809. Commission issued by the Archduke Matthias to Mr.
John Cobham to raise 3 companies, each of 200 men, for the service
of 'his Majesty, us, and the States General,' at the same rate
of pay as other English troops, to run from the day of their
muster.—Antwerp, 21 April, 1578.
Copy. Fr. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. VI. 28.]
810. RANDOLPH to DAVISON.
I cannot sufficiently commend to you the bearer, my friend
Mr. Travers ; nor a little praise your godly purpose to have
him there so near yourself. Our hap is the harder that such men
are forced to seek other places than to do their duties at home.
Neither you nor he shall lack what lies in my power to pleasure
either of you.—London, 23 April, 1578. P.S.—I write you nothing
of my return nor yet of the state of Scotland, because my time
does not save ; but I assure you they are now in quiet, and at
her Majesty's devotion, if she likes to receive them.
Add. Endd. in later hand. 1 p. [Ibid. VI. 29.]
K. d. L. x.
811. DAVISON to WILSON.
I am greatly beholden to you for your advertisements in former
letters, and in your last, touching Mouffet ; of whom I never
had a better opinion than yourself, the man being very well
known to me for suspect. The first time I saw him here was
with Mr. Leighton, whom at his last departure he accompanied
towards the port, afterwards returning hither, under what pretext
I know not, but his entertainment, not very plausible, at my
hands hastened his repair back to Bruges, when he was no
sooner arrived than apprehended. I do not hear what is become
of him. Lord Seton is like to find more favour than he deserves,
having procured some order for his release ; which I would hinder
yet a while if I may, being less able to do hurt where he is than
if he were at home.
You may have heard by your nephew (by whom I had no
time to write, owing to the suddenness of his dispatch) some
particulars of the late incident at Gravelines. We have very little
hope of it, though no other forces have entered but some Walloons
whom la Mothe took in, in place of his lieutenant's company.
[Remainder of the paragraph nearly identical with letter of 20th.]
The treaty with the Duke of Alençon is now grown to some
ripeness, through 'our only' fault. His commissioners, M. de
Rochepot and M. de Pruneaux have arrived at St. Ghislain near
Mons, whither the States have sent their deputies. The communications
begin to-day. The considerations by which these
men seem to be drawn to it are chiefly these ; that her Majesty
having refused to take the open protection of them, and they unable
to subsist long of themselves, are driven to back themselves with
one neighbour or another ; that the Duke of Alençon has importuned
them and made them good offers, which they cannot utterly
reject without giving him occasion to take part with the enemy,
with which they have been threatened ; that by this treaty they
hope to effect one of three things, either to set the Kings in
pique together, or the two brothers by the ears, or at least to
make the King of Spain the more jealous of his estate, and the
better inclined to peace. But I pray the event be not worse
than they look for. If it were but the Duke's endless solicitation
it would be enough to make them suspect his offers ; how much
more if the man and matter be well examined.
M. de Selles would meanwhile put them in hope of peace. He
has ample commission to treat of it from the King, which the
States have sent commissioners to Mechlin to examine. But
you will hear from Mr. Wilks in what humour he finds the
other side. We think it only a stratagem, to increase the negligence
of these people, to hinder if possible the succours from
Germany, and to break the intelligence between them and the
French, as also, which is the main object, to see if by offering
a peace agreeable to some, he can divide them from the rest ;
which he hopes to effect under the mantle of religion.
The reiters begin to march both for Don John and for the
States, but none are yet arrived on either side. We shall see
soon what the assembly at Worms brings forth. 'St. Aldegondy'
is employed there for these countries.
I am sorry to hear of the inclination for troubles in Scotland,
of which our enemies hope to make their profit.—Antwerp, 23
P.S.—Please impart this letter to Mr. Randolph, with remembrance
of my hearty commendations.
Draft. Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. VI. 30.]
K. d. L. x.
812. DAVISON to LORD COBHAM.
I have so long forborne to write to you that I know not
what reason to allege in excuse that may be accepted, unless it
be my restless occupations, which Mr. John Cobham can bear
witness afford me little intermission.
