THE Copie of a Letter sent by the French king to the people of Artoys and Henault, requesting them to remooue the forces gathered by the king of Spaine, from the Borders of France, otherwise de­nouncing open warre.

Also a declaration of the French kings pro­claiming open warre against the king of Spaine and his adherents, and the cau­ses him mouing therto.


LONDON, Printed by Peter Short, for Thomas Millington, and are to be sold at his shop vn­der S. Peters church in Cornhill. 1595

The French Kinges letter sent to the people of Artois and Henault requesting them to remooue the forces gathered by the King of Spain from the borders of France, otherwise de­nouncing open warre.

MAisters and freendes, it is a thing honorable, and the duety of a worthy and indeed a Chri­stian prince, to spare shedding of mans bloud, and to reppresse the afflicting of innocent people, as much as hee may. In consideration whereof God ha­uing made vs to be descended of a very famous, couragious & Christian race euen as the Kinges our predesessors haue excelled in godlinesse and vertue, so we imitating them, are desirous to crowne our actions & our raigne with excelling glory: We therefore will not only call to witnes Gods diuine maie­stie, who is the alone searcher of the hearts of Princes, but we are content also, (depending on nothing but on Gods helpe and our owne sworde) to make all the worlde iudge togither of our cause: & among other we appeale to you, who can best iudge, and ought rightly to censure, being our nearest [Page 2] neighbours, and such as haue more knowledge of the right of our matters than all other.

You know that about fiue years past, God by his holy prouidēce hauing put the scepter of France in our hands, by lawfull succession, hee charged vs im­mediatly with maintaining the iustest quarrell that euer prince in the worlde could vndertake, binding vs to pursue the reuenge and punishing of a most ex­ecrable murther and parricide commit­ted on the person of the deceassed King (our most honorable and Soueraigne Lord and brother, of most christian memorie) and to defend our royall patri­monie against the ambition and rebel­liō of those which would haue vsurped the same, who afterward spared not a­ny meanes that might be to haue obtained their purpose. And albeit that e­uer since wee haue had both courage, and the same right and abilitie that we now haue, to reuenge our selues vpon ye countries and subiects of the King of Spaine (the principall author and en­terpriser of this war) yet being holden backe by many considerations of great [Page 3] importance to al Christendom, we haue chose rather to beare much, defending our selues but simply, than to set vpon those forcibly, to whome we could per­aduenture, haue procured and done as much hurt as we haue receiued at their hands: but hoping to winne them or moderate them in the end, through our sufferance, and the equitie of our cause, which was approued and warranted of God by many speciall graces and conquests that it pleased God to grant vs ouer our enimies, yet the eagernes and stomachfulnesse of the Kinge of Spaine and of his adherents hath ben such, euen since our turning to the Ca­tholicke Romish religion, that percey­uing the cheefe Citties and the princi­pall Lordes of our Realme, who had before made war againste vs, to haue now sworne all fidelitie and obedience: yet notwithstanding, in steed of doing as the duty of peace and of good neigh­bourhood (couenanted by our predeces­sors to be betwene our crownes, coun­tries and subiects) did will him to haue donne: euery man knoweth, howe hee hath still maintained and openly set on [Page 4] fire the obstiuate indenours of the resi­due of our traitors, hath battered our forts, put our subiects to ransome, hath prepared and gathered togither from all partes forces and armies, for to en­ter afresh into our realme, and only for our sake laboureth to destroy the town of Cambray and the country of the Cambresians, vsing against vs, our freends, seruauts, and subiects, all deedes of an open euemy. Which thing being so, as we cannot nor will not any longer for­beare the protection that wee owe our subiects and our selfe. Wee haue also determined to repell the iniuries and offences which we receiue by the same meanes that they are offered vs. But calling to mind the olde loue and affe­ction of kings our predecessors toward you, and your good will and duty yel­ded to them, and moreouer it being ma­nifest that you be a little faulty of this war, you must endure the chiefest and most fierce assaults, when it shall be o­pen war. We haue ben willing to dayn of the proclamatiō herof for your sakes for to giue you to vnderstande that, if you can so handle the matter to obtaine [Page 5] that the army gathered togither neare our fronters, by commandemtnt of the King of Spaine (by whom shall be no lesse annoied than we doubt to be) may be remooued far from vs, and will as­sure and promise vs, that they shal not enterprise any hurt against vs, our subiects and countries, the Cittie of Cam­bray and the country of the Cambresians nor that they shall not fauor our tray­tors: then wil we not go forward with our proclamation of war, so as wee may see the same take effect betweene this and the first day of the next yeare. But, if this be not donne wee shall bee constrained for the reasons aforesaide, to proclame & make open war againste the Kinge of Spaine, his subiects, and countries that shall abide by him and ayde him in the same war, like as the kings our predesessors haue donne vp­on the like occasions: Protesting be­fore God and his holy angels, that we shall be very sorie therefore in regard of the euill that wee foresee like to ensew vnto Christendome. For auoiding of which, wee haue don that a Prince lo­uing the weale of Christendome and [Page 6] to liue in concord with his neighbours, could haue donne. You shall receiue this present writing one of our trum­pets, by whome if you shall delay to make answere, or by some other with­in the time appointed, we will take it as we heare from you. So we pray to God to keepe you.

