224. POULET to the QUEEN.
The treaty of peace between the French king and his subjects
has been as diversely reported as the humours of this Court have
been diverse. A messenger having arrived this morning from
M. de Biron, the king sent M. Pinart to me to advertise me of
the full resolution of the peace ; saying that as the king was
sure that no prince would be more glad than your Majesty to
hear it, so he would inform me of it before any other
ambassador. After he was gone, M. Gondy came and said that
though the king had already sent to me, yet having occasion
to send him to the other ambassadors, both he and Queen Mother
had commanded him to come to me and bid me rejoice with him.
The particular conditions should be imparted shortly. I said
that as the king had done me the favour to be one of the first
whom he would acquaint with these glad tidings, so I would
not be the last to ask audience to congratulate him. I shall doubtless
have audience very shortly, yet considering that the speedy
advertisement of this peace may be of importance, I thought
right to dispatch this messenger.—Poitiers, 16 December [sic].
Add. Endd. p. 1. [France I. 28.]
225. POULET to BURGHLEY.
Apologises for not writing more. Have written in haste upon
advertisement received this day at 11 o'clock in the morning of
the conclusion of the peace. God grant it be made with that
sincerity that becomes the word or oath of the anointed king.
After my audience I will write more at length.—Poitiers, 16
Add. Endd. ½ p. [France I. 29.]
226. ADVERTISEMENTS from BRUSSELS.
Sept. 9.—The country is in greater trouble than ever ; on all sides
they are preparing to fight each other, and the most clear-sighted
persuade themselves that the proceedings of the Kings of Spain
and France are alike in regard to their subjects, against whom they
are waging war, because when their designs are discovered, or they
fail to do what they wish, they turn the sow to the hay, as the saying
is, making as though their wish had always been to maintain their
edicts and pacifications, so as not to drive their subjects to despair
and make them resolve to form cantons for ever rather than expose
themselves and all that they have to the mercy of their enemies.
The Swiss did this, and have ever since been respected and feared
by the greatest in Europe. Or else they have recourse to their
edicts, &c., to catch their so-called rebels by other means, new
practices, promises, threats, and other methods more proper in time
of peace. Thus Don John having granted us peace, to yield to the
urgency of the time, making a show of remorse for the act of
brigandage done throughout the country, and notably at Antwerp,
and seeing that we had force enough to be avenged of their
tyranny, and that almost every province was inflamed against
the Spaniards, he granted us the pacification, dissembling his intention,
entered Brussels as Governor, and adapting himself to all
sorts of men, until the events of Antwerp and Namur. Then seeing
that he was discovered and anticipated, he pretended that he had
certain information of attempts on his life, and that for this
reason he had fortified himself in Namur. He makes secret levies
and preparations, and has intelligence they say with the King of
France and Duke of Lorraine for this war, of which M. de Guise
has entire charge. The said M. de Guise has long been mad about
this at Paris ; he has approached Metz, and the Queen of Navarre
did not go to Spa without coming to an important understanding,
as formerly the interview between the late King Charles of France
and Madame Isabel, his sister, at Bayonne, served as a veil to cover
the league made between the Catholic Princes. On the other side,
the Estates being comforted by the Prince of Orange, who never
fails them in counsel or help, hope much from the goodness of the
Queen of England. The citadels of Antwerp and Ghent are being
demolished. The Prince holds that of Utrecht, and has entered
the town as Governor of Holland. We continue to get rid of the
German infantry, who, to tell the truth, have more appetite for
drawing pay than for fighting.
Sept. 10.—What has happened at Antwerp is almost miraculous.
It is as though God had preserved the country, beginning there,
from the last state of total ruin ; and above all the poor town at
which others were looking, making ready to incur the same fate.
Don John seeing himself found out in wishing to advance by the
back way, and pretending that his death had been plotted, as if
the sheep had troubled the water, last month sent through his agents
letters to the Estates which I have not yet been able to obtain. The
answer was :
[Here follows a copy of the letter of the Estates to Don John, of
Aug. 15 (No. 110).]
