February 1578, 1-10


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'Elizabeth: February 1578, 1-10', Calendar of State Papers Foreign, Elizabeth, Volume 12: 1577-78 (1901), pp. 482-494. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=73313 Date accessed: 18 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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February 1578, 1-10

Beginning of Feb. (Recd. Feb. 5.)
K. d. L. x. 264.
On Wednesday, 29 January, 800 Albanese horse for Don John entered Namur, and the next day 8,000 Spaniards, footmen. On Friday, the 31st, they were in arms at daybreak ; about eight o'clock they set upon the Frenchmen and overthrew them, and immediately pursued the Scots, to whom Colonel 'Baffourde' sent certain forlorn hope, which the bands of 'lances of ordinance' for the States drove back again to their 'battle.' Whereupon the Spaniards charged, with only 500 horse and 2,000 foot, and our lances, seeing that, ran quite through the Scots and overthrew them (where Colonel 'Bafford' was most cruelly slain), and fled incontinently, except one band, that presently went over to the enemy. The 'Rutters' were charged, who were nearly 400, with a company of Scots on horseback. Some say that they slew at least 200 of them ; others that they hardly awaited the charge, but fled at once. The main battle, which was the regiment of Count Bossu and M. 'Le' Champagny, seeing this, began to break. It is said that four or five ensigns of the regiment of Freese, which had been before Mondragon's regiment, turned to the enemy, so that in like sort they were mostly put to the sword. Meantime the regiments of Count La Marche and M. de Montigny, who had the vanguard, passed a wood and marched toward Geblours, where, being beside the town, the enemy came to charge them. Seeing that they had got into an orchard, where they meant to defend themselves, he divided his force into two, in order to cut them off from the town ; whereupon M. de Montigny, being on horseback, fled into the town, where M. 'Le Gonaye' also was. Those of the town shut the gates and would not allow the soldiers to come in, and the enemy slew many. Whereupon the ensigns and leaders went to the other gate, hoping to get in there, but were also refused. The captains desired that they would cast a line over the wall and by that means save their ensigns and let themselves be put to the sword ; whereupon the enemy came in on every side and used their accustomed cruelty. Endd. by Burghley's Secretary. 1 p. [Ibid. V. 33.]
Feb. 1. 620 bis. HODDESDON to BURGHLEY.
In my letter dated the 23rd ult. I sent both the articles of the new league between the great Turk and the King of Poland and those of the peace between the King and the town of Dantzic. As I think he will bend all his force, with the aid of the King of 'Crymonya' and the King of 'the Swethens,' against the Muscovite ; the 'platt' whereof, as it seems to me, somewhat shows itself in the articles between the Turk and the King of Poland. I also sent occurrents as I had from Rome and Venice ; [summary follows, including 'that a nobleman in Turkey is revolted, and joined in force with the Sophia']. Since then I have received other occurrents, both from Rome and Venice, with which I make bold to trouble you.—Hamburg, 1 Feb. 1577.
Occurrents—From Rome, 14 Dec. 1577.
The Pope has lately resolved to assist Don John with money according to the ability of the Romish Church. As the Spaniards here give out, the Duchess of Parma settles herself daily to the journey and has received 100,000 crowns for the charges of herself and the prince, her son. He will present to the Low Countries the sword, the Duchess the olive, one or other of which the said land has to choose, and with due consideration to take what may most tend to the benefit of land and people. From Spain comes confirmation of the 'party' concluded with the Genoese for five millions, a good sum of which is already made by exchange into Italy, and so into the Low Countries ; also that four galleys, with 700,000 crowns from Spain to be used against the Low Countries, are waiting at Genoa. To the same use is appointed no small sum from the kingdom of Naples, besides 1,500 Spaniards in readiness. So that although little credit has hitherto been given to such speeches, the Low Countries will have enough to do, and 'behove' to look well about them. The Pope has sent the Count of Pepoli as ambassador to Spain. He, with his folks, 'were [sic] well embarked by Barcelona,' but there has been no news of him for a long time ; which makes the Pope and his Court to be much in doubt that he is either drowned or fallen into the hands of Turkish corsairs, and therefore very pensive and sorrowful. There has been for some time an English gentleman here who gives himself out to be a duke banished by the Queen. He is determined presently to embark with 600 well-furnished soldiers in a Spanish 'galliantyno,' for Civita Vecchia, and so from thence at his own adventure to fall upon England and there to make an 'uproar' ; and 'by such pretence' it appears he has some understanding of that country.
