June 1578, 11-20


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'Elizabeth: June 1578, 11-20', Calendar of State Papers Foreign, Elizabeth, Volume 13: 1578-1579 (1903), pp. 9-22. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=73362 Date accessed: 16 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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June 1578, 11-20

June 11.
K. d. L. x. 515.
Since my last dispatch the heat of our French negotiation is well assuaged, notwithstanding that the States of Hainault still detain the Duke's commissioners, and earnestly insist with the States General to have them called back and satisfied, pretending for their own parts an earnest inclination that way, though it be a matter more embraced by Count Lalaing and his faction than by the generality of the province, who as hardly affect the proceeding with the French as any other of the Low Countries. Rochepot returned in post to the Duke about 10 days since. How his report will be digested, and what will follow, is yet in expectation. Meanwhile the Prince seems to suspect his taking part against them. His preparations are affirmed to continue. The Duke of Guise since his coming into Champagne has levied 60 ensigns of 'pietons' and 30 companies of horsemen ; whether to assure their frontier, suspecting the intent of Duke Casimir to bend thither after playing his part here, or to join with the enemy, is yet in doubt. He has lately sold the King a little town of his, beside Metz, called St. 'Avo,' for 300,000 francs, wherewith he makes his preparations. In some, the news of a general arming in France makes them here 'jealous of the pretense.' The enemy has done nothing of moment since the surrender of Philippeville. Last week he sent M. d'Hierges with 4,000 foot and 2,000 horse towards Gueldres, to attack the reiters newly arrived in that corner ; but their intent being discovered and prevented they are returned towards Namur, with no result but the spoil of certain cattle and provisions. The cavalry arrived in those quarters are estimated at 6,000 horse, accompanied by a regiment of lansquenets under one Lazarus Mulder ; which with our countrymen and the Scots may make about 9,000 'pietons.' While Count Bossu is to 'address' these forces in Gueldres, the Viscount of Ghent is appointed to have the conduct of another little camp of the French and Walloons not far from Brussels, to amuse and entertain the enemy. Yesterday the States were in hard consultation about the authorizing of both religions, as well to avoid the inconvenience that might occur to the one by the violent suppressing or breaking forth of the other, as for the better entertaining of the union ; but the matter is not yet determined, though like to turn out well, a thing handled on the Prince's part with very good dexterity. They devoutly await the arrival of my Lord Cobham and Sir Francis Walsingham, hoping by them to receive some good satisfaction.— Antwerp, 11 June 1578.
Draft. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 8.]
June 12. 14. M. DE VILLIERS to BURGHLEY.
My best thanks for your kind salutations through Mr. Davison wherein I recognise your kindness. It is all the more conspicuous for the wise theological advice you give me. Your wisdom may conjecture, though it cannot see, the difficulties by which I am surrounded. You will understand from M. du Plessis the plan that commends itself to me ; I have asked him to explain it to you, when he can find you at leisure from sterner business. If I am wrong, I will correct myself on hearing something better ; but my conscience finds ease in thinking that I am engaged upon nothing that does not look to the glory of our Lord Christ. If I gain my object, I shall congratulate myself ; if not, it will be a fine thing to have attempted so great and difficult a matter. I beseech you, use your favour and influence with her Majesty that she may be pleased to stand by us.—Antwerp, 12 June 1578.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [Ibid. VII. 9.]
[June.] 15. DRAFT OF INSTRUCTIONS [for LORD COBHAM AND SIR FRANCIS WALSINGHAM.] (This corresponds fairly with the instructions as finally settled.)
Endd. : in Dr. Wilson's hand : Instructions ; and in another hand : for the Low Countries or to the Archduke Matthias.
Copious corrections by Dr. Wilson. 9 pp. [Ibid. VII. 10.]
[June.] 16. ANOTHER, APPARENTLY EARLIER DRAFT. (Differs considerably from the final form in which the following passages, for example, are not found.)
