K. d. L. x. 85.
425. M. D'ARGENLIEU to DAVISON.
I received yesterday Mr. Walsingham's letter handed by you to
M. Francois le Fort. Kindly keep the packet which I send you till
your earliest convenience. I have no news worth sending you but
such as you will know better than I. We hear from France that the
envoys sent by the Estates to the King have been favourably received
by him and his brother ; and that both promise to do all
they can for them ; and that M. de Vaux, who was already in
France as a suitor for Don John, had thereby lost much of the
ground he deemed himself to have gained on Don John's behalf.
You can form your own judgement as to the probable result of all
this ; in my opinion the Duke of Anjou has many partisans in these
parts.—Brussels, St. Martin's day, 11 Nov. 1577.
P.S.—If any letter come into your hands addressed to M. de la
Pierre, de la Mothe, de la Barre, or Robert le Long, please take note
that they are for me.
Add. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. 99.]
426. The case of the DUKE of AERSCHOT : Report and decision.
This day, having appeared before the Aldermen of the City of
Ghent, the most high and mighty lord the Duke of Aerschot of the
one part, and the nobles, etc., in large numbers of the other part,
they declared that they were of one mind touching the release of
the said Duke, to wit, that the nobles, etc., taking note of the representation
made by the Abbot of St. Gertrude and M. de Liesfelt,
deputed by the States-General in conjunction with Mr. Arnold Van
Dorp, deputed by the Prince of Orange, with regard especially to
the quality of the Duke and the good services rendered and to be
rendered by him to the commonweal, condescend and consent to the
release of the said Duke, without prejudice to the case of the other
gentlemen in custody.
It is understood that no prosecution or vengeance under form of
justice or by violent means shall be undertaken against those of
Ghent, but that an amnesty on both sides shall follow upon this release,
they withdrawing any charges they may have made against
the Duke ; and the Duke for his part promises on behalf of himself
and his family, naming the Prince of Chimay his son and the
Marquis of Havrech his brother, for whom in their absence he gives
a guarantee, that nothing shall be done in contravention of this.
And for greater assurance of the said nobles, etc., the said Duke
and the deputies of the Estates have promised to use all their
offices with the Estates to obtain from them a deed under their
seal approving the above before the Duke leaves the town.
Done at Ghent the 10th of November, 1577, in presence of the
aldermen of the two benches, to wit, MM. d'Appocle, Bouche, and
Jacques Feron, aldermen of the excise (kuere), Josse Donaes and
Joris Vitz, aldermen of the allotments (parchons) of the city, and
myself as secretary to the said aldermen of the excise. (Signed)
This having been sent to the States-General with a view to
speedy execution of the same under their seal, they hereby accept and
approve the above agreement, both for other reasons, and because
they believe the arrest of the Duke to have been made of a good
zeal and without malice, and they do not intend that the people of
Ghent shall ever be molested or prosecuted on that account ; but if
any attempt contrary thereto shall be made, will defend them to
the best of their power.
Signed by Cornelius Weellemans, secretary, sealed with the seal
of the Estates of Brabant, the generality not having their seals
at hand and placarded.—Brussels, 11 Nov. 1577.
Copy. Fr. 1½ pp. [Ibid. 100.]
427. Licence from Luis Cesar, councillor to the King of Portugal
and Superintendent of the Arsenals and Fleets, to "Don
Jacopo Desmond" [i.e., James Fitzmorris], to take from the arsenal
artillery and equipment, viz., 2 bronze falcons, 4 iron falcons,
muzzle-pieces (beicos) and chambers (camaras) for the same,
ammunition, including 50 stone cannon-balls, &c. Dated 13 Nov.
1577. Signed (apparently autograph) : Luis Cæsar. Endd. (in
English) : This is the letter that I have concerning the artillery.
Portuguese. 1 p. [Portugal I. 7.]
428. [ANTONIO DE GUARAS] to DON JOHN.
Fragment of draft for a letter containing (a) reference to an
enterprise important to Spain, in which the Queen and some of her
Council are concerned, and from which they expect much treasure—
it is of importance to Spain to know the place, that they may be
sent to the bottom—if they succeed with it, they will never be dislodged
by greater forces ; (b) assurances that though he is a prisoner
he will continue to perform his work by the help of friends—
points blocked, dispatches and letters taken—can find no better
way than to send his own son, who is not behind himself in goodwill
—with a passport, knowing the language and the routes he will
post to Paris and thence to the Court ; (c) reminder to "V. A."
that he is in prison "in great travail and misery, for a cause that
is very well known"—if he gets out shortly he hopes in future in
regard to what has been declared to adhere to his previous course,
to which he refers ; (d) expression of a hope that if Don John sends
over "Ayeronymo de Curiel" he will not write, for he has sent
two letters to one believed to be a spy of the Council ; (e) allusion
to another journey of his son, and the money then given him ;
(f) statement that he is not only in prison, but "on terms of" his
head, "as I wrote before to Secretary Prada"—doing the same
at present, as he will relate, and also of certain passages which he
now sends from the last letter of the said Curiel, very contrary to the
service of his Highness, and nearly touching the writer's life and
honour.—From London, and from prison, the [in another hand]
14 November 1577.
Endd. : Minute of letter which I wrote to Don John of Austria
on 14 November, 1577. Sp. ½ p. [Holl. and Fland. III. 101.]
