K. d. L. x.
13. [DAVISON] to WILSON.
Since my last dispatch the heat of our French negotiation is
well assuaged, notwithstanding that the States of Hainault still detain
the Duke's commissioners, and earnestly insist with the States
General to have them called back and satisfied, pretending for
their own parts an earnest inclination that way, though it be a
matter more embraced by Count Lalaing and his faction than by
the generality of the province, who as hardly affect the proceeding
with the French as any other of the Low Countries.
Rochepot returned in post to the Duke about 10 days since.
How his report will be digested, and what will follow, is yet in expectation.
Meanwhile the Prince seems to suspect his taking part
against them. His preparations are affirmed to continue. The
Duke of Guise since his coming into Champagne has levied 60 ensigns
of 'pietons' and 30 companies of horsemen ; whether to
assure their frontier, suspecting the intent of Duke Casimir to bend
thither after playing his part here, or to join with the enemy,
is yet in doubt. He has lately sold the King a little town of his,
beside Metz, called St. 'Avo,' for 300,000 francs, wherewith he
makes his preparations. In some, the news of a general arming
in France makes them here 'jealous of the pretense.'
The enemy has done nothing of moment since the surrender of
Philippeville. Last week he sent M. d'Hierges with 4,000 foot and
2,000 horse towards Gueldres, to attack the reiters newly arrived
in that corner ; but their intent being discovered and prevented
they are returned towards Namur, with no result but the spoil of
certain cattle and provisions.
The cavalry arrived in those quarters are estimated at 6,000
horse, accompanied by a regiment of lansquenets under one Lazarus
Mulder ; which with our countrymen and the Scots may make about
9,000 'pietons.' While Count Bossu is to 'address' these forces in
Gueldres, the Viscount of Ghent is appointed to have the conduct of
another little camp of the French and Walloons not far from
Brussels, to amuse and entertain the enemy.
Yesterday the States were in hard consultation about the authorizing
of both religions, as well to avoid the inconvenience that
might occur to the one by the violent suppressing or breaking forth
of the other, as for the better entertaining of the union ; but the
matter is not yet determined, though like to turn out well, a thing
handled on the Prince's part with very good dexterity.
They devoutly await the arrival of my Lord Cobham and Sir Francis
Walsingham, hoping by them to receive some good satisfaction.—
Antwerp, 11 June 1578.
Draft. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 8.]
14. M. DE VILLIERS to BURGHLEY.
My best thanks for your kind salutations through Mr. Davison
wherein I recognise your kindness. It is all the more conspicuous
for the wise theological advice you give me. Your wisdom may
conjecture, though it cannot see, the difficulties by which I am
surrounded. You will understand from M. du Plessis the plan that
commends itself to me ; I have asked him to explain it to you,
when he can find you at leisure from sterner business. If I am
wrong, I will correct myself on hearing something better ; but my
conscience finds ease in thinking that I am engaged upon nothing
that does not look to the glory of our Lord Christ. If I gain my
object, I shall congratulate myself ; if not, it will be a fine thing to
have attempted so great and difficult a matter. I beseech you, use
your favour and influence with her Majesty that she may be
pleased to stand by us.—Antwerp, 12 June 1578.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. VII. 9.]
15. DRAFT OF INSTRUCTIONS [for LORD COBHAM AND SIR FRANCIS
WALSINGHAM.] (This corresponds fairly with the
instructions as finally settled.)
Endd. : in Dr. Wilson's hand : Instructions ; and in another
hand : for the Low Countries or to the Archduke Matthias.
Copious corrections by Dr. Wilson. 9 pp. [Ibid. VII. 10.]
16. ANOTHER, APPARENTLY EARLIER DRAFT. (Differs considerably
from the final form in which the following passages,
for example, are not found.)
"For the better effectuating of this godly purpose and accord
you are to dissuade altogether the receiving of Monsieur the French
king's brother to their aid, and to lay down before them the harm
and loss that is likely to ensue unto them all generally if they
should receive him to be their protector. And to make them the
rather to refuse so dangerous and so mighty a personage, you shall
assure them that we will enter in aid of them with our present
forces upon his refusal, and defend them by all the convenient
means we may . . . . . .
