Elizabeth: August 1578, 11-20

Pages 131-141

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, 11-20

Aug. 13 163. TREATY between BUSSY, acting as deputy for the DUKE OF ANJOU, accompanied by NEUFVILLE and MONDOUCET ; and the ESTATES.
The Duke of Anjou shall assist the Estates with menand means for their deliverance from the insupportable tyranny of the Spaniards, and from the wicked invasion of Don John and his adherents. That is to say, by maintaining 10,000 foot and 2,000 horse, paid at his cost, for 3 whole months next ensuing, and in consideration of the expenses he has already incurred, the first month shall be allowed to him for all this month of August, as though he had assisted the Estates with the above number of men, the other two months being reckoned from the first day of September, provided that all his forces are by that time in the country and ready for service. If after the said three months the war shall not be ended, the Duke shall continue his assistance with 3,000 foot and 500 horse, to be employed for the garrison of the places delivered to him, and otherwise. Thereupon the Estates accord to the Duke the title of Defender of the liberties of the Low Countries against the tyranny of the Spaniards and their adherents ; that it may appear what lawful occasion he has to succour them. To assure both parties against such common enemies as may arise either against him or against the Estates by reason of this enterprise, and to maintain and augment the good correspondence which it has pleased the Queen of England to maintain with them, it has been found expedient that the Duke with the Estates shall 'make means' to her Majesty that it would please her to enter with them into a firm and steadfast alliance for the profit of these countries, of the Duke and of the Estates ; joining thereto the King of Navarre and his confederates, the Duke Casimir, and all other princes and commonwealths that shall desire it and shall be thought meet ; upon such conditions as shall be jointly agreed upon. But for that M. de Bussy and the other deputies declare they have no commission to do it, the said Bussy shall be requested to use all diligence with the Duke that this concept of alliance may take effect ; so as it serve not by any means to invade any that are not enemies to the said alliance. And the Duke shall not enterprise war against the Queen, but shall, so far as he can possibly, hinder that any be made against her. Likewise the Estates shall be bound to maintain a perpetual alliance with the Duke ; and this war being ended to assist him against all such as would assail him, with the number of 10,000 foot and 2,000 horse, paid and 'waged' at their cost the space of three months, which being expired and the war not ended they shall be bound to continue the succour of 3,000 foot and 500 horse. Except only the Empire, the realms of England and Scotland, and other allies of the Estates, as the King of Denmark, the towns of the Hanse, the Electors and the Duke of Cleve. Provided that the Duke shall not enterprise any war for the matter of religion ; in which case the Estates shall not be bound to lend him any aid. Meantime, during the succour of the Duke, the Estates accord that in all expeditions of war his army being joined by common advice with theirs and the Duke being there in person, he shall be named the Premier, and shall command, as defender of the liberty of the Low Countries, jointly with the States represented by their general. And if he is not there in person, the general of the States shall command alone. But as concerns the policy and government of the country, the Duke shall be content not to deal therein, but the whole handling of it shall remain to the Estates and such as by them shall be appointed, as the Archduke and his council of State, and yet all dispatches to the Duke shall be made as from the States and Council of State. And for the rest, the present government shall remain wholly as it is now. And forasmuch as all particular treaties cannot but engender mistrust and diminish mutual sincerity and plain dealing, the Duke promises that he will not make any treaties nor devise any intelligence in particular with any towns, provinces, or persons in these parts, without the consent of the States-General. And the States promise not to make any treaty or have any particular intelligence that may be to the prejudice of the Duke. And they further bind themselves, that in case they would hereafter take another prince they will prefer him to all others. And for that purpose the States-General shall assemble within three months after the end of the war, and sooner if it may be, to resolve thereon. And for the assurance of the Duke the States are content to put into his hands the towns heretofore promised ; to wit, Quesnoy, Landrecies and Bavais. And in case he can take from the enemy one of these towns : Marienbourg, Philippeville, or Binche, it shall be delivered to him in exchange for Bavais. And that these towns may be delivered to the Duke, letters shall be dispatched both to them and to Count Lalaing, governor of Hainault, and to the governors of the town to that end ; declaring to them that it is for the weal and general surety of the country and for their own in particular. And if they refuse, the Estates shall devise a strait commandment with protestations against them for all the evil that shall ensue ; and will use all diligence possible towards Count Lalaing and others that the assurance of the town may be performed. All places situated on the other side of the Meuse, and are not now nor have been joined in the association called the Pacification of