As a result of
repression by the Habsburg government in the Low Countries many religious
dissidents took refuge in the German lands and in south-east England in the
1550s and especially in the later 1560s. By 1572 between 17,000 and 20,000
Netherlanders were living in England.
Some were merchants or apprentices, sent abroad to gain experience, and
therefore used to letter writing, but most were ordinary artisans with scant
literacy and who, but for having fallen foul of the anti-heresy edicts, would
not ordinarily have gone overseas. Having often departed hurriedly, these
refugees left behind many loose ends which their families had to tie up as best
they could. Their wives, siblings and friends suddenly found themselves
contending on their own with all manner of domestic as well as financial
problems in an environment where they could count on little sympathy from
Catholic neighbours and none from the authorities in the Low Countries. Not
only were families deprived of their chief breadwinners, but because the
Council of Troubles had confiscated the property of many of those who had fled
following the religious upheavals in 1566-67, they also had to fend off the
endeavours of officials to seize their assets. Meanwhile debts, rents and taxes
had to be paid, children brought up and apprenticed and daughters provided with
dowries. We know from their correspondence that some suffered acute loneliness,
and even felt as if they had been abandoned. If life were hard for those
suddenly forced to find their way in foreign parts, it was no whit easier for
their relatives and friends back home in Flanders and Wallonia.
The urgent need
to keep in touch with families and friends across the North Sea must have given
rise to a busy network of messengers who linked the southern Low Countries with
the stranger communities in south east England. Yet little documentary evidence
for this traffic has survived. This is what makes the survival of this present
dossier so remarkable. As so often, the misfortune that befell an individual in
the past– in this case the arrest of the courier Henri Fléel, who was apprehended
just before he reached safety in Calais – provides a treasure store for later
historians. Following Fléel’s arrest, the letters he was carrying disappeared
into the archives of Alba’s Council of Troubles, which oversaw the courier’s
prosecution and probably his execution as an obstinate heretic. It
was here that the Belgian scholar A.L.E. Verheyden found them. The interception
of Fléel underscores the risks run by those who operated these clandestine
networks. Nor was he the only courier to suffer. One Jean Pollet who had been
associated with heretical activities since 1562 was sentenced in 1571 by the
magistrates of Hondschoote to be whipped and banished from Flanders for ten
years for carrying goods and letters between the Flemish Westkwartier and
Calais. The iconoclast Bartholmeeux van Hille paid
the ultimate penalty, being burnt at Ieper in the same year for, among other
crimes, having carried a great number of letters from fugitives in England to
While both these couriers probably had Protestant sympathies, which might
explain how they became involved in such a hazardous business, doubtless others
had an eye to the main chance: carriers might receive the not inconsiderable
sum of five patars (or stuivers) for taking a letter.
Senders naturally wanted messengers, who could be trusted, partly because of
the illicit nature of these networks and also because of the value of the goods
carried: Fléel, for example, had gold angelots on him when he was caught.
Several correspondents were also aware of the dangers
and therefore cautious about giving names and addresses, or even of sending
letters. For that reason, addressees might be advised to reply through a third
Because recipients of letters from refugees in England automatically incurred
suspicion, some chose to surrender these straightaway to the magistrates rather
than be caught red-handed with such incriminating evidence at home.
system was of course erratic. If things went smoothly a letter might take about
two weeks to cross between Flanders and England.
In one exceptional case, a wife replied to a letter written on 29 December 1569
on 6 January 1570, so barely a week later,
but it usually took rather longer. A letter dated 2 January 1570 was received a
In another, ten weeks elapsed between a letter being written and its arrival in
the Low Countries. And of course, many never reached their
destination. Several correspondents in Flanders and Wallonia complained that
they had sent two or three letters without receiving any reply; in one case
five letters had been sent.
Therefore, months might pass without families receiving any news, and
Jacqueline Leurent had no word from her husband in London for two years.
Even without the
interception of mails, communications were uncertain. In winter tracks became
impassable because of flooding,
and bad weather would have delayed cross-channel traffic. Nor could senders
keep abreast of where their relations were living in England as the immigrant
population was highly mobile. Mails therefore had to be forwarded through third
parties, taking up still more time
Correspondents often had little or no of warning when a suitable messenger was
in their vicinity and they therefore had to react quickly when the opportunity
This explains why one in every three letters says it was written in haste.
Because one messenger wanted to be on his way, a father felt obliged to
conclude his letter to his daughter hurriedly.
In another case, a brother told his sister in England that he had written her
at 5 am; as this was in February, he must have done so by candlelight.
It also took
time to assemble the postbag. Most of those in the present dossier came from
three towns - Valenciennes, Tournai and Armentières and were therefore written
in French, but fifteen, coming from correspondents in Ieper and the Pays de
Alleu, were in Flemish. Most of the letters here were collected over a period
of a month. Eventually Fléel, who was out of work, agreed to undertake the
final leg from Laventie in the Pays de Alleu to Calais. At Laventie he was
given the special pedlar’s pack with a false bottom, which, in addition to the
letters, also contained coins, specialised tools, clothes and nostalgic goodies
such as cheeses, jam and gingerbread. One mother also asked Fléel to escort her
young boy, her husband having previously told her to send the lad of nine or
ten to him in London.
There are no clues as to the destination of forty-one of the 79 letters, but we
know with a reasonable degree of certainty that twenty-two were bound for
London, seven or eight for Norwich and a similar number were addressed to
strangers in Southampton and Sandwich.
give us a rare insight into the concerns of the families and acquaintances of
the fugitives in England. Certain
features regularly recur in the correspondence. The senders almost invariably
sent greetings to their families and friends in England and asked to be
remembered to others. Health and sickness too bulked large. They passed on news about children who have
been left behind, offered advice about their education
and described in some detail the deaths of close members of the family.
The pain of separation is expressed, sometimes most poignantly, in many
letters: brothers and wives weep and a brother assures his sister that though
she may feel as if she’s in exile, she’s ever in the family’s thoughts. In
another case a brother tells his sister that since he last saw her ‘my eyes have not been dry and I’m always weeping, praying God that
you will come back to him and us all’.
A mother with an
abusive husband especially missed the companionship of her son. If God would only
bring him closer, that would be ‘all my joy’. When she was downcast, she feared
that she would never again see either him or her two daughters, yet she was
also hopeful of seeing him in a month.
She herself was either a recent mother or, perhaps looking after someone else’s
baby, who was giving her sleepless nights; nonetheless, her maternal pride was
still evident for she ended by exclaiming that the infant ‘was the most
beautiful child you could ever see’.
of the letters concern run-of-the mill issues: financial problems loom
especially large, with debts to be repaid and in one case recovered. Since the
estates of those who had, understandably, refused to appear in person when
cited before the Council of Troubles, had been confiscated, families were
confronted with the additional burden of trying to prevent the crown from
distraining their possessions. In other ways too Alba’s political regime
cast its shadow over these families. Several households were burdened with the
maintenance of Spanish soldiers who had been billeted on themand
a couple of correspondents commented on the imposition of his 100th
penny tax in 1569. Unsurprisingly, in these circumstances lonely
and vulnerable wives were attracted to the idea of joining their families in
England, but it was a hazardous journey, not one to be undertaken without a
Yet the intensity of the repression, at its peak in 1567-68, seems to have
slackened by 1570 to the extent that some correspondents encouraged their relations
in England to consider returning home.
The problems confronting the local economy too featured in some letters,
especially the depressed state of the local cloth industry, caused by a
shortage of English and Spanish wool.
Nevertheless, some enterprising individuals still seem to have been able to
make a profit.
If one were
expecting these letters to manifest a strongly confessional character, then one
would be disappointed. They contain little in the way of overtly anti-Catholic
polemic or indeed ringing affirmations of, for example, the sufficiency of
scripture. The absence of an aggressively Protestant tone might, of course, be
attributed to the senders’ understandable desire to eschew religious
controversy lest the letters fall into the wrong hands. They would be aware
that after the outburst of Calvinist activity in 1566-67, a Catholic reaction
was underway. Even so, when Victor
Kirstelot, writing from Ieper, was apparently admonished to be on his guard against
idolatry, he was able to relieve his interlocutor’s anxiety on this score by
telling him that locals left those who sympathised with the new faith in peace.
A close analysis
of the religious idiom in these private letters leaves one in little doubt of
their quiet and deep commitment to Protestantism. For one thing, the
correspondence is conspicuously devoid of allusions to the protective powers of
the Virgin Mary or the saints. Instead the writers repeatedly invoke the ‘good
God’ who looks after them in this life and they often concluded their letters
by praying that He will protect those to whom they are writing. They praise Him
for His mercy and for providing them with the means to make a living. Philippe
Caulier gave thanks to God who, despite their enemies, has provided them with food.
He continued, paraphrasing Psalm 23, ‘and has made us rest in grassy pastures
and led us along tranquil waters’. These correspondents placed their confidence
in God’s providence and took spiritual comfort from knowing that, whatever
their present hardships and the separation from their families, they could
leave everything in His hands. They reminded themselves that without God, they
can do nothing: in the words of the psalmist cited by one correspondent, ‘God
is my refuge in time of trouble’.The
brother-in law of Jean de Denain, writing from Valenciennes, encouraged him by
reminding him how well ‘the sovereign Lord, our good God’ looked after His
servants and he recalled how Jesus Christ had delivered St Peter from prison.
This, he went on, ‘was a miraculous thing, but [God’s] power has in no way
diminished since that time’. 
One father advises his son ‘to live in the fear of God’; he should invoke ‘Him
in all your needs so that He will be propitious to you, while being assured
that He will not abandon those who ask him with faith’.
When Jean Flaiel heard that his brother in England had strayed from the right
path, he adjured him ‘to have the fear of God before your eyes’. When they report the passing of a parent,
they say that ‘the Master’ has called whoever to his or her death. The frequency and spontaneity of such phrases
testifies to the evident strength of their commitment to the theology of the
Reformation. This is all the more striking when we recall that the inhabitants
of the towns of Wallonia and West Flanders had only been exposed to the new
doctrines during the previous twenty or so years.
of these letters has not been without its problems and we have not always been
able to resolve these. In those cases, we have retained the original French or
Dutch in the text and proposed a plausible interpretation in the footnotes . The structure of the letters is generally
quite straightforward. Most senders of the letters open with a salutation
including greetings to family and friends and, after mentioning their own
health, go on to express their hope that the addressee is also well. The body
of the letter is usually taken up with common- or-garden news of the family,
financial matters often made worse by the confiscations, and sometimes extends
to information about the local economy and commerce. At the conclusion, the sender often invokes
God’s protection on the recipient.
literacy of some letter-writers complicates the task of translation. Spelling
is often phonetic – ‘eau’ might be
rendered as ‘o’, ‘mais’ as ‘mé’ and ‘comment’ as ‘que men’ or ‘choment’. The orthography might also be influenced by the local
dialect, in this region, Picard and West Flemish.
And because the writers’ grasp of syntax is sometimes quite basic, one cannot
rely on tenses and agreements when trying to unravel the meaning of a phrase.
Verheyden justifiably described their French as ‘estropié’, i.e. ‘mangled’,
though he had a rather higher opinion of those composed in Flemish.
Despite their grammatical defects and their stylistic awkwardness, what is
striking is that so many of these craftsmen and their womenfolk were
sufficiently literate as to be able to compose a letter of 200 or so words,
often under pressure. Writing did not come easily to the wife of Jacques du
Puys for she thought her husband might have to read her letter through two or
three times to grasp her meaning, yet her letter ran to around 700 words!
In the opinion of Verheyden only three of these 79 letters had been written by
someone acting on behalf of the sender.
The ability of these Netherlanders to put pen to paper may reflect the strength
of elementary schooling in the urbanised southern Netherlands in the sixteenth
century which seems to have been superior to that available in Tudor England. 
In the Low Countries, the New Year began at Easter and this was the calendar
used by the letter writers. In 1570 Easter fell on 26 March and so letters
written in the first three months of 1570 were therefore dated 1569 by the
writer; we have changed this to 1570 in the heading to the letter but where
1569 is given in the letter itself, it has been left. It should be noted en passant that In 1569-70 the Julian
calendar was used in both the Low Countries and England.
were not dated.
The spelling used by
the correspondent has been retained with an explanation if this seemed useful.
Dr. Charles Littleton,
Senior Research Associate at the History of Parliament Trust
Duke, formerly Reader in History at the University of Southampton
 This is a translation
of 79 French and Flemish letters and of the interrogation of the courier in
1570. The letters
were published by A.L.E. Verheyden as ‘Une correspondance inédite adressée par
des familles protestantes des Pays-Bas à leur coreligionnaires d’Angleterre (11
novembre 1569-25 février 1570)’ Bulletin
de la Commission Royale d’Histoire 120 (1955), 93-257. While working on the
influence of immigrants in early modern London, Dr Lien Luu recognised just
what valuable information these letters revealed about the lives and outlook of
these immigrants and their families and she put this to excellent use in her Immigrants and the Industries of London
1500-1700 (Aldershot, 2005), 112-14. Though Dr Luu took the initiative in
having these made available in English and procured some funding for this
project from the University of Hertfordshire, the task of translating and
annotating them has fallen to Dr Charles Littleton and Dr Alastair Duke. The latter in particular would like to
acknowledge the help he has received from two neerlandici, Dr Christopher Joby
and Professor Noel Osselton.
 A. Duke.
‘Eavesdropping on the correspondence between the Strangers, chiefly in Norwich,
and their families in the Low Countries 1567-1570’, Dutch Crossing 38 (2), 2014, 116-17.
‘Correspondance inédite’, 99. For the interrogations see the ‘Testimony of
Henri Fléel’ appended here to the translation of the letters.
Coussemaker (ed.) Troubles religieux du XVIe
siècle, IV, 30-31, 125-6; 209-11; 265; 274; 314-5.
 L.A. Diegerick
(ed.) Archives d’Ypres. Documents
du XVIe siècle faisant suite à l’inventaire des chartes 4
vols. (Bruges, 1874-77), IV, 284 ; A. van Hernighem, Eerste bouck van beschryfvinghe van alle gheschiedenesse 1562-1572)
ed. A.L.E. Verheyden (Société d’histoire du protestantisme
belge: documents historiques 4) (Brussels, 1978), 82-83.
Letters 16 and 27. For comparison, the day wage of a mason in sixteenth-century
Holland was around 5 stuivers or patars,G. van der Kooi, De Wynberch des Heren. Godsdienstige veranderingen op Texel 1514-1572
(Hilversum, 2005), 31 while a common soldier might earn a patar a day in 1590,
Renon de France, Histoire des Troubles
des Pays-Bas ed. Ch. Piot 3 vols (Brussels, 1886-91), III, 260.
 See Letters 3, 5, 59,
61 and 65.
 See Letters 56 and
 See Letters 53 and
 Diegerick (ed.) Archives
d’Ypres, IV, 64-65.
Letters 3 and 21. Jacques Jappin expected his aunt in England would have
received his letter written a fortnight previously, see Letter 17. A letter written on 13 July 1567 by a
Calvinist refugee in Norwich reached its addressee in Ieper on or before 28
July, see H.Q. Janssen 'De hervormde vlugtelingen van Yperen in Engeland,
geschetst naar hunne brieven. Een bijdrage tot de hervormingsgeschiedenis
van Yperen en Norwich', Bijdragen tot de oudheidkunde en geschiedenis
inzonderheid van Zeeuwsch Vlaanderen 2 (Middelburg, 1857) 223-4. For
an English translation at www.dutchrevolt/leidenuniv/nl see under English sources, Janssen
correspondence, no. 3; also Diegerick (ed.) Archives
d’Ypres, IV, 64-65.
 See Letter 3
 See Letter 34.
 See Letter 5. She
also said she had received another
letter dated 3 January 1570.
 See Letter 27. Letters 2, 14, 15, 26, 31 and 51 refer to the
sending of ‘several’ letters without these reaching the addressee.
 See Letter 31.
 See Letters 29 and
 See Letters 4, 20.
 See Letter 16.
 See also Letter
 See Letter 11.
 See Letter 42 and the
testimony of Fléel.
 See Letter 21
 See Letters 14, 48,
51 and 68.
 See Letters 1, 14,
26, 28, 45, 51.
 See Letter 11.
 See Letter 23.
 See Letters 3, 10,
12, 27, 42, 46, 51, 58 and 60.
 See Letters 32, 42
 See Letters 56 and
 See Letters 8 and 26.
 See Letters 12, 32,
38, 40 and 55.
 See Letters 40, 45
 See Letters 33 and
 See Letter 38.
 Psalm 46. See Letter
 See Letter 32.
 See Letter 43.
 See Letter 49.
 Chris Joby has drawn
attention to the ‘prothetic’ ‘h’ prefixed to the ‘u’ – ‘hu’ for ‘u’- in two of
the Flemish letters 36 and 47.
 For illustrative
purposes, we have reproduced the original French text of letter 5.
‘Correspondance inédite’, 103.
 The average length of
the first 20 letters in Verheyden ‘Correspondance inédite’.
 See Letter 26.
 See Letters 3, 13 and
 See the remarks of A.
Duke. ‘Eavesdropping on the correspondence’120-23.
 The Gregorian calendar was introduced in the Spanish-controlled
Netherlands in December 1582 and in the county of Holland in 1583: the
Gregorian calendar was only introduced in England in 1752.
My very dear and
well-beloved brother, Gillamme Desrumaulx, your mother sends hearty greetings
to you. And Jacque commends himself tres
afengement  and sends hearty greetings
to you and your niece Jacquemine and Jacquemine, your mother’s servant.
And you should
know that we’re all in good health, thanks be to God, and we pray that it’s so
with you all. My very dear and well-beloved brother Gillamme Desrumaulx, we
pray you that if you will see the benefit of returning to the country we would
be very happy, if you return. You know that it’s been a long time since we saw
one another and if you knew of pas assé
pour revenues; as for the country
we are here now in peace; if you wanted to return for a time or to live, you
will be welcome.
I want you to know
indeed that you have but one brother and he has a great desire that you return
for it is a great pain to be thus separated from one another for you know we
have had the sadness of losing one another. However, if you do not return, you
should write how you’re faring for it’s a year since we have had your letter.
We wish that you’d send back Simmon for his mother is much dismayed.
[Yours] in Christ
by Jacque Desrumaulx, 11 November 1569.
to you, my good friend, Hernoul de le Rue, not forgetting your wife and all who
live with you and to Jan Boutiflas
and his wife.
This letter is to
let you know that I’m very surprised not to have had any news of you for I’ve
sent several letters in the past four months. And I’ve had no reply from you
concerning which I didn’t think you’d be so ungrateful as not to write back,
therefore I beg you to do your duty and send the money you owe me on account of
merchandise that I sold you and delivered to my brother and to you.
And also to send
me the money for 30 pieces of decorative edging in several colours and 4 ‘buset’
which I sold to you at your house which my brother sent you to sell to in his
name and for me. For if you want to, you could send it easily by exchange for
people also deal secretly.
And also my sister
is much troubled for she has the merchandise ready and doesn’t know what to do
with it for you have not written anything back. She does not know how she is
going to pay what she owes because of the debt that her husband has incurred of
me and another. Therefore, do your duty and let me have the money and if you
want other merchandise I’ll send it to you.
I will end for the
present, praying God that He will look after you and all of us.
In haste. 4
From your friend
forever, Pierre Taiart.
I have been told
that a certain individual in your debt asked for a certain sum of money and you
gave it her. She will soon give it back to me and my sister and will give you a
Endorsed: To be
given to Hernou de le Rue at Londre [London].
friend, after all my humble commendations, this will be to inform you that
Marinne your wife has received your letter dated the 26th of December ’69, by
which letter she and all of us rejoice in your good health.
as well that Marinne is in good health as are all of us; Jenin and Mariette are
faring well in their marriage. And [this is] to tell you that Marinne no longer
has any income; that is because the king has heard that wives are assisting
their husbands, for which reason it has pleased His Majesty to confiscate all
goods in general.
sends you, by the bearer of this letter, two smocks.
And she will repay Provoost the money which he lent you according to your
letter, asking you to please save your money.
when you will need some again, she asks you to please presté au dict [and] she will
give it to him. So, that when she sends it to you, it remains for the time back
here and does not become known. As for Lambert, he has been executed.
Marinne has received a piece [of cloth?] worth three sous with a pair of
hand-ruffs for Maikin.
have nothing else to tell you at the moment, praying that God may send you good
this 6th of January ‘69
your entire friend and godfather
To be given to Parin.
I commend you by
Jesus Christ Our Lord.
My brother, Jan le
Mahieust, after my greetings, I want to tell you that we’re all in good health, praise be to our good God, and I hope
the same for you.
So, brother, I could
be reproached with regard to you for not having done my duty, but since the
return of Gilbert Giesquère I’ve heard no news of you and I
have not heard of any reliable person going from here. I have been told that
someone was at the house of Martins Clarice, but he had returned long before
when I heard of him. When any messenger leaves, give this to him with a charge
to speak, if such a thing is not too difficult.
I very much want
to talk to you about our affairs in order to open [up?] a little [about] our
affairs. I will put it all in good order so that by letter or some other means
we can hear one another. When I have written back to you I don’t know how my
letter should be addressed.
Send my greetings
to all my acquaintances; my wife and my daughter send greetings.
Written by your
brother Jan 1569 21 February.
Jacques Lernol at Sauhint
for Jan le Mahiest.
My brother, I send
greetings to you. I can tell you that I’m in good health as also are all my
children. I can confirm that I have received your letter dated 3 November and I
received it on 16 January. I can confirm that I have understood everything but I
won’t have the money about which you asked me and I’m not able in the short
term to amend things. I’m in great want and for the present I haven’t earned
Also you should
know that I’m burdened with the house. Nycolt de Marlye has bought the one
where I live and I live at his. I had to go there; I discovered too late that I
would not benefit much and croye bien
ester le plus tost que vous povés hors.
Decobecq sends heartfelt greetings and wishes you were closer and says that Magdeleine
and Remy will together certainly earn 40 gros a week
I would ask you
that I see a small thing that you wanted to do for me. I would not know how to
earn my expenses here and I beg you to send it to me as soon as you can. Gilles
Mette sends greetings to Pierçon and if he has business of some sort that he
might be helped and not left in danger. As for myself, I wish, my brother to
send him greetings. I would ask you that you tell (?) me whether those of the ‘bours’ (?) have arrived. They left at
All Saints and I’ve heard nothing. Someone said that they have perished, which
makes us troubled.
the Creator for his holy grace.
