Elizabeth: September 1578, 21-30

Pages 200-216

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

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September 1578, 21-30

Sept. 21.
K. d. L. x. 833.
I wrote to you a few days ago touching matters at this camp. On the 20th Nivelles capitulated to the Count of Bossu ; terms—lives and baggage to be safe, and not to bear arms against the States for three months. The governor for Don John was called M. de Lenoncourt, a gentleman of Lorraine. He had 5 companies, all from Lorraine and Upper Burgundy. Don John had promised to bring him aid within 24 hours if he was besieged ; which he did not do in three days, or to Genappe either. This morning Lenoncourt and his people leave Nivelles and retire to Namur. A good escort is given them that no displeasure may be done them, and that the promise made to them may be kept. I think that on leaving this we shall go to besiege Louvain and take all the little places round about, and all that the enemy holds this side the Meuse, and by the same means try to draw him from his stronghold to action in the open country of Louvain, if the plans are not changed. We lost some 20 men before Nivelles, and some wounded. Our army is in great need for want of money. Sickness and famine abound and breed discontent, which will ultimately cause disorders. The French are dwindling very much, some going to join Monsieur's forces, some through death. Affairs here continue to drag along. For the rest, the enemy gives no alarms to our camp, neither in rear, nor in flank, nor in front ; no more than if he were not there, which is a terrible thing. In all his small places he has not left a single Spaniard, only Lorrainers, Burgundians, and Germans. At Tournay Baron de Chevreaux commands, with one regiment. Yesterday a number of cavalry and infantry went from our camp towards Brussels to convoy the artillery which Count Bossu has required for the camp. Nothing more at present.—From the camp at Nivelles, 21 Sep. 1578. (Signed) C. Fremyn. P.S.—If my Lord of Walsingham is still there, I humbly kiss his hands. Add. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. IX. 31.]
Sept. 22.
K. d. L. x. 834.
I have received your letter by Mr Mildmay, and thank you for your wish to have news of my convalescence. I am pretty well at present, thank God, having got rid of the flux which tormented me ; but it has somewhat lowered my strength, and by the doctor's advice I cannot leave this place till I have further recruited it. I wish to tell you that I am surrounded with difficulties more and more, and am left meanwhile without effectual assistance from anyone. If it were a personal matter only, I should not mind, but having such a train of distinguished gentlemen ill-entertained, and justly discontented at receiving no satisfaction but words and unfulfilled promises, I assure you that I am in a difficulty, and, seeing no other remedy, am resolved, after setting out to the Estates in detail how unworthily I have been treated, to disentangle myself before things grow worse, and to return whence I came. The rest may go as it shall please God to dispose. I shall not fail to impart my remonstrance to you, and to advertise thereof her Majesty and all others whom it may concern.—Brussels, 22 Sep. 1578. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson : from Casimir. Fr. 1½ pp. [Ibid. IX. 32.]
[Sept. 23.]
K. d. L. x. 836 (from another copy and a somewhat different version).
The Estates-General having often represented to the Queen's ambassadors the necessity they are in for the furnishing of their army, soldiers being very liable to mutiny and commit outrages if the pay due to them is not forthcoming at the proper time, and the ambassadors having similarly held out hopes that her Majesty would have such regard to the relief of these countries as their need required, wherewith the said Estates were content, and much obliged to her Majesty, seeing she had made it evident by the powers given to her agent Mr Davison for £100,000, hoped that she would be pleased to listen to their oft-repeated request in so urgent necessity. But since it has otherwise fallen out, rather as they think through the practices of some who are ill-affected than by her Majesty's proper motion who has always shown herself kind and well-disposed to succour the afflicted, and her Majesty having of late shown herself so close [serrée] that in default of the repayment of the £25,000 due out of the first moneys raised by virtue of the said powers she has made difficulties about the delivery of her obligations to the merchants who had contracted with the States, unless a large quantity of jewels and plate were deposited in her hands, whereby affairs have been greatly delayed and inconveniences have occurred very prejudicial to the state of the army ;—the Estates have again represented strongly to the ambassadors how much these delays of her Majesty's affected them, and begged them, being sufficiently informed of the state of affairs here, to get ready to return to her Majesty, so that being sincerely and truly informed by them of the state of affairs she might be pleased to resolve briefly and categorically if the States might henceforth depend on her favour, or if being deserted by her they might provide themselves with other means which are close to their hand, and would have been already taken were it not that they prefer the partnership of the Queen and of England to that of any other, so much is she honoured and respected by these countries. Hoping to receive by the ambassadors' means a favourable answer, which the ambassadors have promised to promote to the best of their power, they are content to sign these articles. Copy, or abstract, in writing of L. Tomson. Fr. 1¼ pp. [Holl. and Fl. IX. 33.]
