529. ROGERS to POULET.
I found the bearer hereof with Duke Casimir, and the Duke
desired me to give him a letter of credit that he might have access
to you. The Duke would be very glad to have some correspondence
with you, having understood of me your virtuous disposition.
The bearer has made many discourses to him of matters of importance ;
but for many causes I am not of the bearer's opinion.
Yet it may do you good to learn his 'conceats,' and I think he
may make you privy of many secrets hereafter.
M. Bonnicourt was here last month, sent from the King of
Navarre and the Prince of Condé. Among other secrets he told
me that M. Sandras, who holds Valéry for the Prince of Condé,
has a copy of a league made lately between the French King and
Don John ; if you have not yet got it, I think you will greatly
please Mr. Secretary therewith. This Sandras is not the Secretary,
but his brother, and halts a little ; whose acquaintance would
please you greatly. I am now ready to depart towards England,
which is the reason I write so confusedly.—Frankenthal, 21 Dec.
Add. Endd. by Poulet's secretary and by L. Tomson. ¾ p.
[Germ. States I. 52.]
530. LEICESTER to DAVISON.
We have been surprised not to hear from you these 14 days.
The Marquis is dispatched to his great content, and "we doubt
not the rest of the Estates." I have been expecting an answer
from you touching two or three letters I wrote you. I hope there
is no alteration of their opinions. How I have dealt in their cause
I refer to the effect and to the Marquis' report. Nothing remains
to our preparations but the certain knowledge when and what
number they will require. Her Majesty is content with the
number they demand, 6,000 men. For my own part I wish they
would ask for 2,000 more. And if you find upon the report of the
Marquis that they persist in desiring our men, then I pray you
haste their desire, specially the prince's, to her Majesty, to name
both the number and the time they would have them. It has
somewhat hindered the Marquis's dispatch that there has been
no advice from the Prince, and that he did not more often visit her
Majesty with his letters and advice, reposing in him great confidence
as she hath done. Well, we look hourly to hear from [you],
and it may be some satisfaction may come withal. "The Marquis
hath very wisely, honourably, and modestly behaved himself here,
and as trustily, I believe, as any other that could have been sent.
And am fully persuaded there is not a more affectionate patriot
than he is ; and he showed himself well qualified in matters of
religion, and surely a good friend to the Prince, and I think
assuredly loves him with all his heart. I pray you let the Prince
so understand of him, for he will find him a plain gentleman and
wise, and wholly given to follow the cause of his country. And
seeing his mind is so good I would wish he were well used at the
Prince's hands ; and I durst lay a great wager he will be soon
brought to the Religion. Himself would go to our service, and M.
Medekerke very often go to the sermons in London and here in
Court ; so did divers of the Marquis' gentlemen, showing great
liking of the form of our Church service. The Marquis had a
priest with him, but I cannot learn that ever he did let him say
mass, and I dare assure myself he did not."
You shall hear from us when we hear again from you. In some
haste this 21 of December.
P.S.—I have willed Whitechurch to say something to you from
me touching the Marquis.
Add. Endd. 1½ pp. [Holl. and Fland. IV. 44.]
531. DAVISON to BURGHLEY.
I wrote to your Lordship the 12th and 15th of this month. Since
then the Archduke has agreed to the articles propounded by the
Commissioners, who returned last Thursday to Brussels to report
to the Estates, by whose order he is now declared governor provisionally.
As soon as they have appointed his Council of State
he is to repair to Brussels to take the oath.
Meanwhile [the Count Swartberg, misnamed Zwartzenberg in
my last], the Emperor's ambassador, is come to Cullen, whither
the Archduke has dispatched a courier to ascertain the object of
his coming, which is given out to be for his revocation, though
the wisest here believe nothing less.
The practice [of M. Mondoucet and others] here for the Duke
of Alençon 'grown desperate for the generality' is still entertained
by some individuals, by whose means he hopes not to lose all his
The new association between the Prince and States is now
finally passed in the form which I send herewith.
The Spaniards and Italians arrived to Don John are now stated
to be about 4,000 foot and 17 or 18 cornets of horse.
The States' camp still remains about Templou where it was
before ; not now determined to remove till they have some pay.
From Ruremonde is shortly expected news of the Dutches yielding
unless they are succoured by Don John, three regiments of
whose folk are marching that way.
