Elizabeth: April 1587, 1-15

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 21, Part 1, 1586-1588. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1927.

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, 'Elizabeth: April 1587, 1-15', in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 21, Part 1, 1586-1588, (London, 1927) pp. 262-278. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/vol21/no1/pp262-278 [accessed 30 May 2024].

. "Elizabeth: April 1587, 1-15", in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 21, Part 1, 1586-1588, (London, 1927) 262-278. British History Online, accessed May 30, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/vol21/no1/pp262-278.

. "Elizabeth: April 1587, 1-15", Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 21, Part 1, 1586-1588, (London, 1927). 262-278. British History Online. Web. 30 May 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/vol21/no1/pp262-278.

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April 1587, 1-15

April 2. Duke John Casimir to Walsingham.
Recommending his counsellor, La Hugerie, and asking for his prompt dispatch with the results of his embassy. Prays his honour to use his influence with her Majesty in regard to what he and the Sieur Horatio Palavicino shall write or say upon the fresh accidents, requests and remedies; which doing, he will advance the cause, safety and grandeur of his mistress, and increase more and more the zeal of those who employ themselves so cheerfully in the business.—Heidelberg, 2 April, 1587.
Signed. Add. Endd. Fr. ½ p. [Germany, States V. 37.]
April 2. Horatio Palavicino to Walsingham.
I last wrote to your honour on the 19th of last month. I have been at Frankenthal, and for five whole days in the company of the Sieur de la Noue, to my great satisfaction, having found him worthy of all the credit and reputation which his actions have gained for him. He particularly asked about the health of your honour, to whom he is no less joined in sincere friendship than you are to him; declaring his intention, if possible, to go over, as being more desirous to sojourn in that kingdom with you than any other place whatever, while France remains in its present state.
Geneva has not at present any need of him, there being no appearance that she will be attacked, and his being there has been prejudicial to his son, the Sieur de Teligni, who has been kept more straitly than he used to be, the Spaniards considering that his presence in that city has been offensive to the Duke of Savoy, who, being the third in succession to the crown of Spain, is included amongst those against whom the Sieur de la Noue is bound not to bear arms; to which interpretation, however, as being illegitimate, he does not give so much heed that in case of need he would fail to serve the common cause there. It is true that having now recovered his younger son, who was a hostage with the Duke of Lorraine, he desires to use every effort to liberate his firstborn, after which he would be as it were, free himself; wherefore he earnestly prays your honour that if either at sea or in the Low Countries, any prisoner be taken by our men of worth enough to ransom him, you would graciously remember him; seeing that no sum of money serves to do it, and his hopes are reduced to the above means. Now, seeing that the garrison of Berghes op Zoome has lately taken Signor Giovanni di Castiglio, an old Spanish captain, master of the camp to a regiment of Spaniards and in great favour with the Prince of Parma, (fn. 1) I believe that by his exchange rather than that of any other private captain, M. de Teligni might be liberated, and therefore pray you to give order to those who took Castiglio not to dispose of him without your consent, and to set on foot the negotiation for the aforesaid exchange, concerning which I doubt not but that M. de la Noue will petition your honour by his own letters. Meanwhile, I have written to the Signor [Sir William] Russell at Flushing to give him notice thereof and to prevent any different resolution being taken by those of Bergen.
M. de la Noue has told me that he believes the Prince of Parma means shortly to attempt the enterprise of Utrecht, and that therefore it should be well guarded and some place near it on the side of the enemy fortified, in order to hold the country and encamp there in case of need. He also told me that the Prince's aims are very great indeed; that he is burning to attempt something and that he would rather make war directly against England than in the Low Countries. He therefore thinks that the Earl of Leicester should return as soon as possible, because of the disorders which have sprung up amongst the chief men who rule affairs there. I urged him to come himself [to England]; telling him of my hope of returning shortly, when I should have the advantage of a safe passage, and would wait for him and keep him company. He replied that he must first return to Basel to put his private affairs in order and then would be very willing, but I had no sooner left him on the 26th than the next day I had a letter from my two men there [in England] telling me of the arrival of my servant, and that I had licence to return, whereupon I sent a messenger after him (he having already started for Basel), telling him I should wait for him in Emden until the 25th, or even till the 30th of the present month and then went to D. Casimir to take leave, which I did on the 29th. I have now returned hither, where I await the dispatch of his letters for her Majesty, your honour, the Earl of Leicester and the Lord Treasurer, which he promised to send me by the 4th of this month.
I here found Mr. Pooel [Stephen Powle], who gave me your letter of the 3rd, which will make me use all possible diligence. I also found Zolcker, who told me he had sent your letters to D. Casimir, to which I hope to bring you the reply. I shall start, God willing, one day this week, and go to Emden to find my servant, who is waiting for me with your letters of March 1, and try to cross with the first wind, thanking you most humbly for the kind care you have taken for the safety of my passage.