—From Venice, 20 Dec.
Count Honorio Scoti is here, who it is said will follow the Prince of Parma with many soldiers from Italy. This evening, about 7 o'clock, a terrible fire began here in the Duke's Palace, which has, so far as is yet known, wholly consumed many goodly buildings, costly painted work, the Duke's tribunal, and more else. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Hanse Towns I. 28.]
Feb. 1.
K. d. L. x. 266.
That which I most feared is now come to pass, namely, a defeat of the States' camp ; which happened yesterday, as they were retiring towards Geblours. The manner I send you herewith, as I receive it from divers of the soldiers escaped, especially from one Sutton, that I kept there, who has set it down at some length. We here are not a little distracted with this chance, and the Prince himself not yet resolved what to do ; but outwardly they seem to have good courage. It is no time now to dally, if their friends mean to do anything for them.—Brussels, 1 Feb. 1577. Draft. Endd. 12 lines. [Ibid. V. 34.]
My master has been very ill at ease all to-day, and wishes me, by reason of his indisposition, to acquaint you with the present state of things. He chooses this way rather than any express courier, in order that the States should not expect better things at your hands than these days will yield. You need not tell them that you have received anything but from a private friend of yours. So it is, that of late such as incline more to the faction of Spain than to her Majesty's safety and the quiet estate of the realm, have persuaded her that she cannot in honour do anything to help the States, either with men or money, till she hear some answers from the King and Don John ; notwithstanding her promise to the Marquis and to them. This has wrought such a coldness in her to their demand, that she can hardly be moved from that Spanish persuasion. It is true that letters for the musters are already sent out a fortnight ago to all the shires that lie furthest off, so that the men are in good forwardness to be ready to march at an hour's warning ; only the shot that are to be levied round London are not yet provided for, but that is quickly dispatched. M. de Famars was sent for after his first audience, and asked two questions, one touching a landing-place, the other as to the entertainment of our soldiers ; for the sole purpose of delay. Her Majesty does not, however, mean to abandon them, though all this is wrought by such as would the contrary faction should prevail more than is for the good of this state. She foresees this sufficiently, and would most gladly take the course most to her honour. Mr. Wilkes's letters from Spain arrived yesterday, and he says that there was never fairer weather made to the English nation in Spain than there is at present ; yet all the mouths of Spain are full of the aid which the Queen of England is sending to the Low Countries against Don John. Some think the Spaniard does it for fear ; 'I think otherwise, and we had never more need to take heed, tum enim maxime fallunt cum id agunt ut viri boni esse videantur. It is not possible he can soundly mind me good that is persuaded I go about to do him harm ; but such is the simplicity of merchants' wit, and seeing they will not learn the art of the fowler, if they fall into the pit together, it makes no matter.' The poor man Southacke, whose matter has been recommended to you by some of my Lords, again begs you to remember him. His loss has been great, and has brought him so low that in baser state he can hardly be. It would serve the attaining of his demands if his case could be joined with the companies'. I beseech you let him taste of your favour herein.—Hampton Court, 2 Feb. 1577. Add. 1¼ pp. [Ibid. V. 35.]
Feb. 3.
