111. POULET to BURGHLEY.
One John Bowcer of Gloucestershire, servant four or five years
ago to the Earl of Pembroke, as he says, arrived lately from Italy,
and has asked me to let you know that he has things to say to you
which concern you nearly. He would resort to you for that purpose
if he could do so 'with the surety of his life,' but he is in danger of
the law for a purse taken by him in the company of Anthony Poynes,
upon the discovery of which they were both forced to flee into Italy.
He affirms that Poynes has returned to England and obtained his
pardon. 'He beareth me in hand that there was no murder committed.'
He says that he has served long in Naples, and might have
continued there, but has returned in hope to be employed in the
service of his country. He proposes to remain here till he has
received assurance from you, which may be the more favourable if
the fact be no more heinous than he reports, and Mr. Poynes be
already pardoned for the same.
Nothing new has happened here of late, save that ambassadors
from the Pope, the State of Venice and the Duke of Savoy are gone
to Mons to dissuade Monsieur from his enterprise ; the King and
Queen Mother, who no doubt are enemies in heart to this journey,
having also their ministers there.
La Noue is gone to Monsieur, as I am advertised from himself,
and it is likely that many of the religion will take the same course.
Companies of horse and foot march daily to Monsieur, who wants
nothing but money to do great things, and will be able to do much
with a little money if his devotion to her Majesty and respect for
her authority do not restrain him.
Marshal Biron continues in his old seditious humour, and has
done enough of late to renew civil troubles in this realm. Complaint
is made by the King of Navarre, and reformation promised by the
king here.—Paris, 26 July 1578.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [France II. 61.]
K. d. L. x. 643.
112. DAVISON to WILSON.
I received by Mr. Sommers your letter of the 18th, signifying her
Majesty's pleasure that I should forbear to proceed any further in
the use of my procurations for £100,000 until I should have other
order given me. Wherein I will not fail, God willing, to accomplish
her Majesty's command according to my duty ; though I cannot
forget to tell you how much the refusal to confirm the contract made
here with Spinola and Pallavicino, and the present restraint of the
whole negotiation touches her credit, and how ill the matter falls
out at this time, considering on what terms they stand with the
French, who are not unlike to make their profit thereof. But as I
think my lord will not forget the matter, I forbear to touch it further,
and proceed to our news.
The Duke of Alençon has already put himself in action since
coming into Hainault. Bussy d'Amboise with 3,000 men has
attempted and taken Mabeuge and is gone to the siege of Beaumont ;
the sooner to draw his forces into that province. The towns of it
and of Artois being solicited by him have sent to the States for their
advice ; who have required them to remit themselves to the general
resolution of the province. Alferan, his man, has been lately at
Gravelines with la Motte ; to what intent is yet undiscovered. He
has also sent one Beaufeu to Duke Casimir, of whom this enterprise
is greatly suspected.
Mondoucet in his return to Mons abode 3 or 4 days at Brussels,
practising the burghers there to embrace his master's protection,
and is departed not without some hope of 'recovering' that town if
they could remove the garrison. Meanwhile the enemy has
abandoned Soigny and is about to leave Diest and Aerschot, withdrawing
his force into the town most important to keep.
Baron Preyner, sent lately from the Emperor, chiefly to 'impeach
the French traffic,' is returned with as little satisfaction as he brought.
The other intends to repair to Don John to see if any means of
peace remain, so as to prevent the mischief which threatens these
countries if the war have its course.
The States army removed last night to Rumenam, a place between
the rivers of Demere and Boymer, which falls into the other near
Mechlin. Campen is surrendered to the States of Gueldres, who hope
for like success at Deventer. Ypres was on Sunday morning last
surprised by the Gantois, by this stratagem : they had conveyed into
the town the day or so before 30 or 40 soldiers, who were secretly
lodged in a house not far from the gate. Five or six of these,
disguised, hired a waggon to go out of the town, and as they issued
out of the gate found means to pluck out the pin which fastened
the axletree to the waggon ; by occasion whereof the horses drew away
the forewheels, leaving the rest behind them. While they were occupied
in bringing back the horses and 'redressing' the waggon, the
soldiers within flocked about the gate, giving a sign to one
M. 'd'Ask,' lying hard without the town in ambush with two companies
of horse and three of foot, who approaching the gate held by
the men he had within, entered the town by the help of certain
burghers, became easily master of it, and having provided for the
sure guard of it apprehended such as were specially suspect and
carried them prisoners to Ghent ; which town has now the other
three Members of Flanders at her devotion.
'Gabreell Cerbelone' is said to be arrived in Luxembourg with
4,000 Spanish and Italian foot and 500 horse.
La Motte has written to the four Members of Flanders to send
deputies to him, to whom he may communicate what Alferan has
treated with him in the name of the Duke of Alençon's, but what
that is I do not yet know.
Draft. Endd. 16 July (but this date is clearly a misreading of
the heading in Davison's own hand). 1½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. VII.
K. d. L. x. 642.
113. WILSON to DAVISON.
Though I did not write to you by Walter Williams, whom I sent
away post haste on a sudden, you must not think amiss of me ;
because I had special charge to send him within an hour.
I read your letter of the 18th to our Sovereign, who liked your
advertisement well ; so you will do well to continue the same course
and write often. Now that the Secretary is absent you have need
to take the more care, to content our Sovereign's mind, who desires
to hear often from thence. I doubt not of my Lord Cobham's
diligence, to whom I pray you have me commended, but the more you
write, I take it, the better.
M. Bacqueville landed yesterday at Dover from Monsieur from
whom we hope to have good news. The Scottish ambassador is
here, and is to have his answer in a few days, I hope to his content.
Commend me to Mr. Secretary, by whom you know the resolution
here for the bonds.—Audley End, 26 July 1578.
P.S.—On receipt of letters from Lord Cobham and Mr. Secretary,
I will dispatch Gourley, my Lord's man, and then Lady Cobham will
write. She attends diligently and is in health.
Add. (with : At the Court, at 8 at night). Endd. 2/3 p. [Holl.
and Fl. VII. 81.]
K. d. L. x. 654.
114. 'The substance of the Conference that passed between the
EMPEROR'S AMBASSADOR and us.'
We declared to the Ambassador that great hope was conceived by
men of judgement and (sic) were desirous to have these countries
restored to their ancient quietness, that his repair to Don John now
that he sees what progress the French proceeding makes, cannot but be
with good effect ; it being clear that this country will be alienated
with the King's government unless he take some order out of hand
in that behalf, by growing to a peace and withdrawing from the
We prayed him at his access to Don John to let him understand
our earnest travail with the States to persuade them to some
composition, by laying before them the mischief that would ensue
from a continuance of the civil wars. Yet we find by the comfort
they take in the late coming of the French that unless Don John
is content to withdraw they have put on a plain resolution to shake
off the King's government and change their master.
Nothing has done the King of Spain more harm than the
jealousy he [in the notes : D. J.] has had of the Queen's mediation
between him and his subjects. It has been the only impediment
to his profiting by her counsel.
We protested that her Majesty never affected any part of these
countries for herself, nor desired their alienation from the King of
Spain ; but has from time to time with all sincerity advanced the
peace, which is the principal cause of sending us hither.
The support she has given to the States in money or otherwise
was never to any end but to keep them from the French and
maintain their liberties under the King's obedience. Therefore it is
a great wrong to her that either the King or Don John should
conceive a jealous opinion of her.
Her Majesty gave us express command that if we found Don
John liked our mediation on such conditions as the States were
inclinable to receive, we should repair to him and confer with him
in that behalf, having letters of credit to that end from her Majesty
and the King's Ambassador resident in England ; which in that
case we shall not fail to do.
