Elizabeth: December 1577, 1-5

Pages 342-356

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

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December 1577, 1-5

Dec. 1.
K. d. L. x. 133.
By this time I think the Marquis has informed you of the States' intent, after many difficulties, to go through with their motion for our men. The matter seems now to depend chiefly on the assurances, and I await her Majesty's pleasure to decide on my course of action. In my last I sent a copy of the Prince's advice upon the points referred to him by the States, in which though he somewhat applies himself to their humours, you may perceive his desire that it should go forward a quel prix que ce soit. I am persuaded the rest now half repent their long "detraction" herein, knowing the preparations in France ; when while the King and Queen Mother have entertained their Ambassadors with fair words, they have permitted the open levying of forces for Don John, to whom the Ambassadors (lately returned desperate of any good, and full "fraughted" with good words) report that 5,000 foot and 2,000 horse are marching. Unless some accident otherwise occupy the French, they here undoubtedly look for their hands full. They have therefore resolutely sent for 5,000 reiters under the Count of 'Zwartzenburg,' the Marquis of Havrech, Schenck, and another Almain colonel, 'whose name I retain not,' and likewise entertain Duke Casimir with another 3,000 upon wartgelt ready against any necessity ; so that they reckon 8,000 reiters, beside their other bands of ordnance, and horse which may amount in all to 1,100 or 1,200. There has been no less difficulty about these Germans than about our action, for the same jealousies that I have before advertised ; Casimir being of the religion, as likewise the Count of 'Zwartzenburch,' brother-in-law to the Prince, and the rest either of the religion or otherwise at the Prince's devotion ; but necessity chiefly overrules them. If the Prince were not a man of great wisdom, it had been hard or rather impossible to have brought things thus far. But with time I doubt not but these matters will take a better train. They have now with much ado concluded upon the new association (a copy of which I sent over by Whitechurch), though not without the vehement contradiction of the Duke of Aerschot, who since his return to Brussels 'has not contained himself within the limits of so good a patriot as he would be noted.' Now they are resolute and accept of Matthias, in the composing of whose council all the difficulty seems now to rest ; for unless it consist of men equally agreeable to the Prince and to the Estates, and favouring the common weal, the jealousies will be great and the peril in conclusion no less. This matter most troubles the Prince for a number of inconveniences which he foresees if the Council be not such as it should ; for of the Archduke himself there is otherwise no fear, they themselves determining to keep the weapon in their own hands, that he shall not be able to hurt. But upon the framing of the Council we shall be able to discover what course things will take. The Duke of Alençon ill digests the proceedings of the State with Matthias, and yet entertains his friends still 'in hope of a day.' Among others it is thought that Count Lalaing (whose child he has, as I hear, newly christened), is especially at his devotion. Next to the Prince he had the chief reputation for a good patriot ; but either the time, or his counsellors La Motte and Goingny have, in common opinion, much altered him. But it is no marvel to such as know the force of malice, ignorance, and ambition among their chief men here, of whom though there be not one of special value (except Count Bossu, who either for war or counsel is a man very sufficient, and now thought very well affected), yet everyone thinking himself to be that he is not, looks for credit which he in no way deserves. In such confusion are things ; of which you shall be better able to judge when you shall come among them. I hear of no alteration from the camp. From Amsterdam the ill-success of Colonel Heling's enterprise is confirmed, but the loss not so much as the Prince was at first informed, having besides the Colonel and two captains, men ill-missed, not above 40 slain, and 20 or 30 taken. The dead bodies their adversaries, to show their malice, have buried under the gallows. What they will do with the prisoners is yet uncertain. Count "Holloque" is yet living, and some hope of his recovery. From Italy our news is scant and so uncertain that we wot not what to believe. From Germany I do not hear of the marching of any force to the service of Don John. Colonel Balfour is arrived with his full companies. When their muster has been taken, he is to repair to the camp. Now we lack but your Lordship with your troop, awaited with great desire by the Prince and the people, which as I hope will not be long unsatisfied.