284. COBHAM to BURGHLEY.
In my former letter I told you of the Italian who had proffered
to me a device whereby her Majesty might make money without
'exacting on' her subjects. You may perceive whither the party
is now gone, by his letter which I enclose.
Since Queen Mother's return from Monsieur there appears no
alteration. But a quarrel has burst out between the Duke of Montpensier
and the Duke of Nevers, occasioned thus. Whereas
Montpensier when last with his Highness at Angiers declared that
when the Duke of Nevers last departed from the king he showed
small respect in offering the king to follow his Highness, and take
upon him to bring him alive or dead ; this being spoken in
Monsieur's cabinet was reported to the Duke of Nevers, and further
words have passed therein. So that Montpensier and his son the
Prince Dauphin seem as if they would frame a quarrel thereon, and
have drawn some of their followers to them.
The king however has sent Secretary Villeroy to Monsieur to
appease this matter, and the displeasure which the King of Navarre
has conceived, through which he has taken occasion to strengthen
himself to the number of 4,000 shot and 300 or 400 horse, etc.
Now the 'gentlemen Protestants' of Languedoc and Poitou have
taken some places for their safeguard and stand upon their defence,
having been advertised that some sudden enterprise was preparing
On April 30 came hither Don Francisco Barretto, sent by the
Governors of Portugal. I have visited him, and learn from him
that Don Bernaldo Monis is appointed to repair 'on message' to
This ambassador two days after his coming despatched a
messenger into Flanders, for favour of the States to transport, by
means of Stephano Nunez, a Portuguese, armour and other warlike
On May 1, Vargas, the Spanish agent here, dispatched a post to
Bordeaux to signify this Portuguese ambassador's coming.
I enclose a copy of the King of Navarre's letter to his Queen
after his departure from her ; also a copy of advertisements received
from sundry places.—Paris, 3 May 1580.
P.S.—Since writing my last I am told that the King has agreed
with Augustino Susarini [sic] for the sum of 25,000 crowns to be
assured him at Venice, as an entire sum, without any yearly
pension, so far as I can learn.
Add. Seal. Endd. 1 p. [France IV. 65.]
284.* Enclosures in the above :—
(1) An offer to make known a method by which 'a great many
thousand crowns' can be raised without any additional taxation of
any kind, or any monopoly ; on condition that five per cent. of all
money so raised be guaranteed to the writer.
Cobham adds : I have sent a copy hereof to her Majesty, certifying
that I have only informed your lordship thereof, as the chief
person that deals for her revenues and advancement of profits ;
beseeching that I may understand whether the party may repair
into England and to whom he may be addressed, if this offer be so
to her Majesty's liking that she will hear more of it.
Add. Seal. Ital. 1 p. [Ibid. IV. 65a.]
(2) Another copy. ¾ p. [Ibid. IV. 65a. (2).]
(3) Translation of the King of Navarre's letter to his wife, given
in Lettres Missives de Henri IV. under April 10.
Endd. ¾ p. [Ibid. 65b.]
285. COBHAM to [the SECRETARIES].
The Bishop of Glasgow came to me on Wednesday the 27th
[April] and informed me that he was advertised that M. Mauvissière
had moved the Queen to deal in the favour of the Scottish Queen,
in respect she has had a great part of her dowry taken from her ;
whereof he lamented much to me, and declared the manner of it
with sundry circumstances. And since he did 'dilate' this very
much, I desired him to frame some brief note of the matter in
writing ; which he has done, and I here inclose it, that you may
show it to her Majesty. He then desired me to let him know when
I received any commands for that purpose, so that he might at the
same time take occasion to become a suitor to their Majesties here.
But as I know well how the Scottish Queen gives pensions to sundry
ill-disposed subjects of the Queen, I suppose that her Highness
may rather think her dowry too much, except it were better
employed ; considering how it is known that sundry of these
Scottish pensioners are solicitors at Rome to move the Pope and
the Consistory to bend their counsels and aids against her Majesty's
states, and perform as it seems the like office in Spain. The consideration
of this I leave to her Highness, beseeching you that,
though I have in my former letters touched this point, she may now
again hear of it. I have been moved to 'remember' thus much
again, because it seems they could use her goodness to her own
harm, as a means whereby the Scottish Queen should be the better
able to furnish those English which depend on her. Some Scots
have lately repined that her dowry is too little to bestow on the
Queen's subjects ; but I hope they speak rather of malice than that
there is just cause for it.
