K. d. L. x. 98.
378. FREMYN to DAVISON.
I wrote last on the 22nd, how there had arrived on the 21st, in
this town, a Papal legate on his way to see Don John, the Bishop
of Liège, and the Duke of "Ascot," to bring the affairs of the
Low Countries to a good agreement ; or to say the truth, to delay
matters till the King of Spain has made his preparations for war
à toute outrance with the States, Don John the while entertaining
them through his partisans with vain persuasions, as the effort
up to now clearly shows. Any good that has so far come to the
country has been due rather to constraint and the good fortune of
certain good patriots than otherwise ; so that if they do not remedy
the faults of the past and avail themselves of the present, for the sake
of the future, everything will go to destruction, looking to the great
preparations in Italy on which the Pope is employing all his means.
The legate in question is a Jesuit, named Osmaro, a native of the
Low Countries, and is accompanied by two Spanish Jesuits. His
colleagues left this town on the 23rd, by stages, with four horses,
in the direction of Cologne ; and from there to Liége ; and they
are going very secretly. The 17th of this month Don John wrote
to the Fuggers to get money ; it is said, however, that he will profit
little. Meanwhile, things are in suspense on this side. Nothing
but war can be expected. He who prepares stoutly for it, who is
most prudent, and takes the best order at the beginning is like
to have the advantage.—Augsburg, 16 Oct. 1577. (Signed) C. F.
The report is that the Empress is going to Spain as governor,
and that the King of Spain wishes to come in person to these
countries with all the force he can assemble, to chastise vigorously
the States who will not obey his commands, and who are governed
by [Ends abruptly.]
Add. in English. Seal. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. 69.]
K. d. L. x. 51.
379. Occurrents from Antwerp.
The States have assented to make the Prince Ruward or Governor
of Brabant, to the great content of all good patriots.
They have also chosen the Duke of Aerschot governor of Flanders.
He is gone to his new charge, where he has not been received
with as general affection as the Brabanters received the Prince.
They have also made a new Council of the States, which, except
one or two suspected, is composed of men very well affected to the
The Count of Egmont and the Seneschal of Hainault are
departed to-day towards Diest, there to meet the Archduke now at
Maestricht. They are to conduct him to Lierre, to remain there
till the States have taken further order.
The Prince of Orange came to Antwerp last Wednesday. The
Princess is come to him, and it is thought he will stay here, save
for a few days which he purposes to spend at Breda.
The Duke of Guise is said to have broken up his forces, but so
that they are received by Don John.
We hear both from France and Italy that the King of Spain is
dangerously sick of a 'phrenesie' ; but this awaits further confirmation.
The rumour in my last dispatch of an enterprise on Genoa by
the Spaniards is now said to be on the Marquisate of Final, a town
of importance upon the 'river' of Genoa, not far from Savona ;
which is said to have been surprised in a meeting by the Spaniards
lying thereabout, not without some slaughter, an accident whence
no less danger may come to the King's states, than has grown of
their like insolent demeanour here.
[Overleaf, in Davison's hand, and in French] : The new Council
of State :—The Abbot of St. Gertrude, the Abbot of Maroilles,
(fn. 1) the Marquis of Havrech, M. de Willerval, (fn. 2) M. de Ste. Aldegonde,
(fn. 1) M. de Champagny, (fn. 2) M. de Steenbeke, (fn. 1) M. de Swevingham, Dr.
Leoninus, Echevin Meetkerke, (fn. 2) M. de Liesfelt. The Secretaries,
(fn. 2) M. Jehan des Asseliers, Dr. Sille.
Enclosure in the next. 1½ p. [Ibid. 70.]
K. d. L. x. 46.
380. DAVISON to BURGHLEY.
You will learn how far the matter of the Archduke has gone,
and the Prince's opinion of it, from the particulars enclosed, as
well as from what I have sent to the Secretary.
The Archduke's coming, as I understand, from the Prince, is
utterly against the liking of his mother, but construed here to be
with the privity of the Emperor his brother, though as you may
see by the copy of his letter to Don John [No. 301], he would
colour and disguise the same.
He is come rawly and nakedly, utterly unaccompanied by men
of counsel or of note. To whom he most leans in this country is
as yet hard to judge, but it is thought he has special intelligence
with the Duke of Aerschot and his partisans.
