194. The ESTATES to DON JOHN.
If your Highness has been pleased with the letter received from
his Majesty, as showing that you have always claimed to maintain
the pacification, we have received incomparably greater joy, desiring
nothing more than peace and repose. We pray God that we may
soon feel the effect. As, however, we cannot be ignorant, and as
your Highness knows well things have gone so far that unless some
effect ensues we canot be persuaded that it is really meant. And
to prevent the unpleasantness, which any day may bring, we pray
that it may please your Highness to quit Namur, Charlemont, and
Marienbourg, to write to the Germans, bidding them quit the fortresses
which they occupy, and carry out the pacification as requested
in our last dispatch. We shall be very willing to hear the proposals
of the ambassador, and shall not fail to accommodate ourselves to
the foregoing, awaiting his Majesty's pleasure to send us the person
who is to govern the country.—Brussels, 6 September 1577.
Copy. Endd. in Fr. Fr. ½ p. [Ibid. II. 77.]
195. Another copy of the same. Endd. by L. Tomson : . . .
thanks for the desire of peace, promise of audience for the deputies
of Liege, but no cessation of arms, unless Namur and the other
towns be rendered into their hands. [Ibid. II. 78.]
K. d. L. ix.
196. The STATES GENERAL to the QUEEN of ENGLAND.
Certain burgesses of Ostend have set forth to us that on Aug. 17
last certain English pirates, to the number of 46, meeting the
petitioners' ship coming from Königsberg with a cargo of
corn and timber from Esthonia, near the place called le
Sablon, in the district of Norden, captured and plundered the said
ship, going so far as to take away the clothes of the petitioners,
and putting them into a little boat to drift at the mercy of God.
They ask us to assist them with a letter of recommendation to your
Majesty, that wherever the said ship and pirates may be caught,
they may be dealt with by your Majesty's officers.—Brussels, 7
Copy. Endd. in Fr. Fr. ½ p. [Holl. and Fland. II. 79.]
197. M. DE GROBBENDONCK to the STATES GENERAL.
On arriving here I found his Highness indisposed with his
stomach ailment, yet he gave me audience immediately. I was
as brief as possible on account of his illness, but still I made
out so much that I have good hope of negotiating to your satisfaction,
and of bringing back this time a decision guaranteeing
you against all sudden or violent action contrary to the pacification.
The Council of State assembled here, and the deputies
from the Empire now arrived, are well disposed to render good
offices in this matter. Meantime, I must beg your Lordships
reciprocally to give his Highness some guarantee for his personal
safety and the security of his government during the short period
that will elapse before another governor comes, in order that
he may have no just cause for resentment, and may depart from
us with as little disgust as possible. It can cause you no danger
nor prejudice, and if it pleases you to send in any overtures to
this effect, it will be a great help to me in negotiating to your
satisfaction. I hope you will take this in good part, as tending
to enable me to do you better service in promoting what tends
to the assured peace which you desire. I beseech you also, while
I am negotiating here, to put a stop to all hostilities, and to
prevent any ill-treatment of these prisoners, as his Highness
desires.—Namur, 8 September 1577. (Signed), Caspar Schetz.
Copy. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. II. 80.]
198. THE STATES GENERAL to the KING OF SPAIN.
We have regretted more than we can say the apprehension
which has seized Don John of some plot against his person, of
which no doubt your Majesty has been informed. We cannot
believe that any member of the Estates could have thought of
such a thing, and still less that any subject in this country would
have undertaken to commit so execrable an act, well assured as
he must have been that a memorable vengeance would follow.
But in spite of all we could say he persisted in his fears, letting
himself be persuaded to such a point, that for the safety of his
person he withdrew to the castle of Namur in a fashion which
has scandalized everybody ; all the more so, that when he was
still at Mechlin, without our knowledge or that of the Council
of State, he was in treaty with the German troops in order to
retain them in his service, all the while that he was in treaty
with us as to paying them and letting them go on the day fixed
in accordance with the pacification, viz., July 24. This fraudulent
conduct gave cause to suspect his intentions in other matters.
