Elizabeth: April 1585, 26-30

Pages 427-448

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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April 1585, 26–30

April 26. Gilpin to Walsingham.
Since writing yesterday, I have seen the resolution of these States on the three points sent from the General Assembly. “The sovereignty they yield unto as best,” if to the 8th article be added “to place garrisons of these countries only”; to the 13th (which was the 4th in the French treaty), that they of these countries shall be as free to buy and sell as natural Englishmen; and that another article be added “that all done and passed by or according to the Union shall be unaltered.”
Touching the protection, they submit themselves to whatever the General States determine.
For the aid of her Majesty during their wars and the assurances to be given, they think best to remit it to the commissioners to hear what she offers and demands. They promise the continuance of their quota of 17 per cent. of what they of Holland pay, “and more if more by the others; besides convoys, domains, prizes and such like benefits.” Concluding to remit the final dealing to the commissioners, who are to deal according to their secret instructions, which, as I hear, refer all to their discretions.
Counsellor Vaulke, nominated to join with the others sent from hence, stays here, because the Count's Council is somewhat weak, part of them having gone to the fleet, but it is thought he will be deputed to go over for this island.
I wait your pleasure for my coming over or stay, more anxious to further the Gospel, for the service of my prince and country, than to labour for any particular benefit.
Yesterday I received your letter by Mr. Allen, and will direct my doings thereby; but if Mr. Morgan's men had passed this way, I should have presumed upon your writing by Edmond Burnham to stay them here, which could not have been done without money and charges. Wanting money, I supplied it with good speeches, which did no harm to the cause. I will write to Antwerp according to your commission, “though I trust the States' forwardness will occasion Capt. Lucar's speedier return.”
Here are speeches that the Count of Mœurs is bringing men to the fleet, whereof there is great want; the bridge and forts being so strong “as is thought hard and unpossible without foreign help and camp in field to be vincible. Besides, the venture will cost many lives and great harm on both sides.”
I have heard a rumour that a near servant (if not secretary) of M. Aldegonde was run to the enemy, by whom the intended enterprise was discovered, so “that plot is altered and another to be put into execution,” by arrangement between the town and Count Hollock.
I am told secretly that for speeches used by 202 [qy. Haultain, governor of Zeeland] in favour of Treslon, he is not so well thought of, “and shall be called to his answer, though yet somewhat forborne, in respect of the present service on the river, where he is one of them employed.”—Middelburg, 26 April, 1585.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holland I. 109.]
April 26. [Walsingham to the Danish Chancellor ?]
Pleading their mutual friendship, which obliges the writer to send a word of greeting with Bodley, and to ask him to use his authority with the King of Denmark to promote the success of this mission.—Greenwich, 26 April, 1585.
Copy. Latin. ¾ p. [Denmark I. 47.]
April 26. A Memorial for Zolcker.
To advertise from Embden what he learns of the proceedings of Germany, especially touching the levying of men for France or the Low Countries.
To enquire there what horses may be got and at what prices, and how the merchants will undertake to deliver them here.
To use Duke Casimir's advice as to delivery of the Queen's letter to the Duke of Wirtemberg.
As he must return speedily with Duke Casimir's answer, to pray him to send the letters to the Duke of Wirtemberg and Landgrave of Hessen.
Matters to be answered by Dr. Beutterich.
1. What levies of men are made in Germany or Switzerland and for whom.
2. Whether the French King has written to Duke Casimir for the levying of soldiers, and how many.
3. What hope there is of good success in Truchsess' cause and how the Princes of Germany stand affected.
4. What will come of the contention between the Bishop of Strasburg and the canons.
5. How the matter stands between Hans Frederick and the Elector Augustus. What likelihood of agreement there is between Duke Casimir and the Duke of Wirtemberg.
What princes of Germany, besides the House of Austria, are most at the King of Spain's devotion.
Endd. “26 April, 1585. Memorial for Sulker.” 1 p. [Germany, States III. 62.]
Another copy of the same, but with the date only supplied in modern handwriting.
1 p. [Ibid. III. 63.]
April 26./May 6. News from Paris.
We still continue in doubt whether to embrace peace or war. The King seeks by all means to give content to the Duke of Guise, “where” the Queen Mother has been these five weeks without effecting anything but the truce of fifteen days, that the siege of Beaune might be stayed; whither the Duke de Maine has sent four pieces for battery. The Duke of Guise daily surprises and takes places of importance, “even in manner before the King's face,” who cannot hinder it.
The King is generally misliked and abandoned of his subjects, and M. de Lansac, returning from Poitou and Angoulême, whither he was sent to levy forces, assures him “there is not a gentleman in those two provinces but are either for the Duke of Guise or the King of Navarre.”
The conditions propounded by the Duke to the King are these:—
That the King would let him have the keeping of all towns in “their government.”
To assemble a Council of the bishops and doctors, to decide the controversies of religion, and meanwhile to restrain the Protestants from all exercise of their religion.
To have a general assembly of the three Estates for reformation of all matters concerning the State.
That they may continue in arms until their demands are satisfied and fully performed.
To which the King about two days since, by advice of his Council, made this answer:—
He will deliver certain towns into their hands for their assurance.
He desires nothing so much as a National Council, but will not violate the Edict of Pacification.
“He liketh well of an assembly of States, but that it may be free for all men to come safely.
“It is most requisite they dismiss their forces, and himself will do the like as soon as the Duke of Guise shall be disarmed.”
In the meantime the King shows all favour to those of the Religion and to the ambassadors of the King of Navarre, and has sent La Mothe Fénelon to him to assure him of his well-meaning, and to “will him” to make his forces ready to march, but not to set forward until he receives orders. And that after eight days he shall know whether it will be war or peace.
Marshal Montmorency about two months ago advertised the King of a massacre “done” upon those of the Religion at Aleth in Languedoc, which town, as they have disquieted the country and broken the edict, he wishes to besiege and punish. “This turn falleth out most commodiously for the advantage of the said Marshal, who, being declared an enemy to the King, is now by him sought unto for his succour.
