Written in ITALIAN, By H. C. D'AVILA.

Translated out of the ORIGINAL.

The Second Impression, whereunto is Added a TABLE.

In the SAVOY, Printed by T. N. for Henry Herringman, at the Blew Anchor, in the Lower Walk of the New Exchange, M.DC.LXXVIII.


THIS AUTHOR is so Generally Esteemed in all Countries, that those who understand not the Itali­an, are glad to Converse with him by an Interpreter; and even in France, after so many Histories as be there of the same Times, se­veral Impressions of this in their Language have been bought off; whereby we may judge, they think Him to be Impartial, and as worthy of Credit, as the best of their own. Nor hath He wanted a due value here, for, our late King, of ever Glorious Memory, by whose Com­mand, at Oxford, this Translation was Continued and Fi­nished (though not begun) read it there, with such eager­ness, that no Diligence could Write it out faire, so fast as he daily called for it; wishing he had had it some years sooner, out of a Beliefe, that being forewarned thereby, He might have prevented many of those Mischiefs we then groaned under; and which the Grand Contrivers of them, had drawn from this Original, as Spiders do Poison from the most whol­some Plants. The Truth is, their Swords had already Tran­scribed it in English Blood, before this Pen had done it in English Inke; and, it were not hard to name the very Per­sons, by whom many of the same Parts were Acted over again [Page] in the Civil Wars of England; the Faction of our Presby­terians in that Long-Parliament, outvying those of the Hu­gonots and of the Holy League put together. Yet, when they had followed the steps of them both, as exactly as they could, they were out-vied themselves by the Independents, who far transcended them all, in an unexampled Conclusi­on, by the Horrid Murther of our Royal Martyr, and by enslaving the Kingdom under several Tyranies, till His Son's Miraculous Restauration to His Iust Rights, Re­stored His Subjects also to their Much-wish'd-for Liber­ties. But, I am not to Write a Preface, and therefore all I shall add, is, That finding this BOOK still much sought for, since the former Impression hath been Sold off, I ob­tain'd the Right of the Copy from Sir Charles Cottrell, (whose WORK it was, all but some Pieces here and there in the First Four Books) with his Leave to Re­print it, as I have now done, so carefully, that I think it hath not many gross Faults; and, for those less considera­ble, I doubt not but the observation of the Ingenious Reader will easily find, his care Correct, and, I hope, his Candor par­don them.





IN this First Book is set down the Original of the French Nation: The Election of their first King Pharamond: The Institution of the Salique Law: The Rights and Prerogatives of the Princes of the Blood: The Succession of their Kings to Lewis the IX. surnamed The Saint: The Division of the Royal Family into two distinct branches, one called Valois, the other Bourbon: The Iealousies between them, and in time the suppression of the House of Bour­bon: The original, and raising to greatness of place in the rooms of the Princes of the Blood, the Families of Guise and Momorancy: The Emulations, and Occurrences between them, in which the Guises prevail. King Henry the Se­cond is killed by accident in a Tournament: Francis his Son, a Youth of weak Constitution, succeeds to the Crown: He gives the Government to his Mother Queen Caterine, and the Guises: The Princes of Bourbon are offended thereat: The King of Navarre, chief of the Family, upon that occasion goes to Court, prevails little, goes from thence, and retires into Bearn: The Prince of Conde his Brother resolves to remove from the Government of the Queen-Mother and the Guises: He is counselled to make use of the Hugonots: Their Beginnings and Doctrine: La Renaudie makes himself chief of a Conspiracy, and the Hugonots resolve to follow him: The Conspiracy is discovered: The King chuseth the Duke of Guise for his Lieutenant-General, who without much difficulty doth break, take and chastise the Conspirators.

THe Civil Wars, in which for the space of forty years together the Kingdom of France was miserably involved, though on the one side they contain great Actions, and famous Enterprizes, that may serve for excellent Lessons to those that maturely consider them; yet on the other side, they are so confused and intangled in their own revolutions, that the reasons of many businesses do not appear, the counsels of many determinations are not rightly comprehended, and an infinite number of things not at all under­stood through the partiality of private Interests, which under divers pretences hath ob­scured the truth of them. True it is, that many excellent Wits have endeavoured to [Page 2] make of these a perfect Story, by bringing to light such things as they have gathered together with great diligence, and commendable industry: Notwithstanding the diffi­culties are so many, and the impediments prove to be of such consequence, that in a multitude of accidents (all great and considerable, but hidden and buried in the vast ruines of civil dissentions) his pains will not be less profitable to posterity, who labours to digest them into an orderly method, than the endeavours of others formerly have been. Wherefore, being in my infancy by Fate, that destined me to a restless life, tran­sported into the inmost Provinces of that Kingdom, where, during a long space of time which I lived there, I had the opportunity to observe, and be an eye-witness of the most secret and notable circumstances of so remarkable passages; I could not chuse a more worthy matter, nor a more useful Study wherein to imploy my present Age, now come to maturity, than to write from the very beginning, all the progress and order of those troubles. And although the first taking up of Arms, which hapned in the year 1560. was indeed before my time, so that I could not be present at the beginning of those Civil Wars: nevertheless I have diligently informed my self by those very persons who then governed the affairs of State; so that with the perfect and particular knowledge of all the following events, it hath not been hard for me to penetrate to the first root of the most ancient and remote causes of them.

This Story will contain the whole course of the Civil Wars, which brake forth upon a sudden after the death of King Henry the Second; and varying in their progress, by strange and unthought-of accidents, ended finally after the death of three Kings, in the Reign of King Henry the Fourth. But to form the Body of this Narration perfectly, it will be convenient for me to look back some few periods into the Original of the French Monarchy; for the seeds of those matters which are now to be related, taking their beginnings from times long since pas [...], it is necessary to lay a foundation, and to explain all difficulties, that we may with more clearness come to the perfect knowledge of modern things. But if in the performance of this my so painful undertaking, I be neither accompanied with eloquence of words, nor richness of conceit; yet being free from those affections which usually byass the Pens of many Writers, I hope I shall be able to reach the proper order, and natural unfolding of those things which (having been many years conversant in the Courts of Kings, and always active in the first Files of Armies) I have learned of my self by Experience and Action.

Whilst the Roman Empire, with the terrour of Arms, upheld the Majesty of her Mo­narchy, (which with a large compass embraced the greatest part of the known World) those few Nations, who, either defended with the generous fierceness of their own courage, or by nature invincibly fortified, felt not the general yoak of slavery, being restrained within those Confines which necessity prescribed them, studied rather how to preserve their own liberty in their native soil, than forcibly to invade the rights of others. So in the East, the Parthians had for a bridle to their fierceness the banks of Euphrates; so in the West, the Germans for the most part contained the force of their Arms beyond the Rhine. But afterwards, when the Dominion of the Romans, through its own unbounded greatness, first disunited it self, or through change of ancient cu­stoms, began manifestly to decline; the barbarous Nations, (that for a long time had for their own defence only kept a Guard upon their Confines) the bridle being broken, and the bonds of fear shaken off, assaulting on all sides the Roman Provinces, gave beginning to new Principalities, and new Kingdoms. Hence it was that the fame of so many warlike people, till then wholly buried in its own obscurity, began powerfully to spread it self in the World; and hence likewise it came to pass, that stranger peo­ple, emulously getting possession of the most fertile and best Regions of the Universe, in a short time changed them, not only in their Habits, Language and Customs, but also in their manner of Government, in their condition, and in their names: so that all parts being invaded by new Nations, and new Masters, not only Britany from the Angli that usurped it, took the name of England; not only Pannonia from the Hunns, that ruled there, took the denomination of Hungaria; but infinite other Provinces in all parts of the World had the like change; and even within the Confines of Italy it self, the Longbeards gave the form and name to the State of Lombardy.

But amongst all those people, who, abandoning their native Country, endeavoured to get new possessions, and usurped others rights, there is not any one that for great­ness of Empire, well-policied Government, and unconquered Valour in Arms, and above all, for length of time and continuance, can be compared to the French Nation. [Page 3] For notwithstanding the famous incursions of the Ostrogoths, the Visigoths, the Huns, the Vandals, and the Longbeards; yet some of them vanished like a flash of lightning, which dazling the sight with a sudden and unexpected light, passes away in a moment, almost unperceived: others had so small a progress, that in a short time they lost both their power and their greatness. But the Franks, after they had fought with, and vanquished the most glorious Nations, and made themselves Lords of one of the most noble and best parts of Europe, powerful in people, flourishing in riches, renowned for great and magnanimous actions, and glorious with a Majestick Succession of Empire, after the course of a thousand and two hundred years, do continue at this present un­corrupted in the same kind of Government which at their first beginning was by a for­mal and natural Law established amongst them.

These people which now call themselves Frenchmen, and were formerly called Franks, whether they came long since from the most remote parts of Asia, (as some among many modern Historians have thought) or else had their first beginning in the bosom of Germany, (as the best Writers have reasonably held;) certain it is, that when the Roman Empire first declined, they inhabited that Country towards the North which lies upon the Rhine between Bavaria and Saxony, and that Franconia to this time bears the name of that Nation. These people at first, through terrour of the Romans, kept themselves together within their own Country where they were born, and streightned in a narrow Territory, with great pains, provided necessaries for life: but in progress of time, (as commonly those which inhabit a cold Climat multiply without measure) they were increased to such a number,The Franconi­ans, a people of Germany, not being able to subsist in their own Country, issue out in armed multitudes, and possess themselves of the Gallia's. that their little ill-built Cottages could no longer contain them, nor so small a Country afford them nourishment. Wherefore (all fear of the Romans being now ceased) invited thereunto by the example of their other neighbours, they resolved, by common advice, to separate and divide themselves into two distinct People; one of which should retain the wonted care and possession of their common Country; the other, exposed to hazard, provide by force of Arms greater Commodities of living, and a more large and fertile Habitation.

This Consultation had no interruption in the end to which it tended, and the divi­sion was made by a voluntary consent of every one. Those to whose lot it fell to leave their Country, although through generosity of courage accustomed to the toils of War, they feared not the danger of so great an enterprize; yet nevertheless they believed it was not a design to be remitted wholly to chance, but to be governed by mature deli­beration, and weighty counsels. Wherefore being all assembled in the fields near the River Sala, to consult of those things which were necessary for such an expedition, and knowing well that a tumultuous and unsetled kind of Government could not con­duce to the effecting their ends, they determined, before any thing else, to establish by universal consent the form of their future Government. And, as people accustomed for many Ages to live under the sole rule of one Prince, knowing also perhaps, that the qualities of a Monarchy are most agreeable and best proportioned to those that aspire to great atchievements, and enlargement of Empire, they resolved to chuse themselves a King, upon whom should be conferred the whole authority of all. To so great a power was added this priviledge; That the Kingdom should be hereditary in the de­scent of him that was to be chosen; wisely foreseeing, that if from time to time they should make a new election, it might easily breed Civil discord amongst themselves, which without all doubt would hinder the success of any enterprize whatsoever. So (as the beginnings of things use for the most part to be directed with sincerity of mind to their proper end, the publick good) all ambition and private interests laid aside, they chose by common accord for their King, Pharamond, one of the sons of Marconir, Pharamond chosen first King of the French at the river Sal [...], and the Salique Law establish­ed. a Prince, not only by descent, (being of the same Blood, which that people were used for many Ages past to obey) but in vertue also; being singularly valiant, and most deeply wise in the Government of affairs; consenting, that to his posterity should descend the same power and the same name, until a legitimate descendent of his failing, the right should return to the people of chusing a new Lord.

But because Authority without limitation commonly converts it self into destructive licentiousness, at the same time that they elected their King, they would establish cer­tain Laws, which were to remain perpetual and immutable in all times, and in which should be comprehended in brief the general consent, as well in the succession of the Kings, as in every other part of the future Government. These Laws proposed by their Priests which were anciently denominated Salii, and decreed of in the fields,The Salii, Priests. [Page 4] which from the river Sala, take the same name, were called Saliq [...]e Laws; and (after the establishment of the Kingdom) original and fundamental Constitutions. After this principal foundation, all other things resolved on that were necessary for the present Government, and advantageous to the design in hand, having passed the Rhine under the conduct of their first King Pharamond, they betook themselves to the conquest of the Gallia's,419. about the year of our Salvation Four hundred and nineteen, leaving the Dominion of Franconia to the old Prince Marcomir.

The Franks began to in­vade the Gal­lia's in the year 419. be­ing then pos­sessed by the Romans.The Gallia's were as yet possessed by the Roman Emperours, but much declined from their first strength and greatness, partly through Civil dissentions, partly through the incursions of divers barbarous Nations, by whose fury they had been long time much wasted and spoiled; which was the cause that the Franks Army found much less difficulty in their conquest than the Romans did formerly. Nevertheless they were not subdued without great resistance, and much time spent. For the Roman Legions ap­pointed to guard that Province, being joined, for their own defence, with the Gauls themselves, held the first King Pharamond at a bay, till his end drawing near, he left the care of the whole enterprize, and of the people, to his son Clodian. This man, of a fierce courage,Clodian the se­cond King, made himself Master of Bel­gia, and this was first con­quered. in the first flower of his age, having many times fought with the inhabitants of the Country, and having overcome and driven out the Roman forces, be­gan to master that part of Gallia, which lying nearest to the Rhine, is by common con­sent of Writers called Belgica. To him succeeded Meroue, whether brother or son to Clodian ▪ is not certain; but out of doubt, nearest to him, and of the same race, con­formable to the Salique Law. He with happy success advancing into Gallia-Celtica, propagated the Empire of the Franks as far as to the City of Paris: Meroue the third King, continues his Conquests as far as Paris, and unites the two Nations into one. And now thinking he had gotten enough to main [...]ain his people, and to form a compleat moderate Empire, stayed the course of his Conquests; and having conceived thoughts of peace, joined both Nations under the same name; and with moderate Laws and a peaceful kind of rule, founded and established in the Gallia's, the Kingdom of the French.

This was the first original and foundation-stone of that Monarchy; in which, as the descent of their Kings hath ever constantly remained in the same Progeny, so in all Ages the first rules of Government have been most religiously observed, neither power of Command, nor authority of Laws losing any thing, through time, of their first ob­servation, and ancient splendor. Those Laws ordained in the beginning by the uni­versal consent of all the people, exclude the Female Sex from the Royal Succession, and admit only to the inheritance of the Crown the nearest Males; by which means, the Empire of that Nation,Princes of the Blood. by a continued and uninterrupted Succession, always remaineth in the same Blood. From the disposition of this Law, the Princes of the Blood derive their name and priviledges; for being all capable through default of the next heir, in their order to succeed to the Crown, they have in that consideration great interest in the State, and the priviledges of their families preserved with great reverence from the people; no time nor distance of degrees prejudicing the conservation of that order which Nature prescribes them to the Succession of the Kingdom. For which cause, though in the course of time, divers families, through sundry accidents, have changed their names; as some have taken the sirname of Valois, others of Bourbon, others of Orleans, others of Angolesme, others of Vendosme, others of Alanson, and others of Montpensier; yet for all that they have not lost the trace of their Royal Consanguinity, nor the right of succeeding to the Crown; but the pre-eminencies of their Blood, and the same priviledges are ever from time to time preserved to all.

And because it is evident how much they are all concerned in the custody and pre­servation of so great an inheritance, of which they are all successively capable, it hath therefore ever been a custom, that the next of Blood should be Guardian to the Pu­pils, and Governour of the Kingdom, during the minority or absence of the lawful King. Reason willing, that the Government should not be committed to strangers, or those altogether Aliens, who might endeavour to destroy and dismember the Union of so noble a Body;The Assembly of the States hath the pow­er of the whole Kingdom. The pre emi­nencies of the Royal Family; Inheritance, and Admini­stration. but to such, who, born of the same stock, ought in reason to attend the preservation of the Crown, as their own birth-right. Nor is this Prerogative a custom only, but the States-General of the Kingdom (which Assembly hath the power of the whole Nation) having often confirmed it with their consent, and ordered it to be so; it is since become as a decreed Law, and a firm established Constitution.

The Royal House then enjoys two Pre-eminencies: the one in matter of Inheritanee; the other, of Administration: that, when any King dies without male-children; this, [Page 5] when the absence or minority of the Prince requires some other person for the Govern­ment and management of the State. These two Priviledges that are always inherent in those of the Royal Line, have been a cause that the Princes of the Blood have ever held a great authority with the people, and had a great part in the Government of the Kingdom. For they themselves have ever been very vigilant in the administration of the Empire, which they esteemed, reasonably enough, as their own; and the people, conceiving the Government might, at some time or other, fall into their hands, have ever had them in great veneration; and so much the rather, because it hath often been found by experience, that the eldest Line failing, the Crown hath been devolved upon the younger family.

So the Regal Authority having an orderly succession in the race of Mero [...]es, The Royal ra­ces; The Me­roue, Caroli, Capetts, and Valois, St. Lew [...] the Ninth. after­wards in the family of Carolins, and lastly in that of the Capetts; after many Ages, Lewis the Ninth of that name possessed the Kingdom; He who for innocency of life, and integrity of manners, was after his death deservedly written in the Kalendar of Saints. Of him were born two sons; Philip the Third, sirnamed The Hardy; and Robert, the younger, Count of Cleremont. From Philip came the eldest Line,The Crown continued in the House of Valois th [...]ee hundred years. which enjoyed the Crown more than three hundred years, with the sirname of Valois: from Robert descended the House of Bourbon, so called (as it is a custom among the French) from that State of which they bare the Title, and enjoyed a long time as their own In­heritance.

Now whilst the House of Valois possessed the Crown, the House of Bourbon held by consequence the rank of first Prince of the Blood, and enjoyed all those priviledges which we said before by Law and Custom belonged to that quality. This Family, great, not only through nearness to the Crown, but also in large possessions, abundance of treasure, reputation in war, and fruitfulness of off-spring; producing likewise fre­quently men of a liberal nature, and popular civility; easily exceeded the limits of a private life; and with the sinews of its own strength, together with the favour of the people, established it self in an excessive state of greatness: which begetting jealousie, and envy in the Kings, who were displeased at so great an eminence and authority, bred many occasions of hate and suspition▪ which sometimes also brake forth into open war. For Lewis the Eleventh, King of France, made war upon Iohn, Duke of Bour­bon, in the war intituled, For the Commonwealth; and Lewis the Twelfth (though be­fore he came to the Crown) tried the success of Arms with Peter of Bourbon; and so, what by open defiance, what through secret malice, the Kings of France grew daily more and more jealous of the Authority of the Princes of Bourbon.

At the length, Francis the First came to the Crown;1515. who in the beginning of his Reign, led by the ardour and facility of youth,The House of Bourbon being next to the Crown, and grown to a monstrous greatness, was hated, kept under, and suppressed by the Kings. began with great demonstration of affection, to confer honour upon the chief Princes of the Blood▪ it seeming a thing suitable to that magnificence he shewed towards all men, and to the greatness of his mind, that those Lords most nearly allied to him, should be most exalted, both for the honour of the Royal Line, and for his own particular reputation: And having observed in Charles of Bourbon, (who was the first Prince of the Blood) a generous courage, and a genius fit for any employment, he promoted him to be High Constable of France; and resolved that all the weighty affairs and principal charges of the Kingdom, should pass only thorow his own hands, and those that were nearest of relation to himself. But when he came to age more mature, the fervour of youth being past, and finding by being conversant in affairs, the reasons by which his Predecessors guided their coun­sels, with how much greater earnestness he strove formerly to raise the House of Bour­bon, with so much the more anxiety of mind he laboured now to abase their excessive greatness.

Nor did fortune fail to present an occasion,Francis the first advanceth Charles of Bourbon, and afterwards suppresseth him; where­upon he reb [...]l­leth. wonderfully proper for the execution of his design. For there being a Process at that time between Louyse, the Kings Mo­ther, and Charles of Bourbon, for the same Dut [...]hy which he then held, the King thought with himself, that if he caused Judgment to be given in favour of his Mother, and deprived the House of Bourbon of their fundamental revenues, the Duke would easily fall from that power and dignity which was chiefly upheld by so splendid a fortune.

But Charles, having (by the preceeding of his business) discovered the deceitful practices of the Chancellor Antonio del Prato, by the Kings instigation, against him, disdain of the injury, and fear of ruine, which was inevitably prepared, so much pre­vailed over him, that joyning secretly with the Emperour Charles the Fifth, and Henry [Page 6] the Eighth of England, he began to conspire against the Kingdom, and the very person of the King. Which being discovered, he was constrained to flee, and afterwards bare Arms against him; and continuing that course, it so fell out, that he was last of all General to Caesar in the Battel at Pavia; where, after a bloody slaughter in the the French Army, the King, invironed by divers Squadrons of Foot, was at length taken prisoner. For these facts Charles being declared Rebel, and all his estate confis­cate; and having within a short time after, at the taking of Rome, lost his life also; the House of Bourbon fell from that envied greatness, which had caused such jealousie in the King.

This was not sufficient to stop the persecution now begun: for although Charles were unhappily dead without children, and though the others of the family did in no way partake of his counsels; notwithstanding, the King, more swayed with revenge of the injuries past, than the force of reason; all the Lords of that House, more through hate of their name, than any delinquency in their persons, were utterly deprived of all favour at Court, and wholly removed from the management of affairs. And al­though this rigour was in time somewhat lessened, and the Kings mind so far mitiga­ted, as to forget things past, and to lay by the ill opinion he had conceived of them; notwithstanding he continued studiously to endeavour to cut off all means whereby those Princes might return to their former honour, and that power to which they were for­merly with so much favour advanced.

This secret intention of the Kings was very well observed by Charles Duke of Ven­dosme, the chief of that House. Wherefore forcing himself with moderation of mind to overcome the suspition and jealousies that so oppressed his family, he refused, du­ring the Kings imprisonment, to pretend to the Regency which of right belonged to him; and after the King was delivered, having retired himself to the quiet of his own domestick affairs, sought not to be recalled to any part in that Government in which he knew himself so much suspected. The rest of the same House following his example, to shew how much they were strangers to the wicked counsels of Bourbon, by being such ready Executors, though to their own diminution and prejudice, of the Kings inclina­tions, voluntarily withdrew themselves from all business that might breed any suspition of them; and standing retired, little troubled themselves with the charges and com­mands at Court; among which, despising the little ones, they already perceived it was impossible for them to attain to those dignities which they knew belonged to the great­ness of their birth.

The House of Momorancy descends from one of those who issued out of Franconia with the first King Phara­mond, and pre­tends to be the first that recei­ved Baptism.The House of Bourbon thus suppressed, and removed from the affairs; there sprang up under Francis the First, two great families, which within a short time got the whole business of the State into their own hands; Momorancy and Guise, neither of them any way allied to the House Royal, but both the one and the other of very eminent Nobi­lity. That of Momorancy keeps a venerable record of the eminency of their Ancestors; for they do not only shew a right descent from one of those Barons that accompanied the first King Pharamond in the Salique Expedition; but prove also, they were the first among the French Nation, that received Baptism, and the Christian Faith: wherefore among other marks of Nobility, those of that family give this device: Deus primum Christianum servet, as an undoubted testimony of the antiquity and piety of their Pre­decessors. From this stock came Anne of Momorancy, a man of great quickness of wit, but a moderate disposition; who, besides his natural dexterity and gravity, being ac­companied with a singular industry,Anne de Mo­morancy, after the death of Bourbon, made High Consta­ble. and exceeding patience in the various changes of the Court, he knew so well in what manner to gain King Francis his affection, that ha­ving passed thorow other great charges, he was first by him promoted to the Office of Grand Master, and a little after the death of Bourbon, to the dignity of High-Constable, and had then the Government of the War,The House of Guise descen­ded from that of Lorain, rec­kons in the male-line of their ancestors Godfrey of Bul­len, King of Ie­rusalem; and shews a pedi­gree from a daughter of Cha [...]les the Gr [...]at. and Superintendency of the Affairs wholly in his own hands.

But the House of Lorain, from which are descended the Lords of Guise, deriving their original from great antiquity, reckon in the male-line of their Predecessors, Godfrey of Bullen: He who being General of the Christians at the recovery of the holy Sepulchre, attained in Asia by his Piety and Arms, the Kingdom of Ierusalem; and by the Mo­thers side, shews a long continued pedigree from a daughter of the Emperour Charles the Great. In this Family, flourishing in wealth, and powerful in possessions, Anthony Duke of Lorain obtaining the Soveraignty over his own people, Claudian the younger brother, (a Prince of excellent vertue, and no less fortunate) going some little time [Page 7] after into France, to take possession of the Dutchy of Guise, gave such clear testimony of his conduct and valour in the Wars, that after the Battel of Marignan, wherein he commanded the Almans, being found most grievously wounded among thickest of the dead bodies, and almost miraculously recovered, he ever after held the first place of re­putation among the French Commanders. But though both these Families had deser­ved so well, as it was not easie to judge which should have the pre-eminence; yet as Guise was superiour in birth, and large possessions, so the Constable had the advantage of the Kings favour, and chief management of the affairs. The truth is, as the con­dition of the Court is ever various and unconstant,Anne of Mo­ [...]erancy and the Duke of Guise fall into disgrace with King Francis. so both of them towards the end of Francis his Reign, passed thorow many accidents of great hazard and difficulty. For the Cons [...]able, who was a chief instrument in perswading the King to credit the pro­mises of the Emperour Charles the Fifth, and to give him a safe conduct when he was forced in haste to pass quite thorow the Kingdom unarmed, to suppress the Rebellion at Gaun [...]: afte [...]wards the Emperours deeds not any way corresponding with his words, fell into such disgrace with the King and Court, that being noted by every one for a light faithless man, he was forced to absent himself, and reti [...]e to a private life, to be secure from the persecutions of his adversaries. And the Duke of Guise having without Commission carried some Companies of souldiers within the Kingdom to aid his Bro­ther, the Duke of Lorain, in the War against the Anabaptists, so incensed the King, that he was likewise forced, by withdrawing himself, to give place to the adversity of fortune.

The Constable and the Duke of Guise thus gone from Court, there came in their places to the Government of the affairs, Claud d'Annibaut Admiral, and Francis, Car­dinal of Tournon; men that by long experience and industry had acquired a great re­putation of wisdom; but of such private condition for their birth and fortune, that they could never ascend to that suspected greatness, which the King, as dangerous, abhorr'd in any subject.

Some are of opinion, that the King, a Prince of exquisite sagacity in timely disco­vering the natures and inclinations of men, at such time when through passed adversi­ties, he was grown to be of a difficult and jealous nature, made it his study to suppress and banish from Court the Constable and the Duke of Guise, whom before he so much loved, and so constantly favoured; supposing he could never reign absolutely, nor rule as he listed, whilst he had men about him of such power and reputation, who were in a manne [...] able to balance his will. And as in the Constable, that which most offended him, was his great experience, and too much knowledge, through which he believed he could not conceal from him his most secret and hidden designs: so in the Duke of Guise, he was displeased not only with the eminency of his birth, but also the restles­ness of his thoughts: perceiving in those of that Family a disposition and inclination ready to embrace any seasonable opportunity; and withal, an ability not unfit to ma­nage any whatsoever weighty or dangerous design. They add also, that towards his end he gave secretly this advice to his Son Henry the Second, That he should beware of the excessive greatness of his Subjects, but particularly of the House of Guise; who, if they were suffered to grow too high, would without doubt molest the quiet of the Kingdom. Which, though I dare not affirm, having no other testimony than publick Fame, which often proceeds from malice; yet it is certain, the things which since hapned have added great credit to that report.

But howsoever it were, Francis the First being dead,1547. the new King Henry the Second (inclined rather to follow the appetite of his own will, than the advertisements and so late example of his father) removed at first dash from Court, and from their places, all those that before had any part in the Government, and substituted into their rooms the same men whom the deceased King had taken occasion to discharge of their trust. Presently were dismissed from all employment the Admiral, and the Cardinal of Tour­non, both of them privy to those secrets which for many years were negotiated by this Prince, and his Predecessors; in whose room were called to the principal charges of State Anne de Momorancy High-Constable, and Francis of Lorain, Momorancy and Guise are re­called to the management of the affairs by Henry the Second. Son to Claud Duke of Guise. These being made as it were Moderators of the Kings youth, and Arbi­trators in the Court of all businesses of consequence, though they had several thoughts, several ends and inclinations, yet in power and authority were in a manner the same. For the Constable, a man ripe in years, a friend to peaceful counsels, and of a long pra­ctical experience in the Art of Governing, grew to an exceeding opinion of wisdom, [Page 8] and held the first place in the management of the affairs of State. But the Duke of Guise, being in the flower of his age, strong of body, of a noble presence, full of viva­city of courage, and of a ready wit for any generous notable action, had the air and favour of the Court; was admitted by the King to a familiarity of conversation, and as it were a companion in all his pleasures and youthful exercises: so that his affection to the Constable was rather respect, and his inclination to the Duke of Guise might ra­ther be called acquaintance. Their ways also were very different; for the Constable loving parsimony and moderation, with a certain kind of pride that usually accompanies old age, slighting the applications of strangers, oftentimes opposed with his authority the Kings liberality, and full of austerity, and severe constancy, little esteemed the po­pular applause. But quite contrary, the Duke of Guise, affable of speech, and popular in his actions, with ostentation of liberality and pleasantness, laboured to win the affe­ctions of all the souldiers; and by taking into his protection those that were in neces­sity, sought to gain the dependency and affections of strangers. Hence began (as it often happens) to rise an emulation betwixt them; for finding they were equally lo­ved and credited, they both laboured with all their power to get the advantage of each other in the Kings favour,Emulation be­tween the Constable and the Duke of Guise. and administration of affairs. Wherein, beside their natu­ral inclination, they were upon all occasions animated by their nearest Allies: The Con­stable by Iasper de Coligny, Lord of Chastillon, his sisters son, who after the death of Annebaut, was created Admiral of France; a man of subtil wit and esteemed valour: and the Duke of Guise, by his brother Charles, Cardinal of Lorain; who though he were singular in learning and gracefulness of speech, those excellent endowments received no little lustre from his dignity and noble presence.

Fortune was not slack in opening a large field to stir up this emulation: For the Emperour Charles the Fifth preparing a mighty Army to besiege Mets a place of strength, which they pretend belongs to the Empire, but placed upon the Frontiers, serves in a manner as a Bulwark to France: and the greatness of the preparations striking a terrour through all the Kingdom, it appeared fit that one of the Kings Favourites should be chosen to manage the troublesom command of that War. But the Constable being now aged, being above sixty years old, desiring rather to continue about the Kings person, than to expose the reputation he had already gotten to new hazards, seemed silently to refuse the weight of so great a charge. On the contrary, the Duke of Guise, who saw there was no other way left to raise himself in favour and reputation above Momorancy, but by arms, being of a warlike genius, and great courage, sought openly that imploy­ment. So the Constable, glad of the advantage, to see the life and reputation of his Rival exposed to such danger, either giving consent, or not contradicting it, the de­fence of Mets was wholly committed to the Duke of Guise; who with his valour and conduct having fully answered the expectation of all men, discharging himself with great honour in so doubtful an enterprise, remained in such reputation both with the King, and all the French Nation, that afterwards, a General being to be sent into Italy, to recover the Kingdom of Naples, there was no doubt but that charge should be conferred upon him. And although the War of Italy was altogether without success, or but of little advantage, not by the Dukes fault, but partly through the ordinary de­fect of the French Souldiers, partly through the unconstancy of Confederates; he never­theless grew in greater authority and reputation than happily he would have done by a victory.

For Philip the Second, King of Spain, to whom his Father Charles the Fifth had surrendred the Government of his Kingdom, having brought an Army upon the con­fines of France out of Flanders, and to divert the War of Italy, invaded Picardy, the Constable who was Governour of that Province, was forc'd to absent himself from the King, and once more, against his will, to try the fortune of War, when losing the Battel of S. Quintin, and being taken prisoner by the Spaniards, to the evident danger and great terrour of all the adjacent Provinces, the Kings Council thought it necessary to recal out of Italy the Duke of Guise to oppose the fury of the Enemy, and to pro­vide against those dangers, and repair those losses which the overthrow given to the Constables Army had occasioned: Which expectation was so fully answered, not only by the expedition he made thither; but by the memorable sieges of Calais, Guines, and Thionville, that he was ever after without scruple thought as far superiour to the Con­stable, as the Victor ought to be above the vanquished.

But the Constable being in process of time freed from his imprisonment, and returned [Page 9] to Court, it soon appeared, that the King began to renew his former inclination to­wards him: for▪ attributing his late misfortune to the uncertain chance of War, he received him into the same nearness as before, and again made use of his counsel, by which he was eased (being wholly addicted to his pleasure) of the intolerable burthen of business. Whereupon the Duke of Guise, and his Brother the Cardinal of Lorain, the one in War, the other in Civil matters, of great reputation and credit, doubting he would easily recover his former power, if there were not some stratagem or impe­diment laid in his way; they resolved to side with Diana, Dutchess of Valentinois; and so joining interests and a strict league of friendship, under the protection of her favour to maintain their own greatness. This Diana was of a noble Family, and descended from the Counts of Poictiers, endowed in her youth with rare and singular beauty, of a courtly, lively, and graceful behaviour, of a flowing sprightly wit, and indeed adorned with all those qualities that render young Ladies esteemed and favoured. She was married to the Seneschal of Normandy, and by him having had two daughters, in a short time after became a widow; then that yoak shaked off, letting her self loose to the pleasures of the Court, she presently became so absolutely Mistress of the Kings affe­ctions, that she disposed of him as she pleased; and not degenerating from her womans nature, governed so licentiously, and with such greediness appropriated all the riches of the Crown, that she became intolerable to the whole Kingdom, and universally ha­ted of all men. For the Queen (although she made shew of the contrary) through dis­dain of being rivalled, was inwardly her bitter enemy; and the Nobility, who through her womanish malice and practices, were many of them ill used, and disobliged, could not endure to submit themselves and their fortunes to her peevish humour; and the people ceased not to curse her covetousness perpetually, attributing the cause of all their Taxes which they so groaned under, only to her avarice.

But the Guises, sollicited only with the fear of falling from their greatness, to which they had climbed thorow so many difficulties, having no regard to this univer­sal hate, much less to any other respect, resolved to secure themselves under her prote­ction and favour; which in a short time grew so partial on their side, that having mar­ried one of her daughters to the Duke of Aumale their third brother, they united all their powers to one and the same end. But the Constable soon perceived the subtil practices of the Guises, and not absolutely relying upon his own strength, nor the Kings favour, thought likewise of making his addresses to the same Diana; and, as the Guises had allured her with the greatness of their alliance, to win and draw her to his party by satisfying her covetousness, a passion by which he perceived she was no less swayed than by her ambition: Wherefore beginning to use her with great respect, to gain her the sooner, at the same time he gave her many rich presents, and was so far transported with the desire of effecting his purpose, that, all greatness of spirit laid aside, he resolved to take for his daughter-in-law, a Neece of hers, whom he married to his second Son Henry Lord of Danville; which was so much the more unadvisedly done, by how much Diana already streightly united with the Guises, really endea­voured to maintain their power, and favour'd the Constables designs in appearance and shew only.

From henceforward it was in vain any longer to oppose the greatness of the Guises. For besides [...]he merits of their actions, in the same time that this contention was at the highest for superiority; Francis the Daulphine of France, and the Kings eldest son, took to wife Mary, only heir to the Kingdom of Scotland, who was daughter to Iames Stuart, then lately deceased, and Mary of Lorain, The three brothers of Guise made absolute admi­nistrators of the politick and military Government▪ by reason of their alliance with the Dol­phin. sister to the Duke of Guise and the Cardinal; so great an alliance, that they seemed now to have the same interest with the Crown; in so much, that nothing remaining to the Constable and his, but the Kings usual countenance, and some natural propensity of kindness to him; nor to the other Lords and Barons of France, but only the charges and offices of less consequence; the three brothers of Guise got into their hands all the principal dignities and chief Govern­ments of the Kingdom, together with the Superintendency of all the affairs both Mar­tial and Civil.

Whilst these things, which busied the minds of all men, were agitated at the Court, the House of Bourbon, next of blood, and nearest allied to the Crown, contrary to the custom of the Nation, being in a manner deprived of all honours and dignities, sel­dom appeared, unless called upon by the necessity of war, or in the exercise of their charge in those few small Governments which yet remained in their Family. And [Page 10] though the Prince of Anguin, one of the same House, so advanced himself by his va­lour and generosity of spirit, that the King was content to bestow upon him the Go­vernment of his Army in Piedmont, where he won the victory at Cerisola, and in di­vers other occasions gained still greater credit and reputation: Notwithstanding, he not living long, his good fortune but little advantaged the oppressed and still-persecuted House of Bourbon; for he once dead, it remained absolutely deprived of all manner of greatness or favour at Court. The chief of this House were Antony Duke of Vendosme, and Lewis Prince of Conde his brother, both sons to that Charles of Vendosme, who after the Rebellion of Bourbon, and the imprisonment of Francis the First, by his mode­sty and retiredness, in great part appeased the hate which so violently raged against the whole Family.

Those of Bourbon seeing themselves thus overtopped in power and authority by the House of Guise, (being but strangers newly come out of the House of Lorain, which lies between France and Germany) were not a little troubled to see themselves not only deprived of all priviledges belonging to their blood, (except that which could not be taken from them, the right of succession) but, whereas by the natural course they used always to hold the first place about the King; to be now, contrary to all reason and justice, the last: And their condition was yet more deplorable, by reason of the Kings resoluteness and violent nature, not at all to be moved by the complaints of those who seemed in any way to oppose his natural inclinations. In so much, as the Court losing in a manner its natural unconstancy, kept still the same face and form of things; the Guises ruling all so absolutely, that none durst oppose their power. The Constables greatness afflicted them not so much; but on the contrary, they exceedingly grieved to see him so much fallen from his former height, and left in such a state, that he was scarce able to uphold himself. For being joined with him not only by alliance, but in friendship and interests, they had yet hope by means of his favour to rise again; at least to some tolerable condition, if not to the power and authority their Predecessors had formerly enjoyed. So that now deprived in a manner of all hope, (which is usually a comfort to those in affliction) they became so much the more sensible of the hard­ness of their present fortune.

But amongst these, Antony of Vendosme, a Prince of great goodness, (and of a facile quiet nature) bare his misfortunes with an excellent temper;Antony of Vendosme of the House of Bourbon, he that was fa­ther to Henry the 4th, mar­rieth the daughter of the King of Navarre, by whom he in­herits the pre­tensions of that Kingdom. his thoughts being for the most part busied about greater matters: for having married Iane of Albert, only daugh­ter to Henry King of Navarre, and after his father-in-laws death, assumed the Title and Arms of King; he took upon him not only the care of the Principality of Bearn, at the foot of the Pirenean Mountains▪ (where he was absolute Soveraign) but also used all manner of endeavour by way of accord, to recover his Kingdom, which the Spa­niard had long possessed by force, ever since the Wars between Ferdinand the Catholick King, and Lewis the Twelfth. But the King of France, by whose means it was lost, had often, though to no purpose, (being so nearly joined to Spain) attempted the re­gaining of it by force. Wherefore now these two great Kings being about a Treaty for a general peace; he hoped likewise so to be comprised in the Articles of Agreement, that his own state should be restored to him; or at least changed for some other lands of like value. He grew more passionate in that desire, because the Queen, his Wife, had brought him a Son, who, in remembrance of his Grandfather on the mothers side, was called Henry; the same, who after the revolution of many miseries and irksom Wars, by success of victory obtaining the Crown, is now by general consent sirnamed The Great: The birth of Henry the 4th, Dec. 13. 1554▪ in the Terri­tory of Paw, in theViscoun­ty of Bear [...], a Free State. He was born upon the thirteenth of December, in the year of our Salvation 1554. in the Town of Paw, in the Viscounty of Bearne, which is most deliciously si­tuated at the foot of the Perinees. This birth, as it greatly rejoyced the Parents, so it spurred them on, with all eagerness, to pursue their designs for the recovery of Na­varre; and withal the King Antony of Bourbon thinking he should easilier interest the King to include his restauration in the Treaty, than obtain as Prince of the Blood any dignity or Government in France, with so much the greater patience and meekness, suffered the injuries cast upon his Family. And although the King, either still of the same mind to lessen the Princes of the Blood, or else meerly in anger to Antony, be­cause he refused to change his Signiory of Bearne, and the rest of his possessions in those p [...]rts, for other Cities and Lordships in the Kingdom of France, dismembred his Go­vernment of Guienne, which he enjoyed as first Prince of the Blood, and separated from it all Lang [...]ed [...], a large and populous Province, together with the City of Tholouse, [Page 11] and assigned the Government of them to the Constable; he notwithstanding, dissem­bling so great an affront, without any shew of being at all ill satisfied, constantly per­severed in his design.

But Lewis of Conde his brother, full of high thoughts, and of an unquiet spirit, not awed by such pretences, finding the narrowness of his fortune could not maintain the greatness of his birth, spitefully vexed at his present condition, could not conceal the malice and envy he bare to the House of Guise, which in a manner devoured all the chief employments of the Kingdom. Besides his own interest, the disgraces laid upon the Constable, made not a little impression in him: for having married his Neece Elianor de Roye, and made a firm League of friendship with him and his son Momorancy, he esteemed the suppression of that Family an increase and accomplishment of his own mis­fortunes. These unquiet thoughts were still nourished in him by the Admiral of Cha­stillon, and his brother Mounsieur d' Andelot: The first, of an ambitious nature, but withal, cautious and subtil, let pass no opportunity by stirring up troubles▪ to raise himself to an eminent degree of power: The other of a fiery disposition, rash by na­ture, and perpetually involved in factions, endeavoured by his example and perswa­sions, more to exasperate the Princes fury, which already had kindled such a fire in his brest, that burning with hate, and made as it were desperate, his mind was wholly set upon innovation.

Such was the state of things, such the emulations and enmities amongst the great ones, disposed upon every little occasion to break out into open dissention, when upon a sudden supervened the death of Henry the Second, in the month of Iuly, 1559.1559.

This Prince had in the War proved the variousness of fortune; and desiring at the last to ease his Kingdom of those great expences and troubles, he was perswaded, join­ing with the Neighbour Princes, to establish a general Peace: to confirm which with the most lasting bonds that might be, at the same time he married his eldest daughter Elizabeth to Philip the Second King of Spain, and Margaret his only sister to Philibert Emanuel, Duke of Savoy. But whilst these Marriages were celebrating, with all Royal magnificence, and an universal joy in the City of Paris; Behold, the last day of Iune, Henry the 2d. killed in a Tournament by Montgomery. Francis the 2d. his Son, being 16 years old, succeeds to the Crown. in a publick solemn Tournament, running with headed Launces against Gabriel Count of Montgomery, Captain of his Guard, by accident the Vizor of his Helmet flew open, and the staff of his adversaries Launce hitting him in the right eye, he was presently carried away to the Hostel des Tournelles, where, his wound being mortal, the tenth of Iuly he passed out of this life, much lamented of all men.

Henry the Second being deceased, there succeeded to the Crown Francis, Dolphin of France, his eldest Son, being about sixteen years of age, a Youth of a languishing spirit, unhealthful and of a tender constitution, under whose Government all things ran on in such a precipitate way to the foreseen end, that hidden discords brake out into open enmities, and soon after came to the resolution of Arms. The Kings youth, or rather his natural incapacity, required, though not a direct Regent, (for the Kings of France are at fourteen years of age out of minority) yet a prudent assiduous Gover­nour, till his natural weakness were overcome by maturity of years. The ancient Customs of the Kingdom call'd to that charge the Princes of the Blood: amongst which, for nearness and reputation it belonged to the Prince of Conde, and the King of Navarre. On the other side, the Duke of Guise and the Cardinal of Lorain, nearly allied to the King in relation of the Queen his Wife, pretended to have this Dignity conferred upon them, as due to their merits, and great services done to the Crown; and, which most imported, because they in effect enjoyed it during the life-time of the deceased King. Amongst these, Katherine of Medicis, the Kings Mother, for near­ness of Blood, and according to many examples in former times, pleaded the right to be in her; and her hopes were so increased through the dissention among the Princes, that she doubted not easily to compass what she desired. The fear that one faction had of another, facilitated her design, insomuch that the Guises, knowing they had not the Qualification of Blood that was required to obtain the Government of the State, and foreseeing how much the authority of a Mother was like to prevail with the unexperi­enced youth of a Son; resolved to join and unite themselves with her, dividing into two parts that power, which they doubted they could not wholly obtain for them­selves. And in like manner the Queen, a woman of a manlike spirit and subtil wit, knowing the Princes of the Blood are ever naturally against the Government and great­ness of the Queens; foreseeing also, that as an Italian and a stranger, she should need [Page 12] the support of some potent Faction to establish her self; willingly condescended to make a League with the Guises, who, she saw, would content themselves with a share only of the Government, which the Princes of Bourbon pretended to belong wholly to them.

A great obstacle to this Union, was the mutual interest of the Guises and the Dutchess Diana, whom the deceased King loved extreamly even to his last; but the business re­quiring it, delays not being to be used in such great designs; The Queen on the one side, who in her Husbands life-time had with most commendable patience indured a Rival, was inclined with the same moderation to forget all injuries past; And the Guises on the other part, wholly fixing their thoughts upon the present occasion, easily consented she should be abased, and removed from the Court; provided, she were not absolutely deprived of her estate, which after her was come to their third Brother the Duke of A [...]male. Wherefore their common interest accommodating their present Union, and all matters concerning Diana setled to the Queens liking; they began una­nimously to lay the basis of their intended greatness.

The King of Navarre was absent, little satisfied with the King and the Court, be­cause in the Capitulation with Spain, no regard was had of his interest for the recovery of his Kingdom.TheObsequies of King Henry the Second, last 33 days. The Constable was employed in the Obsequies of the King, which were on purpose committed to his care: for, that solemnity continuing with the same pomp three and thirty days together, it is not lawful for him that hath the charge of it to depart from the place where the dead body lies, and the Ceremonies are kept, which was in the Hostel des Tournelles, The King by the perswasi­on of his wife, commits the management of the affairs to his Mother, the Duke of Guise, and the Cardinal of Lorain. very far distant from the Louvre, whither (as the manner is) the new King was brought to reside. So that all those obstacles remo­ved, partly by industry, partly by fortune, it was no difficult matter to get the King, who was likewise more than ordinarily led by the beauty and allurements of the Queen his Wife, to remit his whole authority into the hands of their nearest Allies. So to the Duke was committed the care of the Militia; the Civil affairs to the Cardinal; and to the Queen-Mother the superintendence of all.

Things thus setled according to their own will, they began to take surer footing; and there being none present who by complaints or practice could work the King to open a way to alterations, they presently entred into consultation how to remove all such as might in any way oppose their designs.The causes of the Constables disgrace at Court, and his exclusion from the affairs. There was no doubt but their first at­tempt would be upon the Constable, as one whose authority and wisdom the Guises most apprehended, and the Queen-Mother long, though secretly, hated. The Guises feared him by reason of the ancient emulations that had ever been between them, and because the opinion of his wisdom, though he had lost his power at the Court, preser­ved him still in great credit with the people. But the Queens hate of him proceeded from many causes, and particularly because when she was first married, he used all manner of endeavour to perswade the King to repudiate her as barren; and afterward, when she proved to have children, he never ceased to speak scandalously of her, saying, Of all the Kings children not any one resembled him, but only Diana his bastard-daughter, who was destined for wife to Francis of Momorancy, one of his sons: which speeches (though not directly) cast a blemish upon the Queens honour and chastity. Nor be­sides these injuries, could she easily forget, that he (as he was naturally averse to strangers) had obstinately persecuted all those Florentines who through relation either of Blood or Country had recourse to her Court; and as if he pretended to an emulation with her herself, had ever used what means he could possible to affront and keep under all her dependants. All which things in her Husbands life-time she either patiently overcame, or wisely seemed not to take notice of, as indeed she was a woman of a most insearchable mind, and a most profound dissembler. But now that there was an op­portunity, they made her easily to consent to the desire of the Guises, which was under other pretences to deprive him of all Government in the Kingdom, or favour at Court. Wherefore in private discourse, cunningly falling into that Argument, they with one accord represented to the King the too great authority of that man; that if he remained at Court, he would pretend to keep him like a Child, under Government, and the lash of his Discipline; and that being straightly united with the Princes of Bourbon, (always enemies to those that possessed the Crown which they had long looked after) it was not fit in any manner to trust him, lest through that means his Majesty might expose both his own life and his young brothers to the treacheries of those men, who being suspected by reason of their restless ambition, were by the Kings his Predecessors always [Page 13] kept under, and at a distance. These Arguments easily making an impression in the Kings weakness, (as those that know little are naturally jealous of those that know more) they resolved upon a dextrous manner to license him from the Court. Where­fore his fathers Obsequies ended, receiving him with great expressions of kindness, he told him, that being not able any other way to reward the greatness of his merits, and the pains he had undergone in the service of his Predecessors, he was determined to ease him from the cares and weight of the Government, which he knew now were burdensom, and disproportioned to his age, which he would not oppress with the excessive toil of business, but reserve him for some great occasion; and that therefore he might retire himself to his ease where best pleased him, he being resolved not to wear him out as a servant, or a vassal, but always to honour him as a father. By which speech the Constable knowing it was no time to dispute the matter,The Constable retires the se­cond time from the Court. but that it would be best for him to accept that for a reward which otherwise would turn to a pu­nishment, having thanked the King, and recommended to his protection his sons and nephews, retired himself to his Palace of Chantilly, ten leagues from Paris, where he had formerly been sheltred from the persecutions of the Court.

The Constable thus sent away, the next thought was how to remove the Prince of Conde, whose arrogancy and animosity appeared every day more prompt to take hold of any whatsoever occasion to attempt innovations, and to disturb the form of the present Government. But there being yet no means found to remove him, by reason of his quality of Prince, and for want of a just pretext, it was thought a good expedient, to send him out of the way, until such time as the foundation of their new-formed Government were setled. Wherefore being appointed Ambassador to the Catholick King, to confirm the Peace and Alliance contracted at the end of the last Kings Reign, departing from the Court, he left them the Field free to perfect their purposed de­signs.

In the same manner they proceeded with all other persons. For the Queen and the Guises having resolved formerly to establish their commenced greatness, they thought it would happen according to their desire, if reducing by little and little, the Fortresses, Souldiers, Treasure, and Sinews of the State, into their own power, all the essential important businesses of the Kingdom were either managed by themselves, or else com­mitted to the trust of their nearest followers and adherents. But they were not so wholly governed by their interests, that they had not still a regard to the publick good, and their own reputation. For they advanced not, as the common course is, men of little merit and abject condition, thinking they would be more trusty because of their obligation; but were industrious to get about them persons of known worth, noble birth, and above all, of good reputation among the common people; by which they obtained two ends at the same time; the one, that the people were commonly pleased, and their ill-willers could have no just exceptions; the other, that crediting persons of honour and sincere intentions, they were not cozened nor deluded in their trust, as often those are that in great business rely upon men of base extraction, or of vitious life.

According to which Maxim,Francis Olivier the High Chancellor, and the Car­dinal of Tour­non, are re­called the se­cond time to the Court. they recalled to the exercise of his charge Francis Oli­vier, High Chancellor of the Kingdom, a man of tried integrity, and severe constancy in the Government; who for too much freedom, or too much persevering in his opi­nions, was at the beginning of Henry's Raign, by the Constables perswasion, dismissed from the Court. Likewise they recalled to the Council of State, and near to the Kings Person, the Cardinal of Tournon; he who in the time of Francis the First, Grandfather to this King, had the principal Authority in the State: by which means, being men of tried and known goodness, and enemies to all impositions which oppressed the Com­monwealth, they not only satisfied the desire of the common people, and publick ex­pectation; but being disgraced, and as it were cast out by the Constable, and now recalled with much credit to the present Government, they served also (by their coun­sels and industry) to establish the foundation of their commenced greatness. Like dexterity and like artifices were used to fetch in the rest. But with the House of Bour­bon and the House of Momorancy, they proceeded not with such moderation: on the contrary, the Guises, transported, with a desire, as much as was possible, to abase their old enemy, and the splendour of the Royal Family, readily embraced any occa­sion to diminish their reputation, or otherwise to prejudice them. Gasper de Coligny the Admiral, was possessed of two several Governments, the Isle of France (so that Pro­vince [Page 14] is called wherein Paris is situated) and Picardy: and, because the Laws of the Kingdom prohibit any one to have two charges, the late King had resolved to give the Government of Picardy to the Prince of Conde; thinking by that means, in some mea­sure, to pacifie his mind, which he knew, th [...]ough his oppressions, was much incensed. To which he was the rather induced, because his father having long enjoyed that Go­vernment, and after him the King of Navarre his brother, he not only very much de­sired it, but had also some just and reasonable pretences to it. But the Admiral ha­ving in consideration of the Prince surrendred it, and the King dying almost at the same time, Francis, not regarding his fathers purpose, though already declared, at the instance of the Guises, conferred the same Government upon Charles de Cosse, Mareschal of Brissac, a Captain of great reputation, and no less vertue; but who taking his rise from the fortune of the House of Lorain, and straitly united with those Princes in all things, depended absolutely upon them. The same respect was born to Momorancy, the Constables eldest son: For he having married Diana, bastard-daughter to Henry, with promise to have the Office of Grand Maistre conferred upon him, which his fa­ther had enjoyed many years, the Duke of Guise, as soon as Francis came to the Crown, got it for himself; it being his chief end, to add to his new greatness, new authority, and new lustre, and to deprive that family of it, which he desired to bring as low as was possible. Thus the Duke, and much more the Cardinal, when any opportunity was offered to depress their adversaries, and advance themselves, most greedily entertained it. But the Queen-Mother, who knew such excessive covetousness, and great animo­sity, must of necessity, at one time or other, produce some great evil, and wished they would proceed with more dexterity, and dissimulation, was so bold as in the be­ginning to oppose the counsels and resolutions of those, by whose power her own autho­rity was chiefly upheld. Now the Princes of Bourbon in this manner excluded from any part of the Government, and almost from the Court, and from the Kings ear, be­gan at last to weigh the estate of their own affairs; and considering the proceedings of their adversaries, (who, not content with their present authority, contrived all means to establish themselves for the future) they resolved no longer to stand by as idle spectators of their own disgraces, but to find out some remedy for the time to come, which might recompence their past losses, and stop the precipice of their future ruine, which they saw undoubtedly lay before them. To this end, Antony, King of Navarre, having left his young son to the care of the Queen, his wife, in Bearne, in a manner secure from that fire, which he saw now kindling to consume the Kingdom of France, came to Vandosme, Secret Assem­bly of the Princes of Bourbon, and other discon­tented Lords. where met him the Prince of Conde, then returned from his Em­bassie, together with the Admiral Andelot, and the Cardinal of Chatillon his brothers, Charles Count of Roche-faucault, Francis Vidame of Chartres, and Antony Prince of Portian, all near Allies and Friends; with whom came divers other Gentlemen, anci­ent dependents and adherents to the Families of Bourbon and Momorancy. Nor did the Constable (who, under pretence of retiredness and a quiet life, secretly gave mo­tion to all the wheels of this attempt) fail to send thither his old Secretary Dardres, that by assisting at the Assembly, he might represent to them his judgment concerning the present business.

Now entring there into a debate what (as things stood) was fittest to be done; they all agreed in the end, but were of different opinions concerning the means: For they all knew the great indignities received by the Princes of the Blood; who were not only put by the first place in the Government, but deprived of those few charges that remained amongst them: likewise they clearly foresaw how great a ruine suddenly threatned both the Princes of the Blood themselves, and their whole party; the sup­pression of which, they saw was the Guises chief aim. Wherefore they all concluded, that in the first place it was necessary to provide, as much as might be possible, against so great a danger, before things were brought to the last extremities, and irrepaira­ble. But by what means this was to be done, they did not so easily agree among them­selves.

The Prince of Conde, the Vidame of Chartres, d' Andelot, and divers others, the most ardent and resolute amongst them, were of opinion, that without giving more time to their adversaries to strengthen themselves, and augment their power and repu­tation, they should forthwith have recourse to Arms, as the most expedite remedy, and more secure than any other. They fur [...]her shewed, it was but in vain any longer to expect in hope that the King would at length be moved, of his own free-will, to re­store [Page 15] them to their rights: for being of himself unable to resolve any thing, he would hardly perceive or shake off that carelesness wherein from his birth his own nature had as it were buried him; that over-awed by the authority of a Mother, and the power which the Guises usurped over him, he would not dare to resume that Sovereignty which he had so easily parted with: that the complaints and admonitions of the Princes of the Blood, and subjects well affected to the Crown, would never come to his ears, being as it were besieged (even to the servants about his person) by men hired by their adversaries, the Champions of the present Tyranny: and therefore it was not to be expected, that the King should, of his own deliberation, yield them any relief, to whom their complaints would never be admitted, but deformed and blasted with the odious names of Rebellion, Treason, and Conspiracy: What else then could they look for? that the Queen-Mother, and the Guises, should willingly depart from that great­ness, which with such pains and artifices they had established, to share it with their enemies? that was a hope more vain, and more unreasonable than the former: for what men acquire boldly, they do not often part with cowardly. It is ordinary and natural for things unlawful and unfit, to be sought after secretly, and acquired leisure­ly; but once gotten into possession, they are afterwards impudently held, and main­tained openly: That the shew of right, the refuge and authority of the Laws, (things that use to prevail with private men) do yield, without contest, to the violence and force of Princes, who measure reason by the rule of their power and will; and that to proceed with such respect, increased confidence and boldness in their adversaries; That to begin with complaints and supplications, was but to sound the Trumpet be­fore the Battel, to give the enemy warning to prepare for his defence; That the suc­cess of great designs depended on the quickness of execution, and timid uncertain counsels used to abate the courages of men, vilifie their strength, and let pass opportu­nities, of themselves apt enough to slip away: That therefore it was necessary to hasten the taking up of Arms, thereby to open a way to the suppression of their unprepared enemies; and not to use slow wary courses, which would ruine the foundation of their hopes, and render the whole enterprise very difficult.

On the contrary, the King of Navarre, the Admiral, the Prince of Portian, and the Constables Secretary in his Lords name, disliked so at first to have recourse to force, and recommended more moderate gentle remedies. For they knew well, how­ever the Princes of the Blood professed to take Arms rather to set the King at liberty, who was besieged and oppressed by the power of strangers, than against his State and Authority; nevertheless, it would be sinisterly interpreted, and abhorred by all true French-men; who most religiously reverence the Royal Majesty, which ought not in consideration whatsoever, nor under any pretences, to be in the least degree violated or constrained. They considered withal, that observing the strictness of the Laws, they could not justly force the King to yield up the Government into their hands; for being now passed fourteen years of age, he was no longer subject to Tutelage, or the Government of any: and therefore it would be better to manage their cause with dex­terity, and shew of modesty in their attempts and complaints, as wholly founded upon equity, rather than commit it to the fury of War: and if this resolution were pru­dently followed with art and industry, they despaired not to secure the Queen-Mother; who, if she were once drawn from the Guises party, the foundation of their vast Great­ness would soon fall, and a most secure and easie way be open to their own pretences. Neither was it altogether to be doubted, that the Guises, who, without contradiction, had with such boldness ingrossed the whole, when they saw themselves so sharply and powerfully assaulted, would at least yeild up some part of the Government to the Princes of Bourbon: which once possessed of, they might secure themselves from those present indignities and imminent dangers that now so diversly threatned them; in which man­ner they thought it much better quietly to content themselves with some reasonable condition, than to hazard all to the instability of fortune, and incertain chance of War: to maintain which, they did not see what Forces they could hope for in France against their lawful natural King, nor what assistance was to be had from stranger Princes, who by the late Treaty and Alliances were so firmly united and entred into a League with him; in which consideration, it was greatly to be feared, that by taking of Arms, they might rather open a destructive way even to the utter ruine of their whole Family, than an honourable inlet to the Government and Administration of the Kingdom.

[Page 16] The King of Navarre goeth to the Court, solliciting the King in the name of the Princes of the blood, that they might participate in the Govern­ment.This last opinion, through the authority of the Author, at length took place▪ and so it was resolved, that the King of Navarre, as chief of the Family, and first Prince of the Blood, should go to the Court; and there having the Kings ear, (which could not be refused to one of his quality) lay before him their reasons, use all manner of means to gain the Queen-Mother; and try by a wise and well-managed Treaty, whe­ther he could get himself any place in the Government, and his Brothers and their dependants restored to those dignities that were injuriously taken from them; or else to other offices and charges of like esteem. But by the beginning it was easie to see how the event would prove: For the King of Navarre, terrified with the dangerous face of so great an enterprize, proceeded in it full of doubts and considerations, being besides of a facile and bashful nature; where, on the other side, the Duke of Guise, and Cardinal of Lorain, animated with their prosperity, boldly prepared themselves to encounter with vigour and assuredness any opposition whatsoever.

The King for a long time was informed and made believe by the Queen his Mother, and the Guises, that the Princes of the Blood had ever been kept under by his Prede­cessors, by reason of the innate malice they always found in them towards the Kings that were in possession of the Crown; whom they were still practising against, either by secret conspiracies or open rebellion; and that at the present, the King of Navarre and the Prince of Conde seeing themselves next to the succession, the King of a weak Con­stitution, and without heirs, and his Brothers Pupils, they endeavoured to deprive him of his [...]others Government, and the care of his nearest kindred, and keeping him in subjection, (as formerly the [...]asters of the Palace did Clouis, Chilperic, and other Princes of weak capacity) intended perhaps by other wicked means, by treachery or poyson, speedily to make way for themselves to the Crown. This prob [...]ble well-form'd Story easily breeding jealousies in the King, who was by nature timerous and mistrust­ful, he received the King of Navarre with little shew either of kindness or honour; and when he talked with him, (which was not but in the presence of the Duke or the Cardinal, who never stirred a minute from his side) he still made him sharp an­swers; and alledging his Majority, and avowing the great services he received in the present Government, still cut him off from the instances and demands of the Princes of the Blood; as wholly proceeding from contrived ends, neither suitable to the times, nor any way agreeable to reason.

The design upon the Queen-Mother had no better effect: for knowing she could not trust to the Princ [...]s of the Blood, who, though they seemed well-affected to her for a time, till they had gotten access to the Government; yet she might afterwards not only be abandoned by them, but excluded from the Administration, and perhaps made to retire from the Court; and withal, thinking it direct indiscretion to forsake the friendship of the strongest party, that was so well setled, to join with the Princes of Bourbon, that had not any support at all, she resolved to rest upon that security which she had already proposed to her self. But nevertheless, desirous to withstand as much as was possible, the publick distractions and tumults of War, she proposed to her self, not to leave them altogether hopeless, but to essay by dissimulation and artifices, to divert the King of Navarre (whom she knew pliable enough) from such intentions, and by delays in time to effect something that might be beneficial to the Common­wealth. To which purpose, at their first meeting, having with shew of kindness filled him with hope, she began most dexterously, in the progress of their discourse, to de­monstrate unto him, that the King being of a delicate disposition, was not to be ex­asperated by demands and unreasonable complaints; but that it was necessary to ex­pect some f [...]t opportunity, which time would at length produce. For as the King, be­ing now past his minority, was not bound in matters of Government to conform him­self to the arbitrement or opinion of any body, but only to his own will and judg­ment; so when an occasion should be offered to honour or gratifie the Princes of Bour­bon, he would without all doubt satisfie the bond of consanguinity, and shew to all the world, how great an account and esteem he made of their vertue and loyalty. That the King ought not in any manner by a change to destroy or alter the things al­ready established, lest he should give occasion to be thought of a variable nature, un­constant, irresolute, and inconsiderate. But when places grew void, (as daily some or other did) he would not fail, so far as was reasonable, to satisfie the pretences of every one. Withal, she offered her self to undertake the protection of the Princes of the Blood, and earnestly to sollicite her Son, as soon as was possible, to satisfie their [Page 17] desires; that it would not be seemly for the King of Navarre, who was a wise man, and had ever been a pattern of moderation, that he should now suffer himself to be guided by youthful rash Counsels, and led into those precipices which were neither becoming his age nor wisdom; but expecting with patience that which he ought to acknowledge simply the Kings courtesie and affection, teach others the way how to receive in fit time the favours and benefits of their Prince. With these discourses having often tasted his temper, and perceiving he began already to stagger, finally, to give him the last shock, she proposed to him, that Elizabeth the Kings sister, being to be sent into Spain, accompanied with some Person of great quality and esteem, she had thought to recommend that charge to him, being every way qualified both for gravity and Royal Birth, to honour and dignifie those Nuptials; which, besides the content the King her Son would receive by it, would by the way prove very advantageous to his particular ends. For he would have opportunity to gain the Catholick King, and withal, to treat in person concerning the restitution or change of his Kingdom of Navarre; in which business she proffered to imploy all her own authority, and the power of the King her Son, to bring his desires to their wished ends.

The King of Navarre, who in discovering and penetrating into the inclinations of the Court, found those who had any employment there, complying with the present occa­sions, took little care of the pretences of the Princes of the Blood; and those that had reason to desire his greatness and his Brothers, some of them disheartned, others ill sa­tisfied with his long stay, and all equally desperate of effecting any thing, easily return­ing to his former thoughts of recovering his Kingdom, he conceived he ought not to refuse that occasion, which would be a means, not only to renew the Treaties of Agree­ment with Spain, but also to depart with honour from the Court, where he found he could not remain with any reputation. Wherefore willingly entertaining the motion to conduct Queen Elizabeth into Spain, and filled with infinite hopes by the Queen-Mother, (notwithstanding the other Princes his adherents were very much offended at it) he hasted his departure with such eagerness of mind, that his enemies themselves could not have desired it more. Nor did he with less facility entrap himself in the Treaty with the Spaniards: for King Philip being already advertised of the particulars of that business by the Queen-Mother, and he desiring no less than she, that the King of Navarre, who had such strong pretences against his State, should be kept low, and far from any power in the Government; commanded the Duke of Alva, and the other Lords appointed to receive the Queen his wife, that they should be forward to use all manner of means to allure him on, and entertain him: but slowly imbracing his propo­sitions, they should offer themselves to make report thereof to the King and his Council, without the opinion of whom nothing could be determined that concerned the interest of the State.

So the King of Navarre being come to the confines of Spain, and having delivered Queen Elizabeth to the Spanish Deputies, he presently entred into a Treaty that began fairly, as he thought, of his own private business; which being managed with excel­lent dexterity by the Spaniards, so filled him with great, but delayed hopes, that he had no other thoughts but of his own affairs; in such manner, that having at their request sent an Ambassador to that Court, he determined to retire himself to his an­cient quiet in Bearn; with a firm resolution not at all to meddle in the businesses of France, since their desires, by way of negotiation, proved fruitless. And for the War, he thought there was but little Justice in it, and too much hazard.

But contrary was the opinion, and other the resolutions of Lewis of Conde his Bro­ther, a poor Prince, but hardy and couragious; who having fram'd his hopes to aspire to great matters, precipitated through the hate of his adversaries, constrained by the narrowness of his fortune, and continually spurr'd on by his Wife and Mother-in-law, (this Sister, that Neece to the Constable; but both of them fierce and ambitious wo­men) he could no longer support the wearisomness of his present condition, but with all his power promoted new and dangerous counsels; having already figured to him­self, that if he were a means and instrument to set the War on foot, he should not only obtain a great power amongst his own party, but riches also, with divers other conveniencies; many adherents to his faction, and absolute Dominion over divers Cities and Provinces in the Kingdom. Wherefore having again assembled at his own house at la Ferte in Champaigne the Princes his Allies, and Lords adhering to his fa­ction, he laid before them, that having till then tryed gentle pleasant remedies, and [Page 18] found no ease by them; it was necessary to apply a stronger medicine to cure the di­stemper, which from the beginning so violently tended to the ruine not only of the Royal House, but even of all that did not adore and depend as slaves upon the rule of the Queen-Mother and the Guises: That it was no longer time to hide their wounds, (till then with so much patience concealed) for they appeared manifestly to the eyes of all the world: That the injuries, with such indignities cast upon the Royal Family, were now openly to be seen; as their banishment from the Court, depriving them of the Government of Picardy, the usurpation of the Office of Grand-Maistre; The superin­tendence of the Kings Revenues; The dividing of all the Charges and Offices amongst strangers, and persons unknown; The artificial imprisonment of the King himself, to whom no body could have access, that spake freely or honestly; And finally, the oppression of all good men, and advancement only of those, who looked after nothing else, but to rob and waste the riches of the Crown. The eager persecution of the Blood Royal was known to every one,Queen Blanch Mother to St. Lewis, ha­ving taken up­on her the Government of the King­dom in the mi­nority of her Son, the Ba­rons took ar [...]s to maintain the right in those to whom it belonged. and the tyranny of strangers established amongst them, whose violence could not be withstood but in the same manner by violence; That it was not the first time the Princes of the Blood had taken Arms to de [...]end the Jurisdictions and Priviledges of their Family. So Peter Duke of Brittain, Robert Count of Dreux, and divers other Lords, ingaged themselves in a War, when in the mino­rity of the King Saint Lewis, Queen Blanch his Mother, of her own accord took upon her the Government of the State: So Philip Count of Valois, after the death of Charles the Fair, made use of his power to exclude from the Guardianship and Regency, those that unjustly pretended to usurp it; so Lewis Duke of Orleans made war in the time of Charles the eighth, to make himself be chosen Regent and Governour of the King­dom, against the power and authority of Anne Dutchess of Bourbon, who being the Kings elder sister,So did Lewis Duke of Or­leans, in the time of Charles the eighth. had assumed the charge of his Government: That these, and many other examples, were so evident, that they could not do amiss in following the steps of their ancestors, whose case being clearly the same with theirs then, directed them the way to their own preservation. That they ought no longer to linger in expecta­tion of the Kings pleasure; who buried in the lethargy of his own incapacity, perceived not the miserable slavery into which he was brought. But as a wise careful Physician gives medicines and potions to a sick man against his will, to cure him of an infirmity, and recover him from that danger which he perceives not in himself: so the Princes of the Blood (to whom, by consent of the whole Nation, and ancient custom, this care naturally belongs) ought to endeavour to free the King from that slavery, and those bonds, which he (overcome by his infirmity) perceived not, though so prejudicial to himself, and destructive to the whole Kingdom; but that it was necessary, before the present danger precipitated them into extremities, to arm themselves with a strong re­solution, and to proceed with a resolved constancy. For by quickness, prevention and boldness, they should easily overcome those difficulties, which appear more in a Coun­cil, or putting doubts in a debate, than they are indeed when they come to be attempted. That on the contrary, by dejectedness of courage and slackness, they should for ever subject themselves to a ruinous shameful servitude. Wherefore he desired every one, all doubts and uncertainties laid aside, couragiously to trust his present safety, quiet, and future honour, to the strength of his own Arms.

These things being spoken with efficacy and Souldier-like boldness and courage by the Prince, wrought upon the minds of the greatest part of his audience, who were already of themselves, through their own affections and interests, disposed to take Arms.

But the Admiral, with more weighed counsel, measuring the greatness of the at­tempt, opposed the Princes opinion, and advised to take another way, which he thought more secure, and likelier to take effect. For to hazard so openly all the Royal Family, and so many their Allies and Dependants, with little force, not any adherents, no strong places, without men, and no provision of money, to the arbitrement of War and Chance, appeared to him too desperate a resolution; and therefore thought it ne­cessary to have recourse to industry and art, where there was a manifest defect of strength; and so working under-hand, without discovering themselves, bring their de­sign notwithstanding by the ministry of other persons, to the end they desired. He shewed them, how the whole Kingdom was full of multitudes of those that had em­braced the opinions and faith newly introduced by Calvin: that, by reason of the se­verity of the Inquisitions exercised against them, and rigorous punishments, they were, [Page 19] through despair, brought to a desire, nay, to a necessity of exposing themselves to any danger whatsoever could befal them,The Admiral maketh a pro­position to the Male-contents to protect the followers of those opinions in Religion introduced by Calvin, and it is embraced. so they might be free from the misery of their present condition; that they all believed that the severity used against them, proceeded from the motions and advice of the Duke of Guise, and much more from the Cardinal of Lorain, who not only in the Parliament and Kings Council ardently wrought their destruction, but in publick discourse and private meetings, opposing their Doctrine, never desisted to persecute them; that the resolution and violence of that people was till then suppressed, because they had no head to guide them, nor any person whose counsel and activity might put heat into them; but with any little shew of assistance, they would, without regard, hazard themselves in all difficult and dangerous designs, through hope to be delivered from those calamities that so much oppressed them. Wherefore it would be an excellent Expedient to make use of that means to animate and get into a body a multitude so prepared; and then secretly to set them on when oc­casion served, to the destruction of the House of Lorain, in which manner, the Princes of the Blood, and other Lords of their party, should secure themselves from danger, increase their strength by such a number of followers, gain the adherents of the Prote­stant Princes of Germany, and Elizabeth Queen of England, who openly favoured and protected that belief, set a greater shew of honesty upon the cause, lay upon others the burden of so bold an attempt; and make it believed for the future by all the world, that the Civil War was set on foot, and stirred up, not by the interest of the Princes, and their pretensions to the Government, but by the discords and controversies in matters of Religion.

It was not hard for the Admiral by his eloquence and authority to perswade the rest to approve of this design, of it self, in appearance, much conducing to the state of their present affairs: and there being many in the Assembly which secretly inclined to Calvins Doctrine, it was resolved with a general consent, to follow that advice, the which, with lively and no less present hopes, hindred so precipitate a War, and kept off, for a time, those evident dangers to which men unwillingly expose themselves, when there is any means wholly to avoid, or at least to delay them. But it was a coun­sel and resolution so fatal and pernicious, that, as it let in all the miseries and calami­ties, which with such prodigious examples have for a long time afflicted and distracted that Kingdom, so it brought to a miserable end, both the Author himself that made the Proposition, and all those, who, led by their own affections and interests, consented to it.

But since the beginning and progress of Calvins Doctrine is fallen into mention, un­der the colour of which, so many great and several Factions have been engaged in the Civil Wars of France, both for the better clearing the business in hand, as also not to be forced often to look back to those beginnings, which are so requisite to the understanding of matters of fact, it is necessary to make some short relation of it.

After Martin Luther in Germany opened the way to let in Schism into Religion,Iohn Calvin, a Picard, prea­cheth and publisheth in print 128 Principles differing from the Roman Catholick Re­ligion; which at first are hearkned to only in curio­sity, but at last make great impressions in the minds of men, and pro­duce great mischief. and new opinions into our Faith, Iohn Calvin, born at Noyon in Picardy, a man of a great, but unquiet wit, marvellously eloquent, and generally learned, departing from the Faith generally held and observed so many Ages by our Predecessors, proposed in his Books which he published in print, and in his Sermons which he preached in divers places in France, One hundred twenty eight Axioms (so he called them) disagreeing from the Roman Catholick Faith. The French Wits, curious by nature, and desirous of Novelties, began at first, rather for pastime, than through choice, to read his Wri­tings, and frequent his Sermons. But, as in all businesses of the world it uses often to fall out, that things beginning in jest, end in earnest; these Opinions sowed in Gods Church, so crept up, that they were greedily embraced, and obstinately believed by a great number of people and persons of all qualities: in so much as Calvin at the first, thought a man of little worth, and of a seditious unquiet spirit, in a short time came to be reverenced of many, and believed for a new miraculous Interpreter of Scri­pture, and as it were a certain infallible Teacher of the true Faith.

The foundation of this Doctrine was in the City of Geneva, Calvins opini­ons had their first foundati­on in Geneva. situate upon the Lake anciently called Lacus Lemanus, upon the Confines of Savoy: which having rejected the Government of the Duke and Bishop, to whom formerly it paid obedience under the name of Terra Franca, and under pretence of living in Liberty of Conscience, re­duced it self into the form of a Commonwealth or Commonalty. From thence Books [Page 28] coming out daily in print, and men furnished with wit and eloquence insinuating themselves into the Neighbour-Princes, who secretly sowed the seeds of this new Do­ctrine; in progress of time, all the Cities and Provinces of the Kingdom of France were filled with it, though so covertly, that there appeared openly, only some few marks and conjectures of it.

The Reformed Religion be­gan to spread in France in the time of Francis the First.The Original of this dissention began about the time of Francis the First; who though sometimes he made severe resolutions against them, notwithstanding, being continually busied in foreign Wars, either remitted it, or was not aware how at that time, the Principles of that Faith (then rather despised and hated, than any way feared or taken notice of) began by little and little to spread in the world.

Henry the Se­cond was very severe against the Calvinists.But Henry the Second, a religious Observer of the Catholick Faith, knowing withal, that from distraction of Religion in mens minds, would infallibly follow (as a necessary consequence) distractions in the State; used his uttermost endeavours to extirpate the roots of those seeds in their first growth. And therefore, with inexorable severity resolved, that all who were found convict of this imputation, should suffer death without mercy. And although many of the Councellors in every Parliament, either favouring the same Opinions, or abhorring the continual effusion of blood, made use of all their skill, to preserve as many as they could from the severity of this execution; notwithstanding the Kings vigilance and constancy was such chiefly by the incitements of the Cardinal of Lorain, that he had reduced things to such a point, as he would in the end, though with the effusion of much blood, have expelled all the peccant hu­mours out of the bowels of the Kingdom; if the accidents which followed, had not interrupted the course of his resolution.

1560.But thereupon, the death of Henry happening unexpectedly, which the Calvinists used to preach of as miraculous,The Calvinists use to boast much of the death of Hen­ry the Second. and magnifie to their advantage: In the beginning of Francis the Second his Reign, this severity being of necessity somewhat remitted, the disease by intermission of the purge grew stronger; and as the remedies were gentler and less operative, so inwardly it increased, and spread it self the more. For the Duke of Guise and the Cardinal of Lorain, who governed in chief, continued the same resolutions of severity; but it continued not in the Court of Parliament, nor were the other Magistrates so obedient to the Regal Authority; but, over-awed by the number and quality of those that had embraced that Doctrine which they called Reformed, and already weary of such cruelty towards their Country-men and kindred, silently slackned the rigour, and were less diligent in enquiring after them: Besides, there were many amongst the Counsellors, who according to the inclination of the present Government, and through desire of change, were well pleased to have things so brought into confu­sion▪ that every one might live with Liberty of Conscience. For Theodor Beza, Cal­vins disciple, a man of great eloquence and excellent learning, having by his Sermons seduced a great number of men and women, and many of the chief Nobility and greatest persons of the Kingdom being revolted to that Religion, their Assemblies and Sermons were then no more celebrated in Stables and Cellars, as in the Reign of Henry the Second, but in the Halls and Chambers of the best Gentry, and most emi­nent Nobility.

These people were formerly called Hugonots; because the first Conventicles they had in the City of Tours, The name of Hugonot deri­ved from cer­tain places under ground, near Hugo's gate in the City of To [...]rs, wh [...]re thos [...] opinions [...]irst took growth. (where that belief first took strength and encreased) were in cer­tain Cellars under ground near Hugo's gate, from whence they were by the vulgar sort called Hugonots; as in Flanders, because they went in the habits of Mendicants, they were called Geux: Others count other ridiculous and fabulous inventions of this name; but howsoever it were, these Hugonots had not yet any Head, nor authority of any Prince to protect them. For though the Admiral and other Lords inclined to their opinions, they durst not as yet declare themselves, but were bridled with the fear of punishment, and therefore kept their Assemblies exceeding privately.

Now the Princes of Bourbon finding France in this state, and so agreeing with their interests, they greedily embraced the Admirals propositions, and unanimously consented to his opinion, to make use of this pretext, and the opportunity of these conjunctures to perfect their designs; and to this end deputed Andelot and the Vidame of Chartres, to negotiate their business.

Andelot was brother to the Admiral; a man of great fierceness, and much experi­ence in war; but being of a precipitate nature, and turbulent spirit, (still mingling and interesting himself in seditious Treaties and Plots) had many times offended the for­mer [Page 29] Kings; and but for the protection of the Constable, and favour of his brother, more than once had forfeited his life and reputation. But, for these and the like causes, removed from Court, he had a long time continued to take part with the Hugonots, and to give them his aid in their secret assembling themselves to hear Sermons. Of like nature, and yet more precipitate, and more open, but not of like valour, was the Vidame of Chartres; who, great in riches, leading a licentious dissolute life, was be­come a refuge and sanctuary for all vitious persons; and lastly, (more through capri­ciousness of his unquiet nature, than any sense he had of matters of Religion) declared himself an adherent to Calvins Doctrine. These, as experienced Instruments to stir up Novelties, and knowing the places where the Hugonots used to assemble, had no great difficulty, without discovering themselves, to find out men enough fit to convey se­cret intelligence to those that were interessed in it, of the begun design; and to put in order and form those things that were to be put in execution; who, besides their wondrous activity, had continual correspondence with those who (terrified with fear of danger and punishment) cared not for their own safety, to molest and subvert the whole world: and easily, in a short time, brought their business to that issue as was intended.

Practising thus in all parts, they disposed the order of their Council in manner as followeth. That,The manner of the Hugo­nots proceed­ings. having assembled a great multitude of those that profess the Re­formed Religion, they should first of all send, and then appearing before the Court unarmed, desire the King to grant them Liberty of Conscience, free exercise of their Religion, and Temples allowed them for that purpose: which demands, knowing they would be sharply and resolutely denied, the armed men (which were to be sent privately at the same time out of divers Provinces) appearing on a sudden under cer­tain Captains, as if it had been a multitude enraged with a denial, that ran furiously to take Arms, the King being found unprovided, and the Court disarmed, they should kill the Duke of Guise, and the Cardinal of Lorain, with all those that followed or de­pended upon any of their name; and so force the King to declare the Prince of Conde supreme Governour and Regent of the whole Kingdom; who should then remit the Laws made against them, and grant them a freedom of their Religion.

Some believe, and have divulged, that the chief instruments of this Conspiracy, had secret order, if their Plots succeeded as they had designed it, that they should pre­sently cut in pieces the Queen-Mother, and the King himself, with all his brothers; by these means to clear the way for the Princes of Bourbon to attain to the Crown: But not any of the complices having ever confessed this intention, but always, even upon the rack, and otherwise, constantly denied that point, I cannot give my self leave to affirm it upon the uncertain report of Fame only, which is raised and increased accor­ding to the several inclinations of men.

Now the Conspirators having thus ordered their business, they presently divided the charges and chief Provinces amongst the Hugonots, that they might execute their de­signs with more order, and less noise. Godfrey de la Barre, Sieur de la Renaudie, Renaudie, a man of a des­perate for­tune, is made Head of the Hugonots Conspiracy. a man who, having past thorow divers fortunes, and spent much time in other Coun­tries, with his boldness and wit had got a great name amongst the Calvinists, and was much followed by them, took upon him the chief Government and care of the whole enterprise, neither wanting courage to undertake, nor understanding to direct so ha­zardous a design. Withal, being brought to a low desperate fortune, he resolved by these means either to better his condition, or lose his life in the attempt. He was born in Perigort, (which people were anciently called Petrocorii) of an indifferent good fa­mily; but for some false dealing in a certain Process, was forced to flee his Country, and, having for many years wandered up and down the World, at length came to Geneva, and there, by the readiness of his wit, having gotten into reputation, he found means also to return home to his own Country; where wasting his fortune in projects and factious companies, he brought himself into such a condition, that he was at length forced to get his living by the same arts he had formerly ruined both his credit and estate. Such was the quality and birth of the chief Head of that Conspiracy, with whom many others joined themselves; some led by Conscience, others thrust on through desire of change, and many also invited by the natural humour of the French Nation, who cannot endure to live idly. To those of best quality amongst these, he gave several charges to raise men, and to bring them to a place appointed; so that ha­ving divided to all their several Provinces, in this great disorder they procceed in a most [Page 22] orderly method, which with all the members, agitating severally, were notwithstand­ing each of them in due time to be assisting to their Superiour. To the Baron of Ca­stelnaw they committed the care of Gascoigne; To Captain Mazares, the charge of Bearn; To Mesny, the Country of Limoges; To Mirabel, Xaintonge; To Coccaville, Picardy; To Movans, Provence; To Mallines, Brie and Champaigne; To the Sieur de S. Marie, Normandy; and, To Montejan, Britany: Men who, as they were all of No­ble Families, so were they of known courage, and reputed principal leading men, in several Cities, and their own Countries where they lived.

All these departing from the Assembly at Nantes, a City in Britany, (where under colour of Law-business, celebrating Marriages, or such like pretences, they met toge­ther) and returning with great expedition, every one to the Province allotted him, in a few days working with wonderful secrecy, they brought a great number of people of several conditions to be at their devotions; who, without looking further into the mat­ter, were assured by their Preachers, that the business they had in hand was for the good and quiet of the Commonwealth. In the mean while, the Prince of Conde (who underhand ministred fuel to so great a fire) by little journeys went towards the Court, to be ready, without demur, to take such resolutions as were most expedient, and conformable to the present occasion: But the Admiral with his wonted sagacity, pre­serving himself as it were Neuter, to be better able upon all occasions to assist his par­ty, being retired to his house at Chastillon, made shew of desiring the ease of a private life, without any thought of publick business belonging to the Government. Which he did not so much that he might secretly favour, with his counsel and assistance, the common design, as through doubt (esteeming it too rash and dangerous) that it might meet some cross encounter, or unhappy end.

