572. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
The Queen Mother would have begun her journey towards
Chenonceaux yesterday, but that she was somewhat indisposed in
her health, and had kept her bed for a few days. Her departure is
deferred till next week, but the king seems to wish her to stay
altogether at the Court.
The king in order to give some satisfaction to Marshal Retz in
respect of taking away his office, has created him Duke ; which
honour pleased his wife and her mother Madame 'D'Ampyre' more
The king would likewise have assigned some round sum of money
to Villequier ; but he has desired to be enriched with his favour,
and not by any other gift, finding his own estate sufficient to
Marshal Biron begins to 'buscle' himself to take some charge,
'delivering forth' the faults he has found in Monsieur's business
and affairs, with a kind of manner as if he would be willing to enter
into the enterprises. It is supposed he will command the companies
which the king means to send towards the frontier of Picardy.
It appears the king has a fancy to make a marriage between
'Charles Monsieur,' the bastard, and the daughter of de Mouy, who
should have been wife to d'Epernon.
His Majesty also creates M. de Piennes Duke of Maignelay with
35,000 crowns recompense for the government of Metz, which he
has bestowed on M. de Rambouillet.
The king did not pass his time this Shrovetide with any extraordinary
pleasantness at Court, but went in mask to sundry of
his courtiers' and divers burgesses' houses ; 'where lastly' in Mme
d'Humières' house there grew some quarrel between the Duke of
Guise and the Marquis of Elbeuf. The king severed them for the
present, and the matter is since appeased, yet not altogether
salved. I have heard that there is some discovery that the Duke
would like to have unkindness between the 'top favourites' of the
king, with which his Majesty is displeased.
Count de Tournon of Savoy has lately slain a gentleman called
'd'Ayella,' whereon his sister, who attends on the Queen Mother,
has taken so great displeasure that she would profess herself a nun.
This humour is found very strange in this Court.
There are some who will not 'leave to' raise evil opinions
against them of the Religion, having lately given out that they
have surprised Orleans and Lyons ; of which no appearance is
seen, nor truly understood.
M. Bellievre's return is looked for daily.
Our English Romanists 'deliver' in their 'conference,' as I am
informed, that the Spanish king intends to invade Ireland this
summer, in order that her Majesty may be 'impeached' from
aiding Monsieur in Flanders. Also that the Spanish commissioners
reached Rome on the last of January, to treat about those matters on
which the Pope will, as they say, send out bulls to the other princes
of Italy to procure their assistance in the enterprise of Ireland.
Herein they discourse very liberally among themselves. It is said
they are encouraged by the remembrance of the Spanish king's
greatness and riches, whereby, being supported further by this
Pope, he would be able to continue the war longer than the Queen.
Secondly, they presuppose that Monsieur seeks nothing but his
own preferment ; which being compassed, he will little 'esteem of'
the Queen, adhering afterwards only to his brother, the King of
France. So the Queen would be necessarily deprived thereafter of
her new-found friend, as they term it. They further 'infer' that
the Irish mislike the present government, being discontented with
the religion, and they hope through the like occasions the Welsh
will become rebellious, as also a great part of the North country
are to show themselves discontented subjects. They boast moreover
of the good intelligences sent them out of England, which
point seems to be true by the receipt of them daily ; and many
letters, wherein methinks the searchers might do their endeavours
in some better sort, especially he of Dover, whom the papists much
commend for letting their priests pass. Thus one Kempe of
Cumberland lately came hither with above a hundred letters about
him, having been heretofore more than two years in England, and
lately returned thither again.
I wrote to you of one Blechendall, who is to be found at Mr
Ingem's, whose son is a priest in these parts. They say that
Blechendall 'abused' his tongue towards her Majesty. He named
himself Lebby. He has a cousin at Rheims called Dryland.
Mr Ingem has sent over one Richard, a man of his, to be made a
priest at Rheims.
Thomas Pilcher, fellow of 'Baly hall' in Oxford, is gone to
Rheims this week, having found means at his departure to get his
allowance from the college for two years. This 'exhibition' might
be better bestowed. Pilcher has a brother in Barnard's Inn, who
deals in his causes, and sends his letters.
On the 27th ult. six or seven papists arrived here from Rheims
with intention to repair into England. One of them is called Geter,
sometime a scholar of Cambridge. The same day Dr Darbishire
and Hayes packed up as many books as an ass can bear, to be
conveyed to England by way of Rochelle or Bordeaux by a merchant
of Paris called Peter Cortenez.
I am told that the Duke of Savoy intends to give himself shortly
to marriage, but in what place, I cannot learn. I hear also that he
will remove his ambassador ligier at this Court, and send one of his
secretaries, a great servant of Mme de Nemours.—Paris, 3 March
Add. and emit. gone. 3½ pp. [France VII. 36.]
573. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
To-day M. Pinart, understanding that I meant to visit him, was
pleased to come first to me, when he uttered many speeches in great
commendation of her Majesty, rehearsing earnestly how infinitely
Monsieur was bound to her. He also declared that M. Mauvissière
had in his last latter sent their Majesties a new hope of the
marriage ; though he had promised M. Pinart never any more to
signify anything touching that cause.
After M. Pinart had spent some time with me in conference of
these former affairs, he read me a letter, dated in Antwerp, which
a man of his had lately brought 'in diligence,' wherein Monsieur's
entry into Brabant, and his coronation and acceptance to be their
Duke of Brabant, Flanders, and the Low Countries, was 'particularly
enlarged ;' as also that the Earl of Leicester with the English
lords were upon their return. When he came to that part of the
letter he left some lines unread, turning down the paper so that I
might not see what followed, which it seemed concerned our lords.
But in the same letter it was noted how in every one of those
provinces of which Monsieur had now the sovereignty, the enemy
possessed some places. And on the occasion of this new estate
'happened' to his Highness, Pinart declared that he had debated
Monsieur's pretention to those countries with Don Bernardino de
Mendoza, though indeed he was sent to dissuade him from those
enterprises, because the king did not like that his brother should
undertake so great an affair to the prejudice of King Philip. I
took occasion hereon . . . that since Monsieur was created Duke
of Brabant the king would be content to give him the title. He
answered, not ; because King Philip was not deposed. Thus he
left that matter, and told me that M. Mauvissière had written to
the old queen, that his Majesty had wished she would join her to
seek the way to frame a general good peace ; of which motion their
Majesties had taken great contentment, so that it seems 'by'
M. Pinart that the king and his mother intend to 'make
dispatch' at once to M. Mauvissière, confirming the proceeding
further in that purpose. But I told him it was to be feared the
Pope would impeach any peace which might be among Christian
princes, except in the 'match' he might snatch a benefit. M.
Pinart said that he had let the king understand her Majesty's
mind touching the Pope, which was very princely meant ; and
assured me they could not hinder the plan when the king his
master undertook it.
After this I asked him how the Portuguese affairs passed. He
assured me they passed very well, in such sort that the Azores
would be secured ; and also that they were like to make a revolt
both in Portugal and Spain. He told me that M. Strozzi and Count
Brissac were ready to embark ; and that the Count came to the
Court to-day to take his leave, sent for by the Queen. But I hear
that Strozzi cannot yet be in readiness. He wants means, and
cider for victualling.
