The mutable and wavering estate of France

Mutable and wavering e-
state of France, from the yeare of our Lord
1460, untill the yeare 1595.
The great Battailes of the French Nation, as
well abroad with their forraigne enemies, as
at home among themselves, in their
civill and intestine warres:

With an ample declaration of the feditious and tre-
cherous practises of that viperous brood of
Hispaniolized Leaguers.
Collected out of Sundry, both Latine, Italian, and
French Historiographers.

printed by Thomas Creede.

PUBLISHED BY Thomas Creede



[Page 76]

Though the Catholikes were but a few in respect of the Protestants, yet remembring their former honour(for they were esteemed the btavest and valiantest bandes of all the whole Army) and beeing animated by the Collonell strozzi, did lustily maintaine the fight, and would not give an inch of ground, thinking to be succoured in time by his excellencie. There was a long and terble fight, and many were slaine on both sides: but this Corps [...] being overcharged with the multitude of Confederates, was (in the ende) wholy overthrowne and put to flight. Collonell Strozzi was taken prisoner, having lost his Lieytenant La loup, with the choysest men of the Regiment, and 50. men of Marke at the least, and some foure hundred common Souldiers. Monsieur not [Page 77] minding to hazard his fortune at that time, suffered the Protestants peaceably to enjoy their victorie, and being counselled to breake up his Armie, and to distribute them in the garrisons untill the 15. of August following, everie one retired to their appointed places, leaving the confederates to range up and down at their pleasures, who forthwith got Tiuseres, S.Sulpice, Consolant, S. Genais, Chaterlerand, Lasurmen, and many other places, so that now fortune began to smile upon them more then at any time before, and marvailously to favor their proceedings, and seeing themselves maisters of the field, and that there was no man to make head against them, and resolved to besiege the strong Towne of Poi [...]. With this determination they marched forwards, and encamped before the cheefe Citie in [...], seeking to adde that likewise unto the rest of their conquests.

His excellency beeing advertised heereof, sent foorthwith the new Duke of [...], commanding him to put himselfe within the Towne, and in any wise to Keepe it from the Protestants, who accompanied with the marquesse his brother, Ruffec, Onoux, and sundrie others his followers, entred Poictiers, where after hee had viewed the walles, and considered of all necessaries requisite to endure a siege, hee fortified the Towne with the advise of the Counte Lude, the Governour of the Countrey, as strongly as could bee devised, the better to maintaine it against the enemie, who not long after approching, first gained the suburbs, and sundrie other places of advantage, notwithstanding all the impeachments given by the Guyse and other Catholikes. Then raised they their forts, cast up their mounts, entrenched themseves, mounted their Ordenance, and beate the Walles, Towers, and Bulwarks, in all terrible and furious manner that might bee. Those within stood valiantly to their defence, and by often sallying foorth and skirmishing, endomaged the assaylants maintained their owne for a long while. But in continuance of time, after the losse of manie of their forwadest Souldiers, they beganne to keepe in more close, and were content to holde whatsoever was within the Walles, and for that victuals beganne to waxe scant, by reason all the passages & waies were so stopped, that nothing could enter for the releese of the befieged, they thrust out many of their unnecessarie people, and spent their victuals among the rest as sparingly as might be: and yet for all that they were brought to that extremitie, that they were forced to eate their horses, asses, and dogges, and to fill theyr hungrie mawes with many course meates, yea, such was their miserie, that they thought it impossible to holde it for any long time, and therefore were readie to yeelde up the Towne, hadde, rather then by yeelding unto their enemies, to blemish their honour and reputation : but all this served to little purpose, had not [...] the yongest brother of the Count De lude, by a wittie and ingenious devise, stopping the Channell of the River, caused it to disgorge it selfe over all the low meddowes which lay on the side of the Cittie, by which meanes the confederates were utterly disappointed of their hope, and that at such time as they thought all had beene theirs.



[Page 93]

Many, who secretly favoured the religion, seeing the great courage of the Rochellors and their happy successe in holding out so long a time against such a [...] power, began to [...] up their hearts, and openly to shew themselves. So, that now great numbers were up in Armes in [...] [...], and sundrie other parts of the land: so that the Catholikes, who thought that they had destroyed all the Protestants in their Parisian [...] found themselves, [...] deceived, and many signes appeared of newe civill warres, and those as troublesome and dangerous, as [...] , both at home and among forraigne Nations, that all the [...]straunge cruelties: and such Pro [...], woulde not yeelde by anie per- suasion [...] kings worde, who had so often and so no (illegible words)to the great dishonour and staine of his princeli [Page 94] dignitie, and perpetuall staine of the French nation.

