Elizabeth: November 1577, 21-30

Pages 334-342

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

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November 1577, 21-30

Nov. 21. 450. "An ANSWER made by the MARQUIS of HAVRECH and ADOLF DE MEETKERKE, containing the solutions unto such articles as are objected for the stay of their negotiations."
As to the 1st and 2nd articles, the establishment of a Council of State seems to provide sufficiently for the good direction of public affairs, whether the Archduke is admitted or no, since everything is to be decided by a 'plurality' of voices. As to the 3rd and 4th, it is certain that the States agree very well amongst themselves, and that hitherto there has been no likelihood of division among them, for they still continue in a firm resolution to resist the government of strangers, and to cast off the tyranny of the Spaniard. In this behalf no scruple need be conceived at the late arrest of certain persons suspected by the people, for it was done with good intention, being likely to turn to the safety of the country. Some have already been released by order from the Estates, to whose command the people have shown themselves very obedient.
5. The Prince of Orange only left Brussels the better to put into execution what has been resolved on by the Estates, touching money matters, the levying of Almains, the finishing of the fortifications of the said town, and ordering the government and policy of the same, which we hear he has done, with the help of the Count of Bossu. The Prince has constantly good intelligence with the Estates, who do nothing without his advice, insomuch that they have committed to his discretion the form and manner of bringing the means from England.
6. It seems that this may be remedied by the establishment of the Council, in which all causes will doubtless be dispatched with greater expedition. We will not fail on our return to declare to the States what prejudice may grow to them thereby, and that "without good remedy be applied thereto," it may turn to their utter ruin, promising that forasmuch as we are of the said Council, we will do our best for redress thereof.
7. There is none of ripe judgement but sees how profitable the amity of these two countries is for the stay of such practices as are intended against us, by reason of the credit her Majesty has got in the world through her wise and prudent government, and we will not fail to declare to the States how much they are beholden to her for her desire to restore the amity between the countries. It is not to be presumed that we have conceived any suspicion of this nation because we have entertained a small number of Scots, who had before served the States ; for it is well known to the world that this country is full of good captains, gentlemen and gallant soldiers, whom we know to be well affected to our common cause. It is certain that the long experience of the Prince of Orange has won for him the credit of a very sufficient captain. We beseech her Majesty to assist the States with her advice, and persuade them to use the services of certain leaders whom she shall name to them, although they are now furnished with a good number chosen by the "Council at Wars," to assist Count Lalaing, besides others in the provinces and frontier towns, namely, the Count of Bossu, MM. de Mourbeke, Capres, la Motte, Goignies, Crecques, Bailleul, d'Eure, Jandbergh (or Santberghe), Steenbeck, Presles, and others. The Estates have brought into the field the old garrisons of Hainault, Artois, and Flanders, as well as of Holland and Zealand, and all the bandes d'ordonnances on horseback, who being old soldiers well trained, and having always resisted the forces of France, it is likely they will not yield to the Spaniard. The enemy has not, as yet, got any advantage, for since Don John's retirement to Namur, our men have taken from him all the support he had in Antwerp, Dendermonde, Bois-le-duc, Bergen-op-Zoom, Tholen, Breda, and Steenberg. The States have assembled the rest of their forces to make resistance against the town of Namur, to whom they have been forced to pay arrears. Thus they have not been negligent in doing their endeavours ; and it is to be considered that a whole army furnished as is required cannot be raised in an instant.
13. This is answered by what has been said on the 1st article. There is no jealousy to be feared, as the Council of State is established by the consent of all the provinces, and in virtue of the Union every man is bound to maintain what is resolved on by the States.
14. It appears by the great assistance promised daily by all the provinces that there is yet substance enough to continue the war many years, if need were. Yet the States cannot but beseech her Majesty, for the better expedition of their affairs, to aid them with the loan of 100,000l, to be employed in this notable enterprise. "Wherefore we pray her Majesty not to look upon the aforesaid difficulties, but to assist that poor people which so many years has been vexed and afflicted with tyranny, and generally to assist the nobility, who perceived her good will and affection to relieve them in this extremity, will not fail hereafter to show themselves thankful for the same."—Windsor, 21 Nov. 1577. Translation. [Original in Relations Politiques, vol. X. p. 3.] Endd. (by L. Tomson) : The Marquis' answer to the objections made unto him.
