Elizabeth: November 1577, 1-10

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 12, 1577-78. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1901.

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, 'Elizabeth: November 1577, 1-10', in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 12, 1577-78, (London, 1901) pp. 300-318. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/vol12/pp300-318 [accessed 30 May 2024].

. "Elizabeth: November 1577, 1-10", in Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 12, 1577-78, (London, 1901) 300-318. British History Online, accessed May 30, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/vol12/pp300-318.

. "Elizabeth: November 1577, 1-10", Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 12, 1577-78, (London, 1901). 300-318. British History Online. Web. 30 May 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/foreign/vol12/pp300-318.

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November 1577, 1-10

Early in Nov. 398. NOTES on the AFFAIRS of the LOW COUNTRIES.
Consideration to be had of these things following :
The state of the Low Countries ; wherein is to be considered the present war begun betwixt Don John of Austria and the States of the Low Countries ; Don John's forces 'consist' upon the King of Spain's proper subjects, as well as of such as are separated from the States, as Count Mansfeld, Count de Reus, Barlemont, Meghem, Hierges, with many barons, as de Lyck, de Vann, and such like ; and the rest of Luxemburg, the country of Burgundy ; and he is expecting Spaniards and Italians ; He is to have aid from Almayne, from Archduke Ferdinando, from the Duke of Bavier, and sundry others ; He is also most likely to have the aid of the Duke of Guise, and of many Frenchmen with the French King's sufferance. The strength of the Estates consists of such noblemen and religious as hate the Spanish government, and of the towns, and vulgar people. And the weakness of them ariseth in that they lack good chieftains, ready money to pay their soldiers, and specially for that they are not assured of one another, but subject to be alienated from the common cause by fear of success, by corruption of promotions to office, by sowing among them a dislike to the Prince of Orange, their principal head, for cause of religion, whereby the Bishops, Abbots, and all religious Papists are easily led to betray their own estates, with assurances of pardon by the Pope's means. A Conclusion what is meet to be done by the States. The Prince and the States which persist in defence of the country would be speedily dealt with to understand these things following :
[Then follow the series of questions given, with Davison's answers, below, under Nov. 23 (No. 455).] Memorandum in Lord Burghley's hand. Endd. by L. Tomson : Threa. Not. for Mr. Dav., and in another and later hand. 3 pp. [Ibid. 84.]
Nov. 1. 399. The ARCHDUKE MATTHIAS to the ESTATES.
Having reached this town under the escort of your envoys, we would not fail to advertise you thereof, awaiting your further instructions. Our intention is to conduct ourselves in such sort that God and men may be satisfied with our actions. Our only desire is to labour for the common weal, to everyone's contentment, whereinsoever it may please you to employ us, in all things conformably to good counsel, as we have already declared to your envoys, and are desirous to show in effect. We have also written specially to the Prince of Orange, since he was not in your assembly ; and we should have done the like to the Duke of Aerschot, but for the change that has intervened in the city of Ghent. As we hear that the Count of Lalaing is at Brussels, we beg that this letter may be taken as being to him also.—Lierre, 1 Nov. 1577. Copy. Endd. Fr. ½ p. [Ibid. 85.]
Nov. 2. 400. WALSINGHAM to ROGERS.
Her Majesty greatly repents her sending into Germany, seeing so little fruit to follow of the care she has taken to draw the princes that make profession of the Gospel to knit themselves in some kind of association against the common enemies of the religion ; who, I fear, if God break not their intention, have already concluded very bloody and cruel leagues against us. It is great pity there are so few Casimirs in Germany ; who, I fear, in spite of his devotion to prosecute all good causes, will be entertained by such ill practices as his brother can devise to hinder him. Inform yourself before your departure how he will be able to withstand his brother, in case he shall be drawn to dispossess him of such territory as was bequeathed him by his father ; also what stay he means to take with his things in Germany, in case he is employed either in France or Flanders, for it is to be doubted that his brother will deal with him unbrotherly in his absence. I pray God the Landgrave be as fast a friend as he pretends. His answer to the proposed league seems, in my opinion, to be very cold. He seems to lean too much to the Duke of Saxony, in respect of the ancient league between him, Wirtenberg, and 'Saxon.' You will, I doubt not, inform yourself of such things touching the state of the country as are necessary for her Majesty to know. I send by this bearer 50l., for the discharging of your debt and bringing you home. The boy you sent me with your last letter I have stayed here ; for I would not hazard any packet in his hands. You will do well to make haste home.—Windsor, 2 Nov. 1577. Signed by Walsingham ; no address or endorsement. 1 p. [Germ. States I. 39.]
401. Draft of [Minute] the above. Endd. (qy. by L. Cave) : M. to D. Rogers in Germany. 1½ pp. [Ibid. I. 40.]
402. Copy of last few sentences in Entry Book. ½ p.
Nov. 2. 403. [WALSINGHAM] to BEALE.
