K. d. L. ix.
40. ANOTHER LETTER.
I am assuredly informed that if your Highness sets foot outside
Namur, to come hither, there are some ready to seize your person.
Indeed, from what I have seen, I do not consider you safe at
Namur. I implore you with all speed to take steps for your
safety, since the salvation of this country depends upon it.—
Brussels, 21 July 1577.
Copy. Fr. ½ p. [Ibid.]
These two are on one leaf. Probably enclosures in 41.
Endd. : Cause of his retreat to Namur.
K. d. L. ix.
41. ROGERS to WALSINGHAM.
Since my negotiation at Alkmaar the Prince has been so busy
that I could not talk with him concerning the league. To-day
he is minded to finish off his letters to Germany. He thinks
generally very well of her Majesty's determination ; and would
indeed have one article in the league which he does not find in
the plan I showed him. As the King of Spain is the head of
the Papists, so, he says, it is necessary the Queen should take
upon her to be head of the Protestant league. He remembered
hearing from his father that in the time of Charles V the princes
of Germany required Henry VIII to be head of the league they
were then making. When Don John and the rest of the Papists
go about a matter of importance, they send such reasons as move
them to the Pope and their confederates, who having well weighed
the matter, send their resolutions to the King of Spain as chief.
In like manner nothing would pass but her Majesty should have
advertisement of it. I said that if the King of Denmark, the
Duke of Saxony, the Marquis of Brandenburg, the Elector
Palatine, and the Landgrave of Hesse were of it, she would not
hesitate to be head of the league. I asked him as to the three
first-named. He said that the King of Denmark was wont to bear
him a singular good affection ; he trusted that he might be
induced to enter the league, and would easily follow the way
which the Duke of Saxony, who had married his sister, might
take. There was no man whom he knew better than the Duke
of Saxony ; an excellent prince, of himself nobly disposed, but his
wife did as it were enchant him ; she was so jealous of him that
none could serve him, unless she liked him ; in summa that she
would be present at the pulling off his boots to spy who in that
office served him. The Marquis of Brandenburg was on good
terms with him ; and there was none in the Empire who could
deal more easily than the Landgrave of Hesse. If it pleased her
Majesty to send letters to them, and withal wrote a familiar letter
to the Duchess of Saxony, he did not doubt but that some good
would ensue. He advised those who dealt with them not to put
her Majesty's name forward, for they were so lulled asleep in
security that they would think she exhorted them for her own
necessity rather than to pleasure them. The best way would be
to ask whether some order ought not to be taken to prevent the
designs of the enemies of religion. It would be requisite to
declare how small difference there was between us and them, in
the opinion of the Sacrament. "But," said he, "if the league
were formed, what would her Majesty gain by it?" "Marry,"
answered I, "that religion would be defended, and she better
prepared to resist invasion." He began to show that religion
would be no more defended by this means than it was already,
and her Majesty no more assured, unless she maintained the
Protestants in France and the Low Countries. "If," said he,
"she allows those of Rochelle and Brouage to be overcome, it
is not Duke Casimir that shall be able to do any great thing in
France. Again, if Holland and Zealand were overcome, what aid
would the princes be able to give to the Protestants of the Low
Countries? Touching England, if her Majesty should be invaded,
what would the princes of Germany be able to do for her, if the
French King and King of Spain had overcome the Protestants in
France and the Low Countries? For as concerning the King of
Denmark, who is strong by sea, if Holland and Zealand were overcome
by the Spaniards, he would hardly enter into this amity."
I replied that her Majesty agreed in thinking that the religion
ought to be maintained in France ; and as for Holland and Zealand,
she trusted that peace would be maintained, but she would
not suffer him or the provinces to perish.
"Well," said he, "I told you what we require of her Majesty ;
let us therefore talk of how those of Rochelle may be relieved." If
it were true that they were in distress, there was a better way
than to aid them by sea ; they were rigging five or six ships in
Zealand ; if it pleased her Majesty to help Colonel Chester, or
Morgan, or whom she pleased, to convey such English soldiers as
have served him in former troubles, they might with small expense
be greatly relieved.
