393. POULET to the SECRETARIES.
The discontent of the subjects of this realm grows to be general,
the greatest provinces crying out for liberty and refusing to pay
these new impositions. The Guise, joined with others of the
nobility, continues his practices, and pushes at this wheel with all
his friends and allies ; and some of good judgement think that this
canker is crept so far that it is now incurable.
The king's procureur of the Parliament of Paris, sent into
Burgundy to moderate the demands of the inhabitants there, is
returned with the loss of his labour ; finding them stubborn and
wilful, and will not 'rabate' one iota of their first opinion.
Many find it strange that the King not being ignorant of these
dangerous drifts, remains at his house of Olinville as a prisoner
without comfort or counsel, either careless or senseless of the
ruin of himself and his realm likely to ensue if good counsel do not
prevent it. Some grave counsellors have advised him to repair to
Paris with speed, that order may be given in these things before
they grow to a greater ripeness ; yet it is not certain when he comes
hither. Some think that his slackness is recompensed by the
diligence and cunning practices of Queen Mother in Languedoc,
who foreseeing the peril of these leagues between province
and province, and between the provinces and the nobility,
and fearing lest this glorious promise of reformation in
this licentious time will bring forth strange alterations,
chooses the war with the Protestant as the least evil, and
therefore resolves to do her best to raise new troubles for matter of
religion ; a ready means as she thinks to stop the mouths of the
poor people and to satisfy the house of Guise and their accomplices.
Damville is said to be a fit instrument for this purpose. He has
submitted himself to Queen Mother in such servile manner as is
misliked by his dear friends, and to show his good devotion takes
upon himself, with the help of 3,000 harquebusiers and some
companies of horsemen, to reduce Languedoc to the King's obedience.
He has been at Toulouse, a matter incredible if he were not
Damville, in whom no base kind of dealing may be found strange.
Divers bruits are given out concerning him which I omit because
they are yet uncertain.
Many think that the King of Navarre will not be removed from
his profession, and I am credibly informed he behaves with great
roundness and no less dexterity in this conference with Queen
Mother ; the assembly for the establishing of the edict, appointed
at L' Isle Jourdain being [? held] over upon some petty occasion.
Now Queen Mother would have it held in the suburb of Toulouse,
which the King of Navarre utterly refuses. He and his faithful
counsellors, if he have any about him, will make good proof
at this time of their integrity and wisdom and sufficiency ; Queen
Mother being assisted 'with' a great number of the heads of this
realm, as the three marshals, Damville, Bellegarde and Biron, du
Foix, la Mothe-Fénelon, the Bishop of Valence, Lansac, Pinart
and others, 'and it may be said that he playeth his part well,
if he pass this pluck . . . a foil.' There has been conference
between him and Biron, but the reconciliation is not yet agreed
upon. The Prince of Condé is not forgotten ; his marriage with the
sister of the French Queen never sought more earnestly than now ;
great offers in living and money and nothing omitted that may lull
him asleep. M[any] plots have been laid to snare Chastillon and
great personages employed to abuse him ; but in vain, and no man
doubts of his constancy.
The preaching exercised near the city of Rouen in a house belonging
to the Baron of Botteville is forbidden by order from the
Parlement there. Complaint is made to the King, but answer is
deferred till his return from Fontainebleau.
Simier came purposely to me on the 9th to pray me to give no
credit to such slanderous report as might come to my ears
touching Monsieur, and to persuade me that he had no other intention
than to use all roundness and integrity in his dealing with her
Majesty. Two days after, Quissy being sent to me by Simier
to show me a letter which he had received that day from Monsieur,
upon occasion of talk of the jealousy conceived by Simier of
tales which might be brought to me to the prejudice of Monsieur,
I asked him what tales those were which they suspected had come
to my knowledge. He answered, the treaty with the King of Spain
for Monsieur's marriage with his daughter ; 'and it is true,' says
he, 'that Queen Mother is treating with the Spaniard, but it is to
conclude a marriage between the King and the daughter of Spain.
He means to shake off the French Queen, who now is as barren' ;
which he affirms to be no new thing, and that Queen Mother was
once in danger of having the like practised against her. I said
little, that he might not think I conceived any suspicion of it ; but
if, doubting lest I were informed of this treaty with the Spaniard,
they thought to stop my mouth with this counterfeit, they were
much deceived. Quissy was but just arrived from the country, and
I am surely of opinion that he spoke as he thought. I believe it
the rather because he was marvellously transported at the sight of
Monsieur's letter, being persuaded that it proceeded from a sound
and sincere meaning. It is certain that Simier gives out, and causes
others to do so, that the marriage is concluded by treaty, and that
her Highness has dispensed with the interview. He is every day
going towards England in outward show ; but the truth is he expects
a further resolution from Monsieur.
One William Blandel [? Blundell] has been with me, returning
from the service of the King of Spain in the Low Countries. He
tells me that he is not unknown to you, Mr Walsingham, and that
being formerly accused of Popery, it was resolved that he should
continue in that profession in outward show, thereby to have the
better means to discover the practices of the Papists. When he
passed by this town to the Low Countries he could not, or would
not, speak of any such matter. I have done what I can to feel
what stuff is in this man and to sound the bottom of his means, and
to that purpose have tried him by word and by writing ; but to be
plain with you I have no opinion that he can or will do any great
service. He trusts that you will send him again into this country,
and promises to do many things.
I send you enclosed copies of letters that have lately come to my
hands by means of a new friend. They were, for expedition,
copied by several hands ; wherein please bear with me.