Ghent, as Burgundy and Luxembourg, which shall be taken by the said Duke's forces, whether alone or accompanied by those of the States, shall remain under his command and obedience during his life and after his decease, they and such towns as he shall receive for his assurance shall descend to his heirs male procreated in lawful marriage, but to no others ; for which the necessary suerties shall be given. Towns etc. which have been united with the Estates since the pacification of Ghent shall remain to them by whatever means they may be recovered. As for towns and places not so associated which shall yield of their own good will without compulsion but by composition, the Estates are content that he shall take half the conquest of them. Accepting nevertheless the offer that on the Estates repaying the charges of the men of war called out by the Duke for the general defence of the country, the town promised in assurance shall be redelivered to them. The Estates, accepting the offer made by the Duke to declare himself (as he has already done in effect) enemy to Don John and his adherents, and to all such as the States shall hold as enemies and specially of the Spaniard. Whereof there shall be pointed a solemn act in such form as the States shall think good. The Duke shall not bring any foreign soldier other than natural Frenchmen, and those in number aforesaid ; save his ordinary guard of Swiss, 'which is of the body of his house.' He shall by all possible means hinder troops of Frenchmen and others from coming to the aid of the Spaniards ; and all other comfort and assistance to the enemy as much as he possibly may. The troops sent by the Duke shall be employed by common advice for the best welfare of the country. Thanking the Duke most heartily for the acts of hostility while he has already shown against the said enemy. Provided that neither he nor the Estates may treat of any peace with the King of Spain without the consent of the other ; but so that during this present month of August in case the Estates agree with Don John upon conditions of a good and assured peace, not being to the prejudice of the Duke or his servants, they may have liberty to hearken thereto, to conclude and determine, on condition that Don John during the present month redelivers the towns of Limborg, Ruremonde and Deventer, together with all the towns on this side of the Meuse, into the hands of the States ; provided that the Duke and all who have served him in this expedition be comprehended in the treaty, together with all princes who have given succour to the States, as the Queen of England, Duke Casimir and others. And upon condition that if hereafter any make war upon the Duke in respect of the succour lent by him to the Estates they are bound to succour him as above specified, and if peace be made within the time abovesaid, they acknowledge that the benefit of it, after God, proceeds from the Duke, and they shall cause him to be repaid all his outlay, and give him an acknowledgement agreeable to his greatness. And while they treat of peace all the other articles herein mentioned shall remain in full force, and men shall not forbear to do all acts of hostility. The States accept the offer which the Duke makes to them concerning the conservation of the towns which shall be put into his hands in such sort as the inhabitants shall have cause to be content, and with so good discipline that the neighbours may take example therefrom ; maintaining their ancient privileges 'droicts' and liberties, and restoring them in such state as he shall receive them, unless they shall be assailed and forced by the enemy. Whereof the Duke will give them assurance. Made and agreed at Antwerp, and signed by the ambassador and the Greffier of the Estates. 13 August 1578. Overleaf : The Duke's ratification of this accord. English translation, apparently a draft, but endd. by Burghley's secretary. 7¼ pp. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 27.]
The burgesses of Haarlem and Leyden used formerly to subsist mainly by clothworking, whereby those towns rose to notable wealth and prosperity. The inhabitants used to get their wool from English merchants at Calais, until Calais was taken, after which time they got it from Staplers at Bruges ; whereby there was not only a brisk traffic between them and the two towns, but also a firm friendship between the English realm and Holland and Zealand. Subsequently the cloth manufacture began to decline, owing to the wars and the long sieges which the town had to undergo, until it has entirely perished, while the clothiers and those who depend on them have been reduced to extreme poverty. Now seeing that they are by God's goodness somewhat free of war, they wish to revive their old trade ; but being unable to find at Bruges the former supply of wool, they have thought good to send their deputies to England, to employ there the little cash that remains to them in buying that material ; if her Majesty will grant them a licence for four years to transport a certain quantity out of the country. When in this town their deputies spoke to his Excellency, who, desirous to help the poor folks who have suffered so much for their country's liberty, gave them letters to her Majesty, to the Earl of Leicester and to Lord Burghley. And knowing the ambassadors' credit with the Queen he has bidden me repair to your lordships, and pray you also to give them letters to the Queen and Council. Wherein you will do a work of charity to the two towns ; of whose increased trade her Majesty's subjects will feel the benefit.—Antwerp, 14 Aug. 1578. Add. Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 28.]