4 pp. [Ibid. III. 118.]
[Nov 21.] 451. First two paragraphs of the above. Fr. ½ p. [For. E.B. Misc. II.]
Nov. 22.
K. d. L. x. 114.
We have received yours of the 12th, with the request of Captain "Edewaert de Wodeshaue" (Edward Woodshaw), and in reply we thank you for the good affection you show to our cause, as well as the gentleman for his good offers, assuring you that his service could not, on your recommendation, be otherwise than agreeable to us. But since we have, as we think, for the present sufficient soldiers, both horse and foot, we are sorry that we have not at this moment the means of gratifying you, nor of receiving the gentleman into our service. On the first opportunity, however, when we require to augment our forces, we will not fail to bear him in mind.—Brussels, 22 Nov. 1577. (Signed) Cornelius Weellemans. Add. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fland. III. 119.]
Nov. 22. 453. LEICESTER to DAVISON.
I wrote to you lately by Chester at more length than I would, and yet "spiced with a little coller," which you must consider and temper ; but I am sure you weigh all things as they ought, and hath [sic] cause to judge of our cause as well and better than we. It is more than strange that so wise men make so little reckoning of time that ought to be so precious. In six weeks and more we heard nothing of their propositions, which we returned to them very soon. But why should I enter into this again? My errand to you at this time is chiefly to let you know of a matter concerning yourself, which is this. While her Majesty sent you chiefly to the States generally, and to reside among them, it is said you only follow the Prince, and negotiate with him only ; which though it be the surest way, is yet, in some respects, not the most convenient way, for these people are still jealous and ready to suspect the Prince, and will do so far sooner if they think her Majesty's respect is not more general than particular. Again, to do the office 'you were appointed to them all,' will not hinder any good purpose that may proceed from the Prince, but rather avoid the suspicion they are inclined to, but to 'salve' this must be used with great discretion on your part, and specially that no bone be cast between the Prince and them ; for this methinks it may satisfy, if the cause appears to be hitherto that the Prince is now governor in that part where you have most to do, and that there are too many for you to treat with all ; and I think their resolutions shall be 'easiliest' and soonest known for you at his hands. And that her Majesty has blamed you for so 'seldom' advertisements considering their great causes, and how much they touch herself also to know their proceedings, which you finding . . difficulty to come by at all their hands . . driven to attend their principal officers for. And . . desire to know, seeing some alteration is made since your coming to them, by the appointment of his government, . . whom you shall repair, whether to him or themselves. And withal, with such as you may be bold withal, per[suade] them to more speedy resolutions, and to be more careful to impart their weighty causes in time to her Majesty, finding her so disposed toward them as she is, than they have been ; for you will not believe how much it has . . her to see their slow and doubtful means of proceeding, so much that their own ambassador here has scant heard from them these six weeks. I perceive by your letter to Mr. Secretary that the Marquis has complained of your advertisement of the discord, and the Prince's departure from them. If they charge you with it, I think you have . . reason to answer it, not confessing so full as adve[rtised], for it was not so, but that the coming of th . . . him at first, the coming of Matthias after, with the contrariety among them for one and the other was . . enough for you to say somewhat of it being in the . . . . . ; but herein in any wise take heed in going [?] to great offence, or to cast some bone between the . . . help to solder all fast, and to break nothing. We . . now by the States' advertisement to the Marquis that . . . desire our men as well as money and the order of it re[ferred] to the Prince. If it be so we shall hear shortly, I am sure, for we know not yet how to direct our course . . . . were it time and high time. I hope though I hear soon from the Prince his good opinion is not changed. You are you [know] my especial agent to him, and I trust you make him keep it so still, for I honour and love him with all the power I have.—Windsor [?] 22 Nov. Add. Endd. 2 pp. Damaged. [Ibid. III. 120.]