I asked M. Pinart what it might mean that the Archduke
Ferdinand, uncle to the Emperor, 'pretended' to repair to Milan
with 2,000 men of war. He said that the Spanish king had
required his coming into Spain, because Cardinal Granvelle alone
was not sufficient to undertake the government. As for King
Philip, he intended to stay in Portugal till that realm was entirely
possessed to his mind.
Lastly I 'moved' him, to understand what order the king had
given on the earnest intreaty I made to him at my last audience
for Mr Warcoppe's money. He assured me his Majesty had
assigned that he should be paid at once 500 crowns, and assignations
for payment of the rest within twelve months. This is as much as
I 'passed' with the said Secretary.
Whereas in my late letter I certified that it was given out among
the papists that Mr [Paget] had passed out of this town to go to
England, I have since heard, and found it by good proof, that he
caused this rumour to be spread, in order that he might the better
convey himself to be lodged in secret sort in the next house to
my Lord [qy. Hamilton]. I am right sorry the said young lord (?)
has put from him M. Le , and taken Mr [Paget] into his
company ; and especially in the manner it has been handled, in
which the young lord (?) has very much disguised with me, otherwise
than I in any sort looked for. I leave it to your judgment to find
how much [Paget's] practice in this is to be considered on,
remembering the birth and quality of the Lord (?) .—Paris,
3 March 1581.
Add. and Endt. gone. Names in last par. carefully obliterated,
and cipher substituted. 3½ pp. [Ibid. VII. 37.]
574. W. HERLE to LEICESTER.
Since your departure hence, I have endeavoured to look into the
state of these causes, as far as my capacity and the small means I
have would give me leave, and the shortness of my time might
permit. But you know how 'rawly' I am left here, and what my
ability is ; therefore I refer the consideration to yourself.
I have been with the Prince of Orange twice, entertaining the
best offices I could between you both, which he took in very good
part, and promises to write to you as occasion shall serve ; which
for their importunate business here, 'gives small leave' as yet, but
it shall be done with the first opportunity.
I am entered into the familiarity and friendship of six or seven
of the principal 'state men' of this country ; whereby I am from
time the more able to inform myself of sundry secrets, and of the
knowledge of the state to the good service of our country and her
Majesty's and your satisfaction. I enclose a letter to you from one
of the number, who will be ready from time to time to do you any
service he can ; 'marie' I perceive he writes also to Mr Secretary
Walsingham, and that there is some great jar between him and
Villiers the preacher. For which cause and others I find him a
very discontented man, and the like is Villiers in some degree ;
but specially Monsieur cannot brook the said Villiers.
I had sent you with this the copy of the contract passed between
Monsieur and the States, but that his friend has informed me that
he enclosed one of the same in his letter to you last Sunday ;
wherefore I considered it was needless to pester you with it again.
The entry of Monsieur into this country, and his receiving a
'auguration' here, will be set forth in print at large, and is by his
appointment dedicated specially to you ; with all the shows,
pageants, 'arches triumphants' and their significations to be fully
expressed therein. By the middle of next week I hope I shall be
able to send it to you.
These poor gentlemen's suits commended to me that I should
solicit with the Prince of Orange for their satisfaction in part or
wholly, will prove to be in a cold state, in respect of the difficulty
there is to 'address' a new army here for the withstanding of the
enemy, much more to pay old debts. But 'both' Mr Cobham,
Morgan, and Williams will perceive that I have acquitted myself
friendly towards them, how chargeable soever it be to me, without
Touching the present state of these countries, the deputies of all
the provinces are arrived, and this morning came those of Holland ;
namely, Paul Buys, Weemond (?), Van Skage, and the earl of
'Hollock' in their company. They are to proceed to give Monsieur
his oath, that he is to make to the States in general, and they again
to receive him as their sovereign by mutual oath, and the duty
that appertains. But he has been shrewdly incumbered since your
departure about the exercise of his mass, whereto great numbers
resorted ; and consequently it was urged to have certain churches
permitted to the Catholics in Brabant and Flanders. Monsieur
alleges two principal reasons to induce this ; first, the way that was
opened thereby to bring the Malcontents to their side, seeing that
thereby the 'Religion's frede' would be maintained, and their
hatred towards the Prince of Parma and the Spaniards increased ;
and secondly, it was to procure the king's aid in France the more
promptly towards him and them, and more friends in those parts to
assist the general cause here, without which he was able to do little
of himself. He alleged that his brother was informed, 'from very
good places,' that the Duke of Guise and some of the Catholics of
France had written to the Pope, and to the princes of Italy, and
to the King of Spain, that Monsieur, by marrying the Queen of
England and usurping the King of Spain's dominions in the Low
Countries, meant to overthrow directly the state of the Catholic
Church in this union, and to do manifest wrong to the King of
Spain's title ; wherefore to resist him, they might provide sound
remedies in the beginning, to repress him from the one, and to exclude
him from the succession that might be to his own patrimony
hereafter. Of this the French had advertised him particularly, that
he should have good regard how he proceeded to prejudice the Catholic
Church. But this demonstration notwithstanding, the Common
Council of the town, the colonels, and the ministers of the churches,
that had the debating severally of the matter among themselves,
have found it dangerous for their state, and inconvenient for them
in particular ; so they have answered that till there is an army in
the field on their side able to beard the enemy, they cannot 'grant
to' this innovation. Yet Monsieur, by instigation of others, still
persists to have a church in Antwerp ; but his friends advise him to
refer the matter to the debating of the States-General, that these
things may be handled with greater authority, and pluck from him
the envy that he otherwise may incur by entertaining so ticklish a
In the mean time the Council of the town have forbidden all men,
save Monsieur's own train, to haunt his mass, under fine of 100
crowns to be levied for every offence 'made in that behalf.' They
had before imposed 100 marks' fine on the sayer of a mass, but
nothing on the hearer. In Holland and Zealand it is death and
confiscation of goods to such as shall go to mass ; and it appears
that those of Holland and Zealand will present such restrictions to
Monsieur in the next 'proposition general' that shall be held,
which is to be on Monday, that his sovereignty will take small hold
of them, but only in the part that belongs to the contribution that
they shall be rated at, which the Prince of Orange is acquainted
with. The Prince allows apparently for policy's sake of Monsieur's
motion for the erecting of churches throughout Brabant and
Flanders, to the end that the 'Religion's frede' should be maintained ;
but the colonels and preachers are encouraged to deny it,
and have very modest and necessary reasons to allege why they
should not 'grant thereunto,' unless there were sufficient forces in
the field, and the Malcontents would range themselves on their side
to embrace the 'Religions frede' which was demanded on their
behalf. Means are presently to be used, in secret negotiation, to
draw some of the Malcontents from the Prince of Parma, and
sundry offers are made, ahout which Meetkerke and others are
employed. The result is not seen, hut forasmuch as sundry troops
of Spanish and Italian foot comes daily into Luxembourg, alla fila,
and will have their rendezvous at Marche in that province, and
sundry hands of horse are repairing to the same rendezvous from
Italy, and M. de Chèvres a valiant baron of Burgundy has the
charge to levy 20 ensigns of Walloons for the King of Spain's
service and certain Burgundian horsemen and Allmaynes, the
Malcontents it is thought will be the more easily drawn to this side,
to provide for their own reputation and safety. They are already
divided among themselves, the Marquis of Risboug, Lalaing,
Montigny, and that faction, separating themselves from the
bishops, from Swevingam, Rassingam etc. that are Spanish.
