569. Advices from Rouen.
A merchant had arrived there from Scotland who reports that the
King had, in the presence of his Parliament, set at liberty Lord
Claude Hamilton and the earl of Morton ; both of whom the
merchant had seen several times in Edinburgh since their liberation.
Their release had been arranged by the Chancellor.
The other gentlemen under arrest had also been set at liberty, but
were at present confined to their own houses.
The King had appointed five nobles to govern in his absence,
namely, Lord Hamilton, as President of the Council, the duke of
Lennox, the earl of Bothwell, and Lord Boyd, but the merchant did
not recollect who the fifth was to be, though he knew it was not
When the King left he made a speech to the nobility, and another
to the burgesses of Edinburgh, in favour of the maintenance of the
realm during his absence. He expected to return within 20 days,
and was accompanied by seven ships and all of his most intimate
friends, especially the Chancellor, the Lord Justice-clerk, Sir William
Keith, Glenclouden, and 300 other gentlemen, none of whom, however,
are of mark.
Before the Parliament met, a gentleman arrived in a little ship
from Norway, to say that the vessel in which the Queen had taken
passage made so much water that it was impossible to get her ready
so soon as was hoped, and that consequently the Queen would be
obliged to stay in Norway during the winter, hoping to come to
Scotland in the spring, accompanied by her mother ; since, in consequence
of the intense cold in those parts, travelling by sea was
impossible after the frost set in.
The merchant had heard at Calais that the king of Scotland had
arrived in Norway safely, and he and the two Queens had decided to
winter in Denmark.
570. Advices from Rouen.
We have news here that the English fleet, which left some months
since for the coast of Portugal under the earl of Cumberland, has
captured in those parts three ships of the flotilla from New Spain,
and has sunk one of 400 tons, from which only two men were
saved, both of whom were made prisoners by the English and
carried with the three prizes to England, They report that in a
great storm, continuing five days, 11 of the ships from the Indies
of New Spain were lost at sea, with all their crews and cargoes.
This was a dreadful loss. They say that the three captured ships
contained 600 cases of cochineal, many hides, and other merchandise.
This news is looked upon as true, as it comes from many quarters.
When these ships first arrived the price of cochineal fell in the
London market to 6s. per pound, but shortly afterwards the
competition of buyers sent it up to 7s. 6d. per pound. Some
advices say that there were five ships captured and taken to
England, but I learn that persons who write direct from there say
three, which are more than enough, considering the loss suffered
by the poor people to whom they and the cargoes belong. They
say that the greater part belongs to merchants resident in the
Indies, and therefore probably the Seville merchants trading with
them will suffer.
571. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
My news from England is dated 6th instant, reporting that they
are raising soldiers, and making out lists of all the Queen's troops
in every province. It was thought that the men being raised were
for reinforcing the English regiments that are with Bearn, because
most of the Scottish and English troops who were at Dieppe and
Pont de l'Arche had returned to England to avoid suffering further
want and starvation. Two English ships that had gone to Dieppe
with powder, etc., had done the same, and returned without
discharging. The Queen was sending Lord Grey to Ireland with
some troops in addition to the ordinary garrisons, and has ordered
Sir William (Fitzwilliam), who was the Viceroy, to retire.
They have granted to Don Rodrigo Lasso de la Vega liberty
for two months to go to Flanders to negotiate with the duke of
Parma for his release, and that of Don Alonso de Luzon and other
gentlemen from Cordoba, who were in the possession of Horatio
Pallavicini. They wish to exchange them for M. de Teligny, the
son of La Noue. The queen of England gives out that the going of
the king of Scotland to Denmark was against her opinion, and that
she is much annoyed at the release of Morton and the other Catholics
before the King's departure.
I hear nothing whatever from David, which increases the suspicion
I mentioned in my last. I can gain no intelligence whatever of
Don Antonio, although I make great efforts to do so.—Paris,
22nd December 1589.
|572. Advices from Dunkirk.
A ship has arrived at Plymouth, captured on her way from the
Indies. They say she contains 400 arrobas of cochineal and a
quantity of hides. Three other ships of the said flotilla are said to
have been sunk by the English.
The queen of England is building six galleons of 600 tons each,
and has ordered 4,000 men to be raised for Ireland. These men are
very unwilling to go, and by the payment of 5l. sterling, equal to
200 (250?) reals, exemption could be obtained. Those who desert
are hanged. No ships are being prepared to sail.
There is no news of the earl of Cumberland, nor of four out of his
six ships, although it is asserted that it was he who made the prize
above-mentioned, and he has been prevented from arriving by a
storm. The prize has no officer of rank on board, nor any other ship
with her, only the men who were put on board to guard her.
573. Advices from London.
The earl of Cumberland's ships have arrived on this coast with a
large number of prizes they have captured. They have 20 ships
from Brazil, two from the Indies, one of them from Mexico with
250 arrobas of cochineal, and a quantity of hides, indigo, silver, and
gold, the value of which they estimate at 100,000 crowns.
Many letters of marque, authorising them to plunder, are being
granted. They are signed by the Lord Admiral and Beauboys
Lanoy, the prince of Bearn's ambassador to the Queen, and all prizes
are considered good except those from Frenchmen who acknowledge
Bearn as King, Scotsmen, Hollanders, Zeelanders, Swedes, Danes,
Musters of troops are taking place in England, and ships are being
fitted out in consequence of the news from Spain that a great
Armada is being prepared. They are awaiting it here with as stout
a heart as they did the one that came before.
574. Bernardino De Mendoza to the King.
Since my letter of 22nd about England, I have received advices
from Dunkirk of same date, saying that Don Rodrigo Lasso, Don
Garcia Manrique, Don Beltran del Salto, and the Auditor, Rodrigo
Ponce, had arrived at Nieuport from England. They relate that as
they were going through a street in London they noticed in a shop
that a dress was being made very handsomely, trimmed with gold.
They asked for whom it was intended, and were told that it was for
a Spanish captain named Lupercio Latras, who had come from Spain
and was then about London. They have now met this man in
Calais in wretched garb, going with a request to Commander Moreo. (fn. 1)
I have signified this to Moreo, although he was already informed of
it, and he tells me that Lupercio Latras was the chief of a band of
robbers in Aragon. I do not know whether he has fled from Spain,
but the fact of their having so soon got rid of him from England
seems to prove that they suspected he might have been sent there.
I have thought well to inform your Majesty of this. The advices
received by Richard Burley from England are also enclosed. He
tells me that, if he finds the passage from England to France free,
14 English pilots will come over from there with Pedro de Zubiaur,
who had gone thither from Dunkirk about the ransom of the
prisoners. If they are prevented from coming over on that
occasion they will find an opportunity of getting across to Havre de
Grace or Holland.—Paris, 31st December 1589.