Elizabeth: July 1584, 21-25

Pages 625-637

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 1584, 21–25

July 21/31. 767. The States of Brabant to Walsingham.
Your honour will have heard by the Sieur de Grise, and since then from others the state of our affairs here. The enemy, although reinforced before Lillo, does nothing, and appears to intend to take some other course, that is, to close the river between Lillo and Antwerp, to stop our navigation. They have already planted artillery upon a dyke which has been cut through at Callo, and are about to put the like on the opposite side of the river. We hope to prevent them by means of a force strong enough to attack these forts, and for this purpose, following our requests by the Sieur de Grise, we now send a commission for Colonel Morgan [details as in preceding letter], praying you to take care that he chooses good captains and leaders, fitted to accommodate themselves to matters and tempers here.—Antwerp, the last of July, 1584.
Postscript.—Since writing the above, the enemy has raised his siege before Lillo, having lost there above two thousand men, and quite fifty chiefs and persons of quality, besides a vast number of wounded. They may now try to close the river, wherefore the levy and our succours from her Majesty should be hastened, for we have great need of soldiers.
Add. Endd. Seal of Brabant. Fr. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XXII. 52.]
July 22. 768. W. Herle to the Queen.
I was hindered in my journey to East Friesland by contrary winds and want of shipping going to Embden. I was put in at the dangerous mouth of the Maas (Moze) in South Holland, and thence went to Dordrecht; where the death of the Prince of Orange had been received without any astonishment, fear or division, but where people and magistrates were rather animated with a resolution of courage and hatred, to revenge the foul deed committed by the tyrant of Spain (as they call him) and to defend their religion and liberties against him, even to the last drop of their blood. In all their assemblies, as in their private speeches, they recommend themselves only to the Queen of England's favour and goodness, whom they call their saviour and the princess of greatest perfection that ever governed, desiring neither to be governed by the French or tyrannized by the Spaniard, which they conclude to be alike, “and even commutare non sortem sed servitutem.”
The magistrates, hearing of my arrival from the guards at the gates, repaired immediately to me, not as men “condoling their estate,” but as eager to be revenged for the Prince's death, which “they do not so much attribute to destiny as to the ambition of Villiers the minister, become master of the spies, and was intrapped, they say, in his own net and overweening, by favouring this 'treacher' and spy beyond reason or sense.” For by Villiers' presumption, access was given to the murderer, who for thirteen weeks was in and out in the Prince's Court, seeking opportunity for his design, in which time there failed neither suspicion nor advertisement that he was not what he pretended.
This error of Villiers had been like to cost the lives of all the French and Papists in Delft, but that God's mercy preserved them from ruin, “which the enemy laboured by all means to have brought to pass by practising immediately with sundry towns of the provinces, and offering them whatsoever they would have or demand, even till they should repent.” But none would hearken to them and all have sent protestations by their deputies to the General States, to stand to all they shall do, an “agreement that never concurred before” to this day.
And hereof two things ensued; first, that any accord was forbidden to be made with the tyrant of Spain, and secondly, that any bringing a message from the enemy should be immediately executed.
Dordrecht has set forth in writing and proclaimed by sound of trumpet their resolution to die and live in the cause, which Act has since been registered and confirmed by the other provinces.
“But they complain still that the Prince being esteemed so wise and Villiers so wary, that ever they would be deceived so childishly as they were, by a party unknown,” for this Balthazar Gherarde insinuated himself to be the son of one Guian at Bezancon, who died for the Religion, a poor, obscure servant; and yet offered signatures, which he had counterfeited, of Count Ernest of Mansfeldt and other personages, governors of towns and provinces under the King of Spain, to the end that the Prince should make his profit and be able to seize towns thereby, “which was the entry to build his credit upon, by Villiers entertaining it,” though it might have discovered the fellow to be a manifestly counterfeit person and no ways of the Religion. But surely he was the resolutest, in so ill an action, that ever the earth bore, for on the day of his execution, after incredible torments sustained before, he said at his coming out of prison “that he would that day make a memorable proof of his great patience and constancy”; as indeed he did, to the wonder of all.