Since the Bishop of Ross's return from Dieppe, where he has
'set forward' the Abbot of Lindores and other his loving countrymen
to serve for sinews of d'Aubigny's faction, he says his mistress
has written to him to deal stilly and warily in all causes concerning
the Queen my sovereign, since she is now in good grace with some
hope of favour.
The said Bishop hears that Queen Mother moved Monsieur at
this last interview to have the vacancy of the next bishopric or good
abbey ; to which he answered that he had granted the next vacancy
to 'Vervagues' ; but will see the Bishop satisfied. He has had
'sundry of his books' intituled De successionis jure Regnorum
Angliœ et Hiberniœ printed in Latin at Rheims, whereof as he has
opportunity he conveys numbers across the sea.
The Earl of Crayford, surnamed Leslie, left Paris on April 28 for
Orleans, purposing as I hear to pass into Italy.
The king and the chief lords have been for three days past somewhat
troubled with a quarrel between the Dukes of Montpensier and
Nevers, which happened thus. The Duke of Montpensier when last
at Angiers, in conference with Monsieur 'uttered' that he esteemed
the Duke of Nevers not to be his good servant, for that at his last
going from the king at Paris he voluntarily offered the king to
follow him and bring him ; and also that he thought the same
disposition towards his Highness continued still. Whereon la Fin
being at that instant in Monsieur's cabinet, and not long after sent
hither to the king, is said to have reported this speech of Montpensier
in such a way that it came to the Duke of Nevers' hearing.
Whereon, being greatly moved, he sent his lieutenant to Monsieur
to justify his fidelity towards him, showing he honoured none but
two, the king and his Highness, and that he would 'justify' that
which was delivered of him to be false, and proved he lied, whosoever
so reported of him, n[ot] 'taking knowledge' that it was the
Duke of Montpensier. After the Duke of Nevers' gentleman had
done this message to his Highness, he stayed some days in Angiers
and delivered the like speeches among Monsieur's gentlemen ;
which was by Fervaques, as they say, reported to the Duke of Montpensier.
The Duke is much offended, and has taken to him some
companies of gentlemen ; and the Prince Dauphin is in like sort
repaired to his father with more than ordinary troops. It is
reported here that they have entered Tours. The Duchess of
Montpensier, sister to the Duke of Guise, is repaired to the Court,
lamenting to the king in sharp words against the Duke of Nevers.
The king seems disposed that the Duke of Montpensier should be
favoured in this cause, and will have the Duke of Nevers slack his
sails for this time.
The Duke of Guise was asked by a gentleman of his how he
would carry himself in the matter, being brother-in-law to both.
He answered something merrily, and said he would muffle himself
in his cloak and stand at a window and see them give the blow.
The King has appointed Villeroy to put himself in readiness to go
to Monsieur about these causes ; the rather that Monsieur is gone
to Bourges to have conference with the King of Navarre, which
interview is not desired here. And thereon Villeroy, as I am
informed, has enquired of someone in this Court who is in c . . . .
with Monsieur what were the things he most desired. It was
answered that he chiefly wished the advancement of the amity with
the Queen of England, the surcease of the civil wars, and that the
Spanish King's greatness might be assuaged with some blows
bestowed that way. Of these things I think I have been somewhat
particularly and credibly informed. But whether there is understood
by these shows an agreement in the dislike of civil wars, a
good meaning to the House of Bourbon whereby to induce a
marriage with the Princess of Navarre if that with her Majesty do
not take place, or that these intelligences portend a reformation in
the government of the State to the better satisfaction of all the
principal natural French personages and so to ease the grievances
of the commonalty, which as yet appears no further than as I have
declared. But it is thought that before Midsummer these meetings
and conferences will 'make show.'