"If you understand that Monsieur is so set as he will not divert
his force, and being refused of the States, will join his whole
power with Don John or otherwise 'collude' with the Low Country,
assure the States that in such case we will not only call Duke
Casimir to join with them against Don John and the French, but
will also employ our own forces against them . . . . . .
"And you are to use your best care and diligence to 'empeache' the
embracing of Monsieur's over high and dangerous demand, declaring
that it were best for them to stand chiefly upon their own forces,
and consequently to take the aid of them that have the chiefest
care of their welfare . . . . .
"And if Monsieur, allowing unto them generally the freedom of
their conscience with the maintenances of their liberties, will not
stand to the allowing of the pacification made at Ghent, you are
then to stand upon that point earnestly . . . . And specially
propound unto them that the abrogating of that pacification shall
directly tend to make a separation and disunion of the States and
people of the Low Countries . . . .
"If you shall find that the States are so far past in their treaty
with Monsieur's commissioners . . . as it shall seem they are
determined to help themselves by Monsieur . . . then shall you
require the Estates to [last few words added by Wilson] use means to
give certain knowledge thereof to Don John, charging him that
by forbearing to yield to a peace with the States, and by refusing
to accept all mediation . . . . he shall hazard the loss of the
Low Countries to the king, and he shall bear the reproach thereof
in all Christendom, and therefore by the same means he shall be
pressed to forbear such obstinacy . . . . If you shall understand
him to answer to the Estates as he hath done to us heretofore that
he doubteth not any thing of the French actions, or that he shall
seem to make light account of them, then you may make assured
conclusion and full reckoning to the States that there cannot be a
good meaning in the French towards them . . . ."
Endd : Instructions, for one sent to the Archduke Matthias. A
few corrections by Dr. Wilson. 10½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 11.]
K. d. L. x.
17. INSTRUCTIONS given the 12th day of June, 1578 unto our
right trusty and well-beloved the LORD COBHAM, warden
of our five ports and to our trusty and right well-beloved
Counsellor SIR FRANCIS WALSINGHAM, sent to
the STATES OF THE LOW COUNTRIES.
You are to consider chiefly three points : first, that you travail
for a peace and good agreement to be made betwixt the States and
Don John by all means possible ; second, that failing of the first
you learn to understand the state and force of the country ;
third, that you enter into consideration of M. d'Anjou, how far and
in what matter it were meet for him to deal in favour of the States.
(1) You are to work for a pacification by 'several' conference with
the Prince of Orange and others of the nobility, and understand
of them by what means a good accord may be effectuated, and
whether the coming of Duke Casimir be not a ready way to bring
quietness to their country, when Don John shall see the resolute
preparation of the 'Almans' against him. If there be any known
lets to hinder this desired accord, ask particularly what they are
and how they may be redressed, what course is to be taken with
Don John, and what counsel they can give to bring him to quietness.
And whereas the Emperor our good brother has sent his
ambassador to deal for peace, as well with the States as with Don
John, endeavour to deal with him, if he may be moved to concur
with you. After you have thus conferred with the Prince and others,
and with the Emperor's ambassador, and thereby learned what you
can, you shall send some messenger to Don John, giving him knowledge
of our intention to employ you about the pacification
of these troubles. If he shall find Don John willing to confer
with you about peace and there is likelihood for you to do some
good, you shall set yourselves in order to repair to him, and show
him how sorry we are that notwithstanding our several messages
sent to the king we could not hitherto work that good we have
desired. Yet since we know the goodness of peace and due
obedience to be always highly esteemed, and as we have seen lately
the intention of the French King's brother to attain to the
usurpation of that country, we cannot but continue in our former
purpose to leave nothing undone that may tend to the honour of our
good brother, the welfare of his country, and the repose and
quietness of all Christendom. You may also say that we never had
any other meaning but that they of the Low Country should be
always kept in due obedience to their natural prince, receiving
benefit of their freedom and privileges as they heretofore have
done. And as the French seek by all means to alter the state of
their government and to usurp the country to themselves under
colour of giving aid to them, you shall say to Don John that we
have ever used our uttermost force to hinder that course. If Don
John will not accord to any tolerable peace or 'surceance' of arms
for conference, tell him plainly that his dealings are to be met, and
that we cannot nor will not suffer the Low Country to be overrun
and laid waste as it is at present.