Nov. 23.
d. L. x. 116.
I send Mr. Davison's solution to the doubts sent to him by which you may see the course of these proceedings in the Low Countries. Her Majesty means to defer her answer to the Marquis until the end of next week. In the meantime, with your good favour, I repair to Odiham, there to remain five or six days.—Windsor, 23 Nov. 1577. Holograph. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. III. 121.]
Nov. 23. K. d. L. x. 117. 455. "Solutions" referred to in above letter.
1. What is the true reason of the restraint of the Duke of Aerschot and the rest at Ghent, and whether the Prince or any other of the States were privy to it beforehand? 1. The cause is touched particularly in the justification of the Gauntois, which I have already sent ; and the matter executed without the privity of the Prince or States.
2. If all are guilty of the practice with Don John, and if not all, which? How many are suspected who are not arrested? How Champagny escaped? What is to be done with those that are arrested? What colour or pretence they show to defend themselves from the charge of perjury? 2. They are all thought either to have had intelligence with Don John or otherwise to have done ill offices to their country. Champagny is at Brussels, suspected to do no very good offices there. For those who remain prisoners, as they have not sufficient colour to excuse themselves, they are like at the best hand to continue where they are.
3. How their places of Government are to be supplied, and what places they held? 3. Ressinghem's government of Douay (for the rest had no particular governments) is yet to be disposed of at the discretion of the States, and the government of Flanders, which the Duke offers to resign, is still in suspense.
4. Who are the principal of the nobility and clergy that remain constant in the cause, of what power they are, and wherein meetest to be employed in service? 4. Besides those apprehended there are no principal men touched, the rest being generally thought of as before.
5. Who are entrusted with the government of the frontier towns? How are they fortified and garnished? What towns remain not united to the Estates? 5. The last question is answered in my letter of the 15th. Who have the government of the frontier towns, you may see in a separate note herewith.
6. May not Amsterdam be recovered to the States? 6. Of the recovery of Amsterdam but by force there is no hope.
7. How the Duke of Cleves and Bishop of Liége are affected to the cause? What neighbours have they about Friesland that favour them, and how Emden is disposed? 7. The Duke of Cleve is thought neutral. The Bishop of Liége, Spanish. For Embden and the rest of the towns there is no suspicion but they will rest indifferent. It is thought that between her Majesty and the States they may be drawn into a strait confederation with them.
8. Where the army of the States is? What are its numbers? Who commands? What order they take to increase it? 8. The army remains about a league and more from Namur, towards Gemblours. Count Lalaing is general, and Count Bossu lieutenant. The number of foot, besides the 3,000 Scots arrived, is estimated to be about fourscore ensigns and 1,300 or 1,400 horse ; to increase which it is thought the companies lying about Ruremonde will be called away.
9. How the taxes upon the countries are likely to be paid, and when? 9. The taxes are well and duly paid, according to the assessment.
10. What means are to be used to hire Almains, and whether means are used to have Duke Casimir or the Count of Swartzburgh? 10. The entertaining of the Germans has been signified ; but there is no money delivered, as the States had intended ; so that they are ready, but not yet marching.
11. Whether they have sent to the King of Spain to inform him of the causes between Don John and them, and whether the clergy have sent to Rome to expound the causes of their doing, and assure the Pope of their continuance in the Catholic Romish faith? 11. They have written by ordinary means, but sent no men expressly ; nor sent any man to the Pope that I can learn of.
12. Is it known what to judge of the Archduke's coming? Was the Emperor privy thereto? What is gathered of his sufficiency of understanding? 12. It is generally thought, as I have already said, that he is come with the privity of the Emperor, who is thought not to mislike it, though he do not openly approve it. For his sufficiency, it seems as little as a young prince very rawly brought up may have ; though his nature be well thought of.
13. Did the States send the Duke of Alençon 7,000 crowns and hangings of 20,000 florins, and to what purpose? 13. Of the sending of money, I could never hear aught ; but the hangings to the value of 20,000 florins were presented and refused, as I have said.
