K. d. L. ix.
111. DON JOHN to DAVISON.
I received yesterday the letter from the Queen, sent by you
with one from yourself. I am glad to hear of the Queen's goodwill,
to which I shall not fail to correspond ; as you will see when you
come to me. I shall be very glad to see you, coming whence
you do ; and expected that you would have come straight to me,
as I see your mistress meant you to reside with me.—Namur, Aug.
16, 1577. Signed : Don Juan. Countersigned : Berty.
P.S.—I write a word of answer to the Queen, which I desire
you will let her have.
Add. Endd. Fr. ½ p. [Holl. and Fland. II. 30.]
K. d. L. ix.
112. [LEONARD?] TASSIS to WILSON.
Since I last wrote to you I have received yours of the 27th
ult., but have not had an opportunity of replying, having been
out of town and unwell. But you will have heard everything
from M. Fremin. Colonel Fugger, taken at Bergen-op-Zoom, has
just arrived. A certain canon named Morillon [Wilson notes :
Morillion is vicar-general over the clergy, under Card. Grandvel]
has been arrested here, accused of having levied subscriptions
on all the Roman ecclesiastics for Don John. It is thought that
the Estates will take it up, and levy it on their own behalf.
Herewith you will receive certain articles sent by Don John with
the remarks of the Estates thereon. Also a copy of a letter of
Don John's, and the answer of the Estates thereto, which is all
I can get at present. M. Theron is with his Excellency. Kindly
give the enclosed packet to M. du Plessis.—Brussels, Aug. 16,
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fland. II. 31.]
113. Enclosures in the above.
1. DON JOHN to the ESTATES.
It is notorious that his Majesty's intention has always been to
maintain in the Low Countries the Catholic religion and the
obedience due to himself, knowing that herein the preservation
of peace exists. He has therefore granted them a peace so full
of favour that nothing that is not just and honourable has been
left for them to desire. To fulfil this I have dismissed the
Spaniards, and restored the government to what it was in the
days of the Emperor my father, with restoration of confiscated
goods and amnesty. After which, I thought that the Estates
embracing so great a benefit would not only make the fifteen provinces
keep to their religion and obedience, but would persuade
Holland and Zealand to do the like, and therefore put myself in
their hands ; since if his Majesty or I had thought they would
come short, in the least thing, of their religion and obedience,
we would rather have risked the rest of his kingdom than have
consented to the pacification. Having thus done as I have said,
so let justice have free course, without sparing myself labours,
indisposition, and dangers, and seeing that nothing came of it,
and that I was not obeyed, nor had authority as his Majesty's
lieutenant, and hearing that there were plots against my person,
I deemed it meet to withdraw to this castle. Now, since the
Estates say that they offer to maintain religion and the obedience
due to his Majesty, I demand and desire in his name as follows.
[Then a copy of the articles and remarks calendared under Aug.
12 (No. 93).]
Endd. by L. Tomson : Acts of the month of August at Namur,
about the re-establishing of peace. Fr. 10 pp. [Holl. and
Fland. II. 32.]
2.—Copies of Don John's letter of Aug. 13 (No. 96), and that of
the Estates of Aug. 15 (No. 110).
Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [Ibid. II. 33.]
114. LEICESTER to WALSINGHAM.
Am loth to trouble you with the whole discourse that passed
last night between her Majesty and me upon the discussion of your
letter and the ambassador's, but, after much talk, I find her to
be sorry "she hath so slenderly dealt for her friends." She
sees more plainly if they were overthrown how hardly she will
be beset by her enemies. I pointed out how manifestly her
perils have been foreseen, and that there was no other remedy
but this help of her friends. She is now in a mind to repair
the oversight. Two things she greatly cares for : one to take some
good occasion to let the French King understand she has cause
to think he means not well to her ; which may be easily done,
for you see her Rebels are there now, and countenanced,
beside the case of Fitzmorris. This scruple of hers to have some
good cause for expostulating with the King I think springs from
the sincere care to discharge her oath touching the league, or
else some promise made through the French ambassador. The
other matter is how to have money taken up for Duke Casimir
in time to serve the turn. I could only think of two plans, either
by her own merchants at Hamborow or Frankford, or the sum
due by the States, which may easily be employed there if it can
I think she will agree to either, but the latter soonest ; and I
left her very well affected, so that I wish you to send for du Plessis
to stay his advertisements. To advance this matter Wilson writes
this morning that "St. Allagonda" is come to Brussels with discovery
of Don John's practices against the States and England,
which will influence her Majesty, I am sure. In haste, and in
bed, this Friday morning.