Then he returned to the consideration of the league. He
pointed out that Charles V. had effected his plans not by the aid
of mighty Dukes, but by the friendship of those called Counts
of the Wedderau. "Great Princes, when it cometh to the pinch,
do cavil, and go from their bond." Her Majesty would do best
to make a league with Holland and Zealand, with six or seven of
the Hanse towns, some of the cantons of Switzerland, and those
Counts. She had especially to fear two enemies, the King of
Spain and the French King, and and none could so speedily
assist her as the Hollanders and Zealanders. Seven or eight of
the Hanse towns would serve, as Hamburg, Lubeck, Bremen,
Dantzig, and the like. The Counts of the Wedderaw can make
six or seven thousand reiters of their own ; and he would undertake
to deal with them. Among these he sometimes had been ;
his brother, Count John of Nassau, was one ; and the chief of
them are the Landgrave of Hesse, the Counts of Sayn, Waldeck,
Hanau, 'Sallmes,' Wittgenstein, Isenburg, Stolberg, Wied, besides
the Count of Nassau. The towns of Frankfort and Freiburg
are of this confederacy. This league of which he spoke, was a league
of effect, and did not consist in names so much as in substance.
A doubt which he said he and others would gladly be resolved
of was how they might be guaranteed in case God should call
her Majesty out of this world ; and with that he sighed highly.
I said her side was the same as theirs, but that that order might
be taken that the Crown of England, by assembling a Parliament,
should be bound for the observation of the league.
Concerning the intercepting of the party your Honour spoke,
the Prince has thought of the matter, and thanks you for your
friendly advice. He has taken order, and Don John's intercepted
letters will hasten this device. He has good means to
compass, being generally favoured by the people in Brabant,
besides sundry of the nobility, of whom the chief are the Count
Lalaing, M. de Hèze with his brother the Count of Hautkerke,
M. de Capres, M. de Fresin, M. de Beersel, M. d'Aussy, M.
d'Inchy brother to M. de Fresin, who took M. de Licques prisoner
at Cambrai during the troubles. M. de Hèze seems also to assure
himself of the Count of Egmont. M. de 'Gonney' is thought to
be won by Don John, but if M. de Champagny takes courage, by
reason of the letters he is able to rule the Estates, and most of the
nobility. I conferred herein with M. Theron, who promised to
write to your Honour.
I have dealt with the Prince and the Estates in the matter of
Ipswich. They affirmed that Taffin had no commission to make
such a contract as he had passed ; and desired that they might be
bound unto things which they could perform. They offered to
give yearly rents' at 8 per cent. till they could pay the whole
sum. Wherefore Paul Buse came to me and desired me to
persuade the party suing to give them four years to pay the debt,
promising that they would pay one quarter yearly, with 8 per
cent. interest ; otherwise it were impossible to keep promise with
the merchants of Ipswich. The factor of the said merchants was
well contented, if there might no further delay in passing the
obligations. Then I dealt with him concerning the Gleede. This
very hour I am awaiting Paul Buse that the promises may be
agreed upon without delay. If the merchants were here and
understood the reasons which moved both me and their factor,
they would be content, and thank me.
Enckhuyzen, 24 July 1577.
P.S.—Paul Buse, M. de Famars, and the Commissary Orteil
came to me and promised that the next day the factor of the
Ipswich merchants should go with Paul Buse towards Haarlem,
when the promises should be notified. Mr. Gleede's 6l. could not
be paid for two months, but should be paid then, for which Paul
Buse offered his personal security.
Next came Gilpin from Antwerp to see the Prince, touching
such matters as Ferdinando Poynes was sent for ; so I commended
the said affairs of the Merchant Adventurers to his Excellency,
saying that there were divers of the Council who tried to persuade
them to direct their traffic to Holland or Zealand, and to abandon
Antwerp, which would sooner be brought about if the Prince had
satisfied them. He answered that if Poynes had stayed but a little
while longer, the matter had been ended. He should be at
Haarlem with the States on the first of this [sic] month, and the
merchants would then be dealt with so as to content them. He
complained of Alderman Pollison for demanding as never any
man asked ; the Estates were ready to pay him his due if he would
ask reasonable interest. Understanding what was settled between
me and Paul Buse, he wrote to the Estates to delay no further
but rectify that which was this day determined upon.
Add. End. (in two hands). 5¼ pp. [Holl. and Fland. I. 13.]
