Elizabeth: January 1569, 1-15

Pages 1-13

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 9, 1569-1571. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1874.

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January 1569, 1-15

A.D. 1569. Jan. 1. 1. Sir Henry Norris to Queen Elizabeth.
On December 28 came advertisement from the Duke of Anjou of a skirmish with the Prince of Condé on the 23rd ult. near Loudon, who made him retire three leagues. The day after the skirmish, Monsieur thinking to have refreshed his army at Montereau-belle, was prevented by the Prince who was there before him, and constrained to seek another quarter four leagues from thence. There is great penury in the country where the armies be, and especially in the King's, which coming after the Prince finds great want of all things necessary. The day after Scomberg's arrival the King went to Paris, and caused 12 pieces of brass to be drawn forth of the arsenal for the new army that is levying to go against the Prince of Orange. Sends both Scomberg's commission from the King, and the Prince's answer to his ambassade, which plainly discovers that he minds to the utmost of his power to assist the afflicted, and help all such as unfeignedly make profession of the Gospel. The said Prince requesting to know the King's meaning for the permission of the exercise of religion; the King caused Scomberg to write to him that being a sovereign prince he would not permit any other to deal between him and his subjects. During Scomberg's being at his camp the Duke of Lorraine sent to offer the Prince passage through his country, who answered that he was not yet ready to depart France, but that when he was he would find the way having the keys with him. Understands that the Prince stays upon the frontiers attending the instructions of the Elector and other Princes of Germany, who are of the association, how to proceed in the wars in the Low Countries and France; for these Princes esteem this motion of religion common with them, and have no less care thereof than of their own cause. The Prince of Orange has in his army 1,400 French horsemen besides others of the Low Countries, 4,000 French harquebusiers, 8,000 reiters, 8,000 lansquenets, and divers adventurers and footmen of the Low Countries. It is thought that he will march to join the Prince of Condé. The three small rivers on the other side of the Loire will be no impediment, seeing that the Prince of Orange has a bridge of boats with him carried in waggons. Thus Her Majesty may perceive that the religion does not stand in such dangerous terms as their enemies boast abroad. It is to be feared lest this nation will destroy it selfwith its own divisions, giving themselves, their goods, and fortunes to such strangers of either side as they have called to their aids. The King still levies his new army, minding, as he told Norris, to go in person against the Prince of Condé, and reckons to be in the field within 14 days.—Paris, 1 Jan. Signed.
Add. Endd., with seal. Pp. 2½.
Jan. 1. 2. Sir Henry Norris to Cecil.
Can very ill spare the bearer (Harcourt) whom he has found very honest and trusty, and therefore desires Cecil to return him as shortly as conveniently he may.—Paris, 1 Jan. Signed.
Add. Endd., with seal. P. ¼.
Jan. 1. 3. Sir Henry Norris to Cecil.
To the same effect as his letter to the Queen of this date. Great is the rumour that is spread that the Queen doth aid the Prince of Orange, but the French King speaks nothing thereof.—Paris, 1 Jan. Signed.
Add. Endd., with seal. In cipher. Pp. 1⅓.
Jan. 1. 4. Mr. Mather to—
Sends the same intelligence concerning the Prince of Condé and the Duke of Anjou, and the levying of a new army by the French King, as is contained in Norris's letter to the Queen of this date. The King's army when assembled will be greater than that with M. D'Anjou, especially of horsemen, by reason of the reiters that are levied for the King. That of the Prince of Orange will be rather stronger. Beseeches him after he has read this to make the fire his secretary.—Paris, 1 Jan. 1568. Signed.
Pp. 1¾.
Jan. 1. 5. Lope de la Sierra to Antonio Guarras.
