Elizabeth: March 1578, 16-20

Pages 541-557

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

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March 1578, 16-20

March 16. 700. Declaration of DON BERNARDINO MENDOZA.
When the King dispatched Sir John Smith, your Majesty's ambassador, he ordered me to come to this country and give you an account of the state of things in the Low Countries. He has understood that you will have heard from M. de Gastel, sent by Don John, as well as from many private reports all that has happened up to now in those provinces, both in respect of the necessity under which Don John found himself of withdrawing to the Castle of Namur and of the other things that have happened there. There is no need to repeat them, for it is impossible that you should not know how often the Estates were required by the King and besought by Don John to make peace, assuring them of the fulfilment of the agreement made between his Highness and them, all which was insufficient to persuade them to do what was so much to their advantage. They increased their demands and pretensions every day to such a point that not only could they not be granted, but even to hear them would be offensive to anyone. Among others was one that your Majesty should be comprehended in the treaty of peace, a thing which would much scandalize the King did he not understand that wicked men raised it in order to cast a shadow over his amity and good brotherhood with you. If there were no other cause for my coming here the King would have sent me for this point only. As your Majesty knows, about the same time the Estates got possession of the Castle of Antwerp and committed many other excesses directly contrary to what they had promised a few days before. From which and their general mode of proceeding it is clearly known that their intention has been not to desire quiet nor to be content with his Majesty's gift of all that can be imagined. In spite of what I have said the King, like a good Prince desirous of the good and peace of those his states, never took any steps towards war, but rather made always such provision as he could to bring them to reason and persuade them to the repose which it lay with them to procure. Not only, however, would they not recognise his goodwill, but in return for it they had recourse to calling in a foreign Prince, claiming to take him for Governor without the knowledge of the King, as great an excess of disrespect and audacity and as bad an example to other vassals as can be conceived. The King, seeing that kindness only hardened them and made them more insolent, determined much against his will to take up arms to aid the multitude of good vassals whom he had in those countries and deliver them from the oppression in which the bad kept them. Things being as I have said, on September 8 of last year those of the Junta at Brussels, who call themselves the States-General, wrote to the King, begging him to admit them to his grace, they maintaining the Catholic religion and their obedience to him as in the time of the Emperor his father. How benignly he accepted this offer may be seen by a letter with which M. de Selles, Lieutenant in the archers of his guard, was dispatched, to assure the Estates that if they for their part would fulfil what they offered there should be a cessation of arms and everything should return to the tranquillity which he had always desired. Your Majesty will see a copy of this letter, for the King's will is that what is therein contained shall be firmly kept and accomplished, and if no innovations are set on foot by the Estates (as they always have been whenever he has conceded any of their requests), the King regards all the causes for disquiet in those countries as at an end, for I can affirm for certain that he has never claimed from them anything beyond what the Emperor had, rather he has endeavoured to maintain them in all things that could be for the benefit of the inhabitants and for the increase of their riches and prosperity. Whence it will be clearly seen that the falsehoods invented by the misguided and ill-intentioned of those countries, which they have contrived to spread everywhere, to the effect that the King's purpose was to oppress them and treat them otherwise than the Emperor did, have been a piece of great wickedness. And that the King's desire had always been to the contentment of the Estates so far as was tolerable is plainly shown by his actions, for having understood that they desired the withdrawal of Don John he was willing to employ him elsewhere, and would have done so if they would have kept the peace, so that if there has been any delay it is their fault. The King has wished to set these details before your Majesty, to show you that he has left nothing undone to bring them to reason and how he has had just cause to take up arms and employ force, kindness and favours having been insufficient. Yet he wishes to deal as a father with his subjects, and even when using armed force against them he has never had any intention of taking away their privileges nor of reducing them to the form of a province, as some have wished to have it thought, but only to bring them back to the obedience due to himself as their sovereign. It should in like manner be understood that the King has no wish to proceed with rigour if they will voluntarily acknowledge their fault and seek for pardon, knowing that it will be granted as willingly as on former occasions since the troubles in those states. Their goods and their honours, of which some have so justly been deprived, will be respected, and to show yet greater clemency pardon is offered not only to those who have sought it, but to those who have been in arms against the King. This being so notorious, the King entreats your Majesty that as a good sister and ally you will not allow aid