Elizabeth: July 1578, 1-10

Pages 39-57

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

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July 1578, 1-10

July 1. 56. Obligation entered into by the Estates to indemnify the Queen, if required, for the bonds given by her to Horatio Pallavicino for the sum £16,736 7s. 3d. lent to the Estates to be repaid in equal instalments in February and October 1579.—Antwerp. 1 July 1578. By order (signed) A. Blyleven. Copy. Endd. by Davison and again in England. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. VII. 41.]
July 2.
K. d. L. x. 558.
57. Antwerp, July 2. 1578. The substance of HER MAJESTY'S AMBASSADORS' Negotiations with the PRINCE of ORANGE and others deputed by the States.
Her Majesty being greatly grieved with the continuance of the civil wars, and seeing no remedy so proper for the removing of these troubles as to procure some peace with security, has employed sundry messengers in that behalf, both to the King and to the governor of the countries. Though her Christian and honourable endeavour has, through the malignity of the time and other impediments, not taken effect as desired, yet so long as there remains any spark of hope of bringing it to pass she thinks it worthy a Christian prince and fit for one of her calling to employ herself therein ; and has therefore willed us to confer with them, what course should in their opinion be taken to bring it to pass, how by her meditation it may be furthered, and what result the labours of the Emperor's Ambassador herein have had. To this the Prince in the name of the rest thanked her Majesty for her good will towards them and acknowledged how much they are bound to her for her care of them. As touching her motion for a peace, he said that nothing was more desired than such a peace as might be coupled with safety ; and therein prayed the furtherance of her ambassadors in devising some good way, and to understand what likelihood she had conceived of such a peace by the answers she had received from Don John. As for themselves, they had but small hope, knowing his malice to be so great towards them. The Emperor's ambassador that last came had no commission to deal for peace. Whereto it was replied that as all things have their seasons, no time served better than the present to deal with Don John ; for so long as he was superior in force there was no hope of his being reduced to yield to conditions consistent with their safety, it being ordinary for the stronger to give laws to the weaker. But now when he sees the greatness of their forces, understands the intelligence they have with the French King's brother, who has numbers both of horse and foot on the frontier, and calls to mind her Majesty's protestation, made both to him and to the King, to join in assisting them if he do not yield to some reasonable composition, it is to be thought that foreseeing how if by his obstinacy the country is lost he will fall into disgrace with the King upon whom his good fortune depends, he will rather yield to hard conditions than hazard the loss of the country to his own undoing. We therefore prayed the Prince and the rest to consider of it and as they seemed inclined to peace, would deliver articles of their demands ; and so broke off the conference, which had lasted from 9 till 12 in the forenoon. About an hour after dinner, and some conference had among themselves, they came to the place of meeting ; where the Prince in the name of the rest declared that the matter of peace was subject to one great difficulty, to wit, with whom they should treat, Don John being altogether enemy to peace. His 'countenance' depends chiefly on the war, they had been so often deceived by him that they cannot trust any promise of his, and therefore they will not hearken to it, unless for the first point Don John retires with his forces, and delivers all the 'peeces' [sic ; qy. places] that he has taken or possesses in these countries. For other conditions, in his own opinion, he thought the States might propound the following :
That the Archduke Matthias may remain governor, under the King's obedience. That they may enjoy all freedoms, liberties and privileges as in former times, and other things according to the pacification of Ghent. As touching prisoners and other small things they may be decided with reason. When he had uttered these things some of the deputies cast many doubts thereon ; as that if the people heard of any treaty of peace they would so far presume on its being effected that they would refuse to pay taxes ; as they saw in Holland at the treaty of Breda, when by that means they lost two towns. Another doubt was lest the gentlemen who are now in the field, hearing of this treaty, may perhaps in haste seek Don John's good grace, to the weakening of their companies. They alleged a third : that they could not well treat for peace without Monsieur's privity, otherwise they would either make him an enemy or be abandoned by him. To this it was replied that Don John 'being become now of the stronger the weaker' was more apt to be dealt with than before. As to the retiring of his forces and himself before assurance given by them for the observance of such articles as shall be agreed upon, it were very hard, and such as in reason he would never be brought to assent to. Touching the rest of the impediments, which carried some show of prejudice, it was said that if they could truly look into their state they would see greater inconvenience likely to follow from a continuance of the war. For if they looked at the disunion among themselves for religion and other respects, their confusion in council owing to number of heads, lack of 'conductors' and treasure, two principal things requisite for the continuance of the war, and that the most part of their forces consisted of mercenary soldiers who care more to save themselves than to defend those who keep them, they would see their inconveniences so great that they could not but think peace more necessary. After some reply made by them, they were prayed by the ambassadors to consider the matter and to communicate it to the States and deliver their answer with all convenient speed ; declaring further that they would acquaint the Emperor's ambassador with it, meaning to concur with him in the mediation ; whom they found well inclined thereto. So upon the conclusion of this first point of the instructions, they proceeded to the second, and declared that if for lack of disposition either in themselves or in Don John there were no likelihood of any accord, her Majesty wished to understand how they were able to maintain and continue the war by having treasure and other things necessary ; wherein she looked to be more sincerely dealt with than heretofore. For the former informations did not fall out in effect as was looked for ; being (sic) among other things given to understand that they had taken order for the levying of 600,000 florins monthly, and that this could go on for three years without 'the grief' of the people. This seems by their present necessity not to have fallen out accordingly ; it being well known that that sum would have defrayed a greater charge than they have been at. The Prince protested that they would deal plainly with her Majesty in laying before their Estates and answering such articles as were delivered to them. Touching the 600,000 florins he confessed that till the 15th of May last there was not so much levied as had been hoped ; but since that time a far greater sum than 600,000 florins the month, to continue not for three years only, but for ten if well-ordered. Hereupon the Prince took occasion to request me to move her Majesty, since the benefit of her bonds did not take the fruit they hoped for, to be pleased to supply it for them some other way. We answered, that having disbursed a good sum in ready money she would be loth to 'unfurnish' herself of so much treasure, besides that the subjects would not like to have so much treasure transported out of the realm ; and therefore advised him to try further upon that credit. Yet I thought it well to ask them, in case she were willing to disburse more money, what security they would give her for it. They said she should have bonds to her content ; whereto it was answered that seeing they offered frontier towns to the Duke of Alençon for his 'safety,' and he so doubtful a friend, they cannot in honour, having so good experience of her favour, but make some such offer to her Majesty for the repayment of what they have already had and require further. They were also led to understand that her Council might be thought very careless of her estate if they were content with ink and paper when others were offered towns of good strength in caution. The Prince answered that the Duke of Alençon demanded, and they accorded, these towns for his safety if need required, not knowing on what terms he stands with the King his brother. As touching further security to her Majesty, they asked the ambassadors what security they would demand. To which they answered that they had no commission to demand anything ; but would acquaint her Majesty with such offers as were made. Having thus proceeded with the Prince and deputies in the first two points of their instructions, and drawing to the third, which concerned their negotiation with Monsieur, the dislike her Majesty conceived of it both in respect of themselves and of herself—as concerned themselves, it seemed strange that they should enter into any dealing with him of whose sincerity they could not be assured, not being destitute of many conjectures of his intelligence with the enemy. Even if he did mean sincerely it was not apparent whether his intention was or was not to make himself lord of the country ; a matter of no great difficulty unless his forces were greatly moderated, a matter hard for them to do when he had once undertaken the matter at their request, and his entry upon them as easy as they could well conceive. The country had felt the inconvenience of it in former times, which has engendered in them such a fear in former times that divers of the provinces are so far out of taste with them that they utterly mislike to hear the name of the French. The jealousy of the Empire also justly conceived thereby, foreseeing how dangerous it might be to have the greatness of France augmented by the accession of these countries. Besides, the consideration how he were able to maintain so great an action, the expense of war being so great and his means so small that in all probability he would be unable to bear even a smaller attempt than this. So his relief is like to bring rather prejudice than benefit to their cause, especially through the insolence of the French soldiers, which cannot but breed a great alteration of the people's hearts. So it seemed to her Majesty that in this negotiation they have not dealt as circumspectly as they might have done for themselves ; whereof if she conceive not as well as they would desire, they may not find it strange. As for her own part, she had great cause to be grieved considering the favours she had shown them in former times, having been their only upholder, as they must need confess, that they should proceed so far, contrary to the promise made to her agent that they would communicate with no one without her privity. She continued still her care over them, not seeking their undoing, as by this negotiation with Monsieur is greatly feared. Notwithstanding which unkindness, and forgetting of former benefits, sufficient to alienate her and cause her to take another course, upon intelligence from them that the aid of Monsieur 'imported them so much' that they were unable without it to make head against their enemy, and that he might be beneficial and in no sort hurtful to them, though she had sent to the French king to restrain this voyage, showing her dislike of it, she was content her ambassador should confer with Monsieur's deputies, to see if they could make it appear that the aid of their master might be for the benefit of the countries as was pretended. To this the Prince answered that the greatest hastening of this treaty proceeded from them of Hainault, who upon the fear they had of the Duke if they refused him, wrote earnestly to the States ; at whose instance and in fear of dismembering the provinces, they yielded to enter into communication with them, their intention being to draw his desire of a resolute answer into length, till they saw either what further necessity they might have, or what relief they might receive from some other part, rather than to resolve upon any present agreement with him. What course they kept with his ministers may easily appear by their laying down such conditions as they thought he would not accept ; providing moreover in such sort for her Majesty that the present treaty should not derogate from any that had passed between her and them. In that stay they still keep him, according to her request, whose pleasure was so signified to them by her agent, that they should make stay from further dealing with him till her ambassadors came ; nor will they deal further without their privity. 5¼ pp. [Holl. and Fl. IX. 3 β.]
[Early in July.]
K. d. L. x. 549, (from another copy).
58. 'The Report of HENRY KILLIGREW to the same instructions given him by Your Honours to be observed in his journey between Dunkirk and Antwerp.'
