Elizabeth
March 1582, 16-20

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Institute of Historical Research

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Arthur John Butler (editor)

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1907

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554-571

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'Elizabeth: March 1582, 16-20', Calendar of State Papers Foreign, Elizabeth, Volume 15: 1581-1582 (1907), pp. 554-571. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=73543 Date accessed: 17 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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March 1582, 16-20

March 16. 609. RYHOVE to FREMYN.
I am writing a line to M. des Pruneaux, offering my service as freely as I have written to him ; and to make an entry upon friendship, as we say in our language, this begins with you. I hope that no one will be able to take it from us. I write this back frankly, and such as you requested me. Please instruct my son, who is still inexperienced, that he may present this to M. des Pruneaux and salute him from me. I am writing to his Excellency to take steps on behalf of Count Lamoral of Egmont, which I pray him not to refuse, and if ever a gentleman did anything for a house fallen into decay, I beg you to do what is in your power to prevent it going to ruin. Pray pardon me for this succinct and untidy (maculée) letter. I write in that way, trusting in my friends. I have nothing to write that I could impart to you ; and to put it shortly, affections are increasing day by day, and everyone at Ghent is pining for the arrival of his Highness, our Count of Flanders. The enemy, on the other hand, are spreading in their camp that we shall make a difficulty about receiving him. O what a delusion (abus) ! All those who do not receive him cordially, we are turning them every one out of the town. It is to the profit of his secretaries, because when he comes, they will present petition upon petition to be recalled, and it will come to pass, as the saying is, tel refuse qui après muse.—Ghent, 16 March 1582. (Signed) de la Kethulle. Note by Fremyn : Letter of M. de Rihauve, grand bailiff of Ghent. Add. Endd. in England. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 64.]
March 17. 610. GILPIN to WALSINGHAM.
M. 'd' Alegonde,' as I heard, dealt this week very amply and earnestly with the States-General about her Majesty's satisfaction ; but no resolution thereupon, other than that after the chief causes for the general state of the country ended, it should be further considered and determined. The States of Brabant sent for me on Monday, and after protestations how far they acknowledged themselves bound to her Majesty, insisted instantly that I should receive their parts for the interest past, which had been ready and should be so at each time of payment, but to answer for others was more than they hoped her Majesty would press 'of' them, as a thing most impossible, their present state and want considered. To which I answered 'not to have' any other commission than to receive the whole interest for the year past ; howbeit I would advertise of their request, and should shortly hear further. Assuredly if the parts were taken as they offered, and those unwilling to contribute their portions somewhat dealt with by extraordinary means, it would mean less trouble or alteration and presently procure their conformities. Our company, as I understand by a letter from Mr Governor, have or mean to appoint me to travel to the Diet of Augsburg, there, so far as need may require, to answer their cause against the Hanses. Of this commission I could wish to be discharged, and otherwise employed as occasion might require. Howbeit, as their servant I must obey ; yet I thought good to signify this much to you, that you might command me if in any way I might be able to do you service.—Antwerp, 17 March 1581. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 65.]
March 18. 611. STOKES to WALSINGHAM.
My last to you was the 11th inst. at which time by means of the foul weather few speeches were stirring here ; and yet much less has been stirring this week. This week the enemy lay before Meenen two days with all their camp, making great shows as though they would have laid siege to it. But they found the soldiers there so well disposed to receive them, and also during the time they lay there the Scots issued out two or three times every day and made stout skirmishes against the whole camp to the great loss of the enemy's side ; in such wise that on the third day their camp removed suddenly thence and is gone to a castle belonging to M. de Vendeville called Zouterstey, which those of Ypres hold, standing by a river that goes to Lille, within 3 miles of Loo, a place of importance, 'and' troubles la Motte very much, and keeps Lille from victuals and wood. This castle the enemy have besieged ; there are 150 good soldiers in it, and the place is strong. The Allmans that serve the enemy continue still in their mutiny for their pay. They lie between Tournay and Lille, and will not stir from thence till they have received all their pay. By good advice from Lille, this mutiny has put the enemy 'from beside' some enterprise which they had in hand, greatly to their hinderance and discontent. M. la Motte of Gravelines has made great preparation there and at St. Omer's to lay siege to some town ; and by good advice from those parts, after they have taken the castle of Zouterstee, it seems they will come to Dunkirk, therefore the Four Members of Flanders have sent thither 3 ensigns of French that lay here in this town, and one ensign of Flemings that lay at Damene, so that there will be 10 ensign of good foot and one cornet of horse, beside the burghers in the town. The enemy's great hasty preparations and stout dealings make them half in doubt of their estate here in Flanders ; and they fear the more, because it seems it will be yet four or five months before they have aid to any purpose from France. So it seems their hope and trust is to have sooner some aid of 3,000 or 4,000 men from England, or else it will not go well with them. The day after the enemy's camp departed from Meenen, the Scots went out with 50 lances from thence as far as Tournay, and there within half a mile of the town they took a messenger with the Prince of Parma's packet going to the enemy's camp, to the Marquis of Risbourg ; wherein he wrote that though the Allmans had not 'used themselves' well, they shall be contented within five or six days, and then they shall be sent to the camp. Further he wrote him that he was sure the States were not able to impeach his enterprise by no manner of means, and that he should have the rest of his necessaries with all possible speed. Upon the grant of the 'religious frede' at Antwerp, the Catholics in Ghent began to use some stout speeches, as though they would make suit to his Highness at his coming thither, for the like. When these speeches came to the magistrates' ears, they sought out the principal talkers hereof, and also some others that said they would take no oath to him, and banished them altogether from the town, about 200 in all.—Bruges, 18 May 1581. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 66.]