Of the German princes it is thought that none are consenting
to his journey.
The States seem resolved to receive him into the government,
whether the King assent or not.
As to himself, he is not above 19 years old, and is thought of
least corrupt nature of all the brothers ; of bringing-up mean for
a person of his quality. In religion a Papist, but easy to be
reformed with good handling.
For his pretended wooing, there is no suspicion at all.—Antwerp,
27 Oct. 1577.
Add. Endd. by Burghley. 1 p. [Ibid. 71.]
381. Draft of above letter. 1 p. [Ibid. 72.]
382. Draft of "occurrents," No. 379. ½ p. [Ibid. 73.]
383. Another copy of "occurrents." ½ p. [Ibid. 74.]
384. [DAVISON] to LEICESTER.
What opinion his Excellency has of the coming of the Archduke,
and how far the matter has gone here, you may learn in detail by
my letter to Mr. Secretary.
The States are resolute to receive the Archduke ; to whom, being
now at Maestricht, they have sent Count Egmont and the Seneschal
of Hainault, to bring him to Lierre, where he is to remain till they
have taken further order. What has made them so much hasten
his entry is the envy and jealousy they have of the greatness of the
Prince, which every day increases amongst the multitude. Howbeit
his Excellency seems persuaded that the profit may be far
greater than the peril of receiving him if the matter be well
handled, as you may see by his advice to the Estates, a copy of
which I have sent to the Secretary.
Don John is already complaining of it to the Estates, to whom he
has also sent the Emperor's excusatory letter to himself, copies of
which you shall receive herewith.
The States have since my last assented to make the Prince
Ruward or Governor of Brabant, to the great contentment of the
common of Brussels and Antwerp in particular, and of all good
patriots in general. They have likewise chosen the Duke of
Aerschot governor of Flanders, to which he has a good while
aspired, "though not attained into the general good liking that the
Prince hath Brabant" ; and have also made a new Council of the
Estates, which, except one or two suspected, is composed of men
very sound and well affected to the commonwealth.
Draft. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. 75.]
K. d. L. x. 47.
385. DAVISON to WALSINGHAM.
Last Sunday I received yours of the 15th, and on Wednesday
others of the 20th. That night late his Excellency came from
Brussels. I repaired to him next morning to communicate the
substance of your letters, but finding the time unfit by reason of
his company and other occupations, I was driven to take a new
occasion. This, for the feasting and banqueting there has been
here since his coming, I could not conveniently obtain till yesterday ;
when repairing to him somewhat early, I found him at such
leisure as I wished. Having first spoken of the 'alteration'
which this sudden journey of the Archduke had caused in our
Court, I asked his advice upon the points mentioned in your letters.
His answer you will find separately digested in the form of an
apostille to every article. You will find the propounded difficulties
sufficiently answered thereby, as well as by an ample discourse
containing his Excellency's advice to the States touching the
manner in which they should proceed with the Archduke, and by
other particulars herewith, and I need not use any repetition ; but
proceeding to consider the Archduke's coming in respect of ourselves,
I will briefly touch the honour and surety which (in my
poor judgement, but under your Honour's correction) may grow to
her Majesty and her State by his receiving into the Government,
according to his Excellency's advice.
First, her Majesty, considering the danger of the time in general,
and the hatred of some of her neighbours in particular, namely the
Kings of France and Spain, conspired together as may appear by
sundry demonstrations, to ruin her, is driven to seek by all means
possible how she may prevent and divert their malice ; which no
doubt she may do, if she take hold of the occasion offered by the
present troubles of the Low Countries, especially in advancing the
matter of the Archduke.
For if she would either bridle and weaken the King of Spain on
the one side, or hold the French and these countries disjoined on
the other side, both which marks she must for her surety shoot at,
she may in this action easily hit both one and the other.
For the first, it would not be any way better affected than by
the Archduke, whose admission into the government without the
King's authority shall not only increase the King's offence conceived
against the States, but also shall make their cause more
"haynous" with his Majesty, and consequently augment their
diffidence or rather despair of conciliation, and so put the King
in utter hazard of either losing his countries and make them more
resolute to shake off the Spanish subjection.
