Cecil Papers: June 1595 ,1-15

Pages 225-246

Calendar of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House: Volume 5, 1594-1595. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1894.

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June 1595, 1–15

Examination of George Herbert.
1595, June 1. George Herbert otherwise Thomssen, native of Dorchester, an Englishman, 55 years of age, interrogated on behalf of the Admiralty in Zealand, confesses that about eight years since he left the kingdom because being a Catholic he could not resolve to frequent the preaching; whereupon, finding himself near the sea and a boat all ready to pass to Calais, he went on board, to avoid, as he says, the persecutions that take place in England against the Roman Catholics. Having arrived at Calais he went towards Paris, where he found an English gentleman named Charles Arondel, who had retreated thither for religion, whom he knew before he left the kingdom, having served his mother; but did not speak to any one else of his departure nor of his reason for leaving England. At the end of a year Arondel being at the point of death removed towards Brussels to seek there an English gentleman, Gabriel Denis, entretenido of the King of Spain, whom he found with his wife and children, having fled from England 30 years since; by whose help Herbert obtained at Court the entertainment of 20 crowns a month, which he confesses to have been well paid before the Prince of Parma's death, being owing for a year when that happened, and some delay in payment having since taken place; some pagador of the King, as Joan de la Sture and others, made payment thereof. He left to return to England a month ago, removing for that purpose to Antwerp, where he lay hid till the day he had arranged for his departure, Saturday last, May 27; having remained during his stay in Antwerp in the house of an Italian named Paige, maker of chausises in the Jews' street, whom he had known at Paris, without his host knowing of his departure. To advance this he addressed himself to an Englishman, entretenido of the King of Spain, named Richard Versteghen, living at Antwerp near the bridge of the tapestry makers, who procured him a passport for his said voyage without his taking the trouble to read its contents or look at the signature, by means whereof he passed the fort and garrison of Ordham without having made any disclosure to Versteghen concerning his return to England, only founding it on the desire he had to see his wife and children who were at Shaftesbury.
Interrogated as to whom he accosted during his stay here [i.e., in the Low Countries], confesses to have conversed with one Captain Bernart, and other English refugees, that is to say Peter Holt and Hugh Oyen [Owen], the first being a Jesuit priest and the other gentleman an entretenido, who have the direction of affairs and of important and secret despatches which go into Spain; which had afforded him opportunity to make some overture thereupon to the Queen or her Council had he reached England, as knowing how to intercept the packets which go and come from Spain addressed to those men, and go there on their part. He declares the way is as follows : the above two personages had such confidence in him before, that they would trust him to receive from the master of the posts the above mentioned despatches, and to carry back the answers, seeing that they have often imparted to him great and important schemes which they had in hand, of which he does not remember the details, having a feeble memory.
Interrogated as to the means he had of communicating or sending a packet intercepted in the above way to the Queen or to any on her behalf, says that that depends upon arrangement with her people, and that to that end he had determined to go straight to Flushing to speak to the Governor there about it.
Interrogated further why he was disguised so, his beard dyed black and wearing a black wig, confesses that he is not naturally black but red, but that the dye was applied for no purpose but to cure him of a worm that fretted his cheek by a master barber near the Chapelle de Grace at Antwerp, which instead of curing him had disguised him, as it appears; denying that there was any occasion of the same but the above, and that he certainly is not of the Jesuit profession, nor of the order of the confraternity of the Virgin Mary.
Asked again as to how he occupied himself in England, said he had served a gentleman named Matthew Arondel, knight, living at “Chass-deverch” and a castle near there called Warde, with whom he lived 12 years, entering his service before he was married the first time; then having left and returning to the country he came from, viz., Dorchester, he there took a wife, Elizabeth Anquetel, native of Salisbury, and two years after returned to Matthew Arondel's service, having kept a hostelry during those two years. Having re-entered the said service he continued in it till four years before he left England, during which time he supported himself by keeping a farm and by hunting.
Asked why he had declared on the day of his arrival that he had only left England four months before, and because he was going in search of his son who had disobediently fled to Cologne, says that all that was an invention devised by him to extricate himself from the difficulties and enquiries that have come upon him.
Says he learnt Italian at Padua at the age of 8 or 9, when he was there for a year and a half; and the Spanish he knows he says he learnt by reading books, having only been in Spain seven months 15 years ago, when he went there by sea with a merchant named Richard Bourlay [Burghley], who took him in his fishing vessel, and did not return thence as he then lived in Spain; and Herbert returned by way of Bilbao in another ship. As for Latin he can speak it very little but understands it well, having learnt it in his youth at schools in England.—Done in the prison at Middelburg in presence of councillors Huysson, Taymon, 'le fiscal.' and the Secretary, 1 June 1595.
Signed :—“Per me George Herbert alias Tomson.”
French. 4½ pp. (32. 75.)
Matthew [Hutton,] Archbishop of York, to Sir Robert Cecil.
1595, June 1. Thanks for kindness shown when last in London and for his favour to “the poor Lady Margaret Nevill.” Doubtless she will continue thankful to God and dutiful to the Queen who has been so merciful to her. Has written to Cecil's father that she may have her warrant for her annuity of 50l. on Mr. Clopton, Queen's receiver in Co. Durham, who is willing to pay it. Begs Cecil's intercession with his Lordship for this.—Bishopthorpe, 17 June, 1595.
Signed. 1 p. (172. 1.)
Sir Thomas West to Sir Robert Cecil.
1595, June 2. I am bold to entreat you for my son's licence; for the time, I leave it to Her Majesty as it shall please her. The parties I desire to have named in the licence are my son, Thomas West, Herbert Pelham, John Millett and William Smith. I hope their journey shall prove for the better service of Her Majesty.—At my lodging this 2 of June, 1595.
Holograph. ½ p. (32. 80.)
Lord Lumley to Sir Robert Cecil.
1595, June 3. I have now sent you an assurance for my Bess's farther increase of her jointure of certain lands within Sussex to the value of 200l. a year, which maketh with the note you had before 1,100l. a year and better. It is true I have in other my conveyances assured the same already unto her, yet to the end it may more manifestly appear I am bold thus to covenant with you in her behalf.—From Nonsuch, 3 June, 1595.
Holograph. 2/3 p. (32. 81.)
Nicholas Williamson.
[1595, ? About June 3.] “Answers to interrogatories.”
1. I left in my house at my departure, with my brother Thos. Williamson, all such writings as I had, viz., notes, surveys or particulars touching lands I had bought for my lord, or all his other affairs wherein I had been employed; all the letters written unto me since my coming to my lord's service, and divers scholastical exercises, as orations, verses, &c., bound in bundles and put into five bags, as I remember.
2. I left nothing in any other man's house.
3. All the letters which my lord and lady, Mr. Bouth or Mr. Kidman writ unto me, I put into bags and sealed them up, and wished my brother to deliver them unto Jurdan (because I feared his house might be searched for them), and desired Jurdan to receive them and keep them until my cousin Mr. Tho. Pershall, of Staffordshire, should come into the country, and then to deliver them to him to keep till my return. I imparted also unto him that I purposed to absent myself for a time. I desired him also in my absence to solicit Mr. Markham to make my peace with Sir Tho. Stanhope. I told him also that if my lord would not procure my pardon, and of all the rest which were at the pulling down of the weir, I would manifest unto the Lords of the Council in what sort I was drawn into that action, whereby his honour should be bound in honour and conscience to relieve us. [Margin : This I also told Pigot.] I told him also that if my lord did molest any of the tenants of whom I had received the rents, or injure any of my friends for my sake, I would give Sir Thomas all the advantages I could against his honour, both in the great action of Scandalum and in sundry other matters. I told him also that if he should advertise me of these things by my cousin James Williamson, and that also Mr. Stanhopes would discharge me of those troubles and procure me to serve my lord of Essex, I would presently return and maintain all these things against my lord in revenge of the wrongs. These were the special matters I committed unto him, and many others I told him, for I did specially trust him, but I cannot remember them upon such a sudden.
