Elizabeth: September 1582, 1-5

Pages 292-306

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 16, May-December 1582. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1909.

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September 1582, 1–5

Sept. 1 300. Villiers to Walsingham
I have just received yours of the 25th ult. and at the same time left Mr. Norris, who asked me if I had had no answer, for he knew well that I had written to you touching the person named in my former. The same gentleman, M. de Sainte-Aldegonde and I were discussing a matter of which that gentleman will have charge. If it comes to an end, he will get more honour than in the late retreat at Ghent, where he, with Mr. Gainsford, carried off the honours, and even brought the said Mr. Gainsford three times out of the enemy's hands. You will hear plenty about it otherwise, but this little will make you understand in what esteem he and the English pikemen are held. Please God they do not forget it. You should think of it also, for in the judgement of soldiers it is a fine force that your kingdom has.
I am very glad that you have countermanded him about whom you wrote to me. I state no reasons, for you have not done it without cause. I think your people will live in more peace for it. You have a brave and wise gentleman in Mr. Knollys, and one who serves well to put peace among your people, for he sets an example to many.
To a great part of your letter I make no other answer, save that I thank you for what you have written to me, and more for what you have done.
As regards what I wrote you touching the conjunction of the two realms, I looked to the good of both, and ours also; but if M. de Bellièvre has told me true, it seems to me that they only ask an assurance on your part, having which they would be willing to go forward. I beg you to take it in good part that I write to you yet one word about it, and for the last time—for I do not wish to be importunate, unless I see some great cause. When there was talk of peace in France, you excused yourself on the ground that it did not seem to you assured. Since then you have decided (rous rous êtes arrêtés) on several embarkations for Portugal which did not succeed, and I remember that the late M. Languet hesitated much (était fort arrètés) on that point; and as I saw from the letters you wrote at the time, you judged of it better than he. And to say the truth, I was not of his opinion, for I had known M. Strozzi for 30 years to be a man of honour in that quarrel. When those fleets were ready, you could not believe that it meant business (ne fast à bon escient) as against Spain; and now you are taking another opportunity, and I still fear that that Castilian will undermine us all in the long run. Pray consider, since the time when the House of England wished to hold the balance between those of France and Burgundy, what has been the increase of these two Houses. That of Burgundy is infinite; France has gained Britanny, Provence, Burgundy, the 'goods' of Bourbon, and the district of Metz. Think of it, please, and excuse me if I importune you anew I leave the event to God.
As to the King of Portugal's defeat, we have had the same news as you, and of the same date, all the result of Count Brissac's arrival in Normandy. But we hear that the Queen Mother had advices to the contrary on the 22nd ult. and in fact from intercepted letters from the Prince and Duchess of Parma's agents, written at Lisbon on Aug. 8, from the cardinal and others at Madrid on the 15th we see that the King of Spain was much taken aback at the loss of the island of St. Michael's also that the two fleets had fought on July 23 and 24, and they did not know on which side the victory lay; insomuch that the king was become as white as ashes (such were the words). And we have a ship, coming from Brouage, which says the same. I doubt not that in France they have certain news by now. Only the fleet from Lisbon was in the action, that from Seville having doubled Cape St. Vincent on July 27th only. It consists of 30 to 40 vessels.
Tomorrow his Highness ought to be back in this town; and it seems, if our enemy will believe us, that the war is coming along into Brabant.—Antwerp, 1 September 1582.
P.S.—I am sending all that I have been able to get up to now touching the Scotchman's business; if I can get any more, I will sent it. The ambassador who was here has died at Veere, and Mr. Stewart has taken away his papers.
Endd. Fr. 4 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVII.2.]
Sept. 1 301. Alfonso Ferrabosco to Walsingham
Among my past misfortunes I esteem it not the least that I have so long been under bond, with not unimportant security, not to leave Italy; whereby, among many important reasons which moved me to return to England, one was and is that the greater part of the present which her Majesty was good enough to give me in reward for my long and faithful service, I have left in unrighteous hands, which have defrauded me of my own property. Nor by any means, either of process-server (mandatorio) or anyone else, have I been able to settle my accounts with my creditors or debtors, who, believing me to be perpetually confined in these parts, have made up the accounts as they liked, and got them so confused that Mercury's wand would not put them straight, unless her Majesty's sceptre of justice look to it.
