Elizabeth: October 1577, 11-15

Pages 242-262

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

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October 1577, 11-15

I left Frankfort for Heidelberg on the 23rd ult., arriving there the following day. The Elector was away hunting, and did not return till the 26th at night. Next day I had audience before dinner, and delivered her Majesty's letter. He courteously received it, thanking her for her courtesy ; and having perused it desired me to declare what other things I had to signify from her Highness. Whereupon I entered into the matter [in the terms of the letter no. 316]. When I had made an end, after a little consultation with Duke Richard, his uncle, and some of his councillors there present, for manner's sake (for he himself understands no Latin or very little) he answered by his Vice-Chancellor that the matter was of weight, and, therefore, he desired I would give it in writing. As I had understood that he proceeded after the same sort with Mr. Rogers, I had a copy with me, which I delivered to him, asking that his answer might be in Latin, being an indifferent tongue, so that her Majesty might understand it ; whereto he answered nothing. But dinner-time drawing near he invited me to tarry with him, which I did. As his wife and uncle Duke Richard were there, by whose advice it is said he is most governed, I did her Majesty's commendations to them both, specially to the Duke, as you shall perceive by a note herewith sent ; for having as little knowledge of the Latin tongue as his nephew, he desired that I would set it down in writing. At the table they both ministered talk of the loss of Brouage, of the great danger of Rochelle, and that the King of Spain undoubtedly would join all his forces against the Estates of the Low Countries. Item of the preparation of an army in Portugal, which was said to be against England, as though thereby our side were like to be very much weakened, which by reason of the evil will they bear us, on account of the difference of the Sacrament, I think they verily desire. I answered that as God had wonderfully defended his Church hitherto, so I doubted not but he would also do now. And as for the Low Countries, if the King having the Estates united with him could little prevail against the Prince of Orange and Holland and Zealand, it was likely he would do less now. The preparations of Portugal I thought were for Barbary, against the new King of Fesse and Maroco. On the 28th and 29th he sent for me to dinner again, and after I had somewhat recommended the matter to him in Latin and French, whereof he hath little skill, and also in Dutch as well as I could ; he seeming very loth by reason of the hatred he bears to the cause to be dealt with in such matters, answered that her Majesty was ill-informed, and he knew well enough from whom— meaning indeed, as I well perceived, his brother Duke Casimir. He added that things were not so meant ; that the princes of Germany knew what they had to do without being prescribed, as her Majesty would also be loth to be in her own realm. I replied that she was not careless how the world passed abroad ; but that she had persons specially appointed to inform her from time to time of what happened in the Empire, as her father had ; Dr. Mount, Sturmius, and others, who had told her of this new book and the assembly at Magdeburg. If the princes Protestant did not intend to proceed to any condemnation of the churches, she would rest satisfied, and only prayed him and the rest that if any such thing should be hereafter attempted, to remember her friendly admonition and request. As for intermeddling, I said I trusted he had not any cause to suspect any such thing in her Majesty, who had dealt with him by way of intercession, which a far meaner prince might well have done, the cause being that of all members of Christ's Church, not in Germany only. And though she had established the orders and confession of the churches of her realms after a sort somewhat diverse from that in Germany, yet was it done without words of condemning other churches. If she did so (which she never would) he might have good cause to deal with her for the stay thereof, and it would not be taken in evil part. Upon this and other communications I had with him, he still, as loth to use long talk, referred me to his answer, with which he trusted her Majesty would be satisfied. I dealt also with Duke Richard, who in words offered all courtesy, his conscience excepted ; which, as it appears, has no great devotion to do any good in this cause. I also had conference with the Vice-Chancellor ; who confessed all to be true which had been propounded from her Majesty, but said he was able to do no good, the Duke being led by other counsellors. He expected to be discharged before long, as certain his fellows who belonged to the old Elector were. The last of September I was sent for again to take my answer, the Elector being about to go to Darmstadt for the christening of a son of Landgrave George, the fourth brother. Having read it, I perceived it was not signed with his hand, and asked him to do so. He took it into his hands, and having retired into his chamber, sent it back by his secretary as it was before, saying that as the writing which I had exhibited was not signed with her Majesty's hand, he saw no cause why he should sign his. I answered that he had had letters of credence on my behalf, desiring him to esteem that which I should declare, as if it proceeded from her own person, so that there seemed no cause for any such scruple, whereupon with much ado he was at length contented to set to his hand. I much desired to learn from him the day when the meeting was to be held at Magdeburg ; but he would confess nothing ; and also denied that the book contained any condemnation, though I have seen the copy sent to Duke Casimir from the Landgrave, who received it from the Electors of Saxony and Brandenburg, wherein are the express words, Reprobamus et condemnamus. Nor could I learn whether he had substituted, though I am assured it was sent to him. I think no good to be looked for at his hands. He displaces all his father's former councillors, all the ministers to the number of 1,000 ; and since my being with him he has discharged all the poor scholars which his father bred up for the ministry. Zanchus and the rest of the professors at Heidelberg have orders to depart, without either time to provide themselves, or gift of anything towards their relief. It would pity any man to see the churches and schools so defaced, ministers and scholars wandering abroad almost a-begging, unless by the goodness of Duke Casimir they were somewhat relieved. Altars built up for Communion tables, font stones, etc. ; defacing as much as may be the godly proceedings of his most noble father. Even when I was there, some of his father's councillors with whom I was acquainted, durst not as they confessed be seen to talk with me. So I know not what hope to conceive either of the stay of the assembly or furthering of the league. The three Electors are bent to have this new book go forward ; and when it is subscribed by the divines in all places, as they now go about secretly, it is meant that an assembly shall be held of the princes and States of the Augustan confession to approve it. It is not meant that any divine shall be there, but only secular princes ; so that in my opinion it is not for her Majesty to send thither any ecclesiastical