Pray make me so happy as to hear that my successor is appointed.
—Paris, 22 Nov. 1578.
Somewhat damaged. Add. and Endt. gone. 3½ pp. [France II.
394. DAVISON to the SECRETARIES.
You will have heard from my cousin Cheek in what terms I left
the doings at Ghent. Since then, namely on Thursday the 20th,
they were to hold the general assembly to determine the matter in
question ; in which, as we hear, they have proceeded in such a
seditious sort as has kept them ever since in arms, the gates shut,
and the whole town divided into the contrary factions of Hembize
the chief Burgomaster, who will by no means agree to the demands
of the States, and Ryhove the colonel-general, who, followed by the
better sort, 'pretend' to conform to the advice of the Prince, and
will not disjoin themselves from the general body of the States.
But what issue the matter is growing to we cannot yet have any
certainty, their gates continuing shut, and no one suffered to pass
in or out.
The first beginning of this alteration was last Tuesday, Ryhove
having caused the captains to assemble their companies in arms in
divers parts of the city, where he asked if they would have the
Prince of Orange for their governor or not. Having obtained their
general consent, he commanded every man to repair quietly to his
lodgings [in draft : but herewith Hembize and his faction despited,
began to stir the multitude, and so succeeded this further confusion
etc.] whereupon has since followed this confusion and partiality
among them ; being an effect of Beutrich's counsel, which I fear will
go near to put the person of the Duke in hazard, beside the further
mischief like to grow of it. This much for the doings at Ghent.
Montigny has met and conferred with la Motte since his coming
to Cassel, and leaving the Wallons there has returned to Mons,
accompanied by de Hèze, whom he took with him from Meenen.
Since his departure, certain companies of Walloons from Cassel,
have been at 'Honscote,' an open town, very wealthy, not far from
Dixmude ; and having 'ransomed' it and appointed the inhabitants
to bring in their money within 8 or 10 days, have come towards
Dixmude, where hearing of a company or two of Gantois lying
about Gystele, they sent mounted harquebusiers to cut them to
pieces ; which they have executed, and taken their captain prisoner.
Baron d' Aubigny is said to have since joined them, coming towards
Thus you see what a confusion is begun in this province, which,
as far as I see, is like to taste of the miseries their compatriots
have endured before them.—Bruges, 22 Nov. 1578.
Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. X. 39.]
395. Draft of the above. Endd. 1¼ pp. [Ibid. X. 39a.]
396. The VIDAME OF CHARTRES to DAVISON.
I hoped you would have returned to this town at the time you
proposed ; but I am afraid that the 'emotions' which have supervened
have cooled and delayed you. These seem to be quieted, and
the Burgomaster seems to have the best of it, 'Ruihauve' having
undertaken what he did very unadvisedly ; for he persuaded himself
that he had much credit with the people, and did not find it so.
Now they are reconciled. The credit of the Prince of Orange,
under whom and for whose authority Ryhove's attempt was made,
will be much lowered in this town ; and I fear that the deputation
which was sent to him the day before the excitement to ask him to
take the command of the town will be recalled. They will have just
cause for complaint.
News has arrived that the peace proposed by the Emperor is
being treated of at Antwerp. I do not know the conditions.
The Duke of Aerschot and Count Lalaing are gone to Antwerp
lately. The more astonished I am, the more I dread some conspiracy
against the Prince.
I am wasting away in this town, mind, body, and means ; of
which I have not enough to go elsewhere. Pray remember me, and
consider what is the cause of my being in this difficulty. Three
days ago I received confirmation and full explanation of the news
which I received before your departure in the letter which Dr
Simonis the Prince's physician wrote me. I send you his letter, in
which offers were made to me of such magnitude that I must much
lament the unlucky state of my affairs which prevents me from
going at once to assure myself of what he says to me on behalf of
his Prince ; who is no novice or apprentice in the things he wants.
But it will rest with God ex unguibus judicare [or indicare] leonem.
I entreat you the more to aid me that I may go and see after my
affairs.—22 Nov. (Signed) Ferrières.
Add. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. X. 40.]
397. ROSSEL to the QUEEN.
I think your Majesty will have heard from your ambassadors
Cobham and Walsingham of the good will I bear to your service, urged
only by the sympathy which ought to exist between (interpeller) all
honest people who love the general tranquillity. Nevertheless since
I was received by my lords into your service, I have used every
effort to write all that has occurred, as Sir F. Walsingham knows.
And inasmuch as among other particulars a matter has offered itself
worthy to be represented to you, I have been so bold as to write to
The Duke of Alençon fell ill, it is thought of the plague, last
Thursday the 19th (sic). His partisans and followers, being unable
to accomplish their purpose of making him lord in the Low Countries
by the road which they had taken, are seeking another expedient,
namely to 'practise' the malcontents, who have withdrawn to Mons,
to make war in Flanders ; a subtle way to trouble the State
and reduce things to wretchedness. They are seconded by Minister
Villiers ; by whose industry the Prince of Orange seems inclined to
their cause, many of the Estates and Council being similarly instructed.
They profess to declare that if the King does come to terms
with the States within three months they will change their prince.
And they are anxious to the uttermost to hasten on this matter, insomuch
that the French has told his brother that for two towns and the
title of defender he could not plunge in to his assistance, but if he got
some such dignity in the name of lord he would put forth all his
power—even declare against the King of Spain. Many of our
people are wavering at this, which makes me fear the occurrence
of some new thing if it be not remedied by some antidote. This
would be by repairing their civil war, and would be feasible if
means were given to a personage whom I think you know,
whose name I will tell your Majesty if you think it well, on the first
The Prince of Orange is gone to-night to enter on the government.
