Elizabeth: December 1578, 6-10

Pages 327-340

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

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December 1578, 6-10

On the day of my departure from Namur, which was the 28th ult. I answered so fully your last letter, together with the appended articles, that there is little left to say to your other of the 15th ult. which I received on the 15th inst. on my way to this place. It was a great pleasure to me to see the continued good intentions of those with whom you were treating. They should consider how much I esteem them and how much I desire that they should be guarded from all harm ; since, as you advise, I am with this powerful army going to a distance from the provinces mentioned in your letter, which may assure them of my sincere will in their behalf, and that they will find the same in all things which I think likely to turn to their advantage and honour. I have written to the same effect to Count Lalaing, and in addition to the Estates of Hainault, or their deputies, to the towns of Mons and Valenciennes, the Abbot of Hannon, the Duke of Aerschot, the Marquis of Havrech, the Seneschal of Hainault, exhorting each of them to do his duty to God and his Sovereign, and restore the country to its ancient trade, repose, and prosperity. No one desires this more than I, as the effect will show whensoever I find myself backed by the inhabitants. Meanwhile I call upon you not to cease your good offices, and the furtherance of that which you have so virtuously begun.—'Lymborch,' 6 Dec. 1578. (Signed) Alexander, and below : Berty. Copy. Fr. 1¼ pp. [Ibid. X. 61.]
Dec. 6. 423. POULET to the SECRETARIES.
Simier is now coming to you, and I am not sorry that he is among you, where you are at the well-head to receive your instructions to answer directly ad omne quare ; and now I trust to live in some rest, having been baited here a month and more like a bear at a stake, and had nothing to say, but stood still at my defence for fear to take hurt. I enclose copies of some letters which have lately come to my hands by means of a new friend ; and although it may fall out that the cipher contained in them is of no moment, yet as there is good hope that this new friend will do better service hereafter, I would wish this matter were used with secrecy. I also send copies of certain requests exhibited lately to the King touching some intended navigations, in order that the whole proceedings therein being imparted to you, you might the better consider thereof. The originals were brought to me by means of a good friend, who prays that the matter may be kept secret till the event is more evident. Beauvois, captain of the French Guards, has long since been named as ambassador to Portugal, but he is not yet gone. It is much misliked of many here that 'Roctalliade,' sent by Monsieur to Queen Mother, passed, coming and going, within a league of the King of Navarre, and did not see him ; and although it be easy to excuse many such trifles, yet it may be said that this strangeness is not agreeable to the good understanding which Monsieur's ministers pretend is between him and the King of Navarre. Certain Spaniards of late resorted secretly to the King of Navarre ; and Queen Mother being advertised of it, did not fail to give speedy intelligence of it to the Spaniards. These small trifles seem to give light to greater matters, and to direct the inward affections. The assembly appointed at L'Isle Jourdan for the establishment of the Edict has not taken effect ; Queen Mother being followed by so many seditious and suspected persons that the King of Navarre has reason to choose some 'even ground' for this assembly, which cannot be had so near Toulouse, from whence and other parts adjoining a great number of men may be levied upon the sudden. The truth is that this assembly will not be effectuated this year. For the recent resolution of the Estates in Normandy I refer you to this copy enclosed. [See No. 392.] I should say that these leaguers of the provinces threatened some imminent danger if I did not see that they are neglected by the King and his Council. Cheverny said of late that the King was in no way troubled with these matters, and that he was provided with his remedy ; which some interpret to be war against the Protestants. The Duke of Guise remains in his government ; and it is said of late that the Duke of Mayne has had conference with the Duke of Savoy. These men strengthen themselves by every means possible, and have great numbers of men at their command. The king makes so little account of these things, that I fear to believe even what I see with my eyes.—Paris, 6 Dec. 1578. P.S.—'Archanty,' mentioned in the enclosed letters, and in the last you received from me [No. 379], is a Spaniard, and has great doings here for the King of Spain. (Last par. autograph.) Simier took leave of the king the last of November, and coming to me the same day told me that he would depart next day for England. Since that time he has been going every day but does not go, and so I thought good to dispatch this bearer. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [France II. 88.]
