Elizabeth: September 1577, 11-15

Pages 151-161

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 12, 1577-78. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1901.

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September 1577, 11-15

Duke Casimir returned from the Elector the 28th of last month, and on the 29th gave me his advice how I should deal with the Elector. On the 30th I departed towards Heidelberg, as the Elector had finished hunting, and was gone thither. I had audience the first of this month a whole hour long, when, having heard me and consulted with his councillors, who all heard what I said, he answered me by Dr. Rastorsus, the Vice-Chancellor, that since I had come from her Majesty and had proposed matters of consequence, he desired me to put in writing all such things as I had said and done ; which he said he required that he might the better weigh all things justly, and give her Majesty a due answer. With that, he took me with him to dinner. After dinner, I declared to him that I would take leave of his Excellency, and go to the inn to satisfy his request ; which he would not suffer, he said, before he had heard such things as I proposed. He had ordained my lodging in the Court, and in one of Otto the Palsgrave's buildings. In that I was with him for four days, received as honourably as he could receive an Emperor's ambassador. I repeat not what I said to him, for I send it herewith, in writing, with his answer, which he gave me in Dutch, for he said I spoke good Dutch, yet his letter to her Majesty is in Latin. I had occasion to deal with him in two matters. Doctor Ehening desired me to 'travel' earnestly with him in shewing the dangers in which the professors of religion were, which I did so diligently that he was astonished at it, for he seemed to know nothing of the practices abroad. I promised his Excellency that I would send him some of the leagues made in France among the Papists against the Religion, and I sent him three copies printed. Before my departure he seemed to be persuaded that it were good both he and others entered into a league defensive with her Majesty for the protection of the Gospel. The other point was touching the articles of the league and project which I received from your honour ; wherein I did not . . . . Duke Casimir's counsel, neither as I had proposed to do with myself ; as you may guess by the clause which is in the end of my writing, which I added expressly to the intent I might have access to him afterwards if the Landgrave and Duke Casimir should counsel me to go unto him about the said project. The reasons which moved me to shew him the project were these : he was persuaded that her Majesty had made a league with Duke Casimir, the Landgrave, Prince of Orange, and others, against Lutheranism ; wherefore to take this persuasion from him it was necessary to show him that her Majesty rather meant to unite the Lutherans and the above-named princes than to attempt anything to their prejudice. Also, seeing he was persuaded that the Papists had practices in hand against them of the Religion, I made bold to shew him ten articles, that he might conceive how easy it were to make a counter league against them. One of his council would not be persuaded but that there was a league between her Majesty and the above-mentioned, and Duke Richard, his uncle, showed me a copy of league made between the above-mentioned, which I send herewith. I declared to them the absurdity of the said league, and assured them that it was the invention of some idle head only. Duke Richard talked much with me, how that he had formerly talked with Dr. Monting for a stipend which he should have had of her Majesty for service that he should have done at such time as she might have war with any, for that he has certain Reiters and Rittmeisters at his 'devotion' ; and if he thought well he would rather be bound to her than to others whom he was required to serve. I said that her Majesty should know of his offer, and that she wished me to communicate somewhat to the Elector of a matter which, if it might take effect, he might assure himself that her Majesty would employ him ; meaning that he might be one of the Colonels for the defence of the league. Duke Casimir thinks well of what I have done with his brother, and especially Dr. Ehening. To-morrow, I travel towards 'Empson,' where the Landgrave is as yet in the baths ; M. Languet travels with me . . . . Casimir . . . intent [?] to be there the 14th of this month, wherefore we mean to depart from hence to-morrow. Duke Casimir has taken his Switzers from Neustadt, and sent them to 'Caysar's Lowther,' because of the Duke of Guise, who is said to be with 3,000 harquebuziers about Metz. The 'Convent' of 'Wyeburche,' where the circle of Rhine was to assemble, and began the 2nd of this month, is now ended, and that the sooner, because of Duke Casimir, who went thither himself. The French had dealt with some of the circle, to the intent they should complain of Duke Casimir, as that the French King threatened them with war, because he had twice spoiled his country hostilely ; but the Duke prevented the matter. They have decided upon contribution to be given in case the French should go about to attempt anything upon the Circle ; and have written very sharply to all Colonels and Rittmeisters in no case to serve the French King, and now they are come here, to cause those assembled here to write to the Colonels in like manner. I have much to write touching the second point committed to my charge, of which I will write with the first. Meanwhile I thought good to send these few things. There is great bruit here, and letters out of Italy and from Lyons, as also from Antwerp, that the King of Spain is dead, and that he died the 1st of August. The same day I came to the Palsgrave departed Barbisdorf, sent to the Elector from the Elector of Saxony, touching the subscribing to the new divines' book ; who have given to the Electors of Saxony and Brandenburg such counsel as the Pope never would invent worse for the oppressing of the Calvinists. I send it herewith. It is thought that the 26th of next month there will be a Diet at Naumburg of the princes themselves. The Prince of Orange and the Landgrave advise that her Majesty send some honourable ambassage thither to hinder this secret practice of these Lutherans which there will break out. I think if such a one as Randolph were sent, he should be . . . . . . that matter. If any be sent, your honour might consider whether it were good I should be joined in commission, or have some charge with him which I write, for that it were now time for to further me and to win credit. I beseech your honour not to think amiss of this my boldness.—Frankfort, 11 Sept. 1577. Add. Endd. by Walsingham. 3¼ pp. Slightly damaged. [Germ. States I. 18.]
