Elizabeth: October 1578, 11-20

Pages 231-244

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

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October 1578, 11-20

Oct. 11. 299. WALSINGHAM to DAVISON.
We arrived at the Court on the 7th, where we found her Majesty eased of the pain that she had sustained the week before by reason of an ache in her face. The day following we were appointed to report our proceedings, and also to acquaint her with such requests as we had to make on behalf of the States, but her Majesty being again troubled with her former pain in more extremity than before, which continues yet, we had not the 'commodity' we desired either to acquaint her with our proceedings or to draw from her her resolution touching the requests of the States ; being more troubled with conference with physicians since my return, how her Majesty might be eased of her grief, than with any other matter of State. Though the disease is not dangerous, yet as it takes away her appetite and bereaves her of her sleep it is doubtful what it may 'prove to,' and it is therefore worthy of speedy and good consideration. I am sorry it has happened at this time, as the Prince and States may fear that we have either carelessly or coldly recommended their cause, or else that her Majesty has no disposition to continue her assistance. I doubt not but that you will do your endeavour to remove any such 'misconceit.' I am in good hope, especially upon the late news of the death of Don John and of the miserable state his army was in already, that she will resolve to do what will content the States. Divers lewd and indirect practices have been used to breed a total alienation from them, and to draw her to run a most dangerous course by 'throwing herself into the courtesy' of her enemies ; but I hope that we shall remove these evil humours and that our proceedings will take a course to the advancement of religion both at home and abroad, and to the safety of her Majesty. I send a copy of a letter I wrote to the Governor of the Merchants Adventurers there, on hearing how he has of late put Travers to silence, notwithstanding his offer to yield to any reasonable conformity. Please let me know how he proceeds after the receipt of it, and whether Paulet continues there or no. I should be glad to hear what satisfaction the States have given Duke Casimir upon his protestation. Without hearing their answer it seems to me he has been greatly wronged. The ill-usage of him and the little account made of our nation that serve there has bred an opinion that the States are not as thankful as they ought to be for the benefits they have received. The greater part of this blame is laid upon the Prince's shoulders, yet I have done what I could to remove the opinion conceived against him. Touching your 'particular,' I am not unmindful of it ; as you will I hope perceive by the effect at the end of this month. Scottish affairs are well appeased, and the realm of Ireland never better in quiet ; so that if the news of Don John's death be true, I hope we shall enjoy our former calm.—Richmond, 11 Oct. 1578. Add. Endd. 1½ p. [Holl. and Fl. IX. 59.]
By the copy of my master's letter you may see what I have done to help to remedy the disordered course that man there is entered into. It is meant that your 'exercise' should remain as it was at his and Lord Cobham's departure, so that if he should 'stand nicely' upon the words of conformity in my master's letter, he is to be overruled therein by you ; for no alteration was made by their Lordships when there, though some speeches passed between them. Wherein if he show his frowardness, you see what you have to do, by the 'countenance' of your place, as it is there set down. And he may content himself that you have let him run on so long without acknowledgement of the duty he owes you, which he may now conceive you did only to try what was in him, and to give him a taste how ill it would be taken by his superiors that he should so much forget himself ; choosing rather that he should receive 'controlence' for his forgetfulness on your behalf at others' hands than at yours. The more mildly and temperately you deliver some such speeches to him, the better it will be ; meanwhile stand upon your authority. You can remember what I imparted to you about the same matter when Mr Killigrew and you and I walked together in the garden. I have written a few lines also to him, making as fair weather as I can. If he be given to understand by you or others that in this matter he may think himself beholden to me, as you understand, the matter being likely otherwise to have gone worse with him, it will not be amiss. By such means such men must be compassed ; and seeing the occasion is offered, it were not amiss to seek by request to the States, by the Prince's means, as was meant when I was there, that it might be confirmed to you by their authority. They have a form of supplication which I drew for that purpose. Some such course would not be amiss to be followed that it might be once surely established for many ages. Only let us not be negligent in the Lord's business ; attempt what we may, and leave the success and blessing to him. And, above all things, be you all Cordati, and so, tell Mr Travers from me, the Lord shall bless you. Your own particular cause cannot be forgotten, 'ne' shall, be you well assured.—Richmond, 11 Oct. 1578. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. IX. 60.]
