Elizabeth: September 1579

Pages 52-67

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 14, 1579-1580. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1904.

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September 1579

Sep. 1. 46. POULET to the SECRETARIES.
Discoursing of late with [name in cypher] etc. he tells me that this Irish enterprise was resolved long since, awaiting only a good hour for its execution, and that Don Bernardino was sent expressly into England for this purpose, both in respect of the certain advertisements which by reason of his great intelligence with courtiers as well as strangers from Italy and other countries he might send to Spain, and in order that being near at hand he might assist the Irish from time to time with his counsel and 'devyse.' He speaks herein, he says, of knowledge ; though in honour and honesty he may say no more. He 'takes upon himself' to know of his own experience that there are many double fellows in England, who pretending great fidelity to her Majesty, 'play of both hands' and often bring better intelligence than they receive ; naming John Zuygo, Louis de Pas, and 'St. Victoires.' He talks of greater fellows, servants to greater personages, and that Don Bernardino spares no cost among this kind of men ; but I cannot 'intreat' him to set down their names. He tells me that this man walks by night, and specially at this busy time, and that it were easy to 'take him with the manner.' He wishes her Majesty to deal roundly in this beginning and to spare no cost to root out those 'runnigates,' and otherwise to make her account that however the King of Spain disposes of his other forces, a good number of his Italians will pass into Ireland as from the Pope, so that the Spaniards will be always excused towards her. I deliver these things as I received them and refer them to your consideration. It seems that the king has changed his opinion touching his journey into Normandy, fearing lest his armed presence might awaken the dog which sleeps, and I think will sleep the rest of this year if he be not awakened against his will. All the eyes of those of the Religion in Normandy, and some especially by my procurement, are upon the Duke of Guise during his abode in the confines of Normandy and Picardy ; whence if anything had been to be feared, I presume that I should have been acquainted with it, and would not have failed to report it. I see nothing prepared here to offend you. Normandy is quiet, saving that they will be rovers and pirates as long as they live. I have had a servant at Nantes in Brittany these six weeks, on account of a suit pending there for some merchants of London. I do not hear from him of any embarkation of importance in those parts. La Roche, upon the petition of the Estates of Brittany, has been restrained by the king from making any levy of men. He has always a ship or two at sea, not always well occupied ; and where they are at present, God knows. A gentleman of especial credit with M. Laval, and his only dealer in all his causes, having been long my guest in Jersey, when departing hence six weeks ago, assured me that I shall be advertised of everything done on that coast worth knowing. The broken state of Saluces, Provence, and Dauphiné, in the first of which the fire burns high and clear, in the other two it is covered but not quenched ; the discontent in Normandy, increased by those late rash dealings, and consequently some other provinces no better pleased, being not ignorant that these attempts reach to them ; the jealousy conceived of those of the Religion in general, and the doubtful issue of the execution of this late composition at Nérac ;—the consideration, I say, of these confusions and perhaps irreconcilable divisions, gives me cause to think that this is not the time when France will discover 'his' evil affections, being forced by necessity to make fair weather with their own subjects, much more with foreign princes of power and authority. I know you have some irons in the fire at present ; and therefore fearing lest suspicion of harm from hence might divert you from other necessary action, I thought it well to give you my opinion at some length, with the ground of it ; which I refer to your better judgement. Men of good judgement here, especially of the religion, are of opinion that the Duke of Guise will attempt nothing against the king ; rather they think that he is now in Normandy as a watchman for the king, and to further his service. By the last letters from Rome the ambassador of Florence learns the embarkment is deferred. At the same time the ambassador of Venice has been given to understand that the first appointed time holds. I am assured that these letters have been thus diversely written. Some say that they are shipping great store of lime, which seems to argue that the enterprise is for Africa. The resolution, as many think, 'consists greatly in' the life or death of the now King of Portugal. It is said that Bellegarde refusing utterly to come to Grenoble, Queen Mother offers to meet him at Turin or elsewhere in Savoy. I do not doubt but that the contents of the 'cedule' enclosed are already known to you. Yet having received it in a French letter, I thought it my duty to impart it to you. La Valette is dispatched to Queen Mother. Villequier is not yet returned. These 'confident' messengers show that the affairs of those parts are weighty.—Paris, 1 Sept. 1579. Add. Endd. 2½ pp. [France III. 35.]
