Elizabeth: June 1578, 21-30

Pages 23-39

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

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June 1578, 21-30

June 21. 31. WILSON to WALSINGHAM.
The Queen will be very glad to hear of your safe landing, which God grant, with like success in your affairs. The Lord Deputy and Council in Ireland make sure account of Stukeley's coming, and have sent letters of the 14th inst. that the ship may go forward ; the 2,000 soldiers to be presently sent, victuals to be made ready for 4,000 men, with a declaration of great dearth there. Munitions to be provided for a great quantity, according to a docket sent thereof, and lastly £20,000 to be sent in haste, over and above the quarterage. Lodwick Brysket is come over with this dispatch, and to make more particular report to the Lords. The Queen does not much esteem this conceived fear in Ireland, and therefore wished me to defer the calling of the Council till to-morrow, being Sunday, at what time they ordinarily meet. I see plainly that nothing will be done till very necessity enforces us, and that is, rather to withstand harm than to devise the preventing of it. I pray God that this light esteeming of so lewd a varlet be not hurtful, for although he be of no value for himself, yet he has setters-on, and the Pope being chief, may work great mischief. How the grieved people of Ireland will be inclined at such a lewd fellow's coming, God knows, and I pray Him that they feel not the smart thereof upon the sudden, when it is too late to repent. Security and contempt of harm are the right means to lull us to ruin ; whereas foresight and provident care preserve states in safety. If there be a destiny, who can avoid it? and yet because things to come are unknown to man, it were good reason so to deal with advice and counsel that we should not in our judgement be condemned as the very causes of our own destruction through folly. Enclosed I send these letters, and so farewell.—From the Court, 21 June 1578. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 20.]
I was given to understand that a ship of London called the Elizabeth was in the 'wanns' [?] of Harwich loading her cargo of wax etc. and about to sail for Bilbao. Wherefore I shipped in one Goodlad's ship, bound from this place, certain copper, ordering it to be transported in the 'wanns' aforesaid on board the Elizabeth. That ship, by a new determination of the laders and 'honors' [qy. owners] altered her voyage for Bayona in Galicia ; by which means I was 'destitute' of shipping in my copper. My servant thereupon unladed it and it put into a hoy. The hoy, as he writes me, lying at anchor in Lee roads was entered and the copper seized by order from Gray the searcher. A very strange thing it seems to me, that the hoy, receiving the copper in the 'wanns' of Harwich and bringing it into Lee roads, not being bound over sea with it, nor the goods ever landed within the realm, should be attached or seized as forfeit. But I doubt the cause of this hindrance is that according to my commission I passed so secretly with the treasure as not to make Gray acquainted with it ; who now being in respect thereof maliciously bent seeks by all means to molest my doings. Therefore I am to crave your help therein, lest through the service of my prince I come to this great loss. If I had been myself at home, I would have dealt more circumspectly than possibly the ignorance of my servant has permitted. I have appointed my servant John Price herewith to be a suitor to you in my absence, and to advertise me of your good 'comfort' herein. I hope, the weather being so clear, that if you would send for Gray, one word to him would clear it.—Hamburg, 22 June 1578. Occurrents on the other side.
—From Rome, 10 May 1578.
It is written from Alexandria that the Spaniards would have taken the castle of 'Patroneryo' by sleight, but the captain of it, having had intelligence, overcame them, and hanged them over the wall. Among them was one knight of St. Stephen who has before now served in the Low Countries ; who was quartered. The Portugal ambassador has gone to Florence for the 300,000 crowns with which the duke has promised to help the king in his voyage to Africa. He is preparing an army of 40,000 men, and by the Pope's aid has from Italy 6,000 good soldiers, with other provision. The king of Barbary makes great preparation against him and has sent an ambassador to the king of Portugal to stay his enterprise ; notwithstanding which the king departed with all his power on the 25th ult. On his return he will marry the Emperor's sister. Two galleys with treasure were sent from Spain to Naples, of which one was taken by Turkish corsairs with 60,000 crowns in 'ryolls of platte' and 10 'senteners' of silver ; but the other galley saved himself at Policastro. Naples sent 12 galleys to the rescue, but they could not meet with the corsairs.
—From Venice, 16 May.
It is written from Constantinople that the 'Sophia' of Persia is dead and that his brother had taken the government. He is a friend to the Turk, and it is said will shortly send his ambassador to treat for peace. Notwithstanding, the Turk has appointed Mustapha to enter Persia with 15,000 horsemen as soon as the pastures are grown. The garrison of 'Sipers' [Cyprus] have killed their captain for keeping their pay from them, and there is great confusion in the Island, so that it were easy to be won again. Letters from Genoa of the 9th say that Signor Doria has arrived there with three galleys, bringing the ambassador there 700,000 crowns, 200,000 of which were immediately sent to Don John, and 60,000 to a colonel who is levying soldiers in Italy for the Low Countries. Their general will be Vespasian Gonzaga, who is every day expected from Spain. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Hanse Towns I. 44.]
