299. WALSINGHAM to DAVISON.
We arrived at the Court on the 7th, where we found her Majesty
eased of the pain that she had sustained the week before by reason
of an ache in her face. The day following we were appointed to
report our proceedings, and also to acquaint her with such requests
as we had to make on behalf of the States, but her Majesty being
again troubled with her former pain in more extremity than before,
which continues yet, we had not the 'commodity' we desired either
to acquaint her with our proceedings or to draw from her her
resolution touching the requests of the States ; being more troubled
with conference with physicians since my return, how her Majesty
might be eased of her grief, than with any other matter of State.
Though the disease is not dangerous, yet as it takes away her
appetite and bereaves her of her sleep it is doubtful what it may
'prove to,' and it is therefore worthy of speedy and good consideration.
I am sorry it has happened at this time, as the Prince and
States may fear that we have either carelessly or coldly recommended
their cause, or else that her Majesty has no disposition to continue
her assistance. I doubt not but that you will do your endeavour to
remove any such 'misconceit.' I am in good hope, especially upon
the late news of the death of Don John and of the miserable state
his army was in already, that she will resolve to do what will content
the States. Divers lewd and indirect practices have been used
to breed a total alienation from them, and to draw her to run a most
dangerous course by 'throwing herself into the courtesy' of her
enemies ; but I hope that we shall remove these evil humours and
that our proceedings will take a course to the advancement of
religion both at home and abroad, and to the safety of her Majesty.
I send a copy of a letter I wrote to the Governor of the Merchants
Adventurers there, on hearing how he has of late put Travers to
silence, notwithstanding his offer to yield to any reasonable
conformity. Please let me know how he proceeds after the receipt
of it, and whether Paulet continues there or no.
I should be glad to hear what satisfaction the States have given
Duke Casimir upon his protestation. Without hearing their answer
it seems to me he has been greatly wronged. The ill-usage of him
and the little account made of our nation that serve there has bred
an opinion that the States are not as thankful as they ought to be
for the benefits they have received. The greater part of this blame
is laid upon the Prince's shoulders, yet I have done what I could to
remove the opinion conceived against him.
Touching your 'particular,' I am not unmindful of it ; as you will
I hope perceive by the effect at the end of this month.
Scottish affairs are well appeased, and the realm of Ireland never
better in quiet ; so that if the news of Don John's death be true, I
hope we shall enjoy our former calm.—Richmond, 11 Oct. 1578.
Add. Endd. 1½ p. [Holl. and Fl. IX. 59.]
300. LAWRENCE TOMSON to DAVISON.
By the copy of my master's letter you may see what I have done
to help to remedy the disordered course that man there is entered
into. It is meant that your 'exercise' should remain as it was at
his and Lord Cobham's departure, so that if he should 'stand
nicely' upon the words of conformity in my master's letter, he is to be
overruled therein by you ; for no alteration was made by their
Lordships when there, though some speeches passed between them.
Wherein if he show his frowardness, you see what you have to do,
by the 'countenance' of your place, as it is there set down. And he
may content himself that you have let him run on so long without
acknowledgement of the duty he owes you, which he may now
conceive you did only to try what was in him, and to give him a
taste how ill it would be taken by his superiors that he should so much
forget himself ; choosing rather that he should receive 'controlence'
for his forgetfulness on your behalf at others' hands than at yours.
The more mildly and temperately you deliver some such speeches
to him, the better it will be ; meanwhile stand upon your authority.
You can remember what I imparted to you about the same matter
when Mr Killigrew and you and I walked together in the garden.
I have written a few lines also to him, making as fair weather as
I can. If he be given to understand by you or others that in this
matter he may think himself beholden to me, as you understand,
the matter being likely otherwise to have gone worse with him, it
will not be amiss. By such means such men must be compassed ;
and seeing the occasion is offered, it were not amiss to seek by
request to the States, by the Prince's means, as was meant when I
was there, that it might be confirmed to you by their authority.
They have a form of supplication which I drew for that purpose.
Some such course would not be amiss to be followed that it might
be once surely established for many ages. Only let us not be
negligent in the Lord's business ; attempt what we may, and leave
the success and blessing to him. And, above all things, be you all
Cordati, and so, tell Mr Travers from me, the Lord shall bless you.
