Elizabeth: January 1579, 1-10

Pages 369-388

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

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January 1579, 1-10

1579. Jan. 1. 485. SPEECH of M. DES PRUNEAUX before the STATES-GENERAL.
The zeal for your safety which I have always seen in my master makes me greatly deplore the disorder which I see coming upon your state by reason of the number of artful enemies of your country and its liberties. I should greatly fear that these by their craft and subtilty will succeed in their pernicious designs were God not willing to protect it in spite of all the opposition of the malicious. Now my master being one of the principal instruments to maintain that liberty, nay, greater I think than any other whom you could find in all Europe, for this reason all the disturbers have set themselves against him, having begun to accuse him, in order to make him odious, from the time when you first summoned him to your aid ; saying that he was coming here to instigate massacre. Afterwards when he began to send his people here, he was accused of having intelligence with the Spaniard ; and when they saw the warlike exploits which he soon performed against the same Spaniard, they accused him of wanting to suborn certain provinces, to separate them from the rest ; which was far from the case, for they want to put themselves under the obedience of the Spaniard, and he has had intelligence with many lords of these countries to act contrary to the agreement made by his Highness with the generality. This may be clearly seen from the little assistance given him by the said lords. Further that he had sent Frenchmen with the Walloons to bring about a complete division in this state, and even to take their part against the generality, in order to efface his good intentions ; whereas he did not send them. Nevertheless knowing that you wished him to take them away, he asked at once so that they are there no longer. And now that he wishes to go away for reasons important to him, waiting for you to resolve to employ him as he desires, seeing that all these things have been cleared up to their confusion, and that they have been compelled to confess his integrity, they have, in order to give proof of their malevolence, stirred up the people of Mons to say that his Highness wanted to surprise that town and make himself master of it. Gentlemen, I think it will not be difficult for me to make you believe the contrary, since there are here many gentlemen who were there at a time when his Highness had more than 6,000 French in the town, among them more than 400 gentlemen who were quite enough to guard a gate while 12,000 harquebusiers whom he had at hand came and seized the town. Further, I think you will not suspect that when he is on the point of coming to a great and honourable conclusion with you doing everything to deserve your entire confidence, he would wish to seize a town to make himself odious. You will believe then, if you please, that all these discourses are merely inventions to divert the, friendship and the aid which you need. I am sure that those who are wise will reject such calumnies, as things discriminated only to make you lose the good understanding that you have with my master. Now they will be able to say no more ; each will have to shut his mouth and confess the friendship which is due from you to him. I will entreat you to come to a conclusion upon my request when the States-General meet, and to give me an answer. Also to take steps in regard to what befel M. Bonivet, to the end that justice may be done in the manner I have requested.—Antwerp, New Year's Day 1579. Copy. Endd. in Fr. and by L. Tomson. Fr. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XI. 1.]
Jan. 1. 486. Another copy. D.Rogers in Fr. and by L. Tomson. 3⅓ pp. (Smaller paper.) [Ibid. XI. 2.]
We informed you yesterday of our negotiation with the Duke of Anjou pursuant to our instructions from you. His Highness having asked for a copy we this morning presented to him the articles enclosed ; in reply to which he gave us this afternoon the articles noted in the margin. The negotiation of this business being of great public importance we have thought it well to await your resolution.—Condé, 1 Jan. 1579. Copy. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. XI. 3.]
I doubted for a while whether to put down in writing my negotiation with the Duke and the Prince, or reserve it till my return, as it seemed dangerous to commend such matters to letters. Ultimately I judged it well to write some of it, and that to my Lord Leicester, who perhaps looked that I should advertise him. I have reserved many things to my return, which will not be long ; and doubt not but that he will impart all things to you. They were not so reconciled before I came, but that many suspicions were yet left in Duke Casimir's mind. He told me 'eftsoons' that the Prince deeply dissembled with him, and did not communicate his designs to him. Whereupon I took occasion to ask the Prince to come oftener to him and take those scruples out of his mind, as he does. He took the Earl of Leicester's sending of me in as good part as the Duke did. Both la Noue and Argentlieu think my lord has done both Christianly and honourably in dealing as he has ; for they see these two princes conferring with more love and sincerity than they did before. The Duke confesses that he committed a great fault in neither writing to her Majesty nor to the Earl of Leicester or yourself. Many hot and choleric speeches have passed between Mr Davison and Beutrich, which make affections to boil still in Beutrich ; with whom I have had great discourse, but mean at my return from hence (which will be at the latest on the 3rd) to talk more with him, that he may better understand the cause of my coming, and that before Mr Languet. La Noue returned the 26th of this present (sic) to Ghent, with the Duke of Alençon's secretary, sent to the Prince, to tell him that as on the 29th the Duke meant to leave Mons for France, and desire him to send captains and garrisons for the towns which he has and minds to restore. He added that if necessity should require, and he and the Estates should wish him to return he would not fail to show how ready he was to succour them. M. la Noue could not fully persuade himself that he would depart that day ; yet it is certain that on that day he departed towards Condé. As the report is here, the citizens minding to do him honour went out before him ; who being without the town, and seeing his horsemen hidden in a wood, suspected that the French went about to get betwixt the town and them. Wherefore they returned and took away the keys from Lalaing. Others think that the Duke had placed his cavalry in ambush in order that he might pass away safely without encounter of the Spaniards, who eftsoons made excursions to the said wood, and not long before had almost intercepted Bussy. Time will declare the truth. The Spaniards are besieging Carpen and Maestricht, but afar off. I talked to-day with one who has served them, and affirms they are as good as 14,000 at least, and that six weeks ago they paid their whole army for two months. The Count of Reux and Mondragon are certainly alive ; but except it be Mondragon there is never a 