Secondly, it cannot but offer matter of jealousy between the
King and the Archduke, who, called in and advanced to this honour
by the States, will, in the King's opinion, endeavour by all means
to acquire the absolute possession of the countries and dispossess
the King thereof. Which impression (besides regarding the
natural desire of sovereignty which often carries men headlong
beyond all due respect) will be not a little confirmed by considering
the interest which the Emperor his father and his succession pretend
to the Low Countries.
Thirdly, if he comes with the consent of the Emperor (a thing
believed, though he makes semblance of the contrary) it cannot
but breed some heartburning between the King and his imperial
Majesty, who can have no cause in hatred or policy to oppose his
Fourthly, the princes of the Empire that are naturally jealous
of the greatness of Spain will have no cause to mislike the change
of government as respects the Archduke, which cannot be so
dangerous to them as the greatness of Spain.
Fifthly, for the French ; though in common policy they would
have no reason to mislike the weakness of the King of Spain, whose
greatness has been ever suspected to them, yet partly the close
amity and league now between those two Kings, the great partizans
and pensioners the King of Spain has in that Court, and the particular
'offence' of the Duke of Alençon, whose aspiring to these
Low Countries will be utterly overthrown by the Archduke's
coming, cannot but draw them into some resolute partaking with
the King ; besides that the jealousy which they have of England
will make them combine more closely.
To come to the profit that might redound to us, what greater
policy can there be for her Majesty than to have a neighbour
possessed of these countries who must of necessity depend upon her,
which this prince, for the jealousy of Spain and the hatred of
France, will be driven to do? By whose receiving, the peril which
threatens both this country and her Majesty, if the French were
masters thereof, is prevented. And we shall have no cause to fear
this ill neighbourhood of Spain when both these countries and
their friends are resolutely bent against the King, whom we have to
fear only by way of this country.
Don John's faction in this country, which principally consists of
such as in respect of either ambition, malice, or religion are jealous
of the increasing greatness of the Prince of Orange, cannot but
abandon him on the receiving of the Archduke, who may be a
stop to the greatness which they fear in the Prince.
The practice and intelligence of his Highness and the King of
Spain in England will turn to smoke, when they are bereaved of their
means to affect their purpose upon the States. [6½ lines are here
By these and other circumstances it may sufficiently appear that
with good handling the profit may be far greater than the peril,
both in our and their respects, if the Archduke be received after
the advice and counsel of his Excellency.
And therefore in my rude opinion it will not be well for her
Majesty, things standing as they do, either to insist too hard upon
the Prince's credit and advancement, to mislike the receiving of
the Archduke, or to withdraw her favour promised them ; for the
first—I mean to stand so much upon the Prince as to do nothing
for them without his special advancement—will breed an envy in
some, and in others jealousy of some secret complot and intelligence
between her Majesty and his Excellency and make them the more
suspicious how to proceed with her Majesty, lest her strength once
entered into these countries when the Prince is already so strong,
they should concur in some great innovation here, chiefly in matter
of religion ; where on the other side the not respecting of the Prince
might have proved no less dangerous, for though that cannot be
effected that were to be desired in this respect, yet that open declaration
of her Majesty's good opinion of his Excellency has greatly
advanced his credit among them, and has been an occasion to entertain
them in union, fearing lest their disjunction should alien her.
For approving the receiving of the Archduke, the above is
sufficient ; and for the effecting of her Majesty's promise and returning
the Marquis well contented, I cannot see how she can do
otherwise unless she would alien not only some particular persons,
but the country in general, and drive them to run some other
course, as, namely, to practise with France.
In sum, the matter which her Majesty shall have chiefly to
respect is the assurance of the States, wherein, as it shall behove
her to bind them fast, I doubt not they will be willing to give her
all good contentment. The manner propounded in some of your
former letters was well liked.
Money is to be found, as Carrington tells me, whom I hear the
States are minded to send back to England for the perfecting of
the negotiation.—Antwerp, 27 October 1577.
Add. Endd. 3½ pp. [Ibid. 76.]
Appended to the above :
386. QUESTIONS propounded to his EXCELLENCY, and his
1. Whether he was made privy
to the Archduke's coming, and
1. He was not made privy
thereto till such time as the
Marquis of Havrech immediately
before his going to England
came to Gertruydenberg.
2. What peril or good he
thinks his coming may bring?
2. Both are at length discoursed
in the advice given by
his Excellency to the States,
touching how they should proceed.
