Cecil Papers: March 1590

Pages 14-23

Calendar of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House: Volume 4, 1590-1594. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1892.

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March 1590

Lord Cobham.
1589/90, March 1. “An Inventory, taken the 1st day of March 1589, of the household stuff remaining in the lodging of the Right Honour able the Lord Cobham, within the Blackfriars in London.”
2 pp.
George Hume, of Spotte, to Archibald Douglas.
1589/90. March 1. Begs him to show what favour he may to two young men, William Keller and William Hopper, who are “but beginners,” and to advance them money to the extent of four pounds sterling, if necessary.—Spott, 1 March 1589.
1 p.
The Justices of Norfolk to the Privy Council.
1589/90, March 1. Commending the suit of divers merchants of Norfolk, (who have offered bond,) to be permitted to transport barley and malt to parts beyond seas in amity with her Majesty, the state of the country well affording it, the prices thereof not exceeding the ordinary rate, they bringing back rye, which being very dear and scarcer than any grain, is more necessary for the relief of the same.
Signed : Edward Clere, Wm. Heydon,
Henry Woodhouse, Nath. Bacon.
Endorsed :—“From the Justices of the Peace in co. Norfolk”
1 p.
Requests of Lord Willoughby preferred to the Privy Council.
[1589/90, March 4.] 1. As at his own charges he raised his com pany of 200 horse, may it please their Lordships to allow him for levying them what others have received, which after the rate of 20l. a piece amounts to 3000l.
2. As it pleased their Lordships to signify her Majesty's pleasure for the allowance of 500l. a year for Intelligences and Espyalls, let them give order to the Treasurer at Wars to satisfy the same for the time he held that office.
3. As their Lordships set down an allowance of four months' pay for the horses lost in service before Berghen of Zoom, may it please them to give order for satisfaction accordingly for 48 horses of his Company.
4. Also to give order for present payment of money due to him from divers captains for victuals delivered to them for relief of their companies during the siege, which he provided at his own charges.
5. Also to give warrant to the Muster Master to make up the war rants for the companies of horse and foot of him the Lord Willoughby from the time he was discharged of the office of General until October 12, 1589 when he left the said companies.
6. What extraordinary charges he has been at, as well in journeying in those services, as also in gifts and rewards, besides his extreme great charges expended in defending and relieving Berghen, he forbears to expostulate.
Endorsed :—“4 March 1589.”
Richard Douglas to Archibald Douglas.
1589/90, March 7. Recommends the bearer, William Kelly, a burgess in Dunbar, to his favourable notice.—7 March 1589.
1 p.
Henry Billingsley, Alderman of London, to Lord Burghley.
1589/90, March 13. Concerning a bargain in progress for the sale of certain hides belonging to her Majesty.—13 March 1589.
1 p.
G. Graham to Archibald Douglas.
1589/90, March 13. Praying to be released from prison, and pro mising to make satisfaction for his debt &c. Begs he may be removed to a prison in London. From Bastabell [Barnstaple] prison this 13th of March, 1589.
Orders for the Musters.
1589/90, March 15. “Orders set down and agreed upon by the right honourable the Lord Burghley, Lord Treasurer of England, and Lord Lieutenant of the county of Hertfordshire, for the better arming, and more speedy furnishing, of the soldiers therein, as well horsemen as footmen, by virtue of Her Majesty's Commission of Lieutenancy to him directed the day of 1589.”
For the Deputy Lieutenants.
Before 26 March, to make a general view and muster of all able men in the shire, from the age of 16 and upwards, with especial care to make their books so perfect as, on any sudden occasion, they may make a present levy of such men as from the Lord Lieutenant shall be commanded.
To make perfect books of all armour, warlike weapons, and furniture within the shire, as well private as common, whereby it may the better appear what number of soldiers may be armed therein, beside the ordinary trained bands.