As he is about to repair to Don John, we thought it good to let
him know our opinion of the result to these countries unless Don
John can be persuaded, and to declare that the more we looked into
the state of things here, the more desperate we saw them becoming.
To make it more apparent we wished him to consider the disposition
of the people, the natural strength of the country, 'the invincibleness
of their towns by fortification,' their wealth and ability to
maintain a defensive war, and the late entry of the Duke of Anjou
into the action. If these things were represented to Don John he
might clearly see that unless he withdrew the country will be utterly
lost to the King of Spain's government.
First we said that if he looked into the disposition of the people,
he would see that they had grown to so great a hatred of the Spanish
government in respect of the extremity which they had sustained
both in their persons and in their goods, that rather than return to
it they will hazard any fortune and yield themselves to the protection
of any other prince that will receive them.
Touching the natural strength of the country, if the provinces of
Holland, Zealand, and Flanders were looked into, he would see them
to be so fortified by nature, what by the sea and fresh rivers, the
access to them so hard, and by a few to be defended, that it would
be a hard piece of work to invade them and a harder to conquer
As for the towns, we said that not only in these provinces, but in
divers of the rest, they were brought to that strength by late fortifications
that the conquest of one of them would cost a year's labour
with the hazard of many men's lives and the expense of infinite
treasure ; of which both Don John's predecessors had made trial,
especially at Harlem, as also himself, having with the expense of a
million crowns at least taken but one town of importance, and that
rather by intelligence than by force.
Touching their wealth and ability, the people being of themselves
industrious, the country fruitful, the traffic by sea open and free,
and their cause itself plausible, there was no doubt that as they
lacked no ability they would want no good will to sacrifice their lives
for its maintenance.
Touching the Duke of Anjou's entry, though perhaps the King of
Spain might be 'borne in hand' either that all is done for his aid
or at least that the Duke will not be able to go through without the
King his brother's assistance, who is in such amity with the King of
Spain that he will not only forbear to assist him but do what he can
to hinder him ; yet if it be considered what great benefit the King
will receive to have his brother divided from him, his competitor the
King of Spain weakened by the loss of these provinces, the Crown
of France made stronger by the 'adjoining' of them, the conveying
of wars out of his own country and the ridding his kingdom of
martial men, it will appear that whatever he has protested to the
King of Spain, it is not likely that he will let go such an advantage,
when he sees that by possessing these countries the King of Spain
will have will rather than power to be revenged of him.
We told him also that Don John was to consider that the Queen
being interested in the defence of the liberties of these countries, as
she has already given them assistance of money and drawn Duke
Casimir hither, so she will not abandon them, but give them all the
assistance she can, as she has protested to the King of Spain himself
and to former governors of the Low Countries.
If notwithstanding these plain demonstrations he finds Don
John conceive that in case he should retire, it would be dishonourable
to him to leave the enemy in the field without fighting, or that
by withdrawing he would hazard the loss of the country, or that he
has no commission to withdraw in that sort, or that if he should
withdraw the French will possess the country ; these objections in
our opinion might be thus answered. Touching the dishonour, if
the victory were all but certain and the loss of the countries
depending upon the loss of the battle, honour were then to be stood
upon, but the same being joined with so great peril, Don John
is to consider whether the smoke of honour is to be
preferred before the conservation of the country, seeing that
thereupon depends not only the loss of the countries, but also the
hazard of putting in peril the rest of his dominions that lie
dispersed in Italy, where there reigns no less discontent among
the subjects, and (sic) therefore no doubt of it, are like to receive
great encouragement by the train that things take here to attempt
Touching the doubt that by withdrawing he should hazard the
loss of the countries, the danger may be easily avoided by the
interposition of the Emperor and the Queen's promise that the
Estate shall continue their obedience to the King of Spain. If they
fail to do so, those princes shall employ their force to assist the
King in reducing them to their promised obedience. It is apparent
also that the people themselves, so they may enjoy their liberty,
have no disposition to withdraw from their obedience.
As for not having commission to withdraw, it is not likely that
the King seeing these countries in the extremity they are in, has
not given him ample authority to take such counsel as may be best
for his service ; for it would be very perilous that he should be
driven in every event to send into Spain to know the King's
resolution. Therefore men of judgement cannot but think that his
power is absolute to do what he may think fit for the King's service,
by staying or withdrawing.
Lastly, touching the danger of leaving the French in the
country, it is evident that the States' forces being as great as they
are, they will at any time be able to remove them, if not by
persuasion, by force. So we say there is no reason why Don
John should not withdraw, being the only way to preserve the
country under the King's obedience ; the loss of which through his
wilfulness or passion would hazard not only the rest of the King's
dominions, but his own fortune.
'The Emperor's Ambassador's Answer to our Speech
As it appeared by our protestations that the Queen did never
seek anything but the maintenance of the liberties of these
countries under the King's obedience, having no intent to possess
any part of them, the Emperor had dealt with her with like
Notwithstanding that many large offers have been made him such
as might have induced any other prince to have given ear to them,
such was the respect he bore to the King of Spain and his desire to
do nothing but what might be agreeable to honour and justice that
he refused them, persuading both the King, Don John, and the States
to grow to some peaceable accord, considering that neither the King
nor the States would take any profit by the continuance of the war.
He confessed that the country was in great peril to be lost now
that the French had made themselves a party to the action, and
that there was no way to save it but for Don John to withdraw his
forces according to the request of the States ; seeing a plain resolution,
in the sundry conferences Baron Prayner and he had with them, not
to come to any treaty, but rather to seek another party unless Don
John retire. 'For,' says he 'if the wars continue, and it comes to
a day of fight, whether he win or lose a battle, the country is like to
be lost. For if he win, the people being doubtful what shall become
of themselves will without peradventure throw themselves into the
French protection.' On the other side, if the victory incline to the
States, he saw them disposed to grow so insolent that instead of
rendering obedience to the King they would erect some newshapen
commonwealth, according as the diversity of their opinions and
fancy should lead them.
Seeing the countries so clearly in danger of alienation, he meant
to deal roundly with Don John and let him understand that
the Emperor sees so great peril likely to grow thereby, especially if
they are annexed to the Crown of France, not only to himself as
descended from the house of Austria, but also to the Empire, that
he could in no case endure that Don John by his wilfulness should
endanger their loss, but would employ his own forces and those of
the Empire against him if he continued his obstinacy.
He would advertise Don John of her Majesty's friendly care in
seeking to preserve those Countries under the king's obedience,
and to stay the States from going too far with the French ; and
would advise him to lay all jealousy apart, and use thankfully her
mediation. Whereto if he should find him to incline he would not
fail to advertise us, as also of the whole course of his proceeding
with Don John.
He had advertised the Emperor of the honourable course held by
her Majesty in this cause of the Low Countries by sending us over,
and the benefit that Don John might reap thereby if he regards, as
he pretends, what is most meet for the King's service.
Copy. Endd. with four [Walsingham's mark] s. 7 pp. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 82.]
115. Rough notes of the above interview. 3 pp. [Ibid. IX. 3γ.]
K. d. L. x. 649.
116. DUKE CASIMIR to DAVIDSON.
I should have been glad if you had come in person to see us, as
you promised both by letter and verbally through M. de Künigsloe,
to talk over several matters which cannot well be written. But as
I understand that your business has not allowed of this I would not
omit to write to let you know that 6,200 florins are still wanting to
complete the sum of £20,000. This is very important, because the
Estates having kept back the 12,800 florins which they had advanced
for M. d' Hargenlieu's levy, I am short of the same which I ought
to furnish. I beg you therefore to take steps to have the sum of
6,200 florins paid over to M. d' Hargenlieu as soon as possible,
according to the promise and obligation given by M. Jacques
d'Affhüsen. I have given him charge of that part and handed the
obligation to him.
