Elizabeth: November 1578, 11-15

Pages 277-291

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

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November 1578, 11-15

Nov. 11. 365. P. BEUTTERICH to D. ROGERS.
On his return from the Queen of England, Junius brought a long story of her singular love and kindness towards my Prince, but of an alienation of her Council and herself in regard to me. The former was pleasant ; it would have been more so if he had brought any present aid in our straits ; the latter I bore as became me. For though he showed a copy of a letter from her Majesty, stating that she would let the States have £8,000 on condition they were spent on Casimir's reiters, yet since she did not signify the same to Casimir, nor you to me, it was easy for me, in spite of Junius's contrary view, to conjecture that the resulting event would be what it was. So Junius did no good by going to England, or to Antwerp ; and I think that if my advice, against the journey to England, had been listened to, our affairs would have stood on a better, or at least on no less even, a footing ; for they could not have been in a worse place. Who is responsible for our being thrown into these straits and calamities, you know better than anyone. I had a foreboding that things would turn out so. It is certain that my chief was impelled by the authority of the Queen and hers only ; the fact of my not disagreeing confirmed him. I certainly did not advise it ; I thought it dangerous to face the uncertain event of this war. Hence I never had any dealings with the States, and I declined to lay the Queen's wishes before my chief. So far is it from being the case that, as Burghley and Wilson write, it was negotiated with me in England, and that I held out hopes that my chief would come if £20,000 were paid up. So you need not wonder if I was somewhat put out by their letters, containing statements never approved by me. I am every day expecting my memorandum of my mission to England ; when I get it I will show clearly that an injustice is done both to my chief and to me. Nor would it be a bad thing, my dear Rogers, for these things to come out, since my silence does much harm to my chief. You have seen a copy of my letter of Sep. 6 to the Queen ; Casimir saw it before it was sealed, and did not disapprove. Since the Queen found fault with its plainspeaking (παρρησιαν) many Frenchmen have seen it and not disapproved ; nor have I seen anyone, not being English, who has disapproved it, though many have read it. If the writing was not very elegant nor the paper very fine, that was because I wrote it in my tent with my knees for table ; and before I had finished some soldiers came into my tent demanding their pay, in such a hurry that I cut short my letter in abrupt style to do business with them. I know it is not my place to anticipate the Queen's opinion of my letters by my own opinion or that of others, or to measure propriety by my own standard ; but seeing that there was not a word in it stronger than necessity required, and the event has shown that I was a true prophet, its frankness, devoid of scurrility, ought to have earned thanks. I admit that I wrote frankly what I thought to Junius ; but he had to be warned not to come back empty-handed ; yet though warned he held out to us a vain hope. But who can justly blame me for managing my master's affairs circumspectly, and soliciting his envoys to look rather at things than at words, at effects than at a show of goodwill ? I willingly acknowledge my temerity, and myself deplore how little experience I have of great matters ; meanwhile I devote myself to my chief's affairs as faithfully, industriously, and circumspectly as my capacity permits. I think it equally grievous to deceive and to be deceived, and detest both. I make all England the judge whether my chief was not enticed into this difficult way by a show of liberality and great promises and then openly deserted. What I am now at work upon will prove how uncandidly I have been dealt with, in having everything that has fallen out amiss imputed to me alone. Hence our reiters make me out the author of the expedition, and the English Councillors make out that I approved it even when only £20,000 had been paid, when neither is true. If I erred, I erred in not dissuading. When my chief asked my advice in the garden at Lautern, I answered that in a matter of such moment, the issue of which might equally be harmful and helpful, and which whether done or undone would be variously judged, I could not advise ; I begged him again and again not to take it amiss. I would expound as a faithful servant might do, the advantages and disadvantages of undertaking