The Duke of Aerschot, sent for by him for his own greater
advantage, seeing their step, has protested that the government
having been given to him by the Estates ought not to be taken away
without offence. The Duke and others stand on their dignity
(se formalisent), but in vain ; for they say it is the people.
Other details I have discoursed to Sir F. Walsingham, to avoid
prolicity, which would be tedious to your Majesty.—Antwerp,
23 Nov. 1578.
Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. Fr. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. X. 41.]
398. ROSSEL to WALSINGHAM.
Having discovered some remarkable points in the designs of our
French, I have thought it well to write them to her Majesty particularly,
if you think it well to let her see it ; referring it to your
prudent consideration to judge of the means they are taking to
insinuate themselves and become the lords of our State, which
they are seeking to trouble and render miserable in order to gain
Our army is scattered along the frontier of Liége as far as
Bois-le-duc, awaiting its pay. The reiters have offered to serve
three months in the field if they can be paid for two months.
Efforts are being made to get money, but the war in Flanders has
deprived us of the means to get it. The Prince of Orange went
last night to Ghent, where he will be made governor of the country.
The Duke of Aerschot whom he had for his own greater benefit
recalled from Mons is discontented ; protesting that he had done
nothing to have the government given him by the States, taken
The enemy tired of fighting has withdrawn into Louvain, Diest,
Leeuw and other places. But news has come to-day that the
27 ensigns that were in Louvain are coming out, and that Baron
Pollwiller is entering with his Germans. It is not known what they
intend. I think for my part that Baron de Chevreau is going back
to Burgundy, where the French are again at large. The Swiss
have come down to the aid of the country.
The Prince of Parma has written to the States, to say that he
has letters from the King bidding him obey the Emperor's orders.
To-day a gentleman ought to arrive as ambassador from the Archduke
Ferdinand ; it is thought to set on foot the peace negotiations,
while awaiting the other deputies, as the Elector of Cologne,
Lazarus Swendi and others. Some think that that Archduke, or
at any rate one of Matthias's brothers will come.
Count Lalaing was at Valenciennes six days ago ; it was said to
scheme for the entrance of the French. He was not welcomed, and
was compelled to retire 'with dexterity' and in secret, or he would
have been made prisoner.
Ghent was up in arms last Wednesday on account of the arrest
of Embise ; one side against the other, in the conference upon the
terms. Mr Davison can speak of the details as an eye-witness.
The Walloons have promised to obey the States, and go where
they are ordered, as soon as the Gantois have submitted, taking
one month's pay, where before they would not be content with three.
La Motte and Montigny have negotiated together. The former
wants to retain the Walloons for the service of the Spaniards, and
offers them money daily, which he says comes from Spain. But
they will not listen. The conference between him and Montigny
must seem suspicious to her Majesty after the negotiation he had
proposed to her. One cannot but think that they have disclosed
it to Gourdan.
We hear that Deventer has surrendered, and the same of Wert.—
Antwerp, 23 Nov. 1578.
Add. Endd. Fr. 2½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. X. 42.]
399. DAVISON to the SECRETARIES.
The 'emotion' that happened last week at Ghent between the
factions of Hembize and Ryhove, 'the first oppugning, the other
affecting' the compounding of their differences according to the
advice of the Prince and States, as mentioned in my last, sent by
John Furrier, has, we hear, been since appeased, and the authors of it
outwardly reconciled. But we cannot learn 'what effect their
determined assembly has taken.' Owing to the difference, it was
put off from Thursday to Saturday ; on which day we hear only
that the nobles, who assemble first, consented to be ruled wholly
by the advice of the Court. But what the burghers or notables who
assembled yesterday, or the commons who meet as to-day, agree to,
will be known some time to-morrow.
Upon the motion of Ryhove last Tuesday to the people, touching
the choice, as governor, of the Prince (who was before nominated
by the rest of the Members of Flanders) in order to thwart the
practices of Hembize for introducing Duke Casimir, they dispatched
deputies to Antwerp, to advertise his Excellency of that election,
and to beseech him in the name of all the four Members, but
especially of the Gantois, to come thither to redress the disordered
state of things. To this at the instance of the States he has
agreed, and should be to-night at Dendermonde, minding as
it seems to stay there till he hears the result of their assembly
according to which he 'pretends' to dispose his further journey.
Duke Casimir had, upon my motion, once resolved to meet him at
that town ; but considering what has happened since I doubt he will
'make curtesy' to perform it ; which may be some impediment to the
Prince's going forward. But when I have dispatched my business
here, I mean to hasten to Ghent and do the best I can to procure
their interview as the best means to redress the inconvenience
caused by the heart-burnings between the two princes, nourished
chiefly by the ill-offices of Beutrich, of whom all the world cries
This action of Duke Casimir's, but especially the suspected
consequence of it in respect of the French, has again set on foot the
traffic of peace proposed by the Emperor ; who has, as I hear, a
solemn embassy at Cologne, on its way to Antwerp. But with what
sincerity or likelihood of good success, time will show.
Baron d' Aubigny, declared on the side of the Walloons, has
come within 5 leagues of this town, with horse and foot, and has
summoned Dixmude to receive him, which they have flatly refused.
So he ranges up and down that part of the country, 'sessing' and
taxing the villages at his pleasure.