Sep. 10. 47. 'A copy of that which the three Electors, Palatine, Saxony, and Brandenburg, wrote to our Lords Duke John the elder, Duke Adolf, and Duke John the younger of Schleswig-Holstein, touching subscription to the following preface in Formula Concordiæ, under date 10 Sep. 1579.' Letter from the three Electors pointing out the advantages hoped for from the publication of the Formula Concordiæ and the preface thereto, and expressing the desire that their correspondents will subscribe the latter. 1½ pp. Followed by the Preface in question, 15 pp. Endd. by R. Beale. Preface to . . . . Concordiæ ; also, in Fr. ; also, in a somewhat later hand : touching the book made by Jacob Andrews, called Formula Concordiæ. German. [Germ. States I. 76.]
Sep. 10. 48. Latin version of the letter only. Endd. by R. Beale. 1 p. [Ibid. I. 76a.]
Sep. 13. 49. VILLIERS to DAVISON.
If you were here now you would find things in no way changed since I last saw you. Embize has retired to Leyden in Holland, and several others of his humour ; and others do the like every day. Hence a great union has come about among the four Members ; for most of the noblemen of the Liberty who were a hindrance on the other side have been prisoners in this town on account of the sedition they made here in July. To-day they have voluntarily resigned their posts, promising to absent themselves from this town for two years ; so that a better order may be expected in future, though the harm that has been done is such that it is hard to remedy it, save with time. M. de la Noue revictualled Brussels the day before yesterday. None of the enemy showed, though they are in greater strength than he. The enemy's camp remains near Maestricht, devastating and destroying everything in Juliers and about Liége ; the soldiers in mutiny. We hear that Mondragon is dead on the road, and that the King of Spain did not set much by the capture of Maestricht, and did not believe that all the town would surrender. Anyhow the Duke of Terranova continues to talk extremely big. The Union of Utrecht wants to resolve to shorten the time of the negotiation, and withdraw wholly from the King's obedience. I think, if the enemy does not agree to peace, that the winter will not pass without our seeing a change ; which I pray may be for the better.—Bruges, 13 Sept. 1579. Add. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. XII. 31.]
Sep. 13. 50. JOHN NORRIS to — DANNET.
Since my coming into this country I have committed no greater fault than not writing to you ; but pardoning what is past, you shall see I will bethink myself better. Our news gives no great occasion of discourse. The enemy has attempted nothing since the taking of Maestricht, but a few bravados in Guelders and towards Bois-le-duc and Huseden, where all his designs have failed ; for in Guelders where he thought to have horrified them into withdrawing from the union, it has happened so contrarily, that they desire to have the Prince for their governor ; at Bois-le-duc, where the Prince of Parma had recommended M. de Bassogni for Governor, after he was invested with the charge he temporised, and I think will be rather Malcontent than Spanish. There is a fresh rumour of the conclusion of peace with the Walloons, and that 'the war being committed to them to make' against such as shall infringe the Pacification of Ghent, the Spaniards will retire. It is affirmed that some show is made of performing this, for certain Spaniards have gone from Louvain with great store of carriages, and as many from Maestricht towards Namur. I believe nothing less than their departure, but hold this flourish made to break some determination of Monsieur. The Prince is still in Flanders, which he has brought to such good terms that it will be a good helper to the ending of our poor war.—Antwerp, 13 Sept. 1579. Add. : to Mr Dannet, at Mr Secretary Wilson's chamber in court. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XII. 30.]
Sep. 15. 51. POULET to the SECRETARIES.
It is said that Bellegarde will not be intreated to come to any conference with Queen Mother, and that Diguières and his confederates the Protestants of Dauphiné are no less obstinate. These men have proposed new demands, and no one now doubts that they have intelligence with Bellegarde. It seems that Queen Mother is between two dangers. The indisposition of the king requires her presence here ; the sick estate of those parts will not bear her absence without peril. Her most 'confident' servants have written that she never was more perplexed than at present. The sickness in Genoa and other parts of Italy is thought to be the cause why the ordinary messengers do not come from Rome and Venice, so that there is no late advertisement of the doings in Italy. M. de Rambouillet is about to be dispatched to the King of Navarre, where he will reside for the better preservation of amity between the two kings and for some other purposes. The King of Poland, aided by those of Denmark and Sweden, is said to make sharp war against the Muscovite, and assail him on two sides. The war holds between the Turk and the Persian. The report of the surprise of Fontarabie proves untrue, of which I have written at length to her Majesty.—Paris, 15 Sep. 1579. P.S.—I have appointed this bearer to pass by Boulogne upon some reasonable occasion ; and, understanding that he is not yet satisfied for his last packet, recommend him to your favour for both. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson with full précis of contents. 1 p. [France III. 36.]
