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FTER I was come to Rome and had abode there som time being desirous to shew my loue and dewty to her Ma<jes>ty I sowght meanes whereby I might come into fauour and trust with the Spaniardes thereby to learne such intelligens as might be beneficiall for her Ma<jes>tie to knowe: whereupon I made an offer to F<ather> Persons that if he thowght good I would adventure to goe ouer into Ireland unto the Erle of Essex and deale with him to see whither he might be induced to fauour the Catholickes and to concurr with the K<ing> of Spaine in the succession, after the decease of her Ma<jest>ie. F<ather> Persons communicated the matter to the D<uke> of Cessa<y> Embyssadour for the K<ing> of Spaine who having thowght thereof, liked it well and presently after sent me likewise to the court to receave further order and instruction therein: I arrived at Barcellona the same day that the K<ing> and the Archeduke with the Queene and the Infanta came thither: and by reason of som important busines being awhile delaid at last I had audiens giuen me by Don Juan Diaquis, Maior domo to the Queen and the Kinges Confessor: and it was ordained that I shold proceed in this designemens but not in the K<ing> of Spaines name (which I desired) neither with any letters from them: untill uppon my first congresse with the Erle, they might perceave some probability worthy to be apprehended. This plott I laied to this intent, that if it should be thowght convenient by her Ma<jes>tie that the Erle of Essex should complye with the Spaniard, and putt him in some hope: I might therby under pretens of following in this busines either rise safely or come ouer into England so often as I shold have any matters worthy to be signified.
Thereupon being dismissed for Ireland and coming in to Burdeaue for shipping I reuealed in secrett to an Inglish Merchaunt of Bristow that I had ben in Spaine and had matters of emportans for her Ma<jes>tie and desired him with all expedition and secrecy to convay me ouer; who promised he wold doe it: but presently reuealed it to other English merchants who came thither: so that I heard thereof againe: and was enformed that they tooke me for a Jesuitt and meant to apprehend me if they cold geett me to Rochell: yeat notwithstanding I proceeded and went alowne to Rochell wher I was 3 daies at liberty, without any molestation untill uppon the putting up of this information, the Maior of Rochell laid me in prison where after they had kept me 3 weekes and found neither letters nor any suspicion of farther matters, uppon my often and earnest entreaty to be [fol. 3] sent to her Ma<jes>tie I was lett goe.
As I passed by Genua understood by the K<ing's> Embassador the County Ruiasco that the counsail of Spaine had determined to send ouer into Ireland 12,000 men and when I cam into Catalunia I saw mustering of soldiours all the way I went. but afterwardes I colde not understand any thinge heerof thowghe I diligently enquired, only I heard that the Erle of Tyron required not other supplies as yeat sauing of armour, and that there was prouision therof sent in thre shippes, but uppon any demande or necessity they wer purposed to send him men.
The K<ing> is held and esteemed by the Spaniards and Jesuits to be full of warlick spiritt and desirous to enter into action him selfe in person: and that he wold not deferr one yeare; if he had established the succession with any issew.
Theruppon ther be many at the court who make offer of all formes for the furnishing of such an action and renew fresh offers also as wer in his fathers time;
Ambrosius Spinula a Genoese and Johannes Castallanus a Spaniard have made offer to prouide the k<ing> of an 100 Gallions fit for service whereof 50 shall always garde the coast of Spaine, and fifty shall conduct the Indian fleet: with this condition that they may have the benefitt of transporting the merchandice to and froe at the ordinary price that others do pay.
There is now at the court a Spanard well acquainted with the state of the Indies who maketh offer to procure the K<ing> an 100 millions of gold with owt the injury of any priuate man so that he may haue what shall surmount by that meanes.
The clergy of Spaine do offer to giue the K<ing> an 100 Gallies to defende the coast of Spaine from the English men of warr,
His kingdome of Millanie [Milan] doth offer to find him 40000 men toards his warr if he shall goe in person.
Ther returned whom the last yeare 16 millions of gold whereof 12 were intire for the K<ing>, and 4 for the merchants which the K<ing> borrowed of them.
There are 30 shippes ofwarr and 30 gallies sett to keepe the streites to intercept owr Engish shippes.
The Genenese [Genoese] have promised to helpe him to som good number of shippes: and in the sea coast of Catalonia ther is great preparation made for shipping. [fol. 4]
As farr as I can gather the Spaniards have noe determination of this provision for warr to be for this yeare or the next; but doe only purpose to maintaine the state of warr in an ordinary manner; and against the K<ing> him selfe shall goe in person or that matters shall be determined one way or other for peace or warr to have sufficiens and hability [ability] to turne the warr whither they list [choose]: for because they esteam the first action which the younge K<ing> shall undertake, to be of great moment for settling his honour and estimation for the whole time of his raigne: they will make it as stronge and warrantable as they can.
The younge K<ing> to show his affection to the English Catholikes gave them a liberanza [subsidy] of 8000 crowns owt of the arrest of the flemish shippes, and an 100000 to the Marquess of Derria his cheefe faueritt.
Before the Archeduke and the Infanta departed ther was a secrett deliberation, whither it wer better to continue warr or yield to peace, and one thinge which seemed to them to haue most inconuniens in peace: was this. They feare that if peace were concluded and a toleration obtained for the Catholickes althoughe that heerby they should be greatly deuinced [obligated] to the Spaniard: yeat they wold not maintaine that fauour to ther pretence in succession as they wold, if they should continew still in the state they are in: and expect to be deliuered by ther claime to the crowne: but might be easily drawen away to fauour som other at home.
Although the K<ing> of Spaine wold willingly pretend for him selfe for the encrease of his power yeat because he feareth that the princes abowt wold not permitt his greatnes so much to encrease, as it should by the accesse of England. upon this consideration he pretendeth to remitt it to the Infanta, and to geue up his titles to her; yeat if he saw any meanes of attaining his desire he wold soone recall that graunte and therfore in this negotiation which is committed to me, it standeth in generall termes to concurr with the K<ing> of Spaine as he shall appointe, but rather than faile for the Infanta, unto whom he giueth over both his owne title, and the title of the Queen of Scottes, which they say she did resigne unto the K<ing> of Spaine; if her son shold not be Catholicke.
The D<uke> of Parma hath offered to giue ouer his Dukedome to the sea Apostolicke or to the Popes nephew if he will confirme his title to the succession of the Crowne of England. [fol. 5]
How to breake the friendshipp and faction which the K<ing> of Spaine hath with the Catholickes.
To make the K<ing> of Spaine incline to peace.
That her Ma<jes>tie may make an honourable peace.
To effect that the Pope doe not confirme any titles of the pretendours during her Ma<jes>ties life.
To overthrowe all plotters at this day are laid for succession that they neuer growe to ripenes during her Ma<jes>ties life.
To prouide for the honour and estimation of her Ma<jes>ties other nations both nowe and for posteritie.