Desires to be advertised what is spoken or heard of concerning the money. Has sent sundry times a boat to the isle [of Wight] to see if the pirates were there still. Yesterday there were the three who took the ship of Marseilles, joined with three Englishmen who tarry for their sailing out. On Tuesday the captain of the isle received a packet of letters from the Queen, and the next day very early he and the Mayor sent for him and told him that it was necessary for him to bring his ship upwards in a river which is on the backside of the town, because they certainly knew that even the same night all the pirates which were about the isle would come and take him, and that the castles or bulwarks could not save him in the night. Told them that he did not fear the Frenchmen but only the English, and that he was in the Queen's house seeing he was in her haven, and that it was better that they should take him. The same morning they brought to the walls all the ordnance which the town had, and also took all the chests with money out of the Mayor's house, and set them in the town house where a serjeant and one of the Mayor's servants keep them. They told him that he might tarry there with the watchmen, which he refused as he knew not what had been done, and as he had given them a note of the contents of the chest, they should deliver them likewise by account to him. They continued to press him to take the ship up, saying that there was water enough for her; and the next day he took a boat and sounded all the river from where they lay to the place where they said he should come, and found no water and very little tide, so that if he had brought his ship there at flood, he might have been without her at low water, which he thinks they wished. Is sure that all this novelty of removing the money, the placing the ordnance, and that the ship should be taken up the river, was done by virtue of the Queen's commission, because it was done immediately upon the receipt of the packet from the Court.—Antona [Southampton], 1 Jan. 1569.
Copy. Endd. Span. Pp. 2½.
Jan. 1. 6. Symon Velho Bareto to Diego de [Vilha].
Letter in Portuguese, apparently on business matters.— London, 1 Jan. 1569. Signed.
Add. P. ½.
Jan. 2. 7. Queen Elizabeth to Sebastian, King of Portugal.
Has received his letter dated from Lisbon on the kalends of January last year, and communicated the contents to her council. Has not been able to see any fresh reason for prohibiting her subjects from using the navigation to India and Ethiopia, or for altering her answer on that point given to his ambassador, Juan Pereira Damtas, some years ago. Trusts that the ancient amity subsisting between their realms may not receive any injury, and promises redress by due course of justice for any wrongs which his subjects may sustain through any of hers.—Hampton Court, 2 Jan. 1568.
Draft corrected by Cecil. Endd. Lat. Pp. 2.
Jan. 2. 8. The Prince of Condé to the Queen.
Desires her to give credence to that which the bearer has in charge to tell her from him.—2 Jan. Signed: Louis de Bourbon.
Add. Endd. Fr. P. ½.
Jan. 3. 9. Jan Heerremans to Jan den Vackerren.
Chiefly on private matters. There is great talk about a war between the King of Spain and this Queen. Will write soon to him again by an English ship which he understands has license to come to Antwerp with cloth.—London, 3 Jan. 1568. Signed.
Add. Endd. Dutch. P. 1.
Jan. 4. 10. Goods of Spaniards detained in England.
Answer of Thomas Fiesco to the objections of the Merchant Adventurers.
Endd. by Cecil. Ital. Pp. 22/3.
Jan. 4. 11. Petition of Tomaso Fiesco.
Begs that Her Majesty will cause restitution to be made of certain goods and money belonging to the subjects of the King Catholic.
Notes by Cecil in the margin. Endd. Ital. Pp. 2¾.
Jan. 4. 12. Sir Henry Norris to Cecil.
Nothing of great moment has occurred since his last. The King's army assembles at Château Thierry. The Prince of Condé has taken the castle of Mirebeau being abandoned. The Dukes of Ferrara and Florence have sent ambassadors to the King. The Duke of Florence have sent bills of credit for 100,000 crowns. Beseeches him to have in his good remembrance Regius (in cipher) for the present he presents Her Majesty withal; he is in great poverty being here where men of his learning and knowledge are usually esteemed.— Paris, 4 Jan. Signed.
Add. Endd., with seal. Pp. 1¾.
Jan. 4. 13. The Vidame of Chartres to Cecil.
Has great expectations from the Queen and him when he remembers how ready they were to assist when matters were doubtful. Is glad that he selected Mr. Winter to send to them. Advises him not to spare the Queen's money, as even if the Treasury should be emptied of some millions during this year, it will be the means of warding off war from England. —4 Jan. 1569. Signed, Ferriere.
Add. Endd., with seal. Lat. Pp. 2.
Jan. 4. 14. Civil War in France.
