Elizabeth: August 1578, 1-10

Pages 114-131

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 13, 1578-1579. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1903.

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August 1578, 1-10

I heard yesterday by some of my spies that there was a strong force both of cavalry and infantry in the neighbourhood of Aerschot. For fuller information I sent a party to beat up the road as far as the gates, but they brought back word that they had seen no one. However, my advanced pickets who are posted pretty far from the entrenchments soon afterwards saw nine or ten horsemen, and presently as many as 11 or 12 cornets, with a strong force of infantry, marching with a front of 90 or 100. These drove my pickets in as far as a spot whither I had sent 500 or 600 Scottish harquebusiers to support them. These however were forced to change position and retired, covered by [à la faveur de] some reiters and light horse, without many casualties. Emboldened by this, the enemy charged our cornets, who stood the charge, and got somewhat the better of them. But afterwards they rallied [tournèrent tête] so smartly that they compelled the enemy to retire from the heath to their own hedges. I sent some English under Colonel Norris, who had only come into camp an hour before, and some Scots to line the hedges running from the river to our entrenchments, the enemy all the while sending up successive bodies of infantry to force that side, but he could not get in. The action lasted from 8 A.M. to between 5 and 6 P.M. and the way the men did their duty could not have been better. Norris, who had four horses killed under him, and Bigant [Bingham], Cavendish's lieutenant-colonel, who lost two brothers, behaved so that Cæsars could have done no better. The others, Scots, French, and all, did no less well. Two or three Italian and Spanish prisoners tell us that Don John and the Prince of Parma were there in person, and some say that there were 12,000 foot and 6,000 horse. Others put the horse at 2,000 ; but these latter only came from Italy three or four days ago. In short, the action was well worth seeing, and according to our latest intelligence, they have gone back the way they came.—From the camp by Rymenam, 1 Aug. 1578. (Signed) Maximilian de Bossut. Copy. Encl. in No. 135. Fr. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 1.]
Aug. 2. 135. DAVISON to [BURGHLEY].
My lords have no doubt advertised you of the conflict that happened yesterday between the enemy and the States near Rymenan, and of the 'value' which our countrymen showed, notwithstanding that most of them were but newly come to the camp, having marched all the night before. Yet as I think it will be a pleasure to you to hear it confirmed by more than one testimony, I have sent herewith a summary report of it as I have it by conference with the Prince, together with such other news as we hear, since my last by Spritwell.—Antwerp, 2 Aug. 1578. Enclosed with follg. ½ p. [Ibid. VIII. 2.]
Aug. 2.
K. d. L. x. 685. from another and imperfect copy.
The enemy presenting himself yesterday morning in 'battaile' with 12,000 foot and 2,000 horse at least, in the face of the States' camp at Rymenam sent forward some companies of Spaniards to begin the skirmish ; who coming with a fury towards our trenches as if to assault them, Mr [John] Norris, being arrived not more than an hour, was sent forward against them, with certain shot of his regiment seconded by some of the Scots. The skirmish began hotly and was bravely maintained on either side from 9 in the morning till 5 in the afternoon, our countrymen acquitting themselves with very great 'value' and reputation, especially Mr. Norris, Mr Bingham, and Mr Yorke, of whose well-doing the general has rendered honourable testimony. Mr Norris had two or three horses slain under him. Rowland Yorke likewise lost a horse or two. Mr Bingham, though he had good keep in his own person, lost his two brothers, who are much lamented. Others of our nation are slain to the number of about forty, but of Captains only Liggins ; and as many hurt, among whom we hear none of name save Mr Sandes, my lord's brother, very dangerously shot through the arm. The whole slaughter on this side is not estimated at the outside at 200, whereas of the enemy 'what hurt what slain' it is thought there are at least 400 or 500. In sum they retired as fast as they came, having been of no men better welcomed than of our countrymen. Some think the enemy's attempt at this time was only to see what countenance our camp would make and to discover their strength, and that he intends to give them another camizado ere long, being provoked thereto partly by his superiority in numbers and value to the States, having 5,500 good horse and 15 or 16,000 foot, better disciplined, better led, and better experienced than ours, who are not above 10 or 11,000 foot and 8,000 horse in the field ; and partly by necessity, because to delay battle till Casimir and the rest of the States' forces are joined, could not but be to his disadvantage. Yet our army being intrenched in a place naturally strong, some think he will hardly be able to force them ; while unless he assail them in their camp, Count Bossu does not seem minded to risk a battle, both because he does not much trust his cavalry, and because he has not the number of infantry he looks for. When Duke Casimir's supply has joined them, they may boldly seek out the enemy [and present him battle]. We hear that Casimir is marching hither, having compounded with his reiters for the payment of their 'naughgelt' within 16 days ; the want of which somewhat 'altered' them and stayed their advance. It held undoubted that the enemy will attempt either him or the States' other camp before they join, whatever it cost him, if either or both offer him any manifest advantage. La Noue arrived last Friday night. He has a 'jealous' [doubtful] opinion of Monsieur's enterprise. There is a report that between Calais and Boulogne there are 4,000 foot and 2,000 horse, destined for some enterprise by way of Gravelines. Certain horse and foot have entered Hainault for Alençon's service, but we do not hear their number. Nothing is yet concluded here with his commissioners ; the delay being to await the answer of the Emperor's Ambassador now with Don John ; but in Hainault they are as forward as here they are slow. The daily resort of the French to [hovering of the Fr. about] Mons, and their intelligence in the town make the state thereof much suspected. Draft. Add. Endd. (but these probably belong to the last, which seems to be the covering letter). 1¼ p. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 3.]
