Elizabeth: July 1583, 16-20

Pages 23-31

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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July 1583, 16–20

July 16/26. 29. The Queen Mother to Queen Elizabeth.
Takes this opportunity of Madame de Mauvissière to recall herself to the Queen's good graces, and to pray for the continuance of her friendship, albeit that which she has so much wished for, as one of the greatest blessings she could have, has not taken effect.
Has never so much desired any of her son's enterprises as she has to see the general repose of Christendom by means of this marriage, and does not yet abandon all hope of arriving thereat by means of so prudent and sage a princess. Meanwhile, begs her to continue her friendship to the King, who is as much resolved to love and honour her as his father was, which may God continue. -Monceaux, 26 July, 1583.
Endd in French. Duplicate of the letter which the Queen, mother of the King, wrote to the Queen of England by Madame de Mauvissière. Fr. 1 p. [France X. 10.] (Printed in Lettres de G. de M., Vol. VIII, p. 115.)
July 16. 30. Richard Barrey to Walsingham.
The news this day from the other side is that the Prince of Parma (Parmaye) had Nieuport rendered to him on Saturday last, and has besieged Ostend, Dixmude, Ypres and Menin, which I think will yield to him if they have not done it already. “Where[as] it was proclaimed at Calais that no victuals should pass out of France into any part of Artois, it is now at liberty” as I am credibly informed and that Parma means out of hand to besiege Sluys.
“The Prince of Orange shall be delivered into the hands of the King of Spain, and Antwerp to yield unto the Prince of Parma.”
The walls of Dover harbour are this morning joined, so as the courts [sic] may pass from one end to the other. I trust by next Saturday they will be above the ordinary spring tide, and within fourteen days after, past danger of any spring tide.—Dover, 16 July, 1583.
Add. Endd. by Walsingham. Times of the post noted on the back: Delivered at Dover, 2 in the afternoon; Canterbury, past 5; Sittingbourne, 7 at night; Gravesend, at midnight; London, past 6 (in the morning), July 17. ¾ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIX. 85.]
July 17. 31. Stokes to Walsingham.
Matters here on the States' side mend not, and unless speedy help come, all will be lost. Here in Flanders it is lamentable to see the sudden alterations. God send it better at his good pleasure.
On Sunday [sic] last Nieuport was rendered up to the Prince of Parma; for when the burghers saw the cannon, their fear was so great that they would not fight, and there were but two ensigns of soldiers in the town. So it was given over, to its great shame, and to the loss of the rest of the country, for. it was a principal place there. The conditions were that the captains should depart with their rapiers and daggers and the soldiers without any weapon; the burghers had pardon of life and goods, and six months' time to sell their lands and goods if they will not tarry there; the preachers and schoolmasters to be delivered into the hands of the Prince of Parma.
It is thought that Feurne is likewise given over, for M. de la Motte has lain in it two nights to make the agreement, so that all men give it up for lost, to the great shame of the governor, for the enemy made no show of any force. They are now marching towards Ostend, wherein are about 1,000 soldiers, but slenderly victualled. It is hoped they will not give it over so soon as the rest have done. “The enemy comes now alongst the sea-coast hard to Sluys, where he finds a great rich country, for those parts never felt the wars before now.”
The Four Members of Flanders, seeing the great danger the country is in for want of good soldiers, have brought the Scots from Menin (about 500) into this town. Considering its importance, it is strange to see how that town is cast away, and they left all the great artillery, worth more than 100,000 guilders, which is a great loss.
All the captains and men of war of the States' side gather about this town, for here are M. de Teligny, Colonel Morgan, Captain Yorke, Captain Williams, with divers others. The English companies lie besides Sluys and the speech is they shall be placed here or at Sluys.
The Prince of Parma has sent to the Four Members of Flanders and the Governor of Feurne to show his good-will and his desire to talk with them and make some good agreement for the whole of Flanders. If not, he offers to deal particularly with this town. The commons cry daily to the magistrates to make agreement, and, as the speech goes, the Prince of Chimay is willing enough to the same.
