Elizabeth: February 1583, 16-20

Pages 125-139

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 17, January-June 1583 and Addenda. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1913.

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February 1583, 16–20

Feb. 16. 110. Audley Danett to Walsingham.
I have deferred to write to you since my last of the 10th inst. hoping to have been able to advertise you certainly of the deputies sent to the duke. On Wednesday the 13th they advertised the States by letter, that he was very ready and willing to accept the 'appointment' in such sort as it was sent to him; demanding of them 10,000 crowns, to be the better able to set forward his forces to the relieving of Eyndhoven, and afterwards to attempt some other service against the enemy. The deputies, awaiting only the signing of this accord, hoped to return the next day, with a 'small dispatch' of that business; but about the same time the States received letters with an antedate from M. Pruneaulx, bien picquantes, and as some say very indiscreetly written, which 'liked them in no whit at all,' and gave them occasion to stand in doubt of the duke's forwardness to accept the appointment. He sent the like also to the Prince and to M. Villiers the preacher. The next day the commissioners were looked for, but instead of these the States received letters from the duke, by an Italian gentleman, wherein he 'moved' some difficulties, which he prayed the States to advise of, and to give him some better satisfaction thereon. He misliked to go into Brussels with a guard of 600 Swiss, but desired to remain still at Dermonde, and would render up Vilvorde, Dixmuyd, and 'Bergenwynox.' He desired, before rendering up any towns, such French prisoners as had been stayed in Antwerp since the time of the late broils might be enlarged and sent to him; and some other difficulties, for appointing ung chef de Varmée aggréable aux Estats, and certain other articles in the accord which he wished might be amended. All which men interpret to be but a delaying of time till some further practice may be accomplished. Some say the Prince of Parma has sent to the duke offering him to pass into France through Hainault and the Malcontents' country. Some others think the duke will pass into the land of Waes hard by Ghent, and so take his way to Dunkirk; of which there is some likelihood, because it is discovered that he has sent to cause his forces which were thrust out of Bruges and other towns in Flanders, remaining still about Dixmuyd, to march towards the country about Ghent, thereby to make his passage the more easy. This is the rather conjectured, that he will be driven ere long to a hard 'exigent' for victuals where he now remains, to relieve his army, and has made a survey of such victuals as are already in the town of Dermond; so that very necessity will constrain him ere long either to accept the appointment with the States, to treat with the Spaniards, or to make his passage to Dunkirk, which I think will be the course his council about him will soonest advise him to, being every one of them enemies to any composition with the States as it is now offered. They assure him that being able to recover Dunkirk, they will be forced to treat with him, to his better advantage.
Meanwhile the deputies sent to him are not yet returned, and it is feared here will be stayed till the prisoners here are released. In Dunkirk M. de Chamois rules with a kind of tyranny over the poor burghers, having armed certain ships 'to' the sea, which of late have spoiled certain hoys of Holland, 'loden' for this town, and used great cruelty towards the mariners, some of whom have this day come to make their complaint to the States-General in this town.
It is said M. Bellièvre is on the way hitherward, sent to the duke, which some think may be the cause that he has so suddenly altered his purpose touching the accepting of the appointment, to see what comfort he may hope for from France.
This morning the States' forces made an enterprise to have surprised Lierre, which did not take effect; and so the forces were sent again into the land of Waes until the duke's resolution is known.
The mutiny of the garrison at Bergen-op-Zoom is appeased and the soldiers contented; only Eyndhoven remains besieged, and although the forces before it are not great the difference with the duke will stay the sending of relief.—Antwerp, 16th [26th erased] of February, 1583.
P.S.—Last night Mr Norris came to this town to let the Prince and States understand that the same day, being Friday the 15th, Mr Darcy had been with him in the land of Waes from the duke, to desire he might pass through with his forces, with as many fair words and goodly promises as become such a message. The excuse was made in as good terms as might be, but no passage allowed, without knowledge given to the Prince and States. About this business Mr Norris came hither, and is to return again to his charge this day. The States are much perplexed, and as it should appear, before the duke has time or means to enter into any treaty with the enemy or make his escape to Dunkirk, they have an intention to drive his army altogether to Dermonde, and there for want of victuals to bring him to some reasonable composition. Although this be their only way, because delays breed them much danger, yet the Prince seeks to persuade a more mild course towards such a prince. How he will be able to prevail God knows; but he abstains altogether from affairs, thinking the States will be of necessity constrained to crave his assistance. But as yet they 'spare' him, and run their course alone, not without some absurdities oftentimes.
