Elizabeth: August 1577, 21-25

Pages 89-115

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

August 1577, 21-25

130. Mr. Beale's dispatches delivered unto him by a messenger from Oatlands, the 24 Aug., 1577. (He departed from London on Sunday, the 25th of August, about midnight.)
Letters of commendation addressed to Duke Julius of Brunswick and Luneburg, William Landgrave of Hesse, Anna Duchess of Saxony, Lewis Count Palatine, George Joachim Marquis (Elector) of Brandenburg, Lewis Duke of Wurtemberg and Teck, Charles Marquis of Baden, Augustus Duke of Saxony, Marquis George Frederick of Brandenburg, and Duke Casimir, on behalf of Robert Beale, sent with reference to the conference about to be held at Magdeburg.—Richmond, Aug. 21. Copies. Latin all but the last, which is Fr. 10 pp. [For. E.B. Misc. II.]
Aug. 21. 131. INSTRUCTIONS given the 21st of August to ROBERT BEALE.
Whereas we have heard from Duke Casimir of a solemn assembly intended to be holden at Magdeburg, and to begin in October next, with intention to condemn such as are not of the Augustan Confession, we have thought good to 'impeach' the same assembly, lest if it proceed, it is to be doubted the deputies of the princes being repaired thither with their instructions may hardly be stayed from going on in their determination of condemning those who are not of the same Confession. If you find that Duke Casimir encourage you to proceed, you shall let the princes to whom by his direction you shall repair, understand that having heard of the proposed assembly and resolution (a matter so full of danger, considering the secret plots laid by the enemy for the rooting out of such as profess the Gospel, that it is high time to think of some association and league to withstand their malice) we have thought it the office not only of a Christian, but of a prudent prince to use all good means to impeach the same. Here you shall use all the arguments you can, both to induce them to believe that such plots are laid by the Pope and his adherents for the overthrow of the profession of the Gospel, which can no way be so safely brought to pass as by breeding division among such as are professors of the same, and to explain to them how necessary it is for all the Princes Protestant in Europe to consider some good association. As for holding an assembly for reconciling such points of religion as remain in controversy, you shall declare to them that neither in respect of the matters in dispute, which are of small moment compared with the danger of a breach of the peace, nor in respect of the truce, when we see wars kindled about our ears by the enemies of the Gospel for the same cause which both they of the Augustan Confession and the others maintain, can we think it convenient to proceed with the same. For if nothing be intended but that all who make profession of the Confession may know what they believe, and how they have to stand in matters touching God, which is one and the first end of holding Christian assemblies, the matter is not so uncertain among those of that Confession but that they know what it means, nor is this the fittest time that could be found for it. For when swords are once drawn there is no time for pleading. If, on the other hand, their purpose be to disjoin themselves from the others, then it cannot but lead them to a plain view of their own destruction, the whole doctrine which that good father taught, who is named the head of the Confession, being the only mark that the common enemy shoot at. If you cannot prevail on the princes to stay the said assembly, you shall let them understand that we, being desirous to do all good offices that tend to concord, mean to send certain Commissioners to it, to employ themselves accordingly, not doubting but that they will allow thereof. If they show their good liking of this, you shall advertise us thereof with all diligence, and yourself await at Frankfort, or some other convenient place, the coming of our Commissioners. But if they will not grant the stay of the assembly nor allow of the sending of Commissioners, you shall, nevertheless, stay till you hear our pleasure. And whereas Duke Casimir wished the Commissioners to be at Frankfort by the end of next month to confer with those of the princes who are not of the Augustan Confession before they repair to Magdeburg, you shall tell him that in our opinion such a conference would do more harm than good ; and that our Commissioners will not be able to do so much good at the assembly if by attending at such a previous meeting they make themselves a party, as if they came thither claiming only to be mediators of an union in such points of controversy as shall be treated of. As for matter of disputation which it seems is intended by Duke Casimir, you shall tell him that our opinion is that it is not best to have the points in controversy dealt with at present in any such way if it may be avoided, but only that the deciding of the causes may be deferred to a more convenient season. And meantime that order be taken to inhibit both by writing and by preaching such inventions as of late years have been made under the title of Lutherans and Calvinists, and that such as have already been divulged shall be called in. Copy. 2½ pp. [For. E.B. Misc. II.]
131 A. Draft of above, endorsed by Walsingham and Tomson, "A draft of instruction for R. Beale. For stay of the intended assembly of the Lutherans at Magdeburg."
pp. [Germ. States I. 4.]
Aug. 23.
K. d. L. p. 477. (Extract.)
After my hearty thanks for your letter of the 17th, which I received much to my comfort for the good advice therein contained, especially of my gossip your wife's safe delivery, whom I pray God to make a strong woman again—mine lies yet in the straw the . . . good a cause as yours, but yet . . . . . which maketh me to bend myself towards Cornwall upon Monday next, where I trust I will at least cause Mychell to write to me how things pass. I have willed him to address his packet to Mr. Bodley's. I was glad to hear that the matter at Brussels had so good success. I trust the Lord will continue working those wonders in spite of the devil and all his members. As for the peace, I hope little of it, I mean good to us, however it fall out for that poor country ; but if it follow not, I shall conclude there is intelligence between Monsieur and Don John. I hope you shall shortly by Mr. Sommers receive some comfort for your friends there. M. du Plessis goeth thitherward on Monday next. I pray you make account of him as of a sound man. Commend me to M. de Villers, and show him that my Lord of Canterbury is at liberty to go where he will, but Coranus readeth a Latin lecture in Paul's, where his audience is small. Remember me to Mr. Mildmay, Mr. Tomson, and Mr. Travers, whose labours the Lord bless with increase of fruit ; to M. Argenlieu and Sarazin, and my old acquaintance M. Fremin. Our Papists here shall have small cause to brag, if that course be followed that is begun this progress, where divers of them are committed to prison, being recusants, &c. I hear if the matters in Scotland be not compounded, her Majesty will send aid to the Earl of Morton and his side to keep the King safe. God make a speedy end of these brabbles. Great take [Qy. talk] of the great forces levied in France and marching towards you. I think Don John hearkens to the treaty, abiding their coming in to his help, because he is too weak for the States' camp ; Casimir being joined, as I think he is. There is no certain news of the King of Portugal's navy ; but Sir H. Gilbert is in Devonshire, ready to "cross sails." Drake, that went in the spring, is not heard of ; but if he does not miscarry, his journey will yield much to our navigation. There is one Oxenden [Oxenham] now in Peru that hath £150,000 in gold, but no means to bring it thence ; Sir H. Gilbert, some think, will relieve him. The Queen Mother goes with her daughter to the King of Navarre, who shall have the wolf by the ears, whether he accept or refuse her ; but the best way is to stand at the sword's point aloof, for there is danger in being too near them. It cannot be driven out of my head that all French semblants are dangerous, because they proceed still in Languedoc and Gascony against the Protestants, both openly and covertly. What hope then [? can] the Prince of Orange conceive of them who forget their own profit to persecute them of contrary religion?—London. "Bartholomey" eve. Add. Endd. 3 pp. Somewhat damaged. [Holl. and Fland. II. 43.]
Aug. 24. 133. Communication from DON JOHN to the ESTATES made by the SEIGNEUR DE GROBBENDONCK in virtue of his Letter of Credence, dated Aug. 24, 1577.
1. Whereas his Highness has by the Bishops of Ypres and Arras declared his good intentions and desire to avoid war, and has promised to disband all troops, and countermand all those whom he has outside the country, he will be also content that the Estates should send whom they will to see that this is done.
2. As a guarantee of good faith, he is willing to place hostages in the neutral hands of the Bishop of Liége.
3. The Estates to do the like, and his Highness on his side to send fit persons to see that it is done.
4. When this has been done, his Highness, finding himself in such difficulties owing to plots against his person that he cannot well govern the country, requests the Estates to send whom they will to his Majesty, asking him to appoint another Governor. He will himself write as favourably as possible, and in case they cannot find anyone willing to undertake the journey, will send a gentleman of his own.