'captain Spaniard' of name among them. But they have three ensigns of Spaniards, among whom is none but has had charge ; out of which they take captains or officers for the rest. The Prince of Parma and Mondragon have their abode commonly at Limburg. M. de Hierges, now Count of 'Barlemond,' is governor of Namur as his father was. Don John's body remains still at Namur and will be sent to Spain. He affirmed to me that the Prince of Parma was not beloved of the Spaniards. All the doubt the enemy has is in treason, which they look for on the side of the Estates. The Prince stayed but a night at 'Derremonde' to speak with the Marquis of Havrech, who had been with them of Artois ; and is returned again to Ghent to make an end with the Walloons. I am greatly afraid if the Walloons and the Artesians do not shortly agree with the rest of the states some horrible disaster will happen by reason of the disobedience that there is among the soldiers, and because there is no justice and the country is so spoiled that I fear the occasion will fail them by which they were wont to make collections of money. Many of the nobility hate the Prince's felicity, and do not like the publication of the 'Religion-freedt' (a printed copy of which I send you), nor his other proceedings at Ghent. Nor do things stand well in Groningen and the territory appertaining to it. The townsmen and the gentlemen who dwell without the town, who are of very ancient houses, cannot agree, by reason of great privileges which the town arrogates ; for a gentleman or peasant dwelling in the country cannot brew any beer, but must buy it brewed in the town ; with many other quiddities, which the 'magistrate' goes about to maintain against the gentlemen and inhabitants of their jurisdiction. There are besides many papists in the town who are addicted to the Spaniards. Two days ago the Prince showed me a letter from a gentleman at 'St. Homer' by which it appears that la Motte has been with them and that the town is for the Estates as far as they shall observe the union. St. Omer is a town of Artois, and therefore will 'allwyse' follow such order as may be agreed with the rest of Artois. La Motte is mad because of his 35 gentlemen slain, of which I wrote to you on December 20 from Bruges, and has come out of Gravelines to avenge their deaths. The Prince told me he cannot tell how to deal with the Englishmen that served la Motte in Gravelines, because he fears to displease her Majesty. He affirms they do ill service to that country as la Motte does. The Estates have promised Duke Casimir's reiters half a month's pay ; item, a new quarter to be lodged in, where they shall receive two months' pay, and half a month to be paid a few days after. At present they owe them 1,800,000 florins. The Elector Palatine is dying, wherefore he would more gladly return ; yet the Estates mean to desire him to stay with 4,000 reiters. The Count of Neuenahr, a noble, learned, and rich Count, is dead, and the young Count who formerly offered his services to her Majesty by Mr. Collsell's [qy. Coleshill] means is his heir. The Count of 'Frydersheitt' has invaded a 'fair house' which he ought to have by inheritance, called Bettburg. I am compelled to leave off here by the sudden departure of the merchant who is to carry these letters ; wherefore I beseech God to grant you a lucky new year.—Antwerp, New Year's Day 1578 (sic). Add. : 'at his house nigh Allgat, by London Wall.' Endd. 5 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XI. 4.]
I desired my fellow Mr Tomson more than a week ago to testify you of the signature of your bill, which he said he would not fail to do. Ever since my master got it signed it has lain in his hands. It were not good for you to let it lie so long, for till it is under the Great Seal and enrolled it is worth nothing in law. Afterwards what is to be thought of its validity you may see by the enclosed note, which my master a good while ago caused to be set down in writing upon enquiry he made for his own resolution of certain doubts, so that if they were put by any one into her Majesty's mind before she signed the book, he might be better able to answer her. You were best therefore to cause 'some or other' to 'fet' the bill from here and pass it under the Great Seal orderly as soon as may be.—Richmond, 2 Jan. 1578. Add. Endd : from Sir Fr. Wals. 1 p. [Ibid. XI. 5.]
Jan. 4. 490. WILSON to DAVISON.
Having of late some speech with her Majesty on Low Country matters, I found she disliked the States greatly, 'that would neither seek earnestly for a peace, nor take advantage of the time for their best safety.' She feared much that their civil dissension among themselves would be their utter ruin in the end. 'In the midst of this speech' she thought you were not careful enough to give them warning upon occasion offered. My answer was that the States wanted money to do themselves good. Being somewhat divided among themselves for matters of religion, they would soon agree against the common enemy if their ability were thereafter. But want causes men to be desperate, and often entices them to run a course against all reason. Of your faithfulness and care to do good, I was well assured ; and though the success did not follow to your mind, your earnest dealing with them should not want the praise. In the matter of Ghent with Duke Casimir I said you showed both courage and wisdom ; which her Majesty affirmed to be true, and liked you very well for that service. To be short, I do not see that any aid will be sent from hence, and therefore they had need to trust to themselves, and take heed that they give no advantage of time to their adversaries, who only by temporizing will undo them all in the end. Commend me to Mr Rogers and Mr Gilpin.—Richmond, 2 Jan. 1578. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XI. 6.]
Jan. 4. 491. The DUKE OF ANJOU to the QUEEN.
I cannot enough thank you for the letter with which you have honoured me by this little bearer. I regret to have been born under so unfortunate a star that I have hitherto been unable to satisfy the least part of my desire to do you humble service ; but I rest in hope that time will not leave me so unhappy as not to render you signal proof of what will henceforth be inseparable from my soul, and I promise myself that on this occasion (ocquation) I will conclude these negotiations set on foot so long ago, which will be the one thing in the world to render me satisfied. By so doing you will gain the six works of mercy, restoring a languishing life, which exists and will exist only so far as I shall think it worthy to do what may be acceptable to you. I hope you will do me the honour to believe me and will take my affection as it is, faithful in my soul, and not put it on a level with this poor confused discourse of passion moved by so many fair qualities (baus subges), and likely to bring the most copious pen into difficulties in the choice of so many base virtues. Wherefore, to fall into no further error, I beseech you to believe that in the sole contemplation of you as the most perfect goddess of the heavens I will humbly kiss your hands.—Condé, 4 Jan. Holograph. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson : 4 Jan. 1578, from Monsieur to her Majesty. Fr. 2 pp. [France III. 1.]
