Elizabeth: February 1585, 21-28

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: February 1585, 21-28', Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 19, August 1584-August 1585, (London, 1916), pp. 294-309. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/vol19/pp294-309 [accessed 14 June 2024].

. "Elizabeth: February 1585, 21-28", in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 19, August 1584-August 1585, (London, 1916) 294-309. British History Online, accessed June 14, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/vol19/pp294-309.

. "Elizabeth: February 1585, 21-28", Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 19, August 1584-August 1585, (London, 1916). 294-309. British History Online. Web. 14 June 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/vol19/pp294-309.

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February 1585, 21–28

Feb. 21. Gilpin to Walsingham.
It is most true that Antwerp passage is closed up by twenty-four plates [flat-bottomed boats] filled with soldiers and great ordnance, and protected on both sides by ships of war. M. Aldegonde has lately written to the “Earl and Council” of this and of the state of the town, which he hopes may be kept in “good government,” if the neighbouring provinces will have some care to rescue it. Whereof the hope is the greater upon letters yesterday received from the commissioners in France, dated February 22, new style (which I have seen but cannot yet get a copy of) giving a long discourse of their reception and entertainment; the King having welcomed them most favourably, [Gives a short account of the Bang's speech, their audiences of the Queen Mother and Queen and their reception by the Chancellor]
Some write particularly “to have understood de bonne part,” that the King would make no difficulty about religion or the maintenance of their privileges, but it seems that without more absolute authority than Monsieur had, he will not meddle. It is thought that will be yielded, and that there will be no obstacle unless it be by the Duke of Guise, “who armeth, and is feared will stand altogether and work for the King of Spain, according to the words passed by him and Marshal Danville,” when they were with the King.
Copies of the letters are sent to the States General and the provinces of Brabant (“for which alone Antwerp now standeth, with Mechlin and Barrow,” Brussels being believed to be surrendered), Holland, Zeeland and Utrecht &c.
The King of Spain (if reports be true) is about to leave the government to the Empress, her son, the Bishop of Toledo and others, and to come to these countries. Admiral Treslong is deprived of all his offices, and his chief place given to Justinus of Nassau, base son of the late Prince. The Count of Hollock is still about Barrow, “in practise with some enterprise.” The Lord send it better success than the last.—Middelburg, 21 February, 1584.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland I. 47.]
Feb. 23. Derby and Stafford to Walsingham.
We have written at large to her Majesty of the reception of the Garter by the King (fn. 1), and of all the honourable courtesies done to us, but for fear of troubling her too much, we send to you the report of what has passed between the King and us, and the States [deputies] and us, about matters of the Low Countries.
“Upon Thursday, as soon as we had performed all ceremonies belonging to the receipt of the Garter, and brought the King back again to his chamber at the Augustines, I, Earl of Derby, declared unto him in short words that I had charge to speak with his Majesty from her Majesty somewhat concerning the States of the Low Countries and their treaty here, desiring his Majesty that having not means, for lack of language, to well and effectually express my meaning, that it would please him to give her ambassador lieger, who had the like commission joined with me, [leave] to declare unto him her mind at length.
“Then I, Edward Stafford, declared unto the King at large as much as the contents of our instructions was, adding withal that her Majesty, for the care she had of the well-doing of those countries, for the importance of it that it might bring to both these estates, as she had left by me no means unsought to procure at his Majesty's hand a speedy answer, . . . had also now sought by my lord (a personage of far greater quality) to seek the same,” hoping that now his Majesty, in respect of the sender, the bringer, and the necessity of what was demanded, would make her Majesty partaker of his mind. Which part of my lord's instructions, I was the cause he had not opened at his first audience, because very few days before, his Majesty had desired not to answer until he knew what the deputies would propound; but now that commissioners had treated with them, and there had been time enough to judge of their offers and determine what he meant to do, we besought him not to delay it longer, but to let us know his mind that we might send it to our sovereign, in whpse name we promised that she should send a speedy answer back again.
The King answered that though commissioners had treated with them, yet they had not fully made him partaker of it, “because of this time of pleasures” [i.e. Carnival], but that he would presently speak with them and the Queen Mother, and make answer to our contentation.
At our leave-taking, I reminded him again of his promise, adding that we demanded it from him now not only as an allied prince but as a brother of the order; one of the points he had taken oath to observe being” not to deny his help to the afflicted that should come to ask succour at his hand; that now at this time none were more afflicted than these poor countries that came upon their knees to ask his help and succour.