The Malcontents' army consists of 3,000 horse and upwards, and
8,000 foot, who lie about 'Rowsler' in Flanders, having great
penury of forage and other necessaries. But he who first shall be
master of the field with his camp thoroughly furnished, is like to
have the advantage of the other party all the year after ; yet if the
French king in favour of his brother would at this beginning stop
the passages of Calais and Mezières, all Artois, Luxembourg,
Namur, 'Henawd,' and West Flanders would be so straitened in
their traffic and in their victual that they would be able neither to
nourish an army, nor themselves and their families, but be forced
to pray Monsieur and the States to receive them to their protection,
being otherwise barred from the sea and land and from the rent
and exchange of their commodities, which entertains an infinite
number of mechanical sort of people in those countries.
Monsieur has projected the proportion of an army to be brought
hither, having written above 500 letters and dispatches into France
and elsewhere by Neufville and others of his train. His proportion
is 10,000 French foot, 2,500 lances, 3,000 Swiss, and 3,000
'Rutters' ; besides the computation that is made to fill up the
bands of English and Scots that are in the country, and to bring
into the field the 'country' soldiers that can be spared from the
garrisons. To accomplish this, there is demanded 500,000 crowns
to pay the soldiers beforehand for three months, and defray the
charges of the artillery, munition, and pioneers, which is always
esteemed a third of the expenses of the whole. But to 'recover'
this money on the sudden is a difficulty, for they dare not at this
beginning proceed to assay the general aids, as they have set down
in secret that 'their turn might be abundantly served therewith' ;
and for the particular, there are none to disburse beforehand any
great sum, nor are their private means such as might supply what
is needful. Besides, they are very ill husbands, for they have so
negligently and vainly dissipated the Church goods and the
revenues of the monasteries which they suppressed, that it is all
come to naught ; which otherwise by reserving the property to
themselves as a perpetual rent, might have served to defray a
great piece of the charge of the war, and eased the country very
much, to the terror of the enemy. Further, they have so many
officers of Receipts, so many auditors, clerks, commissioners,
bailiffs and such like, that 'above all excess' they exceed the
number of 16,000—yea, this town has more than 1,600 of these
superfluous officers, who surcharge the estate of the country and
the towns above a French crown a day a man—which rises after
that rate to 16,000 crowns daily ; a matter though scarce credible,
yet true, for I am informed of it by such as have the chief
handling of those accounts. It is more than time therefore that
they should come to a reformation ; for why ? [sic] their whole
army would be entertained with a much less proportion.
Another thing they have, which is as hurtful to their estate as
may be, and is clearly to overthrow their reputation therein, if
it be not quickly repaired ; which is that they have no
regard to their word, nor to their writing, observing neither
the one nor the other ; borrowing and promising largely
where they may win credit, with a plain intention beforehand
never to perform their assurances. This in particular much
blemishes the opinion had of this city, and injures their cause in
general. If her Majesty pleased by your mediation to give me
commission while the General States are assembled, to solicit a
direct answer how she should be 'answered' the debt, now due to
her by them, and by this town of Antwerp, I doubt not but to do
good and effectual service, for I know which way to spur them
forward, having penetrated into their secrets and into the things
they are most afraid of. If it be thought necessary that I should
be employed, her Majesty beside the commission and instructions
she may send me, may be inclined to write to the Prince of Orange,
to the States-General, and to those of this town, of the charge I
have to negotiate the matter. By this course she may stay them
from importuning her with a request for new loans towards the
supply of these new necessities, or else by extending her favour
further towards them, oblige them the more deeply to her. Finally
this countermine may serve to many purposes, as it may best appear
to your wisdom, when you have considered the circumstances.
The charge will not be great, seeing I am here already, and their
hope is fixed to be helped again from England.
But to return to Monsieur's army. Nothing can be resolved
therein before the French King declares his intention, first,
how he is inclined to embrace the cause of these countries
and to favour his brother's greatness in this new 'auguration'
of his ; it being held here for an infallible maxim that if
his brother do not openly declare himself against the king
of Spain by way of art, in supporting Monsieur, and these countries
and the choice they have made of him, the wills and intentions of
both brothers are vain and without effect and conclusively dangerous
and deceitful. It is likewise as infallible that if you had not
arrived here, with the impressions that the people and States had
of her Majesty's favour and aid, and of your sincerity, he never had
been received as friend, much less invested as their lord ; whereof
your departure (which I was glad of, lest the people should repute
themselves abused, under the cover of your presence and her
Majesty's countenance) gave sufficient testimony, after they saw
you once embarked without further intermeddling in their cause.
I was amazed that they were entered so far into the action without
M. du Vray is expected with the French king's resolution. He
gave him and Pinart audience on 'Thursday was se'night' as was
advertised hither ; but in the mean time Fervacques has written
hither to Laval that he finds the king and his Council in France
very cold in Monsieur's actions, and that those that depend on
Monsieur are as slack, so that he sees not the means how an army
may be levied there without the presence of Monsieur himself. If
the army is composed of volunteers, again, the insolence of the
nation is such, and the lack of discipline, that the whole enterprise
would resolve into smoke ; which is also feared by others here of
good judgement, for the aids which are grounded only upon the
connivance of sovereign persons never produced any substantial
effect nor sound intelligence.
Another incumbrance Monsieur has had ; for whereas on Monday
next the Council of State was to be established by the States-General
and him, exception has been made to the Prince of Epinoy and to
the Lords of Fromont and Hèvre, both allied to him, and all three
papists, lest so many suffrages or voices might 'impeach' or
discover the things done there. The Prince of Epinoy has
besides been privately admonished not to accept the office, though
it were offered him, in respect of the jealousy that is conceived for
the drawing of the garrison out of Tournay, upon which it was
presently besieged and consequently surrendered without any
endeavour on his side for the relief of it, his wife, sister to M.
Lalaing and Montigny being in the town at the time. Notwithstanding
this private admonition, the prince seeks earnestly to be
of the Council, and to introduce others with him, which renders him
more suspect. We shall know the issue at the next general
'proposition' to be held on Monday by Monsieur, who has authority
to create two councillors of his own to be assistants, though they be
not 'naturals' of the country. After the establishment of the
Council of State they will proceed to the election of the Privy
Council and that of the finances, and then to order the direction of
the war, and the means to supply it with money. I enclose the
names of those that still are of the former Council of State, of the
secret Council, and of the Council of finances, that you may behold
upon this alteration what diversity of persons are 'intromitted.'
In another paper are enclosed the names of the magistrates and
principal officers of this city and of the councillors and gilds, with
the number of armed men and ensigns that are now trained and in
readiness within the city.
I send herewith also the general occurrents that come from
Rome, which in many respects are worthy of note, and 'concerns'
our Court to observe them. I will furnish you every week with the
like, as things that come from persons of judgement and calling. I
would have sent you a new 'Guiciardyn,' but I understood since
that your secretary had provided you with one here at his going
away. But in place thereof, according to the 'poor might of my
ability' you shall receive two pieces of Monsieur's new coin, one of
10 stivers, the other of 5, and a piece of his gold coin, of 54 stivers.