La Motte, who has been at St. Omer again this week, with
Count Egmont, does not yet attempt any innovation. The Duke
of Aerschot has returned to Antwerp with his son the Prince of
Chimay, indisposed, it seems, to hazard his fortune in so desperate
a cause as the Walloons have undertaken ; but his brother and the
rest remain behind.—Bruges, 24 Nov. 1578.
P.S.—Please suspend any further dealings on the bond for
30,000 fl. desired by Spinola till you hear further from me ; both
because in his hands for the former sums he dealt very lewdly with
me, as you shall hear more fully hereafter, and also because I am
very 'loosed handled' for my particular bonds. So that I have
great cause to complain in both respects ; and if you let Grobbendonck
understand so much, and that you mean to deal no further
but as you shall hear from me, it may perhaps make them remember
Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. X. 43.]
400. The PRINCE OF ORANGE to DAVISON.
As M. de Famar was going that way, I would not omit a word to
put you in mind of me. He will tell you at large the cause of his
going, and how things stand here, so I need say no more.—
Dendermonde, 24 Nov. 1578.
Add. with seal. Endd. Fr. 11ll. [Ibid. X. 40.]
401. FREMYN to DAVISON.
I arrived in this town a week ago to-day, to take leave of Duke
Casimir and hand over my company to him ; which I have done in
the most honourable way I possibly could, and he has agreed to, on
account of the business I have.
I also thought to find you here, to tell you that I have kept my
carriage and two horses at Brussels for you about which you spoke
to me before. I should like to know what you intend ; if you
wish me to send them to your lodgings at Antwerp, and about
the price. It shall be to your satisfaction, and you can pay
when you please.
I am sending this to Bruges on the chance, as they say here
that you have gone to Antwerp, whither I am making my way
directly, to find you. I meant to stay here six days, thinking
you would be sure to come here anyhow.
As to what is going on here, it was thought that the Prince of
Orange would come yesterday. He is at Dendermonde, and his
departure is put off till to-day. All the town was in arms. Some
horsemen were sent by Messieurs to meet the Prince ; but after they
had gone two leagues they returned, he having sent word that it
would be for to-day. Meanwhile M. de Bonivet was ordered to
leave the town immediately, which he had to do ; and the like with
the Vidame, and all the Frenchmen favouring the Duke of Alençon.
All night long the burghers were under arms, searching the houses ;
the drums making a great noise.
If you are at Bruges, kindly send your wishes touching the
carriage to Madame votre compaigne ; and so I kiss your hands.—
Ghent, 25 Nov. 1578.
Add. Fr. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. X. 45.]
402. M. DE MAUVISSIÈRE to the LORDS of the COUNCIL.
Four months ago some merchants of Toulouse shipped a quantity
of wood at Bordeaux for transport to Nantes. On the way they fell
in with a French pirate, who took all their cargo on board, and
landed at Guernsey to dispose of it ; where Mr Leighton, the
governor, arrested him. He says that by the privilege of his island
the goods of all pirates who come there are confiscate to him.
So Mr Leighton having seized the wood, on the plea that it belongs
to him, and having sent it to various ports of this kingdom for
sale, the French merchants being advertised thereof have had a
stay made, and straightway Mr Leighton has got it taken off,
giving caution, without the merchants recovering anything. They
instantly urge me to assist them by a letter to you, praying that
the matter may be tried before you and by your authority ; or that
you will be pleased to refer it directly to the Judge of the
Admiralty and other commissioners deputed for that purpose, not
leaving it to the Judge at Guernsey, who the merchants say is
hostile to them. They brought me yesterday letters from the King
commanding me to aid them.—London, 25 Nov. 1578.
Add. Fr. 1 p. [France II. 86.]
403. WALSINGHAM to DAVISON.
By the enclosed, received from our ambassador in France, it
appears that the States of Hainault and Artois, together with the
Walloons and most of the nobility in the Low Countries are entered
upon a course to make their peace with the King of Spain ; being
no less alienated from the States than from the French, whose coming
into the country has been a principal cause of the division of
these provinces from the rest. It will therefore be expedient for the
Prince to take some new way of counsel, and desist from threatening
the Gantois ; with whom he should concur in the advancement
of religion, without which it is apparent there can be no sound union
among them. If we would do as policy commands, though their
case is very hard in respect of the disunion, yet it is not so desperate
but that it might be greatly relieved. But this is rather to be wished
than hoped for ; and therefore they must resolve to depend upon
God and their own forces. And indeed we find by experience that
the success proves best when we have least cause to depend on the
arm of man, shaking off all policy that is not grounded upon God.
We need a better confirmation in this behalf than the deliverance
of Holland and Zealand at a time when their case seemed altogether
desperate to man's judgement. On the other side, who would have
thought that so great and puissant an army as the States had, would
have proved so fruitless? Which manifestly shows that these wars
are carried on with another manner of success than those which are
grounded only on ambition ; and therefore I conclude that if they
would become as well reformed in their lives as in their profession
and depend upon His providence, it would be a great thing both for
their own relief, and the setting forth of His glory.
How much Casimir is offended with your negotiation may appear
by the copies of the thing I send you. However he is offended, her
Majesty allows very well of your proceeding and is resolved to maintain
and justify your doing. Yet upon this discovery of the reconciliation
of the two provinces with Spain, it will be expedient for
her to mediate his reconciliation with the Prince, that they may
concur in the defence of the common cause.—Richmond, 27 Nov.
Add. Endd. 1⅓ pp. [Holl. and Fl. X. 46.]