June 22.
K. d. L. x. 526.
There was good hope when I last wrote that the projected journey of the Duke of Alençon towards these countries would have 'quailed' upon the differences between his commissioners and the States, though it since appears that the difficulties in treating have not changed his resolution. Three or four days ago the States received a letter from him signifying the continuance of his purpose and the advancement of his preparation ; though he find himself somewhat grieved by their 'straightness' in the points of difference, considering the sincerity and roundness which he had always shewn in their behalfs. A day or two after the receipt of this arrived from him one Dampmartin, who having audience once or twice of the Prince, let him understand that the Duke was not to be diverted from his purpose, having as he says engaged himself so far that he cannot go back—partly in respect of his charges, which he would be loth should turn to smoke, partly for his reputation's sake, having entertained divers men of account for their service only, whom he would not deceive and abuse, partly to clear himself of the accusation of the king his brother and the reports generally given out of his intention to trouble the State at home, and especially, as he says, upon the encouragement of the Queen our sovereign who has herein promised him her utmost favour and assistance, and will, he assures himself, tegether with the princes Protestant of France and divers princes of Germany become caution for him in this behalf. As for his employment in Burgundy or accepting the rest of the States' offers, he puts them in no hope. So it easily appears what drift he has, and of how dangerous consequence his enterprise will be for these countries, especially if there be intelligence between him - and his brother, a thing undoubtedly believed by many wise men. However as the duke cunningly disguises the matter, so does the king on his side, having, in a letter, sent last week to the Prince earnestly inveighing against his brother's course, dissuading him in any sort from hearkening to him, and advising him rather to 'attend to' some honest composition with the king of Spain, wherein he offers to employ himself, not without great hope, as he says, of doing good. The gentleman by whom these letters were sent passed by 'Graveling,' where being, as he affirms, stayed by la Motte, his instructions perused and himself treated with some indignity, he returned to Calais, whence having advertised the king of that 'accident' he has sent hither his letter and instructions to the Prince, whose answer he awaits before proceeding further. Meanwhile there is some suspicion that all this tends to disguise the intelligence between the king and his brother, and to make them here so much the less suspicious of the danger which threatens them. Rochepot has since his return to France written to his colleague M. des Pruneaux that the duke was about departing towards Angiers to give order for the speedy marching of his whole army, and had in the meantime ordered 2,000 foot and 500 horse to repair to the frontier, to be employed where they and Count Lalaing had agreed. This letter being intercepted and fallen into the hands of the States has not a little increased their suspicion of the Count's proceedings and of the danger which his folly or infidelity threatens to them. The enemy on the other hand bestirs himself. The troops which 12 or 14 days ago went towards Gueldres under M d'Hierges in hope to have met some of the States' reiters, missing that purpose have attempted the town of Lymborch above Maestricht, which not without suspicion of treason is yielded to them ; a thing of importance for the enemy, both in respect of the commodity of victual which the country round affords, and for the better annoyance of those of Maestricht. Since then, another company of horsemen, estimated at 1500, made towards Bois-le-duc to attempt the reiters gathered thereabout, but finding them 'in better terms' than they looked for, returned with the slaughter of 30 or 40 of them and the loss of as many of their own. Meanwhile another company of their horsemen defeated part of the Viscount of Ghent's 'band of ordinance,' whom they surprised in a village near Enghien. Bapaume was this week in danger of surprise by certain peasants, tenants of M. de Vaux, whom he had suborned in that behalf, having intelligence with the lieutenant of M. de Capres the governor ; but by good hap the matter did not succeed. At one instant we have advice of the deaths of Count Barlaymont his son Count Meghem, and Count Charles Mansfelt. Two gentlemen arrived from Duke Casimir tell me that he is on his way, and will be at his rendezvous about the 27th. Meantime they have to treat with the Estates on certain points in difficulty between the Duke and them touching the treatment of the two Colonels 'Bone' and 'Steyne' and the entertainment of the nobleman that accompany him, of whose 'contentation' in this behalf there is as yet no great likelihood. The matter of religion is still 'upon the frame,' and though the clergy and others impugn it, it is not without hope to be brought to good point before long. Mr. Gilpin is returned from Germany with no fruit of his negotiation. News has come this morning that since the entry of the Spaniards into Lymborch, the fire has 'taken' in the store of gunpowder stowed in the castle, which is blown up, with the slaughter of many, including the Prince of Parma, Mondragon and others of quality. It is also advised from Maestricht that the enemy has come down to Dalem, a little town not far from thence, and made a furious battery against it, so that those here look every day to hear of its taking ; which will breed ill neighbourhood for those of Maestricht.—Antwerp, 22 June 1578. Add. Endd. 2¼ pp. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 21.]