Mr Rogers has doubtless informed you fully of all that has happened here since his arrival, which is why I have discontinued writing. Besides, I have been hourly expecting you here. Now that there is no longer any hope of that, as I have heard nothing of it for a long while, I thought I would resume my duty of imparting to you what happens here. Since my last there has been no change worth mentioning, except that the Catholics have with the new year recommenced the exercise of their religion in this town without let or hindrance. Every one has been amazed to see such a multitude of people frequent their prêches et temples, which were out of comparison fuller than ours. This alone, in the absence of the Prince, might cause some emulation, and consequent folly, if justice be not rigorously enforced against the first delinquent. To this end eight notables have been chosen, four of either religion, to procure the indifferent observance of the edict. I foresee that the task will be thorny (scabreuse) and chiefly on our side. You have heard of the Prince's negotiation at Dendremonde and I will not repeat it. We still await the Walloons' reply. Many think it will not be very good, because they do not cease hostilities and part of them are on the road to West Flanders to join la Motte ; who is said to be at present before Winoxberghe with 1,500 harquebusiers and 500 horse with the intention of besieging it if they will not surrender. It is hoped that he will lose his labour because there are in it three companies of good soldiers and the place is strong. The aldermen of both benches appeared again to-day before his Excellency to be relieved of their duties. If their request is not granted, I think some of them will retire with him rather than serve any longer. The Châtellenies are crying murder against the reiters and M. d' Argentlieu's companies for the outrages which they commit. The Prince speaks of returning to Antwerp in three or four days ; I hope to return with him. Meanwhile if there is anything I can do for you here, I am at your service.—Ghent, 4 Jan. 1579. (Signed) Celuy que cognoissez. Add. Fr. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XI. 7.]
Jan. 4. 493. ROSSEL to TOMSON.
Many thanks for the announcement of the safe arrival of mine of [Nov.] 29, Dec. 7 and 13. I have sent all the important negotiations of December except a few documents which I hope to send at the first opportunity. As for the Ghent negotiations I hear that her Majesty's agent has sent them by a special messenger. The decision arrived at with the Walloons will indeed only come to hand to-day. They have been given rendezvous at Herentals on leaving Flanders, as I am writing to your master. As for my own services I know he will bear them in mind.—Antwerp, 4 Jan. 1578. Add. Endd. Fr. [Ibid. XI. 8.]
Jan. 4. 494. ROSSEL to WALSINGHAM.
In mine of Dec. 28 and 29 I told you of the stratagems of the French and sent copies of the most important negotiations of the month, although it is a capital offence to communicate or transmit them. I obtained them by means which you can imagine. I send the letters patent forwarded from Spain to M. de la Motte, of which he has made such use as you have heard at St. Omer and other towns of Artois, to divide them from the union, in pursuance of the intelligence he had with Montigny, Lalaing and others whom it would be tedious to specify, not omitting the Walloons, who were backing the French and availed themselves of this question, as time has shown and will show more. By the first messenger I hear of I will send you the instructions given to the commissioners who have been sent into the provinces about the assessment of the contribution. You will see that without the moyens généraux the budget came to 600,000 florins per month. I hope to have other important documents if you will back me up ; though I perceive the discontent and black looks of the agent, who as I know dispatched a special messenger with the Ghent negotiations, which I should have done some time ago but for my confidence in his diligence. The agreement with the Walloons in which, but for some who were contrary, I ought to have been employed was to come to-day. The delay makes one suspicious. The Prince has given them rendezvous at Herentals, whereby Messicurs de Brabant find themselves offended inasmuch as they have to bear all the expenses of the war. I think the Prince has done it to make head against the enemy, who in spite of the talk of peace have built bridges above and below Maestricht. This makes people fear that they will make an attempt on that town or elsewhere during the frost ; as they very nearly achieved something there at their last approach. For the last four days there has been no talk in the Estates of anything but how to get rid of the reiters and others of the army, and keep so many people as the need of the time requires during this peace-conference, which will be accompanied by a six weeks' truce. This has been agreed. The conditions have not yet come, but are hourly expected. I would let you have them at once if I heard of any special messenger. The conference will be held at Cologne where the electors deputed for the purpose will meet, and immediately the truce has been published, the deputies of the States will start. The Duke of Nova Terra and the Bishop of 'Wisbourg' are there already. All hope for a good issue, because the deputies have the reputation of honesty. Others say that the Duke of Nova Terra is well-disposed to the peace of this country. If he were not a Spaniard I would support the general opinion. On the meeting of some of the Estates, abbots and prelates, where I was summoned with others about the negotiation for purifying the Walloons, there was talk about the hope of peace, some said that they thought her Majesty would be against it and hinder it, in order to maintain her own repose. To this flippant suggestion I answered that she had sought the repose of our country as she had shown by sending ambassadors to that effect, having aided us with men and money and testified her goodwill. On this answer the subject dropped. Finally it was concluded that if the passion of a few that were contrary did not interfere the peace would come to pass ; since it was in the hands of the Emperor, who upon the hope of his marriage, already settled, with a daughter of Spain, would give it his backing. An additional point was the extremity to which the enemy is reduced, who in all his actions shows that he is in straits both without and within. This view was supported by the news from Italy, Germany, France and elsewhere, where the peace has already been made. The meeting of the Estates had been proposed to those of Brussels, to which end the nations were convened to advise if it could conveniently be done according to the ancient customs. The first Member, namely the magistrates, held that the meeting would not be convenient at that time and season, but injurious to the town owing to the dearness of victuals, the country all round being ruined and destroyed. The second, who are the guilds, were of the contrary opinion, saying that the assembly must needs be held at Brussels since this had always been done. As for victuals, so far from any likelihood of dearth, there was plenty of everything. In this view they were backed by the people, who sent deputies begging his Highness and the Estates to come, and that they would consent to receive such a garrison as should seem