September 1577, 16-20


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'Elizabeth: September 1577, 16-20', Calendar of State Papers Foreign, Elizabeth, Volume 12: 1577-78 (1901), pp. 161-176. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=73292 Date accessed: 21 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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September 1577, 16-20

Sept. 16. 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.]
Sept. 16. 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 September. Add. Endd. ½ p. [France I. 29.]
Sept. 9-18. 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 merits.
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 for you.
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 it :—
[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.]
Sept. 17. 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.]
Sept. 17. 228. Another copy of the same.
Endd. in French by Davison. 1 p. [Ibid. II. 103.]
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.]
Sept. 18. 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.]
Sept. 19.
K. d. L. ix. 526.
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. 532. [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.]
Sept. 19. 232. Draft of first part of the above. 1 p. [Ibid. II. 105.]
Sept. 19.
K. d. L. IX. 527.
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 Brussels. 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.]
Sept. 19. 234. Draft of the above, without P.S.
Endd. 3 pp. [Ibid. II. 107.]
Sept. 19.
K. d. L. ix. 523.
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.]
Sept. 19. 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.]
Sept. 19. 237. Another copy of the same. 1 p. [Ibid. II. 110.]
Sept. 19. 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.]
Sept. 19. 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. 112.]
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 very happy. 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.]
Sept. 20.
K. d. L. ix. 534.
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.]