413. COBHAM to the SECRETARIES.
The King had left Saint-Maur before the receipt of your last
letter and the ambassadors have not as yet any certain lodging
assigned them, for being first 'harbenged' at Moret they were
since appointed to Melun, which is a town nothing to their liking.
Therefore I could not so readily repair to their Majesties, being
still in Paris. Howbeit I set forward today towards Melun, hoping
next day to be admitted to the presence, when I shall deliver the
Queen's pleasure now last revealed.
When my servant was at Monsieur's Court on the 8th ult., there
appeared no preparation for the setting forth of Marshal de Cossé
and M. Simier ; nor have I heard that M. Pibrac was 'addressing'
himself for the journey. Money was appointed by the King's order
for the journey, which remains in readiness waiting further directions
from her Majesty.
After Villeroy has communicated with his Highness, he has
commission as I hear to treat with the Duke of Montpensier for the
appeasing of the alleged quarrel between him and the Duke of
Nevers, whom the King would willingly 'retire' to Court, if the
Duke of Montpensier were satisfied.
Some have been informed that Villeroy was to pass from his
Highness to the King of Navarre, but there appears no certainty of
Letters are come today, how the Commissioners have been
received by his Highness at Tours, and that by mischance part of
the town has been burnt.
The King of Navarre has lately had good success against Biron
upon the occasion of a practice which that Marshal's lieutenant had
managed with three gentlemen of the Religion for the surprise of
Cahors, seeking to corrupt them and get their 'consarts' and good
wills thereto. These three gentlemen had 10,000 crowns promised
them, of which Marshal Biron delivered beforehand 4,000 to one of
them, upon promise that at a day appointed they would keep a gate
open for the Marshal's company to enter at, which was accomplished.
But in the mean time the King of Navarre was made privy to it by
those gentlemen, whereon Viscount Turenne was appointed to
approach with his forces. He used such diligence that he brought
a stronger garrison into the town in the night and stayed in the
field himself not far from Cahors, awaiting the enterprise.
So Marshal Biron's lieutenant, finding the gate open early,
according to promise, and the countersign given answered by those
gentlemen, approached speedily and caused many of his band to
enter. When they of the town had suffered as many to enter as they
thought good, they closed the gate and kept back the rest, taking
and executing those that were come in ; and made a sally at another
gate. Upon that, Marshal Biron came to the rescue with his horsemen,
and the Viscount charged him unlooked-for, and the Catholics
were put to flight, and to the sword.
The King of Navarre lay in ambush, ready to receive Biron at
his retreat, so that it is written the chief Catholic nobility of
Languedoc are slain and taken ; but no certain word whither
[whether?] Biron is escaped.
Count Rochefoucault had joined the King of Navarre before this,
so that they have an army in the field reasonably appointed.
The Duke of Maine left Lyons Aug. 23, marching towards
Dauphiné ; being well accompanied with gentlemen. Two days
after M. Mandelot, governor of Lyons and those parts, followed.
It is thought there will be in that camp 8,000 fighting men,
French, with the Switzers, of whom it is thought there are 400
horse, gentlemen and others, and 400 [qy. 0] Italians are expected
from Avignon. They have about 10 cannons and other field pieces,
with provisions and victuals sufficient by their computation for three
months. The rendezvous is appointed at Romans, where the soldiers
are to receive their first pay. Their design is to besiege a fort on
the river of Liseres [l'Isère] which cannot be done without dividing
their camp on both sides of the river, so that Lesdiguières, one
of the 'principal' for the Protestants in Dauphiné, will be strong
enough to assail one part of the camp. If that purpose do not
hold, the Duke will try to besiege Livron, unless he find it too
The money to pay these companies of the King was much
exacted or borrowed perforce of the merchants ; some part is levied
on the walled towns and Catholic gentlemen of Dauphiné.
In the Marquisate of Saluces they are again in some trouble,
because certain of the captains being ill-satisfied have revolted
against the King, and are 'nourished' by the ministers of the
Catholic King ; of whom they have received 20,000 crowns, by the
means or consent of the Duke of Savoy.
