Cecil Papers: March 1601, 21-31

Pages 136-153

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, 21–31

[Martin Heton,] Bishop of Ely, to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, March 21. My brother, Sir Simon Weston, having been examined by Mr. Attorney and other commissioners, was by them sent to stay with me, until order should be taken for him by your Honours. I do understand from the commissioners themselves that there falleth out no matter against him. Wherefore my humble suit is that you should be pleased to consider of this his enclosed petition.—21 Martii, 1600.
Holograph. 1 p. (77. 77.)
The Enclosure :
Sir Simon Weston's Petition.—By direction of the Lords of the Privy Council, I tendered my appearance on the 9th of this March, and was examined by the Attorney General and other commissioners on the 13th. I besought them, if they were not satisfied of my innocence, that Sir Christopher Blunt might be examined if ever I consented to him in any thing that was criminal, that then I would acknowledge his justification of such to be my conviction : and further, if it might appear that I had anything to do with the late Earl of Essex after the first day her Majesty's army was on foot until his death, more than the accomplishing the directions he gave me publicly, or that I ever saw or sent unto him since his return from Ireland, I shall think no burden too heavy which your Honour can lay upon me.
Signed. 1 p. (77. 76.)
Sir Robert Cecil to Nicholson.
1600/1, March 21. Mr. Nicholson,—I have received your letter of the — of —, and others (fn. 1) in safety, whereby I see you come by good knowledge of many things, for which care and diligence her Majesty commends you.
Since I wrote last unto you, the Earl of Marr, after ten days, respite, sent for audience; which was granted him, though his long deferring was noted; but it seems he stayed until he heard from Scotland. He came on Sunday to the Queen and was received in the chamber of presence with very great respect. I have not understood by the Queen much of that which passed then, for I have not been much with her these three or four days. Only that which she hath told me was most of it compliment, and concerning Valentine Thomas, wherein her Majesty hath answered as she was wont, and truly for mine own part, if I had been of his counsel, the King should not much have stuck upon it, for the matter now lies dead, and whensoever the knave should come to arraignment and maintain it, as it is certain he would, for he is a very villain, many would grow to believe it to whom now it appeareth not, whereof no good can come to the King. And as it is, I do but muse what hurt the King feareth of such a matter. But I will wade no further in this, only I cannot deny but that I always wish that whensoever requests are made between princes, it might be well considered what is fit for one to yield to, as well as what the other should require, or at least, what is probable will be granted. Since Mowbray came to me from the Earl Huntley, I had thought to have advertised you in particular what passed, but I have been surprised with business. I find the man but light, though, as it seems, trusted by the Earl. Next, I thank God that I kept myself within these bounds, as neither to be greedy to bite at his pretence of those things which he spake concerning the Earl of Essex, neither yet to confer with the party of anything that I had cared who had known. What he hath reported since, I know not, but this is true, and all he had from me. He first delivered me a verbal offer from the Earl Huntley to be made to the Queen, that where heretofore he had her Majesty's mislike for running foreign courses, he now was desirous to be well thought on by her Majesty, between whom and the King he intended to do all good offices, protesting also, that if I would be an instrument of the same, it should be so acceptable unto him as it should be requited in the future; adding thereto, that if I would be a mean that her Majesty would be at the charge to maintain a guard about the King, and procure the Queen to recommend the Earl Huntley to that charge, that the said Earl would put into my hands such matter concerning the Earl of Essex as should for ever discredit him with the Queen. When I had considered of this, I asked him by what warrant he did all this; whereupon he shewed me an open instruction giving him credit, which he pretended to be Earl Huntley's hand. But to be short, I made him answer, upon speech with the Queen, that she never had purpose to make private contracts with any prince's subjects, neither ever liked, or misliked, any about the King but when she saw they ran any disorderly courses for his safety, from which as long as the Earl Huntley should abstain, she wished him well as a nobleman in whom she had heard there were many good parts, and of late began to see that he was more quiet hearted than before. Now for myself, I told him, as was true, I desired no other mean to stand hereafter than by the proof I should make of my undivided truth to my sovereign, for which I thought all wise princes would value men more, than if they should beforehand seek to anticipate their favour. Lastly, that, for the Earl Huntley, he was a great nobleman and I a private gentleman, between whom and me it was needless to have contract for anything, seeing especially that the constitution of this state was apt to be jealous of all such things. And for the rest concerning the Earl, I made him a slight answer, finding the man full of words, and little expecting that he would have come out of Scotland about such an errand, who had voluntarily undertaken other services in Ireland, which now I think he never meant to do, neither would I have you speak of them. Since my last despatch, because you may see whether the late Earl's treasons have been sudden or premeditate, and whether they were undertaken for revenge or for usurpation, you shall understand that, when Sir Christopher Blount was arraigned, standing at the bar, he desired that before he died he might have leave to deliver some secret yet unknown, wherewith he found his conscience to be burdened. Whereupon he was brought to the Lord Admiral and myself, and there declared that, although all late practices of the Earl were discovered, and divers of his underhand traffic with the Irish rebels made known, yet there was one thing more which was intended by him before his coming over out of Ireland, whereunto only the Earl of Southampton and the said Sir Christopher Blount were privy. The effect of all which, because the Earl of Southampton hath confessed, and because Sir Christopher Blount hath sealed it with his blood, I have here enclosed his speeches upon the scaffold in the face of the world, whereby all the hearers have now received clear and just satisfaction, which haply otherwise they would not have believed, by which it now appeareth, if it had gone forward, what would have become of the state of England, which must have been made a prey for his “Catelyn” army, and have only sought the destruction (not only) of the possessor (but of the successor to whomsoever God shall dispose it).
