Elizabeth: March 1582, 1-5

Pages 510-534

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 15, 1581-1582. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1907.

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March 1582, 1-5

March 3. 572. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
The Queen Mother would have begun her journey towards Chenonceaux yesterday, but that she was somewhat indisposed in her health, and had kept her bed for a few days. Her departure is deferred till next week, but the king seems to wish her to stay altogether at the Court. The king in order to give some satisfaction to Marshal Retz in respect of taking away his office, has created him Duke ; which honour pleased his wife and her mother Madame 'D'Ampyre' more than himself. The king would likewise have assigned some round sum of money to Villequier ; but he has desired to be enriched with his favour, and not by any other gift, finding his own estate sufficient to maintain him. Marshal Biron begins to 'buscle' himself to take some charge, 'delivering forth' the faults he has found in Monsieur's business and affairs, with a kind of manner as if he would be willing to enter into the enterprises. It is supposed he will command the companies which the king means to send towards the frontier of Picardy. It appears the king has a fancy to make a marriage between 'Charles Monsieur,' the bastard, and the daughter of de Mouy, who should have been wife to d'Epernon. His Majesty also creates M. de Piennes Duke of Maignelay with 35,000 crowns recompense for the government of Metz, which he has bestowed on M. de Rambouillet. The king did not pass his time this Shrovetide with any extraordinary pleasantness at Court, but went in mask to sundry of his courtiers' and divers burgesses' houses ; 'where lastly' in Mme d'Humières' house there grew some quarrel between the Duke of Guise and the Marquis of Elbeuf. The king severed them for the present, and the matter is since appeased, yet not altogether salved. I have heard that there is some discovery that the Duke would like to have unkindness between the 'top favourites' of the king, with which his Majesty is displeased. Count de Tournon of Savoy has lately slain a gentleman called 'd'Ayella,' whereon his sister, who attends on the Queen Mother, has taken so great displeasure that she would profess herself a nun. This humour is found very strange in this Court. There are some who will not 'leave to' raise evil opinions against them of the Religion, having lately given out that they have surprised Orleans and Lyons ; of which no appearance is seen, nor truly understood. M. Bellievre's return is looked for daily. Our English Romanists 'deliver' in their 'conference,' as I am informed, that the Spanish king intends to invade Ireland this summer, in order that her Majesty may be 'impeached' from aiding Monsieur in Flanders. Also that the Spanish commissioners reached Rome on the last of January, to treat about those matters on which the Pope will, as they say, send out bulls to the other princes of Italy to procure their assistance in the enterprise of Ireland. Herein they discourse very liberally among themselves. It is said they are encouraged by the remembrance of the Spanish king's greatness and riches, whereby, being supported further by this Pope, he would be able to continue the war longer than the Queen. Secondly, they presuppose that Monsieur seeks nothing but his own preferment ; which being compassed, he will little 'esteem of' the Queen, adhering afterwards only to his brother, the King of France. So the Queen would be necessarily deprived thereafter of her new-found friend, as they term it. They further 'infer' that the Irish mislike the present government, being discontented with the religion, and they hope through the like occasions the Welsh will become rebellious, as also a great part of the North country are to show themselves discontented subjects. They boast moreover of the good intelligences sent them out of England, which point seems to be true by the receipt of them daily ; and many letters, wherein methinks the searchers might do their endeavours in some better sort, especially he of Dover, whom the papists much commend for letting their priests pass. Thus one Kempe of Cumberland lately came hither with above a hundred letters about him, having been heretofore more than two years in England, and lately returned thither again. I wrote to you of one Blechendall, who is to be found at Mr Ingem's, whose son is a priest in these parts. They say that Blechendall 'abused' his tongue towards her Majesty. He named himself Lebby. He has a cousin at Rheims called Dryland. Mr Ingem has sent over one Richard, a man of his, to be made a priest at Rheims. Thomas Pilcher, fellow of 'Baly hall' in Oxford, is gone to Rheims this week, having found means at his departure to get his allowance from the college for two years. This 'exhibition' might be better bestowed. Pilcher has a brother in Barnard's Inn, who deals in his causes, and sends his letters. On the 27th ult. six or seven papists arrived here from Rheims with intention to repair into England. One of them is called Geter, sometime a scholar of Cambridge. The same day Dr Darbishire and Hayes packed up as many books as an ass can bear, to be conveyed to England by way of Rochelle or Bordeaux by a merchant of Paris called Peter Cortenez. I am told that the Duke of Savoy intends to give himself shortly to marriage, but in what place, I cannot learn. I hear also that he will remove his ambassador ligier at this Court, and send one of his secretaries, a great servant of Mme de Nemours.—Paris, 3 March 1581. Add. and emit. gone. 3½ pp. [France VII. 36.]
March 3. 573. COBHAM to WALSINGHAM.
To-day M. Pinart, understanding that I meant to visit him, was pleased to come first to me, when he uttered many speeches in great commendation of her Majesty, rehearsing earnestly how infinitely Monsieur was bound to her. He also declared that M. Mauvissière had in his last latter sent their Majesties a new hope of the marriage ; though he had promised M. Pinart never any more to signify anything touching that cause. After M. Pinart had spent some time with me in conference of these former affairs, he read me a letter, dated in Antwerp, which a man of his had lately brought 'in diligence,' wherein Monsieur's entry into Brabant, and his coronation and acceptance to be their Duke of Brabant, Flanders, and the Low Countries, was 'particularly enlarged ;' as also that the Earl of Leicester with the English lords were upon their return. When he came to that part of the letter he left some lines unread, turning down the paper so that I might not see what followed, which it seemed concerned our lords. But in the same letter it was noted how in every one of those provinces of which Monsieur had now the sovereignty, the enemy possessed some places. And on the occasion of this new estate 'happened' to his Highness, Pinart declared that he had debated Monsieur's pretention to those countries with Don Bernardino de Mendoza, though indeed he was sent to dissuade him from those enterprises, because the king did not like that his brother should undertake so great an affair to the prejudice of King Philip. I took occasion hereon . . . that since Monsieur was created Duke of Brabant the king would be content to give him the title. He answered, not ; because King Philip was not deposed. Thus he left that matter, and told me that M. Mauvissière had written to the old queen, that his Majesty had wished she would join her to seek the way to frame a general good peace ; of which motion their Majesties had taken great contentment, so that it seems 'by' M. Pinart that the king and his mother intend to 'make dispatch' at once to M. Mauvissière, confirming the proceeding further in that purpose. But I told him it was to be feared the Pope would impeach any peace which might be among Christian princes, except in the 'match' he might snatch a benefit. M. Pinart said that he had let the king understand her Majesty's mind touching the Pope, which was very princely meant ; and assured me they could not hinder the plan when the king his master undertook it. After this I asked him how the Portuguese affairs passed. He assured me they passed very well, in such sort that the Azores would be secured ; and also that they were like to make a revolt both in Portugal and Spain. He told me that M. Strozzi and Count Brissac were ready to embark ; and that the Count came to the Court to-day to take his leave, sent for by the Queen. But I hear that Strozzi cannot yet be in readiness. He wants means, and cider for victualling. I asked M. Pinart what it might mean that the Archduke Ferdinand, uncle to the Emperor, 'pretended' to repair to Milan with 2,000 men of war. He said that the Spanish king had required his coming into Spain, because Cardinal Granvelle alone was not sufficient to undertake the government. As for King Philip, he intended to stay in Portugal till that realm was entirely possessed to his mind. Lastly I 'moved' him, to understand what order the king had given on the earnest intreaty I made to him at my last audience for Mr Warcoppe's money. He assured me his Majesty had assigned that he should be paid at once 500 crowns, and assignations for payment of the rest within twelve months. This is as much as I 'passed' with the said Secretary. Whereas in my late letter I certified that it was given out among the papists that Mr [Paget] had passed out of this town to go to England, I have since heard, and found it by good proof, that he caused this rumour to be spread, in order that he might the better convey himself to be lodged in secret sort in the next house to my Lord [qy. Hamilton]. I am right sorry the said young lord (?) has put from him M. Le , and taken Mr [Paget] into his company ; and especially in the manner it has been handled, in which the young lord (?) has very much disguised with me, otherwise than I in any sort looked for. I leave it to your judgment to find how much [Paget's] practice in this is to be considered on, remembering the birth and quality of the Lord (?) .—Paris, 3 March 1581. Add. and Endt. gone. Names in last par. carefully obliterated, and cipher substituted. 3½ pp. [Ibid. VII. 37.]