I am joint purchaser with Mr. Leonard Bamfort of Babington's remainder, and there be some assurances for parcels in Kingston in my name, and some other small things I have notes of.
4, 5, 6. Answered in the three first.
7. I know not what things are hidden in the steeple, unless Commin, the minister, hid some of his household stuff there, which I heard him say he would for fear of seizure.
8. Answered in my first and third answer.
9. Mr. Pershall is a gentleman of good worth and married my wife's cousin germain; he dwelleth at Horseley in Staffordshire. Hacker was a proctor or such like towards the civil law, and now the chief agent or overseer of all my lord's business in the country. Langley hath been long my lord's servant, and was at my departure bailly of Roteram.
Endorsed by Cecil :—“Answers to Interrogatories.”
Holograph. 1 p. (33. 89.)
Nicholas Williamson.
1595, June 3. Interrogatories :—
1. Set down clearly what letters you left in any man's keeping and of what nature they were.
2. Where stands your house in Derbyshire?
3. What writings delivered you to your brother?
4. What condition is Jordan of, and where dwells he?
5. What writings do you suppose to be in your wife's keeping
6. Whether is the house in which your wife lieth yours or anybody else's.
It will be but a folly for you to use fraud when truth is liker in all things to deserve compassion than falsehood; and as for these interrogatories which I make you, nothing can be hid, for the Earl [of Shrewsbury] hath received divers papers into his hands already concerning your private matters of law and suits; the rest are also forthcoming in others' hands of other matters, wherein nevertheless it is expected that you should speak clearly, that it may appear how you are to be credited in other things.
Holograph by Cecil. 2/3 p. (33. 80.)
Nicholas Williamson to Sir Robert Cecil.
1595, June 3. Answers to the above interrogatories.
Upon Saturday last, through the shortness of time I had to answer, and the distemperature of my memory, I forgot to advertise you of all the writings I delivered to Gervase Pigot before my departure, to my lord [of Shrewsbury] his use, which I could find any wise to belong to him; and also of a bag of writings which I left, of all my receipts, exposits and reckonings since my first coming to my lord's service; as also the copies of sundry of my letters to my lord or my lady, or any other of moment, touching his chiefest services; also certain waste-papers wherein I did use to write the heads of matters wherein I was presently to deal or to write to them of, or intreat of with them, whensoever I was to go to the place where they were; as also five almanacs which I left in one of the bags, whereof I did and do make great reckoning, for in the waste sides of them I have set down the most of the places wherein I have these five years past been daily and negotiated for them
1. But touching the first point in your note, the letters being so many it will be impossible for me to set down the particular nature and matters of them all; but those of the eldest date were touching the purchase of Sawley, the next of Kingston, and the rest of Babington's lands; the next touching my lord's own lands and the letting of them, &c.; the next touching Sir Tho. Stanhope and all matters in difference between their honours and him : and the rest of other incident matters which by my almanacs, &c., if any be missing, I shall upon the sight of these find the want of the rest. If my brother's negligence was such as to leave the letters still in my house and not deliver them unto Jurdan, so that my lord is possessed of them, there be three letters then specially likely to be lost, two touching Sir Tho. Stanhope's weir, and the other touching the action of Scandalum, which is endorsed with my hand. But if her Majesty shall command me to prove that touching the Scandalum, and my lord deny the other, I will not doubt sufficiently to prove both though the letters be lost.
2. My house is in Church Wilne, Derbyshire, in the soke of Sawley.
3. The writings I delivered to my brother, being of my continual employments in their services, my receipts and disbursements, and of matters whereof I thought I might take advantage against their honours upon their dishonourable usage of me or my friends in my absence, which I feared by a message my lord sent me before my departure, that he would in no sort relieve my necessity; as also for a disgust her honour had taken against me upon a supposed slackness in my performance of her services; I wished Jurdan to receive, as one that would be less suspected to have them than my brother; assuring myself that if my lord should intend any such hard course against me, my friends, or his tenants, he would first seek to get all such writings as he thought I might use to right or revenge his wrong, or warrant my receipt of the tenants' rent, or make evidence for that allowance I demanded and for which I received that money.
4. Jurdan was about ten years past servant to Mr. Tho. Markham, and married one of Mr. Babington's sisters. He dwelled at my departure in a little house of my lord's in Kingston, and hath also a farm of Mr. Roger Manners in Wilford, within a mile of Nottingham.
5. Upon my utter loss of her Majesty's mercy and your compassion, my wife hath neither letters nor other writings to my knowledge nor by my delivery. Further, she was not at home, nor three weeks before, at my departure, nor knew thereof; neither ever have I used to leave any writings in her custody, or to suffer her to come into my study among my writings but in my presence, nor for the most part acquainted her with any business I had in hand more than the ordinary matters for my poor household. This many can testify that have conversed with me.
6. I sold my cousin Winsore my house only for my wife's better preferment if I miscarried in my travel, but she is to continue tenant to it, and he to lie in it at his pleasure, but I am at any time to have it again, paying him his money and the consideration for it.
Touching the rest of your note, that I should use open dealing, whereby in likelihood I should sooner obtain favour, I wish it no otherwise than I have already done and still purpose to do. When I served but a lady the world will witness I never feared to endanger my life in her service, and much less shall I fear any in the service of my sovereign. But alas! (noble knight!) what I do write to do service to my most sacred sovereign, when I have no one perfect sense left me, but all surcharged with deep despair of her mercy, with the impressions of the lamentations of my aged parents, wife and dearest friends, and the horror of a most ignominious death. My mind can work upon nothing else but to excogitate reasons to defend my innocency, loyalty, and sincere intents at the most dreadful bar against that learned and most severe Mr. Attorney and the rest. But free me from these fears, and then If I be feared from doing anything that may tend to her Majesty's service, let that be a judgment to me of the highest treason.
I perceive by your note that my lord [of Shrewsbury] hath searched my house and gotten some writings forth of it, and do thereby also conceive that he hath molested the tenants for their rents received by me. His doing the one (according to my doubt alleged before) did argue he would do the other. But if I may be blessed with my liberty he shall not, God willing, be acquitted by the one or benefited by the other. Touching the money I received, I will willingly be tried by a jury of his own men, dwelling nearest unto me and knowing most of my chargeable employments, whether less than I received can be due unto me. For the things taken in my name, it was first his pleasure they should so be, and after his fault that they were not altered, for I wrote two letters presently after my judgment in the Star Chamber to that effect.
And for his honour's relieving of us for the riot, though more nor less spoken of him in the Star Chamber, yet if he shall deny to do it as not bound in honour or conscience, I will prove it if I be commanded.
Endorsed by Cecil :—“3 June 1595. Nych. Williamson to me from the Gatehouse.”
Holograph. 3 pp. (33. 77.)
Nicholas Williamson to Sir Robert Cecil.