—Antwerp, 1 Dec. 1577. P.S.—I must not forget a word or two to answer that part of your letter of the 22nd that concerns myself, lest things mistaken might breed undeserved defence [sic]. You know that from the first hour of my coming hither, I have had no commission to treat publicly in any matter with the States, but on the contrary have been commanded from time to time since the Prince's arrival to confer with him upon every occasion of moment offered. Besides, if it be considered how soundly he is affected, how uprightly he has dealt with me, how the States and he are united, how there is scarce any other with whom I may frankly deal, though I neglect not the rest, how chargeable and troublesome it would be for me at Brussels and he lying here, to come there when I should have to do with him, how suddenly I sometimes have to confer with him, and how much better, for true intelligence, I can serve her Majesty where he is than if I remained at Brussels, I doubt not it will be thought no error which I have committed in staying here. Besides my coming here was at the special solicitation of the States, who sent Champagny to beg me to come to this town, and advance underhand the negotiations of Carington. Having waited 13 or 14 days before I heard anything of him, and the Prince returning to this town in the meanwhile, I thought it not amiss to stay till I might see some further 'success.' The reasons I hope will satisfy you. I thank you for having that care of me that you would be loth anything should fall out in my charge that might draw my service into jealousy and myself into misliking. I hear nothing of Mr. Chester except that he came from Gravesend on Monday night last, and it is thought was on the sea in the great storm on Tuesday night which makes me fear that he has miscarried. Draft. Endd. : 1 December, 1577, to My L. Trer. [but it is clearly to Leicester. On the last page is the beginning of another letter : Brother, I have sent over by this bearer Mr. Samon]. 3 pp. [Holl. and Fland. IV. 1.]
Dec. 2.
K. d. L. x. 137.
462. MEMORANDUM by the ENVOYS from the ESTATES.
The Marquis of Havrech and Adolf de Meetkerke have received a dispatch from the States General, under date Nov. 23, ratifying that laid by them before her Majesty in their last paper, of the 19th ; clearing up all difficulties, in the way of profitable negotiation, and conforming entirely to the advice of the Prince of Orange touching the aid as well of men as of money. It is to the following effect : That her Majesty will be pleased to send as soon as possible the 5,000 foot and 1,000 horse which she has so graciously accorded, and to have 6 months' pay given them. The Estates find it quite right that the nobleman in command of these shall have admission to the Council in all discussions as to peace or war, and all other matters touching the welfare of the two countries. That her Majesty will be pleased to send the £100,000 sterling from England in ready money, there being no means to take up the sum there. She shall receive such bonds as are required ; and they beg her to extend the time of repayment to one year. And for the better correspondence and indissoluble union of the two countries, the Estates desire to have a firm league with her Majesty and her realm, and that she may be pleased to have articles to that end drawn up by those of her Council.—Windsor, 2 Dec. 1577. Copy. Endd. by L. Tomson : The resolution of the Marquis in the name of the States upon the receipt of the Prince's advice. Fr. 2 pp. [Ibid. IV. 2.]
Dec. 2. 463. English version of the above. Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. IV. 2a.]
464. Copy of the above. 1½ pp. [For. E.B. Misc. II.]
Dec. 3.
