Elizabeth: November 1576, 16-30

Pages 421-435

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 11, 1575-1577. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1880.

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November 1576, 16-30

Nov. 16. 1018. The Prince of Orange to the Privy Council.
Letter of credence for the bearer M. de Villiers who will inform them of the state of affairs in the Low Countries.— Middleburg, 16 Nov. 1576. Signed.
Add. Endd. Fr. P. ⅓.
Nov. 16. 1019. Count Lalain to the Queen.
This bearer, an English gentleman coming from Antwerp with letters, seeing that there are many English of the Spanish faction they were moved for their surety to open some of them, but assures her that they have not done so to any that were adressedto her officers.—Ghent, 16 Nov. 1576. Signed.
Add. Endd., with seal. Fr. P. ⅓.
Nov. 19. 1020. Jacques Taffin to Walsingham.
1. Has this day made arrangements for the recompense of the merchants whose goods were seized, so that all difficulties are removed which hindered his audience with the Queen. If he does not hear from him within two or three days he will come to him. Thinks that he must have heard the news from Antwerp; the plunder of streets, the dead and slain, the burgomaster and two pensionaries executed by the sword; the putting merchants to ransom first for their lives and then for their goods. Lampinon is made Governor of the town, and Camargo who was formerly provost marshal Margrave; the townsmen are beginning to lack victuals. The citadel of Ghent has surrendered just as they were about to give the assault, the garrison withdrawing without arms, except the wife and daughter of Mondragon and two others.
2. All the forces in the country are drawing towards Antwerp, the Prince is allied with the States and all the 17 provinces are included in the agreement except Groningen, Amsterdam, and Haarlem. Religion remains in Holland and Zealand as it was, and elsewhere there is freedom of conscience. They are all bound to drive out the Spaniards, and afterwards to convoke the States General to settle other points, amongst others the payment of the arrears and the debts of the Prince of Orange incurred on account of this war. There are 3,000 German horse in France, whom the Estates endeavour to draw to their service, as also do the Guisards to theirs. MM. Champagny and Havre have been with his Excellency, who has given them instructions as to what they are to do. Zericksee and the islands of Zealand have fallen into the hands of the Prince again. News from Douay and other places. Bishops of Cambray and Liege have been forced to fly. Names of prisoners.—London, 19 Nov. 1576.
3. P.S.—News is confirmed that Monsieur has come to Paris to the King his brother. It seems that he will set out for the Low Countries with certain forces. Is not sure whether the King of Spain has promised him his daughter. Has warned the Governors of Dunkirk and Nieuport to be on their guard. —Signed.
Add. Endd. Fr. Pp. 1½.
Nov. 19. 1021. Dr. Wilson to the Privy Council.
1. On the 12th inst. had audience with the Duke or Arschot, and three of his associates, Sasbout, Indervelte, and Scaremberge, unto whom he delivered the great grief that her Majesty had of the broken state, which would be more when she should hear of the horrible and unmerciful massacre done lately in Antwerp, together with the great burning and intolerable spoil upon all people there as well strangers as subjects, so she would do what in her lay for the final appeasement of all things, hoping that they would continue good subjects to the King of Spain. Her Majesty also had given him in charge to ask the cause of the late arrest of the greatest number of the Council of State, and of the besieging of the Castle of Ghent, which was held by Spaniards by the King's order, and also why the Duke in whom the King had reposed his chief trust had joined himself to the principal doers of these enterprises. Further, he desired to know what security English merchants might have for their persons and goods in the Low Countries. Having thus declared the sum of his message, the Duke thanked her Majesty and willed him to assure her that the cause of these new troubles was the outrage of the Spaniards at Alost, and if they were out of the country all things would straight be in quiet, and that they made no account of any other Prince but the King of Spain. The Duke asked him for time to answer his other questions, and on the Wednesday sent him an answer, but no word at all what liking they had of the Queen's offer. Just before Wilson's departure for Antwerp at 7 a.m. he saw the Duke, who told him that he thought it not good to make any more particular declarations in writing of such demands as were propounded, but hoped to make that account to the King as his Majesty should be well satisfied therewith; and for her Majesty's offer to be a means for a pacification he thought that Don John of Austria upon his coming would quiet all things, notwithstanding he thanked her for her princely offer.
2. Took his departure towards Antwerp, having received from the Duke a passport for himself and company, and a promise that the merchants should have as large a placard as they could make for their security.
