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THE COURTSHIPS OF QUEEN ELIZABETH 




QUEEN ELIZABETH, 

FROM THE ORIGINAL PORTRAIT BY ZUCCHLRO, 

IN HAMPTON COURT PALACE, 



•5, b"'' 



yHE COURTSHIPS OF 
QUEEN ELIZABETH 



A HISTORY OF THE VARIOUS 
NEGOTIATIONS FOR HER MARRIAGE 
BY MARTIN A. S. HUME, f.r.hist.s. 

EDITOR OF THE CALENDAR OF SPANISH STATE 
PAPERS OF ELIZABETH (pUBLIC RECORD OFFICe) 




'and the IMPERIAL VOTARESS PASSED ON 
IN MAIDEN MEDITATION FANCY FREE " 

Midsummer Niglit's Dream 



NEW YORK : MACMILLAN & Co' 
LONDON : T. FISHER UNWIN 

M DCCCXCVI 







PREFACE. 



It has been my pleasant duty to consider carefully 
in chronological order a great mass of diplomatic 
documents of the time of Elizabeth, in which are 
reflected, almost from day to day, the continually 
shifting" aspects of political affairs, and the varying 
attitudes of the Queen and her ministers in dealing 
therewith. I have been struck with the failure of 
most historians of the time, who have painted their 
pictures with a large brush, to explain or adequately 
account for what is so often looked upon as the 
perverse fickleness of perhaps the greatest sovereign 
that ever occupied the English throne ; and I have 
come to the conclusion that the best way in which a 
just appreciation can be formed of the fixity of 
purpose and consummate statecraft which underlay 
her apparent levity, is to follow in close detail the 
varying circumstances and combinations which 
prompted the bewildering- mutability of her policy. 
To do this through the whole of the events of a 
long and important reign would be beyond the 
powers of an ordinary student, and the attempt 
would probably end in confusion, I have therefore 
considered it best to limit myself in this book to one 
set of negotiations, those which relate to the Queen's 



vi PREFACE. 

proposed marriag-e, running through many years of 
her reign : and I trust that, however imperfectly 
my task may have been effected, the facts set forth 
may enable the reader to perceive more clearly 
than hitherto, that capricious, even frivolous, as the 
Queen's methods appear to be, her main object 
was rarely neglected or lost sight of during the long 
continuance of these negotiations. 

That a strono- modern Eng-land was rendered 
possible mainly by the boldness, astuteness, and 
activity of Elizabeth at the critical turning-point of 
European history is generally admitted ; but how 
masterly her policy was, and how entirely personal 
to herself, is even yet perhaps not fully understood. 
I have therefore endeavoured in this book to follow 
closely from end to end one strand only of the com- 
plicated texture, in the hope that I may succeed by 
this means in exhibiting the general process by 
which England, under the guidance of the great 
Tudor Queen, was able to emerge regenerated and 
triumphant from the struggle which was to settle 
the fate of the world for centuries to come. 

MARTIN A. S. HUME. 

Loxnox, Febninry, 1896. 






ts^^V^ 




LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH Frontispiece 

THOMAS, LORD SEYMOUR OF SUDELEY Facing page 10 



ROBERT DUDLEY, EARL OF LEICESTER 
HENRY DE VALOIS, DUKE OF ANJOU 

(HENRY III.) 

FRANCOIS DE VALOIS DUKE OF 

ALENCON 



64 



128 



272 




CHAPTER I. 



ClKiracter of Elizabeth and her contemporaries — Main object 
of her pohcy — Youth of Ehzabeth — The Duke of Angou- 
ieme — Phihp of Spain — Seymour and Catharine Parr — 
Mrs. Ashley's and Parry's confessions — Execution of 
Seymour — Proposed marriage of Elizabeth with a son of 
the Duke of Ferrara — With a son of Hans Frederick of 
Saxony — Courtne}- — Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy 
— Prince Eric of Sweden — Death of Queen Mary — The 
Earl of Arundel. 



The oreatest diplomatic game ever played on the 
world's chessboard was that consummate succession 
of intrigues which for nearly half a century was 
carried on by Queen Elizabeth and her ministers 
with the object of playing off one great Continental 
power against another for the benefit of England 
and Protestantism, with which the interests of the 
Queen herself were indissolubly bound up. Those 
who were in the midst of the strife were for the 
most part working for immediate aims, and probably 
understood or cared but little about the ultimate 
result of their efforts ; but we, looking back as over 
a plain that has been traversed, can see that, from 
the tangle of duplicity which obscured the issue to 
the actors, there emerged a new era of civilisation 
and a host of young, new, vigorous thoughts of 
which we still feel the impetus. We perceive now 
that modern ideas of liberty and enlightenment are 



2 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

the natural outcome of the victory of England in 
that devious and tortuous struggle, which engaged 
for so long some of the keenest intellects, masculine 
and feminine, which have ever existed in Europe. 
It seems impossible that the result could have been 
attained excepting under the very peculiar combina- 
tion of circumstances and persons then existing in 
England, Elizabeth triumphed as much by her 
weakness as by her strength ; her bad qualities were 
as valuable to her as her good ones. Strong and 

t steadfast Cecil would never have held the helm so 
long if he had not constantly been contrasted with 
the shifty, greedy, treacherous crew of councillors 
who were for ever ravening after foreign bribes as 
payment for their honour and their loyalty. With- 
out Leicester as a permanent matrimonial possi- 
bility to fall back upon, the endless negotiations for 
<^ marriage with foreign princes would soon have 
become pointless and ineffectual, and the balance 

I would have been lost. But for the follies of Maryj 
Stuart, which led to her downfall and lifelong] 
imprisonment, the Catholic party in England coulc 
never have been subjected so easily as it was. 
Elizabeth, with little fixed religious conviction, 
would, with her characteristic instability, almost 
certainly at one difficult juncture or another have 
been drawn into a recognition of the papal power, 
and so would have destroyed the nice counterpoise, 
but for the unexampled fact that such recognition 
would have upset her own legitimacy and right to 
reign. The combination of circumstances on the 
Continent also seems to have been exactly that 
necessary to aid the result most favourable to 
English interests ; and the special personal qualities 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 3 

both of Philip IL and Catharine de Medici were as ^ 
if expressly moulded to contribute to the same end. 
But propitious, almost providential, as the circum- 
stances were, the making of England and the estab- 
lishment of Protestantism as a permanent power in 
Europe could never have been effected without the 
supreme and sustained statecraft of the Queen and 
her great minister. The nimble shifting from side 
to side, the encouragfement or discourag"ement of the 
French and Flemish Protestants as the policy of the 
moment dictated, the alternate flouting and flattering 
of the rival powers, and the agile utilisation of the 1 
Queen's sex and feminine love of admiration to 
provoke competing offers for her hand, all exhibit 
statesmanship as keen as it was unscrupulous. The 
political methods adopted were perhaps those which 
met with general acceptance at the time, but the 
dexterous juggling through a long course of years 
with regard to Elizabeth's marriage is unexampled in 
the history of government. Not a point was missed. 
Full advantaofe was taken of the Oueen's maiden 
state, of her feminine fickleness, of her solitary 
sovereignty, of her assumed religious uncertainty, 
of her accepted beauty, and of the keen competition 
for her hand. In very many cases neither the wooer 
nor the wooed was in earnest, and the courtship was 
merely a polite fiction to cover other objects ; but at 
least on two occasions, if not three, the Queen was 
very nearly forced by circumstances or her own 
feelings into a position which would have made her 
marriage inevitable. Her caution, however, on 
each occasion caused her to withdraw in time 
without mortal offence to the fiimily of her suitor ; 
.and to the end of her days she was able, painted old 



4 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

harridan though she was, to act coquettishly the 
part of the peerless beauty whose fair hand might 
possibly reward the devoted admiration paid to her, 
with their tongues in their cheeks, by the bright 
young gallants who sought her smiles. The story 
of the various negotiations for the Queen's marriage 
has been told in more or less detail in the histories 
of the times, but no comprehensive view has yet 
been given of the marriage negotiations alone : nor 
has their successive relation to other events been 
set forth as a connected narrative. Within the last 
few years much new material for such a narrative 
has become available both in England and on the 
Continent, and it is now possible to see with a 
certain amount of clearness the hands of the other 
players besides that of the English Queen. The 
approaches made to Elizabeth by the brothers de 
Valois, or rather by their intriguing mother, 
Catharine de Medici, have been related somewhat 
fully, mainly from the documents in the National 
Library in Paris, by the Count de la Ferriere,' and 
the recent publication of the Spanish State Papers 
at Simancas of the reign of Elizabeth by the Record 
Office,' puts us into possession of a vast quantity of 
hitherto unused material of the hiohest interest, 
especially with regard to the matrimonial overtures 
made by Philip II. and the princes of the house of 
Austria ; whilst the full text of the extraordinary 
private letters to and from the Queen in relation to 
the Alencon match, 1579 82, printed by the His- 

' " Projets de Marias^e de la Reine P21izabeth." Ferriere. 
Paris. 

~ Calendar of Spanish State Papers (Elizabeth), Rolls. 
Series. Edited by Martin A. S. Hume. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 5 

torical MSS. Commission from the Hatfield Papers, 
affords an opportunity of the greatest value for 
criticising the by-play in this curious comed) . 
From these sources, from the Walsingham Papers 
trom the French diplomatic correspondence, from 
the Foreign, Domestic, and Venetian Calendars of 
State Papers, and from the various contemporary 
and later chroniclers of the times, it is proposed to 
construct a consecutive narrative of most of the 
important attempts made to persuade the " Virgin 
Queen " to abandon her much-boasted celibacy. 

In October, 1532, exactly eleven months before 
the birth of P21izabeth, Henry VHI. paid his pom- 
pous visit to the French king, accompanied by his 
privately married wife, Anne Boleyn, Marchioness 
of Pembroke. He had deeply offended the Spanish 
Emperor by his treatment of Queen Catharine, and 
felt the need of drawing closer the bonds of union 
with Francis L, which twelve years before had been 
tied on the Field of the Cloth of Gold ; and almost 
as soon as the little Princess Elizabeth was born, 
negotiations were opened for her marriage with 
the child-prince, Duke of Angouleme, third son of 
Francis L Henry asked for too much, as was hiS: z' 
wont. He required the French king and his nobles 
to make a declaration of approval of the Act of Sue - 
cession which had been passed in England defying 
the Pope and settling the crown on the issue of 
Anne Boleyn. Francis was to press the Pope to 
revoke the anathemas that the Church had hurled 
upon the schismatic king, and the little prince was 
to be brought up in England, holding his dukedom 
as an independent fief of the French crown. The 
last two demands might have been complied with, 



6 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

as they could subsequently have been revoked, but 
the eldest son of the Church could never accept the 
first article, which would have brought him into 
definite defiance of the papacy ; and the negotiation 
fell through./ 

Elizabeth was only three years old wdien her 
mother's fall removed her from the line of the suc- 
cession, and with the strange vicissitudes of her 
early girlhood we have nothing here to do. When, 
however, in 1542. the death of James V. of Scotland 
and the almost simultaneous birth of his daughter 
Mary seemed to bring nearer to its consummation 
Henry's idea of a union of the two crowns, he pro- 
posed to marry the baby Queen of Scots to his own 
infant son and at the same time offered the hand of 
Elizabeth, who was then nine years old, to the Earl 
of Arran, head of the house of Hamilton, the next 
heir to the Scottish crown. The man was nearly an 
idiot and failed to see the advantages of such a con- 
nection, the consequence being that French intrigue 
and French money, backed up by the influence; of 
the Queen Dowager of Scotland, Mary of Lorraine, 
were victorious ; and Henrv was thwarted of his 
desire. The fact that he had been checkmated by 
the French king in this matter rankled in his breast 
and caused that foolish and profitless war, in alli- 
ance with the Emperor, against France, which is 
principally remembered for the siege and capture 
and subsequent loss of Boulogne. Charles V. tried 
very hard to get his cousin, Mary Tudor, Henry's 
elder dauofhter, acknowledo-ed as lea;"itimate, but 
although this was not done in so many words, both 
she and her sister Elizabeth were restored to- their 
respective places In the line of succession; and whilst 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 7 

the treaty of alliance between the two sovereigns was 
under discussion a suggestion was made that Charles' 
son, Philip of Spain, then a lad of seventeen, should 
be betrothed to Elizabeth, who was eleven. It was 
probably never meant to be anything but a compli- 
ment, and certainly would not have been seriously 
entertained by the Emperor, but in any case the 
suggestion was quietly dropped and Spanish and 
English interests rapidly drifted apart again. In 
January, 1547, Henry VIII. died, leaving the succes- 
sion to his two daughters in tail after his child-son 
Edward VI. and his heirs. The Queen Dowager. 
Catharine Parr, immediately married Sir Thomas 
Seymour, brother of the Protector Somerset, and 
uncle of the little King. To their care was confided 
Princess Elizabeth, then a o-irl of fourteen, who 
resided principally in the Queen's dower houses at 
Chelsea and Han worth, and it was at this critical 
period of her life that her personal interest in her 
love affairs may be said to have commenced. 

When, subsequent to the death of the Queen 
Dowager, a short year afterwards, her husband "s 
ambitious schemes had aroused the jealousy of his 
all-powerful brother, one of the charges made 
against him was that he had planned to marry the 
Princess P21izabeth and use her as one of his instru- 
ments for obtaining supreme power. The original 
confessions and declarations of those who were sup- 
posed to be concerned with him in the plot, which 
are still amongst Lord Salisbury's papers at Hat- 
field, were published in full many years ago by 
Haynes, and have more recently been calendared by 
the Historical MSS. Commission. They have been 
used by all historians of the times, and there is no 



8 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

intention of repeating here fully the oft-told story 
divulged by these curious declarations. It is need- 
less to say that they disclose scandalous treatment 
of a young and sensitive girl both by Seymour and 
Catharine Parr, even after allowing for the free 
manners then prevalent. It is difficult to under- 
stand, indeed, what can have been Seymour's real 
intention towards the Princess, unless it was the 
guilty satisfaction oi his own passions. His wife 
was young and healthy, and in the natural course of 
events might have been expected to live long, so 
that he could hardly have looked forward to his 
marriage with Elizabeth ; and yet Mrs. Ashley, ^ her 
governess, confessed in the Tower in February, 
I 549, that Seymour was in the habit of \'isiting the 
girl's bedroom before she was dressed, sometimes 
by himself and sometimes with his wife, and there 
indulged in much indelicate and suggestive romping, 
in which Catharine Parr herself occasionally took 
part. Thomas Parry,- the cofferer, repeats in his 
confession a story told him by Mrs. Ashley wdiich 
carries the matter somewhat further. " She said 
the Lord Admiral loved the Lady Elizabeth but 
too well, and had done so for a oood while, and 
this was the cause that the Queen was jealous of 
him and Lady Elizabeth. On one occasion the 
Queen coming suddenly upon them had found him 
holding the Lady Elizabeth in his arms ; upon which 
she fell out with them both, and this was the cause 
why the Queen and Lady Elizabeth parted." 

Whatever may have been Seymour's intentions 

' Confessions of Mrs. Ashley and Thomas Parry. Hattield 
Papers. Historical MSS. Commission. 
- Ibid. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 9 

towards Elizabeth during his wife's life, he left 
them in no doubt as soon as she died. For a 
conspirator, indeed, he was the most open-mouthed 
person imaginable. By the confessions, early in 
1549, of Wightman, Sharington, Dorset, Harring- 
ton, and Parry, it would appear that he had openly 
expressed his discontent with his brother's supre- 
macy and made no secret of his pretensions to the 
guardianship of the young King and the hand of 
Elizabeth. His accomplice, Sharington. master of 
the Bristol mint, was coining testoons out of the 
national treasure, and hoarding vast sums of coin 
for his use ; noblemen were advised by him to 
retire to their estates and raise forces to support 
him ; and the seizure of himself and his friends was 
a mere movement of self-defence on the part of the 
Protector. With regard to the match with Eliza- 
beth, Parry appears to have been the first person 
approached directly. He was closely attached to 
the person of the Princess, and had been sent to 
Seymour ostensibly to ask for the use of Durham 
Place as a temporary town residence for her. Sey- 
mour said this could not be, as the house was to be 
made into a mint, but she could have his own house 
to stay in until she could see the King. Parry 
confesses that Seymour asked him many questions 
about Elizabeth's pecuniary means ; and when he 
got back to Hatfield the cofferer asked the young 
Princess whether she would be willing to accept 
Seymour for a husband if the Council were agree- 
able. She asked Parry sharply who told him to 
put such a question to her, to which he answered 
that " nobody had done so, but he thought he per- 
ceived by Seymour's inquiries that he was given 



lo THE COURTSHIPS OF 

that way." " She said that she could not tell her 
mind therein." ^ 

When the Master of the Household and Denny 
suddenly arrived at Hatfield to interrogate the 
household as to their communications with Sey- 
mour Parry quite lost his head, "went to his 
own chamber and said to his wife, ' I would I had 
never been born, for I am undone,' and wrung" his 
hands, cast away his chain from his neck and his 
ring-s from his fing"ers." 

Elizabeth's profound diplomacy and quick intelli- 
gence were shown even thus early at this critical 
juncture. Sir Robert Tyrwhitt and his wife were 
sent by the Protector to worm out of her all she 
knew of the plot. Threats, cajolery, forged letters 
and invented confessions, were all tried upon her in 
vain. She would tell nothing of importance. " She 
hath," says Tyrwhitt, "a very good wit and nothing 
is gotten of her but by great policy." She bitterly 
resented the imprisonment of her governess, Mrs. 
Ashley, and the substitution of Lady Tyrwhitt ; 
and said that she had not so behaved that they 
need put more mistresses upon her ; wept all night 
and sulked all day, but withal was too much for 
Tyrwhitt, who avowed that "if he had to say his 
fantasy he thinks it more meet she should have 
two governesses than one." 

The confessions of Parry and Ashley with regard to 
Elizabeth's conduct, and their own, are bad enough ; 
but they probably kept back far more than they 
told, for on Elizabeth's succession, and for the rest 
of their lives, they were treated with marked 

' Tyrwhitt to the Protector, January 2;^, 1549. Hatfiekl 
Papers. Historical MSS. Commission. 




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c'>lioma.>, ^occ* 8t'i|moiu of Sii?t'fci|. 



OUKKX KLIZABETH. u 

favour : Parr\ was knighted and made Treasurer 
of the Household, and on Mrs. Ashley's death in 
July, 1565, the Queen visited her in person and 
mourned her with great grief. It is probable that 
the inexperienced girl was really in love with the 
handsome, showy Seymour ; but how far their 
relations went will most likely never now be 
known. She indignandy wrote to the Protector 
complaining of the slanders that w^ere current about 
her, to the effect that she was with child by the 
Lord Admiral and demanded to be allowed to come 
to Court and " show herself as she was " ; but 
virtuous indignation, real and assumed, was always 
one of her favourite weapons. Tyrwhitt said he 
believed a secret compact had been entered into 
between her and Ashley and Parry never to confess 
during their lives. "They all sing one song and 
she hath set the note for them." 

After this dangerous escapade and the execu- 
tion of Seymour, Elizabeth became almost ostenta- 
tiously saintly and straidaced, until the accession of 
her sister made her the heiress presumptive to the 
crown and the hope of the Protestant party, now 
that Northumberland's nominees had been disposed 
of. Even before this event, the reforming party in 
England were anxious to further strengthen them- 
selves by allying her to a foreign prince ol Protes- 
tant leanings, not powerful enough to force her 
claims to the crown upon them, but of sufficient 
weight to give them moral support, whilst removing 
her from the way in England. As early as August, 
1551, Northumberland (or, as he was then, the E^arl 
of Warwick) had put his agents upon the alert on 
the Continent to find a suitable match for her, and 



12 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

■one of them, Sir Anthony Guidotti/ says that the 
/ Duke of Guise had suggested the Duke of Ferrara's 
■son, "who was one of the goodhest young men of 
all Italy." The youth was a son of that Renee of 
France, Duchess of Ferrara, who vied with her 
kinswoman, Jeanne d'Albret, in her attachment to 
the reformed faith, but Northumberland would 
hardly accept the recommendation of the Guises as 
disinterested ; and the matter went no further. The 
same ao-ent suo-oests that the son of the Duke of 
,/ Florence (Medici) who was then only eleven years 
old might do, and " if this party were liked it w^ere 
an easy matter to be concluded without any exces- 
sive dote." This was less likely to please even than 
the previous proposal, and nothing was done ; but 
the Ferrara family were apparently anxious for the 
connection, and early in 1553 Sir Richard Morysine,^ 
the English envoy in Antwerp, wrote to the Council 
reporting that Francesco d'Este, the brother of the 
Duke of Ferrara, had approached him on the matter 
and had asked for a description of the Princess. 
Morysine replied that " If God had made her Grace 
a poor man's daughter he did not know of a prince 
that might not think himself happy to be the 
husband of such a lady," and added that d'Este 
was of the same opinion " at present. ' A much 
more likely match had been privately suggested to 
Cecil by Morysine shortly before this. 3 " Hans 
Frederick's (of Saxony) second son, who is the 
goodlier gentleman, would, if he durst, bear a great 
affection towards the Lady Elizabeth's grace. The 
land in Germany is divided, and as much comes to 

' Calendar of State Papers (Foreign). 
' Ibid. 3 Ibid. 



OUEEX ELIZABETH. t> 

the second son as to the eldest, which eldest is 
thought to be of no long life. Were Dukes Maurice 
and Frederick to die their lands go to Hans 
Frederick's sons." But the collapse of Northum- 
berland and the accession of Mary entirely changed 
Elizabeth's prospects, so that her marriage had to 
be considered in conjunction with Mary's own, and 
the capture of the Queen by the Spanish interest 
made it desirable to secure her sister if possible for 
the same side. In the autumn of 1553, Simon Renard 
had suggested to Mary a marriage between herself 
and Prince Philip. She herself was in grave doubt 
at that time and afterwards as to its wisdom or 
practicability. Young Courtney had been desig- 
nated by the public voice as the most fitting consort 
for her; and although the romantic theories of many 
historians as to her supposed attachment to him are 
unsupported by a single shred of evidence, it is 
certain that for a time she seriously contemplated 
the wisdom of conciliating English feeling by marry- 
ing the man who was one of her first competitors for 
the possession of the throne. Gradually, however, 
Renard, with his logical persuasiveness, convinced 
her that she would acquire more strength by an 
alliance with the only son of the Emperor than by 
a marriage "with one of her own vassals, without 
credit, power, or assistance, who has seen and 
knows nothino- of the world, havino- been reared in 
servitude and never left England." ' 

Renard presented the Emperor's formal offer of 

his son's hand to the Queen on the 6th of October, 

and after some hesitation she asked him to put upon 

paper his arguments in favour of the match. He 

' Renard Correspondence, Transcripts, MSS. Record Oflice. 



/ 



14 THK COURTSHIPS OF 

did so in a long paper dated the i ith, which will be 
found in the Renard Correspondence transcripts in 
the Record Office. In it he tells her that she is 
surrounded by dangers against which only a power- 
ful marriage can protect her. .She has, he says, 
four sets of enemies : namely, the heretics and 
schismatics, the rebels and friends of Northumber- 
land, the powers of France and Scotland, and 
Madam Elizabeth, who would never cease to trouble 
and threaten her. Mary replied that she knew 
all about the French intrigues, and was certain 
to be kept well informed of approaches made by 
the French ambassador Noailles to Elizabeth and 
Courtney. In conversation with Renard afterwards 
she told him, and he faithfully transmitted the con- 
versation to his master,^ that she had had a long- 
talk with Courtney three days before at the instance 
of his mother, and he had told her in all simplicit}^ 
that an English lord had suggested to him that he 
should marry Elizabeth, since he could not now 
hope to obtain the Queen. If he took the Princess 
either he or his heirs might hope to succeed to the 
throne as the Queen was getting old. The idea 
seems to have originated with Lord Paget, who was 
doubtless the lord referred to by Courtney, and who 
thought to stand well with all parties in future by 
the device. As he was the principal supporter in 
the Privy Council of the Spanish match, Renard 
could not at first openly veto the suggestion. Mary 
consulted Renard upon the subject, and told him that 
Courtney had said that his own thought was only 
to ''marry a simple lady rather than Elizabeth who 

' Renard to Charles \\, October 12, 1553. Renard tran- 
.scripts. Record Office. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 15 

was loo proud a hcj-etic and of a doubtful race on her 
mothers s/de.'' The imperial ambassador replied 
that such a marriage would have to be very deeply 
weighed and discussed/ and so politely shelved the 
(juestion. On the other hand, the idea was zealously 
promoted by Noailles, who, Courtney asserted some 
months afterwards, pressed him warmly to marry 
I^lizabeth,- and it was considered even by the 
strongest Spanish partisans in the Council to be a 
happy combination which would conjure away all 
dangers. How far Elizabeth herself was a con- 
senting party it is difficult to say, but Noailles, who 
was in the heart of the intrigue, writes to his king 
on the 14th of December that it depends entirely 
on Courtney whether she married him and joined 
him in Devonshire to raise the flag of revolt. "But 
the trouble," he says, "is that Courtney is so alarmed 
and timid that he dares nothing." So Courtney dis- 
appears promptly from the scene where soon such 
rough work was to be undertaken. Even before the 
arrival of Egmont in the winter of 1553 to offer 
formally Philip's hand to Mary, the Council was 
niainly opposed to the match. Paget was first 
bought over with a large sum of money, then Gar- 
diner, Courtney's greatest friend, was reluctantly 
won with the promise of a cardinal's hat, and others 
by similar means ; but the self-seeking Earl of 
Arundel immediately saw how his own interests 
might be benefited by the Spanish match. De 
Noailles says that he knew that at the Queen's age, 
and with her health, every month's delay decreased 
the probability of her having issue ; and he, therefore, 

' Kenard to Charles V., October 31, 1553. Record Office. 
"^ " Papiers d'Etat de Granvelle," vol. iv. p. 256. 



i6 thp: courtships of 

warmly supported the marriage with Philip, which 
could not be rapidly effected, in order to marry his 
young- son to Elizabeth, and so, practically, get the 
reversion to the crown. The matter never seems to 
have got beyond a suggestion ; and the youth soon 
after dying, Arundel, as will be told, subsequently 
became a suitor himself. But whilst these nebulous 
speculations with regard to Elizabeth's hand were 
eoino- on. Renard had been arranoino- a clever 
scheme by which the Spanish party should ensure 
to themselves the control of England not only 
during the Queen's life but after her death. When 
Egmont and his splendid embassy arrived all 
England was in a whirlwind of panic and indigna- 
tion at the idea of a Spanish match. Elizabeth had 
retired to Woodstock, ostensibly on friendly terms 
with the Queen, but deeply wounded at her con- 
temptuous treatment, and at the equivocal position 
she occupied, now that the divorce pronounced by 
Cranmer of Henry VIII. and Catharine of Aragon 
had been quashed, and Elizabeth consequently bas- 
tardised. Egmont was instructed to point out to 
the Queen that all might be pleasantly settled b}- 
marrying her sister to the gallant young Emmanuel 
Philibert. Duke of Savoy, the son of the Emperor's 
sister, and consequently first cousin to Philip. His 
patrimonial states, all but a mere shred of them in 
the valley of Aosta, had been occupied by the 
French in the course of the war, and the prince was 
fighting like a hero in the Emperor's army. But his 
blood was the bluest of any in Europe, and before 
he could marry Elizabeth she must be legitimised 
and placed in the order of the succession, without 
which the throne would probably pass on Marv's 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. i; 

death to the French candidate, Mary of Scodand. 
This was gall and wormwood to Mary Tudor. They 
could not both be legitimate. If the grounds for 
the divorce of Queen Catharine were good she was 
never Henry's lawful wife, and her daughter had no 
right to the crown. If they were bad, then Eliza- 
beth was necessarily the bastard that the law of 
England inferentially had just declared her to be. 
The King of France, foiled in his attempts to pre- 
vent the Queen's Spanish marriage, instructed de 
Noailles '^ to use every possible means to hinder a 
match between Elizabeth and Savoy, " poor and 
dispossessed as he is " ; and, alert as the ambassador 
was, no great effort on his part was needed. The 
Queen, bitterly jealous of her sister, who she knew 
was more or less openly working with the Carews, 
the Courtneys, the W yatts and others to undermine 
her throne, peremptorily refused to rehabilitate 
P^lizabeth's birth. Then came the Wyatt rebellion 
and P^lizabeth's imprisonment. In after years both 
Philip and Elizabeth often referred to the fact that 
at one juncture he had saved her life, and it is 
highl\- prol^able that the Princess was released from 
the Tower in May, 1554 on the recommendation of 
Renard, made in the name of the coming bride- 
groom of the Queen. De Noailles writes that she 
was to go to Richmond from the Tower, and was 
there to receive two gendemen from the P^mperor 
who were to sound her as to a marriage with 
p:mmanuel of Savoy. If she refused the match she 
was to be taken to Woodstock under guard, again a 
prisoner. De Noailles knew that the best way of 
preventing such a match was to arouse the Queen s 
' Correspondence de Noailles. 



,i8 THE COURTSHirS OK 

suspicion that Elizabeth was plotting with the 
PVench. So with devilish ingenuity he sent a man 
with a present of apples to the Princess to meet her 
on her arrival at Richmond. The man was seized 
and searched to the skin, and no letters were found, 
but to de Noailles' undisguised glee the Princess was 
hurried off at once to Woodstock without seeing the 
Emperor's envoys. Again by Philips intercession 

v/Elizabeth was released, and invited to be present at 
the Queen's entry into London after her marriage. 
Philip had been anxious that his favourite cousin 
of Savoy should have come to England for the cere- 
mony, but P^mmanuel was in the midst of war in an 
important command, his own oppressed people, the 
prey of a ruthless invader, were imploring him, their 
prince, to come and rescue them ; he was desperately 
short of money, and his visit to E^ngland had to be 
deferred. Soon after the wedding he sent a confi- 
dential envoy named Langosco to pave the way for 
his coming, and subsequently (December, 1554) the 
Prince himself arrived. Elizabeth's town house, 
Somerset House, was placed at his disposal, and he 
was made as welcome as his cousin could make him. 
Philip tried his hardest to get him into the good 
graces of the Queen. She was kindly and sympa- 
thetic ; gave him the Garter, and went so far to 
please Philip as once more to liberate Elizabeth at 
his urgent request, but she would not let the Prin- 

^cess and her suitor meet. Emmanuel's thoughts, 
r' moreover, were elsewhere. An unsuccessful attempt 
was being made to patch up a peace between Spain 
and France, and the young Prince's one idea was 
to get his patrimonial Piedmont restored to him in 
the scramble. So he had to hurrv back aeain to 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 19 

Flanders with nothing done about the marriage. 
The idea was not dropped, however. Renard pave 
wise advice to PhiHp in his constant letters. He 
told him, amongst other things, that now that the 
Queen's hopes of progeny had proved illusive the 
only way to prevent England from slipping through 
their lingers was to get command of Elizabeth. 
"You cannot," he said, "change the succession as 
laid down in King Henry's will without causing a 
rebellion. Marry Elizabeth to the Duke of Savoy, 
it will please the English and be popular, provided 
that her right to the succession be not interfered 
with ; and it might be a means towards expelling 
the French from Piedmont." Philip's agents found 
plenty of opportunities for trying to ingratiate them- 
selves with the Princess, but she was cool and ' > ^""7^ 
cautious ; professed that she had no desire to 
marry, and so forth. She was quite aware of the , 
reason for the Spanish desire that she should marry v 
Savoy, and even thus early began her great policy 1/ 
of keeping people friendly by deferring their hopes. ^ 
As the clouds gathered ever darker over the 
miserable Mary in the last sad months of her life, 
and Elizabeth's star rose, suitors became more 
plentiful. At the beginning of 1558 Philip had 
sent haughty Feria as his ambassador to his wite to 
drive her into providing men and money to help him 
in his war against France. Calais and Guisnes had 
just been lost to England, and Mary, all her hopes 
and illusions fled, was fretting her heart out in 
despair. In April an ambassador arrived from the 
King of Sweden, Gustavus, with letters to the 
Queen proposing a treaty of commerce between the 
two countries, and the marriage of his eldest son, 



20 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

^ Eric, with Princess Elizabeth. The ambassador 
was in no hurry to seek aucHence of the Queen — her 
day was already on the wane — but posted down to 
Hatfield to see the Princess, to whom he delivered 
a letter from Prince Eric himself. The Queen was 
overcome with rage at this and with fear that Phil if) 
would blame her for refusing his request to restore 
Elizabeth in blood and marry her to Emmanuel of 
Savoy, and thus giving rise to this embarrassing 
Swedish offers Hearing that Feria was about to send 
a courier to Flanders, she summoned him, and in a 
violent passion of tears reproached him with wishing 
to be beforehand with her in telling the story to her 
husband. Feria says, "Her Majesty has been in 
oreat anouish about it, but since hearing that 
Madam Elizabeth gave answer that she had no 
desire to marry she has become calmer, but is still 
terribly passionate in the matter. One of the 
reasons why she is so grieved about the miscarriage 
is the fear that your Majesty should press her about 
Savoy and Madam Elizabeth. Figueroa and I 
think that the opportunity of the coming of this 
ambassador, and the illusion about the pregnancy 
should be taken advantage of to do so ; but it must 
not be done at the same time as we press her about 
raising troops here. In short, I do not think now 
that she will stand in the way of her sister's succes- 
sion if providence do not bless your Majesty with 
children." ' 

The Swedish ambassador was to have been 

openly reproved b\- the Queen before the whole 

Court, but the Queen thought better of it, and 

received him in the presence of Gardiner and the 

' Feria to Philip IL, Mav i, 155S. MSS. Simancas. 



OUEEX ELIZABETH. 



21 



Marquis of Winchester only. She dismissed hini 
curtly — almost rudely — and told him that after com- 
mitting such a breach of etiquette as to deliver a 
letter to her sister before presentino- his credentials, 
he had better go home and never come back to 
England with such a message as that again. 
l)efore Feria left England to see his master in July, 
1558, he visited Elizabeth at Hatfield, and did his 
best to persuade her that she had all Philip's sym- 
pathy, and that her .safe course would be to adhere 
to the Spanish connection. He was no match for 
her in diplomacy even then, and got nothing but 
smiles and genial generalities. In November Mary 
was dying, and Dassonleville, the Flemish agent, 
wrote to the Kino- beo-g-inor him to send Feria back 
again to forward Spanish interests, " as the common 
people are so full of projects for marrying Madam 
Elizabeth to the Earl of Arundel or some one else." 
On the 8th of November a committee of the Council 
went to Hatfield to see Elizabeth and deliver to her 
the dying Queen's message, begging her "when she 
should be Queen to maintain the Catholic Church 
and pay her (Mary's) debts." Elizabeth would pledge 
herself to nothintr. She knew now that she must 
succeed, with or without Mary's good-will, and she 
meant to have a free hand. Before the Queen died 
even, Feria, who had arrived when she was already 
almost unconscious, hastened to Hatfield to see the 
coming Queen. So long as he confined himself to 
courteous commonplace she answered him in the 
same spirit, but as soon as he began to patronise 
her and hint that she owed her coming crown to 
the intervention and support of Philip, she stopped 
him at once, and said that she would owe it only to 



22 THK COURTSHII'S OF 

her people. She was equally firm and queenly when 
Feria thus early hinted at her marriage with her 
Spanish brother-in-law before the breath was out of 
Mary's body, and showed a firm determination to 
hold her own and resist all attempts to place her 
under the tutelage of Philip. A week afterwards 
the-Oueen died, and then bearan the keen contest of 
wits around the matrimonial possibilities of Elizabeth, 
which ended in the making of modern England. 

The first letter that F^eria wrote to Philip after 
the new Queen's accession indicated how powerless 
had been all his blandishments to pledge Elizabeth. 
" The new Queen and her people," he says, " hold 
themselves free from your Majesty, and will listen 
to any ambassadors who may come to treat of 
marriage. Your Majesty understands better than I 
how important it is that this affair should go through 
your hands, which . . . will be difficult except with 
great negotiation and money. I wish, therefore, 
your Majesty to keep in view all the steps to be 
taken on your behalf ; one of them being that the 
F^mperor should not send any ambassador here to 
treat of this, for it would be inconvenient enough for 
Ferdinand to marry here even if he took the titbit 
from your Majesty's hand, but very much worse if it 
were arranged in any other way. For the present, 
I know for certain they will not hear the name of 
the Duke of Savoy mentioned, as they fear he will 
want to recover his estates with English forces, and 
will keep them constantly at war. I am very pleased 
to see that the nobles are beginning to open their 
eyes to the fact that it will not do to marry this 
woman in the country itself. . . . The more I think 
over this business the more certain I am that everv- 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 23 

thlno- depends upon the husband this woman mav 
take. If he be a suitable one, reHg-ious matters will 
i^o on well, and the kingdom will remain friendh 
with your Majesty, but if not it will all be spoilt. If 
she decide to marry out of the country she will at 
once fix her eyes on your Majesty, although some of 
them here are sure to pitch upon the Archduke 
h^rdinand." ' P^eria was wrong in his estimate of 
P>lizabeth's character. From the first she had deter-~ 
mined to be a popular sovereign, and all observers 
remarked her almost undignified anxiety to catch 
the cheers of the crowd. She knew that the most 1 
unpopular step she could take would be one that ^ 
hound her interests to Spain, and particularly a ; 
marriage with Philip. A French marriage was im- 
possible, for the heir to the crown of France was I, 
married to Mary Stuart, whose legal right to the ' 
l^nglish throne was undoubtedly stronger than that 
of Elizabeth herself. 

So the Englishmen began to pluck up heart and 
to think that the great prize might fall to one of them. 
Early in December the Earl of Arundel came over 
from Flanders, and Feria remarks in one of his letters 
that he had seen him at the palace, "looking very 
smart and clean, and they say he carries his thoughts 
very high." He was a widower of mature age, foppish 
and foolish, but, with the exception of his son-in-law, 
the Duke of Norfolk, the only English noble whose 
position and descent were such as to enable him 
without impropriety to aspire to mate with royalty, 
and for a short time after his arrival he was certainly 
looked upon by the populace as the most likely 
husband for the young Queen. 

' Calendar of Spanish State Papers (Elizabeth), vol. i. 






CHAPTER II. 



The Spanish pohcy with regard to the Austrian niatcli — 
Enghsh suitors for the Queen's hand — Arundel and 
Pickering — Phihp II. — The x^rchduke Ferdinand — Lord 
Robert Dudfey — The Prince of Sweden — Phihp's attitude 
towards the Austrian match — The Archduke Charles — 
' Pickering and Dudley — The Earl of Arran — Dudley's 
intrigues against the Archdnke Charles' suit — Death of 
Lady Robert Dudley — Prince Eric again. 

In the same ship that brought Arundel from 
Flanders came that cunmng old Bishop of Aquila, 
who was afterwards Philip's ambassador in luigland. 
He conveyed to Feria the King's real wishes with 
regard to Elizabeth's marriage, which were some- 
what at variance with those which appeared on the 
surface. Philip had now definitely taken upon him- 
self the championship of the Catholic supremacy, 
and his interests wer^hourly drifting further away 
from those of his Austrian kinsmen, who were 
largely dependent upon the reforming German 
princes. This was the principal reason why Sussex 
and other moderate Protestants in England were 
promoting an Austrian marriage which, it was 
assumed, would conciliate Philip without binding- 
England to the ultra-Catholic party. The Bishop's 
instructions were to throw cold water on the scheme 
whilst outwardly appearing to favour it, but if he 
saw that such a marriaoe was inevitable, then he 



THE COURTSHIPS OF QUKKN KLIZABETH. 25 

was to oret the whole credit of it for his master, who 
was to subsidise his impecunious cousin, the Arch- 
duke, and make him- the instrument of Spain. 
Feria confessed himself puzzled. If he was not to 
forward the Archduke Ferdinand, he did not know, 
he said, whom he could suggest. Everybody kept 
him at arm's length and he could only repeat current 
gossip. Some people thought the Earl of Arundel 
would be the man, others the Earl of Westmoreland ; 
then Lord Howard's son, and then Sir William 
Pickering ; " every day there is a new cry raised 
about a husband." "At present," he said, " I see 
no disposition to enter into the discussion ot any 
proposal on your Majesty's own behalf, either on 
her part gr that of the Council, and when it has to 
be approached it shoiuld b^ mentioned first to her 
alone." The first step, he thought, should be to 
arouse the jealousy of each individual councillor ol 
the Queen's marriage with any Englishman ; and at 
the same time to work upon the Queen's pride byj 
hinting that she would hardly stoop to a marriage 
inferior to that of her sister. He thought, however,, 
that a marriage \\ ith Philip would scarcely be accept- 
able, as he could not live in England, and Feria 
was still in hope that if they took any foreigner the 
Tuxliduke Ferdinand would be the man. Feria's 
plan of campaign was an ingenious one. After he 
had aroused Elizabeth's jealousy of her dead sister 
and deprecated the idea of the degradation to the 
Queen of a marriage with a subject, " we can take 
those whom she might marry here and pick them 
to pieces one by one, which will not require much 
rhetoric, for there is not a man amongst them worth 
anvthino-, counting the married ones and all. If, 



y 



26 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

after this, she incHnes to your Majesty, it will l)e 
necessary for you to send me orders whether I am 
to carry it any further or throw cold water on it and 
set up the Archduke Ferdinand, for I see no other 
person we can propose to whom she would agree." ' 
Philip had sent to the Queen a present of jewels 
by the Bishop of Aquila, with which she was de- 
liofhted, and assured Feria that those who said her 
sympathies were French told an untruth. She was 
indeed quite coquettish with him sometimes, but 
he felt that he was outwitted. He could get no 
information as he did in the last reio-n. The 
councillors fought shy of him, anxious as ever for 
bribes and pensions, but willing to give no return 
for them, for the very good reason that they had 
nothing to give, they being as hopelessly in the 
dark as every one else as to the Queen's intentions. 
" Indeed I am afraid that one fine day we shall find 
this woman married, and I shall be the last man in 
the place to know anything about it," said Feria. 
In the meanwhile Arundel was ruining himself 
with ostentatious expenditure ; borrowing vast sums 
of money from Italian bankers and scattering gifts 
of jewels of great value amongst the ladies who 
surrounded the Queen. He was a man far into 
middle age at the time, with two married daughters, 
the Duchess of Norfolk and Lady Lumley, and was 
in antiquity of descent the first of English nobles ; 
but one can imagine how the keen young woman on 
the throne must have smiled inwardly at the idea of 
the empty-headed, flighty old fop, aspiring to be her 
partner. " There is a great deal of talk also," writes 
Feria, "lately about the Queen marrying the Duke 
' Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth), vol. i. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 27 

Adolphus, brother of the King- of Denmark. One 
of the principal recommendations they find in him 
is that he is a heretic, but I am persuading them 
that he is a very good Cathohc and not so comely 
as they make him out to be, as I do not think he 
would suit us." At last, after the usual tedious 
deliberation, the prayers and invocations for Divine 
guidance, Philip made up his mind that he. like 
another Metius Curtius, would save his cause by 
sacrificing" himself. He approached the subject in a 
true spirit of martyrdom. Feria had been repeating 
constantly — almost offensively — how unpopular he 
was in England, ever since Mary died. He had, he 
was told, not a man in his favour, he was distrusted 
and disliked, and so on, but yet he so completely 
deceived himself with regard to the support to be 
obtained by Elizabeth from her people through her 
national policy and personal popularity, as to write^ 
to Feria announcing his gracious intention of 
sacrificing himself for the good of the Catholic 
Church and marrying the Queen of England on 
condition of her becoming a Catholic and obtaining 
secret absolution from the Pope. "In this way W 
will be evident and manifest that I am serving the 
Lord in marrying her and that she has been con- 
verted by my act. . . . You will, however, not 
propose any conditions until you see how the 
Queen is disposed towards the matter itself, and 
mark well that you must commence to broach the 
subject with the Queen alone, as she has already 
opened a way to such an approach." It must 
have been evident to Feria at this time (January, 
1559) that the Queen could not marry his master 
without losing hgr. crown. The Protestant party 



28 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

were now panmiount, the reformers had Hocked 
back from Switzerland and German)-, and L^lizabeth 
had cast in her lot with them. To acknowledge 
the Pope's power of absolution would have been 
to confess herself a bastard and an usurper. 
There was only one possible Catholic sovereign oT 
P>ngland and that was Mary Queen of Scots, and 
it is difficult to see what could have been Philip's 
drift in making such an offer, which, if it had been 
accepted, would have vitiated his wife's claim to the 
crown of England and have strengthened that of 
the French candidate. 

In any case Elizabeth perceived it quickly 
enough, and when Feria approached her and 
delivered a letter from Philip to her, she began 
coyly to lence with the question. She knew 
she could not marry Philip ; but she was vain 
and greedy of admiration, and it would be some- 
thing to refuse such an offer if she could get it put 
into a form which would enable her to refuse it. 
So she began to profess her maiden disinclination 
to change her state; "but," says Eeria, "as I saw 
whither she was tending, I cut short the reply, and 
by the conversation which followed . . . as well as 
the hurry she was in to give me the answer, I soon 
understood what the answer would be . . . to 
shelve the business with fair words." The end 
of it was that he refused to take any answer at 
all, unless it were a favourable one, and so deprived 
F21izabeth of the satisfaction of saying she had 
actually rejected his master's offer — which was a 
grievance with her for many years afterwards. 

Of all this the multitude knew nothing. They 
were busy with speculation elsewhere. "11 Scha- 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 29 

fanoya," the Italian gossip-mong-er, gives an interest- 
ing account of the coronation ceremony and the seH"- 
sufficient pomposity of Arundel, who was Lord 
Steward, "with a silver wand a yard lone, com- 
manding everybody, from the Duke (of Norfolk) 
downwards."^ Lord Robert Dudley as Master of 
the Horse " led a fair white hackney covered with 
cloth of gold after the Queen's litter," but no one 
as yet seemed to regard him as her possible consort. 
That came afterwards. Schafanoya, writing to the 
Mantuan ambassador in Brussels (January, 1559), 
says : " Some persons declare that she will take the 
Earl of Arundel, he being the chief peer of this 
realm, notwithstanding his being old in comparison 
with the Queen. This report is founded on the 
constant daily favours he receives in public and 
private from her Majesty. Others assert that she 
will take a verv handsome youth, eighteen or twent\' 
years of age and robust, judging from passion, and 
because at dances and other public places she 
prefers him to any one else. A third opinion is 
that she will marry an individual who until now has 
been in F" ranee on account of his religion, though he 
has not yet made his appearance, it being well 
known how much she loved him. He is a very 
handsome gallant gentleman whose name I forget. 
But all are agreed that she will take an Englishman, 
although the ambassadors of the King of Sweden 
seek the contrary." 

The "very handsome youth" was perhaps the 

Earl of Oxford; the "handsome gendeman " was 

certainly Sir William Pickering, who for a time 

was the favourite candidate. It is known that 

* Calendar of Venetian State Papers. 



30 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

there had been love passages long before between 
Elizabeth and him. but to what extent was never 
discovered. He can hardly have been a very 
stable character, for he had fled to France under 
Mary, but had very soon entered into treacherous 
correspondence with the Spanish party to spy upon 
the actions of the Carews and the rest of the 
Protestant exiles. Shordy before Mary's death he 
had been commissioned to go to Germany and 
bring thence to England a regiment of mercenaries 
which had been raised for Mary. They were, 
however, used by Philip for his own purposes, and 
when Elizabeth ascended the throne, Pickering 
thought proper to have a long diplomatic illness at 
Dunkirk, to learn how he would be received in 
England after his more than doubtful dealings. As 
soon as he was satisfied that bygones would be 
bygones, he came to P^ngland in fine feather. 
Tiepolo writes to the Doge. February 23rd : 
"Concerning her marriage it still continues to be 
said that she will take that Master Pickering, who 
from information received by me, is about thirty-six 
years of age, of tall stature, handsome, and very' 
successful with women, for he is said to have 
enjoyed the intimacy of many and great ones." ' 
Parliament had sent a deputation to the Queen to 
urge her to marry, and to represent the dis- 
advantages of a foreign match, to which the Queen 
had given a sympathetic but cautious answer. 
This had raised the hopes of Pickering to a great 
height, and in the early spring he macie his 
appearance. He had lingered too long, however. 
Lord Robert Dudle\- had already come to the front. 
* Calendar of W-netian State Paners.^ 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 31 

P'eria wrote to Philip on the i8th of April : 
" During the last few clays Lord Robert has come 
so much into favour that he does whatsoever he 
pleases with affairs, and it is even said that her 
Majesty visits him in his chamber day and night. 
People talk of this so freely that they go so far as 
to say that his wife has a malady in one of her 
l)reasts and the Queen is only waiting for her to ^ 
die to marry Lord Robert. I can assure your 
Majesty that matters have reached such a pass , 
that I have been brought to consider whether it 
would not be well to approach Lord Robert on your 
Majesty's behalf, promising him your help and 
favour and coming to terms with him." At the 
same time the Swedish ambassador was aoain 
pressing the suit of Prince Eric ; but he must /^ 
have been extremely maladroit, for he offended 
P^lizabeth at the outset by saying that his master's 
son was still of the same mind, and asked for a 
reply to the letter he had sent her. " What letter ? " 
said the Oueen. " The letter I brought vour 
Majesty," Elizabeth replied that she was now Queen 
of England, and if he required an answer he must 
address her as such. She added that she did not 
know whether his master would leave his kingdom 
to marry her, but she could assure him that she 
would not leave hers to be the monarch of the world, 
and in the meanwhile she would say neither yes 
nor no. A messenger was sent off with this cold 
comfort, and came back with fine presents of furs 
and tapestries, and for a time Swedish money was 
lavished on the courtiers very freely^ — and it is 
curious that the King of Sweden is always spoken 
of as beino- one of the richest of monarchs — but 



32 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

the ambassador became a standing joke and a 
laughino--stock of the Court ladies as soon as his 
presents ran out. A more dignified embassy from 
Eric shortly afterwards arrived with a formal offer 
of his hand, but they were, as the Bishop of Aquila 
says, treated in a similar manner, and ridiculed to 
their own faces in Court masques represented before 
them. 

A much more serious negotiation was running 
its course at the same time. When the Emperor 
had been informed that Philip had desisted from the 
pursuit of the match for himself, he begged him to 
support the suit of the Archduke Ferdinand. It 
was considered unadvisable to mention at first 
which of the Archdukes was the suitor, but PhHip^ 
himself made no secret of his preference to 
Ferdinand, who was a narrow bigot of his own 
school ; so the Spanish ambassador in England was 
instructed to forward the matter to the best of his 
ability, in conjunction with an imperial ambassador 
who was to be sent for the purpose. When the 
instructions arrived, matters had gone so far that 
a secretary had already come to London from the 
Emperor with letters for the Queen and a portrait 
of Ferdinand. This had been arranged by Sir 
Thomas Challoner, who had recently been in Vienna ; 
but much doubt existed as to the sincerity of Philip's 
professions of good-will towards the affair. Indeed, 
those who were most in favour of it appear to have 
thought, not unreasonably, that the marriage would 
become impossible if it were hampered with con- 
ditions dictated by Spain. The Austrian match 
y certainly had influential support at Court. Cecil. 
Sussex, and all of Dudley's many enemies thought at 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 33 

the time that it offered the best way of checking his 
growing" favour, and forwarded it accordingly. In 
April Feria wrote : "They talk a great deal about 
the marriage with the Archduke Ferdinand and 
seem to like it, but for my part I believe she will 
never make up her mind to anything that is good 
for her. Sometimes she appears to want to marry 
him, and speaks like a woman who will only accept 
a great prince ; and then they say she is in love 
with Lord Robert and never lets him leave her. If 
my spies do not lie, which I believe they do not, for 
a certain reason which they have recently given me, 
1 understand she will not bear children ; but if the 
Archduke is a man, even if she should die without 
an\'. he will be able to keep the kingdom with the 
support of your Majesty." 

When Pickering finally arrived, therefore, he 
found the field pretty well occupied, but his advent 
caused considerable stir. He was at once sur- 
rounded by those who for various reasons were 
equally against Dudley and a Catholic prince. 
Two days after his arrival Dudley was sent oft 
hunting to Windsor, and Sir William was .secretly 
introduced into the Queen's presence ; and a few- 
days afterwards went publicly to the palace and 
stayed several hours by the Queen's side. " They 
are," wrote Feria, " betting four to one in London 
that he will be king. ... If these things were not 
of such great importance and so lamentable, they 
would be very ridiculous." ' 

Pickering's arrival at Court is thus spoken of by 

Schafanoya, writing on the loth of May, 1559: 

" The day before yesterday there came Sir William 

' Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth), vol. i. 

4 



34 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

Pickering, who is regarded by all people as the 
future husband of the Queen. He remains at 
home, courted b)' many lords of the Council and 
others, but has not yet appeared at Court. It is 
said they wished in Parliament to settle what title 
they should give him and what dignity, but nothing 
was done. Many deem this to be a sign that she 
will marry the Archduke Ferdinand, but as yet 
there is no foundation for this, although the news 
comes from Flanders. Meanwhile my Lord Robert 
Dudley is in very great favour and very intimate 
with her Majesty. On this subject I ought not to 
report the opinion of many persons. I doubt 
whether my letter may not miscarry or be read, 
wherefore it is better to keep silence than to speak 
ill." ' When Challoner had returned from Vienna 
he had brought with him full descriptions of the 
P2mperor's sons. Ferdinand w^as a bigot and a 
milksop, and Charles, the younger Archduke, was 
said to have narrow shoulders and a great head. 
So when Baron Ravenstein arrived in London on 
his matrimonial embassy the Queen was quite 
ready for him. Ravenstein himself was as devout 
a Catholic as his master, and was received very 
coolly at first. The Queen told him she would 
marry no man whom she had not seen, and would 
not trust portrait painters ; and much more to the 
same effect. To his second audience Ravenstein 
was accompanied by the Bishop of Aquila, as it was 
desirable that, if anything came of the negotiation, 
Spain should get the benefit of it. It soon became 
clear to the wily churchman that Ferdinand would 
never do. He says: "We were received on 
' \Vnetian Calendar. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 35 

Sunday at one, and found the Queen, very fine, 
in the presence-chamber looking on at the dancing. 
She kept us there a long while, and then entered 
her room with us." The Bishop pressed her, in 
his bland way, to favourably consider the offers of 
the Emperor's ambassador ; " but I did not name 
the Archduke, because I suspected she would reply 
excludinor them both. She at once be^jan, as I 
fearedj__to talk about not wishing to marr)-, and 
wanted to reply in that sense ; but I cut short the 
colloquy by saying that I did not seek an answer, 
and only begged her to hear the ambassador." He 
then stood aside and chatted with Cecil, who oave 
him to understand that they would not accept Fer- 
dinand, "as they have quite made up their minds 
that he would upset their heresy," ' and went on 
to speak of the various approaches that had already 
been made to the Queen ; politely regretting that 
affinity and religious questions had made the mar- 
riage with Philip impossible. In the meanwhile 
poor Ravenstein was making but slow progress with 
the Queen, who soon reduced him to dazed despair, 
and the Bishop again took up the running, artfully 
begging her to be plain and frank in this business, 
"as she knew how honestly and kindly the worthy 
Germans negotiated." And then, cleverly taking- 
advantage of what he had just heard from Cecil, he 
said that he had been told that the Archduke had 
been represented to her as a young monster, ver\ 
different from what he was ; " for, although both 
brothers are comely, this one who was offered to 
her now was the younger and more likely to please 
her than the one who had been spoken of before. 
' Spanish Calendar (Eli/ahetli), \o\. i. 



36 THK COURTSHIPS OF 

I thought best to speak in this way, as I understood 
in my talk with Cecil that it was Ferdinand they 
dreaded." The Queen at this pricked up her ears, 
and asked the Bishop of whom he was speaking. 
He told her the Archduke Charles, who was a very 
fit match for her as Ferdinand was not available. 
"When she was quite satisfied of this," says the 
TBishop, "she went back again to her nonsense, say- 
jmg that she would rather be a nun than marry a man 
she did not know, on the faith of portrait painters." 
She then hinted that she wished Charles to visit 
her in person, even if he came in disguise. Her 
thirst for admiration and homage was insatiable, 
and, popular parvenue as she was, the idea_of 
princes of spotless lineage humbling themselves 
before her very nearly led her into a quagmire more 
than once. She probably had not the slightest 
intention of marrying Charles at the time, but it 
^ would have been a great feather in her cap if she 
could have brought a prince of the house of Austria 
as a suitor to her feet. But the Bishop was a match 
for her on this occasion. " 1 do not know whether 
she is jesting . . . but I really believe she would like 
to arrange for this visit in disguise. So I turned 
it to a joke, and said we had better discuss the 
.substance of the business. ... 1 would undertake 
that the i\rchduke would not displease her." The 
Bishop having soothed the Queen with persiflage 
of this sort, disconsolate Ravenstein was called back 
rather more graciously, and told that, on the Bishop's 
recjuest, the Queen would appoint a committee of 
the Council to hear his proposals. 

In the meanwhile Dudley and Pickering were 
manGeuvrino" for the position of first English can- 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 3; 

didate. Sir William had now a fine suite of rooms 
in the palace, and was ruffling bravely, o-ivino- 
grand- entertainments, and dining in solitary state 
by himself, with minstrels playing in the gallery, 
rather than feast, like the other courtiers of his rank, 
at one of the tables of the household. He pooh- 
poohed Ravenstein and his mission and said that the 
Queen would laugh at him and all the rest of them, 
as he knew she meant to die a maid. Pickering- 
appears to have rather lost his head with his new 
grandeur, and soon drops out of the scene, upon 
which only the keenest wits could hope to survive. 
His insolence had aroused the indignation of the 
greater nobles, but somehow it was only the least 
pugnacious of them with whom he quarrelled. The 
Earl of Bedford, who from all accounts seems to 
have been a misshapen monstrosity with an enor- 
mous head, said somethincr offensive about Picker- 
ing at a banquet, and a challenge from the irate 
knight was the immediate result ; Dudley, of all 
men, being the bearer thereof, always at this time 
ready to wound the extreme Protestant party, to 
which Bedford belonged. But Pickering was as 
distasteful to Catholics as to Protestants. On 
one occasion he was about to enter the private 
chapel inside the Queen's apartments at Whitehall, 
when he was met at the door by the Earl of 
Arundel, who told him he ougrht to know that 
that was no place for him, but was reserved foi" the 
lords of the Council. Pickering answered that he 
knew that very well, and he also knew that Arundel 
was an impudent knave. The Earl was -no hero, 
and Pickering went swaggering about the Court 
for days telling the story. With such a swash- 



38 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

buckler as this for a rival, it is not surprising" that 
the handsome and youthful Dudley rapidly passed 
him in the race for his mistress's favour. Dudley 
played his game cleverly. His idea was first to 
put all English aspirants out of the rupning by 
ostensibly favouring the match with the Archduke, 
whilst he himself was strengthening his influence 
over the Queen, in the certainty that, when matters 
of religion came to be discussed, difiiculties might 
be raised at any moment which would break off the 
Austrian negotiations. In the meanwhile the Queen 
coquetted with dull-witted Ravenstein, and per- 
suaded him that if the Archduke would come over 
and she liked him, she would marry him, although 
she warned the ambassador not to give his master 
r0. the trouble of coming so far to see so ugly a lady 
•^C^ as she was. Instead of paying her the compliment 

' -s,x^'*'^ for which she was angling, he maladroitly asked her 
whether she wished him to write that to the Arch- 
duke. "Certainly not," she replied, "on my account, 
for I have no intention of marrying." She jeered 
at Ferdinand and his devotions, but displayed a 
discreet maidenly interest in Charles, and, it is easy 
to see, promptly extracted from Ravenstein all the 
knowledge he possessed, much to Bishop Quadra's 
anxiety. Feria had gone back to Philip, with the 
assurance that she never meant to marry, and 
that it was "all pastime," but Quadra thought 
that she would be driven into matrimony by 
circumstances. " The whole business of these 
people is to avoid any engagement that will upset 
their wickedness. I believe that when once they 
are satisfied about this they will not be averse to 
Charles. I am not sure about her, for I do not 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 39 

understand her. Amongst other quahties which 
she says her husband must possess is that he should 
not sit at home all day among the cinders, but 
should in time of peace keep himself employed in 
warlike exercises." For many reasons it suited ) 
Elizabeth to show an inclination to the match ; for > ^ 
she could thus keep the English Catholics in hand. J 
notwithstanding the religious innovations and her 
severity, whilst satisfying others "who want to see 
her married and are scandalised at her doings." But 
the Bishop disbelieved in the marriage unless she 
were driven to it. Whilst Ravenstein was being- 
caressed and befooled, the French were doing their 
best to hinder an understanding with him. There 
were sundry E>ench noblemen in London as 
hostages — and very troublesome guests they were 
— who industriously spread the idea that it was 
ungrateful of the Queen to disdain to marry one of 
her own subjects who had raised her to the throne. 
When Ravenstein discussed this view with her, 
"she was very vexed, and repeated to him that 
she would die a thousand deaths rather than marry 
one of her subjects ; but for all this," says the 
Bishop. " he does not seem to have got any further 
than usual with his master's affair." And Bisho}) 
Quadra and his master were determined he should 
not do so, except with Spanish intervention and on 
Spanish terms, which would make the marriage 
impossible in England. Things were thus going 
prosperously for Dudley. The Swedish embassy 
had come and gone, " much aggrieved and offended 
... as they were being made fun of in the palace, 
and by the Queen more than anybody. I do not 
think it matters much whether they depart pleased 



40 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

or displeased." ' It was clear that Elizabeth would 
have nothing to do with " Eric the Had," and the 
Archduke was now the only serious competitor ; 
which exactly suited Dudley, as he knew the insuper- 
able religious obstacles that could be raised to him. 

But Dudley was not by any means the onl)' 
artful or self-seeking man in Elizabeth's Court, and 
was not allowed to have all his own way. The 
real difficulties of the marriage with the Archduke, 
hampered as he would be by unacceptable Spanish 
conditions, were soon obvious to the Protestant 
party, who tried a bold stroke, which, if their 
weapon had been a strong instead of a lamentably 
weak one, might have altered the whole course ot 
English history. To a French Catholic princess, 
as Queen of Scotland and heiress to the crown of 
Pmgland, the natural counterpoise was a close 
alliance between England and Spain ; but the 
Protestants saw that, from a religious point of 
view, one position was as bad as the other, and 
conceived the idea of encouraging the claims of 
a son of the house of Hamilton, who, after Mary, 
was next heir to the crown of Scotland. The P^arl 
of Arran, son of the Duke of Chatelherault was in 
France ; and Cecil's henchmen, Randolph and Killi- 
grew, were sent backwards and forwards to him 
and to Throgmorton, in Paris, to urge him to 
action. If he could raise a revolution in Scotland 
against papists and foreigners, and seize the crown, 
he might, thought Cecil, marry Elizabeth, unite the 
two countries, and defy their enemies. Trouble in 
Scotland was easily aroused ; but the King of 
France, just before his own death, which raised 
'Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth), vol. i. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 41 

Mary Stuart to the throne of France as well, learnt 
of the plan and ordered Arran's capture alive or 
dead. Killigrew managed to smuggle him out of 
France disguised as a merchant, and took him to 
Geneva and Zurich, where he sat at the feet of 
Peter Martyr and other retormers, and then as 
secretly was hurried over to England in July, 1559. 
The Spanish party and the Emperor's ambassador 
soon got wind of it, and were in dismay. The 
Earl was hidden first in Cecil's house, and nrQ^O 
was afterwards conveyed secretly to the Queen's 
chambers at Greenwich. The news soon spread, 
and the marriage was looked upon, all through 
August and part of September, as a settled thing ; ' 
and, althousfh Bedford and Cecil went out of their 
way to buoy up the hopes of a marriage with the 
Archduke, it was clear to the Spanish party that 
Arran was the favoured man, the more especialh 
that Mary Stuart's husband had now become King 
of France. But this did not suit Dudley. Early 
in September Lady Mary Sidney, Dudley's sister, 
came to the Spanish ambassador with a wonderful 
story that a plot had been discovered to poison the 
Queen and Dudley at a dinner given by the Earl ot 
Arundel. This, she said, had so alarmed the Queen, 
who had now a war with France on her hands, that 
she had determined to marry at once, and awaited 
the ambassador at Hampton Court with the offer of 
the Archduke, whom she would accept. Lady 
Sidney professed to be acting with the Queen's 
consent, and emphatically insisted that, if the matter 
were now pushed and the Archduke brought over at 

' Quadra's letters, Spanish Calendar, and Michieli's letters, 
Venetian Calendar. 



42 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

once, it could be concluded without delay. The 
cunning Bishop himself was for once taken in. 
Before going to Hampton Court he saw Dudley, 
who placed himself entirely at the disposal of the 
King of Spain, " to whom he owed his life." He 
said the Queen had summoned him and his sister 
the night before, and had directed them how to 
proceed. The marriage, he assured the Bishop, 
was now necessary and could be effected. 

