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“ And on the other side, if the Spaniard should prevail CHAP. “therein, according to his desire, (as I pray God that I do “not live to see that day,) unhappy may we then think Anno 1576. « ourselves to be, and in worse case than if the French have “ it. For the settled hatred of the Spaniard doth so abound “ in their hearts towards us, that they do not let to utter “ their minds in such speeches to them at Serick seas “ against her majesty, that no good subject, with a patient “ mind, can abide the report thereof. I pray God confound “ them and their evil inventions. I am not altogether out “ of hope, but that her majesty will be a mean that the

enemy may be stayed from his purpose. The provision “ that the prince hath made for the succour of Serick seas “is great. God grant them good success: they do stay “ only for wind and weather."

Yet in the mean time the States, by their privateers, did great damage to their enemies that traded to and with Spain, and took abundance of their ships and goods; insomuch as the aforesaid merchant writes in the same letter, “ That the great booties they had taken within the two last “ months were to the value of an hundred and twenty thou“ sand pounds sterling. And yet for the means of the great “ preparation that was made to remove the enemy from “ Serick seas, and paying off mariners and soldiers, they “ were still bare of money."

I add one piece of intelligence more in this letter, as it relates to England : “ It is said here, there is six hundred “ Englishmen arrived within this month in Holland. I wish 406 “ it were, or that it may be very shortly, six thousand; or “ else I would those that be ready here, to be called home “ again ; else they will be but as a prey to the Spaniard or “ the French. For undoubtedly the prince must either re“ ceive succours from the French, or else be overcome by “ her enemies, if her majesty do not even shortly assist “ them with a great force.”

In the mean time the protestants in France were in very The protesill case, and great resolutions taken up to be rigorous with tants in them; insomuch that those innocent and poor people medi- deavour a

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England for their safety: against which, France made all Anno 1576. the provision she could to stop them. For, notwithstandfight into ing the French king's promise to allow them the liberty of

their religion, and so some pacification had been made between them, yet now all things looked towards a severe persecution of them. And the popish (called the holy) league, between the pope, the French king, and the Spaniard, was now taking vigorous effect: which those of the religion perceiving, found it necessary to fly to England for refuge; concerning which, and the present state of affairs in France, as fresh news brought over to Portsmouth, the lord Henry Radcliff, brother to Thomas earl of Sussex, gave him intel

ligence, in the month of January, to this import. The intelli. 66 That such news as he had received out of France, he gence there- « thought good to advertise bis honour; although he knew, the earl of “ as he wrote, that he [the earl] received the true certifiSussex. Ep.

“ cate, and he [his brother) but report from friends. That Cott. Libr. “ on Thursday last, there came a ship from Deep, which

“ arrived there upon Sunday. By which he understood “ that the French king published and proclaimed, that there “ should be no more preaching of the gospel in his country. “ Whereupon divers of the religion were fled; and divers “ that would fly, could not: for that all the coasts of Nor“mandy, and the seacoast adjoining, were restrained and

stopped. That mons. Melleroy, the governor of Nor

mandy, did assemble force for the king; and that there “ had been brought into Normandy divers bands of soldiers, “ by small companies, which now were discovered; and “ that mons. Melleroy had taken order with mons. Sigo“nie, the governor of Deep, that there should be within “ Deep four or five ensigns, which Sigonie had agreed to “ receive. That there should be garrisons also in most

the seacoast. That the protestants, as many “ as could get away, were gone to the prince of Condé, who “ had been in Rochel, and had taken order there. That “mons. de Montpensier, and mons. de Bedon, being with “ the king of Navarr, to know what he should do, the king's

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answer was, that if the French king would not keep his CHAP. “ promise, he would make war. That there was great pre

paration made on both sides, and cruel war was thought Anno 1576. “ to follow. That the pope, and king of Spain, and the “ French king, had all agreed to make the duke of Guise

general of these wars. That duke Casimir had sent word “ to the French king, that he would prepare great numbers “of men of war against him. That the merchants and 407

common people of France, upon the seacoasts, were at “ their wits end, for fear of this war towards. That there “ was prohibition made that no Frenchman be suffered to “ fly into England.” And then concluding, “ Thus have “ I certified your honour of such news as I have received, “ although not confirmed. I humbly commit your honour “ to God. From Portsmouth, Jan. 15, 1576.

“ Your honour's brother,
“ Most humble to command,

Henry Radclyff.”