After sealing this packet I sent my son to M. Simier to know the certainty of his departure. He found him about to take horse for his house four leagues from this town ; whence he starts on the 8th, making small journeys. He sends me word that some of his train are returning to Monsieur, by express command, so he goes less well accompanied than he had intended. I cannot learn who go with him.—Paris, 6 Dec. 1578. P.S.—(Autograph.) There is some mystery in this long delay.
Add. Endd. ½ p. [France II. 89.]
Not having found yesterday a sure messenger to bring my letter to you, I thought good to add this word to tell you that M. d' Imbize gave the captains so good a treat with a cask of wine that he persuaded four or five of them to present to his Excellency a request for his nomination as Grand Bailiff of Ghent. I think they will get but a cold response. I hear that the Prince found fault with him for ordering M. Rochelfin's enterprise against M. Mansart. When Imbize denied it, the Prince is said to have answered that he was too well informed. We hear from a good quarter that they of Artois are on the point of being reconciled to the King of Spain, and accepting the Duke of Parma's fair offers. They are trying to bring in those of Lille, Tournay, Douay and Orchies. They of Hainault are much scandalized by it, and so are MM. de Montigny and de Hèze ; who to hinder their design are offering peace to them of Ghent if they will accept the religions-vrede, and further assuring them of help in making war on Artois if their purpose holds. Some deputies have been sent to ascertain how those towns stand and countermine the practice of the Artesians. M. la Noue has not yet arrived, but is hourly expected. I have remembered you to M. de Soulaigre [Zuleger] who was glad to hear news of you and promised to write.—Ghent, 7 Dec. 1578. Add. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. X. 62.]
Dec. 7. 426. ROSSEL to WALSINGHAM.
I have written by every ordinary weekly post since you left Antwerp, which will be three months on the 21st. In the course of that time her Majesty and yourself will have seen whether my services have been adequate for the purpose for which you engaged me on Sept. 13, assuring me that I should be paid quarterly. Pursuant to which I beg you to recommend her Majesty to have 'letters of pension' dispatched to me at her good pleasure ; in order that I may feel sure of my retainer, and not have to travel and employ myself in the service of others as I should have to do to maintain myself. In my last I explained the position of our camp, which had retired towards Bois-le-duc and Weert, extending to St. Gertruydenberg and Breda, where they are expecting to hear something of their pay or to be sent into garrison. This is being delayed inasmuch as they hope to put the army on a new footing and reassemble it so as to take the field when the people at Ghent have come to terms, which is believed to be decided, as also that the Walloons have been brought to obedience. Such is the report which M. de Bours deputed to negotiate brought back on Dec. 5. I omit details about the affair of Ghent, being sure that Mr Davison is doing what is wanted in that respect. As I said in my last, the means of peace are shaky. The Elector of Cologne and other deputies are at Namur, where Count Schwarzenberg has gone to join them with the decision of the States, leaving Antwerp last Friday. I am sure that her Majesty will aid this pious resolve, and soften all business. I send you the last treaty made between the States and M. d' Alençon with his apostilles in the margin. Her Majesty will see what favours the French have gained and how necessary peace is to us.—Antwerp, 7 Dec. 1578. Add. Endd. Fr. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. X. 63.]
Dec. 7. 427. ROSSEL to L. TOMSON.
Many thanks for your kindness in assuring me of the receipt of my packets, which have been fortunate in falling into your keeping. I beg you to excuse any incorrectness whether in writing or otherwise, since I have had regard only to the importance of the news ; doing her Majesty's service according as the season comes about. I am writing to my lord to let me have a retaining letter from her Majesty, so that I may apply myself to her service without other duty. And inasmuch as I know the dispatch of it must go through your hands, I beg you to be a solicitor to him for the expedition of the same, assuring him of my goodwill to his service as I assure you of my liberal gratitude.—Antwerp, 7 Dec. 1578. P.S.—Please note the receipt of this packet, and ask my lord to attend to the contents of it. You will see the treaty made with our French louts (franctaulpins), and their plunder. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. X. 64.]