3. Is informed that the arrest of the Council was done upon a sudden suspicion that they should have intelligence with the Spaniards to suffer them to enter Brussels and ransom the town in satisfaction of their pay. M. de Heze and several other young gentlemen, with M. de Glymes, grand bailiff of Brabant, a man of 40 years, stout and valiant, brake down with iron bars and hatchets two or three doors of the King's house before they could get into the Council, whom they took by their bosoms in furious manner and carried to prison with the great good liking of the people, who now seem to rule, making little of the Duke or Council. None of the states of other provinces were acquainted with this arrest, nor have they agreed thereunto. None of the nobility allowed of this arrest, or were doers therein, except it were covertly. The cause of the arrest was the suspicion above mentioned. Every one of estimation has misliked it, and even the young gentlemen have repented that they brake into the King's house and seized upon the Council, as they were consulting on matters of state. The Prince of Orange has utterly condemned their folly, and imputed the mishaps which have fallen out since to their rashness. The Ambassador of France was no dealer in this action, but he is thought to be a dealer with the States for a power of Frenchmen to come to their aid, and Monsieur has lately sent two of his gentlemen to deal with the Prince of Orange. Thinks he will not yield that to Monsieur that he has in his power, being in better case than ever, having gained Zericksee, Haarlem, and Tergoes. The Spaniards have only Antwerp, Lierre, Dermonde, and Maestricht in their power. The States as far as he can understand have no other intention but that the Spaniards may be sent out of the country, and then offer to live in all obedience to their King and sovereign. The Spaniards will not depart without the King's express command, and in the mean season mind nothing but spoil and "ravin." Does not see any meaning of the States to alter their government, except necessity force them, for rather than the Spaniards should make a conquest of them, as they fear they will, they care not who has the country from them rather than live in continual slavery. They desire chiefly the Prince of Orange to take the whole upon him, who is a man not only of the greatest credit but also of the greatest value; and now that the peace is concluded betwixt him and the States it was thought that he would have taken the charge upon him; but now that Don John has come to Luxembourg he has changed his mind, and although Don John has large authority to compound all matter, and to send away the Spaniards, yet some think that the Prince will not trust him, much less yield, to him as may appear by his letter to the States at Brussels, which suspicion rises upon certain letters from the King to Rodas intercepted by him, copies whereof Wilson is promised. None of the nobility take part with the Spaniards, saving those who are prisoners. The forces of the States were great before they were broken at Antwerp, but now they begin to reinforce themselves, being in league with the Prince and having all the country in their power. Gives the numbers and disposition of the Spanish garrisons, their total is thought to be 3,000 foot and 3,000 horsemen; there are besides four regiments of Almains for the Spaniards, whose commanders' names he gives, besides M. de Roveler alias Belie has 13 ensigns of Almains in Groningen, and they look for aid from the Archbishop of Cologne and the Dukes of Bavaria, Brunswick, and Holstein. Believes that the Spaniards would gladly be gone if it were the King's pleasure, and trusts that Don John will make an end of all things, or else this country will be utterly undone, as the Prince of Orange will not yield, being fully resolved not to trust any Spaniard's promise. The King has signed whatever the States have asked without making any of his Council privy thereto. On the 17th inst. he spoke with Rodas at Antwerp, acquainting him with all that he did at Brussels, and that his coming was for the King's benefit and honour, assuring him that if either the States would alienate this country to any foreign prince, or convert it to themselves in prejudice of the King, her Majesty would employ all her force to withstand such attempts. These speeches he liked very well, and declared at large the whole doings at Brussels; the mutinies made by the Spaniards after their victory at Zericksee, and blamed greatly the young heads at Brussels, and the fury of the people to use the King's Council and to break the doors of his palace in such sort as they did. "Well (quoth I) you are well revenged on the people by your late victory here in Antwerp, which has been very bloody. Can you blame us (quoth he), is it not natural to withstand force with force, and to kill rather than to be killed, and not to lose the King's piece committed to our charge? All this I granted, and praised the Spaniards for their valiant courage, that being so few could with policy and manhood overcome so many. But now (quoth I) I pray you, sir, give me leave to speak a little. After you were lords of the town, which you got wholly and quietly within two hours of your issuing forth, what did you mean to continue killing without mercy people of all sorts who did bear no armour at all, and to murder them in their houses, to fire the chiefest and fairest part of the city after you were in full and quiet possession of all, and not contented to spoil the whole town, but to ransom those that were spoiled, and to spare no nation, although they did bear no armour at all, nor yet were dealers in any practice at all against the King's ministers or the Spaniards? His answer was that the fury of the soldiers could not be stayed, and that it grieved him much when the city was on fire, and no sparing to kill when all were conquered. The soldiers of Alost were adventurers, had no captains, desperate persons, and would not be ruled by any proclamation or commandment that could be given or made. Well (quoth I) if the fury could not be stayed, yet the ran soming might be forbidden, which is an act against the law of all nations, and therefore I required him in the name of the Queen's Majesty to command restitution to be made to the English nation." Rodas answered that he would be glad to do so, but that he thought it would be hard, but that which was to be paid upon bills, which for the company amounts to 5,000 crowns should be discharged, and the bonds cancelled, and promised a safe conduct for all English merchants with their remaining goods to go whithersoever they would. Encloses Rodas' answer to his note. Understands that a packet from Don John to Rodas and the Castellan has been intercepted near Diest. The master of the posts in Augsburg has written to Alexander Gonzaga that the new Emperor has promised to send aid to the Spaniards, and that the Duke of Brunswick has promised to provide 4,000 horse for their help.—19 Nov. 1576. Signed.
