31. WILSON to WALSINGHAM.
The Queen will be very glad to hear of your safe landing, which
God grant, with like success in your affairs.
The Lord Deputy and Council in Ireland make sure account of
Stukeley's coming, and have sent letters of the 14th inst. that the
ship may go forward ; the 2,000 soldiers to be presently sent,
victuals to be made ready for 4,000 men, with a declaration of
great dearth there. Munitions to be provided for a great quantity,
according to a docket sent thereof, and lastly £20,000 to be sent
in haste, over and above the quarterage. Lodwick Brysket is come
over with this dispatch, and to make more particular report to the
Lords. The Queen does not much esteem this conceived fear in
Ireland, and therefore wished me to defer the calling of the Council
till to-morrow, being Sunday, at what time they ordinarily meet.
I see plainly that nothing will be done till very necessity
enforces us, and that is, rather to withstand harm than to
devise the preventing of it. I pray God that this light esteeming
of so lewd a varlet be not hurtful, for although he be of no
value for himself, yet he has setters-on, and the Pope being
chief, may work great mischief. How the grieved people of
Ireland will be inclined at such a lewd fellow's coming,
God knows, and I pray Him that they feel not the smart
thereof upon the sudden, when it is too late to repent. Security
and contempt of harm are the right means to lull us to ruin ;
whereas foresight and provident care preserve states in safety.
If there be a destiny, who can avoid it? and yet because things
to come are unknown to man, it were good reason so to deal
with advice and counsel that we should not in our judgement
be condemned as the very causes of our own destruction through
Enclosed I send these letters, and so farewell.—From the
Court, 21 June 1578.
Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 20.]
32. HODDESDON to BURGHLEY.
I was given to understand that a ship of London called the
Elizabeth was in the 'wanns' [?] of Harwich loading her cargo of wax
etc. and about to sail for Bilbao. Wherefore I shipped in one
Goodlad's ship, bound from this place, certain copper, ordering it to be
transported in the 'wanns' aforesaid on board the Elizabeth. That
ship, by a new determination of the laders and 'honors' [qy. owners]
altered her voyage for Bayona in Galicia ; by which means I was
'destitute' of shipping in my copper. My servant thereupon unladed
it and it put into a hoy. The hoy, as he writes me, lying at anchor in
Lee roads was entered and the copper seized by order from Gray the
searcher. A very strange thing it seems to me, that the hoy, receiving
the copper in the 'wanns' of Harwich and bringing it into Lee roads,
not being bound over sea with it, nor the goods ever landed within
the realm, should be attached or seized as forfeit. But I doubt
the cause of this hindrance is that according to my commission I
passed so secretly with the treasure as not to make Gray acquainted
with it ; who now being in respect thereof maliciously bent seeks
by all means to molest my doings. Therefore I am to crave your
help therein, lest through the service of my prince I come to this
great loss. If I had been myself at home, I would have dealt more
circumspectly than possibly the ignorance of my servant has permitted.
I have appointed my servant John Price herewith to be
a suitor to you in my absence, and to advertise me of your good
'comfort' herein. I hope, the weather being so clear, that if you
would send for Gray, one word to him would clear it.—Hamburg,
22 June 1578.
Occurrents on the other side.
—From Rome, 10 May 1578.
It is written from Alexandria that the Spaniards would have taken
the castle of 'Patroneryo' by sleight, but the captain of it, having
had intelligence, overcame them, and hanged them over the wall.
Among them was one knight of St. Stephen who has before now
served in the Low Countries ; who was quartered.
The Portugal ambassador has gone to Florence for the 300,000
crowns with which the duke has promised to help the king in his
voyage to Africa. He is preparing an army of 40,000 men, and by
the Pope's aid has from Italy 6,000 good soldiers, with other
provision. The king of Barbary makes great preparation against
him and has sent an ambassador to the king of Portugal to stay his
enterprise ; notwithstanding which the king departed with all his
power on the 25th ult. On his return he will marry the Emperor's
Two galleys with treasure were sent from Spain to Naples, of
which one was taken by Turkish corsairs with 60,000 crowns in
'ryolls of platte' and 10 'senteners' of silver ; but the other galley
saved himself at Policastro. Naples sent 12 galleys to the rescue,
but they could not meet with the corsairs.
—From Venice, 16 May.
It is written from Constantinople that the 'Sophia' of Persia
is dead and that his brother had taken the government. He is
a friend to the Turk, and it is said will shortly send his
ambassador to treat for peace. Notwithstanding, the Turk has
appointed Mustapha to enter Persia with 15,000 horsemen as soon
as the pastures are grown.
The garrison of 'Sipers' [Cyprus] have killed their captain for
keeping their pay from them, and there is great confusion in
the Island, so that it were easy to be won again.
