Elizabeth
July 1579, 1-15

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Institute of Historical Research

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Arthur John Butler (editor)

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1904

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'Elizabeth: July 1579, 1-15', Calendar of State Papers Foreign, Elizabeth, Volume 14: 1579-1580 (1904), pp. 1-17. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=73429 Date accessed: 25 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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July 1579, 1-15

A.D. 1579.
? End of June or beginning of July.
1. THE QUEEN to the DUKE OF ANJOU.
Considering how the king your brother and you have honourably and consistently prosecuted the affair in question in spite of the persuasions of your subjects to divert you therefrom, and the secret practices of sundry others, whereof we are not ignorant, we have cause rather to esteem ourselves as much obliged to you as one prince can be to another, than to raise any complaint, as you may be assured we will effectually show when occasion offers ; for the memory of it remains so deeply embedded (encarnée) in our hearts, that we could not fail to satisfy it. Fragment of draft, in hand of L. Tomson and endd. by him : Copy of a letter to the K. of Fr. [sic] from her Majesty in answer to his former, the 13 of June 1579 [but is it not later?]. Fr ½ p. [France III. 24 (bis).]
July 2. 2. Appointment of Sir Roger Manwood, Chief Baron of the Exchequer ; David Lewes, LL.D., Judge of the Court of Admiralty ; Valentine Dale, LL.D., a Master of the Requests ; John Popham, Solicitor-General ; William Aubrey, LL.D. ; John Hamond, LL.D., Master of the Court of Chancery ; Thomas Fanshawe and Peter Osborne ; as Commissioners to see that the treaty executed with the King of Spain at Bristol, August 20, 1574, is properly carried into effect. Copy, signed 'Powle.' Latin. 2½ pp. [Spain I. 22.]
July 3. 3. [JACQUES DE SOMERE] to DAVISON.
This bearer will be my excuse for not writing particulars of what has happened since I last wrote. He is the doctor who took leave of you the day before your departure, is devoted to Sir F. Walsingham, and deserves to be more familiarly acquainted with yourself, having a pretty and rare wit in the science that he professes, a good moral character (âme et conscience) and a delicate judgement in public affairs. He knows all that goes on here and can talk at length to you on the likelihood of peace or war, and the result of one or the other ; also about the position of Maestricht, or the war in Flanders and what depends on it ; in short, there is no need for me to enter into details this time. I need only thank you for your news of yourself, which will give me courage to impart ours, of which I regret that there is none at present worthy of the affection you bear to the preservation of this country ; whose ruin we see advancing more by our own divisions than the forces of the enemy. It is a sign that God would punish us, when He takes from us the power of mutual sympathy. Ghent is in a worse state than ever ; justice is wholly underfoot there ; it is mere brigandage, begun and maintained by the insane government of him you wot of. The bearer, whose name is Geoffroy, will tell you more.— Antwerp, 3 July 1579. P.S.—After this was written came news of the capture of Maestricht, which has caused great terror here. The people not knowing whom to blame, blame those in authority, but time will soothe. M. de Frésin is in close confinement and in danger of execution. We are uneasy lest the people relieve themselves in some such way. Add. Fr. 1 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XII. 8.]
July 4. 4. POULET to the QUEEN.
I received your Majesty's of the 21st ult. on the evening of the 24th, the king having gone to Olinville in the afternoon of the same day, followed thither by Monsieur at 3 the next morning. Roquetaillade had arrived in the evening shortly after the king's departure. It pleased God to visit me with a hot ague the day after the receipt of your packet, so that when the king and Monsieur returned on the 27th I had already endured three fits, and did not leave my bed till the 29th. Besides that I am commanded to advertise with all speed how I find the king and his brother inclined to proceed in the interview, I considered that my message might perchance further their resolution herein, and especially what concerned the king, who in honour could do no less than deliberate after so plain warning. Therefore, being not ignorant that the constitution of my weak body would not permit me after so much physic and so many sweats to take the air in less than eight or ten days, I thought good to deliver my message in two letters, one to the king and the other to his brother, doing my best to deliver the true substance of my commission ; though to observe the French phrases I have sometimes changed the form of the sentences, as may appear by the copies sent to Mr Secretary Walsingham. The letters were delivered by M. Gondi, and as I understand were thankfully taken by him. I am assured of this, that their contents were better digested and more deeply considered than if ten times as much had been delivered by word of mouth. On the 29th Monsieur came to my lodging. After ordinary ceremonies, and my humble thanks for his visit, which I told him could proceed of no other cause than his affection to your Majesty, I prayed him to hold me excused for being so bold as to impart my message to him by writing. I said I considered that he might perchance have occasion to dispatch shortly into England, and if it did not appear by his letter that he had heard from me, you would think I had been negligent. He answered that he had given good testimony of his sincere affection towards your Majesty, in that he did not insist upon anything that was not agreeable to you, but referred himself wholly to your pleasure. So he was glad to understand by my letter you accepted his doings in good part ; trusting that this favourable construction of his proceedings would bring forth the fruits of his longdesired hope. He did not doubt I could so direct his course in his future dealings that you might have just cause to think he made great account of your satisfaction. He looked for du Vray very shortly, upon whose coming he would further consider. Perceiving that he had now said all he meant to say to me and had no desire to enter into any further discourse touching the message I had delivered him, I thought good to make some motion which might breed occasion of further speech. I told him that the good will and constant affection which he had from his youth borne towards your Majesty bound you to acknowledge it with thankfulness ; and prayed him to think there was no prince living whom you thought you had more cause to esteem or with whom you so desired to join your fortune in course of friendship, than with him [sic]. For proof of this you had commanded me to signify to him your great care to see him provided with an ample safe-conduct meet for a prince of his quality, as likewise that upon his arrival he might receive such entertainment as is meet for the dignity of his person and to be performed by a prince of your place, especially towards one taking the voyage upon so friendly and honourable respects. 