Elizabeth: April 1578, 16-20

Pages 623-630

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.

Please subscribe to access the page scans

This volume has gold page scans.
Access these scans with a gold subscription.Key icon

April 1578, 16-20

April 19. 799. WALSINGHAM to DAVISON.
This gentleman, Mr. Henry Cavendish, being well affected to the common cause, and having a special devotion towards the Prince, carries over with him 500 or 600 men to be employed in the service of the States, not with any desire of gain, being otherwise 'of good countenance,' but only in respect of the affection he bears to the cause. Yet since by your good means he shall speed the better among them, I have thought good to desire you to recommend him to the Prince, to whom I have already written in his behalf, and other persons of quality there.—Greenwich, 19th April, 1578. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. VI. 20.]
April 19.
K. d. L. x. 417.
800. Promise of the Marquis of Havrech, within 15 days after his return to deliver to Mr. Davison the obligation of the States for the sum of £5,000 received from the Lord Treasurer, for the purchase of munitions of war ; the said sum to be repaid with the first money that can be raised on the Queen's obligations for £100,000 already granted ; the undersigned pledging all his own goods. London, 19 April 1578. (Signed) Charles Phles de Croy ; with seal. Endd. by Burghley : xix April, 1577 [sic], an obligation of the Marq. d'Havregh ; and in a later hand : by this bond it appears that the money was borrowed by the King of Spain, the marquis being his servant. Fr. ½ p. [Ibid. VI. 21.]
April 19. 801. Copy of the above. Endd. with correct date. [Ibid. VI. 22.]
April 19. 802. Another copy. Endd. [Ibid. VI. 23.]
April 19. 803. INSTRUCTIONS for PHILIP COUNT OF LALAING, CHARLES DE GAVERE, BARON OF FRESIN, THIERRY DE LISVELT, and NICHOLAS DE LELLIS, Pensioner of the city of Douay, in regard to their negotiations with MM. DE LA ROCHEPOT, DES PRUNEAUX, and MONDOUCET, deputies for the DUKE OF ALENCON.
They shall go with all speed to the town of St. Ghislain, there to meet the said deputies, and shall explain that M. de Fresin and Baron d'Aubigny, having started to go to the Duke in France, heard that deputies from him were on the way, and therefore went no further. They shall declare that the Estates thank the Duke heartily for his good will and affection towards them in wishing to get them out of the difficulties of this war with which Don John is pursuing them 'à toute outrance' ; and the deputies for their trouble in taking the journey. As the Duke desires to know by what means he could most advantageously succour them, who desire to have a firm alliance with him, including their allies and associates ; If he will kindly send his forces into the country of Burgundy and into Luxemburg, to divert those of Don John and to take fortresses from him, they hope for good results. And whereas the Duke, by the gentleman whom he sent and by the letters he then wrote, pressed for an early and absolute answer from them, while the term of 3 weeks allowed for this was very short, the deputies of the States have not been able to await an answer from all the provinces. They have, however, decided to resolve among themselves upon the most suitable means to be agreed on by the provinces, and to lay them before the Duke, thinking that on all accounts it will be best first to hear his opinion, before proceeding to lay their plan before the provinces in general. Since in the event of his not thinking fit to ratify them it would be superfluous, not to say mischievous, that they should be communicated to so many ; while the proposers might incur blame. On the other hand, if, as they hope, he accepts them, they will at once be avowed and agreed to by the Estates, a matter for which they took order before their departure.
The conditions of alliance shall be as follows :—
If the Duke pursues the scheme of marrying the Spanish Princess, the Estates will employ their best offices to advance his suit, No arrangements shall be made with the King to which the Duke is not a party ; and the Estates promise to keep him in peaceable enjoyment of all that he may gain in the country of Burgundy, in Luxembourg, or in the neighbouring countries, not being in alliance with them, beyond the Maes ; and if any proceedings shall be taken against him on the score of the assistance he gives them, they promise to aid him against all parties ; and in case he cannot conquer the said county of Burgundy or the Estates cannot maintain him in the enjoyment of it, they promise to indemnify him for any expenses incurred by him in assisting them. They further promise him an annual gratuity of 250,000 francs, hoping that by succouring them he will give the provinces a chance of entering into an alliance more profitable for him. The deputies will use all their well-known tact and discretion to make these offers agreeable to the Duke's deputies.—Antwerp, 19 April, 1578. (Signed) J. Houfflin.
