April 1578, 1-5


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'Elizabeth: April 1578, 1-5', Calendar of State Papers Foreign, Elizabeth, Volume 12: 1577-78 (1901), pp. 592-600. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=73322 Date accessed: 18 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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April 1578, 1-5

April 2. 762. POULET to BURGHLEY.
All things remain quiet here in outward appearance save that there have been some troubles in Dauphiné, which the French King and the King of Navarre seek jointly to appease. There has passed some communication of late between one of the ministers of Queen Mother and [me], and I suspect whatever they do or say ; so I trust your Lordship and the Council will believe them no further than is safe. I can be the more easily induced to give credit to this motion because it makes for their profit ; and this is the ground of their friendship and 'dysfrindshipp.' They pretend to mislike the good success of the Spaniards in the Low Countries, to be jealous of the neighbourhood of Don John, to wish to remove him further, to like Matthias, to be content to leave Scottish affairs to her Majesty, etc. I have written three or four leaves of paper on this to the Secretaries, which I know will be imparted to you ; nor would I have failed to send you copies were I not persuaded that this bearer will find you at Court, because of these late holidays. It is good to hear all proffers, and trust as we see good cause. I hope her Majesty is too well acquainted with the Spaniard to be 'abused' with his rhetoric ; and she should know that the loss of a day is of great moment. The Spaniard knows it, and therefore seeks to gain time by all possible means ; and when his turn is served, he may turn his flatterings into threatenings, and 'rip up old matters to ground his new quarrels.' God deliver her Majesty from the malice and cruelty of that barbarous nation ; which cannot be expected, unless she make her profit of the time when it serves and of occasions when they are offered.—Paris, 2 April 1578. Add. Endd. 1 p. [France II. 27.]
April 2.
K. d. L. x. 390.
763. REPLY of the QUEEN to the MARQUIS OF HAVRECH'S negotiation.
Upon the proposal of the Marquis, in pursuance of his instructions from the Estates, that the Queen would be pleased to forward the aid in men and money promised on the occasion of his former negotiation, her Majesty replies as follows :— First, as to the promised aid, having found an expedient more appropriate both to assist them and in other respects, which she has explained by her servant Mr. Rogers, sent expressly for that purpose ; she is resolved to hold to what he has negotiated with the States, and is about to negotiate with Duke Casimir, intending to have executed whatever the Estates and the Duke shall agree upon. She does this with the better will because she understands from the reply made by the Estates to Rogers that they approve the offer to subsidise the Duke ; the chief difficulty remaining being a difference about 1,000 horse and 1,000 foot, wherein her Majesty is prepared to meet their views as to what is most profitable for the present necessity, and will instruct Rogers to arrange with the Duke accordingly. Lastly, as to the order which Duke Casimir is to receive for 20,000l., for which sum the Estates are to be responsible, she has given orders to Rogers to arrange with the Duke that the sum in question is not to be put into his hands till he has concluded the terms which the Estates will propose to him ; upon which they will hand over to her Majesty or the person appointed by her a sufficient obligation for the repayment of the sum. In writing of L. Tomson. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. VI. 1.]
764. Draft of the above, in L. Tomson's writing. Endd. with date. [Ibid. VI. 2.]
April 3. 765. N. DE LYMBORCH, called D'OST, to BURGHLEY.
