Elizabeth: October 1576, 16-30

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 11, 1575-1577. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1880.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.

'Elizabeth: October 1576, 16-30', in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 11, 1575-1577, (London, 1880) pp. 402-410. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/vol11/pp402-410 [accessed 13 April 2024]


October 1576, 16-30

Oct. 16. 967. The Estates of the Low Countries to Lord Burghley.
Desire his assistance for the bearer, Jacques Horrin, an English merchant dwelling in Antwerp, whom they have sent to treat with the Queen concerning certain of their affairs. Brussels, 16 Oct. 1576. Signed: Cornelius Weellemans.
Add. Endd. Fr. P. ¼.
Oct. 16. 968. The Estates of the Low Countries to the Queen.
They have determined to send over by the Baron D'Aubigny the reasons which have moved them to take up arms, which are to obtain peace and tranquillity for the country, and to restore it if possible to the condition in which it was before these troubles, and to drive out Spaniards and other foreigners. For this end they have taxed themselves and raised money; but the occupation of the citadel makes it difficult to obtain money in Antwerp. They therefore beg that she will cause them to be assisted with 200,000 or 300,000 angels, at fair interest and upon good security.— Brussels, 16 Oct. 1576. Signed: Cornelius Weellemans.
Add. Endd., with seal. Fr. Pp. 1½.
Oct. 17. 969. M. Fremin to Walsingham.
The Estates have given order for their assembly to resist the Spaniards, and also to procure an accord with the Prince of Orange, in order that they may the better drive the common enemies out of the country. As for the surprise of Maestricht, the Almains, who had sworn to be true to the bourgeois, betrayed them and let in the Spaniards, who practised every cruelty on the inhabitants and pillaged them for three days as if the town had been taken by assault. Upon this the people of Liege have mutinied and taken up arms, and taken certain English, saying they were traitors and had an understanding with the Spaniards. The Bishop of Liege has fled, but they have taken one of the sons of M. de Barliament and declared for the States, and it is said that they will besiege Maestricht to be revenged on the Spaniards, who have killed 1,200 or 1,500 persons in cold blood. It is thought that the citadel of Ghent will be taken by the end of the month. There is a "camp volant" marching towards Alost for the States, to which will be joined 15 ensigns of the Prince of Orange; it consists of 10,000 foot and 2,000 horsemen. The Spaniards were never worse hated than they are now. Zericksee and the rest of the island will surrender to the Prince, and Mondragon, who is besieged in St. Martin with 150 Spaniards, is on the point of being captured. Rodas and the governor of the citadel of Antwerp have sent to Count Elfinstein, colonel of the Almains in the town of Antwerp, to know whether he would take part with the Spaniards or the States. The Almains are not much trusted. Last Saturday six or seven cannon shot were fired at the Hotel de Ville and other places in the town, and the bourgeois ordered to bring their arms into the castle, which they flatly refused to do. There are still in the country 56 ensigns of Almains of 300 men each. Before the middle of next month the States will have at least 25,000 infantry, besides cavalry. To-day the money has been cried up two patars in the crown and six in the angel. The Emperor died on the 12th, two days after his son, the King of the Romans, came to him.—Brussels, 17 Oct. 1576. Signed.
Add. Endd., with seal. Fr. Pp. 2.
Oct. 17. 970. M. de Villiers to Walsingham.
Understands that 3,000 harquebussiers and 1,000 horse paid for three months, who have been sent by the Duke, are entering the Low Countries. Those of the country are resolved not to allow them to enter any town of importance.—Middleburg, 17 Oct. 1576. Signed.
Add. Endd., with seal. Fr. P. ¾.