“To that he answered with a very cheerful countenance that we should find that he honoured the order so much that he would perform all the duties belonging thereunto,” and so we took our leave.
Next day there came to us Junius, “Moyllery,” Calvart and three more in the name of all the deputies, when Junius “first excused their not coming all this while, next offered themselves to her Majesty's service, acknowledging how many benefits they had received at her hands from time to time; last of all declared the cause of their coming to the King, . . . desiring us to further their requests unto him . . . the more thereby to heap the bonds that they had been of so long time bound to her Majesty for; and so Junius would have ended his speech, but was interrupted by another of them, who told him that he had forgotten to declare unto us how they came to the King to offer themselves as his subjects; always reserving, notwithstanding, the ancient alliances, intelligences and amities between England, of the which by no means they would abide any diminishing, but rather request an increase of better intelligence.
“Their speech being done, I, Earl of Derby, thanked them in short words in her Majesty's name for their coming, for their offer of service to her, and their goodwill, which I would make known to her Majesty.”
Then I, Edward Stafford, as was agreed upon by my lord and me aforehand, that I should answer them more at large, first gave them thanks for their coming as also for their goodwills they offered to her Majesty; then declared unto them her Majesty's commandments to me, from time to time, both afore the death of Monsieur and since, and my proceedings with the King thereupon, as also his answers; and lastly her commandment to me at the instant of my lord's coming, to help them in anything that they needed, and to watch for them and their security as vigilantly as for her Majesty's own service; which commandment was reiterated by her to my lord here present, “that by the authority of the greater personage the King might be moved the more, which yesterday he had (as I told them) executed, as also I told them the King's promise presently to answer us.”
That her Majesty's especial care was purely and simply to have them helped, which, that I should not forget it, was always repeated once or twice in her despatches, laying before them how many ways they were “beholding” to her.
And to the two points that the last man broke off Junius' speech withal, I answered them that we would advertise her Majesty of their offer to the King to be his .subjects, which I knew not what to answer to till by him I had commandment to write it to her Majesty and had received her answer back again; but that I was sure her Majesty would like of any thing that should be found to be good for their security; that for the last point, for their care in their treaty to have principal respect to the mutual amity between us and them, as it was a thing both our countries had best thriven withal, when that was carefully and faithfully maintained, so we could not but thank them in her Majesty's name that they had care and respect to it; that her Majesty, I was sure, would never care for [i.e. object to] a good and sincere alliance between them and France, for it was a thing she would and had long sought . . . whereunto if they found that our labours here might [give] any furtherance, I was to offer them all they could desire of us.”
And, as, until the King sent his answer to her Majesty, her mouth was stopped, I desired them also to press for the same, whereupon her answer would be returned with such expedition as would show them how greatly she desired to hasten their help, and how easily she would be brought to concur with the King in any action which they two and their wise “counsells” thought meet, for the succour of them “whom, simply and faithfully, she meaneth to have helped without seeking any commodity for herself, but only the honour to help their afflicted neighbours. The which answer they seemed to be greatly satisfied withal,” promising to do all that in them lay to procure the King's speedy answer, and so departed.
From us they went to the commissioners, with whom they tarried from six to nine o'clock, and hoping we should have answer, we stayed our despatch till to-day, when I found from Pinard that till Thursday at the soonest we should have none, and therefore keep it no longer.—Paris, 23 February, 1584.
Signed by both. Add. Endd.pp. [France XIII. 34.]
Feb. 23. Stafford to Walsingham.
It is said here that M. la Mothe (Motte) Fénelon will be sent into England, as soon as the King declares his mind. He denies it, yet I gather by his speeches that there is such a meaning. There is a doubt here lest, when it comes to the point, her Majesty will hinder rather than further this action. For my part, I think there must be “some extraordinary hope of some extraordinary greatness” to draw the King into it, “and God knoweth whether that will serve or no,” for no reasonable thing can be given him which can prevent them putting him out again when they like, with the help of good neighbours, if they see him go too far.
If la Mothe be sent, it is only to feel how the Queen will like of all, and if they find any cause “to think she will deal two ways, and seek to embark them and then to seek to turn the matter to another course, I think you will find they will make that their excuse, either to break off or to seek some new way, which I pray God it may fall out to be good.”
News came yesterday which the ill-affected subjects to her Majesty start at greatly : that Dr. Parry is committed to the Tower, and has confessed an enterprise against her person, “procured” from hence. I have heard of it two ways, “the one from among themselves, and that Morgan is greatly amazed of it”; the other, out of Pinard's house. “I marvel much how they can here come by things out of England afore I have them, and especially touching so near the quick as that doth.”— Paris, 23 February, 1584.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [France XIII. 35.]