I take such order for Randolph and Hamon that they be not permitted to repair hither for some good time, because they may be bad instruments to be used in some practices against Mr Norris, who has by this service for the States procured many enemies among the French, who use some 'braveries' that will be revenged by some with time. Further particulars please receive by Mr. Burnam, to whom Mr Norris minds to deliver some things by mouth, if his haste to his charge call him not away before he see him.
Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 63.]
Feb. 16. 111. Gilpin to Walsingham.
I forbore writing last week for want of matter worthy to trouble you with, and sent Mr. Thompson a copy of the news received from my friend at 'Culen.' Now, though I understand by letters from Antwerp that your servant 'Borman' was ready to 'depart over,' who cannot be unfurnished 'of' all that has passed there, yet having got the enclosed copies, I thought it my duty to send them, whereby will appear the negotiations with Monsieur, the news from 'Cullyn,' with the discovery of the practice to trouble Holland, whereof he that is chief author dwelt a long time in England, at Norwich, a principal workman for cutting maps in copper. It is said he has confessed all, which I trust shortly to understand further, and then shall not fail to advertise you, with any other things I shall the while learn.
My servant is returned from Antwerp, and 'do make readiness' to send him over with the book to you very shortly.
Present news here are few and uncertain. M. de Mirambeau, the King of France's ambassador, who was with Monsieur and the States came hither this week from Antwerp, and would not, as it seems, venture to abide the clamorous humour of the Flushingers, but embarked here for Calais. At his first coming here the mariners, in speeches and otherwise, misused his folks, by pulling them by the cloaks, and calling, 'Vive la messe,' with like reproachful terms; so that he nor his stirred not abroad without the company of the burgomaster or some of the magistrates or officers. He promised assuredly all things should be redressed, amends made by 'his Majesty and Alteze'; and for his part would write to Dunkirk to procure those of this town and others there detained to be released without any ransom, and that the governors have care to use the people better than they had been and were.
Divers of judgement doubt Monsieur will not leave Dermonde where he commands, and go to Brussels in such sort that he might be 'per' the people overruled.
Moudragon lies at Breda, lately arrived there, as it is thought, upon hope of some good success of 'Holland practices,' or else then to 'attempt upon' some of the smaller isles.
There was an enterprise in hand 'per' the enemy against 'Barrowe,' where the soldiers were in mutiny for their pay, but it failed; as also one of the States upon Lierre.
Eyndhoven is still besieged, and Count Charles Mansfelt chief for the Prince of Parma. Their force is not above 2,000 foot and five cornets of horse, and three cornets that 'lie about six mile' to keep the passage. Last week those of the town turned out certain of their horses, that their forage might serve the the rest the longer. It is said they are still reasonably victualled for a month or 'twain,' and the enemy wearied by this cold and hard weather; so that if the French mean en bonne joy, which many doubt, the siege will be easy to be removed.
What moves this doubt, you may perceive 'per' the copy of part of a letter written to the lords of this town by a credible person. I have 'adjoined' it next to the 'Collyn' news, being brought to me so late this evening, with the Holland advice, that I had not time to translate it. I fear there are further practices in these 'delayable' dealings than is thought. God grant the continuance of His Holy Spirit and wisdom to the Prince of Orange and others, who cannot be too careful and circumspect of their persons and estate, nothing being more sure than that the Holy League will this summer do their uttermost endeavours to compass their intent against all that confess and maintain the truth and gospel. But God, that never forsakes His elect, will confound the wicked in their own counsel and fulfil the infinite most true sayings of the prophet David.
Divers had writings from 'Cullen,' that command was sent from the Electors and other princes to continue the bishop in his place, and that the Count of Aremberg with his Spaniolated forces should depart from the limits of the Empire; but is not certain.
The King of Spain's daughter is reported to be arrived in Italy, and on the way, with a great train of Spaniards and Italians, towards Vienna, where the Emperor's marriage will be celebrated.
