Elizabeth: October 1583, 6-10

Pages 125-134

Calendar of State Papers Foreign: Elizabeth, Volume 18, July 1583-July 1584. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1914.

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October 1583, 6–10

Oct. 6. 147. Gilpin to Robert Beale.
I have received three more letters from my friend at Cologne, alleging the “lets” which have stayed his repair hither, but promising to make all diligence possible. For our news here, the assembly at Dort goes coldly forward. They are cited to be there on the 17th, stilo novo but it is doubted those of Flanders, especially Ghent, will not appear.
Monsieur has written again to the States, offering, if they will accept him, to make war against the Malcontents in Artois and Hainault (Henegow), stating that the King of France has promised to declare himself against the King of Spain, and allowing them to make choice of any they will to serve here as his lieutenant. What is resolved shall be shortly known, but small affection is borne to the French and their favourers. Those of Brabant have made choice of twelve persons, whereof M. Aldegonde is one, to have the direction of all their causes, receipts, payments and other like matters of state and government.
Dr. Junius is by them sent into Germany in secret to learn what is passing there in these Cologne wars and to forward any action which may be for the good of this country.
The Spaniards have burnt three villages near Artois, because the peasants would not let them have victuals without money, “for they will have all things for nothing.” Their hard dealing makes discontent between the Walloons and the Spaniards, especially because Spaniards are made governors of Dunkirk, Furnes (Veurne), Nieuport and Dixmude.
It is said that the French have sold Berghes St. Winox to M. la Motte for “four score and ten thousand guilders” ready money, which La Motte made the villagers round about to pay. So the French are departed with bag and baggage into France, and left the burghers at the mercy of the enemy.
Ypres has written to the Prince of Chimay and the Four Members that all things there are well saving the sickness, which is very sore, and therefore they pray to be set free, which may easily be done as the enemy are few in number, and the sickness likewise among them. But nothing is yet done. They of Ypres have taken some prisoners who confess that the Prince of Parma is advised that Monsieur has a great power beside Cambray and means to come again into these parts. There is shortly to be a great meeting of all the States of Artois and Hainault, to devise a way to agree with the States, “which is much desired of that side.”
Monsieur has taken Chimay (Simay), a place of small importance and less force.
It is said in Parma's camp that he has received letters from the States of Germany not to meddle with the troubles at Cologne, “for they touch not his Majesty nor himself.” He has received great store of money out of Spain to pay his camp and garrisons, which has given much courage to his soldiers.
It is doubted if M. d'Hembyse (Hembysen) will come out of Dutchland to take the office he is chosen to, and much feared that the Ghentners will separate from the United Provinces, “for they begin to be very wavering in their dealings.”
I send you three or four books lately come forth, but the author unknown. Pray send one to Mr. Secretary and make him partaker of the Cologne news.—Middelburg, 6 October, 1583.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 43.]
Oct. 6. 148. Stokes to Walsingham.
The troubles on the States' side grow worse and worse, only for want of good government, the magistrates and others seeking rather to fill their own purses than to care for the general cause, while factions and discords are growing here, some seeking to have Duke Casimir, some desiring a peace, and some wishing the wars to continue.
By advice sent from the Prince and General States at Dort, there was this week here and at Ghent a general assembly of the commons, to have their consents for making a new Council of State for the government of the countries in the States' hands, the Prince of Orange to be the head; and also for levying greater excises and imposts on victuals and merchandise. The magistrates were willing to grant it, but the commons would not consent, so they have done nothing. But at Ghent they have all wholly denied it, saying “they will have no more to do with the Prince of Orange, nor with none of his devices. It seems the Gentners have some great matter in hand, for their dealings is not liked here of many, and the deputies of Ypres doth join with them in all things.” If M. d'Hembyse does not come (and it is plainly said he will not) it is thought they will agree with the Prince of Parma.
For this town, the commons all desire agreement, but not the magistrates, who have the soldiers at their command so as the commons dare not stir, and have this week put out forty burghers of great wealth and estimation, because they were against the French and desired peace with the Malcontents. These hard dealings make more enemies to their cause, yet the town is too poor to do anything, but they seem to hope for some foreign aid.
The enemy lie strongly in their forts round Ypres, but the rest are scattered in the villages about, having great want of forage, besides which the sickness follows wheresoever they go. Yet every second day they show themselves with five or six cornets of horse before this town “and fetches all our cattle and victuals out of these parts.”