He avowed his deed to be lawful, first for that the King of Spain had invited all men to kill a rebel, and he was the King's own subject, in his county of Burgundy, and secondly by the example of Judith, a holy and chaste person, who yet feigned herself to be a harlot, that she might kill the irreligious tyrant Holofernes. But when it was replied to him that neither religion nor justice had moved him, but the promises of reward by the Prince of Parma and d'Assonleville, he held his peace.
It is certainly affirmed that he was a Jesuit, and that it is a maxim among them “that they be all Judiths that kill princes, and are therefore stirred up and warranted by the Pope to be canonized for the same, besides temporal advancements if they escape,” as may appear by the book Carter printed in your own kingdom, and worthily suffered for it, this last winter, at Tyburn. To which race of Jesuits, roaming abroad, armed with malice and treason, this late example aptly deciphering them and their nature, I humbly pray you to have an eye, for you see how many of their seminaries are erected everywhere, one even at Dieppe of English and Scots “upon the brim of England,” by your adversary the Guise. Besides, it is well known that above seven score lurking Jesuits have entered the realm of late, and come secretly more and more, to sow rebellion and conspire against your royal person, whom may God for his mercy's sake preserve.
I brought over, in Latin, French and Italian, two dozen of the books of which my lord Treasurer is the author, “touching the Justice in England executed upon those Jesuits and Seminaries, not for religion but for treason.” I have distributed sundry and they are marvellously liked, insomuch that the Archbishop of Cologne (whom I found at Delft) causes them to be translated into high Dutch, to be dispersed “all Germany over.”
Duke Augustus of Saxony has become the Jesuits' open enemy. He has also chased Jacobus Andreas out of his country, and has silenced “the Obiquitaries of Saxony, as men of a condemned opinion.” I enclose a copy, done into French, of the sentence upon Balthazar Gherarde, also collections of his speeches and actions; “whom they would not have so soon executed, but that they feared he would have died under their hands, being weakened by unmeasurable tortures.” Here is also the relation of the physicians of Delft touching the Prince's wound, but you will hear more of Gherarde's secrets by the bearer and of the Prince's funerals, which are to be on Friday the 24th [o.s.], in the great church of Delft. But it is intended, “if the world prosper with them,” hereafter to translate his body to Breda, or some other place of his proper inheritance; upon whom they had bestowed the Marquis-ship of Barrow, disinheriting the daughter of Merode, and had elected him Earl of Holland and Zeeland, which should have been published within two months.
The magistrates of Dordrecht discoursed with me very freely of their affairs; showing that Pruneaux and their deputies were still at Rouen, and that the King would see their instructions before he treated with them, which course they think strange, and tending rather to delay than to acceptance of their offers, which are the same that Monsieur should have had confirmed to him, Holland and Zeeland always exempted.
It seems that the King, by delay, hopes they may fall into such danger that they may offer him simply the possession of all their estates, to avoid ruin. At least, he would be master of Walcheren and the Sluys, which indeed (considering his power and nearness and the importance of the places), were as much as to be master absolutely of the whole.
The King's intention being discovered and his faith suspected, Paul Buys of Delft wished me to say secretly to your Majesty that the French King two months ago sounded the Prince of Orange through the Princess, that if he might have Walcheren, he would at once proclaim the King of Spain his enemy, confirm to the States their privileges and to the Prince the Earldom of Holland and Zeeland, with all his lands and titles, and give him above 100,000 crowns yearly in perpetuity where he would choose, or, if he thought better, 2,000,000 crowns in ready money. But, saith Buys, he shall never be trusted by us, whatever extremity we run into.”Yet he excused the Prince, that he was not French in mind but for necessity and conveniency to conserve the churches in France and to breed jealousy and pique between those two great Kings, whereof the defence and relief of those countries and religion might ensue and be continued.”
