K. d. L. x.
476. M. DE GASTEL'S REPLY.
A discourse from the States was sent me about noon yesterday
by Mr. Walsingham. I have read it as well as the short time permitted,
and noted the principal points in which Don John's actions
are calumniated ; quite unreasonably, seeing that with his Majesty's
orders he has postponed everything else to the settlement of the
troubles of the Low Countries. Certain disturbers of the public
peace have set on foot the present discontents, tending to hinder
the Edict of Pacification, which his Majesty wishes to maintain subject
to the Catholic religion and the obedience due from his subjects,
maintaining also their ancient rights, customs, and laws.
As to the complaint that his Highness filled his Court with
foreigners, and made Jean-Baptiste de Taxis master of his household,
I can say as an ocular witness that when the agreement was drawn
up his Highness said that he meant to be perfectly free as regarded
In matters affecting the State, it will be found to be the fact
that he has never employed any ministers save those whom he found
native-born and sworn to the King. With Gonzaga, Escovedo, and
others he has taken no counsel save upon business external to the
country or other private affairs. Everything else has been decreed
in full Council.
The journey to Mechlin was undertaken at the request and by the
advice of the deputies of the Estates and the Emperor's ambassadors,
who had been treating at Antwerp with the German colonels ; the
Germans having refused to come to Brussels for fear of danger to
With regard to the retention of the Germans, his Highness seeing
the little respect shown to him by many persons, and that the people
remained in arms, while the Prince of Orange, the Hollanders and
Zealanders were making more preparations for war than ever, and
allowing things to be done contrary to the Pacification and the
Catholic religion ; considering also the expressions used by him to
the ambassadors from his Highness, saying that the Estates were
prejudiced in their views on the matter of the Catholic religion,
and, therefore, did not follow up their resolutions, and refusing to
publish his Highness's assent and the King's ratification, as well
as the conduct of Sainte-Aldegonde and Teron, all tending to new
wars, it is no wonder that his Highness should have placed his
person in a place of security, and taken steps to keep the fortresses
at the devotion of his Majesty. Having, therefore, decided to bring
these and other contraventions before the Estates, that they might
jointly summon the Prince to comply with the Pacification, it would
have been inappropriate to disband his soldiers and then to give
orders to one who remained armed.
As to the charge of inciting the Estates to make war upon the
Prince of Orange, I know that his Highness sent Dr. Leoninus
from Louvain to the Prince and the Estates of Holland, making
them the most honourable offers that will be, and afterwards, being
admitted to the government, nothing was nearer to his heart than to
carry out all the reasonable points contained in the pacification
and give satisfaction to the Prince ; to which end he sent sundry
ambassadors, and finally the Duke of Aerschot, MM. de Hierges,
Willerval, and others, with courteous letters, calling on the Prince
to do the like, and comply with the Pacification, by publishing the
edict of Marche-en-Famine and the King's ratification. Which he
flatly refused, and deliberately declined to own it ; whereby, and by
proposing various novelties and articles quite out of reason, he
showed that he never had had any wish to comply with the Pacification.
Touching those of Amsterdam, the Prince was bound by the 6th
article of the Pacification to satisfy them on the points wherein
they found themselves affected by his government ; and in doing
this he had made default in several matters, so that his Highness
could not but feel resentment against the Prince on their behalf.
As to the Viscount of Ghent having been ordered, when sent
over here [al. by the Estates] to the Queen, to give no help to the
Estates in money matters, and to speak evil of the Prince of Orange
to her, as well as to the Emperor and Electors, I know that his
Highness never had any intention of speaking evil of anyone,
but he may have let the Prince to whom he sent, know how little
hope he had of getting the Pacification carried out so far as the
Prince was concerned. Nor did he give any such order as is
alleged in regard to money matters ; but when the Viscount asked
if he ought in this to comply with the request of the Estates
made to him, he no doubt declared that they had better go to
their own King for assistance than to foreign princes.
In regard to his Highness' going to Namur, he went there to
receive the Princess of Béarn, Duchess of Vendômois, sister to the
most Christian King and sister-in-law to the Catholic King. Being
there some days he received sundry advertisements from some who
were in the secrets of certain ill-disposed parties, that plots were on
foot against his person, and that he should look out how he returned
to Mechlin or Brussels, for fear of being killed or seized. At the
same time Count Fouquenberg returned from his mission into
France, where he heard it said that his Highness was a prisoner ;
bets even laid upon it.
As to the request of the Estates for the names of the conspirators
against his person, his Highness has many times declared them,
the Prince of Orange, Aldegonde, Teron, and others having made
a private league to the same effect.
With regard to the letters of Escovedo to the King, and those of
his Highness to Antonio Perez, concerning the Queen, inasmuch
as the Prince of Orange and his adherents never ceased boasting
of the succour and advice which were given them from England,
while on the other hand, throughout these troubles whenever
pressure was put on the Queen to remember her treaty-obligations
to the King, no good ever came of it, it is no wonder if his Highness,
dissatisfied with this state of things, wrote privately and freely
to his Majesty and his ministers in Spain what he heard. He
would be only too glad if he could see by practical results that
there was nothing in it, and that she was sincerely desirous of
peace. As for invading this realm his Highness never thought of
it, nor wanted to do it, as may readily be believed, looking to the
state of affairs here.
So far from his Highness having infringed nearly all the points
of the Pacification, he has done more than he was bound.
As for the demolition of the castles of Antwerp and Ghent, it
may be considered whether that is the obedience they have
promised to the King ; and as for the Estates never having failed
in their duty, they have shown themselves too partial to the
Prince of Orange.
I hope to get here or in France a copy of the book to show his
Highness, if he has not seen it already, during my long absence.
No doubt he will make a suitable answer, and will confirm my
present replies. The letters written to the King were I really
believe written by Escovedo without his knowledge, he being at
Louvain and Escovedo at Antwerp. His own letter referring to
Escovedo, was as the Duke of Aerschot knows, a matter of finances,
and written before his admission to the government.
