56. Obligation entered into by the Estates to indemnify the
Queen, if required, for the bonds given by her to Horatio Pallavicino
for the sum £16,736 7s. 3d. lent to the Estates to be repaid in equal
instalments in February and October 1579.—Antwerp. 1 July
1578. By order (signed) A. Blyleven.
Copy. Endd. by Davison and again in England. Fr. 1 p.
[Ibid. VII. 41.]
K. d. L. x.
57. Antwerp, July 2. 1578. The substance of HER MAJESTY'S
AMBASSADORS' Negotiations with the PRINCE of ORANGE
and others deputed by the States.
Her Majesty being greatly grieved with the continuance of the
civil wars, and seeing no remedy so proper for the removing of these
troubles as to procure some peace with security, has employed
sundry messengers in that behalf, both to the King and to the
governor of the countries.
Though her Christian and honourable endeavour has, through the
malignity of the time and other impediments, not taken effect as
desired, yet so long as there remains any spark of hope of bringing
it to pass she thinks it worthy a Christian prince and fit for one of
her calling to employ herself therein ; and has therefore willed us to
confer with them, what course should in their opinion be taken to
bring it to pass, how by her meditation it may be furthered, and
what result the labours of the Emperor's Ambassador herein have
To this the Prince in the name of the rest thanked her Majesty
for her good will towards them and acknowledged how much they
are bound to her for her care of them. As touching her motion
for a peace, he said that nothing was more desired than such a
peace as might be coupled with safety ; and therein prayed the
furtherance of her ambassadors in devising some good way, and to
understand what likelihood she had conceived of such a peace by
the answers she had received from Don John. As for themselves,
they had but small hope, knowing his malice to be so great towards
them. The Emperor's ambassador that last came had no commission
to deal for peace.
Whereto it was replied that as all things have their seasons, no
time served better than the present to deal with Don John ; for
so long as he was superior in force there was no hope of his being
reduced to yield to conditions consistent with their safety, it being
ordinary for the stronger to give laws to the weaker. But now
when he sees the greatness of their forces, understands the intelligence
they have with the French King's brother, who has numbers
both of horse and foot on the frontier, and calls to mind her
Majesty's protestation, made both to him and to the King, to join
in assisting them if he do not yield to some reasonable composition,
it is to be thought that foreseeing how if by his obstinacy the
country is lost he will fall into disgrace with the King upon whom
his good fortune depends, he will rather yield to hard conditions
than hazard the loss of the country to his own undoing. We therefore
prayed the Prince and the rest to consider of it and as they
seemed inclined to peace, would deliver articles of their demands ;
and so broke off the conference, which had lasted from 9 till 12 in
About an hour after dinner, and some conference had among
themselves, they came to the place of meeting ; where the Prince
in the name of the rest declared that the matter of peace was
subject to one great difficulty, to wit, with whom they should treat,
Don John being altogether enemy to peace. His 'countenance'
depends chiefly on the war, they had been so often deceived by him
that they cannot trust any promise of his, and therefore they will
not hearken to it, unless for the first point Don John retires with
his forces, and delivers all the 'peeces' [sic ; qy. places] that he has
taken or possesses in these countries. For other conditions, in his
own opinion, he thought the States might propound the following :
That the Archduke Matthias may remain governor, under the
That they may enjoy all freedoms, liberties and privileges as in
former times, and other things according to the pacification of
As touching prisoners and other small things they may be
decided with reason.
When he had uttered these things some of the deputies cast
many doubts thereon ; as that if the people heard of any treaty of
peace they would so far presume on its being effected that they
would refuse to pay taxes ; as they saw in Holland at the treaty of
Breda, when by that means they lost two towns. Another doubt
was lest the gentlemen who are now in the field, hearing of this
treaty, may perhaps in haste seek Don John's good grace, to the
weakening of their companies. They alleged a third : that they
could not well treat for peace without Monsieur's privity, otherwise
they would either make him an enemy or be abandoned by
To this it was replied that Don John 'being become now of the
stronger the weaker' was more apt to be dealt with than before.
As to the retiring of his forces and himself before assurance given
by them for the observance of such articles as shall be agreed upon,
it were very hard, and such as in reason he would never be brought
to assent to. Touching the rest of the impediments, which carried
some show of prejudice, it was said that if they could truly
look into their state they would see greater inconvenience likely
to follow from a continuance of the war. For if they looked at the
disunion among themselves for religion and other respects, their
confusion in council owing to number of heads, lack of 'conductors'
and treasure, two principal things requisite for the continuance of
the war, and that the most part of their forces consisted of
mercenary soldiers who care more to save themselves than to
defend those who keep them, they would see their inconveniences
so great that they could not but think peace more necessary.
After some reply made by them, they were prayed by the ambassadors
to consider the matter and to communicate it to the States
and deliver their answer with all convenient speed ; declaring further
that they would acquaint the Emperor's ambassador with it,
meaning to concur with him in the mediation ; whom they found
well inclined thereto. So upon the conclusion of this first point of
the instructions, they proceeded to the second, and declared that if for
lack of disposition either in themselves or in Don John there were
no likelihood of any accord, her Majesty wished to understand how
they were able to maintain and continue the war by having treasure
and other things necessary ; wherein she looked to be more
sincerely dealt with than heretofore. For the former informations
did not fall out in effect as was looked for ; being (sic) among
other things given to understand that they had taken order for the
levying of 600,000 florins monthly, and that this could go on for
three years without 'the grief' of the people. This seems by their
present necessity not to have fallen out accordingly ; it being well
known that that sum would have defrayed a greater charge than
they have been at. The Prince protested that they would deal
plainly with her Majesty in laying before their Estates and
answering such articles as were delivered to them. Touching the
600,000 florins he confessed that till the 15th of May last there was
not so much levied as had been hoped ; but since that time a far
greater sum than 600,000 florins the month, to continue not for
three years only, but for ten if well-ordered.
