A DISCOVRSE vpon the liber­tie or capti­uitie of the Kyng.


Imprinted at Lōdon by Hen­ry Sutton for Edvvarde Sutton dvvelling in Lumbard strete.

A DISCOVRSE VP­pon the libertie or capti­uitie of the Kyng.

VPON the letters pa­rentes publysshed vnder the Kynges name, the viii. of Apryl, in the whi­che it is sayde, that there runneth a bruite through this realme, the king and the Queene his mother, shoulde bee a­gainste their pleasure withholden and caried where it should seme good to some princes and lordes that are aboute their Maiesties: but yet that the same reporte is an vntrewe and false sclaunder: for­as muche as their personnes are in the same libertie that at all tymes they haue been: it hath been thoughte good to pu­blysshe this smalle discourse, to the ende that thereby the subiectes of the Kynge myghte the more cleerely vnderstande, and put their myndes oute of all doubte and cumbre, whereby they maye yealde vnto hym that obedience and feaultie, [Page] which they owe vnto hym lyke good and faithfull subiectes of his maiestie.

Euerye man knoweth the enterprise that the last wynter was taken in hande for the hauynge the Duke of Orleaunce out of this Realme: menne knowe also bothe by whome and to what ende the same was doone. But least those whome this matter toucheth shoulde complayne as though men in the report offred them wrong: we wyll simply sette beefore all men the wytnesse and deposition of the sayde yong Duke of Orleaunce: vppon the whiche we wyll stay our selues with­out preiudice of his authoritie: leauynge to them that shall fynde themselues gre­ued, libertie to attempt the diminishyng of his credite, as to them shal seme good. The tenor of the said deposition is thus. The Saterday whiche was the daye his maiestie began first to come oute of his chaumber after the recouerie frome his sycknesse, the Duke of Orleance being in the kynges chaumbre, the duke of Ne­mours came vnto hym, who asked hym, whether he were a Hugenot or a Papist. Whereunto the Duke of Orleaunce [Page] answered, that he was of the religion of the Quene his mother. Than sayde the Duke of Nemours, myght it not please you that I spake vnto you halfe a doseyn of wordes? The other aunswered (yes.) The duke of Nemours than tooke hym asyde vnto a coffre whyche was nere vn­to the doore of the kynges bedchambre. and sayde vnto hym. Syr I see the re­alme of Fraunce is vndoone and ruy­ned by these Hugenots, and the Kynge and you bee not in suretie: because the kynge of Nauarre, and the Prynce of Conde wylle make theym selues kyn­ges, and wyll so handle the mattier as they wylle bothe cause the Kynge and you to bee putte to deathe. Syr yf you wyll auoyde this daunger, it is nedefull, that you doo well aduyse your selfe. And yf you wylle, the house of Guyse and I wylle healpe and succoure you, and wylle sende you eyther into Lorayne or Sauoye. The Duke of Orleaunce an­swered that he would not leaue the king nor the quene his mother: The other yet replyed therto, saying, Aduise your selfe [Page] well of that I tell you. For it is for your aduantage. Wherevnto the other sayde nothyng. Than sayd vnto hym the duke of Nemours: Doo you not verye well truste Carnaualet and Villarquier? Yes sayd he. Than sayd the other: Tel them nothyng of this I haue sayde vnto you, nor of the purpose I haue so long holden with you: but if they aske you what it was that I sayde vnto you, tel them that I tolde you of certayne playes and Co­medies. and so the said duke of Nemours lefte hym. While this was a doyng, the duke of Guyse (who standyng afore the fyre, talked with his sonne the prince of Ginuille) perceyuynge that the Duke of Nemours hadde left the Duke of Orle­aunce, came towardes hym and sayde: Syr I haue hearde saye, that the Quene wyll sende the Duke of Aniew and you, into Lorayn to a verye faire castell, that you maye there take the ayre: Vppon condicion that you would come thyther, we woulde make you good cheere there. Whereunto the Duke of Orleance an­swered: I do thynke the Quene my mo­ther woulde not that I should leaue the [Page] Kyng. Wherevnto the prince of Gin­uille replyed, sayeng: If you wyll come into Lorayne, and thynke vppon that whiche the Duke of Nemours hath sayd vnto