Touching the levy of reiters in Germany, the merchants who come from Frankfort assure us that 4,000 are levied for the Duke of Guise, but will not stir a foot without a quarter's pay beforehand; and that the Duke of Biponts, at the first command from the King will bring him twelve or thirteen thousand.
Meanwhile the King of Spain works “by all his means” to make division amongst the Swiss, and to gain them to his devotion. You know of the taking of Verdun, where the Guises cut in pieces certain garrisons which resisted them. The Duke d'Epernon is greatly troubled with the “canker' he has in his neck, which he plies with all possible medicines, but was told two days ago by his physicians that it is incurable.
The answer to the Cardinal of Bourbon's manifest is in printing. As soon as I can get “any” I will send them.—Paris, 6 May.
Endd. “Copy of a letter from Paris, 6 May, 1585. Occurrents.” 2 pp. [Newsletters IX. 22.]
April 27./May 7. Davison to [the Elector Truchsess ?].
I yesterday received your letter by this gentleman, and also that addressed to the Queen, which I have this day sent to her, being very glad (for the honour I have long borne towards your lordship) to have the means of serving you in what this gentleman has communicated to me on your behalf.—The Hague, 7 May, stylo novo, 1585.
Draft by Davison. Fr. ¼ p. [Holland I. 110.]
Davison to [the Elector's wife ?].
I should be ashamed that, having been here so long, I have never paid my respects to your ladyship, to whom I owe special obligation for the honour you did me at Antwerp, were it not that having many times intended to go to Utrecht, where I hoped to have the honour of saluting you, I have hitherto always been prevented by affairs. I take the opportunity by this bearer, in part to repair my fault and to pray you that if any occasion offers in which I can serve you, you will be pleased to remember that I am your very faithful servant.—The Hague, 7 May, stylo novo, 1585.
Draft. Fr. ¾ p. [Ibid. 110a.]
April 27. Ortell to Davison.
Mr. Walsingham has told me of your kind offices here in regard to M. Paul Buys and myself, for which I thank you very affectionately. On my part, I have not failed to show to the States, both general and particular, your good offices with her Majesty and the Council, admonishing them to render you infinite thanks and gratitude, as M. Buys will tell you more at large.—I pray you to continue your good work, for it is more than necessary de battre le fer tandis qu'il est chaud, otherwise I fear that the coldness of some may greatly retard it, and it being sure that the country will recognize it by and by, besides the service that will be done thereby to God and the advancement of religion and the common cause.
But above all, it will be necessary that the deputies sent hither shall come with ample instruction and commission, otherwise the whole will be nothing but a waste of time. In which I trust you will, on your side, order matters so wisely that both her Majesty and those countries will receive entire satisfaction.—London, 27 April, 1585, stylo anglico.
Signed. Add. Fr.pp. [Ibid. I. 111.]
April 27./May 7. Captain Marten to Walsingham.
Being here a prisoner in Capt. Archeler's [Asselier's] lodging, who has given his word to Count Hollock and keeps me out of the hands of the provost,—sent by means of Col. Morgan from Antwerp for my apprehension—I have found certain Englishmen in the fort of Lillo, serving in a fort called Terneuse, under a captain called Dispontyne [here follows the story of Norton and Throckmorton, in almost the same words as in Capt. James' letter above]. If you think Throckmorton should be taken, you may write to Capt. 'Archeler,' who favours the English greatly, and can command much in this country.
The same day that our soldiers came from the enterprise of the bridge, between Osterwell and Antwerp, they rested on the dyke and fell to debating why they were not better paid; saying that the Colonel had received the pay and kept it both from them and their captains. The Colonel, hearing of this and having nothing to content them with, complained to M. St. Aldegonde that those villainous English, his soldiers, were minded to deliver them both to the enemy; whereupon he caused me to be examined whether I knew of any such matter. I protest before God, I never heard of such a “pretence” among the poor men, and if they had had it, it was a thing impossible to be done, for there were three forts and a thousand soldiers between them and the enemy, on the dyke.
Seeing that he [Morgan] is so bent to dishonour his countrymen, “I am to inform you of certain 'oprobrius' words touching her Majesty. Being bid to a banquet to the lodging of M. Fremyn at the Flemish Head right against Antwerp, his lieut.-colonel, old Morrys and he fell out at great words, saying to the Colonel that he was a coward in that he refused service, and that he had dishonoured our nation in that he went not to Bergen-op-Zoom to the Count Hollock when he was commanded by the States of Brabant; who upon these words drew his dagger and threw it at old Morrys and called him villain, wherewith Capt., Morrys replied and said, I am no villain, I am a gentleman and a subject to her Majesty. The Colonel replied and said my name is Morgan and I am a gentleman in despite of her Majesty; wherewith I put my finger to my mouth and bid him hold his peace, and use no words of her Majesty; and again he replied more vehemently and swore that he was not beholding to her Majesty. These words was spoken when he was half drunk, in the hearing of Mr. Steven Le 'Ser,' Capt. Morrys, Capt. Lyttelton, myself and a Scots Captain named Bafford (Balfour).” He seeks my life lest I should tell them to your honour, therefore I pray you, send letters “that I may answer anything that he will lay against me in coming away without his passport before your presence.”
Furthermore, I pray you, command him to deliver my arms and company again and to repay me what he holds of mine, which may be some 600 guilders.
It is here commonly spoken and hoped that her Majesty will take this country in hand for defence of the same. If so, it were not amiss for you to write to the Prince of Epinoy, Who I understand is in France, and promise to restore him to the government of Tournay, by which means he may draw Montigny (Monteny) his brother in law, and old Count Mansfeild, his father in law, and make a revolt between the Walloons and the King; for they are half in revolt already.
Since writing my letter, “this service here enclosed hath appeared,”—Lillo, 7 May, stilo novo.
Signed. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Flanders I., 18.]