K. d. L. x. 85.
429. DAVISON to WALSINGHAM.
The "Gauntoys" resuming their ancient privileges with the
agreement of the States, proceed to the election of their Doyen,
an office (being of like quality to the Tribunus Plebis in the
Commonwealth of Rome) that has not been exercised since the
rescinding of their privileges by Charles V.; but I do not yet hear
whom they have chosen.
The Duke of Aerschot's delivery at the earnest request of the
States' Commissioners is effected, upon the conditions herewith.
The rest are not unlike (if the Gauntoys change not their wont)
"to run another fortune." You may see what these are charged
with in the justification of their apprehenders, sent in my last. In
the common opinion of every good patriot and confession of those
that were at their consultations, their cause deserves little favour,
having not only had intelligence with the public enemy (a thing
as they say to be proved), but also practised to disjoin the provinces
and divide the Prince and States, a near and dangerous matter
if this had not fallen out.
The reception of the Archduke is still in suspense, the reason
being partly to see how the matter will be digested by their neighbours,
and partly for difficulties in the people's consent—of the
Emperor's desire it should go forward, the Prince assures me ; but
chiefly to temporize with the Duke of Alençon, whom they would
keep in some hope ; and who on the other hand labours diligently
to insinuate himself into their favour, "having to that end both
John Tyron and other his ministers, walking in every corner not
without some fruit." Both the King and he have well entertained
their ambassadors, since whose arrival M. de Vaux, sent before to
solicit in favour of Don John, seems to have had cold success, the
King pretending wholly to favour the States, whose cause he
promises to protect to his uttermost ; but of the scope of these liberal
offers it is not hard to judge.
Between the Prince and States, since the apprehension of these
ill ministers who had brought them, whatever the Marquis say,
very near the point of a disjunction, things seem in better train,
though the distrust is not so removed but that sparks remain. But
as no man can be more studious to shun such a mischief than the
Prince, who accommodates himself to them both in forbearing the
open exercise of his religion and otherwise, so if the States should
so much forget themselves, the worst end of the staff would, in
the opinion of the wisest, fall out to be theirs, the Prince being
not only sure of Holland and Zealand, which command the
rest of the provinces, but also strengthened with the favour of the
people generally, with the government of Brabant, Utrecht and
Overyssel, and of the towns of Dendermonde (of special importance
as the key by water to Ghent, Antwerp, and the whole of Brabant)
and of Ghent, which with its castellanies is of great strength, able
to do as much as two out of three parts of Flanders. He has also
Niewport, a haven, with Brussels, Antwerp, Utrecht and other towns
at his devotion. Calling to them 'Frize' and Gueldres, which will
never separate from Holland and Zealand, they would be sufficient
to sustain the force of the proudest neighbour they have—a thing
the less to be doubted, when that one town of Ghent has ere now
made head against the whole power of France.
Of the States' proceedings with her Majesty, I know not what
to say. They pretend to depend wholly on her. They have now sent
over Carington, with what has been done on his negotiations. But
to say truly, those who wish them well, are still doubtful how she
may proceed safely with them as long as their matters are thus
Upon this point, therefore, I have sought to sound the Prince,
whom I find always to deal frankly and honourably with me. His
advice is that her Majesty would do well to temporise for a while,
and to form her deliberations upon the event of things here, without
show of any deliberation of her affection towards them. And if their
ambassadors earnestly insist upon a loan of 20,000l. or 30,000l.
as they have in charge, her Majesty will do best to assign the money
into my hands to be delivered here on receipt of their assurances,
under which colour the matter may be 'trained in length.'
