Elizabeth: August 1583, 11-20

Pages 68-77

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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August 1583, 11–20

Aug. 11. 81. Stokes to Walsingham.
Two days past, the Prince of Chimay rode to Ghent, where he will stay ten or twelve days. The people there have, according to their old order, this week chosen new magistrates, viz. burgomasters and echevins; and for their upper burgomaster M. Jehan van Hembyse, and all the echevins are of his faction. They are all good Protestants, but wholly against the Prince of Orange's government, and therefore divers of the old magistrates, who are of the Prince's faction, have gone, with all their goods, into Holland and Zeeland, and it is thought more will follow. But the greatest number “likes well” that Hembyse is chosen. I send enclosed the names of the new magistrates.
The Malcontents before Ypres are making three great bulwarks, where 500 soldiers will lie, “to keep them from victuals, and so to famish the town if they can.” When they are finished, it is said the Prince of Parma will depart with the rest of his camp elsewhere, but for all the speeches, it is rather thought that he will stay until they have the town.
Since the soldiers sent from hence entered Ypres, no man has come out of it, by which it is supposed that all the passages are straitly beset by the enemy. This week the Prince of Parma has been to Menin, which he finds it needless to keep, and so has given order to cast down the walls and bulwarks. In token of gladness for his victory in getting so many towns in so short time, those of Lille have given the Prince 100,000 guilders towards the payment of his soldiers.
The speech here is that the French still keep Berghes St. Wynox, with M. de Villeneuve in command, and that they will do so as long as they have victuals, which are almost spent.
The States' side is now very weak, yet they comfort themselves with the report that Duke Casimir is coming to their aid with a great force. But “it is doubted there is no such matter.”—Bruges, 11 August, 1583, stilo anglie.
Postscript.—Even now letters are come that the Prince of Parma is at Tournay, and goes thence to Namur to take leave of his mother, who is going for Italy, after which he returns to his camp at Ypres.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 8.]
List of the magistrates elected at Bruges, with the names of those who made the Act by which they were elected. 1 p. [Ibid. XX. 8a.]
Aug. 11. 82. Gilpin to Walsingham.
In my last I certified that I had given my friend “per exchange” 100 pistolets, to hasten his repair to you. I pray you tell me of whom I may be furnished with the money, and any that may be further required.
The Swiss left Biervliet last Thursday and the French the day after. Their departure rejoices many, who will never give consent to their return. M. Biron went with his French, and was brought by the Prince down to the Head of Flushing. It is said his Excellency will be here on Monday next; the States being here already except Flanders and Brabant, who are expected daily.
It is thought there will be some stir about government, for his Excellency and a few with him still hold with the French “and yet inwardly is thought wish the contrary.” Others call for her Majestj to receive them into her protection; another sort hope for some good of the Empire, and the rest desire a republic.
Flanders have chosen the Prince of Chimay for their governor, who has already changed some garrisons, yet bears himself with such care “that he deserveth good opinion, report and estimation.” Those of Ghent have re-elected their magistrates, chosing M. d'Hembyse for one of their burrowmasters, for whom they have sent commissioners into Germany, and who is greatly desired amongst them.
Ypres is still environed, but most of the enemy's forces retired about other services. By surprise he has taken Steenbergen, slew most of the soldiers and ransomed the burghers; immediately after, came to Worcum, spoiled it and so retired. Hereupon, Count Hollock was sent from hence for Holland and the frontier places on the Brabant side to take order for their safety, and ships of war laid in the creeks, “to impeach them from coming abroad in the rivers and passages. “Mr. Norreys' companies are said to be gone into garrison at Alost.
All other things are at a stay, and the uncertainty of sure passage and posts will not permit to write largely.—Middelburg, 11 August, 1583.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 9.]
Aug. 11/21. 83. Pietro Bizarri to Walsingham.
The affairs of these poor countries go daily from bad to worse, the enemy pillaging everywhere, and being masters of the country, without finding any resistance to their diabolic fury.
