Elizabeth: January 1560, 11-15

Pages 279-285

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 2, 1559-1560. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1865.

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January 1560, 11-15

Jan. 12.
R. O.
574. [Randolph] to Croftes.
1. Has received his letters of 5th Jan. which he would have answered before this time could he have been assured in what sort they might have come into his hands. Would be glad to write more at large did not he doubt the danger that might fall to those that had the carriage of the letters. On the 9th inst., late in the night, there was brought to this town, by certain gentlemen that had been about the borders, a French gentleman, M. la Marque, sent in post from the French King at Blois to the Queen Dowager of Scotland with many letters and great credit, charged to return through England. At his arrival here he desired to speak with the Duke, trusting to find favour at his hands, who heard what he was able to say. He said that he was sent only as a simple messenger to see in what estate he found the Queen Dowager, who was reported in France to be either dead or near the end of her life. He denied that he had any matters of credit committed to him, nor was he able more to report than that the French King was sorry he had occasion so to deal with this realm as he intended. He said also that the Marquis d'Elbœuf departed out of Calais about fourteen days before his arrival here. So little credit was given to his words by the Duke and the Lords of the Council that he was committed to strait custody, "and unless he will very shortly largelier depart with his secrets, he is not like to see many of his countrymen nor discharge his credit where he was sent unto, before it will be too late to tell his news." Was present at his examination. The favour that was shown him was great, as his own demeanour deserved no less. Though the writer's acquaintance with him in time past had been somewhat, yet he thought it not time there to renew the same. Has also had more experience of his doings and traffics though his oft passage into England than any now here. Judges that they who took him have done no small point of service.
2. The resolution of the whole of the other affairs depends upon the return of Robert Melvin, who is daily looked for and much longed after, yet all shall be ready by the day appointed, and he desires that the like preparation may be made where Croftes is. It is reported here that Martigues has arrived with 300 brave soldiers; that M. d'Oysel and La Brosse have gone over the water with more men into Fife, and that John a Doddes and his company are beaten out of the Burnt Island, and some slain on both parts. The French have also hanged seven or eight. Has no certain knowledge of what they have been doing for the last ten days. Fears that the one great desire that those two gentlemen have that are there to do some notable enterprise may make them both venture their persons too far; until he hears from them he leaves Croftes to judge of reports. Sends enclosed the copy of letters brought by La Marque, which he asks him speedily to send away, and begs for instructions from time to time.— Glasgow, 12 Jan. 1559.
3. P. S.—Recommends the bearer, who is suitor for the Duke. Signed: T.B.
Orig., a few words in cipher, deciphered. In Randolph's hol. Endd. by Cecil.: 12 Jan. 1559. Mr. Randall to Mr. Croftes. Pp. 4.
Jan. 13.
R. O.
575. Challoner to Cecil.
1. Yesterday in post came hither a gentleman out of Holland to the Prince of Orange, governor of that country, with advertisement, that the Marquis d'Elbœuf, M. d'Andelot and other French lords, who lately took shipping at Calais towards Scotland with seventeen ships fraught with men and horses, had suffered great shipwreck by reason of a late sore storm upon the coast of Holland, where four of their fleet, with men and horses drowned, were cast on land. As their loss is not fully known (for they fear lest all have perished) he will not enlarge therein till he has more certainty. Has written to Sir Thomas Gresham to advertise also what the news thereof be at Antwerp from Holland; and rather than fail, to send thither to know the certainty. The Council here were much abased at the news, and fear lest the Marquis himself is perished. This is not the shipwreck which he made mention of a month passed. The number is so largely advanced here that he scant believes the half. They speak of 2,000.
2. Reminds him of what he said touching Berwick, and the like he has lately learnt by the Isle of Wight, viz., that 3,000 or 4,000 shall be sent to Scotland, but that their main force shall be directed to win the Isle of Wight, and there to fortify. It seems to him that on our side it is not now to begin, "but that already some fortification of earth is there commenced against the sudden." Will tell the rest on his coming over. Vigilate.—Brussels, 13 Jan. 1559. Signed.
3. P. S.—Châtellet is now restored, the French having restored the others, whereupon Or. [Orange] and Eg. [Egmont], being on their journey towards France, were countermanded.