As for the employment of our nation, it is yet unresolved ; the
reasons alleged by the Marquis for their delay are thought a colourable
pretext, the cause growing in truth from the jealousy they
have of the Prince's greatness, who being master of the chief
strength of the country and the devotion of the people, and assisted
with such a force of our nation, might, they think, easily become
master of all, with an undoubted innovation of state and religion ;
an impression beaten into their heads by the Bishops of Bruges
and Ypres, les seigneurs de Swevingem, Ressingem, and others of
the principals apprehended, to whom the stay of it is chiefly imputed,
as men that seeing it recommended by the Prince, and desired
by the people, sought by all means to impugn it. They set forth
other difficulties, as that they were to consider well of the person
and quality of the Earl of Leicester, who, besides being in close
amity with the Prince, is a man of no small moment to be called over
and entertained with such a train of men of note as would
accompany him ; that his quality would not brook the service under
a governor of their country, his inferior, while to commit that
charge into the hands of a stranger was perilous and dishonourable
for them ; that calling over 5,000 or 6,000 of our nation was a bridge
to pass over as many as we listed ; that the French, jealous of the
footing of our nation on this side, would advance their combination
with Spain, and so should draw the strength of both States on their
shoulders. Persuading so much that some in their malice and envy
to the Prince, others lacking judgement to discern with what foot
these men marched were charged from their first deliberation ; and
the more he insisted the more he was suspected to affect his own
particular. But as some of them already confess their error, it is
thought it will not be long before, of will or of necessity, they reform
Their enemy is growing strong, and the King is wholly bent to
the war against this country, whereunto some say he is minded to
come in person, leaving the government of Spain in his absence
to the Empress his sister, who, as we hear from Germany, is going
thither with the Admiral of Castile ; having in the meanwhile made
truce for 5 years with the Turk—a thing which the Prince confirms,
and resolving in the spring to make them a sharp and desperate
war, what with his own strength, the succour of the Pope, the
potentates of Italy, the Duke of Savoy, the Bishops of Mentz and
Colloigne and others his friends in Germany, besides his hope of the
French, whom he earnestly solicits under the pretext of a marriage
between the Duke d'Alencon and his daughter, though some hardly
believe that this is other than a Spanish practice, since the French
possession of this country could in no way advantage the King of
Spain ; though they think that under this colour he may hope to
draw the French the sooner to his assistance, and get hold of their
intelligence with the States till he bring his preparations to some
perfection, a thing which they think he may affect through his
friends in that Court, but especially by the industry of the Queen
Mother, by whose cunning and dexterity those two princes have
been of late years so straitly combined.
And as the felicity of no state in the world is more envied than
ours, there is no one they would sooner attempt if their own troubles
would give them leisure for the disquieting of their neighbours.
Herein they diligently watch their opportunity, as they that in
respect of their great intelligences in our country, hold the matter
easy, having a Queen of Scots (whose boute-feux are occupied in
every corner) assured of a faction of Catholics, which do but await
the sign to discover themselves ; of which assured friends of hers
(as the Baron d'Hierges' secretary lately escaped, as he said, from
the enemy, and coming to Brussels, where he was examined by the
States, confessed), two English captains, Digby and Hooper, as
I hear, presented not long since a list of names to Don John, as
men of whom he might make assured reckoning. The like was
done before by others of our fugitives, and as I hear by Copley,
who being of especial credit with Don John is now sent into Spain
to do some good office to his country. By this you may see that
our enemies sleep not.—Antwerp, 15 Nov. 1577.
P.S.—I hear from the Prince that on last Sunday week one came
to Brussels with a packet of letters to Don John, sealed with the
arms of England, and said to come from her Majesty. The
messenger said he was addressed to him by me, to the end they
might see I would deal plainly with them, and asking their passport
in my name ; who never heard till now of the man or matter,
which makes me suspect it is some messenger from the Queen of
Scots. I beg to know your opinion in this respect.
I had written this before the receipt of your last by my man ;
but I have detained the bearer a day or two to answer questions
There is a new association drawn but not yet signed, between
the Prince and States, ratifying the treaty of Ghent, interpreting the
points de la religion Cath. Rom. et obeisance due au roi, promising
to hold together without offence one of another in respect of religion,
joining to defend the tyranny of strangers, and finally approving
the acceptance of the Archduke. We look for him here about Wednesday
Add. Endd. 5 pp. [Holl. and Fland. III. 102.]
430. Draft of the above. 3½ pp. [Ibid. 103.]
K. d. L. x. 93.
431. John Dale's report of the number of soldiers that Don
John of Austria had "at my being at his Court of Luxembrugh
the xvith of November."
Six thousand Spaniards.
Four thousand Frenchmen "of the band of Mounseer de
Guys," governor thereof the Grave of Mansfield.
Two thousand soldiers of Lorraine, Governor M. St. Bellamont
Two thousand "Luxemburroughes."
Two thousand Walloons.
All these to be at Namur by the last of November.
The report of the same party of the number of soldiers that the
States had in their camp two miles from Namur at my passing
through them the third of November.
Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. 104.]