Captain Anselme and Lesdiguières are confederated, as I saw by
a letter from Lesdiguières which was intercepted and sent to the
The last news from Spain was that the Duke of Alva had marched
to before Coimbra and 'El Porto.'
Señor Tassis is coming hither from Spain as ambassador ligier.
His staff and some of his company are landed at Nantes. He
passed by here since my coming. I suppose he is sufficiently known
to you to have been the master of the posts in Flanders, and maîtred'hôtel
to Don John of Austria.
M. de Pierrecourt, brother to M. de Mellivrey [Meilleraie] is
appointed to be sent into Portugal. Bernardino de Mendoza 'certified
hither' that the Irish rebels had reached the gates of Dublin
and failed of their purpose ; also that the rebels were strong and
had good intelligence. The contrary is now understood here.—
Villeneuve [-Saint-Georges?], 5 Sept. 1580.
Add. Endd. 3 pp. [France IV. 143.]
414. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
Having received the enclosed from your servant Mr Champernon
I send it, that his course may be known to you.
And having received this other from Pallavicino in which he
requests me to deal with certain persons belonging to the Pope, I
thought good to acquaint you herewith, the rather that he sent me
a letter enclosed with his, from her Majesty addressed to Cardinal
Sforza. But as I had no order from you, I delivered it again to
Calvi, who brought it.
I cannot as yet hear any more of M. Simier and those causes.—
Villeneuve, 5 Sept. 1580.
Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. IV. 144.]
415. The DUKE OF ANJOU to WALSINGHAM.
I was so busy when I dispatched M. de Buy to the Queen
that I had not leisure to write with my own hand, as I should
have liked to all my friends. Esteeming you of their number I beg
you to employ your good offices with her Majesty to keep me in her
good graces, assuring you, as I asked Mr Stafford to assure you,
that you will never have a better friend than I. I have given the
same charge to M. de Buy, my chamberlain and counsellor, to whom
I pray you to give credit as to myself.—Plessis-les-Tours, 5 Sept.
1580. (Signed) François.
Add. Endd. by L. Tomson : From Monsieur, by De Buy. Fr.
½ p. [Ibid. IV. 145.]
416. THOMAS STOKER to WALSINGHAM and WILSON.
Enclosed I send a copy of the Prince d'Epinoy's letter to the
4 Members of Flanders, (fn. 1) which I got this morning. Also this
morning news is come to the lords of this town that on the 1st inst.
the Malcontents began to batter Bouchain 'with the cannon,' so
that it is much feared if they be not speedily rescued they cannot
continue long ; for the Malcontents have sent for more men from
their towns in Artois and 'Henogo.' The Viscount of Ghent and
M. la Motte, who are the only commanders of that camp, have sworn
they will not go from it till they have it ; so that by report they
lose no time, and the States' camp make small haste forward, so
far as I can learn. God send better government amongst them.—
Bruges, 5 Sep. 1580.
Add. Endd. 2/3 p. [Holl. and Fl. XIII. 49.]
417. The KING OF DENMARK to the QUEEN.
Your ambassador John Rogers has delivered to us your two
letters, of different dates and contents, written from Oatlands. In
the earlier, dated Aug. 6, you inform us of our unanimous election
into the Order of the Garter at a Chapter held on the previous
April 24. The later, dated the 11th of the same month, testifies
your constancy in promoting the matter of religion. In these
affairs, pertaining both to our mutual friendship and to the common
advantage of the Church and Christian commonwealth, and also in
the setting forth of various private business, your ambassador has
so demeaned himself as to earn our praises. Thus when he stated
that by your wish he was going to travel into Poland and Sweden,
and then return to us, we could not but answer your letters by this
gentleman, our servant.
And to begin with the business of religion. We were very glad
that our letter of June 23 [sic] last, from Colding, was not disagreeable
to you. Now we heartily pray that the counsels you have
adopted may first tend to the glory of God and the establishment of
concord among all who believe in Christ, His Son, and also turn out
happily for the Defender of the Faith herself, and the Christian
commonwealth. As we have before testified, we for our part persevere
sincerely in the doctrine professed by our Churches and schools : and
ascribe it to God's blessing and our own good fortune, that among all
the dissensions of recent years, we have been enabled to enjoy peace.