Letters from Genoa of the 9th say that Signor Doria has
arrived there with three galleys, bringing the ambassador there
700,000 crowns, 200,000 of which were immediately sent to Don
John, and 60,000 to a colonel who is levying soldiers in Italy for
the Low Countries. Their general will be Vespasian Gonzaga,
who is every day expected from Spain.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Hanse Towns I. 44.]
K. d. L. x.
33. DAVISON to BURGHLEY.
There was good hope when I last wrote that the projected journey
of the Duke of Alençon towards these countries would have 'quailed'
upon the differences between his commissioners and the States,
though it since appears that the difficulties in treating have not
changed his resolution. Three or four days ago the States received
a letter from him signifying the continuance of his purpose and the
advancement of his preparation ; though he find himself somewhat
grieved by their 'straightness' in the points of difference,
considering the sincerity and roundness which he had always shewn
in their behalfs. A day or two after the receipt of this arrived from
him one Dampmartin, who having audience once or twice of the
Prince, let him understand that the Duke was not to be diverted from
his purpose, having as he says engaged himself so far that he cannot
go back—partly in respect of his charges, which he would be loth
should turn to smoke, partly for his reputation's sake, having entertained
divers men of account for their service only, whom he would
not deceive and abuse, partly to clear himself of the accusation of the
king his brother and the reports generally given out of his intention to
trouble the State at home, and especially, as he says, upon the encouragement
of the Queen our sovereign who has herein promised
him her utmost favour and assistance, and will, he assures himself,
tegether with the princes Protestant of France and divers princes
of Germany become caution for him in this behalf. As for his
employment in Burgundy or accepting the rest of the States'
offers, he puts them in no hope. So it easily appears what
drift he has, and of how dangerous consequence his enterprise will
be for these countries, especially if there be intelligence between
him - and his brother, a thing undoubtedly believed by many
wise men. However as the duke cunningly disguises the matter, so
does the king on his side, having, in a letter, sent last week to the
Prince earnestly inveighing against his brother's course, dissuading
him in any sort from hearkening to him, and advising him rather
to 'attend to' some honest composition with the king of Spain,
wherein he offers to employ himself, not without great hope, as he
says, of doing good. The gentleman by whom these letters were sent
passed by 'Graveling,' where being, as he affirms, stayed by la Motte,
his instructions perused and himself treated with some indignity, he
returned to Calais, whence having advertised the king of that
'accident' he has sent hither his letter and instructions to the
Prince, whose answer he awaits before proceeding further. Meanwhile
there is some suspicion that all this tends to disguise the
intelligence between the king and his brother, and to make them
here so much the less suspicious of the danger which threatens them.
Rochepot has since his return to France written to his colleague
M. des Pruneaux that the duke was about departing towards Angiers
to give order for the speedy marching of his whole army, and had in
the meantime ordered 2,000 foot and 500 horse to repair to the
frontier, to be employed where they and Count Lalaing had agreed.
This letter being intercepted and fallen into the hands of the States
has not a little increased their suspicion of the Count's proceedings
and of the danger which his folly or infidelity threatens to them.
The enemy on the other hand bestirs himself. The troops which
12 or 14 days ago went towards Gueldres under M d'Hierges in
hope to have met some of the States' reiters, missing that
purpose have attempted the town of Lymborch above Maestricht,
which not without suspicion of treason is yielded to them ;
a thing of importance for the enemy, both in respect of the
commodity of victual which the country round affords, and for the
better annoyance of those of Maestricht. Since then, another
company of horsemen, estimated at 1500, made towards Bois-le-duc
to attempt the reiters gathered thereabout, but finding them
'in better terms' than they looked for, returned with the slaughter
of 30 or 40 of them and the loss of as many of their own. Meanwhile
another company of their horsemen defeated part of the Viscount
of Ghent's 'band of ordinance,' whom they surprised in a village
Bapaume was this week in danger of surprise by certain
peasants, tenants of M. de Vaux, whom he had suborned in that
behalf, having intelligence with the lieutenant of M. de Capres the
governor ; but by good hap the matter did not succeed.
At one instant we have advice of the deaths of Count Barlaymont
his son Count Meghem, and Count Charles Mansfelt.
Two gentlemen arrived from Duke Casimir tell me that he is on
his way, and will be at his rendezvous about the 27th. Meantime
they have to treat with the Estates on certain points in difficulty
between the Duke and them touching the treatment of the two
Colonels 'Bone' and 'Steyne' and the entertainment of the nobleman
that accompany him, of whose 'contentation' in this behalf
there is as yet no great likelihood.
The matter of religion is still 'upon the frame,' and though the
clergy and others impugn it, it is not without hope to be brought to
good point before long.
Mr. Gilpin is returned from Germany with no fruit of his negotiation.
News has come this morning that since the entry of the Spaniards
into Lymborch, the fire has 'taken' in the store of gunpowder
stowed in the castle, which is blown up, with the slaughter of many,
including the Prince of Parma, Mondragon and others of quality.