I am with my family, and for my greater security, at Turin, and I am trying to have the ability to go to England. I should wish that you would procure me permission to come, to my satisfaction. Meanwhile I beg you to be a means with the Council that the accounts I have with Vellubello may be carefully revised and settled, because in truth I hold myself to have suffered much in my dealings with him, as the truth will one day show.
I humbly commend my son to you, being much comforted in heart that he will in my absence partly represent an old servant of that realm; and thank you for your kindness in paying me the annuity her Majesty granted me long ago. Although I receive no personal benefit from it, it will be some consolation to have it for the aid of those creatures who are under the protection of Mr. Gómer.—Turin, 1 September 1582.
Add. Endd. Ital. 1 p. [Savoy I. 5.]
Sept. 1 and 2 302. Herle to Walsingham
My two former letters of the 13th and 25th of this present [sic] that come with this packet, I was fain to keep by me thus long for default of such a messenger as I might trust to commit them to, for no English post has departed hence these 14 days. I thought once to have suppressed them, but again considering that they carried a report like a diary of such matters as have occurred for a great while, I thought them worth your perusing, albeit they did not bear so fresh a date; but especially since they contain the true state of these actions which it imports you to know, and that things are delivered directly, without passion or designing.
We are much troubled now with these heavy news of Don Antonio's defeat, which will work bitter effects here, as you will perceive shortly, and is very material for her Majesty to consider of effectually. We were in good hopes that they were only devices forged out of 'Bernardyn' de Mendoza's shop, and others' addicted to the Spanish faction. But since that time, we have been confirmed by letters of the 27th from Paris, and by others of fresh date from Rouen, as also by advertisements from London of the 26th, that the matter is too true. Monsieur and the prince have sought to cover it the best they could by giving out that Queen Mother had written that the victory was Don Antonio's, which relieved people much here.
We think verily that this will be an occasion to discovering the French and fre . . . action, and to leave us 'post' alone, and thus a general alteration [will] follow of the weakness we shall find ourselves in, wanting . . . . countenance, unity, and courage. The French king also may make . . . accord with the king of Spain underhand, laying the fault of these other pro[ceedings] upon his mother and brother, whereto this absence of his may serve for a co[lour?] and for a subject fit to negotiate privately by. From henceforth may Monsieur and the prince, as is likely, seek to hide from her Majesty the truth of things, and draw her still on, to make their own profit.
For me, I see that at length, unless it be this town, with Holland and Zealand, there is small assurance to guard the rest substantially, and I intend myself, upon your answer had to this, to repair homeward, or else to travel up into Switzerland in case her Majesty have not occasion to use me here; for the charges are too great for me to bear alone, whereof, the zeal and travail considered that I yield, there is no consideration had at all. It may be she would have wished that either I had been more able to have borne the charges, 'and which' I would supply with my heart-blood, if that would serve, or that I had been supplied otherwise; for I have the means to know it, which others here cannot arrive to, neither can Monsieur nor the Prince hide it from me, but I content myself humble with my estate, being loth to have her Majesty 'borne in hand' otherwise than truly, either from here or from any other place. What I know I know, which I utter in the abundance of duty and zeal borne to her service and security.
On Tuesday last, Monsieur and the Court were looked for here, but the night before, about 9 o'clock, he was advertised that the enemy's army was on foot, and would before day 'be to' surprise our camp, which lay dispersed between Ghent and Oudenarde. Whereupon the colonels, captains, and officers were sent out of the towns to their several charges, and retired their people and their baggage towards the gate of Ghent that leads toward Alost. By 5 o'clock on Wednesday morning the enemy was in sight. He consisted, by report, of 4,000 horse and as many choice foot, the mutinied soldiers of our nation serving for a vanguard d'enfans perdus, well furnished with muskets: and they were those with courage and skill did most 'avoid' our side. The conflict began by 6 o'clock and continued till after 10, and then, with a small intermission, it was renewed with a few charges and maintained till after 4; the duke and the Prince being all this while on the walls to behold both armies and their actions, and by their presence to encourage their sides the more, having 10 cannons upon that quarter of the town which discharged continually towards the enemy. Mr. Norris surely behaved himself most valiantly and assuredly that day, continuing between the head of our pikes and the enemy's shot during the whole charge; in whose service, valour and direction consisted the conservation of the whole. The Frenchmen ran away most filthily, casting their ensigns from them, whereat Monsieur and the Prince, beholding thereof, tore their hair for the dishonour that they seemed to receive thereby; and if