THE Kinges Proclamation.
A declaration of the French kings proclaming open warre against the king of Spaine and his adherents, with the causes him mouing therto.

THere is no manne in this Realme, nor that knoweth any thing of the realm but knoweth, how the kinge of Spaine not hauing beene a­ble to make open warre, & so to destroy France (which God hath protected and de­fended with the Kinges thereof, of happy me­morie, the said kinges being still ayded by their good loyall subiects) hath raysed vp and sette on fire dissentions and partes taking in the same, whereby he thought to bring the realme to vt­ter ruine: and yet doe the same dissentions greatly trouble the realme. For his hatred to­ward vs and his couetousnesse, haue beene so vehement, that not onely he hath spent and besto­wed many large summes of money: employed and wasted his principall forces and Armyes, euen so farre, that he left his owne countreyes vnfurnished: but also he hath enterprised vnder a colour of godlinesse and religion, to attempte openly for to inuegle from time to time, natu­rall Frenchmen, to abandon their loyaltie due to their liege princes, and Souereigne Lordes (a practise alwaies wondered at of all nations in the world) he still seeking to get the crowne of this noble realme for himselfe, or for his.

[Page] Which matter he began to attempt imme­diatlie after the decease of king Frances the se­cond, and hath euer since continued the same by diuers meanes sought, still triumphing and a­busing the minoritie of our kinges. But he es­pecially manifested the same, and made it plainelie to appear, a little before the end of the raign of king Henry the third deceassed, of most christi­an memorie, in the yeare one thousand fiue hundred fourescore and fiue: for the Frenchmen then enioying, wholie and quietlie, Religion, Iustice, the kings great fauonr, and generall rest, and being like, nay assured to continue in this happie estate to their owne content: the K. of Spaine euen then vnder false forged shewes went about to fill all the Realme with fire, bloodshed, and extreame desolation, arming the Ca­tholikes one against another; yea and againste as Catholicke a king as euer raigned.

Wherupon followed his wofull death, which will bleed continuallie in the harts of those that are right Frenchmen: besides other murthers spoiles and miseries which wee haue suffered: vnder the heauie burden of which, France and Frenchmen haue and should haue been brought to yeeld themselues, yea to haue suffered perpe­tuall shipwracke, had not the singular grace of God (which neuer faileth his) giuen to our K. and souereigne Lorde nowe force and valour to defend coragiouslie, the right of his cause with our liberties, goods, liues, houses and honors: and to bring to naught the vniust purposes of the said king of Spaine and his confederates, to [Page] his shame and their confusion.

