To the right honorable the Countes of Shrevesbury [give] this at Tutbury or wheare./
1568 2 Ianuary To the Countess ...
My moost humble duetie remembred vnto your honorable good Lady yf it were not for my bounden duetie sake, I wolde be Lothe to write, by cause there is so smale certaynetie in occurrency but seing I am bounde to write; it is but smale that I see with my owne eyes, that is worthe writing; and therefore I am forced to supplye by that I do heare; which I write as I heare by credeble reporte; other wyse I sholde not write at all; and therefore, if I do erre, it is pardonable.

The newes is heare that my Lord your husband is sworne of the Privie Counsell; and that the Scotishe quene is in her iorney to Tutbury, something against her will, and shalbe vnder my Lordes custody there.

There is an Ambassator comme out of the Lowe countryes, from the duke of Alva, who is in custody (as the other is) and is not yet permitted to say his message; and sithens his arryvall is there .iij. postes comme from thence .ij. strangers and one Inglishe, whose lettres are taken and sente to the courte; and thei committed to custody;

The reporte is that the duke of Alva hathe for the Lacke of mony disarmed the moost parte of his army; and thei be not payede for that is paste, but robbeth and steleth and much molestethe the contrye; and being divers garisons at mastricke of the Wallons, the duke sent to discharge them, and sent Spaniardes in their places, who hathe shutte the gates of the Spaniardes and refuseth to deliver the towne before thei be payd their due.

The saing is that now the new King of Sweden and the King of Denmarke being frendes; thei haue set out the duke of Holste with a good power of suche soldiers bothe horsemen and footemen as thei may well spare in bothe their realmes in time of peax to the nomber of horsemen and footemen to ayde the Prince of Orange; which is affirmed by suche credible persons as commethe from thence.

I do heare that Master Gorge is comme out of Hungary and passing by fflanders was taken prisoner, and put to his ransom if it fawle out warre. and Master Arther hall is also returned from Connstantinople.

In ffraunce there is great sturre to let the Prince of Connde to ioyne with the Prince of Orange, so that the Kinge devydeth his force. The duke of Anioy to stop the passage of the Prince of Conde; and the King is making power against the Prince of Orange, and the duke of Swebrugh which be alredy ioyned on monday was fortenet; The King is muche trobeled in pointing his generall against the Prince of Orange; for yat the duke of Alva offereth the King greate ayde and frendshipp if he will make duke Domale his generall; and the .iiij. marshalles of ffraunce doth resiste it; in so muche as Monsieur Momerancy the chife of the .iiij. standeth vpon his garde in the duke of Anioyes campe, and Damvile his brother a other of the .iiij. standeth of his garde in the Kinges campe, who by right oughte to haue the bading of the army but by cause thei be cosen Germans to the Admirall thei be mistred and denyd the place; which semethe to be no smale discontentement to the King.

There came a post out of ffraunce of Saterday last an other of Munday and an other of Wedinsday; by him of Saterday it is reported he broughte worde that the Prince of Conde hade sente the great Master of the horse to the King with this message; and covenantes of peax that is to say, yf he wolde deliver his mother in to their handes, to banishe the howse of Guyse quyte out of ffraunce, and to permitte and pupulishe through the dominions of all ffraunce the religion; et cetera on this condition he was contented to harken to peax; for that he is and ever hath bine more inclined to peaux than to warre, if he colde by any reasonable meanes optayned it.

which hitherto he colde never optayne; for he never was desirous to revenge any private iniuryes, or at this present requirethe it; but godes quarrell and the publike welthe; and therefore if the King refuse this offer of peaux, he will (god permitting) comme to paris before the last day of marche nexte and reason the matter in the great pallece in paris; with horsemen and footemen; but what message the king returned agayne I do not heare, nor what the post broughte to the courte of Monday and yesterday, but there is brutes heare that bothe quene mother and the cardinall of Lorayne be both taken in the same trappe that thei thoughte to haue taken the prince of Conde and the Admirall with, yf this be true it wilbe certaynely knowen by my nexte lettres. And thus god longe preserue my lord and your good Ladyship and sende that the lyers sons maryage take no place, that the wrathe of god falle not of the howse of Shrevesbury by the same; as the lyke hathe fallen of other noble howses; that can never be withdrawen to the vtter spoile; for the iniquitie of that caterpillar his father cannot be chosen but to lighte to his issue; for yf my Lord mary with him his Lordship must maintayne all the wronges that he hath committed; for that he hathe orderly and iustly gotton; is a smale porsion; for suche a noble Lady, seing he is not lyke to encrease it by nauther pollicy wit nor vertue nor any other good qualitie but only by fortune which is but a smale certaynetie to trust vnto. I heare Master Haynes dothe vse me frendly in very good wordes to my frendes; it is for your Ladyship's sake and thereforr I trust your Ladyship will not forget him with your thankes as occasion may serue, and so eftsons Iesus preserue you and sende my cosen ffraunces a good happe, and your honor a glad good mother scribeled at London the of Ianuary, 1568.


[Hugh ffitzwilliam]

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