Elizabeth: May 1584, 21-25

Pages 507-514

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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May 1584, 21–25

May 21. 606. Gilpin to Walstngham.
How this bearer has sped, will appear by his own report and M. Haultains letter, if my service may stand you in any stead, your least word shall command me.
To forward the matter, it would be well to write a few lines not only to M. Haultain, but to the whole Council of States of Zeeland, who undoubtedly would take speedy order to satisfy what was desired of them; and as the Pensionary of the said States is often employed in causes of our nation, a few lines from you of thanks and request for his good offices will do no harm and forward such matters as his aid is needed in. Upon your letter, I would readily discharge whatever was committed to me.
Mr. Stokes will have told you of the alterations at Bruges. The preachers and most of the men of countenance have arrived here, “a most lamentable and grievous tidings to all true professors of the Gospel.”
Five ensigns of foot and two cornets of horse “are gotten in” to Ghent, and they are devising to furnish it with all needful provisions. Mr. Yorke is carried prisoner to Brussels, where he remains, not without danger of life. Some say he will be sent to the Prince [of Orange], others that they will despatch him there. “I cannot write much either with or against him . . . yet surely the gentleman's valour and abilities to do service might merit favour, in hope he would make amends of all former faults; no doubtedly the least word from your honour would stand him in especial stead,” which you may vouchsafe to consider of.
Verdugo and his men were driven to retire in haste out of Emden land; to whom Grave Edsardt “went to deal” at Groningen, taking 100 armed burghers as his guard. “His honour delayed so long to join aid to his brother, Grave John, who raised the country up and was in field against the enemy, that the noble gentlemen threatened to refuse their allegiance if he would not perform his charge as their bescharme heare [qy. beschworener Herr] or protector. The States folks keep the river of Emden so strait as none of Emden can pass to or fro.”
It is said for certain that most of the Scots which were in Bruges have agreed to serve the Prince of Parma, if he will within three months procure a warrant from the King of Scots for their discharge. “And this is thought to proceed upon hope of the offered marriage by the King of Spain of his daughter to the said King.” These dangerous practices should be looked into by our country, against which both Spain and France will join together when they find opportunity.—Middelburg, 21 May, 1584.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XXI. 92.]
May 21/31. 607. M. de Haultain to Walsingham.
Has received his honour's letter and has done his utmost to procure that the bearer should be accompanied by some men expert in digging havens, but they all say they are so busy that they cannot go for three weeks, at the end of which time they promise to do so. If, however, the Queen needs them earlier, he will try to persuade them to go at once.—Middelburg, the last day of May, 1584. Signed, Alexander de Haultain.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XXI. 93.]
May 22. 608. Memorial from Nicolas Carenzone to Walsingham.
Points which he thinks should be included in the letters which he is to take with him to the Prince of Orange, States of Holland and city of Antwerp.
Her Majesty is very strongly solicited, if conditions are offered for re-imbursing herself of what is owed to her. If she resolves to accept, she must give up her rights of constraining those, both in goods and persons, who have naturally succeeded to those obligations, whenever it shall be convenient.
Those who incline to the other side are convinced that this is the way to divert the frequent, necessary and convenient traffic which the subjects of the Low Countries now have into this kingdom, and to serve the ends of the Hanses, whose chief purpose this is; there existing no other place than this as a sure foundation in these troublous times.
These argue that they are well-affected, and that those efforts and designs of their adversaries do not arise so much from zeal to satisfy her Majesty as from desire to destroy the good intercourse, disturb those people in divers ways, and by driving them to desperation, to make them resolve, constrained by necessity, to alter their resolutions.
Their rivals are very bold, taking into consideration how often and by how many means the people have been urged to find means to satisfy her Majesty, and yet no good disposition has ever been shown towards doing so; which, besides greatly favouring the designs of the adversaries, has generated a certain contempt, which is of no little consequence.
(fn. 1) These things being considered [at this point there is nearly a line left blank] it has appeared [well ?] to confer with their agent, M. Ortell, and by Nicolas Carenzone, who, as they know, has been many times employed in these negotiations about money together with their ambassadors, has much credit at Court, has made journeys and gone through much toil, served very faithfully and with good intelligence, is well affectioned to the cause and grateful to those on both sides; to see, by his means, what way may be found to give less trouble and disturbance, and to obviate these inconveniences.
