Nov. 25—Dec. 12.
K. d. L.
502. ADVICES FROM THE CAMP BEFORE NAMUR.
M. de la Motte passed the 'Maze' at Bouvines with 5,000 shot
and 1,100 horse to surprise 18 ensigns of French that lay dispersed
in the villages. The weather was very foul that night. If they
had attempted them at once they would easily have overthrown
them ; but the French gathered themselves together and seemed to
offer to parley, and offer their services to the States, until they were
safely intrenched, and then they cared no more for our men.
Those that were there greatly blame M. de la Motte. They
returned without doing anything but kill 4 or 5 soldiers and take
11 prisoners. They returned to camp the 1st of December.
There came from Namur in the morning 10 ensigns of Frenchmen
to a hill above Namur towards the camp, where they seemed
as though they would intrench themselves. A sergeant-major
who discovered them told M. de Lalaing that unless they were
removed within 12 hours, it would be impossible for all the camp
to remove them. Yet there was nothing done, but they of themselves
returned to Namur ; not known to the camp for 5 days after.
It was reported that 4,000 Spaniards and Italians were come to
All the Spaniards, Italians, High Burgundians and French, to
the number of 3 regiments of the best soldiers, marched towards
the land of Lamborne [? Limburg], leaving only 50 Spaniards to
guard the castle of Nemours. It is supposed that they go to victual
The Bishop of "Collaine" was married to the sister of the Count
of "Erremberge" ; at which marriage it is said that Don John
shall meet with 4,000 horsemen, and so meet the regiments above-named.
The same day, M. de Lalaing, M. de la Motte, Count Egmondt
and others, with 30 ensigns of foot and 4 pieces of ordnance, and
victualled for 3 days, went to besiege a castle on the Maze called
Ceille, which was yielded next day upon composition. They are
fortifying it, and are now gone to besiege another castle on the
same river called Samson.
Count de la Marshe, being left as general in the camp, sounded
the drum to take review, meaning to camp where the 10 ensigns
of French mentioned above had been on the 4th, as soon as he heard
from M. de Lalaing.
Enclosure . 1 p . [Ibid. IV . 29.]
503. DAVISON to LEICESTER.
Since the receipt of yours of the 22nd ult. by John Furrier, I
have heard nothing of you, nor have I written since his return.
The mean time has afforded little of importance. Things remained
in the doubtful state that he left them, till now, when the States,
having resolved to receive the Archduke, have sent the Duke of
Aerschot, M. de Frézin, and the Abbots of St. Gertrude and
Marolles, to repair hither to him, with the conditions upon which
they will receive him, being the same in effect as I have already
sent your Lordship. If, as is not doubted, he accepts them, he is
to go from hence with the commissioners to Brussels. They were
dispatched yesterday, and should have been here to-night at latest ;
but a new debate arose between the States and the people upon the
addition of certain articles, as that he should swear to maintain the
Roman Catholic religion ; that he would at all points entertain the
first union of the States, a thing which was concluded between
them about seven or eight weeks after the pacification of Ghent,
having the maintenance of the Romish religion for 'his principal
mark' ; that he should maintain the perpetual edict ; with two or
three other like suspicious points, not mentioned in their former
communication with the commons, who on understanding it, would
not approve his being accepted unless on the conditions they had
agreed to. So the States were driven to reform those articles, and
this delayed the commissioners. They are expected to-morrow.