His offers to send away the Burgundians, Spanish, Italians,
and Albanese to testify his wish for the good of his brother's
subjects ; while their demands, which his Highness must not and
will not grant, show their intentions.
Endd. Fr. 7 pp [Holl. and Fland. IV. 6.]
477. Another copy [?] in hand of L. Cave, first leaf missing,
but apparently more accurate. Endd. by L. Tomson. 3½ pp.
[Ibid. IV. 7.]
478. The Estates of Zealand to Davison.
Thanking him for having procured the cessation of 'extraordinary'
measures taken in England towards inhabitants of the
country who were in debt to English merchants, and hoping that
such satisfaction will in future be given by them to creditors that
nothing more of the kind will be attempted. Have written to
Laurent Smit, attorney for Mr. Thomas Pullison, to be good enough
to come to Middelburg that he may receive payment or other satisfaction
for debts still owing to Pullison, and beg Davison to encourage
him to come as soon as may be.—Middelburg, 5 Dec.
1577. (Signed) C. Taymon.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. IV. 8.]
K. d. L. x.
479. Answer made by the ESTATES' DEPUTIES to GASTEL.
Solution by the Marquis of Havrech and M. de Meetkerke, to
the reply of M. de Gastel.
Although in the last paper laid by us before this Court in justification
of the States-General, their case is so well set out that we
have nothing to add to it, and though it is no business of ours to
draw up a report on their justification, we will in order to satisfy
her Majesty and the Council, briefly explain it ; being familiar
with the details of the Pacification, which we helped to conclude,
and having been present at all discussions of the Council after the
reception of Don John to the government.
First, as to the foreigners about the person of his Highness,
the tenth article of the Perpetual Edict says that neither the King
nor any governors of the Low Countries shall employ in Council
or otherwise any but natives of those countries. It was on this
ground that the Estates repeatedly called on his Highness to dismiss
from his household the Spaniards and even Baptista de Taxis,
in order to take away all the popular suspicion of an arrière-conseil,
it being notorious that all his letters to the German colonels,
to Trelon and others, were writen by Taxis and other foreigners
in his household, without employing the King's secretaries, and
without the knowledge of the Lords of the Council ; and in spite
of all the urgency of the Estates that he would make up his household
in the fashion of the country, and employ lords, gentlemen,
and pages of quality, natives of the same, he would never agree.
As to the advice of Octavio Gonzaga and Escovedo, it is clear
from the intercepted letters that they knew more about affairs than
the Council of State.
As regards his going to Mechlin, Don John procured in various
ways that the Estates should beseech him to undertake that business,
and go there to make the Germans agree to reasonable terms,
having even assured the Estates that with the fourth month's pay
he made sure of bringing them to an agreement, and if not he
would join the Estates in turning them out by force.
As to the retention of the Germans, there is nothing which
more convicts Don John of evil intentions than his own confession
of having kept them back contrary to his promise made to the
Estates that he would make them go at a fixed day, on the pretext
that the Prince of Orange would not come to terms with him ;
the more so that the Estates were not bound to disarm till the
foreigners were gone, and still less the Prince, who had not treated
with Don John at all, only with the Estates. We may add that
both the Estates and the Prince had disbanded most of their men,
in reliance on his Highness.
It is a mere invention, to give colour to his designs, that the
Prince, M. de Sainte-Aldegonde, Théron and others had laid any
plot against his person.
It was premature to blame the Prince for not having complied
with the Pacification, when his Highness had a great many articles
to satisfy before any dealings could be had with him on a footing
of confidence, as the Prince pointed out to him by the Duke of
Aerschot, MM. de Hierges, Willerval, Meetkerke and others who
were sent by his Highness to Gertruydenberg.
As to Amsterdam, it is no fault of the Prince that they have
not received reasonable satisfaction, but that of the burgomasters
and other heads of the city, who ought to have accepted the Prince's
offers in the matter of religion as the other cities of Holland and
Zealand have done, it being notorious that Amsterdam has had the
best offers of all.
The instructions of the Viscount of Ghent show that he was
commissioned by the Estates to obtain the extension of the first
loan of £20,000 and a further loan of £100,000, to provide the
means for getting rid of the Germans ; in spite of which his Highness
gave him secret orders not to treat for the second loan, as he
reported in a meeting of the Estates on his return, and her Majesty
and the Council will remember that he did not treat on that point ;
his Highness thinking by this means to keep the Germans longer
in the country.
Although no fault could be found with his journey to Namur to
welcome a princess so nearly allied to the Catholic King, the
Estates did not think that under this pretext were being hatched
secret schemes like that of seizing the castle unknown to the
Council ; which no doubt would have taken measures for the
security of his person, had there been anything in the information,
without putting the country in danger and just disquiet by such an
enterprise, conceived by his arrière-conseil.
As to the conspirators, it looks like nothing but a colourable
excuse for seizing the castle, and by disuniting the States, for setting
them at war with each other.
As touching Escovedo's letters and Gastel's answer, his
objections are a figment, and a calumny on her Majesty, to which
her Majesty will doubtless reply with warmth ; the Marquis when
in Spain having had ocular proof how much the Queen desired the
repose of the Low Countries and the restoration of tranquillity, to
the satisfaction of the Catholic King, as was seen by the offers
which she then made through Sir Henry Cobham. Apart from
Escovedo's intercepted letters, it has been seen that Don John was
following in the footsteps of the Duke of Alva, and the Grand
Commander, who were always stirring up secret enterprises against
this realm, and encouraging its rebels by means of pensions and
As evidence of the breach of the peace, it is seen that his Highness
retained the Germans, deprived the Duke of Aerschot of his
government of the castle of Antwerp, and introduced M. Treslong
contrary to the privileges of Brabant, seized the castle of Namur
and others, employed an arrière-conseil, refused the Prince the
government of Utrecht.