K. d. L. x. 269.
The news of the defeat of the States camp have not continued with the vehemence they were first reported ; for though their whole forces were broken and dispersed, the number of slain is estimated under 2,000. The Scots and French sustained the greatest fury of the enemy, behaving so valiantly that if they had not been put out of order by the States' own horsemen, who, in flying, broke in pele-mele among them, it is thought the enemy would have bought the victory more dearly than he did. The fight began with the French between eight and nine a.m., whom the Scots succouring maintained the skirmish a long while ; but both were defeated, and the enemy followed the chase up to the walls of Geblours, where Gognies, Montigny and others having entered with 16 or 17 companies of the main battle, the rest that came after them and could not get in were charged by the enemy, and great part of them put to the sword. Their ordnance and munitions were, for the most part, safe in the town, which the enemy environed that day, and next day assaulted with some loss ; but the town being hardly defensible, and their men not likely to hold it long, they look every hour for ill news. Besides the ordnance and munitions from the camp, there are in the town 200,000 florins, sent a night or two before to pay their army, the loss of which they think more important than of the town itself. Without this let, it is thought he had presented himself next day before the walls of Brussels ; where the astonishment was so great that if the Prince had not been there and shown much wisdom, there had fallen out some notable alteration. But sending immediately to Ghent for 10 ensigns, and to Venlo to Count 'Holloque' to come with his regiments, and also causing all the companies that lay dispersed in the country with those that remained of the camp, to repair to Brussels, he has so provided that the enemy, with the forces he has, can do little to it. The fortifications are in a manner finished, and outside they have made a great trench, to be made by such forces as they have over and above the 4,000 [In draft : the charge of whom with the town is committed to Count Bossu, the only man of the nobility capable thereof] under Count Bossu, who, with the burgesses, are to defend the town, where they are now resolute to spend the last drop of their blood in defence of their cause. After this victory we expect the revolt of Louvain, Tillemont, and other indefensible towns, though the States have garrisons in them. Mechlin, which has refused to receive a garrison at the appointment of the States, is much doubted. All this would have been prevented if the States had followed the advice of the Prince in time. He never hoped for better fruit of the ill-government of their camp and confusion in their other affairs ; but now they have found their faults, it is hoped they will reform. The Prince, who is still at Brussels, is looked for here every day, together with the Governor and States, who have determined to reside here. Meanwhile the people are very 'jealous' of the Prince's stay here, as the man upon whom, under God, they have reposed their hope, and who will give the enemy his hands full ; the rather if her Majesty will carry out her promise to assist them, which should be done with speed, if at all.—Antwerp, 3 Feb. 1577. P.S.—Even now we have news of the yielding of Geblours by the States' men, their leaders remaining prisoners, themselves to depart unarmed, taking oath not to serve against the King ; and those that will serve Don John to have entertainment. Add. Endd. 1¼ pp. [Ibid. V. 36.]
624. Draft of the above. 1½ pp. [Ibid. V. 36A.]
Feb. 3. 625. NEWS of the BATTLE OF GEMBLOURS.
On Tuesday morning, the 3rd of February [sic : but it was the 4th], Captain Leighton arrived at the Court at Hampton Court, and early the same morning, at three a.m., came Edward Whitchurch in post, with news of the overthrow of the States' whole camp by Namur, by Don John's forces. In the afternoon Mr. Secretary Walsingham was sent to London by her Majesty, to assemble as many of her Council as were there at the Lord Keeper's house next morning. But next morning early a countermand was sent, that they should repair hither to Court ; and so on Wednesday there arrived the Lord Keeper, the Lord Treasurer, the Lord Admiral, Sir Walter Mildmay, and Sir Francis Walsingham, and met in Council about four in the afternoon. Nothing was resolved but to dispatch Mr. Leighton again to inform himself of the state of things there since the overthrow, and such other circumstances as appear from his instructions. Captain Leighton came from the States Jan. 29th, and the overthrow was given the 30th. In company with him came Mr. Beale, returning from his ambassage out of Germany, where he has not fruitlessly laboured in her Majesty's name, as may appear from the letters of Dathenus and Languet, and others. Mr. Daniel Rogers also returned from thence not four days before, and with him Dr. Beutrich, counsellor to Duke Casimir. Note in the writing of L. Tomson. ¾ p. [For. E.B. Misc. II.]
Feb. 3. 626. DAVISON to BURGHLEY.