Now the Conspirators (not troubled with such thoughts, but full of good hope) were departed from their houses, where they had lain hid secretly, and carrying arms under their garments, went divers ways in several companies (according to their order at that time prefixt) from divers parts towards Blois; where for the present, by reason of the goodness of the air, the Court remained; a plain open City, and not any ways fortified; near which, in the places adjacent, they were all to meet the 15 day of March, 1560. in the year 1560. a day more than once destined for the execution of great designs.

The fifteenth of Ma [...]ch was a day more than once ap­pointed for the execution of great de­signs in France: and this day, Anno 1560. the Hu­gonots deter­mined to meet at Blois, where the King then was.But the diligence and secrecy of the Conspirators was not such (although very great) but that it was exceeded by the industry of the Queen-Mother and the Guises: who through great rewards, and the authority they had in the State, having infinite dependants in all parts of the Kingdom, were particularly informed of the whole frame of the Conspiracy; and it was impossible in reason, that the rising of so great a multi­tude could be concealed: for we see the secretest plots trusted to few persons of tried secrecy and known faith, use often to be discovered before they come to execution. Some will have it, that la Renaudie communicated all the particulars to Pierre Ava­nelles, an Advocate in the Parliament of Paris, whom he thought a man to be trusted, because he was one of the same Religion. But he, either looking upon it as too great an attempt, or designing to get a reward, revealed the business confusedly to the Duke of Guises Secretary; by whose counsel, afterwards sent for in person to the Court, he discovered all the particulars to the Queen-Mother. But whether this secret came from Avanelles, or spies entertained in the houses of the chief Conspirators, accused them; or that the advice, as some have said, came out of Germany; the Queen-Mother and the Guises having notice of it, consulted what course to take to divert, or else suppress the mischief of the present Conspiracy. The Cardinal not accustomed to the dangers of War, inclining to the securest resolution, advised, that all the Nobility of the nearest Provinces should be sent for; that all the Foot in the Neighbour-Garisons should be drawn into a Body; that Curriers should be dispatched to all the Princes and Governours of the Kingdom, with absolute command to put themselves into the field, to pursue all such as they found bearing Arms: conceiving, that the Conspirators finding they were discovered, and hearing of such great preparations, (which are commonly increased by reports) would of themselves scatter and disband, rather than try the ut­termost danger.

But the Duke of Guise, who used to the greatest dangers, made little account of the force of a confused multitude without discipline or government; thought, by follow­ing that way which the Cardinal proposed, the mischief would be delayed, but not ex­tinguished; [Page 23] which still perniciously creeping into, and setling in the inward bowels of the Kingdom, would break forth again at some other time with greater violence, and perhaps with more trouble and damage to the State. In which consideration, he was of opinion, that dissembling, and making shew of knowing nothing, they should give courage and commodity to the Conspirators to discover themselves; that so being van­quished, and punished, the State might be freed from the repletion of so pestilent and dangerous an humour; which, shewing it self like to occasion such great distempers, it was no time to appease it with lenitives only, but being already grown to a head, to expel it with strong purging medicines. He added yet to those reasons, that the Con­spirators being so separately suppressed but in part, it would be in the arbitrement of malignants to calumniate the act; and the people not accustomed to such proceed­ings, would difficultly believe it; so that many would think it an invention of those that governed to depress their enemies, and more surely to establish their present power▪ but that, oppressing them all united together in one Body, at the same instant that they meant to put their designs in execution, all calumnies would be taken away, and the truth and sincerity of their proceedings be evident to all the world.

The Queen-Mother, moved with these Reasons, concurred with him in opinion. Wherefore not making any provisions extraordinary that might make the Conspirators suspect they had any advertisement of their design; they carried the King, with all the Court, as for recreation only, from Blois to Ambois, ten leagues distant, (a French league contains two English miles) upon the River Loire; and by reason of that, and the woods that inviron it, very strongly situated. They did this, partly to delude the Conspirators in their first attempt, (who thought to find the King in a nearer place, and more open;) partly that by means of the Castle▪ the Kings person and the Queens might be more secure; and being a place but of little compass, it was easily to be de­fended by those few people that were to be gotten thereabouts. There the day ap­pointed drawing near, in which the Conspirators were to appear, the Guises, having devised amongst themselves how to make use of this so great an occasion for their own advantage, not only better to establish, but to increase and bring to perfection their newly atchieved greatness, and convert this assault of their enemies to their own ad­vancement, (as from poisons are often extracted cordials) without making the Queen privy thereunto, they went directly to the King, and, with shew of great fear, exag­gerating and magnifying the attempt of the Conspirators, laid before him how greatly the Government, and by consequence, his own person, and all his Allies, were indan­gered by their practices; and withal, told him of the nearness of the danger, the Conspirators being already at the gates of Ambois, and that their number and force be­ing more than at first was believed, it was necessary to resolve upon some present ex­pedient to prevent them.

The King, of a timorous feeble nature, and at the present much moved with the greatness of so imminent a danger, calling to his presence not only his Mother, but all the Council, began to debate the means of opposing the force, and suppressing the vio­lence of so great an insurrection. The Council was tumultuous and confused, by rea­son whereof many doubts and infinite dangers appearing on all sides, which were much increased by the vehemence and art of the Cardinal of Lorain; the King of himself unable to resolve any thing in matters of such difficulty, much less to sustain the weight of the Government in so troubled a time, without any other motive but his own, was of opinion to declare the Duke of Guise, his Lieutenant-General, with absolute power; and relying upon the vigour of his courage and mature wisdom, to leave the Govern­ment of the State during those troubles wholly to him, for as much as he found himself unable to undergo so great a burthen. The Queen-Mother, though inwardly struck with so bold an attempt, readily consented to the Kings opinion; because she saw she could not oppose that resolution without coming to open variance with the Guises ▪ which in that time when it was most necessary to remain united, would have occasioned the Kings ruine, and the subversion of the State, admitting with disorder and confu­sion in the Government, advantageous opportunities for the Conspirators to execute with greater facility their intended designs. Besides, it appeared very reasonable to her, that to such imminent dangers should be opposed the absolute power of some one experienced person of great reputation; and that it was not fit to relie upon one of weak capacity, who with doubts and delays might give the enemy that opportunity which he desired, and take off from his own that resolution and freeness of courage [Page 24] which the urgency of the present affairs required. And by the example of past occur­rences, (which teach excellent lessons to govern the future) she was put in mind, that not only Kings, who govern absolutely according▪ to their will, but even Re-publicks, had conferred the supreme Authority upon one man, when the occurrence of any great dangers seemed to require extraordinary and powerful opposition. But besides these respects, which concerned the welfare of her Son and the publick good, she was per­swaded to it by her own private interest. For foreseeing afar off the desolation that must of necessity follow, the enmities of the Princes of the Blood, and the hate and envy that would fall upon her if she opposed it, she thought it very fit for her purpose, that the Duke of Guise commanding absolutely in chief, all the blame and envy should fall wholly on him, and she by that means preserve the love of the people, and the liberty to bend her counsels that way which she should think most fit and advantageous for her self.

But Olivier the Chancellor, a man in all times esteemed the Author of wise counsel, and averse to such unlimited power, seemed to stand doubtful and in suspence, whe­ther or no he should consent to the Kings Proposition; and such was his constancy and authority, that the business had been held longer in debate, and with doubtful success, if the Queen-Mother had not made it appear to him, that the present danger was so extraordinary and so pressing, that it could not be prevented with ordinary moderate counsels: That it was necessary to provide for the urgency of the instant affairs, and rather than ruine the present, lay aside a little the consideration of future things, which might be otherwise remedied by time and opportunity: That it would be very easie, this urging necessity once past, to moderate with new Decrees and new Edicts, the now unlimited power of the Duke of Guise, which would quickly transport him beyond the limits of duty and reason, if he were not restrained by his own vertue: And finally, it would be of advantage to every one, that in the effusion of so much blood, which it was foreseen must be spilt, no other power nor authority should be used but the Dukes only; neither the King himself, his Friends or Ministers, having their hands imbrued in those slaughters. Which considerations moving the Chancellor, he sealed the Commission drawn by l' Aubespine, Secretary of State: In which was granted to the Duke of Guise the Title and Authority of Lieutenant-General for the King, in all the Provinces and places under his command, with supreme Power in all causes Civil and Military.

The Duke of Guise having obtained this charge, which he had ever aspired to, be­gan resolutely to attend the suppression of the Conspiracy; and presently causing the Gate of the Castle into the Garden to be walled up, and having placed the Switzers and French Archers, which use ordinarily to guard the Kings person, at the other; he sent forth the Count of Sanserre with some Horse to scout abroad, and give him con­tinual advertisement what he could discover.

In the mean time Renaudie arrived with his Complices at the place appointed; and finding the King was retired from Blois to Ambois, nevertheless his courage not failing, he went on in the same order towards the Court. The unarmed multitude came first, who falling prostrate before the King, were to demand Liberty of Conscience. But they were not only not admitted to his presence, but being roughly driven away from the Gates by the Souldiers that were in Guard, they retired, and scattered up and down in the fields, and without either order or advice, expected the coming of their other Companions.

Not long after Captain Lignieres, one of the Conspirators, either terrified at the point of execution, with the greatness of the danger, or else through remorse of Conscience, leaving his Companions, went a by-way to Ambois, and acquainted the King and Queen-Mother particularly of the number and quality of the Conspirators, the names of the Commanders, the ways by which they came, and withal their whole design. Wherefore by the Kings order a Guard being set upon the Prince of Conde, that he might in no manner be aiding to the Conspirators, as he had promised them, the Duke of Guise sent forth Iaques d' Aubon, Marescal de S. Andre, and Iames Savoy Duke of Nemours, with all the horse they could make, either of the Kings Guard, or the attendance about the Court; who being placed in Ambushes in the woods there­abouts, intended to expect the coming of the Conspirators. Mazeres and Raunay, who led the Troops of Bearne, were the first that fell into the Ambuscade laid by the Count of Sanserre; and astonished with the sudden assault, neither knowing how to [Page 25] flee nor defend themselves, were taken prisoners without much dispute. The Baron of Castelnau, who led a great number out of Gascoigne, being arrived at Noze, The Conspi­rators arrive near Ambois where the Court was, and are all defeated. and and there refreshing his Horse to continue their march, was met by the Duke of Ne­mours; who besieging him in that place where he had no manner of provision to make any defence, they thought it best to yield themselves to the Dukes mercy, who carried him and all his company prisoners to Ambois. La Renaudie passing through the woods, having avoided all the Ambuscadoes, approached near the Gates of Ambois, where en­countred him Pardillian with a Squadron of resolute Cuirassiers; yet seeing himself in good condition to fight, he made a fierce assault; but soon found that his men, as it is ordinary in such tumults, began to yield to the Kings old Souldiers. Wherefore desi­ring to end his life honourably, he spurred on his Horse to Pardillian, and running him into the Vizor with his Tuck, laid him dead upon the ground; whereupon being shot in the thigh with a Carabine by Pardillian's Page, who was near his Master, he died fighting valiantly; and the rest of his Companions without much resistance, were for the most part all killed upon the place. The next day the rest of the Conspirators Troops, hearing of the death of la Renaudie, and the defeat of their Companions, and considering that the Country about being raised upon them, there was no means to save themselves by flight; they resolved under the conduct of la Mothe and Coccaville, who were the only Commanders left, to assault the walls and gates of Ambois. For not knowing that the Prince of Conde was straightly guarded, they hoped some com­motion would be raised by him within. The assault was at first very resolute and va­liant; but finding the walls of the Castle in all parts well defended, at length wearied out▪ and desparate of effecting their purpose, they retreated into the Fauxbourg, re­solving to stand obstinately upon their defence; with hope, by help of the night that drew on, to find some means of escape. But the Cavalry coming in that had been scouring the Champaign, presently set fire to the houses where they were, and so burning them, they perished in a manner all, without being able in this last exigence to perform any memorable act. Those that were taken alive in the places about, the chief of them were preserved to draw from their confession the particulars of the Con­spiracy; the rest condemned to die, being hanged upon trees in the fields, and over the Battlements of the Castle-wall, butchered and torn by the Souldiers and Executio­ners, were a most lamentable spectacle to the beholders, and the first beginning of that desolation and bloodshed, which continuing for the space of many years after; pro­duced such sad and miserable events.

The End of the First BOOK.



THe Second Book contains the perplexity of the Kings Council in remedy­ing the Disorders discovered in the Conspiracy: The Deliberation to pu­nish the discontented Princes: The Assembly of Fountain-bleau: The Reso­lution to hold an Assembly of the States-General, which are summoned by the King to meet at Orleans: The Princes of Bourbon refuse to go thither: The King makes them change their Resolution: The Constable with delays procures the benefit of time: The Princes of the Blood arrive at Orleans: The Prince of Conde is committed to prison, and condemned to die. Francis the Se­cond dieth suddenly: Charles the Ninth succeeds to the Crown, who being in minority, there arise great Dissentions about the Regency. The Queen-Mother is made Regent, and the King of Navarre President of the Provin­ces: The Prince of Conde is absolved, and a tacit liberty granted to the Hu­gonots. The King is Crowned at Rheims. The Constable unites himself with the Guises: They joyn together to take away the liberty from the Hugonots: The Edict of July follows: The Ministers demand a Conference, and obtain it; it is kept in Poissy, but proves fruitless: The Hugonots departing from the Conference, preach freely: Great Troubles arise thereupon: To remedy which, the States are assembled at Paris, where by the Edict of January, a Liberty of Conscience is granted openly. The Heads of the Catholick Faction leave the Court: Draw into Confederacy with them also the King of Navarre: The Queen-Mother being terrified, feigns to make a League with the Hugo­nots, and so adds strength to that party.

THis multitude thus scattered, and the greatest part of their Commanders either taken or killed, that had brought them from the remotest parts of the Kingdom, the fury and violence of the I [...]surrection, was in appearance abated and suppressed. But none having perished save only the seditious rabble, who desperate in their fortunes, were ready rashly to run upon any danger: and the Princes of Bourbon, with the other Lords of that party, had not discovered themselves to be authors of that Con­spiracy, remaining still unsatisfied, and ready to embrace new counsels, the common [Page 27] peace was still internally, more than ever disturbed,1560. and the publick safety exposed to new troubles. This being very well known both to the Queen-Mother and the Guises, as soon as the tumult and commotions in the Court could be appeased, which by reason of the rareness of the accident were very great, to make the speediest and best pro­vision that might be against so great a danger, they presently called to Council, in the Kings own Chamber, all those who as faithful Ministers in the present Government, they thought might be trusted with the secrets of these new occurrences.After the sup­pression of the Conspirators, in a secret Council held in the Kings Chamber, it is resolved to punish the fa­vourers of the Hugonots. There the reasons being weighed with long debate of the late stirs, it clearly appeared that they proceeded only from the practice and incitation of the Princes of the Blood; and that to maintain the Kings Authority, and the form of Government established, it was ne­cessary in the first place to take away the Heads, and remove the Authors of that Insur­rection; they knew that proceeding according to strictness of Law, they might justly be punished as disturbers of the publick peace, as favourers and introducers of Heresie, and finally, as such who had conspired against the Kings liberty, and the ancient Con­stitutions of the Crown; and they doubted not, if the fomenters of that Insurrection were punished and suppressed, but the people would soon return again to their former quiet and obedience. But the reverence born in all times, to those of the Blood-Royal, and the power of those Princes that were named to have part in the Conspiracy, would have caused every one there to suspend his judgment; it appearing to them a business of great moment, and on all sides very dangerous, if the King himself ex­ceedingly incensed, even beyond his natural disposition, at so sudden a Commotion, (which without any fault of his, or ill usage of his Subjects, he saw was raised by the Princes in the beginning of his Government) had not with sharp and sensible ex­pressions given courage to the rest to resolve upon some such severe course as might ex­press a sense of the affront. To which the Queen-Mother (no less sollicitous of her sons welfare, than her own greatness) and the Guises, to maintain themselves in their acquired power, readily consenting; there was not any one who finally con­curred not in decreeing the punishment and ruine of all those, who either by their counsel or assistance administred fuel to that fire.

But because a deliberation of so great weight, full of infinite hazards, and that drew after it many great consequences, was necessarily to be governed with exceeding Art, and managed with prudent dexterity; they resolved to begin with dissimulation, to feign they had no further knowledge of any thing concerning the Conspiracy, than the manifest apparence of it brought to light, to attribute all the fault to the diversity of Religions, and ill Government of the Magistrates, to shew rather a fear and terrour stricken into them by the fury and sudden attempt of the Conspirators, than any confi­dence or security by their suppression; in outward apparence to manifest a great desire of regulating the Justice of the Kingdom, and to find a way to a new Reformation in the Government, which contenting all pretenders, might reduce with satisfaction those turbulent spirits to their former quiet. With these kind of proceedings, they thought they might lull into security those anxious minds, who pricked in Conscience, lived in extream apprehensions, and by artifices compass their desires, which they knew by force were very difficult to attain unto. And because they conceived, the Constable and the King of Navarre had both by consent and assistance abetted these stirs, and it was certainly known that the Visdame of Chartres and Andelot had been active in them, whom it was agreed upon they could not get into their power but with dissimulation and time; they resolved to set at liberty the Prince of Conde, as well to confirm an opinion that they were confident of his loyalty, and had not penetrated in­to the depth of the business, as also because to take away or punish him alone, if such powerful revengers of his death were left alive, would rather be prejudicial and dan­gerous, than of any advantage; past examples teaching us, that it is in vain to cut down the body of a tree, how high or lofty soever, if there be any quick roots left which may send forth new sprouts.

The secret intentions for matter of Government thus setled, and covered over with the veil of so perfect a dissimulation; they resolved, that soon after a General Assem­bly should be called of the three Estates, upon which is divolved the Authority of the whole Kingdom; and that for two reasons. First, because the Kings resolution against the Princes of the Blood was so severe, he being but young, and newly entred upon the Government, they thought it necessary to strengthen that act by the concurrence and universal consent of the whole Nation. Secondly, because by declaring a publick [Page 28] Treaty concerning remedies for the present disorders, and a form and rules to be ob­served in matters of Religion,To get the fa­vourers of the Hugonots into their power, it is resolved to call an Assem­bly of the States, at which amongst others, the Princes of the blood are to assist. and administration of the future Government, the King might have an apparent and reasonable occasion to call to him all the Princes of the Blood, and Officers of the Crown, without giving suspition to any body; neither would there be any colourable excuse left for them not to come, when it should be gi­ven out, that a Reformation was intended, which they themselves professed that they desired. But because this Assembly of the States was a thing by all Kings ever ab­horred, (for whilst they fit with absolute power representing the body of the whole Kingdom, the Kings Authority seems in a manner suspended) it was therefore resol­ved first to call a great Council under pretence of remedying the present distractions; wherein by persons set on to that purpose, it should be proposed and counselled, as ne­cessary; that so the Princes and Lords of the Conspiracy might not enter into any jea­lousie, as though the King, without request made by his Subjects, had voluntarily of himself resolved to call an Assembly of the States.

Things thus resolved upon, presently were published Letters Patents directed to all the Parliaments, and Edicts divulged to the several Provinces of the Kingdom: In the Preambles of which the King lamenting and complaining, that without any evi­dent occasion, a great number of persons had risen, and taken Arms against him: af­terwards proceeding, he clearly imputes the blame thereof to the rashness of the Hu­gonots, that they having laid aside all belief in God, and love to their Country, en­deavoured to disturb and trouble the peace of the Kingdom: But because it is the duty of a good Prince, to proceed with love and fatherly indulgence, He declared withal, that he was ready to pardon all such, who acknowledging their errour, should retire peaceably to their own houses, resolving to live conformably to the Rites of the Catho­lick Church, and in obedience to the Civil Magistrates. Wherefore he commanded all his Courts of Parliament, not to proceed in matters of Religion, upon any past Infor­mations, but to provide with all severity for the future, that they should offend no more in the like kind, nor keep any unlawful Assemblies. And because he desired above all things to satisfie his people, and to reform abuses in the Government; That he there­fore signified his pleasure to assemble all the Princes and eminent persons of the King­dom, at Fountain-bleau, a place fitly situated in the heart of France, and but few leagues distant from Paris, to provide by their counsel for the urgent necessities of State; to which purpose he gave free leave and power to all persons whatsoever, to come to the Assembly, or else to send their Deputies and grievances in writing, which he would not only graciously hear himself, but the supplicants should have redress in all that was reasonable or just.

With these and the like Decrees, divulged on purpose and with dissimulation, (the Court Master-piece) they in a reasonable manner secured the great ones from their fears and jealousies; nor was there any one who believed not, but that the Queen-Mo­ther and the Guises, being terrified with the sudden attempt of the Conspirators, and doubting more than ever new Insurrections, had determined in a fair and fitting way to satisfie the discontented Princes, and so to regulate the form of Government, that all should again participate according to their merits, the charges and honours of the Kingdom.

The Prince of Conde, who was as a pri­soner, is set at liberty.In this interim the Prince of Conde was discharged of his Guard, and left free, ei­ther to stay at Court, or depart, as he pleased; neither the King nor the Queen omit­ting any demonstrations of kindness that might appease him. But he, grievously troubled in mind, not being able to quiet his thoughts, (for if he stayed, he stayed in danger; and going away, he went as criminal;) at length he resolved to taste, in some measure, the Kings inclinations, and to find out, if it were possible, the inten­tion of those that governed. Wherefore being one day at Council, where the Princes of the Blood are always admitted, he laboured by weighty and earnest speeches to clear himself from being guilty of any practice either against the Kings person or the Queens, as had been falsly suggested by his enemies: But because things done in secret cannot otherwise be cleared, that he was ready to maintain his innocence with his Sword in his hand, against any person whatsoever that durst calumniate him as a partaker in the late Conspiracy. Which words, though they were directed to the Princes of Lorain, nevertheless the Duke of Guise, not forgetting the resolutions already taken, most cun­ningly dissembling, added thereunto, that he knowing the Princes goodness and can­dor, offered himself in person to accompany him, and hazard his life as his second, if there were any that would accept the challenge.

[Page 29]These Ceremonies past over, which were so artificially carried, on both sides, that the most suspitious and least apt to believe, began to think them real; the Prince not at all quiet nor secure within, but thinking he had done enough for his justification, departed presently from Court, and with great diligence went into Bearn to the King of Navarre.

They omitted not to use the like artifices with the Constable, the Admiral, and the rest; but entertained them with kind Letters, and Commissions, and charges of trust: Neither was there less care to provide in all the Provinces against any new Insurrecti­ons; for which cause the Gens d' Armes were sent into several parts of the Kingdom that were most suspected, and the Governours of places, and other Magistrates, were very watchful, that there should be no secret Assemblies, in which they perceived all the mischief was ordered and contrived; and under pretence of the Hugonots, they kept a strict watch upon other people of all sorts and qualities. But about the King, where there was greatest danger, and cause of suspicion, were appointed to wait, the Duke of Orleans, and the Duke of Angoulesme his Brothers Bands of men at Arms, commanded by men of fidelity and trust, the Duke of Guises Company and his Brothers the Duke of Aumale's, the Duke of Lorain's, the Duke of Nemour ▪s, Prince Lodowick Gonzago's, Don Francisco d' Este's the Mareshal of Brissac's, the Duke of Never's, the Viscount of Tavanne's, the Count of Cruss [...]l's, and Monsieur de la Brosse's; to which were added the Prince of Conde's Band, and the Constable's; for being amongst so many others, they might be carefully enough looked over. All these, which amounted to a thousand Launces, were still quartered about the Court, to be near the [...]ings per­son; and to his ordinary Guard were added two hundred Harquebushers on horse­back, under the command of Monsieur de Richlieu, a man of exceeding fierceness, and absolutely depending upon those that governed. The Princes, Ministers of the Crown, many Prelates and Gentlemen, eminent in birth or quality, were already summoned to the Assembly at Fountain-bleau, where those that sate at the Helm, proceeded with such dissimulation, that all men observing in them rather a timorousness, and appre­hension of the future events, than any thoughts bent to severity or revenge, the Con­spirators themselves believed they might without any more trouble, obtain such a Re­gulation in the Government as they had designed.

In the mean time, the High Chancellor Olivier dying,By the death of Olivier, Mi­chel de l' Ho­spital is made High Chan­cellor. that dignity was confirmed upon Michel de l' Hospital, who to his deep knowledge in the Greek and Latin Let­ters, having added a great experience in affairs of State, and being of a cautelous subtil wi [...], the King thought he would prove an excellent Minister for those resoluti­ons that were then in design. The Queen used great industry and no less diligence to advance this Creature of her own to that Office, notwithstanding the Princes of Lorain would have brought into it Monsieur Morvilliers; a man no way inferiour, either in reputation or wisdom, but who seemed not to desire that place, lest he might gain the displeasure of the Queen-Mother, who beginning to grow jealous of the greatness of that Family, desired to have such a person in so eminent a charge, who de­pending absolutely upon her will, might also be of ability to manage those great affairs.

But the Election of the High Chancellor thus confirmed, (which for some days kept business in suspence) no delays being to be used in the execution of their purposed de­signs, the King with those bands before mentioned, and the Court all armed, went to Fountain-bleau to celebrate the appointed Assembly with great expectation of all men. There arrived two days after,Anne of M [...] ­morancy with all his adhe­rents, goes to the Assembly at Fountain-bleau. the Constable accompanied by Francis Mareshal of Momo­rancy, and Henry Lord d' Anville his sons, by the Admiral Andelot, and the Cardinal of Chastillon his Nephews, the Visdame of Chartres, the Prince of Portian, and so numerous a gallant company of his friends and adherents that in an open place (as Fountain-bleau was) he needed not fear either the Kings strength, or the Guises power. The Prince of Conde and the King of Navarre, though kindly invited,The King of Navarre and the Prince of Conde go not thither. had already refused to come thither; the first, through exasperation of mind, which more than ever inclined his thoughts to new designs; the other, having remitted what concerned their common interests to the Constable and the Admiral, (to whom he sent his Confident Iacques de la Sague with Instructions) was resolved to stand at a distance in his own private quiet.

The day appointed to begin, the Assembly being now come,The Assembly at Fountain-bleau. after they were all met together in the Queen-Mothers Chamber, the King in few words told them his intent, [Page 30] which was to prevent the troubles that were rising, and to regulate such things as were thought necessary to be reformed. Wherefore he earnestly desired every one there pre­sent, with sincerity and candour to deliver his opinion in what concerned the pub­lick good. The Queen-Mother pursued the Kings speech, speaking much to the same purpose; but more at large exhorting every body there to speak freely their own sense, without any respects; for the Assembly was called to no other intent, but to regulate and reform such things as were requisite for the present and future quiet. The Chancellor de l' Hospital made a long set Oration much to the same purpose, but de­scending to more particulars, signified it was the Kings opinion, and the Lords of his Council, that the troubles of the Kingdom did proceed chiefly from the dissentions in Religion; and next, from the excessive grievances laid upon the people by the Kings his Predecessors; and therefore desired every one upon those two points especially to speak his opinion▪ that care might be taken both for the setling of mens Consciences, and for paying the debts of the Crown, without laying more burden upon the Subject, already overcharged, but rather find some way to disburden and ease them of their oppressions: Yet his Majesty prohibited none, if they discovered any other disorders in the Government, but that they might and ought freely and plainly to propose, and represent to the Assembly, whatsoever they thought might conduce to the re-setling the present Distractions in the State.

After these Proposals, for the better information of those that were to speak their opinions, the Duke of Guise rendred an account of the Armies, and other things com­mitted to his charge; and the Cardinal of Lorain related particularly the estate of the Treasury and publick Revenue, commonly called Finances; and with these Preambles, that every one might have time to prepare himself what to say, the Assembly was dis­missed for that time.

The Admiral p [...]esents a Pe­tition from the Hugonots, in which they demand ere­ction of Tem­ples, and Li­berty of Con­science.The next day, before they entred upon any business, the Admiral more in love with his own Opinions than ever, and conceiving if he could add to the Queens apprehen­sions, and the Guises, they might with more facility obtain such a full Reformation as was aimed at; resolved to set forth the number and force of the Hugonots, notwith­standing the late suppression of the Conspiracy, and by that means gain the favour and absolute dependance of that party. Wherefore rising from his seat, and presenting himself before the King, he delivered him a Paper, and said aloud, so that he might be plainly heard by every one, That it was a Petition from those of the Reformed Religion, who in confidence of his Majesties Edicts, in which he permitted all people freely to present their grievances, had desired him to present it; and though there were yet no hands to it, when his Majesty should so order, it would presently be subscribed by One hundred and fifty thousand persons. The King, who by his Mothers precepts had learned the Art of dis­sembling, graciously received the Paper, and with affable speeches commended the Admirals confidence in presenting to him the desires of his Subjects. This Paper be­ing read by Aubespine, it appeared to be a Petition from the Hugonots, by which▪ with many tedious circumstances, they desired in substance Liberty of Conscience, and Temples to be assigned them in every City where they might freely exercise their Reli­gion. After the reading of which, the Admiral being returned to his place, and the murmur ceased, which proceeded from the diverse sense that men had of this pro­ceeding, every one was appointed in order to deliver his opinion. The Cardinal of Lorain, of himself ardent, and put on by the obligation of his calling, could not for­bear to answer the contents of the Petition, which he termed seditious, impudent, rash, heretical and petulant; concluding, that if to strike a terrour into the Kings youth, it had been said, that the Petition should be subscribed by 150000 sedi­tious persons, he made answer, There was above a Million of honest men ready to sup­press the boldness of such rebellious people, and make due obedience be rendred to the Royal Majesty. Whereupon the Admiral offering to reply, a great contest would have fol­lowed, to the hindrance of the business intended, if the King, imposing on them both silence, had not commanded the rest to proceed in order to deliver their opinions.

For so much as concerned Controversies in Religion, those that favoured Calvins Doctrine,A National Council pro­posed. as there were many even among the Prelates that inclined that way, pro­posed that the Pope should be desired to grant a free General Council, where the diffe­rences in matters of Faith might be disputed, and determined by common consent; and if the Pope refused to grant it in such manner as was necessary for the present times, and the general satisfaction of all men, the King ought, according to the wise [Page 31] example of many his Predecessors, to call a National Council in his own Kingdom; where, under his protection, those differences might be determined. But the Car­dinal of Lorain, and the rest who constantly persevered in the Catholick Religion, and were the major part in the Assembly, denied that any other Council was necessary, than that by the Popes order many years since begun, and now newly entred into again in the City of Trent; whither, according to the Canons, and ancient use of holy Church, it was free for every body to have recourse, and to bring all differences in matters of Religion to be decided by the natural competent Judges; and that to call a National Council, whilst the General was open, would be to separate (through the capriciousness of a few desperate persons) a most Christian Kingdom from the union and fellowship of the holy Church; that it was not necessary to look so far back: For the General Council of Trent, having discussed and examined the Doctrine of those Teachers that dissented from the Roman Church, had already for the most part re­proved and condemned it; That they should endeavour by the best means that could be, to purge the Kingdom, and not by hopes or propositions of new Councils, in­crease the disorders, and multiply the confusions. But if the manners of the Ecclesi­asticks, or abuses introduced into the Government of the Church of France required reformation, or more severe constitutions; an Assembly might be called of Divines and Prelates, in which, without medling with controversies in Faith, those disorders might be remedied by common consent. This opinion was approved by the major part of voices, and finally imbraced by all.

Then for the concernment of the State, after many Propositions and Disputes, which proceeded from the divers interests; Iohn de Monl [...]e Bishop of Valence, A general As­sembly of the States is resol­ved upon, and the present Assembly dis­missed. having by se­cret order from the Queen proposed an Assembly of the States, both parties willingly consented thereunto. The Constable, the Admiral, and their faction, because they hoped from that, a Reformation in the Government: The Queen-Mother and the Guises, because they saw things go on of themselves to their own ends.

This consultation ended, the King by his Chancellor thanked the Lords of the Assembly, and forthwith Letters Patents were dispatched by the Secretaries of State to all the Provinces in the Kingdom; containing, That in the Month of October next they should send their Deputies to the City of Orleans, there to hold a general Assembly of the States: and order was likewise given to the principal Prelates, that in the Month of February following, they should all meet at Poissy, to reform, by common consent, those abuses that were introduced in the Government and Ministry of the Church; and to take such order, that a considerable number of them should go to the general Coun­cil of Trent. The Assembly ended, all were licensed to return to their houses, and desired to meet again at Orleans, to assist at the Assembly of the States.

But Ia [...]ues de la Sague, the King of Navarre's servant,Saga a servan [...] to the King of Navarre, is ta­ken prisoner at Estampes, with divers Letters about him, and being tortured, con­fesseth certain practices against the Crown. being charged with Letters of Instructions from the Constable, the Admiral and the rest of the Adherents, dire­cted to his Master, as soon as he left the Court returning towards Bearne; being gone as far as Estampes, was by secret order of the Queen stayed prisoner; from whence, with all his papers, he was privately conveyed to Court. The Letters contained only private and general compliments, such as use to pass amongst friends; and being exa­mined, he constantly denied, that he had any other commission than what was plain to be seen by the Letters. But being brought to the place of torture to draw the truth from him by force, not enduring the rack, he confessed, That the Prince of Conde had advised, and the King of Navarre in part also consented thereunto, that he should leave Bearne, and under pretence of coming to the Court, by the way take pos­session of all the principal Towns thereabouts; seise Paris by the help of the Constable, (his Son the Mareshal of Momorancy being Governour of it;) make Picardy revolt by means of the Lords of Senarpont and Bouchava [...]ne, and draw Britanny to his party by aid of the Duke of Estampes, who being Governour of that Province, had great de­pendances there; and so armed and accompanied by the Forces of the Hugonots, come to the Court, and force the States to depose the Queen-Mother and the Guises from the Government, and declaring the King was not out of his minority till he came to 22 years of age, create his Tutors and Governours of the Kingdom, the Constable, the Prince of Conde, and the King of Navarre. He added to his con­fession, that if they put the cover of the Visdame of Chartres Letters which were ta­ken from him, in water, the characters would presently appear, and they should find there all written that he had said. Thus by the confession of one imployed by them, [Page 32] and the testimony of the Letters, the new designs of the Conspirators were disco­vered.

But as the discontented Princes (resolved to bring in Innovations) increased in power and dependents; with so much the more sollicitousness and diligence they at Court made their provisions; where continuing still their wonted dissimulation, they studied all manner of pretences and colours to draw near to the Kings person, or else remove out of the suspected Provinces all such, who being united with the Princes of the Blood, had received Commissions to trouble or molest them. For this cause the Duke of Estampes being sent for under pretence that he should be imployed as Gover­nour of the Kingdom of Scotland, was entertained with artificial delays; and Senar­pont being declared Lieutenant to the Mareshal of Brissac, coming to receive new In­structions in order to his Government, was by the same arts hindred from raising any commotion in Picardy; and so all the rest with sundry delays and excuses were in like manner entertained and suspended. But the remedies were not sufficient, for the wound already festered.

The Hugonots having taken courage from the first Councils of the Insurrection at Ambois, and the open profession of the Admiral, began to raise commotions in all parts of the Kingdom; and laying aside all obedience and respect, not only made open re­sistance against the Magistrates, but in many places had directly taken Arms, endea­vouring to raise the Countries, and get strong places into their hands, whither they might retire with safety: which was grown to such a pass, that from all parts came complaints against them to the Court, and news of their deportments. But one thing more important and more grievous than all the rest, made them hasten their for­mer resolutions.The Prince of C [...]nde practi­seth to possess himself of Li­ons, but with­out success. For the Prince of Conde, moved by his old inclinations, and urged by the sting of Conscience, not being able to quiet his mind, or moderate his thoughts, resolved to make himself Master of a strong place in some part of the Kingdom, which might serve him afterwards for a retreat or standing quarter, if he were forced to make preparations for the War. Amongst many others in which he kept secret in­telligence, none pleased him so well as Lions, being a populous rich City, placed upon two Navigable Rivers, not far from Geneva, the principal seat of the Hugonots; and placed so near upon the Confines, that he might easily receive speedy succours from the Protestant Princes of Germany, and the united Cantons of Switzers; and from whence upon any accident or necessity, he might soon retire into some free open place out of the Kingdom.

Wherefore using the assistance of two Brothers, the Maligni's his old servants, he found a means to treat with divers principal men of the City, which by reason of the Traffick, is always inhabited by many strangers of all Nations, and through the neighbourhood of Geneva, was then (though covertly) replenished with people averse to the Catholick Religion, and inclined to Calvins Doctrine. These, when they thought they had got a party strong enough in the City to make insurrection, endea­voured to bring in privately Souldiers unarmed, and others of their faction; with which being afterwards furnished with arms, they might on a sudden possess them­selves of the Bridges, and Town-house, and at length reduce the Town wholly into their power.

The Mareschal of S. Andre was then Governour of Lions; who being sent for upon the present occasions to Court, left there in his place, with the same authority, his Ne­phew, the Abbot of Achon. He, by means of Catholick Merchants jealous to pre­serve their own estates, and enemies to those Counsels that might disturb the peace of the City, having perfectly discovered the practices of the Hugonots, and the time that they determined to rise; the night before the fifth of September, appointed Pro with the chief Deputy of the Citizens, with three hundred Fire-locks, to place a guard upon the Bridges over the Rhone, and the Soane, and besiege that part of the City which is placed between the two Rivers, where he knew the Conspirators were to assemble. The Maligni's perceiving the Catholicks design, not willing to stay to be besieged and assaulted where they could not defend themselves, holpen by the darkness of the night, prevented the Governours men, and hasting with great courage, possessed themselves of the Bridge over the Soane, where they lay watching with great silence, in hope that the Catholicks, terrified with a sudden encounter, would be easily dis­ordered▪ whereby the passage would be free for them to the other part of the Bridge, and to make themselves Masters of the great place, and of the chiefest strong parts in the Town.

[Page 33]But it fell out otherwise: For the Catholicks enduring the first shock without being troubled or disordered, and afterwards continual fresh supplies of men being sent by the Governour, the Conspirators could no longer resist. The rest of their complices seeing the beginning so difficult, durst neither stir not appear any longer. Wherefore the Maligni's having fought all night, and being wearied out, as the day began to break, perceiving the Gate behind them was open, (which the Governour on purpose to facilitate their flight had commanded not to be shut, lest by an obstinate perseve­rance, all might be indangered) they fled away, and many of their faction with them, and others hid themselves; by which means the City was freed from those great commotions

Then the Governour calling in those Troops that lay about the Town, and having made diligent search for the Conspirators; to terrifie the Hugonots with the severity of their punishment, condemned many of them to be hanged, and preserving the rest alive, sent them presently to Court; who served afterwards to confirm the depositions of the prisoners against the discontented Princes.

The news of this attempt being come to Court, the King resolving to use no longer delays, nor give more time for new experiments, departed from Fountain-bleau with those thousand Lances that used to attend him, and two old Regiments of Foot, that were newly come out of Piedmont and Scotland; and taking the way of Orleans, sol­licited the Deputies of the Provinces to appear.

The whole French Nation is distinguished into three orders, which they call States.The three Estates of the Kingdom. The first consists of Ecclesiasticks; the second of the Nobility; and the third of the common people. These being divided into thirty Precincts or Jurisdictions, which they call Baillages or Seneschausees, when a general Assembly of the Kingdom is to be held, go all to their chief City, and dividing themselves into three several Chambers, every one chuses a Deputy, who in the name of that Body, is to assist at the general Assembly, wherein are proposed and discussed all matters concerning the several Orders or Government of the State.

In this manner three Deputies are sent by every Baillage, one for the Ecclesiasticks, one for the Nobility, and one for the People; which by a more honourable term, are called the third Estate. Being all met together in presence of the King, the Princes of the Blood, and Officers of the Crown, they form the Body of the States-General, and represent the Authority, Name, and Power of the whole Nation. When the King is capable to govern, and present, they have power to consent to his demands, to pro­pose things necessary for the good of their order, to oblige the common people to new taxes, and to give and receive new Laws and Constitutions; but when the King is in minority, or otherwise uncapable, they have authority when it falls into controversie, to chuse the Regents of the Kingdom, to dispose of the principal Offices, and to ap­point who shall be admitted to the Council; and when the Kings line fails, or a des­cendant of the Royal Family, they have power according to the Salique Laws to chuse a new Lord. But besides these supreme Priviledges, the Kings have always used in any urgent weighty occasions to assemble the States, and to determine of matters of difficulty with their advice and consent; thinking not only by a publick consent to make the Princes resolutions more valid, but that it was also necessary in a lawful Go­vernment and truly Royal, that all great businesses should be communicated to the whole body of the Kingdom. Now at that time it plainly appearing, that through the dissen­tions among the Princes, and differences in Religion, all things were full of disorder, and had need of speedy remedy, the Deputies elected by the Provinces, and instantly called upon with reiterated Orders from the Court, met together with great diligence at Orleans, at the beginning of October, where the King himself being also arrived, with a great company of the principal Lords and Officers of the Crown, he now ex­pected nothing but the coming of the discontented Princes. The Constable with his sons stayed in the wonted place, at Chantillii; the King of Navarre, and the Prince his Brother, were retired into Bearn; and being summoned by the Kings Letters to come to the Assembly of the States, they did not plainly refuse it, but with divers excuses and many delays put off the time of their appearance.

This kind of proceeding held the King and all his Ministers in great dispense, doubt­ing, not without reason, that the Princes either suspecting something of themselves, or advertised by some Confident, by refusing to appear at the Assembly, would frustrate all their great designs and preparations, which were founded only upon their coming. [Page 34] And the Prince of Conde, who ruled his actions by the guiltiness of his Conscience, it appearing to him a thing impossible, but that by the prisoners at Ambois, Saga's con­fession, and the Conspirators taken at Lions, there was enough discovered to lay open his intents, was grown so extreamly jealous, that no reasons could perswade him to put himself again into the Kings power or his Ministers, the chief of which he knew were all his mortal enemies. But the King of Navarre, either being less guilty, or of a more credulous nature than his brother, thought, that by going to the States, they should easily obtain a reformation in the Government, which was the thing they had so much laboured for, and that by refusing to go thither, they should condemn themselves, and leave the field free to the avarice and persecution of the Guises. Nor could he possibly believe, that in the face of a General Assembly of the whole Kingdom, the King yet as it were a Pupil, an Italian woman and two strangers would venture to lay violent hands upon the Princes of the Blood, against whom the most masculine Kings and most revengeful, had ever proceeded with great regard, as against persons not to be violated, and in a manner Sacro-sancti. Wherefore he was of opinion, what­soever came of it, to go to the Assembly, and to take the Prince with him; not mean­ing to give them that advantage, to condemn him in absence, without any kind of defence, as he was sure they would if he stayed so far off; whereas if he were there to sollicite the Deputies himself, he hoped his cause, if it were not approved of by the rigour of justice, yet the equity of his reasons would at least make it be born with; and at the last, (if no better) in consideration of his quality, and pre-eminence of Blood, pardoned. All their Counsellours and Friends concurred in this opinion, ex­cept the Prince's Wife, and his Mother-in-law; both which constantly opposed it, esteeming all other loss inferiour to the danger which they thought evident of leaving their lives there.

Whilst they were in this debate, there arrived on a sudden, first the Count of Cursol, and afterwards the Mareschal of Saint Andre, whom the King had dispatched one after the other, to perswade the Princes to come: They represented to them, that this grave venerable Assembly was called with much expence to the King, and great incommodity to the whole Kingdom, only in consideration of the Princes of the Blood, and to satisfie their instances and complaints: That they were obliged to deliver their opinions in regulating the Government, and decision of points controverted in Reli­gion, businesses of such weight, as without the assistance of the chief Princes of the Blood, could not be determined: That the King had great cause to think himself mocked, and the States, that they were slighted by the Princes of Bourbon; since ha­ving so often desired a Reformation in the Government, and to have the Hugonots cause examined, now that the time was come, and the States assembled for that pur­pose, they took not any care of going thither; as it were contemning the Majesty of that Assembly, which was the representative Body of the whole Kingdom; that here­after they ought not to blame any body but themselves, if they were worthily excluded from any part or charge in the Government, since they would not vouchsafe to come to receive that portion which the King with the approbation of the States thought good to assign them; and shewing themselves thus manifestly averse to the Kings service, and good of the Crown, they ought not to wonder if quick resolutions were taken to sup­press and extirpate those roots of discord, and apparent designs of innovation. That the King was resolved, as he meant to gratifie such who shewed themselves respectful and obedient to him; so he would bind those to a necessary and forced obedience, that had any intents to separate themselves from his Councils, or to stir any commotions in the Cities and Provinces of the Kingdom: Of which delinquency he would think the Princes of Bourbon guilty, if they took no care at all to shew their innocence, but with their absence and contumacy should confirm the reports of fame; which being never believed either by the King or his Council, yet his Majesty desired, for the honour of the Blood-Royal, that with true demonstrations of duty and loyalty, and a real union for the publick good, they would testifie as much to all France, which with wonderful expectation had turned her eyes upon the actions of the present times.

This Message was delivered from the King, to the Princes of Bourbon, which had little moved the Prince of Conde, resolved not to venture his person in a place where his enemies were the stronger, if necessity had not forced him to break that resolution. For the Count of Cursol, being returned to Court, and having signified the Princes back­wardness [Page 35] to come to the Assembly; the Guises thereupon pressing and solliciting, that force might be used to fetch them in, and the Queen not dissenting from them, (through a desire she had to see the seeds of those discords eradicated, and her sons quietly re-established in their States) the King took a resolution to make shew of compelling them by Arms. To which purpose the Mareschal de Termes being dispatched into Gascoigne, there began an Army to be formed under his command▪ and all the Troops and Infan­try that were distributed in the Neighbour-Provinces, were sent that way. The Princes of Bourbon were not only without Arms, and unprovided, but restrained also in Bearne, a narrow Country, at the foot of the Perinees, and partly by France, partly by Spain, shut up, and compassed in on all sides: So that they were assured, being at­tacked on one side by the French army out of Gascoigne, and on the other by the King of Spain's forces, (who desired to extinguish those few reliques that remained of the Kingdom of Navarre) they should easily be oppressed and subdued. In France the Princes designs had no where prospered; and in Bearne he had neither men nor money. Wherefore the King of Navarre (resolved, not to hazard the rest of his state, toge­ther with the safety of his Wife and Children, who were all in the same place) shew­ing the necessity, to which all Counsels must yield; at length brought his brother to be content to go; all being of opinion, that whilst the States were sitting, the Guises would not dare to attempt any thing against them; whereas if they continued obstinate to stay in Bearne; they would undoubtedly be forced with eternal infamy to fall under the hateful name of Rebels.

Charles Cardinal of Bourbon their brother, contributed very much to bring them to this resolution. For he being a man of a facile good nature, as appeared in the whole course of his life, averse to novelties, and extreamly affectionate to his brothers, when he understood the Kings intent, and the preparations that he made, being perswaded by the Queen-Mother, who desired their purposed designs might be effected, without noise of Arms, or the hazard of War; he presently took post, and went into Bearne to perswade them to come, by magnifying on one side the greatness of the forces that were preparing, (against which they would not be able to make any resistance) and by assuring them on the other, that there appeared not in the King or the Queen-Mother any other shew but of good-will, and a desire of peace and agreement. So leaving the Queen with the young children in Pau, they departed all three with a small train, to give less cause of suspicion, and went together towards the Court.

The Constable was sent for, though not with such earnestness, because he was in a place where they might easily get him into their power when they pleased. But he proceeded with greater dissimulation, and more security: For, having not favoured the Faction of the Male-contents otherwise than with his counsel, and that also ever tending rather to seek redress from the States, than to move any Insurrection or Rebellion; he would not, by refusing to go to Court, increase the suspicion against him, but by other arts and dissimulations defer his coming thither, till he saw what became of the Princes of Bourbon. Wherefore being come to Paris, there feigning he was troubled with a Catarrh, and the Gout, he returned (till he could recover) to his own house. Many days after, being again upon the way, under pretence that too much motion offended him, (which by reason of his age was easie to be believed) he made little journeys, and went out of the way for commodity of lodging, artificially delaying the time, until he could hear that the others were arrived.

It is certain, that, his sons urging him to make more haste, and telling him that neither the Queen-Mother nor the Guises would be so bold as to offend a man so much esteemed as he was, and that had such great dependences in the Kingdom; he, grown wise through long experience, made them answer, That those about the King could govern the State as they pleased, without any obstacle or impediment whatsoever; and yet notwithstanding fought contradictions, and assemblies of the States; things that could not be without some hidden design, which with a little patience would be [...]rought to light. By which reply his Sons being satisfied, he sought still by delays to gain the benefit of time.

In the mean while the King of Navarre, and the Prince of Conde, were met upon the Confines by the Mareschal de Termes, who, under shew of honour, conducted them with a great body of Cavalry to secure those Towns which la Sague mentioned in his Confession; and at the same time, sent other Companies of Foot and Horse to shut up and guard the ways behind them; doubting that the Princes might change their reso­lution, [Page 36] and endeavour secretly to get back again into Bearn. But news being come to Orleans, that the Princes being in their journey, were come into the Kings domi­nions, and compassed about by de Termes his Troops; presently Hierom Groslot Baily of Orleans, accused to have held intelligence with the Hugonots, to make that City revolt to the discontented Princes, was laid close up; and by order from the King, the Visdame of Chartres was committed to prison in Paris, who still contriving new mischiefs, had lingred there unadvisedly.

Andelot was not so easily intrapped; who being as wise and cautelous in providing against dangers, as he was precipitate and bold in contriving them, had secretly con­veyed himself away into the remotest parts of Britany, near upon the Sea-side; being resolved, in case of necessity, to pass over into England. But the Admiral, who with great art and dexterity had managed the business, without being discovered, went thi­ther freely at the beginning, with an intent to imploy all his power in the Assembly for the advantage of his party; and being very much made of by the King, and used (as was her custom) very civilly by the Queen, he had opportunity nearly to observe all the passages of the Court▪ of which afterwards with great wariness, he gave secret advertisement to the Constable, and the King of Navarre.

But now there was no further need of pretences, insomuch as the Princes of Bourbon being neither met upon the way, nor courted by any body but a few of their intimate familiar friends, arrived at Orleans the 29 day of October; where (contrary to the cu­stom of the Court, though in time of War) they found not only the Gates of the City guarded with a great number of Souldiers; but the strong Holds secured, the places manned, and Watches appointed at the end of every street, with a terrible shew of all warlike instruments, and many Companies of Souldiers, which passing thorow, they arrived at the Kings lodging, much more strictly guarded, as if it had been the Tent or Pavilion of a General in the midst of an Army. Being come to the Gate, and intending to go into the Court on horse-back, (which is a priviledge belonging to the Princes of the Blood) they found the Gate shut, and only the Wicket open; so that they were forced to alight in the midst of the High-way; and being neither saluted nor met, (but by very f [...]w) were conducted to the Kings presence; who placed between the Duke of Guise and the Cardinal of Lorain, and compassed about by the Captains of his Guard, received them in a much different manner from that familiarity which the Kings of France use to all men, but especially to the Princes of their Blood. From thence the King himself went with them, but the Guises followed not, to the Queen-Mothers Chamber; who not forgetting her old Maxims, to seem independent, and not interessed in any party, received them with the wonted demonstrations of Honour, and with such an apparence of sadness, that the tears were seen to fall from her eyes.

But the King, continuing still the same countenance, turning to the Prince of Conde, began in sharp language to complain, that he, without any injury or ill usage received from him, had, in contempt of all humane and divine Laws, many times stirred his Subjects to rebel, raised War in divers parts of the Kingdom, attempted to surprize his principal Cities, and practised even against his own life and his brothers. To which the Prince, not at all dismayed, boldly answered, That these were the [...]alumnies and persecutions of his enemies; but [...]hat he could soon make his innocence appear to all the world▪ The Prince of Conde commit­ted to prison. Then replied the King▪ To find out the truth, it is necessary to proceed by the usual ways of Justice: and so departing out of the Chamber, commanded the Captains of his Guard to seize upon his person.

Here the Queen-Mother, who moved with the necessity, gave her consent, but for­got not the various changes of the world, wholly applied herself with kind words to comfort the King of Navarre, whilst the Prince not saying a word else, but blaming himself to be so co [...]ened by the Cardinal his brother, was led to a house hard by, which being prepared for that purpose, had the Windows walled up, the Gates doubled, and was reduced into a kind of Fortress flanked with Artillery, and strait Guards o [...] every side.

The King of Navarre, astonished at his brothers imprisonment, after many com­plaints and long debate with the Queen-Mother, (who laying the fault upon the Duke of Guise Lieutenant-General, sought to remove all jealousies and ill will from her self) was carried to be lodged in a house joining to the Kings Palace; where his ordinary Guards being changed,The King of Navarre kept [...] a prisoner. saving the liberty of conversation, he was in all other respects guarded and kept as a prisoner.

[Page 37]At the very same time that the Prince was committed, Amaury Bouchard, the King of Navarre's Secretary, was arrested, and all his Letters and Writings taken from him.

The same night also Tannequy de Carrouge went from Court towards Anic [...] in Pi­cardy, a place belonging to Magdalen d [...] Roye, the Princes Mother-in-law; and there finding her without suspition of any thing, being but a woman, he sent her away prisoner to the Castle of S. Germain, and carried all her Letters and Papers with him to the Court.

But the news of these stirs (notwithstanding the Gates of the City were kept shut, and Travellers forbidden to pass) being come to the Constable, who was still upon the way, some few leagues from Paris; he presently stopped his jour­ney, with a resolution not to go any further till he saw what would be the event of them.

In the mean while, the Assembly of the States began;The Assembly of the States begins. where the first thing that was done, was to make a profession of their Faith; which being set down by the Doctors of the Sorbon, conformable to the belief of the Roman Catholick Church, and publickly read by the Cardinal of Tournon, President of the Ecclesiastical Order, was by a solemn Oath approved and confirmed by every one of the Deputies, because none should be admitted into that General Assembly either unwittingly or on purpose, that was not a true Catholick.

This solemn Act being past, the High Chancellor, in presence of the King, pro­posed those things which were necessary to be consulted of for the Reformation of the Government. Upon which, and the demand of the Provinces, they retired into their several Chambers; where when they had debated them apart, they were to make their reports thereof in publick. But this was the least thing in every mans thought; for the minds of all men were in suspence, and expecting the issue of the Princes im­prisonment; whose commitment was confirmed by a solemn Decree of the Kings Council, subscribed by the King himself, the High Chancellor, and all the other Lords, except the Guises, who, as suspected of enmity, absented themselves when the Princes of Bourbons cause was to be handled, which was remitted to an Assembly of Judges Delegates, who forming a Judicial Process, should proceed to a final Sentence. The Delegates were Christophle de Thou, President in the Parliament of Paris; Bartholomy de Faye, and Iaques Viole, Counsellors in the same Parliament; and according to the Customs of that Kingdom, Giles Bourdin, the ordinary Atturney that prosecutes all Causes that either concern the Kings Rights, or tend to the maintenance of the peace and safety of his Subjects, Procuror fiscal to the King, performed the Office of Plain­tiff and Accuser; Iohn Tilliet, Chief Notary in the Court of Parliament, wrote the Process; and all the Examinations and Acts past in the presence of the High Chan­cellor.

In this manner proceeding upon the Examinations of the Prisoners, (which were on purpose brought from Amboyse, Lyons, and divers other places) they were ready to examine the Prince upon the points already discovered and proved. But the High Chancellor and the Delegates coming into the Chamber where the Prince was in pri­son, to interrogate him, he constantly refused to answer or submit himself to the Exa­mination of any of them; pretending as Prince of the Blood,The Prince of Conde excepts against his trial, and ap­peals to the King; but the appeal is not accepted. that he was not under any Justice but the Parliament of Paris, in the Chamber called The Chamber of Peers, that is, in a full Parliament, the King being there himself in person, all the twelve Peers of France, and all the Officers of the Crown, which was the custom formerly; and therefore he could do no other than appeal to the King against such an extraordi­nary and perverse way of Judicature. This appeal being transferred to the Kings Council, although according to the ordinary Forms and Customs of the Kingdom it appeared agreeable to reason, notwithstanding (the present case requiring quick and speedy Judgment, and no Law making it necessary that the causes of the Princes should always be tried with such formality in the Chamber of the Peers) it was declared not valid. But the Prince having often made the same appeal, and persisting still to make the same protestations; the Kings Council, upon demand of the Procurer fiscal, de­clared at length that the Prince was to be held as convict, because he had refused to answer the Delegates. So being forced to submit himself to ex [...]amination, they pro­ceeded judicially, and with great expedition in the rest of the circumstances, till the very last pronouncing of Sentence. Into such calamity were the Princes of Bourbon [Page 38] brought, that they were like to expiate with their Blood their past crimes; yet was there not any body so much their enemy among the French Nation, that, considering the great Birth and noble Education both of the one and the other brother, was not moved with exceeding compassion towards them. Only the Guises, men of a resolute nature, either really believing it was expedient for the common good, peace and wel­fare of the Kingdom; or else, as their ill-willers affirmed, being eager to oppress their adversaries, and confirm their own greatness, constantly pursued their first designs, without any regard either to the quality or merit of the persons: nay, boasted with arrogant and bold speeches, That at two blows only they would cut off at the same time the Heads of Heresie and Rebellion.

But the Queen-Mother, though perhaps secretly she gave her consent, and was willing enough they should proceed to execution; yet desiring notwithstanding, that all the hate and blame should fall upon the Guises, as she had ever artificially contrived it, and having an aim still to preserve her self Neuter for any accidents that should happen in the uncertain changes of the World; her countenance expressing sadness, and her words sorrow, she often sent, sometimes for the Admiral, sometimes for the Car­dinal of Chastillon, and shewed an earnest desire to find some means or other to save the Princes of Bourbon. With the same arts she entertained Iacqueline de Logent, Dutchess of Montpensier, a Lady of sincere intentions, who being far from dissimulation, judged of others by her self, yet she was inclined to the Doctrine of the Hugonots, and being withal nearly intimate with the King of Navarre, she served by carrying Messages from one to the other, to maintain a kind of correspondence between them; which kind of proceedings, though directly opposite to her designs, the effect whereof could not be concealed, they were nevertheless so excellently dissembled, that even those who per­ceived most, were in doubt whether they were true or no; considering how profound the secrets of men are, and how various the affections and interests that govern the force of worldly actions.

The Commissaries had now pronounced the Sentence against the Prince of Conde; That being convict of Treason and Rebellion,Sentence pro­nounced a­gainst the Prince of Conde. he should lose his head at the beginning of the Assembly of the States-General, before the Royal Palace. Nor was the execu­tion deferred for any other reason, but to see if they could catch in the same net the Constable, who being earnestly called upon, did not yet appear; and to involve in the same execution the King of Navarre, against whom nothing could be found suffi­cient to condemn him;The King un­der the Bar­bers hands taken with an Apoplexy. when one morning, the King being under the Barbers hands, (which he used often) was on a sudden taken with such a grievous swooning, that his servants laid him upon the bed for dead; and though in a short time he returned again to his senses, yet he had such mortal accidents, that he gave very little hopes of life. In which tumult of general amazement and confusion, the Guises sollicited the Queen-Mother, that whilst the King was yet alive, the Judgment should be executed upon the Prince of Conde; and the same resolution taken against the King of Navarre; by which means they should cut off the way to all Innovations that might happen up­on the Kings death. Withal, they perswaded, that it was the only way to preserve the Kingdom to her other Sons yet in minority, and to dissipate those clouds of future dissention which already appeared in divers parts of the Kingdom. For although the Constable were wanting, whom in this necessary and hasty resolution they could not get into their hands; notwithstanding, the authority and priviledges of the Blood-Royal, the prudence of the King of Navarre, and the Princes fierceness being once taken away, there was little to be feared from him, who would neither be followed by the Nobility, nor have the adherence of the Hugonots, as the Princes of Bourbon had. That there wanted nothing to perfect their designs, (with so much art and pa­tience brought to maturity) but the very last point of execution, which by no means was to be hindred, if the King should chance to die. For the Kingdom falling by right upon his Brothers, both they and the Queen-Mother would still have the same reasons and interests. But the Queen having had the dexterity in apparence to pre­serve her self as it were Neuter, was not so streightly necessitated as to precipitate her deliberations. Wherefore considering, that under her Sons, yet Pupils, the face of things would be wholly changed, and the excessive greatness of the Guises, if it re­mained without counterpoise or opposition, was no less to be feared than the conti­nual practices of the Princes of the Blood; she lessened the report of her Sons weak­ness, and often gave it out, that there was great hopes of his recovery; seeking by [Page 39] that means to gain time, and defer the execution of what was determined, that she might afterwards conform her self to the present occasions In pursuit of this reso­lution, which was confirmed by the advice of the High Chancellour; as soon as they knew the King was past hopes, she caused the Prince Dolphin, Son to Iacqueline and the Duke of Montpensier, to bring the King of Navarre in the night secretly into her Chamber; where, with her wonted arts and many effectual arguments, she sought to perswade him, that she had ever been averse to the late proceedings, and that she was desirous to join with him to oppose the unlimited power of the Guises ▪ Which, though it were not absolutely believed, was not altogether unuseful for the future: for with this and other negotiations, a correspondence being still maintained between them, it was not so hard to treat upon agreement when occasion should serve, as it would have been, if she had passionately declared her self a principal agent in what was done, and an open enemy to the Princes of the Blood.

In the mean while, the Kings weakness still increased, who from the beginning was thought to have an Impostume in his head, over the right ear, because he was ever from his infancy troubled with defluxions and pains in that part, which afterwards coming to break, the abundance of matter and corruption falling into his throat, choaked him; so that the fifth day of December in the morning he passed out of this life, leaving all things in extream disorder and confusion.

All men for the most part believed at the present, that he was poisoned by his Bar­ber; and it was said that the Physicians had discovered evident signs of it, which the suddenness of the accident and time of his death would have made believed by men of best understanding, if the disease of which he died had not been known to be nourished and grown up with him from his cradle. He left behind him the opinion of a good Prince, free from vice, inclined to Justice and Religion; but reported to be of a weak heavy understanding, and of a nature rather apt to be awed by others, than able to govern of himself. However, it would have been expedient for the peace of France, either that he had never come to the Crown, or else that he had lived till the designs then on foot had been fully perfected. For as the force and violence of thunder useth in a moment to overthrow and ruine those buildings which are built with great care and long labour; so his unexpected death, destroying in an instant those counsels, which with so much art and dissimulation were brought to maturity and concluded; left the state of things (already in the way (although by violent and rigorous means, yet) to a certain and secure end) in the height of all discord, and more than ever they were formerly, troubled, wavering, and abandoned.

Charles the Ninth, Brother to Francis, and second Son to the Queen,Charles the IX. succeeded to the Crown, being yet but a Child about eleven years old. In so tender an age, there was no doubt but he should be committed to the care of a Guardian, who should sup­ply his defect in the Government; in which case the ancient customs of the Kingdom, and the Laws often confirmed by the States, called rightfully to that charge, as first Prince of the Blood, the King of Navarre. But how could the Kings youth, and the Government of the Kingdom, be safely committed into his hands, who upon great sus­picions to have practised against the State, was kept in a manner prisoner, and his Bro­ther for the same crime already condemned to die? The Guises had governed with supreme authority under the late King, and with great constancy applied all manner of frank remedies to recover the prosperity and peace of the State: so that committing the Government to them, the same Councils might be continued, and the same deli­berations followed. But how could the Guardianship of a King in minority be con­ferred upon those that were in no manner of way allied to the Royal Blood, against all the Laws of the Kingdom, and in such a time when the major part of the great Lords being already wakened and advertised, would earnestly oppose it? The States had often committed the Regency and Government of Infant-Kings to the Mothers; and in such division of opinions and factions, the life of the King, and custody of the King­dom ought not in reason to be trusted in other hands. But how could a woman that was a stranger, without dependences, and without favourers, pretend to the supreme authority with two so powerful and already-armed factions?

Wherefore, when the late King Francis beginning to grow worse, shewed evident signs of death; the Guises foreseeing what might easily happen, entred into a streight league of friendship with the Cardinal of Tournon, the Duke of Nemours, the Mares­chals of Brissac and S. Andre, the Sieur de Sipierre Governour of Orleans, and many [Page 40] other great Lords, continually providing what force they could to maintain themselves and their power. On the other side, the King of Navarre, conceiving good hopes for the future, making a confederacy with the Admiral, the Cardinal of Chatillon, the Prince of Portian, Monsieur de Iarnac, and the rest of his dependents, had secretly armed all his Family, and by sundry messengers sent for the Constable, who, having understood the Kings death, hasted his journey, which he used to delay, was every hour expected at Orleans. So that both Factions having put themselves into a po­sture of defence, and the whole Court and the Souldiers divided between them, and not only all others,All the Nobi­lity and the Militia is divi­ded between two Factions but even the Deputies of the States themselves taking part accor­ding to their inclinations and several interests, there was no place left for any third resolution; but with the instant danger that every hour the Factions would affront each other, every place was full of tumults and terrour, and all their proceedings tended to a manifest ruine.

Notwithstanding, the unbridled desire of Rule did not so sway their minds (as yet accustomed to reverence the Majesty of Laws) that through private discords, pub­lick obedience should be denied to the lawful King, though in minority: but both Factions with tacite and unanimous consent striving who should be the first, they saluted and did homage to King Charles the Ninth of that Name, the same day that his Brother died; all agreeing to acknowledge him for their lawful and natural Prince.

This was the foundation and basis whereon to form those things which were left so strangely disordered. For the Queen, who knew she could not trust the life of her children, and the Government of the State to either Faction, the one grievously of­fended and exasperated, the other full of boldness and pretensions, and both of them powerful in adherents, and inclined to undertake any great attempt, desired to preserve in her self, not only the custody and care of her children, but also the Government and administration of the Kingdom; which in the last days of Francis his life, and in the disorders at his death, appeared to her so difficult, that she little less then des [...]aired of safety. But this first point confirmed, of obedience rendred to the Kings Person by both parties; which, as appeared manifestly, was done through jealousie and mu­tual fear the one had of the other, each doub [...]ing his adversary would arrogate the au­thority to rule, and usurp the power of the Government; the Queen laying things together, conceived, that drawing from these discords and present confusion, an ad­vantageous resolution for her self, she might, as Mediatrix between them, get the su­periority of both, being supported by the proper interests of the one and the other Faction; who not agreeing among themselves, nor able easily to attain to that end they aimed at, would agree upon her, as a mean between the two extreams; being contented that the Authority and Power should rest in her, which by reason of the opposition of their adversaries they could not obtain for themselves. In which respect the Guises would easily join with her, that the King of Navarre might not acquire the absolute Government; and the King of Navarre would perhaps be content with less authority than of right belonged to him, rather than hazard the whole, by contending with the Guises. So that if the business were dextrously carried, the supreme Authority would fall upon her.

This conception was the likelier to take effect, because the Queen, though united with the Guises, had in apparence preserved her self Neuter; by which means she was confident to one party, and not thought an enemy to the other.

But two great difficulties traversed this design. One, that the King of Navarre be­ing exasperated with the injuries past, it was a very difficult matter to appease him. The other, that beginning to treat with him, she might give cause of suspition to the Guises; and so greatly endangered the losing that support, before she had time to settle the affairs. Which obstacles though they appeared invincible, yet the urgency of the oc­casion inforced a necessity to try all kind of policies, though never so doubtful. The first thought was to assure the Guises: for it had been but an unwise counsel, to aban­don all old friendship already confirmed, before there was any manner of assurance that it was possible to contract a new one. But a business of that nicety, and on every side full of suspition, was not to be managed but by persons of great dexterity. Where­fore having thought upon many, the Queen at length resolved there was no instrument so proper for that negotiation as the Mareschal S. Andre. For being a great Confident to the Guises, privy to all their secretest thoughts, and besides that, a man of prudence [Page 41] and singular quickness; he would not believe the Queen could have any hope to cozen him, and the businesses treated by him would have credit and great authority with his own Faction. So that having sent for him, and deplored the state of the present af­fairs, she enquired what resolution the Princes of Lorain meant to take; professing that she would not differ from them, but follow any advice that they, by agreement amongst themselves should think most reasonable. To which he making a doubtful reply, with an intent rather to penetrate into the Queens designs, than to discover to her the in­tentions of his own party; after many several discourses, at last all their arguing ended in this conclusion; That the differences between the two Factions could not be ac­commodated without great troubles, and the danger of a doubtful War, if both parties did not yield something in their reasons, and retire (as it is commonly said) a step backwards, leaving to her to mediate between them; who both as a Judge and Mode­ratrix, and as an indifferent party, might limit the pretentions of the Princes in such a manner, that one side should not seem to yield to the other, but through modesty and respect that they bore to the Mother of their King, forget all past injuries, and so things might remain equally balanced between them. This counsel proceeding in a manner wholly from the Mareschal, the Queen feigning rather to take than give ad­vice, they began to consult which way was best to proceed. Then shewing that the King of Navarre was a man of right intentions, and of a facile moderate nature, she doubted not but she could perswade him to it, so the Princes of Lorain would be con­tent. The Mareschal, that was free from any private passion, and knew the slippery dangerous condition in which the Guises stood, took upon him the charge to manage the business with them; which being proposed to the Duke and the Cardinal, and af­terwards debated in a meeting of their Confederates, they all approved of it. But the two Brothers were of different opinions: For the Duke being more placable and moderate, consented to an accommodation, provided his Governments and Revenues that he enjoyed by the favour of the late Kings, might remain untoucht. But the Car­dinal being of a more ambitious nature, and vehement disposition, desired still to per­sist in the strifes they had begun, and to endeavour to preserve themselves in the same authority they had obtained and exercised during the life of Francis. Notwithstand­ing, not only the Cardinal of Tournon concurring with the Duke in opinion, as desi­rous to avoid the tempest of War, but also the two Mareschals of Brissac and S. Andre, and especially the Sieur de Sipierre, whose opinion, through the fame of his wisdom, was of great esteem amongst them, and conceiving they got enough, if, preserving their reputation, their estates and honours which they possessed, they could preserve them­selves for times of better conjuncture; leave was given to the Queen, by means of the same Mareschal, to try all the ways she should think good to make an agreement with the King of Navarre.

This difficulty being overcome, the greatest obstacle was yet to pass through; which was to appease the Faction of the discontented Princes: a thing judged by many not possible to be brought to pass, and absolutely desparate. But the Queen, knowing the nature and inclination of those she ha [...] to deal with, (a thing chiefly necessary for the effecting any great design) did not doubt to compass her desire. The intimate Counsellors to the King of Navarre were Francis de Cars, a Gascoigne, and Philip de Lenon-court, Bishop of Auxerre; That, a man of small judgment, and little experience in the world; This, of a deep reach, extreamly vigilant, and altoge­ther intent upon those interests that were most for his own advancement. These be­ing secretly gained by the working of the Queen-Mother, with such means as were most likely to prevail over their several humours, (for she fought by rewards, and ap­parent specious reasons, to corrupt and perswade de Cars, and to Auxerre she offered honours and Ecclesiastical preferments; which by means of the King of Navarre only he could not so easily attain unto) they became Ministers to the Queens designs, and under the name of faithful sincere Counsellors, were ready to favour those negotiations that tended to an agreement, and the advancement of her greatness. The first over­tures of this accommodation were made by the Dutchess of Montpensier, by reason of her goodness and candid disposition very inward with the Queen, and a great friend to the King and Queen of Navarre, through the inclination she had to the Hugonots Re­ligion; and in the progress of the business, came in by little and little Tanneguy de C [...]rrouges, and Louis de Lansac, men of approved wisdom, in whom the Queen re­posed great confidence: and these three continually employed their endeavours to [Page 42] shake the King of Navarre's resolution; who, being now drawn from his wonted in­clinations to peace and quietness, and incited by the ardour of enmity, and the me­mory of dangers past, had his thoughts so confused, that he stood in suspence, and doubtful what course to take. Three conditions were proposed from the Queen; First, that all prisoners should be set at liberty, and particularly the Prince of Conde, Madam de Roye, and the Visdame of Chartres, causing the Parliament of Paris to de­clare null the Sentence pronounced against the Prince by the Judges Delegate. Secondly, that the King of Navarre should have the Government of all the Provinces in the King­dom, provided the Queen should enjoy the name and authority of Regent. And the third, that the Catholick King should be sollicited to the restitution or change of Na­varre; and the Isle of Sardinia was particularly named. These conditions being pro­posed by the Queens Agents, the Kings Counsellors highly approved them; shewing, that the Regency, a Title without substance, and only an airy name, was abundantly recompenced by the authority and power over the Provinces, wherein consisted the real command and essential Government of the Kingdom: to which being added the honourable release of the Prince, with the suppression of his enemies, and hope to recover an estate befitting his quality and birth, there was not any doubt at all to be further made. They added, that their affairs for the present were in so doubtful a condition, that putting themselves upon the rigour of the Laws against such potent ene­mies, and with the prejudice of their past machinations, it was rather to be feared they would be utterly ruined, than advanced to those honours they desired: that the States then at Orleans depended wholly upon the Queens will and the Guises, by whose means they were with great regard assembled; for which cause they were for the most part united and joined with them: wherefore it was greatly to be feared, if their cause were remitted to the arbitrement and determination of the States, that they being incensed by their former practices, would exclude the Princes of the Blood from the Govern­ment, and commit it to the Guises, as persons they could more confide in; upon which would follow the inevitable destruction of the whole family of Bourbon. That it was ne­cessary to stop this precipice with moderate Counsels; and shewing they desired no­thing but what was just and reasonable, by yielding to the Laws, clear themselves from suspition and their former contumacy; and although the change proposed with the Ca­tholick King were very uncertain and doubtful, yet it would be great imprudence any way by pretending to the Government of other States, to weaken the hopes of reco­vering his own, and the inheritance belonging to his children. These reasons wrought upon the King of Navarre, of himself inclined to such kind of thoughts; but he was spurred on to the contrary by the instigation of the Prince his Brother, though ra­ther with a violent passion of revenge, than any founded reason. Notwithstanding, there being joined to that party which perswaded an accord, the authority of the Duke of Montpensier and the Prince de la Rochesur-yon, both of the same family of Bourbon, but who being many degrees removed from the Crown, had not interested themselves in these late businesses; the King of Navarre inclining to come to an agreement with the Queen, proposed; by the sa [...]e persons that treated the Accommodation, besides the three Conditions offered, two others: The first, that the Guises should be deprived of all places of command at Court; The other, that Liberty of Conscience should be granted to the Hugonots.

When Calvins Doctrine was first preached, the seeds thereof were planted in the family of Henry, King of Navarre, and Margaret his wife, father and mother to Iane the present Queen; and as the minds of those Princes were ill-affected to the Aposto­lick See,Pope Iulio the second excom­municates the Kingdom of France and the Adherents thereof; in which the King of Na­varre being included, he applieth him­self to follow the opinions of Beza and Peter Martyr. being deprived of their Kingdom under pretence of Ecclesiastical C [...]nsures, thundred out by Pope Iulio the Second against the Kingdom of France and the adhe­rents of the same, with which Navarre was then in confederacy▪ so it was likeliest, they should apply themselves to that Doctrine, which opposing the Authority of the Roman Bishop, by consequence concluded those Censures invalid, by vertue whereof they had lost their Kingdom. Wherefore the Ministers (so they call them of Calvins Religion) frequenting the house of those Princes, and there teaching their Opinions, they made such an impression in Queen Iane, that departing from the rights of the Catholick Church, she had wholly entertained and embraced the Religion of the Hugo­nots. Whereupon being married to Anthony of Bourbon, (at the present King of Na­varre) she not only continued in the same belief, but had in great part drawn her Husband to that Opinion, being besides perswaded by the zealous eloquence of Theodore [Page 43] Beza, Peter Martyr Vermeil, and other Teachers that went freely into Bearne to preach their new Doctrine. And the Prince of Conde, the Admiral, and other principal men of the Faction of the Princes of the Blood, having at the same time, partly through Conscience, partly through interests of State, embraced those Opinions, with so much the greater constancy, the King of Navarre persevered to continue the protection of the Hugonots. For this cause he desired of the Queen in the Treaty of Accommo­dation between them, that Liberty of Conscience might be granted to the Calvinists: and she, who thought all other things inferiour to the evident danger, (wherein she saw the Kingdom to be lost both to her sons and her self) not to interrupt the Treaty of agreement, would not absolutely deny those two Conditions, though very hard ones, but shewing, that to deprive the Guises of their charges at Court, was imme­diately contrary to the Accord then in agitation, and to the thought of reducing the wavering estate of the Kingdom into peace and repose, (for they being armed and powerful, would never suffer so great and manifest an affront, but joining with the Catholick Faction and the greater part of the States, would to maintain their dignity, soon have recourse to Arms) notwithstanding, she obliged her self, that with time and art she would continually lessen their authority and power; which, they being by degrees deprived of their Governments, would soon fall to nothing. And for so much as concerned the liberty of the Hugonots, being a thing of too great importance to be granted upon so little deliberation, and which the Parliaments and the States themselves would undoubtedly oppose; she was content to promise secretly, that go­verning by common consent with the King of Navarre, she would by indirect by-ways, and upon the emergencies of occasions which might happen every day, so work under-hand, that by little and little they should in great part obtain their de­sires.

The Queen promised these things, being forced by the present necessity; yet with an intent, when the Government was established, and the King of Navarre appeased, to observe none of them; but delaying the execution of them with her w [...]nted arti­fices, at length with dexterity to render them altogether vain. For she thought it not expedient for her own interests, and the preservation of her sons, wholly to suppress the Guises, (who served marvellously to balance the power of the Princes of the Blood) and to permit a Liberty of Conscience, she knew it would not be done without great scandal to the Apostolick See, and all other Christian Princes, nor without great dis­order and dissention in the Kingdom; but reserving many things to the benefit of time and future industry, she endeavoured by all manner of means to provide for, and remedy the present distractions.

Now the Accommodation being in a manner confirmed upon these Conditions, the King of Navarre declared, that he would not conclude any thing without the consent and authority of the Constable, who was already near upon his arrival; so that it was necessary to return to the old arts to overcome this last impediment, esteemed by many no less difficult to master than the former. Wherefore the Queen, who very well knew the nature and inclination of the Constable, thought by restoring him to the au­thority of his place, and seeming to acknowledge from him both her own greatness, and the welfare of her sons yet in minority; that he, ambitious to be held the Mode­rator and Arbitrator of all things, would easily be brought to favour her Regency, and to shew himself Neuter to both Factions. So that having the consent of the King of Navarre and the Guises, (who on both sides were now inclined to thoughts of peace) she made shew of confessing that all things depended upon his power; giving order that the Captains of the Guard and the Governour of the City at his entry into the Gates should deliver up to him the chief Command of the Souldiers,The Constable Anne of Mo­morancy resto­red to his Command. acknowledging him as in effect was but just, for General of the Militia. By which testimony of fa­vour, the ancient sparks of loyalty and devotion reviving in him, wherewith he had so many years served the Grandfather and the Father of the present King, turning him­self about to the Captains with the same majestical countenance that he used always to have, he told them, That since the King had again intrusted him with the command of the Armies, they should not need to stand long with such watchfulness upon the Guard in a time of peace; for he would soon take such an order, that though he were yet in age of minority, he should be obeyed in all parts of France by his Subjects without the force of Arms.

[Page 44]So being come to the Kings Palace, where the Queen received him with great shews of honour, and he doing homage to the young King with tears in his eyes, exhorted him not to have any apprehension of the present troubles; for he and all good French men would be ready to spend their lives for the preservation of his Crown: From which the Queen, taking courage, without any delay, entring into private discourse with him about the present affairs, not to give time to the practices of others, told him, that she had placed all hope of her own welfare and her Sons in him only; that the Kingdom was divided between two pretending Factions, which resolving to per­secute each other, had forgotten their obedience to their Prince and the publick safety; that there was no other person of Authority, who, standing neuter, could suppress their pretences; that there was no hope of preserving her children in possession of the Crown, which was aimed at, and aspired to by so many, if he (mindful of his Loyalty, of which he had given so long a testimony) did not undertake the protection of the young King, of the Kingdom afflicted with such distractions, and of the whole Royal Family that was then in a very slippery dangerous condition, and relied only upon the hope of the fidelity and aid from those who had been obliged and advanced by their Predecessors. To which words adding all the womanish flatteries that either the time or business required, she so wrought him to her will, that he not only consented to the accomodation treated with the King of Navarre, but seeing the Guises already lessened, and the charge of the affairs with the first dignity of the Kingdom returned again into his own hands, forgetting all private interests of particular Factions, pro­posed that he would unite himself with the Queen for the conservation of the Crown, by which only he pretended to hold that place, which in the course of a long life he had taken such pains to attain unto.

The accommodation then agreed upon and confirmed by the Authority of the Con­stable, without further delay they assembled the Kings Council, at which were assistant all the Princes and Officers of the Crown that were present. Where the Chancellor pro­posing according to ordinary use in the Kings presence, it was unanimously resolved upon, That the Queen-Mother should be declared Regent of the whole Kingdom, the King of Navarre President and Governour of the Provinces, the Constable Superin­tendent of all the Forces, the Duke of Guise as Grand-Master-Keeper of the Palace, and the Cardinal of Lorain High Treasurer. That the Admiral, the Mareschals and Governours of the Provinces, should enjoy and execute their charges, without being intrenched upon by Strangers; that the Supplications and Letters of the Provinces should be addressed to the King of Navarre, who should make report thereof to the Queen, and return such answers as she and the Council thought good; that all Em­bassies and Letters of Negotiation with Foreign Princes should be brought immediately to the Queen, and she to communicate them to the King of Navarre; that in the Kings Council where the Princes of the Blood were to assist, the Queen should preside, and make all Propositions, and when she was away, the King of Navarre, or in absence of them both, the High Chancellor; all dispatches whatsoever passing under the com­mon name of the Governours of the Kingdom; Conditions, by which the Princes of the Blood had in shew a great part of the Government, but in substance all authority and power remained in the Queen. She promised further than this, (although secretly, by little and little) to open a way to Liberty of Conscience for the Hugonots, and by the same address in a short time to remove the Guises from all Ministerial dignities: which were the two conditions finally proposed by the two discontented Princes, and by her through a final necessity feignedly accepted of.

The Prince of C [...]nde set at li­berty, and the Sentence pro­nounced a­gainst him de­clared void.The precipice of things being thus stopped, and the best order taken that could be for the Government of the Kingdom, the Prince of Conde, according to the Agree­ment, was set at liberty; and departing from the Court to shew how free he was, within a few days after returned thither again; and lastly, was by an honourable Edict in the Parliament of Paris absolved from the imputation laid upon him, and the Sen­tence declared null and irregular which was pronounced against him by the Judges Dele­gates, as incapable of judging the Princes of the Blood. The Visdame of Chartres en­joyed not the benefit of this Agreement; for when he was first taken prisoner, being put into the Bastile, (a fortress placed upon the skirts of the City of Paris) he grew in­to such a discontent and indisposition of body, that he died before the Accommodation was fully concluded.

[Page 45]Things being in this state, ended the year 1560:1561▪ but in the beginning of the year after, the Regent and the King of Navarre, not willing that the affairs thus setled should be disturbed by any new practises, dismissed the Assembly of the States, after they had celebrated the Ceremonies of the first Session; having caused by their dependents this reason to be alledged from the beginning,The [...] of the States d smissed. That the Deputies being sent by their Commonalty to treat with the late King, their Commission was expired by his death; and therefore they had no power under the reign of the present King, either to treat or conclude any thing concerning the State: Yet notwithstanding they gave Commis­sion, that the Deputies upon the first opportunity should meet at a place appointed to consult of a means to pay the debts of the Crown without oppressing the people with new Taxes; but not to meddle with any thing else.

The States thus broken up, they applied themselves to settle the Government. But for all this, the discords and troubles of the Court were not quieted. For the Guises, who had gotten so little a share, and which consisted rather in apparence than any real power, being accustomed to govern, could not conform their minds to their present condition: and being ill satisfied with the Queen, for having performed much less than she had promised, they sought all manner of opportunities, whereby they might again raise themselves to their former greatness; and on the other side, the Prince of Conde, being exasperated, but not withdrawn from his wonted designs, burnt more than ever with an implacable desire of revenge; and the Lords of Chatillon, who firmly continued to protect the Hugonots party, desisted not to attempt the raising of Tumults, by which they might augment their own power. Both Factions were in­tent to draw to their party the Constable, who having declared that he would depend only upon the Kings will and the Queens, maintained himself Neuter: and so much the rather, because the King of Navarre, contented with his present condition, con­tinued still a good correspondence with the Regent, and persevered in the desire to establish a Peace. Wherefore there was not any apparent reason for the Constable not to remain constant in his first resolution.

But the Admiral and his Brothers, together with the Prince of Conde, hoped that the nearness of Blood would at lenth prevail to win him to their side; and the Guises knowing him affectionate to the Catholick Religion, and averse to that of Calvin, so severely persecuted by him in the Reign of Henry the Second, despaired not, un­der a colour to defend the Faith, and extirpate the Hugonots, to draw him to their party.