you, it will come you well to passe. The Duke sayd nothing thervnto. The morowe after, the prince of Gynuille came agayne towardes the Duke, and sayde vnto hym the selfe same that he had doone before, addyng further, that yf he would vnderstande the meane how they woulde carye hym away, he would tell hym. The duke aunswered, that he woulde gladely learne it. The prince of Gynuille sayd: They wyll carie you a­way euen whan it is mydnyght, and wil helpe you to comme oute at a wyndowe, whyche is ryght ouer the brydge in the parke, and immediately they wyll sette you in a coche, and so shall you bee in Lorayn afore any man bee ware there­of. The Duke aunswered nothyng here­vnto, and so he lefte the said prince. The morowe after, the duke of Nemours de­parted, and came to take his leaue of the kyng. and in takynge leaue, sayde vnto the Duke in his eare: bethynke you of [Page] that I haue sayde, and tell no body ther­of. And so the sayde Duke of Nemours went on his way. This conspiracie hap­penyng al togither otherwise than those, whiche are reckened the heades and au­thors thereof looked for: it is nat to bee meruayled at, if men of a long tyme ex­ercised in the feats of warre, seeynge they had nothyng profited by these am­busshes and coouert enterprises (nor yf I maye so terme theym) by these vnder grounde woorkes, yf they determyned to entre by open force and manyfest vio­lence, as men doo into a strong holde or towne. Natwithstandyng yet to be sure of a backe doore (as the prouerbe sayth, leaste happelye theyr seconde attempte myghte speede as euyll as the fyrste: The house of Guyse (who a long whyle afore hadde written to one of the greatest princes of Germanie, and one of that re­ligion whyche is called Protestant, to entreate hym to enter with theym into somme conference of the Ausburgh con­fession, wherein they gaue hym somme hope they woulde gladly bee instructed) [Page] wente theyr wayes into Lorayne, and frome thence to a lyttell towne neede vnto the Rhyne called Sauerne: In the whyche place they hadde suche communication with the sayd prince the fyftenthe, syxtenthe, and seuententhe of Februarye, as after they hadde all promysed to folowe the Relygion of the Gospell: In the ende the sayde Duke of Guyse (in token of the fauour he bare to that Religion) prayed hym to doo so mu­che with the other Protestantes princes, that for as muche as of olde auncientie the house of Lorayne hadde bene of the Empyre: By that meane, bothe hee and his bretherne, myghte also bee aduowed as Prynces of the Empyre, hauynge theyr voyces and consentes in all Commyssyous Imperyall, that by that meane they myghte withdrawe and exempte theym selues frome vnder the kynges subiection: offryng theimselues to signe and subscribe vnto the said Con­fessyon of Awsburghe, and that they woulde putte theym selues in the rolle and numbre of the sayde Protestantes. [Page] Wherevnto the sayd prince was so wyl­lyng to putte to his healpyng hande (ho­pyng by this meane to wynne the sayde house of Guise to the religion of the gos­pell) as he fayled not to put foorthe the same in a dyete, a lyttell whyle after hol­den by sundry of the sayde princes in the toune of Brouxell, about the begynning of Marche folowyng. and was neuer the lesse refused of the other princes for ma­ny consideratiōs, but chiefly by reason of y e newes of y e horrible bouchery of Vassy: as the sayde prince since that tyme hath expresly wryten vnto the sayd Duke of Guyse: sendynge hym woorde that the sayd companie was muche offended and prouoked against him by occasyon of that cruell murther: and prayed hym that he woulde sende hym the trewe certaintie with a full declaration of his intent and purpose therin without any disguysing: For suche are the propre woordes of his letter. Vpon this departyng frome the court, in taryeng while the winter ouer­passed, it was determyned betwene the sayde Duke of Guyse, the Constable, and marshall saynct Andrewe, that du­ryng [Page] their absence euery one of theym should practise with the greatest numbre of gentlemen, and other men of warre as muche as in theim lay, to cause theim meete togyther in armes at Nantheull, and neere to Parys aboute the laste of wynter in the moneth of Marche.