One come from Cambray says that Monsieur was there with some horse and foot, and brought some victuals, but tarried not, and is now gone to Paris, so that there are not a thousand men there in all.— Bruges, 6 October, 1583, stilo Anglie.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 44.)
Oct. 6/16. 149. Pletro Bizarri to Robert Beale.
By the last from Cologne, we hear that Duke Casimir had retired towards Bonn, and that Count Neuenaar (Nuinar) had crossed the Rhine with 1,000 horse and 2,000 foot. Others write that Casimir, leaving a certain village on his way to Bonn, set it on fire, but that the enemy extinguished the flames. Casimir meanwhile returned and attacked the enemy, who had fortified themselves with some palisades, in which fight he received some damage, and then went on his way. The cause of his retreat is as yet only conjectured. The commissioners and deputies of the prince electors and of the Emperor are said to be already chosen, and will shortly assemble in Frankfort to confer concerning the present state of Germany.
It is reported here that the French at Cambray have been defeated by the people of the Prince of Parma, but this is not confirmed.
I pray you have in remembrance my business of Salisbury, for which all my hope is in you.—Antwerp, 16 October, 1583.
Add. Endd. “16 October, 1583, stilo novo. P. Bizarri.” Italian. 1¼ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 45.]
Oct. 7. 150. Letter to Gilpin from Cologne.
I am delayed by the extremity of my wife, who is hanging between life and death. I pray you to believe that the gast will not lose any time that he can.
As to this war, it is in the same state as before, but fiercer, and although the papists have lately seemed the stronger, Christ is and will be the head of his church, in spite of all his enemies, temporal and spiritual, for the more his church is persecuted in this world, the more she flourishes, quia verbum domini manet in eternum.
Truchsess has withdrawn into Westphalia, and Duke Casimir is taking the same road by which he came, with seven pieces of artillery which he has drawn out of Bonn under pretext of besieging Lintz. Last Friday he was at Oldekirck, eight leagues from here, going towards Siegen and Dillenburg. The peasants tried to hinder him, but in vain. The imperial ban (of which I enclose copies) will serve them as a pretext, joined to the fact that at the Emperor's court it was ordered to send the herald of the Empire, Poncsot, to 'signify' to him and all his camp the execution of the ban. In the camp and court of Bavaria it is said openly that Casimir has secretly withdrawn from his camp.
The greater part of Bavaria's forces have crossed the Rhine to come under their tail, not having dared to attack [written n'aiant auzefattaquer] the head; keeping at Brühl the Liégois and 300 reiters which the Marquis of Baden has brought from Bavaria. Salentin with other counsellors is gone to the assembly at Frankfort. The Emperor has sent Archduke Mathias to the Elector of Saxony, to effectuate the Concordia procured by Dr. Jacob Andrea.—Cologne, 7 October, 1583.
Fr. 1 p. Enclosed in Gilpin s letter of 13 October. [Ibid. XX. 53a.]
Oct. 7/17. 151. Sir Edward Stafford to Walsingham.
This day, the 17th after the French computation, I arrived here at Paris, and meant not to have despatched into England until we had audience, and I was presented. But finding on my arrival news of some importance, I send this bearer presently away. There is one come from Frankfort who affirms for certainty the Count Palatine is dead. You know that Duke Casimir is to have the government of the child and the electorship, till the child comes to age, and that it is a common thing in Germany that tutors over minors never give up either title or authority, which remaining in Duke Casimir, “may like enough stand in some stead to the affairs of Cologne and to others of the Religion.” The same man affirms that Duke Casimir has been defeated at Cologne.
This day, as is told me by some of Monsieur's servants, M. de Biron is arrived at the Court; Monsieur at Chateau Thierry, coming not to the Court, though he promised it certainly and his lodging was prepared for him in the house of St. Germains, where the King is, and for his followers in the town. The King, as I am credibly informed, is offended with his mother, thinking her in fault for Monsieur's not coming and a great many of his dealings.—Paris, 17 September (sic), 1583.
Postscript.—I pray you do my humble duty to my mother and excuse me that I do not write to her. I will do it as soon as I have audience.
This news comes to me for certainty from one of the best advertisers here.
Add. Endd. 1 p. (France X. 47.)
Oct. 8. 152. Dr. John Sturm to Walsingham.
