639. MAUVISSIÈRE to WALSINGHAM.
You sent me yesterday a big packet from the Queen of Scots, in
which were several letters for her servants in France. There
is one for the Queen, and another for you. I am sending them
to you, that you may if you please present hers to her Majesty,
to know her final decision on the memorial brought by Mr Beste [?]
in order that I may be able to send it to the Queen of Scots, who
protests to me that she asks nothing in the world but to make
ready for death, in the position that she is in with this long
captivity, if her Majesty do not content her with some better treatment,
of which the chief thing would be her own good favour ; and
meanwhile to have M. Nau's passport to go to Scotland, and that of
M. du Ruisseau to come here to give her a statement of her affairs,
and to have some doctors from her Majesty, one of whom might
accompany her to the baths of Buxton in May, for she wishes very
much, if the Queen pleases, to take order for her health. She begs
me to make these requests to the Queen her good sister your mistress,
to whom I beseech you to speak.
Until I can see her Majesty and kiss her fair hands, keep me in
her good grace as her very affectionate servant, who next to the
service of the king my master desire nothing more than her
contentment. I ask you once more, that I may be the less importunate
on behalf of the Queen of Scots, to let me know if her Majesty will
grant these requests, and command the Earl of Shrewsbury to
treat her well, and allow her to take exercise.—London, 1 April
Add. Endd. Fr. [France VII. 45.]
640. ADVERTISEMENTS FROM ANTWERP.
The Prince of Orange was four or five days ago somewhat evil at
ease, for by using his speech too much, some place of the wound
burst out, and so 'moved' blood, which he voided at the mouth.
Since, keeping himself more quiet, he was again better, and so well
amended that there was by the opinion of his doctors and surgeons
no 'doubt' of danger.
But on Saturday last, the Duke having been to visit him (who
missed not one day since the mischance happened), great conference
passing between them, within a while after his Highness departed,
a vein within the mouth fell again a-bleeding, and continued till
one o'clock the next day ; having, as is reported, voided about 4
pound weight of blood, so that his Excellency is very weak, and
'greatly feared' if God in His goodness look not down, and pity
this afflicted people and 'troublesome estate.'
The 'book' of d'Anastro, to whom the intent of his mischief was
first opened, with the black monk that confessed the murder, 'were
both' executed last Wednesday, viz. strangled to death on a scaffold
before the Town House, and afterwards quartered. Their bodies
are set up about the gates of this town, and their heads on the
castle walls. The cashier, with another old man and a maid that
dwelt in d'Anastro's house are still detained in prison, though not
found guilty or privy to the fact.
D'Anastro, as it was thought, took his course to the Malcontents,
and being come to Tournay, the Prince of Parma and others made
evident show of joy for the 'fowll' [qy. full] account they made of
the Prince's death ; and sent a transport to Ghent with letters to
the Four Members there assembled, requiring their obedience to
the king, with promise, if they yielded (the prince being now dead
that moved and continued their disobedience against their sovereign)
they should find favour, with all reasonable satisfaction.
This trumpeter being received into town, and 'demanded,' 'said to
have' no other letter ; but upon search the contrary fell out, and
certain letters were found in his saddle, directed it is said by
d'Anastro to the brothers of his cashier, who was 'seized upon'
and with the trumpeter, for his denial, imprisoned.
The Prince of Parma's letters were by the Four Members sent
hither to his Highness and States, to be considered, and as the
cause might move, answered.
Other like letters were sent to all the towns in Brabant and
Flanders and to all or most of the other United Provinces ; which
are or will be also sent hither.
News are come out of Flanders that the Malcontents took a
strong house, lying on the river between Ypres and Lille, by
composition to detain the captain and officers prisoners, and the
soldiers unarmed with white rods in their hands [sic].
Since this service, they bend their forces in shew to besiege Ypres
and Meenen. But as it seems, to 'rencounter' their success, the
French of Cambray by intelligence surprised a place of more
importance called Lens Nents [sic] which Montigny thought to
have recovered, bringing certain forces thither on the sudden ; but
he was repulsed, and driven, if reports be true, even to the gates of
Dunkirk and Dixmuiden and sundry other places of importance
have received more soldiers for their better garrison.
Last Wednesday Monsieur took his oath in the Assembly-general
for the government of these countries according to the articles of
agreement passed with him, and the States reciprocally to him for
The Prince Dauphin departed this week for France to hasten the
French forces. Others are sent into Germany and Switzerland to
do like offices for men levied in those parts for the services of
Yesterday his Highness began in the General Assembly to 'set
among' them to determine upon the aforesaid letters received from
the Prince of Parma.
Endd. with date. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 86.] (Qy. enclosed
in Gilpin's, No. 641.)
641. HERLE to BURGHLEY.
I enclose copies of the two last letters written to the Earl of
Leicester verbatim, wherein I touch some part of Scottish affairs ;
for I understand his lordship is advertised by some other of as
much as I signify in these letters. But if you will send me speedily
a cipher which shall be peculiar only to her Majesty, I will under
it advertise you of a matter that concerns her crown and person.
Wherefore, with the diligence that is convenient, please send me
the same, and I will discharge the part of a dutiful subject, which
I will seal with my blood. But truly there must be no more
acquainted with the advertisements but her Majesty and you
If you have not the book of the Pacification of Ghent, I will
send you one by the next post ; and will do her Majesty such
further humble service in these Low Countries as shall content her
more than she haply might look for 'at' one of my sort.
The posts of these three last weeks are as yet 'uncome' hither,
by reason of the northeast wind that has blown still against them.
—Bruges, April 1, 1582.
P.S.—The cipher.—Wm. Wade : wherein to interest Mr Secretary
Walsingham's aid, which would bind me infinitely to you and him.
I humbly recommend to you the dispatch of my man thence,
the 'rather' by your favour and goodness.—The King of Denmark.
Mr Cooke takes his journey into France, and with him brings
Ned Gage (?). I have, for the respect I bear to you and to all
yours, 'persuaded' earnestly with him, by the best reasons I
could use, that he should return home to his wife and friends ;
showing him the inconveniences he is otherwise manifestly likely
to come unto, with the consumption of what he has ; for his
charges are extreme and there want not those who draw all that he
has from him.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XV. 87.]
642. HERLE to LEICESTER.
On Sunday night the Prince Dauphin departed from Antwerp by
water to Calais. Monsieur accompanied him to the ship, and was
there affronted by a burgess of the town, who threatened both him
and the French that before it were long they would have a sufficient
revenge of them, using very rude terms beside ; and drew his
sword half out against 'Maryvall,' captain of Monsieur's guard.
The fellow was committed, and some exemplary justice will be done
upon him, for he was not drunk.
