Elizabeth
February 1583, 1-5

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Institute of Historical Research

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Arthur John Butler and Sophie Crawford Lomas (editors)

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1913

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87-110

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'Elizabeth: February 1583, 1-5', Calendar of State Papers Foreign, Elizabeth, Volume 17: January-June 1583 and addenda (1913), pp. 87-110. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=78914 Date accessed: 28 July 2014.


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February 1583, 1–5

Early in Feb.75. [Cobham] to [Walsingham].
I must let you understand how there is 'acquaintance happened' between me and John Smallet belonging to d'Aubigny. At our first meeting he 'showed' to be thus far affectioned to d'Aubigny that it seemed he thought he had imagined sufficient reasons to induce me to think that there were means which might be used to have d'Aubigny turn to her Majesty's devotion in such manner as he must necessarily abandon the faction of France. This 'purpose' he said the King of Scots would like, and had given charge to Kilsythe, sent in the company of d'Aubigny, to declare as much to her Majesty; which message if it had taken place, d'Aubigny thought to have 'rested' in England until the course had been taken and concluded which he then hoped after.
John Smallet tells me that the lords of Scotland are so 'addicted' to d'Aubigny, that if the present state continue to the discontentment of the Scottish king, 'or that he should be' called into England, they would all take arms and try their quarrel in the field. He assured me there were those in England who upon the same occasion would rise in arms to join with the friends of d'Aubigny in favour of the King of Scots. Besides, they hoped France, Spain, and the Pope would assist them with their means. He concluded that for these reasons it were convenient for her Majesty to take d'Aubigny into favour, and employ him about the person of the king for her service. He knew he could undertake as he thought to bring this to pass, if he should understand her Majesty's liking alleging.
In hand of R. Beale. Endd.: Sir H. Cobham decyphered. 1 p. [France. IX. 23.]
Feb. 1.76. John Norris to Walsingham.
I received your letter touching Mr Randolph last night late, by your servant Mr Burnam, and have written to his Excellency for the effecting thereof; 'whom' I trust will make no difficulty to grant it. As much as I may do, you may assuredly command. About the same time I understood of my cousin Darcy's arrival at Steken, with letters from her Majesty to his Highness and the States. I wrote 'presently' to him to know what way he would take, either to Dermonde or to Antwerp, to the end I might have found him upon the way, to have understood some part of her pleasure, how I should govern myself in this strange alteration. To-day I received answer from him, that being conducted by Mr. Yorke he was gone towards Dermond by Exarde being out of the way, and where by reason of his Highness's troops I could not come to him. I would the 'willinger' have seen him, that I might have informed him as much as I knew what had passed in these parts. There are bruits 'cast out' here that grieve me not a little, that her Majesty was displeased with me, and misliked the course I had taken. I will not presume upon my own judgement, but when his Highness had attempted to make himself absolute master of 10 or 12 of the chief towns in the country, that he had cried 'Vive la messe, that our English troops were commanded to keep their houses, and afterwards divers of them disarmed and slain, I thought it not for her Majesty's service that I should have seconded any such enterprises. Besides, not being made acquainted with any such matter, but left to the miséricorde of the insolent soldiers, greedy of the sack of such a town, or as it happened, to the fury of an indiscreet people, extremely prosecuting revenge, and jealous of all the world, I was forced, for the saving of my own life, and the poor troop that I had under my charge, to accept what 'party' was offered me. And yet, during the time I have commanded here, his Highness has no great cause to mislike of my proceeding; having not used any hostility to any of his, nor received any commands from him since his parting from Antwerp. Wherefore I beseech you 'that' if anybody shall go about to blame my doings, to answer favourably for me; and to assure her Majesty that neither threats nor displeasures of any princes in the world shall make me swerve from one point of my duty towards her and her estate.
What terms the 'appointment' yet stands in I cannot perfectly write to you, the resolutions of this country being slow and very uncertain; and I having enough to do to look to Monsr. de Biron, who says 'qu'il me rompera la teste.' And in truth I am as slenderly accompanied as may be for such a purpose.—Waesmunster, 1 Feb., 1582.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 44.]
Feb. 2.77. Gilpin to Walsingham.
I have not heard any particulars how matters passed since my last writing, so the less occasion being presented to trouble you, I thought to have overpassed this week with silence, if the enclosed copies come to my hands, which I would not omit to send 'per the post.'
By writing from Antwerp, I am given to understand that the agreement between Monsieur and the States was made, but the particular points of it not yet known. God grant it tend to His glory and the advancement of His gospel, the relief of this long-afflicted country and the best assurance and liking for their neighbour countries. The Prince laboured and 'held' hard to procure a good and quiet end with Monsieur and got thereby the evil will and like opinion of most of the common people, to whom the name of Frenchmen is grown very odious, so that it will be 'laborsome' for his Highness to bring it into oblivion.—Middelburg, 2 February, 1582.
Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. XVIII. 45.]
Feb. 2.78. Commission from the Elector of Cologne to the Count of Neuenahr to be commander of his forces.—Bonn, 2 February, 1583.
Copy. Endd. in a hand of end of 17th cent. Latin.pp. [Germany. II. 56.]
Feb. 19.79. The Queen to Duke Casimir.
By your letter of the 8th December last you have let us amply know the constancy of your zeal and affection to the furtherance of the Gospel, and how greatly you desire us to share in the honour which may come from it; the opportunity presenting itself so conveniently in this matter of Cologne of which you write. For this we have greatly to thank you, wishing you and all the lords and others who have embarked on it all the good luck and success they can desire, even that those deserve who engage their lives and their honour in so fine and honourable a cause. We should not have failed to contribute from our resources thereto, if you had made it clear what part the Electors who favour the Gospel, and others the most noted lords of the Empire are taking in it. For remembering past affairs, when your late father was alive, and the little success which our efforts had with those lords, even though the good understanding which we then desired with them touched them more nearly than ourselves, in such sort that no profit came of it to the public weal, save the loss of our good offices, and in a measure also our honour is touched, we have not yet been able to decide on interference, before we are more enlightened by you as to the concurrence of those lords and of a good appearance of fruit to proceed from the resources that we could employ there, seeing indeed the matter you have in hand, and the consequences depending on it. You will, therefore, hold us excused, and take our answer in good part. It may be more agreeable to you, at any rate, when by your means the road is rendered more secure for us, and the benefit which the public will derive from it is clearer.
Draft in hand of L. Tomson. Endd. with date. Fr. 1 p. [Germany II. 37.]