This practise coulde not bee so closely conueyed, but that the Quene was quickly aduertised thereof, not onely by some of this realm, but also by certain strange princes: Who could so well appoynt her the tyme as they tolde her afore hande, that it was in the month of Marche, that execution woulde bee done: yea (that more is) a certaine gentleman stranger, gaue the kynge of Nauarre so sure fore­tokens, as he tolde hym that they would go about to wynne hym to thintent they myghte helpe themselues with hys title and authoritye for a season, but in the ende laughe hym to scorne: Wherupon the sayd kynge of Nauarre brought hym to the Queene to cause her vnderstande the sayde aduertisementes, and to pre­serue her from suche enterprises. Well, this practise neuerthelesse goyng on for [Page] the beehoufe of the sayde kynge of Na­uarre (and GOD wyll) Those vnto whome the appoyntemente was geuen, fayled not to fynde theym selues with all their force in tyme and place: so as the sayde Duke of Guyse commynge to Nantheull at the appoynted season, was by and by mette with the Constable, the Duke of Aumale, the Marshall Saincte Andrewes and others of theyr faction: Among whome were the Lor­des of Mezieres, and of Courtenaye, by whome men maye coniecture the pe­ryllous poynte and daungerous enter­prise: by this that makynge theym rea­dye to go to the place of this assemble, they putte theym selues in suche ordre as like personnages are wonte to dooe when they shall entre the battayle or any daungerous aduenture: shriuynge them selues to a prieste, and receyuyng theyr housell (as it is reported) after they hadde well and deuoutely hearde theyr Masse.

Whyle this was in hande the prouost of the Marchauntes of Parys (who is one of the principall mynisters and in­strumentes [Page] of this faction) hadde so or­dered all mattiers, and prepared the waye to brynge these troupes into the towne of Parys, that the quene beeyng aduertised, that theyr determynation was for to goe thyther, sente sundrye tymes vnto the sayd duke of Guyse that he woulde comme to her in her house at Monceaulx, where he shuld be very wel­come, forbyddyng hym expressly the en­traunce into Parys with suche a com­pany, meanyng thereby to auoyde those troubles and inconueniences whych she foresawe woulde come to passe: special­ly remembryng the execution and bou­cherye newely commytted in the towne of Vassy: vppon the whiche moste in­stantely menne cryed for Iustice to the Kyng and her, who harde nothynge but Playntes and Lamentations in euery place where they wente in this Realme concernyng that crueltie. Hytherto than it appeareth, that this enterprise of put­tyng on armour, was apoynted on, long afore hande by the duke of Guise as the Quene her selfe, & the kyng of Nauarre were right well informed: for the day of [Page] meetyng was iustly kepte: wherein men came thether from all partes in open ar­mour and order fitte for the warr: where as before their cōming to gether, the re­alme was in a deepe reste and quietnesse: tyll suche tyme as harnesse was putte on contrarye to the kynges proclamations, and so continued against the expresse ple­sure and prohibicion of the Queene so often renued: Finally tyll the sayd Duke of Guise made his entre into Paris, in o­pen armes against the very countremoū ­dyngs and forbiddyngs by the Kyng and the Queene his mother.