The Prince Dauphin will be chief conductor of the army that is to
come. Bellegarde and other captains are to be sent into France in
three or four days, to levy troops. Teligny, who is la Noue's son,
is appointed, with certain French companies, to assist 'Temple' in
Brussels. Ypres has some French ensigns sent to supply them
against the enemy, who is departed thence to Lens, a town between
Arras and Lille, lately surprised by the garrison of Cambray, who
left 16 ensigns of French and Walloons in it ; but it is not guardable.
While they range so far from Cambray, they make that so
much the weaker, aud 'brings danger with it.'
On Monday towards evening the Prince of Orange's wound began
to bleed, at the place where the bullet entered. This did not cease
till midnight, and it is feared that the 'escar' or scurf that is now
separating from the wound, has all this while covered some vein
that was hurt by the bullet ; which is a matter very dangerous how
to be stopped or holpen. Yet we are in good hope that it proceeds
not from the vein, but of some other 'accidence,' in searching the
wound too nearly.
On Tuesday the States-General assembled in the palace, and then
were sworn to Monsieur, to hold him and obey him as their
sovereign, and he in like manner made oath to defend them and
maintain their privileges. And whereas Holland and Zealand
made difficulty hitherto to enter into the oath, they have now agreed
with the rest and made their oath ; yet conditionally, to be comprised
no further therein than as the Pacification of Ghent has limited
them, to which they stand, and are 'referred.' That you may be
better informed how they have compounded for themselves, I send
the book of the said composition of Ghent, to peruse at large.
The same Tuesday morning, a trumpeter came from Ghent, with
letters to Monsieur and the Prince of Orange, declaring that 'Lanyastrey'
the Spaniard was at Tournay with the Prince of Parma,
and that processions with candles were held at Tournay on the self
same Sunday that the Prince was hurt, giving thanks to God for a
singular benefit that His goodness was disposed to bestow on them.
At Mons there were the like prayers and procession made, four days
after, for the Prince's death.
The Prince of Parma wrote by a trumpeter to Ghent, signifying
that by God's high goodness the arch-heretic and traitor, the Prince
of Orange, was 'rid' out of this life ; and therefore that it was now
time for them to return to the obedience of their natural sovereign,
who would receive them in sweetness and benignity to his favour,
even in such degree as they themselves should prescribe ; of which
he assured them on the word of a prince. His trumpeter was
committed, and the letters sent to Monsieur and the Prince of
Orange ; for they had written private letters to sundry, as well at
Bruges and Orange as at Ghent, which will 'procure' that the
trumpeter will be executed.
The Prince of Parma has caused bruits to run among his followers
that the Prince of Orange was slain outright with the bullet, and
the Princess of Épinoy, to save him, was also slain, her husband
hurt, his principal councillors run mad ; both his secretaries fled to
the enemy, and the rest of his people dispersed ; and that both
Monsieur and he were abandoned by the people, who were wholly
in rage and fury against the French.
Monsieur was advertised on Tuesday morning that Bommel and
Venlo were surprised by the enemy by the intelligence they had
with those towns. The Prince of Orange had sent by two ways to
inform them how things were passing and how to avoid the
practices of the enemy. If Bommel be lost, the enemy is master of
the strongest town in the Low Countries, and thereby possesses the
passage of the Rhine, the 'Mose' and the 'Wale,' which meet there
all in one. It is hoped that the taking of Bommel is but a bruit
given out by the enemy. 'Tyellt' [Tiel] which is a neighbour town,
would give itself over if Bommel became the enemy's, and 'Gurkam'
could not hold out long, a place in Holland of great importance,
not far from 'Fyan' and Utrecht.
It is well nigh apparent that the Malcontents will not hearken to
any accord with Monsieur ; for the Count de Lalaing can in no wise
abide the Prince of Orange's greatness. The Viscount of Ghent
will not be 'in place' where his brother the Prince of Épinoy has
either credit or authority. And Montigny, bearing so great sway
with the Prince of Parma as he does, having the charge of all the
infantry, will be loth to change for a worse place and of less gain
and reputation ; being assured that the King of Spain will be
constrained to use him during the wars. Further than with the
'commodity' of the present time, the nobility of this country
'carry no great level' either to posterity or fame, or to future
On Wednesday morning Monsieur commanded public prayer to
be made for the Prince of Orange's health by the Catholics at St.
Michael's church ; which is diversly interpreted of. The same
morning were the cashier and the Jacobin friar, confessor to John
Jaureguy, executed. You shall have their examinations in print
by the next post, and Monsieur's entry into Antwerp by the same.—
Bruges, the last of March, meaning on Monday to return to
P.S.—You must needs be good to Col. Morgan, who truly is a
tall soldier and an honest gentleman, as well inclined to your
service as any that depend on you. If you will allow of his preferment
to a regiment, I find that both Monsieur and the Prince are
well inclined to favour him ; therefore you would do very honourably
to authorise me, by three words in your writing, to solicit
with Monsieur and the Prince his advancement before other young
fellows that are very busy to get charge here, who will do nothing
else but slander the service and nation. And as I know that you
will herein do singular pleasure to the Earl of Pembroke, I am
the bolder to remind you.
P.S. April 1.—The general Mr Norris is well inclined to have
Mr Morgan preferred, for that regiment will also be under his
Bommel and Venlo were preserved by the advertisements that
came from the Prince of Orange, who thereby prevented the
Copy. Endd. by Herle and (incorrectly) in a later hand. 3 pp.
[Ibid. XV. 88.]
643. STOKES to WALSINGHAM.
Last week I sent you three letters, the last bearing date 28 March ;
since which the following speeches have passed in these parts.
By good advices from Tournay and Lille the Prince of Parma
hoped greatly 'of' the death of the Prince of Orange, whereupon
he vaunted much of some victory for his side. But since it has
pleased God to prevent that wicked act of the Spaniard, it has not
only abated his joyful speeches, but has also raised some discontent
among some gentlemen of the enemy's side ; they fearing that the
like might be practised against some of them, so that it is certain
there is some great discontentment grown in their camp.
Upon the hope that the Prince of Parma had that the Prince of
Orange was dead, he wrote letters to every town here in Flanders to
yield and turn to the King of Spain ; and he assured them that the
king would forgive and forget all their offences. When his trumpeter
came to Ghent with these letters, they of Ghent would have hanged
him for his reward, so that he hardly escaped with his life.
Five companies of Frenchmen of M. de Rochepot's regiment
have entered Meenen, and since their coming they have 'feared'
the Allmans that lie between Lille and Meenen very much, so that
they begin to prepare to remove further.
It is 'certain true' that the Frenchmen of Cambray and
Cambrésis have taken Lens in Artois by surprise at one of the gates.
As yet the speech continues that they keep it and if they can will
keep it. Since its taking, it has put some great fear and trouble
into Lille, Arras, and Douay, for no man dares stir out of those
towns, 'but are' taken prisoners.
