Elizabeth: August 1578, 21-25

Pages 141-149

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, 21-25

Aug. 22.
K. d. L. x. 748.
Yesterday towards evening I received the packet herewith from my Lords, who (having no 'rather' their safe-conduct) departed from Mechlin to Louvain, leaving us here in 'expectation of the success' of their journey ; of which the opinions are divers according to men's divers apprehensions. Some, and of the wisest, who consider the natural indisposition of Don John to 'quiet' the difficulty in divers of the States' demands, namely touching the 'reddition' of the places, and the matters of government and religion ; the resolution it is thought he has rather to hazard all than to grant anything that may derogate from the majesty of the King and his own reputation ; the advantage he has of places to retire into and make a defensive war if the worst fall out ; the difficulty for his enemy to 'expugne' those holds but with infinite loss of men and time ; the supply he may meanwhile hope to receive from Spain, Italy, Germany, and other places, and the accidents that may happen among his enemy to his advantage ; the want they are in here even now of money to maintain their army, his hope by lengthening the war to double that and other inconveniences and weary them with the long burden of nourishing so huge an army ; besides, the suspicion of intelligence between him and the French —are resolutely of opinion there will be no peace. Others, amongst whom are divers of good discourse, persuade themselves he is both inclined to peace and glad of the opportunity offered by the interposition of these princes. These ground their reasons upon the jealousy which the King of Spain ought in policy to have of the coming in of the French, and the apparent danger which thereby threatens him, not only the loss of these countries but the hazard of his whole estate in general ; the inequality of his forces to make head in the open field against the States alone, much less to resist both them and the French ; the danger into which Don John throws both his own force and the estate of the King his master, if he be driven to forsake the country ; the distress in which he finds himself already both for money and victuals, and the little means he will have to be supplied with them, his adversaries being masters of the field ; the weakening of his numbers by mortality ; with divers other like considerations. But what 'success' the matter will take must appear in a very few days. Upon the approach of Duke Casimir, whose forces to-night join our camp at Rymenam, he has, as the report is, abandoned Diest, Sichenen, and Arschot, the latter of which was not long since surprised and sacked by the States' men, and afterwards left to the enemy's discretion. Now it is thought that the whole army will within 3 or 4 days march towards Louvain. Of the proceedings in Hainault we hear little since the departure of the French Commissioners, save that there has been some tumult at Valenciennes and the people in arms one against another ; the occasion being imputed by Count Lalaing to one M. de Harchies sent thither by the Archduke to inform himself of a 'partiality' among them touching the magistrates and government. Where, instead of a mediator, he has, as the Count complains, made himself a party and handled the matter so that it is like to grow to some foul disorder, if it be not pacified ; to which end the States have sent commissioners. Champagney is now conveyed to Ghent by the Bruxellers, by whom he has been very rudely treated, but hitherto no accusation framed against him.—Antwerp, 22 Aug. 1578. P.S.—By letters of the 6th inst. from Spain we hear that the King has resolved to send the Duke of Nova Terra (sic) to request and authorize the Emperor to treat in the compounding of peace ; and by this time it is thought he is on his journey. Draft, with corrections in Davison's hand. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 40.]
Year 1578, the 24th August.
Supplied for my Lords the Ambassadors of the Queen of England.
1 large marchpane at 20 sh. - - - - 1 gulden 0
1 bay tree, silvered [?] cost - - - - - 1 g. 4 sh.
2 marchpanes at 15 sh. - - - - - 1 g. 10 sh.
2 rosemary trees at 6 sh. each garnished - - 0 g. 12 sh.
1 lb. 'briecken' [gy. buns], 24 sh. per lb. - - 1 g. 4 sh.
1 lb. dry suckets at 36 sh. - - - - - 1 g. 16 sh.
½ lb. fine cinnamon - - - - - - 1 g. 0
½ lb. anise sugar - - - - - - 0 8 sh.
½ lb. melon seed - - - - - - 1 g. 0
1 lb. 'madriaens' [comfits] at 24 sh. - - - 1 g. 4 sh.
1¼ lb. wet suckets at 20 sh - - - - 1 g. 5 sh.
¾ lb. pistachios at 18 sh. - - - - - 0 13½ sh.
1 lb. 'roskilyen' ['rosquillas,' rusks] - - - 0 14 sh.
¾ lb. 'letteren' [cakes] at 14 sh. - - - 0 10½ sh.
1 lb. 'panadillyen' ['empanadillas,' cheesecakes] - 0 16 sh.