April 27. Instructions for Thomas Bodley, “for such matters as he is to communicate to the Duke of Brunswick.”
On his way to Denmark, is to go to Hamburg, to visit the Duke of Brunswick and acquaint him with these matters following:—
1. That whereas her Majesty has sundry times sent to the Princes of Germany to propose some union between the Princes and States professing the reformed religion, to prevent the designs of the Council of Trent; “although there hath not been such success as she could have wished, yet seeing the effects thereof appear daily more and more, both by the late accidents in Germany and specially by the Duke of Guise's attempts now in France,” she once again admonishes her good cousins of the danger, albeit she has less cause of fear than any of them. She thinks that some convenient place should be appointed, as Erfurt (Erford) in Thuringia, where in July next there might be some conference summoned by consent of the three Electors, to which she would send some special person to signify her meaning more at large.
And in the mean time, sends Bodley to the King of Denmark, to persuade him to join her in this action.
Her Majesty desires the said Duke, as her good cousin and gossip, and one who desires to further God's glory, to send on the letters directed to the Electors of Saxony and Brandenburg and Landgrave of Hessen, which this bearer will leave with him, and also to write very effectually to them in furtherance of this cause, and to procure speedy answer from them, to be sent to his court at Bremen or Hamburg, that her envoy may receive them on his return from Denmark.
To excuse to the Duke this manner of sending, as the matter requires haste, and her Majesty thinks he is best able to deal with the said Electors, and that, from his care for God's church and good will towards herself, he will be willing to perform the same.
To desire him to impart this negotiation to the Dukes of Holstein, Pomern and Mecklenburg, and other princes, earls, free cities and states professing the Confession of Augsburg, that they may join in sending to the assembly, and in the mean time—as they have often done in the civil wars of France—inhibit levies of men to go into France or the Low Countries to serve any of the “contrary religion”; which might be afterwards employed against the peace of Germany and of the Catholics themselves, for revenge of private quarrels, “as Grumback did against the Bishop of Würzburg. And to ask them to take order, seeing that controversies about religion are well appeased, “that the ministers and preachers in their jurisdictions be not suffered by sermons, writings or books, to refresh the said quarrels,” but to exhort their people to peace and unity.
Lastly, to move the Duke that he will pray the princes to deal with the Free towns, to send commissioners to the said assembly.
Bodley is also to let the King of Denmark understand “that it behoveth him particularly to look to the greatness of the House of Lorraine, as they pretend a title to Denmark; for “a favourer of that house, after the death of the late Duchess of Lorraine, being desirous to have made a match between the said Duke and her Majesty, did, amongst other things to advance his greatness, set down his title to the kingdom of Denmark.''
And to acquaint both the King of Denmark and Duke of Brunswick with the treacherous dealings of the Jesuits in France, and how necessary it is to keep out of their kingdoms persons so seditiously bent as they are.
Copy. Endd.pp. [Germany, States III. 64.]
Another copy with variants of the above, endorsed, “Mr. Beale's notes for Mr. Bodleigh to deal with the Duke of Brunswick.” It would appear however that when the Instructions were drawn up, the envoy was not decided upon, as he is called merely “the gent.”
The last paragraphs are to the following effect:—
That as the Duke of Hoist, the King's uncle, served the King of Spain under the Duke of Alva, he should “empeach any sending of forces out of his country &c. under his said uncle, or any other from him.”
And “as if anything should fall out with Spain, the amity of the Easterlings would be requisite, to impeach him from corn and shipping &c., to be considered whether the princes well-affected in Germany might not be dealt with to draw them to this assembly, and the ambassador to have some credence to deal in the same causes with the Steedes.”
Endd.pp. [Ibid. III. 65.]
“The effects of Mr. Bodley's instructions to the Duke of Brunswick,” being a summary of the above.
Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. III. 66.]
April 27./May 7. Francesco Debenero to Çubiaur.
A long letter in relccation to the desired restoration of Drake's plunder. Has no certain news to give of affairs in France, but it is hoped that they will be accommodated, and yesterday news came that all was settled, or at any rate that there was to be a truce for six months. There is also great hope that Antwerp will come to an accord [with Spain] and that soon. Signor Prudencio de Saria sends greetings, and will shortly write and ask his honour to get him a service of pewter to send to his own country, to which he means shortly to retire.—Rouen, 7 May, 1585.
Add. Endd. Spanish. 3 pp. [Spain II. 33.]
April 28./May 8. The King of Navarre to Walsingham.
Monsieur de Walsinghan,—Je fis une depesche à la royne vostre souveraine dés que les remuements qu'on a suscités depuis quelque temps en France commençoyent a naistre, pour l'advertir du dangier que j'y prevoyois. Depuis, l'accroissement des choses a entierement esclairci le jeu qu'ils veulent jouer, et que ce sont les vrais effects de la ligue generale, faite pour ruiner tous ceux qui font profession d'estre bons Chrestiens. Tellement que sans doubte ils feront bien tost fondre l'orage sur nous. La chose est si claire qu'il n'est besoing de vous dire icy que la ruine des uns est ouverture a la ruine des autres; que la ligue nous a dediés à un mesme sacrifice, que l'ambition de l'Espagnol est si grande qu'elle ne peut recevoir bornes ni limites, et lui semble qu'il n'y a rien d'impossible pour lui. En fin, il est temps de penser à nostre conservation et d'y apporter les remedes; dont le premier est de secourir et soustenir la France, puis que c'est là où se dressent les premiers efforts; l'autre est, d'unir et rallier tous les princes et estats faisans une mesme profession, pour s'opposer d'un commun accordàla rage de ces conjurateurs. J'envoye àc'est fin le Sieur de Segur vers la royne vostre souveraine, pour l'especiale confiance que j'ay de lui; lequel vous fera entendre particulièrement l'estat de mes affaires. Mais je vous prie surtout, Monsieur de Walsinghan, d'ayderàce que sa Majesté prenne bien tost une bonne resolution, les effects de laquelle puissent paroistre aussi promptement que la precipitation et grande importance des affaires le requierent. Car aussi vous scavez qu'il est plus aisé de rompre le coursàune maladie qui ne fait que naistre, qu'il n'est de la guerir apres qu'elle s'est enracinee. Ce qui a lieu principalementàcest affaire, parce qu'avec peu de secours venuàpropos, je pourrois rendre vains les efforts de la ligue, et par mesme moyen leur couper cheminàce qu'ils pourroyent pretendre plus outre; la où un plus grand secours venant tard pourroit difficilement suffireàleur resister. Je laisse audict Sr. de Seguràvous le representer plus particulierement, pour vous prier de tesmongneràce coup vostre bonne affection au general et a moy. Et je prieray le Createur, Monsieur de Walsinghan vous tenir en sa tressainte protection. de 'Bragerac,' le viii de May, 1585.” Signed, “Vostre byen afectyone e meyleur amy, Henry.”