They have suddenly taken Steenbergen and murdered the garrison there, behaving with their accustomed cruelty. On the 3rd instant, near Malines, they took a great barque with much merchandise, and made prisoner forty and more persons, among which were some of quality, from Antwerp and elsewhere.
The governor of Brussels was here lately to demand aid, who then went into Zeeland for the same purpose, and being returned to Brussels has sent hither fresh commissioners, he fearing greatly that he may be besieged and not have sufficient men to defend the city.
The magistrates of Ghent have recalled M. d'Hembyse, who has been for some time in exile, living in Heidelberg, and now in Duke Casimir's camp. They have elected him first consul or burgomaster, which has been received with marvellous applause and joy by the party which favours him.
A few days ago there was a fire in the Prince of Orange's kitchen, and the whole palace was in great danger. The people, suspecting treachery, as the Marshal Biron was then there, rose in arms, but having learnt that the fire was accidental, put down the arms which they had taken. Biron is said for certain to have embarked for France with his people. He goes in a good hour and will never return, or the rest either. And truly, the name of French is held in such horror that no lover of his country will hear it.
Monsieur is said to be certainly yet in Cambray, with some of his people, expecting more; it is not known what he has in his mind, but it is not hoped that it is anything for the benefit of the good cause.
The city of Ypres still holds out stoutly, but if, as they say, fever is killing the men, and they having no hope of aid, it is not thought they can stand out long. The enemy seeks all ways to make themselves master of it, as also of Alost, and other places still in the power of the States.
At the beginning of the siege they say that the Prince of Parma sent thither a soldier with letters, exhorting them to submit to his Majesty. They led him into the piazza, where was the gibbet, to the head of which they hung the letters which he had brought, and then letting him go, they threatened that if he returned he should be treated in the same way as his letters.
The soldiers of Lierre lately took a courier from Antwerp going to Cologne, and sent from thence a man to offer to give up the intercepted letters on certain conditions; but he was sent back to Lierre without any reply.
The Ambassador of the Elector of Cologne of whom I wrote to you in my last has returned into Zeeland for his reply and left more quickly than I expected, so that I could not get the writing he had promised me. Here it is said that the Viscount of Gaunt, now made a Marquis by his Majesty, has been in Nieuport, but the news is not confirmed. Antwerp, 21 August.
Add. Endd. Italian. 3½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 10.]
Aug. 12. 84. Cobham to Walsingham.
I hear to-day that the Duke of Anjou accompanies his mother to Gaillon, and that he means to erect an order of Penitentiaries dedicated to St. Francis. They will wear a russet silk ribbon overthwart their breasts, but will not be obliged to any particular ceremonies or orders until hereafter. Certain of his gentlemen, as Lavergne, Fervaques and Avrilly profess to be of the Order. During the Queen Mother's absence, some secret intelligence has passed by messengers between her and Tassis, the Spanish agent.
They tell me that the King intends to have the Queen of Navarre's justification published in print, whereby she may have an honourable amend, so that the late rage is much calmed “by the loving intercessions of Madame de Sauve, through the virtue whereof the Duke d'Epernon hath been moved to do this miracle, as to appease the late wrangles between the King and his sister.”
M. de Laval is married to Madame d'Allègre's daughter, and came here yesterday. The Nuncio through his lingering sickness is now so feeble that the physicians begin to doubt of his life. Some believe that Monsieur seeks to match with the Duke of Florence's daughter, with a dowry of two millions in gold, and other “benefits.”—Paris, 12 August, 1583.
P.S.—The Bishop of Glasgow gives forth that you are to make a voyage into Scotland.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [France X. 28.]
Aug. 12/22. 85. The Prince Of Orange to the Queen.
Praying her to excuse the fact that Joachim Ortel's credentials are of an earlier date, as he has been detained by the service of the country and by contrary winds.—Flushing, 22 August, 1583.
Signed Guille. de Nassau.
Add. Endd. Fr. ½ p. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 11.]
Aug. 12. 86. Newsletter from Cologne to Gilpin.
