Elizabeth: August 1584, 21-31

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 19, August 1584-August 1585. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1916.

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, 'Elizabeth: August 1584, 21-31', in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 19, August 1584-August 1585, (London, 1916) pp. 28-43. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/vol19/pp28-43 [accessed 30 May 2024].

. "Elizabeth: August 1584, 21-31", in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 19, August 1584-August 1585, (London, 1916) 28-43. British History Online, accessed May 30, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/vol19/pp28-43.

. "Elizabeth: August 1584, 21-31", Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 19, August 1584-August 1585, (London, 1916). 28-43. British History Online. Web. 30 May 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/vol19/pp28-43.

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August 1584, 21–31

Aug. 21/31. Pinart to Mauvissière.
As this gentleman of Mr. Walsingham's is returning into England, I write this to tell you that I despatched the comptroller, Jehan Furnier, to the Queen Mother, who sent him to his Majesty with your letter. The King has deferred his final resolution on all affairs of Stat until his return from Lyons. But in pursuance of what their Majesties lately wrote to you — to ask the Queen for a passport for M. de Seton to return to Scotland, because he greatly dreads the passage by sea — you are desired again to urge it and to procure a reply from the Queen, who may rest assured of their good will in all things, for you know well that their Majesties will rejoice to see affairs take a good course for making sure the friendship between France, England and Scotland; and to bring about this good result, my son will be ready to go to you as soon as they there have taken a good resolution for your journey; and since it is their Majesties' will, I shall be very glad for him to do so.
We are here at the nuptials of my son-in-law, M. de Laubespine (l'Obpingne,) Secretary of State to the Queen Mother.—Paris, last day of August, 1584.
Written below in a French hand. “Copie of M. Pinart his letter, send be Sir Francis Valsingham to the ambassador of France.”
Copy (very incorrectly spelt). Endd. Fr. 1 p. [France XII.45.]
Aug. 21/31. De Villiers to Walsingham.
The more I reflect upon the affairs of this country, the more I see the need of great and speedy aid, for courage fails, and in this fear and extremity some look for aid in one direction, some in another, and what pleases one displeases another. Deliberations are tedious, not only because of the difficulties which exist in popular alliances, as are noticed in the first discourse of Pericles, but from the obscurity which there is about this matter of succour, one promising himself much, another little. I know the party-interests, hates, jealousies and other passions amongst peoples and towns, different yet of equal power, who do not think of the common misery, but whet each other as to a point. If then it pleases you to aid them, I pray you, keep these difficulties before your eyes.
I hope shortly to retire into private life, but seeing M. Ortell ready to set out, I could not but put these things before you, on which I believe the state of many churches depends. The Princess, who is now writing to her Majesty, desires me to give you her remembrances, and to pray you, as you have ever been a friend to the late prince, to continue the same friendship to herself and her children.—Delft, the last of August, 1584.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Fr.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XXII. 74.]
Aug. 23. Françis de Civille to Walsingham.
I can assure you that I never undertook voyage more gladly than this, from the great desire that I have long had to offer you my services. It has happened that the searcher of this town has seized two trunks of ours and two packets of arms of the fashion of Sedan which the Duke of Bouillon is sending to you and to most of the lords of the court, from whom he received very great favours during his journey in this kingdom, in order to show that he has not forgotten them. And as the said searcher wished to open the said packets and boxes and the letters which the Duchess of Bouillon, Monsieur de Bouillon and the Count de la Marck wrote to her Majesty, yourself and the other lords, which is against the express order of our said lord, for fear that the arms might be injured or changed in order, I resolved to send you my lord's lackey to inform you of it; that by your means, we may have letters from the Council or the Lord Treasurer, or such as hold authority therein, to the searcher, to take off the arrest of our two packets and trunks, in which are the said letters and arms, with some stuffs and clothes belonging to me, and to deliver them to us without opening and unpacking them, seeing that we should not be able to put them back in the same manner that the Duke had them arranged in his presence. Praying also that you will be pleased to aid us by your authority to find hereabouts a cart to convey the said trunks and packets, which are too heavy to be carried on horseback, upon condition of our paying well those who shall deliver them to us. I ask this because we are informed that such do not usually come from London hither, so we should have cause for still further delay here, and should be retarded in communicating to you what I have to say on behalf of the Duchess, which requires haste. And that she may receive answer thereto, I am charged to send back speedily the Sieur de Jolytemps, who has come with me expressly for this purpose, after he has humbly kissed your hands.—Rye, 23 August, after the custom of this kingdom, 1584.