The King of Spain, as it is written from Italy, makes preparation of very great sums of money and more men for these countries, to be here against the spring. I send also a copy of a few lines written to me by a friend at Antwerp.—Middelburg, 16 February, 1582.
Add. Endd. by L. Tomson; and in a later hand: Affronts offered to the French ambassador. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 64.]
Feb. 16/26. 112. Fremyn to Walsingham.
It is a week since I last wrote to you. His Highness is still at Termonde. It will be a week to-morrow since the States sent their deputies with M. de Laval, to wit, M. de Meetkerke, President of Flanders, of the Council of State, Leoninus, Chancellor of Guelders, and Bloeyere, burgomaster of Brussels, to his Highness. They wrote on their arrival at Termonde that they hoped all would go well on his side. It was thought he would go to Brussels and hand over to the States Termonde and Vilvorde, and have 600 Swiss for his guard, and that being at Brussels they would negotiate with him on the chief point. It was held for almost certain that he would do as contained above. But now it seems that he will not listen to any such thing, saying that in the first place they must send him back his officers and gentlemen who are prisoners at Antwerp; and as regards the sale of their things (hardes), and the ransoms they have paid, that may stay as it is. As for quitting Termonde and Vilvorde and going to Brussels to negotiate on the chief point, that can be done at Termonde, being much more comfortable and secure than the others. In short, his opinion is, by what they say, that they want to cheat him if he abandons those two places and goes to Brussels in the fashion desired; where he will be like a prisoner till he has surrendered the other places. As regards marching his forces to succour Eyndhoven, he had asked for 30,000 florins to give the soldiers. This has been talked of, but the money has not yet been delivered. The negotiations are protracted owing to the distrust which it will not be easy to efface by reason of the past; or else because there is some backstairs influence (de Varrière-boutique) at work to secure itself and deceive its neighbour. His Highness had sent an Italian named M. Jules, with letters; also from the deputies. He ought to have had his answer today, to go back to Termonde. Perhaps his Highness is putting off coming to a decision till he has talked to M. de Bellièvre, who has not yet arrived, because he sent to ask a safe-conduct from the States, that he might not get into the same danger as M. de Mirambeau, who has returned to France; as have also the train of the Duke of Montpeniver, M. de Laval, the Count of la Rochefoucauld, and others who have been able to get leave, having paid their ransom. In short, this business is not yet done between his Highness and the States. All goes to delays and postponements. Meanwhile the artful ones are working.
It is said that the Court of Parlement has made a representation to the king: that the conclusion was slow in coming, that his Majesty would send forces to withdraw his brother from these countries, that he was pledged to it, and that if God were to call his Majesty to Himself, his brother would be the rightful heir to the Crown, and if any harm befell his person, France would be in troubles and factions. To avoid such a danger they besought him to take order therein, as did also all the other Parlements of France; and that in case the king neglected to assist his brother on this occasion, they would summon the Estates to take order therein.
It is also murmured in this town that his Highness is awaiting forces from France; or that perhaps there is a secret treaty between the kings. It is said that the Emperor is going to marry the King of Spain's eldest daughter, and the Archduke Ernest the second, and that these two princesses will be sent into Germany this spring to that end, and that the King of Spain will marry the Emperor's sister, the widow of the late King Charles, although heretofore she has made difficulties about it.
An assembly was to be held in Switzerland on the 25th to treat of the agreement between the Duke of Savoy, the Bernese, and those of Geneva. Some hope for a good issue from it; others not
The affairs of the Archbishop and the Chapter of Cologne are still undecided. The Elector pursues his point. On the 22nd ult. a meeting of princes and grandees was to be held at Cologne, to try to settle the difficulty; but it is held that there is little appearance of an agreement. The Pope [tries] by all means to hinder the designs of the Archbishop, because he has directed preaching according to the Reformed Church in the places where he can command. Meanwhile the Chapter has caused a little town on the Rhine below Cologne, named Kaiserwerth, to be surprised.
It is also said here that the King of France has granted the Prince of Condé two years' longer residence at Saint-Jean-d'Angely. Also that the prince in question, the Duke of Montmorency, and the Duke of Uzès have had an interview at Montpellier.