person, or letters from the Bishops, but rather some other of honour and calling. And this, Mr. Rogers tells me, was also the Landgrave's opinion. Unless the condemnation is stayed, the league will hardly be brought to pass. I remember in Sleydan they refused before the Protestant wars to enter a league with the Protestant cantons of the Helvetians. The greatest difficulty consists in winning the Elector of Saxony, who, as Duke Casimir doubts, being informed by his brother of my message, will scantly give me audience. It is said he has at sundry times refused it to persons sent from the French King, and would not even see him on his passage into Polonia. The Emperor, by reason of his father's debts, stands 'in his danger,' so he is like to do what he lists. And I hear he is so far from any such league as her Majesty desires that he was once, by his wife's persuasion, ready to enter into a league called of Landsberg, with the Duke of 'Baire' and other Popish princes. So I was advised to put into my writing the league between her Majesty and the French King, and also that a like was now requested by the King of Denmark, that they might see she was strong enough ; and rather desired it for their sake. I do not hear of any credit either of councillors or others with him. Being astonied with the mishap of Cracovius and others, they dare not gainsay him in any thing. His wife professes herself a mortal enemy of this side, and has been the only cause of the overthrow of Cracovius and others, and of the recantation of Hemmingus by constraint in Denmark. The state of the other princes' courts is like ; when, even contrary to the advice of their councillors, the Lutheran divines rule all. It is said here that to please Jacobus Andreas, the Elector of Saxony has of late imprisoned his Treasurer for certain words spoken to the said Andreas, and that he has rewarded him for his pains in making this book with 10,000 florins. A bookseller has been imprisoned 18 months for selling Calvin's books at Wittenberg, and the Elector has written to the magistrates of this city against another for printing, at Duke Casimir's request, a sermon touching the Supper of the Lord, so that he was condemned in 100 florins, which the Duke offering to pay, the magistrates have hitherto forborne. Thus does the Elector at home and abroad. On Oct. 1, I passed the Rhine at Spires and came to Duke Casimir at Neustadt. He was ready to depart to Lautern, but stayed till the 3rd. He thanked her Majesty for courtesies showed him, and was glad that it pleased her to take such care of God's Church. He liked my manner of proceeding with his brother, and advised me to go to the Electors of Saxony and Brandenburg, and the Duke of Brunswig, taking the Landgrave in my way, whom he assured me I should find well affected in this matter ; and to desire him to impart her Majesty's opinion to the Administrator of Magdeburg, the Duke of Holstein, 'Meckalburg,' and Pomerania, the Princes of Anhalt and others, to whom I have no letters, and who—or some of them—would not be brought to sign the book ; which was the cause of the deferring of the Assembly. He has also given me a letter to the Landgrave, desiring him to write to the Elector of Saxony to give me audience. He also wished me to send her Majesty's letter to the Duke of Wirtenburg and the Marquis George Frederick of Brandenburg, and a copy of the points of the league, so that I might have an answer from them against any return. He promised too to make known her Majesty's opinion to others, and doubted not it would do good. At least she will thereby have discharged the duty of a Christian princess. He likewise told me of a resolution taken by the Deputies of certain churches touching an intercession to be made to the princes. Herein they were contented to follow her Majesty's advice, whereas before they had been minded to make a confutation of the book, and to publish a general confession. With Duke Casimir was Duke John George, a Count Palatine, surnamed de la Petite pierre, a near cousin to him and the Duke of Deuxponts. He told me that he was very well given in this cause. I made excuse that by reason of the distances her Majesty had written only to a few princes, but had charged me to salute the rest in case I should meet with any of them ; which he took in very good part, and said he would do what he could to hinder the book. He is poor, but lacks no wit and speaks Latin and French well. With Duke Casimir I also found one Brallion, sent from the French King with letters to the Duke, under pretence of certain accounts for the debt yet owing to him and his Ritmasters. But being esteemed for a spy he was soon dispatched with letters for the King, who they trusted would perform as he had promised. He gave out that peace was made with the King of Navarre. I find Duke Casimir to be a worthy and sober prince, who is not a little aggrieved with his brother's defacing of his father's will ; whereto he submitted, though the will was made long before, his brother Christopher being yet living, and his 'partage' was made very small, and he was appointed to be a vassal to his brother, to hold of him, which he said was never before seen in Germany. But seeing his brother has broken the principal part of the will, touching religion, he will not be bound to the other, but demands to divide ; which the Elector has not yet answered. And I fear this will breed some 'picque' between them. The deputation of the commissions of the Empire holds here yet, though I hear that by reason of the plague they have asked the Emperor to have it prorogued or adjourned to another place. On the 24th ult. Don John, by two Commissioners, sent hither, exhibited a long complaint against the Estates and the Prince of Orange, excusing himself and casting the breach of the peace on them, and desiring the Emperor and States to be a means of reducing them under his authority, to which no answer has been given ; but the time spent in banketting and feasting one another as the manner is. It is said that the Emperor has given a favourable answer to the ambassadors from the Estates of the Low Countries misliking Don John's actions. Yet it is trusted that at a great meeting held at 'Monacum in Bavire,' whither it was thought the Elector would have come, but did not, it is resolved to help Don John with six regiments of footmen and 6,000 horse, whereof Archduke Ferdinand shall be the leader. It is also said that the late Bishop of Collen is levying horsemen in Westphalia. The news from Italy is that certain troops of Italians and Spaniards are making thither. The Duke of Guise is still about the frontier, fearing the coming of Duke Casimir. He has begun to fortify a town called St. Avour belonging to the Bishopric of Metz, which was an ordinary passage of the reiters. His forces are dispersed in the villages of the Bishoprics of Toul and Vardun. This makes the Duke of Deuxponts and the other princes in these parts much amazed. It is thought that this is not only to hinder the reiters, but to be of further mischief. Yet they will not look to themselves in time. The King's Ritmasters have been hitherto with the Duke of Guise, and are now dispatched with Anrittgelt to be in readiness if any levy be made of the adverse party. If the King does not need them before Christmas, it is to be deducted from the debt due to them.— Frankfort, 11th October 1577. Add. Endd. 8 pp. Marginal notes by L. Tomson, and passages marked by Walsingham. [Germ. States I. 33.]
