Letter ID: 0612
Reference: TNA, SP 75/1/55 f.127r-130v
Citation: DCB/001/HTML/0612/008
Date: 28 June 1585


To the right honorable Sir Francis Walsingham knight, Principall Secretary to her Majestie, and of her Highnes most honorable privy councell


Endorsed: 28 June 1585 From Master Bodeley

Right honorable, my dutifull affection most humbly premise[d] I hope it is but nedeles, to reherse againe unto your H. what I writte from Hambourgh, at my first comminge over, & then after from Lubecke, the last of Maye: whiche letter contened the D. of Brunswickes answear, & was sent unto your H. by one John Roberts of London, dwellinge by Bassinges halle.

The 8 of this present I came to Coppenhaven, where I learned that the Kinge, was come newly out of Norwaye, & was then at Elsenor. I was no sooner come thither, but the Treasurer sent to knowe, if I came from her Majestie to the Kinge: & requested w[ith] all, that I would staye untill suche time, as I knewe the Kinges pleasure: for he would certifie of my comminge. I was there informed, that the Chauncellor Kaas was gone into Funelande: wheruppon I writte unto him, sent your H. letter, signified my errande, & craved his furtheraunce. Likewise your letter to Monsieur Dancy, I delivered my self at Coppenhaven, who sorowed very muche, for the absence of the Chauncellor. Within two daies after, I had worde from the Treasurer, that it was the K. pleasure, I should come to Elsenor. Where I came the same daye, and the morning after was sent for to the castell, to have mine audienc[e] There I founde with the K. the most of his court, & an embassador of Norrembergh.

In the best maner & the best wordes that I could meditat, I de livered her Highnes commendacions, & loving affection, declaringe her carefulnes to heare of his welfare, & of the Quene his wife, & all his children: of the peace of his contrey, & of his best co[n] tentation in all thinges: yelded further her Majesties speciall thank[s] for all his roiall offers, & signes of benevolence, with [profer] of the like: shewed her infinite desire, to see him in person in her Highnes contrey: that she would like of Englishe grownde, the better while she lived (whiche were her Majesties wordes) & that she thought it not so happie with Princes as with others, in that they wanted the ben[e] fitte, to come & goe at their pleasure, & see one an other. How beit if the voiage were as easie, & convenient for her as for him it should be one of the first, that she would make, & it had not bin /to/ make /a/ great while ago: with other like speeches, as her Majestie fol.127v
willed, & my message required: & then presented my letters of whiche because so many stoode by, & every one might heare, I did but explicat in generall, howe muche the argument imported, not only the dignitie, & good estate of both their Majesties but the publicke Weale of all protestant Princes, & of every good Christian: & re- ferred my self for a further & more particular declaration to his Majesties appointment.

After the reading of the letter, & some conference apart, betwene the Kinge & his Chauncellor Henry Ramelius, I was presently answea- red by the Chauncellor: who standing by the K. signified his lo vinge acceptation of her Majesties message, with as great a declara- tion of thankes, of gladnes, of frindship & good will, as could be expressed: & howe he promised to consider of my buisnes, & speede it in suche sort, as the matter required. The K. therwithall tooke me by the hande, & helde me still in talke, untill his diner was brought in, & then sette me by him at the table. Where after many questions, & carouses to her Majestie at whiche he gave her that diner 33 shotte of great artillerie, I tooke occasion to signifie, that it was her Majesties pleasure I should shewe him, tha[t] every day & almost every meale, she dranke a harty drawg[ht] unto him. And withall, I did renewe that petition of her longinge to see him, requestinge suche an answear, as when I came into my contrey, might make me better welcome. It was evident to see by his countenaunce & cheere, & every waye besides, that he tooke a great pleasure to be urged so againe, & made me answear, that as God had appointed, so it should be. But if twentie yeres ago, there had bin that amitie betwene her Majestie and him, as there was at this present, this motion at this time, had bin but super- fluous. Nevertheles to this request, he would geve no deniall, & he would be very lothe to be prevented by death, before he had seen her: whome he solemnly protested, that if it were possible, he loved better then his wife. With this & other like talke, he dranke so morely unto me, & that so muche the more, for that in pledging againe I made it no drinke, to answear to his humor, that the rest of that daye, was fitte to doe nothinge. There was afte[r] this diner, no other talke in all the court, but of the K. goinge into Englande: & as I was informed by very credible persons, he ha[d] speeche with sundrie gentlemen about it, & gave it out for certai[ne] fol.128r
he would see the lande before longe: tellinge one amonge the [...] that being come uppon the coast, he would not come a shoare, unl- es her Majestie were his guide, & would mete him a litle, & bringe him of the water. Every man thought, that he will take this voi age on the soddaine, without giving any notice.