You will not have forgotten the desire I have always had to serve her Majesty, since the year '63, when I sent people into her kingdom with the late M. de Bocholt, lord of Grevenbroeck, to make overture of certain methods in regard to the coinage. Your Lordship wrote me several letters on the subject, finding my suggestion well grounded, as indeed it was ; and it has thrice since been carried out, and the crown, which was worth only 40 sous, is now worth 54, and the dollar, which was worth 30, is now worth 38, and other pieces in proportion. If her Majesty would like to have a good sum to aid this desolated country with, there is no prompter means in the world than the invention aforesaid to get five or six thousand florins or crowns, by the method I have explained of putting a mark upon each piece which will give the value, and her Majesty will take the sixth or seventh part. If you would like to have the demonstration I will send it, and you will find what profit her Majesty will make, without prejudice to her subjects. I send herewith a copy of the letter which her Majesty gave me for recompense, hoping to receive some fruit from it.— Antwerp, 3 April 1578. (Signed) N. Lynborch, dit Ost. P.S.—I have also written to Mr. Walsingham, that her Majesty may send me letters of recommendation to Duke Casimir. Copy of the Queen's letter : Whereas Nicolas de Limborch has offered me an invention touching the lack [?] of money, by means of which we may within three months gain a large sum, to be delivered in London for our use during a certain time, without exaction of money or interest or injury to our people, to show our gratitude we promise him one-twentieth of all profits that we may make thereby.—Greenwich, June 20 1563. Add. Endd. Fr. 1½ pp. [Ibid. VI. 3.]
April 4. 766. ADVICES from BRITANNY.
Master Martin,
At Court you will have seen La Prade, who is going to the Requests about the matter of Quetteville. He is a relation of the judge, and is wasting time in chicanery, hoping to get some recompense from the seamen of Guérande in Britanny, who were to carry his goods to Ireland, where I do not think that he, and still less La Prade [sic] will manage to deliver a single barrel of the wheat they have promised. As regards our news ; the Bretons will in no way agree to the taxes which they want to lay on them ; and I am sure that the 2,000 harquebusiers, whom Captain La Roche was sending down to this country, with a view to leading them to the Indies, and for whose embarkation arrangements were made to levy 50,000 livres on this country, were intended to remain in the country and favour the establishment of the tax in question. There have been such complaints that M. de Montpensier has interceded with his Majesty to have the soldiers recalled, and the levy of 50,000 livres abandoned ; so that La Roche is now at Court to get compensated for his expenses over the embarkation, which in any case has come to nothing. You will, if nothing else supervenes, have no more letters from me until you see me, which with the help of God will be soon. (Signed) La Grange.—Rennes, 4 April 1578. Copy, sent by Poulet. Endd. : Letters out of Bretaiane of the 22nd of March and 4th of April. (The former seems to be missing.) Fr. 1 p. [France II. 28.]
[April 5.]
K. d. L. x. 399.
There has been little change since I last wrote, the enemy having in the meanwhile been in suspense what to attempt, is now encamped before Philippeville on the frontier of Hainault, where are eight or nine companies of foot and two cornets of horse ; in expugnation of which, if the defenders do their part, he is like to hazard both his forces and his reputation, both by reason of the strength of the place, and because the States may in the meanwhile gather their strength, have the better entry for their reiters, and provide such towns as are most important to stop his further incursion. The Count of Bossu is therefore encamped near Mons with 4,000 foot and 1,000 horse ; intending to collect their strength there, both for the above reasons and to assure the minds of the 'Henuyers,' into whose country the war has now been transferred ; also to be better assured of that province [as well as to keep the enemy play in that corner, to ease the charge of the Bruxellois], which has hitherto been the most doubtful. The Duke of Alençon's army, of which we daily have advice from the frontier, is suspected to 'tend to the offence' of these countries. You will see what I have written to the Secretaries. The dispatch which William brought has been thankfully received ; but they would have been better satisfied with your presence. Sainte-Aldegonde is this day gone towards Worms, as commissioner for the Governor and States to the Diet, which begins on the 15th. You may see the 'generality' of his instruction in my letter aforesaid. From Germany we have constant news of the levy of 4,000 or 5,000 reiters [by Enric de Brunswick] and the Duke van Holst [Holstein], and of 10,00[0] landsknechts for Don John ; but if his intelligence in the country fail him, and he have to depend upon his force, he will find his enterprise an endless piece of work. Lord Seton was lately apprehended at Bruges, and has been threatened with the rack. He has been accused of continual intelligence with the enemy, of having had two of his men with him the day after the overthrow, and other things ; but what he has confessed, or what has become of him, I do not understand ; only he is said to have accused certain persons [of Mechlin, Bruges and this town]. Rough draft. 1 p. On the back, fragment of a draft of letter of even date to the Secretaries. Passages in brackets added from No. 769. [Holl. and Fl. VI. 4.]
