456. DANIEL ROGERS to DAVISON.
'All my trust' was to have found you here, which was the cause
I did not send the enclosed letters by Robert the post, who came
over with me from Dover, where I waited seven days for a wind ; so
it is no marvel if your letters are of an old date. With what instructions
I am sent, you will well understand by the letters I send
herewith. If it had been your fortune to be here at my arrival I
should have been glad to confer with you before I went either to the
Prince or the Duke. I came yesternight late, and have not yet
spoken with either of them, awaiting certain here with whom I
would gladly communicate before I deal with them, in order that
I may better 'pass' the negotiation committed to my charge. I
have not leisure now to send you a copy of my instructions, as
I gladly would, but mind to send you shortly if I do not come myself.
The Almighty prosper your endeavours and grant you a merry
Christmas.—Ghent, 21 Dec. 1578.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. X. 89.]
457. ROSSEL to DAVISON.
Her Majesty and yourself have been able in the course of three
months to judge 'with what foot I have travelled' in my continuous
correspondence, pursuant to her pleasure as you assured me of it.
Pray let me have letters in conformity with my request, that I may
in the sequel resolve to do yet better ; albeit I am sure that few
others have offered you more rare or more secret occurrents. That
will suffice. Pauca intelligenti.
I had written the letter enclosed in this packet on the 18th,
having been assured by a gentleman that he was starting. I did
this in haste, having learnt the contents of it from a good quarter.
It will not be out of place in discussing affairs, though the intercepted
letter states the contrary ; albeit the Prince's intent was not
to make Monsieur lord generally, but reserving the most part, to
dissemble the whole ; of which I gave information long ago, and
this the future will disclose.
It is the case that truth is the daughter of time, and time brings
infinite changes. The disunion of Artois and Hainault, started by
our French, has been remedied by the arrival of the Viscount of
Ghent at Arras, and by the Marquis of Havrech going back there ;
the people having agreed to continue the general union if they are
not compelled to the 'Religions freidt.'
When the Viscount arrived at Arras, la Motte was thinking
to enter in order to settle the admission of the Spaniard, according
to the letters of the Prince of Parma. His design and that of the
Bishop of Arras having failed, they have withdrawn with their
accomplices to Gravelines, where la Motte is said to be assembling
1,500 soldiers to help the Walloons, whom he is thought to have
practised at the conference he had with Montigny ; who is diverted
from that purpose and the soldiers too, who being set up with some
fair pay will return to their obedience to the States, even in spite of
their chief. There has been talk of employing me to do this, but
the Estates are saying nothing about the possibility of bringing
the Walloons back, till the Gantois are doing their duty.
This alteration of Artois and Hainault will be put entirely to
rights by the convocation of the States-General agreed on for
February ; to which effect letters are being diligently sent out.
Then the election of a new lord will be decided if peace be not
granted by the king. It seems to me the aim of good patriots is not
to support M. d'Alençon in this : as he has well perceived, notwithstanding
the assurance he has had in the treaty which I sent his
Majesty. On this occasion he sent M. des Pruneaux to Antwerp, who
had audience on Friday, the 19th, before the Estates, the Council of
State being present. There was a long discourse about the greatness
of this master and his services to the country, and how he had received
from the Estates no honour or benefit worthy of them ; inasmuch
as everything was done without consulting him, especially the
settlement of the troubles at Ghent, which had not been communicated
to him, nor had he been asked for his advice. He
protested his resentment, with threats. To which it was answered
that there was a want of proportion in matching (n'estoit bien
ballancé pour les esgaller) the services which he propounded
with the honourable offer made in the last treaty, and that his
representations should be considered. And as I think, he will not
be kept long without being packed off with less solemnity than on
former occasions ; for he has been entirely discovered, and cut off
from his pretensions. Which will bring us into a state of bitterness
towards him, considering his arrogance and fashion of speech. In
fine I hope he will be dismissed, and his support dispensed with.
You will hear from Mr Davison how Ghent is being pacified.
It will suffice to tell you that when M. de Sainte-Aldegonde was
reporting the agreement from the Prince, a prelate told him that
the churchmen had been forced to renounce their privileges ; and
that for all the Prince's protest against Embise and his adherents
he habitually caressed and made much of him in public and in
private, which he could not deny. Upon which he held his peace.
As I said in my last, the Emperor's ambassador tired of waiting
to have an opportunity of conference with the Prince of Parma has
left Louvain to find him near Maestricht ; where he is encamped
with troops and artillery, thinking to intimidate them of the town.
They being well agreed, and having plenty of provisions and not
much money, are not afraid of the Spaniard, who is swaggering in
this way more from vain-glory than chivalrous feeling.