The next morninge the Chauncellor came to me to my lodginge, & tolde me, that he was sent unto me from the K. to request my rela tion, of that I had /in/ charge: for that the K. could speake no Latin. Wheruppon I imparted all unto him, the more freely, for that I found him a man of good understanding, learned, & well affected to the cause, whiche I was also tolde before by Monsieur Dancy.

The morowe after, being Sonday, I was invited by the Chauncelor, to dine with the K. & if I would in like maner, to heare the service in his chapell. Understanding my willingnes, he returned to the K. & came againe with divers gentlemen to conduct me to the castell, who signified that the K. had caused his service, to be said in Latin, that I might understand it: & so brought me to the K. who in goinge to churche, went bareheadded all the waye, & putte me perforce to kepe the upper hand, sett me with him in his pue, & after at his table, in the higher place: with other ceremonies of preheminence, both at that /time/ & after, during all my aboade: whiche I would not but write of, for that I went but as a messenger, & /yet/ to manifest to all men, his affection to her Highnes he was desirous so to use me.

Before diner a litle, I had some talke with the K. as touching my message, who tolde me with some grief, that his hope was smalle of good successe: but yet the fault should be any mans rather then his: & promised to kepe me, but a daye or two longer.

All dinner time, whiche continued six houres, the chiefest part of his talke was of her Majestie her court, & affaires. He had heard a litle inkling of Parrey, but without any circumstaunce: whiche [he] desired me to tell him, & was mervelously moved, to heare the par ticulars. The next /daie/ after I sent him the booke, which by chaunce I had with me, & he sette it in hande, to be presently translated.

Uppon demaundes that he had made, of the Scottishe Queenes practises, [he] asked me a reason, why her Majestie proceeded no shaplier against he[r] Whiche I tolde him I thought was consanguinitie, & for that she ha[d] bin a Quene, & her Majesties inclination was more to mercy, then to ri gour. Wherto he replied, that those were good causes, if the partie would be quiet, & had committed no suche crimes. But the case well considered, he wished that her Majestie would respect her owne safeti[e] fol.128v
& live a life without feare. For /if/ the other had her Majestie as the like advan- tage, she should quickly feele the smart. I will not holde your H. with report of all that was talked of, not carieng any specaltie, but lette it stande untill my returne.

The better part of the next day he bestowed in counsail, about her Majesties requestes: & the morowe after I was sent for & shewed all the castell: where in a chamber of the Kinge, the Chauncelor & the captaine of the castell, brought his answear to her Majestie whiche his letter conteneth in generall maner, but the Chauncelor by [words] declared more in particular: with all suche complements at first, as they are wonte to dilate: but protesting in speciall that the K. did muche rejoice to see her Majesties religious stedfastnes in urging this association of Princes: whiche he thought it be so necessarie, as nothing more, & yet hitherto of some, so litle respected, that it putte him cleane out of hope, of doinge any good. And therfore he for his owne part, was resolved longe agoe, to lette it alone as a desperat cause, to give him self to quietnes, to defende his owne contreis, & to put his confidence in God, for preserving of his churche. All whiche notwithstanding, for her Majesties sake, who might cause /him/ to doe any thinge, he would once againe, though it were with litle hope, sette in foote & doe his best in every point, as her Majestie desired, if other Princes would joine with him: making answear to particulars, as the D. of Brunswicke: but that he promised besides, to send her Majesties letter to the D. of Holst. For it came to my handes without any instruction, & I knewe no better waye, then to praye the K. to sende it: whiche he was willing to doe & to sende it with his owne, within 3 or 4 daies: & to write withall to the Electors, Lantgrave of Hesse, the D. of Pomerane, & Mechel bourgh & the rest.

