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'A Discourse Touching a Marriage between Prince Henry of England and a Daughter of Savoy (c.1603-1612)'

British Library, Additional MS 4149, ff. 193r-203v


An[n]o .9. Iacobj ./ A Discourse . touchinge a mariage betweene Prince Henrie of England & A Daughter of Sauoye

There is no bodie that perswades o[u]r Prince to matche w[i]th Sauoy, for any loue to the person of the Duke, nor (as I hope) foer his Religeone, neither will any man oppose it for any perticuler dislike: for as ther hath never bene quarrel betweene our Natione and his, so hath he for ought I have hearde, neuer givene offence to to any of oures. It should therfore seeme that it is for the good of England that he that desires it, desires it, and for the same good it is that he that desires it, not, diswades it. / .

The Points in it that are Considerable are thes. / .

The first, wherin it concernes the Duke to seeke[th]e alliance of England. / .

The Second, that the pretences of marriages betweene Princes are seldome the same w[i]th their intents that propounde them and what Hidden danger may be vnder the alliance presentlie desired. / .

The Third, wherin it maye Concerne vs to Match w[i]th Sauoy, and againste whom he he cane assiste vs. / .

The Fourth, that Sauoye & Spaine are inseperable, and that Sauoy dare not offende the Pope, nor the Emperor. / .

The Fifte, againste whom the Englishe shall neede his assistance. / .

The Sixte, of the inconveniences in generall. / .

The Seventh193v An[n]o .9. Iacobi The Seventh, of the inconveniences un perticulere to the Prince. / .

The Eighte, w[i]th what prince it were moste for his highnes aduantage to match w[i]th alle.

Those reasones [tha]t are apparant on the Dukes behalfe are theis. / .

The First, that either by the Countenaunce or assistance of his Ma[jes]tie he may have to possesse him selfe of the Duchij of the Millan, w[hi]ch was promised him in dowre w[i]th h his wife by the kinge of Spaine. / .

The Seconde, to recouer Bresse from the Frenche. / .

The Third, to obtaine Ieneua from the protestants. / .

The Fourth, to make his Daughter a great Queene and he or his shalbe able to saye in the future that the kinges of Englande are of the race of Sauoye. / .

Theise pretences are excedinge faire yf the pretences in the Traffique of Marriages betweene Kinges and Princes, weare the same w[i]th their intent[es]; but wee knowe by experience howe many of these fraudulente proposityones have bene made both to the french, the English and other Princes by the Houses of Arragone & Austria, of w[hi]ch the Daughteres of Sauoy are descended, and by w[hi]ch kinde of Trafique Those Kinges have prevayled more then by all their forces, and armes, for by theis falshudes they Carry Naples & Millain from the Frenche by a match w[i]th our kinge Henry the viijth when they drewe his Armie in Biscay tto invade France, the Conquerede Nauare. They had it also in theire Hope to have194r An[n]o .9. Iacobij have posest England by a match w[i]th Queen Mary, w[hi]ch though they failed to gaine, yet therby we failed not to loose Callis, what marriage had a fairer pretence in the world then [tha]t of the Kinge of Nauarra (afterward Kinge Henrij the fourth of Fraunce) w[i]th the Ladie Margaret of Valois nowe Liuinge, by w[hi]ch a peace was concluded betweene the King and the Partye of the Religeon, and by w[hi]ch the Miserable Civell warres in france was concluded, and yet the intente was so farre from the pretence, as a Hundred thousand protestant[es] were therby Murdered in one daye w[i]thin Parris and elsewher. Naye what greater Treasone and Crueltye was ther ever Couerede vnder a marriage then that of Francis sforza Duk of Millan vnder pretence to { wiue } Picinius that braue Italian Capitaine to his partie, gave him his daughter Drusiana in marriage, and sent him w[i]th his Armie to serve Ferdinando kinge of Naples wherby the practice of Sforza; Picinus and his sonne were murdered by the Kinge after he had royallie receaved him & feasted him in his owne Courte, and Castell. / .