The demolition of the castles of Antwerp and Ghent was
necessary to guarantee the States against the practices of his
Highness, so plainly discovered in the case of Antwerp.
No one can blame the Estates for being on good terms with the
Prince of Orange. They are bound to be so by an express article
of the Pacification. They have always avoided all occasion
of war, in order to prevent the entry of foreign forces, which have
done such infinite harm by their bad behaviour.
We have in a former paper said enough about Escovedo's letters.
The last article has been more than sufficiently met by the
dispatch of ceremonious deputations from the Estates to his Highness,
since the seizure of Namur castle ; nobles, prelates and gentlemen,
who have offered all that was reasonable to him, if he had
been disposed to listen to reason, as the negotiations which are in
everybody's hands will show.
Her Majesty and the Council are entreated to be at the trouble
of reading the justification of the Estates and the appended document,
recently printed with additions.—Windsor, 7 Dec. 1577.
Copy. Endd. by L. Tomson. Fr. 7½ pp. [Holl. and
Fland. IV. 9.]
480. PROCLAMATION DECLARING DON JOHN A PUBLIC ENEMY.
The prelates, nobles and deputies representing the General
Estates of these countries, assembled at Brussels, having heard
that some persons are in doubt whether Don John of Austria ought
to be treated as an enemy of the country, notwithstanding that by
his actions he has, as the Estates have plainly set forth in their
justification, shewn himself as such ever since his retirement to
Namur, whereby many untoward matters have arisen, to obviate
which the said Estates have thought good to declare and do declare
to all men by these presents that they have not held and do not hold
the said Don John, from the time of his retirement to Namur, for
lieutenant-governor of the said countries, but for a violator of the
pacification sworn by him and them, an enemy of the country, and
all natives of this country who aid him, rebels to the country, and
such are in all matters and in all places to be treated as such in their
persons and their goods according to the placard made and
published to that effect on behalf of his Majesty.—Brussels, 7 Dec.
Copy. Fr. ¾ p. [Ibid. IV. 10.]
481. Another, copy, somewhat incorrect. Endd. in Fr. by
Davison. ½ p. [Ibid. IV. 11.]
482. Another copy. Endd. in Fr. 2/3 p. [Ibid. IV. 12.]
[The placard which should accompany this proclamation is
483. RANDOLPH to DAVISON.
I am "beholding" to you for your long letter of the whole fare
of that country, which I see to be very troublesome, and yet no likelihood
of any good end. We lie still here, beholding what may
come of the calamities of our neighbours. You have heard I think
that I should have gone to Scotland to have distributed her
Majesty's liberality among them there. That office is now
supplied by Mr. Bowes, Treasurer of Berwick, and now also Agent
resident there. It "stoodeth (sic) us very much upon" to keep
them at our devotion. We have also great hope of some matter
well agreed upon between some of the princes of Germany and us,
by Mr. Beale's good travail, for whom we look very shortly. God
grant your doings may have such good effect.
Of our new Councillors at home, and that Mr. Walsingham, Mr.
Hatton, and Mr. Hennedge are made knights, I suppose that you
I must pray you to cause this pattern for an armour to be sent to
Captain Gaynseworthe as soon as you conveniently may. With
my hearty commendations to Mrs. Davison I take my leave.
—Canterbury, 7th Dec. 1577.
Add. Endd. 1¼ pp. [Ibid. IV. 13.]
K. d. L. x.
484. LEICESTER TO DAVISON.
Asking him to use his interest with the Prince and others on
behalf of George Southwicke of London, who has a cause pending
in the Low Countries. He is a friend to their cause.—From the
Court, 8 Dec. 1577.
Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. IV. 14.]
K. d. L. x.
485. PIERRE DE FORNARI TO DAVISON.
I have got possession of certain letters from the King and the
Queen Mother of France [? Nos. 433 and 434], which I beg you to
accept ; and if I can be of any other service, shall be prompt
to effect it.—Brussels, 8 Dec. 1577.
Add. Fr. 10 lines. [Ibid. IV. 15.]
486. A brief note of such "Portingall" goods as have been
put under arrest by force of her Highness' commission granted in
April, 1573, for Portingall causes, and thereupon awarded unto her
Majesty's subjects for satisfaction of their damage and losses sustained
by the delaying of their goods in Portingall, by the King's
Aug. 1573. Delivered to John Carr of Bristol, merchant, by
letters from the Privy Council, proceeding from the spices sent
from Ireland by Sir John Perrott, in part satisfaction of his losses
by the stay of his goods at "Linshborne." . . . . £671 8s. 4d.
[Marginal note : Paid of this sum to John Besse, French
merchant, . . £100.]
Jan. 14, 1574. A French ship of Conquett [le Conquet] called
the Hart, laden with goods from Lisbon, arrived at Fowey, where she
was put under arrest with her lading, as Portugal goods, by the Vice-Admiral
there, by force of letters granted to Robert Christmas and
Dominick Chester, for the full satisfaction of their losses sustained
in Portugal. Which goods the Vice-Admiral caused to be
appraised, and delivered to the aforesaid parties ; the value
amounting to £1,215 3s. 8d. Afterwards, by reason that some of
the goods, being sugars, were brought to the port of London, her
Majesty's Commissioners for such causes advanced the price of the
goods delivered to each of them to the sum of £360, thereby
making in value . . . . £1,675 3s. 7d. [sic].
For divers parcels of which goods sundry subjects of the King
of Spain in the Low Countries made claim, and were restored
Jan. 17, 1574. The Elizabeth stopped at Portsmouth for
John Norris and Thomas Brasyer of Barnstaple, 'interessed' by
the stay of their goods at St. Mighell's Isle, the commission being
executed by Sir John Gilbert, by whose order the goods were
appraised at £581 1s. 10d. Out of the price of the goods was paid
to the master for his freight £100. And since there was paid to
merchants of the Low Countries proving part of the goods to be
theirs the sum of £360 3s. 4d., there remained to the parties only
£121 7s. 6d.