Feb. 23./March 5. Fremyn to Walsingham.
Everybody is awaiting the result of the negotiations in France, each one believing according to his own desires; but as the dying generally have preachers of hope, who put them more at their ease, so the King of France is sending 1,500 or 2,000 horse by Cambray and four or five thousand foot by Calais, to aid Brussels and other places, and this may comfort the sick while they are waiting for the proper time to do more. Yet Brussels may be reduced to such extremity as to make an agreement with the enemy, deputies having been sent thence to the Prince, and he having some great partizans in the town, which makes us doubtful about it—although there are plenty of honest men there, who will do their best to preserve it, and the necessities of the place are not so great as they are rumoured to be—by the practices of intestine enemies; as also by the bad government there has been in the town for seven years, and so many treasons and machinations of the enemies of God's church, done in the name of religion, to betray their country and enrich themselves at the expence of innocent blood, and making themselves and their families in future the slaves of the Spaniards, if God do not scatter their designs. Moreover, if the enemy becomes master of Brussels, he will discharge all the garrisons of the neighbouring towns, which are now compelled to keep them by the power of the troops in Brussels, for the safety of that place. If the King of France accepts the lordship of the Low Countries, it will well deserve to be preserved for many reasons, and would be a great thorn in the foot of the enemy.
For the rest, the whole charge of what remains in Brabant rests upon Antwerp, which does all that is possible amidst these storms. You will have heard what has happened in Zeeland touching Admiral Treslong and others. One cannot be astonished by the misfortunes fallen upon sundry good towns of the country. God preserve the rest, for if the Admiral had done his duty, more than 300 ships would have come up to Antwerp, laden with all necessaries, before the river was shut up; which place will not hold out long, although it has victuals for two years if well managed.
Some here have caused rumours to be spread in England of the ill-treatment of the English, and that St. Aldegonde and others of the Council of Brabant have been the cause of it, but it will turn out otherwise than those who spread them would wish, and may be the means of their own ruin, by bringing upon them the indignation of her Majesty and her Council. Besides which, there are more lies in the world than truths. I can assure you that the other strangers upon the dykes have received only two months' wage in six, which is a half less than the English have had, and so also say our commanders, although the ill-treatment of others does not cure our malady. Were it not that I avoid being tedious, I could tell you all that has happened in the matter. I believe that Mr. “Morgant” has behaved as well as was possible amidst so many storms as there have been in his regiment; except that he said, after the last muster, that he had orders from the Queen to withdraw into England, which he should not have done, without better information that he had not received muster, and then demanded his dismissal. But he is infinitely troubled in all his affairs.—Antwerp, 5 March, 1585.
Add. Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [Holland I. 48.]
Feb. 23. Stephen Le Sieur to Walsingham.
Ever since my arrival, Colonel Morgan has asked me to help him in his business with the Estates here, which I have done most willingly. In “this his last occasion of despatching Mr. Powell,” you may see some of my works, not so ample as I wish they were.
The Estates greatly marvel at the sending for the Colonel in this their time of greatest need of protection from princes of that Religion for which these civil wars have continued so long. They hoped her Majesty would not suffer them to be overcome by the Spaniard, mortal enemy thereof, and I do not see but that this people, hearing the refusal of the French and in despair from her Majesty, will presently agree with the Prince of Parma, as Brussels, it is believed, has already done.
M. St. Aldegonde has complained to me of accusations made against him to your honour, and I think whoever it be does him great wrong; “unless men will be offended when they are not flattered but told the truth.” I see daily into his actions, which make me answer for him thus far. He desires my lord of Leicester and your honour to remember the speeches at sundry times touching accepting the French here, and withal her Majesty's words. Howsoever this matter is by some interpreted, “being forsaken of all others, and having need of present help, hath made them, contrary to their nature, seek succour at their ancient enemy.”
Being pressed by the haste of the bearer, I pray you to excuse me to my master for not writing at this present.—Antwerp, 23 February, 1584, stylo antico.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Flanders I. 4.]
Feb. 23. Colonel Morgan to the Council.
As it has pleased you to send my cousin, Anthony Powel, to deliver to me by word of mouth, with a little bill, her Majesty's and your lordship's pleasure concerning my regiment, I refer you for information to the report of the said Powel, only adding that during his absence in England, we were forced by want to agree that one month's pay of the two owed us by the States, should be “quitted” for the arms which my regiment received at their coming; the rest of the money to be distributed to every company equally.