After thanking you for writing to me, I may say that, inasmuch as my master has not yet received the articles which I thought you had we have sent to ask for them from persons who we think have them. I was of opinion that you should return to the Queen because I know that you can do his Highness infinite good services, whereof he is writing to you. I entreat you to do so ; it is what he most desires. In this and in all else he is assured that you will be his friend ; the proofs you have given in your letters to the Queen at Norwich, which I have recited to him, have made him thoroughly acquainted with your goodwill, which I am sure he will so honourably requite that you will have no cause to hold him ungrateful. Meanwhile I may tell you that he will use all the diligence he can to bring this negotiation to a happy end ; which I for my part desire above everything, for the good and tranquillity which I am sure it will bring them both, and which they will give to many who need it. This being a matter towards which you can do much I entreat you to bear a hand therein ; which I believe you will do as a work both useful and holy.—Mons, 23 Sep. 1578. Add. Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [Ibid. IX. 34.]
Sept. 23.
K. d. L. x. 837.
I pray you to take in good part my long silence, and to be assured that I always retain a lively memory of the service and reverence which I owe to her Majesty 'and the most sacred Crown of the most unconquered realm of England,' and equally of my obligations to your Lordship for the endless courtesies you have shown me all the many years that I have known you. So may it please the Divine Majesty that I may in some degree show myself grateful. Meantime having nothing wherein it is permitted to me by the most benign stars to display with any clear testimony how much I revere your honoured name, save that with my feeble wit, as in the works I have previously published, especially the work printed at Basle, De Cyprio et Pannonico bello, I have testified my debt to you, so in my labour of the last three or four years, Annals of the Republic of Genoa, now printing at Antwerp by Mr Christopher Plantin, the king's printer, I have testified my humble service to her Majesty. May God give me grace that I may be able to show myself grateful to her, and yourself, and England in a matter of greater moment, that I may not die ungrateful for the benefits I daily receive from her munificence. I send no information as to the state of these countries, being certain that you are fully advertised by the ambassadors.—Antwerp, 23 Sep. 1578. Add. Endd. Ital. 2½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. IX. 35.]
Sept. 24. 268. [WILSON ?] to JUNIUS.
The day before Daniel Rogers returned from London to the Court, the Queen read the letters written to her by various persons which you had sent on the 13th inst. I afterwards handed her the two from Duke Casimir and your colleague Beutrich which you gave me to bring. I also declared to her what Rogers told me from you about the disturbed state of the Low Countries and the Duke's. First I thank you for the good opinion you have conceived of me. I am in truth as devoted as any man to Duke Casimir, and your worship's most obsequious. As regards the Queen, however, all Europe I think knows well how she has long studied to remove the troubles of the republic. With no ambitious motives nor spur of private advantage, she has at great cost striven to confirm friendship between the princes her neighbours who are at variance ; and above others she especially favours Duke Casimir. But there are two things, my Junius, which specially vex her. First, she is greatly annoyed that none of all the princes of Europe who profess the reformed Religion should have seriously exerted himself to help the republic, and is grieved to find herself alone in going to any expense to heal its calamities. Secondly, she complains that fresh aids are required of her under the plea of a promise. She affirms that she has liberally performed her promises to the people of the Low Countries ; and so indeed it is. For when she understood that the States were in treaty with Duke Casimir for succour she was so pleased that on being solicited by them for a loan she readily promised them £20,000, which sum for Casimir's own sake she desired might be handed to him. And when she learned from Dr Beutrich that another £20,000 was wanted for the first month's pay, she pleaded on his behalf with the States that they would send another £20,000 on the day of muster ; and undertook, if they were in straits and could not raise that sum on the obligation which she then sent them, in order that they might have Casimir's aid, to supply that second £20,000, to all which promises she has stood, not to mention the other sums granted by her. What province in Europe was so helpful to them in their trouble? Having shown herself such towards the States and Duke Casimir, her Majesty is surprised that fresh sums of money should be demanded. For if after the return of Rogers from Germany she promised all friendship and favour to Duke Casimir she did not therefore deem herself bound to lavish fresh sums out of her treasury which she may justly use for her own purposes and those of her realm. Duke Casimir does not know at what cost she purchased the tranquillity of Scotland which was much disturbed last month ; if he did, he would declare that she had acted liberally towards the States. Yet she will not leave him destitute of her favour, being devoted as she is to his renown. She hopes rather that he will so deal with the States that they will discharge the pay due to him ; for she has many weighty reasons for not spending any more treasure at present. She trusts also that the States will with the Duke take such measures that he will have less need of English subsidies.— From the Court, 24 Sep. 1578. Draft in writing of Daniel Rogers and endd. by him. Latin. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. IX. 36.]