March 3. 574. W. HERLE to LEICESTER.
Since your departure hence, I have endeavoured to look into the state of these causes, as far as my capacity and the small means I have would give me leave, and the shortness of my time might permit. But you know how 'rawly' I am left here, and what my ability is ; therefore I refer the consideration to yourself. I have been with the Prince of Orange twice, entertaining the best offices I could between you both, which he took in very good part, and promises to write to you as occasion shall serve ; which for their importunate business here, 'gives small leave' as yet, but it shall be done with the first opportunity. I am entered into the familiarity and friendship of six or seven of the principal 'state men' of this country ; whereby I am from time the more able to inform myself of sundry secrets, and of the knowledge of the state to the good service of our country and her Majesty's and your satisfaction. I enclose a letter to you from one of the number, who will be ready from time to time to do you any service he can ; 'marie' I perceive he writes also to Mr Secretary Walsingham, and that there is some great jar between him and Villiers the preacher. For which cause and others I find him a very discontented man, and the like is Villiers in some degree ; but specially Monsieur cannot brook the said Villiers. I had sent you with this the copy of the contract passed between Monsieur and the States, but that his friend has informed me that he enclosed one of the same in his letter to you last Sunday ; wherefore I considered it was needless to pester you with it again. The entry of Monsieur into this country, and his receiving a 'auguration' here, will be set forth in print at large, and is by his appointment dedicated specially to you ; with all the shows, pageants, 'arches triumphants' and their significations to be fully expressed therein. By the middle of next week I hope I shall be able to send it to you. These poor gentlemen's suits commended to me that I should solicit with the Prince of Orange for their satisfaction in part or wholly, will prove to be in a cold state, in respect of the difficulty there is to 'address' a new army here for the withstanding of the enemy, much more to pay old debts. But 'both' Mr Cobham, Morgan, and Williams will perceive that I have acquitted myself friendly towards them, how chargeable soever it be to me, without profit. Touching the present state of these countries, the deputies of all the provinces are arrived, and this morning came those of Holland ; namely, Paul Buys, Weemond (?), Van Skage, and the earl of 'Hollock' in their company. They are to proceed to give Monsieur his oath, that he is to make to the States in general, and they again to receive him as their sovereign by mutual oath, and the duty that appertains. But he has been shrewdly incumbered since your departure about the exercise of his mass, whereto great numbers resorted ; and consequently it was urged to have certain churches permitted to the Catholics in Brabant and Flanders. Monsieur alleges two principal reasons to induce this ; first, the way that was opened thereby to bring the Malcontents to their side, seeing that thereby the 'Religion's frede' would be maintained, and their hatred towards the Prince of Parma and the Spaniards increased ; and secondly, it was to procure the king's aid in France the more promptly towards him and them, and more friends in those parts to assist the general cause here, without which he was able to do little of himself. He alleged that his brother was informed, 'from very good places,' that the Duke of Guise and some of the Catholics of France had written to the Pope, and to the princes of Italy, and to the King of Spain, that Monsieur, by marrying the Queen of England and usurping the King of Spain's dominions in the Low Countries, meant to overthrow directly the state of the Catholic Church in this union, and to do manifest wrong to the King of Spain's title ; wherefore to resist him, they might provide sound remedies in the beginning, to repress him from the one, and to exclude him from the succession that might be to his own patrimony hereafter. Of this the French had advertised him particularly, that he should have good regard how he proceeded to prejudice the Catholic Church. But this demonstration notwithstanding, the Common Council of the town, the colonels, and the ministers of the churches, that had the debating severally of the matter among themselves, have found it dangerous for their state, and inconvenient for them in particular ; so they have answered that till there is an army in the field on their side able to beard the enemy, they cannot 'grant to' this innovation. Yet Monsieur, by instigation of others, still persists to have a church in Antwerp ; but his friends advise him to refer the matter to the debating of the States-General, that these things may be handled with greater authority, and pluck from him the envy that he otherwise may incur by entertaining so ticklish a cause. In the mean time the Council of the town have forbidden all men, save Monsieur's own train, to haunt his mass, under fine of 100 crowns to be levied for every offence 'made in that behalf.' They had before imposed 100 marks' fine on the sayer of a mass, but nothing on the hearer. In Holland and Zealand it is death and confiscation of goods to such as shall go to mass ; and it appears that those of Holland and Zealand will present such restrictions to Monsieur in the next 'proposition general' that shall be held, which is to be on Monday, that his sovereignty will take small hold of them, but only in the part that belongs to the contribution that they shall be rated at, which the Prince of Orange is acquainted with. The Prince allows apparently for policy's sake of Monsieur's motion for the erecting of churches throughout Brabant and Flanders, to the end that the 'Religion's frede' should be maintained ; but the colonels and preachers are encouraged to deny it, and have very modest and necessary reasons to allege why they should not 'grant thereunto,' unless there were sufficient forces in the field, and the Malcontents would range themselves on their side to embrace the 'Religions frede' which was demanded on their behalf. Means are presently to be used, in secret negotiation, to draw some of the Malcontents from the Prince of Parma, and sundry offers are made, ahout which Meetkerke and others are employed. The result is not seen, hut forasmuch as sundry troops of Spanish and Italian foot comes daily into Luxembourg, alla fila, and will have their rendezvous at Marche in that province, and sundry hands of horse are repairing to the same rendezvous from Italy, and M. de Chèvres a valiant baron of Burgundy has the charge to levy 20 ensigns of Walloons for the King of Spain's service and certain Burgundian horsemen and Allmaynes, the Malcontents it is thought will be the more easily drawn to this side, to provide for their own reputation and safety. They are already divided among themselves, the Marquis of Risboug, Lalaing, Montigny, and that faction, separating themselves from the bishops, from Swevingam, Rassingam etc. that are Spanish. The Malcontents' army consists of 3,000 horse and upwards, and 8,000 foot, who lie about 'Rowsler' in Flanders, having great penury of forage and other necessaries. But he who first shall be master of the field with his camp thoroughly furnished, is like to have the advantage of the other party all the year after ; yet if the French king in favour of his brother would at this beginning stop the passages of Calais and Mezières, all Artois, Luxembourg, Namur, 'Henawd,' and West Flanders would be so straitened in their traffic and in their victual that they would be able neither to nourish an army, nor themselves and their families, but be forced to pray Monsieur and the States to receive them to their protection, being otherwise barred from the sea and land and from the rent and exchange of their commodities, which entertains an infinite number of mechanical sort of people in those countries. Monsieur has projected the proportion of an army to be brought hither, having written above 500 letters and dispatches into France and elsewhere by Neufville and others of his train. His proportion is 10,000 French foot, 2,500 lances, 3,000 Swiss, and 3,000 'Rutters' ; besides