(1.) Poperinge is a very large village, unfortified, but strongly seated ; fenced only with turnpikes at every street-end, guarded by the inhabitants, who are workers of 'baies,' in which and in hoops their wealth consists. They watch by 50 or 60 nightly and can make 2,000 fighting men at need. A fair river passes through their town, serving to convey wares to and from almost all Flanders. The town belongs to the Bishop of St. Omer's, who draws from it 3,000l. yearly. Armentière is not as large, but is as well seated, and easy to be fortified. It stands chiefly upon 'clothing.' They guard themselves like Poperinge, and can make 1,500 men at need. A river passes through the town, with like convenience as at Poperinge. This town belongs to Count Egmont, and is thought to be part of his mother's 'jointer,' she is aunt to Duke Casimir. Lille is a walled town, strongly seated, with a large 'rampire' of 3 miles compass, well watered about with a deep ditch of 150 feet broad ; having a great ancient castle, near as big as the Tower of London, built ere now by a Dolphin of France, when he was in league with them of Ghent. The river passes through, as in the others, well-inhabited, rich, and stands chiefly by making 'scies' [qy. saies]. It is being newly fortified with eight great bulwarks of earth on one side, which will be ended in 6 months, well-furnished with artillery. They have four corn-powder mills, which make excellent good powder. They guard themselves with their burghers of whom they have levied 27 companies of 250 apiece, and at need can make as many more. It is a 'chatenerie' or government of itself, and has under command, besides Douay, Orchies, and half of Armentières, at least 200 villages. For their new fortifications they have not spared to demolish a monastery of Jacobins near the town walls. Tournay is larger, but not so strongly seated, having for the most part almost a dry ditch, and not so good a rampire. There is also a great castle, built by a King of England, whose arms are extant both over the gate within, and upon a great tower without. The same river passes as through Lille, and separates the castle from the town. It stands upon all kinds of craftsmen, by whom it is guarded as at Lille ; not so well furnished with artillery, because the Spaniard transported them against the Prince of Orange in Holland and Zealand, and they were taken by him ; but the townsmen are 'in hand' for a new supply. This town is head of the province of Tournesis. These two towns with the former two villages were marvellously consumed by the Spaniards being in garrison among them, and beloved by them accordingly.
(2.) We gathered that in all places we passed, the people desired rather peace than war, if they might be quit of the Spaniard.
(3,) (4.) We learnt that there are three factions in all the places we passed. The first, and in our judgement the strongest all things considered, are the secret protestants ; because the better part of the papists, whom they term bons patriotcs and would not be subject to the Spaniards, join with them. The third and weakest are passionate papists called Johannists, who rather than forgo their religion would have Don John to rule them. The last will not, like the rest, tolerate any interim, as the others seem willing to do and have of late done in Languedoc.
(5.) We learnt that generally they are content to pay the taxes already accorded, that they may so continue, so long as they are kept from the annoyance of the enemy and can traffic without fear.
(6.) We observed everywhere the disunion above mentioned in the 'demtion' [qy. division] of their sundry factions ; but unless we be much deceived the bons patriotes and the protestants will agree, and daunt the third, as soon as the magistrates at the Court shall 'bend them' thereto ; which they look for soon after the camp marches against Don John.
(7.) The countries and towns we passed are passing well peopled and furnished with all kinds of commodities, incredible to those who have not seen it.
(8.) They generally dislike the coming of the French forces but do nothing against them. They lie in the villages near the strong towns without any contradiction. Of her Majesty they all seem to be well persuaded and affected to her, save those that for religion are Johannists. For any sort of stranger to command them we could see no liking. Therefore the prelates who since the disorder at Ghent are afraid of alteration of their estates, do what they can to dissuade both from the Dutch and English forces, supposing that Monsieur would fit them better in respect of religion ; which makes those of Hainault chiefly, who are of Count Lalaing's faction, desire the aid of France.
(9.) We were told that the gentlemen, for the most part papists, especially in Hainault and Artois, are carried away, the rather by the persuasion and benefits received daily of the clergy, who fearing their decay, use all 'straitness' they may to hinder the toleration of other religion than the Roman, and likewise the coming of any foreign aids. But the commons make small account of them. Lastly, touching M. de Swevingham and M. de Rassingham we have diligently enquired in all places we passed, and could not learn that they were so much as known to the most part of the people, and therefore not greatly accounted of, save by their own friends and favourers ; because they are not allied to any of the noble houses of these countries, so far as we could learn. To conclude, both in respect of the hasty journey and the sundry places we had to view in the short time, together with the want of language for most part of the way and lack of convenient acquaintance in the rest, to confer with upon your instructions, we beseech you to pardon our barren and weak report.
Copy. Endd. by Davison : Mr. Killigrew's report sent with Mr. Guildford Walsingham in his company to the towns of 'Poperinge, Armentières, Lille, and Tournay.' 2½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 42.]
[Early in July.] 59. Junii 1578 at Antwerp. The expenses of Mr. Henry Killigrew, Guildford Walsingham, Nicholas Saunders, and Spritewell, post of Dover, appointed by Lord Cobham and Sir Francis Walsingham, etc.
Money disbursed and laid out, viz. for :— The charges of their diet ; viz. for dinner at Rosingberg [Rousbrugge] and supper at Poperinge, 23 June, 1578 - - - Flemish 35s. 10d.
24 June. The like at Ypres, Armentières and Lille - - - - - - 35s. 10d.
25 June : Like at Tournay - - - 35s. 10d.
26 June : Like at Oudenarde - - 28s. 8d.
27 June : Like at Ghent - - - 35s. 10d.
28 June at Antwerp - - - 2l.
And for wagon hire during the time to convey the said gentlemen and their servants from Dunkirk to Poperinge, Ypres, Armentières, Messines, Lille, Oudenarde, Tournay, Ghent, and so to Antwerp - - - Flemish 4l. 6s.
