Elizabeth: January 1583, 26-31

Pages 73-87

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, 26–31

Jan. 26/Feb. 5. 62. The Duke of Anjou to the Magistrates of Ghent.
I could not sufficiently testify to you the displeasure I feel at what has happened in Antwerp; but it is the fact that an evil past cannot be mended or cured by another to which we might perhaps be transported by passion. This, I assure you, will not happen by my means, since nothing is more before my eyes than to try all the remedies which I may think appropriate to put you back in a good understanding and remembrance, hoping hereafter to make such proof of the affection I bear to the welfare of these countries that the memory of what has passed may soon be wiped out. Similar untoward events have happened at times, which have brought more good fortune than evil, when instantly, and without stopping over causes of bitterness, each man has been willing to recognise his fault.
And to give you in particular a good evidence of my intentions, I have consented very readily to change the garrison of this town for natives of these countries, at the very instant when the town of Brussels has been left to me for my residence, pursuant to the prayer made to me yesterday by the States-General. By this you can recognise if I wish in all soundness and sincerity to redress and amend everything past. I pray you also on your part to forget everything, and to contribute all necessary facilities and kind feelings (douceurs) in carrying everything into effect; whence you can never receive anything but happiness and contentment.—'Tenremonde,' 5 February, 1583. (Signed) Francois, (and below) le Piu.
Copy. Endd. by L. Tomson. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 37.]
Jan. 26/Feb. 5.
M. and D. iv. p. 443.
63. The Citizens of Antwerp to the Queen.
The sincere affection which you have always shown to the Low Country during these miserable wars, and the great benefits received from you, have emboldened us to bring before you the enterprise made against this city of Antwerp and several other towns as well of Brabant as of Flanders, on the 17th of last January, according to the new style.
Your Majesty is well enough informed of the just and lawful causes which the States-General have had for maintaining the war against the King of Spain, and how after trying by all possible means, even by your intercession and that of all the kings of Christendom, to enter into a reconciliation with him through a peace that was tolerable, good, and secure, without being able to arrive thereat, they were compelled to change their lord, and elected the Duke of Alençon, only brother to the French king, to whom the States-General took oath, and those of Brabant, and this very city of Antwerp in particular received him with ceremony for their sovereign lord; and took from him and also to him the usual and proper oath in presence of many great princes and nobles as well of your own realm as of France and the Low Country.
Now whereas those of Brabant, of Flanders, and generally of all the provinces, received him with great joy and gladness, being sure that if God granted to him to obtain the victory against the Spaniard, he would soon restore this country to the tranquillity so long desired, and by degrees to its ancient prosperity, they also rendered him obedience and all duties such as humble and obedient subjects are bound to furnish, having on all points not only fulfilled the contract made at Bordeaux, but having also extended themselves in regard to several points and articles and especially in that of contributions beyond what the treaty laid down, by which was secured to us, and principally by the virtues of prudence, clemency, and magnanimity wherewith we have always esteemed that prince to be endowed, all such treatment as good subjects ought to expect from a father, defender, and preserver of the fatherland. Notwithstanding this, the duke having caused to come from France a good enough army, composed of French horse and foot, and a regiment of about 4,000 Swiss, caused all these forces, and some others which had already come before this town, to assemble; having lodged them in the suburbs of it on the 15th and 16th of last month, and having given out that he wished to go and see that army on the 17th about an hour after noon, he caused his guard of Swiss and French and the gentlemen of his train, to the number of about 200, all mounted, to seize the Kipdorp gate where he was going out, with intent to bring his whole army by degrees into the town; as in fact at that moment entered 300 or 400 lancers, and about 20 ensigns of foot, who unexpectedly surprising the town at an hour when all were at table, the gate having been previously seized and some of the guards slain, occupied without resistance the ramparts and principal streets of the city, having reached the middle of it, not very far from the market-place, crying 'Vive la messe! tue, tue, tue! ville gaignée!'
