Elizabeth: January 1583, 6-10

Pages 14-32

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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January 1583, 6–10

Jan. 6. 12. Audley Danett to Walsingham.
On Dec. 30 I received yours of the 24th, and according to your directions heretofore, I have 'done my endeavour' to become acquainted with some of the Scots abiding here, but find them for the most part unwilling to talk with me touching the proceedings in their own country. One among the rest, talking of the Duke of Lenox, said though many of the nobility took part with him, yet the Churches being so leagued together, he thought the duke would be able to prevail but little; and for foreign aid, he saw but small appearance, especially from France. This I find to be M. Bodin's judgement, who has lately had some speech with me touching those proceedings and of the assured good opinions her Majesty has long since conceived of la Mothe-Fénelon's affection to her state and country; in which respect he says la Mothe is permitted to repair into Scotland, to pacify the troubles begun there.
Since the taking of Eyndhoven the Italians have surrendered, and yielded up the place within the town which they took for their safety. It is accounted here a great disgrace to them, for not one piece of artillery was so much as shown before the place. There were slain of them at first in the 'fury,' about 12 persons, and the rest remain prisoners. Munition and 'powders' are already sent for the guarding of the town, which, though it be small, is thought to be worth the keeping. Certain companies of Scots, and M. de Lalaing's regiment, are to remain there in garrison, and Capt. Williams has the leading of our 3 English cornets, which are also appointed to abide there.
Upon the bruit of the arrival of the French army, the enemy forsook the field and placed many of his troops in Oudenarde, Cortrick, and other towns of garrison. It is not yet guessed what course he will take; but most likely when he has refreshed his companies and thoroughly understood the forces on this side, he will again look into the field. Meantime there is great haste and much preparation here in Brabant to 'dress' an army into the field to do some exploits in the enemy's country while he takes his ease; whereof there is appearance of good success, if they are able here to provide some present pay for the relief of the common soldier, who 'has and does' abide great extremity.
The whole French army, both horse and foot, have already passed over the water and are come to Borgerhout; of which the people in Flanders are not a little glad, although they found no great fault with the Swiss, who paid reasonably for such things as they took, or were content with what was given them, without sacking or spoiling their host. Men of good judgement of our nation, who beheld the 'passing' of the Swiss, do not find them either so well appointed for armour, or otherwise so likely men to perform what is looked for at their hands. It may be we flatter ourselves, and are grieved such care is had to content them, who have yet done nothing, and so little regard had of ours, who have of late stood these countries in so good stead.
No resolution is yet signified touching the reforming of our English regiments, although all the last week the matter has been on foot, and deputies appointed by Monsieur have 'sitt' with M M. de la Chambre des Aides to take the accounts of such sums as are due for their service since April last.—Antwerp, 6 January 1582.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 4.]
Jan. 6. 13. John Norris to Walsingham.
My last letter to you was of Dec. 30, and that very night I received yours of the 24th. Since that time the French army has arrived in Brabant; I remain at Borgerhout at present, but will shortly be employed in taking some castles of the enemy about Bergen-op-Zoom, as it is supposed, or perhaps in the winning of Aerschot.
Of the enemy we hear little or nothing, save that he has forsaken the field and placed many of his troops in towns.
A captain of my regiment named Martin, lying in garrison at Bergen-op-Zoom, gave me lately to understand that one Robert Waller of his company had uttered certain slanderous and abominable speeches aganist her Majesty and her state. I advised him the matter might be heard by himself, joining one or two of the discreetest officers of the English companies, and so justice to be done; which Capt. Martin has performed orderly, and with as little bruit of the matter as may be, has caused Waller to be hanged and his tongue to be nailed on the gallows. I have thought good to advertise you of this, forbearing to write the speeches, which are traitorous and abominable.—Antwerp, 6 Jan. 1582.
P.S. Touching the matter said to be proposed to the States for entitling the King of France to these Low Countries after the duke's decease, I have not yet heard of any such matter; but I believe the States would make no difficulty to yield to it, if it were proposed at any time hereafter.
In hand of A. Danett. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XVIII. 5.]
Jan. 6/16. 14. Stokes to Walsingham.
My last to you was the 9th of this present January, since when these speeches have passed.
The enemy has divided his forces that lie here in Flanders which are Allmans and Walloons; for some of them lie between Oudenarde and 'Gaver,' and the rest 'are laid' between Lille and Cortrick. It seems they are 'foresaid' to lie in this sort scattering for want of victuals, and the speech is come from Cortrick that they are commanded to return to Brabant; but it is thought they will not hastily obey it.
This week above 100 footmen of the enemy's soldiers have come and yielded themselves to them of Ghent only for want of victuals, and to avoid the great sickness there is on that side; for it seems they die very sore.
Also this week 'in like case' 17 horsemen of the enemy have yielded themselves to them of Ghent. They make report the misery is so great on that side by means of sickness and want of victuals that they cannot continue long in the field. Also their horsemen say, of the 4,000 Spaniards that came to their aid last summer there are not at this present 1,000 left, for they are dead by God's punishment of sickness.
Further, this week a corporal with 25 of the enemy's soldiers that lay in the great new fort at Halewyn have yielded themselves to the Governor of Meenen, only for the evil treatment that is on that side, and also because the sickness reigns so sore in every place among them.