Nor do we doubt that His blessing will be with us, to preserve the
pure religion bequeathed to us as a treasure by our late father, and
hand it on to our posterity. While praising elegant learning and
subtle wit as peculiar ornaments in accomplished men, we allow to
no theologian license for any innovation or disputation contrary to
the ordinance of our Churches once received and approved. If the
same had been attended to elsewhere we should today have
perhaps less disturbance in pious Churches. If we can do anything
towards establishing agreement among the reformed
Churches, we shall not disappoint your expectation. So we should
not be refusing your request that we would send an envoy of our
own with Daniel Rogers to the Electors Palatine and of Saxony,
were we not sure that the latter, our dear cousin and gossip, would
without our intervention in reply to your request declare himself in
such wise as to leave you nothing to desire.
In reply to your later [sic] letter, we profess that we have been
highly gratified by the good opinion the Knights of the Garter have
formed of us, and the addresses [? elogia] reminding us of the
virtues that adorn a Christian king, and we thank you and them
most heartily for our election. And so far are we from feeling any
annoyance at the delay in the announcement of it, that we think it
a mark of the honour in which we are held by our brethren of the
order, that they should have so kindly told us of it already. If you
or they wish for any communication from us in respect of our
reception into the order, we will take care that by no declaration of
ours, but by actual fact they may understand that we are for good
reasons most desirous in that way to confirm our friendship with
yourself, and feel the warmest affection for the members of the
order.—Friderichsburg ; the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, 8 Sep.
Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. Lat. 3½ pp. [Denmark I. 9.]
418. COBHAM to [?] WALSINGHAM.
I trust I have in all points satisfied her Majesty's commands
signified to me by your last dispatch : but the gentlemen I sent
sevennights past to his Highness is not yet returned.
I received a letter today from Mr Menteth that Casimir has his
army in readiness, consisting of 10,000 horse and 8,000 foot, who
were ready to march, having their 'handtrechtghelt' paid them.
But I do not hear this confirmed by other means.
The King of Navarre has written to M. Chassincourt that there
is 'means to grow to a peace,' and to have an interview with
Monsieur ; but many doubt whether the King of Navarre will like
this, or find it convenient for him.
The packet which I received by the last, directed to M. Chassincourt
or M. Montigny, is safely delivered.
I found M. Lansac very courteous to me at my coming to the
Court upon any occasion ; and it seems he could be willing to be
employed for the advancement of good intelligence between these
I have surely not forgotten to certify any matter which her
Majesty committed to me, but have written it in clear sort with
such truth as it has been delivered to me. Howbeit, the framing of
matters to be better or worse belongs only to the Almighty and to
those to whom power and authority is given.
I wrote to you in a former letter the cause of M. Simier's disgrace,
or at least the means whereby it has been wrought, as it is conceived
here. Also I sent by Henry Adams, since his parting with
Monsieur, a letter of his Highness, in which I suppose he signified
the cause to her Majesty, 'or I wish he had done it.' I do not
perceive that the King means to pass much further as yet.
In my last dispatch I wrote to her Majesty of an Italian woman
who is famous, and would repair into England to show her cunning
for the preservation of beauty ; but I could be glad her Majesty
would command her, and all such, further off.—Melun, 9 Sept. 1580.
P.S.—M. Pinart, upon the making-up of this letter, has sent
me this packet, directed to Mme de Mauvissière, requesting me
earnestly to see it safely delivered and commending it to you.
If I thought ear would be given or consideration had, I might
write something of my charges ; but I fear there is neither remembrance
of my days and years spent, nor yet feeling of my case.
"Frugality ; else I may die, or some quarrel picked to my service,
and so the reward, wittily" [remainder missing].
Add. & endt. gone. 1 p. [France IV. 146.]
419. COBHAM to the SECRETARIES.
If you please, you may advertise the Queen that on the 7th inst.