Written 27 January
by your sister Jenne Gégunter.
can confirm that I have received your letter dated 3 January. My brother, I
told you that Coret’s money I can’t give it him (sey cea vyeu que vous ons mandé, know to tell us 2 or 3 weeks
before in order to make) our
preparation and a little before my brother reminded me if those of the ‘bours’ have arrived. They left at All
Saints; someone said they have perished and give us no news about it if they
have arrived after you. We are very surprised to have had no news about
Endorsed. To be
given to Jacque Coutrerie, the younger.
brother, Ernoul [Arnoul] le Mettre, my commendations to you and to your wife
and I can tell you that I am in good health, thanks be to God, and so are my
four children, praying the Lord God that all of you are as well.
to my son George, I would wish he were with you, but I believe, enjoining the
mercy of God, that I will support them well, for I have relatives whom I
believe will not abandon me to your charity.
the rest, I must do as the others.
an end to this, may the good God give you his grace.
by me, Jenne Castel, your sister-in-law, the widow of Gille le Mettre, your
To be given to Ernoul le Mettre
Frappes, my hearty commendations to your good graces and to your wife. After
all my commendations, this letter is to inform you that we are all in good
health, thanks be to God, and hope that you are as well.
is to tell you that concerning what you have of mine, that is my money, that I
would like to have it with me, for it has been a long time since I asked it of
you. And if I never received any response from you, that seems to be a mockery,
for, Nicaise, you know very well that I do not have the thousand écus, [and] you should also know that I
suffered the misfortune of a fire, not through my own fault, but I suffered
from it as well as the others. For which reason, when considering my affairs,
you can imagine my affliction even more. You are the reason that my daughter
has refused a good marriage, for if there had come along a good husband, indeed
a prince, it would not have been possible to marry him, for the fashion is such
that they do not ask for girls for their knowledge, but for their money. For
which reason, I ask you that you write back about your intentions to me, for it
has been long enough and, by doing so, you will please me.
have nothing else to tell you at the moment, except may God be with you.
in haste, this 30th of January 1569
me the widow Jonneviel
This present letter to be given to Nicaise Frappes
Greetings by our
lord Jesus Christ.
My very dear and
good friend, my brother, Jan Debreuban, I your sister Noël send very affectionate greetings to you and likewise your brother,
Jan de Vyller et all his family and
likewise your nephew Grade de Vyller, and then to my sister Jacquelin and that
she and Marye ask to greet you [and] that your wife Roset et pense [hopes?] to greet you wholeheartedly and warmly. And when
the messenger came to Vyller that he told me about what I did not know [,] what
to do because I have heard no news for a year. As well as hearing more, I would
like to know how I [could?] imagine leaving because I have no money which I
could find. And moreover, he came in the evening and wanted to leave in the
morning and he then waited for a week and then left finally, and nevertheless
it is possible if you wish.
I ask you to write
me and that I will get ready all my things to leave 2 weeks after Easter and if
you find another messenger sooner, I will ask him to leave.
And moreover I,
Gra de Vyller, your nephew, ask you for your blessing for I’m on the point of marrying
and I would have wished that it had [happened?] and she asks if it is possible
that you come to this side of the sea to the nearest town.
Written on 1
Endorsed: To be
given to Jan Debreuban.
after all my greetings I was happy to hear you were in good health and that if
Pierre my son cannot live with you, that we can all come to the town of
for we hear nothing but that there’s an accord in your country.
And I cannot hold back from telling you that all those [here?] with whom you
and I have had to do, that is Pierre Carpentier
and also his father Antoine Freumant who died soon after we met in Calais; and
also the leader called Gillain Reubien
who resided in the town of Antwerp and of all there’s only Jaque Galon who
became wealthy, concerning whom I remember (?) that he advised Graupert and me,
but earning nothing from the said Reubien because the merchandise that he would
deliver to you was all exhausted in renting
the space and there was no return. I had always hoped to rent (it) again
and I also hoped you would come once again, but our God often shows us by his
messages in great tribulation and to many (?) but our journey was cut short.
In conclusion, I
commend to you Pierre, my son, that it is my hope if you do some service to the
said Pier that I will recompense you for it.
Here there’s no
change nor any sign of change, but God holds everything in his good will to
reveal his glory at the final end.
Praying to our God
to give you his grace.
This 1 February
1569. In everything your servant and
master Francoies Guimart.
Greetings by Jesus
Christ. Written, the first day of February.
My good friend,
Guillaume Hennequart, I beg to be commended to you and your wife and similarly
to my daughter Syntenne , informing you as well that we are all in good health,
praise be to God, which I hope all of you are as well.
letter is to inform you that I have received your letter by which I learned
that my daughter Syntenne wishes to marry and understood that many notable
people were involved and still are involved in this. I discussed with all my
friends what is this advantage which God wishes to provide for her but it would
be impossible to do her any good at the moment because all our goods have been
seized as you all know very well. But God willing, I hope with time that she will
no longer be a bastard like [que] the
other, provided that she wishes to be an honest woman and that I can bring her
And, similarly, I
spoke to Jacques Pranger,
who asked me for my daughter for and in the name of his son, to which I consented.
My friends, there
is nothing else at the moment, except may God protect you all.
Guillaume I ask
that you may please let me know how I could send to them that which you asked
of me without any danger, tell me about it and I will do it very willingly. You
know very well that I am a simple woman. For which reason, advise me how I
could send it.
Endorsed: To my
good friend, Guillaume Hennequart.
Written on 1
My very dear and
well-beloved sister in Jesus Christ, I send you heartfelt greetings and good
Know that I’m in
good health, I and my wife, my daughter and my sister and her husband and their
children and therefore I pray to God that he may protect you and all yours.
Know, my sister,
that we are very happy to have had news of you because for a long time we’ve
not had any news. We don’t have anything else to ask save that God may protect
you and all yours.
Know, my sister,
that my mother is likewise at present in good health and I pray that you will
return to us for since the hour and the days that I saw
you, my eyes have not been dry and I’m always weeping, praying God that you
will come back to him and us all.
I don’t know of
anything else save that you return and that it’s the wish of the good God to
send you back, if that’s your desire you will give great pleasure to my mother
and us all.
In everything your
brother, Thomas le Den.
February, at 5 in the morning.
Endorsed: To be
given to Jenne le Den.
the grace and peace of our good God be granted to you as a greeting.
be informed that your wife has received your letter, dated 27 December, by
which she was very happy when she heard of your good state. Note, that your
wife and mother and your brother and sister and relatives and friends all send
you their hearty commendations and beg you not to become melancholy, for, at
the moment, no one is saying anything [about you?] in Valenciennes. You have
heard tell that they are confiscating the goods of people; it is very true that
they have confiscated the goods of some of those who are banished or accused,
but, they are not saying anything for the moment. And I wish that you were with
your wife and children, for you would be at ease as much as the others who
return every day. You ask me to see if the roads are dangerous, but concerning
that you will have to have patience, for I hope, depending on the grace of God,
that he will change matters and that you will return by his grace, for it is
hardly a journey for a woman and two children. For which reason, place your
confidence in God and with time you will come a little nearer in time. Note
that the wife of Boisin has given birth to a son.
have nothing else to tell you for the moment, except that your daughters
Annette and Marie are always asking when their father will come; your daughter
Marie says that you do not know how to get back and that your feet hurt. May you
be commended to God.
Valenciennes, this first day of the month of February in ’69. Martin, inquire a
bit to discover where Martin du Val is, for his father and mother wish very
much to hear his news. To end, by Jesus Christ.
To be given to Martin Plennart into his own hand.
du Val, be informed that your father and your mother and your two sisters all
send you their hearty commendations, they commend themselves to you. As for
your sister Cuinte, she is with God. But concerning your father and your
mother, they very affectionately ask that you send them your news as quickly as
possible, for as long as they have no news of you, it seems to them that you
are dead, for which reason all they wish for is that you give them your news in
order that they may know your condition and how you are doing; by doing so, you
will give them joy and ease. And if it is possible for you to come nearer to
them, they would very much like that, so that they may hear your news more
often than they do now. And concerning news in Valenciennes, at the moment no
one is saying anything [about you?] to anybody. They have nothing else to tell
you at the moment, except may God protect you and us all.
Valenciennes, this first day of the month of February in the year ’69, by me,
Collette, who has set this down for
you on the authority of your father and your mother, may you be commended to God.
Endorsed: To be
given to Martin du Val, a young man, living at Londres [London], in the house
of the son of Terroeuve.
My uncle I send
whole hearted greetings to you and my aunt, also your wife, and to my uncle and
to my aunt and to my sister Batekin, as also does my father and my aunt Marie
and all of us children, [and] my brother and sister. And we are all in good
health, praise be to God, to whom I pray that it is likewise with you.
The first thing I
would tell you is that since four and a half months we no longer have mother;
and she died on 2 October 1569 in Sunday evening at half past nine. My cousin,
your son, was then with us and saw her die and he had just come to take supper
with me and my cousin outside our house. And my mother was not sick when she
went to lie down and an hour later she died beside my father without falling
ill or speaking, except à l’artiecque de la mort, she threw her arm around my father, who was quite taken aback and
all of us likewise. And I did not see her die. In the morning du panion [?] she was sleeping well and
talking a little before. And we are without a mother, since then we have all
lost my uncle and aunt through the loss – so soon and in such haste – so that
we are now 7 poor children without a mother and with a father who is rather
disagreeable as you well know; he has been so more for her than for his
children and it had all come to such a pass that my mother told him that she
would not see any of us adrechy
as he never wanted her; and now he would wish it well so that he might have a
better excuse to marry afterwards.
And if he does it,
my uncle, we would lose everything so little has my mother left us and it seems
to me that he will do it for he does not follow the good advice of my uncle
Nyecolas and his wife and my uncle and everyone. Would that you were here near
me and my aunt Jennet if only to give us the benefit of your advice and
company. And I have sent all of this (to you) and I will write you more about
it another time. And as for the house we still hold it. And as for my mother,
she was pregnant and still happy 2 months (before?) she died, and that I have
sent everything (to you).
My uncle, as for
my cousin, he bears everything and it’s not his fault that he doesn’t write you
for he has written you several times, but you’ve not received it. And as for
helping you, he would do so willingly if he had the means to send you some
thing (?) and he is looking at doing it and it has also been sent you likewise.
My uncle, as for
your wish that I were close to you, I wished that long ago for the many regrets
that I have always will have, but I must wait patiently on the will of God.
In haste, this 2
And my sister
Katlin is without a mother
From your niece
who knows you well
Endorsed: To my
uncle, Pierre Gruelz, wherever he might be living.
May the grace of
God be granted to you by our lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit for your
My very dear and
good husband, I greet you with a good heart, letting you know that I’m faring
well, thanks be to God, both in heart and in spirit.
My husband, I very
much want to have your news and that you have a great longing [envoy for envie] for me and I for you. I very much wish I had the means to
come with you since for nearly three months I’ve not had news of you and I hear
that you’ve sent several letters. I know, my husband, you sent one a year ago
which little Nicolas received and gave it to his wife and when she had had it
for some five weeks, she burnt it. And when, my husband, on that day that she
burnt it, it seemed to me avirré that she gave me le comptes le mort.
And [I] have been
ill in the ensiengeand only two
months ago I was still ill. And now thanks to the good God who has relieved me
of what it pleased him to send and I have taken it in good part.
And I ask that you
pray to God for us and we will pray to God for you. Amen.
I should tell you,
my husband, that I’m sending you 6 pairs
of de verque de hur 4 corde and six pairs of
forty and .... (illegible in original) vales e ungne …
I can tell you, my
husband, that Caterinne and Jan are faring well and (also) your daughter
Judite. Both Cateriene and Jérémie have died. She spent five months at my
father’s house, at Rume
[when] she became so ill and as for Jérémie whom God the Master has called, I
received him and when she became ill in the mind, saying nothing for five days,
it ended a year later.
husband, your brother Jan and your sister send greetings to you. Marie de
Lesplanque and le Bègue, le Roi and all those of your house send greetings to you. I
don’t know what else to say, save that may God protect you all and us. Amen.
Written in haste,
second of February 1569.
And my husband I
would be close to you. Now ....... and I pray always to know. I sign this as
best I can. I make la prière [?] fervent [?] et ai who can help.
by your friend Caterienne Glouquette. To be given to Nicolas Herman.
daughter, my hearty commendations to you and to your husband, and also from
your mother-in-law and your nephew and niece, and to your two children, who are
have received your letters of 2 January last which were very pleasing to me as
I was informed of your good condition, praise be to God, who provides us with
the same grace. For we were anxious to
have your news, and inform you as well that your two children here are doing
well and are growing in size and beauty and little David is a joy.
put an end to this on that point owing to the hurried departure of the
messenger. I pray that God the Creator may keep you in his mercy.
Valenciennes, this 2nd day of February 1569
father, Jacques Berot.
said David sends greetings to his mother, to his brother and his sister. He
made this greeting by kissing me this morning. I have paid the bearer of this 5
To my daughter, Agniès Berot.
aunt, hearing that someone was going to you, I wanted to write this letter to
let you know that our condition is good, praise be to God, to whom I pray that
He may thus also [be] pleased to keep all of you.
wrote to you, it was around fifteen days ago that you would have received it,
by which I let you know that your two children are doing very well.
brother-in-law and my sister send their greetings to you and to all our friends
over there and especially to your husband and your children.
an end to this, I pray that God keeps you in his holy grace and send my
greetings to all of yours, to my uncle and to all the others.
in haste, this 2nd of February 1569.
nephew and servant, Jacques Jappin
To my aunt, Agniès Bérot.
May the peace of
God be granted you for your salvation.
I send greetings
to you, my father, as does my mother, your wife; and also Eyzabele, my wife and
all the friends. Likewise, my father, we ask to be commended to your brother
Roland and to your sister, his wife; we ask to be commended to your cousin
Matieu and that I did not know too much of the affairs of his wife.
I can report, my
father that we are in good health in both heart and spirit. God be thanked. I
have received two letters from you, dated 2 January.
I can report, my
father, that one came the Saturday after you left our house. After you [came]
to speak to my sister and again two or three times and wanted to come in. I
pressed him to show [me] his letter. Then I had returned from my home. I also
told him that he should read it there. I asked our neighbour, Jan le Cain, when
you left what he was owed. Since [then] we have not dared to say anything; each
time I have read it (with) pleasure, but we haven’t dared speak about you.
Know that we ask
to be commended to the children of our brother Rolan and that my mother leuey pereyto stop hitting
[touching?] the head of her son Hernou and to keep it always bandaged for this
[the wound?] comes from a cautery.
father we wish you were with us. May it please the good God that we’re on the
way, but we have not finished our business for I have had to deal with many
people, as you know.
My father, please
commend me to our sister Colet and her family; you’ve not written anything
about them. My father, please commend me warmly to Matieu and his niece for we
would like to have news about her and that she’s faring well.
father, I will do your duty by letter, asking God to be commended to all his
mercy and that God by his goodness wants always to lead us according to his
goodness and mercy for we are in great need of it.
Therefore, pray to
God for us and I pray to God that he gives us the grace to pray to God for you.
From a place you
know, Candlemas which is 2 February.
Your son who knows
Endorsed: to be
given to Rolan de Hetreu, merchant. The messenger has not been paid.
Tomma le Clercque,
my husband, I send you greetings.
your letter, dated 26 December ’69, I thank my God that I’ve had your news,
praying that you have changed your mind about living and working in the country
without more messengers.
And I pray to our
good God that he may protect you until we may be able to see one another. All
our children fare well and also master Jacque.
We do not know or
receive anything, so we suffer many troubles and also others. Therefore we
won’t be able to help one another so we’re not alone in danger. As for the
paper and the coute you
asked for, I will send these via Antwerp and thence to where you asked for
Praying our good
God to give you his grace.
This 2 February,
the year 1569.
By your Elizabet
Lot, your wife.
Endorsed: To be
delivered to where Tomas le Clercque is dwelling
Greetings by Jesus
My very dear and
well-beloved sisters Mary and Chonette Orman, your godfather and I send you
greetings, and advise you that I’ve received two letters. To the first of these
I sent back a reply [telling] how Matiniette Tricar and Marten, the son of Amé
le Chèvre, great surgeon of Raims
was pregnant with her first child and the husband whom she married was called
Jacques le Chèvre whose mother was the cousin-german of your godfather Jan de la
Chambre. And I have put the certificate
of (illegible) inside the other letter and if you wanted proof, you would find
more than a thousand, for the matter is very clear.
And of your things
you wanted [and] how to send these since you don’t say to whom one should give
them, nor what things you wanted. Therefore, another time put your matter more
And my brother Jan
Orman and his wife and your brother-in-law and sister-in-law commend themselves
to you. And your brother-in-law is concerned and as a sign of truth he has put
their mark on the letter and this is true that they have separated one from
another before the bishop of Arras.
And your sister
Bélo sends greetings to you and longs to see again your news and that of your
father and your brother. And if I had had an opportunity, I would have still
found the officer, but this [was?] tout ung.
especially to my brother Peter Orman and his wife.
I certify myself:
Jan Harchin, Tesse Mein. Myself. Jan Dutois. Witness: Jan de le Chambre.
Written on 2 February, by your sister Orman.
Endorsed: To be
given to Jacqueé for sending on to Mary
Orman, living in the town of Londre [London].
Arnoult, after every
greeting to all our friends, I will tell you that I have received your letter
from which I learned that you were well-disposed in everything, with this
[and?] that you are at peace in the country, which I’m very pleased about, for
we were very worried about the troubles there
and as we had had no news about you for a long time, this made us all concerned
I have written
about two weeks ago, via Jehan de la Barre; I
believe that you will have had the letter from him. We are doing well, praise
be to God, but very troubled. I pray God that he will give all of us patience
and that he wants to bring about peace everywhere. I urge you to keep a hand on
your son Jehan, that he is taught Latin and to do his numbers well and then to
set him to learn languages for it is fitting that he does not waste his time.
has asked me to approach his son, I would ask you to do your best with him. I
very much wish you were closer to us so we could have more often news though I
hope that in time the princes will reach an agreement together so that the
people may have peace.
We all pray to God
that he puts them at peace. I wish to be commended to all our friends. May your
children fare well and begin to learn to read, to write and to sew.
I would very much
like to have the young Jehan Thomas with me.
this 2 February 1569
From your father.
sister, my hearty greetings to you and to your children, my mother and my wife
and all our friends do likewise.
informed that we are all in good health, thanks be to God, to whom we pray that
you are as well.
as for your son Pol, his uncle has decided not to send him yet. I received from
Calot du Chaple what she owed me but [I’ve had] nothing from the others.
is nothing else for the moment, except that I pray the Lord to protect you.
3rd of February, by your brother and friend.
To be given to Jeanne Calvière
my hearty greetings to you and we – and each and every one of us and to your
little daughters - to your wife and to her
sister, soon to be married whom I hope is still with you, God willing, and for
whom I cry many times each week, for I am wasting away. And may it please our
good God that you would very soon be near us, for that would be all my joy, for
I have a very strange husband. And I would comfort myself sometimes with you
and now I don’t have anybody and it always seems to me that I will never see
you again, nor my two daughters, nor your children, for whom I grieve so much
that I would not know how to write to you about it. And still my longing is
greater than it ever has been, for I do not have any news from you since last
month, except that Francois de Lingne gave me your greetings, but I very much
want to know if your wife’s head is completely healed and if you are benefiting
a bit from your labours, for I would be very happy to hear it.
only write me a few words when you can so that I may know if all your household
is in good health for I am not at all, and so that [I may know about] your
sister who is in your house but do not reply to us on the back of this
[letter], but to my discreet friend near our house. And my greetings to my
godmother and to all our friends and tell her that her sister Jeanette has
died, as a result of which I [feel] very forsaken. And may it please our good
God that I may safely be with you in a month and for that I would be very
the little creature is a great burden to me as I do not sleep day or night and
she is the most beautiful child that you would ever see in a thousand, for I
had her in September.
an end to this, I pray the Creator to grant you his holy grace and that you
pray God for us. And if our good God gives me grace, I will pray God for you. I
pray to him many times each day, when I am well enough.
the 3rd day of February
your very wistful mother.
To be given to Benoit de le Court.
the grace of God be granted to you.
brother, Michiel, my hearty greetings to you. Be informed that we are all in
good health; my father and my mother and Antoine and I, Martin, and Mathieu and
my sister-in-law and all their children are all in good health, praise be to
God, and I pray to him that all of you are as well.
asked me concerning some wands
and I have sent you some, 3 pairs with three strings, 3 pairs with four strings
and 3 pairs with 5 strings, one with 7 strings; in all there are 10 pairs.
have received a letter from you, the 2 February, which has made us very happy,
for it has already been a long time since we have heard anything about your
health, but we are very upset that you did not tell us there where you are
residing for sending letters to us. As for news, there is nothing since you
left the country: we are all in good health, praying God that you are too.
Desquiens, the 3rd day of February 1569
brother, Michel, I beg you if you have any sort of business that you write to
me about it; if it is possible I will gladly send it. May God be with you.
commendations to my sister-in-law and to Daniel and to Abraham and to Jan, your
son, so that they may remember us.
To be given to Michiel Desquint.
May the grace and
peace of our lord, Jesus Christ, be granted you for salvation.
Be informed, my
brother that we’re all in good health, thanks be to God, and I pray to God that
it is likewise with you.
Having made all my
greetings, I can tell you that I’ve received your letter that you sent me in
which you asked me to give 3 £ de gros
to Jannet le Quien.
This will be impossible for me for I don’t have any means since I’m living in
receipt of poor relief. I have had to find much money to buy what I need.
Be informed that
the widow’s sister has died so it’s out of the question for me to be able to
send you it unless you find another friend who can help you.
Be informed that
your daughter Jenne greets you, likewise all of us.
I don’t know of
anything else to say except that God may protect you all.
Written in haste,
the day after Candlemas 1569.
In Jesus Christ.
Endorsed: To be
given to Jason du Bois.
In the name of
God, 3 February.