Since your arrival in Germany I have received three letters from you, two dated the 10th and 11th of October, and another of Sept. 22. Though her Majesty likes very well your discreet handling of the matters committed to you, yet does she greatly 'forthink' her sending, seeing no greater good likely to follow thereof. For my own part, if I had thought the success would have proved no better, I would not have been so forward in advising her to send, as I was. The hope that Casimir put her in of some good fruit to follow drew me to be so earnest in that behalf. I fear his credit is not so great in Germany as some I lately saw from thence 'bare in hand' it was ; for we were made believe that the chief colonels and rittmasters in Germany were at his command, and that he had so great a party among the noblemen of the Empire of the inferior sort, that he was able to make himself a party against the great ones. But as things now fall, it is greatly to be feared that he will have much ado to 'defend' his own brother, being so malicious and unbrotherly bent towards him as he is. Yet I doubt not but the sights [sic] and tears of the good ministers planted by the good prince their father, and now by his son dispersed, will no less draw God's judgement on him, than advance the other, who treads in his father's steps, and depends on Providence, that both can and will deiend him. And therefore on this point we must conclude. Omnia cooperantur in bonum iis qui diligunt Deum. Touching your return, I see no great cause of your stay there ; for I find little hope of any good to follow, so far are all things out of frame in that country, chiefly on account of the unprofitable dissension lately stirred up about the Ubiquity. Therefore unless you see great cause for staying, you will do well to return with as good speed as you may. As for sending any other to such a colloquy as may be agreed on there, I think her Majesty will hardly be brought to it ; for which I cannot greatly blame her, considering the ill-success her former Christian and honourable offices, done to draw the princes to an association for the common defence, have taken. Before you return you will do well to repair to Casimir, that you may receive information from him of the state of Germany. I think he is best informed how things pass of any man of his quality in the Empire. Touching the entertaining of Languet, I find little hope of good to be done therein so long as Sturmius lives, so hardly is her Majesty drawn to any new charge. Yet the Earl of Leicester is very well bent to further it ; but I would be loth the party should be entertained with vain hopes that might 'breed his hinderance' some other way. Draft, with alterations in Walsingham's hand. Endd. : M. to Mr. Beale. 2½ pp. [Germ. States I. 41.]
Nov. 3 404. SUMMARY and PRELIMINARY NOTE, such as the shortness of the time allows, of certain points justifying the NOBLES, NOTABLES, and COMMONS of the CITY OF GHENT, who did the SEIZURE of the DUKE OF AERSCHOT and other gentlemen and personages. Which they will amplify, and more amply verify in due time and season. Set forth in presence of their MAGISTRATES to the DEPUTIES of MY LORDS of the STATES-GENERAL.
Whereas the States have been pleased to send deputies with credentials to the nobles, &c., of Ghent, with strong expressions of regret for the arrest done upon the person of the Duke of Aerschot and other Lords by some of the said nobles, &c., as well by reason of the dignity of the person of the said Duke as for the sequel of troubles and dissensions which in times so dangerous as these might arise out of this arrest, and cause the total ruin of these countries, and whereas they are ignorant of the cause and unable to imagine the occasion of so grave an undertaking, albeit if it were possible that there was reasonable cause for the said arrest for the profit of the commonweal, the States-General would themselves thank those who had employed themselves in the execution of it, as having taken part in a valorous and important act, as also, if there were no ground for it, they would require the prompt release of the prisoners, to avoid greater bitterness, desiring to mediate themselves in all difficulties which might supervene ; the nobles, &c., who made the said arrest humbly thank my Lords of the States-General for their good disposition to peace, calling God to witness that they desire nothing more than union and peace, to maintain which they not only present their quota, already accorded, of the sum destined to that purpose, but also will continue in all good offices and employ person and goods to the last. But whereas, owing to misunderstanding or ill-will, the Duke and the others forgot themselves to the point of wishing by divers practices and machinations to sow disunion and trouble among these Low Countries, obviously leading to their total ruin and miserable perdition, wherein the said Duke with the other fautors and instigators contravened the Pacification of Ghent, whereon the repose of the country and its deliverance from the power of Spain depend, seeing that he wished, in the first place, to bring into Flanders the Archduke Matthias, to make him Governor-General of the Low Countries, without respect either to the other countries and provinces or to his Majesty, undertaking by his private authority what is competent only for the States generally, intending to invest him within the County of Flanders, thinking by this means to disunite it from the other countries, instituting also a Council of State framed after their manner, and to this end appointed d'Assonville, Foncq, Berty, and Staremberg, and all without any resolution of the Estates here ; And to arrive at his end the better, wished to induce the Estates of Flanders to protest against the acceptance already made by the Estates of Brabant of the Prince of Orange in person, wishing by this means to shuffle the cards, and throw the whole country into confusion. The like was recently proposed by M. d'Assigny, in full assembly of the Estates of the town of Douay, in the name of the magistrates coming from the house of M. de Rassinghem, to join with those of Flanders in accepting the Archduke as Governor, even at the cost of war, and to seize the money collected at Douay, which ought to go to the Estates-General, to employ it in making war upon the other countries, and principally upon a pernicious man (as they call him) who had come to the country, to turn him for good and all. This can be made apparent by any commissioners whom you may send to enquire. These are troublous acts, designed to set the country back into war, perils, and calamities. Further, the Duke, with the other prisoners, in order the better