I have no doubt that the cause of my leaving England was communicated to your Lordship, though you were absent at the time. It was, first, to hinder an assembly appointed to meet at Magdeburg by the princes and states of the confession of Augusta to the prejudice of other Churches dissenting from their opinion ; and also to follow the matter of a league between her Majesty and the princes here, in which Mr. Rogers had dealt before. What I have done you will learn by my letters to Mr. Secretary. And although by reason of the carelessness and waywardness of the princes, such good effect do not ensue as her Majesty desires both for the benefit of God's Church and the quietness of their estate in Germany ; yet I assure myself that she shall hereby both to Godward and the world discharge the duty of a godly princess, and I doubt not that by the good counsel of yourself and others, she shall lack no means to establish her estate so as it shall need little of this 'doubtful and chargeable' nation. I shall use all the diligence I can to bring somewhat to pass, if it may be. And I trust you shall have no occasion to mislike of my doings in this service ; which, things being grown to the double price of that they were at other times of my being here, I find very hard and chargeable to me, unless her Majesty has some extraordinary consideration of this and my other services. Besides my bare entertainment I have as yet had nothing, and that unless her Majesty thinks otherwise of me, I am utterly undone, wherefore, I beseech you as occasion serves, to further some poor suit for me. I have to pay her Majesty, in the receipt of the wards, about 40l. for the marriage and rent due to her out of Mr. Hale's ward's lands. As by reason of my late losses upon the seas and otherwise, and being now absent I cannot at this time discharge it, and yet would be loth that any process should be got out against me or upon the lands, I beg your Lordship to give order to Mr. Boswell that it may be deferred till Candlemas, by which time I trust I shall be at home.—Frankfort, 11 October. 1577. Add. Endd. 1½ pp. [Ibid. 34.]
Oct. 11.
K. d. L. x. 9.
325. [The STATES GENERAL] to the QUEEN.
We have been much pleased to learn the good reception which your Majesty has given to the Marquis of Havrech, and the goodwill will that you have always borne to our poor afflicted country ; further that you have seen your way to aiding us with the sum of 100,000l., and allowing payment of the 20,000l. already lent to be put off till Christmas. We shall not fail to effect assurances for the repayment of the 100,000l., feeling infinitely obliged to your Majesty for this and other favours ; the more so that as we hear you propose of your bounty to assist me with 1,000 horse and 5,000 foot under the Earl of Leicester. For the present we beg humbly to decline this, as the winter is now at hand, and we wish first of all to put the affairs of the country in some order ; reserving the power to ask your Majesty for it as soon as ever necessity shall require.—Brussels, 11 October. 1577. Copy. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fland. III. 25.]
Oct. 11. 326. Another copy. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. 26.]
Oct. 11.
K. d. L. x. 10.
We cannot enough thank you for your kindness to us, even to the point of being desirous to bring 1,000 horse and 5,000 foot to our aid. For the present we thank you for your kind promptitude, but we beg that you will always maintain your good disposition toward us, so that when the need arise we may be assisted by you. We shall not fail to deserve it by all good offices ; all the more considering the good service you have done in the matter of the loan of 100,000l., with which at your request her Majesty has seen her way to accommodate us.—Brussels, 11 October 1577. Copy. Fr. ½ p. [Ibid. 27.]
328. Another copy. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. 28.]
Oct. 11.
K. d. L. x. 7.
We have been glad to hear from your letters of the Queen's goodwill to us, and that she has been so prompt to succour us, and give you so gracious audience. We thank her especially for accommodating us with a loan of £100,000, repayable in eight months, as Nicolas Carenzoni has more fully reported to us. He has departed to Antwerp to negotiate the recovery of the said money, accompanied by certain our deputies. But as to the force under the Earl of Leicester, a lord of so rare quality as you remark in your letter, you will explain to her that as the season is now far advanced, and as we desire first to be quit of the Germans who still remain in good numbers, we have at present no such immediate need for it ; begging her kindly to send it when it shall be necessary. And that you may shew her Majesty how we desire always to keep up a good correspondence with her, we have not omitted to include her in the treaty which we intend to make with Don John ; as you may see more fully by our last dispatch to him of September 25 ; whereto he would not agree, having sent back our envoys with a very meagre answer in a closed letter, whereby in sum he charges us with wishing to destroy the Catholic religion and the obedience due to the king, and so leave his Majesty nothing of the country but the title. You know as well as we that this is far from our good and sincere intention ; our acts and words have always shown the contrary. His Highness has no just cause for his principal complaint, that we wish to reinforce the Council of State with some good personages and trustworthy patriots, natives of the Low Countries, provided that he will retire to Luxembourg and govern thence, pending the arrival of his successor. Awaiting such retirement, we would not but strengthen our camp to obviate all surprises or inroads, in our just defence while awaiting the Archduke Matthias, who we hear is eight days on the road. As to the other points in your letter, we will resolve upon them as soon as possible. —Brussels, 11 Oct. 1577. P.S.—Instead of the two millions on which we had given her Majesty security for the payment of the £20,000, we have substituted other means for her full security. Copy. Fr. 2¼ pp. [Ibid. 29.]
Oct. 12.
