Elizabeth: January 1583, 11-15

Pages 32-42

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, 11–15

Jan. 11. 26. Walsingham to Cobham.
What passed between her Majesty and the Duke of Lenox at the time of his access to her, which she was content to grant him to gratify the young king, who by his letters had requested it at her hands, you may perceive by the enclosed copy of a letter that I have written to Mr. Bowes; wherewith you will also receive a copy of such articles as she charged the duke withal. It is thought he will be at Dover on Sunday or Monday next, ready to take his passage for France.
But the principal cause of my present dispatch is to acquaint you with some strange news contained in the enclosed reports which we received yesternight of a very 'dangerous accident' supposed to have happened at Antwerp; which being true, whether the practice have been executed by Monsieur privily or no, cannot but breed some dangerous alterations both in that country and elsewhere. And therefore you will do well to have some extraordinary care to look into their actions and proceedings 'there,' to the end you may be the better able to give timely advertisement of any danger or inconvenience likely to grow any way to this state. And as I hear further of this new-happened accident, so will I not fail to impart it to you.
Touching the party [Alard] that has given you the secret advertisements, I have only received the letter in cypher, and not the five pieces whereof you make mention, and therefore cannot send you any resolution touching the matter.
Draft. Endd. with date. 1 p. [France IX. 10.]
Jan. 12. 27. Marchaumont to Walsingham.
As you advised, M. Rousset started last night or this morning. I see nothing in this wretched business [but] just some popular madness or excitement; and I do not know how that messenger could be so shameless a liar, since he told the Queen the time he started. I wanted to verify that point, on which Mr. Stafford has enlightened us by his letter, and as he said more in detail to Mr. Darcy. Apart from bad news coming suddenly, there are Spanish artifices, with which they ordinarily aid themselves. I have thought it would not be a bad plan if Rousset went there, that the States might see her Majesty's anxiety for Monsieur's preservation and theirs too. These 'suddennesses' have very mischievous results. I hope to give my opinion about it to the Prince.
I have done her Majesty's command. I shall wait here till Monday, and if no one comes about the business, we may be sure that all things will have got into shape (auront pris leur ply), for the wind is quite favourable.
Kindly thank her Majesty, apart from what I do, for her honourable present. She will know how much I am her servant, and that without being M. de la Mothe nor the ambassador, I can judge what the king intends. Some little nourishment makes me judge (?). (Signed) P. Clausse.
Add. Endd. with date. Fr. 1 p. [France IX. 11.]
Jan. 12/22.
M. & D. IV. p. 319.
28. The Duke of Anjou to the Burgomasters, etc. of Brussels.
Although I have informed you in the dispatch brought to you by M. de Bois-Joly, of what took place last Monday at Antwerp, not having, it seems to me indicated the source and origin of the misfortune, I will say to you, and to those whom I have always known to be very zealous for the public weal, that whereas my chief design has always been, by shortening the war by all means, to redeem the poor people from the inconvenience and burdens they receive therefrom, I have not forgotten, by repeated representations, to beg the chief men of this state to inform me of, and give me, all the resources that they had in hand to meet part of the necessary expenses; and that seeing I was willing to observe all the points of our treaty, they should be pleased to do the like, seeing that on this depended a good understanding, and the establishment of my authority; without which the former confusion cannot be amended, nor any removed from the abuses committed by them in their offices, preferring their private advantage to the public good.
But so far from their being willing, through any endeavour and representation of mine, to come into line with so necessary and profitable a cause, they set themselves on the contrary to mix up all that was involved in the management of the finances, as I hope to show you, in such wise that you may say I have no more knowledge of public affairs than on the first day of my arrival in these countries. Hence ensued much evil, under which I should still be bending had I not clearly recognised the approaching ruin of this poor state, and my authority so much despised that there remained to me no means of remedying it as I am bound to do.