Oct. 12. 301. DAVISON to [? BURGHLEY].
'It may please' your Lordship. I wrote to your honour by the last post. What has happened since, you may gather from the particulars enclosed.—Antwerp, 12 Oct. 1578. 6 lines. [Ibid. IX. 61.]-Covering the following.
Oct. 12. 302. DAVISON to BURGHLEY.
Since my last we have undoubted confirmation of Don John's death. He departed this life on Thursday, the 2nd, having been sick for 15 or 16 days, "partly as some think of very grief and melancholy, partly of a disease they call les brogues [qy. brognes], by which he was extremely tormented, but chiefly, as it is given out, of the french sickness, whereof in the opening he was found to be inwardly wasted and consumed." His body was next day conveyed on a litter from the camp where he died, to the castle of Namur, in the chapel of which they buried his bowels ; his funeral being deferred till they hear from Spain. This sudden and unexpected event (which, for what reason I know not, is said to have been least lamented among the Spaniards), has bred such confusion in his army, now 'conducted' by the Prince of Parma, that if the States had been ready to take hold of the opportunity, it could not, in common discourse, but have fallen out greatly to their advantage. But while their camp has lain still beyond Nivelle, partly awaiting their pay, partly to join with the French, and so march together towards Namur when Binche was taken—which surrendered last Wednesday, just as the assault was ready to be given, the soldiers departing with their lives—the disorder that happened in Flanders between the Gauntois and the mutinied regiments of Montigny, Héze and Capres has opened the gap to such an alteration that instead of following the victory, in manner certain, against their common enemies, they seem inclined to fall together by the ears among themselves, and ere they are well recovered of one mischief, like to fall into a worse, if it be not timely met. For the Gauntois having had five or six companies defeated last week by the Walloons, who lie about Menin on the river between Courtray and Armentieres, on whose part Montigny, brother to Count Lalaing, has declared himself, and being in doubt, as indeed they have been threatened, that others of the nobility and gentlemen ('not without suspicion to be set a-work by the French') will also take part against them, have solicited the assistance of Duke Casimir, who, carried away with the counsel of Beutrich, went to them last Thursday from Brussels with 1,200 or 1,300 horse, having imparted 'no piece' of his resolution to the Prince, Count Bossu, or any of the States. They seem much 'altered' with the matter happening at such an instant, being otherwise in a good way to have compounded with the Walloons ; and they stand greatly in doubt that Montigny and such others as favour that party, if Casimir declare for the Gauntois, will back themselves with the Duke of Alençon, who, taking for his colour a defence of the nobility and protection of the Catholic religion, what else can be looked for but that from an outward war against the Spaniards they must fall into an inward combustion among themselves? But to meet the beginning of this suspected mischief the States have sent Sainte Aldegonde and other deputies to bring both sides to reason, and have specially charged those sent to Ghent to procure if by any means it might be that Swevingham and the rest of the prisoners there, who every hour stand in doubt of death, may be sent here ; sufficient caution being given that they shall be safely kept and answer in justice to all that may be laid against them ; but their success in the one and the other is as doubtful as the people with whom they are to deal, being heady and wilful. Yesterday the forces of the Duke of Alençon, to whom the States have granted Binche instead of Beauvois [Bavay] were to join the rest of their army, if this new accident of Flanders do not make him take a new counsel. Of the proceedings in Burgundy we have no news since my last. From Germany the news is that 3,000 reiters coming to the supply of the enemy have passed the Rhine ; also 8 companies of landsknechts, who are said to have arrived about 'Marshe in famine,' —a supply thought here to be more damage than advantage to that side considering the plague and scarcity that reigns among them, which is so great that as is affirmed there have died within this month in Louvain alone about 5,000 persons. Add. Endd. 1½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. IX. 62.]
Oct. 12. 303. DAVISON to the SECRETARIES.
Duplicate of the last. Draft in Davison's hand. Endd. 2 pp. [Ibid. IX. 63.]