Lastely (because examples are infinite) I will conclude w[i]th {Bentiwghl} Prince of Bologna who to the end to make him selfe master of Faenza gave his daughter to the Lorde therof, and she accordinge to her fatheres Instructions caused her Husband to be Murderede in her owne Chamber; ther is a kinde of Noble & royall deceavinge in Marriages, betweene greate kinges and Princes, yea it is of all other the faireste and moste vnsuspected trade of betrayinge, it hath beene as ordinordinary194v An[n]o .9. Iacobi ordinary amongeste them to aduenture, or caste awaye a daughter to bringe some purpose to passe as at other tymes for savinge of Charges to make them Nun[n]es. I speake not this to preiudice or to foriudge so worthie a prince as as the Duke of Sauoy for ther is no example to be followed, or to be feared, wher lyke occassyones & lyke Circomstances doe not Concurre. / . He Cannot betraye vs tylle wee truste him, ther is Nothinge of oures Neare Hime, Nor of his Nere vs, It is the Spaniarde that is to be feared, the Spaniardes that laye their practizes w[i]th a longe Hande. In w[hi]ch respecte it were not amise to consider of the plots of our English Preestes who not long since have published & printed certene farre fetchd titles bothe of the Kinge of Spaine, and of [th]e Infanta his daughter, for it were a horrible dishonour to be ouer=reached by any of those drie and Subtill headed Spaniards; Parsones vnder the Name of Dolman hath caste abroade a moste pestelent booke in our English tounge, wherin aafter he hath labored w[i]th all the strayninges and subtilties in the world to weaken all other titles, and his Maiesties (w[hi]ch is vndoubted) moste of all, he preferres that of the Infanta, and that of the kinge her father and brother for the moste cleare and auntient, the firste he drawes from Constance the eldeste daughter of William [th]e Conqueror, the Second from John of Gaunt. / .

Nowe this title or pretence of title of the Infanta of w[hi]ch all our papistes had so greate hope in the latter tymes of Queene Elizabeth, is for wante of the Heires of her bodye, falne vpon the heires of her Sister the Duches of Sauoy 195r An[n]o .9. Iacobi sauoy, the Infanta and her sister beinge two daughteres of Phillip the Second, and I can[n]ot tell I leave to wiser men to Iudge whether the Ladie Elizabethe the eldeste daughter of England, were not therfore sought for, both by the kinge of Spaine and by the Sauoyan, by her to strengthne and revive their formor pretences. and seinge both of them have failed in that hope, the duke of Sauoy would now send a daughter into England, who might practiz a partye either for her brother or for her vnkle, certenly it were a braue subiecte for our malice Papists to worke one, who are all better lerned in Dolmans booke then in the Newe Testamente, For Havinge a daughter of Sauoy (the Infanta failinge) they have the same Princes in whose title and religeon they beleive, they have for all their purposses by havinge the Infanta hir sister daughter, the Infanta her selfe, Naye it will serve their turnes better: for the Infanta being loose, and our Next Neighbore, may vnder the Colloure of visettiones, practice at pleasure: and it is the Infanta that hath the beste Armie of all Europe in her hands, and it may be paste ouer in to Englande in one Night; And that it may not be thought that this pointe is Strayned by me theis are parsones owne Right margin: Folio . 164 wordes I said also that this ladie Infanta some other by her title and her fathers w good will was likeste of all strangeres to bere it awaye, for that yf the Infanta should either die or be married in any other Countrey, or other wise be disposed of, as her pretence to England should be disinabled befor this affaire come to be tried, then may her said FaFathere195v An[n]o .9. Iacobj Father and she yf they liste, caste their fores[ai]d Intereste and titles (as diueres men thinke they would,) vpon some other Prince of their owne House and bloud. W[hi]ch is as much to saye as they will resigne their supposed right to the Children of the duke of Sauoy. Nay to helpe the mattere Persones giues a title to the Duke of Sauoy him selfe by the Lady Beatrix of Portugall his Grandmother. It is true that any title will serve the Spaniardes turne, Bragans, Parma, and Antonio were before Philip in the kingdome of Portugale, he Cle cam behind them all in Right, but he went before them in powre, w[hi]ch needs no aduocate, And though it seeme to be resolued that the Kinge of Spaine and the duke are at difference for the present, yet the kinge of Spaine hath him in his hand[es], and the Dukes Children receave the verie Breade the feede one. frome the Spaniard, w[hi]ch beinge denied them they have Nothinge wher w[i]th to sustaine them selues, for the Duke him selfe is extreame poore. / .

