spain's greatness, I leave to them that are wise.” I have as good an opinion of the poor gentleman's constancy as may be, but what necessity may make him do, or how his necessity may be relieved to keep him out of danger of doing it, I know not.
He seems to believe that her Majesty will not leave him quite forsaken, and to have more confidence of his safety by her than anywhere else. In fine he desires counsel of her what to do, but asking this at such a time seems to be “a dumb show, in declaring his great necessity to crave relief for it.” I could greatly wish her Majesty might be moved to give it, both from my pity for the poor gentleman, and for the consequence which may follow from his unrelieved necessity, which might do more harm than any one thing that may happen. I have written in short words to her Majesty, but leave it to you to declare the matter to her, to avoid her further trouble.
For the “pretence” of the shipping, he assures me there is no likelihood of anything other than for him, both from the covetousness of Richelieu, who would not set it out “but for a hope of an infinite gain, for nobody's pleasure . . . as also that there is nobody of conduct to do any enterprise,” nor any man of quality going, but only such as are to be led by them that he sends.
I do not doubt the Duke of Guise's good will and promises to help the King of Scots, but see no reason to fear his performing anything, for his means are small and his credit smaller, unless outward shows are deceptive. Their manner of proceeding with the King certainly makes men believe it, for those of that house come but very seldom to the Court and when they come there is no good countenance given them.
One point, either of great dissimulation or a very evil mind towards that house the King has shown to the Duke d'Aumale, who being upon his departure into Italy for a vow to “Notre Dame de Laurette"came two or three days to take his leave of the King, who the last time “sent him out word that he was very busy, and that he should not 'let' to go on his journey.”
But besides these shows, those who know the King best say that Epernon hates all that house and therefore the King hates them. That Epernon bears them no good will was shown on Wednesday at his departure, for having spent almost two days in visiting every nobleman and gentleman of quality at their own houses, he never visited any of the house of Guise, whereat they storm greatly.
This man is gone with such a company as never prince has had for many years, and besides the 40,000 crowns which the King gave him before his departure, he has given him letters of credit to Bordeaux and presents to most of them who are gone with him. And “whereas princes are wont to be brought on their way by their servants . . . the case here is altered, for the King is gone fourteen leagues on his way with him,” and may go further, he is so loth to part with him.
As far as I can gather, the two chief causes of his going are first, to have conference with Montmorency, and bring him by many promises to depend only on the King's favour, and, for his own particular to make a league of amity with him; and secondly (as I writ before) to sound Navarre's and Conde's mind towards the King, and also towards himself; but this second matter he is not to dilate on until they see what will become of Monsieur; “if anything become otherwise than well of him, then to pursue that point hotly, if he do well then to go coldlier to work.”
Besides all this, he has a general commission to deal in those parts, and Bellievre to join with him and be directed by the instructions he carries, so all things there are referred to Epernon. Plessis is going away post, to be there before him.
The King of Navarre, having letters from the King to go into Languedoc to appease matters there, sent hither for a commission, which they would not give him, so he goes not, and all those charges are laid upon Epernon, The King of Navarre's agents here are the cause of this, as I told them at large, but was not believed.
I am sorry Epernon is gone, not for himself but because from some of his followers I had sometimes very particular intelligences which I shall miss till he comes home again.
I have had conference with Plessis and the rest of that side here as to the causes of Epernon's going, but they all think there is nothing more than I have said, “the King being of that humour that he careth not for any thing but to conserve his own reign, and during his reign them that he doth affect, and to give them as much means to continue after as he can; and they assure themselves . . . that he is without value to seek to do himself good and without courage to seek to do others harm.”
His mother can do so little with him that coming to the town the last day to see him—her house being no further from Epernon's (where he was) than White Hall from Charing Cross—he wrote to desire her to excuse him, “and neither came to her nor would suffer her to come to him, so that she went back again weeping and marvellously discontented.”
The old Bishop of Cologne sent to the King of Navarre and divers others, as M. Laval, to have some relief, and Duke Casimir sent letters also, assuring them that the Protestant princes in Germany “portion for portion will do the like,” according to every man's ability.
The King of Navarre has sent hither 10,000 crowns, which are given into Balbany's, a banker's hands, to be carried into Germany, and there to be delivered when others bring in their promised portions, and he has promised, “as poor and needy as he is,” to send as much more if they will do the like.