The treacherous attempts of the Cardinal of Lorraine and his adherents to assassinate Condé, the Admiral, and others of their party, and the revocation of all edicts in favour of those of the reformed religion, having compelled them to take up arms, their enemies have not been able to oppose them successfully in any quarter. Gives a detailed account of the move ments of the armies of Condé and the Duke of Anjou, and the skirmishes mentioned in Norris's letter of the 1st inst.
Endd: 4 of January 1568. Received from the Lord Admiral of France. Fr. Pp. 7.
Jan. 5. 15. Arrest of Englishmen in the Low Countries.
Robert Harrison, of London, salter, reports that being at Flushing, 8 Jan. 1568, he was told that all the English merchants at Antwerp and other towns throughout the Low Countries, had been arrested, their counting-houses sealed up, and ships and goods seized. From his own knowledge he says that the masters of ships and others at Flushing were in prison, and very hardly dealt with.
Endd. by Cecil. P. 1.
Jan. 5 & 6. 16. Low Country Ships arrested in England.
List of 43 ships and hoys arrested by the serjeant of the Admiralty, appertaining to the King of Spain's subjects, the names of the masters and crews, and description of cargo given. None of them carried more than four men, and their cargoes consisted chiefly of cloth, sheepskins, hides, beer, onions, and in one instance four dry vats of playing cards.
Endd. Pp. 3½.
Jan. 6. 17. Proclamation by Queen Elizabeth.
Mentions all the circumstances relating to the arrest of her subjects, and their goods in the Low Countries, and shows that the protest that it was done in retaliation of the stay of certain Spanish ships and money, was not correct, as the said vessels were protected from the French, and the arrest of her subjects was made before any similar measure was taken on her part. By all lawful custom and usage she had a right to borrow the said money, it being the property of private merchants, and being saved from the perils of the sea on her territory.—Hampton Court, 6 Jan. 1569.
Draft. Endd. Lat. Pp. 4½.
Jan. 7. 18. Seizure of the Spanish Money.
Deposition concerning the landing of the money taken in the Spanish vessels seized at Plymouth, signed by the different masters and pilots.
Endd. by Cecil. Span. P. 1.
Jan. 8. 19. Don Guerau D'Espes to Gieronimo de Curiel.
Desires him to send a letter of exchange for 1,000 ducats, and to stay Mr. Marron, that he come not into England without further advice. Signed.
Add. Endd. by Cecil, with seal. Span. P. 1.
Jan. 8. 20. Lord John Hamilton, Abbot of Arbroath, to Cecil.
Desires a passport for the bearer, whom he is sending to his father in France.—Hamilton, 8 Jan. 1568. Signed.
Add. Endd. P. ¼.
Jan. 9. 21. The Cardinal of Chatillon to Cecil.
Requests a passport for Laurence Hollingshed, whom he sends into France with letters and despatches.—Shene, 9 Jan. 1569. Signed.
Add. Endd., with seal. Fr. P. ½.
Jan. 10. 22. Sir Henry Norris to the Queen.
Doubts lest he waxes troublesome in making so often mention of the enmity between the two houses of Guise and Montmorency. On the 23d ult. the Duke of Montmorency required the captains and eschevins of Paris to come to the Louvre to speak with him, and declared that their disorders and unaptness to be ruled was not unknown to the King, who had offered him a garrison of 400 harquebussiers, to be entertained at the charges of the town, but not being willing to charge them without great occasion, he trusted the same should not be needful, requesting them to behave better than they had done heretofore. Vignolles, of the Court of Parliament, and Captain general of 22 ensigns, answered, that Paris was like to a ship whereof the master neglecting his charge, it is requisite that the pilots do put hand to the helm; whereunto Montmorency coldly replied, "qu'il parloyt en curtault de butique." This rude answer was thus made by Vignolles to set on broach that which had been devised by the Cardinal of Lorraine and his complices, who had caused it to be bruited that Montmorency had secret intelligence with the Prince of Orange, and had written to him to march hither, the King's army not being ready to resist him, and had given forth that he was in the King's disgrace. The next day M. Montmorency having notice of this, departed to Ecouen, where his brother, M. D'Anville, lay very sick. The Cardinal thinking that his absence would help to augment the suspect of the rumour already spread abroad, and also to imprint some jealousy of him in the King's head, found great fault in his not attending the King's coming to that town, he being governor of the same.
