Elizabeth: August 1578, 26-31

Pages 149-169

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, 26-31

Aug. 26.
K. d. L. x. 757 (from another copy).
I have received yours of the 24th, and thank you for laying before his Highness the reasons which seem to me of consequence to induce him to accept the peace as it is proposed to him rather than give up treating ; in my opinion the way to detach the provinces from the King's allegiance. Where you write that he is surprised at my exhorting him to peace, thinking that I had better understood his intentions, and that I should do well to use my offices rather with the States, I reply that his Highness did in truth allege various reasons moving him to desire peace, and said that saving the glory of God, his duty towards his prince, and his private honour, there was no man that would grant it more willingly than he. But considering that all these respects, to which in due time and place it is good and reasonable to have regard, can have no place now without danger of alienating the country, I judged it would be good policy to accept the peace, joined though it might be with certain difficulties and hard conditions, in order to obviate more dangerous inconveniences. Even the greatest princes of Europe have in like case been obliged to yield to necessity. As for exhorting the States to propose more reasonable conditions, we have not forgotten so to employ ourselves to the best of our ability, knowing how much our Queen is interested in the affair. We find now that it is too late to do anything more, because they have gone so far in the treaty with the French, that in my opinion nothing but peace will remedy the inconvenience. I am grieved that affairs are on such terms that our intervention and diligence has been unable to prevail further to the advancement of the service of his Catholic Majesty and his Highness ; who is a prince deserving of all men's service and honour. I pray you to assure him that I shall not fail hereafter to use all endeavours for the advancement of what will be for the common good. For yourself, you will, if you please, account of me as your affectionate friend and servant, as you shall see in effect whenever you do me the honour to command me within my power. I propose to write more at length before leaving the country.—Louvain, 26 Aug. 1578. Draft, with corrections in L. Tomson's hand. Endd. 1¼ p. Fr. [Ibid. VIII. 48.]
Aug. 25. 192. Copy of the above, in L. Tomson's hand, endd. by him : The copy of my letter to Gastel. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 48a.]
Aug. 27.
K. d. L. x. 762.
A thankful mind will ever take occasion to make demonstration when there is no great subject ; as I now do, in troubling you with these scribbled lines. Of our proceedings with Don John, our return to 'Lowyne,' and our stay here, you will hear by our letters to the Lords. If he might, with the King's honour and his own credit, he would willingly have a peace. He is forced to it by want of money, plague, lack of victuals, and a general famine to ensue within these two months ; and though the conditions are hard, it may be he will not refuse them. By my next you will know either of a blessed peace or of a most cruel and unfortunate war.— Louvain, 27 Aug. 1578. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. VIII. 49.]
Aug. 27.
K. d. L. x. 758 (from another copy).
194. The AMBASSADORS to the LORDS of the COUNCIL.
On Friday last, the 22nd of this month, we departed from this town of Louvain to go towards Don John. We went to bed that night by his appointment to a town called Judoigne, which we found all infected by the plague, two or three houses only excepted, in one of which we were lodged and the French Ambassador in the other. Next day, likewise by his orders, we went to a village called Peroe [Perwez], which we found no clearer of the sickness ; and on the day following were conducted by M. de Montmartin and M. Gastel to have audience of Don John. He met us about an English mile and a half on this side his camp, in a great plain, being accompanied by well-nigh two thousand horse ; and under a great oak standing in the midst of the plain gave us audience. We told him that her Majesty having from the beginning of the civil troubles of these countries greatly pitied their miserable state, had sought from time to time to appease them by such means as she thought might best serve ; having often sent her ministers both to the King and his governors, to lay before them the peril that might ensue through the continuance of the wars, offering to do all good offices which may tend to the compounding of the controversies, and avoiding the danger that these countries were in of being lost without timely prevention. And to make the peril more apparent, she acquainted the King with such practices and intelligence as came to her knowledge that passed between the Duke of Anjou and the States, sending him copies of such letters as made mention hereof ; of all which good offices and sisterly dealing the King seemed to make small account. This with other circumstances being well weighed, seemed to argue that he had conceived some jealousy of her Majesty's proceedings in the Low Country causes, and had not made that good construction of her friendly offices which she looked for and in reason he ought. The remembrance of this might have discouraged her Majesty from further dealing in the matter, were it not that as a Christian princess she is resolved never to be weary of doing such good as may stay the effusion of Christian blood. We said further that the cause which had moved her to assist the King's subjects were only to maintain them in their ancient liberties under the King, and to keep out the French, without any desire to impatronise herself of the countries, as might appear by the large offers of them she had refused ; which few princes or none but she would have done. If she had not yielded the assistance she has done, and used both persuasions and threats to keep them 'from running the course of France,' the French would ere this have possessed themselves of the better part of the countries. So that if the matter were well weighed, we said, the King had in some sort cause to acknowledge that he holds the countries now by the benefit of her Majesty's friendship. Things had come to such an extremity that the subjects here seeing themselves out of all hope to recover the King's favour had resolved to withdraw themselves from his obedience, having proceeded so far with the French King's brother as appeared from their agreement ; and unless he yielded to some speedy composition with them, it was apparent to all men of judgement that the French King would become lord of all that country. Her Majesty foreseeing how dangerous this would be, not only to the King, but to herself and all the other princes of Christendom, could not but earnestly press him, as he tendered the continuance of the countries under his brother's obedience, and the benefit of all Christian princes (they being as it were the 'market and maerte' of all Europe), and his honour, which would incur a great blemish if they were lost through his fault, to yield to some composition, even though joined with some hard conditions, considering the present necessity. 