But God, who never abandons His own, gave heart and courage to the burghers, in such wise that some, at the beginning in very small numbers, with the aid of the chains which incontinently were put up, held back a great number of French; and meanwhile the alarm was given (donna) throughout the town, and some of the ensigns nearest at hand were set in array. And God of His mercy gave victory to the burghers, who chased the French as well off the ramparts as out of the principal streets of which they had made themselves masters, compelling them to fly towards the gate by which they had entered; and they hurled themselves from the ramparts and the walls into the ditches, not without great bloodshed. There fell on the spot of the burghers about 80, among them a colonel and two captains, and of the French about 1,500. The Swiss regiment and the rest of the army who were marching on the town, seeing that victory was lost for them, retreated.
And whereas the French would have spared none of the citizens, but on the contrary would have used every sort of cruelty towards them, having already began to pillage and burn in two places, it is the case that the burghers after their victory behaved with such moderation that they spared the lives of more than 1,400 or 1,500, whom they took prisoners, part of whom had been quartered in the town, with the intention, as it may well be presumed, of charging the burghers in order to invoke(?) assistance from those without; who, however, seeing the whole place in arms, did not dare to show themselves.
The duke being outside the town at Berchem wrote the same day to the States-General and to us, sending back two of our burghers, who with others had been surprised outside, with instructions of which a copy is enclosed. And whereas it seems that he wants to throw the blame on others and especially on this city, nevertheless since he would have done the like at Bruges, Ostend, and Nieuport, where he failed, and has carried out his purpose at Dermonde, Dixmude and Vilvorde, all on the same day, it is plain enough that it was a resolution taken, and long projected. Certainly no one has given him any occasion for it, and we regret it extremely, having fallen as it were from the hope we had that God had chosen him for an instrument of our security and deliverance. The States-General are endeavouring to enquire into the causes and the origin, and above all to patch up (radouber) everything and put good into it. The result of the negotiation and what depends on it your Majesty will hear more in detail through the States, as soon as they can form a settled judgement of the footing which affairs will take. Meanwhile, we thought it seemly, very humbly to set before you what has occurred in this town, begging you to have no other opinion of its good citizens and of us, than of persons who are very obedient to the service of the duke, with the obedience due to princes who treat them lawfully and reasonably according to the laws, customs and privileges secured to them by oath; and that no people in the world bears more affection to their good princes than that of the Low Country in general, especially those of Brabant and this city. Which makes us hope that in spite of what has taken place your Majesty will not diminish in any way your affection towards these countries, but will have them always in your favourable consideration.—Antwerp, 5 February, 1583. (Signed) for the burgesses, aldermen, and council of the City of Antwerp, G. Kieffel.
Add. Endd. by (?) R. Beale. Fr.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 37 bis.]
Jan. 27/Feb. 6. 64. The Duke of Anjou to the States-General.
I have always told you that it will be no fault of mine if we do not come to a better and more assured understanding than ever, and I hope, if God gives us grace, to make such proof of it that I shall well efface the memory of what has passed, for which I feel more regret and displeasure than any one else. I have accordingly thought good to send you my cousin M. de Laval, and M. de Villers, consenting to your demands as to Termonde, and Vilvorde; giving you thereby sufficiently to understand that I will not listen to any other arrangement than that I have promised you. I beg also that I may experience like affection on your part, and that we may not carry longer in these delays, which give basis and credit to the evil intentions of our common enemies, but that you will give me this time once for all (à ce coup pour toutes) a final resolution; as I have begged these gentlemen to tell you more in detail on my behalf, together with other things upon which a decision seems to me to be needed.—Tenremonde, 6 February, 1583.
Copy. Endd. by L. Tomson. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 38.]