The Bishop wrote to Cardinal de Granvelle 
directly after the interview : " Lord Robert and his 
sister are certainly acting splendidly, and the King 
will have to reward them well — better than he does 
me — and your Lordship must remind him of it in due 
time. The question of religion is of the most vital' 
importance, as is also the manner of the Archduke's 
marriage and its conditions and ceremonies. In 
view of these difficulties it would be better for the 
wedding to be a clandestine one. I do not know 
how he will get over the oath that he will have to 
take to conform with the laws of the land, which 
are some of them schismatic." ^ 

The Bishop's interview with the Queen, however, 
fairly mystified him. She blew hot and cold as usual. 
" She hoped to God that no harm would come to 
the Archduke on his incognito visit ; she would be 
glad to see him ; but mind," she said, " I am not 
bound to marry him if he come," which the Bishop 
assured the Emperor "was only dissimulation, and 
she really meant to marry him." She was very 
careful to repeat that she had not invited the Arch- 
duke, and was not bound to marry him, and went so 
far as to say she could not trust Quadra to state this 
' Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth), vol. i. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 45. 

clearly, and would write to the Emperor herself. 
But whilst she said it in words she took equal care 
to contradict it in looks and gestures that could 
never be called up in witness against her. The 
Bishop was at last completely won over, and strongly 
urged the Emperor to send his son and seize the 
prize. This new turn of events hardly pleased 
Cecil, but it was necessary for him to dissemble, for 
Elizabeth was now at war with France and Scot- 
land, and she could not afford to give the cold 
shoulder to Spain as well. When the Bishop saw 
him on leaving the Queen, he says : "I listened to 
him (Cecil) for some time, and seeing that he was 
beating about the bush, I begged that we might 
speak plainly to each other, as I was neither blind 
nor deaf, and could easily perceive that the Queen 
was not taking this step, to refuse her consent after 
all. He swore that he did not know, and could not 
assure me," and with this, and vague protestations 
of Cecil's personal wish for the Archduke's success, 
the Bishop had to be contented. He faithfully 
conveyed the Queen's words to the Emperor, but 
her looks and gestures could not be put upon paper, 
so that it is not surprising that his Majesty could see 
no further assurance than before that he was not to 
be fooled after all. Feria was more deeply versed 
in the ways of women than was the Bishop, and on 
receiving the news, answered : "It seems that the 
Emperor up to the present refuses leave for his son 
to go, and, to tell the truth, I cannot persuade 
myself that he is wrong, nor do I believe that she 
will either marry him, or refuse to marry him whilst 
the matter at issue is only his visit ... As to what 
Lord Robert and his sister say, I. do not believe 



44 THK COURTSHIPS OF 

more than the first day that the only thing the 
Queen is sticklinij for is the comino- of the lad." 
There was one point touched upon by the Queen in 
her interview with the Spanish ambassador, which, 
as he tells his own master, he dared not refer to in 
his letter to the Emperor. After much fencing and 
fishing for compliments respecting her personal 
attractions, and expressed doubts on the Queen's 
part as to whether the Archduke wT:)uld be satisfied 
when he saw her, she said that even if he were, he 
might be displeased with what he heard about her, 
as there were people in the country who took 
pleasure in maligning her. The Bishop wrote that 
she displayed some signs of shame when .she said 
this, whilst he parried the point diplomatically, and ' 
hastened to change the subject. " I saw she was 
pleased, as she no doubt thought that if the Archduke 
heard any of the idle tales they tell about her (and 
they tell many) he might take advantage of them 
to the detriment of her honour if the match were 
broken off, although, from this point of view, I was 
not sorry, as the fear may not be without advantage 
to us." But to the Queen he expressed himself 
shocked that she should think of such a thing as he 
had done previously when Lady Sidney had hinted 
' at a similar doubt. For the next two months an 
elaborate attempt was made to keep up the appear- 
ance of cordiality towards the Archduke's match, and 
the Spanish party was still further beguiled by the 
sudden tendency of the Queen to smile on 
Catholicism. Candles and crucifixes were placed 
on the altar in the Chapel Royal, and the Queen 
entertained the Bishop with long religious dis- 
cussions, for the purpose of inducing him to believe 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 45 

that she was a CathoHc in her heart. But thev 
could not deceive the Bishop for very long ; nothing- 
definite could be got from the Queen, from whose 
side Dudley never moved, and by the middle of 
November (1559) the Bishop satisfied himself that 
he was being played with. A new Swedish 
embassy had arrived, and was being entertained 
with hopes for the first time, particularly by Dudley, 
who thought that the Austrian suit, having now 
served his turn and eclipsed Arran, was becoming 
too hot to be safe for him. The Bishop writes : " I 
noticed Lord Robert was slackening in our business, 
and favouring the Swedish match, and he had words 
with his sister because she was carrying our affair 
further than he desired. I have heard from a certain 
person who is in the habit of giving me veracious 
news that Lord Robert had sent to poison his wife. 
Certainly all the Queen has done with us and with 
the Swede, and will do with all the rest in the 
matter of her marriage, is only to keep Lord 
Robert's enemies and the country engaged with 
words, until this wicked deed of killing his wife is 
consummated. I am told soijie extraordinary things^ 
about this intimacy which I would never have 
believed, only that now I find Lord Robert's enemies 
in the Council making no secret of their evil 
opinion of it. " The Queen tried to face the Bishop 
with her usual blandishments, but his eyes were 
opened, and when he pressed the point closely, she 
became coolly dignified, surprised that she had been 
misunderstood, and threw over Lady Sidney and 
Dudley, who reciprocally cast the blame upon each 
other. The Bishop and the Emperor's ambas.sador 
were furious ; and, as the best way to checkmate 



I 



y 



46 THK COURTSHIPS OF 

Dudley, approached the Duke of Norfolk, who had 
been declaiming for some time against the insolence 
of the rising favourite, saying that if he did not 
abandon his plans he should not die in his bed, and 
so forth. The Duke, who was the most popular as 
well as the most exalted of the English nobles, 
listened eagerly to anything that should injure 
Dudley, and promised all his influence and personal 
prestige in favour of the Archduke. He recom- 
mended that the latter should at once come openl) 
in state to England, and he, the Duke, wagered his 
ri'dit arm if he did " that all the biggest and best in 
the land should be on his side." Whatever may 
have been passing in Norfolk's mind, there is no 
doubt as to what the Bishop's own plan was, to 
avenge himself for the trick played upon him. He 
says : "I am of opinion that if the Archduke comes 
and makes the acquaintance, and obtains the good- 
will of these people, even if this marriage — of which 
I have now no hope except by force — should fall 
through, and any disaster were to befall the Queen, 
such as may be feared from her bad government, 
the Archduke might be summoned to marry Lady 
Catharine (Grey) to whom the kingdom comes if this 
woman dies. If the Archduke sees Catharine he 
should so bear himself that she should understand 
this design, which, in my opinion, will be beneficial 
and even necessary." The "design " evidently was 
the murder of the Queen and Dudley, and the 
securing of Catharine Grey to the Spanish interest. 
A daring plan, but requiring bold instruments and 
swift action. Weak, unstable Norfolk was no leader 
for such an enterprise, as he proved years after- 
wards. Whilst Quadra was plottino- and sulkino- at 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 47 

Durham House, Dudley s opponents strove to check- 
mate him by keeping the Archduke's match afoot. 
Count Helfenstein had come from the Emperor 
before the fiasco, and it was now proposed to send 
special English envoys to Austria and to the King of 
Spain, the purpose of course being to frio-ht en the 
French into the idea that the matter was settled. 
One day at Court Dudley and Norfolk came to high 
words about it. He was neither a oood EnoHshman 
nor a loyal subject who advised the Queen to marry 
a foreigner, said Dudley ; and on another occasion, 
Clinton and Arundel actually fell to fisticuffs on the 
subject. The Swedes had stood less on their dignity 
than the Austrians, and Eric's brother, the young- 
Duke of Finland, had come over to press his brother's 
suit. When he arrived with vast sums of money for 
gifts, as before, he preferred rather to become a 
suitor himself, but with little success. When he 
begged for a serious audience he was kept so long 
outside in an antechamber alone that he went 
away in a huff. The Venetian Tiepolo writes on 
December 15th, giving an account of Arran's defeat 
in Scotland by the French, which, with his growing 
dementia, spoilt him as a suitor ; and Tiepolo goes 
on to say : " The Queen is still undecided about 
her marriage, though amongst all the competitors she 
showed most inclination for the Archduke Charles, s/ 
The Duke of Finland, second son of the King of 
Sweden, is with her. He came to favour the .'■:uit of 
his elder brother, and then proposed himself, but 
the man's manners did not please the Queen. The 
second son also of the late John Frederick of 
Saxony, who heretofore was proposed to the Queen 
bv the French, but was afterwards deserted bv them ■ 



48 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

because they wished her to marry an Englishman 
. . . has not rehnquished his pretensions, and has 
sent Count Mansfeldt to propose to the Queen. 
The Kino- of Denmark, in Hke manner, has not 
failed to exert himself, although the general opinion 
is that if the affairs of the Earl of Arran prosper 
he will prevail over all competitors." ' 

All through the winter of y 59^60 matters thus 
lingered on. The Bishop plotting and planning for 
the invasion of England from Flanders, and 
completely undeceived with regard to the Queen's 
matrimonial intentions, whilst the English still 
desired to keep up an appearance of cordial friend- 
ship with the Spanish party, as a counterpoise to 
the King of France, with whom the)' were at war 
in Scotland. The Bishop gives an account of an 
interview which he and Helfenstein, the new- 
imperial ambassador had with the Queen in 
February, and it is clear that at this time she was 
again very anxious to beguile the Emperor into 
sending his son on chance. But Helfenstein was a 
very different sort of ambassador from Ravenstein, 
and she could not do much with him ; his idea being 
to hold her at arm's length until she was forced to 
write to the Emperor herself, as she promised to do, 
in which case it would not, he thought, be difficult to 
construe something she might say into a pledge 
which she could be forced to fulfil. "I do not," 
says the Bishop, " treat this matter with her as I 
formerly did, as I want her to understand that I am 
not deceived by her." Nor was he for a time 
deceived by Dudley. " The fellow is ruining the 
country with his vanity." " If he lived for another 
' Venetian Calendar. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 49 

year he" (Dudley) said "he would be in a very 
different position," and so forth. During the 
summer an envoy named Florent (Ajacet) was 
sent by Catharine de Medici and her son to 
propose as a husband for Elizabeth a son of 
the Duke de Nevers. As may be supposed, 
such a match — or indeed any match recommended 
by the consort of her enemy Mary Stuart, with 
whom her war was hardly ended — -did not meet 
with her approval, and the envoy then went to 
Bishop Quadra and told him he knew of a certain 
way of bringing about the marriage with the 
Archduke. His plan was that the Emperor 
should prevail upon the King of France to give 
up Calais to England. This was merely a feeler 
and absurd, as Francis II. had nothing to gain 
by the Austrian match, but the Bishop mali- 
ciously told the Queen the joke, as he called it, 
whereupon she was very angry that her claim for 
Calais should be treated so lighdy. She then tokr 
him that she saw now she must marry without delay, 
"although with the worst will in the world," and tried 
again to lead him to believe that she was anxious to^ 
marry the Archduke, "but I fear," said he, "that it 
is with the hope of gaining your Majesty's favour 
in her cause, as she calls it, with the French . . . 
Religious matters make me believe that in case she 
determines to marry, she will rather lay hands on 
any of these heretics than on the Archduke. I under- 
stand now that the Earl of Arran is excluded as 
being poor and of small advantage, and also because 
he is not considered personally agreeable. The\ 
all favour the Prince of Sweden as he is both 
heretical and rich, and especially Secretary Cecil, 



^ 



50 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

who would expect to remain at the head of affairs 
as at present." Shortly afterwards, in September, 
1560, Cecil took the Bishop aside and complained 
bitterly of Dudley, who he said was trying to turn 
him out of his place ; and then, after exacting many 
pledges of secrecy, said that the Queen was con- 
ducting herself in such a way that he, Cecil, thought 
of retiring, as he clearly foresaw the ruin of the 
realm through the Queen's intimacy with Dudley, / 
whom she meant to marry. He begged the Bishop' 
to remonstrate with the Queen, and ended by 
saying that Dudley was thinking of killing his wife, 
" who was said to be ill although she was quite 
well."' "The next day," writes the Bishop, "as 
she was returning from hunting, the Queen told m^ 
that Robert's wife was dead, or nearly so, and 
asked me not to say anything about it. Certainly 
this business is most shameful and scandalous ; and, 
withal, I am not sure whether she will marry the 
man at once or even at all, as I do not think she 
has her mind sufficiently fixed. Cecil says she 
wishes to do as her father did. " In a postscript of 
the same letter the writer gives the news of poor 
Amy Robsart's death. " She broke her neck — she 
must have fallen down a staircase, said the Queen." 
Thenceforward Dudley was free, and the marriage 
negotiations had another factor to be taken into 
account. 

About a month afterwards Cecil came to the 
Bishop and said that as the Queen had personally 
assured him she would not marry Dudley, he urged 
him once more to bring the Archduke forward ; but 
Ouadra was warv now, for he saw the desio^n was 
' Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth). 




QUEEN ELIZABETH. 51 

only to_ arouse the fears of the French, and he 
would take no hasty step. It is difficult to see how- 
he could have done so, for, after sending three 
ambassadors, the Emperor had now quite made i 
up his mind that the Queen should not again play kj ^ 
with him. Every weapon in the feminine battery had 
been employed — maiden coyness, queenly reserve, 
womanly weakness, am tRe rest of them, had been 
tned" in vain. A good portrait of the Archduke had 
been sent, and her own agents had seen him. If, said 
the Emperor, this were not enough, the young man 
should come himself ; but only on a distinct pledge 
that she would marry him if he did. Beyond this 
the Emperor would not go, and the Queen always 
stopped short at a binding promise. Nor, indeed, 
would the match have pleased the extreme reform 
party in England led by Cecil, Bedford, and Clinton, 
which was now the paramount one. It was useful to 
Cecil, in order to play it as a trump card whenever 
the negotiations with the French rendered it neces- 
sary, but, at the time, undoubtedly the Swedish 
match was most in favour with the Protestant party. 
Prince Eric was very persevering. When his brother 
returned to Sweden he proposed to come to England 
himself, but was induced to delay his visit ; ac- 
cording- to Throomorton,' in order that his father 
might abdicate, and he might get better terms. 
" Both father and son, however, have sent to 
propose very advantageous conditions to the Queen, 
should she consent to the marriage. They will 
bind themselves to send to England annually 
200,000 crowns to be expended for the benefit 

' Michieli to the Doge, August 16, 1560. \'enctiau 
Calendar. 



52 THE COURTSHll'S OF QUEEN ELIZABETH. 

of English subjects, and in time of war to keep 
fifty armed ships at their own cost, with other 
private conchtions very profitable for England, 
which the King defers making known until his 
comino- to her." It is evident that Eric was too 
much in earnest to suit Elizabeth, and she had to 
behave rudely enough to him on several occasions 
HO prevent his ardour from causing inconvenience. 
It is more than probable that she deceived Cecil 
and the rest of advisers as to her matrimonial 
intentions as completely as she did the suitors 
themselves, and that she never meant to marry — 
except perhaps on two occasions, which will be 
specified, when circumstances or her feelings nearly 
drove her to the irrevocable step. Her own motives 
were less complicated than those of her advisers, 
and the lifelong playing off of France against 
Spain, of which her matrimonial negotiations were 
a part, was obviously only possible whilst she kept 
single ; whereas party, religious, and personal 
affinities all operated on the minds of her courtiers 
and ministers, and, to a certain extent, separated 
their interests from hers. ! 







CHAPTER III. 

Dudley and the Council of Trent — The Bishop of Aquila 
tricked — Eric makes another attempt — Dudley again 
approaches the Bishop — The suitors for Mary of Scotland 
— Darnley — The Archduke Charles — Dudle}- — Melvil's 
mission to Elizabeth — Hans Casimir — French approaches. 



When it was clear that the Archduke Charles was 
shelved and that Cecil and the Protestants were 
urging" the suit of the Prince of Sweden, who evi- 
dently meant business, it behoved Dudley to make 
a countermove. Bishop Quadra had over and over 
again said he had found him out, and would not be 
deceived by him again; but in January, 1561, only 
four months after Lady Robert Dudley's death. Sir 
Henry Sidney came to see the Bishop. Sir Henry 
was Lord l^obert's brother-in-law, and had always 
belonged to the Spanish or Catholic party, and 
consequently was a persona-grata with Quadra, 
especially as he was a near relative of the Duchess 
of Feria (Jane Dormer) whose husband was the 
Bishop's great patron. He came (of course from 
Dudley), and after much beating about the bush 
said that as the Queen's attachment to Lord 
Robert, and her desire to marry him were now 
public, he, Sidney, was much surprised that some 
approach was not made to Dudley on behalf of the 
King of Spain ; as in the event of a helping hand 



54 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

being extended to him now, " he would hereafter 
serve and obey your Majesty Hke one of your own 
vassals." The Bishop intimated that there was no 
particular reason why his master should put himself 
out of the way about it, as he had nothing to gain 
in the matter, although if the Queen expressed a 
desire for his good offices he would be always 
ready to extend courtesy to her. But really such 
strange tales were afloat, said the Bishop, that he 
had not dared to write to the King about them. 
Sidney took the bull by the horns and said that 
^ if the Bishop were satisfied about Lady Robert's 

j death he saw no other reason for hesitation, " as 
N after all, though it was a love affair, the object of it 

j was marriage, and there was nothing illicit about 

Vit." He had, he said, inquired carefully into Lady 
Robert's death, and was satisfied that it was an 
accident, although he knew that public opinion 
neld to the contrary. The Bishop was very dubious 
upon the point, and said drily that it would be 
difficult for Lord Robert to make things appear as 
he represented them. Sidney admitted that no 
one believed it was an accident, and that even 

/ preachers in the pulpits impugned the honour of 
the Queen in the matter. This led him to the real 
object of his visit, which was to propose that in 
return for the King of Spain's help towards Dudley's 
marriage he would undertake to " restore religion." 
The Bishop still held off, reminding him of how he 
had been tricked by Robert and the Queen before 
through Sidney's wife, and refused to move unless 
the Queen herself spoke about it and told him what 
to write to his master. This, said Sidney, was iin- 
possible, unless he broached the subject first, but 



J 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 55 

promised that Dudley himself should come and 
state his own case. The Bishop deprecated the 
making of any bargain about religion. If Robert 
wished to relieve his conscience he would be glad 
to hear him, but he could enter into no agreement 
to reward him for doing what was the duty of every 
good Christian : all of which meant that the Bishop 
was determined not to be caught again and made 
to act by vague professions. In his letter to the 
King, however, he emphatically urges him to take 
advantage of the Queen's passion for Dudley to 
bring her to her knees, " as she will not dare to 
publish the match if she do not obtain your 
Majesty's consent," popular feeling being dead 
against it. "There is not a person," he says, 
" without some scandalous tale to tell about the 
matter, and one of the Queen's gendemen of the 
chamber is in prison for blabbing." It was even 
asserted that the Queen had had children by 
Dudley, but this the Bishop said he did not believe. 
Shordy after this interview Sidney brought his 
brother-in-law and the Bishop together, and Dudley, 
wisely avoiding any direct reference to the religious 
bargain, merely asked the ambassador to recom- 
mend the Queen to marry him. The Bishop said 
he could not do that, but would make an oppor- 
tunity for praising him to the Queen whilst 
speaking of the advisability of her marriage. This 
was even more than Dudley expected, ?nd he 
urged that no time should be lost. Two days 
afterwards the Queen received the Bishop, who 
more than fulfilled his promise to praise Dudley ; 
although he was careful to say that the King knew 
nothing- of the matter, but he succeeded in per- 



t/ 



y 



56 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

suading the Queen that his help would be readily 
forthcoming if it were requested. 

"After much circumlocution she said she wished 
to confess to me. . . . She was no angel, and 
did not deny that she had some affection for 
Lord Robert . . . but she certainly had not 
decided to marry him or any one else, although 
she daily saw more clearly the necessity of her 
marriage, and to satisfy the English humour it was 
desirable that she should marry an Englishman. 
. . . What would your Majesty think, she asked, if 
she married one of her servants ? " The Bishop 
replied that he did not know, but would write and 
ask the King, if she desired him to do so, although 
he believed his master would be glad to hear of her' 
marriage in any case, and would no doubt be happ)" 
to learn of the advancement and elevation of Lord 
Robert, for whom he felt much affection. The Queen 
had perforce to be content with this, which she at 
once repeated to Dudley, who came to the Bishop 
to thank him. Dudley was so elated at the almost 
unexpected help he was getting that, in the fulness 
of his heart he repeated Sidney's pledge that in 
return the whole control of the Government should 
be handed over to the King of Spain, and the 
Catholic religion restored. The Bishop stopped 
him at once. He had done, he said, and would do, 
all he could to forward his marriage, but he would 
make no bargain about religion. That was an affair 
of their own conscience. " I am thus cautious with 
these people, because if they are playing false, 
which is quite possible, I do not wish to give them 
the opportunity of saying that we offered them 
your Majesty's favour in return for their changing 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 57 

their religion, as they say similar things to make 
\our Majesty disliked by the heretics here and 
in Germany. If they are acting straightforwardly, 
a word from your Majesty in due time will do more 
than I can do with many." i At the same time the 
Bishop made no secret to the King of his opinion 
that unless the " heretics " were to finally prevail 
Dudley's marriage must be forwarded or a revolu 
tion and the removal of the Queen carried out. 
Philip was even more cautious than his ambassador. 
He was anxious to help Dudley on the lines sug- 
gested, but there must be something in writing from 
the Queen and her lover, and some prior earnest 
must be given of their chastened hearts in the 
matter of religion, either by the despatch of pleni- 
potentaries to the Council of Trent or otherwise. 
Dudley was all eagerness to get the matter settled, 
and for the next few weeks kept urging the Queen 
to request the King of Spain's good offices towards 
the marriage. But the recognition of the Pope's 
Council of Trent was a serious matter and could 
not be done without the co-operation of Cecil. He 
had been bought over temporarily to Dudley's side 
in appearance b\' the gift of some vacant sinecure 
offices, but he saw — as did the Queen in her calmer 
moments — that the participation of Elizabeth in the 
Catholic Council would ruin England by destroying 
the balance upon which its safety depended. So 
whilst ostensibly countenanci;ig it he artfully frus- 
trated Dudley's plan. Francis IE, Mary Stuart's 
husband, was now dead, and France was ruled by the 
Queen-mother Catharine de Medici, whose tenure of 
power largely depended upon Huguenot support. So 
^ Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth), vol. i. 



58 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

to her was sent the Puritan Earl of Bedford to suggest 
joint action with England in relation to the Council 
and religious affairs generally as a countercheck to 
Dudley, and Cecil himself began to intervene in the 
negotiations w^th the Bishop. He urged the latter to 
get his master to write a letter to the Queen recom- 
mendinof the marriacfe, in terms that he knew were 
impossible, and when the Bishop asked him point 
blank whether this was the Queen's message or his 
own, he begged that a modest maiden like her Majesty 
might not be driven into a corner and made to 
appear anxious for her own marriage. He further 
said the intention was to summon Parliament, and 
lay the King's letter before it as an inducement for 
them to adopt the marriage with Dudley — a course 
which he knew well would have an entirely opposite 
effect. The Bishop soon saw the drift. "The sum 
of it all is that Cecil and these heretics wish to keep 
the Queen bound and subject to their heresies, and 
although she sees that they treat her badly, and 
especially the preachers, she dares not go against 
Cecil's advice, as she fears both sides would then 
rise up against her. Robert is very much displeased 
at all this, and has used great efforts to cause the 
Queen to make a stand and free herself from the 
tyranny of these people and throw herself entireh" 
on your Majesty's favour. I do not think, however, 
that he has been able to prevail, as he is faint- 
hearted and his favour is founded on vanity. " 
Sidney, Pembroke, and others, urged Dudley to 
action, but, infatuated as the Queen was with him, 
she knew what a weak reed he was in Council, and 
always checked herself in her passion to take the 
wise advice of Cecil. For some weeks, however, the 



OUEEX ELIZABETH. 



59 



Bishop was deceived. - A great show of cordiaHty was 
made towards him ; the CathoHc nobles and bishops, 
persuaded that Dudley's suit w^as being- pushed by 
Spain, began to gather round the favourite, and 
ostensible preparations were made for receiving the 
Pope's Nuncio in England with the invitation to 
the Council of Trent. The Bishop wrote to the 
King that, at last Dudley " appeared to hav^e 
made up his mind to be a worthy man and gain 
respect." Dudley was now more emphatic than/ 
before of his intention to restore the Catholic religion ( 
in England, and the Protestant party took fright. 
Greatly to Quadra's indignation public opinion was 
excited against himself as the promoter of a plot 
to restore Catholicism ; the Nuncio was informed ^v - 
that he would not be allowed to land in England, 
the Queen refused to send envoys to the Council of 
Trent, Sidney was hurried off to his Government in 
Wales, and, by the end of April, Cecil's underhand 
diplomacy had triumphed and Dudley's plan to force 
the Queen into a marriage by the aid of the 
Catholics w^as frustrated. It is undoubted that the 
Queen was perilously near taking the step on this 
occasion, and. but for Cecil, might have been be- 
trayed into doing so ; although Dudley's vain and 
giddy boasting, when he thought he had triumphed 
on this and other occasions aided the disillusion- 
ment. Her own imperiousness could not brook 
his assumption of superior airs in her presence, v^ 
and she quickly resented it. She would let them 
know, she said, that in England there was only 
one mistress and no master. Shortly before she 
had told Morette, who came at the instance of the 
Duke of Savoy, to propose the Duke de Nemours 



6c THE COURTSHIPS OF 

ior a husband, that in Enoland there was a woman 
who acted as a man, and did not need a Granvelle 
or a Montmorenci to guide her. EHzabeth was 
now in the very prime of her beauty and powers. 
Her complexion was of that pecuHar transparence 
which is only seen in golden blondes, her figure 
w^as fine and graceful, and her wit and accomplish- 
ments were such as would have made a woman of 
any rank or time remarkable. She was a splendid 
horsewoman too, with a keen eye for popular effect 
in her actions, and for ever on the look-out, as her 
ill-fated mother had been, for the cheers of the 
populace. One of the German agents sent by the 
Emperor about the Archduke Charles's match, 
gave a glowing account of her.'' "She lives, he 
says, a life of such magnificence and feasting as can 
hardly be imagined, and occupies a great portion 
of her time with balls, banquets, hunting, and similar 
amusements, with the utmost possible display, but 
nevertheless she insists upon far greater respect 
being shown her than was exacted by Queen Mary. 
vShe summons Parliament, but lets them know that 
her orders must be obeyed in any case." Her vanity 
was perfectly insatiable, and only those who would 
consent to pander to it could hope for a continuance 
of her favour, always excepting Cecil, but yet the 
oreat mind, the far-seeinor caution, the strono- will, 
the keen self-interest, kept even the vanity and 
frivolity in check when they otherwise would have 
led her into danger. As Dudley was necessary to 
her weak side, so was Cecil needful to her strong 
one : the one to amuse and gratify her, the other 

' Coloredos account. Tiepolo to the Senate, December lo, 
1559. Venetian Calendar. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 6i 

to counsel and sustain her and to protect her 
against herself. 

The Bishop attributed the approaches made to 
him by Dudley to a deep-laid scheme to propitiate 
Spain until the widowed Mary Stuart should be 
married, but he seems to leave out of account 
Dudley's real desire for his marriage with the 
Queen on any terms, and his wrath at the fiasco. 
The Bishop thought the hand of Cecil had been 
forced by the coming of the Pope's Nuncio, and 
that otherwise the farce would have been kept up 
for some time longer. In any case the Catholic 
hopes in England and Ireland, which had revived 
at the news of the negotiation with Spain, were 
speedih" crushed by fresh persecutions, and the 
Protestants in England, P>ance, and Germany 
were for the first time drawn together in a common 
understanding. That the Bishop was deeply 
chagrined at the way he had been treated is clear 
by his behaviour towards the Queen and Dudley 
durino- the entertainment given bv Dudlev on St. 
John's Day, 1561. It was only a month after the 
Nuncio had been turned back, and the Catholic 
prosecutions were being carried on vigorously. 
The Queen. Dudley, and the Bishop were alone in 
the gallery of the State-barge off Greenwich wit- 
nessing the fireworks and other entertainments, 
" when she and Robert began joking, which she 
likes to do nuich better than talking about business. 
They went so far in their jokes that Lord Robert 
told her that if she wished I could be the clergyman 
to marry them, and she, nothing loath to hear it, said 
she was not sure whether I knew enough English. 
I let them jest for a time, but at last spoke to them 



62 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

in earnest, and told them that if they listened to me 
they could extricate themselves from the tyranny of 
the councillors who had taken possession of the 
Queen and her affairs, and could restore peace and 
unity to the country by reinstating religion. If 
they did this they could effect the marriage they 
spoke of, and I should be glad to perform it, and 
they might severely punish those who did not like 
it, as they could do anything with your Majesty 
(Philip) on their side. As things were now I did 
, / ^ not think the Queen would be able to marry except 
when and whom Cecil and his friends might please. 
I enlarged on this point somewhat, because I see 
that unless Robert and the Queen are estranged 
from this gang of heretics they will continue as 
heretofore, but if God ordain that they should fall 
out with them I should consider it an easy thing to do 
everything else we desire." No action more likely 
^ to attain thq end in view than that adopted by the 
Bishop can be conceived, and had it depended upon 
Dudley alone, not many days would have passed 
before England was handed over to Spain and the 
Catholics for the satisfaction of the worthless favour- 
ite's ambition. Happily the Queen and Cecil had 
to be taken into account as well, and England was 
saved. In August news came to England that 
^^^X the new king, Eric XIV., encouraged by certain 
Puritan messages sent to him when Dudley's mar- 
riage was pending, was on his way to England, 
His servants and household stuff arrived in Dover, 
with smart new liveries and a showy stud of horses, 
and it was announced that the King would follow 
at once to ask tor Elizabeth's hand. This was in- 
convenient, for Marv of Scotland was still a widow. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 63 

and the wedding of Elizabeth to Eric would have 
been at once followed by the marriage of Mary to 
a nominee of Philip, to the almost certain destruc- 
tion of the Protestant party. Elizabeth assured the 
Swedes that she had no intention of marrying, 
refusing a passport for the King on the ground that 
it was not becominaf for a modest maiden to be 
always giving passports to a young unmarried 
prince — besides, she had given him two already — 
one of which he did not use and the other was lost. 
In face of this coolness Eric affected to put to sea, 
but a providential tempest caused him to return, 
and the affair was again shelved, the Queen in the 
meanwhile dallying with Lord Robert, which she 
could do without much danger to the State now that 
Cecil had upset his Catholic plan. But Dudley's 
personal enemies were always on the alert. Arundel 
considered he had been insulted by him, and in 
revenge had a minute inquiry made as to the circum- 
stances of Lady Robert's death, which disclosed very 
suspicious facts. This humbled Dudley somewhat 
and made him more cautious, but as he found the 
Catholics incensed against him. he tried to balance 
matters by approaching their opponents. He sent 
an envoy to Henry of Navarre with similar proposals 
to the Huguenots to those he had previously made 
to the Spaniards and Catholics. If they would 
uphold him in his pretensions to the Queen's hand 
he would practically hand over England to their 
control. They politely agreed, but knew full well 
that the control of England was in stronger hands 
ithan his, and did nothing to help him. It was little 
'indeed they could have done just then, for their 
own great struggle was yet before them, and Dudley 



64 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

soon found that he had made a mistake. His 
sending Mowbray to negotiate with Navarre had 
offended the regular EngHsh ambassador, Throg- 
morton, and the noise of the intrigue had reached 
Eno-land, more than ever irritatino- the CathoHcs 
against Dudley. The latter had no scruples and 
no shame, and turned completely round again. In 
January, 1562, he once more went servilely to Bishop 
Ouadra, professing his attachment to Spanish in- 
terests and begging that Philip should write to the 
Queen urging her to marry him. He was in a 
great hurry, and wanted the letter before Easter; but 
the Bishop was not to be rushed into another com- 
promising position, and said that he had so often 
assured the Queen of Philip's affection for Dudley 
that a fresh letter from the King was unnecessary, 
but he would again speak to her Majesty in his 
favour. This did not satisfy Lord Robert, but it 
was all he could get, and a few days afterwards the 
Bishop asked Elizabeth what was the meaning of 
Dudley's request, as Philip's approval of the match 
had already been expressed. " She replied that she 
was as free from any engagement to marry as on the 
day she was born, no matter what the world might 
think or say, but she had quite made up her mind 
to marry nobody whom she had not seen or known, 
and consequently she might be obliged to marry in 
England, in which case she thought she could find 
no person more fitting than Lord Robert. She 
did not wish people to say that she had married of 
her own desire, but that her friends and neighbour- 
ing princes should persuade her to do so." " This," 
said she, " is what Robert wants ; as for me, I ask 
for nothing." Seeing that the Bishop still held oft' 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 65 

and refused to budge, she said it was of no conse- 
quence at all. It was only for appearance' sake. 
She could as well marry without Philip's approval 
as with it, but if she did, Robert would have but 
small reason to serve the interests of Spain. " I 
answered her in a joking- way, " said the Bishop, 
"and told her not to dilly-dally any longer, but to 
satisfy Lord Robert at once . . . and so I passed 
over the question of the letter." He, no doubt 
correctly, surmised that the letter was wanted 
merely for the purpose of mollifying the Catholics 
towards Dudley, and plainly told Philip that if he 
were not prepared to force Catholicism upon Eng- 
land by an invasion, there was no reason why the 
letter should not be sent, as it would at all events 
please somebody, whilst his present attitude of 
reserve pleased no one, and the English Catholics 
would never move without active help. The letter, 
however, was never written, and three months after- 
wards the Bishop himself had altered his opinion 
about it. In April, 1562, he writes to Granvelle 
that the time had now gone by for Philip to help 
Robert, as the Catholics were against him, and 
instead of their being propitiated they would be 
alienated thereby. "The Queen," he says, "de- 
sires not to act in accord with his Majesty, as 
will have been seen by her behaviour in this case 
and all others. I have already pointed out that the 
letter they requested was only to smooth over all 
difficulties here and carry out their own intentions." 
Quadra was now completely undeceived, and de- 
clined to be snared again with matrimonial negotia- 
tions. Indeed, for the present, the point upon 
which European policy pivoted was not the marriage 

6 



66 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

of Elizabeth, which had now grown stale, but that 
of the widowed Mary Stuart in Scotland. The 
persevering Eric XIV., after yet one more repulse 
from the Queen Elizabeth, had sent to propose to 
Mary — which, however, did not prevent his am- 
bassador in London from politely suggesting- a 
match with one of the daughters of the Emperor — 
Darnley, the Earl of Arran, Don Carlos, and even 
)y\ the Archduke Charles, were already being dangled 
before Mary's eyes. Her uncles, the Guises, were 
in an atmosphere of intrigue on the subject, 
and there was hardly a Court in P2urope that 
had not its own candidate for the Scottish Queen's 
hand. Elizabeth's great efforts, seconded by those 
of James Stuart (afterwards the Regent Murray), 
were directed towards preventing Mary from marry- 
ing a powerful foreign prince, particularly a Catholic, 
and as a means to this end the Huguenots in France 
were encouraged to break down the power of the 
Guises. Catharine de Medici, the regent, was glad 
of the chance, for she hated them ; and now that 
their niece was no lonofer Oueen of France there was 
no excuse for their predominance. The best way for 
the English to please the Huguenots was to flout 
Spain and the Catholics, and the Bishop soon found 
that frowns instead of smiles greeted him. Elizabeth 
had been informed that an intrigue was afoot to 
marry Mary to Don Carlos, the vicious young 
lunatic who was Philip's only son. This would 
have meant the ruin of Protestant England and the 
strengthening of the Guises in F"rance, to the 
detriment of Catharine de Medici. The plan of the 
latter, supported by James Stuart, was to hasten on 
a marriage between Mary and Darnley. Elizabeth 



0UEP:N ELIZABETH. 67 

did not relish the idea of the union of the two next 
legal heirs to her own crown, but pretended to 
approve of it,' and Dudley promised Lethington to 
support it strongly, in the hope that such a pre- 
cedent might bring his own marriage nearer. The 
Spanish ambassador was openly slighted, his 
couriers stopped, his letters read, his secretary 
suborned, and he himself placed under semi-arrest, 
charged with plotting against the Queen. Among 
other things he was accused of writing to Philip, in 
a letter that had been intercepted, that the Queen 
had been privately married to Lord Robert in the 
Earl of Pembroke's house. To this he answered 
that he had merely written what all London was 
saying, namely, that the wedding had taken place. 
" When he had said as much to the Queen herself 
she was not annoyed thereat, for she had replied 
that it was not only people outside who thought so, 
as on her return that afternoon from the Earl's 
house her own ladies-in-waiting, when she entered 
the chamber with Lord Robert, had asked her 
whether they were to kiss his hand as well as her 
own, to which she had replied no, and that they 
were not to believe what people said." The 
Bishop inserted a sting at the end of his justification 
by saying that, considering the way people were 
talking, he did not think he would injure the Queen by 
saying she was married. Elizabeth's next step was to 
send powerful aid to the Huguenots in France, who 
were already in arms, to draw closer the connection 
with the Protestants in Germany and Holland, and 
for the first time openly to disregard Spain and the 

' Castelnau de la Mauvissiei-e, '' Memoires," and " Melvil 
Memoirs." 



68 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

Catholic party in Europe. With a divided France 
and a discontented Netherlands this was possible as 
it never had been before. In the midst of the war- 
like preparations in England to occupy Havre for 
the Huguenots, FLlizabeth fell ill of small-pox at 
Hampton Court, and was thought to be on her 
death-bed. The consternation in the palace was 
great, as the crisis was unexpected ; but whilst the 
acrimonious discussions as to the succession were 
still in progress the Queen rallied, and was pro- 
nounced out of danger. The first thing she did on 
recovering speech and consciousness was to beg" the 
Council to make Dudley protector, with a peerage 
and an income of ^20,000. Everything she asked 
was promised, though, as Quadra says, without any 
intention of fulfilling it. J3ut Dudley and the Duke 
of Norfolk were admitted members of the Council, 
which was a great point gained for the former. 
When the Queen feared she might die she protested 
solemnly before God that, although she loved 
Robert dearly, nothing improper had ever passed 
between them.' 

Parliament assembled early in 1563, and de])u- 
tations from both Houses addressed the Queen on 
the subject of fixing the succession. She was 
extremely angry, and said that what they saw on 
her face were pock marks and not wrinkles, and 
she was not so old yet as to have lost hope of 
children. Subsequent attempts to approach her on 
the subject, or that of the marriage, met with a 
similar or more violent repulse. In March, during 
the sitting of Parliament, Maitland of Lethington, 
Mar)' ot Scotland's famous Secretary of State, 
' Spanish Cnlendar (Elizabeth), vol. i. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 69 

arrived in London for the purpose of forwarding- 
his mistress's claim to the succession. He soon saw- 
that the Queen would have her way, and that no 
successor would be appointed, the evident intention 
of both Elizabeth and Catharine de Medici being, 
as Mary herself said, to force an unworthy or a 
Protestant marriage upon her, in order to injure her 
prestige with the English Catholics. Cardinal 
Eorraine and others were anxious that Mary should 
wed the Archduke Charles, but Mary said she must 
have a prince strong enough to enforce her claim to 
the Enorlish throne, which Charles was not, and 
refused him, her own Catholic noblemen being 
also strongly against him for similar reasons. 
The opponents of the Guises in France, and 
the Protestants in Enofland, were of course ao-ainst 
the marriage of Mary with a member of the 
house of Austria, so that, although his name was 
kept to the front for some time, Charles was never a 
probable husband for the Queen of Scots. In a 
lono- conversation Elizabeth had with Maitland she 
told him that if his mistress would take her advice, 
and wished to marry with safety and happiness, she 
would give her a husband who would ensure both : 
and this was Lord Robert, in whom nature had 
implanted so many graces that if she (Elizabeth) 
wished to marry she would prefer him to all the 
princes in the world. Maitland said this was indeed 
a proof of the love she bore to his mistress, to give 
up to her what she cherished so much herself, but 
he hardly thought his mistress, even if she loved 
Lord Robert as dearly as Elizabeth did, would con- 
sent to deprive her of all the joy and solace she 
received from his company. Elizabeth, after some 



70 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

more talk of this sort, said she wished to God that 
his brother, the Earl of Warwick, had the "race and 
good looks of Robert, in which case each Queen 
could have one of the brothers. Maitland was 
much embarrassed by this unexpected sally, and 
adroitly turned the subject to one that he knew 
would silence the Queen. He said that as his 
mistress was much the younger, it would be well 
that Elizabeth should marry Robert first and have 
children, and then when she died she might leave 
both her kingdom and her husband to Mary. 

The Scots nobles at this time saw that, with Eliza- 
beth and Catharine united against their Queen, things 
were likely to go badly with her ; and even Protes- 
tants such as Maitland and Murray were desirous of 
counteracting the opposing combination by enlisting 
the help of Spain. Maitland, therefore, after much 
circumlocution and mystery, proposed to Quadra 
that Mary should be offered to Don Carlos. The 
Bishop was delighted with the idea, and sent the 
offer to Philip, who also approved of it. If such a 
marriage had been possible, and had been carried 
out swiftly and suddenly, it might have been the 
turning-point to make England Catholic — but it was 
not to be. Events marched too rapidly for Philip's 
leaden method, and the opportunity was lost whilst 
information, pledges, and securities were being- 
sought from the Scotch and English nobles, upon 
whom Philip depended for deposing Elizabeth and 
placing Mary and her consort on the throne of 
Great Britain. In vain through a course of years 
Philip was told with tiresome reiteration that things 
could not be done in that way. The Catholics 
would not rise without a certainty of aid, and the 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 71 

pledges could not be all on one side. So, tired of 
waiting, at last the Scots nobles were driven to con- 
sent to Mary's marriage with Darnley, and she, for 
a time at least, ceased to be the centre figure in the 
marriage manoeuvres. / 

Sir James Melvil, one of those cosmopolitan 
Scotsmen who were in so much request at Euro- 
pean Courts in the sixteenth century, had been sent 
by the Emperor and the Elector Palatine, to whom 
he was then attached, to propose a marriage between 
the boy-king, Charles IX., and one of the grand- 
daughters of the Emperor Ferdinand, and whilst he 
was still in Paris, early in 1564, his own Queen, 
Mary of Scotland, recalled him. He had lived 
abroad for many years — since he was a child — and 
Catharine de Medici made him tempting offers to 
remain with her, but he decided to obey Mary's 
summons and return home. He had, of course, first 
to go to Heidelberg and take leave of his master, 
the Palatine. Some time before this the Palatine's 
second son, the famous Duke Hans Casimir, had 
requested Melvil to carry an offer of marriage from 
him to Elizabeth. Melvil refused, as he says he 
had reason to believe from what he had heard that 
Elizabeth knew herself incapable of child-bearing, 
and "would never subject herself to any man." 
When Melvil was taking leave of the Palatine, Hans 
Casimir forgot his resentment sufficiently to request 
the Scotch courtier to take his portrait and present it 
to the Queen on his way through London, and after 
considerable demur Melvil consented to do so on con- 
dition that he carried with him portraits of all the rest 
of the Elector Palatine's family, so that Hans Casi- 
mir's picture might be introduced as if accidentally. 



72 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

Melvil took with him also an important message 
from the Protestant princes of Germany to EHza- 
beth; and, with his poHsh and wit, very soon got into 
the Queen's good graces. He deftly introduced 
the subject of the portraits, and she at once asked 
him pointedly whether he had that of Hans Casimir, 
as she wished to see it. He told her he had left 
the portraits in London, he being then at Hampton 
Court, whereupon she said he should not go until 
she had seen the pictures. Melvil delivered them 
to her next day, and even suggested that she 
should keep them. But she only asked Dudley's 
opinion about them, " and would have none oi 
them. I had also sure information that first and 
last she despised Duke Casimir." Which, indeed, 
seems highly probable. In one of the Queen's 
familiar chats with Melvil she told him she had 
determined to propose two persons as fit husbands 
for his Queen, and promised to make the Scotsman 
her agent in the matter, which, he says, at the persua- 
sion of Dudley, she failed to do. He was soon sent 
back again to London as Mary's envoy, to, if possible, 
mollify Elizabeth's anger at the Scotch queen's cool 
reception of her matrimonial advice, and at Mary's 
intimacy with Lennox, the father of Darnley. 

He arrived in London early in October, 1564, 
and soon became on friendly terms with Elizabeth 
again. In his first interview in an "alley " in the 
gardens at Whitehall he told the Queen that his 
mistress had not considered the proposal for her to 
marry Dudley until a joint commission of Scotch 
and English statesmen should have met ; and 
Melvil suggested that the English commissioners 
should be the Earl of Bedford and Lord Robert. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. y^^ 

Elizabeth took offence at the order in which the 
names were mentioned. "She said," writes Melvil, 
"that I appeared to make small account of my Lord 
Robert, seeing that I named the Earl of Bedford 
before him, but she said that ere long she would make 
him a far greater earl, and that I should see it done 
before I returned home. For she esteemed him as 
her brother and best friend, whom she would herself 
have married had she ever minded to have taken a 
husband. But being determined to end her life in 
virginity, she wished the Queen her sister might 
marry him, as meetest of all other with whom she 
could find in her heart to declare her second person." ^ 
Elizabeth's reason for her recommendation was a 
curious one. She said she trusted Dudley so 
implicitly that she knew that if he married Mary 
he would not allow any attempt to usurp the throne 
of England whilst she, Elizabeth, lived. The 
Oueen was as trood as her word, and before 
Melvil left he saw Dudley made Earl of Leicester 
and Baron Denbeigh. The ceremony of investure 
was a splendid one, and the Queen herself helped to 
decorate the new earl with the insignia of his rank, 
"he sittino- on his knees before her with oreat 
gravity. But she could not refrain from putting 
her hand in his neck, smilingly tickling him, the 
French ambassador and I standing by. Then she 
turned, askino- at me, ' How I liked him.' Melvil 
gave a courtly answer. 'Yet,' says she. 'you like 
better of yonder long lad,' pointing towards my 
lord Darnley, who, as nearest prince of the blood, 
did bear the sword of honour that day before her. 
My answer was that no woman of spirit would make 
' " Melvil Memoirs." 



74 THE COURTSHIPS OV 

choice of such a man, who more resembled a woman 
than a man. For he was handsome, bearciless, and 
lady-faced." But for all that one of Melvil's prin- 
cipal purposes in England was diplomatically to 
obtain permission for Darnley to go to Scotland. 
On another occasion Elizabeth told Melvil that 
she would never marry unless forced thereto by his 
mistress's " harsh behaviour." " I know the truth ot 
that, Madam," said he, "you need not tell me. You 
think that if you were married you would be but 
Queen of England, and now you are both King and 
Queen. 1 know your spirit cannot endure a com- 
mander." She then took him to her bedchamber 
and opened a little cabinet "wherein were clivers 
little pictures, and their names written with her own 
hand on the papers. Upon the first that she took 
up was written ' My lord's picture.' I held up the 
candle and pressed to see the picture so named, but 
she appeared loath to let me see it, yet my impor- 
tunity prevailed, and found it to be the Earl of 
Leicester's picture. " Melvil tried to get the picture 
to carry to Scotland, as the Queen had, as he says, 
the original ; but Elizabeth would not part with the 
counterfeit, although she pretended to be willing to 
give Dudley himself to " her dear sister." Melvil 
gives a very amusing account of the manner in 
which the Queen pressed him to give his opinion as 
to the respective perfections of his mistress and 
herself. vShe dressed herself in every possible style 
for his delectation, showed off her dancing, her 
music (with a fair amount of coyness), her know- 
ledge of languages. "Her hair," he says, "was 
more reddish than yellow, curled, in appearance, 
naturally. She desired to know whether my 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 75 

Queen's hair or hers was the best." He rather ( fsj 
fenced so cleHcate a question, but the Queen 
insisted upon an answer, and she was told that 
" she was the fairest Queen in England, and mine 
the fairest Queen in Scotland." But still she was 
not satisfied, and after much pressure Melvil was 
fain to answer that "she was the whiter of the two, 
but that Mary was very lovely." 

Shortly before Melvil's visit a new Spanish am- 
bassador, Guzman de Silva, had arrived in London, 
and Dudley lost not a day in trying- upon him the 
tactics that had failed with Quadra. A Catholic friend 
of his was sent to Guzman to assure him that, if 
he would exert his influence to ruin Cecil with the 
Queen, Dudley would place himself under the orders 
of Philip, and at a second interview with the am- 
bassador the same person told him "that Robert 
still looks to marry the Queen, and thinks that 
religious questions will be settled thereby. Robert, 
he says, has an understanding with the Pope on 
the matter, and a person in Rome to represent him. 
This he told me in strict secrecy, and greatly praises 
Robert's good intentions with regard to religion and 
the marriage, but with equivocal assurances as to 
what measures would be adopted." Needless to 
say that the former ambassador's experience was 
not lost upon his successor, and Dudley was hence- 
forward looked at askance by the Spanish party. 
The Queen herself next tried her blandishments 
on the new envoy. He was invited to a grand 
masque represented in the palace, and sat next to 
her Majesty, who interpreted the play to him. Of 
course it was all about love, which gave an oppor- 
tunity for the Queen to ask the Spaniard whether 



^6 THK COURTSHIPS OF 

Don Carlos had grown manly. She was told that 
he had, and then, sighing sentimentally, she said : 
" Ah me ! every one disdains me ! I hear he is 
to be married to the Queen of Scots." The am- 
bassador assured her that it was not true — Carlos 
had been too ill of late for any thought of his 
marriage, but still people would gossip about great 
people. " That is very true," said the Queen. 
" Why, they even said in London the other day 
that the King was sending an ambassador to treat 
of the marriage of the prince (Don Carlos) with 
juc ! " The feasting and entertainment lasted till 
two in the morning, but it is probable that this hint 
was the origin and end of it all. This was in July, 
1564, when the Queen felt the need of again 
drawing closer to the house of Austria. She had 
been somewhat badly treated by Conde and his 
Huguenots. Peace had been made in France on 
terms which again gave the Catholics a predomi- 
nance, and Cardinal Lorraine had already practi- 
cally arranged the interview between Catharine de 
Medici and her daughter, the Queen of Spain, 
which took place at Bayonne in the following 
spring. It was known in England and Germany 
that the real object of this meeting between mother 
and daughter was to give an opportunity for the 
Catholic statesmen to form a league for the utter 
extermination of Protestantism the world over ; 
and, since the Protestant princes in Prance had 
been gained over, it became necessary for Elizabeth 
now to trim to the side of Spain. She soon began 
dropping hints to Guzman about her marrying a 
German, and assured him that she was a Catholic at 
heart, "although she had to conceal her real feelings 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 77 

to prevail with her subjects in matters of religion." ' 
When, with the desire of turning her against the 
Protestants, he told her that preachers were slan- 
dering her because she had placed a crucifix on 
the altar of her chapel she said that she would 
order crosses to be placed in all the churches, and 
then continued : " They also charge me with show- 
ing more favour to Robert than is fitting, speaking 
of me as if I were an immodest woman. I am 
not surprised that occasion for it should have been 
given by a young woman and a young man of good 
qualities, to whose merits and goodness I show 
favour, although not so much as he deserves ; ])ut 
God knows how great a slander it is, and a time 
will come when the world will know it. My life 
is open . . . and I cannot understand how so bad 
a judgment can have been formed of me." She 
then referred to the negotiations, which were still 
lingering on, for the marriage of Mary of Scotland 
with Don Carlos, of which she was evidently in 
great fear, and on the ambassador laughingly saying 
that Mar)" was more likely to marry the King of 
France, who was then only fifteen years of age, 
Elizabeth at once said that was impossible, as 
approaches had been made to marry him to her, 
"which, she was assured, was a more suitable mar- 
riage than that which your Majesty (Philip) had con- 
tracted with her sister." She had, however, she said, 
laughed at it as a thing not to be spoken of consider- 
ing their ages." This was quite true, for Conde 
had suggested the matter to Sir Thomas Smith, 
the English ambassador in Paris, a year before, 
whilst the bickering was going on between them 
' Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth), vol. i. 



78 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

as to the terms of the peace and the repayment 
to the EngHsh of the cost of the aid given to the 
Huguenots.' Smith had passed it over at the time 
as impossible, and the matter had gone no further ; 
but only a month after the interview described 
above between Guzman and the Queen, the 
marriasfe of the latter with the bov Charles IX., 
who was barely half her age, was brought forward 
in a more authoritative form. When the Catholics 
;were again dominant in Paris, and the objects of 
'the Spanish and French rapprochement beyond 
idoubt, Elizabeth had sent to the new Emperor 
,'Maximilian, ostensibly to condole with him on his 
(father's death, but really to reopen the negotiations 
I for the marriage with the Archduke Charles. This 
\action had to be met and parried by Catharine de 
Medici, who at this time — November, 1564 — found 
herself getting rather more completely pledged 
than she liked to the Catholic and Spanish party, 
the complete success of which she knew would be 
her own downfall ; and it was a characteristic stroke 
of policy of hers to propose so farcical a match 
as that of Charles IX. with Elizabeth, with the 
objects, first of hindering the negotiations with the 
Archduke Charles, secondly of keeping her own 
Huguenots in hand and preventing England from 
helping them, and thirdly to checkmate the at- 
tempts to marry Mary of Scotland to a Spanish 
prince. In one of her familiar chats with Smith, 
who followed her in her voyage through Southern 
France, she told him she would like to see her 
son married to the Queen of England. Smith 
was not sympathetic, but gave a full account of 
^ FcMX'is^n Calendar, 1563. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 79 

the conversation to Cecil, who clearly looked upon 
the proposal with equal dislike and incredulity. 
Very soon afterwards a more direct approach was 
made to Elizabeth herself, through one of those 
intriguing ladies of the Valois Court whom Bran- 
tome is so fond of describing. This was Madame de 
Crussol, who is stated to have worked for Catharine 
in sending Chastelard to Scotland for the express 
purpose of compromising and injuring Mary of 
Scotland.' This woman wrote a long letter to 
Elizabeth hinting at the marriage, and shortly 
afterwards instructions were sent to Paul de Foix, 
the French ambassador in England, to make 
a formal offer to Elizabeth. The instructions 
arrived early in February, 1565, and de Foix 
was received by the Queen of England a few 
days afterwards. The interview took place at first 
in the presence-chamber, but on the ambassador 
saying that he had something secret to communi- 
cate, the Queen led him into her private apartment, 
where, after much high-flown compliment, he read 
to her Catharine's despatch, saying that she would 
be the happiest of mothers if her dearly beloved 
sister would marry her son and become a daughter 
to her. She hastened to add that "she (Elizabeth) 
would find both in the body and mind of the King 
that which would please her." - Elizabeth blushed 
with satisfied vanity as much as confusion at this, 
expressed a deep sense of the honour done her, 
and deplored that she was not ten years younger. 
She was afraid she would be abandoned as her 

' Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth), vol. i. 

2 " Depeches de De Foix," Bibliotheque Nationale. 
Ferriere. 



8o THE COURTSHIPS OF 

sister was, and foresaw the grave obstacles to such 
a match ; but de Foix souofht to reassure her bv 
saying that the Queen-mother knew her age, and 
expected she would yet bear many children to her 
son. Elizabeth replied that she would rather die 
than be neglected ; but still, though her people 
would prefer that she should marry an Englishman, 
there was none she could marry but the Earl of 
Arundel, "and he was as far off as the poles are 
asunder." As for the Earl of Leicester, she had 
always esteemed his merit, but her sense of dignity 
would not allow her to endure him as a husband. 
It was agreed between the Queen and de Foix 
that the matter should be kept secret, and she 
promised him a reply shortly. The next day Cecil 
drew up one of his lucid Latin papers, setting forth 
in detail the many dangers and objections which 
would ensue from such a marriage, and the Queen 
at once repeated all of Cecil's arguments to the 
French ambassador as her own, assurino- him that 
she had not mentioned the matter to any one. The 
ambassador still pressed the Kings suit ; she would 
have a husband in the flower of his youth, she 
would be certain to bear children. Parliament might 
certainly be induced to give its consent, and all the 
objections might be overcome by a wisely drafted 
treaty. But, said the Queen, who would bring the 
King to book if he violated it ? Upon this de 
Foix lost patience, and said that as a consequence 
of the good reports he had sent to the Queen- 
mother with regard to Elizabeth's disposition 
towards her son, she had thought of this match ; 
but as he saw that her affections were placed 
elsewhere he would withdraw. This did not suit 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 8i 

the Queen. She assured him she had not oiven 
a refusal, niade him sit close by her, and 
thanked him warmly for the good report he had 
sent of her to his King, dismissing him at last 
with a promise to send Cecil to him in a couple 
of days. Cecil was certainly not in favour of the 
match, although Leicester affected to be so, thanks 
parth" to the bribes sent to him from France, and 
partly because he considered the marriage an im- 
practicable one. Cecil, indeed, was now almost 
ostentatiously leaning to the Catholic side, forcing 
the vestments on to the clergy, relaxing the perse- 
cution of the Catholics, and gaining praise even 
from the Spanish ambassador. If the new Emperor 
was going to fulfil the promises he had made to the 
Protestant princes who had elected him, and turn 
reformer, no husband would have been so favour- 
able to England as the Archduke Charles, who 
would have disarmed Philip and the Catholics 
whilst satisfying the Protestants and avoiding the 
dangers to E^nglish independence which would 
arise from the marriatre of the Oueen with a 
prince of the reigning houses of Erance or Spain. 
When Cecil saw de Foix, therefore, he diplomati- 
cally combated the views advanced by the am- 
bassador. When the latter remarked that the aid 
of France would for ever preserve England from 
danger, Cecil replied proudly that England had 
nothing to fear. At the end of the interview- 
Cecil promised to put his objections to the match 
in writing ; but when he was asked for the paper, 
some days afterwards, he refused it, and said that 
the Queen would go no further until she had a 
reply from Catharine to her remarks made to de 

7 



82 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

Foix. Secretaries and couriers therefore went back- 
wards and forwards actively for the next few months. 
This unwonted movement of messengers soon 
attracted the attention of the Spanish ambassador, 
who wrote, on the 15th of March : "The question 
of marriage is a difficult one, because if she weds 
Robert sfreat dissatisfaction will be caused in the 
country, both amongst the higher classes and the 
common people. The Queen has told me several 
times that she wishes to marry, but not with 
Robert ; and Robert himself has told me the same. 
Apart from this all eyes are fixed on the Arch- 
duke Charles, and I am informed that negotiations 
are actually going on about him through Robert. 
. . . Of Robert's leaning towards the matter there 
is no doubt, in appearance, although it is impos- 
sible to say with what object. On the other hand, 
it is said that negotiations are afoot about the 
Kinp- of France, which the Oueen herself told 
me, and it may be true now, because the French, 
having got wind of the Archduke's affair, may wish 
to divert it. It may be also that, however great 
the disparity of years, they may be willing to over- 
look it in order to join this country to theirs. By 
the same rule this Queen may be listening to the 
Archduke for the purpose of stopping his negotia- 
tions with Scotland, and the French may be trying 
to beat her at her own game. " ' It will be seen by 
this how tangled was the diplomatic skein even to 
those contemporaries whose especial business it was 
to unravel it. 

A week after the date of the letter just quoted, 
Guzman saw the Queen, when, as usual, she 
' Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth), vol. i. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 83 

turned the conversation to the subject of mar- 
riages, and the ambassador sHly hinted that 
there was some talk of her marrying the French 
king. She hekl down her head and giggled at 
this, and Guzman continued that the French am- 
bassador had asked his opinion about the match, 
seeing that the King was so litde and she so tall. 
"O!" said the Queen, "they tell me he is not 
very short ; but as it is Lent, and you are my 
friend, I will make a confession to you. A proposal 
for marriage was formerly made to me by the 
King, my brother-in-law (Philip). The King of 
France has now made me an offer, as well as the 
Kings of Denmark and Sweden, and, I am told, 
the Archduke Charles also. The only person 
who has not been suggested is your prince (Don 
Carlos)." Guzman replied that the reason no 
doubt was that, as she had refused the Kin"- 
himself, it was concluded that she had no desire 
to marry, since no higher match could be proposed 
to her. She retorted that she did not consider such 
an inference clear : it is true that she had no desire 
to marry, and would not do so if she could ap- 
point a satisfactory successor ; but her people were 
pressing her, and she was now forced either to 
marry or nominate an heir, which would be diffi- 
cult. "The world thinks that a woman cannot 
live unmarried, and, if she refrains from marriage, 
that she does so for some bad reason ; as they said 
of me that I avoided doing so because I was fond 
of the Earl of Leicester, whom I could not marry, 
as he had a wife living-. His wife is now dead, 
but yet I do not marry him, although I have been 
pressed to do so even by your King." ' Elizabeth 
' Sp;inish Calendar fElizabeth), vol. i 



84 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

was getting very uneasy about the Franco-Spanish 
meeting at Bayonne and the rumoured voyage of 
PhiHp to the Netherlands with a strong force to 
crush Protestantism for good and for all ; the 
idea of her marriage with Charles IX. was one 
eminently calculated to breed distrust of the French 
in the mind of Philip, and, as such, was being actively 
forwarded by the Huguenot party. When therefore 
de Foix, the French ambassador, saw her a few 
days afterwards she told him that she had refused 
to let Cecil put into writing his objections to the 
match, as promised, because the objections were 
really all reducible to one — namely, the question 
of disparity of age. She said that Smith had 
written lately, saying that the King had grown 
wonderfully, and that, when he had seen him after 
an interval of a few weeks, he hardly recognised 
him, as he had grown so tall, and he would no doubt 
be as tall as his father had been. De Foix after- 
wards sat next to the Queen at supper, when she 
was in very high spirits, and drank the King's 
health, and during the entertainment which followed 
talked of nothing but the attractions of the French 
Court. I 

Catharine de Medici on her side was just as 
eager in appearance for the match as Elizabeth — 
and probably equally insincere, since she too had 
her own game to play. She had a long talk about it 
with Smith in Bordeaux in April, in which she said 
that the ages seemed the principal objection, but if 
Elizabeth would put up with the youth of the King, 
she (Catharine) would put up with the age of the 
Queen ; upon which the youthful suitor himself 
' De Foix despatches, Bih. Nat., Paris. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 85 

burst in with the remark that he hoped his mistress 
would be as satisfied of his age as he was of hers. 
Catharine went on to discuss the other two diffi- 
culties raised ; namely, the objection to the Queen 
residing- out of England, and the fear of the un- 
popularity of the match ; but Smith declined to 
give any opinion upon the matter. It was clear, 
indeed, all through that the English ambassador 
would not commit himself in a negotiation which he 
felt to be a hollow one. He said his instructions 
were limited. If the King were a few years older, 
if he had seen the Queen and really liked her, 
he (Smith) would feel less astonishment at the 

present advances, but now " But really," 

interrupted the King, "I do love her." " Your 
Majesty does not know yet what love is," said 
Smith, " but you will soon go through it. It is the 
most foolish, impotent and disrespectful thing pos- 
sible." The boy blushed at this, and his mother 
answered for him saying that his was not a foolish 
love. Perhaps not, said the ambassador, but it is just 
because it must rest upon very grave reasons and 
great and worthy considerations that it ought only 
to be undertaken after mature deliberation. ' Catha- 
rine pressed for a reply before the Bayonne 
meetings, which were fixed for the following month 
of May, but this Smith thought impossible. On 
the following day she again tackled Smith on the 
subject ; and said that, as Cecil himself had had a 
son at fifteen or sixteen, the King's age could not 
be made an objection. Secret as the negotiations 
were kept, Guzman in London was irritated and 
alarmed to see the coming and going of Huguenot 
^ Foreign Calendar. 



86 THE COURTSHIPS OP^ 

secretaries, without being" able to fathom the 
reasons, although it was evident that something was 
afoot. Both de Foix and he were ecclesiastics, 
and many were the feline passages of words that 
passed between them on the subject. There was 
really nothing at all going on, said de Foix, only 
mercantile affairs were being negotiated. Guzman 
did not believe him — as he was a Huguenot 
although an Archbishop — but still did not guess 
that the Queen's marriage with Charles IX. was 
seriously being discussed. F'or some time he 
thought that the matter in hand was the marriage 
of the Queen and Leicester under French patronage, 
but at last in the middle of April the Queen could 
keep the secret from him no longer. He was 
sneering at the long delay at the arrival of a present 
of a coach and some camels that were being sent 
from Catharine to the Queen, when the latter told 
him he was jealous, and asked him what he would 
think if he found her one day Queen of France. 
He declined to consider such a hypothetical case, 
and the Queen, having said so much, tried to make 
light of the matter, saying that she knew nothing of 
all this coming and going of couriers that he talked 
about. He could get no further, and concludes his 
account of the interview thus : "She is very artful, 
wished to appear reserved and give the idea that 
there was no matter of importance afoot." ' On the 
20th of April de Foix pressed the Queen urgently 
for a reply. The interviews of Bayonne were fixed 
for the 20th of May, and if the King's offer were 
rejected, his betrothal to a princess of the house of 
Austria would be arranged. Elizabeth put the 
^ Spanish Cak-ndar (Elizabeth), vol. i. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 



87 



ambassador off with vague professions of friendship 
which a week later changed into complaints that 
Catharine was unduly hurrying her.' In fact, the 
insincere negotiations for the Oueen's marriag-e 
with Charles IX. could now be dropped, as they 
had served Elizabeth's immediate purpose, and had 
brought a prince of the House of Austria once 
more into the meshes of her net. 

^ La Ferriere, " Projets de Mariage." 







CHAPTER IV. 



Spain and the Archduke Charles — Swetkowitz's mission — 
Leicester's continued intrigues — The French suit 
dropped — Eric IV. again — Heneage — Renewed negotia- 
tions with the Emperor — The French patronise Leicester's 
suit — Dissensions in the Enghsh Court respecting the 
Austrian match — Mission of Sussex to Vienna — End of 
the Austrian negotiations — Marriage of Charles IX. 



In the meanwhile Guzman was more at fault than 
ever, and was quite persuaded that the matter being 
discussed was the marriage of Mary of Scotland with 
Leicester, with the connivance of the Guises ; but 
gradually the coil began to unwind before his eyes. 
First he received news from Vienna that secret neoo- 
tiations had been going on ever since the Emperor 
Ferdinand's death for the marriaafe of the Queen with 
the Archduke Charles ; and that Adam Swetkowitz, 
Baron Mitterburg, was on his way to England, 
ostensibly to return Ferdinand's insignia of the 
Garter, but really with a mission about the marriage ; 
then came the news of the marriage, or immedi- 
ately impending marriage, of Mary with Darnley, 
which, however much Elizabeth may have pre- 
tended otherwise, must have relieved her from 
much anxiety and cleared the situation. News 
came to him also of the proposals for betrothing 
Charles IX. to a daughter of the Emperor, and 
Leicester's many enemies were again strongly 



THE COURTSHIPS OF OUEEX ELIZABETH. 89 

urging- the Queen's marriage with the Archduke. 
Guzman by this time had become highly sceptical 
of the Queen's intention to marry at all, and was 
not apparently anxious to help forward the Arch- 
duke's suit until the new Emperor's attitude in 
religion was well established. He therefore tried 
to face both ways. He received Swetkowitz 
cordially and promised him support, but before 
doing anything sounded Leicester again. The 
Karl, whilst hunting with the Queen, had met with 
an accident, and was confined to his bed. This 
gave Guzman an opportunity of calling upon him. 
Maitland, Cecil, and Throgmorton were already 
there when he entered, but stood aside whilst he 
conversed with the Earl. He whispered to him 
that his affection prompted him to say how sorry he 
was that he (Leicester) was losing so much time in 
bringing about his marriage with the Queen, and that 
he had better act promptly now or he would regret it. 
( luzman reminded him that he had always done his 
best for him with the Queen and assured him of 
Philip's attachment to him. Leicester protested his 
abject gratitude, but said sorrowfully that the Queen 
would never marry him, as she was bent on wed- 
ding a great prince ; but there was none she could 
marry but Don Carlos or the Archduke. Guzman 
passed this over by saying he understood that there 
had formerly been some talk about the Archduke, 
and then arain reverted to Leicester's own suit. 
Leicester's spirits rose at this, as it seemed to 
betoken a coolness towards the Archduke's ad- 
vances, and said that if Guzman would speak to 
the Queen now about marrying him he thought she 
would be more favourable than formerly as her 



90 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

reasons for rejecting' him before was the fear that 
Mary of Scotland would marry a powerful prince ; 
"whereas now that this marriatre with Darnley had 
taken place my business will be more easil) 
arranged. 1 have not cared to press the point 
upon her hitherto, although the Council has done 
so. I think, therefore, that this is a good juncture 
for my business." The Spanish ambassador told 
him to leave the matter to him, and adds in his 
letter to Philip : "I thought well to approach the 
matter and have the road thus prepared before the 
Emperor's envoy arrived, so that if he does not tell 
me what he is arranging I can still find out and pro- 
ceed in the business." ' It appeared that for once 
Leicester and Throgmorton had been co-operating 
with Cecil and others to bring the Archduke 
forward again, the Earl having taken up this new- 
position no doubt as soon as he thought the French 
match was looking serious ; but. withal, (}uzman 
did not believe in the sincerity of the new Austrian 
negotiations, which he looked upon as a " mere 
diversion," and, after his conversation with Leicester, 
wrote : " Lord Robert is more confident now and 
said ... he could not contemplate the Queen's 
marriage with any one but himself without great 
repugnance." It is probable that at this time the 
Queen seriously leant again towards a marriage 
with Leicester. The proposals for a match with the 
French king were never anything but a feint, with 
the objects which have been mentioned, and the new 
negotiations with the Archduke were undertaken, 
not only to disarm Spain at the Bayonne meetings, 
but also to clear the ijround and deceive Cecil. 
^ Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth). 