It is also advised from Maestricht that the enemy has come
down to Dalem, a little town not far from thence, and made a
furious battery against it, so that those here look every day to
hear of its taking ; which will breed ill neighbourhood for those
of Maestricht.—Antwerp, 22 June 1578.
Add. Endd. 2¼ pp. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 21.]
K. d. L. x.
34. DAVISON to COBHAM and WALSINGHAM.
The States have this evening signified to me that they have
made a 'party' with certain merchants, upon the credit of her
Majesty for £26,000 or thereabouts part in 'alunes' [alum] and
part in money, payable according to the note which I send
herewith. The money is not to be paid till they have her
Majesty's security, and therefore they press me the more to
hasten the bonds. And although I have made difficulty either to
promise here, or to write over on that behalf till your coming,
both because I have not yet any indemnity from the States, and
because they are bound to reimburse the £20,000 upon the first
money levied in virtue of her Majesty's credit, which they cannot
perform in this, a good part of the same being cut off in debts, yet
I have in the meantime thought good to address their note to you.
—Antwerp, 22 June 1578.
P.S.—By the copy of my general letter to the Court, you may see
in what state you may find things here.
Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Ibid. VII. 22.]
35. Draft of the last. Endd. ¾ p. [Ibid. II. 23.]
K. d. L. x.
36. DAVISON to WILSON.
I have told you of a dispatch sent by the States to the Duke of
Alençon, explaining why they could go no further than they had
done in that negotiation. Two or three days since they received an
answer, in which he pretends to marvel at the points of difference.
[Remainder practically identical with that to Burghley of even date.]
Draft. Endd. 2½ pp. [Ibid. VII. 24.]
K. d. L. x.
37. POULET to the QUEEN.
The king continuing still in his progress, I am deprived of such
small means as I might have to learn the doings of this Court and
country, and must confess that I remain here an unprofitable
servant. Yet to witness my serviceable duty, I would not fail to let
your Highness know such small things as I can gather among such
bad friends as this town commonly yields to English ambassadors.
The cunning dissimulation and subtle treachery of the French
have served them to good purpose in time past to advance their
traitorous practices ; and now I think they reap no less profit of the
opinion which is generally conceived of their faithless dealing. They
pretend to do this or that, and because they so give it out, no man
believes them, and by this means they do what they will before it is
believed that they intend it.
I have always been of opinion that Monsieur has meant to give
help to the States, yet not for their benefit but his own greatness ;
that he is not affected to the Spaniard ; that mother and brother
cannot dissuade him from this journey ; that your Majesty only can
let him, yet not otherwise than by force ; that the king wishes him
gone already, not that he desires his good speed, but is rather
persuaded that he and the Estates alike will sink under this burden ;
and that Queen Mother will never like this enterprise, as tending to
the diminution of her own credit at home and abroad.
Queen Mother and the Queen of Navarre arrived at Alençon,
where Monsieur is at present, on the 20th inst., and no doubt their
cunning and credit are of force to do great things. Yet I am much
confirmed in my good opinion of Monsieur for his plain dealing in
this matter, when I consider that expecting his mother on the 20th
he has not deferred his answer to my letter till her coming ; but
dispatched a messenger to me on the 19th, as appears by the
I have been curious to sound the bottom of this progress which
the king is making along the coast, and cannot find that any ill is
intended to your Majesty thereby, the beginning of this journey
being perhaps grounded on the hope of some conference with
Monsieur ; but it is prolonged upon affection to some young men,
it being intended that d'O. shall be installed in the government of
Caen and in the Abbey there ; to the great disgrace of Matignon, and
for his sake to the great mislike of Queen Mother. Great means
are also used to place Saint Luc in some town on the sea-coast.
The preparations made by the Duke of Guise are not so great as
was reported ; the bruit of them has grown by occasion of the
levies made in those parts by de Mouy, Ranty, and some others
for the service of the Prince of Orange and Duke Casimir, and by
special direction from the Prince, as I am informed by those of
the religion here ; de Mouy being said to be already in the Low
Counties with 1200 foot or thereabouts.
La Noue is returned from the King of Navarre and is said to be
with Monsieur ; and it is said that Monsieur refers greatly to his
Things are peaceful in Guienne, and the King of Navarre and
Biron are reconciled.
On the 21st two grey friars came to my lodging, one of whom,
naming himself Thomas Bowser, told me that he came directly
from Spain, that he arrived here on the 19th in the company
of Copley, that Copley had 200 crowns from the King of
Spain for the charges of his journey and 10 crowns by
the month above his ordinary stipend. Thomas Stukeley
is at Lisbon in Spain (sic), and has lost his credit at Rome,
the rather 'by the procurement of this party.' He has threatened
to do great things in Ireland, but indeed is not able to do anything ;
he will not see Ireland this year. The friar prayed me
to believe that Stukeley was gone or ready to go into Africa,
that this was his last voyage, and that all the states where
he had lived felt his vanity and were weary of him.