(2) If you see no likelihood of agreement, you are to deal with the
second part of your charge, namely, to understand the state, condition
and ability of the provinces and their several forces ; also of
what disposition the nobility, clergy and people are amongst themselves,
how they are affected each to other, what 'pyke' is amongst
them for their conscience in religion, and in which of them is the
better mind or inclination to preserve their public state. Enquire
also what power of men they have in all places, how distributed,
what store of munition they have and other necessaries, what
general means for money (being the sinews of war), how it is
collected and upon whom bestowed. If they agree, you may ask to
confer with those of the finances, to know their mass of treasure,
and understand the distribution of it. Also, if they find any
'overburdenous' to them in wasting their treasure and increasing
their expenses, you may not only ask how this may be remedied,
but give your advice. You are to request them to take your
enquiries in good part, since it is very reasonable that, seeing
we have hitherto relieved them, and thereby know the great
misliking of the King of Spain and all other princes that are joined
in this action against them, it behoves us to be made partakers of
their whole state and conditions.
(3) As to the States' dealings with Monsieur, though he is found
so well disposed to them that they have no cause to mistrust him,
you may require of them, as they deal with so mighty a personage,
that the aid which he is to bring them may be so moderated that
they may have help thereby and not be overruled. If the forces of
the States, together with Casimir and the Duke of Anjou, shall
appear to you insufficient to withstand the power of Don John, we
are content upon necessity so appearing to send our forces out of
England for their better relief. And we would have you ask of them
what towns and fortresses they are disposed to deliver upon our
people's first landing, to keep the same for their indemnity ; wherein
you may very well deal, finding the example already yielded by them
to the French king's brother. Herein you are to stand earnestly
with them for the castle and town of Scluis, and the town of
Flushing in the Isle of Walkeryn, to be delivered into our hands.
If they shall be content to yield the said town into our hands,
you may capitulate with them for the defraying of the charge of
such garrisons as we shall think meet to be placed in those towns,
to be repaid at the end of the wars ; upon repayment of which and
of such other sums as we have lent them or given credit for, we are
content to give them what security they can in reason desire for
the redelivery of the towns into their hands.
Lastly, as it is hard precisely to set down every particular, we
are pleased that you use your discretions, having a principal regard
to direct the course of your doings as may seem best to further the
charge committed to you.
As Duke Casimir has requested us to commend to the States
certain of his gentlemen that come with him to have entertainment
and good usage of them, you shall commend them as you shall
Also for our merchants and subjects 'interessed' there and
especially for the Merchant Adventurers, you shall deal with the
Prince of Orange and others that they may be well entreated, and
have speedy right in all their lawful demands. (Signed) Tho.
Copy. 5 pp. [Ibid. VII. 12.]
18. Another copy, with marginal headings, by L. Tomson. 6½ pp.
[For. E. B. Misc. II.]
19. THE QUEEN to the ARCHDUKE MATTHIAS.
I have always desired to procure peace in all Christian realms ;
but above all it would give me pleasure to see my allies the Belgians
enjoying their ancient rights. To this end I have sent many of my
people both to the governor of the country and to the king himself.
Although my efforts have not been as successful as I could
wish, I cannot refrain from making a last effort, and I am sending
Baron Cobham, Warden of the Cinque Ports, and Sir Francis
Walsingham, my privy councillor, to do what they can to bring
matters to a good issue ; as you will understand if you talk with
them, in whom I pray you to confide as in myself.
Draft in Dr. Wilson's hand, and endd. by him. Latin. ½ p.
[Holl. and Fl. VII. 13.]
20. POULET to BURGHLEY.
I thank you for yours of the 29th ult. : the metaphor used in the
same being in nothing more certain than in deciphering your
favour and affection towards me. It had been most truly applied
in the rest, if you had set me down for the Bankrupt, not able indeed
to discharge the hundredth part of the liberal and courteous
credit which I have received for many months at your hands. To
answer you with your own words and to give them their true place,
it must suffice you that your bountiful dealing being the fruit of
your good will does not diminish your stock, though I must confess
that my debt is so increased that I shall never be able to pay it.
Yet to say something for myself, I will wish that all such liberal
creditors may meet with as thankful debtors ; desiring nothing more
than to acquit some part of the debt, which I will not fail to do
faithfully upon every good occasion occurring.