Moreover for that I had informed him of the D. of Lorraine, which I sig- nified your H. was desirous he should knowe, he hath written unto yow a letter of thankes, which I will bringe when I come, with his letter to her Majestie.

Being thus dismissed the 16 of this moneth, he sent divers of his gentlemen, to kepe my company to Coppenhaven, & from thence appoin- ted two guides, to conduct me to Hambourgh, through the land of Holst, whiche is 10 daies jorney from Elsenor: to provide me of coches & necessaries, to shew me by the waye, all his castels & houses: whiche kinde of intertenment with the rest, preferred a poore Messenger to an Embassadors Charge. The passage from Coppenhaven to Lubecke by sea, had bin surer spedier, if the winde fol.129r
had served, as it serveth very seldome, at this time of the yeere, [...] I am from hence to goe to Brunswicke, as the D. did appoint me, [to] take the Electors answears, which every man feares will be to small pur pose: & so muche the more, for that the D. of Saxonie faileth in memorie & is otherwise sickly: by meanes wherof, it is thought of some, that the Duchesse his wife, no frinde to this cause, will ether beare a great swaye in framinge the answear, or alleaging his infirmitie [or] make no answear at all. But thoughe the principall intent doe not chaunce to take place, yet I trust it is obtened, that no souldier hereafter, shall goe from hence to the ennemie. For I am done to witte, that the D. of Holst, & the D. of Mechelbourgh, have written to Lubecke, to see that no souldiers be levied among them: Whiche proceedes I thinke from the Administrator of Halles, & the D. of Brunswicke, as principall persons of autoritie, in the diet of lowe Saxonie.

Monsieur Dancy, whose letter to your H. I bringe with the rest, is of opini on, that unles the difference, that is betwene us & these contreis, in pointes of religion, be first of all composed, there wilbe no conjunction in these other deseignes. This composition he thinkes might be mervelous easie: as he himself will shewe howe, in a treatise of hi[s] owne, whiche he hath made for that purpose: & hath promised shortly to send me a copie. We are wrongfully charged with many false opinions: whiche he hath specified the meanes, to cause these Princes to perceave, if they would geve as but the hearinge. Wherupp[on] it is his counsail, that when her Majestie sendeth any, there maye be sen[t] along with him, some learned divines, who may desire to have confer[ence] to purge our Churche of those opinions, whiche are fathered on it so u[n] truly. This maner of proceeding he is thorowly persuaded, will we[...] a good alteration in the mindes of these Princes. Of this I knowe not if his letter doe make any mention, but he requested me earnest[ly] to breake it to your H. And if Monsieur Segurius had taken that cou[rse] the time was very good /fitte/, & happely some good might then have en- sewed: as there maye aswell hereafter, where it shalbe putte in practise. But the circumstances weighed of the time as it is, there is no hope by this meanes, to serve the present necessitie. For fir[st] it wilbe longe, before men can be chosen, & brought to meete of both sides. And then when they meete, it is in Vaine to expect, that o[...] uppon the soddaine will yelde unto an other. The good must co[m] after when God hath appointed, though perhaps in some mens har[ts] somwhat presently refourmed. But Princes commonly rely uppon the learning of their clarkes, & we see it so with clarkes, th[at] if they be of reputation, having deepely once conceaved an er[o] neous impression, although they could be contented, when they see fol.129v
what is amisse, to admitte an adm amendement, yet at suche a time of expectation, & in causes of conscience, they will stand in all likelyhoode, uppon the same of their constantie, their credit with their Princes, & the opinion of their Learning. And Learning, it is evi- dent, never wanteth shifting reasons to maintene absurd opinions. This by common experience, is founde to be the maner, unles God of his goodnes, use an extraordinarie workinge. So that this kinde of plotte, requiring so muche time, & the cause that is in hand, so great expedition, I see no hope it doth offer, of obteninge that is sought.