Add. Endd. Seal. 1 p. [France XIII. 109.]
April 28./May 8. William Ackman to Walsingham.
Beseeching him to cause the enclosed writing to be sent into Scotland to those to whom it is directed, “be raison that it dispens on the honor of Scotland and after to the honor of God . . . for the King of France seying himself in trowble desiren gretumlie his body to be observit be his gaird of Scottis men, to quhom he finden maist surrete. Now somme of the saidis being in Scotland presenteley, desiren them to comme in deligence [by ?] the listie specifien send to them be ther captain.” Sends his humble recommendations to the Lord Treasurer, his old master.—Dieppe, 8 May, 1585.
Add. to “My Lord Quhalchimdim . . . in Ingland.” Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XIII. 110.]
April 28./May 8. François de Civille to Walsingham.
I have been prevented by a sciatic gout which has troubled me for more than five months from crossing the sea, as I wished, but shall never cease to desire to do you service.
Two of your greatest enemies in this town (the bearer knows their names), who have daily held council with your rebels, have departed hence, being dismissed (though secretly). They did their utmost for the holy and diabolic league, but have been discovered, and by their departure, many enterprises, both against you and us, are broken.
We hear that some lords on your side thought to set up parties against you, which God has defeated, for which we render him thanks with all our heart, and we see here great proofs of the ill-will borne by our enemies and almost all the country to our common cause. Some say that they have been awaiting the performance from beyond the sea, the only refuge and aid of those here, before declaring themselves, but that there is danger, since all in your quarters has turned out badly, and that you now speak big and openly, that they may rather try to clap up an arrangement, to rally the party and defer it to another and more convenient time. M. de Layton is expected here, sent as they believe by her Majesty for good reasons, to whom I desire to be of service, here and elsewhere, as also to yourself, to whom I have so great obligation.—Rouen, 8 May, 1585.
Postscript.—I have written to you several times, and especially by John de Vicques, but know not whether you have received my letters. Pardon me if once more I commend to you Le Breton, the poor prisoner at the Rye, who has again written to me and whose only hope is in you, praying you, for the love of Jesus Christ to pity this poor man, abandoned by all besides.
Add. Endd.Fr. 1 p. [France XIII. 111.]
April 28. Gilpin to Walsingham.
The resolution of these States now depends wholly upon the generality assembled at the Hague. Here it is ordained (by order, as I judge, of the States General) to write letters of thanks to the French King, his mother and divers of his Council, and others; the like to be done by each province and by all the States in general. We daily expect “what final determination will be taken to send for bands [i.e. pledges] and who the persons.”
“Antwerp having sent knowledge to the navy of their readiness and tokens of fire showed on both sides,” early on Tuesday morning Count Hollock viewed the Caweesteensten dyke, “and making towards it with the galleys, the enemy abandoned certain scances and fled, either for fear or policy, whereupon the States' men landed in haste and possessed the scances; but ere they could be so fortified as was needful, the enemy came on them with such power and force as they were driven to retreat, and happiest he that soonest could recover the galley. The ordnance played wonderfully from Oordam upon the galleys, and they again shot so upon the dyke that the enemy several times fled for terror and then again returned.” Some say many were killed, some say few. Those slain were mostly Dutches, and none of note except M. de la Mouillerie, whose arm being stricken off in the galley, died afterwards.
Haultain is come to town this morning, and says the number slain do not exceed fifty, divers hurt, who are sent to Flushing, where there is provision to receive and cure them.
More men are already sent thither, levied from all places where they can be spared. All other necessaries with new ships and inventions are preparing daily, Count Hollock having orders to spare no cost, “but attempt by all devices to execute the intended service. They of Antwerp neglected to keep their time, but report goeth to have since been doing. . . . There is an intend this full moon to give another charge, and to that end advice sent to Antwerp.” The water fort now lies against Oordam, and is hoped will beat that fort, “so as none shall be able to abide.” There is a rumour of treachery in it, for it never shot off during the conflict. Two or three of the enemies ships “came in a bravery” to one of Count Hollock's hulks, but were driven back. I hear good commendation of the Count, and all others bearing charge, but they want men. Letters received yesterday from Colonel Morgan and others say that his men perish daily from want, and others sicken for very want of clothes, yet are ready to go to service. I have written advising the Colonel to come away with his men to Grave Hollock, (who in behalf of Holland, Zeeland and Utrecht has offered them entertainment). “In my simple judgment, to help the poor men were godly, charitable and needful, and could not postpone any forwardness to like and deal with her Majesty.”—Middelburg, 28 April, 1585.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holland I. 112.]
April 28. Davison to Walsingham.
I have of late written to you by Burnham, Bruyn, Captain Wilson and lastly by way of Skeveling, but have had no answer. The general meeting appointed for May 1, their style, is deferred till the coming of those of Frise and Gueldres, expected every hour. The deputies of Zeeland arrived yesterday, so authorised that they will need no renvoyés. Divers commissioners “for this journey “are named but none agreed upon. Those of Antwerp “hearken after the success of their suit for a provisional succour, wherein I would be glad to know what to answer.” The attempts upon the river for their relief have been accompanied with more hope than effects, and I fear the difficulties will increase daily.
