Elizabeth: July 1585, 16-20

Pages 603-618

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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July 1585, 16–20

July 16/26 (?). The King of Navarre to the King of France.
On the French King's treaty of peace made with the Leaguers.—Bergerac, 26 July, 1585.
Printed in Lettres Missives de Henri IV, t. ii, p. 93. According to the MS. in France, the true date is July 11–21. See note, ut supra, p. 97.
Copy. Endd. with date, 27 August, 1585 (being perhaps when it was sent to England), in the same hand as the copy of the letter itself. Fr. 3 ½ pp. [France XIV. 50.]
Another copy of the same in very small writing and with a few slight verbal alterations. Day of the month omitted.
Endd. Fr. 2 ¾ pp. [Ibid. XIV. 51.]
July 16. Ortell to Walsingham.
Sends extract from a letter received the night before from a very good hand, who would certainly write nothing but the truth, from which his honour will see the undoubted intent of the Spaniards in regard to her Majesty and her estate. A few days ago, Van den Tempel affirmed that he had heard the same thing from the Prince of Parma's own mouth, with other like declarations.
Does not write this as an invented thing, or in order to forward their own affairs, but in all sincerity as one who with all his heart desires the preservation of the estate of both countries.—London, 16 July, 1585, stilo Anglico.
Extract from a letter of July 14, new style, from Sluys.
Captain Berendrect tells me that all the Spanish prisoners fallen into their hands declare that the King of Spain wishes to agree with us, and demands nothing more than due obedience, in order without delay to make open war upon the Queen of England, whose kingdom, they are so presumptuous and rash as to boast, they will gain in less time than a single town in Holland.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 ½ pp. [Holland II. 61.]
July 16. Steven le Sieur to Walsingham.
The Prince of Parma having refused me his passport, though I asked it in her Majesty's name, and by virtue of her safe-conduct, I am forced to stay here for a time.
This town, after many disputes, has consented to enter into treaty with the Prince, “and the sooner brought to it by the vehement persuasions of M. de St. Aldegonde, who hath a singular good opinion of the said Prince, other than his own writings will testify. Private conferences with his Alteze at his being last there with the other commissioners hath bred in him that opinion, and by his earnest incitation, contrary to most men's expectation here, the members of the town have appointed their commissioners (whereof he is the first) who are departed the 14th of this present with divers articles to be propounded unto his Alteze, not with any authority to conclude them, but hearing his Alteze's intention upon them all to return hither and make report of it; except his Alteze would grant all the said articles, of the which these be the principal:—1. First, free exercise of the protestant religion in certain churches; 2. No building up of any castle; 3. No garrison of what nation whatsoever in the town; 4. And all the forts hereabout razed to the ground. I would willingly let your honour understand with what vehemency and hastiness this conclusion and sending of commissioners hath been advanced, but the danger of the ways will not give me leave.”
The martial men have sent for a passport to “have some commissioners” to treat for their departure if the accord takes place. “I am required by Col. Morgan to go in his name” and the others desired me to go in theirs but I refused them. The passport is looked for to-day, and if it come we are to depart tomorrow. I believe the Prince will have the town unless in very short time it be relieved. The necessity is not so great that a present composition must be made, “but the little fruits they see out of Holland and the small hope out of England, is the cause they have undertaken it so soon.
“M. de St. Aldegonde is among those of the Religion greatly condemned; insomuch that four ministers have of late come to him and censured him bitterly; but he standeth upon his justification. I have often had particular conference with him; what I have found in him I may not commit to this paper.”
On the 6th inst. Mechlin was rendered by composition, the soldiers to depart with their arms and baggage; and on the 11th, Villebrouck and two other forts upon “the said river.”— Antwerp, 16 July, 1585, stylo antiquo.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Flanders I. 33.]
July 17/27. Letter from Antwerp to the Sieur de Marquette, Governor of Berges [op-Zoom].
If within eight days this place cannot be succoured by the bridge, the only way to preserve it is to send speedily some one of authority such as the Count Hohenloe, to cope with the traitor. For it is inconceivable to all how he hurries and pushes on the treaty, which he will certainly bring about, having to that end so well and for so long carried on his practices with the magistrates and others, formerly his greatest enemies, but to-day his closest friends; so that in the end, at whatever price, he will surrender it, unless prompt remedy is taken.