The personage who is come from Ca [Spain] to Hu [the Elector] and whom the Nuncio expected so eagerly, reached the Duke of Bavaria at Brühl on Thursday last, where the Nuncio met him and stayed two days, going thence to Carpe, and to-day starting for the Emperor's Court. The gast does not know whether the said personage will come hither. He has sent harriers into the fields, who no doubt will make good sport and provide his friends with game.
Those of Bonn, not pleased that Salentin had put 200 men into the abbey of Deutz, issued out on Saturday night, and yesterday morning, at the time of the “grand service du vin, “marched along the Rhine towards Mollem with a strong force of horse and foot, whither there dropped down also, in view of the guard of this town, two lourdans full of soldiers with some artillery, which was landed at Mollem, and immediately mounted and set in array. With these, the abbey was approached about one o'clock. The soldiers there defended themselves bravely until between five and six, when the gate was broken down and the attackers, with ladders and great masses of straw, set the place on fire, and the soldiers were forced to surrender, to avoid being burnt. Five or six of the chiefs escaped by a little boat which they found on the shore of the Rhine, in spite of being heavily fired upon as they went down stream. The abbey and the parish church burned all last night, lighting up this town, and Messieurs have been up and sitting in Council most part of the night.
The Bavarians made attempts to get out to assist it, but as the places on the other side, high and low, were occupied and well guarded, and the town, holding itself neuter, would allow them neither passage nor boats, they could do nothing but look on. This morning we hear that they [of Bonn] have retired, to the great satisfaction of Messieurs, who feared that they would fortify the abbey, which would have caused a breach of the neutrality which they [here] desire to maintain, having for this reason refused Ernestus last Saturday the favour which he had asked by his chancellor, viz. that hearing Duke Casimir would shortly come down with an army greatly exceeding his own, and lacking a fortress for his protection, he prayed them, in case of necessity, to receive him into the town with some gendarmerie. Upon which the Council was divided in opinion, the superstitious papists wishing him to be received, while the more clear-seeing and moderate papists maintained the contrary; so that it has been refused to him, except with his ordinary train, such as would be permitted to any Prince who wished to enter. He remains at Brühl, where his camp has now about 6,000 foot and 2,000 horse, which were all last week paid with Salzburg ducats, determined, as they say, to fight the aforesaid army, which they expect every day, and which they hold to be 8,000 horse and 12,000 foot; but, as I hear from a good source, the princes truly give leave to their people and wish well to Truchsess, but of putting their hands in their purse there is not a word.
The Senate has put all in good order, and intends to receive 500 soldiers to prevent anything from which the enemy might derive profit; but many are withdrawing from the town, and the gates are kept locked, it being suspected that those of Bonn are still at Deutz, hidden in the houses which remain standing.— Cologne, 12 August, old style.
Fr. 2 pp. Enclosed in Gilpin's of the 17th. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 15b.]
Aug. 13. 87. Laurence Tomson to Dr. Hammond.
As touching your doubts, I set down the causes that you might see what moved her Majesty to make those loans, “for she doubted the. one or the other would follow, in case they were not holpen.” And my master [Walsingham] ordered me to mention, those causes, “though in truth I do not see how it will stand with honour et fœderum fide” and could wish some other colour were set upon the matter.
“The States in all intendment of her Majesty are taken for the King of Spain's subjects; she never otherwise liked of any of their proceedings, and from time to time in her own writing taketh and nameth them so. The arrest is purposed to be made upon the subjects of the country indifferently, for that at the time of the contract, they were united against their King,” very few excepted. If the subjects' goods of Brabant, Flanders, Holland and Zeeland might be taken it would be better, for they are the greatest in resistance to that King.
Of the particular sums lent before this debt of Horatio [Pallavicino] there would be no mention, but only in general terms, to show her great favour towards them, “as well for those loans as for not exacting in this arrest the payment of them. Horatio and Spinola you may name.”
The interests have run on since the year '80, but you may suppress the particulars, for they know them, and they should not be made known to the world. Only I set it down for you, that you might be informed of the whole matter.