If you will be furnished with any more, I will do it.
You shall have, by the next messenger after this, the articles of
the Joyous Entry put into French, to which Monsieur swore in your
presence without the town, with other 'singularities' concerning
Commissioners are arrived today from 'Bollduck' to treat with
Monsieur and the Prince to be comprised within the Union that is
to be established, 'namely' if the 'Religion's frede' may be obtained
to permit them to exercise of their ancient religion. The granting
of it would be of great importance, to bring others in to follow their
example. By having 'Bollduck' the town of Breda could not hold
out long, for they would have no means to sally in and out with
It appears both by the occurrents from Rome and sundry other
advertisements that are presented here, that the French have a
great desire to 'embrace many practices at this day' ; for they are
busy at Constantinople, Malta, Naples, Rome, Barbary, the duchy
of Milan, the Emperor's Court, Germany, the Low Countries,
Scotland, and England.
Bodin affirmed openly within these three days here, that before
six months were come we should be invaded with foreign and civil
wars for our religion in England.
Mr Norris arrived here four days since, and with him Count John
of Nassau's son, leaving the siege of the castle of Bronkhorst under
the charge of Captain Gaynsford, who hopes to possess it shortly.
Thereby they will have all the river clear of the enemy, to the great
good and quietness of the country. They have lost at that siege
seven score of the bravest men they had, being badly provided with
powder and shot to batter the place, for which reason the enemy
has held out the longer, the besiegers not being able to environ the
castle, nor to guard their ordnance, if the enemy had come to relieve
the place. I send you a rude draught of it, drawn with the pen,
that you may behold its situation, and the importance it is of ; with
the 'Skantz' or little fort that Mr Norris made upon the river, to
retire his men and ordnance to each night.
Rochepot was to have been made by Monsieur colonel of all the
infantry that were to serve in these countries ; but it seems that
Mr Norris will retain his English regiment, and so each nation
Archduke Matthias has departed from Cologne with some difficulty
for he wanted money to defray his charges. He visits his friends
the Princes of Germany in his journey, and protracts the time to
meet his brother the Emperor at the Diet to be holden at 'Augusta'
in May next. He has 50,000 guilders a year pension given him by
the States, on condition he shall neither practice nor associate himself
with their enemies.
Don Edward de Crasto, ambassador here for Don Antonio,
departs to France shortly smally satisfied touching the negotiation
he had for shipping and mariners, for the means whereby he presumed
to furnish himself with money have failed him. They of
Holland and Zealand so 'abound of mariners' that the magistrates
desire to have them employed in some military service, being well
inclined to Portugal ; for otherwise they are not able to set their
mariners to work, nor to govern them.
Last Monday the Prince's daughter was christened. The town
of Antwerp was the godfather, and the widow of the late Palsgrave
with the Countess of 'Newnar' were godmothers. Villiers preached
at the christening.
There is here one Francis Puccio, a Florentine, who haunted in
England for some while, both in the University of Oxford and the
City of London esteemed to be well learned ; who coming over when
you accompanied Monsieur has assured me that Coranus the
Spanish preacher is one of the 'dangerowst' persons for his life
and opinions that ever lived in State. He affirms that Coranus,
whatever he pretends outwardly of religion and doctrine, holds
inwardly the contrary, and has maintained to Puccio that the
Messias Christ was never promised, nor ever came, but was a thing
invented by the Rabbins, and that the Jews of Asia are still of that
opinion. And touching the faith delivered by the Apostles, that it
was grounded upon supposition [qy. superstition] and hypocrisy,
and consequently a 'collusion.' Only he says that God has a
providence over his creatures, and rules the 'success' of things.
The means, says Puccio, to sound Coranus touching this his
most blasphemous and pestilent sect, is to have some one, after
conference twice or thrice with him, to doubt of the Messias'
coming and of the promise made on his behalf ; whereupon Puccio
affirms that he will make no difficulty to discover himself ; which
were well done, to the glory of God, and the good of the realm.
Yet it appears that Puccio also has strange conceits of religion, by
the manner of the discourse and 'purposes' that he held with me.
Yesterday and today the Portugal fleet of this town are arrived
here. They are very richly laden, and have many rare things to
To conclude this my tedious long letter, which though it be
stuffed with sundry matter of small moment, yet I thought at this
beginning it were not unfit to observe each particular, that by
'conferring' them together you might the better judge of the state
of things, and of the humours which reign here. We have every
tide great companies of French that repair hither to Monsieur ;
but men more unfurnished with money (unless it be myself) I
never saw. Bacqueville's 'countenance' is much decayed since he
came here, for Monsieur is continually in matters of counsel, and
entertained well nigh the whole time by the Prince and States ; so
that if it be not one of his Council, or of his officers near to him,
the 'countenance' of the rest is no more than each one takes to
himself. Monsieur's house has small order in it, yet some of our
English gentlemen repair there 'by times' to meals. There is one
principal board, which is the steward's and des Pruneaux's ; and
then there are two more, the one for those that wait in the
chamber, and the other for those that attend at his own table, who
are called 'for the month,' with whom the Secretaries have their
Please consider that now this town of Antwerp, and the Court of
these parts is the very centre of all the concourse of Christendom,
both for negotiating and practising of high things, whereto every
man's eye and mind is directed to behold them, as a matter
of most importance and expectation, and where even the whole
state of the Christian world, as in a theatre, is treated of,
either directly or indirectly. Therefore it will be most necessary
for her Majesty to have a vigilant eye thereunto, for it will concern
her wellnigh most. If I might do her any service therein, being
authorised to do so either privately or openly, and enabled with
some indifferent allowance to bear out part of the charge, I would
not only supply the rest with my industry, but so deserve, I hope,
in service to her and to my country, and in contentment to yourself
and the graver sort, that I would discharge that in every part which
one of more state and expense should not so easily achieve. And
as further the issue of these things will be thoroughly seen into
before Easter, and the mask of many connivances and practices be
taken away and discovered ; so having done that agreeable service
here during that time, if I be employed, that might render good
contentment ; her Majesty might be consequently inclined to use me
in somewhat else in this next Diet of the Empire (a matter specially
to be considered of) ; presuming that I have such means and friends
both here and there, joined with a desire to do my sovereign service,
as it shall surmount my ability, by effecting more than may be
looked for at my hands ; wherein my actions are to 'subsist' of
diligence, secrecy, and judgement. But if there be no inclination to
use me, a poor servant of her Majesty's own, before another, please
signify the cause by your first letters, that I may retire hence ;
for having no maintenance from others nor ability of myself, I
cannot continue the course that I desire, for ex nihilo nihil fit, and
you have experience what the charges of this country are. But I
would sacrifice my life, and all the wealth in the world, if it were
mine, to do anything that might satisfy her Majesty and you,
without regard of any merit to 'revert' or to be reaped thereby.
I pray you to vouchsafe three lines of thanks to the Prince of
Orange, for the great favour I find at his hands, on whom I depend
being here ; and whereby I shall receive the more countenance and
ability if you will write this affectionally and speedily, and as the
Frenchman says, with good 'ynck.' Commend me also by a short
letter to Sainte-Aldegonde.—Antwerp, 3 March 1581.