These stirs were kept in motion by the obstinacy of the King of Navarre, who very urgently pressed the Queen, that she would apply her self to perform those promises which she made unto him in favour of the Hugonots. And she, who contented her self with the present state of things, which, being equally balanced, and not enclining more to one side than the other, secured her greatness and her Sons Kingdom, avoided all that was possible the being brought to a necessity of discontenting him, lest he should alter his resolutions. But on the other side, conceiving it neither just nor safe to give so much liberty to the Hugonots, she found out quaint excuses, and divers pretexts to delay the execution of her promise; hoping indeed, that in progress of time the King of Navarre would grow less instant in his desires. But it fell out altogether other­wise: for being stirred up by the continual instigations of the Prince and the Admiral, and the perpetual incitements of the Queen his Wife, he grew every day more vio­lent in pressing the performance of that promise which was made him at the be­ginning.

The High Chancellour de l' Hospital, though covertly, favoured his desire; who either believing that it was indeed expedient for the quiet of the Kingdom; or else through an inclination that he had to the Hugonots Doctrine, took off as much as he could from the severity of other Magistrates, and advised the Queen, to stay the effu­sion of blood, to settle mens Consciences in peace, to take away all ground of scan­dal, and not to give an occasion of bringing things again into confusion, which with so much pains and art were set right and composed. Many also of the Kings Council yielded to the instances of the King of Navarre, who professed that he was moved to compassion, to see so many of the Kings Subjects that were continually scattered about in the Kingdom, abandoning their own houses through fear of punishments; and that he detested so often to goar his hands in the bowels of the French Nation. And the Hugonots themselves, among whom were many men of wit and courage, omitted no [Page 46] art nor care that might any way help them: but sometimes with little Treatises artifi­cially scattered abroad, sometimes by Petitions seasonably presented, otherwhile by the effectual perswasions of those that favoured them, endeavoured to move the great per­sons to commiserate their condition.

The Queen therefore being forced to yield to the consent and authority of so many, and conceiving perhaps it would be best, willingly to intermit that severity which by no means could be longer continued, (since those threats which are not resolutely put in execution by force, prove always damageable) she gave way, that by a Decree of Council passed the 28 day of Ianuary, A kind of to­leration per­mitted to the Hugonots. the Magistrates should be ordered to release all prisoners committed only for matters of Religion, and to stop any manner of inquisi­tion appointed for that purpose against any person whatsoever; nor to suffer any dispu­tations in matters of Religion, nor particular persons to revile one another with the names of Heretick and Papist: but that all should live together in peace, abstaining from unlawful Assemblies, or to raise scandals and sedition.

Thus Calvins Religion, under the obscure pretence of hindering the effusion of more blood, (which carried an apparence of much Christianity and piety) was, though not authorised, at least covertly protected and tolerated. A greater contest seemed likely to arise about the depression of the Duke of Guise. For the King of Navarre, putting the Queen in mind of the promises she secretly made him, required, that as the Kings Lieutenant-General, the Keys of the Palace should be assigned to him; which the Duke of Guise, as Grand-Master, always kept. But the Queen, though she saw that she was greatly upheld and honoured by the King of Navarre and the Con­stable, and on the contrary knew the Guises were grown very averse to her; yet she imployed all her power to hinder their depression. For on one side, the Hugonots party maintaining it self under the protection of the Prince of Conde and the Admi­ral; and the Catholicks on the other side, under the Duke of Guise and the Cardinal of Lorain; conceiving that between these two Factions, as between two strong banks, she might remain secure in a calm: She would not so much weaken the Catholick party, as they should be forced afterwards to receive Laws from the Hugonots. Wherefore sometimes by delays, sometimes by complying with him in other demands, she sought to remove the King of Navarre from that thought.

But he persisting in his demand, and growing every day more earnest, as he saw her more backward; not in an instant to dissolve that agreement which with so many dif­ficulties was effected,The K [...]ys of the Kings Pa­lace taken fr [...]m the Duke of Guise, and delivered to the King of Nava [...]re. it was thought convenient to command the Captains of the Guard, that from thence forward they should not carry the Keys of the Kings Lodg­ings, as the custom had been, to the Grand-Master, but to the Lieutenant-General, as the man to whom that dignity belonged. Whereat the Duke of Guise was ex­ceedingly incensed, and much more the Cardinal his Brother; not so much for the importance of the thing, or the injury received, (which at the first was otherwise determined in the Kings Council) as because they manifestly saw, that the King of Navarre's intention, which drew along with it the Queens consent, was wholly to sup­press and tread under foot their greatness. But knowing they were thought to be men of passion and ambition, and seeing themselves not able in a private dispute to deal with the Princes of the Blood, who had then in their hands all the Kings force and authority, they dissembled the affront done unto them, and made shew only of being moved and offended at the tacite toleration that was permitted to the Calvinists; co­vering in this manner with a pious pretence under the Vail of Religion, the interests of private passion.

So by degrees the discords of great men were confounded with the dissentions of Religion;The private interests and enmities are covered with the vail of Re­ligion; and the two Factions take the name of Hugonot and C [...]hol [...]ck. and the Factions were no more called the discontented Princes and the Guisarts; but more truly and by more significant names, one the Catholick, and the other the Hugonot party. Factions, which under the colour of piety, administred pernicious matter to all the following mischiefs and distractions. The Queen Regent and the Constable held the Kings party, as it were in the middle of a balance; and the Constable, though he hated Calvinism, and lived conformable to the Roman Church, nevertheless, both in respect of his Nephews, and to preserve the publick peace, was contented that they should proceed warily in matters of Religion, until such time as the King, being come to age, should be able to govern himself.

But to confirm in the mean while the Kings Authority and Empire, although in mi­nority, it was thought expedient by those that governed, that he should be acknow­ledged [Page 47] with the usual Ceremonies belonging to the Kings of France. Wherefore they resolved to carry him to Rheims, and in that place,At Rh [...]ms a vial is kept with the oyl whereof the first Christian King [...]louis was consecra­ted. where the holy Oyl is kept with great veneration, which served at the Coronation of the first Christian King Clonis, to cause him to be anointed, or as they commonly call it, Sacré; and from thence to conduct him to the City of Paris, there to reside, as the Kings for the most part are accustomed in the principal City of the Kingdom. At the Ceremonies of the Corona­tion there arose a new strife for precedency between the Princes of the Blood and the Duke of Guise. For these pretended to the first place, as they were first in dignity be­fore any whosoever; and the Duke of Guise, as first Peer of France, The D [...]ke of Guise as first Peer of France is declared to precede all the rest. The Peers are twelve; six Ecclesiastical, and six Secu­lar. pretended in waiting at the Ceremony to precede every man; and though the Kings Council deter­mined in favour of the Duke of Guise, (because at the Crowning of the King, the pre­sence and assistance of the Peers (which are twelve, six Ecclesiasticks, and six Secular) is requisite; and the Princes of the Blood having not any thing to do, their atten­dance is not necessary) notwithstanding, they being apt to take fire at every little spark, this was enough very much to incense and exasperate them. In the mean while, the Admiral and the Prince of Conde had used all possible endeavour to draw the Constable to the protection of their party; but though Francis Mareschal of Mo­morancy his eldest son, who was streightly united with them, used great industry to perswade his Father; yet nothing could move his constancy; being resolved not to make himself in his old age head of a Faction, or an Author of new dissentions in Re­ligion. Wherefore the Admiral, always an Inventer of subtile counsels, thought with himself, that he would make him concur with them by some other way.

At Pointoise, a Town seven leagues from Paris, the Assembly was held of certain Deputies of the Provinces, to consult of a means to pay the debts of the Crown, which by reason of the past Wars, amounted to a very important sum: and although the Mareshal of Momorancy presided in this Assembly, yet the Admiral had some of his nearest Familiars that were of it, by whose means he had the commodity to cause any thing to be proposed there that he pleased. Wherefore the Brothers of Coligni and the Prince of Conde resolved by means of their Confidents, to propose in the Assem­bly, That all those who had received any Donations from the Kings, Francis the First, or Henry the Second, should be obliged to restore them into the publick Treasury; making account; that in this manner, without imposing new Taxes, they might pay the greatest part of the debts, which within and without the Kingdom occasioned both to the publick and particulars, so great trouble. They made this Proposition, because the partakers of the late Kings bounty were the Guises, the Dutchess Diana, the Mares­chal S. Andre, and the Constable: And for those, they desired to see the effect of it to their utter ruine; but for the Constable, it was designed to put him only in fear, and necessitate him to unite himself with the Faction of the Princes, to avoid the danger of losing his estate, which was the fruits of so many years sweat and labour; and such was the animosity of the Factions, that even his Nephews made themselves the Mini­sters to bring these streights and cares upon their Uncle.

But as Counsels too subtile and forced use often to produce contrary and unthought-of ends; so this attempt had an effect much different from that which the contrivers thereof designed; for in this restitution of Goods, the Constable and Guises having an equal interest; Diana, who was joyned in affinity with both of them, having al­ready regained a confidence with them, began, as concerned in the same business, to treat of it with the Constable: and as she was a woman of great wit, well instructed in what she was to do, ill-affected towards the Queen, and greatly terrified with the restitution which was spoken of; she used her skill to pass from this to other discourses tending to a reconcilement with the Catholick Faction, and the Princes of Lorain: and from a consult how to hinder the proposed restitution, coming to inviegh against the Admiral, and the Prince of Conde, who was suspected to be the Author of it, at last they fell to a deploration of the present state, in which, under the rule of a Pupil King, and a stranger woman, things were governed with such pestiferous and destructive Coun­sels, that to promote ambition and private passions, the publick peace and tranquility were destroyed, with introducing shamelesly into the Kingdom those heresies, which being condemned by the Catholick Church, were so carefully punished with sword and fire by the just severity of the late Kings. Nor made she an end with this condoleance, but wen [...] on with the same efficacy: that the whole Kingdom was extreamly amazed, and very much troubled, that one of the house of Momorancy, which first received the [Page 48] Christian Religion, who in the course of his past life had with great praise of Piety and Justice executed the chiefest Authority of the Kingdom, should now, as if he were charmed by the arts of a woman, suffer himself to be led by her appetite, and one of so little wisdom as the King of Navarre, to consent to those things which they did to the prejudice of Gods Church: That he, who had strength and power in his hands, was streightly obliged to disturb and hinder those wicked Counsels which then pre­vailed, and once more to lend that help with which he had oftentimes formerly sup­ported the Crown afflicted, and Religion wholly abandoned: That he should call to mind his own Maxim, so constantly observed in the glorious actions of his youth, ac­cording to which he had ever condemned and opposed the power of strangers, which always tends to the ruine, not edifying of States; and not now suffer two women, one an Italian, the other a Navaroise, so perversly to destroy the foundations of the French Monarchy, chiefly established upon the Basis of Piety and Religion: That he should remember, this was that same Catherine, whose manners and disposition he had ever blamed and detested; That these were the very same Hugonots whom he had so fiercely persecuted in the Reign of Henry the Second; that the persons were not chang­ed, nor the quality of things; but every one would believe that he in his old age suf­fered himself to be led, either by ambition, or inclinations of others, to shew him­self altogether different from those Maxims by which formerly he had guided his Actions.

To these perswasive speeches, many times on purpose reiterated, and adding many other reasons, and by often visiting and sollicitation, finding that the Constable began to yield, partly through indignation conceived against his Nephew, for what concerned his estate, and partly through the hate of Calvinism; at length Magdalen de Savoy his wife undertook the task wholly to vanquish his resolution; who being not well pleased to see him bear such an ardent affection to his Nephews de Coligni, and desirous to insinuate into the same place of his favour Honore de Savoye Marquis of Villars, her Bro­ther, she let pass no occasion whereby she might prejudice them, and advance his in­terest.

Nor did the practice end there; but by the means of Diana, the Mareshal of Saint Andre being also brought in, who was no less concerned in the restitution, they so wrought with him, that partly to unite himself with those who had the same interest, partly through the hate to his N [...]phews, and partly through the just apparence of the preservation of the Catholick Religion, to which he was ever affected, he began to incline to a friendship with the Guises. Which when they once perceived, they omit­ted not any artifice nor submission, or other means that might conduce to draw him absolutely to their party: having conceived new hopes to recover this way some part, if not all of their former power in the Government. And it so fell out, that Diana, Wife to the Mareshal of Momorancy, (who was the only obstacle to this Treaty) be­ing sick at Chantilly, his affection forc'd him to leave his Father to visit her; so that he being thus removed out of the way, the friendship was finally concluded, and a league made between the Constable and the Guises for the preservation of the Catholick Reli­gion, and mutual defence of their several Estates.

But when this combination was known to the Queen, she conceiving she had lost her greatest stay, and that the Princes of Lorain, so much increased in strength and repu­tation, being ill satisfied with her proceedings, would endeavour to deprive her of the Government; thought it so much more necessary to enter into a streighter union with the King of Navarre, to counterpoize as much as was possible, the other party: knowing she was to be very studiously vigilant to preserve things in an equality so, as neither the Kings safety, nor stability of the Government should be endangered. Where­fore the King of Navarre solliciting it, and the Queen not disliking that his party should increase, under the pretence to keep the Kingdom in peace during the Kings minority,An [...]dict th t no [...]o [...]y shoul [...] be m [...]l [...]sted for matters of Relig [...]n with the re [...]itution [...]f confiscated good [...]. to appease the people formerly exasperated, and at their first entring upon the Government to gain a plausible name of clemency; it was commended to all the Parliaments by new Edicts and Decrees, not further to molest any body for matter of Religion; and to restore the goods, houses, and possessions of all such who for sus­picion of Calvinism had been formerly deprived of them. Which Edicts, though the Parliament of Paris opposed, and many Magistrates refused to obey them: neverthe­less the Hugonots having so specious a colour as the declared will of the King, and the Regent, approved of by the Council of State, they of themselves took upon them to [Page 49] exercise a Liberty of Conscience, encreasing still in number and force; which perhaps would have fallen out according to the Queens intention, if the multitude of the Hu­gonots had known how to contain themselves within the limits of modesty and reason. But they on the contrary, as those use who are led by a popular rage,The Hugonots grow insolent towards the Catholicks. without the bridle of a formal Government, finding themselves now supported and favoured, loosed from the fear of punishment, and laying aside all respect due to Magistrates, by open Assemblies, insolent speeches, and other odious acts, provoked against themselves the hate and disdain of the Catholicks: from whence arising in all parts obstinate jars, and bloody Factions, every thing was full of tumult, and all the Provinces of the Kingdom troubled with seditious rumours. So that contrary to the intention of those that governed, and contrary to the common opinion, the remedy applied to maintain the State, and preserve an union of peace during the Kings minority, fell out to be dangerous and destructive, and upon the matter, occasioned all those dissentions and perils, which with so much care they ought to prevent.

This gave opportunity to the Guises, being encouraged and increased in strength, to begin to oppose the present Government. Insomuch as the Cardinal of Lorain, The Cardinal of Lorain in the Kings Council in­veighs against the Hugonots. taking a time to speak at the Council-Table, without bearing any regard to the Queen or the King of Navarre who were present, began to enter upon the point of Religion, and with hot words and effectual speeches, to shew with what indignity to the most Christian Kingdom, what sin towards God, and with how great scandal to all the world, Liberty of Conscience was permitted to those, who professing manifest here­sies already condemned in all Councils, went about scattering monstrous opinions in Religion, corrupting the youth, seducing simple persons, and in all places of the King­dom stirring up the people to tumult, contempt, and Rebellion. Already the Priests could no longer celebrate their Sacrifices in Churches for the insolencies of the Hugo­nots; already the Preachers durst not go into the Pulpit, for the arrogancies of the Calvinists: the Magistrates were no longer obeyed in their Jurisdictions, through the Rebellion of Hereticks; all places raged with discords, burnings and slaughters, through the presumption and perverseness of those who assumed to themselves a li­berty of teaching and believing after their own fashion: and now the most Christian Kingdom, and first-born of the Church, was ready to turn Schismatick, to separate it self from the obedience of the Apostolick See, and the Faith of Christ, only to sa­tisfie the capritious humours of a few seditious persons. Upon this subject he so en­larged himself with his wonted eloquence, by which he used to prevail in all disputes, that, not any of the Hugonots favourers being able to answer the reasons he alledged; but the King of Navarre holding his peace, the Queen-mother not replying a word, and the Chancellor startled and confounded; it was resolved with great alacrity of all the Council, who were exceedingly scandalized at the excessive license of the Hugo­nots, that forthwith all the principal Officers of the Crown should assemble at the Par­liament at Paris, there in the Kings presence, to debate these matters, and resolve up­on such remedies as were most necessary for the future. It was impossible to hinder them from coming to the Parliament, which was appointed upon the thirteenth day of Iuly: for the King of Navarre durst not openly oppose it,The Edict of Iuly. lest by declaring himself a Hugonot, he should gain many Enemies: and the Queen-Mother, although she desired not to see the Catholick party increase in strength, yet she was very much perplext in mind, and above all things apprehensive, lest the advancement and establishment of heresie should be imputed to her.

The contestations in the Parliament were very great: and although the Protectors of the Hugonots employed their uttermost endeavours to obtain them a Decree for Li­berty of Conscience, by which Declaration they pretended that these stirs and dissen­tions would cease▪ yet all was in vain. For indeed, it being clearly, not only against the intention and authority of the Catholick Church, but also contrary to the ancient customs of the Kingdom: and the Councellors of the Parliament being exasperated by the continual complaints which were brought them from all parts, against the insur­rection of the Hugonots. It was with a general consent expresly ordered,The Parlia­ment of Paris expels the Hugonots out of the King­dom. that the Ministers should be expelled out of the Kingdom, with a prohibition to use any other rites or ceremonies in Religion, than what were held and taught by the Roman Church: and all Assemblies and Meetings forbidden in any place, either armed or unarmed, un­less in the Catholick Churches to hear Divine Service, according to the usual [...]ustom. And to give some balance to the other party, the same Edict contained, that all Delin­quencies [Page 50] found in matter of Religion before the publication thereof, should be par­doned;The ju [...]gment of heresie committed to the Bishops. and that for the future all accusations or complaints of Heresie, should be brought to the Bishops, their Vicars, or Surrogates; and the Civil Magistrates to be assisting to them upon all occasions; and that they should not proceed against those convict of Heresie further than banishment, but abstain from any corporal punish­ment, or effusion of blood.

This Deliberation comprehended in a solemn Edict, approved, and subscribed by the King, the Queen, and all the Princes and Lords of both Factions, absolutely re­strained the liberty of Religion, and gave heart to the Catholick party, which was not a little dejected. But the Prince of Conde and the Admiral grieving at the depression of the Hugonots, in whose number and force they had founded the strength of their Faction, not able other ways to hinder the execution of the Edict, (which being imbraced with great affection by the Parliaments, and the greater parts of the inferiour Magistrates, they durst not oppose) they advised, to procure that the Calvinist Mini­sters should desire a conference in the Kings presence, accompanied with his Prelates, to propose and examine the Articles of their Doctrine; hoping by indirect ways to bring it so about, as again to introduce a liberty of Religion. This demand of the Hu­gonots was opposed by many of the Catholick Prelates, and in particular, by the Car­dinal of Tournon, shewing that it was useless to dispute matters of Faith with men so extreamly obstinate, and who persisted in opinions condemned by the Holy Church; yet if they had a mind to have their reasons heard, they might address themselves to the General Council at Trent, where under safe conduct they should be permitted to propose and dispute their opinions. But the Cardinal of Lorain was not against it, either moved through hope by evident reasons to convince the Doctrine of the Hugo­nots, and by that means disabuse the Consciences of simple people, or set on (as those that were emulous said) with the vanity to shew his learning and eloquence, and to render himself in such a publick Assembly so much the more eminent and re­nowned. Howsoever his intentions were, certain it is, that he, not contradicting the Ministers demand, drew to his opinion the other Prelates: and finally, they all con­sented to the King of Navarre; who, being desirous to hear a solemn dispute for the setling of his own Conscience, sollicited it with great earnestness in favour of the Hu­gonots.

Safe conducts then being sent to the Ministers that were retired to Geneva, and Poissy (a Town five leagues from Paris) appointed the place for the conference; besides the King and the Court, there came thither on the Catholick party the Cardinals of Tour­non, Lorain, Bourbon, Armagnac, and Guise, and with the Bishops and Prelates of best esteem, many Doctors of the Sorbon, and other Divines sent for from the most famous Universities of the Kingdom.The confe­ren [...]e of Poissy. There appeared for the Hugonots Theodore Beza, head of all the rest, Peter Martyr Vermeilo, Francis de St. Paul, Iohn Raimond, and Iohn Virelle, with many other Preachers, which came some from Geneva, some out of Ger­many, and other neighbouring places. There Theodore Beza with great flourishes of Rhetorick, having first proposed his opinions, and the Cardinal of Lorain with strength of Reason, and authority of Scripture, and of the Fathers of the holy Church, strongly opposed him, The Council of State thought it not fit that the King, who being but young, and not yet able to judge or discern of the truth, should come any more to the Disputation; lest he should be infected with some opinions less exact, or less conform­able to the Doctrines of the Catholick Church. Wherefore the Dispute, from being publick, by degrees grew more private; and finally, after many meetings, brake off, without any conclusion or benefit at all.The divers opinions of the Hereticks. The Catholick party got only this advantage, that the King of Navarre himself remained little satisfied with the Hugonots, having discovered, that the Ministers agreed not amongst themselves about that Doctrine which they too unanimously preached; but that some followed strictly Calvin's Opi­nions, others inclined to the Doctrine of Ecolampadius and Luther; some adhering to the Helvetian Confession, others to the Augustan: at which uncertainties being very much troubled, from thence forward he began to leave them, and incline to the Ro­man Religion.

But the Hugonots got much greater advantage by the Conference, to which end only they desired it: For being departed from the Diet, they divulged abroad, that they h [...]d made good their Opinions, convinced the Catholick Doctors, confounded the Cardinal of Lorain, and gotten licence from the King to preach. Whereupon, [Page 51] they began of their own authority to assemble themselves in such places as they thought most convenient for their purpose, and to celebrate their preachings publickly; and were frequented with such a confluence of the Nobility, and common people, that it was not possible any longer to suppress or hinder them. And if the Magistrates mo­lested them in their Congregations, or the Catholicks attempted to drive them out of their Temples, they were grown to that insolence, that without respect of any au­thority, they took arms to right themselves. Whereupon cruel contentions arising with the name of Heretick and Papist, the whole Kingdom was turned up-side down; the Magistrates opposed in their Jurisdictions, the People disquieted, the Collectors for the Kings Revenue not suffered; and in the midst of a full peace were seen the effects of a tacite, but destructive War.

Those that sate at the Helm moved with this necessity, and finding that the seve­rity of the Edict of Iuly had rather increased than diminished the disorders; they called another Assembly of all the Eight Parliaments of the Kingdom,There are Eight Parlia­ments in France. to consider the state of every particular Province, and by common consent to make such Ordinances as should be thought most expedient for the setling of this business. Which, continually vary­ing with the interest of State, and passions of great men, it is no marvel, though after so many, and such divers orders taken, it became more confused and disordered. For, through inconstancy and often change, it could not receive that form which proceeds only from constancy and an exact obedience to the supreme power.

This Assembly met in Paris in the beginning of the year 1562; where,1562. the Queen consenting (as altogether intent to balance the Factions, and not to suffer the one to advance, or to oppress the other, lest she should remain a prey to that which got the superiority) and most of the Council approving it: (partly perswaded, that so great a multitude moved with the zeal of Religion could not easily be restrained; partly moved with pity, to see so much blood spilt unprofitably) that famous and so much celebrated Edict of Ianuary was made:The Edict of Ianuary. by which was granted to the Hugonots a free exercise of their Religion, and to assemble at Sermons, but unarmed, without the Ci­ties, in open places, and the Officers of the place being present and assistant. The Parliaments, though at first they refused to accept this Edict, and the Magistrates greatly opposed it; notwithstanding by reiterated Orders from the King and his Council, it was at length registred and published by way of provision, with this express clause and condition; Until such time as the general Council, or the King himself should or­der it otherwise.

This Edict dismayed the Heads of the Catholick party; and not willing that the World should believe they consented to what was done, the Duke of Guise, the Con­stable, and the Cardinals, (amongst which the Cardinal of Tournon was lately dead) with the Mareshals of Brissac and S. Andre, left the Court, already contriving how they might hinder the execution of the Edict, and oppose the Hugonot Faction. But because they saw, that whilst the King of Navarre stood united with the Regent, they had no manner of right to intermeddle with the Government of the Kingdom, and therefore whatsoever they should do, would prove of no effect, they proposed to them­selves to dissolve that union. And knowing that the Queens thoughts and intentions were disposed to continue with the same power till her Son came of age, they thought it more easie to gain the King of Navarre. It hindred not, but rather advanced the design, that they were absent from the Court. For the business being of such difficulty and length, it might be managed with the greater secresie; and there came in under hand to treat it, Hippolito d' Est, Cardinal of Ferrara, the Popes Legate, and Don Iuan Manriquez, Ambassador from the Catholick King;The Cardinal Hippolito d' Est Legat in France. who being favoured by the Counsellors of that Faction, found an easie way to promote their intentions.

The King of Navarre was already very much averse to the Hugonots Religion, by reason of the different opinions he found amongst those of that sect about the points in controversie. Wherefore after the conference held at Poissy, having there not found the same constancy in Theodore Beza, and Peter Martyr Vermeil, which they used to shew in their Sermons when no body opposed them, he sent for Doctor Baldwin, a man skilled in holy Scripture, and versed in the disputes of Religion, by whom he was wholly taken off from the Helvetian and Augustan Confession, and perswaded to re-unite himself to the Religion taught in the universal Catholick Church. And al­though he consented to the Edict of Ianuary, he did it rather through an old opi­nion, That mens Consciences were not to be forced, and through the perswasions of [Page 52] those who affirmed that it was a means to quiet the troubles and tumults in the King­dom, than for any particular liking of it; having already an intent to reconcile himself with the Church. Which inclination of his being known to many, by means of his near Counsellors of late disposed to serve secretly the Catholick party, it gave courage to the Legate and the Spanish Ambassador, to enter into their proposed Treaty.

But to accompany the Spiritual Considerations with profit, and Temporal Interests, they jointly proposed, that repudiating Queen Iane his wife with a Dispensation from the Pope, by reason she was manifestly tainted with Heresie, the Guises should obtain for him the Queen of Scotland their Neece, widow to Francis the second; who, be­sides her youth and excellent beauty, brought with her a Kingdom. But seeing that, through love to her children, he consented not to the Divorce, they went about to in­troduce that Treaty so often proved vain, to give him with certain Conditions the Isle of Sardinia for Navarre; knowing, that it was the trial, which, as it touched near­est, would work most inwardly with him. And although the hopes thereof were almost quite lost; yet the Treaty being never absolutely broke off, the Ambassador Manrique with the wonted arts began so effectually to revive the thoughts and belief of it, that he was soon raised to new hopes. For, besides the ordinary assurances of the Catholick Kings affection,Propositions to exchange Nava [...]re for Sardinia. they were gone so far, that they already treated the manner of the change, and the quality of the Tribute that in acknowledgment of supe­riority he should pay to the Crown of Spain: seriously disputing upon the Capitula­tions and Articles of Agreement, as if the Treaty were meant really to be effected.

That which furthered the Catholicks design, was his natural inclination, by which he was disposed to plain honest counsels. It availed them, that he began to discover the passions and interests which were covered under the vail of Christian charity, and the cloke of Religion: besides, it conduced not a little to their ends, that he was en­tered into a suspicion, that the Admiral with his too much knowledge sought to ar­rogate to himself such an Authority, as to make the World believe he swayed and ru­led his actions. But above all, the way was facilitated to perswade him, in that he saw the whole Faction made their addresses to the Prince of Conde, admiring and ex­alting the boldness, generosity and promptness which he shewed; and on the contrary, despised his facility and too much mildness. He was moved with one Consideration more of exceeding great consequence; seeing the King of France and his Brothers were in an age unable to have Children, by nature of a weak complexion, of little heat, and subject to dangerous indispositions; he was not altogether without hope, but that in a short time he might attain to the Crown, which as first of the Blood belonged to him. In which case he knew, that to be a favourer and Head of the Hugonots, would be a great obstacle unto him, and almost an invincible impediment. Wherefore de­siring to remove all such contrarieties as might hinder him in that pretence, he incli­ned to join himself with the Catholick party, and to gain the Popes favour and the King of Spains, together with the forces of the best united and most powerful Faction. To all these respects being added the effectual promises and lively perswasions of the Legate, and the Ambassador Manriquez, and growing suspicious of his Wives counsels, as given without measure to Calvins opinions, and naturally an enemy to thoughts of peace, he resolved finally to enter into a league with the Constable and the Duke of Guise, professing by their speeches, and declaring in writing that they were confederated for the defence of the Catholick Religion. But the truth was in effect besides those Considerations, the King of Navarre left that party in which he knew he was inferiour to his Brother, to join himself with this, which fed him with many great hopes. Likewise the Guises were moved with desire of rising again to their former reputation and greatness.

The union of the King of Navarre with the Duke of Guise and the Constable, which the Hu­gonots called the Triumvi­rat.This was the Union which taught the French Subjects without their Kings consent to enter into any combinations; and which with so many execrations and maledicti­ons, was by the Hugonots, in respect of the three chief Confederates, called the Tri­umvirat.

Queen Iane was incredibly displeased at this so unexpected deliberation of her Hus­band; and, not able to indure to see him a principal Persecutor of that Religion which she constantly professed, and into which she conceived she had not only perswaded, but absolutely confirmed him, through disdain thereof, she resolved to leave the Court; and thereupon carrying with her Prince Henry and the Princess Catherine her children, whom she brought up in the Calvinists Religion, she retired into Bearne; being deter­mined [Page 53] to separate her self from the counsels and conversation of her Husband. But if Queen Iane were greatly afflicted at so sudden and almost incredible a change, the Queen Regent was no less terrified; who, seeing with this union her designs destroy­ed, of balancing the Factions, and that equality so unequally broken, in which con­sisted (with such jealousie and discontent of the Princes) the security of the State, be­gan greatly to fear the ruine both of her Sons Kingdom, and her own greatness: con­ceiving, that these reciprocal changes, and this uniting of interests so wholly different, could not be without some hidden design of great attempts, and a foundation of high hopes.

She knew the Guises had already discovered her arts, and that full of desire and pre­tensions, they sought by all manner of ways possible to attain to the Government. It appeared to her, that the King of Navarre would not have been induced to leave the friendship of his Brother and his other adherents, to unite himself with those who had been his bitter enemies, without great reward for such a lightness. She well knew what power Ambition and the thirst of Rule had over the minds of men, though never so just; and looking round about her, she discovered her own weakness, and the crasie uncertain condition of her young Sons. In which Consideration, neither be­lieving, nor relying any longer upon the sincerity of the King of Navarre, nor the pro­fessions the Catholicks made, that they would not innovate any thing in the State, be­ing full of fears and jealousies, she saw not where securely to rest her thoughts. Inso­much as in the long watchings and frequent consultations which she held with her Con­fidents, amongst whom the principal were the Bishop of Valence, and the Chancellor de l' Hospital, at length she concluded (being advised by them, and what more im­ported, being forced by necessity) to make a league with the Prince of Conde and the Admiral; and fomenting their designs, make her self a Buckler of their Forces;Queen C [...]the­ [...]ine in opposi­tion to the Triumvirat joins with the Prince of Con­de and the Admiral. by this means, equalling and counterpoising as much as was possible, the power of the Factions: this reason prevailing among many other, that even God in the Government of the World oftentimes draws good from evil; and since the Hugonots had till then been the cause of so much care and trouble, it was but reasonable to make use of them for the present, as an antidote to cure those evils which with their venom were like to infect the most noble and most essential parts of the Kingdom.

The Hugonots, by the publication of the Edict of Ianuary, being free from the fear of punishment, had already begun to take strength and vigour; and assembling them­selves publickly upon all occasions, it appeared that their number was great and con­siderable, not only for the quantity, but also for the quality of the persons; insomuch as their force was not contemptible. The Prince of Conde took upon him openly to be the Head of them, who, though in apparence reconciled by the Kings command with the Guises, persevered firmly in his former designs, and burnt impatiently with desire to revenge his past affronts upon those that were his chief persecutors. His power and boldness was moderated by the wise counsel of the Admiral of Chastillon; who, through desire of Rule, was together with his Brothers, more straightly united with the Hugonot party. Their Authority led after them, being of the same Faith, the Prince of Porcien, the Count de la Roch-fou-caut, Messieurs de Genlis, de Grammont, and Duras, the Count of Montgommery, the Baron des Adrets, Messieurs de Bouchavane, and Soubize, and many other the principal in the Kingdom; in such manner, that up­on every little heat that they received from those who governed, they presently put themselves into a posture of defence, and boldly opposed the contrary Faction.

Wherefore the Queen being forced to take hold of the opportunity of this conjun­cture for her own defence and her Sons, and being reduced into necessity to imbrace for the present any whatsoever dangerous party, leaving the issue thereof to future oc­currences, began to feign that she was moved with the Doctrine and reasons of the Hugonots, and inclined to entertain their Religion. To confirm them in which opi­nion as much as she could with outward testimonies,The Queen feigning an inclination to the Hugonots Religion. she would often hear their Preachers argue and discourse in her own Chamber, confer with great confidence and professions of affection with the Prince of Conde and the Admiral; and was often in discourse with the Dutchess of Montpensier, whom (making her believe whatsoever she pleased with her excellent dissimulation) she used as a means to entertain with hopes many other the principal of them. And to lead them on with open demonstra­tions to a belief of her private protestations and practices, she wrote obscure letters of ambiguous sense to the Pope, one while demanding a Council, such in every point as [Page 54] the Calvinists desired; then licence to call a National one; sometimes desiring that the Communion might be administred under both Species; otherwhile requiring a dis­pensation for Priests to marry; now solliciting that Divine Service might be said in the vulgar tongue; then proposing other such like things wished for and preached by the Hugonots; in which she knew so well how to dissemble, by the help of Monsieur de l' Isle Ambassador at Rome, that putting the Pope in doubt, and the Catholick party, and so necessitating them to proceed warily, lest they should finally alienate her wholly from the Roman Religion: at the same time she won the Hugonots, making them believe that she was altogether inclined to favour them, that of bitter enemies they be­came her greatest friends and confidents.

Nor were the vulgar only deluded by these artificial dissimulations, but the Admi­ral also, who was by nature so wary, and of such a subtile wit, gave such credit to them, that he was induced to give the Queen a full accompt of the number of the forces and designs of his Faction, of the adherents they had both within and without the Kingdom, and every other particular; She seeming desirous to be informed at large, before she declared her self; and promising openly to take that party, when they were once so established and provided with force, as she should not need to fear the power of the Catholicks, or the Triumvirat.

Thus with a sudden, and in apparence incredible change, the King of Navarre went over to the Catholick party; and Queen Catherine, though dissemblingly, took upon her the protection of the Hugonots. Which change, to them that knew not the true secret reasons of it, appeared strange and extravagant, and therefore many did then at­tribute it to lightness in the one, and womanish inconstancy in the other; and many that have written since, ascribe the fault also to the same causes, not penetrating into the hidden foundations upon which the engines of this counsel were moved.

The End of the Second BOOK.



THe Third Book relates the Deliberation of the King of Navarre to drive the Prince of Conde (already become formidable) out of Paris; for this purpose he sends for the other Catholick Lords to Court. The Duke of Guise makes a Iourney thither, and passing by Vassy, lights upon an Assembly of Hugonots at their devotions; thereupon follows accidentally a bloody con­flict; to revenge themselves of which, the Hugonots rise in all parts of the Kingdom. The Prince of Conde leaves Paris: The Queen, together with the King, because she would not be constrained to declare her self for either party, retires to Fountain-bleau: On the other side, the Princes of each Fa­ction endeavour to possess themselves of the persons of the King and Queen; The Catholicks prevent the Hugonots, and lead them both to Paris. The Prince of Conde, having lost his opportunity, takes other resolutions; possesses himself of Orleans, and prepares for the War. The Catholick Lords under the Kings Name likewise raise an Army. Many Writings are published on each side. Both Armies go into the Field. The Queen-Mother avoids the War, and labours for a Peace: To this end she comes to a parley with the Prince, but without success; notwithstanding she continues to treat of an Agreement, which at length is concluded. The Prince by the perswasion of the rest, repents himself thereof, and again takes arms: purposeth to assail the Kings Camp by night, but fails of his design. Forces come to the King out of Germany, and many thousands of Swisses: thereupon the Prince is forced to retire unto the Walls of Orleans; where not being able to keep the Army together, he divides it. He sends for succours into Germany and England: consents to give Havre de Grace to the English, and to receive their Garisons in Deipe and Rouen, to obtain aids of them. The Queen is offended, and grievously afflicted therewith, and for that cause joyning with the Catholick party, causeth the Hugonots to be declar'd Rebels. The Kings Army takes Blois, Tours, Poictiers and Bourges; besiegeth Rouen and [Page 56] takes it: The King of Navarre is kill'd there. Succours come to the Prince out of Germany, with which being reinforced, he makes haste to assault Paris: The King and the Queen arrive there with the Army; wherefore after many attempts, he is necessitated to depart. Both Armies go into Normandy, and there follows the Battel of Dreux; in which the Prince of Conde is taken prisoner on the one side, and the Constable on the other: The Duke of Guise being victorious, layeth siege to Orleans, and is ready to take it, but is trea­cherously slain by Poltrot. After his death follows the general Peace, and the Kings Army recovers Havre de Grace from the English. The King cometh out of his minority; The Queen useth divers arts to work the discon­tented Princes to her will; and to compass her ends, together with the King, makes a general visitation of the Kingdom; cometh to a parley at Avignon with the Popes Ministers, and at Bayonne with the Queen of Spain. It is agreed between the most Christian and Catholick King, to aid each other in the suppression of seditions. The Queen of Navarre cometh to the Court. The King maketh a reconciliation between the Families of Chastillon and Guise; but within few days after, they return to their former enmities. The Queen of Navarre in distaste leaves the Court, and plots new mischiefs. Di­vers Marriages are celebrated, but the civil dissentions nevertheless continue.

AFfairs of the State being thus on the sudden put into another po­sture, there were none so short-sighted who did not clearly per­ceive that the animosity of the Factions would finally shew it self in a War; and that there wanted nothing to make this cloud break into a storm, but the conjuncture of some fit occa­sion. Which (as if all things had concurred to hasten the calamity of France) did forthwith arise from a marvellous op­portunity.

The King of Navarre, after he had declared himself of the Catholick party, stayed, as by chance, in Paris; which City, as it is placed in the middle of France, so in fre­quency of people, riches, dignity, and power, far surpasseth all others in the Kingdom. Wherefore believing that the rest would follow the example which that should give, he endeavoured very sollicitously, as was agreeable to the natural inclination of the inhabitants, to hinder there the preachings and assemblies of the Hugonots; and in all his other actions of the Government, having still a regard to that end, he hoped with the benefit of time, by degrees to take away their credit and force; and lastly, their liberty of Religion; which maintained in being, and gave increase to that party.

The Prince of Conde was likewise in Paris; who on the contrary, encouraging the Preachers, and enlarging as much as he could their license and liberty, under colour of making the Edict of Ianuary to be observed, arrogated to himself (more by force than reason) a great authority in all the affairs of State.

It appeared necessary to the King of Navarre, by some means or other to make the Prince of Conde leave Paris. For already, either the desire of peace, or the envy that he bore him, had rendred him exceeding violent against him; and Reason perswaded to preserve that City from tumults and seditions upon which the Catholick party chiefly relied; but knowing his own forces were not sufficient, or willing to communicate this resolution with the other Confederates before any thing were put in execution, he sent for the Duke of Guise and the Constable, that they might unite all their forces in the same place.

The Duke of Guise, after he retired from Court, dwelt at Iainville, a place of his own, upon the confines of Champagne and Picardy; and having received advice from the King of Navarre, being accompanied with the Cardinal his Brother, with a train of many Gentlemen his dependants, and two Squadrons of Lances for Guard, was upon the way to be at Paris at the time appointed. But the first day of March in the morning passing thorow a little Village in the same confines called Vassy, his people heard an unusual noise of Bells; and having asked what was the reason of it, answer was made, That it was the hour wherein the Hugonots used to assemble at their Ser­mons. [Page 57] The Pages and Lacqueys of the Duke that went before the rest of the com­pany, moved with the novelty of the thing, and a curiosity to see, (for then those Congregations began first to be kept in publick) with jesting speeches, and a tumult proper to such kind of people, went towards the place where the Hugonots were as­sembled at their devotion; who understanding that the Duke of Guise was there, one of their chief persecutors, and seeing a great troop come directly towards them, fear­ing some affront, or else indeed incensed with the words of derision and contempt which the rudeness of those people used against them, without any further considera­tion, presently fell to gather up stones, and began to drive back those that advanced first towards the place of their assembly.In a conflict between the Duke of Guise his servants and the Hugo­nots, the Duke is hurt wi [...] a stone. By which injury the Catholick party being incensed, (who came thither without intent of doing them harm) with no less incon­sideration betaking themselves to their Arms, there began a dangerous scuffle amongst them. The Duke, perceiving the uproar, and desiring to remedy it, setting spurs to his horse, without any regard put himself into the midst of them; where, whilst he reprehended his own people, and exhorted the Hugonots to retire, he was hit with a blow of a stone upon the left cheek, by which, though lightly hurt, yet by reason he bled much, being forced to withdraw himself out of the hurly-burly, his followers, impatient of such an indignity done to their Lord, presently betook themselves to their Fire-arms, and violently assaulting the house where the Hugonots retired to secure themselves, killed above sixty of them, and grievously wounded the Minister; who climbing over the tyles, saved himself in some of the adjoining houses. The tumult ended, the Duke of Guise called for the Officer of the place, and began sharply to repre­hend him for suffering such a pernicious license to the prejudice of passengers; and he, excusing himself, that he could not hinder it, by reason of the Edict of Ianuary, which tolerated the publick Assemblies of the Hugonots. The Duke no less offended at his answer than at the thing it self, laying his hand upon his Sword, replyed in choler, This shall soon cut the bond of that Edict, though never so binding. A saying of the Duke of [...]uis [...] which made him thought the author of the ensuing War. From which words, spoken in the heat of anger, and not forgotten by those that were pre­sent, many afterwards concluded, that he was the author and contriver of the ensuing War.

But the Hugonots, exceedingly incensed by this chance, and being no longer able to keep themselves within the limits of patience, not contented with what they had done formerly, both in Paris (where killing divers men, they fired the Church of S. Medard) and in other Cities all over the Kingdom; now full of malice and rage, stir­red up such horrible tumults and bloody seditions, that, besides the slaughter of men in many places, the Monasteries were spoiled, Images thrown down, the Altars bro­ken, and the Churches brutishly polluted. By which actions every body being much incensed, and the people in all places running headlong to take Arms, the Heads of the Factions upon the same occasion went about gathering forces, and preparing them­selves for a manifest War.

But the Lords of both parties saw plainly, that in the state things were then in, they could not take Arms without running into an open Rebellion; there being no pretext or apparent colour that covered with the shew of Justice the raising of Arms: for the Catholick party could not oppose the Edict of Ianuary without apparently contradicting an Act of Council, and trespassing against the Royal Power by which the Edict was authorized: and on the other side, the Hugonots having the Liberty of Conscience given them which was appointed by the Edict of Ianuary, had no just cause to stir. Wherefore each Faction desired to draw the King to their party, and seizing upon his person, by abolishing the Edict, or interpreting it under his Name according to their own sense, to make a shew of having the right on their sides; and the contrary party by opposing the Kings will, and resisting him in person, to run into an actual Rebellion.

The Queen-Mother, very well knowing these designs, and desiring as much as was possible to preserve her own liberty and her Sons, continued her wonted artifices so to balance the power of the great ones, that by their tyranny they might not prejudice the security of the State; and having left Paris, that she might not be constrained by either Faction, she went to Fountain-bleau, a house of pleasure belonging to the Kings of France; which being a free open place, she conceived she could not be forced to de­clare her self, and hoped by doubtful speeches and ambiguous promises to maintain her credit with both parties. Where she gave assurances to the Prince of Conde and [Page 58] the Lords of Chastillon, (who being inferiour in strength to the Catholicks, were gone out of Paris to arm themselves) that she would join with them as soon as she saw they had assembled such a force as might be sufficient to resist the power of their Adversaries. And on the other side, she made protestations to the King of Navarre, the Constable, and the Duke of Guise, that she would never forsake the Catholick party, nor ever consent to the establishment of the Hugonots further, than granting them a moderate liberty, such as by the advice of persons well-affected should be thought necessary for the quiet of the State. Her Letters concerning this business were no less ambiguous than her words; nor did she declare her self more openly abroad to foreign Princes, than at home within her own Kingdom: but often changing the tenour of her dis­course, and varying the instructions she gave to Ambassadors in other Courts, and particularly to Monsieur de l' Isle who resided in Rome, sometimes restraining them, other while giving them a larger scope, so confounded the understandings of all men, that they could not conclude any thing.

But now she began to have a hard task. For the heads of both parties were grown by experience to be no less their Crafts-masters than her self; and in such a long time that she had held the Regency, they had had the commodity to discern and understand her arts; besides now that the King began to grow of age, she was necessitated to cut off those delays which she formerly used; many things being in apparence just, which when He should come to years to govern of himself; depended absolutely upon his judgment and arbitrement; which none could oppose without manifest delin­quency of Felony; whereas at the present every one might pretend that they did not withstand the Kings will, but the wicked pernicious counsels of his Ministers.

The Duke of Guise, who being of a more violent disposition and resolute nature than the rest, absolutely swayed the resolutions of his party, having already drawn to his opinion the Constable and the King of Navarre, perswaded them that going pre­sently together to Court, they should bring the King and the Queen-Mother to Paris, and afterwards make them confirm such Determinations and Edicts as seemed necessary for the present times; and not by expecting, run the hazard of being prevented, or suffer their Adversaries to seize first upon the Kings person, and so invest themselves with the authority of his Name.

The Prince of Conde had the same intention; who when he left Paris, retired first to Meaux, a Town in Brye, ten leagues distant from thence; and then to la Ferte, a place of his own, there to assemble his Forces. To this resolution he was advised by the Admiral, invited by the promises of the Queen-Mother, and perhaps further in­duced by the design of the Catholicks, which was not concealed from him, (as for the most part in civil dissentions, through the infidelity of Counsellors and frequency of spies, it is very easie to penetrate into the very thoughts of the Enemy.) But the Ca­tholick Lords with their ordinary followers were sufficient to manage this design; besides, they were near to Paris, which depending absolutely upon their wills, afforded strength and commodity to effect it: Whereas on the other side, the Prince of Conde being far weaker than they, and but few of his men armed, he was forced to expect the other Lords and Gentlemen of his party; who being sent for from divers Provinces of the Kingdom, were not speedily to be brought together.

In the mean while the Catholicks prevented them, and on a sudden appeared in great numbers at the Court. Yet the Queen, nothing dismayed at their so unexpected coming, though doubtful that her former arts would no longer prevail, began to per­swade the King of Navarre, that the Princes and other Lords that came with him should presently withdraw themselves from about the Court, that every one plainly perceived the cause of their coming; which was, to force her being unarmed, and the King yet in minority, to order things in the State according to their humours, and to accommodate publick affairs to passions and private interests; which was not only far from the loyalty and integrity they professed, but absolutely contrary to the peace and safety of the Kingdom, which they pretended only to desire. For to seek new Edicts and new Institutions different from those which were already enacted, was no less than to arm the Hugonots; who, bold enough of themselves, and ready for Insurrections, would believe and publish to all the World, that they had reason on their side, if with­out any cause that Edict should be recalled, which by a general consent was confirmed and established. That it was expedient, whilst the King was under age, to avoid the necessity of a War, and the troubles and inconveniencies that accompanied it; left [Page 59] besides the universal prejudice, a greater brand of infamy might be fixed upon them who held the greatest authority in the Government. That she for this reason con­sented to the Edict of Ianuary; for this cause left Paris; to take away all manner of pretence and opportunity for that mischief to break out, which secretly crept up; and that to return to a place suspected, and to disturb the Edict already published, would be openly to foment the violence of it. Withal, she put the King of Navarre in mind,Persons of de­sparate [...]or­tunes, the in­cendiaries of Civil Wars. and the other Catholick Princes, that to raise Civil Wars was only proper to those who were either of unsetled or desperate fortunes: and not for such who, possessing riches, dignities, estates and honours, lived in a flourishing eminent condition. That the King of Navarre should enjoy the principal Command of the whole Kingdom, which already without contradiction he was possessed of; the other Princes should enjoy their estates, greatness and dignities; and should comply with the people, that by en­joying, or believing they enjoyed a borrowed and momentary liberty, they might suffer the King without War to accomplish the age of his majority. That nothing had been done which was not forced by an absolute necessity; That only was given, which could not be sold; and that liberty granted to the Hugonots, which of their own power they arrogated to themselves. And therefore the Catholick Princes should have patience, that this so frantick humour might be overcome with art and dexterity; and not wilfully be an occasion, by anticipating the remedies before the time the King came of age, to anticipate likewise the disease; which would carry along with it many adverse revolutions and dangerous accidents: and if they were positively resolved to regulate the Edict, that it was to be done insensibly, and with opportunity of times and occasions, and not with such open violence, which would afford that commodity to the seditious, which they themselves desired and sought after.

These reasons effectually expressed and reiterated, would have moved the King of Navarre, and perhaps the Constable also, if the Duke of Guise had consented there­unto. But he having setled his hopes, not only to recover, but enlarge his former greatness by the fortune of the war; and desirous, as ancient Protector and Head of the Catholick party, that those things resolved upon without his consent should by any means whatsoever be disturbed, and the honour of disturbing them redound apparently upon himself; he peremptorily opposed all the Queens arguments; shewing, that they should at the same time lose their credit and reputation, when they suffered them­selves to be so easily deluded by a woman, who did all with a design to throw her self into the arms of the contrary party; if fondly giving credit to her words, they should so easily be perswaded to depart from the Court; that it would too much prejudice the justice of their cause, if it should appear by their own confession, that the end of their coming was not for the publick good or preservation of the Royal Authority, but through private passions, and particular interests; and that through an inward guilt, they had not pursued those intentions which they purposed to effect. That they ought not, by the artificial perswasions of the Queen, to be diverted from a delibera­tion so maturely weighed, and unanimously resolved upon; nor to satisfie her will, suffer those things to be laid aside which were dictated by Reason, prescribed by Ju­stice, and commanded by Religion; the preservation and respect of which had chiefly brought them thither: But howsoever, it was no longer seasonable to defer or spend time in discourses: The Prince of Conde with an armed power was already at hand, the Hugonots had already joyned their forces; who without doubt would carry the King along with them, if they did not first take order for his security. And there­fore this being a business not to be determined by perswasions, it was necessary to use force, and carrying away the King, leave the Queen to take that party which pleased her best. For having with them the person of the lawful King, and the first Prince of the Blood, to whom the Government naturally belonged, they needed little to re­gard what she should do with her self. And it was true, that the Prince of Conde, joyned with the Lords of Chastillon, and the rest of his adherents, already drew near to the Court. Wherefore the Constable and the King of Navarre being confirmed by these reasons, and seeing it was necessary to break off all treaties and delays, gave the Queen personally to understand, that she must instantly resolve; for they had deter­mined, whatever hapned, to carry the King and his Brothers with them to Paris, le [...]t they should fall into the hands of the Hugonots, who, (as they had advertisement) were not far off; that it was not fit for them to leave their lawful Prince a prey to He­reticks, who desired nothing more than to have him a prisoner, that they might under [Page 60] his name subvert the foundations of the Kingdom: That there was now no time to be lost, nor means to put it off; that they would dispose of the King as their alle­giance and the common good required. For what concerned her self, that they would not determine any thing, but, as it was their duty, leave her free to do what she pleased.

Though this intimation were peremptory and sudden, yet the Queen was not at all surprised therewith, having long foreseen it, and designed what in such a case would be fittest to do. Wherefore being necessitated to declare her self, though it were against her will, and she foresaw War would quickly ensue thereupon; she would not by any means separate her self from the Catholick party; not only because reason and justice so advised, but because she likewise conceived, that both her own safety and her Sons depended upon their strength. So that with her wonted vivacity of courage presently resolving, she returned answer to the King of Navarre and the Constable; That she was no less a Catholick, nor less sollicitous of the general good of that Re­ligion, than any other whatsoever; that for this time she would rather believe the counsel of others, than her own judgment; and since all agreed that it was best to go, she was ready to satisfie them. And so without any other reply, she presently put her self in a readiness to depart:The Queen is forced to de­clare her self f [...]r the Catho­licks, and at the same time maintains ho [...]es in the Hugonots. notwithstandig, at the same time she dispatched Letters to the Prince of Conde, lamenting that she could not discharge the promise she had made to put both the Kings Person and her own into their hands; for the Ca­tholicks coming first, had carried them by force to Paris; but that they should not lose their courage, neglect their care for the preservation of the Crown, nor suffer their enemies to arrogate to themselves the absolute power in the Government. So being mounted on horseback with the King and her other Sons, and compassed about with the Catholick Lords, who omitted no observance or demonstrations of honour that might appease her, they went that night to Melun, the next day to the Bois de Vincennes, and with the same speed the morning after to Paris.

Charles the IX. wept at his re­straint.It is most certain, that the young King was seen that day by many to weep, being perswaded that the Catholick Lords restrained him of his liberty; and that the Queen-Mother being discontented that her wonted arts prevailed not, and foreseeing the mischiefs of the future War, seemed perplexed in mind, and spake not a word to any body; of which the Duke of Guise making little account, was heard to say pub­lickly, That the good is always good, whether it proceed from love or force. But the Prince of Conde having received this news upon the way, and finding that he was either pre­vented by the Catholicks, or deluded by the Queen, he presently stopt his horse, and stood still a good while, doubtful what resolution to take; all those future troubles that were like to ensue representing themselves before him with a face of terrour. But the Admiral, who was somewhat behind, overtaking him, they conferred a little to­gether, and after a deep sigh, the Prince said, We are gone so far forward, that we must either drink or be drowned; and without any further dispute, taking another way, he went with great speed towards Orleans, which he had formerly designed to possess himself of.

Orleans is one of the principal Cities of the Kingdom, some thirty leagues distant from Paris, of a large compass, abundance in provision, commodious for buildings, and very populous; which being in the Province of Beausse, stands as it were the Na­vel of the Kingdom, upon the River of Loire, anciently called Ligeris, a great Navi­gable River; which passing thorow many Provinces, at length runs into the British Sea. This City, by reason of the Navigation, the fertility of the Soil▪ the eminency of it, and the mutual commerce it had with many other places, seemed to the Prince very convenient for a standing quarter, and to oppose against Paris, by making it the principal seat for their Faction. For which reasons having many months before cast his thoughts upon it, he had taken pains to hold secret intelligence with some of the Citizens which were of Calvins Religion, and by their means to raise a great party of the youth, who were of unquiet spirits, factious, and inclined to a desire of No­velties. So that the disposition of the Inhabitants answering the instigation of the complices, already a great part of the people were willing to take Arms. And that things might be done in due order, the Prince had the day before sent Monsieur de Andelotte to the City, who entring thereinto secretly, (at the same time that the Prince seised upon the Court) should endeavour likewise to make himself Master of the Town. But though it so fell out, that the Prince could not arrive at Court; [Page 61] Andelotte not knowing what had happened, armed three hundred of his followers, and at the day appointed suddenly seised on S. Iohn's Gate. Upon which accident Mon­sieur de Monterau, Governour of the City, getting together some few men of Mon­sieur de Sipierres company, who by chance were then thereabouts, very hotly assaulted the Conspirators, with no little hope that they should be able to drive them away, and recover the entrance of the Gate, where they had not had time enough to fortifie themselves; so that joyning in a bloody fight, after a conflict of many hours, Andelotte at length began to yield to the multitude of the Catholicks, who ran thither armed from all the parts of the Town, and had surely received an affront, if he had not been opportunely assisted by an unexpected succour. For the Prince of Conde, not finding the Court at Fountain-bleau, and therefore desisting from his voyage, returned much sooner than he thought, and marching with great diligence, approached near to Or­leans at the same time that the fight began; and knowing it to be very violent by the continual shot and incessant ringing of Bells, which might be heard many miles off, he presently gallopped with all his Cavalry towards the City to succour his Confede­rates, who were already in great danger of being defeated.

They were more than three thousand horse, and ran headlong with such fury, that the peasants, though astonished with the unusual spectacle of civil arms, in the midst of their fright and wonder could not forbear to laugh, seeing here a horse fall, there a man tumbled over, and nevertheless without regarding any accident, run furiously one over another as fast as their horses could go, upon a design which no body knew but themselves. But this haste, so ridiculous to the Spectators, had very good success to the Princes intentions. For coming with such a powerful succour, and in so fit an opportunity of time, the Governour being driven away, and those that resisted sup­pressed; at last the Town, which was of exceeding consequence, was reduced into his power, and by the Authority of the Commanders preserved from pillage. But the Churches escaped not the fury of the Hugonot-Souldiers, who with bruitish examples of barbarous savageness, laid them all waste and desolate.

Thus the Prince having taken Orleans, and made it the seat of his Faction,Orleans made the seat of the Hugonot Fa­ction. he be­gan to think upon War. And first having appointed a Council of the principal Lords and Commanders, he advised with them of the means to draw as many Towns and Provinces to his Party as was possible, and to get together such a sum of money as might defray the expences, which at the beginning of a War are ever very great.

The Catholick party were intent upon the same ends; who being come to Paris with the young King and the Queen, held frequent consultations how best to order the affairs for their own advantage: in which Councils the Duke of Guise openly de­clared, that he thought it most expedient to proceed to a War with the Hugonots, so to extinguish the fire before it burst out into a consuming flame, and to take away the roots of that growing evil. On the contrary, the Chancellor de l' Hospital, secretly set on by the Queen, proposing many difficulties, and raising doubts and impediments upon every thing, perswaded an agreement; by which both parties absenting them­selves from the Court, the power of the Government should be left free and quiet to the Queen and the King of Navarre. But being sharply reproved by the Con­stable, and after the news of the revolt of Orleans, injuriously treated, under pretence of being a Gown-man, he was excluded from the Council, that was now called the Council of War; by which means also a principal instrument was taken from the Queen, who having no power left in that Council, for there were newly admitted to it Claud Marquess de [...]oisy, Honore Marquess Villars, Louis de Lansac, Monsieur de Cars, the Bishop of Auxerre, the Sieurs de Maugiron, and la Brosse, (who all abso­lutely depended upon the Constable and the Guises) every thing on that side likewise tended to the raising of Arms.

At the first (as it ever falleth out) their pens were more active than their swords.The Prince of Conde's Mani­fest. For the Prince of Conde and his adherents, willing to justifie in writing the cause of their taking Arms, published certain Manifests and Letters in print, directed to the King, the Court of Parliament in Paris, the Protestant Princes of Germany, and to other Christian Princes; in which very largely, but no less artificially dilating them­selves, they concluded, that they had taken Arm [...] to set the King at liberty, and the Queen his Mother, who by the Tyrannical power of the Catholick Lords were kept prisoners; and to cause obedience to be rendred in all parts of the Kingdom to his [Page 62] Majesties Edicts, which by the violence of certain men, that arrogate to themselves a greater Authority in the Government than of right belonged to them, were impiously despised and trodden under foot; and therefore that they were ready presently to lay down their Arms, if the Duke of Guise, the Constable, and the Mareshal de St. Andre, retiring themselves from the Court, would leave the King and the Queen in a free place, in their own power; and that liberty of Religion might be equally tolerated and maintained in all parts of the Kingdom.

The Parliament at Paris answered their Manifest, and the Letters, shewing, that the pretence was vain,The Parlia­ment of Paris Answer to the Princes Mani­fest. by which they sought to justifie their taking of Arms, which they had immediately raised against the Kings Person and his Royal Authority: for so far was the King or the Queen his Mother from being deprived of liberty, or retained in prison by the Constable and the Guises, that on the contrary they were in the ca­pital City of the Kingdom, where the chief Parliament resided; and in which com­manded as Governour Charles Cardinal of Bourbon, Brother to the Prince of Conde, and one of the Princes of the Blood. That the King of Navarre, Brother also to the same Prince of Conde, held the chief place in the Government, and the Queen-Mother the charge of the Regency; both chosen by the Council, according to the ancient cu­stom, and confirmed by the consent of the States-General of the Kingdom: that every day they assembled the Council composed of eminent persons to consult of fit remedies for the present evils; that the Edict of Ianuary was intirely observed with full Liberty of Conscience to those of the pretended reformed Religion, (notwithstanding it de­pended wholly upon the Kings will to call in those Edicts whensoever he should think sit, especially that of Ianuary, made by way of provision, and which was accepted by the Parliaments only for a time;) That the Hugonots had of themselves violated the Edict made in their favour; because, contrary to the form thereof, they went to their assemblies armed, without the assistance of the Kings Officers, conditions ex­presly mentioned in the same. And besides this rashness, they were likewise so bold, as in all places to raise tumults, and commit disorders and slaughters. Wherefore their rebellion could not be excused with so slight a pretence, seeing many Towns were openly seized upon, Souldiers raised, the Munition consumed, Artillery cast, Moneys coyned, the publick Revenues spent, Churches thrown down, the Monaste­ries laid desolate, and infinite other proceedings, no way agreeing to the Duty of Subjects, but express acts of Felony and Rebellion. Wherefore they exhorted the Prince of Conde, that following the example of his Ancestors, he should return to the King, abandoning the society of Hereticks and factious persons, and not so cruelly wound the bosom of his own Country; the welfare whereof, as Prince of the Blood, he was obliged to maintain with the hazard of his own person, even to the last period of his life.

The Constable likewise and the Guises made an Answer in their own behalf; and after a long narration of the services they had done to the Crown, concluded, that they were ready not only to depart from the Court, but to enter into a voluntary exile, upon condition that the Arms taken up against his Majesty might be laid down, the places kept against him delivered up, the Churches that were ruined restored, the Ca­tholick Religion preserved, and an intire obedience rendred to the lawful King un­der the Government of the King of Navarre, and the Regency of the Queen-Mother.

After which Declarations past on both sides, the King and the Queen together, by the advice of the Council,The Answer of the King and Queen. made another Answer to the Prince of Conde, and caused it to be divulged in print, in which they avowed, That they were in full liberty, and that they had voluntarily removed the Court to Paris, to remain there in great secu­rity, and to advise with the Officers of the Crown, how to remedy the present disor­ders: That they were ready to continue the observation of the Edict of Ianuary, and to see it should be entirely kept, until such time as the King came of Age: And since the Catholick Princes, whose loyalty and vertue was sufficiently known to all France, were contented to retire themselves from Court: That the Prince of Conde nor his Adherents had any manner of excuse longer to keep at such a distance, and in Arms; but that they ought presently to put both themselves and the places they possessed into obedience of the King; which if they did, besides a pardon for what was past, they should be well lookt upon by their Majesties as good Subjects, and punctually main­tained in all their priviledges and degrees.

[Page 63]Whilst these things were in agitation, the Queen endeavoured to bring it so to pass, that both parties (to colour their proceedings, and not to seem to condemn them­selves of any violence to the Kings person) should retire to their several charges, and leave the Government of the State to her and the King of Navarre; who being of a facile nature, was a fit instrument for the establishment of her Sons in the Kingdom. But after much Treating, and many Declarations on both sides, all was reduced to this point, That neither of them would be the first to disband their forces; and up­on this cavil they made large Propositions in writing, without concluding any thing in fact.

At the same time that these Manifests were published to the world, and every man busie about the Treaty, the Prince of Conde and the Admiral used means to draw all the greatest Towns, and those that lay most convenient for them, to their party. To which purpose, having scattered men of understanding and trust in the several Pro­vinces, they with divers policies, by the assistance of the Hugonots, and other sedi­tious persons which abounded in all parts of the Kingdom, easily made themselves Masters of the principal Cities, and other strong places of greatest consequence. With these practices revolted the City of Rouen, (the residence of the Parliament of Nor­mandy) and in the same Province Diepe and Havre de Grace, situated upon the Ocean on that Coast that looks toward England. In Poictou and Touraine, with the like skill they got into their hands Angiers, Blois, Poictiers, Tours, and Vendosme. In Daul­phine, Valence; and at last, after many attempts, the City of Lyons also; and in Gas­coigne, Guienne, and Languedoc, where the Hugonots swarmed most; except Bur­deaux, Thoulouse, and some other Fortresses, they had in a manner possessed themselves of all the Cities and walled Towns. By which Insurrections all France being in an uproar, and not only the Provinces, but private houses and families divided amongst themselves, there ensued such miserable accidents, that every place afforded spectacles of desolation, fire, rapine and bloodshed.

And because the Contributions they had from the Hugonots, (though they gave very largely) and their own private Revenues, with the pillage they had in those Towns that they took, was not sufficient to maintain the charge of the War;The Prince of C [...]nde coyn [...] the Plate be­longing to Churches. the Prince of Conde made all the Gold and Silver in the Churches to be brought to him, and coyned it publickly into money, which was no little help to them. For the ancient piety of that Nation had in every place adorned the reliques, and filled the Temples with no small Treasure. Nor was their diligence less to provide Munition and Artillery. For in the Towns which they surprised▪ and particularly in Tours, having found a great quantity, they sent it to Orleans to supply their present occasions; where, having ap­pointed the Convent of Franciscan Fryars for a Magazine, they kept there in very good order all the Stores and Provisions that they made with exceeding industry for the future.

But the Governours of the Kingdom having resolved and determined a War, with no less diligence brought the Catholick Army together near about Paris; where enter­ing into consultation what they should do concerning the Edict of Ianuary, though there was some difference in their opinions, they all concluded it should be observed: partly, not more to sharpen the humours already too much stirred; and partly, not to add strength or colour to the Hugonots cause; who, whilst the Edict was maintained, had no manner of reasonable pretence to take Arms.

But because the People of Paris reverencing (as in the greatest troubles they have ever done) the Catholick Religion, instantly desired that no Congregations of the Hugonots might be permitted amongst them; First to take away an occasion of tumults and dan­ge [...]s in the principal City, which was the foundation of the Kings party, it being be­sides very indecent that wher [...] his Majesty remained in Person any other Religion should be exercised but that which he himself professed: These reasons laid together,An Edict pub­lished at the instance of the Parisians to forbid the Hu­gonot Assem­blies in their City, or ne [...] the Court. they resolved the Edict of Ianuary in all things else remaining in force, to forbid the Hugonots to keep any Assemblies in the City of Paris, or the Precincts thereof; or in any other place where the Court resided, where none could live that were not con­formable to the Rites of the Catholick Religion observed in the Roman Church.

After the publication of this Decree, followed other Provisions in pursuance of the Civil and Military affairs. And the Cardinal of Bourbon, who loved not to engage himself in troublesome businesses, having in these times of difficulty surrendred up the Government of Paris, they conferred it upon the Mareshal of Brissac; that they might [Page 64] be sure to have in the power of one they trusted the most potent City in all France; which alone gave more assistance to that party it favoured, than half the rest of the Kingdom could. They appointed other Commanders in divers other parts to with­stand the attempts of the Hugonots; amongst which the principal were Claude Duke of Aumale in the Province of Normady; Louis de Bourbon Duke of Monpensier in Touraine; and in Gascoigne, Blaise, Sieur de Monluc, a man famous for wit and valour, and much more for experience in the War.

But having already a great power on foot, those who commanded in chief resolved to go directly towards Orleans, where the Prince of Conde and the Admiral gathered their Forces, and not to give them longer time for the provisions that they made, but to endeavour to suppress them before they encreased in strength or reputation. The Kings Army consisted of four thousand Horse, the chief Gentry in the Kingdom, and six thousand French Foot, all chosen men and old Souldiers; and the Swisses were expected, who being hired by the King, were already advanced to the confines of Burgundy. With this number of men, and a convenient train of Artillery, the Army moved towards Orleans, The Kings Ar­my mov [...]s to­wards O [...]leans. commanded by the King of Navarre with the Title of the Kings Lieutenant-General; but with the consent and authority of the Duke of Guise and the Constable, who for their experience and age had the chief credit in directing businesses of weight or consequence.

On the other side, the Prince of Conde and the Admiral, by whose advice all things were governed, having already assembled such a force as was able to encounter with the Kings Army, resolved to issue out of Orleans, and to take the field likewise; judging it the best way to uphold their reputation, which in all, but especially in Civil Wars, is always of great moment to maintain and encrease a Faction; there being an infinite number of men that follow the rumour of fame, and prosperity of fortune. Being marched forth into the field with three thousand Horse and seven thousand Foot, they quartered themselves in a place naturally strong, some four leagues distant from the City, just upon the great Road; that so they might cut off the Catholicks passage to the Town, and with greater facility have provisions brought them in from the Coun­try about.

But whilst the Armies thus approached one another, the Queen was greatly troubled in mind to see things at last break out into a War, in which she doubted she should cer­tainly remain a prey, whosoever obtained the Victory; believing that she could no more trust her self to one party, than be secure of the other. For though the Catholick Lords made shew of paying her a great respect, and seemed to promise, she should continue her wonted authority of Regent; she feared not without good ground, that the contrary party once suppressed, and the obstacle taken away that contained them within the bounds of reason, they would make but little accompt of a P [...]pil King, or a woman that was a stranger, and prefer their own greatness before all other respects. And for the Prince of Conde, who, besides his restless disposition and vast thoughts that wholly swayed him, thought himself also injured and betrayed by her, she could by no means depend upon his support. Besides, the exaltation of the Hugonots she knew would absolutely subvert the State, and kindle such a lasting fire, that the mise­rable Country of France would never be able fully to recover the quiet it formerly en­joyed. Wherefore desiring a peace, and that things should remain in machination, and (as they call them) Brigues a French word signifying fa­ctions, or con­tentions. Brigues of the Court, without breaking out into the vio­lence of Arms, she endeavoured to promote propositions of accommodation by means of the Bishop of Valence; who at last, after many difficulties, concluded a parley be­tween her and the Prince of Conde, in a place equally distant from both Armies; that by discoursing together they might find a means to secure and satisfie both parties. To which purpose the Queen, being come to the Catholick Camp, accompanied with the King of Navarre and Monsieur d' Anville the Constables Son, she advanced as far as Toury, The Cardinal of [...]hat [...]llin changing his Religion, cal­le [...]h himself Count of F [...]vais. The Parley between the Queen-Mo­ther and the Prince of C [...]nde. (a place about ten leagues from Orleans) whither came the Prince of Conde with the Admiral and the Cardinal his Brother, who called himself Count de Beauvais, (of which place he held the Bishoprick though he had changed his Religion.) Where meeting altogether in an open Campaigne which on every side extended as far as they could discern, the Prince and the Queen withdrew themselves from the company, and discoursed very long together; but what passed between them was unknown; only it is certain, that they parted without concluding any thing; and each of them retired to their own company in great haste. This meeting satisfied those who doubted it, that [Page 65] the Queen only dissembling with the Hugonots for her own ends, would not in any wise forsake the Catholicks. For she was there in such a place, that she might have gone away with the Prince if she had pleas'd; who perhaps came to the parley princi­pally through such a hope.

Now the Prince being returned to his Army,The Prince of Conde's de­mands in fa­vour of him­self and the Hugonots. (as if he had received courage from the Treaty he had with the Queen, or else to encrease the jealousies which the Catho­licks generally had of her) proposed much higher Conditions than formerly, and so exorbitant, that they moved a disdain even in the King himself, though yet in such an age that he referred all things to the arbitrement of his Council. For he demanded, That the Guises and the Constable should depart out of the Kingdom; That the Hu­gonots might return again to live in the Cities, and have Churches publickly appointed them; That all the Edicts should be nullified that were made since the Duke of Guise returned to the Court; That he might hold the Towns he was possessed of, till the King was out of his minority, and command in them as free absolute Lord; That the Popes Legat should be commanded to leave the Kingdom, that the Hugonots might be capable of all charges and publick Magistracies; That the Emperour, the Catho­lick King, the Queen of England, the Republick of Venice, the Duke of Savoy, and the Commonalty of the Swisses, should give security, That neither the Duke of Guise, nor the Constable, should return into the Kingdom, or raise any Army, until such time as the King came to the age of two and twenty years. Every man being incensed with these Conditions, the Governours of the Kingdom resolved to send Monsieur de Fresne, one of the Kings Secretaries, to Estampes in the mid-way between Orleans and Paris, who with a publick Proclamation should warn the Prince of Conde, the Admiral, Andelot, and the rest of their Adherents, within ten days after to lay down their Arms, to deliver up the Towns they possessed, and to retire privately to their own houses: which if they did, they should obtain pardon and remission for all that was past; but if they refused to obey this his Majesties express Command, it being an im­mediate Act of Treason and Rebellion, they should be deprived of their estates and dignities, and proceeded against as Rebels. Which being published accordingly,The Kings E­dict slighted by the Hugo­nots. it was so far from working any thing upon the Hugonots, that on the contrary, either through desperation or disdain become more resolute, they united themselves by a pub­lick Contract in a perpetual Confederacy, to deliver as they said, the King, the Queen, and the Kingdom from the violence of their oppressors; and to cause obedience to be rendered to his Majesties Edicts through all his Dominions. They declared the Prince of Conde Head of this Confederacy, and with their wonted liberty published in print a long Narration of the causes and end of this their Union.

The Queen for all this, still employed her thoughts how to compass an agreement. For besides the hopes she had to effect it, nothing was more advantageous to her then gaining of time; and by delaying the War, to keep things from coming to an issue, till her Son was out of his Minority, which they pretended was at fourteen years of age. She began already to endeavour by her usual arts to regain the Constable and the Guises; and having given evident proof of her resolution to persevere in the Catho­lick Religion, and continue constant to that party, since when she was even in the Hugonots Camp she returned notwithstanding back to them again; she had in great part removed and purged her self of those jealousies which they were wont to have of her inclinations; insomuch as, besides that they left her a more absolute power in the Government, they sought by complying, to make her approve of their proceed­ings. Wherefore having more hope than ever to find some means of accommodation, she began to deal with the Catholick Lords under the pretence of Justice, and detesta­tion of a Civil War; that to shame the Hugonots, and for their own honour, they should be content to depart first from the Court, as they were the first to come thi­ther. She laid before them, how greatly it would commend their sincerity,The Queen perswadeth the Duke of Guise and the Constable, and the Mareshal de S. And [...], to leave the Court, which they promise. by one action only to extinguish that horrible flame which was now kindling in every part of the Kingdom to consume all things both sacred or prophane. That they would me­rit much more of their Country by this so pious a resolution, than by all their former exploits put together, though never so glorious and beneficial. For this would bring safety, whereas those added only greatness and reputation. She told them further, that to absent themselves from the Court, was but a ceremony of a few months: for, if nothing happened before to make it necessary to call them back again, when the King came to age, which would be shortly, he would soon s [...]nd for them; and in the [Page 66] mean while, this short time of absence might be employed to their honour and advan­tage. For every one retiring to their several Governments with which they were in­trusted, they might with industry keep the Provinces in peace, and purge those that most needed it, of the pestiferous humours that infected them; whereas staying at the Court, they served for nothing else but to foment and stir up a War. She assured them, she would never change resolution in matters of Religion, or the Kings Edu­cation; that never any thing of importance should be determined without their pri­vity; that the present Insurrections once quieted, she would take care, that with the first possible opportunity they should be recalled; and that in all times they should find her gratitude answerable to so great a benefit, if really they resolved to perform what she proposed. With which kind of practises she so far prevailed, that at the last the Duke of Guise, the Constable, and the Mareshal de St. Andre, were contented to depart first from the Court and the Army; provided, that the Prince of Conde came presently without Arms to render himself to the Queens obedience, and to follow such orders as she should think most expedient for the welfare of the Kingdom: which though every one of them thought a very hard condition, yet such was the general ap­plause that resulted from thence to their own augmentation and glory, and so firm the belief, that the Prince would never be perswaded to return to the Court unarmed as a private person, that they were induced to consent to it; believing withal perhaps, that there could not want pretences and interpretations speedily to licence their re­turn; and so much the rather, because the King of Navarre, being then so exaspe­rated that they thought him irreconcileable with his Brother, remaining still an assistant in the Government, they were in a manner secure, that the form of things would not be changed, and that they should have the same power in their absence as if they were present.

But the Queen having gotten this promise from them, and keeping it very secretly to her self, forthwith sent the Bishop of Valence, and Rubertette, one of the Secretaries of State to the Prince of Conde, who having given them this answer, That if the Ca­tholick Lords departed first, he would not only lay down his Arms and return into obedience to the Queen; but also for the more security, forthwith leave the Kingdom; and often reiterating, and making large professions of the same; though with an as­sured opinion, that those Lords would neither for their reputation nor safety be wil­ling first to lay down their Arms and depart: The Bishop and Rubertette praising his readiness, desiring he would write what he had said to the Queen; shewing, that whereas for the present he was held for the Author of these scandals, and of the War, by this free offer he would silence his enemies, and confound the Faction of the Guises; justifying to all the World the candour of his intentions and counsels. The Prince, perswaded by the fair apparence of the proposition, and with hope to add to his force a shew of reason, (which is always of very great moment among the people) was con­tent to write to the Queen, That when the Catholick Lords were retired to their houses without either Arms or command; he, with the principal of his Adherents, for the Kings satisfaction, and the quiet of the State, willingly promised to go out of the Kingdom, and never to return till he were recalled by the general consent of them that governed.

The Queen having received this ratification written and subscribed by the Princes own hand, instantly advertised the Catholick Lords, that they should forthwith retire themselves, only with their ordinary followers; who readily obeying her command, having put over their men to the King of Navarre, went to Chasteau Dame, with a full intention to be gone as soon as the Prince on that part began to perform his pro­mises.The Queen having it un­der the Prin­ces hand that he woul [...] re­tire himself, the Catholick Lords leave the Camp. The Lords having left the Camp on a sudden, the Queen without any delay, the very same night let the Prince know by Rubertette, that the Catholick Lords being already departed from the Army, and their commands, it remained that he with the same readiness and sincerity should perform what he had so assuredly promised under his own hand-writing.

This unexpected resolution not a little perplext the Hugonots, having never ima­gined that the Constable and the Guises would yield to this condition. Wherefore re­penting themselves that the Prince through his facility had promised so much, they be­gan to consult how they might break off and hinder the Agreement. The Ad­miral making little account of outward appearance, and deeming that after a Victory all things seemed just, and justice by an overthrow would lose her authority; advised [Page 67] presently to send back Rubertette, and without further ceremony to break off the Trea­ty. Andelot, according to his manner, mingling brags with his reasons, wished that he were so near the Catholicks, that he might come to try it out by force; and it should soon appear whom it concerned most in reason to abandon their Country; it being against all right, that so many gallant men, who voluntarily had taken Arms, should be deluded by the crafty Treaties of the Queen and the Catholicks It appeared hard to the Prince to gain-say his word, and hardest of all to relinquish his command in the Army, and at one Treaty to fall from such great hopes, to a necessity of forsa­king his Country, without knowing whither to retreat.

The Hugonot Ministers interposing their Divinity with matters of State, alledged, that the Prince having undertaken the maintenance of those who had imbraced the purity, as they called it, of the Gospel, and made himself by Oath Protector of Gods Word; No obligation afterwards could be of force to prejudice his former oath or promise. Others added to this reason, that the Queen having at the beginning failed of her word to the Prince, when she promised to bring over the King to his party, he likewise was not bound by any promise made to her, who first committed such a ma­nifest breach of Faith. Amongst which, rather tumultuous than well directed opi­nions, applying themselves (as in matters of difficulty it is usual) to a middle way, it was at last, not without much dispute, determined, that the Prince should go to the Queen, making shew to perform his promise, and confirm a peace; but that the morning after, the Admiral and the other Hugonot Lords coming on a sudden, should take him away suddenly as by force, and carrying him back to the Camp; giving out that he had not violated his promise, but that he was constrained by those of his party to observe his first Oath, and the confederacy a little before so solemnly con­tracted. That which made them think of this deceit, was the great commodity of putting it in execution; for the Queen, to meet with the Prince, being come to Talsy, six miles from the Army, where she was accompanied only with her ordinary Guards, and the Courtiers, the Prince could not fear the being stayed by force; and the other Lords of his party might go thither and return, without any danger or impe­diment.

So it was punctually effected as they had resolved amongst themselves. For the Prince, accompanied with some few attendants, went to the Queen, with great shew of humiliation, and was received with much familiarity. But whilst he raised diffi­culties, and interposed delays in subscribing the condition, which by order from the King and the Council were proposed to him by Rubertette; and whilst Monsieur de Lansac, a man of sharp wit and understanding, sent by the Queen, perswaded him to perfect the specious promise he had made, the Hugonot Lords arrived, who had li­cence to come to salute the King and the Queen; and seeming greatly offended that the Prince had abandoned them, made him as it were by force get on horseback. And though the Queen, angry to be so deceived, loudly threatned every one of them, and the Bishop of Valence, Lansac, and Rubertette, endeavoured to perswade the Prince to remain at Court, without any further mention of leaving the Kingdom; yet the desire of command and interest of rule prevailing, without more delay,The Prince of Conde return­eth to his Ar­my. the Queen not having time to use force, he returned the same day, which was the 27 of Iune, to the Hugonots Camp, re-assuming, to their great content, the charge of Captain-General in this Enterprise. Thus all hopes of Peace being cut off,ROYALISTS and HUGO­NOTS. the War was kindled, and began between the two Factions under the name of ROYALISTS and HUGONOTS.

The Treaty of an Agreement being broken, which the Queen, with wonderful po­licy keeping things from coming to an issue, had continued many months; the Prince of Conde, desirous to abolish the infamy of breaking his word by some notorious fa­mous action, determined the same night to set upon the Kings Army in their own quarters. Two things chiefly encouraged him to so bold a resolution: the one, that the Duke of Guise and the Constable were absent, whose valour and reputation he esteemed very much: the other, that at that time a Peace being in a manner concluded, and published, many were gone from their colours, and the greatest part of the Ca­valry, for commodity of quarter, were scattered up and down in the neighbouring Villages; by which means the Army was not a little diminished and weakned. These hopes moved him to venture upon this attempt, though it appeared a new thing to undertake the surprisal of a Royal Camp within their own trenches. But he was ne­cessitated [Page 68] also to try the fortune, though doubtful, of a battel; knowing, that the Kings Swisses were within a few days march; and when they were joined with the rest of the Army, he should not be able, being far inferiour in number, to keep the field; but be constrained to withdraw his forces to defend those forts he was possessed of; a matter, through the little hope of succours, both difficult and dangerous. Where­fore he desired to do something whilst he had time, to free himself from that necessity which he saw would fall upon him. With this resolution he departed when it was dark, from la Ferte d' Ales where he lay; and the Army being divided into three Squadrons, the first of Horse led by the Admiral, the other of Foot under the con­duct of Andelot, and the third mingled both with Horse and Foot▪ which he com­manded himself, he marched with great silence and expedition to assault the Enemies Camp about midnight.

The Hugonots through the faults of their guides, march all night with­out advancingBut fortune frustrated his design: for though the way were plain through a free open Country, yet the guides that led the first Squadron, either through treachery or amazedness, or else through ignorance, losing their way, they so wandred up and down, that the next morning at break of day he found that he was advanced but little more than a league from the place whence he set out over night, and still two great leagues from the Kings Camp. Notwithstanding, necessity compelling to attempt the greatest difficulties, the Commanders resolved to pursue their design, and the same or­der to perform that in the day which they could not effect in the night. But Monsieur d' Anville, who with the light horse quartered in the front of the Kings Army, having presently advertisement by his Scouts of their coming, had by shooting off two pieces of Cannon, given notice thereof to the Camp that lay behind him. Whereupon the Souldiers and Gentlemen running from all parts to their colours, he going before to make good the high-way, that they might have time to put the Army in order, ha­ving divided his Horse into divers little Squadrons, began to skirmish fiercely with the first Troops of the Hugonots. By reason whereof they being forced to march slow­lier and closer together, often making halts through the heat of the skirmish, and not to diso [...]der themselves in the face of the Enemy, the King of Navarre had more com­modity of time to get his men together, and to order them for a Battel. So the Prin­ces Army still advancing, and the King of Navarre ranging his men in a Battalia upon the plain, but with the Camp behind them, at the last about noon both Armies faced one another, that there was nothing between them but a little plain, without any manner of impediment. But though the Ordnance plaid fiercely on both sides, yet no body advancing to begin the battel, it was perceived, the Commanders were not of opinion to fight. For the Prince, who thought to have surprised the Catholicks on a sudden,The Armies face one ano­ther, and re­treat wi [...]hout fighting. before they could either get together, or put themselves in order, seeing them all together, and drawn out in excellent order for the Battel; and not believing that his men, who were but newly raised, would be able to stand against the Kings Foot, that were all choice old Souldiers, had more mind to retreat than to fight. And the King of Navarre, who knew, that within a few days his forces would be increased, would not in absence of the other Catholick Lords, expose himself without any pro­vocation to the hazard of a Battel. Wherefore after they had stood still facing one another at least three hours, the Prince retiring more than a league backwards, quartered with his Army at Lorges, a little Village in Beausse, and the King of Na­varre drew off his men, but in much better order, to the place where they encamped before.