When, on the 10th of August, it was arranged by Casimir to come down with his forces to Bonn, I sent Zolcher to him to know whether he wished to write or send any news to the Queen, and also in order to find out from Zolcher, or from the letters of his friends, whether there was anything certain that I could write to you.
But yesterday I learnt from Zolcher by letters written at Bonn on Aug. 26, that he was ready to go to you. Assuredly when he left the army, I imagine there was nothing of importance for him to take to you, or which could give hope of a speedy and good end to this war, nor has any certain news come to us, so far at least as I am concerned, for I hope, expect and desire great things from this prince, and doubt not but that the business will be managed in such wise that not by words but by weapons (ut non λογοις sed οπλοις) he will carry on the war, which demands great expence and outlay.
There are rumours of four cavalry skirmishes, in which Casimir's horsemen had the best of it, that Kaiserswerth is being besieged (a town below Cologne) and that Bonn is sending forces to take it, and to turn out Isenberg's troops. He is the Count who abdicated the bishopric, and who supports the Spanish party. But these things are very small and trifling. I believe that this delay comes by demand of the three Electors and certain other princes, for there is going to be a conference of Evangelicals at Mülhausen in Saxony, called by the Elector Palatine, on the 28th of this month, to which delegates are to be sent from our city. And others of the Princes are to have a meeting at Frankfort this month in relation to the same affairs. And this, I conceive to be the cause of this inglorious delay. For otherwise Casimir would have accomplished something greater, and would not have suffered his autumnal fever, weakness of body or pains in the head, I say he would not have suffered these to hinder him.
I believe Gebhard the Elector to be a man of great capacity and great spirit.
I write to you as if you would receive this to-morrow. Perhaps three or four weeks will interpose before it reaches you, and I fear, on that account, it will be old and out of date. If anything should occur after these letters are gone you shall learn whether I have just cause for fear or for hope, for I hope many and great things from this war, but also much and greatly fear. Would that matters could be brought to an end quickly! Next week I will write again, for it behoves me to compensate for the length of the way by the frequency of my letters. What I write to your worship, I believe may be brought to the ears of our royal mistress, to whom I desire and hope these may be read, and more I hope it than our bucolic friend who writes:
“O quoties et quos nobis Galathea loquuto est
Partem aliquant venti divum referatis ad aures.”
For my μελεται and meditations are of my Galathea. We console ourselves with the belief that the enemy has not done anything great, and that so far they have yielded to the Casimirians;. but I wish that our forces had got down to the Meuse and were near Liege, in which city there is much wealth. So far I do not see much help from Saxony, but if some of the princes there will support the cause secretly, all will go well.
There are said to be on the way grave and threatening letters of proscription from the Emperor against those who are with Duke Casimir unless they lay down their arms. If there is nothing more than this, the danger is not great. There is much less talk about the Bavarian and Austrian forces, either because they are alarmed at the cost, which will be immense, or because they deem that the enemy is weighed down by the burden of his great forces and expenses.
It is certainly announced that the Bavarian Estates do not intend to agree to the demands of the Prince, or to entangle themselves in this war unless the enemy is seen to be almost in their territories, in which case they would be ready to defend their prince and themselves.
There is a certain soothsayer, I know not who, who is writing against the Calendar of the Roman Pontiff. He promises all good things to the married Elector Archbishop of Cologne, and threatens ruin to the Pontiff and his party, the Princes of Austria, and to the Emperor himself. And this he proves not only by the signs of the stars but by observation of the narratives and times which are given in Daniel and the Apocalypse. These, however, are all conjectures, probable indeed and plausible, but not certain.