good. They nearly came to blows on the subject, saying that the opinion of the magistrates sprang from the Prince's arrière-conseil. Finally those of Holland and Zealand supported the magistrates, alleging the same difficulty and inconvenience as to victuals. The result I will let you know. As for our French they are reduced to such a predicament that they are on all sides regarded with disdain and as enemies, although in French fashion they want to disavow the action ; throwing the blame on Bussy d'Amboise and excusing Monsieur as being ignorant of what was done, whereas we know for certain the contrary. The people of Mons continuing to guard their town after the discovery of that enterprise, and learning more fully that the captains and officers of Montigny's two companies which were in garrison there had been practised by the French, especially the lieutenant-colonel, named Strenchant, these were by the burghers forcibly ejected from the town, with such violence and fury that it was thought a cruel massacre must follow. This was remedied by the grace of God and the obedience of the Walloons. These having been driven out by the burghers, they surrounded the house of Count Lalaing, whom they are holding a prisoner, having advertised the States of their intentions ; which is solely to preserve their town, lives and goods, and abide in the Union conformably to their oath. Count Lalaing having been put into the position he deserves, has written to his Highness and the Estates requesting them to send the Duke of Aerschot or M. de Frésin to 'remedy' the burghers. But those gentlemen seem unwilling, each for reasons of his own, to undertake that duty, and the Estates have no great wish to 'remedy' it, now that they are sure of the burghers' good intent. Meantime Monsieur is still at Condé, whither M. de Fromont has been sent with compliments on his departure in pursuance of his letters and the statement of Dampmartin who called attention to the disaffection in some of the provinces ; a thing entirely false if a letter which I received to-day, written from Paris on the 22nd ult., may be credited. It says that the King is there and goes every day to St. Germain-en-Laye to hunt ; the Queen mother is at Toulouse to make some peace with the King of Navarre, who has seized a town in Guienne, called Florence [qy. Fleurance], all in play or for diversion ; M. de Guise may come to Court any day. This is very far from what we were given to understand by those franctaulpins, who under the name of defenders are manifest ravishers. We are awaiting M. de Fromont's return to hear what M. d'Anjou intends. He is very angry with the people of Mons, and so is thought to be undecided what to settle about his return.—Antwerp, 4 Jan. 1578 (sic). Add. Endd. Fr. 4½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XI. 9.]
Jan. 5. 495. The PRINCE OF ORANGE to the STATES.
Though I make no doubt that M. de Froidmont and M. Martini have sent you a copy of the Duke of Alençon's answer to the articles proposed to him, I think it well to send you a copy of it forwarded by them to me. You will have heard from the Marquis my opinion upon the contents of the articles, so that I need not repeat it. I will only inform you that all, thank God, both in this town and in the rest of the country, is making good progress towards peace, and that I hope you will shortly be able to order matters as you shall find expedient for the good of the country.— Ghent, 5 Jan. 1579. Copy. Endd. by L. Thomson. Fr. 2/3 p. [Ibid. XI. 10.]
Jan. 6. 496. ROGERS to WALSINGHAM.
I am returned from Antwerp hither to finish my business. Duke Casimir was offended with Mr Davison for divers reasons, but he so well answered the objections which the Duke rehearsed to me that I do not doubt but I shall easily make them friends. But Beutrich's 'intemperancy' is great. Understanding from me that the command which Mr Davison had from her Majesty to negotiate with his master was general, he triumphs against him, as Mr Davison told me he had heard before I left Antwerp. I am but just arrived and therefore have not yet been with either the Duke or Beutrich ; but I mind this forenoon to deal with them, and use part of your instructions. This I think I may the better do, having been at Antwerp, where I may say I received letters whereby I am further admonished how to proceed. Mr Davison has appointed to come to Ghent within three days ; if he does, he will perceive that I have dealt sincerely for him. Since I last wrote to you, des Pruneaulx has negotiated with the States to refute the suspicions with which the Duke of Alençon was aggrieved. Among other things he desires the States to do justice upon those who attempted to murder Mr Bonnivet, as you will see by the annexed copy of his negotiations. The Prince has sent M. la Noue again to the Duke, who remains at Condé. It is thought he was plainly minded to depart, and did not mean to take Mons, which could not long profit him if he had taken it, unless he had other towns of Hainault to help him. M. de Tinterville was with him, and used many reasons to persuade him to return to France ; which he was able with the more effect to do, since the Duke suffered many indignities daily at the hands of them of Hainault. Besides it will be honourable for him to appease the troubles of his own country, for which purpose he is desired to return by the king his brother. M. de Froidmont is still with him, who was sent to desire him to stay till the Estates send further to him. They of Mons have written to the Estates burdening Monsieur with great suspicion, and make it believed of every man that he would have 'surprendred' the town. There is talk here of the Estates returning to Brussels, that they may the better provide for matters of Hainault and especially of Artois. The Marquis of Havrech did no great matter with the Prince at Dendermond touching them of Artois, but only declared what resolution they had taken for not receiving the use of the reformed religion. He dealt with the Prince for the sending of the reiters towards Maestricht if the Spaniards went on besieging that town. The Prince would by now have agreed with the Walloons if M. de Hèze were not worse than mad. But la Motte especially hinders any agreement, seeing that he would be left alone if the Estates were to agree with the Walloons and Artesians. But it is thought that the rest of the Walloons will not stick to him. There is much ado for the gathering of money. Flanders is required to make 400,000 florins, about which they are busy ; minding to reserve out of this sum 150,000 for the payment of their own bands. In other provinces they are not so ready. The deputies of Friesland, Overyssel, and those who dwell between Ruremonde and Venlo in Guelderland, earnestly solicit the Estates in the Prince's absence that order be taken to remove the religion out of their quarters. Those of Guelderland above-mentioned also dislike the government of Count John of Nassau. Meanwhile Count Schwarzenberg is looked for daily. He is said to agree with the Prince of Parma for 6 weeks' truce ; which will not serve 'particular men' to go to and fro, but will for the while take away general hostilities and permit the Estates to send reciprocally to the Spaniards and the Spaniards to them for a general peace such as the commonalty desires, but cannot yet be made generally, since the king will never grant any 'religion-freedt.' Yet the wisest sort in a manner desire peace ; for in purchasing their peace they suffer as much as if they were in servitude. They write from Italy that the king is providing for great sums of money, to renew the war here sharply. He seems to be revived by the dissension of the States, and by reason of the news from Mesopotamia touching the overthrow of the Turk, given by the Sophy, near Euphrates. They write there were slain as good as 50,000, and affirm that Mustaffa with all the rest of his army are shut up in such straits that they cannot well escape ; that he had attempted to break out, but could not. Some write from Italy that there is a secret report of the Turk having been slain by his own 'Bassaes.' The Estates camp is about Bois-le-duc and Breda for the most part ; others are in good number as yet in Flanders. As for the Spaniards the most part are about Limburg and Maestricht, amongst whom are as good as 4,500 reiters. Within these two months came 2,500 new reiters under one of the Dukes of Lauenburg, at whose arrival Duke Eric of Brunswick was discharged with his 3,000 reiters. Item : Colonel Bremdell, brother to the Elector of Mentz, and governor of 'Friburche' [qy. Fridberg] in Wetterau near Frankfort, has 1,000 reiters, and Antony van Eltz, brother to the Elector of 'Tryre,' has 1,000 reiters among the Spaniards. The bruit is great that the Duke of Terra Nova is come near to 'Colleyn,' who will be the general conductor of the King's army ; in which the discipline and order is better than in the States' army, where for the present there is none. Having got thus far, I hear from M. de Meetkerke, who returned yesterday from Artois, that there is greater hope than men thought of reconciling them of Artois to the States. If they agree in a short time, I hope well of things ; but if it be deferred a month, it is like to cause an extreme perturbation among the States.—Ghent, 6 Jan. 1578. P.S.—As I was ready to shut up my letter, Meetkerke came to me and told me that the dispute with the Walloons consists in these terms, whether or not la Motte should be comprehended in the agreement. Some of the Estates fear if they agree with Montigny and Hèze only, that their soldiers will retire to la Motte, who since my coming into the country has agreed upon certain conditions with them of St. Omer, so that he is able to stir up more tumults than the Walloons have done. St. Omer and the rest of Artois require the pacification of Ghent to be observed. Add. Endd. 5 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XI. 11.]
Jan. 8. 497. MM. DE FROIDMONT and MARTINI to the ESTATES.
We informed you in ours of the 13th ult. and 1st inst. of our representations on your behalf to the Duke of Anjou. Awaiting your decision we have in the meantime repaired to the town of Mons to serve the common cause in respect of the alterations which have taken place there. Arriving on the 3rd we heard that his Highness had by letter charged M. de Froidmont, with Count Lalaing, to take order for the appeasement of those alterations. In pursuance of which, in presence of the said count and the prelate of Maroilles, and in full assembly of the magistrates and many of the notables we represented the great displeasure which had been caused to his Highness and your lordships by the said alterations, and that they should be on their guard lest by such commotions an opening should be given to the secret practices of the enemy, and total ruin result to the common cause. They answered agreeably to their letter to his Highness, and we hope that by the vigilance of the Count and the magistrates aided by the notables and the best of the citizens the town will henceforth be in greater peace. On the 5th we returned to this town of Condé, hoping that you would have sent us word of your decision. Having up to now no news of it we are in a difficulty what to do, seeing that if we return to you without satisfying the Duke of Anjou we are assured that he would at once return ill-content to France ; which would, it seems to us, be very prejudicial to the common cause.— Condé, 8 Jan. 1579. Copy. Endd. by L. Tomson. Fr. 1½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XI. 12.]
Jan. 9. 498. ROGERS to WALSINGHAM.
This morning I received the Queen's packet, which, as appears by the date, has been long on the way. I thought good to advertise you now of its receipt, having to send to Bruges ; whence Mr Stokes is to forward any letter on to you. Since I last wrote, la Motte went about to besiege Winoxberg, situated 3 or 4 miles from Dunkirk ; intending to revenge the death of 35 gentlemen, of whom I wrote in my first letter, who were slain by the 'bowres' about the said town. The frost and time of year served him conveniently to take it ; but this morning news are come that he has retired towards Gravelines, without taking the town, having only spoiled three or four villages about it. This la Motte has greatly hindered the accord which the Prince labours to make with the Walloons ; wherefore seeing the state of this country specially requires a speedy agreement with both them and the Artesians, and as they only make delays, the Prince sent a gentleman two days ago to M. de 'Burse' and the rest of the four Members of Flanders who are treating with them, to 'make short,' and know of them whether they will agree or have war. To-day he is to return, and I will not fail to write what answer he brings, if I do not come myself. It is evident the Walloons have secret favourers both in Flanders and in other provinces. As for them of Artois they sent word yesterday to the Prince that they 'are not meant' to separate from the rest of the States ; but beseech them to prepare to treat with the Spaniards for a general pacification, of which they understand by Count Schwarzenberg there is good hope. That Count has written to the Archduke Matthias that there are but two points in which he and the Spaniards stick, and that he trusts to compass his desire in these also. Howbeit the wiser sort do not see how so general pacification may be made ; for they are persuaded that neither will the King of Spain ever permit the 'Religion freedt,' nor will those who have obtained this liberty of religion now abandon it. God grant that the Estates may in time agree with the Walloons and Artesians ; which being brought to pass I foresee how they may deal with the Spaniards and secure their liberty ; whereas if they stay long treating with them, I see their ruin to be at hand. Concerning my negotiation with the Duke, he is well content with Mr Davison, as Mr Davison will find when he comes. He caused one of the Duke's men to tell M. Beutrich that he had painted him forth by his letters to the Lords of the Council, which message was 'done' to Beutrich the day I arrived at Ghent. Since he wrote to you he has given Mr Davison to understand that he has been even with him, and that now they are friends. Being charged by me before M. Languet with saying that he would have caused Mr Davison to be stayed in the town of Ghent had he then known as much as he has since learned by my negotiation (as Mr Davison told me at my departure from Antwerp) he openly protested it was a detestable lie and that he never thought it ; because, as he affirmed, he could not make up his mind whether my negotiation more accused the Duke or excused Mr Davison, and that the Earl of Leicester seemed to have taken a middle way.—Ghent, 9 Jan. 1578. Add. Endd. 2½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XI. 13.]