M. de Rohan is with the King of Navarre, but with small company
of his own. The King of Navarre has 4,000 foot and 3 or 400 horse.
I have been advertised by an Englishman, a friend of mine, from
Angiers that Monsieur was honourably accompanied by many
nobility of both religions, having altered the officers of his house,
and made M. de Revery his Chancellor, a politic person and learned
in the civil law, sometime president of the Parliament of Dijon,
indifferently disposed in the causes of religion, but as I hear to be
accounted somewhat affectionate to the House of Guise. Of
Monsieur's Council and superintendent of his finances, is chosen
M. Perrot, a man of great good fame and well affected to religion.
Monsieur declares by letters and messages to all places that he
will be a conservator of peace, and makes show to be against those
who violently procure civil wars.
Marshal de Retz arrived at Nantes in Easter week, where he has
caused five galleys to be brought into the river. These have been
rigged with much diligence, well furnished with artillery and put in
readiness ; but to what purpose as yet appears not, though there
are sundry conjectures. Captain Augustin the engineer remains
with the Count de Retz, who has been at Belleisle, and is having
it fortified, having brought thither two or three companies of
'Upon that' the Protestants were by many means advertised and
warned of certain secret practices against them, they immediately
thought of their defence : whereon for their present succour, as it
might be conveniently compassed 'in that sudden' they surprised
sundry towns and castles. In Brittany they entered the town and
castle of Montagu, with the castle of Toufu [qy. Thouaré or
Carquefou?], two leagues from Nantes, and the town of Fontenay ;
whereon the captain of Nantes has taken occasion to stand on his
guard, being suspicious of these neighbours.
In the same country there are many meetings of the gentlemen
of the Religion at their houses, which prognosticates some further
event ; showing that there is no solid quietness hoped for until by
apparent action the suspicion can be made known.
Don Francisco di Barretto, who was chamberlain to Don Sebastian,
'the last young King of Portugal,' came here on April 30, having
been 15 days at sea, driven with contrary winds. At length he
landed at Nantes, where he met the Count de Retz, from whom he
came hither by the post, and has audience this afternoon. I 'was to
visit' him the day after he came and was informed by him that the
Governors intend to send Don Bernaldo Monis to the Queen ; but at
his departure he had not been dispatched. Since his coming he
has sent a courier into the Low Countries, with letters from the
Governors to treat with the States for munitions and shot from
thence. The day after his arrival the Spanish Agent sent a post
to Bordeaux with letters certifying his arrival ; at which time
Villeroy requested he might send the king's packet, but he made a
false excuse, saying he would stay till the 'ordinary' came from
Spain, but he sent notwithstanding.
This Francisco Barretto was taken prisoner at the battle in
Barbary when King Sebastian was slain, and returned but three
months past in the company of the young Duke of 'Barseilles' ; of
whom he gives out great commendation. I have in conference with
Don Francisco Giraldi pointed out that the best confederation seems
to be to join with the States of the Low Countries ; for their enemy
is common to them both, and their two navies might reasonably
well encounter the Castilian forces by sea, as also the Flemings
might easily convey to them munitions and all other wants. If
some marriage with the young Duke of Barseilles do not 'frame
their assurance' here it is 'likest' that their most assured confederate
will be the Fleming : for it must needs fall out profitable to
them both, since they may then constrain the Catholic King to
divide his forces. I have delivered but this taste hereof, for without
her Majesty's command it is not fit for me to deal therein.
I have visited the Prince of Wallachia, according to her command
received in your last, accomplishing with speeches so much concerning
her offer of writing to the Grand Seignior in his behalf,
showing him clearly the sundry causes by which her Highness
has been constrained to bestow her treasure ; and likewise signified
how she must be upon the imminent danger compelled to procure
of her subjects supplies of great sums to sustain her extraordinary
charges of the Realm. To-day the prince visited me and informed
me that a secretary has come from Germigny, this king's
ambassador resident at Constantinople, by whom he hopes to
receive letters ; having seen which, he will return to me and shew
me his further desires.
By letters from Italy it is stated that the Governor of Milan is
deceased, and that the Duke of Terranova is there ; which may be
an occasion for the government to be assigned to him.