March 18. 612. FREMYN to WALSINGHAM.
I wrote my last to you on the 11th inst. Since then the enemy has made a show of besieging Dunkirk. It is held that it is already invested, since all the necessary gear had already been made ready at Gravelines, where they say there are 30 pieces of artillery, intended to batter it. His Highness has sent Col. Chamois with his regiment to enter the place, where Admiral Treslong will be in command. He has assured them that he has 6 months' provisions in the town. His Highness has the preservation of the fortresses greatly at heart, seing that if there were any default therein now he is come, strange things would be said of him. The Prince Dauphin is not yet gone, but it will be soon. He will be his Highness's lieutenant-general in the army which is being raised in France ; to which end a good many gentlemen of his Highness's train are setting out for France to make their levy. The Prince of Parma is at Tournay, with most of the gentlemen of his party, except the Marquis of Risbourg and la Motte, who are at the camp. Mr Étienne Lesieur, whom you dispatched on the business of Mr Daniel Rogers, is here ; who arrived yesterday from those countries, and is writing to you at length about it. The Prince of Parma and the Malcontents do not attach much importance to the reception of his Highness when they speak of it openly, but think much of the forces the King of Spain is sending hither. His Highness and his Excellency will soon show them that they are reckoning without their hosts, provided that things go [voisent] forward, as they are planned. His Excellency is employing all his means to provide this. The deputies of Friesland and Guelderland united with the rest of the generality for the reception of his Highness, and the oaths taken reciprocally, one to the other ; it being understood that there is to be no exercise of the Roman religion in their provinces at present, except as may be hereafter decided in the assembly of the States-General. The mass was first said last Friday at St. Michael's, where his Highness appeared. They have sent to Brussels to have a church for the Catholics. Theron was the messenger, but did not do much. They answered that when his Highness was there, they would consider ; which will not be so soon as with an army (?) As for the other provinces, he is not asking there for any exercise for the papists, knowing well that it would be the way to spoil everything. Meanwhile he sees affairs going along slowly, when there has been talk of the facts and the re-establishment of religion's-vrede ; which is why nothing more is said of that. His Highness has sent 10,000 florins from his own purse to the soldiers at Bruges. For the little diligence shown here in obtaining money, or if they go often to his purse, it will soon be exhausted ; and the people here find it very pleasant not to put their hand into theirs. His Highness's establishment is not yet settled, neither his household nor his Council ; it will be seen that they will be French. It appears too that his Highness may send M. du Plessis to the Imperial Diet about to be held at Augsburg. These are ruinous commissions, but he is a wise and honourable gentleman, who well knows how to discharge what he undertakes. He goes at present to Court, where his Highness gives him a good reception, but to tell the truth he does not go very often unless he is sent for, or has some thing to do for the public good. They are trying (on est après pour) to get Count Egmont set free in exchange for M. de Turenne and the Count of Ventadour, his nephew ; and they are giving to M. de la Noue, to set him free, M. de Champagny and M. de Selles, who is at Rammekens, provided that the Ghent people let M. de Champagny follow to the castle of Rammekens. M. de Teligny, M. de la Noue's son, is prosecuting this matter strenuously. His Highness has pacified and settled all the quarrels that there were at Court in such wise that everybody is content. He will start for Ghent at the end of this month. The garrison of Meenen has taken a lot of prisoners from the enemy, including two bishops and some principal commanders of Albanians.—Antwerp, 18 March 1582. Add. (in English). Endd. Fr. 2½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 67.]
March 18. 613. HERLE to BURGHLEY.