404. The ESTATES of HAINAULT to the ESTATES-GENERAL.
The Marquis of Havrech having got his affairs in order, after
some delay caused by the various conferences which we had upon
the redressment of these new troubles, was preparing to return to
Court, when we, considering his zeal towards the restoration of
affairs to a good footing and the confirmation of our mutual union
in order to devote ourselves unreservedly to the expulsion of the
common enemy, urgently entreated him, as one of the chief lords of
this province to honour the country and the common cause by his
presence at the meeting of the States of Artois fixed for Dec. 1 next
at Arras, there to continue his good offices to the above effect, and
so comfort and confirm the hearts of many who have been shaken
and altered by the practices of the Spaniard and his adherents.
This he has with his usual kindness granted : in the full intention
however when they have finished of repairing to where you are. Of
this we wish to give you notice, in order to prevent all sinister
reports from such as incessantly interfering in our affairs interpret
our actions contrary to the sincerity of our intentions ; not considering
that our changes and strange behaviour lie open to the
eyes and the reproach of foreigners, and are by them with justice
received with odium to our great blame.
We hope that the result of the Marquis's journey will be such
that you will be pleased therewith and grateful to him and to us ;
our purpose being to persevere in the general union if people will
adapt themselves to reason. Pray accept all kindly, as we proceed
with perfect sincerity in fulfilling our duty and preserving our
honour ; which we are bound to have at heart and in view more than
aught else in this brief and miserable age.—Mons, 28 Nov. 1578.
Copy. Fr. 3 pp. [Holl. and Fl. X. 47.]
405. SIMIER'S COMMISSION.
Francis, etc. Considering that nothing is more worthy
of princes sprung from royal blood than to ally themselves with
illustrious families, and that we know none greater by virtue, lineage,
title, and all other dignities than our lady and cousin the Queen
of England, and being advised thereto by our brother and mother,
we make it known to all that being assured of the fidelity, capability,
prudence and dexterity of our trusty Jehan de Simier, lord of that
place, Baron of St. Mary, etc., our councillor and master of our
wardrobe, we have chosen him as our commissioner to the said
Queen, the Princes and Estates of her realm, giving him hereby full
powers to negotiate, resolve, and conclude marriage with the said
Queen, according to the articles we have given into his hands.—
Mons, 28 Nov. 1578.
Copy. Endd. in a later hand. Fr. 2½ pp. [France II. 87.]
406. Another copy. Endd. by L. Tomson. Fr. 1½ pp. [Ibid.
407. ROSSEL to WALSINGHAM.
In my last, dated the 23rd, I wrote to her Majesty about some
points likely to follow on the resolution taken by the Estates to
choose a new lord if in three months the King does not make peace.
Pursuing this subject, I perceive that they are being coaxed to
arrive at the election of the Duke of Anjou who makes sure of the
support of the Archduke [?] and what is more, seems likely to be
backed by the Prince of Orange and others who are being practised
by Villiers and led to his devotion. This I understood very clearly
from an agent who regularly practises with Villiers on behalf of the
Duke. They assure themselves of a good deal of support, judging
peace to be hopeless.
M. des Pruneaux, who has been so long soliciting on behalf of
M. d'Alençon the reward of his notable services for the important
place of Binche, for which he hoped to receive Quesnoy and
Landrecies, has obtained an annual gold crown of the value of
100,000 florins, with talk about the honour and benefit he has done
the country ; the ratification of the gift being referred to the
consideration of the provinces. Having got this done, des Pruneaux
went joyfully back to Mons, to M. d'Alençon who has been ill, or at
any rate keeping his room, for three days.
The Prince of Orange is still at Termonde, where he is negotiating
divers matters, not only an agreement between the Gantois and
Walloons, but ulterior matters also. On this business of an agreement
we hope for some decision in two days. Mr Davison who has
left Flanders to-day and will have witnessed the negotiations can
relate it more in detail.
There have been great words about the money taken by 15
[qy. Casimir] and by the Duke of Aerschot, at which the Prince of
Orange was much offended. So that to quiet the passions two
marriages have been set on foot, which are under discussion ; one
to the Prince of Cimay [?] the other for 15 ; the elder for
Cimay, the other of for 15. Upon these conferences
things have got a little milder. 15 is gone to Termonde ;
pursuing this subject, he claims the government of Flanders.
This negotiation would smash the plans of 20 [qy. Alençon] and
of those who would further him in this matter.
Casimir's people have killed on the way from Ghent a gentleman
of the Duke of Alençon's, and nearly killed M. de Bonivet, who
was saved by the dexterity of his horse. This has caused great
Artois and Hainault are leagued together in a resolve not to
admit the 'religion Wlitz,' which they would have done at first if
the prelates would have consented. They have sent their deputies
to Lille to support their side : they of Tournay will not. Some say
that the people of Artois have recalled MM. de Licques, de Rossignol
and others who are (sic) with Don John. The Viscount of Ghent
is setting out to remedy the disorders if possible.
The States of Brabant, led by the prelates, after long opposing
the admission of the 'religion Wlitz,' have at last agreed to it, and
those of Brussels are ready, both sides alike, to swear it, although
the Papists are being solicited not to agree to it.
The enemy has taken heart again, upon seeing the divisions in
Artois and Hainault, so much that on Friday morning they issued
out of Louvain and Diest to the numbers of 3,000 horse and 4,000
foot and moved to Gheel. I am much afraid they may attack the
Scots and English who are encamped at the village of Anstrate ; or
perhaps the Germans who with their artillery are encamped about
a league from 'Mastrech,' the reiters being two or three leagues to
their rear ; all the chiefs absent ; colonels and others. M. de Bossu
is at Termonde ; la Noue, maréchal de camp at Brussels.
