Elizabeth: August 1577, 16-20

Pages 80-89

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, 16-20

Aug. 16.
K. d. L. ix. 467.
I received yesterday the letter from the Queen, sent by you with one from yourself. I am glad to hear of the Queen's goodwill, to which I shall not fail to correspond ; as you will see when you come to me. I shall be very glad to see you, coming whence you do ; and expected that you would have come straight to me, as I see your mistress meant you to reside with me.—Namur, Aug. 16, 1577. Signed : Don Juan. Countersigned : Berty. P.S.—I write a word of answer to the Queen, which I desire you will let her have. Add. Endd. Fr. ½ p. [Holl. and Fland. II. 30.]
Aug. 16.
K. d. L. ix. 467.
Since I last wrote to you I have received yours of the 27th ult., but have not had an opportunity of replying, having been out of town and unwell. But you will have heard everything from M. Fremin. Colonel Fugger, taken at Bergen-op-Zoom, has just arrived. A certain canon named Morillon [Wilson notes : Morillion is vicar-general over the clergy, under Card. Grandvel] has been arrested here, accused of having levied subscriptions on all the Roman ecclesiastics for Don John. It is thought that the Estates will take it up, and levy it on their own behalf. Herewith you will receive certain articles sent by Don John with the remarks of the Estates thereon. Also a copy of a letter of Don John's, and the answer of the Estates thereto, which is all I can get at present. M. Theron is with his Excellency. Kindly give the enclosed packet to M. du Plessis.—Brussels, Aug. 16, 1577. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fland. II. 31.]
Aug. 12, 13, 15. 113. Enclosures in the above.
It is notorious that his Majesty's intention has always been to maintain in the Low Countries the Catholic religion and the obedience due to himself, knowing that herein the preservation of peace exists. He has therefore granted them a peace so full of favour that nothing that is not just and honourable has been left for them to desire. To fulfil this I have dismissed the Spaniards, and restored the government to what it was in the days of the Emperor my father, with restoration of confiscated goods and amnesty. After which, I thought that the Estates embracing so great a benefit would not only make the fifteen provinces keep to their religion and obedience, but would persuade Holland and Zealand to do the like, and therefore put myself in their hands ; since if his Majesty or I had thought they would come short, in the least thing, of their religion and obedience, we would rather have risked the rest of his kingdom than have consented to the pacification. Having thus done as I have said, so let justice have free course, without sparing myself labours, indisposition, and dangers, and seeing that nothing came of it, and that I was not obeyed, nor had authority as his Majesty's lieutenant, and hearing that there were plots against my person, I deemed it meet to withdraw to this castle. Now, since the Estates say that they offer to maintain religion and the obedience due to his Majesty, I demand and desire in his name as follows. [Then a copy of the articles and remarks calendared under Aug. 12 (No. 93).] Endd. by L. Tomson : Acts of the month of August at Namur, about the re-establishing of peace. Fr. 10 pp. [Holl. and Fland. II. 32.] 2.—Copies of Don John's letter of Aug. 13 (No. 96), and that of the Estates of Aug. 15 (No. 110). Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [Ibid. II. 33.]
[Aug. 16.] 114. LEICESTER to WALSINGHAM.
Am loth to trouble you with the whole discourse that passed last night between her Majesty and me upon the discussion of your letter and the ambassador's, but, after much talk, I find her to be sorry "she hath so slenderly dealt for her friends." She sees more plainly if they were overthrown how hardly she will be beset by her enemies. I pointed out how manifestly her perils have been foreseen, and that there was no other remedy but this help of her friends. She is now in a mind to repair the oversight. Two things she greatly cares for : one to take some good occasion to let the French King understand she has cause to think he means not well to her ; which may be easily done, for you see her Rebels are there now, and countenanced, beside the case of Fitzmorris. This scruple of hers to have some good cause for expostulating with the King I think springs from the sincere care to discharge her oath touching the league, or else some promise made through the French ambassador. The other matter is how to have money taken up for Duke Casimir in time to serve the turn. I could only think of two plans, either by her own merchants at Hamborow or Frankford, or the sum due by the States, which may easily be employed there if it can be got. I think she will agree to either, but the latter soonest ; and I left her very well affected, so that I wish you to send for du Plessis to stay his advertisements. To advance this matter Wilson writes this morning that "St. Allagonda" is come to Brussels with discovery of Don John's practices against the States and England, which will influence her Majesty, I am sure. In haste, and in bed, this Friday morning. Add. Endd. Holograph. 1 p. [France. I. 20.]