I refer the credit of this tale to your better consideration, and
yet to say plainly what I think, I must confess that the other
circumstances of his speech were such and uttered in such manner
that I almost believed him. I find some others of their
coat so faithful that I have the better opinion of this man.
He concluded that he would repair to Louvain to take order
for his books and some other things there, and would return
hither very shortly, for the great desire he had, as he said, to have
often conference with me ; affirming that he could not be received
into the Cordeliers here without some charge, and I promised to
assist him. He 'bears me in hand' that ten ships arrested at
Naples had not been restored without his good means.
It is enough to give a hearing to this friar upon this first
acquaintance ; he may be believed hereafter upon better trial.
Indeed it may seem by some quarrels which he says passed between
him and Stukeley that he is not 'of counsel' with Stukeley and
therefore cannot be sure what becomes of him.—Paris, 23 June,
Add. Endd. 3¼ pp. [France II. 55.]
K. d. L. x.
38. COBHAM and WALSINGHAM to DAVISON.
We arrived at Dunkirk last Saturday, where we found a gentleman
of the Archduke's awaiting us, by whose means we were honourably
received there. Departing thence this morning we were received
here at Nieuport in such sort that we can do no less than desire you
to show some part of our thankfulness to the Archduke for the same
and signify to him that our meaning is to advertise her Majesty of it
that he may receive thanks from her. The greatness of our train and
trouble of our carriages cause us to be longer on the way than we
would, but on Friday night we mean to lodge at Steken, where we
desire you to meet us, that we may confer on some points.—Nieuport,
23 June 1578.
P.S.—(in Walsingham's hand) : We are given to understand
that the Archduke and the States depart presently for Brussels.
We wish to be advertised of this, that we may direct our course
Add. Endd. ½ p. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 25.]
K. d. L. x.
39. DECLARATION as to PAYMENT of DUKE CASIMIR'S TROOPS.
We N. N. ambassador for the Queen of England in the Low
Countries, having heard from Duke Casimir's deputies of the
approach of his Excellency's army, and of the expenses of their
journey, and the fear that there may be default in the payment of
the £20,000 promised by her Majesty, have thought good to certify
hereby to his Excellency and his officers that the said money is in
our hands, and that we shall by no means fail to bring it in person
to the place of muster, either in bullion or cash as they may choose ;
and this we pray all men to believe in the name of her Majesty.—
Antwerp, 23 June 1578.
Copy. Fr. ½ p. [Ibid. VII. 26.]
K. d. L. x.
40. WALSINGHAM to DAVISON.
You will do well in the letter you write to Mr. Secretary Wilson
to lay down such reasons as may induce her Majesty to forbear the
repayment of the £20,000 due upon the first receipt on the bonds
for £100,000. They may be these. First, the great necessity they
stand in at present and will 'grow into' more and more for the
entertainment of the forces now in their country or on the way ;
the condition of which is such that if they fail to pay them 'there
were like to insue such disorder as the danger that might ensue
thereof' would not be covered with far greater expense. The States
have no other means to help themselves but only her Majesty's
Again these merchandises which are delivered to raise the present
sum are not 'in that specie' which may be to content her Majesty
by the words of the bond itself, and being delivered here for the
satisfying of certain debts due to merchants, as their meaning is,
procuring by that means a more readiness to furnish them with
money hereafter, the matter may be beneficial to them, and they
caused to be more thankful to her Majesty for the same.
Moreover the return of Gilpin out of Germany, whose negotiation
has not succeeded, so that they are destitute of all hope to get anything,
if by this overture which is to be made by the loan that
Pallavicini yields them others cannot be induced to give them the
like credit ; which would not be done if her Majesty makes difficulties
about giving her bonds for security of the same unless she is first
paid by means thereof. If she will 'dispense to them' herein, it may
be means will be found both to help them and to satisfy her. These
and like reasons you may lay down to him.—Newport, 24 June
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. VII. 27.]
K. d. L. x.
41. LEICESTER to WALSINGHAM.
I received your letter (dated at Canterbury) here at Buxton on
the 23rd ; being glad, though it be to your cost and pains, that you
shall be able to judge what will be fit for her Majesty to do, and
whether she has hitherto been rightly advised or no. I can but
wish all good success to your journey, both to God's service and
For my own part, though I have no desire without some better
hope to haste me to the place you lately left, yet be sure that if
there be or shall be any good cause wherein I may serve her
Majesty, the realm, and my own devotion to the cause, I will
neither regard health, wealth, nor life itself, to offer all to do any
small service in these causes, and therefore I shall linger no longer
than I may hear from you ; and if matters so fall out that we may be
set 'a work,' be sure I will soon be ready to accomplish all things
appertaining to my poor person.
