686. POULET to WALSINGHAM.
By good hap I have had speech with the party mentioned in
your last letter. He names himself Peter Douglas ; and says that
leaving Scotland in April he came to a village distant four miles
from the Earl of Shrewsbury's house, whither he was conducted by
one Mr. Stringer, but the Earl would in no wise speak with him.
Thence he went to London, where after conference with the French
Ambassador he was appointed to take his journey towards France
in the company of du Vray, who forsook him at Canterbury ; whence
he came to Dover in the company of French lackeys. The truth is
that my servant George Poulet found him at Dover, where he
pretended to be a Frenchman, and used no other language than
the French ; and passing over in my said servant's company, was
content to be 'beholding' to him for a matter of 40 sous after his
arrival at Boulogne. By occasion of this acquaintance with my
servant he has been content to speak with me ; and resorting to
my house at a time appointed, after I had spoken to him as I
thought fittest to induce him to speak roundly and sincerely with
me, tells me that his coming into this country was to levy 5,000
French soldiers to be landed in Scotland for the deliverance of the
Scottish Queen. To this purpose, after conference with such
as he was addressed to her, he was minded to go into the
Low Countries to confer with the Earl of Westmoreland,
and thence into Spain to have the assistance of the Spaniard.
The voyage to Scotland was not to be performed till September.
The plot was so surely laid that the execution of
it would have been bloody, mischievous and dangerous. He had
lived lewdly all the days of his life ; but the honest usage of my
servant towards him had stirred him to a further and deeper
consideration of this enterprise. He found himself touched in conscience
and stricken from heaven as was St. Paul ; and therefore
forbearing to confer with such here as he was directed to, he was
resolved to take another course, and by my advice to return to
England, to seek the deliverance of the Queen of Scots by means of
some friendly composition. To which purpose if he might be
'admitted to her speech' he trusted to give her such counsel as should
be to her benefit and to the liking of the Queen my mistress.
I answered that this good beginning showed his good meaning,
and I doubted not he would proceed to the discovery of the circumstances
with such roundness as should deserve thanks and further
consideration. To that purpose I told him that this weighty enterprise
could not be undertaken without the advice and assistance of
some great personages in Scotland, and prayed him to inform
me who were the principal dealers therein and at whose hands
he had received his instructions. He told me plainly to hold
him excused, and that he would never deal traitorously with those
who had reposed trust in him.
Then I prayed him to tell me what course he was directed to take
in England ; with whom he had conference there, and to what effect.
'No,' says he, 'I will not tell you ; and yet you must believe that
we want not friends in England.' I told him that although he
spared the English, I trusted he would not refuse to tell me all
matters that concerned the French ; and then asked him if he had
not been addressed by his instructions to the French Ambassador,
in what sort he had proceeded into him, and what letters of
recommendation he had received from him to any of these parts.
In his first answer he said that he had conferred with both the
French ambassadors ; but afterwards denied that he had spoken
with de Symiers, affirming that he had imparted all his instructions
to 'la Mauvissire.' I asked him if 'la Mauvissire' had recommended
his cause by letter to any of his Court or country. He said that he
had tasted too much the dangers of this world to carry letters in a
matter of this importance, and that he had none and would carry
none. Then I told him that I trusted he would not refuse to tell
me to whom he was addressed in these parts and what comfort he
had received from them. He answered that his instructions
directed him to the Ambassador of Scotland, whom he found gone
to the baths in Lorraine, and to the Duke of Guise ; but his mind
being changed, and abhoring the cruelty of their bloody enterprise,
he had made no motion, and being required by the Duke of Guise
the day before to meet him at St. Denis, had refused. I replied
that the Duke of Guise was lodged in this town, and therefore I
found it strange that he had been appointed to speak with him at
St. Denis. He said it was to the end that their meeting should be
the more secret.
'This levy of 5,000 men,' quod I, 'is a matter of great charge,
and will require a good purse' ; asking if he thought his friends of
this country would defray a matter of 20,000. 'Yea,' said he ;
'we are assured of 300,000 crowns, which are ready here for us by
order from the King of Spain when we require them' ; affirming
that nothing was more certain than that the King of Spain would
invade Ireland very shortly.