'And now,' quod I, 'we think in England that your Highness will be there before the end of August.' Monsieur replied that the time of his departure was yet uncertain ; that a journey of this importance would require great preparations ; that the matter depended on others. For his part he would be glad to depart 'this next morrow.' I said the journey was 'threatened' to have been performed long since, and I thought there would be no cause to stay, if he were willing. 'Indeed,' quod he, 'the winter passage is said to be dangerous, and the winter season must needs be unpleasant to many other purposes.' Seeing that he said nothing as to the difficulty 'proponed' by your Majesty, and was now upon the point to leave me, I said that greatly desiring the continuance of his amity, and wishing to avoid all occasions that might tend to diminish it, and considering, too, that in case of the mutual satisfaction that is hoped for not falling out upon the interview some interruption of friendship might ensue, the danger of which might reach to both realms, you had commanded me to pray him to come to England, with full resolution, marriage or no marriage, to nourish and conserve the good intelligence which had continued so long between him and yourself, as you would not fail to receive him with the like resolution. He might be assured he would find no alteration of your good will towards him if, after his arrival in England, God did not incline his heart to 'like with' this match. Monsieur answered that these were hard speeches, and that these mishaps (he used the term malheurs) ought not to be prognosticated before they arrived. Of this he said he had no fear, and did not doubt but that his journey would succeed to the satisfaction of both parties. I took occasion of further speech, and many words passed between us ; but I could not induce him to promise to brook a denial with patience ; though indeed I did not urge his answer herein, because my commission did not bear it. This is the substance of what passed at that time between him and me. Brulart, one of the king's secretaries, being appointed by his Majesty to repair to me, and having sent to know if he should not trouble me, upon hearing from me that Monsieur was then on his way to me, forbore his coming till the morrow, being the 30th ult. Then he told me that he was sent to me by the king partly to visit me in respect of my sickness, partly to inform me of the king's good acceptance of the letter which he lately received from me, and that he was very glad to hear of your good affection towards him, desiring on his part nothing more than to maintain good amity with you ; which he trusted would shortly be so strongly confirmed that it should continue for ever unbroken. Touching the difficulty proposed by your Majesty, the advertisements he has received both from his Ambassador resident, and from Simier, made the matter so plain, and gave such manifest assurance of the good success of this intended marriage that he saw no likelihood of any inconvenience ensuing, especially seeing his brother remained constant in his first resolution. Many words passed between this gentleman and me touching the mutual good affection between your Majesty and his master, of the necessity of its continuance, how much this intelligence depends on the good offices of good ministers. And here I took occasion to tell him of the honourable speeches which it pleased the king to use at my last audience, of his unfeigned good will towards you, of his care for your well-doing, how highly he esteemed you, and how willing he was to foresee that you should not be abused. I omit the details, which are more tedious than necessary. Indeed, this secretary has the reputation of being less factious than some of his fellows, and more void of 'partiality.' Then in answer to the last part of his speech, touching the difficulty, I told him that I thought the king would have answered this matter more fully if I had spoken with him. It was not enough to set down the hope conceived upon I know not what advertisements, but it seemed also requisite in honour, policy, and conscience to make provision for the dangers in possibility. I said I added the word conscience because the danger might reach to infinite thousands, not only French and English but of other nations also. I said he was not ignorant that nothing was yet promised, both parties retaining their full liberty. He must also confess that the hearts of princes are in the hand of God, who turns them to like or mislike at His pleasure. It followed therefore that this marriage may fail of its effect, and the dangers may ensue and, being of so great importance, ought to be provided for. 'You say true,' says M. Brulart, 'and I cannot impugn your reasons ; but my commission does not extend to say more than I have.' I answered that I had no commission to require any answer herein of the king, and therefore referred it to his Majesty's pleasure. 'And yet,' says he, 'I will make true report to the king at his return, which will be to-morrow' (he was gone that morning with Monsieur and the Duke of Guise to Saint-Germain-en-Laye) 'and perhaps you will hear again from him.' The King returned at the time appointed, and now two days are passed and I hear nothing from him. I have therefore thought good to retain this messenger no longer. On the 2nd inst. the King was advertised that the castle of Saluces was yielded to Bellegarde. Thereupon the Council assembled immediately ; and, as I am informed from a great personage, it is decided that the King shall do all he can to remove him speedily, and he intends for that purpose to go towards Lyons at the end of this month. Queen Mother is in Provence, where she has her hands full with the troubles of that province and Dauphiné, and some think she will not do the good she desires. D'Escarces, the principal of one faction in Provence, is said to have left her without taking leave, and very ill-satisfied. No news of her return, and the common opinion is she cannot be here before Michaelmas. Maintenon, brother to Rambouillet, was dispatched towards Queen Mother on the 1st, some think especially for these marriage matters, wherein, whatever may be pretended, there will be no resolution, in the opinion of some here, before the return of this messenger, it being certain that nothing moves here without her direction. The Prince of Condé met the King of Navarre at Nérac, from whence they are gone to Montauban, accompanied by the Viscount of 'Touraine,' to meet the deputies of the Religion ; where in respect of the great insolency committed daily against those of the Religion it is thought, and some 'assure' it, that the 'reddition' of the towns, appointed to ensue this next August, will be restrained. My sickness has greatly hindered my intelligences, but I trust your Majesty will hear further from me shortly.—Paris, 4 July 1579. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. 6 pp. [France III. 25.]