Further the Nachtgelt is short to the extent of 57,000 florins, and
without it my reiters make difficulties about marching any further ;
since it is an old-established custom that Nachtgelt should be paid
even before the first month. I will however do all I can to make
my reiters advance in hope that the Estates will see that I have the
the sum as soon as possible, and that you will do your best to get it
done.—Zutphen, 27 July 1578.
Add. (seal) to M. d' Avidson. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. XVII. 83.]
K. d. L. x. 650.
117. Acknowledgement by Thierry Vander Beken, treasurer for
war to the Estates of the Low Countries, that he has received from
Mr. Davidson 30,000 pounds at 40 groats, Flanders currency, in
cash, to pay the English regiments of infantry in the service of the
States, under the commands of Colonels 'Norytz' and Cavendish.
—July 27 1578. Fr. 15ll. [Ibid. VII. 84.]
K. d. L. x. 647.
118. MR. SOMMERS'S Report of the DUKE OF ALENÇON'S Answer.
He was very glad to understand her Majesty's honorable dealing
for the weal of these countries. Meaning the like he had sent a
gentleman of his, La Vray, to her Majesty, to say that he would
send his deputies to confer with her ambassadors. But as he saw
cause to come hither sooner than he had thought, he deferred
sending till he himself came to Mons ; and not being fully agreed
with the States, he stayed a little longer from sending, till he could
send some persons of credit, both to conclude with the States and to
negotiate with her ambassadors. For that purpose he had now sent
MM. Bussy d' Amboise, Neufville, and Mondoucet, and therefore
begged her Majesty and the ambassadors not to mislike if he
had delayed somewhat longer than they had looked for.
As to his promise to do nothing without her Majesty's knowledge,
he said that he was at that time in good accord with the States ;
which being somewhat put back, he could not advertise her of
anything of his doing, nor indeed had he done anything, nor means
to do anything till he is fully agreed with the States.
Here, he making some pause, I told him that her Majesty
understood—from others and not from him—of his coming to Mons
and helping to besiege certain places held by the Spaniards ; that
he had brought in some of his forces, and the rest were at hand ;
and of his acceptance of the States' offers ; of all which she had
expected him to advertise.
He answered that hearing that the Spaniards had taken several
places near Mons, which troubled the country : 'the season of the
year to pass apace, harvest-time now in hand, and the corn ready
to be carried away or spoiled by the enemy unless it were speedily
foreseen, he thought meet to hasten the summer hither ;' and so
by taking certain places to open the passages to this town and give
the people means to live better. Wherein some of his soldiers were
employed, but not by his authority ; so he really has done nothing
Touching any jealousy of his coming hither to impatronise
himself of the country and of her Majesty's protestations to the
King his brother and him, in that case to oppose, he trusts that
she has a better opinion of him than to suspect any such thing ;
for if he meant so, he would not have dealt with the States as he
has done. He would not wound his reputation so far, nor deserve
her Majesty's disgrace. He trusts that she has had so long
a good opinion of his sincerity towards her that she will
not now change her mind. Besides he acknowledges
how much he is bound to her for her favour towards
him in his necessity, and therefore would be sorry to offend her,
and prays her to continue her favour.
As to sending any of his people to Don John before proceeding to
acts of hostility, he said that it might have given Don John and
others that are jealous reason to suspect him of intelligence between
I told him that it might well be seen that the States desired
nothing more than peace, as appeared by their answer to her
Majesty's ambassadors, but would gladly have such as might be
safe for them. They feared this would hardly be done, seeing how
often he has deceived them and now bears greater hate towards
them than before. He said Dampmartin had told him something
of it, he forgot what. I told him the substance of the answer, and
he said he could not blame them if they mistrusted the Spaniards,
and wished them to retire. He had heard much in France of the
Spaniard's doings, and since his coming here, more than he could
He prayed the Ambassadors to stay a while if they saw cause to
so do after conference between his Ministers and the States and
them. He had commanded his deputies to tell them all his
intentions. He besought her Majesty to continue her good will
I told him that her Ambassadors had entreated the Emperor's
Ambassador to go to Don John and lay before them the States'
answer to them and to him, and their own opinion how important
it was for Don John to come to a peace ; and that he was on his
He commended her Majesty's care for the country, and the
Copy. Endd. 2½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 85.]
K. d. L. x. 663.
119. WALSINGHAM to BURGHLEY.
By the copy of the letter directed to my Lords, and the Duke of
Anjou's answer to Mr Sommers you may see the course of our
proceedings. By her Majesty's order I am to repair to Mons to
Monsieur, where I shall receive some flourishes of great goodwill
towards her, to make her the less suspect his intentions. After my
return from him, seeing no hope of doing good here, and that we
begin to grow in contempt (though the people here still hope in her
Majesty) we mean to repair homeward, where we are given to
understand we shall receive a very hard welcome. Though it be a
grief to us to receive so hard measure, yet for her Majesty's sake
we are chiefly sorry to see her deal so unkindly with those that
serve her faithfully. So beseeching you to accept these few lines in
good part, being written by an indisposed body, but a more
indisposed mind, I take my leave.—Antwerp, 29 July 1578.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. VII. 87.]
K. d. L. x. 651.
120. COBHAM and WALSINGHAM to THE PRIVY COUNCIL.
Seeing great delay used by the Duke of Alençon in sending his
ministers hither, we thought it meet for the hastening of the matter
and to learn whether they had dealt sincerely with us in recommending
peace to him according to our request, and also to discover
how he was himself affected thereto, to send Mr Sommers to him.
That you may know how we proceeded, we send you a copy of Mr
Sommers' instructions and of such answer as he has brought. And
being given to understand before his dispatch from us that M.
'Champigny,' a man very dangerous to their state, and so
discovered as well for practice here in the country as abroad with
foreign princes by means of his discourses, who remains at Brussels,
was very desirous to speak with us, we thought good that Mr. Sommers
passing through Brussels should speak with him ; and wrote
a letter of credit to him, praying him to communicate with
Mr Sommers what he had to say to us. As we think the speech
that passed from Champigny is fit to be known to you, we
thought good to send you a copy of Mr Sommers' letter containing
it, by which you may perceive the great fear that Champigny has
of the alienation of the countries from the King of Spain by reason
of the French dealing ; which is not only his opinion but that of
the wisest men here and best affected to the Spanish government.
They see no way to preserve it but either by Don John's withdrawal,
or else her Majesty to receive them into her protection and restore
them afterwards to the King of Spain upon such conditions as she
shall see more expedient for their continuance in their ancient
form of government and enjoyment of their privileges.
The state of their affairs being such we are daily pressed to know
her Majesty's resolution ; by some upon a good meaning, being
greatly devoted to her. Others, who are affected to the French, are
desirous to feel our mind in that behalf, in order that if they may
draw from us that her Majesty means to have no further dealings in
these causes they may so give it out to the people (who are greatly
affected to her, and depend on her favour, and can in no wise digest
the coming of the French), thinking that by laying before them the
necessity of some foreign protection, and her indisposition to embrace
their defence, they may draw them to like M. d' Alençon's coming.