3. If his coming bring peril,
how it may be prevented?
3. By giving him a good
council, and otherwise proceeding
according to the said advice.
4. What his Excellency himself
means to do?
4. To attend his government,
and be ready with his counsel,
and otherwise to assist the States,
from whom he would in no sort
5. Whether, if the States may
be brought to make him
Matthias' lieutenant, he would
accept the place?
5. There will be no need of this
if the States provide him with
a sound and wise Council, by
whose advice only he should
govern ; besides that his Excellency
will have enough to
do to attend to his particular
6. What he thinks Don John
will do on the Archduke's coming?
6. Resolve the rather to prosecute
his malice against the
States, in that he takes both the
King and himself to be highly
injured by his coming.
7. Whether the States mean to
accept him as Governor before
the King's assent had?
7. They seem resolved to
accept him first, and to ask the
King's assent afterwards.
8. Whether his Excellency
thinks the King will consent?
8. He thinks not, but by constraint.
9. If the King give not his
assent, what the States will do,
and what he would advise?
9. He is of opinion they will
accept him whether the King
assent or not ; which he himself
mislikes not, so it be according
to the advice mentioned above.
10. What advice he would give
her Majesty touching the money
demanded by the States?
10. He would with them be a
humble suitor to her Majesty, to
continue her favour towards
them, and to effect the promise
she has vouchsafed to make.
Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. 76A.]
Draft of No. 385. At the point where the passage is
erased, follows :
Besides that this election of the Archduke by the general Estates
without the authority and consent of the king shall be a sufficient
precedent for those of Holland and Zealand, if they have a meaning
to subject themselves to the absolute government of the Prince of
Orange ; whose confederacy with her Majesty would be of such
profit and surety to our state as (that combination holding) no
outward enemy were to be doubted.
The Archduke would have no cause to mislike such an election,
since his interest to the rest of the provinces shall be elective and
not hereditary. Besides that the importance and necessity of the
union of the rest of the provinces with Holland and Zealand will
not permit any disjunction between them, and their governors by
marriage or otherwise may be so straitly allied that there shall
be no cause to fear any peril of their division.
4 pp. [Ibid. 77.]
388. POULET to BURGHLEY.
There is little to say. I doubt lest a messenger to me have miscarried.
Because the time being now in hand you may be absent
from the Court, I trouble you with a copy of my letter to Mr.
Walsingham. It is pitiful to see the number of young English
gentlemen repaired hither for matter of religion, whereof some have
been here of good continuance, others are come out of the Low
Countries to avoid the troubles there. God grant them better knowledge
of His truth, and dutiful mind towards her Majesty.—Paris,
29 October 1577.
P.S.—Being upon the point to seal this, I received your Lordship's
letter of the 23rd.
Add. Endd. ¾ p. [France I. 46.]
K. d. L. x. 63.
389. DAVISON to BURGHLEY.
The little time since my last has brought forth an accident of
no less consequence than astonishment to a number here.
The Duke of Aerschot, to welcome him to his new government,
with the Bishop of Bruges, MM. de Ressinghem, Zwevingem,
Mocqueron, and the rest whose names I send, being at Ghent, were
yesterday morning apprehended and made prisoners by the people
of that town.
The cause growing generally from the suspicion (just as it should
seem by a letter lately discovered, the copy of which I herewith
send), of some practice in hand by them to the prejudice
of the commonwealth ; but specially strengthened at this
time by some fond speeches and demeanours of the Duke since
his coming to Ghent, when the people having lately been suitors
for the restoration of the privileges taken from them by the Emperor
Charles, the Duke in open Council calling them rebels and
mutineers, asked where those gallants were that would have everything
after their humour ; he would see them come forth and show
their faces if they durst ; with divers other words no less fond than
of ill digestion to the people, who hereupon putting themselves
in arms have proceeded thus far, and it is suspected will go yet so
far further, that some, too well-known to be ill affected to their
country, are not likely to escape so 'good cheap,' as did those
apprehended in like sort last year at Brussels.
In this meanwhile there has been some encounter between the
States' men and the Spaniards about Namur, wherein the Spaniards
have had the worse, and lost to the number of 50 or 60 foot and
Our Archduke is come to-night to Lierre ; but how ill his arrival
is digested of the Duke of Alençon, his competitor, you may see by
the copy of his letter to the States ; and by other letters which accompany
you may see the States' ultimum vale to Don John.