Hereupon the Prince took occasion to request me to move her
Majesty, since the benefit of her bonds did not take the fruit they
hoped for, to be pleased to supply it for them some other way.
We answered, that having disbursed a good sum in ready money
she would be loth to 'unfurnish' herself of so much treasure,
besides that the subjects would not like to have so much treasure
transported out of the realm ; and therefore advised him to try
further upon that credit. Yet I thought it well to ask
them, in case she were willing to disburse more money, what
security they would give her for it. They said she should have
bonds to her content ; whereto it was answered that seeing
they offered frontier towns to the Duke of Alençon for his 'safety,'
and he so doubtful a friend, they cannot in honour, having so good
experience of her favour, but make some such offer to her Majesty
for the repayment of what they have already had and require
further. They were also led to understand that her Council might
be thought very careless of her estate if they were content with ink
and paper when others were offered towns of good strength in
The Prince answered that the Duke of Alençon demanded, and
they accorded, these towns for his safety if need required, not
knowing on what terms he stands with the King his brother. As
touching further security to her Majesty, they asked the ambassadors
what security they would demand. To which they answered that
they had no commission to demand anything ; but would acquaint
her Majesty with such offers as were made.
Having thus proceeded with the Prince and deputies in the first
two points of their instructions, and drawing to the third, which
concerned their negotiation with Monsieur, the dislike her Majesty
conceived of it both in respect of themselves and of herself—as
concerned themselves, it seemed strange that they should enter into
any dealing with him of whose sincerity they could not be assured,
not being destitute of many conjectures of his intelligence with the
enemy. Even if he did mean sincerely it was not apparent whether
his intention was or was not to make himself lord of the
country ; a matter of no great difficulty unless his forces were
greatly moderated, a matter hard for them to do when he had once
undertaken the matter at their request, and his entry upon them as
easy as they could well conceive. The country had felt the
inconvenience of it in former times, which has engendered in them
such a fear in former times that divers of the provinces are so far
out of taste with them that they utterly mislike to hear the name
of the French. The jealousy of the Empire also justly conceived
thereby, foreseeing how dangerous it might be to have the greatness
of France augmented by the accession of these countries. Besides,
the consideration how he were able to maintain so great an action,
the expense of war being so great and his means so small that in all
probability he would be unable to bear even a smaller attempt than
this. So his relief is like to bring rather prejudice than benefit to
their cause, especially through the insolence of the French soldiers,
which cannot but breed a great alteration of the people's hearts. So
it seemed to her Majesty that in this negotiation they have not dealt
as circumspectly as they might have done for themselves ; whereof
if she conceive not as well as they would desire, they may not find
it strange. As for her own part, she had great cause to be grieved
considering the favours she had shown them in former times,
having been their only upholder, as they must need confess, that
they should proceed so far, contrary to the promise made to her
agent that they would communicate with no one without her privity.
She continued still her care over them, not seeking their undoing,
as by this negotiation with Monsieur is greatly feared. Notwithstanding
which unkindness, and forgetting of former benefits,
sufficient to alienate her and cause her to take another course, upon
intelligence from them that the aid of Monsieur 'imported them so
much' that they were unable without it to make head against their
enemy, and that he might be beneficial and in no sort hurtful to
them, though she had sent to the French king to restrain this
voyage, showing her dislike of it, she was content her ambassador
should confer with Monsieur's deputies, to see if they could make
it appear that the aid of their master might be for the benefit of
the countries as was pretended.
To this the Prince answered that the greatest hastening of this
treaty proceeded from them of Hainault, who upon the fear they
had of the Duke if they refused him, wrote earnestly to the States ;
at whose instance and in fear of dismembering the provinces, they
yielded to enter into communication with them, their intention
being to draw his desire of a resolute answer into length, till they
saw either what further necessity they might have, or what relief
they might receive from some other part, rather than to resolve
upon any present agreement with him. What course they kept
with his ministers may easily appear by their laying down such
conditions as they thought he would not accept ; providing moreover
in such sort for her Majesty that the present treaty should not
derogate from any that had passed between her and them. In that
stay they still keep him, according to her request, whose pleasure
was so signified to them by her agent, that they should make
stay from further dealing with him till her ambassadors came ; nor
will they deal further without their privity.
5¼ pp. [Holl. and Fl. IX. 3 β.]
[Early in July.]
K. d. L. x.
58. 'The Report of HENRY KILLIGREW to the same instructions
given him by Your Honours to be observed in his journey
between Dunkirk and Antwerp.'
(1.) Poperinge is a very large village, unfortified, but strongly
seated ; fenced only with turnpikes at every street-end, guarded by
the inhabitants, who are workers of 'baies,' in which and in hoops
their wealth consists. They watch by 50 or 60 nightly and can
make 2,000 fighting men at need. A fair river passes through their
town, serving to convey wares to and from almost all Flanders.