to have his will of the city of Ghent, would not allow the city to be restored to its ancient privileges, re-established by act of the Estates-General dated Oct. 22, 1577, as well as at the general pacification, but sought to hinder them, to the point of speaking in a threatening manner against those who were employed in the pursuit of the said privileges, reviling them as mutineers and seditious rebels, and wishing by artifice and surprise to introduce into the city and also into Termonde sundry garrisons, by whose aid he might take away the lives and goods of those who, desiring the common weal and the union of these countries, should oppose themselves thereto. The Duke since his arrest has even confessed that his obstructive measures actual and intended were due to the instigation of the majority of the gentlemen arrested with him. Wherefore those of Ghent, seeing the evident danger of a quarrel with Brabant and the other countries, the calamities that might result from civil war, and the direst contravention of the Pacification, in order to obviate this and protect their own persons, &c., were constrained suddenly to seize the Duke and the inspirers of such execrable proceedings, who, rather than fail in setting the countries at odds, intended to bring in not only the Archduko without the knowledge of the other countries, but in default of him, the French, ancient enemies of our privileges, under the Duke of Alençon, under a false cover of some alliance with the daughter of the King of Spain and Count of Flanders, our Lord. Since the arrest of the Duke and the others, a copy has been discovered of a letter written by Councillor Hessele to the Governor of Namur, of which no doubt you have full information, whereby we discovered also the evil work ready for execution. From day to day are discovered further ill-practices and designs ; for which cause the nobles, notables, and commons of the city of Ghent, wishing to account satisfactorily for what they have done, have so far as the shortness of the time allowed, summarily set forth this justification in the presence of their magistrates, and signed by the first secretary, hoping in due time and season to amplify it. On behalf of justice and maintenance of the union, they implore the adhesion and assent of my Lords of the Estates-General to the said seizure, and that the Duke and the other gentlemen may remain in arrest under good and due guard here or in any place of greater security, until their case can be lawfully tried and order be taken as may be found expedient. This document was exhibited to my Lords of the Estates-General in presence of the aldermen of both benches of the city of Ghent by certain gentlemen of that city, this 3rd of November, 1577 ; and by express direction of the said aldermen has been signed, both original and copy, by me. (Signed) Hembize. Copy. Endd. by Burghley : A declaration of the States of Gandt in defence of the arrest of the Duke of Arscott, &c. Fr. 6½ pp. [Holl. and Fland. III. 86.]
Nov. 4.
K. d. L. x. 73.
I wrote in my last of the apprehension of the Duke of Aerschot and others at Ghent, where they are still prisoners. The "Gauntoys" offer to account for the deed to the States, and in two or three days I think I shall send you their justification. They have continued in arms ever since, and begin to make new magistrates and redress the policy of the town according to their ancient privileges, a thing not generally well digested. The Archduke continues at Lyre, accompanied by few men of note other than the Count of Egmont and the Seneschal of Hainault. His own train is without any great pomp. Count John of Nassau, accompanied by M. de Famars, was sent to Lyre by his Excellency, to congratulate the Archduke, who, seeming to take in great good part that office of his Excellency, makes show to have him in so great account that he will conform to his counsel and advice. If he do, he shall speed the better, and rather gain the benevolence of the people. The Duke of Alençon is sorry that things have proceeded so far as respects the Archduke, and some wise men think that his journey was too much hastened, in view of the profit they might otherwise have had of the Duke. Besides his letters to the States, he has written to divers persons and towns, protesting his good affection to their cause and country. The States made him a present of tapestries valued at 20,000 florins, which he would not accept, rewarding their ambassadors and John Teron with chains of 500 crowns apiece, "and using them otherwise with great humanity and many good words, which in fine I doubt me will bring forth cold effect." There is a bruit of some alterations at Douai, between the magistrate and the people, but I hear no particulars yet.—Antwerp, 4 Nov. 1577. P.S.—The news of Italy this bearer can report particularly to your Honour. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. 87.]
Nov. 4.
K. d. L. x. 74.
The States have written to me this morning that they have been informed by their ambassadors in England that through my advertisements to you of the division about the coming of the Archduke, the departure of the Prince to Breda, the likelihood of division between the provinces, and other particulars 'in their disgrace,' her Majesty and the Court, fallen into some sinister opinion of them and their proceedings, are greatly altered, and the disposition to assist them with men, is, through my fault, grown very cold, if not changed ; news that seemed very strange to me, who, "running a course so far different from the merit of such a construction," am charged with doing offices so ill in their behalfs. Wherein I think myself the more wronged, in that by this means my good affection to them and their cause is called in question, whereas my actions will witness how much I have 'tendered' both. But as I think the Marquis, who made the same complaint to Whitechurch at his last being at our Court, has not requited me with the good measure I have 'met' to him, so I think I have not been well handled by some others, who, perhaps, willing to disgrace me, have reported to them things unjustifiable. Besides that in writing truly the state of things here, having sometimes to touch some particulars which I would be loath to hear again, I think it hard to be brought to account for them. The matter therefore touching me merely [Qy. nearly], I beseech you in your good sort both to let them understand there how much they have wronged me, and by your own letters to the States to signify my innocence, and how much my actions and will in this sort are misconstrued, and myself on this report wronged. —Antwerp, 4 Nov. 1577. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. 88.]
Nov. 2.