Oct. 12. 304. ROSSEL to WALSINGHAM.
It seems good for her Majesty's service that I should set before you the sequel of the occurrents mentioned in my letter of the 5th. Duke Casimir in pursuance of his dissatisfaction [mal conteur] contained in the remonstrance I send, remained at Brussels till Thursday, the 9th, on which day in spite of the prayers of the Bruxellois he departed for Ghent followed by three cornets of horse, his own, the 'colonel' of 800, and the others of 300 each. Talking of his departure, people say that he is received by those of Ghent as their governor and protector ; others say that he is to fight and break up the Walloons ; others announce that by negotiation with the Ambassadors of England he has been called upon by the Queen to seize Flanders, while the Duke of Alençon will seize Hainault, and the Prince of Orange Brabant. On this subject things are in such confusion that the people do not know where they are. Those of the Estates who asked her Majesty to dismiss Duke Casimir on the ground that his maintenance was too expensive wish to excuse themselves, and deny it. In order to moderate the people of Ghent, so as to get from them their quota of the moyens generaux, which they are holding back, there have been sent to them the principal 'sidicieur' of Brussels, to wit, Van der Strate [? Straelen], Van den Inde, and Houart, with two colonels from Antwerp, who are most respected by those of Ghent. The same Thursday our camp marched to a point 8½ leagues from the enemy to the right of Gemblours. This was after the capture of Binche which took place about 1 o'clock on Wednesday. The breach was made at a point shown by reconnoissance to be not very strong. On assaulting the French were repulsed ; but notwithstanding this the Spaniards sent a flag of truce and yielded at discretion. Bussy having entered to guarantee them and the town against pillage, the soldiers in a passionate hope of plunder forced his troop, which made a stout resistance, several gentlemen being killed. Finally, forcing their way in, they cut to pieces all who were within, to wit, two companies of Albanese horse, two of German infantry, and two of Walloons. Part of the town was burnt and the rest plundered. That is the humanity of the French and of Monsieur, who was present at this spectacle after having received them to mercy. Commissioners have been sent to hold a general muster of the camp, but the service is delayed for the money from Flanders. The Burgundy affair mentioned in my last, goes on. It is true that it is more marauding than war. M. de Chevreaux with 8 cornets of horse and 11 ensigns of Burgundian infantry hastened to the rescue ; which diminishes the enemy's forces. Two thousand reiters have also withdrawn since Don John's death, seeing no prospect of pay. M. d' Alençon with his troops was to follow our camp on the 10th. When they had joined it was resolved to look up the enemy in his stronghold, and give him a bustling (ruyssiade), cutting off his supplies to make him decamp. Meanwhile part of our camp will block Louvain to prevent any force from entering beside the Germans who are within. This morning we hear that the camp marched yesterday the 11th, drawing towards Louvain, to draw the enemy from his stronghold. 'We Walloons assembled in Flanders,' as their requisition (the enclosed copy of which will give information), has it, in company with the French, under the command of M. de Montigny, who is demanding the Ghent prisoners and fortifying Menin, 'brandscathing' the villages in Spanish fashion, and sending to Lille, Ypres, and other towns to furnish him with provisions on pain of chastisment, have refused so far to accept the conditions proposed by the Commissioners. The Ghent people have decided to behead all the lords they have in prison, if they did not, as by Saturday last, make the Walloons withdraw ; since it was in their favour they were fighting ; and at the same time Champagny was sentenced by the sixteen of Ghent to be beheaded. The Estates hearing of it sent for the Prince. This was the 8th ; and he was told in the assembly that he was the cause of all the troubles of Ghent. On his defending himself he was told that he had no supporters who would not act as they did. M. de Bours was then sent to stay the execution. I hear that 98 [note : Vil :] is said to have remarked somewhere that the support which the Ghent people had came from 44 [note : Q. Eng.] and not from 6—[note : P.O.] whom they had renounced, calling him traitor [the last word in cipher]. Monsieur still insists on the towns, especially Brussels, for his abode. I think that on refusing this they might allow Mechlin, with the ordinary garrison. Then we shall have four garrisons ; the Archduke at Brussels, M. d'Alençon at Mechlin, the Prince at Antwerp, and Casimir at Ghent. Don John's death was Sep. 30. They elected the Prince of Parma general. As I think, he will be little respected, he is light-brained. I leave you to ponder on the change in the affairs of the holy league. They are working everywhere to cut the passage of the Meuse. Seventeen boats with provisions from Liége have already been sunk. When the passage is cut, the enemy will not be able to keep the field. Ships of the Turks and Barbarians have made an incursion on the coast of Spain in the direction of Galicia. The king has ordered all the garrisons from Italy and has sent Germans there. That is what he is reduced to. I had forgotten to say that Count Bossu writes that if Casimir's men would have marched, 3,000 of the enemy's cavalry would have been defeated. These are annoyances (contrepiques) which spoil the service and breed disorder.—Antwerp, 12 Oct. 1578. Add. Endd. One or two notes by L. Tomson. Fr. 5 pp. [Holl. and Fl. IX. 64.]