On Friday morning Count Bossu was given up by the doctors,
and at the solicitation of some whom I know to have little affection
for the Prince was persuaded to receive (sic) auricular confession,
and make a codicil ; being quite unconscious. This was done from
two motives ; one to make the Prince think ill of Count Bossu in
whom he had confidence, and meant to give him one of his daughters ;
the other to put heart in the papists, who as I said are diversely
Our army is dispersed from Breda and Austrade [qu. Ousterhout]
all the way to Guelders. The reiters have been offered a month to get
rid of part of them, with promise of two more in a month's time to
their officers. This they were not willing to accept, but wanted
three months in full, and for the rest, viz. four months, hostages to
take into Germany ; which is not the custom here, though it may be
in France. I perceive they will have to accommodate themselves ;
for the means of living here are not like France, where the abundance
is in the country. Here everything is in the towns.
I send you no occurrents from France or elsewhere, being sure that
her Majesty's ordinary ambassador performs that duty.—Antwerp,
21 Dec. 1578.
Add. Endd. Fr. 3½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. X. 90.]
458. JACQUES DE SOMERE to DAVISON.
I have saluted his Excellency from you and given him your
message. He answered that he had written to you, and that he
would be very glad to see you here, promising to procure the dispatch
of your obligation. I have also recommended it to M. de
Villiers, who promised to do what he could. Mr Daniel Rogers
arrived yesterday from her Majesty ; I will write nothing of his
errand, since you are or will be better informed of it than I am. I
had the honour of knowing him in England, and hope to be able to
discharge my obligations to him by serving him while he is in this
The act of amnesty and the Religions-vrede is to be published tomorrow ;
but I think it will be badly kept unless his Excellency
sees to the execution and practice of it before he goes and does not
take order to have the course and authority of justice restored.
This is no less necessary than difficult, considering the license that
has been given to the people ; whence both the necessity and the
difficulty. His Excellency has the wisdom to see to it, and the will
They are strong here upon the means to get the reiters out of
Flanders and disbanding the useless and superfluous men-at-arms.
Plenty of money will be needed to satisfy them. The four Members
hope to furnish a good sum to get rid of them. They are
still awaiting the reply of the Walloons, with hope that
they will take the side of reason. Still it is feared that
they are a little embittered (enaigris) by what happened
two or three days ago in the quarter of the Liberty [of Bruges],
to wit that one of their companies having occupied a castle
belonging to Baron d'Obigny and committing great insolences and
oppressions against the neighbouring villages was pursued at the
sound of the tocsin by a vast number of peasants, till it was forced
to retreat to the castle, and ultimately to quit it ; the men coming
out with swords and daggers only, under promise of sparing their
lives and putting them in security. But another troop of peasants
meeting them disarmed cut them all to pieces and burnt the castle,
notwithstanding the terms made with them by the lords of the
Liberty. The way to excuse this is to disavow it : and to write to
that effect to M. de Montigny, as has been already done by the
Prince and the lords in question.
M. de la Motte lately sent some 20 deputies to M. de Montigny to
offer him the post of General of the Catholic army, making him
plenty of fair promises if he would help to maintain the pacification
of Ghent. They say he has refused, but coldly enough. He has
been to Mons to talk to the Duke, who seems desirous to employ
him to arrange the agreement. He has sent all the French away
from the Walloons ; it is said that 18 companies have already withdrawn
and only 800 men remain. M. de Capres has handed back
the government of Artois to the Viscount of Ghent, who had done
much good at Arras, and is now at Hesdin. There is still hope of
keeping this body united.—Ghent, 21 Dec. 1578.
Add. Fr. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. X. 91.]
459. WALSINGHAM to DAVISON.
Her Majesty has this last week dispatched your suit ; not without
some little difficulty, because she thought it would not do you that
good which your present state requires. To remove this, which
would otherwise have been a hindrance to it, I promised her you
would be content with it, not minding to be troublesome to her in
The bonds which you are to receive from the States, and which it
is thought here are to be delivered into your hands, should be sent
over, for due contentment in that behalf ; and therewith some note
what satisfaction is made to Spinola.
Her Majesty marvels that she hears nothing of her letter to the
Prince of Parma, whether it be delivered or not ; looking to be made
acquainted what has been done with it. The advertisements you
send do not come so seasonably as is looked for at your hands ;
your duties herein been 'prevented' by some others' diligence. You
have to be careful to satisfy such expectation as is conceived of
you.—Richmond, 21 Dec. 1587.
Add. Endd. ½ p. [Holl. and Fl. X. 92.]
460. DAVISON to the SECRETARIES.
Last night at 7 o'clock Count Bossu departed this life, having
been seven or eight days sick of a burning fever ; the loss, generally
sorrowed in respect of his particular virtues, being esteemed so
much the greater for his country, 'by how much' the choice is
harder of a personage sufficient to occupy his place in commanding
the States' forces. These, having among their home-bred nobility
no one of fidelity and value fit to succeed him, or a stranger whose
credit is not suspected, are driven at this time to the 'hard exigent' ;
because the siege of Maestricht, which as we hear the enemy has
now 'belayed,' gives them a new occasion to 'redress' their army.
