Elizabeth: May 1577

Pages 569-587

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

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May 1577

May 1. 1413. Wilson to the Queen.
1. Gives a detailed account of his audience with Don John of Austria at Louvain on the 20th April. Don John complained that she had sent ships, munitions, and money to the Prince of Orange, to aid him against the King of Spain. His speech was in French, with often repetition, as his manner is. Wilson made answer in French, being so required by Don John, understanding him very well, and assuring himself in his own opinion that his French was as good as Don John's, that he had no knowledge of any such matter, but that the same must proceed from some wrong information, being well assured that lewd rebels have told him strange tales, and some have sent unto him like messages out of England; it might be that merchants who care for nothing more than gain might trade, but that was no cause to charge the Queen and her Council therewith. He would write all he had conceived from Don John's mouth into England, and after visiting the schools of learning, would once again seek to speak with him before his return to Brussels.
2. On the 25th Wilson required new audience, in which, after Don John had repeated his complaint of the aid to the Prince of Orange, Wilson told him there was great cause for the Queen to be jealous of her State, seeing her rebels relieved and cherished. Then Don John said he had sent Thomas Stukeley away, whose humour if he had followed, the Queen would not have been at rest at this day. Wilson told him the King would have had the worst, for Stukeley was a vain man, of no credit or estimation, and that the treasure of the Indians would not serve his prodigal expenditure; but also he had to say to him of the young Hamilton, who being imprisoned at Brussels was the other day enlarged by his commandment, praying he might have the same Scottish man delivered to him, because he had used strange speeches, not only of the Queen, but of Don John, as that the Queen of Scots had often written letters to him, and he to her again, and that there was an intention to make a tumult in England by the help of some noblemen there, and so upon her enlargement he to marry with her, and thereupon to claim the Crown of England in her right, and therefore desired to have this fellow to have him examined in England and Scotland also. Don John upon this speech somewhat changed countenance, and said, "It is like that I should seek her who is a prisoner and hath nothing, and I myself as void of living as she herself is, saving only that which I have in gift from the King my brother as pension. I would not have anybody to be thus abused, nor to think me so void of judgment, for though I be young, yet I have some experience of the world, and hope to make my bargain better than so." Wilson then again desired to have Hamilton, that he might be punished for raising such a bruit; but Don John answered he might not deliver him, being but a vain simple fellow, but if he would speak with him he should be sent. Hamilton came to Wilson the same day and denied all things, and said he would not refuse to go to England so that he might go and come safe. Wilson promised him all the assurance he could give him, but fears he will not be so ready to go. These speeches of Hamilton he understood by one Phillippes, an Englishman, that was lately prisoner with him at Middleburg, who heard him speak so much as he has said. This is true. Escovedo said he had express commandment from Don John to deal for the enlargement of Hamilton, because the Scottish Queen had written letters to him long before, when she understood of the Hamilton's first trouble in Brussels; Guerras has written to Don John in the Scottish Queen's name to be good to the Earl of Westmoreland and to the Hamiltons; and Don John said to Wilson that he would make M. de Heze, the Governor of Brussels, repent his rash act of imprisoning this Hamilton without making him privy of it.
3. Don John told Wilson by the 27th the Spaniards should be clean out of Maestricht, and that the town should be thereupon rendered unto the Estates' hands. The Prince of Orange has had three fits of tertian ague; Doctor Leoninus is sent to him with letters from Don John, whom if he can win to yield, the Duke of Arschot shall be sent thereupon to make a full end of all things. Some say he will not come to any agreement till his son the Count Buren be delivered to his own hands and possession, because he was taken out of Louvain against the liberties of the University and country, besides the Edict of Pacification accords to his deliverance who is said to be sent for into Spain, and that before the end of May he will be in this country. The Prince should be at Haarlem this May-day.—Brussels, May-day 1877. Signed.
Add. Endd. Pp. 52/3.
May 1. 1414. Wilson to Burghley.
1. The Spaniards are clean gone out of Maestricht, and M. de Bercelly, a very young gentleman that hardly and strangely escaped out of Antwerp after the massacre, is entered therein for the Estates with three companies. Reports his audience with Don John. Don John gives marvellous tokens of his contentment, yielding in all things, because he would get credit. He offers so much to stoop to the Prince as makes him doubt some great matter will ensue, either in this country or in England, or in both. This day he comes in with all solemnity than can be devised, and yet before he be received in his government the States desire observation of certain articles. Sends an oration made by them of Dantzic to the States of Poland, whereby he may see that even the quarrel of Dantzic against their King is for the maintenance of their liberties. The Prince goes to Haarlem to take order for the government of the town, and also to win Amsterdam if it be possible. There is a meaning here that one shall be sent into England as ambassador resident very shortly.—Brussels, 1 May 1577. Signed.
2. P.S. Cannot get an order for their merchants' releasement of the new imposts, although he has been twice with the States General and the Council of State. They are driven to great necessity for want of money, and therefore grieved he should so importune them in this time of their great need.