OUEKN ICLI/AHl'/lll. 



91 






vSussex, aiul Norfolk, by an apparentl) sincere 
attempt to bring" about the marriage, which could 
subsequently be wrecked on some religious scruple. 
The general desire for the Queen's marriage might 
then be pleaded, even to Leicester's enemies, as a 
reason why the Queen should marry him, the onK 
remaining possible suitor. For the first time in her 
reign the Queen now might do it, as she had 
nothing to fear from "her dear sister" Mary of 
Scotland. There is ample reason to believe that 
this was the key to the present attitude ol the 
Queen and Leicester ; and Guzman makes no 
secret of his opinion that it was so. In the mean- 
while Cecil was proceeding in good faith with Swet- 
kowitz ; and de Foix was still pressing the Queen 
daily for some decision respecting Charles IX., to 
whom she grew colder and colder. Swetkowitz 
was beine beo-uiled, as others had been, with 
dinners and masques at Greenwich, and was made 
much of by the Queen ; but when, after many 
fruitless attempts, de Foix got to close quarters 
with her, she assured him that she had held out no 
hopes to the Archduke, and then turned the tables 
upon him and complained that Charles IX. was 
seeking a bride elsewhere before he had received 
her answer. But at last the comedy could be 
carried on no longer, and the Queen referred de 
Foix to her Council for his reply. The interview 
took place on June 12, 1565, and although the 
principal difficulty raised was again the King's 
youth, yet de F^oix saw now plainly that the affair 
was at an end. He and the other honest instru- 
ments had been deceived from the first. It suited 
: Catharine and Flizabeth equally to play the game 



92 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

for their own ends, and when the need tor it had 
disappeared it was dropped. 

Swetkowitz was a Lutheran, and on Whit Sunday 
attended Protestant service with the Queen, who 
after dinner had an interestino- conversation with him, 
in which he promised that the new Emperor would 
not stand so much upon his dignity as his father had 
done, and would let the Archduke come and see her 
as he {the Archduke) greatly wished to do. She 
blushed with pleasure at this, and said that if they 
liked one another the matter could soon be settled. 
What was uppermost in her mind, however, was seen 
in her next remark : "I pray you tell me, have you 
heard from any one that the Earl of Leicester is not 
dealing favourably with this affair or is opposing it 
in any way?" He replied that on the contrary 
Leicester had been most favourable, and had even 
himself written to the Emperor urging the match. 
He pointed out to her that it was not surprising 
that the public considered the match probable, as if 
she married out of England there was no other 
prince of suitable age whom she could marry. 
" But," she said, " I have never said yet that I 
would not marry the Earl of Leicester." This rather 
damped Swetkowitz, and Guzman was further con- 
firmed in his opinion that the whole negotiation was 
dishonest and for the benefit of Leicester, who was 
now leaning more towards French interests at 
Court. Guzman distrusted and disliked him, but 
thought necessary to feign approval of his suit, in 
order to have a claim upon his gratitude ; and 
Swetkowitz, who was duly informed of this, con- 
sequently had great doubts of the sincerity of 
Spanish support in the Archduke's pretensions. 



OUEEN ELIZABETH. 



93 



This caused a coolness between the two ambas- 
sadors, and somewhat paralysed the action of 
Swetkowitz, who said that as soon as he was satis- 
fied that the King of Spain really favoured the 
match he, Swetkowitz, had means for brineino- it 
about. At an interview Guzman had with the 
Queen she expressed her doubts about the boiia- 
jides of Philip's approval and tried to draw the 
Spanish ambas.sador into some clear expression of 
it. He told her that if she decided to marry one of 
her own subjects he, Guzman, could not forget the 
interests of his friend {i.e., Leicester), but if she 
chose a foreign prince he begged her not to over- 
look the house of Austria, as he had said before. 
"That is true," she replied, "but you said the 
house of Spain." He told her she was mistaken. 
He had no reason for saying Spain, as his master 
was head of the house of Austria, and he did not 
particularise or exclude any member of his house. 
This was sufficiently indefinite, and conveyed to the 
Queen the impression which was intended ; namel) , 
that either match could only be effected by her 
coming to an arrangement with Spain. She replied 
that she thanked the ambassador for his kind remark 
about his friend, and left Philip to thank him for the 
rest. "This makes it evident to me," he wrote to 
the Kine, "that Lord Robert's affair is not ofT, and 
I have many reasons for being doubtful about the 
Archduke." Leicester's enemies, particularly Sussex, 
were busy trying to animate Swetkowitz, and 
persuade Guzman to take a more active share in 
the negotiations. But the new Emperor's religious 
attitude was still undefined, and Guzman at this time 
believed that the Oueen and Leicester were already 



94 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

married.' He looked, moreover, upon the promotion 
of the Archduke's suit by Sussex as a Court intrigue. 
" Throgmorton," he says, " is for ever coming here 
to ask questions of the Emperor's envoy, who tells 
them that the Archduke is coming ; and they 
(Leicester's friends) have devised some other 
scheme to stop the business." What the scheme 
was soon appeared. A day or two after Guzman's 
interview with the Queen, in June. 1565, the French 
ambassador saw the Council ostensibly to again press 
the marriage of the Queen with Charles IX. He was 
once more told that the King's youth made such a 
match impossible, and replied that as she refused 
his master it was evident that she did not intend to 
marry a foreigner, and warned the Council that the 
chosen consort must be a person who was well 
.affected towards French interests, or trouble would 
ensue. He was asked what person would best 
please his master, and he replied the Earl of 
Leicester. With the more or less overt support of 
the ambassadors of the two great powers. Leicester's 
chance was now sufficiendy good to alarm Cecil and 
Sussex, who saw the necessity of doing something 
to better the Archduke's position. Cecil therefore 
approached Leicester through his friend Throg- 
morton, and suggested that if the Queen married 
the Archduke, Leicester might be provided with 
a wife and his position secured by his wedding some 
relative of the Emperor, such as the young Princess 
of Cleves, who was then fifteen. Throgmorton 
was quite in love with the idea, and approached 
the Emperor's envoy with suggestions of Leicester's 
marriage with a sister of the Emperor or some 
' Spanish Calendar (Eli^^aix^tli), \ol. i. p. 436. 



OUEEN ELIZABETH. 



95 



other princess of the house of Austria. The 
proposal was of course received very coldly. 
Guzman thought the object of it was perhaps only 
to couple Leicester's name with those of great 
marriageable princesses, in order that the people 
might gradually be brought to consider him a tit 
husband for the Queen, who had always told the 
ambassador that she would marry him (Leicester) 
if he were a king's son, but the real purpose was 
to buy off Leicester's opposition to the Archduke. 
The sham proposals for the marriage of the Queen 
with Charles IX. having served their purpose were 
now quite at an end, and the Queen of Scots' deter- 
mination to take Darnley had further simplified 
the situation, so that Leicester's chance was better 
than ever it had been, supported as he was, for 
interested reasons, both by France and Spain, the 
promotion of the Archduke's suit being mainly 
pushed in the English Court by those who were 
Leicester's declared enemies, whilst the Spanish 
ambassador was only giving it half-hearted coun- 
tenance. Norfolk and Sussex, however, continued 
to talk to the Queen about the Archduke, and in a 
conversation with Sussex on the subject she told 
him that " Robert pressed her so that he does not 
leave her a moment's peace." When Leicester 
urged his suit she was just as ready to say that she 
was never free from the importunities of Sussex on 
behalf of the Archduke. Matters were in this 
position in July, 1565, when, doubtless at the 
instance of the English Protestant party, inimical to 
Leicester, King Eric made another attempt. P irst 
came an envoy with a present of magnificent sables 
for the Oueen, and news that the King's sister 



96 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

Princess Cecilia, who had married the Margrave of 
Baden, was awaiting a ship at Embden to sail for 
England, and Elizabeth lost no time in sending two 
of her own vessels to convey her royal visitor to 
her capital. Early in September the Margravine 
arrived at Dover with her husband and a large suite, 
and a few days afterwards came by boat from 
Gravesend to Durham House, where she was to be 
the guest of the Queen. She was dressed, we are 
told, in a black velvet robe and a mantle of cloth of 
silver, her fair hair being surmounted by a golden 
crown. The Queen could not do too much, 
apparently, to honour the first royal visitor she had 
received since her accession. Lord and Lady 
Cobham had awaited her at Dover, the Queen's 
cousin, Hunsdon, with six of the Queen's o[-entlemen, 
attended her from Gravesend, and at the water gate 
of Durham House she was welcomed by the Coun- 
tess of Sussex, with Lady Bacon, and Lady Cecil, 
who were leading members of the Puritan party. 
The Queen herself visited the Margravine a few 
days afterwards, and was prodigal of her marks ot 
affection to her. Shortly afterwards the Princess 
gave birth to a son and heir, to whom Elizabeth 
stood sponsor, and for a time Durham House and 
Whitehall vied with each other in the splendour of 
their reciprocal entertainments, although F>ic's 
vicarious wooing prospered no better than before, 
notwithstanding the efforts in its favour made by 
the Bacons, the Cecils, and their friends. They 
had, indeed, been checkmated even before the 
Swedish princess's arrival. The Spanish ambas- 
sador, with the conniv^ance of Sussex, Norfolk, and 
Arundel, at once became much warmer in his 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 



97 



apparent support of the Archduke's pretensions, 
whilst at the same time privately assuring- Leicester 
ot his master's ^rood-will towards him. He pressed 
the Queen to look favourably upon the Emperor's 
brother, gave hopes that the Archduke might 
be allowed to have his way and visit her, and 
cono-ratulated her upon having avoided so unequal 
a match as that projected with the King of h'rance, 
who, the Oueen herself said, mioht be her errand- 
son. The Emperor's answer about his brother's 
coming was hardly as cordial as was wished, but 
as it contained full particulars of the conditions 
demanded, both as to religion, finances, and position 
of the consort, the match was now brought seriously 
and officially under consideration. The terms were 
so hard, and the tone of the Emperor's communi- 
cation so dry, that it was decided not to show the 
letter to the Queen, and to conceal the text of the 
conditions from her, by saying merely that the 
Emperor was willing for his brother to come, but 
desired first that commissioners should meet and 
decide upon some bases for negotiation, in case she 
should be favourably impressed by him. It was 
seen at once by the friends of the match that the 
Emperor's terms were impossible. The Archduke 
was to have the title of king and to govern jointly 
with his wife ; in case of her death without heirs he 
was to remain in the government of the country, 
and was to exercise the Catholic religion without 
hindrance. Cecil, Sussex, and others privately met 
Sw^etkowitz, and agreed that, if the matter were to 
go on, the conditions must be softened to the 
Queen, and by some means the Archduke be 
brought to England, in the hope that his coming 



98 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

would so far pledge her that she could not 
well recede. But withal, the answer given by 
the Queen and Council was not very encouraging. 
The main question, that of religion, was slurred over 
and left for future discussion, but a decided negative 
was given to the claim that the consort should be 
called king, or that a permanent income should be 
settled upon him. As soon as the Emperor's hard 
terms were received a decided change took place 
in the attitude of Leicester and his friends towards 
the match. It was evident to him that it could 
always be prevented by raising difficulties with 
regard to religion, and Leicester had therefore no 
hesitation in pretending to favour and forward it in 
order to choke off the Swedish suit. He even 
entered into a regular treaty with the Spanish 
ambassador by which he agreed to help the Arch- 
duke's affair on condition that he was to receive 
Spanish support in case the Austrian marriage came 
to nothing, as he meant it to do. Still further to 
beguile people into the belief that he himself was 
entirely out of the running, and that the Arch- 
duke's suit was now really in a fair way, an elabo- 
rate comedy was concocted, by which the Queen 
was to flirt with Heneage — a married man — 
whilst the Earl was to make love to Viscountess 
Hereford, afterwards Countess of Essex, whom he 
subsequently married. This he probably did too 
realistically, and a quarrel, real or pretended, ending 
in tears on all sides, consequently took place 
between him, Heneage, and the Queen, whereupon 
the favourite went to his rooms and sulked for a 
few days, until he was recalled, and Heneage, who 
had been sent awav, was also allowed to return. 



OUEEX ELIZABETH. 



99 



In the meanwhile Sussex was straining every nerve 
to pledge the Queen to the Archduke; and Guzman 
was really doing his best to forward the match, 
although he never was for a moment deceived by 
Leicester, whom he now saw through. " I keep 
Leicester in hand," he said, " in the best way I can, 
as I am still firm in my opinion that if any marriage 
at all is to result from all this it will be his." 
Swetkowitz hurried back to Vienna with the English 
reply, and to explain to his master the only method 
by which success was possible. Lutheran as he 
was, he would have given way upon the vital point 
of religion, although he confessed his fear that the 
Emperor would not do so; "but," said he, "you 
must put up with a good deal to gain such a king- 
dom as this." To have given up on the point of 
reliofion, however, would have made the match 
useless to Philip, and there was never any chance 
of the marriage being effected on such terms. 
Leicester, of course, did not know how pliable the 
Emperor might prove, but Swetkowitz's hopeful- 
ness and conciliatory attitude seems in August to 
have alarmed both him and the French ambassador 
into the belief that perhaps, after all, the marriage 
would be effected. At all events, Leicester and the 
French again began to push his suit warmly, as 
soon as Swetkowitz left, and the Queen, with just 
an occasional smile to Heneage, was kinder to him 
than ever. Philip IL, who knew Elizabeth as well 
as any one, thus writes in October to his ambas- 
sador : "The Archduke's suit is now quite at an 
end, as I am informed by the Emperor that he is 
undeceived, and withdraws altogether from the 
business. You will, therefore, say no more about 



lOO THE COURTSHIPS OF 

it unless he writes to the contrary, which I do not 
think he will. . . . Let me know the result of the 
Swedish negotiations, although no doubt they will 
end like the rest ; and, after all, she will either not 
marry or else marry Robert, to whom she has 
always been so much attached. You did well in 
writing to me fully about the quarrel with Heneage, 
because the whole affair and its sequel clearly show 
that the Queen is in love with Robert, and for this 
reason, and in case at last that she may take him 
for her husband, it will be very expedient to keep 
him in hand." ' Maximilian, however, was not 
playing quite fairly with Philip when he told him he 
had abandoned the idea of marrying his brother to 
the Queen of England. The interference of the 
Spanish king in the affair was, in fact, a great 
hindrance to its success, as, dependent as the 
Emperor partly was upon the German Protestant 
princes, he could not bind himself hard and fast 
to the extreme Catholic militant party; and to saddle 
an Austrian match with impracticable Spanish con- 
ditions, was to make it impossible. Pearly in 1566, 
therefore, the Emperor sent back a temporising 
reply to England, saying that the wording of the 
clause about religion appeared somewhat harsh, and 
begging that it might be modified. The Phnperor's 
tone was so conciliatory, as a result of Swetkowitz's 
representations, that the hopes of Suffolk and Nor- 
folk again rose high for a time. But as the Emperor 
advanced the Queen receded. She complained to 
the Spanish ambassador of the delay in the sending 
of the reply, and was petulant about the Emperors 
objections. " How could she marry," she asked, " a 
' Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth), vol. i. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. loi 

man whom she had to feed, and let the world sav 
she had taken a husband who could not afford to 
keep himself! The Emperor must think they (the 
English) lived like Turks, whereas they had the 
Holy Sacrament the same as he had ; " and then 
she began to talk about Leicester in a way which 
convinced the ambassador that his chance was 
better than ever. She said that she had promised 
the Earl no answer — in fact, he had never had the 
presumption to ask her to marry him, but the 
Council had done so, and it was for them to ask for 
a reply, and not Leicester ; " but the Earl had good 
parts and great merits, and if she had to marry a 
subject she had a great liking for him." Referring 
to Mary of Scotland's recent marriage with Darnley, 
she said that if she married Leicester two neiMi- 
bouring queens would be wedded in the same way. 
"She is so nimble in her dealing and threads in \ 
and out of this business in such a way that her most 
intimate favourites fail to understand her, and her 
intentions are, therefore, variously interpreted." j 
In the meanwhile both the Archduke's and Lei- 
cester's friends were confident that their respective 
suits were prospering, although Leicester either 
was, or feigned to be, bitterly jealous of the Queen's 
new flame, his erstwhile bosom friend Heneaee, with 
whom he had another noisy quarrel, nearly ending in 
bloodshed, in February, 1566.' Cecil, Sussex, and 
Bacon, in the meanwhile, were constantly praying 
Guzman to exert his influence with the Queen in 
favour of the Archduke ; and the Duke of Norfolk 
was induced to speak to her on the subject. He 
told the Queen that the former recommendation of 
' Michaeli Surnian in Venetian Calendar. 



102 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

the Council to her to marry Leicester was only 
adopted because they thought her own desires lay 
that way, and not because they approved of it. 
The Duke himself strongly urged her to marry the 
Archduke and rescue the country from the evils of 
a disputed succession. After leaving the Queen 
Norfolk saw Leicester and taxed him with breaking- 
faith with them, as he had promised not to press his 
own suit, the Queen having distinctly announced that 
she would not marry him. On the strength of this 
negotiations were being conducted with the Em- 
peror, and yet, said Norfolk, no sooner was the 
imperial ambassador gone than Leicester pushed 
his own courtship more strongly than ever. He 
was told plainly that if he did not desist evil would 
befall him, as all the nobility were against him ; 
whereupon Leicester went off in a huff and sulked 
for a fortnight, until the Queen recalled him and 
petted him more than ever, upon which Norfolk in 
turn took umbrage and went home, leaving the 
Archduke's interests in the hands of Sussex. For 
months this game of cross purposes went on. One 
afternoon in February, 1566, Guzman saw the 
Queen walking with Leicester in the lower gallery 
overlooking the gardens of Whitehall. In conver- 
sation with the ambassador she praised her favour- 
ite to his face, and said that he was just trying to 
persuade her to marry, for the sake of herself, the 
country, and even on his (Leicester's) account, as 
every one believed that he was the cause of her 
remaining single, and his life was in danger if he 
remained at Court. She again said that " if he were 
a prince she would marry him to-morrow." ' With 
' Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth), vol. i. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 103 

the Emperor's cool dilatoriness and Leicester's 
constant efforts, the cause of the latter was distinctly 
in the ascendant during the spring of 1566. Nor- 
folk and Sussex were too evidently biased by 
personal enmity towards the favourite to be good 
negotiators for his rival, whilst Cecil and Bacon on 
the one hand, and Guzman on the other, did not 
care to be hasty in concluding the Archduke's 
marriage until the religious conditions were clearly 
understood. It was finally determined that an 
envoy should be sent to the Emperor with the 
Queen's reply to the objections he had raised, and 
at first Francis Bertie, the Duchess of Suffolk's 
husband, was chosen. He was, however, a strong- 
Protestant, and a friend of Leicester's, and the 
Spanish ambassador privately urged Cecil to have 
the appointment cancelled. This was done, and the 
Oueen's kinsman, Sir Thomas Sackville, was then 
selected. When this appointment was made Lei- 
cester was, in one of his periodical sulking fits, 
driven away by the remonstrances of Cecil and 
Sussex and by the Oueen's flirting with the Earl of 
( )rmond. The French ambassador, de Foix, says 
that Elizabeth had positively promised to marry the 
favourite during the winter, and at Christmas had 
beo-2:ed him to wait till Candlemas, in order that 
Catharine de Medici's approval might be sent. 
Leicester found that his best weapon was to deprive 
the Queen of his presence, as she generally came 
round in a few days so far as to promise him any- 
thing to bring him back. Between her promises 
and their fulfilment, however, there was usually a 
great gap, and Leicester felt that he was powerless 
lo get bevond a certain point. His influence was 



I04 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

always strong enough to prevent the success of 
another suitor, but not powerful enough to ensure 
his own. His sulking bouts, indeed, were often 
feigned, in concert with the Queen, to appease 
Cecil, or to prevent the entire cessation of the 
Archduke's negotiations. This probably was the 
case when the appointment of Bertie as ambassador 
to the Emperor had aroused suspicion, as, after an 
apparent tiff with the Queen, Leicester went to 
Pembroke House, where the Queen, disguised, 
joined him in a friendly dinner before he left the 
Court. ^ On the representations of Cecil she con- 
sented to appoint Sackville instead of Bertie ; but 
she had quietly agreed with Leicester beforehand 
that her complaisance should not go be)oncl appear- 
ance, and before the favourite returned to Court 
Sackville's departure had been indefinitely post- 
poned. During Leicester's absence from Court Cecil 
and Sussex were more hopeful about the Archduke, 
although as we now see with very little reason. The 
Austrians were lethargic, the Spaniards coldly 
cautious, whilst the French were determined and 
unceasing in their efforts to thwart the Archduke's 
suit. De Foix spent large sums in Leicester's 
Interest, and Catharine de Medici showered gifts 
and favours upon him constantly. The moment 
that he was in diso-race, however, or when the 
Archduke's match seemed really progressing, they 
played their trump card in bringing forward Charles 
IX. again. When Rambouillet, the French envoy 
to Scotland, saw Elizabeth in February he had 
enlarged, by the Queen-mother's orders, upon the 
vigour and comeliness of the young King. The 
' Spanish Calendar (Elizabetli), \nl. i. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 105 

Queen was always ready to listen to talk like this, 
and sighed that she would like to meet him, "but," 
she said, "do you think it would be a good match 
for the King to marry an old woman like me ? " 
De Foix, before his departure in May, 1 566, again and 
again referred to the matter lightly, with the evident 
intention of keeping it alive, to the detriment of 
the Archduke's match and for the benefit of Lei- 
cester. The mantjeuvre was easily seen through, of 
course, and Guzman, in an interview with Cecil on 
the 1 8th of May, said to him, "These Frenchmen 
are in a fine taking when they see the Archduke's 
match progressing, and at once bring forward their 
own king- to embarrass the Queen. When they see 
that this trick has hindered the negotiations they 
take up with Leicester again, and think we do not 
see through them." Cecil was of the same opinion, 
and said the French thought they could do as 
they liked when they had Robert on their side. 
Instead of Sackville, a Kentish gentleman named 
Danett was sent to the Emperor, merely as an 
accredited messenger, with a reply to his letter 
and the offer of the Garter. The letters from 
Danett arrived in London in June, 1566, and 
were of so encouraging a nature that the ad- 
vocates of the Austrian match ag-ain became 
confident that their man would win the prize. 
This gave rise as usual to fresh activity on the 
part of the French. Catharine de Medici, in her 
instructions to the new ambassador, Bochetel de 
la Forest, directed him to help forward Leicester's 
pretensions with all his might, and thwart those of 
the Archduke, and Elizabeth had an interesting 
conversation with the ambassador's nephew Vulcob 



io6 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

on the subject during her progress in the autumn of 
1566. The Queen was staying at Stamford, and 
Vulcob was charged with his uncle's excuses for not 
attending her. He met Leicester at the door of 
the chamber, to whom he conveyed the regard and 
sympathy of the King and Queen-mother of 
France. The Earl replied that the Queen was 
more undecided about marrying him than ever, 
and he did not know what to think. He had 
known the Queen, he said, since they were children 
together, and she had always announced her inten- 
tion to remain single, but if by any chance she did 
marry, he was sure she would marry no one but 
him. Vulcob was then summoned by the Queen, 
who at once began to dwell upon the physical 
qualities of Charles IX., and the Frenchman, 
nothing loath, launched into high-flown panegyrics 
of her own perfections and his master's manli- 
ness. A day or two afterwards he got into talk 
with the Queen's physician, who suggested that 
the best way to cement the alliance between 
England and France would be to bring about a 
marriage between the King and Queen. Vulcob 
objected that their ages were so different, and the 
unlikelihood of issue ; to which the physician re- 
plied : " Your King is seventeen, and the Queen only 
thirty-two. Take no notice of what she says in that 
respect, it is only her passing fancies. If the King- 
marries her, I will answer for her having ten 
children, and no one in the world knows her 
temperament better than I do. If you like, you 
and I will secretly manage this business. Your 
King is young and vigorous and accustomed to 
travel ; let him come to Boulogne to see this fair 



0UP:EX ELIZABETH. 107 

lady." ^ The hint was faithfully conveyed to Catharine 
de Medici, but she was not deceived by it. Both 
she and her ambassador clearly saw the drift, and, 
talked of the affair only when necessary to thwart^' 
the Austrian match, or when Leicester himself wa^ 
not strong- enough to stand alone against his 
enemies. 

This position continued during the summer and 
autumn of 1566: Elizabeth bitterly jealous of the 
birth of Mary of Scotland's child, apprehensive 
of the secret aid in money being sent by Alba to 
Mary for the promotion of her cause, and yet afraid 
to offend the house of Austria, which mioht arm 
her own Catholic subjects against her ; Leicester 
alternately hopeful and despairing ; the Archduke's 
friends minimising points of difference and smooth- 
ing over difficulties in the hope of getting their man 
to England at any cost ; and the French party 
sleepless in their efforts to prevent Elizabeth's 
marriage with any nominee of Spain. More than 
once the quarrel between Leicester and his enemies 
nearly flamed out into open hostility. The Queen 
peremptorily insisted upon his making friends with 
Sussex, and even forced him to an appearance of 
reconciliation with his rival Ormond. Both the 
Spanish and French ambassadors give numberless 
instances of the rancour existing at Court, and 
profess themselves shocked at the Queen's lightness 
and giddiness of conduct in connection with the 
marriage question. The nation itself, so far as 
public opinion could be said to exist at the time, 
was also disturbed, and when Parliament met in 
October, all Cecil's efforts were unavailing to prevent 
^ Bib. Nat. Paris. De H Ferriere. 



io8 THK COURTSHIPS OF 

the discussion of the Queen's marriage and the suc- 
cession. A joint committee of both Houses was 
appointed to draw up an address to the Queen on 
the subject, and the resentment of EHzabeth against 
the majority for cleaHng with the matter of the 
succession particularly, against her wish, M^as 
cunningly fanned by Guzman, who pointed out 
that they were nearly all extreme Protestants. " I 
do not know what the devils want," said the Queen. 
"O ! your Majesty," replied the ambassador, "what 
they want is simply liberty ; and if monarchs do 
not look out for themselves and combine, it is easy 
to see how it will end." ' So the irate Queen sent 
for the leaders of both Houses to have it out with 
them. First came the Duke of Norfolk, her kins- 
man and most distinguished subject, himself almost 
a sovereign in his own county, and received the 
full torrent of her vituperation. He was a traitor, 
a conspirator, and much else, and the poor man, 
overwhelmed, stammered out that he never thought 
to ask her pardon for having offended her thus. 
Next came the turn of Leicester, Pembroke, 
Northampton, and Howard, w^ho remonstrated with 
with her upon her treatment of Norfolk. She told 
Pembroke he talked like a swa^orerino- soldier ; 
said that Northampton was a nice fellow to prate 
about marriage — he had better look after his own 
matrimonial difficulties than mince words with her. 
Then softening somewhat she turned to Leicester 
and said that, even if all the world had abandoned 
her, she did not think he would have done so. He 
said somethino- about his w411ino-ness to die at her 
feet, to which she replied that that was not the 
' Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth). 



QUEEN ELIZABI-:TH. 109 

purpose. When the interview was at an end, the 

lords met in conclave and sent Sussex to beo- 

Guzman again to exert his influence in favour of 

the Archduke. The next day the ambassador saw 

the Queen for the purpose, when she again broke 

out in denunciation of her councillors for putting this 

pressure upon her, and was particularly bitter about 

Leicester. " VMiat did Guzman think," she asked, 

"of such ingratitude after she had shown him so 

much kindness and favour that even her honour had 

suffered for his sake. She was glad, however, of so 

good an opportunity of sending him away, and the 

Archduke might now be quite free from suspicion.'* 

Her anger of course was mostly directed against 

the attempt to force her hand in the matter of the 

succession ; and, by the advice of Guzman, she saw 

the leaders separately in a calmer mood and put 

them off with vague assurances that she would 

marry shortly, and would summon a Parliament if 

anything prevented her from doing so. Once only she 

lost her temper again in her long speech to the joint 

committee, and that was when she addressed the 

Bishops of London and Durham, whom she turned 

upon and rent for their inconsistency. B\- dint of 

alternate bullying and cajolery she reduced both 

Houses of Parliament to a condition of pliability, and 

having got her supplies voted, dissolved Parliament 

early in January, 1567. and was again free to do as 

she liked without interference. Her indignation 

against Leicester was short-lived. Only a month 

after she had rejoiced in sending him away, she 

told Guzman that she thought he had acted for the 

best and was deceived by the others. " She was 

quite certain," she said, "that he would lav down 



no THE COURTSHIPS OF 

his life for hers, and that if one of them had to die 
he would willingly be the one." 

To satisfy the powerful combination which was 
determined to press the Archduke's cause, it was 
decided that the Earl of Sussex should be sent with 
the Garter to the Emperor, with powers to discuss 
the terms of marriage ; but Leicester and the French 
managed, by casting doubts and raising difficulties, 
to delay his departure. Norfolk was brought up to 
London to exert his influence, and for several 
months again the Court was a hot-bed of intrigue, 
in which Norfolk, Sussex, and the Conservative 
party, aided by Guzman, and cautiously supported 
by Cecil and Bacon, w^ere pitted against Leicester 
and the French ambassador. From day to day the 
fickle Oueen chano^ed. First Sussex was to be 
hurried off at once, then he was to o"o after Shrove- 
tide ; then when he had prepared for his journey 
Elizabeth told him he would not leave so quickly as 
he thought. With Leicester, too, she was equally 
changeable, one day turning her back upon him, 
and the next begging the Spanish ambassador to be 
friendly with him. On one occasion in February, 
1567, when the Council had progressed very far in 
the settlement of Sussex's instructions, Leicester's 
Puritan friends again brought up the matter of the suc- 
cession in order to embroil matters and embarrass the 
Queen ; but she put her foot down firmly then, and 
they dropped the subject in a fright. This having 
failed, they renewed their agitation for an inquiry into 
the conduct of Sussex as Viceroy of Ireland ; but out 
of this honest Ratcliff emerged triumphant, to the 
sorrow of his enemies. At last .Sussex got tired of 
the constant quarrelling, and begged for leave to go 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. m 

home, which was refused, and some sort of recon- 
ciliation was patched up between him and Leicester. 
In view of ahiiost hourly changes in the Queen's 
matrimonial attitude, and the certainty that the 
Leicester party would after all try to wreck the 
Archduke's suit on the religious conditions, Sussex 
firmly refused to undertake the embassy to the 
Emperor, unless he had precise orders signed by 
the Queen as to the terms he might accept, "as he 
was determined not to deceive the Emperor." At 
last, after infinite trouble, Sussex was despatched at 
the end of June. 1567, bearing full instructions to 
negotiate the marriage. He was to raise no great 
difficulty except on two points : first the question 
of the Archduke's income, and secondly that of 
religion. He was to say that "the Queen will take 
care that he wants for nothino-, but she does not 
wish her people to think she had married a man too 
poor to keep himself." The Archduke might 
privately hear Mass in his own chamber, but must 
conform outwardly to the law of England and ac- 
company the Queen to Protestant service publicly. 

It was felt by all those who favoured the match 
that the Spanish ambassadors in London and Vienna 
might have been more cordial in their support of it 
than they were ; and both the Queen and Sussex 
were for ever trying to get at Philip's real desires in 
the matter. With the papers now before us, we see 
that if the Emperor was to be induced to give way 
on the question of religion, and England was to 
remain Protestant, the marriage would injure rather 
than benefit Philip's plans ; whilst a thoroughh' 
Catholic match, by which Elizabeth would have 
submitted to the Pope, would have cut the ground 



112 THK COURTSHIPS OF 

from under her feet and made her the humble 
servant of Spain. This she knew better than any 
one, and however much PhiHp may have again 
deceived himself in the matter, there was never 
a shadow of a chance of such a match being made 
by her or consented to by her wisest councillors. 
Upon this rock the matrimonial hopes of the 
Archduke again split. Sussex remained with the 
Emperor until February, 1568, probably the only 
prominent English statesman who was sincere or 
honest in the negotiations, but was at last himself 
undeceived, and begged for his recall in deep dis- 
appointment and resentment against Leicester and 
his party, upon whom he laid the blame of the 
failure of his mission. A decent pretence was 
assumed on both sides that the project was still pend- 
ing ; and the Emperor was invested with the Garter 
with great pomp ; but the matter was practically at 
an end on the departure of Sussex from Vienna : 
not altogether to Philip's displeasure, as he had lost 
all belief in the Queen's matrimonial professions, 
and was daily becoming more convinced of the 
impossibility of her humbling herself to the extent 
of accepting the Catholic conditions by which alone 
a marriage with his kinsman would be advantageous 
to him. Elizabeth, too, was in a better position 
now than she had been to drop the hollow negotia- 
tions, since the civil war in France, and Philip's 
own difficulties in the Netherlands and the South 
of Europe, secured her from present danger from 
either power, whilst the standing menace of Scot- 
land had disappeared for the first time for years, 
as Mary was a prisoner with a cloud of doubt and 
disg^race haneine over her head. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 



'13 



Under these circumstances Elizabeth could rest 
somewhat from the long comedy of mystification 
about her matrimonial affairs, continuing, however, 
to keep her hand in by dallying with Leicester and 
occasionally smiling upon Heneage. An attempt 
was made nearly three years later, in December, 
1570, to revive the negotiations for the Archduke's 
match by sending young Henry Cobham to the 
Emperor ; but the device had at last grown too stale 
to deceive, and a cold refusal to entertain the matter 
was given, much to the indignation of Elizabeth, 
who now found that both her royal suitors had 
deserted her, Charles IX. having recently married 
a daughter of the Emperor. 






't;:^! 




CHAPTER V. 

Marriage with the Duke of Anjou suggested — Guido Caval- 
canti and La Mothe's negotiations — Walsingham's de- 
scription of Anjou — Anjou's rehgious scruples — His 
objections overcome — Lord Buckhurst's mission to Paris 
— Anjou's conditions — Rehgious difficulties — The Ridolh 
plot — Anjou obstinate again — Smith's mission to France 
— Marriage with the Duke of Alencon suggested — Great 

/ disparity of age. 



The treaty of St. Germain between Charles IX. 
and the Huguenots, signed in August, 1570, brought 
to an end the long civil war in France. It had for 
some time been a favourite project of the Guises 
and the Catholic party in France to rescue Mary of 
Scotland by force, with the help of the Pope, marry 
her to the Duke of Anjou, and place her on the 
throne of England. Charles IX. was bitterly 
jealous of his brother Anjou, the hope of the 
Catholic league, and was desirous of providing for 
him somewhere out of France. Such a proposal, 
therefore, as that made for his union with Mary 
Stuart, met with some countenance from the King 
and his mother. Elizabeth and her ministers were 
not aware to what extent support would be given 
by Spain to such a project, which, whilst on the one 
hand strengthening the league, would on the other 
have given the French a footing in Great Britain ; 
but with France at peace Elizabeth was always ap- 



THE COURTSHIPS OF OUKKN ELIZABETH. 115 

prehensive, and a counter-move had to be made. 
The two great Huguenot nobles who had resided 
in England during the war, the Vidame de Chartres 
and Cardinal Chatillon — Coligny's brother — were 
permitted to re-enter France by the peace of St. 
Germain ; and to them and their party it appeared a 
desirable thing to disarm the weak, fanatical Catholic 
figurehead Anjou by yoking him, under their aus- 
pices, to strong-minded Protestant Elizabeth, and 
so remove him from active interference in French 
politics. Such a proposal, moreover, was a welcome 
one to Elizabeth and her friends, because it effec- 
tually checkmated the intrigues of the Guises and 
the league in favour of Mary Stuart, which for the 
moment were founded on the suggested marriage 
of the latter with Anjou. In the autumn of 1570, 
therefore, both Chatillon and Chartres, before they 
left England, separately broached the idea. Before 
doing so, however, Chartres wrote asking the 
opinion of Marshal Montmorenci, and Chatillon 
sought guidance direct from the Queen-mother. 
The replies apparently being favourable Chartres 
mentioned the matter to Cecil, who discussed it 
privately with the Queen, whilst at the end of 
November Chatillon opened his approach by asking 
the new French ambassador, La Mothe Fenelon, 
how Anjou's suit with the Princess of Portugal was 
prospering, as he had reason to believe that it the 
Duke became a suitor for the Queen of England's 
hand he would be welcomed. La Mothe, who 
doubtless had already received his instructions trom 
France, replied that he had always understood that 
the Queen had no intention of marrying, but if she 
would accept the Duke for her consort greater peace 



ii6 thp: courtships of 

and tranquillity to France and the world would 
result than from anything elsg^He promised to 
wTite to the Queen-mother on the subject, which 
he did at once. ' But Catharine always preferred to 
negotiate through one of the many crafty Floren- 
tines who were personally devoted to her, rather 
than through the leaders of either French political 
party, so an excuse was invented for sending her 
trusty Guido Cavalcanti to England. La Mothe was 
ill when Guido arrived in London, and the latter 
called to ask after his convalescence. In conversation 
with the ambassador he mentioned Elizabeth's great 
indignation at the rebuff she had received through 
young Cobham from the Archduke Charles, who, to 
make matters worse, had since married a Bavarian 
princess. He then asked the ambassador whether 
he thought this would not be a good opportunity 
to bring Anjou forward. La Mothe's reply being 
favourable, Cavalcanti next approached Leicester, 
who was equally encouraging, and promised to 
revert to the subject when he returned from Hamp- 
ton Court, whither he was then going to see the 
Queen. ^When La Mothe was told this by Caval- 
canti, he thought it time to assert himself as the 
accredited ambassador, and at once went to Hamp- 
ton Court personally. Before seeing the Queen he 
visited Leicester, and hinted that approaches had 
been made to him for a marriage between the Queen 
and Anjou, but as Leicester was regarded by the 
French as their best friend, he, the ambassador, 
had decided to carry the matter no further without 
his co-operation, so that he might have the credit 
of the negotiation. Leicester replied that he was 
' La Mothe Fenelon Correspondence. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. u; 

always against an Austrian alliance, and as the 
Oueen was determined not to marry a subject, he 
would sacrifice his own chance in favour of Anjou's 
suit. The matter, he said, could be discussed fully 
when the Court returned to London, but in the 
meanwhile it would be well for La Mothe to say 
a word or two to the Queen about it. When 
Leicester introduced him into the presence, 
Elizabeth was awaiting him in her smartest clothes. 
After the usual coy fencing she said she was 
growing old, and but for the idea of leaving heirs, 
would be ashamed to speak about marriage, as she 
was one of those women whom men seek for their 
possessions and not for their persons. The princes 
of the house of France, she said, had the reputation 
of being good husbands, and to pay all honour to 
their wives, but not to love them. This was 
enough for the present, and La Mothe sent off post- 
haste to Catharine a full account of the interview, 
with no great confidence, as he said, of a successful 
termination of the affair ; but the chance was so 
great a one that it should not be missed, and 
the Duke of Anjou should be carefully prepared. 
Catharine replied in the same strain. She had 
considered, she said, that this mitrht be one of 
Elizabeth's intrigues with the intention of pro- 
longing the negotiations and making use of the 
French in the meanwhile, and if the Queen of 
E norland had a daughter or heiress she would be a 
more fitting match for Anjou than the Queen herself 
But still he (La Mothe) was to keep the matter alive 
on every opportunity, and push it forward as if of 
his own action. Catharine urged La Mothe that the 
greatest secrecy should be observed, but Elizabeth 



ii8 THK COURTSHIPS OF 

could not refrain from gossiping" about it, and it soon 
became common talk, much to the annoyance of 
La Mothe, who blamed the indiscretion of Chartres 
and Chatillon, who blamed each other. In con- 
versation with the ambassador Elizabeth appeared 
entirely favourable to the match, but objected that 
although Anjou had reached manhood — he was 
just twenty — he was still much younger than she. 
" So much the better for your Majesty," replied he, 
laughingly. On another occasion he extolled the 
happiness of his young King Charles IX. with his 
bride, and advised all princesses in search of happy 
matrimony to mate with princes of the house of 
France. The Queen thereupon cited some rather 
conspicuous instances to the contrary, and said that 
it would not satisfy her to be honoured as a Queen, 
she must be loved for herself; and La Mothe duly 
gave the expected gallant reply. Chatillon was then 
announced and the ambassador retired. The Car- 
dinal put the question point blank — would she accept 
the Duke if he proposed ? To which she replied 
that on certain conditions she would. To his 
request that she would at once submit the proposal 
to the Council she at first demured, but the next 
day she did so.' " One of the members only said 
that the Duke would be rather young, and that it 
would be well to consider deeply before they broke 
entirely with the house of Burgundy. The other 
members were silent, surprised to see her so set 
upon this marriage, which they have hitherto 
thought was merely a fiction. The Earl of 
Leicester is greatly dismayed at having been the 
instigator of it, but the Cardinal promises him grand 
' Correspondence de La Mothe Fenelon. La Ferriere. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. ,19 

estate and honours, and says he shall go to brance 
to conclude it. The fickleness of the Queen makes 
it impossible to say whether the marriage will go 
forward or not. She has assured the Cardinal that 
she is free from any pledge elsewhere, and that she 
is determined to marry a prince and not a subject, 
whilst she has a good opinion of the character of 
Anjou." ' This was in the third week of January, 
1571 ; and on the 31st of the month La Mothe was 
entertained at a grand banquet, where he was seated 
next to the Queen. She was as usual sentimental, 
and afraid that she would not be loved for herself 
alone, but the ambassador assured her that the 
Prince would both love and honour her, and would 
in due time make her the mother of a fine boy. 
This being an aspect of the case upon which she 
liked to dwell, the Queen became more talkative 
but pledged herself no further. She was indeed 
so full of the subject that she could speak of nothing- 
else. She consulted Lady Clinton and Lady 
Cobham, she discussed it with her other ladies, and 
the Court was filled with feminine tittle-tattle about 
Anjou's personal charms and supposed gallantries. 
With regard to the latter we may reserve our 
opinion ; but of the former we are in good position 
to judge from contemporary portraits and de- 
scriptions of him. When the match had begun to 
look serious Walsinorham was sent as ambassador 
to France, and before he went he had a long con- 
versation with Leicester in his closet at Hampton 
Court, when the Earl asked him to send a de- 
scription of the Prince to him as soon as possible 
after his arrival. On the i6th of January Leicester 
' Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth), vol. ii. Spas to Philip II. 



I20 THK COURl SHIPS OF 

wrote to ask him for this description, and was 
evidently even then not very enthusiastic for the 
match. "I confesse our estate requireth a match, but 
God send us a good one and meet for all parties. " 

Walsingham, replying on the 28th, says he has had 
a good opportunity of seeing the prince, and describes 
him as being three inches taJler than himself (Wal- 
singham), somewhat sallow, \j\' his body verie good 
shape, his legs long and thin but reasonably well 
proportioned. What helps he had to supply an) 
defects of nature I know not. Touching the health 
of his person I find the opinion diverse and I know 
not what to credit, but for my part I forbeare to be 
over curious in the search thereof, for divers respects. 
If all be as well as outwardly it showeth he is 
of bodie sound enough. And yet at this present I 
do not find him so well coloured as when I was last 
here." ^1 He goes on to describe him as being haughty 
at first approach, but really more affable than either 
of his brothers. It will be seen that Walsingham. 
Puritan and ally of Leicester, was not very favour- 
able to the match, and he was indeed regarded as 
opposed to it in the French Court. 

Jean Correro, the Venetian ambassador, describes 
Anjou as being stronger built, of better colour, and 
more agreeable appearance than his brother, Charles 
IX., and says he was very fond of playing with the 
ladies of the palace ; but Michaeli, another Venetian 
envoy, paints him in colours more familiar to us. "He 
is completely dominated," he says, "by voluptuous- 
ness; covered with perfumes and essences. He wears 
a double row of rings, and pendants at his ears, and 
spends vast sums on shirts and clothes. He charms 
' Walsingham Correspondence. 



QUEEN laJZABETH. 121 

and beguiles women by lavishing upon them the most 
costly jewels and toys." ' Walsingham says that a 
portrait could not be sent to England, as it was for- 
bidden to paint pictures of the King or his brothers, 
but a great French Catholic courtier - wrote to Wal- 
singham, in the hope that he would transmit it to 
Elizabeth, the following glowing but insidious account 
of the young prince : " It is his misfortune that his 
portraits do not do him justice. Janet himself has 
not succeeded in depicting that certain something 
which nature has given him. His eyes, that 
gracious turn of the mouth when he speaks, that 
sweetness which wins over all who approach him, 
cannot be reproduced by pen or pencil. His hand 
is .so beautiful that if it were turned it could not be 
more perfectly modelled. Do not ask me whether 
he has inspired the passion of love! He has con- 
(juered wherever he has cast his eyes, and yet is 
ignorant of one-hundredth part of his conquests. 
Vou have been persuaded that he has a leaning to 
the new religion, and might be brought to adopt it. 
Undeceive yourself. He was born a Catholic, he 
has lived the declared champion of Catholicism, and, 
believe me, he will live and die in the faith. I have, 
it is true, seen in his hands the psalms of Marot and 
other books of that sort, but he only had them to 
please a great Huguenot lady with whom he was in 
love. If the Queen, your mistress, be not satisfied 
with so worthy a person she will never marry. 
Henceforward the only thing for her to do is to vow 
perpetual celibacy." 

Things went smoothly for the first few weeks, 

' Baschet La Diplomatic venitienne. La Ferriere. 
* Memoires de Nevers. 



122 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

although the French, warned by past experi- 
ence, were determined not to be drawn too far 
unless Elizabeth showed signs of sincerity. But 
soon the Guises and the nobles of the league 
took fright, and the Pope's Nuncio personally ex- 
horted Anjou not to be driven into such a match 
with a heretic woman who was too old to hope for 
issue by him. He told him that " England, which 
he was well assured was the mark he chiefly shot at, 
might be achieved, and that right easily too, by the 
sword, to his grreat honour, and less inconvenience 
than by making so unfit a match." ' Walsingham, 
on the other hand, was not very active in pushing 
the suit. He evidently chsbelieved in the Queen's 
sincerity, and he was probably right in doing so, 
notwithstanding her professions to him of her desire 
for the match. Whatever may have been in the 
Queen's own mind, the Walsingham Correspondence 
proves beyond question that the marriage was 
looked upon by Cecil as necessary at the time, and 
it would seem as if even Leicester and Walsingham 
were reluctantly drawn to the same opinion. Matters 
were indeed in a critical condition for England. The 
Ridolfi plot was brewing, the English Catholic nobles 
in a ferment, and the Pope, Philip, the league, and 
the Guises, ready to turn their whole power to the 
destruction of Elizabeth. Scotland was in revolt 
against the English faction. Alba was reported to be 
preparing for the invasion of England, and Thomas 
Stukeley was planning with Philip and the Pope his 
descent upon Ireland. It was a desperate, forlorn 
hope to think that the painted puppet in the hands 

' Walsingham to Cecil, February 8, 1571. " Compleat 
ambassador." 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 123 

of the Catholic party in France would change his 
religion for the sake of marrying Elizabeth, but 
for the moment there seemed no other chance of 
salvation for Protestant England. The Duke 
himself spoke slightingly of the Oueen and the 
match. The Guises and the Spanish ambassa- 
dor, says Walsingham, "do not stick to use dis- 
honourable arguments to dissuade him from the 
same. They urge rather the conquest of England." 
Cecil, on the 3rd of March, told Walsingham from 
the Queen that if he were approached on the subject 
he was to say that the Queen was convinced of the 
necessity of marriage for the welfare of her realm, 
and would only marry a prince. And then in a 
private note Cecil adds : "If God should order this 
marriage or any other to take place no time shall be 
wasted otherwise than honour should require. I am 
not able to discern what is best, but surely I see no 
continuance of her quietness without a marriage." 
Leicester, even, seems to have believed in the match 
taking place. He says he was so anxious for a 
personal description of the Duke because he finds 
that matter is likely to come into question, "and I 
do perceive her Majesty more bent upon marrying 
than heretofore she has been. God make her fortu- 
nate therein." Walsingham, in a letter to Leicester 
(March 9th) in reply, says the opinion is that " unless 
Anjou marries the Queen it will be most dangerous, 
as he will then turn to the Queen of Scots, since he 
must be provided for somewhere out of France." 
This, indeed, was almost the only hopeful element 
in the situation, the absolute need for the young- 
King and his mother to deprive the French Catholic 
nobles of their royal figurehead. Charles IX. and 



124 ■ THE COURTSHIPS OF 

his mother tried their hardest to persuade Anjou to 
the marriage, but for a time without success. The 
Duke grew more and more scornful of the match 
under the influence of the monks by whom he was 
surrounded. The Huguenots, to whom it was a 
matter of Hfe or death to cret rid of the Kino-'s 
brother as chief of their enemies, sent Tehgny to 
Charles IX. to complain of the Duke's attitude. The 
King replied that he was sufficient master of his 
brother to overcome every obstacle to the match 
unless it were that of religion. He said he would 
send his brother away from the Court so as to 
destroy the influence of the monks over him. 
Catharine at last despaired, and wrote to La Mothe 
deploring that Anjou spoke disparagingly of Eliza- 
beth's honour, and refused absolutely to marry her, 
notwithstanding all her prayers. " So, M. de La 
Mothe," she adds, "you are on the point of losing 
such a kingdom as that for my children." But a 
few days afterwards, by the aid of Cavalcanti, she 
apparently overcame her son's scruples, and on the 
1 8th of February she wrote more cheerfully to La 
Mothe, saying that Anjou had consented to marry 
the Queen if he were asked. 

Two clays after this Lord Buckhurst, with a 
brilliant suite, arrived in Paris, ostensibly to congra- 
tulate Charles IX. on his marriage, but with secret 
instructions from the Oueen to negotiate with Catha- 
rine again about the Anjou match. Fetes and 
banquets, masques and coursing, kept Buckhurst 
brilliantly busy until the eve of his departure, when 
Cavalcanti canie and asked him whether he would 
not like to see the new gardens of the Tuilleries, of 
which Catharine was extremely proud. Buckhurst 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 125 

went, and ot course found there the Queen-mother, 
who expressed pleasurable astonishment at the 
unexpected meeting". She was glad, she said, to 
have the opportunity before he left of expressing to 
him the friendship of the King and herself towards 
his mistress, and their desire to strengthen it when 
opportunity offered. Time was short, and Buck- 
hurst did not beat about the bush. " Your Majesty 
doubtless refers to the marriage of the Queen and 
the Duke of Anjou," he said. Catharine replied that 
if she and the Kino- could feel sure that Elizabeth 
was not playing with them as she had done with 
others, they would be pleased with the match, 
always on condition that their honour did not suffer 
thereby. Buckhurst assured her that the Queen 
had instructed him to say that she was determined 
to marry a foreign prince, but as it was not becoming" 
for a maiden to seek a husband, she could only say 
that when she was sought she would prove to them 
that no mockery need be feared. Buckhurst tried 
very hard to draw Catharine into a direct offer ol 
her son's hand, but she would only say that if the 
Queen really wished to marry the\" were quite read)' 
to enter into negotiations. Before Buckhurst left 
the next day, however, she sent him a written offer 
of her son's hand to the Queen, on certain conditions 
to be arranged. Elizabeth's attitude when she 
received this offer by l^uckhurst convinces us that, 
however earnest some of her councillors ma\ have 
been to bring about the marriage, she herself was 
playing her usual trick. On the 24th of March she 
wrote to Walsingham, telling him of the offer 
made to her through Buckhurst. It was her wish, 
she said, that onlv Walsino-ham and de Foix 



126 THK COURTSHIPS OF 

should deal with the matter. It was her intention 
to marry some person of royal blood, and Walsing- 
ham was to tell the Queen-mother that his mistress 
knew full well that it had been reported that she did 
not intend to marry, but only to hear offers and 
" bruits of marriage from persons of great estate and 
then reject them." She was grieved to be so mis- 
understood. It is true that at the beginning of her 
reigfn she desired to live single, but the Oueen- 
mother must recollect ivhoni it was she rejected 
and how inconvenient such a marriage would have 
been. This, of course, referred to Philip II.'s offer, 
and was a very adroit turn, considering Catharine's 
own feelings towards her erstwhile son-in-law. 
Walsingham was, indeed, instructed to take credit 
for his mistress's abnegation and nobleness in refusing 
such a match. She was now resolved to marry, he 
was to say ; but through all the instructions she 
cleverly avoided giving any specific pledge or 
encouragement to Anjou personally. Her language, 
indeed, is almost the same as that which she had 
employed eleven years before with the Austrian 
suitors. /\mongst the characteristic passages in her 
letter is one in which she says that the Oueen- 
mother's experience in marriage affairs would enable 
her to do all that was fitting in the case without press- 
ing Elizabeth to take too direct a part : " Pray the 
Oueen-mother not to be over curious as desirinof so 
precise an answer until the matter may be further 
treated of and explained, and not to think it any 
touch to the honour of her son to be named as a 
suitor to us, as others of as o-reat dePTee have been, 
though the motions took no effect, rather for other 
impediments than for any mislike of their persons." ^ 
' Walsint^ham Correspondence. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 127 

He was not to say more than needful about the 
conditions ; but if he were pressed he was to suggest 
those adopted on Mary Tudor's marriage with 
Philip II. There was no desire, said Elizabeth, to 
urge Anjou to any change of conscience, but he 
could not be allowed to exercise in England a 
religion prohibited by the law, and must attend the 
Anglican Church for form's sake. Above all, the 
Queen-mother was to be assured that, whatever 
might be said to the contrary, Leicester was "ready 
to allow of any marriage that we shall like." 

When Walsingham received this ambiguous letter 
things in Paris were looking less favourable. Unstable 
Anjou had again veered round to the Catholic side, 
and Spanish intrigues were active all over Europe 
to prevent the marriage. Anjou had just told de 
Foix that he knew it was "all dalliance," and 
reproached him for drawing him so far in the 
match. " I will take no step forward," said the 
prince, "unless a decisive reply is sent from 
England." When Walsingham learnt this from 
de Foix he saw that it would be unwise to repeat 
his mistress's words about religion, and simply told 
the Queen-mother that Elizabeth was disposed to 
accept the hand of the Duke of Anjou. But this 
was too dry an answer for Catharine, who well 
knew that affairs could not be arranged so easih , 
and told Walsingham as much. He replied that as 
Elizabeth did not wish La Mothe in London to deal 
with the affair, all points at issue might be settled by 
sending de Foix thither, which Catharine promised 
should be done shortly, but at present she preferred 
to send a " neutre," as she called Cavalcanti, upon 
whose penetration and faithfulness to her she knew 



128 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

she could depend. It is clear that she still dis- 
trusted Elizabeth's sincerity, and she was un- 
doubtedly correct in doing so. Leicester's letters 
to Walsingham ' at the same time show that his 
mind ran in the same groove as that of the Queen. 
The Queen, he said, was determined to marry, but 
" wished to deal privately, for less reproach to both 
parties if nothing came of it." " The person of 
Monsieur is well liked of, but his conversation is 
harder t(^ know." There was no difficulty about 
Anjou's person or estate, he said, but the Queen 
was firm about religion ; whereat he, Leicester, 
rejoiced, and hoped that God would always keep 
her firm therein. He well knew that upon that 
rock he could always split the marriage barque when 
it looked too much like entering port. 

Cavalcanti, who had only just returned from 
London and who could better than any man fathom 
the inner feelings of the English Court, doubtless 
made his mistress acquainted with the true state 
of affairs ; and was again sent back to England 
with a draft of the conditions proposed on behalf 
of Anjou, which shows clearly the determination 
of Catharine that there should be no ambiguity in 
her son's position. Cavalcanti arrived in London 
on the I ith of April, 1571, but did not present 
his conditions until La Mothe had made a 
formal offer, in the name of the King of France, 
of his l:»rother's hand. The Duke, he said, had long 
felt great admiration and affection for her, to which 
the Queen replied that the matter had already 
been mentioned to her by others. She then elabo- 
ratelv excused herself for the delay that had 
' Walsingham Correspondence. 



MMISLLM 







Scintir nfiii ijtic ton ni t tiiiitt laJ^Titiiii, [Pimjin Jen ihif Pallas jh Jo, lm,.iJ\fiianc 
^Aii fiwlam iJc ccJ'pY ihnt Ihonf touch mis (ifii.x\^jifivs I'ssus son visanr.ct t-^iiionr {fans scs ycux 

^— ' J^I.-IV}-L 3. 



JCtMtnj 2c ^n^ifoLv, ^3^11 fu- of dnjou (Jfcuij III.). 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 129 

attended her other marriage negotiations, promised 
that no cause for complaint in this respect should 
exist in the present instance, and hoped that the 
French would not be too exacting on the point of 
religion. The next day they came to business. 
Cecil and Leicester were deputed to examine the 
draft contract ; and Cecil's copy thereof is still at 
Hatfield and is printed by the Historical MSS. 
Commission in the Hatfield Papers, part 2. 

The proposals, which are evidendy such as 
Elizabeth could never have accepted, may be sum- 
marised as follows: (i) No ceremonies were to be 
used at the marriage but those in accordance with 
the religion of Monseigneur. (2) That he and his 
household should be allowed the free exercise of their 
religion. (3) That immediately after the marriage 
he should receive the title of king and govern and 
administer the country jointly with the Queen. (4) 
That he should be crowned after the consummation 
of the marriage. (5) That he should receive from 
the English revenues a life pension of ^60,000 
sterling a year. (6) That the issue of the marriage 
should succeed to the paternal and maternal pro- 
perties in conformity with the laws of the countries 
where such property may be situate. {7) That in 
the event of the Queen's predeceasing her husband 
and leaving issue he was to govern the country as 
king on their behalf. (8) In case there were no 
issue Anjou was to still be paid his pension of 
^60,000 for life. 

On the 14th Cecil submitted to the Queen the 
draft answer to be sent to these proposals, and after 
some alterations were made in it, Cavalcanti started 
for France with the English terms on the 17th of 

10 



I30 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

April. This able State paper will also be found entire 
in part 2 of the Hatfield Papers (Hist. MSS. Com.), 
and appears to be a sincere attempt on the part 
of Cecil to compromise matters, although there are 
two or three points upon which the Queen probably 
depended to raise further difficulties if necessary to 
prevent the match. The marriage was to be cele- 
brated according to the English rites, but Anjou's 
ministers mip"ht attend as witnesses, so far as mlg-ht 
be necessary to legalise the marriage from his point 
(^f view. The Duke, however, was not required to 
act against his conscience if any of the ceremonies 
were openly offensive to the Catholic religion. 
Neither he nor his household were to be compelled 
against their conscience to attend Anglican worship, 
but the Queen's consort was expected to accompany 
her to church at suitable and accustomed times. 
He was forbidden to attempt to change any of the 
ecclesiastical laws or customs of England, or to 
favour those who violated them. He was not to 
allow, so far as he could help, the ceremonies of the 
English Church to be despised. He was to have 
the title of king and his status was to be fixed by 
the precedent of Philip and Mary, but he was not 
to be crowned. The Queen would undertake to 
supply him with such sums from the Treasury as 
she might consider necessary for the proper main- 
tenance of his position. The French demands with 
regard to the issue of the marriage were practically 
conceded, but the demand for a life pension to con- 
tinue even after the death of the Queen was refused. 
Matters, however, were not brought even to this 
point without a great deal of finesse and wrangling 
between La Mothe and the Queen and many long 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 131 

interviews with Cecil and Leicester. When Caval- 
canti was about to depart La Mothe begged the 
Queen to write a letter to Anjou in answer to one 
he had sent to her. She, of course, was shocked ; she 
had never done such a thing, the pen would fall 
from her hand, she would not know what to say, 
and so on. But the letter was written nevertheless, 
and a very curious production it is, full of worldly 
wisdom about the marriage proposals, but with 
plenty of fulsome flattery of Anjou's beauty, of his 
lovely hand, and his gifts of mind and body. .She 
apparently thought herself entitled to a little flattery 
from La Mothe in return, and sighed that whilst in 
seven or eight years the Duke would be better 
looking than ever, she would have grown old. She 
then asked whether any one had spoken to the Duke 
about her foot, her arm, " and other things she did 
not mention," and said she thought the Duke very 
desirable, to which La Mothe replied, nothing loath, 
that they were both "very desirable," and it was a 
pity they were so long debarred from enjoying each 
other's perfections. ^ 

All this was looked upon with dismay by the 
.Spaniards and the league. Gerau de Spes, the 
Spanish ambassador in England, writes to his master^ 
an assurance that the marriage will take place, and 
that the English are treating him more arrogantly 
than ever in consequence. "The real remedy," he 
says, "is that with which Ridolfi is charged." Nor 
were the ultra-Catholics in Paris less desperate. In 
vain Charles IX. assured Teligny that he would have 

' Correspondence de La Mothe Fenelon. 
^ Spes to Philip, loth and 15th of April, 1571. Spanish 
Calendar (Elizabeth), vol. ii. 



132 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

his brother "away from the superstitious friars, and 
would in a few days work him, as he will yield to 
anything that he, the King, might require." The 
King said that his brother was every day growing- 
less superstitious, but his Catholic courtiers left no 
stone unturned to make the match impossible. Soon 
after Cavalcanti had left London La Mothe went to 
see the Queen, and instead of smiles was received with 
frowns. She had just heard that a great gentleman 
in the French Court had openly stated that she had 
an incurable malady in one of her legs — this was a 
sore point with Elizabeth, who really suffered from 
an issue in the leg — and had said that this would 
be a good reason for Anjou to give her a " PVench 
potion " after he married her, and then marry the 
Queen of Scots. She was in a great rage, and 
threatened to make friends with the Spaniards 
again, but would not mention the name of the 
peccant courtier, which, indeed, she did not know. 
She afterwards told La Mothe she was sorry he 
had not seen her dance at the Marquis of 
Northampton's ball, so that he might be able to 
assure the Duke that he ran no risk of marrying a 
cripple. Cavalcanti arrived in Paris on the 24th 
of April, but Walsingham was unable to see the 
Queen-mother until the 27th, when an interview 
took place at St. Cloud. Catharine professed to 
be discontented with the religious conditions pro- 
posed by the English, and said that if her son 
submitted to them the Queen might blame herself 
for accepting as a husband a man so ready to 
change his religion as to prove himself without 
piety or conscience. Walsingham replied that the 
Oueen did not wish him to chancre his relio-ion 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 133 

suddenly, or that he or his people should be forced 
to conform to the Anglican Church, but it would 
be a violation of the laws of her realm to allow him 
the exercise of his own faith. Troubles such as 
had recently afflicted France indeed might result 
therefrom. This did not please Catharine. Her 
son, she said, could never accept such a condition, 
which in effect was tantamount to a change of 
religion. If any troubles arose in England such as 
those feared, the support of France would be the 
best safeguard. When she saw that Puritan 
W^alsingham was not to be gained in this way, she 
hinted that her son might more easily be brought 
to change his views by the influence of the Queen 
after his marriage, so that probably the objections 
they feared would not last long. The Catholics, 
she said, were afraid of the marriage, which they 
thought might cause a change of religion throughout 
Europq. Instructions at the same time were sent 
to La Mothe, who told Cecil that if the religious 
conditions were insisted upon the negotiation might 
be regarded as at an end. But this by no means 
suited the English Court. Cecil had been assured 
by the Huguenot partisans of the match that the 
French would give way on the crucial point of 
religion if Elizabeth stood firm ; but when this 
appeared doubtful, Cecil himself moderated his tone, 
and a pretence of great cordiality and agreement 
between the French and English was carefully 
assumed in order to deceive the Spaniards. In 
this they were successful, and Spes writes to his 
king constantly that the match is practically settled 
and that Anjou was to turn Protestant. How 
necessary it was for Elizabeth to foster this belief 



134 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

at the time (May, 1571) is clear when we recollect 
that Bailly, the Bishop of Ross' servant, had just 
confessed under the rack the heads of the Ridolfi 
plot. Step by step the clue was being- followed up, 
and the vast conspiracy of Norfolk and the Catholic 
English nobles, with Mary of Scotland, Spain, the 
Pope, and the league, was being- gradually divulged 
in all its ramifications. There was no room for 
doubt any longer. Spain and the Catholics were 
determined to crush Elizabeth, and henceforward it 
must be war to the knife between them. In such a 
struoofle E no-land, unaided, would have been at the 
mercy of the Catholic powers, and it was vital both 
for Elizabeth and Catharine de Medici that they 
should hold together for mutual support. It was 
necessary, therefore, that the negotiations should 
not be ostensibly dropped, and the Queen-mother 
requested that Elizabeth should submit her amended 
propositions. La Mothe had assured her that 
Elizabeth would yield on the point of religion if 
she only stood firm, and she, knowing the English 
Queen's extremity, was evidently determined to 
extort conditions equally favourable with those 
formerly granted by Elizabeth in the case of the 
x\rchcluke Charles. As a somewhat disingenuous 
device Leicester suggested that the article of religion 
should be omitted altogether from the draft treaty, 
and to this Catharine consented. But as a point 
of honour she insisted that Elizabeth should at once 
send her counter-propositions as promised, and 
Walsingham plaintively begs over and over again 
that she should avoid "jealousy" by sending them 
without delay. 

On the 20th of May Walsingham saw the Queen- 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 135 

mother at Gaillon and laid before her the strono- 
arguments which EHzabeth had for insisting- upon 
the law of England being respected in the matter of 
the celebration of the Catholic religion. Catharine 
was forced to admit their weight, and said that she 
must consult the King and Anjou about them. 
Walsingham then went to see the Duke himself. 
He exerted on the young prince all his powers of 
persuasion ; palliating and minimising points of 
difference, and suggesting compromise, but all to 
no purpose. " The Queen," said Anjou, "is, I am 
told, the rarest creature that was in Europe these 
500 years." But this was a matter that touched 
his soul and conscience, and he could not forsake 
his faith even for such a prize.' 