COPY of the REPLY of M. D'ALENÇON'S AMBASSADORS (apparently with remarks by the States).
1. As to leading a force into Burgundy and Luxembourg, there is no great difficulty about that. Monsieur is, however, a man of magnanimity and courage ; he would wish to fight for the sake of honour, and have his forces here, and in all ways to prevent aid coming to the enemy, without losing men or sending them where they would be of no use.
2. As to the marriage, it is not yet time for that, and the Estates by speaking of it would be more likely to put him out of conceit with it ; yet when the point is gained and they are freed from the enemy, he is not going to refuse such furtherance, nor will he marry without their advice.
3. As to conquests the Estates give him only the advantage of winning what does not belong to them, which he does not want. If he had wished to apply himself to that kind of thing, he has had plenty of opportunities, as in Italy, where they have offered him as many as five towns, viz., three ports, Genoa being one, and two inland. Nay, Don John makes him fine offers, towns in Burgundy, too, if he will take his side ; but his nature abhors tyranny, and desires only to succour the afflicted, as he has shown in France. At this moment he has left his brother, solely that he may more freely communicate with the Estates. His mere shadow constrained Don John to make the first peace with us, for which he has had no return. But he does not complain, though he is more than 100,000 crowns out of pocket thereby ; which he does not want back, nor any others that he may spend in our service. He is not a mercenary, but a sovereign prince, who touches the Crown of France with his finger, and only seeks to make himself greater. If we adapt ourselves to him, we shall be the first step in his letter, and shall receive the first fruits, clemency, justice and discipline, as having opened the road to his other designs, viz., three kingdoms and perhaps the Empire ; which if the Estates had continued the first treaty he could not have missed at the death of the last Emperor, several electors having promised to make him King of the Romans.
4. It remains to be considered that we must do one of three things, either be reunited to the Spaniards, or have another prince, or govern ourselves. As for the Spaniard, his tyranny is such that we have no taste for any more of him. It is impossible to govern ourselves, considering the multitude of provinces and towns ; for to change the government and form a republic while there is fighting going on would obviously be too dangerous, the time being too short for the needful communications. To avoid division and total ruin, therefore, we must have one head, who will maintain our privileges.
5. This Monsieur will do ; he will even increase them, his intention being to restore the provinces to their former splendour. Search as we may we shall not find another who will help us as promptly as necessity requires ; and if he is necessary we cannot refuse the aid of him and his army.
6. It must be considered that we cannot long maintain the war, and we can only escape from it by victory or by a peace. Now peace will only come to us under false colours, insincere, and 'with two tails' ; while even if we win the victory, it will not secure us from the King of Spain, since, as Don John says, he has determined rather to stake his crown on it.
7. We must therefore have a chief, and this chief ; but to make him lord of these countries is not so feasible.
8. It remains then to ask what he wants. He requires the Estates to give him acceptable conditions ; but he does not propose them. His ambassadors declare that he will not come either as a hired prince, nor as governor under the King of Spain like the Archduke Matthias or others. A name might be given him suitable to his dignity, as protector or liberator of this country ; and for the safety of his army, in the event of a division among the provinces, he would want some towns for security. Neither now nor at the end of the war would he ask for any money. His people are all ready for instant employment. To a request for security for the restoration of the towns it was answered that that was not needed ; the country must win, or fail. It it failed the towns would go with the rest ; if it won, it must choose a new prince, and to choose any but its deliverer would be too ungrateful.