5. He hopes, and has said so to Grobbendonck, that the King will be agreeable to this.
6. He thinks it would be as well for the Estates to make some demonstration of their intention to obey in respect of the demands made on them, and not to put everything on the score of distrust. If they act then, distrust will cease, and his Highness will have all the better ground for confirming the King in his good purposes.
7. When hostilities have thus ceased, his Highness offers to govern according to the pacification, from Namur ; and he hopes that, considering what has happened, the Estates will not press him to abandon that place.
8. He hopes that all military operations will cease, and that all people may be allowed to come and go without let or hindrance.
9. If after this the Estates continue hostilities, he declares he cannot and will not suffer it ; and if war follows, he protests that it will not be his fault. Copy. Endd. Fr. 2½ pp. [Ibid. II. 44.]
Aug. 24. 134. POULET to WALSINGHAM.
I thank your honour for your courtesy to my son. I trust you have received my letter sent by Mr. Bickner, of Rouen. The report touching Marans is untrue. I am glad to understand that you consider already of my return to England. I am glad that my other friends take pity upon me in respect of my great charges, but I must say to you that since my coming from Paris my expense has been very reasonable, and could live here long time before it should pinch me. This bearer, John Roberts, was put unto me by Sir John Young, and has continued in Paris at his own request. Excuse me to my Lord Treasurer, to whom I do not write, because I hear from my son that he is not at Court. [In autograph.] Beside the challenge made by Queen Mother of 20,000 angels, it is given out by some that her Majesty has given a greater sum, but I make no haste to advertise these things. I have sent a copy of your letter to my Lord of Leicester, hearing by my son that he was not at Court. There has been some broil in Rochelle of late, and some say some Captains have been hanged there. I have no opinion of this peace, but look rather that the King of Navarre will be sharply followed if the reiters come out. "There hath been here sudden taking up of horses, sudden baking of great store of bread, and suddenly disappointed with loss." When the Swiss departed hence towards Brouage they carried their bread with them. It is thought that M. Biron will be here to-night, and then other things will break out.—Poitiers, 24 Aug. 1577. Add. Endd. 1¼ pp. [France I. 22.]
Aug. 24. 135. POULET to WALSINGHAM.
On the 18th of this month M. Gondy was sent by the King and Queen Mother to all the ambassadors to inform them that Brouage was yielded by composition. The 19th all the other ambassadors had audience. My audience was appointed the 20th, immediately after the King's dinner. I was first brought in to Queen Mother. After congratulations and compliments, she told me that the King her son was now in good hope to reduce his subjects to their due obedience, and that nobody would let this purpose but the Queen my mistress. I answered that her Majesty had in many ways given her cause to believe that none more desired it. "'If,' saith she, 'we may receive from her deeds answerable to her words, all will be well.' 'Madame,' quod I, 'you have received from her good offices of good friendship, and so shall hereafter, if you give no cause to the contrary.' 'What say you to it,' saith she, 'that your mistress hath sent of late 10,000 angels into Germany? 'To what end?' quod I, 'to make a levy of 200 reiters?' '10,000 angels,' saith she, 'are 60,000 franks, and it is a good help to lay the ground plot of a levy of reiters. 'This is as true,' quod I, 'as the last tale of 60,000 angels, and of the English ships which were said to have been seen by a gallion of Brest to enter into Rochelle, and many other like quarrels which you have found by good experience to be maliciously forged by such as envy the happy quietness between these two countries.' 'And your mistress,' saith she, 'hath been likewise informed of many untruths touching Fitzmorris and otherwise.' I answered that her Majesty had always reserved one ear for the King her son, and suspended her judgement until she had received his answer." And so after some ordinary ceremonies I was dismissed. With the King I used like speech. He said it was usual among allied princes to notify each other of good fortune, and he would not omit this good office towards her Majesty, and therefore did not fail to advertise me of this matter of Brouage, not doubting but the Queen my mistress would rejoice with him. Then he discoursed with me very familiarly of the state of Brouage, of the great store of salt that was there, and that according to the composition the soldiers were not molested in life or goods. I told him that his power and mercy joined together were the best means to reduce his subjects to their due obedience, and restore his realm to quietness. "I desire nothing more," saith the King, "and to that purpose I have now long time employed one of the chiefest about me." I told him that no prince would be more glad to see him duly obeyed than her Majesty. "My mother," saith the King, "hath governed this State many years, and hath always accustomed to deal plainly and roundly with her friends." I answered that he had found by good experience that her Majesty had used like roundness towards him ; "but," quod I, "the principal means to nourish and increase good amity is to have a good opinion the one of the other, and then you will not be easily carried away by the sinister instigation of such as desire nothing more than to bring former quiet into dissension." This was the effect of the speech that passed between the King and me. It is easy to see that Queen Mother has conceived some sinister opinion of her Majesty, and indeed she would not confess that she was satisfied in her heart. M. Gondy also told me that the Duke of Mayne entered into Brouage the 20th of this month. Truly those men care not what they say, and no doubt [it] was said to me of purpose, thinking I would have been in haste to advertise her Majesty of this great matter of Brouage, and indeed the King told me that he doubted not I had already done so. I cannot conjecture any other cause for this kind of dealing than that the French Ambassador there hath persuaded them here that England quakes for fear at the first news of any little prosperity that happens to the King's side. But the truth of this matter, as far as I can learn, is that those of Brouage had no want of men, munitions, beef, bread, beans, wine, oil, and other necessaries, but were incumbered with their sick and wounded, and not best provided with good surgeons. This was unknown to the enemy, who expected rather orders to raise the siege, than the surrender of the town. Divers brave gentlemen had returned to the Court, in despair of the success of the siege. They said the Duke of Mayne was besieged rather than those in the town. Suddenly those of Brouage treated of composition, which was agreed on the terms that they should depart safely with bag and baggage, the ensigns folded, the drum at the back, their weapons in their hands, the matches lighted, and should take with them a cannon and a culverin. Some said that these things depended upon many other conditions whereof being secretly advertised, and considering that Multa cadunt inter Calicem et Labra, I forbore to write until I might advertise some matter of certainty. The Duke of Mayne had assured the King that the first messenger sent after the surrender of the town should he M. d'Aumont, and neither he nor any other came till late in the night of the 22nd. M. Villeroy is arrived from the King of Navarre, and it is said that M. de Biron is already on his way hither, accompanied by M. de St. Genyès and M. d'Estguys [d'Esguise], deputies from the King of Navarre, so that there is great likelihood of peace, according to this note enclosed, which was written at Bargerac on the 19th, by a man of good credit. If this peace take effect, it is for fear of the reiters. I hear of nothing done in Languedoc. The Ambassador of Spain departed towards Nantes the 19th of this month. Poitiers, 24 Aug. 1577. Endd. Add. 5 pp. [France I. 23.]
Aug. 24 136. MINUTES of the NEGOTIATION of Aug. 24, according to the Cipher sent us by him whose hand you here recognise [i.e., LA PERSONNE].
