422. THE PRINCE OF PARMA to M. DE LA MOTTE.
On the day of my departure from Namur, which was the 28th
ult. I answered so fully your last letter, together with the appended
articles, that there is little left to say to your other of the 15th ult.
which I received on the 15th inst. on my way to this place. It was
a great pleasure to me to see the continued good intentions of those
with whom you were treating. They should consider how much I
esteem them and how much I desire that they should be guarded
from all harm ; since, as you advise, I am with this powerful army
going to a distance from the provinces mentioned in your letter,
which may assure them of my sincere will in their behalf, and that
they will find the same in all things which I think likely to turn to
their advantage and honour.
I have written to the same effect to Count Lalaing, and in
addition to the Estates of Hainault, or their deputies, to the towns
of Mons and Valenciennes, the Abbot of Hannon, the Duke of
Aerschot, the Marquis of Havrech, the Seneschal of Hainault,
exhorting each of them to do his duty to God and his Sovereign,
and restore the country to its ancient trade, repose, and prosperity.
No one desires this more than I, as the effect will show whensoever
I find myself backed by the inhabitants. Meanwhile I call upon
you not to cease your good offices, and the furtherance of that which
you have so virtuously begun.'Lymborch,' 6 Dec. 1578. (Signed)
Alexander, and below : Berty.
Copy. Fr. 1 pp. [Ibid. X. 61.]
423. POULET to the SECRETARIES.
Simier is now coming to you, and I am not sorry that he is
among you, where you are at the well-head to receive your
instructions to answer directly ad omne quare ; and now I trust to
live in some rest, having been baited here a month and more like a
bear at a stake, and had nothing to say, but stood still at my
defence for fear to take hurt.
I enclose copies of some letters which have lately come to my
hands by means of a new friend ; and although it may fall out that
the cipher contained in them is of no moment, yet as there is good
hope that this new friend will do better service hereafter, I would
wish this matter were used with secrecy.
I also send copies of certain requests exhibited lately to the King
touching some intended navigations, in order that the whole
proceedings therein being imparted to you, you might the better
consider thereof. The originals were brought to me by means of a
good friend, who prays that the matter may be kept secret till the
event is more evident. Beauvois, captain of the French Guards, has
long since been named as ambassador to Portugal, but he is not yet
It is much misliked of many here that 'Roctalliade,' sent by
Monsieur to Queen Mother, passed, coming and going, within a
league of the King of Navarre, and did not see him ; and although
it be easy to excuse many such trifles, yet it may be said that this
strangeness is not agreeable to the good understanding which
Monsieur's ministers pretend is between him and the King of
Certain Spaniards of late resorted secretly to the King of Navarre ;
and Queen Mother being advertised of it, did not fail to give speedy
intelligence of it to the Spaniards. These small trifles seem to give
light to greater matters, and to direct the inward affections.
The assembly appointed at L'Isle Jourdan for the establishment
of the Edict has not taken effect ; Queen Mother being followed by
so many seditious and suspected persons that the King of Navarre
has reason to choose some 'even ground' for this assembly, which
cannot be had so near Toulouse, from whence and other parts
adjoining a great number of men may be levied upon the sudden.
The truth is that this assembly will not be effectuated this year.
For the recent resolution of the Estates in Normandy I refer you
to this copy enclosed. [See No. 392.] I should say that these leaguers
of the provinces threatened some imminent danger if I did not see
that they are neglected by the King and his Council. Cheverny said
of late that the King was in no way troubled with these matters,
and that he was provided with his remedy ; which some interpret
to be war against the Protestants.
The Duke of Guise remains in his government ; and it is said of
late that the Duke of Mayne has had conference with the Duke of
Savoy. These men strengthen themselves by every means possible,
and have great numbers of men at their command. The king makes
so little account of these things, that I fear to believe even what
I see with my eyes.Paris, 6 Dec. 1578.
P.S.'Archanty,' mentioned in the enclosed letters, and in the
last you received from me [No. 379], is a Spaniard, and has
great doings here for the King of Spain. (Last par. autograph.)