Sept. 14. 212. LAURENCE TOMSON to [DAVISON].
By my master's letter you will see what state France stands in ; all will, no doubt, bend wholly upon you there, and against you. They are also about a practice in Scotland, which will breed to a foul sore if it be not prevented. One Mollins is acting there to make a division for the maintenance of the old amity with France, which is like to have good furtherance. There is another practice, to have the King take upon him the government. This is much laboured, and it is thought will do the harm you may conceive. What it may tend to it is not hard to see, though some that profess the religion are very forward in it. Such force have private griefs in men's hearts ; they cause forgetfulness often of our own weal. This shall suffice to give you a taste of evil days approaching. —Oatlands, 14 Sept. 1577. Address and endorsement lost. ½ p. [Holl. and Fland. II. 91.]
Sept. 14. 213. DANIEL ROGERS' answer to his letter sent from "Newstat," received the 14th of September.
The 14th of Sept. Roger Dransfyld returned with answer from D. Rogers touching his negotiation with Duke Casimir, which consisted principally in two points, the declaration of Duke Casimir's readiness to seek by all the best means he could to work the league ; and to set forward into France to the relief of the Churches there, so soon as he had means to furnish the "Enreight gelt" and one month's pay. As for the assembly intended at Magdeburg, it was broken off. Copy. 8 lines. [For. E.B. Misc. II.]
Sept. 15.
K. d. L. IX. 520.
The proceedings of these men are so strange that I cannot tell what in the world to make of them ; if they be not wilfully blind they cannot but see the great peril which hangs over their heads by losing time in treating with him from whom they can expect no good. Grobbendonck returned from him last night with the articles and letters which I send herewith, all tending to no other end but to hinder the coming of the Prince, a practice growing from ill passion here, and to spend the time in delays while his friends are preparing. And yet some dangerous instruments persuade the continuance of communication with him. And surely, sir, they may persuade what they list, and he may perhaps be brought to keep touch in some small things to gain the more trust in greater, that he may afterwards abuse them with his greater advantage ; but I see no reason to look for any peace, save such as shall be the seed of a more pernicious and dangerous war. And though the King should put up with the expulsion of the Spaniards, the plots (as he is informed) against his brother, the taking arms against him, the imprisoning of his officers, the dismissal of his garrisons, the rasing of the castles without his assent, the confederacy with the Prince, their intelligence in France, England, and other places, together with a number of other indignities he reckons to have received—a thing that cannot sink into my belief ; yet would Don John rather hazard, and try his uttermost fortune, such is his cruel revenging and insolent nature, than depart with that note of dishonour as to be expelled and chased out of his government by a sort of drunken Flemings ; hoping as he does by the spoil of this country to make a way to greater things which he has already embraced in imagination. So there appears neither hope of peace nor assurance of peace if they had it, but likelihoods or rather certain arguments of a sharp and merciless war ; the plot whereof long since laid was in May last renewed at Isburg [draft : Asbourge] between the commissioners of the Pope, the Emperor, the Kings of Spain, France, Portugal, and divers others, who as they are enemies to all that profess our religion, so there is no doubt that the chief end of their conspiracy tends to the overthrow of her Majesty's state, partly for religion and partly for malice and revenge. How much, therefore, it shall import her Majesty to look about her and carefully to entertain her intelligence in France to apprehend the advantage of the troubles here, to look to the state of Scotland, and by all good means to assure herself of the Prince and States of Holland and Zealand I leave to your judgement. You can foresee the peril in omitting and necessity in apprehending of these opportunities, of which in my opinion none is of greater moment than the latter. For the rest of the country, unless the Prince have the direction, all is likely to go to havoc among them, so distracted are they in opinion ; and therefore while the world wish her Majesty to lend a favourable ear to the Marquis in this negotiation, I could wish that it might be with the condition that they should commend the government to him ; and that assistance her Majesty shall incline to give them might be as well of men as money, and not of the one without the other. In the mean time I have done the best for the Prince here that I could, with Count Lalaing, Baron d'Aubigny, and others, who have all assured me that they are resolute in that behalf, and look for him shortly amongst them, though he shall come ere he be welcome to some of them. To-morrow I ride towards Gertruydenberg, where I think to find him and the commissioners, who are all good patriots.—Brussels, 15 Sept. 1577. P.S.—The French Ambassador has been with the Prince of Orange to renew his old practice for Monsieur, as he has also done with Count Lalaing and others ; which is the reason why I rather take my present journey to undermine that practice there. If her Majesty will have any good fruits of the favour she shall bestow, it must, in my opinion, be done with the condition above touched ; else I doubt of the sequel. Add. Endd. (by Laurence Tomson). 2 pp. Passages in italics are in cipher. [Holl. and Fland. II. 92.]