2. Montmorency in order to purge himself of this suspect, went to St. Maur des Fosses, where the King was, and with him came Marshals Vielleville and Cosse, who held a council with the King, the Cardinal of Lorraine not being called thereunto. The Cardinal is much discontented that he cannot make his brother, M. D'Aumale, lieutenant of this new army, against which the marshals stoutly oppose themselves. During Montmorency's absence the Parisians imprisoned 40 of the wealthiest persons of the religion in that city, alleging against them the loan of money to the Prince of Condé. The house of a merchant at Toulouse being ransacked, there was found promises of gentlemen and free distributions of money to the sum of 2,000,000 francs.
The good disposition and order that is kept in the Prince's army is much to be commended, nothing like oppressing the country where they pass, as that of M. D'Anjou, which has waxed hateful by their insolent behaviour, both to Protestants and Catholics. M. D'Anjou has bestowed the greatest part of his army in the towns upon the river of Loire. The Prince of Condé now marches to Sancerre, which place Captain Brochart holds for the religion against the Count Martinengo. The town is not very strong of situation, but Brochart has filled a great number of wine vats with earth, which serve for gabions, and is a very strong kind of fortification. The Prince of Orange will not alter anything in the answer which he sent to the French King by Colonel Scomberg. The Prince of Orange is yet at Vitry le Francois, where he attends the Duke of Deux Ponts.
3. The King's reiters, to the number of 7,000, have sent to the King that before they take their oath for his service they may be assured not to be employed against them of the Confession of Augsburg. This day the Baron des Adrets arrived with the forces of Provence and Dauphigny. Notwithstanding all these preparations there is still some bruit of peace.
4. The alliance of the French King with the Emperor's daughter is now clean out of hope, because she shall be given to the King Catholic.
5. There has lately a general bruit arisen that 3,000 of Her Majesty's subjects be disembarked at Rochelle in favour of the religion, and that her nobility and gentry have declared to her that if this King overcome the religion here, then, with the assent of the other princes of this league and association, they will endeavour to exterminate the same through Christendom, and therefore have in dutiful manner besought her to assist them.—Paris, 10 Jan. Signed.
Add. Endd., with seal. Pp. 4½.
Jan. 10. 23. Sir Henry Norris to Cecil.
There is great bruit that Her Majesty's fleet is arrived at Rochelle and there landed 3,000 Englishmen; also that 10 English ships, joined with 10 others of the religion, being minded to have landed in Brittany, were repulsed by the inhabitants. The Duke of Alva who aforetime made great offers of aid to the King, now makes a pastime of this their misery, yet notwithstanding there is looked for out of Flanders 14 ensigns of infantry and 1,500 cavalry. Monsieur's army is not in readiness to follow the Prince of Condé. It is thought that the King will be in the field within these 10 days.— Paris, 10 Jan. 1569.
2. P.S. There has been a motion made of peace in the King's Council to this effect, that the Protestants should enjoy the benefit of the King's edicts, and that Condé might have the government of Saintonge, and that he might have leave to join with the Prince of Orange to make war upon the Spaniards in Flanders; but the King and Queen would give no ear hereunto, the Cardinal of Lorraine persuading them that it was dangerous anyway to further these Princes' designs. Signed.
Add. Endd., with seal. Pp. 2.
Jan. 10. 24. The Prince of Navarre to Cecil.
The bearer, M. de Dovet, is sent by his uncle, the Prince of Condé and himself, to thank the Queen for the assistance which she has given to them. Desires Cecil to continue his favour towards the cause which they are supporting.—Thouars, 10 Jan. 1569. Signed: Henri.
Add. Endd. Fr. P. ¾.
Jan. 10. 25. The Prince of Condé to Cecil.
Letter of credence for M. De Dovet sent to thank the Queen for the support which she has given to their cause.— Thouars, 10 Jan. 1569. Signed.