The town belongs to the Bishop of St. Omer's, who draws from it
Armentière is not as large, but is as well seated, and easy to be
fortified. It stands chiefly upon 'clothing.' They guard themselves
like Poperinge, and can make 1,500 men at need. A river passes
through the town, with like convenience as at Poperinge. This
town belongs to Count Egmont, and is thought to be part of his
mother's 'jointer,' she is aunt to Duke Casimir.
Lille is a walled town, strongly seated, with a large 'rampire'
of 3 miles compass, well watered about with a deep ditch of 150
feet broad ; having a great ancient castle, near as big as the Tower
of London, built ere now by a Dolphin of France, when he was in
league with them of Ghent. The river passes through, as in the
others, well-inhabited, rich, and stands chiefly by making 'scies'
[qy. saies]. It is being newly fortified with eight great bulwarks
of earth on one side, which will be ended in 6 months, well-furnished
with artillery. They have four corn-powder mills, which make
excellent good powder. They guard themselves with their burghers
of whom they have levied 27 companies of 250 apiece, and at need
can make as many more. It is a 'chatenerie' or government of
itself, and has under command, besides Douay, Orchies, and half of
Armentières, at least 200 villages. For their new fortifications
they have not spared to demolish a monastery of Jacobins near the
Tournay is larger, but not so strongly seated, having for the most
part almost a dry ditch, and not so good a rampire. There is
also a great castle, built by a King of England, whose arms are
extant both over the gate within, and upon a great tower without. The
same river passes as through Lille, and separates the castle from
the town. It stands upon all kinds of craftsmen, by whom it is
guarded as at Lille ; not so well furnished with artillery, because
the Spaniard transported them against the Prince of Orange in
Holland and Zealand, and they were taken by him ; but the townsmen
are 'in hand' for a new supply. This town is head of the
province of Tournesis.
These two towns with the former two villages were marvellously
consumed by the Spaniards being in garrison among them, and
beloved by them accordingly.
(2.) We gathered that in all places we passed, the people desired
rather peace than war, if they might be quit of the Spaniard.
(3,) (4.) We learnt that there are three factions in all the places
we passed. The first, and in our judgement the strongest all things
considered, are the secret protestants ; because the better part of
the papists, whom they term bons patriotcs and would not be subject
to the Spaniards, join with them. The third and weakest are
passionate papists called Johannists, who rather than forgo their
religion would have Don John to rule them. The last will not, like
the rest, tolerate any interim, as the others seem willing to do and
have of late done in Languedoc.
(5.) We learnt that generally they are content to pay the taxes
already accorded, that they may so continue, so long as they are
kept from the annoyance of the enemy and can traffic without fear.
(6.) We observed everywhere the disunion above mentioned in
the 'demtion' [qy. division] of their sundry factions ; but unless
we be much deceived the bons patriotes and the protestants will agree,
and daunt the third, as soon as the magistrates at the Court shall
'bend them' thereto ; which they look for soon after the camp
marches against Don John.
(7.) The countries and towns we passed are passing well peopled
and furnished with all kinds of commodities, incredible to those
who have not seen it.
(8.) They generally dislike the coming of the French forces but
do nothing against them. They lie in the villages near the strong
towns without any contradiction. Of her Majesty they all seem to
be well persuaded and affected to her, save those that for religion
are Johannists. For any sort of stranger to command them we
could see no liking. Therefore the prelates who since the disorder
at Ghent are afraid of alteration of their estates, do what they can
to dissuade both from the Dutch and English forces, supposing that
Monsieur would fit them better in respect of religion ; which
makes those of Hainault chiefly, who are of Count Lalaing's faction,
desire the aid of France.
(9.) We were told that the gentlemen, for the most part papists,
especially in Hainault and Artois, are carried away, the rather by
the persuasion and benefits received daily of the clergy, who fearing
their decay, use all 'straitness' they may to hinder the toleration
of other religion than the Roman, and likewise the coming of any
foreign aids. But the commons make small account of them.
Lastly, touching M. de Swevingham and M. de Rassingham we
have diligently enquired in all places we passed, and could not learn
that they were so much as known to the most part of the people,
and therefore not greatly accounted of, save by their own friends
and favourers ; because they are not allied to any of the noble
houses of these countries, so far as we could learn.
To conclude, both in respect of the hasty journey and the sundry
places we had to view in the short time, together with the want of
language for most part of the way and lack of convenient
acquaintance in the rest, to confer with upon your instructions, we
beseech you to pardon our barren and weak report.
Copy. Endd. by Davison : Mr. Killigrew's report sent with Mr.
Guildford Walsingham in his company to the towns of 'Poperinge,
Armentières, Lille, and Tournay.' 2½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 42.]
59. Junii 1578 at Antwerp. The expenses of Mr. Henry Killigrew,
Guildford Walsingham, Nicholas Saunders, and Spritewell, post of
Dover, appointed by Lord Cobham and Sir Francis Walsingham, etc.
The charges of their diet ; viz. for dinner at Rosingberg
[Rousbrugge] and supper at Poperinge,
23 June, 1578 - - - Flemish 35s. 10d.
24 June. The like at Ypres, Armentières and
Lille - - - - - - 35s. 10d.