It is greatly feared that the enemy will stop the passages between this town and Sluys, which if they do, this town cannot hold out a month, and they may do it very well, for here are no men able to defend them; and yet the enemy is not above 6,000 men in all. Such is the poor government of this side. The Prince lies in Zeeland, who it seems cares little for their troubles here, for the report goes that they have small comfort from him; so that here is a great desire by the magistrates and commons for her Majesty's help, by sending aid of men, or helping them to make some good agreement with the King of Spain, “for their money is spent and credit they have none.”
“It is most lamentable to see how the poor commons of the country are thrust out of their goods and forced to forsake all, only for the great cruelty of the Spaniards and Albernose [Albanians], who murder the poor men, women and children like beasts, for they spare none, which hath put such a great fear into their hearts that they dare not abide in no place; for now the Spaniard hath this victory, he shows great cruelty, and though this side be in great extremity yet the commons will not have the French to aid them by no means” although the Prince has of late made some motion to the Four Members that he sees no other way.— Bruges, 17 July, 1583, stilo Anglie.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIX. 86.]
July 18/28. 32. Roger Williams to Norreys, but enclosed to Walsingham.
“Here came Colonel Morgan with a letter from the Prince of Orange to the Prince of Chimay (Symey), the new governor” of Flanders, and to the 'cater' [quatre] members. I thought he would a minified your regiment, in such sort that they were resolute to put him into Bruges with ten ensigns. His meaning was to enter the town with the whole troops as [if] they had been all his. To make himself the surer, thinking he had past all, sent for me, told me it was the Prince and the States' pleasure that none should enter but his regiment, saying, yet for all that, if it would please me, he would make me his lieutenant.
“I answered ' we shall see ' very coldly without choler, took my horses, ran in nine hours from Antwerp to Bruges. When I came, went to the town-house, found the Prince and the Members, found it so they would persuade me to run back to hasten Morgan's regiment. I told them how they were all embarked, but for Morgan's regiment I had nothing to do withal.”
“They had given them to understand how all yours were overthrown. I answered 'aye (I), a great many' and done as I thought by treason, by those that wished all the rest to ruin, named Biron and his faction; and told them how Biron did countenance the other, and had chased me out of the army because I was a little better acquainted with his knavery than the other. Many took my part, many against me.”
“The next morning, ran post to Cassand, where all the troops were landed. There was some afore me who had almost persuaded the soldiers all to follow him. There came Colonel Morgan. In the first march I gave out how I received a letter from you; how you meant to be in Zeeland within six days with 5,000 men, and how the States of Flanders had sent a post for you to march will all speed.”
“In the march we cried ' A Norris!' the other 'A Morgan !'”
“There is gone with him Thomas Morgan['s] company, his own, Welsh and Edwardes, who played the villain most of all. I am lodged two leagues from him, and have very near 500 soldiers by the port. I think Welsh will come to us to-morrow.”
“Yesterday a post came to me to come with speed to Bruges. Here I found Rowland Yorke, who had gotten of all sorts 200 soldiers of ours. The knave Smith carried him fifty at once; of whole English a hundred. He has them within a league of this town, watching to enter. Morgan and he were not half friends.”
“I sent to speak with Yorke; told him how you wrote to me, that if I found him anything inclined towards you and the English, that I should tell him you meant to give him ten ensigns at your landing on Sir Francis [Walsingham's ?] request; he and I are very great, braving Morgan and all his, ready to fight every hour.”
“This day the Prince and the Members sent for Yorke and me; with many compliments did persuade us to hazard to enter Dixmude (Dikesmeth), gave us a commission to command and to take charge of the town. There is in it three ensigns of Flemings. You know his humour. I was forced to agree with him or else he would a joined with Morgan, who had all the French faction to second him; for this day the Prince of Orange did send M. de Critaill to persuade these to suffer Biron and his troops to enter Flanders to front the enemy, who does promise much and says how Monsieur comes presently with a great army into Artois.