For the other four months in their service, “I should pass muster, and according to it, the pay to ensue.” This muster was on the 16th instant, and next day—Powel having arrived—I visited St. Aldegonde and declared her Majesty's message. He humbly accepted her salutation, being very sorry that she should have any occasion of offence against them which should move her to send for me away; but seeing it was so, desired me to inform the Council, which I did the next day. My declaration was first delivered “mouthly” through Stephen Le Sieur, Sir Philip Sidney's servant, and afterwards set by him in writing, as you may see by this copy [wanting]. They desired time to determine upon it, as a matter of great importance in their present estate.
To-morrow is appointed for their answer. My determination is (according to your commands) to retire wholly with my men from hence as soon as I have received it and obtained passport from the Prince of Parma, though I foresee great discouragement which my going away will cause in the hearts of this people. Your wise judgments may conceive more than I may write. But truly their means are too weak to maintain many soldiers, keep forts and ships of war.
By the bearer, you will receive notes of my service since my coming, of the money I have received and what men I have left. With the next sure messenger you shall hear the success of my propositions to the Estates.—Antwerp, 23 February, 1584, stylo antiquo.
Postscript.—I pray you to excuse the long delay of the bearer, through the “dilations” of the Estates.
In Le Sieur's writing. Signed. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Flanders I. 5.]
Feb. 23./March 5. Captain Francis Littelton to Walsingham.
I am sorry I have not oftener written to you of what has passed here, but I knew that our Colonel and some of our Captains advertised your honour better than I could. I hear that it has been “voiced” that I was suspected to be one of the practicers with the Prince of Parma. I assure you “I was never a meddler in such foul actions nor never will be,” and hope you will hold your good opinion of me, for “I will rather lose my life than justly deserve the contrary.”—Burgenholt, 5 March, 1585.
Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. I. 6.]
Feb. 23./March 5. Captain John Morryss to Walsingham.
I humbly thank you for your letter. Since Powell came over we are preparing with what speed we may to follow the direction he brought, and the poor soldiers are very joyful that “they shall be rid out of this miserable country.”
The Prince of Parma has stopped the river, and presently after sent “Allagundie” a trumpet with a couple of partridges, to tell him so, and, if he did not believe it, to offer him safe-conduct to come and see. Whereupon Allagundie answered “that he did look for one very shortly that should give him thanks for his partridge.” It is bruited that Brussels is surrendered, and that on February 27 the Admiral of Zeeland was apprehended with other captains. Mr. Yorke now lies only for his charges, which are about a thousand guilders or more. Since Colonel Morgan came over, “he hath yielded unto lendings this three months, which hath been but two stivers and three stivers a day a man, which hath been the utter undoing of all our soldiers.” Allagundie would have had him go to Bergen-op-Zoom, to go with the Grave Hollock to s'Hertogenbosch (Satting-hambus), but he refused because of a private quarrel between them. If we had gone, we had all been made rich and won great credit.—Antwerp, 5 March, 1585.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Flanders I. 7.]
Feb. 24./March 6. Mauvissière to Walsingham.
I have been greatly astonished by what Mr. Wade said to me yesterday touching M. de Courcelles; he having often sworn to me that he knew nothing of the ill intentions of any of her Majesty's subjects against her. He has prayed me to permit him to write a letter to you, containing the truth of his actions and of what he has always had in his heart. If he had done otherwise, it would be against his duty and the perfect friendship borne by the King my master to the Queen his dear sister, and without my knowledge, who would be his first and greatest enemy. He demands nothing but the true justification of his actions. I have always found him discreet and very modest, and I pray you, by our old friendship, which on my part shall be immortal and full of a sincere affection to the Queen and her estate, that the truth may be known of these who are with me, as I desire it to be of myself, who have not, as you know, escaped suspicion, without any foundation. I find the act, resolution and design of Parry so wicked, that there is no man of honour or of any sort of virtue who does not esteem him the greatest scoundrel in the world, and for my part I am sorry to have known a fellow so ungrateful towards the Queen. But it seems that God has done it to enhance the honour of her Majesty and to preserve her for the welfare of her subjects and friends, in which for my part I have laboured to maintain their Majesties and all the French people at her devotion.—London, 6 March, 1585.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Fr.pp. [France XIII. 36.]
Feb. 24. Stafford to Walsingham.
