Simancas: April 1588, 6-10

Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 4, 1587-1603. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1899.

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'Simancas: April 1588, 6-10', in Calendar of State Papers, Spain (Simancas), Volume 4, 1587-1603, (London, 1899) pp. 262-263. British History Online [accessed 4 March 2024]

April 1588, 6-10

6 April.
Estado, 594.
265. Duke of Parma to the King.
After I had written the enclosed despatch and was on the point of setting out for Bruges, Dr. Rogers, one of the English Peace Commissioners, arrived here. In order to hear him and reply to him, I remained yesterday and to-day. The object of his visit was to urge with all his strength and eloquence that our Commissioners should first go to Ostend, if only for an hour, and after that the Queen's Commissioners would come unhesitatingly to one of your Majesty's towns. He was politely informed that this was impossible ; and that it would be less objectionable for our Commissioners to go to England itself than to one of the towns in these dominions occupied by their troops. The most they could demand was that the negotiations should be conducted in some neutral place, which was the ordinary course under such circumstances ; and I said they ought to be contented with the politeness I had shown to the Queen as a lady, in conceding to her the choice of a place, instead of their trying to depart from the arrangement agreed upon. He was very emphatic as to the bad effect that would be produced by the negotiations being abandoned for so trifling a reason as this, and by the war being thus allowed to proceed, to the great injury to Christendom, and the shedding of human blood, particularly as in return for this piece of politeness to the Queen she would not only restore to your Majesty all she holds in these dominions, but would also aid in recovering the portion that still held out.
At last, in order not to break off the negotiations, and to give him some amount of satisfaction, I adopted the expedient of avoiding giving him a decided answer, and said I would send President Richardot to Ostend, who would try to give them all the satisfaction possible. This hardly contented him at first, as he was desirous of taking the answer back with him, but he was reconciled to it and seemed pleased that a person of Richardot's position and parts should go to see them. The president's visit, if it be delayed for a day or two, will draw out the matter for a week, and if the English have to await a reply from England, a week beyond that. Rogers mentioned the question of the powers, and it is evident that he wished to know the form in which they were granted, as he hinted it to Richardot, who diverted him from the subject, as I myself had done, by saying that the point would be discussed at its proper time. It is certain that my general power as Governor of the States will not suffice, nor will any particular instructions from your Majesty on the matter. The power will have to be a special one, in due and ample form, as full as so important a matter requires. All this makes me suspect that, even if we arrange as to the first meeting where the powers are respectively produced, they will not be satisfied with my authority, and will break off the negotiations, much as I may try to continue them.—Ghent, 6th April 1588.