Elizabeth: August 1583, 26-31

Pages 79-100

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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August 1583, 26–31

Aug. 26./Sept. 5 100. Pietro Bizarri to Walsingham.
Lately there have been taken here some for having had intelligence with the enemy, of whom the two principal are, one a citizen of Antwerp named Fliir, who, under the government of the Duke of Alva, was one of the Council of the city, a man of about 60 years, and the other a young advocate called Lira, who two years ago was ordered by the colonels to leave the city, but remained by the intercession of some of his friends. The negotiation was discovered by means of a peasant, sent to Antwerp secretly by the enemy, who on his arrival went to the tavern, where, having drunk a great deal, he went to sleep, and after awaking, and satisfying the host, departed, but remembering a stick which he had brought with him, a little after returned to the tavern and demanded it, adding that he would not have parted with it for five or six ducats. Others say that after he was gone the host or others who were present took the stick, without thought, but only for sport, and that when the peasant returned, not seeing the stick, he demanded it very anxiously, and one of the company asking what he would give to have it again, he said he would give a crown. However that may be, they began to be suspicious about the stick, and looking at it more carefully, found that it was hollow, and opening it found two letters written to the two aforesaid persons, who were at once taken, and there is no doubt they will be put to torture, as an example to others. For three days the city gates have been closed until midday and great search is being made for accomplices and those privy to this design.
The enemy, since the taking of Steenbergen, are making some forts on the banks of the river which goes into Holland to impede navigation.
It is said certainly that Duke Casimir has entered Bonn with part of his men, and that he will carry on his enterprise. May it please God to prosper it to his glory.—Antwerp, 5 September, [15] 83. Unsigned.
Add. Endd. “Peter Bizarri.” Italian.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 21.]
Aug. 26. 101. Gilpin to Walsingham.
I have taken order for my friend's [the gast's] present repair hither, when I will deal with him according to your directions.
What he last wrote will appear by the enclosed copy.
The General States began to assemble on Monday last at Middelburg, whither the Prince is also come. Although those of Guelderland, Overyssel and Utrecht were not yet arrived, his Excellence affirmed that he knew they would consent to what was agreed upon.
At their first meeting they resolved to choose a Council of ten or twelve to whom should be committed the government of all matters concerning their provinces, the Prince to be the chief.
The second day, M. des Pruneaux delivered two letters from the Duke, and afterwards had audience, when he excused all matters passed since the Duke was received, urging that no cause should be given his Highness to think “they dealt against him with further indignities,” thereby making him a heavy enemy, but that by using good means to accommodate the cause, they might be assured of his faithful friendship, adding that Monsieur was made lieutenant-general to his brother the King, and so had command of all the bands of ordnance, soldiers &c. throughout that realm, and had already sent for these bands and given order for the levying of men; having also willed Marshal Biron to keep together the men he led from these parts, and to conduct them to La Fere, where all his forces will meet; so if his Grace and the States agree, he will bring them into Flanders to rescue Wynoxbergue and Ypres, and, that done, to proceed against the enemy. This he enlarged with many protestations and offers of his service.
The States requested to have the sum of his speeches in writing, which he promised. Since then, they have consulted of that cause, “but their dislike of former proceedings is so impressed in their minds as I cannot hear of any whose commission stretched to hearken, much less to yield to any new treaty.” Yet they will not discharge the Duke, hoping he may do somewhat to recover their good opinion, and copies of his letters and the ambassador's remonstrance are to be sent to the provinces, with letters from the States “to induce some better liking.”
The Prince spake very little, but at other times has dealt with the States, “running a course to draw the French again into credit, but most men doubt that all is in vain.”
There will also be letters directed to Monsieur, “to draw on his intent to enter the enemy's country and rescue the besieged towns,” and it is said that some persons will be sent to the Princes of Germany to ask their help towards the releasing of these troubles.
The Prince departed with his wife and court to Camphere for two or three days, and left the States to consult of the business; being “loth to be too forward in that he most liketh, and this by reason that of late most men have been jealous of his proceeding.”
Some difference has fallen out betwixt the Malcontents, because the Prince of Parma puts Italians and Spaniards into the towns he takes and keeps the Walloons in the field, and it is hoped some other matters will ere long follow. It seems Flanders, and especially Ghent, live in great hope of help from Germany.
The Prince of Chimay continues amongst them, ruling very well and imparting his doings to the Prince of Orange, “who neither liketh nor alloweth thereof"; and yet it is most certain that if the said Prince had not used matters wisely, Flanders had, ere this, agreed with the Malcontents.
In Antwerp, this week, letters were found in the staff of a peasant who came from Lierre, whereby were discovered two persons who wrote to the enemy secretly. One was sometime one of the Senate, and the other an advocate. Both have been apprehended and racked, and confessed.
In Friesland the States gather men to defend their country from the enemy, who have showed themselves in those parts. All other provinces are quiet, but grow daily poorer and decay in traffic.
There is news that the King of Spain's army is repulsed at Terceira, whereby it is thought the troubles here will be the sooner appeased.—Middelburg, 26 August, 1583.
Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 22.]
Aug. 27. 102. [Robert Beale] to Cobham.
Being appointed to attend in Mr. Secretary's absence, whom her Majesty has sent into Scotland, she commands me to tell you that being advertised that the Duke of Guise, at Newhaven, Dieppe and other places of Normandy was preparing ships, munition and soldiers, under good captains, to be sent into Scotland, she (being then at Greenwich) sent for the French ambassador, and having informed him of it, required him to advertise the King his master, and to pray him in her name, according to his former promises of good will and protestations of friendship, to take order that these preparations might be stayed, and not suffer any such thing to be attempted in Scotland. For otherwise, seeing the parties were his subjects, and he himself now forewarned of their designs, if anything were done, he could not well excuse it. The ambassador has lately showed her a letter received from the King, wherein he assures her of the continuance of his good will, and that he has heretofore hindered such enterprises and will continue the like course, whereupon she desired him to render his master her hearty thanks, and wishes you to do the like, signifying to the king how well she accepts his friendly and courteous answer, and assuring him that she will requite him with the like goodwill, and irrevocably perform all promises of true friendship towards him.