432. The FRENCH KING to the STATES-GENERAL.
MM. d'Aubigny and Manssart have handed to us your letter of
the 15th ult., giving your reasons for taking up arms. Nevertheless
for the goodwill we bear to you and for the amity existing
between our beloved brother-in-law the Catholic King and ourselves
we cannot conceal from you that we have been much distressed
thereby, by reason of the troubles which may come upon you therefrom
Nor can we do less than admonish you and beseech you as
by these presents to do all in your power as soon as may be to avert
the storm preparing for you, the effects of which you will not escape
unless you have recourse betimes to the necessary remedies. We
would believe that you will as you say always be able to give a good
account of your actions, but at the same time we have so high an
opinion of the goodness and just intent of the Catholic King that
we think you will sooner obtain from him what you want by submission
and humble supplications such as subjects ought to use
towards him who has been appointed by God to govern them, than
by way of arms. Wherein if you hold that our intervention can be
of any avail, we pray you to be assured that we will cordially employ
it, as we have more particularly declared to them, d'Aubigny
and Manssart ; who have moreover informed us of your joy at the
pacification, by the grace of God, of the troubles of our realm, for
which we would not omit to thank you.—Paris, 17 Nov. 1577.
(Signed) Henry, (countersigned), de Neufville.
Copy. Endd. Fr. 1 p.
433. QUEEN MOTHER OF FRANCE to the STATES-GENERAL.
Letter of precisely the same tenor as the preceding, expressed in
somewhat different terms. "I should advise you to look betimes
to the extinguishing of the fire which is preparing to burn you up,
without despairing of the clemency of the King your lord."
Copy. Endd. Fr. ¾ p. [Holl. and Fland. III. 106.]
434. DAVISON to BURGHLEY.
The accident of Ghent has brought forth no new alteration beyond
the resumption of their privileges by the Gauntoys and the
election of their Doyen (as their chief magistrate was called before
the loss of the privileges).
The Duke of Aerschot, at the solicitation of the Prince and States,
is set at liberty, the States avowing the act as being well done and
to good order.
The Bishops of Ypres and Bruges "having practised their escape
by boat out of the town," where they had liberty to go to church,
are now made close prisoners.
Champagny, "who playing the good orator, handled the matter
so as they let him go," is come to Brussels, where nothing is said to
him, though the Ghent people have written to all the towns round
about to stay him, if he should fall into their hands.
President Pamele and M. d'Oignies, who were said to be apprehended,
are also escaped, and gone to their country houses.
This unlucky beginning has made the Duke of Aerschot weary
of his new government, which he has offered to resign. It is
thought the States will give it to Count Bossu, though the people
would willingly have none but the Prince.
The principal charges against those apprehended are that they
have had intelligence with the enemy, that they have practised
the disjoining of the Prince and the States and confounding the
union of the provinces, that they tried to stay the sending to the
camp of the money levied for the pay of the soldiers, in order to
breed mutiny among them, that the enemy might benefit by the
confusion, that some of them had practised the calling down of
Matthias without the general knowledge or the consent of the
States, and sought to bring him to Dendermonde and so to Ghent,
"hoping under his coming to have accomplished the effect of their
hidden reasons, in thinking by occupying these two towns to have
all Flanders open to the enemy."
This accident has not altered the state of their camp, which
from the first day was never in better discipline, remaining still
before Namur, where Count Lalaing, their general, is in person,
having besides two or three little skirmishes done nothing of
moment. The number of the States' forces there is about 60 ensings
of foot, and before Ruremonde with Count 'Hellock' 33
ensigns besides 400 or 500 horse, which is all they yet have ready.
Such companies as lay dispersed in the country hereabouts, living
upon the Paysan, waiting for their pay are now satisfied and sent
to the camp.
Count 'Swartzenburgh' [Schwarzburg] is expected every day
in this town, the States meaning to 'entertain' him with 2,000
horse, 'as they likewise intend to do' Duke Casimir with 3,000,
but neither commission is yet issued. The 4,000 Scots under
Colonel Balfour are looked for here daily.
Don John grows strong ; he is thought to have about 6,000
'Dutches,' 3,000 Wallons, 1,500 'Burgunyons,' and as many
French of the companies of the Duke of Guise ; 500 or 600 Spaniards
and about 800 Spanish and Burgundian horse, beside the 'Dutches'
of the old garrisons of Ruremonde, Twol, Campen, and Deventer,
and besides the forces he awaits from other places, especially from
France under the guidance of Count Charles of Mansfelt and others,
who as the news is have so well advanced their negotiation that
there are already marching towards the frontier 48 companies of
foot, and 2,000 horse.
The Archduke is still at Lyre, whither the Prince this week
sent his brother Count John to visit him. The young gentleman
is half amazed at the States' proceeding. They still suspend their
determination as to him. As he is very young, not above 19, he is
thought insufficient to govern in so perilous a time.