Simier took leave of the king the last of November, and coming to
me the same day told me that he would depart next day for
England. Since that time he has been going every day but does
not go, and so I thought good to dispatch this bearer.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [France II. 88.]
424. POULET to WALSINGHAM.
After sealing this packet I sent my son to M. Simier to know the
certainty of his departure. He found him about to take horse for
his house four leagues from this town ; whence he starts on the 8th,
making small journeys. He sends me word that some of his train
are returning to Monsieur, by express command, so he goes less
well accompanied than he had intended. I cannot learn who go
with him.Paris, 6 Dec. 1578.
P.S.(Autograph.) There is some mystery in this long delay.
Add. Endd. p. [France II. 89.]
425. [JACQUES DE SOMERE] to DAVISON.
Not having found yesterday a sure messenger to bring my
letter to you, I thought good to add this word to tell you that
M. d' Imbize gave the captains so good a treat with a cask of wine
that he persuaded four or five of them to present to his Excellency
a request for his nomination as Grand Bailiff of Ghent. I think
they will get but a cold response. I hear that the Prince found
fault with him for ordering M. Rochelfin's enterprise against
M. Mansart. When Imbize denied it, the Prince is said to have
answered that he was too well informed.
We hear from a good quarter that they of Artois are on the point
of being reconciled to the King of Spain, and accepting the Duke of
Parma's fair offers. They are trying to bring in those of Lille,
Tournay, Douay and Orchies. They of Hainault are much scandalized
by it, and so are MM. de Montigny and de Hze ; who to hinder their
design are offering peace to them of Ghent if they will accept the
religions-vrede, and further assuring them of help in making war on
Artois if their purpose holds. Some deputies have been sent to
ascertain how those towns stand and countermine the practice of
M. la Noue has not yet arrived, but is hourly expected.
I have remembered you to M. de Soulaigre [Zuleger] who was glad to
hear news of you and promised to write.Ghent, 7 Dec. 1578.
Add. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. X. 62.]
426. ROSSEL to WALSINGHAM.
I have written by every ordinary weekly post since you left
Antwerp, which will be three months on the 21st. In the course of
that time her Majesty and yourself will have seen whether my
services have been adequate for the purpose for which you engaged
me on Sept. 13, assuring me that I should be paid quarterly.
Pursuant to which I beg you to recommend her Majesty to have
'letters of pension' dispatched to me at her good pleasure ; in order
that I may feel sure of my retainer, and not have to travel and
employ myself in the service of others as I should have to do to
In my last I explained the position of our camp, which had retired
towards Bois-le-duc and Weert, extending to St. Gertruydenberg
and Breda, where they are expecting to hear something of their pay
or to be sent into garrison. This is being delayed inasmuch as they
hope to put the army on a new footing and reassemble it so as to
take the field when the people at Ghent have come to terms, which
is believed to be decided, as also that the Walloons have been
brought to obedience. Such is the report which M. de Bours
deputed to negotiate brought back on Dec. 5.
I omit details about the affair of Ghent, being sure that Mr
Davison is doing what is wanted in that respect. As I said in my
last, the means of peace are shaky. The Elector of Cologne and
other deputies are at Namur, where Count Schwarzenberg has gone
to join them with the decision of the States, leaving Antwerp last
Friday. I am sure that her Majesty will aid this pious resolve, and
soften all business.
I send you the last treaty made between the States and
M. d' Alenon with his apostilles in the margin. Her Majesty will
see what favours the French have gained and how necessary peace
is to us.Antwerp, 7 Dec. 1578.
Add. Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. X. 63.]
427. ROSSEL to L. TOMSON.
Many thanks for your kindness in assuring me of the receipt of
my packets, which have been fortunate in falling into your keeping.
I beg you to excuse any incorrectness whether in writing or otherwise,
since I have had regard only to the importance of the news ;
doing her Majesty's service according as the season comes about.
I am writing to my lord to let me have a retaining letter from
her Majesty, so that I may apply myself to her service without
other duty. And inasmuch as I know the dispatch of it must go
through your hands, I beg you to be a solicitor to him for the
expedition of the same, assuring him of my goodwill to his service
as I assure you of my liberal gratitude.Antwerp, 7 Dec. 1578.