Jan. 27. 65. Stokes to Walsingham
My last to you was written, according to the new computation, the 30th January, wherein I gave you to understand as the time then gave occasion. Since then there is small hope of any agreement to be made with Monsieur, though the Prince and States at Antwerp labour the matter very hard. But surely by all the speeches that are here, those of Ghent, Bruges and Ypres will never consent to receive Monsieur as their prince or governor; for the commons in all these parts are so vehemently bent against him.
It was greatly feared that the Ghent men would have separated themselves from the Prince and States, for since these French troubles have happened they have been in great rages; but now they are something pacified, and are willing to hear the counsel of friends how to deal in these matters, so that now they frame themselves to follow the good advice of their neighbours in all things. And for their better assurance and safeguard of their town, they have ordered and agreed by the general consent of their commons to take up in their town 30 ensigns of foot and two or three cornets of horse, who will be continually there at their own cost and charges.
Monsieur lies in Dermonde, and his French camp lies hard under the town, where they die very many daily 'for' hunger and of other sickness, so that it is said they are not able to lie long there unless those of Antwerp send them some victuals; for those of Ghent will suffer none to be sent to them, for as many as they take carrying them any victuals, they hang them.
The French that are in 'Dixmewe' and Dunkirk begin again to live very rudely with the poor burghers, with great threatening speeches that France will be revenged upon this country ere long; so those towns 'where the French is master of' are in great trouble and misery.
M. de Treslon, Admiral of Zealand, lies now at 'Newport.' He 'shows' to be a great enemy to the French, and he keeps there three or four small ships of war to keep the coast. This week the Frenchmen at Dunkirk sent two small ships to sea with 40 men apiece, and the admiral's ships have taken one of them and brought 'him' into Nieupoort, where it is said he will hang them all, and will do so with as many as he takes 'in that order.'
By good advices received this week from Lille and other places 'out of' those parts, all the speeches there are of great hope of a peace with this side; which speeches come only upon hope that the French shall not bear any more rule here in the country, with other promises; so that those speeches sound so sweetly in the commons' 'heres' in these parts, that it is thought, if the States refuse the agreement, the commons will not refuse it, so that these matters stand very dangerously. God send it better at His pleasure.
They also write from Lille that at many places in Artois and 'Henogo' there is no 'bread corn' to be had, and that a loaf of bread of 4d. beside Arras was sold for 5s., and that in every village in those parts many of their soldiers lie dead in houses and barns; so it seems there is great poverty and misery on that side.
According to their accustomed manner the town of Bruges should call a general assembly of all their commons, to have their opinions and counsels how to deal in those matters with Monsieur; and it seems they dare not call them together, because they are sure they will rather desire to make peace with the Malcontents than to receive Monsieur again; and if they refuse Monsieur and make peace with the Malcontents, the Prince of Orange will forsake them and go to Holland or Zealand, where it is thought he will not be very welcome to them. So the magistrates of this town and the 'Free,' with those of the Religion and others, are in great sorrow and heaviness, that they know not what counsel to give, nor how to deal in this matter. Yet I see most part of them leans rather to make a peace with the Malcontents than to take the French again; I mean those of the Religion, and much more the Catholics. So here is a troublesome state, which they say openly the Prince of Orange has brought them to.
As yet there is no other news come here out of France than what I wrote in my last. So there is great longing for news from thence, and specially from England, how her Majesty takes these troubles for the poor commons here. All their trust is in her.—Bruges, 27 January stilo veteri, 1582.
P.S.—I have received your letter by the same post 'that' I sent to you. It is dated after the old computation the 15 January; and forasmuch as I see that the old computation is kept, I date my letters in that order again, though 'it' is here by proclamation commanded. Most humbly thanking you for your letter, and as you have commanded me therein, shall be done according to my duty, 'God to friend.'
Enclosed I send you copies of four letters: one from the Prince of Orange to Monsieur, one from the Governor of Oudenarde to M. Rihove of Ghent, one from M. de Sweveghem, and the last from the Viscount of Ghent, Montigny and Rassingham. The two last came but this morning to the magistrates of this town.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 39.]