I talked with this man at great leisure, and did not fail to use all
the good means I could devise to draw all I could from him. I have
given you the substance only, in as few words as I could. He
concluded that if I would advise it, he would not fail to repair forthwith
to the Court of England, where he would acquaint Her Majesty
with his opinion as to these things ; and if it please her to give him
access to the Queen of Scots he trusted so to deal with as would
content both the Queens, and asked my letters of recommendation
to Her Majesty. I told him that if he refused to take letters from
the French Ambassador, he had greater cause to fear to carry mine,
which being found upon him would be his undoing for ever. Therefore
pretending that I would make no difficulty to grant him my
letters if he required them, I urged the other point, of his own
danger, so that I knew he would refuse them.
I thought good to give this man all the fair words I could devise,
and 'comfort' him to proceed in this journey ; promising so to
recommend him to Her Majesty in my letters that he should find
his conference with me not wholly unprofitable. I assured him that
my letters should be there before him ; yet he promised not to fail to
depart the next morning.
Now I refer this man to the better judgement of your Honour and
the Council. I will only say that besides his own confession for the
time past, I think him to be a false harlot in this action, and doubt
not but he will tell other tales before he escape out of your fingers.
His coming to me was of his own seeking, and he made no difficulty
to repair to me at any time I would appoint, which I looked he
would have desired to take place at some time of the night. Many
other things seem to bewray his crafty malice ; and the concurrence
of these sharp threatenings on every side gives cause to suspect
that they are nothing but 'Buggs to fear little children, forged of
purpose to serve some other turn.'
This man tells me that he finds the Bishop of Ross to be of his
opinion, desiring rather the deliverance of the Queen of Scots by
the favour of our Sovereign, than by 'any other' forcible means.
It is credibly advertised from Venice that the truce between the
Turk and the King of Spain was not concluded on April 9 ; and
some there think it will not take effect. The Turk makes great
preparations against the Sophy, and yet they do not spare to treat
It is also advertised by letters from Venice of the 15th ult., that
the preparations in Italy go forward slowly. The soldiers have as
yet touched no money ; the King of Spain and the Duke of Florence
cannot agree upon the conditions of a loan, and now they look for
money from Spain.
The Ambassador of Portugal pretends great affection to our
nation, and to be very careful to entertain amity between Her
Majesty and his master. He says he has written so liberally, and
you there proceed so coldly that he thinks the burden will rest on
his shoulders, and that it will be conceived in his country that your
fair speeches have brought him into a fool's paradise. He prayed
me to assure you upon his honour that an ambassader is coming
from his master into England without delay, and therefore he
wishes that Mr Wotton may be dispatched speedily, and that you
will please to reserve your 'jealousies'the only ground as he
takes it of your slow resolutionfor such as deal haltingly
or dissemblingly with you, which he protests to be far from
his thought. He affirms that Don Bernardino makes his profit
of this temporising, and spares not to assure his friends that
Mr Wotton will not depart so soon as was intended. He tells
me that nothing is more requisite than to make known to the
Spanish and French by open testimony the good understanding
between England and Portugal ; and that the pride and ambition
of the Spaniard will be dangerous if the peace is made in the Low
Countries and the truce agreed with the Turk.
It is certain that Queen Mother will not be at Lyons till the end
of this month ; some think not so soon.Paris, 2 June 1579.
P.S.The conference I had with the Scotchman was yesterday
morning, not before ; and this letter is delivered to-day at 4 a.m.
Add. Endd. 4 pp. [France III. 24.]