Saturday, Aug. 17, we arrived at Nieustatt, and waited on Duke Casimir ; Mr. Rogers and we together. Next day we had an audience, in which we did not forget to speak of the resolution of the King of Navarre and M. le Prince to do nothing without his advice. We urged our need for help, and our inability to furnish him with any money, save what the Queen could give him. He delayed his reply until he had heard Mr. Rogers. Finally we had an audience on the 23rd, when in the presence of Duke Casimir, Beutereich explained that he had not been able to confer with us sooner owing to various private affairs with the Elector his brother, and the arrival of Duke Richard his uncle. That he had heard from Mr. Rogers of the notable sum which the Queen was willing to furnish for the aid of the Churches of France, but that it would not be in any way enough for the Anrittgelt, much less for a month's pay, without which, as he told Sir P. Sidney, he could undertake nothing. Without means he could not guarantee even the obedience of his army. But he was always disposed to help us if we would give him the means, which should not be less than 300,000 crowns. This time the business ought to be done in such a way that it should not be necessary to turn back as on former occasions. We had better see what we could do. We answered (fn. 1) that before the return of M. de la Personne, the King of Navarre had sent into Languedoc to have the sum of 80,000 crowns, previously raised by the sale of salt and other means, forwarded to Geneva [? Genoa]. They said they had heard of it, but could only suspect that M. Damville, having heard of it before his defection, had laid hands upon it. We regretted that we had come with empty hands, and had only two suggestions to make, of one was nullified by the siege of Brouage, where the salt was, for the sale of which to the Italians for 100,000 crowns negotiations had been begun at Antwerp. The other concerned the salt of Pequaiz, near Aigues-Mortes, from which M. de Clervant, who had already been in treaty with the Genevese [? Genoese], hoped 'toucher deniers.' We begged him to take what the Queen offered, whether it seemed to him small or great, so she might not revoke her goodwill, but rather increase it, seeing the affection for us with which she was filled. [In one copy: We begged him to accept what it pleased the Queen to offer for the aid of our Churches, even though the sum seemed to him insufficient, in order that her Majesty, who desires their deliverance, might have occasion to continue her goodwill towards us.] If however he would induce his colonels to pledge the jewel that they had from the King, enough might be raised. He said he would speak to Colonels Stein and Bock, but he did not know how they would see it. He had offered the rings to the Queen at cost price, but she had refused them, and in Germany they would only offer 50,000 florins on them. He was content to accept the sum offered, but not to march for that only. The King of Navarre and the Prince must give him a note of hand, to which we agreed. After renewed assurances of our gratitude, he said that if we would find a Prince who would do it for that we might treat with him, and he would go at his own charges, and bring a good troop. To this we replied that neither we nor our Princes had ever thought of such a thing. Upon all this negotiation our advice and that of Mr. Rogers is to await the issue of the meeting at Frankfort, of which we do not take any great stock, and meanwhile, if possible, to keep the Queen to her good intention, and find some means of inducing to pay at least as much as we first asked. [In copy : that you should try to induce her Majesty to extend her liberality further towards our poor Churches. Also that you write to the King of Navarre to send into Languedoc in order to have the salt of Pequaiz in question delivered to the Genoese merchants. We will let them have it cheap, to make up for the velvet which we took from them last year. The King can talk à bon escient to the deputies now with him.] If the King gets tired of besieging Brouage, M. le Prince should be warned to look after what is there.
News of the same 24th August.
The Prince of Orange told M. de la Personne that he thinks we had better not be in a hurry to put an army in the field, but wait till the spring ; merely throwing in some small forces to harass the King during the winter. But we think the contrary, seeing that victuals may fail during that season. We have too the example of M. de Thoré. The Prince is busy with the affairs of the Netherlands. Affairs are rather embroiled between Duke Casimir and the Elector his brother. They are to have an interview to-day 4 leagues from here. The diet of Magdeburg is broken up ; but an assembly has been held at Wittemberg, by order of the Duke of Saxony, to draw up the confession of the country, in which it is said that they do not recite what they approve, but what they condemn. Several prodigies happened, among others the demolition by lightning of a pinnacle of the temple in the Palace of Dresden, and others, which have astounded the conscience of the said Duke. There is an assembly of the Rheinkreis on Sep. 2, at Weissenburg, to provide for the security of all that district against the French. Duke Casimir is going to confer with the Landgrave at Ems, specially about the affairs of the League. It is hoped that both he and the Duke of Brunswick will enter it. The electors meet to pass a resolution calling on the King of France to pay the reiters, and assure him that if he does not, he will never have any more in his service. Also to keep the Edict of Peace. Endd. by L. Tomson : Negot. Pers. Fr. 2½ pp. [France I. 24.]
Aug. 24. 137. Copy of first part of the above, with some differences. Endd. by L. Tomson : Nego. Persona. Fr. 2 pp. [France I. 25.]
On leaving Frankfort, I took my way, by M. Languet's advice, towards Frankenthal, a town of the Palatinate belonging to Duke Casimir. I arrived there on the 15th inst., and spoke with M. Dathenus, to whom I delivered your letter. On my asking him where I might find Duke Casimir, he told me that he was in uncertain places, and therefore sent one expressly to inform him of my arrival, and to learn where I might best have access to him. Next day the Duke wrote again, bidding Dathenus tell me that I should find him at Neustadt. where I arrived in the forenoon of the 17th. The Duke entered the town the same day in the morning, with an ensign of Swiss, and took the town by force, as I will tell you more at large in a letter hereto annexed. It happened very well that the day I came to Frankenthal, M. de la Personne, Argenlieu, 'Heugerie,' with a minister of Rochelle, arrived likewise. A little before dinner, the Duke sent Dathenus to us, to let us know what his purpose was in swearing the burghers to him and sifting out certain secret practices which some of the town had entered in to defeat him from possessing the place ; so that he desired us to have patience, and he would be glad to give us audience next day, and sent us of his best wine and certain fish, as trout and "crevishes," to show how welcome we were. Next day, a little before dinner, he sent Dr. Beutrich, of my old acquaintance, to desire me to come to dinner, saying that the Duke would give me audience first ; La Personne and the rest were invited, and were heard in the afternoon. When we came to the Court, the French stayed in a parlour, where afterwards we dined, and I alone was brought into an inner room by Dr. Beutrich, when the Duke was present. After a few words on delivering her Majesty's letter, I was to make known to him. first, what relation Mr. Sydney had made of the entertainment he had used to him, and in how good part her Majesty had accepted the discourses which he had willed Mr. Sydney to impart to her : That her Majesty could not but think well of the said discourses, for they shewed abundantly the care he had to strengthen by a league the profession of the Gospel, to the advancement whereof he had offered both his person and other means ; and because the said endeavours tended to the maintenance of God's truth and glory, the saving of many lives, and the common peace of Christendom, her Majesty could not but highly commend him for them ; the effects of his care being also evident by his travailing with the Landgrave, who seemed to be well inclined to enter into such a league as might ensure the religion, as she had understood by the Landgrave's letters. Secondly, as he had desired to know how far her Majesty was minded to extend herself to the making of such a league, I said that she had thought good to send me to him to let him know her determination. I explained how grieved she was to learn that there were so great factions among them who professed in effect the same religion, being persuaded that order might be taken by which they might be reconciled, so that those who now seem to be alienated from the league would be glad to enter into it. And, forasmuch as her Majesty wished that the Duke of Saxony might be brought into this league, I let him know what she thought the best advice for the avoiding of such jealousy as she was informed he was moved withal. I then shewed him the project, that he might understand on what conditions her Majesty meant to enter the league ; adding that she had no doubt but that he would consider to whom he thought best to show the project, and that all things might be kept secret. Being come thus far, I said that her Majesty would be glad to understand, since he had promised to go in person to the Landgrave of Hesse, and to talk with the Counts of the "Westerwalte" and Westphalia, if he had done anything with them for the compassing of the league ; and I reminded him of the letters which she had written to the Elector his brother, and to the Landgrave of Hesse, in the delivery of which I was to follow his advice and direction. Last of all I came to the third, which I affirmed to be the chief point of my negotiation, concerning the declining state of the religion in France. I assured him that her Majesty conceived so hardly of their case, by reason of Damville's revolt, that unless some way were found at once for their relief, she could not see how they could long hold out ; that they being overthrown the ruin of religion, according to man's judgement, were to follow ; wherefore it were well that princes professing the same doctrine thought how to relieve them. Her Majesty would not