Mr Secretary, Though occurrents here are meagre, and the Imperial commissioner much cooled as regards making a good peace, awaiting the latest resolution of the States which will, as it is presumed, and as you may have heard, be such as to make peace remote, unless the would-be King of England does not compel them to promise, which they think God cannot do for His gospel—for up to now they can neither chew the offered assurance of peace, nor swallow that point of religion, without which all will fall into confusion—howsoever all this be, I would not fail to greet you by this present, recalling myself to your good graces and thanking you for all your courtesies. Pray believe that I am at your command when occasion offers. The copy of a lampoon circulated in this town has come into my hands, of which you, if you please, may make your own profit. The Prince of Parma continues to reside in the devastated town of Maestricht with a garrison of Walloons, Spaniards and Germans. He has dismissed and paid off some or all of the Duke of Lauenburg's reiters, and presented each of the Rittmeisters with a golden chain worth 300 crowns and a medal with the King of Spain's portrait. They are passing through this town and neighbourhood. The remainder of the camp is scattered about Cleves and Liége, awaiting as it is said the conclusion of Count Mansfeldt's dealings with the Estates of Hainault and Artois. The Prince is in good condition, passing his time, while waiting for money to hold a general muster, with a wench whom he is keeping like a goddess. He has sent word to the Right Reverend Cardinal of Liége that he means to be reimbursed half the cost of the siege of Maestricht, amounting to 4,800,000 florins ; the town and its dependencies being half in Brabant and half in Liege, and having formerly been administered under two kinds of justice and officials. Failing this, it will be entirely annexed to Brabant, and the Right Reverend discharged from his titles and jurisdiction. The prelate, astounded by this greeting, has taken a fever that is like to carry him off. The mortality is great in Maestricht, Aix, and Liége, and there is danger of their imparting it to their neighbours. This city indeed has begun to feel it, especially in the house of the Archbishop, who has lost his head cook [qy. 'Mre Keu'] and two more of his household ; making the prelate shift his quarters nimbly. Last night two oldish houses fell in ; it is a piteous sight, but two children have been saved. Fourteen cornets of reiters have been dismissed and paid all but four months, for which they hope to have security at Frankfort. They say that two regiments of German infantry were to be broke. Such are the fruits of the war, which our sins have earned.— Cologne, 17 Sep. 1579.
On the flyleaf of the above :
Promettre liberté—Exercer Tyrannie
Faire le Patriot—Preferer l'étranger
Chercher sa seurté—Mettre tout en danger
Se mettre loin des coups, Les siens à la boucherie :
Etre estimé chaste, et de sainte vie,
Femme et religion sans scrupule changer,
Ne parler que de tout en bon ordre ranger,
Peuples, villes, et bourgs mettre tous en furie,
Humble être et clément, pitoiable et humain,
La vie ôter aux bons d'un clin d'oil sous la main,
Sans Dieu, sans Roy, sans foy, toutes fois contrefaire
Le preux, l'humble, le droit ; c'est ce que ce fléau
De ce pauvre pays, cet abuseur scait faire.

Promettre la liberté, Brasser la tirannie
Les gens emmieller de courtoise façon
Faire danser un peuple à sa belle façon
Quand sans être nommé tout le peuple il matue [? maitrie]
Qui fait mourir les bons, et tout froid le dénie.
De deux femmes mari, de cent religions,
Ne pouvant s'assurer qu'entre rebellions,
Savoir entretenir du peuple la magnie
Sous couleur de chasser étrangers à la feire [?]
La couvrir d'etrangers, appellez de la guerre,
Etablir cent tyrans, méconnaître son Roi,
Mettre tout au rebours et dire qu'il n'y touche
Sont les faits et les vertus du bon saint que je touche
Prince des Réformés, zélateur de la foi.
Endd. by L. Tomson : The copy of a letter of the 17th September, sent from Collen to Mr Gilpin. Fr. 2½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XII. 32.]
Sep. 18. 53. Decision of the KING OF PORTUGAL on DOM ANTONIO'S claim to the succession.