687. CHRISTOPHER CARLEILL to [? DAVISON].
Antwerp, 5 June.Yesterday morning Count Egmont with 20 or
30 horse made 'semblant' to go out of Brussels, as though he would
'go discover' somewhat abroad, at the opening of the gate called
'La porte de Hawse' [qu. Halle], whither he had caused to come
certain carts laden with hay as though they were bringing it to the
town. Behind and among the carts were hidden certain foot
soldiers. The gate no sooner opened but the Count with his horsemen
and the foot men from among the carts took the gate, and was
forthwith relieved by certain burghers who were acquainted with all
beforehand ; and thus kept it till the coming of seven ensigns, who
were not far off. The Count with these fresh companies (who are
said not to be above 50 in a company) marches on to the marketplace,
and seizes it and the Townhouse, having left as he thought
a sufficient guard to keep the gate. M. 'Temple' and the other
burghers seeing themselves thus surprised, resort to all the other
gates, and furnish them with good strength of such burghers as
were most assured. M. Temple's 6 ensigns, which form the
garrison are some of them dispersed with the burghers at the gates,
but most of them employed in seizing the king's house and the
Prince of Orange's, 'two very strong places, as your honour knows
Thus much we had by a principal burgher who was sent
thence about noon and arrived here about four hours later, 'after
requiring' some speedy assistance ; whereupon the Prince dispatched
'here hence' the 3 companies that came the other day
from Mechlin, and ordering them to go to Vilvorden has directed
that three companies of that garrison shall march 'alongest' with
them to Brussels. This morning early he received new letters
written last night at 12 o'clock, whereby he learns that Temple has
by far the greater part of the burghers on his side, holding good for
the Estates ; the others for Egmont and his malcontent allies.
Temple and his party having secured the places aforesaid, he is
employing his brother with some of his best soldiers and one of the
colonels of the town to win the gate which Egmont's people hold
against them. He himself is occupying Egmont and his forces in
the market-place, and entertains them in such sort that his brother
and the troops with him recover the gate with the loss of few or
none of his men and some dozen or fourteen of Egmont's folk slain,
before Egmont could send them any relief. They have since parleyed
with Egmont, who by the artillery in the market-place, the
strength of the Townhouse, and the assistance of the burghers who
'meddled in the practice' thought himself at first strong enough
to hold his ground ; but since losing the gate, he has been content
to hearken to conditions. Temple only waits for the coming
of the supply which was sent hence last night, and it is thought
would be with him this forenoon at latest ; and upon its arrival he
will at once set upon Egmont, or at least cause him to accept conditions
of leaving the town at once, which by all men's judgement
he will be forced to yield to.
Yesterday too there began a report here that the Spaniard had
entered Maestricht as far as the bridge, but was resisted there and
driven out again. His entrance 'should' be by means of a mine
which blew up the ramparts and many of the townsmen that were
near the place. Some did not 'stick' to say that the town was lost,
but this is thought to be altogether untrue.
Our Englishmen, with la Garde's and Stewart's regiments only,
are now about Ravestein ready to pass the Maes. They are not
above 3,000 strong, of which the English are said to be the better
Endd. by Burghley's secretary. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XII. 1.]
688. JACQUES DE SOMERE to DAVISON.
I wrote fully to you by the last post of the religious disturbances
in this town. We have since begun to see the fruits of them,
namely that those of Mechlin have turned out his Excellency's
garrison, and broken up the Church that was planted there, the
greater part of the Protestants retiring with the soldiers, as not
daring to trust themselves there any longer. Soon after, Count
Egmont thought to carry the town of Brussels by surprise, on behalf
of the Walloon malcontents. He seized a gate, introduced
seven of his companies, and held the market place and Townhouse,
in the hope that the burghers would side with him, whether from
hatred of the Religion, or in hope to be delivered from M. du Temple's
government. But on some of his soldiers beginning to shout 'ville
gagne !' and that they were come to get three months' pay, the
people, dreading some disaster, joined M. du Temple, who was
holding the palace, the Nassau mansion, and all the upper town ;
in such wise that finding themselves the stronger, they held the
Count and his people so closely surrounded that they could
hardly move, and drove off 60 of his soldiers left at the gate by
which he had entered. Finally, with the succour that came from
Antwerp, they were in a position to have cut them to pieces ; but
alarmed by their threats of setting fire to the town, they were content
to turn them all out, with their chief. You may judge
how ashamed he was at seeing his enterprise balked. He received
much ignominy as he went out, some spitting in his face, others
calling him traitor and worthy to celebrate the day of his father's
execution by a like penalty. God be praised, who has broken his
You have heard the efforts made by those of Maestricht from the
25th to the 31st ult. They drove the enemy out of the town, which
he had entered in two places, and regained the ravelin which they
had lost. The Prince has received further good news from them
this morning, but I have heard no details of it to send you.