To-morrow the magistrates of this town are to be renewed, and
on Tuesday the Prince is minded to go towards Gaunt at the
request of the States to set some order in affairs there.
His Excellency has been solicited by the agent of Portugal to
have passage by Zealand for 4,000 Dutches, whom the King would
transport to Africa for his service there against the Turk who [the
Moors, which the Prince hath in manner accorded. Out of Spain
is advice that the Turk] has straitly besieged Oram, a town subject
to the King of Spain, lying upon the coast of Barbary, which
some affirms to be already yielded up.
Out of Italy is news of the preparations against the spring to
come down into these countries.
[The preparations of the Pope, the Duke of Florence and other
potentates of Italy to assist Don John for next spring is assured
out of Italy, whence there is also advice of the death of the Duchess
Out of Germany not a man stirs to Don John's assistance, nor
do the reiters entertained by the States yet march to their service
for lack of money.—Antwerp, 21 Dec. 1577.
Add. Endd. by Burghley : Wm. Davison, with the articles of
the Archduke Matthias' admission to be governor in the Low
Country. 1 p. [Holl. and Fland. IV. 45.]
K. d. L. x.
532. DAVISON to the SECRETARIES.
Similar to above, where the principal variations are given in
Add. Endd. by Tomson. 1 p. [Ibid. IV. 46.]
533. DAVISON to LEICESTER.
Almost identical with No. 531.
Draft. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. IV. 47.]
K. d. L. x.
534. DAVISON to WALSINGHAM.
I have received your letters with the answer to the Marquis's
negotiation, which according to your command I have not imparted
to any, though the Prince has sent to me divers times to know how
the matter speeds. They hoped here that her Majesty would have
been content to disburse some present money, and so I think the
long abode of the Marquis and his return without effect will little
The journeys intended, as to which I have sounded the Prince,
will in his opinion be labour lost, things being come to such an
extremity that all hope of mediation is desperate.
Now the Marquis is returned (for I hear he arrived three days
since at Calais) the Prince will be more officious than he has been
of late. By his excuses for his silence, in my letter of the 13th,
you may see what reason he has for himself. I hear there is an
intent to send over another from the States, to signify the election
of the Archduke.—Antwerp, 21 Dec. 1577.
Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. IV. 48.]
K. d. L. x.
535. LEIGHTON'S INSTRUCTIONS.
A draught of instructions for A. B. to be presently sent to the
States of the Low Countries and to Don John to procure an
abstinence of arms.
We being very desirous to compound these troubles in the Low
Countries by way of mediation between our good brother the King
of Spain and his subjects, and having to that end dispatched one
to the same King have thought it very expedient to move both the
States and Don John to a surseance of arms for some convenient
time, or if it might be, until we receive the King's answer, and to
that purpose have made choice of you to deal between the said
States and Don John for the accomplishing thereof.
You are to lay before the States our care for them, and how we
have sought from time to time to do them the most good we were
able, as befitted a prince of our quality, to avoid war and the
effusion of Christian blood. When account is made of treasure
spent, of the spoils of cities, of the intercourse of merchandise
broken off, it will fall out in truth that he that wins loses, and the
conqueror commonly has more cause to lament than rejoice.
Wherefore, you shall declare to them we have thought good to
persuade with Don John as well as with them for a surseance
of arms for a season to try it by order from the King a better way
may be taken for the avoidance of the aforesaid inconvenience.
