Elizabeth: July 1577, 26-31

Pages 34-53

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

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July 1577, 26-31

July 26.
K. d. L. ix. 432.
The Prince sent for me as I was leaving Enckhuyzen to impart the contents of letters just received from Brussels, signed by Count Egmont, M. d'Aussy, [Count Bossu, erased], the Count of Hautkerke, M. de Hèze, and one of the Hornes, Baron Merode, and Beersel ; as also letters from Sainte-Aldegonde. They thank the Prince for imparting to them the intercepted letters, and say that since that, Don John has taken Namur and placed M. de Floyon's regiment in the town and castle. Through M. de Hierges he had likewise obtained Charlemont and Philippeville, towns built and named by the Prince of Orange for the Emperor. Don John had written to the Estates that he understood they were planning to imprison him, and had taken these towns for his safety. They had answered that he had no cause to suspect any such thing, and wished him to return at once to Brussels. Meanwhile the Lords abovenamed counsel the Prince to surprendre the town of Amsterdam, and to assure himself of the said place, and other towns, as Bois-le-duc and Breda, where the Allemans were in garrison. In Sainte-Aldegonde's letter was contained his negotiation with the above-named ; also how he was with Champagny until three in the morning ; that the gates of Brussels were now guarded ; that he had conferred with the Count of Lalaing, M. de Montigny, M. de Capres, and Fresin. He said that Don John had failed to intercept Maestricht, which he had thought to have done by the help of the Duke of Aerschot, who with his brother is now with Don John. His son, the Prince of Chimay, was gone towards Antwerp, to secure the castle and town, and the Estates had sent thither to win the captains. They had sent to Mechlin to make sure of Goignies and La Motte. The Count of Lalaing came to the Queen of Navarre to conduct her through his government, thinking afterwards to go to Don John ; but she counselled him to retire to his guard, for she would be loth that any mishap should happen to him while he was conducting her. He also wrote to the Prince to think how he might be master of Bergen ; and that M. de Billy and Mondragon were returned to Don John, and that the Count of Mansfeld was not far from him ; that M. de Ville was yet at Mechlin, to whom the Estates had sent to dissuade him from going to Don John, but to return to his government of Friesland. The Prince told me that if they would follow his advice, they would forthwith go and beseige Don John in Namur ; that they are foully deceived who think that the town is strong. He understands that Barlaymont is gone to the Spaw. Aldegonde counsels the Prince to come to Gertruydenbourg ; and so is minded. The Prince opened this news to the Burgomaster of Enckhuyzen, who answered that seeing the enemy had begun the play, it might please his Excellency to give them leave to take the town of Amsterdam. In same, I perceive that the war is begun again, to the benefit, as I judge, of England. I am sorry that M. de Famars is compelled to stay so long for the wind. Some of my letters were ready long ago, which I now think to send by land.—Enckhuyzen, 26 July 1577. P.S.—The Prince thinks good to dispatch M. Taffin to the noblemen who wrote, and counsel them to look well to Maestricht and to see if they can reduce the town of Antwerp with the castle. If there is no hope of getting the castle, then to divide the town from the castle by a trench ; and because they owe as good as six millions to the Allemans, to employ the said sum in driving them out of the country. Would wish money for 3,000 reiters, for which he would send the Count of Hohenlohe into Germany. If Don John make a levy of reiters, they should raise 3,000 more. Add. Endd. : The breaking out of the matter between the Estates and Don John. The advice given the Prince from the nobility at Brussels. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fland. I. 18.]
July 26. 48. The ESTATES to DON JOHN.
MM. de Goingnies and de la Motte have reported to us the answer of the Germans, who appear to have no intention of complying with the orders of your Highness. We beg you to join with us in making them submit, or they will go on tormenting the towns. We cannot refrain from further representing to your Highness that the people are much disturbed by your retreat to Namur, and we fear that things may soon come to pass difficult of remedy, for which we should be sorry. We beg your Highness to apply a remedy soon, by the ways and means which we have represented through our deputies. For we shall be too bitterly displeased if after all we have endured for the maintenance of our holy religion we should for no cause fall back again into the miseries which we otherwise foresee. A rumour is current that your Highness is massing soldiers round Namur, which would be the cause of yet further disturbance ; and we humbly pray you to withdraw them, considering how your reputation will be affected if after all you have done to promote the public peace you allow things to fall back into a new and great combustion.—Brussels, 26 July 1577. (Signed) Cornelius Weellemans. Copy. Probably enclosure in the last. Fr. 1½ pp. [Holl. and Fland. I. 19.]
July 26
and following days. K. d. L. ix. 440.