Add. Endd., with seal. P. ⅓.
Jan 10. 26. Manifesto by Don Guerau D'Espes.
Whereas by the commandment of the Queen, a proclamation was printed January 6, charging some fault to the Duke of Alva for the arrest of the goods and persons of Englishmen in the Low Countries, he gives knowledge of the truth as follows:—
On the 23d Nov. he learnt that certain ships carrying the King of Spain's treasure into Flanders were in great danger in the west country from pirates. On the 29th Nov. he informed the Queen of this and desired that commandment might be given in her ports that no harm should be done to the said ships, and that if needful the treasure might be transported by land to Dover, and convoyed from thence by Her Majesty's ships to Antwerp, all which was granted by her with a good will. Upon this he wrote to the Duke of Alva, and in the meantime heard that a few days before certain English pirates had brought into Plymouth three Flemish and one Spanish vessel very rich, and were dividing and selling the wares so taken. The said pirates and men of the country also seized other ships in the havens, and have favour and friendship in the Court, and knowledge of them was given to the Earl of Leicester and Cecil. On 12th December the Queen signed a passport to carry the treasure by land or water with all haste, and on the 13th ratified the same by her royal promise and granted letters to her justices on the coasts, and to Admiral Winter more favourable than the first which were sent by messengers to Southampton, and afterwards to Plymouth and Fowey. Notwithstanding this, on the same day that the messenger departed from Southampton Edward Horsey, captain of the Isle of Wight, came on board the ship of Lope de la Sierra, and landed from her 59 chests of treasure.
2. On December 21 he wrote hereof to the Duke of Alva, and also to the Queen, requiring that her word, promise, and passport might be kept. Had no answer in writing, but some of her officers said that the treasure should be forthcoming for the King, and that since granting the passport Her Majesty had intelligence of other things upon the said matter. The like was done with the zabras that were at Plymouth and Fowey with like treasure,' and their sails and apparel removed, and all writings, letters, and bills of lading taken away from their masters.
3. Audience was prorogued till 29 December, when, with all courtesy and meekness, he lamented these new enterprises to the Queen, requiring that order should be taken according to her promise, to all which she answered with very loving words that the landing of the treasure was for the best, and to be preserved for the King, wondering much at the boldness of the said pirates. All this was accepted by Don Guerau and great thanks given to Her Majesty, at the same time he asked for the ships which had been promised for the conducting the treasure to Antwerp. To the which Her Majesty showed herself incontinent very contrary declaring that two Genoese had informed her that the treasure did not belong to the King of Spain but to certain merchants, and therefore she was minded to retain it and pay the owners. Don Guerau hereupon delivered to her a letter of credit from the Duke of Alva, wherein was contained that the said treasure was appertaining to the said King Catholic, and that it was laden in Spain for the paying of his men of war. Upon which matter the Queen was very hard, and not so indifferent as upon other communications she was with him. So of this audience was taken no other order but that within three or four days she would cause him to be informed how the said treasure was appertaining to the merchants; which information was never given to this day. Of these answers he did not remain satisfied wherefore he sent his secretary to the Duke, not being well pleased with the sitting of the Council so often with the agents of the King of Spain's rebels; in prejudice, as may be conjectured, of the ancient amity. The Duke had in the mean season, with the first advice he had of the retaining of the treasure, commanded the arrest of the goods and persons of the Englishmen. Calls all the world to judge herein of the proceedings of the Duke and himself.
Endd. by Cecil: 10 Jan. 1568. Span. Pp. 4¾.
27. Another copy.
Endd. Span. Pp. 4.
28. Another copy.
Endd. Span. Pp. 3½.
29. Another copy.
Endd. Span. Pp. 3.
30. Another copy.
Endd. Span. Pp. 3¼.
31. English translation of the above.
Endd. Pp. 3¼.
32. Another translation.
Endd. Pp. 3¼.
33. Another translation.
Endd. Pp. 3¾.
34. Another translation.
Endd. Pp. 3¾.
35. Another translation.
Endd. Pp. 4.
Jan. 10. 36. The Cardinal of Chatillon to Cecil.