Jan. 28. 66. Audley Danett to Walsingham.
Since my letter of the 25th, sent by Mr. Vere, there arrived here the same day a trumpet with letters to the Prince and States from the Viscount of Ghent and Montigny, persuading a peace with the King of Spain, to which they 'assured' he would incline, pourveu que l'honneur de Dieu soit conservéà l'ancienneté etc.
This letter was nothing welcome to the magistrates, much less to the Prince, who, it is said, has openly signified in the late deliberation touching this government, that he will rather agree with the Turk than with the King of Spain. To the like effect were letters sent to Brussels, 'who' for answer sent a blank paper folded in form of a letter and sealed up, but no word written therein. I understand that in a late consultation here it was generally resolved they would no more accept either of the Spaniard or of the French; and took time until to-day, to advise what course should be observed for the government of these countries. Some speech was given out that if the Prince refused to accept it, as some thought he would, then they would canton their country after the manner of the Swiss. To this end discourses were framed, how they might be able to defend themselves in this manner. To the duke they had already accorded 4,000,000 francs for the defence of these countries, which he accepted as a competent sum. Of his own they presumed he would not employ much; and if instead thereof they furnished another million, which they account might easily be done, and at need somewhat more, they account they will be able to maintain a sufficient force in the field for their defence. So it would appear that generally they desired rather to take some such course than to deal any more with the Spaniard or the French. But it is thought the Prince inclines still toward the French, for some particular respect concerning himself and his posterity; though he seems willing to resolve nothing in these matters without the general consent of all. Of late, finding himself greatly in disgrace with the commons of this town, he invited the colonels and captains of the town to dinner on Saturday last, praying their 'means,' that the rest of the burghers and commons may be satisfied touching his proceeding in these affairs. The ministers have likewise been moved to persuade 'with' the people not to be jealous of the Prince's doings, who labours all for the best; but rather to pray to God for him and the rest, to take that course which may best stand with the glory of God and their welfare. But still the more part will in no case hear that the French should return; using high words and threatening speeches against any whatsoever who shall be the authors of it.
The duke is still at Dermonde, nothing well accommodated, especially for victuals, as it is said. There arrived from him on Sunday the 27th, M. Laval, and the late 'Marshal' Villers. The substance of their charge is not published, but it is thought the duke, to appease all matters, will accept any offer of 'appointment,' and surrender their towns. And although the government here hold that course for the best, yet they make some stay to go through therewith, fearing the mutiny of a people, which by little and little must be won to 'like of' the duke's reception.
On Sunday night arrived here from the French king, M. de Mirambeau, whose son, M. de Vigeon, was slain in the late fury. At his coming to land on the quay, he was received with very foul speeches by certain of the people, and some violence offered him by a mariner, to the danger of his life; with such an outcry, 'Vive la messe! ville gaignée! tue, tue!' (the very words which the French used at their attempt) that the colonels of the town were fetched to appease the tumult, and with some 20 'shot' conveyed the ambassador to his lodgings. The people are so thoroughly bent against the French, that I fear some strange 'effect,' when the appointment with the duke is published. The resolution should have been to-day, but is deferred till to-morrow, at which time the 'Briaut' raedt, as they term it here, being the General Council of the town, consisting of 'better than' 100 persons, are to acquaint the States-General and the Council of State, with their resolution. But I think it will be again referred, till the people are pacified. As anything is published which I can understand, I shall be ready to advertise you.—Antwerp, 28 January, 1582.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 40.]
Jan. 28/Feb. 7.
M. and D. iv. 389.
67. Copy of the Prince of Orange's address to the magistrates of Antwerp on the steps to be taken in view of the recent incident. (Printed in Bor, and in Gachard's Correspondance de Guillaume le Taciturne.)
Copy. Endd. Fr. 18 pp. [Ibid. XVIII. 40 bis.]