14. To search the meaning of the States in their treaty with the Duke of Alençon. 14. What I have sundry times written, and has since been advertised, may satisfy on this behalf.
Endorsed by L. Tomson : Mr. Davison's answer to 14 articles proposed by the Lord Treasurer, November, 1577. 1 p. [Ibid. III. 121a.]
455A. Another copy of the above questions only, endd. by Walsingham. 1¼ pp. [Ibid. III. 121b.]
Nov. 24.
K. d. L. x. 121.
Your servant Walter hastening away, I cannot write as largely as I would. I send the new association between the Estates and the Prince of Orange, which I pray your Lordship to send back. Notwithstanding the Duke of Aerschot's enlargement the States allow the arrest made at Ghent, and some imprisoned there are like to feel a further smart. Sir Amyas Poulet has written by letters, which came late yesternight, of the 19th, that Brulart has set in writing by order of the King not to consent to the release of our ships lately arrested at "Rhone and Deepe" till the French ships arrested at Plymouth are discharged ; whereon I do not see anything likely to follow but present disagreement and arresting on both sides.—In haste, 24 Nov. 1577. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. III. 122.]
Nov. 26. 457. DAVISON to BURGHLEY.
We have this morning had news from Amsterdam and Ruremond, which has somewhat altered the quiet state in which things have rested here since my last by Whitechurch. Such as are acquainted with the state of Amsterdam principally ascribe the obstinacy of the people to the malicious practices of Peter Peterson the Burgomaster, who having stayed with Don John all the last troubles has lately returned thither to practise some new alteration in that corner, whereof Colonel Heeling, governor of Harlem, having intelligence, he determined (it is thought without order from the Prince) to attempt the seizing of the town, as a thing of no small moment for the assurance of the state of Holland. To this effect having one day sent in 16 or 20 of his soldiers, who had daily liberty to go in and out, leaving their weapons at the gate, they, having stayed a while in the town, and watched for a time when the gate was negligently guarded, returned back as if they would have gone their way. But as soon as the warders had delivered them their weapons, they slew all that were at the gate, and having given [sic] a sign to their company of their success, the colonel, with three or four ensigns that lay ready not far off, immediately marched to the gate and so up through the town to the market-place, which they took and kept not long, being forced to retire by the burgesses ; a company of whom being entered the town-house, greatly annoyed the soldiers with their shot. And so repairing to another void place of the town, in hope then to have fortified themselves, they were likewise compelled by the multitude and force of the townsmen to abandon it. In fine, having neglected to intrench before the gate or in any other convenient part of the town for their safe retreat, were all or the most part slain ; and amongst others the Colonel himself, much lamented of all that knew him. Some say he had intelligence with sundry of the burgesses, of whom divers that assisted him in this action had such part as himself. To match this bad news from Amsterdam, the Prince heard at the same instant that the Count of "Hollock" before Ruremonde approaching too near the walls was with a caliver shot from the wall stricken through the arm into the body, and thought not like to escape. For other things there is little alteration since my last. The Archduke's matter hangs yet undetermined, but his admission is the more certainly expected in that the States begin to deal somewhat plainly with the Duke of Alençon and have signified such their intent to him whom they have so long fed with a vain hope of the contrary, as you may see by the copies sent to Mr. Secretary of their letters to him and their ambassadors in France. On Wednesday he came on account of the plague from 'Lyre' to this town, where he was favourably received by the Prince and magistrates, who met him a mile out of the town with twelve ensigns of townsmen, and brought him to St. Michael where he is lodged ; the Prince who was there removing to the house of the 'Fowlkers.' Next day having to speak to the Prince I went to his lodging, but finding him gone to the Archduke I took occasion to go thither to congratulate him. But as he went somewhat early to dinner, I tarried not long. Last Sunday he invited me to dinner with him, and yesterday the Prince having invited both him and me we dined aboard a ship of his lying in the river before the town. In this while I fell into discourse with him of divers things, because I would the better sound and observe him. I find him a young prince that has little of nature and less of bringing up. He is of stature short and slender, of reasonable favour and complexion, in speech slow, in behaviour childish, a fault imputed to his mean education. But of nature he seems very soft, gentle, and flexible ; "a thing well-liked of a number that think they shall the more easily work him to their own humours." But many are yet of opinion that his coming applied as a remedy to one place will be cause of a more dangerous sickness in another ; a thing which time must reveal.—Antwerp, 26 Nov. 1577. Add. Endd. by Burghley. 1 p. [Ibid. III. 123.]