Sept. 12.—I wrote two days ago touching the state of affairs in
these parts, but there was a letter of Don John's, which I was not
then able to send. Now I have it in my possession, and send
a copy. It is very bitter against the Prince of Orange, to the point
of laying the blame of all the troubles on him, and those who take
his part, whether in religious or state matters. So that if he gain
this point, war will be decreed, not by the sole will of the Spaniards
or of the Governors of the country, but by order of the Estates ; as
the late war which arose in France was, as we have heard, declared
by the three Estates assembled at Blois. This then is the letter of
Don John to the Estates, prelates, nobles, towns, and all persons in
the Low Countries :
We hear, greatly to our regret, the false reports that certain
malicious spirits, disturbers of the public peace, have spread
to the effect that we wish to recommence the war, and are recalling
the Spanish troops. It was not enough for them, both
before and since our coming, to have done the ill offices
which every one knows, even to the point to making attempts
upon our person, but they must try to rekindle the flames of
sedition. And although we have done our best, and have
written and sent word by our deputies to the Estates assembled
at Brussels, saying that we abhorred nothing so much as war
between his Majesty's subjects, and wished only for the maintenance
of religion, due obedience to the King, the fulfilment
of the pacification ; yet from what we hear this has never come
to your knowledge, but the truth has been hidden from you,
because the messengers which we sent in all directions to give
notice of our sincerity have been stopped, ransacked, and detained,
and the letters opened and suppressed. With great
difficulty we have obtained a single answer to the all ten
letters written by us to the governors, counsellors, magistrates,
and good towns of these parts, these having been similarly
intercepted by the devices of the malcontents. Thus the subjects
cannot learn the intention of the Sovereign or of his
Lieutenant-General, nor they of the subjects. For which
cause we make another attempt, at the risk of a fresh ransacking,
to send you these presents, telling you that we are awaiting
the resolution of the aforesaid Estates on the matters whereof
we are in treaty with them. We have declared to them our
satisfaction at hearing their goodwill on the two points which
are the foundation of all well-established states, and how we
have yet more willingly heard how they promise to effect
these points by all good means, without distrust or concealed
thought, agreeably to the confidence we have always felt in the
generality of the subjects in these parts. But as we clearly
saw the machinations which certain ill-disposed people had
set on foot against our person, and the credit which the Prince
of Orange and his Ministers had with some of the Estates,
and that their false declarations and calumnies were so easily
believed, rather than our honest actions, we are wiling to confess
that we were moved to put our person in a place of safety.
This we cannot think that the Estates can take amiss, but
rather approve our prudence. When we see them we will
explain all details more fully. Meantime we have again told
them that we want nothing but to see the pacification carried
into effect, and that the King does not want to employ force
against his subjects, so that he may not have to seek out those
whom he has withdrawn from these countries for the sake of
their peace and quietness ; nor do we intend to make innovations
with regard to any of your privileges, save only to enforce
the rebels and compel them to fulfil what they have solemnly
sworn, namely the maintenance of the Catholic religion and
the obedience due to his Majesty, which being accomplished
they will be restored, and then reformed we shall govern as in
the time of our lord and father, the Emperor Charles of
glorious memory. But we see that some malcontents, who
have too much credit with the Estates, some ill-affected to the
Catholic religion, others being hampered by their civil consciences,
others again hoping to profit by war, wish by all
means to throw you into civil war, without knowing what the
country is to gain by it, except calamity and lasting ruin. We
are astonished that a small number of evil and ill-counselled
minds should have acquired such authority as to draw so many
excellent people of all classes after them, even Catholics, and
to make them take arms against their religion and their
natural Prince, against their country, themselves, their own
blood and bowels. If people will only consider for themselves,
this war that they want you to undertake (for we shall remain
on the defensive unless forced) it must be against the Catholic
religion, or against the Sovereign, or ourselves, and with the
view of making a change in one or all of these. If it be the
first, what has become of the Estates' promise to make the
change in religion? Moreover in this case you will be fighting
against God and his laws, against the traditions of our Holy
Church, in which you were born, baptised, instructed, and
nurtured, against your own salvation, and in favour of sectaries,
your sworn enemies, who have always sought to procure
your ruin. And if you were to be of their opinion
and had lost the true religion (which we shall never believe)
hold it for certain that his Majesty will use all the means
which God has given him to hinder you, and to keep you in
the Catholic religion whereof he calls himself protector and
defender. But if, which again we do not believe you wish
to charge your natural Sovereign, first consider if laws human
and Divine allow it, what just causes you have, what his
Majesty has done to harm you or the country. You will see
if anyone will think better of you for leaving your natural
lord, and what good it will do you. It cannot be believed
that his Majesty will allow it, and it could be attempted without
drawing upon you the infamy of rebellion, the crime of
lèse Majesté. If, again, you are acting against us, you must
say for what causes, wherein we have contravened the agreement,
and if we have not fulfilled all our promises, namely,
sent away the Spaniards, given back the fortresses into native
hands, restored the privileges ; in short, if we have not used
the utmost patience to the point of enduring indecencies and
indignities from certain individuals, having no means of calling
them to account by way of justice. If anyone will give the
details of any contravention, we are ready to answer in detail ;
nevertheless if all the good we have done the country, alike
by what we did in Spain before coming here, and by the treaties
since made by us and executed at all points, do not content
them, and they think that another will be of more benefit,
God knows that there is no need to go to war on our account.