of any kind to be given to the rebels out of your kingdom, but on the contrary will help him by giving any assistance that may be sought by Don John in order to quell those states. You will know better than I can represent it the advantage of this to yourself, and no less the obligation it involves as a matter common to all Princes in respect of the obedience which their vassals owe them ; since the example of the King's subjects might unsettle your Majesty's in a way to cause you trouble, as your prudence will show you. After I had been directed to give your Majesty this report of the state of affairs came Thomas Wilkes with your letter containing many details relative to the Low Countries and setting forth the distress and danger in which they are and what you have done to keep them in their obedience to the King. You think that the whole remedy consists in recalling Don John, appointing a more acceptable governor, receiving back into favour those who have given offence, maintaining the privileges of the country and observing the Edict of pacification. If this course does not bring the Estates to peace your Majesty assures the King that you will turn your arms against them and defend his authority, while if this course is not followed you cannot avoid helping them. The King holds it in high esteem, than you should have written to advise him in this matter, but there is little to be said on the subject, seeing that some time before receiving your letter he had already taken order to the like effect, as you will see by the letter which he sent by M. de Selles on December 20 to the Estates, assuring them that if they will observe the two points laid down in his letter of September 8, to wit, the observance of the Catholic religion and the obedience due to himself, as in the time of the Emperor his father, arms will be laid down and peace and quietness will ensue. Similarly there is nothing fresh to be said touching a successor to Don John, since the King has granted that long ago, and he is surprised that when the Low Countries wrote they did not advise your Majesty of it. He means to send a successor with whom they can have no just cause for discontent. And since it has been made clear that what Don John has done by order of the King has been so well justified, he trusts that if the Estates will not make peace your Majesty will, as you have offered, turn your arms against them. But if—which he does not believe—you wish notwithstanding to aid them, whereat he will marvel greatly, as contrary to all reason and to good amity, neither on that nor on any other account will he abandon the course of chastising and bringing to obedience his vassals who stand outside thereof, as all human and divine law permits, and the state in which God has placed him requires. Yet he hopes there will be no occasion for this, but that you will be on his side or at any rate will give them no help, open or secret, both for the causes herein alleged and for the sake of the old treaties existing between your Majesty and himself. Copy. Endd. by L. Tomson and marginal notes in Spanish by him. Sp. 11 pp. [Spain I. 12.]
March 16. 701. POULET to the SECRETARIES.
Please peruse the inclosed copy of a letter sent me by a very honest and wise man ; and I pray you that it may be committed to the fire when you have made your profit of it. La Roche prepares to proceed in his voyage ; and to trust to French promises may be dangerous. The Princes of the religion and those of Rochelle have received many fair words from him, yet they cease not to live in fear of him. His preparations are not so great as is reported ; but such as they are, are doubtless intended against Rochelle or Ireland. I expect more news from those parts. Cabret, of whom you were informed by Mr. Wilks and who is said to have been in England, follows this Court and vaunts great things. We stand here upon our guard on every side and nothing keeps us from open actions, but that faith and fidelity are banished out of this country and no man knows whom he can trust. Yet the corruption is so great that there is no doubt it will break out very shortly. Those of the religion stand upon the terms mentioned in my last letters, and will no doubt do all they can to live in peace, to which they are so affected that some think a great opportunity may be lost, which will hereafter be repented. Casaneufve is come from the King of Navarre, with ample memorials, both for his particular and for the general, the latter being worthy of a Prince of great virtue. They do well to strike while the iron is hot, and indeed now or never. I have been desired to convey the inclosed letters to you, Mr. Walsingham, safely and secretly, and therefore have not acquainted this bearer with them. It is certain that the King is levying forces throughout the realm, and those of the religion cannot tell what to make of it, fearing only lest the greatness of the house of Guise will abuse the facility of their King and persuade him to renew the war ; which is the more likely because in the absence of Monsieur they are assured of being King themselves as long as the war holds. I heard four days ago from my old friend that [in cipher] Monsieur would send him to England without delay. It is written from Geneva that Charles Blackstone and Michael Keyneon, said to be of Warwickshire, but dwelling in Ireland, departed thence last September and repaired into Spain, where they have negotiated to the prejudice of her Majesty, and returning arrived at Bordeaux at the end of January and took ship for Ireland. The French Queen's sister has lately arrived, and now her picture is sent to the Prince of Condé, and nothing is omitted to further this marriage. The Churches have dissuaded it, and it is certain that the Prince is not inclined that way. Yet his answer has not been unworthy of this honourable