Last Wednesday, the 23rd, at nine in the evening, the Exchange of this town took fire. It was entirely burnt, and but for the diligence used in putting out the fire, there would have been countless houses burnt. The common people said the French had done it at the persuasion of some 'artful ones'; and but for the honourable folk, burghers and inhabitants, who bore a hand in the matter, no doubt there would have been some mad thing done, inasmuch as the French name is still odious here, as is possible. To-day there was a further sale of the furniture of the Count of Chateauroux and his son.
Yesterday evening there left this town some 500 burghers with some 1,000 foot soldiers and 300 horse. They thought to capture Lierre at five this morning, which failed, notwithstanding that a report was half over the town that Lierre had been won, and the same moment found out to be a sell (bourdes). So the town of Lierre was missed. Capt. Michel was in command of the troops. Nothing else for the present, save that all is confusion and distrust.—Antwerp, 26 February, 1583.
P.S.—His Excellency is in good health, thank God; and those who are most expert in this negotiation do not know whereabouts they are. Each man judges of events according to his humour. These are doubtful things.
It is said that his Highness has sent M. de Rochepot into France, and that he has passed with post-horses, making great haste.
Add. Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 65.]
Feb. 16. 113. Thomas Arundell to Walsingham.
On my arrival in Venice I wrote to you telling you of the cause which had moved me to come to Milan and then to this city, and I shall think that it was satisfactory to you. Since then, there being no occasion for me to write to you, I have given you no further knowledge about myself. But misfortune having now befallen me, the particulars of which you will be able to understand from my servant, the bearer of this, I wished to give you a report of it, knowing your love for me. And although, by God's grace, I am out of danger of losing my life through this infirmity, yet as I cannot henceforth be sure of it, I would warmly pray you in any event and on every occasion to assure our Queen that I am the loyal servant that the obligations that I owe to her require; and though she may have heard anything to give her to understand the contrary, let her surely believe that it was invented by my enemies, who endeavour in this way by injuring me to gain her favour. And because I know the confidence that I can and should have in you and your great prudence, I will only say that I refer myself to your judgement, begging you to be favourable to me according to your goodness and greatness, and my own innocency and necessity; and to take it in good part if I have written to you by a secretary of mine, being myself hindered by my malady.—Venice, 16 February, 1583.
Add. Endd. Ital. 1 p. [Venice. I. 7.]
Feb. 17. 114. Stokes to Walsingham.
Since my last of the 10th inst. in these parts this week little speeches have passed, so that there is nothing to write of at this time but great miseries and troubles, that grow every day more and more towards them, and all by means of these late troubles at Antwerp and other towns; which I see have made almost a division among the magistrates of this town, at Ghent, and in other places, for some of them lean to Monsieur's cause, and some against him; and those that are against him are desirous to make some agreement with the Malcontents. So it is feared that this division will turn to some great displeasure ere long.
Four days past the magistrates of this town were advertised that the Prince and States had made agreement with Monsieur. Now it seems they have received contrary advice, of some doubts that the agreement will not hold; for it was said that Monsieur should deliver all the towns into the States' hands, saving Dunkirk, and now it seems he desires to keep Dermonde, which is thought to be but a delay. So I perceive they have small hope of any agreement to be made with Monsieur; so here is a dangerous state, God send it better at His pleasure.
The commons at Ghent and in this town continue still very vehemently in their old speeches; which is, they will never come under the French government again, and all because the Frenchman does daily such great cruelty here in the country. This week the Frenchmen of Dixmude have burnt a very fair village there by Dixmude, and other fair houses, and killed many poor peasants. So these hard dealings of the French there and elsewhere move the commons more and more against them.
Also in merchants, letters this week from France is written that the French king is preparing to send into these parts, for the aid of Monsieur against the States 120 ensigns of foot and 3,000 horse of his bands of ordnance. Of these speeches I see the commons are not afraid, because they think it not to be true; but yet of course it is thought to be very true.
To-day letters are come from Antwerp wherein it is written that the great new 'Burce' there was two nights ago all burnt by misfortune, by means of a pot with fire that a woman left in her shop above in the 'paune' (qy. pan). So it seems that town has not yet received all God's punishments.
This week M. de la Motte of Gravelines has taken a small castle standing between Roosebrugge and Veurne, wherein were 60 of the States' soldiers. It was delivered by way of agreement. This castle by report was an important place for those parts.