Antwerp, 7 June 1579.
Add. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. & Fl. XII. 2.]
689. Copy (translation) of the oath taken to King Henry of
Portugal (June 1) by the three Estates of the Kingdom, the City of
Lisbon, and the Duke of Braganza : and (June 13) Don Antonio.
Oath read by Michael de Mora, the King's secretary ; sworn for the
clergy by George de Almeida, archbishop of Lisbon ; for the nobles
by Don James de Castro ; for the commons by Alfonso de 'Alba
carca' [Albuquerque]. Witnesses : Simon Gonzaley Preto, high
Chancellor, Dr Gaspar de Figareto, Paul Alfonsas, Peter Barbarossa
[al. Barboza], Jerome 'Peritathesa' [qu. Pereira de Sa],
masters of the requests, Dr Jaspar de 'Pethytha,' chancellor of
the court called the supplications, and Dr John de Soyza, chancellor
of the civil court, or in his absence, George Lopez 'which
at this present serveth in his.' For the City of Lisbon, oath
taken by Alfonso de 'Albokerk' and Dr George de Quina.
Witnesses to the Duke of Braganza's oath ; George de Taitha,
bishop of Viseu, Francis de Sa Menesses, lord Chamberlain, Simon
de Morando, and the Doctors Alfonsus and Barboza. To Don
Antonio ; the above, with Don Diego de Silvetha, 'earl of Sortelia,'
captain of the guard, and others.
Endd. by Burghley : Matters of Portugal, for the King of Spain.
Stitched, 15 pp. [Portugal I. 13.]
690. Another, apparently independent, version. Endd. 17 pp.
[Ibid. I. 14.]
691. ANTOINE GOSSON to DAVISON.
Having heard of your safe arrival in England, then at Court, and
at your own house among your friends and relations, I am much
rejoiced thereat, and pray that God may increase your prosperity.
You are now in your own peaceful, happy and flourishing country,
instead of in one where only misery and confusion is to be seen.
Even since your departure notable things have happened, following
one another closely both in time and place. On Ascension Day,
the churchmen were turned out of this town. The next day, the
Mechlin people wanted to make reprisals, so that to avoid inconvenience
it was necessary to withdraw the garrison. Soon afterwards
on the same pretext, Count Egmont surprised a gate of
Brussels, introduced 7 or 8 companies, seized the market-place and
might easily have mastered the rest. But God had pity on this
people and stopped short the enterprise of that half-fledged lion
(lion poil follet) ; and roused up the soldiers and burghers, who
ranged themselves in arms against him. The fight would have
been bloody, but good mediators were found who persuaded the
Count to retire with his people. God made it entirely successful,
and he went out in shame and confusion on the Friday before
Whitsunday, the anniversary of the day of his father's death in the
same place which the son had seized, and went to his castle of
The town thus miraculously preserved is quite reassured. His
Highness has sent to the Count to know the cause of this disturbance.
He could give us no valid reason, professing repentance and
saying that his enterprise had more passion and rashness about it
than resolved malice. I was myself sorry for that lord's disaster,
whom I revered and loved for the likeness in our fortunes.
On the other side, those of Artois and Hainault have sent to the
Prince of Parma to ratify the articles of their reconciliation and
take the oath to him. But I hear he would not accept them on the
conditions they proposed. He continues to besiege Maestricht, and
those within to defend themselves courageously. People feel sure
that they will not be subdued by force, and of victuals they have
plenty for two or three months yet.
A Councillor of State has been arrested here on discovery of
some fault ; and yesterday his Highness published a regulation
about religion here, to satisfy everyone.
I am telling you what I know : common things, which you know
already. But I have experienced so much of your kindness that I
feel sure you will take it in good part. I leave you therefore to
enjoy your good time behind these storms and tempests. As for
myself, I shall remain here patiently waiting for God to dispose and
terminate these affairs. Meantime I shall not forget your courtesy
and friendship.Antwerp, 13 June 1579.