He had already given us cause for keeping an eye on his correspondence,
and some of his letters which were intercepted so
increased the suspicion that we fell by degrees into the terms
on which we are at present. His Highness, therefore, judging
himself not to be a propitious governor for this country, has
declared to us his willingness to demand permission from your
Majesty to retire, informing us of it that we may at the same
pray you to let us have another governor of the royal blood.
This being so, although we dislike it, and although we had conceived
great hopes from the prudence and many virtues personal
to Don John, yet seeing his affection alienated from us, and
that of the community from him, as though in prey to suspicion,
we cannot but pray your Majesty, as you see our need requires,
and as is desired by Don John himself, to provide us with another
governor, and on this occasion with one who shall be clear of
any suspicion as is mentioned above, and thus agreeable to the
Estates of the country, that the commonwealth may continue in
its duty without outbreaks, of which, owing to their new discontent,
there is great danger. Yet we trust that in the hope
of a new governor we shall be able to prevent the occurrence
of disorder, and to preserve inviolable the Roman Catholic religion
and the obedience due to your Majesty. Whereof we beseech you
to have no doubt, whatever may be represented to you to the
contrary, if your Majesty will assist us, either by promptly
appointing a new governor, or by letters announcing your good
will and intention, and meanwhile authorising a Council of State
to govern ; as is necessary to keep the people in their obedience,
and all the more if Don John leaves us. Beseeching your Majesty
that this new discontent may not be imputed to us, who only
desire to remain in our ancient religion and in obedience to you,
as to the Emperor your father ; but rather attributed to some
unlucky evil star come unexpectedly to our great regret ; and
praying the Creator that he will of His clemency find a remedy
for it, and inspire your Majesty with what is meet for the salvation
and repose of your poor and almost ruined subjects in these
parts.—Brussels, 8 September 1577.
Copy in Davison's hand. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fland. II. 81.]
K. d. L. ix.
199. DAVISON to WALSINGHAM.
As the Marquis of Havrech is at present with the Prince at
Gertruydenberg and I do not know what haste he will make,
I thought well to advertise you by this post how things proceed.
On Friday last the States sent their final resolution to Don John
by M. de Grobbendonck, which was in sum that he should deliver
Namur and the other places into their hands, and go to Luxembourg ;
otherwise they will denounce open war. They have also
written privately to such of these parts as are with him that
they should abandon him upon pain of the confiscation of lands
and goods. So I see not what is to be looked for but war. On
Friday night he sent the Duke of Cleves' commissioners to propound
some new articles, whose way he had prepared with a
letter which he said he had received from Spain, but indeed
came out of his closet, where he lacks not "blanks," and can
make the King write what he list. But they were sent back
without audience. This he did to hinder the coming of the
Prince, as the thing he most fears ; which the States have now
concluded on, and sent the Count of Egmont, M. de Hèze, M. de
Hautkerke, M. de Champagny, the Abbot of St. Gertrude,
Longolius, and M. de Liesfelt, to entreat him to come, intending
to make him President of their Council of State ; a resolution
not more necessary than comfortable to a number of good patriots.
The camp still lies about Gemblours, three miles this side
Namur, where certain regiments under Mario Corduña and others
that sometime served under Mondragon, and lately revolted from
Don John to the States, began a little mutiny, which has put
them to some trouble, and they are trying to appease it.
There is a report here that the "Scuriale," a monastery near
Madrid, which the King of Spain hath bestowed so much time
and treasure in building, has been burnt to the ground in a
tempest of thunder and lightning ; whereof I have seen advices,
together with some stir that is to be begun there for religion.
Yesterday I heard from Antwerp that there is talk among the
foreign merchants that the "Mores" are revolted, and have taken
a town upon the Mediterranean Sea called Porto ; and there is
some appearance that they will call in the Turk to their aid.
But that which is of most importance if true is the news of the
King of Spain's death, which was reported by a person of note
in the French Court to M. de Mondoucet, the late ambassador
here. The letter intercepted among others came to the hands of
M. de Liesfelt, who told me of it. The talk of peace in France
and the coming down of the Duke of Guise is constant here ;
whereof you will hear more from Whitechurch, who attends on
the marquis.—Brussels, 8 September 1577.
