Elizabeth: January 1581, 21-31

Pages 26-38

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 15, 1581-1582. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1907.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.

Please subscribe to access the page scans

This volume has gold page scans.
Access these scans with a gold subscription.Key icon

January 1581, 21-31

I have seen the letter which you wrote me by command of her Majesty and can assure you that I was much annoyed, not at my failure to receive what I asked of her but at her indisposition, and also at the news you send me that the proud usurper is amassing forces to attack her. May it please that great All (ce grand tout), to grant me grace, whenever he undertakes any such thing (which with the help of God will turn to his disgrace), to be able to sacrifice my life in her service ; which I will do whenever she honours me with her least command. As for the request I made to her Majesty, Monsieur had encouraged (assuré) me to write to her ; but seeing that such affairs have come forward I will not importune her further. I pray you however to beg her very humbly for me to write to the Governors of the Isle of Wight and other ports, that if by fortune any of the ships which I have sent out to sea by the orders of his Highness, to make war on the Spaniards, should arrive, they may enter freely into their ports, and sell their prizes without hindrance. If you will manage that I may obtain this from her Majesty, and will send it to me, I will add this courtesy to an infinity of others, which I shall acknowledge whenever I may have the opportunity of doing you a service.—Havre de Grace, 22 Jan. 1581. Add. (seal). Endd. Fr. 1¼ pp. [France V. 8.]
Jan. 24. 23. Certified copy on parchment of the Duke of Anjou's commission to 'M. [sic] de Bourbon, Count of Soissons ; Loys de Bourbon, Duke of Montpensier ; François de Bourbon, Prince Dauphin ; Artus de Cossé ; Tanneguy le Veneur, sieur de Carrouges' ; and others, to negotiate the terms of his marriage with the Queen of England. Broadsheet. Endd. by L. Tomson. Fr. 1 p. [France V. 9.]
Jan. 25. 24. COBHAM to the SECRETARIES.
Upon receipt of your letter, on the 12th instant, Marshal de Cossé not having departed, I went to him to know if he were minded to return this way from the Queen Mother, or if he had received any advertisements from Monsieur touching the naming and sending of the Commissioners. He told me that Marchaumont was returned from Monsieur, and he would meet him at Chenonceaux. Thereon I took occasion to wish that since he was taking this long journey for uniting in amity the Crowns of England and France, he might be the only actor to have the honour of it, which might the more happily come to pass if he were accompanied by persons to his liking, 'bent for' the advancement of the marriage and the friendship between her Majesty and these princes ; beseeching him to consider thereon, that they might be personages well-affected, all ripe in years and judgement. The Marshal reminded me that he had been chief in divers battles and Commissioner in sundry treaties, yet he hoped to reap more honour of this negotiation than of all the former. As for the Count of Soissons, he went only to countenance the cause as a prince of the blood, though indeed very young for that purpose ; yet he might pass, considering the ability of the rest. I answered, it seemed he was of too tender years to be a partner in the managing of so great an action, as I wished their Majesties would consider. Speaking of Pibrac, he accounted him assured to him, because he had befriended him in many ways. I replied that I had heard some doubtful speeches of him, as in some ways not favouring the cause on our side so far as might be wished. This moved the Marshal to say that in some respects perhaps he might be suspected for the matter of marriage ; and he thought it might be convenient to have some other envoy appointed in his stead. I stated that I was of opinion that either M. de la Motte-Fènelon or a gentleman with the same fame for honorable dealing, sometime Governor of Metz, whose name, as I remember, was M. de Piennes, would be well liked. The Marshal said they meant to deal with Queen Mother therein, and let her know 'what language I had passed of it.' I told him that if he thought good I could be glad to see Chenonceaux, and thereon take occasion to confer more largely with her Majesty on this matter. He promised I should hear from him, and so I took my leave. Within two days I received from him the enclosed letter, and this other from M. Pinart, saying that her Majesty wished me there to see her house and garden ; whereon I went to Amboise, where I met Marshal de Cossè, being lodged hard by him. I desired him to advertise me how he found the king and Queen Mother bent in the negotiations. He assured me that they were disposed to proceed according to the intended meaning, chiefly for the matter of marriage, and the uniting in assured 