Cecil Papers: March 1601, 11-20

Pages 119-136

Calendar of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House: Volume 11, 1601. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1906.

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March 1601, 11–20

The Earl of Pembroke to Sir Robert Cecil.
[1600/1, March 11]. Since I sent unto you by Mr. White I have heard from my Lord Admiral how much it hath pleased you to favour me very lately. It is no news for me to receive benefits from you; I would I were as well acquainted with the means to deserve them.
Holograph. Endorsed :—“March 11, 1600.” Seal. ½ p. (77. 50.)
Dr. John du Port to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, March 11. Touching my late petition to your Honour by my letters, I dare say no more but that I shall be ready to attend your good pleasure in it, when these high matters shall be a little blown over. For my other motion concerning Mr. Dr. Newcome to be joined in the patent with Mr. Dr. Legge, it may fall out the substitute sometimes to be sick, or to have some other business of importance, and a deputy cannot by law depute another. For Mr. Dr. Newcome to be preferred hereunto rather than any other, there may be some motives. It is Mr. Dr. Legge's suit, the old Commissary's both in your father's time and in the late Earl's. Dr. Newcome is known to be an honest and a learned man and a Doctor of the Civil Laws of ten years' standing. He hath solely exercised in the absence of the Commissary these six years. He hath carried himself with such moderation and equity in the place (I add also, without all touch of such imputation as many times these jurisdictions are subject unto), as I never heard of any man that opened his mouth against his government. But which way soever your wisdom shall incline, it shall be entertained of us all as the voice of an oracle.—Jesus College in Cambridge, 11o Martii, 1600.
Signed. Seal. 1 p. (180. 36.)
Sir John Haryngton to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, March 11. I have been advertised by my daughter of Bedford of your noble usage of her in her suit to you concerning the enlargement of my Lord, her husband. If by any my merit I could testify my gratitude it would be no small happiness unto me. Did I think my son would not be alike obsequious of the love of you, it would much diminish my hope of him, but hitherto his few years have promised some discretion.—Coventry, this 11th of March.
Holograph. Endorsed :—“1600.” 1 p. (180. 37.)
Sir Nicholas Parker to the Lords of the Council.
1600/1, March 12. On the second of this month, a ship called the Sunday, of Waterford, by contrary winds was driven into this harbour of Falmouth. The Master whereof, named James Moore, I examined and could learn nothing by him of any consequence, only he said he came from Bilboa, bound home for Waterford. Here he remained until the 11th of this present, in which space, one Peter Strong, an Irishman of the same ship, was for a small debt arrested in Penrhyn. Strong, being in company with one Robert Mundey, an honest merchant of Penrhyn, confessed that he was offered 1,000 ducats to carry a letter to Tyrone, adding that in the said ship he doubted not but there would be a letter found directed to the said traitor. Whereupon the said Mundey hasted hither to Pendinas and acquainted me therewith; the ship not being then without the command of the fort. The which, by discharging of some ordnance at her, I stayed. And, notwithstanding that the said Stronge, being examined before me, did voluntarily take his oath upon a mass book, which he had with him, that he had not uttered such speeches unto the said Mundey, yet I searched the ship so narrowly that I found three letters therein, one of which was sealed, written to Tyrone, as after the said Stronge confessed. Which letters, with the said Stronge and his examinations, I have sent to your Honours by this bearer, my lieutenant. Stronge acknowledgeth also of a letter more which was delivered him by Don John de Diachus, one of the King of Spain's council, directed likewise to Tyrone. I cannot as yet learn what has become of it. I have severally examined every man in the ship, but I cannot understand that any one had knowledge of the said letters besides the said Peter Stronge. I have made stay of the ship and goods.—Pendinas Castle, the 12th of March, 1600.
PS.—Since writing this I have again examined the master, whose examination I have herewith sent.
Signed. Seal. 1½ pp. (180. 38.)
The examination referred to :—
Examination of James Moore of Waterford, master of the Sonday, of Waterford, and Peter Stronge, merchant.
1. James Moore deposed that a basket was put on board by Robert Comaford's servant, an Irishman dwelling in the Groyne, directed to Thomas Comaford, merchant, at Waterford. It contained crucifixes, books and “agnus dei,” and upon search made, upon a former examination of Peter Stronge, for certain letters directed to Tirone, in this harbour, the company of the ship did burn the said basket and content, fearing the ship should be confiscate.
ii. Peter Stronge deposed to leaving Waterford the 20th of Nov. last for St. James in Galicia, to follow a suit for the recovery of a ship that he lost there, which by the assistance of his uncle Thomas Stronge, bishop of that place, he hoped to recover, but before his arrival the [bishop] departed this life. Patriarch Senott, a chaplain to the Governor of the Groyne, caused him to have passage home in the said ship. He went from Bilbowe the 4th of Dec. for St. Andeare, in Biskie, where he saw a letter from the King of Spain to the “provodore” of the galleys, which were to come out of Lisbourne thither. He heard that one Bertandona was to come with 14 sail bound for Flanders, and there were 7,000 men reported to be bound for Ireland. He was in the company of no Englishman but Capt. Crofts, from whom he understood that an English captain was to bring thither certain Spanish prisoners to redeem English captives in Spain. He knew of no letters except there were any in a basket from Robert Comaford sent to his friends in Ireland. Upon further examination, he confessed he had undertaken the delivery of 4 letters to the Earl of Terone and to return again with the answer, for which he was to receive 1,000 ducats to be paid by Don Luce de Carillo. Another letter (which is wanting) was directed to Terone from Don John de Diaccis, one of the Spanish King's Council. Further, one James Archer, born in Kellkenny, a Jesuit, came into Tredat and in spite of my L. Mongye's diligent search, was conveyed away in a Frenchman by the aid of Steven Duff of Treda. He went to Rome on business for the Terone.—March 11, 1600.
