Elizabeth: October 1583, 16-20

Pages 144-154

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, 16–20

Oct. 16. 171. Dr. John Sturm to Walsingham.
Yesterday we received letters from Zolcher of Cassel, in Duke Casimir's army, dated 29 September, in which were these words: “To morrow we set out for Linz, which town is across the Rhine, above Andernach.” We had heard nothing of this, as we seldom get news from those parts. If what Zolcher writes is true, I feel sure that Linz is now recovered, and that Andernach will not be able to hold out long, on asccount of the straitness of the place, and the want of provisions. From Speier they write nothing of Linz or Andernach, but say that in Casimir's army there is harmony, health, plenty and eagerness, while in the Bavarian army there is want, discord amongst the commanders, and depression.
On the other hand, we have had news of additional Bavarian troops ready for battle. We know not whether this is true; if so they must bring money with them, for there is great lack of it with Parma.
There is an obscure report that the Lucerners are lending 100,000 crowns to the Bavarians, but I do not believe it, unless the Lucerners have good security from the Holy See and the Bishop of Sion.
However that may be, they write from Speier that Duke Casimir's plans and resolutions are more secret than men suppose. I like better the Kaύχ𝛈 (boast) Veni, Vidi, Vici.
I am very glad that Zolcher has not returned to me, but has made the best of his way to you. I hope from him you will have learnt more fully and certainly how we fare at Strasburg.— Nordheim, 16 October, 1583. (Signed.)
Add. Endd. Latin. 1 p. [Germany, States II. 74.]
Oct. 14/24 and 17/27. 172. Cobham to the French King.
The English ambassador represents to your Majesty that an English merchant named John Holland of London in April last freighted a ship with cloths, wax and other things, for France, but was plundered by one Captain Jolle, a Frenchman, and his accomplices, at La Hogue in Normandy. Upon request, your Majesty granted a commission of enquiry, by means whereof Holland understands that the Baron of La Hogue, governor of that place, has seized the goods and has sent his linen cloths to various places in France to be sold. There being no person who will dare to call the said Baron to account in that place, your Majesty is prayed to have compassion on this poor man, who is almost in despair and ruined, and to give order that prompt justice may be done him. (Signed) Henry Cobham.
Underwritten.—Reference by the King to the Duc de Joyeuse, Admiral of France, to make promptly such provision for the petitioner as is reasonable.—St. Germain-en-Laye, 24 October, 1583. (Signed) Pinart.
And over-leaf.—Order to the officers at Granville to inform themselves in this matter, and diligently proceed against the parties guilty of the robbery, according to the King's ordinances.—Limours, 27 October, 1583. (Signed) Anne de Joyeuse (and below) Marron.
Endd. in Fr. Fr.pp. [France X. 54.]
Oct. 14/24. and 17/27. 173. Cobham to the French King.
In September last, Roger Petou and Michel Gilles, French traders, arrived at Southampton, and presented to Mr. Horsey, the governor, a complaint against an English pirate for plundering them on the sea, together with letters from M. de la Milleraye, begging for speedy justice, whereupon Petou and Gilles had restitution of 2,000 crowns, the sum of which they said they had been robbed, and three of the robbers were hanged in the town.
Justice having thus been done, and your subjects satisfied, they of the town felt that they could the more securely traffic in France, and one John Adenton laded a ship to the value of 1,000 crowns for Dieppe, but was plundered near Quilleboeuf by a ship belonging to M. d'Armeville Bacqueville [sic] and commanded by Captain Valery of Dieppe. The victuallers of the vessel were the Prior of Beaumont-en-Aulge and the Seigneur de Saint Pierre dwelling at Touques. The said Adenton has already presented to the Duke of Joyeuse a certificate under the common seal of Southampton, stating his loss and the value of his goods, together with M. de la Milleraye's letters acknowledging that restitution had been made to Petou and Gilles, and adding that M. d'Armeville Bacqueville has owned to having the said ship and that Valery was her captain, whom he has already put in prison at Dieppe for the said act.
Your Majesty is therefore prayed that the poor man may receive the same justice as was given to your subjects in England.