P.S.—Friends of the Duke of Guise are here in this town,
dangerous persons of whom I will learn more. They are not idle,
whereof I know some 'particularity' ; but I will inform myself
Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. 10¼ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 36.]
575. Copy of the above. Endd. by Herle. 10½ pp. [Ibid.
576. HERLE to LEICESTER.—Enclosures in the above.
The Council of State now serving :—
The Prince of Orange.
Messire Adrien de Bailleu, Lord of Hevere.
Messire Philippe de Marnix, Lord of Sainte-Aldegonde.
Messire Adolphe de Meetkercke, knight, President of the Council of
Messire Jehan Junius, knight, Doctor of Laws.
Messire Jehan van Ghent, Lord of Oyen and Dieden.
Seigneur Charles d'Utenhove, Lord of Hoogheval.
Master Nicolas Casenbroot, Doctor of Laws.
Seigneur Noel de Caron, Lord of Schoonval.
Seigneur Charles van Rhynen, Lord of Nieuwenborch.
Seigneur Adrien van der Mylen, Doctor of Laws.
Seigneur Comille de Coninck.
Seigneur Guillaume de Hertoge, Lord of Ousmal.
Jehan d'Asseliers, audiencer, Doctor of Laws.
Nicasius de Sille, Doctor of Laws, Secretary of State.
Jehan de Langhe, German Secretary.
Antoine Beys, first usher.
The Privy Council :—
Messire Fredrich de Boyemer, Doctor of Laws.
Messire Jacques Roelands, Doctor of Laws.
Messire Josse de Brach, Doctor of Laws.
Messire Franchois van Rhyne, Doctor of Laws.
Messire Jacques Marchant, Doctor of Laws.
Messire Philippe Marotolle, Doctor of Laws.
The audiencer d'Asseliers.
The Secretary of State Sille.
Secretary van Stocke.
Secretary van der Straten.
Secretary van der Heyden.
Ordinary ushers :—
The Chamber of Finances :—
M. Jehan de Bourgoyne, knight, Lord of le Fromont, Chief.
Engelbert d'Oyenbrugghe, Assistant (commis).
Jacques Reyngout, Lord of Cauwenbrug, Assistant.
de Rouck, Assistant, Treasurer of the Exchequer.
Lancelot Para is, Receiver general.
Spallaert, Clerk (greffier).
Van der Beken Military Treasurer.
Philibert Duwarin, usher.
Endd. by Herle :—At Monsieur's general proposition to the States
shall be seen what new Councillors shall be chosen or altered.
Fr. 2½ pp. [Ibid. XV. 36b.]
577. Officers of the city of Antwerp for 1582.
Jo : Philips van Schoonhoven.
Mr Peeter van Aelst.
1. Mr Peeter van Aelst.
2. Mr Jan de Pape.
3. Jo : Rogier van Leeffdael.
4. Mr Nicolaes de Voocht.
5. Jo : Jacob van Wachtendonck.
6. Mr Mattheus de Labury.
7. Cornelis Pruenen.
8. Jan Baseliers.
9. Andries Vander Molen.
10. Mr Cornelis Retius.
11. Jan van Steenwinckel.
12. Mr Jacop Zwerius.
13. Lodewyck Bloemaert.
14. Jo. Jacop Montens.
15. and Peeter Panhuys.
Mr Adriaen Dyck.
Mr Willem Martini.
Mr Jan van Hoboken.
Mr Severyn van Uffels.
Mr Henrich de Moy.
Mr Dionys Vander Neesen.
Mr Joris Kieffelt.
Mr Willem Gielis.
The Lord Margrave :—
Jo : Symon van Werne.
The Lord Amman :—
Jo : Jan van Stralen.
The Sheriff (Escoutette) :—
Jo. Cornelis van Mausdale.
The Colonels :—
Adriaen Bardoul, Bartolomeeus Pels, Steven Ricquet, Jan de Laet,
Anthoni Ancelmo, Jacques de la Faille, Adriaen Vierendeel.
Which Colonels are captains of 10 ensigns apiece of townsmen
well appointed. And there are these four gilds or fraternities, viz.
of the harquebusiers, of the crossbows, of the English longbow,
and of the long sword ; who have under them 7 ensigns towards
the furnishing of the rounds upon the walls, and the standing
watches in the street, and 22 ensigns besides that have the charge
of, which makes in all 109 ensigns, being able within the town to
arm 15,000 able men.
Endd. by Herle. 2 pp. [Ibid. XV. 36c.]
578. ROGER WILLIAMS to WALSINGHAM.
Since his Highness's coming, I have had small countenance at
his hands ; here is every man for himself. I have nobody to
complain to, but your favour. I did not trouble my Lord of
Leicester over much, because he had others to prefer ; and at my
coming from England, her Majesty promised to speak to him for
me. I am sure she did not. If you will favour me so much as to
speak to her, I think she will give me her letter ; if not, I know
not what to do. Within this month all the commissions will be
given out. If I could get her letter anything favourably, I doubt
not with God's help, but to find a poor 'life' amongst them. I
most humbly desire you to speak for me ; if she refuses it, for
God's sake let me hear soon.
I am hardly dealt withal by two or three, especially by Mr Cotton ;
the last day indeed I was something bold with him openly, but not
so bold as he was behind my back three nights before. His tongue
is better than mine, but for truth I will compare with him ; so
do I humbly desire you to judge of me. If I be not better dealt
with here than I am at present, 'I must needs free' (?). I have
served very ungrateful people since 'Alegonde' and the rest of the
patriots' coming over. I received scarce 'Dieu vous garde de mal'
at their hands ; I know not wherefore, unless it were for telling her
Majesty that they were honest men when they were not. It is not
strange though they deceive me, for I fear me some of the best of
them have deceived 'in' themselves.
The last day there were above 400 at Monsieur's mass, for all the
strait proclamation that the town 'did.' 'If it will fire as it begins
to smoke,' we need not to go far to fight with the Malcontents. God
send the Prince of Orange well to do. I know not what the second
French supply will be, but I assure you in my poor judgement,
these that are here differ from the Flemings' humour as much as
the English do from the Irish.
If I hear anything worthy to trouble you with, I will [sic].—
Antwerp, 3 March.
Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Ibid. XV. 37.]
579. ROWLAND YORKE to WALSINGHAM.
I received yours by my brother, and [? in] answer to mine sent
by Mr Adirane ; who left Ghent in a time very uncertain both of
Monsieur's coming, and how he should be dealt with and what
course they ought to take ; seeing the loss of Tournay, his Altese's
'detraction,' his Excellency's sudden departure, 'the marriage of
England doubtful,' made them have a new desire rather to set up
their rests than thus to consume 'au pitite feue' [qy. an petit feu].
For myself, I desire but to do my country service, and to that effect
I hold what hand I may, and if I were to speak with you, I could
say what I will not write. But now that his Highness is arrived, no
place is so joyful thereof as Ghent, and makes great preparations
to receive him, and means to remit all negotiations to his direction.
Meantime you may hold with them of Ghent what hand you please,
and to that effect you may, if you think good, advise what hand I
should hold towards his Highness, their own security, and our
country good [sic].