After the news came to the enemy's camp, they being very busy
preparing to lay siege to Ypres, they sent 6 cornets of horse towards
Lens to see in what order it was ; and there they met with such a
'renconter' of Frenchmen, horse and foot, that few of them returned
back to carry the news, for most were taken and slain. When the
enemy heard this, they left their enterprise on Ypres, and last
Wednesday afternoon departed with their whole force towards Lens.
By letters from Ghent it is said that M. de la Noue, M. le
Vicomte de 'Terine' and M. de Bourleut [Borluyt] of Ghent will
be released for the Count of Egmont, Baron de Selles, and M. de
Champagny.—Bruges, 1 April 1582.
Add. Endd. 1½ pp. [Ibid. XV. 89.]
644. FULKE GREVILLE to WALSINGHAM.
The first of this month I arrived at Antwerp, after a long and
wearisome passage against wind and weather. From my ship I
went 'presently' to his Highness, who was then in council with
the States about a dispatch into all these countries, lest the sudden
bruit of the Prince's extremity should cause some innovation or
mutiny amongst the people. The manner of his extremity grew
thus : upon Saturday the last of March he was visited by the Duke
of Brabant, and many pleasant discourses passed between them,
the Prince speaking much, and showing in himself divers tokens
of health ; but immediately after his Highness departed, one of
those veins which they call renœ jugulares fell 'of' bleeding, and
while physic and physicians were sought for, bled to the quantity
of 4 pounds of blood. In the end, Botallus, searching with his
hands to find the conduit of that issue, 'light' upon it, and with
his finger stopped the course for the time, continuing only that
remedy from hand to hand, till this Sunday at midnight, when, I
know not well by what negligence, the bleeding renewed to the
quantity of one pound more. Since that time they have sought to
sear the vein with powders and 'corsies' ; but for aught I can see,
they prevail little and leave the world less hope of his recovery.
I thought it therefore my duty to advise her Majesty by you of this
unexpected accident, which has hitherto kept me, by the will of his
Highness and the advice of Aldegonde, from the delivery of my
letters and charge to his Excellency. All things else, to the duke
and others, are done according to her Majesty's command ; and I
here hastening my return at the pleasure of his Highness, who
stays me the rather to see a certainty of the Prince's state, which I
think desperate, and the country little better by it.
Your own letters I have delivered, and done all else as you
directed me. I beseech you pardon this scribbled and unorderly
letter, for I delayed so long to write the latest accidents that the
post 'hasteth' me to end sooner than I would. The best is, I hope
shortly to give her Majesty an account myself of what I had in
charge, which was 'nothing so much' as was hoped for ; as I may
guess by the humours I found in this world.—Antwerp, 2 April, at
the shutting of the gates.
Add. Endd. 1¾ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 90.]
645. GILPIN to WALSINGHAM.
I received your letter by Mr 'Greevell' and will according to
direction deal with all carefulness in her Majesty's cause.
They of Holland sent to me this week, offering assurances to
'answer' 6,000 guilders in Holland, if I could take up so much
here. This I showed them I could not do, and so judge they will
'travail' it themselves ; whereof, as of all else touching this cause,
I will enlarge further in the next.
For your favour to grant my petition about receipt of the money,
I must think myself very much beholden, and will endeavour to do
requital. The 'voyage' and business the company mean to send me
about, I could have wished had been committed to another.
The Emperor will be earnest to understand the order of her
Majesty's proceedings with the Hanses, who have made great
complaints with continual suit not only against our company as her
subjects, but of her dealing, as I am sure the Earl of Embden has
more particularly advertised. And therefore in the opinion of
many it is thought it would not be amiss, if you thought so
convenient, and would let me understand her Majesty's pleasure,
what I might say or answer in that behalf, or in any other cause,
wherein my mean endeavour may be found able to do any service
if the necessity should so require. Also to have 'auctentique'
copies of her Highness's decrees passed against the Hanses, with
other like writings more particularly mentioned in my former letter
to Mr Governor. Thus much I am emboldened to write, for at my
last being at the Emperor's and Duke of Saxony's Courts, in
conference with some of his Majesty's and his Excellency's Council,
I found they in a manner looked and desired to have seen such
speeches. Moreover, if I may be so bold—which I will not without
commission—to lay open to them the causes of her Majesty's
dealing, and by the rightfulness thereof with reason to justify it
and confute the untrue allegations, I doubt not but their suit will
take an end, and so neither her Majesty nor her subjects further
complained of [sic]. But insomuch as these causes chiefly touch
her in respect of the 'interest' might [sic] fall to her realm and
subjects if any interdiction of traffic with English commodities into
the Empire should be granted at the meeting, I cease to enter any
further ; craving pardon for my present writing, with request to
understand your mind about the 'premisses,' as also to command
[sic] me whereinsoever my service may be employed in Germany ;
and I will not fail to be careful in accomplishing your directions.
I beseech that if anything be to be done, or letters delivered to any
in those 'higher parts,' I may be used, seeing my 'travail' is
Such news as I can learn, being no great courtier nor enquirer
after them, seeing sundry others who write to you employ their
whole travails therein, are as the enclosed copy makes mention
[qy. No. 640]. I fear worse will follow, the Prince being in great
peril of life, and no hope of recovery without God's singular goodness
and mighty help. Some alteration is to be expected, chiefly
about religion, if exercise of popery is to be pressed further upon
the people who abhor it and fear God's further displeasure for permitting
It is thought that at the meeting at Augsburg the state and
alteration of these countries will be questioned of, with other
matters depending thereon.—Antwerp, 2 April 1582.
P.S.—For such letters as you may have cause to send over hither
if they are in my absence directed to a servant of mine named
Gregory Russell, they will be safely delivered, and the answers, if
any come, returned with care.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. XV. 91.]
646. FREMYN to WALSINGHAM.
I wrote my last on March 25 and on the same day at 3 in the
afternoon, the Prince Dauphin left this town for France accompanied
by his lieutenant, M. de 'Mauraphin' [qy. Marivaux], M. de
Châteauroux, his son, and certain gentlemen, to take steps towards
levying his Highness's army ; which deserves diligence.
On Tuesday the 27th, his Highness took the oath to the States-General,
all the deputies of the United Provinces being present,
except those of Overyssel. It was reciprocated with great joy ; the
articles were read, and the whole ratified by the deputies of Guelders
and all the other provinces who were there.
On Wednesday the 28th, the two 'prisoners of the conspiracy'
were executed in the great market-place before the Town Hall.