The next day Walsingham saw the King and his 
mother to beg them to exert pressure on Anjou. Let 
the Queen of England send her amended demands as 
promised, said they, and all reasonable concessions 
shall be made. De Foix and Montmorenci should 
be sent to England to conclude the treaty when the 
heads were agreed upon, and in the meanwhile 
efforts should be made to win over Anjou some- 
what. De Foix himself was hardly so hopeful. He 
had done, he said, all that mortal man could do to 
persuade the Duke ; but the constant influence of 
the Guises and their friends rendered the matter 
more and more difficult : " Monsieur being by them 
persuaded that it would be his hap to march with 
the forsaken." If, said de Foix, the Queen persisted 
in forbidding her husband the exercise of his faith 
the matter was at an end. But withal Walsingham 
thought this was simply bluff, and was assured by 

' Foreign Calendar, Walsingham to Cecil, May 25, 1571. 



136 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

some preat Huo'uenot noble whom he does not 
name, but who was probably Coligny, that if the 
Queen stood firm she would have her way. 

Some days afterwards Walsingham was still 
further encouraged by learning that Anjou was 
seeking advice and guidance about English affairs, 
and how to become popular with the people. At 
the beginning of June Anjou was ill in bed, 
and Cavalcanti went to visit him. He found 
the Duke in appearance almost eager for the 
match ; but always on condition that his honour 
should be regarded in religion ; and the King and 
Queen-mother were most enthusiastic and hopeful. 
This change of feeling was brought about by the 
receipt, after long delay, of the propositions from 
Elizabeth dated June 4, 1571, which will be found 
printed entire in the Hatfield State Papers, part 2. 
MSS. Com. The articles are mainly identical with 
the marriage treaty of Philip and Mary, and not a 
word is mentioned about religion at all. Cavalcanti 
was sent off post-haste to England almost as soon 
as the paper was received, to express the King's 
thanks to Elizabeth for her moderation. He would 
never forget her friendship, he said, and would also 
send at once M. L'Archant, the captain of Anjou's 
guard to England to formally announce the coming 
of de Poix and Montmorenci as plenipotentiaries to 
complete the contract. Still Catharine knew Eliza- 
beth of old, and sent word privately to Cecil beseech- 
inor him not to let de Foix and Montmorenci come 
unless the Queen really meant business. ^ What 
Cavalcanti, or rather his mistress, thought is reflected 
in a remark he made to the Venetian ambassador 
Foreign Calendar. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 137 

in Paris a day or two before he left for Enoland. 
The match, he said, would create a wei^-ht to 
balance the great power of the King of Spain, by 
uniting England and France in one interest, and he 
had now great hopes that it would take place J 
Whilst Cavalcanti and L'Archant were awaiting 
the finishing of some portraits of Anjou they were 
to take with them, Catharine aoain saw Walsinoham. 
She begged him as a private gentleman to tell her 
the best way to bring about the match. He said 
there were two things he wished — first, that they 
(the French) would not stand out stiffly about religion, 
and next "that there should be a more honourable 
sort of wooing." Her reply with regard to religion 
discloses a curious and artful intrigue by which 
Cardinal Lorraine, through Throgmorton, sought to 
catch Elizabeth. A form of English prayer, she said, 
had been handed to de F'oix, which the Pope oft'ered 
to authorise if the Queen would acknowledge to have 
received it from him, and this would obviate all diffi- 
culty. With regard to a " more honourable woo- 
ing," she must think, she said, of her son's dignity 
if the match were broken off. This distrust, Wal- 
singham thought, arose from La Mothe's report of 
the Queen's indignant outburst about her rumoured 
lameness. De Foix sought to reassure Walsingham 
by telling him that Anjou would within a year 
be as forward in religion as any man in England, 
and related a story of the Duke's visit to Madame 
Carnavalet. Turning to her husband he said, 
" Carnavalet, thou and I were once Huguenots, 
and are now again become good Catholics." 
" Aye," says she, "and if you proceed in the matter 
' Venetian Calendar. 



138 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

you wot of you will be so again." Anjou put 
his finger on his lips and replied, " Not a word of 
that, good Carnavalet." ' The lady herself told 
W^alsingham that Anjou was not really against the 
reformed religion, but Sir Francis seems to have 
had as poor an opinion of his consistency, as of his 
mother's sincerity. He tells Cecil, June 20, 1571. 
that Anjou's religion depends entirely on his 
mother. It was she, he says, that made him so 
superstitious last Lent, so as not to lose her hold 
on the Catholics if this falls through. " W^hat her 
religion is your lordship can partly guess." 

In the meanwhile the Guises were moving heaven 
and earth to stop, or at least delay, the match, and 
that between Henry of Navarre and the King's 
sister Margaret. Better marriages both for brother 
and sister were promised. Hopes of the crown of 
Poland were held out to Anjou, detraction of Eliza- 
beth was spread broadcast, plots in favour of Mary 
Stuart and plans to marry her went on unceasingly. 
Poor weak Anjou was w^afted from side to side 
like a straw upon the wind. When Cavalcanti took 
the Duke's portrait to England he carried with 
him also that of the Princess of Cleves, to whom it 
was suQTp-ested Leicester mioht be married as a 
consolation. Marshal Tavannes thereupon told 
/ Anjou that since he was going to marry Leicester's 
' mistress he had better return the compliment by 
marrying Leicester to his, Anjou's, mistress, Mdlle. 
Chateauneuf.- 

L'Archant and Cavalcanti arrived in London to- 
wards the end of June, but Elizabeth had one of her 
diplomatic illnesses and they could not see her for 
' Foreign Calendar. - Memoires de Tavannes. La Ferriere. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 139 

a week. Their mission was only to thank her for the 
moderation of her proposals, and to request passports 
for the special ambassadors. The Queen evidendy 
thought that matters were looking too much like busi- 
ness to please her. The sincerity of Cecil, and even 
of W^alsingham, now, in their desire to bring about 
the match is undoubted ; but it is equally certain 
that Elizabeth, as usual, wished to play off France 
against Spain, Protestant against Catholic, without 
burdening herself with a husband. So she once 
more harked back to the religious difficulty, and 
said it would be useless for the formal embassy to 
come until that point was settled. She was very 
amiable and gracious, coyly charmed at Anjou's 
portrait, full of protestations of friendship and affec- 
tion, but on the vital point of allowing her consort 
the exercise of his faith, even privately, she would 
not budge an inch. With her own hands she wrote 
letters by L'Archant to the King, his mother, and 
Anjou. She had given, as was her wont, she said, 
a very straightforward answer. She was most 
anxious to banish all suspicion, and hoped they 
would take her answer in good part. To Anjou 
she wrote one of her usual ambiguous love-letters, 
saying that, although her rank caused her to doubt 
whether her kingdom is not sought after more than 
herself, yet she understands that he has found other 
graces in her. She is sorry she cannot come up to 
the opinion which L'Archant tells her the Duke has 
formed of her ; but whatever she may lack she will 
never fail in her fraternal amity towards him.^ 
With this cold comfort L'Archant had to go back. 
The Spanish ambassador in England, detected in 
^ Foreign Calendar. 



I40 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

his complicity in the Ridolti plots, was fuming 
impotently, almost a prisoner in his own house, and 
in daily fear of expulsion, but he managed to send 
a courier who passed L'Archant on the road, and 
arrived in Paris two days before him. The false news 
he spread, to the delight of the Guises, was that 
L'Archant had been treated off-handedly, and the 
match might now be considered at an end. Some 
one told this to young Charles IX., who burst out 
that if any one dared to oppose the match in his 
presence he should forthwith be hanged. L'Archant 
and Cavalcanti were back in Paris on the 1 6th of July, 
and by some mischance saw the Duke first, when 
the latter was offended at the Queen's persistence 
in the matter of religion, and coldly sent the envoys 
to his mother. It did not suit Catharine to have 
the negotiations broken off, for she was now really 
alarmed at Philip's open support of the Guises and 
the leao-ue in France, and she was determined at all 
risks to cripple the Catholic power for harm against 
her. With her full connivance Navarre and Hugue- 
nots were arming privateers by the score at Rochelle 
and elsewhere, to aid the revolted Netherlands and 
prey on Spanish commerce, and she could not afford 
to fall away from the English friendship. So, dis- 
contented though she was with Elizabeth's persis- 
tence, both she and the King made the best of it, 
and affected to believe that all was going well. But 
they reckoned without Anjou. Neither his mother's 
tears nor his brother's threats could move him, for 
Cardinal Lorraine now had him in the hollow of his 
hand. The Guises, the Nuncio, and the Spaniards 
were untiring. They had surrounded Anjou with 
their friends, who could lead him as they liked, and 



OUEEX ELIZABETH. 141 

Catharine said she suspected that " \'illequier, 
Lionerolles, and Sarret were the authors of all these 
fancies. If we were only certain, I can assure you 
they should repent it." One ot them, Lignerolles, 
at all events, was soon after put out of the world by 
murder. The King canie to high words more than 
once with Anjou himself. He had insulted the Queen 
of England, he told him, by his foolishness. Con- 
science, he was sure, had nothing to do with it, and 
Anjou was only moved by greed through a pension 
o-iven to him bv the Catholic clergv to be their cham- 
pion. " I will let you know," cried the young King, 
"that I will have no champions here but myself." 
Anjou shut himself up in his rooms all day bathed in 
tears, but he would not yield. The Queen-mother 
herself sometimes pretended to take Anjou's part, 
and made a show of standing out about religion, but 
on this occasion no one was deceived by her, and 
Walsingham writes to Cecil, July 2,0^ i57^ that she 
and the King are most anxious to be friendly with 
Elizabeth, and are sending de Foix to London with 
all sorts of offers and protestations to secure an 
alliance, even if the match fall through. They are 
oTowing, he says, daily more suspicious of Spain ; 
and the King will not have Anjou here. Even Wal- 
singham pitied poor abject Anjou, torn, as he says, 
from one side to the other. De Foix left for London 
on August I St, but although a pretence of marriage 
negotiation was still kept up, it was acknowledged 
by all those who were interested that the affair was 
at an end, and that de Foix's real mission was to 
sound Elizabeth as to a new offensive and defensive 
alliance against Spain. 

The envoy, who was -a persona grata in England. 



142 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

where he had long resided as ambassador, was 
received with marked distinction, and had eight 
audiences of the Oueen. All the old arouments and 
hair-splittings about the observance of religion were 
gone over again. Sometimes the Queen appeared to 
give way, but the next day she would be obdurate 
again. Cecil himself was puzzled at her nimble gyra- 
tions, and wrote to Walsingham that "the conferences 
have had as many variations as there have been 
days." The Queen was withal gracious and full of 
protestations of friendship, and at the last audience 
the real hint was given which justified de Foix's 
mission. After finally satisfying him that if Anjou 
came he must conform to the Anglican Church, 
Cecil asked whether his instructions extended beyond 
the marriage negotiations. De Foix said they did not, 
but this was enough, and he posted back to Paris 
with the hint, leaving Cavalcanti behind him. Before 
leaving, on September 6th, he suggested to Cecil that 
it might be well to send Sir Thomas Smith, who was 
well known in France, or some one else, to discuss 
the marriage, or a treaty, with the Queen-mother. 

In the meanwhile, a somewhat curious change 
had taken place in Paris. Charles IX. had 
been informed, probably at the instance of the 
Catholic party, that the Huguenots, seeing Anjou 
so bigoted, were now opposing Elizabeth's marriage 
with him, and were proposing to her a niatch 
with Henry of Navarre, who was engaged to the 
King's sister Margaret. There was little or no 
foundation for this, but it served its purpose 
and frightened the King into distrust of the 
Huguenots ; and when de Foix arrived in Paris 
he found Charles IX. coolly acquiescent in 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 143 

the Queen's refusal, and on the watch for 
signs of treachery from the Protestant party. Wal- 
singham, in Paris, soon felt the effect ; and on the 
26th of September he wrote to Cecil that the Anjou 
marriage was absolutely at an end, and he was in 
great alarm to see that Prance and Spain were 
growing friendly. The smallest demonstration of 
this was sufficient to bring Elizabeth to her knees, 
and she at once sent Walsingham instructions to 
revive the marriage negotiations on any terms. He 
was even to give way on the crucial point of 
religion. I The very day upon which he received 
this letter, namely the 8th of October, his great 
confidant (probably Coligny) had told him how 
anxious the Queen-mother was for her son, the 
King, not to break with Elizabeth, and had asked 
him how she could bring about a match between the 
English Oueen and her vouno-est son, the Duke of 
Alencon. Her interlocutor had scouted the idea, he 
said, but the seed was sown, which was probably all 
that Catharine wanted. Anjou had now openly stated 
that under no circumstances would he marry Eliza- 
beth, even if she gave way on all points, so that he 
was no longer of any use as a piece in the game. 
Walsingham accordingly wrote back to Elizabeth 
saying that he would do his best to revive the 
negotiations, but he was not hopeful, and would 
keep his mistress's tardy surrender to himself until 
he "saw a better disposition here. ' 

There is no doubt that Walsingham and Cecil 

were now thoroughly alarmed. The Queen-mother 

and the Kine were almost ostentatiouslv tending to 

the side of Spain. The Churchmen were busy pro- 

' Foreign Calendar. 



K/ 



144 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

moting a marriage between Anjou and Mary Stuart, 
whilst the Queen-mother, for her part, was plottino- 
with Cosmo de Medici for the wedding of her 
favourite son — ''her idoL'^ as her dauehter called 
Anjou — to a Polish princess. The full discovery 
of Norfolk's plot in England, with its extensive 
ramifications abroad, the troubles in Scotland and 
Ireland, and the final rupture of diplomatic relations 
between England and Spain, were so many more 
black clouds gathering from all quarters over Eliza- 
beth ; and Cecil's letters to Walsingham at the time 
were almost despairing. (The marriage, he said, 
was the only chance for the Queen's safety,) 
and he thought now she was resolved to accept 
the King of Prance's conditions. But the P>ench 
were now cold. Walsingham did his best to 
renew the talk of the marriage, but with little 
success, and earnestly urged upon the Queen to 
hold firni t(^ the P>ench friendship. But though 
Coligny was restored to high favour, and the mur- 
derers of the Guisan Lignerolles w^ere immediately 
pardoned and favoured, the murmurs of the coming 
St. Bartholomew were already in the air, and Cecil 
was warned long beforehand of Coligny 's danger. 
In October Walsingham fell ill, and went to 
England to recruit and discuss the perilous situa- 
tion, Henry Killigrew being appointed temporarily 
to replace him. In the middle of December Sir 
Thomas Smith was despatched on a special mission 
to revive, at all costs, the talk of the Anjou match, or 
to negotiate the bases of a treaty. He was well 
fitted for the task ; one of the first scholars in 
England who had been maintained by Henry VIII, 
at foreign Courts in order that his experience might 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 145 

afterwards be useful. He had on more than one 
occasion been instrumental in settling treaties of 
peace between England and France, his witty, 
jocose method evidently suiting the temper of the 
Queen-mother and her advisers. His letters, some 
printed in the Hatfield Papers and the Foreign 
Calendar, and some in the " Compleat ambassador." 
are extremely graphic and amusing, in contrast with 
those of W'alsingham, in which penetration and per- 
spicuity are the salient characteristics. 

Sir Thomas Smith and Killigrew arrived at 
Amboise. where the Court was, on January i. 1572. 
His first interview was with de Foix, who assured 
him that Anjou was still firm on the question of 
religion. Smith said he did not think the last word 
had been said on that matter, but refrained from 
appearing anxious for an audience of the Queen- 
mother or the King until Coligny and Montmorenci 
had been sounded as to the best mode of procedure. 
De Foix went so far as to say that Anjou was 
religious mad, whereupon Smith replied that if he 
thought the Duke was really obstinate about it he 
" would soon turn tail," and thus save his mistress's 
honour. It is very evident that Smith had no 
belief in Anjou's devotion, for he tells Cecil that 
his "religion was really fixed on Mdlle. Chateauneuf, 
and now in another place." 

Smith had his first audience with the Queen- 
mother on the 6th of January. The King and the 
rest of them, he says, were busy dancing, when the 
Queen-mother took him apart into her chamber 
and opened the colloquy by saying that the only 
obstacle to the match was still the question of 
religion, as Anjou was so bigoted as to think that 

1 1 



146 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

he would be damned if he yielded the point. 
Smith then asked whether, in the event of Elizabeth 
orivine wav on this, the match would be carried 
through. "Well," replied Catharine, "that is the 
principal point, but still there are other questions 
which will have to be settled touching' the honour 
and dignity of the Prince. Yet she assured the 
English envoy there was nothing they ever desired 
so much in their lives as the marriage, and they had 
not the slightest desire to break off. To this Smith 
replied that if they did want to break off the religious 
question would be the most honourable point of 
difference. Catharine assured him again of their 
sincerity, but deplored that Anjou was so "assotted.", 
What more can he desire, asked Smith, than that 
which the Queen was now willing to concede ; 
namely, that he should have free exercise of his 
religion, " only excepting such parts of the mass as 
were against God's words '' } If he did not have full 
mass he thought he would inevitably be damned, 
said Catharine. The English envoy only gave way 
step by step. vSuppose, he asked, the Duke were 
allowed to hear private mass in his own little chapel, 
would that do for him ? No, replied the Queen- 
mother, he must have full, open, public mass ; he 
was so devout that he heard three or four masses a 
day, and fasted so rigidly at Lent that " he began to 
look lean and evil-coloured," whereupon, she said, 
she was angry with him, and told him she would 
rather he were a Huguenot than thus hurt his 
health. No, she continued, he will not have mass 
in a corner, but " with all the ceremonies of the 
Romish Church, with priests and singers and the 
rest." "Why, Madame," c|uoth Smith, "then he 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 147 

may require also the four orders of friars, monks, 
canons, pilgrimages, pardons, oil, cream, relics, and 
all such trumperies — that in nowise could be ao-reed 
to." He told Catharine of the cruel persecutions in 
England in the time of INIary, and the present dis- 
affection of the English Catholics, " all of whom had 
their hands in the pasty of the late treason," and 
pointed out the danger of allowing them again to 
raise head in England. This touched the Queen of 
England's extremity, and Catharine diplomatically 
added fuel to the fire by saying that Alba had hired 
two Italian assassins to murder Elizabeth. Killi- 
grew interposed here, thinking perhaps that Smith 
had made a /^zz/.r pas. and said that the same party 
had not scrupled to use their arts against Catharine's 
own blood, and hinted that the flower of her flock, 
the beautiful Elizabeth of Valois, Philip's third wife, 
had been sacrificed by them. But Killigrew's 
French was weak, and instead of saying " Votre fille 
perdue," he said "Votre fille perdrie." which made the 
Queen-mother laugh whilst her eyes filled with tears 
at the thought of her gentle daughter lying dead in 
the convent of barefooted Carmelites in far-away 
Madrid. At this point de Foix was summoned to 
the conference, and Smith called him to witness 
that whereas the Queen of England had always 
refused to concede the exercise of the mass at all, 
the Queen-mother now demanded " high mass, with 
all the public ceremonies of the Church, with priest, 
deacon, sub-deacon, chalice, altar, bells, candlesticks, 
paten, singing-men, the four mendicant orders, and 
all the thousand devils." ^ They laughed at Smith's 
v^ehemence, but they understood as well as he the 
^ Foreign Calendar. 



148 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

dire straits in which his mistress was, and stood firm. 
The next day de Foix and the Bishop of Limoges 
had another conversation with the EngHsh envoys, 
whom they told that Anjou " would nothing relent," 
and that the King was very angry with him for his 
obstinacy. Smith said he would rather die than lead 
his Queen to consent ; whereupon de Foix appears 
to have hinted again at Alencon. or an alliance 
without a marriage, but of this Smith would say 
nothing, and closed the interview. As a matter of 
fact Elizabeth was deeply mortified at the cool 
dilatoriness with w^iich her advances were being 
received. It was almost a new experience for her. 
Hitherto, with one exception, she had only had to' 
soften somewhat to bring her suitor to her leet 
again, but now Anjou was openly scorning her and 
his mother and brother receding as the English 
Queen advanced. It was mainly a game of brag 
on the part of Catharine, who was really as anxious 
as Elizabeth at the time to maintain a close connec- 
tion between England and PVance. Alencon and 
his brother Anjou were, says Smith, like Guelph 
and Ghibelline, the former surrounded only by 
those of "the religion," whilst the latter's suite and 
courtiers were all " Papists." Catharine had not 
apparently yet been won over to the view that her 
own interests would be served by allowing the 
Catholic party complete domination, and their 
opponents to be massacred ; and when she was so 
persuaded, and the St. Bartholomew had been per- 
petrated, she soon found out her mistake and took 
up her old policy again. The day following the 
interview just mentioned, Cavalcanti came to Smith 
with a formal copy of Anjou's demand ; namely. 



QUEEN- ELIZABETH. 149 

that he should have full religious liberty in Eng-land. 
Smith writes to Cecil on the 9th of January, givino- 
an account of his reception of the document. He 
affected to be perfectly shocked at the terms, and 
said he dared not send them to his mistress, which 
really meant that before being quite off with the old 
love he wished to have some advance from the new. 
He asked Cavalcanti to suggest to the Queen- 
mother whether she could not think of some salve 
to accompany this bitter pill. Cavalcanti knew 
what he meant, and said something about Alen^on, 
but Smith .says he pretended to be too much per- 
turbed to hear, " for I will have it from the Queen- 
mother's own mouth." Catharine sent word that 
.she was grieved that the paper had disturbed Smith 
so much, and would be glad to see him. The next 
day she sent a coach for him and Killigrew, and 
they were accompanied to the Court by Castelnau 
de la Mauvissiere and Cavalcanti. She hoped, .she 
.said, that his mistress would not break amity with 
them on this matter, as she and the King were very 
earnest, and trusted the Oueen of England would 
have pity upon them. She had another son who, if 
the Queen would consent to "phantasy him," would 
make no scruple about religion. She also hinted at a 
national alliance, and asked Smith whether he had 
powers to negotiate. He told her he must await 
further instructions, but as to the Duke of Alen^on. 
if the Queen were as much astonished at Anjou's 
demand as he was, she would not lend ear to any other 
proposition from them of the sort. He could not, he 
.said, write to the Queen about it, but would sound 
Cecil ; and himself would meet any French states- 
man the Queen-mother might appoint to " rough 



I50 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

hew " a treaty. Smith's firmness had its reward, and 
the Queen-mother softened considerably. She had 
the envoys assured that in order to pacify EHzabeth 
Alen(;on should be sent to England unconditionally. 
Their evident anxiety inspired Smith with high 
hopes. " Never," he said, " was there a better 
time than now for a marriage or a league," and he 
begs Cecil to urge the Queen to lose no time nor to 
procrastinate, "as is commonly her wont." Killigrew, 
for his part, was just as hopeful, and wrote to the 
Queen that " Papists and Huguenots alike all wish 
Alencon to go to England, and he is very willing, 
although Anjou is against it. Alencon," he says, 
"is not so tall or fair as his brother, but that is as 
is fantasied. Then he is not so obstinate, papistical, 
and restive like a mule, as his brother is. As for 
getting children, I cannot tell why, but they assure 
me he is more apt than the other." ' 

In the meanwhile the " rough hewing " of the 
treaty of alliance went on, but to all attempts to 
draw him about the Alencon proposals Smith was 
dumb until he could receive instructions from 
England, which did not come ; so the indispensable 
Cavalcanti was sent over to broach the matter there. 
La Mothe Fenelon, the French ambassador in 
England, had some months before looked coldly 
upon the suggestion of a match between Alencon 
and the Queen, and had told Catharine that he 
feared such a proposal would cause offence ; but, 
urged by the Queen-mother and her emissary, 
Cavalcanti, he broached the matter to Cecil one day 
at the end of January as he was coming from a long 
interview with the Queen. Have you spoken to 
' Foreign Calendar. 



OUEEN ELIZABETH. 



1^1 



the Queen about it ? said Cecil. La Mothe said he 
had not, and Cecil told him to keep it secret until 
they two had put themselves in accord on the sub- 
ject. Smith's repeated letters in favour of the idea, 
and La Mothe's advances, at last decided him to 
open the suggestion to the Queen. She naturally 
at once objected to the great disparity of ages — she 
was nearh" thirty-nine and Alenqon was not seven- 
teen — and then she asked Cecil what was Alen^on's 
exact height. He is about as tall as I am, replied 
the lord treasurer. " You mean as tall as your 
grandson," snapped the Queen, and closed the con- 
versation.' Elizabeth's vanity had been wounded 
by the way in which the French had played fast 
and loose with her about Anjou, and she was some- 
what restive ; but Cecil and most of the English 
ministers were better pleased with Alen^on than 
with his brother, first because he had been always 
attached to the Huguenots by his diplomatic 
mother, and would make no difficulty about religion ; 
and secondly, as he was not the next heir to the 
French crown, the danger which might arise in the 
event of his succession was more remote. 

On Sunday, the 9th of February, a grand masque 
and tourney were given by Catharine de Medici, 
apparently for the purpose of showing off her 
youngest son to the English envoys. He and his 
brother the King, splendidly dressed and mounted, 
with six followers aside, tilted at the ring, the 
Queen-mother the meanwhile pointing out the 
perfections of the younger, w^ho, she told Killigrew, 
was rather richer than his brother Anjou. 

^ La Mothe Fenelon Correspondence. La Ferriere. 



CHAPTER VI. 

Interview of Walsingham and Smith with Catharine de 
}*Iedici respectinjf Alenyon — Treaty between England 
and France — Cavalcanti's negotiations — INIontmorenci's 
mission to London — Walsingham's description of 
Alenyon — La Mole's visit to the Queen — The Alencon 
match prospers — The St. Bartholomew — Resumption of 
negotiations — Alenyon's first letter to the Queen — 
^LaisonHeur's mission — Special embassy of Castelnau de 
la Mauvissiere — Civil war in France — Anjou elected 
King (^f Poland — Disappears as a suitor for Elizabeth's 
hand. 



On the 21st of March Walsingham, who had now 
returned to hi.s post, was walking with Smith in the 
park at Blois, when by accident or design they met 
the Queen-mother. A quaint account of the inter- 
view with her is given in a letter from Smith to 
Cecil dated the following day. They were speaking 
of the Duke of Norfolk's conspiracy, when the 
Queen-mother seized the opportunity of once more 
trying to urge the suit of her youngest son. " I 
would," she said, "that the Queen were quiet from 
all these broils ; doe you (Smith) know nothing how 
she can fancie the marriage with my son the Duke 
of Alencon ? " " Madam," said Smith, "you know 
me of old ; I can affirm nothing except I have some 
good ground. Why, if she be disposed to marrie, 
I do not see where she shall marrie so well ; and 
yet, saith she, I may as a mother be justly accounted 



THE COURTSHIPS OF QUEEN ELIZABETH. 153 

partial, but as for those which I have heard named, 
as the Emperor's son or Don John, they be both 
lesser than my son is, and of less stature by a good 
deal, and if she should marrie it were pity any more 
time were lost. Madam, quoth I. if it pleased God 
that she were married and had a child, all these 
brao-o's and all these treasons would soon be 
appalled, and on condition that she had a child 
by M. d'Alenqon, for my part I care not if ye had 
the Queen of Scotland here, for you would then 
take as good care of her as we do." Catharine de 
Medici confirmed this view, and said that there was 
no reason why they should not have several children. 
" And if the Queen," she said, " could have fancied 
my son Anjou, why not this one, of the same house, 
father and mother, and as vigorous and lusty as he, 
and rather more ? And now he beginneth to have 
a beard come forth, for that I told him the last day 
that I was angr)^ with it, for I was now afraid he 
would not be so high as his brethren. Yea, 
Madam, I said, a man doth commonly grow in 
height to his vears, the beard maketh nothing. 
Nay, said she, he is not so little ; he is as high 
as you, or very near. For that. Madam, quoth I, 
I for my part make small account, if the Queen's 
Majesty can fancie him, for Pepin the short did not 
reach his wife's girdle and yet had Charlemagne. 
It is true, said she, that it is heart and courage and 
activity that is to be looked for in a man. But 
have you no word of your Queen's affection that 
way ? Can you give me no comfort ? " But Smith 
was not to be drawn out of his reserve without 
special instructions from England, and these did not 
come ; so that although the conversation continued 



154 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

in the same strain for a long time, Catherine could 
o"et nothino- definite in the wav of encourao-ement to 
Alencon. 

In the meanwhile the " rough hewing " of the 
treaty had been steadily going on, and on the 19th 
of April the draft protocol was signed at Blois. 
Aid was to be given unofficially by both nations 
to the revolted Hollanders ; the fleets of Protestant 
privateers in the Channel were to be sheltered and 
encouraged, and, above all, the Huguenot Henry of 
Navarre was to marry Margaret of X'^alois, the 
King's sister. Catharine wrote a letter to Elizabeth 
on the 22nd of April, through Smith, expressing 
her joy at the prospect of peace and harmony in 
France, which the treaty and her daughter's 
marriage held out, and Marshal de Montmorenci 
and de Foix were sent as a special embassy to 
Eno'land for the ratification of the formal alliance, 
whilst Lord Admiral Clinton, the Earl of Lincoln' 
was to proceed to France for a similar purpose. 
The Protestant party in France were thus for the 
moment victorious all along the line, and the con- 
nection between England and France closer than it 
had been for many years. Catharine, naturally 
desirous of securing a double hold upon England 
whilst these relations lasted, by settling her youngest 
son as Elizabeth's consort, instructed Montmorenci 
to make a formal offer of his hand to the Queen. 
As usual, Cavalcanti was sent over as a harbinger, 
and took with him a flattering portrait of the Prince, 
which was given to the Queen through Leicester. 
Alencon was deeply pitted with the small-pox from 
which he had recently suffered, and otherwise was 
far inferior in appearance to his brother Anjou, so 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 155 

that to a person of Elizabeth's temperament he was 
less likely to be acceptable. She had, moreover, 
obtained by the treaty of Blois the close alliance 
with France and the predominance of the Huguenots 
which she desired, and could therefore afford to hold 
off somewhat in the marriage negotiations in which 
she personally had never been sincere. She accord- 
ingly instructed Lord Lincoln ^ that if any mention 
were made to him of the marriage, he might say 
that he believed she considered she had not been 
well treated in the Anjou business ; and moreover 
the disparity of years between herself and Alen^on 
was so great as in her opinion to be a complete 
" stay " to the match. 

Montmorenci and de Foix arrived in London on 
the 13th of June and were lodged at Somerset 
House, their entertainment being the most lavish 
and splendid that had been seen in England for 
many years. After the swearing of the alliance on 
the 15th at Westminster, the ambassadors had 
audience of the Queen and presented her with 
Catharine's letter offering the hand of her son. She 
again objected to her suitor's youth, and sustained 
the discussion with Montmorenci until supper- was 
announced. Subsequently, at Windsor, he returned 
to the charge, when Elizabeth once more raised the 
religious question. The ambassador said they would 
be contented with the concessions which Smith had 
offered at Blois when Anjou was under discussion. 
But matters were changed now, and the Oueen said 
she did not recollect to have made any such conces- 
sions ; besides which the difference of age was so great 
as to be an obstacle. De Foix replied that the dis- 
^ Foreign Calendar, May 25, 1572. 



156 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

proportion was not so very great after all. Alenc^on 
was strong and vig-orous, capable of begetting 
children, whilst she who was used to command 
would be better pleased with a young and docile 
husband than with an older one. There was much 
beating about the bush on the religious question, 
but the ambassadors made it evident that Alen^on 
was not a bio-ot like his brother, and that no ofreat 
stand would be made on that point. On their 
departure, therefore, at the end of the month the 
matter was still left in suspense. 

As soon as they had gone Burleigh sent some 
account of their visit to Walsingham in France. 
" They were," he says, " entertained as never before 
in man's memory. The honour done them also by 
the Queen was such as she could do no more. All 
the higher nobility attended them, the only difference 
from the Lord Admiral's entertainment in France 
being that no lord but my Lord Leicester enter- 
tained them, saving I at Midsummer eve did feast 
them and all their gentlemen with a collation of all 
things I could procure, not being flesh to observe 
their manner." He deplores that the presents of 
plate given to the ambassadors were not so great 
as he would have wished, although they both got 
" cupboards of plate and Montmorenci also a great 
gold cup of 1 1 1 ounces." With regard to Alen^on, 
" they got neither yea nor nay, only a month's 
delay." 

But at the end of the letter it is clear that 
Elizabeth, who was not now in such a hurry, was 
determined if she did marry to drive as hard a 
bargain as possible. Walsingham is instructed to 
get full information of the Prince's age, stature. 



OUEEX ELIZABETH. 157 

condition, devotion, &c., with all speed, for the 
Queen ; and Burleigh assures his correspondent 
that he sees no lack of will in the Queen but on 
account of Alencon's age. "If we could counter- 
balance that defect with some advantage such as 
Calais for their issue, he being governor for life."-' 
Otherwise, he says, he doubts the result, as the 
Queen mislikes Alencon's youth and appearance. 

In the meanwhile Lincoln came back from Paris 
loaded with 2,800 ounces of gilt plate, worth, says 
Walsingham, los. per ounce, and full of the 
magnificence and gaiety oi his entertainment in 
France. His stay had been one succession of 
splendid feasts, and Alencon especially had treated 
him with marked distinction. Coligny and the 
great Huguenot chiefs had emphatically praised the 
young Prince to him, and Lincoln came back to his 
mistress greatly impressed with all he had heard 
and seen, and assured her that Alencon, far from 
beino- inferior, was better than his brother, both in 
bearing and credit. She characteristically objected 
that he was not nearly so good-looking, and that 
the small-pox had not improved him. Lincoln's 
favourable opinion was to a great extent confirmed 
by Walsingham's report to Cecil. The Duke, he 
said, was born on the 25th of April, 1555, and his 
stature is about the same as that of Lord Lincoln. 
He was reputed to be prudent and brave, but also 
somewhat feather-headed, which, says Walsingham, 
is a common fault with his countrymen. Coligny 
was in great hope of him in religion, and thought 
he mio-ht soon be brought to a knowledge of the 
truth ; and Walsingham concludes his good 
' '' Compleut ambassador." 



158 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

character of the Prince by hinting' that he was 
really in love with the Queen, But it will be 
noticed that he says not a w^ord as to his 
physical charms, which indeed could not compare 
with his brother Anjou's somewhat effeminate 
beauty. He is thus described at the time by the 
Venetian ambassador in Paris. " His complexion 
is swarthy and his face pitted with small-pox, his 
stature small but well set, his hair black and curling- 
naturally. He wears it brushed up from the fore- 
head, which lengthens the oval of his face. He 
affects popular manners, but his prodigal promises 
of reforms are only a cloak for his unbridled desire 
for trouble and dissension." ' 

On the 20th of July the Queen sent instructions to 
Walsing'ham saying that "although the forbearing 
of her Majesty's consent to the motion of Marshal 
Montmorenci for a marriage with the Duke of 
Alencon was grounded on their ages, yet a greater 
cause of misliking proceeds from the report made 
by all of his great blemish in his face by means of 
small-pox, which is such that none dare affirm to 
her Majesty the good liking of him in that respect," - 
and Walsingham is directed to let this view be known 
to the Queen-mother, as if coming from himself 
without instructions. The Queen herself wrote a 
letter to Walsingham at the same time, going over 
the whole ground. She says she was moved by 
the importunity of Montmorenci to consider the 
match, notwithstanding her treatment in the matter 
of Anjou and the youth of Alencon, but "has now 
spoken to Lord Lincoln and others from France, 

' Tomaseo, " Ambassadeurs venetiens." Ferriere. 
'' Foreij^n Calendar. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 159 

and finds the conditions and qualities of the said 
Duke nothing- inferior to the Duke of Anjou, but 
rather better Hked. But as to visage and favour 
everybody declares the same to be far inferior, and 
especially for the blemishes of small-pox ; so, the 
youngness of his years being- considered, she cannot 
bring herself to like this offer, especially finding that 
no other great commodity is offered with him, 
whereby the absurdity that the general opinion of 
the world might grow, might in some measure be 
recompensed." Walsingham is to decline with 
thanks. She has no lack of desire for their friend- 
ship but, really, the ages of her suitor and herself 
were too disproportionate, particularly "as she 
cannot hear of anything which may countervail the 
inconvenience." ^ She again repeats that although 
the official objection is Alenqon's youth, yet his 
pock-marked visage has had a large share in 
personally influencing her to refuse the offer, unless 
indeed some trreat countervailino- advantasfe — such 
as the restoration of Calais — could make her foreet 
it. In another letter, a few days later, she enlarges 
upon these points, but says that the only way to 
overcome the difficulty will be for them to meet and 
see whether they could fancy each other. Hut 
she knew that this trick to feed her vanity was 
getting stale, and foresaw the answer. If, she says, 
the King and Queen-mother reply that it is not usual 
for princes of the house of France thus to go on 
approval, and' that she only makes the suggestion 
for the purpose of increasing her own reputation 
and not to marry him, Walsingham is to point out 
that the prize he aims at is a great one and worth 
' Foreim Calendar. 



i6o THK COURTSHIPS OF 

some small sacrifice. If they hold out on the point, 
Walsingham is to propose that the question of reli- 
gion should be left open, so that it may be used as 
an excuse for breaking off, if she and Alen(;on do 
not fancy each other when they meet, and thus the 
Prince's amour p7'opi'c may be saved. The reason 
why Elizabeth was again presenting the bait of mar- 
riage is not far to seek. A few days before this letter 
was written an answer came from Charles IX. to 
the Queen's letter taken by Montmorenci. The 
French king was already beginning to cry off of 
his bargain about aiding the revolted Netherlands 
against Philip. Pressure was being brought to 
bear upon him from the Pope and the Emperor, 
whispers of Huguenot plots and treasons against 
him were instilled into his ear from morn till night 
by his Catholic nobles ; and the Oueen-mother 
herself had taken fright at the arrogance of the 
now dominant Protestant part)', who were riding 
roughshod over their enemies. Paris was in a 
ferment at the supersession of its beloved Guises ; 
and Charles IX. and his mother felt that in avoid- 
ing the Scylla of Catholic subjection they had 
fallen into the Chary bdis of complete Huguenot 
thraldom. Their connection with the " English- 
woman " had gone too far for the patience of Paris, 
and the Kino's throne was in danofer. As usual, the 
cooler he orrew towards the P^ncrlish alliance the 
more openly was the bait of marriage held out by the 
Queen. There was an additional reason, too, for his 
holding back. The Huguenot force under Genlis, 
which had entered Flanders, had been completely 
crushed and routed by Don Fadrique de Toledo, 
and it was clear to Charles IX. that unless he could 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 161 

disconnect himself from the unsuccessful attempt, 
he might be dragged down by the overthrow of 
the Huguenot party. On the day, therefore, that 
the news of Genlis's defeat reached Paris the Kino- 
was closeted for hours with Montmorenci, and the 
result of this conference was the dispatch the same 
night of a \'oung noble named La Mole to England. 
He was a mere lad, a great friend of Alencon's, and 
the reason for choosing him was that he might 
fittingly seem to be pressing Alencon's suit, and 
so keep Elizabeth from quite breaking awa\ , whilst 
reallv his object was to dissociate the King from 
any act of hostility against Spain in Flanders, and 
thus practicall) to withdraw from the treaty of 
alliance of which the ink was hardly yet dry. 

La Mole travelled post night and day, and arrived 
in London only on the fourth day after he had left 
Paris : he brought flattering letters of introduction 
from Walsingham, Montmorenci, and Coligny, whose 
main hope it is clear to see by his letter, now rested 
upon Alencon's marriage with the Queen. La Mole 
arrived in London on the 27th of July, and on the 
following night at eleven o'clock Burleigh had a 
long private interview with him and La Mothe 
Pension at the house of the latter. The Queen 
was on her progress towards the splendid visit to 
Kenilworth, and it was some days before her 
decision with rerard to receivino- La Mole could 
arrive. He started from London with La Mothe 
P^enelon on the ist of August, and reached the 
Queen on the night of the 3rd. Sunday. He was 
at once secretly introduced into the Queen's 
chamber. Leicester, Smith, and La Mothe P^enelon 
alone being present. The Queen, we are told, was 

12 



i62 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

full of graciousness and caresses,' for the envoy 
was voung and gallant, but she could hardly have 
been pleased with his mission. " His King," he 
said, " could not openly declare himself in the 
matter of Flanders, as she desired ... as other- 
wise it would provoke a league of the Pope, the 
King of Spain, the Venetians, and others against 
which he could not defend himself. He was against 
any rash action. The King of Portugal had a large 
force of 12,000 or 15,000 men, and he was assured 
the Duke of Savoy was fully armed — all this must 
be considered before any bold step was taken." - 
The next day La Mole went openly to the palace 
ostensibly only as an emissary from Alencon, "with 
all the tricks and ceremonies of the PVench and 
these people. He is still at Court, being feasted 
and made much of." 3 The Queen, indeed, was so 
pleased with him that she carried him to Kenilworth 
where a grand supper was given specially in his 
honour, at which Elizabeth herself presided and 
drank the young envoy's health. The next day he 
and La Mothe were entertained at dinner by Cecil, 
and Elizabeth was again present. After dinner 
she fully explained her new position towards the 
Alencon match with her usual nimble volte face, 
to suit the changed circumstances. La Mothe 
Fenelon gives an account of the conversation as if 
the Queen's expressions were quite spontaneous ; 
but it is instructive to note that everything she said 
was carefully drawn up by Cecil, and the interesting 
paper is still at Hatfield.4 They (the P rench), she 
said, had quite misunderstood Walsingham. It 

' Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth). " Ibid. 3 Ibid, 
t Hatfield Papers, Hist. MSS. Com., part 2. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 163 

would have been absurd for her to have said that 
her marriage with Alen^on was impossible and 
immediately afterwards to have suggested a meeting 
between them. She only raised certain difficulties 
as to their ages, religion, and the like, but these 
might doubtless be overcome. And so she aoain 
holds out her hand, smooths away obstacles, suggests 
a meeting between the Duke and herself, proposes 
the adoption of the Anjou articles, with the excep- 
tion of religion, which she and Alencon will settle 
between them, and generally opens wide once more 
the door for negotiation. At this and subsequent 
interviews at Kenilworth she exerted all her powers 
of fascination upon La Mole and La Mothe, who 
were both ready enough to Hatter her to the top 
of her bent. She played her spinet to them, 
sighed that she was determined to marry and 
must see the Duke at once, and persistently set 
her cap at young La Mole as proxy for his master. 
Solid Cecil and jocose Smith appear to have been 
almost as much carried away as La Mole. They 
both wTote to Walsingham the belief that at last 
the affair would prosper in good earnest, if only the 
lover would take the trouble to run over to England 
and see the object of his affection. There are 
plenty of ways, said Smith, of coming over ; and 
he would do more in an hour than we could do in 
two years — " Cupido ille qui vincit omnia in oculis 
insidet," and so on. P^verything seemed to be 
prospering in the wooing, though the Queen herself 
was no more in earnest than before ; and doubtless 
she and Leicester lauo-hed in their sleeves at the 
way they were hoodwinking some of the keenest 
eyes of both nations. One person they certainly 



i64 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

did not deceive, and that was Catharine de Medici ; 
for at the very moment when all this billing antl 
cooing was going on the massacre of St. Bartholo- 
mew was being planned, and the person who was 
being kept in hand and cajoled into a false sense of 
security, notwithstanding the refusal of Charles IX. 
to help the Hollanders, was Elizabeth herself. But 
deceived though she was, she had prudence enough 
to mistrust the curious new attitude adopted by the 
Trench, whose one object was to draw her into a 
position of overt enmity to Spain in the Nether- 
lands, whilst Charles IX. deprecated taking up such 
a position for himself. La Mole's blandishments 
were not powerful enough f(jr this; and after twenty 
days' stay he and La Mothe left the Oueen with 
great professions of love and affection and a gold 
chain worth 500 ducats for the \oung envoy, and 
came to London, where they arrived on the 27th of 
August. On the same da)' there arrived at Rye 
two couriers from Paris, one with letters from 
W'alsingham to the Queen, and the other with 
despatches for La Mothe Fenelon. the French 
ambassador. Acting by order the English courier 
immediately on his arrival caused the authorities of 
the port to seize the papers of the other courier 
and send them together with Walsingham's letters 
in all haste to the Queen at Kenilworth. The 
Queen was out hunting when they arrived, and 
read in them first as she rode the news of 
St. Bartholomew — overwhelmed with the great 
tragedy which seemed to be as much directed 
against herself as against the French Huguenots. 
All rejoicings were stopped, mourning garb was 
adopted, and long, anxious conferences took the 



qup:en klizabkth. 165 

place of g-ay diversion. Hefore the Queen herself 
received the news the dire calamity had become 
known in London. Terrified Huguenots by the 
hundred, fiying. as they thought, from a general 
massacre, were scudding across the Channel to 
the English ports in any craft they could get. 
From mouth to mouth spread the dreadful story, 
growing as it spread, and for a time London 
and the Court w^ere given up to panic at what 
was assumed to be a world-wide murderous 
conspiracy against Protestantism. The treacherv 
of the French was especially condemned, and La 
Mole lost no time in getting away from a country 
where he could be of no more use. La Mothe 
was ordered by Elizabeth to keep in his house 
until the safety of her ambassadors in France could 
be ascertained, and for several days La Mothe him- 
self was but imperfectly informed as to what had 
happened on Navarre's terrible wedding-day. It 
was not until the 7th of September that the Queen 
received him at Woodstock on her way to Windsor. 
She and her Court were in deep mourning, and 
La Mothe was received in silence and with no 
greeting from the Queen except a cold inquiry 
whether the news she had heard was true. He 
made the best of the sad story ; repeated the 
assertion that there was a plot of Coligny and the 
Huguenots to seize the Louvre ; urged ihat the 
massacre was unpremeditated, and that the King- 
was obliged to sacrifice Coligny to save himself. 
In the midst of his reading the King's letter 
Elizabeth interrupted the ambassador and said that 
her knowledge of events would suffice to prevent 
her from being deceived, or giving entire credit to 



i66 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

the King's assertions ; but even if they were all 
true, she did not understand why harmless women 
and children should have been murdered. ^ La 
Mothe ureed the continuance of the French friend- 
ship, but Elizabeth knew that such friendship would 
be a false one so long- as the Guises ruled in the 
Councils of the King, and dismissed La Mothe with 
a plain indication of her opinion. 

Philip and the Catholics were of course overjoyed, 
and the Guises soon made their heavy hands felt. 
And then, not many days after the massacre. Catha- 
rine de Medici saw the mistake she had made, and 
tried so far as she could to retrace her steps, by 
again raising hopes of the Huguenots and redress- 
ing the balance of parties. She accordingly sent 
Castelnau de la Mauvissiere, a moderate man 
known in England, to Walsingham for the purpose 
of once again bringing the Alen^on match forward. 
Walsingham. sick with the horrors he had lately 
witnessed, bluntly told him he had no belief in 
their sincerity, and in a subsequent interview with 
Catharine he repeated the same to her. much to her 
indignation. But Walsingham carefully reported 
that Alen^on himself was entirely free from com- 
plicity in the massacre, which he openly and loudly 
condemned, taking the side of the Huguenots and 
swearing with Henry of Navarre to avenge the 
murdered admiral. He was closely watched at 
Court, and was for long meditating an escape and 
flight to England. On the 21st of September he 
had a private interview with Walsingham, whom he 
.satisfied of his good faith personally, and on the 

^ Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth), and La Mothe Corres- 
pondence. 

\ 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. ,67 

followino- day he signed a letter to Elizabeth which 
was the beoinning- of the extraordinary correspond- 
ence which c(jntinued for years, most of which still 
may be found at Hatfield.' The body of the letter 
is written by a secretary, and is full of the most ful- 
some flattery of Elizabeth, of "her rare virtues and 
infinite perfections." ."His affection and fidelit}- for 
her are such that there is nothing in the world, 
however great or difficult it may be, that he would 
not willingly do in order to render her more certain 
thereof;" and with this he begs her to listen to what 
will be said on his behalf by the bearer of the letter, 
a certain L'huillier, seigneur de Maisonfleur. At 
the bottom Alencon has scrawled a postscript him- 
self in his ridiculously illiterate boyish French, sav- 
ing, "Madame je vous supli mescuser si sete letre 
nest toute escripte de ma min, et croies que nay peu 
faire autrement." Maisonfleur was a strangely 
chosen emissarv tor such a mission. He had been 
a follower of the Guises and. a sergeant-carver to 
Catharine, and was now a Protestant and an equerry 
of Alencon. It was arranged that after seeing 
Elizabeth, he should return to Dover and receive 
Alen(^on, who had planned to escape and sail lor 
England. When Maisonfleur arrived at Court he 
found the Huguenot nobles who were with the 
Queen had told her something of his history and 
she refused to give him audience. Either for this 
reason or from the Duke's misgivings Alencon's 
flight to England on this occasion fell through, and 
Maisonfleur returned to London from Dover with- 
out having seen his master. After his return he 
managed to obtain access of the Queen, and gradu- 
^ Hattield Papers, Hist. MSS. Com., parts 2 and 3. 



i68 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

ally broke down her distrust. In a letter of great 
length, dated December ist, he wrote to his master 
under the name of Lucidor, giving him an encou- 
raging account of Elizabeth's attitude, and urging 
him to fulfil his former intention of escaping to 
England. He says: "She would not use the short 
word you desire, but her heart seemed to speak to 
me through her eyes — ' Tell him to come and to 
despair of nothing ; if I marry any prince in the 
world it will be he. '" ' He urges Alencon that it 
will be useless to attempt to bring about the match 
by ordinary diplomacy, and above all b)- the inter- 
vention of Madame la Serpente, as he calls Catha- 
rine de Medici, the deepest distrust prevailing- of 
the ruling powers in Erance since St. Bartholomew. 
The only way, he says, will be for Uon Lucidor to 
strike out a line independent of his relatives, to break 
with the Catholics, draw to his side the Huguenots, 
and the German and Swiss Protestants, come over 
and marry Madame L'isle (Elizabeth) and become a 
g'reat sovereign. Maisonfieur, in a postscript which 
he showed to Burleigh, laid down full instructions 
for Alencon's escape and urged him to bring 
Navarre and Conde with him, but only a few atten- 
dants, amongst whom should be La Mole, to whom he 
also wrote begging him to urge his master to escape. 
A few clays before this letter was written 
Castelnau de la Mauvissiere arrived in London 
with great ostentation, as a special ambassador from 
the King of France. He was c\ persona orata with 
Elizabeth, and his task on this occasion was to 
smooth down the distrust and asperity caused by 
the St. Bartholomew and thus to induce her to 
' Hatfield Papers, Hist. MSS. Com., part 2. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 169 

refrain from actively helping the Huguenots in 
France. Stern Rochelle. Protestant to the back- 
bone, was still held firmly against the Catholics. 
Guienne, Languecloc and Cjascony, where the re- 
formers were strongest, had now recovered the panic 
of St. Bartholomew and were arming for the fray ; 
Portsmouth. Plymouth, and the eastern ports of 
England were swarming with shipping, being htted 
out for Rochelle and the Netherlands ; privateers 
in the interest of Orange held command of the 
North Sea. and emissaries were going backwards 
and forwards between P^ngland and Germany t(j plan 
concerted action for the defence of Protestantism 
the world over. Henry ot Navarre. Conde, and 
Alencon w^ere looked upon by the Catholics in 
France with daily growing suspicion, whilst Mont- 
gomeri and the Vidame de Chartres. at the Court 
of Elizabeth, were unceasing in their vigilance to 
pledge the young princes ever deeper to the cause 
of England and the Protestants. Castelnau's task 
was therefore not an easy one. and was only 
partially successful. Elizabeth consented to stand 
sponsor to Charles IX.'s infant daughter, and the 
personal relations between the sovereigns became 
somewhat less strained, but not for a moment did 
Elizabeth's ministers slacken in their aid to be- 
leaguered Rochelle and the stubborn Dutchmen in 
the North. Anjou was at the head of the Catholic 
army before Rochelle and his brother Alencon, 
much against his will, was forced to accompany 
him. Over and over again he planned to escape to 
Montgomeri's fleet outside, and prayed his mother 
to place him in command of the King's ships. But 
the Catholics well knew they dared not trust him, 



I70 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

and he was never allowed out of sight. Month 
after month Anjou cast his men fruitlessly against 
the impregnable walls of Rochelle; well supplied 
with stores from England by Montgomeri's fleet, 
the townspeople bade defiance to the Catholics, 
and the reformers through the rest of France were 
rendered the more confident thereby. It was clear 
to Catharine and her son that Protestantism had 
not been extinguished in the blood of St. Bartholo- 
mew, and they began to think it time to make 
terms with an enemy they saw^ they could not crush. 
On the /th of March, 1573, therefore. La Mothe 
P^enelon saw Elizabeth and assured her that " his 
King would most faithfully continue in the league 
and confederation which he had sworn to her, and 
would strictly uphold it without departing therefrom 
for any reason in the w^orld." He begged her to 
lay aside her distrust of him, and then again 
broached the subject of her marriage with Alencon. 
The King and Queen-mother, he said, would never 
trouble her with the matter again if she would only 
let them know her pleasure now. They reminded 
her that she had said that she would be obliged to 
marry for the sake of her subjects, and that the 
only question at issue was that of religion. Al- 
though Alencon was a purely Catholic prince, and 
she would be the first person to reject him as un- 
worthy if he changed his religion out of the mere 
ambition to marry her, yet he would be content to 
perform his religious exercises behind closed doors, 
guarded by one of her own ushers.' The Queen 
thought these approaches afforded her a good 
opportunity for striking a bargain in favour of 
' Hatfield Papers. Hist. MSS. Com., part 2. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 17, 

Protestantism, and said she would proceed no 
further in the matter of the marriage unless fair 
terms were given to the Huguenots and peace 
made at Rochelle. There was nothing Catharine 
desired more. Anjou was heartily sick of his un- 
successful siege. The heroic Rochellais ostenta- 
tiously feasted out of their meagre store, and danced 
round the maypole on May-day, under his very eyes. 
Montogomeri's swift smacks threaded their way 
safely through the King's blockading fleet outside, 
and it was seen that the starving, plague-stricken, 
and disheartened besiegers were in far worse case 
than the heroic besieged. The elective crown of 
Poland, moreover, was already within Anjou's 
grasp, and both he and his mother were only too 
glad to end a bad business by granting to the 
Protestants some of the terms they demanded. 
The draft treaty was signed by Anjou on the 25th 
of June and ratified a fortnight later by the King. 
A general amnesty was granted, full religious 
liberty was accorded in the towns of Rochelle, 
Montauban, and Nismes, and private household 
worship elsewhere in France. Anjou was then 
elected to the throne of Poland, which he changed 
for that of France a year later (May 24, 1574) 
and thenceforward disappears as one of the possible 
suitors for Elizabeth's hand. 






CHAPTER VII. 



Revival of the Alencou match — Dr. Dale's interview with 
Catharine de Medici — Alencon's letters to Elizabeth — 
Illness and death of Charles IX. — Imprisonment of 
Alencon — Huguenot plots and execution of La Mole and 
Coconas — Alencon kept in durance and the marriage 
negotiations discontinued. 

Dr. Valentine Dale had replaced Walsingham as 
English ambassador in Erance, and soon after the 
signing of the peace of Rochelle, he and his tem- 
porary colleague, F^dmund Horsey, were summoned 
by Catharine and asked whether their mistress was 
willing to carry through the Alencon match, now 
that her condition with regard to peace had been 
fulfilled. Dale replied that if it were announced 
that peace had been effected through Alencon's 
intervention their Queen would be willing to pro- 
ceed in the matter. This was accepted, and it was 
arranged that, as the Queen of England intended to 
stay a week at Dover in the ensuing month of 
August, an opportunity for a meeting between her 
and the Prince might be found. The Queen- 
mother told Dale that Alencon had grown greatly 
durine his absence at Rochelle, "and that his beard 
had grown, which helps much his imperfections." ^ 
He had good hopes, too, that the young Prince 
' Foreign Calendar. 



THE COURTSHIPS GF OUEKN ELIZABETH. 173 

would openly become a Protestant. When Auoust 
came, however, Catharine began to cry oft', and 
Dale thouo-ht she would not let her son come unless 
" some further word of comfort be given," thinkintr 
of the '' koiitc^' if the affair fell through after all. 
As for the Prince, he was not only ready but eager 
to make the journe)', and managed to convey as 
much to L3ale, who thus describes him on August 
2nd : " His pock-holes are thick but not great, 
as are seen in some men whose faces are little dis- 
figured with them, if the visage and colour are other- 
wise liked. He was bashful and blushing at parting. 
His speech is not so fast as his brother's, and he 
seems more advised. He is of 'statura mediocre.' " ' 
A few days alter this Catharine sent Cavalcanti 
to see Dale and sound him about lilizabeth's present 
sincerity. He talked about the '' hontc " to them all 
if the Duke went to P^ngland and nothing" canie of 
it, and hinted that he. Cavalcanti, or a greater 
personage might first be sent to the English Court 
to " learn the Queen's mind." Dale prudently 
counselled Cavalcanti not to deal alone in the 
matter, but to have some other pair of shoulders to 
bear part of the responsibility if the affair fell 
through. This was not ver\- encouraging, and two 
days afterwards Alencon providentially fell ill of 
fever. This was at once seized upon as the excuse 
for his not meeting the Queen; and Gondi. Count de 
Retz, was sent to England in the last week of 
August to see Elizabeth at Dover and explain the 
reason for Alencon 's absence. He took letters from 
the King, Catharine, and Alencon, and was to 
obtain, if possible, some assurance from the Queen. 
^ Forei<;n Calendar. 



174 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

He accompanied her as far on her journey to 
London as Canterbury, and there took his leave with 
many loving" but vague messages. By him Elizabeth 
wrote to Al^jKjon (September 15th) thanking him 
for the visit he intends making her, and saying she 
considers herself fortunate that the sea cannot 
restrain his desire to see her. Besides the formal 
letter he had sent by Retz, Alencon had written 
another in much warmer terms. " He had been," 
he says, "twice near his last sigh, but is now, thank 
God, better, although still with continual fever. He 
is told that there are some in France ^\\('>. par fine se, 
cotch\ on I'lize, wish to bring about that she shall 
love him no longer. He begs her not to believe 
them, for if such should be the case he should 
die," and he sends her a ring as a love token. This 
was a fair beginning of a romance between a 
"feather-headed " prince of eighteen and the clever 
Queen of fort}', and for a time all looked prosperous 
again. Retz's report was favourable, and Catharine 
was more inclined to let her son go. Dale saw the 
Prince, and wrote to Burleigh in October that he 
had "shot up" much since his sickness, and that his 
" colour was amended of the ruddiness it had " ; but, 
he adds, " as for the rest, the liking or misliking is 
in the hands of God." 

Elizabeth had vigilant agents who kept her in- 
formed of the progress of events in France, and it 
was soon seen that great changes were impending 
there, for which it behoved her to move with 
caution. Charles IX., although only twenty-four, 
was in declining health. The Huguenots were 
clamorously discontented with the terms granted at 
Rochelle, and were demanding further concessions ; 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 175 

and above all the " politicians," or moderates, under 
the Montmorencis, were joining the Huguenots, and 
the combined parties were much stronger than the 
Guises and Catholics. Elizabeth therefore began to 
talk about the unfortunate pock-marks in Alencon's 
face again. It appears that Retz had raised some 
difficulty about Alencon's visit, and Elizabeth 
affected to believe that the real reason was a fear 
that the pock-marks were too deep, and she would 
dislike him if he came. She therefore sent Thomas 
Randolph, late in October, to see and report closely 
on his appearance, and to compare it with a portrait 
of the Prince that had been sent to her. If he 
found the marks very bad, he was confidentially to 
tell Retz that there were several obstacles to the 
match, which was unpopular in England, and so put 
off the matter. He was also to study how the im- 
pending changes and Anjou's absence in Poland 
would affect Alenqon. Anjou had delayed his 
departure until the sick king grew suspicious and 
insisted upon his going. Catharine went with him 
to the French frontier, and as she dared not lose 
sight of Navarre and Alencon, she took them with 
her. Whilst the party were in Picardy, a few miles 
only from the English coast, the Huguenot agents 
were busy planning the escape of the two younger 
princes to England, from whence they might rally the 
Protestant forces and work their will in F" ranee. As 
soon as Alencon took leave ot his brother, the new 
Kino- of Poland, he sent one of his valets de chambre 
to Elizabeth with a loving letter dated early in 
November, to communicate with her the details of 
his proposed flight. Maisonfleur also, who had 
now quite gained the Queen's good graces, wrote, 



1/6 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

urging" his master most emphatically not to fail this 
time. If, he says, you do not hasten to come this 
time, the Queen will have some reason to believe 
that all your past delays, and all the fine words you 
have written to her have only been so many decep- 
tions practised upon her by the advice of Madame 
la Serpente, in order to draw out matters and keep 
them in hand for some design which nobody under- 
stands. "What will you say to that. Lucidor ? 
You are summoned, you are entreated to hasten 
your coming. O ! Lucidor, the most fortunate prince 
in the world, if only he know how to take advantage 
of his fortune." ' Once more the plan of escape 
fell through, divulged this time by the faithless 
Valois wife of Henry of Navarre, and Catharine 
took good care thenceforward that neither her son 
nor her son-in-law should give her the slip. 

The position was a somewhat curious one. The 
King and his mother were quite as anxious to bring 
about the marriage as were Alencon and the 
Huguenots, yet each party tried to frustrate the 
other's efforts to that end. In fact, unless the 
marriage were effected on such terms as would 
enable the King to get rid of his turbulent brother 
and protect him in future from Huguenot aggression 
in France, it would have been worse than useless to 
him ; whilst, on the other hand, it would have been 
equally useless to the Protestant party if it were 
effected on such conditions. When, therefore. La 
Mothe Fenelon, on Randolph's return from Picardy 
with a fairly favourable report, submitted the final 
terms for the match on the King's behalf, Elizabeth 
fenced and prevaricated again. The Duke should 
• Record Office State Papers (France). 



QUEEN ELIZABETFl. i;; 

come to England incognito and not publicly. She 
refused to fix a date for the visit. She alleged that 
the Protestants at La Rochelle were being treated 
treacherousl)- ; and. in her usual fashion, thus again 
involved the matter in clouds of uncertainty. Her 
reason for this was not far to seek. She knew, as 
we know now, that a vast Protestant conspiracy 
enx'eloped PVance from one end to the other, strong 
enouorh to overwhelm the Guises and seize the 
Government. The absence of the fig-urehead 
Alencon in England at such a time would have been 
unfavourable to the Huguenot cause, unless he had 
gone thither under Huguenot auspices, and was 
ready to sail from there at any moment to lead the 
great revolt. Catharine had taken him and Navarre 
to .St. Germain with her, and it had been arranged 
that the general movement was to be preceded by 
the forcible rescue of the princes by a body of chosen 
horsemen under an officer named Guitry. But the 
intention was betrayed in time to frustrate it, panic 
seized the courtiers, La Mole, Alencon's chosen 
friend, lost his head, and told the whole story to 
Navarre's wife Margaret, who divulged it to her 
mother. Flight to Catholic Paris was the only 
course for Catharine and the sick King, and thither 
they fled during the night, the Queen-mother taking 
with her in her own carriage both Alencon and 
Navarre.^ Both the princes were kept prisoners for 
the next month or so, but the faithful La Mole and 
the Count cle Coconas were busy the while planning 
their escape. Elizabeth had given a safe con- 
duct, all was ready and the horses waiting on the 

^ Lu Feniere, and '' Memoires de la Keine Marguerite" (The 
Ha.t^ue, 1715), p. 78. 

1^ 



178 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

1 8th of April, but Catharine was on the alert and once 
more stopped the princes. La Mole and Coconas 
were seized with an Italian magician, and charged, 
amongst other things, with causing the illness of the 
King by witchcraft. Young La Mole was sub- 
jected to the most inhuman torture, his legs crushed 
by the boot, his flesh seared with fire, but the poor 
lad could only cry out in pity for himself, and declare 
that he had plotted nothing but his master's flight. 
Coconas and others, who were probably deeper in 
the secret intentions of the Huguenots, made more 
incriminating admissions, ' and Catharine grasped the 
nettle firmly. Marshals Montmorenci and De Cosse, 
the leaders of the "politicians," were imprisoned, and 
armies were sent to crush the v^arious Huguenot 
risings in the South — an easy task now that all the 
leaders were under lock and key. Elizabeth did not 
forget young La Mole in his trouble, and Dr. Dale 
besought his life as a favour to his Queen. But 
Catharine refused coldly, and referred to the Duke 
of Norfolk's execution as a similar case. Elizabeth 
afterwards made a g;rievance of it arainst Catharine, 
who, she said, had promised Dale to spare La 
Mole's life. The King certainly had promised 
Alencon to do so. The Duke was beside himself 
with sorrow and rage. He alternately stormed and 
implored, cast himself at his mother's feet in an 
agony of tears ; and at last the King promised him 
the life of his friend. But suddenly, and without 
notice, La Mole and Coconas were beheaded on the 
30th of April. Then Alencon fell seriously ill of 
excitement and fear for his own life. Elizabeth 
evidently was also apprehensive, both as to the fate 
' Le Labourer's continuation of Castclnau's " Memoires." 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 179 

of her youthful suitor and the immediate future of 
the Protestant cause. She therefore sent, early in 
May, Thomas Leighton, Governor of Guernsey, to 
France, ostensibly to reassure the King- with regard 
to an anticipated Huguenot descent upon Normandy 
from that island, but really to advise Catharine " to 
avoid violent counsels, and especially in the division 
of the two brothers," and to beo- Charles IX., in 
Elizabeth's name, not to be hard upon Alencon. 

The King was dying by this time, and could not 
receive Leighton for several days. On the 15th of 
May, although too ill to stand, he saw the envoy, 
and in reply to his message affected to be surprised 
at the rumours that he and his brother were bad 
friends. They were on the best of terms, he said ; 
and when Leighton asked whether he might see the 
Duke, he replied : " Oui jesus ! " as one would 
say, why of course you can. But Alenqon well 
knew the falseness behind it all, and w^as afraid to 
say anything ; so Leighton got no confirmation 
from him. He afterwards saw the Queen-mother, 
who was somewhat indignant at Elizabeth's meddling 
in her family quarrels, and retorted, sarcastically, 
that as " she was so careful of Alencon, it was 
an undoubted argument and good augury of some 
good effect to follow of the former matters that had 
been moved." ' , The result of Leighton's remon- 
strances, however, was that Alencon and Navarre 
were "allowed to go abroad for supper for coun- 
tenance sake." 