To take care fully to the stores of powder, match, and bullets, in sun dry places of the shire.
To call upon the captains carefully to look to the keeping of the armour, &c, of the trained bands, whereby the same may be in readiness whensoever called for.
No soldier, enrolled in any of the captain's trained bands, to be discharged out of the same in respect of the livery of any nobleman, except the household servant of any nobleman.
No man, wearing the livery of any nobleman as a retainer, to be excepted or discharged from any musters or warlike services, except he be the household servant, or a keeper of any house or park for a nobleman.
Whereas many times divers of Her Majesty's servants, and sundry merchants of London having houses and farms in the said county, have heretofore refused to pay any taxations or assessments, reasonably rated upon them amongst their neighbours, according to the quantity of lands in their own hands, whereby the greater burthen has been laid upon the poorer sort of the towns and parishes where their houses and livings are, it is ordered by the said Lord Lieutenant that henceforth no person or persons whatsoever, except Prelates and Lords of Parliament, shall be forborne of any charge towards setting forth of soldiers, repairing of arms, or such like service, in the country, but that they, and every of them, shall from time to time pay all such sums as shall be indifferently taxed upon them among their neighbours, according to the reasonable value of such lands and livings as they occupy within the shire aforesaid, whereby, as they shall reap a gain amongst them, so also, as reason requireth, they may help to bear the burden.
Captains of the lances and light horses to be careful, at least once a quarter, to view and muster their bands. Wherein they are to take such courses as they do perform the same with as little charge as may be; which may best be done by making their views in sundry places of the shire, so as the horsemen be not charged to come above six or seven miles to their view.
All the horsemen, and all the shot of the foot bands, to be presently furnished with their cassocks, if any be wanting.
To take order with the justices of the peace, and others of good living and ability, that each of them have in readiness a petronel on horseback, furnished with cassocks of one colour, and other furniture, to attend upon the Lord Lieutenant, when required.
To give present order that all persons charged with the finding of any armour or weapon towards the furnishing of the several bands within the shire, shall upon every muster day, or at other times, upon warning given by the Captain or other known officer, speedily deliver to the soldiers appointed to use the same, all the said armour and furniture well dressed and scoured, upon pain, in default, of forfeiting for every offence, and suffering such corporal punishment as to the Lord Lieu tenant, or two of his deputies, shall seem convenient.
For the better keeping and ordering of such armour and furniture, the Serjeants of every Captain's band for the shot, and the vintiners (fn. 1) for the armed men, to have rolls delivered unto them by their Captains, as well of the names and dwelling places of those charged with furnishing such armour, as also of the common armour and weapon, which are to be viewed once in six weeks, and if any part be defective, the owner to be charged to mend it very speedily : the same not being per formed, the Captain to be told, who may likewise inform one of the Deputy Lieutenants. For which pains, truly performed, the Serjeants to have yearly threepence for every shot, and the vintiner as much for every armed man, as well pike as bill, which shall be collected by the constable of every town, at the general charge of the townships, to be paid quarterly. Any Serjeant or vintiner in default, to be turned out of his place, and suffer imprisonment for 20 days, without bail or main prise, at the discretion of the Lord Lieutenant, or two of his deputies.
All cullivers with their furniture in each Serjeant's charge to be safely kept together, either by some of the substantialist inhabitants in that division, or else in such other place as may seem convenient, at the appointment of the Deputy Lieutenants, or two of them.
The beacons from time to time to be well repaired, and that everything be in readiness for the necessary use of them.
Upon letters received from the Lord Lieutenant or the Lords of the Privy Council, the Deputy Lieutenants to enter presently into the due execution of them, and with speed to make certificate thereof, and not to let slip the same without answer.
For the Captains.
To provide able and sufficient men to take charge of the necessary places under them, being men well-affected in religion, and of honest and good conversation.
To have an especial care to make choice of able and meet men to serve under them as soldiers, which they shall sort to their armour and weapon according to the stature of their bodies.