“He is returned with a cold answer, because they could give no answer without the consent of the brian rate [qy. breede-Rath] of Ghent. Yet I fear me they will give some ear unto it.
“Nieuport was lost villainously without battery. They are afore Ostend; they have not battered, but I think will sap it by the bulwark towards the sand. There is in it Matayne [qy. Martigny] with nine ensigns. I think it lost.
“The Prince of Orange has made sure the Sluys, cut the ditches, put in the town and castle garrison Hollandois and Zeelanders. We were there with the Prince of Chimay, who came to put in garrison, but found Houtyn [Haultain] afore. The Hound and three ships of Flushing entered Ostend with a number of munition and are comed out.
“Now I hear the regiments of Egmont and Manuy with five cornets are marched to enclose Dixmude. If it be true, we cannot enter. The Gantois has sent two posts for Hembyse. It is given through this town by the magistrates that you are ready to embark with 5,000 English for them. Here is such a 'worl' that passes. The Scots are comed from Menin, threw their artillery into the ditches, entered this town with great hope, else it had been given over.
“You may do well to come with all speed to Zeeland. I am sure these Flemings would make you chief of their army. Yesterday at dinner the Prince of Chimay and divers others wished for you with a great many of good words.
“An' you be remembered, I told you in my last letters here would be great change. It does but begin. God knows I have had great trouble and yet know not what will become of me, and your troops. Since you parted, we received never a penny, but are promised a month within ten days. If we enter Dixmude, we will have 'gelt' afore we quit it. For God's sake make haste.—Bruges, 28 July.
Postscript. to Walsingham.—To be the surer, I thought it better to direct this letter to your honour. If my general be not in court, I desire your honour to open his letter. If he be, I am sure he will show it you. Your honour must take some pains to read it, for it is very ill written. Humbly desiring your honour to pardon me and to think me a poor man that will not refuse any service for you and yours that I am able to perform.—Bruges, 28 July.
Add. Endd. 9 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIX. 87.]
[This letter must be dated new style, as Dixmude surrendered on July 22 and Norreys reached Flushing on July 24 o. s.]
July 18/28. 33. Bernardino De Mendoca to Walsingham.
To-day there has been with me a man whom I never saw, but who says he was the doctor and judge in the trial of Wouters and Hausman, and who informs me that you do not approve of subjects of the King my master, imprisoned upon sentence of an Admiralty judge, being set at liberty without giving pledges, a thing with which I have nothing to do, save to learn whether her Majesty and the Council mean the process to go forward or not, for by this I shall know whether she counts as rebels to my master those who have declared themselves as such, or no, this being a point of great importance and which must be declared, as I have already prayed the Council; and that I may give an account thereof to my master, I must have the reply in writing or at any rate from the mouth of one of the ministers, not from a private individual such as you have now sent to me, and who declares to me that he does not hold the men of Antwerp as rebels. I will give no credence to any such person, nor will listen to any answer not given in the name of her Majesty and her whole Council, which answer I pray you to let me have without delay. -London, 28 July, 1583.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Spain II. 7.]
July 19. 34. Cobham to Walsingham.
The King passed yesterday through this town to “Madril,” where he remains to-day, surveying the building of his chapel or hermitage, for the use of his order of Repentis, of which he seems to have great care.
The Queen Mother was looked for to-night at St. Cloud, at a little house she has bought to retire to sometimes. The King is going to St. Germains and Fontainebleau, and thence, either to Lyons to meet Duke Joyeuse or to Bourbon Nancy baths to his young Queen, resolving to return before the end of next month. His Council and Court are to repair to Fontainebleau by the middle of August, so it is esteemed they will not be long or far from Paris.
The Queen Mother, as the courtiers think, will go again to Monceaux to confer with Monsieur, who earnestly insists to be the king's lieutenant general, “whereof there is no great opinion had as yet.”
