March 1577, 1-15


Institute of Historical Research



Allan James Crosby (editor)

Year published





Comment on this article
Double click anywhere on the text to add an annotation in-line

Citation Show another format:

'Elizabeth: March 1577, 1-15', Calendar of State Papers Foreign, Elizabeth, Volume 11: 1575-1577 (1880), pp. 534-544. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=73253 Date accessed: 21 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


(Min 3 characters)


March 1577, 1-15

March 1.1306. The Third Estate to the King of France.
Understand that they are blamed on all sides for lighting the flames of war, whereas all their intention in praying him to have but one religion in France was to bring quiet to the country and abolish discord, and they desire the King to so order it that peace may be made.
Copy. Fr. Endd.: 1st March. P. 1.
March 1.1307. Wilson to Burghley.
1. This grateful peace seems to go forward very well, the Spaniards having published it the 27 of February, and insinuating it the next day following, so that they are to forsake all their fortresses, munitions, and towns by the 20th of March next, upon the receipt of 300,000 florins. The bonds for the six several towns are not yet come in, yet the 40 days are expired. M. Swegenhem desires him to have patience for a sennight longer, imputing his absences to be the cause these bonds are not sealed at the day. Has often put Swegenhem in mind and written to the Estate to remember their promise, and called upon the Greffier, and required the Duke himself and M. Champagny also to have a mind thereof. Thinks Swegenhem will let them shortly, but likes not such slack dealing. The towns require the Estates to save them harmless, which is the delay of signing. Signed.
2. P.S. (in Latin) by M. de Swegenhem, expressing his regret that the bonds are not arrived, but will as far as he can hasten them.
Add. Endd. P. 1.
March 1.1308. Wilson to Walsingham.
1. The peace was proclaimed in Antwerp with singing, ringing, and shooting of ordnance, and yet cannot believe there is good meaning till the Spaniards be clean gone. Don John coming to Namur so nakedly without any guard is a marvellous persuasion to the Flemings here that there is nothing but just meaning in him. The Spaniards likewise give out they are the gladdest men to be gone in the world; but they are all assembled to Antwerp, and if Don John be coming hither and so to Mechlin, and last to Antwerp before the castle be given up, God knows what will follow, if the Spaniards will not pick some quarrel or other before the 28th March. He that believes this peace is unfeigned has small judgment with him. Is well assured the Prince of Orange will not believe the Spaniards, and is very sorry to see the Estates so abused. The Queen being assured of him shall not need to stand in awe of Don John, if she would stand him in stead and give but a show to take protection of him the force of Don John would soon be of small value. The House of Croye and the priests hinder him, fearing lest their authority decay when he were in place. He loves his country dearly, and only seeks to free it from the Spanish tyranny. Thanks the Treasurer for writing that a choice muster shall be of 10,000 shot, for besides that the Queen shall live in better safety, being always in readiness for war, this country and others will be so troubled in imagining what she means to do, that they will be loth to be busy when they hear of such preparation. Has said something to M. la Motte to look well that he and others be not lulled asleep, and thinks he will take the least heed of them all, being one whom the Spaniards chiefly count upon for valiantness, experience, and skill to do them harm. Has provided lodging for Philip Sidney, and makes ready to wait upon him, and give him the best advice he can. Has been with the Emperor's Ambassadors here, who promises to do what they can in his favour to the Emperor and others.—Brussels, 1 March 1577. Signed.
2. P.S.—Sends the Prince of Condé's protestation, it is worth reading.
Add. Endd. Injured by damp. Pp. 2.
Feb. 26.1309. M. La Motte to Wilson.
1. The Spaniards' horse and foot are to evacuate the country, and make no demonstration, if the money be given them.— St. Marie, Wavres, 28 February 1577. Signed.
2. P.S.—Understands that some one has told him the Spaniards are not satisfied with the agreement, and assures him to the contrary.
Add. Endd. Fr. P. ½. Enclosure.
Feb. 28.1310. M. de Lalain to Wilson.