My brother and
good friend sends most humble greetings to you, to let you know that we are all
prospering well, grace and praise to our good God as I hope it is also with you
should know that I have received your letter dated 2 January and have fully
understood the same from which I am very happy about your state (of health) and
that (you have) all the means for making a living for which I thank our good
God who has been pleased to provide so well for you. And as for me, you should
realise that it’s out of the question to come so soon for I’m still in complete
possession of my house and must do what I can. But if it’s your wish that I
should come to you, tell me by the first post and I promise you I’ll come, but
however it will certainly be after Easter before I could come there for I would
want to sell most of my furniture to make some money. And also, you should
write to say whether or not I should come to you without a livelihood, or what
I will have to do.
And as for our
children, send me your advice, that is if I should bring them with me or not.
As for Gérom, he’s at ‘Vuessele’
with our nephew Philippes Nys
but his stay will end at Easter. As for Hetyaven he’s with your brother Pol,
but his stay ends at All Saints next. Therefore, don’t neglect to tell me
everything so that everything can be done with good advice and agreement between
us. And I ask you to instruct me by the first post so that I can make my
preparations and when it will seem to you best and when you think that I could
do my small part for us.
I ask you to send
someone you know to find me for you should not think it’s a small thing for a
woman when she knows she must make such a journey with her household and also
because it is not now as it was previously, for it is now more dangerous and
risky than it was.
As for the letter,
you said you’ve sent me, I assure you I’ve received nothing since the one dated
26 June. And as for me, I have written several but I see they were not properly
addressed; therefore, I’m in great trouble and I am astonished how it has been
so long without our letters, but I understand that the fault does not lie on
your side or on mine. Therefore, we must be patient with one another, but I
have good hope that the time will come when, with the grace of our good God, I
will no longer be in such a calamitous situation. As for our son Gille, I’m
astonished you’ve not asked how he’s getting on. Et soit averty que le braseur m’a rendu ce que
savé, il ne ossoyt gardé, mays tout foys on a encorrt rien dyte, mayes l’ung
des hommes a deyt, s’yl n’avoyt quy taucés d’en votre mayn qu’yl serroyt bien
conten d’en m’en payer sa part. Et je voudrayoy que vous scryvés uun
de l’un le qant à
I always feel a
little hesitant but nevertheless, if you want us to come I would arrange to
sell all our things, but all our good friends always say that one must still be
patient for a little longer, for the two of us have often wept, because we
heard nothing from you, but when we have had news we have wept with joy. Our
children send greetings to you, likewise all our good friends and I send
greetings to my sister and to her husband and to my brother Jaque and to all
our good friends. I will conclude there for the present save (to pray) that God
may protect you and us all, for in him lies all my hope.
And my brother, I urge you to read this two or
three times for I’m afraid I don’t know how to read.
Here is all my best by she whom you know, since the feast of St James and St
Christopher. Your friend in
Endorsed: To be
given to Jacque du Puys.
My brother and my sister,
I send greetings in spirit rather than by word of mouth and likewise all,
brother and sister, be advised that we’re all in good health, thanks be to God,
as I hope and pray it is likewise with you all.
greeting, this (letter) will inform you that I’ve received your letter on 30
January and I’m surprised you have not
heard from me for I have sent as many as five (letters).
Further, as for
your godmother I still haven’t spoken to her, for I haven’t seen her since my
sister left, but I’ll always do my duty. And further, regarding my uncle, I
haven’t spent as much as you think. As for the inventory, I have repaid him 19
and now they’ve sold five [lb worth?] which was in the house. The sale raised
1004 lbs all expenses paid on which they’ve paid to the King’s receiver 26lbs
14 gros, but I don’t know by whom this had been done or how much the sale
raised. But I know this from those who have done it for they have done it
without the knowledge of myself and my sister and have sold a large part of all
your jewellery and furnishings. I don’t think there’s anything large left to
sell. And they did you the great honour in saying that yours is a tangled story
and this they did not tell just one
person but many people who talk about it. Once the wife of my uncle Guillaume,
being in your house, pursued us [and] exchanged words with me to the extent
that she cursed you and my sister in presence of Jan de France
and of my sister Mary. I was incensed but I said that her curses mattered
little and Jan de France said much the same. We must leave everything in the
hand of God and have patience of five people
which it may please him to send us, but I don’t know how to put that in writing
rather than say.
I very much want
to talk to you. Therefore, they have not yet spent anything of it and they will
not except for two months they have given money of the child Maxemylyen from
it. It’s going very badly with Jan de Franche. Therefore, I would not wish to
be going on account of your affairs and I have decided not to leave for one
cannot find a companion such as one would wish. Besides I’ve no money. In
addition, you know my mother is tied for the present to a girl called Mary.
I don’t know of
anything else to write save that He may protect you and all of us.
Written on 3
February 1569 in Tournai.
I have written in
some haste because the messenger was in hurry, but I was delighted to have had
news of you. Please send news back with the bearer of this.
From your devoted
and obedient sister Justinne Ploiart.
The bearer has
been paid 6 gros.
Endorsed: To be
delivered to Guillaume le Myelux, living in Londre [London]. Free (of any
Jesus be your salvation, in the name of our lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
husband, my hearty commendations to you and to my aunt, to my cousins, and also
from my two children.
informed that we are all in good health, praised be our good God. I pray to Him
that you are as well.
following, note that I have received your letter for which I am very happy and
thank our good God, that it has pleased him to maintain you by his grace in
health, for I did not think that I would ever have news of you, for since my
friend Jan left the country, I have not had a letter from you. And about my
situation, I am doing miserably for I have only two rooms and they are
downstairs, for I have rented the room on top; the two workers whom I have are
a young Walloon from Roubaix, and the other is Paco the son of Philipot Lescollière;
and they are both spirited. What I am having them make is not for any profit
there may be, but is to ease my sadness a bit, for they both keep me very
joyful, and especially Paco. My brother and my mother send their greetings to
you, and Jan, my brother, and his wife; and they are doing very well in their
marriage and do their work very well; and your mother and sister all send you
their greetings; and they are doing very well; and you have instructed me to
come to you, I would like to be there very much, for I promise you that the
body is here, but my heart is with you very often; and [but?] very wise people
do not advise me to do it yet, but have patience, according to what time
brings, we will discuss it with each other.
I beg you to write me more often and that you look to whom you give the
letters, that they may be better addressed than they have been.
am very sad that you have been so long from the country, there are not any
others whom you know well who are like us in that they have not been so long
and they do their duty well; and I beg you if you know Chonnette le Meschine,
wherever she may be, that you tell her that Paco sends her his hearty
in Lannoy, this 3rd day of February by your wife, Isabeau Parent.
My brother, Gille
Piet, I send you greetings as do my sister and all your children and my father
and mother and all your friends from over here. You should know that they are
all in good health, thanks be to God. I hope it is likewise with you.
My brother, you
should be informed that on the last day of January we arrived, I and my brother
Jorge, safely, praise be to the good God who led us so well by his Holy Spirit.
My brother, I wish
to let you know that we can’t return by this route without a passport ne qu’il soiet, for I personally saw men
from over here that could not cross freely without their passport et monotes des troyes Roies.
The brother Huchun told me to come by this same place, [but] without our
passport we could not cross.
Therefore, my brother,
I beg you in God’s name that you don’t take it ill if we delay, but also the
roads everywhere are flooded and not passable for carts and we find great
difficulty concerning what I ask you. I commend myself to all my brothers and
sisters in Christ.
To conclude, may
God protect you all, pray to God for us who watches assetez
and does the best for us.
Written in haste,
third day of February.
Endorsed: To be
given to Gille Piet.
May the peace and
grace of the good God be granted you all and we are in the third day of
I and my wife, your daughter and your sisters Philipette and Calot and all the
children [are] of good cheer, and we send greetings to you all.
other matters being understood, my mother, is to let you know that I have
written you a letter via a merchant in Antwerp in which I refer to the business
of the said matter in which you should send five [of what?] asking as my letter
mention. So, I don’t know if you’ve received [it] and decided.
There is a letter
from Piere Téare
for delivery to his agent which if you deliver it there [then] you [should]
write to us about it and they will meet their obligation. Also, as for the
merchant at Antwerp I would ask that he should write to [tell] me one way or
another whether he has received his letter and also mine.
Mother, I would
like to have your news. There is a letter that Pierre Taiart will give to Jehan
Boutiflas and you will have five
[what?]. Boutiflas will tell you. Piere Taiart has told us that if he wants he
has the means to deliver five to you. You will ask him and when you will have
received it, you will be able to give it to us to settle the matter and they will all do their duty. And so, this man has said he would
bring it you if possible; thus, if he is able to bring it to him, he will
deliver it to you there. And your brother, my friend, is in Antwerp. I will
arrive in Antwerp one day and the other he will arrive there.
By way of conclusion,
I pray to for you all.
This 3 February
1569, by me, you whom you know, ready to do your bidding and service. I have
paid the bearer of this (letter).
When I was in
Antwerp I acquired the linen and gave it to my brother and I have since reported
that linen as good; if the opportunity arises it will be sent to you.
Endorsed: To my
Dambryne, I very affectionately beg to be commended to you. I am very
astonished that for the past two years I have received no news from you, which
amazes me; I do not know if you are angry with me or not, that you do not write
to me. If you thought it suitable to leave me behind, that was not because of me
and I regret it very much. I am troubled nightly that I have no news from you,
although I have written to you several times; I long to be with you, but if so,
I must know what we shall do with our children. As for the little girls, I
shall find a way to put them somewhere, but as for the others you need to
instruct or write to me your intention and if you will have the means to
sustain us together and where you will need me. I also have business with you.
For this reason, Jehan Dambryne, consider seriously what you will have to do
and about the few goods we have at the moment, which have caused me enough
trouble, that is, whether I shall sell everything with your tools or shall
entrust them to some friends while waiting for better times. For I hope, that we
shall not always be in this misery and the matters will go well with the aid of
God. For this reason, Jehan Dambryne, I ask that you think on it and let me
know your intention and the most fitting means by which I can be with you. I
ask that you do not please fail to write me your final intentions, following
which I shall conduct myself. And I do not know how I will be able to find
myself with you because of the offence that I have done you. I have written and
sent a letter to you, which is en route.
such, Jehan Dambryne, my husband, I pray that God may protect you and that you
do not fail to write me by your own hand.
Valenciennes, this 3rd of February 1569.
dear wife, Jacqueline Leurent
To be given to Jacques Gellee
and addressed to Jehan Dambryne, in Londres [London].
very dear and beloved brother and friend, Jehan de Denain, dit le poivre, my
commendations to you; similarly, from my wife, your sister Chonette and, also,
all your other friends, that is to say, Franchois, his wife Janette, Marie,
your sisters, and in general everybody. After having finished my humble
commendations, this will serve to inform you that we are all in good condition,
thanks be to the sovereign Lord, our good God, to
whom we pray that all of you are as well. My brother, all of us beg you to
always have good courage and to have patience with what God has thus
distributed to you, all your family and also of the good which he has bestowed
on you, for you know better than I would be able to write to you or even think
that God does not wish to lose any of his servants, but, on the contrary,
strengthens them in everything and by everything. My brother and friend, think
how our good shepherd Jesus Christ had the care of his good servants, apostles,
[and?] princes, similarly of the good Saint Peter, in prison, how he was
delivered at night, with the doors closed and he enchained by foot and hand,
[and] returned to his other companions; it was a
miraculous thing, but [God’s] power has in no way diminished since that time.
In closing, my brother, do not trouble yourself in anything. I hope that
shortly we will have good news, for they no longer exact any rigour in justice,
thus the rumour is prevalent that those who are prisoners in the castle,
that none of them will die by the law. May God grant it by his mercy.
as to news from here, I have nothing to tell you, except that we are, more than
ever, greatly pestered by Spanish soldiers, for it was decreed at the beginning
of this present month of February that every soldier should have each week one
hour’s worth of candle and other things worth 9 or 10 gros per week, [and] with this [be] given all linen, cloths and
towels and [can] warm himself at the
hearth of the master of his lodgings, which is a quite unreasonable. We have so
learned from Tournai. We do not know anything more about it.
as to your father-in-law and your mother-in-law, they are doing very well and also
does your daughter Franchoise, we are doing the best for her that we can … 
father-in-law is like your brother Francois, he trembles for you each day. We
informed the one whom you know has come here to us, but he barely did anything
about it, for he is very scared to give assistance to fugitives, as you may
know, praying to our good God to give you what your heart desires in that which
can benefit the salvation of our souls.
in haste, this 3rd day of the month of February of the year ’69. From your good
friend and brother-in-law, his name you know, my brother. I beg of you
especially the favour that you send our commendations to our brother Adriens de
Baudrengies, if it possible for you
to find him, for we very much wish to know of his behaviour, we beg you to
commend us often to the widow of Meurs and to all her children, and to Nicolas
Ploucquet and to his wife.
To be given to Jehan de Denain
the name of God, from Ath this 4th of February 1569.
Caulier, my hearty commendations to you, and to your wife and children.
know that we are all in good health, as I hope you are as well. And this letter
is to inform you that I am very surprised that I have had no news from you, for
I am angry that you have not been able to pay what you owe me or that I have
not been able to have the merchandise from you, for I’m selling the French
cloth marvellously well at retail. Your father was at Rouen and bought more
than sixty cloths, for which reason I hope that with time you will sell them as
well as he does. And I would very much like to know if you have received what I
sent you and if you have received it, I ask to have your response.
brother, Jan, has entered into marriage with one Jeng [Jeanne?], a girl of
Tournai, who is rich, worth more than 300 lb de gros, for which I hope that all
will go well.
sends his commendations to all of you
take courage, you are far away from us, but I will never abandon you and all of
yours and I hope that we will be greater friend than we ever have been, if it
pleases God; and that we may continue to do business together
have nothing else to write to you at the moment, except my God protect you and
all of yours.
in haste, by your servant forever,
To Mr Jérome Caulier, merchant at Londre [London]
May the grace and
peace of God be granted you by Jesus Christ.
Adreryen, my good
friend, I send hearty greetings to you and all those whom I know. I can tell
you that we’re all in good health, praise be to God, to whom I pray that it is
likewise with you as it is with us all. My mother and all my brothers and sisters
send the same greeting as I have done.
I can tell you
that my brother Jan has been married as I also have been. My brother Francoy
would also like to be so [and?] with the other [wishes] to be your son. And I
always have one good day and then a bad one. As also does your wife. She has
been sick from day to day for a good month and it seems to me that she must
give birth. It would be good if she goes to term but that [is] in God’s hands
and no one else. I think [the due date] is between 8th and 15th
March. I pray God sends me good fortune and soon. I pray that it will be so
when you remember her. As for setting out on the road, I don’t dare until God
has delivered me.
I can tell you
that I received your letter of 2 January: I received it on 1 February and I
also had news by word of mouth the same day by the young lad whom you’d met the
day before he left. He arrived here in good health, thanks be to God, on 30
January, but he doesn’t know when he will be leaving because the floods are so bad
that one does not risk the roads or
one’s money. I will not be able to have
time for it that I have many times, you know it well. And the 2lb de gros
from my father are outside our power. As for the tools, you left behind I lent
them to him [my father] for work and he sold them. When I asked for it back
from my brother Francoy he replied that l’en
with you and neither Madelyn nor Jennyen would need them. This would be a great
I don’t know
anything for the present except that may God protect you as he does us.
All written on 4th
day of February by your friend Mary, whom you know well.
The wife of Jan
sends greetings. Her husband has been at the wars for the past week. The widow
Lefèvre sends greetings to you
and your wife.
Endorsed; To be
given to Adreryen de Lepluc.
May the peace and
grace of the good God be granted you all and to us. This 4th
My brother and
friend, de Denains, I greet you heartily, not forgetting your wife and my
nephew and all the friends.
Know, my brother,
other matters having been understood, my sister has so much to do that you
would not believe it and I myself have little money and we do not know how to
be paid by others nor have the leisure [to do so] in as much as everyone is
poor. But my brother je y teray le mains … se feras par Anvers
des miennes à
cinque … mès
vous ayre y sanble avoire.  My brother, it is true I am still able to be
very happy for you to eat your bread in peace, as people will remember you in Antwerp.
And, my brother,
we make good cheer at this amount which you tell us of, as he[?] was able to tell you it and it displeases me that my
sister is unable to send him anything, but I will look into it and I beg you
not to lose any more money down the drain for neither my sister nor I will find
it. I have sent Gérard de le Rue five saves.
And, my brother, someone will send you what you ask, [though?] it may be far away, it can still be carried. My
godfather Noé is in Antwerp. I leave one of these days, he arrives there on the
sends greetings to you and conducts himself well and we likewise, I will write
to my brother Jacque. Your daughter sends greetings to her brother.
this, praying God for you all
From me, whom you
I have paid the
[Endorsed]: To my brother, de Denains.
I desire for you
my beloved son, together with your wife and family, the grace and peace of God
our heavenly Father.
greetings to you my beloved son Jean Behaghele. I Jacques Behaghele
commend myself sincerely to you, trusting that you are healthy and faring well
as both I and my wife are.
as for your letter that I received in which you wrote about having some money
from your godfather, I would ask you to write giving me more information where
I might obtain the said money or your godfather, for I cannot understand from
your letter where or from whom I should collect the same. So, I ask you first
to let me know where the people live so that I can demand or collect the money
and then I shall gladly make arrangements and see that you get the same, and
[ask] your godfather so that he also makes arrangements. And as soon as you
write telling us where we might arrange to collect the money, I shall do my
youngest brother is living with his uncle Daneel at Diksmuiden, and your mother
is also there.
In haste, this 5th
day of February,
From me, your
beloved father and mother: what we can.
Grace and peace in
.... Guillaume, my
son, we have received your letters by ... We understand that you are in [good]
health and also that ... she has given birth to a girl for which we are all
very happy ... God, that he may grant good fortune to both the mother and the
child ... to be well-mannered, virtuous and god-fearing ... she I conduct myself because ce porseurs vous en ...
and that we’re all in [good] health, God be praised, and the ... the custom we
send greetings to you all ... not forgetting your father and mother, praying
God the Creator ... wishing that he has you in his holy protection.
In haste, ... 5th
By your devoted
father .... [Gil?]les Caulier
May the grace,
mercy and peace of God, our heavenly father, be with you, and bring us all
together through the merits of his dear son Jesus Christ, who is with you and
with us. Amen.
greetings to my beloved brother and your wife as well as your children, I wish
you good health and I hope that things are also going well for you.
And we have
received your exhortation for which we are heartily grateful, but we cannot
easily join you for the time is not convenient. But as for your admonition
we are, the Lord be praised, not compelled,
for people still leave us in peace, the Lord be praised for His grace. And
further, concerning the reply about the money that I have sent via Jan
Huegebart,that was forty stuivers
as his wages [while working] at master Claeys’ house.
If he would have so much from you for the journey, he would not be behaving as
a Christian should, but they are not all Christians who bear the name.
Nevertheless, my beloved brother, I have secretly [advanced] him up to 40
stuivers, for they have been given him for his work [to be done] at master
Claes’ house and [re?]paid when he had received the money. And you should know
that your friends are prospering, the Lord be praised. And as a token of my
affection for you, I’m sending you a cheese because of my great love and good
fortune and we trust with God’s grace that it will please you.
And that it approaches here we can
see from what we hear. And all that I can [do] that is for you and for my
friends as far as lies within my capacity and if it were so that the time does
not change, I might well come and seek refuge
with them with His will for without God we can do nothing. And we acknowledge
that we ourselves are weak and doomed and naturally given to wickedness[?]
and evil and we all depend on God’s grace in this. And all our beloved brothers
and sisters pray for us all together that we may all come together with Christ
in his glory, where we may hope to come through God’s grace. Herewith remain
commended to God and we are well, the Lord be praised by his good grace.
Give my hearty
greetings to Jan Deuwellen and all his household,
as well as Pieter van Hacke together with his wife, and all the brethren in the
And this letter
has been written by [Vic]tor Kirstelot, your brother in Christ as above. And
the child is still alive, the Lord be praised. And the messenger has been paid.
[Endorsed] De Conick from [blank]
to you by Jesus Christ
father, my commendations to you and to my mother as well and to my sister
Marie. You should know that I am in good health, me and my brother as well; I
pray our good God that it is thus for you. After all my commendations, you are
to know that I received here the news from you. I am very happy that you are
doing well and I have been told that you have asked [after] us, me and my
father, I ask you not to take it badly, because I am not coming, for I bought
some fish for Lent  when my fish
have been sold, we will see how times turn out.
have nothing else to write to you at this time, except may God guard all of
you, by your son Jacques Cousart.
the 6th day of February in the year 1569
[Endorsed]: To be given to Hubert Cousart
son, Pierre, after having read your letter and also that of Tomas that you’re
all in good health and that you want news of all your brothers and sisters, [I
can tell you that they] are all in good health. As for Eugran, he has two
children, a boy and a girl and he has baptised his two daughters and his son.
As for Mariet, it appears she will marry, all after Easter and she [would]
already have done so if she and I had wished it, but fearful of not having
enough to meet all needs, the issue has been delayed, may God want it all to go
ahead. And as for our affairs, that is,
because of what Batifaz owes, I hope in God and in [for?] our friends that it
will all go well.
you last heard from me, our affairs get better and better. The young man who
asks for your sister has had a good position and seems to us to be profiting
well from it. As for Jorge, he does his duty and we make a good profit, for
which we must all thank God without ceasing for it appears that his regard for
us and also for so many is large. The said Jorge often purchases large
quantities of wool and this is wool from the locality because neither in this
town nor province do they make narrow cloth[?] because there’s little Spanish
or English wool and at the present no one in this town is making a living
As for what I have
written to you and also to Tomas, I have sent you a demi-réal of 5 s.
to wit what you owed to Tomas when he was in prison, seeing that he told me
that he had not sent you your share of what you owed him.
I have had no
letter from you since then I sent you the two pieces [of cloth] of which you
wrote. And as for Tomas, I let him have as much from me as your brother and
sister, one daalder,
and then I charged him that [either] you would write to me or if not that he
would demand nothing from me. However, when I had heard all about his
misfortune, I sent him another gold réal of V s. and now a demi-réal of 5 s.