"For the better effectuating of this godly purpose and accord you are to dissuade altogether the receiving of Monsieur the French king's brother to their aid, and to lay down before them the harm and loss that is likely to ensue unto them all generally if they should receive him to be their protector. And to make them the rather to refuse so dangerous and so mighty a personage, you shall assure them that we will enter in aid of them with our present forces upon his refusal, and defend them by all the convenient means we may . . . . . . "If you understand that Monsieur is so set as he will not divert his force, and being refused of the States, will join his whole power with Don John or otherwise 'collude' with the Low Country, assure the States that in such case we will not only call Duke Casimir to join with them against Don John and the French, but will also employ our own forces against them . . . . . . "And you are to use your best care and diligence to 'empeache' the embracing of Monsieur's over high and dangerous demand, declaring that it were best for them to stand chiefly upon their own forces, and consequently to take the aid of them that have the chiefest care of their welfare . . . . . "And if Monsieur, allowing unto them generally the freedom of their conscience with the maintenances of their liberties, will not stand to the allowing of the pacification made at Ghent, you are then to stand upon that point earnestly . . . . And specially propound unto them that the abrogating of that pacification shall directly tend to make a separation and disunion of the States and people of the Low Countries . . . . "If you shall find that the States are so far past in their treaty with Monsieur's commissioners . . . as it shall seem they are determined to help themselves by Monsieur . . . then shall you require the Estates to [last few words added by Wilson] use means to give certain knowledge thereof to Don John, charging him that by forbearing to yield to a peace with the States, and by refusing to accept all mediation . . . . he shall hazard the loss of the Low Countries to the king, and he shall bear the reproach thereof in all Christendom, and therefore by the same means he shall be pressed to forbear such obstinacy . . . . If you shall understand him to answer to the Estates as he hath done to us heretofore that he doubteth not any thing of the French actions, or that he shall seem to make light account of them, then you may make assured conclusion and full reckoning to the States that there cannot be a good meaning in the French towards them . . . ."
Endd : Instructions, for one sent to the Archduke Matthias. A few corrections by Dr. Wilson. 10½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 11.]
July 12.
K. d. L. x. 518. from another copy.
17. INSTRUCTIONS given the 12th day of June, 1578 unto our right trusty and well-beloved the LORD COBHAM, warden of our five ports and to our trusty and right well-beloved Counsellor SIR FRANCIS WALSINGHAM, sent to the STATES OF THE LOW COUNTRIES.
You are to consider chiefly three points : first, that you travail for a peace and good agreement to be made betwixt the States and Don John by all means possible ; second, that failing of the first you learn to understand the state and force of the country ; third, that you enter into consideration of M. d'Anjou, how far and in what matter it were meet for him to deal in favour of the States.
(1) You are to work for a pacification by 'several' conference with the Prince of Orange and others of the nobility, and understand of them by what means a good accord may be effectuated, and whether the coming of Duke Casimir be not a ready way to bring quietness to their country, when Don John shall see the resolute preparation of the 'Almans' against him. If there be any known lets to hinder this desired accord, ask particularly what they are and how they may be redressed, what course is to be taken with Don John, and what counsel they can give to bring him to quietness. And whereas the Emperor our good brother has sent his ambassador to deal for peace, as well with the States as with Don John, endeavour to deal with him, if he may be moved to concur with you. After you have thus conferred with the Prince and others, and with the Emperor's ambassador, and thereby learned what you can, you shall send some messenger to Don John, giving him knowledge of our intention to employ you about the pacification of these troubles. If he shall find Don John willing to confer with you about peace and there is likelihood for you to do some good, you shall set yourselves in order to repair to him, and show him how sorry we are that notwithstanding our several messages sent to the king we could not hitherto work that good we have desired. Yet since we know the goodness of peace and due obedience to be always highly esteemed, and as we have seen lately the intention of the French King's brother to attain to the usurpation of that country, we cannot but continue in our former purpose to leave nothing undone that may tend to the honour of our good brother, the welfare of his country, and the repose and quietness of all Christendom. You may also say that we never had any other meaning but that they of the Low Country should be always kept in due obedience to their natural prince, receiving benefit of their freedom and privileges as they heretofore have done. And as the French seek by all means to alter the state of their government and to usurp the country to themselves under colour of giving aid to them, you shall say to Don John that we have ever used our uttermost force to hinder that course. If Don John will not accord to any tolerable peace or 'surceance' of arms for conference, tell him plainly that his dealings are to be met, and that we cannot nor will not suffer the Low Country to be overrun and laid waste as it is at present.