Add. Endd. Holograph. 1 p. [France. I. 20.]
115. THE QUEEN to M. DE HEZE.
Though we wrote recently by the gentleman whom we have
sent to your country thanking you for your offer of service, we
did not wish to miss the present opportunity of writing a line in
reply to your last, which you will understand was acceptable to
us as uniting the duty of a good subject and the generous heart
of a nobleman. For in it you both show the fidelity you bear to
the King your lord, our good brother, and make manifest your
desire of seeking suitable aid to preserve your privileges which
are now being attacked. We can only sympathise with you,
seeing that the close amity which has always existed between
those countries and our Crown cannot be entirely maintained if
the ancient rights and privileges are going to be abolished. We
cannot but feel the harm which will come to you, and by the same
opportunity let you see what means God has given us for maintaining
the authority of our brother and of your privileges against all
who shall in any way infringe them, and try to break down our
ancient amity ; fearing lest those who try to rise by your ruin wish
the same by us when they have achieved their designs as regards you.
—Richmond, 17 August 1577.
Copy. ½ p. [For. E. B. Misc. II.]
116. THE QUEEN to the VISCOUNT OF GHENT.
We regret to hear your news, which cannot but bring upon you
all the evils of civil war. We are glad that you did not begin,
and that you desire nothing but to do the duty of good subjects.
If you only desire to maintain your rights and duly honour your
kind we shall not fail to assist you when you need it with the
best means that God has given us. Please let Count Lalaing
know how glad we were to hear of the good offices which he had
done in the defence of his country, hoping that he will continue
them day by day, and remember that those who end their days
in well-doing are honoured rather than those who having begun
well, leave off half-way.
Same date. Copy. ½ p. [Ibid.]
K. d. L. ix.
117. DAVISON to WALSINGHAM.
Since I wrote on the 14th I have been awaiting the return of
the gentleman whom I sent to Don John with her Majesty's
letter. I now send his answer, and the copy of that which he
wrote to me. By them you may see what fair weather he makes,
though I think you thoroughly understand what he pretends ;
which, if there were no other evidence, might appear plainly
enough by some of the letters intercepted. I have seen the
originals since my coming, and send one herewith in cipher, with
an alphabet done in haste. From what I see and find here, there
is nothing more certainly projected than to shake the state of her
Majesty. They examined the gentleman how we did in England,
whether we were out together by the ears, how we did in Ireland,
how the Scottish Queen fared, and whether she were not yet at
liberty, shaking the head when he answered "No," and concluding
with the finger before the mouth in these terms : tout avec le
temps. I am informed that one Anderson, of her household, was
lately at Namur, sent from her to his Alteze, from whom he is
dispatched into Spain : and meanwhile the Bishop of Ross lies
at 'Marsh in Famine.' It is said at Namur that 5,000 Portuguese
are landed in Ireland.
While my man was at Namur, couriers came from France and
Italy, and whatever they brought, by both they seemed to be
much rejoiced. On the 13th came the Count of 'Pont de Veau'
from the Duke of Savoy, to offer his Highness his uttermost of
men and money. He hath this last week taken Gemblours, 3
leagues 'athisside' Namur, whence he may easily in one night
transport any forces to this town, which is like to be his first
exploit. He hath, besides, the towns of Charlemont, which he
makes his storehouses for ordnance and ammunition, Namur, and
Marienberg, which he won this last week : since when the town of
Philippeville is revolted to the States. He has already above 5 or
6,000 Walloons and Dutches in the country thereabouts, and out
of Germany, Burgundy, Lorraine, and other places they flock to
him daily. From Italy the bruit is constant both here and at
Namur that the Spaniards return. Howbeit, till he is ready, he
entertains them in terms of treaty, making semblance to desire
peace, which in truth his nature most abhors. They have now at
Namur the Bishop of Arras, Abbot of "St. de Gelines" [St.
Ghislain], the Bishop of Ypres and the Sieur of Grobbendonck,
but they spend much time to little purpose. The Dukes of Bavaria
and Brunswick make preparation to succour him, and for the
Emperor and other Princes in Germany, there is no doubt but
they will put in a foot. He expects the like out of High Burgundy
and from the Pope, by whom this new fire is thought to be
specially kindled, as the going hence of his legate into Spain may
give some likelihood.