fail for her part to put to her helping hand, as far as it might stand with her honour. She had understood from La Personne how ready he was to relieve them, and how he had already agreed with Colonels and Rittmeisters for the conducting of a new army into France, awaiting only the letters from the King of Navarre and the Prince of Condé, which he was to receive by La Personne on his return from Rochelle. Her Majesty greatly approved his forwardness, and whereas La Personne had demanded her support, he might be sure she would not be wanting. Touching the support she would give, I told him he should shortly be advertised, for she was at my departure only awaiting La Personne's return from Rochelle ; and as he was now come, I doubted not but that I should shortly receive further instructions. To conclude, I said that she had charged me to learn of him whether he could not take upon his own credit as much money as her Majesty thought would be demanded of her for her support, which she would not fail to repay again. I said she required to know, because she did not see any convenient way of conveying the money to him without publishing it to the whole world ; which would touch her Majesty greatly in her honour, considering the league which she has with France. All which he heard very attentively, holding in his hand a 'book of tables,' wherein he noted the chief points of my discourse. Perceiving that I had made an end, he began to answer, and said that he was not a little beholden to her Majesty for taking in so good part all that he had delivered to Mr. Sydney, as he thought himself greatly bounden to her for sending me with her resolutions touching these matters. He added, I was come about matters of great importance, and that he would well deliberate upon them. He said the league was most necessary, and that I was come in good time, for that at this present some of the Lutherans went about to condemn the Calvinists. He was resolved in person to have gone and seen the Landgrave and the Counts above-named, under the pretext of christening Count John of Nassau's child ; which voyage had been hindered by reason that the countess miscarried. Howbeit he had dealt with them by letters, and as he trusted, to good effect. "Marry," quoth he "seeing you be come, and about matters of so great importance," he was minded to make his journey to the Landgrave, and to take me with him, where for the better effectuating of this matter he would cause some of the Counts of Westerwald and Wetterau (as the Count John of Nassau and the Count Ludowick of Wittgenstein) to appear, to conclude somewhat. He desired to see the copies of such letters as her Majesty had written to his brother the Palgrave, and the Landgrave, that he might the better give me his advice as to proceeding with them. As I had mentioned the Duke of Saxony, he would refer to the Landgrave as to the manner of dealing with him ; but to tell me somewhat what of his own opinion he thought the Duke of Saxony would hearken to this league for two reasons : He perceived this Emperor did not so much esteem of this Duke's friendship as his father had done, and moreover all the Emperor's endeavours tended to the overthrow of religion and the establishing of the Pope in Germany. For the confirmation of this, he said that the Emperor, before he came to Vienna, had been at Dresden with the Duke, where he demanded a sum of money of him according to the order taken at the last diet of Regensburg, which the Duke offered to pay, by deducting so much as his share came to, from the debt which the Emperor's father did owe him for money lent ; of which dealing the Emperor conceived an unkindness, and thought the Duke did handle him hardly. As to the Emperor's intention for the establishment of Popery in the Empire, it evidently appeared by the commands he sent to Vienna, forbidding preaching and such other exercises of religion as the Emperor his father had permitted. Concerning the consideration to be taken for proposing the league to others, he liked well her Majesty's advice, affirming that discretion and secrecy would most of all advance it. He would deliberate with his council, and talk to me again. Then he came to my last proposal, and said he had always declared to those who were sent to him from the Prince of Condé, the King of Navarre, and the French Churches, that they would find him ready to help them if they would provide some reasonable means for paying the 'enreutt gelt' and the first month's wages. He did not know what answer La Personne was bringing ; but was minded to give him audience in the afternoon, when he trusted to understand such means as they brought him. With that he said it was time to dine, and one came in who signified that the meat was upon the table ; wherefore he went to call his wife, and willed the steward to bring me into the parlour, saying that he would talk further with me after dinner. As he came into the parlour with his wife, he brought me unto her. She gave me her hand, and a few words in 'Dutch' passed between us touching her Majesty's health ; whereas all the former talk which was before betwixt the Duke and me was spoken in French, which he speaks well, and with good grace. During the time we were at table, he asked me how the Earl of Leicester did, whether he were at the Court ; likewise if I left Mr. Sydney there. After we had risen from the table he took me aside, and demanded of me whether I knew M. de la Personne, and added that he had expressly desired the Prince of Condé, by Heugerie, who returned with La Personne from Rochelle, that in no case he should send La Personne back again to him ; for that he would not have to do with him. He affirmed to me that he was told by some ministers from France that he had been hours long with the Queen Mother in her study, and that she was minded to suborn one by whom she might know his secrets, who they thought was La Personne, and therefore he should take good heed of him. "And yet," quoth he, "seeing the Prince have now sent him back again, I must give him audience," and therefore would take his leave of me for that time, minding to confer with me the day following. This much passed the 18th. When I returned to my lodging, I was told that a couple of men were come from England with letters to me, which I forthwith received by your honour's man Roger Draunsfeld. Having perused the whole packet, I desired Dr. Beutrich, who came to visit me, to tell the Duke that I had received further instructions with letters to him from her Majesty, which I would gladly deliver to him. Wherefore the next day the Duke asked me to dinner again, and an hour before sent for me ; when I gave him to understand that, whereas the day before I had declared to him how necessary her Majesty thought it that those of the religion should be relieved by way of diversion, and that at La Personne's return from the Prince he should understand what support her Majesty would be willing to give, I had now received further charge, and was to let him know that her Majesty being informed by the said La Personne in what danger he had left the Princes, was content to lend him towards the levying of an army the sum of £20,000 sterling. Touching the conditions on which she was minded to deliver the money, and the time and place when and where he could receive it, her Majesty had sent me convenient order, as I would specify to him, if I might first understand how forward he was to enter with an army into France. Then he began highly to commend her tender care in maintaining the religion, and relieving such as were in distress for the same. As for him, he had now twice with no small force passed into France to succour the religion there, had exposed his life and all that he had to evident dangers, and was come very much behindhand, by reason that such promises as had been made to him had neither been observed by the King nor by the Protestants ; yet, nevertheless, for the advancement of God's glory and the conservation of the common cause of religion, he would not stick to make a third levy. Here he began to be ravished with an heroical enthusiasm, affirming that in this voyage he would make all the Papists in Christendom tremble, and give the Pope a greater shock than he had received in the former war. He was minded to have 10,000 reiters and 12,000 Swiss, beside such Frenchmen as about 'Eszedane' [Qy. Sédan] (near to which town he intended to conduct his army) he was to receive. M. de Jumelles would bring him 1,200 harquebusiers out of the country of Liége to join with him by 'Eszedane.' Also he doubted not of the Prince of Condé's descent into a place which he named to me, and I doubt not you have marked by such talk as M. de la Personne imparted to you when in England. He would be glad if her Majesty would allow some English soldiers to join him, for he likes well their valiantness and trust ; they should be treated like the Swiss. He would desire nothing so much as that her Majesty would send some to be of his council ; yea, if it pleased her, he would be directed by her sole advice. In case for any reasons she were not minded to send such, if she would give him instructions he promised he would follow them strictly. As for the French, he might use them an occasion would serve, but he would trust none of them, and they should know no more of his counsels than he should think good, for they had too often deceived him. He declared that in the last war they were bound to him not to treat with the French King or Queen Mother, or any of the Court directly or indirectly without making him privy ; that they had done the contrary both in this and all their covenants He did not mean to return out of France after he were once in it, but he would at least have for the assurance of peace and his part, Metz, Verdun, and Toul. He trusted that in the same way her Majesty might recover Calais, which town by all kind of right was hers. In case her Majesty, of her own motion, would not "repete" it, yet, under correction, he said at the making of the peace, he with his confederates might demand it for her Majesty, that she might take upon her the security for the peace. In sum he foresaw great things which would follow this enterprise, and he trusted to conquer more countries in France than he should leave behind him of his own. He knew well what the King would do ; and had if late received certain copies of letters which the King and Schomberg at his orders had written to the Dutch colonel (called Malzbrun), the 18th of last month ; by which he perceived how gladly the King would have had an army, and how little means he had to obtain either reiters or Swiss. How much he was indebted to the reiters of Germany he was not ignorant, besides 7,000,000 francs that were due to him and his army ; he knew well enough the King was behindhand with the Swiss 18,000,000 of francs, and was sure he could levy no men in Germany before Christmas. He had himself provided all things for his enterprise, and was sure that obedience would be shown him, if with the 'Enreut' gelt he has the first month's pay to give them at the place of muster. The reiters had so often been deceived with fair promises, that without these pays he would not assure himself of their obedience ; but having these he knew how to content his army until the end of the second month, and so forward. Further, he said it had been the part of La Personne to have opened to her Majesty the truth of the offers he had made to the King of Navarre and the Prince of Condé ; so that she might know the difficulties of the expedition. Nor was it true that he had already agreed with his colonels and rittmeisters for a new voyage ; though he had indeed appointed them to meet him on the 15th of next month at Oppenheim or Frankfort, when, if he were assured of the means as above, he would be more certain to settle with them. I asked him when he would be able to get his army together. He answered before the end of October, and showed me many reasons why he could not march sooner. Then I said how necessary her Majesty found it for him to be accompanied by a man of birth and skill, and reminded him what befell the Duke of Biponte, according to the instructions which were last sent me. Also that she wished him to be wary in the choice of colonels, and to take such as were well-affected to the cause, and not to be corrupted, for in these days, to breed division in an army was thought to be the first step to victory ; in which art, Low cunning the Queen Mother was, I thought he was not ignorant. I also said that her Majesty advised him to leave all things sound at home, lest some devise were found to provoke his brother to seize such castles and towns as fall unto him by "partage" to withdraw him from quenching other houses by kindling a fire in his own. To this he answered thanking her Majesty, and affirmed that there were a couple of princes that were minded to accompany him, the Duke of Anhalt and the Duke of Pettipeire [Lützelstein], of whom one had already offered him 1,200 reiters ; and touching such colonels as he would take with him they should be such as he had good experience of. He would make me fully acquainted with his own estate, that her Majesty might be advertised what means he meant to take for serving his own. Only he desired me to have patience for two days that he might appease the troubles caused by his entering the town by force. This much passed by the 19th. The 20th he sent for me again to dinner, but nothing was done, for dinner being ended he said he had appointed the Burgomasters to meet in the city house at 1 o'clock ; and that the next day we would have full conference. I answered that I would gladly tarry his leisure, and desired him to think what answer I might send to her Majesty ; that you had willed me to stay your man not above three days. The 21st and 22nd arrived his uncle Duke Richard, sent from the Elector his brother, during whose abode here it was not meet for me to press the Duke, for the reasons you will see in the letter annexed. The 23rd, hearing that the Duke [Richard] was departed, I told Dr. Beutrich that 1 must send back your Honour's man ; wherefore the Duke sent for me to dinner, as likewise for M. de la Personne and the rest. After dinner I was long with him, desirous to know his resolution, for as I gave him to understand if he meant to make haste, and assured himself of a prosperous end of so great endeavours, he should be certain of the support her Majesty minded to give. He answered that by her offer, she spared her gracious nature, and he trusted she could not but perceive his readiness and goodwill ; he only was sorry that the Frenchman by his forwardness and her Majesty's bountifulness had induced her to give the support which I had proposed, and that otherwise they brought no aid to make up the sum which he had demanded of them. Howbeit, he did not fully know what they brought, and therefore seeing we had left them where we dined, he would give them further audience, and I should know his resolution next day. This was, as he told me to-day, that he would accept her Majesty's offer, provided he could persuade the officers to take this journey into France, and that on Sep. 19 they would meet. Meantime, he wished me to ask her majesty to advance the money if possible, before Christmas, and to provide that some part, if not all, should be paid at "Collein," Frankfort, or Strasburg. He begs her also to lend as much more as would discharge the first months wages, which by subducting the stipends of 10,000 reiters, and 12,000 Swiss, comes to £60,000 sterling, which sum if her Majesty would lend him, he wished me to assure her, it would be the best lent money that ever she disbursed. As touching secrecy, which oftentimes I inculcated, he affirmed, so that the Frenchmen did not detect it (noting La Personne), he had a thousand ways to make the world think otherwise. I replied that I did not know how certain the information was that he had received touching La Personne ; that oftentimes ministers were lightly abused, in such reports as reached them ; that he might be sure her Majesty would have told him nothing in case she had not thought well of him. I thought good to say this because of the commendation your honour gave him, and the testimony which Argenlieu, Heugerie, and the minister of Rochelle bore of him. La Personne does not deny that he was with the Queen Mother before he came to the Duke, but affirms that he was sent to her with letters from the Prince. This is the sum of my negotiations, of which the Frenchmen that are here have good hope, especially if the money could be ready about the end of September. One thing I think good to write further to your honour of, which is, in case the Duke cannot persuade the reiters, and her Majesty will advance no greater sum than £20,000, if it please her to use any other prince in the Empire for this purpose, or the Frenchmen can find any other, he is content as a private man, with certain troops of horsemen, to join him that shall take the government of the army. He is ridden forth this afternoon, two or three Dutch miles from hence, to a place where his brother, the Elector, is hunting, being sent for thither. He has promised to let me know to-morrow whether I should come to his brother. Thus your honour understands the cause why I have been forced to stay your man longer than either you expected or I desired.— New State in the Palatinate, 29 August 1577. Add. Endd. 8 pp. [Germ. States. I. 5.]
Thanks for the letter sent to Daniel Rogers. Rogers has discoursed very sensibly, agreeably to the Queen's intention, with whose wishes I shall always be ready to comply. And beside my desire to advance the public weal, no slight spur to me is the ardent affection and "rondeur" with which she proceeds. Pray count me as one who beyond my desire to serve her Majesty, long for nothing so much as to see the Churches established in assured peace and mutual union.—'Neustadt, 24 August 1577. Add. Endd. (but not by Walsingham) : From Duke Casimire to mee. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. I. 6.]
The late elector in his will gave Duke Casimir seven balliages, of which four are in superiori Bavaria, the other three, to wit 'Newstate,' 'Caisar's Louter,' and 'Beckelem,' are between Lorraine and the Rhine. Many "wismen" wonder that he gave him no more, seeing that by custom of the country he was to receive the half of all goods as well moveable as immoveable, except certain towns specially "addicted" to the Electorate ; but it was thought that he gave the Elector more than by custom he should have had, in order both to maintain his "dignity," and to move him to more fraternal amity with Duke Casimir. The elder brother, after his father's death, doubted whether it were best for him to open his will, because he persuaded himself that his father had made it less favourable to him than it was. Casimir, not knowing his share, said at that time, that if his brothers would stand by the father's will, he would be contented, though he had but one village. The Elector, not being well able to elude the father's will, and not knowing the division, agreed to open it, and perceived it was more favourable than he supposed. Yet in many points he has evidently broken it, as by the alteration of the ecclesiastical discipline, and by swearing all the inhabitants to himself alone ; for by the will he is bound to swear his subjects first to him as Elector, and then to Casimir as his successor, if his son should die, for he has but one son alive, whereas he has had eight in all. He has also violated the will by hindering Casimir as much as he could from the possession of the balliage of Newstate, which had about 30 proper towns appertaining to it. The Duke desired letters as usual from the Elector, to be admitted there as lord, and that the burghers might swear to him. The Elector accorded this, and sent some of his Council to read in the presence of Casimir's Council letters to the burgomasters, requiring him to acknowledge him as their lord. But when he came, they cavilled that the town had always appertained to the Electorate in such manner that it could not now be "sejoined" from the same. The Duke, judging (as since his coming he has "tried out") that his brother dealt under hand with the burghers against him, contrary to the letters which he openly sent, dispatched Dr. Beutrich into Switzerland to levy an ensign of footmen, whom he appointed to meet him on the 17th of this month, between 4 and 5 o'clock at the opening of the gate of this town. Thus coming unawares he easily took the town, and forthwith caused the burghers to be assembled, and required them to swear to him, which they all did, save three of the chief, whom he caused to be put in ward. 