A messenger is come to-day from Dauphiné with news that M. de
'Governat' has taken Château Double in Dauphiné.
The Duke of Florence furnishes 150,000 crowns to the Spanish
King towards payment of the Spanish and Italian companies lately
in Flanders, and another 150,000 is assigned to be levied on the
merchandise within the State of Milan towards the setting forth of
the 4,000 Italians now to be sent into Spain.—Paris, 3 May 1580.
4 pp. [France IV. 66.]
286. The PRINCE OF ORANGE to the QUEEN.
I pray your Majesty to excuse me for having so long delayed to
answer your letter of 19 Feb. in favour of Mr Ratcliff. Since
receiving it I have been so far away from Zealand, and so much
taken up with the affairs of Friesland, where some agitation had
supervened, that it was impossible for me to communicate with the
judges of the Admiralty, who I was told were acquainted with the
facts. But on my arriving at Middelburg and enquiring of them
how the matter stood, they answered that they had proceeded in the
way of justice. He observed all the usual formalities, showing me a
report of the proceedings. Please let your Council see the enclosed
copy of it. If matters were still at their initial stage I would not
have failed to satisfy your wish, and as it is I have given and will
give orders if there is any further case for justice, and Mr Ratcliff
wishes to prosecute his claim, that all reasonable favours shall be
shown him, principally for love of your Majesty, who has been
pleased to write to me, desiring to do you all the service I can, and
in favour of the Earl of Sussex.—Antwerp, 5 May 1580.
Add. Endd. by L. Tomson : answer to the letter written in behalf
of Sir Henry Ratcliff. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XIII. 25.]
287. A summary of the number of men-of-war in the
service of the General States, 'being placed abroad
in those Low Countries or Provinces.'
Under the government of Mynheer Ryhove, 15 companies or
ensigns, each 150 strong, as follows : 13 officers, 12 muskets, 50
corselets and 75 harquebusers or calivers. The 'entertainment' of
the colonel is 700 guilders a month. Amounts altogether : 15
ensigns, 2,250 persons ; their wages monthly - - 26,200 gldrs.
The following companies will be augmented :
The government of Mynheer Montaigne [Mortagne], 10 ensigns ;
their wages monthly - - - - - - 17,700 gldrs.
The government of Ypres, Mynheer van Uttenhove, 5 ensigns,
the Colonel 400 guilders per month ; their wages - 8,900 gldrs.
Under the government of Colonel Sonhay, 5 ensigns ; their
wages - - - - - - - - 8,900 gldrs.
Under the government of 'Terlown' [Treslong], admiral, 5
ensigns as before ; their wages - - - - 8,900 gldrs.
Under the Colonel of Antwerp, 10 companies - 17,700 gldrs.
Under the government of 3 companies, 'to say' the governor of
Lyre, Herentals and Westerlo, each 150 persons, armed as before ;
the Colonels each 100 gilders a month - - - 5,400 gldrs.
Under Mynheer de Mérode, and one under Varnatts [?] together
4 ensigns ; 400 gilders for him that shall be colonel - 7,200 gldrs.
Other names are : 'The Grave or Earl of Renenburch' in Friesland,
14 ensigns ; 'Mr Derick Snow' [? Dirck Sonoy] in North
Holland, 10 companies ; 'the Earl William van Nassau, son and
heir to the Grave John,' 10 companies ; Colonel Art van Duvenwoorde,
10 companies, each 113 men, and his own 200 persons ;
a 'company' of Hollanders of 8 ensigns without colonel, 'under'
which are contained 4 ensigns at Amsterdam ; the 'watch' of his
Excellency, with his halberdiers, 150 persons (pay not stated) ;
Baron of 'Hoochschapen,' 10 companies ; Admiral Haultin, 5
ensigns ; 'Hageman,' 4 ensigns ; the young 'Earl' of Bergen,
4 ensigns ; Colonel Temple,' 10 ensigns ; Captain Mitchell, 6 companies ;
Yselsteyn, 10 companies.