Signed by Moore and Stronge. 3½ pp. (85. 77, 78.)
Sir Nicholas Parker to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, March 12. I send this gentleman, my kinsman and lieutenant, together with one Peter Strong, an Irish passenger, being the person employed with letters for the Tyrone, with the examinations of him and others of a ship of Waterford, which came lately out of Spain, and is now detained in this harbour till your pleasure be further known.—Pendennis Castle, the 12th of March, 1600.
Signed. ½ p. (77. 51.)
Sir Carew Reynell to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, March 12. I cannot but hold myself greatly bound unto you for being a mean for my enlargement, albeit I cannot as yet account myself at liberty, being denied her Majesty's presence. I do humbly desire that you will finish that grace which you have begun.—From my lodging this 12 of March, 1600.
Holograph. 1 p. (77. 52.)
Sir John Peyton to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, March 12. I send you herewith Cuffe's testamentary declaration of his estate, which I conceived should have accrued to her Majesty. Mr. Killigrew, who hath the grant of his goods, might take order to pay such duties as I have assured unto the Warden of the Fleet for Cuffe, and also such allowance for his charges and other duties here as your Honour shall think convenient. I see no reason why her Majesty, having given away the goods, should have his charges imposed on her.—Tower, this 12 March, 1600.
Holograph. Seal. ¼ p. (84. 3.)
The Enclosure.
Holograph. 3 pp. (84. 2.)
[Printed. Camden. Soc. Pub. O. S. LXXVIII. App., p. 91.]
Griffith Evans to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, March 12. The wardship of the son of David Morgan Thomas, of Merionethshire, has been bestowed on Thomas Mathews, who is about to compound with an alleged kinsman of the ward's stepmother for the same. Prays for the wardship, as the ward's uncle.—Endorsed :—“12 March, 1600.”
Note by Cecil :—“I like better that the uncle compound than the mother-in-law.” 1 p. (1487.)
Sir Gelly Meyrick's Answer.
[1600/1, before March 13.] Sir Gelly Mericke is willed to set down in writing under his hand such speeches as Owen Salisbury did use concerning the Council and what he did answer thereupon.
“Owen Salisbury came down to me in the Court and said that, if the house were forced, he and they above would go all to God together. It was a reason that I desired Mr. Brode's man that I might place two there to keep his house, and I told him I hoped it should be for no hurt, which he prayed it might prove so. Gelly Meyrick.”
Holograph. Endorsed by Cecil :—“Merick's answer.” ½ p. (84. 5.)
Captain Joseph May to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, March 13. On the same subject as the letter of 10 March, supra (p. 117). The letter continues :—I found this pirate in Hellford three leagues to the westward of Falmouth, where five days since I have stayed for the fleet and now am arrived at Plymouth.—From Plymouth, this 13 of March, 1600.
Postscript.—I sent 6 days since a letter to you, which I doubt is not delivered, the contents of this (sic).
Signed. Endorsed :—“13 March, 1597” (sic). Seal. 1 p. (49. 61.)
Lord Mounteagle to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, March 13. My conscience bears me a true witness that merely the blindness of ignorance led me into those infamous errors. I am bold humbly to recommend my unhappy estate to your consideration, to desire that you would be a mean to her Majesty to extend her mercy towards me.—The Tower, this xiiith of March, 1600.
Countersigned :—“John Peyton, lieutenant of the Tower.” Seal. 1 p. (77. 53.)
George Limauer to —
1600/1, March 13/23. I wrote to you last week to Turin. Write in future to Lyons, Frankfort and Cologne. You will hear the news from England. I fear it will go ill with the Earl of Essex and others.—Venice, 23 March, 1601.
Postscript.—Peace is made and provisions for war are going forward more than ever; in a few days we shall hear great marvels.
Italian. Holograph. 1 p. (85. 105.)
Charles Egerton to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, March 13. I have come into Staffordshire, where I have taken a little farm for the relief of my wife and children, who are very chargeable unto me. One of my poor neighbours, a carpenter who hath been this winter employed at Drayton Basset by Sir Christopher Blount, telleth me that upon Tuesday next after Essex's Sunday rebellion in London, one of Sir Christopher's “writars” came unto the old Countess of Essex from London, and that night two wains were loaded with stuff out of the house of Drayton Basset and sent into a market town of Warwickshire, called Adderson, to be kept by some friend there. The Wednesday following, all the workmen were discharged, and upon the Thursday the Sheriff made seizure at Drayton Basset.—Newburro, this 13th of March, 1600.
In talking further with my neighbour, he telleth me he thinketh that the porter of the house of Drayton Basset, whose name is Cowmar, doth certainly know to what place the goods was carried and how many carts was loaded.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (180. 39.)