Add. Endd. Pp. 1¾.
April 30. 1415. Don John of Austria.
A copy of certain resolutions made by the State General of the Low Countries with regard to Don John of Austria. They agree to receive him with all honour on his entry into the city on the first of May, but cannot, according to the articles of the treaty, receive him as Governor till the last of the Spaniards shall have gone beyond Luxembourg. When he shall be received as Governor, they will require of him an oath to fully observe the laws and customs, require him to summon the Estates to deliberate upon the affairs of the kingdom, and ask him to keep himself free from favorites, that he may the better be able to govern the country.
Endd. Fr. Pp. 12/3. Enclosure.
May 1. 1416. Wilson to Walsingham.
1. Don John told him on the 25th April that he had given order to Doctor Leoninus to offer any place of meeting the Prince might name, and that he would put his life in hazard for the common weal of this country, and if the King, his brother, would not agree to the Edict of Pacification, he would join with the Estates and bear arms himself against him. Will never the more trust Don John, nay, mistrusts him the more, and gathers that he minds by such speech to "trumpe" the Prince, or else he bears a false heart to the King his brother, and surely of such speech no man can ground any assured goodness; truth being the daughter of time will in the end be discovered. To suffer a private person as Guerras is to deal so scandalously as he does, when ambassadors cannot be suffered to deal plainly and truly, passes greatly his understanding. Has declared to M. de Heze what Don John said of him, and some of Don John's friends are angry with him for it, but cares not, let Don John take heed what he speaks in hurt of those who bear so good heart to the Queen as that gentleman does. Is about a practice to get a Scot into England, with letters from Don John to the Scottish Queen; Colonel Balfour has promised to work this feat by one Henry Kesone, an old servant of the Scottish Queen, and in favour with Don John.—This May-day, from Brussels, 1577. Signed.
2. P.S.—Don John thinks much that he has no greater style given him by the Queen, but only "A mon cousin," which he hears was the cause he made answer thereafter.
Add. Endd. Pp. 3.
April 20. 1417. Don John to the Count Lalain and M. de Heze.
Understands from their letter that one Hamilton, a Scottishman, has been imprisoned, and fears that if the same come to the hearing of the Spanish soldiers they will do the like by such as come to them on the part of the Estates. Desires therefore that he be sent to Louvain at once, and order shall be given that he shall not come again into Brussels.—Louvain, 20 April 1577. Signed.
Copy. Endd. Fr. P. ¾. Enclosure.
April 30. 1418. Copy of the enclosure to Wilson's letter to Burghley of the 1st May, relating to the reception of Don John of Austria into Brussels, and other matters.
Endd. Fr. P. 1. Enclosure.
April 29. 1419. Instructions given by the Estates to the Deputies sent by them to Don John of Austria.
To require him to come to Brussels for the more convenient correspondence with the Estates till such time after the departure of the Spaniards as he can be received as Governor, to cause all foreign soldiers to quit the country, to continue the present assembly of the Estates, to allow the present army of the Estates to be kept on foot, and to agree to such order as the Estates shall make for their maintenance; and further to that end to permit the particular assemblies of the provinces to be held as they may deem convenient, and to restore all the ancient privileges and franchises of the country, as is agreed on in the pacification, without causing each place to seek its own particular restitution.—Brussels, 29 April 1577.
Copy. Endd. Fr. Pp. 2. Enclosure.
May 1. 1420. Ludwig, Count Palatine, to Queen Elizabeth.
Has received from Philip Sidney her letters dated from Hampton Court, on the 7th February, and thanks her for her goodwill. Expresses his great grief at the death of his relative the late Emperor.—In Castro Novo [Neustadt], 1 May 1577. Signed.
Add. Endd. Lat. Pp. 12/3.
May 5. 1421. Lord Scrope to Walsingham.
1. Has this day received a letter from the Regent of Scotland, whereby he signifies that Lord Maxwell is determined to give up his office, and that by the advice of the noblemen and gentlemen of that Border he will choose another, for which purpose he has appointed them to be with him at Edinburgh the 18th of the month.
2. Albeit upon the bruits of change of officers the wicked Borderers have ever been emboldened to do evil, yet will he on his part give strict commandment to the contrary, and do his diligence that the good peace may be continued.—Carlisle, 5 May 1577. Signed.
Add. Endd. P. ¾.
May 2. 1422. The Regent of Scotland to Lord Scrope.
Informs him that Lord Maxwell is deliberate to demit his office of Warden of the West Marches, though he cannot well consider upon what motion or just occasion it proceeds, and that he has summoned the noblemen and gentlemen of the Border to Edinburgh the 18th to help him choose another.— Holyrood House, 2 May 1577. Signed.
Copy. P. 1. Enclosure.
May 6. 1423. Wilson to Walsingham.