July 5. 5. ROSSEL to WALSINGHAM.
I regret to have to tell you of the sack of Maestricht, which was overcome (suppéditée) on Monday the 28th ult. by means of a mine which the enemy pushed as far as a monastery in the town about which our side had no fear. This they sprang during a feigned general assault, which all were employed in repulsing. Seeing themselves taken in rear with considerable loss they rallied in Wyck, and there capitulated on terms of their lives saved. The enemy by way of security ordered them to enter the houses ; and when they were there, disregarding their promise, massacred them cruelly for three hours. This inhumanity has so excited the people in every town that they are furiously attacking all superiors and magistrates, imputing to them the blame of the massacre through the default of succour, and saying that the Prince had guaranteed their deliverance if 50,000 florins were forthcoming, that in Antwerp they had furnished 250,000 and nothing had come of it. Their pence were spent in acquiring manors in France for the Princess to make over to her minions—absurd and false slanders of no account. Friday they persisted in wanting to know the authors of the default, till a massacre was expected. That night the colonels of the city of Antwerp took M. de Frésin to the common prison to prevent his murder, intended by the people. Next morning the gates were locked till midday ; some of them all day long. They arrested M. de Berkhen as a member of the Chambre des aides, but he was released through the influence of the States-General and taken to the colonels of the city in the Town Hall. These all pleaded that they could do nothing to check the people, resolved as they were to reform the Council of State, the States, the magistrature, the Chambre des aides, privy council, and all the public officers. Upon this subject they would meet, with the 'brirath' [Breederaed], on Saturday : that assembly having on Friday met, at the instance of the States, and resolved to agree to the union of Utrecht. This bridled the fury, and the first action was moderated by the patience of the ministers, recognizing their humours. All deliberation was suspended and a change demanded, with certain expulsions from the Council of State, made up as it is from all the provinces, seceding or otherwise. This, upon the advice of his Highness, will be reformed, and the States-General as well, by the retention of so many as may seem well from the provinces that have remained in the union and no others. As for those of Hainault and Artois, and the Malcontents, they have accepted peace with the Spaniards. M. de Goigny, who as commander-in-chief, lost the army at Gemblours, has been set at liberty and replaced in his government of le Quesnoy, the better to block M. d'Alençon's way ; who will nevertheless be summoned by the States. I know not if he will be received by the people, after the example of le Quesnoy and Landrecies. Arengier started to-day by the post with the document summoning him in the quality I told you ; I do not know if he will accept it, for des Pruneaux maintains that he intends to be called in and received with the rank and authority with which the Dukes of Burgundy used to rule, and not with restrictions like those under which the Archduke Matthias was received as governor. One of those who accompany Arengier has an extract from a letter, Latin or in Latin [sic] from some person employed in her Majesty's affairs, giving information as to the Duke's reception here both in connection with his marriage and otherwise (tant en son mariage qu'aultre qualité), which would be very prejudicial to her service if it came to be known. I have exhorted him to suppress it, which he has promised to do ; but knowing him to be of unsteady disposition I am afraid he is not to be relied on. I had practised him to have a copy, which I could not obtain ; however, I know that it wholly discloses the intentions of the States. I shall try to find out the author ; I know well that it comes from his Excellency's house. The English, French, Scottish and German troops with the reiters are assembled near Nymegen ; some of the Germans and Scots have been admitted into Bois-le-Duc after long 'concertations,' to the point of bloodshed. The Pensionary of Bois-le-Duc, clerk to the Estates of Brabant, sent to receive the garrisons, behaved with discretion. When Nymegen and other towns in the parts of Gueldres have been furnished, the rest of the troops will go to Mechlin, where it is hoped there will be an assembly ; but I know not if they will come in time to remedy the disaffection of the Mechliners, who are passionate to follow the cause of the Malcontents. These are resolved to make war in Flanders, while the Spaniards do the like in Brabant, all on account of the ill-will they profess to the Prince. Count Egmont is to be aided by the Guisards with horse and foot to avenge the insult received by him at Brussels. Judge, I ask you, if the injury done to his father by the Spaniard must not be left in oblivion, to justify his passionate youth. They are all met at Grandmont in consultation, I mean Count Lalaing, Montigny, Egmont, and Hèze. We hear from Ghent that M. de Champagny has been found dead in his bed, of anger and annoyance. Others say that his life's course was hastened for him. As for the peace-negotiations at Cologne, there was some hope of it but for the events at Maestricht. However the conditions seem impracticable. Religion was to be indifferent at Ghent and Antwerp ; the Prince was to retire in full enjoyment of his property, the king taking over his debts ; his son Count van Buren was to return and be admitted to the government of Holland, this was to remain as it was ; the Archduke was to be continued as Governor ; the Council of State reconstructed according to his Majesty's pleasure ; the rest of the state restored to its ancient privileges ; all placards against the religion to be abolished, and every man to live in freedom of conscience ; the decision to be pronounced by the electors. M. de Melroye of Namur, who was to bring up the articles and to have an absolute procuration to the deputies for the acceptance of the conditions, has not come, which makes me presume that all is broken off.—Antwerp, 3 July 1579. Add. Endd. by Walsingham. Fr. 5 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XII. 9.]