And so, having no news but that I find great good in this bath
already for the swelling you felt in my leg, not by drinking, but by
going into the bath, I will make an end. I would fain write to
Lord Cobham, but I am pulled away from this, being forbidden to
write much, as this day I have to her Majesty and others.—24 June.
P.S.—I beseech you both humbly commend me and earnestly
excuse me to the Prince.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. VII. 28.]
June [? 25].
K. d. L. x.
42. DAVISON to COBHAM and WALSINGHAM.
I wrote to you on Sunday, and have since lived in hourly
expectation of the news of your arrival, of which I heard nothing
certain till this morning, by your letter. According to your direction
I signified to the Archduke how much you thought yourselves
honoured by the good 'entreatment' received through his favour.
He seems to be very glad, as he has in the mean time often sent to
me, and desired to be 'ascertained' of your directed journeys that
you might be the better accommodated on the way and more
honourably received here.
In what state you will find things here, you might guess by my
last. On Monday morning Dampmartin having craved audience of
the States made a long and formal oration, but without showing
any manner of authority or 'creaunce' from the Duke, declaring
the Duke's intention to assist them, the readiness of his forces, that
their necessity and his own promise would not stay for any longer
treaties, but would refer a full conclusion of all things to his
coming ; tending wholly to the colouring of the Duke's enterprise as
a thing undertaken only for their assistance, and which if they were
well advised they would embrace as the most profitable help. He
assured them that he continued his resolve and that his forces were
ready to march ; in sum that whether they desired him or not, he
was not to be diverted from his purpose. This discourse they
prayed him to set down in writing that they might the better consider
of it, which he promised to do, and deliver on yesterday
morning, but has not yet done it that I hear of. This matter being
of no little consequence makes them 'think your stay the longer,'
because meantime they know not what to think.
Duke Casimir is arrived at Gueldres. His agents have delivered
me the enclosed letter from him to be conveyed to the Court. Not
knowing its importance I have addressed it to you.
Dalen near Maestricht is taken and the defenders cruelly put to
the sword. The 'accident' of Lymborch with the death of the
Prince of Parma and Mondragon is confirmed by letters from Liége.
On Friday I will wait on you at Stechen.
Rough draft. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. VII. 29.]
K. d. L. x.
43. DAVISON to BURGHLEY.
Her Majesty having been pleased to grant the Estates her bonds
for the taking up of the sum of £100,000, and having to that end
caused two several procurations to be made out, signed with her
hand and passed under her Great Seal, authorizing me to deliver
obligations binding her Majesty and her successor for the repayment
of such sums as should be levied by virtue of the said
procurations ; and the Estates having thereupon concluded with
Philip Cataneo on behalf of Orazio Pallavicini for the sum of
£16,636 7s. 3d., repayable half in February next, the other half in
October following, and having requested me to stand bound that
her Majesty, as well as the City of London, shall deliver unto the
said Pallavicino there sufficient bonds for the repayment of the said
sums on the terms before rehearsed, which promise I have passed
to them ; and as the ratifying of this deed on the part of her
Majesty is a thing of importance to her credit and service ; I
commend the matter to your care, and beseech you to procure so
speedy a dispatch thereof that the expectations both of the States
and the merchants may be satisfied, my promise in her Majesty's
behalf accomplished and her credit maintained.—Antwerp, 25 June
Draft. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. VII. 30.]
44. DAVISON to WALSINGHAM.
Same tenor as the foregoing. The loan is £12,121 4s. 1d., the
lender, Baptista Spinola, and the bonds are to be handed to
Draft. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. VII. 31.]
45. DAMPMARTIN'S NEGOTIATIONS.
M. Dampmartin's speech to the Estates on behalf of the Duke of
Anjou comprises three heads ; the first, to assure them of his
continued good will, the second to reply to those who wish to arouse
distrust of his actions, and the last to require the Estates to make
provision for that which cannot without danger be longer delayed.
They ought to see evidence of his Highness' affection towards
them in the fact that in spite of the differences between them and
his ambassadors he has not ceased to keep his army on foot.
He is aware that their assembly is composed of deputies from
various provinces, having various interests and inclinations, though
collectively they desire nothing but their common preservation.
Among many heads, too, there may easily be found one who founding
his opinion on appearances leads the rest into like contradictions.
But his Highness is sure that as soon as the Estates have seen some
more signal effect of his good affection toward them, they will begin
to make the heart of the people open to him.
He cannot perceive that the points whereon they differ are of any
importance for the reestablishment of their liberties ; but they are
points which much concern his reputation, exposed as it is, as in a
theatre, in the sight of all Europe.
The Estates must not therefore think it strange that he is touched
with so honest a sentiment, causing him to desire all the world to
know that, if the Romans of old esteemed the victories won over
tyrants for the deliverance of Greece more highly than all the rest
of their conquests, he does rightly to desire the lot of being not only
the protector of these countries, but their deliverer from all their
troubles ; seeing that in all manner of industry required for the
commodities of this life, he esteems the people of this country no
less than the ancient Greeks.