His Highness reckons to bring into the field 40,000 men, with
which, and the diligence he intends to use, he hopes in little time
to daunt them, and become master of the whole continent ; but
the isles, meaning Holland and Zealand, he holds of greater difficulty
(as may appear by the letter in cipher I send you) than the
enterprise of England ; though he make himself sure of one and
the other avec le temps.
For the States, to tell the truth, they shew so great security and
slackness, and have among them so many ill patriots (for almost
all the Governors of the towns, &c., are men Espagniolized) that
it is to be feared things will go badly. Those of this town cry
out upon them. For all I can learn, they have not at the most
30 ensigns, and those not of the best sort ; which for the most part
are occupied under MM. de Champagny and de Hèze about
Tholen and Breda, where, and at Bois-le-duc and other places the
Almaynes yet hold out for his Highness. Only Sevenbergen, we
hear, surrendered to the States since my last.
This last week his Highness sent one Vandenese to the States,
whom certain of the burgesses in the night apprehended as he
was making merry, and conveying him blindfold to a riverside,
threatened to dispatch him unless he would truly discover to them
what Don John pretended ; when he told them he made certain
preparation for a war, and meant ere long to steal upon them.
Which tale offering to confirm next day to the General Estates,
they let him go.
Yesterday certain were sent to Alst from part of the States
to apprehend one Morilonius, the Cardinal's vicar and doer here,
a man very dangerous, for it was discovered that he had intelligence
with his Highness ; but when they had brought him to
Dilbeck others of the States gave a countermand for his release,
which obeyed, and the man let free, they have sent a new order
for his apprehension, when it is thought he is out of their danger.
At the instance of those of Flanders, the States have solicited
the Prince to deliver up to them the town of Nieuwport, whereto
the Prince hath accorded, and taken order to withdraw his garrison.
Amsterdam will by no means conform themselves with the
rest of Holland. They seem to join with the States, but thought
to be sure for Don John. But Utrecht, as I am even now advertised,
have yielded their town and castle to him.—Brussels, 19 Aug.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fland. II. 34.]
118. Draft of the above letter.
Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. II. 35.]
K. d. L. ix.
119. [DAVISON] to LEICESTER.
[Practically the same information as in the above, more colloquially
Your lordship may see what semblant he maketh, though by
sundry letters intercepted, it is as clear as day what mark he
shoots at. But I hope our English proverb that God sendeth a
curst cow short horns shall be verified in his respect. The
Count de Meghen and other of his followers did curiously examine
the gentleman of the state of our country.
His Highness has already above 40 ensigns dispersed in the
country about Namur, 'what' Walloons and Dutches, and his forces
increase daily. But to blind these Grossiers, he takes order for
their coming both from Germany, Burgundy, and other places by
one or two ensigns at a time, and keeps them aloof in the country.
—Brussels, 19 Aug. 1577.
Draft. Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. II. 36.]
K. d. L. ix.
120. [DAVISON] to (1) WILSON, (2) HATTON.
(1.) I send you such occurrents as the time affords, by which
you may guess the present state here. Of a peace there is no
hope, and of a war the effects are like to be as bloody as any this
country has suffered in many years. They go on in their provision
tout bellement, but he takes another train. The wisest sort
do expect the worst, unless God help them, and they amend the
course they have begun.—From Br[ussels], the 19th Augusti,
K. d. L. p.
(2.) In what terms I find this country, you may partly judge
by the occurrents here inclosed. His Alteze prepareth with as
great diligence as the States march as slackly and irresolutely.
I have seen since my coming divers letters intercepted, discovering
this war to be a matter long since projected, in some of
which there is testimony enough of their disposition to distrust
our quiet state ; but as hitherto they have found the difference of
contemplation and action, so I hope they shall still, though it
appears by one original letter of Escovedo's, which I have sent
over, that they hold it of less difficulty than the attempt of
Holland and Zealand.
Drafts. Endd. : 19 Augusti, 1577. To Mr. Sc. Wilson. To Sr.
Christor. Hatton. 2/3 p. [Holl. and Fland. II. 37.]
K. d. L. ix.
121. Rough drafts of above letters. To (1) is added, and not
erased : I have your cipher yet, and though I guess it to
be to M. Liesfelt, whom I have not yet seen, yet for surety's
sake I detain it till I hear from you.
1 p. [Ibid. II. 38.]
K. d. L. ix.
122. [DAVISON] to HORSEY.