Add. Endd., with seal. Pp. 6½.
Nov. 14. 1022. Reply to the Answer of the Duke of Arschot to Dr. Wilson.
Signed by Wilson.
Endd. Enclosure. Span. P. 1.
Nov. 19. 1023. Negotiations with Rodas.
Requests made by Dr. Wilson to Rodas, Nov. 17th, with his reply dated 19th Nov.—Signed by Wilson and Rodas.
Enclosure. Lat. Pp. 1½.
Nov. 20. 1024. Sir John Smith's Embassy into Spain.
List of certain instructions to be procured from Walsingham that may serve to answer all objections of unkindness, that thereby the King of Spain may assure himself of her Majesty's sincere and sisterly dealing in the matters of greatest importance which he is sent unto him for, relating to the negotiations that have taken place in former times, and to the Queen's dealings with France and Scotland. Also certain causes that may induce the King of Spain to pardon his subjects in the Low Countries and accept their obedience, and recall the Spanish soldiers, viz., that it may seem more honourable for him to do so at the Queen's request than at the suit of his subjects, and also will save the great charges that he is at, and be able to employ his power against the Turk. Also the uncertainty of victory if his subjects should become unanimous and be driven to desperation. The increase of goodwill between the Crowns of England and Spain that would be brought about by the King's accepting her Majesty's sisterly mediation, that upon the King's refusal to accept her offers she may be forced to consider her own profit and security by satisfying her own people who find themselves greatly hindered by the lack of intercourse between the two nations, and are spoiled on the seas by the pirates of all nations, whom the Zealanders and Hollanders have been forced to call in for their own defence for fear of being put to the sword by the Spaniards, Almains, and other strange nations.
Endd., 20 Nov. 1576. P. 2½.
Nov. 20. 1025. Rowland Johnson to the Privy Council.
Declaring how chargeable and how weak John Fleming's plot for the wall for the haven at Berwick is in comparison with his own.—Berwick, 20 Nov. 1576. Signed.
Add. Endd. Pp. 3.
Nov. 21. 1026. Edict by Philip II.
Ordinance for the collection of a tax of 100 on all goods moveable and immoveable granted by the States.—Brussels, 21 Nov. 1576.
Printed pamphlet. Endd. Fr. Pp. 6.
Nov. 23. 1027. Protest of the States General.
Having received his letters, and heard the reports of various noblemen, the States have resolved to agree to Don John's request to abstain from hostilities for a fortnight, providing the Spaniards and their adherents do the like, and abstain from all exactions and pillages. They also name several commissioners who are to proceed to treat with Don John and point out to him that the only way of restoring tranquillity is by withdrawing the Spaniards from the country, which should be done as speedily as possible, and are further to consider the means whereby they should be withdrawn, even if it should be necessary that Don John should be obliged to join with the States in driving them out by force. They further beg that if his Highness should need guards that he will be contented with the same that his Majesty had on the occasion of the "Joyous Entry," consisting of four or five bands of Ordonnance, in order to remove all mistrusts. The States on their side have determined to discharge all foreign soldiers on account of their want of fidelity and misconduct in various places. The deputies are to use every possible means to make him understand and agree to the requisition of the States, which is so necessary for the preservation of the Roman Catholic religion, the service of his Majesty, and the repose of the country, which is the mark they shoot it.— Brussels, 23 Nov. 1576.