Jan. 28.–Feb. 7. 68. Mauvissiere to Walsingham.
I am writing this letter to greet you and visit you in imagination rather than to cause any inconvenience in your important business; being nevertheless ready to serve you in all things, as France is bound to do, and myself in particular. I make no doubt that this unhappy and tragic misfortune that has taken place at Antwerp will alter and change many wills hitherto good, but we must at the same time not make them worse. God has thought good in one case only to tie His own hands; things done and happened cannot be otherwise. Also He has got a remedy in all cases except that of death; but one could discourse on this subject for ever. Wherefore I will only stop to say that on the first news of this unhappy accident—I must call it so—I was advertised of so honourable and firm a will on the part of your Queen towards Monsieur, and that she would sooner put a good than a bad interpretation on his actions and on what she was told of them, as being unwilling to depart from the friendship she had promised him, that at the same moment, not to be ungrateful for what I see and hear of that good affection towards their Majesties and all France, I wrote to them very fully and diligently. I have their answer in two letters which I have decided to send you hereinclosed for you to see them, and if you think good, send them to the Queen, that she may begin to know the obligation she has laid them under by her prudence and good nature.
I have no news of his Highness, nor of two couriers whom I sent to him, and I judge that he is somewhere where our letters cannot reach him, as he cannot easily send his news without being intercepted.
I will say no more about it, except that I should be glad at your convenience and leisure to have an hour's talk with you. I am sure that I can satisfy you about all that arises from much of the talk that goes on here and elsewhere, or whatever the more excited want to say about it. There will be a means of securing between these two kingdoms greater friendship than there has ever been, if distrust is removed on all sides.
I pray God that He will ever preserve you from the gout, and give you a happy and long life.—London, 7 February, 1583, according to our new calculation.
P.S.—I have to give you, according to a dispatch which I received some days ago from the Queen Mother, great thanks for the good will which you showed to the request which M. de la Mothe made for her, and to pray you to keep it for her till it is needed.
Add. Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [France IX. 20.]
Jan. 29/Feb. 8. 69. Mauvissière to Walsingham.
I write to ask if it is a fitting moment to kiss her Majesty's hands. If you see that it is, assure her that I am desirous to have the honour of doing her some good service, for which I shall be all ready when she bids me.
I have received several letters from the country of M. de la Mothe, in sundry packets, touching his affairs. I have no means of sending them to him save by your means. If you will kindly take the trouble, I have written him a random letter (lettre de brouillart) in haste, which you shall see if you please. I tell him of the misfortunes at Antwerp, of the answer made to 'Mr de Cobam' and myself upon what we treated of with her Majesty and the Council. If he is on his road back, please let Mr Davison have them, who will hand them to him.
For the rest, I beg you to advise with the Council how to put into effect what was decided as to past and future depredations. The Duke of Joyeuse is quite ready as soon as Sir H. Cobham has instructions to come to an agreement. It is a very necessary thing to maintain the peace, and keep the subjects in good friendship and understanding.—London, 8 February, 1583.
P.S.—I received yesterday a letter from Nicolson, in which he says that he will ever remain your slave and faithful servant. He has preached your virtues and praises in the Sorbonne at Paris in such wise that all the Sorbonnists esteem you 'Monsieur St. Walsingham' for having saved Nicolson's life. He said the same to the king and the Cardinal of Bourbon, and that he had never come across so honest a man (ung sy homme de bien). He begs you to let him have the bond which he gave you, that he may discharge his sureties; otherwise (?) they detain all his property over here, and he can get none of it. He is a poor simple man; if he were a thousand leagues away he would come and tender you his life [sic] which he bids me say he holds firm. He says that your man Mr. Hyrde has the bond; if you will please order him to return it he will have some money which is due to him from his nearest relations, his greatest enemies.
Add. Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [France. IX. 21.]
Jan. 29. 70. Geoffroy le Brumen to Walsingham.