I crave pardon of you for this, which the sudden departure of the
post makes me shorten. Yet his Highness has not made his proposition,
and till now they have only treated of matters of 'religionfredes.'
But I fear we shall have so many 'religion's-fredes' that
in the end it will be a confusion without religion, and yet the
matters of money be not 'resolved of.'
Mr Norris is arrived in this town. The enemy is reinforced with
certain Italians and Burgundians and has passed musters, so that
he will presently undertake some action. 'Other' for want of time
I omit.—Antwerp, 4 March 1582.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 38.]
580. GILPIN to WALSINGHAM.
As I signified in my last, in the suit touching her Majesty's
contentment I have neither means to deal further before I understand
your pleasure, only as occasions may be presented to meet
any of the magistrates of this town or commissioners from any of
the other provinces, do remember [sic] them of their careless
dealing with her Majesty, wishing present amendment to her better
satisfaction, which they promise in speeches, with protestations at
this general meeting to perform it. Those of Holland arrived this
morning, and as I was before informed bring with them the money
or order for the first year's interest, whereof you shall know more
in the next.
Meanwhile I am to beseech you that whereas in one of my
former I wrote of a suit I had moved to and by Mr Governor,
desiring your furtherance, so it is that at his last departure hence,
he promised as much as in him lay ; and it is only this, that the
procuration which he had passed over to Reynold Copcote for
receipt of the money and giving quittance for it, might be altered,
and I for my more credit joined therein, so that having been the
solicitor all this while, and taken pains, I might not be reputed
where I have some credit unworthy of that charge so well as [sic]
another that never travailed therein. For though I do not mean
nor desire (and yet, God be thanked, have skill and knowledge
enough to receive or pay money by exchange or otherwise) to
intermeddle with receipt or payment, as I affirmed to Mr Governor,
yet I should be glad to have credit with any other to give and
subscribe the acquittance as authorized by virtue of Mr Governor's
power from her Majesty, which I beseech you to allow.
I have been at some charge in this suit, both about the copies of
the protests, the notary's pains, advice of learned counsel, postage
of letters between Mr Stokes and me, and for other rewards given
to some of the town officers for troubling them diversly, which I
refer to your consideration. Also the sending home of the States'
bonds in August last, for which, as Mr Governor then and since
wrote me, you had passed more than half a promise to get me the
allowance of a packet, wherein I await your favour.
By the letters herewith sent, the present news here will better
appear than I can write ; yet I would not omit to add thereto what
I could learn, submitting the certainty of it to the writing of others
that have leisure and 'come in place' to understand it ; amongst
others Mr William 'Earle,' who 'says' himself to be left here as
agent for the Earl of Leicester, and so is of some reputed, though
also otherwise suspected. Thus much I thought good to touch.
Monsieur, since the ending of the triumphs and shows of joy for
his safe arrival to accept the government, with hope the better to
withstand the King of Spain's forces, has not hitherto dealt in any
great matters, the committee from the provinces not being yet all
come, though daily expected, in whose hands the choice of a Council
to direct the affairs of the country depends.
There are already great speeches of the camp 'shall be' forthwith
made, and sufficient number of horse and foot to make an offensive
war against the enemy. God grant it fall out defensive.
Upon a request or petition presented to his Highness for the
exercise of popery, he has and does show himself very forward,
having not only earnestly moved and required it from the
magistrates of the town, who have called the Common Council to
that end, but also insists to have the grant, and as the speech goes,
will receive no refusal ; 'yea, that more is,' if it be denied, makes
show of willingness to depart. This course makes heart burning,
and is likely to breed strife in this town, besides a great dislike of
The magistrates, in part contented, endeavour to induce the
colonels and captains, who will not yield ; as also the Common
Council, who have met several times, but as yet have not resolved.
I hear that the Chancellor of Brabant has made suit to his
Highness to grant the oath and charge to be administered to all
those of the Chancery ; that the suits depending there, which by
reason of the alteration of government had hung in suspense,
might have their wonted course in pleading and proceeding. But
nothing could be obtained till the aforesaid question was determined,
which by his president he required the Chancellor to travail in, as
part of the accord made with him that the Religions freydt should be
It is also credibly reported that his Highness has reproved the
governors of certain towns for suffering the Religions freydt to be
broken, wishing the speedy and present redress of such alterations.
For the more advancing of his desire, he has also declared the
causes moving him thereto, as a matter above all recommended by
the Queen his mother and the king to his especial care.
What the issue of this will grow to, time will make manifest,
but it is thought something will be yielded to the petition, yet not
altogether to the papists' liking ; for this grant once passed, I heard
a murmuring that an oath shall be generally administered throughout
all this country whereby the King of Spain shall be renounced
and this new Duke of Brabant 'allowed' and sworn to.
The Prince of Orange and sundry of the chief men about him, it
is said, drive and labour 'the effect of that required,' taking it to
be a special 'induction' to draw some discontentment in the
Malcontent provinces, and better agreement with other places
that remain neuter.
There is some division among the Malcontents about admitting
the Spaniards, who come daily by 20, 30, and 40 in company into
Luxembourg, and there gather in troops ; whence they will be sent
into 'Groeninger landt' under the conduct of Bilhi (qy. Billy) sometime
governor of that place and West Friesland, and the men that
served there and now lie about Zutphen will come thence and serve
among the Malcontents, with which conditions the foreign aids will
The English forces continue in the siege of a castle, which cost
many of their lives, so that they will not leave till they have it.
This had been long since if the country had kept promise for
provision and munition. In Flanders the enemy are still, but
'hearken after' Monsieur's entertainment and proceeding, being as
we hear not a little glad of the Earl of Leicester's and other noblemen's
return to England.
On Friday week they mustered their men, and paid horse and
foot one month's pay.
Montigny is said to have broken his leg by a fall from his
They have made ready all their artillery at Tournay and it is
thought it will be sent ere long into some place, Meenen being the
likeliest, and that they will draw all their forces to Flanders.
The States of Brabant a few days before the Prince's coming
hither, gave him the abbey lands and revenue of the Abbey of
Tongerloo, distant about 8 Flemish miles hence, and worth in quiet
times about 40,000 guilders yearly.—Antwerp, 4 March 1581.
Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 39.]