The forces of the King of Spain are now in the Franche Comte, ready to go into Lorraine, Luxembourg and so into the Low Country. Advertisements from Italy say they have a secret practice for England or Scotland, but here we think it is to besiege Cambray, both from the preparation of artillery and munition in Artois and Hainault, and because Cambray is badly furnished with victuals.
I hear from Chasteau Thierry that des Pruneaux has written to Monsieur that deputies are on their way to him with articles for his contentment.—Paris, 11 May, 1584.
Add. Endd. 3 pp. [France XI. 97.]
589. Duplicate of the above (in Stafford's own hand) sent to Burghley.
Add. Endd. by Burghley, “Sir Edward Stafford. By Madame Bryttonery and M. Pomerius.” 5½ pp. [Ibid. XI. 98.]
May 11. 590. Stafford to Walsingham.
Requesting him to pay M. Paulmier what he thinks well without sending him to Sir Thomas Heneage and he will repay it. Gives the same reasons as to Burghley. (See p. 491 above.)
Yesterday there came to me one Grene, a northern man, who says he was employed here by you and is to go presently into the Low Countries for the discovery of practices between Westmorland and divers gentlemen of the Bishopric &c.
He told me you had ordered him to write or send to me if he heard anything that might serve my turn, but in the end, said he had lost his purse with 23/. sterling in it and desired to borrow twenty angels of me, which you would pay again. I refused it, for he could show me nothing from you, and “there are so many cozening merchants here, as [if] a man take not heed, he shall be cozened every hour.” I am of that humour that I would rather give 100/. than be cozened of 12d.
But if such a man is employed by you, I beseech you to send me word, and if he repass this way, he shall not want, nor any that come from your honour. If you will hereafter write me a word or two in cipher that I may know this, they shall have all I have or can borrow.
I send herewith a packet from Dr. Lobetius for Zolcher (Sulker), which I pray let some of your folks deliver to him.—Paris, II May, 1584.
Add. Endd.pp. [France XI. 99.]
May 11/21. 591. The Prince of Parma to the Scots Soldiers at Bruges.
In consideration of the good offices of the Scots colonel, officers and soldiers at Bruges in assisting to bring the said town into the obedience of his Majesty, his Highness consents that they shall be paid what is due to them from the said town.—Tournay, 21 May, 1584.
Certified copy by de Groote, greffier of Bruges, who states that the original is signed “Alexander,” and countersigned “le Vasseur.”
No address or endorsement. Fr. ½ p. [Holl. and Fl. XXI. 85.]
May 11. 592. A Discourse by W. [sic] Herbert, touching the country and neighbourhood of Embden, and how far the King of Spain may “extend himself there,” if permitted.
The country, at first divided into sundry “rules,” created an earldom by Emperor Frederick III in 1465, under Earl Ulrich, from whom Earls Edzard (Isarde) and John are descended. The lands now divided between these two, but the sovereignty of the two chief cities, Embden and Aurick, in Edzard, so that he has the bridle and key of State. But John's authority very great, the nobility well affected to him, who have many strong castles; viz.—Tido van Knipen, who by wealth and power leads the rest, specially inclined to his part. The towns “well given in religion” and their liberty dear to them all, with no less hatred to the Spaniards than fear of their ambition, which with “apt incensing” (privately by her Majesty's countenance) would work effectually to expulse them, the river being already possessed by the Holland navy and soldiers.
The neighbourhood, as West Friesland, Holland, Westfalia, County of Oldenbourg, City and Bishop of Bremen, Duchy of Saxe-Lauenburg, part of whose lands lie between the Elbe and Weser (Albis and Visurgis), County of Ditmarshe (appertaining to the King of Denmark and Duke of Holstein), these, being well admonished of the progress of the King of Spain, “may in no wise endure his course, nor the dread of his usurped greatness, [Margin. Count John may draw in the provinces round him, knowing well their humours] for besides that his father [Charles V] by sinister means got unto him the dominion of Utrecht and Groningen from the Bishop thereof, and the counties of Bentham and Lingen in Westfalia from their natural 'proprietaries' he claimeth further” to be vicar or vicegerent of the Empire hereditarily for ever, over both Frieses and all between them, from the mouth of the Ysel at Campen to the banks of Ditmarsh, whereby the Weser and Elbe are both included in the claim, by grant made for money to Maximilian from his father the Emperor Frederick III. This suffered, the King of Spain would be absolute master of all the rivers of Germany and of the shipping and traffic of the whole Empire.