July 6. 6. Draft of a safe-conduct for the Duke of Anjou, with corrections by Walsingham.
Endd. by L. Tomson : Copy of a safe-conduct for Monsieur, dispatched 6 July 1579 ; and below : A packet dispatched to Sir A. the 7th of July 1579. Latin. 3½ pp. [France III. 26.]
July 8. 7. 'Copy of a letter written in the name of them of Ghent to the Prince, with M. de la Noue's answers.'
In the first place M. de la Noue refuses to take this letter as proceeding from the senate and people of Ghent, with whose prudence and goodness he is acquainted, but from M. d'Imbize, who makes use of their name, abusing his public position, as before.
The letter : Having received information the evening before last of an attempt to be made on the town by Count Egmont next morning at daybreak —
This information is evidently fictitious (supposée). M. de la Noue arrived in Ghent at 8 P.M. on July 6, and M. d' Imbise says he received it that same evening. Now the people were in no way excited, and M. d' Argenlieu, who resides at Ghent, and is much trusted, heard nothing of it. If there had been anything in it, M. de la Noue ought to have been told of it, that he might see to the defence of the town, having been appointed to look after the whole of Flanders. As the letter begins with a falsehood, one must not be surprised if it goes on.
The letter : We stood to arms without beating the diane in order to give them a good reception.
Let us see the order which M. d'Imbize gave as to the alleged attempt, and to which result it was best adapted, the expulsion of M. de la Noue, that is of friends, from the town, or the prevention of the enemy's, especially Count Egmont's, designs. When you fear danger from without the usual military procedure is to have a large corps on foot to guard the place, to line the walls with men, to fling some horse on the approaches to ascertain the direction from which they are coming. Nothing of this was done at Ghent ; not even one additional sentinel placed on the ramparts. It was not against the Count, then, that action was taken. On the contrary, the chains were put up in the town, a force of 700 men was posted before M. de la Noue's lodging at midnight, and others before those of the two or three captains who had come with him, while no change was made elsewhere. The object was therefore to arm the people against M. de la Noue under the cloak of Count Egmont ; this, looking to M. de la Noue's well-known sincerity, being the only way he could do it. Count Egmont too was far away, with few men for such an enterprise, and would have to pass through places where he must infallibly have been discovered. Thus the people can see how its best friends are attacked under cover of its enemies.
The letter : And whereas it fell out by bad luck that M. de la Noue arrived the evening before last with a good many French gentlemen and captains, whereby we perceived some excitement to be caused among the people—
He arrived with 15 or 16 horsemen—a very ordinary train for him. Among them were three captains who had been in the pay of the Gantois, two of them in M. d'Argenlieu's regiment, who have since returned with him. If this number frightens M. d'Imbise, there have been more foreigners in his town without causing a like excitement ; and he wrongs his own valour, which is going to suppress the Walloons in a moment. If the quality of the men seem suspicious, M. de la Noue must be known to him, as also M. d'Argenlieu and Mr. Cotton, whom he summoned to the service of his town ; and if he has proper confidence in M. d'Argenlieu he can accept his testimony to the people with whom he came. In any case he might have warned M. de la Noue without alarming the people, and he would have withdrawn quietly at the first word. But M. d'Imbize wants to keep the people mistrustful and accustom them to outbreaks, in order to make them the instrument of his passions.
The letter : under the presumption that there was reason to fear from him something like what happened at Bruges. To obviate all inconvenience, M. d'Imbize, the first échevin, with the two deans made an early visit to him and M. d'Argenlieu—
M. de la Noue's sincerity is well enough known to all honest folk, and even his enemies have never questioned it ; whereby is seen the impudence of M. de Imbize, who is not ashamed to impute to him what would hardly be believed of the most dishonourable. If his actions in France be examined, no ground for any such suspicion will be found ; if those in Flanders, he regrets in truth that he has had no such opportunity to do good as M. d'Imbize has had and will to do him harm. But in spite of the few opportunities that have been given him and the hindrance he has received, he has not failed to give proof of his faithful service. But et us see the unfaithfulness which makes him an object of suspicion to M. d'Imbize. What happened lately at Bruges, he says? Everyone knows that la Noue was at Antwerp, and cannot be blamed or praised over that matter ; but let us see how far the desire to slander him can go. At Bruges an attempt was discovered which put the town in great danger, and particularly those of the Religion. Thereupon the magistrates called in the Scots who were with M. de la Noue, by whose help, thank God, the town was saved from the very smallest murder or pillage. This was a great service to the country, and anyone can judge how much disloyalty there was in it, and if the same person was likely to secure religion and liberty at Bruges, and help Count Egmont to surprise Ghent in order to suppress them. But it is the nature of a lie to discover itself of itself, and of a slanderer to draw up his own indictment.