or declining the expedition, but it behoved him to be his own counsellor. He must consider whether his courage was equal to the task ; he must consult his conscience ; he must weigh the cause. His Highness himself has always testified that my judgement was right as to aid from England, as to the Prince of Orange, as to the event of the war, and as to the States. But I may break off this talk, for that by the apology I am preparing all doubt will be removed from you and all fair men. For the thing has gone so far that what was written to save the honour of my chief must be published ; and I wish I had you, power and your leisure. Indeed Davison's negotiation alone forces my chief to it even against his will ; for the calumnies formerly spread on uncertain authority, when backed by that of the Queen will get the authority of truth if they be not promptly met. So far I have persuaded my chief and have been persuaded myself that that message did not come from the Queen ; for I do not think that her Majesty, who blamed my frankness, would tolerate abuse of my chief on the part of her envoy. Nor is Davison content with mixing himself up in the business, for he makes out that Walsingham was the author of the message. I send you a copy of my master's letter to the Queen. If an answer does not come shortly, my little work will come out. My master is writing to you ; I beg you will do the office of solicitor on his behalf. The affair in Burgundy was started fruitlessly ; and it is, as you write, an artifice to foster private ambition. Whatever has been done has been with a view to increasing Alençon's credit, which however has been rather diminished by beginning the thing and not going through with it. The Burgundians themselves are now laughing at his vain efforts. But when I consider what Davison laid before my master, I wonder that you are so solicitous for Alençon, arguing as you do that our coming to Ghent will give him ground for fresh irritation, and intimating that the agreement entered into between him and the States must be strictly observed. I am the more surprised because I saw your envoys, and her Majesty herself in a letter, complaining that there had been any treaty with Alençon. Thus forsooth it is held in some quarters that Casimir did not come under the Queen's auspices ; and elsewhere that he was invited to this war by her. You know how things are. I do not deem it safe to write what we think about Alençon, and Orange, and the state of the cause ; we might be mistaken and get more out of favour. We know for certain that the stay in the meeting of the two princes has not been through us ; we have constantly urged it by message and letter. But Orange had reasons of policy which prevented him from gratifying this friend and such a friend who has so often come to his aid. Now they want Casimir to go to Antwerp, and the Archduke has sent hither to that effect. I do not know how it will be ; he is not inclined to go. We shall have no objection to Dendermonde. Languet, summoned by Casimir, arrived yesterday. The chief has decided to avail himself of his riper counsels, and remove the opinion very common throughout Germany, France, and the Netherlands, that everything is governed by the advice of Beutterich only. Though I have alone accompanied my master in this country, and he has had no one but me to confide in, it does not therefore follow that everything has taken place by my advice. I have no experience in great matters. My advice would often be out of place ; and fortunately so. Farewell. I am writing to Burghley and Wilson, and you will no doubt see the letter.—Ghent, 11 Nov. 1578. Add. Endd. by Rogers : Redditæ 25 Novemb. 1578. Latin. 3 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XI. 22.]
I shall not make a long discourse on the cause, only too great, which I have for writing to her Majesty, knowing that you will see everything. Only kindly see that I have an early reply. Mr Davison had no letter of credence nor anything from her Majesty to me, yet the gravity of what he said to me, derogatory to my honour, called for something of the kind. Now he says, as I understand, to clear himself, that he said nothing to me but by your express injunction, and he has shown your letter on the subject to the Vidame. I do not think I ever gave you cause to hold such an opinion of me ; I have always borne a good affection to you for the opinion there is of your virtue and zeal for the religion. If you wrote these things by command of her Majesty, please make it known to me ; for I do not wish to leave my honour damaged as it is by what Davison has written.—Ghent, 11 Nov. 1578. Apparently holograph. Add. Endd. Fr. ¾ p. [Ibid. X. 22 bis.]