Of the troublesome estate of things here I can write little
that Mr. Cobham is not able to particularise. The enemy is still
before Philippeville ; and though despairing to expugne it by
force, the place being very strong, he hopes to take it by famine,
being very slenderly provided to endure a siege. The rest of the
towns that he has are for the most part of little moment, and
easy to recover if the States were once the stronger in the field ;
a thing yet unlikely.
The forces from Germany are eagerly awaited ; 6,000 reiters
are marching, but Duke Casimir's entry is not expected before
midsummer. The old practice with the Duke of Alençon is again
on foot ; the cause growing from our coldness and irresolution.
I hope the result will be better than can in reason be expected.
We have had some new overtures of peace here ; but nothing
seems less compatible with the present state of affairs, especially
in respect of religion, which under the liberty of arms increases
as much as the contrary (which with the other point of due
obedience, the King would conserve by force) is likely, if one
may judge from causes to effects, to receive a greater blow than
ever it had yet in these parts. It is a question whether the ruin
of the one can be unaccompanied by the hazard of the other ;
I mean the King's obedience.
Mr. Cobham's haste to be gone and my little leisure shorten
my letter.—Antwerp, 24 April 1578.
Draft. Endd. 1¼ p. [Ibid. VI. 31.]
813. POULET to BURGHLEY.
I never intended that my excuse should extend further than
to crave pardon for my silence. Sometimes my dispatch is so
sudden that I have not time to write to any other than the
Secretaries ; and indeed should be ashamed to remember any other
nobleman and omit your Lordship. I know how much I am bound
to you, and will never cease to acknowledge it ; being destitute
of all other means of satisfaction. Your example may suffice me
to prefer my country to any other worldly thing soever, and as
I have honoured and respected you long, and have been bound
so to do for your many friendly deserts towards me, so I will
say truly that this honour and respect have been grounded principally
upon experience of your careful affection for the preservation
of our declining state. God grant you long life to see the happy
effects from your godly and politic counsel, confound the treasons
of these untimely-born brats, who seek alteration of prince and
religion, and give His grace to all Englishmen to be good English
subjects, and to join with one heart and mind in the defence of
their common mother that noble realm of England. Though I
am unable to do the service that is required in these dangerous
times, I will never yield to any man in forwardness to follow
the directions of your Lordship and others of your inclination
in all that concerns the duty of a natural child to a natural
mother. It is not to be doubted that our state is dangerously
sick, and it may seem that our violent mischiefs will not bear
delayed remedies. I trust her Majesty will have regard to her
own safety, to that of her subjects, to the preservation of our
posterity, and especially to the maintenance of God's religion, so
manifestly threatened on every side. It is easy to see that we
are 'abused' on every side, and our enemies think it a great point
of holiness to deceive us, they care not how. I pray God the late
embassy from hence be not sugared with some dangerous poison.
It is said there is treaty of a marriage between the Emperor
and the daughter of Spain, and that the house of Austria is on
that account wholly for the Spaniard. We are not satisfied here
touching the preparations by sea made in Portugal, and think
it is against the Low Countries or England.
The Queen of Navarre is not yet gone to her husband ; something
is always wanting. Garrisons are planted in the passages
near adjoining and the gentlemen pensioners are commanded to
wait, which argues some inward disquiet.—Paris, 24 April 1578.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [France II. 32.]
814. POULET to the SECRETARIES.
The chief cause of this dispatch is to let you know that I
have nothing worthy of you, lest your expectation to receive
something from hence might hinder your resolutions otherwise.