I wrote to you by these late posts five or six letters, wherein were contained sundry advertisements and papers of collections, which I hope will not mislike you, nor leave unexpressed my desire to serve you. But as the season has been, the posts are as yet detained on this side, with the 'troublesomst' weather that has been here these 40 years, and with a continual contrary wind, which has hindered many things, and cast away above 30 'sail of ships' here in Holland, and broken down the dykes and walls of the country, and therewith Monsieur's arms, that were fastened at the quay-gate of this town, and with the violence of their separation from the place they were tied to, brought with them a great part of King Philip's crown and 'armorye' which were directly under the scutcheon of Monsieur's arms. 'Consequently' have been seen fearful bloody and fiery impressions in the air in the nighttime, which has ministered matter of much speech here, both of apprehension in some, and of calculation in others, what those tokens may portend to Monsieur and the King of Spain by way of ill presage. Since that time, Monsieur has made his propositions to the States-General. I send enclosed the copy of his oration to that effect. Touching the articles that were delivered with it, I am not sure at this instant to have them time enough to enclose with this letter, for some scruple that is made in the delivering of them ; but by Monday noon I shall not fail of them, or to send them to you. Meanwhile the articles in general 'subsist' of these points :—
First, Monsieur requires the maintenance of the 'Religions Frede,' the restitution of justice, the establishment, with sufficient persons fit and able thereto, of the three Councils, viz. : that of State, the Secret Council, and that of the Finances, with the Chamber of Accounts and Aids 'appendent' thereunto. Fourthly [sic], that prompt and speedy means be found to levy men, to provide munition, and to appoint the order that shall be convenient for resisting the enemy. Fifthly, that whereas they are agreed to contribute 300,000 guilders monthly for the charges of the wars, they will set down when and how that sum shall be 'answered.' Sixthly, that a sufficient able man be chosen to be treasurer, to be answerable for the said contribution, in order that meaner officers may not consume it while it is in their custody, by their multitude and 'lowsnes' [qy. looseness]. Lastly, that it be declared and set down what the authority is of the colonels of this town and how they may be limited. This point proceeds from the Prince of Orange, thereby to make Monsieur beholden to him, and the colonels also. The rest of the points, and of the conclusion to be taken by the States, with their answer to each particular, shall be sent you by the first messenger that comes ; and I pray an answer to my former letters, when they have come to your hands, with as convenient speed as may be. I send you also herewith the occurrents of Italy, which are delivered me by a person of account, and therewith a minute of Monsieur's entry and 'auguration' here. When it comes out in point, you shall have the first 'draught' that shall be seen of it. If I were rich (as these things cost money) you should have more things : but you will bear with this in the mean time ; for I have no aid here but God and myself, and you best know my ability. Touching the enemy, they raised their camp from 'Ingellmister,' 'Rowssellar' and Iseghem on the 13th inst., burning their cabins, and marching by Corttrick to 'Deddissell' (Dadizeele), a village within two English miles of 'Mennyng.' They had brought part of their cannon from Tournay and Rousselaere to Corttrick, and part also, to the number of 20 pieces, to Gravelines. Meenen is situated upon the river Lys, distant from 'Risselles' (Lille) three leagues, and from Corttrick two ; now very strongly fortified to the landward from the river, but commanded by a hill which discovers their whole rampart and the chief street that leads to it. If the enemy were masters of this town, they had no impediment to stay them from the gates of Ghent. In Meenen are 9 ensigns of Scots and 2 cornets of horse with Captain Seton, with provision of victuals and necessaries for three months. There has been controversy in the enemy's camp between the Walloons and Allmaynes, which occasioned their long stay about 'Rowssler.' Now they are reconciled, and yesterday the Prince was advertised, to his great perplexity and Monsieur's, that they were departed again from 'Deddissell' towards Dunkirk ; but what they will do is not certain as yet, the Prince of Parma being earnestly solicited by la Motte of Gravelines to besiege that place, which obtained, with the little town of Berges St. Wynock which joins near unto it, would exclude all aid of the French by Calais, assure Gravelines, and be a port for the King of Spain to trouble them greatly here, and to draw aid of men and ships out of England. This was foreseen, and advertisement given of a great chain that was made at 'Risselles' to stop the mouth of Dunkirk haven ; whereupon 6 ensigns of French were dispatched thither on Thursday morning, and with him [sic] the Admiral of Zealand, Treslong, who is also Governor of Dunkirk, supplied with things necessary for enduring a siege. Monsieur also took up upon his credit 18,000 crowns here, to be repaid in Paris, whereof he disposed 12,000 towards the expedition of the said 6 ensigns. There are 6 companies of Scots and Walloons in Dunkirk already, and one cornet of horse. The Scots are of Col. Preston's regiment. The chain which is made for the haven will be of no effect, for beside that the late storm has made a larger breach in the mouth of it than the chain is able well to comprise, it has been 'experimented' in Holland that a chain in a narrow river is not able to endure the force of a hoy under sail, much less of a ship that has the 'sea ocean' under foot. Yet it is feared that the town will be lost, and then Monsieur loses his credit here ; and if the enemy follow his victory, a great part will revolt, and Monsieur be driven to provide for his further safety. The enemy has 36 pieces of battery, great provision of munition, and store of baskets to defend the artillery. There are some who think those 8,000 soldiers, 30 great ships, 12 galleys and 2 gallions that are ready at Lisbon, may be employed for Dunkirk, if the Prince of Parma besiege it in earnest. Some others mistrust the preparations in France, under the pretence of helping Don Antonio. Monsieur is practising here secretly with Count de Lalaing and Montigny, to draw them to his part ; using for argument their own reasons whereby they first persuaded him hither, and next the security that they may be in by his and their conjunction, the estimation that will be had of their virtue and persons, the danger they stand in by the coming of the Spaniards and new supplies, the assurance they shall have of the 'Religions vrede,' and to enjoy all such ecclesiastical goods and lands as they are already possessed of, of which, if the Spaniard prevail, they will be wholly deprived, and of the 'premisses' withal. The Prince of Épinoy and his wife, sister to Lalaing and Montigny, are made great instruments herein, and 'largely promised' in case they can work so great a good to the general good of the cause and their country ; which they have undertaken to