Richard [Vaughan,] Bishop of Chester, to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, March 14. Not long since one Atkinson, alias Coniers, a seminary priest, was committed to Lancaster gaol and his examinations were sent to you. The said priest, with one other most dangerous fellow called Whittingham, knowing the time of the assizes there to approach, have lately made an escape out of the gaol, by the wilful negligence, or rather corruption of the keeper, one Thomas Covill, the substitute of one Pitchforke, who hath often been complained of for the loose keeping of his prisoners, and granting Recusants over much liberty to hunt and hawk abroad at their pleasures, and to walk the town and country with their guns and weapons, to the terror of the well affected subjects. He is reckoned to be a man not very sound in religion, and the gaol standing near the most infected places of that county, it is thought that he has been corrupted by the money and rewards of Recusants to wink at the escape of these two persons. If you consider that he deserves to be discharged from his place, the bearer is desirous to make suit to you for the same. He is a gentleman well descended in the county and long known to me as being sound in religion. I conceive he would perform his duty very faithfully. I have great reason to wish an honest man in that room because I am now in hand to reform that most infected parish of Garstrang, wherein I have lately travailed with some success though with great resistance, and but small assistance from the justices and officers whose coldness and slackness have been my greatest hindrance.—Chester, this 14th of March, 1600.
Holograph. 1 p. (77. 54.)
Paul de la Hay to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, March 14. In accordance with the proclamation lately set forth, I acquaint you of the bad demeanour of John Arnold and others, adherents of the Earl of Essex and other her Majesty's enemies, as may appear by the articles and proofs enclosed. I do not this in revenge of any wrong done me by Arnold. By reason of business before the Council in the marches of Wales, I could not come myself unto you : therefore I send the bearer, John George, who was present with me at the laying down of the articles, by the direction of Wm. Herbert, gentleman, who with Walter George, gentleman, and others will make proof, if need be.—Alterenes, the 14 day of March, 1600.
Holograph. Seal. ¾ p. (77. 57.)
The Enclosure :
Articles to examine Dame Margaret Arnolde alias Walkott, widow, John Arnolde her son and reputed son unto Sir Nicholas Arnolde, Knight, deceased, Edmund Whore, son of the said Margaret, Thomas Poore, Irishman, lately coming from Ireland and returning from London to Lanthony, and Harry Prossar, of Walterston in the County of Hereford, gentleman, servant in livery to the late Earl of Essex.
1. Did you, Dame Margaret, or you, John Arnolde, in the term of Hilary, 1599, at your table in Gray's Inn Lane, near London, pitying the then punishment inflicted upon the Earl of Essex, say that it was great pity that so brave a man as the Earl was should be put to silence or overthrown by such a base and corrupt fellow as Sir Robert Cecil was, and, likewise, that it was great pity that her Majesty should so much be ruled by such a base fellow as the said Sir Robert Cecil.
Wm. Herbert of Walterston aforesaid will affirm the said words to be used by John Arnold at the table then. Evan Harry, John Proger, Thomas Jones, gentlemen of Monmouthshire, and others were present.
2. Did you, John Arnold, at that time or any other time since use these or like words, that if the Earl of Essex, for revenge, upon his coming out of Ireland, should with his gallants and favourers go suddenly to court, and kill the Lord Admiral and the Secretary Cecil, who only procured the said Earl's trouble and none else, it would be a fillip matter; and then did you give a fillip with your thumb and finger, and further say that nothing had, or would, be made of it.
Herbert saith that the said Arnold used such words both then and at divers other times.
3. Did you, Dame Margaret, or you John Arnold, then or at other times send out or will your wife's midwife, one Mrs. Carre, Whitney the barber's wife, Smith the shoemaker's wife, the scrivener's wife, a widow, and one Mrs. Hughes an Irishwoman, then dwellers in the said lane, or any of them, to learn news of the said Earl? On their reporting that the said Earl was dead, did you say, “Now the Lord Admiral and the Secretary will rule?” On their further reporting that the news was not true, for that the Earl was seen in his garden walking with his Lady, did you, Dame Margaret in rejoicing sort say, “Marry, I always thought that God would hear my prayer in the behalf of that good Earl of Essex”; and did you, Dame Margaret or you John Arnold, say, “I warrant that corrupt fellow, the Secretary, will rue the time he ever opposed himself against the Earl of Essex.”
Herbert saith that he heard them to use those words : and that the said women can report the like, especially the said Mrs. Hughes.
4. Did you, Dame Margaret, at your table at Lanthony in Monmouthshire, at dinner, the 11 of December last, say “Now the Court of Wards is ruled all by Coucks, Cooks and none but Coocks,” naming Sir Robert Cecil to be a Cook by his mother, Mr. Bacon the like, Mr. Coocke, her Majesty's attorney, and Mr. William Coocke; and did you say to Harry Prosser, being at dinner with you, “Fellow,” striking him on the shoulder, “be of good cheer, for shortly shalt thou see thy lord and master to flourish, and also shalt thou see never a Coocke to bear office in that Court or elsewhere, and that shall we see shortly, if we live, for I tell thee, Harry, my son, John, knoweth more than few men in Wales.”
Herbert was then at the table, the said Harry Prosser, Mary, the said Whore's daughter, Alice the daughter of James Baskerville, esquire. Two Welshmen and Philip, the butler, attended the table.
5. How long were you, John Arnold, in London, before the 8th of February last? Who came up in your company? Where lay during you the time you stayed in London? How often during your abode there repaired you to Essex's house, and there had you any conference with him or Sir Gelly Meyrick? Were you not there the 7th day of February last? Were you not in going there the said 8th day of February, between 10 and 11 o'clock in the morning? What day departed you from London? What company came along with you? Where inned, or lodged you in returning homewards? What day came you to Lanthony? Where were you for the space of 14 days after you came home to Lanthony?