offer, referring himself to the advice of his best friends in personal conference. It is thought certain that after Easter the King will go to Rouen and thence to Britanny. It is advertised in letters from Vienna of the 6th ult. that the Emperor will not allow any levy to be made within the Empire for the King of Spain without the assent of the Electors, and has sent to them for their advice. From Constantinople it is written that the Sophy has been poisoned by his sister, who is now Protectrix both of the realm and of the young Sophy, who is twelve years of age, and that there is likelihood of great trouble there. The Duke of Savoy's ambassador complains of the great wrong done his master by the higher place being granted to the ambassador of Florence. The Emperor feeds him with fair words, yet the other side has great hope that no change will ensue. The ambassador of Savoy has gone to Saxony to crave the favour of the Elector. Poland is greatly troubled, the Muscovite having assembled a mighty army in the borders of Lithuania, and threatens to enter Volhynia. The Tartars refuse their pension due 'by' the Muscovites, and prepare great force against them. The Turk also assembles forces in Wallachia in favour of the 'Vavioda,' who has been driven out by a Polish subject assisted by the inhabitants there, so there is a great likelihood of troubles in those parts.—Paris, 16 March 1577. Add. Endd. 2½ pp. [France II. 24.]
March 16.
K. d. L. x. 330.
702. Instructions of Daniel Rogers, Envoy from the Queen of England to the Estates-General of the Low Countries, containing her resolution touching the aid which she is willing to give them. Laid before the Estates on the 16th of March, 1878, at Antwerp. [The instructions as given in No. 680, thrown into the form of a discourse, in French ; in Rogers's own handwriting, and endorsed by him as above.] Endd. Fr. 4 pp. [Holl. and Fl. V. 79.]
March 16.
K. d. L. x. 333.
I was in hopes that my long want of your letters would have been recompensed with some agreeable news of your resolved journey hither, to the relief of these countries, the profit of the state and your own reputation. But from your letter delivered to me by Mr. Rogers I find that the suspense has come to an unwelcome solution, unwished, I am sure, by many who, foreseeing the profit of the journey, would have been glad if it had gone forward. I am not acquainted with the cause of the alteration ; but I dare affirm upon the judgement of the wisest here, that if her Majesty had proceeded roundly, she would not only have in a few months settled an honourable peace in this country, but also have gained for herself double security and honour. These countries must have dwelt bound for ever to her for such a benefit, and she would have removed an enemy who, if his affairs prosper here, might be a dangerous neighbour both to her and her state ; and she would be the means of great benefit not to these countries only, but to the whole commonwealth of Christendom, which if this war have its course is like to participate in the fire kindled here. Then I am sorry on public grounds for this alteration, as well as for your own honour in particular. Your reputation being already great here could not but have been greatly increased by so open a demonstration. But I will do my best to let it be understood how much the matter has fallen out against your desire, and to maintain the opinion which is here conceived of it. [The rest in autograph.] Now as touching our news, the time offers little that you will be glad to hear. The town of Nivelle, of the siege of which I advertised you in my last, having sustained two furious assaults, in which 400 or 500 of the enemy were slain, capitulated last Wednesday, the defenders to depart unarmed to their rapiers, such as are subjects to the King having sworn never to bear arms against him or Don John, nor such as be strangers within one . . . . but the enemy having contrary to the capitulation slain certain hurt men . . . out of the town in wagons, the captains and some others have protested by cartel sent to Don John that they were discharged of their oaths, and not bound to observe what he himself had broken. Since the surrender of Nivelle we hear that the enemy has seized Bins and Brain, towns of little importance. Some think he will march further into Hainault, where he had intelligence for the surprising of Mons by the practice of the bailiff d'Antwyn, who with others of the faction was to have seized one of the gates at an appointed hour and have let in certain companies of the enemy ; but, the matter in good time discovered, the enemy is prevented, and the traitor with divers of his partisans apprehended. Others think he will advance to 'Aelst,' a town important for the passage into Flanders, which the bailiff of Vaux had conspired to put into his hands, but the matter being discovered the Gauntois sent some of their men under M. d'Aussy, who have garrisoned the place, and having apprehended the bailiff have condemned him, and it is thought given orders for his execution. Having discovered the magistrates of Courtray in correspondence with the enemy they have apprehended such as were suspected and imprisoned them at Ghent and garrisoned the town. Here they are 'redressing' their camp. About Brussels they have 1,500 or 1,600 horsemen, and hope to draw soldiers from the garrisons, supplying their place where necessary with burghers and new levies. From Germany we hear that the Duke of Brunswick is levying 4,000 men for the enemy ; but we hear nothing of the marching of ours. The messenger sent to Duke Casimir is said to have been taken by the enemy near 'Hoestrat' and detained, which will be some hindrance to their affairs in Germany. [On the same sheet is the beginning of a letter of same date to the Secretaries.] Draft, much damaged. 1½ pp. [Ibid. V. 80.]