Add. Fr. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XII. 3.]
692. VILLIERS to DAVISON.
A subject of great importance on which to write to Mr
Walsingham has arisen. If you had been here I should have
communicated it to you, to do the same diligence thereafter which
I do now. If you are at the Court I doubt not but he will communicate
it to you. You will, in my opinion, judge as I do ; and
therefore I will ask you, in the name of many honest folks in
Germany, to solicit the dispatch of the Queen's letter, and to have
a copy sent to me. Similarly, having communicated with Mr Vet [?]
to ask the same of him, you will do a service to God and His church.
Having reason to fear that, as you threatened, you have gone to
the country immediately on your arrival, I have sent word to
Mr Walsingham of what has passed at Cologne. Since the Duke
of Terranova has presented his articles, all men judge that there is
no likelihood of peace. I am on the other side, not decidedly, but
I send you two letters which I have received for you. As you
charged me, I have spoken with M. Junius, but though he promised
me an answer he has not given me one yet. I do not know if he
has written to you himself. I will ask him again.
Our affairs go on as you saw them : with resistance from those
who have always broken us up, and founded on the same reasons, so
that we can escape only by a peace, or by ruin becoming so apparent
that men are constrained to re-unite.
Maestricht is still besieged. The enemy has taken one gate, on
which he brought four guns to bear. Those within have countertrenched.
There has been 4 days' fighting, but we do not yet know
whether those without are battering the trenches or those within
the gate. In any case, they are in danger.
I beg again to recommend to you the matter on which I am
writing to Mr Walsingham, for it is important.
My wife and I salute you and Mrs Davison.Antwerp, June 20,
Add. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XII. 4.]
693. JAN VAN WITENHORST to DAVISON.
As you advised, I am sending my respectful letters to the lords to
learn how my affair is getting on, and hope soon to come over,
either myself or some other in my name. Meanwhile I beg you to
let me know what seems to you necessary for the furtherance of
the affair in question, and I and mine will ever be grateful.
Antwerp, 21 June 1579.
Add. Fr. (Subscription in Flemish.) p. [Ibid. XII. 5.]
694. JOHN COBHAM to BURGHLEY.
Last Tuesday the Spaniards gave a great assault to Maestricht
and were again repulsed with great loss, but won a tower on the
wall, which they have reinforced with earth and would have planted
great ordnance in it. On Wednesday M. de Farger [Hierges],
being master of the ordnance and the principal man the King has
of this country, going to view the tower, as soon as his head
appeared was struck by a bullet and slain, and his ensign with him
by a falcon-shot.
They of the town have made two cavaliers which command that
tower and most part of the walls ; yet it is thought here that the
town cannot long hold out without speedy succour.
Champagney with the rest of the prisoners at Ghent were
escaped, but we hear for certain that they are all taken again save
three, who are M. 'Rasingham,' M. 'Suevingham,' and M. van
Harp. They are safe with Rasingham at Lille in Flanders, for
'his' [he is] governor of Lille.
M. la Noue still lies within three leagues of Bruges, in the highway
betwixt the malcontents and la Motte. He is well entrenched,
but does no great matter as yet, for the malcontents number almost
The mutiny of our English and Scots continues. They will not
march out of 'Megen' [Meghem] without money.
Yesterday M. Liesfelt and others of Duke Matthias' privy council
conferred with Count Egmont, M. 'Mountayne' and M. 'Dehayes.'
It is thought the malcontents and they will agree and will join all
together and go to the relief of Maestricht. Their only stay is
articles and pledges of religion, which it is said will be granted.
The receiving of certain mass-priests in Antwerp again has much
contented the malcontents. Mass is said openly in Our Lady
Church, St. James Church and two others, besides chapels and
Letters have come this morning from the camp that the Duke of
Terra Nova has express command from the king to 'remove' the
siege of Maestricht, and the king will have a peace.
We are also advertised that 1,500 Spanish horse are gone
towards our men to see if they can 'find any advantage' of them.
Antwerp, 21 June 1579.
Add. ('per me, Wm. Paidg post.') Endd. 1 pp. [Ibid. XII. 6.]