June 22.
K. d. L. x. 529.
The States have this evening signified to me that they have made a 'party' with certain merchants, upon the credit of her Majesty for £26,000 or thereabouts part in 'alunes' [alum] and part in money, payable according to the note which I send herewith. The money is not to be paid till they have her Majesty's security, and therefore they press me the more to hasten the bonds. And although I have made difficulty either to promise here, or to write over on that behalf till your coming, both because I have not yet any indemnity from the States, and because they are bound to reimburse the £20,000 upon the first money levied in virtue of her Majesty's credit, which they cannot perform in this, a good part of the same being cut off in debts, yet I have in the meantime thought good to address their note to you. —Antwerp, 22 June 1578. P.S.—By the copy of my general letter to the Court, you may see in what state you may find things here. Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Ibid. VII. 22.]
35. Draft of the last. Endd. ¾ p. [Ibid. II. 23.]
June 22.
K. d. L. x. 531.
I have told you of a dispatch sent by the States to the Duke of Alençon, explaining why they could go no further than they had done in that negotiation. Two or three days since they received an answer, in which he pretends to marvel at the points of difference. [Remainder practically identical with that to Burghley of even date.] Draft. Endd. 2½ pp. [Ibid. VII. 24.]
June 23.
K. d. L. x. 534.
37. POULET to the QUEEN.
The king continuing still in his progress, I am deprived of such small means as I might have to learn the doings of this Court and country, and must confess that I remain here an unprofitable servant. Yet to witness my serviceable duty, I would not fail to let your Highness know such small things as I can gather among such bad friends as this town commonly yields to English ambassadors. The cunning dissimulation and subtle treachery of the French have served them to good purpose in time past to advance their traitorous practices ; and now I think they reap no less profit of the opinion which is generally conceived of their faithless dealing. They pretend to do this or that, and because they so give it out, no man believes them, and by this means they do what they will before it is believed that they intend it. I have always been of opinion that Monsieur has meant to give help to the States, yet not for their benefit but his own greatness ; that he is not affected to the Spaniard ; that mother and brother cannot dissuade him from this journey ; that your Majesty only can let him, yet not otherwise than by force ; that the king wishes him gone already, not that he desires his good speed, but is rather persuaded that he and the Estates alike will sink under this burden ; and that Queen Mother will never like this enterprise, as tending to the diminution of her own credit at home and abroad. Queen Mother and the Queen of Navarre arrived at Alençon, where Monsieur is at present, on the 20th inst., and no doubt their cunning and credit are of force to do great things. Yet I am much confirmed in my good opinion of Monsieur for his plain dealing in this matter, when I consider that expecting his mother on the 20th he has not deferred his answer to my letter till her coming ; but dispatched a messenger to me on the 19th, as appears by the enclosed. I have been curious to sound the bottom of this progress which the king is making along the coast, and cannot find that any ill is intended to your Majesty thereby, the beginning of this journey being perhaps grounded on the hope of some conference with Monsieur ; but it is prolonged upon affection to some young men, it being intended that d'O. shall be installed in the government of Caen and in the Abbey there ; to the great disgrace of Matignon, and for his sake to the great mislike of Queen Mother. Great means are also used to place Saint Luc in some town on the sea-coast. The preparations made by the Duke of Guise are not so great as was reported ; the bruit of them has grown by occasion of the levies made in those parts by de Mouy, Ranty, and some others for the service of the Prince of Orange and Duke Casimir, and by special direction from the Prince, as I am informed by those of the religion here ; de Mouy being said to be already in the Low Counties with 1200 foot or thereabouts. La Noue is returned from the King of Navarre and is said to be with Monsieur ; and it is said that Monsieur refers greatly to his direction. Things are peaceful in Guienne, and the King of Navarre and Biron are reconciled. On the 21st two grey friars came to my lodging, one of whom, naming himself Thomas Bowser, told me that he came directly from Spain, that he arrived here on the 19th in the company of Copley, that Copley had 200 crowns from the King of Spain for the charges of his journey and 10 crowns by the month above his ordinary stipend. Thomas Stukeley is at Lisbon in Spain (sic), and has lost his credit at Rome, the rather 'by the procurement of this party.' He has threatened to do great things in Ireland, but indeed is not able to do anything ; he will not see Ireland this year. The friar prayed me to believe that Stukeley was gone or ready to go into Africa, that this was his last voyage, and that all the states where he had lived felt his vanity and were weary of him. I refer the credit of this tale to your better consideration, and yet to say plainly what I think, I must confess that the other circumstances of his speech were such and uttered in such manner that I almost believed him. I find some others of their coat so faithful that I have the better opinion of this man. He concluded that he would repair to Louvain to take order for his books and some other things there, and would return hither very shortly, for the great desire he had, as he said, to have often conference with me ; affirming that he could not be received into the Cordeliers here without some charge, and I promised to assist him. He 'bears me in hand' that ten ships arrested at Naples had not been restored without his good means. It is enough to give a hearing to this friar upon this first acquaintance ; he may be believed hereafter upon better trial. Indeed it may seem by some quarrels which he says passed between him and Stukeley that he is not 'of counsel' with Stukeley and therefore cannot be sure what becomes of him.—Paris, 23 June, 1578. Add. Endd. 3¼ pp. [France II. 55.]