For as we have told the Estates, and now tell you, if our person
is not agreeable to them, and they wish for another prince of
the blood to govern them, and will let us now, we are ready at
once to beg leave of his Majesty to return to Spain or Italy,
and let another governor-general be sent in our place. Meanwhile
we have proposed that all warlike operations should cease,
and that all troops on either side should be disbanded, an offer
which cannot be refused save by such as will have no reason,
agreement, or peace. Thus anyone can see that there is no
need for war, and we assure you again we have never had any
intention of making it, as the enemies of your peace have
untruly reported, or of bringing back the Spaniards. As for
certain letters which they say we wrote to the King, we should
be very glad that everyone should know the truth about them ;
and if need were, we could give such satisfaction that everyone
should be content. You may be sure, that if we had been so
minded, no one would have compelled us to make the Spaniards
withdraw. Be assured that we desire nothing but the peace
of the country and the continuance of the government in the
ancient way. Wherefore we pray and beseech all men, not to
let themselves be deceived by the calumnies of the adversary,
but to conduct themselves agreeably to this footing, and not
to force his Majesty to do anything that will not be for the
good of all. Consider if anything is so calamitous as a civil
war. Think of the sack of churches, the destruction of towns,
the slaughter of men, the violation of women, of the cessation
of business, of famine and pestilence, and above all, of the
wrath of God ; all which things are incidents of war, but can
easily be avoided by an understanding. This if you will do,
you will know that those who advise war are your most cruel
enemies, who desire only to ruin your religion and you, and
hold that their own safety depends upon seeing you again at
war against his Majesty. We protest before God and men
that if we are compelled to take arms (which may God in His
mercy forbid) the blame will not be with his Majesty nor with
us, but with those who have constrained us to guard the country
committed to us, and have made it necessary for his Majesty
to use the sword given him by God for the defence of religion
and the punishment of evildoers, and to make himself obeyed
by his subjects. We call upon all, whether communities or
individuals, who wish to remain good vassals, to come to us,
whether themselves or by deputy, where the sincerity of our
intentions [may be known] more in detail. We think to use
all confidence with them, and to avail ourselves of their good
advice ; and we hope to make them feel how acceptable their
coming will be to us, by honouring them according to their
We desire that this letter be read everywhere, as a testimony
of our goodwill, and to show that we have in no way changed
from our first position of kindness and benevolence, which we
desire ever to increase, as regards all good subjects of his
Majesty, under which head we count the generality of the
country ; being only vexed that through the malice of some
men of evil spirit this fair country should be in danger of being
so miserably undone, which God forbid. You see then, dear
friends, who is the cause of war, and who it is that seeks peace
As to the articles, they are mostly against the Prince of
Orange, in order to separate him from the Estates, so that when
they are disunited he may the better get done with them one
after the other. A similar representation has been sent to
Luxembourg by the hand of M. de Gomiecourt, of which I send the
minute as follows :—
Brussels, Sept. 12, 1577.—His Highness Don John of
Austria has sent a letter to the Estates General, dated
the 6th [sic] of this month. This is the summary of
[Here follows a summary of the letter of Sept. 5, No. 193.]
To this the Estates have replied :—
[Here follows a summary of the letter of Sept. 6, No. 194.]
We are informed that Don John is scheming everywhere,
especially in Germany, Italy, and Burgundy. Count Lalaing
and several others have some troops four leagues from Namur.
It has been by some asserted that a prodigious thing has
happened in Spain. At midnight on July 20, after a great storm
the lightning should have struck the tower of the monastery of
'St. Laurens real,' where the King was at the time. It melted
the bells and burnt the sacristy with all the ornaments therein,
without any external damage showing.
The Prince of Orange keeps the Estates informed of the
enemy's designs, and sends them all necessary instructions
touching his forces and movements, his military and other stores,
and all similar matters.
Sept. 18.—People's minds here are diversly agitated. The
most part have a great fear of Don John, who although he has
been held of small account, and as it were driven into a little
corner, and even besieged, would, it is feared, not stay there so
persistently unless he had a good assurance of the French,
through the management of M. de Guise, who keeps going about
the frontier of his government, hunting up to within two leagues
of Sedan and other places near the Low Countries, in such wise
that it is presumed he has conferred secretly by night with Don
John, a thing which seems to me difficult. In any case, no one
can discover their designs, which nevertheless tend only to the
total overthrow of the Low Countries. We are assured that
peace will be to our ruin. I cannot think how it can be made.
