Addenda: Miscellaneous 1579

Pages 514-532

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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Miscellaneous 1579

A.D. 1579.
[Jan. 16 ?]
525. The Emperor Rudolf II to Count Schwarzenberg.
His Imperial Majesty graciously acknowledges the matters expounded to him in the name of Prince Matthias, Archduke of Austria, by his ambassador, Antoine de Lalaing.
His Majesty, greatly commiserating the calamities of the Belgian dominions, and being desirous of restoring peace in those parts, commissioned Count Otho Henry of Schwarzenberg, supreme marshal of his court, by his officer (per familiarem suum aulicum) Daniel Prinz (as nothing was wanting to enable the matter to be discussed but a declaration by the Belgian Estates and Orders discovering their mind and will to his Majesty) to solicit the said declaration with the utmost zeal.
But although his Majesty has, within these last few days, learned from the Marshal that the said Estates and Orders have consented to such a negotiation and also to a suspension of arms, yet he fears that (as by reason of the departure of the Duke of Alençon and his Gallic forces from Belgium, as also of Duke John Casimir, Count Palatine of the Rhine and that faction, with whom, as malcontents, there seems to be little agreement on the part of the Estates and Orders, nothing—as he understands—has been done or determined) the Treaty, and especially the suspension of arms, may be the more hardly brought about: He therefore exhorts the Archduke, in a brotherly manner, to be at the pains to admonish the said Estates (to whom his Majesty has resolved to write) touching the said matter, and to do as much as he may to remove the difficulties, especially as regards the Duc d'Alençon and the French forces, who are, not without reason, suspected by the other side.
His Imperial Majesty, however, for his part, awaiting no longer his Serenity or the Estates or even the Prince of Parma (whom he strongly urges to allow a suspension of arms) intends, by his declaration, to appoint a certain day for the negotiation; on which day, as well the Commissioners of his Majesty as the ambassadors of either side may be at Cologne with the mandates necessary for treating and concluding the business; for his Majesty does not doubt but the Estates and Orders have granted the powers to negotiate peace.
As his Majesty deems that place extremely convenient for the purpose, he doubts not that they will acquiesce in his choice; otherwise he will instruct his commissioners to choose another in concert with both Orders. Being very solicitous that this peace should be concluded, he will furnish his commissioners with ample powers for all contingencies, nor does he doubt, nay he is firmly convinced, that God will grant his pious prayer.
In regard to the term of three months, so fixed as that unless within that time peace is in a way of being established, the Assembly of all the Belgic Estates is to initiate a treaty for placing these provinces under the sway of the Duke of Alençon, his Majesty promises the said Belgic Estates (who will readily suppose that he and the Holy Empire will take it amiss that they should have such a neighbour on their borders, not to speak of suffering so important a member to be torn from the body of the Empire, while they look on) a strengthening of the ties by which they are bound both to their lawful sovereign and natural lord and prince the King of Spain, and also to his Majesty, the Holy Empire and the illustrious house of Austria, and that they shall have a better guarantee of their weal and safety than that they should suffer themselves to be led to embrace such pernicious doctrines as will plunge themselves and their country into far worse difficulties and perils than formerly, and thereby bring upon themselves their own and their country's ruin.
Such being the case, his Majesty trusts that his highness the Archduke will not only take the greatest pains to secure the extension of this treaty, but will even be able to arrange that no fixed limit may be put to the time, or at least that the term determined on may be extended so far as is necessary for the negotiation of such matters.
And this will also tend to prevent the necessity of his highness undergoing such an indignity as the envoy mentioned, an indignity in which the good fame of his Majesty and of the illustrious house of Austria are equally involved. Moreover, ought not those especially who are responsible for his highness' expedition to Belgium to see to it that all the influence and authority which they have over the other states be used to promote this object, since otherwise, no small part of the said indignity will recoil on their own heads?
In communicating to his highness the Archduke the mind of his Majesty, on this and other matters, his Majesty wishes the Count of Schwartzenberg to convey to his highness the assurance of his brotherly good-will and affection, and to his envoy his royal thanks.—1579. Signed Obernburger. Svieheuser.
Endd.: “Emperor's letter to Count Schwarzenburg, '79.” Copy. Latin. 4 pp. [Germany, Empire, I. 3.]
[The sense of the above letter is not always clear. It would appear to have been first written in German and then turned into Latin. Also in more than one place, the copyist has evidently misread his original. For date, cf. letter to the States, probably sent at the same time, Cal. S.P. For., 1578, 1579, p. 395.]
Jan. 26. 526. “As touching Mr. Furbusher's voyage, we have heard of a Russ, that was the Prince's rentgatherer in Jugoria, that the place whereunto he cometh is not far beyond the river Ob. And the people which doth inhabit there are called the Paky Samwedey and are those that killeth the seals. Also he told me they complained greatly of the taking away of a man, a woman and a child, and of the leaving of his men there. This country is a goodly country, and bordereth on the one side to Cathay (Catey) and on the other side to Siberia.” Moscow, 26th January, 1578.
Endd.: “Advertisements out of Russia. Touching Mr. Furbisher's voyage to the North-West.”
Endd.½ p. [Russia I. 1a.]
(Calendared in S.P. Dom. under date, with note “See Russia this date.” But it evidently was not in its place when the Foreign State Papers for this year were calendared, and it has now been found amongst the undated papers.)
Feb. 9. 527. Occurrents from France.
The King spares no cost to place his minions in the best governments and other charges of the greatest importance, compounding with the parties in possession for excessive sums, and paying them out of his own coffers. “The parties removed are recompensed more than enough, and yet as much discontented as if they were thrust out by the shoulders.
