762. POULET to BURGHLEY.
All things remain quiet here in outward appearance save that
there have been some troubles in Dauphiné, which the French
King and the King of Navarre seek jointly to appease. There has
passed some communication of late between one of the ministers
of Queen Mother and [me], and I suspect whatever they do or
say ; so I trust your Lordship and the Council will believe them
no further than is safe. I can be the more easily induced to give
credit to this motion because it makes for their profit ; and this
is the ground of their friendship and 'dysfrindshipp.' They pretend
to mislike the good success of the Spaniards in the Low
Countries, to be jealous of the neighbourhood of Don John, to wish
to remove him further, to like Matthias, to be content to leave
Scottish affairs to her Majesty, etc. I have written three or four
leaves of paper on this to the Secretaries, which I know will be
imparted to you ; nor would I have failed to send you copies
were I not persuaded that this bearer will find you at Court,
because of these late holidays. It is good to hear all proffers,
and trust as we see good cause. I hope her Majesty is too well
acquainted with the Spaniard to be 'abused' with his rhetoric ;
and she should know that the loss of a day is of great moment.
The Spaniard knows it, and therefore seeks to gain time by all
possible means ; and when his turn is served, he may turn his
flatterings into threatenings, and 'rip up old matters to ground
his new quarrels.' God deliver her Majesty from the malice and
cruelty of that barbarous nation ; which cannot be expected,
unless she make her profit of the time when it serves and of
occasions when they are offered.—Paris, 2 April 1578.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [France II. 27.]
K. d. L. x.
763. REPLY of the QUEEN to the MARQUIS OF HAVRECH'S
Upon the proposal of the Marquis, in pursuance of his instructions
from the Estates, that the Queen would be pleased to
forward the aid in men and money promised on the occasion
of his former negotiation, her Majesty replies as follows :—
First, as to the promised aid, having found an expedient more
appropriate both to assist them and in other respects, which she
has explained by her servant Mr. Rogers, sent expressly for
that purpose ; she is resolved to hold to what he has negotiated
with the States, and is about to negotiate with Duke Casimir,
intending to have executed whatever the Estates and the Duke
shall agree upon.
She does this with the better will because she understands
from the reply made by the Estates to Rogers that they approve
the offer to subsidise the Duke ; the chief difficulty remaining
being a difference about 1,000 horse and 1,000 foot, wherein her
Majesty is prepared to meet their views as to what is most
profitable for the present necessity, and will instruct Rogers to
arrange with the Duke accordingly.
Lastly, as to the order which Duke Casimir is to receive
for 20,000l., for which sum the Estates are to be responsible,
she has given orders to Rogers to arrange with the Duke that
the sum in question is not to be put into his hands till he has
concluded the terms which the Estates will propose to him ;
upon which they will hand over to her Majesty or the person
appointed by her a sufficient obligation for the repayment of
In writing of L. Tomson. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and
Fl. VI. 1.]
764. Draft of the above, in L. Tomson's writing. Endd.
with date. [Ibid. VI. 2.]
765. N. DE LYMBORCH, called D'OST, to BURGHLEY.
You will not have forgotten the desire I have always had to
serve her Majesty, since the year '63, when I sent people into
her kingdom with the late M. de Bocholt, lord of Grevenbroeck,
to make overture of certain methods in regard to the coinage.
Your Lordship wrote me several letters on the subject, finding
my suggestion well grounded, as indeed it was ; and it has thrice
since been carried out, and the crown, which was worth only
40 sous, is now worth 54, and the dollar, which was worth
30, is now worth 38, and other pieces in proportion.
If her Majesty would like to have a good sum to aid this
desolated country with, there is no prompter means in the world
than the invention aforesaid to get five or six thousand florins
or crowns, by the method I have explained of putting a mark
upon each piece which will give the value, and her Majesty
will take the sixth or seventh part. If you would like to have
the demonstration I will send it, and you will find what profit
her Majesty will make, without prejudice to her subjects.
I send herewith a copy of the letter which her Majesty gave
me for recompense, hoping to receive some fruit from it.—
Antwerp, 3 April 1578. (Signed) N. Lynborch, dit Ost.
