389. Document headed "Substance of letters from Antonio
De Guaras of 12th, 15th, 25th, 31st January 1574."
The Baron D'Aubigni had come to visit the Queen from the
Grand Commander (Requesens) and had been better received than
ever an envoy was before. A lord and seven or eight great
gentlemen had gone out to meet him, who had housed him well
and accompanied him to the palace, in the great hall of which the
Queen awaited him surrounded by her nobles. She received him
very kindly and seemed pleased at his visit. The more to
honour him they took him to the Queen's privy chamber when
he took his leave, and the Queen, having been informed by him
that some of her subjects wished to go and serve his Majesty on
sea and on land, she said they could not go as she had promised
Orange that she would send no force against him, and she wished
rather to be an intercessor to bring Orange with his territory of
Zealand and Holland to submit to his Majesty, as Burleigh had
several times told Guaras.
Many Englishmen are anxious to serve the King, and they would
do so if they were allowed, although it is believed few will do so
against the Queen's will. It is thought, indeed, that she has
ordered her Vice-Admirals to prevent any victuals, stores, or men
from going over for the King's service.
On the other hand, it is said that by her express order and
permission, men, victuals, and munitions are going in great
numbers to Zealand for the help of Orange. Guaras knew that
Captain Chester was going to Flushing in 10 days with 600 soldiers,
and 300 had already gone, and he spoke to Lord Burleigh about it
to urge him to have the Queen's promise to the Baron fulfilled.
He promised him that it should be done if possible, and that they
would do their best to stop the men, but Guaras could see that
their desire was to get possession of Middleburg. Guaras is told
that they will go over separately and secretly to the number of
1,500, with the intention of enriching themselves with the spoils of
Middleburg. He had also heard that some English soldiers were
being shipped from Newcastle for Holland as well as a number of
Scotsmen, so that help is going secretly from all parts.
The gentleman ... had told him that he heard the Queen
would not give overt or private permission to send the fleet which
had been promised, but that certain portions of it would be sent to
the points on the coast of Flanders which were assigned to her,
before any money was paid, so that she would always hold good
security for value. She had sent a gentleman to the Grand
Commander about this and about the soldiers who had been
recalled from Holland. These soldiers had been reviewed before
the palace in London, and had now been sent to Scotland. Some
of the officers of this force had offered to enter his Majesty's
service in Flanders.
He had heard that the Flemish rebels in England were raising
a subscription of 100,000 crowns as well as 30,000l. to help Orange
to increase his force.
He had been informed that there were about the Downs and
Dover seven or eight ships of the Flemish fleet which had captured
six Breton ships on their way from Spain to Flanders.
He had heard that the bishop of Ross had been carried a
prisoner to Calais where he had been landed. His mistress was as
closely guarded as usual.
Twenty gentlemen and a great lady had been brought prisoners
from Norfolk on suspicion of an intention of rising. A sloop was
openly leaving for Zealand with 30 pieces of artillery and 80
soldiers, and a cargo of powder, beer, and salt meat ; 70 more guns
were ready for shipment. If they could be captured it would be
The rebels are resisting the Queen's forces in Ireland, and Guaras
is informed that their numbers increase daily. A gentleman who
has been Viceroy of the Province offers to bring it into subjection
with 10,000 English troops. The Council is discussing the offer.—
London, January 1574.