After such choice and sorting, the Captains to make a perfect roll indented of the names of their officers and soldiers and their dwelling places, setting down the armour each is furnished with; one part of the roll to be delivered to the Deputy Lieutenants, whereby they may make a perfect book for the Lord Lieutenant.
No soldier, after being enrolled, to leave his town or parish, unless in convenient time he do deliver good cause thereof to his Captain, who shall signify the same unto one of the Deputy Lieutenants (whereby if upon examination he give his allowance thereunto, they may take order for furnishing his place with another sufficient man), upon pain of imprisonment for 20 days, without bail or mainprise, as to the discretion of two of the Deputy Lieutenants shall seem convenient.
Whereas, by former orders from the Privy Council, it was commanded that farmers, and others of the best and wealthiest householders, should be appointed to be soldiers, because it was conceived that they would not only always be resident, and ready upon short warning, but would also bear their own charges; “now, for as much as by late experience at Tilbury it was found that small or no benefit grew thereby, but, also, that those rich men, which have been daintily fed, and warm lodged, when they came thither to lie abroad in the fields were worse able to endure the same than any others; and, therewith, also, by their absence they received great loss in their crops of hay and corn, for lack of their careful attendance to the inning thereof (a matter, amongst others, very prejudicial to the commonwealth),” it is therefore now agreed by the said Lord Lieutenant, that henceforth, if without hindrance to the service, all such kind of men be spared from their personal service; their places to be supplied either by their sons, if able, or by some other such able men, to be had always in readiness; otherwise themselves, in their own persons, to supply their places.
No Captain, or any officer under him, shall discharge or change any soldier enrolled in the band, without the special direction of one, or two, of the Deputy Lieutenants.
No Captain to depart out of the shire without license of the Lord Lieutenant, or two of his deputies; his place, during his absence, to be supplied by such sufficient deputy left behind him, as the Lord Lieutenant, or two of his deputies, shall allow.
For the Soldiers.
At every muster, each soldier, upon warning given him, to repair presently to the house of the person whose armour he is appointed to wear, or to such place as the common armour is kept in, and there to orderly furnish himself, and return with speed to the place he is directed to by his officers, and thence to go to the place of musters or other service; and, the service being ended, to return quietly, and re-deliver the armour, without wilful hurt done to any part of it, upon pain that every one so offending be grievously punished, at the discretion of the Lord Lieutenant, or of two of his deputies.
“Whereas heretofore the soldiers at all trainings and musters have very disorderly refused to wear and carry their armour, and other war like furniture, from the towns where they dwell; whereby the constables and other the owners thereof, have been driven sometimes to carry the same in carts, and sometimes in sacks upon horses (a matter both un seemly for soldiers, and also very hurtful unto the armour by bruising and breaking thereof, whereby many times it becometh altogether un serviceable;) it is therefore ordered that every soldier, at all musters and trainings, shall have, over and besides eightpence a day for his wages, a penny a mile for the wearing and carriage of his armour and weapon and other furniture, so that it exceed not six miles; provided always that if any of them shall refuse to wear and carry the same, that then the party so offending shall not only lose all his wages, but also further shall suffer four days' imprisonment, without bail or mainprise.”
For the Muster Master.
From time to time, upon warning given by the Lord Lieutenant or his deputies, to come unto the musters, and there diligently view, as well the soldiers, as also all the warlike furniture, whether the same be serviceable and well fitted; and. if he find any fault, to inform one of the Deputy Lieutenants thereof.
After viewing the soldiers and their armour, to assist the Captain in the training of the soldiers in martial services.—Greenwich, 15 March 1539.
Signed : W. Burghley.
[Lodge, II. pp. 394–404. In extenso.]
Humfrey Fryer to Archibald Douglas.
[1589/90,] March 16. Thanks him for past kindness and begs for a cast-off doublet and hose, and also a little money to bring him to London, &c.—Penhorne, in Monmouthshire, 16 March.