If they persuade themselves of the contrary, and he is esteemed other than the most brazen-faced traitor that treason has ever produced, they deceive themselves and will see by the result that they are the cause of the loss and misery of the most magnificent city in the world; which misery will fall also upon you others and that very soon. He mocks and laughs at all the good advertisements sent to us, deciphers the letters as he pleases and shows nothing of them save what he wishes to be known. I saw a large packet which arrived the day before yesterday and in which were letters from England, Holland and Zeeland, which he keeps back altogether. It is pure mockery to trust the ciphers and the packets to him.
He departed yesterday, with twenty companions, to treat, not to conclude, and I am sure that many of the articles will be sent back, so that the business may go on for a fortnight or thereabouts, but you may assure yourself that he will bring them to agree in the end.—Antwerp, 27 July.
Fr. ½ p. [Ibid. I. 32a.]
Copy, on the same sheet as the Flemish letter to Hohenlohe of July 14–24, above.
July 17. Bodley to Walsingham.
My last of June 28, I sent from Hamburg by one Mr. Saunders. Since then, I was at Harbourgh with the Duke, whose entertainment of me and affection to my service was to my full satisfaction. Both by speech and writing I received from him what I would willingly certify, but see no safety for letters from hence.
From Harbourgh I came to 'Wolfenbeitel,' the Duke of Brunswick's castle, on the 6th of this month. The Duke was gone to take possession of the countries lately fallen to him by the death of Duke Eric, and those of his Council left behind knew nothing of the Electors' proceeding. I resolved to go after the Duke, but they dissuaded me from it “for certain respects,” thinking it best that I should leave in writing with them that to which I desired the Duke's answer, signifying besides what answer I had received from the King of Denmark, and other points as I liked. They promised to send this by express to the Duke, and advised me to remain at Brunswick till I heard from him. For at Wolfenbeitel, in the Duke's absence, no stranger is permitted to come within the gates; and our conference was in the suburbs of the town.
Yesterday one of the Council brought me the Duke's answer, “in which he willed them to tell me that in part he had received an answer from the Electors, but he expected yet another to his better contentation” and wished me to wait for his return, which would be about the last of this month.
This party also told me, but as from himself, that he had reason to think the Electors' resolution would be to good purpose. I have also learnt what caused the meeting at Netzling in Silva Garlebiensi, where the Duke of Saxony and his son, the Marquis of Brandenburg, the Duke of Mecklenburg and others assembled about eight days since, but tarried not long, as the Duke of Saxony sickened; but as from hence I must send by persons unknown, I must suppress what were good to be written.
I have a copy of the letter from the Electors to the King of Navarre, but cannot learn whether it were sent or no. It was dated in March, and only subscribed by the two Electors, the Administrator of Magdeburg, Dukes Julius and William of Brunswick and the Dukes of Bipont, Mecklenburg and Wirtemberg. The effect is as I told you before; “a request unto the King to subscribe the book of Concord; and all the answer is so framed as I wonder at it much, . . . for the King is flatly exhorted to beware of Beza and those deceivers (for so they are termed), with many words and clauses so strangely set down, as, if the reply thereunto be correspondent unto it, it cannot choose but occasion a greater discord than before.”
There is no end in these quarters of printing their invectives conceived in marvellous bitter and uncharitable terms. “Chemnicius, the chief pastor of Brunswick, and one of the greatest clerks of that sect, and of later time in all Germany, hath lately penned a preface to another man's book against Danæus, in which he exhorteth the magistrates and church of Brunswick . . . to banish all Calvinists, and to detest them as men that know themselves in conscience to be damned persons; calling God to witness that they will shortly fill Christendom with the impieties of Mahomet; with other like speeches, so ungodly and unconscionable and wittingly untrue, as it is not almost credible. This manner of writing . . . the rest do so imitate and the people so regard that this peace in religion will be many years in concluding.”
I bend all my persuasions to procure a common concurrence against the enemy; and for church matters keep silent, save that I notify the modesty of our ministers, “that shun all occasions to preach of Luther's opinions, and when occasion is presented do never tax him in any thing but with a reverent respect.”
I have been with Chemnicius since my coming hither, but to tell you how I found him would take too long. But to him and to others “who are ministers of name but towards us for our doctrine ill affected” with whom I have conferred, I have urged “that notwithstanding these contentions we might draw together in a line and oppose ourselves jointly against the Pope and his complices.” From their answers I see that their manner of proceeding here is much to be respected; and that if they be not touched in their doctrine and are warily solicited, in short time they might be won to join with us.
Here I am feasted, presented and visited so much that, with my long voyages and abode besides, her Majesty's allowance would serve me but awhile; but in this I refer myself to your wonted favour, whereby I hope her Majesty will be moved to some gracious consideration.—Brunswick, 17 July, 1585.