They are of the bloud of Spaine to whom the Dukes of Sauoy have alwaies bene Servant[es] and veri often the Comaunderes of their Armies. I saye that herin whatt soever be pretended to the Contrary, it is Spaine that we oughte to suspecte, Spaine from w[hi]ch Sauoy is vnseperable, Spaine to w[hi]ch England is irreconcilable. / .

For this the Cause standes betweene those Princes. The Duke hath yet liuinge fowre sonnes, he had five, but the eldeste was poisoned in Spaine because the kinge b{oun}d him selfe to give the Duchi of Millan to the firste &196r An[n]o .9. Iacobi ferste and eldeste sonne borne by his daughter. The Second w[hi]ch is now princes of Piemonte Caled Don Philiberte liues w[i]th the Duke his his father but of lese hope by farre then Don Philip his brother was./.

His third sonne Don Victorio Amedeo knight of Malta is the greate Comaunder of St Johns in Spaine worth a Hundred thousand Crounes a yeare, and w[i]th all Generall of all the kinge of Spaines a place of greate Honore and profitte. / .

The Fourth sonne is Cardinall and hath the one halfe of the proffyte of the Archbishoprick of Toledo, and is promised the whole after the death of the Now Bishope an estate worthe three hundred thousand Crownes a yeare. / .

The fifte don Thomaso w[i]th whom the mother the Ladie Katherin d’Austria died a Prince of fifteene yeares of Age hath also a pentione out of Spaine but hath not yet acquired any perticuler tytle. / .

for his foure daughters the eldeste a verie goodly wise and virtuouse Ladie, is yet vnmarried. The Second is married to the Eldeste sonne of the Duke of Mantua; The third is married to the firste sonne of the Duke of Modena & Regia Bastard sonne to the Duke of Ferrara that last died w[i]thout lawfull heires male, wherby Ferrara excheated to the Pope, The youngeste the Ladie Katherin is yet vndisposed. / .

Hereby it is easie to Iudge whether the Duke of Sauoy by the powre of Sauoy will abandone all these pentiones and prefermentes and enter in to a warre w[i]th the kinge of Spaine for the duchie of Millan or for the querrelle of an other Prince seeinge Millan it selfe196v An[n]o .9. Iacobj selfe when it was a Duchy aparte, was ever a princepalletye of greate force then Sauoy and Piemont: . / .

To thinke that he can be assisted by vs, they have (as I beleive) by farre exceeded their Comition that have given him that hope, for yf England it selfe had quarrell w[i]th Spaine it muste of Necessetie maintaine the warre by the warre as the Netherlands did after they loste the Trade of Spaine and as wee our selues did in our late Queenes tyme. / .

Yf it be againste France that the Duke prtendes, he Cannot forgett it howe francis the firste thruste him out of all he had because he refused him a passage into Itali, when Charles the fifte that greate Emperor & kinge of Spaine sought to defend him, and that the late Kinge Henry the fourth tooke from the Duke now Liuing Bourg in Bresse w[i]th the Territorie; and forste him to come to Parris in p[er]son to buye his Peace. I saye that they are betrayed by their owne Ignorance that perswade them selues that Sauoy dare lifte vp his Hand againste of those two Kinges; against Spain w[i]thout the helpe of France, against France w[i]thout the assistance of such a league and Civill warre, as the House of Lorayne made and moued in the yeare .85. againste Henry [th]e Third and afterward against Henrij the .4th. at w[hi]ch tyme Henrij theDuke of Sauoye. recouered the Marque seat of Salutse. / .

Thirdlie for the obtayninge of theGeneua I am Resolued that his Ma[jes]tie will never be a partie in that enterprise, and yf the Duke should offer it to our kinge, he might well answere197r An[n]o .9. Iacobj : / answer him; as Alexande did Darius that the guifte of those thinges w[hi]ch are Not of our pssessyon is Not thankes wothey, and were it his to give how shall his ma[jes]tie keepe it so farre of, seeinge the Brille & Vlushinge seated so neere vs, are in such sorte oures as the Hollanders & Zelanderes may thruste vs out of them when they people those places beinge dayly inlaarged and increased in people and power, and our Garrisones yf they do not diminish increace not. / .

for the fourth that the Duke hath a desire (and it maye that th it is his Ambitione) to see his daughter a greate Queene, and to be (one the on side) the Parent of the Kinges of Englande. / .

