Elizabeth: November 1559, 1-5

Pages 74-84

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

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November 1559, 1-5

Nov. 1.
R. O.
172. Joannes Vergetius to the Queen.
1. Has been most anxious to see her, and to kiss her hand, but has been prevented by ill health, therefore writes to her. Many persons have advised and urged him to write a history of the events which have occurred in his own times, a great undertaking, indeed, but one for which his previous studies have fitted him. He has derived information from those who took part in the incidents which he wishes to record. The style of his narrative shall resemble that of the best Roman historians, in which how far he has succeeded, others shall judge. The Queen may form her opinion upon his short description of the knights, "quos multi Ferrarolos vocant," who have not been mentioned by any other writer.
2. Being anxious to spend his time in retirement for the prosecution of his work, he cannot do this unless he is aided by the liberality of Princes such as she is, therefore writes to her that she may aid him, as he will do her by immortalizing her name.—Paris., Cal. Novemb. 1559.
Orig. Hol. Add.: Serenissimæ Isabelæ, Angliæ reginæ. Endd. by Cecil. Lat. Pp. 3.
Nov. 2.
R. O.
173. Cecil to Challoner.
1. Does not need to recommend the bearer, Sir Richard Lee, who comes over with the Queen's special licence, yet would not she forbear him long. Has not heard from Challoner of late. Hopes soon to remit his servant Fername, whose delay is to be excused.
2. The bearer can show of common occurrences, as of the honourable and sumptuous residence of the Duke of Finland (fn. 1) here, and of the jealousy between the Emperor's Ambassador and him. The matters of Scotland remained thus at the end of October. On the 22nd by proclamation, the Duke and the nobility, being at Edinburgh, have suspended the Regent's authority, surmising it to be abused. She has enclosed herself in Leith with the French, and prepared also the island of Inchkethe for further succour. The Scotch for lack of artillery cannot expel the French out of the town, which is already fortified with ditches and walls of earth. If they gain it not before new succours come from France, (which are ready to come before the midst of this month,) they shall be compelled to recant "and do others as much hurt as themselves, which if it be, or should be foreseen, would prove a good part of wisdom. You can guess a good part what I mean by this."
3. Sir N. Throckmorton has leave to return in consequence of his wife's extreme sickness, and will soon be here. It will seem strange to the French, but he will certainly return with speed.
4. At first sight had favoured the device of the frank mart at Southampton, but it is not so liked by divers of good experience. The party that seemeth to be skilful in mines may be provoked to come over hither, without any certainty of his calling by any here.
Nov. 2. 5. In the matter of Granado has little meddled, because the Ambassador here took upon him to compass his despatch to the Queen's satisfaction.
6. But for haste would have written this letter more diligently; asks pardon on promise of amendment. (fn. 2) —2 Nov. 1559. Signed.
Add. Endd. by Challoner: Received by Sir Richard Lee, at Andwerpe. Pp. 3.
Nov. 2.
R. O.
174. The Queen's Debts in Flanders.
Bond by the Queen to Giles Hoffman, merchant of Antwerp, guaranteeing the repayment of 22,187 florins lent by him to Thomas Gresham for her use.— Westminster, 2 Nov. 1559.
Cancelled by the Queen. On the back are the signatures of the Privy Council. On parchment.
Nov. 3.
MS. Burton-Constable, Sadler, 1. 533. No. CIV.
175. Cecil to Sadler and Croftes.
1. On consideration of their neighbours' causes there, it is seen by those to whom it has been secretly committed that the end of this their matter is the beginning of ours [the English], be it well or woe; and therefore we must have good regard that they quail not. It is doubtful how to help them. By counsel and by money they may have succour without open war, so as wisdom be used; but by men it cannot be without open breach. As for counsel, the best that can be given them is in any wise to take Leith before the new succours come, after which he fears it would be impossible. (fn. 3) As for money, they [Sadler and Croftes] have authority to "depart with" that which Overton brought. If they will signify to him [Cecil] in what sort they make their pays by the month, for 100 footmen and 100 horsemen, he might conjecture what were a convenient support. The matter shall not be left for want of money. Such powder and munition as can conveniently be spared, may be conveyed secretly to them. They should advise their merchants of Dundee to procure some from "Camphyre," or elsewhere, from whence it is thought it might be sent in a night to S. Andrews; still it is left to their discretions.