I also bring some jewels from the Duke of Bouillon, which I did not wish to show the searcher, and of which I pray you to make mention in your letter.
Add. Endd. “13 August,” as if it were dated new style. Fr. 1 p. [France XII. 46.]
Aug. 23./Sept. 2. James Colvill of “Esteremes” to Walsingham.
“My lord” [sic], I have asked this bearer to assure you of the continuance of my goodwill to do her Majesty service, as also to your honour, for the great favour received at your hands, “quhilk I shall be ready to acquit with all kind of service lies in my power.
“My long being out of my country, and evil treatment of my friends, with the rigorous dealing against my servants, compels me to 'mein' (fn. 1) myself to your lordship, praying you to let the Queen's Majesty understand my faithful part to do her Majesty service; and now, when I am a banished man, who neither dare but [i.e. without] my great danger repair in my country nor where my friends are; seeing her Majesty has been bountiful to sundry others, I have ta'en that hardiness to put you to charge, that I may be remembered in my great extremity. . . .
“All 'sic' things as I can learn here my lord ambassador will let you know, yet I cannot omit to assure you that the papishes here has as assured hope (as God is in heaven) to have mass shortly erected in Scotland, and for this effect has presently directed into Scotland Mr. William Creichton (Crechtown) and Mr. James Gordon, jesuits.”
I crave your pardon for my hardiness, and assure you that "no living man is more really your lordship's 'nor' I am.”—Paris, 2 September, 1584.
Postscript.—“I have directed a servant of mine to Scotland for a couple of hackneys (haknayis) which I have promised, because he esteems more of them nor they are worth, and if your honour may easily (esale) have a couple to send to me . . . you shall have when I am a Scots man what may pleasure you withal.”
Spelt in Scottish manner. Add. Endd. “From the laird of Esterweymes.” 2 pp. [France XII.47.]
Aug. 24. Stafford to Burghley.
I can write nothing now but of the health of your son and nephew. Mr. Robert has come home safe and sound from Marchaumont's, where he has seen everything in those quarters. We will now see all things here, and if our journey to Blois (Bleez) hold, will omit nothing by the way. — Paris, 24 August, 1584.
Holograph. Add. Endd. by Burghley. ½ p. [Ibid. XII. 48.]
Aug. 24. Stafford to Walsingham.
The absence of the Queen Mother and all others leaves me no great matter to write. “We all stood here at gaze looking for some great matter to come of this so hasty journey to Lyons, and thought that having left such great causes of importance behind him, and flying in such haste thither. . . . some great matter had been the cause, but as far as yet men can find, parturierut montes &c., for in truth, there has been nothing but dancing, banqueting, from one house and company to another, bravery in apparel glittering like the sun; only one thing is done to make men to bite at, and perchance it is a thing of purpose done to make men's minds occupied that there is some great matter in hand, which is that upon the Duke of Savoy's sending the Prince of Genevois to the King to Lyons (he himself remaining still at Chambery), the King hath sent the Duke Joyeuse to him, which causeth men to think that so dear a favourite of the King should not have been sent to pass so dangerous a mountain as is between Lyons and Chambery without some cause of great importance.” But some that know the King very well believe that it was only for a colour to send him away whilst he receives Epernon, who arrived at the same instant, and make much of him without envy of the other; for some say (but I will think better) that the King is more careful to make much of them and not vex either, than he is to maintain his state and people.
One thing only has marred our sport and mirth at Lyons, that Duke Epernon riding a “fearful” hackney, the horse was frightened by a red cloak, backed into a precipice, broke his own neck and put his master's shoulder out of joint. The Duke could not get farther than the next house, whither the King came with great lamentation, and tarried with him till he was able to be carried to Lyons. If the accident said to have happened to his fellow, passing the mountains, be true—that he has broken his wrist—the King's sorrows will be redoubled, “though the people nothing at all weep at it, but had rather it had been their necks than any joint else, the King having racked them for their sakes as he hath done. As unhappy as the poor people is to have such a King, who, they say, seeketh nothing but to impoverish them to enrich a couple, and that careth not what come after his death . . . and that careth neither for doing his own estate good nor his neighbours' states harm; so, in my poor opinion, seeing that we cannot be so happy to have a King to concur with us to do any good, yet are we happy to have one that his humour serveth him not to concur with others to do us harm.” And to keep him from this last, "I can devise no better way than in honouring him and feeding him with vanities and shows of delights, which he careth more[for] than for matters which touch him nearer. . . .