Dec. 8. 428. WILSON to DAVISON.
It is no marvel if your hands are full when you are buried among a people that can neither tell how to rule nor submit to be ruled. I can perceive they need no adversary to overthrow them, being so much their own foes that one will be ready to overthrow another. Duke Casimir takes it very heavily that you dealt so roundly with him, and therefore has complained to her Majesty of you and desires to know whether by her express command you delivered so sharp a message. For this cause Mr Rogers is sent over, somewhat to mitigate him, and yet in no way to touch your credit. But surely I would wish that Casimir, being so godly and zealous a man as he is, should not be lost in this dangerous world. His dealings are thought to be plain, especially for professing the truth to God and man, however others that are his sworn adversaries exclaim against him. And now that religion is to be established in that country and its privileges preserved, it were a great pity that the Prince of Orange and the Duke should not draw after one line, seeing they are thought to be of one mind both for the common cause and for the advancement of God's true religion. You must do your best for a perfect reconciliation between them.—Richmond, 8 Dec. 1578. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. X. 65.]
Dec. 8. 429. — to ANTHONY DE WITTE.
Laus Deo. Lisbon, 8 Dec. in the year [?] 1570. I commend myself heartily to your ward and to your brother, and to all good folks who ask after me. I do you to wit that I am in tolerable circumstances, as I hope that by God's grace you are. I arrived here in Lisbon when the days were short. I was only 11 days on the way from Flushing. I left Antwerp in the afternoon, and the next day at 6 A.M. was at Flushing before the town ; and our Queen of Spain was away to seaward quite a day before. So I did not know what else to do, and should have turned back, but I found another ship that was going to Lisbon. It cost me a dollar to get my chest and myself aboard the ship for Lisbon ; it might have been about as far from Flushing as it is from Antwerp to Over 't Veer ; but I had to pay what they wanted because they said everyone would be served. And then I had to pay quite a couple of ducats more for the chart and goods coming here than I should have done had I been earlier. I should have done better business if I had lain a month or two in Zealand, making a start with the cases and the sun-dials which I took with me. There is not much trade in them here (die worden hier niet zeer ghetrocken) ; the sundials I cannot sell, even at a loss ; and I had to pay 7 schellings duty on them, and for the chest I had to pay 26 stuivers, for each band two stuivers, there were 13 iron bands. It lay here a clear month or more at the palace, in a great warehouse called the alvanda [alfandega] where all merchandize is put, and it was examined (ghevisenteert) there. I had to give one out of five [?]. They thought there were wonders in my chest because it was so nicely packed. On the cases I have sold I made about two stuivers profit apiece. There is nothing in which better trade can be done than cloth, linen-cloth, merceries, knives, straps, laces. The chipped stones which were given me to sell are all sold I think. They fetched 9 guilders, and 2½ guilders from the stones that I had from Herman to cut, makes 11½ guilders. I wish Anthony that you would send me linen or other mercery for the half ; if nothing better, will you do so much for me? Let Peter Lincges [? see to it] for me ; you might go with him and buy your linen, letting him know that it costs much here ; you might give him half of the 11½ guilders and let him do as if it were for him. He might pack it among his own goods, and send it over with his own to his factor. I am living here with Hans of Portugal ; but it had better be invoiced [? beweghe] to Abram Bacler, who will surely give me the goods. Such time as I have been living here with Hans is not a month. It is doubtful how long I shall stay with him. He has not much work ; he is accustomed to keep two mills going, now he has only one, and there is nothing to be done here of our trade. Had I known there was no more work I should not have come hitherwards. It is braver too and pleasanter in our country. Here there is no winter, as it were ; little or none. It does not freeze at the best. There are not over twelve mills going here ; fourteen or fifteen are standing still. Those who usually work with two are now working only with one. At Antwerp there is more work than here. Abram Bacler, the principal man here who gives work when there is work to give, is no more at this time [?]. There is no news for me to write to you, Anthony ; will you write me a letter as you have opportunity ? No more this time, except God protect you from all harm, and all of us. I forgot to write by Mark Bacler. Please send these letters, which I find here in your house, fastened, one to Meenen—it can be taken to the market hall at Armentières ; there is a common boat, and those who go to Armentières pass through Meenen ; and give the other to Peter Lermite, and tell him, with my apologies, to send it, when he writes, to my brother Anthony. There is nothing particular in it but greetings. If you will do this I will do my best to deserveit. [Found with papers of '78, but more likely belongs to '70.] Add. to Peter Lincges, to be forwarded to Anthony de Witte, diamond-cutter, living at the end of the 'sespirt' [? St. Esprit] street in the Bogspierde street in Saint Barbet at Antwerp. Flemish. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. X. 66.]