In reply to his letters, informs him that the Spaniards are contented to leave the country on the conditions agreed, and have published the treaty with great demonstrations.—From the camp at St. Marie, Wavres, last of February 1577. Signed.
Add., with seal. Endd. Fr. P. ¾. Enclosure.
March 3.1311. William Wade to Burghley.
Sends the names of the King's Privy Council with the affections of the chiefest, being hard to note the inclinations of the most part because they conform themselves to the will of the King in such sort that divers which of their own disposition wish peace to serve the time, are most employed to the contrary. Italians make the great part of courtiers at present. There has continued a long time a bruit of the Turk army, some think he threatens the Venetians, some the King of Spain in Africa or Sicily, others that he will begin with Malta. It is said he has built a certain number of great galleys they call "Magoe," with divers other smaller vessels. The hope is that the preparation of war the Sophy makes against him, and the plague he has at home, may deturn his malice from Christendom. The Venetians have their galleys in readiness, and are said to be in speech with the King of Spain and the Pope to enter a league defensive. There has been some revolt in Naples which grew on this occasion: the inhabitants seeing the often passage of Turks by their coasts requested the King for leave to make great ordnance, which he granted for the better commodity to be cast in a castle to the number of 50 or 60 pieces, and after sent commission to the captain of the castle to detain the same upon some colour of mistrust, whereupon rose the discontentment. In Genoa is said again to be some stir which is like to grow to further inconvenience. The plague is ceased in Venice, and increases in Milan.—St. Die, 3 March 1576. Signed.
Add., with seal. Endd. Pp. 2.
March 3.1312. Names of the Privy Council of France.
1. List of the Privy Council of the King of France amounting to 139 names.
2. List of 18 of them inclined for peace.
3. List of 32 of them inclined for war.
4. List of 23 of the chief Protestants.
Endd. Fr. Pp. 7. Enclosure.
March 4.1313. Paulet to Burghley.
1. Doctor Boutrix (Beutterich) was with him the 23rd of the last, on his way towards Blois, and declared to him that although Duke Casimir had so great opinion of the secresy of the French nation, and being not ignorant that for every inch of favour that is promised unto them they will take an ell for their own glory, yea, sometimes to the disadvantage and dishonour of their best friends, has given cold answer to such as have negotiated with him in behalf of the Protestants of this country, yet if he shall find them distressed and to stand in need of his help, that whereas he entered the country at his last voyage with only 8,000 reiters he will now bring 10, 12, 14, or 16,000 if he be required, and will come accompanied with one or two others which shall be his equals in lineage, power, and degree, and he will not fail to employ in this voyage the jewels he has in gage from the French King for 300,000 crowns, although he is not ignorant the surety of his principal will now depend on the good or bad success thereof. He says he will capitulate with princes here in other sort than he has done in times past; he will no more be governed by children; they shall no more make peace at their pleasures; he will be better authorised than he has been if hereafter he shall have to do with them. He confesses his own power will not be sufficient to make this great levy, and therefore would know what the French and their friends are willing and able to do towards his help therein. Beutterich is not ignorant the King has no money, and looks not to have any of him, yet he pretends his coming to the Court is only for the money due to his master. His true errand is to tell a further tale to breed a further quarrel; if the King say he is not now able to make payment, he will say how shall his master look that he will be better able hereafter when entering into a new war against his honour, faith, and promise.