“The Garter I know he looketh for at his return, and maketh no small account of the honour that is done him. It may be that in the gog of that, if in the receiving of it he may be moved to any other thing, it is likely that at that time he will sooner hearken to it than at another.”
I still find difference of opinion about the departure of the Guises, there being now not one of them left here, except Madame de Nemours, “about a process she hath,” and she goes away within ten days.
“In show they go away very evil contented, and the King doth seem greatly to desire their retire, and little to care for their coming again. This, some and the most part think to be ex abundantia cordis and that it is of jealousy that the King hath conceived of them, which is irreconcilable.” I could think with them, were it not “that the King is catholic in extremity, led by Jesuits, who are the only servants and ministers for the King of Spain, upon whom the Pope dependeth wholly.
“The house of Guise is linked with the King of Spain, therefore, [if] he list to favour them as is likely and most certain he will, and if the Jesuits may lead the King, the King of Spain the Jesuitse, and the Pope colourably them all, I conclude that it standeth upon the King of Spain's greatness to maintain the Pope, upon the Pope's greatness to maintain the house of Guise, his only pillars against the King of Navarre and them that he taketh for his enemies.” Also, if the King were so jealous of them as they say, he would put their favourers out of office, especially public offices in this town, where they are chiefly beloved (though not so much as they have been), which he has not done, although the time of the provost of the merchants, who may do the most here, is expired and he might have put in a new one, instead of which he has had the old one chosen again, “which is the President Neuilly, the violentest man in this town,” and whom the Guises trust above all other.
Nor would he have permitted the open assemblies made before the Duke of Guise's departure, of the Cardinal of Bourbon, the whole house of Guise and the Duke of Nevers, where all their partisans met, “and no speech held but of the Cardinal of Bourbon's right, and consultations how to bring it to pass and to 'devance' [forestall] the King of Navarre.”
Finally, if he were so jealous of them, he would lean more to the contrary party, of which I see no intent, “for all Epernon's entertainment and fair show to the King of Navarre.”
The other side answer, “that for the first—the King's extremity in religion—they think it not to be so hearty as it shows, and that though it were that in matter of conscience he might be led, in matter of state he is jealous, and so fearful of any attempt against him in his life-time, by them that have more love of the people than he, by reason of the great exactions he hath laid upon them, that all the world cannot draw him but to keep them short that may trouble his quietness.”
To the second point, they say he has chosen the President again as provost, “because he is the fittest man to serve his turn, both to invent new exactions to lay upon the people and who will soonest yield [qy. wield] his authority to pluck anything from them that may be; as he did the last day with his own hands deliver to the King 70,000 crowns out of the Town House against all their wills, by which means a great many poor widows and orphans, that had their rent assigned upon that, are ready to beg for want; and that the King hath watches over him and all in this town that depend upon the house of Guise to advertise him presently (which indeed is true); whether it be for a show to make men to conceive he is jealous of them when he is not, I know not.
“To the third they answer that the King letteth them assemble to know their drifts from time to time, which he is throughly advertised of by watchers he hath continually with them, to whom he giveth great rewards. . . .
“To the last, they confess they see no much greater matter of show of affection to the King of Navarre than they did, but yet they hope better.”
I was very sorry your servant, this bearer, had no directions to go further. “For God's sake, Sir, let not small ceremonies and fear of a small charge make them think her Majesty careless of them that by reason we are to entertain, and especially now, being upon that spectative that he [the King of Navarre] is, at which time, being our friend, he may stand us in great stead, and of whose friendship we may surelier hope than of another, being bound to us divers ways, and especially by religion, which is as great a bond as may be. And besides, if he should take an opinion that her Majesty should neglect him, God knoweth what change the frailty of flesh and the greediness to be assured of a kingdom may work in him, when he shall see that he hath many enemies for his religion to hinder him of it and no friends for the same cause upon whom he may trust. I do what I can to keep things in good terms of assured friendship with his servants here. You must give some occasion from that side to make them not to think me a dissembler.''
Out of Spain it is written that Marc Antonio Colonna is dead there, and feared to be poisoned by the Spaniards, who were envious that the King was sending him into Portugal.
“The books to answer the True Execution of Justice in England, which I have long agone written to you were a-doing, are now come out. I have sent you one of them. It is Dr. Allen's and Nicolson's doing, printed, as I hear, at Rheims, though they say in Germany; marvellous closely kept here from selling, not to be had for money.” I got those I have from one of their own faction, who tells me that two “companies” of them are gone into England, two hundred in a company.