I left to the report of Whitchurch as much as I could at his departure write about the defeat of the States' camp, the news of which has not been followed with the same vehemence as it was first reported. Remainder identical with No. 620. Add. Endd. (4 Feb.). 1½ pp. [Holl. and Fland. V. 37.]
Feb. 3.
K. d. L. x. 270.
The Scots and French, with certain companies of Walloons, under Montigny, brother to Count Lalaing, sustained the greatest fury of the enemy, being the rearguard ; of whom, save the French, the greatest part are escaped, and Balfour himself, with others, come to Brussels. Of the vanguard, 16 or 17 ensigns entered Geblour with M. de Goignies, Marshal of the camp, who is blamed for the mishap ; and Montigny, a young gentleman of great expectation. They have munitions and victuals enough to hold out for 40 or 50 days, and so long they reckon to defend it, though it will be hard for the States to raise the siege if the enemy collect all his forces, being so strong as he is in cavalry. It is the opinion of sundry of good judgement that if he had pursued his fortune and appeared next day before Brussels, as he might, with his horsemen, have occupied the passages above the town, he had put matters in great hazard. Now, however, they have recovered courage and time to prepare for the worst. The Prince, who will be there two or three days more, showed wonderful resolution, riding up and down to survey every corner, and to provide where there was need. Without his stay, I doubt things would have grown to a marvellous confusion. There arrived four companies of Gauntoys on Sunday night, to be followed by four or six more to-morrow, besides Count Holloque's regiment that was before Ruremonde ; with others. But nothing gives them greater courage than the hope of the speedy arrival of our succours. Count Bossu, with his forces, remains at Brussels ; a man much fitter to take charge than Count Lalaing, who is sent to his government.—Antwerp, 3 Feb. 1577. Draft. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. V. 38.]
Feb. 4.
K. d. L. x. 272.
[Same information as in above letter.] Draft. Endd. 1¼ pp. [Ibid. V. 39.]
Feb. 4. 629. POULET to WALSINGHAM.
Please permit this bearer to be the next messenger to me, if you conveniently can, because I cannot well spare him from service here. If you have promised another, I have desired him to return by Rye. As you have now a companion in your charge, I do not know if you will think good that I should from time to time send you copies of my letters to the Queen. I ask your instructions. Please promise the allowance of this bill enclosed.—Paris, 4 Feb. 1577. Add. Endd. ⅓ p. [France II. 10.]
Feb. 4. 630. POULET to the SECRETARIES.
You will hear of my late conferences with the King, Queen Mother, and the Lords of the Council, from my letters to her Majesty, sent herewith. These few lines are only to let you know that the party mentioned in my last as bringing letters to me from Duke Casimir and Mr. Rogers is a very dangerous and pernicious fellow ; and it is much misliked of men of good judgement that he has so much credit with Duke Casimir. Nothing is omitted here to content those of the religion, men of credit being sent into the provinces to settle all things according to the Edict, and the messengers sent lately from Bordeaux to request permission for their brotherhoods, associations, and such like, are dispatched with a flat answer that the King has no doubt of the due obedience of those of the religion, and will look to be no less obeyed of the Catholics, and therefore has commanded them to leave those confederacies and to live together as becomes countrymen and subjects of one prince. I thank God that we Englishmen cannot dissemble so cunningly. It is said that the King of Spain has sent sundry messengers to the Turk, and is in good hope to make peace with him ; and that he has lately embarked many companies of foot at Barcelona, to supply the place of those at Naples and Milan, who are being sent into the Low Countries. It is also said that he is preparing a great number of ships and galleys, which will not be ready till next spring. It is confirmed that Thomas Stukeley has gone to sea, with 900 men ; but it is said that he is gone for some exploit in some part of Italy, in the service of the King of Spain.—Paris, 4 Feb. 1577. Add. Endd. twice. 1 p. [Ibid. II. 11.]
Feb. 5. 631. The EMPEROR to the ESTATES of the LOW COUNTRIES.