The letter : to beg them very affectionately to be so kind as to depart from this town at an early hour, so as to remove the object of the people's suspicion, though we believed it unfounded. Which M. de la Noue willingly did, after we had handed him a packet of your letters addressed to various persons.
M. d' Imbize did indeed come at four in morning to M. de la Noue and told him of this alleged excitement among the people, signifying to him that he must mount at once, without considering that he had had the fever badly. M. de la Noue offered little opposition, knowing the temper of the man he had to do with, for he had plenty of instances of similar conduct, as in the case of the Vidame of Chartres, a gentleman of quality, who has suffered much for the Religion, and M. Bonnivet, envoy from M. d' Anjou to those of Ghent ; whom he had most uncivilly turned out of the town, and thought to have the latter assassinated on the highroad ; and similar violences which he cannot deny. However he would set forth to him the reason of his coming, which was to let him know his Excellency's opinion as to the regulation of the affairs of Flanders ; which he rejected without giving any reason, and would not approve at all, though he probably has less experience in such matters than the Prince. But he hardly had the patience to listen. M. de la Noue, as he went away, noticed no alteration in the demeanour of the people, but rather humility and gentleness ; save in some of M. d'Imbize's partisans, who would have liked to embitter them contrary to their nature. Indeed, three days later most of them thought they had been called to arms to honour M. de la Noue, and would not believe that it was to turn him out. So the fact remains that he was not the object of the people's suspicion, but the people the unwitting instrument of M. d'Imbize's hatred.
The letter : And we have since thanked God for the decision which was promptly taken herein ;
M. de la Noue thanks God, who has often protected him from the like fury in his enemies, but especially since he has seen that all this fell upon himself alone ; for he feared it was devised against sundry notable and innocent persons, against whom some are seeking a very slight pretext like this to banish them. But the reign of violence does not last ; it often perishes by its own counsellors.
The letter : Inasmuch as if the people knew the information we have, but would not divulge, that Count Egmont's proceedings are, like those of Brussels and Ninove, secretly favoured by the Count, even to the point of risking your Excellency, they might have suspected—
This information is as doubtful as the first. But at least he ought to be ashamed to tax his Excellency, by whose guidance God has wrought such deliverances among this people ; and to doubt his loyalty ought to be accounted secret treason. It is the artifice of such as would establish themselves in power to make the people believe they have a care of them, by raising such suspicions. But the people ought to believe that he who casts doubts on the honesty of a faithful doctor does not desire their health, but would make profit from their wound like the dishonest barber. He who loves the people makes them obey the laws, yield to all just commands, be gracious to their friends, terrible to their enemies. That is the way to raise them, however low they be. But he who makes them contemptuous of justice and suspicion of their benefactors renders them incapable of self-defence and makes them a prey to their foes. That is not the way to smash the Walloons.
The letter : that M. de la Noue had come on behalf of your Excellency to take part in it ;
M. de la Noue need not be particular (ne soit [qy. se doit] pas beaucoup formalizer) about being slandered when his Excellency is not exempt. Moreover having been named as an accomplice in this action, he can have no better testimony in the eyes of honest people of his loyalty towards the country. Yet being justly pained he must be allowed to say a word for himself. He has left his country and his repose to employ his life and goods in the service of this land, and all men know whether he has spared himself. He has incurred the hate of many great people whose favour might have been of use to him ; and slander is a poor return. And what slander? That he is helping to oppress the religion which for twenty years he has been labouring to advance, never by God's grace having flinched or changed? And who utter it? People who have never endured in God's service the least pain in the tip of a finger, and under pretence of the same lord it over others and oppress them ; who not long ago were of another religion, and what is worse, since they have boasted of embracing the gospel have condemned some for professing it. Herein surely they show that they have profited little by it, when they try to excuse their bad actions and strengthen their usurped power at the expense of the honour of folk more honest than themselves.
The letter : whence might have arisen 'alterations' hard to appease.
By these 'alterations' M. de Imbize can only mean that if M. de la Noue had let fall some word displeasing to him he might have been murdered by some of his worthy fanatics.
The letter : Whereof we though good to advertise your Excellency, that you may know how things have fallen out, to obviate the slanders which are only too commonly disseminated among us. And this letter having no other purpose we pray, etc.—Ghent, 8 July 1579. The aldermen and councillors of the town. (Signed) Campene. 'To his Excellency.'