For the first I am of oppinione that his daughter is like to be a verie ould ladie ere that come to passe; for hsi Ma[jes]tie beinge subiecte to noe Sicknes is by gods favore like to lyue longe: for the other it Cannot be doubtefull (seing the mother of his daughter had Nine Childrene in Nine yeares,) but the Dukes sonnes may call our kinges Cousenes. / .

Nowe the third consideratione is of what vse the Match of Sauoyis may be vnto vs. / .

First it maye be said that for want of heirs males the princepallitie may fall to oure Prince or to his, I confese it possyble, but ther is no hope that the Prince Cane have so farre of, for the Duke hath .4. Sonnes yet liuinge. and yf all those should faile, yet were ther any Collaterall heire male in the worlde to be founde; he should be sure assurede of the assistance of Spaine, Naples, Millan and of the Pope, and of all the strength [tha]t the197v An[n]o .9. Iacobj the Prouinces of the Netherlands vnder the ArcheDuk can assemble. and therfor as the state of thinges doe nowe stand in the worlde, the expectacon the expectation is Nothinge worth Francis the firste that had the Right to it by his mother quitted it. Irelande is neare vs and in our sight, and yet have wee wished it often in the bottome of the Sea, for havinge ben gouerned neither as a Countrey Conquered nor free, it hath served vs but as a grave for our beste Captaynes & Souldiers, and for the Conduites to drawe from vs the greateste parte of all our provisiones and Treasures: The lowe Countreyes & Irelande have Beggered Englande & Spaine. / .

Yf then the Hope of Princepallitye be not greate, what is ther else that our Kinge and Prince can expecte from Sauoy: You will saye assistance againste our Ennemyes; certenly yf the kinge had quarrell againste Spayne or France the Duke knowes not howe to helpe vs in either. for yf he declare him selfe against Spaine, Millan would easely waste or Master all Piemonte, yf againste France[th]e Frountir Counties of Prouince, Dolphin Liones & Bresse are stronger than he. / .

Againste the Pope all the worlde knowes [tha]t he dares not stirre, and our Kinge hath no Ennemie so mallitious as that Prelate. for the Emperore of all other he vannot moue againste him; for whatsoever lawiers saye, and what soever hath benne Concluded in his owne Parlieament, yet Felinus and otheres exelently learned make Him a feudarie Prince of the Empire; & Bodine doth not acknowledge the Emperour himselfe198r An[n]o .9. Iacobi Him selfe for an Absolute Soueraigne, but for the Soueraigne officer of Empiresor and therfore for the wronge they did & for abusinge their Authoritie did the states of the Empire (in whom the Soueraignetie, re= Right margin: loy seu sideth) depose both Adolphe & Venceslaus . & yf the Emperores be not, much lese he that houldeth of the Empire; Souerain est Celui qui ne recognoist point de superior. A So veraigne is he that acknowledgeth no Superiore but he that is the Emperors vicare in is owne territorie acknowledgeth a Superior, the worde Vicare importynge asmuch as Lieutennant or Deputie. / .

The Earldome of Sauoy was one of the foure Earldomes of the Empire and so it continued well neare foure Hundred yeares, from the tyme of Henry the fifte till the tyme of Sigismonde who at the Counsell of Constance made the Earles of Sauoy Dukes, and it is noe longer since then the tyme of Charles this manes Grandfather, that after he had taken his oath to the Emperour w[i]thin two yeares after he made suite to have the forme of his Aleagance altered. / .

Yf the kinge had quall quarrell againste any otheere state or Prince of the Romishe Religeon the Pope would presently still the warre Catholique, and Curse and excomunicate all princes & States subiecte to the sea of Rome that should offer vs assistance. / .