To prevent their intentions and work a countermine against them,
we put them in mind of her Majesty's former goodness in granting
them money and bringing Duke Casimir into the country. We 'put
them also in comfort' that as she has not hitherto abandoned them,
so she does not mean to withdraw her favour from them, and that
we hope shortly to receive such answer as shall content them ;
perceiving plainly that according as it appears from her Majesty's
answer that she is inclined to continue or withdraw her favour, they
will resolve to accept or refuse the French party, or at least not to
use their assistance otherwise than to receive good thereby without
giving them a footing in the country other than a few 'towns of
retreat.' These things considered we hope that her Majesty and
your lordships, seeing the mischief of allowing the French to possess
these countries, will take such order as may be to her honour and
safety. The credit of the French by reason of the recovery of certain
towns from Don John, of which you will hear from her Majesty's
agent, increases very much, and draws the liking of the people
Monsieur is still at Mons, where sundry ambassadors from Italy
resort to him, as from the Pope, the Venetians, the Duke of Savoy,
the Duke of Florence, the Duke of Ferrara, to dissuade him from
assisting the States. M. Bellièvre has also been sent by the king,
his brother, for the same purpose in outward show ; but underhand
to discover how the people are inclined to him, and what success his
designs are like to have, that the king may resolve what course to
Monsieur seeks by all means to recover Duke Casimir's good
opinion, and remove the jealousy he may perhaps conceive of his
proceeding. To that purpose he lately sent a gentleman of the
Religion, one Beaujeu, with a letter to him, of which we send a
copy. By a letter written from the French frontier by La Noue,
who is daily looked for here, it appears that Monsieur's forces, when
all assembled, will be very great.
The Emperor's ambassador, having waited long for Don John's
safe-conduct, has to-day gone to him, being now at Louvain. Before
his departure, we thought good to acquaint him with such
arguments as we thought might best serve to persuade Don John to
give ear to a peace and withdraw from the country ; and copy of
which, and of his answer, we send your Lordships.
Copy. Encld. in No. 119. Endd. by L. Tomson : for my L.
Treasurer. 2¼ pp. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 88.]
120 (bis). Another copy of Sommers' report, No. 118. Similarly
endd. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 89.]
K. d. L. x. 664.
121. WALSINGHAM to RANDOLPH.
My wife, your niece, tells me that I am greatly beholding to you for
your friendly dealing towards me in my absence, and has given me
express charge to be thankful for it. What credit she has with me,
you and Captain 'Cokborne' know ; and therefore I dare do no
other but thank you, howsoever you have deserved it.
It is given out both there and here that we shall be hanged at
our return, so ill have we behaved ourselves here. The worst is, I
hope, we shall enjoy our ordinary trial ; my Lord to be tried by his
peers and myself by a jury of Middlesex. The most heinous matter
they can charge us with is that we have had more regard to her
Majesty's honour and safety than to her treasure. For Scottish
causes, though I wish them as good success as may be wished, yet
seeing our Flanders travail be no better taken, I suppose I shall
be found to deal more temperately both in those and all other
causes then heretofore I have done. And if I may conveniently, I
mean with the leave of God to convey myself off the stage and
become a looker-on.—Antwerp, 29 July 1578.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. 90.]
122. EDMUND TREMAYNE to WALSINGHAM.
I did not speak to Mr. Vice-Chamberlain since he received your
letter of thanks ; at least if he saw me after he received it, he said
nothing to me. Yet he was the last councillor I spoke with at
Court ; and at taking leave I was bold to ask him both how her
Majesty was now satisfied with your service and also of her disposition
to deal with the Ambassador of Scotland. He answered
that of your doings she remained now well contented, saving that
she would never consent to allow the money. For the Scots, she
said it was against her heart to entertain them as ambassadors, and
spared not to make the fault light and a common fault, for which
they had deprived her. I replied that if she made a scruple in that
case, it were good to hold another course with her, and to persuade
her to send home the Queen and set her crown on her head, and so
to assure her herself of friendship, and not in this sort to lose the
one and not embrace the other. He said he had told her so much
in effect ; but what she would do, he could not tell.
We have by your letters and others great cause of consultation ;
but I see none to reduce our matters to such an order that we can
tell the points whereon to consult, at least what advice to give her
Majesty ; and so I fear your answer will not be as speedy as your
case desires. Yet since I came from the Court, I solicited Mr
Secretary by letter to procure a speedy dispatch to you, as a matter
important to the State and yourself.
I am come hither by her Majesty's precise command, as specially
trusted, to view all the books of the Ordnance Office, to take them
into my custody and then to lock and seal them up till a further
view ; to take notes of remains, to be informed what has been
issued, what money has been received, &c. as upon suspicion or
rather complaint, that her Majesty has been much deceived in that
office. How pleasant such an office is to me you may guess. But
as I deal as with my brother, so will I answer the trust reposed in
me, and by me shall they receive no harm if they have deserved
none ; and what they have done must now appear before they have
their books again.
Thus in much haste, being at your house while this messenger
gives short warning of his departure. I take my leave, praying you
ever to keep my letters to yourself.—From your house in London,
29 July 1578.
Add. Endd. 1¼ p. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 91.]
K. d. L. x. 659.
123. BURGHLEY to COBHAM and WALSINGHAM.
Since your last writing the Queen has been moved to assent
to the delivery of her bonds to Spinola and Horatio, but no
argument can yet prevail. She alleges on the one side that it was
otherwise agreed that the first money taken up by virtue of the
great bond for £100,000 should be answerable to her for the
£20,000 sent to Hamburgh, the last £20,000 sent to Antwerp for
Casimir, and likewise for £5,000 delivered to the Marquis of
Havrech ; which she still professes that you, Mr Walsingham,
best knew. We answer that you so reminded the Prince, and were
answered then that this money now taken up was so dearly
borrowed for our necessity and to set the army in the field, that
there was no reason to require this money of them, considering it
stood in 25 per cent ; which was as we say an extreme dealing with
the States, to make them lose so much to serve her Majesty's purpose
at this time. We also laid before her what I have told her
cannot be answered, that if she will at this time, yea, at this
instant in their most need, deal so hardly with them, they will and
must give themselves over to the French, and that she will repent
of it more than the loss of £100,000 ; yea, she will not only lose all
her money already lent, but all her good will will be buried, and
unkindness raised up in its place. She is also told that by the
delay, Don John receives 'comfort,' the charges of the States continue,
fruitless and 'burdenous' without profit. All this and more
alleged with all earnestness and importunity to her 'displeasant,'
no answer will be had till we hear what is done by you, Mr
Walsingham, with Monsieur.
Two gentlemen from Monsieur are come to London and will be
here to-morrow, Sieurs Bacqueville and de Cuiss [Quissy or Quincy] ;
the latter zealous in religion, the other not malicious. I hear their
errand is to break again into the matter of marriage, of which as I
hear the French ambassador here has been the cause, upon some
conference lately with her Majesty, to me unknown. It is said also
that Monsieur says he has warrant from her Majesty, though to me
unknown, to come thus hastily into the Low Countries. We shall
understand more to-morrow, but to me this course is strange ; what
other Councillors know of it, I am not inquisitive, but I think you,
Mr Secretary, 'hath' by this time heard the like from Monsieur, if
any such thing has passed.
We have much ado here to bring her Majesty to accept such
offers from the Scottish King and his nobles to commit themselves
to her protection as all other Kings of his realm have sought but
been unable to attain. It is a strange thing to see God's goodness,
so abundantly offered for her Majesty's safety, so 'daintily hearkened
unto' ; yet I trust she will not reject such a singular favour. I am
sorry to write thus uncomfortably to you, but the abundance of
grief will not suffer my hand to stay.
I am sure Mr Secretary Wilson gives you as much information as
he can. I find him very willing to further the expedition of your
affairs ; but he finds dry answers, as we do.
Thus being bold, to spare writing twice of one matter no more
pleasant, to direct this letter to you both, I take my leave ; meaning
contrary to my disposition, to attend here somewhat longer to beat
still upon the stithy, till I may see some better issue of the work in
hand, wishing you to comfort yourselves as we here do with a
contenting of our consciences, and hoping quod dabit deus iis meliora.
—Audley End, 29 July 1578.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XII. 92.]