Those of Dordrecht told me that the States General would appoint a President over them, and commissioners to be sent to your Majesty, to submit their estate to your disposition and order.
They are “assured to preserve Lillo,” where it is said Mondragon has been slain, and have provided Barrow, a good frontier towards Holland, with seven ensigns more of foot, making eighteen in all, and two cornets of horse.
They allow no victuals to go to the enemy, who have marched to Hoogstraete; whereupon men and provisions have been sent to Heusden, Worcum and Geertruydenberg, to hold those passages if the enemy attempts anything.
“They were offended with St. Aldegonde's government” at Antwerp, that he had suffered four forts to be lost on the Flanders side, which he himself had been the builder of, and more so, that he had caused Herentals to be abandoned needlessly, whereby the enemy is master of all the flat country, and Mechlin, Vilvorde and Brussels are straitened. Ghent, they said, had wine, corn and salt for six months, but could be victualled no more unless the fort of Themis, between Dermonde and Ghent, on the river, were taken.
The freeing of Ghent would easily “recover” Bruges and Flanders, for the whole country is eaten up and consumed, and the enemy's camp in extreme necessity, ill paid and worse victualled.
They have executed an advocate and some others in Ghent and Hembyse's process is passed. It is “looked” that he and Rowland Yorke shall be executed forthwith.
Their safety here “consists in” three points; the opening of the passage to Ghent, the prevailing against Zutphen, and assurance of the town of Embden, whereby Groningen might be reduced, the King of Spain excluded from the haven and shipping, “and the navy which the Hollanders do entertain in those parts with great charge and small purpose, be revoked and better employed.”
But if Ghent be unsuccoured, the enemy are masters of all Flanders and will hasten into Guelderland, and thence by way of Utrecht seek an entry into Holland, “by force or division, a case most dangerous.”
Likewise they may be masters of Friesland, “without assurance had” of Embden, where I hope to do some good office at my arrival, which will be within three days if the wind change. I have instructions from Paul Buys with whom to deal and whom to avoid, and hope to find Earl Edzard (Isarde) reasonable, and that a good accord may follow between the two brothers, by your Majesty's gracious interposition.
If the enemy can be kept for two months from prevailing at Zutphen, he will be barred from all his practices projected upon the Prince's death, and the States will be assured until next spring, “by reason of the waters that will be risen about Zutphen and elsewhere,” during which time the enemy will partly consume himself, the King of Spain may die, other accidents may grow, and the States must provide further remedy, both abroad and at home. They have private wealth enough, and better resolution than at any time before, only wanting a head of power and wealth to command them.
After I had understood this far of the state of things at Dordrecht, I repaired to Paul Buys at Delft, who has now the chief administration among the States, and “to whose credit and dexterity they attribute the despatch of most things.” He is your Majesty's devoted servant and wished me to assure you of it.
“He was most glad of my coming that way towards Embden . . . showing me frankly in what terms they stood at home, what a loss they had of the Prince, how they intended after his funerals to choose the Count Maurice (Morris) his son their superintendent . . . and that the said Maurice should have the title and state of the Principality of Orange and of the rest of the Prince's seignories invested in him as by his father's will was appointed, till it might be known what should become of his son in Spain. Albeit the said will was not fully ' absolved' at the death of the said Prince, in respect rather of the manner than of the matter, yet was it a perfect and sufficient will, and agreed upon long before.”
He showed me also the state of the enemy and of the negotiation in France by Asseliers, Mouillerie and Caron, “whereof he had no opinion at all of success, nor any will of his own part but to please the Prince in his life time.” The Estates had other things to determine of, which they were sworn not to reveal to any, but he protested that all should be to your liking, and altered and disposed as should seem good to you, affirming that Holland, Zeeland and the other provinces “would yield them-selves absolutely to your Majesty and crown for ever, or to none other, their liberties only reserved, whereof you should have immediate possession, without reservation of place or privilege, and the means should be such, proceeding from them, as your Majesty might defend your interest therein with facility against the whole world. Or if it might please you rather to deal with them by way of contract, they were ready to obey you in either,” and would send some to deal with your Majesty herein.