It is also written from Ghent to the Four Members of Flanders assembled together in this town, that the Prince of Parma was seen five days ago within two leagues of Ghent, with but 50 horse in his company; for which cause it made them of Ghent keep 'great strong watch' day and night in their town. They write withal that the speech among the enemy is that they will abandon the field, and go lie in towns.
It is said that the troubles at Dunkirk between the burghers and the French are not yet all pacified; and yet Monsieur has sent thither sundry French gentlemen to end the matter, and to cause those Frenchmen to depart from thence and to come to the camp 'into' Brabant. But for all that it seems they will not yet depart, for they are masters of the town, and the burghers dare not stir. So this matter has brought a marvellous great misliking of the French soldier into all the towns in these parts.—Bruges, 16 January stilo novo, 1582.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 5 bis.]
Jan. 6. 15. Marchaumont to Walsingham.
The day before yesterday I presented a request to her Majesty in favour of Mr. 'Ouart' [Howard], which I have been assured was reasonable; and she did me the honour to assure me she would have it dispatched. She gave him to me for my host, and I am not a little obliged to him for the way he has treated me. I should be glad that he were not deceived in the opinion 'that he has that the Queen has' of her Monk. If it were a matter which touched any other than a subject of hers and the son of one of her officers, I should blush to importune her, not having yet been so enterprising as that. I think to serve, by getting her to oblige a good fellow. I pray you to entertain (retirer) that request, as her Majesty promised me. I am sure she will make no difficulty. (Signed) P. Clausse.
Add. Endd. with date. Fr. ½ p. [France IX. 8.]
Jan. 7. 16. Gilpin to Walsingham.
Since my last of Dec. 21 I wrote briefly twice to Mr. Tomson, and I doubt not he has communicated the effect to you. I was with the merchants, and 'laid' to them, as of myself, the dangers that would ensue to their trade if her Majesty did not presently receive contentment, and therefore wished their cares and endeavours; which they assured me of, with solemn protestation to have laboured the matter to the States so much as possible in them lay, and would not only [sic] so continue, besides had resolved to become suitors to the duke, and thereunto prepared a request containing at large the long suit made in her Majesty's behalf, and the first reasons that ought to move the yielding of due satisfaction, for the furthering whereof 'would' solicit most diligently; so as ere this meeting end 'did' hope of better answer, which to procure the Senate promised their helping hands, and 'will' briefly be seen what may be the success, which to understand, I will not omit my wonted duty. Meanwhile (under your correction) it cannot be amiss to forbear the proceeding to any stay or arrest, and that no show or speeches be used there or here tending to that purpose; for the fear makes them not only to colour their dealings for that place [sic], but also to forbear and bend the trade other ways. And if the doubt of danger is removed by silence, then I fully account they will be great shippers both from and to London, upon hope to serve the markets, considering our company's present absence from Antwerp; having, as I understood at my last being there, made like vaunts thereby to work our further discredit, harm, and prejudice with the Senate and others. I have already given such order to an especial man whom I employ on purpose, that I shall find out and learn the certainty when and what may be thence shipped, and at most convenient time see you advertised of it; remaining meanwhile as heretofore ready to do what I shall by you be commanded. I trust long ere this sundry of my letters have come to your hands; and await your pleasure especially touching that invention brought me out of Germany.
For news, I have at present none in this place, so I must crave your patience till the next. I was 'of certain' advertised that about 13 days ago there embarked at Calais for Sandwich or some other port five Jesuits from Douay, with full resolution to venture their lives in England in the Pope's service; and had made such vow to Stapleton, their master at Douay.—Middelburg, 7 January, 1582.
Add. Endd.p. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 6.]
Jan. 7/17. 17. M. d' Aubremont to (1) M. de Ryhove; (2) M. de Boucle
(1) You are detaining one of my soldiers, named Lantscantere. I am surprised that you will not return him to me for ransom (? quartier) seeing that you agreed to it. I must beg you to send him back to me, otherwise I shall be compelled to retain those I have of yours, and treat them in the same way as you treat him. This will be to my great regret, for I would rather see us all friends and all united to turn out all the foreigners who would drive us out of our country. It will be the hour directly for us to look out for a good and assured peace, which I assure you is, if we desire it, nearer than we think. To this I pray you to bear a hand; the which if you will do, I am sure that you will no sooner have set it before the people than they will shout aloud for it. For my own part I can assure you that his Majesty asks only to restore us to all our liberty provided we recognise him. Seize the moment, I pray you, when it offers itself, and do not you await the recompence which M. d'Inchy has had at Cambray nor your citizens that which those of Cambray are having; act while you can, for it is time. I will say no more, but that the citizens and you see that I can do you service, which I will do with a good will.–Oudenarde, 17 January 1583.—To M. de Ryhove at Ghent. (Signed) d'Aubremont.
(2) As the occasion offers for all who desire peace to set their hands to the work, I could not omit to write you this line for old acquaintance' sake, to beg that you will bear a hand to make the people willing to seek a reconciliation with his Majesty before our country is wholly exterminated. And as I know his clemency and that he desires only to receive you to his favour and treat you better than you hope, I would not for my duty's sake fail to advertise you thereof and tell you that if you will listen to my message I will do all a man could do for his country; you ought to bear a hand thereto, for this will be the means of getting back your brother, and seeing him one day at liberty. If this does not happen this time I am sure it will be very long coming, and we shall not get it when we desire it. Believe, I pray you, that the French, English and Scotch have not come to this country to bring it you, and that the Spaniards and Italians will not bring it either. Therefore if we can hasten it up (nous en dépescher) ourselves, we ought to do it, and I am sure it will depend only on you.—To M. de Boucle, at Ghent, brother to M. de Borluut.