For foreign matters, there is news from France of a revolt in
Sicily, which, if it be true, falls out in good time for the affairs of
The King of Spain's sickness has been confirmed by letters from
Rome, Naples, and Venice ; and as men are apt to believe pleasing
things, is here easily credited.
Here is a muttering of some enterprise that was to have been
done by boats upon the town of Ghent ; but I hear no particulars
yet.—Antwerp, 30 Oct. 1577.
Add. Endd. 1¼ pp. [Holl. and Fland. III. 78.]
Enclosed in above :
390. Another copy of J. de Hessele's letter, No. 343. [Ibid. 78A.]
391. Another copy of the letter of Oct. 24, from the Estates to
Don John, No. 371. [Ibid. 78B.]
392. WALSINGHAM to ROGERS.
Her Majesty understands both by Casimir's letters and your report,
how little success is to be looked for in the matters committed
to your charge ; seeing that the overhastiness of some, 'unwitting' to
them, to whom they were most bound, has altered the course of
things on the one hand, while, on the other hand, the little care
that others have of their own and others' preservation given small
encouragement to persist in the labour begun, or to renew it hereafter.
As her Majesty cannot "without dislike conceive somewhat
hardly" of this, she wishes you to impart her mind in this
and in all points wherein you desire an answer, to Casimir, that
he may understand how she is affected, and be directed how to carry
himself for the state of the time and such services as may fall out.
Touching the nature of support to France, this forgetfulness to
acquaint her Majesty with their proceeding in making a treaty
of peace, and hasty conclusion of it without her privity, makes her
think that she has not been dealt with therein as she ought ; unless
they persuade themselves that only the relieving of their present
necessity was to be regarded, and honour not considered at all,
though they made it themselves a condition of such support as was
demanded. Notwithstanding this light dealing, which tends to
their harm, her Majesty is still ready to have a care of them, that
they may be preserved if God so will, and they shall with better
judgement hereafter 'list' themselves. Therefore, as she commends
Casimir's care to do them good, so she is not minded to forsake
them if they will not forsake themselves, but take such order as
is advised them, and as they can see from their former extremity
to be necessary.
They have been advised to have sums of money ready where it
is to be employed, that no hindrance grow to the service when it
is needed. If they do so, and 'fault' not therein as before, they
will understand that there shall be no default from hence. Hereof
you may assure Casimir, and request him to be as careful in this
matter as he has been in former times, and so arrange matters with
those who are to be employed that all things may concur accordingly.
As for the league, for which her Majesty cared rather for the
safety of those princes than her own (God having so well provided
for the safety of her person and estate that she does not greatly
need to fear the wicked purposes of her enemies), not wishing to see
her friends ruined through their own default—for as they cannot
be ignorant of the enemy's purpose to destroy all that profess any
faith but the Romish, so they must see that there is no better way
for him to attain his purpose than by separating us one from
another—and seeing that this permission is but hearkened to and
that they mean to await the extremity unprovided, she must be
satisfied with this testimony that she is guiltless of the inconveniences
likely to grow to the whole estate of Christendom. In
this behalf she has laboured with the King of Denmark, using
your brother's service therein in the time of this late colloquy,
which has so cold an answer. It is not to be wondered at if this
kind of dealing cause likewise a coldness in her Majesty, seeing
so little fruit come of her labour and trouble, sparing therein neither
her honour nor her coffers ; whereas, being a monarch, she ought
rather to have been moved therein than to move it herself.
It is not unlikely that this division among themselves, sought
to be furthered by the subscription of the book presented by Andreas
and his 'complices' is the hindrance to a straiter intelligence
between themselves. The enemy is well persuaded that the dissolution
of his kingdom is grounded upon our unity. Our 'perceverance'
[sic] is but small if we cannot see that this is his intention,
for when they have shut out their fellow-princes and friends from
the peace of the Empire, what have they prevailed more than the
weakening of the Empire, and giving the upper hand to that part
which was before much inferior? Her Majesty can do no more but
wish them well, but is doing her good offices with the King of Denmark
to use his credit with the Duke of Saxony and other princes
to dissuade them from proceeding in their determination.
