A hapless ambassador, while faithfully fulfilling his orders to deliver an ultimatum to Queen Elizabeth I from King Sigismund III, he acted not as a legate, but inappropriately and scandalously as a herald, insulting and criticizing the queen. Elizabeth"s -rmies fighting Catholic forces in the Low Countries to prevent Spain from gaining secure harbors on the Channel coast to stage an invasion England also served the Turk"s interest by diverting Spain from focusing on domination of the Mediterranean. In 1580, the Turks threatened to invade Poland from lands north of the Black Sea.
The good will of Poland was crucial to England because trade with countries bordering the Baltic was the source of grain and the all important forest products needed to maintain the navy.
English merchants enjoyed preferential trading privileges in Poland. Elizabeth"s intercession with the Caliphate was credited with cancelling the invasion, and she received letters of praise from then reigning Polish king, Stephen Báthory.
A newly elected king, Sigismund III Vasa, is on the Polish throne in 1587. Elizabeth"s intelligence service gave notice that an ambassador is in transit and that the embassage was one of amity.
On 23 July 1587, the Privy Council instructs the Lord Mayor of London to arrange housing for the diplomat, preferably with a merchant prominent in the Baltic trade.
To insure Elizabeth will not find fault with the preparations, the Lord Mayor is to report the arrangements made. Two days later Ambassador Działyński arrived at the palace in Greenwich. Brought to the reception hall, he found Elizabeth sitting on the throne under the canopy of state with all her nobles in attendance.
The ambassador presented his credentials, and kissed the Queen"s hand extended to him―a gesture of royal favor.
He then strode to the center of the chamber without any forewarning of what he was about to say, and instead of the oration of a legate that everyone anticipated―couched in respectful words to flatter the monarch being addressed―he spoke as a herald. In Latin, he hectored, admonished and criticized the queen, and declared an ultimatum of capitulation to terms or hostile action.
Działyński indormed the queen that the newly elected Polish king married into the Catholic royalty of Austria and was sympathetic to Catholic Spain. The reason for his mission was to complain about Elizabeth"s policy of having her navy capture ships of Polish and Hanseatic League merchants trading with Spain.
This was intolerable to his sovereign.
Hostilities would commence if Elizabeth did not rescind her orders to interdict trade, release the captured ships, and restore the confiscated cargoes or make restitution. lieutenant is widely considered that the character Polonius from Shakespeare"s Hamlet was inspired by Działyński.