With reference (as with the previous paper) signed by Pinart, to Joyeuse, dated October 24, and by Joyeuse to the Admiralty officers at Dieppe, October 27.
Endd. Fr.pp. [France X. 55.]
Oct. 17/27. 174. M. De Péna to Walsingham.
Since no thanks can equal the kindness and helpful justice you have shown for the recovery of Dr. Dale's debt to me, I will not enter into that. But as the man's malice and injustice to me are now wholly discovered, and he can put forward nothing but his own shame and confusion, I am amazed that he has not forwarded the money which you wrote he was willing to pay.
Master Geoffrey [le Brumen] showed me a paper, but there was in it nothing signed or made sure. As for Mansfeld's part, it is of him that I demand it, as of the responsible person who subscribed and sealed it. These gentlemen and Mr. James Thomas have often, in various letters, assured me of the interest which was ordered over there, but I have never yet touched any of it.
As for the doctor, times without end he has assured me that the favour would be acknowledged, not only as to the interest, but with every honourable requital of friendship, which he made such vaunt of that it beguiled me, being unable to conceive that a man of such rank, a judge and officer of so illustrious and just a Queen could be vile enough to deny me anything so equitable.
Besides that, one year later, the gold crowns I lent him were worth four or five francs, he made a profit on my money, and more than once in all these years, as he let me know he had done and that his step-son would give it back to me with the profits.
Now if he only hands me over 500 crowns, it is just as if he had enjoyed my meadow and vineyard for his profit, without giving me any interest for it. I have an equal right to my capital and to the profits from it, and it is no more conformable to with-hold one than the other. It is from you that I hope for a settlement of the difficulty, humbly begging you not to grow weary of aiding me.—Paris, 27 October.
Add. Endd. (giving year date). Fr. 2 pp. [France X. 56.]
[Oct. 17/27.] 175. M. de la Kethulle [Sieur De Ryhove, Governor Of Ghent], to his daughter, Jacqueline de la Kethulle.
Desiring her to come to him on the morrow or next day, bringing with her all papers, books and furniture save such as cannot be moved. He has written to “Messieurs” of Ghent, of which letter he sends a copy, who will assist her with two galleys or boats. She is to apply to the bailiff, to whom he commends himself.
Written below:
Copy of letter to the Magistrates of Ghent.
I pray you to irritate me no further, but to send payment to the captains for the soldiers as usual, that all may go on without trouble. You believe that “Rutyncque” by his little letters may make some trouble for us. Do you think that the captains of the burghers do not know my innocence, and the malice employed against me. I doubt not the good people of Ghent know well enough, by many practices against me, that I am constrained to do this to protect myself against those who wished to cast me off here and to occupy my place. What could the enemy do worse to me ?
I pray you, Sirs, since all the world blames my actions, to allow me to withdraw myself and my goods, with passport from your honours from the town and also my children, except my eldest son, whom I leave with you as a hostage, in testimony of the good service I have done and mean still to do.
I also beg you to give my daughter's boat a convoy on the river of two little galleys, that she may come to me without danger from the enemy, for if, by lack of convoy, there happened any harm to her or loss to myself, I should recover it upon the goods in this town belonging to those of Ghent.
But I pray that we may ever be good friends, and that God will give you his holy favour.—Dendermonde, 27 October, 1583.
Add. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 55, 55a.]
Oct. 19. 176. Thomas Doyley to Walsingham.
During your journey into Scotland, many things have happened here.
The garrison of Herentals, withdrawing towards Antwerp that the regiment of M. d'Allain might take their place, was unhappily defeated by those of Lierre (Leyr) with a loss of about 200 men of Captain Raust and Captain Dorp. They basely killed Captain Bruxbie, an Englishman, and made Captain Dorp prisoner.
Since this, the cavalry of Brussels, about 400, amongst which were those of Antwerp, have been defeated and cut in pieces by those of Halle. They intended to escort M. Teligny through the enemy's country, on his way to France, and he narrowly escaped by flight, being well mounted on a Spanish jennet. He has been at Dordrecht and has gone to France by water.