"The practice of marriage between the Duke d'Alençon and the
daughter of Spain is still hot on foot ; though few wise men here be
of opinion that the King of Spain doth indeed pretend no such
matter." The Duke meantime plies his friends here all he may,
not without some hope to make his profit of them. The present of
tapestry sent by the States was utterly refused, "a thing here
diversely discoursed of, some thinking it may be done for curst
heart," owing to the coming of Matthias ; some, to let them think
that he was willing to do for them without their present ; others,
that looking for other matter for them, he would not take that
The King of Spain is constantly said to have made a truce with
the Turk for five years, that he may with less difficulty attend the
war in this country, to which some say he is minded to come in
person, leaving the Empress to govern in his absence.
The towns at present devoted to the enemy are Campen, Twol, and
Deventer upon the Yssel that runs into the 'Zuder Sea,' wherein
the old garrisons of Dutches still remain ; Ruremonde and Namur,
both besieged, upon the 'Maze,' and on the frontiers of Hainault,
Charlemont and Marienburg, the latter a town of special strength ;
to which he has in the last week added the castle of Fumay on the
Maes above Namur, which though able to abide the cannon, was
yielded without a stroke stricken.
The rest of the country is wholly in possession of the Prince and
States. Amsterdam is come to no conclusion, the fault growing only
from the stubbornness of the magistrates, not of the people, who
having lost both their trade and in a manner their liberties would
gladly "be at some point."
The money here is generally well paid, so willingly that 'Reisingen'
and others of his crew, persuading at Doway the detaining
of the money levied there (some say to put the soldiers in a mutiny)
were like to have been cause of as great tumult there as at Ghent,
and were constrained for fear of the people to leave the place.
The States have written to the King (but sent no express messenger,
because no man of quality would take the charge) acquainting him
with the cause of these last alterations, accusing Don John as author
of them, and beseeching his Majesty to revoke him, appointing
another governor, and to hold them still as his faithful subjects.
The 20th ult. there passed through Augusta in Germany a Jesuit,
this countryman born, sent legate from the Pope, accompanied by
two other Jesuits, Spaniards, secretly and particularly addressed to
Don John, the Bishop of Liége, and the Duke of Aerschot.
It is affirmed that three companies of Don John's people have
revolted, and been received into the pay of the States.
From Germany is no news of succours come to Don John ; but the
Duke of Brunswick, the Bishops of Mentz and Colloign, and divers
Almayn Colonels are said to be keeping their reiters upon waergelt,
ready to march when he shall send for them.
The Bishop of Liége, who would seem to stand neutral, is
generally suspected to be wholly Spanish.
The French Ambassador, with Don John, came to Liége when he
left Namur, where he remains as the minister of a neighbouring
neutral, for so he would be taken.
The Duke of Cleves waits to see the success, not inclined to the
part of Spain (as some presume) in respect of the damage done him
by the troubles of these countries, on whose traffic he depends.—
Antwerp, 17 November 1577.
P.S.—News is come of the landing of 400 Scots at Zasse in
Flanders, of the companies to serve under Balfour.
Add. Endd. by Burghley. 3 pp. [Holl. and Fland. III. 107.]
K. d. L. x. 94.
435. DAVISON to WALSINGHAM.
Copy of the preceding. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. 3 pp.
[Ibid. III. 108.]
436. Another copy. Endd.: Mr. Davison's solutions. See
No. 455. 4½ pp. [Ibid. III. 109.]
437. Draft of the three preceding. Endd. 2½ pp. [Ibid.
K. d. L. x. 99.
438. DAVISON to LEICESTER.
I have written so fully to Mr. Secretary, that I need only answer
summarily your last letter received by my man ; especially the point
touching the cold proceeding of the States in regard to our succour.
I have been the slower to satisfy you, as the condition of their proceedings
has been so uncertain that I could not tell what to judge.
When the Prince was in Brussels, I can witness that he tried to
hasten their determination, followed by the general intercession of
the people, though neither of them prevailed ; not that they have
no need of our assistance as in their letters to the Marquis they would
pretend, but in truth because they were jealous of the Prince, who
might, as they feared, become master of the State. But as they now
begin to confess their error, the Prince is of opinion it will not be
long ere they reform it, having some intelligence of their intent now
to go forward with that motion ; which I can assure you has been
so zealously advanced by him, that but for other difficulties it would
not have been for an hour undetermined. These jealousies have
been the only cause that they have not more soundly gone forward
in providing for public necessities ; "the chief ministers of
which confusion among them have been those that are apprehended
at Ghent, whose imprisonment or rather execution (for the
latter is looked for at the hands of their apprehenders, who are
wont to be severe justicers in such cases) is hoped will rather better
than impair the counsels and proceedings here." The Prince, in
his daily letters to the States, and in his conferences with Count
Bossu, who ordinarily accompanies him here, and others, calls
upon them not to neglect such a benefit as has been offered them
by her Majesty. He advises them, shaking off all passions and
jealousies, to look with a single eye to their necessities, and to go
soundly to work in a cause that so highly imports them ; whose
counsel they now seem fully bent to follow. The Prince assures
me they make him believe they will no longer dally on this point.