I signified to Queen Mother at Fontainebleau that she could not be
satisfied till she sent me her commands whereby her Majesty might
be informed of the occasion which moved her to request the Christian
King that the commissioners should not hasten their journey so
soon as was 'assigned' ; making such request upon the hope she had
conceived that peace was to be concluded, as M. Mauvissière had
assured her, alleging the likelihood of it on the ground that the
King had given power to his Highness to accomplish it and the
King of Navarre had remitted all his 'estate' into Monsieur's hand.
So that their wills being thus bent as the Queen my mistress had
been advertised, she conceived that the peace of France had been
before this restored by his Highness's mediation ; which honour
she wished might have happened to him with all expedition, having
always a special regard to assist the advancement of his design ;
not intending in any sort that although peace should not be concluded
the commissioners should not come ; but that she makes high
account of Monsieur's good will, which he daily continues.
Whereto the Queen said that the King's will was bent to the
peace. He had lately 'employed' Secretary Villeroy to her son,
to advance the negotiation, and in like manner the King of Navarre
had sent his secretary la Marsilière ; but with such demands as she
said displeased Monsieur and are not liked by the King. But if
they would be obedient subjects, the King could support the use of
religion for the satisfaction of their consciences.
I 'returned to say to her' : Madame, by the judgement of the
wise sort, the King of Navarre was to desire the repose of France in
many respects, since through the civil wars he decayed his estate,
hourly endangered his person, and daily lost his dear friends,—
sustaining infinite other indignities and extremities. As for those
of the Religion they were in some points to be esteemed more
complete in their obedience than the Catholics, since they did not
admit any other supremacy or jurisdiction than their natural prince
immediately under God.
She said I meant the Pope, which was matter of conscience, as
our ministers ; smiling therewith.
I said, without her further leave I would not proceed in that
dispute ; but it seemed the Pope did not shew that respect which
appertained to her in the cause of Portugal, as it seemed he had
engaged the Portuguese to the King of Spain.
She said he did her that wrong, which could not well content her,
but he had not power to do harm to them if they themselves had
not been slack in demanding aid and providing for the case according
to the need they now find. She added that it behoved the
Queen to think thereon. I answered that the Queen had long since
made demonstration to her and her son of her meaning that way.
Then I signified that her Majesty was well content with the
presence of the Prince of Condé's brother ; but because in that
treaty matters of high consideration were to be managed, she
requested that some of the robe courte of the King's privy council,
like M. Lansac or Carouges, might be sent in his company from the
King ; for she understood that Marshal Cossé was appointed by
She promised to deal with the King therein. His mind she knew
was bent to satisfy her Majesty, and she was glad the treaty of
marriage continued. She will not lose her hope of it until the end.
Herewith she 'excused' that the King did not give me audience
that day, saying he had taken some little medicine. Since that
time she has also been a little indisposed, keeping her bed the next
day somewhat long.
I hear that Monsieur remains as yet at Plessis, where it is said
the Marquis of Elbeuf and Count Brissac are like to become in
great favour. Last week when Villeroy and la Marsilière were
with him, there came also a gentleman from the Prince of Condé
to deal about the affairs of la Fère ; which was that the Prince
could be content it should be delivered to Monsieur on some conditions.
La Marsilière continued eight days in Monsieur's Court,
bringing with him the answer to the dispatch with which Captain
la Salle was sent to the King of Navarre, and slain by the way
about St. Basille, as I mentioned in my former letter. Marsilière
brought certain articles from the King of Navarre, on which he
conferred with Villeroy in Monsieur's presence. I am informed
they entered into an appointment for a place of meeting between
his Highness and the King and Queen of Navarre, with which
message M. 'Don Martin' is sent to the King to Clérac ; so that it
seems some further likelihood of a peace to be concluded otherwise
than (as before) it pleased Queen Mother to remember and
say to me.
The King of Navarre had with him the gentlemen and forces of
Saintonge, and was removed to Clerac on the Garonne [sic].