At the same time, as her Majesty understands that sundry of her subjects, being either notorious rebels or fugitives and disobedient to her laws seem to have settled their abode in that realm about Paris, Rouen and elsewhere, you are to declare to the king that she “taketh” that he is ignorant thereof, and otherwise would not suffer the abode of any such persons within his realm, contrary to the league and treaties; and you shall desire him to publish by some open edict that “every” such of her rebels and disobedient subjects as have not her licence to remain beyond the seas, or shall not be known to be a notorious merchant, being retired into that realm, shall within some short limited time depart out of it, upon pain of some grievous punishment if they remain there longer; which thing, you may say, the King of Spain caused to be done at her Majesty's request upon like complaints that rebels were harboured in his dominions, adding thereto that she trusts to find no less favour and goodwill in this king than she did in the other.
And here you must not fail to signify to the King that her Majesty has been informed that the Duke of Guise has of late begun to erect a new seminary in his country of Eu in Normandy, which (as is given out) shall be for Englishmen and Irishmen &c. whereat she is not a little grieved, that any of the King's subjects should make a receptacle for her undutiful subjects, and therefore you shall insist as much as conveniently you may that either the Duke be inhibited to proceed any further in erecting the seminary, or that he may receive express command not to admit any of her Majesty's subjects, either English or Irish.
“And in case it shall be pretended unto you that their abode there is only for matter of study and learning, and not for any cause of undutifulness towards her Majesty, this may you answer: That her Highness certainly knoweth that the foundation of the same seminaries and houses is only to instruct such young persons as may be cunningly allured thither, from whence afterwards they are returned with charge to seduce her Majesty's subjects from their true allegiance, due unto her, unto the obedience of such as by bulls and censures have sought and do seek her Majesty's deprivation and ruin; as may be verified by the examinations of sundry of them which have been taken in this realm, and by such writings and instructions as have been taken with them, and therefore her Majesty can in no wise repute them in the number of her good subjects.”
Last of all, I am to let you understand that of late a certain Frenchman named Forges came hither with letters from Hallot de Montmorency, containing nothing but ordinary compliment for courtesies shown when he was heretofore sent hither. Wherefore the said Forges, being at the first supposed to be sent from Marshal de Montmorency, had access to her Majesty, but delivered to her only a letter from a son of the Duke of Nemours by the Damoiselle de Rohan, stating that he had been taken prisoner beside Brouage, and put to a ransom of 12,000 crowns, and praying her for 2,000 crowns which were yet unpaid.”Considering how rawly the party came furnished for such a matter,” her Majesty said that she could not suddenly give an answer, but would consider of the matter and give order to you, her ambassador, in that behalf. Wherefore if the said Forges, who is now departed from hence, shall repair to you, you may tell him, as of yourself, that as yet you have received no direction from her. And meanwhile, you are to inform yourself of the cause of the imprisonment of the Duke of Nemour's son, and of the qualities of his person, together with such other particularities as are meet to be understood, since her Majesty remembers (if she be not greatly deceived) that when the late French commissioners were here “it was given out that he did misbehave himself much, to the great discontentment of divers, both of the one religion and the other.” And when she has further information from you, you shall know her pleasure therein.—Oatlands, 27 August, 1583.
Draft or copy. Endd. by Beale. 3 pp. [France X. 32.]
Aug. 27. 103. [R. Beale] to Cobham.
You will receive herewith a letter written with her Majesty's own hand to the Queen Mother, at the delivery of which you are to use the like speeches of thanks for the stay of the Duke of Guise's preparations for Scotland as are signified in my other letter to you, and likewise earnestly pray her to be a means to the King for the banishing of her Majesty's rebels and disobedient subjects and the suppressing of the seminaries erected for them, in such sort as you are to do towards the King.
The effect of the letter is to thank the Queen Mother for the good affection which she has, by so many letters in her own hand to the French Ambassador, declared to bear to her Majesty, and to assure her of the like on her Majesty's part; and that her Majesty's friendship is more to be esteemed than that of her malveuillans there, and therefore the said Queen shall do well not to lose the certain for the uncertain, for such inconveniences and dangers as might happen to herself.
If on these latter words the Queen shall make any stay or doubt, you shall, as from yourself, say that you take her to be wise enough “not to have forgotten how (when as some thought that their turn served them) she was put out, and that if the like occasion (which God defend) should serve them again, the same might be attempted hereafter. And therefore, for the avoiding of such inconveniences, you think that the fast friendship of such a princess as her Majesty is, deserveth not to be neglected in comparison of theirs, which, if occasion should serve, might go about such a matter again.
“Further, her Majesty hath willed me to signify unto you that she hath seen a letter of the said Queen's own hand, touching some speeches which passed between you, at her departure towards Monsieur: viz. that you wished her good success in the matter which she then went about, touching Monsieur's marriage, pour avoir ligne de France, or some such like words, at which your speeches the said Queen should marvel and say that she was so desirous of this other as, so it might be brought to pass, she desired it above any other, whether there should be any issue thereby or no. Her Majesty marvelleth that you should use any such speeches concerning that matter, and therefore hath thought good to signify so much unto you, which advertisement she saith you may use as you shall think good.”
Mr. Secretary is to be this day at Berwick. The King goes very violently on with the late change of noblemen, and “cannot be entreated to stay” by her Majesty's letter praying him not to proceed further until Mr. Secretary's coming. So I doubt whether he will be able to do any good therein. “I fear we have lost too many good occasions of settling that realm for the general quietness of the whole Isle, which will be hard to bring so well to pass hereafter, if things go onward as they have lately begun. The Lord's will be done.”—Oatlands, 27 August, 1583.
Copy. Endd. by Beale with date Aug. 28. 1½ pp. [France X. 33.]
Aug. 27./Sept. 6. 104. The Due De Bouillon to Walsingham.
Reciprocating his assurances of friendship. Sedan, 6 September, 1583. Signed Robert de la Marck.
Add. Endd. Fr. ½ p. [Holt, and Fl. XX. 23.]
Aug. 28. 105. Henry Van Holtz to Walsingham.
Wishes that Mr. Gilpin had been sent to the Emperor rather than Mr. Waad, for the good experience and acquaintance he has in those causes. And that the said messenger whosoever had likewise been sent with her Majesty's letters to all the Electors, at whose hands the remedy and satisfaction is chiefly to be had.
The town of Hamburg has refused to intermeddle with those of Lubeck in these matters against her Majesty, and therefore has deserved thanks at her Majesty's hands.