K. d. L. x. 71.
Enclosed in above letter :
We have heard with much regret from our ambassadors to the Queen of England that you have written to Secretary Walsingham, saying that there were dissensions among us about the coming and reception of the Archduke Matthias, and that the Prince of Orange had retired, ill-satisfied, to Breda, with the intention of not returning ; adding that our differences of opinion tended to the breach of our union and to the hindrance of contribution by the provinces to the aids now being levied, and charging us with want of seriousness and irresolution. Whereby, say they, the Queen and Court have fallen into a sinister opinion of our affairs, and are on the point of letting themselves be drawn away from aiding us with the men and money formerly offered, fearing tumult among us, and that such aid may serve to bring war upon England. This has greatly astounded us, as clearly calculated to cause these countries irreparable damage, being reduced to the state that everyone knows by aggressions from all sides ; especially when the contrary is so notorious, and our acts and words so accordant with the advice of the Prince, that her Majesty should on no account be turned away from continuing her good affection toward us, according to the ancient alliance between neighbours, who have been accustomed, as far as memory goes, to help each other in adversity. Wherefore, Sir, we request you in future to give as regards us no advertisements outside the truth, especially in matters whereon our safety or ruin depends, and tending to do us harm with her Majesty. But whereinsoever you may be ill-satisfied with any action of ours, we desire you will first enquire more certainly, or hear from ourselves what the case may be, that similar inconveniences may not occur ; though we deem that herein you have only proceeded from good affection, and that some who desire not our good have misinformed you.—Brussels, 2 Nov. 1577. (Signed) Cornelius Weellemans. Add. (Traces of seal.) Fr. 1½ p. [Ibid. 88A.]
Nov. 5. 408. LEICESTER to DAVISON.
These last news of yours bring us no small admiration, fearing if the cause of the apprehension [of] so great personages be just, then the matter to be of the greater consequence ; for doubtless so many, who lately seemed to be of the most earnest number of good patriots, cannot be thus far corrupted, but there are more fellows to be looked for among the rest. And what makes me doubt that the cause is likely to be just is the concurring of these news with our advertisement from France from our ambassador, who, knowing nothing of these news of Ghent, writes what he discovers there of the expectation they have of some great matter to fall out there to the King of Spain's advantage, as also easily found that all this dealing of Monsieur is only to entertain them to gain time for Don John, as it will fall out shortly. Well, however the cause falls out to be deserved by the Duke himself, it appears there are some false brethren of the rest ; and therefore it behoves the Prince now to have greater regard to himself, and the charge he has taken in Ghent ; being, I assure you, much persuaded that these revolts are not done half so readily for their liking of Don John, as for their envy and dislike of the Prince for fear of Religion ; but if their hearts to their country be so hollow, or their malice to the Prince so great that they will thus shamefully overthrow themselves and the whole state, it is a blessed thing that God reveals their intentions and delivers their powers to such as will employ it better. And as it was much marvelled at here that the Prince did not provide sooner for his own strength, it is also much wondered at that he did not make more particular reckoning of her offer to aid with men, considering that nothing would be more to his surety to have such a number of sure friends so well affected to him as we should have been ; and I assure you there was nothing moved me to go the journey myself so much as to join in his actions, and to have been found to him in all respects as "other himself," in hope that, by his good direction and power to command our business would succeed the better. We have marvelled, I say, that he has made so small account of it, not doubting but that he is well informed of it, for my desire of your going was chiefly to deal with him therein ; besides, M. de Famars was fully instructed by me to that end. Yet I never received one word of answer from him, nor do I find that he has dealt much with you in it ; which has made me half doubt his good acceptation thereof. I trust he thinks I did not offer to go myself "for need, or weary of a good life at home, or credit sufficient for so poor a man as I am" ; but I take God to witness, next to her Majesty's better quietness hereafter, and this realm, to show my good will to him was second ; and I believe you have delivered all offices accordingly. But how little I have received from him of any opinion he has one way or other, you know best ; for I never had letter, till now by your packet, from him. "Besides, her Majesty self certainly thinks much, that since his coming to Brussels she has never heard from him, nor been made privy to his proceedings or designs, which how needful it is, all wise men may conceive, for whom in the world may he trust if he may not trust her Majesty, and upon whom shall his prosperity more rest? Assuredly I muse not a little that he has no more opened himself to her Majesty all this while, either how he found that state, or what he thought of it, or what course he thought best for her to take with them." And what show of confidence in her Majesty has been made, when they are driven to seek money by compulsion, and yet will not receive the surest of all, being voluntarily offered? "I promise you, as far as I may, I am angry with him, even for the love I bear him, and the good I wish to him and their cause," and therefore if he and they make any account of her Majesty's friendship, they must deal in a little franker sort, and be content to impart their intentions and devices to her, if they would have her partaker with them of their hard fortunes, as she has offered to be. It is true that she thinks it strange in the Prince that he does not more frankly impart his causes and resolutions to her ; and as they are both in one degree with the enemy for good will, she is as yet the better able to withstand their malice, and much more able, if he consider, to assist him. "And what offer almost will not now be offered her by the other side if she would withdraw her favour that way? which must be considered by such a prince as she is, either to be sure that she deals with fast friends, or else to provide such surety otherwise as policy and time do offer." I know the Prince is a man of great wisdom, and since her Majesty has seemed to favour his cause, it is manifest how well it has gone forward. And I have not been a slack instrument thereto, only it grieves me that he does not use more confidence with his assured friends in so needful a time and upon so weighty occasions. For your part, cousin Davison, you must enter very deeply and earnestly with him, and as you are there for the service of her Majesty, I wish you so to deal that the good opinion conceived by her of your sufficiency be confirmed thereby, and that she may understand everything that you may learn there, touching the States' doings and intentions, and how you find the Prince ; whose advice she looked to have been more largely known ere this. It shall behove you, too, to look inwardly into all their doings, for you see "how forward overshoes her Majesty is brought in ; and if she should serve turns only, and they seek for themselves by any other string when her bow is so far bent, we cannot blame her to unbend again." "I marvel how the French have been thus entertained to draw Monsieur to any hope, as appears he was. And the States having sent such a man as the Marquis of Havrech hither, and in 40 days could never hear from them after. We hear also Monsieur was offered great presents of money, for what great good for them we may not imagine. And this dealing has been as well since the Prince's coming as before, and yet we could never learn from them what their negotiation was, but well done, and a good rod for their own tail had they made if it had gone forwards ; but the worst of all is that we, thinking we had been taken for their best and chiefest friends, we [sic] find they make least account of us, and rather would buy dearly a good turn at other folks' hands than receive gratis a benefit at ours. But deal you plainly, and advertise sincerely, for God's sake, and let us know with speed how we are accounted of."—[Windsor], Nov. 5. Add. Endd. 5 pp. [Ibid. 89.]