When Leiofhton took leave of the Kino- at the 
end of May Charles was sinking, and Alencon was 
in daily fear of poison and the Bastille from the 
' P'oreign Calendar. 



i8o THK COURTSHIPS OF 

Guises and their friends. Chjirles IX. finall) 
expired on the 30th of May, and ahnost before the 
breath was out of his body his mother, without any 
authority other than an alleged dying order of the 
King, seized the regency, placed Navarre and 
Alen^on under strict guard in rooms with grated 
windows, "where none dared speak with them." 
To all of Dale's remonstrances she gave smooth 
answers, and "took Alencon about with her as a 
show," but she never relaxed her hold upon him and 
Navarre for one moment. When her son himself 
asked why she was keeping him prisoner, she told 
him she must hold him fast until his brother Henry 
came from Poland. She was no doubt right in doing 
so, for the Huguenots were suspiciously busy, and 
Catharine almost canie to words with Leight(^n 
about the plots of some of his suite. During the 
interview she had with him she pointed out how 
she had always desired to be friendly with his 
mistress, and had offered her the hand of each one 
of her sons in turn. Alencjon entered the room at 
the moment, and his mother turned to Leighton 
and said, " Here is another one whom I would 
willingly give to her." The Duke, who had been 
taught his lesson, protested his fidelity to the new- 
King, his brother, and when he took leave Leighton 
whispered some words in the Duke's ear which 
Catharine was curious to learn, and asked her son 
what Leighton had said. " He told me," replied 
Alencon, " that Queen Elizabeth had nothing that 
was not at my service." ' 

Lord North was sent by Elizabeth to congratu- 
late the new King, and was present at a grand ball 
^ La Fenicrt', '' Projets dc Mariagc." 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 18 1 

in his honour at Lyons. He sat next to the Queen- 
mother, and watched Alencon and his frail and 
beautiful sister Margaret dancing together. North's 
eyes were all for the lovely Queen of Navarre, but 
Catharine directed his attention to her brother. 
" ' He is not so ugly nor so ill-favoured as they 
say, do you think so ? ' she asked. North of course 
agreed with her, when she replied, ' It is from no 
fault on our part that the marriage with your 
mistress has not taken place.' " ' When Lord North 
took leave of AlenQon in November the prince was 
careful not to mention love matters, but only spoke 
of "service" and "duty," but, says Dale, he wrung 
him by the arm, the old token between them, as 
one that would say " et ciipio ct tiuicoy - North, 
however, went home with the fixed idea that 
Catharine was making fun of his mistress. He 
thought her praises of Elizabeth's beauty were 
suspiciously overdone, and told his Queen so. 
She of course was furious ; and when La Mothe 
Fenelon, instructed by the Queen-mother, once 
more advanced the marriage negotiations, he found 
the Queen on her dignity, and advised Catharine to 
discontinue the matter for the present. 

^ L:i Mothe Fenelon Correspondence. 
- Foreign Calendar. 







CHAPTER VIII. 

Henry III. King of France — Escape of Alencon — Rising of 
the Huguenots — Revival of the marriage negotiations- — 
Suggested marriage of Queen EHzabeth and Don John of 
Austria — Efforts of Henry HI. and Catharine to provide 
for Alenfon abroad — Alen^on's negotiations with the 
Flemings — Flight of Alencon from Paris — Elizabeth's 
distrust of French interference in Flanders — Her nego- 
tiations with Alenyon on the subject — De Bacqueville 
and De Quincy's mission to England — L'Aubespine 
and Rambouillet sent by the King — Spanish fears of the 
Alencon match — Alencon enters Flanders and clamours 
for English aid. 



PoR the first year after the new King's arrival in 
France, he and his brother seemed to hold rival 
Courts. The King's, perhaps, was the more horribl) 
and shamelessly licentious, but both were filled 
with quarrelsome, dissolute, and utterly unscrupulous 
young men, who gloried in their vices. Those who 
surrounded the King were mostly Catholics, whilst 
Alencon's courtiers were oftener Huouenots and 
moderates. Between the two Courts quarrels, duels, 
and secret murders were incessant, and a fresh 
civil war was the inevitable outcome of such a 
rivalry. 

At last matters came to a crisis, and Alencon, on 
the evening of September 15, 1575, walked out of 
the Louvre with his face covered, and accompanied 
only by a single attendant. Outside, in a quiet spot 

near the Porte Ste. Honore, his faithful courtier, 

,182 



THE COUR rSHIPS OF QUEEN ELIZABETH. 183 

Jehan Simier, of whom more anon, was waltini^ 
with a fair lady's carriage into which Alencon 
mounted, and was carried as fast as the horses 
could gallop to where a body of three hundred 
horsemen were ready to serve as his escort. They 
got two hours' start before the King learnt of his 
brother's flight, and orders were given in rage and 
panic to bring him back at any cost. But Alencon 
was the heir to the crown, and the courtiers did not 
care to risk his future displeasure by too much zeal, 
and he reached Dreux unharmed. There he issued 
his proclamation, demanding reform of abuses but 
taking care not to identify himself too closely with 
the Huguenot cause. 

From town to town through Central France the 
Queen-mother followed her flying son, but he always 
escaped her. At last she had the boldness to 
appeal for aid to the moderates, and released their 
chief, Montmorenci, from the Bastille for the purpose 
of influencing Alenqon. By this time the Hugue- 
nots were in arms everywhere. Wilkes, the clerk 
of Elizabeth's Council, was sent to Conde and 
Montmorenci's son, Meru, at Strasburg, with a 
large sum of money, and thence across the Rhine 
to raise, through Duke Casimir, "one of the finest 
armies that for twenty years has issued from 
Germany " to enable Alencon to hold his own 
against Henry III. and the Guises. But before rein- 
forcements could reach him Marshal Montmorenci 
had induced him to patch up a six months' truce 
with his brother at the end of November, and for 
the moment the danger of civil war was averted. 
But Henry HI. found, as his brother Charles had 
found before him, that France was not large enough 



i84 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

to hold both him and Alencon. . The latter must 
be ofot rid of somehow. The Duke himself said 
that an attempt was made to poison him, but in an)- 
case his mother suggested to him that now that 
Elizabeth had been so ready to help him with 
money would be a good opportunity lor re\'iving 
the marriage negotiations. Alencon, nothing loath, 
sent one of his friends, named La Porte, with two 
letters of thanks to Elizabeth dated at Montreuil on 
November 28, 1575.^ They contain no word about 
marriage, but La Porte was instructed to co-operate 
with Castelnau de la Mauvissiere, who was now 
the ambassador in P^nolancl, in brinijintr it forward. 
Elizabeth insisted, however, as a preliminary, that 
a complete reconciliation should take place between 
the brothers and peace made with the Huguenots 
before she would again entertain the matter. The 
best way, said Catharine to Dale, to bring that about 
is for your mistress to desist from helping the rebels; 
and again the negotiations were shelved. P^liza- 
beth's new coolness is easily explained. Convinced, 
probably, of the inutility of an alliance with France 
in its present divided and unstable condition, she was 
for the moment actively engaged in making friends 
with Spain. Granvelle's brother Champigny, who 
had come from Flanders as an envoy from Philip's 
governor of the Netherlands to treat for a re- 
sumption of friendly relations, had been received 
with effusive civility. Philip's fleet, under Pedro 
de Valdes, had been hospitably entertained at 
Plymouth, and Corbet had been sent to Flanders 
to arrange a commercial treaty between England 
and the Spanish States. Elizabeth had, moreover 

' Hatfield Papers, part 2. 



OUEEX KLIZAHKTH. 185 

hastily recalled the Plnglish levies serv^no- with 
Orange, although but few obeyed the call ; and 
finally she had despatched young Henry Cobhani 
as an envoy to Philip himself, in order to smooth 
matters over between them. In Philip's notes of 
his interview with Cobham,' he says that the latter 
told him that Elizabeth had seen a letter from the 
King of Prance to the Prince of Orange, " making 
him many fine promises ' ; and then he said some- 
thing about a marriage which I did not very well 
understand." We shall probably not be far out if 
we guess that Cobham's vague hint about marriage, 
which was so lost upon Philip, was not altogether 
unconnected with certain approaches which at the 
same time were made on Elizabeth's behalf to Don 
John of Austria, Philip's natural brother, the heroic 
young victor of Lepanto, who at that very time was 
dreaming of a marriage with the captive Queen of 
Scots. Don John, writing to his brother, says : 
" She (Elizabeth) has sent an agent to me, who has 
hinted at a marriage. I am, in my replies, putting 
the matter aside, but I beg your Majesty to tell me 
if I am to follow it up. Although I may be led 
thus to restore a Queen and her realm to the true 
faith, I would not for all the world make a dis- 
honourable choice. I blush whilst I write this to 
think of accepting advances from a woman whose 
life and example furnish so much food for gossip." - 
Philip told his brother that such an approach should 
not be neglected ; but events marched quickly, and 
before anything could come of it another turn of 
the kaleidoscope made it impossible. 

^ Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth). 

- Gachard, Correspondence de Philippe II. 



1 86 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

Alencon's six months' truce had not stopped Duke 
Casimir's mercenaries with Conde from crossing the 
frontier. Navarre, too, had escaped from the 
Court, and had assumed the leadership of the 
Huguenots; and then Henry HI., sorely against 
his will, was forced to let his mother make the 
best terms she could with the insurgents and their 
allies. Alencon was boug"ht over with 100,000 
livres and the rich duchies of Berri Touraine and 
Anjou ; Casimir got 300,000 crowns, a pension of 
40,000 livres a year and rich estates in France ; 
Conde was promised the governorship of Picardy ; 
the Chatillons, Montgomeri, and even poor dead 
La Mole and Coconas were rehabilitated, the crown 
jewels were pawned to pay the German troops, and 
so at last peace was made. But still the necessity lor 
getting Alencon out of the way existed ; and, in 
despair of Elizabeth, active negotiations were opened 
for him to marry elsewhere. Catharine of Navarre, 
a princess of Cleves, and a daughter of the Palatine 
were all mentioned, but the most tempting and 
diplomatic project was to marry him to Philip's 
eldest daughter and give him the government of 
the Spanish Netherlands. This would have drawn 
his claws indeed. The Walloons and Catholic 
Flemings also approached him with similar sugges- 
tions, and Alencon deserted the Protestant cause 
entirely, and became suddenly a devout Catholic. 
He even accepted the command of a force against 
the Huguenots, upon whom he was implacable in 
his severity.' 

This change of front frightened FTizabeth, who 
feared that if the Protestants in the Netherlands were 
' La Ferricre, " Projets de Mariage." 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 187 

conquered her turn would come next, and she once 
more held out the bait of marriage. She expressed 
sorrow to Castelnau that the Duke had ceased to 
write to her and had forgotten her. But this time 
the tish failed to rise, and for the next three years 
Alencon remained ostentatiously Catholic, sometimes 
in arms against Huguenot resistance, sometimes at 
Court with his brother, with whom he was nominally 
on good terms. But the personal hatred and 
jealousy between them continued still, and the duels 
and murders between their respective courtiers went 
on as before. The Duke's turbulent and discon- 
tented friends openly scoffed at the painted mignons 
who surrounded the King, and if they resented the 
insult, Bussy d'Amboise. the first swordsman in 
France, was ready to fight any number of them. 

At length, at the beginning of 1578, Bussy d'Am- 
boise was waylaid in Paris and nearly murdered by 
some of the King's courtiers, and had to seek safety 
In absence from the Court. Then several other of 
the Duke's friends were bought over by favours to 
the King's side, and the mignons, emboldened by his 
isolation, went to the length of sneering at Alencon 
himself. This was at a ball at the palace of the 
Montmorencis to which Catharine had forced her 
son to oro aoainst his will ; and fearing that this 
demonstration of the mignons portended the Bastille 
or poison for himself, the Duke lost patience, and 
demanded permission to withdraw himself from 
Court for a time. The only answer vouchsafed was 
the rigid searching of his apartments by the Scots 
guard at midnight, in the presence of the King- 
himself, with every circumstance of contumely. The 
Duke was arrested, all his papers were seized, and 



i88 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

the principal friends who remained with him were 
cast into the Bastille. 

It must be confessed that, given Alencon's turbu- 
lent character, there were circumstances which fully 
justified the suspicions of Henry III. a^^ainst his 
brother. The "Spanish fury" in Antwerp in 1576 
had turned even the \Vallo(3ns and Catholic TTemings 
ag'ainst Philip's rule, and they had made common 
cause with Orange's Protestants in the North. It 
was seen then that all the arms of Spain would be 
powerless to subdue them ; and, hardly pressed as 
Philip was, he was forced to send his brother Don 
John on a mission of pacification at all costs. But 
Don John was a soldier, and it cut him to the heart, 
as he said, to bend the knee and make terms "with 
these drunken wineskins of PTemings " ; so after 
swearing' the perpetual edict of pacification, he 
resented the continued exigencies of the vStates, 
treacherously seized the citadel of Namur, summoned 
troops from Italy and elsewhere, and bade the 
" rebels " do their worst. In order to sow dissension 
between the two branches of the house of Austria, 
the Walloon nobles had brought to P^landers as 
their governor the young Archduke Mathias as an 
avowed rival of the Protestant Orange. He was a 
poor creature, but the great Taciturn patriotically 
persuaded his followers to recognise him as their 
chiet, he. Orange, being his lieutenant. This, after 
some turmoil and bloodshed, they did, and it was in 
his name that the hastily gathered levies of the 
States went out to attack Don John who had 
betrayed them. The victor of Lepanto with his 
few veterans met them on the last day of January, 
1578, and completely defeated them, and the in- 



OUKEX KLIZABKTH. 1H9 

suro-ent Flemino-s once more were at the mercy of 
the cruel Spanish soldiery, who were speeding" back 
again from Italy eager to shed the blood again of the 
brave burghers who only a few months before had in- 
sisted upon their withdrawal. Mathias was a broken 
reed — he had no money, no followers, no influence, 
and no prestige, so the Flemings were fain to lo(^k 
elsewhere for help. Elizabeth had aided the Protes- 
tant Hollanders bravely, but the Catholic Flemings 
did not wish to be merged in and governed by the 
Dutch States, and had to seek help from a Catholic 
prince. Conciliation they had tried, and they had 
been betrayed. A prince of the house of Austria 
had been chosen, and had turned out useless. 
Where, then, could they look but to a prince of 
F ranee, unfettered by vSpanish sympathies ? So 
Alen^on was approached, and expressed his willing- 
ness to raise his friends, the nioderate Catholics and 
the Huguenots to aid the Flemings in their resis- 
tance. This, of course, was known to Catharine 
and Henry III., and as such an action on the part 
of Alen(jon might have involved France in a war 
with Spain, there was no doubt good ground for 
the Duke's belief that his brother intended to put 
him out of harm's way by quietly shutting him up in 
the Hastille to keep company with his faithful friends 
who were there already. 

Bussy d'Amboise had not been idle outside in the 
meanwhile. He had sent the fiery cross through 
the provinces, and men-at-arms and nobles were 
fiocking to the Flemish frontier to join the standard 
of Alencon when it should be raised. The gates of 
Paris, it is true, were closely guarded, and Alencon 
himself, with his sister Margaret (who herself tells 



I90 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

the story so racily), were not allowed out of the sight 
of the Scottish archers. But the Court was full of 
nobles who were disgusted with the King's mode of 
life, and plans were rife to rescue the captive. 
Bussy crept back into Paris to plan an escape with 
Simier, but both were captured and laid by the 
heels. Then Catharine managed somehow to patch 
up a reconciliation. Bussy was made to kiss his 
principal antagonist Ouelus in the presence of the 
whole Court, which he did in so exaggerated a 
fashion as to make every one laugh, and left Ouelus 
more enraged than ever. The prison doors were 
opened, the guards removed, and the partisans of 
both brothers swore eternal friendship. But the 
miofnons saw the wound was ranklino-, and told the 
Kine so the same niiiht. The ouards were aofain 
ordered to watch Alencon's door, and after three 
days of semi-imprisonment, on the 14th of February, 
his sister contrived his escape with Simier, from her 
chamber on the second floor of the Louvre, by a 
rope into the moat. Bussy was awaiting him in the 
abbey of St. Genevieve, where, by connivance of 
the abbot, a hole had been knocked in the city wall, 
through which they escaped, and swift horses carried 
them to Angers, where they were safe.' 

All France was in a turmoil. Huguenots and 
" malcontents " raised their heads once more, and 
all the South was up in arms. Catharine, who was 
never to rest, sped after her fugitive son, and with 
tears and entreaties besought him to return, but 
without avail. Henry III. pretended to put a good 
face upon it, and told the Spanish ambassador 
Mendoza. on his way to England a few days after- 
' " Mcmcnrcs de hi Reine Mar^nen'te." 



OUEKN ELIZABETH. 191 

wards, that his brother was still obedient and would 
do nothing- against Flanders. But all the world 
knew better, and an entirely new complicating 
element had entered into European politics, of which 
it was difficult for the moment to guess the ultimate 
effect. How disturbing an element it was to 
Elizabeth may be seen by a minute in Burleigh's 
handwTiting, ' putting the case from every point of 
view. Envoys were sent from England both to 
the vStates and to Don John to urge them to come 
to a peaceful arrangement without French inter- 
ference. The States were to be reminded how much 
England had done for them, and the danger incurred 
by allowing the French to enter, as, being poor, 
they (the French) would seek to reimburse them- 
selves by making themselves masters of the country, 
or otherwise would end in turning to the side of 
Don John and the Spaniards. In either of these 
cases the English would have to oppose them, and 
the only terms upon which Elizabeth would allow 
the French to be employed were that an equal 
number of Englishmen should enter with them. 
Don John, on the other hand, was to be alarmed by 
the idea that Alencon's entrance would only be a 
cloak for a French national invasion of Flanders, 
and that Elizabeth would be forced to aid the 
States to repel it. In fact, if Alencon's adventure 
was secretly under his brother's patronage, it would 
have been as disastrous for England as for Spain, 
whilst, if affairs could so be guided that Alencon 
might depend upon English patronage and mone)' 
for his expedition. Elizabeth's ends would be well 
served. For the next few years, therefore, the aim 
' Hattiekl Papers, Hist. MSS. Com., part 2, p. 179. 



192 THE COURTSHIJ'S OF 

of English diplomacy was to capture Alencon for 
English interests and embroil him with his brother, 
whilst at the same time avoiding an open rupture 
with Spain. Alencon knew, as Elizabeth did not, 
that he would get no aid, secret or overt, from his 
brother, so he lost no time in protesting to the Eng- 
lish Queen his "undying affection for her" in a letter 
written from the town of Alencon in May, 1578, and 
to this an encouraging reply was sent. In vain his 
brother and mother threatened and cajoled. Duke- 
doms, money, marriage-alliances were offered him 
in vain. On the 7th of July he crossed the frontier 
at the request of the States and threw himself into 
Mons for the purpose, as he declared, of " helping 
this oppressed people, and humiliating the pride of 
Spain." Two days before this he had despatched 
one of his wisest friends — his chamberlain, de 
Bacqueville — to Elizabeth, to assure her again of 
his entire devotion to her, to explain his entry into 
Flanders, to beg for her guidance and counsel, and 
renew his offer of marriage. But Elizabeth dis- 
trusted the French, and half thought Alencon's 
move was only a cloak for a Catholic invasion of 
England from France and Spain combined ; so she 
could run no risks, and at once subsidised a mer- 
cenary German army of 20,000 men, under the Duke 
Hans Casimir, to be ready to cross the Flemish 
frontier when necessary in her interest, whilst she 
still actively continued her efforts to bring about a 
fresh agreement on the basis of the pacification of 
Ghent between Don John and the States. Under 
no circumstances, she repeated again and again to 
all parties, would she allow the French to become 
paramount in Flanders, and she swore violently to 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 193 

Mendozci. " three times by God that if Don John 
did not re-enact the perpetual edict of peace, she 
would help the States whilst she had a man left in 
England." ' 

English auxiliaries were allowed to slip over to 
the States by the thousand with arms and money ; 
and the Duke of Arschot's brother, the Marquis 
d'Havrey, who came from the Walloons to beg for 
aid, was made clearly to understand that for e\'ery 
Frenchman in Flanders there must be an English- 
man, l^he States desired nothino- better ; it meant 
double help for them, and they were ready to 
promise anything for men and money. When de 
Bacqueville first arrived in England Elizabeth was 
still uncertain as to whether Henry IIL was helping 
his brother, and she kept the envoy at arm's length 
for awhile. Sussex being the intermediary between 
them ; but when Walsingham and Cobham returned 
from an unsuccessful mission of peace in Flanders, 
and her own agents in France had assured her that 
Alencon was really acting in despite of his brother, 
her attitude towards her young suitor completely 
changed. De Bacqueville had succeeded in im- 
pressing honest Sussex with his master's sincerity, 
and the desirability of the match. Alen(^on, he said, 
was determined to marry "either the Queen or the 
Netherlands"; and if she would not listen to his 
suit, he would join hands with Don John and the 
Spaniards. Late in July Alencon sent another 
agent, named de Ouincy, to England, to again 
assure the Queen that "he would be directed by 
her in all his actions in the Low Countries " ; and 
Sussex, who was again the intermediary, laid before 
' Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth). 
14 



194 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

the Oueen strontr arouments In favour of her 
marriage. ' 

At leno-th EHzabeth felt assured. Hans Casimir 
had entered Flanders with a strong force of mer- 
cenary Germans ; Don John was chafing in Namur, 
frantic with despair and disappointment, his heart- 
broken cries for help all unheeded by cold-blooded 
Philip and false Perez ; Alencon depended entirely 
upon England ; the Flemings, Catholics and Protes- 
tants alike, having found the Archduke Mathias a 
broken reed, could only look to Elizabeth and 
Alencon for rescue from their troubles. So, the 
game being now entirely in her own hands, the Queen 
could once more enter with full zest into the long- 
nesflected marriaofe neofotiations. She was on a 
progress through the eastern counties, and received 
de Bacqueville and de Ouincy at Long Melford. 
Extraordinary efforts were made to show them 
special honour, and Mendoza in one of his letters ^ 
ofives a curious instance of this, and of Elizabeth's 
treatment of even her most distinguished ministers. 
At a banquet given by her to Alen^on's envoys, she 
took it into her head that there ought to have been 
more plate on the sideboard to impress the French- 
men. Angrily calling Sussex, as Lord Steward, 
she asked him why there was so little silver. He 
replied that he had accompanied the sovereigns of 
England on their progresses for many years past, and 
he had never seen so much plate carried before as she 
was carrying ; whereupon she flew into a rage, told 
him to hold his tongue, called him a great rogue, 
and said that the more she did for people like him 

' Hatfield Papers, Hist. MSS. Com., part 2. 

= Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth), August 14, 1578. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 195 

the worse they became. This was bad enough 
before the envoys and the Frenchmen ; but it was 
not all, for EHzabeth turned to Lord North, a friend 
of Leicester's of course, and asked his opinion. 
He, courtier-Hke, agreed that there was very Htde 
silver, and threw the blame on Sussex. The latter 
waited for him outside and called him a knave and 
threatened to thrash him ; Leicester intervened, and 
the whole Court was set by the ears, whereupon the 
Spanish ambassador chuckles to think how easy 
"they may all be brought to discord." In fact, no 
sooner did the marriage negotiations assume a 
serious aspect than Leicester and his friends 
secretly thwarted them. The young Earl of 
Oxford, for instance, was a very graceful dancer, 
and was twice sent for by the Queen to show off 
his agility before Alencon's envoys, but he absolutely 
refused, of course at Leicester's prompting, to 
contribute to the pleasure or amusement of French- 
men. After all the feasting and cajolery of de 
Bacqueville and de Ouincy they got but little solid 
satisfaction from the Queen. She told them that it 
was entirely their master's fault that the negotiations 
had been dropped for two years. She herself 
could give no other answer than that which she had 
given so often before. She could not marry any 
prince without seeing him, and if Alencon w^as 
going to take offence in case, after seeing him, she 
did not accept him, he had better not come ; if, on 
the other hand, he was in earnest, and would remain 
friendly in any case, he could come on a simple visit 
with but few followers. Cecil, at all events, did not 
believe in the Queen's sincerity at this time, for he 
said that if he were in de Bacqueville's place he would 



196 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

not bring- his master over on such a message. With 
the message, such as it was, de Ouincy went back 
to his master at Antwerp at the end of August, but 
the loan of 300,000 crowns for which de Bacqueville 
had entreated was not forthcoming, at all events 
without good security. Bussy d'Amboise soon 
after came to England with a similar errand, but 
with no better result. The Queen's first condition 
of the marriaoe was the retirement of Alencon from 
the Netherlands. Nor was pressure wanting from 
other quarters to the same effect. The Pope, 
through his Nuncio, offered the young prince a great 
pension if he would retire, his brother alternately 
threatened and cajoled, Catharine de Medici held 
out the bait of a marriage with one of the infantas, 
and Alencon himself was already disappointed at 
the failure of the States to fulfil their promises to 
him and place some strong places in his hands. In 
fact, the French prince was looked upon by the 
northern Dutchmen as coldly as Mathias had been, 
and if he could bring neither the national support 
of England or France he would be as useless as the 
Austrian had been. And so everything hung on 
the caprice of Elizabeth. It was still desirable for 
the King of France, if possible, to marry his 
brother in England, and especially if, at the same 
time, he could secure an alliance between the two 
countries. The principal point he had to avoid was 
being driven into an attitude of antagonism to 
Spain whilst England remained unpledged and 
Alencon unwed ; and these were the very objects 
towards which Elizabeth's personal policy tended. 
Whilst de Bacqueville was in England in the 
autumn of 1578, two of the French king's principal 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 197 

advisers were sent to forward the marriaire nefjotia- 
tions. These were Rambouillet and L'Aubespine, 
who were received by the Queen at Norwich, and 
satisfied her that Henry III. would give her and 
his brother a free hand in Flanders and every help 
in his power if a marriage and alliance could be 
brought about, but not otherwise ; and another 
attempt was made to disarm the secret opposition of 
Leicester to the match by suggesting to him a 
marriage between himself and a French princess. 
These negotiations went on with varying success 
during the months of September and October, 1578, 
and it was publicly announced that Alencon himself 
would come in November. Philip never believed 
in the sincerity of the Queen and constantly told 
his ambassador that it was "all pastime and would 
end in smoke " ; but Mendoza, less experienced than 
his master in Elizabeth's policy, was much perturbed 
at the prospect. He had an interview with the 
Queen early in October about the pacification of 
Flanders, and turned the conversation to the subject 
of her marriage with Alencon. Mendoza asked her 
when it was to take place ; to which she replied that 
she did not know, but asked him whether he 
thought she ought to marry Alencon, His answer 
was that, althougfh she as usual would act with 
wisdom, he knew the object of the French was to 
prevent the aggrandisement of her crown and the 
quietude of her country. Elizabeth at this time 
was herself again conceiving suspicions of the 
French. Catharine de Medici and her dissolute 
daughter between them, aided by their ''flying- 
squadron " of beauties, had managed to sap the 
vigour and Protestant ardour of Henry of Navarre 



198 THE COURTSHIPS OF QUEEN ELIZABETH. 

and his Court, and Paulet sent from France shortly 
afterwards alarmist news that the King- of France had 
entered into the Papal league against England, and 
had sent to engage mercenaries in Germany to 
enable Alen^on to keep a footing in Flanders in 
spite of her opposition. The news was probably 
untrue, but in any case it was clear to Alen^on that 
unless aid came to him promptly and liberally from 
somewhere he must ignominiously turn tail again 
and re-enter France. The country people looked 
upon the Frenchmen as enemies and intruders ; 
all stragglers were murdered without mercy, and 
Alencon himself was without means even to feed 
his followers. He must therefore oain Elizabeth's 
support or confess himself beaten and return to 
the tender mercy of his affectionate brother, and 
he had to choose an envoy more persuasive than 
those he had sent before. The man he selected 
was one who for the next three years played a pro- 
minent and astounding" part in this strange drama. 







CHAPTER IX. 



An account of Simier — His mission to the Queen — Her 
strange relations with him — Leicester's jealousy — 
Simier's negotiations on behalf of Alencon — Roche- 
taille's mission — Leicester's attempts to have Simier 
murdered — Alencon's hrst visit to England — Elizabeth's 
infatuation for him — His departure and letters to the 
Queen— Exhaustive discussion of the marriage negotia- 
tions by the English Council — The Queen announces 
her determination to marry Alencon — Philip Sidney's 
remonstrance. 



Jean dk Simier, Alencon's Master of the Ward- 
robe, and one of his firmest friends, was a consum- 
mate courtier steeped in the dissolute gallantry of 
the French Court, and, above all, 2i persona gi'ata of 
Catharine de Medici. He arrived in London on 
January 5, 1579, having gone through Paris on his 
way to England, and presumably can hardly have 
been at the moment in a very happy frame of mind. 
During his absence with Alencon his wife had been 
guilty of infidelity with his young brother, and on 
Simier's arrival home the intrigue was divulged to 
him. He sent his men ahead to kill his brother at 
the gate of the chateau before his arrival, and his 
wife died, probably of poison, perhaps of grief, 
soon afterwards, and the avenged husband then 
went his way and came on his mission to England. 
He was lodged and entertained at the Queen's cost, 



200 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

and brought with him twelve thousand crowns' worth 
of jewels to win over the courtiers to his master's 
cause. At his first interview with the Queen on 
the iith of January she was not very cordial, and 
said that Alen^on could not have been very eager, 
as Simier had tarried three months on his way since 
his coming was first announced, but she soon 
melted under the influence of the envoy's dulcet 
words and the casket of jewels he handed her from 
his master. After the interview Leicester enter- 
tained him at supper, and the same night a grand 
ball was given by the Queen in his honour, at which 
we are told there was an entertainment in imitation 
of a tournament between six ladies and a like 
number of gentlemen who surrendered to them. 
Young La Mole had charmed Elizabeth with his 
language of French gallantry, but Simier was a 
much more experienced hand at the game, and 
artfully made violent love to the Queen under 
shelter of his master's name. The sober ambassador, 
Castelnau de la Mauvissiere, even could not avoid 
seeing the effect upon Elizabeth, and wrote to the 
Queen-mother : " This discourse rejuvenates the 
Queen ; she has become more beautiful and bonny 
than she was fifteen years ago. Not a woman or a 
physician who knows her who does not hold that 
there is no lady in the realm more fit for bearing- 
children than she is." ' 

On the 1 6th of January, only a few days after her 
first interview with Simier, the Queen wrote a 
letter to Alencon, in which her delight at his envoy 
is clearly indicated. She says that she is so pleased 

' Castelnau Correspondence. La Ferriere, " Projets de 
Maria^e." 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 201 

with him that no other advocate is necessary to 
make his peace with her. Alencon's own words, 
she tells him, are worthy not of being- written on 
parchment, but graven on marble. She bids him 
consult his wisest friends about coming over, but 
if he thinks his honour will suffer the least thereby 
she would not have him come for untold gold. She 
assures him of her eternal friendship. She has 
never, she says, broken her word in her life, so 
that as constancy is rare amongst princes she is 
offering no common thing. She ends by hoping 
that he will reach the years of Nestor, and that 
all his foes may be confounded. ^ 

This was a pretty good beginning, but the 
correspondence thereafter daily becomes more 
affectionate. On the 8th of February the Queen 
writes a long" letter to her lover, in which she 
says: "Je voy clair la Constance rare resider 
en vostre coeur qui ne se diminue par quelque 
ombre d'ingratitude, quest asses de preuve pour 
m'assurer de vostre affection sincere." She then 
goes on to point out to her ti'cs chcr that her 
people are strongly opposed to the match, and 
it will be best for Alengon and herself to settle 
the conditions before commissioners are sent. 
The meaning of this was that Simier, to whom 
even thus early she had given the punning pet 
-name of her monkey (singe), was trying to get 
better terms for his master, especially in the matter 
of religion. In vain the young Prince flatters her 
by saying that he should sink under his troubles 
but for " I'imagination de vos beautes, et lesperance 
que j'ai de vos bonnes grases " ; in vain he says he 
' HatHekl Papers, Hist. MSS. Com. part 2. 



202 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

will leave every other point to her sole discretion, 
but cannot give up his religion, and so offend God ; 
but Elizabeth and her advisers were firm, and 
things dragged on month after month. In the 
meanwhile Alenc^on was obliged to cross the border 
and re-enter France, and in March made a voyage 
of semi-reconciliation to see his brother in Paris. 
Simier at the same time was pressing him warmly 
to come over to England at once, strike the iron 
whilst it was hot, and marry the Queen offhand ; 
but the Queen's own letters persistently threw cold 
water on this proposal, as did Castelnau, the French 
ambassador, who was bitterly jealous of Simier ; 
and Alen^on, for the present contented himself with 
staying at his town of Dreux aw^aiting her favour- 
able decision as to the conditions "for which hope 
alone he lives." But he was more loving than ever 
in his letters, and writes on the 22nd of March: " Je 
garde vostre belle pinture, qui ne se separara james 
de moi que par la fin de mes os. C'est ou je fes mes 
auresons et pase la pluspart du tans en ladoration 
des divintes qui y sont. Je supplie tres humble- 
ment vostre majeste pardonner a mes pations [i.e., 
passions) si trop presontuheuzement je dis se qui 
est dans mon ame." It is evident that the Queen 
was playing with him again, but she must have 
deceived many of her ministers as well, for in the 
Hatfield Papers there exists a whole series of 
documents, mostly in Burleigh's hand, discussing 
the advantao-es and disadvantag-es of the match 
from every conceivable point of view at prodigious 
length, at which grave State papers doubtless her 
Majesty and Leicester laughed heartily in their 
sleeves. The Queen told the Spanish ambassador 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 203 

that it "was a fine idea for an old woman like her 
to talk about marriage," and more than hinted to 
him that the nesfotiations had onlv been undertaken 
for the purpose of getting the French out of the 
Netherlands, as she did not want them there. She 
assured him that nothing would be arranged about 
the marriage unless Alenqon came. All through 
March the negotiations for Alen^on's visit continued, 
whilst the Puritan pulpits rang with denunciations 
of the proposed popish match, and London was in 
a fever of apprehension of the coming of a French 
Kino- consort. At last it was settled that the 
Prince should come over in April ; and it was then 
considered necessary to secure Leicester's neutrality 
at least. He and Hatton had very soon got jealous 
of the bewitching "monkey," who rarely left the 
Queen's side now, so Castelnau, the ambassador, 
had to be the intermediary. Some letters signed 
by the King of France, but really concocted by 
Castelnau in London, were delivered to the Queen 
and Leicester, saying that Alencon would come in 
May, and assuring Leicester on the King's word 
that the marriage should in no way injure his 
honour or position. Leicester urged that Alencon 
should come whilst Parliament was sitting, even 
though the conditions were not agreed upon before- 
hand, and said he would move the House to 
demand the marriage. As the match was er.tremely 
unpopular in London, this was about the very 
worst advice that could be given, and was meant 
to be so. Whilst the proposed conditions were 
being discussed with Alen^on's special envoy, Roche- 
taille, in April, and the marriage was looked upon in 
London as inevitable, some persons told the Queen 



204 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

that papers had been found in the late Chancellor 
Sir Nicholas Bacon's office, proving that when the 
affair was under discussion before, the object of the 
French was only to ruin the country, kill the Queen, 
and place Mary of Scotland on the throne. If 
Elizabeth had been in earnest she would have taken 
fright at this ; but she only smiled and passed it 
over. Both she and Leicester, however, were now 
ostentatiously in favour of the match, as also were 
Leicester's enemies, with a very different end in view. 
Great preparations were made at Court for the 
Prince's coming ; new clothes as fine as money 
could buy them were brought from far and near. 
Leicester himself wrote to his "cousin," Davison, 
in Flanders, to send him 4,000 crowns' worth of 
crimson, black, and coloured velvet, satin, and silk, 
and ^400 worth of gold and silver tissue "or 
such-like pretty stuffs"'; but Philip 11. was still 
incredulous, and continued to assure his ambassador 
that it was "a mere invention." During the billing 
and cooing personally with Simier, and in writing 
with his master, an occasional cloud of distrust 
passed over. Once, late in April, 1579, news came 
of a possible French naval expedition to Scotland in 
the interest of Mary, and the dispatch of a papal 
expedition from vSpain to the Catholic insurgents 
in Ireland ; and the Queen was in a panic for a day 
or two and even turned her back on Simier. On 
such occasions as these bribes found their way from 
Mendoza to the Queen's ministers to large amounts, 
to induce them to impede the marriage ; Burleigh, 
Sussex, Crofts, Leicester, and Hatton, all got their 
share, but seem to have given very little value for it, 
' Domestic Calendar, April 25, 1579. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 205 

for they were just as heavily bribed by the French 
on the other side. 

The new conditions demanded by Simier and 
Rochetaille in the interest of Alengon were, first 
his coronation immechately after marriage, secondly 
the association of him with the Queen in the 
government, and thirdly the granting to him 
of a life pension of ^60,000 per annum. These 
new demands had been strenuously resisted by 
Cecil and Sussex and the other councillors, but at 
length Simier began to get restive and threatened 
to leave unless a decided reply were given within 
two days. Representations were being made to the 
Queen from all quarters, and especially from the 
Spanish ambassador and his creatures as to the 
danger she would incur if the match were effected, 
but, says Mendoza, " she expresses to Simier such 
a strong desire to marry that not a councillor, what- 
ever his real opinion may be, dares to say a word 
against it." At length she could procrastinate no 
longer, and started for a short stay at Leicester's 
house at Wanstead, in the last days of April, taking 
Simier and Castelnau with her for the purpose 
of eivino- them an answer. As usual she desired 
to free herself from personal blame, and ordered 
each member of her Council to give her his opinion 
on the match in writing. This they all refused 
to do, and confined themselves to stating the 
arguments on both sides, leaving her to draw the 
conclusion. During the stay at Wanstead, almost 
day and night, Sussex, Leicester, Burleigh, and 
Walsingham remained in conference, but could 
come to no conclusion ; and the Court had to return 
with the Oueen to London still without an answer 



2o6 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

being given. At Whitehall on the 3rcl of May, a full 
meeting of the Council was held to finally discuss 
the conditions, and Simier was invited to be present. 
The second demand of the association of Alencon 
with the Oueen in the o-overnment and distribution 
of offices was at once declared to be impossible, and 
was abandoned by Simier after some demur ; but 
the other two conditions were insisted upon by him. 
Simier then retired to an adjoining room whilst the 
Council discussed these points. The first councillor 
to speak was the new Lord Chancellor Bromley, 
who set forth the danger of the match, in admitting 
Frenchmen, their traditional enemies, into the 
country, its unpopularity and the improbability of 
there being any issue, and ended by declaring un- 
compromisingly against the marriage. In the end 
the whole of the Council except Sussex agreed with 
him, and word was privately sent to the Queen that 
the Council was well-nigh unanimously unfavourable. 
Then Simier was called in and told that his new 
demands were such as had never been made before, 
and were absolutely inadmissible. The Frenchman's 
suavity suddenly left him, and he flew into a great 
rage, flinging out of the room before Sussex could 
reach him, banged the door after him in a fury, and 
went straight to the Oueen, who was in the garden. ^ 
She professed great sorrow at her Council's decision, 
swore to Simier that she would marry in spite 
of them all, assumed an appearance of settled 
melancholy in his presence, and sent a loving letter 
to the Prince by his secretary, de Yray, who was 
despatched the same night to his master with the 
Council's reply. 

^ Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth). 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 207 

But Alen^on was not lightly put off. Rochetaille 
was already on his way back to England with hand- 
some presents for Leicester and the rest of them, 
and de Vray returned at the end of May with his 
master's answer. He would, he said, marry her on 
her own terms, and only timidly stipulated that he 
should be allowed the private exercise of the mass 
in his own apartments, concluding by announcing 
his approaching visit to the Queen to press his suit 
in person. This was by no means welcome news to 
Elizabeth, who at the time certainly had no inten- 
tion of marrying him, and who feared the visit 
might either force her hand or throw upon her 
personally the responsibility of breaking off the 
match. The Council, however, decided unanimously 
that the Duke should not be affronted by a refusal 
to receive him, and that the Queen could not 
decently draw back now without at all events 
seeing her suitor. So it was setded with Simier 
that his master should come to England in the 
middle of August, and the Queen's ships and safe- 
conduct should await him at Calais. When this 
was decided the Queen desired to be left alone with 
Simier, and Leicester was obliged, however un- 
willingly, to take Castelnau out hunting. When 
they returned three hours afterwards Simier and 
the Queen were still together, and whilst Castelnau 
supped with Leicester Simier took his evening 
repast at the Queen's table. 

Castelnau, writing an account of affairs to the 
Queen-mother, I says that all was now going as 
smoothly as ever : " Not a day passes that she 

' Castlenau Correspondence. La Ferriere, " Projets de 
Mariage." 



2o8 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

fails to send for him (Simier). On one occasion 
she came in her barge to my lodgino- to fetch him 
before he had read his despatches, and when he was 
not dressed. He was obHged to come out to see 
her with only his doublet on. and she took him with 
her. Those who are against it are cursing him, 
and declare that Simier will cheat her, and has be- 
witched her." Castelnau now quite believed in the 
marriage. The Queen told him she really was con- 
vinced that the Duke was seeking her for herself 
alone, and not for her crown, but she feared that, 
however much he might esteem her, he would only 
love her for a year or two. She would, however, 
promise before God that if he was a good husband 
to her she would be the best wife in the world. 

f It is probable that by this time the Queen's feel- 
ings were really getting the better of her judgment, 
and that the satisfied vanity of having a young 

\ prince at her feet was carrying all before it. The 
whole country was ringing with the strange news 
of her close intimacy with Simier, who had, it was 
said, bewitched her with a love philtre; and after- 
wards Mary Stuart, in her prison, imprudently made 
herself the echo of the scandal by writing to the 
Queen the outrageous letter published by Labanoff, 
accusing her of immorality with both Simier and 
Alen^on. The murmurs were industriously fostered 
(and paid for) by the Spanish ambassador, who did 
his best to stir up trouble and make the match 
unpopular. He WTites to his King at the end of 
June : " Although there is no binding undertaking 
about the marriage, the Queen gives every sign of 
being most anxious for it, and affirms that she will 
never marry a man whom she has not previously 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 209 

seen. She is burning- with impatience for his 
(Alencon's) coming, although her councillors have 
laid before her the difficulties which may arise, the 
other side having her support, has carried the day. 
She herself is largely influenced by the idea that it 
should be known that her talents and beauty are 
so great that they have sufficed to cause him to 
come and visit her without any assurance that he 
will be her husband." ' 

Leicester, who knew her better than any one. was 
quick to see whither she was drifting, and became 
violently jealous. When the time came for signing 
the passport for Alen(;on, at the end of June, he 
made a fervent appeal to the Queen not to sign 
it ; but Simier was too strong for him, and the pass- 
port was sent, whereupon Leicester went and sulked 
at Wanstead, feigning illness, and refused to be 
comforted, although the Queen herself went there 
secretly and stayed two days to console him. 
Shortly afterwards a desperate attempt was made 
by one of the Queen's guard to assassinate Simier, 
and it was at once concluded, doubtless correctly, 
that it had been done at the instance of Leicester 
and Hatton. The Queen was in a red-hot rage, 
and so was Simier himself, who determined to 
strike a blow at his rival, which no other had yet 
dared to do. Leicester had been secretly married 
some time before to the widowed Countess of 
Essex, the daughter of Elizabeth's cousin, and 
Vice-Chamberlain Sir Francis Knollys : it was a 
secret de polichiiielle to every one but the Queen, but 
no one had ventured to tell her until Simier, 
choosing the propitious moment, did so. Her fury 
' Spanish Calendar (Eli/^abeth). 
15 



2IO THE COURTSHIPS OF 

passed all bounds of decency and decorum ; she 
raged and swore against the "she- wolf," as she 
called her cousin, who had thus been instrumental 
in wounding her vanity; but Simier was victorious, 
for she became more inseparable from him than 
ever, and for a time kept Leicester under lock and 
key in a fort in Greenwich Park. Soon afterwards 
another attempt was made upon Simier's life, this 
time by a shot whilst he was on the river with the 
Queen. He had previously lived with Castelnau 
at the PVench embassy, but now, in order to avoid 
the risk of his going backwards and forwards daily 
by water, the Queen brought him to her palace at 
Greenwich, and there lodged him, to the dismay 
and disgust of the English courtiers. 

The way seemed now clear. The King of 
France and his mother had been convinced by 
.Simier and Castelnau that Alen^on had only to 
appear before the Queen for her to marry him, and 
they were willing to run the risk of his going secretly 
on the chance, in order, if possible, to get rid of so 
troublesome an element as Alencon was in France. 
In England the match was looked upon as settled ; 
but still gloomy, patient Philip, in his cell, was in- 
credulous. " Whatever may be said," he wrote to 
Mendoza, early in August, " I do not believe the 
marriage will take place, as there can be on either 
side no great desire for it, but a large amount ot 
pretence." The only thing he left out of the calcu- 
lation was Elizabeth's passion and vanity, which for 
a time were overmastering her judgment. 

Alencon started from Paris on the 2nd of August, 
sending a confidential messenger ahead of him to 
announce his comino- to the Oueen and Simier. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 211 

The latter had previously lodged in apartments 
adjoining those of the Queen, to which he had a 
key giving him private access, but now, for the sake 
of appearances, he was transferred to a pavilion in 
the garden at Greenwich, where rooms were also 
prepared for the Prince. Various attempts at 
mystification were made to prevent the knowledge 
of his arrival becoming public and to throw people 
off the scent, but as he was delayed by bad weather 
at Boulogne for some days, the news spread and his 
arrival was after all an open secret. The Queen 
coyly told the Spanish ambassador that her lover 
had not come, but her hints and her simpers clearly 
implied that he had. The courtiers, to keep up an 
appearance of innocence, stayed away as much as 
possible, and they were prudent in doing so, for 
the Countess of Derby and the Earl of Bedford's 
daughter, who were caught gossiping about the 
Prince's arrival, were incontinently placed under 
arrest until after he had ofone. 

From a letter from Simier to the Queen ^ it would 
appear that the Prince's approach w^as first made 
known to her early in the morning, and that she 
instantly sent word to Simier, who was in bed. 
Simier says that as her messenger left his room the 
Prince himself entered it so effectively disguised that 
he hardly knew him. He had, he said, been met in 
the street by many persons, but had not been re- 
cognised. He was, says Simier, tired to death, but 
notwithstanding that, entreated Simier to go at once 
to the Queen and beg her to let him go and salute 
her, all travel-stained and weary as he was. " But 
I showed him how impossible this was, as he would 
^ Hattiekl Papers, part 2, p. 468. 



212 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

have to pass through a dozen chambers before he 
trot to yours, and that you were still asleep. At last 
I persuaded him to take some rest, and soon got 
him between the sheets, and I wish to God you were 
with him there, as he could then with greater facility 
convey his thoughts to you, for I well know that 
' mal si riposa chi non la contentezza.' " 

Leicester in the meanwhile was furious, and the 
Spanish ambassador was missing no opportunity 
of fanning the Hame of discontent against the mar- 
riage. The Queen dined alone with Alencon in 
Simier's room on the 17th of August, the day after 
his arrival, and although the young Prince was no 
beauty, with his swart, pocked-marked face, Eliza- 
beth at once fell in love with him. He became 
from the first day her "frog" (grenouille), and the 
little endearments of the two young lovers went on 
ceaselesslv all dav. and often far into the night. 
"The Queen," writes Mendoza on the 25th of August, 
"is deliehted with Alencon, and he with her. as she 
has let out to some of her courtiers, saying that she 
was pleased to have known him, was much taken 
with his good parts, and admired him more than 
any man. She says that for her part she will not 
stand in the way of his being her husband." ' 
Castelnau, the French ambassador, writing at the 
same time, says to the Queen-mother: "These 
loving conferences have lasted eight days. The 
lady has with difficulty been able to entertain the 
Duke, being captivated, overconie with love : she 
told me she had never found a man whose nature 
and actions suited her better. She begs me to write 
to your Majesty asking you not to punish him too 
' Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth). 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 213 

much for the great folly of risking so much in 
coming- to see a woman so unworthy as she is." 
The young Prince had been brought up in a Court 
where love-making was the great business of life, and 
flattered and langui-shed as successfully as La Mole 
and Simier had done, and Elizabeth's overweening 
vanity had probably never been so .satisfied before. 
She gave a ball on Sunday, the 23rd of August, 1579, 
at Greenwich, Alen(;on, being only half hidden be- 
hind the arras. The Queen danced and posed even 
more than usual, and ever and anon made signals 
to her guest, of whose presence all the courtiers 
pretended to be ignorant. On the same night news 
came to the Duke that his staunch friend, Bussy 
d'Amboise, had at last been killed in a duel, and on 
the 27th Alen^on started by coach to Dover to take 
the ship which was awaiting to carry him to Calais. 
Castelnau said after he went that he wrote letters 
"ardent enough to set fire to water," and to judge 
from the curious letters sent by him and Simier 
from Dover before he embarked, the ambassador 
was not very wide of the mark. These letters are 
in the Hatfield collection, and are worth transcribing 
as a specimen of the love-letters of the time, 
although that of the Prince seems to our eyes a 
perfect burlesque, considering that it was written by 
a lover of twenty-four to a mature beauty of nearly 
double his age. He is, he says, envious of his letter 
which will reach her hand. He dare not commit 
himself to a long discourse, knowing well that he is 
not himself, as he is continually occupied in stanch- 
ing the tears which fiow from his eyes without 
intermission. He swears that his affection for her 
will last for ever, and that he is and will remain 



214 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

the most faithful and affectionate slave who can 
exist on earth. " As such," he says, " on the brink 
of this troublesome sea I kiss your feet." 

This was accompanied by a letter from Simier in 
the quaint French of the time, which the reader 
may well be spared. It runs as follows : " Madame: 
I must tell you how little rest your frog had last 
night, he having done nothing but sigh and weep. 
At eight o'clock he made me get up to discourse to 
him of your divine beauty and of his great grief at 
leaving your Majesty, the jailor of his heart, the 
mistress of his liberty. Only his hope that he will 
soon see you again gives him some consolation. 
He has sworn to me a thousand times, but for that 
he would not wish to live another quarter of an 
hour. Do not then be cruel to him as he desires 
only to preserve his life so long as you are kind. 
Before he was out of bed he seized the pen and has 
ordered me to send off Captain Bourg with this, 
pending my own return to you, which will be as 
soon as I see him (Alencon) at sea with his sails 
spread. The weather is beautiful and the sea calm 
and I expect he will have a fair passage unless he 
swell the waves with the abundance of his tears. 
The monkey takes the liberty of humbly kissing 
your lovely hands." ^ These letters were sent on 
the 28th of August, and on the two following days 
similar extravagant missives were sent by the 
Prince, by Castelnau, and Simier ; and then, on his 
arrival at Boulogne, more lovelorn epistles followed, 
by the hands of Admiral Howard and Edward 
Stafford, who had escorted the Prince so far. The 
Queen could only talk of her ardent young lover, 
^ Hatfield Papers, Hist. MSS. Com., part 2. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 215 

who, by the way, had scattered Hberally amongst 
the courtiers the rich jewels his mother had pro- 
vided for the occasion, the Queen herself receiving' a 
splendid diamond ring" worth 10,000 crowns ; and in 
conversation with the Spanish ambassador she could t 
find no words of praise strong enough for Catharine 
de Medici, "whom she had formerly abominated." I 
The circumstances indeed again rendered a close 
alliance between England and France desirable 
either by marriage or otherwise. Catharine had 
managed to disarm Henry of Navarre, and the 
signing of the treaty of Nerac in February, 1579, 
had for a time brought harmony to France, and 
when France was united it was always necessary 
for Elizabeth to be in cordial agreement with that 
country or Spain» Her undisguised help to the 
revolted Flemings and her depredations on Spanish 
shipping had alienated her more and more from 
Philip, and now another circumstance had arisen 
which must drive both her and Catharine de Medici 
into more pronounced antagonism to Spain. The 
Kine of Portugal was old, ailing, and childless, and 
intrigues were ripe as to the succession of the crown. 
The strongest claimant was Philip himself, and it 
was felt that a further addition to his power and 
the acquisition of so fine a seaboard as that of 
Portugal would gravely prejudice the interest ot 
France and England. Catharine had a shadowy 
claim to the crown herself for form's sake, but she 
and Elizabeth were quite agreed that, whoever got 
the prize, they would do their best to prevent Philip 
from gaining it, by stirring up war elsewhere and 
aiding the other pretenders. 

Matters were therefore again ripe for an attempt 



2i6 THK COURTSHIPS OF 

to bring about a bindino- offensiv^e cuul defensive 
alliance between the two countries : and as soon as 
the lovelorn swain had ox)ne home, serious and 
exhaustive discussions of the pros and cons of the 
projected match was undertaken by the Council at 
Greenwich. They appear to have sat continuously 
from the 2nd to the 8th of October, and the minutes 
ot their proceedings in great detail, written by 
Burleigh, exist in the Hatfield Papers.' No phase 
or eventuality seems to have been lost sight of, and 
a sort of debit and credit account of advantages and 
disadvantages is carefully drawn up. The main 
result of the well-nigh interminable discussions was 
that the possible dangers of the match outbalanced 
the benefits, and an address to the Queen was drawn 
up and signed by the whole Council, dated the 8th of 
October, 1579, which, however, carefully avoided the 
expression of a decided opinion, and cast the onus 
of the final resolution on to the Queen. They sa\- 
that they "have not proceeded to a full resolution 
as is usual in such consultations, feeling that inas- 
much as her Majesty's own wishes and dispositions 
are principally to be regarded, it was their duty first 
to offer to her Majesty all their services and counsel 
to do what best shall please her." They beg her to 
show them the inclination of her mind, and if she 
pleases each councillor will state his opinion to her 
and bear the responsibility she might lay upon 
them." This message was taken to her by 
Burleigh, Leicester, Sussex, and Lincoln in the 
forenoon, and, as may be supposed, did ncjt please 
their mistress. She wept and railed at them in no 
measured terms that their tedious disputations 
' Hatfield Papers, Hist. MSS. Com., part 2. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 217 

should seem to imply a doubt as to the wisdom of 
her marrying- and "having- a child of her own body 
to inherit and continue the line of Henry VIII.; 
and condemned herself of simplicity in committing 
this matter to be argued by them, for that she 
thought to have rather had a universal request 
made to her to proceed in this marriage than to 
have made a doubt of it, and being much troubled 
thereby she requested them to forbear her till the 
afternoon." When they went to her again they 
found her even more indignant, "and shewed her 
mislike of such as she thought would not proffer her 
marriage before any device of surety." She com- 
plained very bitterly that they should think so 
"slenderly" of her as to assume that she would 
not be as careful to safeguard religion as they were, 
and that thev should bei>rudo"e her marriaoe and 
child-bearing for that reason. We are told (in 
Hurleigh's own hand) that "her answers were very 
sharp in reprehending all such as she thought would 
make argument against her marriage, and though 
she thought it not meet to declare to them whether 
she would marr)- or not, yet she looked from their 
hands that they should with one accord have made 
special suit to her for the same." ^ This meant, of 
course, that the responsibility should rest on other 
shoulders than her own whilst she had her way. 
Stubbs's famous book, "The discovery of a gaping 
gulf wherein England is like to be swallowed by 
another French marriage," had recently been pub- 
lished, and a fierce proclamation had just been 
issued by the Queen denouncing such publications 

' Hatiifld Papers, Hist. AISS. Com., part 2, and Spanish 
Calendar (Elizabeth). 



2i8 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

as "lewde and seditious." Stubbs himself had his 
right hand chopped off and was exposed to pubHc 
contumely, but with his left hand he raised his 
bonnet the moment after the blow was struck, and 
cried, "God save the Queen! " Nearly all London 
shared his opposition to the match and his personal 
loyalty to the Queen ; and Elizabeth, who clung to 
her popularity above all things, was desirous of 
avoiding the blame for the marriage and yet to 
bring it about. In the meanwhile almost daily 
couriers sped backwards and forwards with ex- 
changes of presents and loving missives between 
the Queen and Alencon. who had had another 
quarrel with his brother, and had retired to his own 
town of Alencon. He cannot imagine, he says, 
how her people can ever gainsay " une si bell royne 
qui les a tousjours tant bien gouvernes qu'il ne se 
peut mieus en monarchie du monde " : and her 
Majesty was determined they should not gainsay 
her if she could help it. Once Walsingham, in 
conversation with her, expressed an unfavourable 
opinion, whereupon she turned upon him in a fury, 
and told him to be gone for a shielder of heretics ; 
and when Sir Francis Knollys, presuming upon 
his relationship, asked her how she could think of 
marrying a Catholic, she threatened that he should 
suffer for his zeal. His was a fine way, she said, 
of showing attachment to his sovereign. Why 
should not she marry and have children like any 
other woman? Even her faithful "sheep" Hatton 
had a squabble with her about it, and was rusticated 
for a week. ' 

Philip Sidney's bold and nobly- worded letter of 
' Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth). 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 219 

remonstrance with the Queen ao-ainst the match 
was accepted in a better spirit. The virtues and 
talents of the writer, coupled with the disinterested 
patriotism which evidently inspired his protest, 
secured him against the vituperation which Eliza- 
beth lavished on Walsinoham and other Protestant 
champions who timidly ventured to offer not a tithe 
of Sidney's outspoken opinions. "These" {the 
Protestants), said Sidney — "how will their hearts 
be galled, if not alienated, when they shall see you 
take a husband, a P"renchman and a papist, in 
whom, howsoever line wits may find further deal- 
ings or painted excuses, the very common people 
well know this : that he is the son of a Jezebel 
of our age ; that his brother made oblation of his 
sister's marriage, the easier to make massacres of 
our brethren in belief. That he himself, contrary 
to his promise and all gratefulness, having his 
liberty and principal estate by the Huguenot's means 
did sack La Charite and utterly spoil them with fire 
and sword ! This I sav, even at first sight gives 
occasion to all truly religious to abhor such a master, 
and consequently to diminish much of the hopeful 
love they long held to you." The Queen wept 
over this, as well she mioht, but to her credit it 
may be said that she did not visit the wTiter with 
her displeasure as she would have done in the case 
of a less hiorh-minded adviser. 





^^^ 




CHAPTER X. 



Simier's departure with the draft agreement — The Queen 
suddenly cools towards the match — Her perplexity — Her 
efforts to temporise — Suggestions for an alliance with 
France — Simier's letters pleading Alengon's cause — 
Alencpon's plans in Flanders — Signature of the Peace of 
Fleix — Queen Margaret's intrigues against the Alengon 
match — -Simier's disgrace — Catholic intrigues to gain 
Alenyon — Alencpon's new envoys to England — Clausse de 
Marchaumont's negotiations — His favour with the Queen 
— " La belle jarretiere." 



On the 9th of November, 1579, Simier came to the 
Queen and told her he could delay no longer going 
back to his master ; and if a final decision was not 
at once adopted, he must return without it. He was 
closeted with her for several hours, and the next 
day she summoned the principal councillors to her 
chamber, and told them that she had made up her 
mind to marry, and they need say no more about it ; 
their duty now was simply to devise the necessary 
means for carrying out her wishes. She then sent 
post-haste to bring back Stafford, who was on his way 
to Alen^on, and for a day her councillors thought the 
matter was settled. But the next day a cool gust of 
prudence passed over her passion, and she again sent 
to the councillors ordering them to give her indi- 
vidually their opinions in writing. This did not suit 



THE COURTSHIPS OF QUEEN ELIZABETH. 221 

Simier, and he rushed off to the Queen and told her 
it was now unwise and unnecessary, as she had 
made up her mind. She haughtily asked who told 
him that, to which he replied that it was Cecil ; 
whereupon she flew into one of her violent raoes 
against councillors who could not keep their mouths 
shut, and flung out of the room, leaving Simier to 
meditate upon the inconstancy of woman. She then 
ordered the councillors to send a joint letter beooino- 
Alen^on to expedite his coming, but they refused to 
do so, and urged that before the Prince himself 
came a person of higher rank and more serious 
standing than Simier should come to settle the con- 
ditions. When Simier heard this he booted and 
spurred without more ado, and went in a huff to 
take leave of the Queen. She mollified him, how- 
ever, with blandishments, and during the next few 
days the terms of settlement were hastily agreed 
upon and signed in draft, giving Alencon and his 
household the right to attend the Catholic service in 
his own chapel. But when the protocol was handed 
to Simier for conveyance to France the Queen 
characteristically insisted upon his giving an under- 
taking which always left her a loophole of escape. 
The original document in Simier's handwriting is at 
Hatfield, and agrees that the articles shall remain in 
suspense for two months, "during which time her 
Majesty hopes to have brought her people to consent 
to the marriage." If before that time she did not 
write to the King and Alencon consenting to receive 
ambassadors to sign the contract, the whole present 
conditions were to be absolutely null and void. 

Simier left London on the 24th of November, 
loaded with presents, and from Gravesend wrote a 



222 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

long" letter to the Oueen, warning her against those 

who, for their own ends, were trying to persuade 

her to forego the match, and who had been publicly 

boasting in London that as soon as his back was 

turned they would easily change her mind. He 

finishes his letter by what comes perilously near a 

bit of love-making on his own account, and during 

his two days' stay at Dover, and from Calais, letter 

followed letter from him to the Queen, in all of 

which the hope is fervently expressed that " le singe 

restera tousjours vostre, et que la distance des lyeus, 

ni la longeur du tanps, ni les fausses invantions des 

mes contreres, ne me pouront aporter aucun preju- 

•disse en vos bonnes grasses ni enpecher le souleil de 

mes yeulx, qui ne peuvent etre contans que voyent 

vostre grenouille aupres de vostre Majeste et moy 

coume singe me voyr hordinere a vos pies," and so 

on, page after page. Stafford accompanied him 

across, and brought back a letter with a great 

emerald embedded in the seal, from Alenqon to the 

Queen, telling her of the efforts which were being 

made to bring him and Navarre again into good 

•iigreement with the King, to which the Queen 

replied, leaving for once the philandering strain, and 

writing a serious and statesmanlike warning against 

his being too pliant. There is no doubt that for a 

time after Simier left, the influence of Leicester, 

Hatton, and Walsingham somewhat cooled her 

towards the marriage. Stafford went first with 

Simier to Paris to lay the draft conditions before 

the King, and took the opportunity of demanding 

some further limitation with regard to the exercise 

of the Catholic religion. Henry HL would have 

nothing to say to this, but left it to his brother's 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 223 

conscience, but he wrote to his ambassador in 
England pointing out that this was another of their 
tricks to break off the affair. 

Stafford found Alencon no more yielding than his 
brother, and for a time matters looked unpromising, 
the " monkey " continuing to write gushing letters 
to the Queen, begging her not to be influenced by 
the "mile faulx bruis " of Walsingham and others, 
who are trying to render the affair abortive. At 
this juncture, doubdess, the Oueen wrote the lono- 
letter without date to the Duke,' pointing out to him 
the unpopularity of the match and the many diffi- 
culties of carrying it through, unless the terms taken 
by Simier, particularly with regard to religion and 
the pension, were relaxed. If this is impossible, she 
says, and the affair falls through, let us not worry 
any more about it, but remain faithful friends for 
ever. This did not at all please the Prince, who 
plainly told her (January 28, 1580, Hatfield Papers) 
that some people believed that she was only making 
use of the religious question as an excuse to break 
off the match, and that he is not at all astonished 
that she has requested that the departure of commis- 
sioners for the ratification should be stayed. He 
was probably right in his conjecture, for only a few 
days before (January 17, 1580, Hatfield Papers) 
the Queen tried to pick a quarrel about the rank of 
the ambassadors to be sent. She had roundly told 
the King, she said, that she did not think Prance 
was so short of princes that he must needs send her 
a child or a low-born person. A person of the very 
highest lineage must come or none at all : she would 
never have the chronicles record that any slight was 
' Hattield Papers, Hist. MSS. Com., part 2, p. 298. 



224 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

offered to her honour on so g-reat an occasion. The 
poor "monkey" might write his inflated letters to 
the Queen, deploring, and denouncing the enemies 
who were impeding the match, and pleading in 
heartbroken accents the cause of his lovelorn "frog"; 
but there can be no doubt that at the end of January, 
1580, in London, the affair was looked upon as at 
an end. A long and instructive State paper exists 
at Hatfield in the writing of Sir Thomas Cecil, dated 
the 28th of lanuary, addressed to the Queen, and set- 
ting forth that the Alencon marriage, having fallen 
through, the Prince would probably seek revenge for 
his disappointment, and ally himself to the King 
of Spain, with the object of aiding a general 
Catholic assault on England and Ireland. Sir 
Thomas then lays down a certain course of action 
necessary to meet this danger. Alencon is to be 
encouraged to push his ambitious projects in 
Flanders in order to keep him at issue with Spain; 
the Queen's forces by sea and land are to be put on 
a war footing, and German mercenaries are to be 
hired ; English trade, as far as possible, is to be 
carried in foreign bottoms ; the Irish are to be con- 
ciliated by large concessions to their national tradi- 
tions ; the Queen of Scots is to be more strictly held 
and her son subsidised ; and the Netherlanders and 
the Huguenots are to be vigorously helped. This 
was a bold programme indeed, but was fully war- 
ranted by the circumstances as we now know them. 
The Guises were moving heaven and earth to 
prevent an understanding between Alencon and the 
Hueuenots ; the Oueen of Scots was in active 
negotiation with Philip, through Beaton and Guise, 
for a Spanish invasion of England in her interest ; 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 225 

and the Spanish troops, under the Papal banner, 
were backing up the insurgent Irish.' 

The reason for Alencon's tardy resistance to 
further surrender about his reUuion must be soui>"ht 
in the fact that the Catholic Fleminos were still in 
active neootiations with him for his assumino- the 
sovereignty of the States, and any wavering on his 
part in religion would at once have made him an 
impossible candidate for them. The fact of the 
Prince of Orange and the Huguenots being in his 
favour was alreadv rather aoainst his chances with 
the Walloons, and it was necessary for him to assume 
a devotion to Catholicism, the sincerity of which may 
well be doubted. It will thus be seen that the 
position was full of clanger and uncertainty to Eliza- 
l3eth, as she could never allow a Frenchman to be 
dominant in the Netherlands unless he was her 
humble servant. This, of course, was obvious to 
Alen^on as it was to her, and it was necessary for 
him to know upon which side he would have to 
depend for the promotion of his ambition, either the 
Queen of England and the Huguenots, or the 
Catholic Flemings and his brother. On the very 
day, therefore, that the two months stipulated with 
Simier expired, namely, the 24th of February, 1580, 
Castelnau, the French ambassador, went to the 
Queen and asked for a definite answer as to whether 
she would marry the Prince on the terms arranged 
ar not. She replied that it was not a matter which 
could be settled in such a hurry, and she must consult 
her Council and her people. After a good deal of 
bickering the ambassador unmasked his batteries, 
and told her that if she did not carry out her agree- 

^ Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth), vol. iii. 
16 



226 thp: courtships of 

ment to marry him, the Prince, in his own justifica- 
tion and to show people that he had not come to 
England out of mere fiightiness, would be obliged 
to publish all her letters. She replied, in her usual 
vein, that she was surprised that Alen^on should 
think of treating any lady in this way, much less a 
Queen, and with this she closed the colloquy in 
great anger and indignation. 