My last letter, of the 15th, mentioned that Queen Mother would
not return from Olinville till the 19th ; but the truth is that
she came to her house of Filles Repenties unlooked for, at night
on the same 15th, where she still remains, and has taken physic
daily, rather, as I am informed, to prevent sickness than for any
great 'grief.' I have sought by all convenient means to have
access to her, which I know has been granted during this time
to many others in matters of less imporance ; and therefore I take
my delay as evident argument that their late motions are so many
flatteries, and that they mean nothing less than to join with
her Majesty in anything that may displease the Spaniard. I
think we may believe that so long as the King's ears are
possessed as they now are, and the helm here governed as it
now is, the amity between the French and the Spaniard will be
inseparable, and the friendship of the French toward us will
reach no further than to serve their own turn to our disadvantage.
We shall do well to look for no help from hence. If Queen
Mother have any disposition to concur with her Majesty in compounding
the controversy between the King of Spain and his
subjects in the Low Countries, she was sufficiently informed before
the departure of Gondi, to have wrought some good effect in
her ; so that if his negotiation make no mention of that, it may
be concluded that the first motion made to you there, and what
has followed here, had no ground of good meaning, and we
deceive ourselves if we look for sounder dealing at their hands.
The King has called his gentleman pensioners, commonly called
the gentlemen of his house, to attend on his person, and many
of them are come to the Court ; and has appointed garrisons in
some passages near this town, as Charenton, St. Cloud, and such
like. It is easy to see whence this jealousy comes.
M. la Noue is of opinion that the preparations by sea made
in Portugal are to be employed against the Low Countries or
An English priest called Hall, of the age of 55 years or thereabouts,
and tall of stature, resorted lately to these Irish friars,
and gave each of them a teston, commending himself to their
prayers ; and said that he was going to England to confirm
some of his brethren there, and thence into Ireland, where he
trusted to see some of them shortly.
The Irish bishop mentioned in my former letters remains here,
having received 400 francs from the King, by way of reward.
It is now said that the Emperor and the whole house of Austria
are for the Spaniard, in hope of his marrying the daughter
I hear that one du May, servant to Monsieur, left this town
on the 17th, with an assignation for 30,000 francs to be paid in
Picardy to Rochepot and others for levying certain companies.
But it is thought that their plan waxes cold, and we say here
that the surrender of Gravelines was managed wholly by the
There are frequent and long consultations here by those of the
[In cipher] : Gondi's voyage is feared and misliked, as well
by those of the religion as by Monsieur ; and there is some
practice in hand to search his papers in his return, whereof I
thought to advertise you, although I know he will receive nothing
from you that you shall desire kept secret.
Nutshawe, a merchant of Southampton, writes to me yesterday
from 'Newhaven,' that he is imprisoned there and his ship and
goods arrested, under pretence that the ship belongs to a Frenchman
dwelling at Le Croisic, and was taken from him by a pirate
two years ago or so ; whereas Nutshawe affirms that he has owned
it nine or ten years. He prays me to advertise you of his poor
estate, trusting that he will not want your favour.—Paris, 24
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [France II. 33.]
K. d. L. x.
815. DAVISON to BURGHLEY.
You will understand by Mr. Wilks as much as I can wish,
yet I would not 'let' to trouble you with a letter by Mr. Cobham.
The negotiation with the Duke of Alençon is now on foot, and
the Deputies met yesterday at St. Ghislain, the place appointed
by the States on La Fougère refusing Brussels. It is, however,
thought that at Count Lalaing's instance it will be transferred
to Mons. What overture is made on either side I do not yet
know, only the Prince and States 'bear me in hand' that nothing
shall be concluded without her Majesty's knowledge.
M. de Selles (whose arrival here I reported in my last, being
so given to understand by one of the States who mistook the
messenger for the master) has met Count Bossu and other commissioners
at Mechlin ; to how little purpose you can learn both
from Mr. Wilks and from the enclosed copies of the King's letters
to Selles, containing his answer to the three material points propounded
when Selles was at Brussels, namely the Pacification of
Ghent, the recognising of the Archduke, and the revocation of
I leave you to Mr. Wilks's report for the state of the enemy.
The opinion of la Motte is little or no better. He has at
present principally Jesuits with him, without whose advice he does
nothing ; you can guess what fruit their association promises.