the Englishmen had not shown and invincible courage and constancy, the whole camp had been cut in pieces; for there was not a horseman but Roger Williams, who offered to charge with his cornet, but was forbidden, that stood to them that day. The reiters were desirous to have done somewhat, if the French lancers would have seconded them. Some of the principal courtiers, in the afternoon, as la Bar (?), Saint-Luc, 'Breton,' and others, detesting the vileness of their own nation, and for their own assurance, put themselves among our pikes against the enemy. The retreat of our pikes and shot was one of the rarest and noblest services that ever was seen with so few men. It was done with the face still towards the enemy, by the space of 4 English miles in such a warlike order that the very enemies commended them; their horsemen in good number being gored with our pikes, and so lustily repulsed, that they were made 'respective' how to pursue near them. Yet, poor wretches, they had not a piece of bread all that day, nor the night following provided for the men; but now they are in the land of 'Waest' to refresh themselves, having been mustered on Monday se'nnight, and the horsemen were paid a month's pay on the Saturday following, at the rate of the valuation of money in Flanders, which is a sixth part lost. Thus the poor men are taxed on every side, and the footmen are unpaid yet; they will march over to . . . . in Brabant. Since the camp at 'Remmenye' [Rymenam], when you were in these parts, the like day's service, so honourably performed, was never seen till now, nor yet able to be performed by any other nation. There were slain of our Englishmen between 60 and 80. The French ran into ditches for fear, and were drowned. Of the enemy it is said that above 600 were slain. They 'manassed' [qy. menaced] our men, that they would return and pay them for all. It is known that one of the House of 'Farnesia,' a great personage and near of kin to the Prince of Parma, was killed, and with him a colonel of foot and 5 captains of horse, besides 120 brave horses which were left dead on the field, which were Neapolitan and Spanish. The prince of Parma gave the Englishmen that served him that day 200 crowns as a reward, and does 'so make of' them that it allures our English on this side too fast from us. Captain Sutton, of Mr. North's regiment, was slain, and a gentleman of Captain Gainsford's, a proper young fellow, one of Sir John Killegrew's sons. There were hurt 'of name' Captain Cromwell and young Captain Morys, who is a servant of the Earl of Leicester, and as sure a man for his 'vallew' as any was that day in the field. Captain 'Asshffeld,' a servant of the Earl of Warwick, did very valiantly, and slew two brave fellows with his own hand.
Of the Prince Dauphin and the new French levies, there is now no more speech.
In Guelderland, the Scots that Col. Stewart left in Batt [enburg] his wife's town and castle, have betrayed it to the enemy; and . . ., which the said enemy, who has taken another place of importance in that [country] upon the Mass called 'Ernem,' not Great Arnhem, upon the Yssel. The Scottish king grows stout; he shows it here already.
Monsieur is looked for tonight; of his train a good number have already arrived. He does not commit himself to come along by land, but has taken the way by 'Dermond' and thence comes down the river.
They of the Imperial Diet have not as yet concluded the first article or proposition, for the towns will 'condescend' to no contribution before their griefs are remedied. The Spanish ambassador had audience there, and was placed in the seat of the Duke of Brabant, persuading so aptly and promising so largely that it was thought his cause would have prevailed. The ecclesiastical sort furthered it, and seconded him in whatever he proposed. But an honest wise doctor reversed all their 'platt' and credit, since which time those ecclesiastical persons, as discontented, have retired from the Diet and the Duke of Bavaria has followed them. The Queen's letters were very graciously used, and read by the Emperor; but the effect did not answer the words, for the Vice-chancellor of the Emperor could not be 'made understand' under what power the Baron of Anholt was 'seated' and therefore could direct no command to the 'prince of the soil' for order to be taken on that behalf. And to say plainly, the . . . messenger, Mr. Gilpin, a very honest, well-qualified man, is dallied with, and less regarded than his place requires. The Diet has decreed to send ambassadors to Monsieur and to the Prince of Parma, that they should abstain from annoying the confines of the Empire, and have appointed that the' Critzes' [Kreisen] or Circles of the Empire should levy men and defend themselves, at the charges of the nobility and commons within them.
The deputy of the merchants went last night to Flushing to take order for things there for a general departure from hence, in case they do not deal better with their privileges here than they do.
Herewith is a copy of her Majesty's letter to the Prince of Orange to admonish him and the States of their duty towards Monsieur and the general cause; which is interpreted by our dull States to be craved by Monsieur on his behalf to quicken them up by some extraordinary favour and merit. On the other side this letter is shown as a testimony to the world that the Queen is a party against the King of Spain, and proceeds by many degrees, secretly and openly, to oppose herself to his rights and to the action he would maintain them by.—Antwerp, 1 Sept. 1582.