2. It is thought they should not lack for men (saving captains and leaders), so that they had money to entertain them; and for captains, it is thought that five or six of such as came from France lately and yet are not fully restored to the grace of the Queen, might aventure to come thither, and steal from thence, with appearance of displeasure for lack of entertainment. Begs them to assure the Scots that no practice of the French shall dissever the English from the Scots, therefore they should give no credit to any bruit. Suddenly to enter into any war is a thing that cannot be; but if they raise a sufficient power for taking Leith, the charges shall be borne; and, this done, if the French send an army by sea greater than the Protestants can withstand, they shall be impeached.
3. Marvels that the Earl of Huntly is no more assured, and the Lord of Erskine is not of the Council. Mislikes that the Earl Morton lies aloof. The best counsel is to make haste. Is sorry that Randolph has thus manifested himself, for now he may not return to this realm for a good season.—The Court, 3 Nov. 1559. Signed.
4. P. S.—Asks his opinion whether it is necessary to send French crowns, which are hard to come by here, for carriage is dangerous, if it be secret.
5. Likes not Knox's audacity, which was well tamed by the answer of Sadler and Croftes. His writings do no good here, therefore he [Cecil] rather suppresses them, yet means not but that they should continue in sending of them. A doubt is risen that if the English aid the Protestants against the French, what assurance might be had of them towards this realm. Asks him to write their opinion of this, for so it is required. Signed.
Nov. 3.
MS. Burton-Constable. Sadler, 1. 536. No. CV.
176. Randolph to Sadler and Croftes.
1. Thinks it not unknown to him what has happened to Ormeston, which is as much to be deplored as the loss of the money, of which there now is such need that they have determined to coin their plate. Now also, since it shall be known from whence the money came, the Earl of Arran and the Lord James fear that the Queen's favour in time to come shall be lost, and have begged that the writers will stand their friends. "I have found in these two, more honour, stoutness, and courage than in all the rest. They are determined to bring their enterprise to good effect, or to end their lives. The Duke requires them to remain his good friends, notwithstanding this mishap of Ormeston."
2. Immediately after word came that the money was lost, the Earl of Arran and Lord James went with 200 horsemen, 100 foot, and two pieces of artillery to Lord Bothwell's house, but were too late to find him by a quarter of an hour. But this day, unless he render the money, his house will be set on fire, his goods reserved, and he be taken as an enemy to the Lords of the Congregation. There was left in his house Forboys, with sufficient number to keep the same, as the bearer can report; and also how their neighbours of Leith the same day, for two hours, gave them greater fear than they had occasion if they had had 100 good soldiers. The Lord Erskine shot twice out of the castle, and has declared himself open enemy to the Dowager, which grieves her very sore. Balnaves finds himself grieved, and Knox not pleased. Knows not how to deal with them, having received no instruction; but has in private talk desired them to ask no more of the Queen than she may with honour grant and can commodiously spare. When Balnaves names him [Randolph] in his letter about the levying of certain horsemen, when they were determined to have 300, he [Randolph] wrote that 100 under Kircaldie and Alex. Whitlaw would suffice. Is desired to let them understand there is no cause for discouragement. The Earl of Huntly is looked for daily; the Duke thinks well of him, the rest trust him but little. No man thinks well of the Earl of Morton, who has already broken promise with the Lords of the Congregation. Both Lydington and the writer hope soon to be with them very secretly, and will not take post horse until they are past Durham. Ormeston rent their letter when in danger.—Edinburgh, 3 Nov. 1559.
3. P. S.—The Earl of Arran has received the targett and morion, and thanks the sender.
Orig. in cipher, deciphered.
Nov. 4.