Draft in two hands with corrections by Cecil, the words in brackets being additions in his own hand. 7 pp. (77. 77.)
Endorsed :—“21 Mar., 1600. Minute from my Master to Mr. Nycholson, concerning my Lord of Essex his treason.”
Christine, Lady Sandys to Sir Robert Cecil.
[1600/1, before March 21]. Petition praying that her Majesty's mercy may be extended to her husband, Lord Sandys. She beseeches Cecil to pardon her boldness in writing to him; she is great with child, near her deliverance, sickly long, and most sorrowful, and not able to attend on him in person. ½ p. (181. 81.)
The Same to the Same.
[1601, c. March 21]. Begs him to consider her exceeding grief and misery, and to be a mean to her Majesty for that grace and mercy she desires. Confesses she can in no way deserve so great a favour, but if a poor creature's prayers may do him good, she will never fail to pray good for him, nor she and her friends to show their thankfulness; and her poor Lord will do him service to the venturing of his life. My Lord willed her to make so much known to him.
Holograph. Undated. Endorsed :—“Lady Sandys.” 1 p. (90. 155.)
William, Lord Sandys to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, March 21. Mr. Lieutenant hath made known unto me your compassionate favour unto my poor wife in behalf of me, her unfortunate husband. This commiseration of yours hath tied me in double bands of thankfulness. I must ever love you that hath been a mediator of her Majesty's mercy towards me.—Tower, this 21th March, 1600.
Signed. Countersigned by Sir John Peyton. ½ p. (77. 79.)
The Queen to Lord Willoughby.
1600/1, March 21. Although we have forborne to write unto you since your going down, yet have we from time to time directed both our Council in general and our Secretary in particular to acquaint you with our pleasure as well as to take notice of some private good services done by you and the Treasurer in apprehending of such as you had great cause to suspect, wherein we do commend your care and providence. We had likewise thought to have written to you about those differences risen in the town of Berwick, whereof you are Governor, but, forasmuch as we perceive some things grow by misunderstanding between you and some of that Council established, and all the controversies for the most part are for some petty rites and incidents to offices or councillors in their places, we will leave these things to be answered by our Council, and here will, by our own letter only touch those points which are of more importance.
First, we know that you can well consider that in all governments nothing giveth greater encouragement for practice, nor more weakeneth defence than when there is either dissension in deed or opinion. Of which there is so great notice taken here of ate as we rather wonder that no pernicious effects have ensued than promise ourselves that it shall not break into peril hereafter, except it be timely prevented. Wherein, because we will deal as clearly with you as we have done with the Marshal, between whom and you we have heard there hath been some misunderstanding; and because we assure ourselves that we shall find so great an affection to our service in you, of whose discretion in all your employments the world hath taken notice, as you will not, for any private, suffer impediment to our service, we have both straightly imposed upon the Marshal a charge to respect you as the Governor in all things that appertain unto you, and do mean after some months' respite, for which he hath earnestly sued, to send him down unto you so well informed of our resolution to have all good agreement between you as we do trust it shall well appear unto you that he will not give you just cause of unkindness nor sever himself from you in our services. In whom we find a very good desire, not only for our service but for your own particular, to live in all things compatibly with you, as any gentleman can do with a Governor, you respecting him as he deserveth, of which we make no doubt, though peradventure some bad instruments shall never want to do ill offices between you. It is true that we do think it very fit to admonish you to give strict order that no excess of resort of Scots be suffered in that garrison, but that, excepting the commerce upon market days and such like for the necessary support of the place it may be used as frontier towns ought to be in which your experience teaches you best that all wise commanders held those places only well governed where most jealousy is used. Which is quite contrary there, if it be as is reported by the Scots themselves, who do not stick to say that they may as freely come into Berwick, by one device or another, as into Edinburgh. Next, we do require you to see that your government there be not slandered by the error of those who for private gain do make that place a sanctuary for bankrupts and outlaws rather than a town of war, nor that any person married with the Scots be suffered to have place there. Further, concerning the matter of Musgrave and Selby, we think fit to let you understand that as we have and will plainly make our mislike appear to Musgrave for his factious and lewd petition here exhibited against you, so for things that are in question between you and our Council there established, we cannot allow that any council of war shall be made judges either of their authority or of their offences, although we are not unwilling in case of danger or other differences in inferior things that you do call unto you, according to the article of our establishment, such principal persons of discretion to consult withal as the times shall need. But we have now gone further in this particular than we meant to have troubled ourselves, not doubting but that you who see how much they daily abound in practice, will rather dispense with the errors of private men, who may forget themselves out of some humour of profit or petty credit in their office, than, by making the dissensions so notorious, to make that place a subject of scorn which, being ruled by a person of your reputation abroad and at home, ought still to serve for an example and bridle to those that would go about to malign it or our services.