The same evening arrived from Chasteadune at the Army the Constable and the Duke of Guise, being sent for in great haste; and causing all the Guards to be doubled, they commanded quite thorow the Quarters, at every hundred paces great piles of wood to be made; which being set on fire, if the enemy came to assault them by night, the Souldiers might the better see what they were to do, and the Canoneers how to point their Ordnance. Which orders being known to the Prince of Conde, and find­ing that the enemy was not to be surprized; after he had stayed three days at Lorges, the second day of Iuly in the morning he rose with all his Army, and went to take Baugency, a great walled Town, and with the pillage thereof to refresh his Souldiers, which were in great want of money, and not over-abounding with victuals. Nor was the enterprise of any great difficulty; for the wall being battered with four peeces of Cannon, brought thither for that purpose, and an assault given in ano­ther part by the Regiment of Provensals, at a certain breach they made by sap­ping, [Page 69] it was taken the same day, and sackt, with great slaughter of the inhabi­tants.

Whilst the Hugonots assaulted Baugency, there arrived at the Kings Army ten Cor­nets of German Horse, led by the Rhinegrave; and six thousand Swisses, under the conduct of Ierosme Freulich, a man for experience and valour of great esteem among his own Nation. With which Forces the Catholick Lords designed without any delay to set upon the Enemies Army. But the Prince of Conde being advertised of the arri­val of those foreign supplies, having slighted Baugency, that the Catholicks might make no use of it, in great haste retired to Orleans, absolutely quitting the field, without making any other attempt.

In Orleans it was no longer possible to keep the Army together, partly through want of money to give the Souldiers their pay, without which, being shut up in the Town, they could not possibly live; partly, because the Nobility that followed the War as Voluntiers, having spent what they brought with them, could no longer subsist. Wherefore having called a Council, the chief of the Hugonots determined to turn this necessity to their best advantage. For not being able to resist the Kings Army with the Forces they then had, nor to remain shut up within those walls; they took a reso­lution to separate themselves into divers places, and to defend those Towns and for­tresses which they held in other parts of the Kingdom; in this manner subsisting as well as they might, until they could have such aids from their friends and confederates, that they might again meet the Enemy in the field.

Their chief hopes of Succours were from the Protestant Princes of Germany, The Prote­stants of Ger­many are Lu­therans. (so they call those, who separated from the Catholick Church, do follow the opinions of Luther) and from Elizabeth Queen of England, not only an adherent to the same Re­ligion, but also desirous, through the ancient Maxims of that Nation, to have some footing in the Kingdom of France. The Princes of Germany had already freely pro­mised them their aid; and there wanted nothing but only to send Commanders and Money to conduct and pay the Souldiers.Conditions of­fered by Queen Eliza­be [...]h of Eng­land to the Hugonots. But the Queen of England proposed harder and more difficult conditions, without which she denied to afford them any Succours. For she offered to imbrace the protection of the Confederates, and to send into France an Army of eight thousand Foot, with a great train of Artillery, at her own charge▪ and to maintain it there till the War were fully ended; that at the same time with her Fleet mann'd with Land-forces she would invade the Coasts of Normandy and Brit­tany, to divert and divide the Kings Forces; but upon these terms, That the Confe­derates should promise in recompence, to cause Calais to be restored to her, (a strong place situated upon the narrow Sea in Picardy, held many years by the Kings of Eng­land her Predecessors, and at last recovered by the Duke of Guise in the Reign of Henry the Second.) But because the Hugonots were not Masters of that place, she demanded that in the mean time they should consign to her Havre de Grace, a Fortress and Port of less consequence upon the coast of Normandy; and that they should receive her Gar­risons into Diepe and Rouen. These conditions seemed to many intolerable, and not to be consented unto through any necessity whatsoever; knowing the infamy and pub­lick hate they should undergo, if they made themselves instruments to dismember the Kingdom of such important places, and bring into them the most cruel implacable ene­mies of the French Nation. But the Ministers, who in all deliberations were of great Authority, and in a manner reverenced as Oracles, alledged, that no consideration was to be had of worldly things, where there was question of the heavenly Doctrine, and propagation of GOD's Word. Wherefore all other things were to be contemned, so as Religion might be protected, and Liberty of Conscience established.

The Prince of Conde and the Admiral being desirous to continue their Commands, and necessitated by their own private affairs to pursue the enterprise, were of the same opinion: so that their Authority overcoming all opposition, after many consultations, it was at last concluded, to satisfie Queen Elizabeth, and by all means to accept the conditions proposed. To which effect they presently dispatched Monsieur de Brique­maut, and the new Vidame of Chartres, with Letters of credit from the Prince and the Confederates to confirm the agreement in England. Andelot and the Prince of Por­tian, with such a sum o [...] money as they could get together, went to sollicit the levies of the Germans; the Count de la Roch-foucaut went to Angoulesme;That Mont­gomery who killed H [...]n [...] the Second. the Count de Mont­gomery retired into Normandy; Monsieur de So [...]bize to Lyons; the Prince, the Admi­ral, Genlis, and Bouchavenes, stayed to defend Orleans, and the places adjacent. But [Page 70] many of the Commissioners for the confederacy which was treated with England, not being able to endure such dishonourable conditions, began to forsake them: amongst which, Monsieur de Pienne went over to the Kings Army, and the Sieur de Morvilliers, chosen by the Prince to be Governour of Rouen, that he might not be forced to admit an English Garrison into a Town of such consequence, leaving that charge, retired into Picardy to his own house.

Whilst by these means the Hugonots endeavoured to provide themselves with Forces, the Catholicks designed to make an attempt upon Orleans, as the chief sourse and seat of all the War. But in regard it was exceedingly well provided for Defence, and fur­nished with Munition of all kinds, they knew it was an enterprise of great difficulty. Wherefore first, to cut off from it the hopes of succours, they resolved to take in the places round about, that so they might afterwards with more facility straighten it with a siege; or being deprived of succours▪ assault it by force. For which purpose they raised their Camp the 11 of Iuly, and the Duke of Guise leading the Van, and the King of Navarre the Battalia, whilst every one of both sides expected to see them set­led before Orleans, they leaving that Town on the left hand, and passing sixteen leagues farther, on a suddain assailed Blois; which though it were full of people, beautified with one of the noblest Castles for a Kings house in the whole Kingdom, and situated upon the same side of the River of Loire; yet it was not so fortified that it could hope to make any long resistance against the Kings Army Wherefore, after the Souldiers which were in guard saw the Cannon planted, being terrified with the danger, they passed the River upon the Bridge, and throwing away their Arms, sought to save them­selves by flight: which though the Duke of Guise knew, who with the Van-guard was nearest to the wall, yet being more intent to take the Town than to pursue those that ran away, whilst the Citizens dispatched their Deputies to capitulate, he sent a party of foot to make an assault; who finding the breach forsaken that was made by a few Cannon shot, took the place without resistance; which by the fury of the Souldiers (their Commanders not forbidding them) was miserably sackt.

From Blois the Army marched towards Tours, a much more noble, populous and ancient City,Blois taken and pillaged by the Kings Ar­my, and Tours the first As­sault. wherein the name of the Hugonots first took vigour and force: but the people, who for a few days at the bginning of the Siege made shew that they would stand resolutely upon their defence, when they perceived the Trenches were made, and the Artillery planted, of their own accord cast out the Commanders, and ren­dered the place, saving their goods and persons; which conditions were intirely ob­served.

In the mean while, the Mareshal de St. Andre with the Rear of the Army went ano­ther way to besiege Poictiers, a City likewise famous for antiquity, great and spacious, where the [...]atholicks thought they should find a strong resistance. But it fell out to be a work of much less difficulty than they imagined. For the Mareshal having bat­tered it two days together with his Artillery, and made an assault upon the Town, ra­ther to try the resolution of the Defendants, than with any hope to gain it; the Cap­tain of the Castle, (who till then had shew'd himself more violent than any other of the Hugonot party) suddenly changing his mind, began to play from within with his Cannon upon those who stood ready to receive the Assault: by which unexpected ac­cident the Defendants losing their courage, not knowing in such a tumult what way to take for their safety, as men astonished, left the entry of the breach free to the As­sailants; who not finding any resistance, entered furiously into the Town, which by the example of Blois, Poictiers taken and sa [...]kt. was in the heat of the fight sackt, and many of the peole put to the sword.

The Catholicks having thus in a few days taken those Towns which from Poictiou and Touraine backed and succoured Orleans, and stopt the passage for supplies from Guyenne, Gas [...]oigne, and other places beyond the River; it remained, that turning backwards, and passing to the other side, they should take in Bourges; so to cut off those aids that might come from Auvergne, Lyonoise, and other Provinces joyning to Daulphine. Bourges (anciently called Avaricum) is one of the greatest and most po­pulous Cities in France; a residence for Students of all sorts, but especially famous for the Civil Law. This Town being within twenty leagues of Orleans, and by reason of the Traffick of Wooll, as also through the great concourse of Scholars, much reple­nished with strangers, was at the beginning possest by the Hugonots; and afterwards, as an important passage for the Commerce of those Provinces that being nearest de­pended [Page 71] upon it, diligently guarded and fortified; so that now foreseeing a Siege, Monsieur d' Yvoy Brother to Genlis, was entered thereinto, with two Thousand French foot, and four Troops of horse, a Garison both in consideration of it self, and for the reputation of the Commander, esteemed sufficient to make a long defence; and in­deed with these Forces at the first coming of the Kings Army, which was the tenth of August, the Defendants shewed such fierceness and confidence, that they not only valiantly defended the Walls, but continually sallying out night and day, vext the Camp with hot skirmishes; in one of which advancing just to the Trenches, though they could not do so much hurt as they intended, yet they killed five Captains, with many Gentlemen and common Souldiers; and Monsieur de Randan, General of the Foot, was so grievously wounded, that notwithstanding the great care that was had of him, he died within few days after.

In the mean while, the Admiral issuing out of Orleans, over-run all the Country about with his horse; and having had intelligence of a great quantity of Artillery and Munition that was going from Paris to the Army, he set upon it in the night at Cha­steaudune, where after a long dispute, having defeated the Convoy which was of four Companies, he brake the greatest pieces, and burning the Engins that belonged to them, carried the lesser to Orleans, together with such Munition as could be saved from the fire and pillage of the Souldiers. But the Duke of Guise being very intent upon his business at Bourges, after he had so far advanced the Trenches, that he be­gan to batter the Wall, and with divers Mines had thrown down many Bastions that the Hugonots raised to defend the weakest parts thereof; Monsieur d' Yvoy not an­swering the opinion that was conceived of him, began to hearken to propositions of agreement, which were proposed to him from the Camp. Wherefore the Duke of Nemours being gone with a safe conduct to treat,Bourges re [...] ­dred upon condition. upon the last day of August he deli­vered up the Town upon these conditions, That he and all his that were with him should have a pardon for what was past; That the Souldiers should be free to go where they pleased; yet with this Obligation, neither to bear Arms against the King, nor in favour of the Hugonots; That the City should not be plundered, and the Inha­bitants enjoy a Liberty of Conscience in all points conformable to the Edict of Ianuary. Which Capitulation, though it were afterwards performed, Yvoy not being able to bear the [...]ate and ignominious reproaches that were cast upon him by his accusers, retired himself to his own private house; and St. Remy and Brichanteau, men of known cou­rage, went over to the Kings service.

In the mean while, matters in the State were drawn into another course contrary to the former. For the resolution of the Hugonot Lords being known not only to intro­duce foreign power into France, to which end they had sent two of their principal men into Germany, but also to alienate Havre de Grace, and to put Diepe and Rouen, places of such importance upon the frontiers of the Kingdom, into the hands of the English, who in all times had been bitter enemies to the Crown; there was not only a general hate conceived against them, but the Queen her self, who till then had ear­nestly endeavoured a peace, and formerly supported that faction as a counter-poize to the Guises, (for she never believed that they would ever fall into such pernitious delibe­rations) now with an incredible hate, and through fear that the English might be brought in to settle themselves in these places; resolved sincerely to unite her self with the Catholick party, and to make a War in good earnest upon the Hugonots: de­siring to make it clear to all the World, that she held no intelligence with them, (contrary to that which was believed at the first) esteeming it a double loss and a double shame, that the English, who by her husband were victoriously driven out of Fran [...], should get footing there again during the time of her Government. Where­fore stirred up with an implacable displeasure against the Hugonots, being so perplexed in mind that she could find no rest, she determined with her self, not to interpose any further delays or impediments, but to endeavour with all her force their final oppres­sion. And for a preamble to what was to be done, having brought the King solemnly to the Court of Parliament in Paris, after grievous complaints made by the High Chan­cellor of the insolences of those his Subjects, who not content to over-run and spoil their Country, and to usurp all the Offices and Regal power, had perfidiously con­spired to bring in the English and Germans to the destruction of his Kingdom,The Heads of the Hugonot Faction are declared Re­bels. caused Gaspar de Coligny late Admiral of France, Francis d' Andelotte, with Odett de Chastillon, his Brothers, and namely all other notable persons of that party to be declared Rebels; [Page 72] depriving them of their Charges, Honours, Nobility, Goods and Revenues, as con­fiscate to the State. And because the Hugonots with their riots laying desolate Cities and Provinces, destrowing the Churches, throwing down Monasteries, and filling all places with rapine and Blood, were become so outragious, that it was impossible lon­ger to suffer them; they were likewise declared publick enemies to the King and the Crown; and authority granted to the people at the ringing of the Toquesaint an allarum Bell used as the ringing of the bells backwards with us. Toquesaint to rise up in arms against them, and to kill or take their persons, and deliver them over to Justice. The Prince of Conde was not at all mentioned; but, making use of that Art first invented by the Hugonots, it was spread abroad both by report and in writing, that he was by the violence of the other Confederates with-held by force, and against his will remained in that Army; the Rebels making use of the Authority of his Per­son, though he were in his heart averse to all their proceedings.

After which businesses, the Queen publickly bewailing her self that the Hugonots had abused the Clemency which she had shewed in supporting them, and oftentimes in favouring them also; and desiring to make it appear how zealous she was against them, and by any means to expel foreign Forces out of the Kingdom, went her self in person with the King to the Army before Bourges; where she shewed a manly cou­rage, in going up and down in the Camp, though very much anoyed by the Cannon from the Town; and with a singular constancy animated the Souldiers and Com­manders to perform their duties. But Bourges being taken, and all ways of succours cut off from Orleans, the Catholicks intended without any other delay to besiege it, if the Queen had not proposed, That it was better first to recover Rouen, being so principal a City, of so large an extent, and lying so opportunely to invade the bosom of France, before the English had established themselves there, by making the Forti­fications stronger than they were at the present.The English received by the Hugonots to Havre de Grace, Diepe, and R [...]en. For the confederacy between the H [...]gonots and Queen Elizabeth being already concluded, the English had passed the Sea, and received Havre de Grace into their possession, and placed Garisons in Diepe and Rouen.

The opinions in the Kings Council were very divers. Some thought it most expe­dient first of all to make an attempt upon Orleans, and to cut off at one blow the head of the Hugonot Faction. For the chief of that party being suppressed, who were in the Town, and the Magazine destroyed, all the rest would be overcome with ease and facility. But the King of Navarre and the Queen more intent to cast out the English than any thing else, thought, that Rouen once taken, and the aids of England cut off from the Hugonots, Orleans would be more easily reduced, which for the present they thought very difficult, and a work of much time; by which the English would have the commodity to confirm their possession, and perhaps make themselves Masters of all the Province of Normandy, where the Duke of Aumale had so inconsiderable a force▪ that he was not able to make head against them. This opinion at last through the Queens inclination prevailed; and it was resolved without any delay to go upon that design.

The situation and commodities of Rouen are admirable. For the River Seine, up­on which it stands, rising out of the Mountains in Burgundy, and distending it self through the plains of the Isle of France, after it joyns with the Matrona, commonly called Marne, and by the confluence of many other little streams, is made deep and Navigable, passeth through the midst of the City of Paris, and then running with an impetuous torrent quite through Normandy, falls with an exceeding wide channel into the Ocean; which ebbing and flowing, and continually filling and feeding the River with salt water, affords spacious room for Vessels of any burthen to ride. On the right hand of the mouth, where the River at last falls into the Sea, over against England stands Havre de Grace, a secure large Port, which with modern Fortifications, being reduced into the form of a Town by King Francis the First, serves for a defence against the in­cursions of the English. But in the mid-way between Havre de Grace and Paris, near to the place whither the salt waters flow, mingled with the fresh, about twenty two leagues from the Sea, stands the City of Rouen upon the River, grown noble, rich, abundant, and populous by the commerce of all Northern Nations. From one side of the fortress of Havre de Grace upon the right hand, a tongue of land advancing many miles into the Sea, makes as it were a spacious Peninsula, which the common people call the Country of Caux, and in the extreamest point and promontory thereof is Diepe, placed The Author is a little mi­staken in his Cosmogra­phy; for D [...]epe stands just over against [...]ye. directly opposite to the mouth of the Thames, a most famous River in England. [Page 73] These places which lie so fitly to damage France, and to be supplyed by their Fleets, the English had made themselves Masters of. For though at Diepe and at Rouen French Governours were chosen by the Council of the Confederates; yet the Garisons kept there by Queen Elizabeth being very strong, they could so curb them, that all the rest was absolutely at their dispose.

The Resolution being taken to besiege Rouen, the King and the Queen marching together with the Army, in fourteen days arrived at Darnetel, at which place less than two leagues distant from the City, the whole Camp lodged the 25 day of September. The chief Commanders of the Army, considering that the body of the City is defended on the one side by the River, beyond which there is nothing but the Fauxburg S. Sever, and on the other side by S. Catherines Mount, upon the top of which is placed an an­cient Monastery reduced into the form of a Modern Fortress; they thought it best to make themselves Masters of the Mount: it appearing very difficult to make any attempt or assault upon the Town it self, if they did not first gain the Fort without, which flanked and commanded the entrances on all parts. Upon this deliberation, Sebastien de Luxemburg Signeur de Martigues made Colonel General of the Foot in the place of Randan, advanced the night of the 27 of September, and sate down under St. Cathe­rines Mount, in the great High-way that goes towards Paris; which being hollow almost like a Trench, covered them in great part from the shot of the Fort.

The Count of Montgomery who commanded in the Town in chief with 2000 English and 1200 French Foot, four Troops of Horse, and more than 100 Gentlemen of qua­lity, besides the Citizens, having foreseen, that the enemy must of necessity first take the out-works, besides the old fortifications on the top of the Mount, had raised half way up the Hill a Half-moon of earth; which having the Fort behind, and fronting upon the campaigne, might not only hinder the ascent, but also flank the walls of the Town, and force the Catholick Army to spend much time and lose many men in the taking of it. Nor▪ was the effect contrary to what he intended: For though Monsieur de Martigues, leaving the direct way, and ascending in a crooked line, ad­vanced by help of the spade between the Fort and the Half-moon to gain the top of the Hill; yet the work proceeded with much difficulty and great slaughter of the Soul­diers; who the more the Foot advanced with their gabions and trenches, were so much the more exposed to the Cannon planted upon the Fort, to the annoyance of the Musquet shot, to the fury of the fireworks, and other inventions, with which they within very resolutely defended themselves. To these main difficulties was added the quality of the weather, which being in the beginning of Autumn, as it always falls out in those parts, was very rainy: so as the waters continually falling from the top of the Hill into that low place where the Army lay, it was no small inconvenience unto them. Likewise the great Sallies the Hugonots made night and day were not of little moment: For though they were valiantly sustained, so that the success thereof was not very doubtful; yet they kept the whole Army in motion, and in work. Nor were their Horse less diligent than the Foot in their Trenches; insomuch as many times the Siege was interrupted and hindered.

Considering these so great impediments, it would have proved a tedious painful business, if the negligence or arrogance of the defendants had not rendered it very short and easie. For Iean de Hemery Signeur de Villers, who afterwards married a Sister of Henry Davila's that wrote this History, being upon the guard in the Trenches with his Regiment, observed, that about noon there was very little stirring in the Fort, and that they appeared not in such numbers upon the Ravelins as at other times of the day. Wherefore having sent for a Norman Souldier called Captain Lewis, who two days before was taken prisoner in a Sally they made out of the Fort, he asked him as by way of discourse, What was the reason that at certain hours so few of the Hugo­nots were to be seen upon the Rampart? The Souldier not concealing the truth, with­out looking farther what the consequence thereof would be, told him that they within had so little apprehension of the Catholick forces, and despised them in such a man­ner, that they used every day, for recreation, and to provide themselves of necessa­ries, to go in great companies to the Town; and that through custom and for con­venience, they made choice of that time of the day. By which words Villers appre­hending an opportunity to surprize the Fort, acquainted the Duke of Guise and the Constable with his design; who not being wanting to so good an occasion, secretly causing ladders to be provided, commanded, that at the hour appointed, when they [Page 74] saw least stirring, they should on a suddain assault St. Catherines Fort, and at the same instant the Half-moon also, so much the more to divide the enemies forces.

Martigues, whose place it was to have a care of the business, chose the same Villers to make the assault upon St. Catherines, and St. Coulombe a Colonel of Foot likewise for the Half-moon; and having without noise put all things in a readiness, at the time prefixed with a Cannon shot gave the Signal to fall on. Whereupon Villers with his men instantly running up the steep of the Hill, fastened his ladders to the Walls, before the enemy could possibly have time to make use of their Cannon or small shot to keep them off. But yet those within, though few in number, couragiously presenting themselves at the assault, there became a hot bloody conflict with short weapons, in which as the manner is, the valiantest falling at the first encounter, the defendants were so weakened, that they could scarce longer resist. On the contrary, Villers being sup­plied with fresh men, and aided by Martigues, began to get the better of the enemy; and though grievously wounded with a Pike in the face, and a Musquet shot in the left thigh, yet continuing the fight, he at last planted the Kings Flag upon the Keep of the Castle. Whereupon, two great Squadrons of Foot that were appointed for a re­serve running to his assistance, in a short time they made themselves Masters of the Fort,The Fort of Rouen taken. before the Defendants could be succoured either by the Town or their Com­panions. The same success had the assault made upon the Half-moon, and in as short a time; but the Catholicks gained the Bastion with loss of much blood; and the Defendants not having means to retreat, died all valiantly, fighting to the last man.

St. Catherines Mount being taken, there remained still without the Walls, the Faux-Bourg of St. Hilary, well fortified, and a good Garison placed in it by the Hugonots. Against which having planted their Cannon, by reason the works were of earth, it wrought little effect; notwithstanding the Catholick Commanders caused a fierce as­sault to be made upon it; which proving likewise vain by reason of the strength of the Ramparts, and valour of the Defendants, at length changing resolution, they planted twelve great pieces in the middle of St. Catherines Hill: from the advantage of which place they began with great noise and slaughter to batter the houses and ram­piers which the enemies had raised; by the fury whereof the whole Faux-Bourg being in a manner beaten down, and the Catholicks ready to renew the assault, those with­in having fired the houses that were left, retired safe into the Town, which was now naked of all defence but the Walls only. But the Defendants by their frequent sallies, and divers assaults made upon them, losing many of their men, the Count of Mont­gomery, having recourse to the last remedy, sent to desire succours of the English at Havre de Grace, though he saw plainly it was a thing of exceeding great difficulty for them to effect. For the Kings forces having taken possession of Quilbeuf and Harfleur, two places in the mid-way between Rouen and Havre de Grace, upon the River, they placed there divers pieces of Cannon to hinder the passage of Ships or other little Barks, which holpen by the Flood that enters there with great force, mount the stream to Rouen. Notwithstanding, the English, desirous by any means to help their friends, resolved to expose themselves to the worst of danger; and stealing up the River in the night, in great part avoided the violence of the Cannon, which being shot at ran­dom in the dark, did them but little hurt. Wherefore by the advice of Bartolomeo Campi, and Italian Engineer, the Catholicks caused divers Vessels laden with stones and gravel, and fastned together with chains, to be sunk in the River, which so stopped and pestred it, that neither the enemies Ships nor Gallies could pass: only some small Bark drawing but little water, with much ado got safe into the Town. But this supply being insensible, and Rouen still in necessity, there appearing no other way possible to succour it, the English resolved to make their last attempt; and being come in the night with a good number of Vessels to the bar, though through the fury of the Cannon and fire-works, part of them perished, and others returned back; yet in one place the chain being broken, three Gallies and one other Vessel got through, which carried seven hundred men, munition and money for their present relief.

In the mean while the rains of Autumn still increasing, by reason whereof the Ca­tholick Army that lay in a low dirty place, suffered very much; yet the Commanders not disheartned by the little supplies that were conveyed into the Town, pressing the siege, began to batter from St. Hillaries Gate to the Gate Martinville; between which advancing with their Trenches, they had pierced the counterscarp. The second day [Page 75] so much of the Wall was thrown down in the middle of the Curtain, that the Squa­drons might easily march on to the assault; and already Sarlabous, Villers, and Sancte Coulumbe's Regiments that were to keep the first front, prepared themselves for the onset; when the King of Navarre, An [...]ho [...]y of Vendo [...]ne King of Navarre shot in the shoulder. being gone into the Trenches to discover how things stood, received a Musquet shot in the left shoulder, which breaking the bone, and tearing the nerves, he presently fell down upon the place as dead. This accident put off the assault for that day; for being carried to his own quarter, before they looked to his hurt, all the other chief Commanders went thither, and being after­wards dressed with great care in presence of the King and Queen, his wound, by reason of the great orifice the Bullet had made, was judged by the Physicians to be mortal. So as between that time and the Council which was called thereupon, the day was so far spent, that the assailants without any farther attempt were sent for back to guard the Trenches.

Yet this slackned not the siege: For besides the care of the Duke of Guise and the Constable, who from the beginning had in effect the charge of the Army, the Queen also assisted her self in person; who by her presence and speeches adding courage to the Souldiers, caused the battery still to be continued in the same manner; till with two thousand shot there was such a large breach made, that they went on in very good order to the assault: which being begun with great fierceness by the assailants, and received with no less resolution by the Hugonots, continued with great slaughter on both sides from twelve of the clock at noon till the evening; the Catholicks not be­ing able to make themselves Masters of the wall. The night after the assault, those of Diepe endeavoured to put succours into the Town: to which purpose the Sieur de Corillan being advanced into a wood not far off, with four hundred firelocks, he thought by the benefit of the night to delude the guards, and to steal in at the gate that answers to the lower part of the River. But being discovered by Monsieur d' Anville, who with his light horse scoured the fields, he was with little difficulty de­feated and routed, and the Town remained hopeless of any aid. Wherefore having already so many days sustained such hot skirmishes, and the violence of the Cannon, and it being therefore known, that they within were reduced almost to nothing; the twenty sixth of October in the morning about break of day, the Catholicks,Rouen taken by the Catho­licks, and sackt. not to lose more time, went very fiercely, but in good order, to make another assault: which they of the Town, through weariness and weakness, being not able to with­stand; Sancte Coulombe, he that took the Bastion upon the Mount, was the first with his men that passed the breach, and entred into the City, right against the Cele­stines street, though mortally wounded, and falling upon the place, within three days after he ended his life. At the same time Villers Regiment forced their passage at another breach; and Sarlabous entred at the Street of St. Claire, but not without some difficulty, by reason of a barricado of cask that was made in the way. After these that were the first, entred furiously the whole Army, and with great slaughter of the Soul­diers and Inhabitants, sackt the Town, in the heat of their anger sparing no persons whatsoever, but putting all to the Sword both armed and unarmed; only the Churches and things sacred, by the great diligence and exact care of the Commanders, were preserved from violence.

The Count of Montgomery, when he saw things in a desparate condition, and the Town reduced into the power of the enemy; getting into one of the Gallies that brought the succours, wherein he had before imbarqued his wife and children, passing down the River through all the Catholicks Cannon, saved himself in Havre de Grace, and from thence without delay passed over the Sea into England. There saved them­selves with him Monsieur de Columbiere, and some few of his servants; all the rest being left to the discretion of the Conquerour, came to divers ends. Captain Iean Crose, who had introduced the English into Havre de Grace, being fallen into the Kings hands, was as a Rebel, drawn with four Horses. Mandreville, who from being the Kings Officer, carrying his Majesties money with him, becam [...] a follower of the English; and Augustine Marlorat, who from an Augustine Frier, turned to be a Hu­gonot Minister, were both condemned to be hanged. Many were slain, and ma­ny remained prisoners in the Army, who afterwards redeemed themselves for a ransom.

The City continued forty eight hours at the mercy of the Souldiers; the third day the King making his entry at the breach together with the Parliament and the Queen [Page 76] his Mother, who in the heat of the sack sent all her Gentlemen and the Archers of her guard, to take care that the women which fled into Churches might not be violated; there was an end of the slaughters and rapines committed by the Army, which being drawn out of the City, quartered in the neighbouring Villages.

In the mean while, the King of Navarre through the pain of his wound finding no rest either in body or mind, would by all means imbarque upon the River to go to St. Maure, a place near Paris, whither by reason of the wholsomness of the Air, and privacy, he used often for recreation to retire himself; and nothing prevailing that the Physicians could say to the contrary, he caused himself to be carried into a boat, accompanied by the Cardinal his Brother, the Princes de la Roche-sur, and Ludovico Gonzaga, with some few servants, amongst which some were Catholicks, and others Hugonots, and the principal among them Giovan Vicenzo Lauro, then a Physician, by birth a Calabrian, who was afterwards Bishop and Cardinal. But he was scarce ar­rived at Andeli, a few leagues from Rouen, when through the motion of the journey his feaver increasing upon him,The King of Navarre dieth. he began to lose his senses, and in a short time after died.

He was a Prince, as of high birth, so of a noble presence and affable behaviour; and if he had lived in other times, to be remembred amongst the most famous men of his age. But the sincerity and candour of mind with which he was indued, and his mild tractable disposition in the distractions of a Civil War, held him all his life­time in care and pain, and many times doubtful and ambiguous in his deliberations. For on the one side, being drawn by the headlong violent nature of his Brother, and spurred on by the ardour of his Faction, in which he was the principal person; and on the other side restrained by his love of justice, and a natural inclination disposed to peace, and averse from civil broyls; he appeared many times fickle in his resolutions, and of a wavering judgment. For at the first he was reckoned and persecuted amongst those that fought to disturb the quiet of the Kingdom; and afterward was seen head of the contrary Faction, bitterly pursuing those that were up in arms. And for mat­ters of Religion, sometimes through his Wives perswasion and Beza's preaching, in­clining to the Calvinists party; sometimes through the general opinion and the Cardi­nal of Lorain's eloquence, to the Catholick Religion; he became mistrusted by both parties, and left behind him an uncertain doubtful report of his belief. Many were of opinion, that being in his heart a Calvinist, or rather inclining to that which they call the Augustan Confession; yet nevertheless his vast insatiable Ambition withdrew him from that party, which, perceiving the Prince his Brother through his high spirit and resolution, was of much greater reputation amongst them, made him chuse rather to be the first among the Catholicks, than the second among the Hugonots. He died in the two and fortieth year of his age, and in such a time when experience had made him so wise, as would perhaps have produced effects very contrary to the common opinion that was conceived of him. He left behind him his Wife Queen Ieane, with the title and relicks of the Kingdom of Navarre, and only two children, Henry Prince of Bearne then nine years old, and the Princess Catarine an Infant, who remaining at Pau and Nera [...] with their Mother, by whom they were very carefully brought up, at the same time received deep impressions of the Hugonot Religion.

Now whilst so much blood was spilt on both sides at Rouen, Andelot with great pains and diligence raising the aids of the Protestant Princes of Germany, had gotten together a great company of Horse and Foot; and in the Territories of Strasbourg be­ing joined with the Prince of Porcien, who brought with him a Convoy of two hundred Horse of the French Gentry, he considered the best he could what course was to be taken to joyn his Forces with the rest of the Confederates.

The Mareshal of St. Andre being sent upon the Frontiers with thirteen Troops of Ge [...]s d' Arms, and two Regiments of Foot to hinder his passage, lay upon the way which by Rheims and Troye leads directly out of Germany into France: and Francis of Cleves Duke of Neve [...]s, who was Governour of Champaign, staid with all the Forces of the Province between Chaalon and Vitry, to stop the other passage from Lorain to Paris. But Andelot, considering if he were encountred by the enemy, he could not long keep his men together for want of money; and if he prolonged his journey, he should not come soon enough to succour his friends already reduced to an extream point of necessity, resolved rather to contend with the difficulties of the passage, and impediments of the ways, than the opposition of the enemy. Wherefore to deceive [Page 77] the Catholicks, making shew to keep the ordinary way, and having marched so two days, till he came to the confines of Lorain, he raised his Camp silently in the night, and taking the way on the left hand, through rough places full of swift and rapid streams, marcht with exceeding diligence out of the great Roads, till he came into Burgundy; and from thence, notwithstanding the continual rain and dirt which in that Country is every where very deep, preventing even Fame it self, brought all his men, though toiled and weary, to Mountargis; where at last he joined with the Prince of Conde and the Admiral, having led five thousand Foot and four thousand Horse so many leagues, excepting from the injury of the weather, safe from all other dis­asters.

This so powerful and seasonable supply took off in great part the grief and terrour the Hugonots were strucken into for the loss of Rouen. But their hopes were ex­ceedingly diminished by a defeat given at the same time to the Baron of Duras; who being a man of great dependences, had raised a great number of men in Gascoigne and the adjacent Provinces, so as they amounted to five thousand Horse and Foot; with which force indeavouring to make his passage between the Catholick Towns to suc­cour his party at Orleans, being set upon in the way by Monsieur de Monluc, and Mon­sieur de Burie, who commanded for the King in those parts; the most of his men were cut off, and he himself with some few Horse escaped with very much difficulty. The Hugonots in divers places received many other, though not great losses; by which misfortunes the reputation of the Faction every where diminishing, the Prince and the Admiral resolved to undertake some notable Enterprize, to recover their lost cre­dit; and so much the rather, because being straightned for money, they knew not how to maintain their Germans, if they did not feed and pay them by the pillage of the Country. But what the Enterprize should be, they agreed not between them­selves. For the Prince, measuring all things by the greatness of his own thoughts, had a mind on a sudden to assault Paris; perswading himself, that in such a multitude of people, there must needs be many favourers of the Hugonots party, and many others inclined to his name; who when an opportunity was offered, would presently shew themselves. He believed farther, and sought to perswade, that the Kings Ar­my, being imployed in Normandy, could not come soon enough to aid that City; by the invasion and taking whereof, they should not only get great store of provisions of Arms, Munition, and Artillery, of which they began to be in no little want; but also have it in their power, with the contributions of so rich and numerous a people, to furnish themselves abundantly with money; by means whereof, they should both gain a great reputation, and an exceeding advantage over the contrary Faction.

The Ministers adhered to this opinion, through the bitter hate they bare to the Pa­risians, ever constant reverencers of the Catholick Religion, and implacable enemies to their preachings. But the Admiral Andelot, and the more experienced Souldiers, esteeming the enterprize rather impossible than difficult, disswaded them from it; al­ledging, that the Mareshal of Brissac, the new Governour, had cast out all those who were suspected to depend on their party; wherefore there was no reason to hope for any motion among that people, so united together for the preservation of the Catho­lick Faith; and that the Kings Army, having had good success at the siege of Rouen, and secured Normandy, would have time sufficient to aid that City, from which it was but eight and twenty leagues distant; whereas they on the other side were to pass four and thirty leagues, through places infested with the enemy, which would very much retard the expedition of their march; And what Artillery, what provisions for War had they, wherewith they designed to assail Paris? a City of so vast an extent, and by nature so replenished with people, who through custom were ever armed, having but four pieces of Battery, and very little quantity of munition? How should they draw on their Army to an Enterprize which would prove of such length, not only without money, but also without means to sustain and nourish their men? That it would be better to recover the places near about Orleans, and open the way for pro­visions and supplies, nourishing the Army with the pillage that was near at hand and secure, than to hazard themselves upon an attempt that would infallibly prove vain. But these reasons took no effect: for the Prince, perswaded by his own will, and the consent of the major part of his adherents, resolved to venture all upon this Enter­prize. Wherefore the Army being mustered together, and such provision of victuals made as the present necessity would permit, it moved without further delays that way.

[Page 78]In the mean while, after the taking of Rouen, the Town of Diepe, having cast out the English Garison, rendered it self to the King: the same did Caen and Talaise, Towns in the lower Normandy, which largely extends it self upon the coasts of the Ocean beyond the banks of the River; nor was there any place that remained in the power of the enemies, save only Havre de Grace, which the Queen had resolved to set upon with the whole Army, that so they might be absolutely freed from the fear of the English. But news being come of the arrival of the Germans, and that the Prince with great preparations moved with the Camp through Beausse, (so they call that Country which lies between Orleans and the Isle of France) the Queen with the Duke of Guise and the Constable, in whose hands remained the power of the Government, resolved, putting off the Siege of Havre de Grace, to bend their course to meet with the Hugonots Army. Wherefore having left Monsieur de Villebon Governour of Rouen, and the Rhynegrave with his Horse to secure the Country of Caux, and hinder the Eng­lish from making in-roads into the Country, the King and the Queen, with all the re­mainder of the Army, marched along the Seine towards Paris.

The Prince of Conde going to besiege Pa [...]is, amuseth him­self before Corbeil, by which means he fails of his principal de­sign.The Prince marching very close through the Enemies Country, took without much difficulty Piviers, Monthery and Dordane; and having given the pillage thereof to his Army, went on with all possible expeditions to Paris. But Corbeil, a little inconside­rable Town upon the River of Seine, interrupted his journey: For four Companies of French Foot being, contrary to the Princes expectation, entred thereinto, it made such a resolute defence, as held his army play many days to no purpose, being through an­ger rather than mature deliberation, obstinately bent whatever happened to take it. But the Mareshal of St. Andre following Andelot, though at a distance, with an intent to get into Paris, having by another way gotten before him, he was constrained to raise the siege with loss of time and credit, besides the total ruine of the principal de­sign; which depended wholly upon expedition. For having spent many days there in vain, the Catholick Commanders in the mean while discovering his intent, had with the King and Queen in person brought the whole Army unto the Walls of Paris; and with much ease and commodity fortified the Suburbs, and distributed their men in very good order to their several quarters. The Prince lodged the twenty third day of November at La Saussayea Nunnery, who in that terrour had abandoned it; and the twenty fourth day at Ville-Iuif, two leagues from the Suburbs of Paris. But the twenty fifth day in the morning, though much fallen from their hopes, yet resolved to try their fortune, the Army being put in a readiness, advanced to assault the Faux-Bourg of St. Victor. This attempt at the first seemed very successful. Six hundred light Horse that were sent out to skirmish and discover the proceeding of the enemy, when they saw all the Army come resolutely towards them, ran away in such a head­long manner, that many doubted they fled rather through treachery than fear. With which unexpected tumult the Foot being disordered who guarded the Ramparts of the Faux-Bourg, they began already to think of retiring themselves into the City; and the people full of terrour and confusion cried out to shut the Gates, and abandon the Suburbs. But the Duke of Guise coming thereupon, so settled all things with his presence, that there was no more to be feared for the present, or the future. In this occasion Philip Strozzi issuing out with 1200 Foot to back the Horse, gave a notable testimony of his valour; for being abandoned by his men, and finding himself ingaged in the midst of the Hugonots Army, he retired under the ruines of a broken Wind­mill, being a place, by reason of the height, of some advantage, and there so resolutely defended himself, that it was not possible by all they could do, to drive him from thence; but he alone made it good against a multitude of the enemies that used their utmost endeavours to take that Post. The Prince nevertheless, not amusing himself therewith, but encouraged with the success of their first encounter, fiercely assailed the Faux-Bourgs in divers places; and for the space of two hours that the fight en­dured, not only the Art and Discipline of the Captain appeared, but also the readiness and courage of the Souldiers; notwithstanding, finding every where a gallant resi­stance, and the Cannon upon the Ramparts continually beating and galling upon his flank, he was constrained to draw off the Army for that time from the Walls, that he might have day enough to take up convenient Quarters. The weather was rainy, and the season cold; wherefore the Souldiers, not being able to lie abroad, the Army being divided into four parts, Monsieur de Muy and the Prince of Porcien lodged at Gentilly, Genlis at Monteriau, the Prince and the Admiral at Areveil, and Andelot with the Ger­mans [Page 79] at Cachan. There making many fires on high, and a great number of Cannon shot, they endeavoured to strike a terrour into the people,In Paris were 800000 Inha­bitants; yet during the Siege neither the Lecturers nor the Law­yers disconti­nued their Lectures o [...] Audie [...]es. which might stir up some commotion in the Town; and yet notwithstanding, the City which is inhabited, as the report goeth, by 800000 persons, from the beginning of those disorders to the last, remained in such quiet, that the Professors in the University never discontinued their Lectures, nor the Judges forbore to sit in the Courts of Justice.

The third day the Prince, having put his men in order, advanced into the middle of a plain, inviting the Catholick Army to a Battel. But in stead of fighting, the Queen, desirous of a peace, to rid the Kingdom of foreign forces, or else by a Treaty of Accommodation to slacken the first heat of the Hugonots, to whom she knew no­thing was so pernicious as delays, sent first Monsieur de Gonnor, and afterwards Ram­bouillette, and the Bishop of Valence, to treat with the Prince of an Agreement; which in a few days advanced so far, that first the Constable, and afterwards the Queen her self coming to a parley with him, it was hoped a peace would follow; such large rea­sonable Conditions being proposed on the Catholick party, that the Hugonots them­selves knew not how to refuse them.

But the Prince and the Admiral, not knowing how to take off their minds from the hopes of rule and domination of France, and the Ministers never ceasing to demand li­berty and security; they could not agree upon any reasonable Conditions that were of­fered unto them; and the manifest desire that they saw in their adversaries to obtain a peace, as a sign of weakness, increased the ardour and obstinacy of the ignorant. Whereupon the Treaty having continued till the seventh of December, and the Hugo­nots not being able for want of money or means to nourish their Army to continue still in the same Quarters, the Treaty being absolutely broken, they resolved (to go off with the best reputation they could) the night following to assault with four thou­sand men the Faux-Bourgs of St. Germain, guarded by the Regiments of Champagni [...] and Picardy, which were counted not so good men as the rest, and being far on the other side from the enemy, not so carefully guarded. But advice thereof was given to the Duke of Guise, who thinking to assault the assailants in the flank, caused all the Cavalry to stand armed and in readiness from the beginning of the night till next morn­ing; and in the mean while with great diligence visiting the guards, kept the Foot awake, and under their Arms. Yet there was no need thereof; for the assailants, partly through the great compass they were to make, that they might not be disco­vered, partly through the darkness of the night, which is always full of errours, so spent the time, that they came not before the Faux-Bourg till break of day. By reason whereof, finding, besides, that the Catholicks were ready couragiously to re­ceive the assault, they retired for that day, without making any trial of their for­tune.

The night following they had the like design upon the Faux-Bourg of St. Mar [...]eau: but that was hindered by the deliberation of Genlis, who either perceiving, as he said himself, the wicked intentions of the chief of the Hugonots, or else offended as others said, that the Prince made but little accompt of him and his Brother after the ren­dering of Bourges, went over the same night with all his men into the City: by which accident, the Hugonots being very much troubled, and believing for certain, that he who was present at the deliberation had discovered the plot, they not only feared that their design upon St. Marceau would prove vain, but also that it might produce some sinister event. Wherefore they resolved, the same night to raise the Camp. To which purpose, whilst the Catholicks in readiness expected the assault, and the Duke of Guise thought on a suddain to fall upon one of their Quarters; they being risen in great silence without any noise either of Drum or Trumpet, first the carriages marcht away towards Beausse, after which many hours before day followed the Germans; and la [...]ly, the Prince and the Admiral, having fired Arcueil and Cachan where they lay, and many other neighbouring Villages, departed in great haste as soon as the light began to appear; taking the same way with the rest of the Army, not upon any cer­tain design, but only with the best commodity they could to get food for their men.

In the mean while, the Catholick Army was exceedingly increased. For whilst the time was artificially delayed in the Treaty, the Infantry of Gascoigne led by Monsieur de S [...]nsac arrived by the way of Mance: and the King of Spain, desirous also to have the Hugonots suppressed, had sent the King a supply of three thousand Spanish Foot. [Page 80] So that, not to keep such a great Force idle within the Walls of the City, the Kings Army the day after moved the same way that the Hugonots had taken; the Constable commanding as General, but with the authority and assistance of the Duke of Guise; and the King with the Queen-Mother resolved to remain together at Paris.

The Hugonots, having three days after taken and pillaged the Castle of St. Arnoul, were uncertain what resolution to take. For long to maintain the Army was altoge­ther impossible, through the want of money; having no revenue but their rapines, and for the insatiable importunity of the Germans, who never ceased begging or de­manding their pay; and to meet the enemy, and give him Battel, being much infe­riour in Foot, Artillery and other Provisions, appeared too rash and desparate a reso­lution. The Prince was of opinion, since the chief of the Catholicks with the whole Army had left Paris, and followed him into Beausse, to return thither with the same expedition that he departed; hoping he might enter the City upon a suddain, and seize upon the persons of the King and the Queen-Mother, before they could recover any succours from the Army. But this Proposition being made in their Council, was rejected by all the rest; considering the enemy would follow them so close, that he would come upon them either whilst they were making the assault, or else (supposing their design succeeded) whilst they were sacking the City; in either of which cases their Army would be manifestly ruined.

At the last, after many discourses, the Admirals opinion was approved of; who advised, That they should depart as secretly as they could with all the Army into Normandy. For if the Catholicks followed them not, they might make a prey of that so fertile and rich a Province, where they should have commodity to raise Moneys and recruit their Forces; and if they did follow him, notwithstanding they should have such a great advantage, that if they marched with any expedition, they might arrive at Havre de Grace before they could be overtaken; and there being joined with six thousand English, provided with twenty pieces of Cannon, store of Munition, and fifteen thousand Duckets, which Queen Elizabeth, according to the Articles of Agreement, sent to their aid; they might with such an addition of strength, either ha­zard a Battel, or continue the War with such counsels as should then be thought most expedient. With this determination, having all their unnecessary carriages and horses in the Castles of Beausse, they marched away out of the Territories of Chartres the 14 day of December, in the close of the evening, to get clear of the Enemy before he should be advertised of their departure; and so with great diligence took the way of Normandy.

The Catholicks knew not of the Princes rising till the day after; and to have cer­tain intelligence how they bent their course, staid till the evening of the 16 in the same place; so as the Hugonots got in a manner three days march before them. But passing through places full of Rivers and other impediments, in the worst season of the year, they were necessitated to lose much time; whereas the Catholicks taking the way over the Bridges through the Towns which all held for their party, made a more easie and expedite journey. The Admiral with the Germans led the Van, that they might be provided with the most convenient Quarters, and to feed and content them with the pillage of the Country; having nothing else to satisfie their wonted complaints and frequent mutinies. The Prince followed with all the Infantry in the Battel. The Count de Roch-fou-cault and the Prince of Porcieu, with the greatest part of the French Cavalry, brought up the Rear: and so the Army was disposed with the best advice that could be. For the Germans preying upon the paisants that were yet untoucht, more easily supported the want of pay; and the French Cavalry marching behind all the rest, were more ready to sustain the charge of the Catholicks if they should be over­taken. But the Prince passing near Dreux, entered into hope by some means or other to possess himself of it: and therefore confounding the Orders that were given, with­out making the Admiral acquainted with the design, hastned his march with such di­ligence, that his Battel was become the Van; the Rear of Horse, that followed with the same Expedition, was placed in the middle; and the Germans being left behind, contrary to the Order given, made the Rear. In the mean while the Enterprize of Dreux proving vain, the Admiral grievously offended at this lightness, thought it best to stay a day in the place where he was, that the Army might recover the Order it was in before. Which delay having given time to the Catholicks to overtake them, brought by consequence both Armies into a manifest necessity of fighting a Battel.

[Page 81] Dreux is twenty six leagues distant from Paris, situated upon the confines of Nor­mandy, joining to those Plains which were anciently called the Plains of the Druids; and on the one side of it runs a little River, which being Foordable in all places, is by those of the Country commonly called Eure. This River the Hugonots had passed the nineteenth, and being lodged in the Villages adjoining, expected to continue their march the morning after with like haste as before. But the Catholicks Army follow­ing them without staying any where, and a shorter way, arrived the same night at the River, and lodged in the houses thereabouts; so that there was nothing between both the Armies but the current of the water. Yet by reason of the Shrubs and ma­ny Trees that grew upon the banks, they could not see one another, though they were so near. It is most certain, that the Prince, who lodged next the River, lay there with such negligence,Negligence the ordinary defect of the Hugonots. (a fault which hath ever proved fatal to the Hugonots) that without placing the wonted Guards, or sending out Scouts▪ or any other care what­soever, he took his rest all night, and knew not of the Catholicks coming till next morning very late. But the Constable quite contrary, being a practised, experienced Captain, very well knowing the advantage he had, and making use of the Enemies carelesness, passed all his Army over the River the same night by Moon-light, with­out any obstacle or impediment; and going on a league forwarder upon the place where the enemies were lodged, possest the way by which, following their design, they were of necessity to pass. There, between two little Villages, the one called Spinal, the other Blainville, which stood by side the great Road, he placed his men with great commodity and no less silence.

The Army was divided into two parts; the first the Constable led, the other the Duke of Guise; but they disposed their Squadrons in such a manner, that in the Right-wing of the Constables were the Swisses flanckt by the Regiments of Fire-locks of Brittany and Picardy; and in the Left-wing of the Duke of Guise, the Germans flanckt with the Gascon and Spanish Infantry; and both the Wings closed and sheltred with the houses of the Villages, having Spinal on the right, and Blainville on the left hand; and besides the defence of the houses, they placed their Carriages and Artillery on each side; for the enemy being stronger in Horse, they doubted to be compassed in, and charged in the flanck. The main body of Cavalry being divided into little Troops of Lances, that they might use them the more conveniently, and were placed between the Squadrons of Foot; which in a manner flanckt and covered them; and only the light Horse taking their station out of the Battalions, were drawn up at the point of the Right-wing where the Champagn began to open it self, and with a large front possessed the pass of the great Road. But the Duke of Guises Battalion, which was in the Left-wing, though it was nearest to the enemy, yet was it so covered with a number of Trees that it had in flanck, and the houses of Blainville, that it could hardly be perceived by the Hugonots: and on the contrary, the Constable having his light Horse ranged upon the Champagn was easie to be discerned afar off; and by the largeness of their Front, might well be taken for the whole body of the Army.

The day being come, and the Admiral, who was farthest from the River, begin­ning according to the order given to march; on a suddain the Constables Squadrons appeared; and being assured by his Scouts, that they were the Catholicks, exclaiming against the negligence of his Officers, he turned about, saying aloud to them that were next him, The time is now come that we must no longer trust to our feet, as we have done hitherto; but like Souldiers, rely upon the strength of our hands: and having sent word to the Prince, that the enemy was arrived, he caused his Division to make a halt, that the rest of the Army might draw up to join in a Body upon the Champagn. The Prince, though he were advised by many to turn to the left hand, to recover a Village thereby, that he might either prolong, or else wholly avoid the necessity of fighting; yet the nearness of the enemy inciting his natural fierceness, he resolved rather to make a day of it without advantage in the open field, than to be af­terwards forced to disband the Army without making trial of his fortune. So hastning his march, he joined with the Van in the middle of the plain; and having with great diligence put his men in order, continued on his way, with an intention not to provoke the Catholicks, and to pursue his journey; but if he were provoked by them, not to refuse the Battel.

The Hugonots marching in this manner, and not having discovered the Squadrons of the Duke of Guise, (who causing his Foot to set one knee to the ground, and his [Page 82] Horse to retire into the Street of the Village, stood as it were in ambush) passed on without perceiving they left a part of the Enemies force behind them, and came up to the place where the Constables Battalia was drawn up: who perceiving the great advantage he had, (for the Duke of Guise fetching a little compass about, (they ha­ving inconsiderately ingaged themselves) might set upon them in the Rear) com­manded the signal to be given to the Battel with fourteen pieces of Cannon that were placed on the outside of the left Wing. Whereupon the Prince, though his light Horse were somewhat disordered, therewith putting himself in the head of his Division, led them on with great animosity to assault the Battalion of the Swisses, which in a man­ner fronted him. The first that fell in upon them were Monsieur de Muy, and Mon­sieur de Avaray with their Horse; then the Prince charging himself, and by his ex­ample the Baron of Liancourt, the Count de Saule, Monsieur de Duras, and the other Captains de Gens d' Arms, the whole force of that Battalia was turned upon the Swisses: some charging them in the Front, others in the Flank, with all the earnestness and violence that might be; believing, that if they were routed, the victory would infal­libly incline to their side.

But the Swisses, charged and compassed in on every side by such a number of ene­mies, valiantly charging their pikes, received the shock of the Cavalry with such a courage, that though divers of their pikes were broken, and many of them trodden under foot by the Horses; yet they stood firm in their order, repulsing and abating with exceeding great slaughter the fury of the enemy.

At the same time the Count de la Roch-fou-cault and the Prince of Porcien, who brought up the Reer, entring fiercely into the Battel, first fell in upon the light Horse, which made but weak resistance, and afterwards upon the Regiments of Picardy and Brittany that flankt the Swisses on that side; and the Fire-locks being broken and rout­ed, they likewise assaulted the same Squadron in the Rear; where though the danger and loss of blood were great, yet they found a resolute and hard encounter. For the Swisses standing in a close order, made a Front every way, and bravely resisted on all sides; so that two Terti [...]'s of the Hugonots Army were fruitlesly imployed in the same place, bei [...]g obstinate to break the Battalia of the Swisses, to whom (if they had been abandoned by all the rest of the Army) they must either voluntarily have yielded, or at least retired with much loss.

But the Admiral, who led the Van with better conduct and more advantage, had in the mean while charged the Constables Cavalry, and having in the first encounter killed his Son Gabriel de Momorancy, The Battel of Dreux. Sieur de Monbrun, and laid upon the ground the Count de Rocheforte, who likewise remained there dead; (though on all parts it were valiantly fought) yet he began to make the Catholicks yield ground; and thereupon the German Horse coming up in two great Squadrons, armed with pistols, with a new and furious assault mingled themselves in the conflict, and absolutely disordered the whole Battalion of the Catholicks; so that being defeated and routed, they manifestly ran away. There the Constable fighting valiantly, and seeking to keep his men from flight, being compassed in by the multitude of the Germans, (who if they can once find a breach open,The Constable taken priso­ner, and his Son with ma­ny others kil­led. easily overthrow any body of men) his Horse falling under him, and being wounded in the left arm, was at length taken prisoner. The Duke of Ne­vers, Monsieur de Givry, and many other Gentlemen and Cavaliers being fallen dead by his side.

The Duke of Aumale and Monsieur d' Anville were near the Constables Battalion with two Squadrons of Lances; who moving to succour that party which they saw already began to yield, came boldly on to rush into the fight: but those that were chased by the Admiral and the Germans fled in such haste, that over-running their own men, they disordered the Duke of Aumale's Squadron; who being thrown down, and his Horse falling upon him, was maimed on the left Leg; and Monsieur d' Anville retiring out of the tumult of the run-aways, to avoid (seeing nothing was to be done) the like encounter, was constrained to return back to the same place from whence he came. So all the Constables Cavalry being routed, and the French Foot that were with him defeated;The Consta­bles Division being broken, [...]he Swisses only with ex­ceeding gal­lantry sustain the fight. only the Swisses, beset on all sides, but standing firm in a close order and doubled Battalia, having beaten back and destroyed the German Foot, who were so bold as to assault them, though they had lost their Colonel and the most of their Captains, made still a very obstinate resistance; and the report is most certain, that the valiant resolution, even of the meanest Souldiers of that Nation, was such [Page 83] that day, that many of them, when their pikes were broken, and their swords lost, fought resolutely with stones.

But the Duke of Guise, when he saw the left Wing wholly routed, and knew the Constable was taken prisoner; there being now no danger to be over-run by the fugi­tives who ran away scattered in the Champagn, and perceiving the enemy was disor­dered and wearied with the fight, gave the signal to his Squadrons to move; and put­ting on his Arms, in few words encouraged his men, shewing them, that they had a great advantage to fight with an enemy already wearied out and scattered, who because they had routed the Constables Cavalry, thought themselves secure of the Victory. He had the Spanish foot on the right hand, and the Gascons on the left; which bending on the form of an half Moon, covered his Horse, that for the more security were placed in the middle; and about an hundred paces before all the rest, marcht the forlorn hope of Foot, led by Monsieur de Villers, the same that took St. Katherines Fort at the siege of Rouen: which being resolute old Souldiers, were placed there to sustain the first shock of the enemy. In this order, but composedly and quietly, with their Squa­drons closed together, he marched with great fierceness to the Battel, and being in the head of his Cavalry, seemed to make but little account of the victorious Army of the Enemy.

On the other side, the Prince and the Admiral, not perceiving that they had left the Catholick Van behind them, and believing they had gained an intire Victory; when they saw such a great force come upon them, rallying their men, and joining again with the Reiters, (who when they found they could not break the Battalia of the Swisses, were in pursuit of the Enemy) came separately to the Front; but with a di­vers event, and diverse resolution. The Prince seeing the Forlorn hope in his way, which, despising all danger, set upon him, filling every place with death and confu­sion; and the Gascoigne Musquetiers, which entred couragiously into the fight, play­ing upon him in the flank, before he could bring up his men to charge the Horse, was so shaken and disordered, that his Division was with much ease dissolved and over­thrown, and himself, invironed by Monsieur d' Anville, The Prince of Conde thinking he had won the Battel, be­ing charged a [...]resh by the Duke of Guise ▪ is taken pri­soner. (who through grief of his Fa­thers imprisonment, fought desparately) being wounded in the right hand, and all covered with sweat and blood, finally remained prisoner. On the other side, the Ad­miral, seeing the fierceness with which the Spanish Foot, pouring out their small shot, came to charge him in the flank; and that at the same time the Mareshal de S. Andre with divers companies of Lances which were yet fresh and intire, began to move to­wards him; and finding his men and horses through weariness could scarcely be kept in order, he went not up to the Front of the Battalia, but wheeling about, and skir­mishing lightly, endeavoured to rally his men which were scattered in the field, watching an opportunity to retreat in the best order and with the most reputation that he could. Notwithstanding, making divers charges, and fighting continually with his Pistols, he sustained a long time the fury of the enemy; especially, after that the Mareshal, being mortally wounded, left the field. But at last, being charged by the Duke of Guise, who after the Prince was taken, advanced with divers Troops of his Gens d'Arms, to environ him; and the Foot arriving on all sides,The Hugonot [...] lose [...]he day that with their shot destroyed his horses; all hope of rallying his men being lost, he resolved to save himself in time; and getting as many of his men together as the enemies pursuit would permit, in great haste made towards the woods; and without staying or ta­king breath, with his horses tired and men wearied, in the close of the evening came to Neufville.

At the beginning of the disorder Andelot was retired to the same place; who by reason of a quartan Ague, being unable to endure the fight, having gotten to an emi­nent place, when he saw the Duke of Guise's Troops move, after, as he thought, the Kings Army was utterly defeated; he asked what men those were? and answer being made, that they were the Duke of Guise's, which had not yet fought: he said many times, that this tail was impossible to be flea'd; and setting spurs to his horse, thought to secure himself without expecting the issue of the Battel. Both the Brothers then being come to Neufville, they endeavoured to get together those relicks of the Army that had escaped the Enemy; which following the example of the Commanders, came scattering in. So the night coming on, through the darkness whereof they could not be pursued, the Prince of Porcien, the Count de la Roch-fou-cault, and the Ger­mans, who led the Constable Prisoner, all met in the same place; where, with a great [Page 84] applause of every one, the Admiral was declared General of the Hugonots Army. Who,The Admiral made General of the Hugo­nots. not to expose himself to the inconveniences of the night, stayed there till next morning break of day; when having put those few men that were left in order, he marched with great diligence towards Orleans, seeing the passage to Havre de Grace was already possessed and cut off by the Enemy, who lodged just in the middle of the great Road.

The Duke of Guise remaining Master of the Field, together with all the Enemies Artillery and Carriages,The two bitter enemies Conde and Guise sup and lie toge­ther in the same bed. and having received the French Infantry to mercy, which after a little resistance yielded themselves at discretion; being overtaken by the night, lodged very inconveniently upon the place at Blainville; whither the Prince of Conde being brought to him, it is very remarkable, that those two Princes, formerly and in the present Battel such mortal enemies, reconciled by the variety of fortune, supped together at the same table, and for want of carriages, and through streightness of lodging, lay together all night in the same bed. For the Duke of Guise using his Vi­ctory modestly, receiving the Prince with all demonstrations of honour, offered him part of his. In which the patience of the Conquered in the desparate estate of his present defeat, was no less considerable than the modesty of the Conquerour i [...] the pro­sperity of his Victory.

The first news that came to Paris, was of the defeat and imprisonment of the Con­stable, brought by those that ran away at the beginning of the Battel; which filled the Court with great sadness and infinite fear: but a few hours after arrived there Monsieur de Losse, Captain of the Kings Guard, dispatched by the Duke of Guise; who bringing such a contrary relation, with the assurance of a Victory, dissipated their grief for particular losses, in which the greatest part of the Kingdom had a share: for besides many Lords and Cavaliers of great esteem and reputation, there were slain on both sides 8000 persons.

Various were the opinions and discourses of men concerning this Battel: for many accused the negligence of the Prince of Conde, when having the Enemy so near, he believed he was still far off; which necessitated him to fight against his will: Many blamed the haste they saw in the Admiral to retire; believing that if he had vigo­rously charged them when the Mareshal de S. Andre was killed, he would have routed and defeated that part of the Catholick Horse, and put his party in a condition to re­cover again their loss. And on the other side, there wanted not those, who making a sinister interpretation of the Duke of Guises proceedings, were of opinion, that he might at the beginning, coming behind the Enemy, have rendered the Victory more easie and more secure, without expecting first the disaster of the Constable, and the slaughter of the Horse and Foot; but that being desirous of the Constables ruine, and to remain sole Arbitrator of the Catholick Faction, he had craftily suffered the Enemy to rout the right Wing, on purpose to assume all the glory and command to himself. To which notwithstanding, he and his partisans made answer, That he moved not at the beginning, first to let the Enemies pass, and then to avoid the blind fury of them that ran away, by which he might have been disordered, as were the Duke of Aumale and the Constables Son himself; but that he had patiently expected an opportunity to accomplish the Victory with security; which by an inconsiderate haste would have proved uncertain and dangerous. Howsoever it were, it is certain, that as the Duke of Guise gained all the glory of the day; so the reputation of the Hugonots, rather by accident than any real loss, was in great part diminished. The Duke remained in the same place three days after; as well to put in order and refresh the Army, as to pro­vide for the wounded men,The Duke of Guise made General of the Kings Forces. and the burial of his dead: and being by the King and Queen declared General of all the Forces, of which charge he took possession with the Victory, not to give the Enemy time to recover himself, directed his course to­wards Orleans.

In the mean while, the Admiral with a great part of his Forces, and particularly the German Horse, which received but little hurt in the Battel, was returned into Beausse; where granting a Warlike liberty to gain and assure the affections of the Souldiers, he at last brought them to Beaugency, to take such resolution as was most expedient for the present necessity. There a Council being called of all the French Lords and German Commanders, it was disputed with great variety of opinions, what in that change of fortune was fittest to be done. It was not to be doubted, but the Duke of Guise pursuing his Victory, would come directly to besiege Orleans, which in [Page 85] the bowels of France was the chief seat and foundation of the War. Wherefore it was expedient to think how to defend that City, and also to provide for it in time a fitting supply: which being very hard to be done, by reason many already wavered in their affections, and the fortune and reputation of the Hugonots declined in all parts of the Kingdom; the two Brothers of Coligny boldly took upon them the charge of taking care for both. For Andelot profferred himself, with the German Foot, and part of the French Horse, to defend Orleans; and the Admiral, laying before the Reiters (so they call the German Horse) the booty and riches of Normandy with the near succours of England, perswaded them to follow him into that Province; where whilst the Duke of Guise was in person imployed in such a difficult siege, they might have opportunity to join with the English, receive the moneys sent by Queen Elizabeth, and bring all their succours together: with which forming a great body of an Army, they should be able afterwards time enough to succour and relieve the besieged.

With these counsels the heads of the Hugonots directed their Actions.1563. But the Duke of Guise, not to lose by delays the fruits of his Victory, at the beginning of the year put all things in readiness to besiege Orleans; having sent for the great Cannon from Paris, with all other provisions necessary for so great a work: at which siege, as well to hasten the issue thereof, as not to trust wholly to any one person, the Queen resolved to be present; and having past over with exceeding patience the sharpest and most incommodious season of the year, came with the King to Chartres; and staying there some few days, at the last arrived at the Army, lodging with much incommo­dity at the adjacent Villages. At the coming of the Kings Army, Piviers, Estampes, and all the other places thereabouts were already rendred: after the taking of which, the Duke of Guise, having gotten all his men together, drew towards the Town the fifth day of February, and encamped between the Faux-bourg d'Olivette, and the Town of S. Aubin; a convenient Quarter, and being placed upon the River of Loire, abound­ing with provisions. There were in Orleans, besides Andelot, who commanded all the rest, Monsieur de St. Cyr, Governour of the City, the Sieurs d' Avaret, Duras, and Bouchavenes, fourteen Companies of Foot, partly Germans, and partly Gascons, and five Troops of French Horse, consisting for the most part of old experienced Souldiers: and besides these, the Citizens, refusing neither labour nor danger for the defence of their Town, being divided into four Squadrons, with wonderful readiness hazarding themselves upon all services.

Orleans is divided, though not equally, by the River of Loire; for on one side stands the whole body of the City, and on the other lies only a great Faux-bourg vulgarly called the Portereau. The Portereau is joined to the City with a fair Bridge, at the entrance whereof towards the Faux-bourg are two Forts, called the Towrelles, which hinder and shut the entry of the Bridge; at the other end whereof is the Gate of the City strengthened with good Walls, but without any Rampart, defended with a high square Tower built after the ancient fashion, of a great thickness. The Walls of the City were in themselves of little strength; but the Defendants had repaired and made them more defensible. Amongst other things, they fortified also the Portereau, rai­sing two great Bastions before it, which might entertain and keep off the Enemy for a time from the Town: the one being right against the place where the Catholicks en­camped, was guarded by four Companies of the Gascons; and the other which was farther off, was kept by two Companies of the Germans.The Siege of Orleans su­stained by An­delot with the reliques of the Hugonot Ar­my. The Duke of Guise upon very good reasons thought it best to begin the Siege on that side. First, that his men being conveniently lodged, might the better support the incommodities of Winter; then, because, esteeming it an easie matter to take the works of the Portereau, he de­signed to make use of the commodity of the River to assail and batter the Walls of the City with a great number of Barks covered with Gabions, and full of other Warlike Instruments, which would in wonderful manner facilitate the assault. Besides on that side those within had neither Rampart of Earth within the Wall, nor any allarum place capable to receive a body of men. Wherefore the next morning the whole Army ad­vanced in very good order within sight of the Town; Monsieur de Sippierre leading on the first Divisions of the Catholicks with six hundred Horse, and two Regiments of Foot, with which force he easily beat back again into the Faux-bourg those who to shew their courage sallied out to skirmish. Whereupon his men being heartned with such good success at the beginning, he caused a furious assault to be given to the Bulwark guarded by the Gascoigns; at which the Duke of Guise coming in, and making [Page 86] shew to draw all the forces of his Army to that place, at the same time sent Sansac's Regiment to surprize by Scalado the other held by the Germans; who being amazed with the suddenness thereof, made so little resistance, that the Bulwark being taken, the Catholicks entered the Faux-bourg before any body perceived there was an attempt made upon that part. By which means the assailants having already made themselves strong within the Rampart, and all the Army that stood in order marching to them, the Defendants were constrained to abandon the Suburbs of the Portereau; but not without great terrour and confusion: in which Duras being slain, with many other persons of remark, they were so closely pursued by the Catholicks who came up to them on all sides, that if Andelot himself, fighting valiantly with a great Squadron of Gentlemen, had not withstood them, they had in that fury entred the Towrells. But he standing at the entry of the Bridge all covered with Arms, and bravely assisted, they were with much difficulty at length repulsed; and the Ports of the Towers and the City being shut, that bloody conflict ended with the day. The Faux-bourg be­ing secured, the Army approached to the Towrells; which proving very hard to be taken, by reason of the strength of the place, the Duke of Guise notwithstanding with Gabions, Trenches and Engines of War, so far advanced the work, that he found they could not long maintain that Poste; though from the Cannon planted in certain Islands in the middle of the River, those upon the banks received much molestation and da­mage.

In the mean while, the Admiral with his Reiters and some few French Horse, ha­ving left all their carriage and baggage at Orleans, passing the Loire at Georgeau, marcht with such expedition, that the Mareshal of Brissac, who endeavoured to lie in their way, could by no means stop them in any place, or hinder them from passing in­to Normandy; which Province the Reiters, slaughtering, firing, pillaging and destroy­ing all things both sacred and prophane, over-ran without resistance; there being no forces in that Country which were able to hinder their incursions. So passing through all places like a horrible and fearful tempest, they came at last to the coasts of the Ocean at S. Sauveur de Dive. There the Germans not knowing in what part of the World they were, and seeing the Sea grow furious and inraged with the tempestuous­ness of the weather, and no news at all appearing of the succours so often promised from England, began fiercely to mutiny; demanding with clamour and threats the arrears of their pay, and calling upon the Admiral to observe his promise: who com­ing out of his Lodging, and shewing them with his finger the swelling of the Sea, and the impetuous contrary winds, excused with the perverseness of the weather, and the season, the delay of their expected supplies. But the Germans not to be appeased with any thing, he could hardly obtain of them the patience of a few days; though to sa­tisfie their greediness, he gave them free license to plunder all, as well friends and adherents, as adversaries and enemies. Wherefore destroying with barbarous cruelty all the tract of that Country which with wonderful fertility and richness of the inha­bitants extends it self along the Ocean, he stayed so long expecting about the Sea-coasts, that at length the storm ceasing, they descryed from Havre de Grace the English Ships, which brought with them both the 150000 Ducats, and the two Regiments of Foot, besides fourteen pieces of Cannon, with all manner of munition proportionable. The English under the conduct of the Count of Montgomery and Monsieur de Colom­biere, being received with incredible joy, and the Reiters satisfied for their arrears; the Admiral having sent for the Count de la Roch-fou-cault and the Prince of Porcie [...], who brought succours out of Brittany and the neighbouring Countries, making in all eight thousand Foot and four thousand Horse, put himself in order with great dili­gence to go to the succour of his Brother with all the speed that was possible;I [...]n P [...]l [...]rot feigns to for­sake the Hu­gonot party, leaves Orleans, insinuates himself into the Duke of Guises C [...]urt, whilst the Duke gives order for an assault, shoots him in the shoulder, whereof he dies. ho­ping, either by force or art to make them raise their siege from that place. But the Duke of Guise having already, though with loss of much blood, taken the Towrelles, the Defendants were reduced to great straights; nor could the Admiral have arrived soon enough to succour the besieged, if other stratagems and means had not been used to deliver them from that imminent danger.

There was among the Hugonots Faction one called Iohn Poltrot Sieur de Mereborn, of a noble Family near Angoulesme. This man being of a ready wit, and by nature subtile, having lived many years in Spain, and afterwards imbracing Calvins opinion, being made cunning by the preachings and practises of Geneva, was esteemed by all (as he was indeed) fit to undertake any great attempt. Whereforefore being known [Page 87] to all the heads of the Hugonot Faction as a proper Instrument for any such designs, which are the daily effects of Civil Wars, he was perswaded, as they say by the Ad­miral and Theodore Beza, to endeavour to kill the Duke of Guise; the one proposing to him infinite rewards and acknowledgments; the other laying before him, that by taking out of the World so great a Persecutor of their Faith, he should merit exceed­ingly of God. Which perswasions working upon Poltrot, feigning to have abandoned the Calvinists party, he went to be a Souldier in the Kings Army; and there insinuating himself likewise into the Duke of Guises Court, watched an opportunity to put in ex­ecution his purposed mischief. So the 24 of February in the evening, being the Feast of St. Matthias the Apostle, the Duke having given order for an assault, which the day after he intended should be made upon the Bridge of Orleans; and retiring un­armed to his lodging, was was little less than a league from the Trenches. Poltrot, lying in wait on Horseback upon a swift Jennet, and seeing him come alone discour­sing with Tristan Rostine a servant of the Queens, discharged a Gun at him, laden with three bullets, which all three hit him on the right shoulder, and passing through the body, laid him upon the ground for dead. At which suddain accident, his Gen­tlemen, who, not to seem to hearken to what their Master said, rode a little before, running to help him: Poltrot aided by the swiftness of his Horse, saved himself in the neighbouring Woods; and the Duke being carried to his lodging, shewed at the first dressing very little hopes of life. At the News of this sad accident, the King and Queen-Mother, with all the Lords of the Army, went presently to see him; but nei­ther the diligent care nor remedies that were applied taking any effect, the third day after his hurt he died, with great demonstrations of Religion and Piety, and discourses full of constancy and moderation.

He was a man of mature wisdom, singular industry, and sprightly valour; wary in Council, quick in execution, and most fortunate in conducting his designs to their in­tended ends. For which qualities, he was reputed by the general consent of all men, the chief Captain of his time. Likewise by the merit of his own Actions▪ he ac­quired the title of Defendor and Protector of the Catholick Religion; and dying, left the glory of his Name to be celebrated and renowned to all posterity.

The Murtherer, as if he had b [...]en besides himself, either through consciousness of the fact, or else through fear that he had to be pursued from every part; not finding the way to Orleans, wandred all night in the ways and woods thereabouts, and at last in the morning, neither he nor his horse being able to bear themselves longer upon their legs,Pol [...]rot taken and condemn­ed. he fell into certain companies of Swisses that were in guard at the Bridge d'Oli­vette; by whom being taken, and carried before the Queen and the Lords of the Army; First, he confessed voluntarily the whole plot of the Fact; and afterwards, being put upon the torture, ratified the same confession: wherefore being led to Paris, he was by sentence of Parliament publickly quartered.

The Admiral and Theodore Beza endeavoured, by large Writings scattered in all parts of Christendom, to clear themselves of the suspition: but the common opinions of men, confirmed not only by reason, but from the mouth of the Delinquent, refuted all their excuses; and the memory of it stuck close to his posterity, till the consum­mation of their revenge. The proceedings of the Queen-Mother were much different; to whom a Hugonot Captain commonly called la Motte having offered himself to find a means to kill Andelot; She causing him to be apprehended by her Guards,A Hugonot Captain off [...]r­ing to kill An­delot, the Queen sends him to the same Andelot. sent him bound to the same Andelot, that he might punish him as he pleased himself. Which though some interpreted sinisterly, believing that the Queen had either discovered a treacherous intent in the assassine, or else that she hoped to win Andelot, by such a kind­ness, in gratitude to deliver up Orleans, which they found hardly to be reduced by force; yet it is certain, that the greatness of the Queens mind made it generally be­lieved, that she used no dissimulation in so generous an Action: and surely there are few examples of the like in any of our modern Stories.

After the death of the Duke of Guise, an Accommodation followed without diffi­culty, the treaty whereof was never intermitted in the greatest fervour of the War. For the Queen being freed from the King of Navarre and the Duke of Guise, the one of which through his nearness to the Crown, and the other by reason of his immense power and great esteem amongst men, was always suspected by her; She desired by a domestick quieting the troubles of the Kingdom, to drive out the foreign forces be­fore they setled themselves. Neither had she now any jealousies of the Prince of Conde [Page 88] or the Constable. For they had so offended each other, that she believed it was im­possible that they should ever be sincerely reconciled. Besides, the Constable being grown decrepid with age, had neither force nor thoughts to aspire to the Government; and the Prince of Conde, though in the quality of first Prince of the Blood, for things past, and particularly for the Agreement made with England, was become odious to the whole Kingdom, except only those that followed the Hugonot party Wherefore thinking it most expedient for the pr [...]sent to settle a peace, that with their united Forces they might without diversion attend the recovery of Havre de Grace, the alie­nation of which place into the hands of so powerful Enemies, more than any thing else troubled the Queen; that those things might be effected, and the Reiters ex­pelled the Kingdom, (who without regard destroyed the Country, and with unheard of cruelties oppressed the people) She was inclined to grant very large Conditions. Also this other consideration was no small motive to perswade an agreement; That the Duke of Guise being dead, and the Constable prisoner to the Enemy, there was no Captain of like Authority and esteem, who having the command of the Kings Ar­my, could in any degree equal the Admirals weariness, or the fierceness of Andelot. For the Duke of Aumale, Brother to the late Duke of Guise, though he were a man of great courage, yet he was not esteemed answerable in counsel or wisdom. Be­sides, he was for the most part held unfortunate in the War; and which imported most, he was at that time, by reason of the hurts he received in the Battel, unfit for labour; and the Mareshal of Brissac, though a Captain of great experience, and known valour, had not such an Authority as was requisite for a General of the Kings Army, composed of the chief Princes and principal Lords of his Kingdom. To these was added one reason more, that it made it very necessary to desire a peace: For the de­vastations of a Civil War had so wasted, broken, and hindred the Kings Revenues; and the excessive expences which the beginning of a War brings along with it, had so exhausted the Publick Treasury, that they were not only unable to pay the interests of those debts contracted by the former Kings, but the King was constrained to make them greater, having received in the time of her necessity a considerable Sum from the great Duke of Tuscany, and 100000 Duckets from the Republick of Venice. Where­fore having not wherewithal to continue the War, she thought it wisdom to lay hold on the advantage of the present conjuncture.

On the other side, the Prince of Conde seeing himself prisoner to the Enemy, to obtain his liberty, ardently desired a Peace; and Andelot, being reduced to a necessity of yielding, thought it would be more for his reputation to be included in a general accord, than to deliver up the Town upon a capitulation made only by himself. The Admiral was of a contrary opinion; who neither trusting to the Kings reconciliation, nor the Queens promises, and knowing he was inwardly hated and detested, chose for the best, rather to continue the War now the chief Leaders of the adverse party were gone, than to expose his person to the danger of a suspected and dissembled Peace. But he being absent, and the accommodation treated at Orleans, where the Queen was in person in the Camp, and the Constable prisoner in the City; whither also came about the same business Madam Eleonor wife to the Prince of Conde; without having any re­gard to the opinion of the Admiral, the Peace was concluded and established upon these Conditions; That all those that were free Lords over the Castles or Lords that they possest,Conditions of Peace conclu­ded at Orleans the 18 of M [...]c [...], [...]563. not holding of any but the Crown, might within their Jurisdictions freely exercise the Reformed Religion; and that the other Feudataries, who had not such dominion, might do the same in their own houses, for their families only; pro­vided, they lived not in any City or Town. That in every Province certain Cities should be appointed, in the Faux-bourg whereof the Hugonots might assemble at their devotion. That in all other Cities, Towns and Castles in the City of Paris, with the Jurisdiction thereof, and all places whatsoever where the Courts resided, the exercise of any other but the Roman Catholick Religion should be prohibited. Yet every one to live free in his Conscience, without either trouble or molestation. That the Pro­f [...]ssors of the pretended Reformed Religion should observe the holy-days appointed in the Roman Kalender; and in their Marriages, the Rites and Constitutions of the Civil Law. That all the Lords, Princes, Gentlemen, Souldiers and Captains, should have a full Pardon for all delinquencies committed during the time, or by occasion or mini­stry of the War; declaring all to be done to a good end, without any offence to the Royal Majesty; and therefore every one to be restored to his Charges, Dignities, Goods, [Page 89] Priviledges and Prerogatives. That the Germans should be sent, and have safe con­duct out of the Kingdom; and that it should be in the Kings power to recover all his Places, Towns and Castles, from any persons whatsoever that presumed to with­hold them from him.

This Capitulation being published in the Camp, and in the Court, the eighteenth day of March the Prince of Conde and the Constable came out of prison; Andelot de­livered the City of Orleans into the Queens hands; the Nobility no less wearied with the toils than expences of the War, very willingly departed; and the Reiters being conveyed to the confines and satisfied for their pay, returned to their own houses.

The Eight Parliaments of the Kingdom, but particularly those of Paris, Tholouse, and Aix, those three being always more averse than the rest to the Hugonot party, re­fused to accept and register the Edict of Pacification. But the Cardinal of Bourbon and the Duke of Montpensieur appearing in the name of the State at Paris; at Tholouse, the Vicount de Ioyeuse; and the Count de Euze at Aix, they laying before them, that the King thought it most convenient for the quiet of the Kingdom and the welfare of his Subjects, that the Pacification should be accepted and approved; at last the Ar­ticles were published: yet still reserving a power in his Majesty, whensoever he should think fit, to correct, or revoke it. There was no less resistance amongst the enemies and Hugonot Ministers, seeing the Edict of Ianuary so streightly moderated; and it was exceedingly resented by the Admiral, who had conceived a great hope to over­come the War. But the Prince of Conde being pleased it should be so, and the No­bility greedily concurring with him, they were forced to comply for the present; though in the mean while contriving among themselves new and more dangerous re­volutions.

The Peace being agreed on and published, the Queen not giving her self leisure to breathe, having sent the Army into Normandy under the command of the Mareshal de Brissac, went thither in person; designing, without delay to reduce Havre de Grace by force, and to order matters by her own presence and directions. Whereby, besides that she was secured from the arts and treacheries of the great Ones, and her Coun­cils were more effectually directed to their proper ends; she also gained the affections of the Souldiers to the King, who being brought up amongst the Armies, and present at all Councils and Actions, was replenished with generous lively thoughts; daily learning by experience the practical part of governing his Kingdom.

Charles was of magnanimous and truly Royal nature, of a sharp ready wit; and for the Majesty of his aspect and gravity of manners in so tender an age, not only esteemed, but greatly reverenced by those that were about him. On the other side, the English which were to the number of 3000 in Havre de Grace under the command of the Earl of Warwick, failed not, carefully to provide for and fortifie themselves; hoping by the strength of the place to be able to make a bold resistance, until the arrival of their Fleet, which was coming with great preparations, not only to succour that place, but also to land men, and to infest the borders of the lower Normandy, and all the coasts to­wards the Brittish Sea. But the Queen having summoned them by an Herald, within the tearm of three days to deliver up the Town, which contrary to the Articles of Peace they had unjustly usurped; that short time being expired, the Army was brought before it, and Batteries raised in divers parts.

Not many days after, the Constable arrived at the Camp; whose presence added a greater vigour to the Assiegents; and however the pains and directions was divided between him and the Mareshal de Brissac, all the authority and command remained in the Queen; who lodging in the Abby of Fecan, rode every day to the Army, sol­liciting the advancement of the siege in such a manner, that one of the Towers which stood at the entry of the gate being already taken, and Colonel Sarlabous with a good number of Foot lodged therein, the Defendants were reduced to great extremities; which daily more and more increasing by reason of the heats, it being then about the middle of Iuly, the Town was infected with such a grievous Plague, (to which the English through the temper of their bodies and manner of diet are exceeding sub­ject) that a horrible mortality consumed in few days the greatest part of their men. Wherefore the Earl of Warwick, not being able longer to resist the force of the Army, and the anger of Heaven, at length, upon the seventeenth day of Iuly, Havre de Grace deliver­ed up upo [...] condition [...]. agreed to render himself upon these Conditions; That he should freely deliver up Havre de Grace into the hands of the Constable for the use of the most Christian King; with all the [Page 90] Artillery and Munition belonging to the French, and all the Ships and Merchandize taken or seized upon since the War began. That all the prisoners on both sides should be set at liberty without ransom; and that the English within the term of six days should transport their arms and baggage, without receiving any impediment whatso­ever.

The Capitulation was scarcely confirmed, and Hostages given on both parts, when the English Fleet, consisting of sixty Ships, and well furnished with men, appeared at Sea, steering their course with a very favourable wind directly to the Haven. But the Earl of Warwick, thinking it dishonourable not to stand to his Capitulation, gave notice to the Admiral of the Fleet, that the Town was already rendred. Wherefore casting anchor till he had received the Souldiers of the Garison aboard, when they were all imbarked, he set fail again, and without making any other attempt returned into England.