'Bolting forth the truth,' he learnt that the Elector had advised them not to receive him ; which doubledealing makes Casimir's case the better, who gave place before so much to his brother, that by his fair words and contrary dealing he was greatly deceived. The Elector having more craft than courage, on the 20th sent his uncle, Duke Richard, to know why he levied men, and with what intent he had taken the town by force, seeing there were peaceable means by which he might have got possession of it. By his said uncle he sent a rude letter to the Duke, which made him resolve further. On the 22nd, openly declaring to his uncle how insincerely his brother did handle him, he took a knife, and made a great cut in his father's will, protesting in how many points his brother had violated that will, which he hitherto to his hindrance had observed, but now meant to claim half of all his father's goods, which by law he ought to enjoy. This bravado he used, as he told me, to terrify his brother, who fears him already. He trusts by demanding extremity to gain at least as much as by his father's will he ought to possess. The Elector is greatly afraid lest the Duke make a new voyage into France, and become too great for him. He showed me certain letters from the four Electors of the Rhine, assembled at Bingen in the beginning of this month, in which they dissuaded him from making any new levy for France ; to whom he answered very stoutly that they should rather have counselled him to go again into France, for that his expedition would rather confirm the tranquillity of the Empire than weaken any part thereof. The Elector, persuaded that his brother will go into France, and that many will accompany him, because the King does not pay them their stipends, has commanded them which are of the Circle of the Rhine to meet at Wisburge, [Weissenburg], which is a town above Spire, on Sep. 1, whence the Electors are minded to send to the French king, asking him to provide for the payment of the reiters, which unless he do, they will not suffer any more reiters to serve him. It is manifest that the King had written to the Duke of Lorraine, advising him not to pay the 50,000 franks which he had promised to Duke Casimir, this Frankfort "mart" following; yet Casimir thinks the Duke of Lorraine will keep his promise. He still has at Heidelberg the French king's hostages, the Marquis d'Allègre, who is of Auvergne, and the Count d'Escars, who is of Périgord. He told me that the Elector has as yet made no monument where is father was buried ; but unless he erects one, he will do it himself. None have greater cause to rejoice at Duke Casimir's government than these at Frankenthal, who are all from the Low Country, and have been banished for religion's sake. The Duke has made a corporation of the town and given them their magistrate and burgomasters, and now they build gates to their town of fair stone very artificially, and build so fast that it is thought within a few years it will be one of the finest towns in the Palatinate. The Emperor is still at Vienna, and it is not yet known that he has seduced the citizens to his pleasure, for they defend their privileges, and desire to have that liberty of religion left to them which his father permitted. They write from Vienna that as he was coming thither, the burghers meaning to receive him triumphantly had caused three arches to be erected, placed in the street that he would pass. Upon the first was painted with great letters :— Nullum violentum per petuum : upon the second, Ne quid nimis : upon the third, Respice finem. Of which the Emperor being advertised, declined that way, and came in by another gate. Duke Casimir told me that Ferdinand, Duke of Austria, the Emperor's uncle, has lately given Waregelt, that is, assuring money, to certain rittmasters and colonels to be ready to serve him being called ; two principally being named ; the Count of Tollern and Baron Hedech, which they think tends to the defence of Don John. I wrote from Hoorn that the Prince of Orange had received news that the King of Spain had made league with the Turk for five years. M. Languet cannot believe this news, and affirms that he has of late received contrary letters from the Emperor's ambassador at Constantinople. When I was at Cologne, it was given out that an assembly was to be held at Magdeburg by princes professing Lutheranism, for condemning others. Being afraid that this night hinder the matters committed to my charge, I enquired everywhere as to the truth of it, especially of Languet at Frankfort, and here of the Duke. Both declared that they had written such news to England, but had heard nothing of it since. The Duke told me he had heard that on the 13th of last month and since, Doctor Jacobus Andreas, a troublesome divine, and others favoured by the Duke of Saxony were assembled at Wittenberg, to abolish Melanchthon's book called Corpus doctrinœ Christianœ, to which the ministers of Saxony had sworn; and that they had drawn up a form of confession to be subscribed first by the ministers, and afterwards by the inhabitants of Saxony, for the rooting out of Calvinism. The Duke let me see certain advertisements, by which it appeared that this Dr. Jacobus Andreas, with Volaterranus, Polycarpus, and Seneccerus, went about such a matter, but that they had divers enemies both in the Court and University; and that the Duke of Saxony himself was diversely moved by certain strange and portentous things which happened on the 13th July, as those ministers were gathered together, at which time both the parish church of Wittenberg and the church annexed to the castle were struck with thunder, as likewise Luther's monastery, which now is called Augustus College. The Duke said the Elector's castle at Dresden had likewise been touched by the thunder. Besides this, Dr. Luther, the physician, coming the same time from Wittenberg to the Duke, among other things declared that of late at Wittenberg a crow having her nest in a wall of one of the colleges, brought forth two young ones, of so white colour that they were taken of all men to have been white doves. At last being shaken out of the nest by a tempest, they were both a laughter and a spoil to many which came to behold the strangeness of the thing ; among whom some pulled off their feathers to put in their hats. As some reported that this might signify Dr. Andreas and his colleagues, so the Duke interpreted that it noted the Calvinists. The said Dr. Paulus Luther, Martin's son, told the Duke another chance that happened, with which he was more moved, namely, that an apple tree set in the yard of his father's house at Wittenberg, which every year was wont to bring forth fruit, this year was withered. I write these things because Duke Casimir affirmed that his father-in-law, the Elector of Saxony, was altogether astonished by reason of these strange sights. In this new confession which Dr. Andreas is forging, he uses the word Condemnamus whenever Melanchthon in the Augustan confession has non probamus. The Elector of Saxony, it is said, is not minded to do anything without the advice of the Landgrave, who is against this device of Dr. Andreas. Dr. Beutrich writes to Mr .Sydney, as though some prince had already subsigned this book ; but the Duke told him in my hearing that he knew no certainty. I may remind you that in his letter by Mr. Sydney, Casimir desired that the Queen would send some of her divines to Frankfort, where an assembly of the reformed churches was to be made ; but now he is of your opinion, as though the ignorance and ambition of the divines might hinder the good success looked for. The Duke is minded to write to her Majesty from Emps, where the Landgrave is. Meanwhile he has written to your Honour and to Mr. Sydney. I am writing to hear whether I shall come to-day to the Elector with whom he now is.— Newstadt, 24 August 1577. P.S.—The Landgrave is at the baths for to remedy a hurt which of late he got in hunting. Add. Endd. 5 pp. [Germ. States I. 7.]
Aug. 24.
K. d. L. ix. 482.
This morning came news that Montigny had arrived at Gemblours and Willhem, and that the garrison who were holding the place for Don John withdrew. The governor of Marienbourg is here for money to pay his garrison ; otherwise he says they will mutiny and hand the place over to Don John, who has, it seems, been in communication with them. I think you have heard of the garrison that he has placed in Namur, three companies of foot and 200 horse. There is a report that some German or other has been massacred ; but as nothing more was said about it I feel sure it is nothing. The governor of Philippeville in going to a country house which he has in the neighbourhood was in danger of being taken by Don John's men ; but escaped.—Brussels, 24 Aug. 1577. Add. Endd. : From my man Raymond. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fland. II. 46.]
Aug. 24.
K. d. L. ix. 480.
Since I wrote, things have continued the same train till now, when the States having intelligence that the Duke of Guise is marching towards their frontier with 7 or 8,000 footmen and 4,000 horse to join his Highness, begin both to repent their sloth, and to fear the danger of it. Now, seeming thoroughly resolved on a war, they provide for the speedy levying of all the forces they can, intending to march towards Namur, where M. d'Hierges is entered with three ensigns of foot and certain horse, and to occupy the passages of the country between Brussels and it. Meanwhile, after much difficulty for the diversity of opinions, especially for the resistence of Ressinghem, Swevinghem, Hoccoron, and other suspected patriots, the States have sent M. de Liedkerke to Antwerp and another to Ghent with commission to raze both citadels towards the towns, a work already in good forwardness, so courageously and painfully do the people employ themselves night and day about it. By this you may see in what a combustion this State is, and what is to be expected of this beginning ; the dangerous event whereof is the rather doubted since the French having entered as they say into a new treaty of peace at home, may the better attend to the disturbing of their neighbours abroad. I would be sorry it should be done, knowing how much our State is generally shot at. My Lord Seton is come from Scotland, and is now staying at Mechlin, bound as he says toward the Spa for his health. The humour of the man may hurry some other cause of his transportation hither. I send a copy of his Highness's last answer to the negotiation of the States' commissioner.—Antwerp, 24 Aug., 1577. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. 1 p. [Ibid. II. 47.]