The enemy have assured news that they will receive two months'
pay. To this end 200,000 crowns will be sent them ; which is why
they take heart.
The King is sending them a new chief, who is a bastard that he
had by a pretty bakeress at Brussels in the year '50, and he is
on the road. In Spain they are looking up recruits [les besogne]
everywhere to furnish garrisons for Italy, so as in the spring to send
the veteran troops this way. There is something for the country to
I told you of the Prince of Spain's death in October. A week
later died Wenceslaus, brother of the Archduke Matthias ; and the
Princess of Spain is sick to death.
The Archduke and Council have dispatched a gentleman called
la Mouillerie to the Emperor to explain to him the position of affairs
and the States' intention if the King will do nothing.
From France we hear that the Queen Mother is in Languedoc
where she has assembled the estates and reconciled Marshal
Damville and other malcontents. The King has received from the
Pope permission to found a new order. This is a crusade which 300
gentlemen will take up, after the style of those of Rhodes, against
those of the Religion.—Antwerp, 30 Nov. 1578.
Add. Endd. Fr. 4 pp. [Holl. and Fl. X. 48.]
408. DUKE CASIMIR to the ESTATES.
After deciding, at the request of the Estates and the instance of
the Queen of England, to lead an army of Germans and French into
the Low Country in opposition to Don John, Duke Casimir's chief
object was to make all the haste he could, knowing that necessity
and the season so required. On this occasion though the terms of
agreement forwarded by the Estates were defective in several
important articles and arranged for only 3,000 horse and 3,000 foot,
afterwards increased by 2,000 and 3,000 respectively, nevertheless,
to show his goodwill to the country and his respect for the Queen's
commands he made no difficulty about accepting it. To supply its
defects he sent to Antwerp a servant of his with a memorandum ;
and then about a month before he could arrive at the place of muster
he sent agents to the Estates with instructions to request that
several obscure points might be cleared up or if this could not be done,
to ask that Commissioners might be sent with full powers who could
clear them up at the place of muster. These agents had their business
dispatched at Lautern on the 9th June last ; and although no fitting
decision was given them, it is the case that the apostil of the Estates
dated May 5 to an article in which Commissioners of good rank
were asked for to clear up all difficulties, in a way satisfied his
Excellency. So, that nothing might delay the troops, he did not fail
to return to the charge before setting out, sending three of his
councillors to Nymegen to request the coming of the Commissioners,
either to settle the points in dispute, if they had power to do this,
or if not, to report them for the decision of the States. He
could not imagine that they would wish to delay a single day when
their own repose was at stake, while such harm to the inhabitants
of the country and advantage to the enemy was likely to ensue from
loss of time. Feeling quite hopeful on this point he started from
his house at Lautern on June 23, with a very small train to avoid
the hindrance of a large one and reach the place of muster all the
sooner. On reaching Wesel, which was on the 30th, having as yet
no news of his people who were at Antwerp and Nymegen, he did
not wish to proceed further till he heard how affairs stood, and if
any Commissioners had arrived with full powers according to the
apostil of the Estates, and were reported to have treated with them.
Then by letters from Antwerp he found his hopes frustrated at all
points, seeing that on the one hand he was burdened with the army
which had already arrived and on the other hand the States had
given no explanation of the doubtful articles nor even deputed Commissioners.
Yet in order not to fail in his duty he did not omit to make
his way to Zutphen, which was the rendezvous, so that the Estates,
on learning that he was at hand in person might at once send Commissioners
to proceed to the muster. Some days after his arrival at
Zutphen came two gentlemen from the Archduke to welcome him.
After thanking them, he explained the state of affairs and the consequent
prejudice, not only to his honour but to the Low Countries
in general, if in default of the muster he should be compelled to
make a long stay in those quarters. He complained greatly of the
failure to take proper order and repeatedly begged them, by the
duty they owed their country, to stay with him, and, in default of
Commissioners, assist him at the muster, which he would undertake
in their country and that of Count John of Nassau, in order to gain
time ; assuring them that for his part he would proceed with good
faith. The gentlemen besought him not to take it amiss if they
could not do as he desired, having no commission so to do.
A few days later came some without letters, who addressed themselves
to his Excellency, having no instructions nor powers to settle
any difficulty ; saying that they were simply charged to pass the
muster with the two gentlemen above mentioned on the same
footing as the other reiters had passed it. His Excellency found
this mode of procedure very strange ; to send such persons, gentlemen
though they were, unknown to him and the chief of his army,
without letters from the Estates or anyone else. The apostil of the
Estates mentioned above promised that Commissioners with full
powers should be given, and he had so long begged them, by letters,
ambassadors and remonstrances, to recognise the inconveniences
which might occur. And inasmuch as he was not acting on his
own account, but it concerned the princes, colonels, counts and
notables who had accompanied him, he was bound to inform them
of it. These made difficulties, judging from the beginning what
the issue might be, about passing muster until assured of their
salaries. However his Excellency by entreaties and remonstrances,
had induced them to agree to the muster, and refer the question of
allowances to the Estates ; who, the princes and colonels hoped,
considering the service they were doing to the country, would
recognise it in dealing with them, giving them satisfaction proportionate
to their effectual demonstration of their desire for the
This difficulty settled, another arose, namely the general
allowances of each regiment ; and after this, that of the pay of
the Landsknechts. These having been deferred rather than
settled, to avoid delay, that of the nachtgelt arose, the source
of all which have since occurred, the cause of all the soldiers' discontent
and disorder, to the great prejudice of his Excellency's
reputation. Several days passed in the discussion of this with
the Commissioners, without an agreement being come to with
the Colonels and rittmeisters as to the time for which nachtgelt
should be paid, though a single day of debate meant more
expense in pay falling due meanwhile than all the matters
in dispute could amount to in capital. However when it
was settled, came the question of its payment and for the whole
month. This was the more difficult inasmuch as the reiters
knew that those of Count Schwarzburg, in the neighbourhood
of Bois-le-duc, were receiving the nachtgelt and the month in
cash down. Now he had no money for one or the other though he
had security for the month ; but the reiters would not be content
with this, because the nachtgelt ought to be paid first, and they
would not have less pay than those who had passed muster before
them. His Excellency did all he could by proper persuasions to
escape this difficulty. The Commissioners twice solemnly promised
to him and his officers that having passed the muster they should
not be called upon to budge a foot from Zutphen until they had
received with the first month's pay the nachtgelt in cash. So the
muster took place and some days later came the rest of the money
which the Queen of England had promised to furnish if his Excellency
came in person ; but not all of it, because the Estates or
their treasurers kept back some of it, besides deducting the money
advanced to the French, about 10,000 florins. His Excellency
wishing to distribute this with what he had received from Hamburg,
found himself short of the month, which they had promised to his
people before the levy. On the other hand the reiters made a
difficulty about taking the month's before they had got their nachtgelt.