He described to me a proposal from those of Brabant, for an army of 15,000 footmen and 7,000 horse in the field, with which they could expulse the enemy and re-conquer their towns and country in three months, in which army they reckoned to have 5,000 English foot and 500 horse, for whose wages they would be humble suitors to your Majesty; and you should have the Sluce and Ostend as pledges till you were fully satisfied of the said sum and all others due to you before, “as also the garrisons of these two places to be allowed at their charges.” Further, that Duke Casimir had promised to bring and pay 2,000 horse, receiving the country of Limburg and town of Maestricht, when freed from the enemy, in pawn, for his present and past disbursements.
“Touching the rest of the charges of the wars, those of Antwerp and Brabant offered to supply in money 300,000 crowns, remitting to the other provinces their rateable portions, but this course seemed to be lame in many parts, and St. Aldegonde, with Villiers and Ryhove, have greatly (though in vain) urged them to rely upon the French and none other. Paul Buys seemed offended with one Grise, great bailey late of Bruges and now is in England, that thrusts himself in to deal and intermeddle in the affairs of the Low Country 'unadvowed,' of whom he would gladly that knowledge were taken.
“The said Buys is half of opinion that if the nobility of the Low Country were now sounded by a third mean (the Prince being dead whom they envied), some notable alteration might follow, whereof the Earl of Hoogstrate made an offer of conference to St. Aldegonde, but that savoured more of peril than surety, and it will be ever suspicious trusting of them, unless they begin in good earnest to use the advantages they have in expulsing the Spaniards the country quite.
“At Delft there is another most faithful servant of your Majesty's, Meetkeerke, president of Flanders; a man of learning and sincerity, who was in commission with the Marquis of Havre (Havory) in England. He is second in reputation here for his wisdom, and not less in zeal towards your Majesty,” to whom he humbly commends his service. Buys and he have a special care to examine all practices discovered, “how near anything may concern your person and kingdom. . . . They told me both that the Prince of Orange had not in ready money at his death a hundred guilders in store, which was a note of his popularity. His papers and memorials Count Maurice hath seized, but he was prevented (as is presumed) by Villiers of the best of them.”
The respect to your Majesty is great throughout these countries, and having the credit of being your poor servant (though not addressed to them), my charges were defrayed in Delft and I was provided with free waggon hither.
Count Maurice is seventeen years of age, “of great towardness, good presence and courage, flaxen-haired, endued with a singular wit and no less learned for his time. He holds nothing of the French nor esteems them, but somewhat resembles the countenance and spirit of his grandfather of the mother's side, Morris” [of Saxony]. He desired me to assure your Majesty that he has vowed his service to you, to be “continued” in his actions and sealed with his blood, knowing how much his father and the cause was beholding to you.
“I visited the Princess of Orange by her own request, whom I found in a most dark little melancolic chamber, . . . her heaviness and apparel augmented by the dolefulness of the place; and truly the perplexity was great that I found her in, not only for the consideration of things past, but for that which might follow hereafter.”
The Princess of Chimay, a virtuous and wise lady (whatsoever has been said otherwise) was with her; also the Countess of Schwarzenburg, the Prince's sister, and “the number of the Prince's daughters.” They all tenderly recommended their service to you “as to a lady of all ladies,” and especially the two princesses expressed their fervent devotion.
The Princess of Orange complained somewhat of the unkindness of the people, and is going after some time to Flushing, to the new palace built there, for the Marquis-ship of Vere and some lands purchased in France are assigned to her dowry.
The Archbishop of Cologne, calling your Majesty La fille unique de Dieu et la bien heureuse princesse, desires earnestly to do you service. He told me that the Prince of Orange informed him of an offer made by the King of Spain to the King of Navarre of 400,000 crowns in ready money and 100,000 crowns monthly if he would make wars with the French King. I answered “that I thought it done with a Spanish mind” to draw the King of Navarre (like Sebastian of Portugal) to his ruin, and so destroy the Religion and churches in France.