K. d. L. x. 11.
You have heard of the arrival of the Archduke Matthias at Collen, and of the debate here, which still continues. Yesterday the provinces of Brabant, Holland, Zealand, Utrecht, Overyssel, and Namur were of opinion that he should be brought to 'Newmaeghem,' and there abide till they should conclude with him. Flanders, Artois, Hainault, Gelders, Lille, and Mechlin were of advice that he should be received into Mons (a proposition much misliked for the importance of the place). The rest made difficulties of one sort or another. The messenger dispatched to the Emperor's Court to treat in this matter went about Aug. 26 last, since which time to negotiate there, to dispatch from thence into Spain, and to have an answer from that Court, where they are so slow in their deliberations, is in a manner impossible ; insomuch that the opinion is general that he comes down unauthorized by the King. The Duke of Aerschot is so violent in this behalf that men think he will, to make amends for his last error in the hasty bringing in of his Alteze, fall into the like in this man's respect, not so much of zeal to the commonwealth as of envy to the Prince, whose greatness he can in no sort digest, whatsoever countenance he makes. His Excellency has resolved to go to Antwerp on Monday, and so to Breda ; and though he has been earnestly intreated by the States-General, but especially those of Brabant, to hasten back, considering the necessity of his presence, I think he will see things take another train ere he return. The Count of Hollock is sent with certain regiments towards Ruremonde, occupied by the Dutch Colonel Pollweiler, in hope to speed as well there as at Bois-le-duc and Breda. Meanwhile the States' men, to make amends for the little defeat they lately received, have seized on the castle of Samson, between Namur and Huy, upon the Maes, which was surrendered on Thursday last. And a day or two before, Bovines, one of the principal towns of the county of Namur, upon the same river, towards Charlemont, was delivered into the hands of the States. The whole country of Brabant cries out upon the States to take some order that they may be no longer trodden under foot with multitudes of soldiers, who dispersed in every village, eat out and consume the poor peasants to the bones ; but the want of money takes away the hope to redress the matter yet. The number of High Dutches only, who since the abandoning of Antwerp etc. are withdrawn into the villages awaiting their discharge are reckoned by such as know to be 15,000 men. We hear nothing of his Highness or the Duke of Guise but a confirmation of their interview.—Brussels, 12 Oct. 1577. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. 30.]
331. Draft of the above. 1 p. [Ibid. 31.]
Oct. 12.
K. d. L. x. 12.
Instead of resolving upon present necessities, we spend the time in debating of new difficulties. The Archduke Mathias who, as you have understood, has been desired by the States for their Governor, is now come as far as Collen, at the particular solicitation of some noblemen here ; but whether authorized by the King is doubted. His receiving or not receiving is hotly debated, and some as violent and hasty as they were in bringing in Don John, would have him sent for. In all likelihood this stratagem will breed both danger and confusion amongst them.—Brussels, Oct. 12, 1577. Draft. ½ p. On the back, the commencement of a letter to the Prince of Orange. [Ibid. 32.]
At my departure you promised me that no one else in this [sic] kingdom should have permission to sell the Justification of the Estates against Don John save Mr. Silvius, the King's printer, whom, for his rare qualities, having long known him as governor of the sons [sic] of the Prince of Orange at the University of Louvain, and being much in his favour, I must recommend to you ; that you may take steps to prevent any but him or his agent from selling or distributing the work. He says that he has written to me in my absence, and for his sake and mine I know that you will not fail to extend him every assistance and favour. He is having the book translated into English, and will send you a copy of it in a few days. It will be important to see that no one else obtains copyright [privilegio] ; and knowing that you will not fail, I will say no more. To-morrow I go to Antwerp, whence I will write about the other business.—Brussels, 12 Oct. 1577. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson : From Mr. Carinzon at Brussels. Commend Silvius. Italian. 1 p. [Ibid. 33.]
Oct. 13.
K. d. L. x. 13.
I am much indebted to your Lordship that never having seen Silvius, you have agreed on the sole recommendation of a friend, to show him favour. Nothing better becomes men in important positions than to bind people to them by kindnesses ; yet experience shows that few embrace this form of virtue, and your kindness is the more praiseworthy for its rarity. I, so far as my small fortunes and wits will allow me, shall not cease to promote good literature and to publish books making for true Christian piety. In the one matter wherein I can be munificent, I will never let Silvius incur the stigma of ingratitude, following herein the advice of Erasmus, who held that, where great men were concerned, an elegant or erudite present was a better form of gratification than money. I send you herewith Newburgh's learned history of England, inscribed by me to her Majesty, and have added six 'Justifications of our Estates,' which I pray you to accept as gladly as I give them. As soon as they appear in other languages—they will appear in six—I will see that your lordship is furnished with copies. —Antwerp, 13 Oct. 1577. P.S. (in French). Kindly present this packet to the Marquis of Havrech. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. Lat. 1 p. [Dom. Add. XXX. 39.]
Oct. 13. 335. Advertisements from LISBON.
Certain words from a letter dated at 'Lisborne' the 13 Oct., 1577. Here is a rebel of Ireland, Sir James Fitzmorris, and an Irish bishop, who goes within 10 days to France. He goes in a 'brytten' [Qy. Breton ship], and there go with him 200 soldiers with armour and calivers, and such like. He is set forth by the Spanish ambassador. They say two carvells go with him. It is reported as true that Stewkley is here. He is kept close in the Spanish ambassador's house. This letter was written by Andro Browne and sent to his master, Robert Byrd, to Eamountye [Qy. Ayamonte], and inclosed with other letters directed to John Byrd. Copy. Endd : Advertisements from Lisborne in a letter from one Andrew Browne ; also (in another hand) : A book of charges done and other payments at Cecill House, Anno dni. 1577. Fragment. ½ p. [Portugal I. 5.]
Your doings in your service, I can assure you, are so well liked by the best of judgement, that you have good cause to thank God you are thus employed, and your friends not a little to rejoice that all things have hitherto fallen out so happily under your hands. What is intended towards you I know not, but am willed to repair to the Court to-morrow, and to prepare for a journey into Scotland, for a month or six weeks, to confirm, as I guess, some straiter amity between the two countries than there yet is. The French are not won from their practices there ; some contrivance must be wrought with some band of better assurance than hath been hitherto. You shall hear how it succeeds, as I shall always be glad to hear from you, and the best means to send your letters shall be with Mr. Killigrew. I must thank you for my kinsman, Capt. Gaynsworthe, who writes that he receives favours at your hands. I hear that he is at present out of entertainment. There has been good account made of his service. If he continue in well doing, I pray you continue your favour towards him, and retain him in the good grace of those that are best able to do him good. I think the times are such that one who is known to have served well cannot lack entertainment. What he has more than will serve his turn, I would that you had it in your custody, for I know he can keep no money. I am sorry that I shall not be in Canterbury at your wife's arrival, but assure myself that she will not refuse to see my wife there, where I would she might keep my wife company till my return.—Canterbury, 13 Oct., 1577. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fland. III. 34.]