June 23.
K. d. L. x. 534.
We arrived at Dunkirk last Saturday, where we found a gentleman of the Archduke's awaiting us, by whose means we were honourably received there. Departing thence this morning we were received here at Nieuport in such sort that we can do no less than desire you to show some part of our thankfulness to the Archduke for the same and signify to him that our meaning is to advertise her Majesty of it that he may receive thanks from her. The greatness of our train and trouble of our carriages cause us to be longer on the way than we would, but on Friday night we mean to lodge at Steken, where we desire you to meet us, that we may confer on some points.—Nieuport, 23 June 1578. P.S.—(in Walsingham's hand) : We are given to understand that the Archduke and the States depart presently for Brussels. We wish to be advertised of this, that we may direct our course accordingly. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 25.]
June 23.
K. d. L. x. 533.
We N. N. ambassador for the Queen of England in the Low Countries, having heard from Duke Casimir's deputies of the approach of his Excellency's army, and of the expenses of their journey, and the fear that there may be default in the payment of the £20,000 promised by her Majesty, have thought good to certify hereby to his Excellency and his officers that the said money is in our hands, and that we shall by no means fail to bring it in person to the place of muster, either in bullion or cash as they may choose ; and this we pray all men to believe in the name of her Majesty.— Antwerp, 23 June 1578. Copy. Fr. ½ p. [Ibid. VII. 26.]
June 24.
K. d. L. x. 537.
You will do well in the letter you write to Mr. Secretary Wilson to lay down such reasons as may induce her Majesty to forbear the repayment of the £20,000 due upon the first receipt on the bonds for £100,000. They may be these. First, the great necessity they stand in at present and will 'grow into' more and more for the entertainment of the forces now in their country or on the way ; the condition of which is such that if they fail to pay them 'there were like to insue such disorder as the danger that might ensue thereof' would not be covered with far greater expense. The States have no other means to help themselves but only her Majesty's goodness. Again these merchandises which are delivered to raise the present sum are not 'in that specie' which may be to content her Majesty by the words of the bond itself, and being delivered here for the satisfying of certain debts due to merchants, as their meaning is, procuring by that means a more readiness to furnish them with money hereafter, the matter may be beneficial to them, and they caused to be more thankful to her Majesty for the same. Moreover the return of Gilpin out of Germany, whose negotiation has not succeeded, so that they are destitute of all hope to get anything, if by this overture which is to be made by the loan that Pallavicini yields them others cannot be induced to give them the like credit ; which would not be done if her Majesty makes difficulties about giving her bonds for security of the same unless she is first paid by means thereof. If she will 'dispense to them' herein, it may be means will be found both to help them and to satisfy her. These and like reasons you may lay down to him.—Newport, 24 June 1578. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. VII. 27.]
June 24.
K. d. L. x. 537.
I received your letter (dated at Canterbury) here at Buxton on the 23rd ; being glad, though it be to your cost and pains, that you shall be able to judge what will be fit for her Majesty to do, and whether she has hitherto been rightly advised or no. I can but wish all good success to your journey, both to God's service and your country. For my own part, though I have no desire without some better hope to haste me to the place you lately left, yet be sure that if there be or shall be any good cause wherein I may serve her Majesty, the realm, and my own devotion to the cause, I will neither regard health, wealth, nor life itself, to offer all to do any small service in these causes, and therefore I shall linger no longer than I may hear from you ; and if matters so fall out that we may be set 'a work,' be sure I will soon be ready to accomplish all things appertaining to my poor person. And so, having no news but that I find great good in this bath already for the swelling you felt in my leg, not by drinking, but by going into the bath, I will make an end. I would fain write to Lord Cobham, but I am pulled away from this, being forbidden to write much, as this day I have to her Majesty and others.—24 June.