Aug. 17. 115. THE QUEEN to M. DE HEZE.
Though we wrote recently by the gentleman whom we have sent to your country thanking you for your offer of service, we did not wish to miss the present opportunity of writing a line in reply to your last, which you will understand was acceptable to us as uniting the duty of a good subject and the generous heart of a nobleman. For in it you both show the fidelity you bear to the King your lord, our good brother, and make manifest your desire of seeking suitable aid to preserve your privileges which are now being attacked. We can only sympathise with you, seeing that the close amity which has always existed between those countries and our Crown cannot be entirely maintained if the ancient rights and privileges are going to be abolished. We cannot but feel the harm which will come to you, and by the same opportunity let you see what means God has given us for maintaining the authority of our brother and of your privileges against all who shall in any way infringe them, and try to break down our ancient amity ; fearing lest those who try to rise by your ruin wish the same by us when they have achieved their designs as regards you. —Richmond, 17 August 1577. Copy. ½ p. [For. E. B. Misc. II.]
Aug 17. 116. THE QUEEN to the VISCOUNT OF GHENT.
We regret to hear your news, which cannot but bring upon you all the evils of civil war. We are glad that you did not begin, and that you desire nothing but to do the duty of good subjects. If you only desire to maintain your rights and duly honour your kind we shall not fail to assist you when you need it with the best means that God has given us. Please let Count Lalaing know how glad we were to hear of the good offices which he had done in the defence of his country, hoping that he will continue them day by day, and remember that those who end their days in well-doing are honoured rather than those who having begun well, leave off half-way. Same date. Copy. ½ p. [Ibid.]
Aug. 19.
K. d. L. ix. 473.
Since I wrote on the 14th I have been awaiting the return of the gentleman whom I sent to Don John with her Majesty's letter. I now send his answer, and the copy of that which he wrote to me. By them you may see what fair weather he makes, though I think you thoroughly understand what he pretends ; which, if there were no other evidence, might appear plainly enough by some of the letters intercepted. I have seen the originals since my coming, and send one herewith in cipher, with an alphabet done in haste. From what I see and find here, there is nothing more certainly projected than to shake the state of her Majesty. They examined the gentleman how we did in England, whether we were out together by the ears, how we did in Ireland, how the Scottish Queen fared, and whether she were not yet at liberty, shaking the head when he answered "No," and concluding with the finger before the mouth in these terms : tout avec le temps. I am informed that one Anderson, of her household, was lately at Namur, sent from her to his Alteze, from whom he is dispatched into Spain : and meanwhile the Bishop of Ross lies at 'Marsh in Famine.' It is said at Namur that 5,000 Portuguese are landed in Ireland. While my man was at Namur, couriers came from France and Italy, and whatever they brought, by both they seemed to be much rejoiced. On the 13th came the Count of 'Pont de Veau' from the Duke of Savoy, to offer his Highness his uttermost of men and money. He hath this last week taken Gemblours, 3 leagues 'athisside' Namur, whence he may easily in one night transport any forces to this town, which is like to be his first exploit. He hath, besides, the towns of Charlemont, which he makes his storehouses for ordnance and ammunition, Namur, and Marienberg, which he won this last week : since when the town of Philippeville is revolted to the States. He has already above 5 or 6,000 Walloons and Dutches in the country thereabouts, and out of Germany, Burgundy, Lorraine, and other places they flock to him daily. From Italy the bruit is constant both here and at Namur that the Spaniards return. Howbeit, till he is ready, he entertains them in terms of treaty, making semblance to desire peace, which in truth his nature most abhors. They have now at Namur the Bishop of Arras, Abbot of "St. de Gelines" [St. Ghislain], the Bishop of Ypres and the Sieur of Grobbendonck, but they spend much time to little purpose. The Dukes of Bavaria and Brunswick make preparation to succour him, and for the Emperor and other Princes in Germany, there is no doubt but they will put in a foot. He expects the like out of High Burgundy and from the Pope, by whom this new fire is thought to be specially kindled, as the going hence of his legate into Spain may give some likelihood. His Highness reckons to bring into the field 40,000 men, with which, and the diligence he intends to use, he