Nov. 6. 409. The DUCHESS OF SAXONY to the QUEEN.
The Duchess is glad to hear from the Queen and to know that she is well, the more so that she learns from Mr. Beale the Queen's goodwill toward the Church and the Christian Commonwealth. She knows her husband to be like-minded, and to think it of all things the most important that he should deserve well of the pious Churches. Nothing is left for her but to stimulate and kindle his goodwill. From his reply to the Queen's messages she doubts not but that the Queen, too, will shortly see more conspicuously that the Duke will leave nothing undone which a pious Christian prince can do in the cause for which the Queen labours. The Duchess can do little ; but if prayers can avail anything, she joins hers with the Queen's. And whereas the ambassador has admonished us to have a care of the Queen's honour, the Duchess gives her word that her beloved lord and master is so anxious not only to consider but to amplify the Queen's dignity, that such admonition was not needed. And though she deems that the Queen can receive no dishonour in any work undertaken on behalf of Christian piety, yet she would wish the Queen to know how careful and constant she has been in all good offices towards her.—Dippoldswald, 6 November 1577. Seal ; but no add. or end. Latin. 2½ pp. [Germ. States I. 42.]
Nov. 6. 410. The DUCHESS OF SAXONY to the QUEEN.
We kissed your Serenity's letter, which was most acceptable to us ; not because therein you attribute to us what in our modesty we can hardly acknowledge, but because it comes from one whose fame for piety, justice and other virtues extends throughout the world. Nor does it give us less pleasure to find that not only is the memory of the alliance which once was between your and our sainted ancestors [Divos Majores] agreeable to you, but that you signify your intention of cultivating that hereditary friendship with our whole family. We cannot but thank you and prove our regard to the best of our power, so that it may be understood how much we think of your kindness, and that we are not unworthy of it.— Dippoldswald, 6 November 1577. Add. Endd. by R. Beale. Latin. ½ p. [Ibid. 43.]
Nov. 6. 411. The ELECTOR OF SAXONY to the QUEEN.
From your letter laid before us by Robert Beale, we observe your singular goodwill towards us and the other princes of Germany, who hold to the truth of the Gospel. We have many reasons to thank you, and to seek your friendship. Your solicitude for the Churches which abominate papistical abuses and 'idolomanies' is not untimely ; for it is clear that the foes of the truth are straining every nerve to exterminate Gospel doctrine. That the Churches have not already been overthrown is to be ascribed to the mercy of God alone, on whose ineffable goodness in these dregs of a world gone astray, cur hopes must be fixed, that the enemy of mankind may not bring to pass what the Pope and his satellites desire. Let our adversaries form their accursed leagues for the slaughter of pious men ; let them spread their hellish snares ; let them try every form of hostility ; yet truth will prevail, nor will the prophecy of Isaiah be in vain, which warns us that the enemies of God's people are taking counsel and speaking of conspiracy only ; adding a sweet consolation and precept, and exhorting good men not to fear the empty threats of the enemy, nor place their trust in human defence, but to know that Immanuel is with them ; who will not fail us at this time against the power of tyrants. But as the matter wherefore your Serenity treats through your ambassador is a hard one, and touches all the nobles of the Augustan confession, we trust you will not take it amiss that we have had to postpone it for deliberation at a joint meeting of the Estates.—Dippoldswald, 6 November 1577. Add. Endd. by R. Beale. Latin. 1½ pp. [Ibid. 44.]