Aug. 15.
K. d. L. x. 719.
165. EXTRACT of a LETTER from NIEUPORT, Aug. 15.
Last Sunday la Motte announced verbally at Gravelines to the deputies from the towns and castellenies of West Flanders that the Duke of Anjou had requested him to take his side by aiding him to conquer the Low Countries—with conservation of the Roman Catholic faith ; and to drive the Prince of Orange from the country as being of a different religion. To which he says his reply was that he had pledged his faith to the King, and would keep it. And he advised the said towns and castellenies to hold the side of those who would maintain the King's right, and help to drive out the Prince of Orange, and resist the Duke of Anjou. Fr. 12 ll. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 29.]
Aug. 16.
K. d. L. x. 728.
Your honourable dealing with all persons in her Majesty's service assures me of your great care of us as public persons ; therefore I do not mistrust anything but good to come from you, though your business serves you not to answer my letters, yet I am sure that if you might do as you would we should both receive encouragement in the great and weighty causes which daily grow upon us. The hard opinion conceived of us at home, and the little comfort we can give these poor afflicted here, so amaze me that if you knew our minds you would pity us. Yet, God willing, we will proceed as faithful servants to her Majesty and good members of the commonwealth. This I say, that if we had delivered as hard comfort to the States as we have had from my Lords, this country had been French ; but as occasion served, we kept them in hope of the continuance of her Majesty's favour, hoping that by your good mediation, and others of my Lords, her Majesty would answer directly what she will do. There is no lack of means here at present, but of money. If this can be supplied, Don John would be forced to yield to a peace, and Monsieur cut off from possessing any town ; some 'rebursing' of his charges, otherwise nothing, if the supply comes in time. The Emperor's ambassador is returned from Don John with a general answer, which I send, as his speech to the States. Upon this the States have set down their demands, which we send to my Lords ; and have requested us to repair to Don John, which we have yielded to, and are now sending for a safe-conduct, which had, we will repair to him and see what may be done for a peace. I assure you it will soon take effect if they may be helped with £30,000 or thereabout to pay their footmen who now are in town unpaid. What you do must be done at once. The Emperor's ambassador returns to Don John, and Bellièvre, the French king's ambassador, is requested to do the like. We are daily called upon by Monsieur's minister and by the States to know her Majesty's resolution touching the negotiations between the States and Monsieur, which we sent to my Lords by our last courier. We send them now again, somewhat altered and agreed among them. We are daily pressed for an answer, therefore I must pray you that with 'soon' speed we may know what to say ; and that whatever necessity shall force the States to consent to, it shall not take place till the end of this month, at which time the treaty of peace with Don John also ceases if peace be not had before. Casimir has passed the Rhine and the Meuse and lodges to-night at 'Boolddoke.' If her Majesty knew how this people honour and love her she would neither suffer them to return to the Spaniards' tyranny nor to the insupportable yoke of France.—Antwerp, 16 August. P.S.—This other day, Baussigny, Bersele, Glymes, and Héze presented a supplication to the Lords of Brussels that they would not suffer any innovation of religion. For that it came out of Champagny's forge, his house is spoiled and he now taken. I have caused a plan of the camp to be drawn for you, and of the manner of the skirmish, which I will send by the next. Help, my good lord, that at Mr Sommers' return we may have her Majesty's resolution on all points, and leave to return home. Our charges are too great for us. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 30.]
Aug. 17.
