1. IN the first Moneth of the yeare, Frances Duke of Alencon did by Letters most full of love, and by Maveisier the French Ambassadour, labour more earnestly then before that he might come into England upon safe conduct and salute Queene Elizabeth in person, unto whom being absent hee bare singular Love and Honour. She being overcome with importunities, yielded (although she privily warned him otherwise), and gave him her faithfull word that hee might come when he would before the 20th of May, and largely promised that hee should faile of no kindnesse which might be expected at the hands of a most loving Princesse. Certainly she now loved him more fervently, after shee understood for certaine that hee bare a mortall hatred against the Guises her sworne Enemies. But before this answer was brought to Alencon, Valentine Dale Doctor of Law, Embassadour in France (who was substituted in Walsinghams roome, he being now Secretary) gave advertisement that Alencon and Navarre were suspected of seeking to raise commotions. For the Queene Mother, being a woman of an insatiable mind, had begun to suspect that hee practised secretly with Navarre, Montmorency and others to remove her from the Government, if any thing should befall the King other then well; and this her suspition the Guises increased, suggesting unto her that her Sonne Alencon had not long before had privie dealings with his inward friend Caligny the ringleader of the Protestants in France. Alencon being questioned, amongst other things confessed voluntarily that he had now a good while beene a suitor for marriage with Queene Elizabeth of England, whereunto, forasmuch as he thought that Coligny’s friendship would be of use unto him, he had had now and then speeches with him thereof, and of the Low-Countrey warre. Notwithstanding, both hee and Navarre had keepers appointed over them. But Thomas Wilkes, Dail’s Secretary, came privily to them both, and comforted them in the Queenes name, promising that she would omit no opportunity to helpe and revive them. Whereof that subtill old woman soone got knowledge, and prosecuted Wilkes in such sort that he was faine to withdraw himselfe into England, where she also pursued him with letters of complaint, insomuch that he was sent backe into France, and humbly craved pardon. Navarre not unmindfull of this his consolation, when being King of France hee saw him in Normandy 25 yeeres after, knighted him. Afterwardes Queene Elizabeth sent Thomas Randolph into France to the Queenes Mother, that if it were possible he might reconcile Alencon and Navarre to their former grace and favour. But before he arrived in France, King Charles was dead; for whom a solemne Exequie was kept with great Honour in Pauls Church in London.
  2. As soone as Henry the third of that name King of France was returned out of Poland into France to be his successor, Roger Lord North was sent into France to congratulate to the new King both his kingdome and his returne, to condole the renting of France with civill warres, to perswade him to peace and observation of the Edicts, to reduce Alencon into grace, to mitigate the displeasure against Monmorency and the marshall of Cosse, and to procure favour towards the Lady Charlota of Burbon, the Duke of Monpensier’s daughter, which had withdrawne herselfe into Germany for religion. But he effected nothing, for that France, as it were thrust forward by destiny, ranne desperately into a mortall warre. Neverthelesse the King and his Mother sent La Garde into England witht their joynt letters, to prosecute the matter of marriage for her sonne Alencon. For he now stomacking very much that he was so unworthily led about by his Mother like a prisoner, and holding secret counsels with the Politicians in France, they purposed to rid him away into England in hope of Marriage, thereby to divert the y oung mans mind from warre and factions.
  3. Neverthelesse in the meane time they left no meanes unassayed by secret practises in Scotland, to procure that the young King might bee sent over into France, and Morton the Regent deposed; sending privily to this purpose certaine Scottes of the French guard into Scotland. And this the Queene of Scotts much desired, being perswaded that if her sonne were once in France out of danger, she and the Catholikes in England should be more mildly dealt withall. For hereby she thought it would come to passe that the English faction in Scotland, which was hitherto upholden by the authority of the Kings name, would presently fall to the ground; and the English, as he grew more and more to riper yeeres, would daily stand in feare of him, both out of France, and out of Scotland. And no lesse did the French wish the same, fearing least the Regent of Scotland, being most devoted to the English, would dissolve that ancient League betwixt the French and the Scots. Notwithstanding when the Regent earnestly intreated that there might bee a League of mutuall defence concluded betwixt England and Scotland against Foraigners, hee was not hearkened unto; happely for that hee sued withall that a yearly pension might bee assigned to him and certaine Scots. But those were hearkened unto, which upon a light suspicion charged the Queene of Scots, the Countesse of Shrewsbury, and the Earle of Shrewsbury also himself, as if they had made a Mariage betweene Charles the King of Scots uncle (to whom the King had lately in a Parliament confirmed the Earldome of Lenox), and Elizabeth Candish, the Countesse of Shrewsbury’s Daughter by a former Husband, without acquainting the Queene. For which cause the Mothers of them both, and some others were detained a while in custody; and the blame was layd upon the Queene of Scots.