This bearer, Mr. Asheby, is of himself instead of a large packet. He is able to declare of the receiving of Don John with great solemnity, and also of his speedy admission to the government within three days after, and of the general procession to give God thanks for common quietness, many saying "fuit homo missus a Deo cui nomen erat Johannes.— Brussels, 6 May 1577. Signed.
Add. Endd. P. ⅓.
May 8. 1424. Wilson to Walsingham.
The pomp was great on May-day, the people being well disposed to bid Don John welcome, trusting him now more than they mistrusted him before. On Saturday he had his oath given him, and was established governor. Upon Sunday there was a general procession, Don John bearing a torch bare-headed after the sacrament, the Bishop of Liege on one side of him and the Pope's Nuncio on the other. So many torches carried before the sacrament that their great light caused darkness with the smoke, especially to those that stood in windows as lookers on. On Monday a post came with King Philip's ratification, with assurance of money to the value of 400,000 crowns. Don John's love in outward appearance is answerable to the State's affection, he and they striving who can love best. All is well if there be good faith everywhere. For his part did never mislike love, which being unfeigned is a Christian's true badge. Dissimulation is odious and offensive, neither can there be a worse man than he who speaks fair when he thinks foul. Whosoever he be that goes from his nature and if a fierce cruel man will show himself suddenly sweet and mild will when he comes to his nature again be ten times worse than ever he was before. Nero and Caracalla are especial examples of such natures. Is persuaded that an earnest Papist having authority and loving chiefly the glory of this world will use more cruelty for matters of religion than ever any tyrant did for any civil worldly cause. There is a meaning now to win the Prince by all the sweetest devices that may be, and certain shall be sent in commission very shortly. Hears that the four Cantons of the Catholic Switzers, Lucerne, Uri, Switz, and Unterwalden are in league with the Duke of Savoy. The King of Portugal levies soldiers, and some say there is a mustering about Milan. Minds in a day or two to see the Pope's Nuncio, who has sent him word that if he will come he shall be welcome. The Castle of Utrecht is rased, and earnest mean is made to have Antwerp castle somewhat defaced, and to be united to the town, but the clergy and others count Antwerp a frontier town, so long as the Prince of Orange holds out. Has been to Don John for the merchants to be free from the imposts, and had answer that he should have speedily what he could in reason desire. Must say this much, he is so courteous that he desires him to come when he will and as often as he will, although he has no matter but only to devise and to talk of the world, to see and be seen. The common speech here is that the Queen has been always the Prince's chief succour, and this grounded opinion will not be altered by any persuasion.—Brussels, 8 May 1577. Signed.
Add. Endd. Pp. 2.
May 8. 1425. John Casimir's Answer to Sidney's Negotiation.
Thanks the Queen's Council, especially the Earl of Leicester, for their goodwill towards himself and plans for the advancement of religion and the establishment of public quiet. Is willing loyally to join the league proposed for these objects, and promises to endeavour to induce the Landgrave and others of his relations to join also. Has mentioned the names of several great lords of whom he is sure, and will earnestly urge others who have not yet made up their minds, as well as some imperial cities and the Swiss. Desires to know how far the Queen of England will join in the league, and promises to contribute himself 100,000 dollars in ready money to be employed for the advancement of the common cause. He has discoursed at length with Sidney about a general agreement amongst the reformed churches who might draw up a formulary which all could sign, for this purpose has decided to communicate with the churches in France, the Low Countries, Switzerland and Poland, and also desires that the Queen of England will help such a good work with her authority.— Lauterburg, 8 May 1577. Signed.
Endd. Fr. Pp. 2½.
May 9. 1426. Paulet to Burghley.
Has been forced to take physic these four or five days by reason of a colic, and therefore prays him to supply these short lines with the enclosed copy of his letter to the Secretary. Will be ready to assist Mr. Spencer if he should come into these parts. Is glad to hear he is delivered of that bad pest, the gout. Sees they must follow the King to Poitou and Guienne, where besides the extreme dearth of all things necessary things will not be had for money.—Blois, 9 May 1577. Signed.
Add., with seal Endd. Pp.⅓.
May 9. 1427. Paulet to Walsingham.
Copy of his letter of the same days.
Enclosure. Pp. 3½.
May 9. 1428. Paulet to Walsingham.