Whilest his excellencie with a mightie power besieged [...], the Mareschal [...] lieutenant for the king in [...], was sent to reduce all those quar- ters under the Kings obedience: but he found it a matter of more difficultie then he at the first imagines, for albeit he entred the countrey with a strong power, purposing to besiege Nismes, a place of the greatest importance of all the rest, and by force to constraine it to stand at the devotion of the catholikes, yet was he in the end after some loffe, at the least of thousand of his best souldiours, be- fore a pettie village called Sancerre, compelled to give over his enterprise, and to disperse his men into garrisons, the better to relieve them, and with all diligence to muster new forces to repayre his broken troupes. Which when those of Sancerre understoode, beeing notably encouraged by the surpassing valor of their Confederates, they resolved to endure the uttermost attempts of La Chasire, and all the Catholiques, and therefore, whereas by reason of theyr long siege all vittailes beganne to bee scarce, necessitie(the mother of all fine inven- tions)taught them to make manie hard shifts, and to devise new and straunge meates. For after that they had first eaten up all their Horses, Asses, Dogges, Cattes and such like, they devised to make meare of their skinnes, roasting, seething, and broyling them upon Girdirons, as if they had beene Tripes, Mice, and Rattes were accounted daintie delicates, and well was hee that could get them. And being still pressed with hunger, they devised to make meat of old shooes, hornes, horses and bullockes hooves, which had lien hid in the dunghils for many yeares: the little children would broyle and rost their girdles to to fill their emptie mawes. Rootes, hearbs, and barkes of trees, served in steade of junketting dishes; whatsoever had any moysture, taste, favour, or smell, were it never so unholsome, they eate it with greedinesse. And albeit they were often shewed of the daunger thereof, yet would they not take heede: for the belly had no eares. Yea, so intollerable was the famine, that they eate the verie dung, especially of horses, which was accounted indifferent good, and therfore raked it togither, as a thing of much price. The father and mother eat their own child, which was pined to death with huger, & torso horrible a fact were both burned. It is incredible what misery was in that towne, and yet they would not yeeld, nor comit themselves to the mercy of their enemies. But at length the famin still increasing, & having not past 400. souldiers left, and those for the most part sickly, weake and wounded, and seeing no hope of any succors fro any their confederates, were content to hearken to a parle, which was offred unto them by [...] and so by composition to render the towne, with the castle into the hands of the Catholikes, who had spent at the least 5914 canon shot, for the gayning of the place, & lost some 1200, or 1300 men, besides a great number that were wounded and sore hurt.



[Page 95]

As this extraordinarie provision did mightily encourage the inhabitants to hold out: so did it not a little dismay their enemies, and made them much more enclinable to peace then before: for they having besieged the towne for a long time, and endured much hunger and cold, hoping at last to gaine it, as a recompence for all their labours, did now dispaire thereof, seeing it was so extraordinarily victualed, and as it were relieved from heaven. Besides, the Catholikes themselves began to fall into want and penurie, their souldiers waxed sick, and many did dayly drop away: their wounded and hurt men were so many, and so negligently looked unto, that it was a most pitifull spectacle, to behold so many lazers and maimed persons in one place, who for want of necessarie attendance grew incurable: yea, the lice did so abound among them, that sundry were even eaten and consumed with them, and the rest became so filthy, that they woulde have loathed any to have seene them.



[Page 138]

The king seeing their obstinacy, followed his course, and knowing the Citie to bee very populous, and nothing well provided for so many moneths, determined to take all the passages, and to blocke in the Parisans so sure, that they should come by no victuals, making choyse to vanquish them rather by famin then by the sword, as the safest way to punish his enimies, and to save his friends. Hee therefore leised uppon all the stronge Townes about the Citie, as [...], and stopping the River of [...], would not suffer any provision to bee convayed into the Citie. Whereupon there beganne to grow great scarce- nesse, and a sore famine threatned that rebellious multitude. The Duke de Maine was gone into Peronne in [...], and from thence to [...], to the Duke of Parma, to entreate him to come to the succours of the League and used all the other meanes hee could do levie newe forces: and having had some promises from spaine, assured himselfe of ayd out of the low Countryes, wherwith he should be once againe able to meere the king, who all this while lay before Paris, and attempted nothing but onely to keepe it from Victuals, and by that meanes had so famished the towne of S. Dennis, that after that they had consumed all their old store, and had eaten up their horses, dogs, cats, rats, mice, rootes, hearbs, & much bread made of ground straw beaten to powder, they were enforced to yeeldto the kings mercy, who used them very graciously. Penury and want likewise so pressed the Citie of Paris, that by the beginning of July there were no dainties to be found in the Citie, but the Parisans were glad to fall to such homely viands, as not long before had served for a dish at S. Dennis. Yea, so great and so horrible was the famine, that there were many children eaten and devoured by those hungry and starven rebelles.

This is a selection from the original text


herbs, misery, provision, roots, sickly, tree

Source text

Title: The mutable and wavering e- state of France, from the yeare of our Lord 1460, untill the yeare 1595. The great Battailes of the French Nation, as well abroad with their forraigne enemies, as at home among themselves, in their civill and intestine warres: With an ample declaration of the feditious and tre- cherous practises of that viperous brood of Hispaniolized Leaguers. Collected out of Sundry, both Latine, Italian, and French Historiographers. LONDON printed by Thomas Creede. 1597.

Author: Anon

Publisher: Thomas Creede

Publication date: 1597

Edition: 2nd Edition

Place of publication: London

Provenance/location: This text was transcribed from images available at Early English Books Online: Bibliographic name / number: STC (2nd ed.) / 11279 Physical description: [4], 148 p. Copy from: Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery Reel position: STC / 544:02

Digital edition

Original author(s): Anon

Language: English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) Title Page
  • 3 ) pages 76-77
  • 4 ) pages 93-95
  • 5 ) page 138


Texts collected by: Ayesha Mukherjee, Amlan Das Gupta, Azarmi Dukht Safavi

Texts transcribed by: Muhammad Irshad Alam, Bonisha Bhattacharya, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Muhammad Ehteshamuddin, Kahkashan Khalil, Sarbajit Mitra

Texts encoded by: Bonisha Bhattacharya, Shreya Bose, Lucy Corley, Kinshuk Das, Bedbyas Datta, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Sarbajit Mitra, Josh Monk, Reesoom Pal

Encoding checking by: Hannah Petrie, Gary Stringer, Charlotte Tupman

Genre: Britain > pamphlets

For more information about the project, contact Dr Ayesha Mukherjee at the University of Exeter.