The success of the truce proposed by the Emperor's ambassador,
now at Ruremonde with the Prince of Parma, and of the commissioners
sent to the Walloons, is still in expectation. Des
Pruneaux has returned hither from the Duke of Alençon, the copy
of whose letter to the States I send herewith. To-morrow he is to
deliver his whole charge in writing ; which I will not fail to impart
to you by some man of my own within a day or two.
The Bishop of Arras, who chiefly 'treated' the reconciling of
Artois with the king, is dismissed as we hear unsatisfied and
unheard ; but I hope little of reducing those provinces to their
former habit unless by some extraordinary remedy.
La Noue is sent to Mons to make fair weather with Monsieur
on the part both of Duke Casimir and those of Ghent. He
[qu. Monsieur] is said to be making preparations in Germany for
3,000 reiters and 9,000 lansquenets, where otherwise his continuance
must needs breed confusion.—Antwerp, the Dec. 1578.
Draft. Endd. 1 p. [Ibid. X. 93.]
461. Another draft of part of the above. Endd. 2/3 p. [Ibid.
462. The DUKE OF ANJOU to the STATES-GENERAL.
Various reasons having presented themselves calling for my return
to France, I have thought good to dispatch to you M. de
Dampmartin, master of requests in my household, to inform you of
the same, and to assure you of my zeal for the good of these
countries, wherein I am resolved to persevere wheresoever I may
find myself.—Mons, 23 December, 1578. (Signed) François.
Copy. Endd. in a somewhat later hand : From the Count
Lalainge at Mons, 23 Dec. 1579. Fr. 1½ pp. [Ibid. X. 94.]
463. The DUKE OF ANJOU to the STATES-GENERAL.
M. de Montlouet, my chamberlain and councillor, having returned
from the Lords of the Leagues, whither, as I sent you word, I had
sent him with regard to what occurred in the Free Country, I have
desired him to go to you, to let you know the success of his negotiation,
or what resources you may expect from that quarter, as well
as my care and singular affection to all that is for the welfare and
preservation of these provinces.—Mons, 24 Dec. 1578. (Signed)
Copy. Fr. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. X. 95.]
464. Another copy of the above. Endd. in Fr. and by L. Tomson.
¾ p. [Ibid. X. 95a.]
465. "Instructions for you, Messire Jan de Bourgogne, Lord of
Froidmont, Councillor of State, and you Maitre Gilles
Martini, doctor of laws, and Secretary of the town of
Antwerp, upon what you have to represent on our behalf
to the Duke of Anjou."
First, you shall declare that the Estates of these countries are
much grieved to hear that he is resolved to leave the country,
recognizing as they do the great benefits received through his
They had hoped before his departure to have had an opportunity
of showing him how much they felt bound to do him service, and by
testifying their gratitude, witness to all the world how highly they
value those benefits.
They had hoped on the other hand that he would at this juncture
have remained the person who would by his authority have aided
the States to compose the differences between the Walloon and
those of Ghent, where on either side they were unwilling to hear
Wherefore they beseech him so to settle his affairs that he may
still be able to continue present here, without depriving them of the
fruition of their hope. They will feel themselves much honoured,
and will endeavour by all possible means to lose no time and to give
him such satisfaction as he merits and the benefits they have
received from him demand.
If however it is impossible for him to stay longer on account of
his private affairs, or the state of the realm of France (wherein
they would be grieved that any difficulty should arise), they can
only thank him very humbly for his kindness and assure him that
they will always be ready to do him service.
They hold to what they promised in the last treaty, to do their
utmost to get the assembly of the States-General to agree to the
articles of it, and see that they are called together or with the
shortest possible delay.
Meantime they beg him to have them recommended to his
favour, as he promised ; and to add to the obligations he has laid
them under, will he kindly cause the remainder of the French
troops to withdraw from Flanders, so that a good arrangement may
be made? They will then be grateful to him not only as the
defender of their liberties, but as their pacificator.—Resolved in
the States-General, 27 Dec. 1578.
Copy. Endd. by L. Tomson. Fr. 2 pp. [Holl. and Fl. X. 96.]
466. DUKE CASIMIR to LEICESTER.
I used the familiarity of true friendship towards you in asking
you to present my letter to her Majesty, and you showed to me the
fruits of a sincere friendship. On the one hand I feel myself
happy to have met with such kindness, while on the other hand I
shall lament my fortune till I have a chance of repaying it. I
have heard from Mr Rogers, who has been very welcome, both on
account of the knowledge I had of his virtues and especially
because he was sent by you, the message you gave him for me. I
am sure he will explain to you the present state of affairs. But
inasmuch as it is difficult to represent to the life how things have
passed, while it is very important that this should be known in
England, I have decided shortly to dispatch one of my people from
whom you will learn the very bottom of what has passed, and my
ideas for the future.—Ghent, 28 Dec. 1578.
Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. Fr. 1½ pp. [Ibid. X. 97.]