Aug. 20. 143. Copy of Don John's reply of Aug. 20, to the dispatch from the Estates, dated Aug. 13 (no, 126).
Enclosed in above. Endd. by L. Tomson. [Holl. and Fland, II. 48.]
Aug. 24. 144. DAVISON to WALSINGHAM.
Draft of letter (no. 142). Overleaf request for more money, and complaint that he hears nothing. On p. 4 one line of draft letter to "Mr. Thompson." Endd.p. [Ibid. II. 49.]
Aug. 17-24. 145. ADVICES from ROME, AUG. 17, 1577.
They write from Genoa on the 10th that the Spaniards from Flanders were not embarking at once for the service of the Portuguese in the enterprise against the Moors, because the galleys that were to take them had been recalled to Naples by the Duke of Sessa, some say because he wishes them in his company to return to Spain, or to send them to look after Occhiali, otherwise some attack will not fail to be made upon the Spanish coasts. On the 9th a French courier had come from the Court of Spain, who had only left letters for the ambassador, and at once gone on to Milan with letters of the 17th ult. He stated that in Barcelona a galley was ready to take the Admiral of Castile across to Genoa on his way to the Emperor. Others add that there were more galleys, to bring 5,000 Spaniards to Naples, who would easily be able, with those who had come from Flanders, to return thither with 5,000 Italians, in order to secure those countries to the King's devotion if they continued to be influenced by evil humours. A courier had come frim Sega with letters of the 3rd announcing that a conspiracy of 10 principal lords, with the complicity of Orange, against Don John had been discovered at Brussels, and one of them had revealed the whole to the Estates; who had advised Don John to withdraw to Namur. The Spanish ambassador here has sent a messenger to the Prince of Parma. The reason is not known, but it is said that he offers him the post of general in the enterprise to Africa. Yesterday a courier on his way to Spain from the Viceroy of Naples said that there had come from Constantinople one Valerio Sta Croce of Montemonaci in the Marches sent by the Turkish Pasha Mehemet, to get a decision as to the truce negotiated by Zuniga. Letters from Naples of the 8th add that on the 28th ult. the enemy's galleys turned away from II Blanco [?] ; it is said that Occhiali's aim was only to get the Tuscan galleys, and that two of his having landed men at the fossa di San Jo : with a view to plunder, had been beaten by the peasants, who had taken many Turks. The Portuguese ships are daily expected and do not come, they say, with merchandise of £200,000 or £300,000 to make money to levy men, who it is said will be raised in the Genoese territory and the states of the Duke ; who is obliging the Portuguese with 2 ships and 3 galeasses, and biscuit for 10,000 men.
FROM VENICE, the 24th AUGUST, 1577.
Letters from Bergamo of the 13th have mentioned others from Milan of the 11th ; adding that a courier has come from Don John to the governor with orders to send him 1,500 Spaniards and cavalry for his guard, as he has withdrawn to Namur ; and another from the Spanish Court on the 12th, bringing orders for the return of the Spaniards to Flanders, Secretary Escovedo having reported the insolence of the Flemings, who fear neither God nor the King, wanting to have their preachings ; and he will settle their business. From Casale comes word on the 15th that the Spaniards will return to Flanders with 10,000 Italians, making 40,000 combatants in all, and artillery is being got ready at Alexandria and other places in the State of Milan ; so that great ruin threatens the Flemings if they do not change their minds. (Marginal note to last two pars. : Confirmatur per tres alias literas.) Here nothing of moment has happened, and they talk of nothing but the troubles in Flanders. A galley came from Corfu with [sic] the death of the famous Quirny [? Quinai], and that Occhiali had taken a ship of Ragusa carrying corn from Apulia to Naples. Add. : A Monsieur l'ambassadeur de la Majesté la Reine d'Angleterre [Qy. Davison, and forwarded by Hoddesdon]. 1½ pp. [News Letters I. 1.]
[Aug. 24.] 146. [DON JOHN] to [the ESTATES].
Although in divers letters we have manifested our goodwill towards the pacification, giving an account of our actions in detail, till we do not think that any scruple can remain, yet as we hear that those disturbers of the public weal who seek only war to the uttermost, and desire to bring you into it by fair means or foul, are about stuffing your ears with some intercepted letters of ours and Escovedo's to the King, of March and April last, before we had been admitted to the government, as well as some which we wrote to Colonel Fugger, seeking thereby to prove that while making believe to dismiss the Germans we were really retaining them in the King's pay, and that our fears for our person and retirement to this castle were a fraud, and that we tried to secure the fortresses with a view to breaking the pacification ; and being calumniously charged with these three points, we think it good hereby to tell you the truth. Firstly, touching the letters that were captured, and have been deciphered by these sowers of war, we say that such an action between private persons is a notable insult and crime of treachery, and that to intercept and open the letters of one's Sovereign is a crime of lèse-majesté. Again, to open and decipher such letters and try to penetrate into his Majesty's secrets is a breach of the pacification and of all upright dealing, especially in time of peace ; And if the letters were as they say taken in France, and not at the instance of the Prince of Orange, it was the part of good vassals and subjects to restore them intact ; In any case it was an act of great temerity, testifying ingratitude towards his Majesty for his oblivion of the past, after so often saying that they wished to efface all distrust from their hearts. They cannot excuse themselves; and the more they publish what they are pleased to decipher, that is to say make up as they think fit, the more they blemish their own reputations ; Even if we did write as they say, we told the King what was happening, and we are sorry that things are still in the same bad state ; Further, the time when the letters were written ought to be considered. It was five or six months after our arrival in these countries, two months after our appointment. We had not then been admitted to the government, but were in another's charge ; and yet we said nothing showing any sign of displeasure ; As for Escovedo's letters, what he may have written is no affair of ours; he will answer for himself. Most of his letters too were written at Antwerp while we were at Louvain, which shews that we can have known nothing of what he was writing ; If it be said that one of our letters referred to what he was writing to the King, this was in connexion with financial matters, a subject on which governors are not apt to make long discourse, but only to refer to what by those accountable for the money have written in detail for the information of the Exchequer ; Nevertheless while we were in this town, occupied in receiving the Princess of Béarn, Duchess of Vendôme, sister to the Most Christian King, Sainte-Aldegonde and Theron, whom you all know to be sworn enemies of our religion, were running about every-where with these fine letters, deciphered according to their own inventions, in order to stir up strife [alboroter], and raise people against us, especially such as they knew to be most disaffected; whence it appears that the letters had not much to do with it. Secondly, with regard to the dealings with Colonel Fugger and Germans, we say that when we saw the continued disobedience of many, and how the people remained in arms, and also that the Prince of Orange with those of Holland and Zealand was making more preparations for war than ever, fortifying even places which he governed in the King's name, opposing religion and introducing sects, and occupying places in Brabant and Flanders, and heard in what terms he had spoken to our ambassadors ; observing too that the Estates were prejudiced against the Catholic Religion ; Considering these things, with the actions of Sainte-Aldegonde and Theron all tending to fresh war, it is no wonder if we found it necessary to place our person in safety and provide as well as we could that the fortresses should remain at the King's devotion, as was right ; And consequently we found it necessary not to disband the soldiers until we knew what his aims were ; to which end we decided to lay all his contraventions and sundry others before the Estates, in order that we might jointly call upon him to comply with the pacification. And since this was the proper course to take, everyone can judge how ridiculous it would have been for those on the side of the King and country to disarm when thinking of giving orders to and calling to account one who remained in arms ; And in order that no one might interpret our actions otherwise, as soon as we had come to this Castle of Namur we wrote our reasons for doing so, and that we sought nothing but the advancement of the Catholic religion and the obedience due to the King, and the carrying out of the pacification, which no one of sound judgment can find other than just. Nevertheless the ill-disposed went on incontinuously shouting alarms, and suborning captains and soldiers, forcing them from the hands of those who were over them, and putting them into such hands as they thought fit; acting in the hostile way that has been sent at Antwerp, Bergen, and Graves ; Writing letters in the name of the States-General to towns and private persons as though we had been the first to violate the peace, in order to envenom the people to rebellion and kindle the flame of sedition ; For the appeasing of which it is notorious how we have sent letters and envoys to the Estates, and