Those of Lubeck have compounded with the Kings of Sweden and Denmark, and therefore follow their suit against England the more earnestly, labouring especially that all traffic with the English may be prohibited and suspended, throughout Germany, until the privileges of the Hanse towns be restored in England.
At Mr. Waad's being with the Emperor, he might fitly have opposed himself in these causes against the agent of the town of Lubeck, then residing there, which being omitted, he thinks it meet that Mr. Gilpin and himself be jointly sent from her Majesty to the Emperor, Electors and other Princes, with an apology of the English traffic, as well for our merchants' security as for the Count Edzard of Friesland, who is accused and exclaimed upon to the whole Empire, as the only favourer and maintainer of the English Society in Germany.
Desires that her Majesty would, in respect of his service done and to be done, relieve him with the loan of 500l. at a reasonable interest, rendering the principal at every six years (sic). Will employ both himself and his brother who lives at the Emperor's Court and other his friends, wheresoever her Majesty will appoint him for her service. But if it be thought good, will reside most at Hamburg, where his kindred's living is, and there provide a house he hath to serve the English that should repair thither. Hamburg, 28 August 1583.
(The above is a precis of the principal points of the letter, written upon the covering page.)
Add. Endd. Latin. 5 pp. (Germany, Empire 1. 52.)
Aug. 28. 106. Harborne to Walsingham.
My letters, with their copies and additions, from 11th June to the 12th instant, will, I trust, show you my dutiful endeavours, which I am emboldened to believe your affability and generosity will accept much more favourably than they merit. For the which ever acknowledging myself your debtor, my actions, next under her sacred Majesty, shall ever be directed to your service.
Presently we are at the 28th of August, but as I have sent but one copy “of that passed from the 12th, I do not suppose it inconvenient to repeat the same, serving for original of the underwritten.”
“The Powles (fn. 1) called Casakes, being in number four thousand, having done much harm upon this country, rased to the ground two castles and retired before the coming of four thousand horse and certain footmen sent from hence; the Poland ambassador, being sharply rebuked, answered that facmoouse [?]fact of theirs ought not to be imputed to his master his permission in that they being malefactors, banish [ed] and inhabiting certain islands about the river Danube (Tanaw) not under his protecti [on], were open to the correction of any whom they should offend. The truth is the said Casakes be nothing so greate in number but in these and the like enterprise they do not want the aid of the King his subjects according to the old proverb, though all of exiles be rebels by name, yet known to their Prince least part of the same.
“Ruan a great city in Persia they report to be yielded to Osmond [Osman] Bassa after that Top Sultmack, president thereof 'difiding' with great reason his security therein destroyed all the fortresses and fair buildings in that city and also before the approaching of the enemy all the fields of corn and what else he esteemed might serve to their commodity.
“About Esrome [Erzroum], fifteen days' journey now distant from Persia, but before these last wars, the prontriers [sic] of that country, these marvellous things have succeeded, according to certain information given the Grand Signior from the Beglerbeys and Cadds there present. In the said city of Esrome a mosque builded by one Passa Accumet, Beglerbey of that province in time of Selym, this man his great grandfather, was transported three miles from the city in the self same order it formerly stood the like to that reported [of the] chapel of Madonna de Loretto in Italy, which, if it should be true as I cannot think [but] by God his permission, Sathan to delude the one and other sort hath done it to keep still in blindness those whom the Almighty in his justice hath given over unto a reprobate sense as vessels of his wrath. Furthermore two women in that city about one time delivered, the one of a child from the navel downwards of masculine, human shape and from the same upwards like an ox; the other of seven children of both sorts, which all with the mother were living in perfect shape and good liking.
“Moreover, the gardens and other cultived, fruitful fields about that city were removed half a day's journey off, and the lieu made clean, barren and unfruitful.
Esbuxa, a city very populous, four days' journey from the said Esrome not inferior to this city' of Pera, comparable with Ipswich, is clean swallowed down into the bowels of the ear with all the inhabitants, accounted about forty thousand souls, few saved which fled out of the suburbs where presently now is not other thing to be seen but a great rift in the earth, which while as one of two Capigis sent hither from the camp to certify the Grand Signior of those affairs approached on horseback very near, overcurious to behold, suddenly both he and his horse were clean consumed with fire. The other, escaped, is come hither. Three days before the 'abisme' of that city, the element over it was covered with black and fiery clouds, during which the people continually used their ceremonial devotion in their miskets [i.e. mosques] whom it should seem their good advocate Mahomet so heard that at his intercession to Sathan they were all sent for suddenly to accompany him in his prcud palace of hidious hell, from which Christ Jesus hath by ransom of his precious blood freed us, whom I beseech that these and the like his great glorious and wonderful works wrought in justice upon his blasphemers may so continually be remembered of us as living aright, according to our profession, his mercy may give us continual felicity in his eternal glory.
28 August, 1583.
“The Florentines, as four years past having made their present, surmounting the sum of 10,000 ducats upon accord of intercourse of traffic with the Grand Signior, were sent away empty, frustrate of their desire, as Mr. George Hopton, a speculative witness, can particularly discourse, which injury sithence hath so well been revenged, as the Grand Signior hath restored to the Duke of Florence against his will a hundred times so much, neither yet resteth the Florentine satisfied, for not contented sithence with every year's price of his four gallies sent into these seas every summer, whose spoil of goods, merchandise and treasure hath been great, this year they have taken to the quantity of 800,000 ducats, so as hitherto the present hath been dearly sold, and after Bocase [Boccaccio], it is not mocking of the Toscane.
“In which time the Admiral Oluchelie [Occhiali], pretending the destruction of Hassan, Beglerbey of Algier, sometime his captive, partly for particular quarrels between them but especially to enjoy his excessive wealth, was upon the coast of Barbary, where, understanding Hassan to be issued out of Algier with twenty-two galleys and galliots, with which he hath spoiled the most part of the Levant islands subject to the King of Spain—for out of Corsica only, as it most certainly here reported by letters of advice from Venice, he hath carried 600 Christian souls and much spoiled the island—the said Oluchelie, attending at sea for his return, was not only spoiled of five of his gallies off Phanale, which he sent to place a Beg in lieu of the Beglerbey of Tunis, lately deceased, taken by the Christian gallies, but also is thought to be himself overmatched and in distress there with them; for these sinister successes at home and abroad, the Grand Signior is much displeased with him, who, if he recover not himself with honour in the end of this his voyage at his return, he may, as it is thought, lend invitus his office to another and send his soul to Pluto's purgatory.