'consociation' the Crowns of both realms. I asked him further to let me know if he had received from his Highness by Marchaumont full commission to deal in this cause, as if he had resolved on the personages to go into England. He answered that he knew of no such matters being brought by Marchaumont, but he himself meant to go to Paris, there to await the coming of his own secretary, by whom he looked to receive full resolution from his Highness. He was however sufficiently instructed in the affair wherein he should deal for the king, and would be as earnest in the matter of marriage as any other person that might be sent from Monsieur. He saw therefore no reason why Marchaumont should go into England, unless it were to bring notice of what they should negotiate, which might as well be sent by a common courier. As to the affairs of this realm, none should deal in them but himself, being an officer of the Crown. This speech caused me to say that no other could be thought a more principal actor in this than himself, having been with Monsieur and entirely instructed in his mind, and also informed of what the king meant to have done. No other would be better welcome to the Queen than himself. I asked him to let me know what Monsieur meant to do in the Low Countries, and what assistance he would require of the Queen ; and how far the king had discovered himself to Monsieur that way or otherwise for the resisting of King Philip ; because the knowledge of this might shorten the negotiations, and ripen the Queen's mind against their coming. He answered that he had sent to his Highness by his secretary, to be informed of such matters. Howbeit methinks I had rather cause to judge how he shifted me off with this answer, reserving his knowledge of these things to himself. With these speeches I left him and took my way to Chenonceaux. On my arrival, M. Lansac, M. d'Escars, and the Bishop of Puy, the Queen Mother's Chancellor, received me. By them I was conducted into a chamber, where I dined with them, together with MM. Pinart, Brulart and 'Beauvays la Nogle,' who was just come from the Duke of Nevers. After dinner they accompanied me to Queen Mother's chamber, where I found her, the young queen, and the Princess of Lorraine, with a few ladies. At my first coming to her, she entertained me with discourse of the situation of her house and the manner of its building, and with the trimming of the orchards and gardens ; which she seemed to utter with some 'contentation,' for it is a place wherein she greatly joys. Some time being spent in this speech, I showed her that through the framing of these 'contentations' she had given the world to understand the greatness of her mind, so likewise if she pleased she might ease the discontent of the miserable Portuguese who now are brought wholly into subjection to the King of Spain. The relief of that nation depended on her, but men's hopes begun to quail, since the succours she meant were not landed in Portugal, and being returned were now dismissed. She answered that the Portuguese were at first to blame for the over much opinion they had of their own forces and for not seeking help in time, betrayed through the ill intelligence they had among themselves. There has been done from hence what might be convenient ; but there is no certain news of Don Antonio. Howbeit she said that the day before a Portugal had come to the Court, by whom it was given out that the King of Spain was dead, the Duke of Alva sick, and Don Antonio in arms in the mountains near Andalusia. I said that the news seemed to be very well devised and packed together, but not easy to believe ; and she also doubted it. She likewise enquired if I had heard anything from the Queen, asking if she might change the name of sister into daughter, which she 'thought very long' to do. I said that I thought 'any of both' names would be welcome to the Queen ; though it was thought that this long 'staggering' in the choice of the commissioners and the slacking of the negotiation for amity would not be profitable, considering the loss of so many days and the greatness of the common enemy, to whom nothing can be more advantageous than to gain time. She affirmed it to be true ; saying withal that it was desired from England that there should be some change in the commissioners whom the king and Monsieur had appointed. I said I thought that extended no further than that they might be persons well affected and of estate convenient for the management of so important affairs, which was deeply to be considered by herself and the Queen. She said there was great reason for the Queen to be satisfied so far as they might, and as occasion might serve ; assuring me they should stay no longer than she might hear from the king and Monsieur upon the return of Marshal Cossé's secretary, with whom she had also sent a gentleman. She gave me to understand that the Marshal had dealt with her concerning Pibrac and M. de Piennes. She said that the king had not resolved