Dec. 9. 430. DAVISON to the SECRETARIES.
I wrote to you somewhat fully by Mr. Caswarth of the disposition in which I left things at Ghent. Since then we hear that the Prince has made so good an entrance to the reformation of that loose government as offers good hopes of the result. He was solemnly received half a league outside the town by 5 ensigns of foot and 200 horse. Where also Duke Casimir met him ; and after they had familiarly saluted and embraced one another, went into the Prince's coach and so accompanied him to his lodgings. On entering the town they found the streets full of burghers in arms ; who, as the Prince passed, spared no shot to 'congratulate his welcome.' The same night the Duke invited him to supper, where they made great cheer ; honouring each other, as they have done ever since, with the titles of father and son, and in all outward behaviour bearing themselves as greatly satisfied the well-affected beholders. But after supper, the Duke falling by chance into some speech of Beutrich, the Prince was so much moved that he burst forth into great choler, a thing very rare with him, and called him villain and slanderous varlet ; saying 'he has painted me forth for an Atheist and contemner of religion, wherein he will find he has done me a wrong that I will not "put up." To have abused me in some other sort—as he has not spared—I might easily forgive ; but to make me worse than an infidel, and seeking thereby to supplant and deface my credit with those that are godly, and especially with you, my good son,' he said to the Duke, 'is a thing insufferable ; and I beseech you, do me justice against him, or I assure you I will do it myself.' Whereupon some that stood by entreating the Prince to forgive the man, if he had so far abused himself, he answered that it touched him too near to be so easily pardoned. Next day was the general fast ; and the Prince spent it in haunting the sermons, which since his being there have been in another degree than they were before ; the ministers beginning to reform themselves, to preach a milder and more peaceable gospel. Amongst them is now the old Abbot of St. Barnard's, that abandoned his cloister 9 or 10 years ago. He takes pains to bring them to a greater moderation and obedience towards their superiors, and to be more 'compatible' one with another. The next day, which was Thursday, the Prince made his oration in the open assembly of their 'Collace' or members of the town ; where having insinuated himself into their good wills by a rehearsal of his merits and readiness to employ himself at all times in their service, he propounded to them six articles or points to deliberate on. The first three were those before treated of by the deputies of the States ; the rest were, an amnesty of general oblivion of the past, unity with the rest of the provinces under the obedience of the States-General, and lastly the security for preserving the agreement, and preventing the falling into new inconveniences hereafter. As in debating these articles many particular circumstances occurred to be considered, which would require some time, he asked them to depute some of their college and three members, to treat with him at his lodging and afterwards to report to their 'communalty' of what should be agreed upon for their ratification. Whereupon Hembize making some difficulty, and going about to defer the nomination of the deputies, M. de Borluyt premier Eschevin of the second 'bank,' with others, opposed ; and there were immediately chosen 13 (sic), three of each, college and members, mostly good patriots and devoted to the Prince. They began to treat with him next day ; and having disputed long about the amnesty and concluded that both the murder of the bailiff and greffier of Haxelle, and the outrage offered to M. de Bonivet should be excepted and the culpable parties be answerable to justice, proceeded to the rest of the points. Here because some difficulties arose, it has been 'advised' by the deputies to procure from the member that the matter may be referred wholly to the Prince, together with an authority to redress the loose