The only person who slanders the city of Ghent is M. d' Imbize, who ascribes to it all the follies whereby he renders it odious to many, as quite recently by the wrong done in its name (though falsely so) to M. de la Noue. From the above it is clear that to colour one fault he has to commit a dozen. M. de la Noue intends this answer to apply only to M. d'Imbize and the authors of the letter, knowing well that it was never communicated to the magistrates, any more than the action sought to be excused in it. Copy. Endd. by L. Tomson. Fr. 7⅓ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XII. 10.]
July 12. 8. JACQUES DE SOMERE to DAVISON.
Since my last letter sent by Mre Geoffroy nothing much has happened here. There is more talk of peace than there was ; but letters from Cologne of the 5th inst. mention nothing settled, only good hope. The Duke's negotiation keeps them in play (en cervelle). The enemy has lately shown himself near Brussels. It is not yet known on what side the storm will fall ; there are fears for Vilvorde, but there is a pretty good garrison in it. The terror at the capture of Maestricht has passed off quietly enough. The towns are resolved to defend themselves. I think that the trouble the enemy had to take Maestricht will make him slower to attack other places. The massacre was not so great as was reported ; there may have been 300 or 400 killed in the tumult (furie). The women and children have been pardoned, the rest of the citizens and the soldiers are still prisoners and are held to ransom. Their neighbours will not desert them for want of a little money after they have done so well. The people of Oudenarde turned out the priests 3 or 4 days ago, and the same has happened at Dunkirk, Vueren and Bergues, but with no great disorder or pillage ; so that Flanders is purged again of that vermin. It remains to re-establish justice, especially in the capital, where it has fallen very low. M. de la Noue was greatly wronged there five or six days back by M. d'Imbize, who caused him to leave the town, making him believe that the people distrusted him, and therefore were in arms ; while on the contrary the people knew nothing about it, but were persuaded that they were in arms to do him honour. He is much annoyed with this way of going on and disgusted with the affairs of Flanders. I think he will quit them altogether, to the great regret of all honest poople.—Antwerp, 12 July 1579. Add. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XII. 11.]
July 13. 9. ROSSEL to WALSINGHAM.
Finding an opportunity of writing to you from this place, Bruges, by favour of a French gentleman lodging where I do, at the Crown, on business, so far as I have observed, I have risked this. It is only to let you know of the fortunate decease of the Prince of Parma, according to a letter from his Excellency to 'Messieurs de Bruges.' It mentions that a person who seen the body assured him of his death, owing to suffocation from a spitting and vomiting of blood. God's recompense to tyrants. I had heard some time ago that ill-will was growing against him (l'on lui bâtissait un mauvais talcnt) ; he has got it at last. It is thought his successor will be Count Mansfeldt, governor of Luxembourg, a sworn foe to the town of Brussels, the siege of which he seems to design ; all the Spanish forces being before it, between Diest, Tillemont, and Louvain. This requires consideration after a siege in which they have received such loss as you may see from the enclosed list, without reckoning the powder and ammunition, as well as provisions for a new siege, which it seems impossible they can obtain, and considering that in our time we have rarely seen two towns besieged in the same season, or the same year, besides that the town is furnished with 20 ensigns, and with ammunition and victuals in plenty, and sure of those of the union, and of Antwerp and Ghent especially, doing all they can in its aid, without reckoning sundry volunteers who have resolved to enter the town, among whom is M. de la Noue, although he is busy here setting all Flanders in order. To which end I have been sent to reduce the French to five ensigns under M. de Mouy, and march them to where they are needed. Arrangements have been made for Bruges, where Colonel Balfour will remain with six ensigns of Scots and some horse. Ypres too will be manned with Scots, as also Courtray and Oudenarde. In each of these towns and others on the frontier of the malcontents, 'Paternosters' as they are called, there will be garrisons for defensive war. The offensive will be in Brabant. The Antwerp people have provided for the ordinary maintenance of eight thousand pressed men and 3,000 horse, to be paid monthly. The people of Ghent continue their insolences, and make many ill-wishers (gens mal à propos). We have fears for Mechlin, which seems shaky and disposed to patronize the enemy. M. de Bours shows himself far too unsteady. It is said that the enemy has announced free traffic with the people of Mechlin. Anyhow, Dr. Sille, secretary of state, sent to reclaim them, is still there. On his return, we shall know their intentions. All this time we are awaiting some disjointed peace. His Excellency said on Thursday that the Duke of Terranova had agreed to the religions vrede at Antwerp, Ghent, and Utrecht, and that there was a hope that he would consent to it wherever it was received. This is of necessity if he aims at peace. For myself I think these are pretences to gain time and further their designs. They may be mistaken, for progress is made with the election and summoning of M. d'Alençon, whose cause many support, not the generality. For my part, I think it impossible. We have letters that Artois and Hainault desire reunion, and ask for a place to be fixed for a conference. It is said it will be Tournay.—Bruges, 13 July 1579. P.S.—I forgot to tell you that we shall have to-night, or to-day, some fresh excitement in imitation [or on the invitation] of Antwerp, to which those of the place wish to conform, and to retain only fifteen pbre [qy. priests] ; some of the magistrates, recognised as pernicious, being suspended for enquiry. Add. Endd. Fr. 3 pp. [Ibid. XII. 12.]