P. S.—2 September. Monsieur and the Prince did not come yesterday, as they were looked for, but today. Our camp passes over the water tomorrow above, on the river by the toll-house, to Boumen [qy. Bommel] and to St Bernard's. We cannot make 'in all the world' of able men above 4,000 foot and 1,700 horse, for of our English soldiers there there are more than 600 sick and hurt. The rest are marvellous poor and discontented, and depart daily, affirming openly that they will serve the enemy, they are so ill-intrented here. About 70 left this town last night, who intend to furnish a great number in England, and repair with them to the enemy. There are gentlemen and old soldiers among these 70, whose names I will send, if you please, and the places where they will gather their company in England. The new soldiers in this last conflict did their part notably against the enemy. In that day's service, Col. Morgan as lieutenant-general to Mr. Norris, showed himself very diligent and careful, and is worthy the commendation that he led our men with great valour and sufficiency. Captain Huddy, a servant of the Earl of Leicester, with Capt. Havers of Berwick, did noticeable service that day. They charged the enemy with their footmen so roughly that they had the killing of a good number. The shot of the muskets as they flew over our men 'bett' into the town so that they killed and hurt some within the town and upon the walls, constraining Monsieur and the Prince to take a house on the wall, and to look out at 'lowpes.' An Englishman, Monsieur's trumpeter, was hurt with two bullets in the mouth hard by Monsieur, so was du Vray's commis La Scala, shot on the inside of the 'thy.' The French courtiers in the morning thought it to be some May game, and 'red' out unarmed to behold the matter, but were soon driven back with shame. Among them Mauvissière's premier maitre d'hotel was so far forward that he was hurt upon the fat neck with a 'curtelase'; for some of the enemy's horse were pressed our 'battle' of pikes [sic] who having the vanguard that day were fain to supply both vanguard and rearguard, for any French that 'abyd' it. Nor were any of the four marshals of the camp that whole day to do their office among us, only la Pierre the second marshal, at the approach of the enemy in the morning, desired Mr. Norris to take the command of things upon him, departing himself where his affairs and 'surety' led him.
Our poor men that were hurt in the battle were brought into Ghent and placed in houses, with promises to pay for their lodging, but soon after, notwithstanding their former service, they were most inhumanly drawn out by the heels by the Gauntois and cast on the dunghill. Monsieur gave every hurt man of his own nation 15 guilders, to maintain him in the hospital or elsewhere, but to ours not a penny. By this means our people are discouraged, and the new companies, albeit they have served here these three months, will not have a month's pay with the rest, and yet they had no allowance of transport-money at their coming over, nor quarter assigned them where they should be entertained till they were mustered. This will cause Capt. Havers and others to withdraw 'for altogether'; and if the enemy will, he may be furnished with a great number of those that are here. The Prince of Parma does not 'let to say' that he will have a regiment of 4,000 English ere long. He admires the patience and valour he has found in our nation. It seems that the Prince of Orange and the rest are weary of us, or else they are of weak judgement and less thankfulness. You will find this true, for I speak plainly. The wine also rules now much among us. They of Ghent will receive no garrison there, but the 9 ensigns there were before. The enemy, it is thought, will return to the land of 'Waest,' and then may constrain them of Ghent to some alteration. The Prince of Parma has sent 1,000 foot anew to Lierre and 4 cornets more of horse.
Mr Norris gave the soldiers after the skirmish all the money in his purse, which was 17 pistoletts.
Copy in Herle's hand and endd. by him. 5 pp [Holl. and Fl. XVII. 1.]
Sept. 2 303. Audley Danett to Walsingham
Being at Flushing I wrote to you by M. 'de Bee,' a gentleman of M. Marchemont's train; since which time, being at Middelburg, I found 'of' Browne's books to be sold openly. There have been printed of them above 1,000, and many sent into England. After I had stayed a day there about Mr Norris's business, I understood from the Treasurer, one of the Council of the states there, that the Prince of Orange had written for the suppression of the books; which are already sent to England, the Treasurer says, for he says in Middelburg none are to be found. Browne was also sought, but not found; and yet I think not out of the town. There is an assembly there of some 30 or 40 persons, who are in very poor state and for the most part visited with sickness, not well agreeing with the air in those parts. They gave out of themselves that they are in all respects dutifully affected to the Queen, that their book has been seen and allowed by the ministers of Middelburg, and 'namely' by Mr Cartwright, abiding at Antwerp; with whom I have talked, and find, 'in' so far from approving it, that he utterly mislikes the epistle touching the reformation without 'attending' the magistrate, and some other points of the doctrine therein contained, in which he says Mr Browne has absurdly erred. It would appear that the ministers and people in Middelburg are not ill-affected to Brown and his followers, being persuaded that their voluntary exile is for matter of religion and for their conscience; and many of the town, understanding English, often repair to their prayers and assemblies, which are kept at the house which Browne has hired in the town.