Your own particular cause cannot be forgotten, 'ne' shall, be you
well assured.—Richmond, 11 Oct. 1578.
Add. Endd. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. IX. 60.]
301. DAVISON to [? BURGHLEY].
'It may please' your Lordship. I wrote to your honour by the
last post. What has happened since, you may gather from the
particulars enclosed.—Antwerp, 12 Oct. 1578.
6 lines. [Ibid. IX. 61.]-Covering the following.
302. DAVISON to BURGHLEY.
Since my last we have undoubted confirmation of Don John's death.
He departed this life on Thursday, the 2nd, having been sick for
15 or 16 days, "partly as some think of very grief and melancholy,
partly of a disease they call les brogues [qy. brognes], by which he was
extremely tormented, but chiefly, as it is given out, of the french
sickness, whereof in the opening he was found to be inwardly wasted
and consumed." His body was next day conveyed on a litter from the
camp where he died, to the castle of Namur, in the chapel of which
they buried his bowels ; his funeral being deferred till they hear
This sudden and unexpected event (which, for what reason I know
not, is said to have been least lamented among the Spaniards), has
bred such confusion in his army, now 'conducted' by the Prince of
Parma, that if the States had been ready to take hold of the
opportunity, it could not, in common discourse, but have fallen out
greatly to their advantage. But while their camp has lain still
beyond Nivelle, partly awaiting their pay, partly to join with the
French, and so march together towards Namur when Binche
was taken—which surrendered last Wednesday, just as the
assault was ready to be given, the soldiers departing with
their lives—the disorder that happened in Flanders between
the Gauntois and the mutinied regiments of Montigny, Héze
and Capres has opened the gap to such an alteration that instead
of following the victory, in manner certain, against their common
enemies, they seem inclined to fall together by the ears among
themselves, and ere they are well recovered of one mischief, like to
fall into a worse, if it be not timely met. For the Gauntois
having had five or six companies defeated last week by the
Walloons, who lie about Menin on the river between Courtray and
Armentieres, on whose part Montigny, brother to Count Lalaing,
has declared himself, and being in doubt, as indeed they have been
threatened, that others of the nobility and gentlemen ('not without
suspicion to be set a-work by the French') will also take part
against them, have solicited the assistance of Duke Casimir, who,
carried away with the counsel of Beutrich, went to them last
Thursday from Brussels with 1,200 or 1,300 horse, having imparted
'no piece' of his resolution to the Prince, Count Bossu, or any of
the States. They seem much 'altered' with the matter happening
at such an instant, being otherwise in a good way to have compounded
with the Walloons ; and they stand greatly in doubt that
Montigny and such others as favour that party, if Casimir declare
for the Gauntois, will back themselves with the Duke of Alençon,
who, taking for his colour a defence of the nobility and protection
of the Catholic religion, what else can be looked for but that from
an outward war against the Spaniards they must fall into an inward
combustion among themselves? But to meet the beginning of this
suspected mischief the States have sent Sainte Aldegonde and other
deputies to bring both sides to reason, and have specially charged
those sent to Ghent to procure if by any means it might be that
Swevingham and the rest of the prisoners there, who every hour
stand in doubt of death, may be sent here ; sufficient caution being
given that they shall be safely kept and answer in justice to all that
may be laid against them ; but their success in the one and the
other is as doubtful as the people with whom they are to deal, being
heady and wilful.
Yesterday the forces of the Duke of Alençon, to whom the States
have granted Binche instead of Beauvois [Bavay] were to join the
rest of their army, if this new accident of Flanders do not make him
take a new counsel.
Of the proceedings in Burgundy we have no news since my last.
From Germany the news is that 3,000 reiters coming to the supply
of the enemy have passed the Rhine ; also 8 companies of landsknechts,
who are said to have arrived about 'Marshe in famine,'
—a supply thought here to be more damage than advantage to that
side considering the plague and scarcity that reigns among them,
which is so great that as is affirmed there have died within this
month in Louvain alone about 5,000 persons.
Add. Endd. 1½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. IX. 62.]
303. DAVISON to the SECRETARIES.
Duplicate of the last. Draft in Davison's hand. Endd. 2 pp.
[Ibid. IX. 63.]