Several days ago, the said Carenzone proposed certain conditions to her Majesty, which she, having examined them closely, judged very discreet, easy, and likely to give little disturbance, wherefore it has seemed to her fitting to desire him to go from her to testify to them that it is more than necessary that some expedient should be found for this debt, which increases daily, as they will understand from him; and for the putting into execution what will be proposed by him, she has given him commission for the part which shall be yearly assigned to her in reduction of her debt, that he may see it done in such manner that it be acquitted, and that the work shall not cease until the whole is paid. Which will appease her Majesty to confirm her in that good intercourse, break the desings of those who oppose it and secure both them and herself.
Carenzone's proposal.
Antwerp.—Ordinary merchandise entrance and exit, including that going up and down the Rhine for Frankfort fair, and for divers other parts of Germany and Italy, all taking the same road. Comprising also the merchandise of the Low Countries, all agreeing together, notwithstanding the wars, for convenience of trade.
It is computed that they amount each year to 150,000 tons, with charge for duty at two florins per ton (which is two-thirds of a crown), amounting to . . . . . . . . 300,000 florins.
Antwerp, extraordinary merchandise, entrance and exit: viz., turbs, timber, malt, beer, “obloni,” corn, salt, cheese, butter, fish and divers other sorts of goods in great quantities, calculated at 250,000 tons, with charge for duty at six piacchi per ton, amounting to . . . . . . . . 75,000 florins.
Holland, Zeeland and Gueldres, ordinary merchandise, entrance and exit, 50,000 tons, at two florins . . . . 100,000 florins.
Ditto, extraordinary merchandise, including the Eastland fleets, which are of great value, each year 300,000 tons at six piacchi per ton . . . . . . . . . . 90,000 florins.
These amount altogether yearly to 565,000 florins, worth, in our money, 58,000 pounds . . . . . . . . 565,000 florins.
[Further details as to procedure concerning things not subject to duty &c.]
The sailor who comes, being condemned to pay the duty, with the certificate of the tax in his hand, is able to reimburse himself from the merchant to whom the goods are addressed if he discharges at entrance, or at going out, from the merchant who loads it for export.
This same calculation was given by me at Antwerp about twenty months ago to the Duke of Alencon. After having examined it, he liked it, as being useful and easy to carry out and intending to move in it himself, he desired that it should not be communicated to, or treated of with others; but as the disorders in Antwerp delayed it and put everything into confusion, I thought it well not to wait any longer before making overture thereof to the Prince, at this time when the States are meeting in Holland, and are bent upon finding a means to impose the taxes with less burden to the people. Thus they will be able to prepare a scale which I am sure will facilitate what I have proposed. To give more spirit to the negotiation, it would be very well that I should go with letters favoured by her Majesty, the Earl of Leicester and Walsingham that, of the annual profits, there may be assigned to her Majesty half, a third, or what more may be possible, with good securities, in reduction of what is owing to her. I will not fail to use all my endeavours that good success may follow, omitting nothing whic may enable them to give him a good reply.
[Further discussion of the matter.]
If only the half of what I have calculated were imposed, it would amount to 300,000 florins of their money each year, which, valuing it at ten florins to the pound would make 30,000l. sterling a year, and if her Majesty were assured of half or a third, it would be no small thing.—22 May, 1584.
Signed. Endd. “N. Caranzone's offer.” Italian. 2 pp., very small close writing. [Holl. and Fl. XXI. 94, 94a.]
609. Further calculations concerning the trade of the Provinces, and the rates of payment to her Majesty.
Endd. “Carenzone's plot.” Italian. 1 p. [Ibid. 95.]
610. Proposals by Carenzone for contributions from Netherlanders residing in England.
It is calculated that in this realm are 40,000 souls, withdrawn, as they say, from the seventeen provinces for the cause of religion, when, in their own country, they were forbidden the use of it. But the matter is not here rightly understood, because in these are included many rich, who do business wholesale, by means of the traffic of the exchange, to the great injury of the English nation.
Her Majesty has lent great sums and has disbursed every year large interests, and as in these provinces they are still carrying on a tedious and dangerous war, no way has ever been found by which she might be repaid the whole or part.
And although she has bonds from the provinces and towns executed in due form, so that she might be able to recover upon those bound, when it might suit her best, yet, the nature of the time being considered, she has refrained from proceeding rigorously for the capital, having respect to their privileges and intercourse.
But in consideration of the great loss which her Majesty bears in respect of her interest, she has resolved, in order partly to re-imburse herself, that the merchants and other rich persons engaged in trade and having domicile in London, shall establish a residence, at their election, with certain privileges, embracing the whole nation; and this body shall be obliged each year to refund her Majesty the said interest only, without lessening the principal; which interest may be calculated at from eight to ten thousand pounds per annum.