K. d. L. x. 138.
I make no doubt that you find I have been away longer than I intended at my departure, when I did not expect to be away more than 6 weeks. My journey has extended to Italy, and I returned to this city on the 20th of last month. I hope, by the end of the present month, to be back and at your service, as I am in justice bound to be, as well for your courtesy towards me, as for the desert of the virtues which God has bestowed on you. As for the news here ; people are talking seriously of the preparations in hand for war with the Low Countries at the instigation of the Inquisitors, who are stirring up the King of Spain to proceed therein, with fire and blood pitilessly ; as has already been begun at the little town near Mariembourg, which Don John's people surprised the other day, as you know. But it is said here that the negotiations and delays of some of the Estates with Don John, and their connivance, have shown the small judgement which they have in handling affairs of state, or else great malice, to the ruin of their own country ; whereof in short they shall not be exempt, whatever secret promises anyone may have made them. It is said here that they do not sin through ignorance, seeing that they have had both in writing and by word of mouth all that is necessary for the preservation of the country. But they reck little of it, wasting the finances of the country in maintaining idle soldiers, losing the advantage they had, and giving it to the enemy, during all this fine negotiation and talk, whereby he has well known how to profit. It is a true maxim that those who have acquired their freedom by arms must maintain it by arms ; otherwise everything will go down stream ; and with good and prudent counsel withal, which is the sinew of the whole business. Moreover those of the Estates who are good patriots should look to their neighbours, and distinguish such as are good friends to their cause, and should look to those whom they call to their aid, and think of the peace in France, and the occasion of it, and to use all diligence in making ready betimes, and wage a general war, and show their enemies that they are other than they take them for. Further, the Fuggers, Welsers, and other great German bankers, who have agents and houses at Antwerp, and returning to several persons money which they have in their hands, by reason of the troubles, and procrastinations of those who are getting ready in the Low Countries, as also for fear that the Estates would not avail themselves of their resources, if they resided there. It is said here that the Emperor is making his brother, who is at Lierre, or I suppose by now at Antwerp, play a farce in regard to the Governorship ; and that to that end the Duke of Seville was sent three months ago on an embassy to Venice ; who his legation being at an end, and the Emperor's having started, took leave of his Majesty. I met him on the road four days from Venice, with a train of 30 horses and four six-horse coaches ; he is otherwise called the "Amorand" [Admiral] of Castile or Seville. In sum, the Estates must go to work securely and sincerely, and make up their minds to act, not to talk ; for they have great enemies, and the King of France for one, who fears that the Estates of France may take example from those of the Low Countries, to reform the abuses and malversations which the Italians and Spaniards have introduced at the instigation of the Queen Mother and her advisers into France ; which is so full of confusion that it is overflowing therewith on all sides. The King of Spain is much afraid that the countries which he holds in Italy will take the same road as the Flemings ; which is the reason why he is giving up the Low Countries to fire and blood, to keep the Italian provinces in terror, and at the same time take vengeance on the Flemings, who have done him no harm save in rendering him all the duty which a good people owes to a good prince, if he is good. Having suffered so much oppression, and having many times remonstrated humbly, without obtaining anything, and necessity having opened a road to them, they have with the aid of God delivered themselves, without straying from their duty to God and their King ; and are called rebels and contraveners of the King's edicts ; while they who have infringed them, the last edict of pacification for example, are held for loyal subjects of his Majesty. They write from Vienna that there has been some fighting in Hungary, and a certain number of Turks defeated, who had advanced beyond their garrisons, contrary to the term of the truce to surprise some place. Wherein they were prevented and some Bacha killed, and it is said that it may cause a rupture of the truce. The nobles of this city have sent to invite the Archduke [Ferdinand], who is at Quinseburg [Günzburg], a town belonging to him, 6 leagues from Augsburg, in order to entertain him after the fashion of the country ; and he should be here in 6 or 7 days. The rest I hope shortly to tell you by word of mouth. Remember me to Madam, your wife, if she has arrived.—Augsburg, 3 Dec. 1577. (Signed) C. F. P.S.—Pray remember me to my Lord of Walsingham, Mr. Killegrew, Mr. Wilson, at your convenience, not forgetting M. de 'Lissevel.' Add. Endd. Fr. 2½ pp. [Holl. and Fland. IV. 3.]
Dec. 3. 466. WILSON to DAVISON.
My Lords have written to you touching Mr. Pullison's matter, that you may report to the Prince. Deal, I pray you, so that the matter may have an end, and that he may have his money paid in 'Bridges' or Antwerp within the time appointed. My Lords think it reasonable that he should have his own with favour, and marvel to see the wrongs that he has received.—From the Court at Windsor, 3 Dec. 1577. Add. Endd. 10 lines. [Ibid. IV. 4.]