do, and meantime are much coveted by Monsieur and the Prince of Orange. The winning of these brethren would 'alonely' dissolve the King of Spain's enterprise here, 'expulse' the Prince of Parma, and exclude the entry of the foreign power that is expected ; whereby the aid of France 'would not need,' and they would as little regard England then. Some of judgement suppose that if Lalaing and Montigny be once brought in to join Monsieur in action, this state will become wholly French, which would be a near peril to England, and the fortifying of France and Scotland against us ; whereunto some are prompt to set forward the advantages thereof, and to intimate the same in their negotiations, having already conceived hardly of us, and desiring but the means to cry quittance. Therefore it is wished by those who 'counterpays' things, that Lalaing and Montigny might remain in the state they do, to serve as instruments of Spain ; to draw the wars only in length, for the good of the soldiers and the quietness of the neighbourhood. On the other side, if Dunkirk should be lost, the French king will be utterly discouraged from giving any assistance to his brother, being ill-affected already that way ; and then of necessity the Queen of England will be entreated, they say, to 'succour the common peril,' which concerns her as near as them. It is daily confirmed here that the French king disavows all his brother's actions and enterprises, 'renouncing' the aid that is demanded for the establishing of him in these countries. This clears the Queen of England of any conditions and contracts passed with Monsieur, a matter that rejoices some persons of good 'post' here. Du Vray is looked for daily. He left Paris ten days since. Monsieur also reposes great trust in his sister of Navarre's negotiations with the French King for him ; expecting by Neufville to have 'resolution' both that way, and from others of his friends in France. But small hope remains of success from thence ; therefore if matters thrive not here, Monsieur 'makes an estate,' as some near him newly affirm, to return to England, and from thence work his peace with his brother, and ground his further course thereupon ; it being hard they say that the French King will neither suffer his only brother to live in France peaceably in his degree, nor elsewhere to make that advantage of his own assurance and greatness, which argues that there was a snare laid by the French King to have entangled her Majesty with the whole expense, hazard, and envy of the wars. A grant has been made by Monsieur of 12 ships for the service of Don Antonio, with 1,200 mariners from hence. The furniture and charge of them is to be 'answered' at Tercera, but it appears that money must be provided here beforehand for them, otherwise the enterprise will grow cold and vain. The Prince of Orange on Wednesday, at midnight, to terrify the more, sent for the principal merchants of Portugal that are here resident, to be with him the next morning before 7 o'clock ; to whom he exposed in a long speech the justice of Don Antonio's cause, their natural and lawful king, the necessity of their country, now oppressed by their enemies the Spaniards, and their ability here to relieve this by money, whereunto they were bound by duty and nature to supply their parts therein, and to satisfy the expectation of their king, and of the action [qy. nation] general ; otherwise he could not favour nor esteem them as he had done. The merchants having time given them to deliberate, made answer the next day that they were only factors who were resident here, and had no authority to dispose of other men's goods, whose masters, being many, were in Portugal with their wives, families, and substance, under the hands of King Philip, subject to suffer confiscation of all and violence in their persons if they should make but show to aid Don Antonio. It appertained not to them as merchants to decide the titles of kingdoms, but to attend the issue of God's disposition ; at which time they would render good account of their duty and loyalty, either to Don Antonio, or to him that were placed in that seat, with the 'expense' of their goods and bloods. In the meantime they prayed that they might be preserved in this neutrality here ; or if not to have 3 months' respite to retire with their things to a place of security. This answer has satisfied the Prince at present. He was urged to deal with them in this warm manner by Don E. di Crasto, ambassador here for Don Antonio ; a very child. They are now coining new money in gold and silver, bearing Monsieur's arms quartered with those of Brabant. But the Prince and he would 'of new' raise the valuation of the money to 5 per cent more, which our nation, and the rest of the inhabitants here with the foreign merchants, flatly refuse to agree to ; and will rather depart altogether than be subject to such an inconvenience, as has already undone many, and the traffic withal. It is said that the bullion of gold and silver out of which they coin their money was supplied from England. On Thursday it was proclaimed from the Town House that both Protestants and Catholics should abjure the King of Spain and swear to Monsieur. Such of the Catholics as are not yet sworn are kept out of the church that is assigned for mass, till they have performed the order appointed in that behalf. This day Monsieur solemnizes the remembrance of his nativity, having prepared a great banquet of 14 'mess of meat' to entertain the State-General and the magistrates and colonels of this town. There will likewise be running at the ring and quintain, with other 'disports.' The Duchess of Parma is at Namur, smally respected ; Lalaing at Mons, and Montigny with the Prince of Parma, and sometimes in the camp. Villiers's cornet of horse,—who is marshal of the States' camp, brother to 'Hawtyn,'—was overthrown last week by an ambush of the Malcontents ; the cornet taken, the lieutenant and 57 slain, the rest prisoners or dispersed. The uniting of 'Bollduck' to this town, and 'to receive' Monsieur as their sovereign, is still treated of and entertained. Brussels is 'tolerated with' touching the mass, and 'Religions vrede,' since it is a frontier town, and 'has' brought in information to Monsieur by record, that the papists have sought four sundry times since the contract was agreed upon between the States and him, to betray Brussels to the enemy.—Antwerp, 18 March 1581. P.S.—It is reported very credibly that a gallion is arrived at 'Sluice' (?) out of Spain with 500,000 crowns for the service of King Philip's wars in these parts. The Malcontents have had 'a pay' of late made to them. 'Aquisgrane,' that has long been besieged by the Prince of Parma's appointment 'in' cutting off the villages that hold with the town is brought to some extremity ; but the Duke of Bipont has travailed to dissolve the siege, protesting otherwise to the Prince of Parma and to the Duke of Cleves who deals in this matter for him, of the wrong that is done to the Empire thereby, and of the inconveniences that may follow. By reason that the Protestants made themselves masters of the town, the Prince of Parma's 'pretence' of war is grounded thereupon, to remove them from the government and possessions ; for he would not be so 'neighboured.' Add. Endd. by Burghley : Wm. Herle by Anth. Mildmay. 9 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 68.]