July 1575, an English ship, the Mildred, with sugars and other
goods from Bombay, was stopped at Portsmouth for Alderman
Osborne, Lawrence Mellowe and others, and by wastage brought to
this port of London. The goods were landed and sold, making
£1,436 19s. 4d.
From which, after expenses paid, Alderman Osborne and his
company received . . . . . . . . . . . . £898 5s. 7d.
Of which goods Mr. Cofferer had for her Majesty's store in sugars
and spices to the value of . . . . . . . . . . £406.
In August following was arrested on board a fly-boat called the
Hound, Master Cornelys Leonardson, certain Portugal goods for the
behoof of George Bond and John Watson, having their goods stayed
at Faroe [Qy. Ferro] by the King's authority ; which made
£1,290 15s. 2d.
There was arrested for Baptista de Sambitores, denizen, for recompense
of his ships and goods stayed at Lisbon, on board an English
ship called the James of Poole, arrived in Ayche water from Barbary,
certain coarse sugars and panelez belonging to Portugal ;
which were brought round to Hampton water, and there after intimation
given upon the Exchange what of it was to be vented and
done away was sold for . . . . . . . . £1,116 18s. 3d.
Whereof the said Baptista had . . . . . . . £355 2s. 2d.
Edward Preston of Hull . . . . . . . . . . £31 8s. 4d.
Dominick Chester, in part payment of the sum of £527 still due to
him . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £31 8s. 4d.
In Jan. 1575 English style were arrested at the suit of Oliff Burr,
on board of 2 hulks from Portugal, in Tilbury Hope, 241¼ 'wayes'
of Portugal salt, as the goods of John Rodrigues Bon, Portugal
merchant of Lisbon, to answer such damage as Burr had sustained
by the taking of his ship by the King of Portugal's armadæ. They
sold for . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £1,331 4s.
Of which Burr received . . . . . . . . . . . £664 11s.
Endd. 5½ pp. [Portugal I. 8.]
487. "POSTILLS to the requests presented to her MAJESTY by
the Marquis of HAVEREY and Ad. METKIRHT, Deputies
for the States."
1. Her Majesty is content to yield the support of men demanded,
in such form as was before agreed on, so that the States satisfy the
articles agreed on between herself and the Deputies.
2. Allowed of.
3. She maintains her former promise in giving bonds for the
sum demanded, and as it is alleged that their ministers have
difficulty in raising money on loan, she means with the approval of
the Marquis to send an agent of her own to take up the men. For
the present necessity she will furnish them at once with the sum of
as part of the sum demanded, to be sent over by a person
of good quality, who shall deliver it over upon ratification of such
articles as shall be agreed on ; and that the person find good unity
4. Allowed of.
487A. ARTICLES to be ratified by the STATES.
For the repayment of the money.
1. That on receipt of her Majesty's bond, and that of the City
of London, the States shall deliver those of the States-General, and
of such townes as her Majesty's agent, or some other appointed by
her, shall name, into the said agent's hands, and shall within forty
days deliver to him the bonds of such particular provinces as he
shall name as security for the full repayment of such sums ; so that
the first payment, namely half the sum, shall be made at the end
of 6 months next ensuing the receipt of the obligations, and the
payment of the other half at the end of another 6 months.
2. That in case they come to terms before the end of the first 6
months, they shall make full payment and restitution of the whole
sum before the ratification of the terms, or else give 12 hostages to
be sent into England as security for repayment at the times stated
above ; six to be of the States' side and six of the other, six nobility
and six burgesses, of whom also her Majesty shall have the naming.
3. That the payment of the £20,000 which is already due shall
be comprised in the new obligations, and the former obligation is
to be redelivered.
4. That the interest arising from the loan of £100,000 shall be
"answered by" the States, and that they shall discharge her
5. That the States shall "stand to the adventure" of transporting
the sum with which her Majesty is to furnish them at once ;
and shall be answerable for interest, cost of transport, exchange,
For support of men.
1. That the General of such as are sent shall be admitted into
their Council, according to the offer made by them.
2. That the advance of 2 or 3 months' pay made by her Majesty
for her forces shall be repaid at the end of three months from the
time of the disbursement in the City of London, in current money
of England, answerable to the value of the sum "empressed."
3. That they shall receive from the States as good pay as any
other nation in their service.
4. That her Majesty shall be entitled to such costs and charges
as she shall be at for the levying of the said men and bringing them
to the port of embarkation, and for the furniture of the transports,
as has been usual in like cases.
5. That their pay shall begin from the day of their embarkation,
and that at the end of the war they shall be carried back and
loaded within the realm at the cost of the States ; or else one
month's pay, from the date of their discharge, shall be allowed to
all officers and men.
6. That on their arrival in the Low Countries every soldier shall
be furnished with all necessary furniture at reasonable prices.
Articles for the maintenance of good intelligence between
her Majesty and the Low Countries, and good union
1. The ancient treaties between England and Burgundy shall be
still maintained without any alteration save by consent of both
2. That no important matter touching war or peace, or the preservation
of the state of the Low Countries during the present
troubles shall be treated of without the consent of her Majesty or
of the General of the English force [the last six words added by
Burghley and altered by him to] such her Majesty's ministers there
as she shall appoint to reside.
3. If any Prince or people soever shall enterprise anything prejudicial
to the quiet state of her Majesty or any of her dominions
for the cause of religion or otherwise, the States shall give her like
aid and upon the same conditions, and shall give, and so far as in
them lies, suffer to be given, no aid to him or them that shall go
about any like attempt.
4. That the States shall not enter into any way of division or
practice anything the one against the other, unless they first
communicate the causes and occasions of the division to her
Majesty and receive from her such advice and direction as upon the
hearing of the matter shall seem best to her.
5. That they shall not suffer within the said countries any of her
Majesty's rebels or fugitives after sufficient notice given ; but shall
expel them as enemies of the common cause.