April 5.
K. d. L. x. 401.
Upon receipt of your letter with the procurations, projects of bonds, and other particulars, sent by Mr. Williams, who arrived immediately after the departure of the last post, I sent to desire audience of the Prince. I had it of him the next day, and of the States the day following, and communicated to both the details of that dispatch. Yesterday they sent their deputies to me to confer of the course to be taken, but nothing is as yet done. I hear that certain merchants of this town and nation, being dealt with long ago by the States in the expectation of these bonds, have undertaken to furnish the greater part of the sum. If this be true it will be a great furtherance of the negotiation ; but I shall be able to write more in full by my next. Meantime I must tell you how thankfully they accept her Majesty's favour in this behalf ; and how aptly it came to stay some wavering minds that half despairing of our help, too much consideration of the charges of this war, suspicious of the alteration of religion, and sent to sleep by the solicitation of the Emperor, the Bishop of Liége, M. de Selles and others of the enemy's suborned ministers, harped too much and too soon upon the string of peace ; for the better slacking or breaking of which, as a thing of very ill concord with their present state, I thought it not amiss in my discourse to them to let them understand the double dealing of Mendoza with her Highness, and the little expectation there was of any other peace than such as their own strength, union, and resolution should constrain. And therefore, advising them to prepare for the worst, I concluded that as in this art and otherwise they had experienced her Majesty's care for them and their cause, they might be sure that unless the occasion should grow from themselves, she would never abandon them. This advertisement I gave them by the way ; it was well taken, and I hear since has done no harm. The various information of the Duke of Alençon's preparation of forces makes them very suspicious. The Prince, when I was last with him, communicated some news of it to me, and asked what I thought of it. I told him that the state of that country, the inclination of the Duke, and other circumstances were so much better known to him that he did not need my advice ; however, as he pleased to hear me speak, I would say what I thought. The Duke's arming could not in my opinion but tend to one of these four ends ; either a war against the King his brother, or the renewing of the troubles against the Protestants, and the assisting of the States, or the taking part against them ; for there was no great appearance of any external war. As for war against his brother, I find few of that opinion ; the attempting something against the Protestants was not altogether without suspicion, though by sundry circumstances I proved to him the unlikelihood of it. Therefore I concluded that his arming must be either for the defence or the offence of these countries ; but which I left to the Prince's judgement. He said it must be for one of the ends I had mentioned, but of them all, he most suspected the latter. For he knew that the country would never approve his assistance as he offered it, partly because whatever show he made, the conditions would be such as the States could never agree to without prejudice and danger to themselves, partly for other reasons, which he said were too long to repeat. He affirmed that they had given the minister who was last here an answer rather dilatory than negative, and promised shortly to send deputies to Cambray to treat further with anyone whom he might send. This latter in order to gain time, being uncertain what issue the negotiations in England would have, and to break the intelligence which the enemy sought to have with him, because such a conjunction could not fail to be dangerous for these countries. But seeing by the letters which he had since written to the States he seems not satisfied with this delay, but presses for a final answer (wherein, as he said, they are in no sort determined to satisfy his aspiring desire), he could not but conjecture that there was some intelligence between him and the enemy, and that his present arming was to offend them. But failing to speak of some means to divert that danger he told me they had determined to send M. de Frezin and some other to Cambray to await the Duke's deputies, or else, first having safe-conduct, to travel to him where he is ; and as they were bound by virtue of their treaty with her Majesty to do nothing in such cases without her knowledge, their commissioners were to conclude nothing without her advice, and they had determined very shortly to acquaint her with the whole negotiation. Accordingly, the gentlemen being this day departed, I look within a day or two to hear some further details from his Excellency of their instructions ; which I will send you when I have them. For the gentleman arrived in England from Monsieur, the Prince of Orange is of advice [in cipher] there is nothing in it but fraud. Howbeit if by good handling the matter might indeed be compassed, it would be of great importance to these countries and their neighbours ; and therefore not an opportunity to be let slip. Sainte-Aldegonde is this day gone towards Worms. His charge tends as well to hinder the succours levying in the Empire for the enemy, and to further those that are to be levied for the States, as to justify them in taking arms to supplant such leagues as might be made to their prejudice, and to keep up the good correspondence which these countries have always had with the Empire. His leisure before going did not suffice to decipher the letters you sent me with your last, but he procured me another to perform it. I send it herewith, together with the cipher of Guaras's letters sent me long since, and delivered as you ordered to Sainte-Aldegonde ; but being mislaid by his man during his absence in 'Phrise,' I could never recover it till he found it by chance and sent it me to-day. The bruit is here that Mendoza is to remain resident in England ; at which some wise men do not a little marvel, considering the time, which requires as little harbouring as may be to be given to the ministers of such princes as are manifestly suspected. [The remainder is practically identical with the letter to Leicester, No. 767 q.v.]—Antwerp, 5 April 1578. [Ibid. VI. 5.] Add. Endd. 3½ pp.