We hear nothing of the supply of men bruited to be sent by the Prince of Parma to the Duke of Guise. The enemy has withdrawn most of his forces from Gueldres into Brabant, intending as is thought, to divert the others from the river.
The Archbishop writes that all is in good train between him and Count Neuenaar, and expects to be here in three or four days. I am disbursing nothing more until I see apparent reason or receive other direction. The Count has sent a gentleman to me to testify his devotion to her Majesty, to whom he has written a few lines, herein enclosed. I should be glad to know her Majesty's pleasure for my return hence with these commissioners, who I suspect will not be ready these ten or twelve days. They are very importunate to have my company, and in truth I see no cause to stay behind them. Both for the sake of her Majesty's charges and her service, I pray you to procure my leave.—The Hague, 28 April, 1585.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland I. 113.]
April 28./May 8. Captain Asseliers to Walsingham.
The Count of Hollock has lain here encamped five weeks by the fort of Lillo, and has won four forts of the enemy. Not yet finding himself able to take the enterprise of the bridge, for clearing the river, he has made provision for cutting “Coule Stemmene” [Couwensteyn] dyke, that small shipping and boats may pass to Antwerp, and on Monday last, May 6, he departed at ten o'clock at night, with some hundred sail of small shipping, whereof were thirty gallies carrying a saker in the prow, and landed, between two and three in the morning, some 500 soldiers, who, finding the enemy in arms to receive them, charged very hotly, put the enemy to retire and won two trenches and two pieces of artillery. But the enemy being strongly re-inforced from their camp then turned and drove our men to retire, “who coming to this place of strength, finding the high Dutches to be fled which were left for our battle (some 200 armed men) every man shifted for himself to save his own life.” About 200 soldiers were slain, and divers captains and brave soldiers hurt, but no man of name save M. la Mouillerie (la Mulerye), “who had his arm struck off with a piece of artillery and died of the same.” To-day the whole fleet of Antwerp is come to Coulestene dyke, and I hope at my next writing to give better news.—Fort of Lillo, 8 May.
Add. Endd. 1⅓ pp. [Flanders I. 19.]
April 29./May 9. Du Plessis to Walsingham.
You know well enough the state of our France, and I need not remind you how much it imports to Christendom, both in regard to religion and the State. It is evident that the King of Spain is the incentive to all this, and furnishes the funds. For this reason M. de Segur is returning to the Queen, of whose good and rare qualities I say nothing, for they are well enough known. This Prince is resolute in the true religion, whatever temptations may present themselves, but as you know, he must be strengthened by human means. If he sees himself effectually loved and assisted by the Queen, his determination and his courage will be doubled, and truly there is need that he should set to work at once. I pray you to move in this, with your zeal and prudence, and to be assured that our affairs require it, for all the designs of those who trouble him are founded upon the profession made by the King of Navarre and have no other pretext.—Bergerac, 9 May, 1585.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [France XIII. 112.]
[April 29 ?] [Captain James (?) to Walsingham.]
On Monday night, May 6, stilo novo, about ten o'clock, Count Hollock left Lillo fort, with some hundred small sail, of which thirty were galleys, carrying a saker in their prows. They landed at Coulesteen dyke, between the village of Stabrucke and a strong house on the dyke which the enemy has fortified, between two and three in the morning with some 500 men and won two small trenches, The enemy, being ready in arms, charged them, both horse and foot, and came to push of pike; our force, being over charged, retired with the loss of three hundred men. “The Dutches, who were some 200 pikes for the battle, seeing the enemy charge on both sides, abandoned the place and ran away most shamefully, which was the cause of our overthrow. They of Antwerp lay all still at anchor on the other side of the same dyke, within cannon shot, and the hour being mistaken, did not charge nor attempt till our men were beaten off, and then came and made a bravado and so returned, to their great shame” M. la “Mulerye” one of the States, being there in a galley, had his arm struck off and half his tarkett; Col. Iselstein, having charge of the landing of the men, was shot through the arm, and divers captains and brave men are slain and hurt whose names I do not know. “I delivered to your honour in my last letter touching the river and those places of strength belonging thereunto.”
Without signature or address. 1¼ pp. [Flanders I. 20.]
April 30./May 10. Vicomte de Turenne to Walsingham.
You have so good a character amongst honourable men, as having always embraced the advancement of God's church and the cause of those wrongfully oppressed, that the King of Navarre is assured it must produce a good result. He is sending M. de Segur to her Majesty and has ordered him to impart his negotiation to you, praying you to move the Queen to look favourably upon it, whereby you will oblige a prince who, being great both by birth and by courage, will ever honour with his friendship such a good man as yourself.—Bergerac, 10 May, 1585.
Signed. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [France XIII. 113.]
April 30./May 10. Du Pin to Walsingham.
Your employments and the sufficiency of M. de Segur forbid my entering upon the state of affairs in this kingdom; nor is there need to represent to you the importance and consequence of so dangerous a business as that of which France is now the stage, on which is played a strange tragedy, affecting all Christendom, where many personages will enter, in the first acts or the last. And the remedies which may serve for the patient at the beginning, will at the end be useless to his health. There is also little need to exhort you to employ the means which God has given you, for the thing speaks for itself, and your virtue, piety and zeal for the church are so indefatigable, that persuasion would be superfluous. I will but add that the success depends on speed, and pray you to be assured of my faithful service, as of one who yields to none in his affection for you.—Bragerac, 10 May, 1585.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Fr.pp. [France XIII. 114.]
April 30./May 10. Capt. Thomas Lovell to Walsingham.