P.S.—I have also written to Mr. Walsingham, that her Majesty
may send me letters of recommendation to Duke Casimir.
Copy of the Queen's letter : Whereas Nicolas de Limborch has
offered me an invention touching the lack [?] of money, by means
of which we may within three months gain a large sum, to be
delivered in London for our use during a certain time, without
exaction of money or interest or injury to our people, to show our
gratitude we promise him one-twentieth of all profits that we
may make thereby.—Greenwich, June 20 1563.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1½ pp. [Ibid. VI. 3.]
766. ADVICES from BRITANNY.
At Court you will have seen La Prade, who is going to the
Requests about the matter of Quetteville. He is a relation of
the judge, and is wasting time in chicanery, hoping to get some
recompense from the seamen of Guérande in Britanny, who were
to carry his goods to Ireland, where I do not think that he, and still
less La Prade [sic] will manage to deliver a single barrel of the
wheat they have promised.
As regards our news ; the Bretons will in no way agree to the
taxes which they want to lay on them ; and I am sure that the
2,000 harquebusiers, whom Captain La Roche was sending down
to this country, with a view to leading them to the Indies, and
for whose embarkation arrangements were made to levy 50,000
livres on this country, were intended to remain in the country and
favour the establishment of the tax in question. There have been
such complaints that M. de Montpensier has interceded with his
Majesty to have the soldiers recalled, and the levy of 50,000
livres abandoned ; so that La Roche is now at Court to get
compensated for his expenses over the embarkation, which in any
case has come to nothing.
You will, if nothing else supervenes, have no more letters from
me until you see me, which with the help of God will be soon.
(Signed) La Grange.—Rennes, 4 April 1578.
Copy, sent by Poulet. Endd. : Letters out of Bretaiane of the
22nd of March and 4th of April. (The former seems to be missing.)
Fr. 1 p. [France II. 28.]
K. d. L. x.
767. DAVISON to LEICESTER.
There has been little change since I last wrote, the enemy
having in the meanwhile been in suspense what to attempt, is
now encamped before Philippeville on the frontier of Hainault,
where are eight or nine companies of foot and two cornets of
horse ; in expugnation of which, if the defenders do their part,
he is like to hazard both his forces and his reputation, both by
reason of the strength of the place, and because the States may
in the meanwhile gather their strength, have the better entry for
their reiters, and provide such towns as are most important to
stop his further incursion. The Count of Bossu is therefore
encamped near Mons with 4,000 foot and 1,000 horse ; intending
to collect their strength there, both for the above reasons and
to assure the minds of the 'Henuyers,' into whose country the
war has now been transferred ; also to be better assured of that
province [as well as to keep the enemy play in that corner,
to ease the charge of the Bruxellois], which has hitherto been
the most doubtful.
The Duke of Alençon's army, of which we daily have advice
from the frontier, is suspected to 'tend to the offence' of these
countries. You will see what I have written to the Secretaries.
The dispatch which William brought has been thankfully
received ; but they would have been better satisfied with your
Sainte-Aldegonde is this day gone towards Worms, as commissioner
for the Governor and States to the Diet, which begins on
the 15th. You may see the 'generality' of his instruction in
my letter aforesaid.
From Germany we have constant news of the levy of 4,000
or 5,000 reiters [by Enric de Brunswick] and the Duke van
Holst [Holstein], and of 10,00 landsknechts for Don John ;
but if his intelligence in the country fail him, and he have to
depend upon his force, he will find his enterprise an endless piece
Lord Seton was lately apprehended at Bruges, and has been
threatened with the rack. He has been accused of continual intelligence
with the enemy, of having had two of his men with him
the day after the overthrow, and other things ; but what he has
confessed, or what has become of him, I do not understand ; only
he is said to have accused certain persons [of Mechlin, Bruges
and this town].
Rough draft. 1 p. On the back, fragment of a draft of
letter of even date to the Secretaries. Passages in brackets added
from No. 769. [Holl. and Fl. VI. 4.]
K. d. L. x.
768. DAVISON to the SECRETARIES.
Upon receipt of your letter with the procurations, projects of
bonds, and other particulars, sent by Mr. Williams, who arrived
immediately after the departure of the last post, I sent to desire
audience of the Prince. I had it of him the next day, and of the
States the day following, and communicated to both the details
of that dispatch. Yesterday they sent their deputies to me to
confer of the course to be taken, but nothing is as yet done.