The Archduke and Council here, not being satisfied with the
answer which their commissioners brought from him last Saturday
night, being in substance only a reiteration of the points contained
in my last, dispatched them back again ; but they are 'eftsoons'
returned with as little fruit as before. The profanation of sacred
things, as the pulling down of the bells, which he says are as
well christened, if not as good Christians, as himself, the melting
of chalices, and the employment of other ornaments of the Church
towards the maintenance of this war, very much sticks on his
stomach ; but all this tends only to the kindling of division under
the pretext of religion. Howbeit, St. Omer, a more important
place than Gravelines, being now assured, and other places of
importance thereabouts being likewise provided for, there is the
less fear of anything he may effect.
Upon a recent mutiny among the garrison of Maestricht for
their pay, the enemy sent deputies thither to see if he might profit
by the disorder to practise the delivery of the town into his hands,
offering them more advantageous pay ; but the traffic being discovered,
his ministers were apprehended and forthwith drowned
in the Maes. A reward all the more just that the parties were
of these countries.
The time is drawing on for the descent of our reiters. They
are said to be marching, but not a man has yet entered the country.
It is said that 7,000 or 8,000 of them are coming to the enemy,
and 10,000 lansquenets.
The Emperor's affection to these States has appeared somewhat
plainly of late, by his refusal to allow any of his own subjects
to come to their service. We shall see by the resolutions at
Worms what is to be expected of the other German princes.
Escovedo, a chief firebrand and kindler of this war, is certainly
affirmed to be slain in the Spanish Court.
Mr. Gilpin is to travel into Germany with Carenzon to-morrow,
about the negotiation of money ; for there is little hope of doing
good here. Other occurrences you may understand by Mr. Wilks.
—Antwerp, 24 April 1578.
Add. Endd. 1½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. VI. 32.]
Draft of letter similar to the above. Endd. : To Mr.
Secretary Walsingham, and to my L. of L. the 24 April 1578.
1⅓ pp. [Ibid. VI. 33.]
817. DAVISON to the SECRETARIES.
Identical with that to Burghley of even date.
Add. Endd. by L. Tomson, who makes a note in the margin.
1½ pp. [Ibid. VI. 34.]
K. d. L. x.
818. DAVISON to WALSINGHAM.
The haste of this bearer, who was ready to depart before I had
knowledge of his journey, just as I was returned from Lierre
(where I had been to stay a disorder happened between certain
soldiers of our nation and one Cromwell the captain), will not
afford you many lines ; yet I would not let him go empty
The condition of our affairs here is not much altered since
my last, save in the progress of the traffic with the Duke of
Alençon, which grows to some ripeness. MM. de Rochepot and
Pruneaux have met the States' commissioners at Mons, and opened
their offers and demands, but such as the others were not empowered
to decide upon. The material points are chiefly : That
the Duke has a singular goodwill to assist the States if they
like to employ him ; that he has sufficient forces in readiness
to effect it ; that he will undertake, within three weeks after the
agreement, to beat the enemy out of the country ; and that he
will do it at his own charge. He desired to know how the
States would deal with him. The commissioners who had instructions
to deal touching the assaulting of Luxembourg, to direct
the enemy on that side, made a threefold offer on the part of
the States ; either to give him the Duchy of Burgundy and anything
else he could conquer of the Low Countries beyond the
Maes ; or to reimburse the expenses he might sustain in this
war ; or to assure him of a yearly pension of 100,000 crowns
for life. But each of these rejected, the first as not in their power
to dispose, the second as needless, he being able enough to take
this war upon his own charge, and the third as derogatory to his
quality, being a prince accustomed to give not to take pensions.