Draft. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fland. II. 82.]
200. INSTRUCTIONS to ROBERT BOWES, Treasurer of Barwick.
Finding it very necessary to have you near the fire which
we perceive by your late advertisement is now on kindling in
Scotland, that you may be the better able to suppress the flame
that is like to break forth to the peril of both nations, we have
thought it meet that you repair into Scotland to the Regent ;
having a very apt occasion ministered to us for the avoiding of
suspicion by a letter we not long since received from Duke
Casimir, of which we have bidden our secretaries send you a
copy, that you may shew it to the Regent. And as we learn
that this should be laid before him as the principal cause of our
sending you thither, you shall tell him that having received
notice from the said Duke of an assembly intended at Magdeburg
by the deputies of the princes of the Augustan confession with
intention to condemn all that have not subscribed that confession,
and being advised by him to send some persons to the assembly to
dissuade that intention, we thought it most necessary by all
means to hinder the said assembly, and thereupon dispatched a
servant of ours to the chief princes of that confession in Germany
to dissuade the said meeting, advising them rather to think of
some good way of associating for the withstanding of mischievous
plots by the common enemies of the Gospel. If our purpose does
not take place, we mean by the advice of the said Duke to send
over certain persons to impeach the intended condemnation,
wherein if he shall like to join us (a matter greatly desired by
Casimir) we shall be right glad.
Further, you shall tell him that wherein we perceive by his
letters that the subjects of that realm complain of the spoils
they have sustained at the hands of our subjects, we greatly
grieved thereat. Yet if he shall consider what they be that
commit the said outrages, being pirates or such as spare not
their own countrymen, and the case we have taken for the apprehension
of them, as also the appointment of Commissioners for
the searching out of their abettors and comforters, we trust that
both he and the grieved subjects of that realm shall find no lack
of disposition in us to do anything that may be to their contentment.
As to his request, made not long since upon occasion of laying
certain horsemen and footmen in the West Marches for the suppression
of the outlaws, for some support towards the bearing
of the charges likely to grow thereby, you shall tell him that
in case we should upon any occasion grant such support, it might
be drawn to a precedent to demand the same another time. Yet
finding him so constantly affected towards us, and so apt an
instrument to maintain the amity between the two crowns, we
have willed you to assure him in token of gratuities that he shall
receive from us yearly a pension of
We think you should deal with the Regent in these points,
as most fit to colour your repair thither but touching the principal
causes we send you for, our meaning is, considering the fast
friendship we have found in the Regent toward us, and the lack
we see in that realm of any other to supply his place, that you
shall endeavour yourself to break the purpose of such as seek
the overthrow of his government. Yet if you see the parties
who oppose him drawn to a mislike by any just cause of grief,
and if you perceive that their knowledge of our resolution to
maintain his authority may force them to some desperate determination
by giving ear to France, you shall offer on our behalf
that we will take upon us by way of mediation to remove their
griefs and to bring about good agreement, wherein if we find the
Regent intractable, he shall thereby give us cause to be inclined
to favour him.
But if you see them carried away with a disposition to have
recourse to violent remedies to the peril of the religion and the
hope of that country, you shall let them plainly understand that
we mean to take part in assistance of the Regent and to employ
all our forces against such as oppose him. But this intention
we would not have you signify so long as you see any hope of
accord by mediation. And as we perceive by you that Argyle
among others is greatly grieved, we would have you let him
know by such means as you think fit, how glad we should be
to work some reconciliation between him and the Regent, and
make the like offer to others in the same predicament, and we
think it well that either in our name or your own as may seem
best, you would move the Regent to remove such causes of grief
as he may.
As to the parties who are to be rewarded, according to your
promise made in our name, we would have you take especial
care that they do not abuse us. It would be a great scorn, and
touch us in honour, if by our pay they should be the better enabled
to serve France's turn. You should also feel them whether
they may be won to join the Regent, and bring others of the
better sort who are now alienated, to some good reconciliation.