6. They shall not contract any league or enter into any secret
intelligence with any Prince whatsoever, unless they first acquaint
her Majesty with the same, and comprehend her within the said
league, if she please to enter it [or sufficient caution and provision
be made for her Majesty and realm not to be in any wise molested
by the confederates or any of them without manifest occasion of
open wrong offered on her part, which shall be debated by
commissioners appointed on both sides. Omitted in copy].
7. That the government for the time being of the Low Countries
shall in the King's name and by his authority satisfy the above
articles and procure the maintenance of them to the utmost of their
8. That whenever the States come to agreement with the King
of Spain, they shall procure that jointly with such agreement he
shall ratify and confirm all these articles, or such as by her Majesty
or her ministers resident shall be thought requisite to have
9. That they shall follow the advice of her Majesty's minister
presently to be sent over in all such things as shall be by him propounded,
tending to the public benefit and the maintenance of good
union amongst them.
Draft with alterations in Burghley's writing. Endd. 6 pp.
[Holl. and Fland. IV. 16.]
488. Another draft, embodying Burghley's alterations, and with
a preamble to the effect that her Majesty having used her good
offices with the King of Spain and his "late" Governor Don John
for establishing peace, and not succeeded ; and finding that the
support asked by the States is in consideration of their extreme
necessity, and that they ask for aid only to keep themselves in due
obedience to their King, is content to, etc.
Endd. 8 pp. [Ibid. IV. 17.]
489. Articles of admission of the ARCHDUKE MATTHIAS.
Considering the condition to which the Low Countries have been
brought by the sudden withdrawal of Don John, and the wrong
done by him to their loyalty to the King ; considering further the
absence of the King in a remote country and the difficulty of
access to him, and that he has given permission to Don John to
retire from the government, as declared in Don John's letter of
Sep. 5, and offered to supply another governor of his blood ; and
whereas the Archduke Matthias, his nephew and brother-in-law,
of the legitimate blood of the House of Austria, happens to be
here ; the Estates, desirous to avoid the evils arising from the continued
lack of a chief, and to obviate the plots and practices of
others who might wish to profit by the troubles of the country, to
the detriment alike of the Catholic religion and of the obedience
due to the King, have thought good to receive the Archduke and
beseech him to accept the government of the country, subject to
the assent of the King ; provided always that the said Archduke
shall before anything else swear to observe the pacification of
Ghent, maintaining the Catholic religion according to the terms
of that pacification, and shall accept the following conditions laid
before him by the Estates, in view of the abuses of the Governors-General
sent from Spain, to the end that every man may be assured
against all doubt and scruple for the future, and to the greater
and more secure tranquillity of these countries, on which the
Catholic religion and our allegiance depend :—
1. The Archduke shall take the oath to the King as sovereign
and to the Estates for the conservation of the peace of the country.
2. All Governors of towns or provinces, as well as all officers
and soldiers, shall take a similar oath.
3. They, as well as the Governor-General, shall bind themselves
to the points hereinafter recited, especially to the observance
of all and sundry the privileges, rights, usages and customs
of the country.
4. He shall govern with a Council of State, to be nominated
by the Estates-General, being natives of the country, fit and qualified.
5. All questions shall be decided in Council by a plurality of
voices, and the Governor shall have no arrière-conseil.
6. If any councillors, or others holding office under the King
shall behave himself unseemly therein, at the requisition of the
States, enquiry shall be made, and steps shall be taken in the matter
according to law.
7. The appointment to offices which have always been in the
King's hands shall so remain, and petition shall be made to him
to appoint persons qualified as in the fourth article ; other points
being reserved for another meeting of the Estates-General.
8. The Governor and Council shall take no measures affecting
the generality, such as levy of aids in money, declaration of peace
or war, and the like, without consent of the States-General ; nor
shall they issue any important placards or ordinances, nor appoint
any new custom or usage, without the agreement of the Estates
lawfully assembled in every province, according to the fashions
and customs of the same.
9. The Governor shall be bound to communicate to the Council
all letters that he may receive touching the state of the country.
10. No business shall be done by the Council unless at least
half of the members are present.
11. All acts and dispatches of the Council shall be countersigned
and verified by one of the councillors.
12. The Governor shall restore all the ancient privileges, etc.,
which can be shown to have been infringed or abolished.
13. The Estates shall remain in session as long as seems to
them expedient, and the Estates-General shall meet as often as they
14. At the summons of anyone of the provinces, in which anything
of importance shall take place, requiring that a meeting
be held, the other provinces may and shall meet without awaiting
the Governor's order.
15. Similarly the Estates of each province may meet whenever
they think good.
16. The pacification of Ghent shall not be infringed on any
17. The Governor shall have his ordinary guard of halberdiers
and archers, natives of the country, unless he likes to have some
German halberdiers as other Governors, princes of the blood, have
had. If he wishes for some special occasion to increase their
number, he is to consult the Estates.
18. The Governor and his Council shall appoint commanders-in-chief
by land and sea, and other principal officers, with the
advice of the Estates.
19. He shall make no extraordinary levies of troops, save with
the consent of the Estates, and shall not, except for urgent and
manifest necessity, put garrisons in towns without hearing what
the towns have to say.
20. He shall not appoint any Governor to a province without
the assent of the province, and so far as possible such Governor
shall live in the province or at least own property in it.
21. In time of war he shall administer all matters of importance
by means of the Council, calling in the Council of War,
which shall be composed of person acceptable to the Estates.
22. All moneys proceeding from the Estates shall be administered
by the Estates and persons appointed by them, leaving the
royal domains and finances to be administered as heretofore ; and
if it be deemed expedient otherwise, representations may be made
at once, or to the Estates assembled acording to the pacification
23. The Estates may in case of need, for instance of war, accept
the offers made by neighbouring realms or princes ; and the
Governor will maintain such acceptances as have been already
24. Measures shall be taken against those who have been in
arms against their country, and against all who have taken the
side of Don John, to the end that henceforth there may be none
who will dare to disturb the public tranquillity ; exception being
made in favour of those who have asked to return, or can show
that they followed Don John unwillingly ; the Estates to judge.