467. DUKE CASIMIR to WALSINGHAM.
I have heard at length from Mr Rogers her Majesty's reasons
for commanding Mr Davison to say to me what he did from her ;
wherewith I remain content, out of regard both for her Majesty
whom I honour and desire to serve, and for yourself whom I know
to be devoted to the common cause. Yet I will tell you that feeling
myself to be in my conscience and my behaviour very far from what
has been published about me not only in England but everywhere
else, it has been difficult for me to believe that either her Majesty,
or you upon whom he threw the responsibility, can have directed
him to say what he did, without being properly informed of the
facts. I know well that neither her Majesty, nor you, nor any one
in England can know what goes on here except by the reports. You
will hear no doubt from Mr Rogers, who has been clever enough
to get information from the Prince and myself that the opinions
formed of me have been inopportunely based on suspicions and
jealousies. I am thinking of sending to her Majesty him who knows
these things to the bottom, whom I now recommend to you.—Ghent,
28 Dec. 1578.
Add. Endd. Fr. 1½ pp. [Ibid. X. 98.]
468. ROSSEL to WALSINGHAM.
I continue to set before you all occurrents, good and bad indiscriminately ;
inasmuch as time, a halting messenger, clears up all
things, as I hope he will do with my advices when the successive
events are considered. Meanwhile I await news of the receipt of
my packet of the 7th, in which was enclosed the last treaty made
with M. d'Alençon, with his answer of the 1st noted on it. In
this I called myself to mind, and asked that I might have assurance
of her Majesty's good will, that I might more willingly employ
myself in her service. Awaiting this answer, I send you what was
discussed in the Estates on the 7th, where you will see what means
I have of doing her service ;
First, the speech of the Emperor's ambassador Count Schwarzenberg,
the Prince of Parma's letter to the ambassador, the articles of
peace sent by the Prince of Parma to those of Artois, the letter of
the States-General to the States of Artois, their letter to the
Viscount of Ghent, and the letter of M. d'Alençon to the same.
Also a letter of credence sent by the Duke of Alençon to the
Estates for M. des Pruneaux his ambassador in ordinary, and the
speech of the said des Pruneaux before the Estates on the 19th.
Also the proposal made by M. de Sainte-Aldegonde on behalf of
the Prince of Orange, wherein is to be noted the complaint of those
of Guelders etc., conformably to my advices, and another harangue
made on the 27th on the matter of his departure.
If I could afford to keep a regular copyist and supply what was
necessary I would represent all that takes place in good form.
After reading all these documents and the occurrents that have
taken place during this time, it will be possible to recognise not only
the state of things here, but that of the powers (potentations) of
Europe, especially France and Spain.
The Duke of Alençon foreseeing that events here would not
follow the fickle fashion of France, after sending des Pruneaux to
reside here and remain with the Estates, has decided to retire to
Anjou, asking the Marquis of Havrech to advertise the Estates of it.
He says it is not from any dissatisfaction with the Estates but
because he foresees the way affairs are drawing. He therefore
leaves his ambassador to represent his goodwill to the public service ;
telling them that the king his brother sent for him because
several provinces are revolted in France. This statement arouses
my suspicions, though as I have advertised you before those of
Burgundy and other provinces were displeased with the king and
had asked advice of the Prince of Orange about choosing a chief
who could be of service to them in avenging the oppression wrought
on them by the king ; which would agree.
His departure was fixed for Monday, or Tuesday the 30th. It
has since been slightly changed and he went on Saturday the
27th ; because five provinces, as it is said, have risen against the
king, to wit, Britanny, Normandy, Picardy, Champagne and Burgundy.
Others add Languedoc, Provence, Dauphiné, and the
Vivarais. It is feared that his retirement may delay the peace and
that the enemy will be more elated.
The partisans who supported him find themselves kept back from
their designs, and the principals are already seeking the help of
their friends to 'repatriate' themselves and come back into
favour ; among whom is the Count of Lalaing with sundry
Those of Hainault who under his protection aimed at disunion
are seeking to return to favour, and have sent 30,000 florins to the
Estates on account of their moyens généraur ; assuring them that
provided they are not forced to accept the 'Religion Wlictz' they
are willing to continue in the Union as before. Those of Artois have
done the same.
The business at Ghent is still unsettled on two points. The
Prince wished the Gantois to take the Catholics under their
protection, which they were unwilling to do, though they would
take an oath one to the other. The other difficulty which is not
yet got rid of, is with regard to the amnesty. The Prince wishes to
except from it the murder of the bailiff of "Vas," and the attack on
Bonivet, inasmuch as it is being enquired into. The Gantois on the
contrary want an amnesty for everything that happened during the
Our army is in the same state as when I wrote last.
As for the general peace, the Emperor's ambassador has written
nothing since sending the letter from the Prince of Parma ;
according to which he has gone to Ruremonde.
The Duke of Terra Nova has arrived at Cologne, where are also
the Bishops of 'Wersebourg' and Cologne, who with other deputies
may come at any hour to meet Count Schwarzenberg and the
Prince of Parma.