1 lb. biscuit - - - - - - - 0 14 sh.
2 pots hypocras at 2 gulden per pot - - - 4 g. 0
1 lb. coarse cinnamon - - - - - 0 18 sh.
1 lb. pine-kernels - - - - - - 0 18 sh.
1 lb. almonds - - - - - - - 0 16 sh.
1 'sousus' [puff] weighs ½ lb., at 18 sh. - - 0 9 sh.
¾ lb. parmesan at 14 sh. - - - - - 0 10½ sh.
18 'oblyen' [sweet wafers] at 2 sh. each - - 1 g. 16 sh.
Total - - 25 g. 6½ sh.
4 lb. [sic] 4s. 5d.
Flemish. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 44.]
Aug. 24.
K. d. L. x. 753 (from another copy).
On Monday last the Lords departed hence to Mechlin, and from thence on Thursday to Louvain. Since, hearing nothing from them, we remain in suspense. Duke Casimir arrived on Friday night with his troop at Rymenam, whence it is thought they will move in 3 or 4 days towards Louvain. Upon his approach the enemy abandoned Diest, Sichen, and Arschot, all indefensible towns. At Valenciennes the people have risen in arms about the choice of their magistrates ; some approving, others impugning such as are noted to favour the part of the Count Lalaing, who imputes the chief blame of the disorder to one M. de Harchies sent by the Archduke for information. The States sent other Deputies yesterterday to pacify them. The French swarm about the frontier, forbearing to attempt anything till they see the issue of this new traffic of peace. Champagney is conveyed to Ghent [as before ; but the draft (No. 181) reads : to keep company with the rest of his faction there].—Antwerp, 24 Aug. 1578. Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 41.]
Aug. 24. 181. Draft of the above, in Davison's own hand, and signed ; but apparently not sent. It has a P.S. as follows :
Both my Lords before their departure, and I in their absence, have been continually solicited on the one side by the Prince and States, and on the other by the agents of Duke Casimir, to lay before her Majesty their present distress for money, and to beseech her help at this pinch, the matter importing them so much as it does. But because my Lords have sufficiently touched on this in their letters, I shall not need to bring it in these. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 42.]
I beg to inform you that the Estates, by the advice as they tell me of their Council, have replied that there shall be paid to the Duke 6,000 florins which the people of Utrecht have paid, and in a few days they hope to receive 8,500 from Friesland. Those of Guelders excuse themselves from paying the 16,500 assessed on them, on the ground that if they had as much as that, it would be necessary to victual Gelderland from the commissariat [qy. 'a cause qu'ils ayant autant comme cette somme, faut fournis (sic) de rivres du commis an pais de Gelders']. For the rest, they say his Excellency must have patience, since he has brought more people than they asked for or had made arrangements to pay. That is all that is to be expected from that side ; wherefore I beg your advice as to the best means by which his Excellency can obtain extraordinary aid.—Antwerp, 24 Aug. 1578. Add. (seal) to M. d'Avizon. Fr. ¾ p. [Ib. VIII. 43.]
Aug. 24.
K. d. L. x. 754 (from another copy).
On coming to his Highness I greeted him in the names of the Baron and yourself, expressing your satisfaction at his good reception. Proceeding further I represented to him as best I could the persuasive discourse which you held with me to induce him to a peace ; not forgetting the examples which you set before me. He received all in good part, praising your quick wit and great prudence. He said that he was surprised at your exhorting him to peace, since he deemed his intention to be sufficiently understood, namely that he desired it above all things, and that he esteemed these good offices more appropriate on the side of the Estates to remove all veil of error from them. He prays you to bear a hand in this, and to believe that he is ready to procure tranquillity for them, granted the service of God and the King's obedience. I doubt not that the Queen and her ministers, among whom you are in the first rank, will do their best herein, as a matter whence contentment will result. I am compelled to postpone the soldier's interest, which is mine, and to desire the public good. Kindly keep me in the remembrance of the Queen, and in your own and the Baron's good graces.—From the camp by Jausse, 24 Aug. 1578. Add. (seal). Endd. by Walsingham. Fr. ¾ p. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 45.]
Aug. 24. 184. Copy of the above, in hand of L. Tomson, and endd. by him. ¾ p. [Ibid. VIII. 45a.]
About Aug. 24. 185. 'The substance of the speech sent to Don John by M. Gastel.'