I received this day a letter from Duke Casimir dated at Keysers Luther on the 8th inst., asking if I have had any answer to my letter touching my negotiations with him ; wherefore I have thought good to send my boy to the Court, trusting that the 'occasion and commodity' which you will thus have will accelerate your letter. I thought to have sent him when Mr. Beale's brother and John Furrier departed from hence, but was not fully resolved, for I persuaded myself that your letter might be on the way. Since my last, I have had from my friend Carolus Clusius at Vienna a letter written on the 1th [sic] of this month, by which it appears that the Emperor cannot hinder the preaching of the Gospel there as effectually as he would. Lazarus Swendius has been at pains to persuade him not to proceed as he thought to do against the liberty of preaching, and that in the beginning of his government he ought first to win the hearts of his subjects rather than to alienate them from him by taking away the liberty which his father always permitted them. He was minded to depart on the 2nd inst., from Vienna towards Hungary, and is thought here already to be departed from thence. The States here meet twice a day very solemnly, but to no effect, as most of them complain to me ; except that daily the deputies invite one another and strive to make the best cheer they can. It is written from Vienna, as from Collen and 'Norimberche,' that they of Danswick made a sortie, putting to flight the king's army and taking his artillery. Some write that the king was hurt, and others affirm that he died three days after. In short there is great talk of it, and men speak of it the more because they know the Emperor did not think well of this Polonian king. Christophorus Thretius, whom I mentioned in my last, told me that if they which favoured the Emperor's faction in Poland had at the last election made mention of Ernestus, this Emperor's brother, without all peradventure they had chosen him king with one consent. Wherefore if this king be dead, which I cannot yet believe, one of the Emperor's brethren will give a great push for the crown of Poland. They urge the making of their partage, which is not yet made ; whereof the Emperor is not very hasty, for that Austriche itself is to be divided. The plague is still at Vienna, and so Mr. William Russell confirms, who with Mr. George arrived here on the 9th. The Marquis of Anspache is working to succeed the Duke of Prussia, "who this two years' space hath not been well in his wits and daily waxeth foolisher." The most part of the princes of Germany have sent their Ambassadors to the King of Poland to invest him ; for the Duke of Prussia receives the government of that country from the King of Poland. He is the next heir to the Duke of Prussia. Sturmius writes that the Duke of Wirtenberg has sent to the Senate of Strasborowe the book which the Ubiquitaries have made, and requires the divines and the professors to subscribe it. He is much afraid lest this fall out pernicious to the Church of God, and privately to himself, not being minded to subscribe. He adds that the Duke of Deuxponts has written to the Elector of Saxony that he does not mean to subscribe it, as the States require. This Duke has lately published an edict forbidding his divines to preach against the Calvinists, but rather to be earnest in confuting them to stir up contentions against their brethren ; and his divines have subscribed to the observations of this edict. At Norimberche, too, they cannot agree about this book ; most refusing to subscribe. I trust therefore that Mr. Beale's coming will do good ; though M. Languet is afraid the Duke may deny him audience, so fierce is he of nature. The Duchess of 'Buillion' sent her eldest son, 15 years old, to study at Strasburg ; who asking the burgomasters that he might keep his train in some burgess's house and not in an inn, could not obtain it till Duke Casimir interceded for him. They are much afraid of French practices, and of late have made the burgesses solemnly muster, to see whether every citizen were duly provided with arms. Anniball Emps has received orders from Don John to erect three regiments of Lanskneckthes, which will make 9,000. Other levies are being made in Burgundy. They affirm that Erick Duke of Brunswick has orders to levy 5,000 reiters for Don John, but I can learn nothing of any great sums of money sent for "prest." On the 14th I mind to return to Duke Casimir at Kaysars Lauther, to remain near him, as you wish I should do, where I mean to await your further commands. I beseech you to remember that I have been more than 4 months absent, and continually making journeys, so that as I wrote before, I have spent of my own more than I have received.—Frankfort, Oct. 13, 1577. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. 3 pp. [Germ. States I. 35.]
Oct. 14. 338. DON JOHN to the ESTATES.
I have often declared both in writing and by word of mouth that I never had any other intention than to maintain the Perpetual Edict. Since its ratification I have done all I could to appease the occasions of ill-feeling that have arisen, but so far have not succeeded, though for the relief of the poor and to avoid effusion of blood I have made offers derogatory to the authority of a sovereign like his Majesty. But it has been all in vain, owing to your fresh and unreasonable demands ; which was the cause why, seeing no means of settling this business, as well as for the reasons I gave to your recent deputies, I have come away to this place, to await here his Majesty's decision on all the matters I have reported to him. This decision having just come, in letters from him of Sept. 25, I would not omit to inform you of it. It is, to maintain punctually the Edict of pacification, while you observe the two points sworn to by you, namely, the maintenance of the Catholic Religion, and the obedience due to his Majesty ; which last he understands has been seriously injured and wounded, and therefore would have it restored, by the rendering back to him of such absolute command over you as is due to him by law divine and human, as in all past time, by your laying down the arms which you have without his order taken up, and also not usurping command over soldiers and others, but leaving them to his Majesty who has the sole right to command his own vassals, subjects and soldiers in these countries. Also that you will not suffer among you the Prince of Orange and his adherents, whom you know to be notorious enemies and perturbers of our religion, of his Majesty's service, and of the public repose. Moreover, he has refused to accept or publish the Edict, having also done and attempted many things against the Treaty of Ghent, which you ought before all things to repair, showing by deeds and not by words the sincere desire which you profess for the same end. Also all who have been promoted to posts and governments in the country, not being included in the said pacification, to take themselves off, leaving them to be provided for by his Majesty, and the people likewise to abandon the exercise of arms, and return to their businesses ; releasing the prisoners, M. de Tieslong, Charles Fugger, and others, putting a stop to all acts of hostility by the Prince towards them of Amsterdam, paying off the Germans, and going home till the Estates General are assembled ; all things to be done peaceably, under the authority of the magistrates lawfully appointed by his Majesty. In pursuance whereof I require you and bid you on the part of his Majesty to order and govern yourselves, making no claims on me his Lieutenant-General, and to drop all demands contrary to the two points above named. If you will do this, his Majesty will treat you like the good and clement prince he is, and will again withdraw all the foreign troops who are marching hither, not only to assist me, but to maintain religion and his authority. These things being so reasonable and such as no good Catholic or loyal subject could object to, I do not think you will fail in them. But give me an answer at once ; otherwise I shall be forced, in aid of his Majesty, to use the means which God has given him, to preserve those two points, his Majesty being to this end determined to employ all his forces rather than lose one jot of them ; protesting before God and the world that neither his Majesty nor I will have the blame of all the evils that may ensue, but you, who will be the cause of this evil which God, the King and the people may hereafter require at your hands, for you would not be grateful for all the favours which I have offered and offer again in his name.—Luxembourg, 14 Oct. 1577. Copy. Endd. in French. Fr. 3 pp. [Holl. and Fland. III. 35.]