It is said that horsemen of the Prince of Parma about Cambray have lately slain twenty French gentlemen and other soldiers. The Spaniards give out that there is some popular tumult in Antwerp against the Prince of Orange.
I hear that there is here a Spanish gentleman of the house of Cardona, professing to be discontented with King Philip's government, and offering to work to his prejudice; and that he has had conference with Don Antonio.
The Jesuits have sent to Rouen two “dryfatts” full of books to be dispersed in England, Scotland and Flanders, conveyed by Peter L'huillier, “librarier” of this town. They were to-day put in a boat in which is some of my stuff. The books are of their new translated testaments, catechisms and small pamphlets concerning the Jesuits' miracles done in sundry countries.
Some think that Charetier will be brought prisoner to the Bastille, but I know not the truth of it.
The Scottish faction here publish that there are certain apprehended in England for a conspiracy against her Majesty, among whom is said to be an Italian. Likewise that Earl Huntly with others have taken the Scottish King out of the hands of those lords which were about him, having slain the Earl of Angus and two or three other personages of quality. “The Bishop of Glasgow hath stormed much for the parting of my Lord Hamilton, giving to understand he hath received thereby great discontentment; lamenting to his friends how there came not a greater mishap to the Scottish Queen since her parting out of Scotland than this the Lord Hamilton's retiring into England.”
Earl Morton went hence to Monceaux, where he had access to the King and Queen Mother.
I send herewith a note of the Spanish army, which left Lisbon on the 23rd of June. Don Antonio's followers pretend to have knowledge that it was scattered and turned back by contrary winds, and that one or two galleasses were drowned, with sundry galleys.
The Duke of Biponts sent to the French King at Mezières to ask him to lend to him and the other princes and colonels of the Religion 100,000 crowns, for support of the Elector Truchsess of Cologne. The King answered that if he had so much ready money, he would rather pay it to them towards the “defalking” of the debt he owes them.
Since, the Duke of Biponts, seeing that the King has no better will to help them, either with money or other assistance, has written to him that, as his friend and servant, he advised him to send Colonel Schomberg with money to satisfy his debt to the princes and colonels now their forces were in readiness, lest they should seek redress in some violent manner; “with which message the King was amused, and seeketh to entertain their good wills with fair promises. But he shows to be very greatly displeased that 3,000 shot have repaired out of France, to join Duke Casimir and Biponts.”
I enclose a note of the surrender of Dunkirk, delivered forth by Tassis, the Spanish agent.
“My pen and mind are wearied, hearkening after someone to come from my successor,” trusting that I may take my leave when the King returns to Paris or Fontainebleau at the end of August.—Paris, 19 July, 1583.
Add. Endd. 3 pp. [France X. 11.]
July 19/29. 35. Francoise and Sabine d'Egmont to the Queen.
Assurance of their devotion to her service.—Zullen, 29 July, 1583.
Add. Endd. “The ladies of Egmont to her Majesty.” Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XIX. 88.]
July 19/29. 36. Don Antonio to Walsingham.
Acknowledging his indebtedness to him and praying ever to be kept in his favour, and to be allowed to hear the welcome news of his good health.—Ruel, 29 July. Signed “Rey.”
Add. Endd. Italian. 1 p. [Portugal II. 10.]
July 20. 37. Stokes to Walsingham.
This week the Prince of Parma came before Ostend with his whole camp and his cannon, but after four or five days found the place so well furnished with good soldiers that he thought it but labour lost to tarry there, for every day ships from Flushing and Sluys brought thither such things as they lacked. So yesterday he retired, setting fire to the peasants' houses thereabouts. Some say that he is gone to besiege Dixmude, some that they will march into Artois, as the French are entered into those parts.
Also it is said that M. de la Motte is shot in one of his legs “with a piece out of Ostend.”
The English soldiers that came out of Brabant lie along the river, between Bruges and Sluys; but now that the enemy is gone from Ostend, it is thought they will be sent elsewhere.
Dunkirk and Nieuport are daily victualled by Englishmen out of England, to the great grief of the magistrates of these parts, who say that without these victuals, those towns could not continue.