hopes in little time to daunt them, and become master of the whole continent ; but the isles, meaning Holland and Zealand, he holds of greater difficulty (as may appear by the letter in cipher I send you) than the enterprise of England ; though he make himself sure of one and the other avec le temps. For the States, to tell the truth, they shew so great security and slackness, and have among them so many ill patriots (for almost all the Governors of the towns, &c., are men Espagniolized) that it is to be feared things will go badly. Those of this town cry out upon them. For all I can learn, they have not at the most 30 ensigns, and those not of the best sort ; which for the most part are occupied under MM. de Champagny and de Hèze about Tholen and Breda, where, and at Bois-le-duc and other places the Almaynes yet hold out for his Highness. Only Sevenbergen, we hear, surrendered to the States since my last. This last week his Highness sent one Vandenese to the States, whom certain of the burgesses in the night apprehended as he was making merry, and conveying him blindfold to a riverside, threatened to dispatch him unless he would truly discover to them what Don John pretended ; when he told them he made certain preparation for a war, and meant ere long to steal upon them. Which tale offering to confirm next day to the General Estates, they let him go. Yesterday certain were sent to Alst from part of the States to apprehend one Morilonius, the Cardinal's vicar and doer here, a man very dangerous, for it was discovered that he had intelligence with his Highness ; but when they had brought him to Dilbeck others of the States gave a countermand for his release, which obeyed, and the man let free, they have sent a new order for his apprehension, when it is thought he is out of their danger. At the instance of those of Flanders, the States have solicited the Prince to deliver up to them the town of Nieuwport, whereto the Prince hath accorded, and taken order to withdraw his garrison. Amsterdam will by no means conform themselves with the rest of Holland. They seem to join with the States, but thought to be sure for Don John. But Utrecht, as I am even now advertised, have yielded their town and castle to him.—Brussels, 19 Aug. 1577. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fland. II. 34.]
Aug 19. 118. Draft of the above letter.
Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. II. 35.]
Aug. 19.
K. d. L. ix. 470.
[Practically the same information as in the above, more colloquially expressed.] Your lordship may see what semblant he maketh, though by sundry letters intercepted, it is as clear as day what mark he shoots at. But I hope our English proverb that God sendeth a curst cow short horns shall be verified in his respect. The Count de Meghen and other of his followers did curiously examine the gentleman of the state of our country. His Highness has already above 40 ensigns dispersed in the country about Namur, 'what' Walloons and Dutches, and his forces increase daily. But to blind these Grossiers, he takes order for their coming both from Germany, Burgundy, and other places by one or two ensigns at a time, and keeps them aloof in the country. —Brussels, 19 Aug. 1577. Draft. Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. II. 36.]
Aug. 19.
K. d. L. ix. 476.
120. [DAVISON] to (1) WILSON, (2) HATTON.
(1.) I send you such occurrents as the time affords, by which you may guess the present state here. Of a peace there is no hope, and of a war the effects are like to be as bloody as any this country has suffered in many years. They go on in their provision tout bellement, but he takes another train. The wisest sort do expect the worst, unless God help them, and they amend the course they have begun.—From Br[ussels], the 19th Augusti, 1577. K. d. L. p. 477. (2.) In what terms I find this country, you may partly judge by the occurrents here inclosed. His Alteze prepareth with as great diligence as the States march as slackly and irresolutely. I have seen since my coming divers letters intercepted, discovering this war to be a matter long since projected, in some of which there is testimony enough of their disposition to distrust our quiet state ; but as hitherto they have found the difference of contemplation and action, so I hope they shall still, though it appears by one original letter of Escovedo's, which I have sent over, that they hold it of less difficulty than the attempt of Holland and Zealand. Drafts. Endd. : 19 Augusti, 1577. To Mr. Sc. Wilson. To Sr. Christor. Hatton. 2/3 p. [Holl. and Fland. II. 37.]
[Aug. 19.]
K. d. L. ix. 382.
121. Rough drafts of above letters. To (1) is added, and not erased : I have your cipher yet, and though I guess it to be to M. Liesfelt, whom I have not yet seen, yet for surety's sake I detain it till I hear from you. 1 p. [Ibid. II. 38.]
[Aug. 19.]