the computation that is made to fill up the bands of English and Scots that are in the country, and to bring into the field the 'country' soldiers that can be spared from the garrisons. To accomplish this, there is demanded 500,000 crowns to pay the soldiers beforehand for three months, and defray the charges of the artillery, munition, and pioneers, which is always esteemed a third of the expenses of the whole. But to 'recover' this money on the sudden is a difficulty, for they dare not at this beginning proceed to assay the general aids, as they have set down in secret that 'their turn might be abundantly served therewith' ; and for the particular, there are none to disburse beforehand any great sum, nor are their private means such as might supply what is needful. Besides, they are very ill husbands, for they have so negligently and vainly dissipated the Church goods and the revenues of the monasteries which they suppressed, that it is all come to naught ; which otherwise by reserving the property to themselves as a perpetual rent, might have served to defray a great piece of the charge of the war, and eased the country very much, to the terror of the enemy. Further, they have so many officers of Receipts, so many auditors, clerks, commissioners, bailiffs and such like, that 'above all excess' they exceed the number of 16,000—yea, this town has more than 1,600 of these superfluous officers, who surcharge the estate of the country and the towns above a French crown a day a man—which rises after that rate to 16,000 crowns daily ; a matter though scarce credible, yet true, for I am informed of it by such as have the chief handling of those accounts. It is more than time therefore that they should come to a reformation ; for why ? [sic] their whole army would be entertained with a much less proportion. Another thing they have, which is as hurtful to their estate as may be, and is clearly to overthrow their reputation therein, if it be not quickly repaired ; which is that they have no regard to their word, nor to their writing, observing neither the one nor the other ; borrowing and promising largely where they may win credit, with a plain intention beforehand never to perform their assurances. This in particular much blemishes the opinion had of this city, and injures their cause in general. If her Majesty pleased by your mediation to give me commission while the General States are assembled, to solicit a direct answer how she should be 'answered' the debt, now due to her by them, and by this town of Antwerp, I doubt not but to do good and effectual service, for I know which way to spur them forward, having penetrated into their secrets and into the things they are most afraid of. If it be thought necessary that I should be employed, her Majesty beside the commission and instructions she may send me, may be inclined to write to the Prince of Orange, to the States-General, and to those of this town, of the charge I have to negotiate the matter. By this course she may stay them from importuning her with a request for new loans towards the supply of these new necessities, or else by extending her favour further towards them, oblige them the more deeply to her. Finally this countermine may serve to many purposes, as it may best appear to your wisdom, when you have considered the circumstances. The charge will not be great, seeing I am here already, and their hope is fixed to be helped again from England. But to return to Monsieur's army. Nothing can be resolved therein before the French King declares his intention, first, how he is inclined to embrace the cause of these countries and to favour his brother's greatness in this new 'auguration' of his ; it being held here for an infallible maxim that if his brother do not openly declare himself against the king of Spain by way of art, in supporting Monsieur, and these countries and the choice they have made of him, the wills and intentions of both brothers are vain and without effect and conclusively dangerous and deceitful. It is likewise as infallible that if you had not arrived here, with the impressions that the people and States had of her Majesty's favour and aid, and of your sincerity, he never had been received as friend, much less invested as their lord ; whereof your departure (which I was glad of, lest the people should repute themselves abused, under the cover of your presence and her Majesty's countenance) gave sufficient testimony, after they saw you once embarked without further intermeddling in their cause. I was amazed that they were entered so far into the action without further assurance. M. du Vray is expected with the French king's resolution. He gave him and Pinart audience on 'Thursday was se'night' as was advertised hither ; but in the mean time Fervacques has written hither to Laval that he finds the king and his Council in France very cold in Monsieur's actions, and that those that depend on Monsieur are as slack, so that he sees not the means how an army may be levied there without the presence of Monsieur himself. If the army is composed of volunteers, again, the insolence of the nation is such, and the lack of discipline, that the whole enterprise would resolve into smoke ; which is also feared by others here of good judgement, for the aids which are grounded only upon the connivance of sovereign persons never produced any substantial effect nor sound intelligence. Another incumbrance Monsieur has had ; for whereas on Monday next the Council of State was to be established by the States-General and him, exception has been made to the Prince of Epinoy and to the Lords of Fromont and Hèvre, both allied to him, and all three papists, lest so many suffrages or voices might 'impeach' or discover the things done there. The Prince of Epinoy has besides been privately admonished not to accept the office, though it were offered him, in respect of the jealousy that is conceived for the drawing of the garrison out of Tournay, upon which it was presently besieged and consequently surrendered without any endeavour on his side for the relief of it, his wife, sister to M. Lalaing and Montigny being in the town at the time. Notwithstanding this private admonition, the prince seeks earnestly to be of the Council, and to introduce others with him, which renders him more suspect. We shall know the issue at the next general 'proposition' to be held on Monday by Monsieur, who has authority to create two councillors of his own to be assistants, though they be not 'naturals' of the country. After the establishment of the Council of State they will proceed to the election of the Privy Council and that of the finances, and then to order the direction of the war, and the means to supply it with money. I enclose the names of those that still are of the former Council of State, of the secret Council, and of the Council of finances, that you may behold upon this alteration what diversity of persons are 'intromitted.' In another paper are enclosed the names of the magistrates and principal officers of this city and of the councillors and gilds, with the number of armed men and ensigns that are now trained and in readiness within the city. I send herewith also the general occurrents that come from Rome, which in many respects are worthy of note, and 'concerns' our Court to observe them. I will furnish you every week with the like, as things that come from persons of judgement and calling. I would have sent you a new 'Guiciardyn,' but I understood since that your secretary had provided you with one here at his going away. But in place thereof, according to the 'poor might of my ability' you shall receive two pieces of Monsieur's new coin, one of 10 stivers, the other of 5, and a piece of his gold coin, of 54 stivers. If you will be furnished with any more, I will do it. You shall have, by the next messenger after this, the articles of the Joyous Entry put into French, to which Monsieur swore in your presence without the town, with other 'singularities' concerning these places. Commissioners are arrived today from 'Bollduck' to treat with Monsieur and the Prince to be comprised within the Union that is to be established, 'namely' if the 'Religion's frede' may be obtained to permit them to exercise of their ancient religion. The granting of it would be of great importance, to bring others in to follow their example. By having 