They were tied to a wooden stake, strangled, and quartered, to be
put over the gates and on the ramparts of the town. His Excellency
had requested that they should be pardoned, which the magistrates
flatly refused ; and but for his urgency on their behalf, they would
have been dragged by four horses. At the same time the Prince of
Parma sent letters to all the good towns of these parts, in the
certain belief that his Excellency was dead, to induce them to return
with those of Artois and Hainault and receive the same treatment ;
alleging the kindness and clemency of their sovereign, the King of
Spain, and that by the death of the Prince of Orange the bandage
would be taken from their eyes, with a lot of persuasions to the
same effect. Most of the trumpeters were arrested, as at Ghent
and Brussels, for having by an abuse of their duty entered the
towns without sounding their trumpets and brought letters to
private individuals ; one, for instance from Gaspar 'd'Aignastre,'
whose servant shot his Excellency, and who is at Tournay
with the Prince of Parma. He wrote to his cashier's brother,
who is staying at Ghent, where he has some office, that he
thanked God his servant had so much constancy and resolution as
to kill the most wicked man in the world, and regretted that he
had not struck the blow. He to whom this was addressed was
incontinently apprehended, with the trumpeter, and they sent to his
Highness to know what they are to do in the matter, for they had
decided to execute them. The Prince of Parma, hearing the
danger in which his trumpeters were, sent word that if any outrage
was done them, M. de la Noue should be served the same ; so his
Highness ordered that nothing unpleasant should be done to them,
but that they should be detained for some time longer.
They have made a lot of bonfires in Hainault and Artois for his
Excellency's death ; who was going very well of his wound till
about half-past eight on Saturday evening, March 31, when he was
taken with a flux of blood in the wound, from some vein in the
cheek, which they could not stanch. It bled till midnight, and at
five this morning began to bleed again, till eight. They employed
everything to stanch the vein, keeping the finger on the vein for
greater security, with a small piece of lead under the finger. They
hung round his neck certain stones which are said to stanch
blood, which seem to have been useful, inasmuch as he had not
bled since 8 this morning till 8 in the evening, when I was
there. He is very weak ; they are still holding the finger on
the vein, with the little piece of lead. His Excellency, seeing
himself in this danger through the loss of quite 3 pounds of
blood, wrote four lines [? laignes] to his Highness, by M. de
Pruneaux, containing the following : "Your Highness loses today
in me a very faithful and very humble servant. I beseech you to
have this people commended to you, and never to abandon them."
And to the States-General : "Gentlemen, since it pleases God to
call me, I will give Him thanks ; and you may say that you lose a
good friend and servant. I beg and admonish you to hold his
Highness commended, to honour and revere him as it is meet, and
to take counsel with him ; to use diligence in your affairs, and
put an army into the field to subdue the enemy. I am sending to
you M. de Sainte-Aldegonde, whom I commend to you ; he will tell
you the rest."
That is the condition in which his Excellency is today, Sunday,
1st of April. God knows the regret which everyone felt, and
especially his Highness, as for his own father. He sent to enquire
of the Estates, the colonels and captains of the town, and the
magistrates, to know their intention in case God summoned his
Excellency—what they had decided to do. They promised him
not to lose courage although this great accident had befallen them,
but to employ all their resources in his service and that of the
country, and to avenge the injury done to his Excellency ; and this
they forcibly protested. Whereof his Highness received great
contentment, seeing their resolution and good affection towards
On the 2nd inst. which will be tomorrow, those of Guelders will
also take the oath to his Highness in the name of their province, to
bind and unite themselves better together. There remain only
those of Overyssel and Utrecht, who are somewhat tardy (qui font
un peu les longs), preventing the whole thing from being done, and
the one from being incorporated with the others. It is hoped it
will take place about the end of next week. Today all matters of
State and of war should be placed in the hands of his Highness as
Those of Cambray have surprised Lens in Artois and left some
600 soldiers therein and a certain number of horses and munitions
of war ; it is said that the enemy's army is gone to besiege it, which
will serve to amuse him for a time while his Highness is getting his
affairs into order for the outfit of his army, which will go somewhat
slowly for lack of present resources. If the King of France would
declare himself at once, he would do much for his state, for the
good will which the people of these countries have towards his
Highness ; they would freely employ their means to assist him.
And to say the truth, if 'there comes a lack' of his Excellency, his
Highness and the country in general will lose much, for he still
has much need of such a father and adviser for some years to
teach him the humour and state of the country both generally and
in detail. God's will be done ; and if He is pleased to call that
Prince, who is the one and only prince in Christendom for these
countries, it is for their sins, and God grant worse may not come.
There is an enterprise in hand which, for good or bad (en bien
ou en rien), will be executed on Tuesday at dawn. If it comes to
good, the enemy will receive a great loss.
I will not discourse of the lamentations of the Princess of Orange
and the Countess of Schwartzburg, Mademoiselle d'Orange, and
the other daughters and young ladies, as well as all the household.
It is a pitiful thing to see. It seems as if all the world does
nothing but go to and fro to the castle to hear how his Excellency is
going on. God be favourable to him. M. Villiers never leaves him,
nor M. du Plessis for most part of the time, nor M. de Laval very
often. Last Saturday he was doing so well that it is incredible to
see such a change, so joyous was he. There he is, struck down all
in a moment. It is a small thing, the life of men. There are so
many doctors and surgeons that they only hinder each other. If
a healthy (dispost) soldier had received such a wound, and had only
one surgeon, he would have been healed. So many people went to
see his Excellency every day, his Highness especially, with such a
following who all entered the room, that it was disgraceful ; inasmuch
as the breath and the smell of boots and feet, with some people
eating onions and the like—all this is infinitely [sic] to sick or
wounded persons. Nor is it good either for women to be often
near them ; they are dangerous things. His Highness has had two
or three attacks of fever, but now he is well. It came on through
overheating himself at tennis. Orders had been given to settle his
household establishment, that it might be effected when he was
well. His Excellency was Great Chamberlain, the Prince of Épinoy
Grand Master, Count Maurice, his Excellency's son, Grand Equerry,
and until he was old enough for the post, Count Hohenlohe would
do the duties. M. Lamoral d'Egmont was Grand Panetier, M. de
Rinsart captain of the guard of archers about his Highness's person.
Thus the matter stands over, until the result of his Excellency's
wound is seen. If it still takes some time to heal, his Highness
will set out for Ghent to make his entry there. He is wanted there ;
and to say the truth, his Excellency is in danger, and if his Great
Physician is not favourable, it is all up with him. This sudden
change came from the scab of the wound being touched, which has
caused this flow of blood from the internal vein that was damaged.
Since mass has been said at St. Michael's, and it has been
necessary to take the oath to his Highness and abjure the King of
Spain, few persons of quality are found to do it, so that there are
only women and common people who go [voisent] there from the
town. The following form of oath and abjuration was made by his
Highness's preacher, formerly confessor to the Count of Buren, his
Excellency's son who is in Spain. He drew from his bosom what
is here contained, reading it loud and clear : "I swear that I do not
recognise the King of Spain for my sovereign, and that I will
neither obey nor respect him or his adherents, but hold him and
them for enemies ; and that I recognise as Duke of Brabant and
Marquis of the Empire our dread lord Francis, son of France, only
brother of the king, etc. and that I will do to him all that loyal
subjects are bound to do to their rightful lord. I swear further
that I will be loyal to this City of Antwerp and help to defend it
under the obedience of the duke, against the King of Spain and his
adherents, and all other enemies."