Having seen the brief proprio motu of Pope Gregory XIII, empowering us to decide summarily upon the question of the marriage of Dom Luis my brother and Donna Violante mother of my nephew Dom Antonio, and so of his legitimacy and having in pursuance of the said brief cited the parties concerned, viz. the claimants to the succession, we notified Dom Antonio to defend his case. Among the witnesses whom he named were four who he said were present at the alleged marriage, Bastiao Bras, Luis de Pinna, Antonio Carlos and Guiomar Gomez his wife. Documents also were produced which we direct to be filed with the proceedings. After these witnesses and others were examined we thought it superfluous to enquire further, as required by Dom Antonio and my niece the Lady Catherine, one of the opposing parties, the facts being sufficiently established without it, nor did we think it necessary to hear rebutting evidence on Lady Catherine's behalf. And taking as our assessors the prelates and learned persons hereinafter mentioned, and having with them examined the acts of the case, as there appeared to all of them to be no proof [of a marriage] between Dom Luis and Donna Violante, by words de præsente, or de futuro, or by any other way, her only witnesses being her sister Guiomar Gomez, who testifies to words de præsente, and her husband Antonio Carlos, and if she says that Dom Luis said to Donna Violante that he would have no wife but her, she does not say that Donna Violante used the same or any words, while Luis de Pinna and Bastiao Bras, witnesses called by Dom Antonio, say that they neither saw the marriage nor heard any such words but affirm that they were suborned to say that which they did not know, and if they did promise to do so they spoke the truth when examined on oath ; and whereas the evidence of Guiomar Gomez, besides standing alone, and being that of a relation and an interested person, is much suspected of falsehood, while, besides that, that of her husband is inconclusive, the one does not agree with the other ; and whereas the decision claimed on behalf of Dom Antonio, as given by an alleged judge of the order of St. John, is manifestly null, being given by a person without jurisdiction in such a case ; and whereas our late brother in his will always refers to Dom Antonio as his natural son, and there are notorious reasons and strong presumptions against the marriage ; we pronounce and declare that there is no proof of marriage between Dom Luis and Donna Violante, but rather a very violent presumption that the whole thing is a machination, and we pronounce Dom Antonio illegitimate, and conformably to the said brief impose on him perpetual silence. And whereas his Holiness has committed to us the punishment of the witnesses whom we have found to blame in this case, we order that in view of what appears against them in these acts, Antonio Carlos and his wife Guiomar Gomes be arrested, and from prison clear themselves of the charges brought against them. And as for Dom Antonio my nephew, let power be reserved to us to proceed against him as may seem to us in conformity with the brief.—'The King.' The Archbishop of Lisbon, the Bishop of Leiria, the Bishop of Miranda, the Bishop Head Chaplain, Gar de Figueiredo, Paulo Antonio, Hiermo Pera de Sa, Hector de Pinna, Rui de Mattos de Moranha. Faithfully and word for word translated from the original by Manuel Antunez, notary apostolic, and signed by him.—Lisbon, 18 Sept. 1579. Copy. Endd. in Spanish. Port. 3½ pp. [Portugal I. 16.]
Sept. 54. DON ANTONIO'S reply.
I have just heard of the sentence which you have commanded against me, and in so great affliction God provided me a comfort, that you gave me the name of your nephew, as in truth I am and son to the Infante Don Lewis, to whom you and all this realm are so much indebted. I also believe that if the Infante should lift up his head from the grave, he would reverence you, by the great love he always bore to you, and by the many services he has done you, and the like I believe you would have done. If King John your brother could tell you the goodness which I always found at his hands, I believe that both would marvel at the great persecution which you command to be used to me, being innocent and having no other intent but to love and serve you. I see that it does not proceed from your goodness, but I believe it proceeds from the sins of this realm, which goes to decay more and more, and from mine. Also I think you proceed against me after this sort with the seal and instructions of some evil men, whom the Lord will not leave unpunished, and I know they persuade you to persecute me continually as never was done to any other man ; a deed so far from your natural condition and virtues as I well know, and it is evident that I being used by you after this sort it shows a great ill-will against me, a thing which was never found in the Christian soul of your Highness, but rather proceeds of the ill-will which these men bear me. I think therefore that I owe to them the persecutions done to me, and to my ill-fortune before you the execution of the same. Coming from captivity ('in the which yet some would say it was untroth' being men very near you, saying they heard some words from my mouth as to my 'lawfullness'—and if it were so, being said without consideration it could well be amended with your reprehension), you commanded me to avoid the Court in the nighttime, 'because I should' find none to pity my case, and kept me a banished man all the time of my pretension, to the great discredit of my person when all the other pretenders openly requested their justice of you ; being 'well seen' and favoured by you, and accompanied by their friends. You also got against me a Bull from the Pope, as shameful as was seen ; in which you showed yourself forgetful of the honour of the Infante (God rest his soul) your brother. You commanded me to produce my proofs