Aug. 2. 137. DAVISON to WILSON.
Practically identical with that to Burghley, No. 136.
Draft. ⅓ p. [Ibid. VIII. 4.]
Aug. 2. 138. DAVISON to LEICESTER.
I would not fail to advise you of what has 'succeeded' since my last between the two camps, the matter being such as you will take pleasure to hear in respect of the well-doing of our countrymen, who have fully repaired the fault committed by some of them a day or two before at Lierre. [The rest practically identical with the report to Burghley, No. 136. The chief variants are indicated in square brackets.] Rough draft. 12/3 pp. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 5.]
Aug. 2.
K. d. L. x. 684.
My collega having occasion to despatch this bearer, I have thought good to accompany that dispatch with some news come this morning from the camp, by a letter from the general to the Prince. The effect is that Don John in person with the Prince of Parma came about 8 A.M. with 2,000 horse and 10,000 foot and began the skirmish, wherein our nation and the Scots did greatly show their 'wallew' and so valiantly maintained the action that the enemy was repulsed and followed about a mile. [Other information as already given.] To be plain, I hear no great commendation of the reiters.—Antwerp, 2 Aug. Add. Endd. 2/3 p. [Ibid. VIII. 6.]
Aug. 3.
K. d. L. x. 689.
The discourse I send you written in favour of the French plainly discovers their intention. There is none to bridle them and keep their designs within limits but the Queen. She being minded to have no further dealings in the cause, it is evident what will become of the matter. My lord and I have discharged our duties to her Majesty and your Lordship's so plainly in this matter, that whatever becomes of the cause I hope we shall be found faultless.—Antwerp, 3 Aug. 1578. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. VIII. 7.]
Aug. 3.
K. d. L. x. 687.
The bird was never more desirous of fair weather than we are glad to hear from you, since your being at Mons with Monsieur. To-day M. Bacqueville and the French Ambassador had a long audience of her Majesty, together and severally. Upon your report the chief of this matter depends ; so that if you find no sound dealing the French may go as they came, whereas otherwise their will be good ear given and perhaps some matter of consequence will follow. It is high time for us to be sure of somebody abroad, lest being forsaken of all we be too weak to withstand the meanest, if we should be tried. If I may believe words, I surely never saw such a disposition nor a better mind, if all things are as sincerely meant there on Monsieur's behalf. But you are not to discover any such thing to him, but only to know his disposition in all things, and so to make report when you have understood the bottom of all things on his behalf by your own good means. The Scottish Ambassador has had audience, and his dispatch, which I send herewith for your consideration. He desired aid and relief for the King his master, but my Lords could not deal therein, referring him to her Majesty ; and so far was he from getting any relief that he himself went away without any reward. So Alexander Hay, and the lord of Clisse (Cleish) master of the household to the King, were served in the same manner. Hope is given that the King shall not want aid hereafter. His authority is allowed and a promise made to assist it against all who seek to impugn it. Meantime the Earl of 'Mountrosse,' being commanded to keep his lodging at Stirling, secretly made his escape, and went to the Lords Argyle, Athol, Herries, and Maxwell, together with Drumquhassel and others having in their possession Edinburgh and Dumbarton ; and are putting themselves in arms to withstand those that will set upon them.—Long Melford, 3 Aug. 1578. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 8.]
The enemy's rearguard passed yesterday through Aerschot on its return to Louvain and Tielmont whence it came. According to various agreeing reports which I have, they have made more haste about returning than about coming. In the villages where Don John thought to lodge, our light cavalry have seen quarters marked for Pallacio and Octavio Gonzaga, Counts Barlaymont, Roeulx, Faulquemberg, and others ; and the number of dead reported to me from Aerschot and elsewhere exceeds what I had supposed. Some say that over 1,000 fell, others that there are wells and ditches full of dead, hidden by them on the retreat. Count Hannibal and other captains, whose names I do not know, are named as having fallen. The Burgundian infantry were grumbling, saying they had been led to the shambles. On Thursday I sent a trumpet to Aerschot to take a prisoner there. He saw Don John pass with all his camp, which apart from the Italian and Burgundian cornets, counted 9 'vanes' of reiters, 36 ensigns of Spanish infantry, 10 Burgundian, 15 German and Walloon, with five pieces of artillery. In sum, the lot not having fallen on their side as they expected, they have been received and nipped (pinccz) in such fashion that as I think, and as we continue to be advertised, they will brag no longer.—From the Camp at Rymenam, 3 Aug. 1578. Copy, in hand of L. Tojnson, and endd. by him : For Mr Secretary. ½ p. Fr [Ibid. VIII. 9.]