K. d. L. x. 737 (from another copy.)
I will not trouble you with many lines, this bearer Mr Sommers being well able to declare to you the proceeding here where our long desperate opinion of a peace is somewhat qualified since the return of the Emperor's ambassador from Don John, whom he 'assures' to find in very good disposition that way. Yesterday morning the ambassador at the States' request went back to Louvain to break the ice against the coming of 'our lords,' whom the States have also besought to employ their labour in so godly a work ; which they have undertaken, and are to depart as to-morrow. The French ambassador Bellièvre, who on Friday morning went in post to Mons, has likewise promised to follow them ; his train waiting for him meanwhile at Brussels. What fruit their travails will yield is as yet hard to say, though there may be some hope of doing good if Don John be not a man very ill-advised, or there be not intelligence between him and the French. For if he consider the manifest danger of 'aliening' these countries from the King of Spain by the going forward of the Duke of Alençon's enterprise, especially if it be favoured by the King his brother (as men generally think it is, the King being induced thereto both by good policy and by necessity, finding no better remedy than this outward war to avoid an inward combustion), it is held a matter out of doubt that he will be content to hearken to a composition ; the rather because by a war he is in hazard of being driven out of the country, either by force or by famine, to his dishonour and disservice of the King. For if his money and victuals already fail him, a matter assured, what hope can he have to hold out long against such forces as he is like to be assailed with on all sides? for he can only give battle with great hazard, and to retire upon a defensive war, abandoning the field to his adversaries, he will be forced in a month to forego the greater part of the places which he has been a year in getting. Besides, what by the French on one side and the States on the other, the country will be occupied and the passages stopped, so that neither men, money, or victuals can come to him ; which difficulty, together with his experience of the little profit of his whole year's war, notwithstanding the overthrow given to the States and the advantage of remaining ever since master of the field, cannot but incline him to peace ; unless, as I said, he is assured of the French or very illadvised. Meantime I doubt not that the short time allowed for treating, limited by the recent contract with the French to this month, Don John's want of authority, and the quality of some of the articles will offer difficulty enough. The condition on which the States have concluded with the Duke of Alençon's ministers, his strength in the country, the late tumult at Brussels, instigated by Champagny, who is since taken prisoner, the approach of Duke Casimir, the state of our camp and other particulars, I leave to Mr Sommers.—Antwerp, 17 Aug. 1578. Add. Endd. 1½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 31.]
Aug. 17. 168. Draft of above letter. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 31a.]
Aug. 17.
K. d. L. x. 731 (from another copy.)
Though your ambassador will have fully advertised your Majesty of what has occurred here and the causes which have moved us to treat with the Duke of Anjou, which are founded solely on the tranquillity of this country, we feel it nevertheless our duty to beseech you to be content with the said treaty and approve of that which after much discussion we have decided on for our country's good. We hope that the issue of it will be not only to your greatness but to the peace of this afflicted country ; beseeching you once again to let us enjoy the fulfilment of your promise, whereby our affairs may be put in a better road, and these countries restored to their ancient splendour. The praise will be yours, and moreover the countries will remain more than bound to your service at all points.—Antwerp, 17 Aug. 1578. Copy. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 32.]
Aug. 17.
K. d. L. x. 737.
I eannot render sufficient thanks for your most friendly letter and good advice ; especially for the advice to answer her Majesty's last letter with all expedition. I shall pray you to excuse my present shortness : wherein I am the bolder to offend because this bearer, Mr Sommers, is able very sufficiently to acquaint you with the whole course of our proceedings. You may therefore enquire of him particulars of what passed between Monsieur and me at Mons, how the Prince of Orange is inclined to the French, what hard speeches passed from him to Mondoucet and [qy. others] of Monsieur's ministers in the presence of Bussy, and what means I have used towards the Prince to hide the error of your doings there, and to use him as an instrument to continue the States' good affection towards her Majesty.—Antwerp, 17 Aug. 1578. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 33.]
Aug. 18.