Postscript.—I am told that Andreas Pauli is sent from the Electors to this Duke with a packet, believed to contain their answer to her Majesty.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Germany, States, III. 77.]
July 17/27. News from Italy.
Rome, July 20.—On Sunday the Signor Appio Conti arrived from Flanders, sent by the Prince of Parma to congratulate the Pope on his pontificate and to give him an account of affairs in Flanders, where the war has made very happy progress. On Monday he kissed his Holiness' feet, by whom he was very cordially received. He brought the contrasegno of the fortress of Piacenza to the governor of Cremona, who on the 7th of this month gave up the keys to the Duke Ottavio and the latter took possession of it with a grand procession. Signor Appio left here a Fleming, formerly Chamberlain to the Prince, and is departed on his return, going by way of Capravuolo in order to give an account thereof to Cardinal Farnese, who sent his brother Lothario to accompany him and is intending very shortly to go to his charge in Flanders . . . .
In Monday's consistory some churches were settled; the bishopric of Cortona was granted to the ambassador of Tuscany, and lastly all the cardinals made complaint against the governor of Rome for certain acts of injustice, especially against the poor man hanged on Ponte Sisto, for which he may perhaps be deprived of his office, although at present he still holds it.
On Tuesday, his Holiness after giving public audience in the garden of Monte Cavallo to many ambassadors and prelates, gave the title of Duke to Giuliano Cesarini, nominating him “di Civita Costella,” and to Lodovico Sforza, as Duke di Valmonte. The same day Duke Altemps was examined, and afterwards the Senator sent to the Cardinal to say that nothing had been found against the said Duke, and that therefore his Holiness should at once pardon him, and for token thereof he had had him abilitato by all the castle. In the evening, the Senator and other officials were splendidly banqueted by the governor of the castle.
On Wednesday morning the Pope, accompanied by Cardinals Alessandrino, Rusticucci and Mont' Alto and by all the court, went to mass at Sta. Maria Maggiore, and then spent the day at his vigna, when desiring relation of the cause of Duke Altemps and learning that it was in no danger, he repeatedly thanked God, showing great signs of joy. After supper he returned to Monte Cavallo.
On Thursday evening Cardinal Riario departed this life, by whose death several abbeys are vacant. Cardinal Lancelotti will have the signatura di giustitia.
At Milan, a hundred bandits on horseback captured a lady going out to dine at a villa, adorned with many jewels; and not content with robbing her. made her sing them a centone. The Roman gentlemen going to Flanders, viz. Gottofridi and Cafarelli have arrived in that city and shortly a post will be sent thence to the Huguenots to proclaim war against them.
Cardinal Arminacco [i.e. Armagnac] has died at Avignon. It is said that the Pope has sent word to Signor Latino by means of Virgileo Orsino, that not having a carico from the Venetian Republic suitable to his condition, if he comes to Rome, his Holiness will provide it for him.
The thirty-three Spanish galleys carrying the Vice-roy of Sicily have passed Civita Vecchia, and have stopped at Gaeta, awaiting the galleys of that kingdom.
The Count of Sarno would not accept the command of the forces that his Holiness wished to give him in Avignon, fearing that being a vassal of the King of Spain, he would not give them satisfaction.
Venice. July 27, 1585.—Letters from Constantinople of June 22 advise us that the forces which Osman Bassa is levying are very strong, he wishing by all means to overcome the enemy in order not to have to return next year. The old Bailo had not yet taken leave, nor the new one kissed the Grand Signor s hand.
The bishopric of Chiozza has been given to the Inquisitor of Padua, Master Massimo di Crema.
On Wednesday, the Imperial ambassador went to the College to take leave, on going for some days to Trieste. A house is being prepared here for a Swiss ambassador who is coming with two colonels on their way to Rome to the Pope, who wishes to recruit his personal guard from that nation. Two earthquakes have been felt this week at Salo.
Count Ottavio Avogadro, learning that certain highwaymen were committing outrages in his name, pursued them and took six, four of whom he has had beheaded, the other two escaping into the Veronese, where they were stayed. It is said that he sent to desire the podesta of Verona to send them to him to be punished, to which his honour replied that he neither knew nor wished to know Count Ottavio, but it is believed he has despatched the two men.
The Duke of Savoy was at Ruioli, intending to make his entry into Turin on S. James' day.
Italian. 3 pp. [Newsletters LXXII. 21.]
July 17/27. News from Divers Parts.