'Bollduck' the town of Breda could not hold out long, for they would have no means to sally in and out with provisions. It appears both by the occurrents from Rome and sundry other advertisements that are presented here, that the French have a great desire to 'embrace many practices at this day' ; for they are busy at Constantinople, Malta, Naples, Rome, Barbary, the duchy of Milan, the Emperor's Court, Germany, the Low Countries, Scotland, and England. Bodin affirmed openly within these three days here, that before six months were come we should be invaded with foreign and civil wars for our religion in England. Mr Norris arrived here four days since, and with him Count John of Nassau's son, leaving the siege of the castle of Bronkhorst under the charge of Captain Gaynsford, who hopes to possess it shortly. Thereby they will have all the river clear of the enemy, to the great good and quietness of the country. They have lost at that siege seven score of the bravest men they had, being badly provided with powder and shot to batter the place, for which reason the enemy has held out the longer, the besiegers not being able to environ the castle, nor to guard their ordnance, if the enemy had come to relieve the place. I send you a rude draught of it, drawn with the pen, that you may behold its situation, and the importance it is of ; with the 'Skantz' or little fort that Mr Norris made upon the river, to retire his men and ordnance to each night. Rochepot was to have been made by Monsieur colonel of all the infantry that were to serve in these countries ; but it seems that Mr Norris will retain his English regiment, and so each nation theirs. Archduke Matthias has departed from Cologne with some difficulty for he wanted money to defray his charges. He visits his friends the Princes of Germany in his journey, and protracts the time to meet his brother the Emperor at the Diet to be holden at 'Augusta' in May next. He has 50,000 guilders a year pension given him by the States, on condition he shall neither practice nor associate himself with their enemies. Don Edward de Crasto, ambassador here for Don Antonio, departs to France shortly smally satisfied touching the negotiation he had for shipping and mariners, for the means whereby he presumed to furnish himself with money have failed him. They of Holland and Zealand so 'abound of mariners' that the magistrates desire to have them employed in some military service, being well inclined to Portugal ; for otherwise they are not able to set their mariners to work, nor to govern them. Last Monday the Prince's daughter was christened. The town of Antwerp was the godfather, and the widow of the late Palsgrave with the Countess of 'Newnar' were godmothers. Villiers preached at the christening. There is here one Francis Puccio, a Florentine, who haunted in England for some while, both in the University of Oxford and the City of London esteemed to be well learned ; who coming over when you accompanied Monsieur has assured me that Coranus the Spanish preacher is one of the 'dangerowst' persons for his life and opinions that ever lived in State. He affirms that Coranus, whatever he pretends outwardly of religion and doctrine, holds inwardly the contrary, and has maintained to Puccio that the Messias Christ was never promised, nor ever came, but was a thing invented by the Rabbins, and that the Jews of Asia are still of that opinion. And touching the faith delivered by the Apostles, that it was grounded upon supposition [qy. superstition] and hypocrisy, and consequently a 'collusion.' Only he says that God has a providence over his creatures, and rules the 'success' of things. The means, says Puccio, to sound Coranus touching this his most blasphemous and pestilent sect, is to have some one, after conference twice or thrice with him, to doubt of the Messias' coming and of the promise made on his behalf ; whereupon Puccio affirms that he will make no difficulty to discover himself ; which were well done, to the glory of God, and the good of the realm. Yet it appears that Puccio also has strange conceits of religion, by the manner of the discourse and 'purposes' that he held with me. Yesterday and today the Portugal fleet of this town are arrived here. They are very richly laden, and have many rare things to sell. To conclude this my tedious long letter, which though it be stuffed with sundry matter of small moment, yet I thought at this beginning it were not unfit to observe each particular, that by 'conferring' them together you might the better judge of the state of things, and of the humours which reign here. We have every tide great companies of French that repair hither to Monsieur ; but men more unfurnished with money (unless it be myself) I never saw. Bacqueville's 'countenance' is much decayed since he came here, for Monsieur is continually in matters of counsel, and entertained well nigh the whole time by the Prince and States ; so that if it be not one of his Council, or of his officers near to him, the 'countenance' of the rest is no more than each one takes to himself. Monsieur's house has small order in it, yet some of our English gentlemen repair there 'by times' to meals. There is one principal board, which is the steward's and des Pruneaux's ; and then there are two more, the one for those that wait in the chamber, and the other for those that attend at his own table, who are called 'for the month,' with whom the Secretaries have their allowance. Please consider that now this town of Antwerp, and the Court of these parts is the very centre of all the concourse of Christendom, both for negotiating and practising of high things, whereto every man's eye and mind is directed to behold them, as a matter of most importance and expectation, and where even the whole state of the Christian world, as in a theatre, is treated of, either directly or indirectly. Therefore it will be most necessary for her Majesty to have a vigilant eye thereunto, for it will concern her wellnigh most. If I might do her any service therein, being authorised to do so either privately or openly, and enabled with some indifferent allowance to bear out part of the charge, I would not only supply the rest with my industry, but so deserve, I hope, in service to her and to my country, and in contentment to yourself and the graver sort, that I would discharge that in every part which one of more state and expense should not so easily achieve. And as further the issue of these things will be thoroughly seen into before Easter, and the mask of many connivances and practices be taken away and discovered ; so having done that agreeable service here during that time, if I be employed, that might render good contentment ; her Majesty might be consequently inclined to use me in somewhat else in this next Diet of the Empire (a matter specially to be considered of) ; presuming that I have such means and friends both here and there, joined with a desire to do my sovereign service, as it shall surmount my ability, by effecting more than may be looked for at my hands ; wherein my actions are to 'subsist' of diligence, secrecy, and judgement. But if there be no inclination to use me, a poor servant of her Majesty's own, before another, please signify the cause by your first letters, that I may retire hence ; for having no maintenance from others nor ability of myself, I cannot continue the course that I desire, for ex nihilo nihil fit, and you have experience what the charges of this country are. But I would sacrifice my life, and all the wealth in the world, if it were mine, to do anything that might satisfy her Majesty and you, without regard of any merit to 'revert' or to be reaped thereby. I pray you to vouchsafe three lines of thanks to the Prince of Orange, for the great favour I find at his hands, on whom I depend being here ; and whereby I shall receive the more countenance and ability if you will write this affectionally and speedily, and as the Frenchman says, with good 'ynck.' Commend me also by a short letter to Sainte-Aldegonde.—Antwerp, 3 March 1581. P.S.—Friends of the Duke of Guise are here in this town, dangerous persons of whom I will learn more. They are not idle, whereof I know some 'particularity' ; but I will inform myself more hereof. Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. 10¼ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 36.]