We are expecting the Prince of Orange immediately ; he is to
make his entry into Antwerp. God preserve us from the hands
of our enemies.
Fr. 12 pp. [Holl. and Fland. II. 93.]
227. M. DE GROBBENDONCK to the ESTATES.
I have received here his Highness's letters ordering the departure
of the Germans from Bois-le-Duc and Breda ; and I
send them on to you to use as you think proper. I wish, however,
to point out to you that his Highness in sending them bids
me see that they are not used until an agreement has been come
to. Which causes me to represent it in turn to your Lordships,
entirely trusting that the agreement will not fail, seeing that
we are so near, and because the only difficulty I see is that
touching the lords and gentlemen who have followed his Highness,
as contained in the 10th article of the resolution. It seems
to me that if you decide in case of need to go rather further than
the instructions given to your deputies, you may freely avail
yourselves of the letters to make a good peace, and to leave no
seed or root of new troubles. Many things must be allowed and
done, to which I pray you to have regard, and announce your
good intention at Namur as soon as possible. I must also not
omit to represent to your Lordships that his Highness expects
that before the Germans leave the towns, you will take order
there as set forth in the 12th article, wherein I feel sure that
you will not fail.
I make no doubt that you have heard of the disorder that has
occurred in our camp through the people of M. de Mobey, whereby
his Highness was displeased and apologised to M. de Goingnies.
I enclose a copy of his letter, which he sent to me.—Velliers,
17 Sept. 1577. (Signed), Gaspar Schetz.
Copy. Endd. in French. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. II. 102.]
228. Another copy of the same.
Endd. in French by Davison. 1 p. [Ibid. II. 103.]
229. [WALSINGHAM] to SIR AMYAS POULET.
Her Majesty has perused the conditions of peace sent by you,
and though she finds them very large and containing an outward
show of surety, yet when she calls to mind what has happened after
like accord between the King and his subjects made with large
conditions she has small hope that these will be better observed ;
and, therefore, would have wished that they had insisted on one
article, which she is informed was propounded by the King of
Navarre, and which was to have been (had the King yielded) that
his Majesty and the rest of the Protestant princes might have taken
upon themselves to have promise of the due observance of the peace,
with the condition that it might be lawful to them, the King
violating the same, to assist his subjects so long as they only stood
to the maintenance of it, and did not wish to withdraw from his
obedience. Without some such bridle her Majesty does not see
that any better observation of this peace can follow than of former ;
and, therefore, if it be not already concluded, she would have you
comfort them to stand somewhat earnestly upon this point, yet not
with such 'pertinance' as to grow to an absolute breach of the
treaty ; because her Majesty desires nothing more than good quiet in
that realm, and she understands that there are certain towns in Languedoc
hardly besieged, and without a peace not to be relieved. She
is greatly offended with the King of Navarre for that he has proceeded
so far in the treaty of peace without her privity ; as also
that he 'bare her in hand' that he had sent 80,000 crowns into
Germany for levying Reiters, which falls out clean contrary, his
deputies having never a penny there. She has caused Du Plessis
to charge the King of Navarre with these evil dealings in the
inclosed, which I send you. Her pleasure is unless you can find
some sure way for its conveyance, to see them conveyed by divers
messengers, so that if one miscarry some may come to his hands.
Her further pleasure is that you yourself should not deal with the
messengers, but use therein some trusty man of yours, whereby,
in case they be intercepted, you may deny the delivery. She wishes
him to impart two other points to the King ; one, in case peace
be not concluded, to stand upon the article to have the promise
of foreign princes for security. The other, if peace be concluded,
to take order among themselves to have a mass of money to deposit
in Germany for the levying of Reiters, in case there follow any new
breach. By letters from Duke Casimir her Majesty is put in hope
that by the end of next month he will be ready to march, if he shall
find the Reitmasters as forward this fair as they were the last. He
certifies also he has good hopes of the league.
Copy. ¾ p. [For. E.B. Misc. II.]
230. KING OF NAVARRE to POULET.
I informed the Queen recently through you of the progress of
the negotiations for peace. Now that it is concluded, as yesterday,
I wish to give her prompt information by the same channel.
In a few days I am sending a gentleman to give her a full account
of all that has taken place. Meantime, I beg to forward the
present dispatch with all possible speed.—Bergerac, 18 Sept.
Add. Endd. by L. Tomson : Coppie of K. of Navarre's letter
to the ambassador resident in France. Fr. ½ p. [France I. 30.]