Feb. 2.80. Edward Burnam to Walsingham.
I arrived here the 30th January, and understanding that Mr Norris was not here, I delivered your letter to M. de Villiers. Having perused it, he thought good that I should go to Mr Norris, and procure his letter to the Prince of Orange for the delivery of Randolph to him, to use such punishment as he should think good. At my return with this letter he would use all the means possible to persuade the Prince. So the same day I departed to the land of 'Wast,' where I found Mr Norris, to whom I presented likewise your letter. I found him very ready to grant your request, and told him what M. de Villiers thought good he should write his letter to the Prince [sic], and he 'presently' wrote letters to that effect. Whereupon I hope that within two or three days I shall have both Randolph and Hammon delivered to me, so that within four or five days I hope to be ready to return.
The English regiment is now lodged in a very good country, and in my opinion I think it will be very hard to get them out of it before they touch some crowns. There are with them the Scotch and some Walloons, of all whom Mr Norris is general Greater misery did I never see among soldiers; and yet for all that, if they might but have leave of their general to pass over the water, they would daily go and skirmish with 'them.' I never saw men in my life willinger to serve than our nation is against the French, terming it the natural wars. But the general 'doth to keep' the passage, according to the directions he has.
The 30th January Mr Darcy went from Steken to Dermonde to the duke. The night before he sent word to the general that he would see him in his way. Upon further consideration he was conducted by Mr Rowland Yorke and some of his horsemen directly by Dermonde, without seeing Mr Norris till the 1st of this month upon his return from 'him.' He came to this town this afternoon; tomorrow he is to have access to the Prince, and after his conference with him, means to return to the duke.
It is thought the States-General and the duke are come to some agreement, whereupon within few days the duke is to go from Dermonde to Brussels to keep his Court. The commons are hardly brought to keep agreement with him, 'willinger to accept' any other. But time will qualify the great presumption they are in now; and they begin to think that of many evils they were best to take the least. 'noysomst.'
Yesterday I was credibly informed of an enterprise which was to be attempted against the Prince of Orange's 'proper person'; 'whereof' one is taken, and was yesterday racked very secretly. He has confessed of another, who was taken last night. This is kept marvellous close; my 'auteur,' of whom it was told me, is Martin de la 'Fayllie.' I could not learn yet of what nation they are; but as I have heard, it is thought that they are Spaniards, and have come here to countenance them. I will enquire further before my return, to certify you of the particulars.
Eyndhoven is straitly besieged by the enemy, and by all likelihood, 'not possible' to make long resistance for want of victuals and munition. There are some Englishmen in it.
To-day some of the burghers were with Fervacques in the prison to see him. He told them among other things he thought the people of this town would never be pacified of their fury till such time as Monsieur should cause Biron's, Rochepot's, and his heads to be cut off.
According to your command I have spoken to Roger Williams, whom I have found very willing to fulfil your request; and were it not for the respect he bears to you, 'a' would never have continued here. But considering that such is your pleasure, in all points to the uttermost of his power he will seek to obey you; at whose devotion he is to continue as long as he lives.
Mr Gilpin is at Middelburg. I have written to him concerning the interest, and have received answer from him that it was in some good way to have taken place; but these sudden 'garboylls' will cause prolongment. I spoke likewise to de la 'Fallie,' who made the same answer.
Mr Darcy means to dispatch 'some of his' to you within two or three days.
Count de la Marche, brother to the Duke of Bouillon, is here with the Prince. M. de Laval is likewise sent by Monsieur to treat with the Prince and States. Monsieur seems to mislike very much of the general, as Mr Darcy says, but all things well con-considered, he 'has to do the like' of him, considering 'a' left him at the mercy of the burgesses; or if he had obtained the upper hand, 'a' should have been in greater danger. Besides, they of the French army, upon their retreat from the town, took away the furniture and armour of our nation, misusing them very much; which Monsieur himself saw, and never rebuked them that did it.
Enclosed I send you two 'drafts'; one how the French entered, and the other how they were driven out.—Antwerp, 2 February, 1583 [sic], 'according the English date.'
Add. Endd.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 46.]
Feb. 3/13.81. Pietro Bizarri to Walsingham.
Owing to the contrary winds, it is a month since letters have come from England, and this was the cause why I received only on the 10th inst. your kind letter written on the 12th ult. It was, however, very acceptable, like everything that you have at different times sent me. I recognise in them your unspeakable kindness and courtesy, together with your singular affection towards me, for which I confess myself as much obliged as any person in the world; nor can I in any way requite it, save by a perpetual respect for your name and an assiduous desire to serve you all the days of my life. Meanwhile I rejoice not a little that you gladly accept that small amount of service which flows from me to you, and I pray God that I may some day be able to shew you in greater matters than hitherto the boundless desire of my heart. If I had not been kept occupied this winter with my Persian work, which now, thank God, will soon see the light, no doubt I should have more information upon public affairs. Still, I am glad that it has not passed without some testimony of my service to you. But fearing to be tedious to you with ceremonious and superfluous words, I will leave that on one side, and briefly write what occurs to me at present.
Here negotiations have been closely carried on between the States and the supreme magistracy of Antwerp as to an agreement with his Highness; who to that effect has sent M. de Laval, M. de Villiers, the States' own maréchal de camp, and his maitre-d'hótel. These, having executed their commission, are gone back to him. He is still waiting at Dermonde; he shows great penitence for what has happened, and is willing to give up the places in his hands, in which consists the States' principal point. They on the other side promise to comply with his demands, which are, to have back his personal goods, with those of the other French personages, and the liberation of his noblemen who are detained here, he likewise restoring to liberty all of this country who are detained by his authority or that of the king his brother. The latter has sent to the States an ambassador, M. Mirambeau, to condole in his name for what has occurred and therewith to promise them all possible assistance in future. The ambassador executed what pertained to his office and went at once to his Highness; who they say will fix his residence at Brussels with a guard of 500 Swiss and with a Court limited by the States, the same governor, M. de Tympel, remaining. It is also certainly said that his Excellency worked hard with the States and the colonels to effect this reconciliation, on the ground that of two ills it is best to choose the least, and also because there is hope that his Highness will seek to amend the error by some signal benefits to the country; and already they talk of his sending the Swiss to raise the siege of Eyndhoven. Count Mansfeld went to visit him this morning.—Antwerp, 12 Feburary, 1583.
Add. and Endd. gone. Ital. 2 pp. [Holl. and FI. XVIII. 47.]