Sept. 15. 215. Draft of the above. 1½ pp. [Ibid. II. 92A.]
Sept. 11-15. 216. ARTICLES OF PACIFICATION sent from his HIGHNESS to the ESTATES GENERAL by M. DE GROBBENDONCK on Sept. 11, 1577, with the reply of the Estates, given at Brussels on the 15th of the same month.
The treaty of pacification and the perpetual edict shall remain in full force, and everything done contrary to them shall be quashed and forgotten.
A perpetual amnesty shall be decreed on both sides for whatever may have been done since the bginning of the late discontent.
The Estates agree to these two articles, with the limitations hereinafter expressed.
To set this pacification on foot at once, his Highness is willing promptly to put the town and Castle of Namur into the hands of those who were governing it when he came.
Accepted by the Estates on the understanding that the said town and castle be promptly placed in the hands of M. de Froymont ; no one being substituted for him without the consent of the Estates.
The same as regards Charlemont and Marienbourg.
See reply to Article XI.
His Highness agrees to discharge the Germans at once, on their satisfaction by the Estates. The Germans shall be paid up to July 24, according to the terms agreed upon at Mechlin ; except those with whom arrangements have since been made at the surrender of Bergen-op-Zoom, Stemberghe, Tholen, etc. They shall be paid as agreed, not including those who were disbanded before the reception of his Highness, such as those who were at Valenciennes, Tournay, and the like. The Estates do not intend to be under any obligation to the men of Cornelis van Eynden and those who were at the sack of Antwerp, Maestricht, and elsewhere, being punishable under Art. 7 of the perpetual edict.
All troops, infantry and cavalry, to be discharged on both sides, whether retained on half-pay or otherwise since the last troubles. List to be given.
The Estates expect his Highness to dismiss all troops maintained by him since his coming, and to surrender Charlemont and Marienbourg, and they will dismiss theirs. But all the Germans must be out of the country before they can disarm entirely. For security against German and French, and for other good and considerable reasons, they will keep six regiments and 1,000 horse till such time as the land is quiet and secure. Lists can be dispensed with, provided the thing is done.
Other soldiers, not forming part of the ordinary garrisons, and serving before the late troubles, shall be distributed in garrison and disbanded when the Germans are gone.
Soldiers retained by the Estates shall be distributed at their discretion, and for the greater relief of the people.
His Highness will order the Governors of the provinces to let no foreign soldiers enter, and the Estates on their part shall do what is necessary to the same effect.
It is hoped that his Highness will be pleased to send the necessary dispatches, especially to the Governors of Burgundy and Luxembourg ; and the Estates for their part offer to do the same.
All acts of hostility and seizures of persons and goods to cease at once.
As soon as ever his Highness has left Namur. all hostilities on either side will cease.
M. de Treslong, Colonel Charles Fugger, and all other persons of whatever quality and for whatever reason detained on either side to be at once set at liberty ; and all property seized, detained, or marked, to be restored ; and everyone replaced in the positions, offices, and rights held by him before the late troubles, to enjoy them freely and peaceably.
As soon as his Highness has restored the town and castle of Namur, as aforesaid, all prisoners shall be placed in the hands of the Prince and the 32 crafts of Liége ; to be set free absolutely when the towns of Charlemont, Marienbourg, Bouvignes, and Château Thierri have also been restored. Property, so far as it is in existence and not alienated, shall be returned at the same time. But as for offices, &c., it is not convenient that they should be restored at once. The Estates will decide this on their general assembly, together with all other claims mentioned in this article.