Aug. 4. 143. DUKE CASIMIR to the QUEEN.
Your Majesty's satisfaction at learning the advance of my troops into this country increases my longing to perform some noteworthy exploit, in order that the country may feel the effects of my coming for which it hoped, and that you may have greater cause for satisfaction. I regret much that to my infinite vexation I have been detained so long at Zutphen without a chance of doing anything, awaiting the money ordered by you for the first payment to my people ; wherein the States-General have shown themselves like themselves, slow and irresolute. They left me squatting for a month, at great loss of time and money, near a town of the enemy's called Deventer, which my army, for which there was at the time no other use, were very anxious to take, if I had had the necessary artillery and ammunition, for which they often asked in vain. Your ambassadors have told me that they are resolved to leave Antwerp and return to England in 6 or 10 days, and will not have an opportunity of seeing me, as I should have greatly wished, in order that they might report to you more certainly upon my troops, and that I might declare to them my constant desire to please you, and hear what I ought to undertake for your service. Now that I am afoot, and have the means of showing practically how desirous I am to satisfy you, I find myself, I may say, deserted in midcareer. I am certain that your Majesty, having given me assurance by the mouth of your ambassadors, and by letter, will not desert me, but will aid me with your resources. Herein you will effect your promise, your aid being now more necessary than ever, as I am sure you will hear from your ambassadors, to whom I have made a special declaration of what is needed for the present.. As concerns the lords and gentlemen of this country, with whom you wish me to be on good terms, I hope so to comport myself towards them, whenever occasion may arise, that they may be content. And whereas you so carefully commend to me the Marquis of Havrech, I will by all possible means let him see how anxious I am to obey you. It is of itself very necessary that I should maintain good intercourse and friendship with all ; so that being united in a good understanding, all things may be guided to a good issue.— Doesburg, 4 Aug. 1578. Add. Endd. Fr. 2½ pp. [Germ. States I. 70.]
I have received your letters of the 26th ult., and learnt both your negotiations with the States and the instructions given to Mr Sommers when sent to the Duke of Anjou. It is easy to see therefrom the integrity and excellence of the Queen's affection. But when you write that your early departure will prevent you from seeing me, I am much distressed, having always hoped to have the advantage of communicating with you as to the state of affairs and explaining my intentions, and my desire to verse her Majesty. Were I not convinced that urgent affairs compel your return just as I am approaching you, I would pray you afresh to find some good means to bring about an interview between us. I would fall in with it so far as the claims of my army might permit. I am leaving this and starting for Emmerich to arrange for the passage [of the Rhine] which will be a little difficult. When my force has crossed I shall advance as long as I can. I am writing to the Queen and beg you to forward the letter. For the rest I have directed my Councillor Zuleger to communicate with you more in detail.—Doesborgh, 4 Aug. 1578. Add. Endd. 1¼ p. Fr. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 10.]
Aug. 5. 145. POULET to BURGHLEY.
Encloses copy of letter sent 'by this bearer' to Wilson. 'The great doings are now removed from hence into the Low Countries, from whence your Lordship must look for great advertisements.' Add. Endd. 10ll. Enclosure missing. [France II. 62.]
Aug. 6.
K. d. L. x. 693.
The Emperor's ambassador has delivered me your letter of July 31, in which you assure me that the Queen has a steadfast desire to see the troubles of these countries pacified and the people brought back to the obedience of their lawful sovereign ; and that she has accordingly sent you to the Estates to induce them to accommodate themselves thereto. This is a commendable office, both having some matter in common with all potentates to conserve themselves and also for the good will the king has ever borne her ; wherein it is more than reasonable 'the said Lady' do shew the like correspondence and that you employ yourselves therein the best you may. I cannot but be well satisfied, wishing nothing more than to see these countries in peace ; being come for that only end without pretending any other thing whatsoever. I shall always be glad to give ear to it, whenever the Estates will so conduct themselves that I may have hope of attaining to it. To which 'you will do well to induce them, and no longer to abide in the calamities of this war, but procure to live quietly.' As for your coming to me, all such as have come to me from the Queen have been always welcome, as you will be when you take the trouble to do ; albeit at present I know not whether it will not be superfluous to waste so much time which you may bestow better in bringing the Estates to reason. For my part I have always been so inclined that way that no persuasion is needed with me, as the ambassador can witness by my answer to the intercession which he has presented to me on behalf of the Emperor.—Hakendover near Tirlemont, 6 Aug. 1578. Copy. Endd. by L. Tomson. Fr. 1¼ p. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 11.]
Aug. 6. 147. English translation of the above, written and endd. by L. Tomson. 1¼ p. [Ibid. VIII. 12.]
Aug. 6.
