Elizabeth: January 1585, 16-20

Pages 243-255

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 19, August 1584-August 1585. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1916.

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January 1585, 16–20

Jan. 16. Edward Prynn “Corea” to Walsingham.
I have no means to declare my gratitude to you but by writing, though I trust hereafter to show by deeds what is in my heart. M. de Botelyo arrived here on the 15 of January “as we reckon.” I should be forgetful to the King [Antonio] my master's affairs and to my duty to your honour if I did not tell you why M. de Botelyo did not come into England according to his master's commands, viz., that being at the Hague, in Holland, it happened so ill to him touching his business, that if the States had not been the King's friends, he might have been arrested and brought to great trouble. “So that he, to defend these inconveniences, having no other means but in scaping here safe with the commissioners sent unto France . . . being at the Brill, durst not to part company from them,” and so embarked with them and came over. If he had had wherewithal to freight a ship and to bear his charges, he would have ventured himself to England to visit her Majesty, as he had authority to do. This day he takes his journey towards the King, “from whence” if I be not sent to England, I will write to you at large.
I desire you to keep my secret in this that I advertise you. “M. des Pruneaux came to M. de Botelyo the 15 of January at night and talked at large with him; by whom he did understand that the King of France was resolved and had passed his word that he would accept the protection of the Low Countries,” and that letters are written to Antwerp and Brussels wherein he declares himself, but all done in great secrecy. I hear that M. des Pruneaux is gone to-day betimes towards the commissioners to bring them to the King. He has assured M. Botelyo that they shall be very honourably received. All passed between them in great secrecy, but I “understood” it as one to whom M. Botelyo bears affection, and “I made no doubt to write it unto your honour, as I will do of any thing that I can learn.” If you will employ me, I will not slack myself to do service to you and to that crown, “unto whom I will be as true a subject as he that is born in England.”
I pray you to write to my lord ambassador to favour me if I crave a packet to you towards my charges.—Paris, 16 January, 1584.
Add. Endd. “From Cap. Pryn.” 3 pp. [France XIII. 11.]
Jan. 16. Gilpin to Walsingham.
I have this evening received your letters of Dec. 26. I did not see the bearer, or I should have enquired the reason of their being “somewhat of a stale date.”
Good news is daily expected out of France, “the report running that her Majesty forwardeth the action and her highness' ambassador there to have earnestly solicited the King to that end.”
It appears Count Hollocque was employed about the enterprise to surprise Bois-le-Duc (Bouldoucque) and succeeded so far that he entered, with some horse and foot; “but ere the rest could be brought in, fear taking the horsemen put them to flight, and so the footmen, discouraged, were repulsed with the loss of 200 men or thereabouts, the Count himself escaping very hardly.”
Antwerp is as before, the river dangerous, and few passing without a “fore” wind.
The Prince of Parma works hard to stop the passage and has had it piled on both sides, “and in the depth, fastened with sundry anchors and cables, are laid buoys in form of great piles of wood crosswise, and to every piece at the ends a long iron pin,” and with these the channel shall be so filled that no vessel will be able to pass without ruin.
All this, and “how the enemy is thereabouts provided and meaneth to work, a Flemish gentleman come thence hath imparted to the Count and his Council; but it seemeth surdo narravit fabulam, and the enterprise against the scances begins to cool, being thought that Antwerp will be victualled still, wind and weather serving, notwithstanding all their devices.” They count that since the taking of Liefkenshook, twelve boats have come into Antwerp with provisions, and still more pass when they go together and convoyed by ships of war.
Four Flushingers this week met with some Biscay ships coming out of Dunkirk and fought with them; sunk one and took another; the rest escaped, with loss on both sides. News has since come that the Dunkirkers are abroad with seven or eight boats, to meet which those of this island have sent forth divers well-appointed ships, mostly with fifty mariners and twenty soldiers apiece.
A bruit runs here of a conspiracy against St. Aldegonde by certain English captains and others, who are apprehended “and in danger to suffer.”—Middelburg, 16 January, 1584.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holland I. 14.]
Jan. 16/26. Fremyn to Walsingham.
I have not written for some months, always expecting news from your neighbours, and also because the deliberations of divers States are in abeyance, awaiting the result of the treaty with the King of France, which cannot be much longer delayed. If they are not succoured from that side, they will have to make the best agreement they can with the Spaniard.