March 3. 575. Copy of the above. Endd. by Herle. 10½ pp. [Ibid. XV. 36a.]
March 3. 576. HERLE to LEICESTER.—Enclosures in the above.
The Council of State now serving :—
The Prince of Orange.
Messire Adrien de Bailleu, Lord of Hevere.
Messire Philippe de Marnix, Lord of Sainte-Aldegonde.
Messire Adolphe de Meetkercke, knight, President of the Council of Flanders.
Messire Jehan Junius, knight, Doctor of Laws.
Messire Jehan van Ghent, Lord of Oyen and Dieden.
Seigneur Charles d'Utenhove, Lord of Hoogheval.
Master Nicolas Casenbroot, Doctor of Laws.
Seigneur Noel de Caron, Lord of Schoonval.
Seigneur Charles van Rhynen, Lord of Nieuwenborch.
Seigneur Adrien van der Mylen, Doctor of Laws.
Seigneur Comille de Coninck.
Seigneur Guillaume de Hertoge, Lord of Ousmal.
Secretaries :—
Jehan d'Asseliers, audiencer, Doctor of Laws.
Nicasius de Sille, Doctor of Laws, Secretary of State.
Jehan de Langhe, German Secretary.
Ushers :—
Antoine Beys, first usher.
Guillaume Mennens.
The Privy Council :—
Messire Fredrich de Boyemer, Doctor of Laws.
Messire Jacques Roelands, Doctor of Laws.
Messire Josse de Brach, Doctor of Laws.
Messire Franchois van Rhyne, Doctor of Laws.
Messire Jacques Marchant, Doctor of Laws.
Messire Philippe Marotolle, Doctor of Laws.
Secretaries :—
The audiencer d'Asseliers.
The Secretary of State Sille.
Secretary Boonen.
Secretary Daesdonck.
Secretary van Stocke.
Secretary van der Straten.
Secretary van der Heyden.
Ordinary ushers :—
Pompile Numan.
Guilloume Vorsthuys.
The Chamber of Finances :—
M. Jehan de Bourgoyne, knight, Lord of le Fromont, Chief.
Engelbert d'Oyenbrugghe, Assistant (commis).
Jacques Reyngout, Lord of Cauwenbrug, Assistant.
de Rouck, Assistant, Treasurer of the Exchequer.
Lancelot Para is, Receiver general.
Spallaert, Clerk (greffier).
Van der Beken Military Treasurer.
Philibert Duwarin, usher.
Endd. by Herle :—At Monsieur's general proposition to the States shall be seen what new Councillors shall be chosen or altered. Fr. 2½ pp. [Ibid. XV. 36b.]
March 3. 577. Officers of the city of Antwerp for 1582.
Burgomasters :—
Jo : Philips van Schoonhoven.
Mr Peeter van Aelst.
Echevins :—
1. Mr Peeter van Aelst.
2. Mr Jan de Pape.
3. Jo : Rogier van Leeffdael.
4. Mr Nicolaes de Voocht.
5. Jo : Jacob van Wachtendonck.
6. Mr Mattheus de Labury.
7. Cornelis Pruenen.
8. Jan Baseliers.
9. Andries Vander Molen.
10. Mr Cornelis Retius.
11. Jan van Steenwinckel.
12. Mr Jacop Zwerius.
13. Lodewyck Bloemaert.
14. Jo. Jacop Montens.
15. and Peeter Panhuys.
Greffiers :—
Mr Adriaen Dyck.
Mr Willem Martini.
Mr Jan van Hoboken.
Mr Severyn van Uffels.
Secretaries :—
Mr Henrich de Moy.
Mr Dionys Vander Neesen.
Mr Joris Kieffelt.
Mr Willem Gielis.
The Lord Margrave :—
Jo : Symon van Werne.
The Lord Amman :—
Jo : Jan van Stralen.
The Sheriff (Escoutette) :—
Jo. Cornelis van Mausdale.
The Colonels :—
Adriaen Bardoul, Bartolomeeus Pels, Steven Ricquet, Jan de Laet, Anthoni Ancelmo, Jacques de la Faille, Adriaen Vierendeel.
Which Colonels are captains of 10 ensigns apiece of townsmen well appointed. And there are these four gilds or fraternities, viz. of the harquebusiers, of the crossbows, of the English longbow, and of the long sword ; who have under them 7 ensigns towards the furnishing of the rounds upon the walls, and the standing watches in the street, and 22 ensigns besides that have the charge of, which makes in all 109 ensigns, being able within the town to arm 15,000 able men.
Endd. by Herle. 2 pp. [Ibid. XV. 36c.]
Since his Highness's coming, I have had small countenance at his hands ; here is every man for himself. I have nobody to complain to, but your favour. I did not trouble my Lord of Leicester over much, because he had others to prefer ; and at my coming from England, her Majesty promised to speak to him for me. I am sure she did not. If you will favour me so much as to speak to her, I think she will give me her letter ; if not, I know not what to do. Within this month all the commissions will be given out. If I could get her letter anything favourably, I doubt not with God's help, but to find a poor 'life' amongst them. I most humbly desire you to speak for me ; if she refuses it, for God's sake let me hear soon. I am hardly dealt withal by two or three, especially by Mr Cotton ; the last day indeed I was something bold with him openly, but not so bold as he was behind my back three nights before. His tongue is better than mine, but for truth I will compare with him ; so do I humbly desire you to judge of me. If I be not better dealt with here than I am at present, 'I must needs free' (?). I have served very ungrateful people since 'Alegonde' and the rest of the patriots' coming over. I received scarce 'Dieu vous garde de mal' at their hands ; I know not wherefore, unless it were for telling her Majesty that they were honest men when they were not. It is not strange though they deceive me, for I fear me some of the best of them have deceived 'in' themselves. The last day there were above 400 at Monsieur's mass, for all the strait proclamation that the town 'did.' 'If it will fire as it begins to smoke,' we need not to go far to fight with the Malcontents. God send the Prince of Orange well to do. I know not what the second French supply will be, but I assure you in my poor judgement, these that are here differ from the Flemings' humour as much as the English do from the Irish. If I hear anything worthy to trouble you with, I will [sic].— Antwerp, 3 March. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Ibid. XV. 37.]