The Archbishop has lost all his State, saving two towns, Berck and Uldernich [qy. Ordingen], and his coming into these parts (whereto he was drawn by the Prince of Orange, to serve his own turn) has alienated the princes of Germany, except it be Casimir. Yet the Bavarian “is not admitted and allowed by the Electors to the state of Cologne,” and is in need of money, his power scattered and mutinied, and himself left with few. Segur has prevailed little with the princes on the Archbishop's behalf, notwithstanding the gage he left in deposit at Bremen. He is now at Heidelberg.
At Rotenburg, the Emperor's faction hindered the intents of the Protestants, and there is no hope that the good foundation laid by the late Palatine “to have been proceeded on at Mulhausen,” will have any other issue. The princes attend only to their own pleasures and affairs, “leaving the care of the general aside.”
The Earl of Hollock was at the Hague, waiting for the Prince's funerals. He cannot agree with the Earl of Meurs (Mewis), but he seems to be reformed in sundry things, and desires to be known as your obedient servant.
I send your Majesty a book “in figures coloured” of what has passed of late between Truchsess and the Bavarian.
I beseech you to pardon the tediousness of this my rude writing, wherein I have much exceeded the limits of a letter to a Queen, “troubling your sacred ears and eyes too far”; but I thought not fit to judge myself of these observations, made by the way and written at sundry times, but to send them entire to yourself, to draw out what is fit for your service.—Amsterdam, “staying for a wind,” 22 July, stylo antiquo.
Add. Endd. by Burghley. 9½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XXII. 53.]
July 22./Aug. 1. 769. St. Aldegonde to Walsingham.
Has often written of their condition, which also he will learn from M. de Grise. All human aid having deserted them, there is little chance of amendment. They will bear up as long as possible, hoping that God may move the hearts of neighbouring Christian princes to undertake what is for the common good of Christendom, but fears that remedy may come too late, unless her Majesty will consider what ruin their own fall will cause. They will be the first to suffer, but not the only ones.
Knows that England has enough to do to defend herself, but God often makes possible what seemed impossible, and if his honour will employ himself in good earnest, he could do much, nay almost all.—Antwerp, 1 August, 1584.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Holl, and Fl. XXII. 54.]
Printed by Kervyn de Lettenhove in Documents inedits rélatifs à l'histoire du xvie. siecle, p. 276.
July 23. 770. Stafford to Walsingham.
The Queen Mother staying this night at Brie-Comte-Robert (Bry contre Robert), having gout in one of her hands, and thus the time of my speech with her uncertain, I send this to let you know what has passed at this court at the coming of de la Pre, Torcy's (Torsi's) brother, which I writ you of in my last.
He had audience on Monday, when the King and Queen Mother and Secretary Villeroy only were present, for four hours. There he declared his commission, very attentive ear being given by the King, and especially by the Queen Mother. The King promised, if their case was as firm as by their commission they seemed to assure it, that he would presently procure help and relief for them; “but he seemed greatly to doubt lest their affairs were not in so good a state” as they resolutely affirmed. Thereupon, as Torcy himself has told me, the conclusion is that the King will send one to bring him word if this be so, and if it prove true, they shall send someone to treat with him and he will help them throughly. And whereas he had sent Brulard to break with them, and had “licenced” Asseliers and his fellow, “now the matter is knit again, and only a surcease upon his return whom the King sendeth, which, I am advertised, shall be des Pruneaux, which for my part I am very glad of, and gladder than if it were a man of more sufficiency, for I know the humour of the man to be such as if things were worse than they are, he would make them better, if there were nothing more in it than his own ambition to have some end of that which he hath been so long plodding about.”
The Venetian ambassador in Spain has sent letters to their ambassador here (and the same is confirmed from the French agent there) that there has been “a beginning of a stir in Portugal of the budding of a new King, who said himself to be Sebastian,” and that he was not killed at the battle of Fez, but a prisoner and sent to Constantinople, where the Turks not only released him but promised him succour. Many of the people began to run to this man, but no arms were taken; he was pursued and captured, and the King of Spain has commanded his execution, “but hath been so cunning that he hath winked at them that followed him, and hath used no punishment, so that they say all things are appeased there.”