Endd. Fr. Pp. 1½.
1028. Translation of the above.
Endd. Pp. 2.
Nov. 25. 1029. The States of the Low Countries to the Duke of Alençon.
Having sent their deputies to Don John of Austria for the purpose of arranging for the withdrawal of the Spanish troops from the Low Countries, they beg that he will postpone sending the assistance which he promised for a fortnight until they may understand Don John's resolution.—Brussels, 25 Nov. 1576.
Copy. Endd. Fr. P. 1.
Nov. 25. 1030. Instructions for M. D'Aubigny.
He is to go with all speed to the Duke of Alençon, and to thank him in the name of the States for his goodwill towards them, and inform him of the sudden arrival of Don John at Luxembourg; Also that they have sent deputies to Don John to arrange for the withdrawal of the Spaniards without further effusion of blood within 15 days. He is, therefore, to humbly beg his Highness to hold his forces in readness to assist them in case Don John will not agree to their requests.
Endd., 25 Nov. 1576. Fr. P. 1.
[Nov. 26.] 1031. Don John of Austria.
Advice of the Prince of Orange concerning the arrival of Don John in the Low Countries:—
First, that he shall withdraw all the Spaniards, and not recall them without the general consent of all the towns and states of the Low Countries; that he will raze the citadels; that he will confirm the privileges and grant to all the provinces the same clause that those of Brabant had at the "Joyous Entry," namely, that in case of the violation of any of their privileges they shall not be bound to render any service or obedience until they shall be satisfied. That he shall only admit natives of the country to his Council, and that all affairs shall be discussed openly by those whom the States shall appoint to assist him in council. That he will appoint no governor to any province without the agreement of the States of the same. That he will not put garrisons in any town against their consent. That he will not have any foreign guards. That he will not make war at home or abroad without the consent of the States. That he will observe the ancient customs of each province in appointing officers and magistrates. That in all the above points there shall be no difference made in any of the 17 provinces, their several particular rights and privileges being reserved.
Endorsed incorrectly "1583." Fr. P. 1.
Nov. 27. 1032. The Duke of Alençon to the States of the Low Countries.
Has been advertised that Don John is endeavouring to induce them to lay down their arms without fighting, saying that there is great division in France, and that the King's and Duke's party is the smallest; and further, that many noblemen are going to send large forces to assist the Spaniards. Assures them that there is no truth in this. Begs them not to allow the artifices of Don John to sow dissension between them and the Prince of Orange, as in their union consists their safety.—Blois, 27 Nov. 1576.
Copy. Endd. Fr. P. 1.
Nov. 27. 1033. The Duke of Alençon to the Citizens of Brussels.
Assures them of his willingness to assist them in expelling the Spaniards, and of his readiness to employ all the means in his power for that purpose, and desires them to credit the bearer, M. Beauvais.—Blois, 27 Nov. 1576. Signed.
Copy. Endd. Fr. P. 1.
Nov. 30. 1034. The Prince of Orange to the Estates of Flanders.
1. They may perceive by two former writings, which he has sent to them, what his opinion is touching the negotiations with Don John, and as they might imagine that it proceeded from some private interest, he calls God to witness that his only object is to see the country governed by the States General, consisting of the three estates of the clergy, nobles, and towns, under the lawful obedience of their natural Prince. They should, therefore, in their assembly, take steps for the restitution of their legitimate authority, according to their ancient privileges, thereby putting a stop to all inconveniences, oppressions, and tyrannies, and restoring the country to peace and tranquillity, as they have already commenced, whereby his Majesty may perceive that the assembly of the States, which they have always humbly desired, is the sole means to re-establish affairs. Seeing, however, that they are lending their ears to the fine words and proposals of Don John, he cannot conceal his fear lest they should fall into the designs of their sworn enemies the Spaniards, who have always laboured to prevent the assembly of the States General.