in two days, which ought to be more, as was granted to other suitors, and banished me 30 leagues, and were not 'served' to grant things which were requested in my behalf according to the right of the law. You gave sentence against me, and commanded me to be apprehended, saying I had produced false witness. If it were so, in your Courts be unpunished [sic] those who 'entice' witness. But in truth it was a great lie which was told you ; but I hope in the Lord that you shall know all the truth, and do me justice. A Bull coming afterwards from the Pope, which 'revoked' the judgement of this case to himself, I did not 'urge in the cause,' living sadly and miserably during the time of your misliking of me, which was so ill deserved on my part. For I offended in nothing ; and yet it is lawful for murderers and thieves to run away and hide from justice. I have no lawyer, nor dares any man speak for me ; because 'Jacob Botelio,' who by your order did my business, by your order was banished from the realm ; so that when I 'missed' him the rest were afraid. You say that I hid myself from the same 'Editus' [? Edict] because I would not be admonished of matters pertaining to your service and the benefit of your realm ; and therefore you would proceed against me as a rebel 'treating' against your service and the quiet of your realm. As to the first, God will not permit that such a name may ever with reason be given to me, nor that I should ever treat against your service whom I wish to increase, nor against the quietness of this realm, which I desire more than all the rest that it be not extinct, 'as it seems to be in the way for it,' according to my duty to the kings from whom I proceed, who got the realm, defended and maintained unto this present, for which cause you are king of it, and may the Lord continue you many years. As concerning the saying of your 'Editus' that if I should not appear you would proceed against me ; this I fear more than death, by reason of the great obedience, 'serviture,' and love which I bear to you, as to a father, uncle, and king. But if the faults alleged against me were true, the laws of your realm permit me to keep the church during the time that I may not have access to you. I humbly beseech you to grant me that in this present trouble the church may be my safeguard ; and to consider my case, that I shall not be so ill-used if it please God that I should be the second person after you in this realm. And besides that, so puissant a king does no great 'effect' in persecuting a nephew and vassal who never intended anything but his service as reason requires. If my sins and those of this realm do not permit you to mitigate your wrath, I shall turn to our Lord, and call for remedy of so many troubles. And I beseech you to let me appeal from the 'Editus' and at the same time humbly demand a sight of it ; or else that my letters may be 'annexed' to the Cortes. English translation. Endd. by Wilson : King of Portugal edict against Don Antonio, and Don Antonio his answer to the same. 3½ pp. [Portugal I. 17.]
Sept. 55. THE PRINCE OF ORANGE'S message to the Estates sent by SAINTE-ALDEGONDE.
Summary of points laid before the meeting of the Estates General by M. de Ste. Aldegonde on behalf of the Prince of Orange.
After discourse as to what passed at Dendermonde and Ghent, he set forth the matters deliberated in council at Ghent. It would be better for his Excellency to stay at Ghent a little longer than to come here at once. Those who were at that deliberation think it necessary for him to stay some days yet, because on this affair of Ghent depends the preservation of the country in regard to the union of the provinces, and the appeasing of the civil war which threatens, and the other troubles that we have on our shoulders. For the union depends on religion, war, and peace ; and nothing can be brought into order again if what is done at Ghent be not started on a footing which may serve as an example to all the others, as is from past experience too obvious to need proof. Civil wars must be appeased by remedies applied to the sources whence they spring, for which reason affairs at Ghent need to be remedied before all else. The most obvious point is that of means ; and if the affairs of Ghent be not set in good order means for carrying on the war will notoriously fail. If his Excellency leaves incomplete the work that he has begun not only will the fruit of past labours be lost but things will suffer a relapse worse than the original disease ; as is evident from the remains of disturbance at Ghent, manifest to all who have seen the ulceration of the hearts of both parties, and principally against the Walloons, which will break out again on the smallest occasion or none at all, if it be not obviated by the presence of his Excellency. In the matter of means there is certain to be a failure if his Excellency does not take measures, owing to the exorbitant extortions in the past. What is more, things are only beginning ; and it is to be feared that, if his Excellency does not see to it, the discontent against the Ecclesiastics and their desire for vengeance on all who have offended them will be redoubled, leading to a renewal of civil dissensions worse than ever. On the other hand for the following reasons it is thought that his Excellency ought to come here at once, because matters at Ghent having been put in some order the rest can be done by deputies. Because his presence here is necessary for more general matters, such as (1) the general treaty of peace, (2) the treaty with the Duke of Alençon, (3) that with the Reiters, (4) the general question of means. Further, it is thought that when he is away from Ghent it will be more easy to bring them to an agreement, as when he is there they always have a pledge of security in the event of their wishing to draw back. Besides, in respect of the Prince's personal safety, and of being able freely to execute what has been agreed upon, it is thought that it would be better if he were here. Above all the oppression prevailing in Brabant makes his presence necessary. To which it was replied :