The conduct of the States, before the conclusion of the new
association, once agreed to and since suspended, makes its success
doubtful, and fills the head of some good patriots with a suspicion
of their pretence ; the more so that in composing Matthias's council
and household they seem determined to admit only those sworn to
maintain the Romish religion. As this excludes the Prince, it is
the high way to confound the union of the country, a thing hoped
for and set forward by ill ministers at home and abroad ; amongst
whom the French have not the least interest. They think they
have received great dishonour of the States who have 'so long
dandled and in fine rejected' the Duke of Alençon. He has lately
sent M. de Mondoucet, that was lately ambassador resident here
for the King, to let the Prince and States understand their discourteous
manner of dealing with him, and to make them good
offers on his behalf. But as the government of the Archduke is
like to make a metamorphosis of this his pretended affection, some
suspect that Mondoucet, who arrived here yesternight, has some
secret negotiation, being a man able to do much harm, with his
The ill inclination of France towards these countries may appear
by the letters of the King and Queen-Mother to the States, copies
of which I send ; but is like before long to show itself more clearly
by some effect of their league with Spain, which as I hear is newly
confirmed, with intent to employ their utmost forces against these
countries. And some say (which the Archduke affirms he has had
information of from the Emperor's Court) that the King of Spain
has practised with the Turk to divert the mischief which threatened
himself, upon the Hungarians, though it specially touch the
Emperor his nephew. To advance the matter here he has sent
out of Italy about 2,000 Spanish foot and 800 or 900 horse. With
these and the French Don John grows so strong that he has now
ventured to cross the Mase near Namur, where he has encamped—
some think to provoke the States' men (who are not a league off)
to fight, others, in order to surprise Tillemont or some other town
in Brabant. Others think it is to secure Namur and Ruremonde
and to keep the passage open till he is strong enough to advance.
But everybody thinks that the States have committed a great error
in rejecting the counsel of the Prince and allowing the enemy to
gather his forces, when if they had listed, they might by this have
been out of fear of anything he could attempt.
Yesterday they concluded to proclaim him for their public
enemy, which is this day effected ; denouncing all that are with
him for rebels, and their lands and goods confiscable if they do not
abandon him within 15 days.
I understand this day from the Prince of the election of a new
bishop of Collen, wherein the Chapter has much deceived the
expectation of the pope, the emperor, the King of Spain, the
electors and divers other great personages of Germany, who had
earnestly commended one of the princes of Bavaria, who in hope of
his good success 'had sent down his music and made other solemn
though impertinent provision ;' because the Chapter in utter mislike
of his election have conferred the dignity upon Baron 'Truxis,'
a nobleman very well qualified, and one of whom the Prince has
great hope and opinion [taking him to be rather a friend than an
enemy to our religion ; erased ] in many respects. Her Majesty's
name has been used by insinuation in this matter by some of her
friends, and therefore the Prince wishes that she would vouchsafe
to congratulate him with a friendly and ceremonious letter.
—Antwerp, 12 Dec. 1577.
Draft. Endd . 2 pp . [Holl. and Fland. IV . 30.]
504. DAVISON to the SECRETARIES.
As No . 503. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson . 2 pp . [Ibid.
IV . 31.]
505. Draft of the last. Endd . 2 pp . [Ibid. IV . 31a .]
K. d. L. x.
506. DAVISON to BURGHLEY.
As the three preceding .
P.S .—I have just heard that the new association is signed by
the States ; though I have been used to so many of these false
alarms that I dare not assure it till I see it.
Add. Endd . 2 pp . [Ibid. IV . 32.]
507. POULET to the SECRETARIES.
It is given out at this Court that her Majesty is sending the
Estates 800,000 florins ; that four companies sent by the Prince of
Orange to Amsterdam are defeated by those of the town ; that
six companies of Spaniards have been overthrown of late beside
Namur ; that 3,000 Spaniards are coming shortly out of Italy,
besides those which passed lately ; that the Duke of Savoy permits
them to pass through Piedmont, notwithstanding his restraint of
all other by reason of the plague in Milan and Lombardy ; that
notwithstanding all fair promises, the French are gone to Don
John in great numbers.
The French have a great opinion 'in' the Count Lalaing.
Mr. Wade writes to me from Geneva that it is reported there by
certain Italians that the King of Spain comes shortly to Milan,
where he will assemble a great Council to deliberate of great
things. Another from the same place writes that La Fin has been
of late at Rome and is returned to Genoa, and from thence comes
shortly to this Court, where he is likely to be well received.
The jealousy and distrust of this Court are nothing diminished.
Rochelle has bad neighbours on every side ; Marans is not rased,
as was promised ; the Admiral is not yet come to the Court, and
some doubt if he will come. I leave the consideration of Damville
to your better judgements. So all men think that our resolutions
here depend upon the good or bad success of the Spaniard in
the Low Countries.
It pleased you in the beginning of this summer to signify that
her Majesty was content to bestow 100 crowns a year upon the
Party mentioned in the copy enclosed. I find that his letters come
so slowly and so seldom, for want of convenient messengers, that
I doubt if his service deserves her Majesty's liberality, and therefore
please to give me directions herein.