And Matienet, your cousin has married a son of Antoinne de Aisy called Pia. And
everything considered it is well agreed that you could come back to us for
you’ve not been charged by the courts and there are many around here who have
not been charged although they were at Neuve-Eglise [Nieuwkerke] and at Honscot
[Hondschoote] and other places. Therefore, you need suffer no pain if the true
religion is not sufficiently encouraged where you are and if you are preparing
to return to this country, I would
strongly advise (you) to return as follows: do not fear anything, for matters
are not as turbulent as you’ve been told; do not fear anything but God, for to
Him alone is honour and glory.
Antoine le Febvre often comes to town and resides at Honsecot [Hondschoote]
where the workers make says for a living. There is no cloth making in this town
but if you were in the countryside there is. I would give you an order for some
goods. I am following my account that you previously said that you wanted my news
more frequently, for I intend to have an amount of wool, and I hope that the whole affair will prosper. We have
had some small partnership by Saincte-Omer [St-Omer]. And your brother is there
at present. At all times, we commend [ourselves?] to God having every day good
hope in God, if you wanted you could reside at Saient-Omer [St-Omer]. I assure
you that you’ll also do well there and also, you’ll be as safe there as you are
where you are now and they do every kind of work, and it would be my duty to tell
you about the work, for you would help us greatly and to our considerable
advantage. You could come via Calais and you could catch the ferry with the
people returning from the market at the said Calais which is on Saturday.
As for greeting
your companions, I have sent greetings and also to your acquaintances. Madrysends
greetings to him and to Estienne, who has goods like candlesticks and table
linen and suchlike.
Your brothers and
sister prosper though the time in general is one of small profits; he is
botcher of cloth; Batasar is a messenger to Antwerp. When he has arrived at Drie [?] he promises to reply by letter. In sum, do not be concerned in
anything over my preparations. You will also be very safe there where I told
you as you are where you are at present. Finally, we know that you will do what
you wish; what I ask you is that you don’t have any regrets. And today, we’re
leaving for Bruges, savoier se peult
Thus, your father.
the grace of God be eternally granted to you by our lord Jesus Christ.
des Buquois, my companion and brother-in-law and friends, we, your sister
Louise and me, Jan Broquar, send you our very humble commendations, letting you
know that I have received your letter, by which I have pledged myself to fulfil
the tasks about which you wrote me.
friend, you wrote to me in your letter that I should reply to you. At Antwerp
Lapar showed me a letter which Lion, his son wrote him sometime after 15th
January and told him that he was in the country until this day
and I understood that he is earning well by making velvets or plush. You wrote to me
that you have been waiting for me. You have there the first news that I have
had from you since you have been there and also the household is large, up to
four children and us two, and [we do] not at all know how to find ways of
getting money to set off on the journey. Nevertheless, we would very much like
to be in your company.
thank you many times that you remembered us and you gave me great pleasure and
the arrangements that we have [taken?] together, was what you foresee, about
which you have been straightforward, for which I thank my God that it is going
friend, I spoke to your wife, but she cannot be persuaded at the moment[?].
Further, your mother sends her commendations to you as also do all your sisters
and brothers-in-law and as also does Jaques Faurvarque, alias Brour.
have nothing else to write to you for the moment, except may God protect you.
in haste, this 8th of February by your entire friend,
Desbuquois, my commendations to you, asking you that if you reply to this that
you please write more plainly to Oste Phipo, my brother, how things are going
for you [lacuna in text] servant, Peti Maset, brother of the said Oste.
[Endorsed]: To be given to Jacques de Debuquois, living in L [London].
My very dear and
well-beloved, Jan Desmadry, I send most humble greetings, letting you know that
we’re all in good health, thanks be to God, as I hope it is with you too.
This is to let you
know that I’ve received your letter from the bearer of this, in which you
instructed me to send my son Jan
with the bearer of this, not knowing who he [the letter carrier] is, but I did
not want to disobey you, so I handed him [Jan] over charging him [the bearer]
to take him to you, expecting that he will be well introduced and that he has
more de crynten with you than he
appears to have [here] à menyent.
understand by your letter that you’ve rented a house and that God has given you
the means to earn a living, for which I thank my God, that if had afflicted you
in one way, he has redressed that in another.
Further, you want
to know how things are with us, I can tell you that I have been much troubled
by one thing and another. First, I had to pay hundred carolus guilders for the
movables which are and which we had in our house;
and if I had to recover our house from the king for 3 years, I would have to
pay 7 lb de gros a year. And everything will be taken back by force and if the
land we bought from Jan Gylemyn is taken from us, that still will not satisfy
them. Those who have taken our goods have given me four Spanish soldiers and a gougnant
which costs me 4 to 5 guilders a week. And they don’t know when they will
leave. But, God be thanked, the merchants have not abandoned me, for which I
will consider how to do the best that I am able. And so I hope to hold the said
merchants in friendship as much as I will be able.
But even though
much our property has been taken from us and I’ve had difficulties I would
snatch at anything if [only] you could return and [we might] have peace as
before. But I will bear this patiently provided that’s it’s the pleasure of
God, hoping in lord Jesus that soon all will return and that the lord God will
not leave us always in this condition, separated from one another.
My husband I would
tell you that as for the purchase of the house you bought from Jan Gilemeyn, I have
had to give up this house because when they assessed property in the town for
the 100th [penny] which the Duke of Alba has been granted, they
required to know to whom the property belonged and on oath so bringing en hute en hut troubles.
Therefore, the said Jan Gillemyn has taken it back in his hands at the request
of the merchants, about which an agreement has been made.
On this I very
much wanted to speak to the said Jan who promised me [that] contenansaround
this Easter and at that time he will assign to you what he will owe us.
My husband, I
think I have written to you of our son-in-law, how he has fared with his
household and how I gave him the widow Doby and Conpannyen and Jan Hennyart,
merchants, who are both good and [...] as you well know, even though he does
not always deserve it, in view of the problems and headaches he has caused me
because of his drunkenness and other bad behaviour and foolishness which is
within him. And especially he refused me the parcel to the merchants, in order
to bring the said merchants to him, which he should not be doing, seeing the
friendship that I have shown and still show him every day; especially that I
have given him as a loan since he has been a householder of more than a hundred
But I would consider supporting him as
much as can be done in order that he has no grounds to refuse me the parcel for
the merchants, for otherwise I will be magement,
especially when he has lost the widow Doby, but I’ve done so much for the said
widow that I’ve recovered her.
Therefore, I ask
you to write to him willingly so that he could do a small thing otherwise than
he has done.
I don’t know of
anything else to tell you for the present except that I pray to lord Jesus to
give you his grace and that he may be your aid and grant you what your heart
desires and to us all.
from Lille, in
haste, 8th day of February 1569 before Easter.
your friend and wife, Marye de le Ruelle.
wanted to have news of master Lauren le Febvre, whether he’s dead or
alive. I can tell you he’s in good
health and as for Joos de Nyere, he said he’ll soon be with you.
and peace in Jesus Christ
Créton, your father has received your letters and having understood by these
that you are in health and that you have work, is very happy. And he tells you
that in everything you need to live in the fear of God, invoking him in all
your needs so that he will be propitious to you, while being assured that he
will not abandon those who ask him with faith.
he admonishes you to keep away from bad company and that the money which you
earn by much work may not be uselessly dissipated, in order also that they may
always have good reports of you and especially that you may find yourself as
much as you can in places where you will be able to learn something for the
salvation of your soul, as they hope you are doing]. And they are all in
health. And as such, may you be to God.
9th of February
at the request of your father
To Jan Creton
to my dear father and mother and my beloved brother.
I wish to tell you
that I am married and things are going well and that I am in good spirits and
healthy and with Gaerdeerten, my dear wife, and we greet you all the more.
And as I tell you
everything is going well, so I hope that it is also going very well with you,
and that you are in good spirits and good health. Further, you should know that
brother Henderyck’s wife has died and that he has re-married and his brother,
master Rubbert is still [living] with difficulty on his own. And when I
married, not one of my father’s friends came to the wedding, nor my
grandmother, nor since. The Lord be praised. So [we] married for [not?] more
than 10£ Flemish.
Nothing more than
that the Lord God may be with you and all of us.
Written this 10th
day of February 1569 tych
[Endorsed] To my dear father, Romein
Fere, at Nordewck [Norwich].
My husband, Guy
Joire, I send greetings to you, not forgetting your brother, Gile, and
Maguerite. My mother, brother and sister send greetings to you all.
This will let you
know that we’re all in good health, me and our two children Marié and Judique,
thanks be to God, to whom I pray that it may also be so with you all.
I can tell you
that I’ve received your letter by the messenger of this. I’m very surprised
that you write that you’ve not received any letter from me for I’ve certainly
sent as many as three. You write asking to know how my circumstances are. I can
say that my mother looks after me and our two children.
I rejoiced greatly
that you’d written me that things were going well for you. My husband, I ask
you always to do your best.
My husband, since
it has pleased God to keep us so far from one another, we must not in our
hearts forget one another. When I look back on the happy past, there’s scarcely
a day when my heart doesn’t weep. I pray God, who keeps watch over us will give
us patience. I have hope that things will not long stay as they are.
As for news of the
country, there is no money to be made either in the country or in the town of
Armentières; there is not a cloth worker who is working at the moment, et s’es t’on tout meingier de sander et de
taileu, qui faut paieis an.Since I’ve been in the country my mother has not been without [a]
soldier, whom she is not able to keep in her house, but she has rented a room
in a tavern and s’en fau, que aeun lieu
ceu quy leur fau.
I can tell you
that your brother Jan has married and taken a wife of his choosing.
I can tell you that my brother Noué has married and taken as his wife the widow
of Piere Cenescal. You should know that your mother is always ill.
[I] don’t know of
anything else to report other than to commend you to the Lord’s
In Armentières, this 10th of February.
Further, since I
began writing you should know that the Lord God has called your mother from
this vale of tears. And therefore, we should not be angry that it has pleased
the Lord to do this for we say every day that his will should be done. And
therefore, since it is his wish, we must not be upset. She will be happy for
there’s only pain in this vale of tears. And therefore, I pray the Lord will
send you his Holy Spirit.
As for her
belongings, there is nothing for she gave away much.
As for the
country, things are going very ill for they still take from us day by day and
make them all mory.
Endorsed To be
given to my husband Guy Joire
day, the 10th day of February, I, Magrite, your wife to Lecoup Jan, send my
hearty commendations and send you five gold angelots and to the messenger ten
[sou] parisis;and I inform you
that your son is leaving your house this mid-March coming and will be in the
house of Huten Wateley.
this is to inform you that I would not know how to sell anything of any jace [value??], for if I sell, the King
would want to take it, and I tell you that I am not at all like those of whom
you write who break their word, and this is to tell you that I will be coming
to see you shortly with your little daughter, who promised to come with me, and
concerning your [other?] daughter, she does not wish to go out of the country.
have nothing else to write to you, except may the Lord God remain with you.
I am for Jan
My beloved Jan Kacant, I commend myself heartily to you and your
wife, and brother Antennes, Maertin le Cock
and your company.
I am telling you that I and Pieren have been trying our luck
throughout this summer but we have earned nothing, because the best reysen
has come on all three of them. And I have not earned two pounds throughout this
whole winter, God be praised. So (I hope) that everything is going well for
your wife and children.
Mynken Buse would like to know whether her brother is there or not;
and Pillart is writing [to you] by the same messenger.
No more at this time save that God be with you all.
Written on 11 February 1569.
[Endorsed]: This letter
should be given to Jan Kacant, who is living at Noortwyck [Norwich].
May the peace of
God be granted you.
My very dear
brother, Guy Joyre, sends greetings to you, not forgetting my brother and my sister
This is to inform
you that we’re all in good health, thanks be to God; and I pray that it may be
likewise with you.
My brother, this
will be, then, to let you know that we’ve received your letter, which gave us
much delight. Further, my brother, this is [to tell] you that my mother has
passed from life on 11th February. Further, my brother, this is [to
tell you] that on 10 November, thanks be to God, I married.
Further, as for
the news of the country, I don’t know what to write except that the country is
very poor, ma seurt.As
for à part
que vous devé accort,
I will be there. I don’t have any concern, if I’m able.
My brother, as for
your wife, she’s managing very well and all the children, thanks be to God.
I don’t know of
anything more to write to you except that may God be your protector.
of February in the year one thousand five hundred and seventy before Easter.
your brother, Jan Joyre.
As for the
had, she had more debts than she had goods except I have her house. Jan Reubiet
must be paid the money which you well know about.
Endorsed: To be
given to my brother, Guy Joyre, living at L[ondon].
brother, I ask and entreat that in everything you have the fear of God before
your eyes, for I have heard that you have committed some act which has not
followed the right path. But I pray our good God that he may grant you mercy.
wife also sends her commendations both to you and to your wife, and wishes to
see both of you in good health.
such, we commend you to God, our Creator in the name of his son, Jesus Christ,
your brother and very good friend.
F. In haste, this 13th of February 1569.
My uncle, Jacques
le Steyvènes, you should know that mother has commended herself to you many
times to your good grace and likewise to my aunt Anthoinette, your wife, as I
The present only
serves to let you know that we’ve received two letters, to wit yours and my
aunt’s, your wife, [and] this will serve as a reply that we have shown these to
those according to your [wish]; and passed on all your greetings, [and]
everyone is in good health, thanks to God’s grace, hoping that it so with you.
As for the annuity
about which you wrote us, we have done it together being better; furthermore,
concerning the loan of some money to my uncle Jacop Lainel about which my aunt
Aenthoinette wrote us, my mother and I have absolutely no knowledge,
nevertheless my mother has shown him the letter about which he said that he
would write you leaving the discussion to them.
And having heard
that my aunt Aenthoinnette must come to the lands on this side, she will be
made very welcome by us and if she comes, I pray to God to give her a good escort.
As for news from
the lands on this side, it is the usual. And my uncle, if there’s some pleasure
or service that we can do, we’re entirely at your bidding.
To conclude this
present [letter], I pray to the lord God that he grants you what your heart
Written at our
house, in haste, this 13th day of February 1569.
nephew whom you know well.
My mother and I
ask to be commended to my aunt Catelaines.
Endorsed: To my
uncle, Jacques le Steyvènes.
First all the
greetings, so we can tell you that we have received a letter to-day the 13th
February 1569 before Easter from which we learn that you are in good spirits
and good health, God be praised. And that you have sent across several letters,
but you should know that we have not received any save this last.
Further you write
how we can write you and how things are with us. Assuredly I have nothing good
to write, nor any good news for our lives are filled with sorrow. You should
know the sad news that our father passed from this world on 15 September last,
in the evening about 10 o’ clock. May God remember his soul. Further, as for
your mother and us all, you should know that, praise be to God, we are in good
spirits and good health, but in a wretched state, as you might imagine, for we
do not know how long we shall live [in the house], for we are not untroubled by
creditors [and] almost everything that there is has been sold so that we will
not be able to carry on [and] the house [will] go to rack and ruin and everyone
shall have to look out for himself.
Further as for our
sisters and brothers, you should know that our brother Rycke has been in Italy
and has returned a doctor on medicine and now lives at Armentières where he is
in the employ of the town.
Further, as for
your sister Jaquemyne and master Jacob, we have not received any greetings for
four or five months so we do not know how things are going with them, but they
had an apprentice about a year or fifteen months ago, to whom our father, may
God remember his soul, was godfather and he was called Jooske.
And you say that
you are an exile, but that is not true, for you are ever in our thoughts, and
also of your brother and your things that you have here are still well cared
I don’t know what
else to write you at present than that [pray] God may be with you and with us
Written on this 13th
February before Easter.
Your mother sends
you her warmest greetings and we all send you greetings on behalf of our
mother, Calleken Backers in de Blenden Esel,
and from all your acquaintances who live here.
your brother. Joos Desfrez.
This letter should be given to Mayken Desfrez.
Hyelle, I can tell
you that I have received your letter, but I have not received either the gloves
or the knitted cuffs. I gather that you are planning to come over, which makes
me very sad for it is very dangerous. But do what you wish, though I would beg
you not to do it for I’m afraid you will get into difficulties, but if you can
procure a reliable messenger, I would help you as best I can. No more at this
time, save that God preserve you in [good] health.
Written today 13th
[Endorsed] To be given to Hyelle at
salvation be granted to you by Jesus Christ, our lord, with the conferment of
his Holy Spirit.
very dear and beloved friend, Thibault du Beffroy, our frequent commendations
to you and to my sister Chaterinne, and to all your children, letting you know
that I and my family are in good health, praise be to the Eternal, and we pray
God that all of you are as well.
further, my brother, this is to inform you that my mother is very well, thank
God. And that we have been out of the house since All Saints, for the reason
about which I believe you had been well informed, for my wife told me that the
messenger who carried the previous letter spoke to her and he, the said
messenger, promised her to tell it to you in detail. We having left, my
father-in-law revealed himself a tyrant to the end, for he had all that we had
left there sold, except for a few sticks so that my mother could keep the
household and he rented the house to a tenant farmer and this he did for his
reply and in order to strip me of everything so that, praise be to our God, we
are now like those who have nothing touching the goods of this world.
this reason, my brother, I informed my mother that she should say to him that I
still owe 24 pounds parisis to one of
his children, of which I am very sorry that you do not have them to use for
yourself, for it has been long enough that I have owed it to you, but the
scoundrel point blank refuses to pay me what has been agreed with him. For this
reason, my brother, I beg you to be patient for a little longer. And so, you
see our situation; and as to my mother, he has kept from her the dowry [which
comes?] from the rent from the tenant farmer which she now relies on. For this
reason, my brother, I beg you to reply to me as soon as you can with your news
and I send my frequent commendations to my brother Walleran, requesting him to
send me a little of his news if it is possible and if you write any letters to
him, you should address it to the village of Nœuf
-Eglise [Nieuwkerke] to a tailor named Jan Ghanne, living near the house of the
cartwright and he will deliver it to me.
have nothing else to write to you at the moment, except may God always be your
in haste, the 14th day of the month of February, the year 1569.
me, your servant and friend.
This letter to be delivered to Thibault du Beffroy, living in the town of
Hamptenne [Southampton], in the country of England.
very dear and good friend, brother and sister all my commendations to you, and
to my sister, your wife.
is to inform you that I have received your letter, which made mention at the
beginning that you have written to me two or three time and that I have never
wanted to reply. But I promise that I have written you three letters.
thank you for taking my son into your house and also for the 12 pounds parisis that you paid to Rusin Desboven.
I hope by the grace of God to pay you back at some point and you have written
me that I have not come to pay the 12 pounds parisis, seeing that Quaterinne wrote a bill of exchange on Lille
from the widow of the deceased Jan Woinnoin, but, my brother Jacques, you never
wrote to me that I should have sent you these 12 pounds, and if you please
write me to whom, then I will give it. I promise to send it to you by the first
brother, my wife sends hearty commendations to you and to your wife and to her
sister Quateline and to her son. Jacques and Guy are always good sons; and Guy
does it willingly to his uncle and aunt.
for news, I have nothing to tell you, except that it is difficult to find rates
of ,,,  it does not appear [that
he will] lend it.
daughter has only to send her hearty commendations in abundance to her
godmother, your wife, and to her brother Jacques.
have nothing else to write to you, except may God protect you all.
by your entire brother and friend, Jacques l’aingnet .
Written on this, the 14th day of February. Your goddaughter Quatelene sends you
her commendations in abundance, especially to her godmother
To my brother, Jacques Lesteynes.
May the fathomless
mercy of the Father and the ineffable love of the Son and the boundless loving
kindness of the Holy Spirit be with you, my dear brothers and sisters and with
us all. Amen.
A pious, Christian
exhortation to my very dear and much loved sister Maeykin t’ Keysers, and also
to Jacob, my dear cousin and your son, and further to the whole household.
I, Gillis vanden
Keere wish to inform you that physically we are all faring well. Praise the
Lord for his grace. We also hope that things go likewise with you. I Gillis
vanden Keere am much surprised that you have not written about your husband,
Jan de Keyzere, my dear brother, as if he were dead. Further I am very
surprised that you have not told us how things have been going in the country
where you now are, and how things are now going, for we hear many strange
things, which we do not know whether they are true or not. Therefore, will you
send us something with the first messenger?
[I] send warmest
greetings to Pieter van den Coorenhuse and his wife Maeyken
and also Joos Stoelkin and his wife
and also Jacob den Schoemakere and his wife Baerbele. And also to all the
Christian brothers and sisters.
Further we can
tell you that materially things are going reasonably well for Celyne Buenykins
and her son Pieter, with all his household, praise to the Lord for his grace.
As for the letter you have sent them, we dare not give [it] them because they
are of a different persuasion to us.
Further I can tell
you about trade and cost of living in these Low Countries; our trade is much
reduced because no wool or other items can be imported and the cost of living
is very high. Firewood costs 13£ for 100 pieces and brushwood
9 or 10£ and butter costs 5 ½ £ and meat is also expensive, but grain, praise
be the Lord for his grace, costs between 28 and 30 pence.
Further, we can
tell you that there are not many arrests and searches now apart from
image-breakers and those who were at Waterloo,
and those who went to the preachings after these had been forbidden or were
members of the consistories. They kill one here, another there; our brother
still lies in prison, awaiting God’s grace. No more at this time, save that the
Lord preserve you in health with his godly peace, through Our Lord Jesus
February 1569. The greetings which you sent and which we received on 13th
February were most welcome.
brothers and sisters in the Lord, I Hans Isaack or Hans Tosseijn also send
heartfelt greetings to Hans Camerlynck
and Hans Lams and also Kallekin Reys and Gaengen Beys, for we are often
gathered together, preoccupied not in idleness but with the Word of God.
Further I can tell
you that I am in good spirits and physically in good health and I am not
married for I desire to marry in the congregation.
Further, I can
tell you that your father Ghillame and Jannekin your mother are in good spirits
and I would beseech you that you would send us a letter by the first messenger,
and when you send it, send it to Gillis vander Keere.
greetings to Kallekin Merrevedts, for I work with her father Joos van Quaellis.
Further, remain in
the commendation of the Lord
From me Jhans
[Endorsed] This letter should be given to
Jan de Keyzere or to Maeykin, his wife.