Frenchmen : Under two governments, 22 ensigns ; 'to say,'
under Colonel de la Garde, 10 ensigns, 113 strong ; and under
'Villeneue' [? Neuville] 12 ensigns, 150 strong.
One ensign under 'the Earl of Hollock alias Hornlo, under the
guiding of Captain Synesqui' [Renon de France gives Seduiche ;
qy. Zedwitz], 200 strong.
Englishmen : Under Colonel Norris, 150 strong ; the colonel's
wages 1,200 gilders a month.
Scots : Under Colonel 'Bafford' 18 ensigns and under Colonel
Steward 10 ensigns. Colonel 'Bafford' has 1,200 gilders. Colonel
The whole number of foot is 225 ensigns, 32,612 persons.
'Here followeth the horsemen.'
The company of the Prince of Orange is 100 demilances, 100
'pistoletts,' 30 long pieces ; the 'guide' of M. Voysin, 100 horse ;
the cornet or guidon of Captain Mornow, 100 demilances, 50 long
pieces. The company of Setton, 100 horse ; Captain Bolde, 70
demilances, 30 long pieces ; Captain Grolle, 100 demilances, 200
pistoletts ; Rittmeister Picque, 200 horse ; Captain Mitchell, 100
horse ; Captain 'Sketter,' 70 horse ; Captain 'Trilo,' 100 horse ;
Captain Brave, 100 horse ; Captain Alonzo, 100 horse ; Captain
Swytz, 100 horse ; Captain Riswoude, 150 horse ; Captain Nettyn,
100 horse ; Captain Dod [Dode van Laere, R. de F.], 150 horse ;
Asiga Entens [Aysmaentes, R. de F], 100 horse ; 'Eloo consta,'
150 horse ; Battenberg, 50 horse ; Colban, 100 horse ; Lyon, 150
horse ; Colonel Norris, 100 demilances, 100 pistoletts, 200 horse—
their wages 4,080 g. ; la Noue, 100 demilances, 100 pistoletts, 200
horse—their wages 5,440 g. ; Captain Temple, 100 horse ; the
company which attends the Prince of Orange, 50 horse ; Grave
John of Nassau, 100 horse—their wages 4,310g. ; the Grave of
Hollock, 1,200 High Dutches horsemen. Total horse, 4,750.
"And forasmuch as these monthly pays must be brought up
'under' the confederate provinces for pay of the same, so each of
the said provinces brings up as hereafter follows" :
Brabant - - - - -
Gelderland - - - - - -
Flanders - - - - - -
Holland - - - - -
Zealand - - - - -
Utrecht - - - - -
Friesland - - - - -
Overyssel - - - - -
Groeningland' and Groningen - -
'Drentland' - - - - -
Total - - - - -
"So all the soldiers be paid and 14,876 gilders over for the
Below is a note in Italian, in the same hand as the memo. No. 304,
calculating the annual amount in pounds sterling.
Endd. with date. On the back are some brief notes in the hand of
[?] Walsingham, relating apparently to Scottish matters. 5 pp.
[Holl. and Fl. XIII. 26.]
288. LORD PERCY to COBHAM.
Although I ought, considering the position you hold, to have
written to you oftener than I have done, yet deeming that you
will excuse my small experience, my youth, my 'imbecility' and
want of training in the French language, wherein I have as yet
laid only the first foundations, I will take assurance in the wonted
kindness of your nature that you will accept all in good part. I
hope you received my last, sent by my cousin Slingsby, together
with those from the Lord Treasurer, the Earl of Sussex and my
father, all addressed to you wherein you bind me not only to
present gratitude, but to a sense of your kindness and a remembrance
ever to do you service.
And seeing, my Lord, that the times are difficult and dangerous,
and that it is hard to know where one is, kindly signify to me if
need be how I can do my bounden duty to my Sovereign, in order
that I may conduct myself in such sort as to do her agreeable
service and comply with your wishes, employing myself after my
small power in all that concerns the maintenance of her estate.—
Orleans, 10 May 1580. (Signed) H. Percy.
Add. Endd. Fr. ½ p. [France IV. 67.]