To which residence or body, for its re-imbursement, will be given ample authority to lay and exact a rate upon all subjects of the seventeen provinces who repair into this country—as being those who best know the quality, quantity, conditions, trade and other circumstances—each according to his ability, and having consideration for those who are not able. Her Majesty will thus be yearly repaid her said interest, to her satisfaction and to their content, because they will be able to reimburse themselves from the provinces and towns for the benefit of which the original disbursement was made.
The method and form of the tax will be left to their care, and the said provinces, remaining some under the Spanish King, others under the States, will arrange it amongst themselves, which will be easy.
Italian. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XXI. 96.]
[This and the preceding paper are not dated, but were apparently drawn up at the same time as that dated May 22.]
May 23. 611. Stafford to Burghley.
I do not send you a copy of my letter to her Majesty, for there was nothing in it but of Monsieur's health. The physicians say he will certainly recover. “I dare write no other to her Majesty because my truth in writing to her is so subject to evil interpreting, but . . . the King maketh account that he is a dead man, and shall never scape the fall of the leaf.” He is so weak that he seems a ghost; he eats, drinks and sleeps well, yet “if he offer never so little to rise” he continually swoons. I know the King's physicians who were sent to him assure the King privately that he cannot escape, although outwardly they are made to say otherwise.
“I hope (as my evil luck is such that anything is made a fault to me) that if my leaving the extract with the King of the two letters that were written to the Queen of Scots be made a fault, your lordship will excuse it, for in truth (for all Mr. Secretary writ especially to me that I should not do it) I could not tell how to do otherwise,” for he was so earnest to have Villeroy take a note of it, that if I had refused, he might have been offended with me and also have suspected that it was a feigned matter.—Paris, 23 May, 1584.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [France XI. 105.]
May 23. 612. Stafford to the Queen.
Having written to Mr. Secretary in what sort I dealt with the King and what answers I received, for fear of troubling your Majesty with too long a letter, I only write this to tell you of Monsieur's estate. I sent my man “the last day,” who saw him and found him very weak and in bed, but the physicians assure his speedy recovery. They say he sleeps and eats well, but speaks seldom as he is forbidden it. His mother has been with him this sennight and more. He spake a few thanks at her first coming, but since, answers only by signs. “He taketh continual sweats, and is often let blood, which they say are his only remedies.” The King desired me earnestly to thank your Majesty in M. Joyeuse's behalf, and has written to his ambassador to do the same. M. Joyeuse has been with me himself to thank me and desires me to kiss your hands from him, “as one that to so great a princess he dareth not presume to write,” but assures your Majesty that his life and all he has is, next to his master, more at your service than of any prince in the world.—Paris, 23 May, 1584.
Postscript.—“There is the fairest caroche almost ready to be sent your Majesty that ever I saw.” The King has often changed the workmanship of it, never thinking it fair enough.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [France XI. 106.]
May 23. 613. Stafford to Walsingham.
Report of interview with the King. His gracious acceptance of offer of the Garter, pleasure at Mauvissière going to Scotland and promise to command him to fulfil her Majesty's pleasure in all things. “Extracts” given him to show the danger that Scotland might “become Spanish.” He wished to show them to Villeroy, promising punishment to any of his subjects who attempted anything against the Queen. Her Majesty's evil-disposed subjects in France. Her willingness to leave alone those here for their religion, being content for them to pray for the King if not for her, but believing they prayed more in a quarter of an hour for the King of Spain than for him in a whole year.
Councils for preserving Cambray. Magnificence of Epernon's journey. Report that he goes to propose a marriage with the Princess of Navarre, the King being weary of his wife.—Paris, 23 May, 1584.
Add. Endd.pp. [Ibid. XI. 107.]
Calendared at length in Report on the Cecil Papers, iii., 30. Printed in Murdin, pp. 399–401.
May 23. 614. Stafford to Walsingham.
Apologising for having in his last asked for an answer to what he now remembers he never sent, and praying to know his honour's pleasure, as he has stayed “their” petition to the King until he learns it.—Paris, 23 May, 1584.
Add. Endd.p. [Ibid. XI. 108.]
May 23. 615. Stafford to Walsingham.
Finds no likelihood that anything is intended for Scotland under “pretence for Don Antonio”; nor that the French King is acquainted with any enterprise of the Duke of Guise. When the Duke has pressed audience for the Scottish ambassador he has been put off and the King has given out it was to spite them of Guise. Has “had something to do” this Fete Dieu, to prevent them from hanging [i.e. decorating] his house, but has succeeded.