July 13. 10. List of English subjects who have been spoiled by French pirates since July 1562, with the nature and amounts of their losses. Thomas Wilson ; William Maynard ; John Carr of Bristol ; Peter Honning, Thomas Harding, and William Dixon ; John Foxall ; 'Lady Preston's children spoiled of their apparel' (Sep. 1558) ; John Hunwick of Colchester ; Hector Nunez, 'out of a hulk called the Prodigal Child' ; Martin Welsh and Thomas Wise ; John Fryer ; Anthony Anderson ; John Polkynhorne and John Nicholl of Cornwall ; John Penhelicke and Robert Tressise ; William Keeling ; Edward Johnson ; Thomas Barrett and Thomas Sells ; William Jowett ; Anthony Ratcliff ; George Etheridge (ship, the Christ) ; the William of London ; John Watson, in the Bark Buckston ; Robert Tyndale ; Richard Raynolds ; William Bond ; Robert Gregory ; Richard Sedgwick ; Thomas King ; Walter Jobson ; William Nutshawe ; Thomas Warcop ; Edmund Baylie and Henry White ; Anthony Ratcliff (again) ; William Shacroste ; William Body ; Bernard Field ; Dunstan Anys ; Christopher Dambroke ; Fowlke Aldersey ; Thomas Deaconson ; Henry Prannell ; William Courtney ; Randoll Hankye ; Peter de Perrye, denizen ; William Thomas ; 'in July 1576 a ship called the Antelope, belonging to Anthony Garrett, Thomas Bromley, and Robert Howe, freighted in Barbary with sugar and other commodities by Matthew Field, Arthur Dawbury, Edmund Huggin and others, was piratuously taken and spoiled by two ships set forth by Charles du Boys, captain, of Newhaven, one Malyard being captain of one of the said ships' ; Richard Jervis ; Henry Sackford and Alderman Pulison ; Thomas Sterkey, Alderman, and William Sybons ; Simon Knight ; Edward Chester and Andrew Barker, Thomas Pollington, John Illcombe, 'spoiled by Nepevill' ; John Ford and John Bird ; John Norris of Barnstaple ; John Sutton ; Stephen Davis ; Valentine Tuck ; John Carew (ship, the Temperance) ; Jasper Lambert ; Thomas James and Henry Jolliff ; William Linday ; the Greyhound of Bristol, laden with 'secks, oils, cochianils, and other rich commodities' ; Richard Skofield and Thomas Wilkin ; Oliff Burr ; the Robert of Bristol ; the Conie of Bristol ; Edward Charter ; Peter Newall. Total sum, £70,948 5s. 7d. Endd. : An abridgement of a complaint by his Majesty's subjects for spoils done by the French, etc. 9 pp. [France III. 27.]
[July.] 11. A similar, but not identical, statement in French ; with a further list of cases in which compensation has been made to French owners for goods taken by English pirates. Endd. : The spoils done to sundry Englishmen by the French, whereof as yet has been no recompense, restitution, or redress. Entered Lib. Pirat. fol. 37. Fr. 13 pp. [Ibid. III. 28.]
July 14. 12. POULET to WALSINGHAM.
Being given to understand on the 5th inst. that the King and his brother intended to ride to Saint-Germain-en-Laye within two days, and desiring to testify my thankfulness for their favour towards me in my late sickness, the one having visited me by his secretary and the other in person, I would not fail to ask audience of them both ; the more willingly upon hope by this occasion to feel somewhat of their inclination in other things. My audience was appointed for the next day, at which time I declared to the King that though I was very willing to see him often, thereby to be informed of his good health, the news of which was always acceptable to her Majesty, I was not ignorant that I should offend greatly to seek to have access to him without some reasonable occasion. And being loth to be found so arrogant as to do more than my duty required, I should be no less sorry to be so negligent as to leave undone what it commanded. I had therefore prayed audience expressly to thank him for his favour extended to me in my sickness, which being such as in reason I could not expect, confirmed me in my opinion of his singular attention to my sovereign, as the only root of his careful remembrance of her ministers. I added some other ceremonies and received the like with great plenty of fair words, which need not be here recited. I had already written and said enough, in my opinion, touching the contents of her Majesty's late letter, and therefore thinking that my importunacy might be drawn into suspicion if I should repeat it, I had resolved to leave those matters untouched. But the King, calling to remembrance, as I take it, my late conversation with M. Brulart, told me of his own motion that whatever became of this marriage his good affection to her Majesty would be no way diminished, and that his brother thought the time long till their interview were performed. 'God forbid,' quod I, 'that this friendly meeting, grounded upon so good and godly meaning, should breed any discontent between the two realms.' Touching the interview, I said that Monsieur had said no less to me, but could not appoint any certain time for his departure. 'You know,' says the King, 'that these great voyages require great preparation, and therefore the certain time cannot be "termed" without good deliberation.' 'And yet,' quod I, 'I doubt not but your Majesty can guess near about the time when your brother will be ready to start.' 