The meeting of the States-General continues, and ten new
ensigns will be made and placed in Brussels. They are discussing
the appointment of a non-suspected colonel, to act as governor in
the place of the late M. de Bossu, who died on the 21st.
I thought I had told you that the king had made the Prince of
Parma heir to Don John, both of his jewels and furniture and of
the marquisate which he had in the Duchy of Milan, in consideration
of his renunciation of claims to the Crown of Portugal.
He gives him also the citadel of Piacenza, and will maintain him
as governor here.
His mother the Duchess of Parma is dead ; also the Duke of
Alva. There are four who have been governor, dead in three years.
The king of Spain, desirous of the Crown of Portugal, has summoned
the Estates of Spain and laid before them the right of
succession to it, asking for their support in conquering the kingdom.
He has referred the matter to his council, the Estates finding it too
much burden to furnish supplies for the war against the
Flemings ; and they feared that after the conquest they would be
served the same as the Flemings.
I told you that the people of Guelders, being disatisfied with
Count John, had presented a petition, by the tenour of which you
will see their aim. They want him removed from the government.
I will pass over other details. In the matter of the arrièreconseil
a complaint has been made which you will understand from
the articles propounded by Sainte-Aldegoude.
Since writing, I have got hold of the speech pronounced by M. de
Dampmartin on the departure of Monsieur, but time does not allow
me to send it. Also the views of those of Artois on the peace,
which came this morning. It would be essential to her Majesty's
service to be able to send extraordinary dispatches while things are
in their present state. I hear that M. de Ville will be commander-in-chief
in place of M. de Bossu, and the Marquis of Havrech grandmaster
to his Highness.—Antwerp, 28 Dec. 1578.
Add. Endd. Fr. 5 pp. [Holl. and Fl. X. 99.]
469. THE STATES-GENERAL to the DUKE OF ANJOU.
We have been very sorry to hear from M. de Montlouet your
intention of leaving the country. We regret it all the more
because we recognise the singular benefits we have received from
you, as M. de Froidmont and Martini the Secretary of Antwerp will
more fully declare to you ; whom we have required to transport
themselves to you with all speed.—Antwerp, 28 Dec. 1578.
On the same sheet :—
470. THE STATES-GENERAL to COUNT LALAING.
We have heard by the report of the Marquis of Havrech the
resolution of the Estates of Hainault and their efforts to bring
about a good issue. And as you hold the chief place among them
and since the beginning of the expulsion of the common enemy
have done your best to restore our country to liberty, we request
you to continue therein, as MM. Froidmont and Martini will
declare to you.—Antwerp, 28 Dec. 1578.
Copies. Endd. Fr. 1 p. X ¾ p. [Ibid. X. 100.]
471. DAVISON to BURGHLEY.
The suspended agreement with the Walloons keeps us in doubt
what train matters will take, though we hope the better because the
Duke of Alençon, chief motive of their revolt, partly malcontent
with his cold success here, partly despairing of any better, but
chiefly diverted by the home troubles of his country, is now shrinking
from them, and about to return with as little honour as profit
of his summer's service. But for his farewell he meant to have
played a French part with those of Mons if his purpose had not
happily been prevented, as you may perceive by the enclosed.—
Antwerp, 29 Dec. 1578.
Add. Endd. ½ p. [Ibid. X. 101.]
472. DAVISON to WALSINGHAM.
As I closed my packet I received yours by Mr Carleil, which was
the better welcome in that it brought with it the long-wished tidings
of the dispatch of my particular cause. You have so much bound
me that I neither wot with what words to give you deserved thanks,
nor how I may recompense you for the least part of the favour I
have received at your hands. Therefore as a poor creditor (sic) I
beg you to accept my humble devotion in part of payment till God
enable me to redeem my bond with some agreeable service.
I would by this my man have acknowledged my thankfulness by
letter to her Majesty ; but I had by the advice of Treasurer Schetz
stayed him already 'with the longest' in hope of some good news
from the enemy's camp touching the ambassador's negotiations.
With my next I will not forget my duty in that behalf.
Her Majesty's letters to the Emperor, with those to his
ambassador and the Treasurer, I have given to the Treasurer, who
promises to dispatch an express to Count Schwarzenberg with them.
Her former one to the Prince of Parma I sent by a trumpet, with a
servant of the Emperor's ambassador that went for safe-conduct. I
have as yet received no answer though I wrote to the Prince offering
to convey his letter to her Majesty at any time. I think by some
of the ambassador's folk to hear from him.—Antwerp, 29 Dec.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [Holl. and Fl. X. 102.]