The miraculous victory of Arras has done good to all the towns in the neighbourhood. News of it having reached our Court we had letters ; first congratulatory ; presently severe, as if they had been in too great haste to do justice ; afterwards thanks from the Duke of Alençon and exhortations to prosecute the conspirators. Our Walloons continue to push their affairs forward. They are recovering from the Flemings the honour they had lost by fighting against the Spaniards. The said Flemings would willingly make peace, but the Walloons will not hear of it unless they repair the churches that they have ruined and restore the clergy to their houses with the secure and peaceable enjoyment of their goods, of which there is no appearance. The worst thing that could befall us would be a peace with them ; at any rate there is always hope of the same game being played at Ghent as at Arras, so soon as the revolted lower classes have spent all their plunder. Your packet has been distributed as addressed. Herein I have been much helped by M. de Blingelval [Blangerval], alias La Bourse, who undertook the matter in his own name. He addressed himself at once to our M. de Capres, to whom he showed the copies, much to his satisfaction, with a letter. He was rejoiced to hear your offer to go ; and was dissatisfied only at your not writing to him, and at not being referred to. He said he had already done many good offices, especially at St. Omer, with no other end in view than a reconciliation. It is well that the magistrates are in this humour ; and you will do well to write to him as soon as you can, and induce the ambassador to do so and the gentlemen in your district, and promise him all favour and kindness from our Prince. In short he desires nothing else, and has long been waiting to be employed. You can tell him also of the journey. M. de Blingleval went back to his lodgings with a copy of your letter to publish where he thinks it desirable. He will go by Douay, where he will be sure to do good work. The lord there will do well to write to the governor, who is said to be very well affected to him. Nothing remains but to treat with our Catholic lords, whose only aim is to gain credit in some town, to secure themselves, and as a means to making their peace with the King. My lord of Arras would do well to come back, with some small preamble. Many people are expecting him every day, with the result that bets are often laid about the day of his return. Being here, as he is, in authority he could do many good offices ; in this business we have plenty of occasion for such. Above all then make haste to send good letters to the noblemen and governors, not forgetting Doberbien [qy. d'Auberlieu], or de Hasty, who is well disposed, and is being pressed to receive a company of the wrong sort, when he has purged his own. Your letter was laid before the magistrates, and the governor was called in to the reading of it. I cannot learn if this was well received or not, but it may be presumed it was, since he is carrying on the affair in silence, and since they have returned us your letter to the Tournay people which was enclosed, to deliver to those to whom it pertained. I can send you no news of your best friends but that they are well ; nor do the negotiations going on here permit more. Please forgive the limited information herein given. It is written from hour to hour as the news comes in. They are still enquiring every day into the conspiracies. At noon last Friday [Nov. 7] was hanged one Pierre Lefebvre, tailor ; and they say that all those convicted of having broken into the guard-house are in danger of the like. M. Morin Fourques is imprisoned in his own house, and cannot manage to get out though he has three or four cousins in the law and has sent in several petitions. If you are sent here, remember to ask for good security. All this week the States of Artois are meeting at Arras. A commissioner from Hainault is asking to join with them against the Flemings, which will probably take place. Those of Hainault have separated from the States General and recalled their deputies there. As it was they who began that union, they want to meet their fault by beginning the disruption.—From your house. Martinmas. Copy, apparently made for Poulet. Endd. (?) by one of his clerks : A François de Moncheaux de la part de Jérome de Moncheaux : and dated by L. Tomson, by whom there are marginal notes. Walsingham's mark. Fr. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. X. 23.]
Nov. 12. 368. PARDIEU DE LA MOTTE to the GOVERNOR, etc., of DUNKIRK.
Seeing the near approach of circumstances tending, as I think, to your disadvantage, I would not omit to write and offer you what is in my power, if you have need of it. You may assure yourselves that you shall be aided and accommodated whenever you require it, provided that I maintain my obligations, to wit, my faith toward the Roman Catholic Church, my allegiance to my natural prince, and all privileges. I am furnished not only with plenty of men and munitions, but also with a good sum of money which his Majesty has sent me to succour those who need it. As neighbours, you know how I have behaved, notwithstanding the small reason that has been given me in the various calumnies and attacks that have been made on me. Yet for the desire I had to justify my actions, I have endured all patiently, in the hope that the truth would in course of time bring a change of opinion. And I can assure you that I have several times been requested and solicited to take another line than I have done ; to all which I have not chosen to listen, nor will I, if you desire it. I shall be very glad to show you the good will I have to do you faithful service ; hoping that by this bearer I may hear what you intend.—12 Nov. 1578. Note in Davison's hand, in French : The like of this was written to Borborch, St. Winocsberg, and other neighbouring towns. Copy. Endd. Fr. ¾ p. [Holl. and Fl. X. 24.]
Nov. 12. 369. WALSINGHAM to DAVISON.