25 June : Like at Tournay - - - 35s. 10d.
26 June : Like at Oudenarde - - 28s. 8d.
27 June : Like at Ghent - - - 35s. 10d.
28 June at Antwerp - - - 2l.
And for wagon hire during the time to convey the
said gentlemen and their servants from Dunkirk
to Poperinge, Ypres, Armentières, Messines,
Lille, Oudenarde, Tournay, Ghent, and so to
Antwerp - - - Flemish 4l. 6s.
In all accounted into sterling payment 7l.
Endd : Expence of Mr. Killegrew and his company, paid the
27 July. Walsingham's mark. 2/3 p. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 43.]
[Early in July.]
K. d. L. x.
60. Report of CAPTAINS CARY and MOLBY, and MR. ASBY.
From Dunkirk to 'Borborch,' 2 leagues.—M. Sale, of 'Henow,'
chief captain there in the place of M. de Tylye, late governor,
commanded to keep his house in the town.
There are three companies of 200 under M. Sale, M. Plage, and
M. Clayes ; besides 30 gentlemen well furnished, and 150 burgesses.
This town is situated on a plain, so that with the diligence they
now use they will in a short time make it very strong, since by the
river they can both fill the ditch and drown the plain around them.
We find them utterly misliking the French ; the most part
given to papistry ; yet no way affected to Don John. They desire and
hope for English aid ; we might judge their good affection toward
her Majesty by the courtesy they used to us.
From Borborch to St. Omer, 4 leagues.—M. Nicholas Daubermounte,
Seigneur de Manny, is placed chief there, M. de Renyngham,
governor and brother to Count de 'Rewe' being suspected to
be a 'Dan Janist.' There are five companies under the charge of
M. Daubermont, Monsieur de Largile, M. Bramarsh, M. Heresyne,
and M. Vineray, very sufficient men and well-furnished. There
are 6,000 townsmen, who are divided, as they term them, some Don
Janists, some bons patriotes ; the most bent on papistry. Such as
are for the States, will yield both goods and life ; but the Don Janists
murmur much at this, and it is doubtful how the present 'state'
will be gathered. Rather affected to her Majesty than to France.
The Dean of St. Omer is fled to Don John.
Tuesday, June 24. To Arye [Aire—written above in Burghley's
hand Aryer] 4 leagues.—M. de Marbecke, governor and captain of
50 men at arms. His company is at present at the camp of the
States, under the leading of his eldest son. The town lies in the
flat, strongly seated and reasonably fortified, and may (sic) overflow
the parts about the town with water. At present they are fortifying
more ; which we could not view, for the burgesses would not
Inclined to peace rather than war ; but will suffer much extremity
before the Spanish government. This town has no garrison but
the burgesses, who are 800 in number, very able men, well-furnished
and all bons patriotes ; but in religion papists and no disposition to
tolerate any other.
Wednesday, 25 June. To Hesding, 9 leagues.—Montmorency
governor, in place of M. de Royon lately displaced. There are two
companies of brave soldiers ; viz., under the governor, 100, under
M. de Maline, base brother to the Viscount of Ghent, 200. Both
captains and soldiers are of the religion. There are also 200 townsmen
well-appointed under M. Obert, a townsman well-affected to
Affected well to her Majesty, not to France. They drove away
their priests for preaching against receiving aid of her Majesty and
the Prince of Orange.
Thursday, 26 June. To Arras, 12 leagues.—M. de 'Caper,'
governor of Artois in the absence of the Viscount of Ghent, has
200 harquebusiers lying about the town in villages ; 'they be
on horseback.' He is suspected to favour the French. M. Ambrose,
sent from the Prince, has also 50 mounted harquebusiers,
paid by the town of Arras. It lies dry, one half 'rampared,' deeply
ditched, with one great 'bullwork' yet not perfected. This part
of the town is subject to grounds of advantage, very near the walls,
which causes them daily to work for its better strengthening. The
other part well wat[ered ?] and reasonably ramped. There are 21
ensigns of burgesses well-furnished and well-peopled. The inhabitants
most affected to papistry.
Friday, 27 June. 'Doway,' 6 leagues.—M. Willerval governor
daily looked for, in place of M. Stenbeche lately dead. His deputy
at present is M. Denebran, a German. There are no soldiers, only
the burgesses ; 24 ensigns meanly furnished. The people here
most inclined to papistry. The town stands in the flat ; no ground
of advantage near ; well ramped, ditched and watered. Old
fortification ; daily working to strengthen it.
Saturday, 28 June. Cambray, 6 leagues.—No governor ; but
14 magistrates who govern two and two weekly. In cases of
difficulty they call together the whole council. There are 18 companies
of burgesses under their own leading. Three parts of the
town watered and sufficiently ditched ; the rest better ramped, and
deeply ditched, but dry. Lying on the descent of a hill, over
the highest part of which is the citadel, strongly ramped, with deep
ditch, having but four bullwarks. It was built by the late
Emperor Charles V. The people inclined to papistry.
Sunday, 29 June. 'Valensia,' 7 leagues.—M. Hamet of Henow
governor of the town. The seat is reasonably strong, lying flat,
and well ditched, watered, and ramped. On the weakest side there
are bulwarks, of which one is not yet finished. There are many in
this town affected to religion. It is thought that Don John has
some 'parties' in this town ; for M. Archant the governor's
lieutenant, a chief man in the city, has his brother called M. de
'Gonye' with Don John. There are 8 companies of burgesses
under their own leading, well-furnished.