P.S.Please note the receipt of this packet, and ask my lord to
attend to the contents of it. You will see the treaty made with our
French louts (franctaulpins), and their plunder.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. X. 64.]
428. WILSON to DAVISON.
It is no marvel if your hands are full when you are buried among
a people that can neither tell how to rule nor submit to be ruled. I
can perceive they need no adversary to overthrow them, being so
much their own foes that one will be ready to overthrow another.
Duke Casimir takes it very heavily that you dealt so roundly with
him, and therefore has complained to her Majesty of you and
desires to know whether by her express command you delivered so
sharp a message. For this cause Mr Rogers is sent over, somewhat
to mitigate him, and yet in no way to touch your credit.
But surely I would wish that Casimir, being so godly and zealous
a man as he is, should not be lost in this dangerous world. His
dealings are thought to be plain, especially for professing the truth
to God and man, however others that are his sworn adversaries
exclaim against him. And now that religion is to be established in
that country and its privileges preserved, it were a great pity that
the Prince of Orange and the Duke should not draw after one line,
seeing they are thought to be of one mind both for the common
cause and for the advancement of God's true religion. You must
do your best for a perfect reconciliation between them.Richmond,
8 Dec. 1578.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. X. 65.]
429. to ANTHONY DE WITTE.
Laus Deo. Lisbon, 8 Dec. in the year [?] 1570. I commend
myself heartily to your ward and to your brother, and to all good
folks who ask after me. I do you to wit that I am in tolerable
circumstances, as I hope that by God's grace you are. I
arrived here in Lisbon when the days were short. I was only 11
days on the way from Flushing. I left Antwerp in the afternoon,
and the next day at 6 A.M. was at Flushing before the town ; and
our Queen of Spain was away to seaward quite a day before. So I
did not know what else to do, and should have turned back, but I
found another ship that was going to Lisbon. It cost me a dollar
to get my chest and myself aboard the ship for Lisbon ; it might
have been about as far from Flushing as it is from Antwerp to
Over 't Veer ; but I had to pay what they wanted because they said
everyone would be served. And then I had to pay quite a couple
of ducats more for the chart and goods coming here than I should
have done had I been earlier. I should have done better business
if I had lain a month or two in Zealand, making a start with the
cases and the sun-dials which I took with me. There is not much
trade in them here (die worden hier niet zeer ghetrocken) ; the sundials
I cannot sell, even at a loss ; and I had to pay 7 schellings
duty on them, and for the chest I had to pay 26 stuivers, for
each band two stuivers, there were 13 iron bands. It lay
here a clear month or more at the palace, in a great warehouse
called the alvanda [alfandega] where all merchandize is put,
and it was examined (ghevisenteert) there. I had to give one
out of five [?]. They thought there were wonders in my chest
because it was so nicely packed. On the cases I have sold I made
about two stuivers profit apiece. There is nothing in which better
trade can be done than cloth, linen-cloth, merceries, knives, straps,
laces. The chipped stones which were given me to sell are all sold
I think. They fetched 9 guilders, and 2 guilders from the stones
that I had from Herman to cut, makes 11 guilders. I wish
Anthony that you would send me linen or other mercery for the
half ; if nothing better, will you do so much for me? Let
Peter Lincges [? see to it] for me ; you might go with him and
buy your linen, letting him know that it costs much here ; you
might give him half of the 11 guilders and let him do as if it were
for him. He might pack it among his own goods, and send it over
with his own to his factor.
I am living here with Hans of Portugal ; but it had better be invoiced
[? beweghe] to Abram Bacler, who will surely give me the goods.
Such time as I have been living here with Hans is not a month.
It is doubtful how long I shall stay with him. He has not much
work ; he is accustomed to keep two mills going, now he has only
one, and there is nothing to be done here of our trade. Had I
known there was no more work I should not have come hitherwards.