Copies. Endd.: Copy of the Governor of Oudenarde's letters to M. de Ryhove. Fr. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 7.]
Jan. 8. 18. Duke Casimir to Walsingham.
The bearers of this, Englishmen by birth, have represented to me that they left England on purpose to continue their studies in my school at Neustadt; but that having been plundered by some soldiers in the territories of the Duke of Cleves, they could not carry out their intention, for lack of means. They asked me in the circumstances to receive them among the scholars whom I maintain at the school; and as I could not do this, owing to the numbers being complete, they have begged me to assist them with this letter and some money to go home. This I would not refuse them, being of opinion that they are sprung of honest folk.—Lautern, 8 January 1583.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Germany II. 55.]
Jan. 7/17. 19. Communications from the Duke of Anjou to the States.
(1) His Highness, through his accustomed patience and prudence, after having hazarded his own person, lost and ruined many gentlemen and soldiers, some by war, others by sickness, and most by hardships, famine, and poverty, in order by all means to try to make known to the people of this country what desire and affection he had to withdraw them from the ills and oppressions by them suffered, has at length recognised that he has laboured in vain; reserving for its due time and place the proof of what he says, to discover to all the world the source and origin of the evil, well enough known to honest men.
The approaching ruin of his peoples, his own loss of reputation which was ensuing, has certainly and with much reason, being a prince such as the world knows, perturbed his good natural disposition marvellously, seeing himself treated so unworthily that he may say that his entire and supreme authority was in the hands of another. But the extraordinary indignity which has this day been done him, the lack of respect, the disregard of his person and quality so embittered him that the consequences have been what has been seen, for which he feels much regret and extreme displeasure.
And because his inclination is still bent to the weal of the public, and of good men, he wishes to make it understood by them, in order that he may know how they mean to behave towards him, before making up his mind to the steps which he has in hand; wherein they are besought to declare their intentions openly to MM. de Lantmeter and Scholiers, from whom they will learn more, according to the credentials he has given them.
They are also prayed in like manner to allow all the French who are in Antwerp, freely to come to his Highness and to the Count of Mansfeldt; to allow his Highness's furniture to pass out freely, as also that of M. de Montpensier, Marshal de Biron, MM. de Laval, de la Rochepot, Count of la Rochefoucault, des Pruneaux, and Mauvissière his chief maitre d'hôtel; also, and especially, his Highness's papers, and the furniture of M. de Quincy his secretary, also his maitres d'hotel, treasurer, and domestic servants; towards whom he feels sure they have not used any rigour, as being wholly innocent of what has happened.
His Highness's Grand Almoner is in Antwerp, ill. They are begged to send him, if his health allows, and not to treat him with indignity.—At the camp, this 17 January 1583. (Signed) François (and below) Le Pin.
(2) Gentlemen, I am sending MM. Lantmaistre [sic] and Scholiers, the bearers of this, with instructions, which they will present to you from me, to which I await a reply in order to take a decision. It rests only with you for it to be to your advantage, I refer you to them, and will sav no more.—Berchem, 17 January 1583. P.S. Since writing, I have thought to send the gentleman who bears this, in the company of these two burghers, in order to let you know my intention more fully.
Jan. 8/18. (3) I am very glad of the decision you have taken, and assure you that you will find me disposed to all conditions which a good prince can or ought to hold towards his subjects. But it seems to me that it would be entering into great distrust of me to desire a passport or safe conduct to come and see me, if there had been no preceding occasion for offence on my part. And howsoever it might be, I ask you to be content with my word, for if any person in the world were to undertake anything against you, I should be the first in your defence, to which I am bound, as I wish to hold inviolably. I pray you to come and see me, and I assure you of a very good welcome and a most secure return.—At the camp, 18 January 1583. (Signed) Your affectionate friend, François.
Jan. 9–19. I have awaited news from you till this moment, and finding myself uncomfortable here, I have thought it would be more to the purpose, both for you and me, if I went to lodge at Saint-Bernard; both to get my army to a distance from Antwerp, and allow of food being brought to me by the river and by the best way (le mieulx chemin). You can come and see me in all security without being in danger from those at Lierre. But the sooner we can get the business over, the better it will be for you and me; as you will understand more in detail from M. de Bordes, the present bearer, to whom I refer.—At the camp at Berchem, 19 January 1583.
Copy [not very accurate] in hand of T. Doyley. Endd.: Matters touching the treaty with Monsieur upon the enterprise of Antwerp. Fr.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 8.]
Jan. 7/17. 20. Another copy of the first of the above documents. Fr.pp. [Ibid. XVIII. 9.]
Jan. 7/17. 21. Stokes to [Walsingham].