Monday, 30 June. To Monts, 7 leagues.—M. le Comte de Lalaing
governor here. This town is strongly seated on a hill, environed
by marsh and water, very large. Old fortifications save at Soignies
gate, which has one great bulwark for its better defence. There are
but two gates in this town. There are 10 companies of foot reasonably
furnished, viz., 3 of soldiers and the rest of burgesses. There
is one company of light horse lying in the town under the governor,
and 5 companies of foot lying about in the villages. The Count
himself thought a papist, and so the most part of this town. It is
thought he is much affected to the French, and we found there
M. 'Preignyave' [Pruneaux] ambassador from the Duke of Alençon,
who has been there these three months and much made of by the
Count. This ambassador has 'perused' all the frontier towns of
Tuesday, 1 July. To Atte, 6 leagues.—M. de Simerye, governor
here. There are 5 companies sent from Holland by the Prince,
under M. Temple, M. Tongerlo, M. de Winde, M. Sevbrande,
M. Darpe. These are fair bands. There are 3 companies of
burgesses well furnished. This town stands in a plain, no ground
of advantage near it ; well watered, with sufficient ditch, well
ramped, with large spurs before the gates. A town of no great
Mem. All these towns hope and make account to be aided by
The names of
as are gone
to Don John.
The Count of 'Reuents' [qy. Reulx]. Count
M. de Bryac and Bounny his son-in-law.
M. de Helfan and M. de Haman his son, who
surrendered Philippeville and there remains with
M. de Renty.
M. de Waliget.
M. de Losignol.
M. de Gomicourt.
M. de Reioy.
M. de Licques.
M. de Vaue [Vaux], lying with the French king for
Endd. by L. Tomson, 4 pp. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 44.]
[Early in July.]
61. The States' Forces.
The Camp at Enghien.
Colonel Balfour and Colonel Stewart's regiments
of Scots - -
Montigny's regiment - -
Champagny's regiment -
M. Esselstain's regiment -
Col. Templar's regiment -
Count Egmont's regiment -
The Viscount of Ghent's regiment - - - -
2,000 Horse of Artois, Flanders and Cambresis.
Hauptman 'Skincke' 1,500 reiters.
The Camp at Boisleduc.
Englishmen - - -
Almains - - - -
M. de Hèze's regiment -
Count Bossu's regiment -
Count Schwarzburg - - -
'Grave' John - - - -
Marquis of Havrech - - -
For the Archduke - - - -
Captain Mornault - - - -
Captain Michell - - - -
Captain Alonso - - - -
Horse, 6,950 (sic) ; foot, 2,700 ; ensigns, 131.
Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 45.]
Another copy. [Ib. VII. 45a.]
Another copy, added (correctly) in Walsingham's hand.
[Ib. IX. 3γ.]
K. d. L. x.
64. Summary of the matters laid before the ESTATES by HER
1. Her Majesty having often recommended peace to the Estates
and tried to procure it, wishes to know whether they are willing to
apply themselves thereto, provided that Don John will do the like,
and submit to such conditions as the Estates and he may find
2. If they are so willing, what means do they think will be the
best to effect it, and how will they provide for possible hindrances?
3. If on the rejection of all negotiation they resolve for war, how
will they proceed, on the offensive or the defensive?
4. What resources have they for maintaining it, and for how long?
5. Are the people still united and of one accord against the
enemy, and is there no fear of division on account of religion?
6. Is there hope that the towns they now have will hold out?
7. Will the contributions already granted be continued, without
fear that the people may complain or withdraw from the burden?
8. Has what has already been contributed for the purposes of
the war been converted to that end, and not otherwise employed
than as their necessity requires?
9. How many soldiers are they supporting, and where have they
10. How are they off for munitions and other things needed?
11. What force can the enemy have, now or in the future? Does
he expect any succour from France?
Endd. in Fr. with date. Fr. 1¼ pp. [Ibid. VII. 46.]
K. d. L. x.
65. COBHAM to BURGHLEY.
We have dealt with the Prince and the Deputies of the States
that were appointed to confer with us, most earnestly for peace.
We find it taken most thankfully, as a 'sohet' [qy. souhait] from her
of their well doing ; but they did not think Don John would hearken to
such a peace as was secure for them, and they found by experience
that all treaties of the peace have brought them danger as in
alienating some from them ; and in hope of peace some withdraw
their payments, a thing that has bred great harm among them.
For the second part, they hope that the general 'moyanes' accorded
the 25th of May last may throughout the provinces that remain
under the States be sufficient to maintain war these many years,
if the present necessity were supplied with some money instead of
her Majesty's bonds.
For the better knowledge of the country, on landing at Dunkirk
we sent gentlemen, some along the frontier, some into the heart of
the country, and others along the sea-coast ; which several reports
you shall receive.
Concerning M. d'Anjou's aid, I find a general mislike inwardly,
but they dare not show it for fear of drawing more enemies upon
them. His ministers that lie here are named Alferon, the other
'Don Martin,' once servant to the Lady of Lenox, men of small
quality. They have been with us, and asked us whether we had
commission to treat with Monsieur's ministers. We answered
that we had. Then said they : 'we will send to Mons for Montdoucet
and des Pruneaux' ; but as yet we have not heard of them.
If anything has been omitted, deal with me plainly. Truly
Mr. Secretary has taken great pains ; but as you know, I am
ignorant of what has passed and have not for a long time had any
use of my language.