In like case the Venetians and other Christians here do give it out that the said Florentine galleys are in liga with those of Malta, not only to bar our nation of this traffic, but also to make prize of their goods and captives of the men, which, if it should so be, I hope, into the pit they dig for others they themselves shall fall, as God hath promised by David.
“As the 14th instant, suddenly deceased the Emperor his ambassador, partly by [a] fall from his horse, but chiefly by over great grief, being reclaimed out of the suburbs of Galata near to my mansion, from a very delightful dwelling, into his old mansion-house in Constantinople, his Chaous removed and another placed, who more severely barred him and his of their accustomed liberty which the other Chaous permitted, for that the time of the payment of the tribute of Damasco, being 60,000 dollars, was as two months before expired, which now we understand to be near at hand, in conduct of this late ambassador his son-in-law.
“The charge of this man his funeral amounted to 3001., whereof the wax candles that the blind Viceroy carried surmounted 1001., and for that the French and Venetian Ambassadors were there in persons, for good causes (as me seemed) with excuse of lack of health, I went not in person, but sent four in degree of gentlemen in funeral habit, with ten servants to accompany the corpse to and from the church, wherein they entered not, which his secretary, being the chief of that house, most gratefully accepted, promising to certify the Emperor thereof, and of the great friendship formerly between us.
At his funeral, the Pope his agent, a friar, come hither to buy [i.e. ransom] captives, preached according to custom, whose commendations of the party deceased wanted not of a most manifest lie, affirming him to have done very great service to his Prince against the Lutherans, whom he had subdued most valiantly in sundry conflicts in great number, a deed of most merit, as he said, towards God and his church, against whom his affirm he never entered in field.
The rest of his said sermon certified little learning in the man, and less edifying towards the people, who, glad of his bare blessing in his Master his name, had sufficient to thank him, which sort of beligods, Baal's priests, blazing bravely Antichrist their Master, his arms are most in price and honoured with Sathan his father a liar, as they be from the beginning. God deliver his from the cruelty of these ravening wolves in sheep's clothing.
“The commendation of this noble gentleman is much more to be marveled at than credited that no man so much as those in his life-time suspected [to be] his very enemies did other than commend his past life, and sorrowed the departure of so worthy a personage, whom I must, amongst the rest, account right happy in leaving so honourable a memory to his posterity. And on the other part, account his Master to have received an extreme loss of such a faithful and wise servant, whose experience in these parts might in future time upon cause of controversy, have yielded a true, safe, sure and perfect good counselor, most acceptable to Prince and country, and in part, as may be said, to Christendom.
“Thus concluding, fearing to be tedious, not omitting my accustomed humble suit imploring your most honourable and favourable aid towards my poor, aged parents in their needful occurrences,” yours &c.
Add. 2 pp. very closely written. [Turkey I. 9.]
107. Decipher of most of the above letter, but not quite accurately done. 3 pp. 3 lines. Endd. [Ibid. 10.]
Aug. 29. 108. Jo. Battista Giustiniano to Walsingham.
Sending back the letter received by Walsingham from Signor Horatio [Pallavicino]—who, as he sees, agrees to the conclusion of the business negotiated in Antwerp—and praying him to order Alderman Martin to ratify the bond for 3,300l. which his procurator has passed in Antwerp and which is payable on the 1st of January and 1st of July next coming.—London, 29 August, 1583. [Style doubtful.]
Add. Endd. Italian. ½ p. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 24.]
Aug. 30./Sept. 9. 109. Fremyn to Walsingham.
I have received yours of Aug. 16 and from it learn of the resolution for your journey, which may God bless.
As to what passes here, it is said that the Four Members of Flanders are entirely resolved to put themselves under the Empire, and to this end some days ago sent letters and deputies to the Prince Electors, Duke Casimir and other Protestant Princes; and have also sent deputies to the States of Brabant and magistrates of Antwerp, the other provinces of the Union and Utrecht, to persuade them to do the same, although there are opposers, who practice the contrary.
The Prince de Chimay, Governor of Flanders, has left Ghent and is gone with his wife to Bruges to renew the law. He is in good credit with the Flemings. But matters are in a perilous state here, the provinces and towns being given up to their private ends, some desiring one thing, some another, and not knowing how to come to a determination. One desires a popular republic, another an autocracy, another the Spaniard, another the French, another his Excellency. In fine, avarice and ambition are bad governors.
God give them grace to make some good and righteous resolution at this assembly of Middelburg, to his honour and glory. But amongst these storms, his Excellency is prevented from maintaining things in any good order. Duke Casimir arrived at Bonn on the first of this month. His army was by Cologne, which is taken to be an indication that that town will not declare itself an enemy of the said army. In the said town they are making 80 ensigns, with the same order as at Antwerp.
His Highness arrived at Cambray on the 2nd of this month, where he is assembling his army, and has to-day sent a packet to M. des Pruneaux, who has passed through this town, being sent to the Governor, M. de Tampel, to whom his Highness has written and to the magistrates of Brussels, assuring them of his affection for the welfare of this State, and which he will shortly make appear by means of a fine and strong army.
It seems that the descent of Duke Casimir makes his Highness and the King of France pause. God grant that all may come to a good end!
It is said that some deputies of Duke Casimir are arrived at Antwerp, and that they offer 50,000 florins a month to his army while it is on the other side of the Meuze, and having crossed it, 150,000.
The Duchess of Parma has sent letters to the magistrates of this town to persuade them to a reconciliation with the King of Spain. The magistrates assembled the guilds, to know their mind in the matter, with others of better quality. The brewers were in favour of reconciliation, especially some of the principal ones, by which the views of many were made known. The brewer who spoke has been made prisoner, and in order the better to facilitate the affair, those of Antwerp sent a troop of horse and two companies of foot, which they have lately levied, to strengthen this garrison, which was short of men of war.
In truth, there are a great many papists in this town, who are supported more than they should be. There is no place of retreat where they can have free exercise [i.e. services] except at Brussels, and they meet at several houses to the number of three or four hundred in different parts of the town, but it would be more expedient to give them temples, for these big assemblies are not pleasing to honest men.