473. DAVISON to BURGHLEY.
Difficulties have fallen out in the treaty at Lannoy between the
deputies of the States and Walloons which have so far suspended
the issue of their negotiation. It is the harder to compound as
the practices to overthrow it are greater. If they agree there is
good hope of repairing the 'crased' union of the provinces and
the confusions that have happened in the doings both civil and
martial. If otherwise, I know not what could happen more
mischievous to the country, since it must needs bring forth a
general division which will advantage their common enemy, disable
themselves to resist, and push forward some provinces either to cast
themselves into the arms of the French, or to make their peace
with the Spaniard. All this depends on the good or ill success of
this treaty with the malcontents.
On the part of the French the danger seems to grow less, because
the ill-success of his doings here and the renewed troubles in France
gives the Duke occasion to hasten his return and discharge this
country of a suspected guest. He has sent Dampmartin hither
expressly to signify so much to the States, as you may see by the
copy of his proposition which I send ; an accident in my opinion of
as great advantage to the whole country as his presence has been
unprofitable. But to keep them in good devotion to him he has
M. des Pruneaux to remain here as his resident ambassador, who
has laboured the States underhand to give the Duke some
satisfaction before his departure. Whereupon they have 'advised'
to dispatch M. de Froidmont and one or two others to him (of
whose charge I cannot yet learn the particulars) ; whom he awaits at
What the States of Artois will determine in their assembly, put
off till the 28th, which was yesterday, is yet in 'expectation.' Meanwhile
they have restored the Bishop of Arras, who was sent by the
Prince of Parma as an ambassador to work their reconcilement
with the King, to his place and 'livings,' and continue under a
pretext of sedition to persecute such as they know to be of the
religion, followed therein by those of Douay, Lille and other places ;
an ill presage of 'entertaining' the union, which the Henuyers
nevertheless pretend to affect, as they have lately signified by the
Marquis of Havrech, who returned hither last Thursday. So that
the accord newly made at Ghent may be really and effectually
Of Count 'Swartsberg's' success with the Prince of Parma we
hear as yet nothing certain. The report is that the Archbishops of
Cologne and Triers, the Duke of Wirtemberg, and other commissioners
from the Emperor, together with the Duke de Nova
Terra, are on the way hither to compound these troubles ; though
the issue be as much suspected as a peace is desired.
The intelligence which the enemy had in Maestricht being
discovered, that attempt seems for the time disappointed. Howbeit
he remains about Limburg and his forces for the most part
'alongst' the river between Maestricht and Liége, for some other
enterprise thereabouts, it is conjectured. By such as come in, we
hear they put to death at Namur, on Friday week last, Mr Egremond
Ratcliffe and one Graye for the matter whereof they were charged
upon their first coming over ; notwithstanding that Don John before
his death gave orders for their release.
There has been a report of the levying of horse and foot in
Germany for the Duke of Alençon ; but for what they were destined
At Ghent all seems to go well between Duke Casimir and the
Prince ; a thing suspected of the Catholics. And because divers
reports have been spread of the ill intelligence between them, the
Duke has written to the Princes and Churches of France in excuse
of his proceedings at Ghent, imputing them to a zeal for religion ;
though in the handling he confesses some error, as one not well
acquainted with the state of the country.
The religious peace published at Ghent last week I forbear to
send you, because I think you have ere this received the same
from Mr Rogers.
La Motte has put himself into the field with 10 ensigns of foot
and 200 horse ; some think to be revenged on the peasants for the
murder of his deputies, sent 8 or 10 days ago to the Walloons with
instructions to capitulate with them, and slain on the way. Others
suspect an enterprise upon Berghen St. Winoc, which is the worst
provided of those frontier towns. Others think he has some
intelligence with Capres for surprising Arras. But we shall hear
more in a day or two.
In Guelders it is thought there is some alteration in brewing by
the Catholics, of whom the principals have presented a request to
the States against the government of Count John of Nassau, chiefly
in respect of his innovation of religion in divers parts of that
country.—Antwerp, Dec. 1578.
P.S.—Since finishing this, I hear that the Duke of Alençon under
colour of his departure from Mons had intended a surprise of it,
having destined some of his train to seize upon one of the gates at
his going out, and so to let in certain companies which he had laid
in ambush in a wood hard by. Which being first suspected and afterwards
discovered by the townsmen, it made his farewell so much the
colder. Now he waits at Condé for the States' deputies, whose
message is so qualified upon this news that I think their coming
will bring him as little content as the former did. The Emperor's
ambassador, by letters received an hour ago, puts the States in hope
that his labour will bring forth some fruit.
Endd. by Burghley's secretary. 2¼ pp. [Holl. and Fl. X. 103.]
474. DAVISON to the SECRETARIES.
Identical with the above. Draft. Endd. 2½ pp. [Ibid. X. 104.]
475. DAVISON to the SECRETARIES.
[Letter missing, but no doubt that of which the last is a draft.]
P.S.—After I had sealed the enclosed I received advice from
Ghent that the Prince finds more difficulty in compounding those
matters ; and it is not without suspicion that some new sedition will
happen among them.—Antwerp, 29 Dec. 1578.
Add. Endd. by L. Tomson. ½ p. [Ibid. X. 105.]