As I was closing my other letter, I received your packet sent by your servant Burnet. I hoped it would have been dated from Ghent, whereby her Majesty might have received some satisfaction of the mislike she has conceived of your long deferring to repair thither. I will do what I may to salve the matter. Touching the letters you thought should be sent to Casimir and the 'Gantoyse,' I forbore to move her Majesty, for I fear she would have caused them to be written in so hard and sharp terms as would rather breed contempt than redress. I hope the good counsel that both he and they will receive from you in her name will take good effect ; you may deliver it either in sharp or in sweet terms as you may see meet. 'Butrecke' should be roundly dealt with ; he will be the ruin of that gentleman his master, who otherwise might prove an instrument of good in God's Church. By the said Beutrich's lewd advice there is a practice entertained with Chátillon in Languedoc to divide the Churches in that province from the rest of the Churches in France, and to draw them to put themselves under Duke Casimir's protection, dissuading them from relying on the King of Navarre as a light and inconstant man. This good fellow with these villanous practices will prove a very firebrand of contention ; you will do well to lay him open to the honest and righteous sort of the Gantois. If they would be persuaded to lay him up with the rest of the prisoners, they would profit themselves, the cause, and his master. I suppose that if some of the burghers of Ghent were well dealt with they might be drawn to attempt the matter. If you do not find Duke Casimir conformable to do what may be for the common good, and consequently to her Majesty's satisfaction, you need not press the States to pay him the 60,000 guilders ; for I assure you that seeing the course he takes, she is sorry that she ever brought him into the country. To remove the opinion that she favours his disorderly proceedings, you can give out copies of such speeches as you make to him and to the Gantois in her name ; which you may have translated into Flemish that they may be dispersed among the vulgar people. You will do well in them to lay the fault on Beutrich and excuse the Duke ; and touching the Gantois, charge the chiefs and excuse the people. It is hard to prescribe here what should be done there, or to set down a form of speech, or who are to be dealt with ; for new accidents require new counsels. I doubt not of your sufficiency, or care to do what may be best for her Majesty's service and the good of those countries in their perplexed state ; which I fear will make us grow cold in assisting them, from despair of their well-doing. I doubt their request for a bond for 30,000 guilders will not take effect as I wish, unless there fall out some repair of their broken state. And so I commit you to God, being at present greatly cumbered with the affairs of Ireland, in seeking to make it less chargeable to this Crown.—Richmond, 12 Nov. 1578. Holograph. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holl. and Fl. IX. 25.]
I will acknowledge that for your favour to me I owe you all good wishes and offices. The service in respect to letters, concerning which you gave me order when you were going I have by no means neglected. In your private affairs nothing new has happened since your departure, for God is guarding your whole household with His wonted goodness. From the army come rumours of an action between some of our men and the enemy's light horse, but so various that I do not dare to write them ; especially as I expect your clerk Raymond has written a full account in the letter which goes with these to you. Everyone here is looking for news of affairs at Ghent, the right management or otherwise of which many declare is of the greatest import to this State. I see that many, not of the commons only, but men of great authority, approve the settlement of the matter by legal conditions, and do not object even to the restoration of Popery so that civil war be avoided. They contend that the less of two evils should be chosen, and that the most unjust peace is better than the most just war. They add all the arguments possible usual to adduce for this kind of opinion, about the benefits of peace, especially the repulse of the common enemy and the propagation of religion throughout the provinces, as well as about the wretched consequences of civil war, fire and sword, brothers armed for mutual slaughter and so forth. But good men and prudent as these are, and haters of Popery, others differ from them. They have no less abhorrence of civil war and its calamities nor are they less prepared to embrace the sweet name of peace, to greet whatever may reconcile citizens to citizens, and spread God's gospel and kingdom. If their duty, their faith, their religion allowed they would refuse no reasoning which pertained to peace. But if anything is to be done contrary to the sanctity of religion or honesty of living, one need not indeed wage war against those who order it, but one must obey God rather than men. For the argument of the others about an unjust peace and the avoiding of the greater evil confirms this opinion ; seeing that the word was 'unjust,' i.e. based on inconvenient and unfair reasons, not 'dishonourable' ; and no evil can be greater than sin. This reasoning being so honest that no man who would even pretend piety can disagree with it, they devise another, saying that the Gantois will not only do nothing wrong if they re-admit Popery, but will even commit a breach of duty if they do not ; for religion is a matter of persuasion, not compulsion. Besides, the magistrates were simply subordinates. By way of answer the other side point out that magistrates have been commanded not to suffer their citizens to pollute themselves with idolatry