The Prince of Epinoy is always near to his Highness, who has given him a good command in his army of several troops of horse. —Brussels, 9 September, 1583.
Postscript.—There are many nobles of this party who desire a reconciliation with his Highness, not being able to do otherwise by reason of those of the Religion, as also in order to obtain estates and offices, as ambition and avarice reign much in these quarters.
The Prince of Parma has had two forts built to block up Ypres, not being able to gain it except by famine, and it is said that he is going to the frontiers with his forces, to hinder the entrance of his Highness' army.
The Bishop of Cologne sent to demand assistance from the Prince of Parma, who finds himself at present much hindered. It is said that Duke Casimir's army may very likely come to make war in the country of Liege this winter.
If his Highness' army does not come into the country, the Prince of Parma means to besiege Alost, in order to help him as to Brussels. His Highness has ordered M de Villeneuve, who is in Winox-Berghes, to be of good courage, and he will give him aid very soon. Signed F.
Add. Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 25.]
Aug. 31. 110. Rudolf II to Duke John Casimir, the Palsgrave.
Although long ago, when we first understood what dangerous pretences and practices were towards in the sacred Empire, and especially along the river of Rhein and in the bishopric of Cologne, we sent our imperial patents to your Lovingness and the rest of the generals, colonels and others in charge there, commanding them, upon severe penalties, to leave off their said practices, warlike preparations and levying of men, as also to discharge those already in pay, but chiefly to abstain from bringing strange soldiers into the country; the said patents bearing date the 14th of April:—Yet we are credibly informed that our foresaid patents and the ordinances and statutes of the sacred Empire are nothing regarded, which expressly forbid that any man, of whatever quality, shall at his pleasure levy any soldiers to overrun and damage any State or member of the Empire or their subjects; much less to deal with any foreign causes, or bring strange soldiers within the borders of the Empire. And that your Lovingness, as desirous of strangers (which in this matter are least to be used) hath not only levied a great number of such soldiers, both horse and foot, hero in Germany, without asking our leave, or making us any way privy thereto, but also hath taken up soldiers of strange nations, to bring them through the Empire into the archbishopric of Cologne, to the great hurt and prejudice of divers obedient and innocent members with their subjects in those parts, for that the soldiers have used great insolences, not paying what they took, and robbing, spoiling and burning the country, besetting and belaying the free river of the Rhein, with the imperial passages and highways, by which they are become so dangerous that all merchandise and trafficking is wholly cut off, and no man can safely possess his own. Forasmuch therefore as these proceedings be wholly against the ordinances and laws of the holy Empire, religion and general accord, and “by reason of our imperial charge, standeth us greatly upon to take present order therein,” we will and command your Lovingness by our imperial authority, and the oath and allegiance wherewith you stand charged to us and the holy Empire, upon pain of high contempt and outlawing [Acht], with loss of all regalities, Lehens, freedom, pre-eminences and graces, immediately upon receipt of this letter to dismiss the aforesaid soldiers, pluck down the ensigns and send them away singly and in small numbers, without molesting or doing hurt to any man; and not to bring any strange soldiers within the bounds of the sacred Empire, or to show any farther disobedience contrary to the true meaning hereof, as you wish to be out of danger of the penalties aforesaid.—Vienna, this last of August, 1583.
[Marginal note.—“Acht” is a kind of proceeding in the Empire when any high offender is put out of the safeguard and protection of the Empire, and withal hath relation unto our proceedings here in causes of high treason. “Lehens” are such lands as any Prince holdeth of the Empire, or gentleman of any Duke or Lord, to him and his heirs male, and are thereby bound to serve him in his wars, according to such lands as with us are holden in capite. ]
Translation. 2 pp.
This and the following letter, together with that to the Governors of the Circles of Sept. 5 below, are endorsed: “Copy of three letters of the Emperor's Majesty—1, unto Duke John Casimir; 2, to the Colonels and Captains which served with the deposed Truchsess; 3, to the Governors [of the] next bordering ' Craises' or quarters.”
[Germany, Empire I. 53.]
Aug. 31. 111. Rudolf II to Those Who Serve Truchsess.
To the same effect as the previous letter. Vienna, the last of August (1583).
Add: “To James, Marquis of Bathe [Baden], Adolf, Earl of Neuenaar, Thomas de Krehingen [Krichingen], John, Earl of Nassau, Hermann Adolf, Earl of Solms, Henry de Stein, Charles Truchsess, Frederick de Werne, Bernard [sic] de Walbrun, John, Earl of Wied.”
Translation. 2pp. [Germany, Empire I. 54.]
[Aug.?] 112. The Archbishopric Of Cologne.
The Tope being told in 1574 that Salentin of Isenburg, then Archbishop of Cologne and Elector, was secretly married, lost no time, with the help of the Catholic Princes, in depriving him of his dignities. The Elector did not resist, and so obtained some provision out of the Bishopric.
At which time, Ernest Duke of Bavaria, youngest son of the late Duke, already Bishop of Freishein [Freising], made earnest suit to the Pope for the Archbishopric, telling him that he had sure intelligence that Gebhardt Truxes, Baron of Waltpurge, one of the “Dome herres” of Cologne, to whom the whole Chapter inclined, was a Protestant and resolved to take a wife and appropriate to his own house the revenues of the Archbishopric.
The Pope took this to be only a “fetch,” to further the Duke of Bavaria's well known ambition, and would not, without more apparent need, break the statutes of the Chapter, by which they are bound to choose one of their fellow Canons, and always avoid the chiefest houses of the great Princes of Germany.
Two years since, Bavaria obtained the Bishopric of Liége, always having an eye to Truxes' doings. Knowing that there was great friendship between the latter and the Bishop of Bremen, he managed by means of a secretary of this bishop to learn all their secret counsels, and so laid a foundation for a second election, when his first information, turning out to be true, procured him the more favour.
Gebhardt Truxes was at the time of his election (in 1574) between thirty and forty years of age, a man of great understanding and quickness of spirit, whose desire for preferment was perhaps strengthened by the calculation of his nativity, presaging great things. His youth had been loose and intemperate, which was augmented by his calling binding him not to marry, and as he grew in religion, he determined, “for the satisfying of his conscience to take a wife.”