Herbert confessed that Wm. Watkyns, of Longtown in Hereford, being Arnold's Steward of his Courts, and being in London with Arnold the last term, told Herbert that Arnold had good luck that he was not at Essex's house at the time of the rebellion, and told Herbert that Arnold lay in Southwark and by water commonly came every day to Essex's house to Sir Gelly Meyrick, and was in going there on the 8th of February last about the time before remembered. By report of the said Herbert and Howell James, of Lanthony, an aged serving man, Arnold came home the 16th day of February last, and that night himself alone posted after the said Whore and Poore who a day before were departed from Lanthony towards Ireland, with two or three trunks, wherein it is thought there were divers letters to the traitor Tyrone and others. He returned, Whore and Poore with him, to Lanthony, but the trunks remain near Milford Haven. John Symonds, Arnold's man, brought the trunks thither the 23rd of February last, being a great snow and stormy day, and so continuing 3 days after. Arnold gave out that he would into North Wales, and that day went away from Lanthony, but it is thought that he went either unto the Lady Meyrick in Radnorshire, or Sir John Vaughan's in Carmarthenshire, whither it is thought that most of the treasure of Sir Gelly Meyrick is conveyed, and it is well known that of late Arnold chiefly depended upon Gelly Meyrick, who as reported with Captain Lee or Captain Salisbury, christened Arnold's son in London. (77. 55.)
6. Did you, John Arnold, upon your coming home to Lanthony, call Howell James to draw off your boots, and to make you fire? At which time did you say unto him, “Howell, I would thou were 20 years younger”? Did Howell demand of you, “Why, master”? Did you say, “For that there was like to be a busy world, and then thou must have done some service.” Did you then ask Howell, where were all the new staves? “And that you must have one to go to the smith in Abergavenny to bid him to make you a good many javelins and pike staves?” Did your mother demand of you whether the Earl of Essex were like to be put to death? Did you say, “No, I warrant. Do you think that his friends will suffer him so to be put down?” And that, “Before the corrupt Secretary so should have his will, it would cost 1,000 men's lives,” and that, “The Tower of London would be broken,” and what other words did you use then?
The 18th day of February last, betwixt Old Castle and Walterston, the said Howell James told Walter George of Old Castle, gentleman, and Catherine his wife, that such and other like speeches the said Arnold used unto him and his mother, and the same day the said Howell told the said Herbert the like.
7. Did you, John Arnold, Dame Margaret, Whore, Poore and Prosser, since the said 8 day of February, say that the Earl of Essex's meaning was to kill the Lord Admiral, the Secretary, the Lo. Cobham and Sir Walter Rawleye, but not the Queen; whom the Earl would keep with her treasure at his pleasure?
The said 16 of February last, Herbert saith that John Arnold used the said words to him near Clodocks Church going homewards. Howell told Herbert, Walter George and his wife, that Arnold at his coming home told his mother and Howell the like.
8. Did you, Dame Margaret, Whore, Poore and Prosser, or either of you, by the relation of John Arnold or otherwise, know of the said intent of the Earl of Essex? Did you know of any letters being sent to friends of the Earl to come to London? Did any go, and, hearing of the Earl's apprehension, turn back again? Who were they?
Herbert thinks that Arnold and his mother specially did know of the said intent, and that if Sir Gelly Meyrick do peach, being examined, will appeach Arnold, the rest and divers others of Herefordshire and elsewhere. Herbert says that on Tuesday last, the 10 of this March, one Stanley, Arnold's man, told Herbert that we were like to have civil wars, and that his master's riding out the 23 of February last was to meet Sir Francis Meyrick as he was in carrying towards Ludlow, and his master did marvel that Sir Thomas Jones did use the said Sir Francis so hard. The same day Arnold told Herbert that the news which he had by letters from London was that the E. of Essex was put to death. Arnold added that he wished Sir Gelly Meyrick had never been born, that only by his appeaching the said Earl was overthrown, and that he did appeach South Wales gentlemen, one Lloyd in North Wales, and Sir Ferdinando Gorges the English gentleman. That day the said Arnold went out of the way, though well known to him, as one amazed, and still would look whether any were coming after him to apprehend him.
9. Did you, Harry Prosser, since the said 8th of February, say on behalf of the said Earl, your lord and master, that if you had been with him you would have killed and over killed and been killed yourself before you would have suffered him to be taken; and that your lord had as great wrong as any man in England?
William Vaughan, of Walterston aforesaid, gentleman, saith that Thomas Williams, of the Goytree, and Elizabeth his wife, told him that Prosser used such words before them and Rice Kiddinge Groyne, alias Richard ap John, of Landivathley in Breconshire by Talgarde. Prosser is said to be one of those that killed one Mr. Powell of Radnorshire to pleasure Sir Gelly Meyrick, and since killed one Stumppe of Walterston aforesaid. For the doing of these murders he was supported by Meyrick, and he has never been tried for them.
In de la Hay's hand. 4 pp. (77. 56.)
Sir John Peyton to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, March 14. The scaffold is to be prepared by the Sheriffs of London, according as they have used, and seeing it is God's will to have him an example of Justice, I shall recommend his soul unto the Lord of all mercy, and myself unto your honourable favour.—14 March.