To which end you shall tell them we have dispatched a servant
of ours to the King to lay before him the peril of this violent
course, and the means which we think meetest to remedy the same ;
which is to place such a governor over them as will rule them
peaceably and suffer them to enjoy their ancient privileges, upon
promise they have made to us to continue in the King's obedience,
to make no innovation in religion other than is prescribed in the
last pacification, and carefully to observe all the points concluded
therein between them. If he refuses this, we have plainly signified
to him that both in defence of the ancient government of this
country and for the danger likely to fall out to ourself and our
estate we mean to assist them with all the forces we shall be able
to make. And therefore we look that they will the rather give
care to our motion that the denial thereof might bring them into
suspicion of undutifulness towards the King, and call in question
their good meaning to continue in his obedience, if they refuse to
yield to that which tends to a means of restoring quiet to the
If they object that by former experiences of the small success
that our mediations have hitherto had, they see no cause to hope
that the King being possessed with a desire of revenge will now
forbear the prosecution of the war against them, and having at
present good store both of men and money, that the yielding to
such a surseance of arms as is by us 'motioned,' might fall out
very prejudicial to them, to whom nothing is more hurtful than long
delays ; you shall let them understand that we conceive that when
the King shall consider our full determination to assist them in
case he does not come to terms with them, with which he has never
before been acquainted so plainly, and shall perceive that they are
resolved to run any fortune before they will accept Don John for
their governor, be cannot, in our opinion, but follow our friendly
advice, by giving them some more acceptable governor. For the
desire of revenge cannot have so much force in him, as the fear
of losing his possession of those countries will be effectual to make
him consider the danger he casts it into by prosecuting the way
of force and violence.
But admitting the King do not agree to our motion, you may
show there that by consenting to this abstinence, they will greatly
justify their cause, when the world perceives their good inclination
to do good to any reasonable composition. Yet our meaning is
not so to press them as to cause them to lose any present advantage
by relinquishing the siege of such towns as they may have in
hand, but only to forbear any new act of hostility till the King's
decision is known.
If the Estates will not be induced to yield to a surseance, you
shall at least move them to agree to treat of a surseance, which
can no way prejudice them, for they may take occasion at all times
upon some article or other to break off ; and, therefore, cannot
refuse this 'without note of wilfulness.'
In case they are drawn to agree to it, you shall repair with all
speed to Don John, and in like sort make known to him our great
desire to see that government established rather by some mild
course, most honourable for princes of his quality, and of less expense
than by the sword ; which carries with it so many dangers
as by his own experience he can best witness. "For to shed blood
if it can be saved, is greatly repugnant to the nature of a prince,
and to consume his own subjects which are the crown and glory
of his head is a matter sounding so hard to the honour of a potentate,
as a greater cannot be sustained." Clemency in a governor
always carries with it singular commendation, whereof he himself
has felt some taste to his great reputation, even in his late wars
with the Turks and Infidels. It is expected he will have as great
compassion of Christian blood as he has had of the 'Mahumets,'
for to destroy the King, his brother's, towns will in the end, when
the King has looked well into the matter, be cause of great discontent,
though now, upon similar information, given perhaps by
those that have been chief authors of these broils, he be altogether
hardly bent against them.
We have, too, lately sent an express messenger to the King with
earnest request to move him to seek to remedy these inconveniences,
and have laid before him the ways whereby we think
best for him to compass it. If our counsel be hearkened to, he
shall not want our best assistance to further it ; if otherwise we
have plainly let him understand that we are resolved to make ourself
a party, being assured that if the course which is now entered
into be followed, and the other forsaken, there can be no good
meaning intended towards us, as we have cause to conjecture
already by such matters as are come to our knowledge. Therefore,
as he will testify to the world how much he abhors bloodshed,
how loath he is that the King's countries should fall away from
his obedience, how much against his will it is to bring the King's
towns to the sack, we cannot but move him to a surseance of arms
for a season. We have already travailed with the States to good
effect, if he for his part would yield to the same, not for any long
season, but till an answer is returned from the King. If he
yields, you shall advertise the States thereof and often to do all
good offices between them ; wherein you shall show them that we
look to have you better used than our servant Horsey was at the
meeting at Hoye, where he was excluded contrary to Don John's
own promise, greatly to our dishonour, upon pretext that the Emperor's
ambassador had no commission to admit him to the conference,
and yet no difficulty was made in the admission of the Duke
of Cleves's ministers, a prince in degree and quality our inferior.
If notwithstanding your persuasion he will not yield to a treaty,
and you shall perceive in him a full determination in him to prosecute
the war, you shall return without any further stay.
And whereas we find ourselves charged by certain letters, published
in a book which the States have caused to be printed touching
their justification, fathered upon Don John, with having
persuaded the Prince of Orange not to stand to the pacification,
you shall declare to him that finding ourselves greatly touched
in honour thereby, we look for some satisfaction at his hands
touching the same ; and we cannot be content unless he shall in
writing under his own hand either avow those letters to be none
of his, or else confess that he has done us great wrong in making
so untrue a report of us. But as to this point we do not think
it meet for you to deal with him, in case you find him inclinable
to our request for a surseance, until you are upon your departure.