I must not omit to tell you of what happened to the Sieur de Quitri, so that if you hear a rumour of it, you may know how it happened and with what result. The Duke of Saxony made him wait till the 3rd of March (the day after he wrote the letter of which I send you the copy (fn. 2) ) and then kept him for thirteen days, very strictly and unworthily, showing himself much offended that he had gone so near to Dresden and to himself to capitulate with the colonels, two of the chief of whom he also detained, making it apparent that he meant to hinder his work, and seeking to prove that it was the action of D. Casimir; but as the men luckily escaped, he had nothing left but suspicion.
These things were executed by Shombergh, the brother of Gaspar Shombergh, who serves the King of France, so that by his person and by the vehemence of his proceedings it may be argued that it has been done in favour of the King of France and perhaps also of the Emperor; however, the Sieur de Quitri was at last allowed to go, and reached us on the 26th, to our great joy; for we had feared the worst from his long delay. D. Casimir did not know what to say or do; but is since become very hopeful, having had letters from his men assuring him that the colonels mean to negotiate, notwithstanding the aforesaid opposition, and have arranged to meet in Brunswick to treat: therefore D. Casimir should hasten thither and give order for them to proceed with all diligence.
It may be that this report, spread about everywhere, will induce him to do things more secretly, and so catch Lorraine and France less ready; while he diligently informs his friends of all, in order that they may not be dismayed by such a rumour. He himself is writing of it to her Majesty. As I pass through the Landgrave's country, I shall speak to him of this and pray him to use good offices with the Dukes of Saxony and Brandenburg not to hinder this action, as D. Casimir requested me to do.—Frankfort, 2 April 1587.
Postscript. My Lord Zouch has arrived here. He calls himself Mr. Welby and I am told that he means to stay in Heidelberg.
Signed. Add. Endd. Italian. 3 pp. [Germany. States V. 38.] [Words in italics in cipher.]
April 2. Duplicate of the above.
Signed. Add. Endd. 2¾ pp. [Ibid. V. 39.]
April 4. Stafford to the Queen.
Though by Mr. Wade's letter and mine to Mr. Secretary [see p. 267 below] your Majesty may see in what sort M. Belliever and M. Pinard have dealt with us within these three days, being sent by the King to us, . . . yet that your Majesty may particularly know what terms we stand in here. . . . I am bold to trouble you thus much further.
[Here follows a resumé of what had passed between him and Bellièvre in their conference, related at large in his and Wade's joint letter to Walsingham of March 24, above.]
"Our conference was above two very long hours and more; where your Majesty must needs think that so grave a counsellor and so wise a man was not without replies which made me to wish often that as wise a man as he had been in my place to have dealt with him; but in the end, his own disposition to do all good things for the good and increase of amity of these two realms, and partly finding, though I had no art, I had reason of my side, he did neither absolutely deny nor yet wholly approve my reasons, and namely in the last point, [of giving aid to the King of Navarre] wherein I found that though there must be a great quarrel still made upon that point for show, they do not think your Majesty doth any harm to them in doing it; and promised to take an opportunity to make our conference known to the King to some good purpose.
"Since, I know very privately he hath done it and to good effect . . . . and that upon that the King sent M. Belliever and M. Pinard unto us, which he never would permit afore since the first day that Mr. Waade had audience. I can assure you farther that the King is qualified in his own mind in this matter of the Queen of Scots, and that if your Majesty will win him with some show of making account of him with this matter of the ambassador, and the delivery of de Trappes to him to be examined, for a colour and show to the world that you make account of him, you may strengthen him and win him from the importunity of all them that press him to the contrary, which they beat him with nothing so much as with this matter of the ambassador, which indeed he is extremely piqued withal in his own honour, that you will not admit him to speak with you and to justify himself. And what fault soever there were in the ambassador, your Majesty, being intreated to it, may make the King beholding unto you, and stop their mouths that make that gall the King the most of all, make him bound to do good offices, and his friends that be touched here, who govern most, win them for his sake. I beseech your Majesty consider in what terms things stand, and whether to impeach this King from running desperate into their arms that hate you, it were not better for you not to see so exactly into his minister at this time as you might do another time; and if it were not for any other purpose but to make them (that are glad of nothing more than to have the contrary seen) to see that there is amity and goodwill between you, and that it cannot be broken by any minister's fault, it were no small policy now. And this your Majesty may be very sure withal, that as long as his ambassador remaineth in that state with you, your ambassador shall have here no audience for anything. And this I can tell your Majesty farther, and have it from so good a place (though I may not tell whence) that as far as I can take assurance, I durst assure you that if contenting the King in this (for else there is no dealing with him) you will send privately to me any matter that you desire for increase of farther amity . . . there is very good assured hope there may be good done [in] it, and for my part . . . I think there is more good to be done of the King of the nature he is of at this time than if he were of a more martial disposition. But that which he will do he will desire to have it secretly done, and this which he standeth upon—to have justice done afore these ships be released, which in truth were stayed only upon their request, to make you afraid in the matter of the Queen of Scots—is but a show to please the world withal, for he would with all his heart they were released, and would there were so many stayed in England that all his subjects interessed might cry on him for a release to save them from undoing; but this must not be known, and truly the execution of justice on both sides must needs go forward, for it is very needful.