When the prisoners are set free, sequestrated property restored, and the newly levied troops disbanded, his Highness will at once deliver Charlemont and Marienbourg.
The towns above-mentioned having been placed in the hands of the Estates, to put Governors and soldiers in them for his Majesty's service, and his Highness's troops dismissed, the Estates will comply with this article, as they have declared above, under Articles VI. and X.
Before the Germans and other troops leave Breda, Bois-le-duc, Roermonde, Grave, Deventer, Campeu, and other towns, the magistrates and citizens of the towns which they are leaving shall make oath that they will receive no other garrison without the knowledge of his Highness and the advice of the Estates ; also to maintain the Catholic religion and the obedience due to the King.
The same shall be done in the towns where there formerly was a garrison, though it may have gone out, such as Brussels, Antwerp, Bergen, Tholen, &c.
The Estates will agree to these articles, provided that his Highness will previously make the Germans leave the towns in question. And then all good order shall be taken in pursuance of the pacification.
His Highness would think it well that the people both in the towns and in the country shall at once be made quietly to return to their former occupation, and abandon the exercise of arms.
Every province will give the necessary orders for itself.
With regard to his Highness's place of residence, while awaiting the good pleasure of his Majesty, he will retire to Luxembourg and thence govern these countries as the Estates have requested ; promising meanwhile to use all efforts with his Majesty to bring this negotiation to a conclusion as soon as possible.
It is hoped that his Highness will be pleased to withdraw from Namur at once, and use his efforts with his Majesty that the country may, as soon as possible, have another Governor of the blood royal.
Both sides to renounce all leagues and confederations which they may have entered into since the last troubles.
The Estates agree.
And if any difficulty, or matter calling for settlement, arise in connection with this or former documents, his Highness will depute commissioners, as soon as the Estates have named theirs, to hear and execute anything left over ; and this agreement shall be confirmed by oath on both sides.—Done at Namur, Sept. 11, 1577.
The Estates find this article reasonable, and that the whole be confirmed by a solemn oath on either side, upon the holy Gospels ; and they humbly beg his Highness to obtain the King's acceptance of this agreement within three months.—Done at Brussels, Sept. 15, 1577. Copy. Endd. in French. Marginal notes in the hand of Laurence Tomson. Fr. 6 pp. [Holl. and Fland. II. 94.]
Sep. 11-15. 217. Another copy. Endd. in French. Fr. 8 pp. [Ibid. II. 95.]
Sept. 15.
K. d. L. IX. 518.
Since the departure of the commissioners, Count Egmont, M. de Hèze and the rest to the Prince there is no news of their success. The Prince's resolution is thought to stay upon the assembly of the Estates of Holland and Zealand. M. de Grobbendonck returned on Friday night from Don John, but with such an answer as does not satisfy the expectation of the Estates consisting of a 'company of captious articles.' Baron d'Aubigny and M. de Willerval are dispatched to the French King ; so far as I can learn, only to hinder the enterprise of the Duke of Guise, who will be ready to march, as the advice is here, the 20th of this present. The mutiny of the companies of Maria Corduina and others, of which I wrote, is now appeased. Part of the Estates' forces left Gemblours, as I hear about 30 ensigns of foot and 400 horse ; sent towards Maestricht to meet some ensigns of Dutches commanded by Megham, going, some think, to succour the Almains in Bois-le-Duc and Breda Others doubt it to be a device to divide the forces of the Estates. The Estates have entertained the Count of Lumey with one regiment of foot and 50 horse, and mean to give him future charge ; which they do the rather to bridle their enemy the Bishop of Liége whom he deadly hateth. The coming of the Duke of Brunswick and the succour of the Archbishop of Cologne, who furnishes 2,000 horse, and the like of the Bishop of 'Treerer' and others is daily expected, which will be such a number as those men are not provided to meet. The return of the Spaniards, with others arrived at Genoa and other great forces out of Italy has been confirmed by the two last posts thence. The Dutches of Bois-le-Duc hold out, and every day make sallies on their enemies. They are not wont to be so valiant, nor could have stood thus long, but that they are in great hope of succour. They have dismissed all the burghers and got their chief wealth into their hands. The two Hamiltons and one Jamy Shaw, Scots, arrived last week at Namur out of Spain, by whom his Highness hath received such news as seems much to content him. In sum, there is nothing to be expected here but troubles, whatever speech of peace there be. And if the Prince come not all the sooner, things will go hardly. The particulars of what Grobbendonck brought touching his last negotiation, and of such posts as we have out of Italy, you may see by copies I send.—Brussels, 15 September, 1577. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fland. II. 96.]