For unless they can be drawn to like the Regent's government,
we can have no great hope of assurance of their sound devotion to
us. Yet if you shall see fit cause to think that by the benefit
they shall receive at our hands they may be stayed from France,
however they are affected to the Regent, we cannot but think it
well employed ; and therefore refer it to your good discretion.
on which we have good cause to rely. Therefore finding it hard
for us here to resolve what is fit to be done, especially if things
break out to violence, our meaning is not so to tie you by these
instructions, but that according to your own discretion you may
take the course that shall seem to you best. If by the mediation
of the parties you are to employ in the way of the intended
attempt against the Regent you see no likelihood of stopping it,
we think you should both advertise the Regent of it, and do
what you may to breed some division among the confederates.
Lastly we would have you inform us what persons you think
deserving of pensions, and with what sums they may fittingly
Copy. 2¾ pp. [For. E.B. Misc. II.]
201. LETTER OF CREDENCE FOR ROBERT BOWES.
Having heard from Duke Casimir that it is intended next
month to hold a meeting at Magdeburg of Deputies from the
princes of the Augustan confession, to condemn those who have
not signed that confession, a matter dangerous at the present
time, we purpose not only to send some fit persons to dissuade
this intention, but also to persuade you to do the like. We
have sent the Treasurer of Berwick to let you know how we have
proceeded for the stay of the determination, and what we think
further to be done ; also divers other things we think meet to be
communicated to you.
Copy. ⅓ p. [Ibid. II.]
202. ROBERT BEALE TO WALSINGHAM.
As I advertised you from Bruges, I sent Hieremias and Brown
to Flushing in the company of M. St Aldegonde to hearken after
the companions that spoiled me ; who happening upon the boy
of the ship, have caused the captain and some others to be apprehended.
The captain is a Frenchman sailing under the commission
of the Prince of Condé, which he says he had from one
M. Bordelle, remaining in the Isle of Wight. Some of the
apparel has been recovered, but some part thereof mangled and
altered that it could not be well known. Of all our money there
is not above 18 angels found, some excusing it to be lost in play
and others that the rest which are not yet caught are possessed
of the greatest part. Besides, the officers' fears for the pursuit
and apprehension of them are so great that nothing as yet is
come to my hands. The governor has taken great pains, as I am
informed, to find them out, having, it is said, some private
quarrel with the French, and hath promised all that may be.
I have written a letter of thanks to him, and also to the Prince
himself for justice and restitution if it may be, and have
appointed one Thomas Cartwright, a factor for the Merchant
Adventurers, to follow the cause ; who dwells in Middelburg.
Howbeit I look for little good, no more than was in the matter of
my Lord of Oxford ; for the three ships and parties being known
that misused him, during Sir William Winter's and my abode
there, one Cantillon was imprisoned, and after without any other
form released, so as he is now far, is reported again upon the
seas to do the like. By this enclosed letter from the said Cartwright,
you shall understand their preparation, and what account
such disordered persons make of her Majesty's subjects, especially
now in the absence of the Prince, who is at St. Gertrudensberg,
I shall beseech you to deal earnestly with M. Famar, that upon
receipt of his letters they may have more care to proceed therein
as appertaineth. The Governor offers the barque, which is not
counted worth more than £20. And if more cannot be had, I may
say with Captain Cocberne that I have burnt one candle to seek
another. Howbeit if they be well examined I doubt not but
that a good quantity will be had. And besides some of them are
thought to be of wealth to restore it, if they were found ; but
by help and collusion they are hid and escaped to avoid the first
bruit, and think to do well afterwards.
To-morrow I depart toward Colen. I hear the way is sure,
and besides I have received a passport of the Estates from Mr.
Davison, to whom I wrote from Bruges. The Burgomaster has
been here and presented me with wine, protesting very humbly
their great goodwill towards her Majesty, to whom the Estates
were so much beholding. He told me also that the Marquis de
Havrech was by them dispatched to the Prince at St.
