Elizabeth: August 1577, 1- 5

Pages 53-57

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

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August 1577, 1-5

Thanks for yours of June 20. I shall always be at your service when you want anything of me. The 8 bronze pieces shipped at Plemua [Plymouth] by John Ylcom in Pedro Simon's vessel, and consigned to Señor Juan Martinez de Recalde, in his absence I had them put in his house ; and a few days ago he came there, and learning what had happened he wrote to Madrid, and I hear they have ordered them to be sent to Pamplona ; as you will see from a letter inclosed.—Bilbao, 2 Aug. 1577. Add. Endd. : Received 8 Oct. Sp. ½ p. [Spain I. 4.]
Her Majesty bids me thank you very cordially for your offer of your own services, as well as those of that highly experienced captain Colonel John Brant, Lord of Oude and Rembach, who is ready on all occasions to furnish her with 2,000 reiters and a regiment of foot, subject to such pension as she shall deem reasonable. Her Majesty fully intends to show that she is not ungrateful for these kind offers, but seeing how little occasion she has at present for employing men of war, God having granted her to enjoy peace and repose, and having pensioners enough to furnish her with such succours as she may require, she cannot make up her mind to adding more thereto. Nevertheless if the occasion should arise, she will not refuse the services which M. de Brant has been good enough to offer.—Richmond, 2 Aug. 1577. Add. Endd. in [?] Davison's hand : 2 Augusti 1577 from Sr. [sic] Fr. Wals. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fland. II. 1.]
Aug. 2.
K. d. L. ix. 444.
72. MR. DAVISON'S INSTURCTIONS on being sent to reside as HER MAJESTY'S Agent in the Low COUNTRIES.
Understanding that the troubles in the Low Countries are newly broken out again, and that Don John has seized Namur, we think it meet that you repair thither with all speed, that we may be advertised how things pass there. You shall not be unknown to the States, to whom we mean that you shall address yourself in the absence of Don John ; but you had your dispatch before the notice of this trouble came to our ears, and the principal cause of our sending you was to supply the place of our agent thither, as others have heretofore done. Though we doubt whether you will have access to Don John, we think it meet that you should seek to send him our letters directed to him, and to advertise him of the cause of our sending you, lest he enter into some conceit that our purpose is other than it is. You shall let the States understand that besides the ordinary charge we have committed to you, you are specially to recommend to Don John the observance of the last treaty of Ghent, and do everything that may continue his disposition to maintain the country in peace and quietness. And although this especial charge is now like to be frustrate, let him understand the great care we have of them, and how ready we are to do anything that might turn to their benefit, that thereby they might be provoked to show themselves more thankful than they have hitherto given us cause to esteem them. For when we consider how they have broken their day with us in the repayment of the money we lent them, as also exacting upon our subjects that traffic in that country new impositions contrary to the old intercourse between the countries (especially for that when charged therewith they alleged that they dealt no otherwise with our subjects than with those of other princes, as though they received not at our hands more favour than at all other princes' hands), we cannot but find ourselves aggrieved. And as they will wish to know upon this new outbreak how we will deal with them, you may let them know (as of yourself) that we will be glad to appease their troubles, and that you are persuaded that in case it shall appear that Don John has sought to entrap them and reduce them to servitude, we will not abandon them. This you may deliver generally. To others that are discreet and good patriots you may privately let them understand that we ourselves are persuaded that he hath no other meaning, and that it behoveth them to look to themselves ; and we will not fail to assist them so far as may stand with our honour. You shall also, as of yourself, advise them, in case they cannot agree, to send for the Prince of Orange, and commit their doing to his good direction ; letting them understand that all who oppose him (though they may pretend religion), are to be held suspected persons. You shall seek to inform yourself what forts and towns Don John has, what are his and the States' forces, what noblemen join him and them, and who are neutral. 1½ pp. [Holl. and Fland. II. 3.]
Aug. 2. 73.Draft of the above with corrections by Walsingham. Endd. 4¼ pp. [Ibid. II. 4.]
Aug. 2. 74. LETTER of the PRINCE OF ORANGE to the ESTATES since the last Troubles of the Year 1577.
Having heard that upon the advertisements which I sent you lately by M. de Sainte-Aldegonde, Don John had accused me to you of divers infractions of the peace, even as though upon my advice his life had been attempted, covering under this protest his seizure of the Castle of Namur, and seeking to persuade you that you ought to make common cause with him and declare war upon me and those of Holland and Zealand, I have thought good to send to you M. Jacques Taffin, formerly Receiver-general of Cassel, that, in conjunction with the said M. de Sainte-Aldegonde, he may on my behalf pray you to be mindful of the strict and solemn obligation by which we are respectively bound to maintain in all its points the pacification made at Ghent ; and not to allow yourselves to be carried away by feigned protests by which they seek to lead you astray from the sole means of restoring our country to its ancient repose and true prosperity. For I think there is none of you, who, if he will truly balance all my actions, and consider on what foot I have always walked, and confront it with the behaviour of Don John, may not easily perceive that all my happiness, both as regards myself and my country, lies in a peaceable enjoyment of union, repose, and tranquillity, with that lawful restoration of our rights and liberties to which all good patriots aspire. Similarly all my thoughts and labours aim only at this, as