estate of the town. But I do not yet learn what is concluded. The Prince has sent Ryhove to Courtray to assemble the whole forces of the Gantois dispersed up and down the country, upon whose arrival the Walloons suspecting their 'bending' towards Meenen have abandoned that town and taken their way into the west quarters of Flanders, where it is said they have spoiled the villages of Iseghem and Rouselare, and are now within 6 leagues of Bruges. Some difference has happened between the French and them, as we constantly hear, arising from the thrusting of the Walloons out of the citadel of Castel, which is now wholly at the devotion of the French. They are reported to be recalled from Flanders by the Duke of Alençon ; though it hardly appèars that they will hastily abandon a place of that importance, commanding all the west quarter, with the spoils of which they are infinitely enriched since their coming thither. The Estates of Artois have been assembled at Arras since the 1st inst., about their reconcilement with the King. The Marquis of Havrech has been sent to 'impeach' it by those of Hainault, who pretend to be in mislike of their proceedings, having so certified the Estates General ; from whom they protest they will not separate. To this assembly the Prince has thought good that the four Members of Flanders should also send deputies, the better to discover their traffic, and to countermine it all they may. The Viscount of Ghent, having taken leave of the States, has also repaired there to resume the government. In this it is thought he will find some difficulty, being half suspected in religion and 'esteemed otherwise partial in the Prince's behalf ;' so that men fear he will not be able to do as much good as he 'pretends' in breaking the intelligence with the enemy. They are affirmed to be making great levies in that province, both of men and money, wherein the clergy largely open their purses, which may argue their intent. Montigny, whom la Motte had won with the offer of 50,000 crowns, pretends to have again withdrawn from that party and to be disposed to reconcilement with the Flemings, if they permit the Religious-vrede ; but the wiser sort 'remit the credit hereof to the effect.' The Emperor's ambassador departed hence on Saturday to the Prince of Parma, with the States' consent, to conclude a suspension of arms for a month or six weeks, upon certain conditions (which you may see by the copies herewith of their instructions), that they might meanwhile the more commodiously treat of peace. Little hope is apprehended of its good success.—Antwerp, 9 Dec. 1578. P.S.—I send copies of the States' resolution upon the last negotiation of Pruneaux, with the Duke's his master's answer to it. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. 2½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. X. 67.]
Dec. 9. 431. Draft of the above. Endd. 3 pp. [Ibid. 67a.]
Dec. 9. 432. Copy of the above (without the P.S.). Endd. 3 pp. [Ibid. X. 67b.]
Dec. 9. 433. Copy of the above. Endd. by Burghley's secretary. 2½ pp. [Ibid. X. 68.]
434. Draft, with slight differences, of a portion of the above. Begins : The Prince arrived at Ghent on Tuesday night last ; where finding the humours much qualified in respect of their former distemperature he is in good hope to redress, etc. 1½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. X. 68a.]
Dec. 9. 435. DAVISON to BURGHLEY.
You might conceive by my last what new traffic the States were entered into with the Duke of Alençon ; and that you may the better discern it, I send copies of their resolution and his answer. I have just heard from Ghent that things are not going forward as well as I wish ; the seditious heads there finding means enough to hinder the intended reformation. I pray God that inconstant and mutinous brood do not play an unthankful part with the Prince himself, who has deserved so well of them. The ministers of that province are now holding their synod there. It is being debated whether both religions may be tolerated or not.—Antwerp, 4 Dec. 1578. Add. Endd. [Walsingham's mark] at head of letter. 1½ p. [Ibid. X. 69.]