K. d. L. ix. 381.
The inclosed may give you some light of the present state here, which was never more inclined to troubles than now. You know with what foot these men are wont to march. If they mend not their pace and look well about them, they are like enough to be overtaken, for they have not to do with a sleeping or slothful enemy. His own letters and the letters of Escovedo confronted with the continual intelligence he hath with the Dutch colonels, have plainly bewrayed his ill affection. The division and partialities among them here is a thing not unlike to turn them to great prejudice. Well, I hold them for most miserable men, whom neither the harms of others nor themselves can make wise. The Viscount is yet unreturned to this town. Rough draft on back of the last. Endd. : To Doctor Wilson. To E. Horsey. [Ibid. II. 38.]
Aug. 19 and 20. 123. Copy of an assessment made by the Estates of Hainault, assembled at Mons on Aug. 19 and 20, 1577, in order to meet their share of the total sum called for by the States-General [see No. 91]. Payments are graduated according to office, rank, or position. Children are paid for, but all in excess of four in any family are exempt. Married people, widowers, or widows having no children pay double ; also unmarried persons (jeunes gens) over 30, with no parents to support. The demands to be made within 5 days by persons specially appointed for this purpose in every district, and the money to be collected within ten days further by others. The former to receive ⅓ per cent., the latter 2/3 per cent. on the totals collected. No one to be allowed to assign, by way of payment, any debt due to him from his Majesty or from the Estates, general or provisional, but all payments to be in clers deniers comptant. All attempts to deceive as to quality, number of children, &c., to be punished by double taxation. Copy in hand of Raymond de Fornari. Endd. (in L. Tomson's hand) : Ayde personelle. Fr. 7 pp. [Holl. and Fland. II. 39.]
Aug. 19. 124. H. CHEEK to BURGHLEY.
A report has come within these three days to Paris from the Low Countries that the Queen of Scots is put to death by her Majesty's command, and it is greatly feared by her friends to be true. Upon this it is also noised among them that my Lord ambassador is committed by the King's command. So there is much muttering here among our countrymen. The Duke of Guise is here still, and makes no great preparation for any expedition. It is thought he tarries here only for money.—Paris, 29 Aug. 1577. Add. Endd. Holograph. P. ½. [France I. 21.]
Aug. 20. 125. To Mr. HODDESDON.
Whereas we have commanded our treasurer and chamberlain of our exchequer to deliver the sum of £20,000 to such persons as Francis Walsingham, Esquire, our secretary, shall in writing name to them to receive it, for provision to be therewith made of powder and saltpetre in the East country, forasmuch as we understand that our said Secretary has named you as a fit person to take the charge, you shall forthwith transport by sea the said sum, whether in money or bullion, or by way of exchange to Hamburg, and there keep it safely until we appoint to whom and how you shall deliver it, and then upon the receipt of our letter you shall deliver all the said £20,000 accordingly. And our letters with such other letters as is aforesaid, and the acquittance of him that shall receive it, shall be your sufficient warrant.— Richmond, 20 Aug. 1577. Copy. 1 p. [For. E. B. Misc. II.]
Aug. 20. 126. Reply of HIS HIGHNESS to the ESTATES' COMMISSIONERS sent to him on Aug. 13.
Having examined the reply of the Estates assembled at Brussels, dated the 12th inst., to the articles sent by him on the 7th, his Highness declares that the removal of distrust is a matter that is in their power, if they will interpret his conduct sensibly according to his intention, which is to provide for his own safety in view of grounds for apprehension only too clear and notorious. What is worse, the Estates are seen daily to violate the pacification by seizing the King's subjects, occupying new fortresses, and committing other acts of hostility, thus giving occasion to the Prince of Orange to do the like. It is insufferable, and his Highness can justly resent it, never having given cause for such behaviour. Yet, to show that his only desire is peace and the avoidance of any rupture with the Estates, his Highness is content, as heretofore, to offer that they should send to inform his Majesty of the state of affairs, and pray him to provide some other prince or princess of the blood to govern the country, and that in the interim all practices, armed enterprises, and hostilities should cease on both sides, and troops be dismissed under oath to do nothing to the contrary. His Highness purposes meanwhile to remain at Namur, or other place which he may choose, with such guard as he may think proper for his safety, and to govern the country as heretofore according to the pacification and edict, with the assistance of privy councillors and finance councillors. And, in order that communication may be free between himself and the Estates, if they do not deem it reasonable to come where he is, they may advise him where it will suit them to remain, and they can communicate by way of conference or sending deputies. And in order to end the disputes that have supervened or may do so in respect of the pacification, as the Estates represent by certain communications which have passed, his Highness will be glad to hear any means which they may propose to him to arrive more quickly at this end, whereby the "way of arms" so clearly to the ruin of religion and confusion of the country may cease. It being understood that in the meantime his Highness shall be respected and obeyed as governor and captain-general, like other princes of the blood who have held the same office.—At the Castle of Namur, 20 Aug. 1577. (Signed) Berty. Copy. Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fland. II. 40.]