Oct. 15 or 16. 305. M. de MAUVISSIÈRE to BURGHLEY.
Hearing that you are still far from well and not having seen you at Court these days, I have sent the present bearer, Captain Augustin, to call on you, and present you with the recommendations of their Majesties in France, and of the Duke of Anjou. They all entreat you to favour his suit, and to win for him the good graces of his mistress and yours. I have also charged Augustin with a request on behalf of a poor French merchant, that you may help him in the way of justice.— London, 15 (or 16) Oct. 1578. (Signed) M. de Castelnau. Holograph. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [France II. 75.]
Oct. 16. 306. WILSON to DAVISON.
The Queen has written somewhat plainly to the Estates, as may appear by the enclosed copy. It is her pleasure that you deliver the money to the chiefs of the Council of the Estates, after delivering your letter to the Estates. She takes this course the rather because she has a better liking for the nobility and hopes that they will give order to have the £8,000 faithfully delivered to Casimer, for his army. I saw an insolent letter, written by drunken 'Butryke' against my lord Treasurer and me, addressed to you. I think if he writes in the forenoon he will be better advised ; or else I shall esteem him a drunken beast all day long. Is this the thanks I have for using him so well and causing him to receive so honourable a reward? I will take heed hereafter of those whom God has marked in the face. Pray advertise us in your next of the truth of Don John's 'being' ; for here we cannot tell whether he is dead or alive. And to the state of the country there, God grant success. Mr Secretary is absent from Court till Allhallowtide next.—The Court at Richmond, 16 Oct. 1578. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. IX. 65.]
Oct. 18. 307. FREMYN to DAVISON.
I predicted to you that this great and powerful army would as time went on break up without giving any display of its valour. It has done nothing since it took the field more than 2,000 horse and 6,000 foot could easily have done ; nay, not nearly so much. Never was an army worse employed and led, and in all other respects ; and though the enemy's army is much inferior to this, it is the case that his patience moderated by his judgement will shortly cause him to have what he desires—that is to see our army break up and go to ruin by its own fault without striking a blow ; for to tell the truth, half the infantry are dead of sickness and want, besides a vast number still sick. Of cavalry an incredible number die every day ; beside wounds and the bad weather which may begin any day, and the discontent in the army for want of pay, till everyone is ready to quit the service and retire on his losses. One hears nothing but complaints. Count Bossu, too, does not know where he is, or 'out of what wood to make arrows' ; for he has used postponements, promises, words, everything that can be done to entertain people who are in want, nay, has distributed from his own means as much as he could, in anticipation of the States sending money—which they do only by promises, and these have gone on so long that no one attaches any more faith to them. It is cruel to take the service and means of so many foreigners without recognition in giving them the means of living, and see them die without charity. Count Bossu has sent M. de la Garde to the Prince of Orange and the States, to explain to them the need, and how if they will not provide suitable remedies promptly, the whole camp will break up in truth. Monsieur is at Mons, and it is said, will make war on them of Ghent, although a great part of his force has withdrawn to France. Meanwhile things in these countries are ready for great troubles.—From the camp at Ligny, 18 Oct. 1578. (Signed) C. Fremin. P.S.—The camp ought to set out for an approach to the enemy, but we are waiting for la Garde, to hear the States' decision. Add. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. IX. 66.]