P.S.—I beseech you both humbly commend me and earnestly excuse me to the Prince. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. VII. 28.]
June [? 25].
K. d. L. x. 538.
I wrote to you on Sunday, and have since lived in hourly expectation of the news of your arrival, of which I heard nothing certain till this morning, by your letter. According to your direction I signified to the Archduke how much you thought yourselves honoured by the good 'entreatment' received through his favour. He seems to be very glad, as he has in the mean time often sent to me, and desired to be 'ascertained' of your directed journeys that you might be the better accommodated on the way and more honourably received here. In what state you will find things here, you might guess by my last. On Monday morning Dampmartin having craved audience of the States made a long and formal oration, but without showing any manner of authority or 'creaunce' from the Duke, declaring the Duke's intention to assist them, the readiness of his forces, that their necessity and his own promise would not stay for any longer treaties, but would refer a full conclusion of all things to his coming ; tending wholly to the colouring of the Duke's enterprise as a thing undertaken only for their assistance, and which if they were well advised they would embrace as the most profitable help. He assured them that he continued his resolve and that his forces were ready to march ; in sum that whether they desired him or not, he was not to be diverted from his purpose. This discourse they prayed him to set down in writing that they might the better consider of it, which he promised to do, and deliver on yesterday morning, but has not yet done it that I hear of. This matter being of no little consequence makes them 'think your stay the longer,' because meantime they know not what to think. Duke Casimir is arrived at Gueldres. His agents have delivered me the enclosed letter from him to be conveyed to the Court. Not knowing its importance I have addressed it to you. Dalen near Maestricht is taken and the defenders cruelly put to the sword. The 'accident' of Lymborch with the death of the Prince of Parma and Mondragon is confirmed by letters from Liége. On Friday I will wait on you at Stechen. Rough draft. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. VII. 29.]
June 25.
K. d. L. x. 540.
Her Majesty having been pleased to grant the Estates her bonds for the taking up of the sum of £100,000, and having to that end caused two several procurations to be made out, signed with her hand and passed under her Great Seal, authorizing me to deliver obligations binding her Majesty and her successor for the repayment of such sums as should be levied by virtue of the said procurations ; and the Estates having thereupon concluded with Philip Cataneo on behalf of Orazio Pallavicini for the sum of £16,636 7s. 3d., repayable half in February next, the other half in October following, and having requested me to stand bound that her Majesty, as well as the City of London, shall deliver unto the said Pallavicino there sufficient bonds for the repayment of the said sums on the terms before rehearsed, which promise I have passed to them ; and as the ratifying of this deed on the part of her Majesty is a thing of importance to her credit and service ; I commend the matter to your care, and beseech you to procure so speedy a dispatch thereof that the expectations both of the States and the merchants may be satisfied, my promise in her Majesty's behalf accomplished and her credit maintained.—Antwerp, 25 June 1578. Draft. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. VII. 30.]
Same tenor as the foregoing. The loan is £12,121 4s. 1d., the lender, Baptista Spinola, and the bonds are to be handed to Benedetti Spinola. Draft. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. VII. 31.]