The King of Spain claims also to be vice-gerent over Burgundy and Brabant, by which name the seventeen provinces were annexed to the Empire by Charles V in 1548 at Augsburg. Being once possessed by this title of East Friese, “what wants there to make himself immediate master of the remnant before noted, or to be perfect monarch of Germany, especially when he hath introduced herewith his kinsman of Bavaria (besides his other bishoprics) to be Bishop of Munster and Magdeburg, the very sovereignty of the Empire, and in the latter is contained the whole power of Saxony, conferred to his disposing and rule.”
The King challenges the sovereignty of Embden in fee, also the lordships or earldoms of Jeverne, Essens and Vittemont alias Robles &c., “and thereunto serveth the 'Portugal Billy' [Gaspard de Robles, Sr de Billy] his persuasions to the Count Edzard, that his master's right and not his courtesy must bring him to the possession of his own,” which he will abundantly recompense and will exclude his brother from all inheritance to bestow it on him. Bewitched with these promises Edzard is become absolute Spanish and for a gage has sent his son (as reported) to be brought up at the King's appointment.
Therefore it is very necessary to assist Count John against the common peril, and reduce Edzard to a sound course, which “will not be brought about by reasonable but round means,” he and his Council being all affected with the Spanish humour.
A pension of 2,000 dollars might win the Castelan of Embden to become a good Johannist, which, with the devotion of the town (whereof there is assurance) would resolve all the Spanish projects into smoke.
The Spaniards entered East Friesland by Ridderland, a part of Count John's appanage, lying between the rivers of Ems and Sipen, which gives him just cause to expostulate against his brother and to incite the inhabitants and neighbours to the defence of their liberties and religion, of which no aid is so prompt as that of Holland, or so near as Oldenburg, West Friesland and Westfalia. Bremen and Hamburg will “strain courtesy to enter openly in action,” in respect of their traffic into Spain. The Bishop of Bremen and the Duke of Lauenburg “will be inclinable, but not furnished.” Denmark is ablest to do good, but further off, and the Duke of Holst, Adolf, is unwilling to deal against the King of Spain.
But if that King establish his port at Embden, “he will disease them all, and consequently draw the mariners of Holland and Zeeland to him . . . and with them will attempt the winning of their shipping and country together,” and thus sow division and diffidence, his chief instruments when he has corrupted the mind of one strong party.
If our victuals were barred from Gravelines, Dunkirk and Nieuport, the Prince of Parma would soon feel it, “but unlawful gain pulleth down commonly the better side and setteth up the worse.” At the worst, the Hollanders, keeping the river of Ems, will hinder the Spanish enterprises, and by pulling up the buoys, the Spanish fleet, endeavouring to come in, “will have wreck instead of harbour.” But her Majesty would wonderfully relieve the country if she would send one presently and let her friends hear secretly from her. The people is valiant and resolute; a little “sprink” of comfort from her would confirm them, and their resolution and courage would conserve their State, and draw more aid to them.—11 May, 1584.
Copy. Endd.pp. [Hanse Towns I. 74.]
May 12 593. Stafford to Walsingham.
Now that Epernon is gone with so large a commission, the King of Navarre's people are sorry they did not take Stafford's advice. When Navarre asked for a commission, or he would not go to Languedoc, he advised them to tell him commissions were not for a man of such quality and he needed none, being by public authority warranted to have conference with Montmorency. The fault laid on Du Pin. “A very private man ” at Court says this journey will break Epernon's neck, and is a policy of the Queen-Mother that his inefficiency and vain glory may ruin him with the King.—Paris, 12 May, 1584.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [France XI. 100.]
Calendared at length in Report on the Cecil Papers, iii., 29, from copy sent to Burghley. Printed in Murdin, p. 398.
May 12. 594. Stokes to Walsingham.
The Gantois continue very stoutly in their enterprise, for they have resolved to hearken to no peace unless they may have religions-friede, and daily apprehend all the peace-makers they can find. They put the principal of them in prison, and thrust the rest out of the town.