on Pibrac's going, and M. de Piennes having been hurt in the head by a cannon shot was often sickly and otherwise aged. I moved her touching M. de Soissons, to consider the weight of the cause, and how necessary it was that all the commissioners should be of weight and experience, able to judge and deal to the satisfaction of their Majesties and my Sovereign, 'which otherwise' might hereafter diminish the credit of the cause, and minister matter of cavillation to the indisposed. She assured me they could not at present 'change the person of the Count of Soissons, to equal him in birth' ; but otherwise there should be choice of persons of quality sufficient for the present action. Lastly I pointed out that the Queen had by many means understood, and lately more particular from M. de Mauvissière, their Majesties' constant meaning to enter into a further association for the withstanding of the Spanish king's growing greatness ; which demonstrations she entirely embraced. If she might be informed particularly of his Majesty's proceeding in this cause with his brother, she would be contented to do therein to their satisfaction. She seemed very glad of this, saying she would send to the king to know his mind herein. Because it was 'by and by' after dinner, and I perceived by her manner she was disposed to take her ordinary rest, I left her. I was accompanied by M. Lansac, by whom I was shown all the Queen's gardens and orchards, which are very stately, full of good fruit and large walks. In passing the time with him he showed his desire to have some assured knot compassed for uniting in friendship the Crowns of England and France, which he 'discoursed' to be very necessary for both realms, considering the time. He lamented there was so much time spent in bringing their Majesties' and my Sovereign's wills to be accorded ; showing how the Houses of England and France, through so many alliances and marriages, seem to be all one lineage, and likewise that God had framed their troubles, and suffered the progress of King Philip's greatness to be the mean, as he hoped, of a perpetual accord between England and France, which he would be glad to see in his latter days. From this discourse he entered into the remembrance that his son had in time past 'pourchased' some ill opinion of her Majesty for his dealings at sea ; which he seemed to excuse as done in time of 'suspect' of war. Howbeit he trusted that ere long his son would recompense that fault by doing such service as should be agreeable to her and not known to many ; but in what sort he did not tell me. After I parted from M. de Lansac, M. Marchaumont accompanied me a little on my way, telling me that he had been dispatched by Monsieur to their Majesties to receive their commands, and so to pass to her Majesty before the departure of the commissioners. But since his coming to Court he has found Marshal de Cossé to be of a contrary opinion, and not to like his going, which is the cause of his stay. It seems that he was dispatched both with particular letters to the Queen, and with some private messages ; so I see their peculiar passions are some hindrance to the general cause, and occasions of the stay of better purposes. About the 18th inst. Monsieur was received at Bordeaux by Marshal Biron with some companies of soldiers and certain of the Parliament in their scarlet robes, and so conducted to his lodging. The Queen of Navarre and the Princess of Béarn were in his company. After the peace was published in Bordeaux he and the Queen of Navarre went in a public procession, the Princess having gone to the King her brother. Notwithstanding Monsieur's earnest persuasion the Queen could not be induced to speak or give good countenance to Marshal Biron. The King of Navarre awaits Monsieur's coming to Bazas, meaning from thence to have him to Nérac, to feast him in his own house. M. de Châtillon was sent by the Prince of Condé to Monsieur, and remained three or four days with him. The Prince is not well satisfied, considering he departed from Saint-Jean-d'Angely with great danger to la Fère, and thence into Germany, where he entered into composition with Duke Casimir, engaging to him his credit upon the promises and commissions he received from others, who have not dealt for him as well as he could wish. Monsieur and the King of Navarre have sent Turenne to confer with him.— Blois, 25 Jan. 1580. Add. Endd. 5 pp. [France V. 10.]
Jan. 15. Enclosed in above :
25. (1) Marshal de Cossé to Cobham.
Being here and telling the Queen how I had left you at Blois minded to go to Chambord, she said that if you wished to see this country-house she would like us to be there in summer, as it would be more pleasant. Nevertheless, if you like to come you will be very welcome. Let M. de Lansac know, who will entertain you well. Your road will be straight to Montrichart, from which place you will send him news of you.—Chenonceaux, 15 Jan. 1581. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. V. 10a.]