But to content him, his commissioners desired to be assured that
if without altering their form of government they should change
their master, he might be preferred. If they would promise this,
he desired two towns such as they should agree upon, to be handed
to Count Lalaing for security. Lastly, whether they meant to
proceed or not, the commissioners prayed a speedy decision ; not
without threatening plainly enough that their master was determined
either to offend or to defend them. The conclusion is
referred to their coming to Brussels, but the likelihood is they will
content him. Meantime I find them perplexed in their counsels,
but I suspect a dangerous conclusion. If they reject his offers
they fear he will take part with the enemy, or fall upon their
frontier provinces, where his faction is great ; either of which
will be dangerous and 'disadvantageable' for them. On the other
hand, if they proceed with him, they are in doubt whether to judge
his intent good or ill ; if ill, they see the danger, if otherwise,
they perceive it is not free of inconvenience. But they hope
better of their success in this action than I do, though I wish
it better than I look for.
Rough draft (perhaps for the letter of May 2, No. 834). 1 p.
On the other side is a draft of a letter identical with that to
Burghley, &c., of April 24. The sheet is endd. : To my L. of
Leicester. Another to Sir Fr. Wals. [Ibid. VI. 35.]
K. d. L. x.
819. DUKE CASIMIR to DAVISON.
I have sent the present bearer to the Archduke Matthias and
the Prince of Orange, and charged him at the same time with
some letters for England, which I have directed him to deliver
to you for safe forwarding when an occasion offers.—Lautern,
25 April 1578.
Add. Fr. ½ p. [Ibid. VI. 36.]
820. COPIES of LETTERS from DUKE CASIMIR to the QUEEN
and various gentlemen in England.
1. To the Queen. Given below from original. [No. 823.]
2. To the Earl of Leicester :—
I know from Beutrich's report of your desire, corresponding
with mine, that we may meet in some good place for the service
of God and the Queen, and the defence of the oppressed. I assure
you that the promise you made to Beutrich was not my least
reason for complying with her Majesty's wishes ; to wit, that if
I went in person you would not fail to come in person to meet
me. So I hold you to that promise, and beg you to show me
the effect of it, as I am sure you will do.
3. To Walsingham. Given below from original. [No. 824.]
4. To Wilson :—
I thank you for the greyhounds you have sent me, which are
very acceptable, although just now to show the Queen my desire
to serve her, I have undertaken to hunt other game than deer or
hares. I hear from Beutrich that you are so well disposed towards
me as to give me good hope that now you see upon what I am
about to embark for the service of her Majesty, you will do me
all the good offices I can desire of you. And as the first step
to a good issue depends on the muster, it is necessary that there
should be no default, and that her Majesty should furnish the
other 20 000l. as Mr. Rogers has promised on her part. If there
is any default I can assure that all that is hoped from my coming
will vanish in smoke to the confusion of all employed in it.
5. To Sidney :—
Having accepted her Majesty's proposal that I should march
into Flanders with moderate forces, which I should be glad to
see augmented by a force from England, I have begged her to
appoint some gentleman to be attached to me to assist me in
her name at all deliberations. I have desired that this should
be yourself, for the singular opinion that I have of your virtue,
and the pleasure I should receive from often conference with you.
If her Majesty thinks well to send some one, I pray you do not
refuse this charge.
6. To Stafford :—
I have received your letter by Beutrich, and have heard the
trouble you took to show him kindness. Having accepted her
Majesty's offer, and knowing how well disposed you are to the
good cause, I doubt not that you will make all efforts to bring
matters to such a point that her Majesty may send an English
force. There is nothing I more desire than to see Englishmen
with my people, to do some good exploit ; and knowing how much
your nation desires honour, I doubt not but they would do something
7. To Wilkes :—
I have heard with what dexterity you comported yourself in your
Spanish journey ; and was glad to learn details from Beutrich.
8. To the Queen :—
I have of late been certainly advertised how at a meeting held
between the Elector of Saxony, my father-in-law, and the Landgrave
William, at Salza, to confer upon the differences arising
over the Corpus Doctrinae, which condemns your Churches, the
French Confession, and that to which I hold, and shall hold
by the grace of God, all my life long, a resolution was taken
which had been previously drawn up ; to wit, that on June 7
the theologians of those princes, who claim alone to have a
true understanding of the Confession of Augsburg, should meet
at Schmalkald, with some political persons, and pass the subscription
to that book, which contains the condemnations mentioned.