M. de Temple and M. de Riova have sent them 200 horse and 400 foot from Brussels and Dermonde, and they mean to keep the town to the last man in hope that God will send them some friends, giving out that they shall have help out of England and France. They have wheat, wine and flesh for six months or longer, but of other victuals they have very little store, and their present burgomasters and echevins “are all men of simple callings and of poor occupations, only they are good Protestants . . . and for that cause they were chosen.”
The Prince of Parma takes their dealings in very evil part, yet he wrote them yesterday a very friendly letter by his own trumpeter, giving them eight days to answer whether they will take the peace as Bruges and the Free have done, yea or no. And if they refuse (as no doubt they will) then the Prince of Parma and the nobility of the Malcontents will have their desires; for they have always wished the Gantois would refuse the peace that they might be revenged upon them and have the sacking of the town.
It is feared these new troubles will put M. d'Hembisen and Captain Yorke in great danger of their lives, for the speech goes they were the first beginners of the peace at Ghent, and M. de Riova is a great enemy to them both.
Letters came last night from the deputies of Bruges and the Free that the Prince of Parma has signed the peace with them, and on Friday next, the 15th English style, it shall be proclaimed in all places of the Malcontents' government and in this town. In the meantime they are putting it in print. God grant it may be a good peace and well kept, for I see that the peace-makers here “begins to fear to the contrary, for they fear the tyranny of the Spaniard will be very great.”
It is said that the Marquis of Risbourgh is going to move the camp from Ecloo, part of it nearer to Ghent and the rest to lie before Ostend.
The Prince of Parma is preparing to make a strong castle at Ypres, after which they will break down the walls and lay the town open. This town fears the like and that two castles shall be made here, notwithstanding that in the peace there is an article to the contrary, so that every day there grows misliking of the government that is coming, and those of the Religion daily leave the town.
Three days ago the Prince of Chimay's gentleman arrived here out of England and gave me your letter of the 25 April, for which I humbly thank you, and it seems that the Prince is well contented, for he gives out speeches of good news from thence. Also the gentleman reports the great courtesy he received there, so it seems all is done to the Prince's good liking.
When the proclamation of peace is over, I would be glad to come into England for a month, but if it be your pleasure I should tarry here, I will most willingly obey you, “though I fear I shall not live in quiet here of the English men that serves the Prince of Parma, and yet I have not offended none of them.”—Bruges, 12 May, 1584, stilo Anglie.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XXI. 86.]
May 13/23. 595. Mauvissière to Walsingham.
When last with her Majesty, I forgot to say that my master prays her, if this Scots gentleman of his guard can find four hackneys here, to give him a passport for them. I beg you to speak of it to her and to kiss her hands on my behalf.
I have ample news from the King of the audience he lately gave to M. Stafford, the conclusion of which was that he neither has or ever will have closer league and amity with any prince in the world than with her Majesty. He says moreover that it is his great desire to see the affairs of Scotland come to a good agreement, such as would be for the honour and safety of the young prince his nephew, without matters proceeding to a further extremity, but that he may receive the good counsel which their Majesties are jointly to impart to him according to the commission sent me in that regard, to which as it seems to him he can add nothing; which is in part also the answer he has given to Lord Seton.
The truth is that the King of Scotland having prayed his good uncle to send to visit and advise the Scottish Queen in her long captivity, and to commend her to the Queen of England and pray her Majesty to put an end to her captivity, the King sent me word that while praising the good duty of the son towards his mother, he can add nothing except to repeat the order in my instructions to visit her, take her the letters written by the Queen Mother and himself, and persuade her to give good counsel to her son; the whole to the greatest contentment of his good sister your mistress that may be possible. And I have never thought of doing otherwise, but to see them in good harmony, to forget, after the example of Jesus Christ and the Christian faith, all past faults, and to see France, England and Scotland, their Majesties and their subjects, in one perfect and indissoluble friendship, praying God to grant the Queen your mistress happy and long life, which I desire for my own children who are English, and whose mother hopes to have shortly another, that the number of her Majesty's subjects may be increased by a father and mother who are her very humble servants.—London, 23 May, 1584.
Postscript.—I have received letters from his Highness and several of his friends who are with him, and all tell me that one of his greatest regrets if he were to die would be not to have done some good service to the Queen of England, his mistress, and given good help to those of the Low Countries, which makes me believe that he is not become so good a Spaniard as some have thought. For my part, I see no great appearance of it. God having visited him with all sorts of afflictions may perhaps do him the grace to send him some better fortune than in the past.