Brussels is in danger of making an accord if not aided within two months. The burgers are in a good state, except the chief papists, of whom eighteen or twenty are imprisoned for tampering with the enemy. There is a rumour that Tempel, the governor has been using his time there to fill his coffers. Truly the government on his part has been very bad, and that of the ministers of his faction also; but it will be a lamentable thing if the burgers and magistrates should now fall into the hands of their enemies, losing their liberty and religion; that town alone having been the instrument both of the disorder and ruin of the Spaniards and the repose of Holland and Zeeland. And so the enemy encroaches daily, by the disloyalties and perfidies of those of the country, and their small resistance, owing to the delays and factions of the provinces, who, being entirely blinded, do not see that their ruin is at hand unless they speedily provide therefor, either by foreign aid or a general reconciliation, which the Spaniard does not desire, always gaining more by taking them separately; as may be seen by the agreements with Ghent, Bruges and other places. Little reliance is placed upon aid from England, both from past experience and the irresolution and delays there, whence, when they think themselves assured, all has to be begun over again, as was seen of late by Mr. Dier's journey hither.
And for people in distress, a breakfast ready to hand is more grateful than a grand provision for a banquet at another time.
Therefore, if her Majesty desires to do anything, either with the King of France or by herself, it is more than time to begin; for without doubt, if the King of Spain can peaceably come again into his countries here, the Religion will be entirely shut out, and it is to be feared that the Catholic princes may band themselves together against your State and draw Scotland to their devotion. It may be said that your State has been happily maintained from the beginning of her Majesty's reign until now, yet things change, and the end crowns the work.
I hope you will take in good part what I write of the talk here of the aid of England, and the little hope they have from that side.
Nevertheless, it would be easy for her Majesty to free this country if she would do it in time, and so avoid a great storm. In a few days it will be seen what the King of France will do; but in the meantime her Majesty might aid them with money for the succour of Brussels, as by the entertainment of Col. Morgan's regiment, which is in need by reason of the great charges borne by the city of Antwerp, which has the whole burden of Brabant upon her back. The English soldiers go begging about the town most pitiably. There are three English captains imprisoned for having sent to ask passport from the enemy. Col. Morgan will have given you further particulars thereof.
In short, this part of Brabant has much to suffer, having the whole force of the enemy's army upon their hands; who are upon the dykes, in hopes of closing the river, and so getting possession of Antwerp by means of some popular tumult, when they see themselves left destitute of trade, loaded with imposts and taxes, bound to keep guard, but profiting nothing by it. So many rich merchants have left the town that it will not be possible to find money to pay the troops, to whom they give as little as they can, and who are exposed to all the storms of heaven. And if this people sees no succour come from France they must yield, unless they have aid from England—which they seem not to wish to ask for until they see the end of their treaty with the French— or have money in their coffers to bring down a storm from Germany. We shall soon see the result. God grant it may be to the ruin of the enemies of his Church.
Mr. St. Aldegonde finds himself much hindered by these tempests; maintaining the best order possible, doing what he can and not what he would. If this town had lost him they would be in extreme trouble. He is loved and honoured by all honest men. He always goes armed with a corslet, because of the warning he has of the pleasures preparing for him by those who brought about the death of the Prince of Orange.
The Count of Hollock has failed to take Bois-le-Duc, which his people entered as far as the market place, without leaving a sufficient guard at the gate to secure the entrance of the troops which followed. The grate was let down by two monks, who cut the cords while those who ought to have guarded it were pillaging. The burgers attacked and cut to pieces most who had entered, except such as escaped by swimming the moats. Thus for lack of good conduct, we lose good opportunities; for if Bois-le-Duc had been taken, the enemy must have quitted the dykes. They are strengthening themselves by boats upon the river, and have made a canal from Ghent to Calloo where they have many armed vessels.
For a month the wind has been contrary, so that ships cannot come hither from Holland and Zeeland. There are a hundred and fifty vessels near Bergen-op-Zoom, laden with all sorts of provisions for Antwerp, which is well provided with victuals, as also is Malines.
Brussels remains distressed and blocked up. May God's grace inspire her Majesty to assist these afflicted countries.—Antwerp, 26 January, 1585.
Postscript.—My humble recommendations to Mr. Sydney (Cidene) if he sees this, and to Mr. Killigrew.
Add. Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [Holland I. 15.]