Prague, July 23.—All here are dissatisfied at the coming of a Spaniard as nuncio and the departure of the present one, who is much beloved; and his Majesty himself, knowing the humours of these people, is ill-satisfied by the Pope's determination. The Archdukes all remain away from Vienna, having fled upon the death of two cooks of Archduke Ernest, suspected to be of the plague. Nothing further has happened, but his Majesty is trying to persuade the Hungarians to be content to have Archduke Ernest and M. d'Arach for the Diet, making the suspected plague at Vienna his excuse.
The Duke of Saxony has retired to one of his pleasure houses and is recovering, against the opinion of all, who held his illness to be mortal. He has left all affairs in his son's hands, and devotes himself entirely to his recovery.
Cologne, July 25. (fn. 1) —Letters from Brussels of the 22nd say that all the places round Malines and Antwerp are in the power of the Prince of Parma, who has put garrisons into them; and that the Malcontents scour the country up to the gates of Antwerp.
The surrender of Malines is confirmed, whence on the 18th there went out twelve ensigns of foot and a cornet of horse, sending their wives, children and baggage to Bergen-op-Zoom. The Catholics are pardoned all they have done against his Catholic Majesty and the Calvinists are given fourteen days in which to leave the city, and seven months to sell their goods. For this surrender those of Brussels have made the greatest rejoicings.
St. Aldegonde and his companions, returning to Antwerp have proposed his Highness's articles to the Grand Council, amongst which are included:—that they shall rebuild the Castle and make another in the new town; that they shall repair the churches and monasteries, and that they shall pay his army for half a year. But this appearing to many too hard a bargain, they determined rather to defend themselves to the death than to consent to such an accord; upon which there arose great confusion amongst them because of the variety of opinions; and amongst others, a captain who more than the rest insisted on no surrender, received a blow from St. Aldegonde, who seeing the disturbance increase, kept one gate shut for two days, and imprisoned seven of his chief adversaries. The Council was then re-assembled, but their resolution is not known, although all hope that in the end, the accord will be concluded with his Highness. From his camp, letters of the 22nd inform us that the ships of Holland and Zeeland which were below Lillo, on the 18th attempted to break the palisade with some fire-ships, but it happened with them as with those of Antwerp, they burning themselves out without doing anything; though on their return the vessels took four of the Malcontents' ships of war, with three barques laden with fish.
From Middelburg, by letters of the 7th we hear that Col. Norreys had received 240,000 crowns from the Queen to pay 4,000 foot and 500 reiters, of which troops a thousand had already arrived at Rammekins. The rest were to embark at once, if an agreement was made with the States General.
Two ships have reached London from Bayonne which confirm the report that all English ships were stayed in Spain and their people imprisoned; wherefore, with the Queen's consent, the English corsair, Drake (Dracon), had gone with thirty ships to capture the Peru fleet, which may bring about war between Spain and England, where there are now in readiness a great number of armed ships; it being said that the King of Denmark had promised that Queen the aid of 20,000 men and sixty vessels; which King was seeking to marry one of his daughters to the King of Scots.
On St. James' day [July 25] the soldiers of the new Bishop began to skirmish with those of a fort before Neuss, which they gained with the death of only four men. The captain was wounded, but the rest, being about sixty, were allowed to depart with their swords. Of the Bishop's men there were two captains and five soldiers wounded, and three men killed.
Paris, July 19.—Today we may say that the treaty, or rather the peace is concluded between his Majesty and the Lords of the League. Two days ago all the said princes, except the Duke of Maine (Umena) did reverence to the King at St. Maur, where was also the Queen Mother. The title of Grand Master of the Household was given to the Duke of Guise, and according to custom, he gave the napkin to the King. Yesterday the greater part of them came hither with his Majesty and today there has been made and published in parliament his edict against the Huguenots, after first annulling the treaty formerly passed, and is to be put in print. It is believed that the Queen Mother will go to the King of Navarre to try to bring him to Catholicism; for otherwise he and all there will fare very badly.
Lyons, July 27.—Monsignor Nazarett on the 14th inst. started for Rome, having, it is said, orders from Paris to return. It has caused much talk amongst thoughtful people here, on account of the fear of the Pope.
The Duc de Nevers arrived on the 19th and lodged with the Signori Bonvisi. Next day he departed and is going to Nevers to treat as he shall have orders from the other lords of the League. It is believed that his journey into Italy was in their service, to work upon his Holiness and other lords in their favour.
We have a little plague in some villages of this country, but not so much by a long way as is reported.
Italian. 2¼ pp. [Newsletters XCV. 25.]
July 18. Segur Pardeilhan to Walsingham.