The Dutchmen of Sandwich and London send daily into these parts great store of wheat out of the Isle of 'Tennett,' and from Margate, laden in English ships: and the like great quantity is brought here from Suffolk and Norfolk.—Bruges, 17 February, 1582 stilo Angliœ.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 66.]
Feb. 17. 115. Audley Danett to Walsingham.
The deputies lately sent from the States arrived here this Sunday morning from Dermonde, accompanied by Count de Laval, M. des Pruneaux, and Villers, sent from the duke. The substance of their charge I cannot 'presently' know, they having not yet made their report to the States. Yet because I desire this letter may overtake any other written to you yesterday, I would not fail to signify this much to you, meaning within a day or two to trouble you further, if I learn anything worth advertising. I understand the duke mislikes to go to Brussels with the small garrison of his Swiss, and therefore desires the number may be 1,200; and if those of Brussels should not like to 'condescend' to his demands, he prays to go to Dixmude till they are brought to yield to him; the rather because delay may breed the loss of Eyndhoven, which he desires may be succoured 'presently.' To this end Marshal Biron and Count Rochepot have used some speeches to the deputies, offering their service for the relief of that town. They want no cunning to work their purpose, for true it is that the duke covets most to draw himself and his forces towards Dunkirk, and is so weary of Dermonde by reason of the small provision there and the sickness of the bloody flux, which daily takes away 20 (though by those of good credit it is reported 30 or 40) of his French troops, who have not been accustomed to these moist countries, that he fears to be constrained to enter into Brussels with the offer already made by the States. To help this matter, it is given out by the duke's friends that the Prince of Parma treats daily with him by the means of certain Italians, to permit him passage to Cambray through the Malcontents' countries, and so that the duke will leave the places he holds here to the King of Spain; in lieu thereof, to give him the Duchy of Milan. These speeches amaze some of reasonable judgement; but the best sort are of opinion that the Duchy of Milan will not be so easily offered by the one, nor so hastily accepted by the other. The duke would fain have some good composition, being so badly lodged in Dermonde; the States desire an end, because delay breeds the more danger, beside the loss of Eyndhoven, which were easily succoured if the duke were satisfied. Therefore in all appearance the necessity on both sides will cause them to come to some speedy accord. And yet the business is trained on in such sort that many fear the event will be nothing to the States' advantage; the rather because Pruneaux is now employed, whom of their experience they know to be a temporiser, and term him ambidexter.
As anything shall be resolved on, which may come to my knowledge, by the small means I have in these parts, I will advertise you.—Antwerp, 17 February, 1582.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 67.]
Feb. 17/27. 116. Pietro Bizarri to Walsingham.
I did not write a second time by the ordinary post, since I had shortly before consigned my letter to Mr. Edward Burnam, together with two copies of my Persian history, one for her Majesty and the other for yourself. These I hope you have already duly received, and that you will have excused me to her Majesty for having sent them unbound, owing to the shortness of time.
On the 23rd, between nine and ten at night a fire broke out in the shops of the traders over the Exchange, and such was the conflagration that it burnt them all in a very short space of time. If the wind had been as boisterous and vehement at the beginning as it was half-an-hour later, the flames would doubtless have been fanned to such a degree that all that quarter would have been burnt. But the air being still calm, and in addition very great, almost incredible, activity being shown by the burghers in putting it out, Vulcan restricted himself to the Exchange only, leaving all the rest unmolested, so that with the exception of the scorching and burning of the upper part where the shops were, it went no further. Even the two towers remain entire, though a small part of one of them was burnt where the timber was, but what was of stone remained entire, and without damage from the fire, as do likewise all the neighbouring places. The cause of this fire is variously related. Most people think it was accidental and that it originated from some little pan or pipkin, such as women use to warm their hands, with burning coals, leaving it carelessly [sic]. Others say that the fire was lighted in three or four places simultaneously, where the gunpowder was sold. If this were so, it would be somewhat suspicious, and more important. But having no greater certainty hereof. I leave it to the truth. The damage was very great individually, and from a public point of view the magistrates of Antwerp have lost more than 6,000 crowns or florins of yearly rent; nor can the shops be rebuilt under a cost of 50,000 florins and more. God grant that all the calamities of Antwerp may be terminated with this, and that an end may be seen to all these miseries.