K. d. L. ix.
231. DAVISON to BURGHLEY.
The irresolution of these men is such that I cannot see what may
be assured of them. They have sent commissions again to his
Highness, to his profit and their own prejudice. The authors of
these communications are such as seek by all means possible to
overthrow the growing credit of the Prince ; but the good
patriots are of another opinion. He is arrived in this town, and
within 2 or 3 days will, as I understand, go to Brussels. Without
him, all is like to go to havoc. Don John has tried all his friends
among them to hinder his coming in, but the people generally
will not be satisfied without him. And he is like to bring things
in to good terms, as I hope there will be less peril for them and
for their neighbours. What part we should have in the peril
of this country is a matter clear enough ; yet without the Prince
be the man chiefly respected, I see not how her Majesty might be
made sure of them or reap the profit of her favour ; but in him
and through him both may be accomplished. This is a time to
cherish such a neighbour, for on all sides we cannot lack our
hands full if the intelligence and plots of our enemies be not
wisely met. They see that they spin an endless thread in seeking
to bring their tyranny to pass at home, and therefore will doubtless
cast the cat betwixt our legs if they can. All the world may
judge upon what foundation their plots against us are laid,
whence groweth the boldness and courage of our foreign and
home enemies, and what medicine might help all, which I could
wish were not now to be applied. The peace concluded as we
hear in France will occupy all our senses, and drive us of
necessity to apprehend the good means that are offered us. Here
is a muttering of some great practice in hand for Scotland.
—Antwerp, 19 Sept. 1577.
P.S. For particulars of what happened here since my last,
your Lordship may see by the enclosed.
K. d. L. IX.
[Overleaf.] The Estates have returned M. de Grobbendonck
with the Bishop of Bruges and M. de Willerval (who was
appointed to the journey into France with M. d'Aubigny) with a
moderation of the last articles from his Highness, who they are
made believe by Grobbendonck will conform himself to a peace ;
but the stopping of the Prince's coming to Brussels is the scope
that his treaty chiefly tends to.
His Excellency arrived last night with as great joy and comfort
of all good men as he departed hence with their sorrow and grief.
It is thought he will go forward to Brussels within 2 or 3 days,
if his conclusion between the States and Don John be not let,
and after he has tarried there a while will return hither, which is
the fittest place for his continuance.
The town of Bois-le-Duc is this day rendered up into the hands
of the States. M. de Champagney going thither from Gertruy-denberg
has wrought this feat. The Dutches have concluded for
8 months' pay, 2 months' to be defrayed at once by the town, and
the rest when they are out of the country by the States. Breda
is thought to be in so hard terms that it cannot be long ere they
do the like.
The Almaynes that came towards Maestricht with M. de
Meghem, failing of their enterprise upon that town, returned toward
Liège, and demanding passage that way to Bois-le-Duc,
which was refused them, they attempted to go along the Mose, but
stopped by those of Huy they were forced to retire into Luxembourg.
Gaspar Rodriguez, Louis Perez, Francisco Ruys Vergara,
Malvenda Mangicavalli, Antonio Spinola, and Juan de Lamarena,
merchants of this town, had on Tuesday their counting-houses
sealed up by order of the States, who by letters intercepted have
discovered their intelligence with Don John, to whom upon bills
of exchange they are said to have disbursed a good sum of money.
It is thought they will pay dearly for it.
On Monday night there was an alarm given to the States' camp
at Gemblours by the enemy, but Schetz has excused the matter
as done without the privity of his Highness. The Duke of Guise
lies still upon the frontier ready.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fland II. 104.]
232. Draft of first part of the above. 1 p. [Ibid. II. 105.]
K. d. L. IX.
233. DAVISON to WALSINGHAM.
I have sent you the articles which M. de Grobbendonck
brought from his Highness. The States have since resolved to
return him, with the Bishop of Bruges and M. de Willerval,
with new instructions, the copies of which I send herewith ; a
practice growing from some ill patriots, only to cross the coming
of the Prince, whose greatness some do fear and others envy as a
thing that will utterly obscure and darken their reputation.
And therefore they have returned these men, who (M. de
Willerval excepted) have been the greatest labourers against his
Excellency. But things are otherwise so well advanced as they
shall not be able to do much.
His Excellency arrived in this town yesternight, where he
was received with that incredible joy and to that unspeakable
comfort of all good patriots, as if an angel had been sent from
heaven to their safeguard. They have lodged him in the abbey
of St. Michael's, and are importune suitors to keep him there.