Lastly, we pray you to believe that we are very sorry to understand of your indisposition of body, and the rather because we know how apt you are to hurt yourself by overmuch care and labour in our service, wherein we would have you spare yourself as much as you may, for we would be loth your health should be overthrown by these occasions, considering how long it is before men of service be bred in this age. And now, by the way, we will only touch this much of that whereof we are sure an angel of heaven could hardly have made you a believer, that it appeareth now by one's example more bound than all or any others how little faith there was in Israel.
Draft, with corrections by Cecil. Endorsed :—“21 March, 1600.” 6 pp. (180. 44.)
Modern Copy of the above. 3½ pp. (77. 80.)
[See also Cal. of Border Papers, Vol. II. p. 737.]
Roger Manners to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, March 21. I have received this enclosed letter and that within it from my Lord of Rutland, which I am bold to present to your view and consideration. I am willing to do him all service and would gladly do for the best, therefore loth to do aught till I first have your advice. Upon the return of these and your opinion, I shall by my letters either to your Honour or as you shall direct, hold on my course accordingly; but my weakness and passion maketh me unfit to offer myself in person. For your noble care to preserve the honour of our house, the whole blood and name must ever rest devoted to you.—At the Savoy, the 21 of March, 1600.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (77. 81.)
The Enclosures :
(1.) The Earl of Rutland to his Uncle, Roger Manners.—My fault is great, but my grief exceeds to think how I have lost idly and ungraciously her Majesty's most gracious favour, which she vouchsafed always unto me far beyond my merit. I do confess that my life blood, dignity, and all I have is in her princely hands, which being given me by her infinite mercy bind me to pray for her. And because it may appear how willing I am to show myself dutiful, I have herewith sent you a true project of my whole estate, and how it is charged particularly. By it you shall perceive what is clearly left to myself, and out of it her Majesty may please to assess me at her princely will and choice, whereto I most humbly submit myself, most willingly contenting myself with what limitation or proportion her Highness shall please to leave me, being resolved henceforth to observe her carefully and follow her with all duty. Good uncle, make this offer for me, and whatever you shall do herein I will be ready to perform.—At the Tower, 20 of March, 1600.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (77. 69.)
(2.) The Earl of Rutland's Estate.—His revenues (which arise from lands leased since his majority for 21 years, and from part of the jointure of the late Countess of Bedford) amount to 3,124l. 18s.d. The rents reserved to the Queen, annuities to the Ladies Elizabeth and Frances Manners, to Mr. Auditor Conyers, Mr. Francis Lovell, Dr. Marbech and John Joy amount to 791l. 3s. 4d. The portions owing to his sisters, the Ladies Bridget Tyrwhit and Elizabeth and Frances Manners, amount to 5,000l. and his own debts to 4,991l. 5s. 6d.
1 p. (77. 68.)
John Hopkenes, Mayor of Bristol, to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, March 21. The letters from your Honour directed to the Lord President of Munster, which I received by post the 18th of this instant, have been delivered to Mr. Patrick Crosbie, who intends to sail by the 24th. I enclose a letter from the said Mr. Crosbie.—Bristol, this 21th of March, 1600.
Signed. ½ p. (77. 82.)
William Eustace to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, March 21. Having been of all men, next to the old Lord Grey, most beholden to your honourable father for all the lands and possessions which I have, as hereafter I intend before I depart into my country to make acknowledgment both to your honourable brother the Lord Burley and to your Honour, I beg you to grant me some private conference with you, in presence of Lord Grey, whereby I may fully satisfy you concerning three causes lately happened, wherein I doubt you have conceived some mislike of me—viz. the petition which I exhibited on the behalf of the inhabitants of the County of Kildare at Salisbury Court, when Irish causes were last there heard; my long stay in England; and the matter of project which I presented last October to the Lords of the Privy Council. I doubt not so to acquit myself that you will not only free me from all dislike but be ready to favour my suit. In the meantime I am not, nor ever have been or will be, agent for the ordinary causes of that county. I did not devise anything that was mentioned in that petition. I was here about other causes of my own. As touching the project, were I sure the Lord Deputy of Ireland would accept thereof without good recommendation from the State here, it being altogether against the profit of such as are greatest in his favour there, I would desire none other suit of her Majesty for this time. My suits for money due to me, for Captain Lea's house and land in Ireland, and for other things, are the sole cause of my staying in England.—This 21th of March, 1600.
Holograph. 1 p. (77. 83.)
Carlo Lanfranche to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, March 21/31. On the same subject as the Duke of Bracciano's letter, supra, p. 136.—Antwerp, 31 March, 1601.
Italian. Endorsed :—“With a letter from the Duke of Bracciano.” 1 p. (85. 123.)