If any harm come to the country, it is the bursting out of
religion which I fear will breed disunion among them, for though
the common people much embrace it there are few of the nobles
affected to it. The Prince does what he may to stay it both here
and other places. He told me himself that it troubled him ; 'for,'
said he, 'if it be granted or permitted, we grow presently to a
disunion ; if we grant it not, the common people having arms in
their hands will go and spoil the churches.' You will receive a
request made to the States for the exercise of religion.
I send you two Latin books done by 'St. Alegoonde,' and a book
made of Monsieur's doing in France and his good meaning towards
the Low Countries. We have sent Mr. Somers over that her
Majesty may be satisfied on all points where any scruple may grow.
—Antwerp, 5 July 1578.
P.S.—As we have no answer as yet from the States we stay
Mr. Somers and advertise what has passed ; but he shall come as
soon as we have it.
P.S. 2.—The names of them that conferred with us :—The Prince
of Orange, Duke d'Aerschot, M. Medekerke, M. Ayman, M. Sainte-Aldegonde,
M. d'Orschot, Dr. Bonar, deputy of Guelders.
Add. Endd. 1¾ pp. [Hol. and Fl. VII. 47.]
[July 5 ?]
66. [WALSINGHAM] to LORD HUNSDON.
You will be so thoroughly informed of the state of things here,
and of our negotiation with the Prince and States, by Mr. Sommers
the bearer hereof, (fn. 1) as also by the advertisements you will receive
by Sir George Cary, that I need not trouble you with many lines.
I have no fear of their well-doing here save in the matter of
religion, which is being drawn to so hard an issue that it is not easy
to discern whether there be more peril in granting or in staying the
exercise of it.
I hear also that the Abbot of Dunfermline sent from Scotland is
like to arrive at the Court shortly. It is thought he has commission
to make some overture for a contract of closer amity between the
two Crowns ; in which her Majesty has doubtless shown herself
more backward than stood with her safety, considering how much it
imparts her to be sure of that Crown, and what mislike it will
breed in case upon the overture it should be refused. You will
therefore do well to deal effectually with her Majesty in that behalf.
Copy. ½ p. [Holl. and Fl. IX. 3δ.]
[July 5 ?]
67. [WALSINGHAM] to SIR WALTER MILDMAY.
I have acquainted your son with the state of things here, that by
the use of his hand and head I may ease my own, tired with the
writing of over many letters, and the setting down of our long
negotiation here. It is hard to judge what success it will take,
especially touching the matter of peace ; of which there were some
good likelihood, if Don John could without passion look into the
peril of his own estate. If the French mean uprightly in the
assistance they give the States, Don John is to 'loke' [qy. lose]
another country, and his master perhaps to stand in loss of the rest
of his dominions, the fagot being once loosed. The only advantage
he has is the disunion that is like to grow for the matter of religion ;
of which I fear he will make too great a profit, unless God work
contrary to man's expectation.
Copy. ½ p. [Ibid. IX. 3ε.]
[July 5 ?]
K. d. L. x.
68. [WALSINGHAM] to the LORD ADMIRAL (EARL OF LINCOLN).
If Don John keep his promise to give battle, it will shortly be
seen here what will become of these countries, the forces on both
sides approaching each other. By the enclosed note you may
perceive how much Don John's force and the States' differ ; but if
the value of the men be duly considered, especially the heads and
conductors, the inequality will not be found so great. If victory
incline on the States' behalf, Don John may take his leave of the
Low Countries. On the other side, if he have the upper hand, it
will greatly dismay this people ; though in respect of the strength
of their towns, and that they reserve Duke Casimir's forces, being
6,000 horse and as many foot, in any event they will have no great
cause to be dismayed, for however victory incline, the conflict
cannot so fall out, 'but that party that escapeth best, shall go away
with bloody hands.' I cannot yet guess what will become of our
treaty of peace, which I think were most necessary for both parts.
And if Monsieur means sincerely touching the assistance which he
means to bring for the States—of which I cannot judge, so deep has
been the French dissimulation these late years—Don John will be
ill-advised if he do not grow to a peace, though it be with hard
Copy. 2/3 p. [Holl. and Fl. IX. 3ζ.]
[July 5 ?]
69. [WALSINGHAM] to 'Mr. TREASURER' (SIR F. KNOLLYS).
The bearer hereof, Mr. Sommers, can so well inform you of the
state of things here that I need not use many words. If the cause
of religion, which for the most part is accompanied with affliction,
do not breed division, I have good hope that things will go well.
The Prince finds that cause very weighty, being hard to discern
wherein is less peril, to inhibit or permit a toleration of it. Forasmuch
as the cause is God's, the best way is to commit the success
Copy. 10 ll. [Ibid. IX. 3η.]
[July 5 ?]
70. [WALSINGHAM] to Mr. COMPTROLLER (SIR J. CROFTS).
The sufficiency of this bearer makes me spare my pen, being
able to inform more amply than my leisure will permit me to do at
this present. As for the event of these troubles, what it will be, it
is hard, in so short a time as we have been here, to judge. Yet to
speak by way of guess, if the French mean inwardly as plainly as
outwardly they profess, Don John is like to have a hard bargain.
But if Monsieur mean treacherously, the States shall be in hard
case. In my next I shall be able to let you understand more of my
Copy. 12 ll. [Ibid. IX. 3θ.]