Sept. 24.
K. d L. x. 840.
We have with great difficulty induced the States, upon the hope we have put them in of the continuance of her Majesty's assistance when she is thoroughly informed at our return of the state of their affairs, to accept of her order touching the delivery of the bonds ; having to that purpose accorded the articles propounded, as may appear from the postils we send herewith. As we could not judge of the true value of the jewels, or whether they would countervail the sums for which her Majesty gives her bonds, nor could well trust the report of jewellers here, being inhabitants of this town, we have thought right to stay such money as was payable to Spinola till her Majesty's further pleasure be known ; being the sum of £8,000 or so, saving that we let the States retain 18,000 florins payable by Spinola, to redeem part of the jewels engaged, receiving in lieu of it, besides those jewels that were shown us first, certain other jewels, estimated to be worth 250,000 florins at least. We have also induced the States to give their general bonds for satisfying Spinola at the dates contained in her Majesty's bonds. And though she seems to make no account of the general bond of the States, yet to those who know the wealth of this country, their great traffic by sea, and the means she has at all times to obtain satisfaction, when by sending out a ship or two she may bring to her ports a fleet belonging to this country which will countervail thrice over the value of the debt, there is no doubt of repayment. They have desired us to be suitors on their behalf to her Majesty that she will vouchsafe, for the relief of their necessity, having to give their soldiers a month's pay at the beginning of next month, to let them have the above-mentioned sum of £8,000 ; which we have given order that Mr Davison should keep in his hands till her pleasure is known, to which we pray that answer may be sent with expedition. Unless she agrees to it, I do not see how Duke Casimir can be satisfied according to her last letters ; in which she appointed that the money still in Spinola's hands should be paid to him. And since she may be offended that the answer to her last has been so long deferred, please let her understand that the States have not without great difficulty been brought to yield to the articles (being not a little grieved that her Majesty should deal so 'straynably' with them) and therefore took ten days' deliberation before giving their assent.—Antwerp, 24 Sep. 1578. Add. Endd. 1½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. IX. 37.]
Sept. 24.
K. d. L. x. 843.
I thought it well in this private letter to tell you a little concerning the last dispatch we received from her Majesty for dealing with the States for a cessation of arms or diminution of their forces. Though we knew it would be ungrateful to them, we have proceeded so far as to deliver her advice both in speech and writing, desiring their answer in like sort. What it may be you shall know by the next. As for this present answer to the former conditions for the delivery of the bonds, if her Majesty or my Lords mislike them, I pray you stay such conceptions as may be gathered of them till our return, when I trust we shall fully satisfy them.—Antwerp, 24 Sep. 1578. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. IX. 38.]
Sept. 24.
K. d. L. x. 842.
I heard nothing from you or of our recall, by the last courier ; I must pray you to put a helping hand that my colleague and I may take our leave, and he if occasion go to Monsieur and so both of us meet at Dunkirk to be embarked for England. We remain here unprofitable servants to her Majesty and to ourselves great hindrances. You would hardly believe what our daily expenses are. Monsieur has sent here one 'de Sellys' to promise Duke Casimir his pension and his living in France : he hearkens to it, having small hope of being relieved by her Majesty. The States have recovered three castles ; one called Bradt [?] by force, Terce [?] and Gynypre [Genappe] which is not a league from Nivelles, by composition. Now they mean to besiege Nivelles. De Sellis has laboured that his master might have two of his assisting in council with the States, and likewise to have two of theirs to be present at all his consultations. By this you see what he 'pretends.' Count 'Alleyne' [Lalaing] by some good means is 'wrought' to write to the States and Prince acknowledging his error, and promising hereafter to be a good 'patriota.' Don John has returned very nearly to Namur awaiting reinforcements from Germany. There is much talk here of the overthrow of the King of Portugal in Barbary, confirmed to-day by divers letters. We are doing our best to bring the States to 'condescend' to her Majesty's requests and are not without hope of bringing it to pass. I send you the 'platt' of the camp where the great skirmish was. If you are not satisfied the bearer can do it, for he saw the place and drew it. I have also informed him of the way the camp has marched to Nivelles that he may show it you by a particular 'card' of Brabant, which I also send. I saw to-day a letter from Aquisgrane, that Count Hannibal, Pollweiler and Fronsberg are coming to Don John with forces, and are this side of Trier, so that it is thought upon this new supply of forces he will 'come abroad.' The treaty of peace being put into the Emperor's hands is likely to grow to length. Letters from Spain and Italy do not mention the departure from Spain of the Duke of Terranova. It is greatly suspected here that it was only to gain time, as a matter greatly to the prejudice of the States. Most of the towns in Flanders and Brabant have, by the general assent of the States, open preaching. It is thought the rest of the provinces will do the like. By the packing and piecing of this letter with divers things of divers natures, you may judge that it was not framed all at one time. It was begun a nine days ago, looking every day for the States' answer to her Majesty's articles sent with the bonds by Mr Sommers. It was not possible to get an answer from them before now, such is their business and care to provide money for the month's pay. Duke Casimir, upon some 'looseness of body,' is come to Brussels, there to 'streynge' himself. Meantime his reiters grow froward and will not march for lack of 'nayghtgellthe' ; a great hindrance to the States, for on the taking of Nivelles they meant to have gone and sought Don John. You see what confusion lack of money brings. I send you the book of the general moyennes now granted for 10 months, and the treaty with Monsieur newly pointed, with the States' and his protestation. I am much beholden to you for your special care had of me in this negotiation, in which no will is lacking in us to bring it to a successful issue. Diffidence is so great between them that it will hardly be moved. Her Majesty need not fear Monsieur's greatness if she will continue her wonted favour towards the States. He has ministers here at present for the delivery of those three towns. He does but laterem lavare ; he will have no towns but those he wins by force. His bands are now laying siege to 'Bynghes' [Binche].— Antwerp, 24 Sep. 1578. Add. Endd. 2½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. IX. 39.]