289. HODDESDON to WALSINGHAM.
I hope that by my former letter you understand the decree lately
made by the Lubeckers ; who, as they began boldly, so they proceed
arrogantly in executing it against her Majesty's subjects, having
stayed two ships of Newcastle, which came laden with lead and
coals, suffering them first to make sales and then arresting both
money and ships.
They presume the more because they have no ships in the
'ocean seas,' for by reason of a difference with the King of Denmark
about tolls none of their ships have passed the Sound this year.
The town of Lubeck has protested against Hamburg for not
'following their order' ; whether in earnest or no, time will try.
Some think that the Hamburgers having many ships abroad will
not deal as yet ; and it is judged that none of the towns that lie on
the west seas dare meddle at all.
Divers others of the Hanse Towns which have had no dealing
with England like very well that the rest as well as they should buy
their cloths at second-hand, which makes the towns of Dantsic and
Lubeck almost at their wits' end.
The noblemen of Germany who appointed to meet the King of
Denmark in the land of 'Holst' came not according to promise, and
the Elector of Saxony being on his way to Denmark suddenly
returned, the occasion not known. But it is imagined the late
setting at liberty of the Duke of 'Wymarne,' son to 'Hertigh'
Frederick, sometime Elector, who is now by the Emperor restored
to the possession of his lands, may be some cause. It is also
thought that the King of Denmark 'has not his full purpose' of
the lands of 'Holst,' as it was said he should.
The town of Groningen remains as it did, compassed round
with the States' forces, but so well provided of victual that it is
thought they will hold out long. The governor has lately taken an
oath of all the inhabitants for their true 'obeissance' to the king.
'Grave' John of Nassau's son came thither a few days ago to the
aid of 'Battelense,' with 10 companies of foot. Since his arrival
there is a bruit that Groningen has offered to compound with the
States, which offer is not yet accepted.
In Munster they cannot agree about the election of a new Bishop.
The greater number will have the Bishop of 'Breeme ;' to which
certain Popish canons oppose themselves, seeking rather to choose
the Duke of Bavaria's son, who should have been Bishop of Cologne ;
but it is thought they will not in any manner of way prevail.
The report goes that peace is concluded between the Emperor of
Russia and the King of 'Pole' with his consorts.—Embden,
11 May 1580.
Add. Endd. by Walsingham : from Mr. Hudson ; and by L. Cave.
1 p. [Hanse Towns I. 59.]
[290. Transferred to 1581.]
291. VILLIERS to DAVISON.
You will have heard through another channel how God has
visited us, balancing our victories by the capture of M. de la Noue.
Save for him the loss was small, for we lost less than 200 men,
though they had a good many stand of colours, which had been
left at the camp. I hope that all will soon be in order ; in any
case it does not appear that any great effort on the enemy's part
will come about for this year.
I am sending you letters from which you will learn the truce
between the Turk and the King of Spain. You know the consequence.
If we in the north do not take heed to our affairs, the
King of Spain will indeed be the Catholic King, giving orders to
the whole of Christendom. I have always said that the house
[which] we were afraid to attack (? d'attacher) would do us more
. . . than the other. Happen what may, we will try, by the grace
of God, and I [believe we] shall do it.
You will be told of a fresh earthquake at Dantzig ; it is not true.
The Germans did not feel it. As for your recent one in Kent, it
did not come here ; certainly I did not feel it, nor M. de Sainte-Aldegonde—we
were together in his garden—nor those who were
out of doors. All the Islands of Zealand shook. God have pity
Letters from Germany show that we can expect nothing from
that quarter.—Antwerp, 15, 1580.
P.S.—'Madame will find here, if you please,' the humble duty of
myself, my wife, and Marie ; Mr and Mrs Killigrew also.
Slightly damaged. Add. Endd. in later hand. On the back
Davison has written :—The deputies of the States, and with them
M. de Languet, are dispatched towards Monsieur with the articles
conceived for his reception. The truce between the T. and the Sp.
is by letters from Venice said to be certainly concluded till January
next. The Turk doth arm by sea, whereof the Venetians are
suspicious. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XIII. 27.]