There is, I think, “no speaking to have them called in,” first, because they are very secretly sold; secondly, because they would make men believe “it is because we are touched to the quick,” thirdly, “because the King was willing to have ours go abroad, he will perchance say it is but their defence; and therefore it is better to let them run, as making no account of them, or else to answer them without saying anything; for speaking against the publishing of them maketh them more desired and better believed of a great many.”
There are at Dieppe, waiting for a wind, two Scottish jesuits, Crichton (Gretton) and Gourdon, the right hands of Glasgow and Seton, who are going into Scotland with the assured hope that before Christmas the King will be openly a Catholic.—Paris, 24 August, 1584.
Add. Endd. 5 pp. [France XII. 49.]
Aug. 24. Stafford to Walsingham.
Has, according to her Majesty's orders, dealt with Pinard in the absence of the King and Queen Mother concerning Lopez. Found him very scrupulous in dealing in a matter of stay of justice without the King or Queen's express commandment. Went to the Lieutenant Criminal himself, who promised to do what he should have cause to thank him for, and next day gave sentence that the man should remain prisoner until the parties were satisfied, and quitted him of danger of life, which he takes it is what her Majesty requires, and in truth, were it not for his uncle's sake, more a great deal than he deserved. Her Majesty's letter came in good time, for the next day he had been past redemption. It was dated 28 July, but received only on 20 August, old style. (fn. 2)
Sends letters from the Lord of Weemys [see p. 30 above], who desires to assure her Majesty of his service; as also the Master of Forbes, who has escaped from Scotland.
[The next paragraph in the Cecil copy is not in the original letter.]
Is importuned by the merchants, who are not content with the answer given them.
Report that the Queen Mother may be made regent; speech by the King of Navarre concerning Epernon, &c.—Paris, 24 August, 1584.
Postscript.—Hears that someone is come from the States of Flanders, but not as a commissioner.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [France XII. 50.]
[Calendared at length in Report on the Cecil Papers, iii, p. 62].
Aug. 27./Sept. 6. Mauvissière to Burghley.
I believe you will be sorry that M. d'Estrees, the governor of Boulogne, has sent you back Mr. Cecil's hackney, knowing from your secretary that you were both so well pleased with him, which I wrote to him immediately, and that far from offending you, he had made you his friend; that you would be very glad the hackney should do him good service, and that you sent me word of this by your secretary, who spoke very handsomely in your name; so that all was, as I thought, well settled.
I do not know when M. d'Estrees would receive my letter, but it is sixteen or seventeen days since the hackney crossed the sea, being stayed there by some fright which she had on her first voyage. I send this bearer with his man to bring you the two letters he has written, to you and to me.
I have sent your packet to M. Pinart to deliver to Mr. Stafford.—London, 6 September, 1584.
Postscript.—You will see by M. d'Estrees' letter to me that he prays you (and I also on his behalf) to grant him a passport for some hackneys that he wishes to procure here. If. you will do him this favour, he will be greatly obliged to you.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [Ibid. XII. 51.]
Aug. 29. Stafford to Burghley.
Mr. William [“Robert” written above by Burghley] Cecil, your son, imparted to me somewhat about a misliking between him and his companion, Mr. Burde. I have thought well to write my simple opinion to your lordship, as being bound by kindred to the young gentleman, and also for your lordship's sake. I think the mislikes proceeded rather from Mr. Burde than from any cause in my cousin; not that I think Mr. Burde wants any love towards him, but from his choleric nature, without overmuch discretion to moderate it. Considering my cousin's soft nature, the worst companion for him is one in whom that humour abounds, the which “indeed I must say (if I had not been) had perchance caused them both no great good; for French hotheads and choleric humour with some stomach (as Englishmen are commonly not without) will scarce well agree,” and may make him fear some harm hereafter. It may be also, that desiring to travel further, a man of better experience and less charge than Mr. Burde would do him more good.
“I am bold, upon the care I see your lady hath of him, to write your lordship my mind, for the love and care I have of the young gentleman, with whom I could wish there were one to make him reap entire profit of his travel “in whom my cousin should see no imperfections, and so be drawn from those he himself has, which, though not many, some there must needs be, “being very impossible for a young man to be perfect.” But to have some one is most necessary, and who I hope may have as much love towards him as I doubt not Mr. Burde hath.—Paris, 29 August, 1584.
Add. Endd. by Burghley. 1½ pp. [France XII. 52.]
Aug. 29. Stafford to Walsingham.