But divers of the noblemen are come hither to conduct him to
As soon as he was arrived at his lodging, I went to congratulate
his coming, and supped with him that night. We fell into
'purpose' of divers matters, but especially of the proceedings of
the States, utterly discommending their irresolution ; and I
communicated to him the effect of your last letter, touching her
Majesty's great favour and affection towards him, which as he
was right glad to hear, so he assured me that her Majesty might
be most assured that in faithful duty and devotion he would
give place to no servant or subject of what quality soever she
had. Concluding that as long as the poor Prince of Orange
had any credit or men in Holland and Zealand, and as long as
with his life and all that he had he might serve her Majesty,
she should be sure he should put all in adventure against any
that should in any respect attempt against her Majesty ; with
a number of other speeches full of affection, and I dare protest
spoken from the heart. And surely, sir, if I may under correction
speak my own opinion, the omitting of the present opportunity
of assuring her Majesty of these countries may be a thing
of so dangerous consequence as may afterward be repented, when
it is too late to be helped. I may seem, perhaps, to commit a
fault of presumption in proceeding thus far with your Honour,
to whom the necessity hereof is sufficiently known ; but my duty
towards her Majesty and zeal to my country has drawn me thus
far. But this much I may say, that if her Majesty, both
in the conclusion she shall take with the Marquis of Havrech and
otherwise, shows what opinion she has of his Excellency, and
lend her favour or help as condition of his direction among them,
she shall give such a blow to her enemies as shall go near utterly
to break their necks. And for Don John, 'I doubt not it will
be such a maim unto him, as no one thing could more cross him.'
And unless the Prince's credit go forward, I see not but all would
to naught ; for if they shall make a peace with his Highness,
which can never succeed but through his extreme necessity and
to gain time, so many and great are the offences on both sides,
and such his great ambitions and revenging mind, yet are they not
unlike to fall from one mischief into another, if he were gone
and they in peace. For they have already sent one to the Emperor
to practise the coming down of his brother, the Archduke
Matthias, whom, since he was never in Spain, they have some
great opinion of. But being of the house of Austria it is not
doubted but that he retaineth somewhat of their unquiet and
ambitious nature, which all the world doth smart for. And being
here, there is no doubt but things could never rest in a quiet
state, for the country of Holland, &c., will never abandon the
Prince, so long as he lives, and they fare well. And he that
shall be governor will neither brook the alienation of those
provinces, nor the greatness of the Prince ; for regni sociis nulla
fides [sic] omnisque potestas impatiens consortis crit. And we
cannot expect from any other in the world the good neighbourhood
and surety that we have from the Prince. And if the
practice which has been in hand and is not yet dead for Monsieur
(who the common opinion is shall marry with his niece the daughter
of Spain) should succeed, I leave it to you of what unhappy
consequence as well to us as to this poor country it might prove.
But if her Majesty continue her countenance and favour to the
Prince, things are like to take so good a train as the neck of
this practice will be broken. If in treating with the Marquis
her Majesty have a respect to the Prince the knowledge thereof
would confirm a great number here. Your Honour would hardly
believe what love and affection I have won for my labour among
the good patriots. The greatest ill that I now fear is the concluding
of a treacherous and short peace, wherein these ministers
do employ themselves with the more earnestness in that they
see the people do generally depend upon the Prince, so that if
it come to a war he is likely to grow to that credit that he may
do what he will, and though no man could show less ambition
than he, yet are they jealous of his credit, and think that being
once master of the forces, their Roman religion will stand in
desperate terms. So they think on the one side to stop the
Prince's credit, and on the other to bring Don John to reason,
like men that have two strings to their bow. But if it fall out
that Don John do abuse them, for which no doubt he will watch
his advantage, the authors of this peace may chance to smell
of it to their cost ; for the people are resolute if they once feel
the thirst to be revenged on such as shall be the occasion of
their trouble ; and among them Swevinghem and Ressinghen are
like to have their part.
Within a day or two we shall see what course they take at
Namur, and whereto his Highness will incline ; though whatever
peace they make, there is no doubt but it shall be the seed
of a new war. And as his lack of men and money was the cause
of the last peace, so now the coming of the Prince would bring
such an alteration that his enterprise would be of far greater
difficulty, the rather for that he would take another course with
him than the rest have done ; so that he shall be driven to some
hard terms and to break the purpose of the Prince he may
perhaps fall to some conditions of peace, persuading himself that
though he have lost the principal foundations of his new-intended
war, he will hope with the time to have that advantage ; 'for to
think that he will so leave his enterprize and the country with a
note of perpetual infamy to him, I say that stands so much upon
his slippers.' I do not see any other reason than mere necessity.
—Antwerp, 19 September 1577.