Staying till this morning for letters which my lord desired to write, I have received a packet from Shute, who has to-day arrived. “Unpossible it is this day to have the King, for he is even at this hour running up and down the streets like a madman, and we are going now to Pont (Pount) Nostre Dame to see their mad humour, being thereunto moved by the King, though not in plain words, yet underhand persuaded to it.” To-morrow we will do the best we can to effectuate the contents of your letter. I pray God we may have better success than we hope for, “by reason the thing is known afore, though not the charge of our commission”; and that if the King (as he makes show) seeks more and more in heart to embrace her Majesty's friendship, he will show it now, “and not be scrupulous in the delivery of naughty persons, as he hath wont to be.” There shall be no want in our diligence, as I pray you to assure her Majesty.—Paris, 24 February, 1584.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [France XIII. 37.]
Feb. 24. Hoddesdon to Davison.
For your better contentment of the 6,350 gilders, I gave Mr. Paul Buys, before leaving the Hague, an acquittance for the town of Amsterdam for a sum due by them to me, whereof he doubted not but to have good payment. If not, I pray you receive my acquittance, which I delivered to M. Buys, and send me the same cancelled, for I have laid a “platt” at Middelburg with Mr. Copcott for your satisfaction on sight of my letter.
I think your servant Burnett will be “over,” for he left the Brill the day before I departed from the Hague.
My own passage has been hard, for through foul weather and contrary winds I was driven to lie three nights upon a “feather board” between Rotterdam and Middelburg, where I arrived last Friday afternoon and remained until yesterday, when I came hither, and am here waiting for the wind.
No news out of France save that about Motterel [qy. Montreuil], a kinsman of the Earl of Derby was by chance drowned, and that the Earl was very honourably received at Paris and met by the Prince Dauphin (Dolphin). From England they write that Dr. Parry is committed to the Tower for practising against her Majesty's life, having taken an oath at Rome to that end. “I hope if he be hanged, the prophecy in the papistical almanac be ended.”
All the ships which lay at Lillo for a passage to Antwerp have returned void of hope, for the river is closed in such sort that no passage is possible. Admiral Treslong is committed to prison, as a hinderer of their going “when good time offered itself.”— Flushing, 24 February, 1584, stilo anglicano.
Pray cause one of your servants to send me Mrs.(?) Buys' medicine, and demand the acquittance if you are not satisfied as aforesaid.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland I. 49.]
Feb. 24./March 6. John Herbert to the King Of Poland.
Asking him to insert in his letter to the Queen a statement that free exercise of trade has been established at Elbing, or at any rate, to order his chancellor to hand the writer a copy of the report of the commissioners at Levartow, as a proof that he has done his duty. Die cinerum, 6 March [n.s.] 1585.
Copy. Endd. Latin. 1 p. [Poland I. 37.]
Feb. 25. Elector Truchsess to Davison.
Many hindrances have prevented his writing since arriving in this town, or sending the letters for the Earl of Leicester and Mr. Walsingham, which he now does, praying that they may be sent safely to their hands.—Utrecht, 25 February, 1585, stilo antiquo [as regards day of month].
Holograph. Add. Fr. 1 p. [Holland I. 50.]
Feb. 25./March 7. Don Antonio to Walsingham.
There remains on hand the passport which her Majesty sent for Diego Botelho, thatJie might go from Flanders to that realm to visit her, as I had ordered him, but which in regard of his indisposition he did not do, as Edward Prym (Perim), the bearer of this, will tell you; from whom I have learnt the good-will which you have always shown in assisting and favouring my affairs, for the which I am so much indebted to you that, in whatever state I find myself, I shall not fail to perform all in my power to show you my friendship. I pray you to send me good news of your health.— “Sueinhao,” 7 March, 1585.
Signed. Add. Endd. Portuguese. ½ p. [Portugal II. 15.]
Feb. 26. Le Sieur to Walsingham.
Since Mr. Anthony Powel's departure, Colonel Morgan has daily waited upon the States for his answer and has to-day received “the contents” of the enclosed writing [wanting']; whereupon he requires his own and his regiment's entertainment. Meanwhile, he has given order to be furnished here with money to transport his soldiers, by virtue of a letter from my Lord Treasurer to the Merchants Adventurers on this side, and “knowing further the States' intention touching his contentment, to send unto the Prince of Parma for a passport” for him and his men to Dunkirk, there to embark for England. As far as I can conceive, these men will not give him leave to pass through their dominions, having passport from their enemy, else he would go by Zeeland. Great complaints arise from both sides on the going away of this regiment, and at this time. I have not time to discourse much of it, but I could wish (as every lover of the Gospel doth) that the actions of some had been better than they are.