March 18. 614. ROSSEL to WALSINGHAM.
The state of things here is that the mass remains restored, to the disgust of honest people, who from such dissimulation can expect nothing but a judgement of God ; as was sufficiently witnessed the day on which it was granted by the horrible influences and agitations of the storms and winds, whirlwinds (tormentes) at sea, never before seen by all the pilots or navigators. Neither papists nor others apprehended the terror of these movements, but were rather hardened. Re-establishment of the mass in the temple of St. Michael, where his Highness took possession the 16th, not without great importunity. During those 'messalic' solicitations, the States-General, irresolutely, some not being authorised, the others not heeding their authorisation, are contending over the establishment of the state, as well the Councils of State, the Privy Council, the Finances, as other orders required, so that military affairs remain unsettled. Those of Guelders yesterday agreed to the union, subject to their authority and privileges. Overyssel and Utrecht did not come. This delay and irresolution makes his Highness deliberate about going to Ghent to receive the oath, and coming near the enemy, who during our disputes say they mean to make some attempt on Dunkirk. His Highness, hoping to make provision for their designs, has sent off M. Chamois to enter that place with 8 French companies, in addition to the 3 of Scotch and 3 of Flemings that are there. He has, by letters of exchange drawn at Paris, found 12,000 crowns to give the troops who have followed him, awaiting the general muster which will be made of all the garrisons in these parts, which should be the 1st April. To this effect have been struck 30,000 marks of silver and 400 of gold, minted with the effigy of his Highness, and the arms of France quartered with those of Brabant up to a million florins ; which will serve to manifest the ducal possession in Brabant. Now it behoves to strike out (forger) other faculties and forces, which, being promised on the king's part, we are awaiting, and without which we shall be ill able to subsist. For against the opinion of many who hoped for a revolt of the Malcontents, they have decided on the contrary to endure the yoke of the Spaniard rather than that of a Frenchman, and have sent the Bishop of Arras and a certain Abbot of St. Ghislain to the King of Spain to let him know that the decision of the disunited provinces is to receive and welcome as many Spaniards as shall seem to him good, against the tyrannical designs of the Prince of Orange, who has brought in the Duke of Alençon as a usurper of the provinces of Brabant, Flanders, &c. To manifest their resolution they have 'broken quarter,' and have executed some prisoners as traitors and disloyal to their natural prince, against law human and divine ; which has so frightened some papists that they have put off making the renunciation ; indeed, later [plustart ; ? plutôt] leave their properties and houses. I cannot tell you anything of the state of the military arrangements, in as much as the principal posts remain suspended. While both the resolution of the States-General is being awaited, and hopes are entertained for France, they continue the defensive. Many are scandalised to see so little expedition and order in affairs. Not perceiving any movement in things, to such purpose that they will have no end save provisionally, one cannot perceive the hope of the King of France's favours, which are awaited from day to day, and which they pretend to perceive by human wisdom ; for my part, I refer it to the divine will. I leave your agents to furnish you with a copy of the proposition, the speech on entry, the reply and rejoinder, part of which I have got for them, as I do not wish to take an advantage of them.— Antwerp, 18 March 1582. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. XV. 69.]
March 19. 615. Two proclamations by Cornelius van Mansdale, undersheriff, the burgomasters, aldermen and council of Antwerp : (1) Calling upon all who had any acquaintance with or knowledge of Jean Jaureguy to give any evidence in their power about him or his accomplices ; (2) Appointing the next day but one as a general fast with prayer for the recovery of the Prince ; no work to be done on pain of a fine of 6 Carolus gulden, half to go to the army and half to the poor. Printed. 2 pp. of a f'cap. sheet. [Ibid. XV. 70.]