'Having delivered this speech to him, he' answered as follows. No man was more desirous of peace than he, as his actions had witnessed when he was content to throw himself into the hands of the States, and to send away the Spaniards. He considered that the country that was spoiled and the blood shed was the King's country and the blood of his subjects, and therefore should greatly forget himself if he did not incline to anything that might tend to their conservation. But the conditions offered were such that respecting as he did the honour of his prince and his own credit, he could never consent to them ; especially when the limitation of time was too short for a cause of great weight to be treated with such deliberation as was expedient. The King himself desired peace, and he as his minister could not in duty but incline to the same (though the world perhaps suspected otherwise, as he was martially given) if it were accompanied with honourable conditions ; but those propounded by the States were very hard to yield to, yea, if he were prisoner in the 'Brodehouse' in Brussels. He hoped, therefore, that it would appear to her Majesty and the other princes that he had reason to refuse them ; and he doubted not that, the justice of his cause being grounded upon so many and good respects, God would give him victory against the King's enemies and their fautors. Whereunto we replied that indeed the conditions were hard, as he said ; but he was to weigh the necessity of the time which has always over-ruled even the greatest princes and monarchs that ever were, and the inconvenience that might follow through the coming in of the French. The Emperor Charles, his father, being a prince zealous in his religion, a man for wisdom inferior to none, and of as great courage and magnanimity as ever any man of his calling and quality, was yet content, in his extremity after his departure from 'Isebrooke,' to yield to conditions as hard ; whose example we said we chose to lay before him, though we might have alleged many others, as that of a person whom for his calling he ought to honour, for his judgement to imitate, and for his proximity of blood to reverence. Notwithstanding which, and whatever else was alleged by us, he would not be induced to allow of the articles propounded, seeming most resolute to run any fortune and hazard the loss of the countries rather than yield to them. Wherein seeing him outwardly so resolute, and yet finding great cause why he should yield, in respect of many wants, as lack of money, scarcity of victual, the infection in the camp and country round about, besides the States' accord with Monsieur, which he fears above all others, we thought good for the better sounding of his disposition to 'make shew' to him as though we despaired of any accord, and therefore prayed him to give order for our safe conduct to Brussels (though indeed we had no such meaning to repair thither), saying that considering how he was inclined, it seemed vain to repair to this town where his deputies were. Having given good ear to this, he alleged, as we supposed he would, some difficulties for our going to Brussels, being as we afterwards perceived, loth that the treaty should break off. Upon this we resolved, as though moved by his advice, to return to this town ; taking our leave of him notwithstanding as though we utterly despaired of any further dealing.. At our return hither we acquainted the Emperor's ambassador with our proceeding, agreeing with him that he should write to Don John that we took the matter to be quite over, and meant to depart next day ; and therefore he saw no cause for his staying longer. The States' deputies also for their parts gave out that they meant to depart. Next day the Emperor's ambassador repaired to us, and let us understand that he found by Don John's deputies, being one Batista Tassis, Fonke, and [Vasseur], that he would give better ear to our overture of peace, and therefore prayed us to stay our departures ; to which we most willingly yielded. As we were in communication with the ambassador, Tassis and another of the deputies repaired to us ; whom, though at first they seemed to stand upon hard terms, we found in the end, after some disputation, to give an inclinable ear to the matter, whereby we are now in some hope that our travail will take the desired effect. Of this we thought well to advertise her Majesty and your lordships, hoping by our next to be able to advertise either the conclusion or the breach of the treaty. As to the state of Don John's camp, the infection of sickness there, and the scarcity of victuals, you will receive full information by this bearer. [Louvain.] Draft written by L. Tomson, with corrections by Walsingham. Endd. 27 Aug. 1578. 7 pp. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 50.]
Aug. 27.
K. d. L. x. 762.
Yesterday as we were about departing for Antwerp, the Emperor's ambassador came to us and requested us to stay some time longer, putting us in hope of some good fruits to follow our travail ; wherein we are also confirmed by the conference we had with Tassis and the rest of Don John's deputies, who came to us at the same time. To-day or to-morrow at latest, we shall know what issue the matter will have ; and I will not fail to tell you more as opportunity of messenger offers. Touching the state of Don John's camp and things here, this bearer, Mr Jacomo, will inform you.—Louvain, 27 Aug. 1578. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 51.]
Aug. 28.
K. d. L. x. 766.
From your letter sent by Captain Colborne, which I received at my return to this town, I find that Venus is at present in the ascendent in your climate. But when I consider the retrograde aspects that the cause in hand is subject to, I can hope for no great good. I pray God no harm ensue from it. I am of opinion they are persuaded that we mean no good faith in the matter, and yet are content to use it to make us more careless of their proceedings here, which I fear is like to take too good effect, considering our uncertain dealings for the prevention of it, unless we grow to a peace, which is very doubtful in respect of the shortness of the time, which Don John has greatly 'forslowen,' considering in what hard terms he stands, as this bearer can inform you. In the conference between us I could easily discern a great conflict in him between honour and necessity. 'Surely I never saw a gentleman for personage, spirit, wit, and entertainment comparable unto him. If pride do not overthrow him, he is like to prove a great personage.' Most villainous reports have been given out to him against me, both by our rebels and fugitives here, and by letters from England, yet I found his entertainment very good outwardly. The States' camp remains quiet, and means as I judge to continue till the issue of the treaty is seen. Don John's camp draws towards Namur, being as evilly infected with the plague as this town, or worse.—Louvain, 28 Aug. 1578. Add. Holograph. Endd. 1½ pp. [Ibid. VIII. 52.]
Aug. 29.