After this, Zutphen, one of the four chief towns of Guelderland, was surprised by Verdugo the Spaniard, now its governor. By this means, the enemy commands the river Yssel, and would be at the gates of Arnhem and Utrecht if they were not hindered by a fort hurriedly made after the surprise.
Villeneuve, the French Colonel who commanded at Berghes Winock, surrendered that town by composition, being compelled thereto by famine and the plague, and seeing no prospect of succour.
Captain Jonas, the lieutenant of Tempel, governor of Brussels, convoying with his horsemen the Brussels boat, pillaged and sank it, and then went over with his men to the enemy, taking with him the richest people and of best quality. This he did to revenge himself upon those of Flanders, who had offended him very much at his departure from them.
Those of Ghent, too jealous of our English troops in garrison at Alost, thought to play the same game with them that they had done a little before with Captain Jonas.
For they so dealt with “Soubshait,” governor of the town and grand bailiff of Waes, that he furnished them with men and passage, so that they brought 150 horse and 400 foot to thrust on a sudden into the town. But Captain Williams (Guillaume) being warned of it, put the troops in arms and at the same time took possession of the keys of the town, which (availing himself of this opportunity) he has kept ever since. Then he commanded the Scots to lay down their arms, not trusting them too well; and the Messieurs (of Ghent) returned without doing anything and frustrated of their design.
Thus he rules there as governor and burgomaster all alone. It is a deplorable thing that the affairs of the country are so badly managed that they employ their troops not to fight the enemy, but to engage each other, of which the enemy takes good advantage.
Lately they carried off a great booty, four hundred cows and other beasts from those of Nimeguen, and the soldiers and burghers who went out to rescue them were all beaten, killed or taken prisoners.
Those of Bruges have given passes to some two hundred, assigning a day for them to leave the town, amongst whom are said to be 150 priests, Francois Groote, the greffier of the town; also Pardo and Rosco, two very rich merchants, Spaniards.
There is a young gentleman without a beard, poorly attired, named Rebous (I do not know if it ought to be Rebours, who was amongst the gentlemen used to play the fool when his Highness was at Antwerp) arrived at Dordrecht from the Duke of Alençon, who relates marvellous things, as that the French King and the Duke his master are searching all France over for Fervaques, on account of the unhappy day at Antwerp, and for Chamois because he so basely gave up Dunkirk. That his master is proclaimed lieutenant general of France by beat of drum; that the French behaved like Hectors and Hercules at the very least against the Spaniards in the defence of the Isle of Terceira, and many other things of the same sort. M. des Pruneaux seems to be a vespertillion, for he is never seen by day. All the world is disgusted with his hare-brained tricks.
Pietro Dor six days ago showed his Excellency the letters he had received from Don Antonio his master, informing him that Terceira still holds out against the Spaniards, they being repulsed and about 5,000 killed; and that the French, who were ready to lay down their arms, had gathered courage at the sight of unexpected succours coming to them from the island of Fayal.
Tempel, governor of Brussels, wrote a week ago to his Excellency that, in Parma's army, the Marquis of Richebourg, Vicomte of Ghent, had killed Mondragon, Marshal General of Camp, with a dagger. Letters from d'Asseliers, the usher, confirm this, and add that the Marquis has retired to Hedin in Artois, where he remains upon his guard.
M. d'Embise (who since his banishment from Ghent has been with Duke Casimir, trying to make him Count of Flanders) five days ago passed through Dordrecht (without going to the assembly) with Utenhove, one of the deputies, whom the Gantois sent to him, to choose him again for their burgomaster. I do not know what will come of it, but certainly he is reputed le plus mauvais garcon in the country; as acute (fin) as possible and of a high spirit. “What are you talking about Counts of Flanders? he said once, 'am I not myself made out of the same wood?” He fortified Ghent with ditches, boulevards and artillery; is not at all Hispaniolizé, always opposed his Excellency, and yet was banished.