I received yours by my brother, and [? in] answer to mine sent by Mr Adirane ; who left Ghent in a time very uncertain both of Monsieur's coming, and how he should be dealt with and what course they ought to take ; seeing the loss of Tournay, his Altese's 'detraction,' his Excellency's sudden departure, 'the marriage of England doubtful,' made them have a new desire rather to set up their rests than thus to consume 'au pitite feue' [qy. an petit feu]. For myself, I desire but to do my country service, and to that effect I hold what hand I may, and if I were to speak with you, I could say what I will not write. But now that his Highness is arrived, no place is so joyful thereof as Ghent, and makes great preparations to receive him, and means to remit all negotiations to his direction. Meantime you may hold with them of Ghent what hand you please, and to that effect you may, if you think good, advise what hand I should hold towards his Highness, their own security, and our country good [sic]. I crave pardon of you for this, which the sudden departure of the post makes me shorten. Yet his Highness has not made his proposition, and till now they have only treated of matters of 'religionfredes.' But I fear we shall have so many 'religion's-fredes' that in the end it will be a confusion without religion, and yet the matters of money be not 'resolved of.' Mr Norris is arrived in this town. The enemy is reinforced with certain Italians and Burgundians and has passed musters, so that he will presently undertake some action. 'Other' for want of time I omit.—Antwerp, 4 March 1582. Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 38.]
Mar. 4. 580. GILPIN to WALSINGHAM.
As I signified in my last, in the suit touching her Majesty's contentment I have neither means to deal further before I understand your pleasure, only as occasions may be presented to meet any of the magistrates of this town or commissioners from any of the other provinces, do remember [sic] them of their careless dealing with her Majesty, wishing present amendment to her better satisfaction, which they promise in speeches, with protestations at this general meeting to perform it. Those of Holland arrived this morning, and as I was before informed bring with them the money or order for the first year's interest, whereof you shall know more in the next. Meanwhile I am to beseech you that whereas in one of my former I wrote of a suit I had moved to and by Mr Governor, desiring your furtherance, so it is that at his last departure hence, he promised as much as in him lay ; and it is only this, that the procuration which he had passed over to Reynold Copcote for receipt of the money and giving quittance for it, might be altered, and I for my more credit joined therein, so that having been the solicitor all this while, and taken pains, I might not be reputed where I have some credit unworthy of that charge so well as [sic] another that never travailed therein. For though I do not mean nor desire (and yet, God be thanked, have skill and knowledge enough to receive or pay money by exchange or otherwise) to intermeddle with receipt or payment, as I affirmed to Mr Governor, yet I should be glad to have credit with any other to give and subscribe the acquittance as authorized by virtue of Mr Governor's power from her Majesty, which I beseech you to allow. I have been at some charge in this suit, both about the copies of the protests, the notary's pains, advice of learned counsel, postage of letters between Mr Stokes and me, and for other rewards given to some of the town officers for troubling them diversly, which I refer to your consideration. Also the sending home of the States' bonds in August last, for which, as Mr Governor then and since wrote me, you had passed more than half a promise to get me the allowance of a packet, wherein I await your favour. By the letters herewith sent, the present news here will better appear than I can write ; yet I would not omit to add thereto what I could learn, submitting the certainty of it to the writing of others that have leisure and 'come in place' to understand it ; amongst others Mr William 'Earle,' who 'says' himself to be left here as agent for the Earl of Leicester, and so is of some reputed, though also otherwise suspected. Thus much I thought good to touch. Monsieur, since the ending of the triumphs and shows of joy for his safe arrival to accept the government, with hope the better to withstand the King of Spain's forces, has not hitherto dealt in any great matters, the committee from the provinces not being yet all come, though daily expected, in whose hands the choice of a Council to direct the affairs of the country depends. There are already great speeches of the camp 'shall be' forthwith made, and sufficient number of horse and foot to make an offensive war against the enemy. God grant it fall out defensive. Upon a request or petition presented to his Highness for the exercise of popery, he has and does show himself very forward, having not only earnestly moved and required it from the magistrates of the town, who have called the Common Council to that end, but also insists to have the grant, and as the speech goes, will receive no refusal ; 'yea, that more is,' if it be denied, makes show of willingness to depart. This course makes heart burning, and is likely to breed strife in this town, besides a great dislike of his proceedings. The magistrates, in part contented, endeavour to induce the colonels and captains, who will not yield ; as also the Common Council, who have met several times, but as yet have not resolved. I hear that the Chancellor of Brabant has made suit to his Highness to grant the oath and charge to be administered to all those of the Chancery ; that the suits depending there, which by reason of the alteration of government had hung in suspense, might have their wonted course in pleading and proceeding. But nothing could be obtained till the aforesaid question was determined, which by his president he required the Chancellor to travail in, as part of the accord made with him that the Religions freydt should be permitted. It is also credibly reported that his Highness has reproved the governors of certain towns for suffering the Religions freydt to be broken, wishing the speedy and present redress of such alterations. For the more advancing of his desire, he has also declared the causes moving him thereto, as a matter above all recommended by the Queen his mother and the king to his especial care. What the issue of this will grow to, time will make manifest, but it is thought something will be yielded to the petition, yet not altogether to the papists' liking ; for this grant once passed, I heard a murmuring that an oath shall be generally administered throughout all this country whereby the King of Spain shall be renounced and this new Duke of Brabant 'allowed' and sworn to. The Prince of Orange and sundry of the chief men about him, it is said, drive and labour 'the effect of that required,' taking it to be a special 'induction' to draw some discontentment in the Malcontent provinces, and better agreement with other places that remain neuter. There is some division among the Malcontents about admitting the Spaniards, who come daily by 20, 30, and 40 in company into Luxembourg, and there gather in troops ; whence they will be sent into 'Groeninger landt' under the conduct of Bilhi (qy. Billy) sometime governor of that place and West Friesland, and the men that served there and now lie about Zutphen will come thence and serve among the Malcontents, with which conditions the foreign aids will be permitted. The English forces continue in the siege of a castle, which cost many of their lives, so that they will not leave till they have it. This had been long since if the country had kept promise for provision and munition. In Flanders the enemy are still, but 'hearken after' Monsieur's entertainment and proceeding, being as we hear not a little glad of the Earl of Leicester's and other noblemen's return to England. On Friday week they mustered their men, and paid horse and foot one month's pay. Montigny is said to have broken his leg by a fall from his horse. They have made ready all their artillery at Tournay and it is thought it will be sent ere long into some place, Meenen being the likeliest, and that they will draw all their forces to Flanders. The States of Brabant a few days before the Prince's coming hither, gave him the abbey lands and revenue of the Abbey of Tongerloo, distant about 8 Flemish miles hence, and worth in quiet times about 40,000 guilders yearly.—Antwerp, 4 March 1581. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 39.]
March 4. 581. ROSSEL to WALSINGHAM.