As you are sometimes from the Court I have troubled you with
the enclosed copy of my letter to the Secretaries that these advertisements
given by occasion of the departure hence of this bearer,
Mr. Wroth, may appear more fully to you.—Paris, 15 June 1578.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [France II. 53.]
21. Copy of letter to Secretaries, enclosed in the above.
Having received command from you, Mr. Walsingham, by a letter
of the 7th inst. arrived here on the 11th, to signify to Monsieur by
such means as I should think most convenient, that in some sort her
Majesty would be content that he should deal in the Low Countries,
and therefore if he would give authority to his deputies there to treat
in that behalf with such ministers as she would shortly send thither,
something might be concluded to both their contentments, I could
think of no expedient so secret and fit for the purpose as to inform
Monsieur of it by letter ; which I delivered on the 12th to his agent
here, who promised to send it with speed.
You bade me also think of some good means to induce those of
the Religion here not to 'restrain' themselves so much if her
Majesty and he join together in this enterprise ; which shall be
done when I hear from you of your proceedings with Monsieur.
These men are easily intreated, and I fear some of the best among
them will go without intreaty.
I am further bidden to feel how the king and Queen Mother will
be inclined to like the concurrence of her Majesty and Monsieur in
this action. I can do nothing at present by reason of the absence
of the Court ; unless I employ some stranger, and then I should
not fail to be betrayed. Nothing is more certain than that Queen
Mother would like it well, however outwardly she will dissemble it,
knowing that the greatness of Monsieur is the only means to assure
her government under this king. I think it no less assured that the
king will mislike it greatly, being not ignorant that the continuance
of her Majesty alone will give such credit to his brother at home
and abroad that he may force him to yield to hard conditions.
Those princes may be sounded when you please, and my service
therein shall be ready ; but in my opinion it may do hurt and can
do no good. They will not fail to make their profit of your inventions
and you will be answered with dissimulation. I make great
difference between their answer by month and their answer under
hand by a second person ; yet the first may be amended at some
In pursuance of the same letter I have also dispatched one of my
servants into Britanny to see the preparations which are said to be
making there, and to discover to what purpose they are made ;
though I believe nothing less than that anything of importance is
prepared there, or that Stukeley intends to join in them. Yet I
think it very likely that Fitzmorris make take the sea again with a
bark or two, as he has already done. The subtle malice of this
time gives us just cause to fear rather too much than too little, and
therefore I would be sorry to remove your jealousies, and this
messenger's labour will be well employed.
As for what you have been told of the Duke of Guise levying
horse and foot, I do not hear that he makes any other levy than of
the 7 companies of horse mentioned in my last as being done by
command of the king ; and I hear that this goes slowly forward.
It is good to fear enough, but it is a bad office to give you cause to
fear more than enough. Many think that the Duke of Guise departed
hence not well satisfied, yet nothing is more certain than
that he is and always will be ready to serve the king either to the
benefit of the Spaniard or to the disadvantage of those of the Religion.
No doubt the Duke is able to levy great power 'upon
every sudden,' by reason of the Ligues, which are greatly at his
devotion ; yet these men are not to be employed in every quarrel.
I doubt not but du Vray is arrived at 'that' Court long since.
He went from here on the 11th, conducted by John de Vigues.
I am credibly informed that Monsieur continues his preparation,
and that being now at Alençon he has given out sundry commissions
for the levying of men. His journey is 'greatly embraced'
by all sorts of people in this country, so that if there is no fault
in the Estates it will be hard to stay him from his enterprise, and
therefore I am not sorry that du Vray is now with you, and that
you have some doings with him here.
Perigueux has lately been in danger of being surprised. The
manner is diversely reported, but they agree that the Catholics are
repulsed with much slaughter.
You may believe that the king is glad to be fingering a little
money, when upon an old suit depending against the financiers he
has now agreed for 2,000,000 francs ; yet it is said that only
600,000 come clear to his purse.
It is said that young Laubespine will be sent to the Pope,
Monmorin to the bishops of Germany and Delbene to the Duke of
Florence. Those of the Religion have no good opinion of this
The whole house of Guise assembles at Dijon the last of this
month, but to what end I cannot yet learn. I trust to discover it
by the help of the Protestants here, who are so jealous of their
faction that it can hardly escape them. Some think this assembly
may be grounded upon the complaints lately exhibited to the king
by those of Champagne and Burgundy, of which I informed you by
Mr. Stafford, and it is thought that many other provinces will make
like complaints very shortly. 'This drift is thought to be driven by
the Duke of Guise to make himself dreadful to the king.'