The Queen having with such facility dispatched the strangers, she presently applyed all her endeavour to pacifie the troubles of the Kingdom, and to reform things in the Government. Her intention was, since the King was in the fourteenth year of his age, to cause him to be declared past his Minority, and capable to govern of himself; knowing that such a Declaration would take away from the Princes of the Blood and other great Lords the right of pretending or aspiring to the Government; and that through the Kings youth, and the absolute authority her counsels had over him, she should still continue in the same power and administration of the Kingdom. But this design was opposed by the opinions and authority of many Councellors and Lawyers, who disputed, That the King could not be freed from the Government of his Tutors, nor have the Rule put into his own hands, nor be declared out of Minority, if he had not fully finished and altogether accomplished the time prefixed of fourteen years; of which he yet wanted many months. With the Archives of the Crown that are kept in the Monastery of Monks at St. Dennis, amongst the Acts of the Court of Par­liament, there is a Constitution of Louis the Fifth King of France, (he that was sur­named the Wise) made solemnly in the Parliament of Paris in the year of our Salva­tion 1363. sealed by the High Chancellor Dormans, and subscribed by the Kings Bro­thers, the Princes of the Blood-Royal, and a great number of the chief Barons and Lords of the Kingdom; by which it is declared, That the Kings of France may in the fourteenth year of their age assume to themselves the Government and Administration of the Kingdom: But it is not clearly specified, whether this Constitution be of force at the beginning, or else at the end of the fourteenth year. For which reason many Councellors, particularly those of the Parliament of Paris, (perhaps knowing they had greater power during the Minority of the King, and therefore desiring to enlarge the time of exercising it) affirmed, That it could not be said the Pupil was come to the age of fourteen years, if he had not fully accomplished them; nor could by any means, before that time, free himself from the obligation of a Minor. On the other side, the High Chancellor de d' Hospital, a man of profound learning, and those that favoured the Queens intentions, alledged, That in matters of honour and dignity, they were not to count the minutes of time, as is usual in the Livery made [...]o Wards. Reintegration of Pupils; the Laws having an aim to be gracious in the favour of those in minority, to whom it was a benefit to have the time prolonged, before they be setled in their Estates. But in confe [...]ring honours, it was matter of advantage and favour to abbreviate the term, and cut off delays; that the space of a few months was of no moment for the con­firming the judgment and understanding of a man; and that the Laws prescribe the age of fourteen years for a man to remain in his own power. These their reasons they proved with the same testimony of the Imperial Laws, by which all Christian Poten­tates are governed, and with the clearest and most famous Expositors of them; who in the distribution of Honours and Offices,In matters of [...]avour the year begun is taken for the year ended. have, by a common rule practised in civil right, ever reckoned the year begun, and as they say, inchoatus, for the year ended and finished. But because the Parliament of Rouen had ever shewed it self more obe­dient to the Kings commands than all the rest, and in the late restitution of the City the particular Counsellors thereof had received many special graces and favours from the Queen; they resolved to make this Declaration pass in that Parliament, rather then expose themselves to the contradiction of the Counsellors of Paris, who had gotten a custom to take upon them to moderate by their sentences the Royal Decrees. So the King and the Queen, after the reduction of Havre de Grace, returning with great repu­tation [Page 91] to Rouen; the 15 day of September they went solemnly with all the Court-Lords and Officers of the Crown, to the Parliament; where,Aft [...] much opposi [...]i [...]n, [...] the Ninth is de­clared out of minori [...]y by [...]he Parliam [...]nt of Rouen. in the presence of the Coun­cellours, the King took upon him with the wonted Ceremonies, the free absolute Go­vernment of the Kingdom.

The Parliament of Paris exceedingly resented, that a business of such great weight should be decided and determined in any other feat than theirs, which hath the pre-eminence of all the rest, and is ordinarily held as a general Council of the whole Nati­on. But the King being already declared out of Minority, and by nature of a manly masculine Spirit, was much the more offended, that the Parliament of Paris presumed to interpose in matters of Government, which belonged not to them; and sharply ad­monished the Councellours that they should busie themselves to do Justice, to which they were deputed, and not meddle with the affairs of State, which depended wholly upon his will and arbitrement. By which admonitions the Councellours being some­what mortified, they accepted and published without farther contest the Declaration of his Majority.

The King having assumed the power of the command in name and appearance, the Queen (whose counsels were of more authority than ever) turned all her thoughts to quiet and pacifie the Kingdom, which (like the Sea when the storm is newly past) after the conclusion of the Peace remained troubled and unquiet. It was no longer necessary to keep the parties divided, and balance the force of the Factions, since on the one side the Kings Majority had removed all pretences of affecting the Administra­tion of the Government; and already his Authority, partly by such no [...]able Victories, partly by taking the power into his own hands, was so confirmed and established, that the past suspicion ceased of the machination and treachery of the great ones; who, it was doubted, aspired, by casting the Pupils out of the Royal Seat, to transfer the Do­minion of the Crown upon themselves: and on the other side, the death of the King of Navarre and the Duke of Guise, had so notoriously weakened the Catholick Faction; and the rash proceedings of the Prince and the Admiral had so abated their credit, and diminished their followers, that the power of both parties being suppressed, dis­cords quieted, and civil dissentions removed, the Kingdom might easily reassume that form in which the preceding Kings had so many ages past enjoyed it. Upon this, the Queen bent all her intentions, (having devised together with the King, and the High Chancellor de l' Hospital, who by their secret counsels wholly managed the affairs) to try all means possible to draw the Prince of Conde from the protection of the Hugo­nots Faction; to appease the Admiral and Andelot; who being full of suspicion, stood as it were retired from frequenting the Court; and having in this manner deprived that party of Heads and Protectors, by little and little, without noise or violence, to eradicate and destroy them; so that at the last, as in former times it hath happened with many others, it should fall of it self, and be extinguished as it were insensibly. By these arts, dissimulations, wariness and dexterity, they hoped so to work, that the Kingdom should be setled again in that sincerity of quiet, to which by violent sharp means, by force and the sword it was very difficult and dangerous to seek to re­duce it.

For the effecting these ends, it was necessary to have a peace with England; to re­new the confederacy with the Commonalty of the Swisses; and to maintain a good intelligence with the Protestant Princes of Germany; that the Hugonots might be de­prived of such support, and stranger Nations of pretences to come into the Kingdom, from whose invasions they had lately freed themselves with such infinite labour, dan­ger and prejudice, both publick and particular. To this purpose an Overture of a Treaty was made with Queen Elizabeth, by Guido Cavalcanti a Florentine, who was conver­sant in the affairs, and understood the interests of both Kingdoms. To the Protestant Princes of Germany they sent Rascalone, a man formerly imployed in that Country by the Duke of Guise, to quiet and gain the Protestants; with power besides to treat of divers things that concerned the mutual instruments of both Nations. And to the Republick of the Swisses went Sebastian de l' Aubespine Bishop of Limoges, to renew the ancient Capitulations made with the Father and Grandfather of the present King. But with the Prince of Conde they used all subtil arts to convert him sincere­ly to his obedience. For the King and the Queen receiving him with great shews of confidence, and respecting him as first Prince of the Blood, presently conferred upon him the Government of Picardy, the taking away of which was the first spark [Page 92] that kindled in him a desire to attempt alterations in the State, and entertaining him as much as could be at Court with Plays, Feasts, and all manner of pastimes, sought to make him in love with the ease and pleasures of peace; and in some measure at least to forget the fierceness of his nature. To these practises being added the death of Eleanor de Roye his Wife, a woman of an unquiet nature, and that continually spurred him on to new undertakings, the Queen perswaded Margarite de Lustrac, Widow to the Mareshal de S. Andre, who was left very rich both by her Father and Husband, to offer her self to him in marriage; believing, that the Prince by this match sup­plying the necessity of his fortune, and living at ease, and in the splendor belonging to the greatness of his Birth, would not easily be induced hereafter to involve himself in new troubles, which had already proved so disastrous and dangerous.

But to separate and withdraw him from the friendship of the Chastillons, whose con­versation, it was plain, stirred his thoughts to innovations; they indeavoured by the same Court-flatteries to make him believe, that the loss of the Battel of Dreux pro­ceeded from the cowardise and treachery of the Admiral and Andelot, who either too careful of saving themselves, or envying the valour with which he began to conquer, fled a great deal too soon, leaving those alone that fought couragiously, and princi­pally him, in the hands of the Enemy; which things being prest home and instilled into him, might distract his mind, and put him in diffidence of his ancient friends and confederates. But he being exceedingly enamoured of Limeville, one of the Queens Maids, whom (she not seeming to take notice of it) he enjoyed, having besides the hope of so rich a match that was offered him, these two Considerations contributed more to the pacifying of his natural fierceness, than all the arts that were used to withdraw him from the adherence of the Admiral and the other Brothers of Chastillon; who, not trusting in the Queen, nor believing she could ever have any confidence in them, could by no means be secured; but continually practising to raise new hopes in the Hugonots, stood upon their guard at a distance from the Court.

The common peace and the Queens intentions were not more opposed by the Hugo­nots, than the Catholick party intent to revenge the death of the Duke of Guise, and impatient to see a toleration of Religion.

Francis Duke of Guise, by his Wife Anne d' Est Sister to Alphonso Duke of Ferrara, left three male children,Francis Duke of Gu [...]s [...] left his wi [...]ow Anne d'Est, sister to the Duke of Fer­rara, with three sons, Henry Duke of Gu [...]se, Lodovick that was Car­dinal, whom H [...]n [...]y the Thir [...] caused to be murther­ed, and the Duke of May­enn [...], who was afterwards Head of the Catholick League. Henry Duke of Guise, a youth of singular hope and exceed­ing expectation, Lodovick destined to the Church and the dignity of Cardinal, and Charles, first Marquiss, then Duke of Mayenne, (he who in the late Wars maintained the Catholick League against Henry the Fourth.) These Sons, who neither for great­ness of mind nor courage degenerated from their Father, though they were very young, yet being upheld by the fierceness of the Duke of Aumale, and the authority of the Cardinal of Lor [...]in, their Uncles, boldly attempted to make themselves the Heads of the Catholick party: and therefore indeavoured to gain credit in the world, and to promote new motives to maintain the ardour of the Faction. For which cause ha­ving assembled a great number of their kindred and servants, they went together all clad in mourning to the King, demanding very earnestly, and with great clamour, of the people of Paris (who ran in multitudes to this spectacle) that justice might be done upon those who had so bruitishly caused their Father to be murthered, whilst in the service of GOD and the Crown loyally and gloriously bearing arms, he laboured for the good of the Commonwealth. To which demand the King not being able to make other answer, than that in due time and place he would not fail to do exemplary Ju­stice upon those that were found guilty of so hainous a crime; the Brothers of Coligny became more diffident than before, and were brought as it were into an inevitable ne­cessity again to arm their Faction, that they might be able to withstand the powerful enmity of the Guises.

But if all Arts were used to raise the Catholick party; the endeavour was yet greater to suppress the Calvinists. For the Cardinal of Lorain, knowing that the interests of his Nephews being united and mingled with the cause of Religion, they would gain greater honour, and render themselves more strong and powerful; as soon as the Council of Trent was broken up, which hapned this present year in the month of No­vember, The Council of Tr [...]n [...] breaks up in Nov [...]mb. 1563. in the Papacy of Pi [...]s Quar­tus. he went to Rome, and perswaded the Pope Pius Quartus (who was ill satisfied with the Peace concluded in France) that he should press the King and the Queen-Mother to cause the Council to be published and observed in their Kingdom: promising, that his Nephews, with the whole house of Lorain, and the greatest part of the French [Page 93] Nobility, would be ready and united to cause declaration thereof to be made, and sufficient afterwards by force to suppress the followers of the Hugonot Doctrine. The Pope was sollicited to the same effect by the Catholick King, and the Duke of Savoy, being entred into a jealousie, that the nearness and introduction of the Hugonots might endanger their States, seeing the Low-Countries belonging to King Philip were already infected, and not only Savoy, but even Piedmont also exceedingly pestered with them▪ where through the neighbourhood of Geneva they had sowed the seeds of their here­sie. Wherefore they both desired, that this dangerous fire kindled in so near a Coun­try, might without further delay be extinguished. Nor was it a difficult matter to perswade the Pope to be earnest in a business which more than any thing else concerned the greatness of the Apostolick Sea, and the Authority of the Papacy. For which reasons, they resolved to join together to send Ambassadors to the King of France, to exhort him that he should cause the Council to be published and observed, with proffers of forces and aid to expel and extirpate heresie out of his Dominions. This Embassie (which to give it the more credit was sent in the names of them all) exceedingly troubled the King and the Queen-Mother: For though they concurred with the Pope and other Princes, to irradicate and suppress the Hugonot Faction, which they knew to be the source of all the troubles; yet they judged it not agreeable to their interests to do it tumultuously, and with such a noise on a suddain; nor to precipitate their deliberations; which being designed with great wisdom, were not yet come to ma­turity. And they took it wondrous ill, that the Catholick King, and much more the Duke of Savoy, should presume as it were by way of command to interpose in the Go­vernment of their State: Besides, that this so pressing sollicitation put them in an evident necessity, either to alienate the Pope from them, and with publick scandal and ignominy of their names to separate themselves from the obedience of the Apostolick Sea; or else to discover the designs, with which proceeding leisurely, they had de­termined without the hazard of War to attain (by the benefit of time) to the same end: but if they were by this means discovered, whilst they endeavoured with their uttermost skill to conceal them, it was evident, that the knowledge thereof coming to the Hugonots, not only a Civil War would be kindled again in the bowels of the King­dom, but a way opened for stranger Nations to invade and spoil the best parts of France; as the example of the past War had sufficiently proved. For which reason, there being no other way but by art and dissimulation to render this negotiation of no effect, they received the Ambassadors privately at Fountain-bleau, The Pope, the King of Spain, and the Duke of Savo [...], send Ambassadors of C [...]arles the Ninth to sol­licite the pub­lication of the Council. (a house remote from the concourse of people) that by the little ceremony used at their reception, their business might be thought of less consequence. Afterward they endeavoured by de­laying their answer and dispatches, to make the Negotiation antiquate it self, and by degrees fall to nothing. And lastly, sought by ambiguous speeches, capable of divers interpretations, to leave the Ambassadors themselves doubtful of their intentions: con­cluding in the end, that they would forthwith send Ministers of their own to the Pope and the other Princes, to acquaint them particularly with their resolutions.

The Ambassadors being thus dispatched away at the end of Ianuary in the year 1564. the King and the Queen resolved to visit all the Provinces and principal Cities of the Kingdom, meaning by this progress to advance those designs, which was the only end they aimed at for the present.1564. For coming to a Parley with the Duke of Savoy in Dolphine, with the Popes Ministers at Avignon, and with the Catholick King, or else with the Queen his Wife upon the confines of Guienna, they might communicate their counsels to them without the hazard of trusting French-men, (who either through dependence or kindred had all the same interests) to have them revealed to the Hugo­nots. So that in this manner preserving the amity of the Pope and the other Catho­lick Princes, they might by common consent have leisure enough to bring their pro­jected designs to maturity. They thought it also no little help to have the opportunity to treat in person with the Duke of Lorain; and by his means, with the Protestant Princes; with whom they hoped to make so firm an alliance, that they should not need to fear they would any more shew themselves in the favour of the Hugonots, or interpose in the affairs of their Kingdom. From this journey arose another benefit of great importance; that by visiting the principal Cities, and informing themselves par­ticularly what condition they were in, they might take order to secure them with new Forces, or the change of Magistrates and Governours, so that at another time they might not apprehend their revolt. Besides this, they hoped, that by appeasing the [Page 94] tumults, and satisfying the complaints and grievances of the people, the King would greatly augment his authority, and so gain the affections of his Subjects, that by de­grees they would turn to their ancient loyalty, which by nature and custom they used to pay with such devotion to the persons of their Soveraigns. The voyage was also r [...]quisite in regard of Queen Ieane: For she, after her Husbands death, being wholly abandoned to the worship and belief of the Hugonots, had by publick Edicts; and with open violence,The Queen of Navar [...] caus­eth Churches to be ruined, and expelleth the Priests. Whereupon the Pope sends out a Monito­ry against her, which is op­posed by the King of France. taken away the Images out of the Temples, banished the Priests, possest the Churches, and thrown down the Altars; commanding that all the People subject to the Principality of Bearne should live according to the Rites and Ceremonies of Calvins Religion. At the noise of which proceedings, the Catholick King, either watching all occasions to conquer the reliques of the Kingdom of Navarre, or else through an apprehension that the infection of Heresie coming so near might penetrate into his Country of Spain, made great complaints thereof to the Pope; advertising him without further delay to provide against so great an inconvenience. And the Pope moved not only by the advice and exhortations of the King of Spain, but also the open prejudice the interests of the Apostolick Sea received thereby; first, kindly admonished the Queen by the Cardinal of Armagnac, a near kinsman and ancient dependent upon that family, not to introduce such an intolerable innovation; and afterwards, seeing those admonitions profited nothing, sent out a Monitory; whereby he required her, to desist from persecuting the Catholick Religion, and to return within the Term of six months into the bosom of the Church; or else threatned, when the time was ex­pired, to expose her to the Ecclesiastical censures, and grant her Country to those that could first conquer it.

The King of France openly declared himself against the Monitory; alledging, that the States of Iane being held directly of him, the Pope could not through any fault in her, who was simply a Feudatary, make a grant of them; but that they devolved immediately upon him, as the Supream Lord. By which opposition, the vehemency and ardour of the Pope being somewhat abated, Queen Iane continued so much the more resolute by new Laws, and promulgation of new Orders, to banish the Catho­lick, and establish Calvin's Religion. But the King, not willing that any Act of his should give the Spaniards a colourable pretence to intermeddle with businesses on this side the Mountains which separate France from Spain; or whilst he was busied with the Insurrections of his Subjects, that such a large passage should be opened to enter into his Kingdom; gave order to the Parliaments of Thoulouse and Bourdeaux, that they should oppose the attempts of the Queen of Navarre; pretending that she could neither make new Laws, nor introduce a new Religion in those States without the consent and permission of the King of France, who was the chief Lord. Which though it were true of Nerac, Oleron, and the County of Bigorre; yet it was not so for the Principality of Bearne, The Principa­lity of Bea [...]ne ho [...]s not of the Crown of France. that had been many times brought into controversie, and always declared independent upon any but the King of Navarre. But the state of the present affairs, and the apprehension of the future, to prevent the growing disorders, caused these disputes to be revived, which hath been so long buried and decided. Wherefore the King and the Queen thought it very material in visiting all parts of the Kingdom, to pass likewise upon those Confines, to try whether they could alter Queen Iane in her opinions; or if they could not effect that, to bring away her Son Prince Henry, that being first Prince of the Blood he might not be brought up in the Doctrine of the Hugonots, whereby to prepare new protection and support for the men of that Faction. These be the reasons that moved them to undertake this Voyage.The King and the Queen make a gene­ral visitation of the whole Kingdom. But not to discover to those upon whom they had de­signs, what was the end or secret intention of this Visitation; they made shew, and were content every body should think, that the King, only through a youth­ful vanity to shew himself in all parts of the Kingdom, and to taste several de­lights in several places, desired to make this progress; and that the Queen con­sented thereunto through an ambition to let the World see the Magnificence of her Government, and through a desire to visit her Daughter the Queen of Spain. Wherefore with an apparence much different from their inward designs, they made publick and plentiful Preparations of sumptuous Liveries, of all manner of things for several kinds of Huntings, for Stage-Plays, and Royal Entertainments; with a great train of Courtiers fitted for Pomp and Delights. Which things when they were ready, not farther to delay the business in hand, as soon as [Page 95] the season of the year would permit, they went through Brye and Champagne to the City of Bar, (placed upon the confines of Lorain) whither came to receive them the Duke himself, with the Dutchess Claudia his Wife the Kings Sister,The Queen treats wi [...]h the Prote­stants of Germany. and Daughter to the Queen. There, by Rascalone and the Ministers of the Duke of Lorain, the Queen began to treat of an interview with the Duke of Wittembergh, the chief of the Prote­stant Faction in Germany, believing if she could treat in person with him and the other Princes of the same Religion, by her Arts to draw them to such a confederacy with the Crown of France, that they should not need for the future to fear any opposition from them. But the Duke of Wittembergh through the infirmities of age refusing to come, they began (though with less hope) by way of Treaty to perswade him and the other Princes to receive pensions from the King, with honourable Title and other large Conditions; conceiving, that in reason they would rather desire to have certain Stipends and assured Conditions from the King, than the uncertain promises and vain offers from the Hugonots. Notwithstanding, the Count Palatine of Rhine, Wolphangus Duke of Deux-ponts, and the Duke of Wittembergh, inclining to favour the Hugonots, though more for the common interest of Religion than any other consideration, re­fused to accept pensions of the Crown of France; and only with good words promised in general, not to send any Aids to the Faction of the Male-contents, except in case they were molested in their Liberty of Conscience. On the contrary, Iohn William, one of the Dukes of Saxon, and Charles Marquess of Baden, either through emulation of the other Princes, or else moved with the profit proposed, accepted the Kings Stipends; promising to serve him in his occasions with a certain number of men, and to bear Arms against all his Enemies.

From Bearne the King continuing his Visitations came to the City of Lyons, Lyons the first that rebelled, and the last that returned to obedience. in which the Hugonots had so great a party, that in the last War it was one of the first that re­belled, and the last that returned into obedience. Wherefore considering the impor­tance thereof, the neighbourhood of Geneva, and Germany, with other conditions of the place, it was resolved in the Council to build a Cittadel between the Rhofne and the Saone, (two great Rivers that run through the Town) whereby to bridle the peo­ple, and secure the City from the treachery of its neighbours. The foundation of which Fortification being laid then in the presence of the King, it was afterwards brought to perfection by the diligence of Monsieur de Losse, newly put into that Government by the discharge of the Count de Saut, who had rendred himself suspected by favour­ing the Hugonot party. From Lyons the King being come to Valence in Dolphine, he caused the City to be dismantled, and built there a new Fortress; that Town having ever been a great place of receipt for those that were in rebellion. But being arrived at the Castle of Roussilion, An Interview between the King and the Duke of Savoy Filibert Emanuel Duke of Savoy came thither post to meet him, with whom having treated of such things as concerned both States, this Prince was sufficiently informed of the Kings intentions, and of the way designed to free him­self without noise or danger from the molestation of the Calvinists. So that being fully perswaded and satisfied, he promised such aids as could be sent from those parts.

From Roussilion the King went to Avignion, The King meeteth with the Popes Mi­nisters at Avignon. immediately under the Jurisdiction of the Pope, where Fahritio Serbelloni the Governour, and the Bishop of Fermo Vice-Legate, received him with very great solemnity: and Lodovico Antinori, one of the Popes trusty Ministers a Florentine, being according to the Queens desire come thither, they began to confer about businesses of common interests. There the King and the Queen gave an Answer to the Popes Embassie, which they would not trust to the Em­bassadors; shewing, that they were ready to extirpate Calvinism, and to cause the Council to be observed in their Dominions: but to avoid the Introductions of the English, with the Incursions of the Lutherans of Germany, and to effect their purpose without the danger or tumult of new Wars, in which so many thousands of Souls pe­rished, and the Christian Countries were miserably destroyed, they had deliberated to proceed warily, with secret stratagems, to remove the principal Heads and chief Sup­ports of that party, to reduce the Prince of Conde and the Brothers of Chastillon to a right understanding, to fortif [...]e such Cities as were suspected, re-establish the Kings Revenues, gather Moneys, and make many other provisions, which could not be had but by the progress and benefit of time, that they might be able afterward to work their ends with more security, without those dangers and prejudices which a too pre­cipitate haste would plunge them into, with little hope of good success. By the appa­rence of which reasons the Pope being perswaded, who was by nature averse from [Page 96] cruel counsels, and the effusion of Christian Blood in civil dissentions, he consented, that the publication of the Council should be deferred till such time as they had brought their designs to maturity.

It was now the beginning of the Year 1565. when the King continuing his Voy­age through the Province of Languedock, 1565. and celebrating the Carnival with youthful pastimes,Charles the IX. and the Queen-Mother come to an inter­view with the Queen of Spain at Bayonne. arrived at Bayonne, situated in the Bay of Biscay, and upon the confines of Spain, just in that place where ancient Writers describe the Aquae Augusti. The Queen of Spain being come to this place, accompanied with the Duke of Alva and the Count de Beneventa, whilst they made shew with triumphs, turnaments, and several kinds of pastimes to regard only their pleasures and feastings, there was a secret conference held for a mutual intelligence between the two Crowns. Wherefore their common interest being weighed and considered, they agreed in this, That it was expedient for one King to assist and aid the other in quieting their States, and purging them from the diversity of Religions. But they were not of the same opinion concerning the way that was to be taken with more expedition and security to arrive at this end: for the Duke of Alva, a man of a violent resolute nature, said, That to destroy those Inno­vations in Religion, and Insurrections in the Commonwealth, it was necessary to cut off the Heads of those Poppies, to fish for the great Fish, and not care to take Frogs (by these conceptions he expressed himself:) for the winds being once allayed, the billows of the common people would be easily quieted and calmed of themselves. He added, That a Prince could not do a thing more unworthy or prejudicial to him­self, than to permit a Liberty of Conscience to the people; bringing as many varie­ties of Religion into a State, as there are capritious fancies in the restless minds of men; and opening a door to let in discord and confusion, mortal accidents for the ruine of a State: and shewed by many memorable examples, that diversity of Reli­gion never failed to put Subjects in Arms, to raise grievous treacheries and sad rebel­lions against Superiours. Whence he concluded at the last, That as the Controver­sies of Religion had always served as argument and pretence for the Insurrections of Male-contents; so it was necessary at the first dash to remove this cover, and after­wards by severe remedies, no matter whether by sword or fire, to cut away the roots of that evil, which by mildness and sufferance perniciously springing up, still spread it self and increased.

On the other side, the Queen fitting her deliberations to the customs and disposition of the French, desired to avoid as much as was possible the imbruing of her hands in the Blood of the Princes of the Royal Family, or the great Lords of the Kingdom; and reserving this for the last resolution, would first try all manner of means to reduce into obedience and the bosom of the Church, the Heads of the Hugonots; who be­ing withdrawn from that party, they should likewise take away, though not by the same means, the fuel that nourished the fire of civil dissentions. She said, that she well knew the inconveniences that were derived from a Liberty of Conscience; and that it would have been indeed expedient, to have provided against it by severity at the beginning, when it was newly planted; but not now, that it had taken root, and was grown up: that the motives of Religion are so universal and efficacious, that where they once take footing, it is requisite to tolerate many things, which without that necessity would not be indured; and to make a long various navigation to that Port, where they could not arrive by steering a direct course: shewing withal, that in the Government, they were to do what they could, not all that they would; and in mat­ters of Conscience, it was requisite to proceed with great dexterity: for they are fires that flame out with too much violence. Wherefore it was necessary to slacken them by degrees, and secretly to suffocate them, before by breaking out they filled all places with desolation and ruine: and by so fresh an example as the late War, demonstra­ted unto them, how near the Kingdom of France was to be dismembred and ruined, not only by the English, but also by the Germans. In which regard she thought it most requisite, as much as was possible to avoid the necessity of a War. The opinions were thus divers by reason of the diversity of circumstances, the variety of customs, difference of interests; and above all, the different quality of the natures of men, ren­dred the matter diverse, and administred different counsels: notwithstanding they disagreed not in the end. For both parties aimed at the destruction of the Hugonots, and the establishment of obedience. Wherefore at last they made this conclusion, That the one King should aid the other either covertly or openly, as was thought most condu­cing [Page 97] to the execution of so weighty and so difficult an enterprise: but that both of them should be free to work by such means and counsels as appeared to them most proper and seasonable; praying to God, that severity and clemency (ways so diffe­rent) might nevertheless succeed to the same end.

The enterview of Bayon being ended in this manner,The King not being able to perswade the Queen of Na­varre to change Reli­gion, moves her to restore the Mass and Priests to their forme [...] liberty. and Queen Elizabeth departed to return into Spain, the King, following his Voyage, went towards the Territories of the Queen of Navarre; whom not being able to perswade to return to the Rites of the Catholick Church, yet he required, that in all places where Mass had been for­bidden, it should be restored; and that the Priests should be re-established in their pos­sessions. He obtained of her further, that she with her children should follow the Court; which seemed no hard condition: not that she was affectionate to the Kings Person, or approved the manner of the present Government; but there being at that time a matrimonial process depending before his Majesty, between the Duke of Ne­mours and Frances de Rhoan her Neece, (whom, being of the same Religion, she ex­ceedingly loved) it seemed necessary for her to be present at the discussion of a busi­ness in which she was so much concerned. Being therefore resolved to follow the Court; the King, the more to invite her to stay there, made great shew of kindness both to her children and her self: but his having seen with his own eyes through all the Provinces of Aquitan the Churches destroyed, the Altars profaned, Images thrown down, Monasteries burnt and destroyed, and even the bones of the dead raked out of their graves, and thrown up and down the fields; made him inwardly conceive such an hate against her, and against all the Hugonots, that he ceased not afterwards to persecute them most severely, until the rage which was kindled in his breast against them were fully satisfied. But the general visitation of the Provinces being ended, and desiring to remedy the disorders which they had discovered in divers parts by the com­plaints of the people, he caused an Assembly of the most eminent persons of the eight Par­liaments of the Kingdom to be summoned for the year following to meet at Moulins, in the Province of Bourbonois, there to give such orders as should seem most propor­tionable to the present affairs. His Majesty designed in so noble a presence of his chief Subjects to reconcile the Houses of Guise and Chastillon, which were so bitterly incensed against each other; their private enmity drawing along with it by consequence the division of the people, and dissention in the Kingdom. He thought by this occasion to get the Prince of Conde and the Admiral to come to Court, to work by some fit means to separate them from the commerce and protection of the Hugonots, to take them off by a present certainty from future machinations, to make every one taste the benefits of peace, with the advantage of publick and private repose; and by this way to deprive that party of their Authority and Conduct, that they might be able after­wards more easily to restrain and suppress them.

But all these attempts were in vain. For the Admiral, who had laid down his arms unwillingly; and Andelot, who only to free himself from the Siege at Orleans, consented to a peace; were more intent than ever to contrive new matters; and neither trusted the Kings demonstrations, nor the Queens dissembling; nor believed they could ever be sincerely reconciled with the Guises. And the Prince of Conde, al­ways voluble, and of vast thoughts, satiated with the delights and pleasures of the Court, despising the marriage with the Widow of St. Andre as unequal to him in birth, had taken to Wife Mary Sister to the Duke de Longeville, and was more than ever united with the Lords of Chastillon. So that what the Queen built up with her Art, the dis­position of the Prince, and the subtilty of the Chastillons threw down. There was no less disorder threatned from the dissention that arose in the Constables Family; which being kindled before, brake forth now with greater violence. For Francis Mareshal of Momorancy (his eldest Son) drawn by nearness of kindred, and a certain ill-under­stood ambition, which inclined him (though with a mind and understanding much inferiour) to imitate the Admiral; more than ever openly declared himself for the Lords of Chastillon ▪ professing for their sakes a passionate enmity to the Guises. And on the contrary, Henry d'Anville, in respect of his Wife (who was Neece to Madam Valentine) allied to the Duke of Aumale, and puft up by being newly created Mare­shal in the place of Brissac lately deceased; through emulation also of his Brother, clearly depended upon the Catholick party, and the friendship of the Princes of Lorain. By reason of which discord, they not only divided the followers of their Family, but also held the judgment and counsel of their Father in great suspence▪ seeing they mani­festly [Page 98] prepared, the one to side with the Hugonot party, and the other to foment the re­solutions of the Catholicks; by their private contentions augmenting the publick di­stractions.

It hapned at the same time the more to incite the animosity of the parties, that the Cardinal of Lorain returning from Rome, and offering to enter Paris with a certain guard of armed men, as he had power to do by a Brevet (so they call it) from the King, sealed by the High Chancellor, and subscribed by the Queen; the Mareshal of Momo­rancy, after the death of Brissac made Governour of that City, first injuriously forbad his entry, and afterwards in a tumultuous manner put him out of the Town; pre­tending he knew not that the Cardinal had a Licence from the King and the Council. In which tumult the Admiral, who was near, seeking an occasion of new stirs, and burning with a desire to appear the Arbitrator, and as it were the Oracle of France, ran thither, accompanied with a great train, and appearing in the Parliament, a thing not usually done except in great necessity, but by the King himself, or by his Autho­rity gravely advertised the Counsellors, promising his care to pacifie the uproars of the people, and to free them from so imminent a danger. Which kind of proceeding ex­ceedingly offended the King and the Queen; it appearing to them, that those people presumed too evidently to counterpoise the Royal Authority. But the end at which they aimed made them artificially dissemble their displeasure. With these seeds of discord ended the year 1565.

At the beginning of the year following, the King and Queen being really intent, though inwardly exasperated,1566. to put an end to the troubles of the Kingdom rather by the arts of Peace, than the violence of War, went to Moulins; where those that were summoned met from all parts at the Assembly;The Assembly at Moulins, and the decree made there. in which the complaints of the people being proposed and considered, and the abuses introduced; according to the advice of the High Chancellor, there was a long punctual decree formed, in which was prescri­bed a form of Government, and a manner of proceeding for the Magistrates, taking away those corruptions and disorders that use to give the subject just cause of complaint. At the same time the King, insisting upon the pacification of his subjects for the gene­ral peace of the Kingdom, a reconciliation was endeavoured between the Houses of Guise and Chastillon, at which appeared on the one side the Mareshal of Momorancy with the Chastil [...]ons; on the other, the Cardinals of Lorain and Guise: but with such backward­n [...]ss in both parties, that there was little hope of sincere intentions, where there ap­peared so much disorder, and such an adherence to private interests. For on the one part, the Duke of Aumale, Brother to the Cardinals, had absolutely refused to be pre­sent thereat; and Henry Duke of Guise, yet in age of minority, came thither, only not to displease his Tutors; but carried himself in such a grave, reserved manner, that it clearly appeared, though his Governours brought him against his will, when he was once come of age, he would not forget the death of his Father, nor observe this peace, to which he could not, being then so young, remain any way obliged. But on the other part also the Mareshal of Momorancy, not induring so far to humble himself, denied to speak c [...]rtain words appointed by the Queen and the Council for the satisfaction of the Cardinal of Lorain, nor would ever have been brought to it, if he had not been forced by his Father▪ who if he refused, threatned to disinherit him; and the Chastillons op­posing by their Actions this se [...]ming Agreement, ceased not to calumniate and make [...]inister interpretations of the proceedings of the Guises. An interview between the Princes of Guise and the Chastillons; [...]ut no reconcilia­tion. At the last they were brought [...]ogether in the presence of the King, where they imbraced and discoursed, but with a general belief▪ even of the King himself, that the reconciliation could not long endure; which within a few days proved so indeed. For the Duke of Aumale arriving at the Court▪ denied expresly to meet with, or use any act of salutation or civility to the Ad­miral▪ or the rest of his Family. On the contrary, in the Queens presence he said, that the Admiral laying to his charge that he had hired one to kill him, he should think it a great happiness to be shut up with him in a chamber, that he might hand to hand let him know▪ [...]e had no need of help; but that he was able to determine his own quar­rels himself. And because the Queen being moved therewith, answered, That they might meet in the field; the Duke rep [...]yed again, That he came thither with fifty Gentlemen, but would return o [...]ly with twenty; and if he met the Admiral, he might perhaps make him [...]ear mo [...]e: and in this fury he would have left the Court, if the King had not laid an exp [...]ess comma [...]d upo [...] him to stay. After which new exasperations, Andelot se [...]king all [...]ccas [...]o [...]s of new s [...]dals, publickly charged the Duke of Aumale in [Page 99] the Council, that he had set one Captain Attin to murther him: to which the Duke re­plyed with great shew of resentment, It was necessary to lay hold of Attin; who not being found culpable in any thing, was at last released. Both parties ceased not mu­tually to persecute each other both in words and deeds, each of them accusing their adversaries, that they went about to raise men, and had an intent to disturb the quiet of the Kingdom. Which (though diligently inquired into) proving but vain surmises, at length it was thought the best way to continue the peace, that the Lords of both parties should absent themselves from the Court, where daily new occasions arising of con [...]estation between them, the things already quieted were disturbed and subverted. To this end, and to give example to the rest, the Constable with the Mareshal d'An­ [...]ille his Son, taking publick leave of the King and the Queen, went to their Castles in the Isle of France. So the great Lords following the same resolution, within a few days after they all departed; and particularly the Prince and the Admiral, went seve­rally to their own houses; and the Duke of Aumale being left Heir to Madam Valen­tine his Mother-in-law, who died about that time, retired himself to Anet, a place of pleasure which she had built. There remained at the Court only the Cardinal of Lo­rain, whom the King imployed in all businesses of importance; and the Mareshal Mo­mor [...]cy, whose Government of Paris the Queen meant by some slight or other to take away; that so powerful a people might not be under the command of a person that was inclined to innovations; and that the chief support of the Kings Authority for the present might be put into such hands as depended absolutely upon himself.

At this same time happened the distastes and departure of the Queen of Navarre from Court. For sentence being given by the King against Frances de Rohan, by which the contract of marriage between Her and the Duke of Nemours, though subscribed by their own hands, was made void; and he having concluded to marry Anne d' Este, Widow to the late Duke of Guise; Queen Iane, after infinite, but vain attempts in favour of her Neece; at the last, (just as they were Marrying in the Kings presence) caused one whom she had hired with promise of Reward to interpose, and make a Protestation in the name of Frances: but he being taken and imprisoned, without in­terruption of the Marriage, and finding her designs took no effect; equally offended withal, thinking her self injured and despised, she resolved to leave the Court, and retire into Bearn: designing in her mind, to raise new and more dangerous troubles. She took for occasion and pretence of her departure, That she could not be suffered a free exercise of her Religion. For the King being advertised by the Popes Nuncio, and divers others of the great resort of persons of all sorts to her lodging, to hear Hugo­not Sermons; and knowing the Parisians were greatly scandalized thereat; he one day sent his Provost de l' Hostel (as they call him) to seize upon her Minister:Provost de l' Hostel (called now adays le grand Provost de l' Hostel) is the ordinary Judge of the Kings House­hold; his power extends to all unprivi­ledged places within six leagues of the Court. and though he were not taken, (for the Provost gave him secret notice, that he might be gone) yet Queen Iane esteeming it as an huge affront, and having made many complaints thereof to the Queen, pretended that this was the cause of her departure. But the Court was full of joy and feasting for the Marriage of the Duke of Nemours and Ma­dam de Guise; besides many other Weddings that were celebrated, made the Carnival appear indeed a time of pomp and pleasure; that custom of the Nation giving a te­stimony to those who govern, That to lead a merry pleasant life, is a way in some measure to mitigate the fierceness of mens minds, by reason of such great dissentions then amongst them not a little inraged.

The Feasts were continued with great solemnity for the Marriage of Prince Lodovico Gonzago, before contracted, and now consummate.Lodovico Gon­zago Son to Frederick Duke of Man [...]ua, marrieth Hen­rie [...]a de C [...]eve, Sister to the late Duke of Nevers who was killed in the Battel of Dreux. This was Father to C [...]arles Duke of Nevers, now Duke of Mantua. This second Son of Frederick Duke of Mantua coming, when he was but a youth, to the Court of France, by the advan­tage of his Birth and nobleness of presence, but much more for quickness of his wit and Courtly behaviour, got a great reputation; which continually increasing, by gi­ving upon all occasions large testimonies of his valour, there was not any that surpassed him either in the Kings favour, or general esteem of the Court.

It hapned, that as the young Cavaliers of France used to court some Lady whom they pretend to marry, this Prince, full of modesty and prudence, passing by those which flourished in beauty or wealth, and were therefore sought after by many, made his addresses to Henriette de Cleve, Sister to the Duke of Neurs, a Lady of great dis­cretion and wise behaviour; but neither for beauty nor portion equal to many others in the Court. But the Prince liking her, and she esteeming his affection; after her Brother was killed in the Battel of Dreux, and she, as eldest Daughter remained Heir [Page 100] to the State; with a rare example of gratitude, declared freely, that she would not chuse a Husband amongst any of those that newly pretended; but whatever came of it, would marry the Prince Gonzaga. For she had sufficient testimony, that he, being her Servant when she was poor and forsaken, loved her person; whereas all the rest could not deny, but that they sought her at the present, only in regard of her fortune. So this greatness of mind being approved of both by the King and the Queen, the Mar­riage followed without delay, and at this time was solemnized: After which was cele­brated the Wedding of the Prince Dolphine, Son to the Duke of Monpensier, who mar­ried the only Daughter and Heir of the Marquess de Meziere; which was an unequal match for Birth, but she brought him forty thousand Franks yearly Revenue; and ha­ving been before promised to the Duke of Mayenne, second Son to the late Duke of Guise, those of the Hugonot Faction hoped that this Alliance would breed discord be­tween the Houses of Monpensier and Lorain. But the Cardinal and the Duke of Au­male, with the rest, who knew how much it concerned them not to break friendship with a Prince of the Blood, and for Estate the most considerable amongst them, wisely dissembled this injury; seeing it was impossible to hinder the Match already concluded. After these principal ones, many other lesser Weddings following, the Court seemed in appearance altogether turned to pomp and delights; but nourished inwardly the pesti­ferous seeds of long discords and bloody Wars.

The End of the Third BOOK.



THe Fourth Book relates the occasion of the Second Civil War: the sudden rising of the Hugonots to take the King and Queen-Mother Prisoners, who were at Monceaux a place of pleasure in Brye: their fright, flight and retreat; first to Meaux, and afterwards to Paris: the deliberation of the Hugonots to besiege that City, and famish it; to this purpose they take the Towns about it, burn the Mills, go close under the Gates, and possess themselves of the Bridge at Charenton: the Queen promotes a Treaty of Agreement, which is drawn out in length by many parlies; but takes no effect: Foot and Horse come to the King from all parts: so that having gotten a great Army, the Constable issueth out of the City to make the Enemy retire: the Battel of St. Denis followeth, in which the Hugonots are routed, and the Constable is killed: they take the way of Champagne to meet with Aids sent them out of Germany; and in the place of the other, the King maketh Henry Duke of Anjou his Brother, Ge­neral of the Army: Supplies arrive out of Flanders, sent by the Catholick King, and from Piedmont, and divers other places: the Duke of Anjou pur­sueth the Hugonots to fight with them before they join with the Germans; he overtaketh them near Chalons, but through the discords and impediments put in by his Counsellors, the Battel is hindred: The Hugonots pass the Meuse, and join with Prince Casimir, and the other German Supplies. They return with new courage and force into Champagne: The Queen-Mother goeth to the Army to re­medy the disorders; where it is resolved not to fight with the Hugonots who were grown so powerful, but to draw out the War in length: wherefore the Armies go on, both the same way: this counsel troubleth the Prince of Conde and the Ad­miral, unable through want of Money to keep the Army long together: They re­solve to besiege Chartres, whereby to provoke the Catholicks to Battel: The dan­ger of Chartres, bringeth on a new Treaty of Peace, which at last is concluded: The Armies are disbanded; but the Hugonots restore not all the places that they held; and the King dismisseth neither the Swisses nor the Italians; whereupon new differences arise; the King seeing the Conditions ill performed upon which he pro­mised a pardon, giveth order to apprehend the Prince of Conde and the Admiral, [Page 102] who with a good Guard were retired to Noyon in Burgundy, upon advice given, they fly and save themselves at Rochel; raise an Army, make themselves Ma­sters of Xaintonge, Poictou, and Tourain: the King sendeth the Duke of Anjou with all the Army against them: the Armies draw near each other at Jesenevil, but fight not: they march towards Loudun, but the contrariety of the season hinders their fighting: both Armies, overcome [...]ith cold, retire; and being infected with sickness, suffer a great mortality: th [...]y return into the field in March: The Hugonots pass the River Charente, break the Bridges, and stop the Passages: the Duke of Anjou finds a stratagem to pass the Ri­ver; the Battel of Jarna [...] follows; in which the Prince of Conde is slain, and the Hugonots are defeated. The Admiral causeth the Prince of Navarre and the Prince of Conde, Son to him that was killed, to be declared Heads of the Faction; and by reason they were young, the direction of the War re­maineth in him; he divideth all his forces to defend the Cities belonging to his party. The Duke of Anjou pursueth the Victory, and layeth siege to Cognac; but finding it strongly defended, raiseth the Camp, and takes divers other Towns. A new Army of Germans cometh into France in favour of the Hu­gonots, under the Command of the Duke of Deux-ponts; he marcheth to­wards the Loire; taketh the la Charite, and there passeth the River. The Duke of Deux-ponts, General of the Germans, dieth of a Feaver; and Count Mansfield succeeds him in his Command. The Prince and the Admiral go to meet the Germans: The Duke of Anjou, that he may not be encompassed by them, retires into Limosin; the Hugonot Forces join; follow the Kings Ar­my; skirmish hotly at Rochabeille; through the barrenness of the Country the Hugonots are forced to retire. The Queen-Mother cometh to the Camp: it is resolved to separate the Kings Army, to let the Enemies Forces consume with time: the Army disbands, and the Duke of Anjou retires to Loches in Touraine.

WHilst these things were in agitation at the Court, all other parts of the Kingdom groaned under several afflictions, and frequent Insurrections. For the Hugonots arrogating to themselves a much greater liberty than was granted them by the Edict of Pa­cification, endeavoured in many places, without any regard of the Magistrates, by tumults and violence to extend it to the ut­termost: and on the other side the Catholicks desiring to have that power which was permitted them restrained, sought by often complaints, and sometimes by force of Arms to molest them: whereby in the midst of Peace, the War was in a manner kindled again in all parts.

These distractions in the Provinces, not only troubled the Parliaments, which were wholly imployed how to remedy the disorders that proceeded from matters of Reli­gion, but also the Kings Council, together with the whole Court, where all the weight of the business falling at last, there arise many obstinate disputes between the Protectors, and Favourers of both Factions; the Mareshal of Momorancy and the Admirals Adhe­rents labouring to obtain an inlargement, or at least a confirmation of the liberty granted to the Hugonots, and the Cardinal of Bourbon, but much more the Cardinal of Lorain pressing that the Catholicks might be satisfied in their desires, and the liberty of the other suppressed. Wherefore the contestations so increased when any thing of this subject came to be handled, and the minds of men were so sway'd by passion, that it was thought necessary to appoint the Duke of Anjou, the Kings second Brother, though yet a Youth, President of the Council, and to make an order that no business concern­ing Religion should be debated, if the King or the Queen were not present: nor was this sufficient, for the persons engaged on both sides accustomed now to a liberty of speech as well as of action, all reverence due to the Royal Majesty being laid aside, ap­peared exceeding violent in their disputes, shewing clearly that they were more in­clined to the interests of the Factions, than either to the publick peace, or preservation of the Commonwealth.

[Page 103]Notwithstanding the Queen still remained constant to her own rules, and the King persisted in the resolution already taken to dissemble with all possible patience and suf­ferance, the insolencies that were committed, and to endeavour that policy rather than force might at length put an end to these evils. And therefore by plausible Declara­tions sometimes in favour of one party, and sometimes of the other, they sought so to appease both, that things might not come to a manifest rupture, but that by prolonga­tion of time, those wounds might be healed which were yet open and fresh bleeding▪ for this reason the King bestowed many favours upon the Admiral; and his dependants and followers got more than the Courtiers themselves: for this cause the Prince of Conde was suffered to enjoy such an absolute power in his Government of Picardy, that shewing a dislike to have the Mareshals of France in their ordinary Visitations of the Frontiers to visit that Province, the King gave the Mareshal d' Anville particular order not to go thither: and in this consideration, the complaints brought in continually against the Hugonots were passed over; as also the resentments of the Catholicks put up with silence, that so these discords might be buried in oblivion, and the troubles cease of themselves.

At the same time, the Constable who through age, and indisposition of body, de­sired to retire himself, made suit to the King, that he might surrender his Office to his Son Memorancy, which the Queen by reason of his humour and inclinations absolutely disliking, the King was perswaded by her to return answer, That having already de­signed whensoever the Constable left off, or could no longer exercise his charge, to make the Duke of Anjou his Brother Lieutenant General, it was not at all necessary to think of any body to supply that place; nevertheless not wholly to distaste the Con­stable, nor by this refusal absolutely to lose his Son, they were content to admit Me­moran [...]y into the Council of the Affairs, a thing which he had sought after before, but could never compass; and besides gave him 30000 Francks to pay his debts, though it were in a time when Money was exceeding scarce. And though the Constable very much troubled to receive a repulse, was not altogether satisfied with these other demon­strations, yet at last he gave over his suit: but such was the inconsiderateness of the Prince of Conde, being governed rather by violence than reason, that as soon as he heard mention of surrendring the Constables Office, he openly pretended to it for himself, without any consideration of the Memorancy's Allies; which not only rendered the Kings denial excusable, who being sollicited by two such powerful pretenders, made choice of his Brother as a mean between both, but also made an absolute breach be­tween him and the Constable, and in some measure took off Memorancy, who was be­fore so much inclined to favour his proceedings.

To this good success the Queen indeavoured to add the reconciliation of the Cardinal of Chastil [...]on, who being openly a Hugonot, and the Pope solliciting by the Bishop of Ce [...]eda his Nuncio in the Court of France, that he might be commanded to lay by his Cardinals Hat, and quit the Ecclesiastical preferments that he held, the Queen with divers excuses always putting off that business, by offering the Cardinal a liberal re­compence in temporal revenues and preferments, sought by fair means to effect that which could not be done by force. But these delays (which as the instances were greater from R [...]m [...]) still increased, together with the favour that was shown at Court to the Bishops of Vsez and Valence, whom the Pope as Hereticks had degraded from their Bishopricks, and many other such like things, made Pius Quintus, newly succeeded to Pius Q [...]tus in the Apostolick Sea, conceive a very hard opinion of the Queen,Pius Quin [...]us who succeeded Pius Quar [...]us, requires tha [...] the Cardinal of Chastillon be deprived of his Cardinals habit, and Ec­clesiastical preferments, because he fol­loweth the be­lief of Calvin; which being delayed, for that, and other things, he i [...] displeased with th [...] Que [...]n. which was yet more increased by a rumour spread abroad by her ill-willers, that she had sent a Gentleman expresly to Constantinople to perswade the great Turk to send an Army against the Christians, that so being busied in their own preservation, they might not persist to think of, or interpose in the affairs of the Kingdom of France: which opi­nion, though it were not grounded upon any reason, yet it being generally believed for a truth that there was a Gentleman sent to Porta, the Pope, little satisfied in other mat­ters, was not alone moved therewith, but also the Republick of Venice, the Senate there thinking it not only a thing pernicious to all Christian Princes, but very contrary to what they expected from the Queen in gratitude, whom they had so readily assisted in her greatest extremities with their counsel, and much more with supplies. Insomuch that the Nuncio made many complaints of it at the Court, and the Venetian Ambas­sador by order from the Senate demanded, and had an Audience to the same purpose both of the King and Queen, at which he modestly desired repayment of the 100000 [Page 104] Duckets, which in courtesie were lent by the State for the service of the Crown, al­leadging this reason, That the Turk (as report went) coming so near them, they were necessitated to make use of what they had, and to arm themselves for their own security.

The Queen being troubled at these rumours, and the ill opinion that was con­ceived of her, and desiring above all things to preserve the friendship of the Princes in confederacy with France, but especially the Pope and State of Venice, because upon them she had grounded many hopes, thought it necessary to send the Chevalier de Seurre expresly to Rome to clear her of those jealousies, which business he knew so well how to manage, laying before the Pope all those reasons that Ludovica Antenori had re­presented to his Predecessor, that his Holiness though he were of a difficult scrupulous nature, remained fully content and satisfied. She omitted not to perform the like Ce­remony with the Venetian State, the [...]mity and wisdom of which she always made great account of, having for that purpose dispatched away one of her Gentlemen, who with the Leiger Ambassador at Venice was to negotiate that business: but he falling sick upon the way, and dying afterwards at Milan, the Ambassador took the whole care of it upon himself, and at an Audience he had of the Prince in the presence of the Seig­nory, which they call the Colledge, he said, That the King his Master had sent a Gen­tleman on purpose to treat of certain business with the Republick, which he was now forced to do alone, for the said Gentleman being arrived at Milan, fell sick there and died; That his Majesty commanded him to say, That the amity and affection King Francis his Grandfather and King Henry his Father always bore to the Republick were very great, but his alone surpassed them all, by reason of the great benefits he had re­ceived from it, and especially the supplies of money it sent him in his greatest necessity; that he would not only satisfie the debt, but return the like or a greater courtesie; that his Father by reason of the long War he had, left him many debts, which he might well enough have paid, and gotten before-hand with money, if it had not been for the Ci­vil dissentions of his Kingdom; that if they were ceased, yet the expence would not be taken away; for the jealousies that continued would necessitate him still to keep an Army on Foot; that the suspition of War is worse than War it self; for there is one certain fence against this, but that requireth a vigilance on all sides; that to this was to be added the great scarcity which equally afflicted all parts of his Kingdom, and the tumults in Flanders, which being so near, obliged him according to the Maxims of State, to make preparations, with great expence, for his own security: Wherefore he desired to be excused if he did not immediately satisfie the whole debt, that he would presently lay down a third part, and in some time after the rest, and that if the Republick had occasion, he would not only pay what was due, but furnish as much more if it were required; wherefore they might make account of that money as if they had it in their own Treasury: that the more his Majesty grew in years, the more he grew to the knowledge of the love and friendship of the Republick, and the obli­gations he had to it, both for his own particular and his own Kingdom. To this the Duke made answer, That in repayment of the money the King might take his own con­veniency, for it was lent to serve his occasions.

Then the Ambassador continuing his discourse, said, That the second thing he had in charge, was concerning a bruit spread abroad that his Majesty had sollicited the Great Turk to send his Army against the Christians, which it seemed proceeded from a Letter written by one of Raguze, which was afterwards divulged with additions by the Emperours Ministers, and the Spaniards who were in that City, it being interpre­ted by them, that the Gentleman the King sent the May before to Constantinople, was to this effect, though the truth were, the occasion of sending that Gentleman, was to sollicite the release of certain Provincial Slaves, that the King being desired to call home the Gentleman that was resident there, had granted his request, and established this other in his place, who seemed to like of the imployment; that his Majesty would continue his ancient correspondence with the Turks, just upon the same terms that his Father and Grandfather had done before, without innovating any thing therein, that if he had any business to treat with the Turk, or a new capitulation to make with any Prince on Earth, he would never do it without the privity, advice and consent of the Republick; for he so well knew the amity and affection which that State bare unto him, and the prudence and wisdom thereof to be such, that it would never approve of any thing that should not be beneficial to France, and all Christendom; that if the Re­publick [Page 105] would continue as it had done hitherto with the Turk, he would do the same▪ and if it changed resolution, he would follow the like steps, for the King would ne­ver separate himself from it, but ever go along in all things that concerned their com­mon interest. The Senate was very well content with so ample a Declaration▪ and desired the Leiger Ambassador to testifie both to the King and the Queen their satis­faction therein, by which means all the distastes at Rome and Venice being removed, and the ancient intelligence with both those States confirmed, the whole care was di­rected to the particular affairs of the Kingdom.

But all the pains and industry used to appease the Prince, and to secure the Chastillons was in vain: He knew not how to leave his natural disposition, nor would these by any means trust to the Arts of the Court, and the Hugonots aiming at such an ample liberty as was granted by the Edict of Ianuary, could not contain themselves within the limits of the Articles agreed upon at the Pacification: Wherefore following the ex­ample of the Catholicks, who by a joint Embassie from the Pope, and the other Prin­ces, sollicited the publication of the Council of Trent; they procured likewise from the Protestant Princes of Germany to send an Embassie of some eminent persons, who com­plaining that those of the same Religion with them were very ill treated, should de­sire the King, that in consideration of those Princes, and for the quiet of the King­dom, he would permit the Hugonots a full liberty to assemble themselves in all places.

This Embassie sent by the Palatine of the Rhine, the Duke of Wittembergh, The Pro [...] ­stant Princes of Germany send Embassa­dors to the King in favour of the Hugo­nots, and re­ceive a sharp answer. the Duke of Deux-ponts, one of the Dukes of Saxony, the Duke of Pomerania, and the Marquess of Baden, many thought it was made at the expence, and with the money of the Hu­gonots; for the interests of those Princes were not such, that they should make this Expedition, which was so extraordinary, at this time. However it were, the Am­bassadors having first conferred with the Prince, the Admiral, and the rest of that faction, went afterwards to the King, who was returned to Paris, and at their Audi­ence, in a tedious formal Narration testified the good will of their Princes, and the inten­tions they had to continue their ancient friendship with the Crown of France; after which preamble, they desired first the observance of the Edict of Pacification, and after­wards by little and little expressing themselves more at large, demanded that the Mini­sters of the Reformed Religion might preach both in Paris, and in all other places of the Kingdom, and that the people might freely in what numbers they pleased go to hear them.

The King by nature beyond measure cholerick, and by reason of his long conversa­tion in the War, of a rough behaviour, being now of an age to discern good from ill, was before exceedingly offended, knowing since they came into the Kingdom they had first treated with others besides himself, but afterwards when he heard their demands, he was so out of order, that he could hardly answer them in short, that he would pre­serve a friendship and affection for those Princes, as long as they did not interpose in the affairs of his Kingdom, as he did not meddle in their States: and after he had recol­lected himself a little while, said, with manifest shew of disdain, That he had need likewise to sollicite their Princes to suffer the Catholicks to preach and say Mass in their Cities and Towns; and with these words took his last leave of the Ambassadors: Not­withstanding, that they might not remain altogether unsatisfied, and return with this distaste to their Princes, the Queen, to make them some amends for the liberty her Son had used, besides many other honours, gave order that they should have great and noble Presents.

The Kings anger was wrought to the heighth by the carriage of the Admiral, who being come to Court in this conjuncture, and fearing to lose his reputation with his party, or else ashamed whilst stranger Princes sollicited in the behalf of the Hugonots not to shew himself, the morning after being in the Kings Chamber, and seeing there by chance a Declaration published a little before; That at the Preachings tolerated in private houses, none should be present but those of the Family, he took occasion to make great complaint thereof; saying, In this manner we are deprived the liberty of admitting a Friend who cometh by chance to our houses in a visit, to hear the Word of God; whilst on the other side, the Catholicks are permitted to assemble wheresoever they please, without prescribing their number, manner, or any other circumstance of their meetings: at which words, the Constable being present, sharply reprehended his Nephew, and answered, The case is not the same, for the King doth not give a Tole­ration to the Catholicks; but it is the Religion he himself professeth, which is derived [Page 106] to him by a long succession from his Ancestors; whereas on the contrary, the exercise of the new Religion was simply a grace of his Majesty, for what time, number or place he was pleased,Charles the IX. sharply an­swereth the Admiral, and takes a severe resolution a­gainst the Hu­gonots. or should be pleased to grant it them. And the King in choler added, At the first you were content with a little liberty, now you will be equal, within a little while you will be chief, and drive us out of the Kingdom. The Admiral held his peace, but was much troubled in his countenance; and the King in a great chase went to the Queen-Mothers Chamber, where aggravating the business, he said in presence of the Chancellor, That the Duke of Alva's opinion was right, that their Heads were too eminent in the State, that no arts could prevail with such subtile Artificers, and there­fore it was necessary to use rigour and force: and though the Queen endeavoured to appease him, from that time forward he was so fixed in that belief, that it was not possible to alter or make him of another mind.

Daily something or other hapned to increase and augment the Kings anger: For the Queen of Navarre shewing as much malice as she could, had a little before made a sud­den Insurrection at Pamiers, a City in the County of Foix, where the Hugonots taking a scandal at a Procession on Corpus Christi day, betook themselves to their Arms, and falling upon the others that were unarmed, made a great slaughter among the Chruch­men, and in the same fury burnt and ruined their houses; and by her instigation, with the other principal Heads of that party, strange tumults were raised at Montaban, Ca­hors, Rhodez, Perigieux, Valence, and other places in Languedoc and Daulphine; in which, though no great matter hapned, no killing of men nor shedding of blood; yet, as it came to their turns, either the Catholicks or the Hugonots were driven out of their Countries, according as the one party or the other was most powerful in the place, with perpetual trouble to the King and Queen, who many days together were very much in doubt of the revolt of Lyons, where through the great concourse of people that from all parts, but especially from Savoy, fled thither for Religion, the Hugonots were so increased, and raised such commotions, that the City had certainly remained in the power of that party, if Renato of Birago, President, who was afterwards Chan­cellor, and successively Cardinal, had not with great dexterity and courage suppressed those tumults; after which, though the first fury were over, yet the Factions ceased not continually to persecute each other, and in particular, the Hugonots were accused to have wrought a Mine a thousand paces long under the Bulwarks, with an intent, whilst the people were in these distractions, to give fire to it, and surprize the City: and though they excused themselves, by shewing that the Cave found under ground was the relicks of an ancient Aqueduct; yet the King remained not without jealousies, and sent the President order to reinforce the Garison, and to use all possible diligence to secure the Town; who providing with great care and rigour to hinder the Assem­blies of the Hugonots, they were exceedingly offended, and murmured thereat in all parts.

The like suspicion was at the same time had of Avignon, which the Kings of France, through common respects and interests, have ever no less than their own, taken into their care and protection. For all those who dissented from the Roman Catholick Faith, being by order from the Pope expelled that City, they retired to the adjacent places in Provence and Languedoc, where they practised underhand to surprize it; and so far their design was advanced, that they had already intelligence to possess them­selves of one of the Gates; but the business being discovered by the vigilance of the Citizens, the Cardinal of Armagnac, who was Governour there, causing diligent search to be made after the complices, apprehended some of them, and sent Scipione Vimar­cato post to the Court, to render an account thereof to the King, who sent a positive command to the Count of Tende Governour of Provence, to Monsieur de Gordes Lieu­tenant of Dauphine, and to the Viscount of Ioyeuse Lieutenant of Languedoc, that they should furnish such forces as were necessary for the securing of it; by which means the attempt of the Hugonots at length proved vain; who not being daunted with this ill success, were still ready to imbrace any new occasion, having likewise laid a plot to enter into Narbon: and indeed their practises kept all the Provinces and Fortresses of the Kingdom in perpetual apprehensions, but especially the King and Queen, who see­ing the fire already kindled in so many places, reasonably enough feared the flame thereof would at length burst forth with greater violence, and in some place or other cause a notorious ruine.

[Page 107]The Hugonots were no less bold with their pens than their swords; for at the same time a Minister, who was born at Orleans, preached seditiously against the Kings Authority; and had likewise printed a Book in which he maintained, That the peo­ple of France were no longer obliged to be obedient to the King, because he was turned Idolater; and for this reason affirmed, That it was lawful to kill him;An Hugonot Minis [...]er prin t a B ook and preacheth that it is law­ful to kill the King. from which impious diabolical seed afterwards sprang up in other times and in other persons, that pernicious Doctrine, which with such horrible perversion of all humane and divine Laws, instructed men, under the pretence of Piety and Religion, to imbrue their hands in the Blood of their lawful Kings, by GOD's Ordinance appointed over them as His Deputies. And perhaps by this Doctrine, which sounded well in their ears, because agreeable to their designs, the Admiral and the rest of his party were perswaded to plot, not only against the Queen-Mother, but even against the Person of the King himself; of which (either truly or falsly) he was accused by a Gentleman;A Prisoner confesseth that he was hired by the Admi­ral to kill the King. who (being im­prisoned for another great offence) sought to obtain his pardon by discovering, that he and two other Gentlemen were seduced, and suborned with money by the Admi­ral to kill the King when they should find a fit opportunity; and though at the first there was not much credit given to what he said, yet being confronted with those whom he named as Complices, with unexpected Questions he so amazed and silenced them, that the King was put into an exceeding jealousie; yet the proofs not being suf­ficient for so great a conspiracy, the business was passed over with silence, and the Gentleman for his other offences condemned to die.

To this great suspicion was added this other accident,The Queen-Mother is threatned in a Letter to be killed. that the Queen-Mother going one morning out of her Chamber to Mass, there was found at her feet a long Letter di­rected to her self, in which she was threatned, that if she changed not her course, and suffered not those of the Reformed Religion to enjoy full Liberty of Conscience, she should be murthered, as the Duke of Guise was formerly, and Maynard, President of the Parliament of Paris; who at the beginning of the tumults about Religion, for having passed a severe Vote against the Hugonots, was killed at Noon-day with a shot, it never being known by whom. Wherefore the Queen was admonished to guard her self from the wrath of GOD, and the desperate resolution of men.

All these things laid together, and continually multiplying on all sides, exceedingly incensed and exasperated the King, who as he grew in years, conceived still a more inveterate hate against those who obstinately opposed his will; wherefore his nature suiting with the Duke of Alva's counsel, and the Hugonots not ceasing continually to offend and provoke him, he was every day in secret consultation with his Mother to find some prompt expedite remedy to extirpate this evil. The Queen remained doubt­ful, or rather of a contrary opinion, and much more the Chancellor de l' Hospital, being both of them averse to those dangerous violent proceedings, as altogether disagreeing to the disposition of the French; insomuch that together and apart they earnestly de­sired and advised the King to be patient, and dissemble his anger; even the Cardinal of Lorain himself, with his Brothers and Nephews, though they were very well pleased to see him so passionate, yet wished he would have kept himself more reserved until some seasonable fit opportunity had been offered. But there was no end of the com­plaints of the people, nor of the jealousies and dangers stirred up by the Heads of the Hugonots: all parts abounded with bloody mournful dissentions; the Prince and the Admiral sometimes leaving the Court, sometimes returning, but ever with some new complaints or pretensions, gave great occasion both of jealousie and offence: and the King being passionate and furious, could no longer indure them; so that at length it was resolved together with policy to imploy force, and to bridle the excessive Liberty of the Rebellious Faction. And the Catholick King sending at the same time the Duke of Alva Governour into Flanders, to curb the insolencies of those (who under a pretence of Religion, but truly through the hate they bare to the Spanish Govern­ment, had at once withdrawn themselves from their obedience to the Catholick Church and the temporal Jurisdiction) the Treaty of Bayonne was renewed, and by consent of both Princes an Agreement made, that by mutually aiding each other, they should endeavour the suppression of such eminent persons who were the Incendiaries to nou­rish Rebellion in their several Dominions.

The Duke of Alva went with great force towards the Low-Countries, which in di­vers places border upon France, so that this occasion served the King and Queen for pretence to arm, who feigning to have great apprehensions of the Spaniards, gave pre­sent [Page 108] order to hire a considerable number of Swisses, commanded all the Provinces to have their forces in a readiness, levied men in Lyonoise, under colour of sending divers companies of French Infantry into the States beyond the Mountains, and getting mo­ney from several parts, made a bargain with certain Italian Merchants, to furnish eight hundred thousand Crowns, with a full intent to imploy these preparations to re­strain and humble those insolent Spirits, who after so many attempts would hardly ever be appeased of themselves, and to put an end to the miserable distractions of the Kingdom.

But the very same reasons that necessitated the King to this resolution, necessitated the Heads of the Hugonots likewise to be vigilant for their own preservation; for ha­ving many testimonies of the Kings averseness to them, seeing the Pope reconciled with the Queen, who before in shew seemed to favour them, perceiving the Princes of Lorain powerful at Court, and finding all the policies that were used tended only to their suppression, if at first the restlesness of their natures only made them desire to return to arms, they thought it now an unavoidable necessity; and though the passage of the Duke of Alva gave sufficient colour to their proceedings, yet they saw that quite contrary to what was pretended, the King and the Queen-Mother (notwith­standing the High Chancellor opposed it) were resolved not only to furnish Victuals and all other commodities for the Spaniards, (who in their passage into Flanders were to touch upon their Dominions) but also to send provisions into Bresse and Savoy, which wanted them, and could not possibly otherwise have nourished such a multitude of people as were to pass there. Besides this, they had advice that the Count of Brissac, Colonel of the French Infantry beyond the Mountains, who entertained five Compa­nies of Foot, every one consisting of two hundred men, though he said he was to pass into the Marquisate of Salusses to secure the places in that State, y [...]t he left the greatest part of them at Lyons, and the rest under excuses remained in Daulphine, as places suspected to be at the devotion of the Hugonots: of which to be the more assured, they perswaded Andelot as General of the Foot, to desire the charge of those Levies, and saw he was refused it. They observed, that no occasion was omitted to restrain the liberty of Religion, and that the injuries the Catholicks did the Hugonots were not so ill interpreted as any the least action of the others. They marked the repulse was gi­ven to Momorancy when he pretended to the Con [...]ableship, because he inclined to fa­vour them, and that the Marquess d' Elbeuf General of the Gallies being dead, his place was presently bestowed upon the Baron de la G [...]rde, that Monsieur de Meru, Momo­rancy's Brother, might not have time [...]o make suit for it, a man who had ever applyed himself to the profession of the Sea, but of the same inclinations with his Brother. They took notice likewise that when the Mareshal de Burdillon died, Monsieur de Gon­nor, Brother of the Mareshal de Brissac deceased, was the very same night chosen in his place, to hinder the pretences of Andelot and Muy, who had a promise of it before. All these things considered together, they doubted that the King of France holding intelli­gence with the King of Spain, would at length chastise them for their past insolencies, and force them to live conformable to the Catholick Religion: and though the King sent the Viscount de Ioyeuse to besiege Pamiers, that had openly revolted, where the Rebels at first sight of the Cannon abandoned the Town, and fled into the Mountains; yet by the advice of his Mother▪ he still made shew of bearing great respect to the Au­thority of the Hugonot Lords, excused and palliated the things that were done; and to keep them in their duty until such time as the Swisses were come, and the other forces gotten together, continued a seeming affection to the Prince of Conde, and the Admiral, withal assuring them, his int [...]ntion was that they should injoy a Liberty of Conscience, and live according to the Capitulation, omitting no kind of art [...]at might any way conduce to please or secure them. And the Queen-Mother (upon whose actions the wariest of the Hugonots chiefly cast an eye) to cover with a more profound dissimulation the secret of their Counsels, and to take away the suspition which some hasty actions, or any the least inconsiderate speech of the Kings might give them, ma­king use of the common report spread abroad that King Philip had resolved to pass him­self in person into Flanders ▪ and divulgi [...]g and making more of it then was yet spoken of, seemed to have exceeding jealousies, and to apprehend that this Voyage of his was with some further end than meerly to suppress the Gueux, for which the forces of the Duke of Alva were more then sufficient,Gueux, a Sect of Hereticks. whereupon she put on such a shew of perplexity, that she made most men indeed believe all those preparations of men and money were only [Page 109] for this occasion, which that it might be the more credited, divers of the Lords were sent for to the Court, and making a kind of assembly, whereat many of the Hugonots were present, they entred into a consultation of the means not only how to defend the Frontiers, but also to make an offensive War against the Spaniards, if they found the Catholick King came with any sinister intention; and as it were by the advice of this assembly they resolved to send young l' Aubespine the Secretary into Spain, who pre­tended he went for no other purpose but to disswade that King from coming, or else by observation to make probable conjectures of the end, and designs of his Voyage; but the truth is, he was sent to confirm the former agreement. Withal to be sure that these dissimulations should be well acted on both sides: the Queen dispatched away post Father Hugo a Franciscan Fryar, who having communicated to the Catholick King the intention of their proceedings, ordered it so, to give the more colour to the jea­lousies in France, that he should receive l' Aubespine without any manner of respect, delaying his Audience, and making no accompt of him, and in all other occurrences shew little confidence or satisfaction either from the King or the Queen-Mother, who on the other side ceased not to complain in publick of the Spaniards, discovering a design and resolution suddenly to move with their Forces against them; which was so excellently dissembled, that not only the common sort of people who were not con­cerned in the affairs, but even the Pope himself so far believed all that was done to be real, that he very earnestly interceded by his Nuncio to perswade the Queen, that the Catholick King intended nothing at all against the King her Son, and therefore it was not necessary to make such great preparations of Souldiers, who if they were led up­on the Confines, might perhaps be an occasion of some mischief, which was not thought on before. The Queen answered the Nuncio with ambiguous artificial spee [...]hes, neither denying nor affirming the War, expressing a mistrust of the Catholick Kings designs, and complaining of him, that he had in no measure answered the confidence she had of his integrity, and the care that was taken, that the Insurrections in France might not encourage his Subjects to rebel; but at the same time declared, That the King her Son intended not to violate the League with the Spaniards, nor to resolve upon a War, unless he were necessitated and provoked first by them: Which uncertain kind of discourse rather increased the doubts, than any way satisfied concerning the truth.

The Pope was not alone deceived with these dissimulations▪ The Prince of C [...]nde per­swades the King to make war with Spain, and offers him a great number of the Hugo­nots, whi h more exaspe­rates the King▪ but the Prince of Conde, of a disposition apt enough to receive any new impressions, counselled the King to take this occasion to make War with the Spaniards, offering to bring him a great number of men of the Hugonot Faction, which served only to exasperate the King▪ who could not be well pleased, that any body should presume to have a greater credit or authority in his own Kingdom, and with the Subjects thereof, than himself; and though the Queen perpetually desired him to dissemble his pass [...]on, and the other Ca­tholick Lords did [...]he same; yet he could not forbear to express his displeasure with the Prince, and to reprove him for what he had said, though afterwards he excused him­self to the Queen, that he treated him so on purpose to take him off from the hopes of being Constable; for which the Prince at length moving the King himself, the Duke of Anjou, being first throughly instructed by his Mother, without expecting the Kings Answer, replyed in a disdainful manner, That his Majesty having promised to make him his Lieutenant-General, he was not of such a temper, to suffer that any body else should pretend to command the Army but himself; which repulse displeasing the Prince, he shortly after left the Court, the same did the Admiral and Andelot with much greater reason of discontent; for the Colonels Brissa [...] and Strozzi having refused to obey the command of Andelot General of the French Infantry, the Council through hate of him, determined it, contrary to custom, in their favour.

Nevertheless the Queen continuing her wonted a [...]ts, endeavoured by many demon­strations of kindness still to entertain the Hugonot pa [...]ty with hopes, often discoursing of her diffidence in Spain, of the jealousies of the Duke of Alva, of the troubles in Scotland, where there were commotions of great consequence, for which she seemed to take exceeding thought, by reason of the reciprocal intelligence ever held [...] that Crown, and of the little correspondence with England ▪ for having refused upon the instance of that Queen to restore Callais, with many more things of the like nature, which all tended to lull the restless curiosity of the Hugonots. But it is a hard matter to deceive those who are full of jealousies, and careful to observe every little accident. [Page 110] The Prince of Conde and the Admiral, who knowing the guilt of their own Conscience, put no trust in the flatteries of the Court, calling to mind all the past occurrences, and considering them throughly, resolved not to be prevented, but to gain the advan­tage of being first in Arms. Wherefore, at the beginning of the Summer in the year 1567. six thousand Swisses arriving in the Isle of France under the conduct of Colonel Fifer, 1567. a man of great esteem amongst his own Nation, the Heads of the Hugonots be­ing come to Valeri, shewed their adherents certain secret advertisements which they said they had from a principal person at Court, in which they were advised to stand upon their guard; for the intention of those that governed, was, to seize upon the persons of the Prince and the Admiral, with a resolution to keep the first in perpetual imprisonment, and presently to put the other to death; then making use of the Swisses and other Souldiers, on a sudden to clap Garisons into those Cities which they thought inclined to the Reformed Religion, and revoking the Act of Pacification to forbid the exercise thereof in all parts of the Kingdom.

At the beginning there were many different opinions amongst them, for divers gave no credit to this advertisement, others were diffident of their own strength, and a great part abhorred the necessity of a War; insomuch that they left Valeri, with a re­solution not to proceed any further till they were better assured of the truth of their in­telligence: but the Swisses being already come into the Isle of France, who at first it was said should stay upon the Confines, and the Cardinal de S. Croix from his Bi­shoprick of Arles arrived at Court,The Hugonots jealousies of the Kings pre­parations, re­solve upon a War. who, the Hugonots suspected, came as Legate from the Pope, to authorize with the Kings consent the observation of the Council of Trent, the chief Leaders of the Faction re-assemble themselves at Chastillon, where the Prince, the Admiral, and Andelot, perswaded them without further delay to take Arms; which opinion, though with some difficulty, at length prevailing, they presently entered into a consultation what course they should take in the administration of the War.

Some thought it best to get possession of as many Towns and places as they could in all parts of the Kingdom, to the end to separate and divide the Kings Forces. Others by the example of the late War thought this advice both unprofitable and dan­gerous; and perswaded, having made themselves Masters of two or three strong places at a reasonable distance one from the other, where the Forces of the Faction might assemble, as soon as was possible to put it to a Battel, seeing without some notable Victory they could never hope to bring their business to a prosperous end.

But the Admiral who with long premeditation had throughly weighed these opi­nions, placing all his hope in expedition and prevention, proposed a more desperate indeed, but far more expedite way, and advised, that before they were thought of, they should make an attempt on a suddain to seize upon the persons of the King and Queen-Mother, who imagining they had with their arts brought the Hugonots into a stupid security, or else believing they could not so soon or so easily bring their Forces together, passed their time without any apprehensions for the present at Monceaux, a House of the Queens, and at some other places of pleasure in Brye, where they might with much facility be surprised and carried away. He made appear to them that by this suddain alteration they should gain that power, that appearance of reason, and those Forces which in the late War their adversaries had, and through which the Vi­ctory at length inclined wholly to their side, and concluded, that though the King and the Queen for their security kept the Swisses in the same Province, in a place not far from the Court, yet if they came upon them on a suddain they would not have time to expect their aid; so the King being taken, they might presently set upon the Swisses, who being divided in their quarters would be easily suppressed, and they once de­feated, there remained in no part of the Kingdom a body of men together, that could make resistance, or hinder the progress of their Arms. This stratagem wonderfully pleased them all, and without further dispute they appointed to meet armed with as many Horse as they could get the 27 day of September, and assigned Rosay, a Town in the Province of Brye very near Monceaux where the Court remained, for their general Rendezvous.

Many have reported, and some who in several occasions were taken in Gascony by Monsieur de Monlu [...] and put to their trial, confessed upon the torture, that the chief scope of this enterprize was to murther the King and the Queen, with all her other Children, that the Crown might come to the Prince of Conde; but so great a cruelty was not generally believed of all men.

[Page 111]Now whilst the Hugonots made their preparations in divers places, and whilst their Confederates and Dependents assembled themselves together, the enterprize was car­ried with marvellous secrecy: but when they began to move from several parts to the place appointed, the Queen though late, and when it was even ready to be put in ex­ecution, had advertisement thereof, who never imagining that the Hugonots could so soon, or with such secrecy unite themselves, or make any insurrection, that she should not have notice of it long before; and thinking her self secure through the strength of her Swisses who lay so near, was at this time surprized with danger, when she least dreamt of any molestation, having perhaps too much relied upon those dissimulations and arts which she used to appease the restless minds of the Hugonots, yet not being at all daunted with the greatness of the danger, believing her preservation depended wholly upon quickness, as soon as ever she received the news, she presently with her Son and some few near about them took Horse, and leaving all their carriage and train behind, went in great diligence to Meaux, which was the nearest Town, not having time to save themselves in any place that was stronger or better defended. There they sent one Messenger after another for the Swisses, who quartered in the same Pro­vince but a few Leagues off, and the Mareshal de Momorancy was dispatched away to the Hugonots to demand of them in the KINGS Name the cause of their taking Arms.

Momorancy, as is said before, in his heart favoured the Princes and the Admirals Factions: but his natural averseness to action, the respect he bore his Father, his mo­desty of mind, and the little satisfaction he received from the Prince of Conde, made him nevertheless hold with the Catholick party, and therefore he was thought a fit person to serve the Queens design, which was to amuse the Hugonots Forces till the Swisses were come to Court. And it fell out according to their desire, for meeting the Prince and the Admiral upon the way, whilst he informed himself of their rea­sons for this commotion, whilst he disputed with them the unjustice of the open vio­lence they intended to the Kings person, and whilst they were consulting and deba­ting with contrariety of opinions amongst themselves, what answer the should re­turn to the Queen, the Swisses not losing any minute of the time, but beginning presently to march with wonderful speed, as if it had been to run a race, arrived where the King was, and the Hugonots lost the opportunity of effecting so great a design.

But the Swisses being already come, and knowing the Hugonots would be there also within a few hours after, the Kings Council entred into a debate whether it were better to stay in the Town, and abide a Siege, or else endeavour to make a retreat to Paris, which was ten leagues off, and hazard fighting with the Enemy upon the way. The Constable believing for certain the Hugonots would set upon them in their march, and thinking it very dangerous, having no considerable company of Horse, to fight in such an open champion Country, perswaded all he could, that it was not fit to expose the persons of the King and Queen to such an evident certain hazard.

The Duke of Nemours on the other side, thought it not only dishonourable, but much more dangerous likewise to expect a Siege in a little Town, that had no De­fence but an old broken Wall without any provision, or method of War: between which opinions they remained long in suspence, and the Constables advice had at length prevailed, if Colonel Fifer, having desired to be admitted to the Kings pre­sence whilst he was in Council, had not with great effectual speeches humbly requested his Majesty not to suffer himself to be besieged in such a poor place, by a company of insolent rebellious Subjects, but that he would be pleased to commit himself and the Queen his Mother to the fidelity and courage of the Swisses, who being six thousand strong, would with the heads of their Pikes make a way for him through any Army whatsoever of his Enemies. To this speech the Swisse Captains, who staid at the Council-Chamber-Door, adding their earnes [...] desires, the Queen standing up, and with gracious speeches commending their fidelity and vertue, gave order they should refresh themselves those few hours of the night that remained; for in the morning she would freely commit to the protection of their valour the Majesty and welfare of the Crown of France: At which resolution the Air redounding with the shouts of all those of that Nation, they went to prepare themselves for the next day, and the Lords of the Court were very diligent to put the Archers of the Kings Guard and their own servants in order.

[Page 112]Presently after midnight, the Swisses with great chearfulness beating up their Drums, went a mile out of the Town to put themselves in order, and the King with the Court taking the shortest way, just at day break was ready upon the place, where the the Swisses having received him and the Queen, with the Ambassadors of Foreign Princes, and all the Ladies of the Court into the midst of their Battalion, began to march with such a fierceness and bravery, that in many years France had not seen so remarkable a spectacle.

They had not marched thus above two miles, (the Duke of Nemours with the Horse of the Kings Guard going before, and the Constable with the Gentlemen of the Court following after the Battalion) when they saw some Troops appear of the Hugonots Horse which advanced a good pace to charge them.Colonel Fifer with 6000 Swisses saves the King, the Queen, and the Royal Fa­mily, fr [...]m a great Army of the Hugonots, and marching in an excellent order fighting wi [...]h the [...]ne­my, conducts th [...]m safe to Paris. The Swisses closed their ranks and charging their Pikes, shewed such an undaunted courage to receive the assault of the Enemy, that the Prince of Conde and the Admiral being come up to the Rear with a party of six hundred Horse, making caracols, and wheeling about the field▪ durst not charge their Battalion, who standing in a very close order, and fiercely shaking their Pikes, shewed little fear of the fury of their Horse: But the Count de la Roche-fou-cault with a Troop of three hundred Horse, and Andelot with another of two hun­dred being joined with them, they returned furiously to charge them again in the Rear. At the same instant the Swisses with admirable nimbleness faced about to fight, and the King with great ardour spurred on his Horse to the front of the Battail, being fol­lowed by the chief Lords of the Court, but for the most part without any weapons but their Swords, none of them finding in such haste Arms either defensive or offen­sive fit for such an occasion. The Hugonots made some shot as if they meant to fall in upon them in good earnest; but seeing the frank resolution of the Swisses, they wheeled off, and caracolled again, and began to keep at a distance. Thus sometimes advancing, sometimes making a stand to receive the charge of the enemy who followed them in the Rear seven Leagues together, they kept on their way with an admirable constancy, till the Hugonot Captains being wearied, and seeing they could do no good, partly through the daring courage of the Swisses, partly because their Forces arrived not soon enough at the place appointed, left off pursuing them, and perceiving the night draw on, retired to lodge in the adjacent Villages: which when the Catholick Lords knew, (not to expose themselves the next day to a greater hazard) they re­solved, leaving the Constable and the Duke of Nemours with the Swisses, that the King and Queen should go on towards Paris, which they did with more than an or­dinary pace, not without some fear, and very much danger; for if the enemy had been advertised thereof, and sent but two hundred Horse before to lie in their way, they might very easily have taken them. All that were present were exceedingly moved to see the Queen with all her Sons so invironed by their Enemies, that in an instant all the Royal Family might have been lost, and it was a great chance it fell out otherwise, nor less good fortune that the Swisses had such an address; for without them it had been impossible to escape the hands of the Enemy.

The King being come to Paris, was received with great joy of the people, even shedding tears through tenderness; and the Duke of Aumale, who was there before, went with three hundred Horse that he had gotten together to meet the Swisses, who arrived not till after midnight in the Suburbs. The next morning they entered the City with the same order and bravery, being received by the King himself at St. Mar­tins Gate, who having highly commended their valour, and made them a donative of a pay, the reward of Conquerours, they were sent back to the Suburbs, where Quar­ters were provided for them.