1595, June 3. I will prove that in that certificate which my lord [of Shrewsbury] sent to the Lords of the Council against Sir Tho. Stanhope touching the supposed scandalous speeches, he used a most dishonourable practice, whereby Sir Thomas is in justice to be discharged, and my lord and others subject to Sir Thomas' action for the indirect making of that certificate, being the ground of his honour's action, &c., Sir Thomas being wrongfully charged.
I will also prove my lord and lady, though not directly nor expressly, yet apparently by their words and letters, both before the pulling down of the weir and after, to have been the occasioners of my doing thereof : and though the letters be conveyed yet will I prove it by them that have seen the letters and heard the speeches.
But I beseech you that I may not be so much prejudiced by the disadvantage of time; my lord may use prevention in my witnesses, especially in the Scandalum.
Whether I have deceived his honour of so much money, or rather [been] forced by his extreme dealing to satisfy myself of so much as was due unto me, I will submit myself to the audit of the strictest honest auditor to be found; or by the judgment of any indifferent persons who may examine all matters between their honours and me. And whether I might not have justly accused them in the Star Chamber, and [made] my benefit with Sir Thomas (far greater than this money amounts unto) to have given him this advantage which I now offer touching the Scandalum, I will refer to your censure. If these letters be to be had I will make in one hour most plainly appear to you both these matters. If my lord be not advertised already of this my offer touching the Scandalum, [I desire] that there may be some witnesses examined before his being acquainted therewith.
I hope you now conceive me both touching the Scandalum and the weir. I wish nothing more than that her Majesty would command me to prove both, for that I hope would be with the grant of her gracious favour. Then should it more plainly appear how my allegiance to her Majesty would make me abandon all fear of any others.
I beseech you consider how much my restraint may disadvantage me in my proofs; every one will be afraid to witness anything with me. My liberty can be no more pleasing unto me than beneficial to these causes. [P.S.] I will say nothing to your lordship which shall be thought to be spoken upon any passion, for I will bring in those which shall witness that I have said as much to them before my coming over.
Endorsed by Cecil :—“3 June 1595.”
Holograph. 1 p. (33. 79.)
Thomas Arundel to Sir Robert Cecil.
1595, June 4. Though my eyes be yet so sore I cannot with my own hand write unto you, yet the pitiful complaint of Jacob Yanson, a pilot of Embden, importuneth me to send you this declaration of his mischance. He came laden with corn to London where he sold it for ready money, and being hired by myself for the conveyance of my horses to Stode, brought with him also the money he had received, being ignorant, as he protesteth, of any law to the contrary. This money was found by the searchers of Gravesend, who have seized on it as forfeited, to the utter undoing of the poor man. His hope is that when you shall have understood that he brought in corn, that he was utterly ignorant of the laws, and that his irrecoverable loss dependeth hereon, he shall by your means be relieved, if not in the whole yet in some part of his forfeited money. The case thus truly set down. I leave the event to his fortune and your pitiful consideration. I will not fail to write if anything in this my voyage happen worth the writing.—From Lee, this 4th of June.
1 p. (32. 82.)
A Copy of Letters which passed between Charles de Bourbon and the King of France.
1.—To the King.
1595, June 4/14. Sire. J'étais retenu en ce lieu ainsi qu'il vous avait plu me commander pour apprendre de votre Majesté la cause que vous disiez avoir de vous 'meffrer' de moi. Vous vous souviendrez, s'il vous plait, de la supplication et de l'importunité que je vous en fis des que vous étiez à Fontainebleau de Severer, et depuis étant retourné à Paris. Toutesfois, je ne puis impetrer plus grande faveur pour lors que la promesse qu'il vous plut me faire de me dire en cette ville de Troye, où, Sire, je suis venu aux dépens méme de ma santé, avec une fiévre double tierce, espérant qu'en cette occasion j'aurais de quoi prouver ma fidelité, aux dépens et à la honte de ceux qui injustement me calomnient. Mais le malheur qui déja m'a oté l'honneur de mes bonnes graces n'a pu permettre le commencement de tréve a vos desplaisirs. Si bien que j'ai apprins ici seulement ce que j'avais su a Fontainebleau et à Paris, et si j'ai quelque sujet de plus grand contentement ici que là, c'est de vous avoir témoigné combien je suis désireux de vous rendre compte de mes actions, y ayant fait tout ce que a été ea ma puissance. Donc, Sire, je m'en retourne chez moi, ne m'y étant jamais put resoudre pour quelque mépris et desfaveur que j'eusse reçu jusques à ce que cette accusation m'ayt rendu incapable de vous rendre liberal service que je vous dois, et encore avec cette mauvaise fortune de n'avoir jamais pu savoir pourquoi mes services me sont imputés à crimes, où je demeurerai, Sire, en cette ferme volonté d'étre toujours votre très humble serviteur. Je le vous ai dit, et je le vous redis encore, que toutes et quantes fois qu'il vous plaira faire paraitre que vous me tenez pour homme de bien ainsi que je le suis, si que vous avez sujet de croire et de le connaitre, que je serai prèt à la méme heure de n'epargner ni mon sang ni ma vie pour votre service avec la méme affection que je vous ai témoigné au temps de votre mauvaise fortune. C'est ce que je souhaite le plus que de vivre. En la resolution en laquelle je veux prier Dieu chez moi pour la prosperite de vos affaires.—de Troye. ce 14 Juin 1595.
Copy. (133. 136.)
2.—The Reply.
Mon cousin. La liberté de votre lettre m'oblige a pareille réponse pour prouver ce qui ne l'est déja que trop par nous connus, l'importunent en toute chose, c'est que vous étes vousineme la cause de vos plaintes, et que je n'en suis que la butte, done je recois les atteints avec autant de regréts qu'il me semble que vous preniez plaisir a les continuer. Car, non seulement vous interpretez à faute d'affections ou art ce qui prouve l'abondance de bonne volonté et de la rencontre de nature des choses, mais vous voulez que vous et moi payons l'amende de ce que aucune des vôstres, empruutans votre nom, ont osé entreprendre contre votre honneur et mon service. Je le vous dit a Fontainebleau, et le vous eusse verifié a Troye, si vos affaires ou votre indisposition, qui ne paroissent point quand je vous laissai à Paris, vous eussent permis de vous y rendre au jour que vous m'aviez promis; ou si le besoin que l'on a bientôt apres reconnu aux pris de ma vie en combattant les ennemis de cette couronne que les vos habitans de cette et mes serviteurs qui y avoit été en la dite ville, car j'avais en main autant de moyen que la volonté d'y satisfaire, ainsi que vous eussiez connu par effet si vous y fussiez venu, comme votre malheureusses lots que vous feriez et de vous y faire plutôt a porter en litiere ou sur un brancard que d'y faillir. De quoi je vous ai assez du depuis semont, autant pour m'acquitter de ma promesse et me contenter moi meme, que pour vous faire participer à la gloire due a ceux qui m'y assiste, de laquelle vous eussiez reçu plus grande consolation que vous ne trouverez en votre retraite, qui m'a été aussi desagréable qu'elle est mal faite, vous ayant donné les moyens, non sans incommoder mes affaires, d'amender les vices pour vous acquitter de ce devoir “auquel je ne puis q' je ny my plaigne que vous aycz voulu manger contre lesperance boire lasseurance que vous nies avies donne plus par oppinion q' par raisson por fuir a ce que vous dictez que vous choisichies q'est l'éclaircissement des chosses passees, et complaire aux autheurs des premieres faultez au lieu den rechercher la punition. Or ce chatteau traitte et voy mez affaires en ceste province sacheminent sy heureussment par la bonte de Dieu q'jaurai bien tost acheve se qui my doibt retenir.” Cela fait, je ferai un tour à Paris pour donner ordre à ce que les occasions qui sont survenues ne m'ont permis de faire pour mon service en votre regard. En quoi vous connaitrez par effet, si vous m'avez autrefois assisté en ma mauvaise fortune, comme vous me ramentenez par votre lettre, que je vous ai en tous temps plus aimé et mieux traité que ne vous conseillent de publier ceux qui par leur certificats vous éloigneut de moi et des lieux o$ugr votre reputation vous oblige pour en prevaloir votre dommage. Mais si, par faute de me croire, ils obtiennent l'un, j'espère pour venir si bien à ce que me concerne que je les ferai àécherir de l'autre à leur confusion. Cependant, je me promets que vous me donnerez occasion par bonne action de vous continuer l'affection que je vous ai toujours porté, chose que je souhaite autant que j'ai toujours votre bien; dont les bienfaits et puissance comme à ma tante, votre mère, et vous, reçus et tirés encore journellement de moi, qui surpassent ceux de mes predecesseurs, rendent si clair témoignage que vous ne pouvez douter sans vous faire tort ni les autres sans malice non plus que de la bonne volonté.