Jan. 16/26. The States Of Holland to [Davison ?]. (fn. 1)
Upon the letters from Mr. Walsingham and yourself, we have ordered restitution of the pack of kerseys to the merchant for whom you wrote, although they were declared good prize, as, in fact, they were. Pray say as much to his honour, and that not only in this but also in greater matters we will content him, and will not fail to take good order for others who may complain with reason; hoping that her Majesty, her Council and his honour will not charge us with more than concerns us, but will distinguish between the provinces, according to right and equity.
And as to what you write of her Majesty being offended that the letters of the States General were not despatched earlier, pray tell his honour that this was the fault only of the wind and the difficulty of the passage; and beg him to rest assured that in this country, and especially our side of it, all honour and respect is borne to her Majesty, and as much regard will be paid to her good pleasure as present occurrences will allow; for it would be greatly against our will that anything should be done which might offend her.—Dated at the top.
On the same sheet.
The Same to [Hoddesdon ?].
As to the French treaty, we have received letters that the deputies had arrived at Abbeville on the 20th of this present, where M. des Pruneaux met them, with letters of credence from the King, charged to escort them to his Majesty. They left on the 21st, to go towards Amiens and thence to Paris.—28 January.
Extracts. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. I. 16.]
Jan. 18. Stafford to Walsingham.
Is requested by the Duke of Bouillon to recommend the bearer, his servant, who has a suit in England; which request he could not deny, being from one who has deserved so much from them by his many good offices.—Paris, 18 January, 1584.
Signed. Add. Endd. ½ p. [France XIII. 12.]
Jan. 18. Stafford to Walsingham.
The company this bearer brings will make known to you the cause of my so soon re-despatching him. Though I had great need of his service, I had rather spare what belongs to myself than, for want of a trusty man, have inconveniences to arrive; but as soon as he has delivered his charge into your hands, I pray you send him back to me.
I received to-day both the packet sent by him and that you sent me by your cook, who, to attain to what you desire he shall learn, shall have all the help I may give him. I also received my Lord Treasurer's letters, which I will fulfil as near as I may; “yet I am afraid we shall more need of a prick to set forward the matter than a bridle to keep anything back. But our daily changes here may bring such matters about as that the case may be altered, though, for my part, I see no cause to fear any too much forwardness.”
The deputies are still at St. Lis, and the King resolved not to have them approach or give them hearing till his devotions be ended, ten days hence, and it is not resolved whether he will first hear them himself or no. Sometimes it is resolved they are to go to Noisi, Marshal de Retz' house, and that he shall hear them first. “Sometimes that they shall be had to St. Maur (Mort) des Fossés and there entertained upon the Queen's charge, and she only shall carry the name of all the action, and the King to further and help her underhand, without any open declaration against the King of Spain. Sometimes that some prince of the blood shall take it in hand as Monsieur did, and helped underhand by the King. Sometimes that the King of Portugal shall be employed in it only. All things are as unresolute here yet as I write it to you. I will be as watchful as I can, and use my direction as near her Majesty's will as God will give me grace. I keep Large, the post here expressly to attend what will become of the matter, to send him presently away to your honour.”
If it be true, as I hear, and know that the Spanish ambassador is advertised, I fear “the strictness of their articles that follow will so much abate the courage that the great show of the first article might put into us here, that we shall hardly bite at that bait.”
The Spanish ambassador is as well advertised of their dealings as they themselves, and “doth as much now laugh in his sleeve at the little effect he proposeth and assureth himself that their negotiation will bring, as at the first, afore he know what they brought, he was afraid of it. There are Judases among them, which I doubt not but they shall be well marked and known, and yet nobody able to discover which way. For my part, I neither send to them nor hear from them directly, for fear lest that thereupon there may grow suspicion here to build an excuse upon, which perchance they would be very glad of.”
I was yesterday credibly informed that the chiefest cause of the King's delay is to see if the King of Spain, being advertised of their coming, “would, for fear of the event of it, utter somewhat that he had no mind to say but in an extremity.”
It is certainly advertised from Rouen that the Bishop of Ross is going into Scotland as soon as anything comes from the Master of Gray to “assure his coming,” and hopes to plant Popery there, but I would not warrant this, any more than that the Bishop of Glasgow also means to go; who “liveth so well at his ease here, and hath so long put on the habit of this country, as I believe he will see all things very well settled in Scotland afore he come there.” A letter was seen by chance on his table yesterday from the Earl of Arran, “under the which was written, which seemed to be in his own hand, that he had followed the counsel he had received from him in dealing with my lord of Hunsdon. . . . You may, by the sequel of things, pick somewhat out of it.”