Sept. 24.
K. d. L. x. 844.
The army is about marching in the direction of Binche to join Monsieur's forces and take that place, if not already taken, for Monsieur has sent his whole force there, besides artillery, which was to batter yesterday. M. de la Noue left this camp yesterday to visit Monsieur and returned yesterday at 4 p.m. with letters from him to Count Bossu. La Noue says that Monsieur has 10,000 of the smartest infantry he ever saw, among them 3,000 gilt morions, When our army has joined with Monsieur's we make straight for Namur ; inasmuch as it is found that the sooner you employ an army the more you get out of it, especially in the case of Frenchmen. Don John is reported to be fortifying himself near Namur, with great intrenchments, and calling in all his useless garrisons. He has abandoned Gemblour, as we hear. Yesterday Duke Casimir's colonels decided not to leave this till they were paid, and to that effect sent Count Mansfeldt to M. de Bonnecourt to know if he would not do the like, and all the other French. M. de Bonnecourt replied that he would not do it, and did not wish to join them in falling out (se détendre d'avec eux) inasmuch as they were marching under one master. The other three French colonels were gone to Brussels to Duke Casimir before this happened. We are captains no longer, unless of marauders and robbers, for lack of pay ; and MM. les Etats are the cause. At the end of this month we shall have to renew our oath ; for my part, I do not want to be the commander of people who are forced to thieve and to live without discipline. We are full of disorder and confusion. Count Egmont's regiment remains in garrison at Nivelles ; I mean four ensigns of his. In the last month we have lost, by disease or in plundering, of French, English, Scots and others more than 4,000 men.—Nivelles, 24 Sep. 1578. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. IX. 40.]
Sept. 24. 273. The Senate of Hamburgh hears from the Aldermen and Council of the Hanse merchants in London that its reply of 20 June, 1578, to the Commissioners then in Hamburgh has been somewhat misunderstood by the Merchants Adventurers, as inconsistent with the letters addressed in the year seventy-eight by the cities of the Teutonic Hanse, and by the Senate itself, to the Queen. The Senate therefore declares that it wishes, its answer to be understood according to the tenor of those letters, in which was inserted the fourth Article of the agreement of Utrecht, and that it never wished or intended anything else.—24 Sep. 1578. Signed on behalf of the Senate of Hamburgh, John Niebur, secretary. Certified a true copy, Fr. Morus. Copy. Endd. : A letter from the Stedes. Latin, 1 p. [Hanse Towns, I. 47.] Enclosed in the above : A copy of the 4th Article of the agreement of Utrecht. Endd. : Copy of matters recd. from Hamburgh touching the Hanse in Latin ; and in Burghley's hand : Copia 4 Articuli Tractatus Trajectensis, Ed. 4. Latin. 1½ pp. [Ibid. I. 47e.]
Sept. 24. 274. Another copy of the above letter, with translation. Endd. ½ p. & ½ p. [Ibid. I. 48.]