(2) If you see no likelihood of agreement, you are to deal with the second part of your charge, namely, to understand the state, condition and ability of the provinces and their several forces ; also of what disposition the nobility, clergy and people are amongst themselves, how they are affected each to other, what 'pyke' is amongst them for their conscience in religion, and in which of them is the better mind or inclination to preserve their public state. Enquire also what power of men they have in all places, how distributed, what store of munition they have and other necessaries, what general means for money (being the sinews of war), how it is collected and upon whom bestowed. If they agree, you may ask to confer with those of the finances, to know their mass of treasure, and understand the distribution of it. Also, if they find any 'overburdenous' to them in wasting their treasure and increasing their expenses, you may not only ask how this may be remedied, but give your advice. You are to request them to take your enquiries in good part, since it is very reasonable that, seeing we have hitherto relieved them, and thereby know the great misliking of the King of Spain and all other princes that are joined in this action against them, it behoves us to be made partakers of their whole state and conditions.
(3) As to the States' dealings with Monsieur, though he is found so well disposed to them that they have no cause to mistrust him, you may require of them, as they deal with so mighty a personage, that the aid which he is to bring them may be so moderated that they may have help thereby and not be overruled. If the forces of the States, together with Casimir and the Duke of Anjou, shall appear to you insufficient to withstand the power of Don John, we are content upon necessity so appearing to send our forces out of England for their better relief. And we would have you ask of them what towns and fortresses they are disposed to deliver upon our people's first landing, to keep the same for their indemnity ; wherein you may very well deal, finding the example already yielded by them to the French king's brother. Herein you are to stand earnestly with them for the castle and town of Scluis, and the town of Flushing in the Isle of Walkeryn, to be delivered into our hands. If they shall be content to yield the said town into our hands, you may capitulate with them for the defraying of the charge of such garrisons as we shall think meet to be placed in those towns, to be repaid at the end of the wars ; upon repayment of which and of such other sums as we have lent them or given credit for, we are content to give them what security they can in reason desire for the redelivery of the towns into their hands. Lastly, as it is hard precisely to set down every particular, we are pleased that you use your discretions, having a principal regard to direct the course of your doings as may seem best to further the charge committed to you. As Duke Casimir has requested us to commend to the States certain of his gentlemen that come with him to have entertainment and good usage of them, you shall commend them as you shall think meet. Also for our merchants and subjects 'interessed' there and especially for the Merchant Adventurers, you shall deal with the Prince of Orange and others that they may be well entreated, and have speedy right in all their lawful demands. (Signed) Tho. Wylson.
Copy. 5 pp. [Ibid. VII. 12.]
June 12. 18. Another copy, with marginal headings, by L. Tomson. 6½ pp. [For. E. B. Misc. II.]
[June 12.] 19. THE QUEEN to the ARCHDUKE MATTHIAS.
I have always desired to procure peace in all Christian realms ; but above all it would give me pleasure to see my allies the Belgians enjoying their ancient rights. To this end I have sent many of my people both to the governor of the country and to the king himself. Although my efforts have not been as successful as I could wish, I cannot refrain from making a last effort, and I am sending Baron Cobham, Warden of the Cinque Ports, and Sir Francis Walsingham, my privy councillor, to do what they can to bring matters to a good issue ; as you will understand if you talk with them, in whom I pray you to confide as in myself. Draft in Dr. Wilson's hand, and endd. by him. Latin. ½ p. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 13.]
June 15. 20. POULET to BURGHLEY.