The consideration herof appertening to your H. I leave it as a motion made by Monsieur Dancy: Whose pietie & forwardnes to advaunce the common cause, is not Unknowen to your H. & to me in particular, his counsail & cowrtesie was wanting in nothing. He hath bin lately in hande with the K. of Denmarke, & wilbe so againe, to send an embassador to the Frenche K. to persuade him in any wise, not to putte up this injurie.

It is tolde me heere in Hambourgh, that the D. of Saxonie, & his sonne the Marchese of Brandeburgh, the D. of Brunswicke the Administrator of Hales & others, meete very shortly in sylva Garlebiensi, to con- sult of some matters of speciall importaunce: but of what there is no speeche: wheruppon I conjecture, there wilbe somwhat conclu- ded, about these affaires of my message. I am further informed by a principall person, that if the K. of Denmarke holde his deseig[ne] he wilbe one at that meetinge. Howbeit of the D. of Saxo- nies comminge, there is no kinde of certaintie, by reason of his mala die, whiche as I understande, is the falling sicknes; whiche taketh him as often, as any matter of weight, that trobleth his minde is proposed unto him: & bereveth him of memorie, & common use of reason. So that for the most part, those that are of his counsel who are distracted in these matters, have the maneging of all thinges.

If the D. of Brunswicke according to his promise, in the diet of Lowe Saxonie, whiche I mentioned in my last, will move the Princes of that meeting, to doe somwhat in this cause, I hope that example, will move other Princes, that it maye be a steppe to a great deale of good. The principal matter that shalbe handled in that circle, is as I have had intelligence, to take order for clearing the river of Em[s] that the course of traffique maye be free: & to lette the Spaniard of his purpose, whose preparation they feare; lest it tende in some p[ar]t to fol.130r
to take possession of that river.

It is heere affirmed for certaine, that the sonne of Adolphe D. of Holst is elected Bishop of Breame: whose competitors have bin the Bishop of Halberstat, & the eldest sonne of William D. of Lu- nebourgh.

I have notice given me, of an answear framed to the K. of Na- varra, by some certaine of those Princes, but caried too & fro, & not concluded by them all, that whiche tendeth to this purpose, that the booke of Concorde, shalbe sent to the K. & he requested to signifie what he chiefly misliketh: whiche they are willing to debate, by conference of divines, deputed on both sides. This I feare, if it be true, will prove an endles piece of worke, occupie the time, and come to no good passe.

Which I should have signified before, there was a talke at Coppen- haven of a coache & six horses, whiche the Kinge hath in readines, & is present purposed shortly, to present to her Majestie.

Master Harbert & I have bin publickly feasted in this towne, with great solemnitie & respect.

As by your honorable favor, alwaies very speciall, & on my part undeserved, I have obtened the credit, to be imploied in this service, so I am to crave with all humblenes & instaunce, whatsoever I have done ether ignorantly or defectively, or otherwise then should be, it may please your H. to protest it with a favorable construction Wherwith I take my humble leave, beseching God continually to blesse your H. welfare, your estate & affaires with all maner of prosperitie. Hambourgh. 1585. Junij: 28 Your H most humbly bounden Tho. Bodley

Postscript: By the advise of an honest gentleman one Vitus Winsemius, a man of good reputation & zele in religion, & in very good favor with the K. of Denmarke, & the D. of Holst, whome he serveth both, as their deputie in the next circle of Lowe Saxonie, I am persuaded for my safetie, whiche for divers respectes, he wisheth me to looke unto, to leave the common way that leadeth to Brunswicke, & to take an other course by Duke Otto of Lunebourgh her Majesties Pensioner, whome I am promised to finde a speciall frinde unto my buisnes, if I salute him by the waye.

I knowe not howe your H. can like the bacon of this country, but I have sent yow certaine gammons, which I was carefull should be good, & have taken order with a frinde, to see them delivered: though nether he, nor any man els can deliver my affection, & most serviceable minde at your H. disposition.