Last Sunday about 11 o'clock Count Laval left this for Dermonde accompanied by Dr. Longolius and other deputies. Since they have not yet returned I cannot write you anything well-grounded, although it is firmly believed that the agreement has been concluded, and that his Highness will remove to Brussels, pursuant to the terms settled on either side. On the same day M. de 'Miamber,' the French ambassador, departed for Flushing on his return to his Prince. A fresh ambassador is expected here from France, namely M. de Bellièvre, who they say is already at Calais.
Some suspicion having arisen that the enemy meant to attack Berchem, those of Antwerp and others, to the number of 400 horse, sallied out at night and went towards the enemy, to attack them; but not finding them, they returned hither in the morning, with no result. Meanwhile they say that Eyndhoven is much straitened by the enemy, and that they have lately brought some six large pieces to batter it; so that if it be not succoured soon, those within will be obliged to surrender, or be conquered by force.
The other day the courier going to Nuremberg was taken near Lierre, with various letters that he was carrying; among them one from me to the Elector of Saxony. These letters being taken to the present Governor of Lierre, Signor Maria Cardoini, an old friend of mine, he at once recognised my hand, and soon after wrote me a very affectionate letter, begging me to go over to Lierre for two or three days, as he had a great desire to see me and talk to me. He would send me a passport, horses, escort, etc. But I thanked him by letter, excusing myself, that I am at the point of starting for Germany. Even if I were not about to make that journey, I should take good care not to go, knowing how little good faith there is in the world to-day. He has 3,000 crowns a year pension from the King of Spain, and his eldest son, Alessandro Cardoini, about 21 years old, is in the Spanish service, and he himself is daily expecting his wife and family from Spain.
I may start at any hour, waiting only till the navigation is rendered secure by the melting of the ice, of which there is truly a very great deal, especially in the Rhine, as divers people report. Meanwhile I pray God to prosper the Queen and yourself.—Antwerp, 27 Febr. 1583.
P.S.—We understand that the Prince of Parma has sent three gentlemen to Dermonde to parley with his Highness. But it is hoped that he will not listen to them, and please God that it be so.
I hear that Count Laval has just returned, with the deputies, and has gone at once to his Excellency.
Add. Endd. Ital. 3 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 68.]
Feb. 18/28. 117. Thomas Doyley to Walsingham.
On Sunday last, Dr. Longolius, M. de Meetkerke, and Tayart, were sent by the Prince and States to the duke with the articles of accord. On Monday the general received from Dermonde, by a drummer, this letter: “Norris, I hear thou art boasting to the Estates to surprise the town of Dermonde. Thou art too great a poltroon to attempt a less thing than that. If thou deniest the above, thou has lied.” Below, Brimeaux; but the the letter was addressed by Secretary Quinsay and by him delivered to the drummer.
Last Thursday the duke sent Julio, an Italian, to the Prince and States, requiring ten days' respite to continue at Dermonde, and 30,000 guilders to content his troops, that he might employ them in the relief of Eyndhoven; but I 'doubt' he would have victuals and money, to be their enemy. He makes sundry delays, which he may the better do, being victualled by the States; for he had 30 wagonsful of victuals from Brussels and Mechlin, and two ships laden from Antwerp with 21,000 loaves of bread, with cheese and bacon and beer proportionable.
The same day, at eight at night, the great Bourse of Antwerp was all burnt and all the goods therein, by negligence of a woman's 'loolpot' left in her shop. The burghers were all in arms, fearing another French treason.
On Friday the Count de la Marche took ship for France, with all his retinue. The same day the duke sent Mr. Darcy, as he did once before, accompanied by du Bex, to the general, to give him passage with his troops into the land of Waes. Mr. Darcy was first with the duke, who immediately sent him to the Estates, who returned him with this answer, that they would fully refer and commit the ordering and finishing of all matters and differences to her Majesty of England; but that offer lies dead, and Mr. Darcy has not since been employed to the States.
The same night came the general, to advertise the Prince and States thereof, as also of the great preparation which the duke made of boats, bridges, and artillery mounted by the water's side in a skonce newly made, to pass the river by force; requiring also artillery of the States to 'countermand' theirs, which being granted, he presently departed.