Sept. 25. 275. "A memorial of that hath happened in the River of Seville." What we have at present notable and lamentable in this city is that this day, Thursday, Sep. 25, at one o'clock at night, a ship was set on fire in the river, and having broken loose, set on fire all the other ships she met with ; so that with no means of helping them, 16 or 17 very good ships and hulks, and 6 or 7 carvells were burnt, 22 or 23 vessels in all, a thing very lamentable and never seen before. Most of them were among those that had recently come from New Spain. I, as an eyewitness, saw them burn ; for hearing the noise in the streets, I 'rysse' up, the city being as bright as day with the light from the river. And if they had not broken the bridge, that the ships which were on fire might pass through (for it was then 'flowing water') and had not used great diligence, not one ship had been left unburnt in all the river. I saw myself a ship 'remedied' which seemed very hell itself, and was driving towards the Triana side, where if she had set one ship on fire, not one would have remained unburnt of a great number that were there, just as none escaped that were on the other side. It is said that the hulks alone of these ships were worth 60,000 ducats, and that the whole loss will come to above 120,000. ¾ p. [Spain I. 16.]
Sept. 25.
K. d. L. x. 845.
276. DAVISON to [? WILSON].
I did not accompany Captain Cockburne with my private letter to you, because I had little to write by him, having only a day or two before his dispatch advised you of what had occurred. Since then the camp of the States advanced from Kempenbout to Waveren, where by reason of a discontent among Duke Casimir's reiters for want of their 'naughelt' they stayed five or six days without attempting anything of importance, save that in the meantime they recovered the castle of Genappe by composition and another 'house' of strength thereabouts by assault. Going thence to Nivelles, which had in it not more than 4 or 5 companies of Burgundians under M. de Lenoncourt, a Lorrainer, it was surrendered last Saturday on condition that they should depart their lives and goods saved, taking oath not to serve against the States for three months. They now seem in mind to attempt Louvain, both to clear the country behind them, and to try if by that means they may 'train' the enemy to battle. He is said to be encamped upon the hill hard by Namur, awaiting succour out of Germany to the number of 3,000 reiters under the Duke of Lauenburg, and three regiments of lansquenets levied by Pollweiler, part of whom are said to be already in Luxembourg, beside certain horse and foot which he expects from Burgundy. Till these arrive it is thought he will not risk a battle unless compelled, or at some great advantage. The Duke of Alençon's troops are now assembled at the siege of 'Bins,' whither the States have sent them some artillery and powder to batter it ; which dispatched they think to join the rest of the camp. His ministers here meanwhile find great fault that the towns promised are not delivered ; but as they of Landrecies and Quesnoy still persist in an obstinate refusal to accept them, I see not how they can obtain their satisfaction, the people being generally out of taste with that nation and such as favour their party ; as may appear by Count Lalaing, who coming a few days since to Valenciennes was apprehended by the burghers. Contrary to a custom strictly observed there he entered the town with 50 or 60 horse, without any warning given by him that is appointed to signify the approach of any horsemen by 'knolling' of a bell. After much difficulty and intercession of the magistrates he was released in a few days and returned to Mons, retaining the greater heartburning against those of Valenciennes because besides this treatment of him they had obtained from the States power to have a separate governor ; which office is conferred on M. de Noyelles, a gentleman of good account in Flanders. In Luxembourg certain companies of French, 'set a-work' by the Duchess of Bouillon but said to belong to Monsieur have surprised the castle of Saney pertaining to one M. de Naves, Don John's commissaire de vivres, where they found much corn and wine. There is a bruit of some levy in Champagne, to what end is in doubt. At Gravelines the garrison has been increased with two or three companies of Albanese and some infantry, among whom divers of our nation are serving ; with intent to begin a camp or to attach that part of Flanders, or else to force the States to keep a greater garrison thereabouts and so deprive them of a great part of the contribution from that province. The toleration of religion is at last accorded by the States permitting the exercise of it in every town where there are 100 householders to demand it. It now begins to be embraced all the country over, except among the Henuyers and Artesians, who cannot yet digest it. At Bois-le-duc there has been some 'alteration' about the taking of the churches by the Protestants ; which we hear is now appeased. The Gauntois have in the last few days had some conflicts with certain companies of the regiments of Montigny and Hèze, which lie spoiling and ransacking the bonhomme in that corner of Flanders. They had taken two houses of strength between Ghent and Courtray : but we hear that not above 20 or 30 have been slain on either side. This disorder on the part of the soldiers has grown of the want of pay to draw them to camp. They have offered to come there with one month's wages, though ten or twelve are due to them. At Sluse, a port in Flanders, they have this last week planted the religion with the banishment and suppression of the contrary, taking the Gauntois for their example. Last Sunday the Prince's child was christened here in the church at the castle, which is one of the places assigned for the public exercise of the religion. The godfathers were the Duke of Alençon, (whose deputy was Mauvissière's maitre d'hotel), Duke Casimir, who being at Brussels somewhat ill-disposed, sent M. de Clervant to supply his room, and the States-General ; with the Countess of Schwarzburg, the Prince's sister, for the godmother. A baptism solemnized without any great ceremony. Of other matters, especially of the defeat and slaughter of the king of Portugal, you will hear from Mr Secretary.—Antwerp, 25 Sep. 1578. P.S.—As touching the bonds I write nothing ; because you may at length understand from my Lords what is done in that behalf. Draft. Endd.: To Sir Fra. Walsingham [!]. 2½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. IX. 41.]