Last month the Estates of the Empire sent to those of the Low Countries, informing them that they were minded to appoint Commissioners as requested by them, who should come to them and endeavour to appease their troubles. They cannot at present resolve what should be done, seeing that Archduke Matthias is among them. Two days ago Duke Casimir showed me letters from certain princes of Germany, who seem also to be troubled with this journey of Matthias ; for they suspect the doings of the Emperor above all measure. I have lately communicated with some who came from Vienna, where the Emperor is at present, and who seem to know the Court very well. They judge that the Emperor, being altogether 'spaniolated,' is really offended with his brother's secret departure. He sent divers of his Court in post after him to bring him back ; and caused the 'cocher,' who conveyed him out of Vienna, to be put in prison on his return. He has besides made great protestations to the King of Spain's ambassador, that his brother took this journey plainly without his knowledge and against his will. This ambassador, of whose arrival at 'Isenbruche' [Innsbruck] I wrote in my last letter from Franckendall on October 23, is a Duke and has his lands within six miles of 'Madril' ; but I cannot yet learn his name. He has declared to the Emperor that he had great matters to communicate to him ; but as his brother is gone to help the Estates, he is sure the King will be grievously offended, and he thinks, therefore, it is his part not to proceed in declaring the causes of his embassy. He has, therefore, taken his journey towards Praga to salute the Empress, who is staying there. It is certain that when she heard of her son's departure toward the Low Countries, she commanded the Jesuits to sing as many masses as they could for the revoking of him back again ; but news is come that he is already at Brussels ; wherefore, it appears that the Jesuits' masses have no more virtue than the other papists' masses. Time will show whether there be any collusion between the Emperor and the King of Spain in this matter. It is true that Maximilian, the last Emperor, 'eftsoones' solicited the King of Spain to admit one of his sons or brothers into the government of the Low Countries, but the King would never hearken to it, knowing that the Emperor Ferdinando often complained against his father Charles V for the division of the Low Countries and partage of their inheritance ; besides that he easily foresaw the danger that might ensue if any of the House of Austria were suffered to govern the Low Countries, since in so great a house ambition is most to be found, and most seldom satisfied, and there are so many of this house that all Europe would hardly suffice to maintain their reputation. Thinking of these matters I judge it meet to write to you what I heard yesterday of Count Hedeck as to Matthias's disposition. He told me that he was with him at Ratisbon in his chamber, when Rudolphus, now Emperor, was chosen King of the Romans ; at which time Archduke Matthias, as he had supped, came late to his chamber, 'as' the Count was asleep in a corner, but wakened by his entrance. Howbeit, Matthias thought he was alone, and burst out in these words : "Rudolfus is made King of the Romans, and my father, being chosen King of Poland, minds to make my brother Ernestus his lieutenant ; but nothing is as yet done for Matthias. Who shall provide for him? Forsooth no man hath care of him ; he must advance himself." Which reasoning of the Archduke with himself I thought good to write to you, that you might know his aspiring nature, and be the better able to judge of him. M. Languet, who knows him very well, says it will be well to have good regard whom he thinks to marry, for he thinks there will be practices invented to match him with the Scottish Queen. Among other news from the Emperor's Court, this is to be considered, that the Turk minds to make war upon the Emperor next spring. He has already commanded the Emperor's ambassador, David, baron of Ungnadt, to keep his house by way of a prison, has nailed and shut up the windows of his house, and to pick a quarrel, demands of the Emperor the tribute due for the present year and next year. Everyone here thinks that the Turk is bent this way by sinistrous practices of the Pope and the King of Spain, who in order to be free themselves from the Turk's invasion thought it best to divert his designs upon the Emperor. This I think is the reason why the Emperor at the beginning of last month condescended to the demands of the Estates of Austria, swearing that he would entertain their privileges ; and also granted them the liberty of preaching, which he was in no wise minded to have done, though the Estates assembled at Vienna gave him plainly to understand that they were not minded to contribute anything to him unless he did so swear. Wherefore, seeing the Emperor has only of necessity granted the use of religion, I think he is the less to be trusted. On the 6th ult. the Count of Salm and the Lord 'Buchom,' both councillors to the Emperor, as they came from the Council, out of the court, drew upon one another, and Buchom first wounded the Count ; whereupon the Count, with an extreme fierceness, ran upon Buchom and slew him ; being himself grievously wounded and not likely to escape death. I wrote last month how divers princes of the Empire had sent ambassadors to the King of Poland on behalf of the Marquis of Anspach, requesting him, as the Duke of Prussia was not well in his wits, to permit the Marquis, his next kinsman, to succeed to his government ; to which the King has agreed. The ambassadors are said to be now at "Dannswicke," both to invest the Marquis into the government, and to take up the controversies between the King and the town. It is thought here that the King has left the siege, both for the damage he received lately, and for fear of Tartars, who are said to have entered his kingdom. The Elector of Brandenburg has married the Duke of Anhalt's daughter. The Duke is one of those who will not subscribe to the Ubiquitaries. Ernestus, the second brother of the Duke of Pomerland, has married the daughter of Julius, Duke of Brunswick. As touching levies of reiters, Duke Casimir has news that Archduke Ferdinando is levying 6,000 reiters and two regiments of lansknechts for Don John. One thing I must add, namely, that in the Emperor's Court it is thought that peace is broken in France again. Duke Casimir is persuaded that either peace is not made, or if made, it will not endure, so he is making ready, and only awaits answer from England and France. Wherefore, I beseech you again to let me know how to deal with him in this matter. Since my departure from England I have had but two letters, one of Aug. 24 from Oatlands, the other of Sept. 5 from Purford, written before you received my negotiations with Duke Casimir, the Elector Palatine, and the Landgrave. Mr. Beale went from Frankfort towards the Landgrave on Oct. 15, since which I have heard nothing of him. —Neustadt, 7 Nov. 1577. P.S.—Spaniards and Italians pass daily by hundreds towards Luxemburg, by Basel, Mompelgart, Burgundy, and Lorraine. Add. Endd. 4½ pp. [Germ. States I. 45.]
After my letter enclosed herewith was finished, Duke Casimir received letters that Archduke Matthias passed Erfurt on the 15th ult., with four only, and that young men, in his company. He would not stay in the town, but travelled in the night to the castle of Count Gunther of 'Swartzenburg' [Schwarzburg], two miles from Erfurt, where he abode the next day. This Count is now sent from the Emperor to the Estates of the Low Countries. He was so employed by the late Emperor 3 years ago, when the colloquy of Breda was held in the Commandador's time ; when I was sundry times with him. He passed by 'Magunce' the 5th of this month, having with him his wife, sister to the Prince of Orange. He is very wise, and loves the Prince as his own brother ; so that whatever commission he may have I am sure he will further him to the uttermost. He is also of good credit in the Low Countries, and well thought of throughout Germany, as well for his wisdom and experience in war as for the nobleness of his honour, being one of the four Counts of the Empire. Which few lines I thought good to 'scrible' to your honour, that I might omit no occasion to show my devotion to you. —Neustadt, 7th Nov. 1577. P.S.—Mr. Beale was at Erfurt the 28th ult. Dr. Beutrich, whom the Prince meant and still means to send to her Majesty, has been ill. His wife also is lately departed out of this world, so he has had many domestic troubles. He has not yet returned from the County of Montpelgard, but is looked for daily. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. 46.]