His Highness has ordered all the military chiefs who are in this
town to go back to their garrisons, in order to maintain good order
among their soldiers in case anything happens to his Excellency, to
avoid all disturbances.
The messenger not going till Monday, I did not close this. His
Excellency began to bleed again at midnight on Sunday, till 4 a.m.
on Monday. A potential cautery was applied, in the form of a
tent, with vitriol and other drugs, which caused him great pain.
Afterwards he had some good hours' sleep. The blood is stanched,
thank God, provided there be no more bleeding. It is the last
remedy ; the doctors know nothing further to do ; his Excellency is
in the hands of the Great Physician and not of men, and He has
ordered as He would.
Mr Fulke Greville arrived on Sunday evening in this town ; I
have received from him your letter. He will tell you truly how
the matter is going, for there may still be some hope that God will
preserve him. As for himself, he has no thought of despair, but
submits wholly to God.—Antwerp, Monday six in the evening,
2 April 1582.
P.S.—I humbly kiss the Earl of Leicester's hands.
Add. Endd. Fr. 3 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 92.]
647. HERLE to BURGHLEY.
The English post passed through this town on Saturday, but I
did not hear of him till yesternight, for I had ridden into the
country to confer with a lord of these parts. The post left word
that an ambassador from Germany had arrived at Dunkirk, who for
lack of post-horses was constrained to take waggons, and so went
along by the seaside to Sluys, and thence to Flushing ; so that I
suppose he was either yesternight at Antwerp, or will be today.
Mr Secretary Walsingham's man Burnham was in his company.
Yesterday a Frenchman passed by to Antwerp ; one of the four
that wait by partenayge (?) upon Monsieur as captain of 30 archers
I enclose herewith a copy of the articles exhibited to the States
at Monsieur's general proposition.
Tomorrow, by God's leave, I intend to ride to Antwerp, to do the
best service I can to the personage, whatsoever he be, that her
Majesty shall send over ; and so will I continue in the diligence I
am able to yield.
Trelong, Admiral of Zealand and Governor of Dunkirk, gave 10
crowns to one to bring letters to Monsieur and the Prince of
Orange of the arrival of her Majesty's ambassador, and to be therewith
thence before his coming.—Bruges, 2 April 1582.
P.S.—The garrison of Cambray and Cambrésis, to the number
of 400 shot and 400 horse, are keeping Lens, to the siege of which
the Prince of Parma has marched with his whole camp.
Captain 'Brave' is among these 'Dutches' within the town.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 93.]
Enclosed in the above :
648. PETITION to the DUKE OF ANJOU.
(In margin : Exhibited on behalf of his Highness to the States-General
of the United Provinces assembled at Antwerp, on
10 March 1582. Below was written : I being present. (Signed)
Houfflin.) Since your Highness has commanded us to represent and
set down in writing the principal heads touching the re-establishment
of our country, and duty also bids us declare to you what we
understand to be for your service and the country's good, we have
set forth the following points ; humbly beseeching you to examine
them with care, and if you find them suited to the end which you
have set before yourself of delivering this people which has placed
itself in your hands, from the oppression of its enemies and restoring
it to its ancient happiness (bienheurance) and prosperity, to communicate
them to the Estates, in order that without loss of time such
order may be taken as the importance of the matter requires.
1. Now since the re-establishment of this state rests on good
policy, justice, and military discipline, and none of these can be
duly administered without financial resources, which is the sinew
of war, and the good [sic] of all good order and policy, it has often
been considered how the States can proceed in this matter.
2. And as experience has long shown the great inconveniences
which proceed daily from the absence of any Head or Council duly
authorised, this point has been more than once represented and
divers deliberations made. Finally the States by their ordinance
and resolution taken at the 'Recess' of the Hague lawfully
authorised those whom they nominated to the Council of State
to take steps to remedy matters, as appears by the second head of
the instructions which they drew up ; nevertheless for lack of a
sovereign prince to see that the resolutions were carried out, or by
the malice of the times, or the usual oppression of the enemy, which
perhaps hindered the provinces and towns from following the
established order, or for some other cause, this power and authorisation
could never be carried into execution ; which has caused
many great inconveniences.
3. For it resulted from this that the order which they had
resolved to take in regard to the collection and employment of
funds could not be followed, nor the moyens généraux collected
throughout the provinces, with execution against defaulters and no
allowance made (sans aucune connivence), as had at various times
4. Even the monies proceeding both from the moyens généraux
and from other contributions granted or to be granted have not
been placed in a common purse nor into the hands of a treasurer
thereto appointed. Nor have the Council of State had the disposal
of them, nor audited (entendu) the accounts, as was resolved by the
States-General. Similarly they have had no means to exercise the
authority entrusted to them in the matter of retaining or dismissing
soldiers, or giving other orders touching the war ; but the orders
have been given, and the monies employed vary variously, as the
necessity, or the fancy, of individual provinces and towns commanded.
Hence it has happened that it has never been possible
uniformly to settle any system, which has necessarily caused great
5. For this reason we beg you to make a proposal to the States-General,
in order that this may be remedied in future, and that all
similar confusion may be avoided by the establishment of a Council
of State at your side.
6. Further, as we were about to point out to the States-General
that it was requisite as soon as possible to draw up a statement of
the number of soldiers, both foreign and of the country, which they
found suitable for making head against an enemy so powerful as
ours, and having calculated the total amount of their pay, and other
necessary points for the conduct of the war, such as ammunition,
victuals, artillery-trains, pikes (? espies), and other extraordinary
expenses, should take counsel and find means to furnish each
month promptly the necessary money, by assessments or other new
imports, and a suggestion was made to them of certain means which
seems to us expedient for this purpose, we have thought it well to
lay the same point before your Highness as one most needed for
the restoration of affairs, inasmuch as they are getting short of
what is necessary to keep up the armed forces. We beg you
therefore to propose it to the States-General, and with their advice
to take steps to supply the deficiency.
7. To effect this, it seemed to us, under correction, that a general
reckoning ought to be made with all soldiers, and a new order
established, making the best agreement possible with them for the
past, and taking a new road for the future, beginning with the first
of April next.