If then he had discontinued his preparations owing to the
differences that have arisen, the Estates might have presumed that
his demands tended to some ambitious advantage, and deemed his
affection to them but small ;
Seeing that the state of things will not brook any delay in the
levy of troops, who yet when taken up in haste are apt to be more
costly than profitable.
Yet the Estates must consider that on the earliest day they will
have at their gates 12,000 footmen, as good as any that have gone
out of France these 100 years, and 3,000 horse, nearly all picked
gentlemen, ready to attack the enemy wherever it may be judged
As for distrusts and suspicions, his Highness judges that all wise
men will admit them to be quite out of place in these times. And
as distrustful men are of three kinds, they shall be separately
considered, to show that these are passions more akin to mental
infirmity than to opinion. Some suggest intelligence with Spain,
others put forward the fear of domestic differences on religious
grounds, while others say that the only object is to seize towns and
provinces and detach them from the body of the States.
Against the first, one cannot bring oneself to allege reasons for
not wronging his Highness, as though it were still permitted to
doubt of what is most commendable in his actions ; to wit that on
behalf of the Estates he has openly made himself the enemy of
their enemies without fear of their power ; nay, has in this cause
got on bad terms with the King his brother.
And even were it right to admit conjectures in matters so
important, and against so great a prince, the Estates can judge of
the likelihood that his Highness, seeing the road open to the
people's goodwill, would take the way of deception and surprise,
which always leads to a thousand difficulties. Still less would he do
it for love of the Spaniard, from whom he has received an infinity
of pernicious offers [sic ; qy. offices] as everyone knows. In sum, it
would be too great an importance [sic ; qy. imprudence] of any one
ill-disposed, to place his own person in danger, surrounded by so
many powerful towns and large hostile forces.
The Estates can judge how unworthy it is to suggest or even to
think of such suspicions amid the evidences of goodwill which his
Highness continues to give, and when after great expenses and
inconveniences he is at last in movement.
As for those who dread some division, they might seem to have
some reason, were it not known that his Highness has always been
much distressed by civil discord ; above all abhorring and detesting
cruel executions, so manifestly that he has made himself disliked
by those who commit them, to his personal danger.
Those who charge his Highness with having commanded in the
late wars must be aware what violent causes drove him to unite
with the King his brother, and know that he was chiefly induced to
return to the Court by fear of what went on under the name of the
holy league ; whereby he was expressly declared incapable of
succeeding to the crown. So that when the war again broke out he
found himself to his great regret appointed chief of an army in
which he had the least power, and was closely watched. He cannot
therefore be blamed for what was done, seeing that he had no power
to hinder it. He has however the credit of the peace which
followed, upon which he insisted so artfully that it was concluded
when least expected ; to which contributed also his desire to use the
arms of France for the aid and deliverance of the Low Countries.
But there can be no fear that his Highness will upset things on
religious grounds ; he has had too much experience of the evils
which spring from that.
Nor should the Estates give any heed to those who say that
he has secret designs on the towns of this country. He has no
intention of doing anything without the consent and authority of
the Estates. His open declaration that he will not belong to
Artesians, Flemings, or Hennuyers, but to all together, ought to be
proof of this.
If anyone thinking to do him a service, has undertaken anything
without orders from him, the Estates need not think it strange.
Princes are often compelled to disavow voluntary and unbidden
service ; and it may be supposed that the differences which have fallen
out with the generality have given occasion for listening to some
If his Highness sought his own profit, and wished to show his
affection from mercenary motives, he would not be so ill-advised as
to take two or three towns as salary for his trouble on behalf of
these countries. He knows that it would take all his resources to
hold them, and that he would not hold them long against the will
of the other States.
Lastly the inconvenience should be considered which will arise if
the Estates remain on their present terms with his Highness.
His troops have been for some time on the frontier in perfect
discipline and living at their own charges ; bearing patiently the
unkindness of being dislodged from the towns into which they had
been introduced as friends and allies.
It may be judged if soldiers, who in the absence of their chief are
easily offended, can long remain in their present position ; and it is to
be feared that complaints may arise and cause some fresh bitterness.
If the Estates will glance at the enemy they will see how glad he
is to see distrust, and how he dreads the establishment of accord.
They cannot but have regard to his Highness's reputation, which
will be infinitely damaged in the sight of friends and foes by their
Yet, whatever may be said, there cannot be such confusion in
their counsels, ingratitude in their hearts, or imprudence in their
will that they should fall into the error of Perseus king of
Macedonia ; who having called the Gauls to his aid against the
Romans, sent them away again, and was discomfited at once, and
lost liberty, empire, and life.
His Highness cannot think so of them, but esteems them no less
sage in their deliberation than sincere towards their friends.
Therefore he will continue to fulfil his promises ; and will have
his reward when he sees the people restored by his aid not only to
content but to happiness.