I send letters from a man of my Lord Hamilton's to you and Mr. Colvill, and one from the Master of Forbes (Forbush) to the Earl of Angus (Anguishe).
“For my lord of Derby, my desire was not to know the place I was to hold with him, because, though I was unexperimented in those things, I did conceive that being both sent to one prince, the greatness of his place was to take place afore me,” but when we came into the King's presence, whether (as is customary in mean men's presentations) “I should first declare to the King in two or three words that this is the man the Queen had sent, and wherefore”; which I pray to know by this bearer, again beseeching you not to keep him above a night.—Paris, 18 January, 1584.
Postscript—I pray you let me know at your leisure what answer to give the Venice ambassador about the letter I sent you for her Majesty from their State, “that he may not think un-courtesy in me, whose friendship I would be glad to entertain, as a thing may do her Majesty service.” Also, what answer to make about Zuffarino.
Holograph. Add. Endd.pp. [France XIII. 13.]
Jan. 20. Davison to Burghley.
I have little to tell you, save the attempt of Count Hollock on Bois-le-Duc, the particulars of which you will see by the copy of my general letter to Mr. Secretary. From the commissioners in France we hear only that they left Abbeville for Paris on the 21 “of the last month (sic) new style, at which time they had had little assurance of their success, as you will see by the copies of their letters which I send. Here, all remain in longing expectation; some, being hopeless of any good from that side, “do but lie in wait for an occasion and pretext to pluck their feet out of the snare,” those of Utrecht especially having given their deputies express commission that if they find the least appearance of halting or dallying with the French, they are to withdraw, whatever the rest resolve, and in the meantime, have been so forward here that upon the first letters received, together with the King's letter to them upon their arrival, written in somewhat doubtful style, they resolved to send commissioners to Amsterdam to begin a treaty with the towns of North Holland, with protestation against this course.
As for the port towns demanded in caution, I see little disposition here to trust them in the hands of the French, whatever the States may promise, “unless it be compassed dolo malo.” Yet Villiers (who many ways forgets himself) and others partially affected or corrupted, employ all their “senses” therein; a thing I countermine all I may, albeit I would not be publicly noted or charged in that behalf.
Touching the mean course that might be taken by her Majesty's participation in the cause with France, to avoid these countries either falling under the absolute power of France or the yoke of Spain, it seems here a matter full of difficulty, both in respect of the divers interests of the two princes and especially from that King's apparent disposition not to enter into any action with her Majesty against Spain, which is not likely to annoy him much in his own time, while he accounts little of what it may do to his successor; besides the experience we have, both in his brother's action here and in his whole government at home, that it will be hard to divide those two princes, whom religion, common interests and the authority of the Pope have hitherto held together, and whose differences would hazard the “declining kingdom” of the Catholics. Of her Majesty the French believe that she would be glad to see the two kings together by the ears, “whereby both their horns might be the better pared, . . and her own estate the more assured.”
You will perceive what has passed between me and the Elector by my letter to Mr. Secretary. I have only disbursed to him 4,000 florins, because I have not fully agreed with Mr. ' Hudson ' at what rate to take the rest, he valuing the crown lower than its current rate here by fourteen pence fl[emish] in the pound; which, in 20,000 crowns imports above 300l. loss; and as he will deliver it of money which “he must of necessity make over,” and on which himself confesses he would lose three in the hundred, he would at the rate he offers not only save that but gain as much more in overplus. This scruple cleared between us, I will deliver the money into the Elector's hands, taking band for it according to direction. Meanwhile, I have given him a caveat to use her Majesty's bounty with secrecy.—The Hague, 20 January, 1584.
Postscript.—When ready to send away my servant, I was “instantly” pressed by the Elector for the rest of the money and having no other to send for it, must keep him here and send these by way of Zeeland.
Holograph. Add. Endd.pp. [Holland I. 17.]
Jan. 20. Davison to Walsingham.
The greatest matter of late has been the attempt of Count Hollock upon Bois-le-Duc, as the best means to remove the enemy's siege and relieve Antwerp &c. But the exploit, albeit well-projected and begun, was not followed with like happiness.