“The King and his kingdom are now wholly possessed by Cheverny, d'O, and Villequier, father-in-law to the said d'O. The Chancellor looketh when he shall be put in possession of the spiritual promotions promised unto him, and may, perchance, look without it until his eyes shall fail him to look any more. No man in the realm is more discontented than the Chancellor.
“The Duke of Guise is likewise discontented, and watcheth his opportunity to put in execution his ambitious practices.
“The deputies of Burgundy and Normandy have attended here some weeks for their answer, and now the deputies of Brittany are also arrived, these provinces and some others being leagued together (as I am credibly informed) with full resolution to rebate nothing of their first demands, and in case of denial, to desire the protection of Monsieur or of some other if he refuse it.
“Normandy hath given good proof by some late broils among them that they will rather come to blows than change their opinion.” The provinces proffer to pay the King's debts upon condition that the money levied for that purpose shall not be employed by the King's officers but by such as are appointed by themselves.
The controversy between 'Roghan' and Laval of Brittany for the presidency of the Assembly of Estates there is said to be appeased.
The troubles of Provence are nothing diminished. De Carces and his confederates will not accept de Suze as governor and have forced him to retire to Avignon, many of his train being slain or drowned.
The castle of Beaucaire is about to be rendered to the King, to the great displeasure of Chatillon and his confederates. Some blows have been given for its rescue, but in vain.
La Réole is restored to the Protestants, and it is now thought that the conference between Queen Mother and they of the Religion will hold.
The King of Navarre directs all his actions to two ends. “The first to restore no part of that he holdeth already; the second to avoid all occasions of open war. Both parties are so willing to conserve peace, as surprising of towns and such like enterprises are easily digested on either side. The King of Navarre seemeth to show good valour, in that he hath not been foiled in this long treaty with so many crafty and subtle heads.”
Endd. by L. Tomson: Occurrents, France. 9 Feb., 1578. Mr. Davison. 1½ pp. [Newsletters IX. 1.]
[A.D. 1579, March.] 528. Newsletter.
If Monsieur and those of the House of Guise be no better friends than is reported, it may be said that the King hath done wrong to Monsieur to bring the Cardinal and Duke of Guise in his coach when he received Monsieur, and then to take Monsieur into the same coach.
It behoves Monsieur to be himself earnestly affected to this matter of marriage, it being said that he has no servant, counsellors or others about him on this side the seas (save those who have been in England) that will give him comfort in this enterprise.
Nothing is being omitted that may induce the King of Navarre to come to the King. It may please you to consider these things following. First, the Queen Mother will never permit her two sons to live long together without her presence, unless forced by some great necessity, therefore it may be concluded that, remaining still in Languedoc, she has some new practices in hand. Secondly, it is not likely that the Queen of Navarre can forget the pleasures of this court, or be content with the poor court of Guyenne. Thirdly, the great affection and friendship between Monsieur and the Queen of Navarre which may not endure a long absence. Lastly, the bruit of the going of the King and Monsieur shortly towards Lyons, by Roctalyado. No man hath a greater opinion of the King of Navarre than I, and I would answer for him, “if experience did not show that France is nothing but inconstancy itself.”
If this voyage into England be truly intended, I see no reason why Monsieur should go to Queen Mother; it were more convenient for her to come hither, both from its nearness to the water side and because Paris is the only place to provide for such a journey. But it seems that he will go to her and leave her there.
1 p. [Cf. Foreign Calendar, 1578–9, p. 465.] [Newsletters, IX. 2.]
May 16. 529. Occurrents from Antwerp.
Advises from the enemy's camp and from Cologne and Liége certify that they have again battered Maestricht, and have made great number of ladders and other instruments for assault of the town, so that news is looked for ere long. Those of the town are well animated to resist all attempts and have hitherto rencontred the enemies every time and every way, and overcome all their devices.
Last week the Spaniards attempted to take certain houses called the Quere, standing between the two towns about the bridge, in an island, but the place was so valiantly defended that they were repulsed with the loss of above 500 of their best men, besides those hurt. The defenders lost very few.
The States still make preparations to rescue the town, though slowly. “Some will go so surely that they do not venture the loss of their men, and the town unsuccoured and other places left in danger and distressed.”
The Estates' deputies have been very well received at Cologne and had greater entertainment than any of the others.
The Duke of Terra Nova has met the other Commissioners there. While walking along the river side, stones were thrown at him, of which he complained to the magistrates, and they have granted him 30 harquebusiers for a guard.
The Prince of Parma's Commissioners are Dr. Fouck and Scarembergh, which the people of Cologne cry out at, and one night broke the glass windows where they lay, crying out that they are rebels to their native country, and were come only to practise treachery. It is said that the first matter conferred of will be a truce, until somewhat be resolved touching the hoped for peace.
Common report says that the Prince of Parma is very sick and brought from the camp to Diest, where he has been in some extremity. The English and Scots soldiers about the town have been mustered but not yet paid. If not ere long satisfied, they will surely fall into a mutiny. M. de Lanoye is come into Flanders, about Ypres, where the four members of the provinc have sent him artillery, and those of Ghent most of their forces, under M. de Riehove, besides many boors, with all provision to lay siege to Menin. The Walloons there have sent to Artois and Hainault for aid. It is thought M. Lanoye will do some exploit, if the town and provinces do not resolve quickly, who still hang in suspense. M. de Havrech labours still to persuade them, which continues the commons' dislike of the noblemen, “and others of the complices' proceedings, with the Spaniards' practices.”