49. ADVICES from the Low COUNTRIES.
[Headed : From Bruxelles the 26 July 1577.] On the 25th of this month Don John seized the castle of Namur, pretending that he received letters that certain people conspired to kill him, and therefore that he had entered the castle for his own safety. This he wrote to the Estates at Brussels. Also he seized Charlemont and Philippeville. The 22nd of the same month, a courier arrived from Spain with letters that caused him to break off the supper which he had prepared for the Queen of Navarre without the city, and deferred it to the next day. The manner of the taking of the castle was this ; on the 24, under pretext of hunting, he passed along the castle, when he alighted from his horse to see it. When he was within, with the Duke of Aerschot and his train, he seized upon the place with his Spaniards, and called to all about him with these words : "As many of you as love Catholic Romish religion and are faithful servants to the King my master and have care of my life, follow me!" On receiving intelligence of this seizure from Count Rassinghien the Estates sent posts into all quarters to assure the towns to their devotion. In like manner letters were sent to the Prince of Orange willing him to seize all the places in Holland of whose fidelity he may doubt ; and like letters to Count Lalaing as to the places in his government, and to beware lest he be surprised. Upon receipt of these Count Lalaing summoned the magistrates of Mons, and asked what part they would take. They said they would follow the States. The like was done in Valenciennes and other places of his government, where he received the like answer. On the 27th, the noblemen and gentlemen assembled in Brussels to make a new league ; when they swore to risk their lives and goods for the defence of their country and observation of their ancient privileges and to cleave fast together. Don John has distributed the Almains about the country in fortresses to the number of ten or twelve thousand. He has besides, the regiments of Hierges, Floyon, and Meghem, and others which he can quickly get from Burgundy with the Baron of 'Chevereux' and 'D. Gastray' to levy for him. It is reported also that he has 4,000 horsemen ready in Germany, and within five weeks he can have the Spaniards and Italians back. It is said there is some intelligence between him and the Duke of Guise, who is suddenly come into Champagne, and levying men under colour of Casimir coming into France. The Duke of Aerschot's son, who is governor of the citadel of Antwerp, arrived in Brussels on the 27th to offer his service to the States. Montigny departed the same night to the Duke's government by Maestricht, to keep them devoted to the States. The Viscount of Ghent has not as yet been to Don John to report of his legation into England, nor has he been with the Estates. On the same 27th the Estates sent the Abbot of Marolles and Archdeacon Busche [i.e., Bucho ab Ayta] to Don John to understand what he meant by his actions. He sent them back with the answer that he would send his own counsellors to inform them. The States have also sent to the Duke of Aerschot and Hierges, and others who signed the league, to repair at once to Brussels, otherwise they shall be proclaimed traitors and rebels, and their goods shall be confiscate. It is said that M. de Treslong who is the Duke's lieutenant in the castle of Antwerp is sworn to Don John ; and that Don John is fortifying the castle of Namur. On the 28th the gates of Antwerp were shut about 2 in the afternoon, and the Almains were all in arms. Endd., and in another hand, D. Wilson, 1577. 2½ pp. [Holl. and Fland. I. 20.]
July 26. 50. Offers of the ESTATES to the GERMANS in respect of their Discharge.
1. They will furnish two months' pay in cash and one in cloth, and if the Germans will not agree, they humbly beg his Highness to assist them with his own and his Majesty's credit to raise another month's money and the same of cloth. 2. In case of acceptance, to have a prompt calculation made of what is due to them under the pacification. 3. When ascertained, the sum due shall be paid in three yearly instalments. 4. The Estates shall give as security their collective and personal obligations, his Highness intervening in the name of the King. 5. The Estates do not understand that the companies with whom they have already an agreement are comprised in this treaty. 6. Being agreed upon the above points they may disband the companies at their convenience, as fast as they furnish the money as offered above. 7. And if any notable difficulties shall present themselves, they shall be referred to such arbitrators as may be agreed upon. 8. They request that the German colonels and soldiers will agree at once upon each article (for it is all they can do) ; and if more is demanded, they cannot furnish it.
After professing full obedience and devotion, as shown by their past conduct, to the King and his Highness, they point out that the representations now made are the same as the offers made recently at Antwerp to them by the deputies, which their people were much dismayed and grieved to hear ; great discontent being thereby caused. Wherefore the colonels cannot lay this offer before their people, for fear of disorders, from which his Majesty and the country might receive "grand dommage et intérêt." However, in order that his Highness and all men may perceive that they wish nothing but the repose, union, and peace of the countries, and are, as God knows, willing to bring this matter to a good result, the colonels—although it is contrary to the ancient custom till now observed among the High Germans—agree that if his Highness will order some one of the king's ordinary contadores at Antwerp to write to the captains of the regiments that they may send commissioners to settle what is due, and will then cause the Emperor's commissioners to arrange with the men about payment, they for their part will not fail to do what they can to help matters.
[The DEPUTIES' Reply.]
The Deputies having recently treated at Antwerp with Colonels Frundsberg and Fugger, reported as favourably as possible to his Highness and to the Estates. But as owing to the necessities with which they are at present overwhelmed they cannot possibly furnish more, they must adhere to the offers made at Antwerp. Still as his Highness was here to satisfy the demands of the colonels, the Estates wished their deputies to wait on him, that by his intervention they might once more ask the colonels to accept their offer of two months in money and one in cloth, with instalments and security as mentioned, and to persuade their officers and men to agree. And pursuant to this, to arrange quickly for the payment and disbanding ; any difficulties which may arise being settled by the intervention of his Highness and the Emperor's ambassador. [Then follows an abstract, rather fuller, of the same, or a similar, negotiation ; probably that at Antwerp, referred to above.]
