Elizabeth: July 1578, 11-15

Pages 57-60

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, 11-15

July 12
K. d. L. x. 582.
We have sent Mr. Sommers over to her Highness, who knows our proceedings. We find that the demands are such, and not to be altered, that there is no hope that Don John will yield to it. Whether this grows of the great army which they have, or whether they make sure of keeping war with the King of Spain some years, I know not ; or whether they are determined to change masters, a thing in my opinion to be feared. What they have informed us of the state of the country, Mr. Sommers has at large. It may be truly said that the losses of Gemblours being great, yet not one town has revolted from the States, nor many taken of any importance, but such as easily will be had when they are stronger in the field, except Philippeville. Monsieur's deputies have not been with us as yet. Their master's action is very strange ; he will come and aid them, and command, whether they will or will not. Holland, Zealand, Brabant, Flanders, Friesland, Gueldres, Artois much mislike of the French ; only 'Henoye' embraces them. It is to be suspected that Count Lalaing will deliver the town of Mons to him ; but I find it a general disposition, rather than be under the tyranny of the Spaniards, to seek a new master ; rather than 'fail masters.' They have not pressed us for any 'mean' ; and in truth they have no need. 'Marry they have great want of money' ; all the more because her Majesty's bonds have taken no good effect. If she think good to help them I judge she may have some good payment for it ; that whatever end these troubles have, she may 'make her present,' assure her merchants, and bridle this loose people. Now that there is no great cause of our stay, it may please your Lordship to help us home.—Antwerp, 12 July 1578. P.S.—The toleration of religion is guaranteed by the States-General, and sent to the Provinces. If this breed no alteration it is likely the States will stand fast together. It is said that they will fight ere long. Casimir is at Zutphen. Add. Endd. 1½ pp. [Ibid. VII. 52.]
July 12.
K. d. L. x. 581.
Having received yours of the 6th at her Majesty's entering into her progress at Ham, I delivered her letter to herself. At first she thought that Mr. Sommers was come, but when she knew he was prevented by the Estates not having given their answer she was satisfied. But touching the three points specially noted in your letter, namely religion, Monsieur, and want of money, for the first, she did not like such a sudden alteration, foreseeing that such a hasty change would bring ruin among them through division. For Monsieur there was little fear, because of the promises he has made to use moderation and do good for honour's sake, without meaning to advance himself otherwise than in reason were meet. The third point being a money matter is hardly digested here ; and till Mr. Somers comes, nothing will be resolved upon, though the 'merchant strangers,' Horatio Pallavicini and Benedetto Spinola, still call upon me for her Majesty's and the City's bonds. I tell them that when Mr. Sommer comes they shall have an answer, which God grant may be speedy and to their satisfaction. I see nothing in reason and honour to the contrary, though some would have no more dealings with the Estates till it were known that they were of force sufficient to resist the adversary. At a word, we had rather be lookers-on than doers ; and therefore God grant a peace may be had, which is chiefly desired here. Duke Casimir is the man in my opinion that is able to make an end of all, if he be well-used ; upon whose force if the States do not chiefly rely they may perhaps repeat their unadvised dealings. I send you the enclosed letter, to which you may give all the credit you think meet. I have received a letter from France on the 8th that Monsieur is making great preparations and going on with his matters, although the king has openly put out a proclamation against his proceedings.—From the Court at Havering, 12 July 1578. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson : From Mr. Seer. Wilson, letter intelligence. Dealing D. Danjou commissioners. 1. Speech with 'Don Martin.' 2. Speech with the P. 3. Thanks for his letter. 4. Emp. Imb. repair to D. John. 5. Monsieur request confer with master [?]. 6. Palavicino Spinola her Majesty's promise [probably notes for a letter home]. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 53.]
July 13. 78. The DUKE of ANJOU to the ESTATES.
You may have heard of the forces which I have levied through almost all the provinces of France, with the view of aiding you to execute your enterprise of freeing your country from the tyranny of the Spaniard, according to the request which you made to me. I need not, therefore, repeat it, but will only say that having been advertised that all was in readiness, and having given the order to proceed to the place of rendezvous, I have come hither with all diligence, accompanied only by some of my most trusted servants. I have charged a gentleman of experience to collect my forces in the most remote provinces, and lead them to me with all speed, and have given like orders in the nearer. I hope they will soon be here in such numbers that when joined with yours they may, with the help of God, check the insolence of the enemy. Wherein I would not spare my own person nor means, as the effect will show you. My only wish, as I have already written, is to retain the point of honour due to the rank which I hold and the friendly task I have undertaken. If you have any doubt remaining, which I cannot believe, I pray you, as I desire the prosperity of your affairs, which partly depends on rapidity, to let me know what you still want to satisfy you on that head : and to this end to send such of your own number as you may think good, that all occasion of division may be removed.—Mons, 13 July 1578. [Note] Received on the 15 of the same. Copy. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 54.]