As to his recompense, he hopes for less than others, seeing that every inch of his good will is measured with an ell of misliking. But he will serve faithfully, for charge will “go as near to the wind” as he can with honesty, and when he comes home will put on a resolute mind to live the privatest life any ever did, and pray for her Majesty.—Paris, 23 May, 1584.
Underwritten (not in the Cecil copy), note by “Douglas Sheffield,” [i.e. Stafford's wife] that she has “desired Mister Stafford to give a sick body leave” to present her commendations to Walsingham and his lady and to Lady Sidney.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [France XI. 109.]
[Calendared in Report on Cecil Papers iii., 30, from a copy sent to Burghley, Printed in Murdin, p. 401.]
May 23./June 2. 616. Col. Thomas Morgan to Walsingham.
I could not let pass my kinsman, the bearer, without giving you the news of this country, which is chiefly the expected coming of Monsieur, it being said that his brother openly takes the action in hand, and there being already granted to him, for his assurance, all the towns in Brabant and Flanders except Antwerp, which will not receive his garrison, but accepts him in all else. This resolution is already sent him, and now to be confirmed by M. d'Asseliers and M. de Mouillerie, who depart presently. For the rest of the provinces, he is to have in each one town, except in Zeeland, which they will keep wholly to themselves. This deliberation is kept secret, not being agreeable to the common people. M. des Pruneaux is to depart shortly, who promises that in five or six weeks the troops shall be here, yet most here are persuaded that without her Majesty's assistance all this will come to nothing.
For my own part, I find myself very hardly used and not recompensed according to my services; therefore if you will favour me with letters to the Prince and States “for the having out of my accounts,” I shall be much bounden to you. There are certain goods of a man of Bruges transported into England, and as they [of Bruges] are deeply indebted to me, as appears by their own bond in my hands, I beseech you that I may have means to recover my due. Mr. White will acquaint you thereof.
A new supply of Spaniards is come down to the land of Luxembourg (Lusingbrowgh), and lies by Namur.—Delft, 2 June, 1584.
Postscript.—There is to-day come hither, through England, a Scots gentleman, and came to the Court with the governor of the Scots merchants at Camphere, and had great entertainment of the Prince's gentlemen.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XXI. 97.]
May 25./June 4. 617. Imperial Decree concerning the Merchant Adventurers.
The Emperor has been informed of what the Senate of Lubeck, by themselves and by their legate, Dr. Hermann Warmbuch, in the name of the Hanses, have proposed and entreated for the abrogating and banishing of the English Society of Adventurers, and at the same time Count Edzard of East Friesland has exhibited contrary information in favour of the English.
Moreover, his Majesty takes knowledge of all the acts and votes which at divers times and places have passed in this cause and what he himself at several times has declared, and especially of that resolution which, at the instance of the Syndic of the Hanses, was drawn up by the counsellors and legates of the Electors at Frankfort-on-Main. Who on his part—if the pretended monopoly were made evident, and the banishment of the English were desired by the Empire as a whole, as well as by the Hanse and other maritime towns, and would be as useful and fruitful as by one part it is esteemed—would not object to proceed to the publication of the edict.
But forasmuch as the Emperor, after careful and diligent reviewing and weighing of all former acts, not only could not discover this, but—the circumstances of that controversy being considered and the origin thereof between Queen Elizabeth and the Hansa—fears that the desired ejection might do harm even to the Hanses themselves, and would very seriously affect the other merchants (who have nothing to do with the matter) both with the Queen and other neighbouring Princes, if the Emperor, by such extreme methods of repression, should bend those in his own territories to his will:—He therefore hesitates to grant at this time the aforesaid petition of the Hanses, and to put into effect the order of the Empire for expelling the English, but thinks better to send an embassy to the Queen trusting that by friendly treaty with her, this business may be brought, without offence or further strife, to a speedy and quiet composition.—Prague, 4 June, 1584.
Endd. Copy of Imperial decree in the cause of the Hanses, for the Queen of England and her subjects, communicated to me at Prague in the said year out of the Imperial German Chancery, and by me translated into Latin and certified to have been collated with the original. Henry vam Holtz, in the said year and cause legate to the Emperor for England, with my own hand.
Latin. 3 pp. [Germany, Empire, I. 59.]


  • 1. From this point, Carenzone puts the matter as if written by the Queen to those in the Low Countries.