The Imperial Commissioners do not doubt that his Highness and the Estates will remember the diligence which they have used throughout the negotiations, and how since the conclusion of peace they have been instant with the Estates for the disbanding of the German troops ; or how at the request of both parties they went to Antwerp to treat amicably with the colonels in presence of the deputies from the Estates ; and when this came to nothing, they began another negotiation at this town of Mechlin, in presence of his Highness and the deputies, on which occasion the Estates declared their final resolution to give the Germans three months' pay in cash and one in cloth ; and anything else that may be due when the accounts are liquidated, they will pay by three consecutive yearly instalments ; and that is all that is in their power to do. This being announced both verbally and in writing by his Highness to the colonels, they prayed him forasmuch as they were not really masters of their soldiers, that a deputation might be sent from the 4 ensigns then at Antwerp, to hear the resolution from the Imperial Commissioners ; which to his Highness and the Commissioners appeared feasible. On their appearance the Commissioners pointed out the dangers of refusing the offer, and that it was resolved to satisfy them in all reason and equity, the only matter to be settled being the payment by instalments, so that they might leave the country in goodwill and amity. The arrangement will not only be to their advantage, as the money will be as it were in a savings bank for them, but will enhance their credit with his Majesty and the Feudatories of the Empire. The deputation replied that they had no powers to conclude, and could only report to their comrades and take their opinion. This was handed to the Commissioners in writing this morning. Having read it, they replied that they had hoped for another and discreeter answer ; nevertheless they would make it known in the proper quarter. Therewith they summoned the colonels, and having read to them the soldiers' answer, advised them urgently to think of some way in which the burden might be discharged ; since they all knew too well that the Estates could not at present pay in full. The Colonels said that they had already pointed this out, but their men would not listen, and they could not answer for their own lives if they were to propose it at a meeting. The best way would be to calculate the sum due in the usual way, and agree upon some reasonable mode of payment. The Commissioners, therefore, seeing that the common soldier will not depart until his accounts are passed and settled, and that their representations have had no effect, think it best to offer their advice to his Highness and the Estates, hoping it will be favourably received. They would have both parties to consider that it would be cheaper to pay the Germans than to turn them out by force. The result would be uncertain, and even if the Estates got the better, it would not be to their credit, seeing that by the treaty of peace they are bound to give the Germans the balance of their pay. Again, if the Germans are forced to leave the country without their pay they will undoubtedly seek to revenge themselves out of the merchants and traders, which will greatly interfere with the trade of the Low Countries, whereby not only the inhabitants, but also Italians, Spaniards, and others will suffer hurt, being liable to be imprisoned and stopped in all ways ; and do what they may against such enterprises, traffic and commerce will cease, and the injury to the Low Countries will be irreparable. Moreover, in the event of future wars in the Low Countries or elsewhere, it will be impossible to get Germans to serve. The way in which they have been treated will not be forgotten, and will bring the Low Countries into disrepute. They will be considered to have violated the public peace of the Empire, after having accepted it. The Commissioners therefore make no doubt but that his Highness and the Estates will well and carefully weigh all these circumstances of peril, and by mature consideration prevent their coming to extremities. And although it is not the duty of the Commissioners to prescribe to his Highness or the Estates, they cannot omit to express to them, under correction, their simple and insignificant opinion ; to wit, that his Highness and the Estates should enter into negotiations with the Germans in pursuance of the terms of the treaty, and when the Germans are agreed upon their demands, and the Estates upon their exceptions and counterclaims, all doubts that may arise being settled by persons deputed ad hoc, afterward may be discussed all matters relating to abatement or deduction, mode and plan of payment, and security for balance unpaid. If it be said that this will delay the departure of the soldiers, the Commissioners understand it to be the intention of the Estates that even if they are content to take the four months' offered, they are not obliged to leave the country till the accounts are passed and closed. If the Estates think differently (of which the Germans have some fear) it should be considered that the Germans will then have no light motives for their refusal. When the accounts are finished it will be possible to treat of ways and means ; and the Commissioners would suggest the following way as practicable. Let the Estates place in the hands of the colonels a sum equal to four months' pay, and the same every two months ; for the balance agreeing with the officers and principal men as to payment by instalments. Expense will be saved if the regiments are disbanded one after another, and even by a few companies at a time. In the opinion of the Commissioners these are the most expedient and practicable means. Another would be that after the closing of the accounts, the sum due should be divided into three parts, of which one should be paid at once, either in a lump sum, or distributed, as may be usual, and the others in instalments. Again, there might be a payment of six months in money and three in cloth ; and the rest in instalments as before. For the present it seems unadvisable to enter into disputes with the German soldiers with regard to their misconduct or faults. It can do the Estates no good, but would tend to their discredit, and cause ill-feeling and disorders. The one thing to be kept in view is peace and quietness, that the country may recover its old prosperity and repair its losses. And seeing that the Low Countries are exhausted by their long wars, as the Commissioners know and lament, and the Estates cannot be held to what is impossible, yet looking to the dangers specified above, it will be better to choose the less of two evils, and try to reduce the impossible to possibility, by a poll-tax or otherwise. Of this the Estates have no doubt thought ; and the Commissioners, while they would not dream of dictating to the Estates, think this would be highly expedient. As then no one can be obliged ex consilio, especially when it is fraudulent, the Commissioners do not doubt that his Highness and the Estates will take their advice in good part, as proceeding from sincere affection, and from their desire for the repose of the country and maintenance of religion. Copy. Fr. 22 pp. Endd. : About the licencing of the Allemans and their refuse. [Holl. and Fland. I. 21.]