Dr. Fletcher to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, March 21. Being enlarged by your good means, which I will ever remember with all thankfulness, I find divers suitors for my poor office towards the city, wherein I have served some 15 years. I beseech you not to regard the suit of such as seek to undo a poor distressed man in order to advance themselves.—The 21th of March, 1600.
Holograph. Seal. ½ p. (180. 43.)
George, Earl of Huntingdon to Sir Robert Cecil.
[1600/1,] March 22. An extreme cold which I have taken, and my knowledge of the greatness of your trouble in these unfortunate accidents to the disquiet of my sovereign, have alone caused me to write to you, instead of coming to thank you in person. I am desirous to go homeward to-morrow.—Smithfield, this 22th of March.
Holograph. Endorsed :—“1600.” ½ p. (77. 85.)
Sir Nicholas Parker to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, March 22. Enclosing the examination of John Awbrey who arrived at Falmouth on the day of the date of this letter.—From Pendenas Castle, the 22th of March, 1600.
Signed. ½ p. (77. 86.)
The Enclosure :
Examination of John Awbrey, of Cardiff in the County of Glamorgan, gentleman.—He put to sea from Falmouth in October last in a carvel of one William Browne, of Plymouth, woollen-draper, which was set out of Plymouth for a man of war.
In December last, their masts being spent, by extremity of foul weather they were compelled to put themselves ashore in the bay of St. Toovil [Setubal] in Portugal, afore the town of Sesember [Cezimbra], in which extremity by violence of the weather five of their men were drowned. After their arrival into Sesember they were conducted by a guide into Luxborne, where, when they came, they were all put into the galleys except this examinate and one Roger Phillpott, which stayed behind the rest of the company at the Almathoside [Almada], being better acquainted than the rest with the state and manner of the country towards prisoners. The examinate had been prisoner in Spain heretofore. He and the said Phillpott lived at their liberty in Boavista and Beline, being the suburbs of Luxborne, for the space of three months.
At their first coming thither in December last there was a general command published for the staying of all foreign ships that should arrive into any port of Spain. Of which shipping such as were most convenient should carry some five thousand men into Dunkirk to assist and aid Cardinal Alberto. Those not employed in this service were stayed that there might be no intelligence of their pretence before they were safely arrived into Dunkirk. Which stay of shipping stood in force until the 8th or 9th of February last, at which time all the soldiers were landed and the shipping by the King's command discharged. The King's victuals were taken out of them. The reason of the discharge, so far as the examinate could learn, was the arrival of a Dunkirker and a Frenchman into Luxborne, who reported that there were four of the Queen's ships, together with certain Hollanders, riding before Dunkirk.
He and Roger Phillpott departed from Luxborne upon the 23th of February last, in a ship of Waterford called the Speedwell. At Waterford they met a ship called the Elizabeth of Falmouth Harbour, in which they arrived at Falmouth.
Signed. 1¼ pp. (77. 87.)
Lord Henry Seymour to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, March 22. Give me leave to address my misfortunes unto you as one in whom I engage myself soundly interested, and so much the sooner for your honourable late promise in assisting my causes to her Majesty. I must confess that when time served and that I was employed, her Majesty was then most gracious, and [I] found my Lord your father most fatherly in recommending my loyal uncontrolled services. For the which, albeit he was mightly encountered by the Lord Chancellor Hatton, the Earl of Essex and Secretary Walsingham, yet he prevailed so much as, failing her Majesty's promise made unto him for me for the Island, he never gave me over for two years together until he had procured me an engagement of 300l. per annum payable into the Exchequer in regard of priority of promise made to the Lord Chancellor Hatton. So as he being now dead, I mean your honourable father, yet doth he live in you who doth follow his steps, to the increase of your worthy credit. And to add further in my behalf, I am glad you were oculatus testis in Sir William Winter's ship the year '88, where you might judge and discern of services. During my 42 years of services in Court, I have never relied upon any her favourites, either Leicester, Hatton or Essex, more than your worthy father and now yourself.—From the Blackfriars, the 22 of March, 1600.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (77. 88.)
Thomas Yonge, Deputy Mayor of Limerick, and 28 others, to the Queen.
1600/1, March 22. We have in former times advertised your Highness of the strange bent of the Earl of Thomond against this your fortress, the ruin whereof is the aim unto which all his actions are devoted, insomuch as we will avow by the testimony of his own mouth that death were welcome unto him so as it were accompanied with our bane. Other particulars of his extraordinary inclination we leave until the bearer shall present a memorable map thereof. We are not men of masked minds but men in lineage from our ancestors fastened to the inviolable obedience to your crown. As we labour the manifestation of our faithfulness, so do we not extenuate the merit of our adversary in the external course of his carriage. The better sort of our citizens are impeached of treason, for what treason, by whose information or in what manner, neither they nor we can advertise your Highness. Neither can that breed satiety of revenge, but this Earl of Thomond by all the practices of hateful inventions laboureth to draw a difference in points of jurisdiction between us and the Lord President of Munster, and by misinformation endeavoureth to draw in question the points of our privileges which we immediately deduce from your imperial authority. He hath imprisoned our mayor, who remaineth a prisoner for a fine of four hundred pounds, imposed upon him for detaining one of the said Earl's soldiers as prisoner in a criminal cause, contrary to a direction sent by the Lord President for his discharge, thereby working a separation between us and the Lord President, and representing the maintenance of our privileges as a derogation to his dignity and a contradiction to your service. We humbly beseech the liberty of our mayor, and that the proceedings against him may be censured by the Lords of the Privy Council, as also do we intreat for the present trial of our poor citizens, who now rest in a suspended estate desiring to be freed if faultless, or eased by the extreme censure of the law if truly impeached.—Limerick, the 22nd of March, 1600.