Oct. 19. 308. DAVISON to WALSINGHAM.
On the 15th I received yours of the 11th, with a copy of your letter to the Governor of the merchants here ; which came very happily and to good purpose. He had before usurped authority so far as to remove the 'exercise' out of their common court-house to a room lent to me ; where the Sunday after your departure he took upon him to interrupt the minister in his service, under colour of not using the Book of Common Prayer, wherein he became clerk himself. This act of his having disquieted the whole assembly, and to avoid like interruption thenceforth, Mr Travers after the sermon gave warning that such as had a will to hear the preaching should resort to my lodging. Whereupon the Governor charged them all, as they were or would be noted her Majesty's subjects, not to 'come at' it ; with many lusty and imperious speeches. And not so satisfied, he sent his officer to all the free 'host houses' in the town openly at dinner-time to renew the inhibition ; taking order besides for the shutting of the doors where the exercise was before used. All this, too insolent to be borne, I let pass till four or five days before the receipt of your letter ; when I roundly charged him with his folly and presumption, and with the injury he had done to Lord Cobham and you particularly ; besides usurping 'upon' my place, abusing the parson, and calling off the minister, with many other circumstances. Which he answered with so much bravery and little reason as I am loth for his credit's sake to rehearse. But this lusty humour of his is so well calmed since reading your letter that the same day he came down to me ; and though he rather disguised than acknowledged his error, yet he besought me to make the best of it, offering not only any room in the house, but also any help he could give. So it seems the pills your honour gave him had a very effectual operation. Next week he means to return to England, and if he be not 'in respect of' you, I doubt not but he will play his part underhand ; though I am sure that the shame will be his own if the matter come to a ripping up. Thus much for him. The money 'answered' here by Spinola, I have ventured, at the continued importunity of the Prince, to lend to him, to help relieve their necessity, and keep the camp from disbanding, as they threaten to do if not supplied this week. But first they give me the obligation of Antwerp for the sum already lent to meet the £45,000, send to the other towns for the like bonds for the same sum, and give me both the general bond of the States and the private bond of the Prince to reimburse it within 15 or 16 days in case her Majesty orders me to dispose of it otherwise ; which they hope she will not. I doubt not but you will take such order that this venture of mine shall not redound to my hurt, the matter importing the service of her Majesty and the relief of the States so much as it does ; for I dare assure you upon my credit that if I had not done this, the States had had no army in the field by the end of this week. But this I would be loth you should impart to any other than yourself. I know you will handle so that I shall receive no prejudice by it. Spinola's particular obligations come almost £400 short of the £12,100 and odd ; the error being as it seems committed by the writer. He therefore beseeches you to 'be a mean' that it may be repaired in the next obligation, which he now sues for, because the money is wholly consigned into my hands, and I am bound to repay that balance in case he does not get her Majesty's security for it. The particular of it, with his account, you shall receive by the next. I send you the copy of a letter written by Sainte-Aldegonde to Duke Casimir at Brussels, by which you may see how little reason the Duke has to be so stirred up against the Prince ; but all the errors he has committed are to be imputed to Beutrich. I had been with him ere this at Ghent but for the dispatch of this matter of Spinola's, which 'now at a point' I mind, if I am not let by some extraordinary occasion, to repair thither this week, the rather for dispatching the bonds of that town and Bruges. I thank you for this 'comfort' that you put in your last of a dispatch of my state ; wherein I hourly look for some good news to relieve me.—Antwerp, 19 Oct. 1578. (Signed) W. Davidson [apparently first adoption of this form of his name]. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. IX. 67.]
Oct. 19. 309. DAVISON to the SECRETARIES.