Gertrudensberg, and so appointed to repair unto her Majesty
in England. Yesternight also arrived here the Count of
Egmont, M. de Hèze and others, who as it is said go also to the
Prince ; but I cannot hear for what cause. The people are very
much affected towards him ; but the heads of the States, partly
for religion, and partly of jealousy that he would be too great,
mean but to use him to serve their present turn.
There has been a foolish bruit here that the King has written
to Don John to make peace as the States will ; but however it be,
they keep great watch and ward, and with all the earnestness
they can pluck down the fortifications of the castle towards the
town, as you shall perceive by the papers sent herewith. They
are doing the same by command of the Estates at Brussels,
Ghent, Utrecht and other places. They have found here a great
store of ammunition and cattle ; 1,800 or 2,000 barrels of powder,
and other furniture, which is thought should have served for a
staple to Don John, if he had not been disappointed of his purpose
here.—Antwerp, 8 Sept. 1577.
P.S. This morning the news is come to the Burgomaster that
Don John has again signified to the Estates the King's pleasure
to have peace, and the government established according to their
desire. It is also said that Count Lalaing came to Brussels on
Friday night from the camp near Namur, and reports that there
is great presumption upon these offers of Don John that the
King of Spain should be dead. I pray God it be not a device
to make them careless, to forslowe their necessary preparations
Add. Endd. : From my brother Beale at Antwerp. 4 pp.
[Germ. States I. 17.]
K. d. L. IX.
203. DAVISON to BURGHLEY.
What is expected of the proceedings here you may guess by what
is past. The sickness of this State is such as in the opinion of the
wisest cannot be cured by more gentle medicine than a war. If
Don John had not wanted money, he had ere this been furnished
with 7 or 8,000 horse out of Germany, provided by the Duke of
Brunswick and others. The preparation of the Duke of Guise to
assist him is constantly affirmed.
The States on Friday last sent M. de Grobbenduc with their
final resolution to his Highness, upon whose return we shall see
what train these matters will take. In the meanwhile their camp
was marched toward Namur, partly with the intent to have surprised
him there, and partly to prevent the joining of his forces.
But a mutiny happened among them at Gemblours, the mutineers
being such as lately revolted from Don John to the States under
'Maria Corduinna' and other companies that served under M. de
Meghem and Mondragon. However, Count Lalaing is come hither
to make means to content them. These beginnings are ill-favoured
presages of unhappy proceedings.
The States, some of zeal, some of policy, and others of necessity,
have sent to call the Prince ; and now they have dispatched the
Marquis of Havrech to her Majesty. This truce will force us to
have an eye to the field and a foot in the air, as the proverb says.
I wish things in that state, both abroad and at home, as we might
be free from the perils thereof, which I despair of as long as the
tree on which our perils grow is standing.
Here is my Lord Seton at Liége, accompanied by one David
Clark, an advocate and pensioner of the S[cots] Q[ueen]. You are
acquainted with these humours, and can see presumption enough
to suspect some pad in the straw. They may from Liége go to
Huy, and so to Namur, and treat what they list without any great
note—Brussels, 9 Sept. 1577.
Draft. 1 p. [Holl. and Fland. II. 83]
K. d. L. IX.
204. DAVISON to WALSINGHAM.
Yesternight I received yours of the 3rd by my man, and last
Wednesday another of the 24th ult., sent by Mr. Beale. By the
latter I perceive you had received but three packets from me,
though this be the 7th I have dispatched since my coming. I learn
from my man that the weather has stayed some of them at Dunkirk
these seven or eight days.
The mutiny I mentioned in my yesterday's letter half amazes
them here. The accident is of no little prejudice to them, and
advantage to the enemy.
The news of the King of Spain's death is by some wise men here
thought likely. The suspicion of it is increased by the coming of
a couple disguised and unknown this last week into the castle of
Namur, which some judge were the Spanish ambassador, upon
whose coming there was observed some special alteration in Don
The practice here for Fr[ance] is still brewing underhand, but
the jealousies of this time are too great to do any great good,
besides that I spare no endeavour to break the neck thereof.
—Brussels, 9 Sept. 1577.