Greetings to you
my beloved brother and sister. I have received your letter from which I gather
you are in good health, as we are likewise, the Lord be praised. Further I gather
from your letter that you have not received any letter from me, which greatly
concerning your affairs, I can tell you that your possessions are as you left
them except for two of your husband’s gowns, that is the gown with half-leather
and the little gown that was at Lamsen’s and is mine. And we would have done as
you wanted with the rest of your possessions, but the pedlar dare not take the
Further, as for
the house, you know that our niece Calleken has married your servant Walraven
and they live in your house for the same price that you had rented it and they
use all the possessions that are there, further that master Pieter van den
Mersch is paid from what
remains over to you of the price.
small debts which you are owed, people are not inclined to pay and if you
demand it they will be very angry. On the good side, they promised at one time
that they would draw up a legal document or some time give me something lest
master Pieter would hear of it, but they are commonly said to be poor people
from whom not much can be expected. And also, we have received 2 £ from Stevin
and Willoot and as soon we find someone we can trust, we shall send this
[money] to you.
Further, we can
tell you that Vlamsen sends you hearty greetings and his wife has passed from
this world. As for news, there is nothing here except that people routinely
tell great lies and everything continues as in other times. And they are
beginning to pay the 100th penny; the 100th penny is
based on an estimate but to my mind it’s more like the 8th penny,
nevertheless dat’s goet in werck waer’t
I have nothing special to tell you about. In Ieper, they say there’s been a
great quarrel in England and that some 60 households from Flanders have been
killed and such like great lies.
Further I would
kindly ask you to tell Arinis Questuur
how it had happened at Ieper that a Spaniard should sell his office over his
and also Jan Langheduls,
but I don’t know how that will go. I have told it up to 20th
February 1569; if I know more news, I’ll write more information.
I have always kept
a copy of the income which I have paid master Peeter [van den Mersch] and your
children for the account. If things get better, I shall give you proof that it’s
correct and should I die you’ll find good account in my house.
Further I can
report that I send you hearty greetings to Pieter de Landsheere
and Daniel Corret;
I’m surprised that I’ve heard nothing from you; send my hearty greetings to all
the brothers and sisters and pray wholeheartedly to the Lord. As for me I will
certainly pray for you that the Lord may simply preserve and keep you in
accordance with His divine will.
Written with haste
on 15th February 1569 from Ieper.
Further I would
kindly ask you to tell Maeyckin van den Casteele
or Maertin Cuupers how their mother greets them most warmly and is very sad
that she has heard no news of them, but nevertheless it is said that this is
because of their father who has written, without their mother’s knowledge, that
they should not send [letters] for that is very dangerous. Therefore. I would
kindly ask that as soon as there’s a messenger they should send a letter here
[and] not to their place and we would deliver to their house. You would show
your mother great kindness and bring her much peace of mind.
wants to know because of the gleuten.
where your half of the letter [is].
[Endorsed] This letter should be given to
the honourable Coppe Aernout to send to Mairette and then to be passed to Jacop
I ask to send
greetings to Tomas, my son, not forgetting your wife and all your children, and
to all your friends.
And having seen
your letter, I’m happy that you’re all in good health and, as for us, we’re all
well and there’s been no change here except that Matienet has married your
cousin Makenet. And it would seem that your sister Mariet will soon get
married. As for that about which you say you ask for my[?] wishes, it will be
very good that you can gain an honest living. But you know that we have our
business, also your brother. I, for the present, am sending you a half angelot
of 5 sous and take courage, it will all change for the good, if it pleases God.
There is here a
great rumour that there is some agreement in France. Jorge will shortly be in
Calais with a view to obtaining some wool, we having sent him in partnership to
the said place by way of Saient-Omer [St-Omer] where he is at present.
Tomas, don’t put
yourself in doubt about Gillemer, your …
[if?] you want to come to us, withdraw to Saiente-Omer [St-Omer]. I will do
everything as much as you [wish?] and will do your [requests] with Tille and
Poriet, the …  your by,
and also your brother Pier. They could well find themselves there and we will
find friends there, your plesy 
is there and if it please you to wish to return there, you could look to be
there on Saturday in order to return with the people who’re returning from the
said Saiente-Omer [St-Omer] on that Saturday. And if you want the cloth
merchant, I would entrust you to your brother. And there is a good advantage
for me, but it seems to me that it would not be good for you to give some of it;
there’s no one from the place where you are.
In time, end of
this [letter], praying God to give you his grace.
your father and friends.
Endorsed: To Tomas
Friendly greeting to you my beloved uncle Caerle Rekevaert. I can
tell you that I have received your letter which you sent, from which we gather
that things are going well for you.
Further, as to
what you wrote about your son Jachop, I can tell you that he wants to have the
remainder which is ready and as you wanted to have it, so we will give it with
the first messenger you send, write [that you] give [it] to him and send that
document to me or if that has been lost send your signature and write how much
that is and I will send it to you. I certainly want you to have it. Further
Caerle because he said that Jan Pankoke would pay the debt he said that he must
give [it] to the king
and Jan Pankoke moves house mid-March coming and Claei den Hame soon comes and
Caerle chet [sit?] in the room. And
further you say that I should greet Jachop Rikevaert very warmly and your other
brothers, and I have done it. And Rikewaert again sends you warmest greetings
with all your children. And further your aunt greets you most warmly,
especially her sister auntie Maeiken.
And her husband and all the children and grandchildren, and Kaeiken
send warm greetings to their uncle and aunt and their godfather and all the
other children and little Maeiken Spapen. And my brother is with Dries in
Germany, but at Easter they will come to you and I greet you most warmly and
also my wife and ies em auntie Prove [?]
with all his children and he is
married to my wife’s sister Jusinne Raest, and they all send you greetings. And
mother was especially pleased that you were still alive for we had often heard
rumours that you were dead. No more for now. Send my greetings to Jan de
Ketelare and his wife and his daughter.
Written in great haste 15th February. Everything I know
may it turn out for the best. Write quickly whether you send it or come, it
makes no difference.
And father’s Janken sends you affectionate greetings.
[Endorsed] This letter
should be given to Caerle Rikenar, rekenaert
at Norwis [Norwich] if he is there.
and peace in Jesus Christ.
a long time, my companion and good friend, I have wanted to learn about you and
to write to you and [but?] inasmuch that I did not know how to find a
propitious means and an opportune time to do so, I delayed until now, having
found a suitable messenger to do it. For this reason, this is to inform you
that by the grace of God, the creator, to whom I give thanks and praise, we are
all up to now in good health. And, praise God, up to now he has given us food
and, despite our enemies, has made us rest in grassy
pastures and led us along tranquil waters, by whom we hope that at the end
of our days we shall have the joy of salvation, which is gained for us by Jesus
Christ. And our greatest lack is
that we have been deprived of the word and nourishment of our souls.
good friend, to write to you of the lootings, of their pillaging and of the
danger to our persons would be [too] long to write. Nevertheless, up until now
God has always sustained us and held us in his holy protection, for which may
there be praise and glory.
companion, your sister and I send you our commendations, and to your wife, my
good friend, and your daughter; we had heard that my friend was about to
deliver an English boy or girl; if that is so, I pray that the Creator may
grant that he may grow in virtue and good habits. I beg you to send my
greetings to all those of the country and in others, M. Anthoine, clerk of the
goods, Ernoul and to all those of the country. I have written some sort of
dream[songe] which I have put into lame verse
in order to draw it to the attention of the bearer of it so that he wants to
take it with him.
beg you when you have the time to let me know your news, which will be the end
God that it may please him to bring the shepherd and his flock together in
16th of February, by
entirely Philippe Caulier
To my good friend Jacques De Le Haie
by Jesus Christ. 17th of February.
very dear brother, Eloy Bacler, my commendations and principally my mother and
Jacqueline my sister, all of us brothers and sisters, send our commendations to
Andrieu and to his wife and to
your wife and to your son.
be informed that Marinne sends her commendations to you, and to Maye and
Jaqueminne, Jenette’s daughter. You should know that Katelinnette has died; I
do not know if you have heard that. You should know that Marine has done so
much that your goods have not been confiscated, but have passed on to your
children. You should also know that Andrieu Charles has been a prisoner these
past five months, because he was suspected of pillaging and not because of
religion; and he was accused of being a soldier;
his wife and daughter have left the city; it is hoped that he will shortly get
out by one way or another.
Paul, your cousin, sends his hearty commendations to you and prays that you are
bearing your affliction uncomplainingly, as you know that nothing else is
promised to true Christians in this world. He would have written to you, but
the affair was too rushed. My mother wrote to you two or three letters, but she
has not had a response.
such, I will make an end of this, praying that God may give us what is salutary
for the soul.
Armentières, the 6th day of February.
yours entirely, Jan Bacler.
that my sister Jacqueline sends her hearty commendations to Pierre le Gay.
that Marinne would very much like to know what [money?] Jan Denis has taken for
Andrieu, while in prison, and that she would like him to write by the first
say to Pierre le Gay that since my letter, I have agreed to what he wishes to
know. Vous ferés une lettre pour après remettre que cheluy que
vous asisterés. I speak for Andrieu
Baqueles in order to show how much has been paid out by the one whom you knew
during your imprisonment and otherwise outside the said prison. You should send
the said letter to the said Jan Denis.
To be given to Eloy Bacler residing in Hanton [Southampton]
Friendly greetings to you Willem and Pieter van der Schoore ende
Frans de Berre and to all your wives. I tell you, my beloved brothers and
sisters, that I, Frans Baecke and Proene , my wife, and our three children,
prosper, the Lord be praised, as we hope you do also, but your sister Proene
has been ill for a good three months
Further, I tell you that I have received your letter from which I
gather that our sister Mynken has married, and [that] regarding our mother you
are going to make a visit; when she comes to me, I shall tell her.
Further, I have had a great longing because you have not written for
such a long time [to know] how things are going with you all. I have not sent
any news because I found no one who was going across for the sending of letters
is dangerous. And by that I thought
you were already living in Noortwyc [Norwich].
As for any expecting any comfort for you there is no closer comfort
than with God, for David says: “Cursed be the man who puts his trust and
confidence in man”. 
I would like you to come and see us in a short while, if it’s
possible, in any case Mynken and her husband, for she can go out, besides she
still has no children. At this time, I don’t know where Mincken is, but she has
been with me during this winter, for you know that she likes to travel.
Further, for we are very delighted that I have had news of you, for
your last letter was long ago.
No more at this time, save that God be with you and the Communion of
Written in very great haste, this 18th February 1569 by
me Fransoys Baeke.
Farewell. God be with you.
And you should know that I’ve also spoken to Daneel’s wife and she
sends you warmest greetings. And Daneel
has gone to Ieper; and his sister Kalleken is still in good spirits; and also
Frans; he would have written had he been at home.
And you should know that our most recent child is called Fransken, a
strong lad, praise and thanks to God for all that Proene had on St Martinmas1568.
I’ll write more when our mother comes and also pass it on when there
are reliable messengers.
by Jesus Christ
very honoured and good friend, my father, my hearty commendations to you. I am
very troubled that I do not know the truth, whether I may send my commendations
to my mother or not; I heard tell from Jan Haudoux that Jaquet Rousel had told
him that my mother’s time on this earth is over, about which he was very
surprised not to have had a letter, and I likewise, concerning which I do not
know what to believe. I beg you to put me at ease; as well as that may be, if
God may permit it, I would like to know everything and in detail about how all
my friends are doing; I am sy aimiante de
cœurthat I would not know how to respond to you. I pray to our good God
that he may wish to comfort us all together, if you need it.
beg to be commended to my brother Willamme; I had heard tell from the wife of
Mathieu de le Pierre that his wife was ill; I do not know the truth, so we wait
all the time to have your news if she has not left; I beg you to please send me
all the news for what it’s worth.
commend us to my brother Pierre and to my sister Susanne; I thank her for my
needles which she sent me and which Jan Gaven did as well. My brother Willamme,
if we have the means in a few days we shall satisfy you in everything. The
mother of Mathieu de le Piere begged me that I would please write that she
should be commended to him and to his wife; she had heard tell that she was
very ill and that she had given birth; and told me that she would like to say
to Mahieu her son that she did her duty in sending to him that which he
instructed to be sent to him in Antwerp; she sent it and did her duty. Cristian
Sause asks to be commended to you and to all your family; he was at my house
for the festival of Ieper.
As for your scales I will do all my duty, I sent to Merville,
and my uncle Jan Stuf wrote to me that he does not wish to give any more for
everything, including the weights, than 4 pounds 4 shillings; and Cristian
Sause told me that he had said to my sister Mahiette that he gave a gold and agreed to another when he heard that he
was not able to have it. About which I will do all my best and will see you again
about it, when there will be an opportunity.
is nothing else for the moment, except may God grant you his grace.
haste, this 20th of February.
your daughter whom you know.
margin: My father, I am sending you a pot with cream, which my sister wished to
send to you.
uncle, Jan Stuf, has sent a shirt … 
to our house; I will have it sent on, when I have the opportunity.
To be given to Willame le Roy.
Psalm 46: God is my refuge in time of trouble.
Greetings to you Maertyne Godscalcs and your son Jan de Bus.
I, Jacob de Smit, who bought your tools, [would] inform you that
Joos de Conync died in the parish of Olsenewhere
your children must share the property. And I received the news on 12th
January and the public auction has been held and the distribution of goods has
already begun, of which I shall give you a fuller account if anyone should come
from your side. And if anyone should come, he should come nine or eight days
before the Feast of St John
when they will sell the crops in the fields and also sell the land and receive
the money from the public auction. Don’t be surprised that I write this message
so directly, but I began to worry as if you yourself had been there. And I ask
that you would pay the messenger naer
And if a servant comes; he can do something for I don’t think he will be in any
danger; he can go there as he used to live there. No more at this time, except
that God preserve you in health.
Today the 25th February. And give my warmest greetings to
Gylkes de Langhe and his wife Mayken.
[Endorsed] This letter
should be given to Maertyne Godsalc called Cakaeynghe, or his son Jan de Bus,
living at Zant [Sandwich]. And paid the messenger.
I commend myself to you Pieter de Ketelaere with warm greetings.
Things are going well for me and all my family and I hope it’s the same for
And I have written previously about the bellows. I’ve done my duty,
but you don’t give me a price which they should give for these, but he is only
offering 5£ parisis
although I think they are worth more. And in respect of the rent only one
year’s rental is due. I know your mother has received one [rental]. Further, I
have spoken to your father-in-law about the lapse of the rental, [but] he
doesn’t give me an answer.
Further as for Maeryte, I’ve done my best and shall continue to do
so, but I don’t think that she will yet come.
As for the letter that I received from the fellow from Meessen
[Mesen], I thought that I’d write a full account because their journey went off
very well, and with the rent [he] has kept all their furnishings, movables and
contracts were very well dat zou hadde
ende dat.And that Miegel also has
and he is content and no more [to report?]. His wife Akke and my wife’s sister
Gaenkin with all their children have sent me warm greetings that they are in
good spirits and health and can making a living.
I can’t write about Inghel, except that he’s in difficult straits.
No more for the moment, save that may
keep you in [good] health.
[Endorsed] This letter
should be given to Pier de Ketelaere.
the grace of the lord Jesus be multiplied with you.
very dear and beloved brother, Antoine, commendations to you and to your wife
and to your children, from us, your mother as well as us two brothers and your
for our brother, it has pleased God to call him from the world on the 22nd day
of October last past, for which our mother and we are in great mourning and
sadness, for he cost us a great deal for the space of 29 months in prison and
we were hoping for some sort of pardon, but we did not know how to obtain it.
But I will hope that he is happy and settled with God.
for the rest, we are all in good health, praise be to our good God and Father.
to your condition and way of life, we would very much like to know about it; in
truth, we have heard that you are now very far from your first residence, for
which reason we are not able to hear news of you as often as we would wish.
brother and good friend, you wrote to us concerning your tunic but we were not
able to find a messenger who was reliable to carry the tunic or money; but if
you find a messenger in whom there is confidence, we will send you the tunic,
the cuirache or the money,
for which you have asked. Concerning Guillaume your son, he is in good health
and is beginning to learn his creed, but he is very even tempered.
I beg you as a brother, companion and friend, please to write me about your
condition and earnings. As to our state, we do not have any earnings because
the ships are not able to come.
have no [other] news to write. I still only have two children, your
god-daughter and another daughter aged two and a half. Artus has two as well, a
son and a daughter.
pray God, father of all consolation, that he comfort all of you.
completely, your brother, companion and good friend.
After every greeting, Mynkin, my beloved daughter, I your father can
inform you that I and your mother and your sisters are in good spirits and
health, God be praised, as I have gathered from your letter you also are.
Further, I also understand that you are going to marry a man, a
widower having two children. May God give you his saving grace and may God
grant you much happiness together.
Further, I also understand from the import of your letter that you
want me to speak to your guardian and to tell him in a very friendly manner
that you wish to have 2£ of your money, which I will certainly do, but I
couldn’t arrange this so quickly as to be able to send something with the
carrier of this letter or to arrange for any document since the same guardians
whose name you mention in your letter live outside the parish.
And also, I can tell you that Caerle, your uncle and guardian, has
kept the 4£ groot and he has suffered misfortune or at least he has behaved so
badly that he has added the same 4£ groot to all his possessions so that I fear
we shall only get hold of it with difficulty.
Further, I shall speak to the other guardian and do what I can [so
that] you shall have some money, but because that has been given as money for
orphans and has been registered in the orphans’ book, I don’t certainly know by
what means I’ll be able to get it from the guardians. Nevertheless, I’ll do my
best to intercede on your behalf and ensure that you shall have it, if I can.
From your father, your servant. [I’ll do] what I can.
[Endorsed] This letter
should be given to Minkin Bertis.
May the grace of
God be with you through Jesus Christ.
My brother, Jan
Billet, we commend ourselves to you, Jenne Billet, letting you know that we’re
all in good health and praying to the good God that it may likewise be with
Of this hundred
livres that mother has given you, someone is asking her for it back and [she]
has only paid two years in total on it up to now. Flipos sends greetings to you
and his wife wants to let you know that they’re all in good health, praying to
the good God that it may be likewise with you all.
I don’t know of
anything more to write to you about, except that God may protect you all.
salvation by Jesus Christ be given to you
very dear brother, my hearty commendations to you, and to my sister, your wife.
brother, after all my commendations, this is to inform you that I am troubled.
Note that on the 6th of October I gave birth to a son; the 11th day of the said
month of October, it pleased our good God to call my husband
to Him, for which I give praise to God, because it was his pleasure to do so.
My brother, God called him in a short time: when he had well supped and had
chatted with us for a long time, he went away to go to bed; and as soon as he
was at rest, he gave up his spirit, after saying goodnight to his son Jan, and
he never spoke again.
my brother, I ask that you would please commend me to my cousin Arnoul
and to his wife. And I am very surprised that I do not have any news from him;
there are several people who reply well; it seems to me that if he wished to
write, he would find a way to send a letter, if he wanted to.
brother, I have nothing else to write to you at the moment, except please pray
to our good God for me, so that it may please Him to give me the grace always
to have patience and so that I may be a good father and a good mother to my
have nothing else to tell you, except may God stay with you all. My brother, I
ask you to please do me this favour of replying to me about my cousin and what
he is thinking of doing about me. Although I wrote, I have no news from him. I
have some merchandise in my house, which could become spoiled; I do not know
what I should do, if I do not have news from him, my brother, except for me to
write that the whole business by this [one?] will do me damage.
me, your sister, Chatelinne Boudiffart, widow Teart.
creditor will make me sell everything at a low value beneath me, he behaves
like a villainous cleric. I beg you before God to please reply whether he
is dead or living. Doing that will please me. By your poor sad sister. Pray to
God for me.
To be given to Jan Boudiffrart. To Jan Bodiffart.
My cousin, I
heartily commend myself to you not forgetting your wife.
You should be
informed that Gillamme de Meus’ widow asks that she be given the money you owe
her; paying this will be very difficult for me as Pier Tiart and the other who
lent me one, will suffer.
I have the
merchandise in my house, I don’t know what to do with it because you don’t
write me anything; you [should?] find [a way] to send them like the others.
praying you that you write as soon as possible.
Endorsed: To be
given to Jan Boutiffar.
Prangier, send you Arnole de
Cordes, warm greetings, not forgetting Pier Slifry, also Nicolas Fontaine and
all my friends, likewise to the young child Justine.
Having sent my
greetings, and thanking you all heartily [for] all the friendship you’ve shown
me, also praying that you[?] are vigilant to do this pleasure of helping them
until their affections may be [inclined?] to the glory of God.
And this is to
inform you that I have spoken with the mother, the widow of the late Jan de
Marcene, and she’s happy about everything that I’ve done. I’m also happy and
likewise my wife. I have also likewise replied to Jan de le Bar
for the letter dated 5th day of November 1569; also now of the
letter of 2nd of January, which we write and leave entirely at your
decision, although the mother has promised me that her daughter will marry like
the other and that if my son does his duty and settles down well and behaves
and is peace-loving, she will give him a share in an annuity to do with as he
pleases, which I consider to be something that will give contentment so that
the whole may be to the glory of God. I conclude. Yours entirely, Jacques
My son, I will
tell you that your two brothers, that is Aderien and Olive(r) are with me at
present; both have been quite badly injured, one in the leg and the other with
a dressing having been wounded in the head and are au deseur.
Jacques, you know
that I have promised your mother and she commends herself to you; also Aderien,
your brother, of this that you well know; also I have his misfortune; Aderien
was in the process of getting married and ne
son poin les cose is still far
away when you will be cured.
The mother of one
Jan Couturier who has worked with [me?] is faring well and sends greetings to
Endorsed: To be
given to Pier Slifry or to Ernoule de Corde.
The grace and peace of Our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Warm
greetings to Mahieu, my beloved son.
I can inform you that I am in good spirits and health, the Lord be
praised, and I trust that it is likewise with you with the help of the Lord.
And I can also tell you that the dyer from Waesten
has come to demand payment for the dyeing of a half brown unfinishedcloth,
the sum of fourteen shillings
Have you already paid him? Will you send me a clear statement, then what gyten or with what
money? And whether anyone was present?
[and] that you send me a quick reply about this for he wants to be paid.
And we send warmest greeting to you and Jan and his wife. And I also
send warmest greetings to Jacop Bouderije and Moeijkenis, his wife.
[Endorsed] This letter
should be given to Mahyeu de Hoorne.