Sept. 26.
K. d. L. x. 848.
You will have understood at large from the ambassadors what is the present state of this country, and how the enemy having resolved to continue the war, it is necessary for us to continue to defend ourselves by arms. But so great are our necessities and so excessive our charges that I do not see how without her Majesty's aid, which we have always expected and still expect, it will be possible for us any longer to support the burden of this war. And inasmuch as you have always shown yourself a good friend to the States and to myself, I will be so bold as to pray you kindly to use on our behalf your influence with her Majesty, that we fall not from the good hope which we have conceived of her liberality.—Antwerp, 26 Sep. 1578. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. 42.]
Sept. 26.
K. d. L. x. 851.
I last wrote to you on the 24th. That day Duke Casimir's reiters made great difficulties about marching, and it was nearly eleven o'clock before they would start, saying they wanted to be paid what they call the 'nat guel,' which ought to have been paid at Deventer, being money due to them from the time of leaving their homes till their arrival at the place of muster, at 7 batzen per day, German money. They are to be paid to-day, Count Bossu has promised ; it may amount to 30,000 florins for the lot, apart from the two months' pay which will be due at the end of this month, which it seems they will want to be paid. Otherwise, it is to be feared they will mutiny, and if they do they will find the rest of the army ready enough to follow them. It is not easy to manage any army containing so many foreigners without paying them. It seems that Duke Casimir, who is at Brussels,will not return to the camp till he is sure of his men's pay, inasmuch as it would not be very safe for him. Besides I think that at the end of three months he will ask to be dismissed, seeing how little occasion he has to stay longer. Meanwhile our four French regiments are not worth one ; the soldiers go every day to join Monsieur's troops, besides the sickness and mortality. The English and Scottish regiments are little more than half of what they were a month ago. To-day Binche is to be assaulted ; the artillery was sent from our camp on the 24th. Monsieur's men come foraging as far as our camp, pillaging and stealing. They kill our reiters and take their wagons and horses, and ours too ; and having got their plunder retire to France. War in these countries does not suit them at all, and if we are in the field another month only our ensigns will be left. The plague is all over the country, and the camp is surrounded by thieves who plunder the provision-dealers and traders, pretending to be Spaniards. We are at present encamped in a triangle between Gemblours and Binche, three leagues from Nivelles, where we have been for two days. It is said that they want to give us an instalment for our men, which is the way to lose the rest of them ; they are owed for two months, and besides have no great fancy for serving the States, having been so badly treated in this country. To tell the truth we are nothing but captains of imarauders and thieves ; it is enough to break the heart of an honourable man to see no discipline, and to be at great pains to ruin himself. There are people embarked in this business who if it were to do again would take good care not to go into it. It is said that if Binche is taken the whole army will go in the direction of Namur. Meantime it is not certain if Monsieur will join forces with the States. Our plans are often changed and so we do nothing much.—From the Camp, 26 Sep. 1578. Add. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. IX. 43.]
Sept. 27.
K. d. L. x. 852.
I wrote to you on the 24th and 26th, and have received yours of the 26th, touching what has happened there. The camp remains in this place waiting the capture or surrender of Binche. The bombardment was to take place to-day ; 9 guns were sent from the camp for that purpose. M. de la Noue was at Mons yesterday, returning the same day. A good many of our troops are leaving to take part in the assault of Binche. Meantime our men are not slack in marauding. In the last week they have carried off more than 2,000 cows, and no end of pigs, sheep, and horses, which are sold cheap—20 pattars for a cow ; clothing without end, men's and women's alike ; linen, plate, everything is plundered and sold by drumhead auction, ay, in front of Count Bossu's quarters. It looks as if this army was employed on purpose to eat up the country foot by foot. Where we have passed we leave nothing whatsoever ; and if the enemy comes after us he will find nothing for man or horse to live upon for ten leagues round Brussels. The French captains in our regiments are meeting this morning to choose delegates from their number to send to Duke Casimir for their pay. There has been great discontent ; our men go every day to join Monsieur, who has received 300,000 livres to pay his men, brought by M. de Villeroy. It is said that when Binche is taken, Monsieur will join our camp : which some doubt. It seems as if the States would like to see their regiments disband, to give them no provisions nor pay being just the way to break them up ; and to content themselves with Monsieur's troops. Duke Casimir does not appear to be at all pleased with the treatment he and his receive ; and to tell the truth he has been badly treated, and his people feel it extremely. He will request his dismissal at the end of the month. We are a community of marauders because the gentlemen will have it so ; and people of honour who do not wish to soil their honour by these unworthy acts will not do it long. I have remembered you to M. d'Argenlieu, who thanks you. On the 25th there was a great alarm in Don John's camp owing to a report brought by a Spaniard that the States' army was a league off. They were in great fright and remained eight hours in order of battle, near Namur, where he is entrenched. Don John had the Spaniard hung in the middle of the camp in recompense for the false alarm he had given. That is the news up to now. As to the defeat of the King of Portugal, it is what often happens to ambitious people. From the camp at Tenions [Thiméon], 27 Sep. 1578. Add. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. IX. 44.]