'I will tell you,' says the King ; 'the truth is that I have dispatched Maintenon, my chief harbinger' (commonly called here Maréchal du logis du roy) 'towards my mother, and upon his return the matter shall be resolved.' The King had altered his mind so plainly, and if I be not deceived so agreeably to his meaning, that I did not think good to urge him further. Then I took occasion to move him for Mr Warcop, and told him that after all these fair promises, and after his express command given by mouth to the chief President of the Exchequer, and acknowledged by the President to my secretary, his letters patent were nevertheless again rejected, a matter touching him greatly in honour, and could not (sic) be well liked of her Majesty. The King seemed to be highly offended, and said he would make them know he was their king and not their 'vallet' and would be obeyed ; and forthwith commanded a gentleman to accompany my secretary to Chiverny, to request him to take such order with the Presidents that his command might be duly executed. I was so bold as to tell the King that after the refusal of five such patents I had no 'comfort' to deal any more with the Presidents, and therefore besought him to address me to some Treasurer, which was the only way of expedition. The King answered that he would be 'so content' if the ordinary course of action would so permit ; praying me to try these Presidents once again upon his word, and I should not repent it. Indeed the trial is to be in eight or ten days, and therefore after the loss of six or seven years in this suit, the hazard of a few days cannot greatly import. When I had ended with the King I was conveyed to Monsieur, unto whom I rendered all thanks possible, with all the good words I could devise. I had long speech with his Highness, and he used me with great favour. He moved no matter touching her Majesty, and I did not think good to 'provoke' him. Bellegarde has advertised that his only object in his doings in Saluces was to be revenged on Carlo Birague for some private quarrel between them, and if he were not molested in his government he would remain a true servant and faithful subject to the Crown of France ; 'and,' says he to the messenger, 'if the king seeks to remove me by force, behold there one, behold there another' (pointing to two strangers) 'sent to me from the King of Navarre and the Prince of Condé to assure me of the succour of those of the Religion.' The King of Navarre and Prince of Condé assure the king of the contrary and pray him to consider how unlikely it is that they would enter into any society where the King of Spain and Duke of Savoy have any part or portion, which seems manifest in this practice. I am assured that the king has said this much to a great personage. By the last messengers we hear that Bellegarde has dismissed those of the Religion who came to his succour, reserving only necessary forces to withstand all 'sodaines,' and promises to remain a faithful subject. Mandelot, governor of Lyons, had assembled some forces, which now are discharged. There is no doubt that Bellegarde is dissembling with the king, and it seems no less certain that the king, constrained by necessity, pays him with like measure. It is believed here, and the king is persuaded, that Bellegarde has been 'relieved' underhand in this enterprise by the Duke of Savoy ; who is thought to be offended because the king, having lately renewed his league with the Cantons of Berne and Soleure, has taken Geneva under his protection to such effect as may be seen by this 'abstract' of a letter written by M. de Bèze, viz. :
'Geneva, 24 June.—The alliance between the king and the Cantons of Berne and Soleure is passed. Geneva is comprised so far as regards the defence of it in statu quo against all and sundry, and on condition that nothing shall be done prejudicial to the Religion, nor to those who have withdrawn or shall hereafter withdraw on account of it.'
I am promised the articles of this contract very shortly. It is supposed that Bellegarde has strait intelligence with those of Provence and Dauphiné, and I think I may affirm it. M. Beauvais, sent long since into Portugal, returned hither last week. He reports very honourably of his entertainment and has been presented with a chain of 4,000 crowns. He has said to a great personage, and his dear friend, that the King of Portugal is very weak, and that his last day in this world seems to be at hand, and he thinks assuredly that the kingdom of Portugal will fall to the King of Spain. He says that the judges appointed for the decision of all titles will be won, if they are not already, to be wholly at his devotion. I had long talk yesterday with the ambassador of Portugal, who wishes me to assure myself that nothing less is intended, and that the Portuguese will die to the last man before they will admit the Spaniards. But their high words will not prevail against so near a neighbour and so powerful an enemy. The preparations in Italy continue, and the Italians here judge that the preparation is for Africa. The Sophy is very strong in the field, and yet there is treaty of peace between him and the Turk. One arrived yesterday from Simier ; I understand it was he that was hurt in England. He says du Vray will be here in two or three days. The Lord of 'Albrothe,' elder brother of the Hamiltons, passed from London as a Frenchman, with a packet from the French ambassador, and has been presented by the Archbishop of Glasgow to the king and Monsieur. The younger brother is said to be gone to Flanders. You cannot be ignorant of such messengers as are sent to this Court from the Low Countries. Harangier, assistant to Pruneaux, arrived within these four days, and I hear is authorized to make great proffers to Monsieur. On account of the king's absence last week he only speaks with him to-day. I am promised by a good friend to be informed of all details to-morrow.—Paris, 14 July 1579. P.S.—Few here have any hope that this king will ever be so happy as to put his foot again into the Marquisate of Saluces. Add. Endd. 4 pp. [France III. 29.]
July 15. 13. Permission to John Pond, priest, of the diocese of Winchester, to visit the Holy Sepulchre and other places of the Holy Land in discharge of a vow, 'so long as he does not carry forbidden things to the parts of the infidels.' Noted in the Pope's autograph : Fiat ut petit. U. [i.e. Ugo Buoncompagno], and : Fiat. U.—At St. Peter's in Rome, Ides of July in the eighth year. On the back : Miletus. Latin. ½ p. [Italy I. 1.]


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