K. d. L. ix.
42. ROGERS to WALSINGHAM.
The Prince has recovered from his illness and both he and the
Princess are well. They of Amsterdam have been a fortnight
with him, being directed by the President Sasbout. On the 20th
they departed from the Prince, and so did the President, but he
would not agree with them. What they proposed, and his answer
I send herewith separately. Everything is referred to a colloquy
between deputies appointed by the Prince, and the States General.
Everybody here mocks at the folly of the governors of Amsterdam
"They do disdain to call the town Amsterdam, calling it Mortdam
by reason of things past." The governors give forth that the
States General have lent them 10,000 crowns ; but the Prince
and Paul Buse told me that they thought it was but a vaunt.
Howbeit I do not doubt but that Don John encourages them
underhand to hold out, for he thinks rather how to renew war than
to maintain peace. The castle of Utrecht is not yet ruined, but
the citizens, who are at the devotion of the Prince, are ready
enough to pull it down. The Count of Bossu was there lately,
thinking to strengthen Don John's faction, but perceiving
he was not welcome, retired. The Estates of Friesland could not
be persuaded to receive him as governor. M. de Ville returns
to his government there. The Prince is somewhat afraid
at present lest he be corrupted by Don John. The States of
the said province daily send to the Prince for advice. It is to
be noted that neither Friesland nor Guelderland have as yet
received Don John for their governor ; which two provinces do
embrace the Catholic and Apostolic religion, but cannot digest
the addition of Roman religion, for which they of Amsterdam do
so much contend.
By reason of the pacification, the Papists which were driven
out of Holland and Zealand return daily ; by whose means, and
such as are sent to the Prince, Don John seeketh to win the
chief men of the Estates. President Sasbout and Drumesius
tempted several of them, and Drumesius spoke with the Count of
'Hollock,' counselling him to offer his service to Don John.
"Marry," quoth the Count, "so he would give me good entertainment,
I were well contented." He said that neither his
religion, nor the Prince, should hinder him from accepting Don
John's desire, so he would deal liberally with him. With that
Drumesius was right glad. All which talk the Count rehearsed
to the Prince, who easily marks Don John's dealings, and
provides as well as he can for them. "I did never see the
Prince so beloved as he is, especially in North Holland, the people
of which country is sincere, hearty, and honest." The country
abounds so with shipping that I have seen at Haarlem, Alkmaar,
Horn, and Enckhuyzen of small and great ships as much as 3,000.
Yesterday 150 went to the eastward in two hours. They pray
in their sermons for Her Majesty, and desire nothing so much as
The Prince told me that he had lately seen a reckoning of the
expenses he with the two provinces had made in the last five
years, and that the sum exceeded 15 millions. He showed me a
book which he had intercepted containing the accounts of the
Contador Luxaldo, who came with the Duke of Alva, specifying
only such sums as the King sent from Spain to the Low Countries.
The total sum amounts to 25 millions of crowns ; the Prince's 15
millions are but 'florence.' The dykes are in a manner repaired
throughout Holland ; but in Zealand, Zerickzee Island received
great damage by a storm on June 22 last. They of Brill have
collected 10,000 guilders for fortifying their new haven with freestone.
Don John, by the aid of the Papists of the country,
thought to have surprised the town and island of Ter Goes, but
was prevented by the Protestants. There are eight ensigns of
soldiers in Walcheren, besides 18 ships called "Cromstevens,"
which the Prince keeps upon the Scheldt. The carcase of Louis
Boissot was lately found near Zerickzee island, and taken to
Middelburg, where it was put into the grave of his brother
Charles. Nieuport in Flanders the Prince still keeps with his
garrison. Basdorp was lately sent for its delivery into the hands
of the Estates ; but the Prince excuses himself because the
Germans are not yet out of the country, and he does not trust
the Count of Roeulx.