Jan. 24. (2) Pinart to Cobham.
I kiss your hand for the letter you wrote me and the packet from M. de Mauvissière that you forwarded. I am going at once to let the Queen Mother know what he writes, which agrees with the dispatch brought me by M. de Courcelles, whom the Queen sends to Monsieur ; from whom M. de Lansac and I are daily expecting powers, instructions and memoranda that we may go to find the Count of Soissons and Marshal Cossé, who I hope are by now at Paris. M. de la Mothe-Fènelon is also appointed to this journey, and I think the king and his mother will omit nothing to add such princes and lords as are suitable for so honourable a business. You may rely on it that their Majesties and Monsieur wish to do all that they may for the satisfaction of the Queen as is reasonable.— Chenonceaux, 24 Jan. 1580 (sic). Copy, (?) by L. Tomson, and endd. by him. Fr. ½ p. [Ibid. V. 10b.]
The States-General of the Low Countries assembled in the town of Delft, having heard the proposals made by Mr Christopher Hoddesdon on behalf of the Queen of England, thank her Majesty for the good affection she has always borne them and the favours this country has received from her. Nothing could be more agreeable to them than to give her entire contentment in regard to the debt to Palavicino and Spinola, amounting to £28,757 l1s. 2d., for which she has given her obligation. But since owing to the war they have no means to pay either principal or interest, they beseech her again to give all reasonable contentment to the said merchants for the interest, which comes to £4,116 13s. 1d. They promise to give her an obligation in due form for the interest up to the last day of December last in regard to the debt to Spinola, and of the two parts due to Pallavicino, of which the first fell due on Oct. 31 last, the second will fall due on Feb. 28 next, as appears from a statement signed 'George Gilpin.' The city of Antwerp will also give its particular obligation to pay the interest for next year, both on the principal and on the interest now due. They hope the Queen will take this proposal in good part, and that Mr Hoddesdon will use his good offices with her.—Delft, 26 Jan. 1581. By order of the States-General, Houfflin. Endd. by Beale. Fr. Broadside on parchment. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 10.]
Jan. 27. 27. The STATES-GENERAL to the QUEEN.
We have received your message sent by Mr Hoddesdon, touching the debt to Pallavicino and Spinola, for which you have given your obligation. We are much displeased that we have not yet been able to give you the satisfaction that reason and equity require, but hope that you will not think that the delay arises from forgetfulness of what we owe you for your many benefactions to these countries, but will attribute it to the afflictions which since the incurring of the debt have been so much augmented by the disunion of several provinces and the disasters of the civil wars. For the same cause we must entreat you not to take it amiss if for lack of money we have been unable to satisfy the aforesaid merchants as we would have wished, and that our answer to Mr Hoddesdon is such that considering the state of our affairs you will have some ground for contenting them in regard both to the interest fallen, and that about to fall, due, until the payment of the principal, with such security of bonds as we can offer ; as Mr Hoddesdon will write to you more fully. We will not here repeat it, but beg you to accept once more what we have resolved, hoping that you will not regard as inopportune our boldness in giving you so much trouble ; since our boldness is due to our necessity and to the infinite testimonies that we have of your good will for the welfare and relief of this state.—Delft, 27 Jan. 1581. (Signed) Houfflin. Add. (seal). Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [Ibid. XIV. 13.]
We are infinitely obliged by the trouble you have taken in the matter of Pallavicino and Spinola, to induce them not to proceed rigorously against the subjects of this country in respect of our debt to them, and to give them at the same time some contentment and hope on our behalf. And as we have abundant evidence of the good affection which you have always shown us, to keep us in the good graces of her Majesty, we beseech you to continue it, and specially to use your credit with her to make her approve the answer which we have given to Mr Hoddesdon upon that which he has said to us from her respecting the debt. We are much vexed at not being yet able to give her better satisfaction by cash-payment ; but we hope that looking to the extremities to which this difficult war has reduced us, she will be pleased to interpret everything in good part.—Delft, 27 Jan. 1581. (Signed) Houfflin. Add. (seal). Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Hol. and Fl. XIV. 11.]