This day in the morning at 9 o'clock came before this town 4 ensigns of Frenchmen from Meenen, and one from Dixmude, also French, 5 ensigns in all, who requested leave to pass through this town, saying that Monsieur had sent for them to come to the camp in Brabant. Whereupon the magistrates gave them license to pass through the town; and so they entered, 5 in a rank, and when they came 'on the great mart,' there they stayed, and said they must lie here in this town in garrison by command from Monsieur. And when they had taken the great mart, then the other 5 companies of Frenchmen that lay here in garrison incontinently put themselves 'into' arms and took certain other places in the town, saying with loud speeches, “Give place, you of the Reformed Religion, and all you of the Catholic Religion, put yourselves in arms, and help us.” But none came to them; and when the burghers saw all this, they put themselves in arms, and the magistrates laid hands upon M. de Pie, colonel to the 5 ensigns that lay in this town, with some of his chief captains, and kept them fast. Also they took prisoner the Grand Provost of his Highness, whom he sent to this town to help this enterprise, 'and came' but this morning to this town. And when the French soldiers saw that their chief captains were all taken, and also seeing how strongly the burghers were put in arms, a great sudden fear fell among those 5 companies that came in this morning, 'and said' they would depart the town; 'which' incontinently they did so. And when they were out of the town, the magistrates and burghers did not rest till they had got the other 5 companies out, and so in quiet order they were put out of the town after the rest. And all this was done by good wise dealings of the magistrates and burghers, for those that are Catholics were as willing to have the Frenchmen out as the Protestants; so that in this order God has once more preserved this town, which is now in some quietness. And when all the Frenchmen were out of the town, the magistrates examined M. de Pie what his intent was to have done, and who gave him his commission. He made answer that he had command from Monsieur to bring those 5 companies of French into this town, and to set up the Catholic religion again, and to do 'man no' harm; and that he should give credit to the Provost, whatsoever he should declare to him by word of mouth; and that this present day the like was done at Antwerp and in all other towns where Frenchmen are. This is all that M. de Pie has yet confessed. But for the Provost, he will confess nothing; but for all that, I perceive they will not leave him so.
In this order all things have passed this day in this town; and this evening at the gate's shutting, one is come from Dixmude, who came from thence at 9 o'clock this morning. He says that the Frenchmen have set fire in two places 'in' the town, and have taken the magistrates prisoners. So they have that town at their commandment; and how they use the burghers is not yet known. At Ostend there were two ensigns of French, who durst not stir against the burghers; so they have shipped them from thence to Calais. At 'Newport' and 'Feurne' were no Frenchmen, so they are sure in the States' hands. The French have Dixmude and Dunkirk; and by some speeches that M. de Pie has used here, it seems that the French king means to be at Dunkirk in person very shortly with another army of Frenchmen. 'I say here goes' a number of other speeches, but not certain.
I thought it my duty to let you understand these matters; and surely at present this town 'is' in great fear of 'their' state, if Antwerp be lost.—Bruges, 6 o'clock in the evening, 17 January 'stillo nova,' and the old style the 7th 1582.
Jan. 8/18. P.S. Kept till the 18th.—Even now a post is come from Antwerp, and brings good news that the town is preserved. Yesterday morning Monsieur rode out to see his camp muster, and as soon as he was out, 6 cornets of horse and 20 ensigns of foot entered, and slew those that 'warded' at the gates. Notwithstanding that this matter was so on the sudden done, the burghers put themselves quickly in arms and fought so valiantly that they 'drive' the Frenchmen out of the town again. They write there are slain between 700 and 800 burghers and Frenchmen, but most are Frenchmen; and Monsieur, he is in his camp without, and the Prince of Orange, he kept his house and went not out, so he is in safety and well.
This good news from Antwerp has greatly encouraged the people's hearts here, who now cry “Help, good Queen of England, help.”
Also to-day some are come from Dixmude, who say that there are slain about 200 burghers, 'and have' sacked the town, and taken the magistrates prisoners, and set them at ransom. At Dunkirk they have done the like, so that they deal very cruelly where they are masters.
At 'Velford' [Vilvorde] in Brabant the French are masters; but they write nothing of Brussels and Dermonde, in both which towns they say there are French.
Jan. 9/19. P.S. 2. Kept until this morning, the 19th.—Even now a post is come from Antwerp who departed thence yesterday at 4 in the afternoon. He says that Monsieur offers to come into the town with but three or four in his company, upon certain conditions; but what they are is not yet written. The post also says there are slain about 1,000 Frenchmen, most gentlemen, and of burghers about 200.
As there is no post that goes this week for England, I thought it my duty that you should understand how all things pass in these parts, and therefore I have hired this post, the bringer hereof, to carry this letter to you, and have agreed with him that you shall give him 9 angels, and if he make speed, one angel more.—Bruges, 9 a.m., 19 January 'stilo nova' 1582.
Endd. 4 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 10.]
Jan. 9. 22. John Norris to Walsingham.
Although I wrote to you by the last post, yet upon this late 'accident' between the French and the burghers of this town, I have thought good to dispatch this gentleman in some haste into England, to make you acquainted with it. The particulars I forbear to trouble you with at present, knowing you will be given to understand them sufficiently by the enclosed which I have presumed to write to her Majesty, which please present at some convenient time.—Antwerp, 9 January 1582.
P.S. M. de Biron is greatly suspected to have been a worker of this late accident. I thought good to signify this to you, because la Mothe-Fénelon and he, being countrymen of so good intelligence together, as they are said to 'draw both in a line,' and both employed at this instant by Queen Mother in their several service, you might the rather have an eye to his doings in England. M. Biron has lately been very inquisitive of me touching the success of the other's negotiations in Scotland, which makes me rather suspect their intelligence.
Please give some allowance to this gentleman's charges, whom I send over expressly upon the occasion of this accident.
Written by A. Danett Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 11.]
Jan. 9. 23. Cobham to Walsingham.