No other than myself is acquainted with the matter advertised
by George Poulet, and therefore please to give order that the same
may not be imparted to any that shall come from me.—Paris, 12
P.S. [Autograph ]—Please consider these letters enclosed.
My countrymen in England should do God and their country good
service, if either they would provide schoolmasters for their children
at home, or else would take better order for their education here,
where they are infested by all sorts of pollution, and find many
willing schoolmasters to teach them to be bad subjects.
M. Méru is come this day to this Court.
Add. Endd. (twice) . 2 pp . [France I . 56.]
K. d. L. x.
508. DAVISON to WALSINGHAM.
Just when I had closed my letter of last night, I received yours
of the 7th inst., by which I perceive how much the Prince's silence
is noted by her Majesty ; and how apt some of his 'hard affected'
friends are to make their profit thereof, censuring his actions after
their own humours. And though I have already touched some
cause of his silence, and assured you of his devotion toward her
Majesty, yet because it seems that does not satisfy, I will acquaint
you with the particular reasons which he has alleged in excuse of
his forbearing to communicate by letter with her Majesty, as
occasion might have required, and as she perhaps expected.
This was in substance, that he knew the States to be so jealous
of his intelligence with her Majesty, that special charge was given
to the Marquis to observe what he should from time to time treat
by letter or otherwise with her Highness or others at Court ; that
considering the cause is common between them, he is constrained
to avoid the jealousy of proceeding with counsels or intelligence
apart, lest they should be yet more jealous that he should 'affect
his own particular' ; that he is driven for common quiet's sake to
accommodate himself to them in the meanest things, much more
in matters of importance ; that he was sure, if he were to deal
as openly as he would like to do with her Majesty in the occasions
in hand, it would rather overthrow than advance them, that if her
Majesty should in any way be moved—as their dealings here had
given cause enough—to withdraw her favour from them, it would
be wholly imputed to him ; that the proceeding here was so
strange and uncertain that he would not tell what to think or what
to assure her Majesty ; that he had nevertheless dealt openly,
faithfully, and honourably with me on all occasions, and as her
Majesty's ministers, I could with less suspicion advertise the truth
of things ; and finally that his care to shun that monster of civil
division, which of all others he most feared, and not any decrease
in his devotion to her Majesty, on whom of all the princes in the
world he most depends, has been the chief reason why he omitted
to do that office. Herein he referred to my testimony and report,
assured that her Majesty, being duly informed of his affection,
would find no cause to doubt that he was and would remain at her
As for the doubt of his inclination to France, he thinks she is
so well informed of the little cause he has to lean that way, that
of all other things it is least suspicious. And I can assure you
that in all these practices with the Duke of Alençon (though he
could have wished things had been on better terms for their profit's
sake before the States had utterly shaken him off), no man has
been further than he from approving the accepting of him. On
the contrary, he has earnestly persuaded them to depend upon her,
and if his advice had been followed things would not now be as
And although he do not, for the reasons aforesaid, in his private
letters solicit her Majesty for succour of men and money, he has
several times asked me to commend it to her in his name ; and
therefore I hope it will speed better than by your last letter it
seems inclined to. Once I assure myself that as the coming over
of our forces would specially secure his estate, so I know no man
here that so much affects it. If, after so long time consumed there
by the Marquis, it does not answer their hope, it may be the cause
of such effects as we would be loth to see.
The States assure the Prince that they have given full authority
to their ambassadors to conclude the negotiation, so that he cannot
guess where the difficulty rests, if not in the securities. He is
himself persuaded, as you might see by the copy which I sent you
of his advice upon the points referred to him by the States, that
the matter should go forward at what price soever. But he is
still of opinion that for the money her Majesty should govern
herself somewhat according to the advice he has given, and see
to what point the doubtful proceeding here would grow before she
waded too far.
Touching myself, in your last you note me to have erred in not
answering divers points contained in your former letters, which I
take to be 13 or 14 articles sent apart for information immediately
after the accident of Ghent. Both in my letters of the 15th and
18th of last month, and in former advertisements, those points,
save one or two where I found it hard to give full satisfaction, have
been so fully answered that I thought the repetition needless.