In my last letter, handed to Mr Gilpin, I told you the order which his Highness and the States-General desired to take for the resettlement of the Low Countries on their old footing, in conformity with the order established by the Dukes of Burgundy. First, to set up the Council of State, on which subject is the greatest difficulty and controversy, and the States-General have been debating it till now ; because several having been established provisionally, they would like to continue in being, which would be confusion and chaos. This has been the cause of the delay, and the postponement of his Highness's 'proposition' and oath till Monday. This being over, the Privy Council will be established, and subsequently the Finances, and after that the military staff and that of his Highness's household. The dispute on the matter of religion, so much solicited by the papists, and pushed by his Highness's ministers, makes him act so inopportunely that many people can have no good hopes of any progress in the affairs of the war. All the ministers of the Religion have been to his Highness, and pointed out to him the inconveniences which may follow. Those of Antwerp are in favour of agreeing to the 'Religion fliet,' provided the other towns and provinces accept it at the same time ; they would not wish to be alone the agents in the re-establishment of the Mass, because those from the other provinces would all flock to Antwerp for the sake of it, and under this pretext would lay his plan by the aid of both the priests and their supporters. His Excellency backs the view of Monsieur, in the hope of satisfying the King of France, and through the importunity of others. He may get ill will (un matalent) in recompense. In this regard should be had to the judgement of God, which is beyond all human designs and opinions. For my own part I have opposed it and shall do so until I conquer or am conquered. As for our enemies the Malcontents, they are greatly astounded by the sudden arrival and reception of his Highness ; although previously to it, the Estates of the disunited provinces had accepted the Spaniards and granted 300,000 florins for their payment and that of the other soldiers. The Baron de Chevreau, Chisse, and Champigny, captains who were to bring 20 ensigns of foot and 5 of horse, have all three died within a month, which makes them still more perplexed, and keeps them quiet (à recoy) and prevents their deciding anything. It is announced that there are troubles at Naples, and that the Canary Isles especially [sic] and St. Michael are in revolt against the King of Spain. A preacher, a Portuguese monk, publicly declares to the people that their sins and the cruelties they practise towards their slaves have so stirred the wrath of God, that having chastised them by famine, He has taken away their good king, and what is more, placed them under the hand of a cruel tyrant. The preacher had vanished, so that who heard him could not catch him. The Malcontents have asked the Prince of Parma to keep the Spaniards in the neighbourhood of Luxembourg for six weeks or two months, waiting for the 'green' ; otherwise the country cannot maintain so many people. They perceive besides that great levies are being made in France for his Highness, in connexion with which all the gendarmerie in France was mustered on Feb. 24, which makes them fear that the king is going to declare himself. The Marquis of Risbourg, who had retired to Hesdin, has come back to the country and resumed his office of general of the cavalry. The Archduke Matthias has left Cologne without saying goodbye, when he heard of the welcome given to his Highness, and has taken the road towards (contre) Augsburg, to be present at the Diet.— Antwerp, 4 March 1582. Add. Endd. Fr. 1¼ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 40.]
March 4. 582. STOKES to WALSINGHAM.
My last was the 25th ult., in which I told you of all such speeches as were at that time current in this town. As yet I cannot learn any preparations that the States are making for the defence of the country against the enemy, who are making speedy preparation to put their camp before some town, and besides vaunt themselves to have all Flanders at their command before very long. The Prince of Parma has sent to the land of Luxembourg, to Namur, Maestricht and all those parts for all the forces they can spare, and to send them with speed to the camp at Iseghem on this side Corttrick. This week are come thither from Namur the regiment that was the Count de Reulx', and 3 cornets of horse, and they march thitherwards daily, so that it is said within less than 14 days the enemy will be 10,000 foot and 5,000 horse. Also this week there are come to Corttrick from sundry towns in Hainault and Artois 42 waggons all laden with iron pellets for the cannon. So they make speedy preparations to besiege some town, which all the speech goes here will be Meenen, which being of so great importance is but slenderly provided. The great hope there was here at Monsieur's coming of some revolt of towns and gentlemen from the enemy's side is now turned contrary ; for speeches are come from Artois and Hainault that they will hold together and defend their country for the King of Spain the best they can. The Germans that serve the enemy, who lie at Rousselaere, after having received one month's pay fell into a mutiny for five months' pay more which is owing them. So they have fortified themselves in Rousselaere, and will not stir till they are paid. But it is thought they will be contented. At Cambray there are some more forces come out of France, who since coming thither have made a raid as far as Douay, Valenciennes, and Arras, and have returned to Cambray with a very rich booty of prisoners and 'beastiall,' to the great loss of the enemy. It is said that about the 20th inst. the Duke of Alençon will come to Ghent to take the oath as Earl of Flanders. Against his coming those of Ghent are preparing in very costly order to receive him. It continues very grievous among the commons here that the English noblemen are returned to England.—Bruges, 4 March 1581. P.S.—It is some grief to me that my letters are so long before they come to your hands. I cannot help it, unless command be given to the posts to return by this town as always heretofore they have used. They may do it well enough, for the ways are without danger. I beseech you to have me in remembrance for my licence for 700 tuns of beer.
March 5. P.S. 2.—Kept until 5 March. This afternoon the magistrates of this town have received certain advice from Corttrick that last Saturday the enemy made a new muster of all their companies both horse and foot, and all that they found to be Frenchmen they have discharged and have sent them with passports into France, and would not suffer them to come to this side ; for they say they will have no Frenchmen serve among them, and this muster was only to find out all the Frenchmen and discharge them. Add. Endd. 2½ pp. [Ibid. XV. 41.]
March 4. 583. FREMYN to WALSINGHAM.