March 19. 616. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
At the receiving of your last packet the king was not come to this town. After his return he spent two or three days in his particular devotions ; as going privately, he and the young Queen, sadly apparelled, to the churches to obtain the jubilee and other pardons. So till to-day, Monday, I could not have access to him. Now I have, according to the commands received from you, signified to him how the Queen had been induced to fear he conceived that at my last conference I had required that he should support the whole charges for the enterprises his brother might make in the Low Countries, because his ambassador had been advised from hence to that effect. I was therefore now again commanded to repair to him, to let him know that the Queen sought no further of him than that he would be pleased for the better advancement of Monsieur to defray half the charges for the maintenance of his estate and the defence of those people who have put themselves under his government, and that the States might defray the other moiety ; whereby, the marriage proceeding, her Majesty and her realm should not be overburdened with those great expenses. Upon this the king broke off my speech, and told me that he had the other time, as he did now, very well understood the purpose and meaning I had delivered touching that he should defray only the half, and has not written otherwise to his ambassador of the 'conceit' of my last speech ; to which he said he must answer as he had done heretofore, seeing no cause to alter his resolution, which was that he had promised that after the Queen had made him and his brother so happy 'as the marriage might be accomplished,' he was then to do in all things as much as she should perform on her side. This he desired I would let her know to be his absolute intention. I declared to him that though he should assure the Queen to her contentation that he and the States would disburden her from those charges, yet he might consider how after she has married Monsieur, who is the chief person and enterpriser, the burden would otherwise become very great to her and her realm in respect of the kindness she 'was' to use after her princely manner towards her husband upon all occasions ; as also the nobility and other estates of the realm 'were' to show themselves dutiful to him by employing their persons and goods in his service. So in this manner the realm would be much burdened, and drawn to an extraordinary charge. The king answered that he could not say otherwise than he had formerly 'delivered' to me. Afterwards I further signified to him how the Queen found it very strange he did not like to give assurance for the defraying of his part of the charges before the marriage was accomplished, and she had fastened herself to his brother by an indissoluble pact ; considering those of the Low Countries had now chosen and 'erected' Monsieur to be Duke of Brabant. It was esteemed by all men, though the marriage was not yet accomplished, that he will not suffer his brother's estate to take any decay for 'lack of want' of support ; which being in that sort meant by him, he might justly now before the accomplishment of the marriage assure the Queen that he will bear half the charges of the war, through which act he 'was to' bind his brother exceedingly. He would also take away that great impediment which has so long impeached the effecting of the marriage ; which he might be the more easily induced to, when he remembered that in all marriages the contracts are signed and sealed and assurance given before proceeding to the consummation. He might in this case the rather incline to satisfy the Queen, since all Monsieur's acts and conquests must needs bring him both honour and strength, inasmuch as Monsieur is his subject, and the enterprise to be achieved by the French, his natural vassals. To this he said that when the Queen takes his brother to be her husband, she will enjoy the fruit of all his travail to her contentation and glory ; and when the marriage is consummated, he will consequently bind himself in writing to do as much for Monsieur in all manner of ways as she does for him being her husband. This he said was his resolution ; and thus finding that this negotiation was not pleasing to him, I left off importuning him further, and took my leave. Now I will tell you how according to the advice in your last, on the 14th inst. before the king's return, I visited M. Pinart, to 'accomplish' with him, in respect he had taken pains to cross the seas to the Queen's Court, and done so good office ; delivering honourable reports in such a sort that I said I was bound as her Majesty's minister to come and thank him, and I besought him to continue his honourable disposition. He took occasion to speak of the great satisfaction he had received from her Majesty and the lords ; entering into some discourse how he had negotiated and persuaded her to proceed to the marriage. Of this he found sometimes that Monsieur had very good hope, and at other times he was in despair of it ; but for himself he had not opinion now that it would take place, and verily doubted that Monsieur would not return thither again. Moreover he 'enlarged' to me that Monsieur had sent du Vray to the king to entreat him not only to give the Queen assurance to defray half the charges, but to become fide jussor for the Estates that they and Monsieur should defray the other moiety. To this he told me the king had answered du Vray resolutely that he would not join with the Estates in any manner of way, nor become bound for them to the Queen. So again this other day, du Vray pressing to have his dispatch with his Majesty's further declaration to Monsieur's request, the king wrote to Pinart that the more he considered the matter, and his own affairs, the less willing he found himself to satisfy his brother's request. This letter Pinart showed me ; and in it he was also commanded to persuade du Vray to return, considering Monsieur had sent for him. It was, as I thought, all written with the king's own hand. Of this negotiation of du Vray's concerning that point, which 'intends' that the king should be bound to her Majesty that the Estates should defray their moiety, I never heard, nor was I by du Vray or any other made privy thereto. This request I fear has displeased the king and taken away the opinion of the marriage. M. Pinart further gave me to understand that he carried with him to England full commission to conclude a league offensive and defensive in case the marriage proceeded. If the Queen had accomplished it, or appointed some certain prefixed day, the king would for his part have given assurance for the moiety of the charges. Since his return he has moved the king with many reasons to assure her Majesty that she shall be unburdened of those charges before she passed an indissoluble covenant. Howbeit, finding the king so absolutely bent to do nothing until the marriage be past, he did not write to England, not having the means to give her the satisfaction he desired. Seeing he thus delivered his mind in these affairs, I told him I had received letters whereby it seems that the king has mistaken my last conference ; since it was understood I had declared to him that the Queen required him to defray the whole charges of the war in the Low Countries, as also that she found it strange he did not give security for his part before the marriage were consummated. To the first point he answered that it could not be so taken, because the king and his mother conferred with him at the time, and he perceived by their speeches that I had only dealt as heretofore for half the charges. As for the second point touching the giving of security before the marriage, he wished me to press the king thereon, but he assuredly thought his Majesty would show his determination to be as heretofore declared. I then asked him if there were no other means to induce the king to take away that difficulty as to the defraying of the charges. He said he doubted there was no remedy. I asked him whether, if the Low Countries and Monsieur would be bound to the Queen to defray their moiety, the king would be at once bound to do the rest. He thought not, because he found the king no way inclined to join them in that sort ; but to contract with the Queen in case of marriage. I told him, it was but a thought of my own, and I had no command to deal so far therein ; and he likewise said he would be loth it were known he had spoken so largely. He thought it good to tell the king I had visited him passing by ; to which I consented, begging him to procure that I might have access to the king at his return, which he promised and 'accomplished.' M. Pinart also let me know that Count Brissac was to embark about the 22nd ; but for Don Antonio and Strozzi there was no 'opinion' of their going at present. I have been advertised that the Queen Mother, being pressed by the Pope's nuncio to stay the sending of forces to the Isles of Terceras, answered that if King Philip would leave Portugal in the same state as he found it, withdrawing his forces and means from that realm, she would likewise recall the French who were gone to the Isles ; and will be content to refer her right to be judged by the Pope, if King Philip will consent thereto. Otherwise, as he had entered with forces into Portugal, she meant to take what she could in other places. I send herewith a book treating of Don Antonio's right to Portugal, with the genealogy.—Paris, 19 March 1582 [sic]. Add. and endt. gone. 4 pp. [France VII. 40.]