To the which end, bearing affection to a sister of the Earls of Mansfeld (who, “as the use is at this day in Germany,” was kept in a nunnery till marriage), which by him was honestly meant, though it gave his enemies occasion of slanderous speeches, her brothers forced him to marry her. Of her too, slanderous speeches were made, whereunto no heed is to be taken. The Archbishop beforehand made the other Electors and divers Princes acquainted with his purpose, in which there being nothing dishonest or contrary to the laws of the Empire, it was allowed by them, and some gave promises of assistance in case of need.
Being suspected, he was last year called to the Imperial Diet, but not being minded to appear, he at once published his intention, and issued an edict, permitting such of his subjects as desired the preaching of the Gospel, the exercise of their religion as in other places of the Empire, which was received in Bonn, Kaiserswerth and other places.
The Pope forthwith proceeding with great heat to the degrading of the Archbishop, and the procuring the election of another, appoints the Cardinal of Austria (natural son of the Archduke Ferdinand) as his legate, and sends him to Cologne. The city of Strasburg and Duke Casimir refuse him passage, as an enemy to their States and Religion, whereupon he turns back; but certain doctors of law and priests with legatine authority go in disguise to Cologne, “whither likewise, in a clown's weed, the Bishop of Liege escapeth,” to solicit his own election.
The Electors, thinking this kind of proceeding very unworthy of the dignity of the Empire, write jointly to the Emperor, that if the Elector their colleague has committed any fault, the examination thereof belongs to his Majesty and themselves and that it is not for foreign Princes to depose or chose an Elector.
The Protestant Princes, seeing the proceedings of the Pope and Papist Princes, who cannot abide that there should be a fourth Protestant Elector to cast the balance, assemble together for their own defence, appointing as their head in case of need the County Palatine Elector, his lieutenant his brother the Duke Casimir, with proportion of forces. The Marquis of Brandenburg, the Pfalzgrave, the Landgraves and the Duke of Würtemberg are named in this society.
The Catholic Princes do the like, and join in their league the Princes of Italy. Archduke Ferdinand; eldest of the House of Austria (already moved with the repulse given to his son the Cardinal) is head of this league, which they call defensive. In the meantime, the Chapter, notwithstanding the protest of the Electors not to yield to the authority of the Pope, proceed to a new election, a great part of the canons absenting themselves, as the Earls of Salm, Kirchen [qy. Krichingen] and Winnenberg, and the Archbishop of Bremen (Breame), of the House of Saxony. The Archbishop of Liege was chosen on May 22 last Archbishop of Cologne and consequently Elector of the Empire, and Premier, one of the Emperor's Privy Chamber, is sent to Cologne, “in show to satisfy the request of the Electors, in deed to further the election,” which no sooner was made than the forces of Spain appeared in favour of the elected.
The Electors complain to the Emperor of the little regard paid to their former letters, and of the calling in of strangers to interfere in matters of the German Empire. The Emperor forthwith despatches Prenner to the Duke of Saxony, “more, as it is suspected, with compliment and show than soundness of meaning.”
A Bishop or Archbishop in Germany, especially those who are Electors, though ecclesiastical in title are in quality altogether temporal, “whereto are preferred” the younger sons of Princes and great houses, taking no order of priesthood until they are made Bishops and living like Princes in behaviour as in jurisdiction. “For in all the Cathedral churches of Germany remain yet (as they do term them) Dome Herren, all chosen of gentlemen and living accordingly, of which the Archbishops and Electors ecclesiastical be chosen. Divers of them through all Germany are known to be of the Religion, and at this present the chiefest of the Chapter of Cologne.” They are great Princes in territory and dominion, and have other regalities like the rest of the Princes of the Empire.
Divers Princes also term themselves administrators of Bishoprics and are married. This Elector has only done what other Bishops have been allowed to do and in other countries do daily. By the interference of the Pope, the majesty of the Empire is defaced and the authority of the Electors violated, the statutes of the Chapter broken, and a stranger brought in who has already two other Bishoprics, and now aspires to that of Munster as well, though some say he has promised it to one of the House of Saxony, now Dean of the Chapter at Cologne, who chiefly laboured this election. Those of the Bishopric of Liege have sent him word that unless he comes to reside amongst them, they will proceed to the election of a new Bishop.
In choosing Bavaria, they seem to have been led by his abilities and the power of his house, his brother being a great Prince, of the same house with the County Palatine, near of kin to the Emperor, allied to Lorraine, cousin german to Cleve, brother-in-law to the Archduke Charles, a pupil of the Pope's, “whose assistance, with the potentates of Italy and Princes Papists of the Empire, he shall not want.” The cause is become one of religion, and these, as is likely, trust to the negligent security of the Princes of the Religion, and to their own united league, it being an occasion to put in execution the Tridentine Council and to serve the King of Spain.
Saxony, the mightiest and richest Prince of the Empire, “they bear them in hand to keep still,” he abhorring trouble and dreading war, having but small affection from his subjects, and kept in awe of the Emperor for fear he should let loose the imprisoned Duke (fn. 2). They persuade Saxony that this Elector is a Calvinist, who is as hateful to him as a Papist; while Bavaria and he entered into some new friendship at the Diet of Augsburg. One more hope they have of keeping him in order, which is his desire to resign the Electorship to his son, to keep it in his succession.
Brandenburg depends much on Saxony, so with the one they assure themselves of the other. The Palatine is of the House of Bavaria, and will follow the example of the other rather than lead the way. The Landgrave and Duke of Würtemberg “will put water to their wine when they shall see the temperateness of the other Princes.” The other Pfalzgraves are of small ability, and desire to amend, not to impair their estates. Money will be very scant, which on the other side is offered by the Pope; the question being of religion, the King of Spain shows such forwardness that his ministers say he will employ all the forces of the Low Country thitherward.
The Electors ecclesiastical must needs incline to the new elected. Trier is altogether led by Jesuits, who now govern all the Catholic Princes, both their consciences and their actions.
The French King may take this occasion to be revenged for the descents made into his kingdom, and so be the more at ease at home.
The Bishop of Augsburg, a great Jesuit, offers to stop the passage to the French. Lorraine is allied to Bavaria, and has already caused the French voluntaries passing through his country to the assistance of the Archbishop to be cut to pieces, and garnished the trees with five hundred dead bodies. Their hopes are “comforted” by the divisions among the Protestants, lately renewed.