My hope of going to Antwerp is frustrated for reasons which you will hear from this bearer, M. du Londel. Pray do not allow the good will to cool which you expressed to me before going to Bruges and after your return, in regard to the recovery of 1,000 dollars, which are very necessary to me for reasons which you will hear. They are very urgent both for my honour and my repose of mind. It is to satisfy some one who is in trouble at Antwerp and the pleasure which that person has done me is the cause of his [or her] perplexity and great annoyance. If he [she] had been willing that I should go and see the Prince at Tiniers [qu. Dendermonde] I could have tried divers means, as I am in a position to give him good security ; and I might have obtained news if I could have gone as far as Mons, while I have been forced to be in this disastrous town of Ghent. Now a moment has come when having been unable to find leisure to do the diligence I purposed, I am extremely importuned, and would wish to spare nothing to satisfy the persons who are in trouble for me. The journey I am going to take will, I am sure, bring me conveniences and repose afterwards. Pray relieve me at once, and consider that I would not after being obliged to you in discharging my debt to others, afterwards fall into discontent and reproach towards you and the Queen. I beg you to revive the resolve which you suppressed, to do me pleasure and give a good hope to those who are waiting for relief by your credit. You will see the possibilities of obliging me, which I pray you to accept, and M. du Plessis likewise. If I could have given more, I would have done so. Please make use of them ; if anything is lacking, I shall be ready to add it. M. du Plessis will easily understand, and will make up his mind as to the thread of this negotiation. Another contract is going to England, with the Duchess of Suffolk, by which I can dispose of this barony of Confolant when I wish ; but I have not it in hand and it was not easy for me to find it just now. I will display the whole when occasion requires.—9 Dec. '78. (Signed) Ferrières. Add. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. X. 70.]
In answer to yours of the 4th, considering the miseries and calamities which this war brings upon us daily, and that a secured peace would soon restore the countries to their former state, we cannot but find the offer of the Emperor to intervene in this matter highly opportune as well as the acceptance of it on your part, and other good offices done by you ; as also the answer given to his ambasador, according to the documents sent to us. The only advice we can give thereon is that it may please you to continue in this great and necessary task ; which we urgently beg of you, assuring you that in the meantime we will attempt nothing against the repose of the country.—Tournay, 9 Dec. 1578. (Signed) Laudas. Copy. Endd. : Dornicq. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. X. 71.]
Dec. 9. 438. LEICESTER to DAVISON.
I wrote lately to you of Mr. Rogers' repair to the Duke Casimir, and also to the Prince of Orange ; and I think it well to tell you that he has to declare at large his whole negotiation to you. Albeit it is only 'in particular from particular persons,' yet being to do good to your service both of her Majesty and the cause there, I doubt not but you will employ yourself to the furtherance of it. For my 'none' part, I imparted to you my mind in my last letter, and how convenient I thought it that the matters between the Duke and the Prince should be accommodated for the benefit of the common cause. Wherefore I pray you, help to have any good meaning well interpreted between them ; at least that it do not hurt, if it may do all the good I wish, and that I may not be 'taken' presumptuous in dealing between such personages as they are, and in so great causes as this. My care and zeal to both moves me. 'And so I beg to be excused through good will, where other want may procure harder construction.'—In haste, 9 Dec. 1578. Holograph. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. X. 72.]
Dec. 10. 439. "A draught of INSTRUCTIONS for an ANSWER to be made to DUKE CASIMIR'S request."