K. d. L. x. 767 (from another copy).
197. The QUEEN to the AMBASSADORS.
We have seen all your letters sent to us by this bearer, John Sommers, and also heard him at sundry times ; and although he has in many matters largely answered us, yet neither by your writing nor by his answers are we satisfied on two matters of importance which were from the first 'directed to you to be treated on.' The first was, to treat with the States to know with what forces and on what conditions they thought it meet to receive M. d'Anjou, having regard to their own forces and to Casimir's ; and that you should so have treated with them on those points that M. d'Anjou should not, by colour of aiding them, become their master. In this we do not perceive what you have done, nor what has passed betwixt you and the States ; only we see by certain articles that they have agreed to accept Monsieur with 10,000 foot and 2,000 horse for three months, with other conditions greatly to his advantage. But whether their yielding to him with so great force may be dangerous, we do not find to have been debated by you with the States, otherwise than the articles have been delivered to you ; to which you have made exception as to two or three of the articles, but nothing touched for the greatness of the numbers. The second is, we do not see that when the States imparted to you their articles, you treated with them for their conditions for a peace ; how it might be made more facile, or probable to be accepted by Don John ; or at least what reasons you should urge in treating with Don John. For as we know that in all cases of great controversy, and reduction of extremities to mediocrities, moderators such as you profess to be, ought to devise reasons and arguments to moderate extreme demands on either side, so we do not perceive in what way you have treated with the States about that, nor what likelihood there may be of peace by those articles ; in which we see no great alteration from those heretofore propounded, nor that you have moved them to moderate sundry extreme points in them.. And considering the end of this war must be had either by treaty or by war, and that of the two without any comparison treaty is the best, we would you should labour therein all you can ; yet so that wisdom may so govern your actions that peace may be had to continue with surety or at least good probability, and not depend upon words without likelihood of effect, for otherwise it would prove but the engendering of a new war. On the other hand, if the war continue, though with intention to work a peace, how uncertain that is, and upon what side it will fall, God only knows. And we are sure that while war continues, either a great part of the burden of it will be sought to be laid upon us—for so proof teaches us how insufficient, contrary to what has often lately been avowed, their own contributions turn out to be ; or else for defence of those countries, the interest of them will fall to the Crown of France ; which rather than it should happen we should be sorry to spare any reasonable charge, so that we saw good assurance of a better government of the affair by the States themselves, and how to stay the daily defections of principal persons for one matter or another, as namely of late in the matter of Champagny, and specially of de Hèze and others of like quality. And now that you see the matters in which we find lack of answer, and what we would have you do, you shall have our answer for which you have sent John Sommers, touching Baptist Spinola and Palavicino. Though it is well-known how it was agreed that the first moneys taken up by the warrant of credit for £100,000, should be first delivered to our use, so that the sums of £12,121 4s. and £5,000 lately borrowed of Baptista Spinola upon that warrant, ought to have been reserved in the hands of William Davison to our use, as Davison by his own bill given to Spinola appears to have meant, and not to have been handed directly to the States as it has been, contrary to the agreement ; and now Spinola and Palavicino require our special bonds for payment not only of those two sums, but of further sums intended to have been borrowed ; yet being earnestly solicited to bear with this at this time in respect of the hindrance that might have followed, if the States had not received part of those sums, and did not receive the rest intended, and to give our bonds to Spinola and Palavicino for their satisfaction for those sums, and with so much more as with them shall make the sum of £28,757 11s. 3d. considering the continuance of their great necessity as reported by you and by Sommers, to maintain themselves in this time for treating for peace, we are pleased on certain reasonable conditions, as follows, to give our bonds for the £28,757 11s. 3d. First, we would have some better assurance for repayment than hitherto had been given for other sums ; that is, besides such bonds in writing as have been given for former sums delivered in ready money to the States, to have also as a pledge some plate and jewels, such as our ambassador may esteem to be worth the sums. This we would have you do your best to obtain, as very reasonable considering that the money ought to have been paid to us and not delivered to them, and without such pledge we do not mean to deliver our bonds. Secondly, considering that we have been by the States' pitiful request for the first defence of their liberties content to lend them at sundry times great sums of money, and now have relented to a further sum, and understanding that they are in communication for peace with Don John, which we greatly desire to succeed, and that the continuance of the war cannot but be to the ruin of their country, while in regard to the treaty of peace we think that its failure must ensue upon unreasonable conditions proposed either by Don John or by them or by both, we would have the States give you assurance in writing that they will not persist in any unreasonable conditions such as shall be dishonourable and unjust to be demanded by subjects from a king, but will be content to be advised by us or our ministers in anything which they show the States to be unjust and unreasonable, so that no apparent default may be found, justly to charge them with obstinacy. Thirdly, we would have them give like assurance that in case a peace cannot be obtained in default of Don John's refusal of reasonable conditions, they will not admit the Duke of Anjou to have any such authority by his superior forces or by possession of the country, as that thereby upon colour of aiding them he may acquire any interest to be their lord, to the annexing thereof to the Crown of France, and the disherison of the King of Spain. To that purpose they shall from time to time admit the advice of us or our ministers for the manner of receiving aid from France ; both in the limitation of the numbers, and for the manner of his authority to be used in the Low Countries. And upon these conditions made to you by the States, we are content the required bonds shall be delivered, not otherwise. They shall be made ready here and sent as soon as possible to you, to be delivered to the merchants, upon assurance given to you of the 'premisses'. And though it is hard to inform you what part of the conditions offered by the States may be misliked by you, considering we have not heard what you have debated with them at any time upon the particulars, nor what they have answered, yet on perusing the articles, it seems to be that some of them will seem to the world very hard for subjects to require of their king, however it may be argued that the king's former evil actions by his ministers have given them cause to demand the like.. First, it seems a hard demand to require, as in the third article, that Don John shall depart with all his forces and adherents, whereby noblemen, gentlemen, and people who are native subjects of the Low Countries should be urged to forsake their native countries or their dwelling-places and inheritance. We cannot think that the States will persist in this, though the words of the article import it ; but will be content so to order that such natives as will assent to be united to the States as good patriots shall be admitted to their inheritance and some such as are not translated into Spanish natures be tolerated to remain in some mean charges, whereby they will not be able to move any more civil troubles, but be partakers for the maintenance of the liberties of the countries. It is also hard, as in the twelfth article, that in case the Archduke Matthias leaves the place which he holds, the king shall appoint no governor but with the consent of the States ; for so his superiority will be wholly abrogated, and he made of no more power than a Duke in Venice, or a Burgomaster or Eschevin in some mean city. But as it may seem somewhat reasonable, seeing the great inconvenience which followed the former appointment of strangers, especially such as sought their own greatness, as governors, that hereafter, and now especially, persons devoted to the love of the subjects might be appointed to the government, it might be allowed that the king should at present agree to permit the Archduke to remain, being so near in blood as he is ; and upon his departure appoint one of his brothers or some other person of honour, given to peace and quietness, as should be of the house of Austria or Burgundy. It may be also remembered that among the articles there is none containing any manner of offer to make assurance to the King of their continuance in obedience to him and performance of such things as shall be by them accorded. Though it is certain that Don John will in his answer make mention of this, yet for the satisfaction of the world it would have been convenient if it had been in some way offered by them. And it seems not unmeet, considering that this treaty is being negotiated by the Emperor, by the French King, and by us, that it might be devised that we, being the three principal Princes of Christendom, should be sureties or 'mainprenours' for the States, promising the King of Spain to see that they sincerely perform all things on their part, or we agree jointly to compel them, so that the King in like manner observe all things accorded on his part. And that we three might be more bold to give our promises to the King for the States, it may seem reasonable that the States shall deliver to each of us two good and sufficient hostages for 12 or 18 months as gages for the performance of the articles. And for the satisfaction of the States it may seem reasonable that we three should promise them our assistance for their defence in all cases doing their duty in performance of the accord. As for the article of religion, upon which we fear will rest the greatest difference, not only between Don John and the States but among themselves, being as we see inclined to discord, though the article contains a reasonable provision in remitting the determination to the General Assembly of all the States, it may be necessary for the present to forbear all public exercise of the reformed religion out of Holland and Zealand, and also all secret [conventicles] of great numbers for the exercise of it ; wherewith the preacher should be treated with, and either induced by good persuasion to forbear, or for the time be compelled to silence, or removed into Holland or Zealand till some better opportunity. Finally for the performance of this treaty for peace, you shall consider the points proposed by the States or demanded by Don John, and wherein you shall find anything to hinder the peace, you shall deal earnestly with the States in our name, that no delay be made by them otherwise than may appear to you to be grounded upon the maintenance of them in their ancient liberties with their due obedience. To which two respects we would have you (as we know you will) apply your endeavours to the uttermost, assuring them that otherwise they may look for no further favour at our hands.—Given under our signet at the manor of Hengrave, the 29th day of August 1578, in the 20th year of our reign. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson : From her Majesty, received the 3 of Sept. 1578. 5 pp. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 53.]