Nowe lette vs see what folowed. The abouesayde capitaynes of this armye be­ynge at Paris, they beganne to holde a councell as though the same hadde bene a councell royall: makyng to assemble the presydentes, the councellours, the kynges officers, the shriefes or hed offi­cers of the Toune, euen as though they had had the kynges Superioritie in their handes, notwithstandyng that the quene were nothynge at all aduertised hereof, neyther that she had any vnderstanding or communication with that whiche pas­sed [Page] in the said councel, so as her will & ap­poyntmente whiche she had determined to go on with her voyage towardes the toune of Bloys increased with her more and more: to thend she myght withdraw her selfe to some place where she shoulde nat be compelled: if happly the reportes and aduertisements which she had harde afore should be founde true.

Now are we come presently to the knot and chiefe poynte of this question. For the Quene who was with the Kyng, and the duke of Orleance her children in his house of Fountainbleu, and beeyng in her way towardes Orleance, goyng on of her iorney, hauyng sent folkes to Am­boise to cause the yong Duke of Aniow her sonne to be brought vnto her to Or­leaunce: and hauynge no force in the worlde aboute her, neither of horseman nor of footeman: sodeynely arriued the forsaid capitains of this enterprise with an armie of horsemen in faire armure, & planted themselues afore the said Foun­tainbleau, and rounde about. Nowe I aske those that vnder the kynges name publyshe those letters patentes, whereof [Page] afore mencion is made, whether, to com­passe a yong kyng of the age of a leuen or twelue yeares beyng onely accompanied wyth hys mother and hys little brother with pistolyers, & harquebusiers, be not properly the same thing, y t in good ter­mes men call (the besieging of the kyng) or yf that terme mislyke theym, what o­ther worde they coulde deuise for the na­myng of such an acte?

But let vs be content yet that all thys bee esteemed as a thynge of none impor­tance. We wyll onely see what folowed of this siege layde afore Fontaynbleau, it is well knowen that the Queene aby­dyng constantlye in this her pleasure to goe to Orleans and desyryng to make thytherwarde: Great importune instan­cye, to muche vnworthy of her maiestye, was made vnto her, to cause her tourne hed, and come backe her way to returne to Melune. Men knowe also that she her selfe persuadyng with teares the naugh­tye aire and other reasonable causes of her refusall, dydde a greate whyle wyth­stande the departyng from the said foun­tainebleau: declaring vnto theim there [Page] was no cause why they shoulde geue the kyng suche an alarm. Menne knowe al­so that the kyng seyng hymselfe compas­sed aboute wyth those that ouerruled hym, beganne to weepe exceadynglye, and protested, that he would not depart thence, pronouncyng these wordes with the teares in hys eyes. Wherefore wyll ye carye me hence where I fynde my selfe well? What neade is there thus to putte on armour? Yf it bee for religion, I wyll take order for it as I shall ware elder: In the meane season why doe not menne obserue the lawes? Alas lette no manne trouble my state. Men knowe that after the Queene had roundly declared, that she wold not de­part from the said Fontainbleau: These wordes folowyng were sayde vnto her: Madame, of necessitye you muste come, and whanne you wyll not soo dooe, we shall bee constrayned to carye the kynge wyth vs. To conclude, menne knowe that vppon thys matter, and after the Queenes resistence, after the teares and sighynges of the kinge, they were bothe [Page] led awaye, fyrst to the castell of Melune, nexte to the castelle of Vincenes, and lastely into Parys, beeyng continually compassed about with the sayde armye, and all the force of footemen and horse­men, that synce that tyme haue bene as­sembled there.

Herevpon nowe let men without af­fection iudge of the controuersie wherin we differ, to wete, whether the kynge and Queene be at thys tyme in libertie, or rather in captiuitie: whether theyr willes be free, or in bondage: whether they maye go to suche places to lye at, as to theymselues seemes good, or not ra­ther be caryed and withholden agaynste their good pleasure and contentation.