In all accounted into sterling payment 7l.
Endd : Expence of Mr. Killegrew and his company, paid the 27 July. Walsingham's mark. 2/3 p. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 43.]
[Early in July.]
K. d. L. x. 554. (app. from another copy).
60. Report of CAPTAINS CARY and MOLBY, and MR. ASBY.
From Dunkirk to 'Borborch,' 2 leagues.—M. Sale, of 'Henow,' chief captain there in the place of M. de Tylye, late governor, commanded to keep his house in the town. There are three companies of 200 under M. Sale, M. Plage, and M. Clayes ; besides 30 gentlemen well furnished, and 150 burgesses. This town is situated on a plain, so that with the diligence they now use they will in a short time make it very strong, since by the river they can both fill the ditch and drown the plain around them. We find them utterly misliking the French ; the most part given to papistry ; yet no way affected to Don John. They desire and hope for English aid ; we might judge their good affection toward her Majesty by the courtesy they used to us. From Borborch to St. Omer, 4 leagues.—M. Nicholas Daubermounte, Seigneur de Manny, is placed chief there, M. de Renyngham, governor and brother to Count de 'Rewe' being suspected to be a 'Dan Janist.' There are five companies under the charge of M. Daubermont, Monsieur de Largile, M. Bramarsh, M. Heresyne, and M. Vineray, very sufficient men and well-furnished. There are 6,000 townsmen, who are divided, as they term them, some Don Janists, some bons patriotes ; the most bent on papistry. Such as are for the States, will yield both goods and life ; but the Don Janists murmur much at this, and it is doubtful how the present 'state' will be gathered. Rather affected to her Majesty than to France. The Dean of St. Omer is fled to Don John. Tuesday, June 24. To Arye [Aire—written above in Burghley's hand Aryer] 4 leagues.—M. de Marbecke, governor and captain of 50 men at arms. His company is at present at the camp of the States, under the leading of his eldest son. The town lies in the flat, strongly seated and reasonably fortified, and may (sic) overflow the parts about the town with water. At present they are fortifying more ; which we could not view, for the burgesses would not consent. Inclined to peace rather than war ; but will suffer much extremity before the Spanish government. This town has no garrison but the burgesses, who are 800 in number, very able men, well-furnished and all bons patriotes ; but in religion papists and no disposition to tolerate any other. Wednesday, 25 June. To Hesding, 9 leagues.—Montmorency governor, in place of M. de Royon lately displaced. There are two companies of brave soldiers ; viz., under the governor, 100, under M. de Maline, base brother to the Viscount of Ghent, 200. Both captains and soldiers are of the religion. There are also 200 townsmen well-appointed under M. Obert, a townsman well-affected to religion. Affected well to her Majesty, not to France. They drove away their priests for preaching against receiving aid of her Majesty and the Prince of Orange. Thursday, 26 June. To Arras, 12 leagues.—M. de 'Caper,' governor of Artois in the absence of the Viscount of Ghent, has 200 harquebusiers lying about the town in villages ; 'they be on horseback.' He is suspected to favour the French. M. Ambrose, sent from the Prince, has also 50 mounted harquebusiers, paid by the town of Arras. It lies dry, one half 'rampared,' deeply ditched, with one great 'bullwork' yet not perfected. This part of the town is subject to grounds of advantage, very near the walls, which causes them daily to work for its better strengthening. The other part well wat[ered ?] and reasonably ramped. There are 21 ensigns of burgesses well-furnished and well-peopled. The inhabitants most affected to papistry. Friday, 27 June. 'Doway,' 6 leagues.—M. Willerval governor daily looked for, in place of M. Stenbeche lately dead. His deputy at present is M. Denebran, a German. There are no soldiers, only the burgesses ; 24 ensigns meanly furnished. The people here most inclined to papistry. The town stands in the flat ; no ground of advantage near ; well ramped, ditched and watered. Old fortification ; daily working to strengthen it. Saturday, 28 June. Cambray, 6 leagues.—No governor ; but 14 magistrates who govern two and two weekly. In cases of difficulty they call together the whole council. There are 18 companies of burgesses under their own leading. Three parts of the town watered and sufficiently ditched ; the rest better ramped, and deeply ditched, but dry. Lying on the descent of a hill, over the highest part of which is the citadel, strongly ramped, with deep ditch, having but four bullwarks. It was built by the late Emperor Charles V. The people inclined to papistry. Sunday, 29 June. 'Valensia,' 7 leagues.—M. Hamet of Henow governor of the town. The seat is reasonably strong, lying flat, and well ditched, watered, and ramped. On the weakest side there are bulwarks, of which one is not yet finished. There are many in this town affected to religion. It is thought that Don John has some 'parties' in this town ; for M. Archant the governor's lieutenant, a chief man in the city, has his brother called M. de 'Gonye' with Don John. There are 8 companies of burgesses under their own leading, well-furnished. Monday, 30 June. To Monts, 7 leagues.—M. le Comte de Lalaing governor here. This town is strongly seated on a hill, environed by marsh and water, very large. Old fortifications save at Soignies gate, which has one great bulwark for its better defence. There are but two gates in this town. There are 10 companies of foot reasonably furnished, viz., 3 of soldiers and the rest of burgesses. There is one company of light horse lying in the town under the governor, and 5 companies of foot lying about in the villages. The Count himself thought a papist, and so the most part of this town. It is thought he is much affected to the French, and we found there M. 'Preignyave' [Pruneaux] ambassador from the Duke of Alençon, who has been there these three months and much made of by the Count. This ambassador has 'perused' all the frontier towns of those parts. Tuesday, 1 July. To Atte, 6 leagues.—M. de Simerye, governor here. There are 5 companies sent from Holland by the Prince, under M. Temple, M. Tongerlo, M. de Winde, M. Sevbrande, M. Darpe. These are fair bands. There are 3 companies of burgesses well furnished. This town stands in a plain, no ground of advantage near it ; well watered, with sufficient ditch, well ramped, with large spurs before the gates. A town of no great receipt. Mem. All these towns hope and make account to be aided by her Majesty.