Geneva has taken a garrison of 300 Swiss and is making great
provision of corn and other necessaries. I now hear that the Duke
of Savoy has withdrawn the garrisons of his frontier towns, and that
his subjects come daily to Geneva with victuals as in time past.
Yet many think that between France and Savoy, Geneva will very
shortly be in danger of extreme ruin, and that if Monsieur do not
proceed in his journey to the Low Countries, the French forces will
be employed against it.
I hear from one of the religion, of good credit, that Mailleraye, one
of the three governors in Normandy, has lately written to one of his
lieutenants in cipher as follows : Ne vous donnez point de peine pour
les forces qu'assemble Monsieur, pour ce qu'il entend fort bien avec le
roi, Don Juan s'en allant combattre Duc Casimier, tandis que
Monsieur entre dans le pays It is possible that this is cunningly
given out, and indeed it is hard to devise a better means to make
Monsieur odious to those of the Religion and his other friends in
Normandy, where he has many partizans, and the king is not
ignorant of it.
It is now reported the Queen Mother and the Queen of Navarre are
gone or going to Monsieur, who is still at Alençon ; and this increases
the suspicion. These two women shoot at two separate
marks, and Monsieur is the only man that can serve both their
turns. Richelieu is dispatched to the Prince of Condé to know
his decision as to his marriage with the French queen's sister, and
it is thought convenient, forsooth, that the Queen of Navarre shall
defer going to her husband till answer is received from the Prince
of Condé, that Queen Mother may stop two gaps with one bush
and bring these two ladies to their husbands with one journey.
This seems to be the last shift, though a poor one ; yet when this
shall fail some other must be devised, most people thinking that the
Queen of Navarre has no 'devotion' to go into Gascony.
It is true that some of the Religion begin to think ill of Monsieur,
and many are persuaded that he will speak with the king, yet you
will do well to suspend your judgement till you hear further, and
for my part I cannot easily believe that Monsieur will be persuaded
to join the Spaniard. Yet I must confess that nothing is impossible
to these two queens.
It is said that the king will not be here till the 24th.—Paris,
16 (sic) June 1578.
Copy. 5 pp. [France, II. 54.]
22. CAPTAIN RICHARD BINGHAM to DAVISON.
Though I wrote to you lately and sent my letter to Bois-le-duc to
be forwarded to Antwerp, yet having the opportunity of Mr. Throgmorton's
(M. Frogmortonne) return, I thought I would write again
and let you know of our arrival here. We found a fairly moderate
supply of provisions on the road, for which reason our soldiers committed
no disorders, but I do not think that can last long. When
we go into camp we shall have to buy our food, the little money we
have will soon be spent, and if steps are not at once taken there
will be some disturbance of discipline among our men, who will
feel themselves free to do things which they would not venture to
do if they had money. I will do my best, so long as it is possible
to prevent disorder from occurring among us ; it is also in the power
of 'his E.' to remedy the evil before it comes to pass.
We go to-morrow to the Count Bossu, to receive his orders as to
our action. As for news, it is said the reiters under Count Schwarzburg
have passed the Meuse.
With reference to the last subject on which I spoke to you
before leaving Antwerp, pray bear it in mind ; for if I desired it
then I desire it yet more now.—Wilden [? Weelde], 15 June 1578.
P.S.—I do not write to Mr. John Norris for divers reasons, but you
know my mind. The change will be very profitable, means may
be made by complaints feigned from the Spanish Ambassador 'that
is lyger' in England, for that Henry is an 'inerter' [qy. inheritor]
and therefore more sure than the other. Further Mr. Norris may
'put him in band to answer him a good count at the pay.'
Add. (seal). Letter in Fr. P.S. (autograph), in English. 1 p.
[Holl. and Fl. VII. 14.]
23. CAPTAIN R. BINGHAM to DAVISON.
Please put me in the way of getting, at Antwerp, either on your
credit or for cash as may best suit you, so many harquebuses, corslets,
and pikes as are required to arm sixty or seventy soldiers newly
come to me from England. I promise to reimburse you the cost.