2. Those lords and councillors of the Low Countries whom Don John has been recommended to take into his council will only serve for a colour to his actions, as all his determinations will be taken after consultation with some of his favourites, as was always done by the Duchess of Parma. If his instructions and demands are carefully examined, it will be seen that his intention is to assume the sovereign government, and utterly extinguish them and their authority; cannot, therefore, forbear from warning them to be careful how they proceed in this negotiation, considering how they hold the lives and liberties of so many of their fellow countrymen in their hands. Doubts not but that they will have many allurements offered to desist from this sacred enterprise, but the more they resist, the greater will be the honour due to them, and the obligation of posterity to their memory. His advice, therefore, is that they should not enter into any negotiations with Don John until all the Spaniards and other foreigners are withdrawn, and they have distinctly declared their opposition to the former government; and that they will not suffer any forces to be levied from those over whom they have power, for this would be to put a knife in his hands to cut their own throats. This advice agrees entirely with their ancient privileges, as he proves by quoting examples, and therefore they need not use long discussions in treating with Don John, which may prove their ruin, and all they need do is to send a list of their complaints and a copy of their privileges and require him to govern the country according to them, and in case of refusal, to protest that they are not to be accounted rebels if they endeavour to maintain their rights with all their power. By speaking thus openly they will the sooner obtain a decided answer, which will be more profitable than by protracting discussion without providing for their affairs and giving him time to set his own in order. This plain manner of speaking was the sole cause that induced the King formerly to promise to withdraw the Spaniards. In addition, it is to be considered that he who comes as Governor comes armed, and wishes to have the assurance of the States in the first instance, which is against the custom of princes who have always come unarmed and given their oath to the States before taking theirs. Besides, they ought to consider what will be their reputation with other nations if they are seen to be so ready to satisfy Don John, looking at the violence perpetrated on those of Maestricht and on Antwerp, formerly so powerful and flourishing, but now the most desolate town in Christendom, and that by those who wish to be considered subjects of the country equally with those who are native born. Besides, what an example this will be to all the other towns who will have cause to blame them for not demolishing the citadels, from whose building have proceeded most of their calamities. They are not to imagine that the King will hold for a slight offence the expulsion of his Spanish soldiers from the said citadels, for princes only forget such things whilst they lack the means of vengeance, dissimulating in the meanwhile until they find their opportunity, as is shown by the recent example of the slaughter of Counts Egmont and Horn, and many other gentlemen and good citizens, notwithstanding the fine words given to them, and there is scarcely any doubt but that the same fate menaces themselves.
3. It is a trick which nature herself teaches those who cannot attain their ends by force to endeavour to do so by cunning, as little children pipe to birds in order to catch them, whilst even the brute beasts use stratagems to capture their prey; in like manner the Spaniards will spare no manner of subtlety to cause them to fall into their nets. Any person of discernment must know how heart-breaking it must be to a prince wishing to rule absolutely to see his commands without authority, and his impotency towards his subjects exposed to all the world, and that his thoughts day and night will be turned towards the recovery of his power, for it is in the nature of sovereign power not to suffer any contradiction. Any promise to withdraw the Spaniards will be as little kept as that of the King, who at his departure said they should retire within three months, and yet they stayed about a year and a half, and would never have gone had it not been for the overthrow at Gerbes. In conclusion, he prays them to understand that this matter is no play, but that they have irritated to the last extremity a mighty enemy, and that there is no middle course in this business, but that they must either surrender or else heroically use those means that God has given them for their preservation. If by necessity Don John goes so far as to agree to the withdrawal of the Spaniards and the recognition of their privileges, they must insist in addition that the States should provide his council both of state and finance, and to have liberty assemble two or three times in the course of the year to advise on the administration of affairs, and take such order therein as may seem convenient; also that all the citadels shall be demolished, and no troops raised without the consent of the States General, who should also have the placing of all the garrisons. If they negotiate on any other terms than these, in hopes of pleasing Don John and restoring tranquillity to the country, he fears that they will be deceived, and fall into greater division than ever, for there are many who will never trust the promises of the King or Don John. Esteems this matter of such great weight and consequence that he writes again to them more at large his opinion, which he hopes they will take in good part, as that of one who will risk everything he has, to the last drop of his blood for the safety and repose of their common country.—Middleburg, 30 Nov. 1576. Signed.
Copy. Endd. by Burghley. Fr. Pp. 5¼.
[Nov.] 1035. Instructions for Dr. Wilson.