Your letter of January 8 reached us at the beginning of this present month, in which you profess the same devotion to the King of Spain as in your former letters. We have always expected of you that you would never be of any other mind than that the Catholic religion and the authority of the King should be maintained in the provinces. We are all the more pleased by your declaration, as we have less doubt that you will not recede from that intention. We are above all desirous to soften the King's heart and reconcile him to you, to which end we are writing to our Ambassador residing with him by a nobleman of our Court, who we have dispatched on a far journey to Spain, bidding him use all his efforts in that matter ; laying your letter before the King, and praying him to agree to setting on foot further friendly negotiations. And whereas, knowing the evils of war, and that safety is in peace, and you seem to await such negotiations, we will promote the matter to the best of our power. To this end we propose to appoint as our Commissioners those whom we named in our former letter. Gerard Bishop of Liége, William Duke of Juliers, Philip Baron of Wynenberg, President of our Council, and Otto Henry Count of Schwarzenberg, Marshal of our Court, who is already with you. But whereas your letters testify that those persons who, with the exception of Count Schwarzenberg, negotiated the former peace (which, to our great regret, did not endure), acted with all honesty, and we were persuaded that it would be agreeable to you if they officiated again, so we feel sure you will provide that those Commissioners shall be able in all security to attend to the negotiation in question, and that when the negotiations take place you will carry into action the same desire for peace and the same affection towards the King and the Catholic religion which you now profess, and show that you lack nothing to bring it to good effect. That you will do this is our often-repeated paternal exhortation and request, for thus will you do the best for your wives, your children, and your country, and give us least cause to repent of the care we have taken for your safety, for the public tranquillity, and for the performance of our own Imperial duty. As concerns the military tribunes, or colonels, who were imprisoned, we are glad to learn that George Frinsberg has been set at liberty ; but seeing that anything which Charles Fugger has done contrary to your expectation he must be considered as having done in pursuance of his oath to the King whose pay he took, we request that you will be pleased to deal leniently with him, being also a vassal of the Empire, and release him from the bonds in which he has now lain so long, that even if there may have been reasons for his imprisonment, the duration of it should be considered. We trust to your fairness and to your regard for us and the Holy Empire, to do this, and, moreover, we hear that the King is much offended at the detention of the Colonels, and their release will be good evidence of the respect you profess to him.—Vienna, 5 Feb. 1578. (Received Feb. 27.) Copy. Endd. by Davison and Wilson. Latin. 3 pp. [Holl. and Fland. V. 40.]
Feb. 5. 632. DECLARATION by the ARCHDUKE and the ESTATES.
His Highness and the Council, together with the Estates-General, having heard the report of the conference with the Baron de Selles who has come from the King, declare : that in the long absence of his Majesty his subjects in these countries have endured great insolence and oppression from the Spaniards, and yet have up to now remained loyal, and have refused all aid from foreign princes. Nor would they now desire it, were they not constrained by an unnecessary war arbitrarily forced upon them by Don John ; whom, if his Majesty persist in supporting, as so far he appears to do, the Estates will be grieved to the heart at being oppressed by his Majesty, whom they desire to serve in all fidelity, and will be forced to pray God and any friends they may find in the world to stand by them. If he will recall Don John and put an end to the war, they will uphold his lawful authority and the Catholic religion, according to the terms of the Pacification of Ghent, notwithstanding the calumnies of Don John's adherents, who are the cause of all disorders past and future. They pray the Baron de Selles to advertise the King of their good affection, and of what has passed at the conference, promising that he may, if he pleases, go to Don John without hindrance to perform the charge he has from his Majesty. And his Highness on his part declares that he is come with no other intention than in all sincerity to serve his Majesty, to maintain the subjects in their ancient privileges, and to preserve the country to his Majesty, his posterity, and the house of Austria. Copy. Endd. by Wilson : The Estates' declaration of their fidelity upon Baron de Selles coming to them, 5 Feb. 1577. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. V. 41.]
633. Another copy. 1½ pp. [Ibid. V. 41A.]
Feb. 6.