Aug. 29. 198. Rough draft of the above in Burghley's hand, endd. by his secretary ; 30 (sic) Aug., 1578. M[inute] of a letter from her Majesty to her ambassadors in the Low Countries. 8 pp. [Ib. VIII. 53a.]
Aug. 29. 199. Second draft of the same, with many corrections and additions in Burghley's hand. Endd. Minute from the Queen's Majesty to my L. Cobham and Mr Sec. Walsingham, etc., 29 Aug., 1578 ; and in another hand : Sent by Mr Somer from Sir Thomas Kitson's house. 10½ pp. [Ibid. VIII. 53b.]
Aug. 29.
K. d. L. x. 776.
I can but wish you patience, for I know that the 'tentation' of this time in service is great, to serve so well as I am assured you do and to find so small fruit in good answers from hence ; but seeing we here can get none, though we 'endeavour ourselves' to the uttermost, you must perforce bear with the same as we do, that is, to behold miseries coming and to be denied remedies. This bearer can plentifully report what we do, what we do not do, and what we cannot do. This marriage matter occupies heads here, so that it is the more hardly digested, because it is both earnestly followed and readily heard. The will of God be fulfilled.—Hengrave, 29 Aug. 1578. Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 54.]
Aug. 29.
K. d. L. x. 772.
I am sorry that Mr Sommers returns without the satisfaction that I am sure you looked for ; but such is her Majesty's resolution at present. For my 'none' part I cannot be persuaded that it will turn to her profit ; 'and I have dealt to augment this dispatch to the more agreeable consultation of former counsels' as much as lay in my small power, God is my judge, for no other worldly respect than first and principally for the mere preservation of herself and her estate ; and even so faithfully have I dealt as I crave forgiveness of my sins at the hands of Almighty God. But it seems her Majesty is resolved, and has 'disgested' all counsels to the determination sent by this bearer ; which I fear will be a lamentable resolution in the end to her and her realm, the rather that in this cold dealing towards the States she also does not seem to proceed any whit to the satisfying of Monsieur's expectations in the matter of marriage, by which, though she had somewhat 'slaked' her dealing with the States, yet if she had been so minded she might have 'stayed her own estate in some better terms.' God only now must defend her and us all ; for I take it this will be received as her last answer by the States and likewise by Monsieur, and what good can follow, I little look for any. It were needless to discourse at large to you what dealings there has been on all sides to further this good cause, because so small fruit follows of it. This I most certainly find, that necessity only bears greatest sway in our arguments ; which is a heavy case. As partly may appear from the letter sent post haste to you from Bury, written with my Lord Treasurer's hand ; when upon some hard news from you of the likelihood of the 'Frenches' prevailing too greatly in those parts, her Majesty was content to spend anything rather than that should take place. Now, 'upon other dealings more calmly that way,' as through the earnest semblance of Monsieur's whole direction under her favour and none otherwise, she is better persuaded of his ability to direct all these causes without such charge as we lay down for her, and so rests in assured hope that he will do nothing there without her liking, though she assure of us further hope then heretofore of his suit here. Wherefore I can give no advice nor say any more than first refer our help to God ; next direct you to this bearer and her Majesty's letter.—In haste this 29 Aug. P.S.—I must tell you that her Majesty much mislikes that you have not dealt with Monsieur's commissioners more directly to abate his numbers, and likewise advised the States not to allow of so great a force of Frenchmen as 10,000 foot and 3,000 horse ; 'but the first she most takes exception against you, for that Monsieur seems that he was always willing' to abide her direction as to both numbers and his proceedings on entering. You must take care to solve this matter to her. You carried a companion over with you that has 'played the right jack' since he returned, Cha[rles] Arun[dell]. When I first heard of his going I told some of my friends to what end he would go. I would you could make a peace or else hasten your coming away. It is necessary, etc. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 55.]
Aug. 29.