25. Castles not yet demolished, but whose demolition is resolved
on, shall be really dismantled or pulled down ; and as for
others, which there is reason to fear may be used for purposes of
oppression, order shall be taken, with the advice of the Estates.
26. There shall be an amnesty for all matters connected with
the late troubles, except as provided by Act 24.
27. His Highness shall accept without contravention all that
has been done by the States since the retirement of Don John to
Namur, and his Majesty shall be asked to do the same.
28. He shall use his endeavours with the Emperor and the
princes of the Empire to bring about the speedy withdrawal of
Don John and all his people ; seeing that as the Low Countries
form one circle of the Empire, with the county of Burgundy, they
are under the protection of his Imperial Majesty and the Holy
29. He shall take none into his service, not being natives, save
those he brings with him, unless by consent of the Estates ; nor
shall they meddle in the affairs of the country.
30. If, after accepting the government the Archduke violated
these conditions, the Estates protest that it shall be lawful for them
after due summons, and refusal of redress, to take up arms for
their defence, against the Archduke or any other.—Done at
Brussels the 8th Dec. 1577. By order of the Estates (signed)
Copy. Fr. 6¼ pp. [Ibid. IV. 18.]
490. Another copy. Endd. by Burghley. 3 pp. [Ibid.
491. Another copy. 5 pp. [Ibid. IV. 20.]
492. Another copy, imperfect. 2 pp. [Ibid. IV. 21.]
493. Another version of the above articles, differing considerably
in wording and arrangement, but to much the same effect.
[N.B.—This is the version given by Renon de France in the
Histoire des Troubles des Pays Bas, but Art 24 of that is missing
in both copies. It is probably the original French version,
that given above being translated from the Flemish. Or it may
be an earlier draft ; see Davison's letter of Dec. 12, No. 503.]
Copy. Endd. in French. Fr. 4½ pp. [Ibid. IV. 22.]
494. Another copy, in (?) Fremyn's hand. 8 pp. [Ibid.
495. NOTES set down by the EARL OF SUSSEX of matters to be
inserted in her MAJESTY'S LETTER to the KING OF
1. The great desire her Majesty has had to see an honourable
pacification between the King of Spain and his subjects of the
Low Countries, for which purpose she has sent divers messengers
to the King and to his various ministers in those countries.
2. Her great contentment at hearing of the pacification made
last year by Don John and confirmed by the King, and her earnest
desire that it might continue.
3. Her grief that it is not truly and perfectly observed in all
respects as was meant by the King himself and all his good subjects,
and that the great hope of peace, which was conceived to
have grown thereby is like to be turned into a new war with great
effusion of Christian blood.
4. Her great desire to do all the good offices she may to pacify
these troubles as may be to the honour of the King and the safety
of his subjects, so that he may be assured of such due obedience
as the Emperor Charles and his other predecessors have always
had from those countries, and the subjects may enjoy their ancient
liberties and privileges as in his predecessor's time.
5. Her great content that all causes of suspicion should be
removed that might "any ways" hinder the good amity that ought
to be and that she would have between herself and the King, and
her desire that he should do the like on his part, which if he will
perform with as great sincerity as herself, she does not doubt but
that there shall be as perfect amity between them as between any
of their progenitors.
6. Which causes have moved her to write in order to let him
understand her sincere meaning, and for greater expedition to
send them by this bearer ; for if she had sent them by a person of
such quality as she would have wished, and the case required, the
loss of time necessarily caused by the going and returning of such
a person might have been prejudicial to the cause. Therefore, seeing
that her Majesty has by her own writing delivered her opinion as
fully as it would have been delivered by the mouth of another,
and time is saved thereby, she does not doubt that he will consider
her letter as deeply, and answer it as sufficiently as if it had been
sent in any other sort.
7. It seems to her that the pacification already made was such
as to content him and satisfy his subjects, and that both he and
they have had and still have a will that it should be truly and
8. It has been of late violated, as Don John says, by the States,
and, as the States say, by Don John. Her Majesty has read what
the States have written in their defence and their charges of him,
and has heard what M. du Gastel of late sent from Don John
has said in his defence, and in charge of the States. She does
not mean to burden or disburden either of them, but to leave
them to their own defence ; yet she sees that the good inclination
which he has to receive his subjects to mercy and grace, and the
desire they have to yield him all due obedience without any alteration
in religion, are by contrary actions utterly frustrated.
9. Having, therefore, the most sincere desire to avoid the
shedding of blood, and to see the King obeyed by his subjects, and
his subjects favoured by him, as they should be, has taken upon her
to recommend to him this her humble petition that he will receive
them to his grace, permit them to enjoy their ancient privileges,
and cause to be performed all other matters contained in the pacification,
by such a governor as may be liked of him and grateful
to them, and they will yield him all due obedience, continue their
religion without altering, and do for their parts all other things
contained in the pacification.
10. In order that her Majesty may the better deal herein, it
is convenient that she open to him that there is such a distrust
conceived on their part toward Don John, and on his part toward
them, that even if the King were disposed to receive them, and they
had an earnest desire to obey him, yet this distrust is so great
on both sides as never to permit any good execution so long as he
11. She also finds by Don John's letters put into print that
he seeks to inform the King that she is stirring the Prince of
Orange and others against him, a matter likely to move him to a
breach of the amity. She also has discovered his secret practices
and dealings with the Scottish Queen, a matter very dangerous
to the quiet of her state. She also finds by Escovedo's letters that
he thinks the enterprise of England to be of more facility than that
of the Isles, a matter to move her to conceive that some enterprise
is in hand against her and her dominions ; all which and other
circumstances joined show that these persons will rather be instruments
to infringe the amity between her and the King than to
12. All which fully considered, as one that in all sincerity
wishes the King to possess all his dominions in perfect obedience,
and that the ancient amity between her and him may be continued,
and that all occasions offered for any other potentate to 'invest'
himself in any other part of his dominions might be taken away,
her Majesty has thought fit not only to deliver to himself her
opinion and counsel for bringing these matters to the good end
which she heartily desires, but also to impart to him what the greatness
of the cause has moved her to consider of herein for the surety
of her own person and state, as one that cannot think her own house
to be firm when she sees the house of so good a neighbour and
ancient friend on fire.
