BL MSS Cotton Caligula b ix 86

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BL MSS Cotton Caligula b. ix, 86

Wright Vol 1, 11 Page 25

Transcribed and notes by Thomas Wright, ‘Queen Elizabeth and her times,’ London, 1838

De La Brosse and the Bishop of Amiens to the Card, of Lorraine and Duke of Guise (1) Edinb. March 27, 1560

(From Edinburgh. 27 March, 1559.)

My lords, for that the Queene Dowagier hath answered you at large to these two letters which she hath receaved (which is all that we have receaved from you since the comeinge of Octavian, (2) we will use none other repetition; and also for that Mons. de Ville Parisis (3) writeth unto you at good length as well of the state of the fortifications as of victualls in that behalfe.

And accordinge to that that it hath pleased you to write by one of your letters, I, La Brosse, (4) truste to departe within these fower daies, and for that purpose have sent to the Duke of Norfolk, (5) who lieth in the borders, to be assured of my passage, although 1 have the Quene his mistris conduct. Yet, thus much have I thought good to advertise you of particularly, that there is nothing forgotten of all that hath bene possible, to put the Quene of England out of suspition to enter into the warre, and to satisfie the rebells who have ever stood stiffe as they doe yet, to se the French Kinge without fortification and men of his nation in this realme.

My lords, the Quene Dowagier hath written to you for the expedition of the bishoprick of Rosse in the favoure of the Deane of Glascowe, (6) who is president of the session. His age, very greate and deepe learninge, do certifie enough of hym. Whereof we would not fayle to beare witnes unto you, and to tell you that he is well affectioned, and very necessary on this side. The Bishoprick is yet whole.

Since the writing hereof, the trumpet is returned from the Duke of Norfolk, and bririgeth me word that the said Duke will not give me suretye of my passport till he shall have first advertised his mistris thereof. I know not what will come of it.

You promised and assured me before my departure, and also since by a letter, which it hath pleased you, my Lord Cardinall, to write hither, that my nephewe should have an offer of a counsaylor whereof he hathe not yet his depeche, as it is written unto me. I knowe not whereon he or I have offended that he hath it not (7)

(1) Translation of an intercepted letter, of which the original is preserved in MS. Cott. Calig. B. ix. fol- 956, along with some others of the same date, perhaps those mentioned by the council to Cecil and Wotton in the June following, who send " certayne interceptyd letters sent by you, Mr. Secretary, to be discyphered by Mr. Somer." Lodge, i. 316. This letter is dated in the original, according to the French way of reckoning, March 27, 1560.

(2) An Italian, native of Milan, who had come over with a re-inforcement from France, and on whose arrival the French began to fortify Leith. Cecil, on the 24th of August, writes to Sir Ralph Sadler, " The French were embarked the 20th of this moneth, being in nomber 14 sayles, but as yet I have no knowledge certen of there passing by. There is 1000 pykes, and 1000 harquebusiers. One Octavian, an old Millener of this court, hath cheff chardge." He arrived in the latter part of August. But he seemes to have passed backwards and forwards more than once.

(3) Mons. d'Oisel.

(4) La Brosse, a French knight, accompanied by Pelleuce, Bishop of Amiens, and two thousand foot, arrived at Leith at the end of September. The Bishop brought with him some doctors of the Sorbonne, who gave out that they were come to dispute with the preachers of the congregation. " The Bishop," says Sir Ralph Sadler on the 29th of Sept., " as they say, cometh to curse, and also to dispute with the Protestants, and to reconcile them, if it wol be."

(5) Thomas Howard, fourth Duke of Norfolk, was sent to the border as lieutenant-general of the north.

(6) Henry Sinclair, who was made president of the session in 1544; and Dean of Glasgow in 1550. He died in 1565, and was succeeded by Lesly, so famous in the history of this reign.

(7) Some words are inserted in this translation which I have omitted, because it is not very clear what they are, and they have nothing answering to them in the original.