K. d. L. x. 742.
Upon your return from Monsieur and news of your dealing with him we hope some good resolution will be taken. Meantime her Majesty has promised to sign 'the letter for horses to be in a readiness upon recusants,' and my Lord of Leicester commanded (sic) to make choice of fit captains in several shires to be appointed and sent thither. He dealt, I assure you, so plainly, so boldly, and so faithfully within these few days with our Sovereign against delays and 'unnecessary used allegations' as I never heard Councillor take the like upon him, and as God would, he was heard with as great patience. M. Rambouillet the elder comes here to-morrow with a very plausible message, as I am informed ; and as I guess to advance the match as much as may be. It seems very forward here, if things with you be answerable thereto. But what the issue will be, God only knows. M. 'de Plessey' [qy. Cuissy] (fn. 1) is coming to you, by whom you will understand more. I have received letters of Aug. 12 from Mr Bowes, by which I perceive that the Lords were furiously set against the King's power and the authority that the Earl Morton has about him ; and if they may by any means they mean to hazard a battle, being on the 12th five miles from Stirling and equal in number to the King's forces. Her Majesty has ordered the Earl of Huntingdon to go at once to Berwick and there to consult with Lord Hunsdon and Sir John Forster, that upon warning given by Mr Bowes of any present necessity they two may enter Scotland with 1,000 horse, 1,000 harquebusiers, and 500 corselets, to be levied out of Yorkshire and the Bishopric, and the Earl of Huntingdon to stay at Berwick to send new supplies if needed. This was resolved last night, and I trust will to-day be performed, because of the present danger and apparent necessity. And because I wish you to be somewhat refreshed in the midst of your weighty affairs I have sent Captain Colborne (sic) who has longed a great while for a dispatch, and to see you. As I was writing this letter I took order for the dispatch of letters signed by the Lords, to the North, whence God send us good news, as also from your quarters. Never was sovereign more princely received than the Queen has been here ; but in the midst of all this jollity it were good to provide for mischief hereafter, which I fear is not far from us.—Norwich, 18 Aug. 1578. Add. Endd. 1½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 34.]
Aug. 18.
K. d. L. x. 734.
You must not think it amiss that your servant does not return at present. Great suit has been made by Captain Cockebourne (sic) to come ; who will faithfully discharge his service, and has a great desire to wait upon Mr Secretary Walsingham. Your man shall be the next ; who is ever in my eye till he be with you. You do well to send full advertisements, which are well liked here. The North towards Scotland I fear will before long give cause of great speech, as you may understand by my letter to Mr Secretary. Pray keep me in good grace with the Prince of Orange, though I do not write to him. If my ability served he should understand my affection.—From the Court at Norwich, 18 Aug. 1578. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ib. VIII. 35.]
Aug. 18.
K. d. L. x. 741.
You may think our matters are not great that I write no oftener, but lest you should think either that I had not received your letter or that they are not welcome, I may not let my messenger pass without some signification of my mindfulness. It shall suffice that you know her Majesty and all we your friends here are in good health and at present here at Norwich, somewhat near you ; where methinks I hear every day the voice of that people, but little peace I imagine they say, but cry out upon such neighbours. Well, God help them, and us too, fearing our need will be worse than theirs. Well, I can say no more, but bid you farewell.—In much haste, 18 Aug. 1578. P.S.—I fear the Regent is like to be in hard case ; and a battle either stricken there or like to be ere you hear again. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ib. VIII., 36.]
Aug. 18.