K. d. L. x. 661.
124. WILSON to WALSINGHAM.
I cannot so well satisfy you with advertisements as the absence of
this bearer will be to your hindrance ; therefore I dispatch him the
more speedily, without great matter. The Lords have read Lord Cobham's
letter and yours sent by this bearer, and which they liked well,
and the Queen seemed to be somewhat quickened upon the good
warning you gave her touching Monsieur, for though I did not read
the letter myself, it pleased her to acquaint me with that part
which touched suspicion and gave cause of mistrust. Now she
and the Lords are in great expectation of your dealings with
Monsieur, and as you make report, credit will be given ;
for though M. Bacqueville comes to-morrow with the French
ambassador to have audience, and perhaps will tell a fair tale,
her Majesty will be well advised by you before any resolution be
determined. If Monsieur should play 'double hand Irish' and
direct his doings contrary to his protestations, I fear we should be
much to seek, because of our continual security and careless dealing
hitherto. The more favour offered by the States, by Monsieur, by
Casimir, by the King of Navarre and Prince of Condé, the greater
is our negligence and the less mind have we to take the benefit of
occasion presented. Unless God have ordained by His eternal will
a necessity and fatal destiny not to be avoided, things could not go
as they do. If you knew what care is used to get the bonds, which
are not as yet to be had, you would say that fatum regit mundum, or
rather that will bears sway instead of reason. I offered to deal
with the merchants for their own bond, without assurance made to
them, and hoped to get it, because their goods abroad would else be
in danger of spoiling and their trade overthrown ; but I was not
suffered to deal at all.
There is some hope that the Scottish matters will go better than
was thought, that the King's government will be acknowledged, and
an 'overture' given for a league, to be confirmed by parliament in
both realms ; and that the demand for succession to the Earl of
Lenox's lands will be referred to the judges, the revenues being
meanwhile sequestered. This morning the Lords are to consider
these matters and to know her Majesty's further pleasure on them,
for the speedy dispatch of 'Commendator Dunfarmlinge' who is in
haste to return, because of the parliament and the troubles there ;
which in my opinion might easily be appeased if Argyle were fully
won. The King has lately written very courteously to him, and
follows the same course to Earl Morton. God aid our most gracious
Sovereign in this dangerous world.—Audley End, 29 July, 1578.
Add. Endd. 1½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 93.]
K. d. L. x. 669.
125. F[REMYN] to DAVISON.
The opportunity arising, I would not fail to communicate with
you. Since we left Antwerp we have not advanced much towards a
junction with Duke Casimir, being still two long days distant from
him. It seems that they are not getting much good of his French
troops by reason of the thwartings they have had since they came
into the country ; which displeases their leaders greatly. It would
have been wiser to send them back betimes than pay them with
The troupe are now a league from Tiel, at a village on the river
called Lyt, belonging to the Bishop of Liège. It is ordered that
the troops are to halt there—3 leagues from Bois-le-duc—this day
[or to-day]. M. de Mouy has reached Tiel with the cavalry and
baggage, to cross the river and join M. d'Argenlieu, who is much
vexed at the disorder in the management of affairs. We have
marched about plenty, and made no progress. The people and
parishes about Tiel wanted to rise against us, and intended to fall
upon us, if it had not been foreseen and prevented.
It is estimated that the batteries will open upon Deventer
to-day, with twelve battering-pieces. Duke Casimir has sent for
M. d'Argenlieu to come to him—I mean without his troops—to
speak to him. He will go to-morrow morning if not delayed.
There is much discontent among the French for the bad pay they
have received. I do not doubt that report will be spread of
disorders committed by them ; but it is not said that abundant
occasion was given them for so acting, though bad is bad and I am
not going ever to excuse it. Besides, M. d'Argenlieu had not
absolute command over them, as you know. Still he did all he
As to other matters, you are on the touch-stone, and I need not
make a longer discourse.—Tiel, 30 July, 1578.
P.S. Kindly salute the ambassadors for me, not forgetting
Mr. Killigrew. I think M. de Blioul will take this, who will tell you
Add. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 94.]
126. DAVISON to BURGHLEY.
We are still in suspense what to think of the French traffic, from
which few expect any good. In Hainault they have already
recovered Maubeuge, Soigny, Rœulx, and Havrech, the latter of
which they battered with cannon, assaulted with some loss of men,
and won by composition. Now they are said to be before Beaumont,
a town belonging to the Duke of Aerschot. Their forces there, being
two regiments, under Rochepot and Combell, are estimated at 3,000
men ; the remainder of 10,000 foot and 2,000 horse they reckon to
get within 25 days, besides the troops destined, as they give out, to
be employed in Burgundy.
Bussy d'Amboise, Montdoucet, Neufville, and Dampmartin came
here last Tuesday night to treat and conclude with the Estates, with
whom they have not yet entered into any particular conference.
His other friends and ministers are meantime employed where they
have any hope of doing good. Alferan has been with La Motte, who
offers to communicate his negotiation to those of Flanders, and has
requested them to send a deputy to him to that end. The Bishop of
Nazareth, the Pope's legate, with the ambassador of Venice and
Savoy, and one Bellièvre from the French King, have arrived at
Mons ; sent, as they say, to divert the Duke from his enterprise,
which, I doubt not, is the best part of their legations.
The Emperor's ambassador is this day gone towards Don John
to make some overtures of peace, whereof he is half desperate before
he makes the trial, the proposals on either side being like to be such
as will hardly be accorded. Don John still lies at an Abbey between
Louvain and Diest, his forces being lodged in towns round about
ready for any sudden attempt. All who come thence report that he
is resolved to hazard a little, having 15,000 foot and 5,000 horse
besides Gabriel Serbelloni newly come from Italy with 4,000 foot
and 500 horse. The States are intrenching themselves at Rumenan
upon the river above Mechlin. Casimir has passed his musters but
it is thought he will attempt Deventer before going further. The
public authorising of religion hangs still in the balance. Meantime
they preach openly at Ghent, in this town, at Courtray and elsewhere.
The surprise of Ypres caused some 'alteration' at Lille,
which is since appeased. Yesterday some disorder happened at
Lierre between our countrymen and the burghers, the manner of
which you may perceive by the report made to one by such as came
thence.—Antwerp, 31 July 1578.
Enclosure (in French) : The tumult at Lierre was because an
English captain carried off a villager's horse : who following the said
captain to the market of Lierre began with great urgency to demand
his horse. Seeing this the captain dismounted and killed the
horse with his harquebuss. The burghers seeing this, the act being
unjust, began to rush upon the Captain ; whose soldiers,
seeing him in difficulties, ran to his aid, in such wise
that some soldiers and some burghers got killed and wounded. The
guard on the walls seeing this and thinking that the English had
entered Lierre for some treasonable purpose began to fire upon
three companies of English who were passing outside the town.
These, seeing themselves killed, made off, thinking that Lierre was
hostile. Subsequently the people of the place chanced to meet
some horse who had gone out to plunder, and taking them for
enemies flung themselves upon them and killed some. However,
by the means of M. — the affair was made up and the English
left the place.
Add. Endd. 1½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 95.]
K. d. L. x. 671.
127. COBHAM to BURGHLEY.
Finding our doings called in question, I repair to your Lordship
as to my 'Azilum' for help and succour. By sundry information
sent over, we hear that we are as it were thrown into her Majesty's
displeasure. These reports are general, therefore generally I may
say I know not the just cause of them. If it be that we have not
pressed a peace, nor dissuaded the States from insisting on so hard
terms, we 'have injury,' for truly we have omitted no opportunity
to deal openly and privately with all persons that are affected that
way, for the attaining of a good peace ; and I assure you that those
who are best affected to peace and to the King of Spain will not
allow of any peace 'without' Don John retire. Credit me, my
Lord, this is true. At the last we have so urged the matter that
the Emperor's ambassador goes to Don John to sound him as to
his inclination. That it may appear to my Lords what passed
between us, we have sent it to them, and his answer. [See No. 114.]