695. ROSSEL to WALSINGHAM.
I think you will have heard of my second expedition into Flanders
to reduce all the French companies into one regiment. Circumstances
did not allow of this, owing to the neighbourhood of the
malcontent Walloons, who would have been followed by other
disaffected persons ; besides that M. de la Noue was not minded to
keep the country if the reduction was made, being so poorly accompanied.
He desired me to go to Bruges, to make the four Members
of Flanders understand that they must make up their minds as to
an offensive or defensive war. If offensive, they must furnish him
3,000 more men quickly, with 600 cavalry and 6 cannon or demicannon
to follow, and then, his people being paid, he would drive
the malcontents from their holds. If defensive, he thought they
should place garrisons of horse and foot in the towns on their
frontier to stop inroads.
After a long consultation the four Members asked my advice,
which was that as the enemy was in their country and had taken
fortresses of theirs, they could not act on the defensive, but should
rather take the offensive and drive them out. At this conference
M. de la Noue was sent for to Bruges, and afterwards sent to Ghent
to talk them over to a better understanding with the other Members,
and to furnish contributions for an offensive war as they were able.
During this journey took place the escape of the prisoners, and
other 'novelties' done by the Gantois in surprising Meldeburg and
other places, including the person and castle of M. d' Oignies, grand
bailiff of Bruges ; which caused a fresh discord between those of
Bruges and of the Liberty. Him M. de la Noue is trying to get
restored, that he may move them to something better.
On returning to Antwerp I found many other incidents and
divisions over what had happened at Brussels ; MM. de Montigny
and de Hze having been at Gasbek with M. d'Egmont. I understand
that they have concluded a league, although efforts were made
to hinder it by sending Councillor Liesfelt to them ; it being reported
that the deputies from Hainault and Artois who are in the enemy's
camp have been insulted and called traidor de Dios y del Rey for
insisting that the Spaniards should withdraw. This discontent
gives hope that they will return to the union. It is even said that
in a meeting at Mons it was decided to make war on the Spaniards
on their own account, sending their forces to the Meuse in the
direction of Namur. I fear it is only talk, for their discontent with
the Prince is driving them to this madness, to ruin themselves in
order to destroy him if they can. I am sorry to say that he is
beginning to incur the murmurs of the people for this business of
Maestricht not being relieved ; though they have sent urgent letters
begging for reinforcements, having lost most of their soldiers and
peasants in the frequent assaults. His Excellency and the States
have again asked for the 'hundredth,' which was granted. Since
then they have demanded three florins per chimney ; but to this those
of the birrat [qy. breede raad] of Antwerp would not agree. They
met on St. John's day to consider other means of supporting the
army, and making those whose incomes are not below 1,000 florins
maintain so many soldiers, those who have less, fewer ; each
according to his ability. Thus it is clear that they distrust those
who manage their finances, as indeed they say aloud in public ;
whereby his Excellency is greatly discontented, to the point of
asking for his dismissal.
Amid this confusion the peace will vanish and go off in smoke, as
is plainly seen from the impertinent articles sent by the Duke of
Terranova. On that account an express messenger has been
dispatched to the deputies at Cologne to finish the conference in a
fortnight at furthest ; and that then, if no decision is arrived at,
they declare the King of Spain deposed, and the Estates absolved and
dispensed from their oath.
Des Pruneaux had an audience of the Estates last Tuesday.
Letters were presented from M. d'Alenon, stating that his marriage
was agreed upon, and that nothing remained but for him to go to
England, after taking leave of Queen Mother, who might return any
day from her journey to Spain [sic], where she is said to have had
various success. If peace is not concluded, it has been resolved to
receive M. d'Alenon as lord in these parts, for the advantage of
that marriage, since des Pruneaux maintains it is the salvation of
I send you a letter which I received from Cologne at my return,
in which you will see what the Catholics there think, and other
obscure matters, which I hope to explain when I have heard from you.
I received your last, in which you bade me not attempt or risk anything
in the matter of the marriage ; which I would not do without
your order ; besides that it is not expedient, as things are tending
to another end.