That the essence of the terms made is in acts and not in promises, and therefore if nothing is done it is all the same as if no terms had been made. That though affairs here are of a more general nature than those at Ghent, yet on nearer consideration it will be seen that nothing can be done in respect of them till the differences at Ghent are settled, and the agreement of the Religious freid actually carried out, because on this example all the other provinces depend ; otherwise Artois and other provinces will take the opportunity to make peace on their own account—a pernicious thing in war. It will be impossible to make any fruithful treaty with the Duke of Alençon until this cause of discontent be removed. The satisfaction of the Reiters and the raising of means generally manifestly depend upon this matter, which must be settled before anything can be done with safety. His Excellency's prudence and the good will of those at Ghent who are true patriots, that is the soundest and largest part, give the best security for his safety. The aid to be given to Brabant depends on the foregoing, and especially on the question of means. Such are the arguments as to the Prince's stay at Ghent or return here, on which he desires the opinion of the Estates. The rest consists more of a declaration of his Excellency's opinion than of discussion ; as for instance touching the articles submitted to the Duke of Alençon, as to which his Excellency said that the promise made to satisfy his Altèze should be fulfilled as soon as possible. With regard to the treaty of peace, as well that of which Count Schwarzenberg is treating as that proposed in Artois, he can only say that care must be had above all things to treat of peace in general, without letting any province make terms for itself. And to hasten affairs in Flanders he suggests to the Estates whether it would not be well to give him power to dispatch commissioners who, with the deputies of the four Members of the State, should in every town put into execution the points agreed upon concerning the exercise of the two religions, the restriction of goods, etc. to the end that all things may be done in order. As regards money, he has asked the four Members in Flanders for 300,000 or 400,000 florins, not knowing what he will obtain, though the look of things seems to testify their readiness. As to the men-at-arms, he thinks the Scottish should be replaced under Captain Balfour and Stewart, the English under Norris, and the French under MM. de la Garde and de Mouy ; and that it may be arranged with them that if they get three months on the old roll all the rest shall be cancelled, which would be a profit of 300,000 or 400,000 florins to the Estates. Also that there need be no thought of presenting a chain worth 1,000 crowns to each colonel, which will be a further saving of 3,000 or 4,000. As to the Reiters, he would give 3,000 florins to each cornet, and some satisfaction to Duke Casimir's men ; other things to remain on the old footing. He would also recommend M. de la Garde, who has done good service, and whose men are in great want. Lastly, M. de la Noue, to whom he has given 16 or 17 gentlemen, begs that it may please the Estates to order a lodging to be assigned to him by the quartermaster at Brussels ; because without an order from the Estates General the local Estates make a difficulty. Copy. Fr. Endd. in Fr. and Eng. ['Articles proposed to the Estates by the Prince of Orange, Sept. 1577,' in Laurence Tomson's hand ; but the date is clearly wrong.] 6 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XII. 33.]
? Sept. 56. The King of Denmark crossed the sea on Aug. 19. Next day he explained to the Duke of Mecklenburg the plan which he had thought of proposing to the Elector of Saxony to compose the differences in the Reformed Churches. The duke, as I hear, thought them so acceptable that he judged that the elector would readily approve them. On Aug. 21 the elector met the duke and the king at Güstrow. I told you before that the gentleman sent by the Prince of Orange with the King of Navarre's letter to the King of Denmark, seeing that he approved it and willingly offered to do his best in the matter he requested, told him that the elector was so hostile to those whom he held for Calvinists that if his Majesty spoke about the Churches of France and the Low Countries he would be so much offended that he would give no answer. And on the King of Denmark saying that he could not propose anything of such importance without letting it be known what had been asked of him, the gentleman gave him hope that the Queen of England would send to him to the same effect. The king therefore deferred speaking of it to the elector till the 27th ; always awaiting advices from the Queen. But herein being disappointed, on the 27th he handed to the elector a copy of the King of Navarre's letter, rendered into German, and told him the method which to him and many princes both in and out of Germany seemed suitable for putting an end to the controversies which exist among those of the reformed Religion. But his explanations had not much effect with the elector, who left Güstrow next day, the 28th. If seems a special providence that the Queen did not send to this meeting at Güstrow, so that she and the other princes who are accused may advance the cause more diligently than they have hitherto done. I will tell accordingly what I have heard. It is certain that the representations which the King of Denmark made to the Elector of Saxony and to the chief persons who were with him and the other princes at Güstrow will have been fruitful. Some have been confirmed in their right opinion, while others have recognised the