March 17. 704. WALSINGHAM to BURGHLEY.
On account of my yesterday's indisposition, which caused my absence at Mendoza's audience, I can only deliver the substance of his message by hearsay. In sum it was this : the King was content to yield to the revocation of Don John, to appoint a new governor satisfactory to them, and to allow them to enjoy their ancient privileges, on condition of rendering him due obedience and to continue in the Catholic religion. This considered in general 'he carrieth a great show of towardliness of present redress of the Low Country troubles, but when the anatomy shall be made' and the particulars of the matter looked into, I fear it will prove 'an offer of abuse' to gain time. How things proceed in Scotland, you may perceive by the enclosed, wherein good and timely advice is to be taken, and therefore I wish your presence here.—Greenwich, 17 March 1577. Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Spain I. 13.]
March 17. 705. M. DE MONTDOUCET to the ESTATES.
It is two days since M. de la Fougère, whom my master sent to the Prince of Orange to let him know his intention in offering help, passed this place on his return. He communicated to me your answer, pursuant to which I resolved to go to Cambray and await the passports which you desire to have for the distinguished persons whom you propose to send to his Highness. But I have now received another dispatch from him with a letter which he desires me to lay before you, and I have thought that as so little remains of the time you have fixed for answering, and that the roads are not very secure, and that my presence with you is not necessary, it was expedient to send it to you. This I do, with a copy of his letter to me, which I have taken and shown to M. de Lovigny, the present bearer. Since the dispatch in question will very well explain his Highness's good intentions towards you, I shall do no good by any further declarations. I will only say that if you judge the aid of so great a Prince to be useful and honourable to you—as it is to give you a happy end to your troubles—you will take a prompt resolution according to the message you sent by M. de la Fougère. You ought to have sufficient inducement in yourselves to take heed to a matter so nearly touching you. Civil wars of such a nature as that which you have justly undertaken, terminate only in the utter overthrow of one side or the other. It will be a long business and you had better take advantage of the aid of a powerful Prince ; and I think you had better not delay to accept it unless you do not wish any longer to rely upon it. I shall await your answer here and act accordingly ; whether it be to accompany the gentlemen whom you may send to his Highness or, with your good favour, take my leave as I have orders to do.—Mons, 17 March 1578. Copy. Endd. by L. Tomson. Fr. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. V. 81.]
March 19. 706. POULET to the QUEEN.
The copies inclosed will show the occasion of this dispatch. The bearer is chosen because, being accustomed to deal in merchants' causes, he is likely to pass without suspicion. He serves for a guide to the other in this journey, but will not frequent his company. The other has shown me all his letters and acquainted me with his negotiations, which consist of three points ; to excuse his master for a faulty past, to offer such conditions of strait amity as your Majesty shall think reasonable, and to assure you that his master refers himself wholly to you to direct his doings at your pleasure. This good opportunity ought not in my opinion to be lost ; it may serve to prevent many dangers, and if rejected may procure new enemies. Desperation is a dangerous weapon, and may bring forth dangerous effects. The mean course is assured ; it cannot be hurtful, and may be profitable at home and abroad. The means of reconciliation are so many and so easy that this Prince can certainly make his peace at his pleasure, and all men may be no less assured that this peace will be the ruin of religion in France, with peril to the professors of it in other countries. Your Highness' faithful subjects are much comforted to see that the course of God's providence tends so manifestly to the preservation of your Majesty and the quiet of your realm, as the reward justly due to you for your honourable, merciful, and just government.—Paris, 19 March 1577.
Enclosing copies as below.