The Almoner to the Queen Mother has informed him he shall find his lodgings ready at Tours, and also signified to him that La Charité was yielded to the King, who had received the soldiers and inhabitants into his mercy, and had licensed them to return to their houses upon promise to bear arms no more against him; that the Duke of Maine had taken Tonnay Charente and the Isles of Marennes, so as now he trusted to see a good peace very shortly, whereof he knew the Queen would be right glad to hear. Said he was glad the King was so well affected to peace, and that the taste of his power and pity at La Charité would serve him to good purpose towards his other subjects. Is credibly informed the King had said very lately, that notwithstanding all these victories, he is no less affected to make peace, but whereas in time past he was forced to yield to such conditions as liked them, he would now look that they shall yield to such as like him. It may truly be said of the French, "In principio plus quam viri, in fine minus quam feminæ." La Charité was yielded the 2nd, after sustaining the battery only three hours. D'Estandes, La Nocle, Myleron, son to Bricquemault, and the other gentlemen departed with their horses and armour, but with condition to wear their cloak if they were armed, and the soldier with sword, dagger, and harquebuss, but carried his harquebuss under his arm with the nose backwards. All are sworn to bear no arms hereafter against the King. Forty companies of those before La Charité follow the Duke of Guise into Champagne; and 30 with 10 pieces of ordnance and the powder which remained are sent to the Duke of Maine, where he may have need of them and more too before he win the Isles of Marennes, for cannot learn that he has won them. Those of Tonnay Charente were all put to the sword, which were not above 160 soldiers, the captain named Lucas was also slain. The Duke of Montpensier, Biron, and some others have full authority to conclude peace, and some think the King would be glad if it were concluded. The Queen Mother intends to make a solemn and a sumptuous feast on Sunday, in her garden of Chenonceau, in honour of this victory, where the banquet shall be served by ladies apparelled in white satin. After the feast the King takes his journey towards Poitou, if the matter of Bussy d'Amboise do not let him, who it is thought will utterly refuse to repair to the Duke of Maine with his forces. Order is given to Matignon and Rambouillet to defeat him if they can, or to force him to take some town for his succour. Great store of powder is passed this way towards Poictiers. The poor town of La Charité was sacked notwithstanding the composition, and many soldiers were slainby Martinengo's companies who lay in wait for them to revenge his death. The matter mentioned in his last letters touching the Queen of Scots is confirmed, but agreed that the time does not yet serve for the execution of it. Can be easily persuaded that some great and dangerous things are in brewing, and holds himself in good belief that all their doings that way shall not pass so cleanly, but that some part will stick in his fingers. Some part of the Englishmen are departed already towards the Low Countries, and many others go shortly. Morgan, once secretary to the Earl of Shrewsbury, is gone to Lisle and thence to Luxembourg to the Countess of Northumberland. Liggons, once servant to the Duke of Norfolk, is gone with the Ambassador of Scotland to the Plombieres on the borders of Lorraine. Assures him the Scots and Scottish English are better attended than they were. George Ascott, that once served Mr. Dale, is now grown to be a messenger in England, and when in Paris is continually with the Ambassador of Scotland, it may seem good to cause him to be examined.—Blois, 9 May 1577. Signed.
Add. Endd. by Burghley. Pp. 3⅓.
May 11. 1429. Wilson to Walsingham.
May not cease to write during his abode here, although he will spare charges, by the ordinary merchants' post, except some great matter enforce him to the contrary. All things are quiet here, there is nothing more minded nightly than pleasure, the day's care is wholly bestowed to win the Prince of Orange, unto whom were sent Leoninus and the Baron de Reussingen the 9th with very large offers. They give it out they will return with joyful news of agreement, yea, Don John looks for no less; which preparative being received, then either the Duke of Arschot, Count Lalain, M. Champagny, or others of that metal, are to supply the rest, and then his Highness agreeing upon an apt place to have the glory of all. Yesterday he sent for him and required him to put down so many as were of his retinue, which were 22, saying he took this course throughout the town for the avoiding of unnecessary strangers, but hears it is for danger to his own person, understanding he is warned out of England that certain are appointed by secret means to take his life. Charged him then with suspicion conceived against the Queen for aiding the Prince, and said that the acts of fugitives and such as could not abide the face of the law ought not to be laid to her, who were the excrement of their nation and not fit to live in any country; and further, that the Scottish, Burgundian, and French with the Prince were more than the English. Gave him then a copy of the demands of the merchants, and hopes to have answer very shortly. Has been with the Pope's Nuncio, and finds him of his old acquaintance. He utterly denies there is any league against those of the religion, and that he did not bring any letter from the Pope to Stukeley, neither had he a roll of the English Catholics, which two things notwithstanding Mr. Copley told him as things of truth. But surely, as he can gather, Copley did make those things of himself to win credit; he is now at Louvain, because the States have no good liking of him. If he could get him and the Nuncio together he would charge him upon the sudden before his face, and prove one of them a liar. They of Antwerp will not lend money except the castle there be defaced.—Brussels, 11 May 1577. Signed.
Add. Endd. Pp. 2.
May 11. 1430. The Merchants' Requests to Don John.
They complain of the exactions of the officers of Bruges, and request that all such be stopped, until matters are properly settled by commissioners from both countries.
Copy. Endd. Fr. P. ½.
May 13. 1431. Edward Merry to Lord Burghley.
It pleased him to appoint Mr. Fanshawe and Mr. Norton to be bearers of the requests made by him in behalf of the Mayor and coporation of Berwick, as also to confer with the Customer there upon the same demands. All which is performed, and a brief of the opinion of the customer set down in writing. His earnest affairs, standing much upon his losses forces his return home, and if his Lordship have not convenient leisure shortly to order the same, there is left to attend on him one Henry Merry for the corporation. Without consideration of the requests they shall not be able any longer to abide in the place.—13 May.