Commissioners will be appointed within these two days to “handle” with her Majesty and the Council for delivering the government of these provinces into her hands, which I trust shall take effect. Letters are sent from the States here for levying five or six thousand men to succour Antwerp, which is in great distress. If her Majesty sends men over I pray you help me with a commission for a company or two, and I trust to discharge my duty as well as any other. I have served here for twelve or thirteen years, and I trust none can say but that I have discharged my place and office well, “and now, serving my own prince and natural country will encourage me a great deal the more to do good service against these enemies of God's gospel,” against whom my heart is already in arms.
For those articles which you directed to me, I have got most of them and delivered them to my lord ambassador. He will tell you the news, for I assure you he takes great pains and spares no cost to come to the truth.—The Hague, 10 May, 1585, new style. [Doubtful whether 9, or 10 altered from 9, but endorsed 10.]
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holland I. 114.]
April 30. le Sieur to Walsingham.
I have many times advertised you of matters since my last arrival here, without ever knowing if my letters are pleasing to you. I hoped that by Captain Lucar I should receive some remembrance from you, but his long silence and stay make those who know him here in despair of his return. Considering the important and pressing occasion on which he was despatched by his Colonel, and that in all this time he has never written, I cannot excuse the wrong he has done to the regiment, he himself haying been a sharer in the misery in which he left it, and in which it still continues. The Colonel having received Mr. Gilpin's letters for his stay, after Lucar's departure, has done the best he could to keep his men in good discipline, although with great difficulty from lack of means; for he has been obliged, and still is, to spend his own credit in order to feed his soldiers, which now failing, the Messieurs here have lent him 2,400 florins, of which he has not ten left, the soldiers having consumed all. He dare not dispose either of himself or his regiment until he learns her Majesty's pleasure. Some days ago, Count Hohenloe wrote informing him that the States General had resolved to take him and his men into their service, which he could not accept, not knowing her views, but remains as when Capt. Lucar left. Yet he does not cease to employ himself for the service of the country. I hear that Capt. Marten is a prisoner at Lillo. The Governor of Bergen has searched his trunk, in which he has found false dollars and counterfeit coin of Brabant, so that it is to be doubted that his business will hardly go on well.
There are great preparations here and in Holland for opening the passage. They have cut a dyke by the river, and I hope in a few days we shall be free. The Estates General have sent hither the articles which they intend to send to her Majesty, to induce her to accept the sovereignty of these provinces. All rejoice to hear that she is willing to listen thereto, and if it pleases her to resolve upon it, I doubt not but she will find all this people well inclined to obey her. Your honour may do much in this to aid these poor afflicted provinces, and I need not use long discourse to persuade you to it, knowing your daily labours for their good. The passage is not very free for sending letters, and from your silence I know not whether I am in your favour or no, but if you think me worthy of being employed, I am always at your service.—Antwerp, 30 April, 1585, stilo antiquo.
Colonel Morgan asks me to greet you in his name.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Flanders I. 21.]
April 30. Harborne to Walsingham.
By the Charity of London, the 5th of the last month [sic], “I certified the passed”; since when the Admiral, returned from Capha, was licensed with forty galleys to defend the islands of the Archipelago, but countermanded, and in his place was sent Jafes Bassa, a Vice-Admiral, with only twenty galleys. This is said to proceed from Osman, the Vizier, his chief enemy, whereof the Venetian is not a little joyful; who, though he made him a present at his late return, received very rough speeches. “I likewise by his stay here am eased of some doubt and fear of his hard measure to our nation if he had met them at sea, being my very heavy friend”; for that I caused some galleys from Argier to be searched for one of our nation and also complained of the breach of league by Hassan, King of Argier “his renegate,” taking our ships. And although I covet his favour as most requisite, I shall do nothing unworthy of my place, but wait for time and means more convenient.
Much ordnance and ammunition are sent for Persia and much people daily forced thither against their wills to preserve their pay, which many have renounced; for both parties being wearied, it is thought at the end of this summer the controversy will be ended, “if so be the Persian attend Osman's coming, which is most credibly affirmed.” Petrasco, late Vaivode of Wallachia, on receipt of the Grand Signor's commands to resign his place, deliver up the treasure, and repair hither to answer the complaints against him, made answer that he would willingly do so, and would himself carry the treasure and deliver it; but “contrariwise,” having executed two or three principal Wallacks, to terrify the others, he fled with a number of Hungarians and the said treasure (as is said) into the Emperor's dominions, although all the confines of Wallachia were straitly kept by orders from hence.
“As in my last the marriage of the King of Spain's daughter is reported to be solemnized with the Duke of Savoy in the city of Valencia [sic]; the treasure of which city, only laid up for the destruction of Algier, now shall be given out to that use; of which enterprise the said Duke shall be general, as the Christians here secretly affirm.”
The Muscovite has sent hither his ambassador, who is to have free traffic, as other nations, and five ducats and a half for daily diet. His present to the Grand Signor of many rich and costly furs was highly esteemed.—Rapamat, 30 April, 1585.
Decipher. Endd.pp. [Turkey I. 35.]
April 30. Harborne's despatch in cipher. Also duplicate of the same.
Add. Endd. Eachpp. [Ibid. I. 36, 37.]
April. Petition of Claude le Breton to Walsingham.
Giving a long account of the “state of the quarrel” between Simon Oxley and himself. [Cf. petitions in previous vol. of Calendar, p. 556.] States that he arrived at Oxley's house on 18 December, 1582, with other Frenchmen on their way home from the Terceiras to France. Was detained three weeks by the wind, and after that by Oxley's demands. Failing to get justice, applied to his honour, who wrote four letters for him to the Mayor, one being “in August last.” But none had any effect, and Le Breton is still left to perish of hunger in the prison where he has been for twenty-five months and more. (fn. 1) Is constrained again to invoke his honour's pity and beg him to call Oxley before him (as it is not possible to have justice in Rye) and to give orders that Le Breton may also be allowed to appear, that the difference may be ended.
Add. Endd. Fr.pp. [France XIII. 115.]
[April ?] Request by M. Ortell.