Meantime the said ministers having recognised that it was very difficult for them long to maintain and enjoy the authority usurped by them, beginning with the great and excessive impositions and levies made by them, incited some of the baser sort to stir up strife between the French and the inhabitants of the towns where they are in garrison, in order that by a new change these people may be turned away from their desire to have cognisance of their affairs, and render me and the French (without whom they could not be withdrawn from oppression), entirely odious to them. Finally after seeking means to attain their pernicious designs, they began with M. de Chamoy in garrison at Dunkirk, and at an improper hour, when arms ought to be in the hands of those only who are on guard, incited eight or nine boatmen and sailors who chanced to be before his door, their harquebuses in hand, and their matches alight, and when he wanted to go out and see the guards who were there, they fired at him, and alarmed the whole town, in such wise that if Chamoy had not promptly taken steps to rally his men, they would have been all cut in pieces. Having heard that an attack of this kind had been made on Chamois, I was yet unwilling to take up the cause of justice, but held that enquiries should be made and the truth known, and exemplary chastisement inflicted wherever the fault lay, which is the right way of justice; but inasmuch as this was not their intention, I was constrained by the promise put on me to consent contrary to all right and reason, that Chamois and his companies should leave the town, and that the enquiry should take place when they were out of it and not before; the true means to lay the whole on him, by the evidence which would have readily been made to his prejudice, when he was absent from the place where the thing happened. But it is to be noted that they had, before proceeding to investigate, caused all the French who are in garrison in the towns to be removed, in order to carry out their project, and by this means render my army discontented. These French seeing themselves thus despised, and those also who held the field being baulked of all resources, of money and victuals, a thing often heretofore practised in respect of the others, who died miserably of hunger, what more remained after that, when I was denuded of forces and resources, but under some false pretext to make an attempt upon my person, as I have it through good advertisements that they had resolved, and of which the affront put on me that Monday morning gives very sufficient proof; how they conspired by certain rumours spread through the town, with which it was in alarm all night, in order that the closing of the gates to prevent my exit might not seem strange. This I took so much to heart, together with the appearance there was of some enterprise against myself, that I resolved at whatever price to get out of their hands; and managed by my entreaties, with the aid of some good people not of that party, to have the gate towards Borgerhout opened to me, where without any previous intention on my part, it happened as has been seen, not to sack the town, as they say, my design being quite contrary to anything so pernicious, as I will hereafter prove, but to try to purge it of those who are growing fat on the blood of the people by an illicit and usurped authority, whose greed of gain prevents them from going away. To this it seems to us the people first interested, the common safety being at stake, that you ought to be resolved and bent, and that as you have elected me for your prince, this is only to serve as a gloss, and cover with a borrowed authority the abuses and robberies committed at your expense.
When you are willing to lay hand to it, I am ready to assist you in so holy a cause, without which I can hope for nothing but the early ruin and desolation of the whole state.
In the maintenance and increase whereof I shall willingly expose my means and my life and those of my servants, as you have seen me do hitherto. If I had been dutifully backed, according to the promises made to me, you would now be feeling relief in place of the evil which if not promptly remedied, is crushing you.
The competence of M. de la Borde, one of my maîtres d'hôtel makes it needless for me to say more.—Camp by Rymenant, 22 January 1583.
Copy. Endd. Fr. 4 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 14.]
Jan. 12/22. 29. Another copy of the above, in Fremyn's hand.
Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [Ibid. XVIII. 15.]
Jan. 13. 30. Audley Danett to Walsingham.