Mendoza tells the story, ' and adds that after the 
ambassador had left, "she being alone in her cham- 
ber with Cecil and the Archbishop of York, whom 
she considers a very clever man, she said, My lord, 
here am I between Scylla and Charybdis. Alen^on 
has agreed to all the terms I sent him, and he is 
asking me to tell him when 1 wish him to come and 
marry me. If I do not marry him I know not 
whether he will remain friendly with me ; and if I 
do I shall not be able to govern m)- country with 
the freedom and security I have hitherto enjoyed. 
What shall I do ? " The answer of the Archbishop 
was that every one would be glad with whatever 
she decided upon. She then turned to Cecil and 
asked him what he thought, as he had been absent 
from the Council for three days past. He said that 
if she wished to marry she should do so, as no harm 
could come to the country now that Alen^on had 
agreed to their terms ; but, he added, if she did not 
mean to marry him she ought to undeceive him at 
once. She sharply told him that the rest of the 
councillors were not of his opinion, but that the 
Duke should be kept in hand by correspondence. 
How could she tell, she asked, the feeling of the 
King of Spain towards her, and whether it would 
' , Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth), vol. iii. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 227 

be safe for her to let go her hold on France? Cecil, 
not relishing- the snub, replied that those who tried 
to trick princes were themselves generally tricked in 
the end. The Spanish ambassador thought, and he 
was no doubt right, that Alencon's pressure and 
covert threats were for the purpose of forcing the 
Queen to help him in his designs in Flanders as some 
solatium for the slight she had put upon him and his 
family by throwing him over in the marriage nego- 
tiations ; and colour is given to this view by the 
fact that envoys arrived simultaneously from La 
Noue, the Huguenot chief, who was now in the 
service of the States, from Orange, and the Prince 
of Conde, to beg the Queen to send help to establish 
Alencon in the Netherlands. This appeared to the 
Queen a good way out of her difficulty, and she 
seems to have seized it with avidity, though always 
with a pretence that the marriage negotiations were 
still pending, in order to save appearances and dis- 
arm the French Government. On the receipt, 
therefore, of a letter from Alencon by Captain 
Bourg. on the 7th of March, announcing that he 
only awaited her permission to send Marshal de 
Cosse, to settle the conditions, the Queen took what 
was for her a very unusual step, namely, to pay a 
ceremonious visit by water to the French ambas- 
sador, to promise him shortly to fix a date for the 
coming of the commissioners. How hollow the 
pretence was, however, is seen by a letter written at 
the same time by Simier to the Queen, headed by a 
true lovers' knot, in which "her faithful monkey" 
deplores that she has broken off the match which he 
ascribes to the machinations of his enemies, and says 
that he would rather have o'iven his right arm and 



228 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

ten years of his life than it should have happened, or 
if she had decided to break it off that she had not 
done so ten months before. Elizabeth continued her 
great show of cordiality to the French ambassador, 
and when the Prince of Conde himself came in June 
to complain to her of the treatment suffered by the 
Protestants in France, and to beg" her aid, she went 
to the length of refusing to receive him excepting in 
the presence of Castelnau, and by every means in 
her power sought to bring about an understanding 
with the French Government before she pledged 
herself single-handed too deeply in the troubled 
affairs of Flanders. But this did not at all suit 
Alen^on, who had his own game to play and knew 
full well that if a cordial alliance were arranged 
between his brother and the Queen of England 
there would be no need for the latter to marry hin-i, 
or for either party to risk an open rupture with 
Spain for the sake of his personal aggrandisement ; 
particularly at the present moment, when Elizabeth 
was in great alarm at a powerful Spanish fleet 
which had just put to sea. So the faithful " frog" 
and his attendant monkey began to get ardent 
again. De Vray was sent to smooth down mis- 
understandings and to mollify Leicester, who, after 
grumbling that the Prench were not giving him 
enough presents, had gone whining to the Spanish 
ambassador to offer his services to impede the 
understanding with the P>ench — for a consideration. 
Simier writes on the i8th of April : ' "As for your 
frog, his flame is immortal, and his love towards you 
can never end either in this world or the next. By 
God, Madame, lose no more time ! Take counsel 
' Hatiield Papers, Hist. MSS. Com., part 2. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 229 

with yourself and those whose faithful attachment is 
known to you for your own sake rather than their 
advancement ... let Monseigneur soon approach 
your charms. This is the daily prayer of your 
monkey who, with all humility, kisses the shadow of 
your footsteps." Alen^on's letters, although some- 
what less hyperbolical, are yet very loving, and 
press the Queen urgently to allow commissioners to 
come to finally settle the marriage conditions, and 
in this request he was seconded by his mother and 
brother. To all these letters answers were sent 
after much delay, " containing many sweet words 
but no decision ; " and the Spanish ambassador 
writing an account of matters to his master on the 
2 1 St of May, I says that the French were threatening 
the Queen with Alen^on's resentment if she did not 
marry him now the matter was so far advanced. 
"In this way both parties are weaving a Penelope's 
web simply to cover the designs which I have 
already explained to your Majesty." These designs 
were, on Alencon's part, to force Elizabeth into a 
marriage, or into supporting him in Flanders as the 
price of throwing him over ; on Elizabeth's part that 
if he went into Flanders at all he should do so only 
as her tool and that of the Huguenots ; or otherwise 
to bring about a close alliance between England and 
France, or a rupture between the latter and Spain : 
and on the part of Henry HI. and his mother, to 
get rid of their " enfant terrible," by marrying him in 
England, and to drive Elizabeth sinMe-handed into 
a contest with Spain. The States envoys from 
Ghent meanwhile were pressing upon Alen^on the 
sovereignty of the Netherlands, and the matter 
^ Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth), vol. iii. 



230 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

could not brook long delay for Alexander Farnese, 
who was no sluggard, had just routed La Noue, and 
was pressing them hard. Alenqon therefore thought 
that affairs must be precipitated or he would slip to 
the ground between his brother and the Queen of 
England, between Protestant and Catholic support ; 
and the pressure put upon Elizabeth was now so 
strong, and the danger that Alencon would enter 
Flanders independent of her so great, that a Council 
was held on the 5th of June, and unanimoush' 
decided that a request should be sent to France for 
commissioners to be despatched to England. Sir 
Edward Stafford at the same time was despatched 
to Alencon, to negotiate with him and obtain his co- 
operation with the embassy. But Stafford found 
the Duke in the sulks. He knew full well that the 
sending of a formal embassy by his brother to Eng- 
land would be more likely to lead to an alliance 
than a marriage, or that if a marriage was brought 
about by these means it would be on such 
terms as would hamper rather than help his ambi- 
tion ; so he stood out, and at last only gave his 
concurrence with the embassy on condition that it 
should solely be empowered to negotiate a marriage 
and not a national alliance. ' Shortly after this, on 
the 1 2th of August, a formal deputation of the States 
offered Alencon the sovereignty of the Netherlands, 
which he nominally accepted. He was, however, 
powerless to move or assume his sovereignty until 
peace was made between his brother and Henry of 
Navarre and his Huguenots, who were now at open 
warfare. No French troops of either party were 

^ Alengon and Simier to the Queen, July 21st and August 
4th, 1580. ^ Hatiield Papers, part 2. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 251 

available for Alencon until he had persuaded the 
Bearnais to come to terms, and had raised the sieoe 
of La Fere. The Duke's first care, therefore, was 
to patch up some sort of settlement between the two 
factions in France, not a very easy matter, particu- 
larly when the King, learning of the vast Spanish 
plunder brought by Drake from America, and con- 
cluded that Elizabeth's fear of reprisals would render 
her pow^erless to back up the Huguenots. At last, 
however, the peace of Fleix was signed in November, 
1580, and the horizon for Alencon began to brighten 
somewhat. Amongst those in the French Court 
who most strongly opposed his marriage was his 
sister Margaret, Queen of Navarre, for reasons 
which the scandalmongers of the time had much to 
say ; and in the correct belief that Simier was 
largely instrumental in bringing about the match, 
she prompted her great friend Fervaques and his ally 
Balagny to pick a quarrel with the "monkey," and 
if possible kill him. Thereupon ensued a bitter feud 
in Alenqon's household, which ended in the flight of 
Simier to his abbey of Bourgueil, whence he wrote 
a series of interesting letters to Elizabeth in his 
usual strain, giving her a full account of all that had 
happened. She, for her part, kept up the corre- 
spondence actively, and zealously endeavoured to 
induce his master to restore him to favour. Alen- 
con seems to have treated his servitor very badh'. 
Simier tells the Queen that only a few days before 
his disgrace he lent the Duke 90,000 crowns, and 
that suddenly he had been deprived of all he pos- 
sessed, " and turned out in his shirt." He ascribes 
his trouble mostly to Margaret, and his letters — par- 
ticularly that of the i8th of October ^ — are so full of 
' Hatfiekl Papers, Hist. MSS. Com., part 2. 



232 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

scandal that one can well understand his fervent 
prayers that the Queen will burn his letters and not 
let a soul but herself read them. It is almost im- 
possible to read these letters and believe in the 
innocence of the Queen's relations with Simier, as 
witness the final words in the aforesaid long letter 
of the 1 8th of October: "I pray you, madame, 
that no living soul shall know of my letters. I place 
my life in your hands, and only wish to preserve it 
to do you service. For I am your ape, and you are 
my creator, my defender, my stay, and my saviour. 
You are my god, my all, my life, my hope, my laith. 
and my consolation. I supplicate you then, and 
pray you with all my power to deign in your grace 
to bring my affairs to a happy issue. You will thus 
still further pledge the ape who in all humility will 
render you complete obedience to death, as willing!) 
as he now humbly kisses and rekisses a hundred 
million times your beautiful and loving hands." All 
this is mighty fine, but he gives the Queen in a 
postscript a piece of news which must have interested 
her still more, and certainly influenced her attitude 
towards Alencon. " Saturn " (i.e., the King of 
Spain), he says, "has informed the King and 
Queen-mother that if they can dissuade Monsieur 
from his plans in the Netherlands, he (the King of 
Spain) will grant him the territory of Cambresis. 
and will put him into possession of all the rest (/.r., 
of Catholic Flanders). The Pope and the Dukes 
of Savoy, Florence, Urbino, and Ferrara will 
guarantee this grant ; and the Queen-mother has 
undertaken to make these overtures to Monsieur, 
who knows nothing of the matter yet. For God's 
sake burn this letter and let no .soul see it." 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 233 

The effect of thi.s was that loving- letters were at 
once sent to Alencon, all difficulties were smoothed 
over, the commissioners should be cordially wel- 
comed as soon as they liked to come, and what was 
ol far more importance still, the Queen promised 
the French ambassador that when they arrived she 
would g-ive Alenqon 200,000 crowns of Drake's 
plunder to help him in the Netherlands enterprise 
and subsidise Duke Casimir's mercenary army of 
Germans to cross the frontier and co-operate with 
him. 

But it was not a very easy task to settle with 
the King of France the preliminaries of the embassy, 
the extent of its powers, and the choice of its 
members. Cobham, in Paris, tried to pledge Henry 
III. to break first with Spain on account of his 
mother's claim to the Portuguese crown, which 
Philip had usurped, but the King said he would 
make no move until Elizabeth did so. Whilst these 
discussions were going on in Paris, Alencon sent an 
embassy of his own to London (in February, 1581) 
to pave the way, in his interest, for the coming 
of the commissioners. The principal envoy was 
Clausse de Marchaumont, Count de Beaumont, 
who was accompanied by Jean Bodin, the famous 
writer, and others ; and his principal task for many 
months to come was to beg for money aid for his 
master's enterprise. He was received with apparent 
cordiality by the Queen, who was closeted with him 
for hours every day, and especially recommended 
him to the French ambassador as a trreat favourite 
of Alencon ; but withal she must have watched him 
closely at first, for in one of his most secret letters her 
"faithful monkey " assures her that Marchaumont 



234 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

was entirely dependent upon the Guises, and re- 
commends her to have a Httle secretary of his named 
Obterre "untrussed," when she will find some news 
about Scotland. The Duke of Guise, it seems, had 
dropped a hint about it in the hearing of one of 
Simier's friends. Whatever was the result of the 
Queen's secret conferences with Marchaumont, not 
even her own councillors knew it, and she wrote 
a private letter, which no one saw, for one of the 
envoys, a cousin of Marchaumont's, M. de Mery, 
to take to the Duke, and with it she sent a wedding- 
ring as a token. Mendoza says that "she also said 
publicly that she was now so anxious for the commis- 
sioners to come that every hour's delay seemed like 
a thousand years to her, with other tender speeches 
of the same sort, which make most people who hear 
them belie\'e that the marriage will take place. The 
three ministers (/>., Sussex, Cecil, and Crofts) for 
whom Marchaumont brought letters only replied to 
him that they could say nothing further, but that the 
Queen seemed very desirous that the wedding should 
be effected." The tone of this last remark is suf- 
ficient to prove that the Queen, at this time, was 
not in earnest, and that her real design, as I have 
already pointed out, was to compass her ends w^ithout 
burdening herself with a husband. At a subsequent 
stage, as we shall see, her passion once more, and for 
the last time, nearly swept away her judgment, and 
drove her into a position from which it was difficult 
to extricate herself without matrimony or loss of 
prestige. Marchaumont brought with him a secre- 
tary of Alencon's named de Bex, who kept up an 
extremely active correspondence during the whole 
of his stay in England, with a large circle of friends 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 235 

in France (Hatfield Papers), letters which are full of 
curious sidelights on the manners of the times, but 
which do not give us much fresh information on the 
marriage negotiations. Another confidential agent 
of Alencon was also constantly about the Queen's 
person, and his letters at Hatfield prove that for 
many months the most secret instructions of the 
French ambassador and the special en\'oys were 
immediately conveyed to Elizabeth by this man, 
who is only known to us under the pseudonym of 
" Le Movne," with which he sitrned his letters to 
the Queen and to Alencon, with both of whom he 
seems to have been equally familiar. " Le Moyne " 
has, I believe, never hitherto been identified, but 
a careful comparison of his letters with certain known 
facts of Marchaumont's life convinces me that the 
mysterious "monk" who was so deep in the confi- 
dence of the Queen was Marchaumont himself. 
How highly she favoured him is proved by her 
behaviour to him on the occasion of her famous 
visit to Drake's ship, the Pelican, at Deptford early 
in April, 1 58 1 . When the great sailor approached his 
sovereign after the banquet to receive the honour of 
knighthood, she jokingly told him she had a gilded 
sword wherewith to strike off his head, but turning 
to Marchaumont she handed the sword to him and 
authorised him to eive Drake the accolade, which he 
did. I When she was crossing the gangway to go 
on board the Pelican, one of her purple and gold 
garters slipped down and trailed behind her, where- 
upon Marchaumont, who followed, seized it as a 
lawful prize to send to his master. The Queen 
besouofht him to return it to her, as she had nothing- 
^ Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth). 



236 THE COURTSHIPS OF QUEEN ELIZABETH. 

else to prevent her stocking" from slipping down ; 
but the gallant Frenchman refused to surrender it 
until she promised to restore it to him as soon as 
she returned to Westminster. She made no ado 
about putting" the garter on before him, and the next 
day M. de Mery was started off hastily to the lov-e- 
lorn "frog," again bearing with him a letter of high- 
flown affection from the Queen and the precious 
"■arter from Marchaumont. ' For a lono- time after- 
wards Alen(^on, in his letters to the Queen, refers to 
her " belle jartiere " as a talisman which is the cause 
of all his good fortune. Garters and loving words 
were verv well in their way, but Alencon was 
anxious to come to business. The embassy was 
waitintr to o-q over to Enoland, and affairs both in 
PTanders and France were reaching a point where 
it was necessary for the Duke to know upon whom 
he could depend. His answer, therefore, was most 
pressing. "He could have," he said, "no rest 
until the Queen gave him a certain and definite 
answer as to the fulfilment of the marriage so long 
treated of. He earnestly beseeches her. in recom- 
pense for his faithful affection, to put aside all 
doubts, ambioruities, and irresolutions, and oive 
expression to her final wishes on the matter. If she 
shall approve of the setting out of the embassy to 
conclude the marriage, as soon as her reply to the 
present despatch shall have been received, they shall 
be sent with instructions to obey and satisfy her 
rather by deeds than by words. "- 

' Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth). 
- Hatheld Papers, part 2. 



CHAPTER XI. 



Great French embass}' to England to settle the Alencon 
match — Elizabeth's efforts to gain her objects without 
marriage — Alencon's determination to relieve Cambrai — 
Henry III. strenuously opposes his brother's plans in 
Flanders — Alleged Hying visit of Alencon to England — 
Catharine's efforts to divert Alencon from his plans in 
Flanders — Elizabeth attempts to draw France into war 
with Spain without her marriage with Alencon. 

At length, after endless bickerino- about the rank 
of the proposed ambassadors and the Queen's assent 
had been received by Alencon, the envoys were 
ordered to rendezvous at Calais. There they were 
delayed for some weeks, first for the young- Prince 
Dauphin, of Montpensier, whom the King haci 
added to the list of ambassadors to please the Queen 
at Alencon's request, and then by the illness of 
other members of the embassy. Early in i\pril, 1 58 1 , 
however, all was ready for their crossing, and then 
the English Council began to get alarmed at the 
number of their following and the sumptuous nature 
of the embassy, which most of the councillors knew 
was destined to return with the marriage still un- 
decided. At last, however, a general passport was 
granted at the instance of the Queen, who said she 
could not afford to offend Alencon at this juncture. 
Workmen were set on in furious haste to build a 
o-rand-stand in the palace at Westminster, wherein 



238 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

to entertain the visitors. Ten thousand pounds' 
worth of plate was ordered for presents, and jousts, 
banquets, and balls were hastily organised. "The 
Queen went to the length of issuing an order in 
Council that shopkeepers were to sell their cloth 
of gold, velvets, silks, and other such stuffs at a 
reduction of one quarter from the price per yard, as 
she says she wishes them to do her this service in 
order that the ladies and gentlemen may be the better 
able to bedizen themselves. "This seems an evident 
sign that her only object is to satisfy her own 
vanity and keep Alenqon in hand." ' The writer goes 
on to say that the Queen is paying no heed to the 
weighty questions which will have to be settled by 
the embassy, but is entirely absorbed by the 
consideration of new devices for jousts, where a ball 
is to be held, what beautiful women are to be at 
Court, and such-like trifles. On the 14th of April 
the glittering embassy embarked at Calais. It 
consisted of nearly five hundred persons in all, and 
included Francis de Bourbon, Dauphin of Auvergne, 
the son of the Duke of Montpensier ; Charles de 
Bourbon, Count of Soissons, the vounoest of the 
Conde family ; Marshal de Cosse ; the Counts of 
Sancerre and Carrouges ; Lansac, Barnabe Brisson, 
the famous president of the parliament of Paris ; 
La Mothe Fene^lon ; Pinart, Catharine's Secretary of 
State ; de Vray ; Jean Bodin, and others of high 
rank. Lord Cobham, Warden of the Cinque ports, 
the Earl of Pembroke, and others, received them at 
Dover with a great train of the Queen's carriages, 
in which they were conveyed to Gravesend, where 

^ Mendoza to Philip, April 6, 1581. Spanish Calendar, 
vol. iii. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 239 

a great number of the nobility met them with the 
Queen's barges to carry them to Somerset House. 
London itself was crowded with the nobility and 
Parliament-men, who had been specially ordered to 
remain in town with their families. " They are also 
collecting," says Mendoza, "all their servants and 
trains, both for the sake of ostentation and because, 
being a suspicious folk, they fear some disturbance, 
particularly Leicester, who is making greater efforts 
than any one to collect a large company of kinsmen 
and servants." London itself w^as gloomy and dis- 
contented at the coming of the embassy, but withal 
was kept from open disturbance by the underlying 
belief, now pretty general, that State alliance rather 
than marriage would be the ultimate result of it all. 
A salute of two hundred guns greeted the envoys 
as they passed under London Bridge in their barges 
on the 2 I St of April. Saturday, the 24th, was St. 
George's Day, and the ambassadors were taken in 
great state by water to visit the Queen at White- 
hall. A vast banqueting-hall, says Hollingshead, 
had been erected on the south side of the palace 
covered with painted canvas and decorated in a 
style of most fantastic splendour. Pendants of 
fruits, and even vegetables, were huntr from festoons 
of ivy, bay, rosemary, and flowers, the whole 
lavishly sprinkled with spangles. The ceiling was 
painted like a sky, with stars and sunbeams inter- 
mixed with escutcheons of the royal arms, and a 
profusion of glass lustres illuminated the whole. 
The envoys themselves, giving an account of their 
reception,' say that the walls of the chamber were 

^ Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris. Fonds francais, 3308. 
La Ferriere. 



240 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

hung- entirely with cloth of gold and silver ; the 
throne, raised on a dais, being surmounted by a 
silken canopy covered with roses embroidered in 
pearls. The Queen herself was dressed in cloth of 
gold spangled with diamonds and rubies, and 
smilingly inclined her head as the less important 
members of the embassy passed before her. When 
the young Dauphin, a prince of the blood and the 
representative of the King, approached, however, 
she stepped down from the dais and in English 
fashion kissed him on the lips, and said a few 
gracious words to Marshal de Cosse, Brisson, 
Carrouges, and La Mothe Fenelon. who followed 
him. Again and again she besought the young- 
Prince to don his plumed bonnet, and the crowd 
being dense and the heat great, instead of again 
mounting her dais she retired to an open window 
overlooking the Thames. Lansac seized the 
opportunity of presenting to her a French painter 
who had been commissioned by Catharine de 
Medici to paint her portrait, whereupon the Queen, 
ever avid for compliments, said he must represent 
her with a veil over her face, so that they might not 
think her too old. That clay and the next passed 
in almost interminable entertainments, which, as 
they are described in the pages of Hollingshead, 
and by the ambassadors themselves, appear to us 
incredibly far-fetched, childish, and absurd ; but 
which doubtless at the time were considerd models 
of poetry and delicate compliment to the Queen and 
her guests. At length, on taking leave of the 
Queen after the third day of feasting, the Prince 
Dauphin asked her when they should get to 
business, and which councillors she would appoint 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 241 

to negotiate with the embassy. She was of course 
well prepared for the request, and had planned her 
course before the envoys had set foot in England. 
Leicester and Walsingham had done their best to 
prevent the passport for them from being sent, but 
had been overborne by Cecil, Sussex, and the 
Queen herself; and when Leicester, on the day 
before their crossing, came again to his mistress and 
pointed out the danger she ran in, carrying the 
matter so far, she tranquillised him by saying that 
if the embassy became too pressing she would con- 
fuse the negotiations by bringing Alencon himself 
over to England for a few days, whilst the envoys 
were here. She could, she said, square matters 
without a marriage and without offence by giving 
him a money aid to his Netherlands projects. To 
Sussex, and, above all, to Marchaumont, she artfully 
told an entirely opposite tale, and led them to 
believe that if the Duke came suddenly and 
secretly she would certainly marr) him, and, need- 
less to say, " the monk " at once wrote pressing his 
master to make ready to come over if necessary. 
But Marchaumont at the same time told the 
ambassadors that he was of opiiiion that unless they 
could get a distinct pledge that the marriage should 
take place they ought to veto the Duke's visit. The 
control of events was thus cunningly centred in the 
Queen's hand. As the Spanish ambassador points 
out to Philip, she had silenced the opposition of 
Leicester and his friends, had convinced those 
favourable to the marriage of her sincerity, whilst 
providing herself with a loophole of escape in any 
case. If Alencon did come she could deal with 
him over the heads of the embassy, and so confuse 



242 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

matters, whilst if he did not come she could allege 
that as a reason for not marrying him, and infer 
that the negotiations had fallen through by no fault 
of her own. I When the Prince Dauphin therefore 
asked her to appoint a committee of the Council 
she was ready for him, and named Cecil, Bedford, 
Leicester, Sussex, Hatton, and Walsingham — that 
is to say, three men who were determined to prevent 
the marriage if possible, one — Sussex — honestly in 
favour of it, and the other two — Cecil and Bedford — 
only concerned in rendering the match innocuous to 
English interests, if the Queen determined to carry it 
through, which neither of them believed she would. 
Business began with a grand banquet at the Lord 
Treasurer's new house in the Strand, hard by the 
lodgings of the embassy. After a verification of 
powers Cecil made a long speech to the effect that, 
although he had formerly opposed the marriage, he 
now considered that it would be conducive to the 
interests of England, and Brisson replied in a 
similar strain. Walsingham then launched his 
thunderbolt. He alleged that since, and as a 
consequence of, de Bacqueville's mission eighteen 
months before, the Pope had flooded P^ngland with 
Jesuit emissaries, and had sent armed forces to 
Ireland. The projected marriage, he said, had 
raised the hopes of the Catholics in Flngland, who 
were already discounting its effects. He dwelt 
upon the dangers which might attend an accouche- 
ment of the Queen at her age, and complained 
bitterlv that Alencon, even since the net>'otiations 
had been in progress, had entered into dealings 
with the States-General of Flanders. The marriaafe 
' Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth). 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 243 

might therefore drag England into war, and the 
Queen had consequently written a letter to the 
Duke, to which she was now awaiting the reply.' 
The envoys replied in astonishment that they had 
looked upon the principle of the marriage as settled 
before they came, and could not enter Into discussions 
of that sort, but pointed out that as England had 
now offended Spain past forgiveness, it was needful 
for the Queen to gain the friendship of France by 
means of the marriage. They were told that if the 
Queen married it would be from no such considera- 
tion as this, but out of pure affection, and suggested 
that if the marriage did not take place an offensive 
and defensive alliance against Spain might be 
concluded. But this, although the main object of 
the Englishmen, did not at all suit the French. 
They were only authorised, they said, to conclude 
the marriage, for which purpose they had come, and 
not to arrange an alliance. Let the Queen marry 
Monsieur first, and then she mitrht be sure the 
King of France would help her in the Netherlands 
and elsewhere, "hi the meanwhile," says Mendoza, 
" no formal commission has been given to the 
English ministers, by which it is clear that the 
Queen is simply procrastinating about the marriage 
in order to draw the French into an offensive 
alliance without burdening herself with a husband, 
whilst the French wish first to make sure of the 
marriage.- That the Spanish ambassador was 
quite right in his reading of events we may now see 
by the note in Cecil's hand summarising the argu- 

'■ Bibliotheque Xationale, Paris. Fonds francais, 3308. 
La Ferriere. 

- Mendoza to Philip, Mav 4, 1581. Spanish Calendar 
(Elizabeth). 



244 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

ments pro and con for the Queen's o-uidance, and 
also by the draft of the discourse pronounced by 
Walsingham to the ambassadors which very plainly 
show that the Queen at this time, notwithstanding- 
her honeyed words to "the monk" and loving- 
letters to Alencon. was not in earnest. Banquet 
succeeded banquet, but the Frenchmen could get 
no further. In vain they protested that they had 
simply come to conclude the draft contract nego- 
tiated by Simier, that their mission was limited, and 
that they had no more time to waste in merry- 
making. Let us get to business first, they said, 
and feast afterwards. On the 7th of May they 
were invited to a ball at Whitehall, after which 
the Queen again pressed upon them the necessity 
for an alliance between England and EVance, 
but said she could not go any further with the 
marriage until she heard again from Alencon. In 
vain her plaintive "monkey," from his abbey of 
Bourgueil, wrote praying her to make her lovelorn 
"frog" happy without further delay, in vain Mar- 
chaumont pressed in his master's name that she 
would not shame him by throwing him over after 
all that had passed between them. Smiles, sweet 
words, and vague protestations were all they could 
get; and Secretary Pinart wrote on the 21st of 
May to Catharine: "The Queen makes all sorts 
of demonstrations to us, but we can get no further. 
At a supper given by Sussex the Queen expressed 
her satisfaction to La Mothe E^enelon at the ap- 
proaches the E>ench had made to Leicester, who, 
she said, had done his best to forward their views 
and to maintain a friendly understanding between 
the two countries. La Mothe drily replied that 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 245 

such an understanding would be easy when the 
marriage was concluded. Oh ! said the Queen, as 
for the marriage, that is in the hands of God, and 
she could say nothing more about that until she 
received a reply from Alencon. La Mothe there- 
upon declined to discuss any other question and the 
Queen closed the colloquy in a huff. Two days 
after this, when the envoys had become quite dis- 
heartened and perplexed at Marchaumont's secret 
dealings with the Queen and Sussex over their 
heads, Elizabeth suddenly sent de Vray to Alencon 
with a private autograph letter, ^ in the sealing-wax 
of which she embedded a diamond ; and at the 
same time Marchaumont wrote ureing- his master 
to come over and gain the prize by a coup-de-main, 
on the strength of a document which he had 
obtained from the committee of the Council con- 
taining some favourable expressions towards the 
match. At the same time Marchaumont was 
brouoht to a lodoing in the oardens of Whitehall 
and an elaborate pretence of keeping some im- 
portant personage concealed there was made, partly 
to prepare the public mind for the coming of the 
Duke and partly to still further mystify the envoys. 
In this the Queen and Marchaumont were entirely 
successful, and the Queen was looking almost hourly 
for the arrival of her suitor, with whom she could 
make her own terms and force France mto an 

" Probably the important letter misdated 1580 in the Hatfield 
Papers (MSS. Com., part 2, p. 358) wherein the Queen 
urges Alencon to obtain a distinct pledge of aid from his 
brother against the Spanish power in the Netherlands. The 
main object of her polic}' was, of course, to bring about a 
complete rupture between France and Spain, which would 
have ruined the Guises, raised the Huguenots, weakened 
Spain, and have rendered England secure on all sides. 



246 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

alliance. Alencon himself was all eagerness to come, 
but he had pleclg-ed himself solemnly to the States 
to relieve Cambrai which was beleaguered by 
Parma, and he dared not abandon his task. Simier, 
moreover, was away from him, and his sister 
Margaret's friend. P'ervaques, was ever at his ear 
urging him to wrath against poor "monkey" and 
the Queen of England. Fervaques, writing to 
Marchaumont, says that if Elizabeth succeeds in 
getting Simier reinstated, "the very day he comes 
back I will quit the service ; car s'il me donnait 
tout son bien par la teste de Dieu je ne serverais 
pas une heure. Send us some money or we shall 
starve. Our master will make peace [i.e., in France) 
for he rules the King of Navarre, and they say that 
after that we are going to England. Je donne aux 
mille diables le voyage et le premier qui mit les james 
en avant. Tell my secretary if he comes not back 
soon by God I will cut his throat." ^ 

Alen9on accordingly wrote to Marchaumont on 
the 20th of May saying that he could not come 
until he had arranged for the relief of Cambrai at 
any cost. He was, he said, like a bird on a branch 
and might be able to fly off at any moment, and in 
the meanwhile sent the clothes he would need on 
his arrival. But events forced his hands. On the 
17th of May the King issued a decree in Paris 
ordering the dispersion by force of arms of all the 
levies of Frenchmen being raised for the service of 
his brother in Flanders. Great pressure, bribes, 
persuasions and threats, were brought to bear upon 
Alencon by his mother, to prevent him from again 
entering Flanders to relieve Cambrai, and so, per- 
^ Hatlield Papers, part 2. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 247 

haps, embroil France with Spain ; but he plainly 
saw now that his ambition would never be served 
by the Catholic party and that he must frankly 
depend upon the Protestants and Elizabeth, so he 
hurriedly made preparations for a flying visit to 
England. When the Queen was satisfied that he 
was coming and that the King of France was quite 
determined not to offend Spain as a preliminary of 
the marriaoe, her tone towards the ambassadors 
immediately changed, and the clause in the draft 
treaty giving the bridegroom the right of exercising 
his religion in England was struck out. The envoys 
were naturally indignant, refused to accept the 
alteration, and said that as, under the circumstances, 
the marriage was an impossibility, they would depart 
at once. To preserve appearances it was decided 
that some sort of draft agreement, based on the 
marriage contract of Philip and Mary, should be 
agreed to, and after long bickering as to which 
party should sign first, the Queen insisted that the 
draft should be accompanied by a letter from her 
to the effect that the conditions did not bind her to 
marry at all. but should be adopted if at any future 
time she decided to do so. This appeared absurd 
to the envoys, and. whilst the subject was being- 
discussed, the Queen learnt that Alen^on was on 
his way and would submit to her will in all things. 
.She then turned round and said there was no need 
for any capitulations at all. She and Alen^on were 
the persons to be married and they understood each 
other perfectly well, so that his brother's intervention 
was unnecessary. This change of front completely 
puzzled the ambassadors, but they were not long in 
the dark as to the reason of it, for three days after- 



248 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

wards Leicester told them that an Eng-Hsh merchant 
had just arrived in London who had seen Alencon 
embark from Dieppe for England two days before, 
namely on the 28th of May. The envoys and 
the ambassador Castlenau were chaorined beyond 
measure at this new escapade of the King's brother, 
and obstinately shut themselves up to avoid seeing 
him. Such rigorous silence did they maintain as to 
this visit in their correspondence that even the most 
recent and best-informed French historian of the 
events does not credit its having taken place. 
The correspondence of Mendoza, the Spanish 
ambassador in London, which has passed through 
my hands, leaves me, however, little doubt upon 
the subject ' ; although Philip, writing to his 
ambassador, says that the news he receives from 
France is incompatible with Alencon's visit to 
England on this occasion. 

On the I St of June, 1581, Marchaumont visited 
Castelnau, the ambassador, who showed him a 
letter from a certain Cigogne, one of Alenc^on's 
gentlemen, giving him intelligence of his master's 
movements. The Duke had embarked at Dieppe 
at six o'clock on the morning of the 28th of May, 
and after knocking about in the Channel for five 
hours very seasick, had to return to land. He had 
then ridden with all his suite to Evereux whence he 
had sent Cio-oone to inform his brother of his ooino- 
to England, and had then himself started on horse- 
back with a very small company towards Boulogne. 
The faithful "monk" at once hastened to the 
Queen with the news, which she had already heard 

' Spanish Calendar. Alendoza to the King, 2nd and 5th 
of June, 1 58 1. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 249 

elsewhere. She appeared overjoyed at the coming 
of her suitor, and she was for sending Stafford at 
once to greet him. But de Bex was sent to 
Dover instead, bearing a written message from the 
Queen, couched in the most loving terms, ^ and 
rooms were ordered secretly to be prepared for the 
Prince in Marchaumont's chambers. On the after- 
noon of the 2nd of June the visitor came up the 
Thames with the tide, evading the spies whom the 
King's envoys had posted everywhere, and was 
safely lodged in the apartments destined for him in 
the Queen's garden. Immediately afterwards one 
of his gentlemen entered the presence-chamber as 
if he had just come from France (as indeed he had) 
bringing letters from his master to the Queen, and 
Marchaumont sent to Leicester the aoreed token of 
his coming, namely, a jet ring. This strange prank 
of the young Prince upset all calculations. He 
had come without his brother's prior knowledge 
or permission and without consultation with the 
ambassadors, the whole affair havino- been 
managed by Marchaumont over their heads. 
Says Mendoza, writing to Philip a day or two 
after his arrival : " No man, great or small, can 
believe that he has come to be married, nor 
can they imagine that she will marry him because 
he has come. It may be suspected that her 
having persuaded him to come with hopes that 
they two together would settle matters better than 
could be done by the intervention of his brother's 
ministers, had been the motive which brought 
him." 

The fact is that Henry HI. had shown his hand. 
^ Hatiiekl Papers, part 2, pp. 360, 362, 483. 



250 THE COURTSHIPS OF^ 

Alencon's levies had been attacked by the King's 
troops, and it was evident that unless he consented 
to forego his ambition and again become the 
lauehinpf-stock of the mionons he must cleave to 
the Queen of England, marriage or no marriage. 
This she knew better than any one, and it was this 
for which she had been playing. If the French 
under Alencon went to the Netherlands to weaken 
Spain, they would go in her interest and at her 
behest, and not in those of France. No words 
accordingly could be too sweet for her to greet her 
lover, no promises too brilliant which could pledge 
him to go in person to relieve Cambrai, notwith- 
standing the pressure to the contrary from his 
mother and brother. Leicester, Hatton, and Wal- 
singham, who feared their mistress's impressionable 
nature, were frightened when Alencon appeared, 
and began as usual to stir up discontent of the 
match. "If he came to marry the Queen," said 
the people, " he ought to have come as the brother 
of a king should do and with proper means, whereas 
if he did not come to marry, they needed no poor 
Frenchmen in this country." Money and support 
for Cambrai were liberally promised by the Queen 
if Alencon would only go back again as quickly as 
he came and undertake the relief in person. So 
after only two nights' stay in London he dropped 
down the river, unseen by any of his countrymen 
except Marchaumont and de Bex, and went back 
to France. No sooner was he gone than the 
envoys came out of their hiding again and boldly 
averred, with the aid of Leicester and his friends, 
that he had not been in England at all ; and the 
hollow negotiations to cover their retreat were once 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 251 

more resumed. The capitulations with the nullify- 
ing- letter were signed, sealed, and delivered,' and 
the pompous embassy took its departure on the 
1 2th of June, much less hopeful of the result of the 
mission than when it started. They were loaded 
with gifts, cloyed with fine words, and some of them 
even cajoled into the idea that Elizabeth was a 
Catholic at heart ; but whatever the young figure- 
heads may have thought, statesmen like Pinart, 
Brisson, and La Mothe, knew full well by this time 
that the marriage was all moonshine. Sussex of 
course threw all the blame on Leicester, and tried 
to arouse the indignation of the French against 
him, whilst Leicester boldly said the Queen had 
never intended to marry, and those who said she 
did only wished to bring about a quarrel between 
England and France. The Spanish ambassador, 
too, ever busy at mischief, was trying his best by 
means of willing tools to embitter French feeling' 
at the way in which a great nation had been flouted, 
as he said, to magnify the Queen's importance and 
feed her insatiable vanity. 

When Catharine had gone to see her younger 
son at his town of Alencon late in May, she had 
spent five days in fruitless entreaty to him not to 
imperil the future of his country by entering 
Flanders. But she found him obdurate, and re- 
turned in despair to Chenonceaux, whilst he took his 
flying visit to England. But the violent measures 
adopted by Henry III. against his brother 
frightened the poor lady, who once more had to 
journey to St. Germain to endeavour to patch up 

^ The original draft of the treaty is in the British Museum, 
MSS. Add. 33963. 



252 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

some sort of peace between the brothers. The King- 
was irreconcilable for a time, but when his mother 
threatened to abandon him for good and set out for 
Chenonceaux he soon followed her, and the result 
of their long private conferences was that Catharine 
again hurried north to meet Alencon and exacted 
from him a promise that he would go and see his 
brother at St. Germain before taking any active 
steps to relieve Cambrai. But Alencon distrusted 
his brother and preferred to stay safely at Chateau- 
Thierry, awaiting the aid promised to him by the 
Engflish Oueen. Elizabeth, however, was deter- 
mined if possible to obtain the co-operation of the 
King of France, or at all events a promise of 
neutrality before she flew in the face of Spain to 
the extent of aiding Alencon to enter Flanders, and 
she sent Somers, late in June, to sound Henry III. 
as to his intentions. He and Cobham, the English 
ambassador, found the French king and his mother 
diplomatic and evasive, but they made it clear that 
the marriage must precede all other negotiations, 
and that the King would take no steps against 
Spanish interests unless conjointly with England 
after the marriage. When Alencon learnt this at 
Mantes he instructed Marchaumont to assure the 
Queen that he had resolutely refused to delay the 
relief of Cambrai, and to bes' her to uroe his brother 
to help him, at least by sending Marshal de Cosse 
to guide him in his military actions. He was more 
ardent for the conclusion of the marriage than ever, 
and the moment he could get away he would fly to 
the Queen's side. But this did not suit Elizabeth 
at all. It was clear that it might mean ruin to her 
if she were driven into open war with Spain whilst 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 253 

France, under the ouidance of the Guises, was free 
to join or make terms with the other side. So she 
wrote an extremely interesting letter on the 21st of 
July • to Alencon in which once more her tone is 
conijjletely changed. 7^he time has come, she sa\-s, 
when she can speak plainly to him. Nothing in the 
world can bring her so much sorrow as to be unable 
to pass the few years of life remaining to her in the 
company of him she loves most in the world, who 
has sought her in so many honourable ways. She 
is sure that grief alone will be her future portion in 
the world, not only by reason of her being deprived 
of the society of him she most highly esteems, but 
also because she will be accused of ingratitude, of 
which she has the greatest horror. It appears, 
however, by the King's answers to Somers, that 
the marriage can only take place in conjunction 
with a joint war of England and France against 
Spain in the Netherlands. She has striven all her 
life, and successfully, to secure peace for her people, 
and to make her marriage a war-cry would alienate 
them from her and it, and she cannot do it. But 
still in order that he may see she has not forsaken 
him, and to prevent the Spaniards from entirely 
having their wicked way in the Netherlands, she is 
sending W'alsingham to France to persuade the 
King how necessary it is for him to help his brother 
in his noble task. This must ha\-e appeared plain 
enough to the suitor as meaning that F'rance must 
pull the chestnuts out of the fire for her. and 
Elizabeth probably thought it was rather too blunt, 
for she has added in her own hand these words : 
" Ne pences pas que chose du monde me changera 
' Hatlield Papers, part 2, p. 400. 



254 THE COURTSHIPS OF OUEKN ELIZABETH. 

de vous demourer telle que prendra toujours part de 
vostre fortune, voyr la plus mauvaise ; et que si le 
corps me soit, I'ame vous est toute dedie, comme 
ces tabliers vous tesmoignent." 

When at a subsequent stage the Queen found 
fault with some of Walsingham's proceedings, he 
wrote to her, recapitulating her private instructions 
to him on his mission, and we are therefore in 
possession of her real intentions at the time.' He 
says: "The principal cause why I was sent over 
was to procure a straiter degree of amity between 
the King and you without marriage, and yet to 
carry myself in the procuring thereof, as might not 
altooether break (3ff the marriao-e." 

' Walsin^t^ham to tlie Queen. Hatiield Papers, part 2, 
P- 415- 







CHAPTER XII. 

Wulsin<j;ham's mission to France — His alarm of the con- 
sequences of the Queen's iickleness — Alenyon enters 
Fhmclers — ReHef of Cambrai — Alencon entreats Ehza- 
beth's aid — Walsingham's remonstrance to the Queen 
for her penuriousness — Alencon again visits England — 
Elizabeth's severity to the Catholics during his stay — 
Leicester's continued intrigues — The Queen's solemn 
pledge to marry Alenyon — Dismay of Leicester and his 
friends — The Queen's recantation — Arrival of Secretary 
Pinart — Elizabeth's plan to evade the marriage — Her 
correspondence with Simier — He arri\es in England 
again — Elizabeth's efforts to get rid of Alen(;on— He 
refuses to leave unless she marries him — Simier's advice 
to the Oueen. 



When Walsingham landed at Boulogne he found a 
message from Alencon at Chateau-Thierry asking 
him to meet him and his mother at La Fere before 
going to see the King. This he did. where he was 
met by the Duke with complaints and reproaches 
at the indefinite postponement of the marriage by 
the Queen until a national alliance had been 
effected. He told Walsingham that he could never 
eet the Kino- to consent to an alliance unless the 
marriage took place first, as the King feared that 
when they had pledged him too far for him to draw 
back the Queen would slip out of it and leave 
France alone face to face with Spain. The efforts 
of Catharine and her adviser, Turenne, were 
directed to obtaining at least a money subsidy to 



256 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

Alenqon first, which would have pledged Elizabeth 
to some extent ; but Walsinoham was too discreet to 
be drawn, and tried to get an arrangement which 
should enibark France in the business before 
England was compromised. Catharine said she 
was well aware of the need for concerted action, 
but she was afraid, as Elizabeth had apparently 
thrown over the marriage for fear of offendino- her 
subjects, she might afterwards throw over the 
alliance for the same reason. 

It is easy to see that both sides were finessing 
with the same object, namely, to throw upon the 
other the burden and onus of curbing the power 
of vSpain, which they both feared ; and when 
Catharine saw she could make nothing of Wal- 
singham or his mistress, she played her trump 
card, with which she had come to La F'ere fully 
prepared. She promised Alencon that if he 
would abandon his attempt, the Prince of Parma 
would retire from Cambrai, Alencon should marry 
the infanta, gain the support and friendship of 
Spain, obtain a larger dotation from his brother, 
and receive the in vesture of the sovereign states of 
Saluzzo and Provence. But Alencon could not 
trust Spain and the Guises, and refused the 
tempting bait. Cecil and P^lizabeth mistrusted the 
presence of Catharine near her son, and fearing that 
ne might at last cede to her influence, had sent a 
considerable sum of money by Walsingham. accord- 
ing to Mendoza, to help Alencon to make masked 
war upon Spain, without pledging England or 
drawing the Queen into war through the marriage. 
Alencon was angry at this suggestion, and said that 
he would take no such answer, which was quite at 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 257 

variance with the Queen's own words. He 
threatened and stormed until Walsingham ahnost 
lost his temper, and Sir James Crofts told Mendoza 
that w4ien the Queen received the news of this "she 
wept like a child, saying that she did not know 
what to do, or into what trouble Leicester had 
drawn her." Walsingham also reported that the 
King of France was extremely offended that after 
so grand an embassy had been sent to England 
only Walsingham should be sent in return, "and 
that if he could manage to have him put out of 
the way he would attempt it." Lord Henry 
Howard was at once sent off with a loving message 
to Alen^on to mollify him, and urgent new instruc- 
tions were despatched to Walsingham in Paris to 
bring the marriage forward again on any terms. 
But no sooner were Walsingham, Cobham, and the 
French ministers in conference to settle the terms 
of an alliance which was to accompany a marriage, 
than Alencon sent, by de Vray, peremptorily re- 
fusing to have anything to do with an alliance. It 
must, he said, be a marriage pure and simple first, 
and after that they could make what leagues they 
pleased, but he was sure that if the endless negotia- 
tions for an alliance had to be settled first he should 
never be married at all. All things were therefore 
again brought to a standstill, and Walsingham and 
Cobham wrote a most serious, almost vehement, 
memorandum to the Queen warning her of the 
danger of her fickle course.' They entreated her 
to make up her mind one way or the other. The 
French will think they are being played with and 

' Memorandum to the Queen, August i^, 1581. Hatiield 
Papers, part 2. . 

18 



258 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

will be greatly exasperated. France, Spain, and 
Scotland will all be against us, and then God alone 
can help us. Surely they say the only question is 
one of expense, and it is " very hard that treasure 
should be preferred before safety. I beseech your 
Majesty that without offence I may tell you that 
your loathness to spend even when it concerns your 
safety is publicly delivered out here. . . . For the 
love of God, madame, look into your own estate, and 
think that there can grow no peril so great unto 
you as to have a war break out in your own realm, 
considering what a number of evil subjects you 
have ; and you cannot redeem this peril at too high 
a price." In another letter to Cecil, Walsingham 
complains bitterly of the task that is set for him. 
I would rather, he says, be shut up in the Tower 
than be an English ambassador abroad. These 
constant variations discredit us and shock the 
King. 

Suddenly, towards the middle of August, 1581, 
Alenqon crossed the frontier into Spanish Flanders 
with a fine army of 12,000 infantry and 5,000 
cavalry, in which were enrolled half the young nobility 
of France as volunteers, notwithstanding the King's 
anathemas. Parma at once raised the siege of 
Cambrai and stood on the defensive, and the whole 
position was changed in a moment. The King of 
France felt, or at least expressed, the utmost alarm 
at his brother's action, lest he should be drawn into 
the quarrel. Elizabeth, on the other hand, was no 
less apprehensive that the King, the Guises, and 
the Catholics might be after all behind the move- 
ment. She, however, was soon tranquillised on 
this score, and wrote a lovine letter of congrratula- 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 259 

tion.^ No sooner was Alencon in Cambrai than he 
found himself without money. If the States will 
not aid me, he wrote to the Prince of Oranee, I can 
go no further. But the attempt had been made 
without the open patronage of the Queen of England, 
and the Protestant States would do nothing. De 
Bex was sent off post-haste by Alencon to take her 
the news, and to beg for 300,000 crowns, "as he 
had spent all his own money in the relief, and neither 
the States nor his brother would give him a penny. 
If she did not provide him with money he should 
be obliged to return with his army to France with- 
out going any further." - 

Marchaumont continued to urge his master's need 
tor money, and besides the ^22,000 which had been 
taken by Walsingham a further sum of /^20,ooo in 
gold was secretly sent from Drake's plunder to 
Alencon. But Elizabeth herself was somewhat 
short of money, and still not without suspicion, 
besides which she had no intention whatever of 
defraying the whole expense of Alencon's army, 
and would send him no more money. Things went 
from bad to worse. The P^rench troops deserted in 
bodies and fell to pillage ; the young noblemen 
slipped back over the frontier by hundreds. By 
the first week in September Alencon had retired to 
Chatelet, leaving a garrison in Cambrai ; only 3,000 
of his men remained with him, and he sent again 
de Bex to the Queen to beg for more help before 
they were all gone. His victory at Cambrai he 
attributes all to the "belle jartiere," which he says 
he will never surrender whilst- he lives, nor the 

' Hatfield Papers, part 2, p. 458. 
^ Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth). 



26o THE COURTSHIPS OF 

desire to see again " vostre belle Majeste a la quelle 
pour la hate de ce porteur je me contentere de 
bayzer les belles mins et les belles greves qui ont 
porte la belle jartiere." But the Queen was not to 
be wheedled out of her money by talk about the 
beautiful garter, and Marchaumont began to hint 
that his master's only course would be to once more 
cross the Channel and press his own suit. 

In the meanwhile Walsingham was making no 
progress in Paris, and the Queen as usual was 
reproaching in no measured terms. Walsingham. 
who knew his mistress well, gave her on this 
occasion at least as good as she sent.' He told her 
bluntly that if she was sincere about the marriage 
she was losing time she could ill spare ; whilst, if 
otherwise, it "is the worst remedy you can use." 
"Sometimes when your Majesty doth behold in what 
doubtful terms you stand with foreign princes, then 
you do wish with great affection that opportunities 
offered had not been overslipped ; but when they 
are offered to you, accompanied with charges, they 
are altogether neglected. The respect of charges hath 
lost Scotland, and 1 would to God I had no cause 
to think it might put your Highness in peril of the 
loss of England." He reproaches her almost rudely 
for her niggardliness, which he compares with the 
wise liberality of her predecessors where expenditure 
was needful for the safety of the realm. "If this 
sparing and provident course be held on still, the 
mischiefs approaching being so apparent as they 
are, there is no one that serveth in place of coun- 
cillor . . . who would not wish himself rather in 

^ Walsingham to the Queen, September 12th. Hathekl 
Papers, part 2. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 261 

the farthest part of Ethiopia than enjoy the fairest 
palace in England." On his way back to England 
Walsingham saw Alen^on at Abbeville, in Picardy, 
and rather encouraged the Duke in his desire to 
come to England again. It is evident that, much 
as Walsingham was attached to Leicester, he was 
in grave alarm that the Protestant religion, to which 
he was devoted, might be overborne by the 
threatened union against England of the Catholic 
powers, and at this time would have gladly wel- 
comed the marriage of the Queen and Alen9on, 
which would have prevented France from joining 
the coalition and have banished the danger. When 
Walsingham arrived in London at the end of 
September, however, he found the Queen very 
strongly opposed to her suitor's proposed visit, not 
wishing to have her hands forced in this way. She 
told Marchaumont that his master must not come 
on any account, or a rising of the people might be 
feared, so angry were they at the idea of the match. 
On the other hand, both Marchaumont and Castel- 
nau, the ambassador, took care to spread broadcast 
the intelligence that the Duke would soon be here ; 
and when no open discontent ensued they pointed 
out that the Oueen's fears were oroundless. 
Leicester, as usual, tried to run with the hare and 
hunt with the hounds, to retain French bribes and 
yet to stand in the way of French objects. Mendoza 
says that he took good care to turn the Queen 
aofainst Alencon's comine, but as soon as he was 
sure that his efforts were effectual he went out of 
town and hypocritically professed to the French that 
Hatton and Walsingham alone were to blame for 
the opposition. 



262 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

But by the end of October the Queen's apprehen- 
sions seem to have been dissipated. Walsingham 
must have made it clear to her that unless the 
marriage were again taken up with some show 
of sincerity she had no chance of getting the close 
understanding with F" ranee which was necessary to 
her plans. She had, moreover, spent large sums 
of money in Flanders, which she could never get 
back unless the States could be enabled to hold 
their own, and she accordingly decided to make the 
best of Alenqon's coming in the assurance that, if 
the worst came to the worst, she could avoid a 
marriage by supplying funds for his maintenance in 
Flanders. 

Shortly before the Duke's arrival the "monk" 
(Marchaumont) wrote to de Bex saying that every 
one, from the Queen downwards, was expecting his 
Highness's arrival w4th pleasure, but he hints that 
he had better make haste as the Spanish ambassador 
was making certain proposals to the Queen ; which 
we now know to be true.^ He says that even 
Leicester had now been won over, his only fear 
being that if the marriage took place his bitter 
enemy, Simier, might come, who, he was sure, 
would plot his ruin. This state of things had not 
been brought about without a good deal of friction. 
Several sums of money had been sent by the Queen 
with the hope of staving off the visit, but with no 
effect. The Oueen had a trreat row with Walsinof- 
ham in consequence of mischief-making of Sussex, 
who had shown Marchaumont a letter written by 
Walsingham from France, containing some slighting- 
expressions towards Alencon w^hich had been re- 
^ Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth), vol. iii. p. 182. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 263 

peated to the Queen; "although," says Mendoza, 
"some people think that it is all put on, and that 
she herself ordered Walsingham to write this so as 
to hinder the marriage, as she is a woman very fond 
of adopting such tricks. At all events Walsingham 
takes very little notice of her anger, and Alen^on 
turns a deaf ear to everything, and only asks for 
money, whilst Marchaumont keeps the negotiation 
alive by pressing for a decision with regard to the 
marriage." 

The Queen had lent Marchaumont a small house 
attached to her own palace at Richmond, to which 
entrance could be gained through it by means of 
a connecting gallery. Two chambers were re- 
furnished and warmed in this house for the Prince's 
use, the Earl of Arundel (son of the attainted and 
executed Duke of Norfolk) and his uncle, Lord 
Harry Howard, were charged by the Queen to 
make all arrangements for his comfort ; and her 
Majesty herself superintended the installation in one 
of the rooms of a crimson bed, which she told 
Marchaumont archly that his master would recog- 
nise. A day or so before the Duke was expected 
Marchaumont wrote to de Bex, who was with his 
master on his journey hither, that he learnt by a 
message the Queen had sent him "that every hour 
seemed a month to her so anxious was she to see 
her lover, for whose reception great preparations 
had been made, although the Queen will pretend 
that nothing special had been done." ^ 

When Walsinofham had seen the Prince in France 
the latter had expressed a desire to rest a day and 
a night in Walsingham's house in London before 
^ Hattiekl Papers, part 2. 



264 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

^troing to see the Queen at Richmond, but when the 
time approached for the visit Walsinoham managed 
to avoid the trouble of entertainino- the guest by 
saying that the plague was raging round the house, 
and it was settled that he should be lodged for the 
night in the house of Sir Edward Stafford, the son 
of Elizabeth's friend and Mistress of the Robes. 
" But I need not tell you," says Marchaumont to 
de Bex, "to keep strict secrecy as to the Prince's 
movements, for if Lady Stafford knows anything it 
will be easier to stem a torrent than to stop the 
woman's tongue." 

Alen^on embarked from Calais at the end ot 
October, 1581, having met the Portuguese pretender, 
Don Antonio, before going on board, and promised 
him to plead his cause with the English Queen. 
The heavy weather necessitated his anchoring in the 
Downs instead of entering Dover, and it was only 
at the cost of some risk and trouble that he landed. 
Leaving the Prince Dauphin and most of his suite 
of gentlemen to follow him, he pressed on in dis- 
guise with de Bex to London, where he arrived and 
slept at Stafford's house on the night of the ist of 
November. The next morning he started off to 
see the Queen privately at Richmond, the first 
public reception being fixed for the 3rd of Novem- 
ber, when the Prince Dauphin and the rest of the 
suite were fetched from Lcjndon in the Queen's 
state coaches. It was, in truth, high time the 
Prince came, for the Queen was very much out of 
temper with him and every one else. She com- 
plained to Castelnau that the Prince had acted in 
Flanders without her permission, that the King of 
France was intriguing with Spain for her ruin, that 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 265 

the States were a lot of drunkards, who onlv 
thought of borrowing money and not paying it back. 
She was too old, she said, to be played with, and 
would let them all see it. But when her young 
lover came she was full of smiles and blandishments. 
Fortunately he had plenty of money with him — 
money, however, brought to him by St. Aldegonde, 
at Calais, collected by the sorely pressed Flemings 
for the support of his army, and not to be squan- 
dered in England ; but he bribed the ladies and the 
councillors liberally with it. At first all went as 
merrily as a marriage-bell. The Queen again took 
to calling Alen^on her little Moor, her little Italian, 
her little frog, and so on ; whilst she, as before, was 
to him all the orbs of the firmament. Leicester 
was radiant, however, which was a bad sign, and 
Sussex was in the sulks, which was equally so ; but 
the French, and Alenqon himself, grew more and 
more confident of success. The Queen w-as playing 
her usual game, and Leicester understood it per- 
fectly, but she could not help having her fling at 
Walsingham when he tried clumsily to humour her. 
He was praising the good parts and understanding 
of Alencon one day to the Queen, and said that the 
only thing against him was his ugly face. " Why. 
you knave," she replied, "you were for ever speak- 
ing ill of him before : you veer round like a weather- 
cock." I At the same time all sorts of scandalous 
tittle-tattle began to arise. Every morning little 
love-letters signed " your prince frog," were sent 
from Alencon to the Queen, and Lippomano, 
the Venetian ambassador, assures the Doge and 
Senate that the Queen entered his chamber every 
' Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth). 



266 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

morning before he was out of bed, and brought him 
a cup of broth. He was with her, says Mendoza, 
all day and every day, no one being present but 
Sussex and Stafford, and even they were not 
allowed to hear their conversation. In order to 
allay the fears of her Protestant subjects, some of 
whom were grumbling because Alen^on heard mass 
daily, unwonted severity was used towards the 
Catholics during Alen^on's visit, and the Jesuit 
priests Campion, Sherwin, and Briant, were exe- 
cuted at Tyburn under circumstances ot the most 
heartrending cruelty. The Spanish ambassador at 
last got somewhat anxious, and by Philip's orders 
began to approach Cecil with suggestions of the 
falsity of Frenchmen and the advisability of a close 
union between England and Spain, all injuries on 
each side being forgiven and forgotten. He went to 
the length, indeed, of hinting that the French were 
intriguing with Mary of Scotland under cover of the 
marriage negotiations, although he himself at the 
time was plotting wath and for her. But Cecil was 
a match for him, and let him understand that the 
friendship proposed was more necessary for Spain 
than it was for England. The position at the time 
of Alen^on's visit is well summarised by Mendoza 
in a letter to King Philip ' as follows : "As soon as 
the Queen learnt that Alenqon had arrived, she said 
to certain of the councillors separately that they 
must consider what would have to be done with 
him ; to which they replied that they could hardly 
do that unless she made her own intentions upon 
the subject clear. To this she answered that she 
was quite satisfied with the person of Alen^on. 
I Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth), vol. iii., November ii, 1581. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 267 

When he arrived here he told those who he knew 
were in his favour that he would not go out in 
public nor undertake any other affairs until he had 
settled with the Queen the subject about which he 
came. If this be so, present indications prove that 
he has got an affirmative answer, as he now shows 
himself almost publicly, and appears to be in high 
spirits, all the principal people at Court being 
allowed to see him at dinner and supper. Leicester 
leaves nothing undone, and in the absence of the 
Prince Dauphin, always hands Alen^on the napkin, 
publicly declaring that there seems to be no other 
way for the Queen to secure the tranquillity of Eng- 
land but for her to marry Alencjon ; and Walsingham 
says the same. The Frenchmen who came with 
him, and the ambassadors who were here before, 
look upon the marriage as an accomplished fact, but 
the English in general scoff at it, saying that he is 
only after money, and that he has already begged 
the Queen to give him ^100,000 and 4,000 men to 
aid your Majesty's rebels. The principal English- 
men indeed are saying that if he wanted a regular 
pension they would grant him ^20,000 a year, so 
there are more indications of money being given 
him than anything else. It is certain that the 
Queen will do her best to avoid offending him, and 
to pledge him in the affairs of the Netherlands, in 
order to drive his brother into a rupture with your 
Majesty, which is her great object, whilst she keeps 
her hands free, and can stand by looking on at the 
war." Few men were better informed than Men- 
doza ; part of the Privy Council was in his pay, and 
the most secret information was conveyed to him at 
once by his spies, who were everywhere. He was. 



268 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

moreover, one of the most keen-sighted statesmen 
of his time, and we may accept his opinion therefore, 
confirmed as it is by much other evidence, that up 
to this time (November nth) EHzabeth was once 
more playing her old trick, and befooling Alencon 
and the French. 

When Leicester thought that matters were going 
a little too far he persuaded the Queen to urge her 
lover to start at once for F'landers, for which pur- 
pose she would give him three ships and ^30,000, 
in order to receive the oath (jf allegiance which the 
States were offering him, and then to return and 
marry her ; but Sussex saw through the device, and 
privately warned Alencon that whatever pledges 
might be made to him now, he might be convinced 
that if once he went away without being married 
the marriage would never take place. He entreated 
him on no account to be driven out of F^ngland, and 
as Alencon well knew that Sussex at least was 
honest in his desire to see the Queen married and 
freed from the baleful influence of Leicester, he put 
his back to the wall and plainly told the Queen that 
not only would he refuse to leave England, but he 
would not ever vacate the rooms in her palace until 
she had given him a definite answer as to whether 
she would marry him or not. Crofts, the privy 
councillor in Philip's pay, told Mendoza that "when 
the Queen and Alencon were alone together she 
pledges herself to him to his heart's content, and as 
much as any woman could to a man, but she will 
not have anything said publicly." 

Things were thus getting to a deadlock again. 
The King of France wrote to the Queen saying 
that under no circumstances, whether his brother 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 269 

married or not, would he help him against Spain in 
the Netherlands, and the Queen-mother began 
pressing her son with all sorts of promises, to return 
and abandon his hopeless quest before he became 
the laughing-stock of the world. This of course 
made the Queen warmer in her protestations, and 
by the third week in November she had contrived 
to convince Alencon acjain of her sinceritv. He at 
once wrote off to his brother, requesting that com- 
missioners might be sent to settle the conditions of 
the treaty which had been discussed with Walsing- 
ham when he was in France. The Queen en- 
couraged him to do this, knowing full well that 
Henry III. would refuse to take his brother's un- 
supported word as to her Iwna Jidcs, and send 
another embassy, whilst his refusal to do so would 
furnish her if necessary with an excuse for proceed- 
ing no further in the matter. 

On November 21, 1581, the Queen and Court 
moved to Whitehall, where Alencon was lodged in 
the garden-house, and on the following morning- — 
coronation day — he and the Queen were walking in 
the gallery, Walsingham and Leicester being present, 
when Castelnau, the French ambassador, entered, and 
said that he had been commanded by his master to 
learn from her own lips what her intentions were with 
regard to her marrying the King's brother. Either 
because she was driven into a corner from which 
there was no other escape, or because once more 
her passions overcame her, she unhesitatingly replied 
to Castelnau, "You may write this to the King: 
that the Duke of Alencon shall be my husband, and 
at the same moment she turned to Alen(^on and 
kissed him on the mouth, drawino- a ring from her 



270 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

own hand and giving it to him as a pledge. Alen- 
^on gave her a ring of his in return, and shortly 
afterwards the Queen summoned the ladies and 
gentlemen from the presence-chamber to the gallery, 
repeating to them in a loud voice in Alencon's 
presence what she had previously said." ' 

The French were naturally elated at this, and 
Alencon at once sent off the great news to his 
brother, but the feeling amongst the courtiers was 
very different. Leicester and Hatton were in dis- 
may ; they had felt certain hitherto that the Queen 
was only play-acting, but surely matters were getting 
serious, and tears, lamentations, and reproaches, 
were the order of the day. But the Queen was 
playing her own game, and sage old Cecil was 
perhaps the only one of her advisers who really 
understood her move. He was ill in bed with the 
gout at the time, and was chatting with a couple of 
gossips when the message reached him. Instead of 
dismay he expressed great satisfaction, and placed 
the matter at once in its true light. " Thank God," he 
said, "the Queen, for her part, has done all that she 
can ; it is for the country now to take the matter in 
hand." This meant that the Queen, ever evasive of 
responsibility, had shifted the onus upon Parliament, 
which had been summoned for the 6th of December. 
There was not the slightest need for Parliament to 
be consulted at all, but Elizabeth had been driven 
into a corner by Alencon's presence and persistence 
and the immovable determination of his brother to 
stand aloof until the marriage had taken place. By 
taking the course she did, she artfully attained three 
objects which could have been compassed by no other 
I Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth), vol. iii. p. 226. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 271 

way short of marriag-e : she secured further delay 
without offence to the Knig-, she personally bound 
Alencon to her, come what might, and, most impor- 
tant of all, she sowed the germ of discord between 
him and his brother, who now appeared the principal 
obstacle to the marriage, as he refused the terms 
demanded by the English (which Parliament would 
be asked to insist upon) before the marriage 
could take place. Having the most secret corre- 
spondence before our eyes now, we are able to see 
clearly that this was the clever plan of the Oueen 
herself ; but her most intimate contemporaries were 
puzzled and disturbed at her apparent instability. 
The balance of opinion was that the Oueen had 
been caught at last, and had pledged herself too 
deeply to draw back, although Leicester, after his 
first dismay was over, went about industriously 
spreading a contrary view. He and Hatton, how- 
ever, were not so reassured as they would have had 
it appear. Hatton went to the Oueen, and with 
many tears and sighs boldly told her that even 
if she wanted herself to marry, she ought to 
consider the grief she was bringing upon the 
country by doing so, not to mention what might 
happen to her personally if she married against the 
will of her people, upon whose affection the security 
of her throne depended. This almost seditious 
speech at another time would have aroused 
Elizabeth to fury, and consigned her "sheep" 
Hatton. to the Tower, but the Queen was quite 
confident in her game and only smiled and petted 
her future Lord Chancellor. Leicester, by right of 
his greater intimacy with his mistress, was blunter 
in his ■ reproaches. He asked her point blank 



272 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

whether she was a maid or a married woman, to 
which she rephed that she was a maid, as the 
conditions upon which she gave the marriage pledge 
would never be fulfilled. He told her that she had 
acted very unwisely in carrying the matter so far 
and so ostentatiously, and they put their heads 
together there and then to devise some scheme by 
which the Queen's words might be niinimised, 
probably solely at Leicester's instance, and contrary 
to her own better judgment, as her plans were well 
laid. A message was therefore sent to Alen^on, 
saying that the Queen had been pondering about 
the rino- she had given him, and she felt sure that if 
she married him she would not have long to live. 
He miofht, she said, see that for himself, as he was 
a witness of the dissatisfaction of the EnoHsh 
people at her attachment to him, which attachment 
she hoped he did not wish to be fatal to her. She 
prayed him therefore to let the matter rest for the 
present, and there was nothing in her country she 
would refuse him. She would be more attached to 
him as a friend, even than if he were her husband. 
Walsingham took this message, and whilst he was 
with the Prince the latter remained calm. All he 
had said and done, he protested, was solely to 
please the Queen, whose death, very far from 
desiring, he would imperil his own life to avert and 
to give her pleasure, as, indeed, he was doing now 
to save her from annoyance by refraining from 
pressing his suit with less ardour at her request.' 
But as soon as Walsingham was gone the young- 
Prince lost all control over himself. He saw now 
how he had been tricked ; it was too late to prevent 
' Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth), vol. iii. p. 229. 