2. The Duke of Montpensier and M. Biron are returned to the Court. The Duke resorted to the three Estates and declaring the good intention of the King of Navarre towards peace; persuade them with very earnest words to be of like mind, and informed them of the miserable state of Poitou, Guienne, and those parts. The clergy said they would not change their minds; the nobility referred themselves to the King's pleasure; the third Estate almost with one voice demanded peace. M. d'Esguise, one of the deputies of the King of Navarre, advertises him that the Protestants in France are not so strong as were to be wished; that foreign aid come slowly forward; that those of Germany require 200,000 crowns before they can march; that England will do nothing or very little, and that therefore the King of Navarre shall be forced to accept any conditions rather than by entering into war to overthrow not only himself but also religion for ever in France. M. Biron is to return forthwith to him. Montagu, who had all the credit of the Prince of Condé, is taken by those of the King's party and carried to Angoulême, some say with his goodwill and not without some evil intent towards his master, who now conceives ill of him. L'Isle is also suspected for the same cause, and is said to be prisoner in St. Jean d'Angeli. All things are prepared to plant the siege before La Charité under Monsieur and the Duke de Nevers. Commissions are given out for the levying of 10 companies of light horsemen. Cannot see how these things can hang together, to treat of peace and besiege La Charité, considering how much this town imports the Protestants. The Prince of Condé scours Poitou with 800 horses and 3,000 footmen, and has of late taken Loudun, a town not far distant from Saumur; his best friends fear lest his forwardness will breed him danger. The third Estate have utterly refused to give any money to the King, and on his desiring leave to alienate of his domain lands of the value of 300,000 francs by the year have utterly rejected it. The King may of himself alienate it, but because it is retirable by his successor, no man will give for it as it is worth except the sale be confirmed by the Estates. Because the third Estate has refused to contribute, the King has sent forth commissioners for levying 2,000,000 francs, of which 1,200,000 are to be paid by the towns, the residue by the plat pays. The new league is faintly received in many places, being refused by many great personages in Paris and utterly rejected by some whole streets there, and thereupon the Premier President has written to the King dissuading war by all means possible. It is given out that the Queen is already leagued with the Germans, Swiss, and many other of their profession; it is indeed wished by many good men that there were a league of Protestants seeing the strait intelligence there is at this day between France, Spain, and the Pope tending to no other end than the ruin of the Protestants. Finds the ambassadors of the Swiss well affected towards the Queen. The towns in Auvergne have resolved to associate themselves with the towns of Languedoc, and some say that if the war continue they will canton themselves and banish all nobility out of their country. It is thought the Viscount of Turenne is now joined with the Prince of Condé, and the marching of the Prince towards these parts is to give passage to M. Laval. The Prince is said to carry with him one cannon and three culverins, and if men join they will see La Charité before it be lost. It is very credible necessity will force the King to condescend, yea, rather to procure some bad peace, and to permit some exercise of religion, but his former promises teach what may be expect of the latter. If their former treachery did not suffice for warning, they have now proclaimed their inward malicious affections so openly as who shall trust them hereafter shall be guilty of his own harm. They have peace in the one hand and the sword in the other, if their sword be the stronger no peace, if their means fail them a bad and traitorous peace. If the English think religion in France is necessary for their State let them beware how they suffer these young princes to condescend to a hasty peace to the utter ruin of themselves and the evident peril of their neighbours. If the malice of France is not to be bridled at this present let them never look to find them at better advantage. The King has no money, no powder, little goodwill of his subjects, and cannot tell what he does not lack that may seem necessary for war.—St. Die, 4 March 1576. Signed.
3. P.S.—Though from the speech of M. d'Esguise he seems much inclined to peace, yet he has even now assured him that he sees so far into their treachery that he dare affirm the King of Navarre will accept no peace at all, and that this treaty is feared as full of treason and dangerous mischief. Is informed the King of Navarre, the Prince of Condé, Danville, and their followers will be able to bring into the field, leaving the town sufficiently furnished, 18,000 French footmen and 3,000 French horsemen. It is said Don John has proferred his Spaniards to the King, but some think they will not be received. The Bishop of Paris is said to be gone to the Duke of Savoy to practice with Danville, and to offer him the Marquisate of Saluces. Has sent copies of several letters to Mr. Walsingham.
Add., with seal. Endd. Pp. 5½.
Jan. 25.1314. The King of Navarre to the Deputies of the Estates.