Postscript.—Sir William Parker, being of a mild and penitent spirit and bearing an extraordinary good affection to yourself, hath entreated me to send the letter enclosed unto your Honour.
Holograph. Endorsed : “1600.” Seal. ½ p. (77. 58.)
The Earl of Lincoln to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, March 14. Whosoever hath valued the “ple” [? pearl] so far under foot, I will give him a 100l. more and the best horse I have to match so many for me at their weight and goodness; and be very thankful to any that will procure me that bargain. I pray you therefore think that I would not offer you anything that were not better than I value them, yet, were I put in trust by such a friend as you, would estimate all things so that you could be sure of a great good bargain. Next term I will do my best to end with you for the whole, to your contentation and my own quiet, that striveth much to die out of debt and in the love and good opinion of those that I esteem of for their worth.—This 14th of March, 1600.
Holograph. Endorsed :—“1599.” ½ p. (77. 59.)
Dr. Fletcher to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, March 14. I humbly thank you for regarding the suit of my poor wife. I am worth 500l. worse than nought; I have no means but the present sale of my poor house wherein I dwell, and of my office, if I can assign it to some fit man. At the quarter day I am to pay 200l. upon forfeiture of double bonds. I have no means nor liberty to seek for means of payment. Touching my fault, what shall I say? I have been abused by those fables and foolish lies of the Earl's danger and fear of murder by Sir Walter Raleigh : but my heart untouched and my hands clear of his wicked practice. I will learn wisdom by this folly. I pray you be a mean for my discharge or enlargement upon bond.—14 of March, 1600.
Holograph. Seal. ½ p. (77. 60.)
Robert Luff to Sir Robert Cecil.
[1600/1, March 15.] I am bold to make known my continued desire to serve you, as heretofore I have most willingly undertaken at your command. Though that same took not effect answerable to my earnest endeavours, but, on the contrary part, was cause of my great hindrance, having taken from me the sum of 230 crowns, besides the great misery I sustained through long imprisonment and torture of racking. I have also lost my traffic into those parts which in times past was the means of my living. Wherefore I must pray you to have some favourable regard of my distressed estate, that I may either be satisfied of such yearly allowance as you have vouchsafed to appoint for me, or otherwise be relieved with meet recompense for the losses which I have sustained.
Holograph. Undated. Endorsed :—“15 March, 1600.” Seal. 1 p. (77. 61.)
Ralph Wilbraham to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, March 15. I have been at a poor farmhouse, which I have in Staffordshire, five miles from Chartley, where I understand the Sheriff hath been to seize all the late Earl of Essex' goods, being but small, for that one Trewe, his servant and keeper of his house there, is accounted owner of the greatest part, together with James Lytleton, keeper of Chartley Park, who hath some store of goods and cattle in the ground, whereof the country make doubt whether they be true owners or not. These two persons, together with one Anthony Bagott, another of his servants, were all, as it is reported, in action with the Earl at London, and made such haste home that they left some of their furniture behind them.—This 15 of March, 1600.
Holograph. Signature torn off. Endorsed :—“Rafe Wilbraham.” Seal. ½ p. (77. 62.)
Francis Keylweye to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, March 15. I always found your father to be my singular good lord from the time of our first acquaintance in the Protector's house. Hoping to find some sparks of his favour towards me to remain in you, I am emboldened to crave the keeping of a walk within the Chace of Cranborne, called Cobley Walk, which lies in the east end of the said Chace. It shall be preserved in game to your content. I seek not any profit, but my house is near and as fit to harbour any friend which shall be sent from you as any here.—From Rockborne, [Hants,] this 15th of March, 1600.
Holograph. Seal. ½ p. (77. 63.)
Sir Richard Leveson to Sir Robert Cecil.
[1600/1, c. March 15]. Gives his opinion of “this employment,” and of the impediments which may disturb “the plot.”
The chief end of the employment grows out of the present consideration of Irish affairs, that either they may crush the preparations of Spain in the beginnings, or meet them in the progression. The shortest course is to resort to the most northerly parts of Spain and the chiefest harbours, to gain intelligence of their intentions; and, next, to do the same along the south coast. If they hear of any preparation either at Lisbon or the Groyne, the King's usual places of rendezvous, they should lie with their ships before that part. Reasons in support of this course. It is much more honourable for the Queen and safe for the State to maintain a fleet upon the coast of Spain than to stand upon the defensive at home.
As to the point of profit, the greatest hopes that now offer are the carackes outward bound from Lisbon, and the West Indian fleet homeward bound from the Havana. March being the ordinary time for carackes to sail, they may be departed before the wind suffers us to arrive upon that coast; but if we do arrive, the carackes either will not come out at all, or come strongly guarded with the King's forces. If the former, the Queen will lose that advantage, but the Spanish merchant will be punished with the loss of one year's profit, and the King will sustain dishonour and contempt when it is found an English fleet can keep his greatest ships in his best frequented harbours; and the Queen may assume to herself, by challenge, to be mistress of the ocean. If the latter, if they be not resolutely fought with as the proportion and means will allow, let our commanders at their return bear both the blame and the shame.
The end of March is the ordinary time of the return of the West India fleet; and he is in doubt, therefore, that if time is spent in visiting the King's harbours to gain intelligence, and follow it out, we shall be hopeless of meeting with that fleet. But because Cecil judiciously propounded a course whereby the care of cutting off the preparations may be attended to, without neglecting the advantages which may be taken of the West Indian fleet's return, he willingly assents thereunto, and doubts not that every danger which may arise to him by his disabling, in case he meets with a strong encounter, will be satisfied and answered with other certain benefits.