Jan. 27. 29. The PRINCE of ORANGE to the QUEEN.
I thank you for what you have done for this country and me in particular. We hope that you will recognise more and more that our enemies are no less animated against your person and estate than against us. As for your recommendation to me touching the merchants to whom the States are indebted, I have done what was in my power, as I hope you will hear from the Governor of the Merchants Adventurers.—Delft, 27 Jan. 1581. Add. (seal). Endd. Fr. ½ p. [Ibid. XIV. 12.]
Jan. 27. 30. The PRINCE of ORANGE to WALSINGHAM.
Thanks for the news in your letter by this bearer. About the same time I received letters of the 19th ult. from the Duke of Anjou and from our deputies containing the same as you sent, and further that the peace was not yet published, but that his Highness meant to have it done about Christmas, and only awaited the return of M. de Villeroy, who was to bring the formal edict. From another source I hear that the King was well satisfied with this peace, so that there is a hope that it will last. We have however no news as yet of the publication. His Highness also sent word to me and to the Estates that he was sending forces to the neighbourhood of Cambray to join those of M. de la Rochepot, who having thrown some men into the town had retired 6 or 8 leagues into Picardy. I have sent thither, but my people are not yet back.—Delft, 27 Jan. 1581. Add. (seal). Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. XIV. 14.]
Jan. 28. 31. COBHAM to WILSON.
Upon receipt of yours on the 22nd, I dispatched Adams next day towards his Highness with the enclosed packet, using the best means I could for his safe passing, those parts not being yet very sure. I find by the advertisements from Bordeaux that his Highness will have gone thence to Nérac before the messenger's arrival, which I hope was yesterday. I write no details of the commission, having done so in my joint letter. The ambassadors generally find themselves aggrieved by the slow decisions they receive from their Majesties ; which is excused by the King's distance from here, being above 100 English miles, and that sometimes he is in uncertain places. Please let her Majesty so understand, that I may not seem negligent in her service, especially in procuring answers on matters that concern her ; for though I do not mention the great inconvenience which many feel from the scattering of the Court, it is sufficiently complained of. I shall not fail to do your commendations to the lord of Arbrothe, of whom I hope her Majesty will 'serve herself,' and that he may continue the good dispositions he has protested to me. I perceive by your letter that the Queen has appointed a sum of money to be bestowed on him, though only the promise of a pension of £500 yearly is signified by Secretary Walsingham's letters.—Blois, 28 Jan. 1580. Endd. 1 p. [France V. ll.] (A copy in the fragment of Entry Book, France IV. 40 (1) gives the address.)
Jan. 28. 32. COBHAM to the SECRETARIES.