I hear that certain merchants of this town and nation, being
dealt with long ago by the States in the expectation of these
bonds, have undertaken to furnish the greater part of the sum.
If this be true it will be a great furtherance of the negotiation ;
but I shall be able to write more in full by my next.
Meantime I must tell you how thankfully they accept her
Majesty's favour in this behalf ; and how aptly it came to stay
some wavering minds that half despairing of our help, too much
consideration of the charges of this war, suspicious of the alteration
of religion, and sent to sleep by the solicitation of the Emperor,
the Bishop of Liége, M. de Selles and others of the enemy's
suborned ministers, harped too much and too soon upon the string
of peace ; for the better slacking or breaking of which, as a thing
of very ill concord with their present state, I thought it not amiss
in my discourse to them to let them understand the double dealing
of Mendoza with her Highness, and the little expectation there was
of any other peace than such as their own strength, union, and
resolution should constrain. And therefore, advising them to
prepare for the worst, I concluded that as in this art and otherwise
they had experienced her Majesty's care for them and their cause,
they might be sure that unless the occasion should grow from
themselves, she would never abandon them. This advertisement
I gave them by the way ; it was well taken, and I hear since
has done no harm.
The various information of the Duke of Alençon's preparation
of forces makes them very suspicious. The Prince, when I was
last with him, communicated some news of it to me, and asked
what I thought of it. I told him that the state of that country,
the inclination of the Duke, and other circumstances were so much
better known to him that he did not need my advice ; however,
as he pleased to hear me speak, I would say what I thought.
The Duke's arming could not in my opinion but tend to one of
these four ends ; either a war against the King his brother, or
the renewing of the troubles against the Protestants, and the
assisting of the States, or the taking part against them ; for there
was no great appearance of any external war. As for war against
his brother, I find few of that opinion ; the attempting something
against the Protestants was not altogether without suspicion,
though by sundry circumstances I proved to him the unlikelihood
of it. Therefore I concluded that his arming must be either for
the defence or the offence of these countries ; but which I left
to the Prince's judgement.
He said it must be for one of the ends I had mentioned, but
of them all, he most suspected the latter. For he knew that
the country would never approve his assistance as he offered it,
partly because whatever show he made, the conditions would be
such as the States could never agree to without prejudice and
danger to themselves, partly for other reasons, which he said
were too long to repeat. He affirmed that they had given the
minister who was last here an answer rather dilatory than
negative, and promised shortly to send deputies to Cambray to
treat further with anyone whom he might send. This latter in
order to gain time, being uncertain what issue the negotiations
in England would have, and to break the intelligence which the
enemy sought to have with him, because such a conjunction could
not fail to be dangerous for these countries. But seeing by the
letters which he had since written to the States he seems not
satisfied with this delay, but presses for a final answer (wherein,
as he said, they are in no sort determined to satisfy his aspiring
desire), he could not but conjecture that there was some intelligence
between him and the enemy, and that his present arming
was to offend them. But failing to speak of some means to divert
that danger he told me they had determined to send M. de
Frezin and some other to Cambray to await the Duke's deputies,
or else, first having safe-conduct, to travel to him where he is ;
and as they were bound by virtue of their treaty with her Majesty
to do nothing in such cases without her knowledge, their commissioners
were to conclude nothing without her advice, and they
had determined very shortly to acquaint her with the whole
negotiation. Accordingly, the gentlemen being this day departed,
I look within a day or two to hear some further details from his
Excellency of their instructions ; which I will send you when I
For the gentleman arrived in England from Monsieur, the
Prince of Orange is of advice [in cipher] there is nothing in it
but fraud. Howbeit if by good handling the matter might indeed
be compassed, it would be of great importance to these countries
and their neighbours ; and therefore not an opportunity to be
Sainte-Aldegonde is this day gone towards Worms. His charge
tends as well to hinder the succours levying in the Empire for the
enemy, and to further those that are to be levied for the States,
as to justify them in taking arms to supplant such leagues as
might be made to their prejudice, and to keep up the good
correspondence which these countries have always had with the
Empire. His leisure before going did not suffice to decipher the
letters you sent me with your last, but he procured me another
to perform it. I send it herewith, together with the cipher of
Guaras's letters sent me long since, and delivered as you ordered
to Sainte-Aldegonde ; but being mislaid by his man during his
absence in 'Phrise,' I could never recover it till he found it by
chance and sent it me to-day.