The same night the States' enterprise against Lierre failed. They had drawn 300 English and Scotch out of the land of Waes, and 400 burghers from Antwerp, with other horse and foot from the nearest garrisons, to that effect; but they of Lierre had intelligence of it, the matter being in every man's mouth four days before.
Our general's regiment is all come from Brussels to the land of Waes, in very good terms and well disposed to fight; but the French die daily of the flux in great number.
M. de Bellièvre, one of the four Superintendant de Finances [sic] is on his way, 'on message' from the French king to his brother.
On Saturday midnight, the Estates' deputies returned from the Duke accompanied by M. de Laval and des Pruneaux, and there is no 'appointment' resolved. The duke requires too great a garrison, of 1,200 Swiss, who with the retinue of French are sufficient to command the town of Brussels, which the Estates make great difficulty to grant.
The wars of Germany continue. The Duke of Saxony, the Palsgrave of the Rhine, with Duke Casimir his brother, the Marquis of Brandenburg, the Landgrave of Hesse and his brethren, the Duke of Deux-Ponts, and the 'Grave van Meurs' have written to the city of Cologne to continue their obedience to the bishop. Also to the Duke of Cleves, to dislodge by force with his reiters, out of his 'circuit,' the Count of Aremberg, who commands the 1,000 cavalry and 2,000 infantry sent by the Prince of Parma against the bishop. Also to the Emperor, requiring him to maintain the common peace of the Empire and Confession of Augsburg; otherwise they will employ to that use the money granted him at the last Diet for his defence against the Turk.
Bonn, the bishop's town, where he was married, was lately in danger to be surprised by its Papists, who had taken the Town House and market place. But the bishop's brother, who commanded there with a garrison, quitted himself so well that he constrained them to give up all their weapons.
The Malcontents have lately spoilt 'Tournhoult,' a goodly village midway between Antwerp and Eyndhoven.—Antwerp, 'the last of our February,' 1583.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 69.]
Feb. 18/28. 118. Mauvissière to Walsingham.
I have received your letter, and see that her Majesty is pleased to grant me audience to-morrow. But since M. de la Mothe arrived about an hour before I received your letter, which I have communicated to him, and desires likewise to have the honour of kissing her hands and recounting his journey to her, and that he is very tired and worn out, if she will kindly put us both off till Thursday, we will go together. Otherwise I will go alone to-morrow, because M. de la Mothe cannot be ready till Thursday. Do me the favour to send me word about it by this bearer, or by another early to-morrow morning, that I may know what to do.
M. de la Mothe and I will salute her Majesty and humbly kiss her hands, if you will be at the trouble of telling her.—London, 28 February, 1583.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [France. IX. 35.]
Feb. 19. 119. Lobetius to Fremyn.
I last wrote to you on the 14th ult. according to the old style, for we do not use the new one in these parts. I have since received yours of the 22nd of the same, new style, which brought piteous news. God be praised for all; but what will the sequel be? What does the Queen of England say of it? What the King of France? What will the States do now, being deserted by those through whom they hoped to prevail? Would it be possible by any other means to give greater gratification to the King of Spain and the Prince of Parma. The Cologne affair will not go any the better for the Archbishop; and the accord which it was hoped would be made between the Duke of Savoy and those of Berne and Geneva, and of which we have already heard talk, may even be set back. There has been some annoyance between those of the Canton of Zug in Switzerland, and those of Zurich (the devil is never asleep, save to good deeds), because some good-for-nothings (vaultnéans) of Zug went to the place where in the year '31 a battle was fought between the Catholics and those of the Religion, in which those of Zurich and their allies were worsted, and Ulrich Zwingle was killed, as you may have seen in Sleidan. These fellows in a waggishness disinterred several bodies of those who were slain in that battle, and carried some of the bones to a chapel hard by, leaving the rest on the field. Then they had the 'history' of the battle painted in the chapel, not forgetting to put in the armorial bearings and ensigns of the fugitives, and further, wrote up in big letters, in German verses, how the affair had gone. The lords of Zurich, who were chiefly touched by this insult, sent ambassadors to the lords of Zug to complain, requesting that the bones might be replaced in the earth, the painting and the verses effaced, and the authors of the act punished as they deserved. We hear that the lords of Zug have returned a friendly answer, and that the painting and the verses are already effaced, and the bones reinterred.