Howbeit I have herewith sent as much as I had observed upon each
of the points ; beseeching you to hold my fault excused that I did
not do it in this form. I have little or nothing since yesterday,
save that I hear the new association is signed, though for the
uncertainty of their dealing I dare not believe it till I see it,
since I am out of doubt that what the States do in this behalf is
rather of constraint than will. On the coming of the commissioners
we shall see how things incline. I hear they were last
night at Mechlin, and are expected here to-day.—Antwerp, 13 Dec.
P.S .—This day sevennight the Archduke, the Prince, the
Princess and others dined with me at my lodging here. Having
been particularly feasted among them, and they letting me
covertly understand that they meant to come and visit me, I
thought good both for her Majesty's honour and my own credit to
give them the best intreaty I could, which I hope will not be misliked.
[Draft adds: I think, of one and other, there were not
fewer than 20 or 30 drunken heads at it, though I speak it for no
commendation.] My necessary expense rising far above my allowance,
constrains me to beseech you to further my suit, "that I do
not here, hopeless of any help, consume myself."
Add. Endd.: Reasons why the Prince writeth not. 2½ pp .
[Holl. and Fland. IV . 33.]
509. Draft of the above. Endd . 2½ pp . [Ibid. IV . 33a .]
K. d. L. x.
510. REPLY of the QUEEN to the Requests made by the ENVOYS
from the STATES.
Her Majesty having made many attempts, for the benefit of her
good brother the King of Spain and of his subjects, to bring
about a restoration of tranquillity in the Low Countries, wishes
to persevere in those good offices, and has decided to send a gentleman
into Spain, requesting the King to remove the causes which
make war imminent ; which she thinks can only be done by
permitting them to enjoy their ancient privileges, and giving them
a governor acceptable to them. This she hopes for many reasons
that the King will grant ; but if he will not lend his ear to her
proposals, seeing that she seeks no innovation in government or
religion, nor anything contrary to the Pacification of Ghent, subscribed
by himself, while the Estates protest that they have no
wish to withdraw from their allegiance, she has decided to
inform him, that as she has ere now aided them to resist foreign
force, so she is now resolved to continue aiding them with such
means as God has given her, both to defend them against the
foreign forces that are preparing to invade them, and for the
safeguard of her own realm, which is thereby endangered.
Her Majesty has also decided to send another gentleman to the
Estates and Don John, to obtain an armistice until a reply can
be received from the Catholic King.
Meanwhile (seeing that if Don John does not agree, but continues
preparing for war and bringing strangers into the country,
the Estates may be driven in despair to do something prejudicial
alike to the King as possessor, and to her Majesty as neighbour),
she is content to send them at once the aid in men and money
which they ask ; as follows:—
First, as to the aid of men, order shall be at once taken to put
them in readiness to be transported upon any apparent necessity,
without awaiting an answer from the King, on condition that the
States ratify the articles to be agreed on between her Majesty and
the Envoys ;
As for the money, her Majesty is content to maintain her former
promise in giving credit and bonds for the sum demanded, on
condition that before the delivery of the bonds, the Envoys shall
promise ratification of the articles agreed on for the repayment ;
In order better to effectuate the raising of the sum, her Majesty
will issue commissions under the Great Seal to some who will be
deputed to treat with those who will be willing to find the money.
—Hampton Court, 14 Dec. 1577. Countersigned by Fra :
Walsingham and Tho : Wilson.
Copy. Fr . 3 pp . [Ibid. IV . 34.]
511. Copy of the above, with marginal headings in the writing
of L. Tomson . 2½ pp . [For. E.B. Misc. II .]
512. Minute for the above, in English, with the alterations and
modifications in Walsingham's hand .
Endd . 3 pp . [Holl. and Fland. IV . 35.]
513. DAVISON to BURGHLEY.
Two days since I signified the dispatch hither of the Duke of
Aerschot and other commissioners to the Archduke. They have
since arrived, and have presented the articles to which he is to be
sworn, of which I have sent a copy to the secretaries. The Abbot
of Marolles made the speech in their name, to which little or no
reply was made by the Archduke at the time, but a few general
thanks uttered with a smiling and childish grace. To-day he is
expected to take the oath.