The names of such noblemen of Artois and Hainault as are gone to Don John. The Count of 'Reuents' [qy. Reulx]. Count 'Focynberge.'
M. de Bryac and Bounny his son-in-law.
M. de Helfan and M. de Haman his son, who surrendered Philippeville and there remains with his company.
M. de Renty.
M. de Waliget.
M. de Losignol.
M. de Gomicourt.
M. de Reioy.
M. de Licques.
M. de Vaue [Vaux], lying with the French king for Don John.
Endd. by L. Tomson, 4 pp. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 44.]
[Early in July.] 61. The States' Forces.
The Camp at Enghien.
Foot. Colonel Balfour and Colonel Stewart's regiments of Scots - - 20 ensigns. 4,000 men.
Montigny's regiment - - 10 ensigns. 2,000 men.
Champagny's regiment - 7 ensigns. 1,400 men.
M. Esselstain's regiment - 10 ensigns. 2,000 men.
Col. Templar's regiment - 10 ensigns. 2,000 men.
Count Egmont's regiment - 10 ensigns. 2,000 men.
The Viscount of Ghent's regiment - - - - 10 ensigns. 2,000 men.
Ensigns—77. Men—15,400.
Horse. 2,000 Horse of Artois, Flanders and Cambresis.
Hauptman 'Skincke' 1,500 reiters.
The Camp at Boisleduc.
Foot. Englishmen - - - 15 ensigns. 3,000 men.
Almains - - - - 11 ensigns. 3,000 men.
M. de Hèze's regiment - 10 ensigns. 2,000 men.
Count Bossu's regiment - 18 ensigns. 3,600 men.
Ensigns—54. Men—11,600.
Horse. Count Schwarzburg - - - 2,500
'Grave' John - - - - 1,000
Marquis of Havrech - - - 1,500
For the Archduke - - - - 1,500
Captain Mornault - - - - 200 light horse.
Captain Michell - - - - 200
Captain Alonso - - - - 50
Horse, 6,950 (sic) ; foot, 2,700[0] ; ensigns, 131.
Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 45.]
62. Another copy. [Ib. VII. 45a.]
63. Another copy, added (correctly) in Walsingham's hand. [Ib. IX. 3γ.]
July 2.
K. d. L. x. 557.
64. Summary of the matters laid before the ESTATES by HER MAJESTY'S AMBASSADORS.
1. Her Majesty having often recommended peace to the Estates and tried to procure it, wishes to know whether they are willing to apply themselves thereto, provided that Don John will do the like, and submit to such conditions as the Estates and he may find acceptable.
2. If they are so willing, what means do they think will be the best to effect it, and how will they provide for possible hindrances?
3. If on the rejection of all negotiation they resolve for war, how will they proceed, on the offensive or the defensive?
4. What resources have they for maintaining it, and for how long?
5. Are the people still united and of one accord against the enemy, and is there no fear of division on account of religion?
6. Is there hope that the towns they now have will hold out?
7. Will the contributions already granted be continued, without fear that the people may complain or withdraw from the burden?
8. Has what has already been contributed for the purposes of the war been converted to that end, and not otherwise employed than as their necessity requires?
9. How many soldiers are they supporting, and where have they been employed?
10. How are they off for munitions and other things needed?
11. What force can the enemy have, now or in the future? Does he expect any succour from France?
Endd. in Fr. with date. Fr. 1¼ pp. [Ibid. VII. 46.]
July 5.