The [old] Archbishop has not taken this course without the advice of divers Princes, and assured promises of help from Würtemberg, the Landgraves and the Pfalzgraves; the chief of the Chapter hold with him and all Westphalia has sworn allegiance to him.
The Elector of Saxony has twice, with the other Elector, written to the Emperor on his behalf, and has also written reprehensive letters” to the Dean of the Chapter, his kinsman, for taking part against the Archbishop. His forces are mustered and held in readiness, and 4,000 reiters are levied under four colonels, viz. Duke Casimir, Stein, Weyber and Buck, and are already joined with the Archbishop. “Besides there is a supply of 6,000 to march as occasions shall serve.”
The Bishop of Bremen is likewise interested; known to be a married man, “which, punished in the one, cannot be tolerated in the other.”
It appertains to Saxony, as chief Prince of the Empire, to have care thereof, and he can have no cause for fear, as Brandenburg will hold one course with him. His silent, still carriage is thought to be but a wise dissimulation, and it is muttered that he secretly assists them, and on occasion will openly declare himself. It is even thought that when things are ripe, the Electors, joined with him of Cologne, will choose a King of the Romans, which the other cannot do, “because the new-elected hath no confirmation of them.”
Also Brandenburg has particular interest, “for the challenge in the last diet” made by the Bishops to his son, the administrator of the Bishopric of Magdeburg, whom they would not admit without confirmation from the Pope. Divers Princes of the Religion have their children and kinsfolk chosen to be Bishops, as the Duke of Brunswick's son of Halberstadt, which will draw them to join for their own assurance.
And though the Princes of the contrary faction be many and mighty, yet those of Italy are far off, and others have to do at home, and may hold back when they see how the Princes of Germany “stand to their tackling.”
The Duke of Bavaria is left by his father greatly in debt, and will be advised before he engages himself further. The strength and means of the Protestant Princes are certainly greatest and the Archbishop has the greater forces both in readiness and order. Among the Princes joining him are the Elector Palatine, Duke Casimir of Zweibrücken (Swebruck) and Lutzelstein (Lisselstein), Duke Ludovic of Würtemberg (Wittenbergen), the Landgraves, Earl John of Nassau, the Earl of Neuenaar (Newinard), the Marquises of Baden (Bath), Ernest and Jacob, the Earl of Meurs (Muheurs) [sic, the same as Neuenaar], who holds in favour of the Archbishop Bergen and Urdingen, the Earl of Hohenhollern [sic], Joachim, administrator of Magdeburg, besides all of Westphalia. Charles Truxes, his brother, holds Bonn.
Duke Casimir demands passage for his men of the Archbishop of Mentz, who himself is not evil affected, “and thought he could be content to follow the example of the Archbishop of Cologne.”
The Duke of Bouillon (Bolloigne) is said to have two regiments of French, besides 2,000 Gascons, near Strasburg, where they have taken boats to pass the river. The French churches have assembled their deputies to consult how they might assist the Archbishop. Duke Casimir has on his banner this posy, “Against the enemies of God and friends of priests.”
Earl John of Nassau has a regiment of English and Scots; Swissers, 2,000; French horsemen, 500. Frederick Ram, Stein, Weber, Buck and George van Walprun, each 1,000. Lazarus Muller, a regiment. John von Bergh, Doctor Beutterich (Beutrix), and Elector of Cologne (?) “have each of them conduct.”
The Archbishop in person raised the siege before Bonn and took Reindorp and Bornheim (Berenham). Both in Nüremberg and Frankfort were lanzknechts levied for Casimir, whose rendezvous was at Chepistein [qy. Eppstein].
It is believed that he and the Archbishop will besiege Cologne, where most of the townspeople are of the Religion, “the town being of all other in Christendom fullest of religious houses and men, who are unapt to war and of great riches.”
The Bishop of Liége is at Lierre, having taken the oath of those of Cologne, and now exacting it where he can throughout the diocese. Divers of the ecclesiasticals have sent to congratulate him, amongst whom the suffragan of the Bishop of Hildesheim being sent was taken by Charles Truchsess and put to ransom. The Count of Aremberg besieged Bonn as soon as the Bishop of Liége was chosen, but left it when the Elector's force appeared. The Duke of Cleve sent five pieces of artillery. Salentin, the former Archbishop, holds Andernach on the Rhine; Kaiserswerth (Keislerswerte), below Cologne, is held by Reiffenberg and Lauenbourg, a Canon of Cologne. The Duke of Bavaria was preparing forces at my passing through his country, having set watch and ward in all his towns and invited divers of the Emperor's Court to serve him. In Bohemia, pioneers are levied, said to be for the Prince of Parma, but suspected to be for the Bishop of Liége, to whom troops are being sent from the Prince of Parma and from Italy, these being replaced by bisogni out of Spain. Henry, Duke of Brunswick, prisoner with that King, has order to make levies for him. The Bishop of Liege is already in want of money.
It is thought that the voyage of the Archduke Ernest through Bavaria in post to the christening of the Archduke Ferdinand's child (before news of its birth) was with purpose to have conference with the said Duke. It is not remembered that the Emperor and Archduke Ernest have ever before been both out of Vienna at one time, “and that Prince is greatly governed of the Jesuits.” Archduke Ferdinand has the further cause to embrace this faction, in order “to clothe his son the Cardinal with the Bishopric of Liege.”
Some think the Emperor will try to appease matters, to prevent a quarrel which must lead to a great war, but how it could be stayed doth not appear, so that it might be best “to leave to each what he can catch,” and (as with the new calendar) to let Princes and people acknowledge the new or the old as they choose, especially considering the weak state of the Emperor, “both in his health, disposition and ability unequal to his calling,” which at this time requires a head better affected, so as this occasion will dispose those weary of his government to speak of change, “the House of Austria waxing aged, declining and in great misliking and the Hungarians . . . already taken with the valiantness of the King of Poland their countryman. The cities of Germany again made assembly, where they found excuse to defeat the payment of the last contribution in the Diet agreed, which rather is threatened to be employed” to assist the Archbishop.
This cause falleth out very happily for the Low Countries, Cologne being so near to them, “which they labour to bring to the general question of religion, that all Christendom may be divided in the quarrel.” The Princes of Germany have occasion given to help the afflicted in the Low Countries or to unite them to the Empire, as already those of Ghent have sent to Duke Casimir. So as in my opinion, this cause of Cologne, being well embraced, “will give the utter overthrow to the see of Rome.”