and profane the worship of God with superstitions ; and so not to permit anything to be done that is forbidden in God's law, or to be left undone that is enjoined therein. That relying on this command those heroes of old, Hezekiah, Josiah, Asa, Jehoshaphat, and many others, purged their kingdoms of all such foulness ; Asa even making it a capital crime if anyone obstinately abhorred the true worship of God. The same has in our own time been done, to their great praise, by the pious princes of England, Germany, and other countries ; and that by the same arguments and examples that we have mentioned above, and under a persuasion of the certain peril of an overthrow to true religion if any freedom were allowed to error and superstition, until they could by friendly persuasion and advice be drawn from impure dogmas and ceremonies. For thus they foresaw that a flood of Arians, Anabaptists, and other heretics would invade the Church and put it in certain hazard, as has been the case where such counsels have been followed. The other point was that of the authority of subordinate magistrates ; which they meet by saying that in a state the administration of the whole is common to the inferior magistrates with the highest ; so that if a city commit any crime by command of the chief magistrates not only they will bear the guilt of it, but also those who hold any subordinate authority in the towns or in the state. As for example, if those in supreme power were to order any town to establish public brothels, or to commit acts of violence against innocent persons or robbery against their neighbours, they say that it would not be lawful for the local authorities to permit those of their city to obey such wicked orders unless they wanted to bind themselves to fellowship in such crimes ; but their duty as honest men would be to point out that their faith was pledged to their fellow-citizens by their oath and by virtue of the office imposed on them by God, and that they could not bear to render themselves and their whole city obnoxious to such a crime. If they were attacked on that account, they might justly defend themselves by arms. They conclude therefore that the right to do so is far greater in the case of idolatry, that foul spiritual fornication and outrage ; adducing the case of Libnah, which is recorded in Holy Writ to have revolted from Joram because he would establish idolatry in his kingdom. These are the arguments on either side—not to mention those used by the more politic sort, that it is the prudent course to anticipate by gifts certain attack from the Romans and the like—and from them it is clear what is the honourable and therefore the expedient course of action ; unless indeed we are of those who think the expedient is ever the dishonourable. I have put them together in order not to fail in my duty if my labours could be of any service to your negotiations. I would wish and hope, as I love and respect you, that your task may be not in healing the wounds of that beast from the sea, of whom John writes in the Apocalypse, but in probing and irritating them ; and in those things only which are honourable and illustrious. Our little Church is as you left it. The great penury and the number of our poor calls for a deacon. We think that my guest would be a fit person ; please let us know your opinion, and if you are likely to be long away. You heard the day before you went what kind of answer I got from our merchants. That I may not seem to acquiesce in it, I must explain my views at the next meeting of the court. I wish the day had fallen at some other time that I might have had the benefit of your authority and advice ; now I shall have to argue one against many. If your kinsman has not gone greet him from me.—12 Nov. 1578. P.S. (autograph). Your wife opened Q.'s letter. She hopes you are as well as she and the children are. Strangers are being diligently looked up, street by street and house to house ; the reason is said to be that treasonable plots are suspected on the part of the Papists, the Walloons and the enemy, leagued against good citizens and the religion. May God protect His Church ; as He will do if we are constant to her. Add. Endd. Latin. 1¾ pp. [Holl. and Fl. X. 26.]
Nov. 13. 371. WILSON to DAVISON.
God grant your going to Ghent may do good to those uncertain people, who run headlong to their own ruin, and need no other adversaries than themselves to overthrow country, state, and all. Thus it is ever, when people command that should be commanded ; who for reason follow will, and instead of law use their own lust. This extends to people unbridled, of what religion and profession soever they be ; so that the Walloons and all disordered and wilful creatures come within my meaning. I foresee a disjunction of that country, which eschewing foreign government by one nation, would fall into the hands of another strange people, worse than the first, and more able to do them harm and bring them into thraldom, than any other. This alteration ought to be foreseen by us, whom it may hereafter touch very near, and perhaps bring us into greater danger than were fit for us to abide. I am sorry to hear of parts taken by great men, which will bring confusion ; and I fear the Prince of Orange will be in some hazard before long, if he look not well to himself. Meantime the enemy gains much by these divisions and would be glad to see them nourished, that finding opportunity he may take his advantage ; which he will not lose when he once has it. Thus you see how my pen ranges, carried with a zeal to do them good that are no friends to themselves. God grant your service may be to the welfare of our country and to your own comfort where you are, which I think you wish were with speed.—Richmond, 13 Nov. 1578. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. X. 27.]