K. d. L. x. 567.
We have dealt with the Prince and the Deputies of the States that were appointed to confer with us, most earnestly for peace. We find it taken most thankfully, as a 'sohet' [qy. souhait] from her of their well doing ; but they did not think Don John would hearken to such a peace as was secure for them, and they found by experience that all treaties of the peace have brought them danger as in alienating some from them ; and in hope of peace some withdraw their payments, a thing that has bred great harm among them. For the second part, they hope that the general 'moyanes' accorded the 25th of May last may throughout the provinces that remain under the States be sufficient to maintain war these many years, if the present necessity were supplied with some money instead of her Majesty's bonds. For the better knowledge of the country, on landing at Dunkirk we sent gentlemen, some along the frontier, some into the heart of the country, and others along the sea-coast ; which several reports you shall receive. Concerning M. d'Anjou's aid, I find a general mislike inwardly, but they dare not show it for fear of drawing more enemies upon them. His ministers that lie here are named Alferon, the other 'Don Martin,' once servant to the Lady of Lenox, men of small quality. They have been with us, and asked us whether we had commission to treat with Monsieur's ministers. We answered that we had. Then said they : 'we will send to Mons for Montdoucet and des Pruneaux' ; but as yet we have not heard of them. If anything has been omitted, deal with me plainly. Truly Mr. Secretary has taken great pains ; but as you know, I am ignorant of what has passed and have not for a long time had any use of my language. If any harm come to the country, it is the bursting out of religion which I fear will breed disunion among them, for though the common people much embrace it there are few of the nobles affected to it. The Prince does what he may to stay it both here and other places. He told me himself that it troubled him ; 'for,' said he, 'if it be granted or permitted, we grow presently to a disunion ; if we grant it not, the common people having arms in their hands will go and spoil the churches.' You will receive a request made to the States for the exercise of religion. I send you two Latin books done by 'St. Alegoonde,' and a book made of Monsieur's doing in France and his good meaning towards the Low Countries. We have sent Mr. Somers over that her Majesty may be satisfied on all points where any scruple may grow. —Antwerp, 5 July 1578. P.S.—As we have no answer as yet from the States we stay Mr. Somers and advertise what has passed ; but he shall come as soon as we have it. P.S. 2.—The names of them that conferred with us :—The Prince of Orange, Duke d'Aerschot, M. Medekerke, M. Ayman, M. Sainte-Aldegonde, M. d'Orschot, Dr. Bonar, deputy of Guelders. Add. Endd. 1¾ pp. [Hol. and Fl. VII. 47.]
[July 5 ?] 66. [WALSINGHAM] to LORD HUNSDON.
You will be so thoroughly informed of the state of things here, and of our negotiation with the Prince and States, by Mr. Sommers the bearer hereof, (fn. 1) as also by the advertisements you will receive by Sir George Cary, that I need not trouble you with many lines. I have no fear of their well-doing here save in the matter of religion, which is being drawn to so hard an issue that it is not easy to discern whether there be more peril in granting or in staying the exercise of it. I hear also that the Abbot of Dunfermline sent from Scotland is like to arrive at the Court shortly. It is thought he has commission to make some overture for a contract of closer amity between the two Crowns ; in which her Majesty has doubtless shown herself more backward than stood with her safety, considering how much it imparts her to be sure of that Crown, and what mislike it will breed in case upon the overture it should be refused. You will therefore do well to deal effectually with her Majesty in that behalf. Copy. ½ p. [Holl. and Fl. IX. 3δ.]
I have acquainted your son with the state of things here, that by the use of his hand and head I may ease my own, tired with the writing of over many letters, and the setting down of our long negotiation here. It is hard to judge what success it will take, especially touching the matter of peace ; of which there were some good likelihood, if Don John could without passion look into the peril of his own estate. If the French mean uprightly in the assistance they give the States, Don John is to 'loke' [qy. lose] another country, and his master perhaps to stand in loss of the rest of his dominions, the fagot being once loosed. The only advantage he has is the disunion that is like to grow for the matter of religion ; of which I fear he will make too great a profit, unless God work contrary to man's expectation. Copy. ½ p. [Ibid. IX. 3ε.]
[July 5 ?]
K. d. L. x. 790.
If Don John keep his promise to give battle, it will shortly be seen here what will become of these countries, the forces on both sides approaching each other. By the enclosed note you may perceive how much Don John's force and the States' differ ; but if the value of the men be duly considered, especially the heads and conductors, the inequality will not be found so great. If victory incline on the States' behalf, Don John may take his leave of the Low Countries. On the other side, if he have the upper hand, it will greatly dismay this people ; though in respect of the strength of their towns, and that they reserve Duke Casimir's forces, being 6,000 horse and as many foot, in any event they will have no great cause to be dismayed, for however victory incline, the conflict cannot so fall out, 'but that party that escapeth best, shall go away with bloody hands.' I cannot yet guess what will become of our treaty of peace, which I think were most necessary for both parts. And if Monsieur means sincerely touching the assistance which he means to bring for the States—of which I cannot judge, so deep has been the French dissimulation these late years—Don John will be ill-advised if he do not grow to a peace, though it be with hard conditions. Copy. 2/3 p. [Holl. and Fl. IX. 3ζ.]
[July 5 ?] 69. [WALSINGHAM] to 'Mr. TREASURER' (SIR F. KNOLLYS).
The bearer hereof, Mr. Sommers, can so well inform you of the state of things here that I need not use many words. If the cause of religion, which for the most part is accompanied with affliction, do not breed division, I have good hope that things will go well. The Prince finds that cause very weighty, being hard to discern wherein is less peril, to inhibit or permit a toleration of it. Forasmuch as the cause is God's, the best way is to commit the success to Him. Copy. 10 ll. [Ibid. IX. 3η.]
The sufficiency of this bearer makes me spare my pen, being able to inform more amply than my leisure will permit me to do at this present. As for the event of these troubles, what it will be, it is hard, in so short a time as we have been here, to judge. Yet to speak by way of guess, if the French mean inwardly as plainly as outwardly they profess, Don John is like to have a hard bargain. But if Monsieur mean treacherously, the States shall be in hard case. In my next I shall be able to let you understand more of my opinion. Copy. 12 ll. [Ibid. IX. 3θ.]