The bruit is here that Mendoza is to remain resident in
England ; at which some wise men do not a little marvel, considering
the time, which requires as little harbouring as may be
to be given to the ministers of such princes as are manifestly
[The remainder is practically identical with the letter to Leicester,
No. 767 q.v.]—Antwerp, 5 April 1578. [Ibid. VI. 5.]
Add. Endd. 3½ pp.
769. Rough draft of above letter.
Endd. 4 pp. [Ibid. VI. 6.]
K. d. L. x.
770. WALSINGHAM to DAVISON.
I had hoped to send you some good news touching your suit
and the advancement of your 'diet' for four months, but I can
obtain neither of them ; and can only advise you to 'unfold your
decayed state' to the Lord Treasurer and the Earl of Leicester
and pray them to procure your recall. I have received many
a 'repuse,' hoping to have done you good, being loath to acquaint
you with her Majesty's indisposition in your behalf ; but now
I am heartily sorry I have entertained you in vain hope. This
mishap is not only yours, but of as many as are called to public
service, so that all men grow weary of the matter. No one has
more cause to complain than myself, being decayed rather than
advanced by my long and painful service.—London, 5 April 1578.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. VI. 7.]
K. d. L. x.
771. THOMAS WILKES' INSTRUCTIONS.
Being loth, for the good will we bear to our brother the King
of Spain, to omit any means that may procure the peace of his
Low Countries, of which we have given sufficient testimony ;
and finding that if means of compounding the differences be not
speedily wrought, they will grow to such extremity that all remedy
will be past ; we have thought good to dispatch you to Don John,
to understand of him whether he has authority, and can be content,
to grant a surseance of arms, and by that means to enter into a
treaty of peace, honourable for the King and himself, and profitable
for the countries.
First, you shall tell him that by the arrival of Don Bernardino
de Mendoza from the King, we have received answer to the chief
points of the legation on which we dispatched you ; and therefore,
as one well acquainted with the matter, we have chosen to use
your services towards him. But touching the special point of our
message, as to the pacification of the countries, we have received
no part of his mind by Don Bernardino, whereby we are moved
to doubt that he is otherwise resolved than, for ought we can
see, is to his benefit.
The point unanswered, propounded by us, was to move him to
give order for the due observation of the Perpetual Edict ; which
we were the more willing to do, since it was accorded by Don
John himself, and we saw that the States insisted chiefly on
that point, offering to yield all due obedience to the King that
could be required of them, and to continue in the Catholic faith,
with promise to cease from arms if they might enjoy the execution
The like declaration we understand they made to the Baron of
Selles, sent by the King with offer of grace and pardon if they
would according to their letter of September last render him his
due obedience and maintain the Catholic faith ; by their declaration
making clear what their meaning was in their former letter,
which seemed to be otherwise taken by the King than they
meant ; referring always to the King's own edict.
Thus much you shall say we understand both by their answer
to Baron de Selles' negotiation and by the report of the Marquis
of Havrech at his last arrival ; so that the only difference between
the King and them stands in the performance of the Edict, as
we declared to our good brother, and desired his answer therein.