As for employment in Flanders, you may tell them that as yet
she can get from them no resolution what they mean to do, so great
factions there are between themselves, as men ruled entirely by the
clergy. They have called down Archduke Matthias to come among
them, it is doubtful whether of a 'headiness' against the King
or of a counterfeit combination with his ministers the more easily
to suppress their fellow-patriots and oppress their own liberty.
Meanwhile Don John reinforces himself, and has continual supplies
of men coming to him. He has lately written them a very round
letter, whereby they may understand his mind. If they resolve
to ask assistance, her meaning is not to leave them destitute, seeing
the planting of so perilous an enemy there, whose meaning it is
to make it a storehouse of soldiers, is neither for the safety of her
Majesty nor of the Empire ; and, therefore, if he should be moved
to descend to their relief, her Majesty would very well like him to
hearken to it, and prepare himself to that service, tending to the
advancement of the same cause as the other, being against a worse
neighbour than the other.
Last of all, do not forget to remind him of her Majesty's former
loan of 50,000 crowns, for the repayment of which she marvels she
hears nothing by this last payment made by the Duke of Lorraine,
seeing she was promised that in the next she should not be forgotten.
If promise were kept, she would be more willing to help them in
their necessity ; but reaping nothing but delays they cannot wonder
if she forbear to do them all the good which might be deserved with
better offices. And seeing the jewels remain in his hands you may
signify to him that her Majesty reposes that confidence in him, that
unless she be otherwise satisfied, she shall be satisfied out of them.
When you have imparted this, her Majesty's pleasure is you may
take your leave and provide yourself for your return.
[The rest in Walsingham's own hand.]
If you can so work that her Majesty may be paid the 50,000l.
you will do a very acceptable service, and encourage her to be the
more willing to lend hereafter. The money you wrote of is already
at Hamburgh, and is to remain there in deposito to be employed as
occasion shall serve.
I have nothing else to write, but for your comfort to inform you
that her Majesty very well 'allows' of your service.—Windsor, the
last of October 1577.
P.S.—In the letter to Duke Casimir there is nothing but thanks,
and a request to give credit to you.
Pray salute in my name Languet, Junius, and Dathenus. I shall
be glad to hear from you at your return of what force every one
of the great princes in Germany are, both for treasure and soldiers ;
what inferior noblemen depend on each of them ; how they are linked
in friendship ; what party Casimir can make ; and what opinion is
had of the Duke of Lorraine.
Address and endorsement lost. 4 pp. [Germ. States I. 38.]
393. COMPLAINTS by the GOVERNOR and MERCHANT ADVENTURERS
of the English nationality resident in ANTWERP
laid before the QUEEN'S AMBASSADOR.
1. They complain of a new imposition called Moyens generaulx,
exacted on all goods exported by them from this country.
2. That for certain merchandise which they import from England,
to wit baize, 'northern dozens,' &c., and also when taking
away their own goods, cloth, or whatever it may be, they have to
pay this impost ; a thing which has never been usual in their case ;
the exaction being so great that it cannot be endured without
extreme damage, indeed ruin to many of them.
3. Further the receivers of these dues raise the rate on various
kinds of goods at their pleasure, according as they think the article
is more in demand, so that the merchant cannot tell what to deal
in, to keep up his trade.
4. They are compelled to specify to the collectors of the
new imposts the contents of their goods by kind, their sorts and
quantities ; whence their business-connexions get discovered, and
they can do no trade without its being known. All which is quite
contrary to the ordinary custom among the merchants, who by
their privileges are only bound to declare by the sample. They
only desire to hold their course in keeping trade secret and commerce
free, as in all reason it should be.
5. New inspectors have been appointed, who want to go further,
and under pretext of some suspicion to examine goods when the
duty has been paid. It is intolerable to be subject to such extreme
6. The collectors claim to confiscate all goods on which the duty
has not been paid ; whereas the merchants have always been exempted,
not only from the impost above-named, but from confiscation,
even when the proper duty had not been paid, or payment
of the double of it four times over.
7. On drinks, such as wine and beer, imported from England,
as well on those brewed in this country, a high duty has been levied.
From this the merchants ought to be exempt as heretofore ; such
exemption being of no hurt to anyone.
8. The collector of duties for Zealand exacts duty on the merchants'
goods coming from or intended for countries other than
England ; although this right of neutral commerce is given in
general terms, without exception of individuals.