Knowing the integrity that is in you and remarking your inclination towards what is for my advantage, I would think of no better address than yours to write to the Queen your mistress. My obligation to her is so great that I should think myself greatly remiss if I did not seek to let her know how greatly I desire to serve her. If I have not hitherto shown it as she might wish, you know better than anyone the occasions thereof. I pray you to represent them to the Queen and to make my excuses to her for not sending a personage of quality, desiring that this journey may be secret. Please favour my dispatch as kindly as you have always embraced my private cause.—Angers, 9 March, 1578.
You will hear from this bearer, whom my Lord is sending to the Queen of England, the occasion of his journey, so I will not repeat it. I would not, however, omit to write a word on my own account to beg your credence for what this bearer will say to you from him, and so further the faithful execution of his charge, which does not at present need to be made manifest, as I am sure it will not be under your prudent management, by means of which I hope to see this negotiation brought to a happy issue. His Highness is writing to the Queen, and the bearer has orders to follow your advice in regard to the presentation of the letter. I have asked him to tell you the news of our Court.—Angers, 9 March, 1578. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. 1¼ pp. and (Fr.)pp. [France II. 25, 26.]
March 19. 707. Minute of a dispatch to DAVISON.
Her Majesty having caused two procurations to be made out and passed under the great seal, authorizing you and Mr. George Gilpin to take up either in the Low Countries or in High Germany the sum of 100,000l., for which she has granted her bonds to the States, and to deliver bonds for the same, binding her Majesty and her successors for its payment, and as there are certain articles concluded between her and the Marquis of Havrech on behalf of the States, which it is necessary for you to be acquainted with, I send you those articles that you may see that those things may be performed on their part which are required. The procurations are for two sums, both for the better concealment of the matter and also for the more convenient taking up of the whole. If the whole sum cannot be got in those parts, Gilpin may be dispatched into Germany with one, to take up as much as cannot be obtained where you are. Having received the sum and handed it to them you shall forthwith take into your hands the States' bond for the indemnity of her Majesty and send it over at once ; that she may send you directions for the names of the several towns whose obligations she is also to receive. In order that you may be in no difficulty as to the form of your own bond, which you are to give those of whom the sum or any part of it is to be taken up, I have caused a draft to be made out, needing nothing but engrossing, which you may see done when it has been approved by the parties. You will receive it herewith and two others with it, one from her Majesty and one from the City of London, also to be approved or amended by the parties, and returned for signature and sealing when required to be delivered to them for their security. Also her Majesty's letter authorizing you to deliver such sums as you shall take up into the hands of the States or their deputies. As to the interest, considering that the States themselves will be careful to get it as reasonable as they can, I have the less need to think of any direction for you in that behalf, but may refer it to the States and their deputies. And whereas in the first article of the treaty it is agreed that the States shall on receipt of her Majesty's bond and that of the City of London deliver their bonds into your hands, which has now been altered so that they may wait until the same has been performed on her Majesty's part, you are to declare to them that seeing the letters of procuration, which her Majesty has given you, together with another letter for delivery of the sum into their hands do effectuate as much as was required by their minister, you are nevertheless to receive of them their said bond as truly and effectually as if the article had been altered by addition of the words, 'her Majesty's letters of procuration,' instead of 'her Majesty's bond,' as to make the alteration would have been but deferring of their business. Draft. Marginal notes by Walsingham. Endd. by L. Tomson : M. to Mr. Davison for the money to be taken up by virtue of the procurations of the 19th March 1577, dispatched the 20th by Carenzoni and Captain Williams. 3 pp. [Holl. and Fl. V. 86.]
708. Some additions to the above, in L. Tomson's writing : It is not meant that you and your associate in the procuration should deal with the leaders otherwise than to assign the assurances. The deputies of the States are to take the whole of the pains of the business on themselves, and you and your associate are but to be assistants ; all to be done at the expense of the States. ½ p. [Ibid. V. 86a.]
709. Full copy of the above dispatch in hand of L. Tomson. 3 pp. [For. E.B. Misc. II.] (The copy of the procuration, in Latin, 4 pp., is also in E.B.)
March 19. 710. Instructions to COUNT ADOLF OF NEUENAHR, sent as Envoy from ARCHDUKE MATTHIAS and the ESTATES to the ELECTORS OF SAXONY and BRANDENBURG.