581. ROSSEL to WALSINGHAM.
In my last letter, handed to Mr Gilpin, I told you the order
which his Highness and the States-General desired to take for the
resettlement of the Low Countries on their old footing, in conformity
with the order established by the Dukes of Burgundy. First, to
set up the Council of State, on which subject is the greatest difficulty
and controversy, and the States-General have been debating
it till now ; because several having been established provisionally,
they would like to continue in being, which would be confusion and
chaos. This has been the cause of the delay, and the postponement
of his Highness's 'proposition' and oath till Monday. This
being over, the Privy Council will be established, and subsequently
the Finances, and after that the military staff and that of his
Highness's household. The dispute on the matter of religion, so
much solicited by the papists, and pushed by his Highness's ministers,
makes him act so inopportunely that many people can have no
good hopes of any progress in the affairs of the war. All the
ministers of the Religion have been to his Highness, and pointed
out to him the inconveniences which may follow. Those of Antwerp
are in favour of agreeing to the 'Religion fliet,' provided the other
towns and provinces accept it at the same time ; they would not wish
to be alone the agents in the re-establishment of the Mass, because
those from the other provinces would all flock to Antwerp for the
sake of it, and under this pretext would lay his plan by the aid of
both the priests and their supporters. His Excellency backs the view
of Monsieur, in the hope of satisfying the King of France, and
through the importunity of others. He may get ill will (un matalent)
in recompense. In this regard should be had to the judgement of
God, which is beyond all human designs and opinions. For my
own part I have opposed it and shall do so until I conquer or am
As for our enemies the Malcontents, they are greatly astounded
by the sudden arrival and reception of his Highness ; although
previously to it, the Estates of the disunited provinces had accepted
the Spaniards and granted 300,000 florins for their payment and
that of the other soldiers. The Baron de Chevreau, Chisse, and
Champigny, captains who were to bring 20 ensigns of foot and 5 of
horse, have all three died within a month, which makes them still
more perplexed, and keeps them quiet (à recoy) and prevents their
It is announced that there are troubles at Naples, and that the
Canary Isles especially [sic] and St. Michael are in revolt against
the King of Spain. A preacher, a Portuguese monk, publicly
declares to the people that their sins and the cruelties they practise
towards their slaves have so stirred the wrath of God, that having
chastised them by famine, He has taken away their good king, and
what is more, placed them under the hand of a cruel tyrant. The
preacher had vanished, so that who heard him could not catch
The Malcontents have asked the Prince of Parma to keep the
Spaniards in the neighbourhood of Luxembourg for six weeks or
two months, waiting for the 'green' ; otherwise the country cannot
maintain so many people. They perceive besides that great levies
are being made in France for his Highness, in connexion with
which all the gendarmerie in France was mustered on Feb. 24,
which makes them fear that the king is going to declare
The Marquis of Risbourg, who had retired to Hesdin, has come
back to the country and resumed his office of general of the
The Archduke Matthias has left Cologne without saying goodbye,
when he heard of the welcome given to his Highness, and has taken
the road towards (contre) Augsburg, to be present at the Diet.—
Antwerp, 4 March 1582.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1¼ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 40.]
582. STOKES to WALSINGHAM.
My last was the 25th ult., in which I told you of all such
speeches as were at that time current in this town. As yet I cannot
learn any preparations that the States are making for the
defence of the country against the enemy, who are making speedy
preparation to put their camp before some town, and besides
vaunt themselves to have all Flanders at their command before
The Prince of Parma has sent to the land of Luxembourg, to
Namur, Maestricht and all those parts for all the forces they can
spare, and to send them with speed to the camp at Iseghem on this
side Corttrick. This week are come thither from Namur the
regiment that was the Count de Reulx', and 3 cornets of horse, and
they march thitherwards daily, so that it is said within less than
14 days the enemy will be 10,000 foot and 5,000 horse.
Also this week there are come to Corttrick from sundry towns in
Hainault and Artois 42 waggons all laden with iron pellets for the
cannon. So they make speedy preparations to besiege some town,
which all the speech goes here will be Meenen, which being of so
great importance is but slenderly provided.
The great hope there was here at Monsieur's coming of some
revolt of towns and gentlemen from the enemy's side is now turned
contrary ; for speeches are come from Artois and Hainault that they
will hold together and defend their country for the King of Spain
the best they can.
The Germans that serve the enemy, who lie at Rousselaere, after
having received one month's pay fell into a mutiny for five months'
pay more which is owing them. So they have fortified themselves
in Rousselaere, and will not stir till they are paid. But it is thought
they will be contented.
At Cambray there are some more forces come out of France, who
since coming thither have made a raid as far as Douay, Valenciennes,
and Arras, and have returned to Cambray with a very rich booty of
prisoners and 'beastiall,' to the great loss of the enemy.
It is said that about the 20th inst. the Duke of Alençon will come
to Ghent to take the oath as Earl of Flanders. Against his coming
those of Ghent are preparing in very costly order to receive him.
It continues very grievous among the commons here that the
English noblemen are returned to England.—Bruges, 4 March 1581.
P.S.—It is some grief to me that my letters are so long before
they come to your hands. I cannot help it, unless command be
given to the posts to return by this town as always heretofore they
have used. They may do it well enough, for the ways are without
I beseech you to have me in remembrance for my licence for 700
tuns of beer.
P.S. 2.—Kept until 5 March. This afternoon the magistrates of
this town have received certain advice from Corttrick that last
Saturday the enemy made a new muster of all their companies both
horse and foot, and all that they found to be Frenchmen they have
discharged and have sent them with passports into France, and would
not suffer them to come to this side ; for they say they will have no
Frenchmen serve among them, and this muster was only to find
out all the Frenchmen and discharge them.
Add. Endd. 2½ pp. [Ibid. XV. 41.]
583. FREMYN to WALSINGHAM.
I received on the 1st inst. yours of the 18th ult. and feel much
honoured by your kind remembrance of your servants. As to what
has passed in these parts since the Earl of Leicester went away,
which was on Friday, 23 Feb. the Catholics of this town have
continued to go to Mass at his Highness's lodgings, and are saying
'at this moment we have the Mass, in spite of those who want to
take it from us.' There was a papist citizen of this town who gave
a buffet to a citizen of the Religion, which caused the colonels
of the town to forbid any citizen going to Mass under penalty
of 100 crowns' fine. This displeased his Highness, who was
obliged to have Mass said in his ante-chamber, whereas till
then it was said in public where all the papists could go without
difficulty. Meanwhile his Highness complains, saying that
this was not what had been agreed with him ; and on the following
Thursday, the 1st of this month, he sent M. des Pruneaux to the
Town Hall to tell the magistrates from him that if a church was
not put at liberty for himself and the Catholics who wished to go
there for the exercise of their religion, he would go back to France
the next Monday, and that he was not going to be bridled. The
magistrates postponed their answer to the morrow, some of them
saying that it was reasonable ; to which effect, on Friday the 2nd,
they 'assailed' the colonels and captains of the town, to whom
they gave to understand the like. They concluded that they would
not permit it, and that it should not be said that those who had
taken away the Mass should be the first to restore it, in order to
show the way to the others ; it was a thing they could not in conscience
do, but it must be done by the assembly of the States-General.
No way meanwhile is found out of the difficulty, which
infinitely distresses his Excellency, who is in much trouble, and
employs all his powers in getting them to agree to allow a church
to the Catholics, who are pressing his Highness hard ; in such
wise that his Excellency said yesterday to the colonels of the town
that if they did not allow his Highness a church, and he went
away, he protested against them that any harm which came of it
would be due to them, and that he for his part would withdraw
also at the same time. Today the Great Council of the town is
meeting on the subject.
This is what has passed up to now. This re-establishment of the
Mass has caused and will cause a great diminution in the affection
felt towards his Highness ; besides that those who are most urgent
to have it are those who most resisted his coming. The commons
say : We have called your lordship to assist us ; you have at present
neither army nor means to succour any place that the enemy attacks,
except what we may give you, and you want to re-establish the Mass
among us, and cause a division at your coming, and in place of one
war, to kindle many. This is a dangerous beginning.—That is what
the people say.