Meantime he thinks it not amiss that her Majesty temporise with
them, framing her decisions upon their other demands according
to the event of things here, as being loth she "should embark herself
with any little peril or discommodity." I find him in every
event to deal so frankly with me, that I cannot say I find any
assured man here but he. Though he does not use ceremony in
writing often to her Majesty or your Lordship he daily communicates
to me that which passes. If anything of importance falls
out in two or three days of my absence from him, he will vouchsafe
to come to my lodging. "So much honour doth he use me
withal, more than agrees with his state and my quality." In sum,
I know no man her Majesty may build upon, if not on him.—
Antwerp, 18 November 1577.
Draft. Endd. 1½ pp. [Ibid III. 111.]
439. WILSON to DAVISON.
As men's worthiness do deserve, so must I use your favour to
have that come out to you. This young man, Aron Windebank,
well known to me in the time of my late service, comes to serve
the Prince. I pray you further him with your good word, and be
assured he is honest, wise, and secret, and, therefore, you may
boldly use him in service of our sovereign if occasion serve.—From
the Court [Windsor], 18 November 1577.
8 lines. [Ibid. III. 112.]
Nov. [? 18].
440. THE LORDS of the COUNCIL to SIR A. POULET.
After the Queen had signified to 'Lopopin' [L'Aubespine] and
the ambassador how much she thought her honour touched by the
late arrest made by Lansac, the same being done in that insolent
and outrageous sort that it was, she appointed Dr. Dale and the
judge of the Admiralty to confer with them about some way of
avoiding the inconveniences that might ensue by the continuance
of the mutual arrests.
As from this the good that was looked for did not follow, the
ambassador, as appears by the copy of the conference sent herewith,
refusing to accept the friendly offers made in her Majesty's name,
and insisting upon the release of such ships of theirs as are stayed
here, the King having promised that Lansac should release our ships
and make satisfaction for damages ; her Majesty bade us send for
the ambassadors who were then at London. At their access we let
them understand that she found it strange that they should refuse
to accept the offers propounded, and therefore could not but let them
know that besides the prejudice her subjects took by the arrest, she
saw her honour greatly touched by the manner of it, her subjects
being violently assailed, the chief of them chained in galleys, all put
to ransom, and others who had bought salt and other goods in the
island near Rochelle forced to make double payment for them ; a
kind of proceeding that in time of greatest hostility could not be
carried to greater extremity. She did not see how it could be
repaired unless the King by punishing Lansac made it clear that he
misliked his proceedings.
They were further told that her Majesty's subjects had in recent
years been greatly spoiled by ships set out even by the governors
of the maritime provinces, whereof notwithstanding restitutions
made to the King's subjects here (of which an 'extract' was
handed to 'Lopopin') and the assurances given by the King of order
to be taken, there was never any satisfaction at all performed, to her
Majesty's great dishonour and her subjects' discontent.
Therefore we concluded with them that we were no longer to be
carried away with words, and that her Majesty was fully resolved
not to release the said ships until such time as full restitution were
made to her subjects of the losses by them sustained by the late
arrest ; and we further signified to them that unless the King should
also take order out of hand for satisfaction of former spoils, we did
not see how the amity between the two crowns could longer endure.
Their reply was that the fact proceeding from a private person,
it was not agreeable with justice that a general arrest should ensue
thereupon ; and they had no commission to assent to the offers
made. They had only charge to assure her Majesty from the King
that he would see that Lansac made restitution, with which they
thought she ought in reason to be satisfied.
We answered that as Lansac had a public charge when he did the
outrage, it was not to be reputed to be done by a private person ;
and that her Majesty seeing no satisfaction made after examination
taken of the fact might both in honour and justice maintain the
arrest. As for the King's assurances of restitution her former
experience gave her just cause not to trust them.
Draft in Walsingham's hand. Endd. by L. Tomson. 5 pp.
[Fr. 1, 49.]
K. d. L. x.
441. Reply of the ESTATES to the QUEEN'S offers of aid.
Having seen the dealing of the Marquis of Havrech and M. de
Meetkerke with the Queen of England, they humbly thank her
Majesty, as in their letter of the 9th, for her liberal offer to aid
them with her credit for the sum of 100,000l. repayable in eight
months. Finding it impossible, however, to raise the sum in Antwerp
or elsewhere, they entreat her in consideration of the cost to
which they have been put in paying the cavalry under Duke
Casimir, Count Schwarzburg and others, to let the envoys have
the sum in hand cash, to bring here.
They are more than obliged to her Majesty for his offer of 5,000
foot and 1,000 horse, which they accept and will not fail to merit.
They have made over to the Prince of Orange the task of treating
more fully on this point.