Those of Ghent have at last entered Alost with three ensigns of men, so that is sure, which before was much doubted. De la Motte is said to have discharged all his men except four ensigns, and is at variance with the Spaniards lying at Calais, “for want they pay him not such men as were promised.” Those of St. Omer are still divided among themselves, not knowing which side to hold. [On the same sheet as the following.]
May 23. 530. Other Occurrences from Antwerp.
Artois and Hainault are so far agreed with the Prince of Parma, “as no other account can be made but disjoining provinces from the rest hereof, and taking the nobility of the one and clergy of the other to have been the causers and workers.” There resteth a hope of most of the nobles and gentlemen of Hainault and the commons of both provinces, who murmur against their superiors' dealings.
By credible report they prepare forthwith to make war against Flanders, and to rencontre M. de la Noue, having sent to Parma such Walloons as serve under him for Italian horsemen, and “Borgonienes.” If la Noue is overthrown, the best part of the States' strength will be lost, for he is the only hope of Flanders.
It is marvelled that the Walloons in the Castle of Bosingin in Flanders so soon yielded it, being 240 besides boors, and the place of great strength and well victualled.
To balance this loss, M. de Montigny with 1,300 horse and 1,000 foot has spoiled Thielt (Tiled) a town three leagues from Ghent, where his men used great cruelty to the town people and murdered divers. He and his confederates have declared Ghent, Ypres and Cortrick enemies. It is doubted if Lisle will hold with the other provinces. Three ensigns and 200 horse are put into Douai by those of Artois.
Those of Cortrick on Tuesday last “passed in a fury after they heard the news from Thielt, drew out all the priests and others of the cloisters, spoiling the churches and all the goods belonging to the spirituality.” Those of Maestricht have fired a bridge of the enemy's and taken a captain and two prisoners. This news comes from Cologne, but nothing of the hoped for peace. The States still assemble their forces to aid Maestricht; it goes slenderly forward, but hoped to be time enough, for they are not in so great distress as was thought.
Endd. 3 pp. [Newsletters I. 2.]
May 30. 531. Occurrents from Antwerp.
A duplicate, with a few verbal differences, of part of Jacques de Somere's letter dated May 31. See Cal. S.P. For., 1578–9.
Endd. 2 pp. Fr. [Ibid. I. 2a.]
May 31. 532. News from Antwerp.
Maestricht still holds out valiantly, and they lately issued out and slew divers in the enemy's camp, returning with small loss. The enemy intends to assault it with main force, but if the town holds out, will probably leave the siege. Most men think that upon this issue depends the hope of peace, which goes very coldly forward at Cologne, with delays “to abide the success of their siege.” The States' preparation for rescue are not as yet as ready as they should be.
Artois, Hainault and Lille proceed in their peace with the Prince of Parma, which is said to be proclaimed at Namur, and all Spaniards to depart from those provinces, Walloons being put in their places; as the nobles and spirituality have devised to do in Arras, Douai, Lille and elsewhere. So that the commons are not able to oppose them.
La Noue and the malcontents both lie in the field, increasing their forces daily and watching their opportunity. If La Noue can find any advantage, he will fight.
“The mean time, between them, the country are spoiled, burned, ransacked and the poor people undone. God send us good news thence, for thereupon depends the quietness in Flanders.” In Lille and other places of the disjoined provinces, the Protestants are ordered out of the towns within three hours, on pain of life. This week being the time when the Papists walk with their banners and crosses, they accordingly observed the same, “which blasphemous idolatry was suffered, though indeed much murmured at by the professors of Christ his true gospel.
“And on Thursday last [i.e. Ascension Day] the priest with others of their profession being ready to come out of their chief church, and having been willed by the Colonels of this town the night before not to stir out of their limits lest of trouble (which they would not eschew but put it to the venture), were rencontred by some that would not abide their idolatry, and upon their resistance some blows passed, though but few hurt, and so for fear of other harm recovered their church, shutting themselves therein to resist the fury of the people that came down against them in numbers, and would have had them out by the ears, if the Prince had not come to take up the matter, who used fair words to the commons, but could not prevail, for they would not be pacified until they had all the crew of that profession, being spiritual men, out of the town; which the Prince and States were forced to abide. And so were all that night led forth and placed a ship-board of two or three hoys, where they continue until as yet.”
The Prince has since persuaded the town to quietness and “that the Religions freidt be kept, for they would have spoiled all the priests' or spiritual houses; but that is pacified, and is thought will admit the priests again into the town but none of the monks' orders. The Archduke Mathias, who was at church with them in devotion when the stir began, was greatly feared with the people's disorder and stayed there two or three hours for fear of the fury.” Since then, he is minded to leave the government, if he is subjected to like dangers. The Prince also is much grieved and declares if they continue, he will give up all and retire. But it is thought means will be devised for quietness on either side.
Those of Mechlin grew to some like trouble but are pacified by the foresight of M. de Bourse [Bours] who took part with the town against the soldiers “that would have had out the clergy.” For the satisfaction of all, four ensigns lying there in garrison are to depart, and other come in their place.
Endd. 2 pp. [Newsletters I. 3.]
June 6. 533. Advertisements from Antwerp.
Credible reports from Hasselt say that the enemy have blown up an old tower on the walls of Maestricht, but it fell in the same place, so that it has stood them in small stead. They made an assault, but were repulsed with loss of the greater number of their men.