71. POULET to the QUEEN.
On the 3rd inst. Marchemont, Monsieur's only agent in this
town, came to me by his master's orders to pray me to excuse him
to your Highness for not sending a gentleman to you as soon as he
had appointed. His mother will not agree to his dispatching this
messenger till she has heard again from Mauvissière. The same
gentleman prays me to give no credit to the reports which are given
out that Queen Mother has broken this enterprise to the Low
Countries, that his master will come to Court, that the king had
banished his minions, and that his master had done the like ;
assuring me that Queen Mother had returned from Monsieur very
ill satisfied and that he had only yielded to her so far that if the
offers of the Estates were not such as he expected, he would not go
in person, but would constitute Bussy his lieutenant. 'But,' says
he, 'all men of understanding know that nothing less is meant,
and that Bussy is not ignorant that there is no security for him
anywhere but in the presence of Monsieur.' He has also reported
to me that 'Fugieres' departed from hence on the 2nd inst. to join
with Pruneaux in his negotiation with the ambassador sent by your
Majesty, and that Rochepot is commanded to conduct all the French
forces with all speed to the army of the Estates.
Since Queen Mother returned to Court, Villeroy has been sent
to Monsieur. He has now arrived here, but what news he brings I
do not yet know. It is certain that greater preparations than at
present have not been seen in France for a long time ; yet they do
not appear in outward show, but all gentlemen and others able to
bear arms are required to be in readiness, some for the King's
service, others for Monsieur's, and the residue for that of the King
of Navarre and his party. And because the summer is so far spent,
and these great bruits for Flanders come to no execution, rumours
are given out that there is strait intelligence between the King and
his brother, and that the forces are to be employed either against
those of the religion here or against your Majesty and your realm ;
and many honest men repair to us daily with blind tales to that
effect. It is true that the King is highly offended with those of
Rochelle, because they have lately received some little garrison,
and threatens that this vain distrust shall cost them dear. But I
am credibly informed that the disunion between the King and
Monsieur was never greater than at present, that nothing is intended
from here to the disadvantage of those of the religion, or to the
hurt of your Majesty, and now it is said that Marshal de Cossé will
be sent to the King of Navarre and Prince of Condé to assure them.
Some think, and I could easily be brought to agree, that these bruits
concerning England are given out on purpose to give your Highness
cause for fear at home, and thereby divert you from all foreign
Seventeen companies of Spaniards and 800 horse are passed
through Savoy for the service of Don John.
My last letter to the Secretaries made mention of one of my
servants sent into Britanny, who has been in every haven there
between St. Malo and Vannes, a little haven 20 leagues or so from
Nantes. He found that coast very bare of shipping, and assures
me there is not one ship or bark in those parts prepared or to be
prepared for the war. La Roche had set out in a ship of 300 tons
or thereabouts, accompanied by a pinnace, which is returned by
force of 'fowell' weather. The incomers reported to the messenger,
thinking him to be a Frenchman, that the great ship had taken her
course for Newfoundland and has been well beaten by four English
ships which this French ship thought to have robbed. He also
tells me that he has been informed by merchants and mariners
lately arrived from Portugal that the army there has taken the sea
for Africa ; being composed of 50 great ships, 12 galleys, and a great
number of small boats called 'kervells.' The messenger on his
return found James Fitzmorris at Dinan, where counting himself
and his wife he has eighteen persons in his house ; which argues
that he finds liberal friendship in this country, and there is no
appearance that he is preparing for any new voyage.—Paris,
7 July 1578.
Add. Endd. 3 pp. [France II. 59.]
K. d. L. x.
72. 'Answer of the States to the Articles proposed to them by the
Lords Ambassadors, 8 July 1578.'
They have never had any other wish than to be kept in peace
under the obedience of their natural lord the king of Spain ;
But under stress of the violation of all their rights, privileges,
and liberties and the insupportable tyranny of strangers, tending to
their utter ruin, they have been compelled after vainly trying all
other remedies to have recourse to arms, which they now for the
first time take up solely to recover their ancient rights.
Nevertheless, though they have often been deceived by the perfidy
of their enemies, till they have but little hope left of attaining to a
secure peace, free from fraud and trickery, they are content that if
her Majesty's Ambassadors have any hope of being able to arrange
such a peace they should employ her authority therein ; and the
States will receive it as a great favour.
To the second point however they must answer that they see no
means in the world for effecting the above, nor of giving any
assurance to the country, unless it be that Don John should leave
the country with all his troops and adherents, restoring into the
hands of the Estates all the places held by him, that they may be
united to the other provinces as heretofore ;
And that the government remain in the hands of the Archduke
on the conditions upon which he has been received as Governor-general ;
The authority of the States remaining such as is assigned to them
by the Pacification of Ghent,
Recognizing always the loyalty and homage due from them to the
King of Spain,
Leaving it to the Estates to settle, as may best conduce to the
quiet of the country, all differences concerning the exercise of
religion ; which, owing to the breach of the peace on the part of Don
John and the consequent troubles, have gone so far that it is
impossible to put things back on the old footing without throwing
the whole country into confusion and running the risk of ruin.
Which may serve as an answer to the point concerning the
possible hindrances to peace arising from the points mentioned ;
Namely the continued stay of Don John and his adherents in
these parts, and their manner of behaviour. Also the various
perfidy and violation of promises whereby the Estates have been
deceived, both by Don John's predecessors and by himself ; for he
has always tried only to amuse them with fair words and feigned
shadows of negotiation, that he might get his forces ready the
while, and take them unawares.