Since the Duke's departure from this town he remained a day or two at“Brerkeham,” and thence to St. Bernard's cloister, thinking to pass over the water into the land of “Waez”; but certain small vessels, well-appointed to guard the passage, have disappointed that purpose and taken all the small boats away, 'that' having no hope to pass that way, he has marched towards Duffell Castle, where the river being small, it is said he has caused a bridge to be made, and remains now between the two rivers not far from Malines, about which place he intends again to pass, and so to come to Vilvorden, and from thence to Dermonde. It would appear he is in great want of victuals, himself being constrained to sup on Wednesday last 'with' a piece of broiled beef and brown bread, as it is said here by some who beheld him at supper. He has written to this town, and sent one of his maitres-d'-hôtel, called la Borde, to obtain leave for his officers to repair to him, that he might be served like a prince of his calling; desiring to have victuals sent to his army, to which effect he wrote also to Mr. Temple at Brussels, offering ready money to 'content' the victuals for the same. On Thursday, those of this town sent a quantity of victuals to relieve his forces, and some things were ordained for his own diet; but he having removed from St. Bernard's the victuals were brought back again, and so likewise returned certain deputies appointed by the States-General to repair to him, for the corresponding of all matters. These deputies are sent again to him to-day, and are: Dr. Longolius, Chancellor of Guelders, M. Meetkerke, President of Flanders, Everarts, Pensionary of this town, and Tayart, Pensionary of Ghent, and some provision of victuals likewise sent by water. It would appear that those here would gladly all things were well pacified, fearing the Duke's joining with the Malcontents. Yet some are of opinion that the practice to surprise their towns was not without long intelligence with the enemy, and therefore fear lest he will 'range' on that side, notwithstanding their endeavour to give him any reasonable contentment. He cannot long remain in those parts where he now abides, but his army will be starved for want of victuals, unless he be able to enter into the land of Waes, which cannot easily be done, although he should get to Dermonde, which is the place it is thought he seeks to bring his army to. Such forces as 'of the sudden' may be assembled without diminishing their garrisons are sent into the land of Waes to stop the duke's army. Mr. Norris, by commission from the Conseil d'Estat, en l'absence de son Altèze, is made general of such forces as already are or shall be hereafter assembled in Flanders for the service of these countries. He is to 'give some present attempt' either for the surprising of Dermonde, or burning of a bridge, to hinder the passage into the land of Waes; wherein if God shall prosper him, I think the duke will be constrained to come to some reasonable composition, or else forthwith to join the enemy, for being kept out of the land of Waes he can no way be relieved with victuals, nor, almost, get home into France,, but by the way of the enemy.
M. de Famars, Governor of Malines, perceiving the duke to draw near to that town, and having a little before caused the French garrison therein to depart thence, sent to the States for more aid; whereupon Col. Morgan's regiment, appointed before to go into the land of Waes, are sent to Malines. Mr. Norris's regiment remains still at Brussels, and so of English there are gone with him into Flanders the regiments of Col. North and Mr. Cotton, which by reason of long extremity and want of pay are not so strong at present as I would wish they were.
You will receive enclosed a list of such of any account as were slain by the burghers. I cannot warrant it to be thoroughly perfect, but I trust some others from hence will satisfy you more thoroughly in that behalf. The whole number slain, as it has been certified to the Prince de Chimay by a colonel of this town appointed to see them buried, is better than 1,000, and of the burghers about 100,—Antwerp, 13 January 1682.
French Gentlemen Dead.
Count of Saint-Aignan and his son (wounded) M. de Pyse, Grand Equerry
M. Fontpertuy, Councillor M. de Fauni, second Equerry (Fansay)
The son of Marshal Biron
M. d'Arche, captain of the gate (Darce) M. Marafin Italians.
M. de la Feuillade, of the Council M. Gounille
M. Bellegarde (general) of the light horse) Capt. Mercure
M. d'Erry, maitre-de-camp (d'Archy) Capt. Nicole
M. de Mure Capt. Pandolf
M. Beaville Capt. Julio
M. Lamouri (la Moire) Capt. Badoer (Badelare)
M. de Tourys (Thoury) Capt. Langua
M. de la Garde (M. de la Roucherre)
M. 'Sainseval,' maitre-de-camp (M. de Bonfieur)
M. de la Pierre M. de Misacq, of the Cabinet
Captain Ors, an Italian M. de la Bouiliere
M. de Wallesy (Valisy) (M. de Chimy, master of the pages)
M. de Thiart (Gouverneur d'Alost)
The young Count of Chateau-Rou M. Rousisau (qy. Rolinsau)
Including these, it is said that 250 gentlemen were found dead, all clad in velvet.