304. ROSSEL to WALSINGHAM.
It seems good for her Majesty's service that I should set before
you the sequel of the occurrents mentioned in my letter of the 5th.
Duke Casimir in pursuance of his dissatisfaction [mal conteur]
contained in the remonstrance I send, remained at Brussels till
Thursday, the 9th, on which day in spite of the prayers of the
Bruxellois he departed for Ghent followed by three cornets of horse,
his own, the 'colonel' of 800, and the others of 300 each. Talking
of his departure, people say that he is received by those of Ghent as
their governor and protector ; others say that he is to fight and
break up the Walloons ; others announce that by negotiation with
the Ambassadors of England he has been called upon by the Queen
to seize Flanders, while the Duke of Alençon will seize Hainault,
and the Prince of Orange Brabant. On this subject things are in
such confusion that the people do not know where they are.
Those of the Estates who asked her Majesty to dismiss Duke
Casimir on the ground that his maintenance was too expensive wish
to excuse themselves, and deny it.
In order to moderate the people of Ghent, so as to get from them
their quota of the moyens generaux, which they are holding back,
there have been sent to them the principal 'sidicieur' of Brussels,
to wit, Van der Strate [? Straelen], Van den Inde, and Houart, with
two colonels from Antwerp, who are most respected by those of
The same Thursday our camp marched to a point 8½ leagues from
the enemy to the right of Gemblours. This was after the capture of
Binche which took place about 1 o'clock on Wednesday. The breach
was made at a point shown by reconnoissance to be not very strong.
On assaulting the French were repulsed ; but notwithstanding this
the Spaniards sent a flag of truce and yielded at discretion. Bussy
having entered to guarantee them and the town against pillage, the
soldiers in a passionate hope of plunder forced his troop, which made
a stout resistance, several gentlemen being killed. Finally, forcing
their way in, they cut to pieces all who were within, to wit, two
companies of Albanese horse, two of German infantry, and two of
Walloons. Part of the town was burnt and the rest plundered.
That is the humanity of the French and of Monsieur, who was
present at this spectacle after having received them to mercy.
Commissioners have been sent to hold a general muster of the
camp, but the service is delayed for the money from Flanders.
The Burgundy affair mentioned in my last, goes on. It is true
that it is more marauding than war. M. de Chevreaux with
8 cornets of horse and 11 ensigns of Burgundian infantry hastened
to the rescue ; which diminishes the enemy's forces.
Two thousand reiters have also withdrawn since Don John's
death, seeing no prospect of pay.
M. d' Alençon with his troops was to follow our camp on the
10th. When they had joined it was resolved to look up the enemy
in his stronghold, and give him a bustling (ruyssiade), cutting off
his supplies to make him decamp. Meanwhile part of our camp
will block Louvain to prevent any force from entering beside the
Germans who are within. This morning we hear that the camp
marched yesterday the 11th, drawing towards Louvain, to draw the
enemy from his stronghold.
'We Walloons assembled in Flanders,' as their requisition (the
enclosed copy of which will give information), has it, in company
with the French, under the command of M. de Montigny, who is
demanding the Ghent prisoners and fortifying Menin, 'brandscathing'
the villages in Spanish fashion, and sending to Lille,
Ypres, and other towns to furnish him with provisions on pain of
chastisment, have refused so far to accept the conditions proposed
by the Commissioners.
The Ghent people have decided to behead all the lords they have
in prison, if they did not, as by Saturday last, make the Walloons
withdraw ; since it was in their favour they were fighting ; and
at the same time Champagny was sentenced by the sixteen
of Ghent to be beheaded. The Estates hearing of it sent for the
Prince. This was the 8th ; and he was told in the assembly that
he was the cause of all the troubles of Ghent. On his defending
himself he was told that he had no supporters who would not act as
they did. M. de Bours was then sent to stay the execution.
I hear that 98 [note : Vil :] is said to have remarked somewhere
that the support which the Ghent people had came from 44 [note :
Q. Eng.] and not from 6—[note : P.O.] whom they had renounced,
calling him traitor [the last word in cipher].
Monsieur still insists on the towns, especially Brussels, for his
abode. I think that on refusing this they might allow Mechlin,
with the ordinary garrison. Then we shall have four garrisons ;
the Archduke at Brussels, M. d'Alençon at Mechlin, the Prince at
Antwerp, and Casimir at Ghent.