injustice done to many princes under colour of union. It is to be presumed that James Andreæ and those of his faction will not give up their previous designs, and if they do not succeed as they wish, no doubt they and the Papists will hinder with all their power the Synod which is sought, so that all may remain in confusion, and the Churches be an easier prey to their enemies. All honest folk should do all in their power to remedy this. In the Confession of the Saxon Churches published by command of the elector in 1574 and also in the Book of Concord, the errors attributed to the Churches of France, England, Scotland and the Low Countries are set forth and condemned. It is reasonable that those who have in this sort been publicly condemned should demonstrate their innocence, if they do not wish the charge to be deemed just. All who profess religion, whatever their rank, are bound to confess their faith publicly whenever called upon ; and so when accused of heresy. Many private persons seeing the neglect of kings and princes, have written to prove the innocence of the calumniated Churches ; but not being of great authority, their labour has served little. And it is certain that so long as theologians argue about religious controversies, these will only increase ; at any rate they will never agree, and anyone can see how prejudicial these dissensions have been, and are, to all Christendom. It is therefore much to be desired that the Queen should make a simple confession of faith, in her own name, containing only what is necessary to our salvation. Herein, as shall be shown in more detail, is the way to compose the differences. The King of Denmark has bestirred himself sincerely in this matter, and has promised to send deputies to the general Synod when it is formed. The Landgraves of Hesse and the Duke of Anhalt are worthy of eternal praise for the endeavour they have made. Many other princes of Germany too have rejected the means of concord propounded by Andreæ and his party. The landgraves are brothers-in-law to the Elector Palatine, and have much influence with him ; and it may be that without their wise counsels he would not have borne himself so considerately as he has in these controversies. The Duke of Anhalt has had enough power with his son-in-law the Elector of Brandenburg to make him write to the elector of Saxony in disapproval of the Book of Concord, though he had previously subscribed to it. This was why the Elector of Saxony on leaving Güstrow went to the Elector of Brandenburg ; I do not yet know with what result. Since the King of Denmark, the Landgrave, and the Duke of Anhalt have so frankly declared themselves, one can be sure of them, and have good hopes of the Dukes of Holstein, of Mecklenburg, of Pomerania ; of Duke Casimir and many others, who will easily follow the advice of the King of Denmark, the Landgrave, and the Duke of Anhalt. Up to now they have refused to subscribe to the Book of Concord. If the Queen makes a Confession of Faith, it may be hoped that the King of Navarre with the French Churches, and the Prince of Orange with the Churches of the Low Countries will approve it. It might be sent, before it is printed, to the princes of Germany, not merely for approval, but in order that if anything contravenes the writings of the Apostles and Prophets, they may point it out to her Majesty, who will receive their advice cordially. This method of procedure cannot but be acceptable to any Christian prince who seeks God's glory, and has a particle of Christian charity. Matters of great importance are hard to accomplish, but if they are dexterously conducted, the result is generally happy. If the Queen would further so holy and necessary a work, it would be well for her first to send to the Landgraves and the Duke of Anhalt to let them know that she has decided to send to the King of Denmark, and wishes before she does so to communicate with them and have their advice. I have no doubt that they will be honoured and pleased by this request, and will do all in their power to meet it. Perhaps they will also send to the King (if they are asked), or write to him ; a thing much to be desired. For however good his will may be, if he hears that they approve, he and his Council will more readily consent. And if he and those two princes agree with the Queen, it is certain that most of the Protestant lords and towns of Germany will follow. I propose that a beginning be made with the Landgrave and the Duke of Anhalt, because if you begin with the King of Denmark the Queen's decision will be at once known to our adversaries, who will have all the more time to break or hinder it. It would therefore be well for the Queen to send to the Landgrave and the Duke as secretly as possible, or under some other pretext. Her envoys after speaking to the Landgrave and the Duke might meet at Hamburg or Lubeck and thence go to Denmark. For if the King, the Landgrave and the Duke agree with the Queen, it will be easier to make sure of the Dukes of Holsteiń, Mecklenburg and Pomerania, and of others to whom our adversaries might do harm. Further, while the Queen's envoys are going to Denmark, the Landgrave and Duke might as of themselves make representation to the Electors Palatine and of Brandenburg how necessary it is for the safety of the reformed Churches that the means they propose should be furthered by them. In this way, on the return of the envoys to Lubeck, Hamburg, or other appointed place, it will be easy to let them know the wishes of those two Electors, and then to decide on the course they should adopt towards them and the Elector of Saxony and others who will have to be solicited. After speaking with the King of Denmark, the envoys on their return through Holstein can meet Dukes John and Adolphus, who will not reject the advice of the King, the Landgrave and the Duke of Anhalt ; nor will the Dukes of Mecklenburg and Pomerania. So