By the late letters that are come here from Spain it is understood that King Philip upon knowledge of the decease of his eldest son resolved to stay in Portugal until the Portuguese swear fidelity and accept his younger and only son to be their prince.
They advertise further that the Duke of Alva is dead, having been for many days nourished with the milk of women's breasts.
The Spanish king is preparing fourscore sails and two great Galiasses to be employed in the recovery of the Terceras.
I hear now that this king has for the present thought good to send either the Bishop of 'Axxe' [Dax], or M. Alard, sometime employed in the Court of Savoy, to be ambassador at Constantinople, because M. de l'Isle is not well satisfied for his services done.
The Duke of Ferrara has caused Don Alfonso d'Este to propose to the Signori of Venice to have the league between them and the French king renewed and enlarged; to which overture the Signori answered they esteemed it needless to have their treaties of amity with this Crown new framed, which had been of long time so well observed. They hoped that upon all their occasions they would enjoy the favourable assistance of the French king, as likewise the king might be assured to 'prevail' himself confidently of all their power and means. Thus much only Don Alfonso of Este negotiated lately at Venice, under cloak that he pretended to take to wife a niece of the Duke of Venice. But I hear the Signori found it strange the king did not cause their ambassador in this Court to be dealt with in this matter.
They write that the Duke of Ferrara is much discontented that the Spanish king has drawn to his devotion the Duke of Urbino.
The Venetian ambassador, having audience lately of the Pope, declared in short words how the Signori intended to do the best they could for themselves, and wishing him to deal as he thought convenient for his own affairs; ending therewithal his speech, without using any other further discourse. Nevertheless the Pope, as he at other times was accustomed, enquired of the ambassador what occurrents he had from Constantinople and those parts of the Levant. The ambassador answered that he had no other matter to communicate to him for that present. This manner of dealing has happened through the Pope's choleric demonstration in the prosecuting of the late action happened in Bergamo, signified in my former letter.
Count Montreal, sent by the Duke of Savoy to their Majesties, is returned as I hear not greatly well satisfied.
It is given me to understand that their Majesties seek to send a gentleman to Sweden, for the providing of ships with their furniture.
The king has demanded absolution of the Pope for having taken on him the levying of the tenth on the spiritualty, before the Pope granted him permission. Now upon his submission the Pope has not only absolved his fault, but has sent him a Bulla to authorise the gathering of those tenths. He further licenses the king, by his Bulla of Bene placitum to alienate 200,000 crowns a year of the Church revenues and benefices for the maintenance of his Order of knights of Saint-Esprit, with an indulgence permitting him to bestow the fourth part on whom he pleases. In recompense for this the king is resolved to have a discipline published for those of the clergy according to the Council of Trent; which the Pope's nuncio seeks to have very ample, and more strait than it is thought by the king's ministers will easily be supported by the French spiritualty. In this they are troubled, and some of the Council are employed for the accommodating of these orders for the clergy.
The Cardinal of Este and other prelates in Rome who had undertaken the obtaining of the aforesaid Bulla at the Pope's hands for the French king, are displeased the Pope would not condescend thereto at their request, but has chosen to pass it by way of his nuncio resident at this Court.
Don Bernardino in his last letter hither has confirmed that there is a new rebellion begun in Ireland.
To-day, Fentrey, the Bishop of Glasgow's nephew, has departed in post towards Monsieur, with a letter to him from the Scottish queen. Before his departure this morning, he had long conference with the Spanish agent.—Paris, 9 January 1583.
P.S. The king 'nor' the young queen are yet returned to his town.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [France IX. 9.]
Jan. 7/17—10/20. 24. Various documents concerning the attempt on Antwerp.
(1) “A Brief Declaration made by the Burgomaster, Aldermen, and Council of the City of Antwerp touching the attempt against that city attempted the 17th of this month of January 1583 after the new style: Together with the letters of credit and instruction sent by his Highness to my Lord van den Tempel.”
As the Burgomasters etc. of Antwerp, after the horrid enterprise attempted the 17th of this month of January within that city, have not 'left' anything serving for the assurance and quiet of the city, so they thought it meet to declare the whole matter, lest they should be accused wrongfully; and lest for the lack of good instructions, besides the great danger in which they have been, any other countries or cities should receive any hindrances, or conceive any other opinion of the city of Antwerp than the dutifulness it has always shown to the furtherance of the 'common country causes' so far as is possible, and their good affection to the common fatherland, together with the humble 'obeissance' always shown to his Highness has deserved.