Don John's death was Sep. 30. They elected the Prince of Parma
general. As I think, he will be little respected, he is light-brained.
I leave you to ponder on the change in the affairs of the holy league.
They are working everywhere to cut the passage of the Meuse.
Seventeen boats with provisions from Liége have already been sunk.
When the passage is cut, the enemy will not be able to keep the
Ships of the Turks and Barbarians have made an incursion on
the coast of Spain in the direction of Galicia. The king has ordered
all the garrisons from Italy and has sent Germans there. That is
what he is reduced to.
I had forgotten to say that Count Bossu writes that if Casimir's
men would have marched, 3,000 of the enemy's cavalry would have
been defeated. These are annoyances (contrepiques) which spoil the
service and breed disorder.—Antwerp, 12 Oct. 1578.
Add. Endd. One or two notes by L. Tomson. Fr. 5 pp. [Holl.
and Fl. IX. 64.]
305. M. de MAUVISSIÈRE to BURGHLEY.
Hearing that you are still far from well and not having seen you
at Court these days, I have sent the present bearer, Captain
Augustin, to call on you, and present you with the recommendations
of their Majesties in France, and of the Duke of Anjou. They all
entreat you to favour his suit, and to win for him the good graces of
his mistress and yours.
I have also charged Augustin with a request on behalf of a poor
French merchant, that you may help him in the way of justice.—
London, 15 (or 16) Oct. 1578. (Signed) M. de Castelnau.
Holograph. Add. Endd. Fr. 1 p. [France II. 75.]
306. WILSON to DAVISON.
The Queen has written somewhat plainly to the Estates, as may
appear by the enclosed copy. It is her pleasure that you deliver
the money to the chiefs of the Council of the Estates, after
delivering your letter to the Estates. She takes this course the
rather because she has a better liking for the nobility and hopes
that they will give order to have the £8,000 faithfully delivered to
Casimer, for his army. I saw an insolent letter, written by drunken
'Butryke' against my lord Treasurer and me, addressed to you. I
think if he writes in the forenoon he will be better advised ; or else
I shall esteem him a drunken beast all day long. Is this the thanks
I have for using him so well and causing him to receive so honourable
a reward? I will take heed hereafter of those whom God has
marked in the face.
Pray advertise us in your next of the truth of Don John's 'being' ;
for here we cannot tell whether he is dead or alive. And to the
state of the country there, God grant success.
Mr Secretary is absent from Court till Allhallowtide next.—The
Court at Richmond, 16 Oct. 1578.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. IX. 65.]
307. FREMYN to DAVISON.
I predicted to you that this great and powerful army would as
time went on break up without giving any display of its valour. It
has done nothing since it took the field more than 2,000 horse and
6,000 foot could easily have done ; nay, not nearly so much. Never
was an army worse employed and led, and in all other respects ;
and though the enemy's army is much inferior to this, it is the case
that his patience moderated by his judgement will shortly cause him
to have what he desires—that is to see our army break up and go to
ruin by its own fault without striking a blow ; for to tell the truth,
half the infantry are dead of sickness and want, besides a vast
number still sick. Of cavalry an incredible number die every day ;
beside wounds and the bad weather which may begin any day, and
the discontent in the army for want of pay, till everyone is ready to
quit the service and retire on his losses. One hears nothing but
complaints. Count Bossu, too, does not know where he is, or 'out
of what wood to make arrows' ; for he has used postponements,
promises, words, everything that can be done to entertain people
who are in want, nay, has distributed from his own means as much
as he could, in anticipation of the States sending money—which
they do only by promises, and these have gone on so long that no
one attaches any more faith to them. It is cruel to take the
service and means of so many foreigners without recognition in
giving them the means of living, and see them die without charity.
Count Bossu has sent M. de la Garde to the Prince of Orange and
the States, to explain to them the need, and how if they will not
provide suitable remedies promptly, the whole camp will break up
in truth. Monsieur is at Mons, and it is said, will make war on
them of Ghent, although a great part of his force has withdrawn to
France. Meanwhile things in these countries are ready for great
troubles.—From the camp at Ligny, 18 Oct. 1578. (Signed)
P.S.—The camp ought to set out for an approach to the enemy,
but we are waiting for la Garde, to hear the States' decision.