It is also written “that the King being very much worn and sickly, the physicians have counselled him to take some ease,” therefore he has determined to choose eight councillors, to have the dealing of all things under him, and also the protection of his young son. The chief is to be the Cardinal of Austria, who, it is said shall be revoked out of Portugal and Marc Antonio Colonna go in his place.
Also, that 25 galleys of the King of Algier have passed the Straits and are at l'Areecha [El Arish] and thereabouts, watching for the ships from the Indies, which is thought to be a device of the Turk, who “if he find sweet in it” this year, it is feared will come again.
Don Antonio has been these six days very sick. At first it it was taken but for an ague, but now the ague has left him, yet he is still in great heat and weakness. I was with him yesterday and truly he was so weak that I thought he would not have lived till morning, but to-day he is somewhat amended.
I send this that I may receive your directions for the matter of the Low Countries, in case the King will embrace it, which, if he do, I believe will be under his mother's name, not his own.
“I hope, though we have deferred your son Sydney's journey, you will not take it clean away, but that we shall have him at the King's return from Lyons,” which I greatly desire, both from the love I bear him and for the help he may bring for the public causes.
The King went to Lyons on Tuesday, and was so afraid of being stayed that he departed before day and without bidding his mother farewell; with whom he has left authority to treat with all men and of all things. In a few days, she goes to Blois, whither we have all orders to follow her, and there to meet the King in the middle of September, “but doctors doubt of that.”—Paris, 23 July, 1584.
Postscript in his own hand.—This bearer, your old servant, having a mind to see his friends, I have preferred him before another to carry this: when it pleases you to send him back, he shall be welcome.
Signed. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [France XII. 21.]
July 23. 771. Stafford to Burghley.
A copy of that to Walsingham, with a few lines at the end praying his lordship to take it in good part that he sends only this, as for haste he writes no more. 23 July, 1584.
Holograph. Add. Endd. 3 pp. [Ibid. XII. 22.]
July 23. 772. Jacques de Gryse to Walsingham.
Apologising for not coming himself on account of indisposition, and informing him that there have been laden on a small English ship thirty cables, twenty inches thick, professedly for Cales, but which he learns are destined for Dunkirk and Nieuport. The Earl of Leicester sent him a letter to have the ship stayed, which was done last evening by Mr. Young, the customer. It is reported to him that they were laden by an Italian merchant named Giovanni Battista Justiniano, and are for the purpose of closing the river of Antwerp. His honour will understand that they should not be allowed to pass, being munition of war and of much greater consequence than if they had been powder and shot. The order comes from a merchant dwelling at Dunkirk named Lorenzo Driveryi(?), who has sent hither one of his servants named Hans Regol, now at Gravesend awaiting the said vessel. Prays him to take steps in the matter.—London, 23 July, 1584.
Add. Endd. Italian 1 p. [Holl and Fl. XXII. 55.]
July 24./Aug. 3. 773. The States of Brabant to the Earl of Leicester.
The Spanish army, led by Mondragon, and since joined by the Prince of Parma and the Marquis of Risbourg, have finally raised their camp, having made every possible effort against Lillo and lost several cannon and about two thousand men, with a great number of captains and important persons, both Spanish and Burgundian, besides a great many of less account.