Let them therefore open their hearts to him, and frankly suggest
means to enter into such understanding as is now necessary to
banish all distrust. He thinks this is easy, for their modesty will
not allow them to propose anything strange or impossible, while
his affection will find few things difficult.—Laid before the Estates
General at Antwerp, 25 June 1578.
Copy. Notes by L. Tomson. Endd. Fr. 6 pp. [Holl. and
Fl. VII. 32.]
46. Another copy in Davison's hand. Endd. 6¼ pp. [Ibid. VII. 33.]
K. d. L. x.
(1st par only.)
47. WILSON to WALSINGHAM.
The Queen liked well that you were so well used and that her
subjects continue to be esteemed among the Netherlanders ; she
only mislikes that you do not make more haste. Yet I trust your
leisurely travelling is for the best, for how else could you discover
the true state of the country? Though Jacomo is come to you, I
thought it well to write that Monsieur goes forward, unless the
Queen Mother and his sister, who are now at Alençon with him,
alter his determination.
I am informed that Stewkley has lost his credit with the Holy
Father, through his vanity and folly, and it is likely that the King
of Portugal will weary of him when he knows him better. I have
sent a choice man to Portugal for the certain discovery of these
matters, who is to take ship either at Southampton or at Chichester,
taking with him a ship freighted with corn, and go like a merchant.
Mr. Bowes writes from Scotland that Earl Morton is of the
Council, with the great good liking of the King, but against the will
of some that hate him. The Abbot of Dunfermline is appointed
ambassador and sets out at the beginning of next month. He
demands aid against those that will oppose their quietness, and is
to deal no further than the Queen shall like. I trust his coming
will turn to good, for at present everybody in Scotland seeks her
Majesty's favour. The Earl Athol has conceived a dislike against
the Earl Morton for not assenting to the restitution of Lord
The journey of those that were to go in Germany is clean broken
off, her Majesty grounding herself upon a letter that Mr. Beale
'should receive' from the Landgrave that the Diet was broken off.
I have been earnest that the Queen would send Dr. Rogers to the
King of Denmark to satisfy him for the piracies of Callis by allegation
of greater harm that our nation have received ; but she will
not send a messenger, only write. And if the ambassador of
Scotland asks restitution for wrongs done by Callis, she minds to
cause Callis to be delivered to them without any other kind of
satisfaction, but how this kind of dealing will amend the matter, I
The Queen has revoked the bill signed for waste of provender,
and keeps it to herself.
Mr. William Gorge being upon the seas, the 'revers' and pirates
are gone before his coming, so that he is not likely to do any great
good. The Commission for pirates, with instructions and letters
for maritime countries, will soon be 'made notorious,' and those that
will may take the benefit of it.—Greenwich. 26 June 1578.
Add. Endd. 1½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 34.]
K. d. L. x.
48. COBHAM to BURGHLEY.
We arrived here on the 28th, marvellously honoured by the
nobility and States. What success we shall have in our negotiation
I cannot as yet judge ; the humours are divers. I fear ere many
months pass there will be divers kinds of commonwealths. Tomorrow
we shall have audience of Duke Matthias, and so of the rest.
I send you with this packet two new books in Latin, done by
'D' Aloongondye' [qy. Aldegonde]. Commend me to the Countess
of Oxford and to my Lady, and so to all my little friends.—Antwerp,
29 June 1578.
Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. VII. 35.]
K. d. L. x.
49. WILSON to WALSINGHAM.
The Queen hears of your honourable entertainment everywhere,
whereby it appears how welcome you are to them that need aid.
If it falls contrary to their expectation I fear they will change their
I write nothing but that we do nothing here. Do your endeavour
for a peace, and you shall have thanks on your return. If you tell
us of the necessity of war, I tell you plainly that we cannot abide
to hear of it.
The blowing up of 'Lymbourne' castle with the death of Parma
and Mondragon, if it is done, Stewkley's discredit with the Pope,
Monsieur so well inclined to depend on us as we are made believe,
and the Scottish Council, not Earl Morton only, so earnestly
seeking favour ; do so lull us in security that we do not fear any
danger at all. Order is even now given that the ships shall be
discharged for the most part, the mariners remaining, most likely
also to be sent away very shortly. Pray God trial be never made
within this realm, either by foreign or 'domestical' people, either
of the courage, constancy, or loyal faith amongst us.—Greenwich.
29 June 1578.
Add. Endd. 2/3 p. [Ibid. VII. 36.]
K. d. L. x.
50. WILSON to WALSINGHAM.
I am so 'overlaid with business' that I have not leisure to write
myself. (fn. 1) In certain letters lately fallen into my hands it is written
that there is great want of victuals in Don John's camp, which is
a great discouragement to the soldiers, who are persuaded that 'the
States' beard is too long for them to comb.' The Lord Treasurer
wishes me to acquaint you with the effect of a letter sent to Don
Bernardino de Mendoza from la Motte, that you may the better
perceive the ambassador's affection that way. But I have thought
it well to send you the original that you may show it to the Prince
and the rest as you shall think good.—Greenwich, the last of
Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. VII. 37.]