"Thus I have, though the letter be long and tedious, made but a brief discourse of so long a speech, and withal been bold to lay down things to you as they are, and withal to give you my poor advice, even as afore God in my conscience, and according to my duty and allegiance to your Majesty I think a truth and necessary. Your Majesty's wisdom must teach you to consider the best for yourself, which I pray God give you the grace to do in all your actions.
Not signed or dated. Endd. "Copy of Sir Ed. Stafford's letter to her Majesty of the 4 of April, 1587." 4 pp. [France XVII. 48.]
April 4. Stafford to Burghley.
Not having time to write at large I refer your lordship to my letters to Mr. Secretary and to the Queen, of which last I have sent Mr. Secretary a copy, knowing that sometimes her Majesty "doth not communicate things."
I am very sorry that her Majesty still remains offended with her Council, and particularly with your lordship, both for your grief and that she does herself and her own service great harm by it; for a day or two before my man brought the news, it was here advertised to them out of England; and if Tupper had not come I should have written plainly to her of it, but I will now forbear three or four days and then write expressly of it, "for I assure you it is nuts to them here to hear it; and yet for that respect that she doeth it for it rather doth harm than good, . . . and particularly her evil countenance unto you, that maketh the thing [i.e. her anger at the Queen of Scot's execution] less believed than anything else, for all she can do cannot persuade them here that your lordship could ever be brought to do any thing against her express mind. . . Not they that loved the Queen of Scots best will not be persuaded any way that you have advanced her days a minute more than the Queen's will, nor bear you any speck of evil will for it." I will assuredly write "what harm it doth her here, and how they that love her not rejoice at it, I mean with her Council in general, not touching your lordship's particular; for then she would think I were either set on or that my particular goodwill to your lordship made me do it."
When Mr. Fant, Mr. Secretary's man was here, I told him how strangers coming from England told me how little I was beholding to his master; that I desired nothing more than his favour, and if he did not favour me he did me wrong, for I deserved well. "By Tupper he hath written at large to me and hath assured me I shall have his goodwill unfeignedly, and that he will satisfy me by the first opportunity of all things and jealousies past. If he do so, I shall be beholding to him; but though he do not, I will not leave to be satisfied, because mine own conscience satisfieth me fully. . . . Buzenval also hath written to me a letter of reconciliation, for I dealt very plainly with Fant about him too. . . . The French have dealt on both hands, both with Mr. Secretary and me to serve their own turns, but I will never speak more of it. God forgive all as freely as I do.
"Thus my lord, as to one that I make partaker of any thing that toucheth me, I thought fit to let your lordship know that I hope that I have a friend more now than I had . . . and I will truly deserve it as I have ever done, for I have known him long and given him good cause to love me as far as my power stretched: but your lordship hath given me [more] cause, having favoured me without any desert of mine but only in goodwill, therefore I beseech your lordship to assure yourself that you have bound me to you, and so unfeignedly you shall find me account myself so, in any service I can do you or any of yours."—Paris, 4 April, 1586.
Holograph. Add. Endd. by Burghley. 2¾ pp. [France XVII. 49.]
April 4. Stafford and Waad to Walsingham.
"After long soliciting, on Thursday last M. Bellievre and M. Pinart came unto us, by order from the King, to let us understand his pleasure. Where de Bellievre, beginning with the matter of arrests, told us that it were well we came now at the length forth of these briars, wherein already they had begun to make way unto us, and if we would show some disposition on our part, things might easily be brought to good pass; for already the Duke Joyeuse had licensed our mariners to depart, and stay only was made of the ships until such order might be taken for administering of justice on both sides as should be requisite. And for furtherance hereof, as they did understand by me, Sir Edward Stafford, that her Majesty had appointed commissioners on that side, being personages chosen greatly to their liking; so, when the King might be certified thereof from his ambassador, he would name likewise others on this side; wherein, though for their parts they gave credit unto us, nevertheless it was reason, the King having an ambassador there, that he should be made acquainted therewithal, and the King receive advertisement from him. For that course was always held and used amongst Princes, and so were they sent from the King unto us, to let us know his mind and resolutions; and in like manner the King would write to his ambassador to signify the same to her Majesty, that his message and our report might concur. And therefore they required us for the love of God, to deal herein so effectually that at the length we might get forth out of these brakes and encumbers.