If it be for encouraging the merchants to disburse a sum of money
to the States in advance, what good subject would suffer his (sic)
Majesty's credit and honour to be called in question and not help it
to his power? seeing it was done to so good a purpose, to daunt
the enemy and to withstand the French practices, which daily
increase [erased 'and shall carry all away'] if her Majesty do not
Bussy d'Amboise, chief gentleman of Monsieur's chamber,
M. de Neufville and M. Montdoucet, his councillors, are come to
confer with the States touching his demands ; which being known,
her Majesty shall have knowledge. They have been with us and
done their ordinary compliments, &c.
There are no other news of moment. We sent Mr Sommers to
Mons to let Monsieur know that we had waited a long time for his
deputies, and that we had command from her Highness to return if
they did not come in a few days. He told Mr Sommers they were
gone and made the best excuse he could for the delay. We have
sent his answer to the Lords.—Antwerp, 31 July 1578.
P.S.—The 'Gantoyes' are very disordered people. They have
taken 'Ipper' and spoiled 'Odenard' ; a matter generally misliked.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. VII. 96.]
K. d. L. x.
128. The ENGLISH AMBASSADORS to DON JOHN.
The Emperor's ambassador having told us that he was starting to
visit your Highness we have thought good to send this letter by him
to inform you that the Queen our Mistress continuing firm in the
desire she has ever had of seeing these troubles appeased and the
people restored to the obedience of the King their lawful sovereign,
the principal cause which has moved her to send us hither has
been that we might induce the States to come to terms with the
King. Wherein her Majesty walks so sincerely, and we have so
diligently employed ourselves, as we feel sure, when your Highness
has heard of it from the ambassador, to whom we have imparted
the whole course of our negotiation, you will no less judge of it.
And forasmuch as her Majesty has also bidden us to repair to your
Highness for this matter, we beseech you to let us know if our
intervention for the furtherance of the peace, upon the terms proposed
by the Estates (for we can bring them to no other conditions)
will come to any good effect or not. If you find it good, we are
ready to set out, to employ ourselves in this good work, which will,
we hope, turn to the profit of the King, as her Majesty desires. To
this end she has given us letters of credence ; as has also the
King's ambassador resident with her. Awaiting your Highness's
answer, we humbly kiss your hands.
Copy in writing of L. Tomson. Endd : Copy of our letter to Don
John, dated the last of July 1578. Fr. 2/3 p. [Holl. and Fl. VII.
129. A MEMORANDUM 'touching the LOAN OF MONEY, &c. to
with the Marquis.
The first article between her Majesty and the
Marquis of Havrech for her bonds for £100,000
carries that payment of so much as should be taken up by virtue
Credit for 100,000. of those bonds should be paid within 12 months
after their delivery to the States. But if peace were concluded
within that time, then the payment of so much as had been taken
up should be repaid to her Majesty before the ratification of such
peace, or 12 hostages sent to England for security.
conduct of a
It was concluded in the same treaty that a
certain power of men should have gone over
from hence to the aid of the States, with one of
the Nobility for a general.
The promise of
aid revoked, and in
lieu thereof was
the levy of
This fact was altered, and for the supply of
English forces was appointed an aid of 6,000
Swiss and 5,000 reiters under Duke Casimir. In
consideration of the acceptance of which, promise
was made by her Majesty to lend them
£40,000, besides the obligations for £100,000
upon their bond, to be repaid within a
10Mar. 77. year, as appears in Daniel Rogers' instructions.
Upon this condition the States were content to receive the aid
21 Mar. of Germans and Swiss as aforesaid, which otherwise they
would not have done, the number being greater than they had need
of, or were able to maintain without such assistance ; seeing it far
surmounted the aid accorded by her Majesty of her own subjects.
Duke Casimir accepted the charge, upon the receipt of £20,000
from her Majesty, at the end of May. The £20,000 was sent over
on May 15, by Saltonston, with special instructions to Mr Davison
subscribed with four of the Council's hands, for delivery to the
States. In which instructions was inserted the condition that the
sum should be repaid out of the first sum taken up by virtue of her
The procurations were sent to Mr Davison the 16th March.
The last £20,000 was sent by Saltonston the 16th May.
In hand of L. Tomson. Endd. with mark. 1¼ pp. [Holl.
and Fl. VII. 98.]
129 (bis). ABSTRACT OF PROCEEDINGS touching the LOAN, etc.
13 Dec., 1577.
By treaty with the Marquis of Havrech an aid of
forces was agreed on, to be sent from England.
Dan. Rogers instructions.
It was found meet to exchange this for a loan
of money towards levies to be made by Duke
For these levies £20,000 was assigned and sent over by
Hoddesdon ; another £20,000 was delivered to them at their first
arrival in the Low Countries, and further promise of her Majesty's
bonds for £100,000 according to the 'tenure' of the former treaty.
Dispatched the 8th
and 12th of March.
Accordingly two procurations were made and
sent over to Mr Davison and George Gilpin for
the provision of these sums to be borrowed upon her Majesty's
bonds, either in the Low Countries, or in High Germany, or both,
as they could find credits.
Dispatched 18 March.
The City of London gave their bond for security.
Mr Davison received directions as to his negotiation.
14 April, 1578.
Her Majesty's former treaty being received again
by the Marquis of Havrech is again confirmed.
To Mr Rogers, 27
Of the last £20,000 to be delivered to Duke
Casimir upon his rendezvous in the Low Countries,
some stay was made, as it was supposed the Estates would be
supplied by virtue of the bonds.
12 March, 1578 (sic).
Upon new deliberation, the latter £20,000 was
sent over by Mr Saltonston, to deliver to Mr Davison, with directions
how he should deliver it to the States to be sent to Cologne to
27 March to Mr
The cause of hastening away this sum was to
induce the States to break off their treaties with
the Duke of Alençon ; which, notwithstanding, was afterwards
countermanded, but immediately enlarged.
22 May. From his
Majesty to Mr
Upon advertisement from Mr Davison of the
States' proceeding with the Duke of Alençon, he
promised to send them such aid as they shall
desire, and to send over Lord Cobham and Sir F. Walsingham to
confer with them. Mr. Davison is further ordered to write to Duke
Casimir to cause him to delay coming to the rendezvous till he hear
of the States' proceeding with the Duke of Alençon ; which, being
discovered, the £20,000 shall be sent him.
20 May. Articles
presented by Mr.
Davison to the
Upon return of the States' answer—that they
could not but be careful for their lives, and therefore
would not proceed with Monsieur if her
Majesty would resolve upon matter sufficient for their defence, which
they stood in hope to receive comfort by her ambassadors promised
[qy. conformably to her amb.'s promise] ; otherwise they
must be forced to conclude with him — Lord Cobham and
12 June [sic] Sir F. Walsingham were sent over.
Their charge was to treat for peace, to inform themselves of the
state of the countries, to have regard to the treaty of the States
with the Duke of Alençon.
14 and 18 July.
During this suspense and doubt how the States and
Monsieur might proceed, her Majesty stays the execution of her
procurations. Lord Cobham and Sir F. Walsingham earnestly
solicit their execution.
28 July. From the
Lords to Lord Cobham
and Sir F.
Direction is given that Mr. Davison should
be charged to retain the bond for £100,000, and
not to yield to the use of it unless he received a
warrant to that effect.
Memo. in [?] Dacison's hand. Endd. 2¼ pp. [Holl. and Fl.
130. "REPRESENTATION sent by a GENTLEMAN of FRANCE to the
ESTATES GENERAL and PARTICULAR, TOWNS and COMMUNITIES
of the Low COUNTRIES in the OBEDIENCE of the
You may perhaps be surprised, prima facie, that occupied as you
are with the defence of your country against those who wish to
overthrow it, I should have been so bold as to write to you ; nor do
I doubt that it will seem to you a proof of rash presumption considering
my lack of experience as well in the handling of political
affairs as in the fashion of writing well. But if you will have the
patience to read to the end, you will as I hope have some satisfaction.