I have heard that complaint has been made to his E. that
the quartermaster of my brother's company has taken three
horses from a peasant. I do not think it is true, but rather that
the guilty person has accused an innocent man. In order to show his
E. my entire affection to his service, I am writing to let him
know that I will put the quartermaster in irons until the truth is
known, and if he turn out to be guilty I will do such justice on him
that his E. shall be satisfied. I send you the letter, leaving
it to your discretion to present it or withhold it.
Nothing new since I wrote two days ago.—Wilden, 17 June 1578.
P.S.—I have just heard that we go tomorrow to a camp that is
being formed at a place called Ost, between Grave and Bois-le-duc.
Ten ensigns of landsknechts and our regiment will be the first to
Please remember to speak to 'Monsr. Norwith' [qy. Bp. of Norwich]
touching a minister, who as you know is badly wanted in our
regiment, and let us have one ; the sooner the better.
Add. (seal). Fr. (except signature). 1 p. [Ibid. VII. 15.]
K. d. L. x.
24. COBHAM and WALSINGHAM to [DAVISON].
We were dispatched from the Court on the 15th inst. but on
account of the greatness of our train, being six score and odd
persons, we doubt we shall not be able conveniently to reach
Antwerp before the 28th ; before our arrival at which place we wish
for many reasons that Casimir's approach were well advanced.
And whereas both by your own letters written to me the
Secretary, and others lately received from thence, it appears to be
expected that we should bring great things with us, and that if it
fall out otherwise we are likely to be hardly welcome (at which we
wonder, for if it be duly considered what inconveniences her
Majesty has drawn upon herself by incurring the King of Spain's
enmity and the danger of the arrest of her subjects' goods like to
follow, through the assistance she has already given them, there
will appear great cause why her ministers should be welcome, and
they may be thought ingrate in case they are otherwise than well
used), we doubt not but if such speeches are given out, you will let
them plainly understand that they greatly forget themselves, and
may thereby provoke her Majesty to run another course than will
be for their benefit.
Of our setting forth, and of what we think fit to be answered such
ingrate speeches we have found it expedient to advise you.—Canterbury
17 Aug. 1578.
Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. VII. 16.]
K. d. L. x.
25. WILSON to WALSINGHAM.
Her Majesty told me somewhat late last night what had passed
between herself and du Vray. Hearing this man declaring the
conformity of his master and using all the good words that might
be to win credit and favour, she said, with thanks for such a
devotion offered, that she would be glad to do him good, so that he
took good wage. Touching the king she wished him to have regard
to his duty and not attempt anything to the derogation of his
brother, but behave himself so that the wisest may judge the best of
For the perplexed Low Countries, if he had a mind to help them
to their liberties by force of arms against the Spanish tyranny,
without any mind to usurp upon them under colour of doing them
good, she would not only well like such dealings but would gladly
join with him. And as he would get great honour by taking that
course, so would France receive great profit 'when such men
followed with him about this enterprise, who tarrying at home and
living discontented, would never suffer the Realm to be at rest.'
Moderate forces brought to the Estates by Monsieur would avoid
suspicion of usurping.
Du Vray is greatly contented with this speech, and has a letter
from her Majesty to this end, presently to depart, with a chain of
the value of £80.
For your matters sent me by Mr. Tremayne, I will deal with
them as I may. And for Mr. Bowes I had done that before your
letter came, conferring by letter with my Lord Treasurer, with
whom to-morrow, upon the Starchamber day, I mean to speak at
large, with the rest of the Council. On Friday I shall know her
Majesty's pleasure for those that are to go into Germany.
Mr. William Gorge sets forth to-day with the Swiftsure to deal
against pirates westward, having received instructions yesterday.
The letter enclosed came out of the North.—From the Court,
18 June 1578.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. VII. 17.]
26. LAURENCE TOMSON to DAVISON.
I send two advertisements, which my master wished me to
acquaint you with. That in French you may communicate to
M. Villiers, otherwise keep it secret, and make reserve of it till my
master's coming.—Canterbury, 18 June 1578.
Add. Endd. 6 ll. [Ibid. VII. 18.]
27. Copy of a letter from M. DE LA MOTTE to [qy. the ESTATES]
enclosing copy of instructions given by the French King to M. de
Revers, sent to the Prince of Orange.