"We replied touching the commissioners, that there was no doubt to be had of the truth of the matter, sithence by her Majesty's commandment they were advertised by me, Edward Stafford, of the choice of the commissioners, being to be credited in all such things as I have to deliver in her Majesty's name. Hereof, as before, they said they did not doubt; but for indifferent and sound dealing, they desired that course might be held with them which they took with us; and that the King in all those cases (as reason was) did look to be advertised from his own ambassador, as well as from her Majesty's, and that that account should be made of him, serving the King in that place (which they very often did urge and pray us to procure). And so we might hold the commissioners for named here likewise, which only stayed the coming of the Duke Joyeuse, who would be here within two days, because these matters concern his charge, being Lord Admiral of France. Therefore if we would write to her Majesty, they would dispatch also one to accompany him, and speedy answer might be returned. In the mean season, the complaints on both sides might be presented to be considered of. Hereupon, we took occasion to let them understand that as the arrests were first made and begun on this side, so they should first release. But in the end we perceived they do understand that on both sides the stays should continue until the commissioners appointed should deal in the particular cause. Wherein we told them it might be they had arrested English goods to the sum of one hundred thousand pounds, and we perhaps but for a small sum. So they were to think, unless they took order to release our goods, we should be forced to continue to take and detain their men until we might get into our hands [enough] to countervail the sum taken by them, for the indemnity of our merchants.
"But truly, for ought we can perceive, as these arrests were begun for another purpose, so they are continued rather for colour than otherwise, and until such time as the King might receive some contentment in the case of his ambassador. And they seemed very desirous that order might be taken in these causes and the traffic restored.
"Where they making a stay, we told them that I, William Waad, attended these nine weeks the King's pleasure, her Majesty looking long sithence for my return, and for answer in that I delivered unto the King, which we hoped now to obtain, and they might be assured my return should further all these causes. Whereupon M. de Bellievre said that therein likewise they had commandment from the King to let us understand that the cause of his ambassador could not but greatly grieve him, as a matter wherein he is very deeply touched in honour; for what show soever we made, it is not to be thought that an ambassador durst attempt or undertake any such thing without his master's knowledge and privity; for they are but to do their master's wills and commandments. Therefore they did pray us very earnestly, that as heretofore he had written to her Majesty by Roger to have de Trappes sent him, so we would deal with her Majesty to give him that most reasonable satisfaction; as the King did promise on his honour to examine the cause thoroughly and to punish him accordingly, which his desire was I, William Waad, might see done. Wherein the King likewise had great cause to think little regard to be had of him in respect of the constant affection he hath always showed to maintain amity with her Majesty, that his ambassador cannot by any means be admitted to his excuse and to clear himself; for they could hear nothing from him but that he stood in the same terms he did. And besides the King's honour, so highly touched therein, the gentleman found himself defamed with the most infamous charge that could be imputed to any man, wherein he protested himself to be most innocent, and M. de Bellievre swore most faithfully that in his conscience he took him to be, and therefore stood him upon more than all he had besides in the world. For which respects, the King could not be denied to be permitted to look into a matter that imported his honour, which he would himself not only take knowledge of, but severely examine, as we both should see. For it were too partial a kind of dealing not to suffer him to look into a matter that touched him so near. Therefore most earnestly and often they required us to let her Majesty understand that the King did pray her Majesty again (which likewise his ambassador had charge to let her understand) to give him that just satisfaction he desired, that both his ambassador might be admitted to purge himself, and de Trappes sent hither. And, as heretofore, so they stood again upon the extract of the depositions sent hither, specially those of de Trappes, which they called tronqués and in pieces, saying they knew very well the quite contrary touching his confession to that we made show of, and though we kept it from them, they had the whole examinations. For so soon as Moody desired to talk with him apart, and began to discourse about the taking away of her Majesty's life, de Trappes reprehended him sharply, and though he confessed that the ambassador sent him to speak with Moody, it was at the importunity of Stafford, and suspecting no such matter. And the King marvelled all this while why, de Trappes being in our power, we sent not a perfect confession hither, signed by him or under his own hand. M. Bellievre said he had these thirty-three years been acquainted with matter of justice and of judgment, but never saw accusations or depositions produced but entire and with the sign of the party. And that we would the King should take notice of this cause, and yet conceal the matter from him, and neither suffer him to look into the same nor admit his ambassador to declare his innocency.
"After we had spent some time in debating of the matter, which served to small purpose because they make no account of the confessions of Stafford and Moody, preferring the credit of the ambassador, clearing himself upon his oath and damnation, and de Trappes' confession by them construed in their favour, as it is by him set down; it was told them her Majesty had little cause to grant the delivery of de Trappes, the King having deferred hitherto to deliver Morgan, her Majesty's subject, so often most villainously having attempted the destruction of her royal and sacred person, being a thing according to the treaties; where I, Edward Stafford, did offer, the King giving his assured promise to deliver Morgan to her Majesty, to be myself a means to her highness that de Trappes might be consigned to whom he should appoint. That is the thing, said Bellievre, that most of all offendeth the King, because thereby he perceiveth de Trappes was only stayed by way of reprisal. We wished the King had long sithence rendered Morgan and Charles Paget, because such wicked instruments having wanted, that had not perhaps fallen out to the Scottish Queen that now is come to pass. We required also, 'sithe' the King was thus resolved, he would dispatch me with this his answer to her Majesty. But they desired me, sithence I had stayed all this while, to have a little while longer patience, because in less than a fortnight we might have answer in these things. It were too tedious to repeat all the speech that passed between us. [Sums up again the King's demands.]