R. O. Sadler, 1. 538. No. CVI.
177. Sadler and Croftes to Randolph.
1. On Tuesday last they sent thither by the Lord of Ormeston 1,000l. for the relief of the Lords of the Congregation; and now, having received letters from the Court to aid them further, they pray him [Randolph] to advertise them speedily his opinion in that behalf, that the Queen employ not her good will and treasure in vain.
2. Would have him write more fully of all their proceedings than he has done; and also to tell some of the Congregation secretly that there is more money for them, and to ask how with most secresy it may be conveyed to them. Hear of more aid from France coming to Leith, under Mons. Martigues (one of the heirs of the Duke d'Estampe's) not (as they wrote before) Damp Martin. And if Leith be not taken before their coming, the end thereof God knoweth. Send also certain devices to be put in execution there, for the better ordering of their affairs.—4 Nov. 1559.
3. P. S.—Have heard evil news of the money sent by Ormeston being surprised by Bothwell. Beg to hear the truth.
Orig. Draft in Sadler's hol. Endd. by Cecil. Pp. 4.
Nov. 4.
MS. Burton-Constable.
178. Another copy of the above.
Nov. 4.
B. M. Calig. B. x. 47 b. Keith, 1. 381.
179. Abstract of the above. In the hand of Cotton's transcriber.
[Nov. 4.]
R. O. Keith, 1. 380. Sadler, 1. 539. No. CVII.
180. Garrisons of Scotland.
1. A general contribution and benevolence of all noblemen, gentlemen, burghs, and towns; and a taxation upon the kirk lands, and also the whole profits of such kirk lands as be against the Congregation, to be levied.
2. Of this a perfect book to be made, and men appointed in every county for the collection of the same, out of which certain money to be allotted for their charges.
3. Some to be appointed to have receipt of the treasure and make payments to the garrisons, or for munitions or necessaries, by warrant signed by the Lords, or three of them, whereof the Duke, the Earl of Arran, or the Prior of St. Andrews to be one.
4. Knox to be a counsel with the payments to see that they be employed to the common action.
5. The treasure to be kept secret; and that all such money as they shall spend in this common action may seem to grow and be levied only by the means above said.
6. That one be appointed to have the chief charge of all the horsemen, and another of the footmen.
7. A marshal to be chosen.
8. Articles for the observation of order among the garrisons to be set forth by proclamation.
Copy. Railton's hol. P. 1.
[Nov. 4.]
B. M. Cal. B. x. 47.
181. Another copy of the above. Cotton's transcript. Pp. 2.
[Nov. 4.]
MS. Burton-Constable.
182. Another copy of the above.
Nov. 4.
B. M. Calig. B. ix. 30. Keith, 1. 403.
183. Balnaves to [Sadler].
1. The Laird of Ormeston was by the Earl Bothwell last Tuesday night, besides Haddington, taken, hurt, and spoiled of what he had. As soon as word of this came to the Lords, they upon Wednesday rode to Crichton with 400 horsemen, 300 footmen, and certain pieces of ordnance, trusting to have found there the Earl Bothwell, but he was departed suddenly upon a horse without saddle, boots, or spurs. The Lords put in the house fifty harquebussiers to keep it, and sent the captain of the house to the Earl, desiring him to restore the money and redress the wrong done to Ormeston, or they would spoil and destroy the house. As yet they have received no answer, and are this day ridden again, to that end, if he satisfy them not, to perform their promise.
2. On Wednesday last, the French, being advertised in Leith of the small number left in this town, came suddenly upon certain pieces of ordnance laid upon the hill between Leith and Edinburgh, shooting at Leith, and took two of the same, one of which was broken, and chased the footmen in with small hurt; and made such a fray to the town that all was out of order for two hours. There were slain of poor men, women, and bairns in the Canongate, ten or twelve persons, and of the French as many, or more; among whom are two captains. All this mischanced through the taking of the Laird of Ormeston. As for his hurt, he will not be anything the worse; but the loss of the money grieves them sore, more for the discovering of the matter, "nor" the want of the money. Howbeit the same is a great damage to them, for it is not possible to keep their men together without money. If hasty remedy be not provided for their support, peradventure it will be too late.