Add. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. IX. 66.]
308. DAVISON to WALSINGHAM.
On the 15th I received yours of the 11th, with a copy of your
letter to the Governor of the merchants here ; which came very
happily and to good purpose. He had before usurped authority so
far as to remove the 'exercise' out of their common court-house to
a room lent to me ; where the Sunday after your departure he took
upon him to interrupt the minister in his service, under colour of
not using the Book of Common Prayer, wherein he became clerk
himself. This act of his having disquieted the whole assembly, and
to avoid like interruption thenceforth, Mr Travers after the sermon
gave warning that such as had a will to hear the preaching should
resort to my lodging. Whereupon the Governor charged them all,
as they were or would be noted her Majesty's subjects, not to 'come
at' it ; with many lusty and imperious speeches. And not so
satisfied, he sent his officer to all the free 'host houses' in the town
openly at dinner-time to renew the inhibition ; taking order besides
for the shutting of the doors where the exercise was before used. All
this, too insolent to be borne, I let pass till four or five days before
the receipt of your letter ; when I roundly charged him with his folly
and presumption, and with the injury he had done to Lord Cobham
and you particularly ; besides usurping 'upon' my place, abusing
the parson, and calling off the minister, with many other circumstances.
Which he answered with so much bravery and little reason
as I am loth for his credit's sake to rehearse. But this lusty
humour of his is so well calmed since reading your letter that
the same day he came down to me ; and though he rather disguised
than acknowledged his error, yet he besought me to make the best
of it, offering not only any room in the house, but also any help he
could give. So it seems the pills your honour gave him had a very
effectual operation. Next week he means to return to England, and
if he be not 'in respect of' you, I doubt not but he will play his
part underhand ; though I am sure that the shame will be his own
if the matter come to a ripping up. Thus much for him.
The money 'answered' here by Spinola, I have ventured, at the
continued importunity of the Prince, to lend to him, to help relieve
their necessity, and keep the camp from disbanding, as they threaten
to do if not supplied this week. But first they give me the obligation
of Antwerp for the sum already lent to meet the £45,000, send
to the other towns for the like bonds for the same sum, and give me
both the general bond of the States and the private bond of the
Prince to reimburse it within 15 or 16 days in case her Majesty orders
me to dispose of it otherwise ; which they hope she will not. I
doubt not but you will take such order that this venture of mine
shall not redound to my hurt, the matter importing the service of
her Majesty and the relief of the States so much as it does ; for I
dare assure you upon my credit that if I had not done this, the
States had had no army in the field by the end of this week. But
this I would be loth you should impart to any other than yourself.
I know you will handle so that I shall receive no prejudice by it.
Spinola's particular obligations come almost £400 short of the
£12,100 and odd ; the error being as it seems committed by the
writer. He therefore beseeches you to 'be a mean' that it may be
repaired in the next obligation, which he now sues for, because the
money is wholly consigned into my hands, and I am bound to
repay that balance in case he does not get her Majesty's security for
it. The particular of it, with his account, you shall receive by the
I send you the copy of a letter written by Sainte-Aldegonde to
Duke Casimir at Brussels, by which you may see how little reason
the Duke has to be so stirred up against the Prince ; but all the
errors he has committed are to be imputed to Beutrich. I had been
with him ere this at Ghent but for the dispatch of this matter of
Spinola's, which 'now at a point' I mind, if I am not let by some
extraordinary occasion, to repair thither this week, the rather for
dispatching the bonds of that town and Bruges.
I thank you for this 'comfort' that you put in your last of a
dispatch of my state ; wherein I hourly look for some good news to
relieve me.—Antwerp, 19 Oct. 1578. (Signed) W. Davidson
[apparently first adoption of this form of his name].
Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. IX. 67.]