July 26. 51. DON JOHN to the ESTATES.
Expression of "good and sincere intention" to maintain the pacification.—Castle of Namur, July 26. (Signed) Jehan, (countersigned) Le Vasseur. Copy. Fr. ½ p. [Ibid. I. 22.]
July 27. 52. Report of the proceedings between DON JOHN and the DEPUTIES from the ESTATES.
The deputies reached Namur at 11, and handed their letters to the Duke of Aerschot and other noblemen there present, who replied that they would show themselves good patriots, and use their efforts in the cause of unity and pacification. After dinner the deputies had audience of his Highness. They represented to him the astonishment caused by his withdrawal to Namur, a sign of distrust for which he could have no occasion. With regard to the anonymous letters of which he had sent copies to the Estates, they would like to know the authors of them, that they might inflict exemplary punishment. They themselves meddled with nothing save in public assembly ; but if his Highness had heard anything from private sources prejudicial to the service of God, King, or country, on being informed of it by him, they would take steps to repress all such abuses. His Highness may safely confide in the Estates, who think it more than necessary that he should be present among them. They promise to give him good security on their own honour, goods, and lives. His Highness, in reply, said that he had acted in all sincerity, and at this time it only remained for the Estates to fulfil their part. Although they were acting in good faith, the result did not come about as speedily as the necessity of the time required. In spite of their declarations of good affection towards God, King, and country, secret practices, dangerous to his honour and life, were going on among certain individuals. He was now governor, and the Estates should take it in good part that he had assured his person betimes. He would tell them more about these matters through the Abbot of Marolles and M. de Brusse, and some others of his Council. On the morrow towards six o'clock, after dinner, he would dispatch the Archdeacon of Ypres to convey the above information, and assure them that as regarded his withdrawal, he had no malice or hidden feigning. He had no intention of doing anything contrary to his promise, but would, in conjunction with the Estates, seek the peace of the country, re-establish the privileges, maintain the pacification. For this he required the assistance of the Estates, and wished them, pending other measures, to call on the magistrates of Brussels to keep the citizens in good behaviour, without any innovation or admitting a garrison ; in which case his Highness says that he will not return to Brussels. Copy. Fr. 3½ pp. [Holl. and Fland. I. 23.]
July 27. 53. The ESTATES to DON JOHN.
Your Highness's letter brought this morning by the Archdeacon of Ypres has rejoiced us. We hope you will turn aside the disturbers of the public peace. We hear this morning that the Germans of Cornelis Vanden Ende will not be content with the six pattars per head of daily pay which we offered. We have therefore prayed the Duke of Aerschot to use his good offices to induce your Highness to decide shortly in regard to our letters of yesterday, as well as those herewith.—Brussels, 27 July 1577. (Signed) Cornelius Weellemans. Copy. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. I. 24.]
July 27. 54. DON JOHN to the ESTATES.
I am surprised to hear that an unfavourable interpretation has been put by some on what I have done with a view to my personal safety. I can assure you in all truth that from the moment that ways and means have been found to appease the troubles of the country, I have no wish or intention beyond rendering to God that which pertains to Him, and to his Majesty that which is his due ; whereto all my words and actions bear witness. I have tried to proceed in the way of kindness. I have, as you desired, sent away all foreigners ; I have put the fortresses in the hands of the natural-born subjects, restored the privileges which you said had been taken away, and lived among you as a true patriot, studious of the general honour and tranquillity. Towards the Prince of Orange, moreover, and those of Holland and Zealand I have acted as you are aware, in order to reunite all in one flock, devoted and obedient to his Majesty ; hoping that for the rest provision would be made by the assembling of the States-General. But certain spirits, evil-disposed toward the public tranquillity, have not ceased to sow their tares, and by lying inventions to trouble the subjects, hinder the good I would have done, and prevent the poor weary people from enjoying the benefits of the peace. They have taken into their own hands the fortresses entrusted to them to hold for his Majesty, which they are fortifying without recognising him. They have set their foot on the strong places in Brabant and Flanders, fortifying Nieucastel, and withholding Nieuport, places given by you as security for the payment of their people, whom you have nevertheless paid. Not content with 13 or 14 fortresses handed over by you, they complain that Amsterdam also is not given up to them, without action to satisfy the loyal citizens who have suffered so much for their religion, upon the three points demanded by them, which yourselves have held just and reasonable. They wish to do the same at Utrecht, to which they have no right. Nevertheless many favour them openly, to the prejudice of the king, and even of religion, seeing that those of Holland and Zealand have nothing so much at heart as to exterminate it and destroy it root and branch, and have their agents among you every day, doing all these bad offices without check or reprehension, serving only to spread distrust ; saying even that while I am without guard, and in the power of others, it were right to secure my person. They complain that nothing has been done to carry the peace into effect, whereas much more has been done on his Majesty's side and yours, than was obligatory, while "he and his" on the contrary have notoriously done little or nothing of what they promised. Everyone knows what various indignities I have allowed myself to undergo every day since I was received as governor, thinking that my patience might prevail. But I have proved that it is of no use. The disturbers of the peace have abused it to the point of making an attempt on my person, at a time when I expected nothing so little as such temerity. I entered on my government peacefully, and immediately sent to inform you of it, and of my sincere intention to maintain the treaties and pacification. I asked for nothing but the preservation of the ancient Catholic religion under which the king and his predecessors were sworn as lords of the country ; and therewith for the obedience due by divine and human right alike to his Majesty, and not in word only (for all that is done is pretended to be in his Majesty's service), but in act, as before the troubles. The past is forgotten, not only what was done before the pacification, but since, whether by communities or private persons ; and this I promise to all whom it may concern in all places. To which end I intend to be obeyed, in all that I may justly command for the service of his Majesty ; and I will that those who in future do wrong shall be punished according to the customs of the country, since not only no commonwealth or state, but no single household can be governed without obedience to a head. I declare to you that I do not wish to change anything, only I intend the king's commandment to be obeyed, agreeably to the pacification ; and I am sure you wish the same. There is therefore no need to be surprised if I have betaken myself to this place, using the authority given me by the king. My intention is to stay there until I know your determination, and until my demands and intentions are effected. I know well that some evil-affected persons would give you advice which will not tend to peace nor to the good of the country ; but I think that the wise-prudent will not allow things to come to their past state through the indiscretion and malice of certain perverse ministers. I am determined to follow the way of gentleness and expediency rather than any other ; hoping that no occasion will arise to make an act otherwise to maintain the obedience due to God and the king and the authority of my office. I always have done and always shall do what I have promised. In conclusion I pray you to take what I have said in as good part as I have always shown my desire to maintain the pacification.—Namur, 27 July 1577. (Signed) Jehan, (countersigned) Berty. Copy. Fr. 5½ pp. [Holl. and Fland. I. 25.]