Thanks these Estates for sending such considerable persons to him, and for their goodwill towards him. He desires nothing more than to serve the King and to bring welfare to the kingdom. Cannot think that the request they have made to the King to allow exercise of only one religion in France will bring peace, but rather plunge the kingdom in fresh troubles. Prays them, after the example of the ancients, to re-deliberate on the matter, for this a matter of too great importance to be decided at once, and to consider not only that which may be good in itself, but that which may be good for the present state of the kingdom. A strong kingdom could not undergo so sudden a change without danger of subversion, how much more then must France weak and enfeebled suffer. They should remember it is much more difficult to take away what has been already enjoyed than to refuse what has never been had, and that when Protestantism had set its foot in Hungary, Bohemia, Germany, England and Scotland it could not be stamped out. In his own country of Bearn, though his mother has forbidden exercise of the Catholic religion, yet he has removed these restrictions, intending to give full contentment to his Catholic subjects. Again for the third time he prays them to reconsider the matter. He regrets that many good and great considerations prevent him coming to them as they ask. To their request that he should join with them and with the King, he answers that he is already joined with the King, who is his kinsman and ally, and he desires nothing more than to do him faithful service; and for the Estates he assures them that being after the King and Monsieur, the third personage in France, he cannot but have the greatest interest in the well being of the French people, which is greatly augmented by the mutual affection and services between them and his predecessors, and which he will continue during his life. To their particular request that he make exercise of no other religion than the Roman, he answers that he prays God every day to encourage him in the religion he professes if it be the right one, and if it be a wrong then to show him the true. He trusts they will be content with the answer, and if they desire a more particular one they must not take it ill that he withholds it till after the assembly of Protestants and United Catholics at Montauban, assuring them that he is most inclined for peace, the service of the King, and the honour of God.
Copy. Fr. Endd. by Lord Burghley. Pp. 4¼. Enclosure.
Feb. 25.1315. Duke Casimir.
An outspoken address by Doctor Pierre Beutterich demanding from the French King, on the part of Duke Casimir, 4,000,000 francs due to him for the payment of his reiters during their stay in France. He tells him that payment of such a sum would be difficult in a country at peace and prosperous, and asks him how he can hope to pay it if he renew a war that has already lasted 15 or 16 years.
Fr. Pp. 6⅓. Enclosure.
March 4.1316. The Lords of the Council to the Prince of Orange.
Commends to him Ferdinand Pointz, a merchant of London and man of repute, who is coming to him about the matters of the English merchants, whose ships and merchandise have been arrested by his commandment, and to take the bonds of the Estates of Holland and Zealand for the repayment of the money given for their release.
Draft. Endd.: 4 March 1576. Fr. P. ¾.
March 4.1317. Paulet to Walsingham.
Sends a gown by this bearer. It may not seem strange that the silver is counterfeit, which is commonly used here by the French Queen and the Queen of Navarre. This sad time of Lent must excuse the baseness of the gown. Prays him to advise him when to send another gown, which shall be of better quality. Is much beholden to him for his letters of credit to the banker of Paris. The ambassador of Scotland bears him in hand that his letters for the Queen of Scots have always been addressed to him, and therefore has been bold to send them, wherein he has been the bolder, because they are unsealed, though, for his part, he has not perused them.—St. Die, 3 March 1576. Signed.
Add. Endd. P. ½.
March 4.1318. Foreign Occurrents.
The bruit continues of the great preparations of the Turk by land and sea, and especially of horsemen, and of great barks to transport them. The Venetian arms a great number of galleys, and Malta, Sicily, and Corfu, and the other States of Italy, prepare men, munitions, and other necessaries for their defence. If it be true the plague is so extreme in Turkey, and the scarcity of victuals so great as is reported, he will be able to do no great hurt this year. The Ambassador of Venice tells him [Paulet] that the Turk shall be forced to address his forces against the Sophy, who will assail him with great power, but the great preparation of the Venetian plainly shows he fears the invasion of the Turk. There has been motion for a new league between the Pope, the Spaniard, and the Venetian for their mutual defence against the Turk; and to be assured of better dealing than there was between them in their last league there shall be delivered by the Spaniards and Venetians two towns into the hands of the Pope as pledges for the performance of the treaty to be agreed between them. Some think this motion will take no effect, because of the great jealousy between the Spaniard and the Venetian, although to avoid the peril which is common to both, they will be content to help the one the other in this necessity. There has been a mutiny of late in Genoa, which it is thought will grow to a further sedition. The bruit continues of the marriage between the Spaniard and the Portugal. The plague is present in Milan.
Endd. P. 1.
March 5.1319. Wilson to [Walsingham].