K. d. L. x. 778.
I impart to Mr Milles from time to time what I think meet for you. I have also liberally talked with this bearer, from whom I need not seal any secrets. Yet though leisure be never so scant with me in this time of progress, when we consume half the day in riding to and from the Court, and the rest not much better in places not apt to write in, I cannot let Mr Sommers go without some few words to you. I am never much called by the gentleman you appointed me to, but when I offer myself, I cannot deny but I am familiarly used. Upon the receipt of your letters sent to me by Mr Sommers, I took occasion to tell him that he had got me many thanks. 'Nay,' said he, 'you have got me many thanks, and I thank you heartily for it.' 'I have goodwill,' said I, 'to do my best to join you together in good friendship, as a matter very meet for you both in her Majesty's service. But anything that I can write is little worth thanks if it proceed not from you.' After this courtly dialogue I was so bold as to ask him how her Majesty was contented now with your advertisement. He answered : 'Now, very well, and with none better than the latter part. That part, I tell you, is marvellously well liked.' 'I pray God it may be well,' quoth I, supposing it to be the matter of the marriage ; but he told me not so, nor was I bold enough to ask him. But I asked his opinion how her Majesty was moved to deal in the enterprise of the States. 'By my troth,' said he, 'she is ever loth to lay out money,' and added that he feared her money lent to the States would be the very occasion to bring in the French. 'If she lend them not money,' quoth I, 'or otherwise help them, no doubt they must lean to the French.' Her failing them had already drawn the French upon them further than otherwise they should. He uttered at length what dangerous conditions the States had concluded with the French, and that without her Majesty ; and declared upon what proud points they stood with Don John. I answered that it 'stood them upon' to provide for their safety ; and the matter of religion put apart, the conditions were but what the King and his predecessors had sworn to observe. The French King has been driven to make peace with his subjects upon much harder conditions. I found him in my opinion so untoward to like the dealing of the States, that I much feared lest his advice would hinder their cause. But I think Mr Somers will tell you the contrary, who heard him among others deal as soundly to the purpose as any man. You are much beholden to Mr Jo. Mannors, who is as good an instrument as he can to make your doing be well thought of. You know his means, which at this time I am sure sure have stood you in good stead. And albeit things go not so well as is to be desired, they had gone much worse if his friends had been absent. He told me, as a matter which he wished you to know, that it was looked for that in your advertisements you should give more details, especially in stating the reasons on either side touching their articles, and what moves one side to demand aud the other to grant or deny. The finding of this fault probably arises from the 'finesse' of some, who think themselves good counsellors when they can say of other men's doings, 'This might have been said,' and 'This might have been done' ; who, if they had had the negotiation in hand, would not have done so much as was done. I should not think it amiss if you were to write in detail to your friend to whom you committed me. He would thereby not only be removed from errors which he fell into from lack of knowledge, but be better instructed to give his advice when 'it falleth in debating.' What I say in this letter is without direction from him, yet meet for you to know. Before closing my letter I thought I would learn from your friend whether of himself or by me, he would have anything said to you. Speaking with him, as it were to let him know of Mr Sommers' going, he told me he did not like his dispatch. Asking whether I should say anything to you in that behalf, as matter that I knew would be grateful to you, he said that I might boldly write that her Majesty was now very well satisfied by your dealing ; and though it did not take such success as you desired, she imputed this rather to the weakness and instability of those people, than to any default in your negotiations. 'Marie,' the discourse that you wrote with your own hand was so much to her liking and so welcome that nothing could be better. She showed it to him, and he took brief notes of it, which he imparted to me ; so that now I can say, if my judgement be anything, that she had just cause to like it. And I am of opinion that the matter could not be better answered nor better reported in your 'state of ministry' that you have in hand. Of this latter part you may take notice, as matter appointed by him to be signified to you. What you write of the former, you must do it 'as carried by some matter that leadeth you.' And so, stealing time as I can get it by fits, you must bear with it as it is.—At Mr Kitson's house in Suffolk, beside St. Edmund's Bury, 29 Aug. 1578. Add. Endd. 2¼ pp. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 56.]
Aug. 29.
K. d. L. x. 776.
I am sorry you are to receive no better answer ; but you must make of necessity a virtue, and say to yourselves that the world is not governed by wisdom and policy, but by a secret purpose or rather fatal destiny, unknown to those that are most esteemed in this age. This resolution will not be altered, being first devised upon a simple command without debate. Since being set down in writing, much has been said against it, but no speech or persuasion will prevail. This bearer can tell you more than I am disposed to write, to whom you may give large credit ; for whereas you are charged in the letter with not having dealt with the States, for Monsieur to have a less number, or for the articles between them and him to be moderated, he has of his own knowledge constantly affirmed the contrary. And whereas it was said you did not express this in your letters, it was answered that the messenger was to advertise her Majesty of all things, the letters themselves referring the report of these matters to Mr Sommers' own speech. God grant you may procure a peace ; for you see how unfit we are to maintain war, or aid those that are in danger. For this matrimonial conference, I know not what to write ; let Mr Sommers say his knowledge to you. If Monsieur is not to be ours, nor the Estates our friends, to whom shall we go? To our known enemies and to those that are sworn against us for our profession in God's truth? Then the lamb shall be committed to the wolf and what will follow but ruin and destitution? The bonds are made for the Queen to sign. God grant after the signing you may receive better letters. Scottish matters are mostly well appeased, and I trust will hereafter be better.—From the Court at Hengrave, 29 Aug. 1578. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 57.]
Aug. 29.
K. d. L. x. 777.
I have shown your discourse of peace or war, by which it is hard to judge what will be the end. Meantime, we are very loth to yield to the bonds but upon certain conditions, which you will understand by Mr Sommers, as also by the letter signed by her Majesty. Nothing is fit for us but peace ; which God grant may be had, or our case will be hard hereafter. If Monsieur have no good and sound meaning towards England, he deceives the trust which is conceived of him, and breaks promise not only to our harm, but perhaps to the utter ruin of the Low Countries. But what is to be must of necessity appear very shortly, seeing the Estates' forces are all united. Therefore there is no time now to be lost, but either an assured peace must presently be had, or a just war forthwith be taken in hand. God of his mercy defend his Church.—From the Court at Hengrave, Sir Thomas Kitson's house, 29 Aug. 1578. Add. Endd. 2/3 p. [Ibid. VIII. 58.]
Aug. 29.