51. APPOINTMENT of COMMISSIONER to RECEIVE SUBSIDY.
We, the representatives of the general Estates of the Low Countries,
hearing that the Queen of England's ambassadors will be satisfied
to place in our hands the ingots of which they have charge, amounting
to £20,000, for the purpose of coinage, to pay the troops of
Duke Casimir, have commissioned and deputed Maitre Theodore de
Bic, master of the Chamber of Accounts of Holland and Zealand, and
our Treasurer-general, Maitre Thierry van der Beken, to receive the
ingots, on the understanding that the money coined from them, or
any that we can raise up to the value of £20,000, shall be deposited
in the hands of the said ambassadors.—30 June 1578, in the presence
of me (signed) Houfflin.
Fr. ½ p. [Ibid. VII. 38.]
K. d. L. x.
52. WILSON to WALSINGHAM.
I sent you this morning, by Mr. John Cobham, a letter written
from la Motte to Don Bernardino. This afternoon I send, by the
same messenger, a letter written in cipher, wherein may be matter
of great moment, being well deciphered. If Sainte-Aldegonde cannot
do it, nor Mr. Somers, I wish you would send it to your servant
young Philips, who is with our ambassador at Paris. I do not write
in cipher because of the faithfulness of this bearer, and because
indeed I am not well at ease at this present. My Lord Treasurer
intercepted certain packets, which being delivered to me, I found
this, and the other in French. It may be that some great matter
will be discovered hereby, which God grant ; that we being simple
and persuaded that everybody bears us a good heart, may see as in
a glass how much we are deceived, when treachery comes to light.
Thus having nothing to advertise you at present, save that our
Sovereign is in very good health, I bid you farewell.—From the
Court, the last of June 1578.
Add. Endd. ¾ p. [Holl. and Fl. VII. 39.]
53. The Names of the Noblemen who are devoted to Don John.
Count Mansfeld ; Hierges, Floyon, Haultepenne, sons to Count
Barlaymont ; Count de Reux ; Prince and Count d'Aremberg ; M.
de Liques ; Mondragon ; Billy ; Assonville ; Berty, who is at Liége,
and Staremberg, Secretaries ; Audiencer d'Overloope ; M. de Vaulx,
lieutenant to the Count de 'la Layne,' who should have taken
Bapaume, and is now for Don John in France ; M. Florence late
governor of Philippeville.
Towns holden and revolted to Don John.
Luxemburg, Limburg and Dalin ; all the County of Namur ;
Beaumont, Philippeville, Marienbourg, Charlemont, Braine,
Louvain, Nivelle, Deventer, etc.
Endd. in L. Tomson's hand : For the Lord Treasurer. 2/3 p.
[Holl. and Fl. VII. 40.]
54. THE QUEEN to DUKE CASIMIR.
Having heard by your letter and otherwise of the designs on foot
there by means of a Diet to pronounce against all of the religion
who do not hold the Augustan Confession—an unreasonable and
mischievous thing in our opinion to make everyone subscribe to
the same doctrine in matters indifferent, not considering the
danger likely to ensue to all Christian nations who have withdrawn
from the usurped authority of Rome ; we decided, according to
your request to us on that behalf, to send persons of quality to the
Diet, to do the best they can to hinder such designs. But as we
hear that it is postponed or perhaps broken off altogether (which
seems to us most expedient) it has seemed to us useless to send
thither. We were therefore unwilling that our people who were
ready to go should enter upon this difficult and dangerous journey,
until we knew more about the time fixed for it. We have thought
good to inform you of this, that you might know the sole cause why
we held back.—Greenwich, June 1578.
Draft. Fr. 1 p. [Germ. States I. 69.]
K. d. L. x.
55. INSTRUCTIONS for CERTAIN GENTLEMEN sent abroad.
Of all cities and towns that you come into which are of any
account you shall observe the strength, both by situation and by
fortification and by 'furniture of garrison.'
There, and in other places you pass through, you shall inform
yourselves of the inclination of the inhabitants to peace or war ;
What party Don John has in them and how they stand affected to
him or to the States ;
How they stand affected in religion, and whether there is any
disposition to tolerate both ;
What willingness is in them to pay the taxes already imposed,
and how they could endure to have them continued or increased if
the war grows in length ;
What union there is among them and what likeliness of its
continuing, whether the countries you pass through and the
towns you come into are well-affected or not ;
How they are affected generally towards her Majesty, and towards
How the gentlemen dwelling out of the towns in the country that
you pass are affected.
Copy. ½ p. [Holl. and Fl. IX. 3α, with copies of several other
documents, being apparently leaves from Walsingham's letter-book.]