K. d. L. x. 696.
I received to-day your letter of the 29th ult., and also another written after Mr Sommers' arrival ; so that I have received two from you since I wrote to you. The cause was that I was told nothing of the sending of any messenger since the receipt of your letters, though I now understand that one or two have been sent without my knowledge, for which I am sorry, and pray you to impute the fault to others and not to me. I saw your letter to the Council, and as I was glad you should repair to Monsieur upon the offer made by him, so I think the causes of your stay to be reasonable, and that you did as I should have done in your place. And truly, Mr Secretary, I do and will say that in all matters you have dealt with as great discretion, considering the dangers of the case and the uncertainty of those with whom you deal, as any man ever did or could do. It rests with God to dispose her heart as shall please Him, for she is sufficiently informed by you ; and the case will be hard with the Queen and with England if ever the French possess or the Spaniards tyrannize in the Low Countries. Whoever shall think by device to put over matters for a time for the benefit of her person, though it may be hurtful to England, and thereby divide her good from the good of the realm and so her ill from the ill of the realm shall in the end deceive both. It is good to put over time when it brings good effect, but when it only overthrows all things, it is the 'dangerost' matter that may be ; and therefore to do it in this matter, whereby in short time either the Spanish or the French shall have their will of the Low Countries is the 'dangerost' matter for the Queen and England, in my opinion, that may be. Bacqueville here affirms that both in the case of the Low Countries and also for himself, her Majesty may dispose of Monsieur at her pleasure ; and surely I think if she will make him her husband she may do so. Otherwise I cannot think she can do anything with him to hinder his pretences any way and specially in this enterprise. When you speak with him you will best find his meaning by his own speech ; but for my own part if her Majesty reject his offer, and he be out of hope to make her his wife and to be great thereby, he will perform no word that he shall speak that may hinder his greatness otherwise. If I err, I am sorry ; but that is my opinion which I deliver plainly to you, not without fear that while we hope to dally with him in talk of marriage thereby to stay his other actions, he will give fair words and proceed in deed to his best advantage.—Bury, 6 Aug. 1578. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson : Like proceedings here. Dislike dissuading marriage upon these grounds. 2½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 13.]
Aug. 7.
K. d. L. x. 678.
I am sorry to see both our 'travells' fall out to no better effect, good Mr Secretary ; it grieves me I cannot say how much that I am neither able to satisfaction your expectation as I would, nor yet take comfort in our proceedings here. I find no small alteration in her Majesty's disposition since we were at Oatlands and Windsor, towards the state of those countries. It is strange how loth she is to come to any manner of dealing, especially to be at any charges. To come somewhat nearer, these particularities appear. First, touching Monsieur's coming thither, she is afraid of it, but will allow no better remedy than to seem to mislike him for it, and to persuade him, as you will hear from her, to retire and not proceed in that enterprise ; grounding this hope that her persuasions will have sufficient authority, because he has sent to her by Bacqueville here and confirmed it by Bussy there to you, that he will do nothing but as she appoints, and what he commands she will do. This persuades her so sufficiently, that she doubts not he will simply return as he came. If she mete that recompense for his labour that his ministers sue for here [Walsingham's mark in margin] there were some cause for her to presume of his conformity ; but not perceiving any such reward likely to come from here, for aught I see yet, I fear he will be too wise to lose an entrance of so great a fortune, toward for him and the Crown of France. So I do not only fear that her Majesty will little prevail by this kind of persuasion to withdraw Monsieur simply without further assurance of as good a bargain, but cause unkindness to grow between them by dealing in this bare sort with him. Whether he may justly say that he was allowed by her to come where he is, you know better than I ; but so I have heard, and so his ministers affirm. Thus you see what 'cace' she is like to run into ; yet I can assure you she is as well dealt with and as plainly, and as many dangers laid before her (by some) that must needs fall upon her and her state by this manner of proceeding, as can be uttered. God of His mercy assist her ; without whose upholding I fear great peril is at hand. The other particular was this. When my nephew Ph. was to take his leave and receive his dispatch, among other small comforts he should have brought to the Prince, he was specially commanded by her Majesty to tell Duke Casimir that she marvelled not a little, and was offended with him for giving out that his coming was by her means, and that she misliked any such speeches, and prayed her name might not be so abused, since she did not command him to come, but the States had entertained him and they should maintain his coming ; with such other small encouragement to that prince, whose cause of coming you and I and almost all men know. Yet this earnestly has she commanded Ph. to say to him, writing such a letter besides of cold comfort that when I heard of both, I did all I could to stay him at home ; and with much ado I think I shall, seeing I know not what he should do there but bring discouragement to all her best friends. For my part I had rather he perished in the sea than that he should be instrument of it. Lastly, touching yourself. I wrote in my last what I lately heard ; the only fault she finds with you is that you did not yourself go to conference with Monsieur, and with that she was much offended, for upon hope to hear from you she 'prolonged' these men's answers here, and thought to direct them upon your advertisements. As far as I can gather, she thinks that Monsieur coming thither is rather to have the better means to stop over thither than otherwise ; and with such a mind of his it seems she could be well pleased, for then she would be out of doubt his enterprise had not so deep a foundation as is now feared. I suppose she is persuaded that he is more affected than your advertisement lets her hope ; and I doubt, it is my 'wonne conceat' that she thinks you are not willing to have the matter go forward [Walsingham's mark in margin], and that you are too hard in believing his sincerity therein. Well you are wise enough, and can see what leads you to think one thing or another. My only advice is that you observe all offices that way, in not only seeking the very bottom of his intention, but in making all your reasons plain to her Majesty, whether for or against ; and that nothing proceed from you to him to discourage him, nor yet to herself to show without plain cause that you mistrust his affection or mislike the match. You know her disposition as well as I ; yet I cannot but use frankness with you, and in your absence I will deal as faithfully as I would myself be dealt withal. And lest in this last advice, 'it may seem nice to you such kind of direction,' I hope you conceive my meaning, which is that I would have you as much as you may avoid her Majesty's suspicion that you doubt Monsieur's love to her, or that you had devotion enough in you to further her marriage ; though I promise I think she has little enough herself to it. Yet what she would have others think and do, you have cause to know ; which makes me now only remind you to eschew blame as much as may be. It may be I do not give you light enough on our doings as much as you would wish ; but I assure you, you have as much as I can learn, for our conference with her Majesty about affairs, more than by necessity is urged, is both seldom and slender. She is more often troubled with her 'rume' and pain in her face than she was wont, yet, thank God, this week she has been very well, and thereby has been perhaps the more loth to trouble herself. For the matter now in hand of her marriage, no man can tell what to say, as yet she has 'imparted with' no man, at least not with me, nor for aught I can learn with any other. In much haste, her Majesty ready to horseback.—Bury, 1 Aug. [sic : but the Court was not then at Bury.]. P.S.—Your man Williams arrived yesterday. Thank you for all your letters. I am glad our nation gets reputation again. Add. Endd. (also with Aug. 1). 5 pp. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 14.]