Letters written by the commissioners in France on Feb: 26 [n.s.], have this day come to the States' hands, mentioning that the King has promised them to have the like care of these countries as of his own crown; levies are already being made in great number, and another messenger shall be sent this week. This not a little rejoices many here, though some still live in doubt.
M. de Tempel writes that if assured of French succour he could hold Brussels till Easter, notwithstanding his great want of corn.—Antwerp, 26 February, 1585, stylo antiquo.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Flanders I. 8.]
Feb. 27./March 9. News from Rome.
This week has been wholly spent in festivities and comedies, the chief being at the Duke of Sora's house, where were the Cardinals San Sisto, Vastavillano and Ezza [qy. Deza], with many Roman gentlemen and ladies.
Saturday, the Pope went to Monte Cavalli and next morning to mass at Madonna degli Angeli in Terme. Tuesday he returned to St. Peter's. Next morning [Ash Wednesday], chapel was in the Palace. Cardinal San Sisto sang the mass; a Spanish referendary preached; and his Holiness gave the ashes to all the Cardinals, and then went to Santa Sabina, where Cardinal Spinola received him and all the Cardinals with the usual ceremonies.
Signor Paolo Giordano and all his Court expected. Also Donna Felice from Gaeta. Donna Geromina already arrived. They will lodge at the Palace in the Campo di Fiore.
From Florence.—Don Pietro di Medici is recovering from the fall from his horse.
From Milan.—Captain Peralta is gone to the garrison of Correggio, by order of the Duke of Terra Nova, to compose the dissensions there; who took secretly the way to Chiavenna, to carry on that enterprise, which, if it succeeds, will be the extirpation of heresy in the Valtelline.
From Naples.—Fights of bandits in the prison of the Vicaria with each other. Ascanio Fusco, a famous bandit, has offered the Regia Camera 10,000 crowns for his release.
The four accomplices at the death of Giacomo Uberti were consigned to Pitigliano, but Signor Alessandro sent them away and they are said to be taken into the state of Madame of Austria. Signor Giulio Colonna was at Capravola, Cardinal Farnese wishing him to go into his banishment at Fabrica.
Yesterday the Pope went down to St. Peter's to “do” the seven altars, accompanied by many cardinals and all the Court.
On Thursday, the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, there was chapel at the Minerva, twenty-two cardinals assisting.
From Spain.—The King was at the monastery of Santa Fé, two leagues from Saragosa, awaiting the Duke of Savoy, who landed on the 18th of last month at Barcelona and was to make his entrance into Saragosa on the 22nd. Great preparations had been made at the places by which he passed, by his Majesty's orders. There was great scarcity throughout Spain.
In the Piazza at Velletri has been found a mandate, sent as is said by Luca di Sora, the bandit chief, demanding amongst other things the title of Altezza and Duke of Velletri. Twenty-five thousand crowns of the Camera, coming to Rome from Macerata, was attacked at Colporito by La Morte and his band, but the Corsican escort defended it bravely, killed two bandits and wounded six, and the band took to flight, to their great dishonour.
Italian. 4 pp. [Newsletters LXXII. 10.]
Feb. 27./March 9. Advertisements Sent From Rome.
Prague, 12 Feb.—Last week the Dukes of Saxony departed from hence, well satisfied with their kind usage by the Emperor and by the sentence in their favour. On Sunday the Italians here made a solemn masque, but the natives of this country cared for nothing but great health drinkings.
It is once again said that the Archduke Mathias will be governor of Austria. The Chamberlain Spinola has the gout, to the regret of everybody, he being the most obliging courtier at this Court. A courier has been sent in haste to Poland with letters from the Pope to Possovino. The Venetian deputies set out on Monday for Italy, having been banquetted bravely by all the ambassadors.
These lords of Bohemia will give to his Majesty the resolution passed at the Diet, and it is hoped that the Emperor will be able to remain for a long time quietly in Vienna, the plague having ceased there. It is said the Archbishop of Colocsa (Colecenze), Chancellor of Hungary, has been made a cardinal, but this is not certain.
Cologne, 24 Feb.—For ten days no ships have entered Antwerp, and in consequence they lack victuals, but it has been by force of the frost, which they say has carried away the palisade. One day there was a sortie with eight pieces of great artillery, but it is also said that the citizens are indifferent among themselves, who, seeing that the hoped for succour promised to them is a fraud, wished to kill the burgomaster, but with much ado he escaped. Meanwhile, Brussels has made an accord with the Prince of Parma, sending the soldiers away without their arms and part of them remaining in his Highness' pay.