Endorsed : “Lettre de Charles de Bourbon au Roi avec la réponse de sa Majesté.”
An inaccurate copy. (133. 136.)
Arthur Gorges to Sir Robert Cecil.
1595, June 5. I beseech you to peruse this letter enclosed, not desiring to be further troublesome to you than that by it you should perceive what strange courses are taken to my prejudice, contrary to law, conscience, and the order of the Court of Wards, and disagreeing from the opinions and liking of the counsel and officers of the same court. I know it is not done of any ill intent of your father towards me, but only to satisfy them that with their incessant importunity and impudent clamours do weary his ears, and so to lay a heavy burthen of wrong upon my shoulders, finding me not troublesome nor pressing in my affairs. I hope my letter will move his good lordship to pause upon this resolution, which when read I pray to have again; wherewith I ought to acquaint you because I would not be condemned in your good opinion if I be inforced for want of reformation to appeal to her Majesty, which the necessity of my estate will drive me unto, and not any disobeying humour in my heart towards his honour.—Durham House, 5 June, 1595.
Signed. ½ p. (32. 83.)
Sir Thomas Heneage, Vice-chamberlain of the Household, to Sir Robert Cecil.
1595, June 6. Your love, which I love, is shewed to me by your letter, which I owe you no more for than I shall be very glad to pay upon all occasions. That our judgments be allowed and well interpreted is more than I expected, but that I am right glad of; and your discretion in concealing any difference is that I greatly like and you deserve praise for. My extreme fit of the stone, that left me cause to doubt the event, hath made me have a sore and weak body, but otherwise hath done me no hurt. The letters I sent you you may use as likes you best, but Partrige's note I wish her Majesty saw, when conveniently you may shew it her.—At the Savoy, 6 Junii, 1595.
Holograph. ½ p. (33. 19.)
Nicholas Williamson to Sir Robert Cecil.
1595, June 6. Upon my first commitment by your lordships, going towards the Gatehouse, I overtook Mr. Topcliffe entering his lodging, who then said, “Williamson, I am sorry for thee, thou hast been beyond sea amongst traitors, for the which I will now think as evil of thee as I thought well before, and my lord will abhor thee.” This was the effect of his words, and worse he said not, as both my keepers will testify. But he, meeting Stonewardine Passey, one of my keepers, upon Tuesday last, would have persuaded him to have acknowledged these were his words : “Williamson, thou hast been among traitors, and hast there played the traitor, and art now come over to accuse thy lord and master.” The purport of this I cannot certainly conceive; much may be imagined but I leave it to your grave consideration. Next day, Wednesday, he meeteth again my keeper, and wished him to charge me from him not to spare to touch or accuse any whomsoever with any matter I could of estate; if I did he would help to hang me, for I know that he knoweth that I know something. At the same time he commanded my keeper, if he did see any of my friends pass under my window and but put off their hats unto me, he should apprehend them and bring them unto him. His practising with my keeper to have his words amplified, and that in that point, I having been here 12 weeks her Majesty's close prisoner, and 5 in the country, and never received any message from him until Wednesday last, (I having consented to charge my lord [of Shrewsbury] for her Majesty's benefit but upon Saturday before), and he never having given charge to my keeper before to apprehend any of my friends, I doubt not will be an approved argument to you of his malicious mind, and of some sinister practice against me or my friends (whom, may be thought, I will produce as witnesses in these causes) only for this my serviceable offer to her Highness' use. I know him to be their honours' fee'd friend, and will give you but one instance of his pregnancy to gratify their humours. Upon the death of my old lord of Shrewsbury, my lord and lady, more offended with Mrs. Britton (as supposed wronged by her) than they could find convenient means to revenge, Mr. Topcliffe, coming thither at the time and understanding their griefs, at his going to bed called for pen, ink and paper, and next morning presented them with sundry articles of treason he had drawn against the poor gentle-woman. But they, thereat both ashamed and through remorse, refused so unworthy a revenge. His promptness, notwithstanding, appeared to wreck their surmised wrongs with the highest kind of revenge, and his menaces now can import no less towards me and my friends. Myself a poor prisoner, my friends not friended by any personage that can and will support them, we are sure to be oppressed, [un]less by her Majesty's favour better defended, whose the cause is, and the consequence assured to be as well to her prejudice as to my utter ruin. Commending myself to her Majesty's mercy, whereby I may be freed from their dangers, and my friends neither by fears nor persuasions withdrawn from me in the maintenance of truth (as by this course good cause there is to suspect that both will be attempted) I take my leave.—From my uncomfortable prison in the Gatehouse, this Friday noon, 6 June, 1594 [sic].
Endorsed :—6 June, 1595.
Holograph. 1 p. (33. 81.)
Sir Horatio Palavicino to Sir Robert Cecil.
1595, June 6. The gout has so weakened him that it will be some weeks before he is strong enough to come to Court, so he is going to Badburham. Has left orders that letters from Thomas d'Arques may be at once carried to Cecil. If any are to be sent to D'Arques, Giovanni Battista Giustiniano will take care of them. As to his own affair, Mr. Carrone understands that in the new agreement of the States with her Majesty it should be provided for. Meanwhile has only been able to beg Cecil's father for one or two payments in place of the four which are due. Perhaps the prospect of the new agreement with the States will make it easier than it has been; but if this request is untimely, begs Cecil to excuse it on the score of necessity.—“From my house,” 6 June, 1595.
P.S.—Has just received the accompanying letter from Thomas d'Arques. He had received three payments ending 26 June, new style. The fleet of the Indies has certainly arrived in Spain. The news comes from Antwerp, founded upon letters from Madrid of 10 May and Genoa of the 29th. Four galleons containing much gold were unable to keep with the rest, and have put into Lisbon.
Italian. Holograph. 1 p. (171. 147.)
Sir George Carew to Sir Robert Cecil.
1595, June 7. I have received your letter this morning by a footman of yours as I was going aboard at Chatham to go for Queenborough. Her Majesty's services committed unto me to perform shall be evermore most faithfully effected, for to that end I am born, and in them I am glad to finish my days. But I cannot but lament my unhappiness that it falleth to my hap to be the jailer of my friends, and your honour to be the man to command me to such unpleasing services. The first was my employment to be Sir Walter Raleigh's keeper and to leave him in the Tower; and now, for requital of this gentleman's kindness, to do the office which by your letter is commanded. But according to my duty I will so far forth be careful as upon peril of my life I will bring him, dead or alive, to answer to his accusations, but yet this favour I crave, that I may forbear to acquaint the mayor of Queenborough with the matter, for safety of his reputation in Kent. Notwithstanding, if the cause do require farther care, I humbly desire your farther direction which I do presently expect.—Chatham, 7 June, 1595.