The Cardinal of Lorain saves himself by flight from the Hugonots.The Cardinal of Lorain, of whom the Hugonots had a principal design to rid them­selves, at the same time the King and Queen marched away, went with a samll train out of the great road through by-ways towards his Archbishoprick of Rheims in Champagne, and falling unawares into certain Hugonot-Troops which were gathering together in those parts,The Hugonots resolve to be­siege Paris, stop the passa­ges whereby provisions are conveyed to the City, make incursions into the Suburbs, and burn the Mills. leaving his coaches, and losing his baggage, with much diffi­culty saved himself by flight.

But the Prince and the Admiral, though they saw the miserable ill success of their design, which wholly depended upon expedition and prevention, yet they resolved they would besiege Paris, being of opinion that a City so replenished with people, and not at all furnished with victuals, would in few days be brought to such extremity, that it must be delivered up to them of necessity, for there was not any Army ready that [Page 113] was not any Army ready that was able to succour or relieve it. To this end they be­gan to possess themselves of all the passages of the Rivers, by which provisions are con­veyed to Paris, fortifying and placing Guards in all the little Towns about the City, which being but weak, and unprovided of any defence, in this sudden commotion were with little delay, and less pains reduced into their power; so that being Masters of Montereau, Lagny, S. Denis, the Bridge of S. Cloud, Dammartine, and all the places thereabout, the fifth of October they made incursions even to the walls of Paris, and burnt the windmils without the Ramparts, between S. Honore's gate and the port de Temple, with great terrour to the Parisians, and extream offence to the King, who in the heat of passion, could not forbear with threats and rough language to express an anger full of revenge. In the mean while, the Queen, upon whose prudence and care the whole welfare of the State depended, imployed all her industry to get an Ar­my soon enough together, to raise the enemy from the Siege. To which purpose, besides the general order given all over the Kingdom, that the Catholicks should take arms, the Colonels Brissac and Strozzi were sent for in all diligence with the old French Infantry, the Sieurs de Sansac, Savigny, Tavanes, and Martigues, with the Gens d' Arms, the Duke of Guise from his Government of Champagne, the grand Prior from that of Auvergne, the Mareshal d' Anville with the Forces of his Family, and particular Orders and Letters directed to all the Catholick Lords and Gentlemen of the Kingdom, to hasten them away, who at the first report of the Kings danger in­stantly ran together; wherefore though the occasion were pressing and urgent, yet it was hoped all these aids would arrive before the City were reduced to an extream ne­cessity, which by the help of the Swisses, and readiness of the Parisians was able to hold out many days But the thing that troubled the Queen, was the great scarcity of mo­ney: wherefore having called together the Catholick Princes Ambassadors that were resident at Court, she very effectually recommended to them the present occasions of the State, and desired every one of them to procure some convenient aid from their Masters: nor content with this, dispatched away Annibal Ruccelai post into Italy, to get what considerable Sum he could of the Pope and the great Duke: with Giovanni Corraro the Venetian Ambassador, she treated in private with great shew of confidence, to dispose the Senate to lend 100000 Ducats: To the Duke of Ferrara she writ very earnestly that he would give her leave to make use of 100000 Francks and more that remained in France to satisfie certain debts; and into Spain sent Monsieur de Malassise to the same purpose. But foreseeing the slowness of these Supplies in respect of the urgency of the present occasions, the King calling together the chief Citizens of Paris, obtained of them 400000 Francks; and it fell out very opportunely, that the Prelates being assembled at the same time in Paris, to consult of the affairs of the Clergy, agreed among themselves to make the King a present of 250000 Crowns towards the present maintenance of the War: besides these provisions which were presently brought in, the King being informed that certain Merchants sent 60000 Reals of Eight into Flanders, and exceedingly offended that they would not furnish him with any part of it, caused the money to be stopt, which was an exceeding help in so pressing a ne­cessity

Nevertheless the Queen, to protract the time till supplies of men and other neces­sary provisions arrived, and to abate the fervour of the Enemy, being constrained to have recourse to her wonted arts, excellently dissembling those so fresh injuries, and the late danger she passed, began to make overture of a Treaty for an Accommoda­tion by Monsieur de S. Sulpice, a person in whom she reposed much confidence, and that was not ill thought of by the Hugonots, who not shewing themselves altogether averse from peace, there went to them in a place equally distant from both Armies the High Chancellor, the Mareshal of Momorancy, and la Vieux-Ville, Monsieur de Mor­villiers, and the Bishop of Limoges; to whom though they proposed insolent exorbitant conditions, such as Conquerours use to impose upon the Conquered; yet to gain the benefit of time, they artificially spun out the Treaty still, giving them hopes of con­descending to their desires.

The Propositions of the Hugonots were these: That the Queen-Mother should have nothing to do in the Government: That those who till then had managed the affairs, should render an account to them of their proceedings: That the King should dis­band all his Forces: That all strangers should be sent out of the Kingdom, and parti­cularly the Italians, to whom they attributed the invention of their new Impositions [Page 114] and Any kind of imposition, e­spe [...]ially that which is paid unto the King upon sale of Salt. Gabelles: That the Edict of Ianuary should be reauthorized, and punctually observed with a free exercise of the Hugonot Religion in all places, and particularly in Paris: That Metz, Calais, and Havre de Grace, should be consigned to them for their security: That all Taxes should be taken away: That a general Assembly of the States should be called: That Justice should be done them against the Princes of Guise, by whom they said they were persecuted and calumniated, and other things not unlike these; which seeming rather ridiculous than matter of hate, chiefly that Article in which they demanded a present disbanding of the Kings Forces, whilst they had an Army on foot at the Gates of Paris, afforded no hopes at all of an accommodation: yet the Queen sending every day new persons to treat, according to her design, drew out the business in length, and gained time to free her self from so great an exigence. Nor were these delays displeasing to the Hugonots, who thinking it more proba [...]le to prevail by a Siege, than by strength, did what they could to stop all the passages to the City, hoping rather by famine than force to reduce it into their powers; and in the mean while expected a supply of men from their party, which were raising with exceeding diligence in all parts of the Kingdom. But these aids that were hoped for on both sides, bred grievous and dangerous Insurrections in the Provinces: For in Normandy, Picardy, and Champagne, (which lie nearest to Paris, and environ it on all sides) the Hugonots were assembled together in great multitudes, with a resolution to succour their party, and the Governours did the same for the King; so that being kept in play there, they could not go to join with the Army before Paris: by which commotions the Villages and Towns were pestered with Souldiers, and the ways so broken, that all intercourse and traffick was hindered and destroyed.

The City of Orleans taken again by the Hugonots and divers others.At the same time the Hugonots possest themselves of the City of Orleans and the Fortress; which being scarcely finished, and ill guarded, was easily reduced into their power. The taking of this place was of very great importance; for besides the bene­fit of having so considerable a City so near Paris, they found there three Cannons and five Culverins, which was very advantageous to the Army, that before had never a piece of Artillery. In Burgundy they took Auxerre and Mascon, but the last not with­out some blood, for the Catholicks made a valiant resistance. In Daulphine they got Valence; Lyons was full of tumults, and the Sieur de Ponsenac taking arms in their fa­vour, brake the ways, and fomented the commotions within the City. The Count de Montgomery surprized Estampes, which was of so much more consequence, because near Paris. In Languedoc, Nismes and Montpellier were revolted to the Hugonots. Metz, a strong place of very great importance upon the Frontiers of Lorain, was upon the point of revolting, Monsieur de Disans who commanded the Garison, having declared himself for the Hugonots: whereupon not only the Mareshal de la Vieux-Ville the Go­vernour of that place was constrained to leave the Court, but the Duke of Guise also took a resolution to march that way. Upon the coasts of the Ocean they made them­selves Masters of Diepe; and in Gascony they were so strong, that Monsieur de Monluc having such an enemy to deal with, could not send those aids that were intended to Paris.

These stirs that were not without much blood-shed, rapine, and frequent encoun­ters, retarded for some days both the Kings supplies, and the recruiting of the Hu­gonots Army. But the first that arrived, were the Kings Forces; for Timoleon Count of Brissac, and Philip Strozzi who commanded the Infantry, though Andelot and Muy (having left the Camp on purpose, lay in the way to hinder their passage, yet) coast­ing the Country through Woods and Vineyards, and having carriages to flank them, arrived safe in Paris with four Regiments of Foot; and the Catholick Nobility at the news of the Kings being besieged, came together from all parts in great diligence to the Court.

The King having now no more occasion to dissemble, sent an Herauld to summon the Prince and the rest of his Confederates assembled at St. Dennis, within the space of four and twenty hours to lay down their arms and return to their obedience, or else to pronounce them Rebels and Traytors. At the appearance of the Herauld, who brought the Summons in writing, the Prince of Conde in a fury protested, If he said any thing that toucht upon his Honour, he would presently cause him to be hanged: to which the Herauld knowing himself backed with the Royal Authority, answered boldly, I am sent from your Master and mine, nor shall words terrifie me from executing my Commission; and put the Writing in his hand, which being read, the Prince said he would return [Page 115] an answer within three days; but the Herauld replyed with the like boldness as before, that he must resolve within four and twenty hours: so that the same Herauld being sent again the next day, carried back an answer in much milder terms than ordinary, the Heads of the Hugonots professing, They were resolved still to remain his Majesties loyal Subjects, nor to desire any thing but the conservation of their Propriety; their Religion, and their Lives; and only demanded such conditions as they thought necessary for security of the same, which they would ever acknowledge as testimonies of his Royal favour and goodness.

This kind of proceeding renewed the hopes of an Accommodation; whereupon it was concluded, that the Constable should the next day have a conference with some principal persons of that party; so that going out of the City with about two thou­sand Horse, when he was in the mid-way toward St. Denis, he commanded his com­pany to stand, and advanced himself, accompanied only by the Mareshal de Cosse, his Son Momorancy, and l' Aubespine Secretary of State. The same was done by the other side; for the rest staying behind, the Prince, the Admiral, the Cardinal of Chastillon, Roche-fou-cault and Andelot came to meet them. The Prince spake very modestly, though he departed not at all from the conditions already proposed; but the Cardinal of Chastillon told the Constable, who perswaded him to relie upon the Kings word, without seeking any further security for their Propriety and Lives, that they could not trust to the King, and much less to him, who had broken his word,The Constable comes to par­ley with the Hugonots; the lye passeth be­tween him and the Cardinal of Chast [...]llon, and no hopes remain of an agreement. and was an oc­casion of the present calamities, by having counselled his Majesty to violate the Edict of Pacification. Whereupon the Constable gave him the Lye, and so they parted with ill language, no hopes remaining of an agreement. Wherefore the King having called together the Princes, Knights of the Order, Captains of the Gens d' Arms, and Colonels of Foot, in the presence of many of the Nobility and others, made a Speech full of couragious resolute expressions, in which he told them, That there was nothing he desired more than the peace and quiet of his Subjects, which had induced him to grant the Hugonots many things repugnant to his own inclinations, and contrary to his nature; but notwithstanding so many graces and priviledges, some of them abusing his favours, with divers scandalous imputations sought to raise a Rebellion in the Kingdom, and were grown so bold in their wickedness, that they durst conspire against him, the Queen and his Brothers, for which enormous Treason he might justly chastise and cut them off; nevertheless, nothing altering him from his first resolution, on the contrary, to the prejudice of his own Authority, and to the diminution of the Royal Dignity, he had sent some of the principal persons in the Kingdom to treat with them, to whom they were not ashamed to make those Propositions which were already well known to every body: therefore he had at length determined to have that by force, which he could not obtain by their consents; and that he was confident easily to effect his de­sires by the assistance of those Lords he saw there about him, who having been ever faithful to the Kings his Predecessors, he hoped would not abandon him now in so great a necessity, and in so lawful and just a cause; wherefore he desired them couragiously to imbrace the occasion of meriting both from their King and Country, and not to consider those dangers to which he would first expose his own Person for the preservation of the Commonwealth.

The Constable answering for all, said, Intreaties were not necessary, for every one there was ready to venture his life and fortune in his Majesties service: and then turn­ing about to the Nobility, continued his Speech in this manner; Gentlemen, there is no such true real Nobility as that which is acquired by Vertue; and you that are born Gentle­men, not to degenerate from your Ancestors, cannot better imploy your selves than in defence of our King against those, who to make a King for their turns, endeavour to extinguish this Race. Be resolute then, and as with one accord you inviron his Majesty in this place, pre­pare your selves with your Courage and Vertue to encompass him in Arms; and I who have the charge of the Militia, though I am old, promise to be the first to assail the Enemy. Which Exhortations were followed by general Acclamations and consent of all that were present, though for the most part it was believed the Constable and his, more in words than in deeds favoured the Kings party, and gave too willing an ea [...] to the dis­courses of the Hugonots, who were no less hated by the Nobility, than detested by the Parisians, and not without reason.

The City began to feel the incommodities of a Siege, and suffered extreamly through want of Victuals; for the Admiral in a bravery at Noon-day,Paris besieged and streight­ned for victu­als. in the face of the Kings Army, possessed himself of the Bridge at Charenton, a league distant from the Walls, whereby the passage of the River being cut off, all manner of provision began to be [Page 116] at an excessive rate; but the greatest difficulty was how to nourish such a number of Horse as were then in the Town: for which reason the Constable, provoked by the cries of the people, and impatient, having a much greater Army than the Enemy, that the City, to the small reputation of the Kings Forces, should be so straightned and incommodated, issued out of Paris the ninth day of November, and quartered his Van-guard at la Chappelle, a place upon the high-way between the City and the Ene­mies Camp, which resolution obliging the Hugonots to lie close together in a Body, that they might not be surprized apart, they quitted the Villages about, so that the passages were again open, and the ways free to carry all things that were necessary in­to Paris. They sent likewise to call back Andelot, who with eight hundred Horse and about two thousand Foot had passed the River to streighten the Siege on that side, be­lieving that the Constable (as it was true) being much superiour in force, would ad­vance, and presently either shut them up in St. Denis, or else force them with great disadvantage to fight.

The Prince of Conde with the Battel lodged close under the Walls of St. Denis, keeping that Town for his security behind him; the Admiral with the Van lay on the right hand, at St. Ouyne, a Village near the bank of the River, which served him both for a fence against the Waters and the Enemy; and Muy and Genlis with the Rear at Aubervilliers, a Town on the left hand; and because on one side of them was a great open champagne, they made a ditch, and raised an indifferent work to secure them from being assaulted in the Flank, and placed a guard there of six hundred small shot. But the Hugonots entring into debate, what was best to be done, being so much in­feriour in number to the Kings Army, in which were sixteen thousand Foot, and more than three thousand Horse, many were of opinion it would do well to retreat till the Supplies they expected from divers parts were arrived; the Prince of Conde and the Admiral thought it impossible to retreat without receiving an absolute defeat; for the Kings Army lying so near, they could not possibly march away without being disco­vered, and consequently followed and assaulted: wherefore they judged it best, as well to maintain their reputation, which to the Heads of a popular Faction, and especially at the beginning of a War, is ever of great consequence, as also that they might the better make a retreat, to give them battel; for the days being at the shortest, it would quickly be dark, and soon stay the fury of the fight, in which they hoped their Horse (which were very good) would so damnifie the Kings Army, that they would not be able to follow them that night, by the benefit whereof they might retire, and meeting Andelot with fresh supplies, secure themselves from danger.

Whilst the Hugonots were in this consultation, the Constable was not idle, but be­ing confident they would either make a retreat; or if they came to fight, be totally ruined: the morning after, being the Vigil of St. Martin, one of the Protectors of the Crown of France, On St Mar [...]ins Eve the Kings Forces meet with the Hu­gonots Army out of Paris. having put the Army in order, sent resolutely to assail the Enemy. The Duke of Aumale and the Mareshal d' Anville led the Van, and were placed against the Admiral: the Duke of Nemours with a great number of Horse which were ranged upon the champagne brought up the Reer, and the Battel commanded by the Con­stable was placed against the Prince of Conde, after whom followed the Swisses in their orders flanked by the Count of Brissac and Strozzi's Foot. It was already past mid­day when the Constable seeing the Enemy resolved to give them Battel, not to lose time, advanced with his Squadrons in such haste to charge them, that the Foot march­ing in order were left a great way behind, and could not come up to fight; which falling out according as the Hugonots desired, they with their Cavalry (in which they had much the advantage) drew up behind the Constables Battle, and charging him cou­ragiously quite through, made a great slaughter amongst his men. The Duke of Ne­mours thought to stay the fury of the Enemy by charging them in the Flanck; but the Ditch being in his way, and a gallant opposition made by the Hugonot Musquetiers at the work, there was so much time to be spent there, that he could not make such haste as was requisite to succour the Constable. The Duke of Aumale and the Mare­shal d'Anville attempted the same, but were hindered by the Admirals Van, who having moved from his place, and retired almost to the bank of the River that he might not be surrounded, mingled valiantly with them, by which means the Constables Battalion be­ing assailed and shaken by divers Troops of their Horse, besides the Princes own which was in the midst, remained without receiving any succours, so over-matched by the Enemy in number, that in a short time it was absolutely rou [...]ed and destroyed.

[Page 117]The Constable had four little hurts in his face, and a great blow with a Battle-axe upon the head, yet he still continued fighting valiantly, and was endeavouring to rally his men, when Robert Stuart a Scotch-man rode up to him with his Pistol bent toward him, whereupon the Constable said, Dost thou not know me? I am the Constable; he replied, Yes I do, and because I know thee, I present thee this, and instantly shot him in the shoulder, which made him fall; but as he was falling, he threw his Sword (which though the Blade were broken he held still in his hand) with such a violence at Stuart's face, that he beat out three of his teeth, brake his jaw-bone, and laid him upon the ground by him for dead. The Constable lay a good while abandoned by his men that ran away, and left him in the power of the Enemy; but the Duke of Aumale, and Monsieur d' Anville having routed and defeated the Admirals Van, when they once saw them flee, left the pursuit, and came up to succour and sustain the Battalia, by which means the Constable was redeemed out of the hands of the Hugonots, who were then carrying him away prisoner, and his Son with much difficulty convey'd him though already half dead to Paris. The Duke of Nemours having in the mean while passed the Ditch, and with great slaughter driven the Hugonots out of their Work, with the like Massacre brake their Rear, and having chased those that ran away into their quar­ters, rallied his Horse, and returned furiously to mingle with the Enemy in the hottest of the fight. So the Catholick Van and Rear which had put to flight the Hugonot Van and Rear coming close up to the Princes Squadrons, charged them so furiously in the Front and in the Flank, that many of his Troops being disordered, the Victory manifestly in­clined to the Catholicks. In the mean while the night overtook them, which was very dark and rainy, by favour whereof the Prince of Conde, who having had his Horse kill'd under him, with much difficulty recovered another, and the Admiral who by the fierce­ness of a Turkish Horse that he rid that day, was so far engaged amongst the Ene­mies, that he had like to have been taken prisoner, retired in haste to St. Denis, In the Battel of St. Dennis the Catholick Army pre­vails, but is much damni­fied. lea­ving the Field and the possession of their dead as an assured token of a Victory to the Enemy. The Catholicks though victorious, partly through the loss of their General, partly through the darkness of the night, left pursuing them, and the Foot having not had time to mingle in the fight, returned intire to their Quarters.

The slaughter on both sides was much more considerable in regard of the quality than number of the dead; for on the Kings party none fighting but the Horse, and on the contrary those Foot only that defended the Ditch which flanked the Rear, they that were killed were without doubt the most part Gentlemen or Persons of Note, amongst which, those of the Hugonots side were the Count de Suze, the Vidame of Amiens, the Count de Saut, Messieurs de Piguigny, Canisy, S. Andre and Garenna: of the Kings men few were killed, but very many hurt, as Monsieur de Sansac, a Cavalier of great courage and expectation. The day after the Battel the Constable died, having at the 80th year of his age fought fiercely, with a youthful courage, and shewed no less ardour of mind than vigour of body. At his death he had no disturbed thoughts, but on the contrary testified an exceeding constancy, insomuch that a Confessor coming to his bed-side to comfort him, he turned about, and with a serene quiet countenance desired he would not molest him, for it were a brutish thing having lived fourscore years, not to know how to die a quarter of an hour. He was a man of an exquisite Wit, and mature Wisdom, accompanied with a long experience in the changes of the World, by which Arts he acquired happily for himself and for his posterity exceeding great Wealth, and the chief Dignities in the Kingdom; but in his Military Commands he had always such ill fortune, that in all the Wars of which he had the Government, he ever remained either a Loser, or grievously wounded, or a Prisoner; which misfortunes were occasion, that many times his fidelity was questioned; even in this last action, where fighting he lost his life, there wanted not some who were envious enough to accuse him, That having the command of the Kings Army against his own Nephews, he charged so late, and left the Foot behind on purpose, because he would not, though he might, gain a compleat Victory.

Those that spake without passion, gave him three principal attributes, That he was a good Souldier, and a loving Servant, but an ill Friend; for in all his actions he was ever swayed by the consideration of his own interest. The same day died Claud de l' Aubespine, chief Secretary of State, a man of very great esteem, and a faith­ful Instrument of the Queen-Mothers, in whose place was substituted Nicholas de Neuf-ville, Seigneur de Ville-ray, his Son-in-law, he who with great reputation of wis­dom, [Page 118] following the steps of his Predecessor, continued in that place to an extream old age.

The same night after the Battel, Andelot joined with the Hugonots at St. Denis, who having passed the River with great difficulty by reason the Catholicks had sunk or carried away all the Boats, could not come soon enough to the fight; but by his counsel the next morning, being the Eleventh of November, judging, as indeed it fell out, that by reason they had lost their General, the Catholicks would not appear again in the Field; the Hugonots shewed themselves in a body without the Trenches ready again to give Battel, maintaining with this bravado the reputation rather of Con­querors than otherwise. They stood still in that manner a quarter of an hour, and in their retreat carried off some of their dead bodies: but having lost the greatest part of their Foot, and most of the principal Gentlemen amongst them being either killed or grievously wounded, they resolved not to stay any longer, lest the Kings Army, being provided again with a General, should resent their former loss; but having sent ad­vice to their friends that were already advanced to succour them, the fourteenth they began to march in great haste towards Champagne, with an intent to pass that way into the Confines of Lorain.

The Prince and the Admiral at the beginning, when the Swisses raised by the Kings Order entered the Kingdom, sent Messieurs de Francfurt, and Chastelliere into Germany; and perswaded Prince Casimir, Son to the Count Palatine of the Rhine, to raise an Ar­my in their favour; to which purpose they had already furnished some small sum of money, with a promise, when he was arrived upon the Borders, that they would give him 100000 Crowns of the Sum for the payment of his men, which promise, with the hope of booty, and prey, stirring up Prince Casimir, and divers other Captains used to live in Armies, and by the benefit of War, they got together (not long after they were in Arms, seven thousand Horse, and four thousand Foot, and the Hugonots had advertisement that they were ready with these Forces to enter upon the Confines of Lorain. For this reason they took a resolution to march that way, that they might as soon as was possible join with the Germans, and be inabled with this addition of Force to pursue the War with such counsels as the times and occasions would administer. The Army kept very close together, being all the way to pass through the Enemies Country, nor did any one man disband from the principal divisions, necessity having taught them discipline; Andelot only with Harquebushiers scoured the Country, on all sides cleared the passages, discovered the situations of places, and brought in provi­sions; nevertheless they made all the haste they could to arrive upon the Confines, though being straitned of victuals to nourish their men, they were forced likewise to assault divers little weak Towns upon the way, with the pillage and prey thereof to supply the wants of the Souldiers, notwithstanding they proceeded with such celerity and address, that they lost not much time, nor suffered any of their men to disband or straggle from their company. In this manner without using their Cannon they scaled and took Bre-Conte-Robert, Nogent upon the Seine, and Pont-gone, populous great Bourgs, in which, and in the Villages about, they found such store of Horses, that having mounted all their Foot, they marched with less difficulty and more ex­pedition.

In the mean while the Queen being by the death of Momorancy freed from the power and reputation of the great ones, and left sole Moderatrix and Arbitress of the Catho­lick party, not meaning by the Election of a Constable or General of the Army again to subject her self to the danger of being over-awed, but desiring to preserve an abso­lute Authority in her self and her Son, perswaded him with many arguments to con­fer the command of the Army upon his Brother Henry Duke of Anjou, a Youth of sin­gular wit, and wonderful expectation, but scarce sixteen years of age; and so much the rather because the Council thought it not honourable for the King to go himself in person to command the Army, or to take Arms against his Subjects, because it would give them too great a reputation.

Wherefore in this manner hindering all emulations or pretentions of the great ones, and not advancing any body to so supream a power,Henry Duke of Anjoy made Lieutenant-General of the Ar [...]y. Henry was in the Kings Council declared Lieutenant-General of the Army; but because he was so young, there were appointed for his assistance Francis Siegneur de Carnavalet, under whose discipline he was brought up from the beginning, and Arthur de Cosse, Mareshal de Gonor, a man for the opinion was had of his wisdom and courage ever held in great esteem. Be­sides [Page 119] these, there were in the Army the Dukes of Monpensier, Nemours, and Longeville, Sebastian de Luxembourg, Signeur de Martiguies made Colonel General of the French Infantry, Iasper Viscount of Tavanes, Timoleon Count of Brissac, and Armand de Byron then Master, or (as they call it) Mareshal of the Field, who for his valiant exploits, will be often mentioned by us in the ensuing story. Neither the Mareshal de Momorancy nor d' Anville followed the Camp; for the Duke of Monpensier being appointed as Prince of the Blood, to lead the Van, they pretended that Dignity belonged to Momorancy as first Mareshal of France, who after the General, is to have the chief place in the Army. But the King not being willing to recal what was already done, as well not to disoblige the Duke, as because he was not confident of Momorancy, and thought it dangerous to commit that part of the Army which was first to front the Enemy to his trust; the two Brothers in discontent chose rather to remain near the Kings person than to preju­dice their right. The Duke of Aumale likewise left the Army, having the same pre­tentions with the Mareshals as he was the antientest Captain in France, yet he did not declare himself, because he would not break with the Duke of Monpensier, but under pretence of going to assist with his advice the young Duke of Guise his Nephew, (in whose Government, when the Germans, who were expected, came, the chief weight of the business would fall) went with the King and Queens approbation to imploy himself where there was most need of his assistance.

In this conjuncture arrived the Count of Aremberg, sent out of Flanders by the Duke of Alva according to the former agreement at Bayonne, with one thousand two hundred Lances, and three hundred Harquebushiers; a supply very considerable in it self, but wrought a far greater effect through the Union that was seen to the same end between those two Crowns. With these Commanders, with eighteen pieces of Can­non, and the whole Army, the Duke of Anjou moved to follow the Hugonots, hoping to overtake and to fight with them▪ before they could join with the Germans; which undoubtedly he had done, if there had been as much prudence and union amongst his Counsellors, as there was in him des [...]re of glory, and a readiness to encounter the Enemy.

The Prince with all his Army was come near Sens, the chief City in Brye, but nei­ther by art nor nature much fortified, wherefore he thought he might take it as he had done divers other Towns in his march, by scaling; but the Duke of Guise, who with the forces of his Government had already reduced Me [...]s into the Kings obedience, and placed the Mareshal de la Vieux-Ville Governour there, taking that way which he heard the Enemies Army inclined, entered very opportunely into that City, and being pre­pared to defend it couragiously, was an occasion that the Prince despairing to take it, not to interrupt the principal or necessary design, with his wonted readiness turned another way; so that having received at Monterolle a recruit of certain Troops of Horse, which came out of Gascony, together with three Field-pieces that were taken at Orleans, which they brought with them, he continued on his march; in which, though he used all possible diligence, yet he was unawares interrupted by a weighty and dangerous ac­cident; for being now advanced as far as Chaalon, the principal City in Champagne, he met there the Marchioness of Rotelline his Wives Mother, being sent from the Court to make a new overture of peace, with an intention, as many said, only to hinder the Princes Voyage, and amuse him till the Kings Army was come: and the issue confirmed this suspicion; for she having imprudently proposed a suspension of Arms for three days, in which the Kings Deputies were to come to a place appointed, and the Prince having no less imprudently accepted it, with a purpose to refresh his Army, tired with their hard march, the Deputies appeared not; but the Duke of Anjou hast [...]ing his march with exceeding diligence, as the truce expired, arrived so near the Camp, that reason perswaded without farther delay to se [...] upon them; for he knew the Hugonots with their speedy march were so tired and broken, and were necessitated to lodge upon the plains of that Province in such an open disadvantagious place, that they could neither defend themselves, nor refuse a Battel; and fighting, there was no doubt (being so far superiour in number) to give them a total overthrow.

The Count of Brissac, who led the first Troops of the Army, believing all the rest followed, as it was before resolved, and according to which resolution they had marched with great expedition in the Bourg of Sarri, furiously assaulted the last Squadrons of the Enemy, commanded by three Captains, Blosset, Boi [...] and Cleri, and having with little resistance put them to flight, pursued the rest, who ran away as fast as they [Page 120] could to save themselves. Monsieur de Martigues with part of the Van followed the Count of Brissac's example, and having overtaken three hundred Horse which being placed in the Enemies Rear made their retreat, began a hot skirmish to keep them in play till all the Army came up; but whilst the Mareshal of Gonor, and Carnavalet who were the Dukes chief Counsellors, either took too much care to range the Army, or else, as it was said, interposed artificial delays on purpose to hinder the destruction of so many of the Nobility, who were of their own blood, they gave the Hugonots time to save themselves; for the Prince and the Admiral having given order, That the three hundred Horse which were in the Rear,On Christmas Eve the Ca­tholicks ha­ving an op­portunity to fight with the Hugonots, would not, to prevent the effusion of so much of their own blood, by which means the Hugonots save them­selves. should as long as they could sustain Martigues charge, they in the mean while endeavoured to get off their men, and re­treated with such speed, that in three days they marched more than twenty French Leagues, and staid not till they had passed the Meuse, a River upon the Confines of France, and gotten out of the Kingdom into a place of security, where though freed from the danger of being overtaken, or oppressed by the Enemy, they were strucken with a much greater fear; for being arrived near Pont a Mousson, a place in the State of Lorain, where they thought to meet the Germans, but neither finding them, nor hearing in the Country about any news of their approach, the Souldiers seeing that hope fail for which they had suffered so many miseries, and finding themselves out of their Country, in a strang place, and which was worst of all, without any provision of victuals, entred into such a fright, that they were resolved to disband, and make the best shift they could by separating themselves, either through Flanders or Lorain to return to their own houses, and many doubting they could not escape the hands of the Catholicks, through whose Country they were of necessity to pass, resolved upon a voluntary exile, and to shelter themselves in the Cities of Germany till more quiet times. But the Prince and the other Commanders, with their intreaties, comforts, authority and reasons so far prevailed, that for the present they stayed them from this resolution, deferring for a few hours so desperate a purpose, till they were altogether destitute of any manner of means to subsist.

They stood still thus in this perplexity of mind two whole days, till the morning of the third day, whilst despair suggesting against the same thoughts as before, arrived un­expectedly the desired news that Prince Casimir was upon his way,Prince Casimir Son to the Pa­latine of the Rhine, enters F [...]nce with an Army, and joins with the Hugonots. and not far from them. Then every private Souldier, as if restored from death to life, with exceed­ing expressions of joy, tenderly embraced each other, and with frolick cheerful speeches went forth to meet the Germans, as their benefactors and deliverers: but the chief Leaders were again more perplexed and troubled than ever: for having promised Prince Casimir and his men at their arrival upon the Confines to pay them one hundred thousand Crowns, and being unfurnished not only of the whole Sum, but of the least part of it, they were assured the Germans would advance no farther, and saw all their hopes, through which they had undergone so many hazards, vanish away to nothing. At length the Prince of Conde having called together all the Army, discovered the con­dition they were in; shewing▪ that since the generel welfare depended upon the union and readiness of the Germans to assist them, it was necessary, though with private loss, to sustain the publick occasions, and dispoiling themselves a little sooner of that poor remainder which was left, with the price thereof to redeem their liberty and common safety. So exhorting all to contribute what they could; and two Ministers being chosen, in whose hands the money, or whatever else was brought in, should be de­posited, he was the first that gave not only all his money and plate, but even the rings off his fingers, and every thing else he had of any value, depositing it to be given to the Germans. By this example, and with the same readiness the Admiral following, and all the chief Officers of the Army, and from hand to hand the Gentlemen, with the common Souldiers, and even the Footmen and Boys in the Camp, they made up the sum of 30000 Crowns; with which, and the addition of infinite promises, the ex­pectation of the Germans being satisfied, the Armies joined upon the eleventh day of Ianuary, in the year 1568.

1568.The Armies thus united, and the men having reposed some few days, they resolved to return the same way through Champagne to Beausse, as well to nourish the Souldiers in a plentiful Country, full of Towns, in the which they might shelter themselves from the incommodities of winter, as to streighten again the Country and City of Paris, which was the head of the Catholick party, and in the possession whereof the Victory was ever thought to depend through the whole course of the Civil Wars. They were [Page 121] spu [...]red on to this resolution through the desire they had to succour Orleans, which they knew was hardly pressed, and to gain an opportunity to join with the Forces of Provence and Daulphine, which they were advertised marched in great numbers that way.

Francis Seignieur de la Noue, a man of great wisdom, and no less vertue, who in his time held the chief place among the Hugonot Faction, at the first breaking out of these troubles had possest himself of Orleans, and taken the Castle, which by order from the King was begun to be built, but not so far perfected that it could make any defence, and into that place, as more secure than any other, all the wives and children of the principal Lords of that Faction were retired for safety; but not with such provisions that they could make a long resistance against a powerful Enemy; wherefore Monsieur de la Valette Colonel of the light Horse, and the Count Siarra Montinengo Bressan of the Kings party, having gotten together seven hundred Horse and four thousand Foot, came before that City, which being ill furnished with men, and other things necessary to maintain a Siege, was so streightned, that in a few days it would either be rendred to the Catholicks, or else taken by force, if it were not very speedily relieved.

In this regard the Hugonot Army made all the haste it could into those parts, the Leaders thinking they might perhaps meet an occasion upon the way of fighting, which they would not have refused; for wanting the foundation to continue a long War, they were constrained to think how, as soon as they could, to bring it to the issue of a Battel. The Duke of Anjou in his heart was not averse to their intentions, who being young, and desirous of glory, thought by the success of a Battel to gain a great reputation at the first, and to render himself known and considerable to other Nati­ons: but the Queen, who had other designs, soon removed her Son from this opinion▪ She resolved notwithstanding the impediments of the season, to go in person to the Duke of Anjou's Army; for not relying upon any body so much as her self, she in­tended to be certainly informed concerning the report that was spread abroad, and to remedy those disorders which it was said hindred the late Victory; wherefore being with extraordinary speed, much more than women use to make, arrived at Chaalon, she went afterwards to the Camp, where hav [...]ng called a Council of all the chief Com­manders, she desired to understand particularly the reasons why they omitted the op­portunity to fight with, and suppress the Enemy. The Duke of Monpensier, a dex­trous ready man, not to offend any body, spake ambiguously of the late passages, commending the Duke of Anjou, and imputing the cause of the disorders to their ill fortune. The Duke of Nemours excused himself, that he marching before to follow Martigues, knew not what was done or determined in the Camp. But Monsieur de Tavanes speaking more freely, though he named no particular person, blamed the doubts, demurs, idle delays, and impediments that were interposed; intimating, that the discords which were amongst those of the Council, and the compassion some had of the Hugonots, were the occasion of so much coldness in so great an Army.

After this they entred into consultation what course was to be taken for the fu­ture; in which debate, many to please the General having concluded that it was best to fight, the Queen in a grave discourse shewed, that the even [...]s of the Battel were different; for if the King lost the day, he would put the Kingdom in great confusion, and in a manner leave it totally a prey to the Enemy; whereas, if the other side hap­pened to be overthrown, they hazarded nothing but some wretched baggage that they carried with them, and that desperate fortune which they saw in time must of necessity come to nothing: she laid before them likewise the difference there was in the means to maintain a War, for the King had wherewithal to keep his Army a long time, and to feed and sustain it; but the Hugonots being hindred of all supplies, and reduced to such extream misery, that they had nothing to live upon, but that little that they go [...] by pillaging the Country, could not long satisfie the craving and greediness of the Germans; and so scattering of themselves, would leave an absolute Victory to the King; which if they came to fight, would depend much upon chance: She considered that there wanted not divers other ways to dissipate this Army▪ and when all failed, they ought rather by an Accommodation to separate and divide the Enemies Forces, than by a destructive miserable War to expose his Majesties Subjects to be de­voured and eaten up by strangers; and for the Duke of Anjou, it was no less wor­thy a great Prince and a great Commander, to overcome by policy and conduct, than by violence and force of Arms; and that at his first entring into an action, he [Page 122] ought to be careful of shewing himself prudent and moderate, as well as bold and valiant.

The General being perswaded by these reasons, it was determined, that he, follow­ing the Enemies Army at a distance that they might not destroy the Country, should still keep near them, by some good Town in fast quarters, that he might not be forced to fight, and endeavour by drawing out the War in length, to shake and ruine the weak foundations of the Enemy. And because Carnavalet and the Mareshal of Gonor were both of them no less suspected in the Camp, than at the Court, to have held in­telligence with the Hugonots, that were removed from about the Dukes person, and Brissac and Martigues put in their places; that for courage, and this for conduct held by the Queen the fittest men for this imployment. Notwithstanding she made the Duke of Aumale the chief amongst them, who after the Enemy had repassed the Meuse, came back again to the Army, and to him, as to the antientest Captain in the King­dom, she publickly recommended the counseling and directing her Son.

Now whilst Champagne was thus become the principal seat of the War, the other parts of the Kingdom were not a quiet; but through the frequent continual Insur­rections of the Hugonots all places were full of tumults and blood: for they having at the beginning of these commotions gotten many Towns in all parts into their hands, the Provinces were so divided, that through the animosity of both Factions, a dan­gerous War was kindled in every the most remote hidden corner in France. In Lan­guedoc Monsieur de Acher ruled all the Country, the Vicount de Ioyense, who com­manded there for the King, not having force sufficient to suppress the multitudes of the Hugonots, or to oppose the industry and boldness of their Leader. In Provence, Mouvans and Mont-brun, men that by their violent proceedings got themselves an esteem, with more than ordinary success crossed the Catholick party under the Com­mand of the Count de Summerive. In Gascony there wanted not store of troubles, that Province being all in Arms; but Monsieur de Monluc, an old experienced Captain, had in so many incounters abated the fury of the Hugonots, that the Incendiaries thought it best for them to quit the Country, and many of them, though with much difficulty, fled to their main Army. In Daulphine des Gourdes the Kings Lieutenant, and the Sieurs de Monsalez and Terride, who were in their march towards Paris, many times fought with Hugonots forces and beat them, and at last forced Monsieur de Ponsenac to leave those parts▪ by which means the ways to Lions were open; but he being af­terwards joined with the Vicounts de Montclair, de Paulin, and Bourniquet, valiantly incountred the forces of Auvergne and Daulphine; and though the fight were long, obstinate and bloody, the Kings Party in the end got the advantage, with so much the greater detriment to the Enemy, by reason that Ponsenac (who by his violence more than any thing else, gave life to the War) was at last in the retreat (together with many others) killed.

The Pope sends aids to the King.At the same time Lodovico Gonzaga Duke of Nevers, who brought four Troops of Horse out of Piedmont, that were raised in Italy by the Pope, together with six compa­nies of Italian Foot, two French Regiments, and four thousand Swisses that were newly entertained to join with the Duke of Anjou's Army, arrived opportunely in Burgundy to suppress the remainder of the Hugonots in those parts: for having divers times en­countred and defeated them, he at length laid siege to Mascone, which being taken, the Rebels had no place of retreat left whither they could retire for safety. From Burgundy the Duke went to join with the Duke of Anjou; but not many days af­ter, as he returned with a few Horse to visit his own Country, he was set upon by the Enemy; and though with his wonted Valour he put them to flight, yet he re­ceived such a grievous wound in one of his Knees, that he continued lame ever after.

But the Kings Party received a greater and more considerable blow in Xantonge: for through the negligence or connivence of Monsieur de Iarnac the Governour, and through the diligence of Tracares the principal Deputy, called by them the Or Judge. Scabin of Rochel, that City revolted to the Hugonots, which standing upon the Ocean over against England, Roc [...]el revolts to the Hugo­nots, which ever after serves them for a Sanctua­ [...]. strong of situation, being every way incompassed with marsh grounds, or the Sea, rich with traffick, numerous in people, abundant in provisions, and com­modious to receive succours from other parts, hath ever since been the Sanctuary and main prop of all those who adhered to that Faction.

[Page 123]In the mean while both Armies continued their march through Champagne, keeping the direct way that leads to Paris. The Hugonots kept close together, and durst not attempt the taking of any Towns by the way, for fear of giving the Catholicks an op­portunity to fight with them at an advantage. The Kings lodging in strong secure quarters, had no other design but to hinder the Enemy from effecting any important enterprise, with which circumspection they both kept on their march till they were arrived, at the end of February, the Hugonot forces in Beausse, and the Kings not far from Paris. But the Prince of Conde having raised the siege at Orleans, (for at the news of his approach la Valette and Martinengo, not having forces to resist him, retired of themselves) was brought into great difficulties through the Counsels of the Duke of Anjou, who he saw was resolved to avoid all occasions of fighting, and to draw out the War in length; by which kind of proceedings knowing his Army would be soon destroyed, by reason he had neither money nor provisions to sustain or keep his own men together, that were all Voluntiers, nor wherewithal to satisfie the importunity of the Germans, who were ever craving, he was in a mighty perplexity, and every day held a Council of War to advise what was best to be done in so great a streight. At length, to try whether the Catholicks might be forced to that which otherwise they would not do willingly, he resolved to besiege Chartres, for extent and numerousness of people one of the principal Cities in France, and so near Paris, that with the Coun­try about it furnished a great part of the provisions that went thither, believing that the Duke of Anjou, for his own credit, and the reputation of the Kings Army, would never suffer that place to be taken for want of relief, and not to give them longer time to reinforce the Garison, or fortifie it, having in two days with his Horse marched twenty leagues, which are forty English miles, the second day of March sat down be­fore it. There went to command in the Town Monsieur de Lignieres, a Cavalier of much esteem, and with him entred fifteen Companies of old Foot, and about two hun­dred Horse, with which forces at the beginning of the siege he exceedingly annoyed the Enemy, and by frequent skirmishes kept them off a while; but was at length forced to keep in to maintain the Walls: for the Hugonots having taken all the passages, and placed guards upon the advenues, with four pieces of Cannon, so furiously battered that part of the Wall which joins to Dreux-Gate, that the sixth day they had made an assault, if the Defendants had not with great labour and diligence raised a Rampart within, with Casemats and other works, which hindered them from entring upon the breach.

But the siege of Chartres changed the face of things, and put the Catholicks to a great streight: for to relieve the Town with all their Army was contrary to their for­mer resolution; and to let that City be taken, was, besides so considerable a loss, a very great prejudice to their reputation; and that which then happened to Chartres, would afterwards be the condition of many other great Towns; by succouring of which they should hazard the uncertain issue of a Battel;The Hugonots having besieg­ed Char [...]res, the Queen makes new motions for an Accom­modation. and if they succoured them not, they would be lost before their eyes: wherefore, after many attempts had been made, but in vain, to put men and munition into the Town, the Queen in this difficulty having recourse to her old remedy, which had so often succeeded, began to press a Treaty of Accommodation.

When she left the Camp, she began to make new o [...]tures of peace: for seeing strangers already entred into the Kingdom, and the Crown again in danger to be ha­zarded against desperate Enemies, she thought it necessary to keep the Treaty still on foot, that having many strings ready to her bowe, she might make use of them as occa­sion should require: wherefore having had a conference at Chaalon with some that were sent to her from the Prince to treat, returning to Paris, she carried with her Odetto then Cardinal of Chastillon, Teligny, destined to be the Admirals Son-in-law, and Mon­sieur Bouchavanes, a man of great esteem among the Hugonots; but not being willing they should go into the City for fear of some disorder among the people, who being furiously incensed, abhorred the name of peace, they staid at the Bois de Vincennes, and at length came to the Convent of The Order of St. Francis of Paul. Minimes, a mile without the Town; where after divers parleys about the business, which at first went slowly on, when Chartres was besieged, they were so quickned, that the Hugonots with little difficulty obtained very large conditions.

But the Deputies being returned with the Propositions, the Prince of Gonde, the Admiral, the Vidame of Cha [...]tres, and some others, the chief amongst them, who not [Page 124] believing they could ever be secured by a peace, chusing rather a dangerous War than a reasonable agreement, refused to accept them, alledging, that the larger or more ad­vantagious the conditions were, so much the more they were to be suspected; and that if some strong places were not put into their hands, whereby they might stand upon their defence,The Hugonot [...] accept not the conditions of agreement. they ought not by any means to accept of an agreement, but pur­sue the War, and leave the hidden event thereof to Gods will and pleasure; which the Queen having notice of, (knowing that the generality of the Hugonots being weary of the expence and danger of the War, so they might enjoy a Liberty of Conscience, and break off with a shew of reputation, desired a peace) she sent Lewis de Lansac, Robert de Combalt, and Henry de Memmie, Seignieur de Malassise, popular, well-spoken men, to their Camp, who under pretence of treating with the chief of them upon the same Articles, began (as it easily falls out, by chance) to discourse of the matter with some of their kindred, and in the assemblies of the Nobility, and meetings of private persons, to lay open the justness and largeness of the conditions, to which the King, to save the effusion of his Subjects blood willingly consented; promising be­sides that all severe Edicts should be abolished, and a free exercise of their Religion granted them as before; that every one should be put again in possession of their goods and dignities that they enjoyed before the War, that they should remain secure of their lives, exempt from those charges that had ruined and impoverished their families, be restored to their Country, their honours, to the fruition of their Wives and Children, and from being wanderers and exiles, return to their former felicity and quiet; so that the reasons and jealousies ceasing, for which they had taken Arms, there remained no occasion to continue the War: whence it was manifest how far their intentions were from the publick good and quiet, who were against an Accommodation, and how un­der pretence of Religion they sought only to usurp an unjust Authority, and pernitious greatness. By these speeches which were related again and infused into the people, co­vered over with the plausible sweet name of Peace, on a suddain such a tumult was raised in the Army, that the Nobility and private Souldiers (as in popular Insurrecti­ons every body will mingle their advice, and pretend to a share in the Government) unanimously cried out, and threatned to forsake the Prince if he did not accept the Conditions that were proposed; and Prince Casimir himself, either moved with the evidence of the reasons, or else the rewards and gains not answering his hopes, being besides moved with the certainty of having his pay presently, which the King offered in a great part to disburse for them, favoured and commended those that demanded a Peace.

Nevertheless the chief Leaders persevering in their opinions, the Admiral being most earnest, and speaking in the name of all the rest, laboured to make it appear, that this was a manifest policy of the Enemy, who seeing they could not suppress them whilst they had such a strength, and remained united for their common defence, sought to separate and disarm them, that they might the more easily destroy them one by one, that the business was now brought near an end; and there wanted but some few days patience to see the event of it; for if the Catholicks came to fight with them, they had Gods Providence and the strength of their own hands to relie upon; and if they let them take Chartres without offering to succour it, their fear would be seen to all the World, and such a [...] be cast upon Paris, being chiefly furnished from thence, that it would starve for want of provisions; that they had many times tried the little assurance and sincerity of promises; for though the King always intended to keep his word, yet such was the power and subtilty of the Queen-Mother, and the Princes of Lorain had so great credit, that they perverted all his deliberations, and turned that in­to poison which appeared to many in the administration wholsom Physick; wherefore they should expect a few days longer, and not by a precipitate impatience ruine those counsels which were thought by every body most conducing to their common safety. But the inclinations of the Army so obstinately opposed their reasons, and there ap­peared such a disposition in the Nobility to abandon the enterprize, and to return in all haste to their houses and families, wherein they suffered much prejudice by their ab­sence, through the horrible outrages that were committed in all parts of the Kingdom, that the chief Heads were constrained by force to accept of a Peace.

The Ministers enveighed bitterly against the Prince of Conde, accusing him, That he through inconstancy desiring to return to the delights and pleasures of the Court, had suffered himself to be too easily overcome by a popular clamour. The Parisians [Page 125] with no less liberty blamed the Queen, That she not desirous to put an end to these distractions, but that the discords and troubles might be continued, by the same means to continue her own greatness, had forced the King to consent to an Accommoda­tion. And not only the Parisians, but the Pope also, and many other Catholick Princes were astonished and ill satisfied with this agreement; the issue appearing to them very unlike the beginning; and this resolution exceeding contrary to that ear­nestness wherewith the Queen had sollicited them to send her supplies of Men and Mo­ney: which coming to her knowledge, who was very inquisitive to learn what was said, she began to make her excuses to their Ministers; but had a long private confe­rence to that purpose with the Venetian Ambassador, who being less interessed, and more moderate than the rest, was likeliest to credit her reasons; wherefore beginning with the original of things, she related to him at large every particular circumstance: That King Francis the Second her eldest Son being very young when he came to the Crown, and of a disposition rather to be governed, than to exercise the charge of a King, was forced of necessity to confer upon her the Supream Power in managing the affairs, that it might neither fall upon the Princes of Bourbon, not only the chief pretenders to the Crown, but infected with Heresie, and inclined to favour it; nor yet upon the Guises, men full of ambition and high pretences, who nevertheless were so far Masters of the Kings will, in regard of his Marriage with their Neece, that she was constrained to admit them to a great part in the administration of the Govern­ment, and in many things to yield to them, for fear they might to the prejudice of the publick, and her own private disgrace, have cast her out of the Court, and perhaps out of the Kingdom also: That she had nevertheless ever endeavoured so to carry matters, that the Kingdom might remain in quiet, and enjoy the blessing of peace, under a pious religious King; and tender of the preservation of his people, if the violence of the Prince of Conde, and the malitious subtilty of the Admiral had not di­sturbed the course of things, by turning not only against the Guises, with whom they professed an open enmity, but even against her self, contriving through hate by wicked practises to deprive her of her life: That the conspiracy of Amboise being discovered, when all the Council concurred to proceed with extream severity, she used her utter­most endeavour that a moderate way might be taken to quiet those troubles, forgetting through desire of the common good, her own private injuries and dangers: That the Prince having continued to raise Insurrections in the Cities and Provinces, and to plot even against the King himself, at length fell into her hands, at which times she ever proposed ways very far from cruelty or revenge, saving the King of Navarre, and divers others that were privy to the Princes counsels, which was manifestly to be known when the Kings infirmity began to be mortal; for the Princes of Guise pres­sing very earnestly that the sentence of death might be put in execution against those of Bourbon, she resolutely opposed it, approving rather gentle means than violent sharp remedies: That she being afterwards left with the King, a young Child not obeyed, and her other Children yet as it were in the Cradle, and her self a stranger with very few Confidents, but an abundance of persons of interest about her, though she had more need than ever to guard her self from those who plotted some one way, some another, the ruine or division of the Kingdom, and her death and her Childrens; yet over­come by so great and so streight a necessity, to preserve the peace, maintain the Crown and her Childrens Patrimony, and to gain time till [...]he King came of age, she many times suffered the Princes fury, and the insolencies of the Hugonots; but that the im­patience of the great ones with their discords and enmities, the ambition of the Princes of Lorain, and the contumacy of the Hugonots, had at length raised a War; to avoid which, God was witness with her, how much she had done and suffered; that seeing the Kingdom through the infection of Heresie in a general combustion, and the Eng­lish and Germans called in to invade it, she resolved to try whether by a resolute War she could extinguish, and eradicate this evil, and not be wanting in any thing that might be justified by Religion, she had resolved to put it to a Battel, which her Let­ters written to the Constable, that were certainly amongst his Papers (for she knew he kept them) would still testifie: That in the Battel the Constable was taken prisoner, and the Mareshal of St. Andre killed; and though the Victory inclined to the Kings Party, with the taking of the Prince of Conde, yet the Admiral remained still with a considerable Force, to which was added the succours sent from England, and a fresh powerful supply that came out of Germany: That since this, hapned that accident to [Page 126] the Duke of Guise, whereby the Kings Party were deprived of a Head, because for he [...] to command the Army was neither agreeable to her Sex or profession, and there was not any body else fit to be trusted with so great a charge; whence being led by the perswasions of many, and particularly by the advice the Duke of Guise gave her just at his death, to which she gave so much the more credit, because at that time men use to forget private interests and speak truth, succeeded a Peace, by granting to the Hu­gonots a Liberty of Conscience, though for no other end but to stay those enormous outrages, desolations, plundrings, rapines, sacriledges, violences and tyrannies that destroyed the whole Kingdom, hoping time would spend that humour which she was very well assured proceeded rather from private enmities, and desire of [...]ule, than from love of Religion: That she knew divers Princes very much blamed her for this Treaty, by the same token there wanted not those who raised doubts concerning her belief, but that she being satisfied in her own Conscience, having placed her hopes in God, expected from him her Justification: That it could not be denied but the peace had rid the Kingdom of the Reiters, who cruelly wasted the Country, and driven the English out of Havre de Grace, who were neasted there; and given the poor people time to breathe from so many troubles and calamities, by which they were ruined and devoured: That the Peace brought one great advantage by taking from the Hugonots all manner of pretence to rebel: That many things were done and suffered for no other purpose but to reduce the great ones to reason, and to mitigate the fury of heresie, trying divers means to arrive at this just holy end, and to maintain the union of the Kingdom so profitable to Christianity, and establish Peace so beloved of mankind, but no reme­dies or agreement prevailing, the Hugonots at length came to the taking of Arms: That she had used all possible endeavour speedily to assemble the Kings Forces, that the Ene­my might not have time to receive supplies from abroad: That she had very much pressed a Battel, as it followed at St. Denis, but with so little success, that it was no­toriously known things were afterward in a far worse condition than ever: That since she had procured of the King to make the Duke of Anjou General of the Army, to be assured no private in [...]erests should hinder the publick good: That she hoped on Christmas-Eve last there would have been an absolute decision of the differences and dissentions in the Kingdom: That her Son had not failed in his part, who though he were young, and not accustomed to inconveniences, had marched a whole night, with a resolution to fight, but that which she had formerly feared in the General, was fallen out in the Counsellors, for the Enemy had time given him, she knew not how, to pass the Meuse, and join with the Germans: That all things were running on to ruine and destruction, which she had ever so much abhorred, for she saw certainly that this body of France losing so much blood on all sides, could not escape a violent death: That the Siege of Chartres had produced an unavoidable necessity, either to hazard the whole Kingdom upon the cast of a Die against an Army of desperate Game­sters, or else to endeavour to put an end to these mischiefs by a Peace: That by this Capitulation the Germans were again dismissed, time given to take breath, the Enemy divided, the danger removed for the present, and the care of the future left to Gods Providence, with some lively reasonable hopes at length to attain to the desired end, and that one day the candour of her intentions would appear, and the justness of her designs.

But though the Ambassador communicated these reasons to whom he thought good, and the Senate ever favouring Peace, disliked not this counsel; yet the more turbu­lent Spirits forbore not to find fault with the Accommodation, and to make sinister constructions of the Queens intentions. Nevertheless, those that governed the affairs agreeing upon it, and the Capitulation being signed, on the 20 of March the Peace was published, with these conditions: That those of the pretended Reformed Religion should have free exercise of their Religion in all parts of the Kingdom, according to the former Act of Pacification; and that all Edicts published since to the prejudice thereof, should be held as void: That the Prince of Conde, the Admiral, and the rest should not be liable to those sentences which had passed against them, the King declaring he was certified whatsoever had been done was with very good intentions, and for the publick good: That the Hugonot Lords should be restored to their Estates, and that they should send away Prince Casimir with his Army, the King contributing a certain sum of money towards their payment; but before they left the Confines of the King­dom, the King should dismiss all the Swisses, the Italian Forces both Horse and Foot, [Page 127] and those the Catholick King sent into France: That of the money which was dis­bursed to Casimir, part should be held as a gift from his Majesty, and the rest be re­paid within a certain time by the Prince of Conde and the Hugonots: Lastly, That all the Commanders and Gentlemen of the Religion might retire whither they pleased, en­joying their offices and goods without any let or contradiction. Which Agreement being published by the Parliaments, the Articles began to be put in execution; but nei­ther the one side nor the other proceeded therein with that readiness and candour, as was necessary for the quiet of the Kingdom; on the contrary, both sides endeavour­ing what they could to hinder it, interposed difficulties and impediments upon every the least thing whatsoever: for the Hugonot Lords, who consented to the Accommo­dation against their wills, though they had dismissed Prince Casimir, who having re­ceived the pay promised by the King was marched towards Lorain, and from thence after much spoil done in the Country retired into his Fathers Dominions;The conditi­ons of the treaty are not performed. yet they came not to an entire restitution of the places, but still held Sanserre, Montauban, Albi, Millaud and Castres, and the Cities of Rochel denying that they were to submit to a Capitulation made without their consent, not only refused to admit the Governour and Garison sent them by the King, but prepared with much diligence to defend and fortifie themselves.

The Prince and the Admiral not daring to go to the Court, and much less to remain disarmed, were retired, the one to Noires, and the other to Chastillon, and there stood upon their guard to watch for an advantage, or to imbrace any occasion whatsoever; and still maintained a Negotiation with the Protestant Princes of Germany, to enter into a new league, and to make new levies. Many of the common Souldiers who knew they could not be safe at their own houses, and had not wherewithal to live or subsist, assembled upon the Confines of Picardy, with a pretence to pass into Flanders, to aid those that were up in Arms there, a thing expresly forbidden, and which the King had by divers severe Edicts prohibited: but having put themselves under the command of Monsieur de Coccaville, they got possession of the Castle of St. Veleri in the County of Caux, a place opportunely situated, as well for a passage into the Low-Countries, as to hold a commerce with England, which was conceived they durst not have done without the approbation and incitement of the Prince of Conde and the other Hugonot Lords. On the other side the King alledging that all the places were not returned to their obedience, neither dismissed the Swisses, nor disbanded the Ita­lians, but with sundry exceptions, and under divers pretences restrained in many things the liberty of Religion granted to the Hugonots, who were many of them ill treated by the people, and many, though in appearance for other reasons, punished by the Magistrates, and driven out of the Cities. At which time the King and the Queen consulted perpetually what course was to be taken to free themselves from these trou­bles, and then was first established, and not before, that Council which is called the Cabinet Council, which consisted not of those persons which by their birth,The beginning of the Cabinet Council. or privi­ledge of their places are usually admitted, but of a few choice men that the King liked, to whom he imparted secretly in his own private Chamber his most hidden inward thoughts. The first chosen to this confidence, besides the Queen-Mother, upon whom the deliberations for the most part depended, were the Duke of Anjou, the Kings Bro­ther, the High Chancellor de l' Hospital, Lewis de Lansac, Iohn de Morvilliers Bishop of Orleans, Sebastian de l' Aubespine Bishop of Limoges, Henry de Mesmes, Seignieur de Malassise, the President Renate d [...] Birague, and Ville-Roy Secretary of State. These con­sulting together of the present affairs, through the diversity of reasons, found it a very hard matter what to resolve; for taking Arms again, the same difficulties would arise which in the greatest fervour of the War made them chuse and conclude a Peace; and on the other side, it was not possible by policy to put the former counsels in execution; for the Heads of the Hugonots were not in any degree disposed to return to their obe­dience, and to make sure of their persons was not at all easie; for neither the Prince, the Admiral, Andelot, nor any of the rest the chief amongst them would be perswaded to come to Court; but being full of jealousies, kept themselves armed in several places at a distance, diligently observing every thing that might be plotted against them; which difficulties having held the Council long in suspence, and in the mean while complaints coming from all parts of new insurrections and tumults, which were raised either through the impatience of the Catholicks, or the too obstinate wilfulness of the Hugonots, but ever with blood, uproars and danger; at last they concluded, that to [Page 128] take away the roots of these continual perverse tumults, it was necessary to proceed with more resolution and less circumspection.The King, to chastise the Heads of the Hugonots, takes occasion to demand the money paid to Prince C [...]simir upon their account. Wherefore taking occasion upon the money disbursed to Casimir, and that Sum the Hugonot Lords were obliged to pay within a certain time, which was then expired, the King signified to the Prince of Conde, that he should provide to make payment thereof; advertising him withal, he understood not the money should be raised by way of contribution upon the Com­monalty of the Hugonots: for he would not that any body should have the power or liberty to lay Taxes upon his people; but that he meant the Heads of them, who had been Authors of the late War and Commotion, should, as they had promised, out of their own Estates satisfie this debt which they had contracted without the advice or ap­probation of particulars, when for their own interest they called Casimir with the Ger­man Army into the Kingdom.

This signification touched the Prince to the quick▪ for the debt amounting to the Sum of 300000 Crowns, he saw the King was resolved by this means to ruine him and the Admiral, with all the principal persons of the Factions: for not any of them being able to furnish so much ready money as might discharge them of their promise, their goods and estates would be seised upon at a low value; which being resolved not to endure, having sent for the Admiral to come to him, after a long consultation of the business, he answered the King resolutely, That this not being his own private or particular debt, but contracted for the service of those, who to preserve their lives and Religion had put themselves under his protection; and the Articles of Peace con­taining, that he and all the rest of his party should be engaged for the satisfaction of it, it was not reasonable, that now to ruine him, the payment should be required of him alone, and some few other Lords, who were already too much undone by resisting the persecutions of their enemies; and that if his Majesty were positively resolved to be presently paid, which might well be deferred to a more seasonable quiet time, it was necessary to permit them to raise the money upon the Reformed Churches,The Prince of Conde answer­eth and incen­seth the King with a Letter of Protestati­on. who he as­sured would willingly submit to the burthen; but if he would not permit it, his Ma­jesty might well foresee, that many through despair would be constrained to think of new violent courses, against his will and intentions: That he well knew this proceeded from the malice of his enemies, who not desiring the peace and quiet of the King­dom, infused such precipitate counsels to renew the War: That this was not their first attempt; for already in many places, cruelly murthering those who with his Ma­jesties permission assembled at their devotions, they had put Arms into the hands of the most seditious people in France: That he desired his Majesty to inform himself of that which happened at Rouen, Amiens, Bourges, Orleans, Troys, Clairmont in Au­vergue, Angiers, Lagni, and in many other places, to do justice to the oppressed, and cause his own promises to be observed: and at length concluded, That his Majesty considering with himself what was possible and just, without being obscured or pal­liated by the perswasions of others, would not tie him to do that which he could not by any means perform.

This Letter absolutely confirmed the King and his Cabinet Council in their resolu­tion to proceed without any regard, because it seemed rather a protestation and threat­ning, than an excuse; and they knew well, whilst the Prince and the Admiral had any power, the Peace would neither be secure, nor the danger taken away of the Ger­mans coming again into the Kingdom.Order given by the King to take the Prince of C [...]nde and the Admi­ral prisoners. Wherefore all doubts being removed, they determined to try whether they could on a sudden surprise the Prince and the Admiral, who contrary to their first resolution (to keep in several places, that they might not be both taken in one trap) were now both together at Noyers, upon the Confines of Burgundy, a Town not very strong, nor so well guarded, that it could make any long resistance. But because it was a business in the managing whereof secresie was more required than strength, Iasper Count de Tavanes Lieutenant to the Duke of Aumale in the Government of that Province, where he had fourteen Companies of Gens d' Arms, and the Count Siarra Martinengo, who with the Italians quartered likewise in those parts, had order to go so on a sudden upon that place and secure the passages, that neither of them might find any way to escape. The King thought he might justly do this; for besides their past actions, and the obstinate perverseness with which they stirred the people to rebellion, the Hugonot Lords had not in many things performed the Articles of the Capitulation; by which, and by nothing else, he was obliged to pardon them: but he had the more hope easily to effect his purpose, because Noyers [Page 129] being besieged, he might send such a strength into those parts, that it would be ne­cessarily reduced before they could receive any succours; and the Prince and the Ad­miral being once removed out of the way, he believed neither Andelot nor any of the rest had authority enough to renew the War.

But this design was no sooner resolved upon, than known to those very persons against whom it was intended; wherefore though they saw themselves invironed on all sides by the Kings Forces, for Martinengo having put two Companies of Foot into Orleans, and advancing still under pretence of changing his Quarters, was not far from them; the Duke of Montpensier and Monsieur de Martigues kept the passages of the Loire; the Duke of Guise with seven Companies of Lances was upon the Confines of Champagne; and the Mareshal de Cosse was in Arms in Picardy, having (to clear the suspicion the King had conceived of his fidelity) gotten a Commission to sup­press those who were in St. Veleri; and the Count de Tavanes lay nearer than all the rest, and but a little distant from them; so that they were compassed in on every side as with a net: Nevertheless, being forced by necessity (before the Kings Forces, which were still advancing, drew near) to take some speedy resolution, and thinking it a desperate course to stay to be besieged in Noyers, they determined to save themselves by flight, and to retire into some place where they might not only be secure, but raise an Army, and gather together their partisans and followers.

According to this resolution, which they kept concealed from their own servants, the first of September in the night, getting secretly on horse-back with their Wives and Children, accompanied only with two hundred Horse that they might go the faster, and not be so easily discovered, they marched in great diligence towards Rochel, end left Captain Bois behind with so many Horse more to hinder, as much as was possible, the advancing of the Enemy, if he offered to follow them, that so they might have time to save themselves; and by good fortune, through the extraordinary drought of the Summer, the waters were so exceeding low, that they might foord the Loire (a great rapid River) without any danger at Rouen, which otherwise, all the Bridges be­ing possessed by the Kings Forces, they could not possibly have passed. Captain Bois had not the like success, who being followed by Martinengo, and overtaken near the River, his men were without much dispute absolutely broken and defeated, and he fly­ing to a certain Castle not far off, was constrained to yield himself at discretion to Martinengo, who sent him prisoner to the Court. But the Prince and the Admiral,The Prince and the Ad­miral save themselves by flight at Ro­chel, where all the Hugonots and the Queen of Nav [...]rre come to them with great forces. who had foorded the River long before without any impediment, marching an incre­dible pace, arrived without being overtaken in a few days at Rochel, a place in all considerations most proper to make the principal seat for their party, their place of Arms, and their Arsenal for the War: for the Princes having lost those great strong Towns Orleans and Rouen, which lay so convenient to found and maintain the Fa­ction, it was necessary for them to provide some other place, which being situated in a rich fertile Country, had the commodity likewise of a Haven; nor could they chuse any more advantagious for them then Rochel; for possessing that Port, and the Neigh­bouring Islands that were fruitful and populous, they might at pleasure receive succours out of Germany, Flanders, England, Scotland, Britany and Normandy, all Countries full of their partisans, and settle themselves in a Town very hardly to be taken from them; so that in the streights they were then in, there was not much doubt to be made of the place whither they should retire. Wherefore being received with great joy by the Bourgers of Rochel, and by many of their chief Ministers, who were retired thither before for their safety, they began to dispatch Curriers and Letters into all parts, summoning their Friends and Adherents to come in to them without delay, as well to secure their own persons from the treacheries of their Enemies; as to unite themselves, and form such a body of an Army, that they might be able to resist those Forces which they knew were intended against them.

There was no need of many invitations, for at the report only of the flight and danger of the Prince of Conde, all those of the same Faction began to rise; and that they might be ready as soon as they were called upon, presently took Arms, even those very persons which at the conclusion of the Peace were so violent for it, now (as that Nation is of an unconstant voluble disposition) being weary of lying idle a few months, already desired a War, and were more ardent than the rest to imbrace it. So the sign being given, within a few days they assembled all their Forces together at Rochel: Those of Poic [...]ou under the conduct of Messieurs d' Ivoy and Blosset, those of Perigor [...] [Page 130] under Soubise and de Puviaut, those of Cabors under Piles and Clairemont, those of Normandy under the Count of Montgomery and Colombiere, and those of Britany un­der the Vidame of Chartres and Lavardine. Andelot and la Noue having in their pas­sage over the Loire had divers skirmishes with the Duke of Montpensier and Mon­sieur de Martigues, though in three or four encounters they lost many of their men, yet they arrived safe with a good number of Horse at the same place. At length the Queen of Navarre, either doubting no less than the rest her own safety, or desirous to animate and strengthen her party, and to advance the fortune of the Prince her Son, now fifteen years of age,Od [...]t [...]o Cardi­nal of Ch [...]stil­l [...]n who called himself Count of Beauvai [...], flies disguised like a Mariner into England, and after­wards remain­eth with that Queen as A­gen [...] for the Hugonots. having raised a considerable number of Horse and Foot in Bearn, came her self in person to the general rendezvous at Rochel. Only Odetto late Cardinal of Chastillon, who lived at Beauvais, and was encompassed with the Kings Forces, not thinking it possible to make such a long journey in safety to join with the rest, went disguised in a Mariners habit to the Sea-side, and from thence passed with much danger into England, where being received with great respect by the Queen, he afterwards did very good service to his party, remaining in that Court as Agent for the Hugonots.

But the Hugonot Lords having in a short time raised a great Army about Rochel, according to their old custom, before they would do any thing, to justifie their reasons, and give a fair pretence for their proceedings, published a Manifest, in which after a long Narration made of all the injuries done in divers places, and at several times to those of the Reformed Religion, setting forth at large the great danger they were con­tinually in,A Manifest of the Hugo [...]ots, and Letters of the Queen of Navarre. whilst they continued unarmed to be abused and oppressed, concluded at last, That they had taken Arms only for the defence of their Liberties, Lives and Religion, which under God they professed, without any other end or design; desiring still to live as Subjects in obedience to his Majesty, so they might be secured for their Lives and Consciences. At the same time Queen Iane published certain Letters, di­rected to the most Christian King, the Duke of Anjou, and the Cardinal of Bourbon, in which, repeating the same things the Hugonots had set forth in their Manifest, she declared, That she could do no less than join with the Prince of Conde and the rest of the same Religion with her self, as well for the maintenance of that Doctrine in which she only believed, as to secure her self from the treacherous designs which the Cardinal of Lorain on the one side, and the Spaniards on the other had continually upon her life and her Sons, and upon the miserable relicks of the Kingdom of Navarre: which rea­sons, though they were set forth with great flourishes of Rhetorick; yet it appeared plainly, she either invented or added to them, and that nothing moved her more than the exceeding desire she had that Calvin's Religion flourishing and increasing, her Son should become the Head of that Faction, as the Prince of Conde then was, and as her Husband the King of Navarre had been formerly.

But the most Christian King, and the Queen his Mother, seeing in a moment all the Hugonot Commanders not only retired into a place of security and advantage; but an Army raised on a sudden, and a War begun, which with so many arts and dissimula­tions they had sought to avoid, plainly perceived the secrets of the Cabinet Council were revealed, nor could any body be suspected thereof save only the High Chancel­lour, who besides his not consenting to what was resolved upon concerning the Prince and the Admiral, it was known his Wife, his Son-in-law, and his Daughter, were all three of the Hugonot Religion, and that he himself held a great correspondence with Teligny, destined for the Admirals Son-in-law, a young man full of subtilties and dissi­mulation,The King en­ters into a jea­lousie of the High Chan­cellor de l' Hospi [...]al, and putting him out of his of­fice, confers it upon Mon­sieur de M [...]r­villi [...]rs. and therefore liked of by him to marry his Daughter, as understanding those arts wherewith he ordinarily governed his actions: which jealousie of the High Chan­cellour, grounded only upon report, and a general consent, prevailed so much with the King, that though there were no material proofs against him whereby he could be deprived of his Office; yet the King not only put him out, but commanded him from the Court, and gave the Seals to Monsieur Morvilliers, a man of great experience and no less wit, who being an Ecclesiastical Person, was very averse to the Faction, free from any intelligence with the Hugonots, and a dependant upon the House of Guise.

Michael de l' Hospital being removed from the Court and the affairs, the King and the Queen desiring to take away all matter that might administer fewel to the fire that was again ready to break out, caused an Edict to be published, in which they pro­mised to observe the Capitulation, and that accordingly a Liberty of Conscience should be tolerated to all those who remaining peaceably in their Houses, abstained from Arms, [Page 131] and from joining with them who went about under several pretences to stir up the people to Rebellion. But not many days after, either perswaded by the reasons the Catholicks alledged against this Edict, as a means to advance the designs and practices of the Enemy, or else seeing that the Hugonots, neither restrained by fear, nor paci­fied by the Kings favour, were with a general consent, and with the same intentions as before gone all to Rochel, nor could not, with any promises whatsoever be with­held from running furiously to take Arms, being willing to satisfie the requests, and to confirm the fidelity of the Catholick party, which at that time was the main prop of the Royal Authority, and desirous likewise to gain the Amity of the Pope Pius Quintus, who both by threatning messages, and particular graces granted to the King, perpetually sollicited the prohibition of the Hugonot Religion; and being resolved to declare their affections in this point, till then much doubted of by all Christendom,The King set­teth forth an Edict against the Hugonots, by which all the former are revoked. caused another Edict to be published, in which the King, after a long distinct Nar­ration of the indulgence and benignity he had shewed to reduce the Hugonots to a right understanding, and after a particular mention of the seditions and conspiracies by which contemning his Majesties grace and goodness, they had continually disquie­ted and molested his Kingdoms, bringing in strangers and mortal Enemies, to the French Nation, to possess and invade the strongest places, and most flourishing parts of the Kingdom; at length, revoking all Edicts published concerning Religion during his minority, and nullifying the last Capitulation made pro interim, and by way of pro­vision, ordained and commanded that the exercise of any Religion whatsoever, except the Roman Catholick, ever observed by him and the Kings his Predecessors, should be prohibited and expresly forbidden and interdicted in all places of the Kingdom: ba­nished the Calvinist Ministers and Preachers out of all the Towns and places under his Dominion, commanding them upon pain of death within the term of fifteen days to avoid the Kingdom; pardoned through special grace all things past in matters of Re­ligion, requiring for the future under pain of death a general conformity to the Rites of the Catholick Church; and finally ordained, that no person should be admitted to any Office, Charge, Dignity, or Magistracy whatsoever, if he did not profess and live conformable to the Roman Religion.

This Constitution being published with an incredible concourse of the Parisians, and received with exceeding joy by all the Parliaments, gave a clear testimony, that the King and Queens intentions had ever been to suppress and destroy the Hugonot party, but desired to do it without the noise of War, and with as little prejudice to the people, or danger of dismembring the Kingdom as was possible: Wherefore their arts and dissimulations, after so long patience proving all vain, at length taking off (as the saying is) their Mask, they declared an implacable War against the followers of the Hugonot Faction.

They were not less diligent to make provisions for the War,New prepara­tions for War. than severe and resolute in their decrees: For the Duke of Anjou being declared Lieutenant General of all the Provinces, presently got an Army together, with a resolution immediately to advance into Xaintonge, to suppress the Hugonot Forces before they received any succours from other parts, or from the Queen of England, or the Protestant Princes of Germany: On the other side, the Prince and the Admiral, remembring th [...] success of the late Ac­commodation, had obliged themselves and all the rest by a solemn Oath at Rochel, to persevere until death in the defence of their Religion, nor ever to condescend to an agreement without the general consent of all the Commanders, and sufficient security for the preservation of their lives, and to injoy a full Liberty of Conscience. After which Covenant thus sworn and established amongst themselves, they sent forthwith into England and Germany, to procure Aids from thence. And because the Admiral, a man who by long experience had learned the true discipline, knew that food and other necessary provisions are the only means whereby Armies subsist and prosper, (wherefore he usually said, An Army is a certain Monster, which begins to be formed by the belly) seeing they were shut up in a corner, which though fruitful, was ye [...] streight­ned on the one side by the River Loire, and on the other by the Mountains, which from Languedoc and Gascony extend themselves to the Pirenees; perswaded the Prince and the other Chiefs, that all manner of care should be used to get store of Corn, Money and Munition, whereby they might supply their present occasions, and the necessities of the ensuing Winter:The Hugonot [...] set out a Flee [...] to fetch in provisions. to which end they made ready a Fleet of thirty sail of several kinds and burthen, which should scour the Sea, and run up into the Rivers, robbing [Page 132] Merchants ships, and little Towns upon the coasts, not only to bring what Corn they could from other places to Rochel, but to take what booty they met with in money to supply their present want. Nor was this counsel without effect; for in the space of a few months, having taken many Vessels, which without any fear of such an encounter, put freely to Sea, they got such a considerable Sum as was sufficient to defray the ex­pences of the Army for some time after: but they had much more help by the industry of the Queen of Navarre, who with often Messages and earnest Letters so sollicited the Queen of England, that she disposed her, notwithstanding the peace newly made with the most Christian King, not only to accommodate the Hugonots with Ships, Corn and Munition, but with 100000 Crowns also for the payment of their Army; in which she pretended not to have broken the conditions of the Peace, for the Forces raised by the Hugonots were for the Kings service, and assistance of the Crown, against the Oppressors of the Royal Liberty, and the Persecutors of the true Worship of God.

In the mean while the Prince and the Admiral marching forth with the Army, pos­sessed themselves without opposition of all the Neighbouring Towns, and had such good success, that in a few weeks they were Masters not only of all the Country of Xaintonge, but of the most part of the Cities of Poictou and Tourain, which either by force or agreement joined with the Confederates, and received Hugonot Garisons. These proceedings were not at first hindered by the Duke of Montpensier, who being sent to that Province with an inconsiderable number of men, could not make resistance against so strong and powerful an Army: wherefore the Hugonots being Masters (with­out dispute) of the Field, over-run, burnt and pillaged all the Country, and every moment multiplied in strength and adherents; for those that governed the affairs were not careful enough at the first to send a sufficient force after to suppress them, or at least to hinder their increase, and now they were constrained to spend much time in getting men together from other parts, and making them march so far from their own Country.

But Henry of Lorain, Duke of Guise, the Count of Brissae, and Messieurs de Biron, Martigues and la Valette being at length joined with the Duke of Montpensier, they unanimously agreed that they would lie abroad in the field, to curb the insolencies and incursions of the Enemy, and to defend those Towns that were not yet in the power of the Hugonots; and so it happened, that at the same time that the Duke of Mont­pensier leaving Angiers went to lie with his Army upon the Banks of Vienne, Messieurs de Mouvan [...] and Acier who had raised all the Hugonot Forces of Daulphine, Provence, Auvergne, and Languedoc, going to join with the Army, arrived at the same place. They were about 18000 Horse and Foot, but for the most part tumultuary people, and not accustomed to the War; who partly to secure themselves from the severity of the Magistrates, partly in hope of the boo [...]y that was proposed to them, had volun­tarily joined with certain of the Nobility. Nevertheless they were very strictly obe­dient to their Officers, and marched in exceeding good order, divided into two Bat­tels, the first led by Messieurs de Mouvans and Pierregourde, the other by Monsieur de Acier himself, and for the most part lodged so near, that in a little time they might easily succour one another, with which kind of discipline having overcome all diffi­culties, they were arrived, laden with booty, from the farthest parts of Lionoise and Daulphine, upon the borders of X [...]i [...]onge.

The Duke of Montpensier being advertised of their coming, resolved to fight with them; and so much the rather, because the Van, through their long march, or what­ever else were the reason, forsaking their wonted order, was advanced a good way before the Battel. Wherefore departing from Vess [...]nne two hours before day, on the 30 of October, he disposed the order of the assault in this manner: That whilst he with frequent skirm [...]shes kept the main body in play, which was with Acier in the second Squadron, the Count of Brissac and the Duke of Guise, with all the Cavalry should charge Mouvans and Pierregourde, who with the lesser number went before, and invi­roning them with their Troops, fight with them as they marched into the Champagne, where the Foot, of which they had good store, but no Pikes, had so much disad­vantage, that he thought it easie without much contention to defeat them. But the Duke of Guise and the Count de Brissac mounting 1200 Foot in Cr [...]ope, made such haste, that contrary to the order given, they came upo [...] the Enemy whilst he was yet lodged in the Village of Mess [...]nac before he began m [...]rch, insomuch tha [...] they lost [Page 133] that advantage by which they hoped with a lesser number to overcome a greater. Notwithstanding seeing the Hugonots, fearing the Horse, kept in, and stood upon their defence, not to seem to come in vain, they assaulted the Village with great force; and the fight was so hot there, that for the space of two hours they stood to it obstinately on both sides, till the Catholick Commanders, finding they la­boured to no purpose, and through the strong situation of the place, exposed their men to an evident danger, resolved to sound a retreat; and returning the same way they came, placed themselves in ambush in a Wood, a little distant from Messignac, which extended it self largely behind a hill, expecting there to see what the Enemy would do. Mouvans and Pierregourde believing the Kings Forces were gone to meet with their Foot, with an intent to come again to assault them in the same place, ho­ping before their return they might gain Riberac, a strong place held by the Hugonots, and but five leagues off, without taking any care to discover the Country, began to march with great diligence, to prevent the return of the Catholicks, who they thought were by that time a good way from them. But they were scarce advanced into the midst of the field without Messignac, hastning to recover a Wood which reacheth from thence to Riberac, when the Catholicks coming upon them with their Horse divided into divers Troops, charged them furiously on all sides; and though they were not very well able to defend themselves, all their Foot being Musketiers, without any Pikes, in a plain open place, yet fighting with exceeding constancy, made the Victory bloody to the Enemy. Mouvans and Pierregourde were killed, and together with them remained dead upon the place about two thousand Foot, and more then four thou­sand Horse: the Catholick Souldiers having by command from their Officers not en­deavoured to take prisoners, which, redeeming themselves for a small ransom, would perversly return to the service of the Hugonots.

The Duke of Montpensier having in the mean while overtaken the Enemies Battalia at S. Chatier, which was in a great body flanked with good Horse of Provence and Daulphine, purposed not to charge them with all his force, but thinking it sufficient to keep them at a bay, so that they might not succour their Van, entertained them with frequent hot skirmishes till the evening, when night coming on, he being retreated to­wards Vesunne, they taking the advantage of the dark, marched all night without in­ [...]ermission, so that about break of day they arrived at Riberac; and the day follow­ing, which was the first of November, joined with the Prince and the Admiral at Aube­terre.

But the Duke of Anjou with the Army marching in great diligence, was now come to Amboise; wherefore the Duke of Montpensier and the other Commanders after the Victory at Messig [...]ac, leaving to molest the Enemy, went away with all their forces to join with him; and the tenth day of November both the Armies met at Chastel-rault, a Town in the Confines of Poictou upon the River Vienne.

Great was the expectation every body had of the valour and generosity of this Prince, who in the first flour of his age, being adorned with most noble Endowments, seemed as it were born on purpose to sustain the weight of the greatest Empires in Europe; for to his excellent form of body, was added such a perfect constitution, that the delicateness of his complexion hindred him not from supporting all the inconve­niences that belong to a Souldier; and in his mind appeared such signs of courage, magnanimity, prudence, and a generous Spirit, that his Vertue was thought much be­yond his years; which ornaments being accompanied with a natural eloquence, and the knowledge of such Letters as belong to a Prince, gained him not only wonderful love, but a singular reverence likewise, both from the Army, the Nobility, and from the whole Nation. And though his actions indeed gave some testimonies of a humane condition, which is never altogether free from the marks of moral frailty; yet his in­clinations to pleasures were imputed to the tenderness of his youth, and his profuse li­berality to his domesticks and servants, thought rather a magnanimity of mind not yet fully settled, than any weakness or want of judgment. In this great esteem was the Duke of Anjou with all men, to which that his actions might correspond, he desired without further delay to meet the Enemy in the Field, and being streightned by the season of the year already inclining [...]o Winter, forthwith making a general Muster of his Army, in which were 7000 Horse, 6000 Swisses, 2000 Italians, and 12000 French Foot, moved with all his Forces marching through the same f [...]uitful Country of Poictou, towards the place where the Hugonots were.

[Page 134]At the same time the Prince of Conde being Master of all the Country about, seeing such a powerful Enemy come against him, was with twenty four thousand Foot, and little less than four thousand Horse, upon his march, with a resolution to approach as near as he could to the Kings Army, without abandoning the Towns belonging to his party, and opportunely to imbrace the advantage of any occasion that the propiti­ousness of his fortune should present. Both the Generals had the same design, a thing rarely falling out, that two Enemies should concur in the same opinion for the mana­ging of the War; for the Duke of Anjou who thought himself superiour, not only in number, but also in the courage of his Souldiers, and discipline of War, desired to come to a Battel, hoping to suppress the Hugonots before their succours came out of Germany; and the Prince of Conde likewise, who commanding Voluntiers, which for the most part served without pay, knew the ardour and union of his Souldiers would not long continue, thought it better to make use of them whilst their fervour lasted, than by prolonging the War run into those inconveniences, of which he had formerly had too much experience.

But the desire and determinations of the Generals was crossed by the contrariety of the season, for it being then about the end of November, the extraordinary cold, great ice, and snows, hindered the progress both of the one and the other; for the days be­ing short, and the nights exceeding cold, they could not (the ways being broken, and covered with snow) either easily fetch in provisions, or march with their Army, or advance with their Cannon, wherefore they were forced by making short journies, and lodging in convenient quarters, to ease the grievous labour of the Souldiers: for nei­ther the men nor the Horses could by any means lie in Tents, by reason of which in­commodities, both Armies advanced very slowly. But at length all difficulties being overcome, with a wonderful constancy on both sides, they came so near together be­tween Poictiers, Chastel-rault, and Lusignan, that they were not above four French leagues a sunder, which, as is said before, answer to eight English miles.