In requesting her Majesty to renew all the ancient leagues
between her kingdom and the house of Burgundy, they beg that
any other articles may be added which seem suitable to ensure the
good defence and the security of both countries.
For better intelligence the Estates are resolved to have a resident
ambassador at the English court, and they beg her Majesty to act
in the same way by them.
They offer on all questions of peace and war to take her Majesty's
advice and act in concert with her ;
And in case she shall need the help of military forces, in such
cause as may arise any day, they will if called upon supply her
with an equal number of men on like terms ;
And whereas any sort of discord in a body is its ruin, and no
alliance between two bodies can remain firm if it be not settled and
solid in itself, the Estates will not attempt or practise anything
against one another without first submitting the case to her Majesty,
and obtaining from her such counsel as upon knowledge of the case
she shall deem to conduce to the common weal of the country.
They will, on being duly advertised, make a point of expelling
all her Majesty's rebels as enemies to the common cause, if she will
do the same to their enemies.
During the troubles, no tolls or duties shall be levied on
English merchants contrary to their privileges, provided that reciprocal
treatment is shown in England to merchants from the Low
These above shall be caused to be ratified and approved by those
who are at present or shall hereafter be admitted to the Government.
Windsor, November 19, 1577.
Endd. by L. Tomson : The States' ratification of the Marquis
[Havrech, added in another hand] negotiation to her Majesty ; and
in a later hand : Hereby is promised that all that shall come after
into government shall confirm all that is herein promised. Fr.
4½ pp. [Ibid. III. 113.]
442. Copy of the above in Entry Book. 2 pp. [For E.B.,
K. d. L. x.
443. Notes by the PRINCE OF ORANGE on the proposed treaty
between the ESTATES and the QUEEN OF ENGLAND.
Having seen the articles of the proposed treaty, the Prince gives,
under correction, as his opinion :
On the 1st article : It will be well to accept her Majesty's offers
with thanks, begging her that, looking to the connexion between the
defence of the Estates and the protection of her own crown, she will
be pleased to dispense with the repayment of the loan till some term
more indulgent than eight months, on condition that like aid whether
in man of money shall be made to her in the event of her desiring
it. If her Majesty adheres to her offers without extending them,
looking to the present necessity, the Prince thinks they should be
accepted namely, at any reasonable price. He cannot think it
unreasonable that the lord commanding the contingent should
have admission to and authority in the Council, where matters of
peace and war are under discussion.
On the 3rd article. The Prince does not think it necessary to
renew the ancient leagues and alliances, as the Estates intend to
On the 4th and 5th articles he agrees with the Estates.
On the 6th and 7th articles. It seems that the envoys might
be commissioned respectfully to offer her Majesty all good and
neutral correspondence, and in case they find this proposal well
received to beg her to explain her intentions in respect to an offensive
and defensive league, and to have suitable articles drawn up
by her Council for the security of both parties.
The Prince agrees with the Estates upon Acts 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.
Copy. Endd. in French. Fr. 1¼ pp. [Holl. and Fland.
444. Another copy of the above. Endd. by L. Tomson. 1¼
pp. [Ibid. III. 115.]
445. Copy of the above in Entry Book. 1½ pp.
446. POULET to BURGHLEY.
Recommendation of M. de Ségur-Pardaillan, envoy from the
King of Navarre. "As our enemies increase daily in fury, so it
is to be wished that our other friends were confirmed and more
procured."—Paris, 19 Nov. 1577.
Add. Endd. ½ p. [France I. 50.]
447. POULET to WALSINGHAM.
Marshal Montmorency has been expected here these four or five
days, but is not yet come. Men talk diversely of Danville, who
remains at Pézenas in Languedoc, and some doubt what will
become of him. It is feared lest there be some mutiny in this
town, of which there has been some beginning already, the people
being much discontented, especially about the intended fall of
money. Chemerault is dispatched from the King to the King
of Navarre, and another is gone to the Queen of Navarre.
You must allow them a month or two to talk of the matter.
Some bad matter is in brewing, and some mischief is
likely to fall out among themselves. It is said that
the Elector Palatine has chased 140 ministers out of his
dominions. [Cipher, deciphered.] Three traitorous plots have
been set down against the Queen and her state, whereof one only
hath been discovered, and the other two remain uneffectuated.
[Cipher ends.] I cannot impute the let hereof to any other thing
than to the hope conceived that the stay of these ships of both
sides might breed war between these two realms. Mr. Copley
came to this town 14 days ago or more. He told me some things
that had passed between Mr. Wilson and him and pretended to
bear a true and faithful heart to her Majesty and his country,
although he could not dissemble his singular affection to Don
John. He seemed to depart from me very well content, promising
to see me again, but I hear no more of him, and understand that
he is daily conversant with De Vaulx, ambassador for Don John.