Their affairs in Languedoc continue in good estate, the King of
Navarre having retaken la Comette [la Calmette] and defeated the
succours which Saint-Jaille had brought thither. M. la Rocque
is looked for presently at this Court, on the King of Navarre's
The morning before my audience M. d'O came to Court with
reports of matters at la Fère.
Notwithstanding the Duke of Maine's forces, Lesdiguières has
taken Montélimart, and scours the country with his camp volant.
The Duke of Savoy is deceased, as I certified in my last dispatch,
through excessive bleeding at his nose, which continued at times
'in extremity' by the space of 7 or 8 days, as I am informed.
Through his death it is thought the affairs of Captain Anselme will
somewhat quail in the Marquisate of Saluces.
The ravelin at la Fère was assaulted ; it was 'enterprised' upon
an intelligence given from within, that there were but 15 guarding
it, whereby they were encouraged to assail it, and lost 30 gentlemen
thereon ; for they had intrenched themselves, and lay hidden
therein, whereby the enemy was repulsed. Howbeit, the day of my
last audience, M. Lansac told me the ravelin was taken, and that
good news was brought, how there was assured hope that the King
might have the town within 8 days. I asked him, if by force or by
composition. He said the King's arms were always ready to receive
his subjects who yielded to his mercy.
An invention was made of barrels, which were thrown into the
ditches with long poles passed through them, and faggots, to frame
a bridge ; but the measure fell short, and the invention failed.
Though the ravelin be taken, there is between it and the town a
deep and broad ditch, and within, trenches. Moreover they have
made a fort in the middle of the town, which commands those
places with small shot.
M. de Pienys' [Piennes] son is slain at la Fère.
The Marquis de Trent, of the House of Foix, kinsman to the
King of Navarre, is slain by his enemy Saint-Ermy, upon a private
They die of the plague in the King's camp.
Capello the banker has given out in Paris that the King of
Spain peaceably commands all Portugal, and would have persuaded
the last messenger I sent to England to stay till next morning, to
write these Spanish news.
M. la Noue is said to be removed to a place called Charlemont ;
'and that' the Spanish King had sent command to have him
executed. Howbeit, some certify he is conveyed to Milan. The
enemy continues about 'Bouquehain' [qy. Bouchain].
The plague increases in Paris and the villages about.—The 9th of
September from Melun, whence I depart towards Moret, since Queen
Mother of her grace has now at last appointed the ambassadors'
lodgings to be there.
Add. and endt. gone. 4 pp. [Ibid. IV. 147.]
420. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
Immediately after the departure of Peter Browne, the gentleman
whom I sent to Monsieur's Court arrived with letters from him. I
have enclosed them in a letter to her Majesty, and addressed them
to Paris, to Mr Waad ; to be by him sent after Peter Browne, and
'not overtaking him,' to send it by the 'first best' means he can,
directing it to you.—Melun, 10 Sep. 1580.
P.S.—There are men levying about Tours, to be employed, as
they say, to raise the siege of 'Bouquehain.'
Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. IV. 148.]
421. [WALSINGHAM?] to [COBHAM.]
I have received yours of the 5th inst. and enclosed therewith one
to you from an Italian gentlewoman. Having acquainted her
Majesty with the contents of it, she made answer that she neither
knew the woman nor remembered any such matter as she seems to
challenge, and therefore would have you persuade her that she will
do well to forbear her coming ; and if notwithstanding she seems
resolute to repair hither, let her plainly know that her Majesty has
received secret intelligence that an Italian gentlewoman was about
this time coming over hither for some evil purposes. Wherefore
though her Highness cannot particularly suspect her, yet as princes
are commonly jealous in like cases, you know her coming will not
be grateful here. Yet her Majesty would not have you descend to
these particulars with her, unless you find that she cannot by other
means be diverted from her purpose.
I have not forgotten to acquaint her Majesty both with
Monsieur's letter to yourself and with the copy of yours to him.
In the former she noted as a principal point his opinion that the
commissioners should not come for any other cause but to treat of
the marriage. She marvels not a little that she has not heard from
him for so long.