This news was the more strange, because the king, Henry III. but lately come to the crown, had made a general peace with the confederates, proclaimed through France, and had done divers things in favour of the protestants, and would have it called his peace. So that they of the religion concluded it the more firm. Yet by the incessant intrigues of the pope, with the duke of Guise, and the popish faction in France, that king soon broke his word, and entered again into a civil war.

And in fine, by another letter from court, namely, from the earl of the earl of Leicester to the earl of Shrewsbury, may be ob-apprehenserved how matters stood at this critical time between the sions at this

time. Epist. Low Countries and the queen ; and likewise with respect to Com. Salop. Scotland: and what great care was then thought to be had in Colleg. for keeping a fair correspondence with that king, for her better security from all her enemies abroad. The words of the said letter, dated February 15, were these.

" For the “ matters of the Low Countries, they go hardly. And

truly, my lord, I look for no good from thence. From

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“ Scotland there is even this day some advertisement of bet

“ ter hope of the king's good proceedings there, and with Anno 1576.“ her majesty, than of late we looked for. And it is the

greatest care I have,” as he added, “ that her majesty may “ have good amity with that king. For, if so it may be, I “ have no great fears, as the world standeth, of all the rest “ of her enemies abroad whatsoever. And I do not see but “ that this king may be had, without any very great charge “ to her majesty. We hear that of late he hath dealt very “ well against his chiefest papists. God grant that he may “ so go forward. For if both these and the princes “ join in maintaining the true religion, it will be the safety " and preservation of them both, and of their countries. “ Your lordship doth hear, I am sure, that the ambassadors “ are departed towards Flanders, on her majesty's behalf, “ six days ago; but the wind doth yet hold them on this “ side. God send their travail to bring forth good and pro“ fitable fruit. The best news I can write your lordship is “ of her highness good and perfect health. Which God “ long continue," &c.

As for the dangers at home, the greatest proceeded from from Scot- the queen of Scots: between whom and divers in Scotland, land to the there was much secret correspondence, as well as with fo queen. reign princes, her friends. But queen Elizabeth was watch408 ful, and had secret intelligence: as in the beginning of this

year she knew that there were letters passing, and messengers coming towards that queen: a matter which required the earl of Shrewsbury to have his eyes about him. Sir Francis Walsingham now let the earl know, that her majesty gave him order to let him understand, that she was lately and credibly informed of certain secret messengers come out of Scotland, with letters to that queen, his charge; and who were already entered England, and by all likelihood not far from his lordship’s house. That her majesty's pleasure therefore was, that he should use all the best and secretest means he could in belaying the country round about, for their apprehension and the intercepting the said letters. And by an enclosed note sent, he should read their

Letters and messages

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names, and some more circumstances hereof. This was dated CHAP. from the court, the 29th of March, 1576.

Besides these popish practices in the north, in the south Anno 1576. parts also the papists increase, and religion went backwards: The bishop as appeared by what Richard Curtess, bishop of Chichester, ter visits his signified to secretary Walsingham, concerning what he found dincese. Pain his triennial visitation, finished this year, viz. that they crease. that were backward in religion, in the county of Sussex, grew worse and worse; and that chiefly upon the coming of don John of Austria, the king of Spain's bastard brother, into the Low Countries this year, to be governor there; to vex the professors of the gospel, and to destroy the liberties of that free people. The bishop, therefore, had cited such as were most suspected, by his ordinary authority in that visitation. And their names, and the articles whereupon he examined them, he thought fit to send withal to the secretary: “ Thinking it fit (as he wrote) to shew the His letter same to his honour, because there were some of them [i. e.

thereupon “justices of the peace] that pretended well, and yet were cretary.

Paper-of“ not sound in religion, that went about to make the worst fice. “ of it, (that is, of this his examination and course he took “ with those he suspected.] And therefore he advised, “ if it might seem good to their honours, and others of her “ majesty's most honourable privy council, either to have “ such of them clean put out of the commission of peace as “ were in it, or else at least that there might be a Dedimus * potestatem to some, to take their oaths openly at the next “ sessions, to the queen's supremacy; which would be a The justices

. great stay to the country. For it was commonly and cre_ suspected “ dibly thought, that some of them never took that oath,

although it were otherwise returned. And so with his “ most humble and hearty prayers, he most humbly and “ heartily commended his honour to God, his good will and “ pleasure. Dated from Aldingburn, March 24, 1576. Sub“ scribed, Ri. Cicestren.”

Then follow, in the said bishop's letter, the names of those Justices and justices and others so suspected; and the articles ministered others cited

by the to them.

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