Poulie The Bishop of Coutances
Fervarques Vauliousant (Rolinsau)
Farry (Fargis) Balizare (Badisiere)
Laverne (la Vergne) Du Prez
Beaupré Hereu (Perdu)
La Ferté Herchon
Chamont (Latisans)
Baron de Rieu
Another list follows in a different hand, and differing slightly as to names. The differences are indicated above by brackets.
Endd. by L. Tomson (for lists only). 2 and 3 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 16.]
Jan. 13/23. 31. Stokes to Walsingham.
I sent my last, begun on the 17th and ended on the 19th inst., by a post express. In it I gave you to understand of the new troubles that Monsieur has made here in the country, which have made such a fearfulness among the magistrates and commons as though their wits were taken from them. God send them better comfort, for surely at present I see they are in weak estate, and all their hope is in the Queen, that she will not see them perish. As for Monsieur, he is grown into such a hatred among the commons that they will not take his money that he has caused to be made here in the country; and they cannot abide to see his arms stand in the town. So the French have lost their credit here for ever.
It seems by all men's opinions and judgements here, that the French king, the King of Spain, the Queen Mother, Monsieur, and the Pope, are all of counsel together in this matter, to overthrow the Gospel that is planted in these Low Countries and then to be dealing in other countries.
The Malcontents, they lie still and do not stir, nor do any come from Lille, Cortrick or any other place, out of their government. Yet it is thought by all men here that they are 'a-counsel' of this matter, and therefore it is much feared they will not be still long.
M. 'Despiez' and the Provost that lie prisoners here in this town were racked this week by the magistrates, but they would not confess 'nothing,' but only that their intent was to set up again the Romish religion. But it seems they will not leave them so, for they will bring them to the rack again, and specially the provost, who is the chief counsellor of all these matters. His name is M. de la Valette.
By great good fortune the French have no more towns here in Flanders but Dunkirk, Dixmunde, and Dermonde. All the rest are in the States' hands, and now they live in some better order in those towns with the burghers than they did. At Dunkirk, if it were not for English ships that come thither daily with victuals from Sandwich and thereabouts, it would go very hard with them; so that it is desired here that all English ships were restrained from thence.
The Governor of Calais has arrested all ships and goods of these Netherlands, that are there, and even so it is thought that the like is done in France where any Netherlanders are. The cause of this arrest is not yet known, but it is thought it is done for the better release of the French who are prisoners in Antwerp and other towns.
Enclosed I send the copies of four pieces sent the magistrates of this town from Antwerp; whereof one is a letter of credit sent from Monsieur to M. Despiez that lies here prisoner in this town.—Bruges, 23 January stilo novo 1582.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 17.]
Jan. 13/23. 32. Marquis of Risbourg, Montigny and Rassenghien to the Magistrates of Bruges.
Having heard what has recently happened at Antwerp, and that God of His goodness has been pleased to make you aware of the wrong estimate (forcompt) which has been put on you, and the perverse inient of those who under the cover of being protectors and defenders of your alleged liberty are seeking by stealth to ruin you, your wives, and your children, as they have shown by simultaneous plots in regard to Antwerp and other towns of Flanders, we felt that we could not excuse ourselves before God and the world if—having been born in this country and holding the place there that we do—we did not embrace this opportunity, and endeavour (procasions) to reconcile with God's honour and the King's service the welfare and repose of the country. And to this effect we have thought good to let you know the singular desire we have to be intercessors and mediators in so good and sacred a work, if you on your side, postponing all private passions will listen to it; which we request of you as affectionately and urgently as possible. If you please to send us word of your intentions, or to send persons to us to let us know them more nearly, or to communicate together, we are for our part confident (?) that means of fruitful negotiation will easily be found. Besides, we are so well informed of his Majesty's inclination and know so minutely the good and sincere will borne by the Prince of Parma towards the prosperity of these countries, as shown lately by the punctual fulfilment of his promises to these reconciled provinces, and since to the towns reduced, that he will very willingly listen to us when we lay before him a matter whence may issue so great fruit to Christendom and private benefits to us all.
We beg you again to quit all distrust, and believe firmly that we are proceeding in sincerity and desire only to procure the repose of our poor afflicted country that we may see it once more in its ancient happiness.—Haulx, 23 January, 1583. (Signed) R. de Melun, E. Lalaing, Maximilien Viluin.