I am sorry to hear from you of the troubles rising in Scotland, which have not happened 'beside' the opinion of many, because the intention has been long foreseen. It is much wondered, however, that d'Aubigny who was of no great account in these parts, nor esteemed to be of wise government, has found means to 'make' so great a part in Scotland. They judge that he has well followed such instructions as were ministered to him by wise heads, and it may be the more dangerous if her Majesty give place and time to their devices. Finding among other papers the copy of a letter written by the Bishop of Ross to Cardinal Alciatus, telling him of d'Aubigny's progress in Scotland, whereby it appears that the 'platform' was laid by the consent and counsel of the bishop, as also that d'Aubigny had promised him and others that he would leave nothing undone for the advancement of the Scottish Queen's cause and the enlarging of the Roman Bishop's authority in that realm, and considering therefore the danger of those practices, being [sic] parties mightily bent against her Majesty, as has clearly appeared, I have thought it my duty to 'remember' thus much, sending the copy of the bishop's letter, which was given me by the hands of the party that wrote it for him. Upon the receipt of your letter, delivered on the 22nd, I sent next day to Lord Hamilton at Moret, hoping either to see him or hear from him within these two days. I shall not fail to accomplish her Majesty's commands that way, but I assure you without the sum of £300 or £400 he cannot depart, for he 'is to' satisfy his creditors, whom he has discovered to me. Tassis the Spanish ambassador had audience of Queen Mother at Chenonceaux on the 23rd. He was received by Lansac, with whom he dined, accompanied only by the Bishop of Vendome and the Abbot of Guadagna. He repaired hither with two coaches and but a dozen persons, apparelled in long mourning cloaks ; among whom was the late Portugal ambassador's secretary. After he had dined he was brought to the Queen Mother, who suffered him to talk with her more than a quarter of an hour bareheaded. He delivered to her only two letters, from her 'nieces,' the king's daughters, using much more reverence to the young queen than to the Queen Mother. At his departure from their Majesties he was shown the house and gardens. During his conference M. Pinart had large talk with Maldonado, the late agent's secretary, and young Pinart entertained this ambassador's secretary, a Spaniard. I am informed that he besought her Majesty not to enter into amity with our Queen, for she sought under colour of amity to breed wars between his master and this king, which would be the undoing of this realm. To which she answered that the matter had passed so far between the Queen and Monsieur her son that it was too late to stay it ; but there was no such meaning as he supposed. I understand also that he has moved the king and queen to 'be the means whereby' the Grand Signior may continue the league with his master, and to receive some favour that way ; which as I am informed they promised, and next month will dispatch one to Constantinople. I hope the Queen will think upon this. Beauvais la Nocle is gone to Monsieur from the Duke of Nevers, with very humble excuses for the book that was printed, and an offer that if his answer be not thought sufficient, he will come to demand pardon on his knees. So it is thought that matter will be pacified. Marshal Montmorency seeks to be restored to the King of Navarre's grace and to be excused to those of the Religion for matters past to their misliking. He has delivered in writing divers true allegations wherein he was very much touched and deeply prejudiced ; so that it is expected that through Monsieur's persuasions the unkindness may be salved. Dr Beutrich and Clervant are with the Prince of Condé, sometimes about Montauban, sometimes at Castres. The prince has dealt very honourably and wisely in the matter of religion in Languedoc. M. de Vizines is lately returned hither from Switzerland, where he has practised with the Protestant cantons to enter into league with the king, but the association is not yet accorded. M. de Guitry remains at Geneva. The Viscount of Turenne, after he leaves the Prince of Condé, will go into Dauphiné and Provence to publish the peace and establish matters of religion. Strozzi seeks to marry the sister of the young Count of Rochefoucault, with whom he is to have a good sum of money if the marriage come to pass. M. Chemeraut, Prévost des Logis, has been sent by their Majesties into Spain. He left his house about the beginning of this week.— Blois, 28 Jan. 1580. Add. and Endt. gone. 2 pp. [France V. 12.]
Jan. 28. 33. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
I perceive by your letter that the Queen desires to be satisfied on two points ; one, as to the commissioners, which I trust the enclosed from M. Pinart will satisfy. As for the new-mentioned league, I pressed Queen Mother thereon at my last audience, when she promised to send to know the king's further meaning therein. Hitherto I have received no answer, and if it be longer deferred I mean to ask audience this week, so that her Majesty may be satisfied in this. I have attempted to get knowledge of it from Marshal Cossé, but he shifted me off, as I have said in my joint letter. I suppose that either it is not settled or they will keep it secret till the commissioners go, to be then 'discoursed' by them. Queen Mother told me in her last conference that she had sent a ship to Portugal, with three or four 'confident servants,' to learn the state of Don Antonio. I hear a whisper of a meaning to send some ships and men from Rochelle, Brouage and Blaye, in which Lansac and Rochefoucault would join as enterprisers, with the advice and counsel of Strozzi. Cardinal Birague is returned, and to-day I am told that the queens mean to be here the first week in Lent. Queen Mother at her last conference seemed to me to fear that the Prince of Condé and 'Desguières' would join together to raise some troubles. Count 'Chanfrey,' ambassador to the Duke of Savoy, has returned from Monsieur, of whom he had audience at coming and going. He does not like Monsieur's invasion of the Low Countries.—Blois, 28 Jan. 1580. Add. Endd. 1 p. [France V. 13.] (Copy in fragment of Entry Book, France IV. 40 (2).)