I thank you for yours of the 29th ult. : the metaphor used in the same being in nothing more certain than in deciphering your favour and affection towards me. It had been most truly applied in the rest, if you had set me down for the Bankrupt, not able indeed to discharge the hundredth part of the liberal and courteous credit which I have received for many months at your hands. To answer you with your own words and to give them their true place, it must suffice you that your bountiful dealing being the fruit of your good will does not diminish your stock, though I must confess that my debt is so increased that I shall never be able to pay it. Yet to say something for myself, I will wish that all such liberal creditors may meet with as thankful debtors ; desiring nothing more than to acquit some part of the debt, which I will not fail to do faithfully upon every good occasion occurring. As you are sometimes from the Court I have troubled you with the enclosed copy of my letter to the Secretaries that these advertisements given by occasion of the departure hence of this bearer, Mr. Wroth, may appear more fully to you.—Paris, 15 June 1578.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [France II. 53.]
21. Copy of letter to Secretaries, enclosed in the above.
Having received command from you, Mr. Walsingham, by a letter of the 7th inst. arrived here on the 11th, to signify to Monsieur by such means as I should think most convenient, that in some sort her Majesty would be content that he should deal in the Low Countries, and therefore if he would give authority to his deputies there to treat in that behalf with such ministers as she would shortly send thither, something might be concluded to both their contentments, I could think of no expedient so secret and fit for the purpose as to inform Monsieur of it by letter ; which I delivered on the 12th to his agent here, who promised to send it with speed. You bade me also think of some good means to induce those of the Religion here not to 'restrain' themselves so much if her Majesty and he join together in this enterprise ; which shall be done when I hear from you of your proceedings with Monsieur. These men are easily intreated, and I fear some of the best among them will go without intreaty. I am further bidden to feel how the king and Queen Mother will be inclined to like the concurrence of her Majesty and Monsieur in this action. I can do nothing at present by reason of the absence of the Court ; unless I employ some stranger, and then I should not fail to be betrayed. Nothing is more certain than that Queen Mother would like it well, however outwardly she will dissemble it, knowing that the greatness of Monsieur is the only means to assure her government under this king. I think it no less assured that the king will mislike it greatly, being not ignorant that the continuance of her Majesty alone will give such credit to his brother at home and abroad that he may force him to yield to hard conditions. Those princes may be sounded when you please, and my service therein shall be ready ; but in my opinion it may do hurt and can do no good. They will not fail to make their profit of your inventions and you will be answered with dissimulation. I make great difference between their answer by month and their answer under hand by a second person ; yet the first may be amended at some time. In pursuance of the same letter I have also dispatched one of my servants into Britanny to see the preparations which are said to be making there, and to discover to what purpose they are made ; though I believe nothing less than that anything of importance is prepared there, or that Stukeley intends to join in them. Yet I think it very likely that Fitzmorris make take the sea again with a bark or two, as he has already done. The subtle malice of this time gives us just cause to fear rather too much than too little, and therefore I would be sorry to remove your jealousies, and this messenger's labour will be well employed. As for what you have been told of the Duke of Guise levying horse and foot, I do not hear that he makes any other levy than of the 7 companies of horse mentioned in my last as being done by command of the king ; and I hear that this goes slowly forward. It is good to fear enough, but it is a bad office to give you cause to fear more than enough. Many think that the Duke of Guise departed hence not well satisfied, yet nothing is more certain than that he is and always will be ready to serve the king either to the benefit of the Spaniard or to the disadvantage of those of the Religion. No doubt the Duke is able to levy great power 'upon every sudden,' by reason of the Ligues, which are greatly at his devotion ; yet these men are not to be employed in every quarrel. I doubt not but du Vray is arrived at 'that' Court long since. He went from here on the 11th, conducted by John de Vigues. I am credibly informed that Monsieur continues his preparation, and that being now at Alençon he has given out sundry commissions for the levying of men. His journey is 'greatly embraced' by all sorts of people in this country, so that if there is no fault in the Estates it will be hard to stay him from his enterprise, and therefore I am not sorry that du Vray is now