Notwithstanding the small cause that is given me, I am unwilling
not to let you see how the King of France is trying to procure
a good peace for us with the Prince of Orange, as you will
learn from the copy of the instructions of M. de Revers who passed
through here on his way to Antwerp. Appended is a discourse by
a certain individual, of which you will take such account as you
think fit. Take my endeavours in good part, for I am trying only
to maintain the union, and to live in such peace as is meet. On
my side no injury or 'agrave' has been done to anyone, and my
sole desire is to go on in the same way. If my neighbours do the
like, all will be at peace ; and this it seems to me, under conviction,
will have the best results, as no doubt you understand better than I.
Gravelines, 19 June 1578. (Signed) Valentin de Pardieu,
Sr. de la Motte.
With reference to what the Prince of Orange has written to the
king by M. de Revers as to his desire for peace and tranquillity
in the Low Countries, his Majesty has thought good to send
M. de Revers once more, to lay the following points before him.
First, his Majesty has never been more desirous to see his own
realm at peace than he now is so to see the Low Countries,
contrary perhaps to the opinion of some who think that he
should rather foment the existing troubles to his own advantage.
But it has never been his nature to profit by the misfortunes of
others, especially his neighbours, nor to prefer his private interest
to the public good of Christendom.
For this reason his Majesty is glad to hear that the Prince is on
his side well-disposed. He will not conceal from him that many
persons are trying to get the contrary believed, spreading
reports that he is the sole cause which is preventing the settlement
of affairs there. His Majesty has never believed this of
him ; he has in all his conduct shown himself too prudent to wish
to bear alone the burden and the odium of so perilous a war.
His Majesty has accordingly thought good, when treating of the
affairs of the said countries with the ministers of the Catholic king,
to communicate to them what the Prince has written of his wishes
in this respect, praying them also to let him have some assurance
of those of the king since he protested that he desired nothing so
much as to render him entire obedience, and by the same means to
consider how to appease the troubles.
To which his Majesty found them so well inclined that he would
not postpone informing the Prince thereof through M. de Revers ;
judging that what is lacking is rather a good intercessor to
arrange an understanding between them than a good zeal and
affection on either side.
The ministers of the Catholic king have declared that all
their master requires of the Estates is the maintenance of the
Roman Catholic religion and the obedience which they owe him
as their sovereign. These two points being satisfied, he is
ready to embrace them as his good and loyal subjects, and
uphold them in the enjoyment of their privileges as in the
days of the Emperor Charles V.
These conditions seem so reasonable that his Majesty would
be glad to bring their effect to pass if the Estates and the
Prince are willing to be content with them ; as he prays and
admonishes them to be before things grow to more bitterness
and become more difficult to compose, as they undoubtedly
will do if the war continues.
His Majesty has charged M. de Revers to beseech the
Prince in his name to let him know as soon as possible his
own and the States' decision, so as not to lose this good
opportunity, and to consider that they are making war only
to obtain this gift of peace and deliver themselves from
oppression. It is offered them on the above-named conditions ;
and these having been obtained them through the intercession
of his Majesty, they render him bound to maintain them in
possession of the same. He implores them not to accept his
offer of mediation unless they are resolved to observe inviolably
what they are to pray his Majesty to promise for them.
M. de Revers will also tell the Prince that his Majesty has
not thought good to express his pleasure to any but himself,
that he may make such use of it as he thinks most expedient for the
good of his country and his own interest.
He will warn him not lightly to trust the fine promises which
may be made to him from divers quarters, but to consider that at
the present day every man prefers his private profit to the duties of
friendship and good neighbourship. If the war, which the
provinces cannot long support, be continued he alone will be the
one to earn hatred, illwill, and injury in his person and his
goods, which would to his Majesty be most displeasing, even
though it proceeded from his omission to profit by the opportunity
to make himself secure and at ease for the rest of his life.
If the Prince makes it appear to M. de Revers that he is willing
to hear of peace, and his Majesty goes on with the matter, since
the ministers of the Catholic king have shown that they desire it,
he is to send a blank passport from the Estates or whoever may be
the right person, for whomsoever his Majesty may decide to send
to them. Meanwhile he will stay with the Prince till further
He is also charged to call upon the Princess of Orange and
assure her that his Majesty will have her pension paid as soon as
his affairs allow, being much displeased that he cannot satisfy her
more promptly. It must be set down to his necessities, owing to
the long continuance of the troubles.