... selle pour ... part without any
danger ... bien trouver but to put
you in some danger, don’t move, but tell me all that you want, what you want to
do as soon as you’re able. And my mother will do her best. As for us, my mother
still has Jan Cambien and a servant and makes the best of things; she is often
able to with great effort when she has [one] and does not have the other and
she looks forward to being delivered some time.
My father, my mother has asked you that [if?]
you find yourself in some place, not to move, for [when?] my mother heard the
messenger she was very happy and praised God greatly that you are making a
living and she wishes that we were very soon close to you et se ferime all
father write back fully whether it’s about linen [or wool?] or something else
or as soon as you’re able.
Endorsed: To be
given to Jacque de Roubay
the grace of God be granted to you for eternal salvation.
du Bois, my humble commendations to you.
informed that we are all in good health, thanks be to God, to whom I pray that
you are as well. Note that Simon and Noé are doing well.
had written to you the response which you wrote to me; they are not yet at that
point. My husband, I would very much like you to reside in a town so that I
could go there as well with you. I have much trouble earning my living; I do
not have help from anyone.
an end of this, I commend you to God, praying him to protect you from all harm.
your wife and friend, Barbe Detelus
To be given to Louis du Bois, a shearman.
Our help is in the
name of God, who made heaven and earth, amen.
J’ai ciet 
Marie Houset, that your mother and your brothers and all your sisters greet you
and long to know how things are with you and want you to send news seeing that
we have heard that Oste has died and they would very much like to have the
Written by your
brother, Jan le Doulx.
Endorsed: To be
given to Marie Houset.
very dear brother, Tomas, my commendations to you, and to your wife, Barbe, and
be informed that we are in good health and I pray God that all of you are as
my brother, Tomas, note that when you were arrested in the town of Ieper, your
father-in-law had promised to pay me half of the money that you had cost me
while being a prisoner and had resolved to be good for it to me up to twenty livres of silver. When I asked him for
it he responded that that which he had given me was an advance to me, so that I
might meet the debt and I might expect nothing else from him.
I have nothing else to write to you, except may God protect all of you.
everything, your brother Baduin
be to God
Renier, my humble commendations to your good graces.
after all my commendations, this is to inform you that I am in good health,
thanks be to God, as I pray the Creator you are as well. I find myself par raisonhere
for the moment, but since a year ago, I have been twice almost at the point of
death, whither [however] it did
not please God to call me.
I was told, on the second day of Lent,
that you sent your commendations to me, which was the first news that I have
had of you. I am very astonished that you have not written back a letter as
soon as you could, except to write on the letters of Jan Desmadry. By which I suspect that this doesn’t
affect you. Regarding my two children, they are doing well, [if] you are
wondering, but as long as I have a morsel of bread, they will not come behind
an end, and praying the Creator grant you his grace.
your wife Hennette Renier
your nephew send you his commendations.
To be given to Anthoine Renier
well-beloved daughter Maeryt and her husband.
to you my beloved son and daughter, hoping you’re in good health, as we are,
God be praised.
greetings to everyone some of my news. There is nothing [to report] than that
the world is much troubled by the 100th penny. As for other news to
report there is nothing dic men soede
mueghen ghekomen hadde den vaeder was gheseyn ... hade mueghen.
Other news to
write ... but he has gone to Ghent for he ... had much to do.
This was written
by your servant Jan Weins
To you my dear son
and daughter and his child.
Endorsed: To my
beloved daughter Maerye.
sister, my very many greetings to you, to all your good friends, and to your
the house, I received your letter and everything is well understood; I did my
duty concerning what you requested. And he promised me another time to send
what you were asking for and we were not to speak to him and he told me that I
would do as well in the country market, he told me that for us I should go into
the country and that he would see to everything.
would not know how to do more than I have done. As for the table de cens
I am not bothered; all my goods have been seized and I am no longer able to
receive anything. And as for that one whom you know well, he is not out of
prison and I don’t see any way to get possession usi tant  it will please God to ordain it
write in haste. I believe that you have received the letters that I have sent
you, which will be the end of this one, praying God to send us what is good for
behalf of your brother and servant at Marck
whom you know well, and of your family by your cousin’s sister Gilbert le
Gouverne; she knows your husband.
To the sister of Jacques Coq
 RvB 96, fo.70
 Most affectionately?
 An easy way to
 RvB 96, fo.
Possibly identical with ‘Arnolde Delarewe’ He was listed as a denizen, and a
sackcloth maker from Tournai; his wife came from Arras. They had five children,
all born in London, and a maid called ‘Amiat’ and servant called Robert a
Price. They were said to ‘have bein repairing to the Frenche churche long’; in
1568 they were living in Breadstrete Ward, Returns of Aliens, III, 392. CT lists 9 persons called De la Rue nos. 2936-44 of whom five came
from Tournai and one each from Mons, Templeuve, Armentières and Valenciennes
but no one with this Christian name.
 ‘John Bonttyfler made
sackcloth. In 1568 he resided in Breadstrete Ward with his wife Blanche and two
man servants called Gyles Bokarte and
John Clynckard’. All were born in Tournai and listed as members of the French
Church., Returns of Aliens, III, 392.
In 1571 ‘John Bonteflar’ with his wife Blanche, and two maid servants Adrian
Crikilian & Packet Mawberie’ resided in Candelwickestrete Ward. He been in
England since 1567 and all the children were born in Tournai, Returns of Aliens, I, 476. In 1571 he
was listed as ‘silkweaver’ who had been in London for three years, Returns of Aliens, II, 41. ‘Jehan
Clinquart’ was a member of the French Church in London in 1569, Returns of Aliens, I, 396. According to Returns of Aliens, I, 453. John Clinckerd was a sack cloth weaver
born in ‘Agan in Henigo’ [Enghien in Hainaut]. The property of
one ‘Laurens Boutifflart’ [Leurins Botifart] (CT 847), a hosier at Tournai, was inventoried on 28 July 1568, see Gegevens betreffende roerend en onroerende
bezit in de Nederlanden in de 16e-eeuw ed. H.A. Enno van Gelder, 2 vols (RGP Grote Serie, 140-141) (The Hague, 1972), II,
member of this family, Marie Boutifflart, the widow of Michiel Rose, was banished
and her estate confiscated in 1568, see Lille, Archives du Nord, Chambre des
Comptes, B 13190 fo. 171. Andrew Spicer kindly supplied a transcript
of this document. As long ago as 1552-3
Marguerite Bontiflard or Boutiflard had attended evangelical meetings at
Tournai, for which she was imprisoned; though later released, she and her
husband were forbidden to leave town, but they withdrew to Antwerp, G. Moreau, Histoire du protestantisme à Tournai jusqu’à
la veille de la Révolution des Pays-Bas (Paris, 1962), pp. 293-4.
 ‘Buset’ possibly a
bundle of hemp: see ‘bousse’ in Dictionnaire du Moyen-Français.
 RvB 96, fo.
The courier was carrying sundry smocks when he was arrested.
 Though ‘prester’
means to lend, Marinne is presumably urging her husband to borrow the money
from Provoost whom she would repay.
 Possibly this
Lambert can be identified with Lambrecht Mouton whose wife was staying in
November 1569 with the Dutch minister at Sandwich, see A.P. van Groningen,
‘Twee watergeuzen’, Bijdragen tot de
oudheidkunde en geschiedenis inzonderheid van Zeeuwsch-Vlaanderen II (1857) p. 317. According to yet
another correspondent one Lamsoen Bottoen, who may be the same, was a prisoner
in Ieper in February 1570, Verheyden ‘Correspondance inédite’, p. 185.
 RvB 96, fo.
 Possibly Arnoul le
Clercq who appears in the Registre des
baptesmes, mariages & morts et jeusnes. De leglise wallonne et des Isles de
Jersey, Guernsey, Serq, Origny, &c.,établie à Southampton ed.H.M.
Godfray (Lymington,1890) and who came from
Valenciennes, see A. Spicer, ‘The French-speaking Reformed community and their
Church in Southampton, 1567-c. 1620’ (unpub. PhD, Southampton, 1994) p. 19
 Verheyden suggests
Southampton for ‘Sauhint’, Verheyden, ‘Correspondance inédite’, p. 121.
 RvB 96, fo.
To illustrate the problems facing us as translators we have added here the
French text of letter no 5 as published by A.L.E. Verheyden:
Mon frère, à vous me recomande.
Saches que suis en bone santé, ausy son tous mes enfans. Saches que j’ay reçu
vostre lettre, datée le IIIe jour de novembre et l’ay reçu le XVIe
de janvyer. Saches que j’ay bien tout
entendu, mais l’argen que m’avye adresé je ne l’aray point et se me povye
radressé aultremen de brief. J’en ay gran disette, et pour le présen, je n’ay
point grand [chose?] à
saces que je suis chargé de maison. Nycolt de Marlye as acetté celle où je demoroye et je
demeure à ly siene;
il m’y as falu allé, je l’ay seu trop tart, dont je n’y treuve point gran chose
à gaigné et croye bien estre le plus tost que vous povés hors.
Vostre compère Decobecq se
recomande bien fort à vous et voldroit bien que fuse auprès de luy et dit que
Magdeleine et Remy gaigneroien bien XL gro le sepmaine a II.
Je vous prye que visse ung peu
quelle chose vous avés vollonté de faire pour moy. Je ne saroye cy nullement
gaigné mes dépen et vous pry que me le mandé le plus brief que povés. Gilles
Mette se recomande à Pierçon et s’il as afaire de quelque chose qu’il soit
assisté et ne le laisié point en danger. Et moy, je prye d’estre recommandée à
luy, mon frère. Je vous prye que me mandé sy ceulx de le bourse sont las
arryvé; il son party dès le Tousin et n’en as-t-on ouy nulle nouvelle; on as
dit qu’il sont péry, don nous en pine faison.
Enfin, pryan le Créateur pour sa
Escrite, le XXVIIe de
janvier, par vostre seur Jenne Géguenter.
Sace, que avoy receut vos
lettre, daté du IIIe jour de janviers. Mon frère, je vous avertys qe
l’argent de Coret, je ne le peult baljé (sey cea vyeu que vous ons mandé, saces
nous à dyre deux ou troys semaynne devant pour ferre) nos apret et peu devant
mon frère recogneuz moy sy ceux de le bours sont aryvé. Ils sont partys de le
Tousayns; ung nous a dyt qu’yl sont pérys et n’en donne nul novelle, s’yl sont
aryvez oprè de vous. Nous somme byen etbay que n’avons nulle nouvelle de
 and I think it’s the
soonest you could leave.
 This paragraph goes
over the same ground as the previous one.
 RvB 96, fo.
 RvB. 96, fo.
Nicolas Frappe who was described as a ‘marchant’ was banished from Tournai in
1569 CT 4647. He was related to Jehan
Frappe also from Tournai CT 4648. He
had attended a meeting with Guy de Brès after chanteries in 1561 for which he
was fined 100 livres. In 1563 he was questioned again, see Moreau, Histoire du Protestantisme à Tournai, p.
317. He had gone to Antwerp by 1566, ibid,
246. ‘Nicholas Frappe, gent’ and ‘no denizen’
was listed with wife, three children and a maid servant Annatt and a man
servant Symon Robarte who were all born in Tournai. They were members of French
Church. and resided in Breadstreet Ward in 1568, Returns of Aliens, III, 392; ‘Nicaise Frappes’ was listed as having
joined French Church late in 1568 or early 1569, Returns of Aliens, I, 398. By 1571 ‘Nycaseus Thrapp’ merchant and
his wife Jane from Tournai were living in Langbourne Ward. Returns of Aliens, I, 415.
 RvB. 96, fo.
 Cf. Jehan de Ville
from Antwerp CT 3679; Jehan de
Villers from Tournai CT 3684.
 RvB 96, fo.
On François Guimart see Spicer, ‘The French-speaking Reformed community’ pp.
42-43; also A. Spicer, The
French-speaking Reformed Community and their Church in Southampton 1567-c. 1620
(The Huguenot Society new series no 3) (London, 1997), p. 14; P. Beuzart, ‘La
réforme dans les environs de Lille’, 52, ‘Franchois Gemart’ and his wife from
Armentières were sentenced by CT 4771
& 4772. He had been a member of consistory at Armentières, De Coussemaker
(ed.) Troubles religieux du XVIe
siècle, II, 352. Franchois
Guinart arrived Sandwich 1568, where he served as a deacon, M. Backhouse, ‘The
Flemish and Walloon Communities at Sandwich during the Reign of Elizabeth I (1561-1603)’,
3 vols., unpub. PhD (Southampton, 1992), II, no 2080.
 Possibly Beauvais.
 Not clear to what
this alludes. The writer may have been thinking of France, but the third war of
religion did not end there until August 1570.
 Possibly Pierre
Carpentier sentenced at Valenciennes CT 1253.
He came from Mesen and was noted in London and Antwerp in 1561; from 1572-92 he
was the Reformed minister at Schiedam, see Backhouse, ‘Flemish and Walloon
communities’ II no. 380.
 For Gillain Reubien,
see A. Spicer, ‘The French-speaking Reformed community’, p, 43.
 RvB 96, fo.40.
 Probably the widow
of Jan de Marcene, see letter 70.
Guillaume Hennecart from Valenciennes was sentenced by CT 5338. Though not a member of the French Church in London, he
attended service there in 1569, Returns
of Aliens, I, 399.
 For Jacques Pranger,
see also letters 21 & 70. His wife, Marguerite le Moisne, was summoned
before the Inquisition in May-July 1565. She was banished for three years on 7
December 1567 for having helped Jennette Couvreur steal the register of curé of
S. Jacques ‘où estoient escript les noms des paroischiens ayant fait leur
debvoir d’aller au quaresne dernier passé, C. Paillard, Histoire des Troubles religieux de Valenciennes 4 vol (Brussels,
1874-76), IV, 176-78.
 RvB 96, fo.6.
 RvB 96, fo.37
‘Guisot’ or ‘Ciset’ Plennart’ ‘sayeteur’ was banished from Valenciennes CT 8354, see Lien Luu, Immigrants p. 113.
 RvB 96, fo.36.
 The amanuensis.
 RvB 96, fo.3
and fo. 4.
Pierre Gruel, a wine merchant, was banished from Valenciennes on 15 January
1569 see CT 5103. He had been a
member of Calvinist delegation that went to Brussels 19/20 August 1566 to ask
for freedom of religion and subsequently a leading figure in image-breaking and
active in raising funds for the defence of Valenciennes in March 1567. See Verheyden, ‘Correspondance inédite’, 131 n1 and P.
Beuzart La répression à Valenciennes
après les troubles religieux de 1566 (Paris, 1930), pp. 116, 117 &
129. ‘Pierre Gruel’
was listed as member of French Church in London late 1568 early 1569, Returns of Aliens, I, 397. One Jacklyng Gruell, a silk weaver who was
described as a ‘Burgonyan’ [i.e. from the Low Countries] was listed as an alien
in 1568, Returns of Aliens, III, 339.
 For ‘l’artiecque de la mort’ Charles
Littleton proposed ‘at the point of death’. This
expression recurs as l’artique de la mort
in letter 76.
 Perhaps ‘adrechy’
was the past participle of adrecier meaning to address or correct.
 RvB 96, fo.
 in truth?
 The mortal blow?
 Possibly the name of
a local inn.
See, in the Testimony of Henri Fléel. the inventory of goods found on his
person when he was arrested.
 Wands made of animal
hair? Perhaps ‘verque’ was a form of ‘verge’ meaning a rod or wand. These may
have been tools used in the making of velvet.
Michel Desquint asked his brother Martin to send him ‘des verges’, see
letter 24. The messenger was carrying ‘Vergetttes’ when he was arrested in
 measures of cloth?
 Dots indicate
 Possibly Rumme, SW
 The original is
almost illegible. The context suggests something like ‘fervent prayer’.
 RvB 96, fo.
 RvB 96, fo.
Jacques Jappin was probably a brother of Pierre Jappin, who was banished from
Valenciennes 15 January 1569 see CT
6181; Agniès Bérot, who was the daughter of Jacques Bérot, was married to
 RvB 96, fo.
 ‘’Rouland Hetrue’
appears in the Returns of Aliens as a
silkweaver, in St Botolph’s parish with wife Katheryne and three children 1568;
he was listed as belonging to ‘Dowche churche’ in London, III, 351; in January
1569 Rouland de Hetreu was listed as member of French Church, Returns of Aliens, I, 398. By the autumn
of 1571 Arnolde Hetrewe, also a silkweaver from Valenciennes, was living with
his son Rowland Hetrewe having come to England that year ‘for religion’, Returns of Aliens, II, 128. Several
other persons, also from Valenciennes, were registered as also residing at
Roland’s house in 1571, ibid.,
 Asks him?
 RvB 96, fo.
This may be the ‘Thomas le Clercq’ who was banished from Valenciennes by CT 6647.
In November 1571 ‘Thomas Clerk, of Vallaunce’ aged 38 was living in ‘the
Warde of Bridge Without’ with his wife Elizabeth, aged 35. She had come with
five children aged 5, 3, 12, 10 and 6 to England ‘for religion. He was a
tailor. Thomas had been coming and going for the past two years, but he had
been in England for past 3 months when the Return was made, Returns of Aliens, II, 122. Another
‘Thomas Clerk’ was reported in 1567 as having been in England for 3 years, Returns of Aliens, I, 326.
 Cushion, blanket or
 RvB 96, fo.
 ‘Peter Orman,
hatband maker, and Johane his wife, a Burgonion’ were recorded at Easter 1568
as denizens in Castle Baynard Ward (St. Andrews parish); they had lived in
England for two years, Return of Aliens,
I, 320; Jonet Orman, sister of Orman, was registered as a denizen, who had been
six months in England,’, Return of Aliens,
I, 320. In 1569 Pierre Orman was listed as member of French Church, Return of Aliens, I, 397 and in 1571
Peter Orman, hatbankmaker,was described as a’ howseholder’ who had come to England
threeyears previously for religion; his maidservant, aged 10 years, was
described as being of ‘No church’, Return
of Aliens, II, 13. In 1576 Peter Orman was living in Farringdon Within,
living at St Anne’s in the Blackfriars, Return
of Aliens, II, 1579 and he was still there in 1582 , Return of Aliens, II, 252; in 1583 ‘Peter Ormane hattbandemaker’
was described as being from the Low Countries, having come with his wife ‘to
see the countrey, and are of the Frenche churche’, their two children had been
born in England, Return of Aliens,
 Perhaps some sort of
certificate of baptism establishing parentage.
 All one?
 Jacques Gellée was a
wine-merchant at Valenciennes and a member of the Calvinist consistory there.
He was banished 6 March 1568. CT
4768. A ‘James Jellie’ described as a
‘Ducheman’ was recorded as living in Queenhithe Ward in 1568, Returns of Aliens, III, 386. He seems to have acted as an intermediary for
in letter 31 we learn that Jacqueline Leurent’s letter to her husband was also
to be sent via Jacques Gellée.
 RvB 96, fo.
Perhaps Arnould de Cordes from Valenciennes, see letter 70.
 The mention of
troubles in the country suggests that the destination of this letter may have
been somewhere in France rather than England.
 See also letter 70.
 see also letters 10
 Lieulx = literally
places. We have failed to identify a place of this name in either Belgium or
Northern France. Perhaps the anonymous address was a deliberate mystification.
If this letter were written to Arnould de Cordes, then it seems likely that the
father of Arnould was writing from Valenciennes.
 RvB 96, fo.81.
 RvB 96, fo.42
 Consultation with
the MS shows that these words were omitted in the published edition. Seemingly
they were added as an afterthought to the introduction of this letter.
 RvB 96, fo.
 Verges. This may refer to wands or rods used to beat clothes or perhaps
in the making of velvet, cf. letter 15. When the courier was arrested, he has
carrying copper rods.
 RvB 96, fo.
 Identified by
Verheyden as Jason du Bois who was banished from Tournai, CT 4122.
 A livre de Flandre
of 40 gros was equal in value to 6 carolus gulden.
 Jehan le Quien was
banished from Tournai CT 6894.
Perhaps identical with ‘Jaques de Pushe’ a smith from Tournai who was
registered as an alien in London, Returns
of Aliens, I, 456 and ‘Jacques du Puitz’ who was member of French Church in
London in 1569, Returns of Aliens, I,
 Possibly identical
with Philippe Nys from Antwerp (CT
7881) banished in 1569. Guido Marnef, ‘Antwerpen in Reformatietijd. Ondergronds Protestantisme
in een internationale handelsmetropool, 1550-1577’ 2 vols., (unpub.
proefschrift), (Leuven, 1991), II, p. 246 nr. 546.
 The rest of this
paragraph is opaque and our translation includes an element of guesswork. ‘And
you are to know that the brewer has returned to me what you know about. He did
not dare to keep it, but all the time he still said nothing. But one of the men
has said that if it had only been vouched for on your authority he would have
been happy to pay me his share. And I would like you to write one of them when
[it is time] for me to do it.’
 Probably she meant
As this feast day
fell on 25 July and the letter is dated 3 February, we cannot explain this
 RvB 96, fo.
Lbs: an abbreviation for Flemish pounds.
 A ‘Jehan de France’
from Tournai was sentenced by CT
 ‘patience de cinq’.
Perhaps a proverbial expression like the patience of Job.
 RvB 96, fo.87.
‘Jacques Parent’ from Wattrelos was sentenced by CT (8010). A ‘Wallerand Parent’ from Ieper had property confiscated
for involvement in preaching at Boeschepe (1562) but it yielded nothing, see M.
Backhouse, ‘The Official Start of armed resistance in the Low Countries’, Archiv für Reformationsgeschichte 71
(1980), 220 and De Coussemaker (ed.) Troubles religieux du XVIe siècle, I, 315. The ‘Jaques Paren’ from Liège who belonged to
Dutch Church in London in 1617, Return of
Aliens, III, 142, 157, 169 was a Dutch speaker and therefore someone else.
 Lannoy lies on
outskirts of Roubaix between Lille and Tournai.
 RvB 96, fo.
Gille Piet banished from Tournai 21 January 1569 CT 8218. Not traced in London.
 The Troyes Roies was an inn in Calais. Henri
Fléel was going there when he was arrested.
 RvB 96, fo.82.
 See also letters 2,
68 & 69.