Nov. 26.
K. d. L. x. 123.
Duplicate of the above. Add. Endd. 1¼ pp. [Ibid. III. 124.]
Nov. 26. 459. EXTRACT from the RESOLUTION of the STATES-GENERAL assembled at BRUSSELS, sent to the ALDERMEN of the CITY OF GHENT. Nov. 26, 1577.
The deputies of the Estates here present having seen letters from the Duke of Alençon, presupposing some previous request that he would be the protector and support of the said Estates, protest that they never made any such request, nor consented thereto, and have neither wish nor power to call him in, to the prejudice of their conmissions, oaths, and protestations heretofore made. Copy. Fr. 12 lines. [Ibid. III. 125.]
Nov.? 460. ANSWER touching the SHIPS taken by LANSAC.
As to the ship called the St. John the Evangelist, of which the English demand the guns, &c., taken by him ; it appears that they have no reason to complain, for since they have his promise, it is quite certain that he will not justify his right to them. He has also given a receipt for what was taken in the Anne Gallant, offering to pay for all that has been consumed aboard her, and return what is in its original state ; and if Captain Coinet has taken anything they should get a receipt from him if it was not paid for at the time. As to the Richard of Arundel, he has paid what was due for victuals taken, as appears from a discharge signed by the master at Bordeaux on Oct. 22, 1577 ; and if anything more is due, the Sieur de Lansac will pay it. He is not bound to pay for any wear and tear of rigging, &c., but as the vessel was in the King's service from June 26 to September 26, pay is due to it at the rate of 40 sous per ton per month. In respect of the demand for freight for the carriage of salt to Bordeaux, the vessel was then in the King's service, and besides M. de Lansac was bound to bring it back to Bordeaux, whence it had been taken, since there were not English sailors enough to navigate it ; and for sanitary reasons, after the number of soldiers that had occupied it all the summer it was better to take it back laden with salt than in ballast. They have had a receipt for the value of the clothes alleged to be taken, and if it is brought M. de Lansac will pay it. As to the sum, they say they had to pay in order to redeem the eleven vessels, in truth they did hand over a certain number of angels, as stated in the letter written to M. Brulart, and sent to the Ambassador in England. The English did not wish to wait for judgement for fear lest they should lose ships and goods as having been taken in company with those of Rochelle at war with the King. This money M. de Lansac distributed at once among his captains, soldiers, pilots, and master mariners ; and if it is to be refunded, the King must please to do so, as having been expended in his service. As to the two vessels called The Evangelist and the Faussee [qy. Foresight] of London, they were at once returned by his Majesty's order, with all their guns and gear. M. de Lansac is not bound to repay the value of stores expended while they were detained, nor any other outlay, as there was good cause for their detention. As for the 12 laden ships, which were with these two, they have been returned with all goods and gear, as have also the 11 that were in ballast, so that none is now detained. It is true that two small vessels from Fécamp and Nantes were adjudged by the Court of Admiralty to their owners, because they had been captured by the English in time of peace, but M. de Lansac had no concern with that, beyond his duties to justice, as Vice-Admiral. The goods which the English say were taken from them were purchased by mutual consent at the same price as the merchants would have paid. M. de Lansac has given a note of hand for them, and will pay out of his own pocket as soon as the King refunds what he has spent in the maintenance of the fleet.—(Signed) Descroix, Lieutenant to the said M. de Lansac in the Vice-Admiralty of Guienne. Copy. Endd. Fr. 3 pp. [France I. 52.]