Undated. Signed. Endorsed :—“1601. Sir Rych. Lewson.” 2 pp. (90. 110.)
Robert Bennett, Dean of Windsor, to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, March 17. It pleased her Majesty's Privy Council to commit unto me the charge of the young Lord Ferrers and his attendants, during the restraint of Mr. Savell, Provost of Eton College, which I have accordingly performed for this month past. Now, upon the enlargement of Mr. Savell, I am most humbly to beseech my discharge again. My calling and employments incident to my place do hardly permit me to attend the care of children.—From her Majesty's chapel of Windsor, this 17th of March, 1600.
Holograph. ½ p. (77. 64.)
Sir Christopher Blount to the Lord Admiral and to Sir Robert Cecil.
[1600/1, before March 18.] If by the discovery of my former life you have found that the natural heart of this distressed carcase hath endeavoured out of his own motions to the preservation of my prince and country, and that whatsoever hath been rebellious in the same hath grown out of an externe rot, with the happy taking away whereof all influence of disobedient humours are from my spirits removed, my confident hope is that your Honours will not only show the reports of my unspeakable sorrows, but will be yourselves affectionate petitioners to beg me out of the thraldom of Justice. I beg not the continuance of my life for my own benefit, but that her Majesty and you her noble Councillors will advise her how the same may, when her service requireth, be issued. I pray the Lord Admiral to beg me of the Queen's Majesty for one of his assured and trusty men of war, and you, hopeful Mr. Secretary, for a watchful and faithful falconer. Friends I have many, but desire not other solicitors than yourselves.
Holograph. Undated. Endorsed :—“1600.” Seal. 2 pp. (84. 6.)
The Same to the Same.
1600/1, [before March 18.] That I have lived thus long sheweth the virtuous performance of your noble promises, and sith God hath wrought by your means that her Majesty hath been pleased to turn the face of death from me, I beseech you, even as you have begun, continue to move her to mercy, whereof the more she bestoweth, the more in true glory and love of her people she increaseth. What my former carriage hath been is sufficiently made known to your nobleness; of what I might be is only in God's hand and yours to assist her Majesty to conceive. But in this you may be confident, that by taking my life her Majesty little increaseth her coffers or addeth contentment to those that shall behold how sorrowful I die for the offence I have made to her Highness in this my last fault, that ever heretofore was so much hers, and ever hereafter should have been.
Holograph. Undated. Endorsed :—“1600, 18 March.” (fn. 1) 1 p. (84. 4.)
Execution of Sir Christopher Blount.
[1600/1, March 18.] “The words of Sir Christopher Blunt as near as they could be remembered.”
pp. (84. 27.)
[Printed. Howell's State Trials, Vol. I., pp. 1414, 1415.]
Sir Thomas Fane to Lord Cobham, Lord Warden of the Ports, Lord Lieutenant of Kent.
1600/1, March 18. Yesterday afternoon came two of the French Ambassador's sons to Dover, bound by Calais. This morning, Sir Amyas Preston, Vice-Admiral of the narrow seas, sent his long boat ashore for them. They had no pass, but their father's steward, who came with them to Dover and is bound over with them, told me that the Ambassador himself stayed here in England, and what his sons should do, himself would be their pledge.—Dover Castle, xviiio Marcii, 1600.
Postscript.—There is never a week but the Ambassador writeth to the governor of Calais and likewise the governor to him.
Holograph. Posting times noted on the back are :—Dover, 18th, 1 p.m., Canterbury, 4 p.m., Sittingborne, 8 p.m., Rochester, 11 p.m.; Dartford, 7 a.m., on 19th. Seal. ½ p. (77. 65.)
Thomas Ferrers to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, March 19. Not long since I made her Majesty acquainted with my services, and she said, “We will bestow some place of you.” Now God hath called Sir Richard Saltonstall to his mercy I have been, by Mr. Carmardin's means, a suitor, through my lady Skidmore, for that place. Her Highness hath caused Mr. Ferdinando to take Mr. Carmardin's advice. I humbly crave your honourable favour herein. If I get the place, I will be a mean that your profits may be enlarged, and her Majesty's customs increased.—London, this 19th March, '600.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (77. 66.)
Ursula, Lady Walsingham to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, March 19. Upon such reports as were brought me, both of her Majesty's gracious inclination towards my poor daughter's son, that he should be returned to my cousin Savile for his education in learning, and likewise of the favour it pleased you to show in moving her Majesty therein, I wrote unto my cousin Savile as thinking the child had been with him. But understanding that he had then and doth yet forbear to receive him for want of sufficient warrant, I humbly pray you to signify by a few lines that her Majesty is pleased that Mr. Savile shall take him again into his government as before. For which I shall reckon myself, as I do already, very deeply bound unto you, and my sorrowful daughter, who is now very sick and unable to think of anything that might be behoveful for herself or children, I trust will receive some comfort thereby.—From my house of Barn Elms, the 19th of March, 1600.
Signed. Seal. ½ p. (180. 40.)