 The sense of this
passage is opaque.
 Pierre Taiart. See
 On 4 January Pierre
Taiart had written to Arnould de le Rue in which letter he sent greetings to
Jan Boutiflas and his wife. See no 2. See also letters 68 and 69.
 RvB 96, fo.35
 Jehan Dambrune was
sentenced by CT 1982. He was
described as an ‘escrinier’ (joiner or cabinet maker). He had tried to arrange the
removal of his property to England, but this had been prevented in December
1562. Jacqueline Leurent was the daughter of Charles Muchet, who had himself
also been absent from Valenciennes for a long time, C. Paillard, Histoire des Troubles religieux de
Valenciennes 4 vols (Brussels, 1874-76), II, 486. See also Lien Luu, Immigrants p. 113. For Jehan Dambrune
and his wife in London see Returns of
Aliens, I, 396; II, 16; 138, 404; III, 54.
 See above letter 20
 RvB 96, fo.
Jean de Denain alias Jean le Poivre from Tournai was sentenced by CT 2453; 6885.
 See also letter 35.
 Presumably at
ink blot renders the rest of paragraph illegible.
 From Tournai where
his property had been confiscated, see Lille, Archives du Nord, Chambre des
Comptes B 13190 fo 8. Adrian Baudrenghien was listed in 1569 as
someone who though not a member of French church in London nevertheless
attended their services, Returns of
Aliens, I, 399.
 May be identified
with ‘Nycholas Pluckett, late merchaunte, borne in Torney’ with Adryan his wife
and Mary his daughter, and they go to the Frenche churche’ in 1568, Returns of Aliens, III, 332; ‘Nicolas
Plucquet’ listed among those who attended services at the French Church in
1569, without however being members, Returns
of Aliens, I, 399. In 1571 ‘Nicholas Pluckett and Audrean’ his wife from
Tournai had resided in Cripplegate Ward for two years and was described as
having ‘no occupacion’, Returns of Aliens,
 RvB 96, fo.
Jerosme Caulier was a member of French Church in London January 1569, Returns of Aliens, I, 396. Members of
the De Coron family had frequented evangelical circles in Tournai in the later
1550’s, G. Moreau, Histoire du
protestantisme à Tournai p. 305. Both Daniel and Guillaume Caulier from
Valenciennes were cited before CT
1338 and 1339.
 RvB 96, fo.54.
See note 90.
 he had done it?
 A ‘Jehan Ort’ of
Tournai was sentenced by CT 7946
She may have been the wife of Julien Lefebvre an iconoclast. After having been
hanged, his body was burnt at Valenciennes. 19 October 1567, Verheyden, ‘Correspondance
inédite’, 157. Julien Lefebvre, like many other persons condemned for their
part in the Troubles at Valenciennes, is not listed in CT. If Verheyden is correct, then this letter was written by
someone in Valenciennes.
 RvB 96. fo.60.
 Jean de Denain from
Tournai was sentenced by CT 2453. The property of Jean de Denain (dit le
poivre) was confiscated at Tournai, Lille, archives du Nord, Chambre des
Comptes, B 13190 fo4v. See also letter no. 32.
 The difficulties of
translating this letter are aggravated by the lacunae in the original. We have
taken some liberties when trying to make sense of the letter.
 I will look into it
[be patient,] ....will be done through Antwerp. The lacunae in the original are
marked by ellipses; these have added to the difficulties of translation.
 Perhaps some sort of woollen garment or
 RvB 96, fo.
Banished by CT 518. He and his wife
Marie Clarisse (CT 1509) left no
property, De Coussemaker (ed.) Troubles religieux du XVIe siècle, I, 309, 328). An ‘Anthoine Behagle’
who was cloth merchant was involved in the Troubles at Armentières, P. Beuzart,
‘La réforme dans les environs de Lille’ p. 53, p. 55.
 Both names scored
out in MS.
 The MS repeats
‘voorts’ perhaps a scribal error.
 The concluding
formula ‘wat my vermoghen’ ‘wat ic vermach’ occurs in two other letters (36,
66). It may be ellipitical for ‘I/ we shall do what I/we can’.
 RvB 96, fo.90.
Fragment only with lacunae.
 Possibly Guillaume
Caulier from Valenciennes who was cited CT
1339. See also letter 33 related to Mr Jérome Caulier, see letter 33.
 Perhaps read
‘porseur’ as ‘porteur’, i.e. the messenger.
 RvB 96, fo.28.
[135a] Perhaps related to Wouter Questeloot. He and his wife were banished from Ieper, CT 8540 & 8541.
 i.e. to go to the
 the text has
‘bedongen’ i.e. agreed, but this may be a slip for ‘bedwongen’, i.e. forced,
which better fits the context.
identify of Jan Huegebart cannot be established with certainty. One ‘John
Howgabert, dension, hatband-maker’ was living in Allhallows Barking parish in
1568, Returns of Aliens, I, 391; II,
385; in 1583 ‘John Hughebert hatband maker’ was in Langbourne Ward, Returns of Aliens, II, 337.
precise sense of this passage ‘Ende
voorts van de antworde van den gelde …de pennyinghen ontfanghen hadde’ is
difficult to determine. It would seem that
Victor Kirstelot has sent the addressee 40 stuivers to cover the travelling
expenses of Jan Hueghebart and the sum advanced will be repaid from the wages
Joos Dateen sent two cheeses from Norwich to a friend in Ieper in 1567, see www.dutchrevolt/leidenuniv/nl see under English
sources, Janssen correspondence, no.22.
 Unclear what is
meant. Is the writer referring to rumours about a General Pardon or some peace?
Or is the writer thinking in apocalyptic terms; perhaps the circumstances
suggest that the time of Judgement is approaching.
 toelaten for
 ‘bes [boos] ende
quaet’ perhaps a set phrase.
 Probably one and the
same as Jehan Deuvelin from Belle. CT
3649. See also De Coussemaker (ed.) Troubles religieux du XVIe siècle,
I, 255. His wife came from Meteren (CT
9232) very close to Belle. He and his wife were charged with attending Reformed
services and their property in Meteren was confiscated on 3 June 1568, De Coussemaker
(ed.) Troubles religieux du XVIe
siècle, I, 255, 295.
 RvB 96, fo.
Hubert Cousart of Tournai was sentenced by CT
 Lent began on 14
 RvB 96, fo.
 This letter may have
been written in Armentierès. It was clearly a cloth-making centre that had
fallen on hard times. Armentierès was not far from Nieuwkerke and Hondschoote
and nor from St Omer and Calais. The
letter mentions a ‘Madry’ who sent greetings and the young Jehan Desmadry was
taken to his uncle [Des]Madry in Armentières before he left for Calais, see his
interrogation. This may of course be mere coincidence. See also Lien Luu, Immigrants, p. 113.
 The value of
schellingen, half réals and daalders is difficult to determine. A half réal was
usually considered to be worth 30 stuivers and a schelling 6 stuivers so 5
schellingen = 30 stuivers or a demi-réal.
 The sense of this paragraph is difficult to make out. It
would seem that Pierre owed, or was obligated to send to, Thomas 5 schellingen while in prison, but since
then Thomas had not been able to pay it back, so Pierre's father sends it to
 A ‘daalder’ also
known as a Philipsdaalder was worth between 30 or 35 stuivers.
 See the
interrogation of the young Jehan Desmadry
 The phrase ‘savoier
se poeult correer’ is difficult to translate. It might mean ‘to know if [it[
can run’, i.e. the business.
 RvB 96, fo.
Desbucquois from Lannoy who was sentenced by CT (3419). ‘Jacques Desbuquois’ was a member of French Church in
London in 1569, Returns of Aliens, I,
396; a ‘James de Buco’ from Lille was listed as alien in London 1568, Returns of Aliens, III, 330.
 Unclear whether jusque à ce jour refers to 15 January or
the day of this letter.
 Meaning of ‘des tripey’ unknown. It is evidently
some sort of cloth, but not ‘velveteen’ which only came in the late eighteenth
century. As this region was close to the Dutch-speaking area, it might have
been derived from the Middle Dutch ‘trijp’, regarded as an inferior sort of
velvet., or ‘plush’.
 RvB 96, fos.
 Marie de Ruelle
handed her son, also known as Jean Desmadry, over to the courier Fléel to be
taken to join her husband in London. The boy, aged 9 or 10, was arrested with
Fléel and interrogated, see the testimony of Henri Fléel.
Jean Desmadry of Frélinghien nr Lille was banished
by CT 3047. ‘Jehan des Madry’ was
received into French Church in London late 1568 or early 1569, Returns of Aliens, I, 398. A ‘Jehan de
Ruyelle’ from Lille was banished by CT
 He was about 9 or 10, but children in early modern Europe were apprenticed as early as 9, see S. Ozment, Three Behaim boys: growing up in early modern Germany (New Haven 1990) p. 11.
 at mine?
 Perhaps to prevent
these being confiscated.
 Probably ‘goujat’ or
a soldier’s boy.
 more and more
 Guilders and florins
are usually equivalents.
 RvB 96, fo.
 A certain Noël
Creton from La Gorgue/ Laventie was sentenced CT 1905, but it is not certain whether he was related to Jean
Creton for Noël was clearly well-educated whereas Jean used an amanuensis. Noël
was described as a fugitive from Merville., De
Coussemaker (ed.) Troubles religieux du
XVIe siècle, II, 148. He had been ‘greffier’ or
‘huissier’ of the Chambre d’Artois at Arras (ibid., II, 193); iconoclast at
Laventie (II, 196, 245-6; 271-79; 283; 286-7; 289; 330, 334-6; 340; 379-85). He
had been involved in an anti-clerical farce at Whitsun 1560 which was repeated
at Christmas 1565. At that time he went to France where he recruited a minister
called Julien. In 1566 he took a leading part in organising preachings and
collected for the three million guilder request. He was banished and his
property was confiscated.
 RvB 96, fo.
 Perhaps one and the
same as ‘Romanus Fere operarius’ who was listed in the census of Norwich
strangers in 1568, though the Dutch stranger church there would not vouch for
him as he had a reputation for drunkenness. He had however promised to amend
his ways, Rye, ‘The Dutch Refugees in Norwich’, p. 219.
 The ‘pond vlaams’
was worth 6 carolusgulden.
 i.e. 1570 n.s. The
meaning of ‘tych’ is uncertain.
 RvB 96, fo.
Joire of Armentières was banished on 13 April 1568 (CT 6269). He was accused of image-breaking, De
Coussemaker (ed.) Troubles religieux du
XVIe siècle, II, 351, 354; P. Beuzart, ‘La réforme dans
les environs de Lille’ p. 54.
 and everyone eats
ashes and tiles, as do countryfolk? Perhaps a proverbial saying. Though the
sense seems clear enough, it is difficult provide a satisfactory translation.
 in her place I have
had to maintain two of those who have been billeted on them?
 See letter 48.
 ‘dead’? But this
makes little sense.
 RvB 96, fo.89.
Livres Parisis made one Flemish £.
 RvB 96, fo.
Verheyden read this as’ Kacaut’. But one Johannes Cacant, ‘faber lignarius’ was
listed as a member of the Dutch Church at Norwich in 1568. He had come to
England with his wife, servant and one child; Rye, ‘The Dutch Refugees in
Norwich’, p. 206.
Possibly Martin Le Cocq CT 6657 who came
from Warneton. NE of Armentières.
 Meaning of reysen uncertain. Can mean journeys,
voyages or possibly turns.
 A ‘Georgius Dekaet
juvenis’ was listed in Norwich return of 1568. He had come from Flanders in
1567, Rye, ‘The Dutch Refugees in Norwich’, p. 211.
 RvB 96, fo.
above letter 45.
 ma seurt . We have not been able to translate this phrase.
 As for that part
that you must hasten through?
 i.e mother of Jean
and Guy Joire who had died 11 February 1570, the day before the letter was
 RvB 96, fo.
 Possibly the brother
of Anthoine Flayel who was a member of the French-speaking church at
Southampton. Anthoine had been involved in image-breaking at Erquinghem and
Armentières as well as fighting at Lannoy, see Spicer, Reformed French-speaking Community p. 14; see also P. Beuzart, ‘La
réforme dans les environs de Lille’, p.56.
 RvB 96, fo.
 For a letter from
his brother-in-law see letter 54. Probably one and the same as Jacques
Lestienne from Armentières, who, with his wife, was summoned before CT 6954 & 6955. He had been a
religious suspect in 1562; De
Coussemaker (ed.) Troubles religieux du XVIe siècle, II, 236. See
also letter 54. One ‘Jacus Steven’ and his wife, his sister Catherine with an
old woman and four children’ were listed in 1568 as going to the Dutch Church
in London, Returns of Aliens, III,
 RvB 96, fo.29.
 This suggests the
correspondent was not writing from Armentières otherwise he might have said the
brother was working ‘here’ rather than naming the town.
 De Blinde Ezel [The
Blind Donkey] sounds like the name of a tavern.
 RvB 96, fo.27.
 RvB 96, fo.
From Armentières. Possibly married to ‘my sister Chaterinne’. For him in
Southampton see Spicer, ‘The French- Reformed community’, p. 13; 16-17 which
also mention Marie du Beffroy. The brother ‘Wallerand’ cannot be identified at
 RvB 96, fo.60.
 For information see letter 50. Jacques Lestienne had been under suspicion in
1562; he and his wife were banished on 13 April 1568 from Armentières CT 6954 and 6955.
 Damp has made the
 Possibly ‘the elder’
or the Jacop ‘Lainel’ mentioned in letter 50.
 RvB 96, fo.30.
Jean de Keysere and his wife Maeyken. May be identified with Jehan de Keysere
and Marie Verstraeten, both from Ieper (CT
2733 and 11634). He had come with his
wife and five children in 1567, see Rye, ‘The Dutch Refugees in Norwich’, p.
 Pierre van
Coorenhuuse and his wife Marie Siguet were banished from Ieper CT 10248 & 9249. He belonged to the Dutch Church at Norwich by
1568 where was described as ‘laneficus’ (wool comber). He had come with his
wife and three sons in 1567, Rye, ‘The Dutch Refugees in Norwich’, p. 201.
 Joos Stoeclkin was
Josse Dathen alias Stoelkin,was a chair maker or wood turner from Ieper. He and
his wife had been banished from there CT
2028 and 1296 and took refuge in Norwich. For a letter from him written see www.dutchrevolt.leidenuniv.nl Sources in
English/Janssen correspondence. Letter 22 and endnote 69.
 i.e. they are
 The correspondent
distinguishes between ‘groot hout’ and ‘rijshout’, presumably different types
 i.e. the Calvinist
rebels who fought government forces at Wattrelos 28 December 1566.
 Possibly Lampson/
Lambert Mouton. He had been a deacon in
the Reformed congregation at Ieper and was sentenced in August 1567 before the
creation of the Council of Troubles to do penance and pay a stiff fine, see also
B. Camerlynck, ‘De hervorming in de stad Ieper tussen 1520 en 1567’ (unpub. Licentiaatsverhandeling,Katholieke
Universiteit Leuven, 1970), 106. His wife was the sister-in-law of Carolus
Rijckewaert, the Dutch minister at Norwich, A.P. van Groningen, ‘Twee
watergeuzen’, Bijdragen tot de oudheidkunde
en geschiedenis inzonderheid van Zeeuwsch-Vlaanderen, II (1857), p. 317.
 Johannes Camerlins
juvenis was a member of Dutch Church at Norwich 1568. He came from Flanders in
1567, Rye, ‘The Dutch Refugees in Norwich’ p. 208.
 i.e. in the presence
of the Reformed congregation, which would not have been possible in 1570.
 RvB 96, fo.
 Pieter van der
Mersch was the receiver of confiscated property in Ieper.
This has the pithiness of a well-honed proverbial expression, but it’s precise
meaning eludes us. After consultation with Christopher Joby and Noel Osselton,
we suggest something along the lines ‘as long as it works, it’s fine’.
 Arinus [Aerius/
Aristotle] Questier from Ieper was banished CT
8542. Aristotle Questier who was a
weaver came to England with his wife and son from Flanders in 1567 and became a
member of Dutch Church at Norwich in 1568, Rye,‘The Dutch Refugees in Norwich’
p. 209. He was related by marriage to the Reformed minister there Carolus
Rijckewaert, A.P. van Groningen, ‘Twee watergeuzen’, Bijdragen tot de oudheidkunde en geschiedenis inzonderheid van
Zeeuwsch-Vlaanderen, II (1857), p. 317.
 In margin: ‘he
posted a notice on the church door saying that the office was for sale’.
 Jehan Langhedul was
banished from Ieper CT 6538. He had accompanied Carolus Rijckewaert
when he took his oath before magistrates of Ieper on 5 October 1566; by
September 1567, he was in Norwich, see www.dutchrevolt.leidenuniv.nl Sources in
English/Janssen correspondence, letter 10 and endnote 26. He was listed as a
member of Dutch Church at Norwich in 1568, where he appears as Johannes
Langedull and was described as a merchant, Rye, ‘The Dutch Refugees in
Norwich’, p. 207.
 Piere de Landtsheere
was banished from Ieper, see CT 2799.
Petrus Lantshere, who was a widower and a weaver, was listed among Dutch
strangers at Norwich in 1568, Rye, ‘The Dutch Refugees in Norwich’, p. 214.
 He was a
signatory to the religious agreement drawn up in Ieper 1566, H.Q. Janssen, ‘De
hervormde vlugtelingen van Yperen in Engeland, geschetst naar hunne brieven’, Bijdragen tot de Oudheidkunde en
Geschiedenis, inzonderheid van Zeeuwsch-Vlaanderen, 2, 280; 283-4.
 Listed as a member
of Dutch Church at Norwich in 1568. She was described as a ‘young girl or
spinster’ who had come from Flanders in 1567, Rye, ‘The Dutch Refugees in
Norwich’ p. 207.
 Presumably the
letter had been torn.
 RvB 96, fo.9.
A difficult letter to make complete sense of on account of the illegible
 Illegible word.
 Illegible word.
 Can’t make sense of
‘by’. As the passage goes on to refer
to his brother, perhaps it refers to some sort of kinsman.
 Your contentment is
 RvB 96, fo.14.
We are obliged to Dr Christopher Joby for assistance with the translation of
this difficult letter.
 Both Caerle Rijckevaert and his wife Marie
Godschalc came from Nieuwkerke. In 1566 he became the Reformed minister in
Ieper where he took an oath of loyalty on 5 October 1566 and he continued to
lead the Reformed congregation there until February 1567. When he was banished
in 8 August 1567, he was already in Norwich. Both he and his wife were
sentenced CT 8886 and 5001; De Coussemaker (ed.) Troubles
religieux du XVIe siècle, I, 327, 341. In Norwich, he
served as minister to the Dutch-speaking congregation as well as working in the
cloth industry, Rye, p. 203. He re-married in London on 25 May 1574 and was
called as minister to Thetford in 1575. In August 1577, he became a minister in
Leiden and served as the second scriba at
the national synod of June 1578. He returned to Ieper in August 1578 where he
probably died in or before 1584. His son Carolus Rijckewaert was born at Ieper
20 August 1582.
 Because Rekevaert’s
estate has been confiscated by the crown.
 Marie Godschalc.
 Meaning unknown. The
context suggests something like ‘with him’.
 The possessive
pronouns in this passage seem confused. One would expect here ‘their’, but the
original is clearly ‘sin’.
 The name on the
endorsement is puzzling. Possibly ‘Rikenaer, rekenaert’ is a duplication by the
 RvB 96, fo.39.
Possibly the ‘Philippe Caulier’ from La Gorgue who was sentenced CT 1342. He had sacked the church at
Laventie and, while a local magistrate had favoured the Protestants. He may
also have been an elder in the Reformed church.
He was banished and his property confiscated in December 1568 for which
reason he was described as a ‘fugitif’. According to a report of 6 December
1567, he had returned to La Gorgue to sow his crops, but was in hiding for fear
of being arrested, De Coussemaker (ed.) Troubles religieux du XVIe siècle, II, 192, 196, 274-5, 278-9, 287-88, 295, 321, 378-9, 385, 405. Caulier also
had land at Laventie, A. Lottin, La
révolte des Gueux en Flandre, Artois et Hainaut (Lillers, 2007), p.154.
 There are two suspects of this name, the
first from Tournai CT 2902, the
second from Laventie or La Gorgue (L’Alleu) against whom the priest testified
on 18 August 1568 that he did not come to church and had attended hedge
services. De Coussemaker (ed.) Troubles
religieux du XVIe siècle, II, 339. He does not however
appear in CT. Because of the association with Philippe
Caulier, Jacques de le Haye can more probably be identified with the latter.
 Reminscent of Psalm
 Though A.L.E.
Verheyden had intended to publish this ‘songe’ in the Annales du cercle d’archéologique et d’histoire de Tournai for 1954, an enquiry to the Archives de l'Etat at Tournai confirmed that this had not happened.
 RvB 96, fo.
Bacler family hailed from Armentières; Eloy Bacler and his wife Jane Seneschal
were sentenced CT 295 & 296. He
had frequented the hedge services and favoured the new religion, II, 351, 354;
Spicer, ‘French-speaking Reformed community’, p 40 fn. 115. Two other members
of the Seneschal family at Armentières were sentenced CT 9198 & 9199. Rouland
Bacler was a member of French Church London in 1569, Returns of Aliens, I,398.
 Probably Adrien
Bacler le Jeunse [Andrieu Bacquelier] sentenced by Council of Troubles for
going to hedge services and favouring the new religion, CT 291.
 Possibly he had
fought with the rebels in 1566-67.
 From Armentiëres but
not in CT. On Pierre le Gay, see
Spicer ‘French-speaking Reformed community’, pp. 40-41.
 You should make out a
letter of credit, to be remitted later, to the one whom you would assist?
 RvB 96, fo.22.
4 November 1567 the feudal court of Belle bailed one ‘Pieter van der Scheure’
from prison on condition he would return whenever he was summonsed, De Coussemaker (ed.) Troubles religieux du XVIe siècle I, 231. This is
probably the Pierre van der Schueren from Belle who was banished CT 10690. It is not known where this letter was
written, but just possibly Belle. Apparently, Ieper was not far away. Though
the writer believed the addressees resided at Norwich, this may not, or at
least no longer, have been the case for neither of them can be identified in
the Dutch congregation at Norwich.