Sept. 27. 280. Complaints laid before the ambassadors of the Queen of England by the English Merchants Adventurers resident at Antwerp. Resolutions of the States-General after communicating with the Merchants Adventurers and the ambassadors.
1. They complain of a new imposition called Moyens Generaux exacted on all goods which they send out of the country. 1. The Estates do not find the treaties, especially that of 1495, on the 9th article of which this point is based, so clear as the merchants assert. But in their respect for the Queen and desire to satisfy her subjects they will have a closer investigation made as to their powers and duties.
2. For certain of the goods which they import from England, baize, 'northern dozens,' &c., and also when they take away their own goods they have to pay this import, which has never been usual in their case ; the exaction being so great that many will be ruined by it. 2. Cloths and wools which the English merchants bring hither having been freed, and any further exemption, for the buyers and those who take them out of the country, being contrary to Art. 11 of that treaty, while that of 1499 on which the merchants rely was only for the lives of the two princes then reigning, there is no reason to complain. The baize imported by subjects of this country is too unimportant to be considered.
Sept. 27. 3. The receivers of the duty raise the rate on various goods at their pleasure, according as the article is in demand ; so that the merchants cannot tell what to deal in. 3. This is provided for by the new list, and if there be any further cause of complaint, it shall be set right.
4. The merchants are compelled to specify to the collectors in detail the contents of their packages, their quality and quantity ; whereby they disclose their business and customers and can do no trade without being noticed. This is quite contrary to custom, the merchants being privileged to declare only by sample. 4. Orders will be given that the merchants shall be treated as in past time and pursuant to treaties.
5. New searchers have been appointed who want to open bales, barrels, &c., of goods belonging to the merchants, which has never before been done. 5. Ditto.
6. The collectors claim the right of confiscating goods on which the duty has not been paid, where the complainants have the privilege of exemption from all but the impost in question, even from confiscation, on paying four times the double of the toll which has not been satisfied. 6. Inasmuch as it is understood that this privilege is peculiar to the toll of Brabant, and debate on it is pending in the Colloquy of Bruges, this claim had better be referred to that Colloquy. Meantime there shall be no innovation even though manifest fraud may be favoured thereby.
7. Heavy duties are also levied on drinks, both wines and beers imported from England and those brewed in this country or elsewhere, from which the merchants ought to be exempt as heretofore ; the franchise being one that can harm nobody. 7. This is a matter for the authorities of Antwerp, who will be treated with for the satisfaction of the merchants.
8. The collector of tolls in Zealand levies on the merchant's goods when brought from or sent to other countries not being directly for or from England ; though the treaties of intercourse do not make any exception. 8. Must remain as was usual before the order pursuant to the agreement of Bristol in 1574, until other order is taken by the Colloquy of Bruges, when this article also awaits discussion.
9. The officers in Zealand make fresh charges on mariners for vessels passing, whereby they are often delayed, losing tides, fine weather and fair winds. It would be better if all vessels were free to pass up to this Town, and pay their customs there without further hindrance. 9. His Excellency and the States will do their best with the States of Zealand to have this effected.
10. In conclusion your petitioners humbly beg to arrange that the grievances which they suffer daily may be redressed, so that they may freely enjoy their privileges as of old, otherwise they will be compelled to go elsewhere. —. Done in the Assembly of the Estates in this city of Antwerp. 27 Sept. 1578. (Signed) A. Blyleven.
Copy. Endd. by Walsingham. Fr. 2¼ pp. [Holl. and Fl. IX. 45.]
Sept. 27. 281. Another copy. Endd. Fr. 2¼ pp. [Ibid. IX. 46.]
Sept. 29.