Aug. 7. 150. LEICESTER to DAVISON.
I had so little to write that I did not think good to use my own hand ; and again the Queen being ready to remove and ride abroad as I had done my letter to Lord Cobham and Mr Secretary, I could stay no longer. I send, therefore, only my hearty commendations and thanks.—From the Court, 7 Aug. 1598. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. VIII. 15.]
Aug. 8.
K. d. L. x. 698 (from another copy).
Whereas by your last letter you have declared your conference with Bussy d' Amboise, and shown some reason for your stay from repairing to Monsieur, as we wished you to do, though we find nothing to mislike in your report of Bussy's long speeches on behalf of his master, both for assurance that he will content us in all his actions and specially in continuing his former suit to marry us, we yet do not see that you followed that course which you knew before your departure was our special meaning for the direction of Monsieur's actions in this enterprise, and which now upon his sudden coming with preparations for so great forces to follow is specially needful that we may 'understand what we may indeed be assured of, and not be abused with general offers of good will, yea, of marriage, and in the meantime, to win such advantage there by entering into such a possession of that country, as may prove neither good for that country nor for us.' Therefore, as you knew, when it was thought that Monsieur had left his former enterprise of aiding the States, we were with good reason moved to wish the renewing of his treaty with them so that they might have his aid to do them good against the Spaniards, but not to acquire to himself the possession of those countries, and therefore gave his servant Du Vraye answer that if Monsieur would so deal with the States to give them only such aid as we or our ministers on that side by conference with the States should think meet, we could not mislike of his renewing his former treaty with the States ; which kind of answer of ours we hear he interprets as the cause of his coming thither. But considering he does not acquaint us with his special intent and scope, how far he means to extend this aid and forces (which as we hear are to be greater than the States have need of, or at least than they ask for) it is necessary that you press him and his ministers to know his resolution and move him to agree, for the avoiding of sinister interpretations, to let you, our Ministers there, confer with the States, and come to some resolution with his ministers, with what numbers and on what conditions it shall seem to all parties reasonable, sufficient, and honourable that the Low Countries be aided by him, only to be delivered from the tyranny of the Spaniards, and not under colour of receiving his aid to become subjects to him. This is what you know we have come to desire, and therefore our meaning is, and was, that you should not only by dealing with him and his ministers get knowledge of his intentions, but do your uttermost to procure him to proceed no further. You may assure Monsieur if his desire be indeed, as his Ministers here pretend, to please us and prefer our advice and request before all others, by this only course he may make account of our good will and readiness to assist him in all actions tending to his safety and honour as in times past. And, to conclude, we require you to keep their course with him, and if you find any other intention to advertise us of it with all speed ; for we have cause to be perplexed at this time, through the doubt whether all these fair offices to us may prove rather an entertainment of us to win time for his private advantage in acquiring those countries ; which it behoves us by all good means to withstand. You shall further understand that 'Backvile,' Monsieur's Ambassador here, declares that his master will in this be wholly ruled by us, either to prosecute it as we will, or to desist if we will. Which how we may believe is doubtful, and therefore we would have you confer with such of the States as you think meet and learn of them what they think meetest ; that is whether their own forces with Casimir's shall seem sufficient without his assistance, and whether they could be content that he were persuaded to desist from his enterprise. And if they so will, you shall tell them that you have some good ground to assay Monsieur and move him thereto ; and so you shall deal with Monsieur, and declare to him what we are informed by his servant M. Bacqueville, and move him, in respect of the jealousy that the world has of these actions of giving aid where it is not required, adding such other reasons as you think meet, without moving him to mislike such a motion, but by reason of the offer made by his ministers here. But if you hear from the States that they cannot without his assistance withstand the Spanish forces, then on learning in what manner they would have his aid you shall so deal with him and use all convenient persuasions in our name, whereby we shall prove how much we may trust his large offers to be wholly ruled by us. And considering it may seem strange to move him to desist totally from his enterprise in which he has been at so great charges, if the States think it meet so to be and you