It is hard to deal in these causes, especially to such as are not accustomed to swim between two waters. The Queen's honour must be preserved and yet her turns served. It requires some haste, but if ready about this day sevennight it will be time enough. The instructions and commission for the party that is to go to the seas is not ready, and this week will be spent here in removes. If you be not gone at my coming to London, I will see you before my departure for Scotland.—The Court at Oatlands, 13 August, 1583.
Endd “The second letter of instructions.” If 1¾ pp. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 12.]
88. “Mr. Thompson's [i.e. Laurence Tomson's] draft of the declaration of causes for seizing the States' ships and goods.”
Endd. Latin. 2¼ pp. [Ibid. XX. 13.]
Aug. 15/25. 89. The Duke Of Anjou to Walsingham.
I have always found you well disposed to the preservation of the friendship borne me by the Queen of England, how much soever my enemies have endeavoured to deprive me of it. I pray you to continue your good offices, there being nothing so dear to me as to do her service and to maintain myself in her good graces. I wish the Sieur de Ruan to give her an explanation of my actions, and as he is instructed in all things, I refer you to him, praying you to believe that you will never have a better friend than myself. La Fère, 25 August. Francoys.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. XX. 14.]
Aug. 17. 90. Gilpin to Robert Beale, Clerk of the Council.
In Mr. Secretary's absence, I am directed to address to you a certain person that has discovered some matter which he affirms most needful to be declared to her Majesty. When he comes hither, if I find the cause worthy to be opened to her, he shall be sent over; if not, I will deal with him here, and satisfy you of my proceedings. I send copies of his last two letters, and of him.
“can assure no more than his earnest writing affirmeth.”
For our news here, I add hereunto such reports as I have heard, leaving particulars to Mr. Norris, who, being at Ghent, can more certainly advertise the state of Flanders.
The Prince of Chimay has been at Ghent, where the Four Members are assembled to take order for resisting the enemy and rescuing Ypres, which is so beset by the enemy's sconces that none can go in or out. Yet it is thought they will hold out as long as they can in hope of aid. The report goes that the walls of Menin are pulled down and the garrison withdrawn. Those of Lille, for joy of the Prince of Parma's victories, are said to have given him 100,000 guilders. What he hath done or will do with the rest of his forces is not known; “some talk of an intent to Cambray, others of Alost or Brussels, and others that he will send them towards Cologne.”
The States of Guelderland, Utrecht and Overyssel are not here, but expected daily. The rest have, with the Prince, met two or three times, but nothing yet heard of their dealing.
M. des Pruneaux is here, and so hangs upon the Prince that the common people are more jealous than before of his Excellency's actions. Those of Antwerp are hiring men to keep the villages around from the enemy's invasions, that the town may have the more liberty.
The Frenchmen in Winoxbergue will hold out as long as they have victuals, which grow scant, therefore if Monsieur do nothing, they cannot long continue.
All is for the time quiet, until the enemy attempt some other enterprise.—Middelburg, 17 August, 1583.
Add. Endd.pp. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 15.]
The Advertisements from Cologne, calendared on pp. 63, 72, above.
Aug.? 17/27. 91. Dr. William Parry to Burghley.
The departure of the French from Flanders makes many think that France will not be long quiet, the rather that the Pope is now in good hope that the decrees of the Council of Trent shall be put in execution through all France, and that the King Catholic (presuming of his good speed against Don Antonio) intends to invade Flanders with a strong navy, and afterwards, if all succeeds there, to bend all his forces against the Queen, believing that most of the Holy League “will either join or look,” though it may turn afterwards to the ruin of some of them.
The factions in Italy are so pestilent and great that notwithstanding the greatness of the Spaniard is terrible to all, yet is there not one so hardy as to dare to desire a salve for so great a sore, neither does any man think it can be remedied without extreme peril.