Whereto, not receiving any direct answer, we might be altogether
discouraged from further dealing, did we not think it
honourable, so long as any spark of hope remains, to persist in
so good a work as to avoid the effusion of Christian blood by
procuring peace ; wherein we are encouraged to proceed by finding
the States in the same disposition as before, desiring only to
enjoy the peace granted them by the Edict, offering to conform
to all that was accorded in it ; but with full intention, in case
it shall be denied them, to cast themselves into the protection of
any prince whatsoever, rather than endure the extremities which
by this proceeding are likely to be laid on them. From which
resolution we have been a means to stay them hitherto while
awaiting an answer from Spain, referring our own resolution
to such information as we might receive from you of the King's
pleasure ; which standing in so doubtful terms as it does, we
could not forbear to use their last remedy, both to show the
world the affection we bear to our good brother, and to justify
our action, if hereafter for our own safety we take another course
than we have been save upon great occasion to enter into, or
would be looked for at our hands. For if they may not be
received into favour on so reasonable a condition, and are thereby
forced to accept such an offer as has lately been made them
by the Duke of Alençon, which they have been content to defer
till they knew our resolve, you will tell him that we find it
a matter so full of danger to ourself and our state that we
cannot forbear to let him know our determination ; which is in
no case to endure the countries being reduced to servitude by
him, by making a conquest of them and spoiling them of their
ancient liberties, nor yet to be possessed by the French.
Therefore you will give him plainly to understand that, as
we see that the only means to stay their violent course is to
grant a surseance of arms, we cannot but earnestly press him
thereto ; which if he will accord we will send over some person
of quality to mediate such an agreement, as we doubt not will
be greatly to the benefit of those countries and the honour of the
King and himself, whereof he ought to be most careful, since any
loss that the King may sustain by other kind of dealing will
be 'desired' upon him in the only cause of all inconveniences
likely to fall out by his present actions and resolutions.
[Following has been struck out] : If he answer, as he did to
Leighton, that he has no commission from the King to deal
for a peace, but only to prosecute war, you shall say we are
informed by Don Bernardino that the King has given him
absolute authority for both. If he refuse to condescend to our
request, having authority to do so, he will confirm the common
opinion that his purpose tends only to the subduing of these
countries by way of conquest.
Draft, with corrections in Walsingham's hand. Endd. by L.
Tomson : A draught of instructions for one to be sent to Don
John. Mr. Wylkes. Dispatch the 5th of April, and in a later
hand. 5½ pp. [Ibid. VI. 8.]
772. Another copy of the above, with the following additional
To which, if notwithstanding what you shall tell him touching
the answer Don Bernardino made as to the absolute authority
given him alike for war and for peace, he shall reply to you,
as he did to Leighton, that he has no commission so to do, you
shall declare that we cannot but think it strange if it should
be so, considering how necessary it is for the King, the countries
of Spain and Flanders being so far 'distermined' and the passages
between them of such difficulty that messages cannot be safely
or speedily sent between them, a point very necessary in such
troublesome times, to have his governor there invested with full
authority to take what course soever he shall find to serve most
for his honour and benefit, whether by peace or war ; the rather
that the King has always protested to them and witnessed to us
that he desires nothing but peace. He has lately expressed the
same by the Baron de Selles, whom we cannot think he would
more honourably authorise than Don John, in whom we are
persuaded the King reposes as great trust with as free liberty to
do what he thinks best for his service, 'as upon no governor
more at any time,' without trying him to any limit, but referring
all to his discretion.
And in case he shall say to you that he has sent to the King
and expects an answer every day, you shall tell him we can be
content you remain there with him seven or eight days to see
what may fall out. If he lets you know the King can be content
we should interpose, to mediate some good accord between him
and those countries, and as you shall find him inclined, you may
decide accordingly about tarrying there, in proportion to the time
limited. But if he shall simply refuse to condescend to our request
you shall let him understand we have just cause 'to conceive
the common bruit and opinions cast forth of him to be true,'
that his purpose tends to the subduing of the Low Countries by
way of conquest ; which gives us just cause to take that course
for the stay of his intentions, which we would be loth to do
unless constrained by necessity, whereby it may appear to the
world that we leave nothing undone that is consistent with
honour or conscience.
Copy. 6 pp. [For. E.B. Misc. II.]
K. d. L. x.
391 and 416
773. The QUEEN to DON JOHN.
In pursuance of the earnest we have long given of our desire
for the good of Christendom in general and of our good brother
the Catholic King in particular, and with a view to the pacification
of the Low Countries we have sent this bearer, Thomas
Wilkes, one of the clerks (secrétaires) of our privy council to
negotiate with you in certain matters of importance, praying you
to hear him and give credence to him as to ourselves.—Greenwich,
Copy. Fr. ½ p. [For. E.B. Misc. II.]