Understanding of the coming of Don John to Louvain, her Majesty directs Dr. Wilson to repair thither to congratulate the peace, exhorting him to have a care to continue the same as a matter most profitable for the King and honourable for himself. Nevertheless beholding his actions at his first entrance into the government of those countries, she finds small occasion of joy and as little reason of congratulation. She complains of the entertaining of her rebels contrary to ancient treaties, and the excluding of her servant Horsey from the treaty of the peace at Hoye to her great dishonour, when the ministers of other princes of less quality were admitted. If a just account were made of the friendly offices performed by her for the preservation of the Low Countries under the King's subjection it may seem to the world that he has (as it were) held them at her hands, and if he go on to recompense her with such an unfriendly and strange manner of proceedings she may justly be moved to take some other way of counsel. After these compliments done with Don John he is to let such of the States as he knows to be well affected to their country understand that though her Majesty is glad of the peace lately concluded, she cannot but advise them to be wary and circumspect, and to look well to themselves, as there is no worse kind of treason than that which lies under the show of friendship. They should specially be on their guard until they see their country clean voided of the Spaniards, and also have a good eye on Don John's preparations, and not overslack such provisions as shall be necessary for themselves. He may further show them that she finds it strange that the peace should be published before advertisement received from the Prince of Orange of his allowance of the same, considering their own resolution not to conclude before his opinion was known, and also the great hazard he had been in for the defence of their country and liberties.
Rough draft. Endd. Pp. 2¼.
Nov. 1036. Instructions for M. D'Aubigny.
M. le Baron D'Aubigny being sent by the States of the Low Countries to the Queen of England, to explain their reasons for taking up arms against the Spaniards, the following is the cause of their so doing; that is the continual massacres, spoilings, and cruelties, for which they have been unable to obtain any redress from the King. They have been obliged to take up arms for their own defence, and beg that the Queen of England will send some one to the King to show him the oppressions and cruelties that they have suffered, and to desire him to withdraw the Spaniards and to restore their ancient privileges.
Endd.: Nov. 1576. Fr. Pp. 2.
Nov. 1037. Negotiations with Don John.
Manner in which the States should act towards Don John.
They should speak plainly and without fear so far as saying that the King had acted so tyrannically that he ought to be deposed and the matter judged by the chamber of the Empire, still considering all these things have happened rather through bad counsel they may be put straight by an accord by the following means:—
1. That the Spaniards should be at once sent away after giving up all their plunder and releasing their prisoners.
2. That Rodas, Vargas, D'Avila, Romero, and other authors of these troubles should be punished with death.
3. That all castles not serving as fortresses against the foreign enemy shall be demolished or placed in the hands of the States.
4. That all acts done by the States for their defence shall be held to be lawful.
5. That their privileges shall be confirmed and amplified so as to exclude for the future any chance of tyranny.
6. That the Estates may assemble at their own pleasure.
7. That the King and his successors will never employ Spaniards in the government of the Low Countries.
8. That the Council of State shall be abolished and another nominated by the Estates of the land, who shall be all nations and of different ranks.
9. In case the King or his successors should contravene any of the said privileges they shall by that fact lose the sovereignty, and the people be at liberty to govern themselves by a republic or any other form they think best for their tranquillity, or to choose another prince.
Note in Burghley's writing. Fr. Pp. 1½.
Nov. 1038. Remonstrance of M. Champagny.
Complains of the mischievous effects of favouritism in the appointment of officers and commanders, the want of concert shown in their enterprises, and also that no real assistance is to be expected from France. Warns the States not to put any trust in the promises of the Spaniards, as exemplified by the past actions of Alva, Requescens, and now by Jeronimo Rodas, as shown by his intercepted letters. If Don John intends to proceed sincerely with them he should be first required to dismiss all Spaniards and foreigners without exception, and to inflict exemplary justice on those who have misbehaved, and intrust the management of the affairs of the Low Countries to those who are native born; and also punish the four Almain colonels as they deserve, and disband their regiments. The people of the Low Countries do not wish to do anything against the authority of the King unless they are compelled to do so through tyranny. By this open speech his Highness will see that they do not desire anything which is inconsistent with justice, but that this must be done without delays in order that they may know that they are not being deceived as formerly. In the meanwhile whilst these matters are being deliberated, the States should spare no means to put themselves in a position of defence.
Endd. Fr. Pp. 5¼.
Nov. 1039. Sir John Smith's embassy into Spain.
Sir John Smith's receipt for certain writings delivered to him at his despatch into Spain, consisting chiefly of documents relating to the detention of English subjects and ships by the Inquisition and copies of Cobham, Davison's and other ambassadors' instructions. Signed.
Endd. Pp. 1¼.