Now as I have never doubted your Majesty's singular
affection to the advancement of God's glory, and have heard from
Beutrich how ready you are to promote by your authority the
general repose, and have even had actual evidence of what is told
of you, in the journey of Messrs Beale and Rogers into Germany
on account of the book in question ; I beseech you to send some
good person to Schmalkald, who may point out to the ambassadors
the inconveniences which may arise to Christendom and to the
states of those princes who aim at this signing, if the book is
circulated, exhorting them to moderation, as you can best instruct
him ; and when he is in these parts, he can receive notes of the
state of things and adapt himself to it. I am assured that if the
stroke is parried now, it will be difficult, not to say impossible,
ever to renew the attempt to get it signed ; and there is no
prince in the world who can do more herein than your Majesty ;
and I entreat you both for my sake, and that of the poor people
who will suffer by the occasion of this book, to do it with all
speed.—Lautern, 25 April 1578.
Copies, (7) being in the hand of Daniel Rogers, and the others
corrected by him. Endd. by him. Fr. 6 pp. [Germ. States I.
Another copy of (7) in the above. 2 pp. [For. E.B.
821. HODDESDON to BURGHLEY.
As yet I have heard nothing of the commissioners for my
discharge. My last was of the 10th, wherein I wrote of [summary
of that letter].—Hamburg, 25 April 1577.
Occurrents—From Rome 5 March.
From Genoa is written that Bernardo Uccello was taken by
the 'fuorusciten' or banished persons, upon a castle called
Cantaluppo. They would have delivered him over to the Genoese
Government, thereby to obtain the 'tex' which was set up and
promised, concerning his 'misdemers,' to any who could take
At Naples the heads of 19 of the 'fuorusciten' were brought
in, cut off by the folks of Don Pedro Gonzalez, besides certain
others of the 'fuorusciten' who were to be environed in a wood,
and it is thought are by this time taken or slain.
From Genoa it is also written that a post passed through with
letters of Feb. 12, from Madrid to the Emperor's Court. It was
thought he carried the King of Spain's resolution touching the Low
Country war, but the import is not yet known. Yet by another
post from Madrid, with letters of Feb. 2, it is said that he and
his Council were well bent towards peace, though he will not
'let' to make all necessary provision for the war. The truth
it is hoped will be known by another post next Thursday.
The Spanish Court has moved from Escurial to Pardo, and
the Queen with her two brothers gone thence.
From the revenues of Castile 32,000 crowns have been divided
among 134 persons. To Jeronimo Rodas are disbursed 1,500 for
his good service in the Low Countries.
Touching the controversy between the Duke of 'Bavyerne'
and the new Bishop of Cullen, the Pope has committed the
hearing of it to those 'whom in Dutchland it commonly concerneth,'
Cardinals Maffei, Orsini, and 'Osterrich' are also
appointed. The first meeting is to be held on Monday at the house
of Cardinal Morone.
— From Venice, 14 March.
We heard before from Spain that 40 ensigns of Spaniards were
assembled, and were to come through Italy. It is further said
that Vespasiano Gonzaga is to levy more men in Italy against
the Netherlands. This war is thought to be promised most by
the Duke of Alva's advice.
Last Wednesday the 41 who have to elect the Duke of Venice
were locked into the conclave ; and though there are four
especially, of the kindreds of Ponte, Tiepolo, Soranzo, and Gritti
who are thought worthy of the dignity, it is thought that owing
to the differences among them the final choice will fall on a
Grimani or a Contarini. And to appease the disorders in this
election it is through that the five ordered that anyone standing
against the ancient custom shall be kept out of the said lordship
ever after. The late Duke's widow is to have 300 crowns a year
in respect of her late husband's good government.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Hanse Towns I. 38.]