It is braver too and pleasanter in our country. Here there is no
winter, as it were ; little or none. It does not freeze at the
best. There are not over twelve mills going here ; fourteen or
fifteen are standing still. Those who usually work with two are
now working only with one. At Antwerp there is more work than
here. Abram Bacler, the principal man here who gives work when
there is work to give, is no more at this time [?]. There is no
news for me to write to you, Anthony ; will you write me a letter
as you have opportunity ? No more this time, except God protect
you from all harm, and all of us.
I forgot to write by Mark Bacler. Please send these letters,
which I find here in your house, fastened, one to Meenenit can be
taken to the market hall at Armentires ; there is a common boat,
and those who go to Armentires pass through Meenen ; and give
the other to Peter Lermite, and tell him, with my apologies, to send
it, when he writes, to my brother Anthony. There is nothing
particular in it but greetings. If you will do this I will do my best
to deserveit. [Found with papers of '78, but more likely belongs to '70.]
Add. to Peter Lincges, to be forwarded to Anthony de Witte,
diamond-cutter, living at the end of the 'sespirt' [? St. Esprit]
street in the Bogspierde street in Saint Barbet at Antwerp.
Flemish. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. X. 66.]
430. DAVISON to the SECRETARIES.
I wrote to you somewhat fully by Mr. Caswarth of the disposition
in which I left things at Ghent. Since then we hear that the
Prince has made so good an entrance to the reformation of that loose
government as offers good hopes of the result. He was solemnly
received half a league outside the town by 5 ensigns of foot and 200
horse. Where also Duke Casimir met him ; and after they had
familiarly saluted and embraced one another, went into the Prince's
coach and so accompanied him to his lodgings. On entering the
town they found the streets full of burghers in arms ; who, as the
Prince passed, spared no shot to 'congratulate his welcome.' The
same night the Duke invited him to supper, where they made great
cheer ; honouring each other, as they have done ever since, with the
titles of father and son, and in all outward behaviour bearing themselves
as greatly satisfied the well-affected beholders. But after
supper, the Duke falling by chance into some speech of Beutrich,
the Prince was so much moved that he burst forth into great choler,
a thing very rare with him, and called him villain and slanderous
varlet ; saying 'he has painted me forth for an Atheist and
contemner of religion, wherein he will find he has done me a wrong
that I will not "put up." To have abused me in some other sortas
he has not sparedI might easily forgive ; but to make me worse
than an infidel, and seeking thereby to supplant and deface my
credit with those that are godly, and especially with you, my good
son,' he said to the Duke, 'is a thing insufferable ; and I beseech
you, do me justice against him, or I assure you I will do it myself.'
Whereupon some that stood by entreating the Prince to forgive the
man, if he had so far abused himself, he answered that it touched
him too near to be so easily pardoned.
Next day was the general fast ; and the Prince spent it in haunting
the sermons, which since his being there have been in another
degree than they were before ; the ministers beginning to reform
themselves, to preach a milder and more peaceable gospel. Amongst
them is now the old Abbot of St. Barnard's, that abandoned his
cloister 9 or 10 years ago. He takes pains to bring them to a
greater moderation and obedience towards their superiors, and to be
more 'compatible' one with another.
The next day, which was Thursday, the Prince made his oration
in the open assembly of their 'Collace' or members of the town ;
where having insinuated himself into their good wills by a rehearsal
of his merits and readiness to employ himself at all times in their
service, he propounded to them six articles or points to deliberate
on. The first three were those before treated of by the deputies of
the States ; the rest were, an amnesty of general oblivion of the past,
unity with the rest of the provinces under the obedience of the States-General,
and lastly the security for preserving the agreement, and
preventing the falling into new inconveniences hereafter. As in
debating these articles many particular circumstances occurred to be
considered, which would require some time, he asked them to depute
some of their college and three members, to treat with him at his
lodging and afterwards to report to their 'communalty' of what
should be agreed upon for their ratification. Whereupon Hembize
making some difficulty, and going about to defer the nomination of
the deputies, M. de Borluyt premier Eschevin of the second 'bank,'
with others, opposed ; and there were immediately chosen 13 (sic),
three of each, college and members, mostly good patriots and
devoted to the Prince. They began to treat with him next day ;
and having disputed long about the amnesty and concluded that
both the murder of the bailiff and greffier of Haxelle, and the outrage
offered to M. de Bonivet should be excepted and the culpable
parties be answerable to justice, proceeded to the rest of the points.