The Duchess of Guise going to her husband, and discontented with the King's dealings with him. The Duke going to the Duke of Lorraine, and plotting to surprise places in Brittany. Expectation of a “stir” by the House of Guise. A Milanese gentleman said to be sent from her Majesty to treat with the King of Spain [note in the margin ]: “The party he meaneth is Sevigo, a very unfit man to be employed in prs. [or prt. qy. princes' or protestant] causes.” King and Queen Mother jealous of it. Sends a letter from Darbishire to a brother jesuit.—Paris, 29 August, 1584.
Postscript, not in the Hatfield copy. The Master of Forbes has been spied in the town, and therefore has been constrained to go to Lord Seton, who tries to draw him away with great promises. I do what I can to keep him from that, hearing that he is “a man of very good service.” Pray send me word what to do therein and whether it were not good to draw him into England for fear of temptation here. [Margin: “This party for his value, being a man well followed, deserveth to be entertained, if her Majesty would be at charges that way.”]
Holograph. Add. Endd.pp. [Ibid. XII. 53.]
The marginal notes are in the same hand as the decipher of the cipher words in the letter.
Calendared in Report on the Cecil Papers, iii, p. (3, and printed in Murdin, p. 421. In Cecil, p. 64, l. 2, for against the King read against the King's will.
Aug. 29. Stafford to Walsingham.
Sudden and strange news causes the despatch of this bearer. The French King's journey to Lyons is to meet the Duke of Savoy and arrange his marriage with Princess of Lorraine. The Duke's proceedings. His marriage with second daughter of King of Spain concluded. Prince of Genevois sent to French King and Joyeuse to Duke. Match with Spain declared by Duke. French King's anger and departure from Lyons. A French captain, Preaux, sent from Antwerp to the King. Assembly at Montauban in consultation, but nothing yet come of it. News from Low Countries, Italy and Spain.—Paris, 29 August, 1584.
Calendared in Report on the Cecil Papers, iii, 64. Printed in Murdin, pp. 419, 420.
[In Cecil, p. 65 line 10, for near, read new; l. 23 for St. Andrews read those of Antwerp; l. 30 for too many read so many; l. 34, for course, read old course.]
Add. Endd.pp. [France XII. 54.]
Aug. 29./Sept, 8. Mauvissière To Burghley.
I meant this morning to go and dine with you in your beautiful house, but was told by the Earl of Leicester that if to-morrow morning I would go with a few horses, I should meet her Majesty at the chase; which I have received as a great honour, not in order to speak to her of business, but to receive her commands to serve her, according to my master's affection towards her, which, by the help of God, will increase from day to day, as is very necessary for the good of their Majesties, their realms and their subjects, towards which I shall do all that lies in my power.
In regard to M. d'Estrees and what you yesterday wrote to me, do not be troubled about it, for he is and will be a good and affectionate servant to you and your son in France. And as to the hackney which he has sent back to you, take it in good part, for he had not received the letters I wrote to him on the 10 or 11 of last month, and will, I am sure, be sorry that he has sent her back when he has seen them, and heard the comptroller of the King's house, who was more than twelve days on the journey.
If it pleases you to give another hackney to the Sieur d'Estrees, I will send it to him when you like, and he will receive it as an honour and favour, and will be entirely yours, for he is a good and prudent gentleman. I have written to him this morning that when you go to the Court, you will help me to obtain licence for him to bring over two or three hackneys, as he desires.
My wife and I thank you humbly for your venison and the great pasties and for all the favour you show us. We kiss Madame's hands, and those of the Countess [of Ormond] if she is with you.—London, 8 September, 1584.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [France XII. 55.]
Aug. 29./Sept. 8. Mauvissière to Walsingham.
Some German gentlemen, who came into this kingdom to kiss the Queen's hands and see the country, returning into France, have been arrested at Dover, rather, I believe, to keep them longer to drink with their host than for any other cause. As they have been commended to me by M. de Schonberg, to whom they are of kin, I pray you to send them a passport or letters addressed to the officers of Dover, to let them pass freely.—London, 8 September, 1584.
Postscript, in his own hand.—I am urgently prayed by these Germans, arrested at Dover, to procure a passport for them, and if it were signed by her Majesty, as is the custom of those of that nation, they would put it with their treasure and the ancient monuments of their house; however, I believe that a word from you addressed to the officers of Dover would suffice, if it would take long to obtain the passport; for one of them is in haste to be in Germany by S. Michael's day.