with you, and that you have some doings with him here. Perigueux has lately been in danger of being surprised. The manner is diversely reported, but they agree that the Catholics are repulsed with much slaughter. You may believe that the king is glad to be fingering a little money, when upon an old suit depending against the financiers he has now agreed for 2,000,000 francs ; yet it is said that only 600,000 come clear to his purse. It is said that young Laubespine will be sent to the Pope, Monmorin to the bishops of Germany and Delbene to the Duke of Florence. Those of the Religion have no good opinion of this resolution. The whole house of Guise assembles at Dijon the last of this month, but to what end I cannot yet learn. I trust to discover it by the help of the Protestants here, who are so jealous of their faction that it can hardly escape them. Some think this assembly may be grounded upon the complaints lately exhibited to the king by those of Champagne and Burgundy, of which I informed you by Mr. Stafford, and it is thought that many other provinces will make like complaints very shortly. 'This drift is thought to be driven by the Duke of Guise to make himself dreadful to the king.' Geneva has taken a garrison of 300 Swiss and is making great provision of corn and other necessaries. I now hear that the Duke of Savoy has withdrawn the garrisons of his frontier towns, and that his subjects come daily to Geneva with victuals as in time past. Yet many think that between France and Savoy, Geneva will very shortly be in danger of extreme ruin, and that if Monsieur do not proceed in his journey to the Low Countries, the French forces will be employed against it. I hear from one of the religion, of good credit, that Mailleraye, one of the three governors in Normandy, has lately written to one of his lieutenants in cipher as follows : Ne vous donnez point de peine pour les forces qu'assemble Monsieur, pour ce qu'il entend fort bien avec le roi, Don Juan s'en allant combattre Duc Casimier, tandis que Monsieur entre dans le pays It is possible that this is cunningly given out, and indeed it is hard to devise a better means to make Monsieur odious to those of the Religion and his other friends in Normandy, where he has many partizans, and the king is not ignorant of it. It is now reported the Queen Mother and the Queen of Navarre are gone or going to Monsieur, who is still at Alençon ; and this increases the suspicion. These two women shoot at two separate marks, and Monsieur is the only man that can serve both their turns. Richelieu is dispatched to the Prince of Condé to know his decision as to his marriage with the French queen's sister, and it is thought convenient, forsooth, that the Queen of Navarre shall defer going to her husband till answer is received from the Prince of Condé, that Queen Mother may stop two gaps with one bush and bring these two ladies to their husbands with one journey. This seems to be the last shift, though a poor one ; yet when this shall fail some other must be devised, most people thinking that the Queen of Navarre has no 'devotion' to go into Gascony. It is true that some of the Religion begin to think ill of Monsieur, and many are persuaded that he will speak with the king, yet you will do well to suspend your judgement till you hear further, and for my part I cannot easily believe that Monsieur will be persuaded to join the Spaniard. Yet I must confess that nothing is impossible to these two queens. It is said that the king will not be here till the 24th.—Paris, 16 (sic) June 1578. Copy. 5 pp. [France, II. 54.]
Though I wrote to you lately and sent my letter to Bois-le-duc to be forwarded to Antwerp, yet having the opportunity of Mr. Throgmorton's (M. Frogmortonne) return, I thought I would write again and let you know of our arrival here. We found a fairly moderate supply of provisions on the road, for which reason our soldiers committed no disorders, but I do not think that can last long. When we go into camp we shall have to buy our food, the little money we have will soon be spent, and if steps are not at once taken there will be some disturbance of discipline among our men, who will feel themselves free to do things which they would not venture to do if they had money. I will do my best, so long as it is possible to prevent disorder from occurring among us ; it is also in the power of 'his E.' to remedy the evil before it comes to pass. We go to-morrow to the Count Bossu, to receive his orders as to our action. As for news, it is said the reiters under Count Schwarzburg have passed the Meuse. With reference to the last subject on which I spoke to you before leaving Antwerp, pray bear it in mind ; for if I desired it then I desire it yet more now.—Wilden [? Weelde], 15 June 1578. P.S.—I do not write to Mr. John Norris for divers reasons, but you know my mind. The change will be very profitable, means may be made by complaints feigned from the Spanish Ambassador 'that is lyger' in England, for that Henry is an 'inerter' [qy. inheritor] and therefore more sure than the other. Further Mr. Norris may 'put him in band to answer him a good count at the pay.' Add. (seal). Letter in Fr. P.S. (autograph), in English. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 14.]