The English, Scots and French men are beyond Bolduck, awaiting the rest of the States' forces. The reiters will first have some pay, which is promised them, but if they make not more haste, it will come too late. Mechlin troubles are appeased by putting out the soldiers, by his Excellency's command, the townsmen having promised to receive others when desired. Monsieur de Bours is still there, and tries all means to animate the burghers against the Spaniards, who, upon the troubles, came before the town, thinking they would be received, but had some great shot sent among them and so retired. But most of those of the Religion have since left the town and come hither, for “the number of Papists is great and more addicted to the Spaniards than the States, whatsoever shows they make to the contrary.”
Those of Artois, Hainault and other their confederates, are ordering all of the Religion out of their towns, which may move the like to be done here and in other places against those not of the Religion. But it is thought the priests lately put out will be allowed to return, upon a new agreement to be maintained on both sides.
The Prince has this week demanded money of the townsmen “but have as yet consented to none.”
Last Thursday, Count Egmont took one of Brussels gates, drove away the watch and brought six companies into the town before it was known, being early in the morning, but Colonel Temple “straightways took the court and all the bulwarks, gates and forts about the town, and offered such play as the Count paused and stayed his pretence. The mean time, soldiers were sent from hence, Ghent, Dermonde and Aelst [Alost] to the rescue of the other, if need had been against the Count's men, but upon commandment from the Court hence he departed with his people, and such as were privy in the town to his practice followed him, whose houses were since spoiled, and so he departed with dishonour. If it had not been to have avoided bloodshed among the burghers and firing of the town, they would have driven him out perforce.”
The States of Flanders are at a stay, but the malcontents increase daily and at Ypres all the priests and monks are driven out.
Endd.pp. [Ibid. I. 4.]
534. Another copy of the same. Endd. 1 p. [Newsletters I. 4a.]
June 13. 535. Advertisements from Antwerp.
Maestricht still holds out. The enemy has blown up another old tower, and 16 ensigns of men were sent to try to enter, but, within a while, five of them returned to the camp “sore hurt and spoiled.” Whether the others have kept possession of the place or are all slain and taken is not known. There is some discontentment in their camp between the Prince of Parma and the “Dutches,” divers horsemen departing from him daily. The States still continue their preparations, their forces gathering beyond the Maas, where the English, Scots and French entered Meghen and Ravestein and there mutinied for their pay, having (it is said) sacked both places, but this is not certain. Last night a month's pay was sent to them, with powder and ammunition.
M. de la Guarde, with 2,000 footmen and 1,000 horse is about Venlo, bending towards Maestricht, and is thought to have some practice in hand to get some of his men into the town, “which if he can compass, it is judged they will not account further the enemy, but let him lie there as long as he listeth or can endure.” At Bolduck there was a practice to bring in soldiers by those of the Religion, but it was discovered, and there has been great stir between them and the Papists, but no hurt done and all quiet again.
After Count Egmont departed from Brussels, Colonel Temple came to report the matter to the States, “the whilst certain soldiers entered the chief churches, spoiled the same and robbed all the chests and places therein.” The authors were taken and executed and the place is pacified.
Mechlen then began to murmur, and it was feared would have joined with the malcontents, whereupon certain of their ships here, ready to go with provisions and merchandise were arrested. They then submitted to the Prince's pleasure, offering to take in such soldiers as shall be sent. It is thought some companies of Scots, now looked for out of Flanders, will be sent there.
The “Dutches” that lay in Vilvorde are called thence, and with others of Brenesteyn's regiment are marching towards the rest of the States' forces. In place of them are put the Prince's men, formerly in Mechlin.
On Wednesday the bearer of a letter sent by M. de Fresin, one of the chief of the States, to one of the chief men of Hainault, was stayed at the gates, the letter (as he was putting it into his mouth) taken and he committed to prison. That night M. de Fresin's house was guarded and he commanded to keep the same, “which usage was thought favourable in respect of his desert.” Howbeit he is to be kept at Rammekens till the troubles come to an end.
On Friday the Religions vreidt made at Utrecht was proclaimed at the town house, with straight charge for its observance. This achieved, certain priests are to return thither, but the canons and four orders of monks are warned to keep away.
Endd.pp. [Ibid. I. 5.]
(Cf. a similar (but not the same) newsletter, printed by Lettenhove, vol. X. p. 358 (from Harley MS. 285, No. 79).
536. Another copy of the same. 1¾ pp. [Newsletters I. 5a.]
[About June 23.] 537. Hoddesdon to Burghley, Occurrents.
Antwerp. June 20.—The enemy has lately, by his mines, so prevailed against Maestricht that (by report) he has got part of a wall and one gate, where he has placed artillery to batter the town. The defenders, fearing the mining, have withdrawn from the walls and keep another new defence, where the enemy will have to make a new breach and be in more danger than at the first wall. Howbeit he seems resolved not to leave it till it be taken or yielded. The States are still preparing to send succour. The Count of Hollock, with 1,000 horse, and la Guarde with his footmen were about Ruremonde, hoping to take it. It did not succeed, but they took a small castle near, kept by 50 or 60 Spaniards, who were all put to the sword.
Those of Holland are contributing 200,000 gilders to pay the soldiers going to Maestricht. All other places pay ratably, according to their powers. The troubles at Groningen are ended to both sides' contentment.
Those of Utrecht have broken down all their idols and will have no more popery, yet suffer such of the canons and priests to enjoy part of their former livings as they think will be good and true patriots.