Daniel Rogers left me the day before yesterday, and returned to Frankfort. I had heard before he arrived the occasions for his and Mr. Beale's coming to Germany. You and our lady the Queen have shown great prudence and wisdom in foreseeing now what will be necessary in the future. Rogers has laid good foundations with the Rhenish princes. Without the Landgrave nothing can be done. He inclines to this cause, but does not approve the money part of the business ; but he ought to be warned and moved by the example of the Smalcaldic league, in which no money was levied on the allies, but only so much contributed as was needed each year to pay the colonels. They wished to have fair dealing among honest men ; what each man promised he deemed would be as soon as the time required. At that time, however, the Duke of Wirtemburg had plenty of money, and all the money of Germany, as well as a great part of that of Italy and France, was handled by the bankers of the chief cities of the Empire ; so that when the Smalcaldic war broke out suddenly, the Landgrave and the Elector John Frederick brought up a large army, money being no object. But after Duke Maurice joined the Emperor and occupied all Saxony, no money could be raised there, and Ulric, Duke of Wirtemburg, with a few cities, chiefly Strasburg, Augsburg, Ulm, and Frankfort, bore all the costs of the war. All the mischievous results of that war came about owing to this money difficulty. Your and the Queen's advice, to get the money together betimes, so that it may be used when needed, is therefore excellent. But you see where the Landgrave is sticking. He is arguing not so much from his own judgement as from the custom and capacity of other princes, even those who are wealthy, who are not wont nor able to let their money lie idle in the hands of other people ; while the smaller ones are even less wont and less able to do so. Yet no one will approve of entrusting all that money to the bankers, for there is no longer any confidence in merchants ; their greatest families now either maintain themselves by usury, or have taken to digging, or are fast in prison. Even if there are any bankers who are affluent, they cannot lay their hands quickly on any money which they have out at interest ; while to get as much as is wanted when a war is suddenly upon you is almost a thing εκ των αδυνατων, by reason of the example of others who have been ruined by lending. Nobody nowadays trusts without security. There is another thing to be considered in securing colonels, since all alliance of princes and cities has ceased to exist in Germany, and great distrust is growing in the Estates of the Empire. Each prince, according to his power or his fears, has been looking ahead in regard to colonels and recruiting officers. Thus Augustus the Elector of Saxony pays every year large sums to foreign soldiers, though in his own dominions there is no lack of colonels, who are his subjects. The princes of Hesse need not trouble themselves about this ; they have colonels, counts, and gentlemen ready to their hand, and in the other ranks, men fit for service. If a league is once formed, there will always be an ample supply of such men. All anxiety about this will be removed if the princes were themselves to see to the colonels, or if some great military man, like Lazarus Swendi, could be won over. A small subscription from the entire league would keep them faithful. This is the line that I think your envoys should take ; but the Queen should deposit a certain sum for military purposes in some suitable city where the citizens do business in foreign realms, and the league should use it when needed for levying a force, but only with the Queen's consent. Such a city is ours, if it is willing to undertake the burden. For as for handling such a sum for lending purposes, there is none which could undertake it. I assent, and all must see, that there is a great conspiracy, or rather sworn league, of monarchs—the Pope, the King of France, the King of Spain, who see the danger they are in ; it being clear that, owing to these troubles in Belgium and France, all their authority, prestige, power and fortune is at stake. Whatever of these things they have left they are going to bend upon this war, nor will they leave off until they have put down all whom they see hindering them. This we learn from the facts themselves, and many intercepted letters and detected plans prove it ; but as each hopes that some one else is nearer to the danger, no one sees the danger till he perceives his own wall on fire. As this has always been the fault of past time, and by this fault of ours the Turk has enlarged his state as we see ; so it has grown proper to our age till it seems impossible to remove it. You therefore who discern these evils will do prudently and bravely if you are instant with the Queen in counsel and exhortation that she may persist in this action ; and be not afraid of the changes and chances of fortune. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep ; why not a good counsellor for his Queen? I said that the Landgrave's influence was necessary on account of the Elector Augustus, without whom nothing certain can be accomplished. Although the Elector is offended with him for not subscribing the new confession, yet he loves him by reason of his constant goodwill and regard for himself, and on account of the will of the Landgrave's father. The Landgrave's authority is also great with other princes and commonwealths. I do not know what Beale will get from him (the Elector). With that prince the beginning is always the difficulty. He has heard and observed much, and his experience is large ; and people of that sort are timid, and for that reason sometimes απροσβατοι [hard to approach] ; but if they begin to trust you they are constant friends, and keep faith. I think you noticed how the Emperor Maximilian won over this prince and kept him well disposed. You remember how, when the friendship was made, they vied in presents and courtesies to each other ; and the final joy when Cæsar with the Empress visited the Elector Augustus in Saxony, with what homage he was received, and with what declarations of mutual affection and loyalty he departed. Forgive me ; I am writing at three o'clock in the morning. In my sleep I wished that the Lord Treasurer was in Denmark with his wife, or someone else of the same rank, whose wife could talk Latin ; and that such person should bring from our Queen presents to the King of Denmark's wife, and messages to himself, as good neighbours should, for goodwill's sake, for mutual kindness, in the name of the common safety, when the sovereigns and their realms are in a common danger ; that if the minds of kings and men cannot be joined in a league, the minds and affections and loves of queens may be allied. Their solitary lives, their widowhoods, when their husbands are dead or dangers arise, are troubles to be dreaded by reason of the changeable wills of men. And as I have had one wish, I will add another. From Denmark I should like them to come with messages and presents to the Elector Augustus and his wife ; with a good company and with letters from the King of Denmark and the Queen, and before they leave the King of Denmark, the way should be open to them, that their coming may be grateful and acceptable. Nothing would be more memorable for posterity, nothing more salutary for the common peace, than these two meetings, or the friendship and alliance of three heroical princes. These, you see, are my senile cogitations ; or rather my wishes, that you may see I would rather have something of this come to pass than nothing. If it cannot be done through wives, it may be done by suitable men, and presents may be sent, and the mutual goodwill of the queens may be established, with the approval of gods and men, and to the grief of the enemies. There is my vision of the night ; also my lubrication, my senile lucubration, of the morning. My excuse must be my age and my anxiety in these public and common disasters, which seem to be no great way off ; unless God avert the ills aimed at us, as it would seem, not by stars and comets only, but by eternal enemies and foes.—Strasburg, 4 Dec. Signed : Joan. Sturmius, mea manu [but the bulk of the letter does not appear to be in his hand]. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson : From Johannes Sturmius at Argentine. Opinion touching the project delivered to Mr. Rogers. Latin. 8 pp. [Germ. States I. 47.]
Dec. 4. 468. Copy of above letter, with marginal notes in Latin by L. Tomson. 5 pp. [For. E.B. Misc. II.]
Dec. 4. 469. STURMIUS to BURGHLEY.
I have written briefly, though even that I fear may be too much, to the Queen. I have set forth everything at greater length to Mr. Walsingham. I am greatly anxious that the Queen should take a salutary resolution, and to see how Divine providence will order in our common perils. What Mr. Beale will bring from Saxony I know not, but I fear that tree will not fall with one blow. You will have to try again ; the chop must be repeated, the cut renewed. There is no better hand than that of a wife, especially in the case of husbands who are vehemently in love, as is said of those two ; whereof I have written to Mr. Walsingham. Forgive me, my lord, for naming yourself and your wife. The greater your authority, your prudence, and your estimation among men, the fitter you are—or any other who has the same qualities— to deal with those princes in this matter. As I write this I think of the Earl of Oxford, for I believe his lady speaks Latin also. But these are my wishes ; dreams and senile meditations, not counsels. There is much that I could write ; but either it is not to be trusted to paper, or still doubtful. We do not as yet know for certain whether the Archduke is made governor of the Low Countries, or has taken the oath ; nor yet whether he went without the Emperor's knowledge. There are probable arguments either way, and these two matters are of great moment. Nor is it yet certain which of the two competitors is made Elector of Cologne ; whether the Duke of Bavaria, or Truchsess of Walpurg, Dean in our city, which is what people would like, though he is a papist too. But they think there is less reason to be afraid of him. Yesterday came an uncertain rumour that he had been elected. Our magistracy refuses to subscribe to the Saxon formula of agreement, and we are freed from a great fear. The Emperor is still taking the advice of Evangelicals. The Archduke Ernest has been made his lieutenant for the Turkish wars, and has appointed Lazarus Swendi to be his lieutenant. A Turkish war is feared for next year. A council of war has been held, prudently as they say, and with very good hope, not only of defending, but of gaining back lost ground. Would it might be true, and the bad news false.—Strasburg, 4 Dec. 1577. Holograph. Add. Endd. Latin. 1½ pp. [Germ. States I. 48.]