M. Dampmartin's speech to the Estates on behalf of the Duke of Anjou comprises three heads ; the first, to assure them of his continued good will, the second to reply to those who wish to arouse distrust of his actions, and the last to require the Estates to make provision for that which cannot without danger be longer delayed. They ought to see evidence of his Highness' affection towards them in the fact that in spite of the differences between them and his ambassadors he has not ceased to keep his army on foot. He is aware that their assembly is composed of deputies from various provinces, having various interests and inclinations, though collectively they desire nothing but their common preservation. Among many heads, too, there may easily be found one who founding his opinion on appearances leads the rest into like contradictions. But his Highness is sure that as soon as the Estates have seen some more signal effect of his good affection toward them, they will begin to make the heart of the people open to him. He cannot perceive that the points whereon they differ are of any importance for the reestablishment of their liberties ; but they are points which much concern his reputation, exposed as it is, as in a theatre, in the sight of all Europe. The Estates must not therefore think it strange that he is touched with so honest a sentiment, causing him to desire all the world to know that, if the Romans of old esteemed the victories won over tyrants for the deliverance of Greece more highly than all the rest of their conquests, he does rightly to desire the lot of being not only the protector of these countries, but their deliverer from all their troubles ; seeing that in all manner of industry required for the commodities of this life, he esteems the people of this country no less than the ancient Greeks. If then he had discontinued his preparations owing to the differences that have arisen, the Estates might have presumed that his demands tended to some ambitious advantage, and deemed his affection to them but small ;
Seeing that the state of things will not brook any delay in the levy of troops, who yet when taken up in haste are apt to be more costly than profitable. Yet the Estates must consider that on the earliest day they will have at their gates 12,000 footmen, as good as any that have gone out of France these 100 years, and 3,000 horse, nearly all picked gentlemen, ready to attack the enemy wherever it may be judged best. As for distrusts and suspicions, his Highness judges that all wise men will admit them to be quite out of place in these times. And as distrustful men are of three kinds, they shall be separately considered, to show that these are passions more akin to mental infirmity than to opinion. Some suggest intelligence with Spain, others put forward the fear of domestic differences on religious grounds, while others say that the only object is to seize towns and provinces and detach them from the body of the States. Against the first, one cannot bring oneself to allege reasons for not wronging his Highness, as though it were still permitted to doubt of what is most commendable in his actions ; to wit that on behalf of the Estates he has openly made himself the enemy of their enemies without fear of their power ; nay, has in this cause got on bad terms with the King his brother. And even were it right to admit conjectures in matters so important, and against so great a prince, the Estates can judge of the likelihood that his Highness, seeing the road open to the people's goodwill, would take the way of deception and surprise, which always leads to a thousand difficulties. Still less would he do it for love of the Spaniard, from whom he has received an infinity of pernicious offers [sic ; qy. offices] as everyone knows. In sum, it would be too great an importance [sic ; qy. imprudence] of any one ill-disposed, to place his own person in danger, surrounded by so many powerful towns and large hostile forces. The Estates can judge how unworthy it is to suggest or even to think of such suspicions amid the evidences of goodwill which his Highness continues to give, and when after great expenses and inconveniences he is at last in movement. As for those who dread some division, they might seem to have some reason, were it not known that his Highness has always been much distressed by civil discord ; above all abhorring and detesting cruel executions, so manifestly that he has made himself disliked by those who commit them, to his personal danger. Those who charge his Highness with having commanded in the late wars must be aware what violent causes drove him to unite with the King his brother, and know that he was chiefly induced to return to the Court by fear of what went on under the name of the holy league ; whereby he was expressly declared incapable of succeeding to the crown. So that when the war again broke out he found himself to his great regret appointed chief of an army in which he had the least power, and was closely watched. He cannot therefore be blamed for what was done, seeing that he had no power to hinder it. He has however the credit of the peace which followed, upon which he insisted so artfully that it was concluded when least expected ; to which contributed also his desire to use the arms of France for the aid and deliverance of the Low Countries. But there can be no fear that his Highness will upset things on religious grounds ; he has had too much experience of the evils which spring from that. Nor should the Estates give any heed to those who say that he has secret designs on the towns of this country. He has no intention of doing anything without the consent and authority of the Estates. His open declaration that he will not belong to Artesians, Flemings, or Hennuyers, but to all together, ought to be proof of this. If anyone thinking to do him a service, has undertaken anything without orders from him, the Estates need not think it strange. Princes are often compelled to disavow voluntary and unbidden service ; and it may be supposed that the differences which have fallen out with the generality have given occasion for listening to some better-affectioned. If his Highness sought his own profit, and wished to show his affection from mercenary motives, he would not be so ill-advised as to take two or three towns as salary for his trouble on behalf of these countries. He knows that it would take all his resources to hold them, and that he would not hold them long against the will of the other States. Lastly the inconvenience should be considered which will arise if the Estates remain on their present terms with his Highness. His troops have been for some time on the frontier in perfect discipline and living at their own charges ; bearing patiently the unkindness of being dislodged from the towns into which they had been introduced as friends and allies. It may be judged if soldiers, who in the absence of their chief are easily offended, can long remain in their present position ; and it is to be feared that complaints may arise and cause some fresh bitterness. If the Estates will glance at the enemy they will see how glad he is to see distrust, and how he dreads the establishment of accord. They cannot but have regard to his Highness's reputation, which will be infinitely damaged in the sight of friends and foes by their distrust. Yet, whatever may be said, there cannot be such confusion in their counsels, ingratitude in their hearts, or imprudence in their will that they should fall into the error of Perseus king of Macedonia ; who having called the Gauls to his aid against the Romans, sent them away again, and was discomfited at once, and lost liberty, empire, and life. His Highness cannot think so of them, but esteems them no less sage in their deliberation than sincere towards their friends. Therefore he will continue to fulfil his promises ; and will have his reward when he sees the people restored by his aid not only to content but to happiness. Let them therefore open their hearts to him, and frankly suggest means to enter into such understanding as is now necessary to banish all distrust. He thinks this is easy, for their modesty will not allow them to propose anything strange or impossible, while his affection will find few things difficult.—Laid before the Estates General at Antwerp, 25 June 1578. Copy. Notes by L. Tomson. Endd. Fr. 6 pp. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 32.]