Surelye all men (yea though they haue but a commune sence or vnderstanding) doe call to be in captiuitie:

VVHAN A MANNE after he hathe bene besette not onelye contra­rye to hys truste and opinion, but also againste hys expresse pleasure, by men that withoute comparyson are stronger than hymselfe: In steede of goynge to [Page] one place, whereto he hathe appoyn­ted to goe, is not onelye lette from go­yng thyther, but also broughte backe agayne, and ledde a contrarye waye: menne calle it also a captiuitie whan a man is so muche a prisoner, as he can no more bee able to flye ouer a rampiers of pistoliers and harquebusiers than o­uer the toppe of a castell, beynge either stone or brycke: To be shorte, menne calle it a captiuitie whanne one is soo muche afrayde thorough the dreade of armed personnes, as he dare not vt­ter his wylle in suche sorte, as he woulde doo, the same menne beyng fur­ther from hym.

THIS thynge beeyng welle con­sydered, lette all menne iudge of this seconde poynte, whether to publysshe suche a Letter in the name of the Kynge, whereby they force hym to saye, that he is not in bondage, but in his large and fulle lybertie: whether to make suche a Letter to be printed and publyshed by the sounde [Page] of a trumpet thorough all the Realme, bee not as muche as to abuse and defyle most villainousely and vnnaturally the name of his maiestie, and to make the same despysed and skorned of all nati­ons: where neuertheles the same shuld be holden holye and honorable, and nat to be vsed, but in matter clerely exempt frome all passion and affection of men, (as muche as is possible.) Lette men also iudge, whether the wytnesse of a persone that is reported to bee captiue through constraint and violence, oughte to haue suche a credite as to iustifie the doyng of those by whome it is sayd, that the same is withholden: Chiefly whan the question is of suche age and sexe as oure ennemies deale withall. But lett those, that woulde artificially cloke and coloure this theyr deede, remembre al­wayes to make answere vnto these thre poyntes: Fyrst, wherfore the house of Guyse haue armed theym selues with­in a peasible Realme, that was full of reste and quietnesse: Secondely, who they bee that enforced the Kyng and [Page] Quene to wepe and lament at Fontain­bleau: Lastly, wherfore the Queene go­ing on her iorney to Orleance & Blois, was compelled to turne back with threttes, that in case she wolde nat so doo, they woulde carye the kynge awaye with them. Lette this shame and igno­mie than whyche they haue doone to the maiestie of the kyngs name be accomp­ted for one mattier. but immediatly af­ter ther folowed an other. For the house of Guyse, and those of their faction per­ceiuing that the people complayned and lamented ouer the thraldom and oppres­sion of theyr kyng, very wittyly deuy­sed an inuencion vtterly contrary: whi­che was to publyshe, that the Prince of Conde was prisoner in the town of Or­leance. And to geue colour and autho­ritie to theyr assemble of souldiors, haue so vyllainously played with the name of the Kynge (euen as with a babyll or cockscombe) that they haue caused hym to say and publyshe his letters patentes in his name, that the cause of gatherinig this people together was, to delyuer his [Page] deare and welbeloued cousyn the prince of Conde out of captiuitie. Nowe I de­maunde of euery man of sounde iudge­ment, whether this bee not so muche as to buffette the kynge: and after to aske hym, Who is it that smote thee? Nat­withstandyng because we wyll forbeare from all vehemence of speeche, and talke of this matter without any moode or al­teration, lette vs symply compare the state of the kyng, whome we say to bee captiue, with the condition of the sayde Prince: who yet matcheth not hym self with his maiestie, of whom he is a most humble seruaunt: but onely to make a iudgement of all lykelyhode, to whyche of both, the name of prysoner or captife may be ryghtlyer attributed. The kyng is of the age of about a leuen or twelue yeares. The Prynce is a father of fiue chyldren, all lyuyng. When the house of Guyse came wyth all their force to Fountaynbleau, The kyng hadde but his symple ordinarye garde: Whanne the Princes and Lordes whyche are at Orleance came to mete with the prince [Page] at Meaux, or otherwhere, he had with hym his force wherewith he was dry­uen to strengthen hym selfe afore hande in the towne of Parys. All those of the faccion of Guyse came with one shuffe and in one troupe to Fontaynebleau. The lordes that ar with the prince came to fynde hym one after an other, and frome places farre a sundre. The kyng and the Queene his mother, dyd many and dyuers tymes commaunde all those that bee aboute theym to leaue of theyr armoure, and expresly forbadde theym commyng to the course with harneissed arme: The Prince because he woulde warraunte hym selfe frome the tem­peste whyche he sawe commynge, sent and sente agayne, as welle somme of the noble menne of his companye as others, to requeste all menne, that camme to hym, that they woulde comme stronge and welle accoumpa­nyed. Those that are aboute the kyng waste his good, and sucke out the small remnant that was in his treasure to satisfie theyr creditoures: The noble [Page] menne that are at Orleaunce, are there vpon their owne costes and charges, yea almoste euery gentylman that there is.