Add. Endd. Fr.pp. [France XI. 101.]
May 15. 596. Stafford to Walsingham.
This bearer desiring to go into England for his health and other respects, I could not but give him this and pray you to be as good to him as you can. I think you may do it without her Majesty knowing of it, and desire that he may return here without its being known that he has been in England. I have told you before how necessary he is to me, and he believes that on his return he will be able “among them here” to do a good piece of service, in which case the charges bestowed upon him are well employed.
Mr. Woodford and John Tupper have arrived with packets. I hope to have audience on Sunday, “though the King be at the Jeronomists, where nobody dare come at him,” and will deliver to him “the effeot of the kind packet for the order [of the Garter].”—Paris, 15 May, 1584.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [France XI. 102.]
May 15. 597. Stokes to Walsingham.
Yesterday afternoon the deputies of this town and the Free arrived here from Tournay, and to-day at noon the peace with the Prince of Parma was solemnly proclaimed, “with great gladness of the Catholics and of the poorest sort,” with shooting off of artillery and fires of joy in every street; so that the Gospel is clean put to silence, the ministers being commanded to preach no more, and the Catholics are trimming up their churches again as fast as they can.
The Gantois still have eight days in which to take or leave the peace, and “considering how variable they are in all their dealings . . . it is thought they will turn their opinions 'or' it be long, for the only want of victuals will drive them to it, and besides, the Prince of Parma is preparing to make more bulwarks before the town,” that none may pass in or out.
The eight ensigns of Scots here are entertained in the King of Spain's service, but only a few will tarry and serve.
The deputies say that within three weeks the Prince of Parma will come hither, and meanwhile he is preparing to send some part of his camp at Ecloo before Ostend, which place it is thought will not hold out long.
The articles of the peace are in effect what I sent in my letter of April 18, but I will send a copy in my next.
The Duke of Aerschot and the Prince of Chimay depart towards Henego in three or four days. The Duchess has fallen sick at Tournay.
There are great speeches at Tournay that the Prince of Parma will marry the King of Spain's daughter; and “even so” that the King of Scots will do so. Also that 8,000 Spaniards and Italians are coming out of Italy and will be in Luxembourg before the end of this month; “whose coming doth greatly mislike a great many of the Malcontents' side.”—Bruges, 15 May, 1584, stilo Anglie.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XXI. 87.]
May 15/25. 598. Angel Angeliny to ——.
Fu [Margin, “A man's name or your Majesty"] will have received my letters written on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 10th and 12th of this month, sent to Signer Capella, and by them will have learnt what has happened here. They say that Davison, who was sent to Scotland, did not arrive in time, as the rebels were already defeated; therefore he remains at Berwick with the money. Since then, there came hither the Earls of Angus and Gowry, very secretly, and as secretly negotiated with the Earl of Leicester and Walsingham. They have now returned home.
A week ago, the Earl of Leicester set forth escorted by a great company of horsemen, (fn. 1) so that some judged that he was going to the Queen of Scots, and that by this means, M. de Mauvissière's journey to Scotland would be put an end to.
Last Thursday Throgmorton was sentenced to be hanged. The most important thing they charged him with was a letter which they say Sir Francis Englefield sent to Fu, in which he said that he had spoken with the King [of Spain], who had promised him aid, and that musters should be made. All men say that this is a contrivance of Fu, who only endeavoured by this means to stir up the Catholics against the Queen. Many other things, which more at large I will tell you in my next, are promised me by a friend who has not [lo que non tiene, but qy. whether it should not be lo que contiene] two letters of Fu, which are in the hands of Sir Philip Sydney, and are said to contain many things.
Although in some of my letters I was told that the brother of Ralegh and the [step] son of Walsingham were to go with five ships to the Indies, in others they changed, and said they might very well be going to “Dricadas”; they carry very good mariners. Also Achinse [Hawkins] is ready to sail with the first ships.
I was making ready to depart and come to you with all speed, but changed my plans because I learned that you were going to France, lest you should have started before I arrived.
I beg that you will be pleased to do some good offices for me to his Majesty, seeing that I am in the greatest poverty imaginable. I pray Fu for the love of God to have pity on my indigence.—Antwerp, 25 May, 1584.