Endd. P. 1.
May 13. 1432. Petitions for the Relief of the Town of Berwick.
1. That in their trades of merchandise, though their rates of payment for customs and other things be not provided for by the statutes, they may still enjoy the same favourable usage as shall appear to have been used heretofore, the same laws being in force; and the rather for that otherwise by such difference of rates the whole trade of those parts will be brought into the Scots' hands, who grow rich and strong by sea and the men of Berwick poor and weak.
2. That they may freely transport Scottish hides as they have been wont to do, and that thereby may be understood, as always has been, the hides of like value, namely, of the growth of Scotland and between Coquet and Tweed, for that they be all of one sort, and four dickers of them are not of the value of one dicker English.
3. That as they were wont to do they may pay for the same after the rates of Scotland, which is 8d. the dicker, otherwise the Scots carrying cheaper shall eat away the trade.
4. That for cloths, woolfels, shearlings, and marlings, they may likewise continue their payments after the Scots' rate.
5. That timber board and spars out of Norway being matter for the building of the town may be free of custom as has been used.
6. That for the victualling of the town, and that the same commodity may not fall wholly into the hands of the Scots who pay no impost, the merchants of Berwick who by charter are discharged de omni umagio may be free of imposts for so much wine as shall be spent within that town.
7. That as heretofore such merchandise as is brought in on their own adventure may be custom free.
8. That the ancient laws be put in execution, and that carriage of goods and merchandise overland to and from Scotland be restrained, but only through the towns of Berwick and Carlisle, otherwise, besides the great loss to the frontier towns, the Queen is much defrauded of her duties and the realm of many good commodities.
9. That the General Surveyor of Victuals may forbear intermeddling with trades of merchandise other than serves for victual to the garrison, otherwise he having to spare great sums of the Queen's stock may wire the whole traffic into his own hands to the utter decay of the merchants there.
The decay of the merchandise of Berwick for want of the said liberties has brought the customs at Berwick almost to nothing, and the merchants almost utterly decayed.
Endd. P. 1. Enclosure.
1433. Another copy of the above enclosure.
Pp. 1⅓.
May 14. 1434. Thomas Copley to Wilson.
Would be right glad to repair to Brussels to speak with him, but his Highness having advised his stay here for a time he dare in no wise come till himself shall directly command him; and the less for that in a letter he received even at this instant from Octavio Gonzaga he finds advice from his Highness himself that he should with patience pass yet a few days in this town. Is well assured he shall want neither credit nor living wheresoever he serve the King and Don John, be it in this country or elsewhere. Touching that which he asserts that if he be not well persuaded of some thing concerning him before he return into England his case will go somewhat hard there, in good sooth if he be not thoroughly persuaded of his loyalty and truth to his Prince and country by what has already passed, know not how he should give him assurance. Is bound to add that if he go hence others finding the want of so true an Englishman to stand both his country and countrymen in stead will miss him and wish him here before he wishes himself here again; it is in his hands to reserve to the Queen a true servant.— Louvain, 14 May 1577. Signed.
Add. Endd. Pp. 1½.
May 15. 1435. Sir Robert Constable to Burghley.
Think good to signify to him the honest and good dealing of Captain William Selby, lately serving in Ireland, who has made pay to all his soldiers lately serving under him and of all things due to them, whereby he has won the hearts of the country. He has showed himself a valiant gentleman and as able to have the charge of horsemen as any in England. —Berwick, 15 May 1577. Signed.
Add. Endd. P. 1.
May 19. 1436. Sir John Smith and the Archbishop of Toledo.
On the 19th May, Smith, hearing the Archbishop of Toledo was in his lodgings with the Count de Andrada and two priests, went to him, and after complaining of the difficulty he had in obtaining access to him considering that he was the Queen's Ambassador, demanded the release of all English subjects detained by the Inquisition, and compensation for the injuries they had received. The Archbishop in a rage declared that but for certain respects he would have a fellow like him punished for daring to speak in such a shameless manner to him as an example to all his nation. Smith answered that he did not care for such a fellow as he was or his threats either. The Archbishop told him to get out of his house. Smith said he would complain to the King of the want of respect shown to the Queen in his person, to which he was told that he might complain to whom he liked so long as he left the place.
Endd. Span. Pp. 2¼.
May 20. 1437. William Landgrave of Hesse to Queen Elizabeth.
As she has recalled her envoy, Philip Sidney, he received her letter by Richard Alan, who also explained her intention of renewing and strengthening with him the league which existed between King Henry VIII. and the Landgrave Philip, for which he gives her hearty thanks. Professes his zeal and earnestness for the cause of religion, which he will further with all his power as far as the laws of the Empire permit.— Cassel, 20 May 1577. Signed.
Add. Endd. Lat. Pp. 2⅓.
May 23. 1438. Don John to the Council of Flanders.