"And so about the matter of arrests, they desired the King might know by his ambassador her Majesty's mind (which we said had not been omitted if no other occasion had come between) and that we on our side would show some forwardness and good disposition, as they had already done, to the end that all difficulty might be removed. In the mean season the ships and goods to continue under custody, which, in our opinion, is done to serve for some outward show, that it might not seem the King did relent so soon, than of any evil disposition, for they dealt with us in very good terms. Therefore, under your honour's correction, if any of their mariners have been stayed with their ships, we think it should be well done the mariners were released, to show them after their example we may be brought to arrest our release. We think it a thing also to be considered of by your honour, if any shall be sent hither hereafter to follow the merchants' causes, that amongst the rest there may some discreet man be chosen and learned, for we find that want of good directions and government hath greatly hindered the success of their causes heretofore. We most humbly beseech your honour we may have knowledge of her Majesty's pleasure so soon as may be, which is greatly here desired; and he that doth accompany this bearer expressly dispatched for that purpose.
"The Duke Joyeuse arrived here on Saturday in the evening, and yesterday we sent to M. Pinart to know the names of the commissioners that the King would appoint for sea causes. He sent us answer that the Admiral, himself, M. de Bellievre and a President should be named as it was thought, but the King would determine nothing until he had word from his own ambassador of her Majesty's mind, whereby your honour may perceive that the King will take knowledge of nothing but that which shall be delivered to his ambassador. So as until her Majesty vouchsafe to receive him to favour, all intelligence is like to cease. Thus having most faithfully reported what hath been delivered unto us, we refer the consideration hereof to her Majesty's wisdom; beseeching God, her Highness' resolutions herein, being a matter of very great weight, may advance those good purposes she most desireth; as we shall be ready to execute her commandments."—Paris, 4 April, 1587. Signed by both.
In Waad's hand-writing. Add. Endd. 6 pp. [France XVII. 50.]
April 4. Stafford to Walsingham.
I humbly thank your honour for your letter by Tupper. "I never received anything more grateful in my life . . . For the assurance of your friendship, in truth and honesty I would not sell it for anything, and if I did know . . . that either for mine own particular cause or for public service I deserved other, by God in heaven, afore whose judgment seat I hope to appear, I would myself open it, but by God that bought me I know no gall in mine own conscience. I would to God I were as clear to God's word as I am to the State and to my friends. But Sir, I will ask no more questions, but when it shall please you and by whom it shall please you, I shall rest greatly satisfied when I shall know the ground of any thing. I guess more bad dealing with me by a letter I have received by this bearer from Buzenvall than ever yet I could have inkling of. I have answered him as pertinently as I can to it, knowing no more than I do; and truly, as I have written unto him, all things are quite past and gone and forgotten with me, what wrong soever hath been done me; but I will assure you this: there is craft in 'Dawbynge', (fn. 3) and that they will all not care what they do to play on both hands to serve their own turns." You and I have been both evil dealt withal; Mr. Waade at his return will tell you more, and there, I pray you let it rest. I will never open my mouth of it, or make their master and the public cause pay for the folly of the ministers employed.
"And for my part towards you . . . I am as much at your commandment as any man is in England, and more glad that you have assured me of your friendship than of anything that could have happened unto me. I desire no more but one thing of you: that no tale nor tale-teller nor jealousy without hearing myself or from me may enter into you, for I give you the word and faith of a true, honest man, that whatsoever you send to ask of me in any such thing, I will send you a truth and not dissemble."
Mr. Fant wrote that you would write your mind to me about Lillye. I will follow the direction he gave me till Mr. Waade come home and I hear from you. "In the meantime first I would not have her Majesty offended, whom I care chiefest for; next my mother, whom I had rather be dead than she should be unsatisfied, which both your honour may satisfy 'and if' you will be so favourable to me. The man serveth me in very good stead, and one that is made to my hand. If there be no very great occasion I would be glad to serve my turn with him whilst I were here, and after, I dare take upon me to leave him to do very good service at your appointment." If there be anything passed, and you would send me word of it, I think I could draw a confession from him, and if the matter be not great, there may be amends made for it, and it would serve to make him take heed for what is to come. Mr. Waade will tell you more of him.—Paris, 4 April, 1587.
Postscript. Pray let my servant George be sent over as soon as you may. The poor fellow hath waited a great while.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [France XVII. 51.]
April 4. Stafford to Walsingham.