The soldiers out of every place call for their pay, and here is no money to pay them, so that there is great fear of disorder among them, and many people depart from hence into Holland and Zeeland with their chiefest riches, “so as shortly this town will be like a poor frontier town.”—Bruges, 20 July, stilo Anglie.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIX. 89.]
July 20/30. 38. Roger Williams to Norreys.
“Yesterday I wrote you a large discourse, and sent it to 'Anverp' with Captain Androse. I trust it comes to your hands afore this. It is more than time you were here, therefore I pray make all the speed you can. Although you stay not, yet I pray come. You shall find great change. If I would endure this life a long time for any gage, I am no honest man; I am sure this nine days, I have not slept forty hours. Yesternight I was directed to enter Dixmude with your regiment, passing by Bruges. I do assure you we were six hundred heads that carried arms, yet Col. Morgan carried with him his own company, Edwardes, that vilian (velene) and Thos. Morgan. True is it we had of those fifty that belonged to Doulton, and those troops the Prince of Chimay writ a letter to Welch to march with Morgan.
“I made halt at Bruges and refused to march unless he would command Welch and the three other companies to join with us, being afore them. With much ado, I had Welch, and because he took on him to enter Ostend, I was forced to let him have the three other companies. In all he had not two hundred. This wise man, to get him the more in the States' credit, was contented to march without money, else I would a gotten 2,000 guilders and assurance for the rest of a month for eight hundred heads to be paid within fifteen days, for they had dealt so with Mr. Tirell and Loker, who did refuse to march without a whole month in hand.
“I was forced to march without ever a penny, but assurance of a month of the town of Bruges within twelve days. If we were defeated or besieged, Middelton and Gibson should have received it at the time. If I would not agree to this, they swore Morgan should have all the troops, so marched half a league. The Burgose, Walloons and Scots did discourage the soldiers in such sort that they would not stir without ready money. The Burgose said: You go to the burchery; the Walloons and Scots: Will you march without money? Both had reason. Betwixt the crowd (?) Captain Doulton['s] horsemen (?) five or six lieutenants, and the rest of the soldiers who had not yet forgotten the blows of Steenbergen. Both they agreed so well that I could not get them to march no farther, because we had with us a commissary with other guides. Mr. Yorke, Mr. Alen and I, I am sure did hurt (?) five or six very well of the “pryntiall” town men. As I wrote to you afore, Mr. Yorke had there of all ramarses [qy. ramasses] 200 heads. There we stayed till nine of the clock in the morning. At last the soldiers and we fell friends. Now we sent with them Captain Piged [qy. Pigott] with all the rest, who departed very willingly; but yesternight more than half were sick; some would not carry arms afore their ransoms (?) were paid, but it was the fear of Steenbergen. Now they are retired to Oodenburch, where they have victuals 'innufe.'
“I am come hither to speak with Mr. Tirrel and Loker, where they are not, but hope to find them this night at their quarters at Middelburg. I will enter into league with them and cry 'All, all!' as well as they. I am sure there will be old complaining; what remedy? I must pass that wise or else have never a man. The Scots entices our men, and they willing to run away because they have garrison in Bruges. And now I hear Furnes is gone. Then adieu Dixmude, and Ypres (Iper). There they send three regiments and six cornets.
“Mr. Yorke is at Bruges, dealing, as he swears, for you. I think it, but to be sure, I will write at large to them. Now they send me word to make the companies a hundred apiece strong; then they will pay us. I answer: Give money, I will make them within short time three hundred strong, an they will.
“One particular swears it were a good deed to cass us. I sent him word it were a better deed to pay us for the service we did; and more honesty.
“My trumpet says Welch carries me two letters. I am sure it is to march to some place. If it be to enter Bruges, Damme or Sluys, I will; else not a foot without 'gelt' because I know the soldiers to be poltroons, and they ungrateful without honesty. -Damme, 30 July.
Add. Endd. 4 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XIX. 90.]