And as we learn by common report the choice made by the
States of the Archduke to be their governor, whereby, perhaps,
it is expected that we should signify how we are effected in that
behalf, we think it meet that upon any occasion offered you, you
declare both to the Archduke and to the States, that as we have
sent to the King touching the affairs of those countries, among
other things to mediate on their behalf to give them some governor
whom they might like better than Don John, we think it better till
the return of that legation to forbear to show how we incline to
their lase choice, lest the King might think we did not proceed
so sincerely with him as we protest to do. Yet for our own part
you may tell the Archduke that in the respect of the amity that
was between the late Emperor, his father, and us, we cannot but
be very glad of any honour and preferment that may be conferred
on him either there or elsewhere, hoping that the King his uncle
will allow of the choice. "To this purpose you shall deal with
the Marquis to be means both to the Archduke and to the States,
that our determination herein may not otherwise be construed of
than they see we have reason in honour, and this course we are
entered into will look to be dispensed withal at our hands."
Walsingham's copy. Endd. 9 pp. [Holl. and Fland. IV. 49.]
536. Another copy of the above, with an additional paragraph
as follows :
Last of all, our pleasure is that whereas divers of our merchants
and subjects have been some spoiled at sea by pirates of the Low
Countries, and others had their goods stayed by order of Don John
and the States, you shall earnestly recommend their causes to the
States, Don John, and the Prince of Orange as you shall have
occasion to move any of them for satisfaction to be done to our
subjects. And we would also have you, as soon as you are come
to Antwerp, communicate with our agent, William Davison, the
whole contents of these instructions, and whatever else you have
in charge, that he and you may concur in doing the better for our
7 pp. [For. E.B. Misc. II.]
537. The QUEEN to the KING OF SPAIN.
Copy of letter which is calendared in "Spanish Papers," 1577, no.
Latin. 1½ pp. [For. E.B. Misc. II.]
538. MR. WILKES'S INSTRUCTIONS.
A short memorial for Mr. Wilkes, presently to be sent into Spain.
After delivery of your letters to the King, you shall signify to
him that as since the beginning of the troubles in the Low
Countries we have often been a mediator to him to have them
compounded in some peaceable wise rather than to stand to trial
by the sword, which could not but cause such inconveniences as
he has now seen, and is likely to have greater experience of hereafter ;
the Edict of pacification, confirmed by himself, being broken
and not having taken that settled root which we hoped it would
have done. So seeing this late accident, we could not but deal
with him once more to the same effect, if by any means he may
be induced to have compassion on those poor countries, and take
such a course as shall best preserve them under his obedience,
for the saving of the lives of his subjects, and the sparing of a
great mass of treasure which were more profitably employed upon
the common enemy than upon the destruction of his own people.
That he may the better consider of our advice we thought good
to set it down in a declaration apart, which our pleasure is you
shall deliver to him, asking for a speedy answer ; having charged
you to await an answer only for the space of days.
If he shall find in it anything on which he requires more ample
instructions, you shall tell him that we have given you special
charge to satisfy him therein, and that you are to resolve him at
length of all such doubts as may arise out of the declaration.
The first part whereof as it concerns our justification against
slanderous reports given out against us, as though we had not
walked sincerely with the King in our actions with the States
of the Low Countries. So to show the truth of our defence, you
shall make him acquainted with the notes of such instructions as
we have given to our ministers employed from time to time in
those services, which can witness the contrary.
And since our benevolence to the States in giving them the loan
of a sum of money about the time of the making of the pacification
is contrary to our sincere meaning sinistrously interpreted by
some ; for the avoiding of such scruple as might arise to the King
therein, you shall lay before him the articles agreed upon between
us and the States for the same.