292. THOMAS STOKES to WALSINGHAM.
My last was on the 12th inst., wherein I wrote as the time gave
M. de la Noue is sent from 'Corttricke' to Lille with a guard of
1,200 horse and 500 foot. From thence, it is said, he will be sent
to Mons. in 'Henogo,' where God preserve him from the Italian
'fyge,' which all men here much fear.
All M. de la Noue's gentlemen that were taken prisoners are
released on ransom, among them his secretary ; by whom he has
sent by word of mouth to the lords of this town to look well to their
towns, for the enemy is preparing 'battery-pieces,' scaling-ladders
The Malcontents have sent to all the villages within a league and
a half of this town not to fear them nor to fly from their dwelling-places,
for none of their side shall do them any harm or take
anything from them on pain of death.
To write you of the great lamentation that the country makes for
M. de la Noue is too long to trouble you with ; for surely he is
much lamented, for it is much feared his taking will be the
overthrow of all on the States' side. As I understand their matters
at this instant stand in very weak estate, and without some speedy
foreign aid 'the' cannot continue long, for it seems the enemy
will not now lose the great advantage that 'the' have.
The four Members of Flanders wrote to the Prince to come to
Ghent, or to this town, that some good order might be taken for the
defence of the country and towns, and he has written them an
answer as though he would come ; but for all that it seems by the
delays he makes that he is not willing to come, for which cause
many evil speeches 'goes of him' here amongst the common
people, for they say it is he that brought them into this misery and
trouble to the loss of their lives and goods, a case most lamentable.
The gentleman with the rest that this province of Flanders sent
to Duke d'Alençon six days ago took passage at Dunkirk for
Boulogne. Since their departure, upon this mishap to M. de la
Noue, the Prince and States have sent a post after them to procure
a speedy answer of the duke, and also to send one or two of name
A show is made here of gathering their 'solgers' together, and so
making a camp again in the field ; but it goes so faintly forward
that it is thought it will be nothing, and all for want of a good
The governor of Tournay has written to the four Members of
Flanders a letter of great courage and good comfort, 'willing them
not to dismay themselves of the evil fortune happened to M. de la
Noue.' His writing comforts their hearts here, 'hoping thereby he
will continue good.'—Bruges, 15 May 1580.
P.S.—Since the finishing of this, I have got the copy of the
governor of Tournay's letter ; also the copy of a letter which the
Viscount of Ghent has sent to the lords of this town, being in
answer to a letter that they sent to him on behalf of M. de la Noue ;
both which I enclose.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. XIII. 28.]
293. ROSSEL to WALSINGHAM.
I told you of a journey which I had to make into France, to
negotiate, not with any French, but with certain Malcontents who
are malcontent afresh. I made the journey, and am starting on it
You will have heard of M. de la Noue's disastrous day. He is at
Courtray, a prisoner in the hands of the Viscount of Ghent, who
performed this feat with his cavalry, driving in our men as usual.
I will mention no other details, save that the gentleman in question
is well treated, being indeed free of the town of Courtray on his
You know that two deputies from Flanders started last Tuesday
to see M. d'Alençon, who they say is at Paris, to commence negotiations
on the articles conceived by his Excellency. The Estates
have met on this matter, but those of Guelders and Utrecht are not
yet come, and I fancy have cooled in their desire for it, especially
those of Utrecht because they say they are neutral, and not among
the king's patrimonial provinces. If they begin, I fear the only
consequence will be that the Queen will leave them alone. The
Emperor has just written to the States bidding them deliberate
maturely on such a step. If they change their prince they will
make an enemy of his house and all Germany. He has sent to the
king to make him condescend to peace, and expects an answer
They are trying to set their forces on foot again, and collect
others in greater number. There is some debate as to the chief.
Argenlieu was put forward, but the Ghent people suspect him, and
want to send for M. de Mouy as being M. de la Noue's son-in-law.
Others propose Famars, as belonging to the country.
I am setting out for an important negotiation, which if by the
grace of God it succeeds, the enemy will find himself much
annoyed, and cast down from his design. Time will accomplish all
with the aid of God.—Antwerp, 15 May 1580.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1¼ pp. [Ibid. XIII. 29.]