Repeats his request for a passport for Laurence Hollingshed, whom he wishes to send into France about his affairs—Shene, 10 Jan. 1569. Signed.
Add. Endd. Fr. P. ¾.
Jan. 10. 37. Commission for the Cardinal of Chatillon.
A long manifesto in the names of the Queen of Navarre, the Princes of Navarre and Condé, and the rest of the leaders of the Huguenot party, setting forth the different persecutions under which they suffered, and giving an account of the attempt made by M. de Tavannes to seize the Prince and the Admiral, and their subsequent proceedings, and commissioning the Cardinal of Chatillon to seek aid from the Queen of England.—10 Jan. 1569.
Copy. Fr. Pp. 11½.
[Jan. 10.] 38. The Spanish Ambassador's Manifesto.
Note of the depositions of certain of the Drapers' Company, as to the promulgation of the Spanish ambassador's answer to the Queen's proclamation touching the arrest of the Spanish ships and treasure.
Endd. P. 1.
[Jan. 10.] 39. The Spanish Ambassador's Manifesto.
Note of the depositions of certain of the Haberdashers' Company, to the same effect as the above.
Endd. P. 1.
[Jan. 10.] 40. The Spanish Ambassador's Manifesto.
Declaration of the reading of the Spanish Ambassador's answer by John Baptista to certain English merchants at the Pope's Head, in Lombard Street.
Endd. Written without signature on a small piece of paper.
Jan. 10. 41. Don Guerau D'Espes to Geronimo de Curiel.
Tells him not to be surprised if he hears that he is arrested, for in this island are the enchantments of Amadis Archelaus, and he will be the Queen Oriana's prisoner. Thinks that all will end in a farce.—London, 10 Jan. 1569. Signed.
Add. Endd. by Cecil: "Against the Queen's Majesty Oriana," with seal. Span. P. ½.
Jan. 11. 42. George North to Cecil.
Thinking to increase his credit after Plymouth broils, he went to Rochelle and joined the Prince's camp on the 31st Oct. Gives an account in the form of a diary of the different marches and skirmishes that he was engaged in from the above date till 18 Nov., when he returned to Rochelle. The Duke of Aumale seeking to cut off the Duke of Deuxpont, has been overthrown by the Prince of Orange's vanguard. Certain places have been taken by the Huguenots, and their garrisons put to the sword.—Rochelle, 11 Jan. 1569. Signed.
Add. Endd., with seal. Pp. 3.
Jan. 11. 43. The French Ambassador to [Cecil.].
Complains of the delay in granting him a passport for M. de la Croix, which has prevented his advertising his master of the dispute between the Queen of England and the Duke of Alva. Also demands that he may have the same privilege of exemption from duty on French wines which his predecessors have always enjoyed.—London, 11 Jan. 1569. Signed: De la Motte Fenelon. Fr. P. ¾.
Jan. 11. 44. The Queen to Sir Henry Norris.
Informs him of the circumstances which led to the arrest of the Spanish ships, and of the subsequent proceedings with the Spanish Ambassador, and orders him to communicate the same to the French King and his council, and to the Spanish ambassador resident at his court.—Hampton Court, 11 Jan. 1568.
Draft. Endd. Pp. 3.
Jan. 12. 45. The Cardinal of Chatillon to Cecil.
Desires him to forward to Her Majesty the petition of the bearers, certain poor Flemings and other subjects of the King of Spain, who are fugitives on account of religion, and whose goods have been seized during the late arrest.—Shene, 12 Jan. 1569. Signed.
Add. Endd., with seal. Fr. P. ½.
Jan. 12. 46. Sir Henry Knollys to Cecil.
Went to the Spanish Ambassador and rendered to him his letters, declaring; that in case he would advertise the Duke of anything pertaining to his estate here in such sort as it might appear that his information was agreeing with the truth, and further provide that the carrier might have free passage to go and to come; that they would according to the Queen's promise take order for their conveyance. Whereunto he answered that for the first he would think better of it, but that for the other his letters could not bear the authority of a safe-conduct. Knollys told him that albeit his letters were not for authority sufficient, yet for to do him pleasure the Queen would adventure so far upon his credit. When they were come to their chamber he sent his letters saying that after they had read them they might send them open, which offer they thought it not their part to refuse. By these Cecil may see his devotion, his boldness, his stomach. In the meantime they watch the fox with great diligence, but his burrow is large and full of starting holes, and their nets be few, slender, and weak. Doubts not but that he sees the peril, wherefore they hope after speedy provision.—London, 12 Dec. 1568. Signed.