The inclosed may give you some light of the present state here,
which was never more inclined to troubles than now. You know
with what foot these men are wont to march. If they mend not
their pace and look well about them, they are like enough to be
overtaken, for they have not to do with a sleeping or slothful
enemy. His own letters and the letters of Escovedo confronted
with the continual intelligence he hath with the Dutch colonels,
have plainly bewrayed his ill affection. The division and partialities
among them here is a thing not unlike to turn them to great
prejudice. Well, I hold them for most miserable men, whom
neither the harms of others nor themselves can make wise. The
Viscount is yet unreturned to this town.
Rough draft on back of the last. Endd. : To Doctor Wilson. To
E. Horsey. [Ibid. II. 38.]
123. Copy of an assessment made by the Estates of Hainault,
assembled at Mons on Aug. 19 and 20, 1577, in order to meet
their share of the total sum called for by the States-General [see
No. 91]. Payments are graduated according to office, rank, or
position. Children are paid for, but all in excess of four in any
family are exempt. Married people, widowers, or widows having
no children pay double ; also unmarried persons (jeunes gens)
over 30, with no parents to support.
The demands to be made within 5 days by persons specially
appointed for this purpose in every district, and the money to be
collected within ten days further by others. The former to
receive ⅓ per cent., the latter 2/3 per cent. on the totals collected.
No one to be allowed to assign, by way of payment, any debt
due to him from his Majesty or from the Estates, general or provisional,
but all payments to be in clers deniers comptant. All
attempts to deceive as to quality, number of children, &c., to be
punished by double taxation.
Copy in hand of Raymond de Fornari. Endd. (in L. Tomson's
hand) : Ayde personelle.
Fr. 7 pp. [Holl. and Fland. II. 39.]
124. H. CHEEK to BURGHLEY.
A report has come within these three days to Paris from the
Low Countries that the Queen of Scots is put to death by her
Majesty's command, and it is greatly feared by her friends to be
true. Upon this it is also noised among them that my Lord
ambassador is committed by the King's command. So there is
much muttering here among our countrymen.
The Duke of Guise is here still, and makes no great preparation
for any expedition. It is thought he tarries here only for
money.—Paris, 29 Aug. 1577.
Add. Endd. Holograph. P. ½. [France I. 21.]
125. To Mr. HODDESDON.
Whereas we have commanded our treasurer and chamberlain
of our exchequer to deliver the sum of £20,000 to such persons as
Francis Walsingham, Esquire, our secretary, shall in writing name
to them to receive it, for provision to be therewith made of
powder and saltpetre in the East country, forasmuch as we understand
that our said Secretary has named you as a fit person to
take the charge, you shall forthwith transport by sea the said
sum, whether in money or bullion, or by way of exchange to
Hamburg, and there keep it safely until we appoint to whom and
how you shall deliver it, and then upon the receipt of our letter
you shall deliver all the said £20,000 accordingly. And our
letters with such other letters as is aforesaid, and the acquittance
of him that shall receive it, shall be your sufficient warrant.—
Richmond, 20 Aug. 1577.
Copy. 1 p. [For. E. B. Misc. II.]
126. Reply of HIS HIGHNESS to the ESTATES' COMMISSIONERS
sent to him on Aug. 13.
Having examined the reply of the Estates assembled at Brussels,
dated the 12th inst., to the articles sent by him on the 7th, his
Highness declares that the removal of distrust is a matter that
is in their power, if they will interpret his conduct sensibly
according to his intention, which is to provide for his own safety
in view of grounds for apprehension only too clear and notorious.
What is worse, the Estates are seen daily to violate the pacification
by seizing the King's subjects, occupying new fortresses, and
committing other acts of hostility, thus giving occasion to the
Prince of Orange to do the like. It is insufferable, and his Highness
can justly resent it, never having given cause for such
behaviour. Yet, to show that his only desire is peace and the
avoidance of any rupture with the Estates, his Highness is content,
as heretofore, to offer that they should send to inform his
Majesty of the state of affairs, and pray him to provide some
other prince or princess of the blood to govern the country, and
that in the interim all practices, armed enterprises, and hostilities
should cease on both sides, and troops be dismissed under oath
to do nothing to the contrary. His Highness purposes meanwhile
to remain at Namur, or other place which he may choose, with
such guard as he may think proper for his safety, and to govern
the country as heretofore according to the pacification and edict,
with the assistance of privy councillors and finance councillors.
And, in order that communication may be free between himself
and the Estates, if they do not deem it reasonable to come where
he is, they may advise him where it will suit them to remain,
and they can communicate by way of conference or sending
And in order to end the disputes that have supervened or may
do so in respect of the pacification, as the Estates represent by
certain communications which have passed, his Highness will be
glad to hear any means which they may propose to him to arrive
more quickly at this end, whereby the "way of arms" so clearly
to the ruin of religion and confusion of the country may cease.