9. The officers in Zealand make fresh demands on mariners for
the passage of vessels, which are thus delayed, losing tide and fair
winds. It would be better for all vessels to have free right of
passage, and pay the dues on reaching this town.
10. In conclusion they pray for redress on these points. Otherwise
they may have to go elsewhere. French. Appended are :
Extracts from privileges granted by the city of Antwerp to
English merchants in 1446 and 1516. Latin. Also : Copies
of two Acts by my lords of the city of Antwerp, of July 20,
1562, and June 1, 1577, granting relief from wine and beer duties.
And Copies of two similar Acts of Oct. 12 and 22, 1577 (presumably
in reply to the petition). Flemish. Endd. in L. Tomson's hand :
Complaints of the merchants exhibited to the States, 1577. 4 pp.
[Holl. and Fland. III. 79.]
394. POINTS and ARTICLES wherein the ENGLISH MERCHANTS
trading in Flanders are oppressed, to the prejudice of
their ancient privileges and liberties.
1. The treaties of 1495 and 1520 contain a provision that merchants
trading in Antwerp are to pay no rate higher than that of
Brabant anywhere in the Low Countries. Nevertheless since their
recent return, they have been compelled to pay many other tolls
for goods carried by land in their passage through various towns,
as Gravelines, Dunkirk, and Bruges ; which is directly contrary
to the treaties.
2. Although it is provided by the privileges granted by the Dukes
of Burgundy, especially Philip named le Bel that the merchants
shall be exempt from all duties, it is a fact that they have
been called on to pay duties on beer, wine, and other provisions for
their own use while residing here.
3. In another article of the privileges granted by Duke Philip
leave is given, among other things, to import and sell alum where
and how they please. Now they are forbidden to import it elsewhere
than to Antwerp, and ordered to sell it only to certain individuals
4. For 100 years and more the English company have had in
their common house, called the English House, the exercise of their
religion and the administration of the Sacrament according to the
use of the Church of England. They now pray that they may freely
continue this, having the Sacraments administered by such person
of their own land and language as they may see think well, according
to the custom of the realm of England.
Endd. in French [? by Lisle Cave]. 1¼ pp. [Ibid. 80.]
395. [ ? ] to [DAVISON].
I hear from a good quarter that 10 or 11 days ago a meeting
was held at Lhomme, near Lisle, where M. de Rassinghen has a
house, at which appeared Dr. Vendeville, residing at Douay,
with M. d'Assigny of the same place and others from various
places. I do not know what passed, but evidently nothing for the
good of the country ; inasmuch as next day, when Dr. Vendeville
and M. d'Assigny got back to Douay, a meeting was called for the
morrow of all the corporations of the town, namely, the ecclesiastics,
the university, and the burgesses or crafts. And being come
together, M. d'Assigny began to speak to them to this effect :
"Great thanks are due to you for the readiness with which you
have raised the moneys. But as certain fresh incidents have supervened,
which I am about to relate to you, you are requested to
postpone the handing over of them to the States-General at
Brussels, and to keep them for a time in your own hands. The
Archduke Matthias has arrived, having been invited by some of
the chief men of the country to be the governor, and you had better
make up your minds to receive him as such, for he is of all princes
in the world the one that has been most exactly brought up in the
Roman Catholic Religion, for which you have always shown a
good zeal. And seeing that it is so, and that by him you may
be well maintained, it is needful that he be promptly received, and
that you do all that in you lies ; since for your maintenance, as
I have just said, in your religion, it is necessary so to act, and by
this means to employ yourselves in driving out that pernicious
person, who is ruining and spoiling everything, winning and
making profit now out of one of his Majesty's provinces, now out of
another. I may say, too, with regard to the money in question
that it is also necessary for the reason that, as I judge, it is a great
mistake to make war on Don John ; because when he sees the
Archduke installed in the government he will give way and depart,
and also because by fighting him we shall earn the ill-will and
anger of the King. Kindly say, each of you, how it strikes you."
Thereupon the ecclesiastics, without many words, agreed to the
proposal at all points. After them Vendeville, in the name of the
university, having discoursed on both sides of the question, agreed
with the ecclesiastics point by point.