Please put me in the way of getting, at Antwerp, either on your credit or for cash as may best suit you, so many harquebuses, corslets, and pikes as are required to arm sixty or seventy soldiers newly come to me from England. I promise to reimburse you the cost. I have heard that complaint has been made to his E. that the quartermaster of my brother's company has taken three horses from a peasant. I do not think it is true, but rather that the guilty person has accused an innocent man. In order to show his E. my entire affection to his service, I am writing to let him know that I will put the quartermaster in irons until the truth is known, and if he turn out to be guilty I will do such justice on him that his E. shall be satisfied. I send you the letter, leaving it to your discretion to present it or withhold it. Nothing new since I wrote two days ago.—Wilden, 17 June 1578. P.S.—I have just heard that we go tomorrow to a camp that is being formed at a place called Ost, between Grave and Bois-le-duc. Ten ensigns of landsknechts and our regiment will be the first to enter it. Please remember to speak to 'Monsr. Norwith' [qy. Bp. of Norwich] touching a minister, who as you know is badly wanted in our regiment, and let us have one ; the sooner the better. Add. (seal). Fr. (except signature). 1 p. [Ibid. VII. 15.]
June 17.
K. d. L. x. 524.
We were dispatched from the Court on the 15th inst. but on account of the greatness of our train, being six score and odd persons, we doubt we shall not be able conveniently to reach Antwerp before the 28th ; before our arrival at which place we wish for many reasons that Casimir's approach were well advanced. And whereas both by your own letters written to me the Secretary, and others lately received from thence, it appears to be expected that we should bring great things with us, and that if it fall out otherwise we are likely to be hardly welcome (at which we wonder, for if it be duly considered what inconveniences her Majesty has drawn upon herself by incurring the King of Spain's enmity and the danger of the arrest of her subjects' goods like to follow, through the assistance she has already given them, there will appear great cause why her ministers should be welcome, and they may be thought ingrate in case they are otherwise than well used), we doubt not but if such speeches are given out, you will let them plainly understand that they greatly forget themselves, and may thereby provoke her Majesty to run another course than will be for their benefit. Of our setting forth, and of what we think fit to be answered such ingrate speeches we have found it expedient to advise you.—Canterbury 17 Aug. 1578. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. VII. 16.]
June 18.
K. d. L. x. 525.
Her Majesty told me somewhat late last night what had passed between herself and du Vray. Hearing this man declaring the conformity of his master and using all the good words that might be to win credit and favour, she said, with thanks for such a devotion offered, that she would be glad to do him good, so that he took good wage. Touching the king she wished him to have regard to his duty and not attempt anything to the derogation of his brother, but behave himself so that the wisest may judge the best of him. For the perplexed Low Countries, if he had a mind to help them to their liberties by force of arms against the Spanish tyranny, without any mind to usurp upon them under colour of doing them good, she would not only well like such dealings but would gladly join with him. And as he would get great honour by taking that course, so would France receive great profit 'when such men followed with him about this enterprise, who tarrying at home and living discontented, would never suffer the Realm to be at rest.' Moderate forces brought to the Estates by Monsieur would avoid suspicion of usurping. Du Vray is greatly contented with this speech, and has a letter from her Majesty to this end, presently to depart, with a chain of the value of £80. For your matters sent me by Mr. Tremayne, I will deal with them as I may. And for Mr. Bowes I had done that before your letter came, conferring by letter with my Lord Treasurer, with whom to-morrow, upon the Starchamber day, I mean to speak at large, with the rest of the Council. On Friday I shall know her Majesty's pleasure for those that are to go into Germany. Mr. William Gorge sets forth to-day with the Swiftsure to deal against pirates westward, having received instructions yesterday. The letter enclosed came out of the North.—From the Court, 18 June 1578. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. VII. 17.]
I send two advertisements, which my master wished me to acquaint you with. That in French you may communicate to M. Villiers, otherwise keep it secret, and make reserve of it till my master's coming.—Canterbury, 18 June 1578. Add. Endd. 6 ll. [Ibid. VII. 18.]