Signed. 1 p. (180. 48.)
Jordan Chadwick to Sir Robert Cecil.
1600/1, March 23. Sir Horatio Palavicine made me your chaplain and bestowed upon me a rectory which, by the wealth and long experience in the world of an overmatch that contendeth against me, I am like to lose. Please you therefore to move Mr. Dove to pass his grant unto me for the first prebendary that shall be in his gift in Peterborough.—March 23, 1600.
Holograph. ½ p. (77. 89.)
Anne, Lady Nevill to Sir Robert Cecil.
[1600/1,] March 24. My argument of writing can be nothing else but to give thanks for your goodness shewed to Mr. Nevill hitherto, and to beseech you to take pity of us both and our poor children, so that he may have a good issue of his trouble. His nature was never to be false to anybody, much less to the Queen and the State, and therefore I hope that his first fault shall not be too rigorously enforced against his service done and the whole good carriage of his former life. I hear that Cuffe, who best could tell what had passed between them, cleared him absolutely at his death.—From Lothbury, the 24th of March.
Postscript.—I hope you will pardon me for not attending on you at the Court, for I am so deaf that I should be very cumbersome unto you.
Holograph. Endorsed : “1600.” Seal. 1 p. (77. 90.)
Gilbert, Earl of Shrewsbury to Sir Robert Cecil.
[1600/1, before 25 March]. The privilege that I have by the warrant of his trust (my dear friend Sir Ho : Palavicini) maketh me bold to move your good favour to his wife and children. This bearer hath by mine advice drawn an answer to that which was received lately from my Lord Treas, and Sir Jo[hn] For[tescue.] I beseech you read it, and be pleased to let me know how you like it, and whether you think it more proper to deal with those two Councillors before or after the same be sent and returned from the poor lady, who is to sign it if you allow it. Their offer is so poor and mean as it is not possible to be accepted. Therefore, if it cannot be helped, their case will be very hard. Pardon these lines of trouble, who am more apt and bold to visit you with entreaty in discharge of my friend's trust than with anything concerning my own particular.
Postscript.—We would gladly understand whether you think it would not be to good purpose that the lady the widow should hereupon repair hither to become an humble petitioner to her Majesty.
Holograph. Undated. Endorsed :—“1600, March.” 1 p. (180. 53.)
William, Lord Sandys to Sir Robert Cecil.
1601, March 26. Your favour towards me in my distressed estate, I must ever acknowledge as proceeding from your noble nature. My merit is nothing, and my fault is in a high nature proceeding from mine ignorance of his intention who led me into this unadvised mischief. Had I discerned it, I would have spared no hazard of my life against his purposes. For mine offence against her Majesty, I appeal to her mercy, and beseech your help to stay my ruin.—Tower, this 26 March, 1601.
Footnote in Peyton's hand :—“Upon my Lord Sand's desire and view of the premises, I have permitted it passage to your Honour.”
Signed. 1 p. (85. 111.)
John [Whitgift,] Archbishop of Canterbury, to Sir Robert Cecil.
1601, March 26. The bearer hereof, Thomas Hiron, Master of Arts, known to myself to be of civil and honest disposition and good religion, who is recommended by the Principal and Fellows of Brasen nose in Oxon, is very desirous to travel to the University of Padua. I recommend him to your favour for the obtaining of a license for his safe passage.—This 26 March, 1601.
Signed. ½ p. (85. 113.)
Enclosed :
Certificate on behalf of Thomas Hiron, Master of Arts, sometime student of Brasen-nose College, 22 March, 1600, signed by :—Tho. Singleton, princ.: Edward Gee : Geffrey Percival : Edward Rillston : Richard Taylor : John Pickeringe : Edward Hirst : George Barton : Gerard Massye : Tho. Peacocke : Will. Sutton : Thomas Carwardine.
1 p. (85. 112.)
Thomas Lawson to William Lawson.
1601, March 27. Most loving brother, I hope you and all our friends are well. I would have written oftener if I had had the means. For my place here, I am very well, but not in the same house where you were in. My master's name is Maior; his house is in the side of the street afore S. An's Church. Where you were is called Hessil, on the backside of the church. My master hath writ to you in Latin. Long since Sir Anthony Sherle hath been here, and goes from the Emperor's. Court to Florence, an ambassador; (fn. 2) from Florence to Rome. I am not certain whether he goes from Rome to Persia or Spain. This gentleman, Mr. Willson, is a good friend of your master's, and hath made much of me, for he lent me a book of very good instructions to write out. I pray you thank him for it, and that you would excuse me to my uncle for my long delay of writing, and remember my duty to my mother and all her friends.—27 March, 1601.