17 Oct. 971. Philip II. to Jeronimo de Rodas.
If his letter of 11th Sept. has miscarried the duplicate shall be now sent. Has received his letters of various dates during the past month, whereby he has understood the extremity that matters in the Low Countries have come to, which has put him to great perplexity and trouble. He is to govern his actions by the instructions contained in his letter of the 11th ult., until the coming of Don John, who sets out shortly with all diligence. He is to advertise him of all that passes, and especially about the siege of the citadel of Ghent, to the succour of which place a private person of the town informs him that Don Alonzo de Vargas and Julian Romero have gone. Commands him to thank them for their services. Touching the finances there are letters sent of 200,000 crowns to be paid sixty days after date by certain persons, whose names he sends to the paymaster Francisco Lexalde, who is to take care of it until the coming of Don John. He is strictly charged not to spend any of the said sum, except great necessity shall arise for the succour of the Spaniards, and the preservation of the castles of Antwerp, Ghent, &c., and then not more than 50,000 crowns are to be expended. As for the sum of 2,000 crowns which he wrote about, Rodas is to take it up at the best price he can get there and the King will command that it be paid.—Pardo, 17 Oct.
Copy in Span.
Oct. 17. 972. Philip II. to Rodas.
Translation in French of his letter of this date.
Endd. Pp. 22/3.
973. English translation of the above.
Endd. Pp. 4.
Oct. 18. 974. The Estates of the Low Countries to the Queen.
As she has often expressed her desire to have the Low Countries restored to the condition in which they were in the days of Charles V., they trust that she will not alter her good affection towards them. They have resolved to drive out by force the Spanish soldiery, who still continue in their mutinous extortions and cruelties, which they trust will redound not only to their own advantage but also to that of her Majesty's subjects, as after their expulsion they will be able to return to their free intercourse of traffic. Assures her that this is the reason of their taking up arms, which is not done with any intention of withdrawing from the allegiance of the King of Spain. Beg that she will continue her good will towards them, and not permit them to suffer any injury from her side, and also that she will intercede for them with the King of Spain.—Brussels, 18 Oct. 1576. Signed: Cornelius Weellemans.
Add. Endd., with seal. Fr. Pp. 1½.
Oct. 19. 975. Alexander Hay to Walsingham.
Takes Mr. Thomas Smeton to be a very honest man and well learned, and is sorry that at his being in Scotland he found so slender entertainment and welcoming. There was a rumour that Cessford and his friends, the Kerrs in Teviotdale, would offer their obedience to the King, but it has taken no effect. Cessford has been travailing with the Regent for those of his men who aided Ferniehurst, but has not obtained his suit. The Regent intends to be in Teviotdale at Martinmas to settle such things as are disordered.
P.S. Asks him to deliver certain enclosed letters.—Edinburgh, 19 Oct. 1576. Signed.
Add. Endd. P. 2/3.
Oct. 20. 976. Jeronimo Rodas to Secretary Cayas.
The enemy's fleet coming up the river to Antwerp have been fired on by the citadel and forts. There is great danger of the town being lost. Don Fernando de Toledo has been sent to bring the soldiers from Alost. Maestricht is in danger, and M. de Floyon has gone thither with 300 cavalry and eight ensigns of foot. The Almains are entering the service of the States, and there is likelihood of Zericksee and the Islands passing from the obedience of the King.—Antwerp, 20 Oct. 1576.
Jeronimo Rodas to Philip II.
The two campanies of Baron Fransberg's Almains who were at Tillemont have been disarmed and their weapons placed in the town hall, and it is said they have sworn to serve the States, or at least not to serve against them. In Tillemont all the baggage of the cavalry, which is of great value, has been lost, and Don Alonzo de Vargas has gone to recover it. From Brussels they write that the Estates General are assembled and that the Duke of Arschot is Governor. It is understood that the Prince of Orange has declared to them who were treating of peace that those of Holland and Zealand would in every event require the exercise of the Calvinist religion, and that the States of Brabant in all their declarations and writings have professed the maintenance of the Catholic faith and the King's authority. Malines has declared for the States and given passage to four companies of Walloons to take possession of the bridge at Wallen three leagues from this town. Julian Romero sallied forth of Lierre last night with cavalry and infantry. There is great pillage everywhere by the soldiers. If his Majesty does not provide some remedy everything will go to perdition. Seven large cannon have been brought from Bergen to the citadel, but they have been unable to withdraw the artillery from the islands as the enemy have many vessels which keep the passages. The whole country is in revolt.— Citadel of Antwerp, 20 Oct. 1576.