Three principal reasons have induced or rather constrained me to
take this step ; the first, my singular affection towards the observance
of the Catholic religion, which I have all my life professed and,if you
please, shall profess, for I know that its safety depends on the
quiet both of this country and of yours ; the second the piety,
stimulated by goodwill and reverence, which I have always borne
towards the good estate of your country under the pretext of whose
preservation I see everybody employed in such sort that I hope it
will soon become more tranquil ; if it does not by ill luck fall into
greater calamities than ever. The third is the desire for reciprocal
friendship and good neighbourhood which binds me to you, hoping
hereby to draw you away from the blunder and odium of such a
war as you are now waging against your natural lord and prince ;
considering too that the king my master in his anxiety for the
tranquillity of Christendom, and yours in particular, with his
accustomed kindness and the singular affection he bears you, has
intervened both by word of mouth and by letter to bring about that
tranquillity, as is known to all of you. It has therefore seemed good
to me to let you understand, and to represent to you that you
should not refuse the intercession of a prince of such quality, still
less the offers of your own prince, nor the opportunity presented,
before things become more embittered ; and for the reasons which
I will tell you. Before going further however, I would beseech you
to lay down and cast behind you all passion and perturbation of
mind, and judge of this discourse not superficially but according to
truth and with minds well made up. And if an urgent necessity
concerning the service which every man owes to his prince and
country did not constrain me to utter what were better concealed in
my heart, I pray you to believe that I should not have been so bold
as to come forward to do it as it ought to be done. It seemed to
me however of importance to your honour and to the preservation
of your country. If there is even anything unacceptable to you, I
pray you to pardon me, and think that my good wishes for you and
the respect which I bear compel me to act thus ; hoping that,
recognizing the truth by experience, you will be grateful for the
warning which with all deference I offer.
There is none of you who does not know what the very atheists
admit, that there is no foundation on which commonwealths may be
more firmly established, even as on a rock, than religion ; the chief
basis of the power of monarchs and the execution of the laws, the
obedience of the subjects, the worshipfulness of magistrates, the
terror of evil-doers, and mutual friendship among men. This holds
together as a great edifice the body of the commonwealth, so that if
this be corrupted the commonwealth must fall. For which reason
we see that the legislation of old discreetly ordained that one only
inviolable religion ought to be tolerated ; and hence it is that no
sedition is more dangerous either for the state or for religion or for
laws and customs than when the subjects are divided between two
opinions, as experience has taught us, unhappy that we are. Which
being so, seeing that the idolaters of old, uncertain what they ought
to believe, and having no knowledge of God save what nature let
them see amid the darkness of reason, without one spark of divine
grace, were careful to maintain in every commonwealth one absurd
and ridiculous religion, by how much stronger reason ought we
Christians who have a certainty of our belief by the inspiration of
the Holy Spirit and by the word of the Son of God and His presence,
by the continual succession of the Church and infinite testimonies
else, to be well-affected to the maintenance of our Catholic religion.
This is why the Catholic King, remembering his oath to maintain it,
nay more, to tolerate no other in the countries subject to him, has
resolved to bring his vassals back to it with all speed, and to that
end to employ all the means which God has pleased to lend him ;
the more so, that God's law forbids him who knows the truth to
follow the opinions of those who have gone astray. You know that
the divine law bids you obey not sovereigns only but magistrates,
except when they give unrighteous commands. The subject's
obedience united to the King's command is a bond which maintains
in greatness the commonwealth, which quickly falls when it is
dissolved ; for there is nothing more dangerous than disobedience
and disrespect of the subject towards the prince. It is much better
to bow before the sovereign in all obedience than to offer an example
of rebellion. Obedience to the edicts of those to whom God has
given power over us is a law both divine and natural, so long as
they are not contrary to the law of God, which is above all princes ;
every man to the lowest vassal owes an oath of fidelity to his lord
against all men, save his sovereign prince, so the subject owes
obedience to his prince against all save the Majesty of God, who is
absolute lord of all the princes in the world. Again, as by
law divine it is forbidden to speak evil of your prince, and
not only that, but to attempt anything against his honour,
the Scripture says that it is wicked, however just an occasion
one may allege, to rebel against a just, element and
equitable prince. I cannot use a better example than that of
son and father ; the law of God says that he who curses his father
or mother shall die. If the father is a murderer, a thief, a traitor
to his country, incestuous, a parricide, a blasphemer, an atheist,
I admit that all the punishments that can be devised were insufficient
for him, but I say that it is not the part of the son
to inflict them. Then the subject is not entitled to take any steps
against his prince, cruel and tyrannical as he may be ; though it
is lawful for him to run away, to hide himself, to parry the blows,
but to suffer rather than to rebel. If this is due to a tyrant how
much more should you obey a king who all his life has held
nothing in more special commendation than the honour of God,
the consideration of the Catholic religion, the repose of his subjects.
That is the cause, as I am assured, why you must now be summoned
to return to his obedience. I make [no] doubt that he
will treat you like a good prince, as you were before these troubles
his good and faithful subjects. And to remove all occasion of
distrust, I know of a truth that in the provinces which return
to him amicably, he does not intend to have a Spanish or other
foreign garrison unless by your consent or if necessity requires ;
and of this such assurances are offered as you may think good,
such I mean as you shall desire, with such diminution of taxation
as in your discretion shall be thought fitting for the relief of
I know that many persons rely on the protection of a foreign
prince. Now I will say nothing as to the unlawfulness of foreign
princes maintaining a rebellion among the subjects of others, and
I will pass over the door which those who thus act open to rebellion
among their own subjects, and for the sake of others put
their own state in danger, to their perpetual blame and dishonour ;
I will only warn you that it is not lawful for the vassal to
exempt himself from subjection to his prince, and become subject
to a foreigner, and the protector often leaves his adherents in
their danger. And since the balance has lain between honour
and profit, the protection of the prince has been shifted in such
wise that when protection is changed to sovereignty, he may count
himself secure who places the sheep under the guard of the wolf.
Wherefore if you consider what you are doing, you will find
that by putting yourselves under the protection of another prince
than him to whom you are bound by God and the laws, besides
the injury to your sovereign, that the change will be as pernicious
to you as the loss of his countries will be intolerable to
And whereas it is not permissible to propose anything prejudicial
to one's king or country, I would point out to you that the origin
of those wars between King Francis and the Emperor was for the
protection of Robert de la Marche ; King Lewis XII reduced the
Genevese to his obedience under colour of protection ; and King
Henry II seized Metz, Toul, and Verdun under pretext of protection.
That you may then not fall into the hot fit of fever and to obviate
an imminent war, have some regard at least for your posterity, lest
through wicked and mad obstinacy it be brought under the yoke of
intolerable and lasting servitude. Consider I pray the insolence of
the foreigners whom you are calling to your aid ; their murders,
rapes, arsons, robberies, in their own country ; their small respect
for justice ; their contempt of religion ; and you will hesitate
to put yourselves in the power of those who have already divided
your property, and boast how they turn you out of your houses, and
seize your wives, your daughters, your goods.
