A true Copy Of a Letter sent by the Prince of Parma to the gene­rall States of the lowe Cun­tries, assembled at Antwerpe. With their Aunswere to the same the xii. day of March. 1579.

¶Translated out of French into Dutch, and from the Dutch into English.

According to the Dutch Copye, printed at Antwerpe by Christopher Plantyn, Printer to the Kings Maiestie.

The copye of the Prince of Parma his Letter.

MY Lords, for that we haue caused a trea­tie to be made with di­uerse of the particular Prouinces concerning the matter of reconciliation with his Maiestye, and fynding, the same well inclined thereto, albeit their desyre is, that it should rather proceed from you that are assembled at Antwerpe (his Ma­iesties intention and ours concur­ring therewith.) We haue thought good to aduertise you of the same his good meaning, that in case you haue any desire to do the like with conue­nient expedition: (yet lying in you ei­ther to hynder or further all those harmes, wronges and oppressions, which these present wars do bring) you would signify your meaning vn­to [Page] vs. Assuring you that on our b [...] ­halfe there shalbe no defaulte, as h [...] herto there hath not, to proceed therein with all sinceritie and vp rightnes. Presenting in the name o [...] his Maiesty and the foresaide Pro­uinces in particuler, to ratify and e­stablish the pacification of Gaunt, th [...] vnity which folowed and the perpe­tuall Acte and Edicte in all Articles and poinctes therof, and to giue such assurance in that behalfe, as reaso­nably may be demaunded, condicio­nally that only the exercise of the ca­tholike Romaine Religion, and duti­full obedience to his Maiesty be ob­serued and kept, as it was in ye time of the late Emperour of blessed me­mory Charles the fifth. And as yourselues haue sol [...]m [...]elye taken your oathes to his Maiesty, and promised by so many Writtings and Letters, and wh [...]runto by all godly and pro­ [...]table lawes you are bound, with­out [Page] [...] expecting any further matters [...] your handes. Considering that [...]ein consisteth the perfect stay and [...]sing of these cruell Warres, and [...] tranquilitie & ease of these Coun­ [...]s, which his Maiesty and we do [...]sh and regarde, and you as good [...]biects ought to endeuour to pro­ [...]re for their safeties and your own [...]nefits. Requiring you openly and [...]ainely, and with expedition to ad­ [...]rtise vs which of the Prouinces [...]o accept or refuse this offer, that [...]ervpon we may take order to im­ [...]oy ourselues as shalbe expedient [...] the seruice of God and his Ma­ [...]ty. Thus (my Lordes) the Lorde [...]ue you in his keeping.

Subscribed. Alexander. And below. F. le Vasseur.
The Superscription.

To my Lords the Deputies of the Prouinces assembled at Antwerp.

The answer of the generall States, to the Prince of Parma his Letter.