8. And to augment the resources and supply the aforesaid
deficiency, we have thought of the following points :
9. First, that the list which has been drawn up on the resources
in the way of provisions, including wine, should be carried out by
all the provinces, as it was recently conceived and agreed in
10. Also, that the revenue from shipping (moyens des convoys)
should be first cleared off and discharged, and then raised one-third
more than they have hitherto been. The provinces ought not to
make any great difficulty about this, seeing that in Spain they pay
10 per cent., and at Venice and elsewhere in Italy 14 per cent ;
11. Also that market-tolls shall be raised by one-third, and the
difference employed to the profit of the generality ;
12. And that on every centner of salt 60 or 80 florins shall be
13. Also that in all the United Provinces new money shall be
coined, and that the revenue from it shall be employed to the
general profit, no province applying it to its own use ;
14. Also that the levies ordered on soap (?), wine, and salt,
according to the instructions sent to the provinces, be put into
15. Also that the two pattars on every barrel of beer, ordered
for the ammunition, and the one pattar further for the secret service
be faithfully and carefully collected and employed for the general
16. And since the contributions which used to be drawn from
the country districts remain of no use to the generalty because the
captains of the neighbouring garrisons usually levy them on the
plea of giving letters of immunity to the villages, and are otherwise
dissipated ; they think it convenient that these contributions
be levied for the good of the generalty and the payment of the
soldiers on a general and uniform footing, as you with the advice
of the States may decide, that the military resources may, as the
enemy's practice is, be augmented in this way.
17. Also the shipping-duties (convoys) shall be levied among the
United Provinces, and a Chamber of Aids established.
18. And inasmuch as we see the preparations the enemy is
making to attack and besiege some town, it will be necessary to
set up a 'form of camp,' to maintain it in his teeth (en barbe) ; to
which end those troops may be used who are at present in the
country pending the arrival of other forces. But as it is impossible
to get these together without paying a month's wages to the
infantry, and a month and a half to the cavalry, we have thought
fit to beg you to represent to the States-General that as among
them there are several who have not yet paid their quotas agreed
upon last August in Holland, they would furnish promptly at least
(en tant moins) two months of their quotas, on condition it may be
possible to treat on another footing with the colonels and captains
of the cavalry.
19. We pray you to put these points before the States, so that
speedy and good resolution may be taken, and that the financial
resources necessary for the war being found, the above faults may
be repaired, and war well waged against the enemy.
20. That you would take into your protection the order and
course of justice ; to which end it seems to me expedient that you
should be instant with the Estates to make them as soon as
possible aim at the erection of the Great Council which used to be
at Malines ; or at least increase the number of those already
definitely nominated to the Privy Council, with a declaration from
those provinces which would be willing to recognise a resort to
that Council, and advise as required upon the place of their
residence and the pay for their maintenance.
21. Further, since it is impossible to maintain your Councils, of
State, Privy, and Financial, and their official staffs, and duly avoid
corruptions and abuses without giving them satisfactory yearly
salaries according to reason, to enable them to maintain themselves
honourably and reputably, and that they may not have cause to
resign their positions, be pleased also to bear a hand with the
States that they may find some extraordinary means by which
these officials may receive their yearly pay, whether by a charge on
Church property or otherwise as may be found convenient with the
least damage to the community.
22. Or that the States in pursuance of the promise contained
in Article 4 of the points agreed on with you, will at once so
augment your domains that you may out of them find the pay of
your Councils and other officials ; considering that those domains
are now notoriously so heavily charged that no revenue from them
can be employed in the payment of the officials, some of whom
complain that they are owed 4, 5, or 6 years' pay, without defrauding
fundholders and mortgagees.
23. These points being effected, we hope that with your
authority the three matters mentioned above, policy, justice, and
military discipline will soon be re-established, and the country with
God's help restored to its old flourishing and prosperity.
Copy. Endd. by Herle ; date (2 April) by Burghley. Fr. 5½ pp.
[Holl. and Fl. XV. 94.]
649. HERLE to BURGHLEY.
This morning I dispatched one hence with letters of mine to you
and the Earl of Leicester, by way of Dunkirk. Since that time
letters are come from Antwerp to the magistrates of this town,
which 'import' that the Prince of Orange has a vein broken out
upon him on Saturday night, under the eschar of the wound, that
puts him out of all hope of longer life. The same night he lost
more than 30 ounces of blood. This has greatly amazed and
troubled all honest patriots here, and is the reason that out of zeal
and duty towards her Majesty I send this messenger on purpose
with all possible speed, to signify this heavy accident to her
Majesty and your lordships of the Council, who may the sooner
consider what is necessary on that behalf. According to my late
letter, I was informed of this danger beforehand, and was well nigh
assured by Gaspar the surgeon that he could not escape with life ;
which now proves too true, to the great hazard and confusion of
the countries, if her Majesty do not apply her 'sacred' helpinghand
The Prince of Orange cannot pass above a week at the furthest,
as his physicians and surgeons now judge ; and the enemy is
mighty, having in the field 46 cornets of lances, 20 of carbines, and
15 of 'rutters.' This town trembles already. It has in it 4 ensigns
of English, 5 of French, and 6 of townsmen, a cornet of Scots, and
another of Walloons, very ill furnished and fitted.
I have enclosed herein a copy verbatim of the letter written from
Antwerp by a councillor of this town to the burgomasters and the
rest of the magistrates here, of the state that the Prince of Orange
is in, and of other circumstances fit for her Majesty and your
lordships to peruse and understand ; with the request added thereto
made by the Prince in his own handwriting (though written very
imperfectly) to Sainte-Aldegonde, to deal with the States effectually
and earnestly for submitting themselves to Monsieur's government
in all things against the common enemy, whatsoever God's pleasure
shall be to dispose of him touching this life ; which with tears on
either side was heard and answered.
I would not alter this letter out of its own language of Flemish,
in order that her Majesty and your lordships might behold properly,
in the nature of the cause, what is written about it. Mr Nicasius
will easily turn it into English.
The States-General and Monsieur have altered nothing in the
Council of State touching the displacing or augmenting the persons
of that Council, but have left it in the degree it was, saving that if
any found themselves unwilling or unable to serve longer in it,
they should be dispensed with and other sufficient persons elected
to supply their place. But you will 'conceive more amply' of this
matter by the articles I sent you this morning, exhibited by
Monsieur at the general proposition. But if the Prince die, farewell
all Council and resolution in these parts ; and Monsieur must cast
about to shape a new course, both how to be assisted, and to
provide conveniently for his own security.
The said Monsieur had some fits of an ague, which proceeds in
my opinion not without the effect of melancholy, wherewith his
mind is possessed in this doubtful state of things. The Chevalier
Breton is come from France to him.
Four cornets of horse that lay at Eccloo, of the French and
other nations, with certain ensigns of foot, have passed over the
Scheldt above Antwerp, by command to do some secret exploit in
Brabant against the enemy.