The execution thereof was fixed for Saturday, the 9th instant, and on Friday afternoon, Col. Iselstein marching out of Huesden with 500 foot and a cornet of horse, and seeming first to bend towards Breda, suddenly altered his course and arrived before Bois-le-Duc, between nine and ten at night, Count Hollock following him an hour later with the rest of the forces from Barrow and Geertruydenberg, to the number of 2,500 or thereabouts. They committed the surprise of the port to one Capt. Cleerehaghen, born in that town, who having long urged the attempt willingly accepted it, and with twenty-seven or eight choice men of his own and other companies passed the barricade or turnpike, and entered the ward house, betwixt it and the port (where the corps de garde of the town kept their day-ward) keeping very still till between seven and eight in the morning, when the gate being opened, the drawbridge let down, and three or four coming with the keys to open the turnpike, Cleerehaghen and his company issued out, slew them, and suddenly entering the port, assailed the rest; giving sign to Iselstein (who was lying behind the ruins of some houses) to come forward. He came immediately, and entering the town went up to the market-place; his carbineers scouring the streets before him, and finding only a few burghers who fled. Count Hollock followed with other troops, and finding himself thus easily master of the town, went back towards the gate, to reinforce the ward there and hasten in the rest of the troops, and in the meantime disposed those already entered to occupy the ramparts and artillery, which they “bent into the town.” But whilst he was ordering these things, some companies began to fall to the spoil, whereupon the townsmen (encouraged by M. Haultepenne, who arrived there but the night before) possessed themselves of a great “piece” in a corner of the market-place, discharged it upon the States' horsemen and slew a captain. The rest, breaking their order, began to abandon the place, and those behind followed, and breaking through the footmen, crying treason, treason, ran towards the gate.
Count Hollock, labouring in vain to redress this disorder, was carried forth in the press by main force and those in charge of the gate abandoned it, of which the others [i.e. the townsmen] soon made their profit; and one of them, said to be a monk—saved by the soldiers under promise of a great ransom—let fall the portcullis upon those who were thronging under the gate, Count Hollock himself being not yet above four or five yards away.
Of those left inside the town, some leaped over the ramparts into the ditches; others, too hardly pursued to escape, resisted as long as they were able, the most part (four or five hundred at least) being either slain or drowned; amongst whom was a younger brother of the Elector Truchsess, who, abandoning his horse and not being able to swim, “chose rather to die upon his enemy within the town.” The number of those taken prisoners is yet uncertain. And so this town was won and lost in two hours space, which, if it had been held, would not only have opened the passage by land even to the walls of Antwerp, but commanded the country along the Maas, and by spoiling it and cutting off his victuals, would have obliged the enemy to retire; besides distressing Breda and other towns which, by the loss of this place, would have remained as besieged. Next day, the monks and priests made a solemn procession through Bois-le-Duc, with Te Deum, for their deliverance. Some twenty or thirty of the prisoners have been executed, and the rest put to ransom. The Prince of Parma is come thither, to set order amongst them, give them thanks for their good service, and especially to see if he can induce them to accept a garrison.
Count Hollock is at Geertruydenberg, and expected at Delft in a day or two, leaving the enemy to do what he lists upon the passage, where, at Calloo, he has “made a head” into the river of a hundred feet long and intends to do the same on the Brabant side, both to command the passage, lodge his vessels more safely, and “straighten” the river, “which, with platts anchored between both heads, he may occupy and shut up,” and so become master of Brussels, Mechlin and even Antwerp itself; where, moreover, he hopes he may use his “instruments” among themselves as he did at Ghent and Bruges (Gaund and Bridges).
Those of Brussels say they can hold out three months, if then assured of succour; but their hopes depend upon the success of their deputies in France, which has little appearance of being what their necessities require.
Mechlin and Antwerp, though far better provided for a long siege, yet seem to weigh their fortunes in the same balance. The bruit of a meeting at Liege of the [Catholic] princes of the Empire, to renew a motion of peace with Spain, does not continue, “though some think the solemn traffic between them and the Fre[nch] will determine there in such an overture.” The Prince of Parma has sent thither the Marquis of Havrech, the Prince of Chimay and the Marquis of Bergues, to countermine the doings of the States' commissioners, who by their letters from Boulogne and Abbeville, “appear yet little comforted in their success.” Notwithstanding this treaty, there are gone from Holland and Zeeland about three or four hundred ships to Spain, laden with corn and other eastern commodities; in which are five or six thousand of the ablest mariners of these countries, “which, coming thither all about one time by reason of the wind . . . doth make some here suspect their surety.