And since we conceive that by these proceedings the Low
Countries may be in danger of being alienated from him, though
we would be loath to discover to many what by secret intelligence
has come to our knowledge, yet we cannot but acquaint him with
it, doubting not that he will use it with such secrecy, and as the
matter itself imparts to him, and that he may plainly see we have
not without pregnant cause been carried to such surmises. Touching
which you shall communicate to him Monsieur's letter, which
may witness whether in that behalf we have dealt sincerely with
him or no
And for the great cause we have to dislike Don John's residing so
near us, you shall show him from the book of the States' justification
what evil offices we have discovered of his and his counsellors',
set down so resolutely in certain letters contained in the same
book that we may well conceive they are no sudden blasts of a
'passioned' mind, but settled determination of evil-determined
hearts, resolved upon no good towards us ; as may be perceived
by the letters in which Don John charges us with persuading the
Prince of Orange not to stand to the pacification, and by Escovedo's,
testifying that the subduing of the Isles is a matter of greater
difficulty than the conquest of England. You shall desire him
to judge if we have not reason to have him removed further off,
of whose evil neighbourhood we have no cause to doubt. His
practices with the Scottish Queen have been no less, as we have
discovered both by intercepted letters of our rebels, and by the
confession of some that have been in chief place about him, and
moreover by his 'provoking' of her picture to be sent him.
Copy. 3 pp. [For. E.B. Misc. II.]
539. The BURGESSES of BRUSSELS to the ESTATES-GENERAL.
The good burgesses of Brussels have heard that certain malicious
persons accuse them of meddling too much in the public affairs
which you gentlemen handle here. They are much annoyed at
this, for they have never had any such intention except when the
matter in hand has been of a popular character in which every
citizen is competent to act. They do not believe that there is
among your lordships a brain so devoid of common sense as not to
understand that. Wherefore be pleased to hear and take in good
part what follows.
First, they cannot understand why no one of Brabant is employed
in any of the great offices, though Brabant possesses as many noblemen,
soldiers, and men of learning as any other province.
Secondly, it seems to them a great breach of order, considering
that matters of such importance are decided by plurality of voices,
to give a pensionary of Mechlin, Tournay, Valenciennes, and such
little places, as much weight as is given to a whole important state
like Brabant, Guelders, Flanders, Artois, Hainault, Holland, Zealand.
So please take some other order herein.
The burgesses hear too that there are some among you who have
hitherto dangerously hindered the common cause, by always introducing
the two points of the King's authority and the Roman
Now as our common cause consists principally in making head
against our enemies, if we would preserve our lives, our goods and
our children, we beg that it may be your pleasure, without regard
to the King's authority, in the name of which Don John after
swearing a peace has made war on us,—or the Roman Catholic
religion, of which there is no question, the point having notoriously
been reserved in the Ghent pacification, that each of us jointly and
severally should set all our powers and counsels to work to overthrow
our enemy and save our lives and goods, which he will take—
those of the Church as much as others—if he gets the upper hand of
And whereas Don John has recently been declared an enemy of
the country and Archduke Matthias has agreed to be governor of
these countries on certain conditions, who though a great prince is
young for the place, so that for our security it will be proper to give
him a Council of good patriots, the burgesses are come to pray that
it may please your lordships to deliberate carefully and see that
this Council be composed of fit and experienced persons.
They also pray you to consider that the Duchy of Brabant is the
first among all the provinces, and Brussels the chief city, being
established in the hatred of the enemy, the which to put to sack,
pillage, and slaughter he thinks to employ all his forces, feeling
assured, as it is at present a bulwark, that if he once gets it, he will
get all the other towns ; and how it was the first that dared to oppose
the horrible designs of the Duke of Alva in such wise that our
enemies calumniously say it was the cause of all the revolt, both
over the matter of the 10th and 20th penny and by compelling
the Spaniards to leave the town ; and how afterwards the Spaniards
coming from Zierickzee were summoned by letters to come and sack
Brussels, and having repulsed them in despair, by means of other
letters they were found at Alost and afterwards at Antwerp, whence
ensued the execrable disaster which everyone talks about, and
which those may remember who were the cause of it.
Wherefore my Lords the burgesses humbly pray you to give the
above your mature consideration, especially that the Archduke's
Council may consist of persons agreeable to the Estates of Brabant
and the people of Brussels, who are chiefly interested, and that
some persons already nominated to it, if they will not retire
voluntarily, may be struck off it—they shall be named if necessary
—and others without reproach be deputed in their stead. So shall
you do well.
Copy. Fr. 3 pp. [Holl. and Fland. IV. 50.]
540. POULET to BURGHLEY.
Your Lordship may find it strange that this bearer, Mr.