I am still quarrelling with Speier. My adversaries, the three “consuls,” at length exhibited a writing, after which, for the space of two years, they meditated and consulted together on solid arguments, as they believed, but, as I see, refutable although certainly shrewd, and, as it seems to me, dangerous if they were true. They accuse me of perjury, because I have fallen away from the Augsburg Confession, which I signed, and because I defend the Gallican churches (their adversaries) and bitterly oppose their own. They accuse me also of blasphemy, because I termed the doctrine de Ubiquitate held by Jacob Smidelin, “Diana of the Ephesians.” They accuse me also of sedition, not merely in the way of simulation, but of assertion and affirmation, even though they themselves have been the authors of this, not I. This libel, which has taken two years to concoct, they did not refer to the Senate, for approval and subscription, but, unawares to the Senate produced this tripartite work and these three most false charges, in judicio cameroe and produced it, nevertheless, in the name of the whole Senate. I am preferring a petition to the Senate to ask whether they would have this writing of my adversaries approved and subscribed by them, and whether they desired that I should be charged and condemned for perjury, blasphemy and sedition; for to the establishment of these charges all the weapons of my enemies are bent. I hope their counsels will not be approved in the Senate, where, as I understand, there has been serious debate touching this matter; and I should already have had some decree or answer of a definite kind, if my few adversaries had appeared, whose arrival is expected. I do not wish you to be in ignorance of these my affairs. I am thankful for your patronage, and for your letters to me and to Lobetius and your pecuniary help, praying you still to continue your kindness towards me. 8 October, [15]83. Unsigned.
Add. Endd. “From D. Sturmius.” Latinpp. [Germany, States, II. 73.]
Oct. 8/18. 153. Masino Del Bene to Walsingham.
Mr. Stafford is arrived, whom, in consideration of the affection which I bear to you, and my old acquaintance with himself, I have visited, and offered my service on any occasion that may present itself. In my opinion, he will turn out very well and do very good service. He tells me of your safe return from Scotland, and I congratulate you thereon. I could wish that you had got more profit in that country, and with that young and illcounselled King, according to your good intention; but the mischief that might come to pass from those parts is so small that I do not trouble myself much about it, compared with my fear of what may result from the continuance and increase of the disorders here. May God illuminate the heart of our King and your Queen that they may together set themselves to make head against that monster of ambition before he has arrived at the end which he has set before himself, which is the monarchy of Christendom.— Paris, 18 October, 1583.
Postscript.—God in his grace has preserved me from a most imminent danger by the fall of my horse last Saturday, which keeps me still in bed.
Add. Endd. Italian. 1 p. [France X. 48.]
[Oct. before the 9th.] 154. The States of Holland to The Privy Council.]
We are constrained to our great regret to complain concerning the pillages and brigandages committed daily, and more and more, by the subjects and inhabitants of England upon the people and merchants of this country, going along the coasts of that kingdom for their maritime trade.
And namely, for a certain vessel, vulgarly called a flyboat belonging to John Meliss, burgomaster of Rotterdam, and Peter de Beresteyn and his partners, merchants of the same, laden with wheat, flour, and other things amounting to the value of above 14,000 florins, which, on her way to Portugal in December, 1580, was obliged by a storm to go into the haven of Portland, and under the castle of Weymouth (Weymuyde) where she was seized by one Captain Deny, who having taken possession of all the goods, and put the soldiers on shore, tried openly in the sight of those of the said castle, and some hundred of the burgers of Weymouth to murder them by shots from their harquebusses, without any of those present making any attempt to hinder him, and afterwards, having put into the said ship another of the same sort, named John Granger, did with it on Feb. 9 following take another flyboat, carrying merchandise and silver, and belonging to a merchant of the Brill named Heyndrick Vande Veeche, and being worth 4,200 florins, besides 2,000 florins which the merchants have spent in pursuing the matter since.
And as we doubt not of the affection of her Majesty and your lordships to this country, we believe that these seizures have been made without her or your knowledge, who have always punished pirates and done justice to the oppressed. We pray you therefore to move her Majesty to give order that the said vessels and goods or their value, with expences since incurred, may be repaid to the owners and all damages repaired by Captain Deny; and also that in future, order be taken that such robberies may altogether cease, in order that free intercourse and traffic may not be hindered, in which so greatly consists the prosperity of your kingdom and of this country, which have always lived in good neighbourhood, as on our part we desire them still to do.—At the Hague, the — of ——, 1583. Signed De Rechtere.
Add. Endd, Fr.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 46.]
[For approximate date, see Ortel's letter of Oct. 1½1].
Oct. 9. 155. Dr. Lobetius to Walsingham.
It is long since I heard from you, but being asked by our venerable old man [Dr. Sturm] to send you his letters, I send this with them. I shall say nothing of him or his affairs, as I believe he has written of them himself.