P.S. The enemy's vessels lie close to the town without any resistance being offered to them.
Endd. "Two letters of Hieronimo Rodas written unto the King of Spain his secretary the 20 Oct. 1576 and intercepted with another written unto the King himself the same time."
Span. Pp. 6.
Oct. 24. 978. Ivan Basilovitz to Queen Elizabeth.
Recapitulates the visits of different Englishmen to Russia during the reigns of Edward VI. and Queen Mary and the good treatment and special privileges accorded to them. Complains that in the negotiations conducted by Randolphe in Russia and with his own ambassador Andreas Gregorivitz Saurin in England, "bowrishness" and the affairs of merchants have been preferred to his own princely affairs. Had thought that she had been ruler over her land, but now perceives that other men rule, and not men but boors and merchants, who seek not the weal and honour of their sovereigns but their own profit of merchandise, "and you flow in your maidenly estate like a maid." Will give commandment that all those privileges given aforetime to the English merchants be from this day of none effect.—Moscow. Since the foundation of the world, 7079, 24 Oct.
Endd., 24 Oct. 1576. Brought by Daniel Silvestre. Pp. 5.
Oct. 26. 979. Traffic with Portugal.
Proclamation suspending all arrests of the goods of English and Portuguese merchants trading in Portugal or England for the space of three years, and also charging all subjects not to aid or assist rovers or pirates.
Endd.: 26 Oct. 1576. Pp. 2⅓.
980. Another copy.
Endd. Pp. 22/3.
[Oct. 27.] 981. The Inquisition in Spain.
1. Order established by the Inquisition to be observed by all strangers.
2. "That if any stranger during the time of his abode in Spain shall, either by writing, word, or sign, do or say anything which shall be contrary to their Catholic faith as it is believed, confessed, and taught by the Church of Rome, if it be but in rehearsing those errors which are believed and confessed by those which are departed from the said Catholic faith, or shall treat or dispute of their heresies and errors, or shall wittingly keep any forbidden books or any book of heresies or errors, they shall be proceeded withal upon the penalties which are established by the holy canons." All strangers going into church or meeting the sacrament in the streets are to do that reverence which is used in Spain or be proceeded against by law.
3. The Duke of Alva's declaration to Sir H. Cobham was that though this order was inviolably kept towards all strangers, yet her Majesty's subjects might be assured that for anything committed by them contrary to this order before their coming into Spain they shall not be examined or molested.
4. That they shall not be compelled to go to church, but if they voluntarily go they shall do the above-mentioned reverence to the sacrament, and if they meet it in the streets they shall either kneel down or turn away by some other street or into some house. If any person offending be master or master's mate or officer of a ship which is not their own the goods only of such offenders shall be sequestrated and the ship and the rest of the goods set at liberty.
5. The King of Spain has ratified that the English shall not be examined for anything committed before their coming into Spain. The indulgence respecting reverence to the Host is to be understood only of comers and goers, as those English residing in Spain are to fulfil and do everything as the King's natural subjects. Also that the goods of offenders only shall be sequestrated.
Endd. Pp. 2¼.
Oct. 27. 982. Sir Henry Cobham to Sir Francis Walsingham.
Encloses letters from Secretary Cayas [see July 18], whereby it appears they make short answers for so large and great causes, especially as her Highness wrote so earnestly for the liberty of her good and godly subjects who are imprisoned so cruelly. Has been willing to do the best offices for the preservation of amity, but since neither the Queen's clemency, entreating, or admonishing may move the King to consider of her desires, he trusts that she may be constantly stirred up not to suffer her best subjects thus to be entreated in Spain. Is informed that of late the Englishmen are commanded to repair unto their churches, contrary to the order which was delivered to him. The bearer can inform him what has passed with the King and the Inquisition.—Sutton, 27 Oct. 1576. Signed.