K. d. L. x. 274.
A memorial for Thomas Leighton, Esquire, presently sent to the States and to the Prince of Orange.
After delivering your letters of credence, you shall let them understand that her Majesty learning the late overthrow of their camp, for which she is heartily sorry, thought it meet to send you to ascertain their present state, and to confer with them what way is to be taken ; assuring them that if her Majesty see some better likelihood of good agreement among them, she will not abandon them, having forces now ready for their assistance. The only cause that has made her delay sending those forces was the knowledge she received from thence of the mislike of them conceived by Count Lalaing and others, and also of the misliking that she heard to be between Count Lalaing and the States, whereof she saw that mischief like to follow which has happened. Another cause of delay, you may say, was the advertisements her Majesty received from Germany, that some of the States had combined with the French, while others had secret intelligence with Don John, and that no levy of reiters was being made for the States ; which kind of dealing being not so sincere as she looked for, gave her cause for some deliberation. You shall ascertain the cause of this last overthrow of their camp, what practices were used to the defeat of it, in whom there was any treason toward the States, and what corruption by money or promises has been devised to the division of the camp, by any of the contrary part ; what persons of quality are slain, who remain, and how they are at present. Also the state of the country, how the people are affected, what preparations are on foot to repair the losses, what towns are best to be trusted, and whether any are revolted or 'in doubt to revolt.' In what state Don John's camp is after this victory, where he is, who of the country resort to him ; who of the nobility are suspected ; if any have gone from the States to him of late ; what strangers are come to him since this last defeat ; what power of resistance the States will have hereafter. And, in case there be any dealing by the States or Prince by way of speech for men and money, what assurance the Queen is to have for her people to be well used if they are sent over, and what caution she may have for the money lent by credit, considering the weak state in which it is supposed they now stand ; what support they now demand, and when and where they think her Majesty's forces shall best have their resting, upon any retiring for their safety, if any power be sent over :
What power of Frenchmen are with the enemy, and what aid he has from other countries, and from whom. For other particulars her Majesty is pleased you shall use your own judgement. Draft. Endd. by L. Tomson. 2½ pp. [Ibid. V. 42.]
635. Another copy of the same. Note : Mr. Leighton was dispatched the 7th February. [For. E.B. Misc. II.]
Feb. 6.
K. d. L. x. 276.
The surrender of Geblours is, as I feared in my last, followed by the revolt of Louvain, which the enemy entered yesterday morning, certain companies of Scots, who had retired thither after the defeat, being constrained to abandon the town. Mechlin has now received 700 or 800 burghers sent last night from this town, and Lyon 300 or 400, who will be reinforced with all expedition. At Villevorde, on the road between Brussels and this town, there entered yesterday a garrison of 400, and the like at Dendermonde on the 'Schielde.' Here we look every hour for Count Hollocque and his companies from Ruremonde. So the Prince, to whom the States have now in a manner given the charge of dictator, forgets nothing that a wise captain should look to in such extremity. The thing that now most troubles them here is the uncertainty of our succours ; wherein of her Majesty should now disappoint them it would, in the judgement of the wisest, cause some dangerous alteration. They are gathering part of their forces around Brussels, where they are now out of fear, and meanwhile levy new forces in Flanders, Artois, Hainault, and elsewhere. New forces are said to be marching to the enemy from France.—Antwerp, 6 Feb. 1577. P.S.—The Governor and the Prince arrived here last night. To-day we expect the States-General ; and this morning there is news that Amsterdam has surrendered to the Prince, whose presence so comforts the people that they seem out of all doubt so long as he is well. Draft. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fland. V. 43.]
Feb. 7.