The litle princes of Ialie have not that daringe that they had in formore tymes, when Phillip Viscountie, Fortibraccio, Francis Sforza & other Lord[es] and Comone weales invaded the territoryes of the Churche, and inforst the Romanes them selues to thruste their Pope Eugenius out of Rome to save198v An[n]o .9. Iacobj . / to save their Cittye from sacke. Noe the Greate Kinge of Spaine will not nowe offend his holinese: for the Pope in favore of Phillipe the second, and because he was wasted in a warre, againste the Lutheranes Cutt of by his Authoritie I knowe not howe many millianes of his debtes to the Genowais. / .

The Pope hath given him in farme all the Pardons w[hi]ch are sente to the Indies, worthe the Kinge halfe a Million every year; He gives him the Collation of Benefices& Bishopricks, He suffered him to enioye the two rich orders of Calatraua & St Iames. / He gives him the service of the Iesuits Assasinates to murder all king[es] and Princes his Ennemyes, william of Nasau Prince of Orenge, Henry the .3. and .4th. of Fraunce. Proportyonable hath the Dukes of Sauoy many Bennefytes from the Pope, his sonne Don Victor hath receaved from him the Cardinalles hatt. Cardinall Aldibrandino nephewe to Clement the viijth hath purchased Racconise in Piemont of the Duke after whose death that Riche Territorie muste fall to the Church, yf the Pope of his Grace doe not Conferre it vppone the ChDuke. In breife the Duke is soe tied to the sea of Rome, both by Religeon and benefite. as he Can be no more seperate from it, & subsist, then the bodie of man maye be from his soule and liue. / .

What then remaines of Profite to our prince by this alliance a some of money, and a beawtyfull Ladie. for Beawtie it was never so cheape in anie Age, and it is ever better beloued in the hope, then when it is had. For the Millione of Crownes offered w[hi]ch makes but two of our subsedies, I speake it Confidently that when all those Dukes, Lordes & 199r An[n]o .9. Iacobi Lordes & greate Ladis w[hi]ch will attend the Princesse in her passage hether, shalbe all presented w[i]th Guiftes accordinge to their degrees, and the kinges honour. when the Preparationes, triumphes and feastinges are paid for ther will Nothinge remain but a great increase of Charge, and perchance a greate deale of mellancolie. / .

Yf then by the Duke of Sauoy wee can Neithere strengthen our selues, Nor inrich our selues, lett vs see who they are for the present wee have Cause to feeare and aginste whom wee stand in Neede of assistance. / .

Ther are but two princes that the Kinge hathe Cause to looke after, to witt france and Spaine as for the Arche Duke theStates for their owne Intereste will attend him. / .

In fraunce his ma[jes]tie hath a partie stronge enoughe bothe of his owne allies, and of the Religeon, at leaste he is sure that duringe the Kinges minoritie the Queen will keepe all quiet yf she can. / .

For Spaine it is a prouerbe of their owne, that the lyone is not so firce as he is painted; his foarces in all partes of the worlde (but the Lowe Countreyes) are farre vnder the fame. / .

And yf the Late Queene would have beleeved her men of warre as she did her Scribes, wee had in her time broken that greate Empire in peeces, and maded their kinges, kinges of Figges & orrenges as in ould tymes: but her ma[jes]tie did all by halfes, and by petty invasiones taught the Spaniard howe to defend him selfe and to see his owne weakenes, w[hi]ch tyll our attempt[es] taughte him, was hardly knowne to him=selfe, Foure Thousand men would have takene from him all the Portes of his Indies, I meane all the Port[es] by which199v An[n]o .9. Iacobi by w[hi]ch his treasure doth passe or can passe he is more hated in that parte of the world by the sonnes of the Conquerors, then the Englishe are by the Irishe. we were too stronge for him by sea, and had the Hollanderes to Helpe vs, who are now strongeste of all, Yea in .88. when he made his greate and fearfull fleete, yf the Queene woulde have hearkened to Reasone wee had burnte all his shipes and preparatyones in his owne Portes, as wee did afterwarde vpon the same intellegence and doubte in Cadiz. He that knows him not, feares him, but except[es] him excepting his Low Countrie armie, w[hi]ch hath bine Contynued and disciplined since Charles the fift[es] tyme, he is no wayewhere stronge. they are but fables that are spoken of Him elswhere. and what Can the Low Countrys Armye doe yf the Indies pay them not, but mutenie and spoyle his owne tiretoryes as they have often done, and of late yeares almoste to the Ruine of the Arche Duke. / .