Malines is also treating to enter into the promised land. The taking of Zuphen was not true. Many vessels were said to be waiting at Lillo for good weather, in which to go up to Antwerp, but learning that the Prince of Parma had armed five ships and six galleys to go thither, they departed in various directions.
Don Antonio having armed some vessels at the Sluys, went to cruise about and has taken a vessel going from Flushing into Spain, with very valuable merchandise.
Venice, 2 March.—On Saturday was published a decree that whoever killed anyone, who himself wore armour on his back, he was well killed and this for not obeying the other decrees, that they should not bear armour; and for reward, they may free two bandits, whatever their crime.
Letters from France say that the King gave audience to the Flemish ambassadors on the 5th of last month, but it was without any result, as he would not accept the enterprise. The said King had sent a courier post to that Signoria, demanding grace for the Count Ottavio Avogadro. Last Tuesday Bertazziolo, enemy of the Counts Avogadro, was hanged, and to-day some of the others were to be so also; and they say a book has been found in which was written accounts of sums given and received by those who had paid them tribute; they also found a great quantity of money.
On Thursday there was the usual festival in the Piazza, with the bull running, according to the custom of this city, and in the evening a pastoral was acted at the palace. That evening there came letters from Constantinople, confirming the rout of the Turks, and that the ships had been stayed which they were loading, and they meant to dismiss the men; also that Osman had defeated the Tartars, but that is not certain; and that the Bailo wished to stay while things of great importance were discussed.
Signor Ludovico Orsino has been to the Signoria with a great following; it is not yet said who will have the generalship; here are many competitors, and in particular, besides those already written of, are the Marquess Sforza and the Duke of Sabioneta.
Add.: To the Signori Dominico and Ottaviano della Torre in Leone, 9 March, 1585.
Endd. Italian. 3 pp. [Newsletters LXXII. 11.]
Feb. 28. Davison to Burghley and Walsingham.
On the 22nd inst. I received your honours' letters of the 19th with a double of one from our ambassador in France, importing how little appearance there was of these deputies' good success. Next evening there came letters from the deputies themselves, which were yesterday read in the Assembly of the States, not without mislike of the greater part, “who noted them to contain more ample report of ceremonies and compliments than solid argument of comfort or likelihood of their well-speeding.” The same evening the States of Holland (who, except Delft, have given best testimony of devotion to her “Majesty) sent to me the Lord of Brederode and the pensionaries of Dort and Rotterdam, to “communicate those letters with me,” and after some little speech, to and fro, they asked me if I had any other news about that matter to impart it to them. After some pretended scruple (lest my news should be misconstrued) I acquainted them with so much of our ambassador's letter as I thought expedient (not telling them the author), letting them see what hard opinion was conceived there of the success of their business by those who had good means to understand it and who seemed to look for no better end than a flat refusal, or such a masked embracing of their cause as would rather increase their miseries than relieve them; while (reposing on a broken reed) they would neglect all other means of relief; a thing they had already proved with Monsieur, and that more wounded their cause and profited the enemy than all the force he has. Which effect seemed very likely to follow again, as in the letters they had imparted to me, I observed no tokens of the King's disposition to embrace their cause; a thing the more to be noted after their being so long in France, considering the state of Brussels, in danger every hour to fall into the enemy's hands, which he would never have suffered if he meant to proceed sincerely with them, besides other things, as his not seeking to fortify himself with the amity of other princes, whereby he might the better “go through the war against an adversary so mighty as the Spaniard, after the example of his grandfather and father in their wars with the Emperor,” &c.; and as his brother Charles did, “under the like pretext but to a more mischievous end, as the sequel proved,” in renewing amity with the Queen before the massacre. All which things I doubted not but that they in their wisdoms did better consider, praying them to excuse me that from my affection to their well doing I had dealt so freely with them.
They confessed that I had said nothing that they themselves had not always feared, which was the cause that they of Holland had yielded so unwillingly to the treaty, only doing so by reason of the importunities and threats of Zeeland and of some towns amongst themselves (meaning Delft, seduced by their magistrates and chiefly by one Brasser, “made of a brewer a counsellor of estate”), which compelled them to follow the stream, a thing they are now sorry for and would willingly repair, which they may soon do if the next letter from the deputies contain no better comfort than these last.