Dec. 4.
K. d. L. x. 141. (From another copy.)
A reply to Don John.
God is greatly to be praised that the letters were intercepted in France by M. de la Noue, whereby the preparations against the Estates of the Low Countries may be clearly seen. Having such information, they could do no less than read them, and with just ground prepare to defend themselves, especially as by surprising Namur castle and other secret practices Don John showed that he was going to follow up his letters ; and all the more, that the Estates had always been beguiled with fair words by his predecessors in the government. Inasmuch as the letters were not opened or deciphered by any member of the Estates, nor at their orders, they cannot be accused of any crime. As for Don John's plea in the 6th article, that the letters were written before his reception into the government, it is notorious that at the date of the letters everything had been concluded, and that he was already in the country, at the town of Louvain, in the confidence of the Estates, who were daily sending deputies to him to settle the form of his reception, while Escovedo was busy at Antwerp in beginning to give effect to the agreement ; that Don John at that time was displaying all confidence towards the Estates, and advertising them daily of his good offices with the King in their behalf, in giving his Majesty to understand the goodness and sincerity of their intentions. So that he ought not to have written to the contrary by the hand of Escovedo ; for he cannot have been ignorant of the dispatches that Escovedo was sending, since they were in daily correspondence, and Escovedo had been appointed by his Majesty to be his chief counsellor. As to Fugger and the Germans, it was especially covenanted in the Perpetual Edict that all foreign troops should be sent out of the country, and that a meeting of the States-General should afterwards be held to settle matters relating to the Catholic Religion and policy ; on which pretext Don John, as he pretended, undertook to treat with the Germans and use his authority to get them paid and out of the country. Yet he now admits that he never wished to disarm, but rather to provide new forces, to seize castles and towns, and to retain those where the Germans were, as Antwerp, Bois-le-duc, Ruremonde, and others, having guilefully taken the castle of Antwerp out of the hands of the Duke of Aerschot and placed it in those of M. de Treslong, by whose means he was trying to place therein a reinforcement of Germans of Cornelis van Enden's regiment, hoping thereby to keep the country in subjection while he awaited fresh forces ; having to that end always retained in Burgundy some light horse under M. du Gastel's own brother. By the above may clearly be seen Don John's intention in seizing Namur castle, without giving any notice to the Estates, and solely on the advice of some who were desirous to revenge themselves on the Estates, contrary to the Pacification, in which it was stipulated that there should be no arrière-conseil. Don John has shown his ill intentions, by so often pressing the Estates to break the Pacification of Ghent, and make war on the Prince of Orange, calling him pernicious heretic, enemy of God, and rebel to his Majesty, or otherwise he would make war on them himself ; so no wonder the Prince is always on his guard. The rest of the document, of very old date, is partly trumped up for the occasion, and partly met by the printed justification of the Estates. If the Council wish for any further explanations, the ambassadors will be happy to give them by word of mouth. Copy. Endd. by Burghley : 4 December, 1577. An answer from the Marquis of Havreyh and Mytkyrk to certain points contained in two letters of Don John of Austria. Fr. 3½ pp. [Holl. and Fland. IV. 5.]
Dec. 4. 471. English translation of the above.
Endd. by Burghley as above : shewed at Windsor by Monsr. du Gatty. 2 pp. [Ibid. IV. 5a.]
Dec. 5. 472. STURMIUS to the QUEEN.