may be seen in all I say or do. On the other hand, the whole greatness of his Highness lies in waging war and in gaining credit by arms, as he has himself always avowed, abhorring nothing so much as the idleness and repose of this government. Thus all his proceedings both before and since the pacification of Marche-en-Famine, within the country, as towards other princes and peoples of Christendom, testify clearly that he has never aimed at anything save to entangle us and our neighbours of England and Scotland in new storms of civil war, as may be seen from his letters, his threats, and all his actions. Thus it ought to be clear to each of you that the accusations brought by him against me are only colours borrowed to hide his desire of war, and gradually to rekindle the appetite of vengeance which he has conceived not only against me and those of this country, but especially against you, Sirs, by whom he thinks he has been even more unworthily treated than by me, in order to ruin us all together, and, as Escovedo says, to get the better of all by chastising one through the means of the other. To this effect he has, as those same letters of Escovedo show, since his arrival tried in every way to hatch the fire of individua pretensions by artificially stimulated jealousies, as in regard to the change of Governments in Artois, Tournay, the Castle of Antwerp, and elsewhere, as well as in Holland and Zealand. And now, pouring upon me the rest of his anger, under the cloak of the Catholic religion and the obedience due to the King, he hopes to separate you from us, and procure your and our general ruin. For this reason, Sirs, I pray and exhort you most seriously to take heed to yourselves, and form a settled judgement on matters of such importance ; so that when you have examined all closely, and understood in what fashion I have always comported myself on the matters whereof I am accused,—as MM. Tattin and Sainte-Aldegonde will set forth to you,—and have compared them with the behaviour of his Highness, and seen the truth, you may finally take a firm and virtuous resolution, suitable to the rank which you hold and to your obligation towards the whole body of the people, of whom you have been chosen by God and man to be the chiefs and protectors ; to wit, to lay aside all that may dazzle your eyes or hinder a right judgement, and manfully to maintain by all means the safety of yourselves, your wives, children, goods, liberties, and rights, taking heed that this poor people that looks to you do not perish nor fall a prey to those who would make themselves great at your cost, under a yoke of miserable servitude. Let not our posterity lament that by our cowardice it has lost the rights which our ancestors so well acquired and bequeathed, and has been brought under the tyranny of strangers. Copy. Fr. 4 pp. [Holl. and Fland. II. 5.]
Aug. 2. 75. Another copy of the same.
Fr. 3½ pp. Endd. as at the head of the last. [Ibid. II. 6.]
Aug. 3.
K. d. L. ix. 446.
I have not been able to communicate with your Majesty on the matter you wrote of, owing to the sudden change which soon after my return I found here, Don John with certain lords and gentlemen having separated from the Estates. He has set secret intelligences in several places in Brabant, under the false plea of his personal safety, among others in the citadel of Antwerp, where M. de Treslong has gone so far as to corrupt the Duke of Aerschot's company, thinking to admit the Germans, and thus get the command of the two other companies, belonging to my regiment, which were in the place. They were however virtuous enough to make themselves masters of the place yesterday, taking Treslong prisoner, and cutting the rest to pieces. The Germans have left the town. Your Majesty may imagine how much these tidings have rejoiced the poor people, and especially the merchants. We do not know what Don John will think of it. However, there is quite enough to water his wine for him, and check his designs. The Estates have sent to ask if he will join them again. If he does not, I see, to my great regret, that things are ready for a cruel war, from which may God preserve us.—Brussels, 3 Aug. 1577. Copy. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. II. 7.]
Aug. 3.
K. d. L. ix. 448.
I have stayed longer at the Court than I meant, having much to do in my Government ; but I think that affairs on your side are so uncertain that you have put off writing to me as you promised, till there was an opportunity of sending intelligence worth communicating to the party you lost of. The gentleman who bears this is sent to your country in the place of Dr. Wilson. He is much esteemed by the Queen, and if you have any matter of importance to send in your letters you may trust in him as in myself ; and on that I would stake my honour.—From the Court [at Richmond], 3 Aug. 1577. Add. Fr. 1 p. Encl. in the next. [Ibid. II. 8.]
Aug. 4.
K. d. L. ix. 450.
After your departure her Majesty commanded me to write to the Viscount of Ghent by you, which I have done and sent the letter by this bearer. I pray you to see his letters conveyed safely to me, and to direct them to her Secretary, who will see them sent on though I be at the Isle of Wight. Commend to MM. Theron and Fremyn.—from the Court [at Richmond], 4 Aug. 1577. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fland. II. 9.]
Aug. 4.
K. d. L. ix. 449.
79. M. DE HEZE to the QUEEN.
Those who are hostile to the repose of this country having finally declared their sinister designs by the surprise of Namur, and the great preparations for war that they are secretly making, quite contrary to the pacification, as the Estates have clearly understood both from intercepted letters and from the retreat of the Duke of Aerschot and his brother the Marquis of Havrech, who had escaped to that town, I deem it right to seek assistance suitable to the present necessity. Having experienced your Majesty's kindness I am confident that you will not reject my prayer, and will take our poor country under your protection, and not listen to the calumnies of our enemies, who try only to put a sinister interpretation upon the fidelity and obedience which we have always borne to the true service of our King.—Brussels, 4 Aug. 1577. Copy. Fr. 1 p. Endd. : Copy of the Count of Horn's letter to her Majesty. [Ibid. II. 10.]