In conclusion they said that the States of Holland intended that I should be advertised of whatever should occur, desiring to maintain all good correspondence with me, who they hoped would be a means to preserve her Majesty's favour to them; wherein I promised to do my best, albeit, as I said, their late carriage gave her little cause, but thought that, for the common cause, she might be moved to oversee it.
They have to-day imparted to me the articles sent with their deputies and promised me an authentic copy of them, which I accepted, as if I had never before seen or heard of them.
I doubt not you have heard of the apprehension of Treslong, charged as the cause that the fleet did not pass up to Antwerp the last fair wind, and “suspected to have otherwise forgotten himself,” whether justly or unjustly. He is in the common gaol at Middelburg, from which it is thought they have something of importance against him.
Justinus of Nassau, the Prince's base son (“a young gentleman of good expectation”) is Admiral provisionally, and is gone to Tertolle to convoy the fleet up on the first occasion; the river, as we hear from Lillo, remaining still open, although it was bruited to be shut on the 15th inst.
Ships from Lisbon and St. Lucas [St. Lucar] confirm the speech of that King conferring his eldest daughter on the Cardinal, his brother-in-law, but we hear nothing of the departure of the German commissioners into France, or of the bruited journey of the Marquises of Havrech and Bergues &c.
Here has been a great bruit of a fresh attempt against her Majesty, imputed to Dr. Parry. I should be glad to know the circumstances, to answer those who inquire of me. The Elector is still at Utrecht; Count Neuenaar being gone to take order to assure Nimeguen, where things are not yet without danger. —The Hague, the last of February, 1584.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holland I. 51.]
Duplicate of the above, with slight verbal differences.
Signed. Add. Endd.pp. [Ibid. I. 52.]
Feb. The Chief Counsellors Of France.
Duke Epernon, Duke Joyeuse, Villequier. These are the King's mignons, especially the two first, and they are all acquainted with matters of State, except some which none but Villeroy knows, sometimes not even the Queen Mother. For private favours, Epernon has the chiefest place, and Villequier the least, but for matters of counsel the King reposes more on him than “any” of the other two. None of them thought Spanish, except Joyeuse, who is suspected to be somewhat affected to that King, “because of the house of Guise, whom he is thought to depend on much.”
Villeroy, Bellièvre. These two the King reposes on more than on all France, especially in matters of State, and from them nothing is hidden. Upon Villeroy's hands lies all the weight of the State and he governs the King as he lists. Neither is thought to be Spanish, Villeroy wholly depending upon the King and Bellièvre “for being thought of all men the best patriot of France.”
These five are indeed all the Council of France, “the rest being called but when they have need of them for private matters of the realm.” The Queen Mother joined in most of their Councils, and none else.
The Duke of Guise, Duke de Maine, Marshal Retz, Chiverny, the Bishops of Lyons and Auxerre, Biron, d'Aumont (Domont), Duke Nevers. These are seldom called, saving Retz, Chiverny, Lyons and Auxerre for matters of finance or when the King means to have new edicts to get money, or to “extorquate somewhat of his people,” and then these are made instruments of it. Only Marshal Retz is the Queen Mother's “counsel,” and by her acquainted with all matters, but not by the King's commandment. He and Chiverny are suspected to be Spanish.
Duke of Guise and his brother and Nevers are called but to general matters. They “do greatly grudge at it, but there is no 'mend' to be had.” All thought Spanish.
The rest of the counsellors be nomine et forma, but not in deed, and none but the five first be a secretis. Villeroy, for affairs of State is all in all, whom the King favours so much that ordinarily in matters of weight, when the other secretaries bring to the King packets belonging to their circuit, “he delivereth them to Villeroy to make report to him of, and to answer them if need require, so that for ordinary matters the other two serve but for a cipher.”
In Stafford's hand. Dated by Burghley “Feb., 1584.” 1½ pp. [France XIII. 38.]
Feb. Leicester to his cousin Davison.
I make bold to ask the performance of your promise for the passing to me of Warmour Park. I have Gilpin's and Peter's good-wills and consents. I hear they should have paid you 200l. for fifty years, which I will pay you “presently upon the conveyance passed.” Pray therefore send authority to some whom you trust for despatching the conveyance and receipt of your money, and you will do me a great pleasure, which I will not be unmindful to requite.—The Court, — February, 1584.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland I. 53.]


  • 1. This letter is not amongst the State Papers. A draft of it is in Tanner MS. LXXVIII, No. 18, f. 78. Account of ceremony, Cotton MS. Calig. E. VII, 98.