Remember how you will fall from your ancient honour, how much
reputation you will lose, how you will be wanting to your first loyalty ;
call to mind how inhuman is civil war, against men of the same
nation, province, city, father against son, brother against brother ;
yet more to tear oneself from the obedience of one's natural prince
and give oneself over to another ; recall your solemn oath, not only
to maintain the Catholic religion in word but to further it in act ;
think how your ancestors carefully observed it ; and that the memory
of their name be not buried at a stroke. Suffer it not to be
transported from your provinces, together with the relics, bells,
and other sacred things given for the service of God. Think
of the promise you made to his Majesty in your letter of the
8th of last September, to maintain the Catholic religion with the
obedience due to him, as in the time of the Emperor, Charles V ;
for if ever any oath bound a people to keep its faith towards its
prince, this constrains you. You know well that in thus promising
you stipulated in accordance with your duty ; and if you fail now to
be faithful to it, think you not that God will be wroth with you ?
Know you not that all the evils which we suffer have their origin in
His just anger? Have no regard to the sophistical solution, which
is insufficient to release you from a solemn promise, of saying that
you would limit it to merely tendering his Majesty such obedience
as was rendered to the Emperor, and not to maintaining the same
Catholic religion ; because the obedience to the Emperor was
rendered within one only religion, so that being obliged to one you
are of necessity bound to the other, the two points being indivisible.
Receive then the amnesty which the King offers, whereby the
memory of all past calamities will remain entirely blotted out ; no
more enquiry being made than if they had never happened. And if
piety, loyalty, religion, if the obedience due to your prince, if laws
divine and human, if the pollution of sacred things, the profanation
of sanctuaries, the overthrow of your country, the tears of widows,
the oppression of orphans, the plague and famine which tread on
the heels of this war, cannot move you, at least, if you are bereaved
of all higher feeling [sentiment de divinitè], remember that your
fields formerly fertile will lie fallow, your rich houses will remain
desolate, your towns once renowned and opulent will be forlorn for
the loss of their most ancient ornaments, the edifices both public
and private, and what is worse, the provinces be as it were partitioned
[qy. leantionnees] by this pernicious discord.
I doubt not that on thus putting things before your eyes and
awaking the memory of your predecessors, following their footsteps
and continuing your old fidelity, you will keep your promise. And
whereas many people try to make us believe here that the Prince of
Orange is satisfied to have amplified his conquest of Holland and
Zealand with the cities of Antwerp, Ghent, Mechlin, Brussels, and
Utrecht, and wish to persuade us that under the pretence of piety
towards his country he will exhaust your treasure and finances, and
intends with most cunning people to withdraw from the press, having
set you by the ears that he might fish in troubled waters, I hope that
following his wonted discretion and prudence he will set you the first
example of not failing in duty. Otherwise [if] you refuse to
accept the reason offered you, abusing the good nature of your prince,
be sure that he will be forced to oppose you with such means as
seem to him best to remove from your eyes the veil that deceives
you, and such as the law of nations permits to be used by every man
who does not recognise a superior.
If you will take heed to safety, you shall hear now by what way
you may take the yoke of oppression from off you. It behoves you
to provide for everything according as the occasion presents itself ;
if you let it slip, it will not return to your hand at any time when
you may wish for it.
Whereof I humbly beseech you in God's name, and on my own
part for the conservation of Christendom, with all my heart.
Copy. Endd. by Burghley : Admonition to the States, with date,
Fr. 21 pp. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 100.]
131. MEMORANDUM as to the TRADE with the HANSE TOWNS.
'What liberties the Queen's merchants ought to have in the
Hanse Towns and their jurisdiction before the lately granted
privileges in Hamburgh.'
By ancient grants and compositions ; to have free traffic in the
land of Prussia, wherein is the city of 'Danske' and in all places of
the Hanse, and freely to buy and sell with all persons both of that
nation and others, and to return at our pleasure with our goods
reciprocally and as amply as they had (sic) with us, paying the
customs and duties ; by charter of the great Master of Prussia in
1409, by composition between the commissioners of King Henry VI
on one side and the orators of the Master of Prussia and of the
Hanse towns on the other side in 1436 and 1437, and by the treaty
of Maestricht (sic) 19 Sept. 1473,
By the late convention in 1560 ; to have the like liberties of
traffic in all things in the Hanse towns as is granted to them to
have in England.
'What we have enjoyed before the late grants of privileges in
the town of Hamburgh.'
We have not 'of long time' enjoyed our due privileges aforesaid ;
for long before they were granted in Hamburgh, the Hanse towns,
without all justice, humanity or good reason took from us the use of
all the ancient privileges.
They advanced our custom from 2s. to 15s. on a pack of cloth.
They most barbarously and unnaturally restrained us not only
from traffic, but also from buying victuals, and from all liberties ;
not only such as were due to us by privilege, but also such as were
permitted to all strangers.
All which matters appear by special 'doleances' exhibited, we
not having done anything against the former agreement to forfeit
our privileges or to deserve so unkind dealing ; which matters gave
occasion to 'examine their doings by justice' in the time of King
Edward VI, of Queen Mary, and of her Majesty.
Hereby we were forced to seek privileges at Hamburgh, which
otherwise we needed not to seek, but might have enjoyed them by
the ancient free traffic between us and all the Hanse towns.
But elsewhere the Hanse towns, both by 'colouring' strangers'
goods and deceiving our prince of duties, and by not permitting
mutual traffic to English subjects, and for other good causes in law,
had forfeited all such privileges as they had.
And since the time of the late restraint between England and the
subjects of Burgundy, some 'pretended' Hanse towns did, according
to the vigorous placards of the Duke of Alva, seize Englishmen's
goods, as arrived in the dominions of the King of Spain, and not
within the privileges.
'What liberties we now lack and pray to have.'
First, for the town of Hamburgh, we pray that the special
agreement between them and us may be revived, being, we trust,
honourable and profitable to both parties.
And we require to have mutual and free traffic with all the towns
of the Hanse and in their jurisdictions, as is permitted to them in
England by order upon the treaty anno 1560, to which they were
parties. They have enjoyed the effect of this by her Majesty's
goodness, and it was agreed they should send it confirmed under
their common seal ; but they have not done so. Else we pray that
their privileges may remain forfeited, and they be used here as we
Meantime, in order that her Majesty's subjects be not overreached
by indirect policy, that the 'Hansers' may not be suffered by any
licence to transport such excessive number of cloths more than they
usually carry, as may suffice to furnish themselves for a long time
without us, and restrain our traffic thither.
Date, Julii 1578, in Burghley's writing. Endd. 2 pp. [Hanse
towns I. 45.]
132. 'The effect of the privileges granted by the town of
Hamburgh to the English merchants more than other
A statement of the alleged privileges (authority to choose a
governor, and keep courts ; jurisdiction to decide other than criminal
causes among themselves ; right to 'dye their cloths to be sent to
Germany' ; to pay no greater toll than citizens of Hamburgh ; 'for
victuals, to have the like liberty as townsmen' ; to have 'the liberty
of the beam' as townsmen, etc.) with replies showing that all of
them are either reciprocally enjoyed by Hamburgh merchants here,
or are common to all traders there, or else matters of ordinary justice.
Copy, in the same hand as the last. Dated in Burghley's hand, 1568
[obviously wrong]. Endd. by his secretary with date 1578. 2 pp.
[Calendared in error under 1568 (No 2714).]
133. Petition of the Merchants Adventurers to the Privy
Council respecting restraint of trade with Hamburgh.
'In all humbleness shewen to your honours' the Merchants
Adventurers, that whereas they have by their Delegates from January
to June last treated with the Senate of Hamburgh for the amplifying
of the privileges given of late years to your 'orators,' order has by
the said senate been taken, upon decree, as it is alleged, of the
confederates of the Hanses at Lubeck that no privileges should be
granted afresh to them nor the present enjoyed after the feast of
Katherine next coming ; with further ingratitudes as appears more
at large from the copy of their answer herewith. It has been thought
meet to advertise you of this with request to you so to proceed for
continuance of traffic, relief of your suppliants, and 'supportation'
of the honourable state of this realm as to you is known most meet.
Date in Burghley's hand. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. I. 46.]