Minds this day to ride to Louvain, where Don John came on Sunday last; Mr. Sidney goes with him. Does not think to find any rebels there, as warned, perhaps, not to be seen of him that gave the roll of them to the Duke of Arschot, and who declared they should be executed, but whom he required to be but delivered to him that they might have justice in England. The Estates of Brabant have agreed that if the Spaniards do not forsake their holds into the Estate's hands the 20th March they will then use force without entering into further communication. This act is made to please the Prince, the rather that he may see the conformity of the three Estates of Brabant whatsoever others mind to do. Sends a letter written from Rodas and the Council of the Spaniards to the Bishop of Liege here at Brussels.— Brussels, 5 March 1577. Signed.
Injured by damp. P. 1.
Feb. 28.1320. The Council of the Spaniards to the Bishop of Liege.
Escovedo having given intimation of the accord, proclamation has to-day been made that all soldiers shall quit this town and citadel by the 20th of March. The Spaniards, therefore, understand that all acts of hostility are to cease forthwith, and that passage and repassage of all men should be free, more particularly couriers and messengers. It would also be advisable that they should be allowed to accept bills of exchange on Genoa and other places for their money, a thing they cannot at present do, because of an Edict of the Estates forbidding such bills to be given them. It is also necessary that the pacification be published in the camp, as the Sieur Julian de Romero yesterday published it at Lierre. Escovedo understands that since the accord, in various places in the government of the Prince of Orange, images have been broken and destroyed, by which it would seem that the Prince and those of his party have no intention to agree with the accord. —Antwerp, last of February 1577.
Endd. Copy. Fr. Pp. 2. Enclosure.
March 7.1321. The Earl of Leicester to the Prince of Orange.
Assures him that the testimony of M. de Favars of the good affection of the Queen to him and his cause will content him, and if matters do not come to a good understanding between the Estates and Don John he will find in her a good ally and neighbour. She and all his friends in England are pleased with his prudence in according this peace. For himself there is no one more ready to do him service than he, and that they may the more freely correspond, he sends a cipher to be used as occasion shall require.—At the Court at Westminster, 7 March 1576.
Copy. Endd. Fr. P. ¾.
March 7.1322. Don John of Austria to the Queen.
Thanks her for her letter of congratulation on the peace, and assures her of his intention to govern the country peaceably and well and in friendship with England. Denies that he has, as she says, encouraged her rebels, for when certain came to him he ordered them to depart, and they went on the morrow. No one is more desirous of preserving the friendship between England and the house of Burgundy than he.—Louvain, 7 March 1577. Signed.
Add. Endd. Fr. Pp. 1½.
March 7.1323. Dr. Beutterich to the King of France.
Is commissioned by Duke Casimir to resign to him the Duchy of Estampes and the seignories held of the Duchy of Burgundy, the pension, the captaincy of 100 men-at-arms, in return whereof he would be freed from all obligations, whether written or not, to which he has subjected himself. Prays for passports for his two companions to Germany and for his own to England.—Blois, 7 March 1577.
Copy. Endd. Fr. Pp. 1¼.
March 8.1324. Proclamation by Don John.
The King having ordered the departure of the Spaniards, Italians, and Burgundians out of the Low Countries, he at the same time allows all that they have done hitherto, and thanks them for their faithful services to the King, and revokes the placard made against them of Alost in July last.—Louvain, 8 March. Signed.
Endd. Copy. Span. P. 1.
March 10.1325. Wilson to Burghley.
Don John uses such courtesy and familiarity to all that come to him that he wins credit greatly with them of least understanding, and shows himself to him so well disposed with such "dolce" and good words that he doubts him more than others trust him, for his deeds are contrary to his words, using conference in secresy with her Majesty's rebels. Mr. Copley has done good service to the Queen. Antony Guerras is a most dangerous man, whose letters to Don John he has intercepted. The Spaniards pack away with all haste possible, and Don John ceases not to call upon them with letters and messages to be gone before the day. Don John has secretly charged all rebels and fugitives to absent themselves, and yet he gives order for their pensions, and tells him they are all banished, and he will make some account of any that is not faithful to the Queen, of whom he professes to honour in such a faithful manner as before God he does not believe. Cotton writes that he passes by Liege, for whom he will lay a bait though it cost him very dear.—Brussels, 10 March 1577. Signed.