The magistrates and commons of the town of Ghent have informed us that by reason of the greatness of their town and the large number of forts (boluards) recently erected they need several pieces of artillery ; and inasmuch as you have always shown your goodwill towards the preservation of the towns of the Low Countries, and notably of this province of Flanders, we have gone so far as to request your Majesty that their deputies, sent for that purpose into your realm, may buy and freely transport to this town 40 cast-iron pieces of various calibres, allowing them to enjoy such freedom from tolls and customs as you may know our present indigence requires.—Ghent, 29 Jan. 1581. (Signed.) R. Darpentier. Add. Endd. Fr. ½ p. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 15.]
Jan. 29. 35. STOKES to WALSINGHAM.
My last to you was the 22nd inst., since which these are the speeches here. M. de Montigny with all his force ranges up and down, resting in no place above 8 days. Now he is retired to Ghetringsberghe [qu. Geersberg], which is beside Oudenarde. By letters from Artois to this town they write that all the nobility and gentlemen of the Malcontents have agreed to receive the aid of the King of Spain, saving Count Lalaing, M. de Montigny, M. de Bours, and three or four other gentlemen 'of small calling' ; but it is thought by some persuasion they will be brought to it as well as the rest. This agreement the nobility and gentlemen have made among themselves without the knowledge of any of the towns of Artois and 'Henogo,' who it is thought will not agree to it. They also write from Artois of two regiments of 'Allmans' who have entered Luxemburg for the aid of the Prince of Parma, and also of one or two regiments of Italians who are within 4 or 5 days' journey of Luxemburg, marching hitherwards. There is now a speech of a 'camp' that the States will speedily have in the field, and that M. de Villiers, that was captain of Bouchain, is to be general of it. The prince has sent him to Ghent to communicate with the Four Members of Flanders about it. The States were desirous to have had the Prince of Epinoy to be general ; but it seems he has refused. By merchants' letters from France it is written that the peace there holds and that great forces are marching towards these parts from Monsieur, to the aid of the States. But from the States' ambassadors that are there no letters have come for a long time. Of late there has been another great skirmish between those of Cambray and the Malcontents, when those of Cambray took prisoners two principal captains. One is M. de Canoy, lieutenant to the Marquis of Risbourg, and the other 'Mesire' Nicola Basto, one of the chief captains among the Albanois ; who it is greatly hoped will release M. de la Noue. Yesterday the magistrates of this town received letters from Holland, in which it is written that the war in Friesland goes very well on the States' side, and that Col. Norris has done a great good service there. The meeting in Holland of the Prince and States is all ended, and the Prince is gone to Amsterdam, and from thence it is said he will return to Zealand, and so come to Ghent.—Bruges, 29 Jan. 1580. P.S.—'Even presently at the gates' shutting' I received your letter of the 21st inst., which the English post carried through with him to Antwerp, which was very evil done of him. For the letters which you have sent me, they shall be speedily sent away to-morrow morning, as directed. If the post that brought them from England had done his duty, they would be now in the parties' hands ; and this is not the first time they have slacked the delivery of your letters. For the ship which you have written me of, I will do my duty to harken after 'him.'
Jan. 30. This morning, being Jan. 30, I have sent your letters to the prince and to M. Haultain, governor of Zealand. They will be speedily delivered. Also this morning I have been with the burgomaster of this town, who is a great good Protestant, for it is he only that has advanced God's true religion in this town. He has this morning received letters from Cologne in which it was written of a new league that the Catholic bishops and others of 'Dochland' have made with the five little cantons of Switzers, to wit, the Bishop of Basle, the Bishop of Strasburg, and the Bishop of 'Mayens.' As they write, they will this summer put those of the Religion in all countries to great trouble and danger ; which God grant they may be prevented in time. Add. Endd. 2½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIV. 16.]