I have spoken to M. 'Palvoisin' [Pallavicino] who told me that he had heard nothing from or of Mr. 'Daalle' [Dale]. I have written to Mr. 'Daal' who said that he had the answer promised in writing at his house, and that some one might go there that afternoon. I sent at the hour he gave; he put it off to another hour. I sent again; then he said he had not the writing in question, but had forgotten it in Court. In short, I can get nothing out of him, and all the promises he made to you tend only to postponements and subterfuges. Meantime, I am much vexed at having to go off to France without having done anything for M. Péna. He will think that no one has any care of him in this matter. I beg you, both for your friendship towards him, and for the justice of his cause, to lay his request before her Majesty as soon as possible, to make this man, who judges consciences and will not judge himself, do what is right, otherwise there will be no end to it.
I hope to get away next week, if you will please examine and let me know what orders you have to give me, either for the King of Navarre or for others.
I have talked again to the man who knows about the invention (?) in regard to harquebuses. He has shown it to Schomberg, and I have seen Schomberg's contract with him. He gives him 200 dollars a year, house, and victuals for his family, and has sent him money to go and see him. He has already sent him some money; but knowing Schomberg to be an enemy of the Religion he does not want to go to him, and I have wholly dissuaded him. His experiment and test will not cost more than 3l. If you please, consider what you would wish before I go, because I will let the King of Navarre know it. The thing is well worth thinking of while we can (? en nostre temps).
Joachim tells me that he has communicated with the man who makes all the saltpetre here, and that he can teach him a way to make it cheaper than he does. The other desires to come to terms with him, but he would like to have a 'privilege' that no one else in this town is to make it in their manner, and that there should by this means be a profit. If you will get him the privilege you shall come in as a partner, and if you will please to hear the English trader who wishes for it, he will talk about the whole thing to you. He is of good reputation, they say.
I have not seen the Earl of Sussex since I spoke to you. I hope to see him to-day.
I shall need a passport for two hackneys more than I have at present, but I hope to have one.
Monsieur is at Dermonde. The States offer him the same terms which he swore to and accepted. He wants Bruges, Ostend, Dunkirk and other towns for his own security. I do not believe they will come to terms, and think that the States will be compelled to elect the Prince as dictator, and that that will be the best way there is.
When I hear where you will be, I will come and see you; and I should desire much that M. Pena's affair might be got forward.—London, 29 January, 1583.
Add. Endd. Fr. 3 pp. [France. IX. 22.]
Jan. 30. 71. George Lecester to Walsingham.
Three weeks past I sent away 'the party his letters' addressed to you, which are likewise herewith enclosed. I doubt not but he has sufficiently set down such matters as have passed since the late enterprise of Monsieur, and the sudden alterations which are happened. Besides, I have delivered to Mr Audley Danett such intelligence as I received from another by letters intercepted, to the end you might be advertised in better order than I of myself can do. Only for the better convenience of the enclosed I have thought it needful to address these few lines to you. Yet I will not omit to keep correspondence with those burghers of this town who are in credit, and employed in the matters of their state, that you may be informed of such occurrents as pass.
The duke came to Dermonde the 26 [N.S.] of this month, having passed some waters with great difficulty and loss of a great number of his men. Those with the vanguard marched directly through the town, in hope presently to have entered the land of 'Waste,' where they made account to have foraged and relieved themselves, the country being naturally strong, and hitherto preserved from spoil of soldiers. But the banks of the river being cut in two places, the country of Dermonde is so drowned, that the French, before they were well advised, fell upon a 'sconse' wherein were 2,000 'Bores' under the command of Mr. Yorke, well armed; who set upon them, slew 20, took three prisoners, and put the rest to the retreat. Whereupon the duke finding himself disappointed of that place, is greatly 'mallysed' against the General Norris and Mr Yorke, and no less distressed 'of' victuals and forage for his horses, which he made account would have been supplied by that country. In brief, it is thought he must either hazard his forces to enter these within three or four days, or else 'grow' to terms of composition either with the States or the enemy. But generally these people are so animated against the French, that notwithstanding all the labouring of the Prince and some of the States to 'reduce' them to a better opinion of Monsieur, it seems there is no appearance of any reconciliation between them, but rather that they will seek to make a peace with the Spaniards, as they imagine they may do to their great advantage. If that take no effect, it seems they will grow to this resolution, which is dairy preached to them, that no counsel can prevail against God, and therefore they will settle to defend themselves by the best means they can. And although it has been alleged by the Prince and others that God does not in these days succour His people with 'legents' of angels, as in times past, but rather by other means, yet those speeches rather move a dislike of himself than any conformity in them towards the duke.