3. To the charge that he was too slow in advertisement giving, he says that he gave sufficient advertisement about providing the money by the last day in October, in his letter sent with Alexander Whitlaw, and this six weeks before the time. He had no other matters of importance till the time they came to Edinburgh. As for his importunity in writing, if Sadler knew how he was urged to it by the Lords, and the necessity which craved the same, that might easily be born. with. As for keeping of "closurs," they who sent him for the money must needs be upon counsel of disposing thereof, which was not possible to keep close, by reason of the listing of the men of war. It is known that they are not able without support of others to sustain such charges, and therefore their adversaries presume that they have support of England; yea, verily they themselves cannot keep the same close, as there are so many in their counsel. The report that the money which he received was not bestowed upon the common affairs, but upon particular persons, etc., is most untrue; for there were 1,000 footmen incontinent listed, who were paid one month's wages with the money. And, because they thought it more necessary to have footmen than horsemen, there were listed again 500 footmen, who were likewise paid one month's wages; and 100 horsemen, at the leading of Lord Gray and Alexander Whitlaw, whom he paid at the command of Randolph, as having commission from Sadler. He also delivered to the Earl of Glencairn and Lord Boyd 500 crowns, which was the best bestowed money that he ever bestowed; which if he had not done, their enterprise had been stayed, both in joining with the Duke and coming to Edinburgh for certain particular causes betwixt them and the Duke, which were set down by that means by him [Balnaves] so secret that it is not known to many. Here is the whole matter of the bestowing of the money. In time to come he will save himself from such blame. Thinks that he deserves more thanks. It was presumed that he had received 20,000 crowns and would not bestow it as every man would. This is the commodity he had for his travail; but as he serves God principally in this matter, he cares the less for tales.
4. The payment of the footmen extends monthly every ensign, (which are now six in number) to 290l. The 100 horsemen extend monthly to 230l., so that he may calculate what 2,000 footmen and 300 horsemen will take monthly, which is the least number that the Lords desire to have furnished at this time. As for the money lost by the Laird of Ormeston, the Lords will send their writing upon the same as the matter has chanced. If Randolph had not been present he would have written oftener.—Edinburgh, 4 Nov. 1559. Signed: Hen. Balnaves, of Halhill.
Orig. Hol. Endd.: Balnaves to Mr. Sadler. Pp. 4.
Nov. 5.
MS. Burton-Constable. Sadler, 1. 540. No. CVIII.
184. The Earl of Northumberland to Sadler.
1. Having been suitor of late to the Council to be disburdened of this office, it has pleased the Queen to send her letters to Sadler, (which are enclosed,) to take the charge in his absence, seeing his brother [Sir H. Percy] is far on his way to London. Will, God willing, leave to-morrow week; prays him to take order for the quiet of Tindale and Riddisdale, and to appoint officers. Signed.
2. P. S.—Has appointed Thomas Clavering and John Hall to deliver him the rolls, touching the days of truce.—Warkworth, 5 Nov. 1559.
Orig. Add.
Nov. 5.
B. M. Calig. B. x. 48. Sadler, 1, 541. No. CIX. Keith, 1. 381.
185. Sadler and Croftes to Cecil.
1. They advertised him in the letter sent by Mr. Drury, that they had sent the Protestants 1,000l. by Lord Ormeston. He will now perceive, by letters from Balnaves and Randolph, of Ormeston's mishap. They durst have as well committed their own lives to his hands, as the money; and hope the Queen and Cecil will not impute anything to them.
2. Think the Protestants, not being of power to besiege Leith, will remain in garrison at Edinburgh, if aided by money from the Queen. The French are so distressed for want of fuel and other things, that, unless speedy aid come from France, they cannot remain long at Leith.