Since the travail of the Commissioners sent to Flanders has wrought so little effect, that the disorder remains still uncompounded, Montigny has written to the Archduke that he and his party will be ready to conform themselves in all reason, provided that order be taken to keep the Gauntois within the limits of their duties, and that by their violent manner of proceeding they do not henceforth distrust the common quiet. They on the other hand have given the Commissioners no satisfaction either touching the religions friedt (for one of the conditions was that they would permit the exercise of both religions in their town and liberties as well as Brussels, Antwerp, and other towns do), or in the case of prisoners ; which are the principal causes upon which Montigny and his faction ground their taking up arms against them. However, the Commissioners are still there, doing what they may to bring them to reason and prevent the mischief into which they are likely to throw themselves and their compatriots if they hold on their course. Duke Casimir has written to the Archduke in his justification, 'pretending' that he will for his part do nothing that can be justly offensive ; yet in a letter of his to the Prince, and by the report of such as come from the Commissioners, he seems to justify the doings of the Gauntois, so much as if he neither would nor could in reason or justice abandon them, whatever respect carried him thither—which I take to be partly distrust of the French, partly dislike to being commanded by Count Bossu, and partly a hope to get his pay guaranteed by the Gauntois. They have promised him great things, and may in that satisfy him, because they have of late kept back about 300,000 florins which they should have sent hither for their 'quote.' The world mean time judges his enterprise to have had some other foundation, as an 'aspiring hope' to the Earldom of Flanders, and some both think and say that the Queen has an interest in this action of his ; being drawn into this suspicion the rather because he came chiefly at her instance, and has hitherto been maintained chiefly with the money she advanced, because they are both of one religion, and he keeps up a daily intelligence with her and her ministers, and has his agent at her Court ; in short because he has always depended upon her favour and without assurance of it would attempt no alteration here, considering the weak foundation he has otherwise to build upon. But all these jealousies I have done and do my best to remove. His troops still continue at the camp, all save three cornets of reiters which he took with him to Flanders, who are able to do little service in that country, unapt for horsemen, especially at this time of year. 'Combell,' with his regiment of six ensigns under Monsieur, is gone to the aid of the Walloons ; the rest of Monsieur's troops, we hear, are going back to France, partly impatient of the difficulties of this service ; partly malcontent that the expectations of their master and themselves have been deceived ; for they had devoured in imagination the spoil of these whole Low Countries ; and partly, it is said, upon some advice received that the troubles will be renewed in France. Monsieur himself continues at Mons, but as men hope is likely to follow them shortly, with very little honour or fruit of this summer's work. The States' camp, though disappointed of such a supply, and greatly weakened and diminished in themselves, have advanced within three leagues of Namur ; and if they may keep the field a month or two longer, there is great hope to bring their enemies to any reason, notwithstanding the new supply, estimated at 5,000 to 6,000 men, come to them from Germany. For if the States do nothing but spoil the country, the enemy must be driven by famine to abandon what he has. Three days ago a gentleman arrived from the Emperor with letters addressed to Don John, the effect of which was that since the arbitrament of the case of these countries was committed to his Majesty's hands, he commanded him to retire from this country, and to surrender such towns and holds as were in his possession. But this letter coming too late to Don John was sent to the Duke of Parma, to see whether he will obey or not. If he do, we are at an end of that war. His answer is expected in a day or two ; it will no doubt be much better if he sees the States hold out. Their camp has lately been with great difficulty kept from dispersing through want of pay ; which they have borne the longer because this broil of Flanders has disappointed the States of 400,000 fl. which were ready to be sent hither if that accident had not unhappily arrived. Howbeit, they have made a hard shift here to supply them with a month's pay half in money, half in cloth. Part is already sent to the camp, part will follow in a few days.—Antwerp, 19 Oct. 1578. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. IX. 68.]
Oct. 19. 310. DAVISON to WALSINGHAM.
Copy with slight variations of the last. Draft. Endd. 1½ pp. [Ibid. IX. 68a.]
Oct. 19. 311. Draft of No. 309. Endd. by Davison. 2 pp. [Ibid. IX. 68b.]
Oct. 19. 312. Rough draft of above in Davison's hand. 3 pp. [Ibid. IX. 68c.]
[Oct. 19.] 313. DAVISON to LEICESTER.