Jan. 9. 499. MM. DE FROIDMONT and MARTINI to the ESTATES.
In our letters of the 31st ult. and the 1st and 8th inst. we informed you how the Duke of Anjou is ready shortly to return to France, not well content, unless you give him satisfaction at least in the shape of some town more convenient than this for his abode. Having up to now no answer nor instruction, and having a hint from his Highness that he means to start for France next Monday, we would not refrain from asking you kindly to advise me with all speed of your decision as to what representation we should make on his departure. Among his reasons for withdrawing we believe that the inconvenience and discomfort of these quarters is not the least ; inasmuch as for his personal accommodation he has to be content with two small rooms which admit of neither fire nor ventilation, and for his meals, with a small saloon and incommodious to boot. The report is current here, though we can hardly believe it, that in the assembly of the Estates of Artois the deputies from Hainault, Lille, Douay and Orchies, have jointly among themselves and without including the generality and the common cause, decided to enter into correspondence on the subject of peace with the Prince of Parma, and to this end have sent their deputies to him ; whereof we have thought good to inform you that you may take order accordingly.—Condé, 9 January 1579. Copy. Endd. by L. Tomson. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. XI. 14.]
Jan. 9. 500. The ESTATES OF ARTOIS and deputies of other Provinces to the ESTATES-GENERAL.
As we promised in our last, we have drawn up and now send you the articles which on mature deliberation we have found necessary, on the basis of the pacification of Ghent and the subsequent union which we would on no account abandon, with a view to an assured peace. We have taken trouble to make them reasonable, that neither his Majesty nor another may have occasion to reject them. In this way it is to be hoped that if you will seriously aim at it, you will attain to a sure and general peace. We earnestly beg you to let us know our intentions at once, inasmuch as the evil that we feel in our entrails permits no longer delay. If within a month we do not see the effectual accomplishment of what we have written to you, we shall for the discharge of our duty be forced to consider of a remedy.—The Abbey of St. Vaast, Arras, 9 Jan. 1579. By order of the Estates. (Signed) P. Marchant. Copy (sent by Davison). Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XI. 15.]
501. Another copy. Endd.: Lettre des Etats d'Artois. 1 p. [Ibid. XI. 15a.]
Jan. 9. 502. FREMYN to DAVISON.
Since your departure they have been trying (on est après) to find means of relieving Carpen, which is besieged by the Spaniards. Count 'Holo.' and M. de Ville have to-day been speaking to the French and Scottish colonels on the subject. Their reply was that if they would let them have some money to satisfy their people, they were ready to go anywhere. There is little likelihood of relieving Carpen without money. The Emperor's ambassador arrived last evening. To-day he has been to the States. His proposal will be known to-morrow. It is said that the States offer Monsieur Mechlin, Vilvorde, and Nivelles, pending the decision of the States-General, to satisfy him in full. They are trying to fix the place for the meeting of the States-General. None has been settled upon ; but it is thought it will be here.—Antwerp, 9 Jan. 1579. Add. Signed in full. Fr. 2/3 p. [Ibid. XI. 16.]
On receipt of your lordship's I conferred with the company and resolved to satisfy you by these few lines which follow. The company thank you for your care of their causes, especially in forbearing to allow the Alderman of the 'stilliard' any 'remain' of cloths until you were further informed by the company of such matters as might 'move stay' of the same. And whereas the said Alderman has informed you that our company resident at Hamburgh voluntarily yielded the house to the chief governors there the day before St. Katherine's day, please understand that by force of the intimation given to our company long before at Hamburgh whereby we were 'denounced to be used as strangers' after St. Katherine's day, as by copy of the decree herewith sent you may plainly perceive, and a bill set up upon the house, offering the same 'to be sold from us,' our company, being restrained from our privileges, had no cause to use the house ; and understanding that her Majesty's letter had come to the 'steedes,' against whose decrees they of Hamburgh protest they can do nothing for our jurisdiction and residence (notwithstanding the alderman's untrue assertion to the contrary), on Nov. 21 last they presented to the Senate the keys of the house. This was done only to feel their dispositions, and see whether they would relent or not, being done in such order of courtesy as has been shown them here. On this presentation, two of the Senate appointed to take the keys uttered these words : that it was very well done of the company so to do by their surrender, for if any mischance had happened to the house after the time limited, the company would have been answerable. In the custom house there they are already making enquiry and keeping note whether any cloth is sold by our company to strangers. Of this the parties buying are forced to deliver them a bill, of whom they buy their cloths, whether of the burgesses or of Englishmen, agreeably with their former inhibition ; which proves they mean to take all the advantage they can, and maintain their former decrees. It is to be understood that strangers may sell to none within the town of Hamburgh but only to the burgesses, 'upon a great pain,' into which predicament it is to be feared they mean to bring us, directly against the ancient treaties. All this and their manifest evil intent to us being considered, it is besought that as in six months' time there has appeared no disposition in them to show favour for the use of our liberty, and forasmuch as the information given by the company against the said Alderman and those of the House for their usage of us is true and will be sufficiently justified by lawful testimony, if it please you so to appoint, the company humbly beg that you will forbear to consent them any 'remain' of licence to ship at all, till other order be taken for their and our reciprocal traffic.—London, 10 Jan. 1578. (Signed) Tho. Egerton, deputy. Add. Endd. 1½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XI. 17.]