Holograph. 1 p. (32. 85.)
Sir George Carew to Sir Robert Cecil.
1595, June 7. If possible I do beseech you to rid me of the late charge you imposed upon me. I hold it to be less cumbersome to rule the apes and bears in Paris garden than to govern this one untamed Hoby, who never yet could be brought to know his keeper longer than he pleased, nor be reclaimed from his haggardly wildness, by nature incident unto him ever since he was hatched. The mayor of Queen-borough whom you willed me to call for my assistance, when I beheld his foolish gravity and threadbare robe, I presumed upon my own discretion, and have so far accomplished your commandment as my lord Admiral may be assured that his wager is won; for by the power of your warrant I am possessed of the Castle, and have committed him prisoner to his chamber, wherein, unless he makes me good cheer (whereof I have some doubt) he is not like long to tarry (for I do assure you in my opinion it is one of the pleasantest rooms within that I know in England), but shall be restrained to some other more fit for a prisoner. The duty I owe my lord Admiral makes me remember this one thing, that he would signify his pleasure what I shall do with his cast iron ordnance which Sir Ed. Hoby hath gotten into his hands, being his lordship's in right. If it would please him to give me one half of them, I would be thankful for them. Signify your farther pleasure if there be any farther cause of his long restraint.—Queenborough, 7 June.
Holograph. 1 p. (32. 84.)
Sir Edward Hoby to Sir Robert Cecil.
1595, June 7. Had I been acquainted by Mr. Lieutenant of th'Ordnance with your letters and my restraint here in her Majesty's castle, before my coming from Upbury, I would soon have returned to attend you at dinner to-morrow, and have spared entertainment to so unwelcome guests. Only this I must in grief lay to your charge, and complain thereof to Mr. D[ean] of Paul's, that by your letters and my straight keeping I am hindered of receiving to-morrow, put to a mean pittance, and yet never a whit of meat intended to be less eaten. And here I must humbly desire you to send to him to come away, for under colour of your letter here, he purposeth to tarry longer than is for my ease, pretending I know not what service to the Lord Admiral; for until other order sent by you, here he tarrieth. I will yield caution of a privy chamber lady to be with you before the first of the term, if that may suffice. Brasennose knoweth I have goods and chattels and will not fly. Therefore, humbly beseeching you to return this bearer hastily to fet (fetch) the other, and not to be known to my Lord Admiral hereof, I take my leave.—From her Majesty's Castle of Queenborough, now in Sir G. Carew's custody, June 7, 1595.
[P.S.] I cannot be permitted by my jailor to write to Winefrid. I beseech you answer for me to her, and let her know what is become of me. I assure her I am a true man to her peradventure.
Holograph. Seal. ¾ p. (32. 86.)
Penelope, Lady Rich to Sir Robert Cecil.
1595, June 7. Was sorry she could not see him before her departure since she was resolved to have visited him and his lady had they been in the town. Is exceedingly intreated by Mr. Tasburgh to put Cecil in mind of him, the more because he hath long had cause to expect the Queen would lay the grace of a knighthood upon him, which hath been moved before by her brother and other his friends. He imagines if her Majesty were satisfied for these former wrongs laid upon him, it were an easy matter to get the Queen to do that in respect of his service. Prays Cecil to speak a word for him in that also, as Lord Buckhurst, it seems, hath promised to do.
Endorsed :—“7 June, 1595.”
Holograph. 1 p. Two seals, with green silk. (32. 87.)
Morris Pykeryng, Keeper of the Gatehouse, to [Sir Robert Cecil].
1595, June 7. I am bold to know your pleasure touching Williamson, my prisoner at your commandment, for that Master Attorney General this day, the 7th of June, did examine him; and at his going away he desired he might have his other windows open for air, and Master Attorney, betwixt him and me, bade me to take heed of him. I thought it my duty to know your pleasure, whether I may put on hand bolts every night on his hands, or to let my servant lie in his chamber. I would not trust any to be acquainted of it till I know your pleasure.—Westminster.
Endorsed :—“June, 1595. Keeper of the Gatehouse to my Master.”
Holograph. 1 p. (33. 12.)
Henry, Earl of Huntington to Sir Robert Cecil.
1595, June 8. I have received these from York, which I have thought good to send you. The said Wharton remaineth at Newcastle in safety until further direction be given, and so doth the other man, whose examination I did send you the last day; of whom I am by these letters put in remembrance, with this addition, that Mr. Anderson, now mayor of Newcastle, told Mr. Priestley, one of the Council at York, that he was detected in Scotland of some great capital crime, for which, if he returned, he should receive there the sentence of condemnation. I find the mayor is desirous to have some direction, so soon as may be, what shall be done with these men.—Hygate, 8 June, 1595.
Holograph. Seal. 1 p. (32. 88.)
Sir Ferdinando Gorges to the Earl of Essex.
1595, June 8. I do beseech you earnestly to persuade my lord Burgh to continue his determination and promise unto your lordship for the removing his lieutenant-governor, whose youth and foolish manner hath been so proud and scornful towards me, as almost I am ashamed to be the reporter of it myself.
Since my last coming over he hath threatened me unto my face, that he would call me unto a court to answer (as he termeth it) my running from my garrison without order from the government. Now, my good lord, were this true it were sufficient to call in question my life, as well as the losing of my company and reputation; but being false, as my lord Burgh can assure you it is, I most earnestly entreat you, at such time as he shall make his complaint unto you—for so I perceive by his threats he doth intend—for any refusing to come unto his court to answer to any such thing, that you will, out of your favour towards me and the untruth of his accusation, make him to know what it is so publicly and so falsely to call in question the life and reputation of any gentleman. This do I the rather presume to write, for that by your favour I have received the greatest part of my reputation, and that this wrong hath been rather offered me by the privilege of his authority than by any courage or ability in the man to make that good he hath foully suggested. My bold requests I take in reason and defence of my reputation, and that makes me once again most earnestly entreat you with using your power in my just defence, and discountenance towards him, which will be a means the rather to make him acknowledge his error, in that he is persuaded, by reason of a little pelf he hath by his long miserableness raked together, that therewith he is sufficiently able to countenance himself in any matter against any man; as not only by his wrongs to me may appear, but also by his scornful dealing with my lord Burgh, whose favour hath been the only means of all that he hath.—From the Brill, 8 June.
Endorsed :—“8 June, 1595.”
Holograph. Seal. 2 pp. (171. 149.)
Thomas Bodley to Sir Robert Cecil.
1595, June 9. May it piease you of your favour to make known to her Majesty that I am utterly yet unable to take any journey, for malis mala succedunt, and one indisposition doth so draw another to it, as I am clean out of strength, and also out of hope of any speedy recovery. I will not trouble you with any other allegation, albeit my private state doth stand in such danger by the deadly sickness of a friend (of whose amendment I despair) as without appearance of my ruin I cannot possibly go from home. If you vouchsafe hereupon to acquaint her Majesty with my case, and to move her for another to be sent in my stead, which would not be deferred, in my simple judgment, I will take it from you for a singular benefit.—9 June.
Holograph. Seal. 2/3 p. (32. 89.)
Niccolo di Menze to Sir Robert Cecil.