Endd. “A report of Cologne matters, 1583.” 10½ pp.
[Germany, States II. 72.]
Undated. 113. Two fragments of ciphered despatches from Sir H. Cobham.
Endd. 1 p. [France X. 34.]
114. Decipher of the above and others.
It is not certainly known whether the three priests of Flanders, come lately hither in secret, seek to frame an agreement between the French King (Hippolito) and the King of Spain (Medea), or practice with the Duke of Guise in matters apart.
Le Chartier is gone from Monsieur (Splendour) to persuade the King of Navarre (8000) to draw to him all his friends and not to part from his government; also to “compass” the Duke of Montpensier's friendship, that, if the King (Hippolito) should die, they might unite themselves with Monsieur.
The King “pretendeth” to remain privately at St. Germainen-Laye, leaving the management of affairs to his mother, who is to answer the complaints of the King of Spain's (Medea's) servants.
The Duke of Guise has moved Queen Mother to levy an army to be in readiness on the coasts of Flanders, offering to take charge of it; and the Duke of Maine has offered to lend her 300,000 crowns and to go by sea with forces against Spain to relieve Don Antonio. But this is suspected, as they would thus have armies by sea and by land.
I have informed Monsieur's agent that there are three priests of Flanders here, secretly practising with the Duke of Guise and the Pope's ministers. One of them may prove to be the Bishop of Arras. They are esteemed to be personages of importance and are sent, one from the Prince of Parma's mother, another from the Pope, and the third from Flanders. One is understood to be President of Liege, with whom the King of Spain's agent has often had conference. Monsieur has written to the Prince Dauphin that he wishes he had followed the advice of the King and Prince of Orange, and not made levies this year, which are shortly to be dissolved, to the discontent of many, in respect of their past charges.
Those who took the packets from the King of Spain's courier have sent them to Monsieur. “It is thought there should be merchandise worth her Majesty's sight. “
I am credibly informed that the King has sent a despatch, according all the demands for the marriage to her Majesty's satisfaction.
I hear the medicins of Lyons lately consulted touching the disease of the King, finding it hardly to be remedied, and doubting it could not be endured at most above a year.
Endd. Sundry letters and cipher from Sir Henry Cobham. 2¼ pp. [France X. 34a.] [These have doubtless been bound in their present place as belonging to the time of Cobham's embassy, but the allusion to the King's action in regard to the Anjou marriage shows that they belong to an earlier year than 1583. The mention of the King's retirement to St. Germain and the capture of the Spanish letters seem to point to Jan. 1581, and the cipher is that employed by Cobham in that year. See Cal. S.P. Foreign, 1581, 1582, pp. 18, 20.]
July, August. 115. Notes by Lord Burghley.
July, 1583.—Ludovico Orsini was brought to the Pope by the Cardinals d'Este and Medicis and the Duke of Sora, and reconciled to him. Signor Lamberto Malatesta was also reconciled, and for his penance enjoined to serve King Philip in Flanders. M. de Gazotto, a French secretary, was sent to the Pope, to procure his making certain Frenchmen cardinals. Preparation is made for the Pope's going to Bologna. The Duke of Aumale's brother has taken the Order of Malta.
Duke Joyeuse has been saluted by all the Princes of Italy except the Duke of Urbino, who also forbore to visit the French King when he came out of Poland by Venice. Duke Joyeuse was accompanied to the Pope's presence by the Cardinals d'Este, Santa Croce, Rusticucci and Gonzaga and the Duke of Sora, with 53 coaches, and on his return by Cardinals Farnese, Medicis, Savelli and Gambara. He departed from Rome the 3–13 of July.
Four Tuscan galleys arrived at Messina with a prize of the Turks of 40,000 crowns. A marriage is made between the King of Poland's niece and his chancellor.
The Pope's gifts to Duke Joyeuse. Two “pair” of agate beads one for himself and one for his wife and a pair for his brother, the Grand Prior of Toulouse. July 13 he supped in the palace of Cardinal San Sisto, with Cardinals 'Sans' and Este and the Duke of Sora. He gave 2,000 crowns to the order of St. Francis, left at Loretto, for the French King, six silver lamps, and gave 2,000 crowns to the Pope's guard.
He received from Cardinal Este three great vessels of crystal, two cushionets enriched with stones and pearls, twelve towels of “the Indias work,” three dozen of “handcyrch,” two basins of tortoise-shell and a very famous horse called Sultano. Cardinal Medicis gave him another fair horse. 15 July he came to Florence, where the Duke met him with 400 horse and gave him two fair horses and the Duchess certain fine linen, and he gave to the Duke's gentlemen 4,000 crowns.
August.—The notes under this head are, for the most part, a precis of Cobham's letter of Aug. 4. See p. 53 above.
Spain. It is held for concluded that the King of Spain will marry his cousin, la reine blanche of France. The Count Palatine will marry the Count of Embden's daughter, [her mother] being daughter of the King of Sweden.
Germany. The army for the Elector Truchsess is thus conducted:—[See list on p. 50 above.]
France. The French King was offended with his sister for often sending her private [gentleman] Madran to Monsieur. The ladies Duras and Bethune are sent to Madame de Nesle, daughter of Cardinal Birague. [See Cobham's letter of Aug. 5 above.]
Mr. John Herbert was with the King of Denmark on 23 June at Hadersleben, and concluded a treaty with him that the English merchants might freely pass into Muscovy by all the coasts of Norway, and take harbourage in all his dominions, paying 100 rose nobles to his customers at Oresound; this contract to continue during the lives of the two Princes.
The style of the King of Denmark: Fredericus Secundus &c.
The persons that treated with Mr Herbert: Nicolaus Kaas, Cancellarius, Henricus Bellow, Capitaneus Coldingensis, Henricus Ramelius, a noble of Pomerania.
Duke Magnus, the King's brother, is lately dead in Courland, and contention is likely to follow between the Kings of Poland and Denmark.
4 pp. [France X. 35.]


  • 1. The words in italics are in cipher.
  • 2. Duke John Frederick, of the Ernestine line, put under the ban of the Empire and carried a prisoner into Austria in 1567.