The Duke of Anjou with the gross of the Army quartered at Iaseneuil, a Town upon the great Road, which from Poictiers lead directly to the Enemy, and part of the Cavalry with some few Foot for the more convenience lodged at Sanse, a Village but a league distant from Iaseneuil. The Prince of Conde on the other side marching with all his Forces towards the Catholicks, was come to lodge at Colombiere, two leagues out of Lusignan, at which Town all his Army quartered very commodiously. In the mid-way equally distant from both Camps was a Village called Pamprou, upon which each General had a design with an intent to lodge his Van there, that he might be the nearer to vex and trouble the Enemy. It so happened that Martigues on the Catholick side, and Andelot on the Hugonots, advanced both at the same time, with the first Troops of their Armies to possess it. At their meeting there was a fierce bloody skirmish between them, which was gallantly maintained many hours, though with various success to both parties: but whatsoever were the occasion, the Catho­licks began to yield, and the Village at last remained in the power of the Hugonots, who pursuing their Victory, advanced to follow the light Horse which were upon their retreat.

In the mean while arrived the Duke of Montpensier on the Catholick side, who bring­ing with him above six hundred Lances, Andelot being much inferiour in strength re­tired to the descent of a Hill, which was between him and the Village, where extend­ [...]ng the Front of his Horse, and placing in Foot in each wing, the Enemy could nei­ther take a view of his Flanks nor his Rear, but seeing such a large body towards him, thought their whole Army had been brought thither, and so lost the oppor­tunity to rout and defeat Andelot. But the condition of things was soon changed, for within a little while the Prince and the Admiral appeared with all their Forces, in­somuch that they were exceedingly too strong for the Catholicks, who had nothing with them but their Van, all the rest of the Army being left behind in their Quarters in Iaseneuil. Montpensier and Martigues knowing the insufficiency of their strength, and doubting if the Enemy perceived it, they should be charged with disadvantage, by little and little left off skirmishing, and retreated to a great thick Wood which was behind them, and there put their men in order, drawing into as large a Front as they could, and placing the Muskiteers among the trees to make the greater shew: but the Hugonot Commanders seeing it grow late, and believing through the same mistake, that all the Catholick Army was drawn out as well as theirs, thinking they had done [Page 135] enough to draw them from Pampron, staid there to lodge under covert, and had not any thought to assail the Enemy that night; wherefore Montpensier and Martigues ha­ving caused the Swisses to beat their Drums till midnight, to make the Hugonots be­lieve all the Kings forces were there, and particularly the Swisses of whom they had a great esteem, and causing lighted matches to be hanged upon the hedges, and up and down in the woods to confirm the mistake of the Enemy, in the dead of the night re­tired with exceeding silence to Iasenevil; avoiding, by the benefit of the dark, so evident a danger of being utterly defeated.

The Prince and the Admiral finding in the morning the errour by which they had lost so great an opportunity, not to lose their time likewise in vain, resolved to set up­on that part of the Army which was quartered as Sanse, with an intention, the Duke of Anjou not moving, to break and scatter it, and afterwards advancing to try the for­tune of a day in the open fields. But the Duke of Anjou had the same morning upon the Enemies approach, sent for all his Forces to the head Quarter, and quitting the Village, brought the whole Camp to Iasenevil, which being unknown to the Hugo­nots, they by the favour of a thick mist, setting forth early in the morning, marched with the whole Army, in great silence toward Sanse. But coming to a place where two ways part▪ the one whereof goes to Sanse, and the other to Iasenevil, the Admi­ral taking the left hand, went on as he intended towards the Village, and the Prince through mistake turning on the right hand, took that way which led directly to the Catholick Camp at Iasenevil, neither did he perceive by reason of the mist, that he was out of the way, till he was so near the Kings quarter, that he came afront the Enemy in a plain open place, and was so far engaged that he could not make a secure re­treat. The Duke of Anjou seeing the Enemies approach, not knowing their mistake, thought they came with a resolution to assault him; wherefore he drew up his men into a place of advantage, though somewhat too streight for his Horse, and expected with a daring courage to join Battel. But the Prince of Conde at length finding his er­rour, and not knowing where the Admiral was with the Van, going himself to view the ground, presently resolved what to do, and with all the haste he could made himself master of two little hills on each side the way, where he placed his Foot being drawn into two divisions, among the stakes of the Vines, making himself a defence of the ditches and banks, which are usual in that Country to inclose their grounds. The Foot being lodged in such a place of advantage, and in a manner out of danger, the next care was to secure the Horse, which being ranged upon the high-way, could not refuse to fight whensoever the Catholicks would charge them; wherefore that they might not discover a fear, still moving softly on, the Prince made shew as if he would join Battel in the plain, which lay between the two hills and the Kings Camp.

The Duke of Anjou believing the Prince meant to fight, when he saw the Enemies Horse in the plain, commanded fire to be given to all the Cannon, of which he had a great number placed in each Flank, hoping thereby to terrifie them, and withal to scatter two great wings of light Horse, which being in the Front of the Army, be­fore the rest, marched towards him. But the Prince taking his time whilst the smoak of the Cannon covered the plain, retired dextrously with his Horse behind the hills, and presently began to draw a Ditch cross the high-way, so that being covered on both sides with the hills, and having cut off the Enemies passage, he placed there four Field-pieces, and 600 Gascon Musketiers to defend that Post. The smoak being vanished, the Duke of Guise and the Count de Lude with two Squadrons of Horse advanced to charge, but found the field void and abandoned by the Hugonots; wherefore having marched up as far as the hills without meeting any encounter, they returned to their Body with news that the Prince began to intrench in the plain. The Duke of Anjou al­most confounded with this uncertain proceeding of the Hugonots, presently sent the Count of Brissac with the French Musketiers, and Monsieur de la Valette with four Troops of Horse to second him, towards the hills, to try whether by skirmishing they could engage them to fight; but the Enemy not stirring from their place, and scouring the plain under them with their Musquet-shot, the rest of the day was spent in light skir­mishes; for neither the Prince moved from the hills, but on the contrary went on with his trenches, nor would the Duke of Anjou set upon the Hugonots in their works with so great disadvantage.

In this interim the Admiral understanding by the noise of the Cannon what had hap­ned, without attempting any thing at Sanse, was returned in great haste to join with [Page 136] the Prince: complaining that fortune heaping errour upon errour, should with such frowardness delude the prudence and wariness of his counsels. The Armies stood to their Arms, with great diligence guarding their posts all that night, but the next morn­ing both sides being vanquished by the violence of the cold, and the exceeding suffe­rance of two nights watching continually in Arms, the Generals resolved to retreat, and so as it were by mutual consent, the Duke of Anjou marched away to Poictiers, and the Hugonots to Mirebeau.

The Duke thought by retiring into an open plain Country, either to invite the Ene­my to fight upon equal terms, or else by often moving and changing Quarter, to ap­proach so near to them, that he might gain some seasonable advantage. But the Hu­gonot Commanders, not to give the Enemy such an opportunity as he sought after, thought of another way, and resolved marching from the Catholicks to fall on a sudden upon Saumur, a City upon the Loire, where there is a very fair Bridge, which is one of the principal passes over that River, to enter into the other Provinces of France, or to receive supplies from them, and particularly to enable them to join with those forces that come to their aid out of Germany: for the Loire dividing in a manner the whole Kingdom into two parts, separates the Country anciently called Aquitania from the two Gallias, Celtica and Belgica; a great part whereof are yet subject to that Crown. They hoped likewise by besieging and streightning a place of so much consequence, that the Duke of Anjou rather than suffer it to be taken before his eyes, would be brought to fight with some disadvantage; for though the one side and the other very much de­sired battel, yet they both studied to contrive it so, that they might be in a manner assured of the Victory. But this stratagem proved fruitless; for the Duke knowing that Saumur being a strong place, and reasonably well guarded, might easily hold out against the Hugonots, resolved to raise them by a diversion, without bringing himself into a necessity to fight at their pleasure: wherefore letting the Prince march towards Saumur, he departed two days after with good store of victuals for his men from Poi­ctiers, and went directly to assail Mirebeau, which was forced and taken with great loss to the Hugonots, (for the remainder of the Army with a great part of their car­riages were left there) and without losing any time, advanced farther into the Enemies Country to besiege Loudun.

Monsieur d' Acier commanded in the Town with twelve Companies of Foot, who though he shewed a great readiness to defend it, principally through the confidence he had of the badness of the season, which was such, that by reason of the Ice, the Ca­tholicks could neither raise any batteries, nor advance their trenches; yet seeing such a powerful Army sate down before it, he perpetually sollicited the chief Commanders of the Army, that considering his danger, they would come to succour him; who being moved with his earnestness, but much more to see the Duke already so far advanced into that Country from whence they had all their provisions and support, presently left Saumur, without having been able to attempt any thing, and marched toward the Ca­tholick Army, being reduced to that necessity to fight at a disadvantage, to which they thought to have forced the Enemy. But advancing with great circumspection, and in such order as was behooveful for experienced Commanders, the twentieth of December they came to lodge in the Suburbs of Loudun, and with exceeding diligence encamped on the other side of the Town, opposite to that which was battered and assaulted by the Catholicks.

Between the two Armies stood the Town, and on each side a large spacious cham­pagne,Whilst the Duke of An­jou batters Loudun on the one side, the Prince of Co [...]de coming to re­lieve it, lodg­eth in the suburbs on the other, and be­ing both re­solved to fight, they are hindred by the coldness of the season. without banks and ditches, or any other impediments, which was wonderful commodious for the Armies to skirmish, or to fight upon equal terms with Ensigns displayed; but the natural commodity that the place afforded was hindred and inter­rupted by the quality of the season; for the cold was so extream, that the Souldiers limbs were in a manner stupified and dead, and through the abundance of Ice and frozen snow, the ground was so slippery and hard, that every hour an infinite company of Souldiers were brought out of the skirmishes into the tents, who falling down were maimed, and unable to do service. The Cavalry was more inconvenienced; for the ground being low and full of water, was covered all over with such hard Ice, that the Horses finding no foot for their feet, fell one upon another, and the men being armed, if they offered to move or turn, could not advance a step without disordering their Squadrons, and confounding the Files, through which difficulties it being impossible for the Armies to fight, (for that party which stirred first, would rout and disorder it [Page 137] self) after they had stayed four days, and both sides beginning already to suffer want,1569. (for the season hindred the Suttlers to bring in provisions) the Duke of Anjou, who lying in the open field suffered most, not to consume his Army to no purpose, resolved to retire back four leagues from the Enemy, and getting a little River before him, quartered his men in the neighbouring Villages and Towns; which when it was known to the Hugonots, believing that the Army for this commodity of lodging being divided in divers places, could not easily be brought together, they resolved to fall into the Duke of Anjou's own quarter, hoping to gain a Victory before the rest of the Army could come to assist them. But being come in the morning, which was the twenty seventh of December, to the banks of River, thinking to pass without any resistance, they found it so resolutely defended by the guards that were placed upon the foords, that after having tryed twice or thrice in vain to force their passage, they were constrained to retire; which they did so much the rather, because two pieces being shot off, they conceived rightly that they were a signal for the Catholicks to come to the several passes of the River, which they were before appointed, if occasion were, to de­fend; so that they concluded it was impossible to pass over without too evident a danger.

After this retreat, a grievous sickness, through their past sufferance,Through their past sufferings a great morta­lity seiseth upon the Ar­mies. beginning to grow in the Army, and the Souldiers continually murmuring that they were led to fight not against men, but against the perverseness of the weather, and the very force of Nature, the chief Commanders resolved to retire to some place at a good distance, where they might lie secure until such time that the sharpness of the winter being in some measure past, the season would again permit them to go on with the War: for these reasons the Prince and the Admiral being retreated into the lower Poictou, to­wards the confines of Xaintongue, the Duke of Anjou following the like counsel, went with all his forces to Chinon, where they began to feel the effects of their former suf­ferings; for such a cruel infection entred into both Armies, that in the space of a few days above four thousand men died on each side; as if Fortune seeing the intentions of the Generals, and the strength of the Armies equal, would likewise distribute amongst them equal sufferings and losses.

The year 1568. being spent in these actions, began the year 1569. which was full of great accidents and infinite blood:1569. in the beginning whereof the Prince of Conde having left the care of the Army to the Admiral, went himself in person to Rochel, to sollicite for money, and other provisions to maintain the War, which coming slowlier than they imagined, had brought them into extream want of every thing; for being driven into a corner, though one of the most fertile in all France, and lying in a Coun­try that held with their party, though they lived for the most part upon free-quarter, and at the charge of the peasants, yet they had no occasion to plunder, with which they used in other places to maintain and satisfie the Souldiers. The 100000 Ducats sent by the Queen of England were already spent, besides the money brought in by their Fleet, which they sent out to rob the Merchants ships; and the Citizens of Rochel, though they were ready to part with all their sustance towards the maintenance of the War, yet tra [...]fck failing, and the contributions falling so heavy upon them, they were so exhausted, that they were not able to furnish much more;The Hugonots being in a streight, the Prince of C [...]n­de sells the goods of the Churc [...]. wherefore the Prince of Conde being forced by necessity, took a resolution to sell the Treasure of the Church which was in Xaintonge, and the other Provinces under his command; and the more to encourage men to buy, the Queen of Navarre engaged her own Estate for their security.

With this sale, for which (to the incredible scandal of the Parliaments, and con­tempt of the Royal Authority) they gave publick Commissions to particular persons, and with certain Contributions gathered in Rochel and the adjacent Islands, they got together such a sum of money as was sufficient to supply the Army for some months, ho­ping in the mean while the season would grow more favourable to advance into a larger Country, where they might with their wonted plundering satisfie the clamour and evi­dent want of the souldiers.

The rest of the Provinces were not at quiet; on the contrary, all parts of the King­dom suffered divers changes and miseries; for Monsieur de la Chastre Governour of Berry, and the Count Siarra Martinengo having besieged Sancerre upon the Loire some­times with good, sometimes with ill success, but ever with great slaughter on both sides, continued to batter and assault it: and the Prince of Conde and the Admiral ha­ving [Page 138] left Noirs, the Count de Barbesieux with the Forces of Champagne assaulted and took it;The Monaste­ry of St. Mi­chael in [...]remo destroyed by the Rochelle [...]s Anno 1569. the Rochellers likewise made themselves Masters of the Isles near Xaintonge, and with great desolation had ruined that most noble ancient Monastery of St. Michael de desert, destroying with fire and sword those most venerable relicks of the devotion and piety of their Ancestors.

Whilst these things were done, the violence of the Winter was past; wherefore the Duke of Anjou having received fresh supplies, (for the Marquiss of Baden had brought 1500 German Horse, and the Count de Tande the Gentry of Provence) about the be­ginning of March leaving Chinon, and keeping along the Charente, marched towards the Hugonots. On the other side, the Prince and the Admiral having received adver­tisement that the Viscount de Montcler and Bourniquet, and the other Gentlemen of Languedoc and Gascony, with a great number of Horse and Foot were coming to their aid, and doubting the Catholick Army might hinder their passage, leaving the Terri­tory of Rochel, where they stayed to refresh themselves, and passing the Charente, ad­vanced to meet them. But having notice afterwards of the Duke of Anjou's moving, they stopt their journey, and breaking all the bridges, and placing sufficient guards where the water was foordable, staid at Iarnac, a Town two leagues from the River, with an intent either to hinder the passage of the Kings Forces, or to starve them; for all the Country held for that party; or else, if they attempted to force their way, to set upon the Troops that first got over, not doubting, they being disordered in their passage, to gain an assured Victory.

Nevertheless, the Duke of Anjou having taken by the way the Castle of Mele, and Ruffec, came to Chasteau-neuf, a frequent ordinary pass over the Charente, there he found that the Hugonots had already broken the bridge beyond Chasteau-neuf, and left a Garison of 1000 Foot in the Town, which the Prince thought a sufficient strength to defend that place. But experience shewed he was mistaken, for the Count of Brissac having drawn the French Infantry thither, and with his Cannon beaten down some of their works, those within being terrified, without expecting any succours, abandoned the Town, and passing the River in certain boats that they found ready, retired to the Army which lay two leagues off The taking of Chasteau-neuf nothing advantaged the Duke of Anjou; for the bridge being broken, and the Enemies standing prepared on the other side to hinder his passage, it was a very difficult matter to repair the old bridge, or to make a new one, and much more dangerous to force a passage against so powerful an opposition: wherefore the Catholicks shewing their skill, to surmount those difficulties by policy which they could not overcome by force, having left Mon­sieur de Byron Master, or as they say, Mareshal of the Field, with such orders as were necessary at Chasteau-neuf, the Duke with all the Army moved towards Cognac, march­ing along the river, and making shew to seek some more easie expedite conveniency to pass over.

At the same time the Admiral moved with the Hugonots Van on the other side of the river, and advanced the same way, so that there being nothing between the two Armies but a narrow stream, they continually played upon one another with their shot. In this manner they marched all day, though very slowly; but night drawing on, the Admiral having given order that the light Horse, and certain chosen companies of Foot should stay to guard the passes, he not to incommodate his men, who being Volun­tiers could not, or would not longer endure to lie in the open Field, removed about a league from the River, and lodged with the Van at Bassac, a reasonable great Village which was sufficient to receive them all, and the Prince with the Battel not being yet moved from his quarters; staid still at Iarnac, in a manner right against Chasteau-neuf.

The next day the Duke of Anjou having observed how the Enemy quartered that night, desired to confirm them in the opinion that he went seeking an opportunity to pass over; and having put some small Barks upon the River, with a good number of Musketiers, made shew of forcing the Hugonots guards; but finding a strong resistance in every place, continued his march in the same manner as before until towards night, when through the frequency of the skirmishes having advanced little more than a league, and the Admiral being already retired to lodge in covert at Bassac where he quartered the evening before, the Duke having in the beginning of the night caused the Reer under the command of the Duke of Guise, to wheel about, and so one Body after another, the whole Army, marching with great expedition, returned in a few hours to Chasteau-neuf: where he found that Monsieur de Byron had with exceeding [Page 139] diligence mended the broken bridge, and made another very commodious one of boats, so that though it were late in the night, yet being very clear, and fit for his design, he presently caused the Duke of Guise and Monsieur de Martigues to pass over with two Squadrons of Horse, after whom followed the whole Army in very good order, and in it the Duke himself without meeting any opposition whatsoever; for the Count of Montgomery and Sieurs de Soubise and de la Loue, who with the light Horse had the charge to guard the banks of the River, watching at those passes towards which the Catholicks marched the day before, did not believe they could turn back so quickly, or pass over just in that place where the main of the Army lay ready to defend the passage of the River: but such was the negligence both of the Souldiers and Commanders, partly through the security they thought themselves in, partly through the usual disobedience of Souldiers in civil Wars, partly likewise because the Country being ruined, the Commissaries and Sutlers not keeping any order, were forced to seek and fetch in victuals afar off, that it was already day, and the great­est part of the Catholick Army was drawn up upon the banks on the other side, before the Scouts had any notice of what was done. The first that gave advertise­ment of it was Captain Montaut, who riding the Round with fifty Horse, to see if the guards did their duty, as soon as he perceived the Enemy was gotten over, spur­red as fast as he could to advertise the Admiral, who being not only confounded with so important and unexpected an accident, but in a manner desperate that his wisdom should be deluded by the industry of a young man, whom he ever held and esteemed as a Child, resolved to retire to Iarnac, to joyn with the Battel, and there to consult with the Prince what course, as things went, was best to be taken.

But it was first necessary, not to leave them a prey to the Enemy, to send for the Foot that were appointed to guard the passes of the River, and to get together the light Horse, which for want of victuals and commodity of quarter, were dispersed into several places; in which, though all possible diligence were used, yet so much time was spent, that he found himself contrary to his purpose in a necessity to fight: for the Duke of Anjou having imbattelled his Army, and resolved whatever hapned, to make a day of it, sent all the light Horse before, and in the head of them Mon­sieur de Martigues, called generally, The Souldier without fear, to fall in upon the Enemies Reer, that so he might hinder their march, and gain time for the rest of the Army to come up.

Martigues coming upon the Hugonots just as they left Brissac, began to skirmish so hotly, that the Admiral being forced to stay, gave order to make an halt, and facing resolutely about, perceived it was impossible any longer to avoid the encounter of Battel; wherefore having sent the Prince of Conde word of the danger he was in, he placed the Sieurs de la Noue and Loue in the Reer, commanding them to maintain their ground against the light Horse, and to hinder their advancing, whilst he passed into a certain place full of ditches, and encompassed with water, beyond which he meant to draw up his men in order, that the strength of the situation might in some measure supply the defect of his forces, or at least defend them in the Flank from the multitude and fury of the Enemy. These Commanders sometimes skirmishing, and sometimes couragiously mingling amongst them, sustained a good while the charge of the Catholicks; but Monsieur de la Valette, the Count de Lude, Monsieur de Monsalez and Malicorn coming up with four Squadrons of Lances, they set upon them with such violence, that the Captains being taken prisoners, all the rest of the men plainly ran away: Whereupon the Admiral finding he could not long make re­sistance, and desiring as far as he was able to avoid the necessity of fighting piece­meal, left Andelot with 120 Horse to make good that place of advantage, that he might hinder the Enemies passage, and himself with all the rest of the Van retired a good trot to meet the other part of the Army, which was already marching towards them with great diligence.

The Prince of Conde understanding the Admirals danger, came with all the Horse to succour him, and left order that the Foot should follow softly after, conceiving he should have time enough to join with the Van, and bring all the Army together to fight. But when he saw part of the Admirals men routed, and so hotly pursued by the Enemy, who every moment increased in number and strength, he made a stand upon the high-way, having on one Flank a pool, which defended him on the right [Page 140] hand, and a little hill which covered him on the left, and with exceeding wariness ranged those forces he had with him, taking all the advantage that was possible of the situation of the place. In ordering of his men he left a free void place for the Admiral, who though he arrived a full gallop with the Horse, took his post with­out making any disorder, and facing about to the Enemy, put himself in a readiness to fight, keeping the left Flank at the foot of the hill. In the mean while the first Squadrons of the Catholicks Horse had set upon Andelots post, who finding him­self seconded by Puviauts Musketiers, which being placed behind the hedges, and the banks, filled every thing with smoak, cries and blood, bravely opposed the Ene­my; and it was a spectacle worthy the remembrance, that in the charge he en­countered the Duke de Monsalez, (who behaved himself no less couragiously) and came up so close to him,Andelot min­gles with the Enemy in such manner, that lif [...]ing up the Duke of Mon­salez Beaver, he discharges a Pistol in his fa [...]e. that with his bridle-hand he lift up the Beaver of his Helmet, and discharged a Pistol in his face, of which shot he fell down dead upon the ground; nevertheless the Hugonots yielding to the superiour number of the Catholicks, could not maintain that post above half an hour, but setting spurs to their Horses, gallopped away to the main Body of the Van, and ranged themselves on the place that was ap­pointed for them.

Whilst these things were doing, the Duke of Anjou having without tumult or confusion disposed his Army in very good order, advanced readily to begin the Bat­tel, the beginning of the day giving great hopes of an assured Victory. Without any detraction both sides shewed an equal resolution, and boldness of courage; but the other circumstances were not equal, and especially their Forces: for part of the Hugonots Foot, which were distributed upon the banks of the River, hearing of the Enemies passage, and believing they could not possibly joyn with the rest of their Army, were passed over the River, and retired to a place of security; and the rest that were with Monsieur d' Aciere, according to thei [...] orders, following the Prince of Conde, could not come soon enough to the fight, but dispersed them­selves in several places without making trial that day of their fortune. Notwith­standing the Hugonots being defended on one side by the Lake, and on the other by the Hill, and therefore sure they could not be hurt in the middle, bravely sustain­ed the fierceness of the encounter; the Commanders no less than the common Soul­diers fighting boldly on both sides, and with great courage disputing the success of the day.

The Duke of Guise charged the left wing, where were the Admiral and Andelot, with a great number of the Nobility of Provence, Britany and Normandy, and there the fight was very hot, the event of the Battel remaining very doubtful for many hours: but the Catholicks being continually furnished with fresh supplies, the Hu­gonots being no longer able to resist so much a greater number, all the Van was at length utterly routed; and the Commanders seeing the Admirals own Cornet up­on the ground, by reason of the imprisonment of Monsieur de Guerchy that carried it, the Baron de la Tour General of the Rochel Fleet killed, and Saubise, Languil­liers and Monteran the principal Barons of their party taken prisoners, they resolved before they were too much pressed by the Enemy, to provide for their own safety by flight. The same did the Count de la Rouch-fou-cault, and the Count de Mont­gomery, who were in the right wing of the Battel by the Lake; for they being fu­riously charged by the Duke de Montpensier who led the Catholick Van, after a long obstinate defence, leaving Chandenier, Rieux, and Corbouson dead upon the place, with a great number of the Nobility of Provence, Languedoc and Gascony, despairing of the Victory, sought to save themselves. Only the Prince of Conde, who in the begin­ning of the fight encountered the Duke of Anjou's own Squadron, though he were broken and often charged through, still rallied his men, and with a wonderful cou­rage maintained the force of the Battel, but after the flight of the Van, and after­ward of the Rear, being charged on all sides by the Conquerors, and an innume­rable company of the Enemy, yet he fought desperately with those that stood to him till the last: for as he was rallying his men, being hurt with a blow on the leg by a Courser of the Count of Roch-fou-caults, having afterwards his own Horse killed under him in the fight,In the Battel of [...]riss [...]c the Prince of Conde is shot in the head, of which he dies the 16 of Marc [...] 1569 and being grievously wounded in divers places, he still with one knee upon the ground couragiously defended himself, till Monsieur de Montesqueou the Dukes Captain of his Guard shooting a Pistol in his head, laid him dead upon the place.

[Page 141]There was slain by his side Robert Stuart, he who in the Battel of St. Denis killed the Constable; Tabaret, Melare, and in a manner all the Nobility of Poictou, and Xaintonge, who being invironed by the Catholicks Squadrons, could not find any way to save themselves; in the heat of which Battel the Duke of Anjou fighting valiantly beyond the force of his age, in the head of his Squadrons, and having his Horse killed under him, was in exceeding danger of his life, if he had not been suc­coured by the courage and address of his Souldiers, and of his own valour, and those that were near about his person had not defended him from the fury of the Ene­my, who fighting desperately, compassed him on all sides. But after the death of the Prince, and the defeating of his Squadron, in which were the most valiant Soul­diers in the Army, there was no body made any resistance, but every one think­ing how to save himself, fled a several way, and the night that was drawing on ad­vantaged them not a little in their escape. The Admiral and Andelot went to St. Iean d' Angely, Acier to Cognoc, Mongomery to Angoulesme; all the rest, and par­ticularly the Foot, which had not fought, dispersed themselves into several places, not any one Regiment save only Pluviauts and Corbousons being present at the bu­siness.

This was the Battel of Brissac that happened the sixteenth of March, in which the quality of the slain was much more considerable than the number: for the Hugonots lost not in all above seven hundred men, but they were most of them Gentlemen and Cavaliers of note; for their chief strength consisted in their Cavalry: and on the Catholick side very few were killed, but amongst those Monsieur de Monsalez, Hy­polite Pic, Count de la Mirandole, Prunay, and Ingrande; for Monsieur de Lignieres whom some have named amongst the dead, died many days after at Poictiers of a na­tural death.

The Duke of Anjou pursuing the Enemy,The body of the Prince of Conde was car­ried in tri­umph upon a Pack-horse by the Catho­licks, and af­terwards re­stored to his Nephew the Prince of Navarre. entred the same night of the Battel vi­ctorious into Iarnac, whither the body of the Prince of Conde was carried as in tri­umph upon a poor Pack-horse, all the Army making sport at such a spectacle, which whilst he lived were terrified with the name of so great a Person. The Duke per­mitted not any contempt or violence to be used to the body, being satisfied that what could not be done by Policy or Justice, was effected by the War: where­fore a few days after, to shew that respect to the dead which he thought due to the Royal Blood, he restored it to Henry Prince of Navarre his Nephew, who with­out any other pomp, save only the abundant tears of all the Faction, caused him to be buried at Vendosme, in a Tomb belonging to his Ancestors.

Thus lived and thus died Lewis of Bourbon Prince of Conde, who by having so many times stirred up Civil Wars in his own Country, and with the brand of ha­ving been the chief Disturber of the Catholick Religion in the most Christian King­dom, obscured those excellent endowments of the mind, which for boldness, con­stancy and generosity, would otherwise have rendred him most considerable amongst the first Princes and Captains of that age.

The day after the battel those who in the terrour of the flight were scattered in di­vers places, understanding that the most part of the Foot, being untouched, was re­tired to Cognac, endeavoured by several ways to get all to the same place; so that before many days were past, besides Monsieur de Aciere who saved himself there at the first, there met there the Counts de la Roch-fou-cault, and Montgomery, Monsieur d' Ivoy, who, with his Brother being killed, called himself Ienlis, Iaques Boucbard, Teligni, Bouchavanes; and at length the Admiral himself and Andelot came thither from St. Iean d' Angeli.

After this defeat the affairs of the Hugonots were in a very uncertain tottering con­dition; for there was no doubt, the Prince of Conde being dead, but that the first place either for dignity or reputation of wisdom was due to the Admiral: and it was not forgotten, that after the Battel of Dreux in which the Prince remained Prisoner, the charge of the Army was by a general consent conferred upon him; but there were many who for birth, riches, and other advantages did not willingly yield to him: on the contrary, at this very time there was a common slander laid upon his reputation, That through his sloth and negligence, the Catholicks got an opportu­nity to pass the River, whilst he suffered himself to be deluded by the stratagems of a youth, who then only entered upon the rudiments of War; and that after the passage of the Army he had basely yielded in all places; giving a beginning, by his [Page 142] flight, to the success and victory o [...] the Enemy; which imputations, though he fully answered, shewing that the passage of the Catholicks happened only because his Or­ders were not obeyed, and because those who were appointed to guard the passes, for conveniency of quarter, left [...]heir posts without leave; so that he, who could not be every where, was not advertised soon enough to remedy it; yet that his flight ought indeed to be attributed to greatness of courage; for the Army being routed, and the Victory desperate, he chose rather to save himself, that he might rise again as a new Anteus to the ruine and perdition of his Enemies, than by despairing of the future, through dejectedness of mind to die unprofitably out of season, and without having effected any thing: nevertheless partly through envy, partly through ambition, partly through grief of the late loss, and the death of the Prince, he was spoken against and hated by many.

Besides this, it was thought that wanting the Authority and Name of a Prince of the Blood, the foundation and credit of the Faction would fail; for neither the peo­ple would so readily believe and follow a man of private condition, nor stranger Princes much trust to his fidelity; nor would the reasons of their cause have that wonted pretence to make War for the publick good, and service of the State; the nature of this charge being such, that whosoever undertook it, ought to be the near­est allied Princes of the Blood Royal. To this was added, that many accustomed to the liberality, candour and integrity of the Prince of Conde, abhorred and feared the disposition and carriage of the Admiral, who was thought a man exceeding cove­tous, of deep thoughts, of a treacherous subtil nature, and in all things inclined wholly to attend and procure by any means his own ends. And it happened at the same time,Andelot after the loss of the Battel dieth of grief. that Andelot and Iaques Bouchard, the one Brother, and the other streight­ly united by interests with the Admiral, either spent with labour, or overcome with grief and trouble of mind, fell both into a grievous sickness, of which they died not many months after, whereby that party which desired the greatness and advance­ment of the Admiral, not knowing how to manage their business, remained extream­ly weakned. But he with his subtilty overcoming all these impediments, resolved by despising ambition, and speciousness of titles, still to retain in himself the chief Power and Authority: for transferring the name of Heads of the Faction, and the titles of Generals of the Army to Henry Prince of Navarre, and Henry Son to the deceased Prince of Conde, he saw the common cause would not only keep the same authority and the same reputation of being upheld by the Blood Royal; but they being both in a manner children, the sole administration of the whole business should still remain in him; so to quiet the ambitions and pretences of the great ones, so to satisfie the expectation of the people, and by this means to renew again that league amongst the Faction which through diversity of opinions seemed now in a manner broken.

With this resolution, not attempting that which could not be obtained, he pre­sently sent to Queen Iane to come to the Army, shewing her the time was now come to advance her Son to that greatness which properly belonged to him, and to which she had so long aspired. Queen Iane wanted neither willingness nor courage, being before fully resolved, despising all danger, to make her Son Head of that Faction; wherefore with a readiness and quickness answerable to the occasion, she went in­stantly with both the Princes to the Camp, which was then at Cognac, full of dis­cords within it self, and in a condition rather to dissolve, than to keep together, to remedy the disorders and losses already hapned. There the Queen of Navarre after she had approved the Admirals counsels, the Army being drawn together, with won­derful courage and manly speeches, exhorting the Souldiers to remain united and constant in the defence of their Liberties and Religion, proposed to them the two young Princes, whose presence and aspect moved the affections of them all, to be their Generals; encouraging them under the auspicious conduct of those two branches of the Royal Blood, to hope for a most happy success to their just pretentions and the common cause:The Prince of Navarre, and Henry Son to the Prince of C [...]nde, are ap­proved of and received for Heads of the Hugonot Faction. at which words the Army, which through the past adversities, and present discords, was in a manner astonished and confounded, taking new vigour, the Admiral and the Count de la Roch-fou-cault first submitted and swore fidelity to the Princes of Bourbon; by whose example the Gentlemen and Commanders doing the same, the common Souldiers likewise with loud applause approved the Election of the Princes for Protectors and Heads of the Reformed Religion. Henry of Bourbon [Page 143] Prince of Navarre was then fifteen years of age, of a lively spirit and generous cou­rage, altogether addicted and intent to the profession of Arms;The Prince of Navarre was fifteen years of age, and the Prince of Cond [...] a child. wherefore through the inclination of his Fate, or the perswasions of his Mother readily without any demur attempting the invitation of the Army, in a short Souldier-like speech he pro­mised them, To protect the true Religion, and to persevere constantly in the defence of the common Cause, till either death or victory brought that liberty they all desired and aimed at. The Prince of Conde rather by his actions than words consented to what was done, for he was so young that he could not express himself otherwise; so that in all other things likewise yielding to the maturer age,Money coyned by the Queen of Navarre with her ow [...] figure on the one side, and her Son [...] on the other. and pre-eminence of the first Prince of the Blood, the chief Authority of the Faction was established in the Prince of Na­varre: wherefore Queen Iane, in remembrance of this Act, caused afterwards cer­tain pieces of Gold to be coyned, which on the one side bore her own Effigies, and on the other her Sons, with this word, PAX CERTA, VICTORIA INTEGRA, MORS HONESTA.

The Princes then being chosen Heads of the Faction, they presently called a Coun­cil of the chief Commanders to deliberate in the presence of Queen Iane how to ma­nage their business, what remedies were expedient to repair their past losses, and how to divert the extream danger that threatned them. There before any thing else, it was determined, That the Admiral, by reason of the minority and little experience of the Princes, should govern the Army and all things else belonging to the War; but Monsieur de Aciere should be General of the Foot: which charge first by the infirmity,The care of the A [...]my committed to the Admiral. and afterwards by the death of Andelot, was vacant, and Monsieur de Genlis General of the Artillery which was formerly supplied by Bouchard. After which Elections, discoursing how to proceed with the War, many not yet assuted from their fears, would that the Army should be drawn into the Cities and strong holds about Rochel, shewing it would be impossible for the Duke of Anjou to make any attempt upon those places which were so invironed with waters, and marsh grounds, whilst there was any reasonable strength to defend them: but this appeared to the Admiral (the other Com­manders of best esteem being of the same opinion) a too cowardly resolution, and therefore it was determined, That all the Army should be divided into the several Towns upon the Rivers, to keep them, and to hinder the progress of the Conqueror, till they had certain news of the forces the Duke of Deux-ponts was bringing to their aid out of Germany, who when he came near the Army should draw together again to meet him wheresoever he was, and use their utmost endeavours to join with him: for by obtaining that end, they should remain at least equal, if not superiour in strength to the Kings Army; and if they could not effect it, they should be separated and carry the War into divers places, and the King likewise being constrained to divide his Forces, they might make War upon even terms; which things being resolved on, Queen Iane went to Rochel to sollicite for new aids and provisions, the Admiral with the Princes retired to S. Iean d' Aug [...]li, Monsieur de Piles took upon him the Defence of Xaintes, Montgomery and P [...]viaut turned about to Angolesme, Monsieur d' Aciere with the greatest part of the Foot remained at Cognac, and Genlis with a strong Garison shut himself up in Loudun, all places either for strength of their situa­tion, by help of art, or in regard of the Rivers, (which in that Country are many and very deep) likely to hold out a long time.

In the mean while the Duke of Anjou, having given three days to refresh his men, who were wearied out with continual labour, and busied in dividing their booty, by the advice of his Captains, resolved to set upon those very Cities the Hugonots meant to possess, as the most ready way to manage the War; to which purpose he sent for the great pieces of Battery from Poictiers, having for the more expedition marched only with field-pieces. This time of respite retarded for some days the course of their Victory, and gave the Hugonots leisure to put their before-mentioned designs in execution; besides the expecting Orders from the Court which was far off, and where the resolutions are not always easie and positive, produced at least delays and loss of time. The first place they moved against was Cognac; but it soon appeared they had undertaken a long and difficult enterprise; for the late Victory was gained rather by industry in passing the river, and the death of the Prince of Conde, than any great loss or slaughter among the Hugonots; and their running away, which proceeded only from a sudden terrour as it was a cause of losing their General, so it preserved the Army, which being now divided, with abundant provisions to defend the strong [Page 144] places, burnt with a desire by some remarkable valiant actions to cancel the infamy of their late flight; whereby the taking of the principal Cities became exceeding difficult.

There were in Cognac seven thousand Foot, and more than six hundred Horse with Monsieur d' Aciere, and divers of the Nobility and chief Commanders, who as the Army approached, and several days after sallied out in such numbers, that their en­counters seemed rather little Battels than great skirmishes; and besides the fierceness and courage the Hugonots shewed, they did likewise great damage to the assailants, so that they had no leisure by reason of the continual sallies, to think either of making their approaches, or raising batteries, but were forced for their own securities, and to avoid the fury of the Enemy, to keep the Army in perpetual duty, and in arms; by which difficulties the Duke of Anjou concluding it was in a manner impossible, in the state the Town then was, to take it; not to spend his time in vain, or to consume the Army to no purpose, resolved to advance farther, to assemble and clear those places more in the heart of the Enemies Country, which were neither so strong, nor so well provided, so that they being taken, Cognac would remain like an Island cut off from all commerce, and fall of it self; which in time he hoped undoubtedly to effect: for experience had in all occasions manifestly shewn, that there was no poison so deadly to the Hugonots as delays.

Wherefore the Duke of Anjou at the end of four days leaving Cognac, and marching toward St. Iean d' Angeli, he, or some of his Commanders, by the way took Tifange, Montaut, Forest, and Aubeterre, and at length came to besiege Mucidan. There the Count of Brissac with his wonted courage tending his batteries, whilst he resolutely advanced to view the breach, was shot in the right thigh, of which wound he died, generally lamented by all men. His misfortune slackned not, but on the contrary added to the fierceness of the Catholicks, in so much, that having made a furious assault and taken the Town, in revenge of his death, not only all the Souldiers, but the In­habitants likewise were put to the Sword.

Wolf [...]ngus of Bavaria with an Army of 14000 men comes to the aid of the Hu­gonots.In this interim Wolfangus of Bavaria Duke of Deux-ponts, moved by the money and promises of the Hugonots, had by the aid of the Duke of Saxony, and the Count Palatine of the Rhine, and by the perswasions and assistance of the Queen of England, gotten together an Army of 6000 Foot and 800 Horse, Monsieur de Muy and Mon­sieur de Morvilliers with 800 Horse, and Monsieur de Briguemaut with 1200 French Musketiers being sent into Germany to join with them. In this Army were William of Nassau Prince of Orange, with Lewis and Henry his Brothers; who being driven out of Flanders, to avoid the severity of the Duke of Alva, followed the same Reli­gion, and the same fortune with the Hugonots.

The King of France and the Queen his Mother had endeavoured, first by Embassies to the Protestant Princes, and afterwards by the authority of the Emperour Maximil­lian the Second, with whom they entertained a streight league, to hinder the raising of this Army; but the Protestants being much more zealous to advance their own Re­ligion, and the hope of gain and booty more prevalent than either the Kings promises, or the Emperours threats, they brought their Forces together with a firm resolution, despising all dangers, to pass without delay to the aid of the Hugonots. But the King and the Queen-Mother, who to shelter themselves from this tempest, were gone to Metz upon the borders of Lorain, when they saw this Army raised, to hinder which they had used all manner of arts, gave commission to the Duke of Aumale, with the Cavalry of Champagne and Burgundy, and 6000 Swisses newly received into pay, to enter the Confines of the Protestant Princes, wasting their territories and spoiling their people, to force them to keep the Army at home for their own defence, so that they might not pass that year into France; believing the Emperour, in consideration of the justice of their cause, and the league they had with him, would not oppose this reso­lution. But the Duke of Aumale having in the territories of Strasbourg, one of the free Towns of the Empire, met with, and made a great slaughter among a certain num­ber of French that were going from Geneva and the Country about, to join with the Duke of Deux-ponts his Army, not only the other Towns, and all the Princes of the Empire, but even the Emperour himself was so offended thereat, that the King and the Queen, not to exasperate them further, or raise new Enemies, sent directions to The Duke of Aumale, that he should presently withdraw his forces into Burgundy, to keep things in order at home, being already assured through the perverseness of stranger Princes, that they should have work enough in their own Kingdom.

[Page 145]The Duke of Deux-ponts with his Army presently followed the Duke of Aumale in­to Burgundy, The Duke of D [...]ux-ponts enters into F [...]ance, wast­ing and spoil­ing the Coun­try. with exceeding cruelty wasting and spoiling all the Country through which he passed; nor could the Duke of Aumale, being so much inferiour in strength, either hinder his march, or fight with him in the field; wherefore retiring into the Towns, he only kept him from entring into the strong places, or making that spoil and those incursions which he would have done, if finding no resistance, he had made himself Master of the Country. In this manner the Armies skirmishing almost every day, though sometimes with loss, they marched all over Burgundy, till the Duke of Aumale, seeing the Enemy for want of pieces of battery could not force the strong Towns, and knowing to follow them at a distance would be to no purpose, went di­rectly through the Country of Auxerre with that strength he had, to the Duke of An­jou, that being so joined, they might be the better able to resist the Enemy.

But the German Army being advanced to the Loire, was in exceeding pain how to pass over; for all the bridges upon that River are either within the Towns, or else close under the walls, and were then held by the Kings forces; for the Duke of Anjou being certainly advertised of the Germans coming, leaving the Enemies Country, had drawn all his Army to the River, and having placed strong guards upon the passes, ex­pected what resolution they would take; by reason whereof the Germans were in great streight, there being no means to pass the River, but by making their way through the Towns; and they had neither pieces of Battery, nor other provisions fit for such a purpose: insomuch, that they began to fear this great Army, which was raised with such a noise, would at length be destroyed without effecting any thing.

Nevertheless, the baseness or treachery of men rendred that very easie, which was of it self exceeding difficult: for the Commanders of the German Army resolving to fall upon la Charite, a Town upon the River, rather with an intent not to spend their time idly, than with any reasonable hope of taking it; and meaning to batter the Walls, which were of the old fashion, with those few small pieces that marched with the Army, he was scarce encamped before it, when the Governour (without any ap­parent cause) (for at that time) as it is usual in Civil Wars, men were led by divers unknown interests and inclinations) fled secretly out of the Town; whereupon, the Souldiers running away in disorder, the Townsmen were so terrified, that they began to enter into a Treaty of yielding themselves; during the which, being negligent of their guards, they without on a sudden fastned their Ladders to the Walls, and find­ing no opposition, Briquemauts men first, and after them the whole Army entring, miserably sacked that Town, whilst the Duke of Aujou being certainly advertised of the Germans attempt, sent a considerable force to relieve it. So the German Army having at the same time gained a convenient pass and retreat, on the twentieth of May passed over the River.

In the mean while the Admiral with the Princes, under whose names all things were governed, made ready to march towards the Germans, with this consideration, That if they could join their forces, the Army would be by that means much the stronger; and if they could not, the Duke of Anjou lying between the two Armies would be compassed in, and exceedingly streightned on all sides: Wherefore Monsieur de la Nouc being left Governour of the Militia at Rochel, for all things else were di­rected by the Queen of Navarre, and the Count of Montgomery sent to the aid of Bearne, (of which Province Messieurs de Monluc and Terride the Kings Lieutenants in Gascony and Guyenne were absolute Masters;) they marched with 12000 Foot, and 2000 Horse towards the Loire, daily increasing in strength through the continual con­course of the Nobility, that came in to them from the adjacent Provinces; but being not yet certainly advertised of the Duke de Deux-ponts passage, they were not fully re­solved which way to take, but advanced very slowly, reasonably enough doubting that they might be assailed by the Catholicks before they could join with the Duke of Anjou, after the German Camp had passed the Loire, fearing to be engaged between the two Armies, withdrew his Forces from the River and retired into Limosin, con­ceiving the Woods and Mountains in that Country would still secure his Quarters, and that the Germans who were accustomed to lie covered and live in plenty, through the barrenness of the soil could not long subsist there.The Duke of Deux-pon [...]s dies of e [...]ce [...] of drinking before he joi [...] with the Pri [...]e [...].

On the other side the Duke of Deux-ponts when he had passed the Loire, being de­sirous to join with the Princes, hastened his march all that he could; but death cross'd his design, for either through the incommodities of so long a journey, or as some said [Page 146] through the excess of drinking, he fell into a continual Feaver, which soon becoming malignant killed him in a few days after, leaving it doubtful (having marched so far through the Enemies Country without any loss, and passed so many great deep Rivers) whether it were to be attributed to fortune or his own conduct that he had so happily advanced to join with his Confederates into the furthest parts of all Aquitaine.

The Duke being dead, the charge of the Army fell upon Count Volrade of Mansfield, who was his Lieutenant-General,Count Mans­field succe [...]ds him in the charge of the Army. without any opposition either of the Princes or other great Commanders in the Army, who avoided it more through the apprehension of many imminent dangers, than either through modesty or want of pretences. The third day after the death of the General, the German Army joined with the Admiral and the Princes upon the banks of the Vienne, where having made a muster, and given them a months pay out of the moneys which the Queen of Navarre had with great pains raised upon the Rochellers, and out of the contributions of the neighbouring Towns, they marched together towards the Duke of Anjo [...], being desirous to fight before any new accident happened to diminish their forces.

The Duke of Anjou had recruited his Army with the succours that came out of Italy and Flanders: The Pope, the great Duke of Tuscany, and the Duke of Alva send supplies to the King. for the Pope desirous to have the War continued against the Hugonots, and for the reputation of the Apostolick Sea, had sent to his Majesties aid 4000 Foot and 800 Horse under the command of Sforza Count di Sancta Fiore a Person of Quality, and an experienced Souldier: and the great Duke of Tuscany had added 200 Horse and 1000 Foot under Fabiano del Monte. The Duke of Alva likewise sent Count Peter Ernest de Mansfield out of Flanders with a Regiment of 3000 Walloons and 300 Flemish Lances, being desirous to destroy the German Army in which were the Prince of Orange and his Brothers, who though exiles, retained so great a power and credit in all parts of the Low-Countries.

But notwithstanding these supplies, their miseries, sickness, and want of pay had so diminished the Army, that it was rather inferiour than superiour in number to the Hugonots; wherefore the Duke of Anjou being unwilling to fight, having retired in­to the Country of Limosin, staid at Rochebeille in a secure quarter; for the main body of the Army lying upon the top of a steep rocky hill, of difficult ascent towards the plain Country, a little on each hand were two other craggy hills full of steems, and trees, in either of which stood a Village. In that on the right hand was Philippo Strozzi, whom the King had declared Colonel General of the Infantry, with two French Regiments, and in the other on the left the Count di Sancta Fiore, Fabiano del Monte, and Pietro Paulo Tosinghi, with the Popes and the Tuscan Foot. On the top of the hill the Cannon was planted, which commanded all the places about, and between the Head-quarter and the Villages where the Foot was intrenched in the plain, but with a running stream in their Front, lay the light a Horse with the Duke of Ne­mours, and the Italian Commanders. Being thus disposed in their several Quarters, having the City of Limoges a little behind them, the Camp abounded with victuals, of which by reason of its barronness there was great scarcity in the Country about.

The Admiral, who with the Princes and the Army was advanced within half a league of the Catholick Camp, considering the advantage of the place where they lay, and the difficulty to nourish his men amongst barren Woods and stony Mountains, re­solved at the same time to set upon Strozzi's quarter and the Italians, knowing if he could beat them from thence and get possession of the Villages, he shoud so streighten the Enemies Camp, that losing the use of the plain, and not having wherewithal to feed such a number of Horse, they would be constrained to retreat with evident danger of being routed.The Armies front each other, and the Admiral sets upon S [...]rozzi's quarter, who through his too much for­wardness is taken prisoner Upon which grounds the twenty third of Iune he with his Van (the Foot under Piles, Briquema [...]t, and Rouvray) going first; then Count Lewis of Nass [...]u with a Regiment of Germans; and lastly, de Muy, Teligny, and Saubise with their Horse, marched directly towards Strazzi's Quarter; and the Princes with the Battel commanded by the Count de la Roch-fou-cault and the Prince of Orange, in which were Beaudine's, Blacon's and Pouillier's Foot, another Regiment of Germans, and the Marquess of Renel, Mombrun, Aciere, and Ambrus with their Horse, advanced to the Italians Quarter; the most part of the Germans and two Regiments of Muske­tiers under the command of the Count de Mansfield and Genlis staying with the Cannon in the champagne.

But the assault which was appointed to be given two hours before day, by reason of the shortness of the night, began just as the light appeared, when the Admiral falling [Page 147] upon Strozzi's Quarter, called Piles his Musketiers to go on first, after whom the rest following, which were about 4000. there began a most fierce and bloody fight, the Hugonots relying upon their number, and the Catholicks upon the strength of the si­tuation; for being covered with trees and hedges, and having the advantage of an higher ground, with their small shot they exceedingly annoyed the Enemy, who on the other side being so much superiour in number, that they fought four to one with continual supplies of fresh men, made a fair attempt to overcome the inequality of the place, and to beat the Catholicks from their post, which would have been impossible, if too much ardour (considering how they disposed themselves) had not rendred their resolution vain: for Philippo Strozzi being incensed beyond his usual temper by the cries of the French, (who having the Count of Brissac fresh in their memories, re­proached him with his name, and shewed a kind of disdain to be commanded by an Italian) advanced to the head of his men, and earnestly encouraging every one with fair words and his own example to follow him, leaving the advantage of the place, fell in with such fury upon Briquemauts and Piles his Musketiers, that he forced them to retire in great disorder: But the Admiral seeing him through the heat of the fight, and eagerness to pursue those that ran away, advance inconsiderately into an equal place, and come into the plain champagne where the Horse might be useful, advanced likewise with all the Van, hemming him in on every side; and though with the help of his Souldiers he couragiously defended himself, yet being overborn by the Horse, and full of wounds and blood, he was at length taken prisoner, which occasioned many to pass this censure upon him, That his courage was more commendable than his wisdom: but it was almost impossible, that a man who hath in him the thoughts of honour, when he finds himself provoked, though by them that are ignorant, should keep within those limits which he himself knoweth are prescribed and dictated by reason.

There remained dead upon the place St. Loup and Roqueleaure, both Lieutenants to Strozzi; 22 Captains, some that were reformed, some that had Companies; and 350 of the best Souldiers; and on the Hugonots side 150 Horse and Foot, amongst which Trememont and la Fountaine, both Commanders of great power and esteem.

The Admiral bravely pursued the remainder of Strozzi's men, who retreated fight­ing to their Post; but the place was of such a nature, that the Horse could do no good, and the Foot being weary and disordered, could not so briskly renew the assault; wherefore the Catholicks, who were still a considerable number upon the hill, easily sustained the charge, till the light Horse which were near, seeing the danger their friends were in, came to succour them, and being joined, beat back the Hugonots, to the great honour of Francisco Somma of Cremona, a Captain of the Italian light Horse, who with the greatest part of his men, lighting from their Horses, fought amongst the Hedges and the Chesnut-trees in the first ranks with wonderful courage, and ex­ceeding detriment to the Enemy. On the other side, whither the Prince of Navarre and Conde led the Battalia to assail the Italians, there happened less execution on ei­ther side; for the Count de S. Flour not being so precipitately rash as Strozzi was, nor moved by the unexperienced forwardness of his Souldiers; maintaining his ground, defended himself without any ill success, resolutely sustaining the assault of Baudine and Pouilliers, who with a great number of Foot endeavoured to beat him from it, and though the fight endured with great ardour on both sides an hour longer than at the other quarter which the Admiral attempted, yet it ended with little blood, for there were not killed in all above 120 men.

This was the first day in which Henry Prince of Navarre hazarded himself in the War; for though he was carefully brought up by his Mother in all Warlike Exercises that were used amongst us, as Riding and Handling his Arms, yet till that day he never was present in any real occasion; but then charging in the Front of his men, he shewed such a noble courage and boldness, which was so much the more remarkable, bacause danger at first seems most terrible, that he gave sufficient testimony of such a Vertue as was likely to fill the World with the renown of his Actions.

The business being thus ended, the Princes and the Admiral, that they might the more streighten the Catholicks, resolving to encamp in the same place where they had fought, judging that by reason of the narrowness of the quarters the Kings Horse must necessarily be reduced to great extremity: but within a few days they found how pre­judicial that resolution proved; for by the means of Limoges which lay behind him, [Page 148] the Duke of Anjou was abundantly furnished with victuals, which they could no way prevent; but in their Camp the barrenness of the Country, and the power of the Catholicks over the adjacent Towns,The Hugonots for want of provision are forced to rise from before the Catholicks caused such a dearth of all provisions, that they were forced to rise, and marching towards Perigord to seek a more fertil Soil, whereby to satisfie the greedy appetites of so many Germans, who being led on by the hopes of plenty and rich booty, found want of food and lying in the field so much the more insupportable.

About this time the Queen-Mother came to the Duke of Anjou's Camp, accompa­nied by the Cardinals of Bourbon and Lorain, to consult and resolve how to manage the War: for not only in the Kings Council, but much more in the Army the Com­manders were of divers opinions; some parallelling the Kings Forces with the Hugo­nots, thought it most expedient presently to come to a Battel, believing that the old bands (so they call the Kings standing Regiments) and the firm Battalion of the Swisses, by so many actions already become terrible to the Enemy, could not receive the least opposition by the Hugonots new-raised men, and that the Catholick Horse consisting of the Flour of all the Nobility in the Kingdom, would easily master the Squadrons of the Reiters, (so they call the German Horse) which besides the Officers and some few Gentlemen, are made up of people taken out of Stables, and such like mean drudges, very unproper to bear Arms: Wherefore they concluded, That in a few hours they might deliver France from the infinite distractions and calamities of War, and with one blow suppress the obstinate perverseness of the Hugonots; whereas keeping things with wary counsels and slow resolutions from coming to an issue, the People were consumed, the Nobility destroyed, the Kings Revenues brought to no­thing, and the Country ruined, with a general desolation over the whole Kingdom; still giving time and opportunity to the Enemy by his industry to gain advantages, be­sides the evident danger, if a new supply came out of Germany, as it was already re­ported, That the Kings Army being weary and decayed with a continual War, would at length remain a prey to the force of the Enemy.

Others thought it a rash precipitate counsel, to hazard a Kingdom upon the uncer­tain event of a Battel, against an Enemy that had not any thing to venture; for all the Germans fortune consisted in their Arms and that little Baggage they carried with them; and the Hugonots could lose nothing, but what they had taken and usurped from the Crown: wherefore it was too visible a danger to fight without any hope of gain against a desperate multitude; that more solid secure resolutions ought to be ta­ken, and by prolonging the War suffer the German Forces to consume away of them­selves, as they always use to do; for being brought into a climate so contrary to that where they were born, when the heats of Summer came, and Grapes were ripe, of which they are exceeding greedy, sickness would without doubt enter amongst them, by which their Army would remain, if not absolutely defeated, at least notably dimi­nished and weakned; that if the Heads of the Hugonots determined, as it was likely they would, to attempt the principal Towns held by the Catholicks, they would be sure in assaults and skirmishes to lose their best men, which was a certain way to ruine them; that though time, want of money, scarcity of victuals, and the unhealthfulness of the season did not utterly destroy the Hugonots, yet it was a much safer counsel, when the Kings Army had rested, to return again with fresh men and a greater strength to the trial of a Battel against a body languishing and decayed with long continual la­bour; which now on the contrary, by reason of the fresh supplies, was very power­ful and vigorous: that for the present year they needed not apprehend the coming of more Germans, who it was known had not yet made any Levies; and therefore they ought not through a vain fear to precipitate those resolutions, which being managed with prudence and moderation, might bring the business to a certain issue, and a happy end.

This opinion, as most secure, at length prevailed, especially with the Queen, who in her nature and judgment was disposed to follow these counsels which were fur­thest out of the power of fortune, and which might be effected with least danger or blood, being wont to say, That members, though never so putrified, use not to be cut off without extream necessity; and whensoever they are cut off, the body not only suffereth sharp pains, but a dangerous debilitation, and too great a defect: Wherefore in her heart she was always inclined to favour those resolutions, which suppressing the Heads of the Hugonots, might cure the madness of the people, [Page 149] and preserve the welfare of the Crown; for which reasons she abhorred the trial of a Battel, by which (besides the uncertainty of the event) the body and strength of the Kingdom would remain exceedingly weakned.

This determination being approved and concluded of by the King, the Duke of An­jou (after he had placed sufficient Garisons in the Towns that lay next to the Hugo­nots) dismissed the Nobility,The Duke dis­misseth the Nobility of his Army, sends the rest into Garison, and goeth himself to Loches. and divided the re [...] of the Army into a fruitful conve­nient Country, with a co [...]mand, That by the [...] of Octo [...] next they sho [...]ld all re­turn to their Colours, purposing then to re-unite hi [...] [...]orces, and to proceed according as the occasions should require; and he himself wit [...] [...] small train of Lords and Officers, (that he might be near, if any accident should happen) went to Loches, a strong place upon the Confines of Touraine.

The End of the Fourth BOOK.



THe Fifth Book relates the determination of the Hugonots to take in the Cities of Poictou and Xaintonge: The Siege of Poictiers, the Duke of Anjou's design to relieve that City by a diversion, to which end drawing his Army together he sits down before Chastel-rault: The Admiral raiseth his Siege, and causeth the Duke of Anjou to do the like: Monsieur de Sansac besiegeth la Charite, but without success: The Count Montgomery conquers the Kings party in Bearne, besiegeth, and taketh Monsieur de Terride. The King causeth the Admiral to be proclaimed Rebel, his goods to be confiscate, and his houses demolished; he continues the War vigorously. The Duke of Anjou grown very strong, desires to give Battel: the Admiral endeavours to avoid it, but forced by the tumultuous consent of his whole Army, prepares to fight, and yet tries to march away. The Duke of Anjou follows, and overtakes him near Moncounter; they skirmish hotly toward the evening, and the Cannon doth great harm to the Hugonots: Vnder favour of the night, the Admiral passeth the River, and retreats, the Duke passes the same River in another place: The Armies face one another upon the plain of Mon­contour, and fight valiantly; but the Victory is the Duke of Anjou's, with infinite slaughter of the Hugonots; many of them are disheartned, the Admi­ral encourageth them, and with many reasons perswades them to prosecute the War. The Princes quit all the Country except Rochel, St. Jean d' Angeli, and Angoulesme, and retire with the reliques of their Army into the Moun­tains of Gascogne and Languedoc. The Duke lays Siege to St. Jean, and takes it, but with the lessening of his Army, and loss of time; he goes sick to Angiers, and thence to St. Germains: The Princes join with the Count Mont­gomery in Gascogne, they pass the Winter in the Mountains, and at the Spring-time draw into the plains, pass the Rhosne, and inlarge themselves in Provence and Daulphine: They march toward Noyers, and la Charite, with an intent to come near Paris: The King sends an Army against them [Page 151] under the command of the Mareshal de Cosse, a slow man, and not desirous to ruine the Hugonots: They meet in Burgogne, but the Princes shun the Battel; a Treaty of agreement is begun, and in the end concluded at the Court. The Princes and the Admiral retire to Rochel; the King endeavours to beget an assurance in them, and for that cause offers to give his Sister the Lady Margaret in Marriage to the Prince of Navarre, and to make War with the Spaniard in Flanders; the Match is concluded, and they come all to Court: The Queen of Navarre is poisoned, after her death the Marriage is celebrated, amidst the triumphs whereof the Admiral is shot in the Arm: The King resolves to prosecute and free himself of the Hugonots; upon St. Bartho­lomews-Eve at night the Admiral and all the rest of them are Massacred in Paris, and many other Cities of the Kingdom: The King attempts to sur­prize Rochel, and Montauban, but neither design takes effect; many Trea­ties pass to bring the Rochellers to subjection, but they resolving to defend themselves, the Duke of Anjou draws his Army together, and besiegeth them with all his Forces: They hold out many months, till the Duke of Anjou be­ing Elected King of Poland, condescends to grant them very good conditions, with which they in appearance return unto the Kings Obedience. The King of Poland departs: The Duke of Alancon his next Brother pretends to suc­ceed him in all his Dignities; is repulsed, whereat being discontented, he ap­plies his mind to new designs. The King of Navarre, the Prince of Conde, the House of Momorancy, and the Hugonots unite themselves with him, and plot a Conspiracy; which being discovered, the Duke de Alencon, the King of Navarre, and many others are imprisoned; the Prince of Conde escapes into Germany: The King falling into a dangerous sickness, commits the troubles of the Kingdom unto his Mothers care: Armies are raised in Poi­ctou, Languedoc and Normandy, where the Count de Montgomery coming out of England, lands, and takes many places. Monsieur de Matignon goes against, defeats, besieges, and takes him; he is brought to Paris, condemned and executed. King Charles having declared his Mother Regent, yields under the burthen of his disease, and departs this Life in the flower of his Age.

THE Duke of Anjou's resolution to dissolve his Army for a time, and draw into Garisons, put the Hugonots affairs into a very hard condition: for having such a multitude of men, and so little means to nourish and maintain them, which way so­ever they turned their thoughts, they met with exceeding great difficulties. To pass the River of Loire, as many advised, and to endeavour the subduing of the largest and most spacious Pro­vinces of the Kingdom, and even Paris it self, the Seat and Basis of the Catholick party; though it represented hopes, by cutting the sinews of the contrary Faction, to end the War victoriously; and though visibly it administred oc­casion to rob and plunder, (the only end of the Germans, and the only way to keep them together;) yet in effect it appeared a design full of danger, and uncertainty, for putting themselves (without money, ammunition, good store of Cannon, order for Victuals, and which imported most without any Town, or strong place whither they might upon any occasion retreat, and defend themselves) into the middle of an Ene­mies Country; they saw plainly, that any the least sinister incounter, or light impedi­ment that crossed their attempts, was enough absolutely to ruine and destroy them; nor were the hopes of gain or success such as could counterpoize this danger; for the principal Towns were strongly guarded, and the Kings Army being rather divided, than dissolved, was easily to be re-united upon any occasion, and capable to drive them into great streights, if rashly they engaged themselves amongst the Enemies Forces, without conveniency to retire, or provide against necessities, which would be likely daily to grow upon them.

[Page 152]On the other side to spend their time in besieging those Towns, which in Aquitaine, and beyond the Loire, held yet for the Catholick party; and by taking them to gain the absolute Dominion of that Country, whereof they already possessed the greatest part, and from which they expected the chief support for their Army, had two weighty oppositions; the first, That in besieging the strong places one by one, which were so well provided of all things necessary for their defence, would occasion the loss of much time, and greatly waste the Army, a thing well foreseen by the Catholicks, and one of their chiefest aims: the other, That by staying there they should destroy that Coun­try with taxes and contributions from which they had their subsistence; so that they should neither be able to raise money enough to pay the Souldiers, nor to get such booty as would satisfie their greediness, and impatience.

But it being necessary of two evils to chuse (as it is usual) the least; the Princes, and the Admiral at length resolved, to attempt those which were nearest, so to make an absolute conquest of all that Country beyond the Loire, and establish their party se­curely in that Canton (as I may so say) of France; hoping to have such supplies of money out of England, and by the prizes taken by the Fleet, (since the death of la Tour, commanded by Monsier de Sore) as would suffice to supply the Army for some time, in which interim, an occasion might perchance arise, of a more fortunate, and more happy progress.

The Hugonots resolve to take in as many places as they can, by intelli­gence possess themselves of Chastel-rault and Lusignan, with the Ca­stle there.With this deliberation, having taken the rich Monastery of Branthome, and to make them more ready and obedient, granted the pillage thereof to the Germans, in which manner they used divers other lesser places, the Admiral with the Army went to Chastel-rault, in which Town he had many days before held secret intelligence with some of the inhabitants; nor was the enterprize at all difficult; for the Conspirators having raised a tumult, and made themselves masters of one of the gates, let in the Hugonots: which unexpected accident struck such a terrour in the Governour who held it for the King, that he fled away to Poictiers without making any resistance, and the Town without dispute remained absolutely in the Admirals power, who received it as he did all the rest, in the name of the Prince of Navarre, by whose authority (as first Prince of the Blood) all matters were dispatched and governed.

Chastel-rault being taken, the Admiral advanced to besiege Lusignan; and having taken the Town without much difficulty, sate down before the Castle, which is esteemed one of the strongest places in France, and had formerly (though often boldly assaulted) held out with good success a long time against the English; but now the resolution of the defendants was not answerable to the vertue of their predecessors; for having scarce staid for the battering, (which though it made a large breach in the Wall, yet the Castle standing upon the top of a Rock, it was almost impossible to go on to the assault) they began to treat of delivering it up, and in a few days capitu­lated to march out, with flying colours and all their baggage, which agreement (con­trary to their custom) was exactly observed. Lusignan thus taken, before which Messieurs de Breuil and du Chesny, Souldiers of great reputation, were killed by the Cannon; the Admiral taking six great pieces with him which he found in the Castle, resolved to march towards Poictiers, after Paris a City of the greatest circuit of any in the Kingdom, and head of the adjacent Provinces, whither were carried as into a place of security,Poictiers after Paris a City of the greatest circuit of any in France. all the wealth and treasure of those Countries; judging, that if he could reduce this so considerable a place to his devotion, all the rest would without much difficulty yield of themselves.

But when it was known at Loches, where the Duke of Anjou lay, that the Admiral made preparation of Pioneers, Artillery, and other things necessary to lay siege to Poictiers; though the fierce warlike disposition of the people, gave hopes that it would be stoutly maintained: yet the Council thought that so spacious a place, so thinly peopled, and so subject to be annoyed by the Enemy, would require a great number of valiant men to defend it, as well to secure a Town of so great importance and reputation, as also so much the longer to amuse the Hugonots, and by the difficulty of this attempt discou­rage and tire out their Army; which was their chief design at the beginning, when they divided their forces. Wherefore besides the ordinary Garison that was in Poictiers, under the Count de Lude Governour of the City, the Duke of Guise resolved to put himself into it, a young man, who with singular expectation shewed himself as Head of the Catholick party, to renew by his brave and notable example in that beginning of his Warlike actions, the glory of his Father, who by defending Metz against the [Page 153] Forces of the Emperour Charles the Fifth, made his way to a high degree of power and estimation. This example of the Duke of Guise, was followed by Charles Mar­quess de Mayenne his Brother, the Sieurs de Montpezat, de Sessac, de Mortemer, de Clai­riaux, de la Rochebariton, de Rufec, de Fervaques, de Briancon, de Chastilliere, and many other Gentlemen, noble by birth and valour; in whose company were also An­gelo Cesis, and Giovanni Orsino, with 200 Italian Horse: so that there were then in the City 800 Cuirassiers, and about 400 light Horse; to these were added 4000 Foot, of the best disciplined in all France, under the command of Bassac, la Parade, Ver­bois, Bonneval, Charry, and many other Colonels of great reputation; six companies of Towns-men, each of four hundred very well armed and exercised, besides 300 Italian Firelocks commanded by Paulo Sforza, Brother to Sancta Fiore. There were also in the City a very great number of Peasants, by whose labour the most suspected places of the ramparts were fortified with great care, and Cannon planted, where they saw the Enemy was likely to encamp. Besides all this, the City was plentifully stored with provisions for the War, especially fireworks of divers kinds, which made the defendants confidently hope to repel the assaults of the Enemy.

Notwithstanding all these preparations, the Admiral (either ardently desirous to suppress the two young Guises his particular enemies, and therefore preferring that before all other respects; or despising the advice of the other Commanders, who judging the enterprize very difficult, counselled to turn their Forces another way) sate down before the City the 24 of Iuly, and in his march caused the Infantry to storm the Suburb that lieth without the port of St. Lazarus, no ways fortified, but de­fended only by Colonel Boisvert with 400 French Musketiers, who having valiantly sustained the assault for the space of three hours, at last by the multiplied Forces of the Hugonots, were constrained to quit it, being a place utterly impossible to be kept: but the Duke of Guise sallying forth in person, gallantly resisted the fury of the Ene­my, till the houses near the gate, and about the works were burnt, and levelled with the ground, lest they should have that conveniency to lodge and offend the Town. The Army lay that night two miles from the walls, and the next morning the first Troops of the Camp skirmishing hotly with the Cavalry that sallied out in many pla­ces, the Admiral encamped with very good order in those quarters which with pru­dent consideration were before resolved on.

The platform of Poictiers is of a great circumference, and unequal situation; for extending it self in a stony, rugged way from East to West, sometimes it ascends, sometimes descends, here crooked, there in a direct line, but three sides of it lie open to the Cannon from the rocks that encompass it, only the fourth is even, and so high, that no place without can command or annoy it; and though indeed it may be bat­tered from divers places without, yet it is no easie matter afterwards to advance to the assault; for the Clain that runneth about a great part of it, and a deep lake caused by the same river, make it in a manner inaccessible, and the unevenness of the rocks that afford means to offend it, yield also commodious retreat to the defendants; for the steep craggy cliss upon which it is seated, is so easie to be wrought into, that al­most of it self it maketh stairs, and narrow passages, very advantageous to be long made good against the Enemy. The Admiral taking notice of this situation, endea­voured to enlarge himself, and inviron as much of the circuit as he could possibly, playing at once upon several parts of the City, so far distant one from another, as he might both divide the courage and forces of the besieged. To that end he placed the German Infantry at the farthest corner of the City beyond the river, quartering them in the Hospital and Mill near to it, joining them together with a bridge drawn cross the river with ropes, which likewise served the foot of Gascony and Provence, who lay along the banks of the river as far as the Fauxburg, called Rochereuil; himself with the Van lodged in the Monastery of St. Benet; the Prince who led the Battel, with the Count de la Roch-fo [...]-cault and Count Mansfield, at St. Lazarus; Briquemaut, Piles and Muy, with the Reer at the Fauxburg of Pierre Levee, taking up in this man­ner all that space of ground which reacheth from the North to the West, and from the West to the South; and the Cavalry quartered in the Villages about, spreading as far Crustelle, almost two leagues from the Town.

Scarce was the Infantry encamped about the City, when Monsieur de Sessac, the Duke of Guise's Lieutenant, accompanied with Giovanna Orsino, and 120 of the most resolute Horse of the Garison, sallying out at the gate of the Trench, fell into a quarter [Page 154] of Cavalry in a Village called Marne, and finding them in disorder and unprepared, as they were about to take up their lodging, with small trouble killed a great num­ber, and dispersed the rest; and afterwards in his return meeting Briquemaut with 200 Reiters, and divers French Horse, he charged them so boldly, that at the first encounter, they all ran away, leaving above forty of their men dead upon the place: wherefore the Admiral necessitated to hinder such unwelcome sallies, caused Colonel Blacon with 2000 Foot, to lie in the ruines of the Suburb, and with Fortifications and Trenches to make his approaches so near to the gate, that they played upon one ano­ther continually with Musket-shot: but nevertheless Colonel Onoux who had left St. Maixent as a place too weak to be held, with only 600 Foot but chosen men, marched nine leagues in six hours, and arriving at the beat of the Reveille, passed happily through all the works they had made, and in spite of the opposition of Blacon and all his men, entred through the same gate of the Trench, to strengthen the Gari­son of Poictiers.

But the siege being laid and setled, the first days were spent in sharp skirmishes, of which though the event were divers, according to the variety of fortune, yet the Hugonot Army was exceedingly endamaged by them: for besides the loss of their stoutest Souldiers, whereof very many were killed, they were likewise hindered in their works, which nevertheless by the diligence of Monsieur de Genlis General of the Artillery, still went on, who making his approaches in divers places, raised a battery, where he planted fourteen Cannon besides divers small pieces, which being at last brought to perfection, though with much difficulty, because the whole Camp was perpetually molested with shot from the City; upon the first of August they began to batter, and in three days made a breach in the Ravelin, and brake down the Tower, which joining to the port of St. Cyprian, guarded and flanked the enterance on that side; but the bottom of the Tower being filled with earth, so that notwithstanding the upper parts of it were fallen, it still defended it self: the fourth day it was assaulted in vain, being resolutely maintained by Colonel de l' Isle with his French Foot, which the Admiral perceiving, and that the attempt of that gate proved more difficult than was expected, he turned his Cannon on the other side, and the fifth day began to batter the Curtine, which lying along the River, reacheth to a place commonly called the Abbesses meadow: for though the water which ran between his Trenches and the Town-walls were some hinderance to him; yet he knew the works were much weaker there than in other places, because the Engineers thinking it was enough se­cured by the River, had been more careless in fortifying thereabouts: by the tenth of August, (which was the Feast of St. Laurence) the Artillery had made so large a breach as might very commodiously be assaulted, and the bridge by which one might easily pass the River, was already cast over; when the Admiral causing the breach to be viewed, and being informed that there were Casamats, and works very well con­trived, to make it good on the inside, besides that by the advice of the Count de Lude, four Troops of Lanciers were sallied out of the gates to fall upon the assailants at the same instant, when they had passed the bridge, and were in that open plain space between the Wall and the River, not willing to send his men into so manifest danger without hope of success, gave out that by reason of the weakness of the bridge, which perchance might break, he would not run so evident an hazard of drowning his Souldiers; whereupon they retreating to their Quarters, who all were ready for the assault, he gave command for the making of another bridge, which might not only serve to pass over the assailants in better order and more security, but also some num­ber of Horse, to make Head against the Cavalry of the City. But the night following Biagio Capizuchi, a Roman Gentleman under Paulo Sforza, with two companions, all excellent Swimmers and good Divers, (whilst the Enemy was amused by frequent alarms, and the Cannon, besides a party sent out with Monsieur de Fervaques) swom under the bridge, and cut the ropes that held it together, so that on a suddain, be­fore the Hugonots were aware, it was utterly loosed, and car [...]ied away with the stream; and whilst it was repairing, the Defendants had leisure to fortifie themselves within the breach; in which business the Duke of Guise himself took great pains, carrying the earth upon his own shoulders, whose example generally moved no less the women than the men to further the work, by which means in a very short space they raised a breast-work stronger and thicker than the first.

[Page 155]But the Admiral re-inforcing his battery with great violence, and causing three bridges to be made, all stronger than the first, upon the eighteenth day gave a terrible assault to the Wall, and they were already, though with much blood; masters of the breach, when they discovered a Cavalier raised within the Covent of the Carmelites, from whence many small pieces of Artillery plaid, which lighting upon the place, that was possessed by the Hugonots, before they could sufficiently shelter themselves, they were forced within a little while to forsake it, leaving dead upon the place Mon­sieur de Mon [...]aulph, a man of great account amongst them, with seven Captains and many Foot-Souldiers; besides an infinite number that were wounded, amongst which Monsieur de la Noue received a Musket-shot in his left arm; and the Baron de Con­forgine another in the right thigh, of which hurts it was very long before they could be cured: nor did the Defendants scape without loss, there being killed that day Mon­sieur Biglie of a very noble Family, and Antonio Serasone a Roman, who with great praises of valour and industry, was imployed in the Office of an Engineer.

They continued shooting all the next day, and the sooner to make an end of the business, brought eight Culverins more to the battery, by which means the Ramparts of the City were in a few days made wholly indefensible: but the industry of the be­sieged found a remedy against so imminent a danger; for having stopped the course of the River on the lower side, near the Tower of Rochereuil with banks and piles of wood, they made the waters swell to such a heighth, that the under part being left almost dry, they drowned all the Abasses meadow, and overflowed the very breach in the Wall, so that the Hugonots could not possibly come to assault it; upon which occa­sion the Admiral being forced to take a new resolution, commanded the battery to be removed lower, to play upon, and take the Tower of Rochereuil, below which the Catholicks had made their dam, that so being masters of that place, they might free the course of the River, and take away from them the so useful defence of the water. To this purpose the Cannon having beaten down above sixty yards of the Wall, upon the 24 day they gave a general onset at the Tower of Rochereuil, and the Curtine joining to it; Piles fell on first, seconded by Briquemaut, and at last by the German Infantry, where no less the Commanders and Voluntiers, than the common Souldiers, fought on all sides with singular valour and constant resolution; the gallantry of the Duke of Guise appearing most clearly in this action, by whose Squadron the Enemy was in the end beaten off, and driven back with great loss, they having with no small difficulty brought off Piles, who was extreamly wounded, and almost half dead, though afterwards being cured, he recovered his former health and vigour: yet all this ill success abated not the courage of the Hugonots; but continuing with great obstinacy to batter the work which the Defendants had cast up behind the breach, they resolved to give it an unexpected assault about midnight, thinking to surprize the Catholicks either asleep, or at least in confusion, and unprovided; but being come to the place, they found (contrary to their expectation) the Defendants in so good order, and so ready to receive them, that without any more ado they gave over the attempt, being bravely followed by the Italian Foot, who sallying through the same breach, pursued them into their very Trenches, doing great execution upon them, by reason of the difficulty and narrowness of their retreat.

But in the midst of so many sufferings,A great mor­tality in the Hugonot Ar­my. The Ad­miral sick­neth, yet de­sisteth not from the siege of Poctier [...]. the excessive heats of Summer began to cause the usual sickness of that season, of which there died not only many of their com­mon Souldiers, and particularly of the Germans, but the principal Officers of the Army were likewise grievously infected with it, amongst which the Count de la Roch-fou-cault had left the Camp to be cured, and Messieurs de Briquemaut and de la Nocle were re­tired to Niort with small hope of life, for which cause the Princes with no other train but their own families, resolved to go to St. Maixent, and by change of air to avoid the malignant Feaver that was so mortal in the Camp, leaving the Admiral almost alone to command the Army, who worn out with continual toil and watching, fell sick at last of the Flux; yet though he was exceedingly spent and weakned with the Disease, the vigour of his mind was not at all diminished, but he persisted with the same ardour to prosecute the end of his design; for conclusion whereof he commanded the assault to be given in many places upon the second day of September, causing the French and German Infantry to fall on severally, that the emulation of one another might animate them to fight with a greater courage and resolution: the assault lasted most part of the day, the violence of the Enemies being resisted by the Duke of Guise [Page 156] on one side, and on the other by the Count de Lude, with so much valour and gallan­try, that the Hugonots being beaten, not only by the Cannon and small shot, but with stones, pikes and fireworks in great abundance, they were in the end forced precipi­tately to quit the wall, leaving dead and wounded above seven hundred upon the place, amongst which Monsieur de S. Vane Brother to Briquemaut, and who commanded his men, was killed with a granado.

But this Victory gave little comfort to the besieged; for being by the death of Mon­sieur d' Onouz, Colonel Passac, and many other valiant men reduced to a small number in respect of the greatness of the place, and their horses for want of meat being brought to extream weakness, they could not find the ardour and perseverence of the Hugo­nots at all abated; wherefore with frequent letters and many messages they sollicited for the relief which the Duke of Anjou had promised them within a few days.

The Duke re-uniting the Army sooner than was intended at the dividing of it, had drawn his forces together at the beginning of September, resolving rather to try the fortune of a day, than to suffer Poictiers to be taken, with so many of the Nobility, and the Duke of Guise himself, who was at that time very much beloved by him: where­fore he marched away from Loches, and sate down before Chastel-rault, assuring him­self, that the Hugonots to succour that place, where a great number of their sick men lay, would leave the siege of Poictiers, about which they might easily perceive, they should but tire themselves in vain, it being favoured by so great, and so near a power. Nor was the event different from the Dukes design; for the Admiral having by the failing of his last enterprise lost all hopes of taking the Town, and seeking some plausible occasion to leave it, as soon as he had intelligence that the Army moved, he resolved to raise the siege;After many assaults brave­ly sustained, the Admiral quits the siege, and goes to relieve Chast [...]l-rault. and drawing off his Artillery, upon the 15 of September marched with all his forces towards Chastel-rault: and on the same day the Count de Sanze, and Pietro Paulo Tosinghi entred Poictiers with 300 French Horse, and 800 Ita­lian Foot, and supplies of money and victuals, whereby the City was at once freed from the siege, and opportunely furnished with necessary provisions. Thus ended the siege of Poictiers; in which, as the Princes Army diminished both in strength and hopes,The Duke of Guise, who had sustained the siege, gets great reputa­tion. by the loss of 3000 men, and two months of the Summer; so the Duke of Guise came out of it with so great applause and reputation, that all the Catholick party began to turn their eyes upon him as a Pillar of the Roman Religion, and a Worthy Successor to his Fathers Power.

The success of the Kings forces at the siege of la Charite was not unlike to that of the Hugonots at Poictiers at the same time; for the Duke of Anjou purposing utterly to cut off the passage of the Loire from the Army of the Princes, and to take away all hopes from them of oppressing those Provinces which are on this side the River, had given commission to Monsieur de Sansac to gather the forces of Beausse, Nivernois, Bourbonois, and part of Burgundy, and to besiege la Charite, which had before been taken by the Germans in their passage,The Catho­licks besiege la Charite, which being stoutly defen­ded they give it over. and was the only place upon the River in possession of the Hugonots: but so firm was the resolution of the Souldiers, and so constant the courage of the Towns-men, commanded by Monsieur de Guerchy, Cornet of the Admirals own company of Gens d' Arms, that sustaining all the assaults and attempts of the Catho­licks, they finally constrained Monsieur de Sansac to give it over, having in the siege lost many Gentlemen, and no inconsiderable number of Souldiers.

In the mean time the affairs of both Factions were prosecuted in Bearn, whither the Prince of Navarre, sollicitous to preserve his own patrimony, had sent the Count of Montgomery to oppose Messieurs de Monluc and de Terride, the first of which possessed the Confines of the Province, and the other with a great power battered Navarines, the only place that after many losses and troubles of the Country remained in the power of the Hugonots: but in conclusion, whatsoever the fault was, (for the Com­manders laid it upon one another) the business went very prosperously for the Prince of Navarre; for Monsieur de Terride being risen from before Navarines, was in his re­treat fought withal, surrounded, and taken prisoner; and Monsieur de Monluc not be­ing able, or not coming time enough to help him, was fain to retire into Gascony; so that all the Country began to submit to the devotion of Montgomery, who using strange unaccustomed cruelties, had with terrour constrained even those places that were best manned, and most strongly fortified to yield themselves up into his hands.

In the interim, the Duke of Anjou, who because he was not yet strong enough to raise the siege of Poictiers, had encamped before Chastel-rault, to obtain the same effect [Page 157] by that diversion, conceived some hopes of taking the place, and persisted in battering it with much violence; but the issue proved very contrary; for when there was a a sufficient breach in the wall, he made the Italian Infantry to fall on, who putting themselves forward by reason of their emulation with the French, possessed themselves at first very prosperously of the breach, but with more rashness and fury than discretion; for being plaid upon with great execution both in the front and flank by the Artillery planted opportunely upon the ramparts that were cast up within, which they had not (as according to the Rules of War they ought) been careful to discover, after they had fought in vain above three hours,Fab. del Monte Head of the Tuscan forces killed before Chastel-rault. they retired to their trenches with the loss of above 250 men, amongst whom were Fabiano del Monte, and many other Gentlemen and Officers.