I am sorry to see Don John so resolute in a cause likely to put his fortune in hazard, who might otherwise expect to be a great personage. There was no way to save these countries but by a peace, the French king being so far entered into the action. Whatever had been protested to the contrary by his Ambassador Bellièvre, it would be found that the Duke of Anjou would not lack any assistance which his brother could give him. The King had so far 'opened himself' already that on certain gentlemen desiring leave to repair into the Low Countries to his brother, he let them understand that he allowed well of their going, and that any service they should do his brother, he would repute it done to himself. The wisest counsellors of France were of opinion that this opportunity of possessing the Low Countries was not to be neglected, being so many ways beneficial to the Crown of France. It was generally given out in France that whoever opposed himself to this enterprise could not be a good Frenchman, but must be a traitor and a 'pentionary' to Spain. It being apparent that France would in the end enter openly into the action, Don John would do well to consider the inconveniences that might follow ; as that France, which before was equal to Spain, would become superior. 'The King of Spain shall leese the best cow of his dairy,' if it be considered what incredible sums the Low Countries yielded to him and his father towards their wars with the French king. They would lack the supply of victuals and ammunitions which they received last year from France, without which they could not hold the field. The conveyance of their treasure both by exchange and otherwise, which was chiefly by way of France, would be debarred. Divers princes, as the Dukes of Savoy and Lorraine, who before were well inclined to the King of Spain, would become neutral from fear of France. Besides these apparent mischiefs there were two very dangerous practices in hand, which if put in execution would greatly trouble the King of Spain ; one, to break the truce between him and the Turk, and to threaten the Emperor and the Empire that in case they support Spain the truce lately made shall be void ; the other, that Colonel Strozzi has promised Monsieur to repair to the Indies with 6,000 shot, having already sent to Holland and Zealand for ships and mariners. These things considered, as also the present state of his force, being much inferior to the enemy's and likely daily to decay by reason not only of the plague, but for lack of victuals, he would do better to grow to an accord than wilfully to hazard the loss of the Low Countries ; which would open a gap for further defection and alteration in the King's dominions, where no little discontent reigned. This would be imputed to him, lacking as he did no enemies in the Court of Spain to make their profit thereof to his overthrow. Endd. by L. Tomson. 2½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. X. 45 bis.]
Aug. 25. 186. POULET to the QUEEN.
Duplicate of the next letter. Endd. 2½ pp. [France II. 63.]
Aug. 25. 187. POULET to the QUEEN.
All things are so quiet that nothing can be expected from hence worthy of advertisement. I must confess that I dispatch this messenger rather to let your Majesty know that you have a minister in these parts, than for any matter that greatly imports your service, being of opinion that it is some satisfaction when you know that nothing is to be feared from hence. It is said that Queen Mother and the Queen of Navarre arrived at Poitiers on the 19th, and proceed in their journey without stay. The King of Navarre has entertained Queen Mother with many complaints during this journey, declaring that war and peace were in her hands, and that unless these disorders were redressed without delay, war could not be avoided. Queen Mother answers between sport and earnest, and tells the messenger that these quarrels are forged on purpose because the King of Navarre wants some colour to retain the towns which he wrongfully holds. But it is not without reason that the King of Navarre and the Prince of Condé repose their principal security in their distrust of the cunning practices of their adversaries. It is reported that the Prince of Condé has lately been in great danger of being entrapped, and that great companies of horsemen are now assembled for that purpose. Whereof the Prince being advertised when on the point of taking his journey towards Champagny, a house belonging to the Duke of Montpensier, changed his mind and did not proceed. The Prince of Condé, after deliberation with his friends, has resolved to excuse himself to Queen Mother, and not come to her presence. And whereas she expects the King of Navarre to meet her at Cognac, he has determined to pray her by letter to return from thence and send his wife to him accompanied by his servants. But I am of opinion that this resolution will be broken. It is certain that the King of Navarre and Prince of Condé were never in greater jealousy and distrust than at present, and many of the religion fear that the storms of the Low Countries will fall upon their shoulders. Marshal de Cossé arrived at Rochelle on the 9th, in hopes to persuade the inhabitants to receive his nephew called Surgiéres into the town on the pretext that he should only give account to the King of their dutiful behaviour, but with full meaning that soon after he should govern there absolutely. I have not yet heard what is become of the marshal since his arrival there, but I know it was concluded that he should return as he came. The King has transformed his Court and Council since the departure of Queen Mother, and has already begun to reform in some things, having established many ordinances to very good purpose if they are duly observed. 