Whatsoever fair weather Don John makes, the Prince assures
himself that the peace cannot last long. He heard to-day that
Don John made a solemn banquet for the Queen of Navarre at
Namur, and afterwards put his garrison into the town, as well as
into Charlemont and Philippeville. He hears also that the king
of Spain has a truce with the Irish for five years, and will be at
leisure to make war against other. Also that Escovedo had gone
secretly to Spain to provide money that war may be renewed in
the Low Countries, and he is afraid lest some sudden practice
break out against England. Further, Don John had pressed him
to send away the English soldiers, as he had discharged the
Frenchmen and Scots ; which he said he did that Don John might
not accuse him as a breaker of pacification. He told me that as
Don John had accused him to the Queen by the Viscount of Ghent
as though he did not observe the pacification, so he had done to
the Emperor. Meanwhile Don John has in the Low Country
as good as nine ensigns of Almains.
I asked him what hope he had that his son would return from
Spain. He said that he had received letters from him, and was
anxious to receive him. He had sent his principal secretary,
Brunning, to Dillenburg to bring his daughter ; although it be
altogether against his mother's will.—Enckhuyzen, 24 July 1577.
Add. Endd. 3½ pp. [Holl. and Fland. I. 14.]
43. POINTS and ARTICLES which HIS HIGHNESS finds to need
remedying before his return to Brussels.
1. That no one soever shall
have a guard of halberdiers or
harquebusiers save his Highness
or the officers of justice.
This appears reasonable ; and
it is understood from what
his Highness has written to M.
de Hèze that he is satisfied.
2. That the civic guard shall
be appointed by authority of the
magistrates, and shall be commanded
in their name under the
authority of the King and his
Lieutenant-general ; and that no
citizen shall be permitted to
arrest anyone, nor open letters,
without the intervention of the
ordinary judicial authority.
They of Brussels will be
happy to carry both articles into
3. That the guilds and nations
take a solemn oath, as is necessary
for the observance of the
above, in order that his Highness,
and the Estates, and the
magistrates may be sure of its
They of Brussels declare that
they have complied with this
article in a writing sent to his
Highness. They and the guilds
will write yet more amply for his
4. That in order to put a stop
to sinister rumours, disturbing
public tranquillity, an Edict
shall be published that whoever
puts forth defamatory libels or
false news shall be required to
disclose his informant on pain of
being himself chastised.
The Estates think it well
that such a placard should be
decreed, as they have often
required and declared to M. de
Rassenghien when he was lately
at their meeting. The Estates
request his Highness to communicate
any such placard to
them before publishing it.
5. Since there is a question of
maintaining the privileges of
each country, and it is meet that
the States-General should be
respected, that they will not
allow any strangers, or persons
not lawfully qualified, to intervene
in their meetings.
The Estates will take order
as to this.
6. His Highness desires that
the Estates and the magistrates
of Brussels will take order in
these matters before he comes
Copy. Fr. 1½ pp. [Holl. and Fland. I. 15.]
K. d. L. ix.
44. WILSON to BURGHLEY.
I have received advertisements touching Don John's demand
to the Estates by Baron de Rassenghien, and their answer
thereto. He means principally two things ; that M. de Hèze
should give up his charge, and that Theron, a Gascon, agent to
the Prince of Orange, should be sent out of Brussels. Which
two demands will not be granted, and yet the Estates' answer
is so mild, so modest, and so wary that Don John can take no
advantage thereby. They of Brussels keep greater watch and
ward than heretofore, since the coming of Don John, who as I
am informed went on the 16th of this month from Mechlin to
Namur, to meet the Queen of Navarre. The Bruxellois have
sent to the burgesses of Namur that they look well to their town,
lest Don John seize upon it, to have free passage over the river,
seeing those of Maestricht will not trust any but one company
of M. de Beersel to guard their town.
Don John has sent all his staff from Brussels and Mechlin to
Namur, and is accompanied by three companies of the Duke of
Aerschot. Count Barlaymont also waits upon him. The Governor
of Namur has married the Duke's sister, which increases the
suspicion. Don John has sent Escovedo secretly into Spain, to
take ship at Nantes, to give advertisement of these things. Great
wait is laid to apprehend him. It is given out that M. de Champagny
shall be governor of Antwerp, which I do not think to
be true. A messenger sent from the King of Portugal is buying
secretly all the armour that he can get in Antwerp. It is thought
that those of Amsterdam are agreed with the Prince, but it is
not yet fully certain.
Casimir, his brother the Elector, and the Landgrave, have met
at St. Goylers [qy. St. Goar] ; but I do not hear anything of Casimir's
preparation into France, though they are like to be utterly
distressed everywhere, except some foreign aid be sent to them.