Feb. 3.82. Walsingham to Cobham.
I moved her Majesty on behalf of Don Antonio, touching the request he made for 2,000 men; whereto her answer was that she could not well do it without open profession of hostility against the King of Spain; which would be a matter of much more inconvenience to her than to the French king, in respect of the great trade her subjects have into his dominions. Upon the least occasion offered, they will be arrested and their goods seized into the king's hands, without any hope to recompence or remedy by way of counter-arrest, for want of traffic of his subjects into her Majesty's dominions; the benefit of which is open to the French king by reason of the Spaniards trading in France. Were it not for this hard strait, which would fall out to be of evil consequence through the great losses that would generally grow to a great many of her best and wealthiest subjects, she would as soon advance herself to do him good as any prince whatsoever; but being so overcharged with most apparent inconveniences likely to fall upon her forthwith, upon the very entry into the action, she prays that this care of her subjects and state may not be taken for a denial proceeding from any want of good will towards him, she being ready to 'friend' him so far forth as may stand with her honour and the conservation of her own realm in peace.
As for the matter of the ships, she did not yield them to the king otherwise but in special respect to gratify him, and therefore did not charge them with conditions other than such as she thought honourable and would not be misliked, but rather easily received, as in truth they were by the king, with great thanks to her for them. How it should fall out that himself should think them hard, she knows not, but is very sorry to understand it. Thus much her pleasure is you should signify to Don Antonio, in answer to those two points touching the men and ships.
Her further pleasure is that you should thank Allard, servant to the King of Sweden for the offer of his service, and acquaint him with the mishap that has befallen her Majesty in losing the cipher he sent her, which by oversight of one of her maids was burnt among certain other waste papers; wherefore she desires another.
The 'fact' of 'Macgoghgan' was so foul that neither her Majesty nor the lords can be induced to think it pardonable.
Moreover her pleasure is you should give the Duke of Bouillon very hearty thanks for refusing the acceptance of that charge that should have been cast upon him for his going into Scotland; wherein as he very discreetly and honourably reserved himself to her good liking or misliking, so she thinks herself infinitely beholden to him for it, praying the continuance of that good meaning towards her. She could most contentedly like him to be employed in case the parties that would employ him carried as sound meaning both to the state of religion and this Crown as he does; but doubting that this employment would but serve for a mask to cover their further practices and blemish his reputation, she cannot but thankfully take his refusal, and exhort him as his good friend to beware that he be not at unawares drawn to be an instrument of effecting worse purposes than wittingly he would enter into.
Draft. Words in cipher italicised. Endd. with date.pp. [France. IX. 24.]
Feb. 3.83. Another and rougher draft, in hand of L. Tomson, without cipher.
Endd. with date 1 Feb. 2 pp. [Ibid. IX. 24a.]
Feb. 3.84. Stokes to Walsingham.
Since my last of the 27th ult. very few speeches have passed here.
Last Tuesday afternoon, the 29th January, Mr Darcy arrived in good safety in this town, and next morning departed towards Antwerp. He landed at Dunkirk, where he was well entertained, and even so he was very friendly entertained in every town as he passed through, for the commons greatly rejoiced to see an English ambassador in those parts; for surely their only hope and trust is in her Majesty.
Monsieur lies still at Dermonde, where he and the States are in some speeches together to make agreement, and speeches are given out that it is made. But it seems they are but speeches given out on purpose to hear what the commons say to it; 'whom continues' still in their old rude speeches, which is, they will never come under the French government 'to the last man.' So it is greatly feared that some trouble will happen in the towns between magistrates and burghers, if it be not wisely foreseen.
The French king has also sent an ambassador to Monsieur, to understand the truth of these troubles. He has arrived in Antwerp, but it seems those there will not let him go to Monsieur until further advice.
Those of Ghent keep all things very 'strayette' from Monsieur, so that it will be a hard matter to bring the rude Gentners under French government again.
It seems the Malcontents, are in some weak estate, for they have wholly discharged all their 'Almans' and Burgundians that served in Artois and 'Henoye.' They are departed to their country but with half a month's pay, for they are not able to give them more. By credible letters there is great misery in Artois and 'Henoye' for want of victuals, especially corn.
Certain cornets of 'Albernoysses' lie scattering in the villages between Lille and Ypres, and there they spoil both sides and deal very cruelly with the poor peasants; for which cause they are greatly hated as well by the Malcontents as this side. This week was a pretty proof made thereof; for in a village between Ypres and 'Bell' there lay a cornet of 'Albernoyse' who did much harm to the poor peasants, which was so great that those of Armentières could not suffer it 'no' longer. Wherefore they sent two companies of foot, well appointed to set upon them and spoil them; and the very same night those of Ypres sent out also two companies of foot and 25 horsemen, only to overthrow that cornet of 'Albernoyse,' not knowing that those of Armentières had any such matter in hand. And so by chance they met together in the night, and when both sides understood what their intent was, they agreed very friendly together, and cast lots who should do the enterprise. And it fell to them of Ypres to do it; who set upon them and slew 18 of them, and took the rest prisoners. So those of Armentières departed very friendly with those of Ypres; so that these are strange dealings, 'which' the Prince of Parma is very angry with those of Armentières for the same. By this and such-like dealings 'it shows' the commons have great willingness to make peace.—Bruges, Sunday, 3 February, 1582, stilo Angliœ.
P.S.—Enclosed I send the copy of the French king's letter sent by his ambassador to the Prince and States, with a copy of certain articles made by the ambassador to the States, and a letter of Monsieur to the States.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 48.]
Feb. 3.85. Audley Danett to Walsingham.
Having occasion on Wednesday last, 30 January, to repair to Mr Norris in the land of Waes, I understood Mr Darcy arrived the next day at Dermonde, sent from her Majesty to the duke. We were in good hope to learn from him of some good agreement between the duke and these countries by her mediation, which these people earnestly expected; and oftentimes speeches were given out that an ambassador was arrived at Flushing for that purpose. But since my return to this town on Friday last, it is 'vented' that her Majesty is highly offended with the States and the Prince for their hard proceedings against the duke, and most of all with Mr Norris, for taking upon himself the guarding of the land of Waes, which charge has been laid on him by the States. And as this cannot but be a great grief to such as have found her favour heretofore to have stood them in good stead, so in their open speech many of them assure themselves there is no such matter, if, as they say, her Majesty has been truly informed of their late proceedings; in which behalf some particular persons of the States confess they have not been so diligent in advertising her as 'becomed' them.