Since my return from Zealand, I hear of a conflict between the enemy and our forces, who were driven home to the walls of Ghent by the enemy, being greater in number. The particulars I cannot write, having not yet talked with any man that can inform me the truth. I know it will be advertised at large by others.
Here is great longing for certain news of Don Antonio's good success against the Spaniard; which is diversely reported here. In Zealand, Don Antonio with his whole forces is said to be overthrown.
His Highness and the Prince came last Friday to Dermond from Ghent, and are today looked for in this town.
In the late skirmish by Ghent the French, not willing to abide the enemy, made haste to the town walls. Our English forces, who that day should have marched in the vanguard, were 'faint' to take the rearguard, where Mr Norris did so well with some English pikes that the French gave him great honour for that day's service; and in the judgement of them all, he and his companies saved the whole army. At his return from the service, which endured from morning till night. Monsieur received him with many thanks and 'often embracings'; yet notwithstanding all this, our English companies have received no pay since their musters, the others being already fully satisfied. It is not to be thought that this is his Highness's fault. but rather the extreme want which they 'pretend' here, having lately employed such provisions as they have in paying certain garrisons in Meenen and other places, which 'were feared might' turn to the enemy like those at Lierre. Mr Norris has undertaken to his Highness to pacify his companies for 8 or 10 days, and then Monsieur assures payment. Meantime the General must employ his own credit to furnish the poorer sort with some part of their pay; they are in great extremity.
There were slain in this late conflict, a son of Sir John Killegrew's, one Capt. Sutton of Col. North's regiment, and not above 60 others of the English companies; and about 100 in all of our whole forces. Of the enemy there were slain as it is said to the number of 500 at the least, who were carried in wagons to Oudenarde, to be buried there. Other particulars I forbear to advertise, because his Highness has, as I hear, written at large of them by Mr Stafford.— Antwerp, 2 Sep. 1582.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVII. 3.]
Sept. 2 304. Stokes to Walsingham
My last was Aug. 30, in which I wrote to you of the great skirmish that the enemy made with Monsieur's camp before Ghent, in which General Norris and the Englishmen did so valiantly that if they 'had not been,' Monsieur's camp had been all overthrown; for Monsieur was upon the walls of Ghent, and saw the dealings of it from the beginning to the end.
Two days ago a cornet of French horse of 100 lances, poorly mounted, arrived at Sluys, having been shipped at Calais; and were sent to the camp. It is said also that a regiment of 10 ensigns of French foot is at Calais, to be transported into these parts, well appointed.
It is greatly doubted that Monsieur has no such great force coming from France as it is given out; because they come in such disorder by small troops. So here there is a great misliking of these dealings.
By letters from Lille they write that the Prince of Parma has 'presented' to M. de Montigny to be general of all the new-come Spaniards. But he has refused it; and yet the prince still forces it on him. The Prince of Parma also begins to place the new-Come Spaniards in strong towns; for already he has put some in the town and castle of Tournay, and in 'Rousbrughe,' and seeks to place more of them in the other towns, to the great discontent of the principal rulers and the commons among the Malcontents.
Monsieur is departed from Ghent to Dermonde and from thence he goes to Antwerp. His camp is gone to Dermonde with him and from thence it is said they will pass over into Brabant.
The enemy's camp lies yet beside Oudenarde, whence it is said they will go into Barbant. Some say they are preparing to besiege Brussels.
It is said Monsieur's trumpeter, an Englishman, was slain on the walls of Ghent by the enemy with a musket-shot, standing hard by Monsieur; so it seems by this that they came very near the walls.
Last week Captain Salcedo was sent into France with M. De Bellièvre, with fetters of iron on his arms and legs. When he saw he was to go to France, he raged like a madman, for it seems he was very unwilling to go there. The others that are in prison here will be send to Antwerp.
I have received yours of the 25th Aug. and thank you for it.—Burges, 2 September 1582.