at divers times have sent letters to the countries to inform the people how the fact stands. But our messengers have been plundered, their letters opened and suppressed, so that the truth might not be known; wherein all men may see the wrong done to the King and the people, and what chastisement such persons merit, and if we had but occasion to make ourselves safe. As for the third point, concerning the just doubts which they say we feigned as to our personal safety against the machinations of the malevolent, made up, as they say, to afford a colourable excuse for starting a war ; We reply that in three or four of our letters, written to towns and persons, and all or mostly intercepted, we have set forth the obvious causes and given assurance on our word that we had only too certain proofs. We will, however, again recite them ; Being in Brussels in May last, the Viscount of Ghent, whom we have always supposed to be well-affected to us, and who was about to go to England as our envov, came one night, we being in bed, to tell us something which touched us nearly ; and we being at a loss to know what this matter could be, urgent enough to come for in the middle of the night, bade him enter at once ; He began to say that it was high time to provide for our safety ; there were plans to massacre us and our suite ; we were in no way safe at Brussels for reasons which he gave, together with the way in which he came to know of them. Again, being at Mechlin in June last, and the Duke of Aerschot walking with us, among other subjects of conversation we discussed principally a statement of his that all was going from bad to worse, and that we and those of our suites were by no means secure ; that he knew quite for certain that there was treachery on foot against us ; that the primary intention of the Prince of Orange to seize our person existed even before our admission to the government : and that he had written a letter to the Estates (of which the Duke alleged he had a copy) saying that as long as we were at large they would never attain their desired ends, and therefore our person ought to be secured ; To which we returned inquiry in these terms : "How? my Lord Duke ; what would become of their word?" He replied, snapping his fingers, that there was substantially no word or anything left ; and when we further asked with what intention they wanted to seize our person, he replied, "To make us sign whatsoever they would." On our asking what that would be, he answered, "Liberty in all things, or something like it." To which we said, if we did not sign, what would they do to us? He said, that would befall us which had befallen some Duke or Prince in their States (we have forgotten the name) ; to wit, that after having forced us, they would fling us and all our suite out of window, and catch us on their pikes. To this we fancy (nay, we certainly remember) that we made answer that a prince or governor who is a man of honour ought not to dwell where such a thing might be told a second time without finding a remedy for it ; far less suffer it to happen to him. All which the Duke may remember ; As the Estates may do, if it is true that the Prince of Orange wrote the above-mentioned letter, or has addressed solicitations to them respecting our person. Since then it befel during our stay at Brussels and Mechlin false reports were daily spreading tending to raise the people against us and our folk, as was seen especially on the day of the fair at Brussels ; by the contrivances of certain evil-minded persons, told off for this purpose, coming to Mechlin, and afterwards to this town. Insomuch that we being at this place received one day notice from persons in our confidence, who were in a position to know our opponent's secrets, bidding us be on our guard, for plots against our person were on foot, and we were in great peril of being killed or taken ; Concurrent with this were the practices of Sainte-Aldegonde and Theron, who displayed the letters above-mentioned, having come for this purpose, as was written to us from Holland and Zealand, and also in order to seize our person if they could, as they did their best to do ; And whether it is true or not, you may judge from what I am about to tell you, namely, that a certain person who had access to the best information—I will not further name him now ; his own conscience will bear witness if I speak the truth—wrote secretly to us here at Namur, saying that he had very important matter to tell us of, closely concerning us, which he would communicate when we returned to Brussels or Mechlin ; and that if we would let him know the day of our arrival he would not fail to meet us. He requested that his letter might be burnt ; As we were proceeding in good faith, and had then no suspicion of what time has since more fully revealed, that he might see our confidence in him, and that we did not mean to keep his letter, we answered with our own hand, thanking him and bidding him welcome if he liked to come to this town and speak with us, as we knew not when we might be able to leave it. But we have not seen him since, nor had any news of him ; and he is now one of the most ardent for war ; From this anyone may see what would have befallen us if we had left this town and returned to Brabant, the roads being at that time full of soldiers, some being unknown and without chiefs, secretly lodged in the villages, some even coming into this town under pretext of seeking their pay. Troops of them were seen early in the morning both within and without the court before we left our quarters to come to this castle ; and these when their manœuvre was discovered withdrew with all speed, bag and baggage ; and this is notorious to all ; When things were in this position [en cette même conjecture] Count Faulquemberghe returned from his mission into France, where he heard that people were saying we had been made prisoner, and even laying wagers in public that it was so ; Now we leave all men to judge if we acted unfairly in wishing to provide for ourselves and our followers, nay, rather for the Catholic Religion, for the King, and for the quiet of all good subjects, or if we ought to have waited till the blow fell ; the condition of princes being unfortunate herein, that no one will believe in any machinations against them and their lives until the disaster occurs ; And yet because we did not wish to be surprised, and chose to look after ourselves, an alarm is raised against us, and the whole people must once again be taxed, eaten up, fretted away, put in peril of life and fortune ; war must be levied afresh against the Sovereign ; the enemies of religion and of the country must be taken for defenders, and the natural prince deserted ; and all this must be suffered to please certain imprudent and discontented persons ; All this we have thought good to lay before you in such detail to the end you may not let yourselves be led astray by passion or the evil counsels of disaffected men. God and all the world be witnesses how utterly we abhor civil war against the subjects of the King, born to serve him, assist him, and obey him, and not for the end to which, unhappily, through the craft and malicious practices of the enemies of our faith, matters have come ; Whereupon we await your speedy answer. We should not have failed to send persons of authority, good men desirous of peace, to declare our intentions more fully, had it been possible for them to have safe and free access and return : but we see this is not so owing to the craft of ill-disposed persons. Even our letters can with great difficulty reach your hands in safety. Such enemies of your repose are these people that one cannot announce his Majesty's will to you nor even send a letter ; the most barbarous and tyrannical thing ever seen. You may judge in what esteem you ought to hold those who will not have you to know the truth except as they please, in order to stir up war and make themselves rich at your cost. It rests with your own prudence, with the help of God, to see that you are not abused and circumvented.—[Namur, Aug. 24.] Copy. Fr. 14 pp. [Holl. and Fland. II. 51.]
Aug. 24.
K. d. L. IX. 481.
There is little news here. I hear from Namur for certain that Don John brought into that town the day before yesterday two ensigns of infantry, and about as much cavalry. Of Brussels I only hear that they are 'par playe' reserved for fire and blood, unless something different is done than hitherto, the people being stupid enough to believe that Casimir has routed the whole of the "Guisart's" company. The story you have heard was, I think, invented and concocted by some of those ecclesiastics in order, if possible to smother the report which came yesterday of the said Guisart. This very day a certain state clerk came up to three bishops and an abbot on the steps of the town-hall here, and said : "Gentlemen, use all your efforts to make them resist these Spaniards by arms to the utmost ; there is no other means to preserve our liberties, our wives, our goods, and also to save you your conventicles, and your lands." "No, my son," replied our good abbot, "hold your peace. You are quite right, but there is no money. It is better to seek peace, as the Lord saith, for assuredly we can have it." "How," said the other, "no money, my good friend? Only let them go on with the cause, and I will undertake to show you where there are barrels of gold ;" well showing what he meant by that. There are others, too, who are trying to put the matter by for six weeks ; of this lot of priests, that is. Nothing else is said here, still less done.—Brussels, 24 August, 1577. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. II. 45.]
Aug. 25. 148. DAVISON TO [LEICESTER?].
Draft of letter containing the same information as that to Walsingham of the 24th (no. 142). ¾ p. [Ibid. II. 50.]


  • 1. This passage in italics is only in one copy.