 See Jeremiah 17 v.
5: “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man”.
 11 November.
 RvB 96, fo.
This shoemaker from Laventie was accused of being involved in a plan to murder
the governor of the Pays de Lalleu, at Sailly and of having broken images at
Laventie. He was sentenced
on 7 December 1568, De Coussemaker (ed.) Troubles
religieux du XVIe siècle, II, 206, 242, 244, 254-5,
275-6, 295, 376; CT 6916.
 This sentence could
mean either ‘I am so unfeeling of heart’ or ‘I am so prostrate [with grief at
the death of my mother] …
 Possibly the Tuindag
celebrated at Ieper on the 1st Sunday in August.
Merville, near Hazebroek
in French Flanders.
 Two or three
 RvB 96, fo.17.
 Maertyne Godschalcs
came from the Westkwartier of Flander; he was in Sandwich in 1569, Backhouse
II, no 721
 Neither of the
addressees can be readily identified in CT.
Both however were known to have been in Sandwich, see Backhouse, II, nos 721
& 316. According to Backhouse, Marcel de Bus was a ‘laceworker’.
 Olsene a village to
the south west of Deinze in Flanders.
 i.e. 24 June.
 Meaning uncertain.
Perhaps something along the lines of ‘after a fresh assessment’ or ‘as you
think proper’, but these are simply guesses.
 RvB 96, fo.
 The mention of
bellows suggests the addressee had indeed been a tinker or blacksmith.
 There were 12 Livres Parisis to a Flemish
 Cannot make sense of
 RvB 96, fo.76.
 Cuirass or perhaps
more plausibly a leather jerkin.
 Perhaps this relates
to wool imported from Spain.
 RvB 96, fo.15.
 Verheyden read this
as ‘unter’, but a more probable reading is ‘uwter’.
 RvB 96, fo.71.
 Possibly identical
with ‘Jehan Billet’ from Tourcoing, CT
672 who in turn may be identical with Johannes Billetius Flander, drappier’,
who was a member of Walloon Church at Norwich. He arrived there in the summer
of 1567 with his wife and a servant. Rye, ‘The Dutch Refugees in Norwich’, p.
 RvB 96, fo.84.
Putting together information in letters 2, 68 & 69 it would seem that
Catherine Boudiffart had married a ‘Tiart’ who had died leaving her a widow.
Her cousin (by marriage?) Arnould de la Rue was in London. A Pierre Taiart
wrote to Arnould and his wife in London (see no 2). The Taiart-De la Rue and
Boudiffart families were all related. ‘John Bonteflar’ a silkweaver or
sackcloth maker was listed with his wife ‘Blanche’ as members of the French
Church in London in 1568, Returns of
Aliens III, 392. The Boudiffart
links with Protestantism in Tournai go back to 1552-3 when a certain Marguerite
Bontiflard (or Boutiflard) was prosecuted at Tournai in 1552-3 for having
attended evangelical services; she later left the town with her husband Martin
Bourgeois for Antwerp, G. Moreau, Histoire
du protestantisme à Tournai, pp. 293-94.
The property of Marie Boutifflart, the widow of Michiel Rose at Tournai
was confiscated in 1568, see above n.6.
 He was a ‘Tiart’ or
Armould de la Rue see letter 2.
Arnould de la Rue.
RvB 96, fo.83.
 RvB 96, fo.46-47.
 Arnould de Cordes
was banished from Valenciennes where he played prominent part in 1566-67.
‘Arnoud de Cordes’ was listed as a member of French Church in London in January
1569, Returns of Aliens, I, 394.
 See letters 10 &
 See letter 21.
 The context suggests
something like ‘safe’ or ‘out of danger’ but we are not sure.
 A difficult passage.
Our guess is that the time when you will be cured is still far off.
 RvB 96, fo.18.
 Warneton/ Waasten in
the Leie valley.
 Grau lakene i.e.
unfinished or undyed cloth.
 schelling = monetary
unit of 12 groot = 6 stuivers.
 The meaning of ‘gyten’
is unclear. The context suggests something like a receipt.
 RvB 96, fo.92.
Top of letter missing.
 Verheyden thought
that the father of Jacques de Roubay had written it, but we think it came from
the son. Possibly Jacques de Roubais from Tournai CT 3362. One ‘Jacques de Roubray’ was listed as member of French
Church in London in January 1569, Returns
of Aliens, I, 398.
 Very difficult to know what to do with this passage,
particularly with 'elle de elle', which may just be a mistake in writing. What
is here is largely guesswork.
 'ferime' may
be an attempt at the subjunctive, but of what verb? Possibly 'faire', but the subjunctive would be
‘fassions’. But how familiar were these letter writers with the intricacies of
the subjunctive anyway?
 RvB 96, fo.61.
Perhaps Loys du Bois from Tournai CT
4127. According to Verheyden. Barbe petitioned in October 1570 that her husband
be pardoned, presumably under the terms of the General Pardon published by Alba
in July 1570.
He was described as a
‘tondeur de grand forche’.
 RvB 96, fo.48.
Possibly wife of Pierre Houset from Tourcoing CT 5622. This seems more likely as Marie has evidently taken her
 I know [?] This is a
guess based on turns of phrase used by these letter-writers.
 RvB 96, fo.56.
 RvB 96, fo.41.
 The mention of Jean
Desmadry in this letter suggests that it, like no 42, was also written from
Lille/ Frélinghien. It is tempting to identify the Anthoine Heinghe from
Frélinghien who was sentenced by the Council of Troubles CT 5297 with Antoine Renier. Whatever, Anthoine Renier certainly
settled in London for ‘Anthe Renyer’ was listed among those who had
been admitted to French Church in London in late 1568 or early 1569, Returns of Aliens, I, 399; in 1582
Anthony Reneare’ was living in Dowgate Ward where he was assessed, Returns of Aliens, II, 242.
 Meaning uncertain.
Perhaps ‘for whatever reason’.
 See above footnote 41.
 As Easter fell in
1570 on 26 March, Hennette received word from her husband on 15 February.
 RvB 96, fo.25.
The lacunae make it difficult to make sense of this letter.
 Unable even to guess
RvB 96, fo.7.
 Table de
a register of property drawn up for fiscal purposes.
 Charles Littleton proposed interpreting 'usi' as 'si' making it 'si tant', which might
be rendered as 'unless' or 'as long as'. It is not an exact fit, but it further
strengthens the idea that the general sense is 'until/ unless it will please
God to ordain it’.
 Possibly Marke to
the south-west of Kortrijk or Marck on the outskirts of Calais.
 RvB 96, fo.
93. Because of the very fragmentary nature of this letter, it is not possible
to offer a translation.
by Wallerand de Tilly of Louis de Moncheau, Jean Goetrouwe, Guillaume
Coubronne, Henri Fléel and Jean Desmadry concerning the arrest of a heretical
28 February to 9 March 1570 (n.s.)
made and delivered in the town of St-Omer on the last day of February 1569
before Wallerand de Tilly, lord of Saincte-Mariekerke, lieutenant-general of my
lord the bailli of Sainct-Omer. Present: Maître Loys Théry, licentiate
in law and attorney and Adolph de le Hele, counsellor and receiver of the king
our lord at the said St-Omer. Here Jehan Goetrouwe and Guillamme Coubronne,
soldiers at Hennewin
have been heard concerning the arrest and capture of one named Henry Fléel, who
brought to this town that day.
Goetrauwe, soldier of Loys de Moncheau, captain of the fort and castle of Henewin,
40 or so years old, has stated and testified on oath that last Sunday the said Henry was found
on board the boat of Jehan Rouzée, a boatman, residing at Calais, about 8
o’clock, close to Hennewin where they drag the boats along a channel to go from
one river to another to go from Sainct-Omer to Calais. He said that he had been
arrested by his said captain and found with a pedlar’s pack with a false bottom
in which there were a large number of letters hidden under onion, apples and
other fruit; likewise, a copper rod with a hollow bottom and half way up two
bundles of latten wire thread which they call
wands used in the making of velvet.
that he had several letters on him sewn into his tunic and hose. When he was brought
to him he asked where he was going and he said to London in England and he had
to get to Calais to stay at the ‘Troix roix’, the same who had given all his
letters had given him an angelot to take them to the said London.
asked whether he had been to confession said yes and to his God, that he had nothing
to do with any priest, freely admitting that he belonged to the religion and
for that reason he would leave the country. Furthermore, he said that the worst
that could be done was to put him to death and that was a small matter seeing
that if one lived longer one simply wore out more pairs of stockings; said the
pack was in the hands of the captain and the prisoner confessed that the said
pack had been made especially in the pays de Lalleu to carry the letters to
that is what he knows and can testify. Signed thus: J. Goetrauwe.
de Coubronne, 40 or so years old, soldier at the said Hennewyn. Said and
testified on oath that he was not there when his captain had arrested and
captured the said prisoner, but he had been charged to take the said prisoner
to this town with the witness; said that yesterday evening, having supped at
Watenes the said prisoner sat
down and leant on his stick saying that he was going
to be true to his family name which was ‘de Busner’ from which the witness
presumed that he was called Henry de Busnes.
that he had had in his hands a pedlar’s pack in which were the letters and also
the bundle of brass wire and as he had been charged with guarding the said
prisoner at night he found 5 or 6 letters sewn into his leggings and that he’d
not heard anything else or other words from the prisoner. And that is what he knows and can testify.
Thus marked de Coubronne.
March 1569 in the presence of Wallerand de Tilly, lord of Sainte-Mariakerke,
lieutenant general of my lord the grand bailli of the said St-Omer.
Present: Maître Loys Théry licentiate in law and attorney and Adolph de le
Hele, counsellor and receiver of the king our lord.
de Mocheaulx, squire and captain of Hennewyns, in the district of Langle, aged
38 or thereabout said and testified that last Sunday he had found Henry Flaeau [sic]
in a boat that was going to sail from the said St Omer towards Calais.
the said boat was operated by a certain Jehan Rouzée, who lived at Calais and
went each week from Calais to the said Saint-Omer, and about 7 to 8 in the
morning, as the said boat was passing close to the said place of Hennuin, at
the point where the boats are dragged forwards along a path to enter a river on
the other side to go from the said
Calais to the said St-Omer, he said and affirmed that he had arrested and taken
the said Henry prisoner. And while doing this, he had asked who he was, to
which he replied he was a poor man from Laventie on his way to Marck to rent a house there to
earn a living by threshing wheat. On (hearing) this, the witness asked whether
he was of the new religion, to which the said prisoner said he was. Following which,
the witness searched him and found a sack, a pack and a hollow rod into which
had been inserted a pole which was also hollow filled with some copper wands
used in the making of velvet. In the said pack were found two cheeses, two
dishes filled with jam and covered on top with onions and underneath was a
false bottom in which were hidden some letters which the witness had handed
over. The witness also found some letters in the lining of the hose of the said
prisoner. Said the said prisoner told him that Pierre du Buis gave him the
letters between Honscotte and Regnegelt to deliver to Denèque
Olay at the ‘Trois Roiz’ near Calais; testified that the said prisoner had told
him that he was going to England but he didn’t say for what purpose.
that is what he has said when questioned. Signed with mark of the said Loys de
follows the inventory, made by Loys de Moncheaulx, squire and captain of
Hennewin, of the items found in the possession of one called Henry Fléau, as he
was making his way to England.
several letters found on him as well as in a false bottom inside a pannequin.
box with metal objects and eyelets to the number of forty.
two and half ells of blue cloth
smocks for a small boy
smocks for some girl
smocks for men
dishes with jam
ells of white cloth
to the value of] 21 livres 10 silver sous,  to wit 5 angelots, a
daalder of 32 sous and an ‘esseilliet’ worth only 24 sous, and
2 coins of 7 sous
hollow iron rod with a Spanish reed filled with brass wire.
the last day of February 1569, before Wallerand de Tilly, lieutenant-general.
Present: Adolph de le Hele, councillor and collector for the King, our lord, at
the said Saint-Omer.
Fléel, native of le Ventye
fifty or so years old, fuller by trade, interrogated about the reasons for his
imprisonment, said that he did not know of any, but that on Sunday, 26th of
this present month, he was taken and arrested by some soldiers from the castle of
Hennewyn as he was close to the said fortress, having come from the city of
Sainct-Omer with the intention of going to Calais to the inn of the ‘Trois Rois’
at the encouragement of one named Michel du Buis, as it seemed to the said
prisoner, who did not otherwise know him. And he encountered this one [du Buis]
near Renneghelt in
Flanders, having come there to beg for bread, forasmuch as presently he is not
able to find work in his craft; with the said du Buis, he agreed, for six Paris
livres to transport a packet full of smocks, cheeses,
and other things, as well as a large bundle of letters, which he was to carry
to the said Calais, to the said inn of the Trois Rois’, where the said Michel
du Buis promised to come and find him and gave him as means for his trip a daalder and some other money.
said that it was not his intention to go any further and had not yet had the
courage to go overseas.
said that fifteen days ago from today, he had been at Fleurbay
with the bailli of the abbey of Sainct
Vaast, at that said place and also with those of the court; which people know
the said prisoner very well.
said that he has a wife, named Marie, seamstress, residing at Neufve-Eglise,
with three small children, from where he left last Thursday to come to this
said that on his return to the said house, he found there the young boy who had
been arrested with him, that he does not know him except that he knows that he
is from Lille and he [the boy] told him that he was son of Jehan Desmadry
of the said Lille, at the moment a refugee in England, who went there a year
ago because of the troubles. And he [the boy] was brought to the house of the
said prisoner by one of his cousins, whom he [the prisoner] does not know either.
said that, the said Michel du Buis having the past Monday delivered the said
package to the said prisoner near the said Reningelst, he [the prisoner]
returned with him to his house in the said Nieuwkerke and the said du Buis told
him that he would send him the said boy whom the said prisoner brought with
him, in order to bring him safely to the said Calais, in the said inn of the ‘Trois
said that he had no other letters, except those which were found in the said
package and basket, which the said du Buis delivered to him.
said that the said du Buis also gave him a hollow stick, with which he had been
found seized, and he did not know that it was hollow, nor that there was
something inside, but the said du Buis told him that he left it with him and
when it was taken by the said soldiers and broken he saw that there were some
threads of brass wire, he does not for what purpose.
said that he had slept the Friday night at Peene
in an alehouse and from there went on Saturday morning to Saint-Omer, where he
arrived in the afternoon and, without stopping in this town, went to the river
bank, asking for a boat to go to the said Calais, which he found and boarded;
said that he slept that night two leagues from the city in a village, whose
name he does not know, and left there on Sunday morning.
said that the letters which were found in his breeches and outside the package
were given to him by the said du Buis afterwards, which he said after thinking
for a long time about that and he was as if forced to answer.
denied having with the said letters and package any other money than the daalder
which the said boy had and that one which the said du Buis had given him.
then, has confessed that the five angelots
mentioned in a letter
which he was carrying had been handed over by him to the captain of Henewin and
declared that they had been given to him by the said du Buis.
denied having had any other wages than that of the daalder which the said du Buis gave him and that he does not know
any of those who wrote or sent the said letters.
denied also being a messenger of the Beggars
and that this is the first time that he has carried any such letters, alleging
that he did not know that it was forbidden.
if he is of the confession of Calvin or a Calvinist, he said that he does not
know what it is to be a Calvinist, nor similarly to be a Papist.
declared that he is not a Lutheran or an Anabaptist.
said and confessed that for three years he has not gone to Mass or to
confession. And interrogated as to why he has not gone he did not wish to
said that also he did not take Communion during the said period and
interrogated whether he believes in the real presence of the precious body and
blood of Jesus Christ at the holy Sacrament of the Mass, said that he believes
in everything Jesus Christ wrote.
recited word-for-word the Commandments of the Law, as they are written in the
whether he believes in the seven sacraments of the Church, he said that he
believes in two of them, that is, baptism and Holy Communion, as he called it.
why he had not been to confession, in order to have absolution for his sins, he
said that he believes that no man can pardon him of his sins, but only Jesus
Christ, and that he does not find in the Testament that he must confess his
sins to a priest, but to God, to whom he confesses himself as often as he can.
about the reception of the body of the Lord at the Holy Sacrifice by the
priest, he said that he does not believe that the priest may consecrate and he
couldn’t find in the Scriptures that he (priest) could do it, and as result he
did not believe that the real presence of the body of our Lord Jesus Christ was
in the mass, but only that he was present in the Supper and that he is daily in
the bread when the Christian partakes in faith at the Supper and the wine is
his blood which he has shed for the remission of sins and that the Christian
receives it by faith.
that he had not been to the Supper nor been to a country where it was done.
that he had always been to the preaching when they had been held at
Armentières, Nieuwkerke and roundabout and when they had been permitted. These
sermons had been given by ministers called Broere,
having broken images or borne arms against His Majesty or contributed to the
building of the temples or
entertained preachers or ministers, or anything else.
signed: Henri Flel. Whereupon he has been dismissed.
2 March 1569 [o.s] in the presence of Wallerand de Tilly, squire and lord of
Sainte-Marie-kercke and lieutenant-general of my lord the grand-bailli of St Omer and of the said attorney and of the
receiver of the king, our master.
Desmadry, a young child aged 9 or 10, and as he has declared, the son of Jehan
Desmadry fugitive in England. He said that his father had retired to England a
year ago last Easter because he supported the Beggars, that often on Fridays
and Saturdays he would eat eggs, meat and that his mother sometimes abstained
on Fridays and Saturdays from the said meat; fearing that his said father would
not have eaten it; said that in Lent he had often seen his father eat eggs, but
that his mother didn’t wish to eat them; said also that exactly a fortnight ago
his mother had sent him to the house of his uncle, called Madry, in the town of
Armentières; he thought he was his mother’s brother; however he could not say
more than that the dwelling where he lives is an inn or alehouse on the market
where the sign of the ‘Ongle’
hangs. He had been taken to the house by a man whom he didn’t know; that his
mother had charged him to take him to his uncle’s house, where he spent 7 days.
then his said uncle had taken him to the village of Le Ventye,
to the house of someone he didn’t know, except he’d heard his name called
several times by some women coming to the said house, asking for him calling
him Henry, with whom he had left Le Ventye and had slept at some village of
whose name he was ignorant.
the next day, they went through this town about 10 or 11 in the morning, taking
the path to the right at the high bridge, where the said man had hired a boat
in which they embarked. And coming to the fort of Hennewin, the said man was
taken, arrested and sent with the said child to this town, where they were held
during this interrogation that he had hardly ever seen his father going to
mass, but that his mother went continually, especially on feast days and
further that the said man intended and had been charged to take him to England
to see his father there and to live with him.
further that before their departure from the said place of Venthie a woman whom
he didn’t recognise brought to the said Henri, prisoner, a basket with a handle
with a false bottom which contained some letters, according to what this child
saw when they were stopped; and that the said soldiers have cut open the false
that the onions found in the possession of the said Henry had been bought by
him in this town; and as for the cheeses they had been brought to him in the
said place of Le Ventie before they left by some women whom this child didn’t
further, on being questioned, that the said Henry had not told him where he
would take him.
9 March 1569 [o.s.] before the said lieutenant-general and in the presence of
the said attorney and receiver.
(sic) Fléel, prisoner, asked once again in the presence of the lords and after
the deposition made on the last day of February, said that it was all true,
which therefore he upheld and upholds except that he does not recall having
said that he doesn’t believe that the priest can consecrate during the mass,
but says that he did not find it written in Holy Scripture that he can do it.
having told the captain of Hennewyn that he intended to go to England.
the said Du Buis had told him that as the letters that he was to take only
contained greetings there was therefore no danger.
that once he had completed his journey to the said Calais, he intended to
return to the Low Countries and to look for employment in his craft. Whereupon
he has been dismissed.
made with the original interrogations and examination and found by me the
greffier of the bailli of Sainct-Omer
to be accurate.
The fate of Henri Fléel is uncertain.
He was detained at the castle in St Omer where he was interrogated by the
episcopal penitentiary. He refused to abjure his heretical opinions and the
magistrates of St Omer were instructed in April 1570 to forward the papers
relating to the case to the Council of Troubles. Though no sentence is known,
the likelihood is that Fléel, as an obstinate heretic, was put to death.
 Verheyden, ‘Une correspondence inédite’ 219-29; Algemeen
Rijksarchief Brussel, Raad van Beroerte
91, fo. 139-144v.
 Possibly Ste-Marie-Cappel NW
of St Omer
 Hénuin near Calais on the outskirts of Audricq
 26 February 1570.
 Possibly ‘acquaire’ which is rendered by the Dictionniaire du Moyen Français as ‘laiton’ i.e. brass wire.
 Pays de l’Alleu.
 Watten NW of St Omer
 This is a guess. The meaning of ‘coustre’ is uncertain. ‘Coustre’
can mean ‘culter’ or ploughshare, but this makes no sense.
 According to the Dictionnnaire
du Moyen Français ‘buner’ means to hang one’s head in shame.
 On outskirts of Calais.
 Meaning of pannequin is
uncertain, though probably a sort of basket.
 ‘des fers et des ellettes à roues’.
Perhaps items used in dress-making.
 Smocks are mentioned in letter 3.
 Cheese seems to have been appreciated as a gift, see www.dutchrevolt/leidenuniv/nl
see under English sources, Janssen correspondence, no. 22. Victor Kirstelot
sent a cheese see letter 38.
 The writers of letters 46, 57 and 62 entrusted money to the
 Meaning uncertain but presumably a coin.
 Possibly the wands or verges
mentioned in letter 24.
 Laventie. a village midway between Armentières and Bethune.
 See letter 42 from Marie de le Ruelle to her husband Jehan Desmadry.
He wanted his son, also called Jehan Desmadry, brought to London to join him.
The husband came from Frélinghien near Lille and was banished by the Council of
Troubles, see CT 3047.
 Possibly tools used in the making of velvet, see letters 15 and 24.
 Noordpeene and Zuytpeene were villages to the NE of St Omer.
 See letter 46.
 The Gueux was the sobriquet adopted by those who in 1566 demanded
that the anti-heresy edicts be withdrawn and the Inquisition cease its
 Possibly Jehan de Brune
 Antoine Algoet
 Julien, a lay preacher.
 ‘Ongle’ can mean ‘hoof’, as well as claw or talon.