Those of the faccion of Guise, payne themselues to cause straungers come in­to the realme, wythoute hauing eyther compassyon of the poore haried people, or respect to the manifest peryll y t there­of maye folowe: Those of Orleaunce protest that althoughe strangers would come to theyr succours, yet they would rather spare the countrey of the Kynge and his poore subiectes, thanne theyr owne proper lyues. To be short, those at Orleaunce offer to laye downe all weapon, and to take leaue of the prince to wythdrawe theymselues euerye man to hys owne, condicyonallye that they whyche detayne the kyng and the quene hys mother, woulde first putte of their armour and gyue good exaumple: The house of Guise and theyr companions, lette not to saye dayelye in the hearyng of all the worlde, that they wyll rather see the ashes of all the realme, than to go from the kynges personne the dystance [Page] of .i. league.

Now lette all men iudge what lykeli­hode here is, nay rather what infamye it is, thus to prophane and abuse the name of the kyng, and to make hym say by his letters patentes, that his dere and wel­beloued coosyn, the Prynce of Conde is prisoner at Orleaunce: and that for the delyuerie of hym he is constrayned to calle together his ban and ariere ban. But lette vs admytte, that it were so. Yf the Prynce of Conde be withholden prysoner, what rebuke haue they caused the kynge to receiue, and what iniustice haue they don, to declare the said prince a rebell and culpable of treason, because he came not to the courte nor laid doune weapon whanne they sente to hym so to doe? For in good logicke they bee thyn­ges repugnaunt, to bee kepte agaynste his wyll as a prysoner in a toune, and to deserue to be proclaimed a rebell bicause he commeth not thence.

These thynges considered, it is easye to conclude, fyrste that the kyng and the Queene hys mother wyth the Duke of [Page] Orleaunce, haue by a deuise of longe tyme handeled and contriued, bene vio­lentlye and forceablye seased, caried a­waye and possessed agaynste their wyll and pleasure, by those who thorough theyr insaciable greedinesse declare how fayne they woulde bee hys successours: Secondarily, that the aboue sayde let­ters patentes in the whyche it is sayde that the kynge is in his full libertye, and the Prynce a prysoner, is none other thanne a manifeste reproch agaynste the maiestye of the name of the kynge the whyche by this meanes is wyckedlye, vyllanously, and shamefully, defiled and layde abroade to all straunge nations to bee mocked, defamed, and taunted.

And that for thys respecte, none canne bee holden nor esteemed to bee a trewe Frenche manne, a good subiect, and faythefull seruaunt to hys maiestye:

Onelesse wyth all those good and ho­nest meanes possyble, and accordyng to the degree of hys callyng, he doe ende­uour hym selfe to restore hym to his full power and lybertie, and to delyuer hys [Page] name from that reproche and vnwoor­thynesse whiche they haue caused hym to receiue in this his minoritie. Wher­wyth we truste his maiestye, be­ynge comme to full age wyll fynde hym selfe touched, as well to the venge­aunce of his enemies as to the iuste re­wardyng of hys good and lawfull ser­uauntes and subiectes.


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