P.S.—I must not forget to tell you of a muttering that I
have heard of some lewd practice in Scotland. This time is
suspicious and that state is fickle, yet of that importance to be
looked to as it never behoved her Majesty more than now to keep
a good eye upon them. We hold the peace in France concluded,
and doubt not but the fury of their arms will light upon the
shoulders of their neighbours. We must look to have our part
if we prevent them not.
Add. Endd. 5 pp. Copy enclosed of instructions to the Bp.
of Bruges and M. de Willerval. See No. 223. [Holl. and
Fland. II. 106.]
234. Draft of the above, without P.S.
Endd. 3 pp. [Ibid. II. 107.]
K. d. L. ix.
235. DAVISON to LEICESTER.
Coming to this town on Sunday, on purpose to ride to Gertruy-denberg,
I met some of the commissioners returned from the
Prince, who said that he would be here within two or three days,
and yesterday, about five o'clock, his Excellency arrived in this
town ; the circumstances of which Mr. Chester, who waited on
him into the town, can tell you at large. I repaired to him at his
lodgings, as well to congratulate him on his return from ten years'
exile, as to communicate the charge which I received from her
Majesty, and the like which I had in particular from your Lordship ;
which did so much comfort him as he protested he would
sooner die than forget to serve, reverence, and honour her Majesty.
For your Lordship's particular favour, he doubted not but it should
one day appear by deed how much he is your Lordship's, and that
among all the friends and well-willers your good nature hath won
you, there is no man of whom you may more entirely dispose.
Your Lordship never bestowed friendship nor favour in a place
where it might bring forth fruits of greater honour and love to
yourself or greater benefit to the whole common weal of our
country. Your Lordship may perceive by the course of things
here, confronted with the matters of France, what is to be expected
and what is like to succeed if we look not well about us ; whose
ruin is generally conspired, and will, no doubt, be attempted if
God do not cut off the thread which is in spinning. How necessary
and 'importune,' therefore, it shall be to her Majesty to make
sure those provinces of Holland and Zealand with the Prince. I
refer to your judgement ; and truly, my Lord, he is the man
that her Majesty must make much of, and they are the provinces
that she must not lose if she will sit safe at home. You have
seen both by original letters and by divers other demonstrations
what intelligence is between the French and Spanish, confederate
with other princes, to attempt against us. Now is the time that
her Majesty must not sleep, for her enemies were never more
watchful. I hear a muttering of some practising in Scotland, and
do the rather believe it by reason of my Lord Seton's abode here,
who, I doubt not, has daily intelligence with Don John. For
France, the peace which is held here for concluded cannot but
tend to the troubling of her neighbours, between whose legs they
must needs cast the cat, as the French proverb is, ere they can
bring their own matters to the point they desire. The sparing
of a little money will be cause of the expense of a great deal.
Well, I will not trouble your Lordship any further ; I will only
beseech you to tread the steps you have held hitherto. For such
occurrent as we have since my last, you may see them by the
enclosed.—Antwerp, 19 Sept. 1577.
P.S.—I have sent you herewith a copy of letters of Anthony
Bourne's, wherein he discovers an ill-affected mind. They were
taken at the gates of this town, and sent to me at my coming.
But the party having no other matter to charge him withal, I
caused to be released.
Draft. Endd. 1½ pp. [Holl. and Fland. II. 108.]
236. INSTRUCTIONS to the PRELATES of VELLIERS and MARVILLES,
the SENESCHAL of HAINAULT, M. DE FRESIN, and
M. DE CAPRES, with regard to the matters of which they
have to treat with the PRINCE of ORANGE.
To go to Antwerp and present to the Prince the congratulations
of the Estates-General assembled at Brussels.
To thank him for the trouble he has taken in restoring the
country to tranquillity, and delivering it from the more than barbarous
tyranny of Spaniards and other strangers.
To pray him to come to Brussels as soon as possible.
To point out that the Estates have entire confidence in him, and
pray that neither on his part nor on that of his followers may anything
be done to cause scandal or ill example against the Catholic
religion, and that he will agree as soon as possible to give satisfaction
to the towns not yet satisfied.
And with regard to the last request made to his Excellency
touching power for the Catholics to exercise their religion in
Holland and Zealand without hindrance, that he will further a
favourable answer by the Estates of those provinces, according to
the good hope which the Estates-General have thereof.—Brussels,
19 Sept. 1577.
By order of the Estates. (Signed) Cornelius Weellemans.
Copy. Fr. 1½ p. [Ibid. II. 109.]
237. Another copy of the same. 1 p. [Ibid. II. 110.]
238. The ESTATES to the PRINCE of ORANGE.
Letter of credence for the Deputies above-mentioned ; with
expression of the Estates' wish to "bienveignir" his Excellency,
and to see him at Brussels as soon as may be.