1 p.
The Countess of Leicester to Lord Burghley.
[1589/90,] March 16. Although the answer returned by his lordship to her last demand might discourage a new attempt for his further favour, yet, considering the absoluteness of his authority, the justness of her demand, his lordship's compassion heretofore used to distressed debtors, and the misery into which she is likely to fall without his help, in treats him to appoint two or three sufficient men to enquire into her late husband's debts and to conclude what in equity and conscience she ought to answer.—16 March.
Endorsed :—“16 Mar. 1589. Countess of Lecester; Com. to heare ye state of ye Er. Debts.”
2 pp.
Ambrosio Lupo.
1589/90, March 17. Warrant to the Auditor of the Exchequer to make out the particulars of a lease in reversion of lands to the value of 20l. per annum for Ambrosio Lupo, “one of the eldest of her Majesty's musicians for the vials.”—17 March 1589.
Signed : “J. Fortescue.”
1 p.
Sir Edward Denny to Sir F. Walsingham.
[1589/90,] March 19. Begs his assistance to enable him to resign his company in Ireland to Captain Dowdall.—March 19.
1 p.
Henry Billingsley, Alderman of London, to Lord Burghley.
1589/90, March 20. Begs that he may be relieved from the collection of customs in the Port of London, or that he may at least have such allowances as he is entitled to.
Suggests that it would be much more profitable to her Majesty to put the said customs to farm as before than to keep them in her own hands, the profits being very uncertain and casual.—London, 20 March 1589.
1 p.
Roger Aston to Archibald Douglas.
[1589/90,] March 20. Although his lordship has many enemies here trusts he will find his Majesty a constant master. Exhorts him to do his best for his service and all shall be well. What he himself has done since his last coming here will not say; trusts Mr. Richard has had some experiences. If some men's opinions had been followed out his lordship's letters would not have been received; but, thanks be to God, his Majesty is wiser, so he has declared his own mind to Mr. Richard and has commanded him to write to his lordship from time to time. When he dare not write himself will confer with him (Mr. Richard). Finds his Majesty better content since the return of the Commissioners than before. Entreats him to labour by all means he can that some good conditions may be offered to his Majesty, and that if any Counsellor come hither it may be Sir Walter Mildmay : he will do much good here.—Dalkeith, 20 March.
1 p.
Sir Christopher Hatton to Lord Burghley.
1589/90, March 23. Is much comforted by his lordship's kindness and good opinion of him. Six of his servants are already dead and two others sickened the night past. Has dispersed his household and therefore fears he cannot attend on his lordship at the Tower as appointed. Would not willingly come to Ely Place for some short time and has no other refuge whereby he may be near for that service. Begs him to provide for the repair of the Castle of Dungarvan which, if it is to be preserved, must presently be looked to. Otherwise as it shall please her Majesty, for he is not greedy of advancement in Irish honours. Will pray for good news from France, and for good success and speedy resolution in all her Majesty's affairs.—23 March 1589.
1 p.
John Macmorres (burgess of Edinburgh) to Archibald Douglas.
1589/90, March 24. I, being coming from France, going home into Scotland, have been accidentally put into this town, where I was inquisitive for Edward Betts who “pylleit” a ship of mine four years past, and J have understood the great diligence used in pursuit of the same. There were two pieces of ordnance to be sold for you; I desired to have the same to a ship I have here, and would have taken them for six pounds, but I could not have them. The lead we had in that ship was sold at Dieppe by Henry Tod, factor there. Particulars as to what was “pilleit” from the ship.—Dover, 24 March 1589.
J. R. C. Moli to the Queen.
[1590,] Mar. 26/Apr. 5. Doctor Lopez will inform her Majesty of his faithful service : prays her gracious favour.—Dieppe, 5 April.
Italian. 1 p.
The Battle of Ivry.