Sept. 15. 219. Draft of the above. 1 p. [Ibid. II. 97.]
Sept. 15.
K. d. L. IX. 516.
You may see what answer M. de Grobbendonck has brought from Don John by the articles which I herewith send you, all tending to no end but to hinder the Prince's coming, and entertain them with delays till his own forces are ready. Here is no appearance but of troubles greater than the country hath yet tasted of. If the government be not committed to the Prince (upon which condition her Majesty may do well to assist them), all will to havoc ; for of a multitude so different there is no good to be hoped, nor without the Prince's undertaking of the cause do I see how her Majesty can safely bestow her favour. I am even now ready to take my horse to go to him at Gertruydenberg. [Other information identical with the last letter.] Draft. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. II. 98.]
Sept. 15. 221. Another copy of the Estates' answer only, to articles presented on behalf of Don John [No. 218]. Fr. 3 pp. [Holl. and Fland. II. 99.]
Sept. 15. 222. THE ESTATES to DON JOHN.
We have considered the last articles which your Highness has sent by M. de Grobbendonck, and after mature deliberation conceived our final intentions, approaching so near what your Highness offers that no further difficulty ought to occur. Wherefore seeing that the safety and quietness of this country is in your hands, we beseech you will promptly agree with them, and shew by effect what you so often have declared, how much you have at heart the re-establishment of the Catholic religion, and the obedience due to her Majesty. Your Highness may be assured that we shall not fail in what we have promised, and are bound to do in discharge of an oath of fidelity, as will be better declared to you by the Bishop of Bruges, perpetual Chancellor of Flanders, and M. de Willerval, whom we have deputed to set out with M. de Grobbendonck toward your Highness.—Brussels, 15 September, 1577. Copy. Endd, in French. 1 p. [Ibid. II. 100.]
They will present the resolutions of the Estates on the last offers of his Highness, begging him to agree to them at once, and pointing out the perils of further delay. If his Highness alleges new difficulties, and proposes to appoint commissioners to solve them, they will assure him that the Estates have no intention of going on with further communications and disputes, if his Highness will show by his actions that he is bonâ fide aiming at the tranquillity of the country ; Of which we can by no means be persuaded if he does not give up the places he has seized. Seeing also that if he is proceeding in good faith he ought to make no difficulties, since there is no fear that the Estates will not keep their promises ; and these resolutions are so reasonable and so based on the present state of affairs in the country, that they ought not to be rejected, but approved, as we hope they are by all neutral persons of sound judgement. Insomuch that it may be said that his Highness, having all the points at issue in his own hands, and not accommodating himself to reason, will be rightly blamed for any inconveniences that may ensue ; Which he ought to think well about, and decide aright. If his Highness says anything about the Estates' intention of keeping 6 regiments and 1,000 horse, they may reply that it is for no ulterior reason, but for the guard of the country until it is restored to peace, rid of the Germans, and secured against the French, which he must himself desire, Inasmuch as he can have no such security of the French, whatever they may have promised, that seeing themselves frustrated of that at which, under cover of serving him, they were aiming, they will fail to attempt or to prepare some trap if they find the country unprovided. Again, it being stipulated in the pacification that the Estates shall not be bound to disarm until the Germans are withdrawn, no objection ought to be raised to their retaining their troops, who are not half as many as the Germans ; All the more so, that by the pacification the Estates may retain all their troops, many more than 6 regiments and 1,000 horse. For it is notorious that before the late discontent they had at their charges the regiments of the Duke of Aerschot, the Count of Egmont, MM. de Champagny, de Hierges, de Meghem, de Hèze, de Beersel, de Floyon, de la Margelle, du Cherf, and had disbanded them, and that they were also allowed to retain those of the Count of Rœulx, the Count of Boussu, those of Flanders, Artois, Hainault, Lille, Douay and Orchies, Namur ; coming to a much greater number. They assure his Highness that by expressly retaining those mentioned, they mean to relieve themselves of the rest, and they tell his Highness so, that he may not hereafter impute to them any concealed purpose or breach of their promise. Finally the deputies will do all in their power to satisfy his Highness and cause him really to carry out what he has offered. —Brussels, 15 September 1577. Copy. Endd. in French in Davison's hand. Fr. 3 pp. [Holl. and Fland. II., 101.]