Brussels is quiet again, and Count Egmont acknowledges his fault and prays his highness to forget it, “protesting that he never did or will be against the States” and offering to march to their camp and go to Maestricht, which (it is thought) will be accepted, for his men are all old and good soldiers, and if cast off, would strengthen the malcontents, who try by all persuasions to allure him on their side.
Since the publication here of the Religions vreede divers of the priests and monks are returned “and use their masses, but not in such glory as they were accustomed.”
At Ghent, the prisoners this week escaped at night by a ladder, passing the moat by a boat and so reaching the fields. Next morning they were pursued and four or five of them again taken, Champagny and two bishops being amongst them.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. I. 6.]
July 19. 538. A true report of Maestricht.
The 6th of March the enemy beleaguered Maestricht, and we issued out and skirmished with them for four hours, and hurt many. They retired and made bulwarks until March 24, when they began to play with their ordnance. They battered us for two days and made a great breach but durst not enter, and began to make a mine under a bulwark without the town, which they blew up. The 28th they assaulted, but we repulsed them with loss of many of their men and very few of ours. Then we began to undermine them and they us, and we so spoiled them that we made them weary, and they were glad to retire and forsake the bulwark. Then they brought half the battery to another place and, on April 8, they made it very “saultable” and assaulted the town with great force for three hours and three quarters. We killed, by their own report, 22 of their chiefest captains and the chiefest of the Spaniards' leaguer, with a loss at both our breaches of not above a hundred. And the Spaniards' powder fell on fire on both the batteries, and burnt a hundred of them to death, otherwise they had won the town at the first assault.
With that the Prince of Parma cried treason, for all the powder was burnt, and they reported themselves that they “left” about 10,000 men after the assault. Two of their chief captains and two colonels were slain. Then they took their battery to another place and took away our bulwarks without the town by undermining, and for lack of powder we left [qy. lost] the town. Six weeks after we lost the bulwark, they won it by assault on June 26, for there were not above 400 soldiers to man the three breaches, which were so great that you might have ridden up with horses and waggons, and when the town was lost, we had not above three hundred weight of powder. We were at first 12 ancients [ensigns] of soldiers, yet but 1,100 strong, and there were 10 ancients of burghers, 6 of boors and 6 of labourers, as women and children, and one ancient miners (minders) and the captain of the miners did valiant service and prevented all the Spaniards' mines and took 8 barrels of their powder, which did us great service, and many a time we did issue out amongst them and slew many of them in the trenches.
There was shot before the town from first to last 40,500 shot; then they drew their artillery away from the breaches into their camp, whereon we thought they would have gone away, but the 6th of July they appeared upon the walls “and saw their watch was not strong, for the burghers and boors were gone to rest"; with that they entered and won the town. Some of the soldiers retired to the other side of the water and took away the bridge, and “fell to a parley for safeguard of their lives to the number of 350, of hurt and whole.”
There were saved four captains: Captain Bastian, a Frenchman and serjeant-major; Captain Brookesby, an Englishman; Captain Towlener, and Captain Darte, Dutchmen; and all the rest of the captains were slain, and an English ancient, Joseph Brookesby, “sometime servant to the Lord Howard, who, after he had broken his staff, he laid himself in his ancient [i.e. flag] and there died valiantly upon the bridge.” Of soldiers, burghers, boors, women and children there were slain at the entering of the town 500 or thereabouts, who lay in the streets unburied from Monday to Sunday, when the boors cast them into the water. And of the Spaniards, by their own report, were slain 10,000 of their chief gentlemen and soldiers.
Another Report.—Count Mansfeldt is reported to be governor of the Spaniards, if the Prince of Parma be dead (as they say). Corbanke, captain of the Hungarians, lieutenant under Count Hollock, has taken one Skincke [Schenk] a Dutch captain, who served under the Spaniards, a great traitor against the Prince and his country. He was taken in the castle of Dybidie, and 2,000 gilders are bidden for his ransom. They would have the captain of the miners of Maestricht for him. The Spaniards lie yet by Maestricht in Julichland (Luckeland) and report goes that they will besiege Venlo (Vandilo) in Guelderland, a strong town. The Walloons and Dutchmen will go no further without pay.
July 26 there was a mutiny in Bolduck, between the Protestants and the Papists. Sixty men were slain and 150 hurt, and the Papists had gotten the stronger hand. Then there came two ensigns of soldiers to help the Protestants, and beat the Papists into a corner and concluded a peace, which now continueth. All the friars and priests are at Mechlin, and at variance with the burghers about the Religion. But yet they say to the Spaniards they will not yield, and have skirmished with them before the town and have slain some of them. “And they will not receive no soldiers but whom they will, for fear of losing their mass.”
Those of Brussels have agreed with the Prince, but he has taken one M. Fresin, who was master of his munition and victuals, and was found to be sending letters into Artois and Hainault, bidding them keep their towns strong until he came to them. The messenger was taken in Antwerp gate with the letter and would fain have eaten it; it was found in his mouth. Fresin is sent as a traitor to Rammekins, in Zeeland. “By such councillors and traitors is the Prince and country betrayed.”
In Flanders, the Prince has dispersed his Scottish men and Frenchmen into garrisons, and mindeth to do the same with his English, Scots and French in Brabant. I think he can make no more camps for want of money and the Scottish men and English desire to return home for want of pay.
“The Gospel is preached all Flanders through, and I trust ere it be long it will be also in Brabant. There is mass said but in four churches in Antwerp.
In Bruges the protestants and papists were all in arms against each other. The protestants sent for eight ensigns of Scottish men, who were in the market place before it was known. Then the burghers ran away home, and the Scottish men stayed two days in the market place, and then they were lodged very well. If they had not come, the protestants would have been put to the sword.