PRANCISCVS "VALESrVS D.G.DVX-ALANSON-.J-K.KEQIS FRANC 






QUEEN ELIZABETH. 273 

the comino- of the commissioners whom his brother 
had despatched to England to finally setde the 
conditions, and in his rage he cursed the inconstancy 
of woman, tore the ring from his finger and cast it 
upon the ground, i He told Elizabeth he would leave 
at once, hinted at revenge for his and his country's 
slighted honour, and again brought matters to a 
crisis. Then Elizabeth saw that her complaisancy 
to Leicester had led her into a false position, 
and once more resumed her original plan. She 
mollified and lulled the Duke into a fool's paradise 
again with: " nouvelles demonstrations accom- 
pagnees de baisers, privautes, caresses, et mignar- 
dises ordinaries aux amants." She received the 
King's envoy, Secretary Pinart, with new protesta- 
tions of her desire to marry, and appointed a 
committee of the Council, consisting of the Lord 
Chancellor, Cecil, Sussex, and Leicester to discuss 
the pouTparlers with him. She asked them first to 
report their opinion to her, as, desirous as she was of 
the marriage, she would not entertain it if she was 
not satisfied that it was for the benefit of her 
country ; but they knew she was playing her own 
game, of which most of them did not see the drift, 
and were determined to avoid giving any opinion 
which might offend and hamper her. In the mean- 
while Leicester, through his agents, was stirring up 
the Protestants to distrust and hatred of the match, 
whilst the host of Catholic sympathisers in the 
interests of Spain were equally working against it 
on the ground that Alen^on had not raised a finger 
to save the lives of his co-relisfionists who had been 
martyred whilst he had been in England. Matters 
^ *'Memoires du Due de Nevers." 
19 



274 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

therefore did not look particularly promising when 
the Council met Pinart early in December, although 
Alen9on himself had been petted into hopefulness. 
The English began by advancing claims for all sorts 
of impossible conditions and assurances, and after 
succeeding in making the marriage appear im- 
practicable they proposed that in lieu of marriage 
they should give Alen9on a regular subsidy for his 
Netherlands projects if the King of France would 
also support his brother. This had been proposed 
and refused in different forms time after time, and 
Pinart, who was an old diplomatist, at once retorted 
that he had come to settle the marriage and nothing 
else ; if the marriage was not to take place all 
negotiations must cease, and he must go back. 
Catharine was equally disillusioned, and told Priuli, 
the Venetian ambassador in F" ranee, that although 
Alen^on had given the Queen's ring back again, she 
attached no importance to it, as the gift of a ring 
did not constitute a binding engagement. " Queen 
Elizabeth, she said, is very artful, and my son is 
very young. He has allowed himself to be drawn 
by her into this adventure, in spite of all our argu- 
ments and advice ; he is being overwhelmed with 
entertainments, and he has just written to me that 
he still has hope." ' 

The next day there was a meeting of the Council, 
where it was proposed to settle matters by granting 
to Alencon a pension of 10,000 marks a year, the 
King of France a subsidy of ^100,000, and the 
States ^80,000 on condition of a similar amount 
being contributed by the King for the purpose of 

' Bibliotheque Nationale, Ambassadeurs venetiens. La 
Ferriere. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 275 

making war upon Spain in the Netherlands under 
the leadership of Alen^on. If the King of France 
refused this it was proposed to make an immediate 
grant of ^200,000 to Alenqon, in consideration of 
the relief of Cambrai, and that the marriaee neo'o- 
tiations be dropped. This was Leicester's plan, 
who undertook to answer for Alencon's acquiescence 
and the raising of the money by privy-seal loans 
and exchequer bills, but when they sent the proposal 
to the Queen as the result of their deliberation she 
was furious. Her plans were working as she 
intended them to work, and she could throw the 
whole blame for the failure of her marriage upon 
the King of France, whilst raising enmity between 
him and his brother, and pledging Alen9on to her 
hard and fast without marriage. And yet these 
dense councillors of hers, and jealous, shallow 
Leicester, would keep thwarting her with their 
officious interference, Cecil was the only one 
who refused to do so, and always had a diplomatic 
attack of gfout at critical times. Crofts crave an 
account to Mendoza of the way in which the Queen 
received the proposal of her Council. " She made, 
he says, a great show of anger and annoyance, 
saying that her councillors only thought of their 
own profit, wasting the substance of the country 
without reflection, and buying, under cover of her 
authority, that which suited them best. As Alen^on 
thought fit to forget her in exchange for her money, 
she would neither marry him nor give him any 
money, and he might do the best he could." Then 
she sent for Alencon and angrily told him the same, 
and a quarrel between them ensued. When she 
had thus upset the results of her Council's officious- 



2/6 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

ness. she began her own game again. Pinart had 
made clear to her that her demands for the resti- 
tution of Calais, a rupture with Spain, and the 
cessation of the old alliance between France and 
Scotland were unreasonable, and that if the marriage 
were broken off in consequence of such preposterous 
conditions the responsibility would be cast upon 
her and not upon his master. So she harked back 
to somewhat more moderate-sounding claims, which 
she knew would be also refused. She said that she 
had given the ring and pledge to Alencon on 
condition that he should make war on Spain in the 
Netherlands at the expense of the King of France, 
whilst she sent assistance from England in form of 
men. She said she had distinctly understood that 
this was to be the condition of the marriage ; but 
of course if the French King could not fulfil it, 
there was the end of the matter. She was extremely 
sorry, but it was not her fault if there was a mis- 
understanding, or the French failed to carry out the 
condition, and she urged that Marchaumont, her 
devoted " monk," whose letters are only a degree less 
loving than those of Simier, should be sent to Paris 
to urge this view upon the King and his mother. 

Marchaumont had long been tiring of his task in 
England, and had not ceased to entreat his master 
to give him active employment, and especially to 
bestow a stray abbey or two upon him instead of 
giving everything to Fervaques and de Ouincy. 
He assures Elizabeth that he has received nothing 
in consequence of his attachment to her, which had 
aroused the jealousy of his fellows, and he left 
England breathing vows and protestations of his 
eternal devotion to her.' 

^ Hatfiekl Papers, part 2, p. 468. 



OUEEN ELIZABETH. 



277 



Ever since Simier left England he had maintained 
a copious cipher correspondence with Elizabeth, 
which is now at Hatfield, containing the most minute 
details of Alen^on's movements and intentions, inter- 
spersed with curious marks which presumably stand 
for kisses, twin hearts, transfixed with Cupid's darts 
and other lover-like devices. But amongst his frantic, 
not to say impious, professions of adoration for the 
Queen he continued to complain of the machinations 
of Fervaques, the Queen of Navarre, and his other 
enemies who had brouorht about his diso-race and 
ruin. Elizabeth, for her part, was for ever urging 
Alen^on through Marchaumont, and by her own 
letters to reinstate Simier in his oood oraces. 
Sometimes more or less vague promises of acqui- 
escence were sent, sometimes the Prince told her 
that if she knew all she would not be so warm in 
Simier's defence, and sometimes the revenues and 
favours now enjoyed by her favourite were detailed 
to prove that he had quite as much as he could 
expect, but the net result was that Simier remained 
in disgrace and Fervaques ruffled it more bravely 
than ever. At last Simier appears to have got tired 
of obscurity and entreaty, and finding he could get 
no more by serving Alen^on, bethought him that he 
might employ his great influence with the Queen in 
the service of Henry HI. The offers of such an 
instrument to mould events to the liking of the 
King were eagerly accepted, and at first an attempt 
was made by Henry and Catharine to induce 
Alencon to discard Fervaques and de Quincy and 
take Simier back again. But, as Simier writes to 
the Queen, this only made Alencon love them the 
more, for Queen Margaret's influence on her brother 



2/8 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

was too strong to be overcome. So when Fervaques, 
Champvallon, Queen Margaret's lover, and the rest 
of the crew, came over with their master to 
England, Simier, with the King's connivance, 
followed them in order ostensibly to challenge his 
foe, but really to watch Alenqon's negotiations from 
his point of vantage near the Queen, and, if 
necessary, frustrate them in the King's interest. 
With him he took a second, another fire-eater named 
Baron de Viteau, and when the challenge was sent 
to Fervaques, the latter, true to Gascon character, 
would only accept a pitched battle with six on each 
side. This was obviously impossible, as Simier had 
not six partisans in England, but it gave Fervaques 
time to arrange with Leicester, who hated Simier 
more bitterly than any one, to have the poor "ape " 
assassinated in cold blood. Simier was attacked 
on the London 'Change by hired cut-throats, but 
fortunately once more escaped. He again com- 
plained to his protectress, whose rage knew no 
bounds. Calling Leicester to her, she called him a 
murderous poltroon who was only fit for the gallows 
and warned him and Alen^on's courtiers that if any- 
thing happened to her "ape" in England they should 
suffer for it. Fervaques, rightly or wrongly, thought 
that Simier had been warned of the plot by a 
certain Lafin, with whom he consequently picked a 
quarrel in the palace itself Lafin fled, pursued by 
Fervaques with a drawn dagger, into the presence 
of the Queen, who broke out into one of her un- 
controllable rages at such disrespect for her, and 
cried out that if Fervaques were one of her subjects, 
she would soon have his head off There were 
ample materials, therefore for dissensions, and by the 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 279 

middle of December Alencon had lost heart aoain. 
He earnestly pressed the Queen for an answer, and 
a pledge that she would marry him if the King 
acceded to her last demands. But she then 
advanced another claim which had hitherto not been 
mentioned, namely, the suppression of the English 
Jesuit seminary at Rheims. Alencon, anxious to 
make an end, asked her whether if he obtained this 
concession she would bind herself to marry him; but 
she still held back. Even in such case, she said, 
she would have to consider very deeply whether it 
would be advisable for her to change her state. 
This was mere trifling, and Alencon in despair 
begged her to send an envoy to discuss these 
conditions with his brother, but she replied that the 
Kiner of France had better send one to her. Pinart 
was still in England, although waiting and ready to 
depart, and he was consequently delayed to discuss 
these new pretensions. In the meanwhile news 
arrived of the fall of Tournai, and the States, at the 
end of their wits and resources, sent a deputation to 
Alengon offering to invest him at once, if he would 
come over, with the dukedom of Brabant, which he 
had coveted from the first. This suited the Queen 
excellently, as nothing was more likely to bring 
about a rupture between France and Spain, but it 
would never do to let the future sovereign of the 
Netherlands leave her in dudgeon, or the control 
might slip through her fingers after all. So she at 
once changed her tone. Ships were made ready 
with furious haste, money, munitions, and men were 
promised in his aid, and every inducement was off"ered 
for him to accept the States' invitation ; whilst at 
the same time the Oueen, with sighs and feigned 



28o THE COURTSHIPS OF 

tears, entreated her lover not to leave her, but if he 
must go to promise her faithfully soon to come back 
again. Alen^on replied that he would not return 
unless she now gave an unconditional promise to 
marry him. But this was no part of the Queen's 
programme, and she evaded the question with her 
usual dexterity. 

On the 20th of December all was ready for the 
Duke's departure. The vessels were awaiting him, 
and some of his baggage and household had started; 
a grand farewell supper was laid for him and the 
Queen at Cobham House, near Gravesend, where 
he was to take leave of her, and he was about to 
embark in the barges which were to convey him 
from Greenwich, when a strong north-east gale 
sprang up and blew continuously for many days, 
and prevented his departure. 

Mendoza says that although she displayed pub- 
licly great grief at his going, in the privacy of her 
own chamber she danced for very joy at getting rid 
of him. One day during his detention he reproached 
her for letting him go so easily. He saw now, he 
said, that she did not love him much, and that she 
was tired of him, as she was sending him away 
openly discarded. She protested with an abundance 
of sounding oaths that she had only been induced 
to let him go for his own gratification and not for 
hers, and that she was sorry he was going so soon. 
She did not mean it, of course, but it was enough 
for Alen^on, who seized the opportunity at once. 
" No ! no ! Madame," said he, " you are mine, as I 
can prove by letters and words you have written to 
me, confirmed by the gift of the ring, of which I 
sent intelligence to my brother, my mother, and the 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 281 

princes of France, and all those who were present at 
our interviews are ready to bear testimony. If I 
cannot get you for my wife by fair means and affec- 
tion I must do so by force, for I will not leave this 
country without you." The Queen was much per- 
turbed at this, and exclaimed that she had never 
written anything which she could not justify. She 
did not care, she said, what interpretation people 
chose to put upon her letters, as she knew her own 
intentions better than any one else could ; and as for 
the ring, it was only a pledge of perpetual friendship 
and of a conditional contract, dependent upon his 
brother the King acceding to her conditions, which 
she was quite sure he never would do. She 
repeated her repugnance to entering the married 
state, but softened the blow by saying that there 
was nothing she desired more than that he should 
stay in England as her brother, friend, and good 
companion, but not as her husband.^ Alen^on was 
deeply grieved at all this, but it ended in a promise 
that after the new year's holidays she would see 
what help she could give him in his enterprise, and 
with this he was perforce to appear content. But 
withal, Alen^on's fresh talk of remaining in Eng- 
land disturbed her, especially as Cobham in Paris 
sent her news that the King was anxious to prolong 
negotiations in order to keep him there and prevent 
his going to Flanders. So she instructed Cecil to 
inflame his ambition for the great career there open 
to him, and at the same time sent for Simier to con- 
trive with him how she best might get him gone. 
Simier had told her that if she really wished to avoid 
the marriage she need only stand fast to the condi- 
" Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth), vol. iii. p. 243. 



282 THE COURTSHIPS OF QUEEN ELIZABETH. 

tions she had demanded from the King of France 
as a preHmlnary. She repeated to him her last 
demands, and said she was sure the King would 
not consent to break with Spain and bear the whole 
cost of the war without any contribution from her, 
and this would furnish her with the excuse she 
sought after, while she might make a show 
of approaching Spain, and this would ensure 
Alencon's recall and the cessation of the marriage 
negotiations. Simier, after all, said he was not 
so sure of this. Alen^on was such an evil 
weed that his brother might consent to any- 
thing to get rid of him from France. "Well," 
replied the Queen, "I do not believe the King 
will grant such terms, but even if he do I shall 
find a way out of it." And then she and Simier 
began to make merry at the fine gallant who would 
so readily give up his lady-love in consideration of a 
money payment. I offered him, she said, so much 
a month, and it has brightened him up to such an 
extent that you would not know him. But as soon 
as he is once across the sea I will tell him my 
Council will not acrree to the arrangement, on the 
ground that my country cannot without unduly 
weakening itself provide so large a sum, and that 
the people would not allow it.^ Both Elizabeth and 
Cecil were strongly of opinion that whilst she held 
large sums of money she would remain mistress of 
the situation, and whatever promises were held out 
to Alen^on to induce him to embark in the enter- 
prise, the intention always was to dole out the sub- 
sidies to him as sparingly as possible. 

^ Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth), vol. iii. p. 244. 






CHAPTER XIII. 

Simier and his former master — Alengon's altercation with the 
Queen — The Queen appeals to Sussex — Unpopularity of 
the match in England — Catharine de Medici plays Eliza- 
beth with her own game — Cecil suggests a loophole of 
escape — Elizabeth demands French strongholds as 
security — Alencpon undeceived — Vows vengeance against 
Elizabeth and his brother for the failure of his suit — 
Collapse of his resolution — Pinart threatens EHzabeth — 
Alen^on's departure for Flushing — Extraordinary demon- 
stration on the part of Ehzabeth — Alenyon still doubtful. 



As may be imagined, it was not very long before 
matters came to a crisis between Simier and his 
former master. The Prince uroed EHzabeth arain 
and again, as she loved him, to expel Simier from 
England ; but she was shocked at such an idea. 
He had only come to justify himself, and she could 
testify that he had conducted the marriage negotia- 
tions better than any one else before or since, and 
she could not be so unjust as to expel him even to 
gratify her " chere grenouille." Then Alen^on began 
to hector and threaten Simier, and ordered him to 
return. Simier replied that he was no longer in his 
service, and would not budg-e until it suited him : 
and against this Alen^on could only chafe fruitlessly 
and continue his complaints to the Queen. All that 
she, and indeed the whole country, wanted was to 
see her too persistent suitor himself across the sea 



284 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

Cecil pointed out to him that if he stayed over New 
Year's Day it would cost him a very large sum in 
presents, which he might save if he left before ; but 
still he would not go, and Elizabeth began to get 
angry. She told Cecil on Christmas night that she 
would not marry Alen^on to be empress of the 
world, and the next clay the Lord Treasurer made 
another strenuous attempt to get him away, but he 
found him more obstinate than ever. He said he 
had been drawn into this Flemish adventure by the 
Enorlish on the bait of a marriare with the Oueen, 
and until she had married him he would stir no 
further, whatever might happen. If the Queen con- 
temned and threw him over he would arouse 
Catholic Christendom to avenge him. This alarmed 
her, and she again sought to bend him to her will 
by tears, cajoleries, and blandishments. It was not 
her fault, she said ; would he not accept her as a 
dear friend and sister instead of as a wife } No, he 
replied ; he had suffered, risked, and lost too much 
to give up the quest now. He would rather die 
than leave here unmarried to her. Did he, the 
Queen asked, mean to threaten a poor old woman 
in her own country ? Was this the only result of all 
his boasted love for her .-^ If she did not think that 
his violence was inspired by the strength of his 
affection for her she would surely think him crazy, 
and she warned him not to sacrifice his best friends 
by such words. He melted at this, poor, over- 
wrought, sorely-beset lad as he was, burst into tears, 
and swore he would rather be torn into a thousand 
bits than lose the hope of marrying her, and thus 
become the laughing-stock of the whole world. In 
this mood the Oueen could deal with him ; she 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 285 

mingled her tears with his, wiped his wet cheeks 
with her own handkerchief, and "consoled him with 
words more tender even than the occasion de- 
manded." I As soon as Alen^on had left her she 
sent for Sussex, and told him what had passed. 
She would rather, she said, succeed in oettino- 
Alenqon gone without offence than possess another 
kingdom. She was much disturbed, especially that 
Alen^on had sent an account to France, as he said 
he had, of the giving of the pledge and ring. For 
his own dignity's sake she thought he ought not to 
have done so, as her pledge was purely conditional, 
and the King had not seen fit to accede to her con- 
ditions. Besides, she could not bring herself to the 
idea of marriage, which had always been repugnant 
to her ; " and she hated it more every day, for 
reasons which she would not divuloe to a twin soul 
if she had one, much less to any living creature." 
She entered into a very complete defence of her 
action in the matter to Sussex, and wound up with, 
" And now, by God ! what living man in future will 
ever dare to throw the blame on me, seeing that 
they want to pin me down to a contract that was 
only conditional ? " Poor, honest, consumptive 
Sussex was certainly not the man to disagree with 
her, and promised to do his best to get Alencon 
away in a good humour. There was an excellent 
reason why the Queen should prime Sussex with 
arguments in her justification, because he was the 
only councillor who was a hard-and-fast advocate of 
the match, and she knew that all she said to him 
would be repeated both to Castelnau and to 
Alencon s friends. But Sussex could no more get 
1 Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth), vol. iii. p. 351. 



286 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

rid of him than could Cecil. The Queen, seeing- the 
possibility of her terms being accepted by Henry III., 
tried on one occasion to raise the religious difficulty 
aeain. Look how difficult it would be, she said to 
Alen(;on, for them to live together if one were a 
Protestant and the other a Catholic ; but he soon 
met this objection by swearing that he would be a 
Protestant for her sake, and she dropped the subject. 

On New Year's Day a grand tournament was 
given in his honour, where he made a determined 
attempt to revive the idea of a romantic affection for 
the Queen, When he had to appear in the jousts 
he entered mounted on a chariot fashioned in the 
form of a rock, to which he was bound by heavy 
fetters. He was drawn by figures representing Love 
and Fate to the Queen's feet ; and Fate addressed to 
her Majesty some couplets beseeching her to restore 
the prisoner to his cherished liberty, and then to 
forget her vow of chastity and let Hymen bind their 
hearts together. The Duke acquitted himself well 
in the tourney, and the Queen, before all the com- 
pany, embraced him again and again for his gal- 
lantry. At night she accompanied him to the door 
of his apartment, and came to visit him before he 
was out of bed the next morning. ^ This was all very 
fine and quite raised poor Alen^on's spirits for the 
time ; but our present knowledge enables us to see 
quite clearly that all these cajoleries were only with 
the object of getting him away with a good grace. 

But if Alen^on failed to understand this his 

astute mother had no doubt about it, and wrote 

sharply, reproaching him for his sacrifice of dignity 

and his interests in submitting to be played with in 

^ " Alemoires du Due cle Nevers." 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 287 

this way. A marriage with an infanta of Spain was 
once more held out to him, but he knew that his re- 
turn to France without an alHance and without money 
would have reduced him to impotence and to the scorn 
and derision of his brother's Catholic subjects ; and 
he obstinately held on and refused to go. At last 
matters began to look serious in England. The 
murmurs at Alen^on's continued stay became deeper 
and deeper. Leicester and Hatton secretly fanned 
the flame of discontent at the dreaded match until 
it was ready to burst out at any time ; and Cecil 
went to the Queen and told her that since promises 
were ineffectual she had better give her suitor a 
large sum of ready money to induce him to go to 
the aid of the States, which were now in desperate 
straits. They had sent a deputation to urge 
Alen^on to give them a definite answer as to 
whether he would accept their offer of sovereignty 
and come over at once or not. He replied that 
they must do the best they could with the small aid 
he had already sent them, as he was determined 
not to eo until the Oueen had married him, 
convinced as he was that he would not be supported 
in the war by her and his brother unless he was 
married. But when it came to giving ready money 
frugal Elizabeth was on her guard, and told Cecil 
that the King of France had not yet sent her an 
answer to her last conditions, and she was informed 
that Lansac was on the way with it. She must 
wait until he arrived. It was clear that if the reply 
was negative the responsibility for breaking off the 
marriage would not be hers, and she was not bound 
to give more money than she felt inclined. 

But Simier knew what he was talking about when 



288 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

he warned her that the King would accept any terms 
in the end for the sake of getting quit of his trouble- 
some brother, and although Lansac did not come 
with the reply, the son of Secretary Pinart arrived 
in London on the iith of January bringing with 
him a complete acceptance by the King, the Queen- 
mother, and the leading Huguenots, of all 
Elizabeth's conditions. This was a facer indeed. 
Catharine de Medici had beaten her at her own 
game. But the answer did not find her unprepared : 
Simier had some days before informed her of its 
purport, and she had privately summoned Cecil to a 
conference to devise a way out of the difficulty. 
He pointed out that as no one could bring the King 
of France to book if he failed to fulfil the conditions 
after the marriage had been effected, and Elizabeth 
was running all the risk in marrying, whilst the 
King of France incurred none at all, it was only 
reasonable that he should place the town of Calais 
into her hands as a security for the due execution 
of the treaty. This was a device after Elizabeth's 
own heart and she adopted it with effusion, pledging 
Cecil to secrecy and at the same time beguiling 
Sussex with the hope that the marriage would now 
really take place, all difficulties being overcome. 
This latter view was, as was intended, immediately 
conveyed to Alen^on, and when young Pinart came 
with his message, the Prince burst into tears at his 
brother's love and goodness to him. and bitterly 
denounced those who had so long- estranged them 
by lies and intrigues. As soon as the Queen was 
alone he flew to her, burstinor with the oreat news, 
and said that all her conditions being complied 
with she had only to say yes and the marriage would 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 289 

be concluded. She was kindly, but cool and collected, 
and told him she would settle the matter with him 
in a couple of days. 

The next morning Alencon sent Marchaumont 
to implore the good offices of Cecil, but the old 
minister said that the matter was entirely in the 
Queen's hands, and he was powerless to do any- 
thing but express his opinion if the Council was 
consulted. Sussex was then appealed to, but it 
happened that he was sulking just then because 
Marchaumont had persuaded Alencon to make 
much of Leicester ; and he replied that they had 
better get the support of their new friend as they 
appeared to have forgotten their old one, who had 
done so much for them. This rather damped the 
young Prince's hopes, and when he saw the Queen 
in the evening he pressed her very warmly for an 
answer. She coolly answered that the Kino-'s com- 
munication would be duly considered in Council and 
a reply given in ordinary course — until then she 
could say no more. Alencon lost his temper at 
this, and they wrangled until they parted. 

Elizabeth had to thank her "faithful ape" for the 
fix in which she found herself She had opened her 
inmost heart to him, and he had understood that she 
would really never marry, but proposed unacceptable 
conditions in order that the King's rejection of them 
might relieve her of the responsibility of the failure 
whilst binding Alencon personally to her and raising 
discord between him and his brother. Simier, as I 
have said, was now in the King's pay and faithfully 
transmitted his knowledge to France. It was per- 
fectly safe, therefore, for Henry III. to promise on 
paper to accept any conditions, and thus at one 

20 



290 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

stroke to earn the gratitude of his brother and cast 
all responsibility upon the Queen of England. 
Elizabeth must have had some suspicion of her 
" ape's " falsity, because a day or so after young 
Pinart arrived, Alen9on, who looked upon Simier 
as the author of all his disappointment, entered the 
Queen's chamber and implored her to send him 
away. She was apparently hesitating when the 
Prince whipped out his dagger and pressed it 
against his own breast, swearing by God that he 
would drive it home and die at her feet if she would 
not promise him on the spot to dismiss Simier. She 
replied that he had no need to go to such extremes 
as that, and that although it was hardly fair to send 
him away until he had obtained justification, she 
would do so to please Alenqon. Simier was there- 
fore sent off with letters to the Duke of Montpen- 
sier, who, within a given time, was to exonerate 
him from the charg-es against him in Alencon's 
name. Before he left, however, he asked the Queen 
what she was going to do for Alencon to recom- 
pense him for his expenditure in England ; to which 
she replied that she had already done three things 
for him. She had sent ^30,000 in cash to help 
him in the Cambrai affair, she had maintained him 
in England for a long time, whereby he saved his 
usual outlay and could employ the money in Flanders, 
and she had been no party to his going there at all. 
She said she was very sorry she had carried the 
marriage negotiations so far, but it was all Simier's 
fault, " because the first time Alencon came he, 
Simier, insisted upon his having another interview 
with her before he left." ^ 

^ Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth), vol. iii. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 291 

In the meanwhile the sudden complaisance of the 
King of France aroused all sorts of suspicion in the 
Queen's mind. It might be a plan for her ruin, she 
thought, to induce her to entrust large English forces 
to Alencon who might at once turn round and make 
terms with the Spaniards to her detriment, and she 
was more loath than ever to be over-liberal with him 
or to allow him to obtain uncontrolled power in the 
Netherlands. Orange kept writing to Alencon, show- 
ing him how badly he was acting in breaking his 
promise to the States and lingering in England, but 
Elizabeth and St. Aldegonde in England were at 
the same time putting their heads together and 
planning that if he did go, Orange and his Protes- 
tants should always be the stronger power. 

In order to ascertain whether anything was being 
arranged between the French and the Spaniards 
the Queen took the opportunity, on the night of the 
2ist of January, as she was walking in the gallery 
at Whitehall with Alencon, to say that she had 
decided to come to terms with Philip. Poor Alencjon 
was thunderstruck at this specious piece of news, 
and told Marchaumont afterwards that he could 
only suppose the Queen meant to leave him flounder- 
ing in the morass into which she had led him. But 
this was not her only shot at the same interview. 
She had already fully primed Simier, who was still 
lingering here, with similar intelligence, and had ar- 
ranged that he should enter the gallery by a private 
door, of which he had the key, as soon as she had 
fired her shot. Directly he entered she discreetly said 
it would not become her to stand between master 
and servant, and retired, leaving Alencon and the 
" ape " together. The Prince turned upon his 



292 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

former favourite, and sneeringly asked why he was 
still staying in England. Was he afraid that he, 
Alencon, would have him killed if he went to 
France? "No," said Simier, " I do not think you 
would have me killed, but I do fear that I should 
be murdered by some of my enemies." Then 
Alencon opened the floodgates of his anger and 
piled reproach upon reproach on the devoted head 
of poor Simier. He had sold and betrayed his 
master, he told him ; it was through him alone that 
the marriage had fallen through, and he had been 
the means of frustrating his hopes of intervening in 
the Netherlands. As soon as he could get in a 
word, Simier asked the Prince to tell him what he 
had done to cause all this, " You have discredited 
and defamed the best friend I have in England, the 
Earl of Leicester," replied the irate Prince, " and he 
has consequently been unable to influence the Queen 
in my favour as he would otherwise have done." 

Simier was not long in conveying this to the 
Queen, and took care to have another fling at his 
enemy, Leicester, at the same time. He was sur- 
prised, he said, as all the world was, that she should 
still favour a man who had deceived her as Leicester 
had done by telling her he was not married when 
he was. But Elizabeth's object was not to quarrel 
with Leicester, but to learn by the hasty words of 
Alencon whether he was intriouinij with the Kino" 
of Spain, and she turned the subject by saying that 
Leicester was too powerful to be disgraced all at 
once. The consideration of the King of France's 
reply was undertaken the next day by the Council, 
but no decision was arrived at, as the Queen and 
Cecil alone really knew what her plans were. Cecil 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 293 

said something to the Queen before the Council 
about three masses being celebrated every morning 
in London now, i.e., those of Alengon, the Dauphin, 
and Marchaumont, whereas by the marriage treaty 
one only could take place even after the marriage 
She told him to have a little patience and leave it to 
her. They and their masses would soon be across 
the sea. The same night at her customary walk in 
the gallery with Alencon she opened her batteries. 
She pointed out to him that it would be much better 
to abandon the Netherlands enterprise ; nothing 
but danger and trouble could come to him from it. 
If she did not marry him she was sure the King of 
France would not help him, and she alone was 
unable to sustain the whole cost, particularly now 
that the States themselves were exhausted and 
wavering ; whereas, on the other hand, if she did 
marry him, it was equally certain that her ministers 
and people would not consent to be brought into 
conflict with so powerful a state as Spain. She was 
more inclined at present to come to terms and bring- 
about peace. He might see by this, she said, that 
he was not likely to benefit whether he married her 
or not. Alengon quite broke down at this, and as 
soon as he could get away flew to his false friend 
Leicester to ask him what was the meaning of it. 
It was all, said Leicester, the fault of Sussex, who 
had continued to advise the Queen to make friends 
with the King of Spain. So the next morning after 
dinner the young Prince made a formal complaint 
against Sussex, who he said had accepted Spanish 
bribes to frustrate the marriage — which was not 
true — and not only that, but he had undertaken to 
serve Philip even against his own mistress, as he 



294 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

was informed by the French ambassador in Madrid. 
EHzabeth stoutly defended honest Sussex against 
this calumny, but she took care to repeat it all to 
him as soon as Alenc^on was gone, and told him that 
she would never trust the Prince again after he had 
so defamed in this way those who were his oldest 
and best friends. Sussex, for his part, could only 
swear with tears in his eyes to be avenged upon 
the authors of such a falsehood. Everything that 
Alen^on did and said, therefore, was turned to his 
disadvantage. At last, after all this preparation, 
the Queen gave him her final reply. Calais and 
Havre must both be garrisoned with Encrlishmen as 
a security for her that the King of France would 
fulfil all his promises. Alen^on could hardly believe 
his ears. Was she in earnest, he asked, and was 
this the final reply ? Certainly, replied the Queen, 
and she could give no other : and Alencon, thunder- 
struck, flung out of the room in a rage, now 
thoroughly undeceived. He at once called a 
council of his friends, and told them how he had 
been betrayed. His honour must be avenged at all 
costs, but for the present he must dissemble with 
^ the Queen, as her help was necessary to enable 
him first to wreak his vengeance upon the prime 
author of his downfall, his false brother the Kine, 
who had sent Simier hither, knowing he could do as 
he liked with the Queen, in order to frustrate the 
marriage. The sinister tyrant his brother, and his 
evil-minded mother had plotted against his welfare, 
and he would be even with them. His mother's 
only object was to keep him under her thumb in 
France in order to hold his brother the better in her 
thraldom. There were two courses open to him, he 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 295 

said ; first, to carry on the war in Flanders ; and 
secondly, to raise civil war in France. The first he 
could not do without the English Queen's help, 
which he probably could not get, as she was in 
treaty with the Spaniards, and he was certain his 
brother would not aid him ; but the Queen would 
willingly support him in a Huguenot war in P>ance, 
as she had promised the King of Navarre to do so. 
After much of this heated talk and denunciation of 
the proud Guises, in which Marchaumont and de 
Ouincy added fuel to the fire, the Prince Dauphin, 
old beyond his years, who had hitherto remained 
silent, being urged by Alen^on to give his opinion, 
turned a cold stream of a-ood sense on the inflated 
balderdash of Alencon and his friends. He would 
have nothing to do with treason, he said, and 
warned them to take care they did not lose their 
heads for such talk. This fairly frightened them 
all, and Alencon took him apart in a window recess 
and prayed him earnestly not to desert him. But 
the Dauphin was obdurate ; he would leave for 
France at once, and consort no more with the 
enemies of his King. He and the spies behind the 
arras soon told everything to cautious old Pinart, who 
had brought the King's reply, and he flew to the 
Queen to urge her not to help Alencon against his 
brother. She had not heard a word about such a 
project, she truly said, but Pinart did not quite know 
whether to believe her, and warned her in almost 
threatening words of her danger if she listened to 
talk which would bring all Christendom down upon 
her. Then he went and rated Alencon soundly, 
who began to whimper, protesting that he did not 
mean anything wrong, and collapsed completely. 



296 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

Elizabeth had now quite satisfied herself that 
there was no arrangement between Alencon, his 
brother, and Spain ; and at the same time had 
brought the poor creature to a sufficiently chastened 
and humble frame of mind, so she could without 
misirivino- send him off to the Netherlands on her 
own terms. Seeing him in his barge on the river, 
she ordered her own and joined him, and persuaded 
him that it was at all events his duty to keep his 
word and accede to the invitation of the States to 
CTo to Flanders, and when he had been there he 
might retire or stay as he thought best. She would 
give him ^30,000 in cash for his expenses and a 
regular subsidy for the war, with some ships to take 
him to Flushing. Alencon was glum and tearful, 
but had no alternative. The ships were waiting for 
him, the money ready in the exchequer, and the de- 
putation from the States with St. Aldegonde pressing 
for his departure. Events and Elizabeth were too 
strong for him, anci he consented to sail next day 
for Protestant Zeeland, instead of first to Catholic 
Flanders, where he and his Frenchmen might have 
caused trouble to the Queen of England. All was 
settled for the Prince to sail on the next morning, 
the 25th of January. Sussex was sent to say that 
the Queen desired that all future correspondence 
between them should be carried on through Simier, 
but this Alen9on refused point blank, said he would 
have no more to do with him, and complained to 
Sussex bitterly of the Queen's demand for Calais and 
Havre, and of his brother for refusing them. But 
before the morning came another change occurred. 
A courier came post-haste to Pinart from France 
urging him, as he loved his King and country to 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 297 

keep Alen^on in England at any cost rather than 
allow him to drag his brother into trouble with 
Spain by going to the Netherlands. Alen^on 
thereupon feigned illness, and Pinart went to the 
Queen and threatened that if she were too exacting 
France might join with Spain and put Mary Stuart 
on the throne. Althoug'h the Kino- could not eive 
her Calais and Havre as security, he would send 
such hostages as should satisfy her. This thoroughly 
alarmed the Queen, who kept Lady Stafford awake 
all night with her lamentations, and was in a high 
fever in the morning. She was still in bed after 
dinner, when she sent for Sussex in great trouble, 
and told him she must marry Alen^on after all. 
Pinart threatened her with all sorts of dangers, and 
besides that she must have a companion in the 
ofovernment to enable her to curb her insolent 
favourites, which she, a lone woman, could not do. 
She knew this was the way to appeal to Sussex, 
who hated Leicester with all his heart, but these 
changes from hour to hour had completely obfus- 
cated him, and he could only beseech her to do as 
she thought best, and not to ask his opinion until 
he knew hers. She begged him at least to say 
what he thought about the proposal to give hos- 
tages, and he gave it as his opinion that she ought 
to insist upon her demand for the ports. Imme- 
diately afterwards a Council was called, when, the 
marriage now appearing again possible, Leicester 
and Hatton, who had been loaded with French 
bribes, showed in their true colours. They both 
opposed the match strenuously. It was a danger, 
they said, to England and to religion, and no words 
were strongf enoutrh to condemn it. Sussex, of 



298 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

course, was in favour of it, and he and Leicester 
were about to come to fisticuffs when Cecil stepped 
between them, and told them that the question of 
marriaee or no marriaa^e was in the hands of the 
Queen — all they had to consider was what security 
should be exacted if the marriage took place. They 
broke up in confusion, without coming- to any 
decision, and Cecil alone remained afterwards in 
conclave with the Queen, the result of their con- 
ference being that the ships were again ordered to 
make ready to sail with Alen9on. 

When Pinart found that his threats to Elizabeth 
had produced no permanent result, he fell back upon 
his alternative instructions, to threaten Alen^on that if 
he went to the Netherlands under English auspices he 
and his followers should be treated as rebels and the 
enemies of France. This again alarmed the Queen, 
who next tried her cajoleries on Pinart. What were 
his final instructions, she asked, with all her battery 
of fascinations ; but he said he would not tell her 
until he received herdecided reply about the marriage, 
and only warned her to desist from helping Alenqon 
in the Netherlands, or evil would come of it both to 
him and to her. She said she had not urged him 
to it, and had only helped him after he began, whilst 
she now thouQ;ht it was better for him to retire and 
have done with the business. All this fickleness 
left poor Alencon in a chaotic condition of mind 
from day to day. First the Queen would give him 
^30,000, then a mere trifle of 20,000 crowns, then 
nothing, then ^70.000, and so on, Cecil being 
strongly of opinion that no large sum should be fur- 
nished to him ; but withal every effort was made to 
get him gone in a good humour. He was tardy 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 299 

and unwilling-, afraid of Pinart's threats, and full of 
sulky vows of vengeance against the Queen for 
sending him away unmarried. He was only dis- 
sembling, he told his friends ; they should all see 
what he would do before he went. Poor creature ! 
he could do nothing but impotently grumble and 
vapour, mere twig as he was on the torrent of 
events, borne hither and thither by stronger minds 
than his own. 

The Queen on one occasion told him that he 
would only be away three weeks, and should then 
come back and marry her ; the castle of Dover was 
already, she said, being prepared for his reception 
when he returned ; and although he smiled at this, 
and feigned pleasure, he was no sooner alone with 
Marchaumont than he burst into an agony of tears, 
swore that he would only live to be revenged on 
her, if he had to make friends with his brother for 
the sake of doing it. But still from that day he 
hung back on one pretext or another. Marchau- 
mont and most of his friends had been bribed by 
the Queen to persuade him to go, and they used 
every artifice with that object. How would he like, 
they asked him, to go back to France, and dance 
attendance on La Valette and d'Arques, his brother's 
mignons ? Better surely, they said, suffer any hard- 
ship in Flanders than put up with such an indignity 
as that ! As soon as they had persuaded him, 
Pinart would come and threaten all manner of 
terrible things if he trusted to rebels and heretics. 
At last, on the ist of February, on the arrival of a 
new deputation from the States, the Queen prevailed 
upon him to start for Dover with her by his side. 
Leicester, Hunsdon, and Howard were to accom- 



300 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

pany him, and the Queen told the Prince that if he 
did not Hke to stay he could come back with the Earl in 
three weeks, and she would then have decided about 
the marriage. Sussex took the opportunity of urging 
Alen^on secretly to keep Leicester in Flanders 
when he arrived, but he was powerless to do any- 
thing, for the money, except 20,000 crowns for his 
expenses, was handed to Hunsdon and Leicester to 
be laid out for the benefit of the States ; and it was 
well understood that the French prince was to be a 
mere figurehead to beguile the Catholic Flemings. 
Every demonstration the Queen could make was 
made. She went with him as far as Canterbury, 
weeping copiously all the way. On taking leave of 
him she cast herself about his neck and asked him 
not to go until they learnt whether there was any 
danger from the Spaniards at Antwerp as was 
reported. The Flushing deputation had urged him 
somewhat roughly to set out ; and she flared up at 
their disrespect, called them heretical cobblers and 
tinkers to dare to talk like that to a prince. It was 
all make-believe of course, though she swore to her 
own ministers that she would not live an hour but for 
the hope of her lover's prompt return, for she was 
determined to marry him in spite of everything.^ 

She gave him a personal present of ^25,000 
when she left him, and told him that a wound on 
his little finger would pierce her heart. Amongst 
all these blandishments the real object appears when 
we learn that she urged him above all things to 
obtain help from his brother. If she could only 
bring France and Spain to loggerheads she would 
be safe. Leicester, by means of Hatton, tried at 
' Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth), vol. iii. 



OUEEN ELIZABETH. 



30 r 



the last moment to shirk the voyage, but the Queen 
threatened them both with all sorts of penalties if 
such disrespect were " shown to the person she 
loved best in the world," but the real reason why 
she was so anxious for Leicester to go was that he 
bore secret instructions to Orange to detain Alencon 
in Holland at any cost, and never let him come back 
to Enofland, notwithstandintr that the Oueen had 
given him her word at parting that if he would only 
return to her in six weeks she would marry him on 
the conditions that Pinart had propounded. The 
scales, however, were gradually falling from the 
Prince's eyes, for before he went Marchaumont, who 
stayed in England, w^as instructed to make ap- 
proaches for his marriage with the wealthy daughter 
of the Duke of Florence. 




^jmygt'mqu i 






CHAPTER XIV. 



Arrival of Aleiicpoii in the Netherlands — Hisinvesture as Duke 
of Brabant — Leicester's suspicion and intrigues— Alen- 
^on's ceaseless demands for money — Henry III. refuses 
aid to his brother — The Queen's attempts to revive the 
marriage negotiations — Universal distrust of her— At- 
tempted assassination of William of Orange — Danger of 
Alenyon — Elizabeth's fear of a French and Spanish 
understanding — To prevent it she again declares she will 
marry Alenyon — Her renewed efforts to pledge the King 
of France before the marriage — She threatens France 
that she will make friends with Spain unless her terms 
are granted. 



On February lo, 1582, Alen^on's tieetof fifteen ships 
anchored before Flushing, where the Princes of 
Orange and Epinay, with the members of the States, 
were already assembled to welcome the new sove- 
reign of Brabant. He entered the town in great 
pomp with William the Silent on one side of him 
and Leicester on the other, and followed by Huns- 
don, Willoughby, Philip Sidney, Sir John Norris 
who was in command of the English auxiliaries, and 
many other Englishmen, The bells rang, the guns 
thundered their welcome, and the crowds acclaimed 
their new ruler ; but as Orange in his .speech to the 
States clearly indicated, it was not the feeble Prince, 
a Frenchman, and a Catholic, they were greeting so 
much as the strong Protestant Queen of England, 
under whose auspices and protection he came. 



THE COURTSHIPS OF QUEEN ELIZABETH. 303 

Wherever Frenchmen alone appeared they were 
looked at askance : at Middleburg the townspeople 
stoutly refused to admit even their new Duke's 
French bodyguard until Leicester himself besought 
them to do so on his guarantee. All the citadels 
were open to Englishmen, but not a Frenchman, 
except Alen^on, was allowed to enter them. Alen- 
9on wrote to Marchaumont almost as soon as he 
arrived that Orange and Leicester were arranging 
everything over his head, and he saw clearly that 
after all he was to play second fiddle. After some 
delay and misgiving, and a dispute for precedence 
between Brussels and Antwerp, the already dis- 
illusioned Prince made his state entry into the latter 
city, and received the oath of allegiance as Duke of 
Brabant. Everything that pomp could do was done 
to invest the ceremony with solemnity. When 
Orange clasped around the new Duke his ermine- 
bordered mantle he whispered to him, " I will fasten 
it firmly, Monseigneur, so that no one shall deprive 
you of it." Garbed in his ducal panoply he passed 
through the city on horseback to the palace of St. 
Michael, sums of money in coins stamped with his 
effigy were flung to the crowd, and in appearance at 
least his longing for sovereignty was satisfied. But 
in appearance alone, for the States and Orange were 
urged by Leicester never to let the power out of 
their hands — and they never did. 

In the meanwhile Elizabeth in England was still 
playing her part of the comedy. When she had 
parted from her lover at Canterbury she prayed him 
to address her in his letters as his wife, and daily 
epistles full of lovesick nonsense continued to pass 
between them. She openly said that she would 



304 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

willingly give a million for her clear "frog" to be 
disporting himself in the clear waters of the Thames 
rather than in the sluggish ponds of the Netherlands, 
and again asserted her intention of marrying her 
suitor if his brother would fulfil his promises. All 
this made Leicester in Flanders and Hatton in 
London somewhat distrustful. The former thought 
that perhaps after all he might be duped, and that 
Alenqon might detain him against his will. The 
Queen, moreover, in Hatton's hearing had made 
some remark about men never knowing how for- 
tunate they were until fortune had left them, which 
he applied to Leicester, and sent a special messenger 
to urge him to return at once. Leicester needed no 
second bidding. The very day after the investure of 
Alencon he suddenly left Antwerp at dinner-time 
and hastened to England. He arrived in London 
on the 26th of February in high glee, boasting of 
the good service he had done in leaving the Queen's 
troublesome suitor stuck fast in the boos, like a 
wrecked hulk, deserted by wind and tide. The 
oath of allegiance, he said, was only a farce, and 
Alencon a laughing-stock. Pasquins and insulting 
placards had been fixed to his chamber-door on the 
very first day of his stay in Antwerp ; the Queen of 
England, and she alone, was now arbitratress of the 
peace of Europe. This was pleasant talk for Eliza- 
beth, but was soon conveyed to Marchaumont, who 
made a formal complaint to the Queen of Leicester's 
words. For this reason or from fear of Spain, she 
had a great wrangle with Leicester the next night. 
She had never meant to sanction the formal inves- 
ture, she said, and had not been informed of it. 
Leicester, for his own ostentation, had implied by his 



OUEExN ELIZABETH. 305 

presence at the ceremony her authority for it, and 
had drawn her into an act of open hostihty to the 
King- of Spain. He was a knave and a traitor, she 
said, and much else of the same sort. It was all 
a planned thing- between him and that tyrannical 
Orange, so that the latter might have his own way 
in all things. She then turned on Walsingham, and 
called him a scamp for persuading Alen^on to go 
to the Netherlands at all. Probably all this extra- 
ordinary talk, and the Queen and Cecil's sudden 
attempt to gain the goodwill and friendship of Spain, 
were caused by the intelligence sent by her ambas- 
sador, Cobham, in France, that the King had stoutly 
refused to countenance his brother's attempt, and 
had declared traitors all those who helped him. 
Henry's hand then was not to be forced, and after 
all she might find herself alone face to face with all 
the Catholic powers united. The fear of this always 
brought her to her knees, and she insisted upon 
Cecil's leaving a sick bed to come and advise her 
what to do. He urged her emphatically either to 
marry Alen^on at once or make terms with the Kino- 
of Spain, as things had now come to a crisis which 
could not be prolonged. She was peevish and 
quarrelsome with all about her, and perplexed to 
the last degree. Cecil urged her one way, Wal- 
singham another, and Sussex a third. Alen9on 
was clamouring through Marchaumount for money, 
more money, for not a penny could he get else- 
where. His new subjects were bitterly distrustful 
of him, and hated his Frenchmen almost as much 
as they did their Spanish oppressors ; and the poor 
Queen had nearly come to the end of her clever ser- 
pentine devices. F'irst she decided to write, pressing 

21 



3o6 THE COURTSHIPS OP^ 

AleiKjoii to come over at once aiicl marry her — any- 
thing to relieve herself of the sole and open respon- 
sibility of the war — she solemnly swore to Castlenau 
that this time she was in earnest, and would really 
marry the Prince if he came. But Castlenau was 
incredulous and irresponsive, Walsingham and 
Leicester were inimical, and it is very doubtful 
whether the letter to Alencjon was really sent. 
Certain it is that the Queen wrote a letter with her 
own hand, and handed it the same day (March 5th) 
to Marchaumont to send to Alen^on, urging him 
not to trust the Flemish mob overmuch, or to 
venture further in the business than the support he 
was sure of would warrant. As his brother would 
not help him he must not expect her to quarrel with 
the King of Spain alone. She thus coolly left him 
in the lurch. The very day after this letter left, 
one of Pinart's secretaries brought important letters 
from the Kinsf of France, his mother, and from 
Cobham to the Queen, which once more entirely 
changed the aspect of affairs. The King assured 
her that under no circumstances would he help his 
brother or break with Spain, whilst Cobham 
detailed a long conversation he had had with the 
King, in which the latter had expressed the greatest 
anger and indignation at the way in which a vain 
and fickle woman had befooled a prince of the blood 
royal of France for her own ends. Thank God ! he 
said, he was not such a fool as his brother, and if 
the latter had only listened to him he would have 
safely and surely raised him to a better place than the 
Queen of P^ngland could do. In vain Cobham had 
sought to mollify the King. The Queen might try 
her cleverness upon others, said Henry, but if she 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 307 

was not straightforward with him she should suffer 
for it. He had already conceded too much to her, 
and would go no further. In future all responsibility 
must rest on the Queen of England. Elizabeth did 
not wait even to consult the Council, but at once sent 
a special courier to Cobham, ordering him to assure 
the King that there was nothing she desired more 
than to marry if he would fulfil the conditions. 
Then she summoned Sussex, and told him to 
arrange with Marchaumont to renew the arrange- 
ments for the marriage. But Sussex was sick of the 
whole business ; he felt he was a mere catspaw, and 
yet he was being blamed by all parties ; so he 
declined to interfere, on the ground that the Queen 
had so often expressed her natural repugnance to 
marrlatre that he was sure she would never bring 
herself to it, and she had better try to excuse 
the slights she had offered to the French royal 
house than commence a new series of them. 
Besides, he said, however fit Alen^on might be 
personally, his present position in the Netherlands 
made it most dangerous for her to marry him now, 
as it might bring her country face to face with 
Spain. He should not be doing his duty, said 
Sussex, did he not advise her, if she decided to 
marry the Duke, only to do so in case he left the 
Netherlands and surrendered the title of Duke of 
Brabant. She assured Sussex in reply that if she 
did marry she would make the Duke abandon the 
Netherlands enterprise. She then went to visit Cecil, 
who was ill with gout, and told him she had over- 
come her last scruple, and had decided to marry ; 
but he was just as cool as Sussex, and would have 
nothing to do with it, and warned her to take care 



3o8 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

what she was about, or ill would come of it. 
Marchaumont was next taken in hand, and told by 
the Queen that at last she had decided to marry 
in real earnest. She urged him to persuade his 
master on this assurance, to retire from the Nether- 
lands until she had arranged with his brother to 
break with Spain joindy with her. Marchaumont 
had long- been begging for money, and seized the 
opportunity of suggesting that he should himself go 
to Flanders and bring Alencon round to her views, 
taking with him the gold she had promised him 
from Drake's plunder. The Council would not 
consent to Marchaumont's going, but they sent thei 
^15,000 with the letter the next night. This was 
early in March, 1582, and on the i8th of the same 
month Alencon was giving an entertainment to 
celebrate his birthday at the palace of St. Michael, 
in Antwerp, when a young Biscayner discharged 
a pistol in the face of the Prince of Orange and 
wounded him in a way that kept him hovering 
between life and death for weeks to come. At the 
first news of the treacherous shot at the national 
hero, the hatred of the stout Dutchmen for the 
French flared out. It ran like wildfire from town to 
town that this was another plot of the false brood 
of Valois and Medici, and for a day Alen^on's own 
life was in danger. But for the courage and 
presence of mind of Orange himself in his own 
apparently mortal strait every Frenchman in 
Flanders would probably have been massacred, and 
Alencon amongst them. The moment the Queen 
of England heard the news all the ports were 
closed, and one of her Gentlemen of the Chamber 
was instructed to hasten to Antwerp and tell 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 309 

Alen^on to leave the States instantly. When Wal- 
singham learnt this he solemnly warned his mistress 
to take care what she did. If Alenc^on came again 
she must marry him or bring all Catholic Chris- 
tendom against her. She therefore, but very 
unwillingly, took another course — namely, to send 
for Castlenau, the French ambassador, and assure 
him on her word of honour as a Queen that she 
would marry Alencon. This and other things she 
desired that he would convey to the King officially ; 
but really the trick was getting too stale. Castelnau 
replied that she had at various times made him 
write so many things which she had no intention of 
fulfilling that he must decline to do so any more. 
After much persuasion, however, he consented to 
write, although he made no secret of his derision of 
the whole affair. 

If Mendoza is to be believed, the Queen was 
playing a doubly false game on the present occasion. 
She was trying to prevent the King of France from 
joining a coalition against her by again professing 
willinorness to become his sister-in-law, she was 
beguiling Alencon with renewed ideas of marriage 
and help, to prevent him in his despair from making- 
terms with Parma, she was sending messages urging 
him to retire from the Netherlands for his safety's 
sake in order to relieve herself of the responsibility 
of helping him, whilst, by the very same messenger, 
she was instructing Orange and the Protestants on 
no account to let him go, so that she might not be 
plagued again by his appearance in England as a 
pressing suitor. All through March and April news 
continued to arrive of the Prince of Orange's 
desperate condition. For days he was only kept 



3IO THE COURTSHirS OF 

alive by the repression of the severed artery by 
the fingers of relays of attendants night and day. 
Several times apparendy well-founded intelligence 
came of his death, and Elizabeth and her councillors 
had to consider the new aspect of affairs which such 
an event would produce. Leicester, Hatton, and 
Walsingham were in favour of the Queen herself 
taking the protectorate of the Netherlands, as she 
could then, if necessary, make better terms with 
Spain ; whilst if AlenQon and the French once got 
their grip on the country it would be ruinous to 
Eneland. Sussex and Cecil, on the other hand, 
were for making an arrangement with Spain at 
once. When they submitted their diverse opinions 
to the Queen she angrily complained that the 
death of a single person made all her councillors 
tremble and deprived her subjects of their courage. 
But she took her own tortuous course whatever her 
councillors' opinions might be. First she publicly 
declared on every occasion her fixed intention of 
> marrying Alencon ; then she sent for Sussex and 
begged him to write to the Duke that when he 
had made terms with Spain or had otherwise 
arranged to relieve her of the need for contributing 
to the war, she would marry him at once ; and to 
this she would pledge her word as a Queen and 
her oath as a Christian. But Sussex refused this 
time to be the instrument for still further injuring 
her reputation, as he said. He had innocently done 
so before, but he knew that marriage was repugnant 
to her, and he would have no more to do with it.^ 
Finding that Sussex was obdurate, the Queen, not 
to be baulked, sent her message by a gentleman 
^ Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth), vol. iii. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 311 

of Alen^on's named Pruneaux. who was then in 
London. 

The reason for this was that in case the amicable 
settlement she feared was arrived at by Alencon and 
his brother after Orange's death, she should not be 
left out of the arrangement, which she certainly 
would not be if Alencon still hoped to be accepted 
as her husband. She was indeed in greater fear of 
the French now than ever ; Henry III. had become 
more and more complaisant with his brother as the 
danger of Orange increased, and notwithstanding- 
all her diplomacy she could not extract even the 
smallest conditional pn^nise to break with Spain, 
even, as she put it, as a matter of form. The 
coast of Flanders and Holland in the hands of the 
French would mean ruin to England, and, as usual, 
she railed at Walsingham for his innocent share in 
promoting Alen^on's g'oing thither. " You knave ! " 
she greeted him with one day, " you ought to have 
your head off your shoulders for persuading- the 
Duke to go to Antwerp. He is trying now to get 
hold of the ports, but they will see whether I will 
put up with that coolly ; " whereupon the secretary 
answered not a word. She wrote again to Alencon, 
telling him she would marry him if he came, and 
would not stand in the way of his Netherlands plans 
if she were not expected to contribute to the cost ; 
but if he continued the war without marrying her 
she would be his mortal foe and wTjuld expend her 
last man and her last shot in preventing him from 
obtaining uncontrolled possession of the Nether- 
lands. The ^15,000 she had sent him, she said, 
was a mark of affection rather than a subsidy for 
the war, and indeed at this time — the end of April, 



312 THE COURTSHIPS OP^ 

1582 — it is clear that her most pressing fear was 
lest the death of Orange should allow the French to 
obtain the control of the country over her head, to 
make their own terms with Philip, and leave her 
and the Protestants in the lurch. She left no effort 
untried to persuade the French that she really would 
marry Alencon, but Castlenau, as well as his 
master and the Queen-mother, were not very 
credulous by this time, and were inclined rather to 
make a joke of her newly-revived ardour. On one 
occasion when she was setting forth in detail to 
Castelnau the various reasons which she said made 
her marriage with Alencon now necessary, he told 
her that she had forgotten the most important 
reason of all, namely, that people were saying that 
she had already given him the privileges of a 
husband. This was expressed in words that would 
in our clay be considered unpardonably coarse and 
insulting if applied to the humblest woman, but the 
Queen only answered that she would soon stop the 
rumour. The ambassador told her that she might 
perhaps do so in her own realm, but it would be 
impossible in other countries where it was public 
talk. Fxcited and angry at this the Queen ex- 
claimed that her conscience was clear and innocent, 
and she therefore feared nothing ; she would stifle 
such calumnies everywhere by her marriage. ^ 

Very anxiously she awaited the replies from the 
King and Alencon to her new approaches. After 
some delay the former very coolly sent word that 
he could go no further than the terms which had 
been conveyed by Pinart ; but day after day passed 
without the arrival of an answer from Alencon, and 
^ Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth), vol. iii. 



0UP:EN ELIZABETH. 313 

the Queen, in the Interim, hardly sought to hide her 
trepidation from her councillors, especially from 
Sussex. In the meanwhile Leicester and his friends 
were busy again stirring up Protestant fears against 
the match, and Cecil and Sussex were uro-incr an ar- 
rangement with Spain. At last, on the 2nd of May, 
Bacqueville arrived with a letter from Alencon to 
the Queen full of extravagant professions of love 
and rejoicing. He had, he said, ceased to mention 
the marriage for the last two months as he had 
despaired of it, she having told him herself that the 
mountains would move ere she would willingly wed. 
Now, however, that she had changed her mind, he 
would not trust to letters, but would himself take 
flio-ht like a swallow and nest in England. This 
was his final resolution, and he entreated her to send 
him word immediately when he might come and 
consummate his joy. This letter plunged the Queen 
once more in the midst of the intrigue, and she 
confidently resumed her masterly handling of the 
tangled skein. She openly expressed her pleasure 
at her approaching union, she scolded poor Walsing- 
ham as if he were a pickpocket, because, she said, 
he had caused dissension between her and her lover, 
and then she sent for Castelnau and Marchaumont. 
She conveyed to them Alen^on's determination to 
come, and swore solemnly that since she had given 
him the ring she had never wavered for a moment 
in her intention of becomincj Alencon's wife. If the 
King of France would fulfil the conditions. Having 
thus demonstrated her sincerity with regard to the 
marriage itself, her next move was to dissociate 
herself from Alencon's projects in the Netherlands. 
She turned upon Marchaumont like a fury, told him 



314 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

he was a sordid, venal fellow who had never ceased 
to importune her for money since his master 
left, as if they both of them only cared for her to 
administer to his ambition, and his only object was 
to torment the old woman until they had drained 
her purse. I She then formally requested the am- 
bassador to inform the King — first, that Alencon was 
coming to marry her as soon as word was sent to 
him ; second, that she herself was of the same mind ; 
and third, that the final word now rested with the 
King. She had demanded that he should defray 
half of the expenses of the war in the Netherlands, 
not because she desired war with Spain — quite the 
contrary. She desired universal peace and good- 
will, but as Alencon, for his own ends, had entered 
into the affair she did not want her subjects to say 
that she had broken their long peace and prosperity 
and wasted their treasure for the sake of marriage ; 
and she therefore wished the King to promise to 
defray half the cost of the war before the marriage. 
It was of the utmost importance, she repeated, that 
the King should hand the money over before the 
cereiuony, and she did not see how she could marry 
unless he did so. She urged the ambassador to 
impress upon the King how very straightforwardly 
she had acted in the matter, and to request him to 
send a person of sufficiently high rank fully em- 
powered to settle ; and she would then summon 
Alencon and marry him without further ado. Cas- 
telnau demurred at this. She had deceived him, he 
said, so often, that his master had reproved him for 
his credulity. How could he believe her word, he 
asked. "These are not words alone," replied the 

^ Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth), vol. iii. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 



315 



Queen, "these are the solemn oaths of a Queen 
and a Christian woman," and she called God's 
vengeance down upon herself if she broke them. 
Then she began to hector. If the King did not 
accede to so reasonable a demand, she said, she 
would know that he had been tricking- her all along, 
and she would be his and his brother's mortal foe 
for life. Her last man and her last penny should 
be sacrificed, she swore, before she would permit 
the French to gain a footing in the Netherlands. 
She had plenty of powerful friends, the King of 
Spain was seeking her, and if the King of France 
did not make haste and consent to her terms, she 
should consider his action as a negative, and imme- 
diately throw him over and join the King of Spain. ^ 

^ Spanish Calendar (Elizabeth), vol. iii. 







CHAPTER XV. 



Elizabeth temporises with Alencon pending the King's reply 
— Alencon's jov at the false news of his brother's yielding 
— Elizabeth throws upon Henry III. the blame for the 
failure of the match — Fall of Oudenarde — Alengon's 
ultimatum to Elizabeth — Salcedo's plot — Henry HI. more 
pliable — Alencon again hopeful — New exigencies of 
Elizabeth — She again declares she will marry Alenf on — 
Is generally disbelieved — La Mothe's interview with her 
— Alen(;on's treacherous attempt to seize the garrisons — 
Elizabeth's jealousy of the French in the Netherlands — 
Alencon's Hight to Vilvorde and Dunkirk — His flight 
to Calais — His interview with his mother — Reconciliation 
with Henry HI. — Preparations for a new expedition — 
Elizabeth offers her co-operation too late — Death of 
Alencon — ^Disappearance of the last serious suitor for 
Elizabeth's hand and end of the negotiations for her 
marriai^e. 



The Queen's bold g-ame of brag succeeded. Cas- 
telnau wrote to his Kinof ur^ino- him to trive 
way and not to drive EHzabeth into the arms of 
Spain on the one hand or of the Huguenots on 
the other. 

On the same day, May 4, 1582, the Queen wrote, 
from Greenwich to Alencon a reply full of vague 
professions of affection, and with not a word about 
his coming to marry her. God knows it is not her 
fault ! She is ready, as she always was, to carry out 
the contract " according to my last promise on the 



31(1 



THE COURTSHIPS OF QUEEN ELIZABETH. 317 

conditions, which you alone know — very difficult ones 
I confess." ^ It is entirely the King's fault. She is 
thoroughly ashamed of writing to him so often about 
it. He (Henry) only repeats that he can go no further 
than the conditions sent by Pinart. " Jugez sur ce, 
mon tres cher, que puis je plus faire ? Considerez 
mbn tres cher ... si tout I'univers ne s'ebahist com- 
ment la reine d'Angleterre ayt tant oblie I'Angleterre 
pour amener nouveaux voisins sur le continent prez 
de son pais . . . et puis voyez si de ma part je n'ay 
rien hazarde pour vous ; m'estant I'amour de ma 
nation plus cher que la vie," - and so on, but not a 
word to cause him to come to England. Almost 
at the same time as he received this letter false 
news came to Alen^on from his sister Margaret that 
the King had consented to the whole of Elizabeth's 
demands. He was almost beside himself for joy ; 
a letter, which is now at Hatfield, 3 was instantly 
sent off to the Queen, containing the most exuberant 
expressions of pleasure and relief. There never was 
happiness equal to his, which he can conceal no 
longer. He has no further care now than to order 
the clothes and everything necessary for the nuptials. 
But she must more than ever fulfil her promise to 
him, for now that he is to be her husband she would 
not like to see him perish for want of assistance so 
solemnly promised by her. " I have been sorry 
hitherto," he says, "to importune you so much, 
being uncertain of the King's intentions ; but now 
that I am sure of sleeping in the great bed and 
being your husband, I claim, as the fulfilment of the 
treaty between us, the payment of the whole sum of 
money you were good enough to promise me at your 
^ Hatfield Papers, part 3. ^ Ibid. -^ Ibid. 



3i8 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

own instance." He begs her to send her proxy over 
for the marriage contract, and he will authorise Cas- 
telnau to enter into the engagement in his name ; 
and concludes, "Adieu ma femme par immagination 
que jespere sera bientost par effet. Celuy qui brulle 
de dessir. Francoys." But a few days afterwards he 
was informed that his sister's news was untrue, and 
wrote in heartbroken strain to the Queen : " Ouand 
je pense les affayres du mariage en bon aytre je 
suys gai, et quand je connois le contrere la mort nest 
plus hideuze que moy." From the happy assurance 
that he would soon be her husband he has now 
become " froit et transi de tristesse " because of the 
doubt she casts on the King's surety. " Mon Dieu, 
Madame," he writes, "en quoi esse que je vous ay 
este si desagreeable pour ne pouvoir tirer nulle reso- 
lution de vostre Majeste ? " ' Before this letter was 
received by the Queen she had anticipated its con- 
tents, and wrote a very long communication to her 
suitor, casting great doubt upon Queen Margaret's 
news. The delay, she said, was entirely owing to 
the King of France. She, Heaven knows ! had done 
enough, even to the verge of impropriety. " Et 
pense que le Roy pour telle me reputera, que je suis 
la recherchante, qui sera tousjour une belle reputa- 
tion pour une femme." But she still kept tight hold 
of the money and did not send him the aid he so 
confidently requested. She was, she said, a poor 
hand at financial affairs and had but little love for 
playing the economist. She was fain, therefore, 
to leave money matters in the hands of those who 
understood them better than she did, and the answer 
would be given to Marchaumont. This meant that 
' Hatlield Papers, part 3. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 319 

she would send him no money until the position of 
his brother was made clear, but she reminds him 
that she has risked much already for him, and that 
England has nothing to gain by the marriage and 
very much to lose if the French should become 
masters of Flanders. ^ This letter was cool enough, 
and contrasts greatly with a short note written by 
Alencon the next day — May 25th — brought by one 
of the Enorlish courtiers who was returninQf. He 
winds up this note by bidding her farewell : " avec- 
que autant dafection que je me souhet vostre mari 
couche entre deus dras dedans vos beaus bras." • 

The fear that the French might after all dominate 
the Netherlands or make terms with Spain, was 
not only tightening her purse-strings but had led 
her to consider an entirely new combination of the 
European powers, by which the North was brought 
in to redress the balance of the South. Eric of 
Sweden had a fair daughter of fourteen, whom it 
w^as proposed to marry to Alencon : a confederacy 
between England, Scotland, Sweden, Norway, 
Denmark, Russia, and Poland being formed ; the 
reversion of the elective crown of Poland being- 
secured to Eric, and a northern fleet being placed 
at Alen^on's disposal to oppose any naval attack 
upon him by Spain. Alencon and his mother, it was 
understood, were not indisposed to listen to this 
arrangement, but the countries were distant, their 
interests not identical, and whilst the negotiations 
were slowly dragging, events outstripped them and 
rendered them nugatory. 