I see that at the present time the same is befalling us of the Evangelical Religion, as befel our forefathers who sought their own ease from the discords of other princes by refusing to enter into leagues with those who were either at war or in fear of it ; the consequence being that when they had made peace and our princes sought a league with them, they did the same. I could quote many examples, some of which your Majesty might find in your own archives ; acts of your father Henry VIII, than whom that age possessed no stouter prince, nor more fortunate in counsel or in freeing himself from dangerous complications. The same thing happened to Francis I, king of the French, to Christian of Denmark, and to William Duke of Cleves, who yet lives ; all of whom had to wage war with the Emperor Charles V. But there were faults on both sides ; each was alike responsible, acted alike, and erred by dissembling. Dissensions in religion however then deserved excuse ; and although the Danish king professed the same religion as we, yet since Francis wished to be in the same alliance, and our people demanded that it should be an alliance for religion, not for other questions, no league could then be made. But to-day we lack that excuse, for our religion is the same ; the danger is common, yet we are not aroused. For what is clearer than that neither the Pope nor the King of Spain nor the King of France can endure these troubles in France and the Low Countries, where the people have got almost everything, and nearly turned out the Spaniards? Condé's people too would not have been far from winning if they had received a little aid. But if these two countries were lost, the Papal power would be maimed. They were afraid of this disaster long ago, when the Queen Mother and her son made a treaty at Bayonne with the King of Spain to defend the Papacy. It is safer to think than to set forth in words how widely this league extends. This conspiracy does not affect only the two countries of France and Belgium ; but also our princes, and Germany, from which they think that these streams have flowed and still are flowing and being propagated not in Europe only, but in Asia and Africa. Unless they can choke or dry up this source, they think the wars they have in view will be undertaken in vain. They would perhaps begin with us before attempting England, on account of the alliance with Scotland. As long as that lasts they fear that either kingdom will be too inaccessible (απροσβατον) for human powers as they now are. But we who live among papists have no sea for a bulwark, no river for a defence ; we are girt by domestic enmities. Yet things being so, and when we ought to desire and seek alliances against the evils which are not near, but already upon us, we neglect them when offered to us, and allow your Majesty to know more and see further ahead than we, who both precede you in order of time, and are more hated and in greater danger. If a single promise could put this right, we might easily escape everything. If there are others who do not approve, or are afraid, they would come in of their own accord, if we could get him. There are others who take the same view as your Majesty, and admire your foresight in this matter ; and I think they desire this alliance more than they have hitherto liked to show. Your Majesty has therefore acted rightly and prudently in taking this salutary resolution. But a great tree is not felled with one chop. All your Majesty's works are great. Majesty does not consist in small and easy things, but it is seen, and admired, in great and arduous and difficult matters. The prudence and constancy of her counsels is esteemed the glory of a Queen ; and though these virtues are the gifts of God, yet God delights in these His gifts, and would have them adorned by those on whom He confers them ; and wills that they receive from these gifts a plentiful and eternal fruit of glory. I have written of these matters to Mr. Walsingham, simply, as I think ; javelins with the thong ready, which he shall throw for me, that they may displease less than if I tried to launch them. It will be enough for me if I can prove my regard and reverence for your Majesty. But it is the part of good princes, if the power be lacking, to take pleasure in the will of their servants.—Strasburg, 5 Dec. 1577. Add. Endd. Latin. 5 pp. [Germ. States I. 49.]
473. Copy of above letter. 3 pp. [For. E.B. Misc. II.]
Dec. 5. 474. STURMIUS to BURGHLEY.