We hear of daily preparations for the sea in Spain and of orders sent to prepare more soldiers in Italy. The journey of the Terceiras gives colour to all, and it may well be doubted what will become of so great forces if all go well there. It is said that the navy is safely arrived, and that meeting with three or four French ships returning laden with munition from the Terceiras, they suffered them quietly to pass. “How true I cannot tell, but it is like enough.”
“There is no small joy at the alteration in Scotland, nor less hope but that the king shall be sufficiently guarded, if he do escape poisoning or some other violent end, feared to be practised in England, now as much doubted for that as Italy.”—Lyons, 27 August, 1583.
P.S. (on separate slip).—On the 20th inst. Mr. Edward Unton was in good health but not delivered. Aldred was about to depart from Milan for Rome, in good hope to procure his despatch. The Queen's letters to the governor were delivered, but no answer received. The King is looked for here to-day.—27 August, 1583.
Add. Endd. 2pp. + ⅓ p. [France X. 29.]
92. Copy of above letter.
Endd. Advertisements from Lyons. [Ibid. X. 29a.]
Aug.? 17/27. 93. [Dr. William Parry] to Burghley.
After closing my other letters, the king arrived in this town and is lodged at M. Mandelot's. The Queen Mother, Queen his wife and Monsieur will be here shortly. His entry was private; theirs shall be (as is thought) solemn. It is said he is going into Dauphine. We hear of great stirs there and in Languedoc. Geneva, “mistrusting no less than I think will prove true,” has taken in more soldiers.—Lyons, 27 August, 1583. (Unsigned.)
Add. Endd. ½ p. [France X. 30.]
Aug.? 18/28. 94. Dr. William Parry to Burghley.
“I am advertised by more than an ordinary man that there is some great practice in hand in the north part of England, How true it is, God knoweth. I have heretofore written you my opinion of the Hamiltons. I do now confirm it, and upon my head assure you that the Queen's Majesty cannot trust them. I dare trust him that told me the tale.”—Lyons, 28 August, 1583.
(At bottom of the page) Burne.
Add. Endd. 9 lines. [France X. 31.]
Aug. 18. 95. Stokes to Walsingham.
The enemy before Ypres have finished their three bulwarks, leaving in them 700 foot and two cornets of horse, and the rest of the camp is preparing to depart, some say into Brabant, same say to Cologne.
Those of Ypres write that they are of good courage, and fear not the enemy, who lie very quiet in their bulwarks, their charge being only to keep the town from victuals. The town is reasonably furnished of all things for six months save forage for their horses, which is very scant, “so as they write to have them in mind, that they may be succoured in time.”
The Prince of Chimay (Simay) is at Ghent, where he was very friendly received, and there are great speeches amongst the commons of a peace with the Malcontents, though there is no likelihood of it.
Every day the Prince sits very earnestly in council with them of the town about their troublesome state, which he takes much to heart, and deals very earnestly to set some better order there, “which is feared is now too late.”
M. de Biron, with all his French and Swiss, are departed by ship to France, which much rejoices the commons, “for they desired more their absence than their presence.” The Malcontents also like their departure very well, hoping that a good peace will shortly follow, which they desire very much; and also to be quit of the Spaniards.
There is great hope that Duke Casimir will shortly be here for the aid of the States, yet many make doubt of his coming.
M. Jan van Hembyse, chosen burgomaster of Ghent, is not yet come out of Dutchland, but is expected shortly, and his presence much desired. “God grant that he may do the country good, for he is very much spoken of here.”
The Frenchmen at Berghes St. Winox have taken a great many waggons sent from Calais to Dunkirk with victuals, &c. “so as that town troubles the enemy” very much.
The Bishop of Ypres, so long a prisoner at Ghent, has a commission from the Prince of Parma “to see the churches in every town set in order again according to the Romish manner.” He is come to Nieuport, where he has demanded 40,000 guilders towards repairing the churches in the town, “so as the burghers are and shall be very much troubled there, which they have well deserved.”—Bruges, 18 August, 1583, stilo angliœ.
Postscript.—News has now come that the camp before Ypres is departed, some of the cannon being sent to Tournay and the rest from whence they came.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. XX. 16.]