'These new laws please our French humour for the time, but many doubt lest they will be of no long continuance.' As many are rejected as are preferred, and the malcontents may do more harm than the others will be able to redress. I have acquainted Mr Secretary Wilson with some of these alterations, not thinking them worthy of your Majesty. The King finding that his subjects disliked his close manner of life has resolved to be on horseback twice or thrice in every week, and has already begun the practice, sometimes running at the ring, sometimes hunting, sometimes taking occasion to hear mass in some Church of the city, and then is mounted on his footcloth. Young Lansac has surrendered Brouage to St. Luc, to the great mislike of those of Rochelle, who are not ignorant that it was troublesome to have a bad neighbour, but will be troublesome and dangerous to have a bad and mighty neighbour. It is said that pictures of the daughter of Spain have been sent to Queen Mother with many tokens from her and others. And although I believe that hitherto Monsieur seeks only his particular profit in the Low Countries, many are of opinion that necessity joined with the mediation of the Emperor and so many other friends, will bring forth peace at last between him and the Spaniard. It is thought that the house of Guise is in great disgrace with the King, and many think that this jar will not be easily reconciled. Marshal Montmorency has left the Court, not well satisfied, as I am credibly informed. But this peace is so easily made that his discontent is little regarded.—Paris, 25th Aug. 1578. Add. Endd. 2½ pp. [France II. 64.]
Aug. 25. 188. POULET to BURGHLEY.
This country is in great quiet, saving that the companies marching towards Monsieur commit infinite and intolerable spoils, and daily complaints are brought to the Court against them. Queen Mother and the Queen of Navarre arrived at Poitiers on the 19th, so no doubt this journey will be duly performed. Great alterations have been made of late in this Court ; new councillors and new orders for their proceedings, new officers in the King's Chamber and many other places. I do not trouble you with the details, which I am sending to Mr Secretary Wilson. The King has turned another leaf, and now he runs at the ring, hunts, or passes his time almost daily in some exercise. The house of Guise is a stranger at the Court, and some think that the King's affection towards them is greatly diminished. Pasquier, secretary to Mauvissière, arrived here on the 20th, and next day Villeroy was despatched to Queen Mother ; some being of opinion that his journey is grounded upon Bacqueville's negotiation. Many think that after all these storms there will be a marriage between Monsieur and the daughter of Spain, and it is said that the Emperor is the mediator, as of himself, but really at the solicitation of the King of Spain. The Protestants of this country fear greatly the reunion of Monsieur with the Spaniard, and that this tragedy of the Low Countries will not be ended without some tragical troubles in France. I have written more at length to her Majesty, and doubt not that she will acquaint you with my letter.—Paris, 25 Aug. 1578. Add. Endd. 1 p. [France II. 65.]
Aug. 25.
K. d. L. x. 756.
We returned to-day from Don John to this town. We have received such answer from him that we greatly doubt of the going forward of the treaty of pacification. We shall be better able to judge of the issue to-morrow afternoon, by which time we hope to receive his final resolution. Thank you for your letter of the 24th to my Lord and me.—Louvain, 25 Aug. 1578. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 46.]
Aug. 25.
K. d. L. x. 755 (from another copy).
190. DON JOHN to the QUEEN.
I have willingly heard the declaration of the ambassadors who came to me yesterday on your behalf, with letters of credence of June 12 last ; the more so that the contents of the same are entirely agreeable to the good affection due from you to the King my lord and brother. I cannot but thank you on his behalf and my own for the trouble you say you have taken to propose terms of agreement between him and his subjects. I should promise myself a good result therefrom if the pretensions of the Estates had been such that some peace, as suggested in your letter, could have been conceived to the satisfaction of his Majesty. But so far are the articles lately propounded by the Estates from offering any such hope, that they are rather repugnant to all honour ; so much so that your ambassador roundly confessed to me that they were too hard to be accepted ; besides other indignities and excesses which are committed daily, whereof I have prayed your ambassador to give you an account. Meanwhile, Madam, they can assure you that I have no other intention than to restore these countries to tranquillity, and procure for them the pacification which they themselves might have wished ; though I see that their actions are so far removed from it that I cannot persuade myself that they honestly wish to aim at it, as your ambassador can report.—Camp near Jausse, 25 Aug. 1578. (Signed in autograph) 'votre tres affectionné serviteur Don Juo.' (Countersigned) A. de Laloo. Double sheet. Add. (seal). Endd. Fr. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 47.]