K. d. L. x. 774.
Mr Sommers arrived at Norwich with your letter the night before her Majesty's remove, which was also the night before my coming from thence ; and the day before Rambouillet had audience. The day I came away the Queen read to me apart your private letter to her of your negotiation with Monsieur, and at that time I think nobody else had seen it. She asked me my opinion both of that letter, and of Lord Cobham's and yours to the Council ; which shortly was that she should in any case consent to the £28,000, of which part was delivered and the rest to be delivered by Spinola. My reason was, that in this time of the treaty of peace and the doubtfulness what the States would conclude with you and the French, if the war continued, it was more than necessary that she should relieve them and keep them from many evils ; which I declared to her, and need not be written to you, for you are where you know them best. And I left her 'in good liking therewith.' For the matter of the marriage, I left it to her own heart to make choice of her husband, but showed her the benefits that might grow by this marriage at this time, and the perils that would follow if she married not at all ; and so left to God to put into her heart what should be best. Since my coming to London, M. de Quissy on his way to the Court came to me here, and made full declaration to me of his whole negotiations, with assurances that Monsieur dealt sincerely, and uttered in effect the same matter as was contained in your letter to her Majesty ; ever mingling in his speeches that Monsieur looked she would also deal plainly with him, and rather further than hinder his greatness, according to that which his own affection to her deserved ; and giving me by covert speeches to gather that Monsieur looked to be great either by her Majesty or by the Low Countries, and that it were a dishonour and a peril to him to return home without one of these in worse case than he came out 'wherein I conceived no more of his speech than in reason I had seen long before.' What the Queen will do is in the hands of God, but truly, Mr Secretary, I do not see any manifest surety to her but either by this marriage, or by a good peace, or by taking the States 'to her defence' whereby she must make herself the head of the war. What likelihood there is of peace you can better judge than those who are away ; but it seems to me the diffidence is so great on both sides and the demands of the States so far out of reason, that the terms are very hard. For the Queen to be the head of the war is more, I fear, than she will go through with, or the realm would maintain ; and therefore marriage is the surest, for thereby she may give law to herself and all her neighbours, abide all perils at home and abroad, and knit herelf in amity with both kings, and keep them both in their own bounds. Her Majesty has still some hope left that she and Monsieur might so join by limitation with the States that the burden to either should [not] be over great ; but when I look into it, I have no hope of that. 'The reasons motive be too long to write,' and you have always seen them. In regno nulla est societas. That the King and Queen Mother will either hinder Monsieur's enterprise, if the States will receive him, or if they refuse him, will hinder him by aiding Don John, I do not believe ; for in my opinion there is nothing that he may take in hand abroad 'to deliver him and all martial actions out of France,' but the King and his mother will further it all they can, to avoid fire at home. My wife and I go this day towards Bath, where God give her that comfort she hopes for. I came but loth from the Court ; my business here is great, and my health not good, by reason of a 'flyxe' I took by the way. Therefore bear with me in writing thus abruptly [?] for I would rather offend in that way than in not writing what I conceive.—'Barnsey' [i.e. Bermondsey] 29 Aug. 1578. P.S.—If you send to me at any time, and your letter is delivered at 'Barnsey' it will be safely brought to me. Holograph. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 59.]
Aug. 30.
K. d. L. x. 781.
On Thursday last the States' Deputies had conference with Don John's, and delivered them the articles of peace proposed by the States ; to which they promised to get his answer and bring it, either the same night or the next day by eight o'clock in the morning at the latest. Which notwithstanding being not yet performed, we know not well what to think of it ; especially as the time limited for the treaty expires to-morrow : so that the Deputies have no further authority to deal with Don John. We mean to stay here all day to-morrow, to see what issue the matter will have : and on Monday, God willing, to depart.—Louvain, 30 Aug. 1578. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. VIII. 60.]
Aug. 30. 207. The ESTATES to the AMBASSADORS.
We have hitherto awaited some good resolution for the conclusion of peace, which we thought to obtain by your intercession and that of the ambassadors of the Emperor and of France. Though our desire has been hitherto frustrated, we nevertheless thank you most affectionately for the trouble you have taken, and beg you, while there is yet time, to employ all means, intercession, and authority, that we may arrive at some firm resolution, to remove the afflictions which are eating the heart and bones out of this poor country. And deputies to whom we are now writing will impart our final views to you.—Antwerp, the last but one of Aug. 1578. (Signed) A. Blyleven. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson : Delivered to the Lords in the street before the Emperor's ambassador's house, before they went in together to consultation upon the answer sent from Don John the night before. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. VIII. 61.]
Aug. 31.
K. d. L. x. 783.
Since Mr Sommers went, the Queen has signed the bonds to Spinola, 7 in number, and they are gone to the Great Seal. The other six for Pallavicino are not yet signed, but promises to sign them to-morrow. Pallavicino requires them to be stayed here, till we hear from you. We have again attempted to make your conditions more 'arbitrable' by you there ; but though her Majesty shows no reason to move her to persist in her former directions, but only that so (she says) she will have it, and that her pleasure comes of many evil 'concepts' put into her of the state there by such as went over with you and have returned, who 'sting' all profession of good religion, yet I think as soon as she learns from you that the States cannot or will not accept the conditions, she will be brought to qualify them. We of the Council are forced to offend her greatly in these and Scotland matters ; which keep a tolerable course more by our private fair overtures than by good matter, which without her Majesty's royal assent we cannot deliver to them. So I fear they will espy our weakness, and for mistrust will take some better anchor hold.—From the Court at Mr Ryvett's [Chippenham, Cambs.] ulto. Aug. 1578. Holograph. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson : from the L. Treasurer ; bonds signed for Baptista, but not for Pallavicino. Cause why conditions cannot be more tolerable. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. VIII. 62.]
To His Highness.—The Deputies from the town of Quesnoy humbly represent that they have always been well affected to the good of the common country and desirous to continue in the obedience of your Highness and the States General. Yet they hear that by some contract made with the Duke of Alençon it has been agreed to hand the town over to his power and that of the French. Though they always have been and are ready in every way to obey his Highness's orders and endure all labours and damage which may comport with his service, they cannot omit to let your Highness know that they are much aggrieved, and feel it against all reason and justice that such a contract should have been entered into without their consent. It is not merely a question of losing their lives and goods, as the French are continually threatening, but also a great danger of being separated for ever from the body of the Estates of the Low Countries. Therefore they humbly pray your Highness, if they do not obey his orders in this matter, not to take it amiss, and not to permit such faithful subjects to fall into such danger and be separated from the country. If their own case does not touch them heavily enough to move you to condescend to their request, the importance of such a fortress, more necessary than any other frontier town, ought to hold you to do it. We pray you again to have pity on the burgesses and manans of the town. Copy. Endd. by L Tomson : Request of Quesnoy for not to receive Monsieur. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. VII. 63.]
'The copy of a letter written from the camp of the King of Moroccos, Mullie Molloque, by a Jew, physician to the said King ; directed to his brother.'