Why and how the Low Countries have fallen into the power and subjection of the Spaniard, and how Almighty God beholding those lands with His eye of mercy has delivered them by my gracious Lord the Prince of Orange, is so well known that it is needless in this brief rehearsal to make any special mention of it, than (that) whereas the lands yet united together would not abide longer under the dominion of the Spaniards, but thought it best to accept another lord and prince, both to be defended by his power and to be maintained in all concord and justice, so [that] they after many conferences and communications have chosen first for their defender and afterwards for their lord and prince the Duke of Anjou, Alençon etc. of France as may appear by the contract made touching this matter; to which among other causes has moved them the situation of France, and the 'commodity,' which it has to help them, and to 'intercept the King of Spain all supply' of people, 'furniture of wars' and money. And because they thought always that (if) the King of France would once undertake the matter, as is conditioned in the contract, the wars would be quickly at an end, and although the murder committed in France and the civil wars for religion, and great and continual disorders, wherein that kingdom is fallen, were causes of great mistrust, yet because the common United Lands were informed of truth that his Highness was a gracious prince, loving good government and justice, and not guilty of the matters passed in France, as one who often times, as also the last time, had made peace between the king and the Protestants; and trusting that God would once alter the king's mind and heart, and incline him to peace, tranquillity, and unity of his subjects, and that the Duke of Anjou, through his good and wise government in the dominion of these lands should repair the praise and authority of the Crown of France and the House of Valois, and cover the unspeakable 'inconvenients' happened in France by the civil wars; they have therefore not only chosen the duke, but also sworn him as sovereign of the land and shown him all obedience. And albeit the city of Antwerp and the 'lymmes' of it, were the last among the contracting provinces which consented to accept his Highness, yet they with the States of Brabant were the first to receive and do homage to him the 19th and 22 of February last as Duke of Brabant, and 'namely' as Marquis of the Holy Empire, when he came by Zealand out of England, where the Queen used him very honourably, and accompanied him not only with her letters, declaring the great affection and good will which she bore to him, but also with divers great lords and nobles of her realm in whose presence he 'has done' the oath, and was received and sworn as Duke of Brabant and Marquis of the Empire. All which things gave great hope to the good citizens that they would be delivered from the common enemies of the country and that the countries being established should return to the prosperity wherein they sometime were; which also moved them to honour with all manner of triumphs their new lord, who they thought would have been father of the country, and to give him rich gifts, more than the necessity of the wars and the power of the city, so lately burnt, spoiled, and sacked, and deprived of all property and traffic, suffered. But notwithstanding this, they are compelled now to surmise that his Highness instead of governing the countries and this city with good justice, has purposed nothing else but by crafty practice at the first opportunity with force to overcome them, and 'namely' the City of Antwerp, either by means of strife for matter of religion or otherwise, or under colour of lodging and placing divers gentlemen and captains who came into the city and were lodged, who had great trains and followers. But whereas he did not yet think this to be sufficient to overmaster the city, he brought at last his whole host lately come out of France, and among others 4,000 Swiss, before the city and joined them to the companies which long before had been there, which happened on the 14th and 15th inst. and then under pretence of lodging has placed these hither and thither, and chiefly within his palace as much people as pleased him.
Afterwards, on the 16th, the 'Innerburgomaster,' Dr. Petrus Alostanus, having intelligence that the night following there might peradventure be made some attempt against the city, went very late to his Highness, showing him that amongst the soldiers who were come into the city with great troops, there might be some not well-affected to his service, whom they feared, lest they should enterprise against the city, praying that order might be taken in it, and that the chain might be spread or 'bent' an hour sooner than the custom, which his Highness said [sic] that there was no reason to enter into suspicion against his men of war, who were come hither to serve him and the country, with many reasons serving for that purpose, has agreed to [sic], and thought it good, and also [sic] was done that night, and the lanterns were 'hangheth' forth according to the old custom. And the next day having commanded (communicated) both in his own person and by Quincy his secretary with 'his princely Grace,' who declared openly that he understood that some purposed 'yet' that night to surprise one gate and to bring in the whole host, he assured with many words both his princely Grace and the burgomasters and colonels whom he had also called for that purpose, that such was not entered into his thought, and that they ought not to surmise any such thing against his men of war, and that he desired to know who had uttered such matters, to punish him or the author of it as they deserved, declaring at large his great love, affection and favour which he bears the confederate Low Countries, the land of Brabant, and chiefly the city of Antwerp, enforcing himself by all means to content his burgomasters and colonels, which was easy to be done: seeing the intelligence had as sure ground, neither that his Grace's burgomasters and colonels think at any time that such warning were true [sic] much less that because his princely Grace has 'thithertofore' counselled his Highness not to go out of the city, and to view the host, which counsel his Highness said that he would follow. But because Marshal Biron the day before was gone abroad to lodge in the camp, and because it was ordained in other cities the same day to execute the like enterprise, whereby all matters would have been detected, about 1 p.m. his Highness went out of the city with all his gentlemen, being strong, with those that do not belong to his train, but ride to and fro, about 200 horses, and the whole guard of both Swiss and Frenchmen, and rode to the Kipdorp gate, which according to his command was opened, and some of his folk who had ridden before stayed upon the bridge as though they had stayed for him. Others rode in all the streets drawing to the said gate, and loosed and removed all the chains as though he would have passed through every one of those streets. And he passing through the gate and the second drawbridge, one of his gentlemen feigned that he had 'burst' his leg, and by and by, one of the citizens came to succour him and to bring him to the next surgeon. This also was done only to gain some time, until the companies drew nearer; who being discovered, and the 'token' of the assault given, he that cried so mightily and feigned to have hurt or broken his leg draws his rapier, hurt him who assisted him; and so forth generally they of his train and of his guard set upon the citizens that stood in the gate bareheaded looking for their prince who rode by, and not 'misdeeming' anything at all, considering that by reason of causes heretofore alleged no other order was taken. And forthwith all his nobles and gentlemen, saving some that went out with him, turned a-horseback into the city, and the whole host was seen marching, and therewithal there came into the city 17 companies of Frenchmen and 4 cornets of horse, which with all speed were sent before, crying 'Ville gaignée, v.g.' and 'Vive la messe, v.l.m' [sic]. And his Highness called upon them to make haste, saying 'The town is won,' causing also the Swiss and other men of war to make speed, in such sort that by this means he had easily taken the gate, where there remained no resistance—and it was in the dinner time, when many of the guard and everyone is within the house, and moreover the companies of that ward were watching elsewhere. So the said 4 bands and they of his Highness's train, 500 or 600 in number, and the 17 companies of foot, without any resistance came through the gate into the city wheresoever they would, some drawing along the town-walls to the Emperor's gate to take the great ordnance, which they got. Also some drew to the street running to the Meere, some to the 'Longenewestreete,' some along the Kipdorp the straight street [sic], part also to the town-walls, towards the read (Red) gate, and St. Ann's street, all crying 'Kill, kill, kill! Let the mass flourish, let the mass flourish! Town is won!' etc.