Add. Endd. Pp. 1½.
Jan. 13. 47. Charles Utenhove to Mundt.
Desires him to forward certain letters to England, and to ascertain whether the Queen will permit him to dedicate to her the History of the Spanish Inquisition, which is about to be printed, and in which its evil practices are discovered.— Basle, 13 Jan. 1568. Signed.
Add. Endd. by Mundt., with seal. Lat. P. ¾.
Jan. 14. 48. Licence for the Earl of Murray.
Licence for the Earl to purchase 18 geldings in England, and transport them into Scotland.—Hampton Court, 14 Jan. 1569. Signed.
Countersigned by John Somers. Broadside.
Jan. 14. 49. The Privy Council to Don Guerau D'Espes.
It appears that he gave on the 11th inst. to Sir Henry Knollys certain letters addressed to the Duke of Alva and Geronimo Curiel desiring that they might be sent open to the Court. Find in them certain clauses not proper to have been written by a friendly minister, or by one who desires to be considered wise, well advised, or honest. Consider that his writings are in many places false, scandalous, and unworthy of a friendly minister. First, where he writes to Curiel a letter composed of fantasies, taken from Amadis de Gaul, they were in doubt whether it suited their honour and gravity to send their opinion on this matter. They inform him that the said letter is fantastic and unworthy a person holding his office. The Queen's state and honour cannot be affected by his scandalous and malicious tongue, and they intend to treat him as a person unfit to come into her presence. Where in his letter to the Duke of Alva that the nobility and the commonalty of England are ill-affected to the government, they inform him that it is false, and that those who write it are seditious persons and liars, and if he knew the contrary it was his duty to notify them of it. Charge him with having misquoted the words of Her Majesty's proclamation. Also disavow his passionate charges against the chief secretary, who has always given proof of his sincerity and good will to the Queen's service, and also to preserve the amity betwixt her and the King of Spain. As to the other writing in his name, they find so much falsehood in it that they do not care to make any particular reply. Are sorry that such an unworthy person with so little discretion should have been appointed by the King his master as ambassador. Profess their desire to entertain and increase the amity between the two sovereigns.—14 Jan. 1568.
Draft. Endd. by Cecil. Fr. Pp. 3¼.
Jan. 15. 50. Sir Henry Norris to Cecil.
The English merchants and their ships are arrested at Rouen upon word being brought that certain ships of that coast are stayed at Dartmouth. They have imprisoned a great number of those of the religion fearing lest they should aid the Prince of Condé with money. The Prince of Condé is besieging Saumur and Pont-de-Ce. He has taken the abbey of St. Florens, putting to the sword 150 soldiers who were in the same. On the 6th inst. the Duke of Guise and Count Brissac thinking to have surprised the Count Montgomery, were constrained to retire. It is bruited that M. D'Anjou will go to levy the siege of Saumur. The Prince of Orange has marched to Vaucouleurs to join the Duke of Deux-Ponts. The Duke of Aumale will join the King with the reiters, the chief captains whereof are the Marquis of Baden, the late Landgrave's son, Count Westleburg, and the two Rhinegraves. Sends the King's ordinance commanding the Ban and ArriereBan to present themselves at his army.—Paris, 15 Jan. 1569. Signed.
Add. Endd., with seal. Pp. 2.
Jan. 15. 51. The French Ambassador to Cecil.
Thanks him for having obtained an audience for him with Her Majesty, whom he will attend on Tuesday at 2 o'clock in the afternoon. Desires a passport for one of his servants, and also that he may have a letter of exemption from the duty on wine forwarded to him.—London, 15 Jan. 1569. Signed.
Add. Endd. Fr. P. ½.