By this it may partly appear in what dangerous terms this state stands; the further consideration of which I will refer to your judgement.—Antwerp, 30 January, 1583 (sic).
Add. End. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 41.]
Jan. 30/Feb 9. 72. Jean Bodin to Walsingham.
Since I was informed last year that the Queen of England had been offended by some word which I had let slip in my letter, and which seemed to me at the time necessary, I have not ventured to make bold to write to her; fearing that I might haply reopen the wound instead of healing it. You know how difficult it is to conduct oneself so wisely towards princes and princesses, when it is a question of saying or not saying something touching their state, as not to offend them. However, the occasion which has presented itself in the last few days has constrained me to write to her, as you may see by the letter I have written, which I am sending to you to judge if it is expedient to present it. If it pleases her to send for me, I shall not fail, on receiving your letter, to obey her as I ought; and will let it be understood there that I have been obliged to pass into England in order to go to France, to avoid the danger I might incur if I went direct. To this end I will get leave from his Highness to go and see my family, as soon as the terms with him are settled. He will, it seems to me, never be really secure, on account of the distrust and deadly enmity which many have conceived against us from the late trouble, and which has its origin much further back than many think. But I have found it very strange that such ill counsel so badly managed has been followed by a letter still worse conceived, sent by his Highness's ministers to the Council of this city; in which he avows the fact instead of casting far from him and upon another so notable a fault, or seeking some honourable cloak for so dishonourable an adventure. Nor can I believe that my master, a Prince of so good a House, can have ordered, still less avowed, such an exploit, to wipe out the splendour and lustre of his fine actions.
But I fear I may disgust you (vous faire mal au cœur) by refreshing your memory of it, which makes me redden with shame, and will pray God to give my master as good counsellors as He has given your mistress.—Antwerp, 9 February.
P.S.—I leave it to your discretion to close and seal as you will the letter to her Majesty.
Add. Endd.: Jan. [sic] 1582. Fr.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 42.]
Jan. 30. 73. Gilpin to Walsingham.
True it is that by the two last posts I forbore writing to you, not in respect of forgetting my duty, or negligence, but being absent from the place where news is most stirring. 'The truth to be known,' I thought it inconvenient to trouble you with uncertainties and stale matters, especially when I understood that the Prince, the States, Mr Norris, and others had written the particulars. Yet I did not omit to advertise Mr Thompson briefly what I heard, and withal sent copies of certain letters with request they might be communicated to you, as I doubt not they have been 'used.'
Three of our posts arriving together yesterday, I received your letters of the 5th and 12th inst., being most glad you accepted so well of my writing, and commanded my continuance, which I will not fail duly to accomplish as often as anything worth advertisement may be presented.