What has happened here of late I have not failed weekly to communicate to you. Now we have two things chiefly in expectation ; the one, what will become of the peace newly set abroach by the Emperor, whose ambassador two or three days ago brought letters to Don John, which have been sent to the Prince of Parma, 'importing' a command to retire and resign the holds he possesses, as considering his own extremity, it is hoped he will ; the other, what issue the disorder in Flanders will grow to. The Walloons pretend to be ready to conform themselves if the Gauntois will admit the religions freidt and take order for the release of the prisoners, to which they will not agree. Our French forces, all save Combell's regiment, who is gone to aid the Walloons, are instead of advancing with the States' army going back to France, finding things here other than they looked for. (The rest as in the letter to the Secretaries.) Draft in Davison's hand. 1 p. [Ibid. IX. 69.]
Oct. 19. 314. DAVISON to BURGHLEY.
Copy of the last. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. IX. 70.]
Oct. 19. 315. Fair draft of the two last letters, with some differences in phrasing, e.g., 'the fault growing chiefly from the Gantois, who refuse to incline to reason.' ½ p. [Ibid. IX. 70a.]
Oct. 19. 316. WILSON to DAVISON.
Your letters were very welcome touching the certain report of Don John's death, for divers speeches were given out to the contrary ; as that under cover of his feigned death he had gone out of the country to deliver to King Philip the state of things in the Low Countries, and so save his honour. The civil division in Flanders will be the cause of their own ruin ; and therefore I am to require you to call upon the States for the appeasing of such dissension among themselves, and that they follow the enemy chiefly, now that the head is gone and plague and scarcity is among them. Thus they shall maintain themselves better in their ancient liberties, and give occasion to others the rather to take part with them. The heat used for reformation of religion is excessive and out of season, and not agreeable to Christian modesty. Good preaching and moderate behaviour will prevail more to win people to a reformed religion than violence or force of arms. Deal with the Prince as much as you can, that he suffer no such insolence to be used, and that they rather join together against the common enemy.—Richmond, 19 Oct. 1578. Add. Endd. On outside page : per me John Spryttwell, post of Dover—received your worship's packet by a wagon the 23 of October, and sent them by Charles, Sir Francis Walsingham's cook. ¾ p. [Holl. and Fl. IX. 71.]
Oct. 19. 317. FREMYN to DAVISON.
I wrote last on the 18th. Since then nothing has happened at this camp but continuance of the sickness and daily dimunition of the army. I much fear if we approach the enemy that in ten days he will be strong enough to give us a shrewd nip ['extraicte' meaning probably 'estrainete']. It seems that the plan of those who lead this army is only to eat up and destroy the country in order to keep the enemy at a distance from what they want to preserve ; and it is said that part of the reiters will shortly be dismissed, namely those of Duke Casimir, to the number of several regiments. It is a disgrace to see the way this army is managed ; it is going like a candle. M. de la Noue arrived yesterday evening from Mons. He had been there to get some infantry, which he was unable to do, inasmuch as they are all departing, except 2,000 infantry who have volunteered to remain with Monsieur, and they are badly equipped. M. de la Chastre is gone with 500 horse without taking leave of Monsieur ; and sent to him to say that he was off, and that they had refused to let him into Mons. The company of M. d'Avantigny has been cut up in France on their way back, and twelve men [? killed] by the assembled parishes who do not recognise anyone. They kill and plunder all the soldiers they find. M. de Bussy has promised M. de la Noue to bring 1,000 foot if necessary. That is how things are going. All our French are departing. M. de la Noue's standard-bearer is gone, M. d'Harocourt, and several other gentlemen. The cornet of M. de Jame is all broken up, and he ready to go back. Civil war is beginning to stir in France ; M. de Guise is at the head of it. Everyone has lost the will to serve the States, seeing the little pleasure there is in their service ; since men go to the wars for two things, honour or gain, neither of which is to be found in the service of the States, but only the ruin of foreigners in their service. I could not relate to you all the calamities, which are innumerable. They talk of an advance of money which the States are willing to give ; which is going back from the fire to the frying-pan (de fièvre es chaud mal). We are waiting for M. de la Garde to know what the Estates have decided to do. In our four regiments there are not at present 500 men, and the same with the others ; and whatever the Estates may wish to believe, the rest will die of misery.—From the Camp at Ligny, 19 Oct. 1578. P.S.—Your English regiments are melting away as by a slow fire. Add. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. IX. 72.]