Dannett, having served so long under me as secretary, is now departed
from me ; and, therefore, for both our credits I have thought
good to signify unto you that his service hath been so agreeable
to me, as I have been heartily sorry to spare him. But being
advertised that his friends in England have procured a plan of
preferment for him under Mr. Wilson I have been content to forget
my private commodity for his advancement.
Hearing of your sickness and being uncertain of your return
to the Court, I send this copy enclosed of my letter to the Secretaries.
This bad time hath great need of your Lordship's travail in
body and mind.—Paris, 25 Dec. 1577.
Add. Endd. : "Sir Amice Powlet to my L. ; D. du Mayne
Admirall ; Mr. Coppley." [This relates to the contents of a letter to
the Secretaries of even date, preserved in the Letter-book now in the
Bodleian Library.] 1 p. [France I. 58.]
541. [DAVISON] to POULET.
I have not written since my coming into these parts, partly
because of the multitude of business which this state full of alterations
have cast upon me, but chiefly by reason of the want of convenient
messengers, supplied now by the repair of this bearer, M.
de Malleroye, to Paris. Of the present state of things here
I would at some length advertise your Lordship, if this
bearer was not so well able to satisfy you. The long
debate here about the election of the Archduke is now
at length determined, and he provisionally accepted governor
having accorded the articles which herewith I send. And now the
States are occupied about his Council, in composing whereof there
is no little difficulty. With the Prince they have all made a new
compromise, whereof I send you the copy. His Excellency sets
forward to-morrow to 'Gaunt,' whither both the States and the
Gauntoys have intreated him to repair to set some order in the
affairs of that town, where it is thought he will not abide above
ten or twelve days.
The States' provision for war goes coldly forward, being
handled with such confusion as is both strange and dangerous.
Their forces are camped about Templou, a village distant about a
Dutch league from Namur, where they have about 12,000 foot
and 1,400 horse, a force inferior to that of Don John, who with
his last supplies of French and Spaniards is said to have 14,000
men. He holds Charlemont, Marienbourg, and Namur, with the
castles of Honhoye and Sanson on the Maes, besides Ruremonde
upon the same river, and Twol, Campen, and Deventer upon the
Yssel, wherein are old garrisons of Dutches at his devotion. In
Luxembourg his victuals are so scarce as to cause 300 French in
one troop lately to abandon his service. It is thought it will not
be long ere he desperately attempt the remedy.—Antwerp, 25 Dec.
Draft. Endd. 1 p. [France I. 59.]
542. POULET to WALSINGHAM.
As you referred to my consideration to pay A. B. 300 crowns
or so much of them as I thought good, I have defrayed the whole
sum. I have received this as well as other 40 crowns mentioned
as paid to C. D. upon the bill which I received from Benedict
Spinola by your procurement.—Paris, 25 Dec. 1577.
Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. I. 60.]
543. POULET to WALSINGHAM.
Please receive by this bearer, Mr. Dannett, a piece of silk containing
20 yards, being sorry I can provide no better stuff. The
plague in Italy and the disorder of the money here are thought to
be the true causes that nothing comes out of those parts. The
Queen and ladies here, for want of better stuff, make all their
new garments of coloured satin garnished with gold and silver.
If by ignorance I shall send anything to her Majesty that seems
unfit for her, please to take order that it may not be delivered ;
and I shall pray you to extend their favour towards a trifle which
I send by this bearer, referring the delivery of the same to your
friendly consideration. I wish to send something to her Majesty ;
and, therefore, have resolved upon this because I can find no
silk of any new fashion. The device of this toy seems to be
pretty, which this bearer will expound unto you.
If the advertisement sent by George Poulet deserveth any
thanks, let them be given to this bearer, by whose faithfulness
and diligence the same came into my hands.
I shall not be quiet until I learn the name of my successor.
My two years begin to expire, and this term may seem to be
sufficient for my poor estate.—Paris, 25 Dec. 1577.
P.S.—I received at eight a.m. to-day your letters sent by Mr.
Duncombe. I am heartily glad and much quieted in mind to hear
that her Majesty has considered so well of Mr. Jacomo, who has
repented of his folly. It remains to consider how to employ him
in some service fit for him.
Add. Endd. 1¼ pp. [Ibid. I. 61.]