At Ghent, the enemy is “redressing” the old citadel, already much enlarged into the town by enclosing in it the sluce or dam by which the water of the Scheldt is either retained or diverted, and they have begun another “about St. Peters” to hold the people the better in subjection.
By letters from Spain we hear that the States have taken oath to the young prince, Don Filippo, the copy of which I send you. (fn. 2) Duke Eric of Brunswick, who married the Duke of Lorraine's sister, “is of late departed, and that living fallen to Duke Julius, whose estate is thereby greatly augmented.”
Of the alteration at Strasbourg, I send you a discourse written by a person of quality there. (fn. 3) —The Hague, 20 January, 1584.
Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holland I. 18.]
Jan. 20. Draft of the above letter, with many corrections.
pp. [Ibid. I. 19.]
Two copies of the same.
Endd. Eachpp. [Ibid. I. 20, 21.]
Jan. 20. Davison to Walsingham.
With yours and my Lord Treasurer's of Dec. 30 came a warrant from her Majesty, to take up from Mr. Hudson and deliver to the Elector the sum of 20,000 crowns, which she promised M. Segur to send him. The next day, repairing to Delft, I informed him of her gracious purpose, with such words of compliment and affection as I thought expedient, telling him that she “had been the colder herein, because she saw little appearance that so small a sum might stand his cause in any stead unless he were better seconded by others of his friends than she yet perceived,” but that finding from my report of my conference with him that the action was not abandoned, she was content to give this testimony of her favour and example to the rest, in hope it would bring the result he “pretended”; in which case I put him in hope that her Majesty might continue her care and affection. And seeing that her Majesty, though the least interested, had put the first hand to his relief, I hoped his proceedings would show her that she had not entered into a desperate cause, which could neither receive profit or give her contentment, and that in the meantime he would let her know “what other hope and means he had, with the number, quality and disposition of his friends, for her better encouragement.”
In answer, he acknowledged his infinite obligations to her Majesty, protested his devotion to her, and hoped that he should give her reason to think her favour well-bestowed. After declaring that he would have been loth to press her in his afflicted case if he had not had “both the hope and the means to do something of importance and advantage to the common cause (wherein he doubted not ere long to give her Majesty some good testimony),” he renewed his former discourse of the princes whom he took to be favourers of his action, and especially Duke Julius of Brunswick, “who besides his affection, is, by the late death of his kinsman, Duke Eric, not a little enabled “; making good account also of the King of Denmark, by whose means he hoped to embark the Electors of Saxe and Brandenburg, the Dukes of Pomerania and Mecklenburg, and others, both princes, towns Imperial and of the Hanse, who, considering how much they themselves were interested, could not, as he thought, without peril abandon him, as they might easily see the aim of the late meetings and doings of their adversaries in Germany. Whereupon he particularized the late difference at Strasbourg (of which I send you the discourse) which he hoped would turn to some advantage.
Then he imparted to me his purpose (after taking order with Count Neuenaar for assuring Berck &c.) either to go himself or send Mr. Paul Buys into Denmark, whom if her Majesty would accompany with a servant of her own, or with letters to that prince, he doubted not that the issue should be to her contentment. “Wishing withal “that she would also send a like gracious letter to himself, for the “countenancing of his travail and encouraging of his friends,” and desiring to hear speedily what she resolves.
I then told him the substance of the discourse I received from you, of which he appeared to have good liking, but said “it was hard to resolve of the form but as the time, the condition of things and other accidents should offer occasion, because, as the old proverb is, La guerre se fait l'œil” This is in substance what I remember of any moment in our discourse, save some little of the state of his adversary, of whom he seemed to make little reckoning, if he have the help from his friends that he looks for.
[Explains about the money as to Burghley, above].—The Hague, 20 January, 1584.
Signed. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holland I. 22.]
Two copies of the above letter, one being probably that sent to Burghley.
Endd. Eachpp. [Ibid. I. 23, 24.]
Jan. 20. Ed. Uvedale to Walsingham.