Copy. Endd. by R. Beale. Fr.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 81.]
Jan. 13/23. 33. La Motte to Treslong.
Having heard the state into which the French have put the places where they were the stronger, and the satisfaction which the inhabitants of Antwerp have taken of them (raisons que sur iceulx ont prins les inh. d'A.) has been my reason [sic] for writing this, which I think you ought to take in good part, since in this negotiation I neither allege nor desire anything but his Majesty's service, and the general good of these poor countries, tormented as miserably as may be seen, and at the same time the furtherance of your honour and private advantage. I address myself to you in preference to all others, because I knew you in our neighbourhood as so reasonable a person, that I have long judged you worthy to serve a king so great as ours and not a vassal who has not the means of benefiting even himself. And since you see the trickery of those who instead of helping you persecute you, I advise you as a true friend to come to terms with our king. By so doing you will follow out your obligation as a subject, and the oath which you took on your commission, to serve him and his lieutenant, the Prince of Orange. The latter, it seems to me, may from henceforth be deprived on account of his actions, and especially for having introduced the French, who have inflicted so much violence and ill-government on the country. I would not omit to let you know that I have commission from his Majesty, and though I in no way deserve it, he has given me much power, wherewith you shall be served and aided, if you desire. If distrust be set aside, it seems to me there should be little or no difficulty, inasmuch as his Majesty will be glad to forget what is past, and allow those of the Religion to live in their houses, without molestation or enquiry, to ratify all their privileges, and not to put a garrison in any town.
In conclusion, his Majesty shows clearly his love and goodwill to his poor subjects in these parts, claiming in effect nothing but obedience, with the sole exercise of the Catholic Religion. Nevertheless those of other religions shall not be 'looked for' in their houses; they will have all liberty of traffic and selling or leasing their property as in the past like the others. By this means, in place of the inhabitants of these provinces being troubled and ruined by imposts and subsidies till no means of living is left to them, the King will unload them, and replace everything in its order by the advice of his good subjects and vassals, as was done in regard to political matters in the time of the late Emperor, when each man was in quiet, and in no fear of having his throat cut on a sudden.
Anything further which it would be well to discuss I leave to your good judgement and long experience, which extends much further than I could say. Further it seems right to say that not only will his Majesty continue you in the post of Admiral of Zealand, but will give you any others which you can hold and desire.—Gravelines, 23 January, 1583. (Signed) Valentin de Pardieu, Seigneur de la Motte.
Copy. Endd. by R. Beale. Fr.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 19.]
Jan. 15/25. 34. M. de Sweveghem to the Magistrates of Bruges.
You will see by the appended letter [No. (?) 32] the good intent of the Marquises of Roubaix and Renty, and the Count of Ysenghem [sic] in regard to the negotiations which I had begun with some individuals among your lower classes (manans) as is well known to you. I would join my prayers with theirs that you should not let pass so good an opportunity, and not fail to embrace that which you know to be necessary to put our common country back in its ancient prosperity; begging you with all my power for a word of dispassionate answer, based on the perpetual good and utility of these unhappy countries—Courtray, 25 January, 1583. (Signed) François de Halewyn.
Copy. Endd. by R. Beale. Fr. ¾ pp. [Ibid. XVIII. 20.]
Jan. 15/25. 35. The Duke of Anjou to the States General.
M. and D. iv, p 332. (1) After hearing the representations made by the deputies of the States-General of the united provinces, his Highness testified to them his extreme regret at the inconvenient events that have happened, and represented the just and reasonable causes that he had for complaint in the many contraventions and small respect of his person and quality shown him since his arrival in these countries; whence has arisen a distrust that has gradually caused an alteration between them, so that instead of looking to the public good, which has been his sole aim, private advantage has rather been considered. The blame must return upon those who have believed that they could not maintain their evasions, ambitious, and usurped authority save by these illicit means. His Highness, however, desiring nothing so much as to continue the effects of the good will that he has always shown, freely consents to forget what is past, provided that all mistrust be laid aside, and on the following conditions:—
1. The towns at present garrisoned by French to remain as they are, until matters of negotiation and agreement are settled.