1595, June 9. Thanks for his many favours. Prays him to accept a piece of velvet as a token of his gratitude, and to return his thanks to the Lord Treasurer for many courtesies received from him.
Signed. Seal. ½ p. (32. 90.)
Robert Wrothe to Sir Robert Cecil.
1595, June 11. This present 11 June, between 9 and 10 of the clock at night, I received your letter for the having of a buck to-morrow in the forenoon delivered at your house at the Strand, which I would and as willingly perform as you desire, if the scantness of the time hinder not, and will do my best endeavour therein.—Luton, 11 June, 1595.
Signed. ½ p. (32. 91.)
Thomas Bellamy to Sir Robert Cecil.
1595, June 11. I have been suitor unto your honours in behalf of my sister-in-law, her two daughters, and my uncle Page, all being committed close prisoners almost a whole year, and so have continued ever since I preferred a petition unto your honours, signifying the whole cause of Mr. Topliffe's dealing against the aforesaid prisoners; whereupon Mr. Topliffe did obtain a letter from the whole Council unto the two lord Chief Justices, the lord Chief Baron, the Master of the Rolls, Mr. Drew, her Majesty's Sergeant, and Mr. Attorney General, or any three of them, about three weeks since, to examine and certify unto your honours what truth they could find in the said petition delivered in my brother Richard Bellamy's name. Whereupon I did repair to the said lord Chief Justice with the rest, who answered they had no letter; upon which answer I resorted unto her Majesty's Court to inform you thereof, and, meeting Mr. Topliffe, asked him of the said letters, who forthwith went unto the Lord Chamberlain and complained. Whereupon I was sent for to come before him, who laid nothing to my charge, but because I did come within the Court, sent me to the Marshalsea, commanding irons to be laid on me. I am enforced to crave a speedy hearing before your honours, or else your letter to be delivered by me to whom it shall best please you to appoint; and as it shall fall out between Mr. Topliffe and me, so let true justice be ministered, and the poor prisoners in the meantime, according to your accustomed charity, be relieved, either by enlargement on bond or otherwise.—From the Marshalsea, 11 June 1595.
Holograph. ½ p. (32. 92.)
Robert Dudley to Sir Robert Cecil.
1595, June 11. How much I honour you and how infinitely I think myself tied unto you for your many favours, which I understand by my mother! I cannot choose but make myself your vowed servant. Let me entreat you not to take me as a complimental courtier, but as a plain dealing sailor that hath learned to love them honestly and unfeignedly that he is so much bound to. The discourse of those matters I have seen, I leave till I wait upon you, which shall be when I have in some reasonable sort recovered my health, which hath been not altogether the best since I came; I am strong enough, but somewhat dulled with the sea fare. The best things I know I shall be glad to make known unto you.—From Wilton, 11 June, 1595.
Signed. Seal. 1 p. (32. 93.)
Richard Topclyffe to Sir Robert Cecil.
1595, June 12. Edmund Thurland, a gentleman, was trained up in Spain with the old Duchess of Feria, widow daughter of Dormer, and returned into England and married the sister of Wm. Plumton of Plumton, a travelling papist, and she was the niece of old Norton the rebel; and he and she were both of alliance unto Dr. Moreton, that came from Rome from Pius V. with the bull, and raised the rebellion in the north. His mother was the wife also of Mr. Moreton of Bawtre, brother to the said doctor.
His brother, Robert Moreton, did marry his sister, which Robert I took, and his wife, this Thurland's sister, on shipboard, going towards Rome to the uncle doctor, but [they] were delivered by suit of friends in Court. Moreton's wife, Thurland's sister, died : after, Rob. Moreton fled again to Rome and became a seminary priest, he having been a practiser for his uncle in a conspiracy for the stealing away of the Scottish Queen from the old Earl of Shrewsbury and murder of the Earl, which practice intended I revealed to her Majesty, and have the confessions of the parties extant for proof. Robert Moreton returned a seminary priest from Rome, whom I took myself in London, and [he] was executed for treason in ao 1588. But before he was apprehended by me, he had been in Northamptonshire, I know where, and about his brother Thurland's house then at Gameston in Nottinghamshire, if not in his house.
Edmund Thurland was exceedingly great and secretly inward with George More, the traitorous pensioner to the King of Spain, now lately fled with Williamson to the enemy, and as great with Williamson, and be all popish in heart, and likely that one was not ignorant of those three which any of the other did know.
Thurland did dwell at Gameston, three miles beyond Tuxford in the Clay, on the east side of the highway to Scrooby and Doncaster, half-a-mile upon the river by Marryll Bridge; but he used most to continue at a town upon the cliff that runs from Grantham to Lincoln northward 7 or 8 miles, near Long Ledneham, which lordship he bought with money that he gained by his cosening his unthrifty nephew for Gameston called Thurland; and there I think he liveth. He is of a reasonable tall stature, slender, long faced, high complexion, high foreheaded, flaxen and thin hair of head and beard; very upright in his pace, small mouthed, grey eyes, and passing subtil, as Mr. Secretary Walsingham did know, and used then to keep the terms, and seemed heavy in London the last term, as a mourner for his two mates.
Endorsed :—“12 Junii 1595. Mr. Topcliffe's opinion of Thurland.”
Holograph. 1 p. (32. 94.)
Penelope, Lady Rich to Sir Robert Cecil.
1595, June 12. Desired much to have seen him before her journey, yet would not for anything trouble him with so ill a journey, especially this day and to this place, which may procure him displeasure. Will by no means neglect any occasion to yield him assurance of her desire to requite the honourable kindness he has made her so much beholden to him for.
Endorsed :—“12 June, 1595.”
Holograph. Two seals over pink silk. 1 p. (32. 95.)
George, Earl of Cumberland to Sir Robert Cecil.
1595, June 13. I have now with much ado got myself free of London, and hope to see you in better state than now I am in. Though many in better terms may proffer firm friendship, none shall compare with me in performing all dues when best cause shall be to try it. I must for want of leisure move you by this bearer in a matter which, if with convenience you may, it shall much pleasure me.
Endorsed :—“13 June, 1595.”
Holograph. ½ p. (32. 96.)
Officers and Soldiers in the Low Countries.
1595, June 13. Statement of money for the entertainment due to officers, captains and soldiers serving her Majesty in the Low Countries, for two years ended 11 October, 1588.
The amount is set opposite each name.
Officers of Musters. Thomas Digges, muster master general.
James Digges, muster master.
Thomas Digges, commissary.
Arthur Higham, commissary.
George Thoresbye, commissary.
John Rogers, commissary.
Thomas Wyatt, commissary.
John Sparhawk, commissary.
Officers of Flushing. Sir William Russell, governor.
Captain Denys, gentleman porter.
Robert Manchister.
Edward Germyn, clerk of the munition.
Officers of Brill. Captain Price, marshal.
Barnaby Palmer, gentleman-porter.
Richard Payne, provost-marshal.
Andreas Bassano, water-bailiff.
Horse Bands, vizt. to Lord Willughbie.
Arthur Bourchier.
The Queen's Majesty gave him 300l. for all that was due to himself.
Sir William Russell.
Sir John Burgh.
Sir Robert Sidney.
Sir Nicholas Parker.
Foot Bands vizt. to Sir William Russell.
Morrys Denys.
Richard Wingfield.
Avery Randolphe.
I have been told that Jacques Jelley, his father in low, hath obtained this out of the Exchequer, but I know no certainty.
Sir Robert Sidney.
Francis Darcye.