July 27. 55. DON JOHN to the ESTATES.
Having heard the matters upon which your deputies the Abbot of Marolles, the Archdeacon of Ypres, and M. de Brusse have come to treat with me, it has seemed good to me to send Baron de Rassenghien and M. de Grobbendonck to you, to declare to you my demands ; which are only the real effecting of what you have solemnly promised, besides that you are constrained thereto by nature, who caused you to be born subjects to the King, my lord. The above mentioned gentlemen will declare this to you more at large, wherein I crave your credence for them ; and will show you how your duty and reason prescribe. For my part I shall never depart from it.—Namur, 27 July. (Signed) Jehan, (countersigned) Berty. "Received, July 29." Copy. Fr. ½ p. [Ibid. I. 26.]
July 27. 56. "Mr. Davison's dispatch into the Low Countries to live as agent there, sent from the Court at Richmond the 3rd of August, after news of the beginning of the troubles again, which began the 25th of July." (In the margin. On the page are :)
(a.) The QUEEN to DON JOHN.
Wishing to maintain good intelligence with the princes our neighbours, especial with the Catholic King and the house of Burgundy, we have sent the bearer, Mr. William Davison, to you to reside with you as our agent, and negotiate from time to time upon matters concerning ourselves and our subjects.—Richmond, 27 July 1577.
[To the same effect, adding] To use all diligence with our cousin Don John and you, to the end that the pacification recently made may take so deep root that no storm may be able to shake it. Same date. Copies. Fr. 1 p. [For. E.B. Misc. II.]
July 28. 57. [THE ESTATES] to DON JOHN.
We hear this evening from Antwerp that M. de Treslong has stated to the magistrates that he has your Highness' orders to unite with the Germans, and to bring the companies of Cornelius Van den Ende into the city. The town is much alarmed both on account of the outrages committed by them, and also because there is no use in bringing them in ; rather it would be well to send out those who are there already. We do not believe your Highness would order anything which might have such bad results, and as M. de Champagny's regiment is on the way, we have written to Van den Ende's companies to stay where they are till further orders. We pray your Highness to take this in good part, and to send similar orders to the soldiers in other places. All we wish is that no further disorder may be kindled. We also pray your Highness to order the Germans at Bergen-op-Zoom and elsewhere not to commit outrages upon the inhabitants where they are garrisoned.—Brussels, 28 July 1577. Copy. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fland. I. 27.]
July 28. 58. POULET to BURGHLEY.
Encloses copy of letter to Walsingham.
Add. Endd. 8 lines. [France I. 8.]
Copy referred to—not dated.
Monsieur arrived here the 19th of this month, and was received by the King, the Duke of Guise, etc. I had an audience of him on the 22nd, and after apologising for any delay in visiting him, and speaking of the sincere amity between the Queen and him, and of the service he had done of late unto his brother, I said that in my opinion the principal service was yet behind, and this was to procure a good peace between the King and his subjects. No man could tell if God had not appointed that this crown should fall on his head, that then he should find that the towns he has sacked and spoiled are his towns, the people he has killed are his subjects, the money he has spent and consumed is his treasure, that the countries which he wasted and forsaken are parcel of his kingdom, and finally that the whole burden of all these miseries and calamities will light on his shoulders. Monsieur replied kindly, assuring me that the King his brother and the Queen his mother were well affected to peace, and that his utmost endeavour should not want to procure it. The Duke of Nevers is at Limoges, his army consisting of 800 "lanceknights," 500 French harquebusiers, and some small troops of horsemen. It was intended that he should have besieged Brive la Gaillarde and Usarche, and those of Limoges and their neighbours offered 40,000 francs ; which being solicited by the Duke and adopted by the King, it is now said that the Duke repents of his bargain. M. Lansac came from the King's chamber into the base court the 23rd of this month and said openly that he was desired by the King to signify to such of his nobility as desired to break a spear for the honour of their master and love of their country that they should do well to resort to the Duke of Mayne, where they should find the Prince of Condé in the field ready to receive them. With the help of the Swisses the Duke assures himself to take Brouage at the next assault. The Swisses departed from here the 10th of this month, so you may perceive by their slow marching how the world goes in those parts. It is thought that the Duke of Mayne will raise his siege before the end of this month, and that the sudden departure of the Duke of Guise toward Champagne on the 22nd was not so much on account of the reiten as to give his brother an excuse for retiring as if he were hard pressed by them. The Duke of Mayne seems to be in distress, as the Duke of Mercure has been sent to his help with as many gentlemen as can be induced to leave this Court. It is thought the King will shortly return to Paris. Damville is said to use such cruelty in Languedoc that he is becoming odious even to his own party, and fears nothing more than the peace. Endd. 3 pp. [France, I. 9.]