Praying him, if possible, to induce her Majesty to do more for the King of Navarre and their churches after he is gone than she has done during his visit; and assuring his honour that the said King is not so destitute of means but that he will be able amply to satisfy what is advanced to him. Their enemies are only strong by their own weakness, and the indifference and avarice of their friends.
Add. Endd. with above date. Fr. ¾ p. [France XIV. 52.]
July 18/28. M. la Chapelle des Ursins to Walsingham.
As M. de Chasteauneuf is going over as ambassador for the Most Christian King, he writes to recall himself to his honour's good graces and to declare how happy he would be if he could be of any service to him.—Paris, 28 July, 1585.
Holograph. Add. to “le comte de Velsingant.” Endd. Fr. ½ p. [Ibid. XIV. 53.]
July 18/28. Copy of part of a letter from Middelburg.
I have imparted the last news to your friends, who are hoping to see the results follow, all things being now thoroughly agreed upon. There has been a report that Flushing was the obstacle, “but have showed the contrary,” for on Tuesday or Wednesday last they sent hither one of their “scepens” and preachers, who told one of our burgers, in presence of divers merchants and strangers “that those of Flushing never intended anything contrarying her Majesty's pleasure, but as they have been, so at this present were ready at her Highness' commandment to take in garrison or anything she shall require, yea to the laying down of their weapons, with divers like speeches which tended to the hearers' joy and the shame of the Middelburgers.”
Endd.p. [Holland II. 62.]
July 19/29. M. de Pomier to Walsingham.
The Cardinal d'Armagnac, colleague of the Pope at Avignon, has died, aged about eighty years.
The Pope is said to have despatched a nuncio extraordinary to the King, to exhort him to sign this last league; and the said nuncio being arrived at Lyons, his Majesty sent him word that he had done all he could; having annulled his Edict of Pacification in full court of parliament, and that he did not intend to do anything more.
The Prince of Montpensier having been sent at the beginning of these troubles to raise some men in Poitou and Guienne for the safety of his person, and since being countermanded upon this agreement made with the House of Guise, has been forsaken by more than five hundred arquebusiers, who have withdrawn to the King of Navarre.
The Sieur de la Guiche, grand master of the artillery, is said to have protested to the King that he would far rather give up his post than fight or discharge the cannon against the blood of France; that is, against the King of Navarre and the Prince of Condé.
The King of Navarre is reported to have put to the sword all the guards of the Queen his wife, because, he having expressly commanded them not to approach so near his (?) person, they had despised his orders.
The Duke of Maine is to depart next Monday to go to his troops, having a charge as colonel of infantry.
The 10,000 Swiss levied by the King are approaching, and many are already in this town. They say that the King is quite determined to dismiss all who are of the Religion.
The reiters of M. de Guise have killed some officers of the town of Sens for remonstrating with them upon their pillaging of the Low Countries and the numberless murders and outrages committed by them upon many good citizens and labourers.
In the memory of man there has not been levied so many pioneers and diggers in this country as now.
The Sieur de Lenoncourt is shortly to go to the King of Navarre accompanied by some other lords; and the Abbé d'Albeinne is gone already for the same charge and cause. The Sieur de Mercœur, brother of the Queen Regnant has been attacked by our troops near Niort (Nyor) and has lost a great many of his best men. Our little flock is very much dispersed and I know not when it will please the Lord to restore it to its first estate. I am left amongst the last because of the malady by which I have been detained here five weeks.—Paris, 29 July, 1585.
Signed only P. but endorsed with name. Add. Fr. 2 ½ pp. [France XIV. 54.]
July 19. Jacob Vander Haghe, dit Gotthem, to Davison.
Asking if anything has been heard from Mr. Beale, and if not, praying Davison to grant him an interview, as his business will not brook further delay.—19 July, stilo veteri. 1585.
Add. Fr. ½ p. [Holland II, 63.]
July 19/29. Captain Philip D'asseliers to Davison.
Knows that his honour is sufficiently informed of his services to the late Prince of Orange, and especially to those of the English nation, and prays to be recommended to the Queen for continuance in her employment, as his honour promised before leaving Middel-burg. Asks him to aid his lieutenant, Jehan Lathum, the present bearer by his favour, if he should have need thereof.
Has no news to give except that everyone is eagerly looking for a good and speedy end to their deputies' negotiations, especially that thus the poor town of Antwerp may be succoured, which, it is thought, may still hold out for two months or more, notwithstanding that they have been in treaty with the enemy.— Clundert, 29 July, 1585.
Add. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid, II. 64.]
July 19. J. Lobetius to Walsingham.