Nov. 7. 414. POULET to BURGHLEY.
I have heard say that it is for the most part a year's work to provide a successor for this place, and therefore having now served you one year and more, I would think myself much bound unto your Lordship, if you would please to enter into consideration with her Majesty for the supply of the charge by some other.—Paris, 7 Nov. 1577. P.S.—I fear to commit anything to your Lordship's cipher, and therefore please provide me with a better. I have been bold to use it at present, because I do not think the time to be very dangerous. Add. Endd. by Burghley. ½ p. [France I. 47.]
Forward at the desire of his Excellency three papers which the Estates have received from England, for perusal, requesting they may be returned, as the Prince has kept no copies.—Antwerp, 7 Nov. 1577. Add. Seal. Fr. ½ p. [Holl. and Fland. III. 90.]
Nov. 7.
K. d. L. x. 78.
We have heard the Count of Bossu's report touching the contents of our last letter, and we learn from it that you have rendered all good offices to the Queen in the matter of our affairs, and that the mistake arose from some third person who gave incorrect information. Still as the matter was of great importance to us and to the country we could not but feel it, and write in order to arrive at the truth. We hope it will not be taken amiss, but that you will continue the friendship you have always shown us.—Brussels, 7 Nov. 1577. Add. Fr. ¾ p. [Ibid. 91.]
Nov. 8.
K. d. L. x. 79.
For news, the soil here is so barren that there is none worth writing ; the only store we have comes from you. The imprisonment of the Duke of 'Ascot' and others is thought very strange, and here we know not what to judge ; but for my part I think him void of treachery, and lay the suddenness of his apprehension to the busy-headed and mutinous people of Ghent ; but that I leave to your judgement. The bearer, Captain Morgan, having been a soldier, and one who has shown himself as valiant in the Prince of Orange's service as any that has taken his pay, does here from time to time what he can to advance his cause. Do for Morgan what pleasure you may, and I will accept it as done to myself, and pray use my name to the Prince and also to M. de la Motte.—The Court [Windsor], 8 Nov. 1577. Add. Endd. : from Mr. Capt. Horsey. ¾ p. [Ibid. 92.]
Nov. 8.
K. d. L. x. 80.
I would not have left Antwerp without knowing if you had any orders, if a sudden business had not made me depart unexpectedly. I ask your pardon, but not wholly till I shall have excused myself in person. Meanwhile you have no one more willing to do you service. As you have been so kind as to forward my letter to England, the answer may come to you, in which case I will ask you to send it to one François le Fort, merchant, of Antwerp, near the Cordeliers, in a house with a fleur-de-lys on the door. This will be a trouble to you, but to me an obligation to your service, so I beg you not to spare me.—Brussels, 8 Nov. 1577. P.S.—I have different names in different places, as I ought to tell you ; some call me by my present signature, others M. de la Pierre, others M. de la Barre, others Robert le Long, others Pastolet. Such are the fine qualities of your humble servant. Add. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. 93.]
I write on behalf of the bearer, my good friend, that you may get him taken up by the Prince. His efficiency is known to his Excellency by former services, and I hope that his good credit in those parts will relieve you and his friends there of all trouble in the matter ; otherwise I would not be a mover to it, "for unless the parts that be in the person be of more force and moment to persuade than our words which are but the breath of men, the hazard of our credit should be so much the greater in recommending, by how much the employments are of weight." You are not, I think, ignorant of what is in the gentleman. Faithful I am sure he is to the Prince ; for the rest of his parts, I leave them to the judgement of the martialists, being myself none. I am, as you know, yours to use in any charge I may do for you ; if I fail in performance, let me be blamed, and the peace of God be with you.—Windsor, 9 Nov. 1577. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. 94.]
Nov. 10. 420. POULET to WALSINGHAM.
