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
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.
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.]
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
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.
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.]
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
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
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
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.]
K. d. L. x. 73.
405. DAVISON to WALSINGHAM.
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
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. 87.]
K. d. L. x. 74.
406. DAVISON to WALSINGHAM.
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.]
K. d. L. x. 71.
Enclosed in above letter :
407. The ESTATES-GENERAL to DAVISON.
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.]
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
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.]
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.]
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.]
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.]
412. DANIEL ROGERS to WALSINGHAM.
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
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
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.]
413. DANIEL ROGERS to WALSINGHAM.
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
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. 46.]
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.]
415. NICOLAS BRUNYNCK to DAVISON.
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.]
K. d. L. x. 78.
416. The ESTATES to DAVISON.
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.]
K. d. L. x. 79.
417. EDWARD HORSEY to DAVISON.
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.
Add. Endd. : from Mr. Capt. Horsey. ¾ p. [Ibid. 92.]
K. d. L. x. 80.
418. M. D'ARGENLIEU to DAVISON.
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.]
419. LAURENCE TOMSON to DAVISON.
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.]
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
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.]
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
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.]
K. d. L. x. 81.
422. DAVISON to WALSINGHAM.
[Practically identical with above; some difference in the wording
of the P.S.]
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. III. 96.]
423. Draft of above letters, without P.S. [Ibid. III. 97.]
424. Another draft of the same. [Ibid. III. 98.]