9. He would then keep them with the rest ; it being understood that the towns in question would be near France, and he would put gentlemen into them who would hold them against Spain and all enemies.
10. To aid us otherwise would be no honour to him, nor any ground for making himself hostile to the King of Spain, the Emperor and other princes. So long as he is with us, he does not care for them,
11. There is none more obvious than himself, who is sprung from the ancient Kings of France, Dukes of Burgundy, lords of these countries.
12. If the Estates wish to negotiate further, the ambassadors will be glad to wait upon them at Brussels ; as to which they must be informed, or they will retire. If they go, the deputies must have full powers to treat, or the matter will come to nothing.
13. As for a yearly gratuity, the Duke has an income of 1,500,000 livres, and gives his followers as much as the Estates offer him. He does not fight for money, but for honour ; and ought to be followed by other emoluments than money, as being expediency combined with honesty, which could be maintained if he were content with 'thank you' or 'good morning,' or a gratuity fit for mercenaries.
14. The whole difficulty is to know if his help is wanted or not ; what title will be given him if he comes ; and what towns for security.
15. As for the French being ancient enemies, all that is long forgotten ; and the good effects of help will be as sweet as Spanish tyranny is hateful.
16. It must be noted that the ambassadors have full powers to treat with the Estates, the Prince of Orange, Count Lalaing, and the towns. Some might take their side, and a difference of opinion would be very inconvenient.
Copy. Endd. by Wilson : In answer to Count Lalaing, Mons. Fresin. Fr. 5 pp. [Ibid. VI. 24.]
April 19 and 20. 804. Two instruments executed by the Marquis of Havrech ; the first (April 19) a promise to hand to Mr. Davison, within a fortnight of his return to the Low Countries, a bond on the part of the Estates for the repayment, out of the first money taken up by virtue of her obligations for 100,000l. already granted to them, of the sum of 5,000l. received by her Majesty's order from the Lord Treasurer (see No. 801) ; the second (April 20), an acknowledgement of the receipt on April 16 of 3,000l. from the Lord Treasurer.—London. (Signed) Charles Philippes de Croy. Copy. Fr. 1½ pp. [For. E.B. Misc. II.] A note is added : The sum was paid the same day by Richard Stoneley, one of the tellers of the receipt. A like acquittance for the sum of 2,000l. remains with Mr. Killigrew, another of the tellers.
April 20.
K. d. L. x. 420.
I mentioned in my last such general news as we had of the 'alteration' of Gravelines. We hear since that la Motte, in spite of the practice of M. de Licques, has not yet admitted any force, but a few Walloons to supply the place of his lieutenant's company, which he put out of the town by a stratagem, under the pretext that they had begun a mutiny for their pay ; though others think it was because he could not securely execute what he wanted, or else that he suspected some traffic between his lieutenant and the States, to whom by his divers excuses when sent for he had given occasion to fall into a 'jealous conceit' of him. But whatever the cause was, the demands which he has since by letter propounded 'bewray an ill pretence' ; because, as one that would give the law, he would be assured that there may be no innovation of religion, that the lords, prisoners at Ghent, may be released, that all Catholics who have been 'put from their charges' since the last troubles, may be restored, that he may be permitted to continue in his government, and that he may be satisfied of such sums as are due for the pay of his garrison. Yet notwithstanding all this, taken with the former causes of suspicion, some of those here hope he will continue a good patriot ; but as suspicion commonly breeds hatred, hatred offence, and offence revenge, so some think that this settled diffidence between the States and him will have some unhappy sequel. If he do not as yet flatly revolt from them, a thing he may perhaps dissemble for a while to discover himself with greater advantage, at best they will hold him as an eel by the tail. But to be the better informed of his intent, they have now sent him the steward of the Archduke's household with another commissioner to inform him of the reports about him, to understand the cause of them, together with his griefs if there be any, and among other compliments to offer to satisfy the material points of his demands ; except that they desire patience touching the case of the prisoners. Meanwhile, to prevent the