Oct. 19. 318. ROSSEL to WALSINGHAM.
I handed your packets to the Governor of the merchants, one on Oct. 5, the other on the 12th, conformably to the memorandum given me. I have had no answer or acknowledgement, which surprises me, as I know that others have received letters from England. Yet I did not like to neglect to continue my regular habit of corresponding till I hear from you if any discourse will be agreeable to her Majesty. My last letter will have informed her of the arrival of Duke Casimir at Ghent, and his favourable reception, of which divers suspicious persons have reported diversely, especially those who did not know the cause of his going. His reiters have looked up the Walloons, with some loss of men and horses. The Commissioners entered into conference with the said Walloons only last Friday ; and, so far as I can hear, the cause of their resentment, and their main object, is not the payment of their wages as reported by M. de Bours. We expect to-day more particulars of this negotiation. They have received aid from the French, together with 12 tons of powder which have entered Hainault. As for the other Commissioners, sent to police the Ghent business, and calm the popular discontent, which causes the default in the pay of the army, they are instructed to propose that if the people of Ghent will permit the Religion Wlictz [religions freidt], indifferently and equally all the provinces will admit it and join them against the Walloons. On this point we await an answer. Meanwhile our camp is badly paid and keeps the field with extreme distress ; always, however, performing some military duty. They approached the enemy, right up to his entrenchments, where several Spaniards were slain. Our camp had received tidings that the enemy had crossed the Meuse and left their stronghold, some to fill up the garrisons, others to relieve Deventer ; which was why they approached so close. During this reconnoissance part of the camp advanced in pursuit of a number of the enemy, who, having abandoned Judoigne and Tirlemont, our men entering ravaged those towns, which had already been plundered by the enemy. Notwitstanding the troubles in Flanders, efforts are made in other directions to get money in order to satisfy the army, which everyday received some instalment in anticipation of the general muster and payment ; after which things will be arranged according to the printed regulations, which I send her Majesty, together with the defeat of the Portugal army. The French are still at Fleurus without coming to any decision, always on the watch to accomplish their design of pouncing on certain towns as they wish. The Antwerp people wished to oppose his approach to Mechlin, but the Prince has assured them that it will do them no harm. In short, the people in general distrust the Frenchmen, having news that the Queen Mother has gone to Béarn under colour of visiting her daughter, in order to treat with the king of Spain, who is at present at Mousson [qy. Monçon] about some new treason, under the pretext of conferring about the marriage of her son Alençon to a daughter of Spain. All their practices are being discovered day by day, inasmuch as one can clearly see that there is common intelligence between the two brothers and mothers (sic) ; as is confirmed by the enterprise in Burgundy, where we have seen the favours to those who have undertaken it on behalf of the Duke of Alençon dissembled. The Swiss have been written to on their behalf not to oppose the enterprise of the French. Notwithstanding which dissimulation, their plan has not profited them much, and they have had to retire. We hear that news of the loss of Binche through the French having reached Spain, the Spaniards have taken St. Jean-de-Luz, near Fontarrabia. In this way we shall begin the old war. I have been in negotiation with 33 [the Emperor's Ambassador] on the subject of peace, and have pointed out to him in what ill-repute he would find himself if at sight of him this country lost it, and since he said that 25 his master could command the enemy's army, that knowing the intention of 8 and 25 [the Emperor] he ought, by all means, to cause his master to moderate all difficulties so as to attain to peace. I argued with him, and told him of so many means, considering the death of Don John, as would render it possible to arrive at it with ease ; in pursuance of which matters have made so much progress, after the post sent by courier to 25, that the deputies of the Prince of Parma will arrive for this purpose at Antwerp in three or four days. If this negotiation had taken place when you were here, it [? the peace] would have made much more favourable progress. 6b and x9, z9 do not desire it ; 37 no less.—Antwerp, 19 Oct. 1578. Add. Endd. Italicised words in last par. in cipher. Fr. 3½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. IX. 73.]