The next day their thoughts of assaulting the Town were changed into those of marching away: for the Admiral, with all his Army, desirous to recover the time, and recompence the losses he had received at Poictiers, had in three several quarters possessed himself of the Suburbs on the other side Chastel-rault, opposite to the place where the Catholick Army lay, and resolved by any means to try his fortune, if he could do it without disadvantage; for which cause the Duke of Anjou knowing him­self much inferiour in strength, the Nobility not being yet joined with him, nor many Companies of Foot which were too far from the Army, thought it best to retire; and therefore took the opportunity to do it at the same time that the Admirals Souldiers (being quartered to refresh themselves after their march, in one of the Suburbs of the Town, that lay beyond the River Vienna) were either securely sleeping, or making provision of victuals and lodging; it not being probable, the day being so far spent, that either side would change their quarter that night. So taking the opportunity of the time, the Duke caused his Artillery to be drawn off with good order, but incre­dible expedition; and having sent them before with all his baggage, some two hours after, it being about Sun-set, he marched without noise away, neither the Admiral, nor any of his party at all perceiving it, till the last Squadrons were moving; who made good the retreat, being led by Monsieur de Chavigny, Monsieur de la Valette, and the Count di Sancta Fiore. At that time it being far in the night, the Hugonot Army was at rest in their quarters, or else scattered up and down; therefore the Admiral seeing his men weary, dispersed, and unfit for the pursuit, thought it not best rashly to follow the Catholick Army, which being many hours before him,The Catho­licks raise the siege from be­fore Chastel-rault. retired quietly without any disorder or confusion. Thus the Duke of Anjou not being followed nor molested by the Enemies, the same night passed the River Creuse at Porte de Piles, four leagues from Chastel-rault, and the next morning having left the bridge sufficiently guarded on both sides of the River, he drew his Army to Selle, a very strong and well-fortified quarter.

At break of day the Admiral marched after the Catholicks; and being come to Porte de Piles, he sent forth Monsieur de Soubise, with a party well-horsed, to discover the state of the Enemy; who having routed and put to flight many scattered Soul­diers that were cast behind the Army, fell on, hotly skirmishing even to the very Turn­pike of the Bridge; the Infantry seconding him resolutely, assaulted the barricadoes of the Catholicks, using their uttermost endeavour to drive away the guard, and to gain that pass; but notwithstanding the redoubled onsets, made with exceeding cou­rage by the most valiant Commanders of the Hugonots, la Valet, and Paulo Sforza with the French light Horse, and the Italian Foot defended the Bridge, and being helped by the strong situation of it, beat off the Enemy with much loss, and frustrated all their attempts: whereupon the Admiral giving over that design, made a foord to be sought for in some other place, which being easily found by reason of the shallow­ness of the water, he passed over the next day four leagues below Piles, and came so near to the quarter of the Duke of Anjou, that he hoped to force him to give battel: but seeing that the Duke, containing himself within his trenches, was very well stored with victual, because all the Country behind him were his friends; and that on the other side his Army suffered great scarcity, being forced to make his provisions afar off, because two Rivers were between him and the Country that was well-affected to him; he despairing to force the Catholicks to fight against their will, resolved the third day to retire; and having passed the two Rivers of Creusa and Vienna, marched to Faye la Vineuse, and lodged his Army in the neighbouring Villages to refresh his men after so much toil and sufferance; who being all (especially the Germans) im­patient, [Page 158] and unaccustomed to lie in the fields, began to grow very mutinous and dis­orderly.

The Duke of Anjou took the like course, who withdrawing his Army to Chinon in Turain, went to see the King his Brother, and the Queen his Mother, who according to their ordinary custom of being near the Army, were come to Tours, where like­wise was arrived the Duke of Guise, Henry Duke of Guise admit­ted to the Ca­binet-Council loaden with honour and reputation for his famous and prosperous defence of Poictiers. Here they began to advise of the means of ma­naging the War; and this was the first time the Duke of Guise, being received into his Fathers place, was admitted to the Cabinet Council, and the participation of the most secret affairs. The cause and beginning of this trust, besides the nobleness of his Blood, the merits of his Father, his own Vertue, and the protection of the Car­dinal his Uncle, was chiefly the implacable hatred the King bare the Admiral; for after the death of the Prince of Conde in the Battel of Bassac, he had entertained confident hopes, that the Hugonot party (being deprived of the Authority of so great a Prince, and having lost their principal Head, upon whose valour and reputation chiefly de­pended the conduct of so weighty a business) would dissolve and dissipate, or at least incline to the yoak of his obedience: but he found on the contrary the Authority of the Blood Royal, by the sagacity of the Admiral, revived in the persons of the two young Princes, and the union of the Hugonot Faction founded on their proper strength and valour, to occasion more mischiefs, and to bring the state of affairs into greater dangers than ever formerly they had been in the revolution of so many years: and therefore having with a publick and heavy sentence divulged in many languages,The Kings de­cree Against the Admiral. made him to be declared Rebel by the Parliament of Paris, he also caused his effigies to be dragged through the streets, and to be hung up in places where they used to execute publick malefactors; and so ordered the matter, that his houses were razed to the ground, and his goods sold by the Officers of his Courts; after all which, continuing a resolution to persecute him to death, he began to exalt and favour the House of Lo­rain, and particularly the Duke of Guise, who desirous to revenge the death of his Fa­ther, professed a publick and irreconcileable hatred to the Admiral.

The Kings Cabinet Council coming now to debate of those courses that were to be taken in ordering the War, at first their opinions disagreed; for the Mareshal de Cosse (by his severe proceedings against the Hugonots in Picardy, having purged himself of the suspicions conceived against him, and regained his former credit and estimation of wisdom) thought it best to try rather by time, than force, to overcome the Enemy: who being without money, without means to victual their Army, without retreat, without any considerable supply from abroad, and full of want, disorder, discord and desperation, would quickly be vanquished by their own necessities, and dissolve to nothing of them­selves. On the other side, the Count de Tavanes represented, that the Hugonot Army was lessened, wearied out, and put into confusion by the long and fruitless siege of Poictiers, and therefore very easie to be overcome, and that it was necessary to fight pre­sently, and not to stay till the Prince of Orange, who was gone disguised into Germany, had time to make new levies, or that the Count Montgomery, who had gotten the better in Bearn, should come with the Forces of Gascony to join with the Admiral; for so the War would be again renewed, which could not by any means be more certainly extinguished than by fighting, and by eager pursuing of the Enemy, now they were diminished both in number and courage.

The resolution would have been hard to agree upon, but the Duke of Anjou cutting off all dispute of different opinions, concluded that it was expedient to fight with the Army of the Princes, now that tired and wasted with their late losses and suffe­rances, they were not likely to have force and vigour enough to resist the Catholick Army, which fresh, in full strength, and well recruited, had an ardent desire to see the Enemy in the field. With this intention he departed from Tours, in the company of the Dukes of Guise and Montpensier, and so gathering together thirty Ensigns of Foot, and 2000 Horse of the Nobility and Gentry that held their lands of the Crown, who about that time came to the Army, he advanced with his whole body towards Faye la Vineuse, where the Hugonots were encamped with a design to meet them, and as soon as possibly he could, force them to give him Battel.

But matters were not so resolved among the Hugonots; for though the Gentry, who for the space of a whole year had lived from their own houses, spending all they had, thinking they had done much more than either the nature or custom of the French [Page 159] is wont to bear, desired earnestly to meet the Enemy, or to be dismissed the Camp, and that every hour were heard the groans of those that wished for an end of those miseries, or of their lives; though Count Volrade with his Germans, weary of suffer­ing and lying in the field, and deprived of their fancied hopes of rich booty, in a mu­tinous way demanded their pay; and to be led on to encounter the Enemy: yet the Princes, the Admiral, and the most experienced Commanders of the Army, knowing the valour of the Kings Souldiers, and the weariness and disunion of their own, in­wardly disapproved the advice of coming to a final trial, and desired to govern their affairs with the same prudence which they had observed in the Catholicks, who when they found themselves inferiour in strength, had always avoided the hazard of a Battel, though now being assured of the advantage, they very much desired it: Therefore, as when the Duke of Anjou shunned the encounter, they had used all possible means to provoke him to it; so now that he came resolved to do the like, they endeavoured to prolong the event of things, and to proceed with more slow and more secure advice, but they dared not to make show of this intention, for fear of filling the Army with tumults and discontents, being certain the Gentry would presently forsake them, and the Germans undoubtedly mutiny, as soon as they should know there was no hopes of putting it to a Battel: Wherefore letting themselves be led by necessity, and by the inclination of the Army, as a man doth for the most part that rides a fiery ill-managed horse, they seemed to consent to the opinion and desire of the Souldiers, and made show of readiness and resolution to give battel: but the Admiral, who thought he could compass any thing by his arts and subtilties, deluding their expectation, and declining all occasions, absolutely determined in himself, with all possible care to avoid the doubt­ful issue of a battel.

To this end, as soon as he heard the motion of the Catholicks towards him, the Princes being made privy to his counsels, he marched with his whole Army from Faye, which is in the Confines of Poictou and Anjou, to pass the Rivers that are near, to gain the other side called Basse Poictou, bordering upon Guienna, where by reason of its strong situation, and the many Cities that were there of his Faction, he thought it more easie to delay the Battel, or else to fight with so much advantage, that the Victory might not at all be doubtful: and to the end the Gentry and the Germans might more willingly follow him, he caused a report to be spread through the whole Army, that the Count de Montgomery, grown strong and victorious in Bearn, was upon his way to join with him, and that he was already near Parthenay, a Town not above twelve leagues distant, where he pretended it was necessary to meet him, lest the Enemy getting between them, should keep them still asunder, or should defeat the Count, whose number was inferiour to theirs.

By this device he laboured to win them to follow him willingly, till he were got­ten amongst the Cities of his own Faction, where always lodging himself under the protection of some strong place, he hoped by many, but not dangerous skirmishes, to abate the fury of the Kings Army, and partly to qualifie his own Souldiers desire of fighting, till the beginning of the Winter (which was not far off) should of it self hinder them from further action; in the mean time, by the nearness of Rochel, and the diligence of the Queen of Navarre to supply him, he was confident he should not be destitute of provisions; whereas the Duke of Anjou, by reason of the Rivers that were behind him, would probably be reduced to great want and scarcity. But the diligence of the Duke who out of a desire to fight had marched with great expedi­tion, frustrated these wary counsels; for the Admiral marching with his Army in se­veral divisions towards Moncontour, where he had designed to quarter the last day of September; and the Camp-Royal advancing the same way with great expedition, as soon as they heard of his moving; whilst the Admiral deceived by the negligence of his Scouts, believed for certain, that the Catholicks were many miles from thence: their Van-guard commanded by the Duke of Montpensier came so near to the Reer-guard of the Princes, (in whose last Squadrons was Monsieur de Muy and 300 Horse, and four Ensigns of French fire-locks) that they could no longer avoid the encounter of one another. Yet the Admiral still persisting in the same design, having considered the situation of the Country on every side, resolved to pass a water that ran thorow a moorish plain, judging that the Catholicks would not dare to come over the same place in the view of all his Army; or if they did, he might by fighting with them hinder their passage, and have an admirable opportunity of winning the Battel, whilst [Page 160] they were in so great disorder: for which purpose he commanded Muy to sustain the shock of the Catholick Van-guard, and in the mean time he with all the rest of the Army passed the Moor, though with no small difficulty and confusion.

In this interim, the Duke of Montpensier marching in very good order; to try all ways possible to provoke them to fight, commanded his light Horse boldly to begin the skirmish, which at first was stoutly received, and couragiously opposed by Mon­sieur de Muy, one of the most valiant Souldiers in all France: but Martigues coming up, whose valour was always wont to lead the way in the most desperate occasions, the Hugonots were charged with such fury, that not being able to resist so much a greater number, Muy having lost fifty Horse, and above two hundred Foot, took flight as fast as he could, and passing hastily over the water, joined himself orderly with the rest of their Forces. But the Duke of Montpensier who had pursued him even to the water, when he saw all their Army drawn into Battalia on the other side, made a stop, and considering that he could not pass his men over in a full body, but only twenty in Front, which would have caused a great disorder amongst them, he took time (coldly skirmishing) to send word to the Duke of Anjou, and to expect his Orders for what he should do in that occasion.

The Admiral seeing the coolness of the Catholicks, and how they delayed to pass the water, believed for certain that the body of the Army was still a great way behind, and that Montpensier with only that small party, had advanced unadvisedly further than he should have done: whereupon not to lose that opportunity, taking courage, and bravely animating his Souldiers, he repassed the water, with two gallant Squadrons of Gens d' Arms, and charged the Cavalry of Martiques so resolutely, that they retreated above two hundred paces, but the body of the Army coming up on every side, he was forced to return in disorder, and to recover the shelter of two strong Squadrons of Infantry that were upon the bank; in which place the valour of Monsieur de Clair­mont of Ambois was very remarkable, who sick, and unarmed with only twenty Horse, opposed the fury of the Catholicks, till the Admiral was gotten under the protection of his Squadrons.

But the Duke of Anjou knowing it was too difficult and dangerous to pass over in the face of the Enemy, resolved, (the ground favouring his purpose) to try if he could drive them away with his Cannon, and make them quit the other side of the water, and that place of so much advantage whereof they were possessed. Wherefore Mon­sieur de Byron Field-Mareshal, having caused the Artillery to be drawn thither, with great expedition and much judgment planted all the Cannon and Culverins, which were 22 in number, partly on the right hand, partly on the left of the bottoms of those hills that were within shot of the Hugonot Army; and began to let flie very terribly at their flank, doing infinite execution upon those Squadrons which stood in Battalia at the entry of the Moor, that was on the other side the water. Yet the French and German Infantry being in a low place, and commanded by their Officers to lie flat on the ground, could not so easily be annoyed: but the Cavalry lying open to the shot, could hardly be kept in order, sending many Messengers to desire they might be drawn from thence, where they perished miserably without being able to give any testimony of their courage and valour. But the Admiral would not consent that they should remove, for fear of leaving the passage free to the Catholicks, which would af­ter force them, their Army being weary and half disheartened, to fight in the plain champagne; therefore, whilst the service continued thus hot at the pass, the Catho­licks Artillery still playing without intermission, the German Horse, who stood more open to the shot than any of the rest, (Charles Count of Mansfield, Brother to the General, being killed there, with many others) were about to retire, and quitting the post they held upon the right hand, began to leave the passage open to the Enemies: but the Prince of Navarre spurring his horse up to them, and putting himself in the same danger of the Cannon, prevailed so far by his presence and perswasions, that he made them stay for a while, and constantly to expect the beginning of the Battel; wherein appeared the powerful Genius of this young Prince, the respect of whom was able to bridle fear, which hath no Law, and to stop the flight of the precipitate Ger­mans, that are so obstinate in their resolutions. But no remedy in the world could have done much good, for the Enemies Cannon would at last have routed and broken all their Army, if the coming of the night had not oppo [...]tunely relieved the Hugonots in so great an extremity.

[Page 161]The darkness ended the skirmish that had been in the plain, and the Catholicks not being able to level their Artillery aright, plaid not so fast, finding they shot but in vain, and wounded the Air to no purpose; which the Admiral wisely making use of, began about nine of the Clock at night to retire without Drum or Trumpet; and before it was day had passed the River with his whole Army, and drawn it up in the plain of Moncontour; his purpose was, continuing in the same determination, to re­treat with all speed, and marching on to get as far as possibly he could from the Ca­tholick Camp, and from the danger of the day. But this resolution was not only op­posed by the Commanders and Gentlemen of his own Nation, but far more muti­nously by Count Volrade with his Germans, who breaking forth into seditious speeches threatned, That if there were not an end made of so many miseries, they would leave the Princes and go over to the Kings party, being sure to be received with very good conditions: by which mutiny, the French Infantry being also stirred up, (as men are more ready to follow ill examples, than to be kept within the limits of reason) ex­claiming and threatning cried out to give Battel: nor did many of the Officers dissent from the general desire of the Army, thinking it impossible to go forward, and not be cut off; the Enemy at their backs following with all speed resolved to fall upon them; and their own Souldiers tired, wearied out, and frighted with the terrour of a retreat, which resembleth a flight useth to dishearten an Army, and to abate the cou­rage and boldness of raw men, believed it was much better to make use of the readi­ness of their Souldiers, and give Battel in the field with hope of Victory, than fighting disorderly in their retreat, expect to be miserably defeated and scattered. Wherefore the Admiral, and the Princes, not being able to withstand the general opinion, resol­ved to stay for the Catholick Camp on the bank of the River, and there with the best advantage they could to remit the success to fortune.

The Admiral divided his Army into three Battalions, and he (according to his cu­stom) commanded the Van-guard, the Princes with Count Lodowick of Nassau the Battel, Count Volrade and Muy the Rear; the Cannon were planted in the Front of the Army, and before all was the Forelorn-hope, which when the Enemies drew near, were to begin the Battel.

In the mean while the Duke of Anjou having passed the water which the Hugo­nots had left, on the first day of October in the morning, advanced with a greater de­sire than ever to fight with them; but finding the hinderance of the River, (on the further side whereof the Enemy stood in Battalia) he was fain to make a halt, because the night was drawing on, and quartered that night in the same place where the Hu­gonots were encamped the day before. The next day desirous to free himself from the danger of passing the River (though but a little one) in the face of the Enemy, having made very diligent discovery of all the Country, he took a large compass upon the right hand, and passed the night before the third of October at a place called la Gri­maudiete, where the River not being yet joined with another Brook that fell into it, was not at all troublesom either to Horse or Foot; there being neither water enough to wet one to the mid-leg, nor banks that could hinder the marching, or order of his divisions. As soon as they were passed over without any let or impediment, Monsieur de Byron, and the Count de Tavanes, Mareshals of the Field, divided the whole Army into two Battalions, whereof one was led by the Duke of Montpensier, the Duke of Guise, and the Count di Sancta Fiore; the other by the Duke of Anjou himself,The Marquess de Villars made Admiral in th [...] place of Coligny. with whom were the Dukes of Aumale and Longueville, the Mareshal de Cosse, the Mar­quess de Villers, (by the King made Admiral in the place of Coligny) Peter Ernest of Mansfield sent with the supplies by King Philip, the Marquess of Baden, Monsieur de Carnavalet, Guilliaume de Momorancy Lord of Tore, and many other Lords and Gentle­men. In each Battalion were Squadrons of Swisses, flanked with the French and Ita­lian Infantry, and in the front of each wing was placed the Artillery. In this order having before them a large spacious champagne, without trees, banks or ditches to hinder them, the Catholick Army marched toward the Hugonots with a great noise of Drums and Trumpets.

But the Admiral, who in vain had tried again if he could perswade his Souldiers to retreat to Hernaut, a place hard by and proper to receive them; and seeing him­self necessitated to fight; to confirm the courage of his men, moved softly toward the Enemy, and put himself in order to encounter them, without advantage of ground in the midst of the open field.

[Page 162]The Princes having seen their Army drawn up by the Field-Mareshals, and with fitting speeches recommended the Religion and Liberty of them all to both Nations; when they saw every one ready to do his part, retired with their guard to a place something more remote behind the Camp, not to expose themselves in so tender an age, to the hazardous perils of War, leaving the weight of the Battel unto the wis­dom and valour of their Commanders. The Sun was already two hours high when the two Armies facing one another,The Armies join Battel. the Admirals Artillery began to play; which being presently answered from the Catholick Camp, they filled the whole field with terrour and slaughter: after which impetuous fury of so many Cannon, the men fell on with so much courage on both sides, that it was many hours uncertain which would re­main victorious: for after the volleys of Muskets, and the shocks of their Lances, not only the Horse and Foot were mingled pell-mell in the heat of the Battel, but even the very Boys, Suttlers and Pioneers, and the rabble of other such-like people that use to follow the Camp, fought stoutly and desperately each for their party; and in this universal fury, the number was so equal, that almost every one had a particular Enemy to deal withal. Nor were the Commanders in less danger than common Troopers and Souldiers; for the Duke of Anjou himself rushing into the thickest Squadron of the Enemy, (where the Marquess of Baden was killed by his side, and many other of those Gentlemen that fought under the Royal Standard) he was many times in danger to lose his life, the safety whereof he ought no less to attribute to his own valour, than to the courage and fidelity of his Souldiers; and on the other side, the Admiral (not sparing himself, but acting the part of a Souldier, as well as of a General) furiously encountered the Rhinegrave, (who in the Head of his Cavalry came up to charge him) and having from him received a Pistol-shot in the cheek which broke four of his teeth; he discharged his own in the very face of the Rhinegrave, and laid him dead upon the ground, nor ceased after to fight most gallantly, though the blood ran so fast from his wound, that it filled his Helmet and Gorget of Mail. But though the number, boldness and constancy of both parties were almost equal, yet their strength and va­lour were not; for the Squadrons of the Kings Swisses, famous by many and almost numberless proofs, and tried in so many other Battels; fighting with Enemies of less experience, that were wasted and tired out with their past wants and sufferings, did at last break into the Battalion of the Germans, whom they charged in the beginning of the day; and having routed and disordered their Ranks, made so great a slaughter of them, that of four thousand not above two hundred escaped alive; and the Kings Cavalry entire in strength, and full of courage, did in the end overthrow and scatter the Cavalry of the Hugonots, no less conquered by the weariness and weakness of their Horses, harrassed with long toil and duty, than by the force and valour of their Enemies.

The Admiral wounded, flees with the Princes.The Admiral seeing his Army defeated, his voice quite spent, his jaw wounded, and all imbrued in blood, took with him the Princes, (who had withdrawn themselves with the Sieurs de Muy, Teligny and Loue) and with three hundred Horse retired to Partenay, after whom many other stragglers followed in disorder. Count Lodowick of Nassau, and Count Volrade rallied about 2000 of their Reiters; and though they were pursued by the Duke of Aumale and Monsieur de Byron, they made their retreat without any disorder, and defending themselves bravely at every Pass of advantage, got that night to the same place. All the rest that fled from the fury of the Con­querours, dispersed several ways as their fortune guided them: some got to Angou­lesme, some to Rochelle, and some followed the track of the Commanders. The Duke of Anjou after he had routed and put to flight the Enemies Cavalry, being come to the place where the Swisses had obtained so bloody a Victory of the Germans, com­manded quarter to be given to three thousand of the French Infantry, who being in­compassed on every side, had thrown down their Arms, and begged their lives of the Conquerors: then finding no more resistance any where, he took the Colours, Bag­gage and Cannon of the Enemy, and drawing his Army together, marched victoriously to Saint Genez.

The number of the slain on the Princes side, reckoning also the Boys and Suttlers, and such like hangers on, who all died fighting, were computed by the Catholicks to 17000: but those that more moderately counted only the Souldiers, ghessed them to be about 10000, whereof few were persons of quality; especially of the French, be­cause the chief Heads fled betimes for their own safety; the greatest slaughter falling [Page 163] upon the Gascogne Foot and the Germans. Yet there were killed Puygreffier, Antri­court, Tannaquille, Byron the Brother of Armand who was in the Catholick Army; St. Bonnet and St. Oyre, who in the eightieth year of his age fighting valiantly till the very last, had given wonderful proofs of his courage in the retreat. There was slain also 27 German Captains of Foot, of but 28 that were in the whole Army, besides two Colonels of the same Nation, above 70 French Captains of Foot, and two Co­lonels of Reiters, the other two saving themselves with the Count of Nassa [...] in the Body that made the retreat. Monsieur de la Noue one of the Heads of the Faction, (whose ill fortune almost always left him in the Enemies hands) was there taken pri­soner, besides Monsieur d' Acier General of the French Infantry, and Monsieur de Bla­con Colonel of Fire-locks.

On the Kings side were killed few above four hundred; but among those, many principal Officers of the Army, especially strangers; Philibert Marquess of Baden, the Elder Rhinegrave, Monsieur de Clairmont one of the chief Gentlemen in Daulphine, Count Francisco de Sassatello, Scipio Piccolomini Lieutenant to Otti de Montalto, In the Battel of M [...]n [...]oniou [...], the Catholicks took all the Baggage, Can­non and Am­munition of the Hugonots, and 200 co­lours. and many Foot-Captains. The Duke of Guise, Peter Ernest of Mansfield, the other Rhinegrave, and the Lords of Schombergh and Bassompier Germans, were wounded, but all cured in a short time after. They took about nine hundred load of victual, all the baggage of the Germans, eleven pieces of Cannon, and above two hundred Colours, whereof twenty six (taken by the Italians) were sent to Rome by the Count di Sancta Fiore, and in manner of a Trophy dedicated to the Church of St. Iohn de Lateran. The News of this Victory was carried to the King and Queen-Mother by Alberto Gondi Count of Retz a Florentine, much favoured by them;The Count St. Fiore sends to Rome 26 Ensign [...] taken by his Soul­diers. whereat there was very great rejoycing: and the same thereof spreading into the Neighbour Countries, particularly into Italy, filled the Duke of Anjou's Name with Glory and Renown; to whose Va­lour and Conduct, the chief honour of the day was attributed, having over-reached the so cried-up wisdom, and so feared policy of the Admiral.

The greatest part of the Commanders that escaped the defeat, got the same night to Partenay, whither the Princes and the Admiral were come before, who presently began to advise what was best to be done, in the difficulty and misfortune of their present affairs. The most part of them were quite disheartened by so many unhappy successes, and the terrour of this last overthrow, seeing their Army cut off, themselves shut up in a corner of the Kingdom, without money, forsaken by their friends, with very little hopes, and less reputation, and among their publick consultations, calling to mind their private interests, the distance of their own houses, the vast expences, dangers and disquiets wherein they were perpetually involved; many of them seemed to sink under the misery of their present condition, and were inclined to yield them­selves to the Kings mercy, and by the best means they could procure pardon for what was past, which by the mild and gentle nature of the Queen, and the Duke of Anjou, whose advice bore the chief sway in the Government, and by the desire of peace, they thought might easily be obtained, if with humble submission they should cast them­selves altogether upon his Royal Clemency. But the Admiral not at all losing courage, though so wounded in the mouth that he could hardly speak, but rather exasperated by the severe sentence pronounced against him in Parliament, and hardened by the adver­sity of his present fortune, began to shew that things were not yet brought to so great extremity, that they should let fear transport them to so much despair; that they had lost other Battels before this, and always rose again to be more powerful, and more terrible to their Enemies; that he had learned by experience, that a War is not utterly lost for the miscarriage of a Battel, so that the courage fail not, in the constancy and vigour whereof consisteth the happy issue of all enterprizes; that though they had lost many of their men, yet the basis and foundation whereupon they built all the hopes of their party, was still firm and unshaken; that Germany, the unexhausted mine of men and arms, still persevered in unity and friendship with them; that England continued in the same confederacy, which would increase their supplies in measure as their need now required; that he held intelligence for the revolt and surprisal of many Cities in divers parts of the Kingdom, the loss of which would divide the forces, and much distract the designs of the Conquerors; that the Count of Montgomery in Bearn was grown great both in number and courage, with whom they might join in a few days; and that with his forces fresh and intire, it was easie to begin the foundation of a gal­lant and powerful Army: That therefore they should revive the undaunted courage [Page 164] which they had shown in so many other occasions, and that they should believe his counsels; for in a few days he would re-establish their affairs in their former condi­tion; that he promised no such new things, as for their strange improbability should hardly gain credit among them; but that he had an inward assurance he should be able to do the same for the present, which every one of them might remember they had so often seen him do in times past; and though they should gain nothing else by per­severance, and setting an Army again on foot, at least they might by that means facili­tate the way to an agreement, and obtain the better conditions; which if they should rashly demand during the heat of this Victory, they would of necessity be forced to submit themselves to the insolent will of the Conquerours; whereas by deferring it▪ and bringing it opportunely to pass, they might (having a little patience) treat and conclude with advantage.

These words were hearkned to with great attention by the Prince of Navarre, who being already accustomed to command, could hardly bend his mind to stoop to the obedience of others. Nor did the Prince of Conde hear them with a less inclination, though of more tender years, yet no way inferiour in either vigour or courage: Count Lodowick of Nassau, and Volrade of Mansfield, concurred with the Admiral; for they being strangers, had nothing there to lose, and therefore desired that the War should continue: These reasons so well fitted, agreed with the humour of many, who could not yet willingly quit their former hopes, nor did they displease the rest that wished for peace, hoping by standing out, to procure more reasonable conditions, and upon better terms to submit themselves to the Kings obedience: wherefore their drooping spirits being revived, and their first determination changed, all the Heads of the Fa­ction with one accord resolved to follow the Princes with an unshaken constancy, and to let themselves be governed by the prudence of the Admiral: After which agreement they dispatched messengers the same night into England and Germany, to give an ac­count of the Battel unto those Princes, and to demand new supplies of them; they gave notice to their Confederates in the several Provinces of all that had happened in the Battel; but at the same time comforted them with the like reasons, that they might not be disheartened; promising, that within three months they should have a greater and more powerful Army than the first: and then the Princes and the Admiral being withdrawn together, they determined to leave Poictòu, (not having force enough to defend it against a victorious Enemy there present) and to hold themselves to the defence of a few places, keeping Rochel, St. Iean d' Angely, and Angoulesme, Towns which by reason of their strength they thought might easily be maintained, and they with the remainder of their Souldiers, resolved to quit the plains of those Provinces, and leaving their baggage behind them, retire into the Mountains of Gascony, Auvergne, and Languedoc, thereby to hinder the Conquerour from following them so easily. Their design was to unite themselves with the Count of Montgomery, whom fortune seemed to have purposely made ready to piece up and recruit their broken forces; and being once joined with him, they hoped to shelter themselves in those Mountainous Countries, till the Queen of England and the Germans had time to send them assistance, wherewith being re-inforced, they were confident they should be able to regain in a few days all that the Catholicks could take in many months in the depth of Winter, which makes the assaulting of Towns so much more difficult.

They had moreover some concealed hopes in the Mareshal d' Anville, Governour of Languedoc, with whom they held secret intelligence, and found him very much in­clined to their affairs. Henry de Momerancy Mareshal d' Anville, whilst the Constable his Father lived, was always one of the chief of the Catholick Party, and an open Enemy to the Hugonot Faction, which was occasioned by his emulation of Francis Mareshal of Momorancy his Brother, who was an intimate friend to the Prince of Conde and Monsieur de Coligny his Kinsmen; and that which confirmed him in it, was the favour and esteem which he received from the Guises, who skilful in deep dissimula­tion, according as opportunity required, were diligent in trying all possible arts to hold him fast to their party, that by his means, as with the strictest bonds they might keep the Constable united to them, by whom, for his valour and greatness of mind, he was most tenderly beloved above his other children. The Queen-Mother feigned the same; for by the minority of her Son, finding her self necessitated to make the great ones her friends, she made use of the Mareshal d' Anville to keep her in good correspondence with the Constable; after whose death those reasons being taken [Page 165] away, neither did the Queen care to imploy d' Anville, no [...] did the Guises make such account of him, as they had done formerly; but rather as a branch of that Family, with which they had so long a continued enmity and emulation, they endeavoured to pull down and abase him; the arts and perswasions of the Cardinal of Lorain being suff [...]ciently powerful with the King to that effect. For which cause d' Anville having observed in what manner they dealt with him, and likewise the emulation between him and his Brother Momorancy ceasing after his Fathers death, angry that the dignity of Constable so long enjoyed by his Father was not conferred upon one of them, they having sued and made means divers times to procure it; he began in heart to draw near to the friends and kindred of his own Family, and privately by secret, but doubt­ful hopes, to keep the Admiral in a good opinion of him. This was the reason that he relieved not Monsieur de Terride in Bearn, when he might have done it, and the same motive induced him to slacken his proceedings against those places of the Hugo­nots in Gascony and Languedoc; and this inclination was greatly increased in him by seeing that the Admiral was old, and continually exposed to manifest dangers; where­fore if he should chance to die before the Princes were out of their minority, he hoped to succeed him in the Government, finding in himself neither want of judgment not courage to undergo the weight of that Imployment. To all these considerations were added the jealousies which not without reason he had conceived long before, left if the King and the Guises should come to extinguish the Princes, the Admiral, and all the Hugonot party, he should in the end turn to suppress the House of Momorancy, which would only be remaining of all the ancient emulous and suspected Families. All these things were well known to the wisdom of the Admiral, who moved by this hope and the other reasons formerly alledged, perswaded the Princes to follow his advice; so the resolution was setled to leave the plain, and retire among the Mountains bordering upon Languedoc, till such time as the supplies of their Confederates might give them a ca­pacity of rising to a more prosperous condition.

But lest the Conquerours meeting with no opposition, should have opportunity to follow and overtake them in the march they were to make, with tired horses, and men wearied and discouraged, they agreed to leave Monsieur de Muy at Niort, who by delaying the fury of the Conquerours for a day or two, might give them lei­sure without any impediment to arrive at the places they had appointed; with this re­solution, not trusting themselves to stay any longer at Partenay, they marched the same night very silently towards Ni [...]rt, where leaving Muy with the small remainder of the Foot that had escaped the slaughter, and only an hundred Horse, they continued with the same speed their intended Voyage. But the constancy of the Princes and their Commanders, was greater than the patience of the Souldiers and French Gentlemen; who being got to such a distance from the Catholick Camp, that they were freed from fear of being overtaken▪ began secretly to disband; part, because pillage and plunder ceasing, they had no longer wherewithal to maintain themselves; part, because their horses were so tired and spoiled with a whole years tedious service, that they were not able to march so fast as the Princes; and part, because much dejected by their many losses and mishaps, they were utterly out of hope ever to buoy up their ship­wrackt fortunes, or to restore the oppressed power of their party; and therefore to escape future dangers, some hid themselves in the Cities of Poictou and Xai [...]tonge, others avoiding the great high-ways, in disguised habits, and under many pretences, endea­voured to return to their own homes; so that before the Princes were come to Rochel, they were reduced to few more than nine hundred French Horse, besides two thousand Reiters, who wanting opportunity to return unto their own Country, followed them then, rather out of constraint, than affection. This disbanding of the French doubled their necessity of retiring to the Mountains, as well to shun the fury of the Conque­rours, as to gain more time to recruit their broken Army: for which end leaving at Rochel the Count de la Roch-fou-cault, and Monsieur de la Noue, who through the carelesness of those that kept him prisoner, had escaped the next day after the Bat­tel; Monsieur de Piles at St. Iean d' Angely, with all the Foot that could be drawn from their several Garisons; and at Angoulesine Monsieur de Pontivy, a Kinsman of the Queen of Navarre's, and bred up by her, they made long marches towards Mon­tauban. The Duke of Anjou reco­vers many places from the Hugonots.

In the mean time the Duke of Anjou (to whom since the Victory, Portenay, Lus [...]g­nan, Fontenay, Chastel-rault, and St. Maixen [...], had yielded themselves, besides all the [Page 166] other Towns and Castles in those parts) was drawn with his Army to Niort, which made shew of some resistance, and encamping there, began to plant his Artillery. Monsieur de Muy knowing that in his present condition it was more requisite to shew valour than strength, to amuse and delay the proceedings of the Enemy, with his Horse (though but a few) and a certain number of Foot sallied out boldly, and fell upon the Army as they were about to make their Quarters; which skirmish having lasted very hot and bloody till the evening, whilst he full of courage and good hopes was making his retreat into the Town, he was shot in the back by one of his own Souldiers, whereof he died a few days after, and Niort, whose defence consisted chiefly in his valour and experience, without further delay was yielded up; which example was followed by Xaintes, Cognac, Lusson, and all the other Cities, except only those three into which the Princes had put their Garisons.

The King and the Queen-Mother came about that time to the Army, and entering victorious into Niort, held a Council of War there concerning the prosecution of their good success: many pressed earnestly that the Duke of Anjou with the Army, or at least the greatest part of it, not losing the fruits of their Victory by delays, might fol­low the Princes and the Admiral, and pursue them without intermission, till he had either utterly suppressed them, or driven them quite out of the Kingdom; being cer­tain that the Root once cut up, the Branches would wither; and the Faction of the Hugonots, which so often had been pulled down, and built up again, the foundation being once destroyed, would suffer a total and final ruine. But many considerations opposed this advice; the season of the year, drawing towards the end of October, be­gan to bring such Snow and Frosts, as were hardly to be endured in the plains, much less in the sharpness of the Mountains; the barrenness of the Country where the Princes were retired, not yielding provisions for so great an Army; the narrowness of many passages where a few men might make head against any how great a number soever; the diseases which grew very frequent and mortal in the Camp; but above all, the want of Money necessary to maintain so great and so continued an expence; for, the Provinces every where being very much troubled and disquieted, the people up in Arms, the Cities sackt, the fields laid waste and desolate, the Kings Revenue in many places was shrunk almost to nothing; and the War being in so many several parts of the Kingdom, consumed that in a few days, which with much pains was ga­thered together in many months. For all these reasons (fomented perhaps by some particular interests) it was concluded that the care of prosecuting the Princes and the Admiral, should be committed to the Mareshal d' Anville Governour of Languedoc, whose designs were yet undiscovered, and to Monsieur de Monluc Lieutenant General in Gas­cogny, who with the Forces of those Provinces were to endeavour their final ruine and destruction; judging that in those barren, narrow, and mountainous places, what could not be done by the Forces of the Country, which were many, could neither be effected by a greater number, which being an hinderance to themselves, in the streight­ness and scarcity of those parts, would rather be troublesom than advantageous. And at the same time they resolved, that the Duke of Anjou with the Army, should be em­ployed about the recovery of those places which were held by the Hugonots in Poictou and Xaintonge, to deprive them utterly of that nest, wherein they had setled the hopes and laid the foundation of their Faction, which being destroyed, they would have neither place remaining which were proper to assemble themselves, nor means or power to gather Forces that could be considerable to renew the War.

According to this resolution, the King in person, with the Queen-Mother and the Duke of Anjou, laid siege to St. Iean d' Angely, a place of small circuit, but excellently fortified,Monsieur de Piles defends S. Iean d'An­gely 46 days, and after yields it upon honourable conditions. and furnished with all necessary provisions; wherein was Armand Sieur de Piles, with all the remainder of the Hugonot Infantry: and though the Duke of An­jou (who governed the Army, albeit the King was present) spared neither pains nor danger, making terrible Batteries, and frequent, though bloody, Assaults, Piles made good the Town for the space of six and forty days: after which, not having the least hopes of relief, he gave it up with honourable conditions, and had a safe conduct for himself and his men to Angoulesme, having given his word not to serve the Princes in that War, during the time of four months; which promise, under many pretences, was not so really observed by him.

After the taking of St. Iean d' Angely, according to the first resolution, the Army should have proceeded to the siege of Rochelle, which besides being in a manner blocked [Page 167] up by Land, by the loss of all the places about it, was also besieged by Sea, by the Kings Navy, which under the command of the Baron de la Garde Vice-Admiral, was come from Provence into the Ocean Sea. But the end of December drew near; the Army in the siege of St. Iean was very much decreased both in strength and number, there having been killed above four thousand Souldiers, besides Monsieur de Martigues a Commander of great valour and reputation: The Pope and the King of Spain had recalled their supplies, as if the business had been perfectly finished, and the War ab­solutely ended by the Victory at Moncontour; and, which imported most of all, the Duke of Anjou by continual pains and watchings, which were far above the endurance of either his age or constitution, being fallen into an indisposition of stomach which threatned worse, sought rather for cure and rest, than any new important occasion that required toil and sufferance; for which reasons the Council being of opinion, that Ro­chelle, so streightned almost on all sides, and deprived of all hope of relief, would in the end render it self; Francis of Bourbon Prince of Daulphine, Son to the Duke of Montpensier, was left to command the Army, which was exceedingly diminished, in Xaintonge, and the King with the Queen, and the Duke of Anjou, at the very begin­ning of the year 1570. retired to Angiers, disbanding a great part of their Army,1570. which for the want of money, and in the depth of Winter,In the begin­ning of the year, the King disbands part of his Army; which advice in the end proves very hurtful. could not have been main­tained without much difficulty. Some have been of opinion, that this resolution, which by the event appeared to have been most pernicious, was propounded and de­termined by the Duke of Anjou, partly through a desire of rest, and a mind to enjoy the pleasures of the Court, to which he was above measure inclined; and partly be­cause he thought it not advantageous to his affairs, that by the total ruine of the Prin­ces, the War should be put to a final end; during which, all the Kings forces, and the principal Command over them, were in his power; which there would no longer be occasion for him to exercise, when by the extirpation of the Hugonots the King­dom was once reduced to a firm and setled peace; which if it were true, it con­cerned him more nearly than any body else, in the process of time to repent so great an errour.

In the mean time the Princes and the Admiral, (who if they had been close followed from the first, would very probably have been destroyed) after that according to their first wish, they saw the Army busied before St. Iean d' Angely, went into the confines of Montauban, where the Prince of Navarre at the age of sixteen years, surpassing himself and the expectation that was conceived of him, with his Authority, Industry and Intreaties, sollicited and armed the Nobility and people of those parts, among whom the Kings of Navarre his Ancestors had very great dependencies, by the neigh­bourhood and near alliances which in some years past they had contracted in those Provinces; to which authority and diligence of the Prince, the Admiral joining his wisdom and experience, they had got within a few weeks above three thousand Foot to follow their colours, with which, plundering all the Country,The Hugonots not being opposed, do great outrages and rise with considerable forces. and giving up all things both sacred and profane to the free pillage of the Souldiers, they continued daily increasing and recruiting their Forces: There business being in this condition, the Count of Montgomery came with two thousand Foot and eight hundred Horse, all brave and valiant Souldiers, and quartered at Condom, whilst the Princes and the Ad­miral having passed the Dordogne at St. Marie, went to try Agen, and the other Cities of Gascony; and though Monsieur de Monluc, by breaking a Mill on the upper part of the River, and letting it drive down the stream, had beaten to pieces the Bridge which they had made, and divided the Armies from one another; yet not having strength to fight with either, the Count Montgomery his Forces passed over nevertheless in Boats, and joined with the Princes, whereby their Army grown powerful and considerable, they were absolute Masters of the Field, and over-ran all those Countries without op­position. At the same time they had by the means of their adherents (besides many other places) surprised Nismes, a principal City of Languedoc, which afforded them an exceeding great conveniency of refreshing themselves; for though the King had given strict Commissions, and had also sent thither Monsieur de la Valette, a man of eminent valour and fidelity, with a good strength of Horse; yet did not his Officers oppose their progress and incursions, because the Mareshal d' Anville, though he thought it not wisdom to lay open his intentions unseasonably, the Hugonots being in such an ebb of fortune, yet he desired they should rise again and recover new Forces; for which cause he cunningly gave them many opportunities to arm and strengthen [Page 168] themselves, and keeping close in the City of Tholouse upon pretended doubts of the Citizens fidelity, he permitted them to make Insurrections, and to pillage all the Country round about; and Monsieur de Monluc, and Monsieur de la Valette, bitter Enemies of the Princes Faction, who for their own honours desired to suppress those reliques of the Hugonots, without the help of d' Andille, were too weak to execute their designs.By reason of a conspiracy discovered against the Queen of Eng­land; the Hu­gonots despair of help from from thence; whereupon a Treaty is be­gun, but not concluded. But for all these advantages, the Princes and the Admiral were in very great perplexity of mind, because they had received news from England, That by reason of the discovery of some intended conspiracy against the Queens Person, that Kingdom was in such distraction, that they could not expect much help from thence; besides, they found not that readiness which they had imagined in the Princes of Ger­many, and they knew that Nation could not move, to come into the Kingdom with­out a good sum of money, to raise and furnish their Army: They saw likewise that the Prince of Orange, who was sent to solllicite the Protestants, was a great deal more careful of the Low-Country affairs (wherein he had a very great interest) than of the business of France, wherein he was not so much concerned: whereby finding themselves destitute of moneys, and unprovided of all other things, without other means of living than what they got by rapine, which already was grown very scarce, every one having conveyed their goods into the strong Cities; their horses tired and lamed, not having so much as means to shooe them; for which cause they had lost above four hundred of them by the way: they foresaw that at last they must necessa­rily be ruined and destroyed by the Kings Forces, against whom in the end they could not possibly make resistance, though for a few months they might be able to defend themselves. For these reasons the Princes with a desire to conclude, but the Admiral only to gain time, by the means of the Queen of Navarre, began to introduce a Treaty of Peace, and to that end with great humility and submission, sent Monsieur de Beau­vais, and Monsieur de Teligny to Court, with a safe conduct, who nevertheless pro­pounded conditions very far different from what the King intended to grant; (who holding himself as Conquerour, pretended they should submit themselves wholly to his mercy) so they were sent away without any hope of agreement; but they ob­tained, That Monsieur de Byron should go back with them to the Princes Army, to know their final determination; who returned to the Court, with nothing but ge­neral terms; matters not being yet ripe, nor the Princes resolution setled for any con­clusion.

But in the beginning of Spring-time, Fortune varying (as the chance of War useth to be uncertain) the state of affairs varied also: for the Princes having past the sharp­ness of the Winter in Languedoc with five or six thousand Foot, and two thousand five hundred Horse, (for toil and hard duty had brought the Reiters to the number of but one thousand two hundred) were come down from the Mountains to the banks of the Rhosne, to enlarge themselves in a more fertile the Country: the greatest difficulty they had there, was to pass the River; for Monsieur des Gordes the Kings Lieutenant in Daulphine, had placed himself there with a considerable strength, to hinder them: yet Monsieur de Mombrun knowing the Country very well, found means to pass over his Regiment in boats, unknown to the Catholicks, and defeated them who advanced in disorder to fight with him; in the heat of which Victory having made a Sconce close by the River, Count Lodowick under favour of it, passed over first, and at last the Princes with all the Army;The Admiral being sick, is carried along with the Army in a Litter. and the Admiral, who sick of a malignant Feaver, made himself be carried, almost half dead, in an open Litter. Being past the Rhosne, and come into the Country of Forests, thence into Beurbonis and the Dutchy of Nevers, sacking and spoiling all they could, they endeavoured to draw near to la Cha­rite, and the places adjoining, which yet held of their party, not only to re-inforce themselves by the addition of those Germans, but also to supply their want of Powder, and other Ammunition, whereof their store was totally exhausted, and without which their Arms seemed to no purpose. Their design was, when they were recruited, and provided with those necessaries which they wanted, to over-run and pillage the Coun­tries about Paris, to open to themselves, by that last attempt, some way to a better and more tolerable state of fortune, remembring that the Hugonots had never ob­tained advantageous conditions of agreement, but when they had made the seat of the War in the heart of the Catholick party, and brought both fear and damage unto the City of Paris it self, whose danger and jealousie had always extorted an assent to peace from those that bore the sway in the Government: But if they could not grow [Page 169] to a strength sufficient for the execution of that design, they resolved to repass the Loire, and return into their old nest Xaintonge; where since the departure of the Duke of Anjou, they heard the state of their affairs was not a little amended; for Monsieur de la Noue with admirable conduct, and no less valour, sallying out of Rochelle, had recovered many places near unto it, given a great defeat to Pugalliard one of the Kings Commanders, taken one of the Gallies of the Fleet, and over-running all the Country, ceased not sometimes by cunning surprizes, sometimes by open force to improve the condition of his party; and though (giving a sudden assault to Fountenay) he had re­ceived a shot in the arm, for which it was necessarily to be cut off, yet being cured, and returned to the exercise of Arms fiercer than before, he kept the whole Country in fear and trouble.

The King by this means seeing the War renewed contrary to his expectation, and and the Duke of Anjou's sickness still continuing, (for which cause he was gone to St. Germains a place of pleasure few miles distant from Paris) was constrained to put his Army again in posture to oppose the Princes, and as soon as it was in order,The Duke of Anjou being sick, the Army is commanded by the Mare­shal de C [...]sse, who inclining to Calvin's Doctrine, makes no pro­gress against the Hugonots. he unadvisedly resolved to give the Command thereof to the Mareshal de Cosse; for (not daring to put it in the hands those Subjects, who for greatness, power, adherents, or animosity, were very much suspected by him) he trusted it to a person, who not at all digressing from his wonted inclinations, gave greater opportunities to the Enemy; for inclining to Calvin's Doctrine in his heart, he was nothing forward in prosecuting the Princes of the Blood; and being a man of a slow heavy nature, his intention was only to hinder the Hugonots from getting foot in those Provinces which they aimed at, but not at all to venture the hazard of a Battel, and much less totally to suppress that party, as he easily might have done, finding the Princes far inferiour to him in strength, without Cannon, without Victual, without Money, and their Souldiers with long mar­ches quite wearied and disheartned, having gone above three hundred leagues in the space of a few months. This counsel was attributed by many to the Duke of Anjou, who by reason of his indisposition not being able, or for some private ends not willing to make a perfect end of the War, would have been displeased that another should enjoy the glory, and reap the fruits of his labours; wherefore rendring all the other Princes and Souldiers suspected to the King, he caused the enterprise to be committed to one, who he was confident would make no great progress in it.

The Princes were come to Rene-le-Duc a weak Town in Burgundy, with a purpose to take and sack it, as they were necessitated to do, to relieve and feed their Souldiers, when the Mareshal de Cosse arrived with his Army, wherein were six thousand Swisses, and as many French Foot, twelve pieces of Cannon, and little less than four thousand Horse; there was no doubt to men of understanding, but that fighting upon equal terms, the Princes would have the worst, so great was the difference both in the num­ber and vigour of their Forces; but the Mareshal proceeding slowly according to his resolution, carried himself with so much caution in the business, as gave them time and opportunity to possess themselves of a place, strong and advantageous enough to sup­ply the defect of their weakness; for putting themselves in order, they fronted to­wards a small River, having a great Wood behind them, and lining the Hedges and Vineyards with their Foot, their Horses were divided into many Squadrons, and set in the fittest places to defend themselves, and receive their Enemies; where they su­stained the skirmish (though hot and furious) all the day without much loss, after which trial of the Hugonots valour and constancy, the Kings Army proceeding so much the more warily, the Mareshal either through the slowness of his own nature, or through his secret determination letting the Enemy still gain the advantage of ground, went prolonging the event of things, perchance out of a belief, that the benefit of time would without danger force the Enemy to take some new deliberation; or else out of desire that necessity should force the King to hearken and consent unto a peace. Now were the Princes slack in making use of these advantages, which his connivence of­fered them; for the Prince of Navarre commanding the Army in stead of the Admi­ral, (who being recovered of his dangerous sickness, was now gathering strength) laid hold of these opportunities with so much quickness and circumspection, that fighting and skirmishing often, he still retired into places of advantage, and maintaing his re­putation with exceeding art, he made as if he would give their whole Army Battel, but yet avoided the Encounter, supplying his want of force by wary cunning resolu­tions. But as soon as the Queen-Mother by many probable conjectures, found that [Page 170] the Mareshal de Cosse of the one side, and the Mareshal d' Anville on the other, con­cealed some secret purpose in their minds,Through sus­pition of the Mareshal de C [...]ss [...] and d' Anville, the Treaty is re­newed. which was not hard for a Woman of so great wisdom to discover, having made her Sons acquainted with it, she began to perswade them to lend their Ear to an Accommodation; knowing, that through the perfidiousness of Men, and through the interressed dependencies of great Ones, the War was managed with great danger. This advice was much forwarded by the news out of Germany, where they began already to raise Forces under Prince Casimir in fa­vour of the Hugonots; besides the scarcity, or rather necessity of money, whereof there was so great want, that they knew not how to find any means to clear the ar­rears of the Swisses and Italians, who were many pays behind; the ruines of the Countries and people, the smalness of the Kings Revenue wasted almost to nothing, the perpetual and general disquietness of mind, the abundance of blood which was shed daily, were all no small inducements to the same, having made the War so odious to every one, and the name of Peace so lovely and desirable. Wherefore the King, the Queen-Mother, the Duke of Anjou, and the Cardinal of Lorain being pri­vately met together, resolved to follow the old and so often interrupted counsels, and grant a Peace unto the Hugonots, to free the Kingdom of strangers, and then by op­portunity and artifices, to suppress the Heads of the Faction, who once removed out of the way, there was no doubt but the common people, who were only moved by their instigation, would yield of themselves, and be reduced to perfect obedience. By these proceedings, they hoped to attain those ends, which the falseness of the great Ones would not suffer to be accomplished by force: a counsel often propounded, of­ten received, but which (through the difficulty of execution, or infidelity of those employed) had always failed of the happy desired success.

Nor were the minds of the Princes averse from Peace, provided it were joined with their liberty and security; for they saw themselves in all things reduced to ex­tremity; Count Volrade with his Reiters, who while they were in those remoter Pro­vinces had been quiet and obedient, now that they were upon the confines of Germany, began to talk of leaving them: only the Admiral, constant to his own intentions, disswaded and avoided Peace as much as possibly he could; but now being brought to necessity, he was fain to yield perforce to those counsels, which were most oppo­site to his nature and resolution. Both parties therefore consenting to embrace an Agreement,The Peace is concluded and published, but full of jealou­sies. and the same Beauvais and Teligny being sent again to Court, and with them Monsieur de la Chassetiere the Prince of Navarre's Secretary, upon the eleventh day of August the Peace was concluded, wherein besides Liberty of Conscience, the publick profession of the Reformed Religion, and pardon of all things past, with the accustomed clauses inserted in the former Treaties with the Hugonots, the King gave leave to the Princes and the Admiral to stay, for their security, either at Rochelle, Cog­nac, la Charite, or Montauban, which places they promised within the space of two years to give up to his Majesties Obedience, provided the Articles of Peace were obser­ved, which were after published, and registred in the Parliaments. The Princes and the Admiral, when at the confines of Burgundy they had dismissed Count Volrade of Mansfield and the Reiters (whereof few remained of so great a number) without ever going to the Court, or so much as appearing in the Kings presence, went streight to Rochelle, not only to consult with the Queen of Navarre, concerning matters that ap­pertained to their common interests, but also for their better security to dwell there, and fortifie themselves.

But the Peace being concluded and established, (though full of fears and jealousies from the very first, as appeared plainly by the determination of the Princes and the Admiral not to go to the Court) the engines framed in the mind of the King and Queen, to bring the principal Hugonots into the net, began to move, and to work that by policy, which so often attempted by the means of War, had always proved fruitless and dangerous. And though these very stratagems had been formerly put in practice, and still produced very little or no benefit, either because treacherous Mini­sters had revealed them, or because the Queen had carried her self with too much cau­tion and respect, or because the Hugonot Princes had always mistrusted her nature and designs; yet now they hoped a more full and prosperous issue, because these secret practices were not managed by any but such as were deeply engaged, and the King himself also lent a hand to the work, who being now come to the age of two and twenty, of a resolute nature, a spirit full of resentment, and above all, an absolute [Page 171] dissembler, did of himself, though by the advice of his Mother, manage the business of the Government; whereby matters proceeded not only with more efficacy and se­curity, but also with more wary and powerful counsels. The principal difficulty was, to beget a confidence in the Hugonot Lords, and from those jealousies which possest them, to bring them to such an assurance as might make them venture to come un­armed to the Court; for which cause (it being necessary to begin at the end) the King and Queen-Mother imparting their private thoughts only to the Duke of Anjou, the Cardinal of Lorain, the Duke of Guise, and Alberto Gondi Count of Retz, (who be­cause greatly favoured, and from a small fortune exalted to a considerable estate, was very much trusted, and very faithful to them) they dispatched strict Commissions to all Magistrates and Governours of Provinces, for the executing and observing the Ar­ticles of Peace, in favour of the Hugonots, to whom they sent as far as Rochelle, the Mareshal de Cosse, who was now discovered to incline to their party, giving him not only authority to interpret, and to make the Edict to be fulfilled, in those places where it was doubtful and obscure, but also most ample command to assure the Princes and the Admiral of the Kings favour, and sincere intentions to observe his promises totally and inviolably: Nor were his actions different from his words; for the King being minded to grant the Hugonots all possible satisfaction, with severe Orders punished the Insurrections of the Catholicks, (which in Provence, Daulphine and Normandy, were many against the Hugonot Ministers) and in things doubtful, inclined always to inter­pret the Edict graciously to their advantage: on the other side, shewing himself to­ward the Catholick party, either too sharply severe, or of a disposition very little fa­vourable. By which demonstrations he not only setled the minds of the common peo­ple, but even the Admiral himself, who was most obstinate in not believing, and firmly resolved not to trust them, began to conceive some hope, that the King, weary of the distractions and dangers of a Civil War, beginning now to govern of himself, and not by the counsels of his Mother, might at last desire sincerely to preserve and esta­blish the Accommodation.

But to make the greater proof, and penetrate more deeply into the Kings intentions, the Princes and the Admiral having conferred of many things with the Mareshal de Cosse, dispatched to Court Teligny, Briquemaut, and Arnauld Cavagnes a Senator of the Parliament of Tholouse, and a principal Counsellor of the Admirals, to represent their many grievances to the King, and chiefly to insist, That the Cardinal of Lorain, and the Guises might be put from the management of affairs of State; shewing, that while matters of the Government were swayed and administred by them, they could not believe the agreement of peace would long continue; nor did right require, that coming to the Court, where those Lords remained with so great authority, they should put their safety into the hands of their bitter enemies. With these they joined many other demands; That the High Chancellor de l' Hospital should be recalled to the execution of his place: That the Marquess de Villars (whose election to be Admiral was void by vertue of the Agreement) might not be Lieutenant to the Prince of Navarre in the Government of Guienne; but that the Prince might have leave to chuse such a one as he liked, Villars being no way acceptable to him, and most to be suspected by the Admiral of Chastillon: That the Prince of Conde might have the Castle of Vallery restored to him, then in possession of the Lords of Achon, who pretended a right unto it: That the Bastard of Navarre might have the Bishoprick of Cominges, already destined to one of the sons of Monsieur de Lansac: That the Queen of Navarre might have free dominion in her Country of Armagnac, where she might exercise her Jurisdiction without con­troul: Which things (especially the abasement of the House of Lorain) were pro­pounded not so much for any hope they had to obtain them, (being neither included nor named in the Accommodation) as out of a desire, by the effects thereof, to find out more clearly the intentions of the King, and the designs of the Queen-Mother.

These Lords arrived in a time when the Court was wholly taken up with the Cele­bration of the Kings Nuptials; who desirous of issue,Charles the IX. marrieth Isa­bella the daughter of Maximilian the Emperour, Anno 1570. had taken to Wife the Lady Isa­bella, second daughter of the Emperour Maximilian of Austria: and amongst those Feasts and Triumphs, these complaints, rather than pretensions of the Hugonot Lords, were treated of; which were favoured with much efficacy by the Ambassadors of the German Princes, who being come to congratulate the Kings Marriage, exhorted him earnestly to observe and maintain peace, which their Princes had learned by experi­ence could not be kept, but by full Liberty of Conscience, and by a sincere and confi­dent [Page 172] Union between the Prince and all his Subjects. The King and Queen-Mother knew very well that these complaints and Propositions had no other ground nor end than to discover their intentions, and to search into the bottom of their designs; and therefore purposing to amuse the Hugonots by the same arts wherewith they themselves were sounded, after some weak denial, not to give them greater suspicion by a too easie willingness, they consented to many of the demands, and artificially gave pro­bable hopes of yielding to the rest. To the Queen of Navarre they granted liberty of disposing all things in the County of Armagnac, by Laws and Ordinances after her own mind. They for a while suspended the Commission, and delayed the sending of the Marquess de Villars into Guienna, reserving themselves to treat thereof more parti­cularly with the Prince of Navarre. They granted many profits and Ecclesiastical re­venues unto the Bastard; promised the restitution of Vallery to the Prince of Conde; but excused themselves by the age of the Chancellour de l' Hospital, not thinking his many years, and weak constitution, able to undergo such a weight and multiplicity of business; and as concerning the Lords of the House of Lorain, which was the highest and most difficult proposition, they shewed a seeming desire of consenting to the Hu­gonots, but with the opportunity of occasions which time should offer, it not being just or reasonable, nor peradventure safe, to deprive them all at once (without any cause) of those Honours and Offices which they so long had possessed and executed. Notwithstanding the King with effectual discourses, alledged to the Commissioners, that the Government now consisted chiefly in himself: and though the Lords of the House of Lorain enjoyed some Offices in the Court, yet he would order them accor­ding to his own mind, nor did he suffer himself to be guided by any other person what­soever; wherefore the Princes of Bourbon, the Admiral, and the rest of their party, needed not fear to suffer any prejudice by the authority of their Adversaries, who though they continued at Court, did now live there as Subjects, not as Masters, having no power to do any thing more than duty and reason permitted, not daring to meddle with those matters to which they were not called.

With these Treaties on every side full of deep dissimulation, began the year 1571: in the beginning whereof the Commissioners returning to Rochelle, 1571. carried back the Conditions they had obtained, and many interpretations of the Edict touching the exercise of Religion, all favourable to their party; wherewith the Princes being satis­fied, and in part also the Queen of Navarre, only the Admiral remained doubtful and incredulous till he saw more real demonstrations. But the King and the Queen desi­rous once to accomplish their determinations, resolved to make use of more powerful Engines, and to try more secure efficacious means to induce the Hugonot Lords to come to Court: wherefore having sent to Rochelle Monsieur de Byron, (who from Field-Mareshal, was for his great valour made General of the Artillery) they propounded to the Queen of Navarre (for the better establishment and confirmation of the ancient Consanguinity and present Peace concluded with her) that the Lady Marguerite the Kings Sister, should be given in Marriage to her Son the Prince of Navarre, after which conjunction, there would be no more cause to doubt of the love and concord between them, nor of those prerogatives and honours which as first Prince of the Blood did justly belong unto him, nor would any body be so bold as dare to interpose, or sowe dissention between two so near Allies: They propounded to the Admiral and the Count of Nassau, (who for his security remained with the rest at Rochelle) that the King, desirous at last to make an end of Civil Broils, seeing that by reason of the warlike nature of his people, he could not so easily do it, without beginning at fo­reign War, to busie the minds and employ the forces of his Souldiers, had resolved in revenge of those many injuries received, to make War with the King of Spain against the Low-Countries, which were full of Commotions, and ready to receive the Go­vernment of any other Prince, and therefore not knowing any more faithful Coun­sellors, or more proper instruments for that business, than the Admiral and the Count of Nassau, (so principal a man banished out of those Countries) he desired both of them to come to Court, that he might communicate his designs with them, and take that resolution which by common consent should appear best grounded and most pro­fitable. The King and the Queen believed (as it was true) that the hope of this War would work sensibly upon the Admiral, and therefore gave order to treat more effectu­ally upon that than any other particular. These things were propounded very dis­creetly by Monsieur de Byron, who though in the War by his great valour and industry, [Page 173] he had done much harm to the Hugonot Faction; yet by his counsels in the Treaties of Peace, he had shewed himself very favourable to their interests, perhaps through a secret envy which many at that time bore to the greatness of the Duke of Guise and the Cardinal of Lorain, who in that very conjuncture of time, having agreed secretly with the King, seemed to be very ill satisfied with the conclusion of the Peace, and the favours done to the Hugonots; but much more because the Duke of Guise, having from his childhood conceived hopes to obtain in marriage the Lady Marguerite, the Kings Sister, and to that end had long courted and served her, now saw her destined to the Prince of Navarre his Enemy: and it was true, that the Duke of Guise had been many years very much in love with the Lady Marguerite and no less beloved by her again; whereupon it was commonly believed, that there was not only a particular friendship between them, but that already they had with reciprocal promises contracted them­selves together secretly: but whether the ardour of the Duke of Guise's affection were in part abated, (as it often happens that men who are easily enamoured, as easily for­get their passion, and prove unconstant) or that governed by the counsel of his Uncle, he preferred his own greatness, and the Admirals ruine, before all other considerati­ons; yielding at that time to the Kings desires, he consented privately that the Lady Marguerite should marry the Prince of Navarre, but in outward appearance shewing himself infinitely offended and troubled at it, he increased the satisfaction and confidence of the Hugonot Lords: and the King with the like dissimulation (a quality wherein he much excelled) seemed many times unsatisfied even with the Government of the Queen his Mother, of whom he knew the Hugonots were not a little mistrustful, and much more did he seem displeased with the Duke of Anjou his Brother; and to shew an open desire by some occasion to get him from the Court, he had moved the Admiral that by the means of Monsieur de Beauvais his Brother (who had been Cardinal, and lived then in England) there might be a treaty of marrriage begun, between the Duke of Anjou and Queen Elizabeth, with certain Conditions belonging to the matter, and exercise of Religion; which they did not so much with hope to conclude it, (for the Queens disposition was sufficiently known to encline but little to the yoke of Matrimony, and to the Government of a stranger Husband) as partly to beget more assurance in the minds of the Hugonots; partly to shew a desire of putting the Duke of Anjou as far as possibly could be from the Government of the Kingdom; partly also out of a suspi­cion that the Queen of England (the minds of women being variable) might per­chance agree to marry with the Prince of Navarre, who was of her own Religion, and upon whom she might impose such Laws and Conditions as she pleased, which would strengthen the Hugonot party with new interests, and more powerful assistance; for which cause the Duke of Anjou was propounded, that in case she resolved to marry, she might have occasion to make choice of him, not only because he was a greater Prince, but also of greater reputation, and riper years, and which best might suit with the Queens inclinations of a person most exactly handsom. And because the Lady Mar­guerite not considering the interests of State, but led wholly by her own affection, re­fused any other Husband but the Duke of Guise, it happened that one night when there was a Ball, he coming into the great Hall gallantly attired, and adorned with exceed­ing rich Jewels, (the grace of all which received an addition from his affable behaviour and noble carriage) the King, who stood at the door, (without shewing any of his accustomed favours) asked him, Whither he went? to which he answering,The Kings an­swer to the Duke of Guise, The Duke of Guise resolves to marry Ka­therine de Cleves. That he came to serve his Majesty; the King replyed, That he had no need of his service; which, whether it was spoken in jest or earnest, touched him so to the quick, that the next day he resolved to take to Wife Katherine de Cleves, Sister to the Dutchess of Ne­vers, and Widow to the Prince of Porcien, who, though of very noble Blood, and en­riched with a plentiful Dowry, was in every respect, but especially in beauty, much in­feriour to the Kings Sister: but his ambition of governing, and desire to revenge his Fathers death, the perswasions of his Uncle, and chiefly fear to offend the King, were more powerful with him than any other considerations whatsoever.

These practices were carried with so much efficacy and dissimulation, that not only most part of the Hugonot Lords were perswaded of their reality, but the Pope himself began to grow jealous of them; for the King and the Queen his Mother, for fear they should be discovered, had not imparted to any body those their so secret counsels: whereupon the Pope, doubtful of their proceedings, did not only deny to give a Dis­pensation for the Marriage between the Prince of Navarre and the Kings Sister, but [Page 174] also sent Commission to his Nephew Cardinal Alessandrino, then his Legat in Spain, to go with all possible speed to the Court of France, to break the Treaty of that Match, and to perswade the King to renew the War with the Hugonots. Nor was King Philip without suspicion of the French designs; for he saw that many ships rigg'd and mann'd in the port of Rochel, the King allowing, or not opposing it, made incursions into the Indies, and the coasts of Spain; he perceived also a gathering together of Souldiers about the confines of Picardy; who under Hugonot Captains, gave out that they were to go into the Low-Countries to assist the Prince of Orange, with the other Lords and people there up in Arms; for which causes, besides having made complaint at the Court of France, whereto he only got ambiguous general answers; he exhorted the Legat Alessandrino to be exceeding careful to sound and discover the intentions of the King of France. The Duke of Savoy grows suspicious of the Admiral for having against his will married Madam d' An­tramont, a Savoyard. But the Duke of Savoy was in greater trouble: for besides the same jealousies which gave suspicion to the others, it fell out about that time, that the Ad­miral being left a Widower by the death of Charlotte de la Val his first Wife, married Madam d' Antramont, a very rich Lady of his Country, who contrary to the Dukes will and command, was gone to Rochel to consummate the Marriage, desirous (as she said) to be second Martia of that second Cato: for which reason the Duke greatly fear­ed, lest the Admiral, so great and politick a Contriver, should by help of the near­ness of Geneva, kindle the same fire in Savoy that he had done in the Kingdom of France.

But these respects slackened not the proceedings, nor interrupted the counsels of the King and Queen-Mother, being assured that the conclusion would at last satisfie all the world of their intentions: Wherefore, persevering in their resolution they had taken, they purposed to go to Blois, that being in a place so much nearer, they might more conveniently treat with the Princes that were at Rochel, amongst whom were various opinions; for Count Lodowick (as banished men are commonly inclined to hope, and as one who had less offended, and was less engaged to the King than any of the rest) was willing to go to Court, to sollicite and resolve upon the War which the King made shew to desire against the Spaniards: but the Queen of Navarre, and the Ad­miral, who by their consciousness of things past, measured their prognosticks, of the future, were still averse and doubtful; neither willingly consenting to the Princes Mar­riage, nor to the journey to Court. Wherefore Count Lodowick called, and encou­raged by the King, took a resolution to go thither alone, but very privately, to ne­gotiate his own business by himself, to settle a safe coming for the rest, and to ripen those designs which with so much approbation he nourished in his mind, of the Hu­gonots desired enterprise against Flanders. Wherefore departing from Rochel with only two in his company, giving out that he went to his Brother the Prince of Orange, when he was a few miles distant from the Town, he took post, and arrived by night secretly at the Court: where being received with many demonstrations of favour and affection, he treated confidently with the King himself, not assisted by any of his Coun­cil, concerning the propositions of his party; for Charles, the better to increase a confidence in them, continuing to make shew of governing his Kingdom by counsels very different from those which his Mother had followed during his minority. The conclusions of which meeting were, That the Prince of Navarre should have the Lady Marguerite in Marriage, with 400000 Duckets; whereof 300000 should be paid by the King, and sufficient security given for them; the rest to be paid by the Queen his Mother, and the Dukes of Anjou and Alencon his Brothers; That the Low-Country design against the Spaniards, should be put in practice with all speed; in which War Count Lodowick should go before, and order matters with those that were banished out of Flanders, and the Admiral should be Captain-General of the enterprize; con­cerning which consultations, he was presently to come to Court, having liberty for the guard of his Person to keep about him fifty Gentlemen, that might wear all kinds of arms, even in the City of Paris, or wheresoever else the Court should be; and that to gratifie Count Lodowick, the Kings Garison and Government should be drawn out of the City of Orange, and left free to the Prince his Brother, who might absolutely dis­pose of it and his Subjects as he pleased, the King not medling in the Government or Superiority to which he had pretended; which things, with many other of less moment, being granted and established, Count Lodowick returned to Rochel to perswade the Queen of Navarre and the Admiral to come to Court; and the King departing from Blois, went into the Countries about Paris, where feigning only to intend hunt­ing, [Page 175] and other youthful pleasures, he gave time leave to ripen the counsels which had been taken to procure that meeting; for the facilitating whereof, the Cardinal of Lo­rain, the Duke of Guise, and his Brothers, seeming angry and troubled for the ho­nours and favours which the King so liberally granted to all those of the Hugonot Faction, left the Court; and the King, either shewing himself unsatisfied with them, or little to regard them and their merits; received nearer to his person, and into a more eminent degree of managing the affairs of State, the Mareshals of Momorancy and Cosse; both partial to, and by nearness of blood and friendship interessed with the Princes and the Admiral: wherefore the Duke of Montpensier, who had newly married one of the Duke of Guise's Sisters, shewing the same dislike with the rest of the kindred, was also gone from Court, as likewise the Prince of Daulphine his Son.

But about that time the Kings designs which with so much care and diligence had been kept secret, were like unexpectedly to have been discovered. The Duke of Anjou did much favour, and was very familiar with Monsieur de Ligneroles, a young Gentleman of very acute wit, and high spirit, who often discoursing intimately with the Duke of the present state of affairs, induced him at last to impart the Kings most secret designs to him; partly, because he was most confident of his fidelity; partly, to hear his opinion upon so important a business, and to receive his advice and counsel in that, as he was wont in many other things: Ligneroles by means of his favour being grown into such esteem, that the Queen-Mother, the Duke of Guise, and even the King himself made great account of his wit and courage. He being one day in the Chamber with the King, who much displeased at the high insolent demands of some of the Hugonot Lords after he had dismissed them with shew of favour, letting loose his anger, and laying aside dissimulation, shewed some tokens of being extreamly of­fended; either moved with ambition to appear not ignorant of the nearest secrets, or with the lightness incident to youth, which often over-shoots discretion, told the King in his ear, that his Majesty ought to quiet his mind with patience, and laugh at their insolence and temerity; for within a few days, by that meeting which was almost ripe, he would have brought them all into the net, and punished them at his own plea­sure: with which words the Kings mind being struck in the most tender sensible part, he made shew not to understand his meaning, and retired into his private lodgings; where, full of anger, grief and trouble, he sent to call the Count de Retz, thinking that he, who was likewise familiar with Ligneroles, had revealed this secret to him; and with sharp injurious words reproached him with the honours and benefits he had conferred upon him, threatning to take vengeance on that perfidiousness, wherewith forgetful of so great favours, he had betrayed him, and discovered his most secret in­tentions; but the Count constantly denying it, and offering to be shut up in prison till the truth were known, he called the Queen-Mother, and complained grievously to her, that she had made known those thoughts which he with such patience, and constraint of his own mind, forcing his nature, had so long dissembled: to which words the Queen smiling answered, That she needed not to learn the art of secresie from him, and that he should look whether by his own impatience he had not disco­vered something of that, which he thought to be revealed by others▪ the King (as he was exceeding cholerick) fretting and storming very impatiently, sent at last for the Duke of Anjou; who, without further urging, confessed freely, that he had imparted the business to Ligneroles, but withal assured them they needed not fear, that he would ever open his lips to discover so weighty a secret. No more he shall not, answered the King for I will take order that he shall be dispatched before he have time to pub­lish it. The Duke of Anjou either not daring to oppose that so sudden, resolute de­termination, or else angry at the lightness of Ligneroles, and for fear of the worst not caring to divert it; the King sent to call George de Villequier Viscount of Guerchy, who (as Masters are seldom ignorant how their Servants stand affected) he knew bear a se­cret emulous hatred to Ligneroles, Ligneroles kil­led by the Kings com­mand for shewing that he knew that which the King desired keep secret. and commanded him by all means to endeavour the taking away of his life that very day; with which resolution the King presently ta­king horse, with the Duke of Anjou, as he often used to do without staying for any attendants, went to hunt in the fields and woods not far off; which the Courtiers no sooner heard, but as fast as their horses could be brought, they followed severally stragling after the cry of the Hounds, and Ligneroles by their example instantly did the same; but the Viscount de la Guerchy and Count Charles of Mansfield, who was privy to his purpose, mounted upon fiery unquiet horses, hunted in the same company with [Page 176] Ligneroles, and drew near under colour of talking and discoursing with him; which while he endeavoured to avoid, not being able to keep his horse in order among theirs that was so quarrelsom and unruly; and while they persisted still following him as it were in sport, they presently came to high language, and then to challenges; where­upon the Viscount suddenly drawing his sword, and Count Charles at the same in­stant, they fell so furiously upon him, that before he could be rescued by those that came to help him, they left him dead upon the place; which being come to the Kings knowledge, with great shew of anger and trouble, he caused them both to be taken and imprisoned in the Palace; from whence in process of time, by the intercession of Monsieur d' Angoulesme, the Kings Bastard-brother, and by particular grace and favour they were after set at liberty.

This business being passed over, which for a while had troubled the whole Court, the next was to overcome the obstinacy of the Lady Marguerite, who more fix'd than ever to her former thoughts, denyed now absolutely to marry at all, since she was forbidden to take the Duke of Guise; to which the Popes continued denyal of a dis­pensation being added, the conclusion of that marriage remained still uncertain. The Queen-Mother, by the means of the Bishop of Salviati the Popes Nuncio, to whom she was near allied, endeavoured to perswade them at Rome, that the effecting of that match would conclude to the good of the Catholick Religion; for, to draw the Prince of Navarre into so near a relation and confidence with the King, would be an occasion that not only he being young, and easie to be won to better opinions, would come into the bosom of the Church; but also infinite others; part moved by his example; and part out of fear to lose so considerable a prop as the first Prince of the Blood, would do the like; that they often had tryed in vain to overcome the Hugonots with sharpness and violence; therefore it was now fit to try some gentle remedies. But when they saw the Popes mind could not be changed by perswasions, they began to try if they could alter it by neglect; the King and the Queen saying openly, That be­ing necessitated to make a match with one of another Religion, they would do it how­soever, without caring for any dispensation; nor would they suffer the peace and qui­etness of their Kingdom to be disturbed, and by the Popes obstinacy involved in the former wars, dangers and inconveniencies: Which things confirming the assurance and boldness of the Hugonots, the Admiral in the end perswaded by Count Lodowick of Nassau, and the counsels of Teligny his Son-in-law, and of Cavagnes, a man great in his esteem; but much more by the fear of being prevented by the Queen of Navarre and the Princes, who already were setting things in order to go to Court, took his journey with a great train of his Dependants,The Admiral after so many wars with the King, pro­strates himself at his feet, and is graci­ously received and came unto the King, before whom humbly bowing himself, and kneeling down in token of greater humility, he was re­ceived with as great demonstrations of love and affection. It was very remarkable, that the Admiral, who was grown old in ambitious thoughts, and high pretensions, now conscious of the errours he had committed, should in the Theater of all France, and in the very presence of his own principal adherents, bring himself to so publick a pennance as to be seen with tears in his eyes, kneeling at the feet of that King which in times past he had so heinously offended and despised. But it was much more re­markable, that a King so young, and of so hasty cholerick a nature, seeing the man before him who so often had brought the power of his Crown and Kingdom to such doubtful hazards, should know so perfectly how to dissemble, that calling him Fa­ther, and lifting him up with his own hand, he made all the World believe he was heartily and sincerely reconciled to him.

After these great demonstrations of favour, followed effects correspondent to them; for the King commanded 100000 Franks, which amount to ten thousand pounds ster­ling, to be paid him presently out of the Treasury, to make up those particular losses which he had suffered during the late Wars; and assigned him an Annuity of those Ecclesiastical Revenues which belonged to the Cardinal his Brother, who died in Eng­land a little before that time; and gave him all his rich and costly houshold-stuff, which, as the goods of a Criminal, had lately been confiscate: And though all other Admirals in Council and publick Ceremonies had ever given place to the Mareshals of France; yet, for his greater honour, it was the Kings pleasure that he should sit next Monsieur de Momorancy, who was the first Mareshal, and above all the rest. To Te­ligny, Cavagnes, and to all his dependants and followers, the King voluntarily did many favours; and at Councils, in his own lodgings, and abroad in publick he was [Page 177] still encompassed by many of them. All graces and favours were granted by their in­tercession, nor was there any thing so difficult, which the Admiral with a word might not bring to a speedy and happy issue; which was proved in the person of Villandry, a young Gentleman, who playing with the King, had so exceedingly offended him, that he was therefore condemned to die; for having denyed his pardon to the Queen-Mother, the Queen his Wife, the Duke of Anjou, and the Duke of Montpensier, at the first word of the Admiral he was set at liberty, and restored to his former degree of familiarity in the Court. With this assurance, and to increase it the more, the enterprize of Flanders was presently set on foot; for the effecting whereof, the Mare­shal of Momorancy was sent into England, to treat of a reciprocal confederacy with the Queen; and the Count of Schombergh into Germany to exhort the Protestant Princes to accept pensions, and to unite themselves with the Crown of France against the Spa­niards. These things resolved on, which all were managed by the Admirals advice and direction, he with the Kings leave went to Chastillon to order his private affairs, and so return to Court to perfect matters already agreed upon.

About this time, being the beginning of the Year 1572. arrived the Legat Ales­sandrino, to hinder the progress of these resolutions,1572. which tended manifestly not only to the ruine of the Spaniards, then imployed for the defence of Christendom, in War by Sea against the Turk; but much more to the destruction of the Catholick Re­ligion, and the establishment of the Hugonots. Great were the contestations that passed in this interview▪ for on the one side, the Legats reasons were home and evi­dent; and on the other side, the Kings answers were so obscure and ambiguous, that the business seemed not possible to be determined, without alienating his mind utterly from the Pope; to whom it appeared most intolerable, that the most Christian King, who he hoped (mindful of so great assistance received from him) would have favoured the Christian League now by making an unseasonable War against the King of Spain, The King dis­sembles so with the Hu­gonots, that he is suspected by stranger Princes. should be an occasion of breaking it, and a means of giving so great opportunities to the common Enemy, of doing mischief to all Christendom: But it seemed no less strange unto him, that so much money having been spent, and so much blood shed of late years to suppress the Calvinist party, the King now perverting all his old de­terminations, should put all good Catholicks away from him, and of a sudden give himself a prey to the Hugonots, treating Leagues and Confederacies with foreign Prin­ces excommunicated by the Apostolick Sea, to the damage and prejudice of those that were most firm and affectionate to the Romish Religion. Nor was he at all satisfied by the Kings answers; who sometimes urging the weak and troublesom estate of his Kingdom, excused the peace concluded with the Hugonots; sometimes with obscure words that might receive a double interpretation, affirmatively promised, that at last all should end to the satisfaction of the Pope, and the benefit of the Catholick Reli­gion; which nothing abated the doubtfulness of the Legats mind, seeing his words and actions so different. Yet ceased not the King with most effectual demonstrations to try all means possible to content him, honouring him in publick,Cardinal A­lessandrino Le­gat to Pius Quintus, re­fuseth a rich jewel pre­sented to him by the Kings own hand. making much of him in private, using all manner of art and industry, even to the presenting him a wonderful rich Jewel with his own hands; which the Cardinal refused to accept, saying, That by his Majesties unexpected falling from the Zeal of the Catholick Re­ligion, all his most valued and precious Jewels were no more than dirt in the estima­tion of all good Catholicks: the sharpness of which words, and many other open signs of distaste, were not a little resented by the King, knowing the bottom of his own intentions. Nor could this so hard a knot have been unloosed without a mani­fest breach, especially because the dispensation was absolutely denyed, had it not been for the news of the Popes desperate sickness, for which cause the Legat departing suddenly, businesses remained still uncertain, and undetermined.

Pius Quintus being dead, about the latter end of April, Gregory the Thirteenth,Gregory the 13 succeeding Pius Quin [...]us, granteth a Dispensation [...] for the mar­riage between the Prince of Navarre and the Kings Si­ster. of a more mild easie nature, succeeded in the Chair; who in the beginning of his Papacy, perswaded by the Cardinal of Lorain, (who partly to seem discontented at the Court of France; partly, to manage the present affairs with more secrecy, was gone to Rome) granted the Bull of dispensation; but in such form as did not then satisfie the Car­dinal of Bourbon, and after brought in question the validity of the Contract: but the King and Queen not looking so narrowly to the Dispensation, having the Popes con­sent in what manner soever it were, sollicited now to bring it to a conclusion; for the Lady Marguerite, partly by her Mothers perswasions, partly by her Brothers threat­nings, [Page 178] partly not to bring her honour in question, which already was something doubt­fully spoken of; though she gave no absolute consent, yet denied no more so openly to marry the Prince of Navarre.

But all these practices being ripe, in the beginning of Iune the Queen of Navarre comes to Paris, received with so much joy of the whole Court, that France had not seen a day of greater rejoycing in many years. Two days after arrived the Prince of Navarre and the Prince of Conde, accompanied with Count Lodowick, the Count de la Roch-fou-cault, and all the Trains of the Princes, being the chief Comman­ders, Cavaliers and Gentlemen that had held the Hugonot party: among which, Piles, Briquemaut, and Pluvialt, Colonels, who in the course of that War had by their Valour acquired so much glory and renown; the Sieur de Guerchy, he that de­fended Sanserre, the Marquess de Renel, the Sieurs de Noue, de Colombiere, and La­vardin, famous Commanders of Horse, and a great many other men of quality and reputation.

The League Offensive and Defensive was already concluded with the Queen of England; Prince Casimir and William his Brother, both Sons of the Elector Palatine of the Rhine, were already perswaded to receive pensions from the King, when the Admiral, forgetting all his former jealousies, full of incredible pride and intolerable pretensions, returned to Court with a great train of his adherents; and to put the King upon a necessity of making War with the Spaniard, even against his will, he so ordered the matter, that Count Lodowick, and the Sieurs de Genlis, and de la Noue, who were gotten to the confines of Picardy, The Admiral causeth the Hugonots to surprise the City of Mons in Heinault in Flanders, to force the King to a War with Spain: he is displeased, but dissembles it. where a great many Hugonot Gentlemen and Souldiers were privately drawn together, suddenly surprized the City of Mons in the County of Heinault, a principal place, and of very great importance to the Pro­vinces of Flanders; which rashness, though it inwardly much troubled the Kings mind, yet with admirable patience seeming very well pleased with, he thereby took occasion presently to dispatch Philippo Strozzi with a great many old Companies into places near about Rochel, under pretence of imbarking them in Ships, that were made ready in that Port, to pass them over to those coasts of the Low-Countries which were held by the Confederates of Flanders; but indeed they were to be ready upon all occasions to surprize and possess themselves of that City, as soon as the present de­signs were brought to maturity: Thus with cunning policies they went deluding the subtilties of the Admiral, who held in the highest esteem, as Arbitrator of the Court and Government, seemed alone to rule the Genius, and direct the will of the King of France.

And because to begin a War of so great moment, it appeared necessary to take away the obstacle of civil discords, the King earnestly intreated the Admiral, that the enmi­ties between him and the House of Lorain, might by some means or other be accom­modated; which was propounded for no other end, but because the help of the Duke of Guise, and the Duke of Aumale, and the forces of the Catholick party were neces­sary for the execution of the designs that were in agitation; they sought that colour to bring them to the Court without suspicion of the Hugonots. Under this pretence the Lords of the House of Lorain being come to Paris with all the train of their Fa­ction;The Lords [...]f the House of Lorain and the Admiral are seemingly made friends before the King. they promised, as also did the Admiral, in the presence of the King, that they would no more offend one another, referring all their differences either to his Maje­sties arbit