The assembly at Middelburg being adjourned to Dordrecht for the convenience of some of the States, the day appointed for their re-assembling went by a month ago, so that time is passing without anything been done, and matters go like crabs backwards. And even if they still meet, there is no likelihood that they will act in earnest and unitedly as their affairs require, which get worse from day to day. Those who can hinder the enemy absent themselves, I know not whether from despair or jealousy or that they have some other scheme in their heads; as those of Flanders, Brabant and Antwerp.
Some delude themselves, as do the Gantois, with the idea that Embise will chase away the Spaniards by himself, and will get Casimir to come without any money, in which they much deceive themselves, he being retired from Cologne (which holds itself neuter) higher up towards Germany.
The men of the Bishop of Liége follow him closely, camping opposite him on the other side of the Rhine, aided by the troops of Ferdinand, Duke of Bavaria, his brother, and by 30 cornets of horse and 6,000 foot of the Prince of Parma under the Count d'Aremberg and Pietro de Paz (Pass), a Spaniard, so that all passage for wines from Germany is blocked.
The others, as those of Bruges, play their own game. They entertain troops without the directions of the States General, rejoice over their new governor, the Prince of Chimay, made in haste, and Dentierres who is called the governor of the governor of Flanders. Others complain loudly, as those of Brabant and Friesland, that they serve for nothing but a bulwark to sustain the war for the security of his Excellency and his Holland and Zeeland.
Thus the confusion is so great that all the country is stirred up and will soon go to ruin if God of his grace do not give his aid speedily.
Meanwhile, as I hear, his Excellency is resolved to wait no longer, but will assemble the States of Holland separately in their College, and will first ask them whether they are still resolved to continue the war against the King of Spain or no. If they say yes, he will demand whether they wish to proceed as heretofore, and then he will send to the States of the other provinces to know if they wish to join with them or not, saying plainly that if they refuse, they must take care of themselves.
For the rest, as I conjecture by the talk of those who are nearest to his Excellency, they will appoint a Council of State for War (un etat du Conseil de la guerre), which will have a chief (his Excellency himself if I am not mistaken), will receive, by its treasurer, all the contributions for the war, and to which all the troops will apply in case of need, both for their pay and for direction in their enterprises. And to make an army to hold the country, they will employ strangers, one regiment for each nation with a colonel to twenty companies. They will supply the garrisons of the towns by Flemings. Then in each province which faces the enemy a general, as in Friesland and Gueldres, Count William [of Nassau]; in Holland, Count Hohenlo as lieutenant of his Excellency; in Brabant, M. de Villiers; in Flanders, Mr. Norreys, in case his Excellency can carry out his designs.
It being always understood that if Brabant is more pressed by the enemy, Count William and Mr. Norreys going to their aid with their men will be commanded by M. de Villiers, as it is his government, and the like as to the other provinces.
And if I am not a false prophet, I see so many caresses and carouses between the Hollanders and his Excellency, that I believe he will be made Count of Holland and Zeeland at this assembly, if ever at all.
He has fortified two villages in one of the islands of Holland, Clundert (Cluinart) and Rugghenhill. The island formerly belonged to the Marquis of Bergh, but the Estates, having confiscated his property, gave it to his Excellency after the loss of Breda.
There are several Scottish captains who boast that they have received letters from Col. Stewart, formerly ambassador in England, asking them to return to Scotland.
Many books and advertisements are printed and circulated concerning the affairs of the Low Countries, amongst which there is one which touches very sharply her Majesty and his Excellency. It is nothing but a mass of lies and inventions; professes to be by a banished Fleming, but is believed here to be by a Scot hispagnolizé [margin: the Bishop of Ross]. It is stated to be printed at Cologne.
Report says that the Duke of Savoy is dead, and should be succeeded by his grand uncle the Duc de Nemours, but that the King of Spain will do all he can to prevent this, suspecting that he would be too much in the interest of the King of France; having lived nearly all his life in France, and marrying the mother-in-law of the Guises. Yet he has made himself master of Nice and some other maritime towns, putting Spaniards into them as garrisons.
Since the news of the death of Mondragon, it is reported that he is going towards Friesland, with 2,000 foot. The King of Spain has lately received from the Indies 14 millions of ducats.
