Title:Marillac to Montmorency. [Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk to France on secret affairs]
14 Feb. 202. Marillac to Montmorency.
(Almost the whole text.) [London], 14 Feb.:--
Being yesterday informed by some Italian friends that a great personage of England was seeking for French crowns,
I doubted (what has happened) that this King might send some minister of his abroad on secret affairs.
Set men to watch both the passage and this Court, and the man I sent to Gravesend reports that yesterday, about midnight, arrived the duke of Norfolk and two others with a guide, and they immediately started in post for Dover and Calais.
Others now come to say that, the day before yesterday, in the evening, came certain news from the direction of Flanders, which is still secret and which caused this King to send the said Duke at once, from which it may be presumed the affair is very important, seeing the quality of the officer and his way of travelling, a personage of 60 years or more “et à conrir le poste.”
Not an hour ago one of the King's most private secretaries came to me, and I asked if it was true the said Duke had left.
He answered he knew nothing of it and even if true it could only be as far as Calais. Would believe this were it not for the information about the said crowns, for they are worth 3 sous a-piece more beyond sea than here; and so I conjecture that he goes to the Emperor to try and stop or delay the design against Cleves.
Has just received the letters of the 6th: they will give the occasion to inquire the cause of Norfolk's sudden departure