After leaving Alkera we went next day from thence to Apizna, because the King received letters from Muley Hamet. The third day our camp was settled by the river Tancifet. The King went to Morocco, and we lay there two nights. From Tancifet we marched on till we came to Monvry [?] which is in Tamacena. The King was lodged in the palace, and some of us with him. He showed himself desirous to finish the palace, and settled soldiers and ammunition there, and sent to Morocco for masons and 'bricklers' and carpenters and smiths, Moors and Christians. And as God has ordained things contrary to men's thoughts, the third day after we came there the King ate some fish, and drank much water upon it, and ate some 'millions,' [melons] so that he was in a manner sea-sick, and vomited, and had a little ague and pain in his belly, which continued till next evening. So we were in great trouble with his sickness, and came to Sallee, where he found himself better. Being there three days we departed, and arrived at Mamora ; and next day we met Muley Hamet hard by Sallee, and the same day the King rode his horse very gallant. And there met him those who had come from 'Algarvie' with his brother, all very merry, shooting off much ammunition on both sides, and the footmencalivers saluted the king three times, a thing very fair to be seen. And there were assembled the best horsemen that ever were in this realm, and calivermen to the number of 7,000 or thereabouts ; and we marched to the place where we pitched our tents. And when we came thither, the king had his ague, and vomited very much by reason of the great heat of the weather, and drinking much water coming on his horse to many places, being so unapt for the same. He took it to be better for him to drink much cold water, and provoke himself to vomit with his fingers ; and he would eat no meat. I was weeping and crying before him like a madman, and nothing prevailed. The third day followed a great 'hitchcough' and a trembling in his hands, especially on the right side. His tongue was so 'altered' that he could scarce be understood ; and I prognosticated by and by the mishap that would follow. I met with Muley Hamet and told him of the king's sickness, and I told him the truth as it followed. He commanded me to keep it secret, and from that hour he began to give order in the business of the realm. And the king was so oppressed with drought that all the rivers in the world were not enough to quench it ; so that I and Mr. Giuliani and Capitan 'Alley' had nothing to do but keep him from drinking water. So we remained till the 27th day, and did permit [?] that with two 'glishters' which I gave him there followed a certain 'lask' for 24 hours, a thing never seen nor thought. The drought went away and he had an appetite for some meat and opened his eyes and began to speak more plainly, and the trembling was but a little. Next day, being August 1, we heard that the king of Portugal was marching from Argilla towards us, and so we unpitched our camp and pitched it again by Alcazar. On the 3rd we departed thence, and had news that the King had crossed the bridge over the river called Magazen. And Muley Hamet went before and the King tarried behind ; and our camp being pitched, thinking that the enemy 'did present in the battle,' the same evening set his calivers and ammunition in order, and for the same (God forgive his soul), being almost dead, took his horse against my will and left the horsemen that were with him, and went to settle the calivers. And being on horseback I perceived him to fall in a 'sownd,' and I came to him and desired him to go into his horselitter and being in 'her,' he could give orders. But he would not, and when he saw some of them follow him, he drew his sword and went upon them 'because they should have' let him alone. After this Muley Hamet sent word that the enemy were pitching their camp, and that his highness might go to his tent and eat a morsel, and the caliver-men might eat something, and afterwards he should come and put them in array of war. Then he lighted off his horse and went into his horse-litter, and we marched towards the tents, and Muley Hamet remained in the camp hard by the enemy's, with only 100 horsemen. And on the other side of the river was Benni Maleque and Sophian and some wild men, called Alarves of the mountains ; and our people being all settled, sent the brother of Capitan Habedeno, and Mulli Mansor Lautalie, and Sidi Hamet's son Bendade and others, and some 'ronogathes.' Nevertheless that evening the enemy unpitched ready to march ; and with the news the King came out of his tent and went into his horse-litter, and we marched out of our tents. And, the Christians pitched again, we rested in the camp in the field till evening, and went into our tents. And Muley Hamet watched all night with the soldiers of Algarvie. Next day, 'being Thursday in the morning, I would have said being Monday in the morning' the 4th of August, the King rose from his bed very well, and before it was daylight asked for his breakfast, and drank a granado and three yolks of new-laid eggs. Muley Hamet came to speak with him concerning the business of the battle, and took his leave very pleasant. At 10 o'clock the King called for his dinner, and we gave him a roast pullet and another sodden, with a little 'blanck mangie,' and he ate a little of everything and at the beginning of his dinner drank some 'synomond' water. After dinner he had tidings that the Portugals were beginning to march ; and he called for his raiment and apparelled himself in cloth of gold, and wrapped upon his head his 'tora,' and set on it his 'bruche' with three precious stones and his feather ; took his sword also which was very rich, and was sent him from Turkey, and his dagger of the same work garnished with precious stones, 'turquies' and rubies ; 'finally' he arrayed himself 'even as if it were Easterday,' with great rings on his fingers full of precious stones, and went a-horseback against my will. And so we came to the camp and found our soldiers in order, and the Christians were marching towards us as much as they conld. And Muley Hamet with the horseman of the Algarvie was on our right together with 4,000 calivers of Fez ; and on the left our Capitans of Morocco and Vlendeta [?] and Rehamina [qy. El Hamira] and many more, 'using their ordinary custom, and made themselves ready for to run away.' Both camps were assembled in a fair field, and I never saw the like, for there was neither stone nor tree. And being 'near to a munition shot' the King commanded that our 'munition' should shoot, being 24 pieces 'very fair' ; and so shot twice and did some hurt to the Christians, as appeared afterwards. And they answered, and next the King's banner one man and two horses were killed ; and they did not prosper with their 'munition' as we thought. Meantime we had advanced to a caliver shot and began to fight very fiercely, and our horsemen 'which were men of honesty,' with the horstrapers [qy. troopers] of the Christians ; and certain squadrons of the Christians came to our left and right so fiercely that our horse and foot retired till they were behind the King's banners. They followed up the victory where we were, 'and believe me we thought to lose all ; but the Lord had appointed other ways.' Returning to our 'purpose' I say that when the King saw his people overcome, and looked every way and saw no horseman behind him, because some had run away for fear of the 'munition' and some went to