The chief thing, next to the advertisement of the state the Prince
of Orange is in, is that I humbly and earnestly for her Majesty's
service recommend to her and your lordships again the offer that
Paul Buys made about the devotion that is borne to her by Holland
and Zealand, and of the 'interest' and assurance that she and her
state may have thereby which requires some convenient and speedy
answer. I was assured in secret by Paul Buys on Wednesday at
my coming from Antwerp, that both those countries with their
towns and navy would range themselves under what degree her
Majesty pleased, which he will not have spoken of but to her and
your Lordships, by my only negotiation herein. And seeing that
you know the importance of these places, the strength and wealth
of them, with the necessity of the present time and occasions, which
it concerns England chiefly to look to, it is a means to bridle the
King of Spain by them, and to counterpoise the French, if they
should exceed limits by the French king's interposition in the
action. And her Majesty—under pardon I humbly speak it—may
deal with those two provinces without offence to Monsieur, or
hindrance of league with Sp : [sic ; qy. France] ; seeing that those
provinces have in a sort reserved themselves within the compass of
the Pacification of Ghent, standing therefore in a manner upon
The King of Denmark would herewith be stayed from proceeding
over-hastily with Spain, and her Majesty would have the keys in
her own hands, to open and shut, and to assure herself and her
friends from the forces and practices that are on foot in these
dangerous seasons ; for the King of Spain will set up his rest this
year to annoy these countries, their well-willers and adherents.
This I humbly lay before your lordships, and pray an answer to
this letter, with the dispatch of this bearer, and of him that I sent
with my letters of the 20 and 21 ult.—Bruges, 2 April 1582.
P.S.—If the Prince of Orange die at this instant, then is there
a 'grip' opened again to win Lalaing and Montigny to Monsieur,
unless they shall fear to join themselves with a declining divided
Add. Endd. 2½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 95.]
Enclosed in the above :
650. Extract from a letter sent from Antwerp to the magistrates
We cannot omit to advertise you of the indisposition of his
Excellency imparted to us today by Heer van Sainte-Aldegonde,
who pursuant to his Excellency's wishes coming into our assembly
with weeping, besought us that the States would always remain in
union with his Highness, in the event of God's being pleased
to do His will with himself ; of which there seems a great appearance,
owing to the great alteration and debility that supervened
yesterday evening through the bursting of a vein, whereby better
than 30 ounces of blood were lost. And to hinder all the inconveniences
which might come about through his decease with the
flattering promises of the enemy, it was found advisable to write to
all the provinces and all the garrisons, to the end they should be
willing to remain on this side, and be subject to his Highness as
prince of the country, and on this behalf make everywhere some
payment, so far as it was possible.
Heer van Sainte-Aldegonde was also begged on the part of the
States to thank his Excellency highly for his benefits and the great
care that he has always shown, and still does, for the furtherance
of the common cause, the welfare of the country, and its freedom,
which the States collectively and individually can never fail to
recognise towards his successors and posterity.
We could not rightly describe the inexpressible grief and dismay
that both his Highness and all good patriots show that they have
in their hearts when they consider the alteration and distress
imminent for the country in the event of his Excellency departing
from this world. May God of His grace direct all things to the
exaltation of His name, and our salvation.—In haste, Antwerp,
1 April 1582. (Signed) Your dutiful comrades, Jn. Wette, J. de
P.S.—Herewith goes a copy of the memorandum of his Excellency
to Heer van Sainte-Aldegonde, that he should make the foregoing
representations to the States-General on his behalf. The original
was so imperfectly written that it was hardly legible. Marked,
Recepta 2 Aprilis.
Copy.—I have a great desire to write to the States about
Monsieur, exhorting them to place themselves cordially and affectionately
at his service, and abide firmly with him ; but I have not
the power. Wherefore I beg you, M. de St. Aldegonde, to be good
enough to represent it to them, and to assure them that this advice
of mine proceeds only from the true affection I bear to them, their
security, and the maintenance of their religion.
Copy. Endd. by Burghley's secretary : M. of the P. of Orange's
letter to Monsr. St. Aldegonde. Flemish. 1¼ pp. Fr. ¼ p.
[Ibid. XV. 96.]
651. STOKES to WALSINGHAM.
My last to you was the 1st inst. since which this morning one is
come to this town from the enemy's camp before Lens, and he says
that all the burghers that were in Lens, both men and women, are
all carried prisoners to Cambray, in order that if the town should
be taken again by the enemy, the Frenchmen who are now in it
might make the better agreement with them, and for that cause they
keep all the burghers prisoners.
Also he says that [? since] his Highness took Cambray they have
made the town strong, and there are in it 400 good horse and as
many good foot, all Frenchmen, and the place is well furnished
with all things needful, saving munition, of which they are but
slenderly provided ; notwithstanding they are determined to keep
it to the last man, in hopes that they will be succoured before they
are driven to extremity, the rather because the town is of such
great importance for his Highness.
Also this man says that he met on Sunday last going to Lens,
that were sent from Lille [sic], six double cannons ; so it is hoped
that town will 'keep the enemy there play' for two or three months.
Those within the town have burnt all the 'sobbarbs' which were
The alteration of the Prince of Orange's good health made the
magistrates and commons very sorrowful. God send them better
news thereof, for it seems he is in great danger.—Bruges, 3 April
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 97.]
652. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
I have received your letter by my nephew, and have sent to
Fontainebleau, to procure access to the king, to which I am at
present waiting an answer. Meantime I find myself so particularly
favoured by you that I may not let this bearer, your nephew, pass
without this dispatch. I intend also to perform incontinently
towards Mr Champernon all that you have commanded ; and
render you my entire thanks for your honourable dealing in the
advancement of my suit. I perceive her Majesty hitherto is pleased
to be as slow in relieving my necessity as I am desirous to do
her agreeable service.
I heard that yesterday 'they three brethren' Guises were in
earnest consultation with their mother, so that she parted from
them with a sad countenance. I am further informed that the
Cardinal of Guise desires to pass, in the company of 'Du Meyne,'
into Italy. But it is conjectured that these dukes are displeased
the enterprise of Geneva did not take effect ; or miscontented that
the king has of late 'delivered some checking words' to their
youngest 'imphe' the Prince of Geneva, and doubting that the two
minions secretly procure the king's ill will towards their youngest
The Queen Mother, finding the swelling of her legs increase, is
persuaded to 'keep a diet' for company at Fontainebleau ; otherwise
she was determined to have repaired hither with her daughter,
who desired earnestly to come to Paris, to 'cheer' with her old
friends the Duchesses of Nevers and Retz, and others. The Dukes
of the Guises, and Nevers, and the Duke of Mercœur, have not yet
been at Fontainebleau, nor seen the Queen of Navarre ; who
inclines herself in all her manner to be agreeable to the king and
the Dukes of Joyeuse and Épernon. I cannot tell what compliments
to deliver in her Majesty's name, because I am not directed
upon what I wrote of it in the dispatch last sent by John de Vigues.
I have caused the king to be 'moved' for the buying of Sir
Christo : [sic] Drake's diamond, and the 'patron' in lead was shown
him ; but he is out of the humour to hearken to jewels. Notwithstanding,
I shall assay otherwise to do what may be done in these
parts ; which accomplished I will return the pattern.
After I had written thus much, order is come that the king's
pleasure is I should have access to him tomorrow, because next
day he enters into his diet ; therefore I depart thither incontinently.
—Paris, 3 April 1582.
Add. Endt. gone. 2 pp. [France VII. 46.]
653. — to WALSINGHAM.