Herewith I send the collection of the news I could learn in this town, with copies of such writings as were communicated me. There is also a copy of a letter from my friend at Cologne. He has, as it seems by his writing, matter of some importance to impart which the dangerous times and the uncertain conveyance will not permit to be committed to letter. I have by entreaty employed him to discover the Hanses' practices, which he is watchful in, and withal hopes to work some division among them; of which I have written to Mr Deputy there. Besides, he offers his services in Spain, having found some errand thither the better to colour his presence and abode there without suspicion. You wrote to me heretofore, a year and more ago, whether I knew of any would take upon him to serve in that country. If you continue in that mind, I take him to be a very fit and sufficient person to be used in like service, and the coming from Cologne hither, and so into England will not cost so much, but either the Hanses' cause, or the other matter his letter touches of, I trust will be worth the charges. I beseech 'to' understand your pleasure by the next; meanwhile do and mean to entertain him by letters. If you are not fully satisfied for my dealings at the meeting at Augsburg I will be ready, and I hope can yield those reasons for all my proceedings, even with the Earl of Embden, and other princes to whom her Majesty's letters were directed; and so demeaned myself in every respect as will 'answer' the charge committed to me. I beseech, therefore, that no contrary opinion may be conceived, whatever the earl may advertise; whose nature, be it spoken with all reverence and modesty, is more inclined to private gain and lucre than to courtesy or friendship to his neighbours, whereby honour is increased, and sundry worthier requitals follow.
I have been forced to send my servant to Antwerp. After his return, I will settle my business in such order that he will by the first convenience repair over, with the book and abstract required by you.
Touching the point of her Highness's satisfaction by the States, I will not fail to do my utmost endeavour.
M. Villiers, the minister, is 'willed,' as I hear, to keep his house, and by the ministers, to forbear preaching till the fury of the people be more appeased; he being noted a chief furtherer for the bringing in of the French.
The Prince must also hear from the commons that he is the cause of the dealing with them; and a report goes that he has promised all his endeavours to procure the 15 provinces to the Crown of France, reserving to himself Holland and Zealand. This I hear 'to be offered to be avouched,' but thereof I suspend my judgement leaving it to 'your and other honourable personages of estate.'—Middelburg, 30 January, 1582.
P.S.—I beseech that my friend of Cologne's writings may be interpreted in favourable sort, for he writes all he heard, that it may be known to you what speeches and opinions pass of the French actions.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. (Holl. and Fl. XVIII. 43.]
Jan. 00. 74. “Instructions of the ambassadors of Russia, to be pronounced by their interpreter.”
We do glorify the God of mercy in the Trinity.
The great Lord and great Duke, John the son of Vasili, etc., sends greeting unto your Highness his sister Elizabeth, Queen of England, France, and Ireland and the others.
We do glorify, etc.
The great Lord, etc., has willed to be declared to your Highness, etc., that of many years past have passed between your Highness his loving sister and himself messages of good iwll; and that he desires hereafter to continue with you in brotherly love and league of all friendship. And after what manner he desires to be in league with you, he has given order by these his ambassadors to determine with your Council thereon.
We do glorify, etc.
He has commanded to be declared to you that as touching the letters which you wrote to him by our English doctor, Doctor Robert [Jacob], and concerning those which he wrote heretofore to you, that you would for his health's sake send him a doctor, a learned man, and you, showing your good will towards him, have 'disappointed' yourself, and sent him, of the doctors of your house, one that is a learned doctor and well experienced man in physic, Robert, a true and faithful learned doctor. And that you wrote to him that he would receive him and such as come with him, and give them good entertainment; and in so doing you have shown him your good will in sending your doctor to him. And he has entertained your doctor and the people that came with him, and has 'gratified' them with his liberal goodness, and will place them according to their worthiness.
We do glorify, etc.
The great Lord, etc., has 'more' willed to be declared to your Highness, etc., that you would command your Council to confer with his ambassadors, and determine how the brotherly love and league shall be concluded between you and him, and after you have heard the speeches of the ambassadors according to the order given them, viz., of Fedor of Shatesky, son of Henry of Pisomesky, and of his under secretary, Neaodach Hovroleno, that you will be so bountiful as to send them in your own ships to the haven of Colmogoro with good answers, and that you would send your ambassadors together with them about these affairs, giving them some order how everything shall be concluded.
Endd. as above.pp. [Russia. I. 2.]