Decipher, in Phelippes' handwriting, on the same sheet as that of April 24–May 4 on p. 465 above. Spanish. 1¼ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XXI. 71a.]
May 15. 599. Harborne to Walsingham.
[The first two pages and a half are a copy of his letter of March 29.]
The above said, right honourable, of the 28 March and the copy, the 15 April we sent your honour by the way of Venice under friends their conveyance, notwithstanding, doubting of a delivery, knowing the Signoria their good will to make vain our travail, being promised of the German Secretary safe conveyance hereof, we thought it our duty to use this other copy as an original to that since happened, whereby the whole proceedings of the brutish Tartars might more apparently be described and truly imparted to your honour.
As four days past is come from the Admiral Coluchely a galliot with advice of the end of that exploit through treason, for notwithstanding that their prince, as it should seem “difiding” their future allegiance, had before his coming to Capha against Osmond, to sound their inward affection, openly asked their advice and resolved with a common consent of the whole army, being fifty thousand, offering to live and die with him and in his defence, attempted to besiege the same and no less—being after advertised secretly from hence of the coming over of his brother, assisted by these, again required of those liberally to declare whether they would accept of him as their liege prince and accordingly give him due obedience and faithful aid against his brother, and adherents, otherwise willingly he would exile himself with his, resigning the place to his said brother for their general safety, and the more to insinuate himself in their favour by merit, laid open to them his integrity of life in good government, and the singular care he always had generally for their welfare—was the second time by all outward means both assured of their faithful endeavour and encouraged with appearance of their valiant demeanour in sundry assaults after given to the city, from which they had cut off all the water coming into the same, destitute thereof within the walls, by which, as also famine, it is certified thence, notwithstanding Osmond his courageous and politic defence, worthy of all commendation, the same had been yielded up unto him, if the admiral had stayed only three days longer, yet notwithstanding such and so great was the treacherous villany and most detestable dealing of this faithless, wicked generation, as upon the arrival of the gallies, sundry of the chiefest fled secretly to Islam, and returning rewarded with apparel and money corrupted the others, who leaving their ancient prince destitute, received his contrary, whereupon he enforced with his three sons to fly, having tired two horses, being a fat and corpulent man, with two of these was taken and beheaded by the second brother, accompanying Islam, and the said Islam with great joy installed in his place.
Oh, cursed beastly monsters among human kind, whose odious treason hath bereaved their sovereign of his life and themselves of fidelity! O poor prince, abused with dissimulation of foxes, changing their hair but not condition! What else in extremity may Islam expect of these traitors, thieves and robbers, seeing after Curtius in his 5 th book, nullus meritis perfida mittigari potest, and with godly Ambrose, nullus perfidis tantus est locus; woe worth for ever Judas generation, from all which O Lord of mercy and safe protector of these that trust in thee preserve thy servant our gracious sovereign mistress and most noble Queen. O Lord root these out of England, overthrow their devices, confound them in thy [sic] malice and preserve thy anointed.
Where heretofore it was bruited that the army of the King of Spain went either for Barbary or Flanders, now it is here given out the same as against England, which so being, God grant these like success which others had in Ireland, whereof we doubt not, knowing the Lord God of hosts will fight for his people and mightily defend his anointed, making her victorious, as another Judith against this proud Spanish Holifernes, ana after many years to reign a joyful aged mother over her English Israel. And for that out of Poland or any other parts we have not any news, with end [sic] I continue my humble accustomed suits to your honour that the same would vouchsafe to bestow on me (with her Majesty's friendly answer to the Grand Signor his letters) some few lines for my better direction here in such future occurrences as time may present both with the vizier and other counsellors, as also those Christians in equal degree with us, whereby my simplicity (armed with safe defence of that good direction followed) may be free from error, and no less that your honour would accept in your safe protection my aged parents, with their [sic] favouring their proceedings with your accustomed piety, worthy of that your heroical “naifve” bounty, who with myself shall never cease both to acknowledge the same in all dutiful service and also pray the Almighty to bless your honour and yours with full perfection of his divine graces, tending to eternal felicity.—Pera, this 15 May, 1584.
Add. Endd. “16 June” (probably date of receipt). 4 pp. Cipher, undeciphered. [Turkey I. 20.]