After discharging his commission to the Emperor he shall take the first opportunity of presenting this to the Electors, and say that our delay in sending greeting to them did not proceed from carelessness, but from the hindrances arising from the difficult circumstances of these countries. He shall announce to them how the Estates of the Netherlands, both spiritual and temporal, have chosen his Highness to be their governor, with the assent of the people, rich and poor, in confidence and hope that by him, as a real heir of the house of Austria and near kinsman of the King of Spain, the said Netherlands and the faithful obedient subjects there might be delivered from the tyranny of Don John and his adherents and be maintained in their former prosperity and their old privileges. Further, that though his Highness has only with much hesitation brought himself to take this government, he means in administering it to further in every way the good of the Holy Empire. Don John, contrary to law and to the pacification so wholesomely made at Ghent and confirmed by the King, goes about to inflict damage, burning, and murder on the loyal subjects, so that the Netherlands are ruined and wretched, and the Holy Empire is brought into danger, and thus we pray that you will allow no troops to be levied for him in your electoral territories.— Antwerp, 19 March 1578. Copy. Endd. by Daniel Rogers. German. 4 pp. [Holl. and Fl. V. 82.]
March 20. 711. Substance of the instructions given to COUNT ADOLF OF 'NEWENARE,' sent to the EMPEROR from the ESTATES of the LOW COUNTRIES 20 March 1577.
1. After presenting their humble service to signify the election of the Archduke Matthias as governor by universal consent. 2. To relate the cause of his election, namely to be freed from the tyranny of Don John and his like, and to be governed according to the privileges which his predecessors have trodden under foot. 3. To beseech his Majesty to approve the election, and as he has often promised to embrace the cause of these countries, protesting that they have nothing less in mind than the change of master or religion. 4. To lay before him the peril that may redound to the Empire in general as well as to the countries if his Majesty have not a better regard to them. 5. To tell him the causes of their taking up arms for their just defence and to deliver him a copy of their last justification, with the answer to certain pamphlets published by Don John. 6. To beseech him to withdraw all such Almaines or Reiters that are in service with the enemy, especially those at Campen, Zwol, and Deventer. 7. To do the like with Polwiller that is at Ruremonde and to put them to the ban of the Empire if they do not obey, and to inhibit all others from entering the enemy's service. 8. To be a means to the King to ratify the election of the Archduke, and to revoke Don John. 9. To grant license to levy 10,000 reiters and 9,000 footmen within the Empire for service against Don John. The Count has a similar mission to the Electors. In Davison's writing. 1 p. [Ibid. V. 83.]
712. Another copy of the same. 1 p. [Ibid. V. 84.]
713. Another copy of the same. 1 p. [Ibid. V. 85.]
March 20. 714. WALSINGHAM to DAVISON.
Your letter of the [8th] of March touching your opinion what assistance you thought fit, in honour and safety, to be given to the States, very gravely and substantially deduced, was imparted to her Majesty, and greatly approved by her touching the manner, but as for the matter she takes daily less taste thereof, especially since the arrival of Don 'Bernardyn,' who has put us in a vain hope of peace by her mediation. Such as are evil affected and inclined to Spain take great hold thereof, to the grief of those who are best devoted to her Majesty's service and foresee the peril of her relying on so vain a hope. I fear the Marquis will be coldly used and depart with very evil satisfaction. In what broken state things stand in Scotland, you will perceive by the enclosed occurrents.—Greenwich, 20 March. P.S.—It is very important to her Majesty's service to have this letter of the ambassador of Portugal deciphered with speed [see No. 611]. Please therefore deal earnestly and speedily with St. 'Alagondye' in that behalf. The cypher is so easy that it requires no great trouble. Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. V. 87.]
March 20.
K. d. L. x. 337.
Do not take it amiss that I do not write as often as you would have me. I have wanted either matter or time or have been absent when any dispatch was made. I was glad to read your late discourse, every word of which her Majesty has heard by me and very well approved. So did divers of the Council to whom I showed it. But I doubt, notwithstanding the substantial reasons alleged by you, that little or nothing will be done. The King of Spain has sent Don Bernardino de Mendoza hither, who would persuade us that if obedience is done to the King and religion preserved, everything else will be granted for the liberties of the countries and the revocation of Don John. This he has not only said to our Sovereign, but has put down in writing. Yet when I asked if he had authority to deal with Don John for the cessation of arms, he answered that he had not, and when I further sought to know if Don John would himself, upon command from the King, cease from arms, if the States would assure him that they would inviolably keep the pacification of Ghent, he could not give me any answer. So I fear his coming is only to gain time, and in time to work somewhat here amongst the malcontents of this land. The Marquis is come to London to-night, but how he will speed I know not, because security has overmuch possessed in, who have good cause to look well to our matters, if all reports be true that are written hither.—From the Court 20 March 1577. P.S.—The regent of Scotland is deposed and the King at present governs by the advice of 24 Councillors. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. V. 88.]