46. Another copy in Davison's hand. Endd. 6¼ pp. [Ibid. VII. 33.]
June 26.
K. d. L. x. 543. (1st par only.)
The Queen liked well that you were so well used and that her subjects continue to be esteemed among the Netherlanders ; she only mislikes that you do not make more haste. Yet I trust your leisurely travelling is for the best, for how else could you discover the true state of the country? Though Jacomo is come to you, I thought it well to write that Monsieur goes forward, unless the Queen Mother and his sister, who are now at Alençon with him, alter his determination. I am informed that Stewkley has lost his credit with the Holy Father, through his vanity and folly, and it is likely that the King of Portugal will weary of him when he knows him better. I have sent a choice man to Portugal for the certain discovery of these matters, who is to take ship either at Southampton or at Chichester, taking with him a ship freighted with corn, and go like a merchant. Mr. Bowes writes from Scotland that Earl Morton is of the Council, with the great good liking of the King, but against the will of some that hate him. The Abbot of Dunfermline is appointed ambassador and sets out at the beginning of next month. He demands aid against those that will oppose their quietness, and is to deal no further than the Queen shall like. I trust his coming will turn to good, for at present everybody in Scotland seeks her Majesty's favour. The Earl Athol has conceived a dislike against the Earl Morton for not assenting to the restitution of Lord Fleming. The journey of those that were to go in Germany is clean broken off, her Majesty grounding herself upon a letter that Mr. Beale 'should receive' from the Landgrave that the Diet was broken off. I have been earnest that the Queen would send Dr. Rogers to the King of Denmark to satisfy him for the piracies of Callis by allegation of greater harm that our nation have received ; but she will not send a messenger, only write. And if the ambassador of Scotland asks restitution for wrongs done by Callis, she minds to cause Callis to be delivered to them without any other kind of satisfaction, but how this kind of dealing will amend the matter, I know not. The Queen has revoked the bill signed for waste of provender, and keeps it to herself. Mr. William Gorge being upon the seas, the 'revers' and pirates are gone before his coming, so that he is not likely to do any great good. The Commission for pirates, with instructions and letters for maritime countries, will soon be 'made notorious,' and those that will may take the benefit of it.—Greenwich. 26 June 1578. Add. Endd. 1½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 34.]
June 29.
K. d. L. x. 544.
We arrived here on the 28th, marvellously honoured by the nobility and States. What success we shall have in our negotiation I cannot as yet judge ; the humours are divers. I fear ere many months pass there will be divers kinds of commonwealths. Tomorrow we shall have audience of Duke Matthias, and so of the rest. I send you with this packet two new books in Latin, done by 'D' Aloongondye' [qy. Aldegonde]. Commend me to the Countess of Oxford and to my Lady, and so to all my little friends.—Antwerp, 29 June 1578. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. VII. 35.]
June 29.
K. d. L. x. 545.
The Queen hears of your honourable entertainment everywhere, whereby it appears how welcome you are to them that need aid. If it falls contrary to their expectation I fear they will change their cheer. I write nothing but that we do nothing here. Do your endeavour for a peace, and you shall have thanks on your return. If you tell us of the necessity of war, I tell you plainly that we cannot abide to hear of it. The blowing up of 'Lymbourne' castle with the death of Parma and Mondragon, if it is done, Stewkley's discredit with the Pope, Monsieur so well inclined to depend on us as we are made believe, and the Scottish Council, not Earl Morton only, so earnestly seeking favour ; do so lull us in security that we do not fear any danger at all. Order is even now given that the ships shall be discharged for the most part, the mariners remaining, most likely also to be sent away very shortly. Pray God trial be never made within this realm, either by foreign or 'domestical' people, either of the courage, constancy, or loyal faith amongst us.—Greenwich. 29 June 1578. Add. Endd. 2/3 p. [Ibid. VII. 36.]
June 30.