It is long since I wrote to you, but very much longer since I heard from you. Since Mr. Rogers [Rogersius] left these countries I have written to him five times and have never heard from him since he was at Cologne, and do not know what has become of him. Nor does Mr. Robert Sidney answer my letters. As he is newly married it is excusable, but how will Mr. Waad excuse himself for his long silence? It is so long since we have heard anything from England that it seems—as Virgil said—that your kingdom is quite outside the world—”et penitus toto divisos orte Britannos
However that may be, I wish to send you this, to maintain myself in your good graces, and to accompany the letter which “milord” Solcker's wife writes to her husband, and which I pray you to let him have if he is still there.
Our good old Mr. Sturmius is well, thank God, but he has aged much lately. He is at his country house, which he likes better than this town.
I do not tell you anything of affairs in Flanders, or of the peace or war in France, for you know more about them than we do. Truly proceedings are such that I cannot understand them. I could give good reasons for my ignorance but it would take too long. Meanwhile I make great account of the old proverb— “L'homme propose, mais Dieu dispose” It is long since I wrote to Mr. Stafford, for as he never answers my letters, I do not know whether they reach him.
The Emperor remains at Prague. He has lately been created a knight of the Golden Fleece, as also the Archduke Ernest his brother and Archduke Charles his uncle, together with the Sieurs de Rozemberg and de Harach; which was done with great solemnity. The Archduke Maximilian has been made Grand Master of the Teutonic Order. The Elector of Saxe has been very ill and is not yet out of danger. He has been told by certain that he has been bewitched, and some persons suspected of the fact have been arrested, that by their means he may be restored to health. I do not know what to say about it, but according to the course of nature, great men die. as much as little ones, juxta illud contra vim mortis non est medicamen in hostis.
The new Archbishop of Cologne has returned to Bonn from his journey into Italy, whither he went (as is said) to obtain from the Pope power to levy a tenth upon all the clergy of Germany, to provide for the costs of the war of Cologne. Hoc est ad pias causas. The raising of the said money will be difficult. Meanwhile his soldiers and men of war commit endless insolencies and mischiefs round about Cologne; plundering villages, killing villagers, burning the corn, in revenge for not being paid; and for this cause have declared to that city that if they do not put out of their town the priests their debters, they will come upon the citizens. Those of the town of Neuss (Nuz) make their profit of this and often make sorties to their advantage. The Count of Neuenaar and Colonel Schenck (of late both reported falsely to be dead) will shortly come thither with some good troops, in order not to lose the opportunity of doing something.
They are about electing a new Bishop of Bremen; and Gebhard is one of those nominated. A baptism was celebrated, a few days ago at Deuxponts, where were present many Protestant princes, and amongst them Duke Casimir. The new Swiss troops which Colonel Pfeiffer has raised for the confederates, have crossed the Alps and are said to be in Piedmont. No one knows where they are to go or what they are to do. The Duke of Savoy is on his return from Spain with his new wife, accompanied by forty-four gallies and 2,500 Spaniards. The Genoese are making great preparations for him at Savona, and when the preparations and buildings are finished, his Highness will go thither.
The Swiss have held an assembly at Baden and it is said that there have been great dissensions and disputes among them, concerning the affairs of France. For the rest, we do not hear in Germany of any levies, at any rate not yet.— Strasburg, 19 July, old style, 1585.
Postscript.—My remembrances to messieurs the Sidney brothers, Beale, Rogersius, Waad and milord Solcker.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 ½ pp. [Germany, States III. 78.]
July 19/29. Dr. Henry Vam Holtz to Walsingham.
You will have learnt from my letters of May 28th and July 10th last, and from William Herle, to whom I wrote more at large, the reasons of my not being able to come to England with him, and give a verbal report of my mission to the Imperial Court. Amongst other causes was the lack of journey-money [viaticum], of which I have not had a halfpenny. Other causes might be mentioned, but I omit them, as I still live in hopes of being called to England. Besides, some things are not fit to be done by letters, and the Queen and Council would be better satisfied by a verbal relation and ocular demonstration of the various writings. But perhaps it is decided not to summon me to England. In that case, I would pray to be informed thereof as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, I desire to inform you, and through you the Queen and Council, that I have four times undertaken a mission to the Emperor against the men of Lubeck and some of the Hanseatic League (the city of Hamburg has been always averse from the violent conduct of the others towards the Queen, and is therefore worthy of the goodwill of England) who wish to expel the English and their trade, not only from Embden but from all Germany and the Empire.
