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Letter #2846

Harderwijk, 1545-07-17

English register:

De Schepper describes his two-month journey with the court of the Queen [Mary of Hungary] from Brabant to Vollenhove, where he arrived on 10 July [1545]. That same day he received Dantiscus' letter dispatched on 11 May.

De Schepper cites the war as the reason for his three-year silence. The three letters he received from Dantiscus during this time were his consolation amidst hardships and danger.

He outlines the consequences of the war in the Low Countries: René [de Châlon], the Lord of Halewijn and De Schepper's brother-in-law Cornelis van Zegherscapelle were killed in 1544. In 1543 in the battle of Kempekoel (in agro Zittardiensi), De Schepper's stepson Matthias Laurijn was seriously wounded, but recovered and returned to service. At present he is accompanying imperial secretary Gerard Veltwijck on a mission to the Sultan [Suleiman the Magnificent].

De Schepper informs Dantiscus about the circumstances of Godschalk Ericksen’s death. He sends greetings from the few friends who are still alive: Maximiliaan van Egmond-Buren, Claude Bouton, Hendrik van Witthem and Petrus Clericus, who was a frequent guest of Dantiscus' at the time of the Emperor's coronation in Bologna [1530]. He suggests that Dantiscus reciprocate the greetings in his next letter.

He reports that peace currently reigns in the Low Countries, even though the two kings [Henry VIII Tudor, Francis I of Valois] are in conflict over Boulogne-sur-Mer. The Emperor is attending the Diet in Worms. It is the Emperor's wish to see harmony among the conflicted Germans. De Schepper seldom visits the imperial court; he only serves Queen Mary.

De Schepper's son [Cornelis De Schepper jr.] is studying in Leuven, and his daughter [Anne] is at home with her mother, while his stepdaughter [Catharina Laurijn] married [Wulfaert] van Borselle and has a son with him.

De Schepper received news from Poland from Theodoric [of Vollenhove]. He was surprised to learn of Dantiscus' return to the court. He had rather expected Dantiscus to concentrate on fighting against heresy. He reports on the crisis of religion in the Low Countries. He is particularly concerned about the activity of Jan Łaski [jr.] in East Frisia under the rule of Anna von Oldenburg, widow of Count Enno [Cirksena]. Under Łaski's influence, despite admonition from their neighbours from across the River Ems, they have stopped celebrating Mass and other services there. De Schepper outlines the doctrinal disputes of Łaski, Menno Simons and David Joris. He describes them all as Anabaptists and notes that their supporters continue in the error of their ways despite numerous death sentences. He compares the fight against them to fighting the Hydra.

De Schepper has heard that many of his compatriots, having shed their clergymen's robes, have fled to Prussia. He warns that the results could be disastrous, similar to those in the Low Countries. He senses that changes will ultimately win in Germany and expresses hope that they will not spread further.

He reports that atheism is budding in France under the influence of the Italians. He does not need to inform Dantiscus about the Spaniards. He is not fully aware of the situation in England. In Scotland, religious sympathies are divided. De Schepper asks God for harmony among Christian rulers and the spirit they need to deal with any disaster.

            received Schmolainen (Smolajny), 1545-10-13

Manuscript sources:
1fair copy in Latin, in secretary's hand, author's signature, UUB, H. 155, f. 97-100
2copy in Latin, 18th-century, LSB, BR 19, No. 61
3register with excerpt in Latin, Polish, 20th-century, B. PAU-PAN, 8244 (TK 6), a. 1545, f. 20r-21
4register with excerpt in Latin, English, 20th-century, CBKUL, R.III, 30, No. 153

1DE VOCHT 1961 No. DE, 456, p. 373-375 (English register)
2CEID 2/2 (Letter No. 82) p. 491-498 (in extenso; English register)
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