Sept. 3 P. S.—Kept until the 3rd Sept. Yesterday morning at 3 o'clock the enemy, with half his force, came over the river on this side Cortrick, and now this morning at 10 o'clock the magistrates of this town have received certain advice that last night at 1 o'clock they returned over the river back again: for they were sent for by the Prince of Parma in great haste. So they range up and down, having some enterprise in hand, whatsoever it is. Their coming hitherwards was to spoil the country about this town, now that the ways are free, for in the winter they cannot do it. Also the governor of Cortrick, by order from the Prince of Parma, has commanded all the villages 'under' Cortrick to bake bread day and night; so that the enemy has something in hand, and will lose no time.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVII. 4.]
Sept. 3 305. Adrian Saravia to Walsingham
Grace and peace through our Lord Jesus Christ.—Although I desire nothing more than to be able on every good opportunity to do something agreeable to you, and though I know nothing whereon I can better employ myself than writing sometimes on affairs here, I cannot acquit myself as I would, because no posts leave this place for England, insomuch that report and the posts anticipate my letters. Thus at present I do not suppose I am writing anything that you do not know; but what I write is only to accompany the papers which I send you on the reception of his Highness in this town of Ghent. I have seen ere now how and with what magnificence King Philip was received, and what was done now was a very small matter compared with what took place then. The time was very different; the misery and calamity in which the country is did not permit of more. But his Highness gave quite another contentment to the lords and people of this town than the King of Spain gave then, who maintained so very grave a majesty that he gave no sign of being pleased by the honours that were done him. His Highness showed himself in all things as courteous and familiar (populaire) as anyone possibly could; which was wondrously agreeable to the people. You will know more from what I send you.
I doubt not but you have heard what happened at Bruges; of the conspiracy against his Highness, and principally against his Excellency, how young Lamoral let himself be led astray. There were great hopes of him, but they feared his instability and his youth; and for this reason the Four Members judged that he should make a journey to England, Scotland, Denmark, or elsewhere for the space of a year or 16 months, there to pass some of his youth. It seems as if God would entirely ruin the House of Egmont.
We had on the 29th a Hot skirmish under the walls of this town. The enemy thought he had utterly overthrown our camp, and in fact if he had made haste and been an hour or two sooner, he would have done it, and all our people would have remained there. But God so guided affairs that the enemy will have nothing to be proud of; he has left a great many of his people there, both horse and foot. The English behaved very valiantly, and there is no one who does not give them great praise. His Highness and his Excellency were on the ramparts and saw the whole fight. Our loss was very small, 'at the price of' the enemy's. God of His grace put an end to these miseries and calamities.—Ghent, 3 September.
Add. Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVII. 5.]
Sept. 4 306. John Cobham to Walsingham
Since the camp came from Dunkirk it is marvellously diminished; for when the enemy came before Ghent and skirmished with our men there were not on this side above 5,000 fighting men among them. The sickness and poverty of them is so great that they daily decrease. I see the most part weary of this service, because their supplies come so slowly, and payment much less. This day, word came hither that the 'P. Dolphinœ, 'M. Laval, 'Varvacus,' Montgomery, and divers other great personages are coming into Flanders, with 8,000 foot, 4,000 Swiss, and 5,000 horse; but the common sort do not believe it. Our camp is come to 'Bombylle' [qy. Bommel] a league from St Bernard's. The French regiment which was sent from Dunkirk into Friesland is almost all overthrown by the enemy. The Count of Hollock is come hither to me for new supplies; 7 cornets of horse and 6 ensigns of foot will go thither. In that conflict one Laverye, a captain of the horse in Friesland, was slain, and two of the Prince of Orange's nephews, who are the sons of the 'Earl of Adenburge,' were forced to fly into the town of 'Lockham,' where now they are besieged by 'Verdigo' and his army.—Antwerp, 4 September 1582.
P.S.—Mr Norris deals very hardly with me; I pray you let me be directed by you what order I shall take with him for my own.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XVII. 6.]
Sept. 4 307. Cobham to Walsingham
No certain time of the king's return is as yet understood, so that in the meantime the Queen Mother continues to bear the sway in all the affairs. She has sent Bellièvre and Brulart to his Majesty to relate the negotiation they passed with the Duke of Brabant, and of Salcedo's proceedings. He, since his coming hither, as they cause it to be given out, has denied the accusations with which he 'apeached' sundry principal personages. The day after Salcedo's coming to 'Bois de Vincent,' the Queen Mother came thither and had large conference with him. Next day Cardinal Birague with others of the Council examined him. There he remains guarded, and now kept with Queen Mother's guards, not chained as he was brought. I hear he is cheerful, and 'la Verney' persuaded him, for the safeguard of his life, to deliver those accusations, whereon they have conceived in this Court sundry opinions.