Holograph. Addressed :—“To Mr. William Lawson at Mr. Bacon's house in Chrocit Friers.” 1 p. (85. 114.)
Thomas Doyley to Sir Robert Cecil.
1601, March 27. If I had never troubled you with Mr. Pyne's desperate debt, I would have been more discreet than to have used your favour in so small a matter. I know that Sir George Carye is upon his dispatch without any satisfaction to me, putting me off with the answer that he is petitioning the Commissioners for allowance of Mr. Pyne's entertainments, which if granted, he will satisfy me. I know not what it may be fit to crave of your Honour; I refer it to your wisdom.—27 March, 1601.
Holograph. 1 p. (85. 115.)
Gabriell Goodman, Dean of Westminster, to Sir Robert Cecil.
1601, March 27. On behalf of the suit of the bearer, his cousin Done, for reward for his long service in the wars. 27 March, 1601.
Signed. ½ p. (250. 86.)
George Limauer to —
1601, March 27./April 6. I have your letter from “Augusta” and send you the newsletter.—Venice, April 6, 1601.
Italian. Holograph. ½ p. (85. 144.)
Sir John Scott to Sir Robert Cecil.
[1601, March 28]. It is now almost 4 years since I presented you with the assurance of my best service. You will perhaps remember that upon the late Earl of Essex's going to Ireland, Sir Edward Stafford and myself dining at your table, he moved you whether I should offer myself to attend him in that expedition. Since that time I protest I have not seen his face but once, and that by accident, neither have I at any time engaged myself to him, being credibly informed that he was the means of my commitment in the cause between Lord Willoughby and me. I am confident that I shall be able to clear myself of this charge when you shall call upon me.
Undated. Holograph. Endorsed :—“28 Mar., 1601.” 1 p. (85. 116.)
William Rider, Junior, to Lord Buckhurst.
1601, March 28. I have sent unto you here inclosed a vile libel, brought unto me this morning by one of our officers, found by him upon a seat, which I thought it my duty to send to your Lordship. There hath been divers sent to Mr. Secretary. Beseeching your advice how we may deal with these mischiefs.—28 March, 1601.
I pray your Honour to remember my suit.
Holograph. ½ p. (181. 119.)
William Fitzwilliam to Sir Robert Cecil.
1601, March 28. Two speeches have passed from you of late whereof the world hath taken great hold, one at your board showing how much you desired to have your son thoroughly instructed in the true grounds of religion; the other at the arraignment of the late rebels, declaring that among all those malcontents papists and atheists that assisted those misled Earls not one of those called Puritans did offer to lift a hand against her Majesty. This causes me to make known to you a matter. The Lord Bishop of London has very lately restrained a poor minister, one Mr. Egerton, that has preached in the Black Friars these twenty years, from using any exercise there on the week day, as he used to do twice in the week. He is an excellent learned man, and of condition so humble that when the texts might have ministered cause to some hot headed fellows to range beyond the limits of order, he hath turned them to beating down sin and advancing duty to God and the Queen with due regard to the magistrate. His Lordship charges him only with a wonderful concourse of people to his church above others, which should argue a schism, and with the sermon he preached the day of the rebellion. If you would look at the copies of the sermon gathered by divers of the auditory, you would be so well persuaded of the poor creature as to endeavour that so many well affected should not be deprived of the blessing they weekly receive from him.—St. John's Street, 28 March, 1601.
Signed. 2 pp. (181. 120.)
Henry, Lord Cobham to Sir Robert Cecil.
1601, March 29. This evening I received a letter from my lieutenant that the Duke of Nevers to-morrow doth mean to cross from Calais for Dover. His harbinger is already arrived to provide horses for him and his train, which I have given order for. The names of his suite I send hereinclosed. I will be bold to deliver my opinion—though I know my part is to obey and not to advise—that till his coming to Gravesend, I would not have her Majesty take notice of it. Till he came to Neuport, the Archduke took no notice of him, and in his going and returning there were no ceremonies used towards him, only I wish that some care might be had for his lodging, if his harbinger come before to require it. If any directions be sent me, I pray you let me hear at once, for his coming will be in post, and in a day and a half he will be at Gravesend.—Blackfriars, 29 March, 1601.
Holograph. 1 p. (85. 118.)
John Byrde to Sir Robert Cecil.
1601, March 29. Begs Cecil's help for payment of his fee and arrears, apparently due from the Treasurer of Ireland. Speaks of his 28 years' service. Is resolved rather to take a new course, by Cecil's favour, either here or in other countries, than that, by his return empty of all favour, the idolatrous and rebellious Irishry should insult and triumph over him : to their encouragement to persist in their wicked doings.—29 March, 1601.