So that France may nowe be in hope to recouer the former happie estate, to the glorie of God, vnder obedience of the kinges royall maie­stie, if euery body wil be readie to yeelde thereto his faithfull endeuour, and his maiestie employing also the same meanes and remedies, that o­ther kings his predecessors haue in times paste practized, for to defende the realme against the ancient enemies thereof. Which matter con­sidered by his maiestie, together with the ten­der care he hath of maintaining religion, his owne credite, the defence and protection of his subiects, whereof hee maketh more reckoning than of his owne life, as he hath often hazarded willinglie, and is still readie to hazard his life for their good: for neither the kings turning to the same religion with the Spaniarde aboute three yeares since, nor the present danger that threatneth all christendome (which euerie man knoweth to haue risen through the discords, and iust gelousie that the king of Spaine his ambiti­on hath bred euery where: none of these things could moderat his malitious mind against this realme, the kings maiesties person, his good and faithfull subiects, the people of Cambray, whom his maiestie hath taken into his protection, a­gainst whom the king of Spaine and his people vse all hostilitie daily continuallie assaulting them violently on euerie side, battering and ta­king townes, leading away prisoners, putting them to ransom, killing his subiects, raising taxes and fines vpon them, and dealing in al things [Page] as a sworne enemy: yea so far, as hee hath cau­sed attemptes to be made of taking awaie his Maiesties life, by trecheries and villainous de­testable meanes: as appeared not many daies past: and worse had it happened, to the greate woe of France, had not God the true protector of kings, wonderfullie turned aside that horrible stroke, offered by the hand of a Frenchman (an abhominable and monstrous matter) but dri­uen to that act by a spirit most voide of humani­tie and indeed Spaniardlike, euen againste the kings sacred maiestie.

The king therfore herevpon giueth notice to all those vnto whome it shall appertaine: that he will no longer forbeare the maintaining of his honor, the protection of his subiects to whō he is bound, & of the people of Cambray (whose part he would defend, though he did yet longer with patience forbeare the going forward with the attempts) seeing those of Artoys and Henault make small account (to the greefe of his maie­stie) of exhortations that he by his letters was about to make them, that they should putte to their helping hand with him, to turne awaie or appease the furie of war, raised by the said Spaniards, being no lesse noysome and pernitious to those of Artoys and Henault, than to his sub­iects:) he hath determined and is resolued, from henceforth to make open warre against the said king of Spaine, his subiects, vassals & countries, for to be reuenged vpon them, of wrongs, iniu­ries and offences, that hee and his haue sustay­ned at their hands, like as other kings his pre­decessors haue done vpon the like occasions: vn­doubtedly [Page] trusting that God who knoweth the secrets of his hart, and the equitie of his cause, will alwaie assist him with his diuine power, & will blesse him and make him prosper and al his armie, with the helpe of his good subiects.

In regard whereof the kings maiestie com­maundeth and most straightly enioyneth al his said subiects, vassals and seruants, to make war hereafter against the said king of Spaine, by sea, and by land, and against his countreys, subiects vassals and adherentes, as against enemies to the kings person and his realme: and for the accomplishing hereof, that they go with forces in to his saide countries, to assault and surprise townes, Fortes, and places that are vnder his obeisance: and there to leuie taxes, fines & ran­somes: To take his subiects and seruants pry­soners and put them to ransome, and to deale wt them like enemies, euen as they doe and would doe with his Maiesties subiectes and friendes. Therefore his Maiestie hath forbidden, & dooth by these presents streitly prohibit and forbidde, all manner of communication, entercourse of Merchandise, giuing intelligence, company keeping, or dealing with the saide king of Spaine, his adherents, Seruauntes and Subiectes, vpon paine of being taken and adiudged Tray­tors: He hath also reuoked, and doth by thes pre­sents reuoke all licenses, pasports, and safe con­ducts giuen aud granted by his maiestye, or by his Lieutenants generall or other, being con­trarie to this present decree, declaring them hereby to be of no value, forbidding them to bee holden of Magistrates as things of no regard, [Page] after fifteene daies expired after the publishing of this decree.

Which decree he hath therefore caused to be proclaymed with sound of Trumpette, and pub­like Proclamation throughout the Prouinces and frontiers of the Realme, to the ende that none may pretend ignorance, but that euerye one may obserue and put the same inexecution, vpon paine of disobedience.

Signed Henry Neusuille

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