Add. Endd., with seal. P. 1.
Oct. 28. 983. M. de Villiers to Walsingham.
The Emperor died on the 12th inst., which is not a bad thing for this country. The Spaniards have taken Maestricht and cut in pieces the citizens, have sent to levy troops in Germany, and have determined to withdraw three ensigns of Spaniards who were in the little town. They abandon all forts except Antwerp [Lierre] and Maestricht, where they await the coming of Don John. They have not many of the people of the country at their devotion except in Friesland, which they still hold. The Germans are "dubiœ fidei," as they have shown at Maestricht. Don Julian has defeated some ensigns of Walloons who kept the bridge at Wallen. The Spaniards have left Alost and intend to raise the siege of Ghent. Thinks that the French succour will come one by one, but not in troops.—Middleburg, 28 Oct. 1576. Signed.
Add. Endd. Fr. Pp. 1¼.
Oct. 29. 984. The Same to the Same.
Informs him of the intention of his brother Don John to pass through France in disguise, seeing that the principal remedy of affairs consists in his taking the government as quick as possible. If he has not arrived before this letter reaches him he is to lay out 50,000 crowns in the relief of the Spaniards and for the preservation of the citadels of Antwerp, Ghent, Valenciennes, and Utrecht, but in the event of his brother having reached the Low Countries he commands that none of the 200,000 crowns is to be touched. He shall learn from him what shall be done to restore tranquillity, and shall be guided by him in all things, but in order to avoid suspicion it will be well if he sees him as little as possible. Has received no letters since 22 Sept.—Pardo, 29 Oct. 1576.
Copy in Span. Endd. "Intercepted by the States." Pp. 5¾.
985. French translation of the letter of the 29th Oct. Endd. Pp. 1½.
Oct. 29. 986. Treaty with Portugal.
Suspension of all arrests and letters of marque for the period of three years from 15 Nov. 1576, and agreeing to the appointment of commissioners to determine all matters in controversy concerning the mutual traffic between the countries and dominions of the Queen of England and those of the King of Portugal, and also providing for the more effectual suppression of piracy. Signed by Francisco Giraldi and Francis Walsingham.
Lat. Pp. 6.
987. Copy of the above
Lat. Pp. 9.
Oct. 29. 988. Articles between those of the Citadel and those of the Town of Antwerp.
1. The articles appointed for agreement between the Council for the King in the citadel of Antwerp and the Count of Helvenstein and Cornelius Van Enden, colonels of the High Almains, who with nine companies of the regiment of the said Count and four of the said Cornelius have the keeping of the town, by means of Charles Fugger and the Baron of Polwiller, colonels likewise of High Almains, for the better service of the King and the more quietness and safety of the town, be these following:—
2. The two parties reciprocally swear the one to the other to be friends in all that shall be for the King's service, and that the enemies of the one shall be the enemies of the other, and the said colonels bind themselves to disarm the burgesses and bring their weapons into the citadel and, further, not receive any more soldiers into the town. The said Colonel Cornelius is to keep the new town and the Count Helvenstein all the rest, and shall not suffer any of the King's rebels to enter into the town, and in case any shall be at present within, shall cause them to be apprehended, and shall not hinder the Lieutenant and General Sancho de Avila in the execution of their offices. All these premises are to be performed and kept notwithstanding anything that the Council at Brussels may appoint to the contrary.—Antwerp, 29 Oct. 1576. Signed by the contracting parties.
Copy. Endd. Pp. 1½.
[Oct.] 989. Instructions for Don John of Austria.