I beg you to send me a word of reply, whether her Majesty will grant M. de Seton a passport to travel through this kingdom.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. XII. 56.]
Aug. 29. Gilpin to Walsingham.
In my last, writing of 92 [Holland] and 93 [Zeeland], how they sought to continue as they were, and to cast the agreement on other provinces, I set down Spain for France.
The same disposition continues and it is thought that France will be accepted, but the conditions not yet known, their intended sending to 50 [the Queen] being, as it seems, altered, as Holland and Zeeland are loth to give up any places for assurance of those taking them in protection.
People so ungrateful, proud stomached and ruled by humours, and with such speeches of 60 [England] and the 30 [King] of Spain's intent if he prevail here, as make them unworthy of the favour intended towards them.
Words they want none of 70 [France] but in my judgment it will be the Queen to whom at length they will “seek,” who then may deal accordingly.
By Ortel you will learn the issue of his negotiation, which was the less accounted of as he had no word of credence from the Queen, nor any of the Council, many of the States of Holland and Zeeland disliking his coming over without their assents.
“202 [the Admiral of Zeeland] beareth himself quiet, keeping 204 [Flushing] well furnished with 96 [troops] yet the towns- people have that care and such an eye that nothing can be done by the garrison without their privity.”
The States are still assembled at Delft; a Council of state, eighteen in number is made, and 200 [Count Maurice] chosen head thereof, though with no authority but pro forma. Increase of 96 [troops] needful, but means to maintain them uncertain. Upon doubt of the enemy's bending to Ostend, certain companies sent to augment the garrisons. News is come that they are laying siege to Vilvorde.
There is now no great fear that the passage to Antwerp can be barred, yet Montdragon endeavours by all means to compass it, and threatens them daily. If it so happened, they would in time be driven to surrender.
The dealing with the French is so forward that none with any other prince is heard of. In Antwerp, there is in hand a fort to be used on the river, which will bear the cannon, and “beat any place lying on the same.” M. Aldegonde bestirs himself in these actions, and is altogether for the French.
A practice by a hatter of Dort against that place has been discovered, and the party apprehended.—Middelburg, 29 August, 1584.
Add. Endd. Italicized words in cipher, undeciphered. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XXII. 75.]
[The letter cipher is of the simplest form possible, consisting merely in turning the alphabet the other way round.]
Aug. 29. Ortell to Walsingham.
Having arrived from Holland after being twice forced back by contrary winds, he begs to know at what time he shall come to the Court. He has letters for her Majesty and the other lords of the Council, but desires first to have a private interview with his honour.—London, 29 August, 1584.
Holograph. Add'. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. XXII. 76.]
Aug. 30./Sept. 9. Mauvissière to Walsingham.
I have made a short journey in which I have had much honour and good cheer from her Majesty, for which I praise God, and also that I have seen and left her in so good health. I did not speak to her of the Queen of Scots, and heartily desire never to be importunate or wearisome on that score; yet you sent me yesterday a letter from M. Pinart speaking of this journey, which for my part I refer entirely to her Majesty's discretion, in whose good graces I pray you to maintain me, assuring you I desire nothing more than to do her good service, always taking your opinion therein, as of my ancient friend who I hope will see clearly by my actions that my master's intention is good and sincere in relation to the Queen his good sister.
I am writing a short letter to the Queen of Scots, advising her to ask her Majesty's permission to send M. Nau, her secretary to her, well instructed of her sincere intentions towards her Majesty, and that he may shew the urgent solicitations sent from France, which has brought mistrust upon me here, not only from her Majesty, but from all the lords of her Council.
I pray you to aid me in this, and that M. Nau may shortly receive the desired permission, for I am sure it would be very well for her Majesty to hear him concerning his mistress's motives and her intention to do all that she has promised by me, but I have always found you slow to believe it.
I desire, for the short time that I shall remain here, to do away with all the mistrusts of the Queen your good mistress, and that you may be ambassador in my place, assuring you that I will hide nothing from you, that I may see good intelligence between their Majesties of France and England, which I shall do everything possible on my part to increase.
I send you a copy of the letters that I wrote to the Queen of Scots, and you may see the originals and all that comes and goes from that side, with which I wish to have no other intelligence than to see her do her duty, in all friendship with the Queen; or to keep up ours otherwise with Scotland.
M. de Seton is ready to return thither if her Majesty will grant him a passport to travel through her realm; for he has such a dread of the sea that he dare not venture himself upon it. Their Majesties have written to me to speak of it to the Queen, but I pray you to do this office for me, and let me have the answer to send to M. Pinart, whose son is quite ready to come to kiss her Majesty's hands when it pleases her.—London, 9 September, 1584.