At this juncture letters were handed to his Excellency from the Archduke
and the Estates, both stating in substance that it was impossible
to pay the nachtgelt at present, but that on their word it should not fail
to be paid by the end of the month, and praying him, in view of the
present necessity, to persuade his army to be contented with what
could be furnished at once. Hereupon he omitted no argument to
induce his people to have patience for a time, pointing out the
certainty of payment, the necessity there was for them to join the
others, that the public weal was at stake and his own and their
honour no less. The reiters relying on the example of those who
had received both nachtgelt and month's pay before marching and
above all on the promises of the Commissioners, these representations
had no effect till his Excellency made himself caution for the good
faith of the States and promised to be responsible for the nachtgelt
if it were not forthcoming by the end of the month—a thing he
never did before, and which, being ill-advised, he would have
avoided but for his extreme desire to get the troops along. The
difficulties being thus in a way removed and his Excellency being
urged by the Archduke and Estates to make haste and cross the
Rhine and the Meuse, assuring him that on his arrival he would
receive full contentment, his camp dislodged from Zutphen and
came to join that of the Estates near Mechlin. On leaving Zutphen
he dispatched agents to the Estates to point out the necessity for
keeping his army in good temper and avoiding any occasion of
discontent on its arrival ; as also to ask them to settle the tariffs of
provision, establish étappes, and provide all else that was necessary.
Arriving at Mechlin his Excellency stayed there, or rather
squatted there, for seventeen days ; but in spite of his pressing
requests the Estates sent no money, and did not even confer with
him on any point touching the conduct of the war, nor the means
of getting the army out of its quarters to carry out some fine plan
against the enemy, though necessity and occasion demanded that
some consultation should be held. It is true that at times, as though
in passing, the resolutions taken there were communicated to him,
without his knowing the how and why. And although the Estates
had taken no steps to provide the nachtgelt as promised, and his
Excellency at the request of his reiters had ordered that there should
be no talk of moving from their present quarters till the money was
paid ; notwithstanding, he declared not only to the chiefs of the
Estates but to others that in the event of a good resolution being
taken for the tranquillity of the county he would make no difficulty
about marching. Which in truth, in spite of his people's too manifest
causes for discontent (who found themselves as it were handed
over for extortion to the towns from whom they had to get what they
wanted for ready cash, while they were not paid) would have come
to pass, if too obvious partiality had not been shown in giving the
other reiters half a month's pay, when they had already received a
month and nachtgelt, while promises to them were unfulfilled.
This is the bare statement of what has passed since his
Excellency's arrival in the country up to his leaving Mechlin. It is
easy to judge how he and his army are wronged when the loss of
time and opportunity, and the month of inaction near Zutphen are
imputed to them ; seeing that it appears clearly from the simple
statement above that it proceeds from elsewhere. For this no other
argument is needed than the fact that his Excellency having joined
the other army at Mechlin was left there for seventeen days in
the best season of the summer without being consulted about the
military matters. Similarly there is no ground for what is said in
regard to his having hindered the money coming from the Queen
of England from falling into the hands of the States, that the payment
was delayed, and the money subsequently arrived at Zutphen.
For even if the £20,000 had been ready on his arrival there were
no Commissioners, and without them he could not pass the muster.