But p[er]chance you will saye that beinge nowe Combredined w[i]th France he is more Powrefull then Euere. / .

It is true yf France and Spaine were maried together, as ther Princes are: Or yf those marriages were not more polletyque then faithfull. /

The French and Spanishe will Neuer agree that either of them shall ouermuch indaunger Englande yf it were in any of their poweres so to doe. / .

When the Emperour Charles the fifte, the King of England, the Pope, and most of the Prrinces of Italij had made a league againste Frances the firste, asoone as he was taken Prisoner at Pavia, fo some of them fell presently off, and the Reste made a league againste the Emperour to save france. / .

Kinges 200r An[n]o .9. Iacobj Kinges are not lyke private men. they forsake Not one aan other in adversary Aduersetye, though Not for their sakes perchance that are oppressede, but for their owne; because they feare the surmountinge greatenes of any one. what they maye doe by p[er]suasion of the Iesuites for mattre of religeon I doe not knowe. / .

But theise Marriages of Fraunce & Spaine may vanishe awaye in Smoke as many of them have done heretofore when they have bene as solempnly confirmed and sworne vnto as theis are. / .

How soevere it be the Queene of France hath reasone to hould all quiete duringe the Minoriti of the Kinge her sonne and tylle such tyme as he be able to drawe his owne Swoard. / . The Austrianes haave often tymes ouer reacht Franc and made them Children w[i]th the marriages of Children, and thereby maried the time more fruitefull for their tyme affaires then the Daughteres of France. The French at this tyme may for ought we knowe paye them w[i]th the lyke Quoine, for it was well ssaid by Macheuill in his Florentine historie, Itrogl{}’.huomini Che aspirano a una medessema grandessa, si puo, facilmente far parentado ma non amicitia. betweene men that aspire to one and the same greatenes though alliance may easely be made, yet frendship Cannot. / .

Nowe the fourth parte of this firste devision is the Consideratione of the inconvenience in generall. / .

As firste yf we ioine in Amitie w[i]th Sauoy, we loose all the Protestant Cantones, and breake the Heart[es] of the People of Geneaua w[hi]ch our Late Queen greatly favored & releived, w[hi]ch all the Germaine 200v An[n]o .9. Iacobi. / . the Germaine{} Princes protestant[es] Cherishe, w[hi]ch the Kinges of Fraunce (though of a Contrarye religeone) have ever protested. / . The duke of Sauoy will evermore be an enemie to the Comon weale and they to him, Intereste both of Religeon and dominion, will for ever seperate them thill one be master. / .

Secondly and that w[hi]ch is a Matter of the greateste importance that our state Can looke after, we shall by this meanes increase the Iellosie of the Netherlandes they begane to Coole towars toward[es] vs when wee made peace toward[es] w[i]thout them: W[hi]ch inforced them to make their longe Truice. they were the laste that put doune Armes, and though they Compounded vpon the greateste disaduantage (Frannce and Englande havinge firste Compounded) yet they made a farre more Noble Peace w[i]th Spaine then wee did. / .

Since that tyme they have neglected vs by degrees let vs looke vnto it w[i]th all the eies wee have, for to w[hi]ch of the three those people fasten themselues, as either to England; France, or Spaine, he that hath them will become the greateste and give the Lawe to the rest: yf any man doubt it he knowes not muche. But this hath bene our faulte & the detested Couetousnes of some greate ones; of oures; for wheras in my tyme I have knowne one of Her Ma[jes]ties Shipes Comaund fortie of theires to strike saile, they will nowe vndertake vs one to one, and not give vs a good worde, they master vs both in theire Number and in their marrineres, and they have our owne ordinance to breake our owne boanes w[i]th all, wee had reason to helpe them, but not201r An[n]o .9. Iacobj but not to ouerhelpe them, and to helpe them vpe to that height as to be able to tread vpon our owne Head[es]. / .