476. ROSSEL to WALSINGHAM.
Hearing that an extraordinary messenger is starting, I determined
to let you have M. d'Alençon's latest letters of credence sent to the
States through M. Dampmartin together with his speech about the
Duke's departure ; where you will see the feigned occasion of the
same. It is in fact quite other, being the ill entertainment and
reception that he has had from the people of Mons ; and his
fear of receiving some affront by reason of the customary
tyrannies and menaces of his people, as indeed ensued on the
day of his departure. He had requested those of the town to escort
him with 300 burgesses, who volunteered for the duty. So when
they were under arms, certain better advised said that it would
be well before starting to reconnoitre if there was no ambuscade or
plot to surprise the town, to the ruin of their posterity. It was at
once decided to send the provost of the merchants to inspect the
roads through the neighbouring woods ; where were discovered 8
or 9 companies of foot and 200 horse. The provost returning
in haste seized two sentinels, who when he made as though he
would take them cried mercy, and said that the ambuscade had
been arranged to surprise the town when the burgesses were out of
it ; and that all the villagers who passed by had been stopped and
kept prisoners in the wood. All being discovered, they of Mons on
learning it disarmed all the French, and took the keys out of the
possession of M. de Lalaing ; who being much offended,
pointed out that such an insult (escorne) should be offered to
traitors. They told him that he was not much better. M. d'
Alençon in extreme distress was finally with much entreaty allowed
to leave the town, and went to Condé, where he was hardly received,
and where he still is. Such was the exit of our defeated French.
As a consequence some right-minded people (bons esprits) and I
have managed so that all the French will be broke and dismissed ;
alike those who have commended themselves to favour and all the
others. It will be carried out before the Prince returns.
In like manner will be carried out the resolution to make a
regiment of 12 ensigns to guard the States-General who are to
meet at Brussels. Their colonel will be Count Egmont, and he will
take his orders from the Estates only ; to whom he and his captains,
who will be selected by them, will take the oath.
News have come to-day from Count Schwarzenberg that on
arriving at Ruremonde he was welcomed and caressed by the Prince
of Parma, who has deferred the progress of the peace-conference till
the Christmas festivities are over. He gives good hope of peace. I
will send the articles on the last of this month. During this important
conference the meeting of the Estates it would be for the
good of her Majesty's service to send extraordinary messengers, as I
said in my last.—Antwerp, 29 Dec. 1578.
P.S.—I omitted to say that we shall have a truce and armistice ;
and they allege that M. de 'Champaignie' will be set free at the
solicitation of the prelates and Catholics. All this before the meeting
of the States.
Add. Endd. Fr. 2¼ pp. [Holl. and Fl. X. 106.]
477. DAVISON to LEICESTER.
Five or six days ago I received yours by Mr Rogers, and should
have gone at once to Ghent if I had not been let by indisposition.
Being now better I mean to go in a day or two ; though I hope to
find things on such good terms between the two princes that I shall
only have to confirm to them the affection you have always borne
to them and the cause they 'pretend' to advance. So I will not
fail to discharge the duty of an honest servant of your lordship.—
Antwerp, 29 Dec. 1578.
Draft. Endd. 2/3 p. [Ibid. X. 106.]
478. POULET to BURGHLEY.
Though my troubles have of late been such that I find myself
unapt to do the offices which duty requires, I could not forbear to
trouble you with these few lines which will serve only to assure you
of any unfeigned goodwill ; and indeed this country ministers small
occasion of writing at present. The provinces continue obstinate
in their demands and in some parts show by their preparations that
they will not be forced. The Bishop of Ross has had long whispering
with the House of Guise, who are now assembled, from the
eldest to the youngest, at Dijon. And as this assembly is suspected
by many here, so it is not to be doubted but that this good bishop
and this other good company have left nothing unconsidered that
may tend to the prejudice of her Majesty and her country.
The king was advertised on Christmas Day at night that
Monsieur was on the point of coming into France. Villeroy was
dispatched to him to persuade him to come to the Court, which he
will not do, as I am informed by his ministers here ; intending to
go through Normandy direct to Angers.
Extend your favour to me for my revocation. Unless any
successor be named these holidays, I fear lest new alterations may
keep me here longer than were convenient.—Paris, 29 Dec. 1578.
Add. Endd. 1 p. [France II. 91.]
479. [POULET] to [WALSINGHAM.]
When I consider the absence of Queen Mother and the impossibility
of her return in a short time ; that Monsieur does nothing
without her ; that the king has no money, and can get none, but by
shifts and devices ; that there is no likelihood of this summer
passing without civil troubles ; that it is necessary to spend money
at home ; and many other things not needful to be recited, I
am forced to be of opinion that upon the next news from Queen
Mother, 'the English voyage will be broken.' You must not build
upon d . . . . es. You know our French doings are inconstancy
itself. I find many here concur with me in this opinion, yet they
hear nothing but the best of the doings in England.