Secondly, the £20,000, together with the other £20,000 sent by
way of Hamburg, were not sufficient for a month's pay, as appears
from the non-payment of the chief officers of the reiters, and from
the French not having their month complete nor anything on their
allowances ; wherein they have shown themselves so well
disposed towards this country that they deserve praise and
good recompense. So far was the nachtgelt, which the reiters, from
consideration for the others, wanted paid before they went
further, from being there. It is clear, therefore, that his
Excellency had good reason for seeing that the money from England
did not fall into a third hand ; for he was not clever enough to
prevent the stoppage of 10,000 florins or thereabouts by which the
£20,000 fell short, besides the rebate which the States made of the
sum advanced to the French. As for the nachtgelt, though promised
and solicited in every way, two months have elapsed between the
the promise and the payment. It is said that the failure to pay is
due to the excess of the number of troops over that for which the
States asked, and upon which they based their estimate, by some
1,000 horse and as many foot. His Excellency having been called
in by the States to oppose so strong an enemy, thought that large
forces would make an end of him sooner than small ; so that it
would be well to bring a larger rather than a smaller force ; nor
was he aware that certain persons had it in charge to raise men,
and had received money, who in any case could not have their
people ready so quickly. It is clear indeed that if this fine army of
the States had been better led, things would have been forwarder
than they are. It was also open to the Commissioners to pass or
cashier all that were in excess of their orders. But as this is an
argument on which the States greatly rely, it is as well to
get to the bottom of it. The extra 1,000 horse and 1,000 foot
when distributed among the army may amount to 40,000 florins
a month. If the States had paid 40,000 florins to his Excellency's
forces there might be some show of reason. But they have
not sent a rattar of money raised in the country, and they
have kept back 10,000 florins of what the Queen of England sent,
besides the rebate above-mentioned. Even if this had been paid
over in full, it would, apart from the allowances to the princes,
counts, barons etc. have been short by 50,000fl. besides what is due
to the French for the balance of their pay, as testified by the account
which his Excellency has presented. Nor up to his departure from
Mechlin did he receive a penny. On his departure 26,000fl. were
handed to him ; so that at present there may be owing to his army
more than 500,000fl. So far is he from having received two months'
full pay, as certain great people told his agents at Antwerp, and as
common report runs. It is clear therefore that the excess of troops
is not the reason that he has not been paid, seeing that if he had
fewer by 5,000 reiters, he would still be owed 400,000fl. But if the
States found the extra number too great a burden, it is surprising
that after requesting him to bring forces, they should have added to
their own, thus increasing the burden. It is clear then that they are
prevaricating, and that there is some mystery other than the delay
at Zutphen or the excessive number of reiters, to cause these
inconveniences ; though his Excellency does not think it his business
to search further.
Others say that his Excellency's establishment, on which a small
army might be supported, is the cause of the excessive burden on
the country. If this were said by the ignorant, or by the common
people, it would not matter ; but since responsible persons go so
far, he must disclose the facts. When he claimed a salary suitable
to his quality he followed in the footsteps of those of the country ;
who being by divine and human law bound to risk their persons
and goods for its deliverance, and having their chief interest here, do
not fail to receive great establishments, salaries, and pensions,
according to their quality and office, whatever may be the misery of
their fatherland. This would be surely no less pardonable in a
foreign prince, whom they most often call their hireling. His
Excellency knows too that the Estates promised a salary to a foreign
nobleman who would not bring as large forces, and who is of no
better quality. But in his wish to show his desire to relieve the
country so far as depended on his will and power by the free
employment of his own body and resources, he has never demanded
nor insisted on any personal salary ; still less stipulated for any
towns, or any title or advantage for himself. He would not even
accept the pay to which he was entitled as Colonel of 2,000
reiters and 3,000 landsknechts, being content to serve with a
light heart in so just a quarrel, where public interests and the
tranquillity of the Holy Empire are at stake. If those who, not being
his equals in rank, have received promise of similar pay or are still
soliciting the States for it, will do the like, the States will find
themselves rid of many burdens, and will be the better able to content
those who ought to receive extraordinary pay, by dividing the
money among them. As for the sum offered by the Estates for the
extraordinary pay of the princes and other gentlemen of his suite,
he declares in order to avoid sinister suspicions, he cannot and will
not take it. He wants it to be truly known where the money goes,
and in order that he may have clean hands at all points, he would
have Commissioners appointed on the part of the States to treat
with them. He will do his best to promote this and will to the best
of his power try to get them to agree to what is reasonable.
The matters touched upon, when set forth, show with what foot
his Excellency has walked, and with what foot others have walked
in his case, and how ungratefully calumnies about him have been
disseminated, besides the unworthy treatment he has received since
he came into the country. He regrets nothing so much as that
all means have, as if by deliberate plot, been taken from him of
satisfying the hopes placed in him by the poor people of the Low
Countries. For though it has been sought to destroy his credit with
the soldiers and his reputation everywhere, by breaking faith, doling
out the promised money in small sums, postponing his reiters to
others, communicating no military matters to him save decisions
already taken, breaking up his forces into advance-guard, main body,
and rear-guard so as to deprive him of all command—all which
would tend to lower his authority and reduce him to the rank of the
smallest colonels—yet knowing that his rank and his goodwill were
not thereby diminished, he would have continued to adapt himself
to everything possible, if he had thought he could be of service to
the cause, and been content to serve either in command, or under
the very lowest. There is no room to say that the impotence of the
States is due to their having no means of supplying money ; for it
was paid in his Excellency's presence near Mechlin to other reiters
who received a month's pay and nachtgelt when his own men had
Judging on these grounds that he is neither acceptable nor useful,
besides the impression that his excessive pay is a great burden, and
learning from England that the Estates have begged the Queen to
bring about his return, and that he may not approve by his presence
the disorders that go on, his Excellency has resolved to go back to
Germany, leaving the event of the war in God's hands. He begs
the States to send qualified Commissioners at once to his reiters, to
settle with them ; the more so that their three months of service
have now expired.
His Excellency will for all that not cease to bear the goodwill
which he and his late father have always borne towards the prosperity
of this country and only hopes to have a better opportunity
of showing it.
Copy. Endd. by L. Tomson : Casimir's Justification ; and by
Davison. Fr. 12½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. X. 49.]
409. Another copy. Endd. by L. Tomson : Protestation of D.
Casimir. [Ibid. X. 50.]
410. Short abstract of above in L. Tomson's hand. Endd.
1½ pp. [Ibid. X. 51.]