Simancas: September 1577

Pages 544-547

Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 2, 1568-1579. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1894.

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September 1577

20 Sept.
B. M. Add. 26,056b.
464. Antonio De Guaras to (Zayas?).
I have heard nothing more of the friend who went to perform the service I have spoken of.
As the Council is warmly favouring the prince of Orange and the States, this Marquis (i.e. Havrey) will be able to arrange as he pleases, and I have received a frightful piece of information, namely, that all their efforts and those of Dr. Wilson were directed to depriving his Highness (i.e. Don Juan) of his liberty and delivering him into the hands of these people, who would treat him in the same way as they do the queen of Scots. As they carry on their evil plans with great calculation, there is a suspicion that Drake the pirate is to go to Scotland with some little vessels and enter into a convenient port, for the purpose of getting possession of the prince of Scotland for a large sum of money ; whereupon he will bring him hither convoyed by the Queen's ships that are there. They have ordered Captain Bingham, whom his Highness knows, and other important people to embark, as if for the Indies, under the command of this sailor Drake, whereupon they are greatly surprised.—London, 20th September 1577.
28 Sept. 465. Antonio De Guaras to (Zayas?).
I am told by my trustworthy informant that the States have written to Dr. Wilson asking him to use his influence with the Queen that she may fulfil the agreement entered into with them respecting the alliance between this crown and the House of Burgundy, on condition that his Majesty should have no part therein. At the request of this Marquis (fn. 1) it was at once confirmed, and a promise was given that it should be enforced if necessary by arms. The States write also asking him to induce the earl of Leicester to come over in due time with ten thousand soldiers, their belief being that if he is in command the Queen will take care to provide him with all that may be needful. They offered to deliver to him all the ports on the coast of Flanders, and I learn from a person of position who has seen the letter, that they assert in it that the States recently voted one million three hundred thousand crowns for carrying on the war. They have at the instance of the prince of Orange dismantled the fortresses, and Orange promised to go to Antwerp and Brussels for the purpose of congratulating them, which he has done. A general muster was to be made between Brussels and Namur, of twelve thousand infantry, Lalaing being in command and Champigny his lieutenant. M. de Guinelo (?) is to be given a high command, M. de la Motte is to be captain of the artillery, M. de Goigni to be marshal, and the prince of Orange, after having been much pressed, has accepted the position of president of the new Council which is to be formed. The letter says also that Mansfeldt is being greatly urged by the States to accept the oath of allegiance towards them, and it is suspected that he may agree to it. In consequence of the settlement arrived at in France, it is feared by them that the duke of Guise and other forces there will help his Highness, but that Casimir would enter the States with three thousand men in defence. He has been urged to this on the part of the Queen, who sent Beal, her secretary, to him to promise payment for his services. Victuals are being collected in the strong places, and Fugger and the captain of the fortress (fn. 2) who are prisoners, have confessed many very prejudicial things. They will be exiled, and the others to the number of twenty-three are following his Highness. It is said that his Majesty is negotiating some great accord with the king of France, and that the latter's brother would be married to our Infanta. I have also heard from a well-informed source that the Marquis (d'Havrey) is urging the Queen to give open aid, by assuring her that his Highness was trying to settle matters in Flanders with the intention of invading this country with a large force ; which will make the cause a common one. It is said therefore, that her help will be publicly given, and great promises are made to him that the forces sent shall be sufficient for the purpose. If Leicester does not go with them the command is to be given to the earl of Warwick, his brother, and, to show the earnestness of the Council in the matter, they are holding their meetings in his house. I hear this from one source, whereas from another man, who has good means of knowing, I learn that, whatever may be said to the Marquis, the Queen will not venture to send forces in her own name, but will give all the secret help she can. I am also told that when it is necessary to strike a blow in Flanders, they have agreed to issue a proclamation saying that any soldiers who wish to go over to serve his Highness shall be at liberty to do so, the object of this being to show their impartiality, but they will be able to turn it in their own way. They have granted a loan to the Marquis of three hundred thousand crowns to complete the four hundred thousand which they had promised to Zweveghem, who took a hundred thousand with him, the States undertaking to return the same within a year and a half. Leicester, always in pursuance of his wish to marry the Queen, is bringing into the Council all of his adherents, and it is believed that amongst them will be Dr. Wilson, Horsey, the Governor of the Isle of Wight, the Judge of the Admiralty, and the Master of the Rolls, who are all, so to speak, his creatures. It is also said that Hatton, Captain of the Guard, is to be a member. If the Marquis or any other Flemings of importance could be seized on their voyage backwards or forwards it might be well, and if I am instructed I will have it done and get them carried to Spain. They would have attempted to capture the Marquis recently if orders had been received. I will await an answer on this point, as the people who are ready to make the capture, at their own risk and cost, only desire instructions. The same thing may be said with regard to giving these people trouble in Ireland, for which service faithful and trustworthy people are ready when it is agreed upon and I am instructed in the matter. As the prince of Orange has had his own way in the States, it is to be expected that a remedy will be found by some accord between his Majesty and the king of France for the purpose of following them up on all sides. In the meanwhile, these people here are not idle in their pretensions, as they have sent Killigrew to Scotland to obtain possession, for money, of the Prince, in order to compass the ruin of his mother and himself. People who understand the matter are of opinion that if he, the Prince of Scotland, were, in Spain the welfare of the world would result, especially if the wish his good grandmother wrote to me years ago could be brought about, namely, his marriage with the Infanta. I have received the enclosed letters from the queen of Scotland. I have perfectly safe means of sending and receiving letters for her, and the world is praying that God may be preserving her for some great service, to the fear of this Queen and her friends. I am encouraging her with letters of comfort until she can be served by acts.—London, 28th September 1577.


  • 1. The Marquis d'Havrey who was in England representing the States.
  • 2. Louis de Treslong, Lieutenant-Governor of Antwerp, who had been captured when the place was taken by the States' troops.