13. First, her Majesty does with all her heart, friendly and
sincerely advise him that it will please him to receive his subjects
to his grace, to leave them their ancient liberties, and to cause
all articles of the pacification to be performed, so that they yield
him due obedience, continue without alteration of religion, and
perform their share of it.
14. Secondly, since it appears that the new troubles grow
rather in respect of the minister than of any disposition of the
King or of any bill the States have to disobey, and that by the
policy of a wise minister all things may be brought to the King's
contentment—that it will please him to revoke Don John and to
place some such other of his own blood in the government as may
be to his liking and grateful to his subjects, and avoid all suspicion
of seeking to infringe amity between the King and her
15. Which, if the King at the petition of his subjects, and her
Majesty's solicitation will do, she promises in all sincerity that if
the States of the Low Countries fly from their due obedience to
him, or seek the alteration of their religion, or break on their part
the terms of the pacification, she will by all the good and convenient
means she may devise aid and assist him for the restraining
and coercing of them, and to force them to due obedience and all
other matters contained in the pacification, and that she will continue
as friendly and close amity with him as any of her progenitors
have done with his.
16. In the meantime till the King's answer be received, her
Majesty, seeing the great forces prepared by Don John with the
assistance of the French forces already marching towards him will
drive her ancient friends the States of the Low Countries to one
of two extremities ; either to be overcome by the foreign force
brought against them by Don John and so brought in danger of a
foreign tyrannisation, or else driven for defence thereof to give
themselves over to the French, both which must be perilous to
the King, dangerous to her Majesty and in utter destruction to
the poor country ; therefore, for the benefit of the King, the avoiding
of her own peril, and the relief of the poor afflicted countries
she has resolved to do as follows :
17. First, seeking to avoid the effusion of Christian blood, she
has sent persons of quality as well to Don John as to the States
to procure cessation of arms for a time, hoping before the end of it
to hear of some good replying from the King.
18. Secondly, at the request of her said ministers she has
agreed to lend them a 'convenient' sum of money, that they may
properly put themselves in force to withstand the invasion of
strangers, and not be driven to give themselves over to any other
prince for their defence.
19. Thirdly, she has promised to send over a 'convenient'
army of horse and foot, under the leading of some principal nobleman
of her court, to make them the stronger to defend themselves.
20. Thirdly [sic], seeing the necessity of one of the perils
mentioned to ensue, if the war proceed, she is resolved to bend
all the forces she may to join with them to withstand those perils,
which her Majesty takes in hand with a safe conscience, for avoiding
the perils that may grow to the King by 'abjection' of any
of his dominions, the hindrance that may grow to herself thereby,
and the desolation that will come to the country ; protesting before
God and men that she does not mean either to 'impatronise'
herself of any part of the country, or to draw the subjects from
their obedience, or to procure any alteration of their religion. Her
only meaning is to defend the people from foreign tyranny, to
continue them in the obedience of the King, to keep them in their
ancient privileges and forms of government, and to stay them
from 'abjecting' themselves from their natural Kings to any
strange potentate, and to continue with the King and them the
21. All which her Majesty trusts the King will take in as good
part as she means, and will speedily return such answer as may
be for the benefit, honour, and contentment of them both.
Autograph. Endd. as heading. 6 pp. [Holl. and Fland.
496. POULET TO BURGHLEY.
Mr. Copley sent his servant to me on the morning of the 8th, with
letters addressed to you, which he prayed me to convey by my next
dispatch, and had left them unsealed to the intent I should peruse
them if I would. Having perused the first side of the leaf,
resolving with myself to take a copy of it, I answered the
messenger that the letters were long, and prayed him to come again
in the evening ; at which time I redelivered to him the letters,
willing him to signify to his master that I would not be his
messenger in this case, and that I found it strange he had omitted
to make mention of the value of his Barony, because his friends in
England would account little of the title, unless some profit were
joined with it. By the copy enclosed vou shall see the folly of this
gentleman, which surely is greater than was likely to be found in a
man of his judgement and experience. As these titles have been
foolishly craved, so it may be feared lest they have been maliciously
granted.—Paris, 9 December 1577.
Add. Endd. 2/3 p. [France I. 54.]
497. POULET TO WALSINGHAM.
On the 6th of this month M. de Foix came to my lodging not
commanded by the King, he said, but with his leave, to consider of
some good expedient to appease this late quarrel. His communication
contained in substance, that satisfaction should be made by
Lansac to the English merchants, or by the King if Lansac would
not or were not able. And because many things might be
demanded which were already restored, other things might be
valued at a higher price than they were worth, and doubts and
difficulties might arise many ways, commission should be given to
some councillor, deputed by the King, and to me to take order
herein. Wherein we should not stand upon extremity or vary for
trifles, and that any question of unjust valuation should be referred
to 'the other of two' indifferent men, and that the King and I
should each send a man to Bordeaux to see the delivery of the ships
and goods yet remaining there.
I answered that the prescribed course was full of delays, and
indeed was no other than a new process, that by this means the
English merchants must seek their remedy in France, that all
these difficulties were easy to be decided in England, that the oaths
of the parties were sufficient for the trial of the things taken, and
that if any excess were found in the value, my Lords of the Council
would consider of it in justice ; that I wished orders to be given for
the release of the ships at Bordeaux ; that it was useless to send one
of my servants, as there would be no want of English witnesses ;
that the continuance of the arrest in England was greatly to the
loss of the French merchants, that they could not be released until
the English were satisfied, and therefore trusted that speedy order
would be taken therein.