Whereas Duke Casimir lately sent a packet of letters directed to me, amongst them being one addressed to her Majesty, 'by which' he finds himself aggrieved with a writing delivered to him in her name by Mr. Davison, her agent, and desires to know whether she gave charge to her said agent to propose such things as had been delivered to him both in speech and in writing, much being comprehended therein which seems to touch him greatly in honour ; you shall for answer give him to understand that his letters were, as he desired, delivered to her Majesty, from whom he would have received answer, but that when his letters arrived and ever since, her Majesty has been so troubled with a catarrh that she has not been well-disposed, or fit to be dealt with in matters of moment. Meanwhile, as well for the desire I have to let him know, as a prince whom I highly honour, that I have not been forgetful of him, as also because he 'pretends,' as I am informed, the publication of an apology, to maintain his actions against such as go about to deface them for his joining with the Gantois, and likewise to answer the writing exhibited by the agent, and therefore expects an answer to his letters, you shall lay before him the manifold cares which heretofore her Majesty has 'eftsones' taken to pacify the troubles in the Low Countries, both by sending ambassadors to the king of Spain and to his lieutenants there, and also by the treasure employed in the maintenance of the countries' liberties. Of which cares her Majesty never desired to reap other fruit than that, war and hostility ceasing, the ancient quiet might be restored ; and in that respect being earnestly solicited to aid the States in their extremity against the hostility of Don John, lately deceased, thinking of divers ways by which she might relieve them, she could find no better means than to desire him, with whom she understood the States had already dealt, to assist the Low Countries with a suitable number of horse and foot, for the defence of the Estates ; that by manifest force of arms peace might be procured, since their enemies were not to be induced to it by any other remedy. Wherefore, her Majesty having conceived a hope that by his aid the Estates would in a short time be delivered from the extremities and miseries in which they seemed to be plunged, and afterwards finding her expectations frustrated by reason of the disorders committed by the Gantois, could not but be greatly grieved withal ; especially seeing that when their whole force was together in the aptest season of the year, Don John deceased, and their enemy's army afflicted with pestilence and famine, and the best opportunity was offered the States of accomplishing their desires and with the force they had with infinite labour and expense assembled, establishing peace, it should be overthrown and take no effect through the strange dealing of the Gantois, who, by forcibly entering abbeys and monasteries, spoiling and taking away ecclesiastical goods in most parts of Flanders, without regard to the edict of freedom of religion not long before authorized, gave occasion to those who are named Catholics to think rather how they might defend their religion than go forward with the rest of the States in pursuing the common enemy. Besides, this manner of proceeding in them gave the mutinous Walloons and the faction of the malcontents occasion to practise and persuade with them of Artois and Hainault to separate themselves from the rest of the States and withdraw their contributions ; so that this flourishing army, which might have been employed at so convenient a season against the enemy, began to be divided and separated, and the country spoiled by those who should have defended it. On which account her Majesty being justly aggrieved, was further perplexed by divers slanderous reports spread abroad in divers places by potentates and others, that she was secretly maintaining them of Ghent, with intention to impatronise herself of the sovereignty of Flanders, induced to think so by the coming of the Duke with part of his forces to the Gantois to make himself a party to this portion ; after being requested by the States to come to their aid, and for her Majesty's sake the sooner persuaded to enter the Low Countries. Wherefore her Majesty, being thus most slanderously charged, understanding that the Gantois were condemned by all the rest of the States, observing that in this way civil dissension would utterly subvert the Low Countries, and 'tendering' nothing more than the conservation of her honour, could not but seek to purge herself. Therefore she gave order to her said agent to resort to the Gantois and declare plainly to them that she did not like their proceedings ; and as it was credibly given out that the Duke through his abode among them encouraged them in their proceedings, being, with the Gantois, misliked greatly of the States-General, she commanded her agent to declare to him that his coming to Ghent and defending that faction against the decrees of the rest of the States, for whose common relief he was invited in, could not but seem strange to her ; seeing it was certainly given out that the behaviour of the Gantois had caused the civil dissension among the States, and this condemned the Gantois and the Duke generally, no man speaking in their defence. And as her Majesty could not see the