Since Liesfelt was sent to Count Egmont, his people have
assaulted by escalade Ninove, a little town where there were two
ensigns from Ghent, of 'Deryove's' regiment. These were all cut
to pieces. Similarly he had seized Hault [Ath] and Nivelle,
showing that he has a grudge against the Brussels people. Such is
the sequel of our divisions, and the way of the nobility in these
parts. We hear that great military preparations are going in various
places on the coast. Their object cannot be immediately ascertained,
and it will be necessary for her Majesty's service to have a watchful
eye.Antwerp, 25 June 1579.
Add. Endd. Fr. 4 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XII. 7.]
696. Various documents relating to Portugal.
(1) An address, apparently on behalf of Dom Antonio, to the people
of Portugal, calling upon them to maintain his right to the succession.
It consists of 42 clauses, each beginning with the words 'Let me
remind you,' and is headed 'Remembrances which the kingdom (ho
Reino) of Portugal makes to its people.' It opens with 'My people,
the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord, and next to that,
to direct oneself rather by the teaching of experience than by temporary
and apparent reasons.' 'When my good King Henry dies,
you may with justice give unto him to whom you shall give me, and
who deserves me' ; and proceeds to recall incidents in the history of
Portugal, such as the conflict with Castile under John I. There will
not be wanting another Dom Nunalvarez, or another Pucelle of
France ; points out that the dominions of the King of Spain are a
source rather of weakness than of strength, being so ill-treated that
they 'only desire to throw off the yoke, and would rather be governed
by Turks than by Castilians''see how the Flemings have taken the
Prince of Orange for their governor and defender, and have risen,
preferring the toils of war to peace with servitude. If subjects rise
in this way, why should freemen submit ?' ; advises 'that in order to
defend your rights and those of the person to whom the succession
may be adjudged, train-bands should be organized as in times past,
galleys should be fitted out with all speed, and trustworthy persons
be sent to France, Germany, Venice, England and Italy to report
our troubles, and how much it concerns them to help us' ; and concludes
with : Prope est Dominus omnibus invocantibus cum in veritate.
(2) Summary of proceedings in the Cortes of Portugal up to
12 May, 1579.
The Cortes met at the end of March. At Easter some 'proctors'
went home, and returned. The nobles sat in the monastery of
Carmo, the prelates and clergy in the cathedral, the proctors for
the towns at Sao Francisco. Up till to-day, May 13, nothing has
been concluded either as touching the policy and government of
the country nor as to the king's successor ; which alarms all men.
Please God all may turn out to the peace and quietness of this
realm. We hear that two ambassadors are come from the Pope,
one envoy and one ordinary nuncio. Another ambassador has
come from France, from the Queen Mother, and one from the
king is expected every day and who is now at Madrid. An
ambassador came also from the Prince of Parma, and went away
again and is at Madrid ; and they say he is coming back. Another
came from the Duke of Savoy ; and there are many proctors here
from the kingdom about the matter of the succession. Our king
has notified King Philip, the Duke of Braganza, Don Antonio, the
Prince of Parma, and the Duke of Savoy to come all of them and
plead their cause. There you have my news.
King Philip has here the Duke of Osuna his grandee, and a great
lawyer ; and two other great lawyers are expected. He has also
Don Christopher de Moura, his ambassador. That king has written
a letter to the Chamber of this city, a copy of which is sent herewith
[see No. 607]. There is no end to the scandal here, and the
matter does not go as I should wish. There are other papers and
things which do not satisfy me ; such as I can send will go with
this. I pray our Lord to give us peace and quiet in this realm, and
that this affair of the succession may so turn out as to accomplish
the common good.
(3) Speech made by the trades (?) of Lisbon to the nobles joined
with the clergy, after the receipt of King Philip's letter.
We hear that certain chief persons and nobles, forgetting their
obligations and honour, are saying and doing things against the
common weal and the safety of these realms, which as good
Portuguese we are determined to prevent ; remembering what
the inhabitants of this city did in the time of King John I and
other kings. Wherefore we beg you as heads and chief member
of this Republic, that you would aid in supporting it, and not
endanger its honour and rights by party and private claims. And
be sure that for this and for the defence of our right and the
punishment of unquiet Portuguese, we are ready with 15,000 or
20,000 men within the limits of this city, whom we can assemble
in two hours if necessary, and set fire to the houses of those who
are beginning to talk against the quiet of these realms ; which we
will not put into execution inasmuch as we hope for their punishment
by another way.