The enemy has crossed the river in Flanders, has taken la Sasse [Sas-de-Gant], and all the land of Waes pays them contribution. The general [Norreys] this morning received letters from the King, Don Antonio, in which he confesses the loss of Terceira. The Estates of Friesland and Flanders have arrived.—[Dordrecht]. 19 October, 1583, style of England.
Covering sheet missing. 4 pp. Fr. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 56.]
Oct. 19/29. 177. Fremyn to Walsingham.
I write in haste, being about to start for Brussels. The bailiff of Waes (Wasz) has been practising with the enemy to admit them into the country, which he has done without any resistance, and has delivered up to them the castle of Rupelmonde, at the mouth of the river which goes to Dermonde. This has alarmed the town of Antwerp, and they have commanded forts to be made at the Tête de Flandres, by Rupelmonde and in other places, and are cutting the dykes, to inundate the Pays de Waes.
Had it not been for the prompt arrival of M. d' “Imbize” at Ghent, there is no doubt that town would have compounded with the enemy, which would have been of great concern to Antwerp, because of the artillery in the said town, which they would have put into the forts to hinder the navigation of Antwerp, and to take Alost, Vilvorde and Brussels. M. Ryhove (Rihawe), going to Ghent from Dermonde, narrowly escaped being taken prisoner on his way thither, but escaped into Dermonde.
The deputies of Ghent, of the Spanish faction, i.e. the Pensionary de Somere (Somer), Triest, eschevin, and another, were arrived in Dermonde to take possession of the place, being confident that Ryhove was a prisoner in Ghent, who, arriving an hour afterwards, seized them as prisoners. But for the arrival of d'Hembyse, Ghent would have been lost by the practices of Champagny and the factions, which were great; now they hope that the said town will remain with the generality, to which purpose they have sent their deputies into this town.
Thus the affairs of Flanders are in evil state.
The town of Ypres cannot hold out if not assisted shortly. The Prince of Chimay has let himself be too much deceived, as is said, and matters are much embroiled and almost hopeless, if not promptly provided for by a good resolution of the States, who are not yet assembled, though they ought to have been at Dort on the 20th of last month, Middelburg not being convenient.
Meanwhile the Spaniard is well served, who knows how to profit by their disorder. One great evil is their persuading themselves here that the Catholics are so well-affectioned to those of the Religion that they will band themselves against his Holiness and the Catholic King, which has put them back into the state to which we see them reduced, and so blind that they know not how to remedy it.
There is a French gentleman sent by his Highness into Holland who has come to this town. His name is Rebours and he is a commander of foot, and is waiting to carry the resolution of the States to his Highness. Apparently his Highness would not repeat his former fault, and would fain repair it if he had the chance, in order to re-establish peace in France, which is not too secure, from the practices there for the Spaniard and other things; who is well served by means of the pay (moyens) which he gives to his creatures.
It grieves his Excellency to see all these disorders, and he cannot remedy them as he would, by reason that the people, ungrateful and suspicious, let themselves be led too much by their passions and want of respect for their superiors, which causes all the evil.
In short, the Pays de Waes will serve as a magazine of victuals this winter, to block up Ghent, Bruges, Dermonde, Alost, Brussels, Vilvorde and Malines, if order be not promptly taken by a good resolution of the States, either to recall his Highness or to set up an army by their own means, or to make such a general peace with the King of Spain as very many desire, and especially the papist nobility and the greater part of all the lawyers, who are papists also.
It is not reasonable de battler les poules a garder au renard. This is how the State is governed, so that there is hardly a man able enough to send on an embassy unless it be M. de St. Aldegonde, or three at the most of middling sort (moien estoff). and of heads for the army still fewer, so that it is a misery to see this State, destitute of men and of resolution, the troops so neglected in their great necessity that none are paid unless they mutiny, as all the soldiers in Brabant are on the point of doing.
The Council of the Commune has allowed this week 100,000 florins, which is afterwards to be recovered upon the rents of the houses which are des cinquièmes. It is believed that they are on the point of setting fire to Herentals and withdrawing the garrison from thence to safe-guard the forts around Antwerp.