Thomas Maria Wingfield.
Degorie Hender.
Sir John Wingfield.
Nicholas Erington.
Sir John Burghe.
Francis Litleton.
The Queen gave his wife 500l. to be paid in ten years; the residue remaineth for creditors.
Oliver Lambert.
Sir Charles Blount.
Sir Thomas Morgan.
Sir Thomas Knollys.
Sir John Scott.
Sir John Conwey.
Sir Thomas Baskerville.
Sir Francis Vere.
David Powell.
I have been informed the Queen hath given his wife satisfaction, but I know no certainty.
Sir Edmund Uvedall.
John Price.
Lord Awdlaye.
Edmund Banester.
Arthur Brett.
William Browne.
Sir Edmund Carey.
Richard Harte.
John Hill.
Sir Henry Norreys.
Sir Edward Norreys.
Ralph Salisbury.
William Suderman.
Sir Walter Waller.
Anthony Wingfield.
Endorsed :—“Sums of money due to officers and soldiers in the Low Countries for two whole years, begun the 12 October, 1586, and ended the 11 October, 1588.”
Perfected and delivered by Sir Thomas Sherley, 24 April, 1592.
Reviewed by Sir Thomas Sherley and perfected at 13 June, 1595.”
The total of the account amounts to 30, 401l. 5s.
Tabular statement with marginal and other notes. Undated. 4 pp. (138. 253.)
Edward Moore to Sir Robert Cecil.
1595, June 13. I will not fail to use your reasons, with my best persuasions, for satisfaction of the rest, touching my lady your wife's absence at the funeral; and although we all much desired her presence, and some inconvenience will grow for lack of a lady so fit for that place, we must ever yield unto necessity, and I hope your request shall never be unsatisfied by any of us.
Endorsed :—“13 Junii, 1595.”
Holograph. Seal. ½ p. (171. 148.)
Sir Thomas Egerton, Master of the Rolls, and Attorney General Coke to Sir Robert Cecil.
1595, June 14. Mr. Persall attended on us this morning at the Rolls, whom we examined on such points as we thought fit, and after caused him to set down in writing the whole matter, as everything fell out in course of time, which herewith we send you. We have also examined Mr. Persall's son, who attended on us this afternoon, and caused him likewise to set down his whole knowledge concerning all those things whereof we examined him, which likewise we send herewith; and we find no material variance between them and the former examinates. Mr. Persall hath brought up two bags of papers which he received from Williamson's wife, and do (as he saith) concern the Earl [of Shrewsbury's] private affairs, and are, he affirmeth, of no great moment. These bags we have sealed up without any view of them by us, and according to their lordships' letters, the same do remain with me, the Master of the Rolls, till he have direction concerning the same. We have committed Mr. Persall to the custody of John More, of London, a citizen of good account and well affected, as we understand. His son we have committed to the custody of a messenger, Jo. Puttrell, both of them to remain in safe custody, without conference with any, until your pleasure be further known.
We have examined, according to your commandment, David Law, priest, whose examination we send herewith.—14 June, 1595.
Signed. 1 p. (32. 97.)
Enclosing :
(i.) Mr. Persall's declaration, 14 Junii, 1595. About Bartholomewtide last the wife of Nicholas Williamson, being cousin german to my wife, came unto my house, and told me of some breach betwixt her husband and her, and that she had been with her sister Bold in Lancashire, but upon some dislike between them she came away, and her husband's will was she should not come home before he sent for her. Having some occasion near his house, I took occasion to go thither to know the cause; and after he had told me of many matters of unkindness betwixt them, he said he would deal well with her, and leave her 200l. in stock, and Feakon further to the value of 40l., which way she should be provided for, and then told me his desperate case, that he could not remain long for there was process daily for him, and till the Star Chamber were over passed he would get him away, speaking of Yorkshire where his father's friends dwell, speaking also of Wales, and in the end he would go over the sea. Told me further he had spent much in my lord of Shrewsbury's service, and if my lord would deal well with him upon his departure—for he meant then, as it seemed, he would recompense himself with some of my lord's money—he should find he would deal well with him again; if not, he had letters touching his scandala magnatum, which but upon extremity he would not show, but they were such as would touch his credit. I wished him to depart an honest man and then he might with good face come again, but if he should deal so with his master, so man would esteem him; whereupon he said he would deliver them to me before his going, and also a note touching the course he would take for his wife, that I might call for it if it were denied, and so I departed from him. In the beginning of Michaelmas term, having occasion to go to London, I met him there, and he told me my lord of Shrewsbury was coming up, and that he would be gone before his coming, confessing he had taken certain of his rents, which he hoped my lord would not take in ill part all things considered, and that he had left the letters touching the scandala magnatum with his brother Thomas to be delivered unto me, and would make a note in writing touching his wife's estate against the next morning and deliver it me. That was the last time I saw or heard from him, and he left nothing as promised touching his wife. After Allhallowtide I met Thomas Williamson, his brother, in the Temple, and asked whether his brother had not delivered letters to him, touching matters of my lord of Shrewsbury, to be delivered to me. He said no, but there were some bags of writings at his brother's house and they might be amongst them, I wished him to look for them and keep them safe. A week before Christmas I sent into Derbyshire some of my servants to will his wife to keep her Christmas with me, and bade my man ask her touching those letters. She told him she did not know of them, but thought her brother Thomas Williamson had gotten them; but she said there was two bags of writings which she would get and she could, and it might be they were amongst them, but she doubted they were taken out by her brother. Either Christmas week or the next week after she sent two bags of writings which had wax upon the strings like seals, but the print was not to be seen. The same week I opened them and superficially looked them over, specially looking for those letters, which were not there; and the rest, being reckonings and matters of bargains and accounts, with other private letters of his friends, I put them all up again, and so they remained till the second or third week in Lent there came a letter from Charles Pershall, my kinsman, servant to the Earl of Shrewsbury, signifying that my lord was let to understand I had divers evidences and writings concerning his lordship come unto my hands, which his lordship marvelled I would keep and not deliver to him, wishing, for his credit, as also that my lord should not have cause hardly to conceive of me, that I would bring them up at my coming to London. I wrote him again there was no evidence, neither touching inheritance nor lease, concerning my lord nor no man else; that I found only letters and reckoning and nothing of effect; but if I might know my lord's pleasure I would search more specially to satisfy him, or if he would send any of his servants they should see what they were for his better satisfaction. So they remained till a week after Easter : meaning then to go to the town, one morning I willed my son to take the two bags and peruse the rest, having perused some of them before, and to lay by letters written from my lord or my lady, which he might see by the superscription. As he was searching, came in two of [the] said lord's men, and one of them told me he was come for certain writings touching his lordship, and showed me my lord's letter to that effect. I brought him up to my son, where divers of my lord's letters were laid aside, and he and his fellow passed over the rest that were betwixt any of Williamson's friends and him, and as they found anything touching my lord and lady's letters from them, articles of bargains, and such like, they put them all together, and I sealed and delivered them; neither those nor any that were there touching any matter but private affairs, either touching my lord or his private friends, and those that remained behind I have brought up and am ready to deliver.—Thomas Pershall.
Underwritten :—“13 Junii 1595. All this is written by Mr. Pershall himself, and by him affirmed to be true, before us, Tho. Egerton, Edw. Coke.”
3 pp. (32. 97.)