April 4
769. Rough draft of above letter.
Endd. 4 pp. [Ibid. VI. 6.]
April 5.
K. d. L. x. 399.
I had hoped to send you some good news touching your suit and the advancement of your 'diet' for four months, but I can obtain neither of them ; and can only advise you to 'unfold your decayed state' to the Lord Treasurer and the Earl of Leicester and pray them to procure your recall. I have received many a 'repuse,' hoping to have done you good, being loath to acquaint you with her Majesty's indisposition in your behalf ; but now I am heartily sorry I have entertained you in vain hope. This mishap is not only yours, but of as many as are called to public service, so that all men grow weary of the matter. No one has more cause to complain than myself, being decayed rather than advanced by my long and painful service.—London, 5 April 1578. Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. VI. 7.]
April 5.
K. d. L. x. 396.
Being loth, for the good will we bear to our brother the King of Spain, to omit any means that may procure the peace of his Low Countries, of which we have given sufficient testimony ; and finding that if means of compounding the differences be not speedily wrought, they will grow to such extremity that all remedy will be past ; we have thought good to dispatch you to Don John, to understand of him whether he has authority, and can be content, to grant a surseance of arms, and by that means to enter into a treaty of peace, honourable for the King and himself, and profitable for the countries. First, you shall tell him that by the arrival of Don Bernardino de Mendoza from the King, we have received answer to the chief points of the legation on which we dispatched you ; and therefore, as one well acquainted with the matter, we have chosen to use your services towards him. But touching the special point of our message, as to the pacification of the countries, we have received no part of his mind by Don Bernardino, whereby we are moved to doubt that he is otherwise resolved than, for ought we can see, is to his benefit. The point unanswered, propounded by us, was to move him to give order for the due observation of the Perpetual Edict ; which we were the more willing to do, since it was accorded by Don John himself, and we saw that the States insisted chiefly on that point, offering to yield all due obedience to the King that could be required of them, and to continue in the Catholic faith, with promise to cease from arms if they might enjoy the execution of it. The like declaration we understand they made to the Baron of Selles, sent by the King with offer of grace and pardon if they would according to their letter of September last render him his due obedience and maintain the Catholic faith ; by their declaration making clear what their meaning was in their former letter, which seemed to be otherwise taken by the King than they meant ; referring always to the King's own edict. Thus much you shall say we understand both by their answer to Baron de Selles' negotiation and by the report of the Marquis of Havrech at his last arrival ; so that the only difference between the King and them stands in the performance of the Edict, as we declared to our good brother, and desired his answer therein. Whereto, not receiving any direct answer, we might be altogether discouraged from further dealing, did we not think it honourable, so long as any spark of hope remains, to persist in so good a work as to avoid the effusion of Christian blood by procuring peace ; wherein we are encouraged to proceed by finding the States in the same disposition as before, desiring only to enjoy the peace granted them by the Edict, offering to conform to all that was accorded in it ; but with full intention, in case it shall be denied them, to cast themselves into the protection of any prince whatsoever, rather than endure the extremities which by this proceeding are likely to be laid on them. From which resolution we have been a means to stay them hitherto while awaiting an answer from Spain, referring our own resolution to such information as we might receive from you of the King's pleasure ; which standing in so doubtful terms as it does, we could not forbear to use their last remedy, both to show the world the affection we bear to our good brother, and to justify our action, if hereafter for our own safety we take another course than we have been save upon great occasion to enter into, or would be looked for at our hands. For if they may not be received into favour on so reasonable a condition, and are thereby forced to accept such an offer