Aug. 20. 127. Another copy of the above.
Fr. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fland. II. 41]
Aug. 20. 128. DON JOHN to the ESTATES.
The Bishops of Arras and Ypres have been as welcome as your deputies always are, and have been heard the more willingly that, as their letter of credence, dated the 12th inst., imports, they have come in order to bring matters back to their course before the present troubles. What I have done has not been with any intention of breaking the pacification, but to secure my person against plots, of which I had good evidence. And as the mutual distrust cannot be removed till a better understanding is arrived at, and certain principal points are settled, we have appended a document which your deputies will set before you, upon which we should be glad to know your intention as soon as possible, that we may take steps accordingly. The troops are so near each other that unless good order be taken there is reason to fear some serious disorder. We have no wish to contravene the pacification, whereof God, who examines the heart, and all good people, as well as our own actions, are constant witnesses ; while, on the other hand, everyone can see how we are constrained by your forces to be on our guard, so as not to be surprised ; which all your military persons go about publicly declaring to be their intention. —Namur, 20 Aug. 1577. Copy. Fr. 1¼ pp. [Holl. and Fland. II. 42.]
I wrote last on June 22, advising the receipt of yours, as I had already done by way of Laredo. Since then I have had 3 from you, the last dated June 24 ; two of them by Juan Xao and Nicolas Bon, and the other by a young man about 8 days since. As for my carelessness, as you call it, in not answering your letters, the cause of it has been that I have had no opportunity to do so ; and in regard to the rollers and selvages, I have had no facility in the way of money to serve you ; so help me God I wish 1 could meet with it, to do so. I have again enquired the price of them through a friend, and he says that for cash I could buy them at such a price that with the freight and all they would not come to more than 7 maravedis a yard for rollers and 10 reals for selvages, the finest sorts, as you want them ; and if you will send me the needful, I will get them. Kindly remember the three sword-blades, and let them be light and good. They are for the best friend I have in this country. Also remember the escritoire for my father, and let it be a very good one, with all the fittings. Juan Xao also told me of the death of the good Don Juan de Gamboa. Please tell me who it was who gave him the drink, and all the details. No news from here ; from Flanders I hear that the whole country is in arms against his Majesty, and that the States have got the town and castle of Antwerp, as you will see by the enclosed. His Highness is in Namur, which is a strong place, but with no forces. Pray God he does not fall into the hands of the rebels and traitors. Let me know without fail if there is any sign that his Majesty is raising an army. Greetings to your father and mother, and commend me to Señor San Juan.—London, 20 Aug. 1577. Add. Sp. 1 p. With enclosure as below : [Enclosure.] Translation of a passage in a letter from Antwerp. About two months ago I came to Louvain, where I reside. Thence I went on July 28 to Antwerp, where 1 had so much trouble through being a Spaniard and a friar that but for the protection of God they would have killed me a thousand times over ; seeing that in the night of Aug. 1, the soldiers in the castle divided, some taking the side of the King, the others that of the States, or rather of the Prince of Orange, and they got to fighting, and those of the Prince had the best of it, being 3 ensigns to one. They killed a matter of 30 soldiers and the captain, went to the governor, took him prisoner, and mutinied with the castle. The Germans of the garrison took possession of the new town and intrenched themselves. The citizens were for burning them out, they were for not going ; and so the fight began. The Spaniards, Italians, and Portuguese were all under arms ; some went to the castle, others left the place, in such sort that it was a juizio to see the way the women wept, the burgesses all in arms, in such wise that the whole place was so angry with the Germans that some were for killing them, others for setting fire to the place and sacking it ; and they would have done it, but 10 of the Prince's ships came to the aid of the place, and struck such fear into the Germans that they left the town and went off. Things are quieting down, and they think all will be well ; though it appears to me quite the contrary.—Antwerp, 5 Aug. '77. Sp. ½ p. [Spain. I. 5.]