Here because some difficulties arose, it has been 'advised' by the
deputies to procure from the member that the matter may be
referred wholly to the Prince, together with an authority to redress
the loose estate of the town. But I do not yet learn what is
The Prince has sent Ryhove to Courtray to assemble the whole
forces of the Gantois dispersed up and down the country, upon whose
arrival the Walloons suspecting their 'bending' towards Meenen
have abandoned that town and taken their way into the west
quarters of Flanders, where it is said they have spoiled the villages
of Iseghem and Rouselare, and are now within 6 leagues of Bruges.
Some difference has happened between the French and them, as we
constantly hear, arising from the thrusting of the Walloons out of
the citadel of Castel, which is now wholly at the devotion of the
French. They are reported to be recalled from Flanders by the
Duke of Alenon ; though it hardly appars that they will hastily
abandon a place of that importance, commanding all the west
quarter, with the spoils of which they are infinitely enriched since
their coming thither.
The Estates of Artois have been assembled at Arras since the 1st
inst., about their reconcilement with the King. The Marquis of
Havrech has been sent to 'impeach' it by those of Hainault, who
pretend to be in mislike of their proceedings, having so certified the
Estates General ; from whom they protest they will not separate.
To this assembly the Prince has thought good that the four
Members of Flanders should also send deputies, the better to
discover their traffic, and to countermine it all they may.
The Viscount of Ghent, having taken leave of the States, has also
repaired there to resume the government. In this it is thought he
will find some difficulty, being half suspected in religion and
'esteemed otherwise partial in the Prince's behalf ;' so that men fear
he will not be able to do as much good as he 'pretends' in breaking
the intelligence with the enemy. They are affirmed to be making
great levies in that province, both of men and money, wherein the
clergy largely open their purses, which may argue their intent.
Montigny, whom la Motte had won with the offer of 50,000
crowns, pretends to have again withdrawn from that party and to be
disposed to reconcilement with the Flemings, if they permit the
Religious-vrede ; but the wiser sort 'remit the credit hereof to the
The Emperor's ambassador departed hence on Saturday to the
Prince of Parma, with the States' consent, to conclude a suspension
of arms for a month or six weeks, upon certain conditions (which
you may see by the copies herewith of their instructions), that they
might meanwhile the more commodiously treat of peace. Little
hope is apprehended of its good success.Antwerp, 9 Dec. 1578.
P.S.I send copies of the States' resolution upon the last
negotiation of Pruneaux, with the Duke's his master's answer to it.
Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. X. 67.]
431. Draft of the above. Endd. 3 pp. [Ibid. 67a.]
432. Copy of the above (without the P.S.). Endd. 3 pp.
[Ibid. X. 67b.]
433. Copy of the above. Endd. by Burghley's secretary. 2 pp.
[Ibid. X. 68.]
434. Draft, with slight differences, of a portion of the above.
Begins : The Prince arrived at Ghent on Tuesday night last ; where
finding the humours much qualified in respect of their former
distemperature he is in good hope to redress, etc. 1 pp.
[Holl. and Fl. X. 68a.]
435. DAVISON to BURGHLEY.
You might conceive by my last what new traffic the States were
entered into with the Duke of Alenon ; and that you may the better
discern it, I send copies of their resolution and his answer.
I have just heard from Ghent that things are not going forward as
well as I wish ; the seditious heads there finding means enough to
hinder the intended reformation. I pray God that inconstant
and mutinous brood do not play an unthankful part with the Prince
himself, who has deserved so well of them. The ministers of that
province are now holding their synod there. It is being debated
whether both religions may be tolerated or not.Antwerp, 4 Dec.
Add. Endd. [Walsingham's mark] at head of letter. 1 p. [Ibid. X. 69.]
436. The VIDAME OF CHARTRES to DAVISON.
My hope of going to Antwerp is frustrated for reasons which you
will hear from this bearer, M. du Londel. Pray do not allow the
good will to cool which you expressed to me before going to Bruges
and after your return, in regard to the recovery of 1,000 dollars,
which are very necessary to me for reasons which you will hear.