Baron D'Aubigny and his associate M. Mansart came to my lodging on the 8th. They had been that morning with the King, and both he and Queen Mother had promised not to permit any of the nobility or captains to take arms against them, and that they would write to Count Mansfield to withdraw from Don John, but there was no means to stay the common soldier ; they would likewise take order for the restraint of all kinds of victual and munition, and that no money should pass by the hands of French subjects. I answered that I had no express command to say anything to them, and they knew that Ambassadors might not deal in matters of State without warrant and commission ; that I had considered the good and ancient intelligence between the Crown of England and the House of Burgundy, and that this league of amity was grounded on honour, profit and surety, and could not be forborne without dishonour, loss and peril ; that I was not ignorant of her Majesty's good opinion towards the Prince of Orange, and therefore I thought good to offer myself to them to do them any pleasure that might lie in my little power, and that I would not fail to advertise her Majesty of as much of their proceedings here with the French King as they had signified to me, that the news would be very acceptable to her, that the promise made by the King was very honourable, that in my opinion it was not enough to restrain the nobility ; the soldiers must be also stayed, that Don John wanted no captains, only French harquebuziers, that they were gone already and others would follow, and that the power of a King in his own country was great. They replied that they had purposed nothing to the French that might be prejudicial to her Majesty ; that they had only signified the equity of their cause, and dissuaded the enterprise of the Duke of Guise. They were not yet forced by necessity to shake off their yoke of obedience to their Sovereign, [but] indeed they had said that if their King persevered in his cruelties and persecutions they should be constrained to seek the aid of some foreign prince. Notwithstanding those fair promises the French soldiers resorted daily to Don John, and they would move the King again to take better order. They prayed her Majesty to consider of them that this war was chargeable to them, that a good beginning would ensure a good ending, and they prayed her to enlarge her offers and to relieve them with money. I told them that I would not fail to advertise her Majesty of their request. They had felt the cruelty and rapine of the Spaniard ; likewise they knew the humour and complexion of the French, and that her Majesty had the reputation to deal plainly and sincerely with all men. When I asked them what they heard of the Archduke Matthias, they said they understood by letters written to Montmorency that he was yet at Lyra. I told them I was of opinion, to speak plainly, that no Prince in Europe had been to all respects so fit and convenient for them as the King of Spain, if he had been content to treat them as his good subjects and to govern them in mercy and justice, but considering his tyranny and the present state of these matters, I could not hope that any good can come unto them by any of the House of Austria, and that in reason [five lines torn off. Supplied from Ogle] and judgement they ought to hold them as suspected. They said they the original of this copy enclosed was brought on the 9th at noon, the messenger saying he thinks that all the English ships except those two belonging to Mr. Sackford, which remain at Blay, finding the wind large are gone unto England, and were pursued by the young Lansac's ships, but in vain. You may see what truth is in these great fellows, and were of the same opinion how cunningly Lansac's secretary was sent to confirm the release of these ships, trusting by this subtlety to procure the discharge of their ships in England, and then they would have battled with you at leisure for the rest. I have sent these letters to Rouen by one of my servants with speed, not doubting but that John de Vigues is yet there, who shall bring it into your hands.—Paris, 10 Nov. 1577. P.S. Great suit has been made to me of late by Scottishmen for my passport to go to the Court of Scotland. They trust to obtain leave to repair to the Queen of Scots, and every one of these fellows brings his several reason. It may seem that some here are in great haste to hear from her. I tell them that I will grant no passport until I hear further of their proceedings. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [France I. 48.]
Nov. 10. 421. DAVISON to BURGHLEY.
There has been little alteration since the arrest of the Duke of Aerschot. The persons apprehended are still detained, but there is some hope of the Duke's deliverance. The States have sent the abbot of St. Gertrude and the advocate Lisfelt to enquire into the circumstances. They came through to this town to communicate with the Prince, but went hence on Wednesday. The Archduke is still at Lyre, awaiting the Estates' orders respecting him, wherein they delay their resolutions. The Duke of Alenç on remains at La Fère. Don John has lately sent a gentleman to him to make some overture of a marriage with a daughter of Spain, to which he has so long aspired. What will come of this practice is doubtful. We hear that 48 companies of foot and 2,000 horse are marching toward the frontier of France ; but of their purpose the discourse is divers, and the truth uncertain. Last week the enemy made a sally out of Namur upon the Estates' army in the hope of taking them in disorder ; which failing, they were compelled to retire without great loss on either side. The Germans besieged in Ruremonde by Count 'Hollock' made a like attempt upon the camp there ; but with greater loss, having, it is affirmed, left above 200 dead on the field. Mondragon is said to be marching to their succour with 15 ensigns of foot and 400 horse ; but the points occupied by the States make that so difficult that his purpose is doubted to have some other scope. Don John's camp has been lately reinforced by 1,200 Burgunyons, and 1,400 or 1,500 French of the Duke of Guise's companies, besides the Spaniards who arrive daily "à la filado," out of Italy. The young Prince of Parma is arrived at Luxembourg for the service of his Highness. It is determined here to enhance the rates [draft : prices and value] of money, in hope to help themselves and draw the gold and silver of other countries hither. The States importunately desire the return of the Prince to Brussels. They have written most earnestly to that effect, offering to conform to his advice in all points affecting the commonwealth. They have written like letters from the camp at Namur, protesting that they will live and die with him in the defence of their country against Spanish tyranny. They daily reinforce their camp, and amongst others have newly entertained 200 Scots not long since arrived here. The rest are daily looked for here with their Colonel Balfour.—Antwerp, 10 Nov. 1577. P.S.—The bearer, Mr. Blunt, being sent by the Count La Marche prisoner to Brussels was at my request to his Excellency brought to this town, where he has begged me to take some occasion to send him to England. As he has no means to defray his charges here, and as I cannot learn that since his coming out he has committed any other special error than in offering his services to Don John ; which he did notwithstanding, with some honest 'acceptions,' not well like, as appeared by his entertainment, I have ventured to send him over upon some good caution which he has given me here. He has special confidence, though his error be not excusable, that he shall find some equal favour at his Lordship's hands. I will only command him in so far as his cause shall in your judgement deserve. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fland. III. 95.]
Nov. 10.
K. d. L. x. 81.
[Practically identical with above; some difference in the wording of the P.S.] Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. III. 96.]
Nov. 10. 423. Draft of above letters, without P.S. [Ibid. III. 97.]
Nov. 10. 424. Another draft of the same. [Ibid. III. 98.]