(ii.) The declaration of John Persall, taken the 14 day of June, 1595. About Easter, one afternoon, my father commanded me to peruse certain letters, and those that did concern the lord of Shrew[sbury] to lay by themselves. I did peruse them two several times, and the last time my father, with one of my lord's men called Thacker, came into the chamber, which Thacker likewise did peruse them, and those that he thought did concern the Earl he put into a bag and sealed them up and took them away with him. Those letters I read were concerning the lands in Kingston and Sawly, that Williamson should look his bargains were worth the money they should cost; some from my lady concerning provision for her house; and some from one Kideman, my lord's man, to let all things be in a readiness against my lord's coming to Sawly. For those letters, papers or writings I read then, was not one concerning any matter of state.—John Pershall.
Underwritten :—“He confessed before us that this whole declaration, being of his own handwriting, is true.—Tho. Egerton, Edw. Coke.”
1 p. (32. 100.)
(iii.) The examination of David Lawe, priest, taken the 14th day of June, 1595. He confesseth that all he hath written in his letters to my Lord Treasurer of the report of Creyton the Jesuit, he knoweth no otherwise than by the report of Creyton; but he well remembereth that Creyton did signify so much to him as he hath written in those letters, and Creyton used these speeches to him a day before Williamson and he came from Douai. This examinate asked Creyton at that time, what the Englishman's name was that should go with him to Scotland, but Creyton would not tell him. Examinate also saith Williamson might well know he was a priest, because he did daily see him use the breviary beyond the sea, but saith he did not tell Williamson he was a priest; and saith that Williamson and he took shipping at Calais in a Scottish ship of Leith, but, by reason of the contrary wind and that Williamson was very sick at sea, they landed at Yarmouth, and this examinate, by the persuasion of Williamson (who said that he fled only for debt), accompanied him on his way towards Scotland till they were taken.
He confesseth himself to be a priest, made at Brussels about a fortnight before the feast of St. Luke last, but that, as he is a priest, he knoweth not how to say mass, neither can say it without direction. And saith that Creyton, as he thinketh, told Williamson that the lord prior of Pluscatie (Pluscardine), the Earl of Huntly, the Earl of Angus, and the Earl of Errol were Catholics; and Williamson inquired after of this examinate which was the greatest of them, and where and in what parts of the country they dwelt. And confesseth that Williamson told examinate at Carlisle, after their apprehension, then being in Henry Lee's house in Carlisle, that it would be the worse for him if this examinate were known what he was, meaning if he were known to be a priest, as he thinketh; whereupon examinate the same night did bury his breviary in a dunghill in Carlisle. And saith that he thinketh that Creyton told Williamson that this examinate was a priest.—David Law
Underwritten :—“Examined by us, Tho. Egerton, Edw. Coke.”
1 p. (32. 101.)
Nicholas Williamson to Sir Robert Cecil, or, in his absence, to Edward Coke, Esquire, Attorney General.
1595, June 14. Your lordship's compassionate speeches yesterday, and your honourable eyes full of commiseration pitifully beholding me, should give comfort to my afflictions and hope of some future happiness; but alas! the effects are contrary, for they have doubled my despair. For your lordship rightly and plainly describing the dangers and miseries of my most distressed estate, and prescribing the means to relieve it, which in show and probability is in me to be performed : what an infinite multiplication is this of my miseries, when in truth it is not in my power to accomplish the same! I am charged to be instructed with divers arguments to persuade the King of Scotland to be Catholic, and so to inform him how to attain to the crown of England; to promise him aid of men from Fr. Dacres, and to assure him assistance of divers both of the nobility and commonalty here in England! To set down my arguments, to declare whence Fr. Dacre's aid of men should come, and which of the nobility and commonalty be so affected to the King of Scotland, is the only mean I have to redeem my life and ransom my liberty. God is my judge how willingly I would acknowledge all this if I could afterwards prove it. These 9 weeks I have studied for arguments how he should be able to aspire to the crown by being Catholic, and I protest I cannot devise one sound and probable but sundry opposite. My knowledge is not much of Fr. Dacres, but my opinion such of his shallow wit, slender credit and less ability, that I cannot devise whence it should be expected that he should levy ten men to the King's aid; and of this I am persuaded, that the King is so well informed that no promises whatsoever could make him expect performance thereof : but that I, notwithstanding, should have it in charge to deliver to the King, the reasons are infinite to the contrary.
That I should assure the King of assistance from divers of the nobility and commonalty, how easy were that to be proved if it were true; all being known with whom I have here conversed, to find out some one of whom I have laboured or solicited to that purpose, or one who hath at any time manifested unto me any such his devotion, zeal or affection to the King of Scotland. Can my ambition be thought so blind, or desire so fond to be employed to a King, as to undertake such great matters without learning or language, without sufficient warrants from sufficient persons, without ground of probability, without credit to give assurance or ability to give an instance of my assumptions? If I had thought the King much meaner than he is, and but of a half understanding and without counsel, yet I should not have dared such an enterprise, whereof the premises being so presumptuous, undiscreet and foolish, the conclusions must appear to be with danger and disgrace. And now, seeing her Majesty accuseth me of treason, my lord of felony, my aged parents languish in discomfort, my wife liveth in penury (and, as you said, in danger to be daily murdered, which my brother or Jurdan can inform you was said to be intended also to me before my departure) all my friends in disgrace, my creditors and divers poor men with whom I have bargained for my lord and their bargains not perfected, the tenants of whom I have received the rents and now troubled by my lord, exclaim pitifully against me! What conscience so careless, what soul so much abandoned of the Holy Ghost, or heart possessed with so desperate a spirit but would yield to a thousand times more (if it were in power) than is required at my hands?
Though it pleaseth you to extenuate my services already performed, yet will I not acquit you of their deserts; your honour, I confess, can best estimate their value, yet is my desire to have her due, though prevented by your foreknowledge. I have offered to be exposed to all dangers whatsoever for her Majesty's services; I have not regarded my lord and lady, which were my master and mistress, nor feared their threats, but have offered to disclose whatsoever I know by them, for her Majesty's benefit; and would willingly become a dweller again in my former home, though it be in the midst of their dominions. To conclude, I have ever honoured and loved her Majesty as my most dread Sovereign, most lawful and anointed Queen; I have never admitted evil thought into my heart against her most sacred person or this happy realm, and I know not of any practice whatsoever more than I have already uttered. My hand shall maintain this to be true, I avow it living and will breathe it out dying. Therefore I wholly prostrate myself at her Majesty's merciful feet, beseeching continuance of your mediation for me, whereby, and your knowledge in the secretest mysteries of these estate matters, her Highness' doubts of me may be better answered and my pardon procured.—From the Gatehouse, 14 June 1595.
Holograph. 1½ pp. (33. 82.)
George Gilpin to the Earl of Essex.
1595, June 14. Recommending to his favour the bearer, Nicholas Vycarin, who has served as a good and valiant soldier in those countries, and is returning to be employed in his country, with good report of his Excellency.—Hague, 14 June, 1595.
Signed. Seal broken. ½ p. (171. 150.)
Captain William Morgan to Sir Robert Cecil.
1595, June 15. According to your direction I have sent to my Lord divers times since, who did ever post[pone] it from forenoon to afternoon, and now hath directed me to you. Considering the brevity of the time [I] have caused things to be made ready for my provision for this voyage (“viech”), and have not money to pay for them, which is the cause I am not as yet embarked. I hope you will not have me to go altogether unprovided such a voyage as this is thought to be. I would fain know your pleasure herein, and also what I might trust unto.—From the ship at Green[wich ?] this present Sunday morning, being the 15th of June 1595.
Signed. 1 p. (32. 102.)