Desires them to issue orders to all magistrates to arrest and exemplarily punish all those who go about subverting religion by false doctrine, and by books, songs, or other means seek to spread their errors and to corrupt the people, it being the intention of the King and of himself to suffer no other religion than the Roman Catholic. Signed.
Endd. Don John's letter and commandment for the suppression of religion. Copy. Fr. Pp.1¼.
May 24. 1439. Wilson to Walsingham.
Found Don John so ready to satisfy his request that none of the merchants of this country travelling to Moscovia should molest their merchants using the same voyage, as he could not desire more, but he said he would do well to write to the Prince, because the greatest danger was under his government. Whereupon he began to speak of the Prince, and Wilson told him he should never have any fear the Queen would assist him if no practice were used to the disturbance of her quietness and ease, and therefore to be assured by England is to deserve well of all good offices. Don John said he had an intention to send very shortly an honourable ambassage into England, most likely the Viscount of Ghent, but he could not assure him of him, and that hereafter some sufficient man should be appointed lieger. Has written to the Prince twice for their merchants of Moscovia. On the 21st Don John carried the prize and praise of the barriers above all others. —Antwerp, 24 May 1577. Signed.
Add. Endd. P. 1.
May 28. 1440. Wilson to Burghley.
Don John is well liked in his government, only the malice remains against the Spaniards and the Almain soldiers that did take their parts, whom the people cannot abide to be amongst them; and of late in Brussels and Antwerp there has been some small stir. The castle at Antwerp is lately strengthened with three companies of Walloons, more to keep the burghers and Almains in more quietness. The Duke of Arschot is returned two days past from the Prince, who requires the performance of the pacification of Ghent and the restitution of his son to Louvain according to the privileges of that University, and then he will enter into further communication. Is well informed the Prince will not go through with any matter of moment till the Queen shall be first made acquainted therewith, and her pleasure fully known. The Viscount of Ghent is appointed to come into England, he is gone to Artois to set his things in order there, and immediately upon his short return make his undelayed voyage to England. Yesterday Mr. Sidney went hence to Breda towards Gertruidenberg where the Prince is now.—Antwerp, 28 May 1577. Signed.
Add. Endd. P. 1.
May 30. 1441. William Landgrave of Hesse to Queen Elizabeth.
As a daughter has been born to him at the same time as her envoy Richard Alan arrived, has bestowed upon her the Queen's name, hoping she will imitate her virtues and piety —Cassel, 30 May 1577. Signed.
Add. Endd. Lat. Pp. 2.
May 30. 1442. Robert Petre to Burghley.
There was a privy seal granted by the Queen the 9th May 1576 for the payment yearly to the Treasurer of Berwick of 1,400l. yearly for three years, whereof were 1,000l. for the fortification there, and 400l. for the repair of the haven. The money for two of the said three years shall be paid when the order herein enclosed is signed by his Lordship. —Westminster, 30 May 1577. Signed.
Add. Endd. P. ⅓.
May 31. 1443. Sir Robert Constable to Burghley.
The works are begun at the pier, and they have found hard by them such a quarry of stone as the like has not been seen for good. It lies so in order, as it had been laid by the handiwork of man, and is so very hard that it is like marble, both in colour and otherwise, and rises so abundantly that they cannot wish to have it better. The greatest want they have is of hard hewers, for the which they have sent into the country. By this quarry they hope to save a great piece of money in carriage. The Master of the Ordnance hears that his Lordship has respited the allowance of his book for charges and provisions in his office for the last year. Not only himself but the Gentleman Porter also thought he should be charged to make them, and so he gave him warrant, for there was neither in the town matches for the soldiers, nails, ropes, timber, iron, spades, shovels, nor mattocks, which stand now in very good stead towards furthering the works here. For the cart horses, since there was a pennyworth in them, and that they found the having of them to be necessary, and that they would save the Queen a good sum yearly in carriage, they thought good to have them. If the Queen have not them she must have others, which will cost her 12d. a day, and these stand her but in 10d. He understands also he disallows the 7l. per annum for cellerage in Newcastle; till Michaelmas, when the storehouses in Newcastle are in readiness, he has no room, and therefore if he will not allow it he must pay it himself. Doubts not without his pleasure first known he will not be persuaded again to make provision to such a sum, for here is even now a Hamburgh man that has a last of corn powder, and prices it at 71l. the last, which is worth here 100l., yet he will not buy it till his pleasure be known, although they have great need of it. Craves his pleasure at his leisure, the rather for satisfying of the gentleman, who, besides that he is unquiet in mind, something blames him, affirming that it is a great piece of his wealth.— Berwick, 31 May 1577. Signed.
Add. Endd. Pp. 2¼.
May 31. 1444. The Regent Morton to Lord Burghley.
Requests his favour and furtherance for Adam Fowlartoun, merchant of Edinburgh, who has been sent to obtain redress for certain Scots who have been spoiled by the Queen's subjects.—Holyrood House, 31 May 1577. Signed: James Regent.
Add. Endd. P. ½.