He repeated the offers made by some deputed by her Majesty in
England, and yet would not seem to allow of them. I asked him
why the French ambassador had refused them. He answered that
the ambassador stood upon the defence of the arrest made by
Lansac, and urged the allowance of the same. I replied that I
thought the ambassador had as sufficient commission to accept
those offers, which being so favourable for the French merchants
he would not have refused if he had been authorised. He
concluded that he would acquaint the King with our communication,
and that his good will should never be wanting. No doubt
his only errand was to sound my opinion.
We then considered the former spoils committed by the French
against the English, wherein he seemed to believe that my allegations
were true. But (saith he) you have forgotten that when I was
ambassador in England the English had taken of the French more
than four score ships, and when I came to ask restitution, I had of
my Lord Burghley letters, commissions, and all that was reasonable
to be required. But when I came to the Vice-Admiral and other
inferior officers, I lost both my charge and my 'travell,' so that of
all those ships only two were restored.
I concluded that it was not enough that satisfaction were made
to our merchants for the time past, unless it be also provided that
they may be better treated hereafter ; and told him that when the
King was at Poitiers I informed his Majesty of the arrogant
speeches used by one Nypeville against those of our nation, and
now I was advertised of his intention to go shortly to sea, and
prayed him to inform the King that order might be given for the
surety of our merchant. M. de Foix accepted the charge willingly,
saying that these disorders were to be imputed to the Governor,
who ought to take security for good behaviour of all that went to
sea.—Paris, 9 December 1577.
P.S.—The merchants of Dieppe are dispatched from hence to take
order for the satisfaction of the English merchants.
Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Ibid. I. 55.]
498. ACT OF UNION between those of the ROMAN CHURCH and
those who have withdrawn from it.
We the undersigned, Prelates, churchmen, lords, gentlemen,
magistrates, castellans, and others, representing the Estates of the
Low Countries, now assembled in this city of Brussels, under the
obedience of our Lord the King of Spain, make known to all
persons, present and to come, that whereas our one wish is to
restore tranquillity to these Low Countries, and whereas to that
effect, after the pacification of Ghent, an act of union was drawn
up to confirm it, in which act, in order to avoid the calumnies of
those who say that our pacification aimed only at changes in the
State and in religion, it was declared that our intention was to
maintain the Catholic religion and our obedience to the King,
pursuant to the pacification ratified by his Majesty, it has come to
pass to our great regret that many ill-affected to their own country,
and desiring to become great at the expense of the people, instead
if interpreting our intention in good part and joining with us, have
tried to cover their evil designs under those points of religion and
obedience, and very wrongly charging us with having been the
first to break our promise, in order to give colour to their iniquitous
pretensions, have not only taken arms against their own country,
but are daily trying to debauch those best affected to the Catholic
religion and other less wary persons, under the cloak of the points
above-named, giving them to understand that the Estates mean to
overstep the terms of the said pacification.
On the other hand, since it has also come to pass that many even
among those best affected to the country, whom, nevertheless, in
compliance with the pacification of Ghent, it is impossible to constrain
to the Roman Catholic religion, seeing these inducements
being exercised both towards the less wary, and also towards those
who show themselves glad of a plausible excuse to cover their
private designs, have grown suspicious, as though by the abovementioned
declaration an attempt had been made to entangle them
in the mesnes of obligation contrary to the pacification of Ghent ;
for which cause many have recoiled from the act of union, and it
has not been able to bring forth the fruit that we desired. This is
why we now wish to let it be clearly understood by all men, that
our sole intention has been and is in all sincerity to maintain the
pacification of Ghent, and to defend and guarantee the Catholic
religion and the obedience due to our lawful sovereign.
For greater security and the removal of all distrust, we have
thought good to make the present fresh declaration, that we
have not and never had any intention of violating the
pacification, nor to oppress or injure those who having withdrawn
from the Catholic Religion are joined with us by it, of
whatever quality, condition or country they may be ; nor will we
suffer any plots or machinations against them, nor allow them to be
in any way molested on account of religion, but will let them live
at peace, taking them under our safeguard and protection without
fraud or ill-design, cavil or subterfuge.
Reciprocally, we who have withdrawn from the Roman Catholic
religion promise solemnly that we will attempt nothing against
that religion and the exercise of it, nor on account of it will we
injure or irritate any by word or deed, nor scandalise them by acts,
but pledge ourselves that no one shall impeach, disturb, or molest
those of that religion in performing its services and ceremonies.
Each of us generally and severally shall be bound to defend all
persons belonging to it, ecclesiastics or laymen, in the exercise of
it, and in their dignities, privileges and possessions, and suffer
them to be molested in no way soever.
For the rest, we will to the best of our power maintain the
privileges, rights, and customs of our common fatherland, and of
its individual inhabitants ; and each of us will do all that in him
lies to secure the restoration to all men of all such privileges as they
can shew to be due to them, in what way soever they may have been
taken from them or lost.
And for the more efficacious ratification and maintenance of the
above, and the avoidance of all disunion in the future, such as
might supervene for lack of a general head, we swear to accept the
Archduke Matthias as Lieutenant-governor and Captain-general
for the King, provisionally, and until other order shall be taken
by his Majesty and the States-General, and we will obey him as
such, subject to the conditions and articles which shall by the said
Estates be laid before him ; the which he shall ratify by oath,
swearing at the same time to maintain and regard as acceptable
this present union, without in any way infringing it either as a
whole or in any part. Agreed in the assembly of the Estates-General,
Brussels, 10 Dec. 1577.
Copy. Endd. in French. Fr. 8 pp. [Holl. and Fland.
499. Another copy. Endd. in Fr. Fr. 7 pp. [Ibid.
500. Another copy. Endd.: Project de union. 4½ pp.
[Ibid. IV. 27.]
501. Another copy. Endd.: La Nouvelle Association entre
Messrs. Le Estats generaux du pays bas, et Monsr. le Prince
d'Orange. 3½ pp. [Ibid. IV. 28.]