For Mr Norris, please keep him still in her favour, at least that he fall not into utter disgrace before he shall 'give a reason of his fact.' The only thing that the duke blames in the general is his taking charge of the forces in the land of Waes, a place of such moment that it behoved the States not only to keep the duke from thence, if they expected any good 'appointment' at his hands, but to draw from that place relief and victuals for themselves, which otherwise they would greatly have wanted. Besides, having Dunkirk, he might have increased his troops daily out of France, having the land of Waes to lodge and victual his army as long as he listed, and by that means have driven the countries to agree to any composition, which 'vantage' they now retain on their side, to their great benefit, and all by keeping themselves masters in the land of Waes. If Mr Norris had refused the charge when offered by the States, and choice made of him for the special trust they reposed in him, he had lost his credit for ever with them, besides the hazard of his debts which they owe him; and yet Monsieur no whit the nearer to get the land of Waes, to which charge they might easily have found out many commanders, either the Prince of Chimay, Count Hollock, Count William and divers others; which when the duke duly considers, knowing that Mr Norris has not attempted any act of hostility against him, he will not find him to be blamed for obeying the States in the defence of that land, having long heretofore given his oath of fidelity to them, and the duke himself neither making him privy to his business, nor taking him forth with him, as he did M. de Laval and many others, who notwithstanding were not acquainted with the attempt, but leaving him in the town, to the mercy either of a furious people, or of a murdering, bloody, and irreligious 'soldier,' besides the outrage by disarming and killing some of our English nation, when the other forces were furnished with powder, match, shot, and all other provision necessary. I fear all things will be greatly exasperated against the general, and yet I doubt not but in equity he will be able to justify himself, especially that he has not willingly miscarried himself in this business; and therefore I am the bolder to beseech you to suspend your judgement, till you are thoroughly informed of his proceedings.
Mr. Darcy arrived in this town from Dermonde last night, being Saturday, and this morning has his audience of the Prince. The duke abides still at Dermonde; and the French ambassador Mirambeau, and I think MM. de Laval and Villiers are sent to him to let him know how far they have proceeded here in the 'appointment.' This is not openly given out, both because those of Flanders are loath to give their consent, and that they fear some mutiny of the people, who are still enemies to any accord with the French, saying they will rather endure cent coups de baston du roy d'Espagne, quy est leur vrai ministre, que d'estre tyrannisez par les Françoys. The Prince comes no more to the 'State house,' fearing the people, and having discovered a late Spanish practice against him to the taking away of his life. Two persons are apprehended, who they say confess there are divers of the faction practising in secret with the people, to draw them to the Spaniard. Some of these have secretly in the night been apprehended in their beds for fear to move the people. This matter is not openly known; but assured to me to be very true by men of good credit and of action in the affairs here.
Those of Flanders, perceiving the French to attempt their country, incline much to the Spaniard; especially those of Ghent, where have been spread abroad lately certain 'pamphilets' tending to that end. I send you a copy, which I 'recovered' from one that has delivered 500 of them in this town, as it is supposed, in the very same hand and manner. Yet, notwithstanding, the Prince by little and little, as far as he dare, draws on the treaty with the French, which of the two evils seems the less. And as I hear, the matter is so far advanced that the duke will surrender Dermonde, Vilvorde, Dixmuyd, and then enter into Brussels with 300 Swiss to be sworn to the States; M. Tympel to remain governor of the town, with his regiment in garrison. This being once thoroughly accorded, the duke's forces to be employed in 'levying' the siege at Eyndhoven, which for want of victuals cannot hold out longer. It would appear their rulers here lack no judgement to treat with the French, wherein I think they will lose no advantage, and withal be able to serve their turns so well by the duke's fault that the Spaniard shall 'want his purpose.' The duke cannot long stand 'in high terms,' being in a place nothing commodious, and of necessity must either accord with the States, or yield to the Spaniard; which for many respects he may not adventure. If her Majesty stands in any great terms with these people, being now insolent 'of' their late victory, and almost desperate, not knowing whereto to trust, it will not be regarded, nor Monsieur any whit relieved in his treaty by that course. The French have already presumed so far 'of' her Majesty's favour towards them, that they 'stick' not to send word she will assist the duke by all means against 'them.' The wiser sort say they presume that for the regard of her own country she will not declare herself against her afflicted neighbours. Others say, God is able to defend a just cause against those mighty monarchs; but the people use another phrase, which I forbear to write. Estant sur le lieu, as they say, seeing and hearing the fashions and humours of this people, I presume, under your correction, to deliver my opinion that the course which the French king takes by his minister in this business is not amiss, showing the duke the great fault he made in suffering him to be led to so bad an attempt, excusing it to the States by the duke's young years and his green council, promising to see justice done on the first authors of it, not forgetting to lay open to the States some indignities and disobediences of theirs not fit to be offered to their prince, which might induce him the rather to such an attempt; and in the end persuades an agreement, alleging the example of Duke Philip of Burgundy, in whose time, upon a like 'accident' at Brussels, divers of the States sitting in Council were thrown out at the windows, and some thousands slain on the one part and the other; and yet the matter being appeased, he governed so well that he was called the good Duke Philip. This, in my simple judgement, is the best course for the duke, either by setting him in his government, with such reasonable conditions as may be obtained, to recover his credit and authority, or else to give him better means by large liberty to make his return into France; for as he now is, they have him at a great advantage which they will not lose for any threats that may be used. The French have already found this to be true, and therefore have so mingled their wine with water, that I think they will accept any reasonable condition for the present, howsoever they seek their revenge hereafter. As anything is resolved, I will advertise you accordingly.—Antwerp, 3 February, 1582.
Add. Endd. 4 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 49.]
Feb. 3/1386. Fremyn to Walsingham.
I have received your letter dated Windsor, 12 January. Since then you will have received two from me, also, fully, the things that happened on the 17th, and also how since that, there have been comings and goings to arrive at some agreement; his Highness to excuse himself [sic] for what has happened, upon a fresh basis, where it was not a case of attaining by violence, sullying by this means his honour and reputation with a universal blame to the French nation: a thing not easy to efface, as it is not easy to prevent a long distrust, which is so firmly rooted in the heart of the commons, who hold in detestation all those whom they hear talk of an agreement with the duke. No Frenchmen can be favourably regarded, not even the merchants. And when the States have come to terms with the duke, and when he has satisfied what they require of him, if necessary, he will dissemble for a time. So irritated are the people even against the magistrates themselves, holding strange language. And it is to be feared from the remarks they make, that there will be sedition, if prudent and politic provision be not made; besides that the plunder taken from the French, and the leave which the commons have taken to do what they please, embolden them to speak, act, and undertake without reverence for the magistrates. These are things which lead to bad results.