June 19. 27. Copy of a letter from M. DE LA MOTTE to [qy. the ESTATES] enclosing copy of instructions given by the French King to M. de Revers, sent to the Prince of Orange.
Notwithstanding the small cause that is given me, I am unwilling not to let you see how the King of France is trying to procure a good peace for us with the Prince of Orange, as you will learn from the copy of the instructions of M. de Revers who passed through here on his way to Antwerp. Appended is a discourse by a certain individual, of which you will take such account as you think fit. Take my endeavours in good part, for I am trying only to maintain the union, and to live in such peace as is meet. On my side no injury or 'agrave' has been done to anyone, and my sole desire is to go on in the same way. If my neighbours do the like, all will be at peace ; and this it seems to me, under conviction, will have the best results, as no doubt you understand better than I. Gravelines, 19 June 1578. (Signed) Valentin de Pardieu, Sr. de la Motte.
The Instructions.
With reference to what the Prince of Orange has written to the king by M. de Revers as to his desire for peace and tranquillity in the Low Countries, his Majesty has thought good to send M. de Revers once more, to lay the following points before him. First, his Majesty has never been more desirous to see his own realm at peace than he now is so to see the Low Countries, contrary perhaps to the opinion of some who think that he should rather foment the existing troubles to his own advantage. But it has never been his nature to profit by the misfortunes of others, especially his neighbours, nor to prefer his private interest to the public good of Christendom. For this reason his Majesty is glad to hear that the Prince is on his side well-disposed. He will not conceal from him that many persons are trying to get the contrary believed, spreading reports that he is the sole cause which is preventing the settlement of affairs there. His Majesty has never believed this of him ; he has in all his conduct shown himself too prudent to wish to bear alone the burden and the odium of so perilous a war. His Majesty has accordingly thought good, when treating of the affairs of the said countries with the ministers of the Catholic king, to communicate to them what the Prince has written of his wishes in this respect, praying them also to let him have some assurance of those of the king since he protested that he desired nothing so much as to render him entire obedience, and by the same means to consider how to appease the troubles. To which his Majesty found them so well inclined that he would not postpone informing the Prince thereof through M. de Revers ; judging that what is lacking is rather a good intercessor to arrange an understanding between them than a good zeal and affection on either side. The ministers of the Catholic king have declared that all their master requires of the Estates is the maintenance of the Roman Catholic religion and the obedience which they owe him as their sovereign. These two points being satisfied, he is ready to embrace them as his good and loyal subjects, and uphold them in the enjoyment of their privileges as in the days of the Emperor Charles V. These conditions seem so reasonable that his Majesty would be glad to bring their effect to pass if the Estates and the Prince are willing to be content with them ; as he prays and admonishes them to be before things grow to more bitterness and become more difficult to compose, as they undoubtedly will do if the war continues. His Majesty has charged M. de Revers to beseech the Prince in his name to let him know as soon as possible his own and the States' decision, so as not to lose this good opportunity, and to consider that they are making war only to obtain this gift of peace and deliver themselves from oppression. It is offered them on the above-named conditions ; and these having been obtained them through the intercession of his Majesty, they render him bound to maintain them in possession of the same. He implores them not to accept his offer of mediation unless they are resolved to observe inviolably what they are to pray his Majesty to promise for them. M. de Revers will also tell the Prince that his Majesty has not thought good to express his pleasure to any but himself, that he may make such use of it as he thinks most expedient for the good of his country and his own interest. He will warn him not lightly to trust the fine promises which may be made to him from divers quarters, but to consider that at the present day every man prefers his private profit to the duties of friendship and good neighbourship. If the war, which the provinces cannot long support, be continued he alone will be the one to earn hatred, illwill, and injury in his person and his goods, which would to his Majesty be most displeasing, even though it proceeded from his omission to profit by the opportunity to make himself secure and at ease for the rest of his life. If the Prince makes it appear to M. de Revers that he is willing to hear of peace, and his Majesty goes on with the matter, since the ministers of the Catholic king have shown that they desire it, he is to send a blank passport from the Estates or whoever may be the right person, for whomsoever his Majesty may decide to send to them. Meanwhile he will stay with the Prince till further orders. He is also charged to call upon the Princess of Orange and assure her that his Majesty will have her pension paid as soon as his affairs allow, being much displeased that he cannot satisfy her more promptly. It must be set down to his necessities, owing to the long continuance of the troubles. M. de Revers will salute the Prince and Princess in the name of the Queen Mother, praying them to be assured of her continued good will, and to give no credence to those who would make them believe that she has been other than well-affectioned to them, and to believe that she is very glad to see that the king has so good a wish to bring about the peace ; to which on her side she will use her efforts.—Paris, 2 June 1578. (Signed) Henry.