He is to use his discretion in the matter of the withdrawal of the Spaniards from the Low Countries for a time for the purpose of removing the distrust that is there at present. As there is a strict league between the Prince of Orange and those of Holland and Zealand his exception from the general pardon might hinder the pacification; the cognizance of his deeds may therefore be referred to a Chapter of the Order. As for the citadels of Antwerp and Ghent, Don John may commit them to the charge of trusty persons of the country, taking requisite securities, as it is not practicable to allow those who now hold them to continue therein. He is to acquaint himself thoroughly with all matters relating to the finance, and to keep the accounts of the money sent from Spain and that raised in the country separate, and to look carefully into the expenditure. In order more surely to establish the tranquillity of the Low Countries, if the pardon, without excepting the Prince of Orange, is not found enough, an act shall be prepared under the King's hand and great seal setting out that he is content, at the prayers of his bishops, ecclesiastics, councillors of state, and others, out of his clemency, to forget all past offences and to receive into his grace those of Holland and Zealand on condition of the entire re-establishment of the Roman Catholic religion, and that he will likewise cause restitution to be made of every man's property. All strangers and others who are unwilling to live under the rules of the Church are to be allowed to remove their property or to sell the same, provided it is not to the injury of their heirs, being Catholics. In order to show his confidence and also his intention to govern them according to their own laws and not those of Spain, the King has sent his brother Don John to rule them in all peace and tranquillity, with the assistance of the native born subjects of the country. The King having charged Don John to cause all foreign and Spanish soldiers to withdraw (providing those of Holland and Zealand do the same on their part), the States shall make provision for their payment and also for that of such other troops as shall be necessary for safety of the country, and, being thus satisfied in their desire, it behoves them to do their duty as good Christians and faithful subjects. By these means, the King's authority and the observance of religion being restored, the King may by degrees bring his subjects over to his wishes, and by their aid give the law to his heretic neighbours, who at present have their foot on his neck, and keep up these intestine wars in order to destroy his greatness. For their better assurance Don John is to entertain noblemen and officers of the country about his person. and some companies of Walloons are to be taken into pay to serve in Barbary or Italy. On account of the dissension of Rodas with others of the council he is to be provided for elsewhere. Don John shall also have power to proclaim oblivion for matters past between the States of Brabant and the Council of State. The ecclesiastical benefices shall be open to fit persons of all nations. The King will also write gracious letters to the States and Governors of provinces directing them to continue fidelity in their offices, and to obey Don John. Other matters are committed to the discretion of Don John, who is to set out on his journey with all despatch. As there is great complaint about the annexation of the principal abbeys by the bishops, whereby the abbeys fall into decay and ruin, it will be well to restore them to their former state, and to give the bishops some pensions of 4,000 or 6,000 florins a year. As there are in the Low Country many and rich commanderies of St. John of Jerusalem who are at present under the province of France, whereby the King's subjects derive no benefit from them, it will be well to treat with the Pope and the Grand Master to erect them into a separate province.
Endd.: "Avis du Roy d'Espaigne adjouste au commission donne par Sa Mate au Don Jehan d'Austria." Fr. Pp. 4¼.
990. Another copy.
Endd. Fr. Pp. 52/3.
[Oct.] 991. The Estates of the Low Countries to Philip II.
Protest their loyalty to his Majesty and his House, and complain of the intolerable tyranny of the Spaniards, which has driven them to take up arms in their own defence. They have behaved to them like barbarous conquerors to their vanquished enemies, as is specially shown by that "oultraigeuse et plusque superbe statue" of the Duke of Alva erected in the citadel of Antwerp. They have pillaged his towns and would have sacked Antwerp if they had not been prevented, and have acted in such a mutinous manner that they have infected the soldiers of the country by their example, so that they can see nothing but perpetual revolts and troubles for the people of the country. Remind him how they furnished 40,000,000 for the last war with the French, and also how the Emperor Charles at his departure openly said that he owed his crown to them. Beg that he will not think that they intend any enterprise against his authority. The chief nobles would have gone in person to him, only the remembrance that of those who have recently gone to him none have returned has prevented them.
Endd. Fr. Pp. 9.