309. DAVISON to the SECRETARIES.
Since the travail of the Commissioners sent to Flanders has
wrought so little effect, that the disorder remains still uncompounded,
Montigny has written to the Archduke that he and his party will be
ready to conform themselves in all reason, provided that order be
taken to keep the Gauntois within the limits of their duties, and
that by their violent manner of proceeding they do not henceforth
distrust the common quiet. They on the other hand have given
the Commissioners no satisfaction either touching the religions
friedt (for one of the conditions was that they would permit the
exercise of both religions in their town and liberties as well as
Brussels, Antwerp, and other towns do), or in the case of prisoners ;
which are the principal causes upon which Montigny and his faction
ground their taking up arms against them. However, the
Commissioners are still there, doing what they may to bring them
to reason and prevent the mischief into which they are likely to
throw themselves and their compatriots if they hold on their course.
Duke Casimir has written to the Archduke in his justification,
'pretending' that he will for his part do nothing that can be
justly offensive ; yet in a letter of his to the Prince, and by the
report of such as come from the Commissioners, he seems to
justify the doings of the Gauntois, so much as if he neither would
nor could in reason or justice abandon them, whatever respect
carried him thither—which I take to be partly distrust of the French,
partly dislike to being commanded by Count Bossu, and partly a
hope to get his pay guaranteed by the Gauntois. They have
promised him great things, and may in that satisfy him, because
they have of late kept back about 300,000 florins which they should
have sent hither for their 'quote.' The world mean time judges his
enterprise to have had some other foundation, as an 'aspiring hope'
to the Earldom of Flanders, and some both think and say that the
Queen has an interest in this action of his ; being drawn into this
suspicion the rather because he came chiefly at her instance, and
has hitherto been maintained chiefly with the money she advanced,
because they are both of one religion, and he keeps up a daily
intelligence with her and her ministers, and has his agent at her
Court ; in short because he has always depended upon her favour
and without assurance of it would attempt no alteration here,
considering the weak foundation he has otherwise to build upon.
But all these jealousies I have done and do my best to remove. His
troops still continue at the camp, all save three cornets of reiters
which he took with him to Flanders, who are able to do little
service in that country, unapt for horsemen, especially at this time
'Combell,' with his regiment of six ensigns under Monsieur, is
gone to the aid of the Walloons ; the rest of Monsieur's troops, we
hear, are going back to France, partly impatient of the difficulties
of this service ; partly malcontent that the expectations of their
master and themselves have been deceived ; for they had devoured
in imagination the spoil of these whole Low Countries ; and partly, it
is said, upon some advice received that the troubles will be renewed
in France. Monsieur himself continues at Mons, but as men hope
is likely to follow them shortly, with very little honour or fruit of
this summer's work. The States' camp, though disappointed of
such a supply, and greatly weakened and diminished in themselves,
have advanced within three leagues of Namur ; and if they may
keep the field a month or two longer, there is great hope to bring
their enemies to any reason, notwithstanding the new supply,
estimated at 5,000 to 6,000 men, come to them from Germany.
For if the States do nothing but spoil the country, the enemy must
be driven by famine to abandon what he has.
Three days ago a gentleman arrived from the Emperor with
letters addressed to Don John, the effect of which was that since the
arbitrament of the case of these countries was committed to his
Majesty's hands, he commanded him to retire from this country,
and to surrender such towns and holds as were in his possession.
But this letter coming too late to Don John was sent to the Duke of
Parma, to see whether he will obey or not. If he do, we are at an
end of that war. His answer is expected in a day or two ; it will no
doubt be much better if he sees the States hold out. Their camp
has lately been with great difficulty kept from dispersing through
want of pay ; which they have borne the longer because this broil
of Flanders has disappointed the States of 400,000 fl. which were
ready to be sent hither if that accident had not unhappily arrived.
Howbeit, they have made a hard shift here to supply them with a
month's pay half in money, half in cloth. Part is already sent to
the camp, part will follow in a few days.—Antwerp, 19 Oct. 1578.
Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. IX. 68.]
310. DAVISON to WALSINGHAM.
Copy with slight variations of the last. Draft. Endd. 1½ pp.
[Ibid. IX. 68a.]
311. Draft of No. 309. Endd. by Davison. 2 pp. [Ibid. IX. 68b.]
312. Rough draft of above in Davison's hand. 3 pp.
[Ibid. IX. 68c.]