Her Majesty has been pleased to agree that no provisions or munition shall be transported from this realm to those parts of Flanders under the obedience of the enemy, and to that end has made a general restraint in all her ports.
Yet all the world knows that her subjects daily transport these things in such abundance that at the present time the enemy is well furnished for a year to come, there being gone over no less than a hundred ships in the last eight or ten weeks. All which redounds greatly to the contempt of her Majesty's authority, and to the insupportable prejudice of those countries, the enemy being more strengthened by this re-victualling than by any other help they can receive, and the country more oppressed than by any hostile deeds of arms; quite contrary to their expectation of help from her Majesty; it being notorious that if her Majesty's restraint had been observed in good earnest, this triumphant army of the enemy would have been reduced to nothing, being already visited by the hand of God with plague, bloody flux and other maladies.
And as the utter ruin of those countries, her nearest neighbours, of the same religion and fighting against the same enemy, could not but be very prejudicial to her Majesty's affairs, she is prayed to have severe punishment inflicted upon the transgressors of her ordinances, and to take such order that henceforth no such thing shall happen, that the States may have no reason to complain of these proceedings, but that their obligations may be increased for the benefits received from her. Undated.
Endd. “Oriel's request.” Fr. 1 p. [Holland I. 115.]
[April ?] Another Request by Ortell.
Praying Walsingham to excuse him to her Majesty, forasmuch as his passport would be of no use, not being authorized either by the States General or the States of Brabant, and that, returning to that country, he would incur great danger from the indignation of the people, always very jealous of the deportment of those who are in their service.
Endd. “Ortel's excuse.” Fr. ¼ p. [Ibid. I. 116.]
[April ?] “Consideration of the manner of proceeding with the Commissioners of the Low Countries.”
Whatever proposition her Majesty accepts, the deputies which come over must have full power to treat and conclude, without leaving anything to the further consideration of the States, considering (1) their ordinary delays and (2) the attempts of the Spanish and French factions to hinder proceedings.
As for the articles, leaving the third out “as not thinking her Majesty will meddle with the action in so base a kind any more”:—
If she accept the sovereignty, the treaty must stand upon the four points of the accord with the Duke of Anjou in 1581.
1. What state she and her successors shall have in the countries.
2. What shall be the form of government.
3. What course taken for prosecuting the war.
4. What provisions there shall be for performance of the Treaty and for the provinces not united.
For the first, they cannot give her less than they offered the French King, i.e. to hold the countries as did Charles V, and so the 1st article will be “all one” with that offered to Monsieur, to be lord of the Low Countries, with such pre-eminence as is accustomed unless afterwards otherwise provided.
Qy. Whether some ceremony of investing may not be necessary ? If so, the place, time, manner &c. to be agreed on.
For the weal of both nations, all danger of divorce should be avoided, and (as was offered to the French King) the countries annexed to England for ever; not to be divided for appanage of younger sons of the crown. He that is King of England to be lord of the Low Countries, and if the crown come in question the King de facto to be lord. It were reason that if any alteration happen in the ordinary course of succession, their privity and consent be required.
They required of the French King and intend, as is said, the like now, that as the dominions are united, so the subjects shall have equal privileges. It seems by the Intercourse that they already have all they can reasonably demand. “Hereby shall be added liberty of habitation unto artisans &c. being not made denizens, which will prove very offensive to our people. It must be provided therefore that the laws in this behalf of both nations rest inviolate.” Denization to be left to the discretion of the Lord Chancellor as now. In impositions, equality may be accorded, but it must be considered what loss her Majesty would have in her customs.
[Here follow notes touching denizens and domains.]
2. For the Civil Government, the points to be stood upon be:—
1. Maintenance of their ancient privileges. A view to be taken and an authentic book made thereof.
2. Ratification of all things done in the past; as lawful acts of the generality, save such as at the next meeting of the States shall be found meet to be changed.
3. Choice and authority of a Governor or Lieutenant. This must be absolutely at the disposition of the sovereign.
4. The Assembly of the General States. Agreed with Monsieur to be yearly. Authority of the Governors always as usually is necessary. Circumstances of time and place to be referred to the Book of Privileges.
5. Council of State. They require it to be of their own nation, but offer place for two or three strangers. “Her Majesty must have as many as she can get.”
6. Governors of provinces and strong places likewise to be of their nation, as also all officers of Finance, Judicature &c. Officers of Judicature and Ecclesiastical dignities may be so. Those of Finance and Military places to be common to both, “according to the Prince's experience and trust.”
7. The Prince's prerogative in naming of officers to be expressed in every particular in the Book of Privileges.
[What persons are to be considered as “natural born.”]
8. State of religion and government of the church only to be changed by advice of the General States.
3. Martial Government.
1. Assistance from her Majesty to be referred to herself.
2. Contribution. 300,000 gilders per mensem offered.
3. Command and disposition of forces “would be absolute.” Monsieur tied to the advice of the States for planting of garrisons. They required also “a general avoidance of foreign forces, the war being ended.” For any war arising by advice of the States the like power to be revived.
4. Performance of the Treaty.
1. They will require an oath from her Majesty and successors. Time and place to be considered.
2. An assembly of the States to be summoned with all speed, to ratify the treaty on their oaths.
3. The treaty to be published in all provinces.
4. Officers and men to be sworn to its observation.
5. Also all those whe hereafter enter into place.
6. Certain towns to be given as gages, perpetual or for a time. If the latter, hostages to be sent into England by each great town.
7. This order for the towns to continue until by consent of the English Parliament, States of the Low Countries and judgment of neighbour princes, it is thought meet to make a change.
8. Any quarrel about the interpretation of the treaty to be decided by princes or their deputies indifferently named on both sides.
Provisions for Provinces not united:—
1. Such as will may enter.
2. Towns and provinces so received to be ordered by direction of the States. Convenient to leave it to her Majesty's pleasure so as their ancient liberties be not taken away or changed. Garrisons to be ordered as otherwise provided in the treaty. Provision for any persons interested shall be needless. Archduke Mathias was provided for in the treaty with Monsieur. “Unless you will article for the interest of the Prince Maurice in Flushing.”