I have written to her Majesty fully of certain speeches that passed between me and M. Bellievre, and have given her that poor advice which in my conscience I think the soundest, "and whereof I think very assuredly a great deal of good may come; and without it, I am afraid of a great deal of harm that may ensue, if the King, not being gratified in somewhat by the Queen, to captare benevolentiam, considering things past, and his nature, which is daily beaten with the Queen's enemies, if he be not strengthened by some good offices that come from her, may cast himself headlong into the hands of her enemies and his both, and I can assure you that we are even at the even [sic] of making and marring. It is good taking time when time is, for it is the only thing cannot be called back again. For God's sake Sir, let us cut them over the thumbs that lie at wait to watch only for the breach between France and the Queen. They would make it serve many a turn, and never a one that would not be extreme naught for us. God send us grace to prevent them; truly I think we may do if we will take a way unto it, and that way not uneasy. Belliever himself sent me word underhand of his dealing with the King after I had spoken with him, but this, Sir, I could not write to her Majesty, because I would not trouble her with deciphering, and therefore I beseech you make her acquainted with this letter; but of what importance this is, to have it secretly kept and not spoken of, her Majesty may judge and you know. I can assure you that by other very secret means I know it to be very true, and that the Queen and England is beholding to the man. He sent me farther word plainly enough to know his meaning that the helping of the King of Navarre was the helping of the King of France. Let her Majesty and you of her Council consider of these things with your wisdom.
"I must needs write to your honour another thing to make her Majesty acquainted withal, but it must be very secretly kept, for it will be doubted whence I have it else, and I shall be barred from a very sure way to know the bottom of their hearts in many things; and I can assure you this to be very true upon my credit, that there is as good watch laid for Mr. Waad's departure, and either to kill him or use him worse than kill him, as ever there was for anything; and I can assure you, only to make a breach between the Queen and the King by some such open matter; and they care not for the ambassador there, though he were cut in a thousand pieces; for that were but more mischief and cause of breach, which is that they only desire. And all the cunning is wrought with the King that may be (which I see beareth weight) that the King would not dispatch him, only to weary him, that he may go away without leave, that they may have the better colour to catch him, and I dare lay my life of it, the King will not dispatch him, and therefore, if the Queen do not mean to content the King, I think best that he may have leave to retire himself as well as he may without speaking to the King, and I will do the best I can for his safety.
"To aggravate evil opinion of him, it was told Queen Mother within this four days, that when he was set down to the Queen of Scots he foisted in false papers among hers, which were they that only condemned her. This I can assure you to be very certain; therefore you had need to have care of the poor gentleman, that if the Queen will not give satisfaction to the King in the matter of his ambassador and Trappes, that he may have leave with the Queen's favour to get away as well as he can, and I will help.
"It is certain that the message that the Duke Mompensier sent, which I writ of in my other, about Sedan is by the King's own procurement. His physician, Miron, hath been lost here these nine days, who I am very credibly assured was there for that purpose, and upon that Denray was dispatched upon this message for Sedan, and the message was not so soon come but the King dispatched presently in all haste M. de Belliever to the Duke of Guise. The common bruit goeth that it is for the accord of M. d'Espernon and the Duke of 'Meine'; but the matter of Sedan is the chiefest; and now to-day they make run the bruit of a peace.
"I have sent you a note that gentlemen of good quality did give me, and desire to have present answer of it. One of them is Duke d'Esperon's kinsman and of great credit, the same man that I sent you the note of a good while agone; the other is Queen Mother's lieutenant at Cambrai, but an extreme enemy of Balagni's. I could not, as you know was not fit for me to take exceptions to anything, but used them with very fair words, though, as you may see, I have 'interlined' two unreasonable points; but if with reason they might be dealt withal, I think the thing would be of great commodity, both to disperse the enemy's forces and to put them in a jealousy with England, being taken in hand but [qy. by] persons so near the French King." I pray for answer presently.—Paris, 4 April, 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [France XVII. 52.]
[Words in italics in cipher, undeciphered.]
April 4. Stafford to Walsingham.
I send you the copy of my letter to the Queen, not knowing whether she will make you acquainted with it. I pray you show it to my lord Treasurer. As you may see, it is a brief of the long letter I sent you by John de Vignes, "only I have left out the eagernesses of dispositions that was in that I sent you, to discharge my duty and to leave it to your discretions; but in truth I writ a truth, and only that the King is modified by very good means, the generality and the greatest here are still evil disposed. And the cause why I have written to her Majesty is that she may know the good from the bad, and use every one in his kind, and take the opportunity of all things for her best service. I am sorry that her Majesty is offended still with her Council, for they be advertised of it here and it is nuts to them." I will write to her of it in a day or two, but omit to do so now, upon Tupper's arrival, lest she might think I was moved to it by you or some other out of England; but she does herself much wrong, and I will discharge my duty by writing the truth to her.—Paris, 4 April, 1587.
Postscript. "Belliever is not here, who is the fittest man upon other speech to deliver unto that jealousy of reconciliation." When I do, it shall be in such sort as it shall not hurt.