The Bishop of Coutances has this last day written letters to M. Brissac that there were two ships come into the haven of Granville in Normandy, by 'whom' advertisements were brought that as they came from the 'Newfound Land' a-fishing, they cast anchor at the Isle of St Michael; and the merchants and mariners of these ships affirm that they found the French navy peaceable possessors of the isle, and saw many Spanish ships which they had taken. They understood they had defeated the Spanish navy through new supply which came to them from the Terceras after M. Strozzi had been taken. Thus daily there is fashioned sundry news such as this, but there appears as yet no certainty either from Spain or from Don Antonio, or directly from the French navy.
There is brought to me by Daulton, who was my lord of Leicester's footman, Bryan 'Mageoghagan,' an Irish gentleman, showing himself desirous to 'be returned' to her Majesty's grace. He has delivered me the enclosed writing, which is not made by himself, because he 'pretends' he cannot write. He is here in company with the Baron Delvyn's (?) brother. I beseech you to let me understand in what sort her Majesty may please that I should deal with him.
Since there is no matter of importance, I have not sent any express messenger, but delivered this to this bearer.—Paris, 4 Sept. 1582.
Add. Endd.pp. [France VIII. 33.]
Enclosed in the above:
Sept. 3 308. Bryan Geoghagan to Cobham
Whereas I, Bryan Mageoghagan, her Majesty's subject, of the county of Westmeath in Ireland, have contrary to my allegiance joined with others of the realm of Ireland, bearing arms against her Majesty, not so much led by any malicious or unsound meaning as driven by fear, having aforetime incurred the danger of her Majesty's laws (for which prostrate on my knees before her I acknowledge my great error), I humbly beseech you be 'mean' to her Majesty that I be received again into her grace and my 'pristinate' entire estate; obtaining pardon for all my offences from the beginning to this present time, wherein as duty binds me I shall all my life be ready to perform the part of a loyal subject, as with this my supplication signed with my own hand I promise.— Paris, 3 Sept. 1528. (Signed) Bar. Geochangan.
Add. Endd.: The petition of Bryan M. son to the Baron of M. as he says. 1 p. [Ibid. VIII. 34.]
Sept. 4 309. Cobham to Walsingham
There arrived yesterday M. 'le Bux'(qy. du Bax, or Buy) sent in post from the Duke of Brabant. It was his chance to find the Queen Mother in her couch at Boissy's house, next to this my lodging, where she 'presently' opened her packets, and at her coming to Saint-Maur called for M. de Cheverny, and commanded Marshal de Biron to be sent for. He presently entered into her chamber, to whom she first showed her son's letters, which after he had a 'likkell' read, he turned to the Queen and said aloud: Madame, il faut secourir, ouil est perdu, car il u fait une grande faulte; whereon he followed the Queen into her cabinet. Notwithstanding, 'le Bux' gives out that the Duke of Brabant's forces had overthrown 800 Spaniards in a skirmish beside Ghent. The French forces are marching towards the frontier, but the Prince Dauphin and Laval are in this town.
There is small hope of M. de Strozzi's life.
I have been given to understand that my packets taken from my servant were not surprised by the Burgundians, subjects to the king of Spain, but rather otherwise. I hope, if they 'happened into' the hands of any belonging to the Duke of Brabant, they will the easilier come to her Majesty's hands.—Paris, 4 Sep. 1582.
P.S.—I am advertised the Duke of Bouillon goes to Strasburg (?) and so passes his time for two months in Germany, and that his brother goes to serve the Duke of Brabant with 800 horse and 200 foot. The Prince of Condé is returned to Saint-Jean-d'-Angely to stay there a while, but after to repair to the King of Navarre in Béarn, whither M. de 'Belgard,' the Duke of Savoy's ambassador, is gone a-wooing the Princess of Navarre.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [France VIII.]