3. Sadler and Croftes having written to the Protestants before Lord Ormeston's mishap, that they had money for them, (for which they will write immediately,) would gladly know how to act. They doubt whether it be good or not, for this sorry mischance, so to discourage them as now to leave them destitute of help when they have most need. If they are pressed for it before an answer come from the Court, they see not how they can refuse it. The more they are supported, the greater shall the enmity increase betwixt them and the French. And now, by reason of this mishap, it is to be feared the French discover their doings; yet think that if they desire to break with the English, they would take occasion so to do as well for that is done already, as for any future thing. Therefore if, by spending a little money, the enmity between the Protestants and France may be continued, think the occasion is not to be lost.
4. As far as they can learn, no Scotsmen of any name are with the Queen in Leith, only Lord Seton and Lord Borthwick with the inhabitants of the town; the others who favour her, as the Earl Bothwell, remain at home as yet by her consent. It is said that there are in Leith about 3,000 Scots and French in wages.—Berwick, 5 Nov. 1559.
5. P. S.—Had they known Cecil's opinion of Mr. Drury they would not have used him as they have done. They think him, however, both honest and trusty, and that Cecil, when he has proved him, will find him so. Signed.
Copy, in Sadler's hol. Pp. 2.
Nov. 5.
MS. Burton-Constable.
186. Another copy of the above, omitting the P. S.
Nov. 5.
R. O. Sadler, 1. 544. No. CX.
187. Sadler to Cecil.
1. After Mr. Croftes and he had written their other letters sent herewith, arrived Cecil's letters of the last of October, by which it appears that the Earl of Northumberland at his coming up shall leave his charge to the writer. This he thinks very strange, as he is slenderly furnished all manner of ways for such a charge, especially the country here being now so far out of order, he having come hither in post with half a score with him. Advises that the charge of the East Marches be committed to Croftes, and of the Middle to Sir John Forster, or else, for the time, both may be committed to Croftes. Beseeches that he may not be charged therewith.
2. Cannot tell what to say touching the removing of Clavering; but Sir Henry Percy, who is Captain of Norham, may be communed with in that part.—Berwick, 5 Nov. 1559. Signed.
Orig. Hol., with seal. Add. Endd. Pp. 2.
Nov. 5.
MS. Burton-Constable.
188. Another copy of the above.
Nov. 5.
R. O. Sadler, 1. 547. No. CXII.
189. Sadler and Croftes to Randolph.
Are most sorry to hear of Ormeston's mishap. If any bruit arise therefrom, the Lords of the Congregation must say that the money was Ormeston's, or some of theirs, delivered to him for some purpose, or else must devise to colour the matter otherwise. They should learn how Bothwell lay in wait for Ormeston passing, for it seems to have been devised beforehand. They have advertised the Queen of it as best they might, trusting she will take it in good part, and not leave them destitute of such aid as she may, with honour, give, in which the writers will help as much as they can. As they perceive that Balnaves labours to excuse himself of certain things whereof he supposes they charge him, (which they think he gathered of such talk as they had with Ormeston,) the writers beg him [Randolph] to assure him they take his doings in good part.—5 Nov. 1559.
Copy, in Raylton's hol. Endd. by Cecil. Pp. 2.
Nov. 5.
MS. Burton-Constable.
190. Another copy of the above.
Nov. 5.
B. M. Cal. B. x. 47 b. Keith, 1. 381.
191. Abstract of the above.
In the hand of Cotton's transcriber.
Nov. 5.
MS. Burton-Constable. Sadler, 1. 559. No. CXX.
192. Sadler and Croftes to Sir John Forster.
Whereas they wrote lately to him to come, because they had a matter for the Queen's service to entrust to him, the matter being again in hand they pray him to come, for which there is a special cause.—Berwick, 5 Nov. 1559.
Nov. 5.
MS. Burton-Constable. Sadler, 1. 545. No. CX.
193. The Mayor and Aldermen of Newcastle to Sadler and Croftes.
1. Have received their letters by Mr. Pretie, whereby they [Sadler and Croftes] require them to advance upon credit. for the works at Berwick, sufficient coals for the present need, and also to take order for the carriage of the same by sea.