May. 1445. Notes on the State of the Prince of Orange and the Provinces of Holland and Zealand.
1. The Prince of Orange has at present all Holland and Zealand with the province of Utrecht under his government. Concerning Amsterdam the case is altered, the Prince being able to annoy and pleasure them, whereas they can neither profit the Prince or much less hinder him.
2. Gueldres, Friesland, and Groningenland are wholly bent to follow the Prince if war be renewed, for they shall lose all traffic unless they join themselves.
3. Wherefore the Prince assures himself that the rest of the Estates of the Low Countries will not be very hasty in renewing war, especially now the Spaniards are departed out of the country.
4. Don John is not ignorant of the Prince's strength, and Doctor Leoninus confessed that he knew four or five provinces more would take his part than in the last war had done, therefore Don John trusts either to win the Prince or to deceive and circumvent him. He thinks the Prince is not so hard to be won, and puts all the fault in his councillors, wherein he is deceived.
5. The Prince nourishes Don John's humour, and makes him believe he shall find him tractable. He told Leoninus that Don John either meant sincerely or used dissimulation. If he dealt covertly, the effect would declare it and fall to his dishonour. If he meant sincerely, then were he like to offend the King. He said peradventure he went about, knowing the King to be mortal, to establish his estate in the Low Countries, and if he so were bent, he willed Leoninus to declare that he would further his endeavours. Here he desired to know what the Queen would think of him if he went about to reduce the Low Countries in form of a kingdom, and made Don John the first King. He knew the means how to compass it, and thought to bind the new King to such conditions that she should take the profit of it, and that by this means the King of Spain's authority should be diminished and power separated.
6. In the meantime he proposed these demands to Leoninus, and willed him to declare them to Don John so that the General Estates of the Low Countries may not be subject to the Council of State, but rather that it shall be lawful for them to deprive such of the Council of State as they may think good and put in others, and that Don John would do nothing without their advice; that all the Almain soldiers he licensed and sent away; that the citadels and castles which stand out on the borders of strange countries be razed, as Utrecht, Antwerp, Valenciennes, Ghent, &c.; that the General Estates may be assembled together in such manner as was before Charles V.'s time, and that they may call themselves together as often as they shall think good; that according to the pacification he be restored to all his dignities and lands and his sons restored to him; that as Barliamont and Dassonville are returned to the Council of State, which is against the pacification, they be excluded from thence; and, lastly, that his old company of 100 menat-arms as he had before the troubles be entertained for him, and that as he had made debts of 1,800,000 florins for the welfare of the country the General Estates discharge him thereof.
7. To these things Don John and the Estates have not answered, but on the 18th May the Duke of Arschot and Doctor Leoninus were appointed to go to him on the part of Don John, and the Estates sent Count Lalain to him on the 16th.
8. In the meantime he fortifies in Brabant, and makes battering pieces, and buys powder and munition, and calls the Estates of Holland, Zealand, and Utrecht together to provide for them.
9. These Estates have already promised to entertain 45 ensigns, and to stand to the defence of their religion; yea, the Prince is assured Don John will permit Holland and Zealand the use of the reformed religion, so that in other things they show him all obedience. He understands very well the subtleties of Don John, and provides duly for them. Don John lacks but opportunity to break the pacification. He wrote the Prince a fair letter on the 25th April, and the same day called him oftentime rebel to Doctor Wilson.
10. The Prince thinks the Estates will not easily enter into war with him, but he assures himself that the King of Spain will never rest till he have revenged himself on the Hollanders and Zealanders, and because he will never permit the reformed religion in these countries he will cause war to to be renewed, and therefore he thinks it necessary for them and good for England that they be linked together in greater amity for their mutual defence and the assurance of religion.
11. All the havens of Holland and Zealand, which oftentimes have been shut to the Queen's subjects, and corn, hops, harness, and armour, forbidden to be carried out of them towards England, should by this means be at her devotion. Whereas there are in Holland and Zealand many and great ships and mariners, she should lack none of them in case she should demand them. Neither the King of Spain or of France is able to make war upon England, if Holland and Zealand be in amity with it, but in case war should be made, she should be assured of the goodwill and friendship of these provinces.
12. He would on the other part require her that she would not permit the Spaniards to victual in her havens in case they would come by sea against Holland or Zealand; that she would maintain traffic with them, but not suffer it to be maintained with them that in the Low Countries bear out against them, and that if the war should endure long time she would lend them 50,000l. by the year, the Estates of both countries providing assurance for the repayment.
13. This he proposes as well for the welfare of England as of Holland and Zealand.
14. Because he has of long time been a councillor to the King of Spain and the Low Countries he has good occasion to be well acquainted with the Spaniards' designs, which he will now the bolder declare.
15. Six years past after his victory against the Turk the King of Spain was resolved to make sharp war upon England, and at the same time to become master of the Rhine by the surprise of Cologne, and for both these enterprises he lacked neither man nor favour. The best friends the King had wrote to the Prince of these matters, for that they thought he was not so hot in religion, but would accommodate himself to their purpose; he said he had hindered both these practices.