  4. When there arose sundry suspitions, to what end this mariage should tend, Henry Earle of Huntington was made President of the Councell in the North, with new and secret instructions for this matter. This Presidentship, which is now full of honour, hath from a poore beginning growne up in short time to this greatnesse. For (to deliver in a free and briefe digression to posteritie what I have heard), when in the raigne of Henry the 8th after the rebellion of the Northerne men about the suppressing of the Abbies was pacified, and the Duke of Norfolke staying in those parts, many complaints were brought unto him, of wrongs done in the rebellion; some of them he compounded himselfe, and some he committed to men of wisedome under his Seale, to be by them compounded, Which when the King understood, hee sent him a peculiar Seale, to use in these causes. And the same seale he committed after the Duke was called back, to Tunstall Byshop of Durresme [Durham], and appointed unto him Assistants with authority to heare and determine the complaints of the poore. He was then firt of all named President, and the authority of his successors hath ever since increased very much.
  5. In these dayes had very great excesse of Apparell spred it selfe all over England, and the habite of our Countrey, through a peculiar Vice incident to our apish Nation, grew into such contempt that men by new-fashioned Garments, and apparell too gawdy, discovered a certaine deformitie and insolencie of minde, whilest they jetted up and downe in theyre Silkes, glittering with gold and silver eyther imbroydered or laced. When the Queene had observed that for maintenance of this excesse, a great quantity of money was carried yearely out of the Land to buy Silkes and other outlandish Wares, to the improverishing of the Common-wealth; and that many of the Nobilitie which might bee of use to the Common-wealth, and others that they might seeme noble, did with theyr private losse not onely wast theyr Patrimonies, but also runne so farre in debt, that of necessity they fell into the danger of the lawes, and sought to raise troubles and commotions when they had wasted their owne estates, although she might have proceeded against them by the Lawes of King Henry the 8th and Queene Mary, and thereby have exacted a great summe of money, yet shee chose rather to deale by way of commandement. Shee commanded therefore by Proclamation that every man should within fourteene dayes conforme his apparell to a fashion prescribed, least they should provoke the severitie of the Lawes; and she began her selfe in her owne Court. But through the malice of time, both this proclamation and the Lawes also gave way by little and little to this excesse of Pride, which still grew more and more in building. For now began more Noblemen and private mens houses to bee raised here and there in England, built with neatnesse, largenesse, and beautifull shew, then ever in any other age, and surely to the great ornament of the Kingdome, but decay of the glory of Hospitalitie.
  6. Of the Englishmen which served in Holland under Edward Chester, and Gainsforde, some their valour this yeare failed them, and some failed of good successe. For those that lay in garrison at Walkenburg, abandoned their quarter, and after yeelded themselves to the Enemie; who notwithstanding were spared, least Queene Ellizabeth should deny harbour and victuals to the Spanish Fleet that was comming through the British Sea to the Low-Countries. Others at Scluise, after they had sustained a sharpe skirmish with the Spaniards, and had beaten them backe, were surprized at unawares by the Enemy, which had swumme over the River, and were driven from their hold, 200 of them beeing slaine, and three Engines taken.
  7. I know not whether it bee worth the labour, to mention these small matters; to wit, the devout credulitie of certaine Ministers of London, deluded this yeare by a Mayd, which counterfeited her selfe to be possessed by the Divill; a monstrous Whale left on the dry shoare upon the Coast of the Ilse of Thanet, whose lengthy was measured to be twenty of our Elnes [cubits], and the breath from the belly to the back bone thirteene foote, and the space betweene the eyes eleven foote; that the Thames ebbed and flowed twise in an houre; that the Cloudes flamed with fire and the next night the Heaven seemed to burne, the flames rising from the Horizon round about, and meeting in the verticall point. Let mee not be blamed for mentioning these things in a short digression, considering that the gravest Hystoriographers have recorded such matters as these more at large.

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