His Highness has heard from the king by a gentleman whom he
sent from Zealand. The substance is that he has heard of the good
reception given him at Middelburg, and of his journey to Antwerp
to be received, of which he was very much rejoiced ; but above that
he had in recommendation his honour and his salvation, and that in
so doing he would perform the office of a brother to him—as though
meaning that the king desires him to maintain the Roman religion
so far as in him lies, and that he will assist him to declare this
openly. The king will not do it easily, as I understand.
The Prince Dauphin is about departing from France. It is said
that the King of Spain has sent his daughter to Saint-Jean-de-Luz,
and offers to send her into France, as wife to his Highness, with the
Duchy of Milan, if he will quit the cause of the Low Countries ; and
that as security for this he will send the Duchess of Parma,
the Counts of Mansfeld and Lalaing, the Marquis of Risbourg,
Montigny and others as hostages into France if he will accept his
Great preparations are being made at Ghent for the reception of
his Highness, greater indeed and with a better will on the part
of the people than was done for the Prince of Spain, provided it
does not diminish when they hear of this re-establishment of the
Mass, which greatly 'obfuscates' the first dispositions towards
The Malcontent forces that were in Flanders have packed up
(levé bagage) ; it is not known whither they are going. It is thought
they are waiting to see how his Highness is received generally.
It is said besides that the Malcontent lords have postponed for a
month giving their decision to the Prince of Parma as to the
return of the Spaniards into these posts. Meanwhile it is said
that 3,000 new soldiers have been levied in Spain to send to the
garrisons in Italy, in order to allow the old troops to travel here
with 8,000 Italians. The hereditary Duke of Brunswick has
returned from Spain to Germany with much money to levy
reiters for the King of Spain, and is already beginning to do so.
There is a report that when the Hungarian Diet is over, an
Imperial Diet will be held at Augsburg.
The 12 Swiss cantons have sent their deputies to the French
Court to demand payment of 5,000,000 francs due to them, and in
default of payment to renounce the alliances. Perhaps they will
not be so angry.
The King of Navarre has not yet been reinstated in his places.
Very little faith is kept with him, no more than with others. The
Queen of Navarre is to take her journey to the Court about this
M. du Plessis is not going to his Highness. It seems that he has
been forgotten and that they make very little account of his value,
which deserves otherwise. M. des Pruneaux and M. de Trevisan,
secretary of state, govern, as does M. de Villiers with his Excellency,
who also thinks that no difficulty ought to be made about giving up
a church to the papists. In short, it is far from easy to form
a sound judgement on the occurrences of the present time because
people build more on passion than on reason, which makes the
most experienced ready to believe all things, even though beyond
the 'discourse of reason.'
The Scotch are in great trouble in Scotland, being unable to
learn anything of what goes on at your Court ; and in what a
gentleman of those parts, named 'le Sieur de Revan' [? Ruthven]
who is lord Treasurer, writes to some one here, to send him word
what he knows of it, they have been in fear of the English marriage,
saying that it open the way to the ruin of the Religion. They are
desirous to keep on terms with your state, to see what will be the
result of present affairs ; although great offers are made them
from the King of France. They are aiming at the marriage of
their king with the Princess of Navarre. It seems to me that that
country will not long be exempt from internal troubles because of
the proscriptions and banishments passed at the last parliament,
with the seizure of the goods of many of the nobility.
As for these countries, there is still plenty of appearance of
trouble, in which the Prince of Orange will have much to suffer
after all his pains and labours. Count 'Holo' arrived in this
town yesterday, and two days before, Mr Norris and Count William.
That is all for the present.
Please excuse me to the Earl of Leicester that I have not had
time to write to him as I promised when he went away. It will be
for another opportunity.—Antwerp, 4 March 1582.
Add. Endd. Fr. 4 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 42.]
584. JEAN BODIN to WALSINGHAM.
I do not write to you of the entries, dances, and festivities given
for his Highness, knowing that the whole has been described to you
to the life by the very people who saw it all. It is true that his
Highness is not come to enjoy himself (aux nopees) but for war with
a powerful foe. That is why I told him in England that no
conquering prince, elected and called in by the subjects of another,
had ever gone save with a good powerful army, for there is no doubt
but that the enemy will soon besiege the towns, nor that they will
devastate the open country, being masters of it, to stir up the subjects
to rebellion against the new lord, before they have given him
allegiance. And if he has to face the enemy, being the stronger, as
he is generous and bold, he will find it difficult to escape their hands,
who stakes nothing as the price of his victory but some Albanian
But leaving the issue to God, I beseech you, for the sincere
affection I bear to the good and safety of your state, to watch more
than ever over its preservation, since it is as near as it ever was to
inevitable dangers ; of which I again beg you to take care before you
are anticipated.—Antwerp, 5 March 1582.
Add. Endd. Fr. 2/3 p. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 43.]
585. PIETRO BIZARRI to [WALSINGHAM].
Between 2 and 3 o'clock last Sunday afternoon was baptized with
solemn pomp and ceremony the little daughter of the Prince of
Orange. The godfathers were the burgomasters (consuli), colonels,
and magistrates of Antwerp. And because in such cases the
liberality of the magistracy is apt to be limited, a Great Council of
the commons was called, at which the present to be made to his
Excellency was fixed, because otherwise it does not usually exceed
200 guilders ; but if it is to be larger, it will be by the vote and
consent of the commons, called by them Breedenracd. The godmothers
were the widowed Countess Palatine, sister of the Count
of Neuenahr, and the Countess of Neuenahr, who being absent had
two honourable matrons as their proxies. Many nobles attended,
beside the deputies ; also the Count of Laval and M. du Pruneaux.
Afterwards there was a superb banquet.
Here there is just now an attempt to restore the Mass and the
free exercise of the Catholic religion, the Catholics being very
urgent for it. His Highness agrees to it, saying that when he took
the first oath to the States at Bordeaux, if I do not mistake, the
innovation had not taken place which took place subsequently, in
respect of depriving these Catholics of the exercise of their religion,
and he is of opinion that for sundry respects their demand herein
ought to be satisfied. The final decision will soon be known. But
it is held certain that the favour they ask will be granted.
I never thought to live so long as to pass the four years granted
me by her Majesty through your honoured means ; and yet the end
of them is now just coming. Wherefore I again recur to her
boundless kindness and courtesy, in order that a similar favour
may be granted me for the coming four years, in which if I live I
will do the utmost in my power to employ in the perpetual service
of her Majesty and yourself. I therefore send you the original to
be renewed, and when obtained I ask you kindly to give it to Mr
Robert Beale, that he may send it to my Right Reverend Lord of
Salisbury to be registered like the others. This will be reckoned
among the other infinite favours which I hold at your hands
(con V.S.) and I shall always have that lively and grateful remembrance
of it which is fitting, towards one who deserves as much of
me as any person today living.
I hear that in Germany a marriage has been celebrated with
great pomp, and in the presence of many lords, between the Elector
of Saxony's son and the Elector of Brandenburg's daughter. It is
still said for certain that the Imperial Diet at Augsburg has been
proclaimed for April 25 next.
Colonel Norris is recently come here.—Antwerp, 5 March 1582.
Endd. Ital. 1½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 44.]