Endd.pp. [Newsletters I. 7.]
July 25. 539. Advertisements from Antwerp.
The enemy is still in Maestricht and thereabouts, but has sent some horsemen to range the country towards Venlo to prevent the coming of the aid which Count Hollock brought, who, nevertheless, got five ensigns of foot and three cornets of horse into that town. Afterwards coming forth with his few horsemen, he was met by the Spaniards and after some skirmish (in which on both sides some were slain) had, it is said, to retire into the town. The Spaniards are still thereabouts. It is feared they of Bolduck will become malcontents, as those of Mechlin have done, and show openly by their letter to the States.
The Commissioners for the Union made at Utrecht are now there to put it in operation, but it is feared that some will desire rather the maintenance of the pacification of Ghent. Nothing yet done at Cologne, but the King's Commissioners seem willing to conform to these pacifications, “with a further liberty of freeness of conscience, yet no other exercise than was by the foresaid agreed.”
Those of Artois and Hainault (Henowe) are feared to be working practices quietly. The malcontents have left Rouselaar, and eight ensigns of Scots are there, fortifying it, but the malcontents have, by composition, got an old castle to which they laid siege. It is said that they of Flanders mean to make a camp and assemble their forces there. Intercepted letters from Parma to Montigny and de la Motte advertise when he meant to march and where, ordering them to set forward in like sort. The malcontents have met and overthrown 14 ensigns of the Ghentois, slaying the great part thereof.
Endd.pp. [Newsletters I. 8.]
Aug. 18. 540. Hoddesdon to Burghley, Occurrents.
Antwerp. Aug. 9.—Those of the enemy which destroyed the river of Brussels and dispersed themselves round about, are drawn together again by the river. Count Egmont and his men are nearest to it, and have written to persuade the town to accept the king's peace; excusing himself also for coming so near with his men “who spoil all where they pass,” and offering them all friendship if they would be reconciled. “They answered with great thanks, desiring that he would retire further off, and upon the Archduke and Prince their answers, would consider further what they had to do.” They have sent commissioners to the Prince and States asking for munition and victuals to withstand the enemy, meaning to defend their town to the uttermost. Some division there is feared to be between the protestants and those who would gladly agree with the malcontents, which may cause inconvenience, but preparation is made to supply their wants and prevent dangers.
The rest of the enemy's forces are about Tillemonde, where they are to be mustered and paid. Some report that according to the agreement with the malcontents, the Spaniards must, in a few days, depart out of those countries. In Artois and Hainault the commons mislike the agreement with the Spaniards, for their country is filled with soldiers and their traffic cut off from these places, which it is thought will cause some insurrection. M. de Selles is sent to the Prince of Parma to hasten the departure of the Spaniards, and for money to pay the Walloons.
Those of Bolduck have chosen their governor, a gentleman well liked of, and it is hoped he will effect something.
There has been speech of aid to be demanded of Monsieur, but Guelderland, Friesland, Holland and Zeeland will not hear of it. There is still jealousy between La Motte and others of the malcontents, and especially with the Viscount of Gaunt as to the government of Artois. Certain soldiers were sent by La Motte from St. Omer to Montigny. He refused them and on their return those of St. Omer would not let them enter, saying they were strong enough without other assistance. London, 18th August.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Newsletters I. 9.]
[About Aug. 20.] 541. Advertisements from Antwerp.
Antwerp. Aug. 15.—Last Wednesday, Count Egmont, with Montigny's and de Heze's men, took a town called Ronsin, between Oudenarde and Ghent, after four or five hours defence. It was spoiled, and divers put to the sword and cruelly massacred. The malcontents are still about Brussels, and have got the town of Alost by practice with M. d'Auxi, the governor, who, feigning to pay a visit at Liekerke, a place near, appointed soldiers to meet him for his escort, who were no sooner arrived than they were surrounded by Egmont's horsemen, divers slain, many taken prisoner, and but few escaped.
“Whilst this treacherous tragedy was a playing,” d'Auxi with the soldiers he had “wrought on his side,” took possession of a gate, admitted the malcontents and has since been in council with them. They then sent divers men on Friday at break of day to Basteroede, a village two miles from Dermonde lying on the river. The two ensigns of soldiers there fought very stoutly, but the place being set on fire, they were at length overcome and driven to escape. If it be fortified by the enemy, it will annoy the passage by water between this town and Dermonde, and thence to Ghent. The Prince of Orange was to have gone towards Dermonde that day, if this evil news had not come, to treat with those of Ghent, “who run still ahead, and use small good direction or government in their proceedings.” They have set out a pamphlet justifying their change of magistrates, “alleging the causes they have to dislike the longness of the dealings here without any order to rencounter the enemy's daily invasions.”
A new Council is established here, to direct affairs and “foresee” the providing of necessaries to maintain the wars. It is compounded of all the estates of the town, to wit: Nobles, Magistrates, Colonels, Captains, wirkmeisters, guilds, the masters of the munitions and fortifications, and of the ambachten, i.e. the handicrafts, the number to be 24 and the Prince to be president. They have met this week three or four times.
Straele, the Burgomaster of this town, is returned from Utrecht, where the Union is fully determined and put in practice. Of the Spaniards no more speech but that they must depart the country. Those of Brussels are still resolved to defend it, and have this week taken a great number of beasts and cattle from those of Mechlin. In Artois and Hainault there is still great discontentment between the nobles and commons. The Prince of Orange is this night gone to Dermonde, and thence will go to Ghent to quiet the disorders there.