4. P. S.—Even now he has learned that of the seventeen ships charged with men, horses, and munition, four wrecked about Egmond, four leagues on this side of Amsterdam. One great ship of 500 tons (ut dicunt) lost eighty horses, others swam to land; divers men saved, 800 by count drowned cast on land, an evident argument that more are lost not yet extant. The Marquis would have cast anchor, "but the storm was so straynable he could not. It is thought he drave with Denmark, if he be saved." The loss, though not fully known, is esteemed by these Lords to be of no less moment than an overthrow by land. One jennet, esteemed worth 700 Δ among the rest perished, 400 men are saved alive of the French in Holland. The French horses saved stand at the Hague. Some of the Council were very sorry for the news.—Brussels, 13 Jan. 1559.
Orig. Hol. Add. Endd. by Cecil's secretary. Pp. 4.
Jan. 13.
R. O.
576. [Cecil] to the Duke of Holstein.
1. He has received the Duke's letters of 16 cal. Jan. [17 Dec.] thanking him for services rendered to Adam Thraciger, the Duke's Orator. Any kindness which may have been shown is due to Thraciger's own merits. Cecil will assist him to the utmost of his power in forwarding the objects he has in view.
2. Thraciger has informed him, as common report had done previously, that the Duke's own excellent qualities must secure success. The Queen's letters will inform the Duke (fn. 1) more fully of the progress of his affairs here. Cecil will neglect no opportunity of furthering them. 13 Jan. 1559.
Draft, in Ascham's hol. Lat. Endd. by Cecil. Pp. 2.
Jan. 13.
R. O. Haynes, p. 219. (fn. 2)
577. The Lords of the Council to the Duke of Norfolk.
A servant of the Earl of Lennox, named Nesbitt, came here with letters from his master to the Secretary to the effect that he had received letters from the Bishop of Caithness, his brother, out of Scotland, by one Gaston, a gentleman of that country, advising him to set forward his old right and claim there, he therefore required licence from the Queen to send thither, from time to time, to practise with his friends there. The Secretary communicated this to the Council, as a matter of no small moment, considering the French practices in the same points; and they, having understood that Nesbitt repaired secretly to the French Ambassador here in London, called him [Nesbitt] before them, who confessed that his master had required the Ambassador to write to the Dowager of Scotland in his [the Earl's] favour, and that he should be privy to his proceedings here. Seeing this very dangerous, they have committed the party to the Tower, where he shall be further examined, and they have advertised, the Earl of Lennox thereof, as appears by the copy of their letter enclosed (fn. 3), without appearing to him or to his wife to have any knowledge of the cause. This information shall cause him to be more vigilant on all the frontiers, East, Middle and West, that no Scottishman be permitted to come or go. The French mean no small practice in setting up this matter of the Earl of Lennox, therefore the son and heir of the said Earl is better in England than elsewhere.
Copy. Endd.: M. to my Lord of Norfolk, touching the Earl of Lennox. 13 Jan. 1559. Pp. 3.
[Jan. 13.]
R. O.
578. Pedigree of the Family of Lennox.
Pedigree of the Lennox branch of the Douglas family, deduced from Archibald, Earl of Augus, slain at Flodden, to "Henry, Lord Darnley."
P. 1.
Jan. 13.
R. O.
579. Matthew, Earl of Lennox, to Cecil.
1. On the 13th inst. has heard by a servant of his (whom he had despatched towards his servant Laurence Nesbet on 2 Jan. with a note of information concerning the bastardy of Hamilton) that no Parliament did ever legitimate the said Hamilton. Perceiving that his said servant, Laurence Nesbet, is committed to the Tower, he marvels wherefore it should be, as he had only to travail concerning the Duke's right in Scotland. Trusts the Queen would strengthen his wife and him in the recovery of his own in that realm, and consider how gracious her progenitors have always been to his wife and himself, and how upright they have kept themselves from the beginning to this hour. Prays that he may know the offence of hisservant.
Jan. 13. 2. P. S.—Encloses the note of information aforesaid.—Sutringhton, Saturday 13 Jan. 1560.
Orig. Add., with armorial seal. Endd. by Cecil: 13 Jan. 1559. Pp. 2.
Jan. 15.
R. O.
580. Challoner to Cecil.
1. Yesterday Sir Thomas Gresham, being stayed at Antwerp for other important affairs, sent him a great many letters, as well from the Queen as fromhim [Cecil]; and seeing that he could not yet well repair to Brussels he [Challoner] took the post unto him, and found Francis this bearer ready to depart.
2. Not only the common sort but the Council at Brussels take this second shipwreck of the French to be greater than for shame he will report, or counts to be true; which may be a lesson how to trust reports either upon the French or Burgundian side. Yet both the first and second wreck was so great that if "wanhope" might allure men to sit idle, they might suppose the French undertake this enterprise "diis iratis." They ought to proceed as if every Frenchman were two, "so the best will save itself." If he were God, he would swear by Himself that he believed their trust to be in God's defence only, and by Him in their foresight to prepare for the defence of their Queen and country against professed enemies and faint friends; both the which, if they perceive the English to be vigilant, will instead of cartels of defiance, send solemn letters of gratulation; otherwise "Vœ victis." "Stick not at money where life and liberty hangeth in the balance; England well used were a better cow to give milk than all Italy. Hold this out next summer and think a winter's respite will suffice for twenty devices."