worst, they have provided for the fortifying and placing garrison in 'Burburgh,' Dunkirk and other places of importance thereabouts ; and similarly fearing St. Omer, where there has been some new agitation, they have sent to M. de Capres to repair thither with some companies from Arras. We have not heard that he is there. It seems that la Motte himself confessed to the Abbot of Marolles, who was there about the time when the Marquis last went over, that he had been practised with by divers clergy of Hainault, Artois, Lille, Douay, and Orchies ; who have several times sent deputies to him to declare himself against the Prince for the cause of religion. If his beginning should succeed— some think he anticipated the time—other places, suborned by those dangerous ministers would it is thought also declare themselves, to the great advancement of the enemy's affairs, the lengthening of the war, and utter dismembering of the country ; a thing by some wise men thought inevitable, considering the daily practices of the enemy on one side, and the French on the other. MM. de Rochepot and des Pruneaux, commissioners for the Duke of Alençon, are not yet arrived, though every day expected at Brussels, which is the place appointed for the communication ; both for the reason given in my last, and because they hope that when their enemy sees their traffic with the Duke so near under his nose he will be sooner brought to reason. Both the Council and the Estates sent deputies to me yesterday, to let me know that partly to satisfy the Duke's importunity and prevent his taking part with the enemy if they should utterly abandon him, and partly in hope to effect some alteration between the two Kings, or the Duke and his brother, or at least to make the King of Spain more jealous and inclined to a reasonable peace, they had thought it expedient to enter into some communication with the Duke of Alençon ; but as by their promise to her Majesty they could not conclude anything in this matter without her knowledge they thought it convenient to inform me of it, that I might signify it to her Majesty, without whose knowledge or advice they would not proceed to any conclusion. Among other things in replying to them I desired to know the particular demands of the Duke ; but they answered they were not come so far, but when the conference was begun, I should from time to time hear what passed. Meantime I gather that they are resolved to put certain towns in his hands for security, if, as I am sure he will, he insists on it ; but what they are I cannot discover. I pray God the end of this negotiation be better than I look for. Nothing is yet expected on our procuration, nor so far as I see is it to be expected. Some time this week, if the States hold their purpose, Gilpin and Carenzon should be dispatched to Germany, to see if they can succeed better there. If not, these men live in hope that her Majesty will supply their necessities otherwise. Since abandoning Philippeville the enemy has attempted Cimay ; which, after presenting of the cannon, though the castle was strong, surrendered to him, not without suspicion of treachery among the defenders. He has since made show of attacking Avesnes, and has gone back to Philippeville. Some think he means, by placing garrisons in the surrounding towns, not only to spoil the country and keep them from receiving help, but to hold them so that they shall not be able to go in or out without great danger, and so force them to composition ; because he will hardly without loss take the place otherwise. M. de Selles is come here this morning from Liége ; this afternoon it is thought he will have audience.—Antwerp, 20 April, 1578. Add. Endd. by Burghley. 2 pp. [Ibid. VI. 25.]
April 20. 806. DAVISON to LEICESTER.
Draft, identical with part of the last. [Ibid. VI. 26.]
April 20. 807. DAVISON to the SECRETARIES.
Draft, identical with that to Leicester. [Ibid. VI. 27.]
April 20. 808. Certificate of Duke Casimir that he has received from the Queen of England by the hand of Daniel Rogers a letter of exchange on Christopher Hoddesdon, merchant, now resident at Hamburgh, containing an order to him to deliver to the bearer of this and of a receipt from us the sum of 20,000l., 'whereof we have discharged the said Rogers, promising to let the Estates know when we have received the money, and to give them a discharge as for money received from them for the maintenance of the troops we are bringing to their aid ; as witness our hand and seal.'—Lautern, 20 April 1578.
The original has been received by his Highness and placed for custody in the hands of Secretary Sille, the 4th day of May 1578.
Copy. Fr. 2/3 p. [For. E.B. Mise. II.]