Nov. 1040. George Southwick to Walsingham.
Has delivered the Council's letters to the Prince of Orange's deputies to satisfy him of the 1,800li, which those of Zealand had of him, but can come to no order with them. Has devised a means which would yearly yield a great sum to those of Zealand and Holland, and also assure the safety of her Majesty's subjects on the seas from the spoil of those of Zealand.
P. 1.
1041. Memorial.
Plan referred to above whereby through paying five or six per cent. to the Estates of Holland and Zealand the English merchants may be insured by them against any spoil of their merchandise upon the seas. The States will not only raise by this means large sums of money without any discommodity to the English merchant, who will recover his insurance money upon the sale of his commodities, but the Queen's customs will also benefit by the improved traffic which will arise through the increased security. Signed: "George Southaicke."
Endd. Enclosure. Pp. 2½.
[Nov.] 1042. "How the matter may be compounded between Her Majesty and the Prince of Orange."
The satisfaction that may breed contentment rests upon three points:—
1. The Prince to acknowledge his error in arresting her ajesty's subjects.
2. To restore to liberty her subjects now stayed in Zealand.
3. To suffer her subjects to traffic freely unspoiled.
The favour to be shown by her Majesty rests on these points:—
1. In remitting that which is past.
2. In releasing the ships stayed.
3. In not urging her subjects' traffic into the Low Countries.
4. In suffering them to have the use of her ports to be relieved there of victuals for their money.
Endd. Pp. 1¼.
Nov. 1043. Requests of M. Taffin to the Privy Council.
1. That all ships with their mariners belonging to Holland and Zealand that have been arrested may be set at liberty.
2. That the persons who arrested the four ships at Falmouth may be held responsible for all loss and damage that they may have sustained thereby.
3. That commissioners may be appointed to settle all grievances between the Queen's subjects and those of Holland and Zealand.
4. Answer of the Privy Council in the margin to the effect that the first article shall be referred to the judge of the Admiralty, who will cause justice to be done, and the second and third articles shall be referred to commissioners to be chosen on both sides.
Endd. Fr. P. 1.
1044. Translation of the above with copy of letter of credence in French for the bearer who has been chosen by the Queen to accompany him.
Endd. Pp. 1½.
Nov. 1045. Petition of the Merchants of Ipswich.
Desires that Mons. Taffin may not depart the realm until all things be performed according to the order taken by certain merchants in London between them and the said Taffin for their goods taken by the Flushingers.
Endd. P. 1.
[Nov.] 1046. M. Taffin to the Lords of the Council.
Made no difficulty in agreeing with the merchants of Ipswich to remain in England until the first third of the recompense for the seizure of their goods was paid. Since then, however, the cloth belonging to them has been sold, and the loan of 25,000 florins promised by the Merchant Adventurers refused, and besides very great expenses incurred by the siege of the citadel of Ghent. As his presence is very necessary for the Estates and the Prince of Orange, he begs that he may have license to depart.
Copy. Endd. Fr. P. 1.
[Nov.] 1047. Memorial for Walsingham.
Desiring that the Council will write to the Prince of Orange in behalf of certain English merchants whose goods have been seized at sea on the passage to England by the Flushingers, and though they proved that the merchandise belonged actually to them, yet the Admiralty of Zealand declared it good prize because they had not struck their sails to the Prince's ship in accordance with an ordnance of the late Emperor Charles.
Copy. Endd. Fr. P. 1.
Nov. 1048. [Privy Council] to the Prince of Orange.
He has been informed since the beginning what was the will of her Majesty touching the affair of the merchants of Ipswich, namely, to restore their cloths taken by those of Flushing. For by the arrest of a number of English vessels, even of those of the Merchant Adventurers going and returning from Antwerp, the contract and agreement made with the said merchants was entirely broken. Besides those of Ipswich understanding that her Majesty had a promise that her subjects should not be molested, had no hesitation in taking their goods into Flanders, notwithstanding which they were captured by some vessels of war of Zealand. The Queen would have been justified in giving them letters of marque, but Jacques Taffin has remonstrated with her and assured her that the merchants shall receive full satisfaction. Cannot allow that the four ships stayed at Falmouth should be assigned to them in compensation. Trusts that the Prince will do all he can to restrain those of Zealand, and they for their parts will use all endeavours to preserve him in the good graces of the Queen.
Copy. Endd., 1576. Fr. Pp. 1¼.