It was no little marvel to see no letter from you to me, as if a
man had been unknown. Write I will no more, but well I will wish
to you and yours. The great Prior of England, 'L. Shelle calid,' is
in the Inquisition, and Dr Wendon ; for your matters in England.
Accusando illustres viros, suo nomine famam quærere. But if I may
say Bos lapsus fortius figit pedem, I would do you good, as I have
always done. Write I will no more, as I said ; but I could wish that
you sent hither another man of good wisdom that can do what has to
be done. It 'stands you upon ;' say that you have had warning.—
Paris, this 4th of April. I mean to depart except I see other
Same hand as No. 349. Add. in Italian. Endd. : 5 April 1582.
Secret advertisements. 1 p. [Ibid. VII. 47.]
654. JOHN NORRIS to WALSINGHAM.
I am glad that I have so good occasion to 'discharge myself to'
write at large of our occurrents, by Mr Greville, who can sufficiently
report both the 'accidents' of the Prince's hurt, and also the
proceedings of Monsieur. Notwithstanding, when occasion is
presented of any other news, I will not fail to impart it to you.—
3 April 1582.
Add. Endd. ½ p. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 98.]
655. FREMYN to WALSINGHAM.
I wrote my last to you by way of Mr Gilpin, who forgot to give
it to the post with his own. He has now handed it to Mr Greville.
As for what has happened since ; his Excellency begins to do
well, thank God. He slept 5 hours last night, and now goes on
improving. He does not bleed any more ; provided that he
continues to remain so, he will be healed of his wound in 10 days,
though he will not be strong (fortifié) for 20 or 30.
This day the States of Guelders took the oath to his Highness in
presence of all the States. They have further requested his
Highness and the States, that in the event of his going to France
for any business that may arise, his Excellency may remain
as his lieutenant-general in all these countries ; which was
granted by his Highness with the agreement (agréation) of
the States. The States-General have further promised his
Highness the sum of 250,000 florins a month to carry on the
war. They will be duly paid. This is more than was promised
by Article 18 of the treaty ; and they are taking steps to
find the money. It remains for his Highness to get to work on
his side. His Excellency's wound has now made the States-General
wake up, and they see that it is time to get along in earnest with
their business. They have at present a good opinion of his
Highness, and do him all honour. Ten days ago as he was going
along the street, a burgher of this town said 'Look at that bougre
of a French traitor ;' whereupon he was arrested, and whipped
before the gate of the Court, and before the Town House, and
banished for four years. But for his Highness begging for him,
they would have cut off his head.
His Excellency made no more account of living, but was prepared
to go to God. He had taken leave of everyone.
Several French gentlemen are starting for France tomorrow ;
M. de Bellegarde, la Ferté, and others. For the rest I refer you to
Mr Greville.—Antwerp, 'this 3rd, six o'clock in the evening, of
April' 1582. (Signed in full : C. Fremin.)
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. XV. 99.]
656. SAINTE-ALDEGONDE to WALSINGHAM.
I received your letter, which served as testimony of what needed
none, namely the good affection which you bear and always have
borne to the justice of our cause. This makes me highly esteem
your regret of our common grief, caused by this unhappy assassination
perpetrated on the person of the Prince of Orange, which would
have moved stones, let alone Christian hearts. Nevertheless, we
who stay ourselves on God's providence have matter to console ourselves,
not only in the general consideration of the righteousness and
equity of all His actions and judgements, even though incomprehensible
to us, but also that we have in the business in question received
many particular evidences of His care for His own, and of His kindness
even amid afflictions and scourges. For we cannot deny that if
this had happened in the evening, when his Highness had prepared
a feast—it being his birthday—we should have fallen into great
inconveniences and mishaps. In another direction, by so quickly
revealing to us the origin and foundation of this conspiracy, He
has surely shown us great proof of His goodness. And afterwards,
from the first day of the injury to the fourteenth, the wound and
the symptoms continued to improve. It is true that on the
fourteenth a vein opened, which by a great hemorrhage caused a
great danger, inasmuch as it was again repeated all that night and
the next day, and the night following, until we all nearly despaired
of his life. But since the doctors applied a potential cautery, the
flow of blood has been stayed till now, and we hope that it will
continue to be so, and give us greater hope of his healing ; whereof
the doctors and surgeons have conceived a very good part [sic],
although there is still danger. But God guides all, and we must
refer all to His providence ; and pray Him to give us what is for
As for Mr Gilpin's matter I did what I could. Since then he has
not applied to me, notwithstanding that such was our resolution.
I will not fail to give him all the help in my power. You will have
heard of the taking of Lens in Artois by his Highness's people, and
that the enemy is for besieging it.—Antwerp, 4 April 1582.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 100.]
657. 'NEMO' to RANDOLPH.
To your letter of the date 26th February, which I received the
10th of March, I made answer immediately after receipt of it, and
I believe ere now you have seen the same (samming), therefore I
depend upon your answer concerning the contents of my letter to be
sent to such place as is therein contained. After writing it, I intended
to wait at Tours, but finding it very quiet, and all my acquaintance
absent, I 'took purpose' to pass to Poitou, where Tau and Nequam
were lying ; one at 'Mirbo' [Mirebeau], the other at Saint
Miexent, but 7 leagues distant. There I tarried till I saw their
meeting, which was the 25th ult. Great travail and fair promises
were made to have persuaded him to Paris, but in vain. Finally
she departed not well contented, taking with her the queen her
daughter. While Tau lay waiting upon this conference, 14 ensigns
of infantry passed by the town where he was, and remained the
space of eight days within four leagues 'to' him, directly betwixt
him and Gascony. Without question they had some purpose which
they could not execute, because Tau was so well accompanied.
Since then these companies have entered Bordeaux, as though they
would embark for the voyage of Portugal. The 'lifting' of so
many men-of-war, and the uncertainty of the cause of it, and the
great craft that has been used to entrap Tau at this late negotiation,
together with the shooting of the Prince of Orange, has made
Tau with his associates to have greater diffidence 'nor' before ;
whereof there appears nothing to follow but open hostility among
The king is lying at Dollenville, awaiting the return of his
mother ; where tomorrow by God's grace I mind to be, because the
Prince Dauphin is this day arrived from Flanders, and ridden in
post towards the king.
The horse of which I wrote long since, which Alpha should have
sent to Scotland, are this day 'sortit' out of this town for that
It was a great 'adventure' that your messenger found me here,
because I was but arrived from Poitou the night before. Therefore
let your answer be sent where I wrote in my other letter and to no
other part. I will look for it with all diligence. My own particular
affairs I commit to your own discretion.—Paris, 5 April 1582.
P.S.—I am informed that some Scottish ships are come to
Dieppe, in which I am assured that Phocas has written for me
again ; therefore my answer 'would' have the greater expedition.
Add. Endd. by L. Tomson : To Mr Randolph, from N. Scottish.
1 p. [France VII. 48.]