[1590, about March]. “As I wrote in my precedent our battle was very happy, and more conducted by God's providence than any other natural cause, only the valour of this King who was seven times at the charge and did most notably at each : he was overcharged with forces the enemy having of his horses 4,500 at least, himself having scarce 2,000. The Spanish forces, viz. Wallons, assured the enemy of victory 'if that he would took on' but the King promised it his and himself upon the justice of his cause; wherein every honest man had interest. God who looked on the present right, and forgetteth passed fault of France, gave sentence with us, and withal victory, contrary to all our hopes' For long time, the reiters having furiously charged, but ill supported,” the lances in like sort did enter with great appearance to overthrow all' but the ground was so ill for them to charge as no leave to make a full career, they were constrained to come against us in a soft gallop. Their horses 60 enfonced themselves in the earth so as they failed of their hope [and] either rendered to us or were overthrown. Our horses did all, for more than a few of 'Briguear' Regiment came not to fight; for a number of our horse they ran away, so as the victory after God's providence, which was fully shewed therein, consisted in the particular valour of this prince and the warlike, and with them some few with their troops. Particular men there were many which did wonderfully well at the grand leveur, in whose troops was Lavergne who lay long among the dead, but now in hope to be revived and cured he is now left at Aret (sic), which is the hospital of the hurt in that battle. I think it was never the intent of Madame de Valentinoise. The Marshal de Mond did wonderfully well, and his troops so pressed the Spanish effort. The Count de Laund and Marquis Nel did wonderfully well. The Marshal Biron stood still with the reiters and some other troops in gross to assure the battle, which did great good, for upon the spavent of the lanciers' charge all ours had run away had [it] not been [for] that assurance; and for that cause the King placed him there. Listory and many others particulars . . . . . . . and Sir Lee Broun did wonderfully well, wherefore the King made them 'knights of the cullander.' I was glad that [of] our nation there was some one there to shew the valour of an Englishman. 'Thrabatdittenye' was there then made knight. The enemy at the first upon the assurance of his strangers imagined himself a victory, thought it too long ere he charged for that he doubted our flight. The King on the other part feared theirs, so as he laid on his artillery which hastened the same sooner than they would; wherewith and his valour the enemy brake and fled clean away. De Maine took to Ivry where he stood full amazed daring hardly breathe; the end was so pressed with Wallons and reiters as he was constrained to draw his sword to make place for his escape. There he lost his artillery and all his baggage, and those which were there drowned were in great number. He went to Mantes where his companies capitulated for their passage long ere they could obtain the same; the King followed the victory, but he could not so fast but that the enemy was past ere he came near them. The reiters went towards Pontoyse, but we say here that the Spaniards made but one journey home into Flanders, without arms or baggage, scarce a horse. Of all, Nevers carried the greatest reputation here, for that he passed our army and saved himself by the way of Dreux. Before the battle he was in dispute with De Maine for his slowness and would have parted then, but limited the same until the same day should be done. Some say here that he told De Maine that he revived himself, his friends and his countrymen all at one time. It is most certain that at a parliament betwixt him and Bellegarde at Meular he desired to see the King; since which time here hath been great account made of him. The same night the King lay at ' Pony' [Rosny] and from thence sent the Marshal de Mound to this town, to whom it rendered upon condition they should have no garrison in it, but only a governor with 100 men, ' which is Pony under Marshal de Mound.' The next morning sent to Clearer which also upon all conditions opened their gates to him, where he sojourned some 3 days, sending to all parts to know their intention; whereof yet there is no great fruit brought home. The enemy went that night to Pontoyse where he shewed no better countenance than at Ivry, and from thence to St. Bevys, from whence he sent to Paris to know whether he should repair to them presently or go to the frontiers to receive greater forces. The Spanish Ambassador before did him all' good offices, told them there in Paris that in truth the battle was lost, but so as the King's Suissers livery were slain, and that presently