313. DAVISON to LEICESTER.
What has happened here of late I have not failed weekly to communicate
to you. Now we have two things chiefly in expectation ;
the one, what will become of the peace newly set abroach by the
Emperor, whose ambassador two or three days ago brought letters
to Don John, which have been sent to the Prince of Parma, 'importing'
a command to retire and resign the holds he possesses, as
considering his own extremity, it is hoped he will ; the other, what
issue the disorder in Flanders will grow to. The Walloons pretend
to be ready to conform themselves if the Gauntois will admit the
religions freidt and take order for the release of the prisoners, to
which they will not agree.
Our French forces, all save Combell's regiment, who is gone to aid
the Walloons, are instead of advancing with the States' army going
back to France, finding things here other than they looked for.
(The rest as in the letter to the Secretaries.)
Draft in Davison's hand. 1 p. [Ibid. IX. 69.]
314. DAVISON to BURGHLEY.
Copy of the last. Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. IX. 70.]
315. Fair draft of the two last letters, with some differences in
phrasing, e.g., 'the fault growing chiefly from the Gantois, who
refuse to incline to reason.' ½ p. [Ibid. IX. 70a.]
316. WILSON to DAVISON.
Your letters were very welcome touching the certain report of
Don John's death, for divers speeches were given out to the contrary ;
as that under cover of his feigned death he had gone out of the
country to deliver to King Philip the state of things in the Low
Countries, and so save his honour.
The civil division in Flanders will be the cause of their own ruin ;
and therefore I am to require you to call upon the States for the
appeasing of such dissension among themselves, and that they
follow the enemy chiefly, now that the head is gone and plague and
scarcity is among them. Thus they shall maintain themselves
better in their ancient liberties, and give occasion to others the
rather to take part with them. The heat used for reformation of
religion is excessive and out of season, and not agreeable to Christian
modesty. Good preaching and moderate behaviour will prevail
more to win people to a reformed religion than violence or force
of arms. Deal with the Prince as much as you can, that he suffer
no such insolence to be used, and that they rather join together
against the common enemy.—Richmond, 19 Oct. 1578.
Add. Endd. On outside page : per me John Spryttwell, post of
Dover—received your worship's packet by a wagon the 23 of October,
and sent them by Charles, Sir Francis Walsingham's cook. ¾ p.
[Holl. and Fl. IX. 71.]
317. FREMYN to DAVISON.
I wrote last on the 18th. Since then nothing has happened at
this camp but continuance of the sickness and daily dimunition of
the army. I much fear if we approach the enemy that in ten days
he will be strong enough to give us a shrewd nip ['extraicte' meaning
probably 'estrainete']. It seems that the plan of those who lead this
army is only to eat up and destroy the country in order to keep the
enemy at a distance from what they want to preserve ; and it is said
that part of the reiters will shortly be dismissed, namely those of
Duke Casimir, to the number of several regiments. It is a disgrace
to see the way this army is managed ; it is going like a candle.
M. de la Noue arrived yesterday evening from Mons. He had been
there to get some infantry, which he was unable to do, inasmuch as
they are all departing, except 2,000 infantry who have volunteered
to remain with Monsieur, and they are badly equipped. M. de la
Chastre is gone with 500 horse without taking leave of Monsieur ;
and sent to him to say that he was off, and that they had refused to
let him into Mons. The company of M. d'Avantigny has been cut
up in France on their way back, and twelve men [? killed] by the
assembled parishes who do not recognise anyone. They kill and
plunder all the soldiers they find. M. de Bussy has promised M. de
la Noue to bring 1,000 foot if necessary.
That is how things are going. All our French are departing.
M. de la Noue's standard-bearer is gone, M. d'Harocourt, and several
other gentlemen. The cornet of M. de Jame is all broken up, and
he ready to go back. Civil war is beginning to stir in France ;
M. de Guise is at the head of it. Everyone has lost the will to
serve the States, seeing the little pleasure there is in their service ;
since men go to the wars for two things, honour or gain, neither of
which is to be found in the service of the States, but only the ruin
of foreigners in their service. I could not relate to you all the
calamities, which are innumerable. They talk of an advance of
money which the States are willing to give ; which is going back
from the fire to the frying-pan (de fièvre es chaud mal).
We are waiting for M. de la Garde to know what the Estates
have decided to do. In our four regiments there are not at present
500 men, and the same with the others ; and whatever the Estates
may wish to believe, the rest will die of misery.—From the Camp
at Ligny, 19 Oct. 1578.