March 20.
Set down by the Earl of Leicester.
The Lord Chamberlain all below.
1. Whether or not the King will be content that the Queen should employ herself in compounding the differences. 2. Whether the King has directed Don Bernardino to deal with Don John and the States for peace, as expressed in the articles delivered by him to her Majesty. 3. Whether the King has directed Don John to proceed to a pacification agreeably to the Perpetual Edict. 4. Whether Don John has any authority from the King to accord a cessation of arms till the pacification is agreed to. 5. Whether the King has agreed that as soon as peace is made all forces shall be disbanded on both sides. 6. Whether the King has directed Don John to retire as soon as peace is made and the forces are discharged. 7. Whether Don Bernardino knows whom the King has appointed to succeed to the government. In writing of L. Tomson. Endd. with date by him. 1 p. [Spain I. 14.]
717. Another copy of the same, with the answers :
1. I have no such direction. 2. I have no direction to deal with Don John or the Estates. 3, 4, 5, 6. I do not know what order Don John has on these matters, for I have not been with him. 7. I do not know whom the King has named to succeed Don John, but I am sure that he would have sent someone ere this, upon Don John's request, if they had not constrained him to take arms, and he means to send one acceptable to them. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. I. 14a.]
718. Another copy of the questions, in French. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. I. 14b.]
719. Another copy of the questions in French, with the answers in Spanish. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. I. 14c.]
720. Another copy of the questions in French. Below is written : To all these articles he answered he knew nothing. Then follows :
The Lord Chamberlain delivered to the ambassador by way of answer from her Majesty three 'parts' of matter following.
1. How carefully she had laboured to persuade those people not to forsake their natural Prince nor diminish their obedience due to him. 2. How, discovering the practice of the French to enter Holland and Zealand to the assistance of the Prince of Orange, she did on the King's behalf persuade the Prince not to entertain so dangerous a practice and declared most gravely the great damage that might came thereof, and likewise to the Comendador, then Governor of the Low Countries. 3. How lovingly and sisterly she seeks peace for the King and safety of his countries, for she plainly sees if he continue these wars, the people must be driven to seek some assistance, whereto France notably offers itself. And they, fearing the evil success of their cause by those French forces, incessantly call on us as their safest refuge, especially because the cause so nearly touches ourselves. To conclude, because England may neither suffer Spain nor France to tyrannize over those poor people and countries, her Majesty has answered that unless the King will make peace, she will (rather than France should) give what succour she is able, protesting never to impatronise herself of one town or foot of ground there, but only to restore the people to their quiet, safety, and ancient liberties. To this end, either to conclude a full peace with the King or to assist the people, she has promised to send some person of quality to Don John immediately. In writing of L. Tomson. 1½ pp. [For. E.B. Misc. II.]
March 20. 720 bis. HODDESDON to BURGHLEY.
My lord, by Mr. Allen of the 11th of this month [sic], since which has come into my hands the copy of a letter written from Constantinople, Jan. 12, a copy of which I send you word for word ; the rather that Barbary is included in the peace between the Turk and the King of Spain, whereby it may appear that Spain makes no preparation for Africa. The consideration whereof I leave to your lordship.—Hamburg, 20 March 1577.
Occurrents.—From Constantinople, 12 Jan.