March 19. 617. ETIENNE LE SIEUR to WALSINGHAM.
I arrived at Tournay on the 27th ult. and found the Prince of Parma there, but could not have access to him to deliver her Majesty's letter until the 6th inst. at which time after verbally declaring to him the purpose of my coming and of the charge I had from her Majesty, and giving him the aforesaid letter, he enquired of me sundry things touching her Majesty and the entertainment of the Duke of Alençon in England, and his journey to the Low Countries, accompanied by several English lords. I answered that I knew almost nothing of any of these things, having been absent. Then, leaving this discourse, he told me that he would read her Majesty's letters, and I should have his answer in a day or two. It came on the 9th, to the effect that to please her Majesty the King of Spain was content that Mr Rogers should be released. Touching the dissatisfaction felt by her Majesty at his long imprisonment, he excused it on the ground that he had not been able to release him without the king's command, which he received a month since. He said some things to me of certain harsh expressions used by her Majesty in the letter which I brought him, which I will omit for the present, until I reach England ; and further said that considering I was not going direct to her Majesty, he would write to her through Don Bernardino de Mendoza. Having finished his remarks, which were on various subjects, I desired to know from him in what manner Mr Rogers would be handed over to me. He answered that it would be without payment of ransom. As for what he had when he was taken, such as money, jewels, clothes, and horses, he had seen nothing of it (and, so far as I could understand from his words, he had no wish to know or hear anything about it). Touching her Majesty's letters, and other papers which he had, they were in Spain, and accordingly out of his power to hand over to me. He added that her Majesty only wrote to him to send her Oratorem. I pointed out that although these particulars were not specified in the letter, nevertheless she understood that he would be liberated and have all his property restored, and such was my commission. But to this they [sic] would never consent, also throwing all expenses on the Queen of England to pay, or on the prisoner ; he refusing totally to do it. On this I argued a little, pointing out to him how inequitable and unjust it was that Mr Rogers being sent from her Majesty to the Emperor and the Princes of the Empire should be robbed on neutral territory and kept prisoner nearly two years. I could get no other satisfaction or reply from him than that Mr Rogers should be handed over to me provided that I found means of satisfying those who had maintained and kept him. To this effect he gave me two letters, one to the Baron of Anholt, the other to Schenk, towards whom I shall with God's help set out in two or three days. I doubt if I shall be able to get Mr Rogers out, owing to the difficulty of the expenses, which will be great. Nevertheless I am going, as much to deliver him from the close prison in which, as I understand, he is languishing, as to learn the total sum. When I know it, I will not fail to advertise you, to know by what means it may be obtained. If her Majesty does not assist him, or write afresh to the Prince of Parma resolutely, saying specifically that Mr Rogers is to be delivered to her without detainment (detènement) for expenses, I do not see how, considering the small amount of his own means—for he has lost much—'nor of' his friends, Mr Rogers is ever to get out ; so that he will finally die of misery and grief in prison unless by your favour her Majesty uses her accustomed benevolence towards him. Therefore I beseech you that at my return to this town I may hear what you wish me to do, whether to go back to England and leave him, or prosecute his liberation in any case, a thing which requires both time and great outlay. When I was at Tournay there came into my hands the little book which I send you. It is publicly sold there, and at Mons, Lille, Douay and Valenciennes. Having read it, I found it, in my simple judgement, to be a thing both false and distorted (contrefaicte), treating in many places prejudicially of the Queen of England. Not knowing if you have seen it, I thought it my duty to send it to you. You can easily judge what it amounts to. I spoke of it to M. d'Assonleville, president of the Council of State, begging him that a thing so invented might be 'reformed.' I was also bold enough to assure him that it had never been made in England, and so was an injustice to her Majesty. He was somewhat abashed and promised to speak of it to his Highness ; who, as he told me, commanded him to find out whence it came. I replied that I believed the author was not very far off, without disguising much. He excused himself somewhat, on the ground that he had never seen it. This time I took my leave, waiting for my dispatch and passport, which I could not get till the following 14th, when I left there, and arrived here the 17th. On the 18th between noon and 1 o'clock a strange rumour arose of the wounding of the Prince of Orange. The details of this I will excuse myself from writing to you, several gentlemen having been there who by this time are on your side, besides that I am sure you will hear it in detail from those who know how it all happened.— Antwerp, 19 March 1582. Add. Endd. Fr. 2½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 71.]