Further, M. de Laval has been a week in this town. He should be going to-day or to-morrow with his dispatch, and M. de Mirambeau with him. It is said that his Highness will replace Vilvorde and Dermonde in the States' hands; and that if anyone enters Brussels besides 600 Swiss for his guard, they also shall take the oath to the States. Other matters can be treated of there in regard to the other places, and no doubt they want to have them back.
God knows, pending these things, how the artful ones are working, and the factions there are in this city. It is incredible. Meanwhile his Highness has suffered and is suffering misery enough; as has his army, which has ceased to exist (devenue à rien), poor and necessitous; and the greater part of his nobles who are about him have lost all they had; and God knows how they are cursing those who were the cause of this wicked enterprise.
Meanwhile Eyndhoven still remains besieged, and if they are not succoured shortly, it is to be feared they will suffer for it. Two days ago a Spaniard was arrested in this town on presumption for false reports that he was spreading. He was put to the torture to make him say why he did it. Finally he confessed that he was sent from the King of Spain to kill the Prince of Orange, and 200 ducats had been handed to him by one of the king's secretaries; and that in France he had reserved 400 for his journey hither, and that when he had done the deed, they would pay him what he had been promised. Another was captured at the same lodgings, coming to ask for him. This matter is still kept secret.
The Gantois burnt the Prince of Parma's letter in the trumpeter's presence two days ago. In conclusion, it will be seen what is the issue of this negotiation. Mr Darcy, whom you sent, with the agents of his Highness, who arrived at Dunkirk, has been to see him at Dermonde, and arrived in this town yesterday evening; also Mr Danett, who came yesterday from the land of Waes. A report was spread here that his Highness's agents had been driven out of England in disgrace, and other outrages on the French there; a false thing, and an extravagance of the artful ones. They await the answer of those of Flanders, in order to send off M. de Laval.—Antwerp, 13 February 'selon le nouveau calend.' 1583.
Add. Endd. (writer's name erased). Fr.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 50.]
Feb. 4.87. Mauvissière to La Mothe.
For all reason his Highness alleges nothing else touching the disaster at Antwerp, where he thought to put a garrison, than the ill-treatment which he and his people received every day from that town of Antwerp.
The Queen of England has shown herself a very honourable princess in regard to his Highness; having been the last who would believe this unhappy occurrence, and the first who wished to excuse it and not throw the blame on him, for which he and all France are under great obligations to her. She behaves daily, by her good offices, as still of a constant friendship to him.
And in the event of God and the Queen of England [sic] not wishing the marriage, the king offers her, his good sister, the most faithful friendship that she will ever find in any prince.
The wisest people think that in all the battles we have had in the last 20 years there have not been lost more honest gentlemen and better captains of their age.
The Duke of Lenox has been very well received and honoured in this kingdom and is much pleased with the Queen of England.
[In margin: The Queen Mother to M. de la Mothe.] It is impossible to do more or negotiate more worthily than he has done in England, according to the charge which she and the king her son gave him.
Copy. Fr. ¾ p. [France IX. 25.]
Feb. 4/14;.88. The Prince of Orange to Walsingham.
This worthy gentleman having come to this country with letters on her Majesty's service, is at present returning; of whom availing myself, I would not omit to write commending myself to your favour, and to say that I should not have failed to send you news of what has happened here, had it not been that this gentleman, having first seen his Highness, and then passed through this place, where he has been thoroughly instructed in the facts, will, I am sure, be able to make you a fuller report.—Antwerp, 14 February, 1583.
Add. Endd. Fr. ¾ p. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 51.]
Feb. 4/14.
M. & D. iv. p. 422.
89. The Prince of Orange to the Queen.
I have received the letter with which you were pleased to honour me, delivered by Mr Darcy. I was extremely sorry that reasons have presented themselves to hinder the complete fulfilment of your desire for the furtherance of the affairs of his Highness. God knows I am not the cause of it, and am much vexed that such advice was suggested to him; whereof I much prefer that others should discourse on the inconveniences, which, however, I dread and foresee. To avoid them, no prince in the world can contribute more than you, if you will do it, which I humbly beg of you. As for the details of what has happened here, 'Messieurs' of Antwerp wrote very amply to your Majesty some days ago, and I am sure that Mr. Darcy will also inform you, as he has been truly advertised in this country, in divers places and by others than myself; having been to his Highness and enabled to hear from either side what has been reported, upon which I doubt not you will be able to judge who ought to be assured or not. I can say with truth that I never loved or honoured prince more than his Highness, insomuch that with great difficulty have I been willing to believe that which I saw. But since matters have reached this point, I hope that God will give us counsel, to come forth from it to His glory.—Antwerp, 14 February, 1583.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 52.]
Feb. 4.90. Edward Darcy to [Walsingham].
On Sunday, 27 January, we landed at Dunkirk, where M. de Chamois is governor for his Highness. There M. de Marchaumont, understanding that no Frenchman could pass 'any ways' into the country, but was stayed and kept prisoner, unless in those four towns which were held for his Highness, desired me, if I thought good, the next morning, which was Monday, to go to Dermonde, where he thought I should find his Highness; but he himself would not venture to go with me. Yet he desired me to take du 'Bee' instead of one of my servants, which I did, although I very well knew it might be dangerous to us both, passing through so many towns as we should, which were very well guarded and straitly looked to. So on Thursday the last of January I came to Dermonde at seven o'clock at night, where I found his Highness; who presently sent for me to come to him in his chamber, and after he had asked me how the Queen his good mistress did, told me that the very sight of me had revived him, who before was à demi mort. I presented to him her Majesty's letters, which he took and went into his cabinet, (which were but bare walls, as also his bedchamber) desiring me to go with him. After he had read the letters he said that she was the 'only' he accounted of, so now in his greatest distress she had yielded him most comfort; for he had neither bed nor anything of his own to do him service but such as he borrows in the town, which is most simple for such a prince, and is so enclosed that he can stir no way till he has compounded with the States. M. de Laval, who has been here at Antwerp this se'nnight to meet with them, and hopes to go to-morrow to his Highness, told me that he had written to her Majesty, and how hard it was for him now to get letters conveyed into England since this broil fell out at Antwerp, for he was fain to send them by France.