It being understood that in the meantime his Highness shall be
respected and obeyed as governor and captain-general, like other
princes of the blood who have held the same office.—At the Castle
of Namur, 20 Aug. 1577. (Signed) Berty.
Copy. Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fland. II. 40.]
127. Another copy of the above.
Fr. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fland. II. 41]
128. DON JOHN to the ESTATES.
The Bishops of Arras and Ypres have been as welcome as your
deputies always are, and have been heard the more willingly that,
as their letter of credence, dated the 12th inst., imports, they have
come in order to bring matters back to their course before the
present troubles. What I have done has not been with any
intention of breaking the pacification, but to secure my person
against plots, of which I had good evidence. And as the mutual distrust
cannot be removed till a better understanding is arrived at,
and certain principal points are settled, we have appended a document
which your deputies will set before you, upon which we
should be glad to know your intention as soon as possible, that we
may take steps accordingly. The troops are so near each other
that unless good order be taken there is reason to fear some serious
disorder. We have no wish to contravene the pacification,
whereof God, who examines the heart, and all good people, as
well as our own actions, are constant witnesses ; while, on the
other hand, everyone can see how we are constrained by your
forces to be on our guard, so as not to be surprised ; which all your
military persons go about publicly declaring to be their intention.
—Namur, 20 Aug. 1577.
Copy. Fr. 1¼ pp. [Holl. and Fland. II. 42.]
129. JUAN DE AGUIRRES to DOMINGO DE BARANBIO.
I wrote last on June 22, advising the receipt of yours, as I had
already done by way of Laredo. Since then I have had 3 from you,
the last dated June 24 ; two of them by Juan Xao and Nicolas Bon,
and the other by a young man about 8 days since.
As for my carelessness, as you call it, in not answering your letters,
the cause of it has been that I have had no opportunity to do so ; and
in regard to the rollers and selvages, I have had no facility in the
way of money to serve you ; so help me God I wish 1 could meet with
it, to do so. I have again enquired the price of them through a
friend, and he says that for cash I could buy them at such a price
that with the freight and all they would not come to more than
7 maravedis a yard for rollers and 10 reals for selvages, the finest
sorts, as you want them ; and if you will send me the needful, I will
Kindly remember the three sword-blades, and let them be light
and good. They are for the best friend I have in this country. Also
remember the escritoire for my father, and let it be a very good one,
with all the fittings.
Juan Xao also told me of the death of the good Don Juan de
Gamboa. Please tell me who it was who gave him the drink, and
all the details.
No news from here ; from Flanders I hear that the whole country
is in arms against his Majesty, and that the States have got the town
and castle of Antwerp, as you will see by the enclosed. His Highness
is in Namur, which is a strong place, but with no forces. Pray
God he does not fall into the hands of the rebels and traitors. Let
me know without fail if there is any sign that his Majesty is raising
Greetings to your father and mother, and commend me to Señor
San Juan.—London, 20 Aug. 1577.
Add. Sp. 1 p. With enclosure as below :
Translation of a passage in a letter from Antwerp.
About two months ago I came to Louvain, where I reside.
Thence I went on July 28 to Antwerp, where 1 had so much
trouble through being a Spaniard and a friar that but for the
protection of God they would have killed me a thousand times
over ; seeing that in the night of Aug. 1, the soldiers in the castle
divided, some taking the side of the King, the others that of the
States, or rather of the Prince of Orange, and they got to fighting,
and those of the Prince had the best of it, being 3 ensigns to one.
They killed a matter of 30 soldiers and the captain, went to the
governor, took him prisoner, and mutinied with the castle. The
Germans of the garrison took possession of the new town and
intrenched themselves. The citizens were for burning them out,
they were for not going ; and so the fight began. The Spaniards,
Italians, and Portuguese were all under arms ; some went to the
castle, others left the place, in such sort that it was a juizio to see
the way the women wept, the burgesses all in arms, in such wise
that the whole place was so angry with the Germans that some
were for killing them, others for setting fire to the place and
sacking it ; and they would have done it, but 10 of the Prince's
ships came to the aid of the place, and struck such fear into the
Germans that they left the town and went off. Things are quieting
down, and they think all will be well ; though it appears to me
quite the contrary.—Antwerp, 5 Aug. '77.
Sp. ½ p. [Spain. I. 5.]