They are very urgent both for my honour and my repose of mind.
It is to satisfy some one who is in trouble at Antwerp and the
pleasure which that person has done me is the cause of his [or her]
perplexity and great annoyance. If he [she] had been willing that
I should go and see the Prince at Tiniers [qu. Dendermonde] I could
have tried divers means, as I am in a position to give him good
security ; and I might have obtained news if I could have gone as
far as Mons, while I have been forced to be in this disastrous town
of Ghent. Now a moment has come when having been unable to
find leisure to do the diligence I purposed, I am extremely importuned,
and would wish to spare nothing to satisfy the persons who
are in trouble for me. The journey I am going to take will, I am
sure, bring me conveniences and repose afterwards. Pray relieve
me at once, and consider that I would not after being obliged to you
in discharging my debt to others, afterwards fall into discontent and
reproach towards you and the Queen. I beg you to revive the
resolve which you suppressed, to do me pleasure and give a good hope
to those who are waiting for relief by your credit. You will see the
possibilities of obliging me, which I pray you to accept, and M. du
Plessis likewise. If I could have given more, I would have done
so. Please make use of them ; if anything is lacking, I shall be
ready to add it. M. du Plessis will easily understand, and will make
up his mind as to the thread of this negotiation. Another contract
is going to England, with the Duchess of Suffolk, by which I
can dispose of this barony of Confolant when I wish ; but I have
not it in hand and it was not easy for me to find it just now. I will
display the whole when occasion requires.9 Dec. '78. (Signed)
Add. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. X. 70.]
437. The ESTATES OF TOURNAY to the ESTATES-GENERAL.
In answer to yours of the 4th, considering the miseries and
calamities which this war brings upon us daily, and that a secured
peace would soon restore the countries to their former state, we
cannot but find the offer of the Emperor to intervene in this matter
highly opportune as well as the acceptance of it on your part, and
other good offices done by you ; as also the answer given to his
ambasador, according to the documents sent to us. The only advice
we can give thereon is that it may please you to continue in this
great and necessary task ; which we urgently beg of you, assuring
you that in the meantime we will attempt nothing against the
repose of the country.Tournay, 9 Dec. 1578. (Signed) Laudas.
Copy. Endd. : Dornicq. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. X. 71.]
438. LEICESTER to DAVISON.
I wrote lately to you of Mr. Rogers' repair to the Duke Casimir,
and also to the Prince of Orange ; and I think it well to tell you
that he has to declare at large his whole negotiation to you.
Albeit it is only 'in particular from particular persons,' yet being
to do good to your service both of her Majesty and the cause there,
I doubt not but you will employ yourself to the furtherance of it.
For my 'none' part, I imparted to you my mind in my last letter,
and how convenient I thought it that the matters between the Duke
and the Prince should be accommodated for the benefit of the common
cause. Wherefore I pray you, help to have any good meaning well
interpreted between them ; at least that it do not hurt, if it may do
all the good I wish, and that I may not be 'taken' presumptuous in
dealing between such personages as they are, and in so great causes
as this. My care and zeal to both moves me. 'And so I beg to be
excused through good will, where other want may procure harder
construction.'In haste, 9 Dec. 1578.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. X. 72.]
439. "A draught of INSTRUCTIONS for an ANSWER to be made to
DUKE CASIMIR'S request."