Postscript.—Apologising for his bad writing, and praying Walsingham to look only at his good will. Has received in his journey so many favours from the Earl of Leicester, always well-affectioned to France, and from Mr. Sydney (Chedenay) his honour's son-in-law, that he knows not how to repay them.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Fr. 3 pp. [France XII. 57.]
Aug. 31./Sept. 10. Thomas Beckner to Walsingham.
My last was the 30th of last month, with one enclosed from William Robinson to his brother Mr. John Robinson; enclosed in a letter to my friend Thomas “Rucksbe” to be delivered to you. On the 8th inst. I received these enclosed from the said Robinson, with these two books to be sent to his brother, which I could not send away till to-day.
Mr. Burnam, at his passing this way, conferred with the said Robinson for his speedy despatch for Scotland, who is departed this morning. “Shipping be there ready,” which I understand is stayed to pass Lord Seton's son. He himself does not go yet. Here is a great talk of a stir in Scotland. I never saw so many English men and women as are here and daily come over, in my life; and supported, as far as I can learn, by English trading to this place, or they could not do as they do.
There arrived here yesterday a ship of London, Laurence Gillman master, who took in at Gravesend two young men, papists, and landed them at New Haven. He brought over five women also, but it is said they are Dutch. Divers ships take in passengers at Gravesend and other places, going along the river. Here is also one James Penson, come over “in trade of merchandise,” but doubted of many to favour them that fly out of England; haunts the company of papists and and has been seen at Eu and other suspicious places, transporting money to and fro. If they that fly the realm did not find such friends here, they could not live so much at their ease as they do, and would remain in their own country. Some of London that trade hither have none to deal for them but papists, as Mr. Hugh Offley for the chief, not that I think them other than her Majesty's friends, but in time the increase may bring mischief.
“There are that go from hence for England and Scotland, English seminaries daily.” There is now a son of Sir John Sotherhet of Lancashire going over with a priest; and one who calls himself Mr. Parry's man, a Gloucester man; they mean to carry a hawk (halk) with them; I shall try to be at Dieppe to see when they pass, but if I should be but two days out of my house, it would be said I had run away.—Rouen (Rone), 10 September, French style.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [France XII. 58.]
Aug. “Proposition” of Ortell to the Queen.
On my arrival in Holland, I at once conferred with some trustworthy persons of quality of the Estates of Holland, Zeeland, Frise and Utrecht, who assured me of their great satisfaction as regards your Majesty's good will and affection for the preservation of the Low Countries, and especially Holland and Zeeland, that they may be defended against the attempts of their enemies; thanking you very heartily for it, and laying before you in all reverence the state to which they are now reduced both by the death of the late Prince and the successes of the enemy, obtained by many plots and treasons, and who will gain much more if the country is not aided by their neighbouring princes.
And to speak frankly, as regards the above provinces, to no prince can they look rather than to your Majesty, both because of your well known kindness towards them and because you are the protectress of the true evangelical religion, which alone is publicly professed in these countries.
Therefore they desired that I should plainly lay before your Majesty all that has hitherto been treated of between the Duke of Anjou, the Prince of Orange and the said countries, giving me copies of the “acts” concerning them, and that I should propose to you certain measures, tending, as they believe, to the safety and increase of your Majesty's estate and affairs, and to the conservation of these countries, and of the other provinces, their confederates.
Viz. that it will please you, in the first place, to take the United provinces under your protection, on condition that the said provinces,—or at any rate, Holland, Zeeland, Frise and Utrecht—shall contribute towards the charges of the war, by sea and by land, two millions a year, and that your Majesty will preserve the said countries in their religion, rights, privileges &c.
Or, if your Majesty were not yet resolved to do this, that you would be pleased at least to take the said countries into a lasting alliance, not doubting but that all, or at least most of the United provinces would be ready to conclude such an alliance to your entire contentment.
That your Majesty might rest assured that the States of the United Provinces, and especially those mentioned, will by no means let themselves be persuaded to make peace with the King of Spain, whom long ago they abjured for good and sufficient reasons.
That the above mentioned provinces would not willingly make any alliance with other powers except by advice and consent of your Majesty, for the preservation of their religion, rights and liberties. And they would not have me conceal from your Majesty that the King of France has not omitted, by letters of credence given to M. des Pruneaux, both for the States General and for Holland and Zeeland, to urge them to accept him for their lord, requiring their declaration as to what they mean to do in regard to him; and that Brabant, Flanders and Mechlin have already resolved to accept him, and do all they can to bring Holland and Zeeland to do the same.