July 7. 71. POULET to the QUEEN.
On the 3rd inst. Marchemont, Monsieur's only agent in this town, came to me by his master's orders to pray me to excuse him to your Highness for not sending a gentleman to you as soon as he had appointed. His mother will not agree to his dispatching this messenger till she has heard again from Mauvissière. The same gentleman prays me to give no credit to the reports which are given out that Queen Mother has broken this enterprise to the Low Countries, that his master will come to Court, that the king had banished his minions, and that his master had done the like ; assuring me that Queen Mother had returned from Monsieur very ill satisfied and that he had only yielded to her so far that if the offers of the Estates were not such as he expected, he would not go in person, but would constitute Bussy his lieutenant. 'But,' says he, 'all men of understanding know that nothing less is meant, and that Bussy is not ignorant that there is no security for him anywhere but in the presence of Monsieur.' He has also reported to me that 'Fugieres' departed from hence on the 2nd inst. to join with Pruneaux in his negotiation with the ambassador sent by your Majesty, and that Rochepot is commanded to conduct all the French forces with all speed to the army of the Estates. Since Queen Mother returned to Court, Villeroy has been sent to Monsieur. He has now arrived here, but what news he brings I do not yet know. It is certain that greater preparations than at present have not been seen in France for a long time ; yet they do not appear in outward show, but all gentlemen and others able to bear arms are required to be in readiness, some for the King's service, others for Monsieur's, and the residue for that of the King of Navarre and his party. And because the summer is so far spent, and these great bruits for Flanders come to no execution, rumours are given out that there is strait intelligence between the King and his brother, and that the forces are to be employed either against those of the religion here or against your Majesty and your realm ; and many honest men repair to us daily with blind tales to that effect. It is true that the King is highly offended with those of Rochelle, because they have lately received some little garrison, and threatens that this vain distrust shall cost them dear. But I am credibly informed that the disunion between the King and Monsieur was never greater than at present, that nothing is intended from here to the disadvantage of those of the religion, or to the hurt of your Majesty, and now it is said that Marshal de Cossé will be sent to the King of Navarre and Prince of Condé to assure them. Some think, and I could easily be brought to agree, that these bruits concerning England are given out on purpose to give your Highness cause for fear at home, and thereby divert you from all foreign attempts. Seventeen companies of Spaniards and 800 horse are passed through Savoy for the service of Don John. My last letter to the Secretaries made mention of one of my servants sent into Britanny, who has been in every haven there between St. Malo and Vannes, a little haven 20 leagues or so from Nantes. He found that coast very bare of shipping, and assures me there is not one ship or bark in those parts prepared or to be prepared for the war. La Roche had set out in a ship of 300 tons or thereabouts, accompanied by a pinnace, which is returned by force of 'fowell' weather. The incomers reported to the messenger, thinking him to be a Frenchman, that the great ship had taken her course for Newfoundland and has been well beaten by four English ships which this French ship thought to have robbed. He also tells me that he has been informed by merchants and mariners lately arrived from Portugal that the army there has taken the sea for Africa ; being composed of 50 great ships, 12 galleys, and a great number of small boats called 'kervells.' The messenger on his return found James Fitzmorris at Dinan, where counting himself and his wife he has eighteen persons in his house ; which argues that he finds liberal friendship in this country, and there is no appearance that he is preparing for any new voyage.—Paris, 7 July 1578. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [France II. 59.]
July 8.
K. d. L. x. 576.
72. 'Answer of the States to the Articles proposed to them by the Lords Ambassadors, 8 July 1578.'
They have never had any other wish than to be kept in peace under the obedience of their natural lord the king of Spain ; But under stress of the violation of all their rights, privileges, and liberties and the insupportable tyranny of strangers, tending to their utter ruin, they have been compelled after vainly trying all other remedies to have recourse to arms, which they now for the first time take up solely to recover their ancient rights. Nevertheless, though they have often been deceived by the perfidy of their enemies, till they have but little hope left of attaining to a secure peace, free from fraud and trickery, they are content that if her Majesty's Ambassadors have any hope of being able to arrange such a peace they should employ her authority therein ; and the States will receive it as a great favour. To the second point however they must answer that they see no means in the world for effecting the above, nor of giving any assurance to the country, unless it be that Don John should leave the country with all his troops and adherents, restoring into the hands of the Estates all the places held by him, that they may be united to the other provinces as heretofore ; And that the government remain in the hands of the Archduke on the conditions upon which he has been received as Governor-general ; The authority of the States remaining such as is assigned to them by the Pacification of Ghent, Recognizing always the loyalty and homage due from them to the King of Spain, Leaving it to the Estates to settle, as may best conduce to the quiet of the country, all differences concerning the exercise of religion ; which, owing to the breach of the peace on the part of Don John and the consequent troubles, have gone so far that it is impossible to put things back on the old footing without throwing the whole country into confusion and running the risk of ruin. Which may serve as an answer to the point concerning the possible hindrances to peace arising from the points mentioned ;