I received on the 1st inst. yours of the 18th ult. and feel much honoured by your kind remembrance of your servants. As to what has passed in these parts since the Earl of Leicester went away, which was on Friday, 23 Feb. the Catholics of this town have continued to go to Mass at his Highness's lodgings, and are saying 'at this moment we have the Mass, in spite of those who want to take it from us.' There was a papist citizen of this town who gave a buffet to a citizen of the Religion, which caused the colonels of the town to forbid any citizen going to Mass under penalty of 100 crowns' fine. This displeased his Highness, who was obliged to have Mass said in his ante-chamber, whereas till then it was said in public where all the papists could go without difficulty. Meanwhile his Highness complains, saying that this was not what had been agreed with him ; and on the following Thursday, the 1st of this month, he sent M. des Pruneaux to the Town Hall to tell the magistrates from him that if a church was not put at liberty for himself and the Catholics who wished to go there for the exercise of their religion, he would go back to France the next Monday, and that he was not going to be bridled. The magistrates postponed their answer to the morrow, some of them saying that it was reasonable ; to which effect, on Friday the 2nd, they 'assailed' the colonels and captains of the town, to whom they gave to understand the like. They concluded that they would not permit it, and that it should not be said that those who had taken away the Mass should be the first to restore it, in order to show the way to the others ; it was a thing they could not in conscience do, but it must be done by the assembly of the States-General. No way meanwhile is found out of the difficulty, which infinitely distresses his Excellency, who is in much trouble, and employs all his powers in getting them to agree to allow a church to the Catholics, who are pressing his Highness hard ; in such wise that his Excellency said yesterday to the colonels of the town that if they did not allow his Highness a church, and he went away, he protested against them that any harm which came of it would be due to them, and that he for his part would withdraw also at the same time. Today the Great Council of the town is meeting on the subject. This is what has passed up to now. This re-establishment of the Mass has caused and will cause a great diminution in the affection felt towards his Highness ; besides that those who are most urgent to have it are those who most resisted his coming. The commons say : We have called your lordship to assist us ; you have at present neither army nor means to succour any place that the enemy attacks, except what we may give you, and you want to re-establish the Mass among us, and cause a division at your coming, and in place of one war, to kindle many. This is a dangerous beginning.—That is what the people say. His Highness has heard from the king by a gentleman whom he sent from Zealand. The substance is that he has heard of the good reception given him at Middelburg, and of his journey to Antwerp to be received, of which he was very much rejoiced ; but above that he had in recommendation his honour and his salvation, and that in so doing he would perform the office of a brother to him—as though meaning that the king desires him to maintain the Roman religion so far as in him lies, and that he will assist him to declare this openly. The king will not do it easily, as I understand. The Prince Dauphin is about departing from France. It is said that the King of Spain has sent his daughter to Saint-Jean-de-Luz, and offers to send her into France, as wife to his Highness, with the Duchy of Milan, if he will quit the cause of the Low Countries ; and that as security for this he will send the Duchess of Parma, the Counts of Mansfeld and Lalaing, the Marquis of Risbourg, Montigny and others as hostages into France if he will accept his offers. Great preparations are being made at Ghent for the reception of his Highness, greater indeed and with a better will on the part of the people than was done for the Prince of Spain, provided it does not diminish when they hear of this re-establishment of the Mass, which greatly 'obfuscates' the first dispositions towards him. The Malcontent forces that were in Flanders have packed up (levé bagage) ; it is not known whither they are going. It is thought they are waiting to see how his Highness is received generally. It is said besides that the Malcontent lords have postponed for a month giving their decision to the Prince of Parma as to the return of the Spaniards into these posts. Meanwhile it is said that 3,000 new soldiers have been levied in Spain to send to the garrisons in Italy, in order to allow the old troops to travel here with 8,000 Italians. The hereditary Duke of Brunswick has returned from Spain to Germany with much money to levy reiters for the King of Spain, and is already beginning to do so. There is a report that when the Hungarian Diet is over, an Imperial Diet will be held at Augsburg. The 12 Swiss cantons have sent their deputies to the French Court to demand payment of 5,000,000 francs due to them, and in default of payment to renounce the alliances. Perhaps they will not be so angry. The King of Navarre has not yet been reinstated in his places. Very little faith is kept with him, no more than with others. The Queen of Navarre is to take her journey to the Court about this matter. M. du Plessis is not going to his Highness. It seems that he has been forgotten and that they make very little account of his value, which deserves otherwise. M. des Pruneaux and M. de Trevisan, secretary of state, govern, as does M. de Villiers with his Excellency, who also thinks that no difficulty ought to be made about giving up a church to the papists. In short, it is far from easy to form a sound judgement on the occurrences of the present time because people build more on passion than on reason, which makes the most experienced ready to believe all things, even though beyond the 'discourse of reason.' The Scotch are in great trouble in Scotland, being unable to learn anything of what goes on at your Court ; and in what a gentleman of those parts, named 'le Sieur de Revan' [? Ruthven] who is lord Treasurer, writes to some one here, to send him word what he knows of it, they have been in fear of the English marriage, saying that it open the way to the ruin of the Religion. They are desirous to keep on terms with your state, to see what will be the result of present affairs ; although great offers are made them from the King of France. They are aiming at the marriage of their king with the Princess of Navarre. It seems to me that that country will not long be exempt from internal troubles because of the proscriptions and banishments passed at the last parliament, with the seizure of the goods of many of the nobility. As for these countries, there is still plenty of appearance of trouble, in which the Prince of Orange will have much to suffer after all his pains and labours. Count 'Holo' arrived in this town yesterday, and two days before, Mr Norris and Count William. That is all for the present. Please excuse me to the Earl of Leicester that I have not had time to write to him as I promised when he went away. It will be for another opportunity.—Antwerp, 4 March 1582. Add. Endd. Fr. 4 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 42.]
I do not write to you of the entries, dances, and festivities given for his Highness, knowing that the whole has been described to you to the life by the very people who saw it all. It is true that his Highness is not come to enjoy himself (aux nopees) but for war with a powerful foe. That is why I told him in England that no conquering prince, elected and called in by the subjects of another, had ever gone save with a good powerful army, for there is no doubt but that the enemy will soon besiege the towns, nor that they will devastate the open country, being masters of it, to stir up the subjects to rebellion against the new lord, before they have given him allegiance. And if he has to face the enemy, being the stronger, as he is generous and bold, he will find it difficult to escape their hands, who stakes nothing as the price of his victory but some Albanian louts (bélistres). But leaving the issue to God, I beseech you, for the sincere affection I bear to the good and safety of your state, to watch more than ever over its preservation, since it is as near as it ever was to inevitable dangers ; of which I again beg you to take care before you are anticipated.—Antwerp, 5 March 1582. Add. Endd. Fr. 2/3 p. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 43.]
Between 2 and 3 o'clock last Sunday afternoon was baptized with solemn pomp and ceremony the little daughter of the Prince of Orange. The godfathers were the burgomasters (consuli), colonels, and magistrates of Antwerp. And because in such cases the liberality of the magistracy is apt to be limited, a Great Council of the commons was called, at which the present to be made to his Excellency was fixed, because otherwise it does not usually exceed 200 guilders ; but if it is to be larger, it will be by the vote and consent of the commons, called by them Breedenracd. The godmothers were the widowed Countess Palatine, sister of the Count of Neuenahr, and the Countess of Neuenahr, who being absent had two honourable matrons as their proxies. Many nobles attended, beside the deputies ; also the Count of Laval and M. du Pruneaux. Afterwards there was a superb banquet. Here there is just now an attempt to restore the Mass and the free exercise of the Catholic religion, the Catholics being very urgent for it. His Highness agrees to it, saying that when he took the first oath to the States at Bordeaux, if I do not mistake, the innovation had not taken place which took place subsequently, in respect of depriving these Catholics of the exercise of their religion, and he is of opinion that for sundry respects their demand herein ought to be satisfied. The final decision will soon be known. But it is held certain that the favour they ask will be granted. I never thought to live so long as to pass the four years granted me by her Majesty through your honoured means ; and yet the end of them is now just coming. Wherefore I again recur to her boundless kindness and courtesy, in order that a similar favour may be granted me for the coming four years, in which if I live I will do the utmost in my power to employ in the perpetual service of her Majesty and yourself. I therefore send you the original to be renewed, and when obtained I ask you kindly to give it to Mr Robert Beale, that he may send it to my Right Reverend Lord of Salisbury to be registered like the others. This will be reckoned among the other infinite favours which I hold at your hands (con V.S.) and I shall always have that lively and grateful remembrance of it which is fitting, towards one who deserves as much of me as any person today living. I hear that in Germany a marriage has been celebrated with great pomp, and in the presence of many lords, between the Elector of Saxony's son and the Elector of Brandenburg's daughter. It is still said for certain that the Imperial Diet at Augsburg has been proclaimed for April 25 next. Colonel Norris is recently come here.—Antwerp, 5 March 1582. Endd. Ital. 1½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XV. 44.]