P.S.—I find M. Fremin worthy of the commendation you give
him. Swevingham is a man that hath deceived her Majesty,' for
in the whole country there is not a man more suspected.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. II. 84.]
205. Draft of the above letter. ½ p. [Ibid. II. 85.]
K. d. L. IX.
206. DAVISON to LEICESTER.
The mutiny among the Estates' men is a matter much suspected.
They require seven months' pay in hand before they proceed any
further ; for the compassing of which Count Lalaing is come
hither, and hopes to return in three or four days. Meanwhile their
purpose is hindered, if not prevented. The news of the peace in
France and bending of the Duke of Guise hither holds constant.
The suspicion of the King of Spain's death is thought very likely.
Lord Seton is at Liége with David Clark. We hope the Prince
will be in Antwerp if not here within four or five days, without
whom I see nothing but confusion. If your Lordship will now
push at the wheel, you have the time and the means to do great
good.—Brussels, 9 Sept. 1577.
P.S.—I thank you for your letter and good news yesterday
Draft. 1 p. [Ibid. II. 86.]
K. d. L. IX.
207. DAVISON to HATTON.
Here is no hope to help this diseased body but with a war, a
medicine as perilous as it is violent. We shall see upon the return
of M. de Grobbendonck, sent to his Highness with the States' final
resolution, what train matters will take. All depends upon his
yielding or refusing promptly to deliver up such strongholds as he
occupies into their hands.—Brussels, 9 Sept. 1577.
Draft. ½ p. [Ibid. II. 87.]
208. THE ESTATES to M. DE GROBBENDONCK.
Yours of the 8th received. We are glad to hear his Highness'
good intentions, and on our side desire nothing more than the
tranquillity of the country, of which we shall conceive a sure hope
if conformable effects follow your letters. To tell you the truth,
we do not find it advisable to enter into any further communications,
unless his Highness will first put into our hands Namur and
the other fortresses which he holds, and order the Germans to leave
the towns occupied by them. For how could we communicate with
any security, having, in a manner of speaking, irons on our feet?
If his Highness, agreeably to the command which he says he has
from the King, only asks for peace, why does he delay to restore
what he has taken from us? You may be sure that if he does this,
we shall give him such security as will content him. You know
with what sincerity and good faith we proceed.
We pray you therefore to do your best that you may be able to
bring us a good and faithful decision, agreeably to your letters,
assuring you again that we on our side will do everything in reason
for the security of his person and in regard to his government in
the interim, and hoping that you will speedily return.
Pray do not fail to bring an authentic copy of the King's letter
touching his Highness's departure from this country.—Brussels,
9 Sept. 1577.
Copy. Endd : in Fr. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. II. 88.]
209. THOMAS RANDOLPH to DAVISON.
All your friends are well. I hear nothing from the Court worth
the writing. God bless you and your 'craventes.' If Captain
Gainsworth be near you, pray let him know from me "this now" I
desire to hear how he is employed.—11 Sept. 1577.
Add. ½ p. [Ibid. II. 89.]
210. M. DE GROBBENDONCK to the ESTATES.
In answer to yours, I must tell you that his Highness still keeps
his bed, having this day been let blood, and feeling very poorly, as
he looks. Notwithstanding the negotiations go on, and this afternoon
matters are so forward that I hope everything may be completed
to-morrow, and that on the following day, the 12th, I may
be at Brussels with such a dispatch as will satisfy you ; in firm
confidence that you will also satisfy his Highness according to
the content of your letter, and will fail in no point touching the
Catholic Religion, as I have assured him in negotiating, perceiving
that the contrary impression must have been given him.
So, gentlemen, I hope that we shall this time avoid the calamity
of war. Pray allow acts of hostility to stop while negotiations are
on foot. We have such reports of them every day that I have been
much hindered by having to make excuses here and excuses there ;
and these reports have certainly not helped on my negotiation.
A prince, too, and those about him might be so irritated that
passion and desperation might throw us into a rupture and irreparable
damage.—Namur, 10 Sept. 1577.
Copy. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fland. II. 90.]