The burgesses, for the third estate, were then summoned to give
their opinion. One of them, called I think Adrien de Villiers,
answered that what had been proposed admitted of much deliberation,
and that they could not then give their opinion. He asked
that they might retire for a stated time, and confer together upon
It was insisted, however, that promptly and without further
conference the burgesses should agree with the resolutions of the
two former estates ; Assigny, Vendeville, and others alleging that
they were not to think to be wiser than many of the people of
quality and learning there present. Indeed, the multitude of
opinions found among the people would so distract them that it
would be imposible at once to come to a resolution, and meantime
everything would go on getting worse. The speaker for the
burgesses hereupon answered decidedly that it must be as they
said, and insisted upon having time and place allowed them to
deliberate ; which at last was granted.
The conference did not last long, and the speaker returning to
the others, said, in effect, as follows :—
"We have deliberated on the proposal, and have resolved to say
to you that as this town is a small Chastellenie, surrounded by three
provinces as powerful as Artois, Flanders, and Hainault, we
cannot make up our minds to receive the Archduke as governor
till we see what those provinces do ; then we will use our best
endeavours to satisfy people. Moreover, we cannot bring ourselves
to do this, because there is no commission from his Majesty, and it
would be a rash thing to proceed so lightly.
"As for holding back the money, as we hear that those of
Artois are sending their quota, we do not intend to contravene our
promise ; and this in sum is the answer of the citizens."
This was heard with great astonishment by the others, who tried
by all means to draw the burgesses from their resolution.
At this point people began to shout at the top of their voices ;
among others, M. de Mauville and Mebbras spoke and, avec quelque
serment, found fault with the magistracy for the slack way in which
they had done their duty to the poor citizens, trying rather to suppress
them than to defend them. They had had notice that the
French had an invasion in hand (as M. de Steenkerke had written to
M. de Mauville) ; yet they took no order for the guarding or fortifying
of the town, even at the very point where ten or twelve years ago
the French had thought to surprise it, and the citizens were not
minded to endure this any longer. They wished the six men who
had charge of such things to be summoned at once, and a beginning
made with the necessary steps for the common protection ; adding
that they did not wish the fortification to begin where M. de
Rassinghen had planned.
Here I must explain this proposal of Rassinghen's. Some time
ago, being at Douay, some of the chief people pointed out that it
was necessary to fortify the town ; to which he replied : "Gentlemen,
my children, you are quite right in wishing to guard yourselves.
I desire nothing so much ; and to-day or to-morrow I will
visit all parts of the town where it may be most needful to begin
He went round the town accordingly, and was ultimately of
opinion that a large quarter should be pulled down and the ramparts
cleared for new fortifications.
Now many of the chief people were alarmed by the expense, and
also at the idea that the town would for a long time have an open
breach. Several, too, thought that there were many parts of the
town much weaker than that which it was proposed to fortify. So
nothing was done.
When then they had heard what Mauville and Mebbras had to
say, answer was made that it was dinner-time, and that that was
enough till the afternoon. The burgesses insisted, saying that it
was no time for dining, but for defending themselves ; and besides
that those who had charge of these matters were accustomed to be
at table till nightfall, whereby time is wasted. Or else they care
so little for their business that they will not be found at home ;
wherefore they must be summoned at once, or others nominated.
After other talk they withdrew, and the person from whom I
heard all this says that since then the town has been in arms. He
was present at all the above.
Copy. Endd. by L. Tomson : Discourse of matters fallen out
at Douay ; and by another hand : Upon the coming of Archduke
Matthias to follow him and to oppose themselves to the Prince of
Orange. Fr. 3 pp. [Holl. and Fland. III. 81.]
396.Another copy. Endd. : Relation des choses passées à
Douay. Fr. 3 pp. [Ibid. 82.]
397. "Antidotes" on certain points in the letters of Don John,
by which he tries to cause those who do not know the pure truth to
find evil in all the actions of the States-General.
[A paper, much obliterated by water, containing extracts from
Don John's letter of Oct. 2 to the Estates, with replies to the charges
made therein. "What he calls unreasonable is merely a request
for the maintenance of the rights which all Dukes of Brabant, the
King, and Don John himself have sworn to maintain," &c., &c.
The reply begins with the words, Amy lecteur, and would seem to
be either the draft of a pamphlet for publication, or a copy from
some published work.]
Endd. : Antidotes, M. No. 20. Fr. 2½ pp. [Ibid. 83.]