We first saw the new comet here on Nov. 10, seeming at first very small. Certain sophies or astrologians of the Turks affirm it to be a new star, which has shown itself but three times, the first at the destruction of Sodom and Gomorra, the second when Pharaoh perished in the Red Sea. Now the third time, forasmuch as it is not red of colour as at the other times, but of much 'bleaker' and whiter colour, it signifies plenty and fruitfulness. The Soldan Murat's astrologer, whom he called home from 'Helepo,' with his companion, a Jew of Thessalonia, affirm it to signify wars with Africa and Persia ; and it seems that they 'fail not in all points,' since Ismael, the King of Persia, is dead, and the commons divided concerning the succession ; whereby the Turk claims to have his portion therein, and to end those wars and controversies according to their custom, and already a principal nobleman of Persia with many thousands has revolted to the Turk. Certain days ago arrived a Spanish ambassador, with five persons, and conferred with Mahomet Basha articulos pacis to be concluded between his King and the Soldan ; whereby it is plain that Barbary will be included in the peace, and therefore to be feared that the fire in the Low Countries will be re-kindled, and Dutchland not escape scot free. Mahomet Basha rejoices that the Archduke 'Matheus' is gone to the Low Countries ; affirming it to be God's providence through him to deliver the people from the Spaniards' tyranny. Yet his 'singular good hope' is that the Spaniards and Dutches will together by the ears, to the end that the lords of Mullay [?] as arbitrors may come to decide the matter and conclude the peace. God grant it may take so good effect, for Spain has shed much innocent blood, which God will not leave unrevenged. The Soldan has licensed his Tartarians to rob and spoil and burn in Poland as they best may. The Poles have made peace or amity with the Tartars and Turks against us and the 'Muscoviter,' and now they shall reap their reward.
— From Rome, 1 Feb.
The English Duke has returned from Cività Vecchia, and it is said he will join with five Spanish galleys. From Spain the news is that the Bishop of Toledo is deadly sick. His bishopric, by consent of the Pope, must furnish 450,000 ducats to be employed against the Low Countries. The Spaniards here confess that the 'stay' which was between their King and the Turks will go forward, that each may carry out his intentions, one against Persia, the other against the Low Countries. The Great Duke of Florence has forbidden his subjects to wear any weapon ; whence it is feared that some rebellion will ensue. Emilio Mallotti last Sunday brought six 'stewdiants' of Sweden before the Pope, who kissed his feet, and will study the Romish law. At Genoa, 'Gewelliosalle' [qu. Giulio Salis] is tormented again to confess the secret practice ; but Augustine 'Salie' has prolonged the day of judgement.
— From Venice, the 7 Feb.
The ordinary letters from Lyons bring tidings that the Duke of Humena [qu. du Maine] has started with 2,000 foot and 200 horse to the aid of Don John. In the last letters from Constantinople, four Wallachians are come from Persia, bringing news that the Sophia is dead ; wherefore this year but 80 galleys will set out. They write from Genoa that in Pizance [qu. Piacenza] there is rebellion and troubles. In this part of Germany, 'Hartick' Eric of Brunswick, or 'Hartick' Francis of Saxony are levying horse for Don John ; it is thought to the number of 6,000. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Hanse Towns I. 34.]
March [?] 721. REPLY of the ARCHDUKE and ESTATES to DANIEL ROGERS' discourse.
Having heard the proposal made by Mr. Rogers we regret that the Queen does not intend to carry out literally the agreement concluded with the Marquis of Havrech in regard to the promised aid of 6,000 English. In the present necessity this aid would have been more prompt and might have greatly aided the security of the country by the prudence and valiancy of the Earl of Leicester and other gentlemen of the English nation. Nevertheless, considering the reasons for which it has pleased her Majesty to alter the agreement and because we hope to get the same effect from the offer now made, we humbly thank the Queen for her assistance and hereby accept the 20,000l. in cash in lieu of the 6,000 English and the other 20,000l. in case we cannot promptly obtain money on the obligations. We are also thankful to her for having in her Christian care for these countries found a means to increase the force to be brought by Duke Casimir. But since by reason of the burdens laid upon the provinces, and the number of reiters they have already levied, it is almost impossible for them to entertain so many horse, they beg her Majesty to let the Duke bring 4,000 horse and 5,000 foot, and we beg that the money for the payment of his men may be delivered into the hands of the Estates or paid to Casimir on their order, they taking his receipt for the same. We beg her Majesty to proceed as soon as possible to put her offer into effect, and we on our side will in good faith carry out whatever is required of us. Copy. Endd. by Walsingham, with his mark. Wrongly dated, in, a later hand, Jan. 1578. Fr. 1½ pp. [Holl and Fl. V. 89.]
722. Another copy, 'the States' first answer to Daniel Rogers' negotiation.' Marginal notes by L. Tomson. 1½ pp. [For. E.B. Misc. II.]