The lords of Berne, after much deliberation, have allowed themselves to be comprised in the league with the King of France. Those of Zurich have not as yet been willing to listen to it, though they have been much solicited.
Notwithstanding this calamity at Antwerp, I beg you to be mindful of what I lately wrote to you, namely, to beg M. de Villiers to use his interest in regard to (avoir pour recommandé) the affairs of Mr. Sturmius with the King of Navarre and the Prince of Condé, and to speak about him to M. du Plessis. The good man needs it greatly, having waited 20 years without receiving a penny of his dues. Please do it, therefore, as a work of mercy.
I have just received letters from Switzerland. They tell me that the assembly to be held at Baden in Switzerland to settle the difference between the Duke of Savoy and the Bernese and Genevese, has been put off till the 3rd of next month. This is not a good sign, and those of Geneva draw an evil augury from it. Those of Zurich have entered into closer alliance than before with those of Berne, and the Bernese have lately sent ambassadors to Zurich to this end. The beginning of this year is giving us a very evil forecast.
You will have heard of the decease of the old dowager of Guise who lived at Joinville, and that of the Duke of 'Mercure.'—Strasburg, 19 February according to our style, 1583.
Add.: 'in the street of the Emperor, at the sign of Fortune.' Endd. by Fremyn: Received 1 April, 1583; and by L. Tomson: Advertisements from Strasburg. Fr. 1 p. [Germany II 58.]
Feb. 20.–Mar. 2. 120. The Prince of Orange to the Queen.
Since my last to your Majesty nothing new has supervened in this country, except that the negotiations between his Highness and the States still continue. I am sorry that they are not more advanced, but several difficulties present themselves from day to day. If you had honoured the States by letting them know something of your intention it would have done much to further their decision, and for my own part I should have contributed what I could and should have considered as pertinent to your service.—Antwerp, 2 March, 1583.
Add. Endd. Fr.p. [Holl. and Fl XVIII. 70.]
Feb. 2/Mar. 3. 121. Thomas Doyley to Walsingham.
The articles, long a-concluding between the Estates and the duke, began yesterday to be put in execution; the duke drawing out of Vilvorde the French garrison and yielding it into the hands of the States, receiving of them for the contentment of the garrison 6,000 florins; which was almost intercepted by the Malcontents. My opinion is that he will proceed sincerely, en bonne joy, to perform the rest, as also to do his uttermost endeavours for the rescue of Eyndhoven, to recover his former credit. This account is made for the rescue of it. The French or Swiss with the garrisons of Eyndhoven [qy. Vilvorde] and Dermonde, and the regiment of Robous (?) who should have taken Bruges, as also the companies of du Pic, which were at that time thrust out of Bruges, being there in garrison, 'to be' 6,000, also the troops in the land of Waes, to be 3,000 infantry and 38 cornets of horse. Also the 'Grave van Hohenloo' will bring 1,500 from Guelderland; also they will draw out of their garrisons 1,500, with some other cavalry, so that the Estates' camp will be about 13,000 strong, and the enemy has not 1,000 before it. And because the enemy is far stronger in cavalry, our camp will march towards Huysden side; which being a 'marrish' ground will be a defence from the horse. But some say that the prince has his troops lying between 'Maesick' (qy. Maestricht) and Cologne as ready to 'supply' either to the help of his camp before Eyndhoven, or of the Bishop of Liége for Cologne matters, whichever shall first be most urged; and that Mondragon lies with other troops at Limburg beyond Maestricht. I fear this Eyndhoven will cost many a broken head.
Des Pruneaux remains still at Antwerp, to 'traictey' the duke's matters with the States. He brought from the duke a very friendly message to the general, as also from Marshal Biron.
The King of Portugal's agent is retiring to Rohan (qy. Rouen) in France, to his master.
This country now hopes that the wars of Germany will draw the wars thither from these quarters.
The Bishop of Mentz was a guest at the Bishop of Cologne's marriage, and now remains indifferent, meddling with neither part.—Antwerp, 'the third of our march,' 1583.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 71.]