2. As for the coals, Mr. Pretie may furnish himself with the same; but right sorry are they, they cannot lend him 100l. for the "fraught," having last July, for the affairs of Berwick, lent Mr. Treasurer there 200l., and as yet they know not how they will be paid. And as they understand there is 200l. left by the customer in the town to be paid to Mr. Treasurer for the Queen's service, upon warrant, if Mr. Pretie and Mr. Cocks may have 100l. of that, to such time as the Treasurer may be spoken with, they would be glad to spare as much money, already disbursed, as they can, until Mr. Lee's pay shall come.—Newcastle, 5 Nov. 1559. Signed: Robert Ellyson, Robert Brandlyng, Robert Lewen, Cuthbert Ellyson, Richard Godfrey, Christopher Metford, Oswald Chapman.
Nov. 5.
MS. Burton-Constable. Sadler, 1. 546. No. CXI.
194. Sir Robert Brandling to Sadler.
When Sadler wrote to him to provide him two hogsheads of wine, one white and the other claret, there was no store in the town, but white wine of Bretagne, all in pipes. But now three Scotch ships have arrived at Tynemouth from Bordeaux with wine; from which he has bought a hogshead of claret, and shipped it in the Goddesgrace, which Sadler shall receive by the first wind. It cost 10l. besides the impost, whereof he is discharged. There is also arrived at Tynemouth three small ships of Bretagne, being driven by distress, with wheat, rye, salt, and wine, and as they say, sixteen more ships at sea for victualling Leith.—Newcastle, 5 Nov. 1559. Signed.
Nov. 2.
Epp. Tig. 1. No. XIX. Burnet, iii. App. No. 56.
. . . . . . The Swede and Charles the son of the Emperor Ferdinand are courting at a wonderful rate, but the Swede is most in earnest, for he promises mountains of silver in case of success. The lady, however, is probably thinking of an alliance nearer home. My friend Allen has departed this life, after having been nominated Bishop of Rochester. We have nothing from Scotland at this time which can be new to you. The Gospel is taught, churches are diligently attended, and all the memorials of this old superstition are demolished. The French, however, are still hoping to retain both the kingdom and the religion . . . . London, 2 Nov. 1559.


  • 1. Jewel to Peter Martyr.
  • 2. This paragraph is in Cecil's handwriting.
  • 3. M. de Noailles to the Cardinal of Lorraine.
    Nov. 2.
    MS. Paris, Angl. Keg. xiii. 652. Teulet, 1. 364.
    1. Wrote on 24 and 28 ult. The report current here of the surprise of the Queen Regent by the rebels is false. Is informed by D'Oysel that Leith can easily hold out against attack until the arrival of succour from France, which he hopes will be speedy, otherwise the Scots may take advantage of the winter to execute their wicked enterprise. Elizabeth has strengthened the garrison of Berwick to 1,500 men, apparently, however, only for defence. Henry Balneyc [Balnaves], whom the Congregation sent hither, has returned, without having had much encouragement from the Queen. Is informed that she has secretly given them some hope of assistance, for which purpose the elder Melvyn still remains here.
    2. Yesterday the Queen celebrated the festival of All Saints with much solemnity in the great chapel of Westminster, in which, during the service, she caused two tapers to be lit on the high altar, which she has restored to its place against the wall; upon it there is a cross and crucifix of silver. The Protestants in this city are wonderfully surprised and cry out. If it continues, it is probable that the Scots will not be much favoured in their religion. Does not know whether this is to open the way to some new marriage, different from that here generally discussed. The suit of the son of the Emperor will soon come to an issue. The Duke of Finland is here; he often visits the Queen, and is always well received. From a conversation which he had with M. de Candalle it is obvious that he is anxious to visit France, in which he was encouraged. He wished to offer to the Queen a ring worth 5,000 or 6,000 crowns, which she has hitherto excused herself from accepting. He was invited to the Mayor's dinner last Monday, but he did not appear, neither did the Spanish Ambassador, who said he was unwell. The real cause of his absence probably was his apprehension that the writer would have the precedence.
    3. Yesterday in the Queen's presence a tournament was proclaimed for next Sunday, at which Lord Robert [Dudley] and Lord Hunsdon undertake to meet all comers. The Queen gives two prizes.