M. de Bois, kinsman to the Secretary Villeroy in France, is
come to be ambassador with Don John in the place of Mondoucet,
who prepares to return at the end of this month.
I would I had leave to wait upon your Lordship at the Bath of
'Buckestones,' to prevent that which I have cause hereafter to fear
when years come upon me.—Richmond, 24 July 1577.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fland. I. 16.]
45. The STATES-GENERAL to DON JOHN.
Having heard through Baron de Rassenghien, bearing letters
of credence dated July 24, that his Highness has withdrawn to
the castle of Namur, declaring that it would not be to his personal
safety, &c., and after mature deliberation, the Estates have
deputed the prelate of Maroilles, the Archdeacon of Ypres, and
M. de Brusse to go with all diligence to his Highness and remonstrate
with him as follows.
The Estates are greatly surprised at his withdrawal, and at
the information which he says he has received of plots to lay
hands on him at Brussels or at Mechlin. Whereas the letters
which he has received do not disclose the author of the conspiracy,
nor give sufficient reasons and circumstances to justify belief in
it ; and further whereas, as his Highness knows, the proceedings
of the Estates have always in all sincerity been directed toward
the restoration of the country to a state of peace and the preservation
of the holy Catholic Roman religion and due obedience
to his Majesty ; and whereas they have many times promised and
sworn to show him all fidelity and obedience, and to give no
credit to tale-bearers who only disturb the public peace, but to
examine their statements, thereby to discover more easily the
falsity of their impostures, and ascertain the authors, with a view
to their punishment, as his Highness himself required of them,
when he proposed to them on the 6th of this month by M. de
Rassenghien that they should correspond freely with him upon
all occurrences, and apply to him in all cases of scruple or doubtfulness,
calling upon them to repress all evil interpretations of
good actions and intentions, disseminated by restless spirits to
increase distrust, to which the Estates replied that their supreme
desire had always been to apply to his Highness on all necessary
occasions, and that in order to check false rumours and sinister
interpretations, the best plan would be for his Highness to admit
none that was not signed, and not to lend an ear to all that might
be told him ; and whereas they replied in two days by M. de
They consider that there was no sufficient reason to throw
his Highness into such fear or distrust as regards his person,
as to take so extraordinary a step which may lead people to take
an erroneous and unfitting idea of his Highness' views. What
has happened at Charlemont is also likely to give rise to disorders,
and injury to our holy religion, and to the obedience due to his
Majesty. To obviate which the Estates beg his Highness to
consider how necessary it is to make some quite other demonstration
in order to reassure the people and remove all evil and sinister
opinions. The Estates finding no more sovereign remedy than
the prompt return of his Highness to Brussels, request him to
return before the fire is so kindled that it will be difficult to
They promise his Highness all fidelity and obedience, and
perfect security for his person, whether in Brussels or elsewhere
in the Low Countries ; upon the guarantee of their own persons,
goods, and honour.
And since all information tends to cause distrust directly between
his Highness and the Estates, and incidentally to bring about the
ruin of his Majesty's lands and the destruction of the Catholic
Religion, the Estates entreat his Highness to have the authors
of that information disclosed, that we may hear from them the
causes which led them to such an impression, and what persons
they would accuse of such an attempt, and that failing to clear
themselves they may be punished in exemplary fashion ; and
that this may be done speedily, in order to cut short the mischief
which will spread from day to day.—Brussels, 25 July 1577.
Copy. Fr. 6 pp. Probably enclosure in 47. [Holl. and Fland.
46. The ESTATES to DON JOHN.
It is no wonder if we were astounded on hearing of your Highness's
retirement to the Castle of Namur, since we foresee great
troubles to arise from it if you do not speedily remedy them. We
have felt bound to send forthwith the Prelate of Maroilles, the Archdeacon
of Ypres, and M. de Busse to point this out more in detail ;
begging your Highness to place all confidence in them, and above
to return speedily to this town according to your promise,
placing full trust in our loyalty ; and in this way remedy the
almost desperate evils which may arise.—Brussels, 25 July 1577.
(Signed) Cornelius Weellemans.
Copy. Fr. 1 p. Probably enclosure in 47. [Ibid. I. 17a.]