2. His Highness will go to Termonde, where shall be sent him before anything else is done, his personal furniture, his officers, his papers, and all Frenchmen and their property now in Antwerp. He will wait till Thursday next for an answer.
3. From Termonde he will go to Lower Flanders as far as Ostend and Nieuport to stay. Negotiations shall be at the latter place. In return (au lieu desquelles) he will withdraw the French troops from Termonde and Vilvorde, who shall have all necessary security for joining his army whereever it may be; and in those towns shall be placed such garrisons as shall be thought fit by agreement of his Highness, the States, and the province, as soon as he has entered Ostend and Nieuport.
4. Meantime victuals shall be provided for the army, so that while passing through the Waesland it may be restrained from plundering. If the victuals are received, his Highness will see to this.
5. All acts of hostility shall cease henceforth on either side. The States shall not call up further troops from the garrisons or elsewhere, nor put any in any other places than they were in on the 17th inst. 'Passages' shall remain free to all, as before the recent inconvenience.
6. As soon as all points have been agreed on, which his Highness will do all he can to facilitate, he will employ his resources and hazard his life more ardently than ever; believing that all will be remedied, and that such steps will be taken to observe the treaty, that we shall never fall into the inconveniences that have arisen from the lack of it.
(2) The competence of your deputies, to whom I have given in writing what seems to me the most reasonable and possible thing for me to do, prevents me from using a long discourse to you. I only beg you that we may get out of this bad interval (passage) as soon as possible. After which I hope that all things will be so disposed for good, that what has happened may bring us more advantage than it has done us injury. At least I will show that it will hold me ever firm in the good will I have borne you. Let me have your news as soon as possible.—Camp at Vilvorde, 25 January, 1583.
Copies. Endd. by R. Beale. Fr.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 21.]
Jan. 15. 36. The Estates of the Circle of Westphalia to the Emperor.
At this present assembly of the Circle the common syndic of the Hanse Towns approached us with a supplication and complaint of the non-fulfilment of the decision passed, approved, and published at the last sitting of the Imperial Diet at Augsburg, requesting us to promote the cause.
The petition now brought forward is not only in accordance with all justice and fairness, but also opportune for the whole Empire, and especially for this circle, and therein no small part of the Hanse Towns. It is leading to great harm and prejudice that an end is not made of such a mischievous trade, and the Hanse Towns maintained in their ancient privileges acquired at a heavy cost; since obviously and in many ways on account of newly-imported practices all goods have grown in such wise dearer, that everyone, alike of higher and lower rank, who cannot do without such goods seems to be wonderfully drained dry. Only such selfish trade would acquire great wealth and unintermitting gain.
For the consolation of these your subjects, we beseech you graciously to effect and fulfil what was decided by the Electors, Princes and Estates of the Empire; and as we have adopted (?) the syndic's most equitable request, all the less to reject it, etc., etc.—15 January, '83.—The Netherland and Westphalian Circle Assembly, Princes and Estates, Council and; now in Cologne.
Copy. Endd.: Intercession of the Westphalian Circle for the Hanse Towns to the Imperial etc., 15 January. German. 2½ pp. [Germany II. 55.]
Jan 15. 37. Ruy Lopez to Walsingham.
Pardon me if I am tedious to you, for I can do no less, your lordship being the person who has always aided and favoured me, through your courtesy and not through my deserts. The Judge of the Admiralty says that he has written to you that there is no claimant for the goods which the Scotchman took by commission from Don Antonio, and that it would be well to get him off before any question was raised. For this reason, if you would grant an ample commission to the Viceadmiral of those parts, named Mr. Hill, to recover the goods divided among the officials, with punishment if they do not 'do it,' and tell the customers to take only the ordinary expenses; otherwise, the goods being little, no part will remain for Don Antonio, still less to meet the expenses incurred.—London, 15 January, 1582.
Add. Endd. Ital. 1 p. [Portugal II. 1.]