March 20. 618. JOHN NORRIS to WALSINGHAM.
I persuade myself that ill news fly faster than any letters can pass ; yet I could not but advertise you of the villainous treason invented and executed against the Prince of Orange, who on Sunday last, at the castle, retiring from dinner to his chamber, was shot through the cheeks by a Biscayan, who also was presently killed by the Prince's guard and others. He had about him a letter from Paris, dated the 5th inst., two dried toads, and a paper whereon was written Jesus Maria etc. superscribed in Spanish : "To all those that favour this holy enterprise, greeting." Of his confederates and other particulars when we know more you shall be advertised. 'Presently' we had a hot alarm through the city, with great lamentations, and posts dispatched to the cities about to stay all sudden tumults and innovations. The Prince, fearing death, highly commended Monsieur, and the country to his protection. His surgeons as yet find no apparent tokens of death. —March, 1581. Add. Endd. with date. ½ p. [Ibid. XV. 72.]
March 20. 619. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
There is little to advertise other than was in my last dispatch, since the king makes no show that anything is in his mind but his devotions. He seems nowadays to answer some demands, that he cannot grant them, 'for offending' his conscience ; and otherwise he answers, he cannot gratify such requests for fear he should thereby displease God. These words are much noted, because he has not been heretofore accustomed to use such. He has appointed a monastery of Cordeliers behind the Louvre, for the instant beginning of which he has already assigned 50,000 crowns. The king uses a great deal more familiarity and open kindness towards his wife than he has been accustomed. His Majesty seeks to purchase of the King of Navarre the county of Rodez in Rouergue, to bestow on Duke Joyeuse, and buys the county De Vertu in Champagne in like manner to bestow on Épernon. These two dukes, together with the Duke 'Mercury,' are to go to visit the Duke of Lorraine, Madame de Vaudemont, and the Queen's youngest sister, who is promised for wife to M. d'Épernon. This journey they have undertaken upon their promise given to the Duke of Lorraine. They go jointly, lest the one remaining behind might give some cause of jealousy to the other. The king is borrowing of the Count of Retz 5,000 crowns, of the Count of Chàteauvilain 3,000, and of divers others, for the payment of the Swiss. He has now at last consented to create the Count of Retz duke and peer of France. They write that the Queen Mother is on her journey towards 'St. Mesants,' where it is thought within three or four days she is to meet the King of Navarre and his wife, together with the Prince of Condé. The King of Navarre has made divers reconciliations in the countries of Poitou and Saintouge between sundry gentlemen of the one and the other religion who had private quarrel together ; having 'procured' the Prince of Condé to receive into his good grace M. de Ruffec, governor of Angonlême, by whom that prince had been very exceedingly injured. Now lately the King of Navarre and the Prince of Condé, with seven or eight other gentlemen, 'put themselves into a mask,' and went unlooked for to the marriage of a lady of the Religion, who was sometime married to M. de la Ferté, and brought with them prizes for those who would run at the ring ; and after they had had divers courses masked, discovered themselves, to the great 'contentation' of most of the gentlemen of those parts. In this sort the king and prince obtain the good wills of the nobility and gentlemen thereabouts. The Queen Mother, in a conference with la Neufville, lately sent by Monsieur, declared to him that she meant nothing less than to persuade the King of Navarre to come to this Court so long as she saw the king her son possessed with such bad company ; and that she would 'procure' by all means to establish the good intelligence between Monsieur and the King of Navarre. The king has sent for his mother to be here at Easter at the furthest. To content Lavalette, Épernon's brother, the king has displaced from the government of the towns in the marquisate of Saluces, the Count of 'Samphrey,' seneschal of Saluces, and son of the late grand 'esquier' of Savoy. He has besides given Lavalette the inheritance of a town in the marquisate, with 20,000 francs. The king continues to send more than ordinary garrisons into Picardy, who pass daily. And there has been some opinion that he can be content that Marshal de Retz should compound for money with the Prince of Condé for his government there. It is said he has now almost got together his 600,000 crowns to pay the Swiss ; having appointed M. de Fleury, elder brother to M. de Marchaumont, to go as ambassador to them to disburse the money, and take their oath for the continuance of their league and alliance with him. There is going from hence of our papists one Pilcher, who looks asquint with both eyes. He has in his company one Getor, a priest. They both go to bring over money. This other day two papists went hence towards England, one named Clayton, the other Middleton. Both are to be heard of at Mr Gilford's of Sussex. One Page, a professed papist, is gone towards England. Bailly, the steward of the seminary at Rheims, has repaired hither to confer with the nuncio and the Bishop of Glasgow about the publishing of the bull the Pope has granted in favour of the English papists ; a copy of which I send you herewith. I enclose a copy of Morgan of Islington's letter, written in favour of some who are imprisoned in Rome, directed to the Bishop of Ross ; with a note taken out of the Bishop of Ross's letter, directed to Thomas Morgan in Paris.—Paris, 20 March 1581. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [France VII. 41.]