William Rider, Lord Mayor of London, to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, March 19. There was brought to me this morning between 8 and 9 of the clock, by one Edward Povye, constable in Newgate Market, this libel enclosed, with one other copy of the same libel found in the Poultry the last night about 9 of the clock by the servant of one Mr. Heley of Cheapside, brought unto me by Sir Stephen Soame, Knight. It containeth very odious and seditious matter. The parties by whom the libels were found shall be reserved under safe keeping till your pleasure be known.—London, the 19th of March, 1600.
Signed. ½ p. (180. 41.)
John Bluttorne to Mrs. Elizabeth Dacre.
[1600/1601], March 20. I have sent you a letter here inclosed from my lord your father, desiring you with all speed to deliver it to my lady Montague, his sister. I know he will look to hear presently from her, if she will receive his letter, which I have no great hope thereof, but, good mistress, let her understand that such a letter there is to her. If she will not receive it, I pray you return an answer to me by the carrier of Carlisle, or some other, and what her answer is, that I may let my lord understand thereof. He and my master your brother is in very good health, God be blessed, but wants the benefit of his country and his friends, which makes him to live very hardly at this present. Without there be some means wrought by his friends for his maintenance, it is like to be worse.—From Carlill, this xxth of Martius.
Holograph. Addressed to “Montague House in Southwark.” Endorsed :—“1600.” ½ p. (77. 71.)
John Garnons to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, March 20. Certain writings here inclosed were to me yesterday delivered by John Notte, a gentleman well affected in religion, dwelling in Crycadarne in Brecknockshire, and Joan his wife. Though some part of the said writings seem to be phantastical dreams, yet other part are to be tried out and the offenders punished. Had I been still in the commission of the peace, I would have searched out some of it myself. Had age and health permitted, I would have brought you the papers with my own hand.—Garnons, in the County of Hereford, this xx of March, 1600.
Holograph. Seal. ¾ p. (77. 75.)
The Enclosure :
The gentlewoman whose name you wrote in your tables in your gallery, wisheth your Lordship all health and felicity, thanking you that your Honour so nobly and courteously vouchsafed so patient talk with a stranger. She delivered not the one half she had then to say, because her stay was so long in the cold gallery that brought her into such a fit of an ague that she could scarcely speak.
In the dreams, various beasts seemed to offer hurt to the Queen and to Sir Robert Cecil, and in one dream, Queen Anne Boleyn, and “your Lordship's mother,” the lady Cobham, appeared warning Queen Elizabeth not to go further from London than St. James. Another dream was that a gentleman walking with Sir Gelly Meyrick, asked who after her Majesty should carry the crown. “Who,” quoth he, “but my Lord of Essex.” My Lord of Essex hath great interest in Sir Gelly, and Mr. Ro. Vaughan greater in my Lo. of Essex, after whose first commitment letters passed twixt Mr. Roger Vaughan of intelligence touching the state of the Earl, who calleth Mr. Vaughan, “cousin.” Since that time it hath been given out that Mr. Ro. Vaughan would support himself by the service of the Lord Treasurer, which is not wholesome to permit, in regard that under colour of his great offices of Lieutenantship and Justice of peace in Radnor, Brecknock and Herefordshires, without any good justice at all by him done in any of them, he doth use great exactions and oppressions, and maliceth all such as dare anyway touch him therewithal, having, as the report of the country is, been the only occasion of wrongfully hanging of Mr. Thomas Bull for preferring articles against him, and for malice like also to hang one David Lewes for testifying truth against an outrageous malefactor, a man of his. If Sir Robert Cecil would call for Mr. Serjeant Williams and require him in secret to open his knowledge of him, the truth of his dealing would be more apparent. Which also will be testified both by Mr. Penyston, a very good Justice of the Peace in Radnor and Herefordshires, Mr. Thomas Lewes, of Hurpton, and Clement Pryce, esquires and good justices in Radnorshire, and one Mr. Walcott, now Sheriff of Brecknockshire. His greatest friends at Court, besides the said Earl and Sir Gelly Meyrick, have been the Lady Egerton, by reason of the service to her done by a sister of his, as also by the lady Hawkins, another sister, and one other honourable lady whom I name not. By all which he hath been much supported in great favour, being nevertheless a most wicked man, and one that doth good to no man. Albeit possessed with many great livings, yet never any house keeper nor maintainer of any menial servants other than a few poor hinds, and his harvest works commanded to be done by poor neighbours that dare not say him nay, without meat, drink nor wages. I speak this only of my fervent love to her Majesty. My mother was chosen and brought to the Court by my Lady Herbert, of Troy, to have been her Majesty's nurse, and had been chosen before all other had her gracious mother had her own will therein.
Certain other things and reports to which the author of this letter will be sworn.
Edward Reavell, gentleman, a valiant soldier of the Low Country, that served under Sir Thomas Baskervile, and the son of Thomas Reavell, of Kilgarren in Pembrokeshire, did about Xmas was two years tell the said gentlewoman, that upon the return of the Earl from Cales, he conferring with a gentleman of that company touching that service and their danger at Cales, the gentleman delivered to him these speeches, viz. that as the Earl and Sir William Winkfield, marching both together upon the streets of Cales with their train of soldiers, the said gentleman said there were a couple of soldiers, whereof the one was a man of Sir Gelly Meyrick's and the other a man set forth at that time by Mr. Roger Vaughan, of Cleero; and beholding the brave and lusty marching forward of the said Earl and Mr. Wingfield, the one of the soldiers said to the other, “Oh! yonder goeth a couple of brave cavaliers.” “There goeth,” quod he (meaning by the Earl), “he that will be King of England one day.” “Yea!” said the other, “an' the old woman” (meaning her Majesty) “were dead.” “Tush!” said the other, “dead, or dead not, he will be king one day.” “Then,” said Mr. Vaughan's man, “My master, the great Vaughan is left at home in trust to guide the country, but if it so fall out, thy master” (meaning Meyrick), “will sure be a Duke, and my master” (meaning the Vaughan), “will sure be an Earl at the least.”