May 17. 600. Stokes to Walsingham.
I send enclosed a copy of the articles of the peace in French. It is thought the Gantois will agree to them, for two of their deputies remain at Tournay till the eight days are expired, and their want of victuals may force them to yield, so as the Prince of Parma has them at a great advantage.
Ostend hangs still in the balance, for they cannot get the promised money from Holland and Zeeland, and the soldiers will have their money or will seek a new master.
The commons here greatly dislike the departing of the Prince of Chiinay, whom they would have tarry here as governor.
“Those of the Religion depart away, rich and poor, every day by great numbers, and the greatest number of them goes into England. . . . God keep England out of troubles, for here is great speeches amongst the Catholics that they will be doing there ' or 'it be long.”—Bruges, 17 May, 1584, stilo Anglie.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XXI 88.]
May 17/27. 601. Bizarri to Walsingham.
I have nothing to write from hence save the good news from Ghent, where it has pleased God to give the victory to the lovers of the good cause; in order for the better defence whereof they have taken in, by means of the serjeant-major of M. de Temples, Governor of Bruges [sic, should be Brussels], 500 good soldiers, and about 150 horse, which was done so quickly and silently that the enemy was unable to prevent it. It is hoped that Bruges will now come to a better resolution, and also the other towns in Flanders, which begin to vacillate in their resolution.
The Princess of Chimay, seeing the unstable condition of the Prince her husband, went into Zeeland, and is now come to Antwerp, not wishing to take part in such blameworthy proceedings.—Antwerp, 27 May, 1584.
Endd. Italian. 1 p. [Roll, and Fl. XXI. 89.]
May 17. 602. Gilpin to Walsingham.
Want of matter has been the only cause of my silence. I have furnished Steven le Sieur with 20l. sterling as you desired, and whereas you promised in your last letter that the 100 French crowns already disbursed by me should be repaid, I pray you to pay it to Christopher Umfrye, my dear friend, to whom I have given order to receive it.
Our news are few and uncertain. Of Ghent, nothing certainly but that they are determined to hold out to the last. Bruges “is accounted as agreed,” for all the preachers are commanded to depart, and many come hither, “so as the Religion goeth to wrack, and the Popish again exalted.” It is believed that the peace is already proclaimed there.
“The enemy rangeth about the champion country of Flanders, wasting and destroying that noble province.”
The Prince is still in Holland with the States, but little or nothing heard of their proceedings, nor of Monsieur's answer to the commissioners. It is thought his sickness has hindered the negotiation.
The Count of Hollack lies in Guelderland, not far from Zutphen, but does little. It is said soldiers are to be placed in the islands along the coast.
All licences to carry any things to the enemy are cut off, and those who are found to bend their trade to Dunkirk or Nieuport may expect to be hardly used.
“Here is arming apace to the sea, and many boats made which they call 'crumstenells' or dromedaries [i.e. dromonds], with side sails, very well appointed and manned,” intended, as is conjectured, to serve as in past troubles.
His Excellency's child is not yet christened, the Danish ambassadors being daily expected. After this it is thought he will come to Flushing for the summer.
I send you a short discourse lately set forth.—Middelburg, 17 May, 1584.
Add. Endd.pp. [Ibid. XXI. 90.]
May 20. 603. William Robinson to his brother John Robinson.
I wrote to you from Rouen, and am now at Paris. I have been divers times at the Lord Seaton's and with Glasgow. Here are privy meetings between these two and Dr. Allen, Morgan and the younger Paget, and last Wednesday the Spanish ambassador was at Glasgow's house with all the rest in council, and posts are gone both to Rome and Spain. Here they have no hope as yet. There are two Irishmen who resort much to Seaton, but I cannot yet learn their names. “Dr. Allen doth come very secretly to Paris, and doth not remain above two days, so we do not know till he be returned.” They hope for something at the coming of the King of Spain's army from Italy.
Lord Paget asked me if there were any English gentlemen lately come to Scotland, before I left it. “I answered there was two, which I did not see and that they were with the Earl of Huntley, more I did not know.” Living here is very dear and my estate very poor. “Here is no great love nor trust betwixt Bishop Glasgow and Bishop Ross (Roose), for Ross doth not come to Paris.” Seaton tells me he will come to Rouen shortly. I believe he will get from these parts as secretly as he may. These above make great suit both to Spain and Rome that those of our nation who have pensions either from that King or the Pope may be paid in Scotland, and they do not doubt but to have licence of the King of Scotland to live there, and I believe the other of our lords and gentlemen here will “make to Scotland.”—Paris. 20 May, 1584. “I count the day after as it goeth in England.”