These missions have occupied two years, and the last was by far the most difficult. Firstly, considering the occasion and the place, I was ungenerously sent off; at Prague everything is dear, your host must be paid weekly, and to keep up your state, gifts must continually be given, for without them nothing much can be effected nowadays. Moreover the magnitude of the business and the power and influence of my adversaries, strengthened not only by the Imperial authority but by the support of the Papists, was against us. Again, some Imperial mandates and chiefly the Augsburg decree against us and the English were held to prejudice the question of monopoly, and no envoy or letter from the Queen arrived to cheer me.
Meanwhile the matter hung fire on the question of the execution and publication of the ban against us. To obtain this, the men of Lubeck sent a fresh embassy. The disasters which would arise if they obtained it were ever before my eyes. Be sure, it was with all the more care and anxiety that I undertook the mission, and many were the sleepless nights I spent.
When I got to Prague, I learnt that the syndic of Lubeck, Dr. Hermann Warmbach by name, had arrived two days before. An epidemic disease was raging, and a nobleman died at my inn. After the syndic of Lubeck had put his case, a separate audience was granted to me, in which I refuted his attempts against Count Edzard and the English nation, as I could show clearly by what was written for and against my missions, or, if I am not to be called to England, could describe by letter.
Amongst other things, Count Edzard had warned the Queen of the necessity of sending an envoy to the Imperial Court, whereupon I raised hopes amongst the Emperor's people that one would soon come, and added that royal gifts would follow for the Imperial Vice-Chanceller, Dr. Sigismund Vieheuser, and Andrew Erstenberger the Secretary, who could have done much for us and obtained the suspension of the execution of the decree. The papal legate, John Bonhuomo, Bishop of Vercelli, and the Spanish envoy, Don Gulielmo de San Clemente (at whose house the syndic of Lubeck stayed) greatly helped the latter, and urged the proscription of the English trade. Indeed, the syndic wrote to those at home that he hoped to obtain publication of the prohibition in three days, and would shortly bring it with him.
Meanwhile, no envoy or letters came from England, and none from Friesland, so that the Emperor's people began to jest at the delay and hardly concealed their impatience, and the Vice-Chancellor said to me in German with some indignation, “If the Queen does not show more concern for her Merchants Adventurers than hitherto, I very much fear a great thunderbolt (meaning the Imperial ban) will be launched against the English, and against Friesland because of the English.” Thus I wavered between hope and fear, and knowing the disposition of the Chancellor from the conversation of former years, and that he and the Secretary had taken much trouble over the business since 1580, I redoubled my promises of royal gratitude, and undertook to recommend their deserts—if I should go to England—to the Queen, her greatest councillors and the Society of Adventurers. After various disputes and labours, the Vice-Chancellor told me that the Emperor, to settle these endless controversies, had decided that the Queen should send an envoy to the Imperial Court or some other place in Germany, even Hamburg or Embden, and that the men of the Hanses should do the same. You know, I suppose, that after leaving the Imperial Court I repaired to Embden, to William Herle, then staying there to conciliate the brothers, Counts of Friesland and the English colony there.
I enclose herewith a copy of the Imperial decree, in order that the Queen, Lord Cisle [Cecil, i.e. Burghley] yourself and Nicholas Woodruff may more clearly understand the matter, and I would ask you to have it presented or read to the Queen.
You may imagine the dejection of the syndic of Lubeck at the overthrow of his hopes. He left Prague with unconcealed anger, and with an absence of civility which the Emperor's people viewed with more displeasure than concern. After his return to Lubeck, the Vice-Chancellor of East Friesland, Dr. William Moller, syndic of Hamburg and myself were declared enemies of the Hanses. This injury suffered on behalf of England will commend us to the English nation. [Refers again to his wish to come to England.]
If the ban had been pronounced, Count Edzard, with the whole county of Friesland, would have fallen from the Imperial favour, and would have been deprived of all dignities, benefices &c, and the county of Friesland and all the goods of his subjects would have been the prey of any spoiler. What could be more calamitous, especially now that the county is a prey to intestine war and is ringed round with enemies. Moreover, the English residence and right of trading would have been taken away, not only at Embden but throughout the whole of Germany, and the goods and persons of the English would have been at the mercy of their enemies. Thanks to my missions, English trade is now on a surer footing than ever at Embden, Hamburg and throughout Germany.
I hear from trustworthy sources that this action against the Queen and the Society of Adventurers has cost the Steeds of the Hanses 20,000 thalers since 1580. What remuneration am I to have for saving the English nation from such an expenditure?
[Here follows a tabulation of claims under the headings of :—
1. Loss of time and exhaustion caused by journeys.
2. Expense of dresses &c.
3. 200 thalers which he had to borrow at Prague and which neither Count Edzard or the English have repaid.