Henry the fourth of England gave assistance to the factione of Burgongine againste Orleance, but assoone as he found that Orleans begane to sinke, he drewe his Swoarde one the weakere side, but de preteritis non est Consilium, ther is no Counsell of thinges paste, or then how to prevent the lyke, the lyke occasyones arriuinge / .

for the last the matche w[i]th Sauoy devides vs from France, the Narrow Seas cannot somuch sunder vs, as that alliance will doe. yt dissolues their hope, and wheras now there are fastened Spaine but w[i]th Cordes of Cobwebb, they will then p[er]chance chaine them selues w[i]th Steele. / .

You wwill then aske me where the Prince shoulde find a wife, Neither in Sauoy Nor in Florence. for the money Receaved from either beinge tolde, you have tolde the beste of the tale for them. Not that I obiecte wjat I haue heard hath bene obiected againste those princes that they are mesnly discended, for the Medici are verie auntiente, and auntiente in vertue and fame. It is true that longe a gone they were merchants and so was Kinge Salamon too. The kings in ould tyme had their Heardsmen their Shepard[es] and their Plowemen, they traded w[i]th Nature and w[i]th the Earth, a trade by w[hi]ch all [tha]t breath vpon the Earth liue, all the Nobillitie and Genterie in Europe trade their Grasse and Corne & Cattaile, their vines and their fruit[es], they trade it to their Tenuants at home, and other Marchants Aduenture abroade. The kinge201v An[n]o .9. Iacobj The kinge of Spaine is nowe the greateste Marchant. the kinge of Portugall was, The kinges of France are twice come out of the Florentines and therfore their the supposed ignobillitie cannot disvallue them. but as I have saide alredie they Can give vs but money, & the some is but the same that the Sauoyane hath offered. / .

Yf you aske me whether I lyke of any Germaine Ladie. / .

I say that I like it well enough in t{i} Respecte of the Nation who are Iuste and free from treacherye but the match betweene the Pallatine of the Rhine and the Ladi Elizabeth will make vs stronge enough in Germany, and by reasone of his alliance w[i]th the House of Nassaw, better assured of Netherlandes then wee were, but as the Marchante doth Not Haszarde all his estat in one vessell, No more doe well aduised Princes lay all theire hopes on one Nation. / .

Nowe yf by the dislikees of the formor alliances you make Iudgement that it is my desire [tha]t the Prince shall not marrie at all, as yet I saie that I am exceedinge sorie that the Prince hath Not the same desire. for seinge his Ma[jes]tie is yet but yonge and by gods fauor like to liue verie many yeares, and that his highnes yf he Marrye Nowe, may have many Children before he be thirtie yeares olde; seinge all his Childrene shalbe Princes and muste be prouided for as Princes, I thinke that it will much perplex him to finde him selfe so invironed, till his Ma[jes]tie haue somwhat repaired his Estate, and prouided beawtifull gardenes fitt to plante those olive branches in202r An[n]o .9. Iacobj branches in. Whill the Prince is vnmarriede all the eyes of Christendom are vpon him for w[i]th what kinge soever he be ballanced he will Caste the Scale; but to have him waied w[i]th a litle Prince, I should be sorie and he him selfe will be as sorie soone after. / .

All the Princes of Christendome wooed Charls Duke of Burgonge while his daughter was vnmarried, and while our Prince is free; our enemies Not knowinge vpon what groundde to build their practices; His Ma[jes]ties safetie is in the meane while infinitly assured; but the Prince once disposed, they will presently muster them oure forces Mesure Mesure our fortunes, sound vs to the bottome, and make their approches accordingly, they will then saye wee have seene the vttermoste of the Prince of wales. / .

Seinge therfore wee haue Nothinge yet in hande, seinge therfore is Nothinge moues, seinge the worlde is yet in a slumber, And that his longe Calme will shortly breake out in to some terrible tempeste. I would aduise the Prince to keepe his owne grounde for a while and No waye to ingage or intangle him selfe, while he is yet free, all haue hope, but a great deale of Mallice will followe vs after he is had, from those that have bene refused; wee will saye Manebit (though it mare the verse) Alea mente repostum iuditium paridis spratæque iniuria formæ. he that hath bene sought by manie & hath refused many shall be hated by many . I could therfore wishe that [th]e Prince were fastened to such a partie when h is fastened , as Could beste sustaine it. And seinge ther is Non but a Catholique Ladie202v An[n]o .9. Iacobj Ladie for vs, let vs have a kinge of our side to boote. / .