Jan. 10. 504. ROSSEL to WALSINGHAM.
Some of the statements I have sent you will have been regarded as trivial, and especially where I treated of the Prince's intelligence with the Duke of Anjou ; which will be found accurate as time goes on. That you may know the next step, one of the Duke's favourite negotiators, being guaranteed by some of their party, has in my presence confessed that some had advised the Duke—half-specifying the Prince—that he ought to seize the town of Mons in lieu of Landrecies and Quesnoy. After the failure that occurred, he sought to retain him, offering him the town of Ath in Hainault where the Prince of Orange has a garrison, or else to come to Mechlin, the Duke having required from the Prince some security—what, I could not learn—subject to which he might delay his departure ; although he had promised his brother to return to France. Some of his people advise him to go forward as far as La Fère, where staying, he will keep the Estates in suspense, to bring them to his wishes and finally get what he wants. Monsieur and all his partisans are in such straits, he at Condé, where they of Valenciennes have sent a garrison, that they know not what they should resolve. The Estates are sincerely desirous to send away all the French. To make a beginning his Highness sent for me to the Council of State, and they asked me to undertake the business of getting out of the country by the shortest road into France all Casimir's men, with whom they have agreed for a month's pay down ; the rest to be payable in three instalments at Frankfort Fair. Disagreeable as this job is I have of necessity undertaken it while wishing to hear from you, hoping to cut down my commission to 12 or 15 days, and get rid of others, if you think good. The Emperor's ambassador Schwarzenberg arrived at Antwerp on the 8th. On the 10th he reported as to the peace conference, which he has successfully set on foot, two points being reserved on which it seems possible to treat ; one, the Reformed Religion, the exercise of which it will be possible to allow where it exists at present. This conference and proposal will have to be settled by the Electors deputed thereto ; his journey serving one end only, Unt (sic) moneat potentiam. This conference will keep the provinces united. Meanwhile the question of the States-General meeting at Brussels is continued. Deputies from that town have been at Antwerp five days, begging to conduct his Highness and the States thither. They are sticking over the dispute as to having the Walloons to guard the States, of which the Brussels people are suspicious. When they asked my advice, I told them they ought to admit 6 ensigns of Walloons, 3 of English and 3 of Germans. The English being friends to their country, and not suspected, backed by the Germans, could with the citizens bring the Walloons to order if they broke out or continued after their custom. His Highness has undertaken to lay the proposal before the Estates on the part of the Brussels people ; but Count Schwarzenberg's return has delayed it. During all these conferences the enemy would gladly take advantage of the frost to surprise some towns and for other practices, were they not of such poor stuff (de si bas alloy et poix), being as it were starved in all the places where they command. For the sake of food they have been compelled to march their army to Carpen near Cologne, which place they have besieged in reliance on the frost ; but if a thaw comes, it is safe. They had brought up 26 ensigns to Louvain with the idea of thinking about Vilvorde ; into which some Germans were straightway put, and the place supplied, and the soldiers there paid. The like at Maestricht, Herentals, and Mechlin. Similarly money has been sent to Cambray, where the soldiers in the citadel had mutinied at the instigation of the Bishop ; who ten days ago arrived at Câteau Cambresis, whence he practised the soldiers and others in the town, backed by some gentlemen of Artois. All this week they have been discussing the matter of sending away the reiters, which it was impossible to do on the conditions demanded by them. In spite of all their threats, I think they will be compelled to accept the original condition, which was that all the troopers should retire with a month's pay, and the rittmeisters, captains, and gentlemen should be entertained at 1,500 florins a day, until they have been finally satisfied, which with time it will be possible to do. The Walloons and malcontents have come to terms. It remains to make the payment promised. The Prince of Orange is still at Ghent. The princess has started, there to have her new A. (so they say)—I leave you to guess the rest. Others say it is to bid good-bye to gossip Casimir, who is about to depart ; leaving his household, however. There is announced the death of Don Frederick, son of the Duke of Alva. They say he has been beheaded, which I cannot believe. But I must report all occurrents. I send the letter of Messieurs d' Artois with the instruction mentioned in my former letters, with the request of those of Guelders. This is all you will hear till my return.—Antwerp, 10 Jan. 1579. Add. Endd. Marg. notes by Walsingham and Tomson. Fr. 3¼ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XI. 18.]
Jan. 10. 505. ROSSEL to WALSINGHAM.
I have been so hurried about setting out to escort the French companies out of the country, that I almost omitted to tell you the most notable particulars. They are sending you Bouschot, one of the Privy Council, on a mission. I have not leisure to report the terms of his commission, which is not to break off the proposed marriage between M. d' Alençon and her Majesty ; though beside other necessities he may discourse of the hope of peace, which is deplored by the opinion of the majority, inasmuch as it is referred to the observance of the pacification of Ghent, the principal point on which the malcontents profess to insist. It seems to me that there sits the hare, and I perceive that in principem cudetur hœc faba. You can see it by any former advices, comparing them with those of the ordinary agents and ambassadors (légateurs) of her Majesty. I must not omit to tell you that the Duchess of Parma who was said to be dead has come to life again and has started in quest of the Princess of Spain, to marry her to the Emperor.—In haste and on the point of starting, 10 Jan. 1578. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. XI. 19.]