4. For copies of the Imperial decree and various Acts in this affair.
5. Payments to his amanuensis.
6. Reward for advantages gained for England, especially by his last mission.
Suggests that a golden chain, with 400 engelots, and a portrait of the Queen, would render him still more prompt in her service. He would also pray for mediation with the Society of Adventurers and Nicholas Woodruff, their governor, to secure payment of expenses incurred by him. Whatever is given to him, he hopes may be paid to him in person at Hamburg, or else to his brother, Theodoric “vam Holt,” senator. He combats the objection that money may not be exported from England. That prohibition only applies to merchants. Salaries and military funds are sent from England yearly. He has fought for England with success. Why should he not be paid ?]
The city of Hamburg has always been the most friendly to England of all the Hanse towns, and would never have anything to do with the violent courses of some of the towns, especially Lubeck, Cologne, and Dortmund against the English. Therefore I pray that its ambassadors, and especially my kinsman, John Sculten, chief senator, may be received very kindly in England, and bring back a favourable answer. Vincent van Sprekelsen, merchant of Hamburg, dwelling in the house of the Teutonic Hanse (in London), who will deliver this packet to you, knows how to make sure that things shall reach me. I should be glad to know whether you got my letter of May 28, sent by William Herle, and that addressed to the Queen, enclosing a copy of the Imperial decree in German and Latin.
I send a letter which I have received from Prague, giving an account of the festival of the Golden Fleece (wanting), which will interest you and amuse the Queen and Council.—Hamburg, 29 July, 1585. Signed.
Underwritten.—Autograph note to the Queen requesting a golden chain as a wedding present, and asking for payment of his expenses by the Society of Adventurers.
Latin. 16 pp. [Hamburg and Hanse Towns II. 3.]
Statement of expenses incurred by him during the preceding year, viz:—
1. 200 thalers borrowed at Prague.
2. 6 greater aurei of Portugal, paid in the Imperial Chancery for Decrees and Acts.
3. 20 engelotts to his amanuensis.
4. For clothes; amount left to the liberality of England.
5. Five years' service; prompt payment would make a suitable wedding present.
6–7. Proposal that George Gilpin, with whom he was associated in two embassies, one before the Diet at Augsburg and one at the Diet,—or someone else—should be sent as a representative of the Society of Adventurers to his wedding, so that he might make a full relation of all his missions to him.
Underwritten.—Autograph note in relation to Vincent van Sprekelsen.
Latin. 3 pp. [Ibid. II. 3a.]
July 19/29. Vam Holtz to Walsingham.
Explaining why he has not yet been able to come to England to give an account of his embassy to the Emperor; and enquiring, when he does come, whether he should wait for royal letters of summons or not.
Encloses copies [on same sheet] of letters testimonial of Count Edzard of East Friesland, and of his safe-conduct.—29 July, 1585.
Add. Endd. Latin. 2 pp. [Ibid. II. 4.]
July 20. Walsingham to Stafford .
Mrs. Scudamore has entreated me to give a despatch to this bearer, whom she is sending over for her niece that waits upon my lady your wife; wherefore I stay your man the longer.
We are in very earnest consultation with the States' commissioners, the two chief points being:—one, that they require a provisional support for the present relief of Antwerp—pressed the rather upon news of the loss of Mechlin and danger that Antwerp will not long hold out—“whereunto how her Majesty will yield is yet uncertain, though the letters be already signed by her for the levying of the men, so loth is she to enter into a war”; the other, that she refuses to enter into the action except underhand, wherein her whole Council, howsoever inwardly affected, concur outwardly in opinion that it “is a dangerous [inserted by Walsingham over dishonourable] course for her and that it is impossible she should long stand unless she enter openly and roundly into the action.”
By the enclosed [not now with the letter] you may see how zealous the King of Scots seems to be to the common cause, and to concur with her Majesty for mutual defence. Mr. Wotton assures us by his letters that, whatever is reported, he finds the King sound and well-disposed. Her Majesty means to enter into a strait league with him, already motioned by her ambassador, and has promised him a yearly pension of 20,000 crowns, which he seems very thankfully to accept.
“M. Segur is already departed hence, though not very well-satisfied, because her Majesty had not sent the money into Germany before his going away, and that it amounted to no greater sum than 50,000 crowns, which will do little good; and I fear me he shall find no great zeal nor forward disposition in the princes of Germany to concur in furtherance of the common cause.”
Draft. 1⅓ pp. Endd. with date. [France XIV. 55.]


  • 1. So dated. But it must have been a little later. See allusion to St. James' day, below.