Postscript.—“If our do take effect as we hope, your shall, great presumptions, for we are in great courage, and specially by the King of Scotland. This matter which was in Scotland being put from their purpose doth cause us to banquet and to stand upon great hope against our countrymen at home, and these last come from your country doth joy most; I do mean Lord P[aget], Arundel, with one [Thomas] Throgmorton and Morgan, making their way into Scotland.”
Pardon my writing, by reason of my hurt and late sickness. I am lodged in faubourg St. Marceau (fowburs of St. Marsheow) at the sign of Notre Dame de Liesse.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [France XI. 103.]
[This and the letter of May 27 are in the same handwriting as one in S.P. Scotland signed William Richardson and addressed to his brother John Richardson. In both cases, William is probably George Norton, writing in a somewhat feigned hand, and John is pretty certainly Walsingham. Cf. S.P. Scotland, vol. 136, nos. 79–81.]
May 20/30. 604. Burgomaster and Magistrates of Goes to the States of Zeeland.
Stating that they have consulted with the dyke-reeve as to procuring persons who would enter her Majesty's service, to enlarge the harbour at Dover and remedy defects in it. But no person of understanding would be willing to undertake such work or would desire to be employed therein unless he knew beforehand what he was expected to do, seeing that his reputation might be endangered thereby, and also it would be a cause of useless expence, as they might not have the capacity for the work.
They therefore think it useless to proceed further unless they are better informed, by maps and instructions how the work is to be begun or difficulties obviated.—Goes, the penultimate day of May 1584.
Add. Flemish. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XXI. 91.]
Probably enclosed in Haultain's letter below.
May [about the 20th (fn. 2) ]. 605. Walsingham to Stafford.
The Queen desires you to let the King know that albeit since he was chosen to be of the Garter, she has, for some considerations deferred the sending of it, yet having of late found his friendship confirmed “by sundry effects.”and desiring nothing more than to yield a thankful requital for the same, and to show to the world how much she loves and honours him; she means to send a nobleman of the Order with the said Garter, “assuring herself that he will make as honourable acceptation thereof as she doth friendly and kindly mean the same.”
Further, you are to let him know that whereas, not long since, his ambassador here requested licence to go into Scotland, accompanied with such minister of her own as she should choose to mediate a good agreement between the King and his subjects, which then she thought might be spared, things being at that time quiet in Scotland (promising that if occasion should require she would willingly join with him in so good a purpose); now, after this new attempt of certain noblemen against some that enjoy the King's ear—wherein, however the said noblemen may be charged with undutifulness towards their prince, the only true cause “proceeded of faction and private quarrels grown between the parties from the time of the King's minority,"which noblemen, being too weak to defend themselves have withdrawn into this realm for safety—she now not only very well likes that his ambassador should go to Scotland, to do good offices in his name, but is also content to join some minister of her own with him, and the rather for her care of the King's safety and quietness of the realm, forseeing that as these noblemen are men of best quality and of great alliances in Scotland, there may grow the more peril to the King and his estate, “if through despair of the recovery of his favour, they should alienate themselves in devotion from him, and therefore thinketh it a friendly and neighbourly course . . . for them both to persuade the said King rather to dispose himself to receive them again into grace and favour than, for a particular affection to one faction, to put in hazard his whole estate and person,” wherein she doubts not the ambassador will carry himself in honourable sort, without being led away by the persuasions of any faction, knowing well his master's mind to be honourably and princely disposed in the action and particularly towards herself, and having no cause to doubt “the gentleman's own plain meaning and sincere disposition to do any good offices for the weal and quietness of both realms.”
Draft. Endd. “May, 1584.” 3¼ pp.[France XI. 104.]


  • 1. The cipher has been either incorrectly written or incorrectly translated in some places, thus making the sense uncertain. The word here is “conalo,” but probably “cavalli” is meant. “Fu” is apparently Mendoza.
  • 2. Answered by Stafford on May 23. See p. 512 below.