[Jan. 10.] 506. DAVISON to LEICESTER.
I was ready to take pen in hand to write to you when this bearer delivered to me your letter of Dec. 31, finding me in this town. On the receipt of it I went to kiss the hands of the Prince and Princess (who are both here), in your behalf. They took your remembrance so thankfully that they knew not with what service they might deserve the honour vouchsafed them ; but they told me you might be assured that in devotion and goodwill so far as their ability went you would find them inferior to no friends you had. How welcome your present was, how much it was prized, and how greatly the Prince thinks his obligations to you increased thereby, this bearer and Mr Rogers can inform you. I find the like thankfulness in Duke Casimir both for the rapier with the furniture and for the horse which you sent him [al. being indeed such jewels as he has good reason to esteem] ; things so welcome that there scarce comes any friend to him to whom he does not preach the obligation he has to you in that and other respects. In sum, you could not have bestowed these courtesies on men more worthy or more thankful. The Duke has assured me that he will thank you in England very shortly. I have done my best to push that journey forward, but of the time he was not precisely resolved, though I think it will be within 14 or 15 days at the furthest. Between the Prince and him I find all things on good terms, only the dislike of Beutrich, who continues in credit with his master, has somewhat hindered the frank communication which I know the Prince would otherwise have used with the Duke. As for the mal entendu between his Excellency and me in respect of my negotiation, it is now thoroughly 'appointed,' and our peace made and confirmed with a treble karouss to the health of her Majesty and as much to yours, which I assure went very near to make some of the company sick [al. which went very near to impair the health of some of the company]. Beutrich and I only remain yet in some heartburning, but time will easily wear that away [al. But the jar between Beutrich and me, yet uncompounded, will not so easily be brought in frame]. For your provision of wines at my coming to Antwerp I will treat with such of my friends as can give me best counsel in that behalf. Meantime I think myself greatly honoured that you are pleased to dispose in any sort of my poor services. I have not yet spoken with Champagny since the receipt of your letter. To-morrow I think to visit him and the rest of the prisoners of your acquaintance, from whom I will not conceal the favour you have done them. By the accord now passed with the Walloons they are to be committed into the hands of the Duke of Cleves till their process be decided ; of which agreement I would have sent you the details by this bearer, if I could have obtained it before his departure. But in general I can assure you that it is as agreeable to the Prince as a good beginning to a reparation of the inward confusions of this country. The Emperor's ambassador has returned to Antwerp since my coming thence. The substance of what he has since laid before the States is that he has won the Prince of Parma to submit absolutely to the 'sentence' of the Emperor. If the States also will agree to this, he doubts not but all will go well. It is disputed whether they should depend upon the sentence of the Emperor only, or of the Emperor and her Majesty jointly ; the latter being more generally affected. But what they will resolve, or what this will grow to, I know not. Before I left Antwerp they were meaning to send over the Marquis once again, partly to renew their old course, partly to entreat her Majesty to employ her credit in mediating this peace ; but [since he vowed himself to St. Denis, erased] this late lightness in changing his Patron makes me presume he will find a colder welcome in England, and not without cause to speak as I think. I understood from my man now in England that her Majesty has at length dispatched my poor suit, through your special favour ; for which as I know not with what words to thank you sufficiently, so you may be sure that it is bestowed on a man who will never forget it. Draft. Endd. 3 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XI. 20.]
507. Another draft of the first part of the above ; on the reverse draft of part of the letter of Jan. 27 to the Secretaries, post, No. 540. 2 pp. [Ibid. XI. 20a.]
Jan. 10. 508. DAVISON to WALSINGHAM.
Draft of the letter of Jan. 13, post, No. 542. Dated : Ghent, 10 Jan. 1578. Endd. 2¼ p. [Ibid. XI. 21.]
Jan. 10. 509. WALSINGHAM to DAVISON.
Whereas Horatio Pallavicino has of late had his brother arrested in 'Roome,' and is like to have the same measure measured to him in Spain upon his factors that traffic for him there, and that only for a jealousy and surmise conceived of him that he has assisted the States with some loans of money or merchandize for their necessities in this war as they interpret, against the king ; forasmuch as some testimony under your hand, witnessing that he has contracted with her Majesty and not for the States, and thinks himself bound in respect of the courtesy he has received in this country to 'enlarge himself' in her service, may greatly pleasure him towards them who seek by suggestion of the Spanish Ambassador and others here to do him all the harm they can ; these are to desire you to give him a quittance for so much alum as he has delivered, as received by you for her Majesty's service, that by testimony thereof when shewn, his adversaries may have less reason to molest him.—London, 10 Jan. 1578. Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. XI. 22.]
Jan. 10. 510. WALSINGHAM to DAVISON.
Finding both by your letters and others that Egremond Ratcliffe was lately executed at Namur, and before his death, as it is said, confessed that he had been sent over by some one of the Council to kill Don John ; forasmuch as I understand the said Councillor to be myself, being loath to have so villainous a slander given out against me, I have written the enclosed to the Emperor's ambassador praying him to procure me a copy of Egremond's confession ; which I desire may be conveyed with all speed. Also I pray you to use what means you can yourself to obtain the confession, and to learn what speeches he uttered at the time of his death ; for though by torture he might be drawn to utter an untruth, I cannot think him so devilish but that at the time of his death he would revoke what before he had untruly uttered. Pray use some care and diligence in this cause, for I would be loath that my poor credit, which I hold more dear than my life, should be long subject to so villainous a slander.—London, 10 Jan. 1578. P.S. (in Walsingham's hand).—The merchants' post desired me to pray you that hereafter he may not be stayed by you as he has been ; which has been greatly prejudicial to him. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XI. 23.]