His Highness, not being very well, desired me to take my rest after my cold journey, till to-morrow. Next day, Friday, he sent for me at ten o'clock, and asked me when I was to return to England. I told him if he would dispatch me, I was to return 'presently,' for I was to go to Antwerp to the Prince with her Majesty's letters, and thence straight into England; unless he would command me any service, which willingly I would do, for so her Majesty had commanded me. Whereupon he desired me first to speak to Mr Norris, desiring him not to be any hindrance to him or any of his, but that he might pass into the land of 'Waste.' To further this request, he desired me to show her Majesty's favour and good will towards him, and the dislike of any of hers that should do anything to the prejudice of him or any of his, as du Bex could testify; whom he sent with me for the return of this answer.
I delivered the substance of this message to Mr Norris, who in the presence of du Bex answered: that true it is his Highness had always shown him very good countenance, so that he presumed no such enterprise would have been taken in hand, wherein he or some of his would not have been employed, considering how faithfully and painfully they have served heretofore, and having all that morning attended upon his Highness until he was set at dinner, did not [sic] so much as command him to wait upon him to see his army, but left him in the town, to the mercy of the soldiers if they had prevailed; which showed that his Highness had small care of him, nor reposed any trust or confidence in any of our nation. Whereupon, finding himself abandoned, and many of our English companies left behind in Borgerhout ready to starve for hunger, he was glad to accept any place for their relief; and so by command of the States he went into the land of Waest, to join with certain Walloons there for the defence of those countries, without any purpose to oppose himself in any way against his Highness or his forces. Nevertheless, understanding by me and du Bex her Majesty's great care and favour towards his Highness, and how much it displeases her that any of hers should stand in arms against him, he showed himself very willing and ready to obey whatever she shall command, and rather to give up his charge than in any way to displease her.
Having sent du Bex back to his Highness with this message, I came to Antwerp on Saturday night; and on Sunday, Feb. 3, at four in the afternoon I was with the Prince of Orange, and delivered her Majesty's letters. Having read them, he told me that the States had certified the truth of the fact to her, and what way soever he could do his Highness any service, in respect of her he would not fail 'but' do it. He also desired me to be with him to-day, being Monday, and I should have his letters to her Majesty, and also know how the States would deal for his Highness; and that M. de Laval should be dispatched, that we might go together to Dermonde. I have the Prince's letters, but M. de Laval at my coming from him was not dispatched, but hoped to be, that we might depart hence early in the morning. The Prince tells me that he finds the States so hardly bent against his Highness that if there be any good from them, it must be by her Majesty's means.
I mean to-morrow to be with his Highness, because he desired me to make speedy return; so I think he will dispatch me speedily.—Antwerp, 4 February.
Feb. 5.P.S.—Dermonde, where his Highness is, the town is strong, and as he told me, he had in all Swiss and Frenchmen to the number of 7,000; which I hardly believe, but this I know, presently he will be driven to great want for lack of victuals. The frost is so great here that all the rivers are frozen, so that now he may pass over the water any way if he be so strong as he says, and this is now feared by the States. This night I will be with his Highness, though I shall be driven to go afoot.—Tuesday, 5 February.
Endd. 4 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 53.]
Feb. 5/15.91. Bacqueville to [? Walsingham].
Remembering all the courtesies and honourable treatment that we received at your Court, I am persuaded that on an occasion presenting itself of testifying by act to the honourable offers you always made to us, you would not show me the door in that very case which you promised at my departure.
Touching Captain Huget, who has been detained prisoner at Falmouth with his ship, treated very roughly, as I am informed, and with very little respect by Sir J. Arundell; you know that the capture he made was good, and under good leave of his Highness permission is given to him to make war on all subjects of the King of Spain, and that on this occasion he ought not to be molested for it. For although storms have cast him on the coast of England, he ought not to be made subject to the customs of the country. On the contrary, if any Spaniard who is interested makes a complaint, you can refer him to France, where reasonable justice will be done him. Wherefore I beg you to do me the favour of having the captain set at liberty, and arrest taken off his ship, pursuant to the decision which you and the Council gave thereupon before my departure, which ought not to be annulled by the mere commission of the Judge of the Admiralty. Not that I think so much of the ship as of the competence of Captain Huget, who has already done much good service to Don Antonio, and is still ready and willing to do more, and to take his part with those who are getting ready in France for the voyage to Tercera. Please have regard to this, and cause your decision pronounced to take effect.
I have sent one of my lackeys expressly to recall the whole thing to your memory, and to know your will and get your answer, that steps may be taken, and we may advise as the matter shall require.—Dunkirk, 15 February, 1583.
Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. XVIII. 54.]
Feb. 5.92. Cobham to Walsingham.
Since the writing of my last the king and the Queen Mother 'show' to have received little or no intelligence from Monsieur, cloaking this action much as they did the defeat of M. Etrozzi. Signor Mercurio, an Italian soldier, has now at last appeared in Court, sent from Monsieur. He gives out that Monsieur has suffered much for want of victuals, but is otherwise in reasonable good state, having with him 7,000 or 8,000 foot and horse. He declares, moreover, that the Prince of Orange has departed from Antwerp towards Holland, and that Monsieur is treating with the States to compound the late inconveniences. He signifies likewise that the reiters who served Monsieur had been defeated by the Prince of Parma's forces; giving out other odd speeches which I omit, considering that the clearness of the truth will be suffered to appear better in England than in this Court.
The king had appointed to send M. de Bellièvre to the States in Flanders, with a sum of money, most of which is prepared in gold for the use of Monsieur. He has been every day on his going this se'nnight past, but hitherto is stayed. The king in the meantime has dispatched a gentleman to his brother, certifying that he resolves to send Bellièvre to him with money. They are waiting here for some advertisement from those parts, such that thereby they may take occasion to advance their pretences; which is understood to be, to get as many towns as they can either by composition or surprise, after the manner that has been used to those of the Religion in France. The king likewise intended to send M. de Vennes [qy. Vannes] to the Prince of Parma, but it is deferred.
I have been informed that 'Perrador' the consul, sent hither from Antwerp with letters from the Prince of Orange to their Majesties, was somewhat rebuked by the king's Council, because he, being a Frenchman, had been induced to bring those letters, which 'imported' the charging of Monsieur and the French with that 'fact,' and the excusing of the Prince and States.