Whereas Duke Casimir lately sent a packet of letters directed to
me, amongst them being one addressed to her Majesty, 'by which'
he finds himself aggrieved with a writing delivered to him in her
name by Mr. Davison, her agent, and desires to know whether she
gave charge to her said agent to propose such things as had been
delivered to him both in speech and in writing, much being
comprehended therein which seems to touch him greatly in
honour ; you shall for answer give him to understand that
his letters were, as he desired, delivered to her Majesty, from
whom he would have received answer, but that when his letters
arrived and ever since, her Majesty has been so troubled with a
catarrh that she has not been well-disposed, or fit to be dealt with
in matters of moment. Meanwhile, as well for the desire I have to
let him know, as a prince whom I highly honour, that I have not
been forgetful of him, as also because he 'pretends,' as I am informed,
the publication of an apology, to maintain his actions against such
as go about to deface them for his joining with the Gantois, and
likewise to answer the writing exhibited by the agent, and therefore
expects an answer to his letters, you shall lay before him the
manifold cares which heretofore her Majesty has 'eftsones' taken
to pacify the troubles in the Low Countries, both by sending
ambassadors to the king of Spain and to his lieutenants there, and
also by the treasure employed in the maintenance of the countries'
liberties. Of which cares her Majesty never desired to reap other
fruit than that, war and hostility ceasing, the ancient quiet
might be restored ; and in that respect being earnestly solicited
to aid the States in their extremity against the hostility of Don
John, lately deceased, thinking of divers ways by which she
might relieve them, she could find no better means than to
desire him, with whom she understood the States had already
dealt, to assist the Low Countries with a suitable number of horse
and foot, for the defence of the Estates ; that by manifest force
of arms peace might be procured, since their enemies were not to
be induced to it by any other remedy. Wherefore, her Majesty
having conceived a hope that by his aid the Estates would in a
short time be delivered from the extremities and miseries in which
they seemed to be plunged, and afterwards finding her expectations
frustrated by reason of the disorders committed by the Gantois,
could not but be greatly grieved withal ; especially seeing that when
their whole force was together in the aptest season of the year,
Don John deceased, and their enemy's army afflicted with pestilence
and famine, and the best opportunity was offered the States of
accomplishing their desires and with the force they had with infinite
labour and expense assembled, establishing peace, it should
be overthrown and take no effect through the strange dealing of the
Gantois, who, by forcibly entering abbeys and monasteries, spoiling
and taking away ecclesiastical goods in most parts of Flanders,
without regard to the edict of freedom of religion not long before
authorized, gave occasion to those who are named Catholics to
think rather how they might defend their religion than go forward
with the rest of the States in pursuing the common enemy. Besides,
this manner of proceeding in them gave the mutinous
Walloons and the faction of the malcontents occasion to practise
and persuade with them of Artois and Hainault to separate themselves
from the rest of the States and withdraw their contributions ;
so that this flourishing army, which might have been employed at
so convenient a season against the enemy, began to be divided and
separated, and the country spoiled by those who should have defended
it. On which account her Majesty being justly aggrieved,
was further perplexed by divers slanderous reports spread abroad
in divers places by potentates and others, that she was secretly
maintaining them of Ghent, with intention to impatronise herself
of the sovereignty of Flanders, induced to think so by the coming
of the Duke with part of his forces to the Gantois to make himself
a party to this portion ; after being requested by the States to come
to their aid, and for her Majesty's sake the sooner persuaded to
enter the Low Countries.
Wherefore her Majesty, being thus most slanderously charged,
understanding that the Gantois were condemned by all the rest of
the States, observing that in this way civil dissension would utterly
subvert the Low Countries, and 'tendering' nothing more than the
conservation of her honour, could not but seek to purge herself.
Therefore she gave order to her said agent to resort to the Gantois
and declare plainly to them that she did not like their proceedings ;
and as it was credibly given out that the Duke through his abode
among them encouraged them in their proceedings, being, with the
Gantois, misliked greatly of the States-General, she commanded her
agent to declare to him that his coming to Ghent and defending
that faction against the decrees of the rest of the States, for whose
common relief he was invited in, could not but seem strange to her ;
seeing it was certainly given out that the behaviour of the Gantois
had caused the civil dissension among the States, and this condemned
the Gantois and the Duke generally, no man speaking in their
defence. And as her Majesty could not see the inconveniences
which came of his defence of them so well as he, being present, she
enjoined him to use such reasons in dissuading his Excellency as
the time and place might conveniently 'subminister' to him ; who
having received his charge from her in general terms and being in
places where he daily heard his Princess slandered and her sincerity
in helping the States called in doubt, as if under pretence of relieving
the countries she was going about secretly, and that by the Duke's
means, to invest herself of the possession of Flanders, moved him
(sic) to return all the arguments against the Duke that owing to
his coming to the Gantois were wrested against her Majesty.