inconveniences which came of his defence of them so well as he, being present, she enjoined him to use such reasons in dissuading his Excellency as the time and place might conveniently 'subminister' to him ; who having received his charge from her in general terms and being in places where he daily heard his Princess slandered and her sincerity in helping the States called in doubt, as if under pretence of relieving the countries she was going about secretly, and that by the Duke's means, to invest herself of the possession of Flanders, moved him (sic) to return all the arguments against the Duke that owing to his coming to the Gantois were wrested against her Majesty. All which things you are to lay before him ; persuading him by the best means you may not to take any unkindness by reason of the negotiation, but to think how necessary it was for her Majesty to purge herself, and what reasons might move Mr Davison to amplify the charge which she sent him in general terms ; especially seeing the Duke neither advertised her of the causes why he left the camp and took upon him the defence of the Gantois, nor yet communicated with the agent touching his intentions, so that the world has reason to suspect either that the Queen went about secretly to obtain the sovereignty of Flanders, or that he himself had this meaning. So in this behalf you shall conclude with him, that I hope he will accept in good part this my plain dealing, both in defending her Majesty's honour, whereto I am in duty bound, and in acquainting him nakedly with the opinion the world has conceived of his late proceeding ; wishing with all my heart that he may take such counsel as may tend to the maintenance of the credit and reputation he has already won through his honourable and Christian dealing, by his assistance of the afflicted in France in the time of their necessity. This, in my opinion, can in no way be so well effectuated as by concurring soundly with the Prince of Orange (between whom (sic) the world notes there is some discontentment), both professing one religion and having taken up the defence of one cause. Without such union it is to be feared that they and the cause will go to ruin, unless God set to His assisting hand. Such as are their enemies take great pleasure in this their division, while on the contrary their friends are greatly grieved with it ; none more than myself, who would be glad to be an instrument of reconciliation between them. This I think can no way so well be brought to pass as for either of them to divide from them such as have been the nourishers of the jealousy between them : I leave the amplification of this matter, as of other parts of these instructions, to your discretion. And, since I think it convenient that after you have delivered your charge to Duke Casimir you should repair to the Prince of Orange, who else might perhaps grow jealous of my sending, you shall declare to him that the end of my sending you to Duke Casimir was to two purposes : one, to dehort him from joining the Gantois, seeing that they are taking a course contrary to the rest of the States ; the other to lay before him the great peril that is like to ensue, both to the common cause and to themselves, through the disunion and ill-agreement that the world notes between him and the Duke. Herein you may show him that I am the more moved to persuade them to agreement, considering how far her Majesty is embashed in the cause ; and in this behalf, though I know it is but a vain thing, to put him in mind of the mischief that grows from the disunion ; the profit that the enemy makes of it, the reproach to themselves, and the just cause of grief to their best friends. Yet the affection I bear to them both would not suffer me to be silent, 'hoping that it will be no worse taken by him, than by me well-meant.' And since the world supposes that this evil agreement proceeds of evil instruments about them both, I cannot but wish that they should 'flie' them, as most pernicious serpents ; for in the opinion of all they are both reputed to be wise and Christianly disposed. And therefore it is thought that the misliking between them grows from others rather than from themselves ; wherefore the first step of the remedy is to suffer no such vipers to have access about them and by conference between themselves to open their griefs, whereby the dissatisfaction may be removed, and such a knot of friendship knit as by no evil-affected instruments may be hereafter dissolved. Without this it is apparent—they two being the principal actors this day in Europe that God has raised up in defence of the common cause of religion—that the cause may be in peril, themselves likely to be 'ruinated,' and such friends as heretofore have favoured them be forced to withdraw their assistance. Which inconvenience if the Prince in the depth of his wisdom will duly weigh, I doubt not but he will bend himself to apply such remedies as may best serve to remove the mischief that is like otherwise to ensue. (Signed) R. Leicester. Written by (?) D. Rogers. Autograph signature. Endd. : Instructions given to Mr Rogers to deal with D. Casimir and the Prince of Orange the 10th of December 1578. 11 pp. [Holl. and Fl. X. 73.]
440. Draft of the above ; a few corrections in Leicester's hand. Endd. (in later hand) : Instructions to Mr. Wilkes, sent to Duke Casimir. 10½ pp. [Ibid. X. 73a.]