Sept. 4 310. J. Lobetus to Walsingham
My last to you was of July 28, in reply to yours of the 19th of the same month; since when I have had nothing from you. I write now, thinking that you will not take it amiss, to let you know that our Imperial Diet will, as it is hoped, soon be finished. All the Protestant princes went home some time ago, leaving their ambassadors at Augsburg, so that what princes and lords remain there are all Catholics and no others. There have lately arrived the Archdukes Matthias and Maximilian, and they were expecting Ferdinand. The Archbishop of Mentz has had himself anointed at Augsburg and 'inaugurated' by the Pope's legate, the Cardinal of Madruz, and soon afterwards done homage to the Emperor and obtained investiture of his fief of elector. The principal points brought at the Diet are cleared off, for they have granted the Emperor a good sum of money for the defence of his frontiers towards the Turk. It will amount, they say, to more than 5,000,000 florins, payable in the next five years, the first payment falling due next Lent on the Sunday called Dominica Lœtare.
As regards the wars in Flanders, they have decided that the Emperor will not mix in them on one side or the other, but will keep his eye on taking order that the subjects of the Empire who are in the neighbourhood of these parts shall not be oppressed [foulés] nor suffer damage; which was to be written alike to the Prince of Parma and to the States. Further, for greater security, soldiers were to be placed on the frontiers. This has I think been done at the instance of those of Liege, who had made great complaints against M. d' Alençon. Someone also told me that they had sent to meet the ambassadors who were said to be coming from M. d' Alençon, to tell them that if they came on behalf of a Duke of Alençon and Anjou, and a brother of the King of France, they would be very welcome; but if they came in the quality of ambassadors from a Duke of Brabant, Count of Flanders, they would not be received nor heard.
As regards another point, that of recovering the towns and bishoprics which were kept away from the Empire, it was said that this should be put off to another time, and that meanwhile the means should be considered. Nothing has yet been decided about Aix.
Those of Cologne have made a very rigorous edict against their burghers who are of the Religion. They have done it thinking they cannot otherwise hinder the assemblies and preachings. This edict — I do not know if it will be observed —[is] that all those who have resided in their town or have become citizens in the 16 years, and profess any other religion than the Catholic, must go out and reside elsewhere. This may well be the cause of some disorder.
For the rest, the war in Savoy has come to an end, thank God. The assembly of the Swiss held lately at Solothurn, the ambassadors of France, Savoy, Berne and Geneva being present, has decreed that the troops should be disbanded on both sides, and arms be laid down, and as for expenses and other points of difference on the two sides, they should be considered at the first assembly to be held at Baden in Switzerland. Arms were to be laid down on the 21st ult. The Bernese had sent their deputies to the Duke of Savoy's camp, and the duke had sent his to the Bernese, to see the above carried out. Those of Geneva were said to have sent certain persons to meet some French companies that were coming to their aid, to thank them and send them back.
The Duke of Würtemberg is marrying his sister to a Duke of Deux Ponts, the third brother, called Otto Henry, and the Marriage is to be celebrated at Stuttgard next Martinmas.
The Emperor has made a long reply to the unwillingness of the States of the Empire to interfere in the war in the Low Counties; and especially the count of Aremberg, being envoy on behalf of the Prince of Parma, has made great representations in the matter, inciting the States to take up arms for the King of Spain. But we hear that for all that States of the Empire do not change their opinion. Many are indignant at the treasons, conspiracies and assassinations in which people are at present involved and of which we hear talk; judging such methods to be of no service to honest war, nor to spring from generous minds.
The present bearer, M. Zolcher, has complained several times to me, that besides his great expenses in posting recently from England to this country, wherein he used an incredible diligence, he was also cheated in the purchase of a horse which he made lately at Strasburg; and 'mal sur mal n'est pas santé'. His malady wants healing; if you liked, you could well play the doctor to him. The medicine would be to get him a little pension from your Queen, to let him say that he was in her pay and her very humble servant. You can judge if he deserves something of the kind, if you consider the long time that he has been about his business in (hante et pratieque) England; so long that he is more like an Englishman than a German in fashion and looks. Even if he had not earned it by the past, he is quite a man to deserve it in the future. Besides he is a good sort (bon diable) and, as I think, makes you laugh sometimes, which ought also to be taken into consideration.—Strasburg, 4 September 1582.
Add. Fr.pp. [Germany II. 37.]
Sept. 5 311. John Cobham to Walsingham
Mr Norris is appointed to go with 8 cornets of horse and 15 ensigns of foot, most of them French, to relieve 'Lockham.' The rest of the ensigns that are left are come to lie at 'Berganhooth' (Borgerhont) and the villages about Antwerp. It is reported the enemy has retired towards Cambray, to meet the French companies that are coming hither.—Antwerp, 5 September 1582.
Add. Endd. 8 ll. [Holl. and Fl. XVII. 7.]