3. Hears for certain that the French, being indeed very poor, have lately raised new imposts on salt, etc. Their shift is hard, when already the string is twitched so high, to pluck it yet higher, an argument with the rest that those which now bear the authority shall be the more deadly hated, but sperate simul omnia, et timete. If Cecil receives his letters written of late he will not think that Challoner has been idle.— Antwerp, 15 Jan. 1559.
4. P. S.—Si quis parvulus aula Luderet Æneas . . . .
Orig. Hol. Add. Endd. by Cecil's secretary. Pp. 4.
Jan. 15.
R. O.
581. Killigrew and Jones to Cecil.
1. They have already advertised the Queen touching the information given them by M. de Deffende about M. de Mortemar, who is to be placed in the stead of one of the hostages, but they are required specially to advertise the same to M. de L'Aubespine. De Mortemar is a gentleman of Poitou, with 2,700 francs revenue; as good, or better than any of the hostages hitherto named. The Vidame of Amiens and the rest of the hostages have been commanded to prepare to set out for England.—Blois, 15 Jan. 1559. Signed.
2. P. S.—The Marquis d'Albœuf has been driven back by tempest with some loss, and is now at Dieppe revictualling for his return, which will be about the end of the month. M. de Martigues is either in Scotland, or else it is feared that the tempest has also been busy with him. Châtelet is restored, and the King's ministers have restored all things in Luxembourg. All parties are satisfied, and for the better continuance of the peace it is said that the Queen shall marry Duke Charles of Austria.
Orig., with seal. Add. Endd. Pp. 2.
Jan. 15.
R. O.
582. The Lords of the Council to the Earl of Lennox.
1. The Earl having of late sent to the Secretary [Cecil] letters by his servant Nesbitt with (1.) a letter from the Bishop of Caithness, the Earl's brother, (2.) his pedigree touching his consanguinity to the Queen of Scots, and (3.) the credit committed to Gaston, a gentleman of Scotland, with a request that the Queen would license the said Earl to send into Scotland from time to time, the Secretary conferred thereupon with the Council. It having come to their knowledge that the said servant, after he had delivered his former letters, so behaved himself as was not convenient for any natural subject of the Queen, thereupon they have (by her authority) committed him to the Tower, and are sorry that by his lewd handling of himself he has given such occasion to hinder the Earl's reasonable causes.
2. P.S.—Since (fn. 4) the writing of the above they perceive by a letter lately sent to the Secretary that the Earl has heard of the committing of his servant, the circumstances of which he may perceive by this letter, which should have been sent four or five days ago.
Draft. Endd. by Cecil: 15 Jan. 1559, copy of a letter to the Earl Lennox. Pp. 3.
Jan. 15.
R. O.
583. Oliver, Lord Saint John, to the Lords of the Council.
This present Monday, 15 Jan., he has received the Queen's letters commanding the speedy furniture of certain horsemen; and the same day, within three hours of the same letters, he has received another, commanding such despatch as that the horsemen may be at Newcastle by 1 Feb. He much doubts that he cannot accomplish what is required within the short time specified. Has directed and forwarded the fourteen blanks sent to him with the first letters from the Queen.— Bletneshoe, 15 Jan. Signed.
Orig., with armorial seal. Add. Endd. Pp. 2.
Jan. 15.
R. O. Sadler, 1. 689. No. CCXIII.
584. The Earl of Arran and Lord James to Sadler and Croftes. (fn. 5)
The French lie still in Burnt Island. On the 12th the Scottish horsemen took and slew fifty or sixty of them, and the same day a Scottish ship of war took two ships newly arrived; but the colonel with thirty others escaped by boat, and fifty were taken in the ships. Their commons were wearied and forced to leave the writers, who thereby are in no small stress for the present, and all are not a little discouraged by the long tarrying of the ships, of which there is such need as they cannot write presently. They had purposed to have written to the Court, but are let by the troubles present. Request credit for the bearer.—Wymes [Weems], 15 Jan. 1559.
2. "The copy of the Earl of Arran's and the Lord James Stewart's letter, deciphered, addressed to Sadler and Croft."
Copy, in Railton's hol. P. 1.


  • 1. The Queen to the Duke of Holstein.
    Jan. 10.
    B.M. Reg. 13 B. 1. 25.
    1. Has received his letters of 16 cal. Jan. [17 Dec.] by which she learns that her letters sent by her to him have reached him in safety. She is glad now to be informed that her answer to certain articles proposed to her by his Orator have met with his approval, and that he is willing to be as closely associated with her as he had hitherto been with King Philip.
    2. Understanding that he wishes to visit England, she gladly gives her consent, as she has the highest opinion of his military talents, of which she proposes to avail herself. The nearness of their realms, and the conformity of their religion will make his visit an important one, aud she will do her best to make it agreeable to himself personally. 10 Jan. 1559.
    Lat. Letter-book.
  • 2. From a minute of Cecil, at Hatfield House.
  • 3. The following clause is here cancelled: "Which, when you have perused, our meaning is that you should send the same unto him, signifying unto him that with other letters sent to your Lordship the same was also sent, with request to cause it to be delivered unto him."
  • 4. The whole of this P.S. is in Cecil's hand.
  • 5. Another copy of this letter occurs in the collection at Burton-Constable.