In Scotland things stand but in hard terms. D'Aubigny has
already got the castle of Dumbarton into his hands, and has lately
dispatched one Montbrun into France ; both to advertise the King of
it, and, as it is thought, to lay some plot for the disquieting of both
these realms ; wherein it is doubted he will want no advice there.
I pray you therefore be careful and vigilant to discover what you
may in this matter. Mr Bowes is dispatched into Scotland, both to
abase d'Aubigny's credit by all possible means and to procure the
delivery of the castle into the hands of some other well-affected
person.—At the Court, 10 Sep. 1580.
Copy. 1 p. [Ibid. IV. 149.]
422. Proclamation by Joos Vander Beke, 'sworn exploiter or
executor and sergeant-of-arms of the King's Provincial Council of
Holland, Zealand and Friesland,' that at the instance of Gheleyn
Bowens, for himself and Jan Jans as guardian of his wife and of the
orphans of Lenen Bowens, of Flushing, plaintiffs by force of letters
executorial upon sentence of 'condemnation and conditional
namptsation' by the said Council, dated June 22 last, and after due
summons in the King's name to the procurator general and
advocate fiscal of the said Council, and to the 'lords of the
reckoning' in Holland, being found in default for non-payment,
and like intimation to Michiel Adolphs, receiver of the demeans of
the town of Flushing, he has 'laid in arrest' the said town, with
all low, mean, and high jurisdiction, etc. which town with all
thereto appertaining the aforesaid exploiter will sell by decree,
'with three Sundays and market-days outcry and proclamation
successively following,' in order to recover the three years' rents
fallen due, with the charges of the execution, etc.—Flushing,
11 Sep. 1580.
Translation, apparently made in Holland. Endd. by Burghley's
Secretary. 2¼ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIII. 50.]
423. COBHAM to [the SECRETARIES].
Since my last I have received advertisement that not only the
commissioners for Flanders are very 'well seen' and received of
his Highness, but also his gentlemen 'show to make' preparations
to address themselves for that voyage. Among the rest M. de
Rochepot prepares to pass with his regiment of 2,000 foot, to take
his way towards Cambrai ; coming too late to the succour of 'Bouquehain,'
which is lost and great part of it burnt, as they certify
M. la Roche of Brittany is gone hence to serve his Highness. I
had with him some conference of these affairs in which he seems
forward. The other captains of Monsieur's Court are seeking
Peace is there held to be agreed on, and to be speedily concluded,
'with an open determination of foreign wars.' This is the present
motion of the planets in these parts, which are subject to sudden
The King of Navarre has signified his will to be bent to obey his
Majesty, and has declared that he is not so feeble as they reported
him to be. His succours out of Germany were in readiness to
Marshal Biron is returned to Agen, not being able to keep the
field against the King of Navarre. M. 'Don Martin' is returned
from him, with a message as I hear very agreeable to his Highness.
So it is secretly spoken, I know not with what truth, that is now
meeting his Majesty with good news at Monceaulx, whither the King
and Queen Mother, with the Cardinal of Bourbon passed in their
'caroche' through this town this afternoon, with a small train. If
this interview happens and 'follows,' I shall not fail to advertise it.
But the meeting of these princes was first desired to have been at
Blois, whither the King intends to pass, according to 'determination
of removes' in this Court.
A bruit came yesterday that the ravelin is again taken by those
within la Fère. The Prince of Condé having sent two lackeys, one
has got into la Fère ; the other was stopped and brought to Court.
The Duke of Nevers remains at Liége and the baths thereabout.
M. d'Escars' second son has lost his life at the siege of la Fère.
I am informed that a messenger is coming to the King with
presents of horses from the Grand Signor.
I enclose herewith advertisements from Italy.
The Court of Retz is appointed by the King to visit the Duke of
Savoy ; whose late-deceased father has committed him to the keeping
of the Lords of 'Bearn,' as I am informed.—Melun, 12 Sep.
Add. and endt. gone. 1½ pp. [France IV. 150.]
424. COBHAM to [? WALSINGHAM].
The advertisements lately come from Spain are that on the 25th
ult. the Duke of Alva fought with Don Antonio, King of Portugal.