There is a bad nest of these fellows in this town. Denny and
Williams are recommended to Don John by the Duke of Guise,
and serve in the Castle of Namur, where are also Wiseman, Blomfield,
Owen, Digby, and divers other Englishmen. Mr Inglefield
is at Luxembourg. There are daily skirmishes between those of
Namur and the camp of the Estates. It is believed here that new
companies of Spaniards and Italians, to the number of 4,000, are
landed not far from Genoa, and shall come into the Low Countries.
—Paris, 19 Nov. 1577.
[The following in cipher, deciphered, inscribed : For Mr. Walsingham,
appears to form part of this letter, though on a separate
Their [Qy. D'Aubigny and Mansart] speech tended to this end,
that this peace could not hold, that the treasons were manifest, that
the league with the Spaniards was indissoluble, that the King of
Navarre had protested late in open assembly to spend his living and
life in the cause of religion, that foreign aid should be sought, and
that the fault of former times should be reformed, God forbid that
this opportunity should be lost. I trust the Queen will consider of
it ; war at home or war abroad are in her choice, and without the last
the first cannot be avoided. If the French King be occupied, the
Spaniards can do no part. The French King is said to hate the
Prince of Orange as much as the Prince of Condé. It is said that
Alençon will do all that he can to corrupt the Count of Lalaing, and
some wish that the Prince of Orange were advertised of it, because
the Count has good towns in his possession. M. de Mansard tells me
that D'Aubigny is not so good an Englishman as he would wish. A
President of Paris hath said that when Flanders shall be appeased,
the French King and the King of Spain will set upon England.
Add. Endd.: "19 Novr. Sr. Amyas Poulet," and (in the
hand of L. Tomson), "19 Novemb. 1577, from Sr. Amias Paulett.
Ciph." 3 pp. [Ibid. 51.]
448. The PRINCE of ORANGE to the MARQUIS of HAVRECH.
The States-General sent me yesterday a copy of certain notes
which they write me that they sent you on the 7th inst., upon the
proposals made by you to her Majesty. I see in them that the
Estates refer to my advice. I was certainly much distressed, the
more so that by this method of proceeding in our affairs it is
impossible to look for any furthering, but rather great detriment.
On the other hand, I fear lest after receiving the notes you may
take some opinion adverse to me, whereby I might be taxed
with negligence or failure in duty in a matter of so great importance.
This has been my reason for writing this word, begging
you to hold me excused that my advice did not accompany the
notes of the Estates when they sent their last dispatch. I sent
them immediately on being asked, and I hope that they will
forward to you with all diligence their wishes in regard thereto,
especially saying if they mean to conform to it. I send a copy
As for what has happened at Ghent, I wrote to you lately that
I would willingly do all in my power to settle everything as
regards the Duke of Aerschot, both for the affection I bear him,
and for the desire I have to serve him. I have done all my duty
in the matter to the utmost, in such wise that your brother is back
in his own house at Brussels, of which I am very glad. Always
at your service whereinsoever you may be pleased to command me.
—Antwerp, 20 Nov. 1577.
Copy. Endd. by L. Tomson : P. of Or. to the Marq. Fr. 1 p.
[Holl. and Fland. III. 116.]
K. d. L. x.
449. The REASONS that may move her MAJESTY to stay her
giving of CONSENT to the REQUEST of the STATES for MEN
1. It is not seen what point they will fall to with the Archduke,
touching the placing him as Governor ; nor on what conditions.
2. It is doubtful whether benefit or peril will grow to them
3. They are not at union among themselves, which cannot be
helped till the suspected patriots are removed.
4. Some of those whom they specially chose to direct their policy
are still under arrest at Ghent, as Ressingham and Swevingham ;
showing plainly the division there is among them.
5. The Prince of Orange does not reside continually at Brussels,
where his presence were always to be desired ; and it is supposed
that this is due to some doubt of his safety.
6. They are over long in their deliberations, as appears by the
prolongation of the present negotiation with her Majesty.
7. They make no account of the ministers they employ toward
foreign princes ; as appears by the not acquainting the Marquis
with their proceedings, that he might inform her Majesty.
8. They seem to make small account of the aid of men demanded
by him at her hands, preferring the service of the Scots ; which
shows either distrust or lack of judgement.
9. They have no choice men of counsel for the war, having to
encounter the principal martial men of Christendom ; so that if
the Prince of Orange should quail, the whole cause would be in
10. The soldier of that country is not generally thought a match
for the Spaniard or Italian.
11. When they had the advantage of forces, they attempted
nothing against the enemy. If they had used their opportunity,
they would probably have reduced him to extremity.
12. He is now reported to be superior in forces ; and the stronger
for being united.
13. There is confusion from the number of heads, which can
hardly be reduced without jealousy.
14. The States being greatly impoverished, cannot long endure
the cost of the present war.
Endd. 12/3 pp. [Ibid. III. 117.]