"They are very hot these eight days here, about making up a marriage of the Count Soissons with M. Nevers' daughter. The King is very hot in it, and thinketh it will draw M. de Nevers assuredly altogether from the League, and offereth to give largely to the helping forward of it. Some of Count Soissons' friends are of opinion of it too. For my part, I rather think he will bring Count Soissons to the League than the Count bring Nevers from it . . ."
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [France XVII. 53.] [Words in italics, in cipher undeciphered.]
April 7. Horatio Palavicino to Walsingham.
My last was on the 2nd. On the 5th I received my dispatch from D. Casimir and to-day start on my journey, with very small hope of finding the man of war which came to Emden last month, as these English merchants come from thence tell me that she was only to wait fourteen days; but as another is expected at the end of this month, I shall arrive there time enough. I had the news of the arrival of the other so late that it was not possible to be there before it was dispatched, nor would I move from hence without your honour's orders. I shall come as soon as possible, especially as I am losing hope of the Sieur de la Noue's coming, seeing that he is much cooled in his intention to do so by a letter from your honour of the 20 of February which he has received in Strasburg, and sent to me, that I may see that you counsel him very doubtfully to the journey, besides his having learned that his son is threatened with straiter and more cruel prison.
The letters which I bring from D. Casimir ratify anew all his bonds, and assure the execution thereof, but demand the dispatch of la Huguerie and fresh moneys. I much desire to arrive before he is dispatched, for I can better personally make clear any particulars concerning her Majesty's service and hope I may do so, believing that he will not have crossed the sea before the end of March [sic]. Corvelles (fn. 4) left here on the 6th for Brunswick, taking the money for the cappara [i.e. earnest money] of the reiters, hoping to treat without fail. And from Colonel 'Bouk,' who was kept back by the Duke of Saxony, they have notice that he has obtained licence to go, and that neither he nor the others will be hindered from what is desired.
D. Casimir did not wish Quitry to go to Brunswick nor to be present at the conference, being vexed that he had carried himself ill in Saxony, and had been the cause of all that disorder, and he is no better pleased with Segur. Among these dissensions and discords the common cause gets much less benefit. Meanwhile Sedan is in danger if the Duke of Guise can apply himself to the enterprise, which he has not been able to do, by reason that the affairs of the King of France or indeed of France itself divert him therefrom; of which such various news comes from Paris that we know not what to believe; but the coming of the Queen Mother into those parts is very suspicious.
Moreover there is great likelihood that the forces of the King of Spain will join the Duke of Guise and that they will play the game quite openly.
It was true that three Swiss cantons, viz.: Lucerne, Unterwalden and Zug have allied themselves with Spain, but the other four small cantons do not move, and it is said that the alliance is obligatory only for the State of Milan. I believe it will be rather a beginning to attract to him that nation than a present certainty of bending it to serve his designs.—Frankfort, 7 April, 1587.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Italian. 1½ pp. [Germany, States V. 40.] [Words in italics in cipher, deciphered.]
April 10. [Walsingham] to the French Ambassador.
I have earnestly solicited her Majesty for the Sieur des Trappes, as you desired; who has commanded me to say in reply that as soon as she shall learn that her ambassador and Mr. Waade have had audience of the King your master, she will not fail to put M. des Trappes into your hands and to give you audience, to which, before this happens, her honour will not permit her to condescend, seeing that all at once, as it were, they are treating very badly her servants sent thither, not permitting her ministers to have access to the King, although she at once granted it to the Sieur Roger; and detaining so great a number of the ships, merchandise and persons of her subjects, without any just provocation given on her part; which she finds extremely strange.
I pray you, Monsieur, in accordance with your profession of sincere desire for the maintenance of a good and constant friendship between these two crowns, to do all good offices that this reply may be interpreted in such sort as is reasonable. No date or signature.
Endd. "April 10, 1587. M[inute] to the French ambassador." Fr. ⅓ p. [France XVII. 54.]
April 11. [Walsingham] to Stafford.
"It was found necessary that some extracts should be made to be showed unto her Majesty out of your last letters sent by John de Vigne, as well in respect of the length of the said letters, as for that they contained some points that would rather have done harm than good; namely that which concerned the great malice that you write is generally conceived against her Majesty and all our nation for the late execution of the Queen of Scots, whereby she would but have been so much the more exasperated against her Council, and the advertisement touching the new supposed practice against her Majesty's own person; the like whereof do always breed fearful apprehensions in her, and therefore are now fittest to be communicated to her Council only, to whom the care of the timely prevention of such dangers doth chiefly appertain. Besides, for the liklihood of such matter itself we see no probability why they should attempt like practices, or any man hazard himself to execute the same, when as they have no more hope left to advance the Romish religion by their wished success thereof; which giveth us just cause to think that her Majesty is now in greater safety and freer from danger than ever she was, howsoever men do speak threateningly out of their passions and hot humours. You may therefore do well hereafter to divide your matters, that such as shall be of like kind may be contained in letters apart, and not in those that are to be showed to her Majesty, who liketh best, as before I have already written unto you, that such points as are of most importance be by you communicated to herself directly, wherein I cannot therefore but once again advise you to do according to her pleasure. The part of your letter to her Majesty herself wherein you write that the King of Scots excuseth her of the blame of the late execution of his mother, and layeth the same upon her Council did wonderfully content her Majesty, who desireth nothing more than to have it generally conceived that she had least part in the action, so as when there falleth out any more such matter, you cannot do better than to impart the same to her Majesty.