I hear now credibly that the new association is signed by the
States and Prince and sent to the camp to be signed by the nobility
there. Don John's forces that crossed the Mase, intending, it was
thought, to intrench themselves on a hill this side Namur, have
since voluntarily retired ; and now the States' men are said to
have moved thither, being within a caliver shot of Namur.
Those companies of Don John's, that were not above 14 or 15
ensigns discovered, are thought to be gone towards Ruremond,
with others, Spanish and French, to do some exploit in succouring
the town. But as many occasions are lost in war, and many
inconveniences occur for lack of good intelligence, the States' side
is thought to be so ill-advertised of the proceedings of the enemy
that some fear it will not be long before they experience the one
and the other.
They have this week taken by composition the little castle of
Seille, on this side the river, midway between Namur and 'Heoy.'
It is thought by some of experience that if Don John had
attempted the States' camp where it lay intrenched, he might have
put it in a hazardous position, both from the disadvantage of the
place and from the irresolution among them. There is not yet a
horse marching to the States out of Germany, because they have
not yet taken order to send them the army promised, though it is
now more than high time they were sure of them.
Whatever reckoning the States make of their strength, such as
have looked carefully into them estimate them at the most to be
about 12 or 14 thousand footmen and as many hundred horse, a
number suspected scarce equal to the enemy's.
There is news that Captain Edmiston, with his company of
Scottish horsemen coming hither, was in the late foul weather cast
away. The like is reported of Captain Chester, who was at sea in
that flaw, and is not since heard of.
The States of Holland are resolved to besiege Amsterdam, and
have to that end sent to the Prince for his direction.
The Prince has of late been occupied in renewing the magistrates
of this town, which done, that he may better trust them here, he
is to go immediately to Ghent, at the request of the States and the
men of that town, to set some order in things there.
A boy has been taken in this town two or three days since with
certain letters sent from Bruges to Don John, who it is thought
has great intelligence there ; but what is discovered I cannot yet
learn.—Antwerp, 15 Dec.
P.S .—The Archduke expects a Count of 'Swartszenburgh' [in
draft , Zwartzenberg], a kinsman of the count that is here, with
some commission from the Emperor his brother respecting him.
He is, as I hear, already come to Cullen.
Add. Endd. by Burghley . 1½ pp . [Holl. and Fland.
IV . 36.]
K. d. L. x.
514. DAVISON to the SECRETARIES.
Identical with No . 513.
Add. Endd. by L. Tomson . 1½ pp . [Ibid. IV . 37.]
515. Draft of the above. Endd . ¾ p . [Ibid. IV . 37a .]
516. LAURENCE TOMSON to DAVISON.
John Furrier at his return from you requested me to provide
some honest, godly, and learned man to be minister to our family
and company there ; that while you are there they may not remain
untaught and instructed [sic ] in the ways of our God, considering
the nature of our rebellious hearts, which is to be given to evil
even from our youth, and become as a field uncultived [sic ], yielding
nothing but weeds and brambles. Even when we have greatest
plenty of preaching present with us, we are evil enough, or rather
too evil ; the want thereof cannot but bring forth every unsavoury
and sour fruit. If you be careful of the Lord and His ways, to
have them taught whom God hath committed to your charge, He
will no doubt have great care over you, and by His fatherly protection,
you shall see peace upon your little commonwealth of Israel.
I thought the matter had already been in a good forwardness.
Mr. Charke once 'broke with me in it,' upon a motion made to
him by the merchants, but I have since heard there is some stay
in it. If you will please to write a word or two to him, I will
second your letter and add the best persuasion I can. If he does
not like your conditions, I know of an honest Scotchman of your
own name who I think will be very fit for you.
There is another matter I am to request your favour in: in the
behalf of Southacke, who has been a long suitor to the Prince of
Orange for a certain debt of his ; and though he once committed
a folly, yet considering his great extremity, the remembrance
thereof would be forgotten, and his poverty holpen. Your word
to the Prince may do him great pleasure ; I beseech you let him
taste of your courtesy therein, and I shall esteem the pleasure done
to myself.—Hampton Court, 15 Dec. 1577.