July 29.
K. d. L. ix. 443.
Since my last, which was about the 16th, I have been so sharply dealt with by my creditors, whom I want means to content, by reason of my losses at Antwerp, that I am constrained to seek some place to be free in, and so am come to this town, where I am informed that between the 23rd, 24th, and 25th days of this month, Don John having practised with the Duke of Aerschot, M. de Havré, M. de Berlaymont and his sons, hath possessed himself of the castle of Charlemont and of the town and castle of Namur ; and to Namur got the most of the nobility of these countries, and under colour to meet the Queen of Navarre and banquet her, intended to have put the said nobility to the sword, and after the banquet called them into the castle, which they misliking, took horse and came in all haste to Brussels. The abovenamed remained with him at Namur. Upon which dealings the States have sent a messenger to summon him to Brussels, and for his answer the said messenger is to stay but four days.—Bruges, 29 July 1577. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fland. I. 28.]
July 30. 60. The ESTATES to DON JOHN.
We have received your Highness' letter of the 27th, and after considering the articles presented to us have added our own opinion. We are much distressed by the difficulties therein set forth, and still more by the hindrance which this recent withdrawal to the castle of Namur puts in the way of the mutual fulfilment of the articles of the pacification. It is a great regret to us that this has not sooner been achieved, on account of the mischief done to our Catholic Religion. It appears that worse consequences still will follow if the present trouble is not soon appeased. The only means that we can see of remedying it is the exposure of the authors of these informations. We desire nothing so much as to obey the just and equitable commands of your Highness, and to have all delinquents chastised, as you will see if you will give up the informers aforesaid. We have no knowledge of having disobeyed or contravened any of your Highness' commands ; and we shall be right joyful if you will maintain the pacification at all points, and proceed towards us by the way of kindness.— Brussels, the last but one of July 1577. P.S. Since writing this we have deputed the Count of Bossu, M. de Brus and M. Adolf de Meetkerke to wait on your Highness to assure you of our sincere intentions, and to set forth some points serving to the redress of present affairs. Copy. Fr. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fland. I. 29.]
61. A Dispatch sent to Daniel Rogers by Roger Dransfyld.
La Personne, passing by us on his mission to your Excellency, talked with us of certain important matters. These matters seemed to touch the amity between us, and as we wished your advice upon them, we have thought good to communicate them to you by Daniel Rogers, beseeching you to have full confidence that whatever he accepts and promises we shall ratify and agree to.—Richmond, July 20. Convention between the Queen and Duke John Casimir concerning a certain sum of money, of which the said Duke requires a loan. 1. The Queen is pleased to lend the Duke the sum of £20,000 sterling, the security to be given by him to Daniel Rogers. The same to be given to him or his attorney at Christmas next, in the city of Hamburg. 2. The Duke shall bear all costs of exchange or risks of carriage, as well as the bearer's expenses. 3. He is not to accept the money, unless he can testify that his chances of success in his undertaking are good. 4. He is to use all diligence and dispatch in the expedition he is preparing, observing the moment of time and opportunity, and to guard against delays connected with commissaries and others. 5. On receiving the money he shall give obligations in due form for its repayment. 6. He shall promise that in the said obligations and in any contracts made between him and the French princes, no mention whatever shall be made of her Majesty, but that everything between him and those princes shall be managed as though she had never known anything about it. 7. The troops of the Duke are not to leave France without the Queen's consent in writing, until the money be repaid. 8. The Duke shall enter into no negotiations for peace with the King or the Papists, until he has her Majesty's explicit consent in writing.
[Thus far in Latin.]
Instructions sent to D. Rogers, being in Germany with Duke Casimir, from Richmond the 30th July.