De Mane should make a greater army than ever. These lies are the support, and a man may know the efficient by the instrument. Upon this the Legate went towards St. Denis, and then De Maine was sent for, and on Tuesday went to Paris where he found the people much astonied; and we are assured that the princes of the League are gone thence towards Lorraine. I had forgot to tell you that here he assured them that the King was slain, otherwise he had not passed, and that this town rendered not without bloodshed among themselves. The day of the battle arrived here a courier from Rome, from Mons. de Luxemburg sent to the Pope long since. He brought news of Luxemburg's reception and that the Pope assured him that he had wrong information of the state of matters in France; that he saw private ambition hid the truth. I hope this reception came from no other ground than fear of this prince's greatness that all popes will fish rather to gain than to hazard, to so great loss and more danger. This courier came by Paris and had acouted his message a letter of 'Maa Bier' from his Holiness, and another from the Legate, whereof I send a copy, and the figure of both the battles which shall serve to supply the defects of my letter. By that also you may see how things be disposed, and that Rome will strain no further than necessity of the time constraineth. I am sorry that my letter from Lavall came not to your hands for that therein this I did write at large. The Suisses which are rendered unto the King are sworn never to carry arms against the King, and so they are licensed to go home. Upon this lance-knights at Paris would have parted, upon which they were received into the town and lodged in the colleges. By this you may see the state wherein they stand on that side, by their instruments whom they serve, by their colours from whence they hope, and there upon infer a great many of their conclusions. This is most certain that out of Paris he can draw no more money and now almost . . . . upon the Spanish hand. The Tranarde provideth a great fleet and so doth the Great Sig[nor] as the advices are here now. For our part, the first day we looked for great revolts whereof hitherto we see no effects; since. we stand in a muse what way to take, whether the King should return to Dreux to go towards Meaux and Broils. We would towards Pontois, but the same is now so fortified, besides the seat strong and six pieces of artillery in it; with that, the country is clean wasted round about as the King should ruin himself thereat of credit. Yet it standeth resolved that the army shall pass this river. This I assure your lordship that here this ten days our horses have nothing but that we pay for in extremity. For ourselves, this bearer can tell your lordship what we spend; this country is so ruined that we can get nothing but with the weight of silver, and mine is all spent. I am sorry to make this oration, but necessity constraineth me to it. If I lay from the camp I should not spend so much. I will never be in a battle any more without arms, I see so much health is in the same, and Lavergne had been dead without his iron coat. Your lordship knoweth my request hereupon, for if the League have any vigour, or Spain any means, we shall have presently another battle, or else this King will triumph too much over that party. It is assured hither that in Bretagne the League gained Thoubriac, but withal Wrattwartin hath slain many of their men; that Marseilles is for the King, that Alfonso and Ledigne have beaten the latrogarde out of all those parts and are in Savoy; but howsoever it be, Chena is hard distressed, and if this and some other aid be not given, it will run hard fortune. Our reiters are with Longvilles and Lattone who are about St. Lys attending the King's directions. Many of the nobility, as the Count Delerare, who gave the first overthrow to the League, and Trony with many others will home to their houses. The reiters are discontented for fault of pay, having been long here. The King offereth them three months and the rest at the . . . in Germany which they refuse, alleging their good and long service with great expense of money and loss of horses. We seek to content no man here but the Suisses who eat up all the money the King can get in any part. Busignat is prisoner at Paris : it was long ere we had any news of him. At this battle the grand Broncht . . . . . and did great service; and Managsitre saith that he was in the thick of it, whereof I doubt not but his fortune is ill; no man praiseth him but himself. For matters of Spain they make account here that there is 80 ships ready, and they make account of 50,000 men, which I doubt is not in their power; that long since mariners have been in order.”
Not signed or addressed. 3¼ pp.


  • 1. The vintiner was an officer who had charge of twenty archers or billmen.