Of the war of Cologne, which they call the sacerdotal war, we have heard so little that it is surprising. It is going on almost at our doors, yet we hear hardly anything and even what we do hear is uncertain. Our last advices said that Duke Casimir was going to besiege Kaiserswerth (Kaiserswerden) a town below Cologne, on the opposite bank. We hear of no great preparations in Germany for the Bishop of Liege. Ferdinand of Bavaria, brother of the Duke, has lately passed through Lorraine incognu and with a few horses to join his brother the Bishop. They write from Rome that the Pope takes this war much to heart, as shown by the following.
(fn. 1) On Monday, by order of his Holiness, there were taken from the castle 55,000 crowns, viz. 15,000 to pay his soldiers, and 40,000 sent into Germany for the use of the new Archbishop of Cologne; the gentleman sent by the Duke of Bavaria about this matter departing on the Wednesday, who carried also good hopes that his Holiness would continue to give all the aid he could, it being believed that all the free cities of Germany have given contributions towards the war, and above all that Strasburg (Argentina) had promised to pay Casimir 100,000 crowns; some think his Holiness wishes the Cardinals to put in 400,000 crowns.
Meanwhile there is sent into Spain Minucio, Cardinal Madrucci's secretary, who returned on Saturday from Cologne, with letters from the Pope to procure the aid of his Catholic Majesty “against” the great preparations which are being made; this aid to be used against Truchsess, who, if he recovers the archbishopric, cannot but do harm to the Catholic King in the affairs of Flanders.
In regard of which, and of the Catholic religion which matters much more, his Holiness has resolved to send into Spain Monsignor Sega (Segha), Bishop of Piacenza, to dispose the King to the protection of the new archbishop, his despatch being already sent to the aforesaid Monsignor Sega, that he may take the opportunity of Prince d'Oria's journey to that court; it being said that it is to treat of secret affairs of much importance. (fn. 1)
This is what is written from Rome, and it is very probable that it will not be without effect, seeing that the King of Spain, having obtained such victory at Terceira, is at leisure, having nothing to do on that side, having free navigation, Portugal peaceable and being more powerful than the Turk. It is to be believed that he will show his resentment for the wrong which he may profess has been done to him, to which several may pay regard, who at present seem to be asleep and who will not think of a peril if they do not see it before their doors.
The ambassadors and commissaries, both of the Emperor and of several other princes who have been sent to pacify the troubles at Cologne, are at present, for this purpose, at Frankfort. I do not know that they will accomplish anything. The Emperor intends to go to Prague. He will in this October begin to put in use the Gregorian Calendar in his hereditary dominions, and has written to the Estates of the Empire exhorting them to do the same. (fn. 2) The Protestants may discuss it at the Diet which is to be held in Thuringia this month on the 28th.
We hear nothing from Switzerland and do not know how or when the difference between the Duke of Savoy and those of Berne will be settled. The Prince Electors of Saxony and Brandenburg, the Landgrave [of Hesse] and the Duke Julius of Brunswick will keep quiet without moving.
The Prince Elector Palatine has been very ill, but thank God, he begins to recover.—Strasburg, 9 October, 1583.
Postscript.—I send you two portraits of Duke Casimir. You can take one yourself if you like, and the other will be for Mr. Waad. Signed T. L.
Add. Endd. “9 October, 1583, from Lopetius.” Fr.pp. Very small, close writing. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 47.]
Oct. 10/20. 156. William Fytzwilliam to Walsingham.
I have no news but such as I am sorry to “rehearse” if I could choose. A great quarrel is fallen out betwixt Colonel Norreys and Colonel Morgan, “insomuch as Mr. Norreys challenged Morgan the field, and Morgan neither took it nor refused it, but answered in this manner:—"
“For that we have both served here in great credit and both in one commission, and many brave men hath served under our regiment, and many hath lost their lives under us, it were good that the count and reckoning should be passed with the States of the country; that whatsoever came of us, our friends should see that we have not spent our time for nothing; and that being ended, I promise of my faith and honour to meet you where you will appoint the place.” As soon as the reckoning is passed and Mr. Norreys returned, the quarrel will be put in execution, and one or both will smart. I thought well to advertise your honour, “who may command them not to deal, upon their duties. Here is none in this country to take up the matter and it were great pity the one should spoil the other, for they are both good servitors.”—Bruges, 20 October, 1583.
Add. Endd. 1 p. Seal of arms. [Ibid. XX. 48.]


  • 1. The passage between the stars is in Italian.
  • 2. The Emperor did not himself begin the use of the new calendar until January, 1584