Another time, in Hilary term, the said gentlewoman was at the sign of the Checker, in a low chamber by the ground within the court of the said Inn, near Charing Cross, where she lighted, and stayed alone whilst she sent one of her men to see whether her lodging at Paul's Wharf were ready, and the other to the Whitehall to enquire where Sir Robert Cecil lay. She being thus alone, sitting upon a chest near the window, there overheard a serving man under the window ask another, “Is great Robin out?” “No,” said the other, “I would he were, and if he were he would make little Robin Rydeck and all his friends flee to the hedge.” “Well,” said the other, “a day will come that will pay for all. I can tell the man hath many friends in many places of England, and especially in the Welsh shires of Carmarthen, Pembroke and others adjoining as far as the sea coast, and I warrant he hath enow in Herefordshire, Radnorshire and other as far as great Roger Vaughan goeth.” “Yea,” said the other, “all the Vaughans wholly and all Sir Gelly Meyrick's friends.” After some other speeches, which she could not well understand by reason of some strangers that were coming in, one of them swore, “By God's wounds, the very City will set him up, for they have offered to pay all his debts for him.” At the parting of those two serving men, the one said to the other, “Thou shall see good sport among them before the end of summer, if they walk abroad.” Whom all this concerned, she did not well know, but by imagination since, and by hearing, which before she knew not, that the great man's name was Robert. Another time, Mr. Powell, of Carmarthenshire, having said to this reporter that Sir Gelly Meyrick was now so stout that he would know nobody, she repeated the speech to Mrs. Powell. “Yea,” said the latter, “the priest's son hopeth for that day that I trust he never shall see.” “What is that?” said this reporter. “Mary!” said Mrs. Powell, “he hopeth to see his master king of England one day.” Whereunto this reporter replied, “What doth the two legged ass mean? For there is no colour nor likelihood thereof. I would I might hear one of the best of them dare to speak it.” “Nay,” said she, “they will keep their speeches secret enough, but sure I am this is their hope.” (77. 72, 73.)
Certain remembrances importunately moved by my wife to be delivered by me to her godfather John Garnons, esq.—After an account of dreams which she had on the two Saturdays next before the rebellion, of warnings against assassination to be addressed to the Queen and to Sir Robert Cecil, she continues :—
About Michaelmas last, the two knights Meyricks travelled much the most part of Carmarthen and Pembroke shires, by the sea coast, making great cheer and feasting with their friends. About Allhallowtide, there was conveyed and carried many great trunks suspected to contain much treasure from Glairstree and other places into Carmarthenshire, towards Sir John Vaughan's house, as was thought, or some other place that way, to the number of a dozen or twenty trunks.
About five years past, I did hear by divers credible reports that one Sir Lewes Devett, a priest and soothsayer of the country, would often say that none of her Majesty's enemies should prevail against her until after 42 years of her reign; and if she escaped that 5 years, she should reign long in her kingdom. Comparing the events of late happened with the foresaid speeches, it is somewhat to be noted, lest some of these confederates of these countries should build their actions upon the speeches of the said priest. (77. 74.)
All in the same hand. 5¾ pp.
George Harvy to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, March 20. It is desirable that the patent establishing me in the office of Surveyor of the Ordnance should be expedited. The time has come for the making up of our quarter's book for the payment of artificers and others. Courses held for her Majesty's profit in rating and allowing of prices are often unpleasing to the popular, which are always ready to raise a scandal against an officer acting without sufficient authority. Unless Mr. Secretary Herbert cannot have audience, it must be that her Highness' stay is to be resolved of some doubt, which, as I conceive, is whether I may be both Lieutenant and Surveyor. True it is that no man may be patentee of both, but there is no cause why the Surveyor should not be deputy to the Lieutenant. The office of Lieutenant chiefly consisteth in seeing the office well carried and the store well furnished, into which he hath power to bring any thing fit for her Majesty's service, but out of the store, he can command nothing without warrant. Yet had I rather forsake the Lieutenancy and the other also, than leave the least cause of suspicion in her Highness.—The Tower, 20 Martii, '600.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (180. 42.)
George Limauer to —.
1600/1, March 20/30. I hope you are come safe to Frankfort. I send you a news sheet.—Venice, 30 March, 1601.
Postscript.—The Earl of Essex has wretchedly ended his life.
Italian. Holograph. ½ p. (85. 120.)
Giorgio Orsine, Duke of Bracciano to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, March 20/30. I have just heard that a ship sailing from Portugal to Leghorn called il Levriere Bianco, and commanded by Cornelius Aresen, has been taken by the English in the Tuscan sea. As there are some Florentine merchants, who claim to be interested in the ship, I would ask you to stay all proceedings with regard to her until you have had time to hear the truth of the matter from Florence.—Brussels, 30 March, 1601. Holograph. Italian.
Endorsed :—“The Duke of Bracciano to my master.” Seal. 1 p. (85. 121.)


  • 1. “Febr.” was first written and then erased.