I have written at length to Mr. Walsingham of the matter for which Beale and Rogers were sent. You will gather from it my simple opinion ; that I may appear rather to press a wish for what is not than to give advice. When I had sealed my letter to Walsingham, it came into my mind, how would it be if the Queen were through Rogers to ask the Landgrave, without whom the Elector Augustus cannot be won over, to get a legation decreed from some Evangelical princes to the States and the Prince of Orange. Even if it cannot be obtained, they might yet try to intercede for Matthias (who I hear is at Lierre) that he should be admitted, on good conditions, to the government of the Low Countries. Let the Queen have a principal place in this legation : a city or two might also at the request of the princes, add its commissioner, to get the goodwill of the bankers in the larger towns. In this way ideas could be more easily exchanged in conversation between the Commissioners, and it would gratify the Elector Augustus, who some think was privy to the escape, or sudden journey to the Low Countries. For although he gravely gives out that his brother did it without his knowledge, yet there are two pieces of evidence to the contrary ; first, that he was late in sending to call him back, and secondly, that Matthias is not thought to be endowed with wits enough to undertake such a thing on his own account. He is credited with a good nature ; but it is simple, and not one for acutely judging of great matters. This is like what I said to Mr. Walsingham ; a bit of senile acuteness, like everything of mine now-a-days, But I thought I would add it, because at this time I wish for nothing more than that the Queen should gain from this matter the highest praise for wit, prudence, humanity and piety. The Lord Keeper has a son with us, named Edward. His good manners, modesty and conversation please me so much that I am sorry I cannot be of as much use to him as his goodness deserves. About this I have written to his father, but have not touched on my own wishes, thinking it enough to write to a father a true report of his son's goodness. That is my business in this department of my life. I hear nothing from Sir Amyas Poulet about my money in France. Perhaps this peace, ολιγοχρονιος, will bring something to deliver me from the griefs and distresses of fifteen years. Yet I bear them patiently, and favour their cause who are ungrateful, unjust and cruel to me, and desire to stand by their cause even at the cost of my remaining fortune and of my life ; and I do stand by it almost daily, and in all my talk.—Strasburg, 5 Dec. 1577. P.S.—I wrote under the belief that the Archduke had refused to sign, for so we heard. But now they say there is some doubt of this. Add. Endd. Latin. 2 pp. [Germ. States I. 50.]
Dec. 5. 475. POULET to WALSINGHAM.
Old Norton has a servant called John Grene, 35 years of age. This fellow is returned lately out of England, and being sent hither from Rouen where his master is, declared to Dr. Wendon after other long secret speech that he has spoken with both, and that the one was an officer in my Lord's house, the other was a gentleman, and was steward of his court, and now my Lord hath made him a justice of peace, and that they had promised to do all that lay in them. He confessed afterward to my friend that he has been in the north of England. The knowledge of these two men might serve to good purpose, and it is possible that they may be known the rather by these slender tokens. Dr. Wendon's servant is my author. [In cipher.] Dr. Wendon has been thrice to the ambassador of Scotland in one week after his conference with his fellow. A messenger was sent to me with the letters enclosed reserving the consideration of them to your wisdom. I promised answers with all convenient speed. Great store of wheat and other provisions is sent to Don John out of Champagne and those parts, whereof complaint is made to the chancellor by the inhabitants ; who answers that they must be content seeing the King hath so commanded. Gassot, commis to M. Villeroy, a very pestilent and dangerous fellow to those of the Religion, is dispatched into Spain. Montmorency came to this town on the 22nd of last week, and the Duke of Guise the 25th. Crêvecœur, governor of Picardy, is also arrived, all the other governors of provinces being appointed to be here very shortly. The 25th of last month Copley was at Court, with the younger of the two Cottons, sons to Mr. Cotton of Kent, and with their governor named Convert ; and it is given out by all the English Papists in this town that Copley was then created Knight and Baron by the French King. They all rely upon him as if he were some great personage ; all the councils and consultations are holden at his lodgings, and no doubt [he] is a pestilent enemy to our state and country. I had good hopes of him upon his first conference with me, and he promised to see me again shortly, but I hear no more of him. "Nypeville riggeth four tall ships to go to sea, pretending to go to Peru" ; but his honest neighbours say plainly that he intendeth to follow his old craft, and then our poor merchants shall smart for it. I will move the King in it at my next audience ; and in the meantime will pray M. de Foix at my next conference to take such order as the King may be informed of the true meaning of this voyage. P.S—These two letters addressed to the Marquis of Auurey [Havrech] come from one that is agent here for the Duke of Arscott, whereof the first was sent unto me unsealed and the other sealed. This factor is accounted here a bad fellow. I stayed this messenger one day after the date of these letters upon advertisement received from the merchants of Depe that M. de Foix was coming to me, but he came not.—Paris, 5 Dec. 1577. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [France I. 53.]