fight, he was so angry that he stood up in his stirrups and drew his sword, and a trembling took him and his teeth were fastened, and he lost his senses and his life together. It was indeed a thing marvellous to be seen, and divine permission. I came straight, and perceiving he was dead we took him up and laid him in the horse-litter, saying that he was in a swoon ; and I feigned to give him drink. His face was covered that our people might not learn so ill news. Meantime Muley Hamet (whom God did preserve) was on our right, and invaded the Christians so fiercely that he did them great hurt ; and he did this two or three times, and pressed them so much with his strong heart that I certify 'your worship' I saw him alone twice with very few men, and at the same time saw our caliver-men discomfited. The capitan 'came to himself' with an ancient of Bessanie who had arrived the same day from Capitan Mahumet Zarcon of Larache, and invaded the Christians so fiercely, and the horsemen too, that they lost their 'munition,' and the battle began anew, the horsemen going round the Christians every way. And they did not cease till all the Christians were slain. This victory was much furthered by the lack of knowledge of the King's death, and we went with him further, with the banners and renegades of his guard, halberd and pikemen and others ; and only the son of Mahomet Zarcon, and I, and Mussalya knew of his death, and we went on and made them believe that the King's pleasure was so, for every foot I would light from my horse feigning to speak with him. And so our men began to bring with them Christians, men and women, captives, and came where the King was ; and we made them believe that he was asleep, and that neither we nor they should wake him. The Christians, perceiving they were overcome, made themselves 'repairs' and trenches with their carts, and then fought until all were slain or captives ; for of 30,000 souls there escaped only twenty or twenty-five, who went to Arzilla, being knights of Tangier. When Muley Mahomet perceived his total ruin, he ran away with 10 or 12 horsemen, and among them went Bentoda's children, and Hamow Benhamiza and others, and as they would have gone over the river, Muley Mahomet's horse sank in the mire, and being flowing water, he was drowned ; and the horse saved himself. The King of Portugal died of two wounds in his head and another in his arm ; and his body is in Alcazar in a chest of lime. 'Great secret was of God' that within an hour died three kings, two of them of great power ; and a greater miracle that a dead king overcame the King of Portugal in so short a space, as seems to be enchantment. All the nobility of Portugal, from the Duke of Braganza's son to the squires, are slain and captives ; a thing never seen or heard. God miraculously took the kingdom of Portugal and delivered them to this people. The slaughter, for anything that I have seen, may be 15,000. As for the captives I can give no judgement, because every 'Wildmore' or Alarve has a Christian to his page, every caliver-man has pages going after him. The labouring Moors can get no money, because old Fez is so full of them that every handicraftsman has two or three Christian captives, and the citizens also for their gardens. The value of them was from 30 to 100 or 150 ounces—(an ounce is now valued at 2s. sterling)—and some of ransom, 300, 400, and 500 ounces. King Muley Hamet, when he finds any knight or gentleman, takes them for himself. The Alarves and dwellers in the mountains and in the fields of Arzillan, Tetuan, and Ghisuon [?] did not bring their captives into Fez. This country remains so rich in gold, silver, harness of all sorts, 'muiles,' horses, and oxen, that there is not a caliver-man that will serve a Moor, nor black Moor 'that was not lest richer than his' (sic). I cannot express how much it is, and they who have not seen it will not believe it. The battle being finished Muley Hamet came to the banners, having heard of the King's death, and warned me to tell it to none ; and so we marched to our lodging two hours before sunset, and put the King's corpse into the tents. Capitan Botignia called out openly before every one and bade me go in to see the King's brother, and see if he were disposed for me to speak with him. I went in and stayed a little and came again and told that the King had eaten his meat and was asleep. About this time Sitha Mahomet Benaisa 'was written' a letter declaring how they chose Muley Hamet to be their King ; and when the letter was finished he sent for the gentlemen and capitans, and made an oration declaring his brother's death, and how he died like a good captain ; and declared also how that they knew very well he had passed all the travail of the wars with their enemy Muley Mahomet, and how they themselves swore him to be their King, and how he now was their King, and how he used them very well. They all with one voice wished him prosperity, and kissed his hand ; and he was sworn their king and went a-horseback, all the field crying before him 'God forgive Muley Habiddlemecq (sic) and prosper Muley Hamet.' Then he went to his lodging and gave order for the burial of his brother ; and it was in this order. In the same horse-litter that he was in, his raiment was carried by the high Justice of Fez and Sitha Mahomet Benaisa and the learned men of Fez, and the noblemen ; with drums, bagpipes, and his three royal banners ; with 100 caliver-men on horseback and the youth of his house. They went the same night to Fez, and he was buried by his brother Muley Mahomet el Haraun, with his horse-litter ; and they set his banners beside his head. There was great lamentation for his death, and they esteem him a saint, because after his death there was so great slaughter among the Christians. Muley Hamet came into this city of Fez the 16th August, and is beginning to take order in the matter of this realm. I think he will remain here till Lent. He has sent for Muley Danthey to give him Mequines, and he will let his son remain here in Fez, and I understand that I shall remain with him, Capitan Alibensia Crasia his son. To Capitan Alicanus has been given the castle of old Fez. To the son of Abdola Benseque was given this fort in keeping. I will send you news of what happens more. I forgot to say that about the time of the first 'breach' of our soldiers, they of Fez ran away and did not stay till they came to Fez ; and 3,000 or 4,000 Alarves went with them, and going by our tents fell to spoil, saying 'we are destroyed' ; and with these news the more part of the people ran away to Fez, and some escaped robbed, and some were spoiled of all. Muley Nassar, son to Muley Abdola, ran away the night before the battle and went to Arzilla with four horsemen, with tidings of the loss. They would have put them away from Arzilla, demanding of him what he would have had, for there was no other King in Portugal to bring him to death as his brother did. These news were brought to us by Palma, who came the third day after the battle with letters from the Capitan of the navy and from Arzilla, to know who were dead ; and he went back with this answer, and took with him one 'corisiador' of the Court who was captive, and was sent by these gentlemen captive duke, earls and the nobility of Portugal. And it is pity to see the fathers, the children, the brothers of the dead and of the captives. 'These be Portugal's sins, and surely they are paid.' Probably translated from Italian. Endd. by Wilson. 6½ pp. [Morocco I. 3.]