We thought it our duty to give this reminder in this and the other
two Estates so that all may with more security treat of the common
weal, without fear of force or violence, or of other crafty or
prejudicial methods, and that, if not, they may hear who make
impossible and devise no remedy ; all of whom should have been,
and should be, objects of suspicion.
(4) Sentence upon Pedro Dalcaona Carneiro.
'It having been proved that the accused, being of the Council
of the late King Don Sebastian, and bound to advise him well and
bring him out of all dangers, did the contrary, and advised him to
go in person to Larache, a notoriously dangerous expedition, against
my opinion, and that of his grandmother and his uncle King Philip,
and received from the King great honours and rewards, while those
who dissuaded him were dismissed ; and nothing being proved calling
for a severer sentence, I condemn him to be no more of my
Council, and to lose his office of controller of the treasury (but not
the sum paid him for his journey into Castile), and not to come
within 20 leagues of the Court till further orders.'
Luis da Silva, who was controller of the treasury, has been
taken in his house and proceeded against ; it is expected he will be
sentenced, but no one knows what it will be.
Copies. Endd. by Burghley's secretary : Jun. 1579. Remembrances
of Portugal by the King to his people. Port. 7 pp.
[Portugal I. 15.]
697. 'The effect of the articles signed upon by the Prince of
Orange and magistrates of Antwerp, with them of the
1. A 'gull' [gul, 'frank'] oath to be true to the king and the
town and so maintain rest and quietness.
2. The prince and magistrates to suffer no garrison of strange
soldiers to be placed in the town without consent of the burghers.
3. Every person to apply himself to the maintenance of the
privileges of the town.
4. That the contract made last September touching the state of
religion shall be maintained till further order be taken by the
Estates of the land.
5. All persons both of the old religion and the new shall promise
not to 'misdo' one another, but assist, help and aid.
6. The keys of the gates shall be in the hands of the Prince, and
the opening and shutting of them at his order and appointment.
7. Henceforth the long watch to be kept within the town both
by soldiers and burghers, without exempting anyone on the ground
of his religion.
8. All the risings of men 'chanced,' to be imputed as a thing
done for the safeguard and 'wealth' of this town, and no man to
be called to reckoning for anything past ; which the Prince promises
so far as in him lies.
9. Every man not appointed to be of the watch to depart to
their [sic] houses and about their business.
10. Four hundred horsemen to be provided for defence of the
town, and certain ships of war, if the Prince shall see cause and
think it needful, and the captains to be by him appointed within
the 'whole' consent.
11. That all manner of persons spiritual and temporal shall be
contributory to the maintenance of the charges.
12. The artillery to be placed on the walls and be in the order
and custody of the Prince.
13. If any prince should under the pretence of religion, . . . . .
trouble, every other person to be assistant to . . . . of him.
14. The Prince and magistrates to take oath for the upholding of
these articles and the captains to take oath to the like.
The Prince . . . . to every person to use themselves . . . . . .
and endeavour themselves to the observation of these . . . . and
he offers himself to do all which may tend to the service of the
King, and preservation of the town, and common weal of the same.
1 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XII. 7 bis.]
The following letter probably belongs to the correspondence of
Nov. 9, 1578 :
698. The QUEEN of NAVARRE to the QUEEN.
As my brother the Duke of Anjou is sending M. de Simier to you
for so good a cause, I would not omit to accompany him with this
letter, to testify how great I should esteem my brother's fortune if
he could attain to the felicity which I know he most desires, namely
your favour and alliance. I beg you to believe that among all
who are bound by relationship to desire his welfare, there is
none who wishes this . . . . for him more than I, for the singular
affection I bear him . . . . your wishes and merits . . . . . . which
makes all those who have the good fortune to know you desirous of
serving you, and me in particular. (Signed) Marguerite.
Somewhat damaged. Holograph. Add. Fr. p. [France II. 83 bis.]