But as soon as the citizens perceived that they purposed as enemies to conquer the city, without delay some ran forth with all their weapons everywhere, and in small number, as bulwarks opposed themselves, standing against the great companies of Frenchmen, and stayed them from winning any further. And in the mean time the drum? 'struck alarm,' and every man ran out of his house against the French, and 'some company put themself' in array. And God Almighty, to whom only the honour and praise of the deliverance of the city must be ascribed, gave the citizens such manly stomachs that in every place and street they made the enemy to turn back, and with great confusion to flee out of the city, and leap headlong from the walls into the water after they had been masters of the gates above the space of an hour, and had already with displayed ensigns been about the market-place. Meantime his Highness 'foistered' himself to the uttermost (dede alle mogelijke neersticheit) to send the Swiss and the whole army into the city to the assistance of his people; but whereas the citizens had recovered the town walls, they immediately shot off the great ordnance, so that the army which was marching, seeing the matter was not going well for them, retired. Nor could they have entered the city, for the great number of the dead which lay within the gate one upon another, piled above a fathom and a half in height. His Highness, seeing the gate won, and that his people entered without stroke or blow, (which was easy to be done, seeing nobody mistrusted it), said to the lords who did not know of the attempt and complained of it, that the city was won and that he had above 4,000 men in it. Whereto, among other words, by some noblemen it was answered that the city was not yet taken, and that within half-an-hour's space the contrary would appear, as also through God's mercy it was seen, not without great bloodshed on both sides. For as concerning the valiant and good citizens there were slain about 80, besides the maimed; among them Colonel Vierendeel, Captains Baltazar Tas and Berauldt (Reynout) Michauldt, Jasper de Hoemaker sergeant-major of the colonelship of Sieur Philippe van Schoonhoven, Lord of Waen Roy the 'outward' burgomaster; who riding with his Highness among his train, and seeing the uproar, wonderfully 'escaped the company,' causing without delay the chains to be drawn, by the help of the said sergeant, who was shot hard by him with many more, who fighting valiantly were slain, and have deserved for themselves and their posterity everlasting praise, with the citizens who have discharged themselves and saved their lives; whose names are well known, (though they are not all uttered here, to avoid all envy), as they who through their valiantness and manly heart, by the grace of God are cause of the preservation of this city.
Of the Frenchmen there were slain, and found both within the city and on the walls and ditches, above 1,500 'rockened' (sic) and buried, besides those that being hurt fled or afterwards died, being taken; and among them many gentlemen, and men of countenance and great calling. Besides them are taken prisoners about 1,400 or 1,500, among whom also some noble lords and gentlemen are. And although the French soldiers, they would not have spared any, but sacked the city and committed all manner of cruelty, yet the citizens after their victory have not hurt any, but many who being alive lay among the dead they have raised and spared their lives.
The purpose and meaning of his Highness will appear by 'success' of time. Meanwhile it is evident that the city would have been brought to utter ruin and spoil; considering that he himself, had he been willing, could not have stayed the murderers' vexing and tormenting of the citizens, spoiling, 'rantsaking,' violating (schoffieren) of maids and wives, burning and all other cruelty which can be invented, which the soldiers taking any place use to do; as they had already begun not only to rob and ransack, but also to put the whole city afire.
It pleased his Highness afterwards, by letters of trust 'upon' Lantmeter and Scholiers together 'by' the written instructions given also to them, to confess sufficiently that it was his doings, as also everyone has seen and heard it openly, and to declare his intent. Whereunto they of the city have not in special answered but unto the matter, in consultation with his Princely Grace, the States General, and of Brabant, who all jointly have thought good to send commissioners to his Highness. He departed towards St. Bernard's, and thence to Duffel, passing the Nete thence to Rymenant beyond the Dyle, to draw nearer to Vilvoorde. On the way he has written to them of Brussels and Mechlin, putting the fault in the citizens of Antwerp, as though they had given him occasion to attempt such a horrible thing as he had begun; saying nevertheless again, 'controling and contrarying himself,' that it would not have been anything else than a mutiny. Whereupon the burgomasters and aldermen think it needless to answer nearer, for they know not what disgrace or controversy they can have offered to his Highness, or wherein they have little regarded him. Contrariwise, in their hearts and consciences they are sure that have done nothing else but as it becomes good, faithful and humble subjects to do to their prince; and that they have suffered many things, not only against the covenant made with his Highness at Bordeaux, but also against the ancient customs, known privileges, and laws of the Land of Brabant and of the City of Antwerp, as at all times when need requires shall be declared more at large. And touching the subsidy, the citizens of Antwerp 'namely' have shown themselves so ready that they have not only raised and paid to the uttermost their own portion, but much more suffering that all their customs and tolls, and 'namely' those which they have extraordinarily more than all other lands and cities granted, stand bound. So that by this means shortly for bare money to his Highness are delivered above 70,000 guilders, wherewith he ought to have paid the garrisons and the soldiers who had been in the land before, which he did not, but has paid part of that money to the new soldiers who were employed to sack the city. And although he would fain make them believe that it is but a private quarrel against the city of Antwerp, yet the train is so notorious that it needs not to speak of it any more, but that on the selfsame day and hour when he went to force the city of Antwerp, he has attempted the same in many other cities, as 'Bridges,' Dendremonde, Aelst, Dixmuyde, 'Newport,' Ostend, and Vilvorde and peradventure in others, where his servants durst not begin, and in some places, where they have accomplished their will, they have also killed the citizens and used all cruelty, whereof at least the good citizens of the city of Antwerp have not ministered any occasion wherewith with reason they may not [sic] be burdened, except men will account it injury that the citizens would not all be murdered by them, nor suffer them to use the outrages which have been heard and seen to be used by the Frenchmen in other places.