Nov. 13. 372. WALSINGHAM to DAVISON.
The Prince of Parma has lately written to her Majesty, signifying the death of Don John, and that he had cast upon him the general charge of the army, which was confirmed by the consent of all the captains and principal persons in the army ; so that he was pressed to accept it, though much against his will, till the King should appoint some other. He therefore prayed her Majesty to hold such good correspondence with him as might tend to the advancement of the King's affairs in that country. With which kind of dealing her Majesty is so well satisfied that she has written the enclosed letter of thanks to him for his courteous and friendly offices ; desiring that immediately on the receipt thereof you request a trumpet from the States, and send by him to the Prince that letter, and two enclosed from the Spanish ambassador. The Spanish ambassador tells us that when news came to the King that Don John was departed this life, the prince of Spain lay dying ; and since then we hear from France that he is dead. Her Majesty understanding that it is 10 or 11 days since you went to Ghent marvels that she has not heard from you. You will do well hereafter to use more diligence in advertising. We hear that those of Hainault and Artois have been suitors to the Pope that they may have Monsieur for their Governor ; but that he would not 'condescend' thereto. Notwithstanding, Monsieur is in good hope that those two provinces being divided from the rest in religion, he may be chosen to be their protector. By the enclosed extract from the ambassador's letter, you may see what a jealousy Monsieur has conceived against the Prince of Orange.—Richmond, 13 Nov. 1578. Add. Endd. 1¼ pp. [Ibid. X. 28.]
You will be informed how things are going on here ; as to which I will only say that I do not like so many digressions from the road which leads to repose and tranquillity. The people of Ghent were the first to show discontent and the Walloon soldiers next. They have received so much reinforcement on either side that they are a great hindrance to us. Mr Davison's going to Ghent will I hope do some good, especially in the matter of the prisoners, who wish to be placed under the protection of the Queen. If Davison can obtain this, I look upon the matter as half settled. Duke Casimir is there too, as you know, which causes great jealousy to the Duke of Alençon, with the result that the States are much pressed by him to fulfil their promises, or at least to come to some decision as to the satisfaction they propose to give him ; which they have found a considerable hindrance. I pray that God may inspire them with good counsel. I have managed to get the Antwerp people to give their bond for £45,000 which the Queen demanded ; and I hope there will be no difficulty with the other town. It is hoped that she will be content, and will be all the freer with regard to the other obligations (in which please bear a hand) ; and especially that the 30,000 florins lent by Baptista Spinola to redeem the jewels may be furnished, so that we may settle with him, which he will not do unless he is furnished with what is owing on those obligations.— Antwerp, 13 Nov. 1578. (Signed) Gaspar Schetz. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson : Prisoners received into her Majesty's protection the appointment will be easily made, etc. Fr. 1½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. X. 29.]
Nov. 13. 374. F. DE MONCHEAUX to M. DE VAUX.
I have no news from Arras yet, but am hourly expecting it, as to what has happened there since the last execution, and since the receipt of his Excellency's letter which I sent. A boy who came thence two or three days ago told me that some one had lately come from the Prince of Orange to require the magistrates not to proceed with the execution of such prisoners as they have, but that this person was himself made prisoner, and that since his coming four had been tortured, and it was expected they would soon be hanged. He says that this commissioner was nephew to the late M. d'Arras [Bishop of A.], but I cannot believe that it was the councillor Richardot, though he was employed on a like commission to Valenciennes. I hear this morning that various harteurs [qy. gallows birds] and other fugitives from that town have withdrawn to this. I cannot believe, for fear it may not be true, what a courier from Namur told us yesterday. He said that that town [Arras] had sent to his Excellency at Namur to tell him that the citizens had never had any intention to withdraw from his Majesty's obedience, and that as they had always been his faithful subjects and vassals, such they desired to continue, and to be recognised as such. If it were so, our cause would be gained ; and I doubt not but that it will happen shortly, if it has not happened already. Affairs at Douay are not going so badly just now. The Jesuit fathers and all the others who were so suddenly turned out a little while ago are being recalled by a solemn edict. I understand that they have returned, all save a few who were scattered, as far as this town, and some even further. The gentlemen who were turned out do not wish to return, notably MM. de Dion and du Breuck, who have since settled at Béthune in houses which I hear cost them a good deal. The trouble at Douay arose from a rumour which was spread, on unknown authority, that Tournay had surrendered to the French. This seemed to the seditious lot at Arras a very good invention to rouse their town also, as they did, to their own hurt ; thereby giving us an almost certain argument of the small favour in which these new guests are. They may there assert what we find confirmed elsewhere that we may strip ourselves of any fear which we had conceived of a prolongation of that duke's stay in those parts. The people of Artois in the correspondence they have had with those of Hainault wish him to be sent away