Add. Endd . 1 p . [Ibid. IV . 38.]
K. d. L. x.
517. [ ] to [DAVISON].
According to promise I write to give you news of the camp.
There is nothing in the story told at Antwerp about Frenchmen
being killed and some captains taken ; but it is quite true that
Don John's soldiers are every day coming into our camp to surrender ;
and what is more, my Lord there crossed the Meuse with
8,000 foot and 600 horse, but came back without doing anything.
Last Tuesday morning, Count Lalaing, the Viscount of Ghent,
M. de Hèze, and M. le Motte left the camp with two bandes
d'ordonnance , 200 reiters, 300 light horse, and 18 ensigns of
infantry, and 4 guns to summon M. Warezon's house, called Selle,
situated on the Meuse over against Sampson. The garrison of
some 20 Walloon soldiers surrendered last Thursday, some being
taken prisoners, others getting away. The place has been garrisoned
with 50 of our men of M. de Champagny's company, and
in this way it is hoped to stop Don John's supplies of food from
Liège. The rest came back to-day.
Our camp is well placed, the cavalry being billeted in the
neighbourhood. There are about 50 ensigns of foot and 1,500
horse. At Bouvignes are 4 ensigns of M. de Capres'. The Meuse
is being staked, to prevent provisions from being brought that
way. Our people are at Fleurus, Floreff, Simay, Philippeville, and
Don John is at Luxembourg, and has received money from Italy
and France, quite 1,200,000 florins. The Count of Mansfelt is not
taking much trouble, but his son, Count Charles, has 15 companies
and some horse on the frontier near Estain. They are all
mutinous, and unwilling to leave French ground. On the 6th
of this month Count Charles sent for 6,000 muskets and 1,000
corselets from Paris, to arm Don John's people. It is said that
Italians and Spaniards are coming, but the number is not known.
Mondragon is at Marche with 2 bandes d'ordonnance , as are
Mansfelt and Barlemont, who have fortified themselves there with
600 Spaniards. Most of the citizens have left Namur, and Count
de Reulx is governor, with most of Baron Chevreau's regiment.
Colonel Verdugo is in the castle with Walloons and Germans. At
the monastery of Salsyn are Germans and Lorrainers ; and if you
go near Namur there is no one coming out, and no one shows himself.
M. d'Asenbourg has 100 horse from Luxembourg ; the Count
of Manderscheid, Joachim, a regiment of Luxemburgers, Claude
Bernard being his lieutenant ; M. de 'Samballemont' [Saint-Belmont]
a regiment of French and Lorrainers, M. de Floyon
another ; M. de Hierge, a regiment at his own cost. MM. de
Barlemont and Megen are at Beauraing ; the Count of Aremberg is
in Germany. There are some French about there. Marienbourg is
well provided ; there is no one at Fumay ; at Charlemont are about
600 soldiers, who are without pay, almost starving, and half mutinous.
This very day nine of them have come to surrender, since
they have neither money nor food ; and this happens every day.
M. de 'Samballemont' is going away with his regiment to Durbua
and thereabouts, and just now we hear that there are 300 Spaniards
about Marche. We have footmen as brave as ever I saw ; they
do nothing but shout and want to have the camp pitched quite
close to Namur. M. de Hèze has gone to Brussels to get leave to
this effect, and also for money. All necessaries are very cheap,
and nothing is lacking, except money in some cases. Bread, beer,
wine, meat are cheaper here than at Antwerp. There is also good
reason and justice ; only they ought to harass the enemy more than
they do. To-morrow I am going to Bouvignes with 200 harquebusiers,
to inspect the Meuse and take such order as is wanted.
I will advertise you of anything I find there worth writing. I
have made a detailed drawing of our camp, which I shall send to
To-day we hear from our people at Sille that the enemy wants
to make a fortress at Andenne, and that those at Sampson make
daily sorties. We have sent soldiers there for security. A
drummer from Count de Reulx at Namur has come in, to get an
answer to a letter written to Count Lalaing on behalf of M. de
Terlon, saying that if he was ill-treated, the like would be done to
M. de Buren in Spain.—The camp at Gemblours, 15 Dec. 1577.
Copy. Fr . Fr. 1½ [Ibid. IV . 39.]