as has lately been made them by the Duke of Alençon, which they have been content to defer till they knew our resolve, you will tell him that we find it a matter so full of danger to ourself and our state that we cannot forbear to let him know our determination ; which is in no case to endure the countries being reduced to servitude by him, by making a conquest of them and spoiling them of their ancient liberties, nor yet to be possessed by the French. Therefore you will give him plainly to understand that, as we see that the only means to stay their violent course is to grant a surseance of arms, we cannot but earnestly press him thereto ; which if he will accord we will send over some person of quality to mediate such an agreement, as we doubt not will be greatly to the benefit of those countries and the honour of the King and himself, whereof he ought to be most careful, since any loss that the King may sustain by other kind of dealing will be 'desired' upon him in the only cause of all inconveniences likely to fall out by his present actions and resolutions. [Following has been struck out] : If he answer, as he did to Leighton, that he has no commission from the King to deal for a peace, but only to prosecute war, you shall say we are informed by Don Bernardino that the King has given him absolute authority for both. If he refuse to condescend to our request, having authority to do so, he will confirm the common opinion that his purpose tends only to the subduing of these countries by way of conquest. Draft, with corrections in Walsingham's hand. Endd. by L. Tomson : A draught of instructions for one to be sent to Don John. Mr. Wylkes. Dispatch the 5th of April, and in a later hand. 5½ pp. [Ibid. VI. 8.]
April 5. 772. Another copy of the above, with the following additional paragraphs :
To which, if notwithstanding what you shall tell him touching the answer Don Bernardino made as to the absolute authority given him alike for war and for peace, he shall reply to you, as he did to Leighton, that he has no commission so to do, you shall declare that we cannot but think it strange if it should be so, considering how necessary it is for the King, the countries of Spain and Flanders being so far 'distermined' and the passages between them of such difficulty that messages cannot be safely or speedily sent between them, a point very necessary in such troublesome times, to have his governor there invested with full authority to take what course soever he shall find to serve most for his honour and benefit, whether by peace or war ; the rather that the King has always protested to them and witnessed to us that he desires nothing but peace. He has lately expressed the same by the Baron de Selles, whom we cannot think he would more honourably authorise than Don John, in whom we are persuaded the King reposes as great trust with as free liberty to do what he thinks best for his service, 'as upon no governor more at any time,' without trying him to any limit, but referring all to his discretion. And in case he shall say to you that he has sent to the King and expects an answer every day, you shall tell him we can be content you remain there with him seven or eight days to see what may fall out. If he lets you know the King can be content we should interpose, to mediate some good accord between him and those countries, and as you shall find him inclined, you may decide accordingly about tarrying there, in proportion to the time limited. But if he shall simply refuse to condescend to our request you shall let him understand we have just cause 'to conceive the common bruit and opinions cast forth of him to be true,' that his purpose tends to the subduing of the Low Countries by way of conquest ; which gives us just cause to take that course for the stay of his intentions, which we would be loth to do unless constrained by necessity, whereby it may appear to the world that we leave nothing undone that is consistent with honour or conscience. Copy. 6 pp. [For. E.B. Misc. II.]
April [5].
K. d. L. x. 391 and 416 (from another source).
773. The QUEEN to DON JOHN.
In pursuance of the earnest we have long given of our desire for the good of Christendom in general and of our good brother the Catholic King in particular, and with a view to the pacification of the Low Countries we have sent this bearer, Thomas Wilkes, one of the clerks (secrétaires) of our privy council to negotiate with you in certain matters of importance, praying you to hear him and give credence to him as to ourselves.—Greenwich, April 1578. Copy. Fr. ½ p. [For. E.B. Misc. II.]