If the Queen take only the protection upon her:—
A great part of the considerations touching the State she should have in the country may be cut off. It must only be articled that she shall take upon her the protection &c.
Limitation of time to be considered. Whether for ever, or till they have chosen a prince or are out of danger, or by other accident assured of their liberty.
They must be bound to some acknowledgment of thankfulness, either by monument, pension or some gratification to this nation, as that an Englishman shall be as free in those parts as a natural subject.
That being freed from peril by her Majesty's means, if they wish to choose a prince, she shall “have the pre-eminence for herself and the negative for any other.”
She may require the civil government to be in her hands by provision during the protection, as if she were sovereign, and whatever treaties &c. pass, her actions to be ratified.
The martial power and placing of garrisons to be in her hands wholly. “The assistance must be limited in protection as is the contribution.”
4 pp. [Holland I. 117.]
[April ?] Another paper with the same heading.
To set down reasons why her Majesty thinks it more honourable to be a protector than a sovereign.
To consider how she shall accept the protection, and “how far forth her authority shall reach;” whether it shall not stretch “as well in causes civil as martial, and in as ample sort as if she had accepted the sovereignty.”
What title her lieutenant shall have, and whether there should not be two principal persons, for martial and for civil causes ?
What number of counsellors they will appoint out of every province to assist the governor, and how many of her Majesty's subjects they will admit into the Council.
Whom they have placed as governors of provinces and with what provision and authority, and whether she shall not have power to remove them.
[A line made illegible by damp, in relation to Count Maurice.] What recompence they will give him for his interest in Flushing.
Whether they will yield the towns demanded for caution.
[Margin, in Burghley's hand.] Sluys for Flanders; Flushing, with Rammekens and Middelburg for Zeeland; Bryll for Holland,
“The conditions and causes wherefore the said caution is demanded”:—
That they shall yield obedience in as dutiful sort as if her Majesty had accepted the sovereignty.
That they shall be sworn for due performance thereof.
That they shall yield to no composition with the King of Spain, or treat with any other prince without her Majesty's privity.
That they shall duly pay the ordinary contributions promised.
That they shall in case of necessity (with general consent of the United Provinces) yield to some further contribution.
They shall take present order for contentment of their own garrisons for the time past.
That they shall duly observe all articles of the treaty.
That they shall repay her Majesty all such moneys as have and shall be employed in their defence.
In Burghley's hand. “That to the intent the Queen's charges may be known, it may be offered to them that they shall from time to time be acquainted with the accounts for the same.”
Endd. 2 pp. [Holland I. 118.]
Notes of the differences between the treaty of the States with Monsieur in 1581, and the offer made to the French King in 1584.
Endd.pp. [Ibid. I. 119.]
[April.] The Queen to Duke Casimir.
By the tidings of a tumult recently raised in France by the Guise faction, that they might make a pretext of religion for depriving the King of Navarre of his hereditary right of succession to the crown, you will readily understand how great was our grief for the wrong done to so excellent a prince, and our anxiety as to the means of coping with this evil. You will however justly deem that it behoves all of us who profess the Gospel to confer together how we may apply a remedy to the common evil; and since we are well assured of your extreme piety towards the Christian Commonwealth, and marvellous friendliness towards ourself, we have made choice of you to be the confident of our thoughts and counsels in regard to the whole matter. And as this is hardly to be done without consultation, we have deemed it the best way of opposing the common enemy that deputies from each of the Princes, and delegates from the free cities should assemble in some city of Germany, duly authorized to deal with these matters. To which end, we have sent an envoy to the King of Denmark, and bidden him, on his way, to visit Duke Julius of Brunswick, and beg him to transmit our letters (of which this is an exemplar) to the Electors of Saxony and Brandenburg and the Landgrave of Hesse; whom we also ask to appoint, as soon as may be, a place of meeting for the said conference. In like manner, we crave of you, who justly hold the first rank among the Electors, to deal seriously with the rest, that the Duke of Brunswick being apprised of their mind may be able to instruct our envoy on his return from Brunswick; who in his turn, will notify their answer to that King.
Meanwhile, however, we hold Navarre's fortunes to be in so perilous a plight that he must be succoured at once and effectually, otherwise there is no hope that aught can be determined as to these matters in conference. For it is much to be feared that the King of the French might, either by reason of the perfidy of his people, or of the power of the seditious party (seeing that they are utterly opposed to the Gospel) be constrained to declare war upon him, though so far he is said to profess himself reluctant to do so.
We therefore desire to know of you in how short a time it will be possible to enlist a body of German horse and foot, to oppose their designs; and finally that you will let us know if any money needs to be furnished on our part for the enlisting of soldiers in those regions, since the matter brooks no delay, and if the moneys have to be sent in small detachments, the risks will be greater. Of these last matters, we most earnestly entreat you to apprise us as soon as possible.
Postscript.—There is one other thing which seems to us disadvantageous to the federation which we are setting on foot, which is as follows:—The common foe has not the means of supporting himself, and he is therefore causing corn and victuals to be imported year by year from the borders of the neighbouring Hanseatic cities, to which end he makes use of the resources of the said cities. If these cities can be brought into the league, the enemy will be deprived of his main support, and our strength to resist his endeavours will be the greater. You will use your prudence to consider what is to be done by us in this matter, and will do what you shall deem expedient.
Copy. Endd. “M[emo]. of a letter from her Majesty to Casimir.” Latin. 2¼ pp. [Germany, States III. 67.]
Another copy of the same, but without the postscript. Latin. 1¾ pp. [Ibid. III. 68.]


  • 1. As the petition is endorsed April 1585, this would bring the beginning of the imprisonment to about Feb. 1583; and the petitions in the previous calendar (after twenty one months imprisonment) put tentatively to [June ?] must have been sent a little later; about November.