Further, to the intent they might render the matter of Flanders more odious to all the French nation, they have given out that they of Bruges have cast down the arms of Monsieur, which have been erected in sundry places in that town; as likewise that they of Bruges have sent commissioners to the Prince of Orange, to treat for an accord. And in this town they have published in print under the king's privilege a pamphlet inveighing against the Prince of Orange and the States for having betrayed Monsieur and the French. This has since been prohibited by the king.
The Duke of Lorraine likes so well his entertainment here, that he has sent part of his train away, disposing himself to stay the longer. They say his coming is for the causes set down in my former dispatch; as likewise that the King and Queen Mother will resolve how to bestow the Princess of Lorraine, 'being offered' to have her matched with the Duke of Cleve's eldest son.
The Chevalier de Chastre continues his embarkation for the Terceras, for which 2,000 soldiers are levied. On this are grown some 'apacionate' speeches between the Dukes Joyeuse and Épernon, because Joyeuse had given commissions to the Chevalier de Chastre for the taking up of those men, which Épernon withstood, alleging that all levies of footmen within the land appertained to him, since the King had done him the honour to make him colonel-general of the infantry. This was disputed between them with vehement words in the King's chamber, his Majesty being present. To moderate the matter, he wished them to be content that such order might be taken in the manner heretofore accustomed in the like case, 'so as' M. d'Épernon would not give place. Whereon the men are to be levied under his commission, by the authority of which they are to march till they come to the port, when the Admiral of France, M. de Joyeuse, is to dispose of them.
They bruit in Court that the king at the instance of the Pope's nuntio and his own confessor, had given away those beasts, bears, bulls, and such like, which the Queen presented, 'in respect' she is not a prince adhering to the Pope.
It is understood that the king is not content with the grant that the Pope has made him, licensing him to dispose of the fourth part of the ecclesiastical benefices in his realm, because it is only done by a simple letter. The king desires it may be passed in such 'authentical' form that another Pope might not disannul it. About this cause Cassot, the commis of Villeroy, is to go to Rome about the beginning of Lent, where he is to procure the according of this matter, and that the brothers of the Prince of Condé and the Duke of Joyeuse may be promoted to be cardinals. Meantime difficulty is made for the according of the publication of the Council of Trent. The cause is to be pleaded this week in the Court of Parlement as a matter of state, wherein the King's prerogative and authority is to be touched and impaired, with many other difficulties therein to be alleged.
The King has 'returned' the commissioners of the city of Marseilles with good satisfaction. They had been here a year, suing that he would revoke his command for the placing of a governor there contrary to their privileges.
Don Antonio has made claim to the jewels which Alonso Mendez, the rich Portuguese jeweller dwelling in this town, has in his hands. He has presented a placet to the King to do him justice therein, because Mendez, being put in trust by Emanuel King of Portugal; had fled away into France with his jewels. But the Duke of Épernon favours Mendez in such sort that it is thought Don Antonio will prevail little. He has sent divers of his gentlemen and others to Rouen, intending himself to repair to Dieppe, as I was informed.
The Duke of Guise departed hence on Sunday the 2nd inst. towards Champagne, to take possession and ordering of the lands his grandmother has left him, and for the dividing of the moveables, especially the rich cabinet valued at 500,000 francs or more, of which the Duke of Mayenne and the Cardinal of Guise are to have their portions, because she died intestate, being counselled to do so, for the avoiding of dissension between her children.
Notwithstanding, some in the Court dispute further of the Duke of Guise's present departure, supposing that he means to amass the 18 companies of men-at-arms in Picardy, with the footmen and the bands of Champagne, to pass to the aid of Monsieur; but at his departure no great appearance of this was seen. He intends to be present at the marriage of the Duke of Elbeuf his cousin, who 'matches' with the daughter of the Count of Charnes(?) premier éeuyer, as I have heretofore written.
I am advertised that a gentleman of the Prince of Parma's has been seen to have secret access to the King and Queen Mother; but cannot learn the certain knowledge of it.
It is written from Rome that the Inquisition had cited the Bishop of Malta to appear before them; and that Cardinal Borromeo went visiting the states of the Dukes of Mantua and Parma, for the better ordering of the lives of the priests and Cordeliers.
I enclose a note of the affairs of Poland, and the brief discourse persuading the Christian princes to 'oppose against' the overmuch growing greatness of the House of Austria; with the letters of the English merchants at Rouen, showing their griefs occasioned by the exactions newly made on them.—Paris, 5 February, 1582.
pp. [France IX. 26.]
Feb. 5.93. Cobham to Walsingham.
As concerning the affairs of Scotland, it is given me to understand that the Dukes of Lorraine and Guise 'haven' been to visit M. d'Aubigny, who keeps his bed, sick of a 'flixxe,' lodged at the sign of Our Lady in the street of La Harpe. The Duke of Guise in conference declared to him how sorrowful he was his hap should be to come from Scotland. Notwithstanding, he wished him to be of good comfort, trusting ere it were long he might return. He hoped to pass into those parts himself. He further assured d'Aubigny that the Queen Mother promises to employ all her means for the Scottish king, 'pretending' to establish the affairs of that country in other sort than they are at present.
I hear the French king has now demanded of the Town House of Paris 100,000 crowns, whereon they have granted him 200,000 francs; which sum I hear is to be sent into Scotland, to be employed on the practices in that realm.
I have been assured that d'Aubigny has brought over with him certain blanks signed with the Scottish king's hand. The young king had sent him 3,000 crowns before his departure, of which he brought to Calais about 2,500. He is so much visited and conferred with by the Bishops of Ross (lately come from Rome) and Glasgow, with others of this Court, that his physician complains he takes no rest, but decays in strength and waxes feeble, with danger to his life.
It is advertised me that d'Aubigny advised M. de la Mothe-Fènclose not to discover his commission to the Scottish king, until the whole nobility or the greater number were assembled at the convention which was assigned to be held about the end of January; at which time the king would declare to them how his desire was to depart from the company of those of the nobility who now are chief about his person, purposing consequently to choose to be nigh him such others as he best liked. This being accomplished, la Mothe was then to use all his persuasions in the French king's name, such as might induce the nobility to suffer the young king to have his 'free will and election' herein. Which being reduced to this state, la Mothe is to discover how he has commission to declare to the Scottish king and his Council that the French king requires to renew the ancient confederations had heretofore between the Crowns of France and Scotland, and to offer that the Scotch guard serving this king shall hereafter be commanded by a Scotch gentleman, as in times past; and likewise that the king would newly erect again his company of Scottish men at arms, whose captain should be a nobleman of Scotland, and that he intended to honour divers of the Scotch nobility with the Order of St. Michael and give them pensions for their better entertainment. La Mothe is, moreover, to declare that to the intent the mutual intelligence might be had between the two Crowns, the French king had sent M. de 'Manyngvylde' to be ambassador resident about the Scottish king's person; requesting likewise there might be sent a person of quality to remain in the French Court, who should deal for the Scottish king's affairs.