You shall inform the Duke that we, being informed by La Personne in what danger the King of Navarre and the Prince of Condé are, and that without relief their case is likely to grow desperate, are content to lend him £20,000 toward the levying of an army. And because the said sum cannot be so conveniently made over thither from us, but it will be noised to the world, which will be a matter that will hinder the cause itself, and also sound greatly to our dishonour in respect of the amity and league we have with the French King, we shall desire him to take it up upon his own credit, assuring him that by Christmas next the sum shall be delivered to such as he shall depute for the purpose in the town of Hamburgh. For your better direction you shall receive from our Secretaries certain articles which Casimir shall sign and seal on the conditions we think meet before the delivery of the said sum. In case he alleges that he cannot take up any such sum on his own credit without great hindrance to the cause by the loss of time required, if it shall appear to you that his credit will not serve to take up the sum, you shall let him understand we are content he shall receive it in September. But of this we expressly command you to make no signification to him but upon reasons of extreme necessity. Lastly, you shall declare to him how necessary we find it for him to be accompanied by a man of birth and skill, fit to succeed him in case either by sickness or the sword (which God forbid) he should be taken away. You may remind him of what befell the Duke of Biponte, and how the whole cause had been in peril had he not had a Count "Mandesfield" to supply his place. Besides, to have the assistance of a man of skill cannot but be a great furtherance of his enterprise, whether he live or die. Copy. 3 pp. [For. E. B. Misc. II.]
July [30]. 62. Draft of the above convention in L. Tomson's writing. Endd. Latin. 1 p. [Germ. States I. 2.]
July 30. 63. Original of the above instructions (No. 61), last par. added by Walsingham, endorsed in Daniel Rogers' hand : Reddita Neostadii...Augusti anno Dni 1577, quo die Dux Casimirus me ad prandium invitavit. D.R. 2 pp. [Germ. States I. 3.]
Though the contents of your letter touching the order to be taken in the West Marches under the command of Lord Scrope, as also the excesses committed by the Fenwicks and Shaftons upon certain subjects of Scotland, and the redress of piracies, are to receive answer shortly, I thought it not amiss to acquaint you how I find her Majesty inclined thereto. Touching the placing of the garrison of Berwick in the West borders, her Majesty likes it very well. Touching the support, I trust one will be content to satisfy you ; though you can think that these affairs of the Low Countries and France, whose cause and defence her Majesty is not minded to abandon, draw no small treasure out of her coffers. I am advertised these troubles begin to break out again. Don John having seized Namur, and other towns, combining with the Duke of Aerschot to destroy the States which resist. Touching the disorder committed by the Fenwicks and Shaftons, her Majesty will see that they are punished according to their deserts, if they may be apprehended. For the matter of piracies there needs only effectual execution of the order which is taken, which is as good as could be desired, her Majesty having sent three of her ships to scour the seas ; and hath given most strict commission for the examination of all such as victual them or give them any means of support, minding that the fines which shall be levied upon them shall be employed to the answering of the losses which the subjects of that realm have sustained by her Majesty's subjects being pirates. But this commission stays somewhat in execution this summer time, by reason that the learned in the law are employed in their circuits, for the execution of justice, at whose return, which will be about the beginning of winter, it shall be furthered by all the means it may : and especially there shall be care had for the satisfying of Mr. John Provant. How the fire is newly broken out in Flanders, you may perceive by the enclosed occurrents. It may please you therefore to stay such of that [the Scotch] nation as lately served in Holland, who as I am informed are otherwise minded to repair to the service of the town of "Danske," for unless the matter be speedily compounded, their cause requires speedy relief.—Richmond, 3 Aug. 1577. Copy. 1⅓ p. [For. E. B. Misc. II.]
July 30. 65. RESOLUTIONS on the seven points propounded on behalf of HIS HIGHNESS by MM. DE RASSENGHIEN and GROBBENDONCK.
Having heard the verbal report brought by their own deputies, the Prelate of Marolles and M. de Brus, and seen his Highness's letter of the 27th instant, the Estates as before protest their desire to live and die in the Roman Catholic religion, and in due obedience to his Highness as the King's lieutenant in these parts. At the same time they represent that their sudden withdrawal without warning to a fortress is calculated to produce great distrust, and again request his Highness to declare whom he suspects, that the Estates may punish them in exemplary fashion. They will proceed with no less promptitude than they did in the case of MM. de Bonnivet and Berangeville on the sole report of Ottavio Gonzaga on behalf of his Highness, and in which nothing was proved, though it were contrary to the rights and usages of Brabant ; in order that private faults may not be charged to the generality, or that if it should prove a calumny, the informers may be punished in like manner.
1. Although his Highness ought to have no suspicion of the Estates, as they have not given him the least cause for any, but have shown the love and affection which is the surest guard a Prince can have, and all that his predecessors, Princes and Princesses of the blood, have had, while any larger guard may engender fear or distrust, yet to take away all occasion of similar impression, they are willing to increase his ordinary guard of archers and halberdiers by 300 harquebusiers on foot, natives of the country, to be agreed upon by his Highness and the Estates, on condition that he will choose to command them one of the following : Count de Boussu, Baron de Montigny, M. de Cruningen, Willerval, or de Noyelles-Stade ; such commander to select captains and lieutenants to be approved in like manner, and with the soldiers to swear to defend his Highness against all persons, and to maintain the pacification of Ghent and the perpetual edict.
2. As soon as the towns are free from their garrisons there will be no need of governors.
3. This appears reasonable if sincerely carried out, and if nothing is attempted derogating from the pacification and the union of the States.
4. This the Estates also find highly reasonable, nor do they think the contrary has ever been the practice. Always understanding that the privileges be soundly and unanimously interpreted.
5. It has been the immemorial custom of the Estates to admit to their meeting ecclesiastics, nobles, deputies of the towns and castellans of the provinces, thereto delegated. It is not possible to give a list of these deputies, as they are continually changing. Nor do the Estates think they have given any legitimate cause for suspicion regarding them.