Endd.pp. [Newsletters I. 10.]
[About Aug. 26.] 542. Hoddesdon to Burghley. Occurrents.
Antwerp. Aug. 23.—The enemy has retired from Venlo to between Maestricht and Limburg, being greatly discontented for want of pay. At Liége there are commissioners from the Prince of Parma and from those of Artois and Hainault, to treat for an agreement, with assurance that the Spaniards shall depart when the King's pleasure is known, certain being sent to him from these provinces. The malcontents have removed from about Brussels to a place between Alost and Ghent, where the Prince is having the magistrates altered, and is settling some better order. It is thought he will go thence to Bruges and Sluys and so return here by way of Zeeland.
De la Motte is again stirring, and has taken Mardyke, a place between Gravelines and Dunkirk, which, it is thought, he will lay siege to, “though not competent in number to do any hurt to the place, unless the sickness be the cause, for that they do die there extremely of the plague.”
There is great talk that the King of Spain's army preparing in Italy is meant for Ireland. I trust not, though the worst is to be feared.
Embden. Aug. 12.—Written to the Company at Antwerp. We have thought good to certify to you that after our long and earnest suit touching the tolls, by the special industry of the chief secretary here we have obtained from both the Graves confirmation of all our privileges, excepting that toll is to be paid for goods “hither brought or from hence transported from or to any of the Hanse towns,” and this also by the aid of the said secretary, we hope shortly to obtain.
“Thus much I thought good to signify unto your lordship, for that it appeareth hereby, no practice can prevail with the noble Earls of Embden to overthrow their good liking towards us and our continuance.”
Add. Endd.pp. [Ibid. I. 11.]
Aug. 27. 543. E. Philibert, Duke of Savoy, to the Queen.
Takes advantage of Monsieur de la Fin's departure to assure her of his affection and his desire to serve her.—Grenoble, 27 August, 1579.
Signed. Add. Endd. French. 1 p. [Savoy I. 1.]
Sept. 2. 544. Hoddesdon to Burghley. Occurrents.
Antwerp. Aug. 30.—The Prince of Orange has settled matters in Ghent, having again appointed certain churches for the Catholics, which will move the Malcontents to return home, and come to some agreement with the States.
It is said that the enemy prepares towards Brussels and Herenthals; that on Friday night 60 waggons with victuals, munition, &c., got into Brussels, with six companies of French, and that this was done while the Malcontents were burning and spoiling the peasants between Ghent and Alost.
In Flanders, de la Motte is retired, for the water was so let in at Dunkirk that it nearly drowned all his men. Two ensigns of Scots are put into Dunkirk, and as many into Winox-bergen, to prevent any intelligence with the enemy.—London, 2 September.
Add. Endd.½ p. [Newsletters I. 12.]
Sept. 19. 545. Hoddesdon to Burghley. Occurrents.
Antwerp. Sept. 13.—The Prince of Orange is still at Bruges, planning a weekly distribution of money by the Members of Flanders, to pay some of the soldiers, “whereof de la Noue should be principal,” who lies between Dermonde and Brussels, which he has assisted several times with provisions.
The Prince of Parma is paying his foreign soldiers, which, as is said, he has promised shall depart by the 25th, and all places kept by them be restored to the Malcontents, Montigny being appointed to put in such garrisons as shall be liked by the States of Hainault and Artois.
The Duke of Terra Nova has written to the States this week that unless they answer the articles of peace lately presented to them within three weeks, the Commissioners of the Empire will depart; whereunto it is thought no answer will be made.
Those of Bruges and Brussels have sent their committees towards Utrecht to join in the late made union. Mechlin, it is said, will send hither to treat with the States, “upon discontentment received against their complices.”
The English and French have been mustered, and are promised they shall be monthly paid by the poll.—London, 19 September.
Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. I. 13.]
Oct. 16. 546. Hoddesdon to Burghley. Occurrents.
Antwerp. Oct. 13.—Most of the enemy's forces lie at Turnhout and Gheel.
There is still speech of their departure, but no effect follows. The States' men lie along the river towards Brussels and between it and Mechlin, to keep the passage and annoy them of Mechlin, who are still divided, some wishing to let in the Spaniards, others to return to the States.
Of the Malcontents there is no great speech, save that de la Motte makes as though he would assault some town in Flanders, but those towns in Hainault which still hold with the States may so trouble the Malcontents that they will not be able to do much; both money and men being sent to the Seneschal, who is chief of Tournay and the other places, to keep the Malcontents occupied within their own doors.
I must tell your lordship that though the letters of all the laders and others in the ships bound for Embden have been opened, the ships are not despatched, which makes me suspect that the stay is not altogether made by the searchers, but rather by some practices of the Easterlings, “to cause some stand in Blackwell Hall” for their own purposes. The said searchers are about to unlade the ships bound for Antwerp, which precedent may be dangerous, “for there is no doubt but that if the subjects be so hardly dealt withal at our own doors, they shall be as ill handled abroad.” This extreme dealing cannot but be known on the other side the seas, as there are divers strangers' goods in the same ships, which must needs be “turmoiled” as well as ours.
Therefore I take it that her Majesty's subjects must be humble suitors to your lordship, that the searchers may use their office as they did formerly; which is to open such packs as they suspect immediately upon the lading of the same into the lighters and before they are stowed in the ships; and so would her Majesty be well served, her ship owners, masters and mariners not hindered and the merchants, who pay their full duty, not injured.—London, 17th October.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Newsletters I. 14.]
Oct. 23. 547. Hoddesdon to Burghley. Occurrents.