They inform me that after the Scottish king has parted from the nobility by whom he has been lately 'succoured,' he will repair to some strong castle of his, for the more sure disposing of the government in his realm according to his own will, to the better satisfaction of his friends in these parts. They expect here daily to be informed by la Mothe of his proceedings in Scotland.
Touching the present state of those of the Religion within this realm, I understand the Prince of Condé has compounded the differences that were among those of the Religion in Languedoc and Poitou with the rest of the other provinces adjacent. He made an agreement between the Dukes of Montmorency and Uzès, having reconciled them to those of the Churches of the Religion in such good sort that there is hope conceived the Duke 'Dusezze' will leave his mass and return to the profession of the Religion. Whilst the Prince of Condé was treating of these affairs, M. de Joyeuse caused the town of Béziers with another small place to be surprised. He has placed garrisons there, putting forth those magistrates whom the Duke of Montmorency had heretofore put in authority, as towns [sic] belonging to his government. This indignity may persuade the Duke of Montmorency to 'rely' and confederate himself the more firmly with those of the Religion.
The Prince of Condé proceeds in his determination to marry the daughter of Trémoille, with whom he will enjoy 40,000 francs a year at once during the life of her only brother. This young lady is well inclined to Religion of which her mother now makes profession. Through this match the Prince of Condé is to possess certain towns in Poitou, which may greatly avail him during his abode at Saint-Jean-d'Angely.
The Churches throughout this realm have now intelligence together and seek to have a mutual accord with the Protestant Churches in Germany and Flanders; and the like were to be wished in England and Scotland. This union cannot but become the best foundation of further security, and pleasing to Almighty God.
The Duke of Mercœur seeks to make himself a party in Britanny, therefore it may be the presence of M. de Laval would do more good to the Churches, than where he is in danger.
Sundry advices, too, are come from Rome, as I am informed by a party of godly zeal who received them, wherein was specified the action of the French lately passed in Antwerp; but through the slowness of the messenger they come too late to warn the States of Flanders.
I hear Bellièvre has commission to persuade Monsieur to persist in the course he has held, and that he should stay in those parts, or on the frontiers; and to give him assurance that the king will furnish him with money and succour. He has of late sent to the king for 40,000 crowns, 6,000 foot, and 1,200 horse.—Paris, 5 February, 1582.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 4 pp [France. IX 27.]
Feb. 5.94. Cobham to Walsingham.
If the course of affairs pass as I am informed, the Duke of Anjou has not only made his peace with those of the House of Guise, but agreed to marry the Princess of Lorraine; in which practice the Queen Mother 'travaileth with all her sprites,' and M. de Pibrae uses all his means to give contentment in this to the Duchess of Nemours, whose entire servant he is known by opinion to be, as much as I suppose you have heretofore heard. This is now esteemed to be the great cause which has brought the Duke of Lorraine hither, being 'used in familiarity' with the king as if he was his minion, in all show of fellowship. This is thought to be agreed on in the supreme decrees of the highest parties, and every one 'have' their sundry respects; as, the Queen Mother hopes to continue thereby her government, which is maintained through the assurance and 'bolstering' of the Guises, whereby she hopes likewise through the presence of Monsieur to take from the minions a great part of their pride, and privateness with the king; which the Guises desire especially when Monsieur shall be the actor, being the second person in this realm; and he will carry the hope of all the courtiers with him, beside the minions. In this practice I understand their minds are employed.
The Queen Mother 'weeps' now to obtain all things in the favour of her son to advance this marriage. Notwithstanding the king likes that this match should be, yet he is slowly persuaded to do too much for the greatness of his brother, and is not of opinion this should be yet so much hastened. I know it is sufficiently known to her Majesty how easily these princes not only incline to enterprise new actions, but as speedily abandon their purposes; and therefore I trust it will not seem strange to write in divers manner, according to the changes which happen in this Court, and it is easy to be deceived, for they seem to pretend often what they least intend. I 'report' me to those who have better experience and judgement hereof than I can say.
There is one Nicols come, professing to have been in Germany. He has, as he promised me, returned towards England.
I beseech you to remember to her Majesty my insufficiency; in such sort that for her own service she may be justly moved to send an 'agreeable person' hither.—Paris, 5 February, 1582.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [France IX. 28.]
Feb. 5.95. Cobham to Walsingham.
After I had made up the packet, I received knowledge of these small particulars advertised from Spain. The Spanish king had appointed the Courts of the Estates of Portugal to be held the 15th February, when he meant to have the Portuguese to swear to take Don Philip his only son to be their prince. The Portuguese demand, if the king will confirm to them those capitulations he made offer to them of, before his entering into Portugal. But the king 'pretends' to qualify those capitulations at his pleasure, because he was constrained to enter 'with forces.'
The 'Commendator Magior' lately viceroy at Naples, will, it is said, be 'Magior Domo mayor' in the place of the Duke of Alva.
It was thought the king would repair to Madrid about Easter; but others judged he would not go from Lisbon until he had understood what 'preparations' were sent from France to the Terceras, and his navy had departed. For the furnishing of it there were devised sundry sorts of artificial fires, wherein his Majesty seemed to take delight 'to see the proof of those fires cast and strewn on the sea and river in Lisbon.'
It is written that the Emperor has been compelled to purge and take medicine for the disease he is 'travailed' with at times.
They have advertised me from this Court that the king has this afternoon commanded that the companies of his guard should be increased from 50 to 200, which 'amounts' a double number above the customary manner of increasing them, being never before used to have at most but 100 in a company. And M. Puygaillard has command this day to put himself in order to repair to the frontiers, where he is to take charge of 4,000 foot and 500 horse of the companies of men-of-arms.
The people of Normandy have found themselves so evil satisfied with these new impositions that they have slain the receiver of the king's taxations and talliages; which is to-day advertised to the king.
I think, if my health in any sort serves me, and if in the meantime I receive from you no other command for her Majesty's service, to go to Rouen for six days, to refresh my mind a little through change of air, the better to 'pass' my thoughts and griefs.—Paris, 5 February, 1582.
P.S.—I send you a book which shows the right pretended by the Queen Mother to the Crown of Portugal.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [France IX. 29.]