339. Another copy. Endd. : The copy of the letter sent to the Estates by Don John. Fr. 2 pp. [Ibid. 36.]
340. Another copy. Endd. by L. Tomson : From Don John to the Estates at Luxembourg. 3 pp. [Ibid. 37.]
[Oct. 14.] 341. BRIEF DISCOURSE, in the form of a presentation made by the BURGESSES of the CITY OF BRUSSELS, addressed to the LORDS and ESTATES of these parts, in order that they may look for a prudent and experienced chief over the government of these countries.
When we consider the past prosperity of the country, we confess that all this good fortune and happiness came from the favour of God, and from the vigilant prudence as well of our governors as of the Estates ; but since these barbarous foreign nations have been admitted to lord it in this country it would seem that all ill-fortune and unhappiness have entered, and that they have driven away the virtue, modesty, and integrity which used to be in these lands, and a million of vices, villainies, disloyalties and profligacies, hitherto unknown, have been introduced. It seems, too, that God, to punish our sins, has not willed to arouse our lords to check the evil before it advances further. It were too long to recite here in detail the actions of the Duke of Alva, and they are known to all. But we find that all his designs and those of the Grand Commander after him tended to no other end than to reduce these countries to a miserable servitude, and to place all our rights, privileges and liberties, our goods, our wives, and children at their disposal, availing themselves for this purpose of the King's authority. And so cleverly had they managed their affairs that they had made an end of most of the nobility, putting to death here or in Spain those who they feared might resist them, and executing or driving from the country a vast number of good and notable citizens. Whereby it has befallen that England, Germany, and the neighbouring provinces have been enriched by the crafts, trades, cloth works, and other manufactures, formerly carried on in this country, for which it is renowned all the world over. The heirs, too, of the lords who have died, have been obliged to comply with their will, for fear of losing their inheritance ; until there remained only the Commons, of whom they took little heed, deeming that by making them poor they could enslave them. Whence it was clear that the Spaniard had so far advanced his designs that he would infallibly have soon established his tyranny, had it not pleased God to raise up against him an adversary, to wit, my Lord the Prince of Orange, who, notwithstanding that all men deemed it impossible to cast down this proud Goliath, and saw more clearly than others into what misery these poor countries were falling, and has twice, at his own cost, raised armies to drive out the oppressor of our privileges and of ourselves, sparing neither his own life and goods nor those of his friends. This we cannot deny has checked the rage and fury of the Spaniards, so that they have drawn back from executing the tyranny which they have devised. Those of Holland and Zealand, recognising the Prince as their true and lawful governor, and feeling sure that with the justice and equity of their case, their affair could not fail to prosper under such a Joshua, prayed him to support them against violence and oppression. And if one thinks how they first took up arms, it will be seen that they were so small and feeble that without the good guidance of the said Prince, they had succumbed at the first threat ; and yet it cannot be denied that the pride and ambition of the Spaniards as well as of those belonging to this country, who have aided them, has then been almost subdued. And if any mishap befel the Prince and those of Holland and Zealand, such as the surrender of Zericksee, they have none the less been seen to grow in strength and redouble their courage and magnanimity, which that proud Spanish race being unable to endure, and bursting with despite and rage, would have avenged themselves on the town of Alost, after trying to do their worst with Brussels ; wherefore, the Estates rightly declared them enemies, and disturbers of the public peace. They showed their mischievous intentions when they flung themselves upon the town of Antwerp, and gave it up to fire and massacre, pillaging and plundering most of the citizens. Nor can it be doubted that they intended to do the same by the whole country, had not the Prince come at once to our aid, laying siege to the citadel of Ghent, bringing up his ships before Antwerp, and employing all his means to repulse our audacious foe, wherein we find great proof of his affection for this country. For it cannot be denied that as we had, through ignorance or by constraint, joined the Spaniards in making war upon Holland and Zealand, it had been easy for him to encourage this quarrel between us and the Spaniard, in order to ruin both sides, and become master of both. Then we see both the evil plight of our affairs and the goodness of the Prince of Orange ; and it would have been monstrous did we hold him for an enemy, who is our aid, guarantee and assistance in our necessity. We, therefore, did quite right to enter into a pacification with him and the Estates of Holland and Zealand ; deferring all points which could not be agreed on to the meeting of the States General. Meanwhile there arrived Don John of Austria, who after many difficulties in regard to the dismissal of the Spaniards, finally accepted and approved the pacification of Ghent, promising to maintain it at all points, and to restore these countries to their ancient rights, and was joyfully accepted as governor. But we have since learnt both by his letters to Spain and by those of the King to him, which were captured on the road, that he was scheming in contradiction to his promises, harbouring in his heart a mortal hate, not only against the Prince, but against the lords and the estates of this realm. So, too, some of our citizens assure us that they have seen copies of those letters, and that Don John says, through Escovedo, that he sees no other remedy than to plunge the country in fire and blood, and that he was not come here to be idle, but to make war, and that the better to gain his ends he would stir up the lords one against another, and excite their jealousy in the matter of government and offices. And though we cannot affirm these things save by hearsay, we say that he would never have taken the castle of Namur save with the view of putting into execution what his predecessors tried to do, in pursuance of orders from Spain, namely, to bring this country into such servitude as if it had been conquered from the enemy, as his letters to Fugger show, wherein instead of treating as he promised for the departure of the Germans, he engages them for his own service against us. So that upon what has been said, and other evidence too long to write, we conclude that Don John wishes to make deadly war upon us, and it is necessary not