absolutely and to have nothing to do with this alliance of theirs, which is not concluded with the exception of this point ; those of Hainault not thinking it proper to get rid of him save with all honours and compliments. This we are assured by M. de Wanctin of Cambray, who came here two days ago. He says further that at Antwerp the Catholics, Martinists, and Anabaptists have joined against the Calvinists, who finding themselves weak, are packing up and leaving the town every day. They say the Prince of Orange wanted to do the same, but had been hindered by the people, who said that as he had brewed the stuff, it was fair that he should drink his share. All the gentlemen who used to be with him, and nearly all the Council of State, have left him. M. Arcanti tells us that Duke Casimir has been proclaimed schelm in Antwerp. Those of Brussels have also got back quits, and have turned all the preachers and their supporters out of the town. They have had no garrison for some time. M. de Wanctin assured us also that the other members of Flanders, especially the town and liberties of Bruges, would join the Catholics against the Gantois. I have seen a letter from Tournay saying that M. de Montigny has taken from the Gantois the town of Deynse adjoining Lettenghen [qy. Peteghem], whence our Walloons make hourly excursions as far as the gates of Ghent. Since then, some who have come from Douay assure us that the reiters who were at Courtray have pillaged the town and departed, and the Walloons having approached, have entered it by composition. I received yesterday a letter from [symbol] 7 [symbol] [symbol] [qy. Lile. Poulet notes in margin : c'est la lettre escrite en Latin ; i.e. No. 339] of which I send you a copy, not only for the news contained in it, which is important and deserves to be seen as it was written to me, but also for the special reference in it to some favour which the writer wishes to obtain of you by my recommendation. He well deserves, for the good offices that he has done and is ready to do, not to be refused (être éconduit de) a request so unimportant and at the same time involving so great a kindness, as the exemption from billeting of the house of his aunt, an ancient widow living at Louvain, in narrow quarters, Catherine Vander Borch by name ; to whom a letter goes with this, which I beg you will forward. While I was writing, came in two men from Arras to see me. They left it last Monday, one being the son-in-law of Nicholas Lefebvre, alderman. I talked long to them on the state of their affairs, and on the opportunity of settling them easily by accepting his Majesty's paternal offers, but I found a good deal of Judaism and incredulity still in them. Still they admit their mistake and wish they had not put themselves so forward. They have promised to take and deliver safely in that town the duplicate of his Excellency's letters, which, with others, M. de Hauron left here with me. I hope to talk more fully with them to-morrow, having asked them to dinner for that purpose. I learnt no other news from them, save that Alferan the Duke of Anjou's secretary arrived lately in that town on behalf of his master to clear the magistrates of the calumny fixed upon them by the seditious party of intending to surrender the town to the Duke. He spoke in the market hall when the people were assembled. I have thought it well to put with the duplicate another letter of mine addressed to the new attorney-general of the town, because they would not otherwise undertake to carry the duplicate, if not done up with other letters. I have added also that to the Estates of Artois, to be handed to Me Jean le Merche, a deputy to those Estates and a new alderman. I send you a copy of mine to the attorney-general. If your master thinks I had better not go on writing to them as occasion serves and according to such opening as they may give me, I beg him to let me know by letter what orders he thinks should be sent them according as things fall out. At our talk they did not know of anyone having come from the Prince of Orange, as stated above. The trials of the prisoners were going on, though since old Gosson's execution no one had been put to death save Pierre Lefebvre, tailor. The bench has been reconstituted much to my satisfaction, seeing the good opinion I have of all those who have come into it. Seven are quite new, to wit, Louis Lergant, Pierre de St. Vaast, Nicholas Burgeois, Robert Boucquel, Simon Carbonel, Me Jean le Mercer, Jean Widebien. The eighth who has re-entered is Me Jacques d'Oresimeux. The four who remain from last year are Pisson, Lepipre, de Glen, Duval. May God inspire them with well-doing, that the town may be preserved and soon restored to the king's obedience. Mme de Liques sends me a letter which is with these for the Baron her son, telling me at the same time of her husband's grave indisposition, an attack of continued fever resulting from a pleurisy. But as this letter has been long on the road, I heard before it reached me that he was well, with no mention of that malady ; my informant being an Italian, my cousin-in-law, sent by M. de Liques in post to the ambassador here. So the Baron need be under no apprehension as to what his letter may contain, however it may agree, as I suppose it does, with what his mother has written to me, under date of the 1st inst. This Italian told me that the news was very good, and further that it was held for certain that M. de Montigny's Walloons were thoroughly practised, and at the king's devotion ; and that there was in hand another notable enterprise capable of speedy execution. Fearing to do wrong he did not think well to tell me what it was, nor would I press him. I have some little reason to think that it is upon [name in cipher : might be Dunquerque].—Paris, 13 Nov. 1578. Copy, sent by Poulet. Marginal notes by L. Tomson, with [Walsingham's mark] mark. Fr. 4 pp. [Holl. and Fl. X. 30.]