Namely the continued stay of Don John and his adherents in these parts, and their manner of behaviour. Also the various perfidy and violation of promises whereby the Estates have been deceived, both by Don John's predecessors and by himself ; for he has always tried only to amuse them with fair words and feigned shadows of negotiation, that he might get his forces ready the while, and take them unawares. So that it is impossible to trust him or his adherents while they remain. Further, breaking all sworn pacts and contracts, they want to bring all matters alike of religion and of the obedience due to the king back to their old footing of the time of Charles V, a thing now quite impossible, and pernicious to the whole country. Besides the retention of towns, castles, &c. by Don John and his followers. Which points being adjusted according the equitable declaration above made, there may be some hope of arriving at peace, which otherwise seems impossible. Other points affecting individuals, such as restitution of property on either side, cancelling of banishments, release of prisoners, can afterwards be settled with less difficulty. As to the third article, namely whether his Highness and the States have decided to wage offensive or defensive war, they reply as they have explained by the mouth of the Prince of Orange, the Duke of Aerschot, and other deputies of the Council of State, that their intention has never been to attack anyone, only to maintain themselves at peace under due obedience to the King of Spain, seeing that therein lies all their prosperity. But as they have been assailed by tumultuary seditions on the part of the Spanish soldiers and other foreigners, and by the violence with which Don John has attacked them in the teeth of all oaths, seizing their castles and seeking their entire ruin, to effect which he has employed the mutinous soldiers aforesaid, who had been declared by his Majesty's Council and the Estates rebels, and deserving of exemplary punishment, they have been constrained to take up arms, not for attack but for defence and for the preservation against violence of their lives, wives, children, and property. Nevertheless, as it is part of the right and the necessity of war that he who is defending himself against the attack of another is constrained to assault the aggressor, purely defensive as the present war is they intend to use all efforts to repel aggression and in so doing to strike their enemy till God gives them grace to drive him out of these countries and deliver their poor fatherland ;
To which end they have already 10,000 or 12,000 horsemen from abroad, beside those of the country who number 3,000, and 170 companies of infantry. As to the fourth article, the event of war being in the hand of God, they cannot give an absolute answer save as to their intention ; which is to stake everything and carry on this war to the very end, without sparing even to their last farthing, to shake off the yoke of the intolerable servitude to Spain, and maintain their ancient rights. As regards the means, they quite hope that when the arrangement which they have begun to adopt is on foot, and has made some way, it will bring in 600,000 florins per month, indeed rather more than less. But as meanwhile the necessity of war calls for a considerable sum of money they beg her Majesty according to her promise, seeing that nothing can be raised on the obligation, to do them the favour to furnish the promised £100,000 ; by means of which they hope to be able so to conduct their affairs as to be able to meet all future needs. To show that they desire to proceed with all sincerity, they beg the ambassadors to tell them what further securities they desire for the sum in question. They will find the Estates ready to listen to anything in reason. To the fifth article they reply that they hope to go on in such agreement, according to their mutual promises that nothing detrimental as regards the war may occur in this direction. To the sixth, that to all appearance the towns will hold firm, seeing that even after the rout of Gembloux not a single town moved aside from its allegiance, and they are doing their utmost to fortify themselves, even at their own charges. To the seventh ; the people having felt the burden of the Spanish tyranny intolerable, his Highness and the Estates hope that they will not fail to continue the endeavour they have begun ; ay, and more if necessary. To the eighth ; as nothing is done herein save by ordinance of the Estates, who see that it is carried out, there is no fear that it will not be employed to the destined end. To the ninth answer has been given above. To the tenth ; as the needs of this oppressive war consume great quantity of munitions, they have already told her Majesty that they hope she will aid them with powder and saltpetre by way of loan. As to the last article, touching the forces of the enemy, he is known to have 4,000 or 5,000 horse, and 15,000 or 16,000 foot. But as reinforcements reach him every day it is impossible to know his exact strength. As the ambassadors see by these answers the sincere intention of his Highness and the Estates, and the necessity imposed on them of undertaking this war, with their resolve to continue it, in case a good peace cannot be established, they desire them kindly to declare the intentions of the Queen ; whether she is pleased to enter into the defence of this their quarrel and to assist them openly and publicly, or intends to make them a loan of money secretly, or in what fashion soever it may please her to further with her assistance the prosecution of this war, so important to all Christendom, and especially to the peace and security of their neighbours. And as she has so liberally given a promise of the £100,000 above-mentioned, upon which it has been found impossible to raise anything, and the Estates have built thereon, they beseech her to consider into what mischief they would fall if their hope is frustrated, and that it may therefore please her to consider means whereby this promise may have its effect, to the relief of these afflicted countries and the more ample ratification of her Majesty's credit, authority and greatness.—Antwerp, 8 July 1578. (Signed) Matthias ; (Countersigned) for his Highness, Van Asseliers, for the Estates, Houfflin. Prob. the original. Endd. by L. Tomson. Fr. 7 pp. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 48.]
July 8. 73. Copy of the above. Endd. Fr. 5 pp. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 49.]
July 2-8. 74. English version of the questions (No. 64) and the Estates' answers, incomplete.
Endd. 5 pp. [Ibid. VII. 50.]
July 9-10. 75. The 9th July, Antwerp.
Ingots handed to Peter Laiguier on account of what he has to have, etc. Lists of silver from various cases, its weight and value. 'No. 16 was bags of Spanish reals.' Total amount to £5,009 1s. Doubtless part of the loan to the States. Two sheets of paper, with figures roughly jotted down. Fr. 12/3 pp. [Ibid. VII. 51.]


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