only to defend ourselves, but incontinently to drive him out of the country. All we, burgesses of this town, rejoice to see that the Estates have resolved to resist Don John and his adherents. But as he bears a special grudge against Brabant, and is planning to vomit his rage chiefly upon this town of Brussels, having boasted at Namur that he will not leave a living soul in the town, nor one stone upon another, we pray that it may not be found strange if we cease not urgently to solicit an assurance for ourselves to the end that order and good guidance may be put into affairs, and that what is needed to prevent our falling into the hands of our enemies may be provided with all diligence. We say frankly that for the guidance of affairs of so great importance, matters of life and death for all of us, it is necessary to have a good Governor-General, experienced in all matters and qualified to handle such a task. We thank God that we have so many well-disposed noblemen to oppose loyally the violence of Don John, without sparing themselves or their goods. But they will all agree that, owing to the youth of most of them and the inexperience of the others, especially in civil warfare, as well as to the jealousies that exist, there is fear that we may fall into divisions, to the great advantage of Don John and to our own ruin. Wherefore, without prejudice to the honour or deserts of anyone, looking to the equity of our cause, and the safety of ourselves and our country, we unanimously beseech you to approach the Prince of Orange in such wise that it may please him to undertake the duty of Governor-General of this country, in opposition to the most cruel enemy that it could possibly encounter. For if we consider, we see that he has shown and is showing daily his faithfulness and goodwill towards us. He has, at his own charges, levied two armies to oppose the tyranny of the Spaniard ; he has lost three brothers in battle ; he sent the intercepted letter to the Estates ; he has lately aided us in our extreme necessity, when we might justly have been reputed his enemies ; and lastly, he has left in Spain a pledge as dear as himself to him, his son, the Count van Buren, whom, for love of us, he has exposed to the risk of death, being at the mercy of the wrath and vengeance of the King. And in regard to our experience of the Prince, he has shown the nimbleness of his wit in all that took place before the troubles, and since the pacification of them in the city of Antwerp ; where those of the city of a truth acted very wisely in choosing him for their Governor during the said troubles, seeing that without his prudence and good counsel the citizens would assuredly have killed each other. We hold it for a notable example that they of Holland and Zealand sent their deputies to the Prince, beseeching him to succour them. He went there at once, though he had but four or five towns ready to take arms, and most persons of quality had left the country, others were divided, and the rest knew not what he was doing. Yet this Prince, without help save from such as could be got together anyhow, and unaided by his neighbours, suddenly established such good order by sea and land, alike in matters of war and of police, that in a short time he united all the country of Holland and Zealand, and made them resolved to repulse the efforts of their enemies, so that the furious power of the King of Spain has there been tamed, and the issue of the five years' war has redounded to the Prince's honour and to the confusion of the enemies of public peace ; which has made the Prince more admirable in the eyes of all kings and potentates, ay, than Julius Cæsar himself, seeing that he began with a strong army, and an infinity of good and devoted captains and soldiers. But the feats of the Prince are chiefly based upon singular prudence, steadfastness, and experience. Seeing then that they of Holland and Zealand, who at first were so feeble that the Duke of Alva mocked them as Goliath and the Philistines mocked David, now confess that, under God, they owe their lives and the liberty of their country to the good counsel of the Prince, We pray that you will be pleased to invite him to conduct the affairs of these parts as he has done those of Holland and Zealand. We fear that he will be hard to persuade, seeing that after his labour he is enjoying peace and repose, and has no need to enter upon a new war on our behalf. Yet we hope that he will not desert us at need, not only on account of the affection he bears to these countries, but also because he will find help from so many notable persons, among whom or their fathers he has always gone in and out and conversed. Some put forward a difficulty ; that the Prince will wish to make innovations in religion, as they see has come about in Holland and Zealand. But these do not understand how things have gone in Holland, nor do they know the disposition of the Prince. For the Catholics of Holland have never complained that he did not keep faith with them ; nay, everyone knows how he has defended them and favoured them in all that was possible. They throw all the blame for the change of religion on M. de Lumey, who before and after the coming of the Prince made deadly war on the priests, treating them cruelly, in the teeth of the Prince's express prohibition ; for which cause he was taken and long kept prisoner, and his steward, d'Aumale by name, was for like crimes hanged in the town of Delft. It must also be considered that in Holland were many Anabaptists, who showed themselves real enemies of the Catholic Religion, exciting the people to break images. Thus the Catholics being intimidated, left the country ; and these, as we understand from them, were the principal causes of the change of religion. It will also be found true that in all elections of magistrates the Prince has been quite as ready to put forward a Catholic as any other, so long as he was well-disposed to the public weal ; and no Catholic will be found who can say with truth that he has been rejected by the Prince on the score of his religion. It is known, too, how he has dealt in regard to the town of Haarlem, which, after being half burnt, was constrained, at the urgent request of the citizens, to permit the two religions, so that it might not remain desert for lack of inhabitants ; yet the greater advantages were given to the Catholics. Likewise the Bishop has great reason to thank the Prince, for besides the favours which he daily shewed him, he arranged that he should enjoy the whole revenues of the Abbey of Egmont, as the Bishop can testify. Likewise the Churchmen of Amsterdam and Utrecht were the first to desire union under the Prince's government ; and it is known to all into what order he has brought the town of Utrecht, to the great contentment alike of the Bishop and of the Churchmen and Catholics. Wherefore, if when the Prince has full authority he is so desired by the Catholics, who know his nature, and put full trust in his