Holograph. 1 p. (250. 135.)
Sir Robert Wrothe to Sir Robert Cecil.
1601, March 29. Encloses a warrant he has received from the Lord Treasurer and the Earl of Nottingham, for felling 8 beeches in Enfield Chase, as Cecil's hand as Master of the Game is not to the same, nor any seal, nor officer of importance of the Duchy : and prays directions therein.—Lucton, 29 March, 1601.
Signed. 1 p. (250. 137.)
Lord Burghley to Sir Robert Cecil.
1601, March 30. In favour of Mr. Cole, of Hull, who desires a recommendation to the Master and Fellows of Trinity College in Cambridge for the bestowing the room of a scholarship upon his son.—Wimbledon, March 30, 1601.
Signed. Seal. 1 p. (181. 121.)
John Bacheler, Mayor, John Breadgate and Ema. Alley, to Lord Cobham.
1601, March 30. Sir Thomas Fane being very sick desires them to advertise as follows :—There arrived yesterday from Calais, John Penkevill, who confesses he had been at Brussels, Douay and St. Omers. He had in his mail divers papistical pictures, with beads and a crucifix : letters directed to Spain and other places in the Spanish dominions : and a packet directed to Mr. Secretary. He said he was employed by the latter at Brussels, and to have gone thence into Spain : and showed them notes of his own of directions touching his said employment : but it appearing that he had not performed the directions, they suspected his truth, and therefore stayed him till they received instructions. He having given information of three others who had shipped for London, Fane sent the Sergeant of the Admiralty to the Foreland to arrest them. One of them, George Askewe, once before stayed here, confessed to being a priest, and has brought over divers papistical books. The others. Richard Gybson, and Walter Wale, confessed to being Romish Catholics, and to have been in the Seminary at Douay and other places in the enemy's dominions. They pray directions : enclose the examinations of the above parties, the packet brought by Penkevill directed to Mr. Secretary, a letter of his to Mr. Secretary, and also his other letters and pictures.—Dover, 30 March, 1601.
Signed as above.
Endorsed :—“Mayor of Dover.”
On the back :
“Dover, 30 March, at 10 at night.
Cannterbury, at 1 a clocke afternight.
Syttingborne, past Fyve in the morninge.
Rochester, the first of aprill, at 5 in the moringe.”
1 p. (250. 75.)
The Enclosures :
(1.) Examination of John Penkevel. 1601, March 29.—Before the Commissioners for restraint of passage at Dover.—John Penkevell, son of John Penkevell, of Penkevell in Cornwall, deposeth that about a week after twelvetide last he took passage at Dover for Calais, having a pass from Mr. Secretary. He travelled to Rome and thence to Bruxells, where he made continual abode, saving 2 or 3 days at St. Omers and Dowaye. The first week in Lent he came to England. Asked concerning divers papistical pictures, beads and crucifix brought over with him, he saith he hath been employed about such services, by Mr. Secretary, for which cause he went to Bruxells.
Signed by Penkevel. ½ p. (85. 119.)
(2.) J. P[incavell] to Sir Robert Cecil. 1601.—The other day I sent you a letter which was enclosed in a letter of Mr. Locke's, the effect whereof was that I was driven to go to Brussels, for my brother is there, a Capuchin friar, so was enforced to double charges, and not having money, I am enforced to expect your direction. To satisfy you touching my fidelity I here send those commendations I got in Brussels, being to remain here with Sir Thomas Vane [Fane], until he understands your pleasure. I met at Calais two Englishmen : the one I saw in Dowaye, in a priest's habit, and the other at St. Omer, who has been sometime their cook, which was made known to Sir Thomas. I could not otherwise eschew suspicion of the Jesuits but keep them company. The cause of my coming to Dover is for want of money, and to receive an answer more speedily : besides there is not at this time any ships for Spain because of the embarge. The Jesuits are fain to send a mission of 6 scholars, by land, which they desired to be accompanied by me, but I could not persuade them to lend 5l. or 6l. to set me awork when I came to Seville. I send other letters that were given me for Spain. I protest I desire to effect what you desire at my hands.—Dover, 29 March, 1601.
Holograph. Endorsed :—“J. Pincavell.” 1 p. (250. 87.)
Sir Thomas Fane to Sir Robert Cecil.
1601, March 31. Capt. William Smith arriving here this present day from St. Valeryes, hath shewed Mr. Mayor of Dover your Honour's pass for his arrival, the copy whereof is hereinclosed. Your Lordship requireth to be advertised of his arrival, so Mr. Mayor hath requested me to advertise you accordingly.—Dover Castle, the last of March, 1601.
Postscript.—Captain Smith remains secretly at Mr. Mayor's house, according to your direction.
Endorsed :—“For her Majesty's especial affairs. Haste, haste, post haste with speed. Dover, 31 March at 7 night. Canterbury 31 April (sic) at 10 night. Sittingbourne 1st April at 2 in the morning. [Rochest]er at 5 in the morning.”
Signed. Seal. ½ p. (85. 124.).
John Kyllygrewe to Sir Robert Cecil.