Yf you obiecte that the Daughter of France is too yonge, I hope that the prince dothe Not find him selfe too olde to tarrie a while, And for any reason that I knowe to the Contrarie (yf money be the matter) it maye be had in the meane while. / .

This Match I saye will give the Newe league such an Alarum, as they will hardlie knowe howe to Couer them selues in theire owne trenches. / .

There was Never Natione haad somuch cause to hat one an other as France hath to hate Spaine they Hould from them the Kingdome of Nauarra w[i]thout somuch as the Coloure of a title. / .

They betraide them in Naples, and did Not ouercome their Armie there, but Murdred it, after a peace proclaimed. / .

They hould Millan from them by stronge hande, and after that Charles the fift (to hav leaue to passe thorrough France into Flanderes to passefye the Tumultes of Gaunt) had promised the Frenche Kinge to restore it, the Emperour derided him, and said that he promised him Millan w[hi]ch is the French word for a Kite. They have betraied them in many offeres of marriages, they poisoned the Dolphin of Vienois; They have murdered their Ambassadors, they displanted them in Florida and contrary to faith kild the possessores in could bloud; the tarre tare Strozza in peeces at the Terceres the sett the subiectes of Henrj the thirde and Henri the fourthe againste against them They203r An[n]o .9. Iacobj They invaded France possesset Parris and the most of the Citties of France and in conclusion practised to murder both those kings. / .

Nowe yf theise iniuries be not farre more memorable then Marriagable, lett the worlde Iudge. / .

On the Contrarie againste vs the Frenche have No pretence, they hould from vs that w[hi]ch wee Never had from them but by our Lawfull inheritance; yet did her ma[jes]tie assist them in all their extremeties, and as all his ma[jes]ties Auncestores have bene moste Constante freinds vnto them, So did king James the fifte arme sixteene thousand of his Natione at his owne Charge to succour Kinge Francis the firste when the Emperour invaded Prouince. / .

Yf therfore our Prince shall also take a daughter of France (the Ladie promised to Spaine beinge yet taken but in termes) wee may well assure our selues (yf there remaine any vertue, Nobillitie, or gratetude in the French nation) that the Queen of France will make great difference betweene her sonnes in lawe, and the Kinge of fraunce will make greate dif betweene his brothers in Lawe of Englande and Spaine. /.

By Houldinge France we hould the Low Counreies w[hi]ch will make vs invincible, for they dare Not abandon vs both On the contrarye, and although theis Princes considered apart, and disunited, are Not (as beforesaid) to be fearede, yet were it a Needlese Haszard to Neglecte th e Loue of Fraunce, and to sustaine [th]e hatred of the Archeduke, of the Pope and of the Kinge of Spaine a hatred more then imortalle yf more it may be to our Nation and State 203v An[n]o .9. Iacobj State the woundes are too many and too deepe, that wee have given them to be healed againe w[i]th the Plaster of a Peace. And herin the different affectiones of those two Nationes was made Manifeste, that the Spaniarde did vtterlie shun[n]e, and the Frenche did earnestely seeke, the Loue of our Prince. / .

Yf then the formor princes shall Combine vs, from whom may we hope for helpe, yf it be from Sauoy or Florence, god help vs, Our freindes inhabit beyond the Mountaines, our ennemies are at hande, wee leaue those that are strongeste and nea {r} st vs, for those that are weakeste and fartheste of, wee leave those that can helpe vs or harme vs for those that can doe Neither; those we leaue that depend on them selues, to witt the Frenche for those that depend one otheres, to witt the Sauyanes & Florentines.


No introduction.


British Library, Additional MS 4149, ff. 193r-203v,

Languages: English, Latin

Creation date: c.1603-1612


No authors.

Other Witnesses

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Keywords (Text Type)

  • discourse

Keywords (Text Topics)

  • diplomacy
  • royal marriage

Transcribed by:

Tim Wales (Research Assistant)