K. d. L. x. 545.
I am so 'overlaid with business' that I have not leisure to write myself. (fn. 1) In certain letters lately fallen into my hands it is written that there is great want of victuals in Don John's camp, which is a great discouragement to the soldiers, who are persuaded that 'the States' beard is too long for them to comb.' The Lord Treasurer wishes me to acquaint you with the effect of a letter sent to Don Bernardino de Mendoza from la Motte, that you may the better perceive the ambassador's affection that way. But I have thought it well to send you the original that you may show it to the Prince and the rest as you shall think good.—Greenwich, the last of June 1578. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. VII. 37.]
We, the representatives of the general Estates of the Low Countries, hearing that the Queen of England's ambassadors will be satisfied to place in our hands the ingots of which they have charge, amounting to £20,000, for the purpose of coinage, to pay the troops of Duke Casimir, have commissioned and deputed Maitre Theodore de Bic, master of the Chamber of Accounts of Holland and Zealand, and our Treasurer-general, Maitre Thierry van der Beken, to receive the ingots, on the understanding that the money coined from them, or any that we can raise up to the value of £20,000, shall be deposited in the hands of the said ambassadors.—30 June 1578, in the presence of me (signed) Houfflin. Fr. ½ p. [Ibid. VII. 38.]
June 30.
K. d. L. x. 545.
I sent you this morning, by Mr. John Cobham, a letter written from la Motte to Don Bernardino. This afternoon I send, by the same messenger, a letter written in cipher, wherein may be matter of great moment, being well deciphered. If Sainte-Aldegonde cannot do it, nor Mr. Somers, I wish you would send it to your servant young Philips, who is with our ambassador at Paris. I do not write in cipher because of the faithfulness of this bearer, and because indeed I am not well at ease at this present. My Lord Treasurer intercepted certain packets, which being delivered to me, I found this, and the other in French. It may be that some great matter will be discovered hereby, which God grant ; that we being simple and persuaded that everybody bears us a good heart, may see as in a glass how much we are deceived, when treachery comes to light. Thus having nothing to advertise you at present, save that our Sovereign is in very good health, I bid you farewell.—From the Court, the last of June 1578. Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 39.]
June. 53. The Names of the Noblemen who are devoted to Don John.
Count Mansfeld ; Hierges, Floyon, Haultepenne, sons to Count Barlaymont ; Count de Reux ; Prince and Count d'Aremberg ; M. de Liques ; Mondragon ; Billy ; Assonville ; Berty, who is at Liége, and Staremberg, Secretaries ; Audiencer d'Overloope ; M. de Vaulx, lieutenant to the Count de 'la Layne,' who should have taken Bapaume, and is now for Don John in France ; M. Florence late governor of Philippeville.
Towns holden and revolted to Don John.
Luxemburg, Limburg and Dalin ; all the County of Namur ; Beaumont, Philippeville, Marienbourg, Charlemont, Braine, Louvain, Nivelle, Deventer, etc. Endd. in L. Tomson's hand : For the Lord Treasurer. 2/3 p. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 40.]
Having heard by your letter and otherwise of the designs on foot there by means of a Diet to pronounce against all of the religion who do not hold the Augustan Confession—an unreasonable and mischievous thing in our opinion to make everyone subscribe to the same doctrine in matters indifferent, not considering the danger likely to ensue to all Christian nations who have withdrawn from the usurped authority of Rome ; we decided, according to your request to us on that behalf, to send persons of quality to the Diet, to do the best they can to hinder such designs. But as we hear that it is postponed or perhaps broken off altogether (which seems to us most expedient) it has seemed to us useless to send thither. We were therefore unwilling that our people who were ready to go should enter upon this difficult and dangerous journey, until we knew more about the time fixed for it. We have thought good to inform you of this, that you might know the sole cause why we held back.—Greenwich, June 1578. Draft. Fr. 1 p. [Germ. States I. 69.]
K. d. L. x. 536, (from another copy).
Of all cities and towns that you come into which are of any account you shall observe the strength, both by situation and by fortification and by 'furniture of garrison.' There, and in other places you pass through, you shall inform yourselves of the inclination of the inhabitants to peace or war ; What party Don John has in them and how they stand affected to him or to the States ; How they stand affected in religion, and whether there is any disposition to tolerate both ; What willingness is in them to pay the taxes already imposed, and how they could endure to have them continued or increased if the war grows in length ; What union there is among them and what likeliness of its continuing, whether the countries you pass through and the towns you come into are well-affected or not ; How they are affected generally towards her Majesty, and towards France ; How the gentlemen dwelling out of the towns in the country that you pass are affected. Copy. ½ p. [Holl. and Fl. IX. 3α, with copies of several other documents, being apparently leaves from Walsingham's letter-book.]


  • 1. Contrary to Wilson's usual practice, this letter is written by a clerk.