K. d. L. x. 276.
Since the taking of Geblours and revolt of Louvain we hear of nothing of importance attempted by the enemy, except that he marched towards Philippeville and Bovines in the county of Namur, where the States have garrisons, both hardly defensible against such a force as he has. It is thought he will attempt then, leaving the siege of Brussels or any other place of special importance, not being in case to assail any great town till all his forces come together. Meantime they provide so that he shall find no want of difficulties. At Brussels there are about 4,000 soldiers besides the burgesses, with great store of munitions, powder, victuals, and all other necessaries. At Mechlin they have received two ensigns of Scots, besides the burghers sent from this town, who, on the entry of other companies, are to return hither. At Lyre the Prince has placed one Cromwell, an English captain, with two companies, and sends others from Count Holloque's men. To make head against the enemy in the field they have sent for the 5,000 reiters so long since resolved on, with 3,000 more ; for whose 'waregelt' and pay they are making all the money they can. The four members of Flanders, besides their quota of the 600,000 florins per month to be levied on the whole country, offer to fill up the garrison of Termonde and maintain 30 ensigns of foot and 500 horse. Those of Artois make as frank an offer, and generally the whole country is determined to do what the Prince and Estates think necessary for the success of their cause ; so that the defeat seems to have done more good than hurt. They refer to the Prince in all things, shaking off the diffidence and jealousy which were wont to cumber their affairs. It was thought that the defeat would have been followed by the revolt of some of the chief men ; but they never showed greater appearance of unity than now. If it continue their enemy will find his enterprise more difficult than his victory over the Turk. The money which was thought to be in Geblour was by good hap on the way there, and is brought back to Brussels. About that town they have burnt the "fauburgs" and trees in a certain compass, and the like at Mechlin. The Prince has begun a fort at Villebrook. Draft. Endd : 3 February [but not before 6th], to Mr. Secre, Walsingham, 1 p. [Ibid. V. 44.]
Though I have nothing of importance to write to you, I thought I would send a line to let you know that I have heard from Mre Cornille van der Straeten and others that there is here an English or Scotch prisoner, named, as I hear, John Hamilton ; who once wanted to betray the Queen of England. You have certainly heard speak of him. There is nothing else here, save that the burghers are in good heart, and working hard to finish the fortifications. —Brussels, 9 Jan. 1578. Add. Fr. ½ p. [The writer appears to have been one of Davison's clerks ; the handwriting being the same as that of the copies of French documents sent over by him.] [Ibid. V. 45.]
Feb. 10. 639. M. BERNY to POULET.
I was glad to hear from M. du Mesnil that you remember me. With regard to his communication to me, I wish to inform you that at Brest and Concarneau biscuits and provisions are being made for some great embarkation ; we judged that it was for Rochelle, though a report is spread that it is for the Indies. But I have received information that it is for an attempt on Ireland, at the solicitation of one called Bernaldin [sic] and of a bishop, who have been about Spain and other countries with a papal Bull defamatory of the Queen of England, of which I send you a copy. In Spain they freighted a vessel belonging to le Croisic, putting on board munitions of war, with artillery and fifty soldiers. On the way they took and pillaged an English ship and imprisoned the men ; and attacked another, but did not take it, because it was French ; which was the reason that the pilots put into a Spanish harbour, and were therefore accused by the said Bernaldin of Lutheranism, and put into the Inquisition, whence they escaped at night, and went on board their ship and sailed for France. Bernaldin and the bishop [marginal note : Fitz. arrived at Croisic] came to le Croisic to get a mitre or a cross or some other precious things, and have gone to France ; it is thought that they are promoting the enterprise and have intelligences in Ireland. The Marquis [interlined in Poulet's hand : de la Roche] is coming, with 12 ensigns and 10 or 12 guns, which he puts on the Loire at Orleans. It is said that Crillon's and Larchant's regiments are about starting, and that Langeray and Landrereau are also levying in Poitou. This is what he who was curé of Saint-André at Crevèze has heard, and wishes to write to you, for the service he owes you and Mr. Leighton, now in Flanders, as I hear to-day from the curé of St. Pierre du Bois, just arrived.—From 'your' house in Britanny, 10 Feb. 1578. (Signed) : le jadis curé de St. André, celui que connaissez. P.S.—If you have to do with the curé, do not spare him. I think you know where he is. Add. Endd. by Poulet : From Monsr. Berny. Fr. 1 p. [France II. 12.]