M. de Revers will salute the Prince and Princess in the name
of the Queen Mother, praying them to be assured of her continued
good will, and to give no credence to those who would make them
believe that she has been other than well-affectioned to them, and
to believe that she is very glad to see that the king has so good a
wish to bring about the peace ; to which on her side she will use
her efforts.—Paris, 2 June 1578. (Signed) Henry.
Copy in writing of L. Tomson, and endd. by him. Fr. 4¼ pp.
[Ibid. VII. 19.]
28. DUKE of ANJOU to POULET.
I have received yours of the 12th, and am glad to see the continuance
of the goodwill which you have always shown me. I am much
bounden to you, and hope to let you know that your labours have
not been in vain, and how much they have profited to maintain a
perfect friendship between the Queen your mistress and myself.
In pursuance of your advice I am writing to my Deputies in the
Low Countries to confer with those whom her Majesty is sending ;
and shall be very glad if they can find some good and salutary
expedient to put an end to the troubles of those countries and restore
them to tranquillity. You will let me know by this bearer if you on
your side propose to write to the Queen's ambassadors. I shall
always be pleased to hear any news that you may impart to me ; and
be sure that will never employ yourself for any prince who will be
better able, when occasion offers, to recognise your services, as the
effect will testify more amply.—Alençon, 19 June 1578.
Enclosed in letter of the 23rd, No. 37. Copy. Endd. in Poulet's
hand. Fr. 1 p. [France II. 56.]
29. ANSWER of the SENATE of HAMBURG to the MERCHANTS
You will remember what you requested of the Senate, viz. : that
the end of 10 years new privileges might be confirmed to your society
here resident ; as also how answer was given that this began to be
of more moment, and required the counsel of the neighbouring
Hanse Towns, from whom, by reason of our ancient league, we have
to take advice in weighty causes. It was then signified to you that all
this required a longer time than you perhaps expected, to give them
opportunity for consideration. But when this Senate began to treat
thereon, complaints came by heaps to the Hanse Towns whereby they
burdened the Senate more and more, until it appeared clearly that
the Hanse merchants resident in London were burdened with many
new exactions, etc. impossible to be tolerated, and that the Hanse
privileges 'by them with most duty, goods and blood deserved,' and
long since confirmed from king to king of England, are now, together
with the mutual concord above 100 years erected between England and
the Hanse Towns, reduced to nothing ; forcing the Hanse merchants
to be weary of their trade, and to abandon it. Ten years ago, when
their Senate was so ready to grant privileges to your society (which was
much envied by the rest of the Hanse Towns) they were encouraged
by the hope that the Hanse merchants would obtain reciprocal
advantages in England. It has however been found that their
burdens have rather increased, to the destruction of the trade of
the London Hanse. For this reason 'our neighbours of the Vandales'
with other confederate cities have held a convention at
Lubeck according to the tenor of the last Hanse decree ; where the
thing being thoroughly debated, command was given to our legates
that our Senate should not renew any privileges to your society, and
that your abiding here should not continue beyond next St. Catherine's
day, which prorogation, beyond the lapse of the 11th year as prescribed
in the instruments, the Senate has granted in token of
good will. To this effect the confederate cities have written 'by
a most suppliant libel' to the Queen.
Since therefore it is impossible for our Senate to extend any
privileges or residence further than St. Catherine's day in the
present year, you will kindly hold them excused and excuse
them to the ancient merchants adventurers of London and Antwerp ;
for they can otherwise show favour to the English, you shall have
it willingly.—Hamburg, 20 June 1578. (Signed) Johannes Schroder,
secretary and protonotary.
[June 21.] As regards the request made after yesterday's answer,
to allow the disposal of any goods remaining after St. Catherine's
day in the English merchants' ships, until St. Gregory's day 1579,
the Senate cannot modify the decree ; but goods brought before St.
Catherine's day may be traded in till St. Gregory's day on the
same terms as other merchants have.
Copy. Endd. Latin. 2 pp. [Hanse Towns I. 43.]
30. English version of the above. Endd. by Burghley. 1½ pp.
[Ibid I. 43a.]