MY Lord we haue receiued your Letter, dated the xii. of this instant March, touch­ing the agree­ments of the Prouinces, with our souereigne Lorde the King of Spaine: For aun­swere wherunto, we aduertise your excellency, that in regard of vs there hath not bin any duty or good occa­sion omitted that might tend to the concluding of a good & assured peace, as by our actions may plainely ap­peare to the whole world. For in the moneth of August last, the Ambassa­dours of the imperial Maiesty, of the King of Fraunce and the Queene of England being assembled with our [Page] Deputies at Louan a place of th [...] appointment of the late Lorde Do [...] Ihon of Austriche, with good hope t [...] conclude a peace. The cause was i [...] good forwardnesse, and like to suc­ceede to a good effect. How be it th [...] King of Spaine, tooke the matter ou [...] of the hands of the saide Don Ihon o [...] Austriche, and referred the treatie and negosiation therof to the Impe­riall Maiesty. Whereuppon for that no endeuour on our be half should be slacked, which might aduaunce the foresaid treaty of peace: the Earle of Swartzenbergh Ambassadour to the Emprours Maiesty, by our consent and request, iorneyed twice to your excellency to treate and pac [...]fy the vis­sagrement betwixt the Kinges Ma­iesty and those Countries according to the meaning & assent of the King of Spaine, and our-submission. But notwithstanding all his endeuour employed therin, we finde that your [Page] excellency, was not onely farre from ionyng: but also the better to op­pose your selues to the same, enter­tained the saide Ambassadour with many delayes, and in steede of vp­right dealing with ye generalty tou­ching the saide treaty of peace, practi­sed by meanes therof and by indirect and perticuler treatings, to procure a seperation and dissention of the Prouinces: So that we cannot per­ceiue any reason that your excellency hath to saye, that the same hath not bin in any faulte to agree to a good peace with all vprightnesse and syn­cerity. Neither can we see by what meanes your excellency can discharg your selfe either before the Imperial Maiesty for the delaies and [...] vsed toward his Ambassadour▪ or before God and the whole world, for the shamefull suspitions and mis­strustinges vsed in y matter. Which are encreased in all trusty and discret [Page] hartes: by reason that (the King of Spaine hauing openly reuoked, disal­lowed, and disanulled the pacificati­on of Gaunte, when the Countries might and greatly desired to obserue and keepe the same.) Your excellency now in this time after so many alterations and troubles presenteth a­gaine by the aforesaid Letter, the ra­tification of the same peace with this condition, that the onely exercise of the Catholike Romish Religion and the dutiful obedience to his Maiesty should be maintained and obserued, as it was in the time of the late Em­perour Charles: the which is altoge­ther contrary vnto the foresaide pa­cification and a manifest breach ther­of, and such as al the States in gene­rall haue found to be directly against the common welth and other Coun­tries. For that in the time of the late saide Emperour Charles, the cruell burninges, Statutes and other [Page] Rigors were in suche force and so sharplye executed for the preserua­tion and defending of the foresaid ex­ercise of the Ronush Religion, that the fore saide States generally and with one common accorde, for the maintenance of the profitable trade and traficke of merchandize with o­ther Countries that were for theyr benefit, were constrained to procure ye same to be mitigated & restrained.

Whereby your excellencie may wel perceyue, what proceedings and ef­fects we may hope for, by meanes of such presentations which are vnpos­sible to be practised or put in effect. Being moste sorye that a case of so great waighte and importance, pro­ceedeth not with more speede and discretion. Not withstanding to ex­presse our good willes and ready af­fections to the peace, we are still con­teut according to the offer of the im­periall Maiestye and consent of the [Page] King of Spaine that the same shalbe negotiated and treated by the sayde Ambassador wh [...]e the oportunieye of the affaires of these parties, and the treaties whereinto we are en­tred with others shall permitte the same: yet if your excellencie hath an earnest & zealous meaning to make a short treatie and conclusion, and to reduce the matter to a good end and assured rest, it may please the same by vertue of his aucthority without so many delayes and retreaties to take a shorter way to make prouisi­on against the destruction & oppres­sion of the cuntreyes so greatly and so long time afflicted, agreeing with sinceritye and vprightnes to that which wilbe the prosperity and rest of the subiects and inhabitants of the same, by the general States and consultations which are to be hol­den and vsed in that behalfe accor­ding to equitie and reason. And we [Page] for our parte (if your excellencye through longe delaye hencesorth doo not hinder all occasions and commo­dities to doo the same) will not faile to harken to all reasonable condici­ons, for the performance whereof we may haue good assuraunce and warrant. Protesting as we haue already protested to the Barron of Selles and others, that all inconue­niencies & alterations which here­after may happen, shalbe knowen, which with pursuing of warres a­gainst these Cuntryes, doo giue oc­casion of greater mistrusting misli­king and alterations of the subiects. With this we praye the almightye God (my Lord) to haue your excel­lencie in his keeping.

  • The generall States of the lowe Countries.
  • [Page] The Ordinaunce of vs the Lordes, the generall States.
Vnderwritten. A. Blyleuen.
The Superscription.

To my Lord: my Lord the Prince of Parma.

❧ Imprinted at London by Richard Ihones.

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