God Almighty give to his Highness, who through evil counsel has been carried away, the heart of an upright prince, who bestows all his travail to keep and defend his subjects, who does not think the superiority and 'ruledom' of a prince stands in doing what he will, but in well ruling and ministering laws and justice to every one without exception of person, according as it is meet, following the privileges, rights, laws, sworn and promised by oath to every country and city; hoping that God, who has preserved the city from such horrible attempts will also henceforth preserve and keep it, and with the other united lands and provinces give good counsel whereby they may be delivered over from the common enemy of the country, and be set in rest and peace.—Done in Collegio and ordered to be printed the 25 January 1583, stilo novo. (Signed) G. Martini.
(2) The burgomasters and aldermen of the city of Antwerp have thought it good to join the letter of credit given by his Highness to 'the lord' Lantmetere and Scholiers with the instruction wherewith they were charged together with the letter written to 'my lord Temple' containing as the letters at the same time written to Brussels and Mechlin and as it is supposed to more cities, as of the same letters in this brief rehearsal is made mention; staying yet from opening the thing which with his Highness is communicated or handled, or other further justification besides that which herebefore is generally rehearsed, which justification both by the city in several and also by the States-General of Brabant by the confession of the prisoners and otherwise sufficiently shall be approved according to the success of the communication and treaties; which they hope and pray to God that it may have such issue as appertains to His glory, service of his Highness, safety and welfare of his country and this city.
Jan. 7/17. (3) Letter from his Highness to the Lords of the City of Antwerp:
I send you 'the lord' Lantmeter and Scholiers, bearers of this, charged with instructions—[as above, No. 19].
Jan. 7/17. (4) His Highness through his usual wisdom—[as above No. 19].
Jan. 10/20. (5) A letter to 'my Lord of Temple.'
The unworthiness which I have received of my lords of Antwerp, with very little respect of my quality of person, have so moved me, that willing on Monday to go forth of the city to my army, a mutiny happened at the gate between them and mine, 'where' the soldiers at Borgerhout joined themselves; so that to my great grief and sorrow there has ensued very great confusion. Of this I would give you notice and declare to you that my affection is not abated to assist with all my means and power the 'goods,' which, as I think, need not on my behalf faint, as I also assure myself that I will not do. Remaining still in the oath which you have 'done' to me, I will also continue in my former will, especially towards you, whom I have always known a lover of the common welfare. Praying you also, as I am now in my camp, unprovided of victuals, to assist that some may be sent me, and they shall be well paid with my ships [sic] as soon as may be. And because I mean hereafter to let you understand particularly the lawful reasons which I have to complain, I make an end.—'In the house at Duffel,' 20 January, 1583.
'Imprinted at Antwerp, in the Printery of Christopher Plantin, 1583.'
Translation, from Flemish (corrected by the original). Endd. by Burghley: The Declaration of the town of Antwerp of the actions in defence of their town against the soldiers of the Duke of Anjou. 11 p. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 12.]
Jan. 19/20. 25. The Prince of Parma to the City of Ghent.
You know that for long past, and repeatedly, it has been offered to you by the king, to put an end to the miseries and calamities which everywhere overwhelm these poor desolated countries, and to restore them to their ancient splendour and happiness. Up to now you have been unwilling to listen, allowing yourselves to be put to sleep and circumvented by the tricks and cunning of those who sought by your ruin to establish their own private affairs at your expense. Now that God has marvellously permitted you to recognise the miscalculation (fourcompte) into which you had been brought, and that the design of those who abused you was only to oppress and ruin you, as has been seen by experience in the towns of Dunkirk, Dixmude, Termond, and other places, all at one time invaded, sacked, and upset (suppédités) and part of the people massacred by those whom the citizens and inhabitants had placed there for their guard, as was also shown in the attempt made by the French at Antwerp. if God had not delivered them, not without great bloodshed. I would not omit to write this to you, to let you know that I am in the same will to receive you in the name of the king my master, on all good and honourable terms, as I ever was, to treat and conclude with you a good reconciliation, whether general or individual, and forget all the past, with security that what I promise you will be inviolably maintained, as was done with the reconciled provinces, whereof you are fully informed; wherein you may recognise the difference there is between the promises of one and the other.
Wherefore, if you wish to send anyone to me, that we may come to nearer understanding as to your intention, I assure them that they may freely come, sojourn, and return, and I shall be ready to act similarly in regard to you, if you require it.—Tournay, 20 January 1583.
Copy. Endd. by L. Tomson. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 13.]