"Of late the French ambassador and I have had some conference together, which lasted about two hours. The beginning of our speech was spent in arguing who had first given the cause of the late unkindness, with the particularities whereof I think it needless to trouble you. I find the gentleman wellaffected, and very willing to do good offices for the continuance of good amity between the two crowns, to which end he doth earnestly persuade the delivery of des Trappes, laying before us the danger of the King being drawn away by those of the League, who take the advantage of these unkindnesses to labour him in that behalf; and constantly affirming that if des Trappes were sent into France, both yourself and Mr. Waad should presently have access to the King, and that he hoped, upon the first motion to be then made for the releasing of our ships, the King would forthwith take some good order therein.
The effect of which conference being communicated unto her Majesty, and earnest persuasions used unto her to yield to the releasing of des Trappes, in respect of the necessity of the time, she doth nevertheless persist still in her former opinion and insisteth to have her subjects' ships first released, wherein she looketh the rather to be satisfied for that the arrest hath partly grown upon the committing of des Trappes; alleging that she hath much more cause to take the King's not delivering of Morgan to her, after so many and so earnest requests, unkindly, being one that standeth charged with so horrible a fact as the practising an attempt against her own person.
"In Scotland all things are quiet and in very good terms. The King carrieth himself very constantly in his good disposition this way, foreseeing that nothing can more prejudice him, both in the time present and future, than any divorce that may fall out between him and us, wherein he doth particularly fear the effect of the late statute made for the disabling of any of the competitors that shall attempt the disquieting of the state, which will the rather contain him within the bounds of good carriage of himself. And of late we have seen some particular trial of his sound meaning, for that Maxwell and certain other papists having some practice in hand for the breaking of the borders, he did upon knowledge thereof repair presently himself in person to Dumfries, accompanied with divers of his nobility, to have apprehended and punished him, if, being forewarned thereof, he had not escaped away. Without signature or date.
Copy. Endd. "April 11. M[inute] to Sir Edw. Stafford." 3½ pp. [France XVII. 55.]
April 12. "A report of the King of Spain's preparations."
Upon enquiry made whether the King of Spain goes forward with the great preparation which has been bruited here, "the most certainty is by report" that numbers of men are come who are employed in the ships appointed as wafters for his ships bound for the East and West Indies; and the Holland and Esterling ships are mostly set at liberty.
Garret de Malyvers has advice by a flyboat come to Amsterdam from St. Lucar, that the King hath sent two principal persons to the Duke of Medina with order to release all the Esterlings, if they were only held by his embargo, whereupon most were discharged and likewise many Hollanders.
Thomas Cottell has the same news from Andalusia. James Kyrby came from the Cundado, last month, where there were seafaring men and fishermen taken up and sent to Lisbon, but were there dismissed, and most returned home. He also heard of the release of the ships; "and more preparation of soldiers or any attempt there was not there."
Antony Goldingham and Tho. Poulter, who were prisoners in Bayonne with the rest of the English merchants, and licensed to depart to procure liberty for the Spaniards in England, say that neither ships nor any extraordinary provision is prepared in Galicia, saving that "in Bayonne there was put a garrison of 400 men upon a bruit that was given of Sir Francis Drake's coming thither; and a few soldiers were put into some other towns upon the sea coast; but there was neither bruit nor account made to ship them to any other place; but Pedro de Bermudes the governor would use speech." Philip Cursyne had letters out of Italy, dated in February, advising him that in Sicily there was an argosy which laded in England, discharged there and [was] reladen again with provision and munition of war to come for Andalusia.
"Neither Nicolas de Goze nor any other of the Italians have received any letters later than February, and in Italy there is no report of any pretended matter." No Esterlings have come of late that can give any advertisement.
If there had been any appearance of any dangerous attempt to invade, I believe I should have had intelligence by some of our own people, whom I ordered to dispatch posts at my charge, "but none upon frivolous speech."
Endd. with date. 1¼ pp. [Spain II. 78.]
Another copy of the same.
Endd. 1 p. [Ibid II. 79.]


  • 1. The Prince had succeeded to the Dukedom in Oct. 1586, but was still often called by his old title.
  • 2. See under date March 2, above.
  • 3. Théodore—Agrippa d'Aubigny, the historian, gentleman of the Chamber to the King of Navarre.
  • 4. The Seigneur de Couvrelles, chamberlain of the Prince of Condé. He took an important part in these negotiations. [See D'Aubigny, vol. vii., p. 222.