The Portuguese were overthrown and Don Antonio being hurt in
the neck fled to Santarem. The same day the Duke took Lisbon,
where he has left as governor Don Hernando, Grand Prior, his
bastard son. At the same time the Spaniards took their ships in
the port of Lisbon.
They also write that the Duke of Braganza has not 'intermeddled'
himself on any side. So the affairs of Portugal are very
I thought good not to leave this unadvertised ; though I think
you otherwise receive the like with more particulars.
I am in a place where I cannot be advertised as at Paris ; beside
that 'those kind of persons' cannot without great difficulty and
'charge' follow the Court. I stayed from repairing to Moret,
because this place is yet nearer the Court ; the King being at
present at Monceaux, not determining to go to Moret till his
return, which I think will be in two or three days.—Melun,
13 Sept. 1580.
Add. and endt. gone. 1 p. [France IV. 151.]
425. ROSSEL to WALSINGHAM.
In my last, of the 11th inst., I made no pertinent answer as to
the forgetfulness and unworthiness of those who direct the state,
called the Estates. By the disunion implied in the term, they are
all particular Estates, who have managed their provinces in their
private interest, ay, from the day they first met as States-General.
This is what has brought us into this unhappiness and reduced us
to extremities, to the discontent not only of our most remote but of
our most neighbouring friends. I remember (qy. suis raccord) to
have written to you that if my suggestion had been followed they
would long ago have decided to send to her Majesty to
represent to her the pregnant causes which urged those of the
Union to accept and invite M. d'Alençon ; indeed would have
elected personages to do this. But they excused themselves from
this duty, for the little satisfaction they had given her Majesty,
both in her private matter of money and other duties ; wherefore
they could expect from her only ill-regard and small welcome.
Nevertheless when they had by persuasions reached the point of
sending M. Ymans and others their faculties failed just when each
was to have joined and contributed ; whereupon they are on the
point of forming a new union of Flanders, Holland, and Zealand, as
I have already written. That is the position to which we have come.
On this subject some clever wit has composed a dialogue discoursed
in it of all the actions and conduct of this state, no less pertinently
than if it had been a live man could have done it. The discourse is
copious, and has not yet been seen. I will take steps to have it
copied, hoping that if you are in any way satisfied with it, I may
take pains to report various notable proceedings, if I were seconded
by your people here, who I perceive act on their own account, to
gain advantage from my advices, as I have remarked.
In this extremity, and awaiting the favours of M. d'Alençon, all
divisions and discontents are increasing, not only in the disunion of
the provinces, but in a popular murmur against those in office (ceux
qui ministrent) and especially against his Excellency, who is losing
all his credit with the people, since what befel at Bouchain ; with
such bitterness that fearing the edict and proclamation made against
his person by the King in the reconciled provinces, he does not
leave his house, where he is sick of the fever. He has obtained a
new body-guard of 100 horse, which will soon be ready, to return to
Ghent, and raise a small flying camp to harass the enemy if he
besieges Oudenarde or Menin, as it seems likely he is going to do.
You will have been informed that they are sending to give full
powers to the Commissioners in France, whereas before they were
limited. This is due to what happened at Bouchain, and also to
the fact that they foresee the small progress made by their ambassadors.
It is true that his Excellency says he has had letters to the
effect that the King of France has gone as far as Orleans to be
nearer to his brother, so that he may the more easily confer with
him. But I hear that his reason for going to Orleans is the severity
with which the plague prevails at Paris ; which is such that a
painter who was taking the King's portrait in the morning died in
the evening, which so terrified him that he hurried to Orleans. On
this there is a current rumour that he is dead.
We have assured news that the Malcontents have lost more than
they have gained by the capture of Bouchain, because three hours
after our people had gone out with bag and baggage, fire was set to
the munitions, and made such cruel progress (exploit) that the
greater part of the town was overthrown and burnt, and several
officers and many men killed.
La Fère lately underwent a furious assault, which makes us think
that there is little hope of peace in France.