take upon yourself so to do, it will be requisite before you deal with him, to obtain from the States that some honourable recompense be made to him, either in money down, or with bonds, or with some towns as pledges ; and thereupon he may with more reason be moved to desist, which if he will not do, we may conceive that he has some further intention, and that we have no cause to give credit to his ambassador's speeches. This latter point, of moving him to desist, we know has great difficulty, nor would we think of it, but that Bacqueville constantly delivers it from his master. Although you may conceive that we have misliked some past of your proceeding, since the issue of it answers not our expectation, or at least our desire, and Lord Cobham and you may be in your minds somewhat grieved therewith ; yet being well assured of both your good wills and faithful meaning, we would not that you should dismay yourselves, or 'take conseit of grief,' but continue your endeavours either to procure peace, as hitherto you have done, or to devise how the aid of France may be tempered to do the States good against the Spaniards, which we see by many tokens very doubtful, though Bacqueville uses assured speeches of Monsieur's intention to the contrary. And you, Walsingham, shall at your return know what we have misliked in your actions ; at which time we will not refuse, like a good mistress, to hear your answer with our accustomed favour. Draft ; all but last par. in Burghley's hand. Endd. : 8 August 1578. M. of the Queen's Majesty's letter to Mr Secretary Walsingham. 4 pp. [Holl. and Fl. VIII., 16.]
Aug. 8. 152. Copy of above in a clerk's hand. Endd. : 8 Aug. 1578. Copy of the Queen's Majesty's letter to [the Lord Cobham and : erased] Mr Secretary Walsingham, her ambassador in the Low Countries. Sent from Bury, by Thomas Gurley, the Lord Cobham's servant. 22/3 pp. [Ibid. VIII. 17.]
Aug. 8.
K. d. L. x. 701.
About 8 o'clock this morning I finished and delivered my letter to Lord Cobham's man who was ready to depart from hence to the sea at Harwich. I could not then tell what her Majesty wished to have done with a letter which she caused me to write in all haste on Thursday night, and yet seemed to have no regard of it all yesterday. Now, being about 3 o'clock, she calls for me with some misliking that the letter was not dispatched. I answered that without signing it could neither go nor ride ; which I spoke merrily, but in earnest I told her I had no liking to the latter part of the letter, to move Monsieur to depart, as a thing dishonourable and unreasonable without other motive than bare words. My Lord of Leicester, being by her, and Mr Wilson were well of my opinion, but I perceive 'Backvile' and 'Malvesyre' have more credit in this point ; and so she signed the letter, but commanded a sentence to be added, the last, with which make Lord Cobham acquainted, to comfort him. And truly though she added that she would talk with you when you return, this was spoken with no anger at all, nor would I have you or Lord Cobham take any 'greve' to discourage your spirits, for however the event of things may be, no more can be required of you but your faithful and 'painful travells.' I speak not of the cost of your residence there, which must be excessive for many respects ; and indeed I told her with some weight that the whole world would condemn her if the Low Countries were joined to France which by helping the States she might have stayed, and in the end pleasured the King of Spain against his will by restoring his countries. While I was writing, yours of the 3rd arrive, with a printed device dedicated to Sainte-Aldegonde ; who I think devised it himself except by looking into a few lines of it I take the author to be of less wisdom. What to judge of it I cannot yet tell ; only the title shows what course it is likely that country will take. If that follows I wish the Prince of Orange may retain the Islands, and the Archduke Brabant or Gueldres. The more divisions of the Spanish coat, the better for us ; but I rather wish than expect this.—From the Court in the house of Bury ; where we find the people very sound, saving in some part affected with the bransyk [brainsick] heresy of the papistical family of love. P.S.—Pray let Mr Davison understand how thankfully I take his frequent advertisements, and ask him to continue. Holograph. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIII. 18.]
Aug. 8.
K. d. L. x. 703.
Excuse me at this present that I do not write with my own hand, being presently at no good leisure to write at such length as I would. It will not be long before I dispatch another to you, by whom you shall hear more. Meantime, all things here go meetly well ; and if you will have a little patience I trust you will have no cause to repent of your labour in this journey. This bearer, M. de Cuissy, is come lately with Bacqueville. He has been commended to us by Sir Amyas Poulet, and is well accounted of by her Majesty, and esteemed one to be trusted. I write thus much of the gentleman, because I know not if you have heard anything of him.—From the Court of St. Edmund's Bury, 8 Aug. 1578.. Add. In a clerk's hand. Endd. by L. Tomson, (E : [Walsingham's mark] :) and later. ½ p. [Ibid. VIII. 21.]
Aug. 8.