Oudenarde fell early in July, and Alencon imme- 
diately afterwards sent an ultimatum to Elizabeth. 
' Hatfield Papers, part 3. 



320 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

He was at the end of his resources. If she did not 
at once send him the money she had promised he 
must abandon his task, and Spain would crush 
Flanders for good and for all under the heel of 
Alexander Farnese. The time had gone by for 
high-strained compliments and billing and cooing, 
and Alen^on, in his letter to the Queen, says his 
mind is too full of war to talk about marriage, and 
he must leave Antwerp and await her answer else- 
where. Leicester and his friends feared he might 
o'o to Fdushinor, and thence run over to Eno-land, 
and were consequently anxious to send him ^20,000 
at once. Cecil was strongly opposed to this, as at 
the end of July there was in the Exchequer less 
than ^80,000, which, with the ^400,000 in gold In 
the Tower, formed the whole of the national trea- 
sury. Whilst this was being discussed there came 
news of the discovery of the Salcedo plot, said to 
have been prompted by Spain, the Pope, and the 
Guises, to assassinate Alencon and the Prince of 
Orange. The avowals made by Salcedo on the 
rack satisfied even Henry III. that a vast Catholic 
conspiracy was in progress, from which he was 
excluded, and this once more drew him nearer to 
Elizabeth, and he instructed his ambassador to 
assure her that he would accede to the conditions 
she demanded as soon as she had decided upon the 
marriasfe. Her answer was that since the Kino" 
consented to defray the cost of the war she must 
have it under his own hand, with an undertakinsf 
that England under no circumstances should be 
called upon to contribute anything in case of a war 
with Spain. The King's readiness to accede to 
every demand of Elizabeth was of itself a source of 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 321 

suspicion to her, and was by many attributed to a 
deep Papist plot to throw the whole responsibility 
for breaking- off the marriage upon her, and so turn 
Alencon against her. To a certain extent it had 
this effect, for although Alencon's letters to the 
Queen herself were a mixture of erotics and re- 
proaches, his communications to Sussex were in a 
different tone. The Queen, he said, was the cause 
of his ruin, and if she will not at once come to his 
aid or marry him he must join her enemies, and she 
will have no cause to complain. Lierre had just been 
captured by the Spaniards, and all Alencon's prayers 
for money were ineffectual. A new turn of the 
screw was applied to the King of France by Eliza- 
beth nearly every day. The last demand was that 
he was to defend her not against Spain alone, but 
against all her enemies whatsoever, and that an 
undertaking to this effect, stamped with the great 
seal of France, was to be sent her — • anything 
indeed, to drag France into open enmity with 
Spain before she showed her hand. Events seemed 
to be working for her. Henry IIL was already 
jealous of the Guises, his mother's fleet to aid the 
Portuguese pretender at Terceira against Philip 
had been destroyed, and Catharine was vowing 
vengeance, so that Henry was pliable. 

Alencon, writing to the Queen early in August, 
"thanks God that his brother has at last sent the 
despatch she asked for, and assures himself now 
that, having, as all well-bred ladies must, caused her- 
self to be sought, she will really fulfil her promise 
and receive him as her husband ; me fezant jouir du 
fruit et contantement du mariage a quoy je me pre- 
pare, fezant peu decquesersise (d'exercise) me nouri- 

22 



322 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

sant si bieii que je masure que en reserveres plus 
de contantement que d'autre qui soit sur la terre." 
But withal he entreats her again and again for 
money. He is not, he says, a mercenary soldier, 
but his honour is at stake, and he cannot obtain a 
penny elsewhere. The answer to this was a re- 
mittance of ^20,000 and a fresh body of English 
auxiliaries, but no fresh word about marriage, the 
main line of policy now inaugurated being that which 
was subsequently followed, namely, to nullify the 
presence of Frenchmen in Flanders by the sending 
of larger numbers of English volunteers, Catha- 
rine de Medici also began to move in order to have 
her revenge on Spain for her Terceira defeat, and 
both men and money began to flow over the French 
frontier to Alen^on. At the same time the formal 
document, signed and sealed by the King, was read 
by CsLStelnau to Elizabeth. In it Henry bound him- 
self to relieve the Queen of all expense of the war if 
she married Alenqon, but would not bind himself to 
break openly with Spain. Castelnau had instruc- 
tions in case the Queen were not satisfied with this 
to drop the fruitless marriage negotiations, and 
frankly propose an offensive and defensive alliance 
between the two countries. The Guises were 
openly discontented, and Paris swarmed with their 
men-at-arms. It was clear to Henry and his mother 
that they must cling to England and the Protestants, 
or the house of Valois was doomed, and France 
must become subservient to Spain and the bigots. 
So, marriage or no marriage, Elizabeth must be 
conciliated. 

The task was not an easy one, for she knew the 
position as well as anybody, and was hard to please. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 323 

She was dissatisfied with the formal undertakino- 
which was read to her, and demanded that the 
King should add a personally binding- confirmation 
in his own handwriting; but this he refused to do. 
When the Queen again talked about marryino- 
Alencon immediately, if certain new conditions were 
granted, Castelnau besought her to speak frankly 
and state her final terms, so that, in any case, a firm 
national alliance might be arranged. She affected 
to fly into a passion at this, and said she was not 
such a simpleton as to trust Frenchmen if she did 
not marry Alencon. She then broke into strong 
language, as was her wont, and called curses clown 
upon her own head if she did not instantly marry 
the Prince after the King granted her demands. 
Callinof Cecil as witness to her words, she renewed 
her vows, swearing like a trooper, until, as Castel- 
nau says, it made his blood run cold, and Cecil 
himself whispered to Lady Stafford as he left the 
chamber that if the Queen did not fulfil her word 
this time God would surely send her to hell for such 
blasphemy, ^ 

The French, however, strongly backed up by 
Leicester, were now all for a national alliance, 
having lost belief in a marriage ; the Queen for 
her part stoutly maintaining that one thing was im- 
possible without the other ; and when Cobham, early 
in December, approached the King with regard to 
the new conditions demanded, he was made clearly to 
understand that there was no belief whatever in the 
Queen's sincerity, and that her object was what we 
now know it to have been, namely, to pledge France 

^ Spanish Calendar, vol. iii., Mendoza to the King, Novem- 
ber 15, 1582. 



324 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

to a war with Spain, whilst her own hands were 
free. The "monk" Marchaumont, too, was equally 
undeceived and sick of the whole affair ; blamed by 
Alen^on for his ill-success, and ceaselessly bei^ging- 
for his recall. Indeed, by this time there was not a 
soul who believed any more in the marriaoe nego- 
tiations, and Elizabeth began to grow angry that 
the trusty weapon which had served her well' for so 
many years had lost its point. So when La Mothe 
Fenelon, on his way to Scotland, spoke to her about 
the relations between France and England, she 
gave him a piece of her mind. She told him that, 
notwithstanding all his professions, the King of 
France was the worst enemy she had. The 
Dauphin and Marshal de Biron, she said, although 
on the frontier of Flanders with troops, had tarried 
lone there, and had refused to go to the aid of the 
States ; besides which France, Spain, and the Pope, 
were all intriguing against her in Scotland and else- 
where ; and the King was making friends with the 
Guises aofain. Having thus tried to alarm La 
Mothe, a desperate attempt was made once more to 
drag up the marriage. Walsingham assured him 
that the Queen really was in earnest, and a sug- 
gestion was made that if the King of France would 
break with Spain and help Alen^on, the Queen 
would declare the latter heir to the English crown. 
As all this was obviously only to delay La Mothe, 
and after some days the Queen was peremptorily 
told that if she did not allow him to proceed at 
once to Scotland, he would return to France, and 
another ambassador would be sent by sea. She 
was very angry, and came to high words with 
La Mothe, threatening Mary Stuart, in whose 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 325 

behalf she said she knew all these plots were being 
carried on. But as La Mothe was leaving she eave 
him a last message for the King about the marriage, 
saying that if she were exonerated from expense 
in the Flemish war, and a regular dotation was 
given to Alencon, she would marry him. La Mothe 
replied that they had no longer the slightest belief 
in her sincerity, either about the marriage or the 
Netherlands, and the King was not much concerned 
on those points ; but if she sent a single man into 
Scotland, or interfered there in any way, he would 
send four times as many, and take the matter up 
strongly. He softened this somewhat by saying 
that, although the King would not openly make 
war upon Spain, the Queen-mother would do so ; 
but all this fencinor ended in talk alone, and La 
Mothe proceeded on his way to Scotland, leaving 
matters in their former condition. 

In the meanwhile Alencon's position was getting 
more and more unpleasant. He had succeeded in 
alienating his Protestant subjects, the backbone of 
resistance to Spain ; Orange was disgusted with and 
tired of him, and was praying Elizabeth and her 
councillors to have him back in England, or any- 
thing to rid him. Orange, of a profitless burden. 
The Dutchmen hated the French more than ever, 
and Alencon himself was chafing in impotent fury 
at his lack of means, his failure, and the undignified 
figure he cut before the world. By the aid of his 
mother, a number of Frenchmen flocked over the 
frontier during the winter of 1582-3, and at length 
Marshal de Biron himself joined the Prince, and 
the plot that had long been hatching was attempted. 
This was nothing less than by a coup-de-7nain to 



326 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

seize and garrison all the strong- places in Flanders 
with Frenchmen. If this succeeded, Alencon might 
demand his own terms, either from Philip or Eliza- 
beth, and the combined attempt was made on the 
1 6th of January, 1 583. Alenqon himself took charge 
of the affair at Antwerp, wherein one thousand 
additional Frenchmen had secretly entered. This 
being noticed by the burghers aroused suspicion, 
and certain despatches from Alencon to Marchau- 
mont in England having been intercepted and read 
by Orange, the latter gave timely warning to the 
Antwerpers. A large body of Frenchmen arrived 
suddenly before the town, and an excuse was made 
that Alencon was to review them outside the 
Burgerhout gate. As he sallied from the gate 
of the town with his Swiss and French Guard 
of four hundred men, he was joined by three 
hundred French horsemen, and turning towards 
the gate he cried to his countrymen, " Courage, 
comrades, Antwerp is yours ! " This was the 
signal, and the Flemings at the gate were mas- 
sacred. The slight resistance overcome, the 
main force of the F^rench, with banners flying, 
entered the town with cries of "The Duke and the 
mass." The burghers, unaware at first what the 
tumult meant, were taken by surprise, and sought 
refuge in their houses. But soon pillage and 
murder began to remind them of the " Spanish 
fury " of six years before. Alencon and Biron, 
however, were very different men from Sancho de 
Avila and Julian Romero ; and the stout Antwerpers 
turned upon their false friends, blocked the streets, 
mustered their companies, and fought like the 
heroes they were in defence of their homes. Fire- 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 327 

eating Fervaques was taken prisoner, as were du 
Fargis. le Rieux, and Bodin. Biron's son, the 
nephew of Cardinal Rambouillet, the Duke of St. 
Aignan, and his son, and two hundred and fifty 
other gentlemen were killed ; the French loss 
altogether reaching two thousand men, one-half 
of their entire force, whilst the burghers lost 
only about one hundred. Alencon, from afar, 
outside the town, watched with sinkino- heart the 
failure of his treachery, and when he saw that all 
was lost, fled with difficulty, by the swollen rivers 
hotly pursued until he arrived at Vilvorde, where 
the French had succeeded in gaining the upper 
hand, as they also had at Ostend, Dixmunde, Alost, 
and Dunkirk, whilst they had failed at Antwerp, 
Ghent and Bruges. 

The news came to England confusedly and in 
fragments at first, and the Queen was inclined to 
bring her suitor over to England for safety ; but 
when full accounts came from the Prince of Orange, 
and the treason was thoroughly understood, all 
Enofland erowled at the falseness of Frenchmen in 
general and Alencon in particular. Orange sought 
to fasten some of the responsibility upon Elizabeth, 
because, in answer to all remonstrances as to his 
action and the increased number of Frenchmen with 
him, Alencon had invariably said that he was there 
as the Queen of England's lieutenant, and was 
actinor with her full connivance. She was, more- 
over, he said, already his wife before God and man, 
and on this plea had obtained large sums of money 
from her adherents for his own purposes. Orange 
was strongly of opinion that Alencon was acting in 
concert with the Spaniards, with the ultimate object 



328 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

of avenging himself upon the EngHsh Queen ; and 
entreated her to help the States in the trouble that 
had befallen them mainly through their attachment 
to her, which had led them to trust Alencon. On 
the other hand, Marchaumont tried his best to stem 
the torrent that was setting in against his master, 
and to persuade the Queen that he was forced to 
take the step he did ; and Elizabeth, who could not 
yet entirely turn against him, sent Captain the 
Honourable John Russell to inquire into the real 
facts of the case, and, if necessary, to offer Alencon 
a refuge in England. But the Prince's power, such 
as it was, had fled, and with it his spirit and his 
health. Biron kept command of the French garri- 
sons in the conquered towns, whilst Alencon 
wandered from Vilvorde to Dendremond and thence 
to Dunkirk, disavowed by his brother, and cursed 
even by his mother for his perversity. 

Whilst Alencon was at Dendremond, in March, 
the Queen made an attempt through Darcy, whom 
she sent, to patch up a reconciliation between him 
and the States. She made an elaborate pretence of 
disavowing and threatening Sir John Norris and 
the Englishmen who had abandoned him when he 
attempted to assail the Flemings ; but when he 
asked her to withdraw them all and leave him to 
deal with the States alone, she thought better of it, 
and the attempts at reconciliation fell through. But 
all this time not a word of the marriage. Letter 
after letter came from the Prince reproaching the 
Queen for leaving him unsuccoured in his misery, 
and complaining of Norris, who disregarded his 
authority ; but even he apparently was undeceived 
now. 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 329 

By the time he arrived at Dunkirk he was humble 
indeed. The very sight of the coast ruled by his 
"belle Majeste " revives him, and he beseeches her 
favour : "a mins jointes avecques les petits dois." 
He feels a sweet and gracious air from her 
proximity, which he has not experienced since his 
sad parting- from her; and finally, on the 30th of May, 
when the dreaded Farnese was already approaching 
his refuse, he ventures to remind her of her 
" promise and contract with him, and throws himself 
on her favour." ' But all to no purpose ; he had 
served her turn, and was now useless to her. A 
month later he was forced to fly to Calais, and 
from thence went to Chaulnes, where his mother 
saw him for the first time since his adventure. She 
had gone with anger on her lips, but found her son 
with death in his heart, and had nothing but loving 
words for him and consolation for his disappointment. 
Once more for a short time an attempt was made 
by Catharine to maintain an appearance of keeping 
up the idea of marriage with Elizabeth, to prevent a 
closer approach between England and Spain ; but 
it was only momentary and meant nothing. A cold, 
almost severe letter was written by the Queen to 
Alen^on on the loth of September, 1583, which 
really sounds the death-knell of the marriage.^ She 
has not, she says, been favoured with his letters for 
a very long time, but now M. de Reaux had visited 
her from him. She is much surprised at his 
message asking what help she will give him to hold 
the Netherlands. " My God, Monsieur ! " she says, 
"is this the way to keep our friends — to be always 
draining them ? Is the King your brother so weak 
' Hatfield Papers, part 3. ' Ibid. 



330 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

that he cannot defend his own blood without the 
help of his neighbours?" ... It is not her fault, 
she says, that things have turned out as they have, 
and she will not bear the blame ; and she ends the 
cruel letter with: "God save you from painted 
counsels, and enable you to follow those who respect 
you more than you respect yourself." 

In January, 1584, Catharine sought her son at 
Chateau-Thierry, and at last persuaded him to a 
reconciliation with his brother, and took him to Paris 
with her. There, with tears and repentance on both 
sides, the brothers embraced each other, and the 
King promised his help towards another expedition 
to Flanders. Alencon returned to Chateau-Thierry 
to make his preparations, and there fell gravely ill. 
Guise, the Spaniards, and the Archbishop of Glasgow 
in Paris, were busy at the time planning the invasion 
of England and the liberation of Mary Stuart ; and 
Catharine, in April, hastened to Alencon with a new 
project — that he should share In the plot and marry 
his sister-in-law, the Scottish Queen. But his health 
was broken. For the next two months he was 
battling with approaching death, though still actively 
preparing for his new expedition. But Elizabeth 
could not afford to allow the French to go alone to 
Flanders, and when she saw that Henry III. was 
helping his brother, she suddenly proposed to 
Castelnau to join her aid with that of the King. 
By the time the offer reached Paris Alencon was 
dying, and shortly afterwards, on the iith of June, 
1584, he breathed his last. Catharine cursed the 
Spaniards, and swore to be revenged upon them for 
her dead son, though how they were to blame for 
his death is not very clear ; but the messages, both 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 331 

from the King" and his mother to EHzabeth, kept up 
to the last the fiction of the love and marriage 
negotiations between her and the dead Prince. 
Catharine, indeed, sent to the Eno-lish Oueen the 
moLirnino- which she wore for her so-called affianced 
husband ; and the letter in which Elizabeth sent 
her condolence to Catharine is carefully conceived in 
the same strain. " Your sorrow," she says, "cannot 
exceed mine, although you were his mother. You 
have another son, but I can find no other consolation 
than death, which I hope will soon enable me to 
rejoin him. If you could see a picture of my heart, 
you would see a body without a soul ; but I will not 
trouble you with my grief, as you have enough of 
your own." ^ 

In very truth the farce of marriage by this time 
had been played out to the bitter end. Elizabeth 
was now fifty years of age and there were no princes 
left in Europe marriage with whom would have 
given her any advantage. From the far-off Ivan 
the Terrible, who had been dismissed with a gibe, 
to the youngest of the Valois, with whom she had 
played for years, every marriageable prince in 
Christendom had, in his turn, been suggested as a 
suitor for Elizabeth's hand. The long juggle she 
had carried on had resulted in so much advantage 
to her country that she was in any case strong- 
enough now to discard the pretence. Her old 
enemy, Philip, was a sad and broken recluse, sorely 
pressed even to hold his own, unable to avenge his 
ruined commerce, swept from the seas by the ubi- 
quitous Drake, whilst his destined successor was too 
young to be feared, and he had no man of his house 
I British Museum, MSS. Cotton Galba vi. 



332 THE COURTSHIPS OF 

to second him. One more despairing" effort was he 
to make in which he was to risk his all and lose it 
on the hazard of regaining the paramount position 
from which he had allowed himself to be ousted by 
the bold chicanery of the English Queen. But the 
armada was beaten by anticipation years before it 
was launched amid so much pompous mummery ; 
for the English seamen knew full well that fast, 
well-handled ships that would sail close to the wind 
could harass the cumbrous galleons of Philip as 
they pleased, and the victory for England was a 
foregone conclusi(jn. The King of F"rance was a 
childless cipher, incapable of great designs or im- 
portant action ; his mother, whose busy brain had 
for so long been the dominant factor in France, was 
rapidly sinking to her rest. Protestantism was now 
firmly rooted in England, and had nothing to fear 
from within during the life of the great Queen, whose 
popularity was unbounded amongst all sections of 
her subjects, whilst in the rest of Europe it was 
evidently a waxing rather than a waning power. 
The Huguenot Henry of Navarre was next heir to 
the French crown, and could be trusted to give a 
good account of the Pope, the Guises, and the league ; 
the strong Protestant princes of Germany rendered 
the Emperor harmless as a Catholic force, whilst 
the stubborn determination of the brave Dutchmen 
to hold to their faith at all costs, gave to their 
sympathetic English neighbours the certainty of a 
guiding voice in their affairs, 

Elizabeth had, in fact, beoun her lono^ marriaofe 
juggle in 1559 in hourly danger of being over- 
whelmed and crushed by her own Catholic subjects, 
in union with one or the other of her orreat Conti- 



QUEEN ELIZABETH. 333 

nental neighbours ; she ended it in 1583, triumphant 
all along- the line, with both her rivals crippled and 
distracted, whilst she really held the balance of peace 
and war in Europe in her hands. 

So at length the elaborate pretence of marriage 
negotiations, which for many years had been her 
great card, always ready to be played in the interests 
of England, could safely be abandoned. But it 
was too much to expect an elderly woman of Eliza- 
beth's temperament, who for the whole of her adult 
lifetime had fed her colossal vanity with the tradition 
of her irresistible beauty, who had gained great ends 
and derived the keenest enjoyment from the comedy 
of love-making, to give up entirely what for so long- 
had brought her pleasure, profit, and power. 

It was no longer a question of marriage, of course, 
but many gallant gentlemen, Raleigh, Essex, Blount, 
Harrington, and the rest of them, were yet to keep 
her hand in at the courtly old game, and bow their 
handsome heads before the perennial beauty which 
had now become an article of the national faith. 
With these one-sided courtships, the vain amuse- 
ments of the Queen in her declining age, we have 
nought to do in these pages. The death of Francois 
de Valois, Duke of Anjou, and Alencon, removed 
from the scene the last serious suitor for the Queen's 
hand in marriage ; and his passing bell rang down 
the curtain upon the longest and most eventfui 
comedy in the history of England. 



THE END. 



INDEX. 



A. 

Adolphus, Duke of Holstein, a 
suitor tor the Queen's hand, 
26-7. 

Alengon Frangois de Valois, Duke 
of, suggested match with Eliza- 
beth, 143, 148-51 ; formal offer 
of his hand, 154; description of 
his person, 155-9 ; free from 
blame for St. Bartholomew, 166 ; 
his first letter to Elizabeth, 166- 
7 ; his plan to visit England, 167 ; 
at Rochelle, 169-71 ; revival of 
his suit, 172 ; Dale's description 
of him, 173 ; projected escape 
and visit to England, 175-6 ; 
the plan divulged by Margaret, 
177-8 ; illandindurance, 178-81 ; 
his escape and flight, 182-3 ! ''^ 
revolt against Henry III., 183-4 ! 
is induced to make peace, 186 ; 
made Duke of Anjou, 186 ; sug- 
gested marriage with the Infanta, 
&c., 186 ; becomes ostentatiously 
Catholic, 187 ; quarrels with his 
brother's Court, 187 ; his arrest, 
187-8 ; escape, 178-90 ; is ap- 
proached by the Flemish Catho- 
lics, 189 ; enters Flanders to 
relieve Mons, 192 ; sends envoys 
to Elizabeth, 193 ; his position in 
Flanders, 196-8 ; sends Simier to 
London, 199 ; his love-letters to 



Elizabeth, 201-2 ; unpopularity 
of the match in England, 203 ; 
discussion of his conditions, 
204-7 ; his visit to England, 
210-11 ; he captivates Elizabeth, 
212-13; departs, 214; presses 
his suit, 218 ; raises scruples 
about religion, 225 ; his plans in 
Flanders, 225-30 ; against an 
alliance of England and France, 
230 ; accepts the sovereignty of 
Flanders, 230-1 ; Catholic efforts 
to dissuade him, 233 ; sends 
Marchaumont, 236 ; La belle 
jarretiere, 236 ; his alleged sud- 
den visit to England, 245-50 ; 
determined to relieve Cambrai, 
252-3 ; his mother's attempts to 
dissuade him, 256 ; his anger 
with Elizabeth, 257 ; he enters 
Flanders, 258 ; prays Elizabeth 
for money, 259-60 ; his visit to 
England, 262-9 ; he refuses to 
leave England, 268 ; Elizabeth's 
pledge to him, 269-70 ; his rage 
at her inconstancy, 273, 279 ; the 
States offer him the sovereignty, 
279 ; his unwillingness to leave 
England, 280-1 ; threats of ven- 
geance against Elizabeth, 284 ; 
his romantic appeal to Elizabeth, 
286 ; Elnglish discontent at his 
stay, 287 ; the States press him, 



336 



INDEX. 



287 ; his joy at his brother's ac- 
ceptance of Elizabeth's condi- 
tions, 288 ; Elizabeth again cool, 
289 ; he insists upon Simier's 
leaving P2ngland, 290 ; he swears 
to raise civil war in France ; 
Pinart and the Dauphin re- 
proach him, 295 ; at last sails for 
Holland, 299-300 ; arrives at 
Flushing, 302 ; crowned Duke 
of Brabant, 302-3 ; Elizabeth's 
feigned anger thereat, 303-5 ; 
begs for money, 305-8 ; Eliza- 
lieth's fickleness with him, 
309-11 ; new hopes of the mar- 
riage, 313, 317, 318 ; in despair 
begs for more money, 320, 322 ; 
again hopeful, 322-3 ; desperate 
position in Flanders, 325 ; his 
seizure of the fortresses, 325-7 ; 
his fiight, 327 : his humble appeals 
to Elizabeth, 329 ; her cold reply, 
329-30 ; illness, 330 ; Catharine's 
proposal to marry him to Mary 
Stuart, 330 ; his proposed new 
expedition to Flanders, 330 ; his 
death, 331. 
Angouleme, Duke of, offered in in- 
fancy as a suitor for P>lizabeth, 

5- 
Anjou, Duke of (see also Henr}- 
III.), proposal to marry him to 
Elizabeth, 114-43 ! personal 
descriptions of him, 120-1 ; 
is persuaded by the Catholics 
against the match, 122 ; formal 
offer of his hand, 128 ; proposed 
conditions, 129-30; his reported 
Huguenot leanings, 133, 137-8 ; 
the religious question to be 
omitted from the conditions, 
134, 136 ; stands firm about re- 
ligion, 140-1 ; refuses to marry 
Elizabeth, 143 ; renewed nego- 
tiations for his marriage, 145-9 '> 
besieges Rochelle, 169 ; elected 



King of Poland, 171, 175 ; suc- 
ceeds to the crown of France, 
182. 

Antonio, Don, the Portuguese pre- 
tender, 264. 

Antwerp, Alengon's treacherous 
attempt to seize, 325-7. 

Aquila, Bishop of, 5^^ Quadra. 

Arques, D', 299. 

Arran, Earl of (Duke of Chatel- 
herault), Elizabeth's hand offered 
to him, 6 ; his proposed marriage 
with Elizabeth, 40-1, 47, 49 ; 
proposed marriage with Mary 
Stuart, 66. 

Arundel, Earl of (Fitzalan), his son 
offered to Elizabeth, 15-16 ; he- 
comes a suitor himself, 16, 21, 
23-6, 29, 37, 41 ; falls to fisti- 
cuffs with Clinton, 47 ; inquires 
into Lady Robert Dudley's 
death, 63 ; favours the Archduke 
Charles' suit, 96. 

Arundel, Earl of (Philip Howard), 
263. 

Ashley, Mrs., governess to Princess 
Elizabeth, 8-1 1. 

Avila, Sancho de, 326. 

B. 

Bacon, Lad}', 96. 

Bacon, Sir Nicholas, loi, 103, no; 
his posthumous papers against 
the Alengon match, 204. 

Bacqueville, M. de, sent by Alen- 
Qon to England, 192, 193 ; re- 
ceived by Elizabeth, 194-6, 313. 

Baden, Margravine of (Cecilia of 
Sweden), her visit to England, 

Balagny, 231. 

Bayonne, the Catholic interviews 
at, 76, 84-6. 

Bedford, f^arl of, 37, 41, 51 ; sent 
to Catharine de Medici to pro- 
pose joint action on Council of 



INDEX. 



-1 T V 
00/ 



. Trent, 58, 72 ; action respecting 

the Alengon match, 242. 
Bertie, Richard, proposed envoy 

to the Emperor, 103. 
Hex de, Alen^on's secretary, 234, 

249-50, 263-4. 
Biron, Marshal de, 324-6, 328. 
Bochetel de la Forest, French 

ambassador, 105. 
Bodin, Jean, sent to England by 

Alen^on, 233, 327. 
Boleyn, Anne, 5-6. 
Boulogne, siege of, 6. 
Bourg, Captain, an envoy from 

Alengon, 214, 227. 
Briant, execution of, 266. 
Brisson Barnabe, 2t,H, 240, 242, 

251- 

Bromley, Sir Thomas, Lord Chan- 
cellor, against the Alengon 
match, 206, 273. 

Bussy d'Amboise, 187, 189-90; 
sent to England, 196 ; killed in a 
duel, 213. 

C. 

Calais,suggested recession to Eng- 
land, 49 ; demanded as a pledge 
by Elizabeth, 288, 294, 297. 

Cambrai, the relief of, 246, 250, 
252, 256, 258-60, 275. 

Campion, execution of, 266. 

Carew, 17. 

Carlos Don, proposed marriage 
with Mary Stuart, 66, 70 ; Eliza- 
beth hints at him as a suitor, 76, 
83, 89. 

Carnavalet, Madame, 137. 

Carrouge, Count de, 238, 240. 

Castelnau de la Mauvissiere, French 
ambassador, 149 ; sent to Eng- 
land, 166, 168, 184, 187, 200, 202, 
207-8, 210-11, 214; threatens 
Elizabeth with the publication 
of her letters to Alen^on, 225-6 ; 
his interviews with Pvlizabeth, 



264, 269, 306 ; declines to believe 
Elizabeth's professed desire to 
marry Alengon, 309 ; his scan- 
dalous words to Elizabeth, 312; 
shocked at Elizabeth's profanity, 
323- 
Catharine de Medici, Queen- 
mother of France, 3-4, 57, 66, 
69, 71, 76 ; offers Charles IX. to 
Elizabeth, 79-80, 82-7, 103 ; 
favours Leicester's suit, 104-5 ; 
proposals to marry Anjou to 
Mary Stuart, 114 ; her negotia- 
tions for Anjou's marriage with 
E^lizabeth, 1 15-17, 123-5 > her in- 
terview with Buckhurst, 124-5 > 
her interviews with Walsingham, 
127, 135, 137 ; anxiety for the 
Anjou match, 140-1 ; plans to 
many Anjou elsewhere, 144 ; 
her renewed negotiations for 
the Anjou match, 145-9 > P^'o- 
poses Alenfon to P^lizabeth, 149 
passim ; her action after St. 
Bartholomew, 166, 168-71 ; again 
offers Alenfon, 172-3 ; keeps 
Alengon and Navarre in durance, 
175-81 ; pursues Alen^on in his 
flight, 183 ; agam pursues Alen- 
(;on, 190 ; her plans against the 
Huguenots, 197-8 ; Elizabeth 
praises her, 215 ; she opposes 
Alengon's entrance into Flanders, 
246, 251 ; her interview with 
Walsingham, 256 ; attempts to 
bribe Alenc^on, 256 ; makes light 
of Elizabeth's pledge to Alen^on, 
275 ; her anger with Alengon 
for trusting Elizabeth, 286 ; 
helps Alenfon in the Nether- 
lands, 322 ; meets Alengon on 
his flight from Flanders, 329 ; 
proposes to marry him to Mary 
Stuart, 330 ; swears to be re- 
venged upon the Spaniards for 
Alen?on's death, 330 ; Eliza- 



538 



INDEX. 



bcth's letter to her on Alen^on's j 
death, 331. 

Catharine of Aragon, 5, 16-17. 

Catharine of Navarre, her sug- 
gested marriage with Alengon, 
186. 

Catholics, persecution of, during 
Alencon's stay in England, 266 

Cavalcanti, Guido, Catharine de 
Medici's envoy to Elizabeth, 
about the Anjou match, 116, 
128-9, 131, 136-7, 138, 140, 142 ; 
his negotiations for the Alencon 
match, 148-50, 154, 173. 

Cecil, Lady, 96. 

Cecil, Sir Thomas, 224. 

Cecil, William, Lord Burleigh, 2, 
12, 32, 35. 40. 41. 43 ; favours 
the Swedish match, 49 ; com- 
plains of Dudley, 50-2 ; frus- 
trates Dudley's Catholic in- 
trigues, 57-63 ; opposed to the 
match with Charles IX., 79-80, 
81, 89 ; in favour of the Arch- 
duke, loi, 103-4, 1 10 • lii^ atti- 
tude towards the Anjou match, 
129-30, 139, 142, 144 ; his atti- 
tude towards the Alengon match, 
161-3, 195-6, 202, 204, 216, 
226-7, 234, 241-2, 256, 258, 266, 
270, 273, 281, 287-8, 298, 305, 

307, 31O: 313, 323- 

Challoner, Sir Thomas, 32, 34. 

Champigny (Perennot), Flemish 
envoy to England, 184. 

Champvallon accompanies Alen- 
con to England, 278. 

Charles, Archduke, a suitor for the 
Queen's hand, 34-6, 41-8 ; 
proposed marriage with Mary 
Stuart, 66-9 ; renewed pro- 
posals to Elizabeth, 78, 81-2, 
88-95, 97~io5 '> the negotiations 
finally abandoned, 111-13, 116 

Charles V. 5-6, 17. 

Charles IX. of France, 71 ; pro- 



posals for his marriage with 
Elizabeth, 77-8, 83-7 ; his 
marriage with a daughter of 
the Emperor, 113 ; urges the 
Anjou match with Elizabeth, 
123-4, 128, 131-2, 135, 140-1 : 
his new alienation from England 
and the Protestants, 160-1, 164 ; 
his explanation of St. Bartholo- 
mew, 165 ; renewed approaches 
to England, 168-71 ; illness of, 
174 ; his death, 179-81. 
Chartres, Vidame de, proposes the 

Anjou match, 115, 118, 169. 
Chastelard, 79. 

Chateauneuf, Mdlle., Anjou's mis- 
tress, 138, 145. 
Chatillon, Cardinal, proposes the 

Anjou match, 115, 118. 
Chelsea, 7. 

Cigogne reports Alencon's depar- 
ture for England, 248. 
Cleves, Princess of, suggested 

marriage with Alengon, 186. 
Clinton, Earl of Lincoln, 51 ; sent 
to France to ratify the alliance, 
154-5, 156-8 ; his attitude to- 
wards the Alengon match, 216. 
CHnton, Lady, 119. 
Cobham, Henry, sent to the Em- 
peror, 113, 116 ; sent to Spain, 
185 ; English ambassador in 
France, 233, 252, 257, 281 ; his 
accounts of the attitude of 
Henry III. towards Alencon 
and Elizabeth, 305-7, 323. 
Cobham, Lady, 96, 119. 
Cobham, Lord, 96, 238. 
Coconas, Count, his plan for Alen- 
con's escape discovered, 177 ; 
his execution, 178, 186. 
Coligny, 143, 144, 145, 157, 161, 165. 
Coloredo, his description of Eliza- 
beth, 60. 
Conde, Prince of, 76, 168-9, 183, 
227 ; visits Elizabeth, 228. 



INDEX. 



339 



Corbet, English envoy to Flanders, 

184. 
Correro, Venetian ambassador, 

his description of Anjou, 120. 
Cosse, Marshal de, 178, 227, 238, 

240, 252. 
Courtney, proposed marriage with 

Mary, 13 ; proposed marriage 

with Elizabeth, 14-15. 
Cranmer, 16. 
Crofts, Sir James, 204, 234, 257, 

269, 275. 
Crusol, Madame de, 79. 

D. 

Dale, Dr. Valentine, English Am- 
bassador in France, his negotia- 
tions with Catharine concerning 
the Alengon match, 172-3, 174 ; 
intercedes for La Mole, 178 ; in- 
tercedes for Alengon, 180-1. 

Danett, Thomas, sent to the Em- 
peror, 105. 

Darcy sent by Elizabeth to recon- 
cile Alenfon with the States, 
328. 

Darnley, Lord, 66-7 ; married to 
Mary Stuart, 71, 74, 88, 90, 95, 
100. 

Dassonleville, Philip's Flemish 
agent, 21. 

Dauphin, Prince (of Auvergne), 
special ambassador to England, 
237-40, 242 ; accompanies Alen- 
9on to England, 264, 267 ; re- 
bukes Alengon for his treason- 
able talk, 295 ; on the Flemish 
frontier, 324. 

Denny, 10. 

Dorset, Earl of, concerned in Sey- 
mour's plot, 9. 

Drake, Sir Francis, 231, 233 ; 
knighted by Marchaumont, 235. 

Dudley, Lady Robert, her hus- 
band's alleged plot to murder, 
31, 45 ; her death, 50, 54, 63, 83. 



Dudley, Robert, Earl of Leicester, 
2, 29-3 1 , 33-4, 36, 38-40; intrigues 
to prevent the Austrian match, 
41-6, 48-9, 50 ; presses his own 
suit, 53-65 ; solicits Spanish aid, 
53-9 ; solicits Huguenot aid, 63- 
4 ; favours Darnley's marriage 
with Mary Stuart, 67 ; proposed 
marriage with Mary Stuart, 69- 
70 ; made Earl of Leicester, 73 ; 
his fresh Catholic intrigues, 75 ; 
ostensibly favours the Archduke 
Charles, 82-3 ; Spanish ap- 
proaches to, 89-90 ; French ap- 
proaches to, 94 ; suggested mar- 
riage with an Austrian princess, 
95 ; again feigns approval of the 
Austrian match, 97-8 ; quarrel 
with Heneage, 98 ; reproached 
by Norfolk, 102 ; his suit 
again in the ascendant, 103 ; 
favoured by the French, 104-5, 
106 ; quarrels with Sussex and 
Ormond, 107 ; reproached by the 
Queen, 108-9 > feigns support to 
the Anjou match, 1 16-17; pi'o- 
posed marriage with the Princess 
of Cleves, 138 ; his attitude to- 
wards Alengon's suit, 163, 197, 
200, 202-3, 204, 207 ; his jealousy 
of Simier, whom he attempts to 
murder, 209 ; his second mar- 
riage, 210 ; is against the Alen^on 
match, 216, 222, 228, 239, 241-2, 
244, 248-9, 250-1, 261, 265, 267, 
268, 270-1, 273, 275, 278, 292, 
297, 298 ; accompanies Alencon 
to Holland, 299-301-3 ; his re- 
turn to England, 304-6 ; anger 
of the Queen with him, 305 ; in 
favour of an English protecto- 
rate of the Netherlands, 310: 
fears of Alengon's again visiting 
England, 320 ; opposes the mar- 
riage, 323. 
Durham Place, 9, 46, 96. 



340 



INDEX. 



Edward VI., 6-7. 

Egmont, Count, 15. 

Elector Palatine, 71-2. 

Elizabeth, Queen, objects of her 
diplomacy, 1-4 ; proposed be- 
trothal to Philip II., 7 ; her con- 
nection with Seymour, 8-1 1 ; 
various proposals for her mar- 
riage, 12-13 ; Courtney, 14-17 ; 
Duke of Savoy, 16-20, 22 ; her 
imprisonment, 17 ; released at 
the request of Philip, 17-18 ; 
Eric of Sweden offers his hand, 
19-21 ; her accession, 21-3 ; 
her English suitors, 25-6 ; 
PhiHp's offer to her, 27-8 ; 
Pickering, 29-30, 33-4 ; Dudley, 
33-4 ; the Archdukes, 34-9 ; 
rumoured plot to kill her and 
Dudley, 41-2 ; the Archduke 
Charles, 42-8, 49-52 ; her rela- 
tions with Dudley, 53-70 ; de- 
scription of her, 60 ; alleged mar- 
riage with Dudley, 67-8 ; falls ill 
of small-pox, 68 ; offers Dudley 
to Mary Stuart, 69, 72-4 ; fresh 
approaches to the house of 
Austria, 76-7; proposals to marry 
Charles IX., 77-81, 83-87, 88-95; 
the Archduke Charles, 89-94 ! 
the Swedish suit, 95-6 ; the 
Austrian conditions, 97-9; Hene- 
age, 98-100 ; she confesses her 
attachment to Leicester, 102-3, 
104 ; renewed hints to Charles 
IX., 106 ; her rage with her 
councillors and Parliament, 108- 
9 ; end of the Austrian negotia- 
tions, 111-13 ; proposed mar- 
riage with the Duke of Anjou, 
1 14-128; draft conditions for 
the marriage, 129-30 ; obstinacy 
of Anjou about religion, 133-43, 
144-51 ; Alenfon proposed, 148 ; 
draft treaty with France and 



the Huguenots, 154 ; her recep- 
tion of Montmorenci and de 
Foix, 155-6 ; she objects to 
Alen^on's appearance, 158-9 ; 
desires to see him, 159-60 ; re- 
ception of La Mole, 161-4 ; first 
letter from Alengon, 166-7 '> con- 
sents to stand sponsor to Charles 
IX.'s daughter, 169 ; renewed 
negotiations with Alenfon, 172- 
5 ; she cools towards the match, 
176-81 ; marriage negotiations 
with AlenQon again renewed, 
184 ; she again approaches the 
Spaniards, 184-5 ; her fresh ap- 
proach to Alengon rejected, 187; 
she opposes French interference 
in Flanders, 191-2 ; she urges 
Don John to make peace, 192-3; 
Alen(;on's suit again revived, 193 
passim ; her reception of Simier, 
200; her letters to Alen^on, 201- 
2; her preparations for Alengon's 
visit, 204 ; is offended at the 
Council's opposition to the 
match, 206 ; her attachment for 
Simier, 207-8, 209-10 ; her rage 
at Leicester's marriage, 210 ; 
Alencon's arrival, 211 ; she falls 
in love with him, 212-13 '> her 
anger with the Council, 216-17 : 
her farewell to Simier, 221-2 ; 
she cools towards the match, 
225 ; her perplexity, 226-7 '> ^Ic- 
cides to aid Alen^on in Flanders, 
227-30, 233 ; her favour to Mar- 
chaumont, 234-5 ; the incident 
of the garter, 236 ; reception of 
the special French embassv, 
237-244 ; plans with Marchau- 
mont Alengon's secret visit, 245- 
6 ; her reception of Alen^on, 
247-9 ; her change of tone ; 
letter to Alengon, 253 ; her 
attempts to draw Henry III. into 
war with Spain, 255-6 ; her 



INDEX. 



341 



alarm, 257 ; the marriage nego- 
tiations again resumed, 257-8 ; 
her hesitancy, 258 ; opposes 
Alengon's coming, 261 ; gives 
way, 262 ; her reception of him, 
264-6 ; solemnly pledges herself 
to Alen^on, 269-70 ; she mini- 
mises the pledge at the instance 
of Leicester, 272 ; Alengon's 
anger, 273 ; her negotiations 
with Pinart, 273-4 '< offers Alen- 
gon a subsidy, 274-5 ; her de- 
mands, 276 ; her rage with 
Leicester and Fervaques about 
Simier, 278 ; her anxiety to get 
rid of Alengon, 279 ; her intri- 
gues with this end, 281-6; Henry 
IIL accepts all her conditions, 
288 ; she demands Calais as 
security, 288 ; her alarm at 
Henry II I. 's complaisance, 291 ; 
she dashes Alenipon's hopes, 294; 
alarmed at Pinart's threats, 297; 
prevails upon Alengon to go, 
299 ; her anger at Leicester, 305; 
her fear of the consequences of 
Alenfon's action in Flanders, 
305-6 ; her intrigues to induce 
him to retire, 306-8 ; again be- 
guiles him with hopes lof mar- 
riage, 309-12 ; her attempts to 
cajole Henry III., 309-11 ; her 
fear of French influence in 
Flanders, 311, 314-15 ; her letter 
to Alen(;:on, 316-17, 318-19 ; her 
plan for a confederation of 
Northern powers, 319 ; Henry 
III. again approaches her, 320-1; 
she swears to marry Alengon, 
323 ; promises to make him her 
heir, 324 ; her sincerity now 
generally distrusted, 323-5 ; her 
coldness to Alen^on after his 
flight, 329-30; butoffei^s to aid his 
new expedition, 330 ; her mourn- 
ing for Alencon, 331 ; the mar- 



riage plans at an end, 331 ; 
success of Elizabeth's policy, 
332-3- 

Elizabeth de Valois, Queen of 
Spain, 76. 

Eric XIV. of Sweden, his ap- 
proaches to Elizabeth, 19-21, 31- 
2, 40, 45, 47, 49-52, 62 ; proposes 
to Mary Stuart, 66 ; renews his 
suit to Elizabeth, 83, 95-6. 

Essex,Countessof (Lettice Knollj-s), 
98 ; her marriage to Leicester, 
209-10. 

Este, Francesco d", 12. 



Fargis, M. de, 327. 

Ferdinand, Archduke, a suitor for 
E^lizabcth, 22-3, 24-5, 32-6, 38. 

Ferdinand, Emperor, 35, 43-4, 48, 
71 ; death of, 78, 88. 

Fere, La, interview between Wal- 
singham and Alencon at, 256. 

Feria, Count de, Spanish ambassa- 
dor, 19-20 ; 21-3 ; 24-5, 26-7, 

31- 33, 43- 

Ferrara, Duke of, his son sug- 
gested as a suitor for Elizabeth, 
12. 

Fervaques, 231, 246, 276-8, 327. 

Figueroa, Spanish ambassador, 
20. 

Finland, Duke of, offers liis hand, 

47- 
Foix, Paul de, French ambassador, 
79-80, 81-2, 83-7, 89-94, 103-5 ; 
his negotiations for the Anjou 
match, 125, 127, 135, 136-7, 141- 
2, 145-9 '■ his visit to England 
about the Alencon match, 148, 
155 ; reception by P^lizabeth, 

Fleix, the peace of, 231. 
Florent (Ajacet), 49. 
Francis 1,5. 



342 



INDEX. 



Francis II. of France, 41, 49 ; his 
death, 57. 

French special embassy to England 
about the Alengon match, 237- 
44 ; dismay at Alengon's sudden 
visit, 248 ; departure of the em- 
bassy, 251. 

Frog, the Queen's pet name for 
Alen^on. 



Gardiner, Bishop, won over to the 
Spanish match, 15, 20. 

Genlis, his rout in Flanders, by 
Don Fadrique de Toledo, 160-1. 

Gerau de Spes, Spanish ambas- 
sador, 131, 133, 139. 

Gondi, Count de Retz, sent to 
England about Alengon's match, 

173-4- 

Granvelle, Cardinal, 42, 60, 65. 

Greenwich, 41 ; scene with Dudley 
at, 61-2; meeting of the Council 
at, 216 

Grey, Lady Catharine, Spanish 
plan to marry her to Archduke 
Charles, 46. 

Guidotti, Sir Anthony, 12. 

Guises, the, 66, 69, 114, 122-3, 138, 
140, 160, 166-7, ^11^ 224, 234, 
256, 320, 322, 330. 

Guzman de Silva, Spanish ambas- 
sador, 75, 81-3, 86 ; his atti- 
tude towards the Austrian match, 
89-93. 96 ; his belief in Leices- 
ter's success, 99, 102-3, 105 ; his 
interview with the Queen con- 
cerning Parliament, 108. 

H. 

Hampton Court, 41 ; Queen falls 
ill of small-pox at, 69 ; receives 
Melvil at, 72 ; receives La Mothe 
at, 117. 

Hans Casimir, Duke, proposes to 



Elizabeth, 71-2 ; raises merce- 
naries for the Huguenots, &c., 
183, 186, 192, 233. 

Hans Frederick of Saxony, his son 
suggested as a suitor for Eliza- 
beth, 12, 47. 

Hanworth, 7. 

Harrington, concerned in Sey- 
mour's plot, 9. 

Hatfield, 10, 20-21. 

Hatton, Sir Christopher, 203, 204, 
218, 222, 242, 250, 261, 270-1, 
297, 300, 304, 310. 

Havre, English occupation of, 68. 

Havrey, Marquis d', 193. 

Helfenstein, Imperial ambassador, 
47-48. 

Heneage, Sir Thomas, 98-100, loi, 

113- 
Henry VIII., 5-6, 16. 
Henry III., King of France, 182, 
186 ; arrests Alengon, 187-91 ; 
his attitude towards the Alengon 
match, 222-3, 229, 231, 233 ; 
opposes AlenQon's plans in Flan- 
ders, 246-7, 250-1, 252-3, 255-6, 
268-9, 281, 287 ; he accepts all 
of Elizabeth's conditions, 288 ; 
refuses to countenance Alengon 
in Flanders, 305 ; his anger with 
Elizabeth, 306 ; Elizabeth's dis- 
trust of him, 311-15 ; fears of the 
Guises again draw him to Eliza- 
beth, 320-2 ; favours an alliance 
but disbelieves in the marriage, 
323 ; reconciled to Alen^on, 330 ; 
now powerless to harm England, 
332. 

Horsey, Edmund, English envoy 
in France, 172. 

Howard, Admiral Lord, 214. 

Howard, Lord, his son suggested 
as a suitor, 25. 

Howard, Lord Harry, 263. 

Hunsdon, Lord, accompanies 
Alenfon to Holland, 300, 302. 



INDEX. 



o4o 



I. 

Isabel, Clara Eugenia Infanta, 
suggested marriage with Alen- 
9on, 1 86. 

J- 

James V. of Scotland, 6. 

James VI. of Scotland, birth of, 
107. 

Jauregui, his attempt to assassinate 
Orange, 308. 

John Don, of Austria, Elizabeth 
suggests marriage with him, he 
seizes Namur, 188, 191 ; Eliza- 
beth urges him to make peace, 
192. 

K. 

Kenilworth, Elizabeth takes La 
Mole thither, 162-3 > Klizabeth 
receives news of St. Bartholo- 
mew at, 164. 

Killigrew, 40-1. 

Killigrew, Henry, English envoy in 
France, 144 ; interview with the 
Queen-mother, 145-7, i49~5^^- 

Knollys, Sir Francis, remonstrates 
with the Queen about the Alen- 
(j'on match, 218. 



Latin, pursued by Fervaques into 

Elizabeth's presence, 278. 
Lansac, 238, 240, 287. 
L'Archant, Captain of Anjou's 

guard, sent to E^ngland, 136-9, 

140. 
L'Aubespine, Secretary, special 

envoy to Elizabeth, 197. 
Leicester, Earl of, sec Dudley. 
Leighton, Thomas, special envoy 

to France, 179-80. 
Lennox, Earl of, 72. 
Lethington, William Alaitland, 

laird of, 67, 68-9, 70, 89. 
LigneroUes, his murder, 141, 144. 
Limoges, Bishop of, 147. 



Lincoln, Earl of, sec Clinton. 
Lippomano, his story respecting 

the Queen and Alenfon, 265. 
L'isle, Madame, cipher name for 

Elizabeth, 168. 
Long Melford, Suffolk, De Bacque- 

ville received by the Queen at, 

194. 
Lorraine, Cardinal, 69, 76, 137, 140. 
Lucidor, Don, cipher name for 

Alen^on, 168, 176. 
Lumley, Lady, 25. 

M. 

Maisonfleur, his mission to Eliza- 
beth, 167-8, 175-6. 

Mansfeldt, Count, 48. 

Marchaumont, Alengon's agent in 
England, 233 ; knights Drake, 
235 ; sends Elizabeth's garter 
to Alengon, 236 ; urges Alen^on 
to visit England, 241, 244-5, 
248-9, 250, 252 ; again urges 
Alengon to visit England, 260, 
262 ; his reception of Alengon, 
262-3, -7^^ > complains to Eliza- 
beth of Leicester's talk about 
Alen^on, 304 ; continually begs 
for money for Alengon, 305, 

307-8, 313-14, 324- 

Margaret de Valois, Queen of 
Navarre, divulges the plot for 
Alengon's escape, 177, 181, 189- 
90 ; opposes the Alengon match, 
231, 277-8, 317-18. 

Martyr, Peter, 41. 

Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, 2, 6, 
28, 40 ; the question of her re- 
marriage, 61-3, 65-6, 68-75, 77-8, 
88, loi, 107 ; Catholic proposal 
to marry her to Anjou, 114, 123, 
134, 138, 143 ; her imprudent 
letter to Elizabeth about Simier, 
208 ; plots in her favour, 224, 
330 ; proposal to marry her to 
Alengon, 330. 



344 



INDEX. 



Mary Tudor, Queen of England, 
6 ; her accession, 13 ; projected 
marriage with Courtney, 13 ; 
captured by the Spanish interest, 
13 ; married to Philip, 13-18 ; 
her treatment of Elizabeth, 14- 
20 ; her death, 21, 27. 

Mary of Lorraine, Queen Dowager 
of Scotland, 6. 

Mathias, Archduke, 188. 

Maximilian, Emperor, 78, 88-9, 
97-9, 102-3, 105. 

Medici, Duke of Elorence, his 
son suggested as a suitor for 
Elizabeth, 12 ; a daughter of, 
suggested as a match for Alen- 
gon, 301. 

Melvil, Sir James, his visits to 
Elizabeth, 71-74 ; his description 
of her, 74-5. 

Mendoza, Bernardino de, Spanish 
ambassador, 190, 194, 197, 202, 
204-5, 208, 212, 214, 226-7, 228, 
241, 243, 248, 256-7, 256, 261-3, 
266, 275, 309. 

Mery, M. de, 234 ; carries the 
Queen's garter to Alengon, 
236. 

Michaeli, Venetian ambassador, 
his description of Anjou, 120. 

Moine, sec Marchaumont. 

Mole, La, his mission to England, 
161 ; reception by Elizabeth, 
162-4 • to accompany Alencon 
to England, 168 ; plans Alencon's 
escape, 177 ; his execution, 178, 
186. 

Monkey, the Queen's pet name for 
Simier. 

Montgomeri, Count dc, 169 ; at 
the siege of Rochelle, 170-1. 

Montmorenci, Marshal, 60, 135, 
136, 145 ; reception by Eliza- 
beth, 154-6 ; splendid entertain- 
ment of him, 156 ; consulted by 
Charles IX., i6r ; his party joins 



the Huguenots, 175, 178 ; re- 
leased from prison, 183. 

Morette, envoy of the Duke of 
Savoy, 59. 

Morysine, Sir Richard, 12. 

Mothc Fenelon, La, his negotia- 
tions in favour of the Anjou 
match, 1 16-18, 119-24, 127-8, 
131-4, 137 ; suggests Alengon 
as a suitor, 150 ; his negotiations 
respecting Alenyon, &c., 161-4 ; 
visits the Queen after St. Bar- 
tholomew's, 165-6, 170 ; re- 
newed negotiations for Alencon, 
176 ; sent to P^ngland, 238, 240, 
244-5, 251 ; his interviews with 
Elizabeth on his wav to Scot- 
land, 324-5. 

Mowbray sent by Dudley to Henry 
of Navarre, 64. 

N. 

Navarre, King Henry of, ap- 
proached by Dudley, 63 ; mar- 
riage with Margaret de Valois, 
138, 140, 142, 154, 166 ; to 
accompany Alencon to Eng- 
land, 168-9 ; kept tightly by 
Catharine, 175-6, 177 ; he es- 
capes and heads the Huguenots, 
186, 197, 230 ; next heir to the 
crown of France, 332. 

Navarre, Queen of, sec Margaret. 

Nemours, Duke of, proposed as a 
suitor, 59. 

Nerac, the treaty of, 215. 

Nevers, Duke de, his son pro- 
posed as a suitor, 49. 

Noailles, French ambassador, his 
intrigues against the Spanish 
marriages, 14-18. 

Norfolk, Duchess of, 26. 

Norfolk, Duke of, 23, 29 ; in favour 
of the match with Archduke 
Charles, 45-6, 47 ; admitted to 
the Privy Council, 68 ; pressing 



INDEX. 



345 



the Archduke's suit, 95-6, 
100-3 ; reproached by the 
Queen, 108, no ; his conspiracy, 

134. 144- 152, 178- 
Norris, Sir John, with Alen(;on in 

Holland, 302, 328. 
North, Lord, special envoy to 

France, 180 ; conversation with 

Catharine, 181 ; quarrels with 

Sussex, 195. 
Northampton, Marquis of, the 

Queen's anger witli him, 108. 
Northumberland, Duke of, his 

plans for Elizabeth's marriage, 

11-12, 13. 
Noue, La, 227, 230. 
Nuncio, proposed dispatch of, to 

England, 59. 

O. 
Obterre, Marchaumont's secretary, 

234- 
Orange, Prince of, 185, 188, 225, 

227, 291, 301-3, 305 ; attempted 

assassination of, 308-9, 311-12 ; 

Salcedo's plot to murder, 320 ; 

tired of Alencon, 325, 326-7. 
Ormond, Earl of, 103, 107. 
Oudenarde, fall of, 319. 
Oxford, Earl of, 29. 



Paget, Lord, 14-15. 

Parr, Catharine, marries Thomas 
Se3anour, 7 ; her treatment of 
Elizabeth, 7-8. 

Parry, Sir Thomas, Cofferer to 
Princess Elizabeth, 8-1 1. 

Paulet, Sir Amyas, EngHsh minis- 
ter in France, 198. 

Pelican, the, Drake's ship, 235 

Pembroke, Earl of, 58, 67 ; the 
Queen's anger with him, 108 ; 
receives the special French em- 
bassy, 238. 

Philip II., 3-4 ; his suggested 



marriage with Elizabeth, 7 ; 
marries Mary, 13-20 ; his ap- 
proaches to Elizabeth, 21-3 ; 
his attitude towards an Austrian 
match, 24-5 ; offers his hand to 
Elizabeth, 27-8 ; inclined to 
aid Dudle}-, 57, 62, 83, 100 ; 
rejoices at St. Bartholomew, 
166 ; his fleet well received by 
Elizabeth, 184; Henry Cobham 
sent to him, 185 ; disbelieves in 
the Alengon match, 197 ; his 
pretensions to the crown of Por- 
tugal, 215 ; plots with Mary 
Stuart for the invasion of Eng- 
land, 224 ; crippled by Eliza- 
beth's poHcy, 331. 

Pickering, Sir William, a suitor 
for Elizabeth's hand, 25, 29-30 ; 
arrives in England, 33-4, 36-7 : 
quarrels with Bedford and Arun- 
del, 37. 

Pinart, Secretary, 238, 244, 251, 
273-4, 276, 279, 288 ; reproaches 
Alengon for his treasonable talk, 
295 ; threatens Elizabeth, 297-8. 

Porte, La, sent to England by 
Alencon, 184. 

Pruneaux, M. de, 311. 

Q- 

Quadra, Alvaro de, Bishop of 
Aquila, Spanish ambassador, 24, 
26, 32, 34-6, 38-9, 41-4, 45-50. 
53-62, 64-5 ; accused of slander- 
ing Elizabeth, 67. 

Quelus, M. de, 190. 

Quincy, M. de, an envoy from 
Alenyon, 193-4, i9^-(h 276, 277. 

R. 

Rambouillet, Marquis de, special 
French envoy to Elizabeth, 197. 

Randolph, Sir Thomas, 40 ; sent 
to report on Alencon's appear- 
ance, 175-6. 



34^ 



INDEX. 



Ravcnstcin, Baron, Imperial am- 
bassador, 34-6, 37, 38, 39, 48. 

Renard, Simon, proposes Mary's 
marriage with Philip, 13-14 ; 
proposes Elizabeth's marriage 
with Emmanuel Philibert of 
Savoy, 16-20. 

Reaux, M. de, visits Elizabeth frona 
Alengon, 329. 

Richmond, 17-18 ; Alengon lodged 
at, 263-4. 

Ridolti plot, 122, 131, 139. 

Rochelle, siege of, 168-71, 172, 
177. 

Rochetaille, an envoy from Alen- 
yon, 203, 207. 

Romero, Julian, 326. 

Russell, Houble. John, sent to 
Alengon, 328. 

S. 

Sackville, Sir Thomas, proposed 
envoy to the Emperor, 103, 
104-5. 

Saint Aignan, Duke de, 327. 

Saint Aldegonde, 265, 291, 296. 

St. Bartholomew, 144, 148 ; recep- 
tion of the news in England, 
164-5. 

Salcedo's plot to murder Alengon 
and Orange, 320. 

Sancerre, Count de, 238. 

Savoy, Duke of, a suitor for Eliza- 
beth's hand, 16-20, 22. 

Schafanoya, 28-9, 33. 

Serpente, Madame la, cipher name 
for Catharine de Medici, 168, 
176. 

Seymour, Thomas, Lord Seymour 
of Sudeley, his treatment of 
Elizabeth, 7-8 ; his plot, 9-1 1. 

Sharington concerned in Sey- 
naour's plot, 9. 

Sherwin, execution of, 266. 

Sidney, Lady Mary, 41, 55. 

Sidney, Sir Henry, bespeaks 



Spanish aid for Dudley's suit, 

53-4- 5^-9- 

Sidney, Sir Philip ; he remon- 
strates with the Queen about 
the Alengon match, 218-19 ; 
with Alenyon in the Nether- 
lands, 302. 

Simier, Jehan de, aids Alengoii to 
escape, 185, 190 ; his mission to 
London, 199-200 ; urges Alcn- 
Von to come to England, 202 ; 
his conditions for the match, 
204-C) ; Elizabeth's intimacy with 
him,'.207-8, 209 ; divulges Leices- 
ter's secret marriage, 209-10 ; 
his letters to Elizabeth, 214 ; his 
departure with the draft condi- 
tions, 220-1 ; his letters to Eliza- 
beth, 222, 227-8 ; in disgrace 
with Alengon, 231 ; his extra- 
ordinary letter to Elizabeth, 232, 
244 ; Elizabeth intercedes for 
him, 246 ; sent to England by 
Henry HL, 277-8 ; another 
attempt to murder him, 278 ; 
Elizabeth's rage thereat, 278 ; 
his action against Alengon's suit, 
282 ; quarrel with Alengon, 283 ; 
his betrayal of Elizabeth, 289- 
90 ; interview between him and 
Alengon, 291-2 ; he departs 
from England, 290. 

Smith, Sir Thomas, English envoy 
to France, 77-8 ; his interviews 
with Catharine de Medici and 
Charles IX., 84-5 ; sent to 
France about the Anjou match, 
142, 144 ; audience with the 
Queen-mother, 145-7 ; Alengon 
is suggested to him for the 
Queen, 148-15 1 ; interview with 
the Queen-mother, 152-3 ; pre- 
sent at La Mole's interview with 
Elizabeth, 162. 

Soissons, Count de, 238. 

Somers sent to France, 252-3. 



INDEX. 



547 



Somerset, Duke of, Protector, 7, 
9-10, II. 

Stafford, Edward, 214 ; sent to 
France with Simier, 222-3 '' ^^nt 
to Alen?on, 230 ; Alengon lodges 
in his house, 264. 

Stafford, Lady, Mistress of the 
Robes, 264, 297, 323. 

Stamford, 106. 

Stuart, James, Earl of Murray, 66, 

, 70. 

Stubbs, his book against the Alen- 
gon match, 217-18. 

Stukeley, Thomas, his descent upon 
Ireland, 122. 

Succession to the Crown, question 
of, urged upon the Queen by 
Parliament, 107-9. 

Sussex, Earl of, Thomas Ratclift", 
in favour of an Austrian match, 
24> 32, 93-5. 98-9> 100, loi, 
103-4, 107-8, no; sent to the 
Emperor, iio-ii ; failure of 
his mission, 11 2-13 ; his attitude 
towards the Alengon match, 193 ; 
the Queen's treatment of him in 
the presence of Alencon's en- 
voys, 194-5 ; bribed by Spain, 
204-5 ; in favour of the Alengon 
match, 206, 216, 234, 241-2, 244- 
5, 251, 265, 268, 273, 285, 289, 
296-7,298,305,307,310,313. , 

Sussex, Lady, 96. [ 

vSweden, King of (Gustavus), 19, i 
31. 51-2. 

Sweden, King of (Eric), sec Eric 
XIV. I 

Swedish ambassador offends Queen 
Mary, 20, 31-2. 

Swetkowitz, Adam, sent by the 
Emperor on behalf of Archduke 
Charles, 83-94, 97-9- 

T. 

Tavannes, Marshal, 138. 
Teligny, 124, 131. 



Throgmorton, English ambassador 
in France, 40, 89-90, 94. 

Trent, Council of, Dudley's in- 
trigues with regard to, 53-60. 

Turenne, 255. 

Tyrwhitt, Lady, 10. 

Tyrwhitt, Sir Robert, lo-ii. 

V. 

Valdez, Don Pedro de, Spanish 

admiral, 184. 
Valette, La, 299. 
Viteau, Baron de, 278. 
Vray, De, Alengon's secretary, 

206-7, 228, 238, 245, 249, 257. 
Vulcob, his interview with the 

Queen, 105-6. 

W. 

Walsingham, Sir Francis, sent to 
France about the Anjou match, 
119 ; his description of Anjou, 
1 20-1 ; considers the Queen's 
marriage necessary, 123 ; his 
negotiations, 124-8 ; inter- 
views with Catharine, 127, 132, 
134-5, 137 ; his opinion of 
Anjou's religion, 138 ; desires to 
bring about the match, 139, 
141-2, 143, 144 ; his negotia- 
tions for the Alen(,"on match, 
152-63 ; sends news of St. 
Bartholomew, 164 ; ]-emonstrates 
with the Queen about the Alen- 
con match, 218-19, 222, 241-2, 
244, 250, 253-4 '> ^^^^ mission to 
France, 255 ; his interview with 
Alengon at La Fere, 256-7 ; he 
warns Elizabeth of her fickle- 
ness, 257-8, 259-61 ; returns to 
London, 261-2, 263, 265, 267, 
272 ; Elizabeth's anger with 
him, 305, 306, 311. 

Wanstead, Elizabeth's visits to 
Leicester there, 205, 209. 



348 



INDEX. 



Warwick, ?2aii of, 70. 
Westmoreland, Earl of, 25. 
Wightman concerned in Seymour's 

plot, 9. 
Wilkes, Clerk of the Privv Council, 

183. 
Willoughby, Lord, with Alencon 

in Holland, 302. 



Winchester, Marquis of, 21. 
Woodstock, 16-17, 18 ; Elizabeth 

receives La Mothe at, after St. 

Bartholomew, 165. 
Wvatt, Sir Thomas, 17. 

Y. 

York, Archbishop of (Sandys), 226. 




UXWIX BROTHERS, 
WOKIXG AXD LONDON. 



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