Having always, since I was first happy enough to correspond with you, esteemed you desirous of my reputation, I have ever looked on you with affection. I wished to write to you now, that I might beseech you to bear a hand in getting me a speedy answer to my letter to her Majesty, of which I enclose a copy. You will learn from it that Mr Davison under the cloak and pretext of order from the Queen has attacked my honour in such a way, calling me debaucher of the camp and alleging several things derogatory to me, that I cannot leave things so, without replying and showing how far I am from these calumnies. I have all the greater cause to do so, that the said Davison's negotiation got abroad before he had treated with me ; in such wise that having prejudicial charges brought against me under her Majesty's authority (by order, Davison says, of Sir F. Walsingham) and my calumniators and ill-wishers increasing their slander, I am compelled to clear myself by a published document. I should be grieved that her Majesty should be offended by him, and so I entreat all I can to see that I have an answer as soon as possible.—Ghent, 14th Nov. 1578. Holograph. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. X. 31.]
376. Copy of above. Endd. by L. Tomson. 2/3 p. [Ibid. X. 31a.]
Nov. 14. 377. DUKE CASIMIR to the QUEEN.
Your ambassador Mr Davison has handed to me a writing signed by himself, in your Majesty's name, of such a nature that I cannot believe it was ordered by you. My past behaviour has not merited such a judgement from you, and I know how careful you are of the reputation of those princes who honour you as I have always done and will do. And inasmuch as it imports greatly to my honour to purge myself of the things undeservedly imputed to me therein I have thought good to send it to you, beseeching you to enlighten me as to your wishes in the matter. For to allow such things, prejudicial to my honour and yet disseminated everywhere on the authority of your Majesty, to pass in silence, would be too damaging to my reputation. I shall take different measures, according as it proceeds from your order, or it is a collection of calumnities about me spread about by some hotheads ; and I should be sorry for your authority to be involved therein. I beg your Majesty to be assured that I shall never do anything unworthy of a Christian prince and of the place whence I come.—Ghent, 14 Nov. 1578. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. Fr. 1½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. X. 31 bis.]
I heard too late of your departure, which was why I could not salute you as I desired before you went. I arrived when your291 carriage cannot have been a hundred paces away from your lodging. I am sending this bearer to remind you of the affair about which I spoke to you. I cannot wait here beyond Tuesday, on account of pressing business, inter alia, the hurry that Dr. Simon Simonis is in to get to some pressing business of his. Please employ vigorously your credit, which is greater than the requirements of my need. I will send you the procuration, which I have shown and dispatched to Frankfort, and which was sent to England. But this will be in course of time : if you will send someone to this town to fetch my obligation. Having deserved nothing in respect of you, I am loth to employ the credit of the Prince of Orange, and I venture to assure you that I will get you the thanks of his Excellency, and I think that the Queen will be pleased with what you have done. You could not do it on an occasion of greater necessity for me or importance for any affairs generally. I shall be obliged to you, and will endeavour to do my best that you may receive satisfaction in proportion to as great a pleasure as you have ever done to a private person.—Ghent, 15 Nov. (Signed) Ferrières. Add. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. X. 32.]