Antwerp. Oct. 18.—The States' men, under M. de la Noue, still lie at Willebrooke and along the river of Brussels, having daily provided that town with all necessaries. They have fired and burnt all the villages between them and Mechlin, for the better discovery of the enemy, who give them alarms every night but venture no further. Those of Bergen (Barrow) have set fire to all their suburbs, and are fortifying the town.
The Prince of Orange has been this week at Lillo, and twice at Willebrooke (with whom Archduke Mathias was one time) and there gave orders to make forts.
The committees from the United Provinces are come or looked for daily, “at whose meeting peace or wars shall be resolved upon, and some order taken for maintenance thereof, each province to be charged as he shall be rated.”
The Spaniards begin to depart the country. De la Motte still spoils the plain country in Flanders, showing his ill mind, though his forces be not sufficient to do much mischief. All other places are in reasonable quietness. God grant it long continue.—London, 23 October.
Add. Endd.½ p. [Ibid. I. 15.]
Also. Copy of the same. 1 p. [Ibid. I. 15a.]
Nov. 12. 548. Hoddesdon to Burghley. Occurrents.
Antwerp. Nov. 7.—By the last letters from Genoa “the army was not yet departed, and likelihood it should break up; being therefore doubted it was some enterprise upon Genoa, great dissension being thereupon risen between the commons and nobility.” M. de la Noue has left Flanders, whence every day is looked for tidings of dealing between the Malcontents and his people. The Spaniards are still at Hoogstraet, gathering their forces and making great provision as if they had some enterprise in hand. The States' meeting begins to-morrow or next day, when I trust we shall hear what they will treat upon for maintenance of their wars and better order.—London, 12 November.
Add. Endd.½ p. [Newsletters I. 16.]
Nov. 19. 549. [Hoddesdon] to Burghley.
Antwerp. Nov. 14.—It is said that M. de Bours, late Governor of Mechlin, is sent prisoner to Maestricht, as being “the only let why the Spaniards were not received there.” But yet the burgers will receive no garrison. Of proceedings between de la Noue and the Malcontents nothing is heard, but they prepare their forces on both sides, so as we may soon hear of some fight between them. The States meet daily and consult about making articles of peace, which they intend to offer to the commissioners in Cologne as their last resolution. If refused then without delay to prosecute the wars.—(Unsigned). London, 19 November.
Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. I. 17.]
Nov. 19. 550. [Hoddesdon] to Sir Walter Mildmay.
Duplicate of the preceding. (Unsigned).—London, 19 November.
Add. Endd.½ p. [Ibid. I. 18.]
Nov. 24. 551. The City of Elbing to [Walsingham ?].
They have heard the proposals made to them by the eminent men, George Ruchs, Robert Walton, Mathew Grey, Thomas Gorney and John Briks, in the name of his worship and the Society trading to the maritime towns, and the desire of the said Society, with the consent of her Majesty, to transfer all their business to this city and the neighbouring parts, if they may be certified of free navigation, freedom from fresh taxes, customs or exactions, and, if differences or impediments should arise, of security of return thence with all their merchandise.
The goodwill of the English, and the opportunity of entering into mutual friendship and intercourse, is very pleasing to them, and they hereby give and grant liberty of traffic, without exaction of any custom other than is already established of old time. Also they will be a means with the King of Poland that the English merchants shall be granted freedom of traffic throughout his whole kingdom.—Elbing, 24 November, 1579.
Endd.: “Letter of the town of Elbing.” Latin. 1¼ pp. [Poland I. 4.]
[Dec., about the 20th.] 552. Hoddesdon to Burghley. Occurrents.
Antwerp. Dec. 15.—M. de la Noue has gone to France, leaving his forces in garrisons to defend the frontiers of Flanders. Count Mansfeldt is in communication with those of Artois and Hainault at Valenciennes, about joining with the Prince of Parma, who is continued governor for six months longer. The Malcontents gather their forces between Douai and Tournay but cannot do much this winter, being also greatly in fear of the Prince of Condé's taking Le Fére (Vere) in Picardy, and breeding them some foreign trouble.
M. de Billry levies men in Westphalia and it is thought pretendeth some enterprise in Friesland, whereof he was heretofore governor.
Add. Endd.½ p. [Newsletters I. 19.]
1579. 553. Amarath, Sultan of Turkey, to the Emperor Rudolf II.
Amarath, God upon the Earth, King of all Kings, &c., &c., destroyer and sworn enemy for ever of Christianity and all who call themselves Christians. We declare to you, Emperor and little King in Bohemia and Hungary, to you and all the Dukes and Lords your allies, to the Pope, Cardinals, Bishops and to your child and successor and give you to know that we are resolved to come before your principal town of Vienna, and visit you in your court and house with the people and army of thirteen kingdoms, to the number of many hundred thousand on horse and foot, with Turks and Turkish munition, and with all the force of our Electors, such as you have never seen or experienced; and with fire and blood and at the point of the sword, to overthrow you and your adherents by our might and army; to massacre all your race, and to kill you by a death which will in cruelty exceed all thoughts; to capture and make slaves of the Christians, and to kill the women great with child like dogs; all in despite of you and of your Christian faith. For we have resolutely determined by our army to cut you off, who have your dwelling in the most fruitful and fertile country of all the kingdoms.
Copy, in French. Headed: “Copy of the letter of defiance of the Emperor of the Turks, which he sent by his ambassador to the Emperor of the Romans, Radulph, second of that house. This is in the year '79.” 1 p. [Germany, Empire. I. 4.]