Elizabeth: December 1577, 6-10

Pages 356-376

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, 6-10

Dec. [6.]
K. d. L. x. 143. (From another copy.)
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 his household. 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 themselves. 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.]
Dec. 5. 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.]
Dec. 7.
K. d. L. x. 149. (From another copy.)
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 favours. 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.]
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. 1577. 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 wanting.]
Dec. 7. 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 have heard. 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.]
Dec. 8.
K. d. L. x. 154.
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.]
Dec. 8.
K. d. L. x. 155.
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.]
Dec. 7. 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 authority there. 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 thereto. 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.]
After Dec. 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 among them.
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 Majesty thereof.
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, &c.
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 between themselves.
1. The ancient treaties between England and Burgundy shall be still maintained without any alteration save by consent of both parties.
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 power.
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 continuance.
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.]
Dec. 8. 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 please.
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 pretext soever.
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 of Ghent.
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 made.
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 Empire.
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) Cornelius Weellemans. Copy. Fr. 6¼ pp. [Ibid. IV. 18.]
Dec. 8. 490. Another copy. Endd. by Burghley. 3 pp. [Ibid. IV. 19.]
Dec. 8. 491. Another copy. 5 pp. [Ibid. IV. 20.]
Dec. 8. 492. Another copy, imperfect. 2 pp. [Ibid. IV. 21.]
[Dec. 8.] 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.]
[Dec. 8.] 494. Another copy, in (?) Fremyn's hand. 8 pp. [Ibid. IV. 23.]
Dec. 9. 495. NOTES set down by the EARL OF SUSSEX of matters to be inserted in her MAJESTY'S LETTER to the KING OF SPAIN."
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 perfectly observed.
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 is minister.
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 increase it.
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 Majesty.
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 ancient amity.
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. IV. 24.]
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.]
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.]
Dec. 10. 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. IV. 25.]
Dec. 10. 499. Another copy. Endd. in Fr. Fr. 7 pp. [Ibid. IV. 26.]
Dec. 10. 500. Another copy. Endd.: Project de union. 4½ pp. [Ibid. IV. 27.]
Dec. 10. 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.]