I am not worthy to give counsel to these French princes ; but if
I were their subject, and they would hear me, I would tell them
that in my simple opinion they ought to have answered with all
frankness the difficulty proposed by her Majesty. The contrary
seems to threaten that they will be angry if the mislike upon the
interview proceeds from her.
Apparently rough notes ; but endd. by L. Tomson : Conjectures to
show that M. voyage will be broken off. ½ p. [Ibid. II. 93.]
480. THOMAS STOKES to DAVISON.
My last to you was on the 25th. Since then, there are the
speeches as follows. La Motte, it seems, seeks to be revenged on
those that killed his lieutenant ; but as the speech goes here, he
does not venture 'to fare to do the feat,' for he lies upon the river
that goes to St. Thomas, and some report he is returning home
All the Frenchmen that are with the Walloons are packing out
of the country as fast as they can, and carry with them many
waggons richly laden, beside a number of young 'colts of horse and
mares' ; so these have been good wars for them.
Also it seems la Motte lacks money, for he begins to make the
'dorpes' bring him in money as they are 'of a billet.' Such is the
speech of those come this day out of those parts.
The Prince has written to the Lords of this town of good hope of
agreement with the Walloons. To-day is the last day of their
The speech here is that the French news already makes the
Walloons to faint ; which God grant it prove so in the end.
It is feared by most here that these troubles in France are but a
covering to gather men together to send on a sudden into these
Yesterday Mr Daniel Rogers sent me two great packets of letters
to be sent to England, which I sent away this morning.—Bruges,
31 Dec. 1578.
Add. 1 p. [Ibid X. 108.]
481. Institution and statutes of the order of Saint-Esprit.
Copy in hand of Poulet's secretary. Endd. with Walsingham's
mark. Fr. 27 pp. [France II. 92.]
482. Summary of Davison's negotiations in the Low Countries in
1577, 1578 (sic : but seems to refer to the crents of 1584). Drawn up
apparently for Sir J. Williamson. 3½ pp. [Holl. and Fl. X. 109.]
483. 'An answer to the Spanish ambassador's request in the
behalf of John Wolters and Nicholas Hausman, Low
Forasmuch as the States of the Low Countries have by letters
dated in August last recommended the cause of the said John and
Nicholas as persons acknowledging themselves to be under their
jurisdiction and consequently comprehended within their bonds, the
ambassador has no cause to trouble my Lords of the Council any
further with the matter.
Yet it may lawfully be answered that since the said Wolters and
Hausman have sought their remedy against the sentence of the
Judge of the Admiralty by appealing to the Court of Chancery, which
is the ordinary taken in like cases both in this realm and in the Low
Countries, where the said sentence may be reformed, as the Judges
of that Court shall find sufficient cause to lead them thereto ; the
plaintiffs having of their own motion submitted themselves to the
jurisdiction of that Court, ought to be satisfied with their own choice,
and neither trouble my Lords of the Council nor my lord ambassador
In the margin :—
As to what the king my master's rebels terming themselves the
States of the Low Countries write to the Queen, her Council, or
other Ministers in recommendation of whomsoever it pleases them,
it shall suffice that I, as the king's minister, bear witness that the
said plaintiffs are the king's good subjects, and further them
accordingly ; for it is in the power of kings and sovereign princes
only to receive their subjects into grace and favour again when it
pleases them, how grievously soever they have offended.
To the second, the king's said subjects finding themselves greatly
wronged by the judges here, supported by the Queen's authority,
would be very simple, having according to right and reason sought
my help, if they suffered themselves to perish in prison rather than
appeal ; which is a sufficient reason (the action against them being
so unjust) to stay further proceeding by the ordinary course of
justice in causes that are so near to matters of state. Otherwise the
same course of proceeding will be held in the king's dominions
against the Queen's subjects whenever any of those whom she has
declared rebels commence any action by letters of procuration or
other public instrument. And herein I cannot but find myself
grieved that in six months' space I should be unable to receive an
answer from my Lords of the Council whether they take William of
Nassau with his adherents and the towns of his faction to be rebels
or no to the king my master, as they have so long since been declared
by him and his ministers by as many placards as have been
published and are daily renewed against them.
In writing of L. Tomson and another of Walsingham's secretaries.
Endd. by the former : The Spanish ambassador's reply to the Judge
of the Admiralty's answer in the matter against Wolters and
Hausman. 1 p. [Spain I. 16 bis.]
484. A statement of the succession to the Crown of Portugal,
from King John the first, who 'married with the Lady Phillip
daughter to Duke John of Lancaster.' Apparently drawn up soon
after the battle of Alcazar. 'The Lord Don Lewes . . . never
married, but begot a child by one honest woman, and (sic) was called
El senior Don Antonio, which died in their journey with the King
Don Sebastian.' 'Lord Henrick at this present King was born
the last of January 1512 . . . and so by this account he shall
be 67 years the last of January next.'
Endd.: A defence of the pedigree of the king of Portugal. 3½ pp.
[Portugal I. 14.]