K. d. L. x. 856.
Please cause the enclosed to be safely delivered to the Emperor's Ambassador. It is to request him to send us a copy of a letter he has lately received from Don John in answer to his. We are informed also by one who heard it from M. de Bours that the town of Luxembourg has offered the States to join them. I will ask you to learn the truth of this and acquaint me with it as soon as you can ; and also to procure the answer of the Gauntoys to the letter we wrote them.—Ecclo, 29 Sep. 1578. P.S.—This bearer, Mr Poyns, can inform you of the state of 'Sootheake's' case and show you how in justice he ought to be satisfied. Pray, good Mr Davison, deal effectually with the Prince in that behalf. My Lords of the Council greatly pity his case ; especially the Lord Treasurer, whose kinswoman he has married. Add. Endd. 2/3 p. [Ibid. IX. 47.]
Sept. 30 and 29. 283. (1.) The DUKE OF AERSCHOT, the ABBOT OF MAROILLES and M. DE FRESIN to the STATES-GENERAL.
Though we know you are sufficiently informed, both by what M. de St. Bertin has written to you and by the answer of those of Quesnoy and Landrecies, that the inhabitants of those towns will not agree to receive the French as you ordered, yet upon the receipt of your letter of the 29th, desiring us to sound the mind of his Highness to find out what else would satisfy him, we have, though the task was difficult and one we should have been glad to be excused, sounded his mind on that behalf in the presence of Lalaing. At first he replied that he would ask for no town but those granted him by the treaty. But when we laid before him the endeavour you have made to deliver those towns into his hands, which through the obstinacy of the inhabitants could not take place, he then, to show his desire to meet you half way without constraining you to do what was impossible, said, that leaving other articles of the treaty in force he was willing in place of Quesnoy and Landrecies to accept two of the following towns : Tournay, Bruges, Lille, Mechlin, Douay and Bapaume, with the town of Brussels for his residence, with his guard only, and no other garrison, either of his or yours. Of which we have thought good to advertise you and desire you to send him as soon as possible a good, brief, and practical [fruetueux] answer by this gentleman whom he sends for that purpose. Meantime we can assure you that we have used our best endeavours to maintain his goodwill towards this country and to prevent it from being in any way alienated ; wherein we judge that we have done you good service, though we could have wished that some other could have had the task, knowing how in such circumstances things are apt to be misinterpreted.—Mons, 30 Sep. 1598. (Signed) Philippes de Croy, Fredericq Abbé de Maroilles, Charles de Gavre.
(2) The DUKE OF ANJOU to the STATES.
I shall never be weary, when occasion serves, of writing to you and doing whatever may be for the good of your state, though I know that some people have mistrusted my actions. These have however rendered sufficient testimony to my sincerity ; and inasmuch as I have resolved to embrace your friendship it would be impossible for me without violating it to discover anything without letting you know. Wherefore, having received a letter containing important advices, I have thought good in order that you may not be taken by surprise to send you the substance of it, assuring you that it comes from a trustworthy quarter. I have thought it necessary to take prudent and dexterous precautions, for otherwise imminent peril threatens you. I have also had other advices, by express messenger from Franche-Comté, assuring me that M. de Montfort and other of my military commanders there have seized the fortresses of St. Laurens de la Roche, St. Amour, Chevreaulx, L'Estoile, Perrilly [Perrigny] Sainguy, and some other small fortresses in that country, and cut up those who resisted, carrying off their flags, which they have sent me as testimony of what has happened. This cannot but be of great advantage to our affairs, since we can prevent the passage of men and money by that route to our adversaries. Such actions it seems to me may give you certain evidence of the goodwill which I have promised you and remove any sinister impressions which those envious of your welfare may have advanced ; whereby you henceforth will walk roundly and sincerely. You know that by your advice I have tried to bring the town of Binche to obedience, which I should have done by now if I had been assisted by you with the guns and ammunition which you promised me. But there have been so many delays that up to now the enemy has defended himself against any attempt, and many good men have been lost owing to the delay, and the enemy has been able to fortify himself. But I am so anxious to content you that this and the default in the fulfilment of your other promises cannot kill my good will, provided that my undertakings be assisted by you more in proportion to your resources, which ought for your own sake not to be so much delayed. You have I think more reason than I myself to wish the success of my enterprise if you want your country purged of its great afflictions, which threaten a sinister event. I have imparted the rest to M. de Sechelles, and need say no more.—Mons, 29 Sep. 1578.
Copies. (Probably encl. in Davison's of Oct. 4, No. 287.) [Holl. and Fl. IX. 48.]
Sept. 30. 284. English translation of the first of the above documents. Endd. by L. Tomson. ¾ p. [Holl. and Fl. IX. 49.]
September. 285. Statement of rates of pay in the Estates' army, together with the salaries of the Prince of Orange (72,500fl. per annum), Archduke Matthias (84,000), and Councillors of State (6,000 apiece), and other officers. Endd. by Burghley's secretary : September 1578. The state of the States' camp. Fr. with Eng. notes. 5 pp. [Ibid. IX. 50.]