I make bold to write to you “to advertise you of our bad intreatment and miserable state we live in. We have had but one month's pay since our coming over. Our garrison is Borgenhoult, where we have rotten houses to cover us and the bare earth for beds, by which means the poor soldiers are worn out of clothes; their limbs (lemes) taken away with cold. They have lived so long with penury as they are almost starved. There hath died out of the guest house of Antwerp and are now in it four hundred and fifty. Of Mr. Morish's regiment (fn. 4) at our first landing was twelve hundred and now is scarce five hundred. We have lost few(?) against the enemy, but many hath run to them, and daily do and will, because they find no hope of relief. There went the 16 of January eight and twenty of the properest men in the regiment towards the enemy; as they were marching, the boors met them and slew some and turned the rest home naked. Their miseries such as they are careless what becomes of themselves, and daily ready to grow in mutiny, to the obstruction of themselves and the great danger and discredit of their commanders, who hath no means to satisfy them.
“And for anything I see the States are beggars, and not able to give us entreatment for our service. The better part of them are traitors, rather desirous of our destruction than willing to relieve [our] necessity. So I find no means to preserve the small troop that are left, except it please her Majesty to maintain them or by her commandment to retire them to their country. As the troop is small, so there are many brave soldiers, able to do her Majesty good service; pity they should be consumed by famine without doing of service, and so lose the fame they have gotten in this country and held hitherto. I leave to write to your honour of the practice some of our captains had with the enemy, because I rest assured you are advertised from the colonel
“Resting assured your honour is desirous to understand the truth, I embolden myself to presume to trouble you . . . as a soldier that honours you and lives to do you service.”— Borgenhout, 20 January, old style.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. I. 25.]
[Very eccentric spelling.]
Jan. 20/30. Bizarri to Walsingham.
Covetous avarice and greediness, the cursed thirst and lust for gold, the source and original of all evils, has lately lost for Count Hollock and his followers a happy and glorious victory over the enemy at Bois-le-Duc, when already he was master of it, having entered it with four companies of soldiers, who suddenly began to pillage and sack the place, while the said Count had gone out of one of the city gates in order to bring in the horsemen. The citizens and burghers having seen that the gate was left with a very small guard—for those who were left for its defence, moved by the same cupidity and abandoning the gate had betaken themselves also to pillaging—and taking heart by the opportunity offered them, made themselves master of it, and dropping the outer gate, called Chataractes, Crates or Craticulæ ferrœ, to prevent the horsemen from entering, and at the same time stoutly assaulting on all sides the enemy, more intent on robbery than on honour and even of life, suddenly freed their “patria” killing three or four hundred of their adversaries, amongst whom is said to be dead the brother of the Elector Truchsess and two other Germans of quality. This has been the end and result of the enterprise on Bois-le-Duc, from wretched management and military disorder, and although all errors are blameworthy, those committed in war are the most culpable, because they are irrevocable and highly injurious to all who are touched by them.
Of the three English captains in custody here, for hidden practices and secret intelligence with the enemy, I write no further, believing that you are already sufficiently informed thereof. Truly these are the results of Indian or Spanish gold, from which I pray God to defend and preserve us.
We are daily expecting here the conclusion of the treaty between the French King and the United Provinces, whose deputies are now at that court.
The enemy at Calloo lately came with eight armed ships as far as Boors' seance (Burescan) near to this city and discharged much artillery, which was warmly answered by the admiral here, so that finding themselves inferior in force, they went back again.
Here has lately died M. de. Duyn, a gentleman of Mons, who was one of the Council of State and master of the posts, an honourable person and who formerly passed many years in hard exile for the good cause. He was the father-in-law of M. Famars, now governor of Malines, and of M. de Grise, who is with you.
Besides the weddings in Saxony; viz., of the daughter of the Elector with the son of the Duke of Brunswick, and the other daughter with one of the grandsons of the Elector John Frederick [I] of happy memory, I hear that there is to be a marriage between the only son of the Duke of Cleves and the daughter of the aforesaid Duke of Brunswick.—Antwerp, 30 January, 1585.
Postscript.—The enemy three days ago went out of Lierre, and assaulted the fortified house of the Sr. of Berghen, but were repulsed by its defenders.
Add. (by way of Signor Filippo Cataneo, in London). Italian. 2 pp. [Holland I. 26.]


  • 1. Not addressed. In the bottom left hand corner is written “De M. Davison. De M. Hodesdon.” Perhaps the copies were sent by them to Walsingham.
  • 2. See p. 135, above.
  • 3. Probably that on p. 172, above.
  • 4. qy. Morgan's regiment, which was brought over by Morris, his lieut.-colonel.