You know about affairs in Portugal, that the King of Spain is in
Lisbon. If it is so, we can look to God only, not to our own
powers and resources.—Antwerp, 17 Sep. 1580.
Add. Endd. Fr. 2½ pp. [Hol. and Fl. XIII. 51.]
426. GILPIN to WALSINGHAM.
But for my duty towards you, the States answer to my continual
soliciting being so little altered and continuing so slender, that I am
almost loath and ashamed to trouble you with the recital of it, I
would have passed this week in silence.
I pressed them earnestly, as 'per' my last was signified, for an
answer in writing, which was delivered to me this morning ; with a
further declaration that Brabant having resolved, as I wrote you,
effectual letters had been written both by them and in private by
his Excellency, to the other provinces, viz., Flanders (whence there
is no fear of opposition), Holland, and Zealand, together with
copies of all her Majesty's letters touching the cause of Pallavicino
and Spinola ; and for speedier answer, special posts sent with them,
so that they trust to make some small determination shortly.
Before which I see no appearance of M. Ymans' going over, though
never so much by them wished ; for until such time he utterly
refuses to take that charge upon him. Of his honest carefulness
herein I cannot sufficiently advertise, to whom those of this town
may be joined. What the States' answer, given me in writing, is,
will appear by the enclosed. And so awaiting your pleasure 'unto
my former,' with resolution the while by all means of suit to forward
their answer to some good effect, I forbear to trouble you longer on
The enclosed were sent me to see conveyed to you.
The news of the fire 'chanced' at Bouchain, after 'surrendry'
of it, is confirmed ; and thereto since added that the force of the
powder, the town being very small, slew and spoilt many of the
Malcontents, amongst others some persons of note ; but the particulars
are not certainly known.
The preparing of the States' camp in Flanders advances greatly.
The Prince of Epinoy is general, M. d'Argenlieu, marshal, and
Captain Yorke, chief sergeant ; so that it is hoped they will be ere
long in the field. Certain companies of French are daily expected
to assist them.
It is said the Prince will shortly depart toward Ghent, to further
the camp or establish some better order.
One is appointed to go 'for' France after the States' commissioners
to carry them full power to conclude with Monsieur
absolutely, if he any way agree to the articles presented by them.
It is advertised from France that Simier is out of favour with
The States' men in Friesland having divided themselves into
three parts, viz. the English before Lingen, and the other companies,
being 'these countrymen' in Cowoorden and the house
called Wedden, the enemy took by surrender 'die Ommeslach,' a
passage and bulwark on the entry from Friesland into Groningen,
taken by the English on entering the country.
This done, they went with their whole force to Wedden, and
there surprised and dispersed Count William of Nassau and
Captain Michiell 'their regiment,' slaying about 100. The rest
since met again and assembled together.
The Englishmen that lay before Lingen, hard 'underneath' the
gates, ready to take it in a few days if succour come not, were upon
the aforesaid overthrow, forced to retire and return to the rest of
On Tuesday last, Count John of Nassau married Duke Casimir's
The Diet of Nuremberg, as it is written from the Emperor's
Court, is a stay, and likely to take no effect at all, though some
judge it to be deferred till next March.
The last letters from Constantinople mention that an ambassador
had arrived from the Persian Emperor, to treat about peace.
There is certain news here that the Duke of Savoy is dead,
which, it is hoped, will work some good to those of the Religion.—
Antwerp, 17 Sep. 1580.
Enclosed in the above :
427. REPLY of the ESTATES.
The Estates-General having read a writing laid before them on
the 9th inst. from the Queen of England by George Gilpin, Secretary
of the Merchants Adventurers residing in this town, and also the
representations made by him to the same end, declare their regret
that they have not yet found means to satisfy her Majesty, owing to
their great charges at present. They will nevertheless do their
utmost by all means to content her ; hoping that the said Secretary
will use his good offices on their behalf.—Antwerp, 15 Sep. 1580.
(Signed) A. Blyleven. (Fr.)
Add. Endd. 2½ pp. [Ibid. XIII. 52 and 52a.]