Copy in writing of L. Tomson, and endd. by him. Fr. 4¼ pp. [Ibid. VII. 19.]
June 19. 28. DUKE of ANJOU to POULET.
I have received yours of the 12th, and am glad to see the continuance of the goodwill which you have always shown me. I am much bounden to you, and hope to let you know that your labours have not been in vain, and how much they have profited to maintain a perfect friendship between the Queen your mistress and myself. In pursuance of your advice I am writing to my Deputies in the Low Countries to confer with those whom her Majesty is sending ; and shall be very glad if they can find some good and salutary expedient to put an end to the troubles of those countries and restore them to tranquillity. You will let me know by this bearer if you on your side propose to write to the Queen's ambassadors. I shall always be pleased to hear any news that you may impart to me ; and be sure that will never employ yourself for any prince who will be better able, when occasion offers, to recognise your services, as the effect will testify more amply.—Alençon, 19 June 1578. Enclosed in letter of the 23rd, No. 37. Copy. Endd. in Poulet's hand. Fr. 1 p. [France II. 56.]
You will remember what you requested of the Senate, viz. : that the end of 10 years new privileges might be confirmed to your society here resident ; as also how answer was given that this began to be of more moment, and required the counsel of the neighbouring Hanse Towns, from whom, by reason of our ancient league, we have to take advice in weighty causes. It was then signified to you that all this required a longer time than you perhaps expected, to give them opportunity for consideration. But when this Senate began to treat thereon, complaints came by heaps to the Hanse Towns whereby they burdened the Senate more and more, until it appeared clearly that the Hanse merchants resident in London were burdened with many new exactions, etc. impossible to be tolerated, and that the Hanse privileges 'by them with most duty, goods and blood deserved,' and long since confirmed from king to king of England, are now, together with the mutual concord above 100 years erected between England and the Hanse Towns, reduced to nothing ; forcing the Hanse merchants to be weary of their trade, and to abandon it. Ten years ago, when their Senate was so ready to grant privileges to your society (which was much envied by the rest of the Hanse Towns) they were encouraged by the hope that the Hanse merchants would obtain reciprocal advantages in England. It has however been found that their burdens have rather increased, to the destruction of the trade of the London Hanse. For this reason 'our neighbours of the Vandales' with other confederate cities have held a convention at Lubeck according to the tenor of the last Hanse decree ; where the thing being thoroughly debated, command was given to our legates that our Senate should not renew any privileges to your society, and that your abiding here should not continue beyond next St. Catherine's day, which prorogation, beyond the lapse of the 11th year as prescribed in the instruments, the Senate has granted in token of good will. To this effect the confederate cities have written 'by a most suppliant libel' to the Queen. Since therefore it is impossible for our Senate to extend any privileges or residence further than St. Catherine's day in the present year, you will kindly hold them excused and excuse them to the ancient merchants adventurers of London and Antwerp ; for they can otherwise show favour to the English, you shall have it willingly.—Hamburg, 20 June 1578. (Signed) Johannes Schroder, secretary and protonotary. [June 21.] As regards the request made after yesterday's answer, to allow the disposal of any goods remaining after St. Catherine's day in the English merchants' ships, until St. Gregory's day 1579, the Senate cannot modify the decree ; but goods brought before St. Catherine's day may be traded in till St. Gregory's day on the same terms as other merchants have. Copy. Endd. Latin. 2 pp. [Hanse Towns I. 43.]
June 20. 30. English version of the above. Endd. by Burghley. 1½ pp. [Ibid I. 43a.]