We believe that their reason for so shamefully raising the siege, against Spanish custom, was partly their small hope of achieving success, considering the number of good soldiers there who continually made sorties, and the large quantity of artillery, by which almost all their own had been rendered useless; and above all the water, which troubled them so much in their trenches that the soldiers had to wade up to the chest in going upon guard. Whither they are going or what they mean to do we do not yet certainly know, except that two regiments are marching towards Flanders with some cavalry, and that another part is gone towards Zutphen. We have some idea that they may go towards Bergen-op-Zoom. We have taken all the precautions that our means allow, hoping that by means of the aid which we have asked for from her Majesty, and the levy by Colonel Morgan, we may render vain the enemy's enterprises for this summer, and show him that the death of his Excellency will not give him these provinces so cheaply as he hoped, but that they, being deprived of the guidance of this good Prince, will be aided by the favour of heaven, even though all men should forsake us. Which, however, we do not at all expect, being confident on the contrary that her Majesty, amongst others, will espouse our cause and not permit us to struggle alone against the common adversary of all who profess the reformed religion.— Antwerp, 3 August, 1584.
Add. Endd. Seal of Brabant. Fr.pp. [Ibid. XXII. 56.]
July 24./Aug. 3. 774. Sir Richard Shelley to Walsingham.
It has been here a very busy time, “because of the process of il clarissimo sovranno, who is finally banished, and for that in Malta there hath been spoiled a rich ship of the Signoria,” yet, as it is more than a month since the Queen's letter was delivered, and her reputation hangs upon the matter, I wrote a letter to the Duke and Privy Council, which was read on the 27th past, and my plainness therein so accepted that forthwith order was taken that the Savii grandi should attend to the matter, and the Secretary was commanded to have his writings ready. In whose hands my secretary saw a bundle of the Queen's letters, with my memorials annexed to them. So that I hope her Majesty's letter may now take good effect, and I, who thought myself half disgraced, find myself now"in very good grace to be employed to the uttermost of my power here, or wherever I shall be, in her Majesty's service.” I pray you, show the Lord Treasurer all that I write.—Venice, 3 August, 1584.
Signed. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Venice I. 11.]
July 25. 775. Ortell to Walsingham.
Being still here, waiting for a wind, I yesterday received a letter from M. de St. Aldegonde, of which I send you an extract. Certainly it would be a very good thing if her Majesty would assist them, to encourage the people all the more to work together. I myself will do all that I possibly can.
About ten o'clock this morning there passed by post two Italians, coming as they say, from Rome by way of France, and who are said to have sworn neither to eat nor drink until they reach the court, although they do not wish to tarry there. The cause of their haste, your honour will best know, but I desired to warn you of such suspicious persons.—Gravesend, 25 July, stilo veteri.
Postscript.—I pray you if possible to let me have a reply to mine of yesterday, before my departure.
Extract of a letter from M. St. Aldegonde, of Aug. 1, new style.
The enemy presses upon us on every side, and seeks by all means possible to deprive us of the passage of the river. Moreover, our French soldiers, who behaved very bravely in the fort of Lillo, (whence the enemy have begun to retreat) have now mutinied, without any good cause, demanding twenty months pay, which it is as easy to give them as to touch the moon with the hand.
The enemy has sent some troops across the river; the rest are still round about this place, and are straining themselves with their artillery to make palisades and to close the passage, which sadly discourages the people, especially the traders, seeing what small hope there is of help from any side, unless her Majesty takes our cause in hand, and so puts all to rights; but if every one cares only for his private affairs and gives no heed to the necessities of his neighbours, it is to be feared that the enemy will prevail.
Add. Endd. Fr.pp.[Holl. and Fl. XXII.57, 57a.]
July 25. 776. Jaques de Gryse to Walsingham.
I have just received a letter from “Monsieur de Mont St. Aldegonde” for your honour [see p. 632 above], which I send by the Sieur Niccolo Carenzone, as well as that which I have received myself, by which you will see the state of Brabant, and what need they have of succour. I have told the said Sieur Niccolo what seems to me to be necessary, praying you to believe it, and lend your aid, that that country, which might now easily be preserved, may not be lost or reduced to such a state that it could only be saved with great difficulty.
If my illness did not keep me in bed I should have come in person to put before you the importance of this affair.—London, 25 July, 1584.
Postscript.—I have learnt both from your own letter and the report of others what you have done in the matter of the provisions that were being carried to Dunkirk, which I will not fail to relate to the States.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. XXII. 58.]