July 13. 79. Another copy. Endd. by L. Tomson. Fr. 2 pp. [Ibid. VII. 55.]
July 13.
K. d. L. x. 585.
You may so amply have understood the state of things from my Lords since their coming, that I have forborne to trouble you with my impertinent letters ; but I will now for duty's sake accompany their dispatch with a line or two. Our long-trained preparations are grown to some head. Within three leagues of this town the States have assembled 9,000 horse and 7,000 or 8,000 foot, with which they have begun to form their camp, increasing it with infantry as their money allows, which 'arises very scarcely.' When their forces are come together, they seem resolved to 'present the battle' without waiting for Casimir, who is passing his musters in Gueldres. Whether they think themselves strong enough, or necessity forces them, or good policy induces them to fight without him, I cannot tell, once [qy. only] it seems they are determined to venture. To fight with a part of their forces, considering their own estate and the quality of their enemy, is 'hardly allowed' by some, while to delay battle till all their troops are joined is as much impugned by others, who think it better to have a force like Casimir's reserved, whatever happens, than to risk their whole force at once ; for if with the army they have ready they defeat their enemy, it is as much as they seek for ; if they are defeated they think it cannot be without great weakening of the other, against whom bringing a fresh army into the field before he recovers himself they think to 'put him to his plunge.' But victory is in the hands of God, and the issue of their counsel must be referred to Him. Our French matter is not grown to its full ripeness. The Duke's agents here still labour to render their master's course acceptable, but their travail has hitherto prevailed chiefly or only in Hainault. Rochepot is still in Picardy, where he has gathered about 2,000 foot ; the rest of the Duke's troops do not yet stir that we hear of. Montdoucet is this morning come to this town to communicate with my Lords, and we shall have the question revived among the Estates whether it is best to accept or reject his offers. The matter is of great consequence and all the harder to decide for the peril which may grow by either course. But some wise men are still of opinion that all this wind will shake little, esteeming the scope and drift of these preparations to tend to the hindering of Duke Casimir from entering France, having 'done his feat' here ; a thing which they vehemently suspect, and therefore will have an army hovering upon the frontiers, and intend in the meantime not to be idle if the folly of the Henuyers offer them any advantage.—Antwerp, 13 July 1578. Draft. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 56.]
July 14.
K. d. L. x. 590.
By this bearer, Mr. Sommers, you will fully understand what is to be hoped for touching peace between Don John and the States, in what terms they stand here, and how we are dallied with by M. d'Anjou's deputies. So that I hope when you are thoroughly informed that there is no further cause for our stay, you will stand so much our good lord as to further our return. The Prince gave us yesterday to understand that Don John's forces have already crossed the 'Mase' with a determination to fight ; but men of good judgement think that he will not hazard a battle but upon very great advantage. The States camp is assembled near 'Lira,' but the greater part of their foot are for lack of money driven to be assembled in villages and cannot be drawn to repair to the camp before they receive pay ; which is a great hindrance and loss of time. The trust they had of raising £100,000 on her Majesty's bonds has thrown them into this necessity, which makes them earnest with us to mediate with her Majesty for some present relief ; which I wish were performed, so long as she could get some good security for its repayment. I have asked the bearer to acquaint you with my opinion as to a mode of security that may contain other benefits.—Antwerp, 14 July 1578. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. VII. 57.]
Though my mission keeps me so full of business that I am not free to pay my respects to you in person, I would not fail to send this bearer, my nephew, Mr. Mildmay, to perform that duty in my stead. And not only do I know well that your coming here is very acceptable to her Majesty and all the great lords of our country, but I assure you that I personally derive great satisfaction from it : and only wish to show by my humble services the devotion I bear you. —From the Court (sic), 15 July 1578. Copy (by Lisle Cave). Fr. 1 p. [For. E. B. Misc. I.]