6. Considering that the pacification was solemnly sworn, his Imperial Majesty and the Prince-Bishop of Liége intervening, the Estates in pursuance of his Highness's letters from Mechlin of July 15, accept all that seems yet needed to fulfil it on either side. If the Prince of Orange, after due notice given, makes default, each one will with one accord do his best to have the pacification observed in all points.
7. The sole desire of the Estates having always been to be restored to their ancient tranquillity in obedience to the King, they beseech his Highness to leave the castle of Namur and rejoin them as soon as possible, to send away the Germans, that the Estates may meet to take steps for the execution of the remainder of the pacification, and for the abatement of the scandal and bad examples which the Germans have so long disseminated to the prejudice of our religion. And as from Escovedo's intercepted letters have been discovered the stealthy counsels and evil impressions given by foreigners ill-disposed towards the welfare of these countries, may it please his Highness to dismiss all those who are justly suspected, and to fill his household with noblemen, natives of those parts.—Brussels, 30 July 1577. Copy. Fr. 7 pp. [Holl. and Fland. I. 30.]
We have written to the most serene Prince, our brother, that he would extend his royal favour to Richard Grafton, an Englishman, who has lived these twenty years with his wife, a Spanish lady, in the Canary Islands, and served faithfully in all that touches your Majesty's service. Having been despoiled of all his property by your Majesty's Flemish rebels, he wishes for some aid or employment, that he may be able to live with his wife and children in the Canary Islands aforesaid. As we are confident that your Majesty's intercession with the King will do much to further this cause, we write this to assist you. The man's only fault is the malignity of fortune.—Greenwich, 31 July 1577. Endd.: Copia de la carta de la reina de Anglaterra para la reyna nra señora. Sp. 1½ pp. [Spain I. 3.]
? July. 67. Copy of certain portions of a treaty of 1490 relating to the Ireland fisheries. [Probably one of those made in pursuance of the order of July 19.] Latin. 1¼ p. Also : Extract from another treaty of 1499. In a later hand. 1 p.
Also :
A summary of the League made between King Henry VII. and John, King of Denmark, containing (a) Articles touching trafique, (b) Articles of amity. [Apparently made for Walsingham's use.] 4 pp. An abstract, apparently independent, of the same "League," in a much later hand. 2 pp. [Denmark I. 1a, b, c, d.
Being at Rochelle M. de la Personne communicated to the Prince of Condé his instructions from Duke Casimir and from her Majesty, sending information of the same to the King of Navarre. Both undertake to conclude no peace, under whatever inducement, without Her Majesty's consent. The princes and their party are in good heart for continuing the war. Turenne has entered Périgueux with 1,500 harquebusiers and is ready to stand a siege. They recognise that the King's superior strength in the country will cut off supplies from their towns, and the only remedy they see is the prompt arrival of a strong body of German cavalry and Swiss infantry and landsknechts to divert his forces. This their own means are insufficient to raise, all the more that they have had to equip a fleet to check Lansac, and must raise another to save Brouage. Languedoc alone has not vet been attacked, and it is easier to get funds from thence since Marshal Damville has ceased to command, because he drew a large income from it, and many malversations were committed under his authority. They therefore beg her Majesty to aid them with a sum of 100,000 crowns. It is better to make one good effort than do things by instalments. Duke Casimir's plan is to invade in such strength as to be sure of beating the enemy, and not to depart till peace is made. As soon as he shall appear on the frontier, it is intended to raise a force on the hither side [i.e. right bank] of Loire and Seine, also in Lorraine and the district of Liège, and make war in the neighbourhood of Paris and the surrounding provinces, which, having felt none of the inconveniences of war, have by their leagues been the cause of its renewal, and are most devoted to the house of Guise. If these can be made useless to the King all France will be so. As soon as the German army has entered, the King of Navarre and the rest will march to meet him, which the King's armies will not be able to hinder. It had better on all accounts arrive not later than towards the end of August, in time to prevent the use of the new season's produce for victualling of the towns "and especially Paris, in order to constrain the Parisians which is a timid people" to come to terms. Endd. : July 1577. The substance of La Persona's message ; and lower, apparently in L. Cave's hand : La Persona his negotiations. Fr. 1½ pp. [La Personne's credentials are dated July 12.] Walsingham's mark [Walsingham's mark] in several places. [France I. 10.]
To have the former instructions, drawn for him that was to be sent to the Commendator. To know from the present Government what authority the said Commendator had to hearken unto the Queen touching the pacification, since both from the answer given by the King to Cobham and from the letters delivered by Champagny, she understood that he had commission to deal with such matters as were propounded by Cobham, including that point of the pacification. To require "a present abstinence of arms" ; for her Majesty perceives that unless this is conceded the Prince and Estates mean to throw themselves under the protection of France. To lay before the Government the likelihood of this and the danger consequent on it. If they do not concede this, her Majesty does not see how they can justify the refusal to the King, the likelihood of the French getting a footing in Holland and Zealand being so apparent. If the said parties are not stayed from dealing with France, her Majesty will be compelled for her own safety to take a course which she would not willingly take under necessity. Draft in Walsingham's hand. Endd. : The heads of Mr. Davison's message, and below : Void ; for he was dispatched with other instructions. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fland. II. 2.]