Add. Endd. P. 1.
March 10.1326. Wilson to Walsingham.
He and Mr. Sidney had audience the 6th with Don John at Louvain, and notwithstanding his plain speech had fair and sweet answers, which being performed in very deed then is he satisfied. The Bishop of Liege yields to all, save to the banishment of the Countess. Sends two letters of Antony Guerras to be deciphered or else to be sent back that he may devise to have them deciphered if nobody there can. The Duke of Arschot will not have the Estates General to allow of him keeping Antwerp Castle, though Don John earnestly requires it. Sends the article which Octavio Gonzaga has propounded to the Estates, which seem very strange. Monsieur has written to the Estates, but they will not give any answer, nor cause his letters to be read. There is a speech of a sworn Catholic league against all of the religion, but is informed Monsieur will not conform to it, and has [charged] M. Beaupin who brought his letters hither to go straight to the Prince and warn him of four French men that are appointed to kill him. Don John hastens the Spaniards away with all expedition that may be, knows not what his haste means, except either to win credit with the common sort, or else to do some strange exploit hereafter to serve his own purpose—Brussels, 10 March 1577. Signed.
Add. Endd. Injured by damp. P. 1.
March 7.1327. Articles propounded by Octavio Gonzaga to the Estates General.
1. That such Italian and Spanish soldiers as have married native women shall be permitted to remain in the country in peace, and that such as desire to leave the country may be permitted to sell all their goods.
2. That the Estates will restore to the wife and daughter of Colonel Mondragon all their property.
3. That the Germans be accommodated in places to their satisfaction, and not in open villages, and particularly those of Antwerp, otherwise they will not leave the town they at present hold.
4. That the companies of the Count of Guersteyn and of Captain Montedoca shall be put in some place of safety till they are paid, for having served with the Spaniards they fear some hurt.
5. That till the Germans are paid, the books of accounts with the "payador et contadores" and their officers shall be allowed to remain.
6. That the goods of M. de Billy be restored to him, he having been taken while executing the charge of the King of Spain.
7. The Prince of Orange prevents the people of Amsterdam from enjoying the benefit of the peace, which it were well for the Estates to remedy.
8. Don John does not think it well that the charge of the Castle of Utrecht should be given to the citizens.
9. Peace will not be advanced by the rearming at Sparendam and by the destruction of images.
10. Don John considers the Duke of Arschot to be the most proper person to have the government of the Castle of Antwerp, and begs therefore that the Estates appoint him thereto.
Endd. Copy. Fr. Enclosure. Pp. 5½.
March 10.1328. The East Marches.
"Extract of such horsemen as were able and unfurnished without any lawful cause alleged to the contrary out of the certificate of the East Marches sent from Mr. Selby the 10th March 1576," amounting in 82 places to 575 men.
Pp. 3½.
March 14.1329. Paulet to Walsingham.
1. The bearer, one William Sariste, servant to one William Smith, has been greviously used, and has letters taken from him, whereof he refers him to his own report. The King protests his innocence, and begs to be excused to the Queen therein, saying these things were the fruit of their civil troubles, and that the letters were never opened, but the cutting of the packet bewrays their doings.
2. (In cipher.) Is advertised the packet was brought to the King of France, the 10th in the morning.—St. Die, 14 March 1576. Signed.
Add. Endd. Pp. 2.
[1577.] March 5.1330. — to —
It is said the Spaniards go to France to serve the King there. Don John is at Louvain, he surpasses Circe, every one who comes in contact with him comes to his devotion. The only danger is of another St. Bartholomew, for all his courtesies seem to tend to no other direction. God preserve them from such a tragique comedie. The Holy League has resolved to make war against all who are not of the Roman Catholic religion. It is much to be feared that the Spaniards will give a camisade to the camp of the Estates at Lierre under cover of retreat.—Brussels, 15 March.
Endd. Fr. P. ¾.