It is said that the assembly of the States is to be on the 10th of next month. The new Council of Brabant is beginning to meet, except the Sr. de St. Aldegonde, who has not yet arrived. The nobility of Brabant strongly objects to this new Council.
The Prince of Chimay finds himself much opposed in Bruges, where his first proceedings have been without much judgment. As to Duke Casimir, his army wastes away and he has let the summer pass without doing anything, or paying any attention to the tricks of his enemies, who demand nothing better than to gain time under the veil of treaties and meetings which take place sometimes in one place, sometimes in another, the Rhine being always between the two armies, although Casimir was much the stronger. The end will crown the work of his treaties, and I cannot believe that the fire will be so soon extinguished of his active Germans.
From Scotland, your honour should not fail to inform yourself of the proceedings of Colonel Stuart, for he is a man without religion, avaricious and ambitious, having had his advancement in Scotland towards the King by means of M. d'Aubigny, without ever having seen [sic] him in Scotland except by their writings; where being arrived the King conceived an affection for him because he knew how to accommodate himself to his humours and to flatter him and his creatures. Thus it is to be feared that the nurture of this Prince may be like that of Nero, for doubtless he will be cruel and they will assist him to do evil when he has the power, if God does not moderate his passions.—Antwerp, 29 October, 1583.
Add. Endd. Fr. 3 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 57.]
Oct. 20/30. 178. P. B[izarri] to Walsingham.
Ariosto, at the beginning of his 15th canto, has this notable sentence:
Fu il vincer sempre mai laudabil causa
Vincasi o per fortuna o per ingegno.
And Virgil likewise wrote in his divine verses:
Dolus, an virtus, quis in hoste requirat?
Many months ago Lierre was lost by the treachery of a false Scot [Sempill], which loss has been an extreme evil to these poor countries. And now Rupelmonde has been lost, a post at the mouth of the river which goes towards Brussels, a place of great importance, and lost by the like perfidy and treachery of him who was its captain, a man of these countries, who, suborned by the great promises of Spain, broke his faith and his oath. True it is that the greater part of his soldiers were not willing to consent to such wickedness, but as soon as the treachery was known, came in three ships to Antwerp, and, being close to the city, fired off some great artillery in sign and testimony of their fidelity.
By this means the enemy will impede the navigation of Brussels and Malines, and keep Vilvorde (Wilfort) isolated and other places also, and will winter in the fertile Pays de Waes, being lords of the country and overrunning it at their good pleasure, without let or hindrance.
And they put the whole country in great fear, so that in these three or four days there have arrived in Antwerp more than 1,500 with their poor families, to escape from their diabolic fury.
It is stated certainly that the commissioners and deputies of the electors of the Empire are to meet at a place in Thuringia (a province of the Elector of Saxony), of which I do not remember the name, nor can I tell you if this assembly is with the assistance of the deputies of the Emperor or not. May it please God that there may result some good issue for the increase of His glory and the benefit of our poor Christendom, so afflicted and miserable.
The Portuguese here say that the King of Spain has demanded 10,000 of that country to send against the Turkish fleet, for the recovery of the port of Araze [El Arish], given to the Turk by the King of Fez, but they do not wish to go, believing that in their absence the country would be filled with Spanish colonies, which might very easily happen.
It was yesterday reported here that the inhabitants of Cambray have murdered the French whom his Highness left there, and have let in the people of the Prince of Parma; which, however, needs confirmation.—Antwerp, 30 October, 1583.
It is confirmed that Duke Casimir has retired to his own State with his men, both in obedience to the Empire and for divers other reasons.
Add. Endd. Italian. 214 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 58.]
Oct. 20. 179. Gilpin to Walsingham.
Hearing from Mr. Beale that your honour was looked for that day at the Court, I could not omit to congratulate your safe return, though most sorry for the hurt happened to you by the way, which I trust is ere this amended.
My Cologne friend still delays his coming, for reasons signified in his letters, which I think verily are unfeigned.
Such news, or rather reports, as we have here, you will understand by the enclosed.—Middelburg, 20 October, 1583.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. XX. 59.]