much for the best way, as I think, of furthering this negotiation. I will now explain what I think should be done to make known to all men the Queen's sincerity and care for the public good. First, let her at the same time send some to the Landgrave and the Duke of Anhalt to communicate the Confession I have spoken of, and find out if they approve it, or what they miss in it (y désireront). Secondly let her set out the principal points that are in dispute between the reformed Churches and pray the princes to consider the best means of composing them ; and whereas many of them think that an end cannot be put to them more surely than by a general Synod in Germany, let her consent to that. Thirdly, let her repudiate the heresies and errors which are imputed to her and to the abovenamed Churches, and show the wrong done them in the matter. Fourthly, there are in Germany some theologians who say that what the Churches which are condemned confess verbally or in writing would be very well, but they do not believe it. In other words they deem otherwise of religion than they profess, and in this way lead astray those whom they teach. Dr David Chytræus has persuaded the Elector of Saxony and other princes of Germany that there was nothing more pernicious than the condemned Churches, and no other way of saving Germany from their poison than by a formula of concord composed by learned judges having cognizance of things spiritual. See how that malicious hypocrite, transported by avarice and ambition, keeps all Christendom in turbulence and combustion, as you may see by the book that I send you, which is the basis of the Elector's action. Let the Queen therefore, to remove these sinister opinions, publish a confession of her faith in a general Synod, assuring herself that there will be found no man so shameless or so malicious as to say that she would so far forget herself, and with a light heart offend God, as to profess in face of the Church that which she does not in her heart and soul believe. As a further proof of her sincerity she should promise that if anyone in her realms writes, teaches or speaks contrary to what she professes, she will punish him in so exemplary fashion that all may recognise her integrity and holy zeal. When kings and princes talk in this wise they will certainly not be calumniated or condemned as if they were private persons or theologians of no reputation. Also other princes who formerly suspected them will form such opinion of them as their integrity and good faith merit. To conclude : it is evident that the King of Denmark, the Landgrave of Hesse and the Duke of Anhalt are of opinion that the controversies in the reformed Churches cannot be ended more easily than by a general Synod, and the same may be said of the Dukes of Holstein, Mecklenburg, Pomerania and others ; and it is to be hoped that by their efforts the Electors Palatine and of Brandenburg will readily consent thereto, with all those who desire the public weal. But to confirm them, as well as to make manifest the wrong that has been done the Queen, it would be much to the purpose that she repudiate the heresies imputed to her and the Churches who hold the same views and protest before God and the whole world against the injury done her in this matter. Similarly, since certain German theologians say that she is not sincere in her professions, to put a stop to these malicious inventions, she has made [sic] a brief Confession of faith, which she will develop more fully at the Synod, whither she will willingly send when she knows the date and place. Further she has separated from her Confession the principal articles whereon she thinks that differences exist, desiring that they may be settled by the Synod, without hindrance from corrupt theologians. If these are kept within the limits of reason this will be easy and the results lasting. Finally the Queen shall promise that if any of her subjects contravenes the decisions of the Synod she will have him severely punished ; hoping that other evangelical kings and princes will do the like. If she will prosecute this enterprise she will do nothing contrary to her dignity nor put her state in danger. If the design succeeds she will give repose to all Christendom ; and whatever ensues she forms a league (though the word must be carefully avoided) with the princes of Germany stronger than treaties or oaths could make it. May God touch the hearts of princes to the relief of the afflicted Churches. Copy. Endd. by Burghley's secretary : A discourse of the K. of Denmark's proceedings with the D. of Saxony etc. Fr. 9½ pp. [Germ. States I. 79.]
? Sept. 57. 'Demands of the King of Spain's subjects against Sir Humfrey Gilbert.'
First, the ship named Mary, Master Gillam Malerna, laden with linen-cloth, 'haberdash wares,' and other merchandise ; which, following her voyage to Spain, was taken by ships of the said Sir Humfrey and one Master Miles Morgan, and part of the goods were sold in Cornwall, as it has been well proved. Item, they demand restitution of the spoil committed by the aforesaid ships in Galicia, where they came aland and sacked the village and did many outrages to the inhabitants and the church ; part of which spoil was likewise sold in Cornwall. Item, restitution of certain iron taken from a Spaniard. Item, a barque of Sir Humfrey's, one Mr Wigmore being captain, had part of the linen-cloth. He bought of Derifall, master of Mr Knowell's ship named the Francis, a cable and anchor belonging to the French ship that Mr Knowell's ship took, and paid for them in linen-cloth, being parcel of our demand. The Ambassador's request is that the king's subjects may be recompensed for the wrongs done [them, and that the male] factors may be punished according to the amity and league between their Majesties. Endd. : Information against Sir Humphrey Gilbert. One name corrected in Burghley's hand. ½ p. [Spain I. 29.]