16. The King of Spain has he says renewed of late the league made at Bayonne with the French King.
17. He declared it was wisely done that the Queen went about to confederate with the German Princes, and he would employ himself willingly for her to the making of a further amity with them. Don John began to hearken to such a motion to make a league with them, and it would be good to prevent him.
Endd. Pp. 4.
1446. Another copy.
Endd. Pp. 6¼.
1447. Finances of the Low Countries.
Report to Don John of Austria on the items of revenue and expenditure in the Low Countries, which matters are regulated by the Council of Finance, under his authority.
Fr. Endd. Pp. 3.
May. 1448. Paulet to the Queen.
1. Marion, secretary to Danville, arrived at the Court the 17th, from whom he is advertised Danville is retired from the Association of the Protestants; that their jealousies and suspicions have forced him so to do; that they would not allow him for their governor; that they had their particular councils, which controlled his orders and resolutions; that he has not capitulated with the King, but submitted himself absolutely without condition, and yet doubts not the King will have regard to his honour and safety; that if the King leave him in his government he will not fail to do him all faithful service; that Montpellier, Nismes, Aiguesmortes, Ozais, Chartres, and Montauban hold for the Protestants; that it is intended to destroy the harvest of corn and grass belonging to these towns, and thereby reduce them to extreme necessity; that there is great dearth in Languedoc already; that Danville will never forget the great favour and kindness she has always borne to his house. It is not to be doubted the Duke of Savoy has capitulated for Danville, and perchance more for his own profit and surety of his own estate than for the commodity or safety of Danville. Bellegarde has been a great travailler in this practice, and is now in Languedoc with Danville and Joyeuse. The regiment of Grillon and one half of Martinengo's companies, amounting in the whole to 2,000 men, are sent into Languedoc, and Danville desires ten cannons for the better service of the King, and order is taken to send them to him. Those of Issoire in Auvergne look daily for the siege, having destroyed all the villages near about them, thereby to annoy the enemy as much as they may. Some think they are resolute to abide all extremity, being much comforted by the late good success of their neighbours of Ambert, who after two assaults are delivered of their enemies. It is said the third part of Auvergne holds for those of the religion, and that they have six towns at their devotion, and yet the Papists are so incensed against the Protestants, as besides their own service they offer to contribute very deeply to the maintenance of the war. Monsieur departed towards Issoire the 21st. In the Queen Mother's banquet of the 12th the King, Monsieur, and all the other great Estates were served with ladies apparelled by two and two in sundry colours. Madame de Retz representing the great Master, and four other ladies supplying the places of the four maitres d'hotel with white staves in their hands. This banquet was adorned with all sorts of music and other delights, the musicians being also apparelled in silk after the best fashion.
2. Bussy d'Amboise is seised of Angers, and of the Pont de Cé, and has at the least 4,000 soldiers at his commandment. He troubles all the Court, he troubles all their counsels and resolutions. Villeroy and de Maundes, Chancellor to Monsieur, have been sent to receive his final answer, and are departed as wise as when they came to him. He says if he were not diseased he would not fail to resort to the King, and will send part of his forces into Auvergne to Monsieur. Few can tell what the matter means, and no doubt it is a mystery of great secrecy. Some think Bussy has secret intelligence with the King to betray those of Brittany, others that he is leagued with the Protestants, the third that he is directed by Monsieur, the last that he stands by himself as a malcontent. Few seek for peace, and some do well know that these troubles and diversions are the only stay and pillar of their greatness. Young Lansac keeps the seas before Rochelle with 10 or 12 ships, and some galleys are in rigging at Nantes to come likewise thither. Two companies which were at Marennes, or thereabouts, upon the approaching of the Duke of Maine retired for their surety to Rochelle, where because they belonged to the Prince of Condé, it being doubted that the Prince by their help would be able to command in the town, they of the town would not receive them.
3. Amongst the galleys sent with treasure from Spain to Naples, it is said that one is sunk in which were 150,000 crowns. The Tartarians have invaded Poland of late with great troops of horsemen, and having destroyed a great part of the country returned to their own dominions before the enemy could be prepared for defence.
4. The King of Spain makes great preparations by sea, and some of good judgment are of opinion that it is for Ireland, the Portugal makes like preparation, and it is said they join in one enterprise. The Ambassador of Scotland will not return from the baths in Lorraine, called the Plombieres, until he has spoken with Don John. The two Hamiltons came from Don John to the Duke of Guise at La Charité, and are now said to be gone into Spain. These Spanish practices tend to the trouble of her State, and the like is to be conceived of the preparations of La Roche in Brittany. Despatched one of his servants to learn the truth of these doings, and because the time for his return is expired long since fears lest he be slain or imprisoned. England never had fewer friends in the French Court than at this present, where none that have made profession of religion dare once show their faces, and therefore is driven to seek his acquaintance with Papists.
Copy. Endd. Pp. 3.