good faith, surely when he has sworn to make no innovations in religion, we, like the others, ought to rely on his promise, which we see that he has always kept, never having infringed by a single iota the terms of the Pacification. If, which none of us supposes, it were to happen that the Prince should fail to keep his promise, we pray that the Estates will incontinently send him and all his suite back to Holland. In conclusion, considering the foregoing, and how important it is to us to have a Governor of prudence and experience, especially in civil wars, on which all hope of our safety depends, in the face of enemies who are plotting our death within and without, and further, that the Prince is one of the first men in the Estates of Brabant, and has been commander-in-chief in these parts, and has preserved Holland and Zealand, nay, and ourselves too, from the Spanish tyranny, we beseech you again that the said Prince be urgently requested to undertake this office of Governor during the present war ; granting him for the security of his person either the town of Antwerp, seeing that he is Burgrave of it, or some other fortress in Brabant as you may think fit. For we know of a surety that Don John fears nothing so much as that this should happen. Knowing the experience of the Prince, he will break up his forces, and despair of carrying out the projected hurt to the country. If it please God, the Lords, and the Estates, to grant this request, we shall be the more obliged, and shall not venture to refuse any contributions that may be required of us, taking patiently all that God may send us. If it is refused, on the smallest mishap the commons will at once rise, throwing the blame on the government and on one and on another ; all the more that it will then be too late to ask the Prince to accept his office ; for he will have just cause for refusal, leaving us to finish out our tragedy. Endd. by L. Tomson: "An oration made in the name of the burgeoises of Bruselles to the States assembled there, to elect the Prince of Orange Governor and General of this present war against Don Juan, 1577," and with a few marginal notes in his hand, the latter in French. Fr. 12 pp. [Holl. and Fland. III. 38.]
Oct. 14.
K. d. L. x. 14.
I have seen a letter of yours to Mr. Secretary, from which I learn that you had order to 'break' with the Prince touching some assurance for our ships and goods in Spain. I was sorry, as I told Mr. Secretary, that such a matter should be propounded at the end of our frank dealings, being one difficult to be satisfactorily answered, albeit Mr. Secretary did it very carefully and wisely in consideration of the objections that some perchance hinderers of this good action would make against our hasty consent to a matter of war without some provision for saving the subjects' goods abroad, knowing well that such matters will be laid to some of our charges, if it fall out otherwise than well. But considering whatever the event may be to our merchants anywhere upon her Majesty's joining the States, how great a difficulty this matter must needs seem to be to the States to have them bound for the saving harmless of such a quantity of goods as may be stayed in Spain, I am sorry it was mooted to them, lest they conceive we 'grate' too much upon them ; and may doubt we mean to be more straight in looking to our own profit than to their safety. I have declared my mind to Mr. Secretary, and have thought good to let you know, wishing that my letter may come in some convenient time, or you press the Prince too far to it ; for assuredly I cannot blame them rather to break off than to be forced to over-hard covenants. But because you have already entered by Mr. Secretary's order, you shall do well to qualify it as a matter meet to be considered by such as further their cause here, though not so to be pressed that they shall think us without care to venture somewhat for them ; not doubting that there will be means sought, if God prosper success, to recover our goods again. Thus bold I dare be in advising you, notwithstanding I differ from Mr. Secretary's former direction to you ; for we assuredly and faithfully come together to the furtherance of all causes that may tend to her Majesty's safety and the realm's good. And I know he does not mislike this opinion of mine, and if we had conferred a little sooner, I am sure that difficulty had not been pressed. As to the other aid, I find if her Majesty understands it to be necessary for the Estates, she will extend her favour as you have heard ; and if there be cause to send aid, she promises myself shall have the charge of it. It is known there, I am sure, by this time what the States will do, and whether they desire any assistance of men from us. If they do, I would have you confer with the Prince how he desires our regiment to be weaponed. So far, for my own part I have determined—the number being about 6,000 or 7,000 foot and 1,000 horse—to make 2,000 shot, one [thousand] of calivers, the other archers, not doubting but that our archers will be to as great purpose as ever they have been, and they shall be of our very best. I think these numbers sufficient, for they have shot enough there, and if the Scots come, as they are like, they will be most shot. The remainder, 5,000, I mean to have 4,000 'corselets armed pikes,' of which I think they will want most. Our men shall be very tall, able, lusty bodies, and will sure to furnish two squadrons ; and the other 1,000 shall be our good black bills armed with 'curattes and muryans,' which will be found the best executioners of all other weapons that will be brought. Also in every band is meant to have a number of targets among our shot, for the execution, which surely will be in our opinion a good weapon, for these shall be picked out of the most resolute men we have. For the horsemen, I mean to have 500 lances and 500 light horse after our native fashion, which will ever be able to do more exploits than twice as many lances. Thus you hear my opinion for the kinds of our weapon, and I should be glad to hear that of the Prince. After I hear from him I will as near as I can satisfy his opinion and judgement. I pray you also get at the hands of some man of experience there the full rate of every officer of every degree in a regiment, as well the general as other offices, as marshal, colonel of foot, general of horse, master of the camp, master of the artillery, and also of every private captain ; as well of the regiments of strangers as of their own nation. Further, if the States earnestly desire our coming, I pray you enquire for some armour to be bought there, which if you may have for reason, secretly make stay at a price for 15 or 20 days, by which time you shall receive full answer from me. These I would have corselets of the best making, I mean not of proof only ; 300 or 400 shall suffice, which I would have stayed, with as many targets, but not too heavy. 14 Oct. Add. Endd. 3½ pp. [Holl. and Fland. III. 39.]