K. d. L. x. 792.
Though you will hear by the Queen's letter what her pleasure is for my Lord and you to do in this most dangerous world, yet I thought good to send you something myself, specially touching her Majesty's judgement of your service. I must say that I do not know any such misliking conceived as you are informed. The bonds, and the not going to Monsieur all this time have been the chief causes of discontent ; all your other dealings and conferences taken in very good part, and all my Lords standing in defence, with one word of your discreet and wise dealings. Only they wished you had sooner spoken to Monsieur, which I wish you would do without further delay, if you have not already ; the rather because M. de Quyssy is dispatched just now from hence to Monsieur to know his resolution in all things. I have received letters from 'Bridges,' whereby I understand that la Motte is like to be French. It were most necessary to know speedily ; and if you know a fit man to deal with him as from the Queen and to know his full intention, I wish you would use him at once, and I know the Queen would like it very well. In my opinion the welfare of all Flanders depends on la Motte's dealings, who being 'won French,' as I greatly fear, God knows what universal harm will follow. If I knew any here that would and could do good service with him, I would certainly send him ; but I cannot find any able man except Mr Wilkes and he is far from the Court. I have thought of Hearle, but he will fill our heads here with such variety of uncertain truths that I dare not venture upon him.—From the Court at Bury, 8 Aug. 1578. Holograph. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson : Dislike from whence : service well accepted. La Motte feared Fre : send. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 19.]
Your Highness will receive by M. Bussy d'Amboise full information as to our proceedings in the matter of the negotiation of himself and your other Deputies with the Estates. And forasmuch as he may chance to say that he found us a little difficult on certain points we have thought good to advertise you that we were moved to act thus inasmuch as her Majesty's intérest was so far involved that we could not agree to them without forgetting our duty and faith towards her. We doubt not that when you are particularly informed on this point you will judge of it as we desire. We shall be always at your very humble service in all that we can, saving the loyalty which we owe to her Majesty, whenever you please to honour us with your commands.—Antwerp, 8 Aug. 1578. Draft in hand of L. Tomson, and endd. by him : M. to Monsieur touching the Lords' dealing with his ministers and certain differences between them. ½ p. [Ibid. VIII. 20.]
[Aug. 8.]
K. d. L. x. 706.
I wrote in my last of the enemy's attempt on the States' camp and of his repulse. We hear since that he has retired with his whole force between Louvain and Tillemont ; finding his loss greater than it was at first estimated by 600 or 700 men, amongst them divers of mark whose names we cannot yet learn. To this is added the loss of Aerschot, surprised yesterday by the Viscount of Ghent with 1,000 horse and 2 or 3,000 foot. On his offering to assault one part of the town, and drawing the garrison to the defence of that, the gates on the other side were opened by the burghers to some of his company, who entering the town put the garrison to the sword. The taking of this town, though its strength is unimportant, is of some moment to the States, for their reputation and for its convenient situation which will avail for annoying the other towns of the enemy on the same river. Duke Casimir advances very slowly, and has not yet passed the Mase. The French Commissioners are to depart to-day, half hopeless of doing good with the Estates, who have put off answering till they hear from the provinces, having no authority to conclude without their assent. Their [the French] forces are said to be increased in Hainault to 1,000 horse and 4,000 foot ; the rest following à la file. The States of that province have written an answer to the request of those of the religion utterly protesting against them, as you may see by the copy herewith. Draft. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. bis.]
Aug. 9.
K. d. L. x. 711.
You must bear with me if I am short. This messenger is sent in all post haste, for good purpose as I trust, whereof you will receive knowledge by Mr Secretary. Do you continue your writing and I doubt not but in the end you shall receive the reward of your labours. We are here betwixt hope and fear, carried as occasions are offered. If good meaning were known, consultation were needless. Credulity does harm to a good nature, when cunning dealing is used under cover of love and friendship. God grant the fraud may be discovered and truth take place with victory.—Thetford, 9 Aug. 1578. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. VIII. 22.]
Aug. 9. K. d. L. x. 708 (from another copy). 159. THE QUEEN to the AMBASSADORS.