Thus it is all the more necessary for your Majesty to hasten your determination, and above all to send into Holland or Zeeland, where most easily some speedy succours of soldiers can be raised, three or four thousand men, well led by some good commander in your Majesty's pay, with other needful provisions at your Majesty's discretion, so that, pending other and better agreements, the towns and other places may be better guarded and held in safety, it being arranged that, the said succours being arrived here, the garrisons of Holland and Zeeland, for the provisional assurance of your Majesty, shall take oath to you as well as to the States.
Hoping that all this may be done and carried on by your Majesty in such fashion that the King of France will have no cause for offence.
Endd. “Copy of the proposition of Grise and Ortel, August, 1584.”
And below. “Verbal, in the month of August, 1584.” Fr.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XXII. 77.]
[Aug.] M. Ortell's Remembrances.
If it may not please her Majesty to take some further resolution in regard to Holland, Zeeland, Frise and Utrecht.
And seeing the very urgent need of those of Brabant, Flanders and Mechlin, who mightily urge the said four provinces to join with them without further delay in accepting the King of France for their absolute lord, for which M. des “Bruneaux” insists so strongly: that is to say if her Majesty will be content that the treaty with the King should be concluded, without the four provinces reserving anything for her, or without her Majesty intending to treat in any way with them on her own account, as being entirely satisfied with the said King and no way suspecting any league between him, the Pope, Spain and their adherents:—
If her Majesty would not think good, in case the treaty of Boulogne goes forward, that some safe and trusty persons from Holland, Zeeland &c., should likewise be there, more fully to declare to her Majesty by word of mouth what they think would be good, both for this kingdom and our States, or at least, seeing nothing to hope for from France, to have commission to treat with the said deputies of her Majesty, particularly in relation to the state of Holland, Zeeland, Frise and Utrecht.
Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XXII. 78.]
[Aug.] Note of documents relating to proceedings between the Duke of Alençon and the States General, beginning with the negotiations of des Pruneaux in 1578; also including those of Grise and Ortell in August, 1584.
4 pp. [Ibid. XXII. 79.]
[Aug. ?] “Certain questions necessary to be considered and answered in the cases hereafter contingent.”
1. If the Queen make peace with the King of Spain and the States refuse, but wish to continue the war, how can they do so without her aid, and how shall she be satisfied for her former charges ? And because the Queen is to continue the possession of the two towns [qy. Sluys and Ostend, cf. p. 50 below], which shall be for the benefit of the country and no profit to her, whether the States shall not bear the charges of their ordinary garrisons, placed there only for their surety.
“Likewise it would be known, what aid reasonably by the service of men at their charges the Queen may be at, upon covenants so to be reserved in her peace.”
2. If her Majesty, for their sake, shall refuse conditions of peace, and “continue in her war,” the following would be answered:
What “parcel” of her debt they will presently give her to furnish her charges towards prosecuting the war. What other yearly aid they will give her, in ready money, payable in England quarterly, for the same. What aid of men, yearly paid, to serve by land or sea they will yield her, if she needs them.
What number of ships, and men and victuals for the same they will give her, to serve either in the narrow seas or upon the Irish and Spanish seas yearly for the space of six months.
Finally what good assurance she may have for performance of these covenants. Undated. Date very doubtful.
Endd. Considerations for Peace. 1¼ pp. [Ibid. XXII. 80.]
[Aug. ?] Petition of the City of Elbing to the King of Poland.
The commissioners met on 20 July, and publicly announced their business. None of the cities except Dantzig opposed the suggested grant of free trading to the English. The arguments of the men of Dantzig may be shortly reduced under two heads:—(1) That it would undermine the liberties of the cities and natives of Prussia; in which connexion they wished to establish that there exists an ancient and proscriptive custom whereby only citizens and natives of Prussia are allowed to trade with foreigners in any city; and (2) that it would be to the damage of the realm and the other cities, as the English would establish a monopoly. [Prolonged argument to rebut these two heads, and indictment of the men of Dantzig as being the real monopolists.]—Undated.
Copy. Latin. 4 pp. [Poland I. 31.]


  • 1. “Mean” to direct one's way to, to complain, to state as a grievance. New Eng. Dict..
  • 2. This first paragraph is given at some length to supply the missing words in the Hatfield copy.