P.S.—Your English regiments are melting away as by a slow
Add. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. IX. 72.]
318. ROSSEL to WALSINGHAM.
I handed your packets to the Governor of the merchants, one on
Oct. 5, the other on the 12th, conformably to the memorandum
given me. I have had no answer or acknowledgement, which
surprises me, as I know that others have received letters from
England. Yet I did not like to neglect to continue my regular
habit of corresponding till I hear from you if any discourse will
be agreeable to her Majesty.
My last letter will have informed her of the arrival of Duke
Casimir at Ghent, and his favourable reception, of which divers
suspicious persons have reported diversely, especially those who
did not know the cause of his going. His reiters have looked up
the Walloons, with some loss of men and horses.
The Commissioners entered into conference with the said
Walloons only last Friday ; and, so far as I can hear, the cause of
their resentment, and their main object, is not the payment of their
wages as reported by M. de Bours. We expect to-day more
particulars of this negotiation. They have received aid from the
French, together with 12 tons of powder which have entered
As for the other Commissioners, sent to police the Ghent business,
and calm the popular discontent, which causes the default in
the pay of the army, they are instructed to propose that if the people
of Ghent will permit the Religion Wlictz [religions freidt],
indifferently and equally all the provinces will admit it and join
them against the Walloons. On this point we await an answer.
Meanwhile our camp is badly paid and keeps the field with
extreme distress ; always, however, performing some military
duty. They approached the enemy, right up to his entrenchments,
where several Spaniards were slain. Our camp had received tidings
that the enemy had crossed the Meuse and left their stronghold,
some to fill up the garrisons, others to relieve Deventer ; which was
why they approached so close. During this reconnoissance part of
the camp advanced in pursuit of a number of the enemy, who,
having abandoned Judoigne and Tirlemont, our men entering
ravaged those towns, which had already been plundered by
Notwitstanding the troubles in Flanders, efforts are made in other
directions to get money in order to satisfy the army, which everyday
received some instalment in anticipation of the general muster
and payment ; after which things will be arranged according to
the printed regulations, which I send her Majesty, together with the
defeat of the Portugal army.
The French are still at Fleurus without coming to any decision,
always on the watch to accomplish their design of pouncing on
certain towns as they wish. The Antwerp people wished to oppose
his approach to Mechlin, but the Prince has assured them that it
will do them no harm. In short, the people in general distrust the
Frenchmen, having news that the Queen Mother has gone to Béarn
under colour of visiting her daughter, in order to treat with the
king of Spain, who is at present at Mousson [qy. Monçon] about
some new treason, under the pretext of conferring about the
marriage of her son Alençon to a daughter of Spain.
All their practices are being discovered day by day, inasmuch as
one can clearly see that there is common intelligence between the
two brothers and mothers (sic) ; as is confirmed by the enterprise in
Burgundy, where we have seen the favours to those who have
undertaken it on behalf of the Duke of Alençon dissembled. The
Swiss have been written to on their behalf not to oppose the
enterprise of the French. Notwithstanding which dissimulation,
their plan has not profited them much, and they have had to retire.
We hear that news of the loss of Binche through the French
having reached Spain, the Spaniards have taken St. Jean-de-Luz,
near Fontarrabia. In this way we shall begin the old war.
I have been in negotiation with 33 [the Emperor's Ambassador]
on the subject of peace, and have pointed out to him in what ill-repute
he would find himself if at sight of him this country lost it,
and since he said that 25 his master could command the enemy's army,
that knowing the intention of 8 and 25 [the Emperor] he ought, by
all means, to cause his master to moderate all difficulties so as to attain
to peace. I argued with him, and told him of so many means, considering
the death of Don John, as would render it possible to arrive
at it with ease ; in pursuance of which matters have made so
much progress, after the post sent by courier to 25, that the
deputies of the Prince of Parma will arrive for this purpose
at Antwerp in three or four days. If this negotiation had taken
place when you were here, it [? the peace] would have made much
more favourable progress. 6b and x9, z9 do not desire it ; 37 no
less.—Antwerp, 19 Oct. 1578.
Add. Endd. Italicised words in last par. in cipher. Fr. 3½ pp.
[Holl. and Fl. IX. 73.]