As by our letter sent yesterday to you, Walsingham, we directed you to deal with M. d'Anjou to understand directly how he meant to proceed in his enterprise, so we are still more and more moved 'to doubt of his doings to prove very dangerous,' if he be not dissuaded by us or otherwise, to seek under pretence of aiding the States to become Lord of the countries, or, which may be as evil in the end, incline to the side of the King of Spain, the danger of either of which our Crown and State cannot endure. Therefore if you find any likelihood of either of these, we would have you consider how, though late, it might be withstood, 'with our intermeddling therein, by speedy sending over of 10,000 to 12,000 men or by yielding to the Estates the advancement of the money that may be levied by the bond of £100,000.' And herein we would have the minds of the principal men of the States speedily understood, whether, if they had such an aid of men and money, a stay and 'empechement' would be made to Monsieur's aspiring to the seignory of those countries, or for his revolting to the Spaniards. And as this matter must not be opened to the States as a thing now offered by us and proceeding from a present fear for our own estate to be endangered by Monsieur's actions, because they will then make us answer most to their own advantage and to our excessive charges, as throwing the whole burden of the war upon us, our pleasure is that you, knowing we are minded rather to give aid with men or money than that Monsieur should attain the seignory of those countries or join with the Spaniards against the States, shall by some indirect means, as by renewing speech with them about the stay of the bonds, how it is only for lack of better assurance, or by such other means as you shall think meet, assay the States whether if they have, as speedily as the distance will allow, a force of 10,000 to 12,000 men, or a further sum of money upon the bond, Monsieur might not be stayed from attaining to the seignory of the countries, or abusing the States and joining the Spaniards. If you find the States agree to this, and willing to accept this aid, and that in the mean time it is probable that delays may be used towards Monsieur, till our forces can arrive, you shall request them to give you but time to advertise us, which you shall promise to do speedily ; your action being taken on your own consideration of the extremity to which you see affairs are going for lack of our aid, 'which' you may say you hope, upon your advertisement of the imminent perils you see likely to follow by Monsieur, you will be able to induce us to assent to such 'resolvable' aid as shall serve their purpose. At least you may assure them they shall have a resolute answer as speedily as a messenger can come and return. Remember in communicating this that if we shall be persuaded to send men or give credit for money, we ought to have some maritime towns for gages meet for us to be kept to be a respondent therefore. We send with haste, and request you to answer with all the haste you can ; for if we perceive that it will be needful to divert the peril of Monsieur, and he cannot be otherwise refrained or tempered, we will not fail to aid them with men or money, and we doubt not but to cause a force of 10,000 or 12,000 men to be arrayed and transported in time to serve the purpose.—Bury, 9 Aug. 1578. Copy in hand of L. Tomson. Endd. by him ; and in another hand : Sent from Thetford by Walter Williams, servant to Mr Secr. Walsingham. 1½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 23.]
Aug. 9.
K. d. L. x. 710
I am glad to see the readiness of our Sovereign now at length to consider of prevention against danger to be feared. Yesterday we consulted how to devise for present safety, and I not being present to-day when the resolution was delivered, her Majesty, as you see, commanded the Lord Treasurer to write in haste to you, that you might with offer of money and men deliver the Estates from suspected usurpation. I am glad to understand of this test to do good, which I pray God be not offered over late, and that the credit of it be not decayed and lost before these advertisements come. Temporizing has been heretofore thought good policy, but I fear that the loss of occasion offered may 'not' turn to our ruin hereafter. The sword is drawn by others, and they ready to execute their designs. God grant our later counsels may be received with credit, to the benefit of public welfare and the advancement of God's glory. There was never so dangerous a time as this, and temporizing will no longer serve. God grant a resolution may turn now at length to the profit of our country. You are to do as you are directed, and discharging your conscience, as I am well assured you do, to God and man, you need not be troubled with reports.—Thetford, 9 Aug. 1578. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 24.]
Aug. 9.
K. d. L. x. 710.
You may both think it strange to receive a letter from her Majesty written by me in such haste. There was no leisure to re-write it ; such was her care to make haste therewith, that upon consultation with Lord Leicester, myself, and Mr Vice-Chamberlain, she concluded upon the matter of the letter. She is greatly perplexed to think that the Low Countries may become French ; and while she is in fear of this, she seems ready to hazard any expense. It is now determined that if upon your answer necessity shall induce her to send forces, Lord Leicester will come over without delay and the army shall follow. Nevertheless, though this is at present earnestly meant, I can assure nothing, but only this, that I am uncertain of much. I pray you both pardon me ; the letter from the Queen was written in haste while she was making ready to horse.—Bury, 9 Aug. 1578. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 25.]
Aug. 10.
K. d. L. x. 712.
I thought you had been with Monsieur at Mons, because it seemed to be much desired here, but for what good purpose I know not. Some think it were better for the Low Countries to be vanquished by the Spaniards than by the French ; but I am not one of those, for if the Spaniards should be victors, we should be sure to have both France and Spain against us. But it cannot be without danger to her Majesty if the Low Countries be subdued either to the French or to the Spaniards' tyranny, and her aid in time would easily have preserved the Low Countries from both. Now she would aid them to save them from the French ; but whether it be too late or not, God knows. I do not know whether such as were not forward to aid the States when Don John was victor at Namur, and such as feared to bring her Majesty into a war by aiding the States against the Spaniards have now changed their opinion upon this new 'accident' of Colonel Norris fronting the Spaniards with his regiment so manfully and skilfully beyond expectation. But I do perceive, however it grows, that her Majesty is suddenly minded without scruple to offer aid afresh to the States both of men and money ; and I like very well thereof, although so long as the Spaniards were victors and were not fronted with so long, so hot, and so orderly a skirmish as they have now been by Colonel Norris, her Majesty would neither be drawn, nor perhaps so wholly counselled to offer aid. But now it is somewhat apparent the Spaniards are no such devils ; but that if the French upon this fronting of our regiment of Englishmen, uncountenanced by her Majesty, shall with authority of the States join against the Spaniards, they are like enough to drive Don John out of the Low Countries, and withall to take such a footing there as they will not forego again for any friendship to the King of Spain. If my Lord Cobham and you do not interpose your good countenances to persuade our English captains to accept John Norris for their only Colonel, whereby our regiment may acknowledge our special commands over them, I fear that disdainful contention may bring them to ruin, which were great pity.—10 Aug. 1578.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 26.]