All which things you are to lay before him ; persuading him by
the best means you may not to take any unkindness by reason of
the negotiation, but to think how necessary it was for her Majesty
to purge herself, and what reasons might move Mr Davison to
amplify the charge which she sent him in general terms ; especially
seeing the Duke neither advertised her of the causes why he left the
camp and took upon him the defence of the Gantois, nor yet
communicated with the agent touching his intentions, so that the
world has reason to suspect either that the Queen went about
secretly to obtain the sovereignty of Flanders, or that he himself
had this meaning.
So in this behalf you shall conclude with him, that I hope he will
accept in good part this my plain dealing, both in defending her
Majesty's honour, whereto I am in duty bound, and in acquainting
him nakedly with the opinion the world has conceived of his late
proceeding ; wishing with all my heart that he may take such
counsel as may tend to the maintenance of the credit and reputation
he has already won through his honourable and Christian dealing,
by his assistance of the afflicted in France in the time of their
necessity. This, in my opinion, can in no way be so well effectuated
as by concurring soundly with the Prince of Orange (between whom
(sic) the world notes there is some discontentment), both professing
one religion and having taken up the defence of one cause. Without
such union it is to be feared that they and the cause will go to ruin,
unless God set to His assisting hand. Such as are their enemies
take great pleasure in this their division, while on the contrary their
friends are greatly grieved with it ; none more than myself, who
would be glad to be an instrument of reconciliation between them.
This I think can no way so well be brought to pass as for either of
them to divide from them such as have been the nourishers of the
jealousy between them : I leave the amplification of this matter, as
of other parts of these instructions, to your discretion.
And, since I think it convenient that after you have delivered
your charge to Duke Casimir you should repair to the Prince of
Orange, who else might perhaps grow jealous of my sending, you
shall declare to him that the end of my sending you to Duke
Casimir was to two purposes : one, to dehort him from joining the
Gantois, seeing that they are taking a course contrary to the rest of
the States ; the other to lay before him the great peril that is like to
ensue, both to the common cause and to themselves, through the
disunion and ill-agreement that the world notes between him and
the Duke. Herein you may show him that I am the more moved
to persuade them to agreement, considering how far her Majesty is
embashed in the cause ; and in this behalf, though I know it is but
a vain thing, to put him in mind of the mischief that grows from
the disunion ; the profit that the enemy makes of it, the reproach
to themselves, and the just cause of grief to their best friends. Yet
the affection I bear to them both would not suffer me to be silent,
'hoping that it will be no worse taken by him, than by me well-meant.'
And since the world supposes that this evil agreement proceeds
of evil instruments about them both, I cannot but wish that they
should 'flie' them, as most pernicious serpents ; for in the opinion
of all they are both reputed to be wise and Christianly disposed.
And therefore it is thought that the misliking between them grows
from others rather than from themselves ; wherefore the first step
of the remedy is to suffer no such vipers to have access about them
and by conference between themselves to open their griefs, whereby
the dissatisfaction may be removed, and such a knot of friendship
knit as by no evil-affected instruments may be hereafter dissolved.
Without this it is apparentthey two being the principal actors
this day in Europe that God has raised up in defence of the
common cause of religionthat the cause may be in peril, themselves
likely to be 'ruinated,' and such friends as heretofore have
favoured them be forced to withdraw their assistance. Which
inconvenience if the Prince in the depth of his wisdom will duly
weigh, I doubt not but he will bend himself to apply such remedies
as may best serve to remove the mischief that is like otherwise to
ensue. (Signed) R. Leicester.
Written by (?) D. Rogers. Autograph signature. Endd. : Instructions
given to Mr Rogers to deal with D. Casimir and the Prince of
Orange the 10th of December 1578. 11 pp. [Holl. and Fl. X. 73.]
440. Draft of the above ; a few corrections in Leicester's hand.
Endd. (in later hand) : Instructions to Mr. Wilkes, sent to Duke
Casimir. 10 pp. [Ibid. X. 73a.]