Copy. Fr. ½ p. [Ibid. II. 111.]
239. A. HESSELS, Pensionary of Bois-le-Duc, to the STATES-GENERAL.
M. de Champagny having, on the 16th and 17th of this month,
found himself on terms of such difference with the four companies
of Germans at Bois-le Duc that we regarded everything as broken
down, and having yesterday gone so far in agreement as to
promise them five months in money and one in cloth, to be paid
outside the town, two months immediately after their departure,
and the rest as soon as the calculations were complete, hostages
being given as security, news comes to us at this moment by a
drummer who is awaiting the arrival of M. de Champagny and
Count Hohenlo in the suburbs, that the Germans have come round
to the views of your Lordships, and, as we hope, to the above-mentioned
offers. As to which, M. de Champagny, on his way
to the suburbs, to draw up the capitulation, bids me inform you
of the satisfaction which it gives us, as well as to promise to send
you the capitulation when it is agreed upon.—From the village of
Vuecht, this 19th day of September, at eight in the morning, 1577.
Copy. Endd. in French, Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fland. II.
240. JUANES DELECHUNDI to ANTONIO GUARAS.
I have not written sooner for want of a messenger. When I was
at Plymouth I spoke to the Mayor [?] about your letters, dissembling ;
and he told me that to his knowledge he had started two
months ago ; and therewith I took my leave. The letters which
you gave me to forward have gone off. The bearer is Pedro, who
was in my company ; I am sending him to Spain, and he will start
on the first opportunity which God permits. He goes in a vessel of
Saltash, bound for Bilbao. I have charged him to give your letter
into the hands of Señor Myn de Larria. Such are Pedro's orders.
I desire fully to serve you whenever occasion offers.
My business gets on very slowly. To-morrow week they meet
about it at Truro [?]. Until the decision of the justices I can tell
you nothing, except that I am spending a great deal of money.
God grant it may turn out well for me. The gentleman who came
in the Commission, John Arundell, who was kindest to me, seems
not to put me with these others, because they are not of his
opinion ; he is a Catholic and the others—, and he understands me ;
and it seems a great mistake not to appoint this gentleman.—De
lancon [Qy. Launceston], 22 Sept. 1577.
Señor Valderrama greets you, and will do what he can no less for
his own goodness than for love of you ; since I was recommended
by you, he does me a thousand favours.
If you wish to send me any letters for Spain, you can send them
by this bearer, who is a trustworthy man. He is our host ; and so
it is prayed that he may bring an answer to this, in such a way that
it may be sent to Spain ; for every day a vessel of this coast offers.
Please send in writing by the bearer any news there is from
Spain and Flanders and the rest of the world, which will be thankfully
received. With this goes a letter to Señor Salvador ; please
have it given to him.
They are all in great delight here, because they say that a
Queen's ship has come laden with gold, and no one knows what
countries it has discovered, and they are wearing many gold chains.
We know not if it is true, save that as I say all these people are
Please let us know the truth about Captain Equil, who is in
prison, having been captured by the Queen's ships in Ireland, and
by them taken to London. Please let me know whether one
can make Equil say to whom he sold our estate. My negro too will
be in the Queen's ship which is taking Equil. So I beg that I may
have news of him and of the negro.
Add. Endd. : 'de Antona' [as if he thought 'Lancon' were
Southampton]. Sp. 2 pp. [Spain I. 7.]
K. d. L. ix.
241. WILSON to DAVISION.
I received on the 18th your letters of the 7th. I am not able
to say anything of the Marquis, for he has not yet had audience,
nor is likely to have till the 23rd. I like your messenger Whitchurch,
whose father I knew well. Touching yourself and your
charges, I have made motion that you may have a couple of
hundred pounds sent to you in gift.
I told the Queen that your desire was to have a commission to
ask the rebels, and she said you need no other but to use your
own authority of your own accord in her name. If you can bring
it to rass to have them delivered into your hands, you shall do a
most acceptable service. If you would deal with M. Theron, and
take his advice to have those apprehended that are in Liége, he
is able to advise you what course you are to take by the aid of
the Estates, and especially by M. de Hèze, Governor of Brussels.
I have sent you the names of the rebels attainted, as I found them
on the Statute of 13. Also I send you the names of some fugitives,
though not a quarter so many as are absent without leave, that
have hirings in England. Such rebels as I have pricked were in
the Low Country, partly at Liége and partly at Louvain, when I
was there, and some others were looked to come thither.
I hear that one Harvie is taken coming with letters out of
Spain, whom the Queen would gladly have sent to her by the
States.—Oatlands, 20 Sept. 1577.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fland. II. 113.]