L. d. L. x. 739 (from a copy).
174. The LORDS of the COUNCIL to the AMBASSADORS.
We have received your letters of the 8th inst., with a copy of the instructions conceived by the States in answer of a former treaty betwixt them and the French, and given by them to the Deputies of the Duke of Alençon, being first imparted to you. We have also received your apostilles to some articles of the instructions, and the request of the States to you upon them, and lastly your replication to them. All have been read to her Majesty, who has commanded us to signify to you her satisfaction with your discreet dealing in regard to those instructions, and your exception to certain articles in them. For a general answer to them all, her pleasure is that we should signify to you that she does not mislike the acceptance of the aid to be offered by the Duke, so long as there be no intention in either him or them to work a separation of them from their sovereign lord and duke the King of Spain. Yet in that the States offer to the Duke by way of promise that if they shall hereafter make choice of any other prince they will prefer him, her Majesty finds it strange, and much mislikes that it gives argument to the world to imagine both that they have a meaning to change their head and the Duke a desire to become their lord ; which is a matter contrary both to their former protestations, and to the course which her Majesty has held from the beginning, having sought by all possible means to procure a pacification between the King and his subjects. And perceiving that to be greatly hindered by the disposition of his ministers, who having force at their command and being likely therewith to subvert the state of the Low Countries, she has in respect of the ancient leagues between her Crown and them, yielded to the States divers favours, only to preserve them from subversion, continuing to mean to make a pacification. And so far as the aid required by the States of the Duke may tend to the same purpose she likes it both in them and in the Duke, but otherwise not, and has so given the Duke to understand ; who also, as he has by open protestation notified his meaning to be no other, has confirmed the same by his special messages to her Majesty ; so she wishes that the accord between him and the States may take place. And whereas it seems that he requires certain towns to be put into his hands for security, coming as he does in his own person with his force at his own charge, if it be so ordered that there be no intent to alienate them from the King of Spain, but only to have them for security, her Majesty does not mislike of it. Thus without a fuller 'censure' in detail of each of the remaining articles, her Majesty would have the States understand that in all their treaties, whether with the Duke or any other, she wishes there to be no scope or intention in their actions, but first to procure a pacification between the King and them. And if time cannot as yet procure it, by reason of the evil disposition of the King's ministers, delighting in actions more of hostility than of tranquillity, her Majesty cannot mislike of their accepting such aid as the Duke offers, only for their defence, and to procure peace by divesting or repelling the forces prepared against them. All other parts of the instructions, tending to the contrary of this, she does mislike, and would have the States have due regard thereto. We should well have liked you to send us the copy of the articles of the offers made by the French, upon which the instructions depend ; for now we can but guess at them by the articles of the instructions which seem to answer them. The Queen has also been made acquainted with your letter of the 4th inst. sent to me, Secretary Wilson, concerning the book in advantage of the French nation and contemning others. And as she well likes your intention to use all good means to procure condign punishment of such a slanderous invention, she wishes us to signify to you that there are very great presumptions that one 'Dammartyne' is the author of it ; a man (by the conjecture) very apt to take such a matter in hand, and one who in other cases has discovered his forward disposition against our nation. This letter we trust will come to your hand shortly, upon the return of you, Mr Secretary, from Mons. When you have received her Majesty's resolutions touching what you shall write of your negotiation with the Duke, we trust that with it you will receive the order for your return ; which we shall willingly procure, as we have not wanted to the best of our power to procure you such dispatch from time to time as we thought 'mought' advance her Majesty's service under your hands. But this progress time has been some impediment to it.—Norwich, 18 Aug. 1578. (Signed) W. Burghley, T. Sussex, R. Leicester, James Crofts, Chr. Hatton, Tho. Wilson. Add. Seal. Endd. by L. Tomson : From the Lords, received at Lovain the 24 Aug. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 37.]
Aug. 18. 175. Draft of the above, with corrections in Burghley's hand. Endd. 'sent by Cap. Cokborn from Norwich.' 4¼ pp. [Fl. VIII. 37a.]
Aug. 19.
K. d. L. x. 746.
Understanding by my cousin Norris that the English soldiers in the camp are driven to great straits by lack of their pay, I beg that if there be any money taken up by virtue of our merchant adventurers' bonds, you will care that they be relieved with part of it. We have tarried here till now without tidings of a safe-conduct. If Don John sends it, there is some hope of a peace ; if not, it will be an argument that he does not desire it.—'Malines,' 19 Aug. 1578. Add. Endd. 11 ll. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 38.]
Aug. 20.
K. d. L. x. 747.
This day we received answer from Don John that we should be welcome, and that order should be taken by the Governor at 'Loveyn' for our lodging. This course of his puts us in comfort that a peace will grow between him and the States. I learn by Jacomo that peace is greatly desired in his camp. By my next I shall be able to give you some light on the matter. Please see this letter to my Lords conveyed by the ordinary post. —'Maclyn,' 20 Aug. 1578. Add. Holograph. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 39.]


  • 1. Du Plessis had left England for the Low Countries in July, and remained there till 1580. Wilson is probably confusing the two French names. See No. 154.