So that it is impossible to trust him or his adherents while they
Further, breaking all sworn pacts and contracts, they want to
bring all matters alike of religion and of the obedience due to the king
back to their old footing of the time of Charles V, a thing now quite
impossible, and pernicious to the whole country.
Besides the retention of towns, castles, &c. by Don John and his
Which points being adjusted according the equitable declaration
above made, there may be some hope of arriving at peace, which
otherwise seems impossible.
Other points affecting individuals, such as restitution of property
on either side, cancelling of banishments, release of prisoners, can
afterwards be settled with less difficulty.
As to the third article, namely whether his Highness and the
States have decided to wage offensive or defensive war, they reply
as they have explained by the mouth of the Prince of Orange, the
Duke of Aerschot, and other deputies of the Council of State, that
their intention has never been to attack anyone, only to maintain
themselves at peace under due obedience to the King of Spain,
seeing that therein lies all their prosperity. But as they have been
assailed by tumultuary seditions on the part of the Spanish soldiers
and other foreigners, and by the violence with which Don John has
attacked them in the teeth of all oaths, seizing their castles and
seeking their entire ruin, to effect which he has employed the
mutinous soldiers aforesaid, who had been declared by his Majesty's
Council and the Estates rebels, and deserving of exemplary punishment,
they have been constrained to take up arms, not for attack
but for defence and for the preservation against violence of their
lives, wives, children, and property.
Nevertheless, as it is part of the right and the necessity of war
that he who is defending himself against the attack of another is
constrained to assault the aggressor, purely defensive as the present
war is they intend to use all efforts to repel aggression and in so
doing to strike their enemy till God gives them grace to drive him
out of these countries and deliver their poor fatherland ;
To which end they have already 10,000 or 12,000 horsemen from
abroad, beside those of the country who number 3,000, and 170
companies of infantry.
As to the fourth article, the event of war being in the hand of
God, they cannot give an absolute answer save as to their intention ;
which is to stake everything and carry on this war to the very end,
without sparing even to their last farthing, to shake off the yoke of
the intolerable servitude to Spain, and maintain their ancient
As regards the means, they quite hope that when the arrangement
which they have begun to adopt is on foot, and has made some way,
it will bring in 600,000 florins per month, indeed rather more than
less. But as meanwhile the necessity of war calls for a considerable
sum of money they beg her Majesty according to her promise,
seeing that nothing can be raised on the obligation, to do them the
favour to furnish the promised £100,000 ; by means of which they
hope to be able so to conduct their affairs as to be able to meet all
To show that they desire to proceed with all sincerity, they beg
the ambassadors to tell them what further securities they desire for
the sum in question. They will find the Estates ready to listen to
anything in reason.
To the fifth article they reply that they hope to go on in such
agreement, according to their mutual promises that nothing
detrimental as regards the war may occur in this direction.
To the sixth, that to all appearance the towns will hold firm,
seeing that even after the rout of Gembloux not a single town
moved aside from its allegiance, and they are doing their utmost to
fortify themselves, even at their own charges.
To the seventh ; the people having felt the burden of the Spanish
tyranny intolerable, his Highness and the Estates hope that they
will not fail to continue the endeavour they have begun ; ay, and
more if necessary.
To the eighth ; as nothing is done herein save by ordinance of
the Estates, who see that it is carried out, there is no fear that it
will not be employed to the destined end.
To the ninth answer has been given above.
To the tenth ; as the needs of this oppressive war consume great
quantity of munitions, they have already told her Majesty that they
hope she will aid them with powder and saltpetre by way of loan.
As to the last article, touching the forces of the enemy, he is known
to have 4,000 or 5,000 horse, and 15,000 or 16,000 foot. But as
reinforcements reach him every day it is impossible to know his
As the ambassadors see by these answers the sincere intention of
his Highness and the Estates, and the necessity imposed on them
of undertaking this war, with their resolve to continue it, in case a
good peace cannot be established, they desire them kindly to declare
the intentions of the Queen ; whether she is pleased to enter into the
defence of this their quarrel and to assist them openly and publicly,
or intends to make them a loan of money secretly, or in what fashion
soever it may please her to further with her assistance the prosecution
of this war, so important to all Christendom, and especially to
the peace and security of their neighbours.
And as she has so liberally given a promise of the £100,000
above-mentioned, upon which it has been found impossible to raise
anything, and the Estates have built thereon, they beseech her to
consider into what mischief they would fall if their hope is frustrated,
and that it may therefore please her to consider means whereby
this promise may have its effect, to the relief of these afflicted
countries and the more ample ratification of her Majesty's credit,
authority and greatness.—Antwerp, 8 July 1578. (Signed)
Matthias ; (Countersigned) for his Highness, Van Asseliers, for the
Prob. the original. Endd. by L. Tomson. Fr. 7 pp. [Holl. and
Fl. VII. 48.]
73. Copy of the above. Endd. Fr. 5 pp. [Holl. and Fl.
74. English version of the questions (No. 64) and the Estates'
Endd. 5 pp. [Ibid. VII. 50.]
75. The 9th July, Antwerp.
Ingots handed to Peter Laiguier on account of what he has to
have, etc. Lists of silver from various cases, its weight and value.
'No. 16 was bags of Spanish reals.' Total amount to £5,009 1s.
Doubtless part of the loan to the States. Two sheets of paper, with
figures roughly jotted down. Fr. 12/3 pp. [Ibid. VII. 51.]