1601, March 31. My humble petition is that I may have renewed my old warrant, that I may have liberty to follow my business and perform that I have promised, especially to my true friend Mr. Henry Locke, who shall receive all right from me.—Westminster, this last of March, 1601.
Postscript.—My long absence, contrary to promise, hath been the true grief, plain beggary, and hearty sickness; all which I thank God for, for they are gentle whips for my past vanities.
Signed. 1 p. (85. 125.)
Dr. Christopher Parkins to Sir Robert Cecil.
1601, March 31. By the physician's appointment I am this day in custody, whereof I made Mr. Secr. Harbert acquainted yesternight, and half-an-hour before the coming of your footman I had taken my potion and cannot without prejudice go now into the air. I send you the minute for my letter to the Chancellor of Poland. Mr. Secretary Harbert told me of his being with her Majesty yesterday, and that his order was for letters to the Duke of Hasburgh, to Stoad [and] to Sweden. Notwithstanding my physic, if you send me anything to write, I will employ myself as my cure shall suffer.—This last of March, 1601.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (85. 128.)
Sir John Davis to [Sir John Popham], Lord Chief Justice.
[1601, March.] I perceive the danger wherein I stand, although I protest my thoughts and deeds towards her Majesty have never been but most loyal and honest. About 3 months since I was earnest in making an overture of some service, but was dissuaded by some of my good friends from proceeding in it any farther until my Lord of Essex came to the Court, who in regard that he had preferred me unto her Majesty's service and had been my chief advancer, was thought fit by them to have some share in the honour of it. If I shall please her Majesty to let my Lord Harry Howard or Mr. Grevill repair unto me, I will freely impart it.
Postscript.—I besech your Honour that in the meantime my bolts may be taken off, which have almost lamed me already.
Endorsed :—“1600,” and in a later hand, “Feb. or March, 1600/1601.”
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (78. 23.)
John Skynner to Sir Robert Cecil.
[1601, March.] I am purposed, and to that purpose rode in ill health to Mr. [Israel] Amyas, my old friend, whom I found surveying a goodly thing of your Honour's at Haddam, to offer your Honour the purchase of a goodly manor many ways fit for your possession. It shall be sold to no man if you refuse it. It shall be cheap to your Honour in the buying. I shall not be troublesome to move any other part of my suit than that which concerns Barwick, the grant of which I humbly pray for.
Holograph. Endorsed :—“March, 1601, Captain Skinner.” Seal. 1¼ pp. (85. 127.)
The Mayor and Others of Hull.
1601, March. On behalf of these who have sustained losses by the King of Denmark, we have been ready to further their cause, but the success thereof no effect, by reason of the sudden departing of the King's Commissioners, we commend the bearer Edward Cooke to solicit their causes to the Queen and Council.—Hull, March, 1600.
Signed by Hugh Armyng, Mayor, and others. Damaged. 1 p. (213. 19.)
The Earl of Oxford to Sir Robert Cecil.
[1601. ? March]. My very good brother, I have received by Henry Lok your most kind message, which I so effectually embrace that what for the old love I have borne you, which I assure you was very great, what for the alliance which is between us, which is tied so fast by my children of your own sister, what for my own disposition to yourself which hath been rooted by long and many familiarities of a more youthful time, there could have been nothing so dearly welcome unto me. Wherefore not as a stranger, but in the old style I do assure you that you shall have no faster friend or well wisher unto you than myself, either in kindness which I find beyond my expectation in you, or in kindred whereby none is nearer allied than myself, since of your sisters of my wife only you have received nieces. A sister, I say, not by any venter, but borne of the same father and the same mother as yourself. I will say no more, for words in faithful minds are tedious; only this I protest, you shall do me wrong and yourself greater, if either through fables which are mischievous, or concept which is dangerous, you think otherwise of me than humanity or consanguinity requireth. I desired Henry Lok to speak unto you for that I cannot so well urge my own business to her Majesty, that you would do me the favour, when these troublesome times give opportunity to her Majesty to think of the disposition of the President of Wales, that I may understand it by you, lest neglecting through ignorance the time, by mishap I may lose the suit, for as I have understood and by good reason conceived, I am not to use any friend to move it. so myself having moved it and received good hope, I fear nothing but through ignorance when to prosecute it, lest I should lose the benefit of her good disposition on which I only depend.
Holograph. Undated. (181. 80.)
Edward Lenton to Sir Robert Cecil.
[1601,? March.] Sir John Bolle willed me to certify that he sent your Honour by Mr. Babington letters of the 7th, and by Capt. Vaughan, of the 13th of this month, and others of the 16th by a man of his purposely to the mayor of Chester to be posted to you. He doth likewise insinuate the old grievance and discouragement, whereby he cannot do the service he desires.
Holograph. Undated. Endorsed :—“1 April, 1601.” ½ p. (85. 136.)


  • 1. See S. P. Scotl., Eliz., Vol. LXVII. Nos. 23, 25, etc.
  • 2. The words “an ambassador” are struck out from the body of the letter and re-inserted in the margin.